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#bts angst
zibermuda · 10 months ago
all over you (1) | jjk
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Summary — you don't usually go for the quiet, nerdy type, but Jungkook's by far the best looking guy in your year. You just can't help yourself. You have to have him. Small hiccup; he hates you. 
Genre — smut (e2l, nerd!jk, fuckgirl!reader)
Words — 8,886
Warnings — unprotected sex, body praise, finger sucking, nipple play, light choking, biting, masturbation, oral (male and female receiving), fingering in the library, swearing
one | two | three | four/final
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masterlist || request
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Jungkook catches your eye as you pass through the library. His features haven't gone unnoticed by you; wavy, dark hair, deep eyes, jaw carved by gods good chisel, and a body to die for. Not to mention, he’s always top of his class and still manages to find the time to run a campus gaming club. He’s literally everything. 
You're only here to return a textbook, but you're way too captivated by his presence to complete the task. This happens almost every time you see him. These scenarios usually begin with you handing him a compliment and end with him telling you to go away. Alright. Maybe you had an embarrassing run-in with him at a party that left him despising you, but that's not going to stop you from striking up friendly conversation. You’re more than mutuals. You’ve been at the same college for the past two years and your fathers are work colleagues and regularly drink together. Let’s just say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
"Hi, handsome." You pull up a seat opposite him and give his outfit a once-over — jeans and a black sweater. Take me now. He used to wear thin, black rimmed glasses, but has recently opted for contacts. You’re starting to miss stealing and trying them on. "What you doin’?"
When he looks up at you with a dull expression, you can't help but catch your bottom lip between your teeth. The faint taste of your strawberry lipgloss pools on your tongue. He’s so fucking hot. 
“Y/N, I'm busy.” He says lowly as to not disturb other studying students. “Can you go and annoy someone else?"
“My gosh.” You take one of his pens and twirl it between your fingers. “You’re always so rude to me. I wonder why.” 
“You know why.” He reaches for his pen, but you pull it away from his touch. A smile tugs at your glossy lips. If he wants to play hard to get, that's fine, but you're certain he'll be captivated by you soon enough.
You stand up from your chair and lean over his desk. With a slow, but purposeful movement of your fingers, you slide the pen behind his ear and lace your voice with bitter sweetness. “Don’t be such a baby. You know I didn't mean it."
You really didn't mean what you said. Besides, it was months and months ago. You were drunk and pissed off. He had done plenty of ignoring prior to the party incident, but after the fact just made it so much worse. It's almost unbearable. You want to get under his skin so bad, but he's proving to be immune to everything you pull.
He offers you a glare, but fails to intimidate you. If anything, he looks adorable. “Maybe you didn’t, but I did.” 
It’s your turn to glare. “I’m telling your daddy.” 
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As you're wandering down the hallway with classmate Hoseok by your side, you notice a familiar-looking flyer pinned to the notice board. The paper is a light violet tone and has almost been completely covered by other flyers and notices. It's Jungkook's gaming club — every Friday at 4PM, located in classroom G13.
It’s 4:34PM. You should have enough time to make an appearance. 
“Y/N.” Hoseok leans against the wall and takes a generous bite from his cereal bar. “Don’t tell me you’re thinking of joining that club. He already hates you.” 
Hoseok is well-acquainted with every clique on campus. His charming, laidback and loyal personality is loved by many and will continue to serve him well in his future life. He’s not super close with Jungkook, but when you want to know something, he’ll make light work of finding out for you. 
“He needs to get over it.” You roll your eyes in remembrance. “I mean, that party was months ago.” 
"You literally told him he had a small dick."
“So? He said I had small tits.” 
"Yeah, but he said that after you said he had a small dick. He kind of had the right.” He devours the rest of his cereal before continuing his rant. “You’re really doing all of this for what? Some dick? Love yourself.” 
A small smile tugs at the corner of your mouth as you pull off the flyer and re-pin it on top of all the others. You've finished all your classes for the day, so why shouldn't you take this free time to explore your interests? What better way than by joining a club? More specifically, what better way than by joining Jungkook’s gaming club?
“His face is the perfect seat.” 
“Absolutely no shame.” Hoseok shakes his head, but amusement is written all over his features. He’s been hearing about your Jungkook-filled fantasies since the dawn of time, so it’s not as shocking anymore. Before he leaves you to your own devices, he makes one last request. “Come to Tae’s party tonight?” 
You’re not one to ever miss a party, so you promise to turn up. Parties are the best gatherings to get your flirt, dress and matching heels on. Jungkook sometimes makes an appearance, too. This one time — he wore tight pants and a button up shirt and by the end of the night, his sleeves were rolled to his elbows and a few buttons had been pulled off from play-fighting with Taehyung. What a great fucking night.
Him and Taehyung were partnered up for a group assignment earlier in the year and have been mates ever since. You’ve come to the conclusion that hot people like to be around other hot people. 
Classroom G13 is only a few doors down, so you make your way over with a swing of your hips. The room is mainly used for I.T classes, hence why the gaming club books it for their Friday sessions. 
You barge into the classroom and try to take in the foreign atmosphere. There are five other guys sat at computers, who look as equally shocked as each-other at the sudden appearance of a female. The majority are wearing glasses and have on an oversized tee-shirt with a gaming character printed on the front. Jungkook is the last to look up. His face twists at the sight of you. 
“What are you doing here?” He asks bitterly. If his friends weren't here, he would probably escort you out himself.
“I’m here to join your club, silly.” Your smile doesn’t falter as you wander over to his desk. Your skirt is so short, one bend and you’re a playboy exhibition. 
“This is a club for gamers.” 
“Ok and?” You raise one of your perfectly sculpted eyebrows. “I’m level 134 on Candy Crush.” 
A few strands of his dark hair fall over his forehead as he glares up at you from his seat. He’s never been as speechless as he is right now. Just when he thought you couldn’t infiltrate his life any further, you do this.
One of the members’ clears his throat before speaking up. His voice is deep and rich, and his short hair has been dyed an un-natural blonde. He's kind of cute. "I think it would be great to have a girl join our club — diversity and all."
All the other members nod in agreement and that’s that. Jungkook’s outvoted 4 to 1. To show your gratitude, you hand each of them a smile and watch in amusement as they swoon over your confidence. They're already in love with you. Except for one.
“Fine.” Jungkook pinches the bridge of his nose with his fingers and emits an exaggerated sigh. "You can join, but if you cause any trouble, you're out."
"I would never cause any trouble." You offer him a disingenuous smile before spinning in your chair to face the others. "Are you boys coming to Taehyung's party tonight? A little birdie told me there's room for six more attendees."
He places a hand on your chair and turns you back toward him. The sleeves of his black sweater have been rolled to his elbows, revealing his bronzed forearms. Oh, what you would do to have them wrapped around your waist. "Y/N, what did I just say?"
“Are you gonna punish me for it?" You drop the volume of your voice, but make sure it’s loud enough for everyone in the room to hear. “Don’t hold back. You know I like it rough.” 
Your suggestive response sparks the curious mind of the same blonde-haired boy. He asks a question that has a mischievous smile settling on your lips. “Are you two dating?”
You’ve never seen Jungkook look so offended, but you’ve never felt so satisfied to hear those words. “Absolutely. I’m his girlfriend.” 
“No, you’re not.” Jungkook quickly dismisses the suggestion. “We’re not dating.” 
“We’re on a break.” 
“God, you’re so annoying.” Jungkook brushes off the topic of conversation by logging you onto a computer and pulling up a video game for you to play. It’s a little bit concerning that he visits a gaming website for children. 
"What's this?" You stare at him blankly. The graphics on your game are pathetic compared to his. It's probably for the best, though, considering how little you know about the topic.
"A game you’ll understand." He scoots his chair closer to yours and takes charge of your mouse. A waft of expensive cologne greets your nose and you swear you’ve never smelt anything as sexy. "People will order pancakes and you’ll make them."
It's intriguing for twenty minutes, but then you grow sick of it. The orders are never ending and the timer gives you an unparalleled sense of anxiety. Not to mention, you keep getting distracted by Jungkook’s concentrating face — furrowed eyebrows, bottom lip pulled between his teeth. He seems to be good at whatever game he’s playing. You wonder what else he’s good at. 
When it hits 5:20PM, you decide you've had enough. You're so bored, not even the sight of Jungkook could force you to stay. Besides, you have to get ready for Taehyung's party. If you arrive early enough, you can get in some pre-game shots.
“Jungkook.” You lightly kick his ankle, but he doesn’t pay any mind. Your second attempt is a lot more aggressive. 
“God, what?” He finally pulls his eyes away from the screen.
“Can you come to Taehyung’s party tonight?” You look up at him through your mascara-slick eyelashes. 
He’s unfazed. “No.” 
“Perfect. I’ll see you there.” You stand up and straighten the fabric of your mini skirt. "Oh, and I know you don't care, but your dad told my dad about your scholarship. You obviously worked hard for it, so congrats!”
Jungkook blinks back his confusion. Every other person had congratulated him on his natural big brain, but that's not quite how it worked out for him. He worked his ass off for that scholarship, so when he received it, it was kind of a slap in the face to hear people say it came easy to him. 
“Thanks.” He says quietly before getting back to his game. 
“Bye, boys.” You give a little wave before disappearing down the hallway and toward your dormitory building. 
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Your dorm room is just as messy as you left it — clothes sprawled all over the floor and stacks of useless papers sat atop your desk. You've been meaning to clean up for weeks, but your attention span doesn't tolerate housework of any kind. If the dormitory supervisor saw the state of your room, you’d be kicked out before you can recite your ABCs.
After emitting a deep sigh and a strangled groan, you muster up the willpower to get it done. It takes a lot longer than you anticipate, mostly because you spend half the time scrolling through Spotify for upbeat songs to get you in the cleaning mood. It reaches 7:47PM when you hang up your last mini-skirt. There’s no way you’ll be able to pre-game. The party will be in full swing by now. 
As you’re rummaging in your closet for your sexiest dress, you receive a text from Hoseok. He’s already at the party and so is Jungkook by the looks of things. Of course he is.
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You examine your chipped nail-polish and grimace at the state of them. They could do with a little love and attention. As you're doing so, Hoseok replies to your text. 
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Asshole. Is Jungkook ever going to get over himself? That party was eons ago.
You decide to focus on more pressing issues, like squeezing yourself into a tight, black dress and sliding on a pair of cute heels. Your legs look bomb, as does your everything. Heads are bound to turn tonight, but you're only interested in making one head of fluffy, dark hair turn. 
Before you make an exit, you double check the application of your makeup and apply a generous amount of lipgloss.
Taehyung's parents' house is walking distance from college campus. They're frequently away on business trips, so he takes advantage and throws parties and various other get-togethers on the regular. It's a beautiful, modern house with a fortress of white picket fences surrounding it.
You spot Hoseok right away. He's sprawled out on the couch with an almost-empty can of beer in his hand. Jungkook is sat opposite him. He too has a fist full of beer. Familiar faces are spilling from the luxurious estate and a good handful of them are already stumbling around with veins full of alcohol. To top it all off, music with a deep bass is blasting from a large speaker hanging from the living room wall. Ah, your happy place.
“Hey.” You lean down to plant a friendly kiss on Hoseok’s cheek. The fabric of your dress rides dangerous high up your thighs and you swear you feel Jungkook’s gaze waver on your skin. As he should. 
The only seat that intrigues you is the small gap between Jungkook and the blonde-haired member from the gaming club. An annoyed groan falls from Jungkook’s lips as you squeeze yourself between the two boys. And, just as you’re getting comfortable, he decides to stands up.
“Where are you going?” 
“To get another drink.” 
“Can you get me one, too?” You offer him your prettiest smile. “Please.”
He’s definitely thinking of saying no, but you would probably threaten to tell his dad or come up with some ludicrous plan to annoy him further. Defeated, he emits another sigh before wandering off to collect more drinks. As he meanders his way through the crowd, you notice a group of girls looking his way and chatting amongst themselves. It doesn’t surprise you. He's hot as fuck, smart as fuck and has a clean runway into Taehyung's clique. But, it definitely doesn’t please you either. Everyone and their grandma knows you’ve been after him since day one. 
"Fancy seeing you here." You decide to strike up conversation with the blondie, since your man-servant is currently away on duty. "I didn't quite catch your name earlier today."
"Min Yoongi." His smile is cute and his dress sense is way better than it had been earlier today. He’s sporting dark jeans and a leather jacket over a white tee-shirt. You’re definitely receiving some bad-boy-on-the-outside, good-boy-on-the-inside vibes. 
To your surprise, the chat flows with ease. You pry into his personal life and learn all kinds of fascinating things about him — he has a passion for visual arts and music, his parents are divorced, he has a younger brother. If you're not turning up to the gaming club for Jungkook, you would totally make an appearance for this guy. He's funny, too, and has you bursting into unexpected fits of giggles.
Somewhere along the lines, Jungkook returns and reluctantly hands you a cup of lemonade and vodka. Emphasis on the lemonade. There’s barely any alcohol in this concoction. His lame reasoning — your dad would kill him if something were to happen to you, plus, he really doesn’t want to be the one to carry you back to your dorm because you’re too hammered to walk. Sober you is already a pain in the ass. 
By the end of the night, you have Yoongi’s number saved into your phone and way too much alcohol in your system. You’ve definitely misspelt his name, but it’s the thought that counts. Jungkook thought he could get away with giving you watered-down drinks, but you’ve migrated to the kitchen and have taken way too many shots to count on one hand. 
It reaches 11:38PM and Jungkook makes an appearance to let Taehyung know he’s heading back to his dorm. As he talks, you suck on your bottom lip and take in the sheer sight of him. You’re a drunken mess, but your feelings are crystal clear and your eyes work just fine. 
“Hoseok.” Jungkook yells over the music after catching a glimpse of your drunken state. “Can you take her back with you?”
“I’m staying over.” Hoseok replies as he pours himself another shot. “But you can take her back.” 
“Are you serious?” Jungkook takes in the state of you — disheveled hair, low eyes, barely able to stand by yourself without the help of the kitchen counter. Hoseok isn’t going to take you back to campus, so that leaves very few sober volunteers. He can’t just leave you in a house full of other drunk idiots. Your dad would murder him.
During his mental debate, he runs his fingers through his tousled hair and emits the fiftieth sigh of the night. 
“Y/N.” He hesitantly holds out his hand, but you take it without an ounce of delay. It’s warm and fits perfectly around your your own.
In contrast, the cold nights air bites your exposed skin and you shiver at the feeling. You should’ve brought a jacket with you. The weather has been terrible for months, but you regularly refuse to dress for the occasion. Fashion before comfort or whatever the runway models say. 
After helping you trudge down the porch staircase in your heels, Jungkook tugs his hand free and shoves it into the pocket of his jacket. 
“Slow down!” You whine after him. He’s already traveled many meters ahead of you. “I’m wearing heels!”
“So take them off.” He retaliates, but ends up slowing down anyway. Jungkook is one of those people who will be doing something while ranting about how he will never do the act he’s currently doing. It makes him very predictable and easy to persuade. 
The moon isn’t doing a very good job at lighting the surroundings, so you rely on the flickering bulbs of the street lamps. Every now and then you become confused by the cracks in the concrete and slow to an irritatingly snail-like pace.
“Y/N.” He notices your consistent stumbling. “Walk.”
“I can’t.” You pout. “It’s all swirly.”
He hasn’t got time for this. He has an important class at 8AM and would like to get at-least six hours of sleep tonight. The chancellor would raise a very concerned eyebrow if she saw his grades slipping in the slightest. She didn’t hand him that scholarship for nothing. 
After muttering a few fruity profanities to himself, he leans down and throws your body over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. To keep your modesty in tact, he tugs on the fabric of your dress to cover more of your exposed skin. 
You’ve definitely had a dream about this. It involved a-lot more sex, though. 
They say time flies when you’re having fun and that must be true because he reaches your dormitory building before you can even fully process his grip on your waist.
He tries your dormitory door, but it’s locked shut. Your feet have been placed firmly on the floor at this point. “Where’s your key?”
“In my bra.” You snake your fingers into the tight, lacy fabric and pull out your dormitory key. 
He catches himself watching the suggestive manoeuvre with a raised eyebrow, but quickly dismisses it by heading back down the hallway. His room is in the same dormitory building as yours, just a floor below. 
“Goodnight!” You yell after him before disappearing into your room, crawling into bed and falling into a deep sleep. Your hangover ought to be hellish, but you’ll be sure to remember the feeling of his hands on your waist in the morning. 
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Another Friday rolls around and you find yourself at the gaming club at 4PM sharp. Punctuality sure isn’t the other members’ strong suit, because none of them have turned up yet. Except for your two favourite boys — Jeon Jungkook and Min Yoongi.
“Hey.” You ruffle Jungkook’s hair as you wander past his desk. His eyes follow your figure simply because your outfit is so bright and full of personality. Not for any other reason. “How’s daddy Jeon?” 
“He’s fine.” He can’t help but notice when you sit next to Yoongi instead of him, but it’s not like he gives a fuck or anything. All you do is annoy him. He deserves a break, especially after last weeks ordeal.
The other members turn up in due time and begin their online tournament. Yourself and Yoongi are having a blast. He's teaching you how to play his favourite video game and he's doing so in the most playful manner. Jungkook would probably throw the computer out the window right after he throws you. His patience is thin when it comes to you. 
As you press on the keys like a fool, Yoongi places his hand on top of yours and guides your fingers to the correct keys. The constant burst of giggles has Jungkook darting his eyes over to the scene. He notices the way your nose scrunches slightly when you laugh. He then realises he's never made you laugh like that. 
This is the first time you captivate him.
Another Friday swings by. Like last week, you sit with Yoongi and spend most of the time fiddling with your jewellery and laughing at his jokes. He introduces you further to the other members and includes you in every conversation to ensure you’re not left out. If anyones left out, it’s Jungkook. He’s sat at the opposite end of the classroom with a blank expression plastered to his face. Your annoyingness has reduced massively since you’ve become acquainted with Yoongi and he’s definitely noticed. 
Your sweet laugh forces him to pull his eyes away from the computer screen and watch as you cover your mouth with your hand to stifle the sound. Before he can stop himself, he starts noticing things about you that he had forced himself to ignore — like how glossed up your lips always are, how you chew on your bottom lip when you're contemplating, how pretty your neck is, how much he likes how you dress yourself. His eyes trail below the desk, where your bare thighs are poking out from your skirt. As you switch the cross position of your legs, he catches a glimpse of your underwear.
This is the second time you captivate him and it’s starting to piss him off.
He may be a young man with raging hormones, but he’s supposed to be immune to you. Your pheromones and general attractiveness had just been traits he was aware you possessed, but now he has to deal with the feelings they’ve solicited from deep within him. 
For a few more minutes afterwards, he tries his best to evict the image of your thighs from his mind, but it doesn’t work at all. He even pulls out a stack of homework, but just can’t seem to focus on a single equation. This isn’t supposed to happen to him.
In an abrupt manner, he stands up from his seat, grabs his stuff and leaves the classroom. You don’t even notice he’s gone until you look up from Yoongi’s computer and his seat is empty.
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On a fateful Tuesday, you bump into Jungkook in the hallway. Literally. Chest to chest. In this moment, he feels like his entire view on you has shifted. He's looking at you like he's never seen anything so pretty, but you don’t quite read his expression as it is.l 
“Sorry, handsome.” You offer him a compliment to make up for the fact that his books are now sprawled all over the floor. Without giving it too much thought, you bend over and help him pick up his stuff. The fabric of your skirt bunches at your thighs and reveals more of your skin. He’s staring, but you’re oblivious to the fact. 
You’re oblivious to it all. You don’t notice anything. Not even when you're chewing on the end of a pencil during class and he's watching the movement of your lips. Not even when you tilt your head as you’re listening to the lecture and he's tracing the curve of your throat with his eyes. This goes on for many more weeks. Almost two months have passed since he founded this interest in you, but time isn’t making it go away. It’s just making it worse. 
You continue to greet him as you would, and by greet — look him up and down and thank his parents for having sex. You continue to ruffle his hair when you catch him in the library and you continue to rant to Hoseok about how much you want him to HIFTB. His replies are no-where near as dismissive as they had been, but you don’t think too much of it. Maybe he’s just in a good mood for once. You still have the fattest crush on him. Hell, you’ll probably fancy him until you die, but you’ve laid off a lot of the annoying remarks. He’s noticed. 
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“Do you like my nails?” You startle Jungkook as you slap your hands on top of his textbook. He’s been studying in the library for the past two hours and didn’t notice you walk in. “They match my bra.”
He tries to stifle a gulp as you hold up your fingers to a dusty pink bralette peeking out from your blouse. 
“Yeah.” His voice comes out a little croaky. You want to fuck it. Scratch that. You want his voice to fuck you. 
With a smile, you drape your arm across his shoulder and lean forward to read his work. He thinks you have such a pretty smile. In the many hours he’s been sat here, he’s only managed to write down one sentence. His mind has been occupied with a certain mini-skirt, lip-gloss wearing girl. 
“Study blues?” You query with an idea in mind. “Do you want to come to Tae’s? His pool is heated.” 
It doesn’t take that much convincing for him to pack up his books and walk with you all the way to Taehyung’s house. Only a handful of friends have been invited over this time. Last months party took eons to clean up and some fuck-head smashed the mirror in his parents bathroom. So, to play it safe, he’s been keeping the parties a lot more low-key. 
Hoseok is here, along with Taehyung’s girlfriend, Kaya. She’s a gorgeous brunette with pretty eyes and a contagious smile. They’ve been together for a little over a year and make dating look like a walk in the park. You’re not as close to her as you are with Hoseok, but you still consider her a good friend. 
Taehyung captures Jungkook in a headlock and ruffles his hair. In return, Jungkook tangles his foot with Taehyung’s and tries to trip him over. They’re like a pair of un-trained puppies. 
“Is this the pretty-boy Jungkook?” Kaya giggles as you join her by the side of the pool. She graduated college last year, so hasn’t had the chance to run into him in the hall-ways. She’s heard a lot about him from you, though. All good, of course.
“Cute, right?” You pull your blouse over your head and tug down your tight skirt. The weather is actually nice for once, so you can finally soak up some well-deserved vitamin D. 
Nobody has bothered to wear actual swimwear. Kaya is in her underwear, too — a dee blue bra and matching panties. Knowing Taehyung, he’ll probably strip down butt-ass naked and cannon-ball into the water. When it comes to nudity, he’s not shy at all. Ask the local police. 
As you discard your clothes on a nearby lounge-chair, Jungkook becomes mesmerised by the unique curves of your figure. Whenever you wear tight jeans or a mini skirt, he catches himself staring like he has the right to. He knows it’s inappropriate, but his mind wanders to the thought of you when he’s alone in his dorm. On most nights, he runs his thumb over the tip of his cock and thinks of your mouth, your thighs, your tits, your laugh. Everything and anything about you has the ability to turn him on. He’s not entirely sure why he’s so infatuated by you, but he’s never going to admit that your new interest in Yoongi caused it. 
“Dude.” Hoseok snaps him from his wildly-inappropriate thoughts. “Don’t tell me it’s finally happened.”
Jungkook pulls his shirt over his head and does a pretty good job at acting perplexed, but Hoseok knows and sees all. “What?”
“You’re in love with her.”
“No, I’m not.”
“I get it, man.” Hoseok takes a swig from his beer can and gestures toward your figure. “You can’t help who you fall in love with.”
“I’m not in love with her.” Jungkook repeats with an extra sternness to his voice. God, that’s such a lie. Let’s see what he’d say if he was put on the stand. 
“Well then you’re trying to get laid by her specifically.” They both peer at you as you laugh and splash water at Kaya. It’s like watching some erotic perfume commercial that leaves you with a boner and a head full of confusion. “It’s between those two.” 
He’s not wrong. It is between those two, but he’s not one to admit his feelings, especially not for a girl he’s supposed to despise. The pair of you have a Tom and Jerry complex and everybody knows it. 
For someone who takes it easy on physical exercise, Jungkook sure is toned. It doesn’t really surprise you, though, since his father is three times the size. You’re convinced his entire family is made from muscle and shares DNA with the hulk. His mother is a pretty, athletic woman with an intriguing personality. She’s an angel, but she doesn’t beat around the bush. When she has the time and energy, she visits with her husband and has a few drinks at your fathers house. 
As Jungkook’s lowering himself into the water and you’re staring at his defined abdomen, he catches your gaze for a lot longer than you anticipate. For the first time in forever, you stare at each-other without an ounce of detest in either of your expressions. You’re not one to feel embarrassed or giddy over things like this, but he sure does have an effect on you.
“Hey.” Hoseok snaps you from your explicit thoughts by draping an arm over your shoulders. He keeps his voice low and personal. “I need you to flirt with Yoongi.”
“Why?” You ask, utterly perplexed.
“I’m testing a theory.” 
You're not quite sure what he means by any of that. Yourself and Yoongi had established months ago that your relationship was purely platonic. He gets you and you just get him. Your family situations are similar enough for comfort to be found within each-other’s presence. 
For most of the afternoon, you offer Yoongi your best smile and banter with him like you usually would. There’s no fun or respect in leading him on to test Hoseok’s secret theory, so you don’t. Besides, you can’t quite seem to make the same flirtatious remarks toward him that you would usually make toward Jungkook. You’re just friends. And, Jungkook is your future baby daddy. That’s how it’ll always be.
As the sun begins to set, the energy simmers down and the meaningful conversations about future life begin. Taehyung goes on a rant about how his father is forcing him to take over his pharmaceutical company. And, to comfort him in his lack of career choices, Kaya places a chaste kiss against his cheek. They’re adorable. If they ever break up, you’ll throw a fit. 
The five of you are sat on the stairs at the shallow end of the luxury-sized pool. You’ve been in the water for so long that your fingers have started to wrinkle, but that’s what it’s all about. Is it really a pool party if your fingers don’t look like nasty ass raisins by the end of it? The answer is no. 
Taehyung’s rant turns diabolical. You wrap your arms around Yoongi’s neck and rest your chin on his shoulder as you’re listening to the profanities pouring from Taehyung’s mouth. This is something you’ve always wanted to do with Jungkook, among other physical pursuits. Skin-ship is your way of expressing affection for friends, family, cats, dogs etc. How will a dog ever know you have love for it if you don’t pet its fluffy, little head? 
Hoseok’s wise gaze wanders to Jungkook, who’s looking more pissed off than ever — tight jaw, furrowed brows and a death-inducing glare aimed toward the one you have your arms around. Hoseok been handing Jungkook i-told-you-so looks for most of the afternoon. Sometimes, he finds it tiring to be right all the time, but this particular situation is juicier than anything he’s ever stuck his beak into it. 
Jungkook knows you’re a handsy person, but he still wants to hold Yoongi’s head underwater until he gets the message. If he could put it into words, he would say you and him are in a pending relationship. If you heard those words, you wouldn’t know what to do with yourself. What first? Sex or marriage? 
The sun has now completely set and you’ve migrated to the kitchen for a fruitier selection of drinks. There’s only a certain amount of vodka you can drink before growing tired of the horrific taste.
Taehyung and Kaya have resorted to making out on the lounge-chair and you’re pretty sure Hoseok has passed out from fatigue. It’s only 8:25PM, but swimming seems to really knock the energy out of a person. 
“So.” Jungkook’s voice pulls you from your wandering thoughts. You don’t have any recollection of him walking into the kitchen, but you’re definitely not complaining. His hair is still damp and his clothes have been returned to his body (unfortunately.) “Yoongi?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” You query with a raised eyebrow. You’re not sure who’s shirt your wearing, but it’s long enough to hang over your thighs. It’s probably Hoseok’s.
“Are you seeing him?” Jungkook does a grand job of keeping his gaze above your chin. And, even though you’re without your tight skirt, glossy lips and mascara, you look the same to him. There’s a different aura to you like this, though. Almost precious. 
“I’m not seeing anyone, Jungkook.” You offer him one of your pretty, playful smiles. “You know I like you.”
He knows, but it feel good to hear it from your pretty lips.
“Do you want a drink?” You ask as you’re rummaging in the fridge. It’s full to the brim with alcohol, lemonade and orange juice. “We have cruisers, straight vodka, tequ-”
The rest of that sentence is replaced by a sharp gasp. His fingers ghost up the side of your thigh and become familiar with the lacy fabric of your underwear. And, when you turn around to face him, you become certain he’s going to kiss you — his eyes are trained on your mouth and his touch is way too intimate to be mistaken. You really want him to kiss you. 
He traps his lip between his teeth for a brief moment before leaning down to capture your mouth in a long-time-coming kiss. You've fantasised about this moment more times than you can count, but your imagination has always labeled him as submissive. You now know you’re wrong because he's the one to swipe his tongue over your lips and he's the one to pry open your mouth and introduce his tongue to yours. When he breaks for air, you emit a soft whine in annoyance. 
That can’t be it. Please, god, that cannot be all you’re getting.
He plans on trailing his hands further against your skin, but the sound of the sliding door stops him in his tracks. In a state of confusion, he moves away from you like nothing has just happened. Hoseok wanders into the kitchen with sleepy eyes and a towel draped over his bare shoulders. 
“Did you guys fuck on the counter or something?” He asks after noticing the stiff tension in the air. “Both of your stances are.. suspect.” 
You really expect Jungkook to say he kissed you. Why shouldn’t he? He just kissed you like you’re the last woman on earth, which is a big fucking deal. But, to your distaste, he lies. 
“We were talking about her dad.” Jungkook has a natural talent for shifting the truth. You’re starting to realise that. “He’s being promoted.”
“Alright. That’s good news.” Hoseok grabs a cruiser from the fridge and nods in approval. His eyes wander to the shirt hanging from your figure. “Is that my shirt, by the way?”
You look down at your half-covered body. Jungkook does the same out of habit. “Yeah, sorry. I’ll change.”
“It’s fine.” Hoseok says as he’s heading back outside. “Come join me for drinks, though. It’s not that cold outside.” 
When you’re certain he’s out of ears-length, you hand Jungkook a deep frown.
“I didn’t know what to say.”
“Really?” You say with a hardening tone. You’re not sure what mix of emotions have washed over you, but embarrassment is definitely in there. “That was dick move. Even for you.”
You imagined the first kiss to be sexier, full of passion, public, but it didn’t quite check all those boxes. It just made you feel cheap and unworthy. Is he that embarrassed to be seen with you? Are you that repulsive? If you had known he would react this way, you never would have kissed him back. Maybe he’s more of an asshole than you had initially led yourself to believe. 
Without bothering to say another word, you grab your belongings and walk back to campus barefooted. He doesn’t try to stop you, which just pisses you off even more. What was the fucking point of kissing you then?
Fuck you, Jeon Jungkook! From this day forth, you declare to dismiss your love for that boy and his chiseled abs. 
Later that night, you lay in your dorm-room bed with a frown plastered to your face. Jungkook lays in his with his pillow smothered over his face and a heart full of regret.  
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Monday morning swings by way too quickly for your liking. You haven’t said a word to Jungkook since last Friday’s incident. He’s made a few attempts to catch you after classes, but you’ve ignored all of them. His gaming club can go suck a fat dick, too. 
Great, you think to yourself. Another take-home assignment due next week that the professor forgot to hand out when he was supposed to. You would use the content from the lecture slides, but they contain little to no substance, which is exactly why you're browsing the library for a textbook on the topic. There's quite a few to choose from, but you settle on a slick, white textbook and slide it under your arm. That'll do.
You find yourself wandering down the isles of bookshelves until you're glossing over the sci-fi section. It's furthest away from the library entrance and the final isle of novels. You've never been one to read sci-fi, but these book covers look quite intriguing. Jungkook has probably read most of these.
“Hey." A familiar voice greets. Jungkook had been browsing for novels and caught sight of your glowing skin through the gaps of the stacked books. Alright. That’s a lie. He saw you walk into the library and knew you would be somewhere down here. 
He’s looking like his usual handsome self, dressed in fitted jeans and a white tee-shirt, but he has a certain aura to him. You can't quite pinpoint it. His dark locks have been brushed away from his eyes, but a few non-compliant stands have fallen over his forehead. He's extremely fuck-able.. Hey, snap out of it! You’re supposed to hate him right now. 
You decide not to respond. After-all, you’re still pissed. If he’s so unconventionally embarrassed to be seen with you, then you’d rather not have anything to do with him.
"You look pretty today."
You pull your eyes away from the blurb you were pretending to read and raise an eyebrow. “Seriously?”
As you turn to face him fully, his eyes drop to your torso, where a corset style blouse is hugging your figure. A dainty silver necklace hangs from your neck and glistens in sync with your glossy lips. 
“That’s all you have to say?” You scoff and return the sci-fi novel to where you found it. 
As you move to push past him, he places a hand on your waist and guides your back to the bookshelf. There’s an immense amount of sexual tension between the two of you, but you’re strong enough to contain yourself. If he wants you, he can make the next move. You’ve given him the green light plenty of times. 
“Why are you being so difficult?”
“Because you’re being a fucking asshole.” You retaliate with a frown. “I’m not playing this game anymore.”
“What? You started it when you fucked around with Yoongi.” His tone is laced with a stupid amount of annoyance. He doesn’t even know what he’s talking about. “You knew I liked you.”
“No, I didn’t! But, maybe I would’ve known if you had just acted like a man and told me!” 
The pair of you play a petty game of ‘who can glare the hardest’, until someone finally speaks up. Hint: it’s not you. 
“You’re such a pain in the ass.” He clicks his tongue at your unfaltering expression. “I was confused. I didn’t mean to lie about the kiss.”
“Fuck you and your confusion.” You scowl, but you’re fully aware he has you wrapped around his finger. The look on your face and the stutter in your breath is a dead giveaway. The tables are constantly turning.
His face is inches away from your own. And, these few inches between lips is the only thing standing in the way of your desire — his mouth on yours, your mouth on his. 
“Are you going to let me?” He runs his thumb along your bottom lip before pushing his digit into your mouth. “Fuck you?”
You absolutely are. It’s not news to anyone. With no shame whatsoever, you swipe your tongue over his thumb and begin sucking on it like you would his cock. The sinful act alone has his cock straining against the fabric of his jeans and heat crawling up his neck. With a swift movement, he replaces his thumb with his tongue and kisses you like this is the last kiss you’ll ever share. It’s so intense. You feel your head growing cloudy from the lack of oxygen. 
You snake your arms around his neck and pull his chest flush against yours. The textbook has since found its way to the floor, but that’s the least of your worries. The back of your head hits the bookshelf with a light thump and you emit a quiet groan at the impact. You've had a few kisses in your lifetime, but this one definitely takes the win. It's so unexpected, so rough, so passionate. Someone could walk by and spot the erotic scene unfolding down the sci-fi isle, but you highly doubt that'll happen. It's poorly lit and the shelves hold outdated novels.
Daringly, he runs his hands down your ass, under your skirt and then ghosts his fingers over your lacy underwear. A gasp rips from your throat as he pushes aside the fabric to rub against your clit with his middle finger. He’s a smart boy, which is exactly why his finger slides into your pussy without wasting another second. You’ve never been wetter, so you take him with ease. 
“Fuck..” You manage to breathe against his hungry lips. He should know you’re not one to keep quiet. “..We’re in the library.”
You try your hardest to stifle your whines as he fucks you with a second finger. A handful of your sweet sounds are lost on his tongue, but that doesn’t take away from the risk. If you were to get caught by a janitor or worse, a librarian, you’d be in so much trouble. They would probably send you packing back to daddy.
Jungkook trails his lips along your jaw and then down your neck. He’s wanted to bite you for the longest time, so he just fucking does it. His teeth nips at your skin and his tongue rubs over the fresh hickey. 
After a few more sinful movements of his fingers, he takes his arousal-slick digits into his mouth and watches as you fix the length of your mini-skirt. His lips and a little of his chin are slick with your lipgloss and your arousal. It’s a glorious sight to behold. 
Before you begin the trek to your dormitory, you spend a generous amount of time making out against the bookshelf. It’s long overdue. But, when you brush your fingers against the length of his erection, you decide it’s time to get the fuck out of here. You can’t wait any longer and neither can he.
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To your detest, the dormitory supervisor catches the pair of you before you manage to unlock your dorm-room. The throbbing between your legs cannot wait much longer, so this better be snappy. 
With one hand on your dormitory key and the other impatiently tapping against your thigh, you watch the unnecessary conversation unfold. 
“Jeon Jungkook.” The supervisor calls from down the hall. She does a little jog to catch up to you two. “I didn’t realise you were tutoring.” 
Yeah, he’s about to tutor you in anatomy and the inner workings. Now, hurry the fuck up. 
“She sucks at math.” He says without any hesitation, earning a subtle glare from you. “I’m just doing my bit.” 
The supervisor gives a nod of approval before continuing her patrol down the length of the hallway. 
Fucking finally.
The door barely manages to close before his lips and hands make their return to your skin. With his tongue against with your own and his fingers hooked underneath your underwear, you pray that this moment never comes to an end. There's a time and place to have slow, sensual and romantic kisses, but now is definitely not that time. You've had almost two years of pent of sexual frustration and he's had a few months of his own. All you want to do is have sex like amateurs and talk about the romantics of it all afterwards.
With hasty and clumsy fingers, you tug off each-others clothing and admire the blank canvases that are your bodies. You trace the indents of his toned abdomen with your fingers — like you've always wanted to do — and nibble on your bottle lip as he places wet kisses against your neck.
Somewhere along the lines, you migrate to your bed. You're so fucking glad you've been keeping on top of your housework, but you doubt that would make any difference to any of this. You were literally about to have sex in the library ten minutes ago.
"Jesus." He runs his hands along your sides before dragging his tongue up your bare stomach. He could just eat you. Literally. "Your body is so fucking perfect."
You're a big fan of comfortable underwear, but you're also a big fan of pretty, lacy underwear that costs more than life itself. Today is a pretty underwear day and you're so fucking thankful. Maybe the world is on your side today. 
As Jungkook works on sliding the lacy fabric down your thighs, you make light work of unhooking the clasp of your bra and tossing it on your dresser. His immediate reaction is to emit a jesus-fucking-christ-your-body-is-so-sexy groan and take your nipple into his mouth. His other hand occupies itself by massaging the flesh of your lonesome breast. You bathe in the feeling of his tongue and rake your fingers through his dark hair. 
After leaving your nipples perked and slightly swollen, he trails lower and licks a sinful stripe against your pussy. His tongue makes light work of licking against your skin and sending your breathing into a stuttering mess. The sounds you make are music to his ears. Your thighs alone turn him on so fucking much.
“You taste as good as you look.” 
He takes his sweet time — periodically flicking his muscle against your clit until he's certain he's edging you. Your whines and constant tugging on his hair are a dead giveaway.
He hasn't even fucked you yet and you're already struggling to catch your breath. You lips are slightly swollen from the hard kissing and the lip biting, and you're wetter than he ever thought possible.
You pull his mouth back to yours for a deep kiss before dragging your fingers down his defined abdomen and then against his thick cock. Your touch forces a deep moan from his throat.
Jungkook places a tight grip on your inner thigh and finally sinks his cock into you. The feeling has you throwing your head back against the pillow and emitting a pitchy moan. You can't believe you ever said he was lacking in that department. The sheer length and girth of his cock stretches and pushes against your pussy walls like you've never felt before. This must be karma. Sweet fucking karma.
He fucks you like you deserve — hard, relentlessly, but with a romantic passion hidden behind the movement of his hips. He’s wholeheartedly in love with you and everything that makes you you. 
You don't expect it, but it fucking happens — he pulls out, flips you onto your stomach and then fucks you from behind. The new angle has him hitting an entirely new spot inside of you, but it's a delicious sensation. Audible sounds are having a hard time falling from your dry throat, but your mouth stays wide open from the impact.
He runs his hands up your spine and finds comfort in wrapping his fingers around your throat. With a new found dominance, he pulls you away from the mattress and holds your back flush against his chest. The grip of his fingers around your throat tightens slightly as he fucks up into you. Your orgasm is just around the corner. You can almost taste it.
Without losing too much pressure from his fingers, he pushes his thumb past your parted lips and coats the digit with your saliva. The saliva-slick finger then trails down your stomach and rubs fast circles against your aching clit. You're being stimulated in every way possible and it’s pushing you closer to your orgasm — his fingers wrapped around your throat, his cock fucking your pussy, his finger rubbing your clit. Not to mention, the pretty sounds he makes. His voice is deep and croaky, but holds a generous amount of velvet to it. You could listen to him on repeat for the rest of your life. 
"You feel so good." He breaths into your ear and you lose it then and there. There’s no way you can hold it in any further when he sounds like that.
With a hard clench of your pussy and a pitchy whine, you come like you’ve never come before. He fucks you through your orgasm, whispers sweet nothings against your ear and kisses along your jaw. And, after a a few more stutters of his hips, he follows in suit and comes inside of you. 
You can absolutely get used to this. The sex was ten times better than any of the scenarios you’ve been collating in your mind over the time you’ve known him. 
He tilts your head to the side to gain more access to your neck before saying those three fateful words. "I love you."
And, he does love you. He realised it when your pretty smile wasn’t in his life anymore and your giggles weren’t filling his ears. He missed you more than he’s even missed anything or anyone. He’s not confused anymore. He wants you for as long as he can have you. And, you want him just as much. 
From this day onwards, you go to parties and leave together, he holds your hand, he kisses you in public, he tells his friends his has a girlfriend, your fathers approve and he fucks you with passion.
Things couldn’t get any better, you think to yourself as you’re on your knees in classroom G13 at 3:47PM on a fateful Friday. Better make this quick before the members turn up!
Thanks for the request! 
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@zeharilisharaban @ayumimegami @philostuff​ @carolsummerlove​ @piaesthetic​ @viokook​ @bangtan-serendipity​
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jungkxook · 6 months ago
—hot boy bummer. (m)
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⟶ pairing: jungkook x reader 
⟶ genre: fuckboy!jungkook / friends with benefits / friends to lovers + smut  
⟶ words: 14,633
⟶ rating: 18+ 
⟶ summary: when jungkook offers you a proposition of just sex, no strings attached, how can you possibly say no? after all, what are best friends for?
⟶ warnings: kind of a crack fic, sprinkle of angst, way too casual conversations mid-sex, jealous jungkook, slight himbo jungkook tbh (he’s kind of a sweet loveable idiot), he also has a big dick oops, man bun and blonde jungkook to feed my fantasies!, multiple smut scenes!!!, missionary, dry humping, oral sex (m receiving), face fucking, unprotected sex, slight degradation (mostly jungkook hating himself), brief name calling, light choking, sort of praise kink
⟶ note: this was inspired by a number of things but mainly do me by kim petras being on jungkook’s spotify playlist, this tiktok sound, and this tumblr post lol also big thank you to @bratkook​ and @onherwings​ for letting me ramble on about this fic and reigniting my inspo for it 💛
( p.s. i tried to proofread this but if y’all see any typos no u didn’t, thank u <3 )
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Being friends with Jungkook meant a myriad of things but mainly that there were hardly ever any boundaries that stood between you and him.
Having known him for most of your life, it was just a quintessential part of yours and his relationship with one another. From high school parties where you drunkenly spewed on his shoes and in his dad’s car after he tried lugging you home (and taking the fall all himself for your sake) to letting him lose his virginity in your bed to some girl you didn’t know because your parents were out of town and his would crucify him on the spot if they had found out; or him discovering your stash of vibrators in your dorm one day, or seeing each other naked more often than was probably necessary, there was nothing that either of you could do that would phase the other at this point even when it maybe, probably, definitely should.
College, and Jungkook’s sudden six pack of hard rock abs, only seemed to amplify the chaos of your friendship. If you’re being honest, the abs are sort of a plus ━ but they brought an air of fuckboy to him that is undeniably there even if he tries to deny it sometimes. You suppose it isn’t all his fault. Jungkook has always been bold and brash, attractively charming. Considering he’s seemingly made it his mission to sleep with every girl on campus before he graduates (undisclosed, if you’re being honest, because he’s never outwardly admitted it but you have a hunch), his confidence somehow hasn’t failed him yet.
But then there’s one night in which you think to yourself briefly: this surely must draw some sort of line.
“What if we, like, had sex?”
Jungkook says this a little too casually from beside you. He’s sat on the couch in his dorm, scrolling aimlessly on his phone, and you’re sprawled out on the remaining space, feet kicked up in his lap. You’re positive he’s drunk but, then again, so are you. The remnant shot glasses of soju you had both started the night with (though you think Jungkook’s had half the bottle himself), and your second glass of wine, are all evidence of that. You’re so absorbed by some anime Jungkook had been watching upon your arrival and refused to change that you almost don’t hear what he says. Almost. You do, however, nearly choke on the gummy bear you’ve just tossed into your mouth.
After a sudden hysterical fit of coughs, you manage to sputter, “Excuse me?”
“Like, hypothetically speaking.” He hardly budges when you turn to gawk at him, as if he’s asking you something as casual as what to eat for dinner or if you could pass him the T.V. remote. “Except, not really hypothetically.”
“You’re joking, right?” You scoff.
Jungkook blinks. “No. Why would I be joking?”
You blink. The longer you stare at him, the quicker you’re able to discern that there’s some sort of earnesty in his words and it slightly concerns you. Suddenly, you’re warm in the face. To distract from that painfully obvious fact, an incredulous laugh bubbles at your lips and you kick one of your feet at his thighs. “Very funny, Koo. Can we change the show now if you’re not even watching it?”
“I’m not joking, Y/N.” The severity in his tone makes you sit up at once. When you turn to look at him, he flashes you a taunting smirk, though the devious sparkle in his eyes lets you know this seems to be anything but a joke to him. “I’m sure you’ve thought of me naked before.”
“You’re such a fucking idiot━” Okay, so maybe you have thought of him naked before but how is it your fault when you literally have seen him naked before, and he’s so unabashed around you? “Should I bring you to a hospital to get your head checked, or━?”
“Just hear me out━” Now, he pushes himself to the edge of the sofa. “Why are you here right now?”
“In life? Because I honestly have no clue━”
“No, I meant here. Getting drunk in my apartment on a Friday night instead of getting railed.”
“Okay, I didn’t ask to get called out like that,” You grumble stiffly. “And because you’re my best friend, and I like spending time with you.” It’s not entirely a lie, because you would much rather spend time with Jungkook than anyone else. But when you feel his eyes boring into you in a look of scrutiny, your lips form into a pout which you try to hide by puckering them. “Also because boys are stupid and Hoseok’s blind date stood me up. Again.”
The events from hours earlier resurface in your memory, in which you had spent all evening making yourself look pretty for a boy you had only talked to through text that your roommate had introduced you to, only to arrive to the restaurant you were supposed to be meeting at and waiting there for half an hour by yourself before the boy had sent you a message saying something along the lines of “something came up, hope we can reschedule,” filing it under one of the lamest excuses you’ve ever heard because it hardly even borders on a valid excuse. It’s what had ultimately made you storm into Jungkook’s apartment an hour ago, exclaiming aloud as a greeting with a simple yet scarily cheerful I hate men! because Jungkook knows all about your plights with finding a significant other (or even just someone decent enough to open your legs to), usually lamenting men’s inability to have any emotions. Even the ones who you think are respectable enough, who say they’re fine not having sex on the first date, usually tend to flee right after you finally let them in because sex, as you come to find, seems to be all that men care about.
Admittedly, Jungkook is not any different.
“But it’s not like you’re any better.”
This seems to personally offend Jungkook. He looks at you cynically. “Me?”
“Tell me why you’re here with me on a Friday night when you’re literally one of the hottest guys on campus,” You point out. “You can get any girl, and yet you somehow manage to ruin it every single time. Like with Eunha.”
Jungkook winces. The poor Eunha in question is a pretty girl from your chem class, whomst Jungkook had somehow managed to charm. From what you know, they had hooked up a handful of times before that fateful night in which Jungkook had abruptly broken things off with her. If you’re being honest, he’s not a total monster. The only thing that seems to scare him away is when a girl asks to cuddle him in the morning or talks about the prospective future together. He doesn’t want to hurt them, he told you once before, and finds it much easier to nip any potential relationship in the bud before it can get too far, too out of control.
“We literally only slept together three times anyway and we never went out,” Jungkook points out. “What’s the big deal?”
A roll of your eyes doesn’t go unnoticed by Jungkook. “Yeah, it’s not her fault you’re scared of commitment.”
“Nu’uh,” The boy sulks. “I’m only scared of realistic things, like microwaves.”
A snort bubbles at your lips, and it’s frustrating how adorable he finds the simple action. Rather than entertain the thought of his irrational fear of kitchen appliances (because you’ve heard it all before, and you still can’t find where he was incited with the terror of an exploding microwave), you sit up.
“Jungkook, I don’t even like you like that.”
“I don’t like you like that either. That’s why it’s so perfect!” Jungkook says brightly. “Look, we know each other better than anyone else ever could. We’re already comfortable with each other. We don’t have to go through all that boring small talk. All I’m saying is we could give it a try. No relationship, no emotions, just sex.”
You consider the thought for a moment, weigh the pros and cons in your head.
The cons? He’s your best friend.
The pros? He’s your best friend, and he’s hot.
Truthfully, your slightly buzzed mind can find very little to dissuade you away from the inviting proposition and maybe that’s why you begin to entertain the idea. And, sure, you had just complained profusely about how men sometimes only used you for sex, but it’s not like you don’t have needs too. You just don’t have the gusto in you anymore to spend days on a boy who will only just leave you the moment you let him have sex with you. At least with Jungkook, he’s already offering you a blatant deal of sex only and you know you won’t have to worry about him breaking your heart; and he doesn’t have to worry about the dreaded dreamy post-sex cuddle talk of a future family and babies and a white picket-fence home. It’s a win-win for the both of you, really. Or maybe you’re just telling yourself that.
“How would we even start?” You ask finally. “I mean… Do you even find me attractive enough in that way?”
“Yeah.” Jungkook hardly bats a lash. He meets your stare, licks slowly at his lower lip. When he sees the cross look of disbelief scrunching at your face, he hastens to respond. “I’m not blind. You’re fucking drop dead gorgeous, Y/N.”
“But physically attractive? I’m no hot girl Eunha.”
“If I wanted Eunha, I’d be between her legs right now. Y/N, of course I think you’re attractive.” A gentle sliver of a smile dances upon his lips. He leans his head on the back of the couch, eyes fluttering over your appearance shortly. “I’ve always liked your lips, and your eyes. Think they’re beautiful.”
Suddenly, you’re flustered again. The room feels as if it’s getting increasingly warmer, yet you seem to want to bask in the feeling and attention a little longer. “That’s too sentimental.”
“It’s true though.”
“Well, you’re lucky I’ve always had a thing for idiots,” You jest playfully. “Jerks, too. Playboys who are too hot for their own good.”
“Ah, and I love it when you talk dirty to me.” A cheeky grin tugs at his lips as he clutches at his heart over his chest. “It’s a good thing I like it a little too much, knowing you’ll always keep me in check.”
But then the mirth seems to fade from your mind long enough for you to hum aloud pensively, “And I’ve always liked your eyes. I’ve never seen such big eyes before. Sometimes, if I look long enough, it’s like I can see the stars in them.”
As you’re speaking about them, his irises glisten magnificently. He bites at his lip now, as if to hide the way his soft smile turns sheepish. “I like your bum.”
“Really? I always worry it’s too flat.”
“Are you kidding? Your ass is a fucking god-send. It’s hard not to stare when you wear leggings sometimes,” Jungkook admits, earning a small giggle from you. “And I like your boobs. I’ve always wondered…” He trails off abruptly, shaking his head. He shoots you an apologetic look. “I’m sorry. I’ll stop. I’m being an idiot, aren’t I?”
“Well, maybe I don’t want you to stop.”
Silence saturates the room now, settling comfortably between the two of you. He wonders what you’re thinking, and you wonder if he can hear your heart hammering against your chest. Perhaps on any other day when you were of sound mind, you could find a plethora of reasons as to why sleeping with your best friend was a terrible idea. But being that you were slightly tipsy, and Jungkook isn’t far off, you can find not one fault, except for maybe how tragically hot Jungkook looks sitting across from you and how he’s never been yours, at least in that way. Would it be so wrong to try just once?
You shift then, pushing yourself to your knees if only so you can worm your way towards him before swinging one leg over his. You settle back on his lap, hands gripping his shoulders. He can feel your core press against the inside of his thigh, just where his dick is nestled and he has to bite back a moan. His eyes are wider than usual, as if believing the moment to be surreal, though something sultry threatens to darken them.
The excitement crackles through your veins like electricity. You’ve never been in such a compromising position with Jungkook before, and you wonder if it should be concerning just how much you’re enjoying it. It almost feels as if time slows down, every second dragging on, yet he can’t look away. His hands come to tug at your hoodie (that he’s almost positive was his once upon a time before you nicked it from his closet) and you meet him part way, replacing his efforts as you pull it up and off your body. Then, you’re sitting back on his lap in your full nude glory, chest bare and right in his face. He eyes the swell of your breasts, the perk of your nipples. Of course you’re not wearing anything beneath your hoodie ━ and, god, he loves it.
“Touch me?”
Your voice comes to him in an almost dream. You reach for his hand then, your palm soft around his knuckles and the tattoos that ink his skin. It’s the same hand of which he wears the other half to your pair of friendship bracelets in one of his favourite colours of red, decorated with little pink hearts. It came in a matching set of two (yours in your own favourite colour, currently on the wrist of the hand you’re using to guide Jungkook’s), cute little macrame braid ones with hearts woven into the design that you had pointed out one day while you were both at the mall and he had bought without any hesitation mostly as a joke but resulted in both of you wearing them on a daily basis.
Now, all he can do is continue watching you with bated breath as you guide his hand right where you both want him. He comes to cup the underside of one of your breasts, your hand over his pressing his fingers tighter together until you can feel some sort of pleasant pressure. And, just like that, something feral and needy seems to snap within him. His hand slithers from your grasp if only so he can flick his thumb across your nipple, mesmerized by the softness of it. He’s only ever seen you naked once before and it was fleeting. You were both drunk, skinny dipping in a lake with a handful of other friends, but it had been too dark to notice much else. But now? Now, he can see all of you and the sight strikes a chord right down to his dick.
“You’re fucking beautiful,” Jungkook groans.
“Koo.” The cute little nickname you had given him sounds dirty now as it slips from your lips in a moan. “Too sentimental.”
But Jungkook isn’t listening because you really, really, really are so beautiful. He bows his head to your chest, catching one of your nipples in his mouth. He murmurs something against your chest that sounds akin to, “We can take things slow.”
“Slow…” Your head is spinning, but it’s a delightful sensation. Something hard pokes against your ass now, and the adrenaline only seems to build within you. It’s odd how everything feels so foreign ━ exploring his body and these newfound feelings like the uncharted territory it is ━ yet secure and safe at the same time. As if you know what to do next, where to touch next, how to move, your bodies almost fitting together like pieces to a puzzle. “Y-Yeah, I like that. Can I move?”
“Fuck, yes, please,” he growls. He’s much too busy nipping and sucking at the sensitive skin on your chest, teeth tugging at your nipple.
You hurry to obey, giving a small experimental swivel of your hips that almost immediately has the both of your inhaling a sharp breath of air. His dick strains against his sweatpants, the material doing very little in protecting him against you. Your core throbs as you rub yourself on him.
“Like this?” You rasp.
“Yeah, just like that.” Jungkook’s head rolls back onto the couch, his eyes squeezing shut and his blonde hair spilling into his eyes. He clenches his jaw, the nerves fluttering in the corner, as pure euphoria riddles his features. You don’t think you’ve ever seen anything so sexy. “Fuck, we probably shouldn’t be doing this.”
“Yeah,” You agree, breathless. “Do you wanna stop?”
“No. Do you?”
“Thank god.” The sigh of relief that emits from Jungkook startles even him but, in the heat of the moment, he doesn’t register how any of this could be a mistake. “Ah, shit━ Faster━”
“Mmm, Koo━” You whimper as you quicken your pace, the vulgar harbored thought of his dick in you thrilling you to no end.
“Fuuck, I’ve never heard you sound like this before. So needy, so desperate,” Jungkook grunts, his fingers digging into your hips. And it’s all because of him, the way you’re feeling. He’s never wanted to hurry to please you faster, itching to tear you apart if he’ll get to hear those noises from you again and again. “I━”
He’s gonna cum, and he’s not even in your pussy. What’s gotten into him?  
He presses you a little harsher against his dick, sitting up straighter so that his chest is pressed flush against yours. He leans forward, lips chasing after yours, before you pull back just enough sluggishly to press your finger to his mouth.
“Uh uh. No kissing,” You rasp.
The words process in Jungkook’s head, but the weight of them don’t seem to linger in his daze. He’s far too overwhelmed by you and the way you’re making him feel to even begin to try to decipher why you avoid his mouth and so, for now, he doesn’t care. Instead, he buries his face in the crook of your neck, nose nuzzling against your throat. You clutch at his hair, tugging at the roots tight enough for him to moan.
“Nnngh, Jungkook━” You whine. “I’m gonna━ Oh, fuck, Koo━”
And then you’re unravelling, right in his very arms. He holds you close as you tremble and shake, rutting your hips sloppily against his to ride out your high, and Jungkook thinks he can definitely get used to this. The familiar burn forms in his stomach and, without even thinking of it, he comes in the confinements of his pants.
But in the heat of the moment, he doesn’t notice quite a lot of things. Neither do you.
So, maybe you could both find a hundred and one reasons why having sex with your best friend would surely cross some lines, but the thing with you and Jungkook (and what would eventually blossom into a hubristic relationship of sorts) is that it wasn’t just sex. You would always be comfortable around him, as he would be with you. And nothing could ever possibly get weird between the two of you ━ not when you had both made a promise to each other that it wouldn’t get in the way of your friendship.
Because ━ while, yeah, he’s hot and suffers from fuckboy tendencies from time-to-time and, aside from random late night hookups ━ he was still the same boy that would drag you out at three in the morning to drive to the next city over for a bowl of ramen, who would marathon shows as long as One Piece or Game of Thrones with you, watching as much as you can in one all-nighter; who would come to your dorm, no matter the time of day, the moment you said you were sick or suffering from cramps, piled high with your favourite snacks; who shared a repertoire of silly inside jokes with you that never made any sense to anyone but the both of you; who insisted you both wear friendship bracelets even in college. He would always be an angel to you, treat you well, because you meant that much to him.
A small thought in the back of Jungkook’s head wonders, above all else, if you were anyone different, would he have even bothered suggesting such a ludicrous idea, drunk or not?
Because he’s positive no one else could make him cum in his pants like a horny prepubescent teen ━ no one except for you.
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“If we’re really gonna do this, we need to set some ground rules.”
Admittedly, neither you nor Jungkook knew what would happen after Jungkook’s proposition to you. Maybe you were expecting the two of you to pretend as if nothing had ever happened, or laugh it off as something so inconsequential that neither of you should bother worrying about it. Instead, the very next day, you find that you’re back in Jungkook’s dorm. Only this time, you’re in his bed, and he spent the past half hour sufficiently eating you out.
Now, you’ve had an epiphany in the form of Jungkook’s dick, and that is that it’s big.
You’ve seen it before on occasion ━ like when he streaked nude across campus as a dare or when he needed to use your shower because his apartment was under maintenance and he walked out on you in the living room ━ but this is clearly a very different circumstance. All red, swollen, angry tip wet and glistening with precum. You had to brace yourself as he pushed himself into you, cautiously and slowly, enjoying the way you stretch to fit around him. If you had a drunken excuse the night before for loving the thought of getting off with Jungkook, then you surely don’t have one now. It’s a shameless guilty pleasure, you think, that he’s at least indulging in.
“Rules,” Jungkook scoffs now. “You’re such a nerd. Fuck, you feel so fucking good━ You doing okay?”
More than. Your head lolls back against his pillow, eyes nearly rolling to the back of your head. “Mhm.”
“Want a minute?”
Jungkook pauses without any hesitation, gnawing on his lower lip as your walls clench around him so tightly he feels he might fall apart then and there. His hands are on your hips, thumbs rubbing comforting circles against your burning skin. A few deep breaths later and you’re probing Jungkook to move again. His hips rut into yours at a leisure pace, and he marvels for a moment at the way his dick disappears into your pussy, slick and wet with your own arousal. The thought of being in you ━ of finally feeling your walls wrapped around him, all wet and snug ━ is enough to make him bust then and there, but he refrains miraculously.
“Holy fuck,” You groan. “Why are you so big━”
Your voice cuts off into a delightful whimper, walls aching around him. Jungkook snorts, burrowing his face in the crook of your neck. “Nothing sexier than hearing you stroke my ego.”
“Don’t let it get to your already big head,” You retort sluggishly.
“Big head!” he grumbles against your throat, lips brushing faintly against your skin and sending shivers down your spine. “Insult me some more. You know how it gets me going.”
“Oh my god, shut up. Where were we?”
“Right,” You breathe in a sharp inhale of air as he grinds against your hips. “And rule number one is no kissing. That’s way too intimate.”
Jungkook quirks a brow. “How is kissing more intimate than having my dick in you?”
“It just is.” You refuse to tell him the truth. You poke your fingers at his sides, causing him to jerk against you. “Don’t question it.”
“Fine. Then no sentimental shit in general, like cuddling or pet names,” Jungkook retorts. “And no public displays of affection.”
“Okay,” You nod. “Fuck, Jungkook━”
“God, I love hearing you moan my name,” Jungkook grunts. He watches with fascination the way your face reacts at his every movement. “Too much?”
“No. Kinda hot,” You admit. An abrupt thought pops into your head that has you murmuring hazily, “Oh, and you can’t have sex with me to your sex playlist.”
Jungkook looks appalled. The sex playlist in question is one you’ve heard briefly before, if only because you’ve walked in on Jungkook and his flavour of the month a handful of times one too many times.
“So you’re telling me you don’t want to have the best orgasm of your life to The Weeknd or the Neighbourhood? WAP?” Jungkook asks, wriggling his brows suggestively. “Alanis Morissette?” You have less than half a second to register the 90s pop singer as out of place before Jungkook breaks out into song with a brief rendition of Head over Feet. “You’re my best friend, best friend with benefits━!”
Part of you knows he’s joking, but there’s still a small sliver of you that makes you gawk at him dubiously before dissolving into a fit of unabashed laughter. It rumbles against his chest, vibrates his dick in you. “You’re not serious, are you? That’s not actually in your sex playlist, is it?”
He flashes you a shit-eating grin. “Guess you’ll never know now.”
Another roll of your eyes makes him snicker. He’s gotten used to your snide remarks, but he’ll gladly keep suffering under them if he gets to wipe that taunting smirk off your face each time with the way his dick makes you feel. You cling a little tighter to his shoulders and muse aloud, “So that’s it then?”
“Yeah━” Jungkook knows you’re referring to the rules and your plan, although it’s getting harder to focus on talking as he continues to grind against you. “And nothing has to change between us, even if we stop. We’re still just two best friends.”
“Who have sex from time to time.”
He can’t help himself. He tries again. “Who might kiss.”
“Nope.” You’re smiling even despite the way you shoot him an aggravated stare first.
“We might?”
“No, we definitely won’t.”
Worth a shot, he thinks to himself. At least you really do always keep him in check.
After all, what are best friends for?
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So, maybe a part of you thought the shift in your relationship with Jungkook wouldn’t last very long. A week at most, and maybe Hoseok would find you another pointless let down of a blind date to go on and Jungkook would get horny for some other girl ━ but it’s certainly been more than a week now, and you’ve had sex with him more than two times.
A third, and a fourth, if you’re being blatantly honest, and maybe a few more times after that but you don’t really remember what count you’re both on now which should probably be concerning. Days elapse into days, which turn to weeks, then months. Morning, afternoon, and night.
It’s not as if you hadn’t already spent almost every waking moment with Jungkook but now you had a reason to be at his apartment at any and all hours of the day and not solely for movie watching marathons. You’re positive he’s still having his occasional random flings, though you’re fortunate his commitment issues at least force him to go to their homes rather than his for the most part, so you never really have to witness half-naked girls stumbling out of his apartment just as you’re wandering in. He says it has something to do with how his bedroom is his sacred space, though you think it’s more like he wouldn’t want his hook ups discovering his Overwatch figurines or something (because, before Jungkook’s proposition, you’ve walked in on him once and a girl when they were entangled on the couch in his living room).
But you’ve noticed lately you’re getting too comfortable with your arrangement with Jungkook; too comfortable knowing he’ll be there at the end of a long day to greet you, to please you until you’re crying out his name. Sometimes he tells you about the girls he’s texting, or shows you a picture from a hot girl’s Instagram whose D.M.s he’s just slid into. And sometimes you’re left wondering how often he comes straight to you after hooking up with a random girl.
It shouldn’t matter to you, and you swear that it doesn’t.
Maybe you’re just overthinking things. Hoseok certainly seems to think so, but his judgement wasn’t much to go by.
Because, lately, Hoseok has been encouraging you more and more to give Yukhei (the blind date Hoseok had initially set you up with when you found yourself at Jungkook’s) another chance for two reasons: 1) “Yukhei’s a nice boy,” he had cheerfully reminded you, “he’ll treat you well,” and 2) “Stop fucking your best friend. It’s morally wrong.”
There were many things wrong with his statement, from the fact that you didn’t exactly consider standing up a date as “nice” and that you were also still begrudgingly lamenting the way Hoseok had discovered your recent fling with Jungkook (although, you weren’t being very inconspicuous, having shower sex with Jungkook early one morning when you were certain Hoseok would be spending the day at his fiance’s home instead of yours).
But then you meet Yukhei and you realize that, oh crap, he’s cute. And he’s nice.
As it turns out, after bumping into him one day when you’re with Hoseok lounging on the quad of your campus and he comes bounding over to return a textbook Hoseok had lent him for a specific class, Yukhei is so easily charming. He also gives a pretty valid excuse for flaking on your date, proving that he had to present his dissertation, making you clearly aware that he’s cute, nice, and smart. Jungkook, on the other hand, doesn’t see the appeal, yet his curiosity and intrigue seems to get the best of him.
“So that was your blind date?” Jungkook asks after grabbing your attention on the quad and stealing you away from Hoseok and Yukhei. “Yukhei?”
“You know him?”
“Seen him around,” Jungkook shrugs nonchalantly. “I’ve never really talked to him. But him? You’re not telling me you’re actually interested in him, are you?”
“I don’t know. Maybe,” You’re truly just as clueless about your feelings towards Yukhei as Jungkook seems to be. “What’s so wrong about him?”
“He’s━” Jungkook stops. He shakes his head. “Heard he’s got a small dick anyway.”
You shoot the boy a wary look, only to find him grinning deviously at himself. “Maybe he just wants to be friends.”
At this, Jungkook lets out a scoffing sound that borders on disbelieving laughter. “No, I definitely think he wants to have sex with you in his Toyota Camry, Y/N, but what do I know?”
“You’re not jealous, are you?”
“No, why would I be jealous?”
You can’t quite tell if he’s angry or not but, then again, why would he be? As far as either of you are concerned, there’s nothing to be jealous of.
So then why does it feel like he’s simply just telling himself that?
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“Are you seriously on your phone right now?”
Jungkook asks this from somewhere behind you a handful of days later, a little peeved but most likely because your jarring 8:00 a.m. alarm had roused the both of you violently awake. In his defense, Jungkook is not a morning person.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” You’re currently sprawled out on your hands and knees on his bed, phone still in your grasp after having plucked it off the nightstand in haste. Your clothes are scattered across the floor of his room, remnant clues of the night before when he had beckoned you over after hours, and your body is covered in nothing but hickeys and an unbuttoned blue flannel belonging to Jungkook that you had chucked on last night that does nothing in covering up the swell of your breasts which Jungkook is now currently eyeing. “Am I not giving you enough attention? Were you expecting cuddles or something? Thought that wasn’t in the rules.”
“No,” Jungkook huffs. He runs a hand through his long messy hair in an attempt to fix it; he ultimately gives up taming his locks, instead using the hair tie around his wrist to tie his hair back into a cute yet sexy little ponytail. As he does so, you notice the red friendship bracelet around his wrist and smile smally. “But my dick could use some cuddles. Preferably with your mouth, but it will also gladly accept your hand.”
Jungkook may not be a morning person but, as you’ve come to realize, his dick certainly is.
It’s painfully obvious too, his hardened length straining against the gray sweatpants he had thrown on at some point. And, god, did he have to wear those? It left little to the imagination, the outline of his length teasing you just enough.
“I should get going,” You say. “I have a test coming up. There’s supposed to be a review session today in class, and I don’t want to miss it.”
“Well, you don’t seem like you’re in a rush since you’re still on your phone,” Jungkook points out. “Who are you texting anyway? Yukhei?”
“Anger is an emotion,” You rebuke casually. “So is jealousy.”
Jungkook feigns a look of mock hurt. “I’m not angry or jealous! I’m needy.”
Still, Jungkook reaches out to swiftly pluck your phone from your hands.
He’s pressed up against your back in an instant, his dick hard against your ass, and he doesn’t move very far even when you twist in your spot in an attempt to grab your phone back. You don’t, and instead you end up on your back with him on his side, propped up on his elbow. You miss when he casts a swift gaze down at your phone, only to see that Yukhei’s chat messages are indeed open, and something seems to gnaw terribly at his gut before he tosses your phone to the side. He’s looking at you now with those big beautiful eyes of his, and you hate it.
“Please?” he beckons. He ruts his hips impatiently but slowly against your leg. He drops his head to bury his face in the crook of your neck, lips dangerously close to brushing against your flesh but he refrains somehow. “M’so hard right now, could probably bust the moment you touch me.”
The thought is tempting, having a helpless Jungkook cumming in your hands. The sight alone has quickly become your favourite thing, helping the frustrated boy get off. Besides, you’re certain you could ask Hoseok for the review notes.
Fuck it, you cave.
You fidget until you’ve pressed him back against the bed and have clambered on top of him, wiggling your way down to fit between his legs. Jungkook is watching you now with a half-asleep expression, though his teeth sink into his lower lip as you pull at his sweatpants until they’re down at his thighs, letting his swollen dick spring free.
“You know━” You hum. You reach out to grab at the base of his cock. “Yukhei wants to hang out, and Hoseok keeps telling me to give it a shot.”
That much is true. Part of you wants to say yes, if only because Yukhei seems promising enough, but the thought alone is enough for you to feel as if you’ve done something horribly wrong to Jungkook.
“Oh.” The word eclipses Jungkook’s mouth in a shallow breath of air. Then, your mouth wraps around the puffy head of his dick, shining with leaking precum that you swallow back, and Jungkook’s reaction is immediate. Head thrown back, face scrunching together, muscles in his toned abdomen flexing as he seizes and grunts aloud. “Oh, fuck━ Well… Are you gonna?”
Jungkook asks the last question with much difficulty, and a part of him thinks it doesn’t all have to do with how you’re making him feel.
“Dunno.” You snort around his dick, and he marvels at how adorable such a lewd action can seem.
You decide to focus on sucking him off because it truly is a sexy sight to see, letting the topic of Yukhei drop. Jungkook certainly doesn’t mind. As you swirl your tongue around his tip and reach up with your free hand to fondle at his balls, his long hair falls into his lashes but he still tries to find you past his wild locks, hooded eyes gazing down at you.  
“Ah, shit━” Jungkook hisses delightfully, hips jerking forward instinctively into your mouth. The faintest hints of a drowsy smirk tug at his lips. “Fuck, yes, just like that.”
Yeah, you think to yourself then, you’re definitely going to ride him later. Screw going to class.
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From: Jungkook Sent: 1:05 a.m.
bro i noticed u werent wearing our friendship bracelet while u were giving me head earlier. is everything ok??
You wake in the morning to a single text from Jungkook ━ and one you had not been expecting.
That’s not to say that getting the occasional text message from Jungkook at any and all hours of the day was abnormal, but the extent of his messages sent anywhere past midnight usually always range from something more coherent in the form of “what would u do if i was there rn?” to something exuding typical lazy Jungkook manner with a simple “dtf?” or “send noods lol” to something even more provocatively cryptic such as the eggplant and splashing water (or, as far as Jungkook is concerned, something else entirely) emojis and nothing else, left open for your own interpretation that typically, usually, without a doubt, results in you in his bed and his dick in you. But this seems to be something else entirely.
Unfortunately, Jungkook’s text isn’t the only concern of yours.
Hoseok has spent the better part of the morning giving you a lecture on why having sex with your best friend is bad. He seems so passionate about the topic that you’re certain he would have pulled out a powerpoint at any moment, each slide ending in a picture of Yukhei and why you should maybe try fucking him instead, if you entertained the idea a little longer. Hoseok claims it’s just a harmless date. Yukhei might be a nice boy, but you don’t know how you feel about him. You don’t want to lead him on, and a scary thought points out the fact that maybe, while Yukhei is a nice boy, he isn’t Jungkook.
“I don’t get why you don’t just give Yukhei a chance━” Hoseok is saying now, sat on the couch in your shared apartment with him. “It’s not like you have to marry him. I don’t think one date will hurt━ Aaand, you’re not even listening to me anymore, are you?”
The sheepish look on your face is enough of an answer for him. You’ve been anxiously eyeing your phone and the text Jungkook had sent you last that you’ve yet to respond to, even despite being awake for more than a few hours now.
“Yes, I am listening,” You say dismissively. “Something about how one date won’t hurt, but that’s what you said when Yoongi asked you out, and you’re literally engaged now.”
The glistening metallic ring on Hoseok’s finger is evidence enough. The boy looks down at it as if seeing it for the first time, purses his lips, and then nods in agreement. “Okay, yeah, maybe you’re right. But you’re holding out for Jungkook and for what? He’s hot, yeah, and he’s your best friend, sure, but at the end of the day he’s still just a horny male who wants to stick his dick in anything that moves.”
“Hoseok.” Your grumbling sigh is interrupted by the motion of your phone vibrating against your thigh once more. You peek at the screen fleetingly to see a new text.
From: Jungkook Sent: 2:35 p.m.
send n00ds?
miss ur tits :(
Typical Jungkook.
The text from the night before is all but seemingly forgotten from his mind, and you can’t quite tell if you’re devastated or relieved. You don’t have very long to discern which emotion you’re feeling when Hoseok snatches your phone to look at what’s gotten your attention before exclaiming suddenly, “Aha! See! What did I say?”
“It’s not like that,” You wave Hoseok off. “Jungkook treats me well. He respects me, and I’m comfortable with him.”
“And how long until whatever this is━” He gestures vaguely to your phone as if to point out your relationship with Jungkook, “has to end? Do you really think a pinky promise is going to make sure your friendship with him isn’t totally ruined? I mean, how can you continue being casual friends with someone, see them dating someone else, when they’ve had their dick in you?”
You know it makes sense. Realistically, you either stop sleeping with each other or it potentially develops into something more. But in both circumstances, what were the chances that either of you didn’t get your heart broken? Maybe a part of you was apprehensive of Jungkook finding the “right” person for him one day that has him ending things with you, and while you swear you’d be happy for him, relationships sometimes have a way of distracting people from those already around them. Were you prepared to have someone take him away from you, platonically and whatever it is else that you have with him? Did you really think you could just keep being friends with him, as if nothing ever occurred between you two?
You don’t think Jungkook is bothered worrying about the state of your friendship with him, much less overthinking it like you seem to be. It shouldn’t be a big deal ━ yet why was there still that terrible nagging voice in the back of your mind? Whether or not Hoseok is right, you don’t want to find out. You don’t have feelings for Jungkook anyway.
But your ability to bend at his every will is certainly interesting.
You grab your phone before Hoseok can do any serious damage like unlocking it and responding to Jungkook, clutching it to your chest as you start to cross the living room. The other boy looks at you in bewilderment. “Where are you going now?”
“Where does it look?” You call over your shoulder just before you disappear into the bathroom, and Hoseok deduces all at once that you’re truly a lost cause. “I need to send him a picture of my boobs.”
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“He’s totally into you, Y/N.”
Admittedly, there were many mundane but essentially weird things you’ve talked to Jungkook about while having sex. You’ve had many heated debates about everything under the sun from whether or not pineapple on pizza should be illegal to top five betrayals in either movies or animes, to passionate grand philosophical discussions about what exists outside of the universe.
It’s not as if you had been planning on talking about Yukhei to Jungkook when he had invited you over to his apartment late at night after sending your risqué boob picture to him but, like many things in your friendship with Jungkook, it sort of just happened. He had asked you how your day was and you had decided to broach the topic experimentally, though you think deep down you’re doing it on purpose to see if he’d react in any way. What started with you mentioning Hoseok’s adamance and you sort of genuinely asking Jungkook for advice on Yukhei somehow evolved into Jungkook interrogating you on whether or not you’ve hung out with him yet.
“Jungkook. You’re getting off topic,” You admonish him now, as if your own choice of topic is any better when his dick is currently in you.
Jungkook is wedged between your thighs smushed up against your chest, large palms holding you on your ribcage in place beneath him. He’s a comfortable heavy draped over top of you, cock stretching you wide. You can feel his heart hammering against yours and he’s slick with sweat, golden hair clinging to his forehead and in his pretty eyes. You resist the urge to reach out and brush the messy locks away but, again, how would that be any less intimate of an action than what you’re already doing? Another line uncrossed, you suppose.
“How am I off topic?” Jungkook retorts. “You literally just said you can’t tell if he’s into you but he dropped by when you were done class and bought you lunch. You don’t just do that for a girl you don’t care that much about.”
“You buy me lunch, like, every day,” You point out.
“Because you’re my best friend. Of course I care about you,” Jungkook says.
“Ah, Jungkook━” You curse suddenly, grabbing his attention when you shift your weight beneath him. “You’re crushing me. Why’d you stop moving?”
He doesn’t have an answer, if only because he hadn’t even realized he’d stop moving in the first place. Without hesitation, he continues leisurely rutting his hips against yours, grabbing at one of your legs to hook it around his waist. This new angle lets you feel even more of him as he sinks further into you, if that was even still possible, reaching so far into you that you swear it’s like you can feel him in your stomach. Your head lolls back against the pillows, pure euphoria contorting your face so much so to the point that it distracts you entirely from the distant look glazing over Jungkook’s eyes.
“Yukhei definitely wants to bang,” he huffs under his breath.
At once, an exasperated groan fills his ears.
“I can’t believe we’re seriously having this conversation right now,” You roll your eyes, fingers prodding at his sides. “I don’t wanna talk about Yukhei potentially wanting to have sex with me.”
Jungkook’s glad you said it, at least. Though now he’s watching you with hooded eyes as he thrusts into you a little harder, maybe a little intentionally. His indulgent gaze droops to your breasts, admiring the way they bounce beneath him each time his hips make contact with yours. He thinks back earlier in the day to the picture you had sent him which, really, had sparked the mood for the rest of the night.
“Fuck, you feel so good,” he whines abruptly. His eyes screw shut and brows furrow together as your walls clench around him. He drops his head to bury his face in your chest, lips momentarily wrapping around one of your nipples as he sucks harshly at the soft flesh. When he speaks next, forehead still resting against your collarbones, his voice is a breathless croak, “Well, do you like him?”
“No,” You moan. “Maybe━ Fuck, Koo━ I don’t know.”
“He’s gonna be at that party Tae’s throwing, isn’t he?” Jungkook tries to focus, but it’s becoming increasingly harder to do so when he’s inching closer and closer to his high. “Shit, ah, Y/N━ Why don’t you try talking to him or something? See how the night goes?”
“He’s nice but I don’t think he’s the one for me,” You admit sheepishly. “I think I’m just gonna end things while I still can, with as little harm as possible.”
“Well, glad that’s settled,” Jungkook mumbles. “Can we please stop talking about Yukhei now?”
You seem to miss the way he clings to you a little tighter, hands flying down to grip at your hips, nails digging crescent moon shapes into your skin. He snaps his hips into yours a little faster this time, your pussy throbbing around him.
“Nngh, Jungkook━”
Your hands fumble to grip at his hair, tugging tightly at the roots and earning a delightful hiss from the boy. Your own mouth drops open in a silent moan and it’s a wonder he doesn’t combust at just how sexy the sight is. He hates how his eyes stay trained on the shape of your lips, the soft plumpness of them. He’s felt them wrapped around his dick plenty of times before but he concedes that it’s probably hardly anywhere near to how it would feel to kiss you. Like actually kiss you, tongue and all.
God, what’d he give just to smother your lips with his.
And, god, he hopes you never find out. He’s positive that thought is far more scandalous alone than anything you’ve ever done together.
You’re writhing beneath him now, hips jutting forward desperately to meet his. “I’m gonna cum, Jungkook━”
“Fuck, yes,” Jungkook growls. “Wanna feel you cream around my cock so bad. Come on, baby━”
In the heat of the moment, you seem to miss the pet name that slurs off his tongue and the sentiment in it. A few more jolting slams of his hips and you’re tumbling over the edge. He has to sputter for air when he feels your pussy wrapping so tightly around him, stuttering in his pace above you if only to watch as you unravel beneath him. Hooded dark eyes glazed over in that perfect fucked out expression he loves so much, teeth biting at your lower lip so hard he wonders if it’ll bruise in the morning.
A sudden thought pops into his head when you’ve settled enough, amongst the blinding pure white of bliss that clouds his thoughts. “Did you get my text by the way? The one I sent last night?”
You gasp for air. The bracelet on your wrist itches at the mention of it, and you’re fortunate you decided to wear it that afternoon before coming to Jungkook’s. “Y-Yeah━”
“Everything’s fine,” You say this as dismissively as you can. Your core is still vibrating after the harsh impact of your orgasm paired with Jungkook’s swollen length still in you. “I just… I was taking a shower and didn’t want to get it wet. I forgot to put it back on in the morning.”
That’s a lie. You had mostly taken it off as part of an experiment, though it hasn’t answered much. At least Jungkook doesn’t seem to realize that.
“Oh,” Jungkook breathes. A beat of silence passes, before he deadpans cockily, “Wait, you were taking a shower and I wasn’t invited?”
“Oh my god, shut up━” Maybe if he hadn’t just currently driven you to nirvana and back, you’d notice the way the sloppy grin on his face is a simple taunt. But you’re much too distracted to care. Instead, you use your leg that’s still hooked around his waist to gently push and roll him onto his back so that you can straddle his hips. His eyes sparkle mischievously as he watches you waste no time in hurrying to grind against him at an agonizingly steady pace that makes his head spin. “You’re ruining the moment. I’m trying to make you cum.”
A devious cackle rumbles from his chest, albeit a little contented at the same time. Yeah, he definitely likes the sound of that. “Well then, by all means, don’t let me stop you.”
It’s only then that his question comes back into your mind. If he felt the need to ask you again about the bracelet, maybe that meant something after all. At the very least, it means he hadn’t forgotten about it altogether. On the other hand, you wonder how often he had spent thinking, or over-thinking, the issue in the past twenty-four hours, if at all.
Was it wrong to feel some semblance of joy over that potential fact? Probably.
That doesn’t seem to bother you much this time. Not when he’s gazing up at you as if you’re some divine sexy goddess, all his to enjoy. You can’t help yourself; you reach down to brush the sweaty hair from his eyes, perhaps all too gentle of an action for best friends.
And he smiles, maybe a little too softly and maybe a little too ardently if you look close enough.
He smiles.
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The thing about your supposed “rules” with your relationship with Jungkook is that there might be a few loose ends that neither you nor Jungkook pay much attention to sometimes.
But that’s neither here nor there.
Mostly, the “no public displays of affection” clause is easily disregardable. It’s typically when you’re too drunk to remember it and a bit needy, craving one another’s touch, but those around you never truly seem to care or even notice because, if you’re lucky, they’re equally as smashed. Sometimes the “no cuddles” clause blurs into a gray area where it’s simply just you and Jungkook post-sex, sprawled out in his bed, not necessarily wrapped up in one another’s arms and cooing sweet nothings to one another but giggling at nothing in particular except one another as you bask in each other’s company and nothing more. You suppose some rules are meant to be broken.
For the most part, Jungkook never seems to question the no kissing rule you were so adamant in insisting. Not until one night in which you’re left wondering where things go so drastically wrong. It starts off as normally as any other day with you and Jungkook can, spent in his apartment binge watching movies. You hadn’t expected that night to switch as suddenly as it does when Jungkook shoots you a text earlier in the day asking if you want to come to his for a night of casual drinking as simply “best friends.” But, as always, one thing seems to lead to another, and you can’t get enough of Jungkook. Maybe it’s in the way he holds you a little tighter, the way he tugs you onto his lap on the sofa in his living room, the way he grips your thighs with a certain type of insatiable desire.
“You know…” he hums. “You drive me insane. In, like, the best way possible.”
Part of you realizes his actions even without him seeming to, and the drunken smile on your face remaining frozen in place, a little dumbfounded. “Jungkook…”
“When I’m with you…” He lifts his stare to look at you, but you have nothing to say. Neither does he. Instead, you’re left grinning at one another and suddenly your face is warm. He leans towards you, his nose nuzzling against the side of your throat. Your hands stay threaded in his hair now, and he swears he feels you secure your grip as if to pull him closer.
You can feel his lips brush faintly against your skin, grazing along your neck to the underside of your jaw. Up, up, up, until━
It’s just as his mouth meets with the corner of yours that you register what he’s doing, even in your clouded state. You turn your head just in time, and he comes to an immediate halt, his lips barely making contact with your cheek instead before he pulls away. He doesn’t move very far but you also don’t push him away just yet. Instead, you shift your head to look at him, still inches apart from him.
“What are you doing?” You ask. He can’t quite tell if you’re appalled or not, an empty expression staring back at him.
“I━ You━” He fumbles over his words, squeezes his eyes shut. He blames it on the alcohol even though his head is swimming with thoughts that seem to only concern you. But then a fierceness seems to stir within him, one that makes his jaw clench as he meets your stunned stare. The question rolls off his tongue without meaning to. “Is this about Yukhei?”
“Is that why you weren’t wearing our bracelet the other day?”
The question is so ridiculous, you have to laugh. “What are you going on about?”
But Jungkook doesn’t see what’s so funny and so he tries again, his persistence taking hold. “Is that why you won’t ever let me kiss you?”
You blink. Then, you’re shaking your head at him. Exasperation hangs heavy in your words, shaping in the form of a tired scoff. “You’re not serious.”
You’ve slithered off of his lap before he can even think to stop you ━ but if he had, would you have even stayed? You’re mad, but he doesn’t know why. “No, I wanna know. Because if what we have is already so meaningless, what makes a kiss any different?”
“So I wanna know,” he says, brows unconsciously knitting together. His gaze is searching yours desperately, as if begging for an answer he’ll want to hear. But he knows he’s being an idiot, a small sober part in him makes him realize that. “Humour me. Have you had sex with him yet?”
“Oh my god. I can’t believe that’s what you’re on about.” Suddenly, you’re frowning. Your hardened stare meets the boy’s and the irritation that scrunches at your face makes him wince, but it’s too late for him to take back the damage that he’s done. “Yeah, Jungkook, we fucked in his stupid Toyota that you hate so much and he choked me and I liked it. He did all sorts of dirty things to me. Is that what you want to hear?” The sardonic tone hisses at his ears, but he bites back his words, the sober part in him doing some decent good by shushing him. “No, Jungkook, we didn’t fuck. We haven’t even gone on a date, and I don’t even know if I want to, and you think I’m throwing myself at him.”
“But you wanna.”
“You’re being an idiot,” You admonish. “I’m going home. Talk to me when you’re sober.”
He has just enough time to watch you turn on your heel, march towards his door, when he scrambles to his feet. The weight of his words and actions finally seem to dawn on him, hitting him harshly in the face and in the heart.
“Fuck, wait! Wait━” he gasps.
He chases after you, hand reaching out to press his palm against the door before you can shimmy it open. He’s fortunate when you turn to look at him, though your arms are folded impatiently over your chest.
“You’re right. I-I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you mad,” he promises earnestly. Then, he lets out a frustrated groan. “I just… What if we… Shit, what if we stop for right now? Y’know… Hooking up. Whatever this is.”
He gestures vaguely between the two of you with his hands, a wearied look plastering his face.
You hate to admit how his words seem to affect you. They bite at the air, leave you breathless as you gawk at him, but the harsh realization of it all is that you were never his to have and he was never yours. Hoseok had been right when he said these things were bound to come to an end ━ so why did it seem to hurt you so much?
A beat of prolonged silence passes between the two of you. Jungkook runs a hand through his chaotic blonde hair, digging the heel of his palm into his temple as if to rid himself of a headache he’s no doubt sporting. Maybe you’re waiting for a better explanation, but he gives none, and you don’t feel as if you have the right to ask why. He’s not your boyfriend, for god’s sake. It’s not like he’s breaking your heart.
Instead, you take a deep breath and say, “Okay.”
“Okay.” It’s all that he says in return.
So then why does it feel like he is?
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When Jungkook had promised that if your fling with him ended you would go back to being untainted best friends, he was apparently lying.
A part of you can’t believe the sheer nerve of him to ghost you in his traditional fuckboy ways, and yet he does. You suppose not entirely, at the very least. Part of it ends up with you being even more vexed by his sudden shift in emotion, and the tangible tension that rises between the two of you should have been dealt with properly, yet neither of you do anything about it, leaving your friendship stagnant and stale for a week. After all, how are you really supposed to go back to “just friends” when you’ve seen his dick one too many times?
You refrain from telling Hoseok, if only so you don’t have to hear him tell you he told you so ━ but you also decide to give Yukhei that one chance, and so you think Hoseok wouldn’t mind so much anyway.
Admittedly, when Yukhei asks to hang with you at Taehyung’s eventual party, you aren’t entirely too keen, but you accept it if only because you heard Jungkook will be there too. For the majority of the night, you don’t see the boy, and you spend the hours cozying up with Yukhei in a conversation that dulls you. As it would appear, it seems to bore Yukhei too, but you only notice that when he starts touching you on your waist and the small of your back. There’s a moment where he leans his head close enough to yours that you realize he’s trying to kiss you, resulting in an awkward encounter in which you push him away, palms on his chest.
“What’s wrong?” he asks. The answer is obvious enough to you, but you don’t think you should tell him for his own dignity. That, instead, all you can imagine is Jungkook in his place. “Should we get out of here?”
“Y/N. Can I talk to you?”
You’re both fortunate yet horrified when you hear Jungkook’s voice. He’s standing just behind you, his own stare devoid of any emotion, though his brows furrow and his jaw clenches in a signature Jungkook manner that you know means he’s pissed. He hardly acknowledges Yukhei, nodding in his general direction. You don’t remember if you leave Yukhei there or if he leaves, or if Jungkook even gives a poor attempt of an excuse to the boy, but you’ve not so much as uttered a single word or let out an exhalation of air, when Jungkook ultimately pulls you off to the side where it’s just you and him once more.
“I’m not sucking your dick in Tae’s grimy bathroom, if that’s what you want,” You scowl once Yukhei is out of earshot. “You’ve lost the privilege that is my mouth.”
“That’s not━” Jungkook shakes his head, exasperated. “That’s not what I want. I just━ I’ll take you home. Please?”
You know the offer is much more than him simply walking you the route to your dorm, which you already know like the back of your hand. Yet, you don’t argue. Truthfully, it’s a relief when Jungkook lugs you out of the party. The entire venture back to your apartment is treacherous, in the way that you’re left sobering up enough to the point that your dizzying thoughts become more coherent. Hoseok is gone for the weekend at least, spending the days with his fiance, so you don’t have to worry about humiliating yourself in front of your roommate when it comes to Jungkook.
You’ve barely made it through your front door when you’re grumbling aloud, “What do you want, Jungkook?”
“I wanna talk,” he says firmly. “About us. About Yukhei.”
“Maybe I don’t want to.” But that’s a lie. Talking to Jungkook, even despite masquerading your annoyance for him, is a blessing in disguise. You’ve missed the idiot, and hearing his voice. “Besides, you told me to give him a chance.”
“And you said you didn’t want to.”
“Maybe I changed my mind.”
“Yeah, you sure seemed like you loved it when he was trying to shove his tongue down your throat,” Jungkook retorts bitterly. “C’mon, Y/N. We both know that’s a lie.”
“You know, you’ve been a real dick lately.”
A sliver of a smirk tugs at Jungkook’s face. “I thought you love dick.”
Clearly, his poor attempt at a joke doesn’t land well with you. “Why do you even care so much if Yukhei and I get together? Stop acting so high and mighty and moral, Jungkook. It’s not like you’re some virgin saint. How many times have I heard you talk about all those girls you’ve fucked? And what was I? Just another notch in your belt this whole time?”
“What?” Jungkook gasps now, as if disbelieving you would ever think such a thing. “No! You’re not just another notch. I would never even think about you that way. And I haven’t had sex with anyone else but you this whole time and I easily could have.”
“Wow! Such a martyr,” You remark dryly. When you speak next, you meet his stare with your own crestfallen gaze. “I just want my best friend back.” Your words hurt him more than you think, but he can’t say he doesn’t deserve it. “You’re the one who tried to kiss me, then suggested we stop whatever it is we’re doing━”
Jungkook flinches. “I know.”
“Then you ignore me for days even though you promised nothing would change━”
“I know,” he says desperately. He closes the distance between the two of you, yearning to reach out and touch you. Instead, he clamps his eyes shut, trying with all his might to focus when the room feels like it’s spinning.
“And then you get mad when Yukhei tries to make a move. It’s like you’re jealous or something!”
“I am.” He can’t take it anymore. The words tumble from his lips in a rush that he hardly bothers to bite back.
“Because━ Because━” He struggles to form his thoughts into words, stumbling over his sentence. Fuck, he’s never like this. Even you can tell. He grits his teeth next. “I lean in to kiss you and you look at me as if I’m out of my mind. I just don’t get it. You don’t want me to kiss you but you let me put my dick in your ass.”
The taut line of your lip quivers as you break. “That was one time and you didn’t even get all the way in!”
“Y/N.” Jungkook hums now. He’s gazing at you a little softly, reaching out to place his hands on your waist. “Look, I know I’ve been an idiot. But lately, when I touch you, I fucking feel so alive and the thought of Yukhei doing anything with you when it isn’t me, who should be with you, makes me want to vomit. And when I wake up in the morning alone, I only want you next to me. And I can’t be the only one feeling that way. If I am, tell me. Right now. Please. I just wanna know why you won’t ever let me kiss you, but you let me do all sorts of things with you. Am I really that repulsive?”
Another moment of silence stifles the room. Jungkook is so close to you now, you can’t help yourself. You reach up to tug at the collar of his shirt, fingers twisting in the material as you lean your forehead out of frustration against his shoulder and he instinctively lets his arms slither around your waist, holding you to him. Then━
“I only made the rule because I don’t want you to kiss me unless you mean it,” You murmur into his chest. “Like really, really mean it. Like I’m more than just a notch in your belt. Because I want to kiss you so badly, and I’m already in love with you but then I’ll really be in love with you and I don’t want to get my heart broken.”
The anticipation kills you, awaiting his response. You refuse to lift your head, until you hear him grumble, “You’re so fucking stupid.”
The retort is filled with your typical jestering hostility as you finally look at him. But just as you do so, Jungkook’s reaching out to grasp at your face, rough hands all soft and gentle as they cradle your cheeks, guiding you towards him and smoothing his lips over yours until you melt like putty in his hands.
Kissing Jungkook, you deduce at once, is not at all how you imagined it.
It’s everything and more. You’ve felt his mouth on you before but in much different circumstances. Between your legs, on your throat, down past the valley of your breasts ━ and each kiss then had been feral, sloppy, rough. Now, it’s sweet and tender, the feeling of his lips as soft as how he makes your heart feel. And the butterflies━ god, the butterflies.
Impatient hands tug and pull at one another until you’ve both stumbled into your room and onto your bed. He’s clambered over top of you, lips struggling to not part throughout the whole ordeal, until he’s wedged himself between your thighs.
Only then does Jungkook part from you just enough in the next moment, lips brushing against yours, as he whispers ardently, “I mean it.”
Then he’s kissing the corner of your lips down to the underside of your jaw, his mouth grazing along your skin in a feathery touch. His hands help you shed your shirt, and the bra underneath. “I mean it when I kiss you here.”
Then he drops his head to your neck, kissing at the base of your throat, before nipping at it lightly. “And here.”
Your hands come to thread in his hair, tugging at the roots. He burrows his face lastly in your chest, snatching the nipple of one of your breasts between his teeth. “Here…”
You’re so soft and supple beneath his hands, all his to love and explore.
“I want you, all of you,” he mumbles. “Only you.”
“Oh, Koo…”
A pretty moan tumbles from your mouth, and he could nearly cry. He had surely thought you were far past the point of enraged, far past the point of pensive words shaped in a heartfelt apology to bring you back to him. But then hearing you rasp his name ━ the little cute nickname that only you call him ━ makes him so goddamn remorseful.
He smothers your lips with his once more, groaning into your mouth. “I’m such a fucking dick. I don’t deserve you.”
“Don’t say that,” You whine.
“I’m sorry,” he laments. He bites at your lower lip, suckling against it. “Please let me make it up to you.”
“You already have.”
“But I’ve been such a shitty friend,” he groans. It’s hard to focus when he’s pressing his hips against yours, the forming bulge in his pants straining against the inside of your thigh. “I should’ve known when to stop. I shouldn’t have even suggested the whole thing in the first place, because then I wouldn’t have messed us all up.”
“Jungkook,” Your grip tightens in his hair. “Jungkook━ I want you so bad. Just wanna be yours.”
“Yeah?” His breath is warm as it fans against your neck. You rub your core eagerly against him, throbbing pussy so close to making contact with his dick.
“Yeah,” You mewl.
“What do you want from me?”
“You. Wanna feel your dick in me, please,” Your fingers tug at the top of his jeans, prodding at the muscles on his abdomen. “In my mouth. Can make you feel better, Koo, I promise. Just wanna be your good girl.”
“Mmm, I like the sound of that.”
He lets you push him until he’s on his back and you’re straddling his hips. Your limbs entangle with his as you shed the rest of your clothes, your own hands wandering up and down the front of his body after he’s tossed his shirt onto the floor. Then he watches as you shimmy your way down his body. You’re so zealous in pleasing him, wrapping your hand around the base of his dick, head angry and red, dribbling pearly beads of precum down the shaft and over the bulging vein that lines it. You run your thumb over the tip and down, spreading the sticky fluid over him. He grunts in response, nearly jolting at your touch, as his head drops back against his shoulders.
“Oh, fuck,” he growls.
You pump him slowly, taking you time as your closed fist glides up and down his length. He shudders each time your hand reaches the base, and becomes so carried away with your leisure teasing that his eyes are screwed shut and misses the way you dip down to kiss at the tip of his cock. His eyes immediately flutter open, a flustered expression painting his face. You lap again at the head, saltiness coating your tongue, and you let out a simpering moan that has him quivering. And when you wrap your mouth entirely around his cock, sinking down along his length, he swears he’s about to fall apart. Your eyes flicker upward to meet him and the moment they lock, so sexy and dark, he has to look away for fear of busting right then and there. He reclines back against the bed once more, his hand flying out to grab at your hair.
“You’re so good to me, baby,” he rasps.
He can feel the curve of your lips against his cock as you suck him off. You do so well, too. Puffing your cheeks out, taking as much of him as you can until it feels as if he’s hitting the back of your throat. Then, you’ll suck at the tip of his cock, tongue swirling rapidly around, as your fist rubs his shaft. It’s a beautiful mix, one that inches him closer and closer to his high, and each time you switch he has to hold it together to not let go so soon. He wants to enjoy it, needs to bask in it. Your pretty mouth doing such sinful things, making him feel as if he were in heaven.
“Shit━” His hips jut forward to meet with your mouth, accidentally hitting the back of your throat without warning. You gag a little, but don’t pull away, and when he apologizes to you hastily, you only moan in response. A thought pops into his head that has him beckon aloud, “Will you be a good girl and let me fuck your mouth? Huh, baby?”
You hum in approval, eyes shimmering with glee.
So, he plants both hands in your hair, grabs at the sides of your head, and as you hollow out your cheeks, he bucks into your mouth. He does it again and again, listening to your crescendoing mewls of delight, forming a sticky mess of drool and cum that spills onto your chin.
“God, you’re so good,” Jungkook grunts. He’s a complete wreck, eyes screwing shut, blonde tresses spilling into his lashes. The muscles in his abdomen twitch with each sharp inhale of air he takes, so mesmerized by the shape of your pretty mouth around his dick, like you were made for him. “Such a good girl, huh?”
He fucks himself into your mouth roughly, frantically. Tears start to prick at your eyes from holding your breath, yet you keep yourself together just a little longer for him, lashes fluttering shut tightly.
“All mine too,” Jungkook hisses. “Wouldn’t let Yukhei do this to you, would you? Fuck, I’m━”
With your head left immobile stuck in his grasp, you hum in disapproval instead. You know he’s close when you start to hear him panting breathily. When he cums, it’s with a fractured whine and in short hot bursts onto your tongue and down your throat. You swallow as much as you can and, when he parts from you with a resonating lewd pop, you wipe away with your knuckles at the rest of his cum leaking out of the corner of your mouth and onto your chin. Dark hooded eyes meet with yours, a mischievous glint captivating them. You crawl over to him, straddling his hips once more, chasing his mouth with yours. Your own lips are so wet, coated in saliva and cum, bruised plump, but yet you’re smiling so innocently past the way he can taste himself on his tongue.
A dazed thought pops into your head that has you murmuring wistfully against him, “Say it again. I like hearing you call me baby.”
“Hmm? What about when I call you my good girl?” Jungkook nips at your lips. He grasps at your waist, flipping you over until you’re on your back beneath him. “You treat me so well, baby; you’re my only girl, you know that.”
A contented sigh sounds from you as you rut your hips in thinning desperation to meet his, so close to rubbing against his dick nestled against his thigh. He licks at his fingers hastily, reaching between the two of you to press against your clit, rubbing leisurely at the soft bundle of nerves. He’s learned how to navigate your body after months of supposed emotionless fucking, but now? Now, he felt as if his heart may just burst through his chest. Every reaction you make to his every touch ━ the needy plea to have him make you his, call you baby ━ makes him want to see more, and more.
“Am I?” You ask hoarsely. He grasps at his dick, guiding his tip to your core, so slick and wet, glistening with your own arousal. As he pushes himself in with a hiss, he watches as you contort beneath him. “Nnngh, Jungkook━”
“Fuuck,” he groans. He sinks into you, spreading your thighs further and further apart, until his hips make contact with yours. His mouth attacks yours with a feverish passion, the rumble of his moans and your whimpers muffling against one another. Then, he remembers to answer your awaiting question, barely audible between the way his tongue lavs at yours. “You are. I’m so fucking in love with you. But I don’t deserve you.”
Your hands tug impatiently at his hair. “Stop saying that.”
“But it’s true,” he hums. He’s quick to start rutting at your hips in a steady yet agonizing pace, dick burrowing into your pussy as your walls throb and shake. He can’t help but watch, mesmerized as always by the way his length slips past your folds and disappears into you. Again, and again, and again, so lewdly destroying your pretty cunt. “Just want Yukhei to touch you all over instead, don’t you?”
“No,” You croak.
You spread your thighs instinctively wider apart, allowing him to sink even further into you until it feels as if he’s hitting you so far in your stomach. Each roll of his hips is punctuated by the crude noise of skin against skin, sending you spiralling.
“Want him to do all sorts of dirty things to you, huh?”
“N-No. Fuck, Jungkook━ Harder, please━”
“That’s what you said,” Jungkook retorts. Still, he listens to your pleas, snapping his hips into yours roughly enough to send you jolting back on the bed. His hands start to roam your body, pinching at your hips, then grasping ferociously at one of your breasts. “Want him to fuck you in his car, right?” His palm feels like fire as it slides up past your collarbones to your throat. “Want him to choke you.”
His hand comes to wrap around the underside of your jaw on your throat, thumb and index finger pressing against the pressure points there. He squeezes, though with barely any force, just enough to feel your rapid pulse beneath his digits in a way that makes you so suddenly hyper aware of everything he’s doing to you. Cock stretching you wide, palm heavy around your throat, mouth folding over yours. So caught up in the overwhelming sensations you’re feeling, you can’t tell if he’s genuinely upset with himself, though you suspect part of him is. You can sense it in the way he clings to you a little tighter, can see it laced within his dazzling pupils.
Jungkook huffs, hair flopping into his eyes as he grits his teeth and ruts his hips faster into you if only to see more of your pretty little reactions. Your jaw unhinges at the feeling, head falling back onto the pillows. “He could probably treat you nicer too.”
You shake your head wildly, fingers digging into the skin on his shoulders. “Just want you, Koo.”
“Still?” he asks. His grip on your neck fastens a little more, pure euphoria riddling all your senses and making you writhe beneath him. “God, you’re such a dumb little slut, aren’t you?”
You nod in your groggy exhaustion, the familiar burn coiling in your stomach, making your toes curl.
Jungkook feels your own high approach. Your walls are clenched so tightly around him, he has to sputter for air. “Could he make you feel like this?”
“No, Koo,” You whine. “Only you.”
“Yeah?” Jungkook growls. “Good girl. Gonna cum around my dick like the good little slut you are?”
Your hips ricochet upwards to meet his, relentless pounding into your core. “Please, please━”
Jungkook quickens his pace until you’ve deteriorated into absolute shambles, whimpering his name after each thrust. You tumble towards your high, cuming around his length as he burrows it into you again and again, and all he can think is mine, mine, mine. As you unravel beneath him, he slides his hand off of your throat and slithers it underneath you and around your waist, hoisting you slightly enough off the bed so that he can reach his own orgasm. He’s a little more frantic now, sloppy and restless as he pummels into you.
“Shit, baby━” he cries out. “Oh, fuck, you’re so good━”
As you come down from your high enough, you somehow manage to murmur drowsily, “Cum in me, Koo. Wanna feel it.”
You grab at his face, pulling him down to catch his lips on yours, and the thought is so tempting he can’t refuse. He gets so lost in your lips, cuming with one final slam of his hips into yours and a chorus of curses mingling with your name in whimpers. He rides out both of your highs with a few half-hearted thrusts, more concerned with kissing you in useless open-mouthed kisses as your own mouth parts with one last weary moan while he fills you up.
When he’s spent, he collapses against your chest, and you collapse onto the bed. It’s quiet long enough for the both of you to calm the shrill beat of your hearts when you feel Jungkook stir, moving to part from you, pulling his dick from your swollen pussy and planting a lingering peck on your cheek. He disappears momentarily but returns a few seconds later, towel in hand which he uses to wipe at your core now leaking with his cum and your heart croons at all his tender touches.
It makes you realize all at once that, god, yes, you’re so in love with your idiot best friend and he’s so in love with you.
He turns to look at you, an adoring smile dancing upon his lips when he sees your own radiant beaming face. You beckon him over and he relents, letting you pull him into your arms. He nuzzles his face in the crook of your neck as he wraps his own arms around you to tug you closer to his side. As your fingers come to rake through his sweaty hair, he cranes his neck to follow your hand and hear him coo against your neck, “That feels so good.”
A sudden thought crosses your mind that has you smirking smally to yourself. “Are we… Are we cuddling? Jungkook, I thought you didn’t like cuddling. Said it was, and I quote, sentimental bullshit.”
“I never liked it because it wasn’t with you. Didn’t wanna waste my time on someone that wasn’t you,” Jungkook hums, matter-of-fact. You can tell he’s a little embarrassed at the way you so casually taunt him about such an obvious fact, though he’s fortunate you can’t see him smiling like a complete fool. “And I wanna do all that sentimental bullshit with only you. Now, shush━” He scolds you playfully. “M’so tired and I just wanna hold you tight.”
“Can’t argue with that.” Your heart leaps in your chest. “Just promise me one thing?”
It’s only then that he lifts his sleepy gaze to find yours, apprehensive of any potentially looming severity in your words. “Anything.”
Instead, all he can find is the way you trace your finger along the details of his face, from his nose, to his cheekbones, down to the freckle under his lip with the hand that sports your friendship bracelet. “In the morning, when we wake up, you’ll still be here to hold me tight. And every other morning after that.”
His smile widens even more, if that was even possible. “Wouldn’t want it any other way. But━”
“On one condition.”
“What’s that?”
His eyes sparkle cheekily. “Kiss me.”
So, you do, again and again and again; and Jungkook thinks, yeah, he certainly can get used to this.
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It takes you a month to cave in to Jungkook’s incessant pleas to fuck you to his sex playlist. You do it mostly to humour him, though part of you is a little bit intrigued at the thought.
Stowed away in his room, he eats you out to the choruses of sultry The Weeknd and raunchy Ariana Grande songs, fucks you to the likes of the Neighbourhood and Kim Petras while you’re on all fours, and you’re only half-paying attention to the music until you hear it. Admittedly, you almost completely miss it but you blame Jungkook and the way he’s making you currently feel, sprawled out beneath him, chests pressed flush against one another in a sweaty, sticky mess, breathy and glorious moans of your name filling your ears when━
“I had no choice but to hear you. You stated your case time and again━”
The dulcet chime of Alanis Morissette thrums about the room, a complete and utter shift in contrast in the atmosphere that has you immediately pausing.
“Jungkook.” But he knows what you set out to say even before you do, judging by the tone in your voice and the stifling smirk on his face. You gawk at him, biting at your lip to hide your laughter but you fail miserably. “You weren’t joking?”
He shrugs innocently, leaving you just as dumbfounded as you were two seconds ago. Instead, he says, “Gotta do what I promised then, don’t I?”
You quirk a brow. “What was that exactly?”
“Gotta give you the best orgasm of your life.”
“If you can do that to cheesy 90s pop, I’ll have your actual babies, Jungkook.” The effort is endearing and impressive, to say the least.
A roll of your eyes is met with a taunting roll of his hips into yours that wipes the jest off your face immediately. He grins like a madman, uttering a little stupidly, and a little ardently, “Say no more.”
Because, all things considered and joking aside, he wants it with you ━ the dazed daydreamy talk of a future together and kids, friendship bracelets, and cuddles in the morning. Because you mean the world to him and more. Because you’re his best friend, and he’s so madly in love with you.
Because he wants it all with you.
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gukyi · 6 months ago
love me or we both go down | kth
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summary: after going through with an arranged marriage to please his parents and secure his inheritance of the family business, kim taehyung thinks he’s got it all figured out. he doesn’t. apparently just being married to you isn’t enough, not when everybody and their mother can pick up on the fact that the two of you absolutely loathe each other. but taehyung wants his inheritance one way or another, so he decides that desperate times call for desperate measures: the two of you need to fall in love, and you need to fall in love fast.
{enemies to lovers!au, arranged marriage!au, rich kids!au}
pairing: kim taehyung x female reader genre: fluff, angst, smut (i know, crazy right?) word count: 32k warnings: oral sex (m & f receiving), fingering, penetrative sex, multiple unprotected sex scenes (they’re married y’all), fat cock tae, tae has a wife kink, lots of praise, alcohol consumption (but they’re safe), minor character death (not explicit), mentions of heart attack, slow burn like there is no tomorrow a/n: hello and welcome to the fic everyone, literally everyone, has been waiting for! i am so, so, so excited to share this with you all, especially because none other than rose @kinktae​ helped me write the smut, and i am literally forever indebted to her. you all better go spam rose with all the love and support you can because this fic would not be here without her and i love her so much. 
also, to all my readers who aren’t comfortable reading smut, please know that the smut in this fic is not imperative to the storyline, and you skipping past it will not affect your reading experience., enjoy!
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Never in your life have wedding bells felt so ominous.
The sound of them is akin to the sound of strings, of a single piano note in a horror movie, right when the film opens and someone random is about to die on screen for the sake of proving to the audience that this is, in fact, a horror movie. Make no mistake about it; these wedding bells spell doom for you, too. And the most horrific part about them is that just like that poor, helpless soul in the movie, there is no way for you to escape your fate either. 
With only seconds left to go before you have no choice but to promise yourself to the man waiting at the other end of the aisle, you desperately try to think of any last-ditch efforts to get out of this. Many, if not all of them, are utterly useless. 
Feigning sudden illness won’t work, because then your parents will just reschedule the wedding to a later date. Running away is fruitless. Where will you go? The parking lot?
If only you had a lover out there in the audience somewhere that could object to the marriage when the officiant says, “Speak now, or forever hold your peace.” A knight in shining armor that could whisk you out of the venue and off to a new life, far away from here. Too bad all of the people you’ve dated before hate you now. 
Maybe getting married isn’t such a bad thing after all. Instead of having relationships with multiple people who will eventually despise your existence, you only have to have a relationship with one. And the feeling, as has always been, is mutual. 
You bristle as your assistants do some last-minute prepping, fixing your sleeve and adjusting your necklace and making sure you don’t trip on your enormous train. They flutter around you like a swarm of well-meaning but ignorant butterflies complicit in the agenda of your family. None of them have said a word to you about the wedding ever since you arrived at the venue, choosing to talk more about things like the weather. Not that you were ever under the impression they had been hired to entertain you. Maybe they were told to not engage you, just in case you try to conspire with them.
As if they could be of any use in your wildly unrealistic escape plans. 
The truth is that, unless you were to drop dead on this marble flooring right now, you’re getting married. Whether you like it or not.
The doors open. 
You’ve attended red carpets, galas, award shows, and balls. You’ve had hundreds of cameras flashing in your face, the bright light capturing each and every centimeter of you. You’ve had paparazzi waiting outside the restaurants you eat at, the stores you shop at, desperate to catch a picture of you in sweatpants without a drop of makeup on. You’ve been on dates with ex-lovers that looked at you like you were a piece of meat with a credit card. And yet, for some goddamn reason, walking down the aisle in a white dress the size of Pluto, with the rest of your life waiting for you at the other end, makes you feel fucking transparent. 
Face resolute, you clutch onto your bouquet so tightly the flowers feel like they’re about to pop right out of your grasp. Determined not to look at anybody in the audience, you stare straight ahead, right into the eyes of your future husband.
Kim Taehyung, for someone you have seen multiple times drunk off his ass with hickies dotting his neck and jawline, cleans up pretty well. For someone getting married, at least. He dons a simple black tuxedo that still probably costs more than the average car, his caramel brown hair is pushed back off his forehead, and his expression is firm and still. He most certainly has had an equally expensive team prepping him, but they haven’t done too bad a job. The silver lining is that he doesn’t look any more thrilled than you are to be doing this, right here, right now. But to his credit, this is definitely the best he’s ever looked, as far as you’re concerned. 
When you reach him, he offers his hand out to you, a hand that you only accept for the sake of professionalism. The bouquet in your hands is handed off to one of your bridesmaids, and the two of you take your position at the front. Your train drags along the aisle, draping over the few stairs you had to climb to reach the altar, this satin trail behind you that cements you to the floor. It may as well be a ball-and-chain. It’s about as heavy as one, anyway. 
This is the longest you and Taehyung have ever held eye contact. Not that you’re really keeping track of how long the two of you have met each other’s gazes, but if you had to make an educated guess, this would definitely be the victor. Most of the time you end up sneering at each other ten seconds in, but to be fair, those other times you were also not getting married. To one another. In a ceremony attended by hundreds of people. And cameras.
There can be no sneering here. 
“Don’t you look nice?” Taehyung whispers, loud enough so only the two of you can hear. He has that drawling, sickly sweet tone to his voice, the one that you hate because it makes him sound like he thinks he’s so much better than everyone else. “Surprised they were able to makeup that scowl off your face.”
This, of course, brings on a hearty scowl only he can see, your backs both facing the rows of attendees. “How much concealer are you wearing to cover up all of the hickies on your neck?” You quip back easily. It’s not like the two of you are going to pretend he doesn’t waltz around at every club or bar or private venue he can find, looking for his next treat. 
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Taehyung grins, and if you weren’t standing in front of hundreds of people about to get married, there’s no telling what next you would do.
The two of you would probably go on like that for another ten minutes if it’s not for the officiant, who coughs once he’s ready and opens the book in his hands. Next to you, Taehyung straightens, hands clasped together at his front, and lips pressed into a neat line. You do the same. There will be no giggles, no laughter nor smiles, nor any genuine emotion at this wedding. This is a wedding for the sake of politics, for economics, for security, and anyone in attendance would be a fool to think otherwise. Especially you. 
“Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends, loved ones, and esteemed guests,” the officiant bellows, listing off as many groups of people as he possibly can in an effort to both include and compliment every person in the audience, “We are gathered here to celebrate the wedding, and future life, of Taehyung and Y/N…”
Taehyung turns to you, grinning in that god-awful way, the way he does when he feels like he’s got something over you. And sure, you can’t think of any punishment quite as bad as this, but what’s Taehyung got to smile about? He’s marrying himself off to a woman he hates, kissing goodbye his days as a free-spirited, heartbreaking bachelor, and promising what may very well be the rest of his life to loving you. That is not cause for celebration. 
But perhaps, to him, your suffering is enough to bring a smile to his face. 
Your vows are, to put it simply, total bullshit. Your family hired someone to write yours and there’s not a doubt in your mind that his family did the same thing. This nonsense talk, this complete and utter garbage that spews from your perfectly-glossed lips, shit about how you promise to love each other until the end of your days, how you promise to take care of each other when you’re sick and accompany each other at every event, every gala, every ball. Shit about how you promise to look only at each other, promise to uphold your family traditions and become a dependable spouse. 
The words don’t belong to you. But the thing is that this marriage was never yours anyway. 
When the kiss comes, there’s a part of you that thinks maybe you should have psyched yourself up a little more for this. When Taehyung pulls you in, placing a stiff hand on your lower back as he brings you towards his chest, your stomach turns and shivers run down your spine. The feeling of his hand on your body, the breath from his lips brushing against your own, are enough to keep you frozen in place. 
He smiles at you, almost as if to ask, “Are you ready?”
And you squeeze your eyes shut, almost as if to respond, “Let’s do this.”
When his lips meet yours, there is almost nothing. Nothing runs through you, nothing explodes, nothing strikes. But when he pulls away and cheers and applause rings out throughout the room, there is something. A little heat, a remnant of a flame, left on your lips. A little sting, just to remind you it happened. 
The entire hall is cheering but nothing about this is worth celebrating. The fact of the matter is that you and Taehyung will never love each other the way that you are supposed to. 
“Ugh, finally.”
The elevator doors haven’t even properly opened by the time Taehyung is loosening his tie, tugging it off over his head as he stretches his head back and runs a hand through his perfectly-styled hair. As he rakes his fingers through his caramel locks, the hairspray and gel loosens, strands falling down by the side of his face, framing his temple.
“Don’t sound so relieved,” you huff out, deciding now is as good a time as any to start getting undressed yourself. Reaching down to lift up the hem of your reception dress, you tug off your heels, already feeling lighter on your feet. Who cares if Taehyung is watching you pull off your stilettos like a defeated movie heroine? You don’t think you can walk another step in those shoes. “We still have to live together, you know.”
“Don’t remind me,” Taehyung says gruffly, brushing by you roughly as he stomps out of the elevator. “I’m just glad the fucking night is over. I swear, seeing that fake-ass smile on your face made me want to gouge my eyes out.”
You storm after him, refusing to be the helpless damsel in this situation. “Oh, like you didn’t also have that exact same fake-ass smile on your face. It almost made me think you were actually enjoying yourself tonight.”
“I was only enjoying the fact that I know you hate this just as much as I do.” It’s perhaps the only thing you will ever be able to empathize with him on. Mutually relishing in the other’s destruction. Taehyung fumbles with the keypad to the door to the penthouse for a moment before you hear the lock click, the door sliding open as the entrance lights flicker on. 
The reason Taehyung’s penthouse is so clean is because he’s never lived here before. Neither of you have—Taehyung’s parents bought it just for the two of you. And as much as you absolutely despise the idea of having to live with him, at least it was not you who paid for your place of residence. 
You can tell Taehyung’s never lived here before because it’s actually quite nicely decorated inside. The ceilings are high and the sleek velvet curtains are pulled open, revealing a shimmering skyline. The furniture is modern and functional, and the whole damn place smells brand new. You’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of entering the place Taehyung lived in before now, and it looked nothing like this. The furniture was worn and stained despite the live-in maid, the house reeked of five hundred different spices that wafted from the kitchen to the living room, and the bookshelves were covered with comics, graphic novels, and old textbooks. 
If it weren’t for the fact that you and Taehyung are rich kids in their twenties that hate each other, you might have actually thought the place looked… homey. 
You don’t have time to be impressed by the interior design and architecture skills of whoever designed this place. Right now, all you can think about is tugging yourself out of your airtight reception dress and passing out on the nearest bed. Which, hopefully, will be as far away as possible from Taehyung’s bed of choice. 
“How many bedrooms does this place have?” You ask, shimmying along the floor so you don’t trip over the hem of your dress. From the looks of it, you can see one giant hallway to your right and a massive, double-sided staircase leading up. 
“Enough,” Taehyung grumbles in response. The hazy stupor from all of the fancy champagne is starting to wear off for the both of you, leaving behind two grouchy, begrudgingly-married individuals who want absolutely nothing to do with each other and have no problems making that known. Whatever golden light of the evening that was making Taehyung at least a little bit more attractive than usual has faded, and now you see him for what he really is: an unceremoniously tired man in a suit. “You want upstairs or down?”
You gaze up at the marble staircase in front of you, then back down at your too-long dress. “Down.” The last thing you want is to trip in front of the man you have to see, every day, for the rest of your life. 
“Fine by me.” Taehyung’s halfway up the stairs by the time he turns back around to say something else. “I’ll see you tomorrow, I guess?”
“Yeah.” There’s no point in being hostile now. The both of you are too exhausted to mean anything by it. Besides, what else can you say? Everything to complain about has already been complained about. At least the two of you managed to wrestle out from your parents the stipulation that you would not be going on a honeymoon together. Now that would have been your worst nightmare. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
It’s as good of a goodnight either of you are going to get. Taehyung heads up the stairs and disappears around a corner, and you start wandering down the hallway. All the bedrooms look the exact same other than different colors on the walls and bedsheets, but they all look serviceable to you. Clean. Empty. Far away from wherever Taehyung is. 
You pick the one at the very end of the hall just to be as much of a diva as possible, and don’t even bother drawing the curtains before tugging off your dress. It’s past one in the morning, and you’re so high up you don’t think anyone will be able to see you anyway. By the time you’ve stripped naked and are tugging up the too-tight sheets tucked into the mattress, your legs are about to give out beneath you. The bed could be made of rocks for all you care. Anything to lie down on is fine by you. 
Sleep comes fairly easily to you tonight. Once your head hits the pillow you can already feel yourself drifting off, eyelids fluttering shut, but you don’t sleep quite yet. Not before you can think about how this is your life now, sleeping in a foreign bed in a foreign place with a foreign husband upstairs. This is what you will be living in now. Now and forever. 
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Living with Taehyung is, in both the best and worst ways possible, like living with a roommate that doesn’t give a shit about the fact that they live with another person. It’s good, because you and Taehyung hardly see each other and speak even less, which was pretty much the only thing you were asking for when it came to living with him. But it also sucks, because whenever you do happen to cross paths, Taehyung acts like you don’t exist, barely sparing you a hello or even that tight-lipped smile you send to drivers on the road when they let you cross the street. 
Not that the two of you ever engaged in energetic conversation before you got married. But at least the two of you would acknowledge each other, even if only to shoot a glare and a scowl the other’s way from opposite sides of a hotel ballroom. Maybe it’s just because it’s him, but you did always find yourself actually relishing in those little interactions with Taehyung. In this strange, twisted way, it seemed to provide some sort of continuity to your ever-changing life. Like no matter what happened, at least you would know that the two of you would always despise each other. 
To be frank, right now you’re not sure if Taehyung even remembers he got married at all.
Nights have been a lot more sleepless since your wedding day. After two weeks, the reality of it has finally started to settle in. This is your life now. And ever since you realized that, your bed has felt much less comfortable. 
“But the place is nice, right?”
You look around the living room from where you’re sat on the sleek, white suede leather couch, eyes glossing over the bookshelves, the floor-to-ceiling windows, the draping velvet curtains. From here, you can see the entire city skyline, flecks of gold from the windows of skyscrapers against a navy blue background. Slowly, as the moon creeps over the sky and the clock gets later and later, those lights will soon begin to flicker off, one by one. 
“Yeah, it’s not bad.” Nothing to write home about. That is, if home were a place other than here. 
“That’s good. At least you don’t live in, like, a total dump or anything,” Victoria says on the other end of the line. “How’s Taehyung?”
His name alone elicits this deeply-exhausted sigh from your lips, like it’s been ten years since you married and every day has felt worse than the last. “Fine.” You can’t really complain about anything yet, considering that you hardly ever see the man. 
“Just ‘fine’?” Victoria sounds skeptical. 
“Yeah,” you draw out the word, as if trying to convince yourself of its truth. “I mean, it’s like he doesn’t even live here. I barely see him. And when I do, we don’t even speak to each other.”
“That’s good though, isn’t it? You hate him.” Victoria says it like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. And in a sense, it kind of is. 
“I mean…”
“I know that your life hasn’t exactly… gone the way you had planned, but isn’t this your best case scenario when considering everything?” She asks. “If Taehyung is as distant as you say he is, isn’t it almost like you never married him in the first place?”
As if on cue, you hear footsteps coming down the stairs, heels clicking on the marble as they make their way to the entrance. You whip your head around to find Taehyung, all dressed up in loose, flowy slacks and a flowery silk button-down, strolling down the staircase as he scrolls through his phone, paying you zero attention whatsoever. 
He notices you briefly when he reaches the bottom, meeting your eyes with his own. He offers this measly, unenthused half-smile your way before he grabs his wallet and some house keys from the table by the entrance, opens the door, and vanishes off into the night. 
If you hadn’t been in the living room, you probably wouldn’t have even realized he left. Not that you being present as he’s planning on leaving would have stopped him anyway. This is the sixth night he’s done this in the past two weeks. You could stand by the door and stare him down as he emerges from his bedroom, all dressed up for something you’re definitely not invited to, and he would offer you that same goddamn smile and walk out the door without even blinking. Who he was before you got married and who he is now are no different. Not even a ring could change that. 
“I guess,” you tell Victoria. At least Taehyung hasn’t turned into a helicopter husband. “I don’t know. Maybe I just wish that I didn’t have to deal with him at all.”
Wish you could turn back time. Wish you could worm your way out of an arranged marriage before it was too late. Wish you could go back to the way things used to be. 
You and Victoria talk for another couple of minutes before she regretfully has to end the call, citing both her beauty sleep and an 8AM meeting tomorrow morning as her reasons for hanging up. The moment you put the phone down, you sink back into the couch cushions, staring out the windows at the world below you.
Here’s the deal. What Taehyung does in his free time is none of your business. But also, it’s totally your business, because you are his spouse. A spouse who is an equal amount in the public eye as he is. What he does and does not do has a direct impact on what you do and do not do. 
It’s no secret that when you catch Taehyung sauntering down the stairs looking like a Gucci runway model, it’s not because he’s planning on catching a movie with a college friend and then playing video games for four hours on a couch in a basement. He is going out. To clubs, to parties, to exclusive events that he’s been invited to by his equally-rich friends, all of whom are acting like he’s the same bachelor he’s always been. 
And maybe that’s the real problem with your whole marriage—other than the glaringly obvious issue that it’s a marriage wholly unwanted by the two parties involved in it. Despite the ring on his finger, Taehyung is going out and pretending that nothing in his life has changed while you’re trapped at home, desperate to save you and your family’s reputation by keeping as low a profile as possible. You would give anything to march around the city all day, flashing middle fingers at paparazzi as you shop at your favorite high-end stores and frequent your favorite clubs. But you can’t, because your family’s fortune and influence is on the line. 
And apparently, Taehyung’s isn’t. 
It sort of makes you wonder why it was even Taehyung you ended up marrying anyway. His family isn’t any richer or more powerful than yours. Your spheres have always been sufficiently separate. What was it about him, and perhaps more importantly, his family that drew your parent’s eye? And what was it about marrying you that prevented him from saying no? Money? Prestige? Influence?
You suppose you’ll never know. But whatever mystical force that convinced Taehyung to agree to this must not be as important to him as your reasoning is to you, because it’s become exceedingly apparent that Taehyung does not care that he’s married. He doesn’t care about the ring on his finger, he doesn’t care about his public image, and he most certainly doesn’t care about you.
Perhaps you were naive for thinking this, but you actually believed marriage might tone him down a little. Might age him into a real adult with real world obligations. Instead, it’s only given you a firsthand look into who Kim Taehyung has been and always will be: a selfish rich kid.
You don’t bother waiting around in the living room until he gets back, but you are still awake by the time you hear the door creak open. Taehyung makes no efforts to hide his return. You can hear him chattering loudly on the phone as he stumbles up the stairs, can tell from his gait alone that he is most certainly wasted. You don’t want to know what he did tonight. You’ll probably be able to figure it out anyway when you wake up tomorrow morning and check your social media. 
What were you thinking, marrying him? That he would change? That he would suddenly become someone that you could rely on? You had no choice when you said, “I do,” but you were at least hoping that maybe one day, one day in a long, long time, the two of you would finally see eye to eye. Maybe there would even come a time when you would genuinely love him. How foolish. 
You close your eyes and try to imagine a world where you have married someone you love, someone who loves you back.
Not unlike the many nights preceding it, tonight is sleepless. 
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Unlike your marital status and general disposition, one thing that hasn’t changed about you is your love for extravagant events. Call you conceited, but there is something so much fun about putting on a fancy, expensive dress that you love and getting your hair and makeup done before going to an exclusive gala and posing in front of five hundred cameras. 
Actually, now that you think about it, maybe your wedding could have actually been pretty good, considering it let you do all those things. It’s a real shame there happened to be a storm cloud in the form of Kim Taehyung there to ruin it. Otherwise, you think you would have rather enjoyed that day. 
Tonight is the first event since your marriage where you and Taehyung are both required to show up and act like a happy married couple. Which would probably be a lot easier if you and Taehyung had exchanged more than ten words over the past two weeks. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but there was a part of you that thought you could use your arranged marriage to actually cultivate some sort of meaningful relationship between the two of you. So events like these wouldn’t be such a drain on both of you. 
When Kim Taehyung comes down the stairs, he actually doesn’t look too bad. You don’t know why this sort of thing keeps catching you off guard—like you don’t expect him to look that good whenever you see him. The problem is that you can’t even chalk up the surprise to him wearing tailored clothes or having his hair done. He just looks… good. 
Well, you suppose you do have to look at him every day for the rest of your life. It’s a good thing he’s attractive. At least he’s not sore on the eyes. 
Taehyung and his unfortunate attractiveness aside, the two of you don’t say a word to each other as you join up at the entrance, grabbing any last-minute items like house keys, chapstick, and whatever dignity you have left to spare. You send forced smiles and tight nods each other’s way in the elevator, staring straight ahead in the lobby of your building as the car pulls up to the front door.
By the time the two of you sit down in the back of the limousine, the built-up tension between the two of you is so thick you’re almost positive that even the chauffeur can feel it through the closed partition. 
If you were any more idyllic, you’d probably spend the drive over to the gala staring out the window and imagining yourself in a different life, on a train to nowhere, flowers in your hair and a journal in your hands. Or perhaps you’d be the CEO of your family’s company instead of having that responsibility passed down to a husband you don’t even want, sitting in an office at the top of a skyscraper overlooking the city. Anything. Anything but this.
But the idyllic part of you died when you realized that fantasies like that are nothing but distractions and that daydreams are for romantics and optimists and losers. 
“What’s our plan for tonight?”
Taehyung scoffs. “What do you mean, ‘what’s our plan’?”
You frown. “Well, we’re married, so we at least have to act like it, don’t you think?”
“Isn’t standing there and smiling enough?” Taehyung asks, an unimpressed eyebrow raised. 
You bristle. Maybe that sufficed for your wedding, but there was so much going on it was easy to distract yourself from the gravity of it all. But this event is not about you. It’s not even about either of your families. It’s about someone the two of you are, at best, distantly connected to, through work, through fame, through power. Which means that though the focus will not be on you, there will still be eyes looking your way. Eyes watching your every move. 
“Do you think it will be?” You challenge. Doesn’t Taehyung realize that things are different now?
Taehyung’s lips curl downwards. “What do you expect us to do, shower each other in kisses? We don’t even sleep on the same fucking floor.”
“Maybe I just expected you to act less like a stranger and more like a husband!”
Taehyung sighs. “Don’t.” The word is clipped, short. “Don’t tell me you actually want to be married.”
“I don’t.” It’s a response that you hardly have to think twice about. “But we are, and nothing can change that.” Unfortunately. But it’s a fact that you and Taehyung have both had to grapple with over the past few weeks, and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that you are more aware of it than he is. If Taehyung could have his way, he would ignore you for the rest of his life and keep partying with the rest of his bachelor friends until he keeled over and died. 
He huffs next to you, eyes staring straight ahead. You don’t think the two of you have met each other’s eyes in a week. Maybe more. They’re starting to feel as soulless as your marriage itself. “Whatever. What do you want me to do?”
“What do you think?” You cross your arms over your chest. “Just act like you don’t hate me. Can you do that?” The way Taehyung’s behaving right now, you expect that will be a challenge for the both of you.
“Only if you can. I’ll even hold your hand to prove that we love each other.”
The idea of holding Taehyung’s hand makes you want to implode. The mere thought sends shivers down your spine. But it’s better than nothing, and that’s good enough for you. At least you won’t have to kiss. 
The rest of the ride there is silent. You drive to this gorgeous mansion just outside the city, bathed in lights hidden amongst the bushes, illuminating both the architecture and the enormous fountain that sits in front of it. In a house this size, you imagine you could probably go your whole life without ever having to come across Taehyung. It actually makes you consider investing in a home that big. 
Taehyung helps you out of the back of the limousine, a cold hand clasping your own as you rest your palm against his. You can feel the way his fingers hesitate as yours make to intertwine with his as you walk towards the entrance, smiling at whatever camera flashes you encounter on your way. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were holding hands with a ghost. 
The moment you step inside and are ushered out of the door’s view, Taehyung’s grip relaxes on yours. For a moment, you think he’ll actually spend the rest of the night like this, a gentle hand wrapped around yours, but then he pulls it away entirely and shoves it back into his pocket. Oh. You frown quietly to yourself. So that’s how tonight’s going to go. 
You don’t make an effort to reach out towards him again. 
For an event concerning people you don’t know a damn thing about, everyone sure seems to know things about you. Other than greetings, you don’t think anyone’s said anything to you about anything other than your recent marriage to Taehyung. Every conversation is punctuated by a Congratulations! you do not feel that you have at all earned, considering you and Taehyung could barely look at each other on the way here.
Maybe Taehyung was right. All you really can do is stand there and smile.
“Oh, don’t tell me… Y/N, is that you?”
The champagne swirls around in the flute between your fingers as you turn towards the sound of your name, looking up to see a familiar face headed your way. 
Kim Seokjin is nice enough. He’s terribly handsome and got a flawless smile, but you know better than to trust those pearly whites of his. The sight of him alone is enough to make your body tense up. There was a reason you had explicitly told your parents not to invite him to your wedding. 
“Seokjin, what a surprise to see you here,” you say, forcing a smile. “I thought you were supposed to be in Switzerland right now.”
“Change of plans,” Seokjin grins back in that awful, awful way, the kind of grin that makes you feel like he’s looking right through you. “I came back early. It’s a shame, though, I missed your wedding.”
You shrug. “It was a humble affair.” It wasn’t. And you’re positive that Seokjin knows it wasn’t an accident that you didn’t extend an invitation to him or his family. 
“Ah, I see,” Seokjin says, nodding his head. He turns to Taehyung next to you, who is making no effort to hide how wholly uninterested in this conversation he is, and holds out a hand. “You must be Kim Taehyung, then. I’m Kim Seokjin. Congratulations on your wedding.”
Taehyung shakes his hand firmly, the air between the three of you growing unbearably palpable. 
“Seokjin’s father is the VP of News Daily,” You explain, eyebrows raised as you try to signal to Taehyung what exactly it means when Seokjin is speaking to the two of you. “And his mother is a popular journalist for the city’s post.”
Seokjin grew up in the world of media, and it seems he’s picked up his parent’s affinity for sticking their noses in places they don’t belong. You know he’s not talking to the both of you out of the goodness of his heart. 
Seokjin laughs, his hand waving away the mention of his parents. “Oh, please. That’s them. I’m just a bored socialite like the rest of you.”
You resist the urge to scoff. 
“Marriage treating the two of you well?” He changes the subject to what he really wants to talk about: you. 
“Of course,” you say quickly, preventing any hesitation on your end. Your empty hand reaches towards Taehyung’s, fingers searching for his between the two of you. But his refusal to join hands does not go unnoticed by you nor Seokjin, who is eyeing the space between your bodies with an eyebrow raised. “It’s just been—well, it’s just been difficult to adjust to a new life. That’s all.”
If you were to describe the face of a non-believer, it would be the exact expression on Seokjin’s face. “Perfectly understandable,” he says, that same toothy smile lacing his features. “But it must be nice, you know, to marry someone you love.”
“I couldn’t be happier,” you say, almost challenging Seokjin to say something even more inflammatory. He must know that all you’re trying to do at this point is save face. Love? Ha! As if. 
“And Taehyung?” Seokjin motions to your husband. 
You can feel the way Taehyung is stiffening beside you. “I suppose we are both lucky and unlucky in many ways when it comes to who we love.”
It’s enough of an answer to get Seokjin off your tail. For now. He bids the two of you a tense goodbye before sauntering off to go poke his nose in someone else’s business, fish for drama, a thread of a rumor he can pick apart with nimble fingers. You wonder if anybody actually likes him. 
The moment he disappears from earshot, you grab Taehyung’s wrist tightly and pull him close to you. “What the hell was that?” You hiss into his ear. 
“What?” You can’t tell if he’s playing dumb or if he really is that dense. 
“You!” You exclaim. “Kim Seokjin is the one person who could easily expose how fake this marriage is and you pull away from me? Right in front of him? You can’t even hold my hand for two seconds, that’s how much you hate me?”
“Who cares what he thinks?” Taehyung says. “He’s just another media rat. No one will even remember we were here tomorrow.”
“But if you keep acting like this, people will start to notice! Why can’t you just act like you don’t hate me, for one night? Is that so bad? Is it that torturous, to spend one night with me?”
“Do not turn this on me,” Taehyung orders harshly. “You’re making a scene. Come on.”
You don’t have time to shout at him for bossing you around like you’re a toddler throwing a tantrum before he drags you out of the venue, the two of you finding a back door to the building that leads outside. The cold air blows against your body, goosebumps popping up against your skin, but you find that the chilly night provides quite the respite after practically overheating indoors. Taehyung makes fire rush through your veins but at least the air can cool you back down. 
Nevertheless, your conversation is not over. It’s just been moved to a more private location.
“You do realize that our marriage isn’t going to suddenly go away, right? That we’re going to have to keep doing this for the rest of our lives?” You remind him, eyebrows raised. There’s a part of you that genuinely thinks he’s completely forgotten that your marriage is permanent.
“Oh, and not holding hands for five minutes for this one event is totally going to change the course of our lives, isn’t it?” Taehyung fights back.
“Don’t act like you did the right thing,” you spit out. “You don’t have to pretend in front of me. I know you don’t give a shit about our marriage.”
“What marriage is there to even give a shit about? Just because we had a wedding and signed some documents does not mean there is a real marriage between us. Look at us,” he motions between the two of you like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. “We hate each other. Is this what you would call marriage?”
“But at least I’m trying to get past that!” You exclaim. “You make it seem like being as miserable as possible is some sort of badge of honor. Do you actually want to spend the rest of your life hating the person you married? Or do you want to grow up and try and move on?”
Taehyung frowns. “What I want is for the person I married to stop acting like they’re doing me such a huge favor by pretending to care about us. Especially when all they really care about is their family’s goddamn reputation.”
“No,” you tell him sternly. You are doing him a favor. He just can’t admit that he actually needs help from you. “You are putting zero effort into this. What am I supposed to do?”
“Let it go!” Taehyung shouts. “Maybe one day we’ll actually start getting along, but right now it’s obvious that neither one of us can stand the other. I don’t need you to do favors for me. I can handle it myself.”
You look away, rolling your eyes. “Doesn’t look like it to me,” you mutter to yourself. 
Taehyung cracks. “Fine. You want me to pretend that I actually care about us? I will.” Thank God. Maybe now the two of you will finally start seeing eye-to-eye. “But make no mistake about how I feel about you,” he spits. “Getting married to you ruined my life.”
You stare straight at him and his eyes are swirling, so obscured in the darkness of the night that you might even think he doesn’t have a soul at all. His pupils bore into yours and for once, for once in your goddamn life, after so many years of staring each other down at debutante balls, so many years of witty refrains and snarky insults hurled each other’s way, it feels like the two of you might actually snap. 
Then, a camera flashes.
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Trouble in Paradise! would be a suitable title for the front page of the city’s biggest tabloid… if anything about your life with Taehyung could be considered paradise. Unfortunately for the both of you, that is not the case. 
You don’t need to keep reading the rest of the trashy article on the front page of the daily tabloid to know how much trouble you’re in, nor do you even have time to scroll beneath the terrible photo of you and Taehyung literally shouting at each other before you hear your phone ring. 
You don’t even bother saying hello to whoever’s on the other end. You know it’ll go in one ear and out the other. 
“I assume you know why I’m calling,” your mother’s harsh tone spits from the other end of the phone. There’s no doubt in your mind that she’s standing in the middle of her office, snapping her fingers at her fifteen secretaries as they partake in the worst damage control your family’s had to deal with since your cousin two years ago was caught with a mistress outside a high-profile restaurant. 
“Can I take a wild guess?” You’re about to be scolded into the next century, so you might as well enjoy your last few moments. 
“Don’t get cheeky with me,” your mother warns. “Care to explain why you and your beloved husband made the front page of the Daily Post today?”
“I know,” you sigh, a hand coming up to rub at your temples. It’s eight in the morning, you’ve barely looked at your phone, and you haven’t even brushed your teeth yet. It feels like you’re still asleep, and most certainly lack the energy to deal with this right now. 
Your mother, on the other hand, thinks otherwise. “You know? You know, and you still go out and do this? For everyone to see?”
“We tried to take our argument outside,” you begin to explain, but your mother isn’t having a single word of it. 
“The fact that you thought it was even appropriate to have an argument in a public setting at all astounds me, Y/N. We raised you better than that.” There’s no need for you to even see her face. You’ve grown so used to that disappointed frown over the years that it’s burned into your brain. 
“Maybe you should have thought about that before marrying me off to a man I barely know so I could be someone else’s problem instead of yours,” you bite. 
“We did this for your own good,” she hisses back. “You are married because we love you, and we want you to succeed outside of this family.”
“Then why do you care what the tabloids print about me?”
“Because being married does not mean you are no longer a part of this family,” your mother informs you sternly, lips smacking together. “Your marriage reflects on all of us, and you know that. What will people think of us when they see how terribly behaved you are?”
“Everyone acts like that, and you know it.” How could your mother preach good behavior when everyone, everyone you know, is just as spoiled and entitled as you? There’s no such thing as being altruistic when it comes to people like you. Being genuine, and good, and pure—that will get you ruined. 
You can hear her breathing into the phone when your mother responds, “But not in public, and that is the point. We expect better from you.”
“If you were so worried about me behaving so badly, then why did you even marry me off anyway? You knew that I didn’t want to. What did you think would happen?” It’s a question you wouldn’t have dared ask three months ago. Hell, even a year ago, when it was first revealed you were to be engaged, you wouldn’t have dared open your lips. But things are different now. You’re married to a man that hates you just as much as you hate him. He is making no effort to improve your relationship and seems hellbent on despising you forever. There is no way to get out of it. And if your parents really foresaw all of that, then what was the point in the first place?
“Your grandmother.”
Your mouth shuts. 
“You know she wanted to see you married before she passed,” your mother says, words clipped and biting and harsh. “She cares about you. She wanted to make sure you’d be taken care of.”
“I don’t need anyone to take care of me,” you mutter to yourself like a petulant child. In a way, you sort of are.
“If you want to stay in her will, I suggest you change that mindset.”
You freeze in your tracks. The will?
“Is that a threat?” You ask, positively dumbfounded. Are you being coerced into staying in this marriage because of your grandmother’s will?
You can hear your mother laugh, that muted, knowing chuckle of hers. “It was the deal all along, remember?”
Vaguely, you do. You remember fighting your parents tooth and nail over getting married until your grandmother revealed it was her dream to see you wed. You remember the look on her old, wrinkled face, that soft, sad smile that said she knew she didn’t have much time left. You remember agreeing, because how could you deny her? You remember her promising to remember what you’re doing for her. 
“You’re kidding.”
“I’m not.”
“That’s the end of this conversation, Y/N. You fix things with your husband or you’re out of her will. She’s made that clear. I expect you’ll make the right choice.”
She hangs up. 
There are a lot of ways to describe how you’re currently feeling, and you most certainly had an expensive education that would provide you with plenty of the vocabulary, but you think the most appropriate words for the current situation would be: you’re fucked. 
At least the feeling is mutual. 
Hardly two minutes after your mother’s brutal phone call, Taehyung comes storming down the stairs, hair still mussed from the night prior, his own phone clenched tightly between is fingers. Even from where you stand in the middle of the living room, you can see the way his eyes are glinting with anger, the veins popping out from his skin. 
“I just got off the phone with my parents,” Taehyung begins, not even bothering to spare a ‘good morning’ your way, “and they are fucking furious about last night.”
You shrug. “Join the club,” you mutter, arms crossed in front of you. What, does Taehyung really think you got off scot-free?
“Don’t act like this means nothing to you,” Taehyung says as he approaches you, footsteps calm despite his demeanor being anything but. “You’re the one who’s so obsessed with keeping up their family’s perfect reputation. You’re the reason we’re even in this mess in the first place.”
“What do you mean, ‘I’m the reason’?” You ask, astounded. Like he’s totally absolved of all blame and just an innocent third party. “You are the reason we went outside. You are the reason we had that argument, because you refuse to accept the fact that we’re actually married and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
“Right, because holding hands is really gonna show all those people how in love we are. I bet your parents are so thrilled right now.” Taehyung drawls. 
“It’s a start!” You shriek. “God, you’re just so—so infuriating! You can’t accept that this was your fault, too. You just have to turn everything against me and you always, always have to get the last word. It’s like you think you’ll die if you don’t.”
“Like you’re any better,” Taehyung huffs back. “You think I’m the villain because I don’t want to pretend to be in love with someone I’m not in love with. You act like us not holding hands is going to ruin our lives. It was one event! One! It’s obvious we hate each other, so why even try?”
“What, do you expect me to just sit around and do nothing? To act like everything’s fine? Like I’m happy?” As if. This marriage is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you. “While you prance around the city with your rich boy friends, going out to clubs and parties and pretending that I don’t exist? Is that what you expect from me?”
Taehyung laughs, this loud, disbelieving sort of noise, like he’s never heard such nonsense before. “Just because we’re married doesn’t mean the rest of my life has to change. Am I not allowed to enjoy myself with my friends? Or are you determined to keep me chained to your side for the rest of our lives?”
“What I want,” you punctuate every word, “is for you to stop acting like you haven’t got stakes in this, too. You think I don’t know how your family works? What being married to me means for you? Because I do. And I know that if we were to divorce, it would be you who would get the short end of the stick. Make no mistake.”
That’s enough to shut Taehyung up for a good few seconds. And it shuts him up, because he knows it’s true. Taehyung’s family may have a little more money, a little more power than yours, but you’ve got a family intimately more connected with the media. One phone call and Taehyung may have a rather messy, rather public breakup to deal with. 
“You wouldn’t,” he says, calling your bluff. 
“Are you sure about that?” You say, sticking your ground. You would never really divorce him, of course, but he doesn’t need to know that.
“I am,” Taehyung says firmly. “Don’t think I don’t know what being married to me is in it for you. What is it? Money? Power? Your father’s CEO position?”
“That’s none of your business,” you snap quickly. Maybe you’re more transparent than you thought. Bristling, you straighten your shoulders and turn back to meet his eyes. “Regardless, it seems we both have a reason to stay in this marriage.”
“It seems we do,” Taehyung agrees with a thin, contained smile. “Then I suppose we can reach some sort of agreement.”
“As in…?” Your interest in piqued. 
“I’ll stop going out with my friends if you stop picking fights with me all the time,” he says economically, like he’s killing two birds with one stone. 
“Only if you agree to also act more like my husband when we’re in public,” you tack on, because you just can’t settle for anything less. 
“Public only,” Taehyung specifies. 
You scoff. “Like I’d even want to pretend to be your wife when we’re in private.”
“Good. It seems we’ve come to a deal.”
“What’s in this for you, huh?” You prod, just to be annoying. Taehyung’s right. There’s a reason you’re not divorcing him the second you get the chance. But there must be a reason why he’s not doing the same thing. 
“Does it matter?” He challenges, a single eyebrow raised. “My life is just as awful as yours.”
Fair enough. 
“Do we have a deal?” Taehyung asks, holding out his hand, that sneaky, devilish grin lacing his features. 
Taking his hand in yours and grasping it firmly is the easiest decision in the world. His palm presses against your own, hot hand meeting your cold skin, and it feels like the two of you are finally finding some sort of balance. You look up into his eyes, burn your gaze into his pupils, watch them glint in the white ceiling light of the living room. 
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For two people raised on the values of reading the fine print and making educated choices when it comes to business deals, you and Taehyung sure haven’t worked out any of the intricacies of the deal the two of you agreed to. Unlike those business deals your parents constantly agreed to, however, knowing all of the stipulations and provisions of your strange, strange agreement with Taehyung may prove more harmful than helpful. 
Like right now. 
“Wait, we don’t have to be by each other’s side the whole night, do we?” Taehyung asks you, eyebrows furrowed in a knot, as you sit in the back of a big, black van on your way to a mutual friend’s twenty-first birthday bash. 
“There are going to be a lot of cameras there,” you respond. 
“Yeah, outside the entrance to the damn club. You know they won’t be allowed in, so who cares?” Taehyung rebukes. 
You huff out a little sigh, not wanting to get into an argument when you’re literally minutes away from your first public appearance since the whole tabloid debacle from three weeks ago. You and Taehyung could both do with being a bit more relaxed than you normally are when you’re around each other. 
“Hasn’t Clarissa invited hundreds of people? They’ll all notice if we aren’t together,” you remind pointedly. The girl whose birthday party you are attending is an heiress who grew up on the money of two people with a monopoly over the current artificial intelligence market and has millions of followers on social media. There will be notable people there. And people will know the two of you, as well. 
Taehyung rolls his eyes. “That’s the point, Y/N. There’ll be so many people, no one will even care. It’s her twenty-first birthday. Do you think people are going to be sober?”
You purse your lips together. He’s got a point. “How about when we are together, we hold hands. But if you see a friend or something then feel free to say hi.” Taehyung can be afforded that luxury. Especially because the chances of him not bumping into someone he knows is exceedingly low anyway. 
Taehyung nods in agreement. “You too. But I won’t leave you unless I know you’re with someone you’re close with.”
“You don’t have to stay, I’ll be fine,” you say with a small chuckle. What, is Taehyung suddenly worried, or something?
“Yeah, but it would be in bad taste if I left you with someone you didn’t know well. Or alone. Just wanna make sure you’re taken care of.” He shrugs nonchalantly, turning back to look out of the window on his side of the car. 
You don’t really have anything else to say to that. You’re sure you can handle yourself if you’re left alone for a few minutes while Taehyung says hi, but you actually find yourself rather appreciative of his resolve to look after you. Or, at least, make sure someone else is looking after you. It’s quite… chivalrous. Strikingly out of character for the Taehyung you’ve become well-acquainted with over the past couple of months. 
By the time you arrive, it’s obvious that Taehyung was right about there being so many people you two practically don’t even exist. Other than the herds of camera crews waiting outside the joint, photographing everyone that steps out of a black car to see what they’re wearing and who they’ve come with, no one seems to be paying you any attention. And in a way, that sort of nonexistence, that anonymity, it’s refreshing. Your entire life you’ve felt like all eyes were on you, like there was constantly a spotlight above your head, but here, the party centers around someone else. 
Despite that fact, Taehyung keeps his promise. He keeps himself pressed closely against you when there’s not enough space for you two to stand side by side, and he makes sure to have a hand gently intertwined with your own as you weave your way through the dozens of bodies in the room. He doesn’t say anything, of course, always looking up and forward instead of beside him, where you stand, but you find that you’re actually quite relaxed with his presence. He spots a bit of a clearing near the back of the first floor of the club, where a whole bunch of leather couches are pressed up against the brick walls, where the two of you can take a breather. 
“Damn, Clarissa knows a lot of people,” you say when you finally settle down, happily plucking a martini from a tray held by one of the many caterers wandering through the venue. 
“I doubt she’s even spoken to half of them,” Taehyung comments. “She and I have maybe spoken once… three years ago.”
“It was enough to get you invited, wasn’t it?” You point out with an eyebrow raised. 
Taehyung nods, chuckling a little. “Touché,” he says, clinking his own cocktail glass against yours. 
You take a swig of the drink, letting it wash down your throat. You’re not exactly sure how else you’re supposed to survive the night. “You must enjoy this, huh?” You muse, looking up at Taehyung from where you’re seated on the couch. He’s standing next to you, looking around the room with a distant gaze in his eye. 
“Enjoy what? The drink? It’s nice,” Taehyung says, having another sip. 
“No, I mean this,” you say, motioning toward the crowd. “The clubbing, the dancing, the drinking. I’ll bet that if you could do this every day for the rest of your life, you would.”
“I’m honored that you think so highly of me,” he deadpans. 
“Just making an observation,” you say, holding your hand up in surrender. “I mean, isn’t this what you used to do every weekend before we got married? Get wasted and party? Wake up in someone else’s bed the next morning? Muscle your way through the week just so you could do it all over again?”
Taehyung shakes his head, a knowing grin on his face. “Looks like someone keeps up with her tabloids. Let me guess, you would scroll through all of those trashy articles on your phone whenever you woke up so you could see what your future husband was doing?”
“I could have never even met you and I would know that that’s exactly what you do,” you say, even though you definitely did do those things before your engagement was announced to the public. “You’re a heartbreaker, Kim Taehyung. I don’t need to read a tabloid to know that.”
“Well, you must be quite the lucky girl, then,” Taehyung comments. “You seem to be taking up so much of my energy that I don’t have the time for that anymore.”
You place a sarcastic hand on your heart. “I didn’t know you were always thinking about me. I’m touched.”
“Don’t get used to it,” Taehyung huffs out, making the two of you both shake your heads as you chuckle to yourselves. First civil conversation you’ve had with each other in a long while, even if there may have been a few blows exchanged. 
The privacy doesn’t last long. Soon after, a huge crowd of people that could honestly still pass for teenagers herds towards the back of the club, all of them wanting to take pictures with each other. You and Taehyung do your best to stay out of the way, but one of the girls recognizes him from the Elle photoshoot he did about a year ago and begins to strike up a conversation with the both of you about your recent marriage. If she was paying attention to anything the tabloids leaked three weeks ago, she doesn’t mention it. Taehyung smiles and happily answers all of her questions, and even offers to take a picture of the group for them. The conversation ends before the two of you even catch her name. 
You’re standing by the line of buffet tables laid out against the staircase leading up to the second floor, no doubt as crowded as this one, when the opportunity for you to speak to someone other than Taehyung finally presents itself. 
You’d recognize that voice anywhere. You turn around to see Victoria barreling towards the both of you, not even caring when she accidentally spills a bit of her piña colada on the floor as she does. 
“Hey!” You exclaim excitedly. “I didn’t know you’d be here.”
“Are you kidding? I’m pretty sure Clarissa invited everyone on her, her best friend’s, her best friend’s cousin, and her best friend’s cousin’s dog’s contact list,” Victoria says with a laugh. “It’s nice to see you. I feel like you’ve been holed up in that big ol’ penthouse for weeks.”
“Damage control,” you remind her succinctly. Victoria knows enough that that’s all the explanation she really needs. 
“I don’t know if the two of you have ever met formally,” you say, thinking back to your wedding, where Victoria spent most of her time schmoozing with your parents (who love her) and didn’t even engage with any of the people who Taehyung’s family had invited. “Taehyung, this is Victoria. Victoria, Taehyung.”
“Pleasure,” Victoria says in that loud, unabashedly forward way of hers, holding out a friendly hand. Taehyung smiles back curtly, taking her hand and shaking it gently, so as not to spill any more of her drink. 
“Mine as well. I remember you were at our wedding.” Oh? So he does know her?
“That I was. Oh, I miss that day. The food was excellent. Tonight’s isn’t too bad either. Hope you’re doing well, the two of you. It’s nice to see you getting along,” she says, always the observer. 
Taehyung’s eyes widen a little when he picks up what Victoria is not-so-subtly putting down, but you place a hand on his upper arm to calm him. “It’s okay,” you tell him. “She won’t say anything.”
“My lips are sealed,” Victoria adds. 
“If you wanna go spend time with some of your friends, you can,” you say, giving Taehyung a nudge. He looks positively helpless standing in between the two of you as Victoria out-extroverts him. 
“Alright,” he says hesitantly, even though you know he’s already spotted at least ten people you’re sure he’d want to spend time with over you. “I’ll come find you soon, okay? Don’t go too far.”
You nod, and Taehyung disappears off into the crowd. Not two seconds later, you hear someone else call his name in a familiar tone. 
“I thought you said you hated him,” Victoria points out as the two of you watch his caramel brown hair makes its way throughout the crowd. 
You take another sip of your drink. “I do,” you say. 
Victoria looks at you like you’ve just told her you’ve sworn off custard-filled doughnuts. 
“What?” You ask, feeling suddenly defensive. 
“Nothing,” Victoria singsongs. “It just doesn’t look like that to me.”
“We just need to keep up a good appearance in public, that’s all. You know how mad my parents got when the tabloids leaked all that shit a few weeks ago,” you explain. You’re not sure what all the fuss is about. Taehyung said he would do these things. And he did. That was him upholding his end of the deal. This is you upholding yours. 
“If you say so…” Victoria says, not looking at all convinced. “I guess I’m just surprised that—that you two seem to be getting along so well. Maybe you being married isn’t going to be the worst thing after all.”
You stare back out into the crowd, scanning the top of people’s heads for Taehyung’s familiar locks. In the dim light of the club, you have a difficult time finding his, squinting your eyes slightly as you look around, but eventually you spot him, dancing happily with some old friends of his you recognize. He looks like he’s having a good time. And that makes you feel like maybe, just maybe, this might end up alright. 
“Yeah,” you say, though with the pounding of the bass and the alcohol already rushing through your veins, it doesn’t really feel like your voice belongs to you. You look back at Taehyung, knowing exactly where he is now, and you smile. Just a little. “I guess he’s not so bad.”
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You never do get a chance to meet Taehyung’s friends that night. By the time he joins back up with you and Victoria he’s by himself, a little more drunk than when he left, and ready to go home. And for once, instead of fighting him, instead of insisting you stay an hour more just to make sure you’ve done all of your rounds, you let him take you home. 
Taehyung has been spending a lot more time at the penthouse lately. Perhaps his family’s business happenings are slow, or perhaps he’s actually starting to get more comfortable with inhabiting the same space as you, but he has definitely found himself quite the rhythm in that house of yours. He even comes down to the first floor rather regularly. 
When he’s home, Taehyung is a lot quieter than you thought he would be. Granted, you don’t exactly know what you were expecting in the first place, but it certainly wasn’t him ruminating in one of the home offices while the Beatles play softly on the stereo, nor was it him reading a book in French in one of those big old grandfather chairs in the living room. If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably think he was still absent in that old way of his, ghostlike and silent, like he was occupying the space instead of truly living in it. 
But you do know better, and even though Taehyung is just as noiseless as he used to be, the house already feels a little bit fuller. 
Perhaps the reason you’ve become so keenly aware of his presence over the past few days is because of the notable fact that Taehyung has indeed held up his end of the deal, and no longer goes out with his friends in the evening. Or at all, for that matter. Which strikes you as rather odd, because he’s the epitome of a social butterfly, a thousand contacts in his phone and a whole group of friends he regularly spends time with. Maybe his parents told him to tone down the public appearances, too. And that’s understandable, but don’t they know Taehyung? Can’t they see how much he thrives on social interaction? It almost makes you feel… bad for him. 
To remedy this, you suggest he invite over his friends. Just for a few hours, you swear you won’t mind. 
“Seriously?” Taehyung looks positively shocked when you tell him he can, standing in the doorway of the office he seems to have designated as his own. 
“Yeah, why not?” You say with a carefree shrug. Besides, you’ve never met his friends anyway, and now seems as good a chance as any to introduce yourself. You are his wife, after all. “Unless your parents say you can’t. But it’s not a problem for me.”
“You… don’t mind if I have my friends over for a bit? Honest to God, we’re probably just going to play FIFA for three hours straight,” Taehyung says like it’s some sort of warning. Like the idea of him and his buddies from college are going to sit in the living room screaming at the television, leaving you alone to do literally anything else, is somehow bad. 
You laugh. “It’s fine, really. Call them. I’d actually quite like to meet them.”
Taehyung picks up his phone almost instantly, as if you’ll change your mind in the next five minutes so he better get them over soon, and already you can see the way his face is lighting up, the way his eyes crinkle as he chats to his friends and the way his lips curl upwards when they crack a joke back. Isn’t it obvious? He feeds off of the energy of others. Who are you to deny him such a simple pleasure?
As it turns out, Taehyung’s friends actually end up being quite nice anyway. 
He invites over three, because four people is apparently the perfect number for a hardcore game of FIFA on his Playstation, and they are all very handsome men you have never met before. You suppose like attracts like, after all. 
“You must be Y/N,” says the first one you see when you open the door to let them in. He doesn’t look a day over twenty-one—in fact, he could probably still pass as a college student—and has rather long dark hair that drapes over the sides of his face, covering the edges of his big doe eyes. “I’m Jungkook. This is Jimin and Hoseok.”
“Nice to meet you all,” you say, stepping aside so they can enter.
The shortest one, Jimin, grins in response, and Hoseok, behind him, gives you a wave. It’s refreshing enough as is, not having to exchange formal greetings and shake each other’s hands like you do with everyone else. Hoseok even gives you a bit of a nod, too.“You, too,” he says. “We’ve heard so much about you.”
Oh, have they, now? Interesting. 
“All good things, I hope,” you say awkwardly, forcing a small smile as Taehyung comes bounding into the room, ears perked up at the sound of his friends’ voices. 
“Definitely. Thanks for having us over. We didn’t wanna intrude on the sanctity of your new place,” Jungkook says, gesturing vaguely to the house as a whole. He’s got this excellent, genuine grin on his face, the kind that people who are just happy to be alive always wear. 
Already he’s said enough to charm the shit out of you. Who knew Taehyung’s friends could be so… friendly? “Please, you’re welcome any time. I was just thinking Taehyung was getting a little lonely.”
“There he is!” Jimin shouts excitedly when he spots Taehyung behind the two of you, looking a lot more casual than he normally does when he’s alone with you, having abandoned his usual silky button-down and wide-leg slacks for a loose shirt and some sweatpants. You didn’t even know he had those things in his closet. 
“Hey, everyone’s here!” Taehyung exclaims, just as happy. He squeezes past you to give the three of them a big hug, and it almost makes you feel like you’re intruding on something you shouldn’t be in. Even though this is literally your house. 
“Nice place you got here,” Hoseok comments, eyes drifting around the living room. “Very minimalist, I like it.”
“Sure hope you don’t spill anything on those nice leather couches of yours,” Jungkook says. 
“Yeah, unlike Kook, who has spilled tomato soup on every shirt he’s ever owned,” Jimin jokes, earning laughs from Taehyung and Hoseok and a punch from Jungkook. 
“Moved after we married,” Taehyung says simply, shrugging his shoulders. It’s an easy enough explanation for why it doesn’t look at all lived in. Here’s hoping none of them realize you sleep in different bedrooms. 
“Yeah, congratulations on that, man,” Hoseok says, giving Taehyung a celebratory nudge in the shoulder. “Who’d have thought, out of the four of us, Kim Taehyung would be the first one to settle down.”
The way Taehyung’s body tenses up at that comment does not go unnoticed by you. 
“Seriously, I would have never guessed,” Jimin adds on. “You’re showing us a new side of yourself, Tae. But I’m happy for you.”
Normally, you’d probably take offense at such blatant insinuations that your husband was a former playboy, especially from his equally noncommittal friends. But truthfully, it’s not like you were blind to Taehyung’s transgressions either. And what matters most is the fact that since it was announced publicly, you are the only woman he’s been seen with since your engagement. 
“Me too. You seem to really like her. I’m glad,” Jungkook pipes up, sending a smile your way. You definitely feel like you don’t belong in this conversation. “I think the two of you will be good for each other.”
“Yeah, I hope so,” Taehyung says with a nervous chuckle. His eyes quickly shoot your way, the two of you meeting gazes, your hesitant expressions matching. At least the two of you are on the same page. “Alright, alright, enough,” Jungkook says. “Who’s ready to get their ass kicked in FIFA?”
“You’re on, Jeon. But when I win, you owe me a five-star dinner,” Hoseok challenges. 
Hoseok, Jimin, and Jungkook immediately crowd towards the couch, and you take that as your cue to leave. But before you can disappear down the hallway, you and Taehyung look awkwardly at each other, hands tied. It’s not like you can say anything to them. 
The truth is that, sometimes, it’s easy to forget that not everyone else knows that your marriage is just for business. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are still people out there that believe you marry for love. 
Isn’t it crazy to think that you used to be one of those people, too?
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“Hey,” Taehyung says when you meet up at the bottom of the stairs again. 
“Hey,” you respond. 
“You look nice.”
You scoff a little to yourself. What, are you exchanging compliments now? “Thanks,” you say, looking him up and down. “You’re not so bad yourself.” Like he ever is. 
“I knew you had taste,” Taehyung teases, and it’s the sort of comment that would have earned him a melon ball to the face back when the two of you were teenagers at a debutante ball, but today only earns him a roll of your eyes as you join hands. You don’t have anything big tonight—just a small dinner to celebrate some sort of business accomplishment for your family, which means that all you have to manage is not ending up in some sort of food fight by the end of the night. 
“I didn’t have a choice, did I?” You retort easily as you get into the car. 
You don’t normally speak a lot on the way to events. Not that you ever did, but even as your relationship has slowly faded from pure hatred to attempts at compromise, you both seem to relish in being able to stare out of your respective backseat windows and into the city that surrounds you. Just out of curiosity, about halfway through the ride you look towards Taehyung to see what he’s up to, and find yourself genuinely surprised to see him leaning against the window with his eyes closed. Is he sleeping? A couple more minutes of gazing at him tells you he is, because his body has gone lax and his breathing has evened out, soft snores leaving his mouth. This ride can’t be longer than twenty minutes. Has he not been sleeping well? Up in that enormous second-floor bedroom of his?
He’s awake by the time the car parks outside the restaurant, this fancy name brand steak place that was chosen solely because the biggest beneficiaries of your family’s new business deal are two sixty-year-old men whose entire diet consists of beef and beer. No cameras tonight, just a small family affair. You and Taehyung hold hands as you enter the restaurant and are led to the private room in the back anyway. 
You and him are seated on the far end of the long, rectangular table, alongside all of the other adult children dragged along to celebrate something that has no effect on their lives. But it’s nice, because the space alone prevents your parents from actively speaking with you, and you and Taehyung can stay in your own little bubble, only chiming in for a toast when necessary. 
“What are you going to get?” He asks you, the two of you gazing at the menu. No matter how fancy this place is, all the options seem to boil down to steak, steak, steak, steak, and caesar salad. Classic. 
“Oh, so you actually care now?” You counter, an eyebrow raised in amusement. 
Taehyung laughs. “Aren’t I supposed to?”
You narrow your eyes at him suspiciously, wise to his usual shenanigans. It’s hard to tell if Taehyung really means what he says, or if it’s all for show. But perhaps he’s asking because he’s genuinely curious, since no one else seems to be paying you any attention. 
“The choices on this menu are simply overwhelming,” you say, motioning to the six options in front of you. 
“I know, I’m so torn,” Taehyung jokes, making you huff out a little giggle. At least he’s still got that same sense of humor. 
You both end up going for a pretty classic steak dinner, which neither of the two of you finish because the damn portions are the size of your head. Dinner is, in and of itself, absolutely mindless, all of your parents talking about things that don’t concern you whatsoever, leaving you and Taehyung to your own devices as you desperately try to make the night go by faster. 
At one point, you notice Taehyung’s foot brushing up against yours, the leather of his loafers brushing against the toe of your patent heel. Thinking someone of it, you push back, foot nudging his back to his own chair. It’s not a second later that Taehyung retaliates, the two of you dancing around each other underneath the table. 
If the two of you were any younger, or perhaps any less resigned to your fate, there’s no doubt in your mind you would be attempting to get Taehyung to fall off his chair in an effort to do the same to you. Footsie means war. But when the both of you know that, at the end of the day, you’ll still be going home to the same place, and waking up the next morning in the same house, it doesn’t feel like this is a battle.
It’s just life. 
Eventually, you meet Taehyung’s eyes with a hesitant smile, shoe pressed against his, stuck in ceasefire. And for once, he doesn’t have that devilish look in his eye, that smug little grin on his face that tells you that he’s going to make you regret whatever it is you just did. He’s just smiling back at you, all pink lips, having found real fun in the little things. 
And that makes you happy. 
The rest of the dinner is uneventful, which, in your book, is about as good as a dinner can go. You cheers to the future of your parents’ relationship with their newfound partners and say a quick goodbye to them both, hurrying out of there before they can ask you any questions on your relationship with your husband. But you don’t spend the car ride in silence on the way back. 
Instead, you say, “Have you been sleeping well?”
The question seems to catch Taehyung off guard. He was already getting in position to take a power nap on the ride home, head pressed up against the window of the car. 
“Have you been sleeping well?” You repeat. “I noticed you fell asleep on the way here.”
“Huh? Oh, yeah, I guess,” he says, a hand scratching the nape of his neck. “I mean, it’s been hard adjusting, I suppose. But I’ll get over it.”
Hard adjusting? You’ve been together for nearly three months now. Three months worth of sleeping in the same penthouse bedroom, on the same soft-as-a-cloud mattress, underneath the same weighted blanket. And he’s still having trouble? 
“Oh. I mean, I just wanted to ask because you seem really tired lately.”
“I got a lot on my plate, what can I say,” Taehyung says with an empty smile, forcing a chuckle. “I’ll be fine, seriously. You don’t have to worry about me.”
“Isn’t that my job?” You remind him. “I am your wife.”
Taehyung doesn’t say anything to that. He just lets out an audible breath, the kind you let out when you’re amused and have something snarky to say, but don’t have the energy to get the words off your tongue. 
The rest of the ride is pretty quiet. 
When you get home, you place your house keys in the bowl by the entrance and take off your shoes, just about ready to take a hot shower and collapse in bed, when Taehyung’s voice stops you. 
“Hey,” he begins, almost hesitantly. You look back at him inquisitively. “I was thinking, maybe, if you wanted, we could start sleeping in the same bed?”
You scrunch your nose up. Not in disgust, but in surprise. In bewilderment. What brought this on, all of a sudden?
“Really?” You ask, because you can’t help yourself. “I thought we liked the separate bed thing. Gives us privacy.”
“Yeah,” Taehyung says with a shrug, “but—I don’t know, it’s stupid. I just thought, you know, since we’re married and all. And it’s been three months.” He looks about two seconds away from backtracking, from shaking his head and going upstairs before you can say anything else. 
“Alright,” you say quickly, nodding your assent. Taehyung’s eyes widen when he hears the word, like he had completely expected you to shut him down the moment he made the suggestion. “If that’s what you want. We can try it.”
“You sure?” He asks, that same hesitant smile from earlier lacing his features. It’s strange. He almost looks… sweet. Nervous. 
You grin back at him. “Yeah, I am.”
Taehyung lets you grab some of your toiletries and your pajamas from your designated bedroom before you head up the stairs together, towards the bedroom he’s claimed for himself. Funnily enough, this is the first time you’ve been in his room. Three months of living together and you haven’t dared step foot on the second floor. 
You don’t know what you were expecting when he opens the door to let you inside. Maybe a room that screamed ‘Taehyung’ a little more than this one does. One that looks like an actual human has been living here. But other than one of his classic silk button-downs draped over a chair, there’s not a shred of evidence someone has actually been sleeping here. You could honestly be fooled rather easily that the shirt, too, is just decoration. 
“You can pick a side,” Taehyung says casually. He grabs his own sleepwear—an old t-shirt and some sweats—and heads into the bathroom to change. 
You wonder why Taehyung has had such a difficult time adjusting. This room is about as lavish as a bedroom can get. And yet. 
Sitting down on the left side of the bed, you begin to remove your own clothes, unzipping tonight’s dress and stepping quickly into your pajamas, hurrying to make sure Taehyung doesn’t catch you half-naked. How funny is that, you think to yourself. You’ve been married for three months and you still can’t bear the thought of Taehyung seeing you without a shirt on. 
When Taehyung comes out of the bathroom, hair all messy and clothes all casual, he grins lazily to himself. “I sleep on the right anyway,” he comments mindlessly. 
Within twenty minutes the both of you are about as ready to pass out as you have ever been, the only lights still on the ones on your respective nightstands. 
“Goodnight,” Taehyung says, reaching an arm over to switch his off. 
“Goodnight,” you tell him, turning off yours as well. And all of a sudden, the room is shrouded in darkness. 
You fall asleep instantly. 
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When Taehyung wakes up the next morning, the first thing he says to you is that he hasn’t slept that well in ages. 
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“You slept together?” Victoria shrieks, so loud you actually have to move your phone away from your ear as you punch in the code inside the elevator for access to your floor. 
“We did not sleep together,” you emphasize. “Okay, well, we sleep together, as in, in the same bed. But we are fully clothed. And not the slightest bit interested in doing anything other than sleeping.”
“I thought you said you liked having your own space,” Victoria points out. “When was the first time you—uh…” she pauses to find the right words, “shared a bed?”
“A couple weeks ago. It’s really not so bad, I don’t know why you’re so hung up over it,” you say, lips pursed. You squeeze the phone between the side of your head and your shoulder, hands full of shopping bags, the string of the handles burning your skin. Maybe you should look into getting a personal shopper. 
“I’m hung up over it because, for the longest time, you have sworn off Kim Taehyung. Called him dead to you. Insulted him every chance you get.” 
You scoff. You don’t need reminding of how much you hated him, how much you can’t believe you have to spend the rest of your life with him. “It’s different now. We’re married. And he said he wasn’t sleeping well. I felt bad.”
“He wasn’t?”
“Enough about him,” you say, shutting her up. You don’t feel like talking about him with Victoria anymore. “Word through the grapevine says that your parents are actually thinking of letting you start your own company?”
It’s enough to distract Victoria. For the rest of the ride in the elevator, she talks animatedly about a new streaming service her parents are considering letting her launch, under their parent business, of course, but it’s her own company nonetheless. And you’re proud of her. Proud she could do something your parents would never dream of letting you do. Proud she could make that happen. 
You push open the front door with the side of your hip after entering in the security code, phone still snug between your ear and your shoulder, when you hear Taehyung call out your name. 
He comes into view from the kitchen, which surprises you because you have, on multiple occasions, made fun of how much of a disaster chef he is, especially because he’s admitted to you he’s not a very good cook. 
“I made brownies,” he says, holding out a plate of the chocolate treats in front of you. Instinct has you dropping your bags on the floor by your feet and reaching out, but you eye him first, suspicious. 
“I have to go,” you tell Victoria, hanging up before she even gets a chance to object to your sudden departure. “You made these?”
“Yes, I did,” Taehyung says, rather proud. 
“And the kitchen is… still standing?” You ask, skeptical. 
Taehyung frowns at you, clearly unimpressed. “How bad of a chef do you think I am?”
“Pretty bad,” you admit with a shrug. 
Taehyung pouts sadly to himself for a moment. “These are good, I swear. Nothing weird in them like vegetables or anything either. I used a box mix.”
“No wonder they look so nice,” you comment snidely, hesitant hand reaching out to grab one. They feel like brownies. So that’s good. 
“Hey, I was the one who had to crack the eggs and shit. Three eggs! And not one eggshell in the bowl!” Taehyung says, clearly very pleased with himself. 
You laugh at his enthusiasm, taking a bite. It’s good. And exactly what you needed after a long day of shopping. “I’m proud of you. They taste good.”
“I knew you wouldn’t doubt me.” Taehyung grins.
“They’re really good, actually,” You amend, genuinely surprised. And the best part is that you can count at least ten brownies left on that plate, which means that you get at least five more. Which, if you had any less self-restraint, you would probably eat all at once within the day. 
“I’m glad you like them. They’re all for us, you know. No one else to share them with,” he says.
“Honestly, I’m probably going to finish them by tonight. You’ll have to make more tomorrow,” you say sheepishly. 
“We can make some together,” Taehyung suggests. 
“I’m looking forward to it,” you respond. The words come off your mouth easily, tumbling from your lips without you having to think about it. You aren’t saying them because you have to. You’re saying them because you want to. Because baking with Taehyung doesn’t actually sound too bad. Especially if it means more brownies. 
“You’ve, uh, you’ve got something,” Taehyung says, gesturing vaguely to the side of his lip. 
“Oh, I do? Yikes,” you say, a little embarrassed. Your hand comes up to wipe at the left side of your mouth. “Is it gone?”
“Wait, here, let me do it,” Taehyung says, reaching out towards you. He presses his palm against the side of your face, cradling your cheek and jaw in his enormous hands, and all at once it feels like your skin is on fire. 
Your body freezes up at the touch, at the way his thumb swipes at the corner of your mouth, right against your lips, wiping away nothing but a goddamn brownie crumb. You look at him, look right at him, how can you look anywhere else when he’s right in front of you like this, and it feels like you are caught in his gaze, a rain droplet trapped on a web, a bee stuck in its own honey. His big, brown eyes sparkle from the ceiling lights, a chocolate sky that mirrors the food he just made for you. He looks at you and his eyes are so soft, so open, so happy to be looking right back at you. God. 
“There,” he says, a moment too late. 
“Thanks,” you stammer out, speechless otherwise. 
You both stand there, looking at each other, wordless expressions drawn all over your faces, no idea what to do next. 
After a while, Taehyung breaks the silence. “Do you wanna order takeout tonight?”
“Okay,” you nod, still a little breathless. Taehyung smiles before retreating back to the kitchen, leaving you standing in the entranceway, shopping bags abandoned by your side. 
You look over to where he’s vanished. There’s a part of you that wishes he hadn’t left. A part of you that makes you want to see him again. 
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Phone calls from your mother are never good. The last time she called… well, you know how that went. So when you see her contact information light up your home screen, it’s only instinct that you feel your heart rate spike. 
“Hello?” The voice that comes out doesn’t even sound like yours. 
There’s no good way to put what comes next. Your grandmother has died. Heart attack. The paramedics got there too late. It was over before it even started. 
For a moment, for a split second, it feels like everything is frozen. Like the world has come to standstill. Your mother’s voice echoes in your ears, suspended in time, the words turning into stone as they crash onto the floor. And when they do, it is as if everything comes back to life. 
Truth be told, you don’t know how long you stay there, sitting on the edge of the left side of the bed, your phone resting lifelessly in the palm of your hand. It feels at once like an eternity and only a second in time. You spoke to your grandmother two days ago. You had promised that you and Taehyung would visit her soon. How can this be happening?
Your phone buzzes relentlessly in your hands, condolences pouring in from every person in your contacts, sorry’s and heart emoticons and If you need anything, I’m always here’s filling up your screen. There’s a part of you that vaguely registers your mother, alongside some of the other members of your family, trying to call you. But nothing can seem to shake you. 
“Y/N? You still up here?”
You hear Taehyung before you see him. Hear his voice, hear his footsteps, hear the door creak open as he enters your bedroom. Slowly, almost sluggishly, you twist around to look at him, the mere act knocking the wind out of you. Or maybe you were already breathless. 
“Hey, you alright?” Taehyung knows instantly that something is wrong. 
“My grandmother died.” The words sit heavy on your tongue. There’s no point in not telling him. He’ll find out soon enough. He’s… he’s family, isn’t he?
“What?” Taehyung freezes in place. “I—I’m so sorry to hear that, Y/N. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” you say, voice weak but steady. You blink up at him, once, twice, three times, and then suddenly you feel tears running down your cheeks. 
Taehyung doesn’t say anything else. He rushes to your side and sits himself down on the bed next to you, arms wrapping around your body. And you don’t think about the fact that it’s him, about the fact that this is the closest the two of you have ever been. You just let yourself be engulfed in his frame, let yourself be enveloped in his hold as the tears stream down your skin, little hiccups jolting your throat. You close your eyes and press yourself into his arms, head resting against his chest, and wish so desperately that so many things about your life were just a little bit different. 
It must be at least five minutes before either one of you dares to move. Your phone begins to rattle incessantly, that familiar and insistent buzz that the both of you are hard-pressed to ignore. 
“I think you should answer that,” Taehyung whispers into your skin, lips right by your forehead. 
“Yeah,” you sniffle, sitting up next to him and wiping the remnants of wetness by your eyes. Well, Taehyung’s seen you cry. There’s no going back now. “You’re probably right.” You look down at the phone. It’s your father. 
“I’ll be downstairs, okay? Unless you want me to stay,” he offers, looking hesitant. 
You shake your head. “No, it’s—it’s okay. I’ll be fine.”
“Call me if you need me,” he makes you give him a nod of understanding before he finally gets up, hands slowly removing themselves from your skin, leaving little sparks in their wake. Remnants of warmth. Suddenly, you feel much colder. Hardly a minute later he’s out of the room, and you can hear his distant footsteps as they make their way down the stairs. 
Sighing, blinking, and swallowing all at once, you pick up. 
The call passes by in a blur. Your father says the will will take at least half a year to be executed, but that the funeral is already being planned. Your grandmother had hoped you would eulogize her. You agree, but you have no idea what you will say. He says Taehyung is invited but does not need to come if he cannot make it. He says a lot of other things too, about your mother, about your cousins, about your aunts and uncles and your poor grandfather, who passed five years ago, but you can’t even remember them moments after he’s said them. 
When he hangs up, the tears on your cheeks have dried, patches of them left along your skin. You head to the bathroom, getting off your bed for the first time that day, and try to wash away everything that has stained the morning. A part of you doesn’t even want to bother, just wants to slug downstairs and eat as much sugary cereal as you can get your hands on, but you can’t go down there looking like this. Looking so helpless. 
By the time you reach the kitchen, Taehyung is already standing there, on the opposite side of the counter island, a big stack of pancakes in front of him. They look mouth-watering. 
“Hey,” he says softly. “Thought you might want something to cheer you up.”
“Did you make these?” You ask, a little endeared. That was thoughtful of him. 
“Yeah. They’re still warm,” Taehyung says. He holds out a fork. 
You grin. 
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The funeral is a week later. It sucks in every way that something can suck. But not in the same way your wedding sucked, or even the announcement of your engagement. It sucks because it’s a funeral, because you have to stare down your grandmother’s casket when a part of you still doesn’t even believe that she’s gone. Because everyone there is so sad, so melancholy, dressed in all black and looking down at their feet. Because everyone is so sorry for you, so sorry for your loss, everyone has nothing but condolences to offer you. What will those do? They won’t bring her back. They won’t change things. They won’t make you feel even the slightest bit better. 
Taehyung comes. He comes because he offers, and because you want him to. You want someone whose hand to hold. Want someone to smile at you when you’re speaking in front of your entire extended family and trying not to cry. You want someone who is familiar, and warm, and there for you. 
And most of all, you want someone who won’t keep the conversation going when you get home. 
“Do you wanna order Chinese?” He asks, coming into the living room, where you have been sulking on the couch ever since you stepped foot inside the door. 
“That sounds nice,” you force out. 
“Okay. Your usual?”
“Yes, please.” You don’t bother asking how Taehyung already remembers what you like to order when you’ve only gotten Chinese twice in the last three months. 
“I’ll call them.” He disappears off into the kitchen. 
What you do appreciate about Taehyung is how he has defaulted to food as a comfort measure, and how the thought alone genuinely brightens you up a little bit. You don’t know each other very well—still, after three months, you couldn’t even say his favorite color—but he is doing his best, and he is trying his hardest. In some ways, you were unlucky to marry him. To marry someone you didn’t love. To be forced into a union you had no say in, with someone you had so much antagonistic history with. 
But in some ways, your luck has changed. In some ways, marrying him was perhaps the best thing that could happen to you. Taehyung is snarky, a little devilish, and absolutely full of himself, but he is not thoughtless. He is not heartless. He has proven that he is willing to put in the work. That he can grow to care. To change. To compromise. And isn’t that the luckiest thing you could have gotten?
“I’m sure you’re probably sick of hearing people tell you they’re sorry for your loss.”
His voice breaks your reverie, carrying throughout the wide open space of your living room. He’s grinning honestly where he stands, slowly making his way over to you. 
“Kind of, yeah,” you admit. “It’s not going to bring her back. Most of those people probably don’t even mean it.”
“Don’t say that,” Taehyung says, sitting down next to you. “I’m sure they do.”
You look at him skeptically. 
“I mean, they’re sorry for your loss because that loss is causing you pain. And that sucks,” Taehyung explains, albeit a little less eloquently than you thought he would. “I know it sucks for me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t like seeing you sad,” Taehyung says honestly, shrugging to himself. 
You scoff a little to yourself. “I would have thought my downfall would be the exact thing the great Kim Taehyung would wish for himself.”
“Maybe a couple of years ago.”
You narrow your eyes. 
“Okay, maybe even a few months ago,” Taehyung admits with a laugh, making you smile, ever so slightly. “But it’s different now. I like it when you’re happy. When you’re snarky and funny and a little evil. Seeing you like this… I don’t like the way it makes me feel.”
“That’s called empathy,” you point out. 
“I’m trying to tell you that seeing you sad makes me sad, stop being a smartass,” Taehyung chides, and that really makes you grin. “There. There’s that smile I was looking for.”
“You’re so annoying,” you say, even though there’s no malice behind it. You give him a little push, palms of your hand pressing lightly against his shoulder as you roll your eyes. 
“Only for you,” he promises. He manages to grab a hold of your wrist as your hand meets his torso, pulling you into him as he wraps an arm around your torso. You gasp a little at the sensation, head falling against his body, fitting snugly in the crook of his neck. He gives your side a comforting rub. “I’m sorry today was so shitty.”
“It was,” you agree. “But Chinese food will make it a little bit better.”
Taehyung looks positively scandalized. “What? ‘Chinese food will make it better’? But not your loving, doting husband?” 
You pretend to think for a little bit, tilting your head up to the sky as you tap your chin with your finger. “Okay. Maybe that, too,” you cave after a bit of waiting, just to be extra bothersome. 
“That’s what I thought,” Taehyung says proudly, looking down at you, eyes sparkling. You can feel his grip tighten as he presses you against his body, letting you rest your head on his side. It feels like the longest hug ever, like you’re wrapped up in a weighted blanket. Only it’s not a blanket. It’s Taehyung. It’s your husband. 
He’s your husband.
“Tomorrow will be better,” he says, and it sounds a lot like a promise. 
You nod against him, letting your eyes drift shut. Things are pretty awful right now. Your grandmother’s dead. The funeral was the saddest family event you have ever attended. You have no idea what’s supposed to happen next. 
But he’s right. He seems to be right a lot these days, actually. 
Tomorrow will be better.
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Taehyung lets you sleep in for the next few days. Next several days, actually. Every time you wake up it’s close to noon and your husband is nowhere to be seen, the right side of the bed cold to the touch. It’s nothing to be worried about, though, because you can still see the noticeable dip in the bed from where he lies upon it, sinking his weight into the mattress. Taehyung’s an early bird and you’ve been having fitful nights ever since your grandmother passed. 
Today, you pull yourself out from underneath the covers around noon, sluggish and still tired, squinting as the near-afternoon light streams through the enormous windows of the bedroom. Taehyung must have thought to keep the curtains open today. 
You pull on the first casual clothes you see in your shared closet, some wide-leg sweatpants and a drapey t-shirt, and trudge downstairs like a raccoon to a trash can, hoping to fish through the kitchen cabinets to find something to eat. 
Taehyung is, as far as you can tell, nowhere to be seen. You can’t seem to hear him anywhere, and a part of you wonders where he’s at when you stumble upon the note left on the granite counter. 
Had a meeting downtown, be back around 1! There should be smoked salmon and some cream cheese and bagels in the fridge. 
You chuckle to yourself as you read his flowy handwriting, amused that he thought to let you know of, of all things, the available breakfast foods in the kitchen. You check the clock. It’s nearly noon. Which means you have just over an hour of the house all to yourself. 
Having the house to yourself for five minutes is infrequent enough as it is, let alone for a whole hour. So often is Taehyung around, somewhere, holing himself up in one of the dozens of rooms or mindlessly wandering down the hallways. And for how much Taehyung is present, the funny part is that you still have no idea what he gets up to most of the time. Despite your voluntary abandoning of the separate bedroom rule, the two of you are still firm proponents of the sanctity of your personal spaces. There are rooms in the penthouse Taehyung has never been in, rooms filled with your clothes and makeup and accessories for when stylists come over before an event. A sewing room that you had specifically asked your parents for, because a part of you never let go of that childhood dream of being a fashion designer. 
And there are rooms in the penthouse that you have never been in. Rooms with dark wooden doors that have always been kept closed, that you have never stepped foot in. It’s not that you aren’t curious as to what Taehyung gets up to. He could have a goddamn evil lair in one of those rooms and you would be none the wiser. But you don’t go, because he doesn’t go into your rooms. Because you two, despite all the vows you have broken, promised each other you wouldn’t.
An hour to yourself is almost a good enough excuse for you to head back up to the bedroom and take a nap. Not that you don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, or that you even had a fitful night last night—hell, you woke up near noon today and already you want to go back to sleep—but what else is there to do when he’s not around? What new freedoms have suddenly been given to you?
You head back upstairs, much less groggy after that delicious bagel of yours, when you catch a whiff of what smells like wet paint coming from down the hallway. It’s potent and immediately invades your senses, prompting you to wonder if that has always been there, or just magically appeared. Maybe you were so sleepy earlier, you didn’t notice it. 
Well, you notice it now. Unable to help yourself, you start to wander down the hallway, towards the source of the smell. God, it stinks. It takes you back to those days in middle school, when you would spray paint projects inside a tiny little classroom, have to step outside for fifteen minutes while you cracked the windows and aired it out. It gets stronger the further down the corridor you go, like a thick, smelly cloud stationed firmly within the walls of the penthouse. And then you realize where it’s coming from. 
It’s an art studio. 
A very messy art studio, you amend to yourself, as you peek inside. The door is wide open, and all of the windows are popped too, but the extra air circulation doesn’t seem to have made a dent in the scent. And all over the floor, the walls, and the tables are canvases covered in paint, denim jackets and pants and shirts with these wide, unafraid brushstrokes. Open cans of spray paint lie discarded on the hardwood floor stained with splotches of red, yellow, and green. 
Is this what Taehyung does in his free time? Is this where he goes, this bright, sunny room at the end of the second floor hallway? Is this what he is making?
You look down in awe at the clothes resting on the floor, splayed out to maximize dry time. Abstract faces, landscapes, and words are painted onto the backs of jackets, the fronts of old white t-shirts. What hasn’t made it onto the clothes has been put on canvases instead, blurs of color mixed together in this purposeful pattern, confidence emanating from every stroke, every dot. It’s not art in the way that the gorgeous landscapes of Monet, the picture-perfect portraits of Kahlo, the messy, unplanned splatters of Pollock are. It’s art in a different way. In a Taehyung way. 
Who knew he loved it so much? 
You almost feel like an invader encroaching on his territory when you lean down to start cleaning up some of the mess, throwing out empty spray-paint cans and tossing out grey paint water. You don’t dare touch any of the work, don’t dare try to move it. You do what you can, washing out the brushes resting in the water and cleaning up the wet splotches of paint on the hardwood. Over time, the thick scent of still-wet paint slowly fades, disappearing out the window as the fresh afternoon air seeps in. And you stand there, in a room full of art, in a room full of pieces that Taehyung has undoubtedly poured his heart into creating, and you smile to yourself. 
That’s how Taehyung finds you ten minutes later, peering into the room after declaring that his meeting had ended early. 
“Thought I’d find you in here,” Taehyung says with a grin as you jump at the sound of his voice, eyes widen when you turn around to see him standing by the door. 
“Oh, hey,” you say sheepishly. “I didn’t hear you come in.”
“Maybe because this is the farthest room in the house from the front door,” Taehyung teases lightly, coming up behind you. “I see you found my studio.”
“I know I’m not allowed in here,” you admit. 
Taehyung scoffs. “Who says?”
“Didn’t we both agree on that?”
He shrugs. “Sort of. I think we just reached an unspoken understanding we wouldn’t invade each other’s personal space. But it was not in the fine print, no.”
“The fine print of what?”
“That deal we made.”
Right. That deal you made, four months ago, That deal, where the two of you agreed to pretend to be in love with each other during public appearances so you wouldn’t get burned at the stake by your families. Where the two of you agreed not to interact with each other otherwise because you hated each other so much. 
“Oh, yeah,” you say distantly, feeling naive for already forgetting about it. It doesn’t seem to have slipped Taehyung’s mind whatsoever. 
“It’s okay, I don’t mind that you’re up here,” Taehyung says, interrupting that piercing little voice in the back of your head that is asking you why on earth you forgot about that deal in the first place.
“Yeah, I—” You scratch at the nape of your neck, trying to find the words to say. “It just smelled like paint, so I wanted to see what you get up too. And it’s this, apparently.” You motion vaguely to the entire room.
“You sound… surprised,” Taehyung muses correctly. 
“I guess I am,” you surmise. “I’m rather impressed, too, actually.”
“Really?” It’s Taehyung’s turn to sound surprised. 
“Yeah,” you tell him honestly, looking into his eyes. “I—you know, I just came in here because the entire hallway smelled like wet paint and I wanted to know why. But I didn’t know you loved art so much.”
“There’s a lot you don’t know about me,” Taehyung points out. 
You suppose that’s true. You don’t know his favorite color. His favorite song. His favorite book. For a long time, you didn’t know what he got up to on his side of the penthouse. You don’t know how he met his friends. What he studied in university. Who he has loved in the past. Who he loves now. You don’t know why he does the things he does, and why he doesn’t do the things he doesn’t do. 
But you do know his Chinese takeout order. 
And you do know his hobbies. Well, one of them, at least. 
Who’s to say you can’t learn more?
“Well,” you start with a smile. “I’m your wife, aren’t I? Shouldn’t I begin to learn?”
Taehyung picks up what you’re putting down instantly, grinning in response. “Only if you’ll tell me things about you, too,” he requisitions. 
“I will,” you promise. It’s the easiest one you’ve ever had to make. 
His face is light, bright, bathed in the rays of the afternoon sun. His eyes shimmer as they meet yours, golden flecks more pronounced like this, in this gorgeous, open space, daylight streaming through the windows. Looking at him makes you feel like you are surrounded by warmth, makes you feel like the sun is opening its arms out to you. He has always been gorgeous. Beautiful. But looking at him like this, standing in the middle of a room filled with all the things he loves, a yellow halo surrounding him—he is ethereal. 
Taehyung smiles. “Then I will, too.”
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The hand-holding comes naturally tonight.
The funny thing is, actually, you don’t need to hold hands at this gathering. It’s not an event. Or a public appearance. It’s not even a business dinner. It’s your aunt’s sixtieth birthday party, reserved exclusively for family. Isn’t that strange? That Taehyung is, technically, family now?
For so long you had vowed to stay as far away from him as possible. Vowed to stick it to him whenever and wherever you could, do anything you could to get on his nerves, rile him up. Vowed that when you, one day, took over your family affairs, you would never, ever invite him. Make it known that he wasn’t to be a part of your life. And yet, here you are. Clinging to him despite being well-acquainted with—loved by, even—every other person in the room. Holding his hand like a goddamn lifeline. 
To be fair, Taehyung doesn’t look a hair out of place here. Dressed relatively casually, a smart sweater with a collared shirt underneath it, he smiles warmly at all of your relatives and presents your aunt with a beautiful and very expensive scarf the two of you had commissioned from a designer in Italy, which she absolutely loves. She pinches his cheek and proceeds to wear it for the rest of the night. 
“Damn,” you murmur to yourself as you wander around your aunt’s house, hand wrapped around his arm. “This place hasn’t changed a bit.”
“When was the last time you were here?” Taehyung asks. 
The question actually makes you think for a moment. “I don’t know, maybe five years ago? Last couple of birthdays I was overseas or in school. Had to send her a card.”
“Bet your parents were real pleased with that,” he jokes, making you both laugh. At least you two will always be able to share your experiences of domineering and influential parents with each other. 
“Oh, I’m sure. Just as pleased as they were when they realized how much we hated each other.” You expect that little jest to elicit a laugh out of Taehyung as well, but he just smiles tightly, huffing out a breath of acknowledgement. 
“Eh, it’s not like that now, is it?” He offers up. 
“I suppose not,” you muse, sitting down together on her ancient grandma couch in the living room. No matter how rich your family gets, she’ll never get rid of this thing, that’s for sure. 
One thing you’ve picked up over time is that, for every second Taehyung spends basking in the spotlight, he spends an equal amount of time lingering by the wall, watching the rest of the world turn without him. He’s an observer. He is one by nature, feeling an irresistible pull to understand humans in a way only artists could ever do. He sits down next to you and watches your family in an environment where they can relax, where they can feel comfortable and be casual with one another. 
Very seldom have you ever brought friends to events like these. Small family affairs. But Taehyung isn’t a friend, is he? No, he’s your husband. He belongs here just as much as you do. 
“My family seems to really like you,” you point out. Not that anybody has ever harbored as much disdain for him as you. Your parents called him respectable and polite when they told you you were to be wed. Your grandmother had said he was a dashing young man. He doesn’t exactly have to reach far to be loved around here. 
“That’s my job, isn’t it?” He replies snidely. 
“Oh, just take the compliment,” you say with a roll of your eyes. Taehyung always has to be so difficult. “I’m surprised you aren’t nervous as hell. Last boyfriend I brought to meet my parents was shaking in his Louis Vuitton shoes.”
“Last boyfriend, huh?” Taehyung’s interest has been sufficiently piqued. “And, uh, how many of those have you had?”
You narrow your eyes at him suspiciously, smile twitching on your lips. “Wouldn’t you like to know, Mr. Heartbreaker.” Pretty rich of Taehyung to be asking you such a question when he’s probably had more girlfriends than you can count on both hands. “Not as many as you’ve had girlfriends, that’s for sure.”
“Guess I’m a lot different than all those trashy guys you’ve dated, aren’t I?” He asks, an eyebrow raised as he looks at you. 
“You are?”
Taehyung nods assertively. “Well, yeah. First of all, I’m your husband. Second of all, your parents love me. Third of all, you love me, too.”
You scoff. “Don’t humble yourself. You don’t know me that well.”
“Speaking of which,” Taehyung says, eyes wide as he points to you knowingly, “how about you tell me a little fact about yourself? It’s my job to learn about you, isn’t it?”
“That is my line, watch it,” you sneer, pointing back at him. You wrack your brain for a fact that you can tell him, something more exciting than your favorite color but less weird than one of those terrible icebreaker exercises you had to do in college seminars. Something that has pertinence to who you are. Who you’ve become. “Alright. I used to want to be a fashion designer when I was little.”
Now that catches Taehyung off guard. “Really?” He says, genuinely intrigued. 
You shrug. “Yeah. I learned to sew when I was really little. Been tailoring and hemming clothes all my life. But I always wanted to design my own stuff.”
“Is that what’s in your room?” Taehyung asks. “A sewing machine?”
“Wow,” Taehyung says. “I didn’t know that.”
“Isn’t that the whole point of this exercise?” You say, just to be smart. 
Taehyung shakes his head, eyes rolling. 
“What about you?” You ask. You can’t imagine what he’ll say. Astronaut. Veterinarian. Or, if he really wants to surprise you, a business executive. 
“A museum curator.”
It is an answer that simultaneously surprises and doesn’t surprise you at all. 
“Fitting,” you muse. “You could have put your own art on display.”
“Pretty sure that’s, like, super unethical,” Taehyung reminds you. 
“So? You’re rich. Start your own museum. Put your own art on display. Live your dream,” you amend. “It shouldn’t be holed up in that studio of yours forever. It deserves to be seen.”
Taehyung smiles at you. “You think so?”
You nod. “Of course. You create beautiful things, Tae.” It’s the first time you’ve ever called him that. And that is not lost on Taehyung, either.
“Thank you,” he says softly, blinking as he looks at you. He doesn’t say anything else. He doesn’t need to.
Later that night, when everyone’s gotten a few drinks into their systems and Bruce Springsteen is playing low on the stereo, Taehyung disappears off towards the bathroom, no doubt because of the excellent soup that was served that night. All by your lonesome, you feel a little stranded, surrounded by your old relatives dancing on the hardwood floor of the dining room, your other cousins too young to actually spend time with. 
In the commotion, your mother comes up to you, swirling a rather large glass of red wine in her hand. 
“Where’s Taehyung?” She asks. 
“No wonder you were alone,” she says with a hearty laugh. “The two of you have been glued to each other’s sides all evening.”
“He’s my husband,” you offer as an explanation. 
“I know, I know,” she says, shaking you off with a smile. Your mother is a lot more casual once she’s had her fill of wine, no doubt her favorite, Bordeaux. A lot more loving, too. “You really made your grandmother proud, you know? She loved you so much.”
“I know,” you say, trying not to get choked up at the mere mention of your grandmother. 
“She was so happy to see you with Taehyung. It made her feel safe that you would be taken care of,” she continues on, barely paying you and your swimming eyes any attention. “She would be so happy to see you with him now, too. How much you love her.”
“I miss her,” you hiccup out, trying to compose yourself. Nothing kills a birthday party like some sad sack crying over her deceased grandmother. 
“I know, darling,” your mother says, calling you by a nickname she has hardly used ever since you turned eighteen. She squeezes you tightly, a small hug of comfort. “I miss her, too.”
Someone calls your mother’s name, distracting her as she wanders off to your uncle, who is asking what the best way to cut the three-tiered cake on the dining room table is. She bids you a goodbye before disappearing towards the kitchen, no doubt ready to make the cutting of the cake an affair all on its own. 
Taehyung comes back soon after, spotting you instantly as you stand around in the living room. 
“Hey,” he says, noticing the wet shimmer of your eyes. “You alright?”
You nod, feeling better already now that he has returned. Now that he is by your side. “Yeah, I’m fine.”
“I hope those tears aren’t because you missed me,” he says, wiping away a stray one that has escaped from your eyes. You close them as his thumb brushes against your upper cheek, your eyelashes, opening them only when you’ve felt his touch vanish from your skin, leaving little sparks in their wake. 
“No,” you say. But the night makes you honest, and a couple of drinks, even more so. “But I’m glad you’re here.”
Taehyung smiles. “Me, too.”
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For all those days you have spent together, never have you and Taehyung had a night in. Which isn’t necessarily completely surprising, considering how many evening events the two of you have had obligations to attend, considering your differing work schedules and meeting times. Considering that, for a very long time, the two of you had no desire to spend any time with each other at all. 
But tonight, there is nothing on your calendar. No galas, no dinners, no meetings, no schedules. There is only Taehyung, who has spent the entire afternoon up in his studio, inhaling spray paint fumes and doing what he loves. And there is only you, who has spent the entire afternoon wondering what the hell you’re going to do tonight when there is nothing else planned. 
You knock on the door to his studio, catching him right as he’s finishing up another piece. This one is a single flower, painted in broad, confident strokes, bright green and red and sunflower yellow decorating the canvas. 
“Hey, what’s up?” He asks, turning around to face you. 
“Wanna order takeout tonight?” You suggest. 
Taehyung grins. 
Thirty minutes and your favorite Chinese food later, you and Taehyung have settled onto the couch, trays of dumplings and noodles and rice in front of you, an unfunny movie playing in the background. 
You can’t remember the last time the two of you sat on this couch together. Maybe that night you had made the deal? Perhaps not even then. It wouldn’t at all surprise you if you found out that this was the very first time you and Taehyung have sat together on your couch, in your living room, in your house. So often is it occupied by others—Victoria, who sometimes comes over to ooh and ahh at your closet, Jimin, Jungkook, and Hoseok, who sit on this couch and play FIFA like it’s their job, your mother, when she wants to make herself at home in a place that doesn’t belong to her—but never you. Never you and him. 
“This is kinda nice, isn’t it?” You ask, swallowing a bite of dumpling. 
“Chinese food is always nice,” Taehyung responds over a mouthful of cold noodles. 
“Not that,” you say with a sigh, “this. Sitting together. Watching this shitty movie.”
“It’s not that shitty,” Taehyung tries to reason. On screen, the main character is getting pied in the face during some weird college fundraiser. “Okay, it’s a little shitty. But it’s good background noise, right?”
You nod halfheartedly. “I guess.” Silence. You take another bite of your dumpling, not really sure how to continue the conversation. “We don’t really get to do this a lot, you know? Sit and eat dinner and watch a movie together. Like a date.”
“We’re on a date now, are we?” Taehyung muses, eyeing you snarkily. 
“Isn’t that what this is?” You retort. 
He shrugs. “I suppose it is.”
“Tell me another fact about you,” you request, looking over to him where he sits on the opposite side of the couch. 
“About what?”
Taehyung pauses, ponders for a moment. But he could never say anything wrong. Not when there is still so much you don’t know about him. Still so much you want to learn, so much you want to commit to memory. For so long you have stared at the planes of his face, the curve of his nose, the twinkle in those dark brown eyes. Those you will always remember. But what about who he is? What he loves? Those are things you still don’t know. 
“The very first time I met you,” Taehyung begins, “I asked Jimin what your name was.”
“When was that?” You ask. Despite you being someone who has spent the better part of the last several years vowing never to give Taehyung the time of day, you sure don’t remember when it all started. 
“That debutante ball,” Taehyung remembers fondly, “when we were fifteen. I asked Jimin what your name was because I wanted to ask you to dance.”
“Shut up, no you didn’t,” you say with a scoff. 
“It’s true. You were standing there in that poofy white dress and I wanted to ask you to dance,” Taehyung points out. The fact that he even remembers what you were wearing is shocking. 
Who knew. Who knew, back then, that you would one day grow up to marry him. 
“And what did I say?” You demand more. 
Taehyung laughs at the memory. “I came up to you, and I asked you if you wanted to dance, and you said, and I quote, ‘Who are you?’”
“No,” you say, aghast at your own behavior. Were those really the first words you ever said to KIm Taehyung?
“You did. Don’t you remember?”
You think back. Think back to every year you have ever known Taehyung, every year you have spent scowling at him from across ballroom floors, making some snide remark as you pass by each other in the hallway. Every year you have spent cursing his existence, willing him away from you so he could bother someone else. Every year you have listened to rumor after rumor of girlfriend after girlfriend. You think back and somewhere, somewhere in there, in those dusty corners of your brain and cobwebbed boxes of your heart, is that first memory of Taehyung, too. 
Of him standing there in some generic black suit, black hair swept over his forehead, shoes too big. Of him coming up to you, trying to be as suave as a fifteen year old could be. Of you saying to him, instead of a hello, or even a what’s your name, “who are you?” 
Of him saying—
“And you said, ‘your dream come true’.” Like a dam bursting open, the memories flood back to you all at once. “I remember that.”
Taehyung laughs out loud at the thought of him saying something so cheesy. “Unsurprisingly, you didn’t want to dance with me.”
“You were so—” you begin, but you don’t have the words. Don’t have the words to express how you felt about him that night. Don’t have the words to express how you feel about him now. Thinking about this, talking about it, it is a bridge. A bridge between what was then and what is now. A bridge between who Taehyung was and who you were and who Taehyung is and who you are. “—so unthinkable. I couldn’t believe you had come up to me and said that. I couldn’t believe you had the audacity. But something about that night made me remember you. Made me remember your name.”
“You thought about me after that?” Taehyung asks. “Is that what you’re telling me?”
“There is something about you that is unforgettable,” you say, honest and real and true. What else can you tell him? The truth is that you have always thought about him. Whether you liked him or not. 
You finish your dinner and place your trays on the end tables next to you, stacking your empty bowls and plates on top of one another as the movie rumbles on in the background. 
“It is kind of a shitty movie,” Taehyung admits after a while of being wholly unenthused. 
“Yeah,” you agree. “But it’s good background noise.”
Taehyung laughs at your little mockery, warm and deep and from his belly. You look at him. He feels so far away, on the other side of the couch. Feels like he’s miles apart from you. You have spent countless nights clinging to his harm, hand gripped tight in his. And sitting like this, a full couch cushion of space between the two of you—it isn’t enough anymore. So you inch closer. 
And closer. 
And a little closer. 
Until you’re pressed up against his side, legs touching as they rest neatly in front of you, backs stick straight as you stare at the television. 
Taehyung holds his arm up. An open invitation. 
Without asking, you lean into him, resting your head in the crook of his shoulder, in the space right underneath his jaw. You pull your feet up onto the couch and curl into his frame, pressing yourself against him. He is warm and firm and inescapable. He smells of coffee and paint and Chinese spices. He wraps his arm around you and pulls you in, as if there were any other place you’d rather be. 
You sit like that for a while. Wrapped up in each other. Lazing around on the couch as the stars twinkle above your head. The movie ends and the two of you don’t even bother skipping the credits, letting them and the cheesy 80’s pop song play on, a distant soundtrack. 
“I never thought any of this would happen,” you breathe out. 
Taehyung looks down at you curiously. “What? This?”
“All of it,” you admit. “Us. Getting married. That stupid tabloid picture. My grandmother. This. It’s all so new.”
“New things will happen all the time,” Taehyung muses aloud. “We can’t help when things change.”
“You don’t have any regrets?” You have plenty. Regrets that you’ll never become the CEO you wanted to be in college. Regrets that you’ll never become the fashion designer you wanted to be as a little girl. Regrets that you will come to resent this marriage, resent Taehyung more than you have in years past, all because you had no choice. Regrets that your grandmother couldn’t see you now. Regrets that there were so many things in your life you could have changed, but didn’t.
“I thought I did,” Taehyung tells you. “I wanted to spend more time with my friends. I wanted to major in art in college. I didn’t want to marry you. I know you didn’t want to marry me.” He looks down and you look up at the same time, eyes locking, inches apart. “But looking back on it, I’m happy where I am. With what I have.”
“I never thought it could ever be like this,” you say, words falling off your tongue before you even ask them to.
There’s no need to elaborate. Taehyung understands. He understands that, half a year ago, you both would have thrown yourselves into a volcano before holding hands with each other. He understands that getting over your hatred for each other seemed like an absolutely insurmountable task. He understands that you had never wanted to marry each other, that you couldn’t believe you would have to spend the rest of your lives with each other. 
And he understands that now, things are different. 
“I’m glad things happened the way they did,” Taehyung begins. “I’m grateful for us.”
You press yourself impossibly closer to him, feel his grip tighten around you. Like this, you can hear his heartbeat. Hear it thump like a drum, steady and firm and unwavering. His heart beats against his chest and you wonder. 
You wonder if he can hear the way yours beats for him, too.
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There were lots of things that made your night in together special. But one of them is the glaring fact that you don’t get them very often. That their infrequency makes them all the more valuable. 
This has become blatantly obvious to you, because right now you are not spending a night in together. Right now you are stuck at a gala that you have to attend for the sake of business, drinking thin flutes of champagne and mingling with people you barely speak to. 
The one good thing about nights like these is that Taehyung looks positively gorgeous in suits. He sort of always has, but you’d never admit that to his face. At least not until now. And as his wife, you are lucky enough to have a front-row seat. 
“I can feel you staring at me all the way from over here,” Taehyung deadpans as he helps himself to a chocolate-covered strawberry from the buffet table. 
You’re too obvious to have any shame about it. “What can I say, I like the view.”
“Hard to believe I was the once the one being shouted at for being inappropriate in public,” Taehyung says with a shake of his head. He bites into the strawberry and eats it all in a single go, tossing the stems into a bin nearby as you join back up in the heart of the crowd. 
“It’s only inappropriate if other people hear,” you tease, letting him guide you, hand intertwined with yours, towards an empty corner where the two of you can snuggle up to one another in (relative) peace. 
“I don’t think the champagne was very good for your filter, Miss Y/N,” Taehyung hisses into your ear, warm breath tickling your skin. 
“Don’t you mean Mrs. Kim?” You pose, an eyebrow raised. 
That seems to do something to Taehyung. It’s not very bright in here, with it being nighttime and all, but even still you can see the way his eyes darken. See the way his lips curl upwards, feel the way his grip on you tightens. It sparks something within you. Something deep in the pit of your belly. 
Something that makes you want more. 
You test the waters. “Mrs. Kim has a nice ring to it, don’t you think, Tae?”
Taehyung looks about a moment away from losing control. But instead of slamming you against the wall in front of all of these people and giving you what you really want, he growls out, low and powerful, “Home. Now.”
He doesn’t need to tell you twice. 
You hail your car outside of the venue and it’s all the both of you can do to not jump on each other right then and there, in the backseat of this giant black van, overcome with want, with need, with everything in between. Taehyung’s leg bounces impatiently the entire ride back, and the feeling of your hand pressed against his doesn’t seem to be calming him down. He pulls you close to him in the backseat of the car, a hand resting on your thigh. You eye him carefully, as if challenging him to be any more daring. He grins. 
Home cannot come soon enough. The two of you tumble out of the backseat and into the elevators, where you mash the top floor button after entering in the security access code, desperate and shameless. The ride seems to take hours, and the heat that surrounds you practically smothers you, covers you, fills up your lungs and chokes you. 
There is nothing left by the time you reach your door. The moment it slams shut behind you Taehyung presses you up against the back of it, pins you against the wood as he hovers over you, eyes tracing your lips. 
“Tell me something,” he demands. 
“A fact. Something I don’t know.”
It doesn’t take much thinking. “I want you,” you breathe out, watch it hit his skin, watch the way his eyes glint in the light of the entranceway. “Please, Tae. I want you.”
It’s enough for him. 
This is not the first time you and Taehyung have kissed. The first time was nearly five months ago, in a chapel, at an altar, surrounded by hundreds of people. It was so unfun that you seem to have eradicated the mere thought from your memory. But you remember that feeling from that day. That feeling you got when you pressed your lips against his, cemented your marriage with a kiss. That heat. That sting. 
Kissing him now—that feeling has returned tenfold. When his lips meet yours, it feels like fire is rushing through your veins, setting alight every nerve it passes, unforgiving and relentless. His enormous hands come up to cup your jaw, fingers pressing against the skin of your cheeks as they pull you close to him, keep you trapped in his hold. This is not the first time you and Taehyung have kissed but it feels like it is—it feels like there is a lotus blooming on a lilypad in your heart, it feels like you have been struck by lightning, it feels like nothing else you have ever felt before. It feels brand new. 
Pressing back against him, he slowly releases you from the cage he has created against the door, spinning around so the two of you can tumble up the stairs and into your bedroom, unable to resist sneaking in pecks here and there as you make your way upstairs. Every step you take you stop, giggle as he presses you against the railing just so he can steal another kiss from you, put his hands all over your body. It’s a wonder the two of you even make it into your bedroom at all. 
When you do, however, all bets are off. Taehyung presses you against the still-made bedsheets with a glint in his eye and a growl on his lips, pupils blown wide as he stares down at you, at your body.
"Aren't you a sight? Laid out so pretty for me," he purrs, robbing a breath from you.
It's a tone you have yet to hear from him. You find yourself growing impossibly hot under his stare, burning with an uncharted desire.
You can hardly wrap your brain around it. Here you are, craving the man you had spent the better half of your young adult life loathing. Maybe it’s the champagne; maybe it’s the way his fingers are running slowly up the length of your clothed torso. Whatever it is, your stomach does flips, unfamiliar to the way your body preens under his touch.
"Don't let it go to your head," you tease, simply because you could.
Taehyung hums disapprovingly, pressing kisses into your neck as he grabs one of your thighs and wraps it around his waist, riding your dress up in the process.
You sigh, exposing your neck further for him as he paints bruises into your neck. It feels like just yesterday you had called him out at the altar for his habit of sporting the very same marks you were soon to wear.
Perhaps you should have thought twice about letting the man you had married purely under business pretenses press his hips against your clothed center, but as he rolls his into yours, your mind falls blank, silencing any and all reservations you should have.
Whimpering, you beckon his mouth back onto yours, tongue meeting his wantonly. 
You feel his fingers creep up the outside of your bare thigh, thrilling you in the most primal way. Reaching the band of your underwear after what felt like entirely too long, he runs the pad of his thumb against the lacy fabric.
 You could scream. He is doing this on purpose. He must be. Surely he knows how badly you were aching for him? For him to fill you– whatever the manner may be.
You let out a whine before you can help yourself, frowning as Taehyung looks pleased with himself, confirming his knowledge of your prolonged pleasure.
"What's that? Did you say something?" he mocks, looking cruel and yet strikingly gorgeous as he smirks above you.
"God, you're irritating,” you huff, hips jerking up against his as he pulls at the band of your underwear, the elastic snapping back into the flesh of your hip. "Just fuck me already."
He tuts, clearly unimpressed by your impatience, "Now, where is the fun in that?"
Your eyes flutter shut as his fingers suddenly snake their way between your thighs. Mouth falling ajar, you grip his shoulders as he runs his middle finger against your clothed slit, trailing up and down your warmth. To think he was still dressed while he was touching you like this...
"No... I think I'll take my time with you," he says.
You mew against his hand, arousal forming against his long digits' ministrations. You have to hand it to him. Taehyung knows what he’s doing. The life of a bachelor has seemingly served him well.
You aren’t usually vocal in bed, but the way he’s purring words of filth to you, breath hot against the shell of your ear as he tells you how hot and slick your pretty pussy felt against his hand, has you gasping and sputtering, your own fingers wrapping around his wrist.
The fabric of your panties provides a friction that toys the line of pleasure and pain, making you thrust up to meet his motions, your humility slipping from you.
Taehyung watches you intently, cock growing hard under the constraints of his dress pants. You look better than he could've imagined, eyes watering and body shivering under his touch, his fingers soaking with your arousal. He can only imagine what you'd feel like with his fingers fully buried into you, rocking them against your velvety walls.
He lets out a groan of his own, turned on by the idea of you fucking yourself onto his fingers, whimpering out his name in ecstasy.
There’s this part of you that faintly recognizes that Taehyung has done this plenty of times before. Plenty of times with plenty of other lovers. But there is a different part of you, that part that bursts with light and hope, that reminds you that he was never married to those other ones. That his allegiance lies with you. And that thought, knowing that deep within you, he is yours, makes your jaw fall slack, pretty noises tumbling from your lips and your thighs clamping around him.
You were close, closer than you care to admit. Every touch against you is careful yet deliberate as he reads the signs of your body, the way it keens and arches into him, offering you words of encouragement as your climax finally hits.
"That's right. Good girl. Let go for me," Taehyung coos, eyes dark and focused on your writhing form.
You cry out into the familiar space of your shared room, head thrown back as you ride out the high, letting it wrack your body, send jolts throughout your veins.
You barely have time to catch your breath when he presses his mouth back onto yours, kiss still as eager as it was when you both first entered your home. You are alight with satisfaction as he pulls away to press a trail of kisses against your jaw.
"I want—f-fuck," you stutter as he finds your already hypersensitive clit once more, rolling his thumb over your now soaked panties in tantalizing circles, "want to make you feel good, too."
Admittedly, this fantasy had crossed your mind once or twice, brought on by the way he carried himself in a suit and the way his large fingers wrapped around the champagne glass; confident, collected, and entirely charming. Who are you to shy away from a man like him? He certainly has always been rather good-looking. 
He pauses his motions, pulling his hand back to sit on your waist. Your dress is of the finest, most delicate satin, and after tonight's activities, completely wrinkled. You can almost hear your stylist's cries of dismay. Whatever. You have a steamer. And why focus on the dress when it’s obvious the two of you are focused on what lies underneath it?
"Yeah." You nod, skin still burning from your past climax.
Helping you back up, Taehyung stands. You lick your lips as you sit back up on the edge of the bed, watching intently as he unbuckles his belt, audibly hissing as his pants fall to his ankles, cock visibly straining against the fabric of his underwear. Thank God you don’t have to stand. With the way your thighs still felt weak and how your husband looks like a goddamn Adonis towering above you? Your legs surely would give out underneath you if you rose.
Brows furrowed, Taehyung palms over himself briefly before pulling down the waistband of his underwear, his painfully hard member slapping against his torso.
Your eyes widened on instinct. While the last thing you wanted to do was help inflate Taehyung's already large ego, you were certainly impressed at his size; thick and girthy, his tip red and shining with precum.
He couldn't help but smirk, thoroughly pleased by the way you stared at him unabashedly, chest rising and falling heavily.
"Open up for me," he orders.
And who are you to deny a request from your dear husband?
Your pretty lips wrap themselves around his engorged tip, all remnants of lipstick long gone by now. Taehyung hisses, a hand finding the side of your jaw as you run your tongue against the underside of his cock.
"Fuck, you're so pretty," he grunts, fighting off the urge to grip the back of your head and fuck your throat. As much as he'd love your have you choking and drooling all over his cock – and boy would he – he lets you set your own pace, not wanting to overwhelm you.
It doesn't take long for you to sink your mouth further down, however, clearly set on making Taehyung feel as good as you could.
A low moan erupts from his throat, digits pressing into your jaw in request to take more of him in, which you happily oblige.
You had your eyes trained on him, completely obsessed with the way he panted through pink lips, hissing slightly every time your tongue rolled over his sensitive tip.
Lolling his head to a side, his eyes meet yours, gaze primal and wolfish as he watches the way you worked his cock.
"Doing so good, love. Doing so fucking good for me,” he murmurs.
You hum against his skin at the sound of the sudden pet name, an unfamiliar feeling fluttering in your belly. You push aside the feeling, focusing instead on the way he grunts at the new sensation you had just given him.
Giggling, you pull off his cock, opting instead to press a kiss against his leaking tip, making sure to hold his eyes as you run kitten licks against it.
"God, you're such a tease." He shakes his head in disbelief. 
He looks so good above you, shivering and cursing out praises on how good your mouth feels, how well you take his cock. Running your tongue along the length of his shaft, you become certain that this is a display you can’t imagine yourself ever getting tired of. But you have all the time in the world, right?
"Y/N,” he gasps suddenly, hips jerking towards your face. "Love, I'm gonna-- gonna cum."
"Cum in my mouth, please." Your voice was pleading and desperate. Taehyung had never heard such words spoken more sweetly. 
"Fuck's sake."
You let out a yelp in surprise as his fingers work their way through your hair, bringing your head back down onto his cock. You relax, though, when you feel the hot ropes of his cum hit the back of your throat, your hands finding purchase on his thighs as you do your best to swallow it all down.
Pulling yourself off him, you let out a small cough, eyes watering slightly as you hadn’t managed to prepare yourself with a breath before his release. His large palm runs across the top of your head as you caught your breath, expression flickering with something unfamiliar. Could it be... fondness? 
Your heart stammers at the thought as you stand, slowly stepping out of your dress, letting it drape off of your figure. Taehyung looks absolutely gobsmacked, pupils dark as he gazes at you, eyes unabashedly raking your body. He’s shameless. 
You both are. 
Slowly, you step towards him, fingers reaching out towards his shirt, carefully undoing the buttons as you gaze at each other, expressions unreadable. 
"Tae?” You ask innocently, blinking up at him. “Fuck me?" 
Your polite request makes Taehyung chuckle. 
"Please?" You bring your bottom lip between your teeth, eyes blinking up at him adoringly for good measure. You reach the last button, let his dress shirt drape open. He brushes it off himself, stands there for a few seconds just to let the way you’re ogling his toned chest go to his head. At least he’s good-looking. 
He sighs, probably contemplating some clever rebuttal, but eventually decides against it as his cock is already twitching back to life.
"Alright, love. Turn around. On your knees for me," He orders, making your stomach flip.
To your surprise, you are hardly in place when the warmth of his large hands finds the soft of your tummy, pressing you back into his chest as he pressed a peck to the back of your neck.
You squirm in his hold, whining as that same hand of his grabs hold of your breast, long digit rolling your nipple between their tips. You can’t help but press your ass back into him. His cock feels hot and heavy, pressing against the back of your thigh, making your pussy clench in anticipation. 
You want him.
You want him so bad that you don't know what to do with yourself, shuddering as his free hand runs along the side of your ass, leaving scorching hot trails on your skin wherever he kneads into your flesh. He's touching you everywhere – everywhere but where you need him the most, and the arousal that drips down your thigh mocks you.
"Dammit, please!" You exclaim, running out of patience.
"Please what?" He says, an eyebrow arched.
You shiver, committing the way his middle finger traced your pelvic bone to memory forever.
You puff out a frustrated breath, nearly at your wit's end. "Please fuck me, Tae."
Taehyung pauses, grip on your breast and hip tightening as he lets out a moan. You let one out yourself as you feel him readjust, cock pressing against your slick entrance.
"Fuck, you sound so pretty when you say my name," He grunts. "Okay, baby. I'll fuck you. Begging so nicely for my cock."
You let out a squeak as you're suddenly pushed down onto your hands, back arching as he pushes his fat cock inside your heavenly cunt. He's thick, so thick, that you instinctively grip the sheet underneath you, fingers curled around them tightly as if it means to hold onto your sanity.
Taehyung lets out a shaky breath, angling your hips up so that you could take more of him.
"You feel—feel so good," he admits above you, and suddenly you wish you could see him. See the way his bangs stick to his damp forehead—see the way his tongue swipes over his bottom lip wickedly.
You let that thought go, however, as he thrust into you, making your jaw fall slack and eyes flutter shut. Profanities roll off your tongue unabashedly, helpless under the way his thick member pulls out of you, only to slam back into you.
You weren't expecting this. The way he stretches you out further than anyone had before. Your pussy clenches around him, reveling in the sweet, sweet burn.
He digs into the flesh of your hips, holding you steady as you mew and cry out, pushing your hips back in time to his, trying your best to meet his movements.
"Tae... fuck, fuck, fuck—"
He was filling you to the brim. Filling you tight and deep.
God, the way he was panting behind you was music to your ears. His cock pulses every time you call out his name, voice muffled and buried as you had your head pressed into the mattress, hair messy and bouncing with every hard thrust.
"S'good! Fuck... so, ah, big..." you cry out.
You feel drunk. Intoxicated off this beautiful man and the way he makes you feel a way only he can.
You nearly let out a sob as the rough pads of Taehyung's fingertips suddenly reach around you and find your neglected clit, rolling light circles on the soft and swollen bundle of nerves skillfully.
You are a mess, whimpering and drooling into your expensive sheets, and he filled every inch of you, leaving no place undiscovered. Your high nears, stewing on low heat somewhere near the pit of your belly, waiting for a chance to erupt and wash all over you. Taehyung must be close to, you realize, as his thrusts began to slow down, slamming into you roughly as if chasing after his high.
"Gonna take this load? Huh? Gonna let me cum inside your pretty little pussy?" His voice is straining, as if trying to breathe evenly but merely moments from falling apart.
If only you could formulate an intelligent response, but instead, you are a blubbering wreck, thighs shaking as they threatened to give out underneath you. But somehow, Taehyung knew. He had you. Quicking his motions against your delicate pearl, he could tell you were close too, and he was going to make sure you got there.
Suddenly, you're crying out and convulsing, tears brimming at the ends of your eyes as you feel Taehyung empty into you, collapsing onto his hands as well.
You feel his hot breath against the back of your neck as he pants, breath growing more and more even as the two of you regain control of your bodies and minds.
Pulling out of you, he plops down beside you, and for a moment, the two of you hold each other's gazes, eyes speaking in ways words never could.
Finally, after what feels both like an eternity and just a moment, you work up the courage to say something, moving closer to him as you place a hand on his chest, cushioning your chin as you rested on top of it.  
"Psst," you beckon, voice hushed.
"Yeah?" His voice is husky and tired.
"I’m grateful, too."
"I’m grateful for us, too."
Taehyung's gaze is soft, and it lingers on you for a second before the sides of his mouth curl up tenderly. He grins down at you, eyes drifting shut. You feel him squeeze you closer, pressing you against his skin. And then, you hear his breathing steady, see his lips part slightly. 
You lean into his chest, eyelids fluttering. “Thank you, Tae.”
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Not unlike the many other mornings you have awoken in this bed, when you open your eyes as the morning sunlight streams through the windows, Taehyung is nowhere to be found. The sheets on his side of the bed are flipped aside, revealing that soft outline of his body from the night before left imprinted into the sheets, a dip in the mattress where he slept. You had fallen asleep all wrapped up in each other, tangled up like vines, but must have separated sometime during the night. Distantly, you register Taehyung’s voice outside, notice his phone missing from his bedside table. He must be on an early morning call. 
You check your phone for the time. Ten o’clock. 
A late morning call, then. 
Still basking in the afterglow of the night prior, you slowly inch your way out of bed, shivering as you pull the covers off you and scoot your legs around so they hang over the edge of the bed. You rub at your eyes until you faintly remember you did not take your makeup off last night, and when your hand comes away covered with black streaks and flecks of mascara, you wince to yourself. There goes five hundred dollars worth of a skincare routine. 
After washing yourself up and applying as many serums as you can to your skin, you wrap yourself up in one of his button-up shirts, the torso so wide that it drapes over you. The tips of your fingers peek out from the ends of the sleeves, and you cross your arms lightly over your chest as you make your way to the door, ready to entice your husband back to bed for round two. What? It’s Saturday. 
You peer around the door to find Taehyung standing a few feet away, facing away from you. He’s shirtless, and as his wife you have absolutely no problems ogling him, the toned curves of his back, the muscles in his arms. He’s always been a looker. You just finally have an excuse to look for yourself. 
You approach him quietly, not wanting to interrupt nor broadcast your sex life to anybody on the other side who may be listening. Already, the idea of crawling back in bed together sends goosebumps along your skin, makes you giddy with anticipation. You’re just about to tap him on the shoulder, lips curled upwards in suggestion, when he says—
“And my inheritance? That’s secured now, right? Because I said I would pretend to be in love with her in public—?”
And it is as if Medusa herself appeared in this room, turning you to stone as your heart thuds to the floor, a hollow, empty noise. 
You don’t hear the rest of Taehyung’s conversation. You don’t even hear the sound of your own heartbeat. This terrible, aching sound rings in your ears, silencing everything in its wake, drowning out even the sighs of your own breath. It is as if you have been frozen solid. As if you have been shot in the stomach. You stand there, feeling absolutely nothing, and all you can do is brace yourself for what is to come. Taehyung’s words were the knife but his next actions will be its removal, leaving in its wake an irreparable wound. 
He turns around, casual and cool, voice still hushed. As if you were still asleep. As if you hadn’t heard anything at all. But when he twists his body and sees you standing there, staring back up at him, lips parted in shock. 
“I’ll call you back,” he tells whoever was on the other side of the line, looking more panicked by the second. He opens his mouth so he can explain himself, but you don’t need him to. You’ve heard everything already. 
“I should have known,” you say, feeling angry and betrayed and sad all at once. “I should have known it was all an act.”
“Y/N, wait, let me explain—”
“What is there to tell me, Taehyung? What are you going to say? That you didn’t mean it? That you thought I wouldn’t find out? That last night was just a one-off?” You demand. The heat from your veins hasn’t left. Still, it simmers through your blood, burning you up from the inside out. “That you didn’t want to lie to me?”
“It’s not like that and you know it,” Taehyung says defensively, brows furrowed. “Just give me a chance to explain myself.”
“Explain yourself? How you pretended, every day and every night, just so you could get some more money in your bank account? So you could make sure you would get your father’s business when he died?”
Taehyung bites back easily. “Don’t act like you weren’t also faking it at some point. I know you were almost removed from your grandmother’s will.”
Your tongue is bitter at the mention of your grandmother. As if Taehyung ever even knew her. “My grandmother has nothing to do with this.”
“Really?” Taehyung challenges. “So you wanting to stay in her will was just a little bonus, right?”
“Don’t,” you say sharply. “It’s different.”
“Different how?” Taehyung spits. “Because right now, to me, it looks pretty similar to what I’ve done.”
“My grandmother died months ago,” you remind him. Her will is no longer the question. It has been written, settled, and executed. There was no reason for you to continue playing along once she took her last breath. No reason—unless you wanted to. “Meanwhile you’ve been keeping your inheritance a secret from me this entire time.”
“We made a deal,” Taehyung says. “A deal that said we would both act happy and pretend to be in love because we both had things we needed to worry about. Family things. Money things. You were a part of this, just like I was. You pretended, too.”
“Well, maybe I stopped pretending!” 
You can’t take it anymore. All this anger, all this emptiness, it’s been bubbling up inside you ever since you heard those first words come out of his mouth. It spills out of you all at once, an eruption from your lips, your heart’s doors bursting open. You have held his hand tightly in your own. You have pressed your lips to his. You have laid yourself bare in front of him. What is there left to protect? What part of you has not already been stained by him, by his touch, by the feeling of his fingers against your skin?
The hallway is silent, but you can hear your cry echo down the corridor. Hear the way it bounces along the walls before fading away. 
“Maybe I stopped pretending,” you repeat, softer this time. You blink and already can feel the streaks along your skin, the tears falling from your eyes. “Did you ever think about that?”
“Y/N, what are you talking about?” Taehyung looks like he’s in disbelief. Like he cannot believe the words you are saying to him. 
Well, that makes two of you. 
“Can’t you see, Tae? Can’t you tell?” You ask, the nickname falling from your lips before you can even help it. You must remind yourself to change that, later. “I’m in love with you.”
They are words you have never said to someone before. Not even your old boyfriends. Words that you always knew you would reserve for someone special. Someone who would touch your heart and make it their own, someone who would leave imprints of their fingers against your chest. Someone who would brighten you up from the inside out, leave you bursting with light. 
Ironic, that Taehyung has become that someone. When he is the one person you never thought could. 
When he has proven, time and time again, that you two just cannot mix. Oil and water. Pastel and acrylic. Satin and silk. 
“You don’t have to say anything,” you spit out quickly, before Taehyung has a chance to respond. “I know it doesn’t matter to you.”
“Y/N, yes it does,” Taehyung begins, desperate and pleading. “I know you heard what I said, but I swear, it stopped being an act for me, too. Things are different now, just like you said.”
“Don’t. Please.” You pull away as he reaches out towards you. Faintly, you remember that it is his shirt you are wearing. Remember that no matter what you do, he will always surround you. “Please, Tae.” You have nothing left. You can’t bear to look at him, but where else will you go? You cannot believe the things he’s said, the things he’s done, but where else would you go?
“I love you, too,” Taehyung says, and a part of you wants so badly to believe him. 
A part of you wants so badly to ingrain those words into your head, carve them into your heart, let him wrap his arms around you and promise that everything will be alright. But things are different now. Just like you said. You and Taehyung are not the same people you were six months ago. Or six weeks ago. Or even six minutes ago. You are helpless and he has proven that he does not care. 
“I have to go,” you say, looking away. You don’t think you could handle turning back to him again. “Please, Tae.”
“I’m sorry,” Taehyung says, and he reaches out once more but you are not there to meet him halfway. Were you ever?
“I know,” you whisper back.
You duck into your bedroom and pack a suitcase of everything you need. Being here is suffocating. Being with him is like setting yourself alight. 
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Victoria has no questions when you show up at her door later that day, suitcase by your side and this ridiculous bottle of Merlot in your hands. You had picked it up on the way over. You sort of figured you might need it. 
“You don’t wanna talk about it, do you?” Victoria asks. 
“Tell me about your streaming service,” you hiccup in response.
Victoria is happy to oblige. She even tells you that she still hasn’t picked a CFO, and that the position would be open for you if you ever wished to take it. 
Funnily enough, what will become of you once your father retires and passes along the company is the furthest away from your thoughts. 
You remember being so worried about that. Being so worried that, once they married you off like every good daughter should be, you would be absorbed into your husband’s life, cut out of your family’s. Your father would choose a cousin, an uncle, or even a friend to take after the business, bestowing upon you a thoughtful inheritance but nothing more than that. All of those years of schooling, finance in college, your MBA soon after, would be wasted, just so you could hang on the arm of your husband for the rest of your life. 
It’s thoughtful of Victoria to think of you for the position. She knows just as well as anyone else that you would be an excellent fit. And if things were just a little bit different, you would be jumping at the offer. 
But your future career plans are on the backburner, along with the rest of your life. 
All you can really do, right now, at this very moment, is wait for things to change. As they always do. 
“Don’t you have an event tonight?” Victoria asks about three days into your stay. She’s given you her favorite (her words, not yours) guest bedroom and an enormous closet to match, despite you only coming over with a carry-on’s worth of clothes. 
You scoff to yourself. “Like I’d want to go to anything with him.”
“Have you even called your parents?” 
“No,” you say, not even caring about the repercussions. There’s no doubt in your mind that they’ll be ringing you soon. And when they do, maybe then you’ll finally work up the courage to tell them what really happened. Tell them that you can’t go back there. Not yet, at least. 
“I’m sorry that this happened to you,” Victoria says as she hands you a bowl of vegetable soup, homemade from a couple of days ago. You nod to yourself, sniffling as you curl into the couch cushions and wish they would absorb you whole. 
There’s no need to ask her what she means by ‘this’. Everything. From your engagement to the marriage, from those tabloids to the deal, from your grandmother’s death to now. It has all been unfair. Life is unfair. And while you’ve always known that, it has been particularly cruel to you as of late. 
Still, when you wake up sometimes, you can still feel him tracing over your skin. Feel his lips hovering over yours, breath fanning out over your cheeks. You turn over and expect to see him lying there, on the right side of the bed, sheets mussed as they cover his figure. You wake up and for a brief moment, for that split, split second, there is peace. And happiness. And love. 
And then there is nothing. 
“Yeah,” you sigh. “Me, too.”
Maybe he really does love you. Maybe things really did change. But you have always been a pragmatic person, always let your head guide you rather than your heart. The secret’s out. Taehyung had an inheritance he needed to secure. You were his path to doing so. Those things haven’t changed. No matter if his feelings did. 
“Hey, look at this,” Victoria says, brows furrowed as she holds out her phone in front of you, revealing a livestreamed interview from the event tonight. 
You peer over. 
It’s Taehyung. 
Of course it’s Taehyung. Who else would she be showing you?
He stands in a clean-cut gray coat, draping over his figure, black dress shirt and slacks underneath, belt wrapped neatly around his hips. He holds his hand up in a wave and smiles politely to the cameras, to the reporters, letting the flashes wash over him like waves in the ocean. 
“Mr. Kim! Mr. Kim!” Someone calls. “Where’s your wife?”
Oh, God.
Taehyung grimaces a little, pursing his lips. “My wife won’t be joining me tonight.”
“Can you tell us why?” They shout. 
“Sorry, no more questions. Thank you for asking though. She’s well,” he says, quickly ushering himself along, entering the venue so no more reporters can bombard him. When he disappears, the livestream immediately moves on to the next guest, but you hardly pay them any attention. 
“Huh,” Victoria says aloud. 
Indeed. Taehyung’s response strikes you as rather odd. Why would he tell the public that? Why not make up a lie, say you’re sick, or you’re overseas, or you’re just late? Why simply tell them that you won’t be there? Surely, Taehyung is just as aware of the consequences of arriving at an event without you as you are. There’s no doubt that his parents will be in contact with him soon, too. No doubt that this will leave a stain on his family. His image. It might even threaten his inheritance after all.
So why not lie?
You frown to yourself, nose scrunching up in confusion. You don’t like where this train of thought leads.
“You okay?” Victoria asks when she sees the bewildered expression on your face.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” you say. Just completely befuddled. It escapes you, why Taehyung wouldn’t just make up some sort of excuse as to reasoning behind your absence. Why he would even show up at the event at all. Certainly, going to the event without you is worse than not going at all. It prompts questions. It spreads rumors. 
Later that night, you get a call from your parents, demanding to know why you weren’t there with him. You say you got sick. You plead with them not to question anything. 
You wonder what happens next. You and Taehyung still have two more events this week. A dinner and a ball. What will you do then?
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Taehyung goes solo for the dinner. You suppose you could have predicted that, considering his apparent willingness to arrive alone for the first event, too. He hasn’t made any efforts to contact you and for once, you’re glad for his silence. Not that you even know what he would say to you, anyway, but at least he isn’t begging you to come back to him. 
The sad truth is that if he did, if he got down on his knees right in front of you and willed you to come back home, you probably would. He has always been impossible to resist. Even when you first met him, when he sauntered up towards you and told you he was your dream come true. You didn’t know it then. But he was. He was everything you would ever want. 
Why would he lie? 
Why would he do that?
You can’t wrap your head around it. What is he getting out of it by telling the truth? By admitting to the paparazzi, to the reporters and the cameramen, that you won’t be there with him. That you will not be joining him. Nothing, certainly. His parents must be furious. His inheritance may be on the rocks. His image might tank. 
So then, why do it at all?
Could it… could it be?
Is it true?
You have loved Taehyung for a long time. Longer than you probably even care to admit. You have always held your head high at events, spoken loudly and without fear, but being with him made you feel safe. Secure. You would hold his hand and know, know that he was holding yours, too. It grounded you. It soothed your worries. 
Does he really love you back?
Taehyung smiles politely and laughs when he needs to at these events, but he doesn’t look the same. Even through the screen you can see those bags under his eyes, that spark that has faded. You hardly recognize him. He looks so lonely, without someone by his side. So distant. 
When you know the dinner has ended, you almost pick up the phone and call him. 
Instead, when the ball rolls around, you ask Victoria if she’s got a spare dress she can lend you.
 Kim Taehyung, for someone you have seen covered in paint splotches, wearing old college hoodies, and fresh out of a restless night’s sleep, cleans up pretty well. For a married man, at least. 
You wonder what the past few days must have been like for him. If they have been as empty as your own. Wonder what it was like, riding alone in a big black van to this hotel ballroom, no one to tease, no one to laugh with, no one to hold. No one to poke him awake if he accidentally fell asleep. No one to make sure he’s okay. 
Taehyung stands right outside of the entrance, waving politely to all of the paparazzi, smiling as the cameras flash, giving them the time of day for a moment before he heads inside and muscles his way through another event without you. 
Or so he thinks. 
You spot him just as he opens his mouth, ready to repeat those same lines all over again.
My wife won’t be joining me tonight. She’s well, though.
And maybe it’s just because you haven’t seen him in nearly a week. Maybe it’s just because he is about to lie to those reporters once more, ready to face whatever consequences come his way. 
Or maybe it’s just because you miss him. Miss him terribly, have been missing him terribly. Being away from him was necessary, but that didn’t make it any less unbearable. Not getting to hold his hand, see his smile, meet his eyes. You and Taehyung may not have always liked each other, but you saw him every day regardless. He became a constant in your life. Not an if, but a when. If everything went to shit, you always knew he would still be there. 
And there he is. 
“Wait! Taehyung!”
Taehyung’s eyes widen as he hears your voice, gaze darting around wildly, mouth parted in surprise. He looks around desperately, scanning the crowd, meeting the eyes of every single person in front of him until he finally looks to the left, sees you rushing up towards him, hiking up the skirt of your dress as your heels tap against the sidewalk. 
And when he spots you, sees you running up to him, his body relaxes, a weight lifted from his shoulders as he beams back at you, relieved and thankful and filled with joy, all at once. And you know, then. 
You know that everything will be okay. 
“Sorry I’m late,” you say sheepishly, cheeks burning as he looks at you, takes in every inch of you, breathes you in and lets you fill him up. 
Taehyung doesn’t respond. You reach out to hold his hand but he grabs your wrist and pulls you in, presses you against his body as he presses his hands against your cheeks, palms burning as they meet your skin, and he kisses you. In front of all these people, he kisses you. 
And goddamnit, you will kiss him back. 
It feels like lightning, like a thunderstorm, like the waves of the ocean are crashing against your heart. It feels like fire, like flames are licking at your veins, sending sparks through your blood. It feels like home. 
You and Taehyung ignore the shouts of reporters, the flashes of cameras, the honks of the cars on the other side of the road. When you part, he presses his forehead against yours and lets the tip of your nose meet his. And you smile. 
“Don’t be alone any longer, Mr. Kim,” you whisper, loud enough so only he can hear. 
“When I’m with you, I never am, Mrs. Kim,” he murmurs back. 
You wonder what those tabloids will be saying about you tomorrow. 
The rest of the night finds the two of you pretty much inseparable. You wrap yourself around his arm and for the first time in a long time, he presses his hand against the small of your back, keeping you close. Like he’d ever lose you again. 
One of your least favorite parts about attending balls used to be the dancing. As a young and eligible bachelorette, you would always have to lock hands with another, let him awkwardly guide you along to the music as you made the worst small talk imaginable, forcing laughter and smiles whenever he said something he thought was particularly funny. 
But, like so many others, things have changed. Things are different now. 
The waltz comes on and you and Taehyung are the first to reach the center of the ballroom floor, letting him rest his hand on your waist as you press yours on top of his shoulder. Let him twirl you around the room as the orchestra plays in the background, a soft, sweet, light little melody that carries you along. 
“I missed this,” you say softly. 
“I missed us,” Taehyung corrects. He pauses for a moment, swallowing hard. “I’m sorry for not telling you about my inheritance.”
“I’m sorry for storming out. I should have listened to you.” you respond easily. You both have plenty to apologize for. But night is darkest right before dawn. 
“I should have said something,” Taehyung says with a shake of his head. “But I was just so—so worried that something would go wrong. And I didn’t know how to explain how I felt about you. I acted in the beginning, too, but then things changed.”
“They always do,” you muse with a grin. 
“I couldn’t believe I had you,” Taehyung admits. “I mean, look at you. You’re gorgeous. And funny. And true.”
“Go on,” you tease, even though you do nothing to hide the smile inching its way across your face, the heating of your cheeks, the simmering of your skin. 
“Oh, shut up. You know what I mean.” Taehyung rolls his eyes. “I just—I felt something for you I couldn’t explain. I still can’t.”
You don’t have to prod any further. You know. Deep within your heart, you know. There is love blossoming in his to match the garden that has bloomed in your own. The flowers that have sprouted in the ashes. He has them, too. And when those petals open and the light streams in, he will know. He will know, too. 
“You make me crazy,” you tell him, whispering gently into his skin. “But I’m a better person when I’m with you. I know I am.”
“I meant what I said, that night,” Taehyung says. Makes you wonder which night he’s actually talking about. “That I’m happy that things have changed. That things happened the way they did. I’m grateful for us.”
“I am, too,” you say. And you are. 
You rest your head against his chest as you dance together, swaying back and forth to the beat of the drums, to the strums of the violins, all wrapped up together like ivy, like vines. Those, too, sit in that garden of yours. Keep you tethered to his side, keep him close to yours. He holds you in his arms and he smiles, because he knows, too. Knows that that garden in your heart will soon have a matching one in his. A mirror image of who you are. Who you’ve become. 
Things change. They always will. But so long as he is by your side, and so long as you are by his, you know. Everything will be okay. 
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It's different, this time, when Taehyung presses you into the mattress. 
There is no rush. Because now you know for certain that all the time in the world is yours. He is yours forever. You are his.
The two of you are a mixture of tangled limbs and shared breaths, the feverish, irrepressible need to give yourself to each other nearly tangible. He breaks the kiss suddenly, and you’re about to break out in protest. That is, until you see him unbuttoning his shirt.
Inspired, you wiggle out of your own clothes, eyes locked on Taehyung's soft torso and the idea that you had married such a beautiful man, inside and out.
Looking back, you wonder if that was always inevitable. If you and Taehyung falling into each other had been written in the stars from day one, sealed as your fate from the moment he came up to you at that ball when you were teenagers. He was going to be a part of your life no matter what. Whether or not you ended up marrying him. But having him like this?
It makes it all worth it.
"Do you like what you see?" That old cocky smirk of his makes an appearance.
You raise a brow, choosing to omit a response as you unclasp your bra, letting it fall from your chest.
Taehyung swallows.
"Do you?" You tease.
His response comes in the form of bites down your necks and licks down your chest, stealing your breath from you. 
Your clothes are somewhere dispelled beside your passionate bodies, growing cold beside the way your two hot bodies warmed one another.
"You are so beautiful," Taehyung praises, fingers coming up to cup your breast, bringing it up to his mouth.
You mewl, wrapping an arm around his shoulders as his tongue toys with your pert bud, teeth grazing it ever so often just to hear the broken gasp that'd always follow. 
"And so sensitive too," he giggles, making you pout. His hands are gentle as if every touch means something. As if you mean something—no, everything—to him. And the most wonderful part is that he means everything to you, too. 
"Shut up." You roll your eyes playfully, gasping as his palm comes down the side of your thigh suddenly in warning. You bite down your swollen bottom lip at the gush of arousal that dampened your underwear in response.
"Watch your tone, love. Of both our positions, you are in the most compromising one." He reminds you. It isn't a threat, and while usually, that kind of tone would thrill you, you couldn't help but want his mouth back on yours already.
"You talk too much." You flop back onto the bed with a sigh. Taehyung watches with interest as your pretty tits bounce in consequence. Extending your hands out towards him, you give him a pouty look. "Just wanna kiss you."
"Is that all I am to you? Just a pair of lips for you to mack on? I've got news for you, sweetheart, there's a brain behind these ravishing good looks." He scoffs in feigned offense, sitting back on his heels.
You giggle.
It seems as though even during the most intimate of moments, Taehyung still found a way to be, well, Taehyung. At least that hasn’t changed. 
"Whatever, pretty boy. Why don't you come over here and put that mouth of yours to good use?" You purr, making his eyebrows raise in surprise.
"Oh? I don't remember you being this assertive when I was pounding you into the mattress last time."
“What, I can’t have a little fun as well?” You tease, grinning as you look up at him, raking your eyes over his figure. 
"Wanna have fun, love?," He murmurs into your ears, hands gripping either of your plush thighs. "Then spread those pretty legs for me, and I'll show you exactly how much fun you can have."
God, you love this man.
You oblige eagerly, breath quickening as he helped you press your knees by your chest, leaving the wet patch in your underwear on full display. 
"My pretty little wife." He sighs dreamily, making heat rush to your core.
Taehyung's cock stood loud and proud, a hot reminder of where the night would eventually lead to. Seriously, how did you get so lucky? You must've been a saint in a previous life, you decide right then. Or at least, the stars have chosen to be rather kind to you in this one.
"Gonna take these off," he mutters, mostly to himself, tugging the ruined fabric over your ass and down your legs, with your help, of course.
Despite your usual display of confidence, lying beneath your husband, spread out like this, has you feeling vulnerable and slightly insecure. But that insecurity vanishes, however, as he lets out a soft moan, fingers moving to spread your glossed lips apart.
"So fucking pretty, baby. Gonna make you feel so fucking good," he groans, leaning down to press his face near your most intimate part.
Pressing a tentatively lick against, his eyes flicker up to yourself, curious to see if you’re okay with him proceeding. And, well, it’s not like you’re going to say no, are you?
Embarrassingly, you rut against him, making him laugh as you drown in your own mortification.
"Need it that bad, huh?" He coos.
"Yes, please."
The rest of your plea is lost in a moan as Taehyung finds your clit, wrapping his pink lips around the sensitive muscle and giving it a generous suck. Your hands are in his hair before you can think to stop yourself, tugging at his scalp deliciously as his mouth makes its way with you.
Thank goodness for this apartment belonging to just the two of you as the noises that tumbled from your lips surely would've left a roommate blushing.
You're panting, begging for more even though you aren't sure how you'd even handle more. It comes as a delight and slight surprise as fingers suddenly slip inside, wasting no time to rub against your velvety smooth walls, curling themselves inside you.
"Fuck, Tae!" you cry out, eyes squeezing shut.
It was pure reflex. Up until now, you had been watching Taehyung intently, completely consumed by the way his mouth moves against you. How his tongue flicks against your needy clit cruelly. It just felt too fucking good.
You're so wet, positively dripping down his chin as he runs his hot muscle up and down the length of your pussy, devouring you like he hadn't eaten in months, and you were his first meal.
Taehyung’s nothing short of addicting, completely and utterly intoxicating, and you slip further and further to your demise with every lick he takes, every press of his tongue against your clit.
He has a hand pressed against the lower half of your torso, feeling the way you jerk and squirm as he makes a mess of you. You’re close and you know it, too, if not by the way you’re calling his name over and over again, then by the way your thighs tremble, hardly even strong enough to stay up.
"Let go for me, love. I've got you." He sounds so sweet, so angelic, despite how filthy what he was doing to you was.
His words are the push you need, and, like a rubber band that has been stretched past its limit, you finally snap, back arching off the bed as you come with a cry. White fills your vision, and your mind goes blank, only sounds of blissful static filling your ears.
His fingers hold up your quivering legs, mouth pressing kisses onto your pussy encouragingly until you simply can't bear it any longer, pushing his mouth away as you stutter out words of sensitivity and overstimulation.
“I’m going to have to request more of that throughout this marriage.” You manage to say once your vision and breath come back to you.
Grabbing one of your hands, Taehyung brings it to his mouth.
“All you need do is ask,” he replies, making you laugh as he presses a kiss to the back of your hand, always a gentleman
Not long after, you find yourself pressed against Taehyung, tongue running against his as he presses his hips into yours. He isn’t coy about his want for you, rolling his cock against your already sensitive center. Warm precum leaks onto your lower abdomen, and suddenly, all you can think about is having him inside you again.
You don’t even need to ask. Hitching your leg around his thigh, he knows exactly what you’re seeking, lining up his leaking cock with your swollen entrance.
Pressing into you, he buries himself to the hilt, groaning out as your warmth envelopes him. You moan out so prettily for him, feeling tight and full with your first orgasm only minutes ago.
“You okay?” he hums, kissing your cheek.
You nod, ears warm at the intimacy of the moment. In many ways, this is nothing like your first time together. You are face to face, eye to eye, heart to heart. Between your bodies could be found more than just desire, but commitment. Devotion. Love. 
“I love you, Tae.” You gush, sighing out as he begins to rock into you.
He falters slightly at your confession but recovers quickly, intertwining his hand with yours and pressing it by your head.
Faintly, you realize. 
That was the first time you had ever told him that.
You look up at him, expecting some wide eyes or even a bit of a nervous tilt to his lips, but all you are met with is a glow. He beams down at you, and your heart swells. 
“I love you, too, Y/N,” he whispers, but you hear the words in your ears loud and clear.
Soft noises fill the room as the two of you become one—hearts synchronizing with one another in silent promise.
It was a promise unlike the one you had made to each other that day at the altar, for this one was real. This one was true.
You shutter with every thrust of his hips, your abused clit finding itself in the crossfire of Taehyung’s passionate motions.
Whimpering, you cling to him, overwhelmed and emotional, like your heart was about to burst. Taehyung lights a fire in you, sends lightning straight through your core. Every word, every smile, every kiss, every touch, they send shivers down your spine, tingles throughout your skin. It’s like you’re falling in love with him all over whenever you see him, whenever his deep brown eyes meet your own.
You remember being so afraid of love that you broke up with all your old boyfriends because of it. Because you couldn’t commit, because you were worried about your career, because they just didn’t give you that spark. But lying here pressed against him, against your husband, you aren’t afraid. Wrapped up around him, tangled up in him, you know. 
Between messy kisses and words of adoration, you find yourself growing closer and closer to your release. Brows furrowed and neck flushed, you come with a soft whimper of his name, coaxing his own orgasm out of him. He lets go inside you, painting you with his seed in a way that pleases you to no end.
Hand still in yours, he gives it a squeeze, pressing a kiss onto your damp chest, right over where your heart beats for him.
“I love you,” Taehyung says again when you meet his eyes, firmer this time, louder. Like he’s worried you didn’t believe him the first time. 
“I know,” you say with a giggle, the words going straight to your head—and your heart. 
Taehyung scowls. “What, no ‘I love you’ back? Is that what I’m hearing?”
“Well, only because you want one so badly,” you tease, pressing a quick kiss to his round button nose. “I love you, too, Tae. Always will.”
“I think I knew, then,” Taehyung says with a fond sigh, nostalgia overcoming his expression. “That first time we met. I knew you would be mine, one day.”
“You got lucky,” you scoff slightly. “But I’m glad things happened the way they did.”
“You’re my dream come true, Y/N,” he says. 
“And you are mine,” you murmur.
As the two of you drift off, all twisted up in each other, so mixed up you can’t figure out where you end and he begins, you think back to that night. That ball. 
“Who are you?” You ask, nose scrunched up in distaste. Before you stood a boy you had never met before, wearing shoes that were too big for him and a suit that was a touch too small. 
He grins at you, running a hand through his perfectly-styled hair fringe swiped neatly over his forehead, and he says, “your dream come true.”
And so it was. 
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don’t forget to message me! ~ and don’t forget to message rose!
6K notes · View notes
itsamejin · a year ago
easy || jungkook angst/fluff
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Summary: Date you, win a bet, get his rent paid off. Sounds promising enough, right? Jungkook should’ve known that his ambitions would end in disaster, but even if he did, that still wouldn’t have stopped him from pursuing you.
Warning: cursing, crude humor, fuckboy talk
Genre: college!au, fuckboy!au, bet!trope, angst, fluff
Pairing: Jungkook x female!reader
Premise: In which Jungkook accepts a bet from Taehyung to date the first girl that walks into the lecture hall and realizes that he bit off more than he could chew when starts to catch feelings. Now, he has to suffer the consequences of being an idiot.
Commission Request: @altus-gens​
Word Count: 9,203 words
It's not like Jungkook planned to be one of the most sought after person in Yonsei University, but it somehow turned out to be that way. Truthfully, he basks in it, loves that so many people idolize him for doing the bare minimum. He was handsome after all and had a level of charm that surpassed the need to have a good personality. 
He got into such a prestigious school through an athletic scholarship for Taekwondo, managed to convince his professors to pass him when he put in minimal effort, and there was no shortage of girls to call when he was feeling lonely for a night. He was the stereotypical 'it' boy on campus and maybe if he was a little bit smarter, he'd have a better choice of friends than the six idiots he always hangs around with.
"How about this," Taehyung starts, gum in his mouth, "the first girl who walks in, you have to successfully get in her pants."
Jungkook rolls his eyes. They were in a damn lecture hall and yet Taehyung had no shame bringing up sex. Typical.
“This again, bro?” Hoseok sighed. “Aren’t you sick of bribing us to do weird shit for you?”
Taehyung smirked.
“Not at all, actually.”
"For how much?" Namjoon cut in, probably curious for the price point Taehyung would arrange this time. He was fired from his job just a week ago and could really use the money. "I'll do it if it’s enough to pay for my rent this month."
Taehyung scoffs, although knowing full well he could pay for all of the boys’ tuitions combined if he wanted to. He was the resident rich bachelor on campus after all.
"I'll pay it for a full year and your utility bills too if you're really down," Taehyung flaunts. "You just gotta have proof you actually managed to do it."
"Dude that's gross," Seokjin chimes in, "No one wants to send you proof of us doing it with a random girl."
Taehyung shakes his head.
"No, no, no," he says, clicking his tongue. "I phrased it incorrectly. I’m not a fucking pervert."
“You got us fooled,” Jimin mutters. 
Taehyung leans in closer to the six boys and even Jungkook finds himself getting intrigued. Admittedly, he was a little curious considering he hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. He could really use having some extra cash for food without worrying about rent.
"You have to date the girl for like three months," Taehyung says seriously, "and I'll consider that as enough proof that you managed to actually do it since I know you guys are too horny to wait any longer than that to fuck."
They all look at Taehyung in disgust, Jimin even opting to hit him in the back of the head for being so vulgar. To be fair, they were all thinking of accepting Taehyung's bet regardless. It's not like they were new to leading girls on anyway.
"You gotta pay me more than that to fuck just any girl," Yoongi says, yawning in the process. He seemed the least likely to take up Taehyung's offer, but he was still game depending on the person.
"Then how would you feel," Taehyung starts, "if I told you guys that I could get you priority registration for next quarter."
The boys, even the ones who weren't interested, were now listening to Taehyung's every word.
"You mean," Hoseok gulps, "I could finally get that fucking Organic Chemistry class I need to get out of this hell hole?!"
Taehyung shrugs, an ominous smile on his face.
"Just the perk of having parents who have connections," Taehyung replies. “I’ll only accept one of you guys to do it though. I don’t wanna have you all fucking the same girl- that’d be weird.”
Hoseok rolls his eyes.
“Yeah, that’s what’s weird about this,” he grumbles.
“So are you guys in or not?” Taehyung asks, his patience growing thin.
He lays back on his chair, a smoldering look on his face when they all nod. They were desperate for money after all.
"The next girl that walks in will be the subject of this bet and whoever calls dibs on her first will be the one to woo her,” he says with a stretch of his arms. “Good luck boys.”
They all turned to look at the door and Jungkook watches silently as guy after guy walks into the lecture hall. No girl yet. 
Jungkook was hoping, from the bottom of his heart, that no familiar faces would walk in. If he had to deal with a past fling, he’d have to back out immediately. He never dealt with exes very well.
The guys are at the edge of their seats, praying for a cute girl to walk through that didn’t already know about their horrible reputation. They were looking for an easy target, someone that could fall for their charms almost immediately.
And then, you walk in. You were clad in sweats with earphones on, rushing toward the front row seats of the lecture hall. You were chatting with your friends, yawning several times throughout your conversation with them. Jungkook couldn’t help but smirk. There was nothing special about you to point out, in fact, you were just like everyone else. Strangely enough, he found that the most intriguing part about you.
"Nope, nope, nope," Jimin shakes his head repeatedly. "Can't, won't, never will. Sorry, Tae."
They all stare at him in confusion.
"What the fuck, what's wrong with her?" Yoongi asks, crossing his arms over his chest. Jimin faces away from you, not wanting to look at you any longer.
"No, nothing," there seems to be a blush forming on his face. He was hiding something.
“Bullshit,” Taehyung furrows his brows. “Bro, if she’s crazy and one of us gets our dick bitten off, we’re all blaming you, so spit it out.”
Jimin just sighs.
"She's been giving me Professor Kwon’s notes for the past few weeks,” he starts, much to the confusion of his friends. “Her name is [Y/N]. It'll be really mean if I go after her, especially since she and I are kind of friends. Plus, I really need to pass this class. I failed last quarter..."
The boys groan. Jimin was no fun.
"She's not my type so I don't think I could really get into it either," Seokjin states, no longer interested in the prize after Jimin’s confession. He’s been banking off of your notes from him too. 
"Aren’t we all old enough to know not to mess with people’s feelings?" Hoseok sighs.
They roll their eyes at Hoseok’s statement. Who was he trying to fool with the nice guy act? He probably fooled around with girls just as much as the other guys did.
"Yeah, I’m backing out," Yoongi agrees, "and she hates me so there's that."
They all look at him questioningly and he puts his hands up in the air from their gazes.
"What? I just realized who she’s talking to down there.”
He pointed at a girl discreetly, but no one seemed to recognize her.
“Her friend and I dated,” Yoongi continues, “and I broke up with her over text and blocked her without letting her respond. That whole friend group is pretty much pissed at me. I'd rather not have to deal with them again."
The guys look disapprovingly at him. Breaking up over text was harsh, but probably not the worst thing Yoongi has done to his exes.
"You're actually a piece of shit," Namjoon sighs. "I really do need my rent paid though..."
Jungkook nods in agreement. It's been almost impossible to balance Taekwondo practices, college papers, and working a part-time job all at once. If he could somehow find a way to quit his job for a while and get priority registration for classes, then he doesn't mind getting his hands a little dirty in the process. Plus, you were cute enough and he's sure you weren't too difficult to befriend as long as he doesn't mention Yoongi in any conversations.
"I'm in," Jungkook chides, finally saying something after such a long period of silence.
They all look at him with disbelief in their eyes. Jungkook was never the one to partake in Taehyung's bets. In fact, he was the one usually ridiculing them for participating. He must have been really desperate if he was willing to do it.
"I mean, it's all yours if you want," Namjoon replies, "I don't wanna turn it into a competition.”
“Don’t worry dude,” Jungkook fist bumps Namjoon, “I’ll quit my job and refer you for it.”
They nod at each other as if they were on the same wavelength. 
“I knew I could rely on you,” Namjoon says, faking tears from his eyes. The boys groan in response.
“Alright,” Taehyung claps his hands. “In exchange for providing me some mindless entertainment and going out with [Y/N], you will get your rent paid for the rest of the year and get early registration for next quarter. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.”
Jimin shakes his head.
“I don’t know about this, guys...”
Jungkook doesn’t hear him and instead takes one last look at you. You catch him in the corner of your eye and you can’t help but feel flustered at his serious expression. 
“Should be easy enough,” he mutters to himself and turns his gaze back onto his friend.
“So we have a deal?” Taehyung asks.
He smirks, shaking the outreached hand Taehyung held out for him. He steals another glance at you and he finds you staring right back. He gives you a wink.
Jungkook slid into the seat next to yours in the campus canteen, his eyes filled with determination. His posture was laid-back, but it was a little too obvious that he was trying to act like he didn’t care.
“Hi,” he greets you in a breathy tone- girls loved it when he spoke with his breathy tone.
You’d been sensing that someone was staring at you during the lecture, but you thought that was just the paranoia that came from being near such an intimidating group of guys. Turns out, you should always trust your instincts.
Jungkook had a boyish grin on his face that made you want to smile back but also stare at him in disgust.
“I heard you help Jimin with Professor Kwon’s notes,” he whispers mischievously. “I’m struggling myself, actually...”
Not really, but you know. This was the easiest tactic to approach you- tackle your similarities. You nod understandingly at his words, not quite getting that he was flirting with you.
“Yeah I can send you the Google Drive folder,” you comply, taking your phone out. “But you can’t let Professor Kwon know or else he’ll flip out. He doesn’t want people to have the notes for some odd reason...”
You trail off but Jungkook just scoffs. You seemed clueless.
“That’s not what I necessarily meant,” he says, a little shy this time. “I need a tutor.”
You furrow your brows at him.
“Yeah, you’re gonna have to pay me for that,” you say seriously. The last time you offered to tutor someone for free, they ended up blaming you for their failing grade and screaming about it all over social media. You needed money to compensate for that emotional trauma. “Microeconomics is hard to teach.”
“Well thankfully I’m a good student,” Jungkook teases. You stare at him with a deadpan face.
“You wouldn’t need my help if you were a good student,” you say blankly, standing up from your seat. “My hourly rate is 20,000 Won. Take it or leave it.”
Jungkook’s eye twitched. He had to spend his money to get Taehyung’s money? Well, the payout would be worth it in the end anyway. He reaches out a hand to you.
“If you’d have me,” he says cheekily, looking up at you. You take his hand in yours and maybe for a second you felt your heart skip a beat, but that was soon over when you let go of him.
“You have sweaty hands,” you say straightforwardly. You wipe your hand on your shirt and he coughs awkwardly at how unresponsive you truly were. Didn’t Jimin say you were a nice person? 
You take your barely-touched lunch tray and walk away from his pensive figure.
“Wait, can I get your number?” he yells. You don’t look back.
“Alright, whatever,” he mumbles to himself. “I’ll just ask Jimin, I guess.”
Without even a second glance, you disappear from his sight. He sits back on his chair, heaving out a deep sigh. Sure, this wasn’t the first girl that didn’t care much for his advances, but you didn’t even crack a smile or anything. This is going to be harder than he thought...
“She hates me,” Jungkook whines to Seokjin as they walked down the university halls to their next shared class. “Yesterday, I went up to her to get her number and I left with a fucking debt. Does that make any sense?”
“Well, maybe you shouldn’t have taken on the bet,” Seokjin yawned. “Namjoon would have wooed her with his poetry by now or some shit.”
Jungkook rolls his eyes.
“Yeah, I’m sure she’s interested in a dude who can’t even put on a hat without causing an earthquake.”
Seokjin smacked him on the back.
“At least he’d have the guts to say no to having a fucking tutor,” Seokjin replies. “You dug your own grave, man. Now roll around in it.”
“Do you want me to succeed or not?” 
“I want you to not be a fucking dumbass, Jungkook,” Seokjin sighs. “Do you really wanna make your reputation worse than it already is?”
Just as Jungkook was about to reply, he catches a glimpse of you walking farther ahead in the university courtyard. You were a bit far but he’s sure he could make it if he hurries. He smacks the binder he held in his right hand onto Seokjin’s chest.
“Yo, can you cover for me,” he asks hastily and Seokjin stares at him with a concerned gaze. He watches as Jungkook takes off his backpack and leaves it on the ground. Jungkook looked about ready to break out in a sprint.
“What the fuck, why?” Seokjin questions.
“Just tell the TA I’m out for a bit,” he says in response, already running ahead to catch up to you. “I’m winning this fucking bet or I’ll die trying.”
Jin stands still, mouth agape. Jungkook really left him with his backpack and binder just to talk to you. He shakes his head. ‘I need to make new friends,’ he thought to himself, picking up the discarded backpack and walking in the direction of the class Jungkook was planning to be late to.
You were walking with your earphones on, not noticing someone sprinting at you in record speed. You only turn your music off when Jungkook stops in front of you, his hands on his knees. He was panting heavily.
“Hey,” he says through deep breaths. You nod at him awkwardly.
“Why are you running?”
“I wanted to... catch up to you... and I thought... you were closer... but the run here... took... fucking... forever,” he says breathlessly. “Water. I need water.”
You take out a bottle from your tote bag hastily, handing it to him. He took it into his hands, grazing your fingers a bit. As he was about to start chugging it, you halted him.
“Waterfall,” you say curtly- you were still planning to drink out of it later after all. 
He nods in response, a drop of sweat cascading the side of his neck. After he was done, there was practically no water left anyway. ‘I’m gonna have to refill it myself,’ you thought begrudgingly. You stuff it back into your bag and wait until his breaths become more even.
“A bit out of shape, huh?”
He scoffs and gives you a glare, clearly offended.
“I actually have a Taekwondo scholarship, you know that? I just wasn’t warmed up and I’m naturally sweaty so it’s not like-”
You laugh a little.
“I’m joking,” you say, a smile adorning your face. He feels his face turn red and he can’t help but purse his lips out of embarrassment. Jeon Jungkook couldn’t take a fucking joke.
“O-oh,” he says shyly, avoiding your gaze. Why was he acting more like an idiot than usual? You hear the chiming bells of the university tower and stare at your phone to check the time.
“Don’t you have a class?” you ask him. His eyes widen and soon he was dashing off again. He turns around mid-run, jogging backward to face you.
“My number is 06-1313-9197,” he yells, loud enough for the other late students in the courtyard to hear. Most of them roll their eyes, knowing that Jungkook was flirting with another girl yet again. You’re embarrassed by the amount of attention he’s getting, but punch his number on your phone anyway.
“Text me,” he shouts. “I’ll always respond to you.”
Now it was your turn to be flustered.
"That’s wrong,” you say, reaching over to Jungkook’s notebook and marking a large ‘X’ on his paper. “You’re not supposed to apply that function for this problem...”
Jungkook stared at you with a tired face. He didn’t think he was too bad at the mathematical aspect of Microeconomics, but it seemed like it was your life’s mission to make him look like an idiot. Of course, you caught every mistake that he made- even the ones he made on purpose just to see if you were really paying attention to his work and not bamboozling him.
“My bad,” he mutters, copying down the same problem on a different sheet of paper. He didn’t even get a chance to make a move on you today- not like he could make any big developments in the campus library anyway.
“Is it like this?” he asks, tilting his notebook to face you. You take a hard look at it and nod.
“Yeah, just make sure you know the difference between these two formulas, or else you’ll mess up on the midterm,” you say thoughtfully.
This was your fourth or fifth tutoring session by now? Truth be told he wasn’t really counting. Each moment he spent with you kind of blended together and he didn’t quite know if that was a bad thing or not.
“You know you’re not even struggling,” you say, your nose buried deep in your textbook. “It’s not like you’re completely clueless like Jimin. It seems like you’re wasting money on stuff you already know.”
Jungkook laughs heartily, getting shushed by the people around him. He really was stupid, wasn’t he?
“Yeah, well, it was just an excuse to hang out with the pretty girl in class, you know?” he says as nonchalantly as he could. You stare at him for a second and he swears he feels his body freeze over. If looks could kill...
You just shook your head with a click of your tongue and got back to reading.
“The pretty girl in class is most definitely not me,” you grumble. “If you wanted, I could’ve given you Soobin’s number without all the added hassle of you trying to come talk to me-”
“Woah, woah, woah,” Jungkook stops you from saying anything else. He looked worriedly at your face. “I don’t even know who the hell Soobin is, why would I want her number?”
You look at him and finally, you chuckle. ‘She really does have a nice smile,’ Jungkook thought to himself. It would be nice if he could make you laugh more often and not just on rare occasions like this.
“You’re saying you don’t know Yoongi’s ex?” you tease slightly. You were finally letting your guard down with him and Jungkook smirked. One wall down, another million more to go.
“Bold of you to assume that I know any of Yoongi’s exes,” he says and you scoff. “He’s an asshole when it comes to dating.”
You roll your eyes.
“Isn’t that your whole friend group?”
He pouts. You knew of his reputation after all. Jungkook thought he could get away playing a nice boy act, but it didn't seem possible considering your knowledge of him. A little white lie couldn’t hurt in the end.
“Not me,” he replies. “I choose my relationships pretty carefully.”
You take a glance at him before jotting down a few more words in your notebook.
“Well,” you start off, a little shy to admit what you were about to say, “I guess we both have that in common.”
He tilts his head rather cutely out of confusion.
“What do you mean?”
You cough awkwardly, adjusting yourself on one of the library’s notoriously squeaky seats.
“I’ve never really had a boyfriend before,” you say quietly. His eyes bulge out from their sockets.
“You’re lying.”
“No, I’m not,” you say, a hint of amusement in your voice.
“Like, you’ve never been on a date or what?”
“I have,” you say hesitantly. “I’ve been on a few but they just never led into anything serious. I was pretty focused on studying in high school so there weren’t really any opportunities to get involved with someone. Plus, the guys who pursued me weren’t very... attractive.”
Jungkook laughs loudly again, much to the dismay of the other students in the library. He liked that you didn’t beat around the bush- it was easier to talk to you that way.
“And me?” he asks teasingly, laying his head on his arm that was atop the desk. He looks up at you with that boyish grin of his that gave you small butterflies in your stomach. You stare back at him, but only for a second. You ignore his watchful gaze and continue to flip through your textbook, trying to find the passage you last read. He keeps his eyes locked on you and you just couldn’t resist.
“What about you?” you ask, feigning ignorance.
“Am I attractive?” he replies as bluntly as he could. You stop your movements and he chuckles.
“You’re... cute,” you settle on that word. Cute. It was safe enough to not be misinterpreted too much. He sits up straight with a satisfied smirk. He takes his pen and draws a heart on the side of your notebook. He winks at you when you stare back at him, puzzled by his actions.
“You are too.”
“Tell me you’re lying,” Soobin whines disappointingly, shaking your shoulders. You were trying to eat lunch undisturbed in one of the campus cafes but your two friends seem hell-bent on making you suffer. “There’s no way you’re friends with Jungkook.”
You sigh, attempting to rid yourself of Soobin’s grasp but to no avail.
“He’s an asshole, [Y/N],” Gaeun sighs disappointingly. “I thought you were a feminist, why the fuck do you even tolerate him?”
You glare at her for a split second before going back to prying Soobin off you.
“Jungkook has no respect for women or himself. It shows in how many shitty friends he has,” Soobin chants, still clearly bitter that Yoongi dumped her.
You shake your head, rolling your shoulders back when she finally lets go of you.
“Jungkook’s not even as bad as you guys describe him,” you reply. “He’s actually been really sweet.”
The girls take a glance at each other and burst in a fit of laughter.
“You must be out of your damn mind,” Gaeun cries. You cower slightly at their words. It’s not like you said anything that controversial, did you?
Soobin slaps Gaeun on the shoulder when she realizes how your face had soured. It wasn’t right to judge you for your choice of friends so harshly, no matter how horrid said person was.
“As long as it doesn’t go past friends,” she says soothingly, but that only made you feel worse.
“Why?” you ask a little hesitantly. “Does Jungkook sleep around?”
Gaeun nods, a worrying glimpse in her eyes.
“He's not exactly the type to kiss and stay...”
You nod understandingly. You weren’t too clueless to believe Jungkook when he said he was “careful” on who he dated. As long as you knew the boundaries that came with being his tutor, everything should be fine... right?
“Don’t worry guys,” you say with determination. “I’m not the type to get played-”
“Of course you are!” Gaeun sighed. “Guys gravitate towards girls like you who lack experience. Jungkook’s a fucking weirdo, of course, he’s gonna try and-”
“[Y/N]!” a shout from across the cafe screams. That distracted you from the various insults Gaeun was spewing from her mouth. You get that she was being critical of Jungkook, but did she have to speak ill of you too?
You look around and catch Jungkook waving frantically at you. He stops at your table and takes a mere glance at your friends before setting his focus on you. 
“Do you have time to help me out today? One of the papers for my writing class-”
“You tutor him in writing now, too?!” Soobin exclaimed, mouth agape. “[Y/N], what the fuck.”
You try to ignore your friend’s overreaction, a little disheartened when Jungkook looked hurt at their words. He had started to shy away from them as if he didn’t feel welcomed.
“Nevermind, I’ll just ask you later-”
“Actually,” you say standing up. “I’m free now.”
The two girls look back and forth between you and Jungkook, noticing the stars in your eyes when you looked at him. They did not like the thought of you two together at all.
“But [Y/N]-” 
You ignored their words and start to walk away, hoping Jungkook would come catch up to you. You didn’t quite know why their insistence on him being a bad person had made your blood boil. It wasn’t like you weren’t aware of his flirtatious tendencies, but hearing from your friends that you shouldn’t pursue a guy that you liked-
You stopped in your tracks and feel heat climb up your face. Like.
No way you admitted that just now. There’s no possible way you actually like-
“Hey, wait up,” Jungkook pants, his hand touching your shoulder. “Why do you walk so fast for-”
He sees your shocked face and turns you towards him, his hands on your shoulder similar to how Soobin had shaken you just earlier. Except this time, it felt comforting. It made your whole body feel warm as if you were coated with a weighted blanket. Was he always this gorgeous?
“What’s wrong?” he asks, inspecting your face closely. “You look like you just saw a ghost.”
“N-nothing,” you swipe his hands away and rush out the door of the cafe. He smirks at how flustered you look, maybe he did have an effect on you after all.
Jungkook takes a last glimpse at the two girls who sat in their seats, staring at him disapprovingly. He raised an eyebrow at them and shoved his hands in the pocket of his jeans, following after you. ‘They’ll try to get in the way,’ Jungkook thought to himself, ‘but they’re already too late.’
The girls clenched their fist out of annoyance. He was definitely trying to get on their nerves.
“There’s something strange about what’s happening,” Gaeun mutters.
“They’re up to something,” Soobin agrees. “I don’t trust him at all.”
It’s been a week since you last spoke to your friends, not really wanting to read the messages they bombarded you with about how you should stay for away from Jungkook. It was hard to take any of their advice seriously when they were just badmouthing him without reason. They based all their opinions on him from rumors around the school and Soobin always felt the need to compare him to Yoongi even though they both had very different personalities. Well, at least to you they seemed very different.
Frankly, you were sick of their nagging and just turned off notifications from that group chat altogether. Instead of sitting next to them during Microeconomics, you opted to sit with Jungkook in the back of the lecture hall instead of at the front with them. Jungkook had abandoned his own rowdy friend group to sit with you and flashed them quick smirks and winks whenever they’d stare at him. 
Slowly, Jungkook had started to become a constant in your day to day life. You walked to class with him, ate with him, played video games with him. It was sort of strange how used to you were of his presence, like you had known him your whole life. Jungkook snaps you out of your thoughts when he starts humming a little tune.
He draws a heart in the corner of your notes- which you find he has a habit of doing whenever he wanted to say something stupid.
“I don’t get what he’s saying,” he pouts cutely. “It’s like he’s speaking a foreign language.”
You shake your head, not paying him any mind.
“Well maybe if you actually paid attention,” you mutter softly. He scoots closer to you and you feel yourself stiffen.
“But you’re tutoring me later on anyway,” he says teasingly. “I get more bang for my buck if I know less.”
“Bang for my buck,” you scoff. “Who even says that anymore?”
He points at himself nonchalantly and you can’t help but crack a smile as you continue to focus on the professor’s words. You don’t even cower under his gaze like you usually do when he stares at you with those puppy dog eyes.
“What do you want?” you ask, finally caving when Professor Kwon adjusted something in his PowerPoint slides. He smiles.
“I want to hold your hand,” Jungkook replies and you could feel your palms clam up. His flirtatious comments increased as time passed and you didn’t really quite know whether he was just teasing you or if he was genuinely interested in you. You weren’t very good at taking a hint.
“I’m writing right now...” you reply, slightly skipping a beat in your note-taking. He really was the ultimate distraction, wasn’t he?
Jungkook pouts sadly, but you can tell an idea pops up in his mind when his eyes start to glimmer. He sits his hand on your thigh and you jolt back from the touch of his hand on the material of your jeans. He pulls away slightly, scared that he had made you uncomfortable.
“I just want to put my arm around you,” he asks innocently. “Are you okay with that?”
You calm yourself down and nod. For goodness sake, you weren’t a child- why did a hand on your thigh make you so nervous for?!
“Yeah,” you say, a little more confident despite your nerves. “Go ahead.”
He smiles softly at you and connects his hand to your waist, pulling you a little closer to him. It was comforting, not at all meant to be more than just a public display of affection. He finds himself getting lost in the lecture along with you, his hand playing with a loose thread on your shirt through it all. He didn’t even look at his friends who were teasing him on the other side of the class or your own friends shooting daggers into his being.
At that moment, it was you, him, and Professor Kwon giving out a lecture that had half of the students already asleep. He smiled at how diligently you worked and how your breath would quicken when Professor Kwon switched the slides without a warning. It was the little idiosyncrasies like this that caught his attention, the kind of things that made him wonder where you’d been all his life.
The smile on Jungkook’s face disappeared when he came to that realization.
Jungkook rolls around the grass while you sit on the picnic blanket you two had set up. Midterms were over and grades would soon be announced. He wanted a much-needed distraction from the monotony of constant studying and you had suggested a small picnic in a nearby park. Of course, he agreed. 
“We’re free,” he groans. “Finally free.”
Jungkook stares hungrily at the assortment of food you had laid out for the two of you. He tries to reach a hand out to grab a bottle of lemonade but ultimately fails in the end. You giggle at his silliness, popping a grape in your mouth.
“You’re welcome by the way,” you say jokingly. “Don’t think you could’ve done it without me.”
He sits up to face you, bowing deeply as if you were a traditional empress.
“Thank you,” he says, imitating a Joseon accent. He was watching far too many historical dramas recently.
“You’re embarrassing me,” you say, attempting to straighten him out. “Sit up.”
He complies, only after a few pulls from you, with a toothy grin on his face.
“Seriously, I don’t think I could have gone through the first few weeks of Professor Kwon’s class without your notes,” he sighs, opening his mouth to signal that he wanted to be fed. You roll your eyes but placed a grape between his teeth anyway.
“You have hands, you should know how to use them,” you mumble shyly.
You move to take another grape for yourself, but he grabs your wrist before you could. He intertwines his fingers into yours.
“Why should I when my hands are holding yours~,” he says in a sing-song voice. It made you want to throw up at how cheesy he was, but you couldn’t help but laugh along as he cringed at his own words. When was it so normal for him to hold your hands like this?
“You can’t go one sentence without flirting, can you?” you sigh, feigning annoyance.
“Not when it comes to you,” he replies, but you could feel sincerity laced between his laughter. “I can’t resist flirting when it makes you all giggly like this.”
You purse your lips to prevent yourself from smiling too brightly. Jungkook and you were somewhat past the point of being just friends by now, but you were too much of a coward to label what you had with him. What if there was a chance that he was just leading you on?
Jungkook saw your furrowed brows. He rubbed circles on your hands with his thumbs to ease you.
“Am I making you uncomfortable?” he asks softly, about to let go.
“No-” you say a little too quickly, clasping him closer to you. Your faces were inches apart now, much nearer than they were before.
“D-don’t,” you attempt to say but you’re tongue tangled as you looked at his lips. He certainly does have nice lips...
“Don’t what?” he asks in a lowly voice. You start to look around you- anywhere that wasn’t him. The park was relatively empty but it still felt embarrassing to say anything too loud.
“D-don’t let me go,” you say, your eyes on the picnic blanket rather than on him. His gaze was too intense to look at. Jungkook feels his heart clench. You were cute, too cute. 
He shouldn’t be feeling this attached to you, but he couldn’t help it. Everything you did, every word that came out of your mouth- it had him wanting more from you than he could possibly handle. It was dangerous to feel this way.
“Why don’t you want me to let you go?” he asks nervously. He too was anxious for the answer. If you were to confess to Jungkook right now, he’d get the first part of the bet done, but there’d be no turning back after your confession. He would have to lie to you from now on. 
Jungkook closed his eyes, chanting to himself that it’s okay to like you for a little while, just as long as he doesn’t get too attached in the end. He needed the money, he really did.
“Because,” you start off with a sigh, staring at him now with glossy eyes. “I like you.”
Jungkook feels like he could do ten backflips in one go and it wouldn’t even drain him of energy. The smile on his face was huge, his eyes curling into that half-moon shape that made you swoon. 
Jungkook was relieved and if the boys asked, it was because he’d only have to date you for three months. He’d die before he’d admit to them that he caught feelings because Taehyung, as generous as he was with his bets, would never give Jungkook the money unless he cleanly broke up with you. It was one of his unspoken rules.
“I like you too.”
You smile at him and he can’t help but pull you close, his lips hovering over yours.
“Can I?”
You nod.
His lips graze yours slightly but he pushes a bit closer when he feels you lean into his touch. He kisses you again, and again, and again, but you pull away when his tongue had started to prod at your lips. Your face was flushed,  embarrassed to be doing this in such a public place.
“Maybe later?” you say, panting slightly. He gives you a cheeky grin and nods.
“At my place?” he asks with a wink.
You hesitate, letting go of his arms, twiddling with your fingers. You wanted to set clear labels on what your relationship was. You didn't want to accidentally get caught up in a friends-with-benefits situation and be all shocked when Jungkook ends up breaking your heart.
“So we’re dating now, right?” you ask cautiously, looking at him with a worried glint in your eyes. 
Jungkook’s mouth opens to speak but no words come out. He thinks a little harder about the whole situation... He was getting good grades, spending some quality time with a girl he’s clearly attracted to, and having his rent paid off all in one? He was killing three birds with one stone. It shouldn’t be too big of a problem to catch feelings for now, right? It’s not like any of his relationships lasted longer than a couple of months anyway.
He nods, cupping your face lightly.
“Yeah,” he hesitates. “We’re dating.”
Jungkook wasn’t aware, as he gives you another light peck, that it wasn’t possible to have his cake and eat it too.
It happens naturally. You coming in and out of his apartment that he shared with his friends, you tangling your legs with his underneath the sheets of his bed. It was hard to imagine a life where you didn’t wake up with him by your side. You were so wrapped up in his touch, so wrapped up in the sweet words he would whisper into your ears, that you spent most of your time with him. 
You weren’t really up to date with your friends anymore and he didn’t really hang out with his either. Jungkook shared an apartment with Seokjin and Hoseok, and so the only contact he had with the other boys was when they visited those two. He should’ve known to take you back home when all the boys bombarded into his living room, where you sat with him watching TV. 
“The lovebirds are at it again,” Taehyung coos, a mysterious glint in his eyes. “The honeymoon stage hasn’t passed quite yet, has it?”
Jungkook chucks one of the sofa’s throw pillows at his friend, obviously annoyed. What the fuck did Taehyung think he was doing?
“Quit it,” he mutters. You were sitting next to Jungkook, his arm around your shoulder protectively
“Why?” Yoongi yawns. “Anyone can see how incredibly in love you two are.”
You didn’t quite like the smirk he gave the two of you. This didn’t feel like regular teasing... it felt like he knew something that you weren't aware of. It made you curl your toes out of fear.
“Guys,” Jimin says calmly. “Stop it.”
The boys shrug their shoulders as if they said nothing wrong.
“We’re just pointing out how cute they are together,” Taehyung noted, “It’s not like we’re lying to her or anything-”
“Yeah, or leading her on or anything like that-”
“I think I should go,” you say hurriedly, uncomfortable at how tense the atmosphere was. Jungkook was clenching his fists, about ready to start a fight any second. Knowing his strength, you didn’t want anyone to walk around with a bruised eye because you couldn’t handle a few jokes- if that’s what Taehyung and Yoongi think they’re making. Harmless jokes.
“I’ll take you home,” Jungkook announces, standing up with you. Namjoon pulls him down back on the couch.
“Let someone else take her,” he says sternly. “We need to talk.”
Jungkook was about to protest until you spoke up.
“I can get home by myself just fine.”
“Hoseok and I can take you,” Seokjin insists, pulling the unassuming man up with him. “We don’t mind.”
Hoseok gives you a lopsided smile and you return an equally awkward one.
“Okay, that’s settled,” you say, clapping your hands. You walk over to Jungkook. “I’ll text you later okay?”
He nods, grabbing your hand and kissing it lightly. Yoongi scoffs and Taehyung glares at Jungkook. The dirty glances they were giving each other... You didn’t like it at all.
“Let me know when you get home, okay?”
The walk to your apartment was unnecessarily awkward, Hoseok and Seokjin were talking too much and you talked too little. You tried to respond to their every quip, but you weren’t in the mood for chatting after that whole mess.
“You okay, [Y/N]?” Hoseok asks worriedly. “Don’t think too much about what those idiots said back there, they’re like that all the time.”
You nod, keeping your eyes on the ground. There was something chipping away at the back of your mind, something you wanted to get out of your chest.
“Would you say Jungkook and Yoongi act similarly?” you hesitate to say, “like with relationships?”
The two boys exchanged nervous glances at each other.
“Well, it depends,” Seokjin starts, choosing his words specifically. “What about relationships specifically?”
“Does he...,” you start off, not knowing the right phrase without sounding too harsh, “play around with girls? Like how Yoongi played around with Soobin?”
Hoseok looked at you with a raised brow.
“Who’s Soobin?” he asks before getting punched in the arm by Seokjin. “What the fuck bro!”
Seokjin clears his throat.
“What Hoseok meant to say,” he starts, glaring at his friend a little too harshly, “is that Yoongi never really introduces us to his girlfriends. You, on the other hand, are one of the few girls Jungkook actually took the time to invite over.”
“Yeah,” Hoseok chimes in. “He’s not exactly the most chivalrous, but he wouldn’t ghost someone like Yoongi did.”
Somehow their words weren’t enough to satisfy you. There was still something off in the conversation that transpired between the three boys- as if they were all keeping something from you. You stopped abruptly in front of your apartment complex, finally making eye-contact with the two boys.
“Do you think...” you start, a slight quiver in your voice, “that Jungkook is cheating on me?”
The two boys let out a deep breath that you didn’t even notice they were holding and laughed joyously together. They cackled as if what you said was the funniest thing they had ever heard in their life. Seokjin wipes a stray tear from his eye.
“Y-you think Jungkook’s cheating on you?!”
You nod, a little embarrassed at their reaction. Hoseok shakes his head, sighing out of his laughter.
“Trust me,” Hoseok starts, his breath evening out. “Jungkook would never cheat on you.”
You start to giggle along with them until a serious look suddenly takes over Seokjin’s features. He faces you fully.
“But listen [Y/N],” he starts. “If Jungkook hurts you, just know that he does love you. Like, undeniably. He does.”
“And we’re not just saying that as his friends either,” Hoseok continues. “We know how he’s like and we can tell that he really does like you.”
You smile at the two, feeling a small sense of comfort at their words.
“Thank you, guys. I mean it.”
They pat you on the back.
“Anything for Jungkook’s girlfriend.”
You walk through the campus cafeteria, eyes searching for a free table that you can sit alone in. Jungkook had Taekwondo practice so there would be no lovey-dovey feeding time with him. 
He’s been a lot tenser since the living room incident (which was already a week ago) and it seemed like he got more agitated as the days passed. Not towards you directly, but he’d always mutter slight insults whenever Yoongi or Taehyung passed by. It made you worried that you had done something to possibly drive a wrench into their relationship without even knowing it.
‘Whatever,’ you thought, ‘I’ll talk about it with him when he comes over later.’
You aren’t able to find a seat, though, when you feel dainty fingers wrap around  your elbow to pull you back lightly.
“[Y/N],” Gaeun says in a low voice. “We need to talk.”
It wasn’t like you had been ignoring them deliberately, though that was definitely the case at the start. You just couldn’t find the time to really hang out with them as much as you used to since you were with Jungkook most of the time. It was like that too when Gaeun and Soobin were in relationships, so you never really felt bad about doing it yourself.
“Yeah sure. I miss you guys,” you smile at her, but she doesn’t return it back.
“Come with me.”
Gaeun leads you to a table near the back of the room, where Soobin was sat up against the wall with her own tray of food. You sit down in front of her and Gaeun takes the seat next to Soobin.
“Good, you’re here,” Soobin says, apprehension laced in her voice. “We need to talk about Jungkook.”
You roll your eyes.
“Not this again-”
“[Y/N],” Gaeun warns. “Listen.”
You keep quiet, a little intimidated of how scary their expressions were.
“It’s all a bet,” Soobin says sternly.
You furrow your brows at her. She tends to speak vaguely when you needed her to be specific the most.
“It’s a bet, [Y/N],” Gaeun repeats for her. “Jungkook’s only dating you because Taehyung said he’d pay his rent off if he did.”
You clench your fist on the table. How could they sit there and spew lies so easily?
“What are you guys-”
“Those dicks do this all the time,” Soobin rambles. “They play stupid games with girls just to fucking break their hearts later on and-”
“I don’t believe you,” you say confidently. “Jungkook would never do that to me. Besides-”
Gaeun didn’t even wait until you stopped talking to play a recording on her phone. The voices were familiar enough to recognize.
“So you’re telling me that Jungkook’s just fucking around with [Y/N] because he wants priority registration? You have to be fucking joking...”
You could tell from the sound of the person’s voice that it was Soobin. It sounded like she was putting on her clothes.
“Of course not. He’s doing it for priority registration and his rent getting paid for the rest of the year. I’m not joking when I say Tae goes big with his bets. He likes to flex his money on us like that.”
Your jaw drops at the sound of the man’s voice. It was Yoongi. You were sure of it.
“And you guys don’t feel bad? Like at all?”
“Why should we? Jungkook’s planning to break up with her next week anyway so she doesn’t catch feelings for too long. It’s not like they were gonna last past the three-month deal...”
Gaeun paused the recording when she sees you bite your lip so harshly that blood starts to surface. This didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel real.
“I hooked up with him last weekend,” Soobin admits, shame written all over her face. “He was spewing stuff about Jungkook spending all his time with you and not really hanging out with the boys like he used to.”
“You still hook up with Yoongi? After all he did to you?” you ask, not meaning to come off aggressive but undoubtedly did.
“Look,” Gauen starts, taking the heat off of Soobin. “She was just drunk and looking to have fun. I was with her that night and I was talking to Namjoon. He...”
Gaeun trailed off, but you were sick of it. Sick of being kept in the dark from something you should’ve known all along.
“H-he told me that all the boys were getting tired of him playing around with you,” she says, twiddling with her fingers. “He’s supposed to break up with you today. Some of the guys think he’s just prolonging it to fuck with you and they’re getting really annoyed-”
You bite back the tears threatening to spill over any minute now.
“Hoseok and Seokjin told me to trust Jungkook. They said he wouldn’t hurt me-”
“Did they also tell you that their rent gets paid too if Jungkook pulled through with the bet?” Soobin replies angrily. “Because they live together, don’t they?”
You open your mouth but no sound comes out- just a small whimper. Your lips start to quiver and you bite your lip again to calm yourself down. When you had collected your thoughts, you glared up at the two girls.
“And you didn’t tell me this earlier?”
Soobin scoffed.
“You were fucking ignoring us too, how were we supposed to tell you?”
“Still it wouldn’t have killed you to-”
“Don’t take your anger out on us,” Gaeun warns, her finger pointing at you. “Jungkook is the one to blame. We told you from the start that he was bad news.”
You pursed your lips and Gaeun put her finger down, feeling guilty that she lashed out on you when obviously you were just processing the information.
“Hey, I’m sorry-”
“Why me?” you ask with teary eyes. “What did I even do to them to deserve this?” 
They glance over at each other for a long while before Soobin breaks the silence. You had the right to know, but at the same time, they knew it would break you.
“It’s a sick game that they play where they just choose someone randomly...” Soobin starts off gently handing off the next few words to Gaeun, “and you were just the first girl to walk into Professor Kwon’s lecture hall. He thought you’d be...”
“Easy,” Soobin finished.
Just as they predicted, you had burst out in tears.
Jungkook opens the door to your apartment, using the spare key you had given him a month earlier since he tended to visit often. It was more convenient that way. 
He was freshly out of his Taekwondo garb, still sweaty, but otherwise clean from taking a shower at the campus gym. He found it strange at how dark the room was, but he knew you were on the couch from the noticeable lump of a blanket on it.
All Jungkook wanted was to cuddle with you and fall asleep in your arms after such a harrowing day. Lord knows he needs your warmth right now.
He smiled as he made his way towards you, but stops in his tracks when you sit up from where you laid. He couldn’t quite see you in the darkness so he walked to the light switch to turn the lights on. His heart broke at the sight of you.
Tears stained your cheeks, your eyes red and puffy from all the crying. You looked a mess and his blood boiled at the thought of someone hurting you. 
“What happened?” he asked, rushing over to you and cupping your face in his hands. You push him away.
“You don’t have to act anymore,” you say softly. “I can handle it.”
He looks at you with furrowed brows.
“What are you talking about-”
“I get that you really need the money,” you say through bated breaths, “I get that financially, it would have really helped, but did you really have to hurt me to do that?”
Jungkook’s breathing stopped. Everything was happening too quickly, his world crashing down when you uttered those words. He knew what this meant, knew that now you would see past his lies. Jungkook couldn’t have you finding out this way. 
He kneeled in front of you, attempting to wipe away the tears from your eyes but you push him off.
“[Y/N] no-”
“It could’ve been anyone,” you whimper, trying to look up at the ceiling to prevent any more tears from falling down. “Anyone could’ve walked through that door and you would’ve been okay with it.”
“That’s not true-” he interjects but you stop him.
“A-and you flirted with me all the time ‘cause you knew that I wasn’t used to it,” you say, your voice quivering. “You took advantage of me.”
Jungkook shakes his head rapidly, eyes pleading for you to let him speak. It hurt seeing you refuse to even look at him, to have your eyes so filled with sadness because of what he did to you. He fucked up, he fucked up so bad.
“No, you have to listen-”
“They told me not to trust you,” you whimper somberly. “They told me and I didn’t believe them because I... I was delusional or something. I thought that someone like you could actually like someone like me-”
His heart broke. It wasn’t you that didn’t deserve him. It was him. All him.
“Please don’t say that-”
“Did you come here to seal the deal? To finally break up with me?” you ask sadly. “Are you happy you’ll get the classes you want next quarter, Jungkook?”
He clenches his teeth. Jungkook knows you’re mad, knows you have a right to be, but it feels like he’s being cornered by you. Why won’t you give him the chance to speak?
“[Y/N], no,” he says sternly, “You have to trust me when I say that it went past just a bet. I like you. Genuinely, I like you.”
There was no point in lying any longer. You deserved to know the truth, but he needed you to know all of it- not just the information your friends cherry-picked to fit their narrative. He tried to speak again, but you wouldn’t let him.
“How could you,” you whimper. “How could someone be so cruel?”
Jungkook’s heart breaks at the words. He should’ve seen this coming. How could he delude himself into thinking he’d be okay if you find out- that he’d be fine seeing you heartbroken? He was disgusted with himself.
“I’m sorry [Y/N],” he whispers. “I’m so sorry.”
You shake your head, your vision getting blurry from the tears. He clasps your hands in his, knowing that it used to soothe you whenever you felt worried over something, but you just wailed harder at his touch. He didn’t know what to do, he didn't even know where to start.
“Stop pretending like you care,” you cry. “Please. It hurts.”
“It was a bet,” he admits and he breaths through the words to prevent himself from getting too emotional, “but I promise that my feelings are genuine. You have to trust me.”
“Trust you?” you ask crudely.
You stare at him, slowing your breaths to ease the crying. There was a certain emptiness in your gaze and it scared him. It was awfully frightening having you looking at him with a certain animosity that was not there before. Like he was a stranger.
“I can’t do that anymore, Jungkook,” you say softly, “because I hate you.”
A/N: Gasp A double update?! Say it isn’t so... I had so much fun writing this!!! Probably one of my favorite fics I’ve written in a while because I love this trope. How do y’all feel about Jungkook? Forgive or forget? Let me know!! Thank you @altus-gens​ for requesting this story, I hope you like it :)
Please leave any comment, critiques, or just random thoughts about my story! I’m planning my murder mystery series rn and I’m so excited (I might... do an album giveaway along with it...) I really love the direction I’m taking this blog in and I hope you guys are excited for the stories to come~~ 
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latetaektalk · 11 months ago
after i left you | jjk
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“when you decided to meet up with taehyung for dinner to reconnect, you didn’t expect to see jungkook, your ex, on a date with his current girlfriend and not to mention, end up fake dating taehyung.”
genre: exes! AU, fake dating! AU, enemies to lovers-ish! AU, unrequited feelings-ish! AU, angst, fluff
pairing: jungkook x female reader 
word count: 38.985 
warnings: cursing, reader feels very guilty in this one, alcohol consumption (nothing major/bad though)
playlist: happier - ed sheeran, just asking - aquilo, my tears ricochet - taylor swift, one last time please - dodie
a/n: uh, super nervous to post this because ive never written so much before, but i had a ton of fun and i hope you guys enjoy it! if you guys have any problems reading, liking or reblogging it, please let me know! im not sure if tumblr can handle such a word count, so id appreciate it if you guys would tell me if something doesnt work and ill figure it out! anyway, hope you guys enjoy this as much as i enjoyed writing this!
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The restaurant Taehyung picked was big but cozy. It was one huge room that stretched out further than your eyes could see. It was soaked in golden light, soaked in warmth and comfort. Everything was made out of wood, dark rich wood, and it smelled like home-cooked food. The smell wafted through the entire place. 
“‘Let’s all have dinner,’ they said, huh?” Taehyung said and looked around, no Yerim or Yoongi in sight. You laughed and shrugged.
“Yeah, sucks that they had to cancel last minute, but next time, we’ll be all together,” you said and skimmed the hard edges of the menu in your hands.
“Yeah, I know, but I thought we’d find the time once you returned,” Taehyung sighed and put down his menu with a frown.
“Definitely sucks,” you agreed and put down your menu as well. “But I’m happy that at least you and I could find the time.”
Taehyung and you smiled at each other and you could still barely believe it, could still barely believe that you were not only back in your hometown, but sitting in front of Taehyung and having dinner with him. It was all very surreal to you, and even though barely half an hour had passed since you had first seen Taehyung again in four years, things felt like they had never changed. There was no awkwardness, no long silences or weird tension between you. Both of you had simply picked up from where you left off. 
“Tell me, Y/N, how was America?” Taehyung asked and plopped his elbow onto the table before letting his chin fall into his open palm and tilting his head to the side. You mirrored him and let out a hum, the golden light pouring down both of your faces and bringing out the corners of your features.
Taehyung’s hair had grown out a lot since you had last seen him. In fact, it was permed now. And even though both of you had finished puberty by the time you had left, he seemed to have gotten a little taller. He had somehow grown into his face and turned into one gorgeous man with fluffy and luscious locks.
“Well, exhausting. I was always studying and pulling all-nighters, and it was so hard at times. The homesickness certainly didn’t make it any easier,” Taehyung smiled, “but it was- it was so worth it.”
“That’s great,” he said and you knew he meant it, knew he was genuinely happy for you. You beamed at him. “You really enjoyed it, didn’t you? America, I mean.”
“Yeah, it was- it was great, truly,” you said with a nod and remembered all of the memories you had made over the past four years. “It was really what I needed. Really the time of my life.”
Taehyung’s smile widened into a grin and you let your words sink in, sink in for him and for you as well. It was in the silence that you felt the guilt come back, hit you square in the face and leave you breathless.
You leaned back and grabbed the edge of the table. You lowered your head and Taehyung perked up, feeling the shift the moment it had happened.
“I’m sorry.”
Taehyung raised his brows at you and let his hand fall onto the table as he leaned forward, trying to see what you were apologising for.
“I- I feel bad,” you started up again and tucked a strand behind your ear. “It sounds like I didn’t enjoy being here and-”
“No, Y/N, don’t,” Taehyung reached over the table and grabbed your hand, taking it into his, “There’s no need to apologise. You worked your butt off to win that scholarship and fulfilled your dream. That’s great.”
“Yeah, but I abandoned you guys,” you mumbled and shrugged. You pulled away your hand, but Taehyung was quick to tighten his grasp, quick to put his other hand over yours and squeeze your hand. 
“Stop saying that, Y/N,” Taehyung shook his head at you, eyes drilling holes into your head as you continued to stare down at your lap, “You didn’t ‘abandon’ us. That’s bullshit and you know it.”
Taehyung pulled on your hand and waited for you to raise your head, and when you did and met his gaze, he offered you an even bigger grin than before.
“You don’t have to feel bad for going to America to go study,” he said and tilted his head to the side, bangs tickling his eyes. “We were and still are genuinely happy for you.”
“He wasn't.”
Taehyung’s hands tightened around yours at your words, and he pressed his lips into a thin line, giving you a look that had you shifting in your seat and shrugging in defense.
He hadn’t been happy for you at all when you had told him you had won a scholarship to go study in America. You had expected hugs and cheers, but received cold stares and bitter words instead. When the summer had neared its end and you had to leave, he hadn’t been there. Taehyung, Yerim and Yoongi had all hugged and kissed you goodbye, had wished you the best, but he, the person you had wanted to be with you right now the most, had been by your side.
You were eighteen, barely an adult, when you had boarded the plane to America without him kissing your forehead and wishing you the best, and you never forgot that, forgot just how unhappy and miserable you had made him.
“He wasn’t,” you repeated like it excused your words in any way. Taehyung opened his mouth to launch into a speech, a speech you already knew by heart without having heard it a single time. 
“This place,” you started and pulled your hand away, gesturing around you. “It’s nice.”
Taehyung blinked at you, obviously contemplating whether or not to allow you to change the subject like that, and you were more than glad when he leaned back into his chair and nodded.
“Yeah, it opened recently,” he said with a smile and you smiled right back at him. Both of you shared a look for a moment and after many years of friendship, there was no need for words, no need for you to thank him for letting you off the hook like that.
“It’s so nice,” you repeated and you barely heard Taehyung’s laugh as you let your gaze wander, taking it all in.
Seemingly every table was filled, and everybody was in their own world. You could hear laughter and shrieks in between the conversations, and a smile stretched across your face. Your eyes softened at the sight of loving couples and you ignored the pulling in your chest, ignored the yearning for what they had sitting deep within you.
“I really like it here,” you said and Taehyung stuck out his chest a little. A smirk was painted on his lips and pride was glimmering in his eyes. You chuckled a little and let yourself sink into the chair before your gaze travelled through the room once more.
The restaurant seemed to be frequented by a lot of couples, and you understood why. This place reminded you of the restaurants Jungkook would take you to from time and time again to show you how much he appreciated you, one of those restaurants he had taken you to when he had confessed to you and told you he loved you for the first time.
“This is totally a place for him.”
You said it without meaning to, said it without thinking, and when your eyes locked with Taehyung’s, you both shared a knowing gaze. Panic wanted to flush through your chest—because was Taehyung going to circle back to your previous words?—but then, he smiled at you and nodded.
“Yeah, totally is. It’s his favourite restaurant actually,” Taehyung said and you weren’t surprised. “He dragged all of us out here on opening day.”
“Opening day?”
“Yeah, can you imagine this place on opening day? This place had been hyped up months before its opening. So, it was fucking insane when we got here. He almost got into two fistfights that day,” Taehyung laughed and sighed at the memory.
“The hostess couldn't find his reservation and he insisted that he had made one like months ago. Yeri literally had to talk him down. And when we finally got to our table, he almost fought Yoongs because he said he didn’t like it here,” Taehyung told you and shook his head with a grin plastered on his lips. “Can you believe?”
“Honestly?” You raised your brows and you didn’t answer your question because Taehyung and you exploded into more laughter. “Shit, he hasn’t changed at all, has he?” 
“He is dumber now,” Taehyung smiled and scrunched up his nose. “Definitely still an idiot.”
You nodded and this time when you both fell silent, there was no guilt building up inside of you, no coming back to the surface. 
“How is he?” you asked and Taehyung puckered his forehead. He tapped the table with his one hand while he ran his other one through his fluffy locks.
“He’s,” Taehyung hesitated and your heart stopped in your chest, but then you saw the smile pulling on the corners of his lips, “good.” Taehyung paused a moment before nodding. “He’s good. Recently finished up his studies and started his first job. He’s enjoying it.”
You smiled.
“That’s great. I’m happy for him.”
You meant it, meant it because he had deserved so much more, deserved better. When you had last seen him, he and you had been wrecks, crying and sobbing and angry messes, and it was great to hear that he wasn’t anymore, great to hear that he was doing better now. 
“Is he, you know, uh seeing-” you trailed off as the rest of the question got stuck between your teeth like chewing gum, but Taehyung knew what you wanted to ask. He gave you a look, a look you weren’t sure how to interpret. There seemed to be pity and almost sorry in his eyes.
“Yeah, he is.”
You expected that answer, expected it because someone as amazing and great and funny as he was more than desirable but it still hurt to hear. You couldn’t stop your chest from tightening and your heart from sinking a little deeper inside you, shrinking in itself. You wanted to tell yourself to stop, wanted to tell your heart to not be like that because you had no right to feel like that, had no right when you had been the one leaving him. 
He had every right to move on, had every right to forget about you and be happy with someone else. But your heart simply couldn’t help itself from clenching in your chest like you were the one that had been left behind and not him.
“Wait, where are you?”
Taehyung and you snapped your head around when the girl next to you suddenly spoke up, thinking both that she was talking to you. Neither of you had taken notice of her before or looked at her when the hostess had led you two to your table. Until now, she had been typing away on her phone, waiting in silence, but right now, she had her phone pressed against her ear, definitely talking a little too loudly.
“What do you mean you can’t find parking? There’s a huge parking lot right next to the restaurant.”
Taehyung and you locked eyes when it clicked with both of you that she was not talking to you two. You shared knowing looks, remembering the same thing.
“He never found parking either,” Taehyung mumbled and both of you leaned closer to one another, not wanting for the girl to hear that you had eavesdropped on her conversation. Smiles played on your lips and you snickered. 
You recalled the many times you had sat in his car and cursed at him for running another red light because you were late, again, because of him, recalled the many times you would sit in a restaurant on your own or in the mall, waiting for him with your phone pressed to your ear as he assured you over and over again that he had planned in time for traffic, but that it was just worse than ever before.
“And he always had his excuses,” you snorted and shook your head. “‘There was a fire, so I had to turn around and take this huge detour.’ I think there was a fire somewhere every other week.”
Taehyung laughed and grinned at you. “Oh, but I think ‘Someone dropped a bunch of mirrors on the road and when I tried to turn around, I couldn’t because there were a bunch of cars, so I had to wait until they cleaned up the road.’ is still my favourite.”
“Ugh, he’s such a drama queen, I swear,” you groaned and leaned back into your chair. 
“I have no idea how you dated him for most of high school. Like he’s so exhausting sometimes,” Taehyung mumbled and shook his head.
“Oh, you spent just as much time as I did with him,” you said with a roll of your eyes and Taehyung wiggled his finger at you.
“I didn’t date him though. There’s a difference,” he argued and you dismissed his words with a quick shake of your head before crossing your arms in front of your chest at a certain memory.
“Does he still insist on having his cucumbers diced and not sliced because sliced cucumbers don’t taste as good?” 
“Please, don’t remind me. Every time I think about that I want to stop being friends-”
“Wait, where are- oh, I can see you already,” the girl next to you said into her phone and Taehyung and you froze at her interruption. Both of you looked at each other and before either of you could get back to your conversation, you were interrupted once more.
“I’m so sorry, but I swear the traffic was just out of this world today.”
Your eyes grew wide at his voice and your heart plummeted into your stomach when you heard his voice. You recognised it immediately, would have recognised it even if you had been deaf. You could never not recognise it, could never forget his voice. Your heart thumped in your chest, thumped painfully, as you turned your head and your eyes landed on him and his eyes landed on you.
His lips parted the slightest bit as he looked at you, frozen, and he gripped the back of the chair as his brows furrowed together at your sight.
Your name slipped off his tongue and confusion etched onto his face. Hearing him say your name sent your heart into a frenzy, had the panic bulldoze you away and your brain short circuit. The world went silent, the conversations all around you faded away and left you in silence with him. Time seemed to stand still as he and you looked at each other, desperately trying to process what was happening right now.
His name felt dry and heavy on your tongue, felt like cement, felt like something you had been wanting to say forever now, but had avoided saying because you knew you had lost the right to say it and therefore had never said it again, until now. Until now when he was standing wide-eyed in front of you.
“Wait, what’s happening right now?” 
The question barely registered with you as you continued to stare at Jungkook, continued to stare at the boy that had once meant the world to you, continued to stare at the boy that you once had the right to calling him your boyfriend, continued to stare at the boy that still had your heart in such a tight grip that he managed to send it into a frenzy and have panic pumping through your veins merely with his sight.
Jungkook had changed. Now, he was taller and stood out in this crowded restaurant, towered over every other guest. Jungkook demanded attention from everyone, from you, and you were willing to give it to him because how could you not?
His hair had grown out, was longer now than you had ever seen it before and you wanted to comment on his tattoos when you saw them, juxtaposing his golden and warm skin. From the day you had met Jungkook, he had been talking about all of the tattoos he had wanted to get once he was old enough, and you almost couldn’t believe that he had actually finally gotten some. You wondered if he had to go behind the back of his parents or if they gave him their approval since he was an adult now.
“Uhm, babe?”
It was the word ‘babe’ that had you snapping out of it, that had the world start turning again and the time unfreezing, conversations returning to their original volume. It was the word ‘babe’ that had your eyes tearing away from Jungkook and to the girl sitting next to you instead. Her brows were raised and her gaze was drilling into Jungkook’s as he slowly pulled himself together too.
For the first time, you actually looked at the girl, actually gave her some of your attention. Until now, she had just been the girl sitting at the table next to you, been the girl typing away on her phone, been the girl having a conversation a little too loudly, but now, she was the girl who had waited for Jungkook, was the girl who had called Jungkook ‘babe’.
Now, she was the girl who was seemingly Jungkook’s girlfriend.
Jungkook sank down in his chair, but the confusion never left his face. His eyes stayed on you before his gaze wandered to his left, meeting Taehyung’s. When he locked eyes with him, Jungkook’s whole face dropped once more, eyes growing bigger and wider than they were before.
“Taehyung?” Jungkook almost yelled and drew the attention of some people around you, but none of you could muster up the energy to give them an apologetic smile. 
“Hi, Kook,” Taehyung managed to cough out and filled the awkwardness and silence with it. Jungkook crashed against the back of his chair with a thud as he gazed into nothing, brain desperately trying to process this.
Taehyung and you exchanged glances, both of you not knowing what to do or to say. This wasn’t what either of you had prepared for. Both of you had only signed up to have a nice dinner and catch up while tiptoeing around the topic of Jungkook and you. You knew you were going to see him again because he was still friends with Taehyung, Yerim and Yoongi and so were you, but you just hadn’t thought that you were going to see him today.
“Okay, uhm, babe, could you please explain to me what’s going on right now?” 
For the first time since he had arrived, Jungkook looked at the girl who was most definitely his girlfriend. His eyes were still wide when they met hers and there was a strained smile on her lips as she drilled her gaze into him, demanding some sort of answer from him, but he couldn’t deliver. He opened his mouth, but his throat felt scratchy and dry and so, he could only stare into nothing again.
“I- I need some water,” Jungkook managed to blurt out, reaching across the table to grab her glass of water and gulping it down like he hadn’t drunk something in years. He devoured it in seconds and stared at it with big eyes, mentally cursing at it for not holding more water for him to gulp down. 
Jungkook put down the glass, but he didn’t let go of it and instead held it, tightening his grip around it until his knuckles turned white.
“Okay, uh,” Jungkook started and massaged his temple as he screwed his eyes shut, fighting off the headache that made him think his skull was going to split open. 
“Uh, so,” Jungkook sighed and puckered his forehead before peeling his eyes open and gesturing towards Taehyung. “This is, uh, Taehyung. I- I’ve told you about him, babe, right?”
“Yeah, oh,” the girl next to you perked up and turned her gaze to Taehyung, offering him a genuine albeit tense smile. You couldn’t blame her, this was still very awkward.
“Yes, Taehyung. Hi! I’ve heard so much about you. I’ve been dying to meet you.” Taehyung forced a smile on his lips and it looked genuine, but having known him for so long, you could spot the difference right away. 
“I’m Heejin.”
A pretty name for an even prettier girl. It suited her, suited her to have such a beautiful sounding name. Of course, she did and you almost scoffed, scoffed because your name paled in comparison to hers. Hers had a pleasant ring to it, but yours just sounded off and wrong now. 
“Heejin, yeah, I’ve heard of you too.” Taehyung nodded and extended his hand. She took it and they both shook hands for a moment before she turned to you, her smile still tense, but the genuineness shimmered through.
“I’m sorry. I don’t think I know-” Heejin trailed off and looked over to Jungkook for help, but he had his eyes locked with yours. And with that simple look, you knew.
He hadn’t told Heejin about you.
And judging from the way he was slightly shaking his head, he wasn’t planning on doing so just now. Taehyung and you understood immediately, but it had another dose of panic rushing through both of you.
“I’m Y/N,” you offered and extended your hand to Heejin like Taehyung had because this was the polite thing to do, the right thing to do, and for once in your life, you had to do the right thing regarding Jungkook.
“Hi, Y/N. Heejin,” she smiled, taking your hand into her perfectly soft one, and you made sure to smile at her too as you shook her hand. You smiled at her as much as one could smile at your ex’s current girlfriend. “It’s nice to meet you.”
No, it wasn’t. It wasn’t nice to meet Heejin, wasn’t nice at all. You wanted to shout it into her face, tell her you already hated her for simply existing and taking your place in Jungkook’s life and heart, but you swallowed all of the bitter and petty words, swallowed your anger aimed at her that was truly only anger at yourself, and nodded.
“Yeah, really nice to meet you, Heejin,” you said and let go of her hand, eyes turning to Taehyung instinctively. He offered you a smile, a smile that had your heart calming down a little, but then your eyes wandered to Jungkook and it sped up again. He sat up straighter and cleared his throat.
“Heejin, here- she’s, uh-” Jungkook stammered and the rest of his sentence refused to come out, leaving him with his mouth open and staring back at you.
“I’m his girlfriend,” Heejin finished with a smile and Jungkook and you locked eyes. It almost looked like he wanted to correct her with the way he sat up, with the way his back straightened out, but he didn’t. He didn’t correct Heejin because there was nothing to correct. And you knew that.
“Yeah, exactly, right,” Jungkook confirmed with a quiet voice and a nod. You tore your gaze away and looked around, looked around the room and stared at anything as long as it meant that you didn’t have to look at him, see him sitting across the girl who was his girlfriend.
You couldn’t bear the sight, couldn’t bear it to see Jungkook here with his girlfriend. You weren’t prepared for this, but you didn’t think that anything could have prepared you for this, for this bitter reality anyway.
“And, so, how do you all-” Heejin didn’t finish her sentence and gestured between all three of you instead. You shared a glance with Taehyung, asking him to say something because you couldn’t right now, couldn’t bring yourself to explain how you all knew each other.
“Uh, well, we all went to high school together. We were all friends back then,” Taehyung said and shifted in his chair to cover up the pitchiness of his voice. Heejin nodded at his words and looked between you all three once more before gesturing at all three of you again.
“Oh, okay, but why was Kook so shocked-”
“Well, it’s been a while since Kook and Y/N have seen each other, right?” Taehyung smiled and you could see the trembling corners of his lips. You nodded in confirmation because Jungkook was still somewhat stuck processing all of this.
“How come?”
“Well, I, uh,” you rubbed the back of your neck, “I moved away for college.”
You did. It wasn’t a lie, but it was also not the whole truth either because you moved to America and not to some neighbouring city that was half an hour away. Jungkook raised his brows at you and pursed his lips together, but you refused to look back at him, focusing instead on keeping the smile on your face for Heejin.
“Yeah, it was surprising for Kook to see Y/N, huh?” Taehyung asked and put his hand on his shoulder, and Jungkook looked at him before humming in confirmation and forcing a smile onto his lips.
“Surprising, for sure. Shocking, too.”
You folded your arms in front of your stomach and bit on your lip, trying to ignore the thudding of your heart ringing in your ears.
“Oh, so, this is like you guys reconnecting again?” Heejin asked and you begged her to stop asking any more questions, to stop trying to understand this because, fuck, this was only going to end badly. The truth was ugly and terrible and you didn’t want to face it, didn’t want to look it into the eye, couldn’t face it and look at it, at least not yet.
As much as you wanted to open your mouth and swiftly change the topic, the words were stuck to your tongue like gum stuck to the sole of a shoe. It was helpless.
“Wait, but why wasn’t Kook invited-”
“Well, actually, this isn’t us reconnecting again,” Taehyung interrupted and you turned your head to him. He placed his hand on the table and beckoned for yours, and too confused to use your own brain, you just put your hands into Taehyung’s. Bad decision as it turns out.
“This is actually a date.”
You almost pulled away your hand, but Taehyung was quick to hold onto it and tighten his grasp. Your heart was now beating out of your chest and you were sure everybody could hear it, were sure it was louder than the whole room.
“Y/N and I are dating.”
This time, you didn’t try to pull away your hand. This time, you actually did the opposite and tightened it. In fact, you tightened it so much that your knuckles turned white and Taehyung had to hold his breath to stop the groan from slipping.
“Right, yeah, boy and girlfriend. Super duper in love,” you croaked out with a tight smile before lowering your gaze. What else could you say? 
Jungkook drilled his eyes into your face. You could feel the holes he was staring into you right now, but you refused to look at him, refused to spare him a glance and possibly see his reaction to the revelation that Taehyung and you were supposedly dating. 
Even if it was a lie, an obvious lie, a lie that only needed to be told because Jungkook hadn’t told Heejin about you yet, it still knocked the breath out of Jungkook and had him bending over, still had his face etching into something else, into something unreadable.
“Wait, oh my God,” Heejin squeaked and her hand found her mouth as it split apart into a grin, covering it as her eyes flickered between Taehyung and you. “This is a date? Then-” 
Heejin turned to Jungkook with the most excited smile on her lips before whipping her head back to Taehyung and you.
“This is totally a double date then!”
The shock didn’t wear off for another five seconds, but when it did, you offered Heejin the most convincing smile you could muster up. Taehyung put his hand on yours when you tightened it around his other one a little too much, but you didn’t let go.
There was no way out, no revealing this was all a lie anymore and he was to blame. He was the one that had started it and dragged you along.
“I guess,” you said through a tight smile.
The scruffing and scraping of Jungkook’s chair against the hardwood floor when he got up rang loud, painfully loud in your ears and you cringed. He held up the glass of water and only looked at Heejin, but somehow you knew his words were meant to shoot through your heart.
“I’m gonna get you some water, babe.”
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There was just something about the summer evening air that always managed to relax you, managed to calm you down and ground you again. 
The warm breeze blew through your hair and filled your lungs with much-needed oxygen, oxygen you had been craving for since you had first seen Jungkook again. He had taken your breath away, stolen it and left you dealing with the agony and pain with finding it again as you desperately tried not to suffocate.
The last hour had flown by you, had passed you in a blur. As much as you tried to, you couldn’t recall what you had talked about, couldn’t even recall what you had ordered and what your dish had tasted like. Everything was so hazy. The only thing you knew for sure was that it had taken Jungkook far too long to fill up a glass of water and that when he had finally returned, there was a glass of water in his one hand and a glass of whiskey in his other one.
At one point, you had gotten up with an excuse of needing to make a call and before anyone could protest, you had fled out of the restaurant. You did contemplate taking a cab and going home, but you couldn’t even bring yourself to unlock your phone—not to mention, leave without a word.
Going inside was just as difficult though, so you stayed outside, and simply let the view dawn on you. Because a restaurant like this, of course, had to be located on a small hill that overlooked the city, had to have the most gorgeous view.
Your hometown wasn’t magical, wasn’t pretty at all, but with the sun slowly dipping below the horizon, the warm sunshine turned the cracked streets into golden rivers and the lines and lines of cars waiting at the red lights into boats. The street lamps decorating the cracked streets resembled fireflies, buzzing and bright.
For a moment, you forgot, forgot about the world around you, forgot about the tension poisoning the air inside the restaurant and making every breath more and more unbearable and deadly, forgot about the web of lies you were slowly sinking into, forgot about the aching of your heart every time you looked at Jungkook.
For a moment, you forgot that Jungkook and you weren’t dating anymore.
“You’re dating Tae now?”
You jerked around at the question, eyes finding him instinctively. Your breath hitched in your throat and you opened your mouth to answer, but no sound would escape you.
Jungkook stood there, a few metres away from you, with his hands in his pockets and his head tilted to the side, and, God, was he just gorgeous, so breathtakingly gorgeous, beautiful, pretty.
Even though his tone was light and almost playful, his face was hard. Jungkook looked at you for another moment before his gaze wandered to the view in front of him. His eyes were cold, cold enough to turn the golden rivers into ice, cold enough to freeze the boats, cold enough to kill the fireflies.
“You know I’m not. He just panicked. Tae’s always been a shit liar,” you chuckled, trying to lighten the situation and cut down on some of the tension, unfreeze the world, but you fell short and failed miserably. Jungkook let a smile pull on the corners of his lips, but it was gone within a second.
You were frozen when he started closing the distance between you two. When he finally stopped next to you, there was a noticeable gap between you, a gap big enough to have your heart wrenching and twisting in your chest. 
Fuck, this was what Jungkook and you had become, huh? Two people that couldn’t even stand close enough to each other without that awkward and horrible gap between you.
There used to be a time when there was no gap, no space, used to be a time when you were always in each other’s arms, used to be a time when the air wasn’t cold and the world frozen. But there also used to be a time where you two could only smile and grin at the other, used to be a time where there were no hardened faces and cold gazes.
There used to be a time that was just Jungkook and you together.
“Yeah, that’s a fucking mess,” Jungkook laughed humorlessly and you didn’t join him, didn’t try to. “How are we gonna fix that?”
“I don’t think we need to,” you said with a frown and turned to him for a moment, but he didn’t reciprocate your gaze. You got the message and turned to face the city again, looking out like you hadn’t been doing that for the past minutes.
“I doubt we’re gonna see each other again, right? I mean-” you trailed off and shrugged, rocking on the balls of your feet as you struggled to finish your sentence.
“I mean, I would like to if that was okay and fine with you, if you’re ready for that, but I understand if you’re not.”
Jungkook turned to you, blinking at you for a second before ultimately turning away and looking out again.
“Yeah, no, you’re right,” he chuckled dryly and you thought you could even hear a scoff. “Are you going back? Leaving to continue your adventure? Is this just a pit stop before you’re off to continue your adventure?”
The words stung, cut into you and your heart clenched at them. A cold breeze blew through you, gutted you, and you were left shivering and with goosebumps covering your entire body. Your throat knotted into a mess, and you wanted to look at Jungkook, see his expression, but you trained your gaze on your frozen hometown, trained your gaze on it like it didn’t shatter your heart to see it like that.
Jungkook had every right, every right to be bitter and cold, but it didn’t mean it hurt you any less for him to treat you like that, treat you like you hadn’t been each other’s worlds at one point of your life.
“No.” You shook your head, desperately trying to rid your voice of its trembling. “I- I’m staying.”
Jungkook didn’t say anything, didn’t respond, didn’t even react in the slightest way. You thought maybe he hadn’t heard you, but when you dared to peek at him, you saw the way the lines of his face had deepened. He had heard you, loud and clear.
You both drowned in the silence, sank into it, deeper and deeper with each second, and you crossed your arms in front of your chest, tightening with each passing moment.
“Did you stay in touch with the others? Yoongs? Yeri?” 
You shifted on your feet and tucked a strand behind your ear. “No- I mean, we tried, but after like a year or two, we slowly lost contact with each other. We did check on each other every couple months and texted every now and then, but we- we did definitely drift apart.”
“I guess then they were meant to come too, right? Tonight?” 
“Yeah, they were, but they had to drop out last minute. We, uh, always said we were gonna have dinner once I returned,” you mumbled and Jungkook hummed at that, nodding a little. Both of you stayed silent for a while, and even though you wanted to say something, cut into the silence because it allowed you to think and right now, you didn’t want to think, you couldn’t come up with anything to say.
“How long have you been back?”
Your gaze wandered to your feet and you kicked the dirt a little, digging into it with the tip of your shoe.
“Uh, I got back a little over a week ago,” you whispered into the air and tightened your arms around your chest. Jungkook nodded, but he didn’t look at you.
“Why are you back?” Jungkook asked and when you struggled to answer his question, he scoffed. Your silence was telling, said more than you ever could. 
“You came back for a job, didn’t you?”
You didn’t reply, didn’t tell him you hadn’t come back just for a job, but because you had missed home, had missed your family, had missed Taehyung, Yerim, Yoongi and more importantly, had terribly missed him. You had missed everything and everyone here so much you couldn’t even put it into words, but you said none of that, didn’t correct Jungkook.
The wind blew through your hair and the once warm breeze that had filled your lungs with the oxygen you so desperately needed filled your lungs now with sharp and piercing icicles this time. You hugged yourself more, tighter. You tried to warm yourself up, but no amount of hugging yourself was enough to melt the ice in your lungs.
“What are you, uh, doing out here?” you asked and turned a little to Jungkook, eyeing him with a raised brow, but he didn’t reciprocate your gaze this time either.
“Heejin’s cold,” Jungkook answered after a beat of silence, brows knitting together as he kept his focus in front of him. “I’ve got a jacket in my car.”
You hummed and a small smile made its way onto your lips. You totally got it. You were cold too, freezing, in fact, but there was no jacket for you, no Jungkook running out for you to get it and warm you up.
“You still got a whole closet in the back of your car, don’t you?” you asked with a slight smile, trying to lighten the mood, but when you turned to Jungkook, your smile fell off.
Instead of flushing red in embarrassment or laughing because of how well you still knew him after all these years, Jungkook stared into your eyes, harsh lines etched onto his face. It wasn’t the kind of stare that had your heart thumping and your throat constricting and kaleidoscopes of butterflies in your stomach flying. No, it was a piercing kind of stare, the kind that had your breath hitching in your throat in the worst way possible and your heart sinking into your stomach.
The message was loud and clear, delivered with one simple word, but it was enough, enough for it to click in your mind. You didn’t try to catch your heart as it sank deeper and deeper inside you, as it sank down to the ground and came closer and closer to shattering into tiny little pieces that would take you ages to glue together again.
You opened your mouth to say something, but your tongue was a mess in it and the words sat deep in your stomach. It took you two more tries, two more times of you opening and closing your mouth for you to finally unknot your tongue and drag the words to the surface.
“You haven’t forgiven me, have you?”
You worded it like a question, but you knew the answer. It was written all across Jungkook’s face, surrounding him the moment you and he had locked eyes, spilling from his mouth every time he opened it.
Jungkook’s lips tightened into a hard line and his jaw locked up as he eyed you before ripping his gaze away to stare off into the sky and scoff quietly into the air. His hands balled up into fists at his side and his Adam’s apple bopped up and down as he desperately tried to keep his composure. 
You had seen all of this before, had watched him try and fail not to punch the air and let his anger out. Jungkook had done the exact same thing, had made the same face after you had told him you were going to America.
You expected him to blow up in your face, to explode, to burst at all of his seams and rip apart and scream, yell, curse at you because that was what he had done, what he had done the last time, but to your surprise, Jungkook didn’t, didn’t do any of the things you had expected him to.
“Fours years,” Jungkook scoffed, holding up four fingers like you didn’t know just how much four was. “We dated for almost four fucking years.”
You bit on your tongue, heart tumbling and rumbling in your chest like it was about to burst out and fall to her knees and beg for Jungkook’s forgiveness.
“And you left,” Jungkook continued, anger dripping from his words, but his voice was quiet, barely above a whisper. “Just like that.” 
He snapped his finger and you cringed at the sound. It rang in your ears, pierced through your eardrums.
“Remember our promise?” Jungkook asked you and you could hear his voice wavering and shaking. “Remember our promise of forever?”
You wanted to tell him that you did, that, of course, you fucking remembered your promise of forever. It had haunted you, kept you awake every night, eaten you up and chewed you out every morning and kicked you to the floor every time it slipped your mind the tiniest bit.
“You know how people say that you always learn something from a relationship?” Jungkook asked you and you wanted to beg him not to, not to continue. You couldn’t handle this, couldn’t handle this much longer and you weren’t sure just how long you could keep it together.
“The only thing you taught me was that people are selfish.”
You were sure that you were drawing blood from your tongue now, were sure that your heart was on her knees now and begging, begging for Jungkook to just please forgive her. You thought that was it, thought he was going to scoff at you and walk away, but Jungkook wasn’t quite done.
“I really do hope that you’re right and we won’t see each other again after this.”
If you thought that Jungkook’s eyes were cold before, they were icy and freezing now. They were icy and freezing enough to bring in the new ice age, icy and freezing enough to stop time. Your lungs were shredded by the icicles, ripped apart by them like they were paper, and your heart shattered on the frozen ground, turning into dust before ultimately being dragged away by the wind and into Jungkook’s hands. And he crushed it, crushed the tiny pieces of your heart into powder.
There was no repairing anymore, no glueing the pieces together because there was nothing to repair or glue together or fix in any way or form.
Jungkook didn’t say another word, didn’t spare you a single glance when he turned on his heel and walked away, walked away with your pulverised heart on the ground and your world cold and frozen. The golden rivers didn’t burst through the ice, the boats didn’t unfreeze and start sailing again, the fireflies didn’t come back to life.
It stayed, lingered.
Your world took its time to come back, and you watched it, watched it slowly resemble what it once had been before Jungkook. When you looked at it, however, it wasn’t quite the same. The golden rivers weren’t rivers, but only weak streams, and the boats had shrunk into simple rafts. The fireflies were only humming now, barely illuminating their surroundings.
And this time, when you looked down, you didn’t forget, didn’t forget about the world around you, didn’t forget about the aching of your heart every time you looked at Jungkook.
This time, you didn’t forget that Jungkook and you weren’t dating anymore.
This time, you almost suffocated.
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By the time you had reached your table, you slumped into your chair, falling into it with wobbly knees, defeated and panting. Taehyung and Heejin were too wrapped up in a conversation to really take notice and Jungkook, well, Jungkook did the thing he had grown to excel this evening, staring into nothing.
There was a jacket around Heejin’s shoulders, hugging her form and it took you one single glance to know. One glance was enough to prompt you to reach for your glass of wine and down it. The wine burned your tongue and your throat on its way down, and it was what you needed.
Because the jacket wasn’t just any jacket. It was the jacket you had bought for Jungkook with the money you had gotten for your 17th birthday, was the jacket he had called his favourite, was the jacket you had worn as much as he had, was the jacket both of you had used as a blanket when you had held a film marathon the day before school started again, was the jacket you had worn when you had told him you were going and he had demanded back from you.
And now, Heejin was wearing that jacket.
“You okay, sweetie?” 
You looked up and stared straight into Taehyung’s face. His brows were raised and you could feel Heejin’s eyes on you too. And you almost frowned at him and questioned the ‘sweetie’, but then it hit you again. You were dating Taehyung.
“Yeah, uh, I just had a shitty phone call,” you dismissed quickly with a wave of your hand, realising that you definitely shouldn’t have one-shotted your wine like that. “It’s fine. I’m just a little tired from talking.”
Heejin nodded at your words and seemed happy with the answer, but Taehyung’s eyes stayed on you for a few more seconds. He could read between the lines, could piece together what had happened outside.
“What were you talking about?” you asked, gaze finding Heejin because looking at her was easier than looking at Taehyung. 
“Oh,” Heejin placed her hands on your armrest and a frown settled on her face, “we were talking about films. Did you know that Taehyung has never watched ‘Titanic’ before?”
Your eyes wandered to Taehyung who had put on a smile and was shaking his head at Heejin’s words, but you could see that he wanted to question you, ask you what had happened outside.
“You haven’t?” you asked, trying to change the subject from you to him.
“The only film I haven’t watched yet.”
“Can you believe?” Heejin said it like it was a big deal and to her, it seemed to be. Her mouth was slightly agape and her eyes were blown out as she looked at you, obviously expecting for you to react the same way, thinking you were going to be as appalled as she was by the fact that Taehyung had yet to watch ‘Titanic’.
Maybe if you were in a better mood or maybe if Jungkook wasn’t sitting literally an arm’s reach from you or maybe if Heejin wasn’t his current girlfriend right now, you would play along, act appalled and criticise Taehyung for never having watched ‘Titanic’, call him a film illiterate even though you haven’t watched it yourself yet.
“I mean, I’ve also never-”
“Do not finish that sentence, Y/N,” Heejin cut in and while everything was in good fun, you couldn’t help but feel miffed and weirded out by her words. You two didn’t know each other and acting like you did was, well, weird to say the least.
But Heejin didn’t pick up on your tightening smile and slight raise of your brows, too busy acting appalled to notice any of that.
“Okay, that’s it. It’s decided.” Heejin clapped into her hands and looked at Jungkook to grab his attention. “I’m hosting a film night at my place next week. I can’t walk this Earth knowing that you two have never seen the masterpiece that is ‘Titanic’. It’s a must, a cult classic.”
Your eyes locked with Taehyung’s first and he had the same panicked look on his face before he turned to Jungkook, but you avoided his general direction, not wanting to look at him.
“Wait, no, babe, you can’t just host a film night,” Jungkook jumped to argue with Heejin and you swallowed.
“I really do hope you’re right and we won’t see each other again after this.”
“Why not?” Heejin asked with a tilt of her head and blinked at Jungkook as he stammered for a reason.
“Because- you just can’t. That’s not how this works.” A deep line formed between Jungkook’s brows and Heejin as she frowned at his unconvincing argument.
“What do you mean it’s not how this works? If you wanna host a film night, you ask people if they are down for it and host it. I just did that.”
Taehyung and you looked at each other, both deciding to stay silent. Not only was this the most that Jungkook had contributed to this ‘double date’ so far (without counting your conversation you had had with him outside, of course), but it didn’t seem like either of your places to chime in.
“No, babe, you announced you were going to have a film night and essentially demanded them to be there,” Jungkook said and Taehyung and you shared another glance. Heejin furrowed her brows and a pout formed on her lips. She wasn’t taking this nearly as serious as Jungkook was, but it seemed to dawn on her that he was.
“I don’t see where the problem is, babe. I thought you guys were all friends. Isn’t a film night a great way to reconnect then?”
Jungkook opened his mouth to argue against her, but he couldn’t come up with something to say. He wanted to tell Heejin that reconnecting with you was at the bottom of his list of things he wanted to do right now, wanted to tell her that you weren’t just an old friend of his, but his first love, the girl who had meant the world to him for years, the girl who had taken his heart and kept it before deciding it and he simply weren’t enough and shattering his heart, breaking it into dust and leaving him having to pick up the pieces again. 
You were the girl who had haunted him every hour of the day ever since you had left.
“Isn’t it great that we found a couple that’s cool and our age? We can do so much stuff together. Also, Taehyung did say you were all friends once, right? And Taehyung here is still your friend. I really don’t see the problem here. Am I missing something?”
And again, Jungkook was left processing Heejin’s words, prompting Taehyung to jump in.
“Yeah, no, we were friends and, yeah, Kook and I still are friends.” A nervous smile played on his lips as Taehyung shot you a glance, a glance you could barely meet. There was a moment where Heejin was just waiting for any of you to say something, a moment where neither Jungkook nor you met his gaze. It was at that moment that Taehyung made the decision.
“Next week you said?”
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By the time you finally step out of the restaurant, the sun had made its way back home and fallen asleep, leaving the golden stream and rafts and fireflies to the moon. 
“Y/N!” You turned around at the call of your name and watched Heejin jogging towards you, hands reaching for your wrists. “Next week, right? Promise me. Next week.”
She smiled right into your face, smiled one of those genuine and big and beautiful smiles, one of those smiles that could charm anybody, and that included you.
“Yeah, next week,” you said and nodded. Heejin’s hands squeezed your wrists and her lips split apart into a grin. With a quick turn of her heel, she was facing Jungkook, who had come to a stop behind her with Taehyung to his left.
“Oh, it’s gonna be great,” she cheered and took hold of Jungkook’s hands now, squeezing as she jumped around him. The displeased look, which had etched onto his face when Heejin had declared this to be a double date and deepened when Taehyung agreed to the film night, slipped away. 
Jungkook couldn’t resist her, couldn’t resist Heejin and for the first time in four years, you saw a smile spread across his lips.
“This was great,” Taehyung cut in before Jungkook could lean in for a quick kiss because he always did, always leaned in for a quick kiss whenever his heart pounded a little too much in his chest, and it definitely did, definitely did pound a little too much just now.
Jungkook and Heejin looked at Taehyung and once again, you froze up when he took your hand into his. The fact that you two were dating slipped your mind again and again throughout the night.
“Yeah, definitely was,” Heejin agreed and interlaced her fingers with Jungkook’s, but unlike with Taehyung and you, it was normal for them to hold hands, second nature. “Right?”
She nudged Jungkook with her elbow and he looked at Heejin, looked at her like he wanted to disagree. Maybe it was because it was rude to disagree and say that one hated the night or maybe it was because Jungkook’s heart melted in his chest seeing Heejin looking at him like that, but a second smile found its way onto Jungkook’s lips.
“Sure was.”
Jungkook said it looking at Heejin, gazing into her sparkling eyes, and you wanted to look away, but you couldn’t, couldn’t because they were like a car accident, but the most beautiful and at the same time, ugliest and most painful car accident this world had ever seen. 
Heejin and Jungkook were in love, in love with each other.
“Right, definitely,” Taehyung cut in, breaking up Heejin and Jungkook as he drew everybody’s attention to him. You squeezed his hand a little tighter.
“We’ll text, yeah?” Taehyung continued and Heejin nodded at his words, beaming as she let go of Jungkook’s hand. You wanted to grab her by her shoulders and tell her not to, not to ever let Jungkook go, but then you realised that she wasn’t actually letting go of him, wasn’t letting go of him the way you had let go of him.
Heejin stretched out her arms and wrapped Taehyung into a hug, a hug he reciprocated without letting go of your hand, which led to you kind of hugging Heejin too. 
“Goodbye, Tae. It was so nice to have met you,” she said into his ear before turning to you and wrapping you into her arms. “So, so nice to have met you, too, Y/N.”
You also didn’t let go of Taehyung’s hand and neither did he when Jungkook leaned in for the hug. 
“Yeah, nice to have met you, too,” you breathed out, quiet, but it was enough for Heejin to pat you on your back and let go.
“We’ll text,” Heejin said as she stepped back to make space for Jungkook to hug you. He and you locked eyes, both knowing exactly what Heejin was expecting of you two. 
There was this terrible moment of hesitance, and you were ready to throw up a hand and give Jungkook a simple wave, but he leaned forward and stretched out one arm. You leaned forward too with your feet planted metres away from him, which led to a rather awkward half-hug thing, but it was definitely more than both of you could offer, more than anyone could really ask for.
Jungkook patted your back two times, and you frowned because who patted someone’s back twice and only twice? The ‘hug’ didn’t last longer than a second before both of you jumped away from each other.
“That was so awkward,” Heejin chortled and threw her head back, loud and beautiful laughter resounding in the air. Jungkook’s cheeks did what they should have done when you had commented on how he had a whole closet in the back of his car: flush.
“Whatever. We’re old friends, remember?” Jungkook argued and it was definitely the sight of Heejin laughing that had him do what he, again, should have done when you had commented on how he had a whole closet in the back of his car: laugh.
“Anyway, we’ll see each other,” Jungkook mumbled into your general direction before taking Heejin’s hand into his and leading her away from you two, throwing up his hand for a wave. Heejin beamed at Taehyung and you and you mustered up the best and most convincing smile for the last time this night.
“Bye. We’ll be in touch.”
You didn’t say ‘bye’, too focused on the way Jungkook fixed the jacket that was slipping off Heejin’s shoulders, and when it almost landed in the dirt, your heart dropped. You wanted to catch it, take it and hold it close to your heart because that was your jacket. Jungkook caught it though just in time and you let out a breath.
“Really squeezing my hand here, huh?” Taehyung pressed through his smile and you looked down at your hands, realising only now that your knuckles had turned white. Immediately, you let go.
“I’m sorry,” you mumbled, face flushing hot. Taehyung simply dismissed it with a smile, but you could see him lightly knead his hand, stretching it to get the blood circulating again.
“It’s fine.” Taehyung tilted his head at you. “I guess you don’t have a car yet, right?” You were about to respond, but he didn’t give you enough time. “I can give you a ride.”
“Yeah, that would be great.” You nodded and Taehyung and you made your way to the parking lot. He held the car door open for you and when you were both strapped into your seats, you turned to him. “You didn’t have anything to drink, right?”
“Nope, been sipping on my water the whole night,” he chuckled as he put the keys into the ignition, slowly pulling out of the parking lot. You nodded and sank a little into the seat. The tension that had been sitting in your shoulders and in every single one of your joints slowly escaped you and you let out a sigh.
You typed your address into Taehyung’s phone, Google Maps doing the rest, and for a few minutes, both of you simply drove in silence, enjoyed it. The night had been hard on both of you, and you two were definitely ready to jump into your beds and go to sleep. The silence was exactly what you needed right now, at least you thought that was what you both needed.
“What happened outside?”
You should have expected him to ask because, of course, he would, but it still had you turning your head to him and eyes growing wide. Taehyung met your gaze and you put your hands together in your lap, thumbs rubbing against one another.
“Well,” your feet pressed into the ground, “he, uh, asked me if I was gonna stay here and if we all kept in touch. And,” your voice quivered only the tiniest bit, but Taehyung noticed, “how long I’ve been back and everything.”
You shrugged. “The basic things, you know. Nothing special.”
Taehyung hummed and his brows furrowed together with his lips pulled into a thin line. He was clearly not believing you completely, not buying what you were selling him. You pressed harder against the ground, begging for it to give in and let you sink into a hole.
“Anything else?”
Lying was stupid, lying to Taehyung was even stupider, but you seemed to like to be stupid today.
“Nope.” You said the last syllable with a pop and it had Taehyung’s frown deepening and his gaze digging into you when you two stopped at a red light. 
“Y/N.” A sigh followed and you lowered your gaze before shaking your head as your teeth sank into your tongue.
“Fine,” you breathed out and slammed back, head hitting your seat definitely too hard. “We- well, he-”
Taehyung turned to you, but you stared out the window, realising that you were almost at home now. His eyes dug into your face and you sighed, thinking of a way to word all of this.
“We- technically, we didn’t talk much at all. At least I didn’t,” you started again and took your time to get it all together. “But- he did say that he,” a heavy sigh slipped past your lips and you gnawed on your tongue before deciding to just say it, “learned from our relationship that people are selfish and that he hoped he would never have to see me again after this.”
Taehyung was stunned, stunned silent and you wished he would say something, react in some way. The tension came rising back, stretching every one of your joints to the point it hurt.
“You’re fucking kidding me,” Taehyung muttered underneath his breath and when you turned to him, there was anger etched onto every line of his face. It was burning in his eyes and it had you quickly jump to Jungkook’s defense.
“No- it’s fine. I get-”
“No, Y/N, it’s not fucking fine,” Taehyung interrupted and to your dismay, you had reached your front door. He parked rather smoothly and when you came to a stop, Taehyung turned to you.
“Don’t say it’s fine because we both know it’s not,” Taehyung said and you didn’t meet his eyes. “It’s rude, unnecessarily rude. I get it. He’s pissed and you hurt him and whatever, but it’s been four fucking years. And he’s literally the one that broke up with you-”
“Well, I was leaving for America-”
“But you wanted to try, right? You didn’t want to break up, right?” Taehyung asked and you didn’t say anything. “See! You wanted to try, but he refused. Don’t even get me started on the fact that he didn’t say goodbye to you at all. You go to America and he doesn’t even bother to show up at the airport after dating you for almost four years, not to mention text you or call you on the day to wish you well? I haven’t forgotten that bullshit yet.”
You pressed your lips into a thin line and lowered your gaze.
Taehyung sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Look, I still love him. He’s my friend after all, and it’s not like I don’t get it why he’s mad. I do, in a way, and not because I ‘hate’,” Taehyung made air quotes around the word hate, “you for going or anything, but because it was surprising. But still saying shit like that is not okay.”
“It’s fine,” you tried again, but your words seem to have the fire in Taehyung growing because he shook his head vigorously.
“Stop saying that! It’s not.” Taehyung paused, taking a moment to breathe. “It’s definitely not. He’s so-” Taehyung threw up his hands and pressed his lips into a hard line, words failing him as his anger consumed him more and more. 
“We all thought he was over it.”
“He isn’t,” you mumbled and Taehyung ‘duh’s your answer, realising himself that Jungkook was far, very far from getting over you leaving, not to mention forgive you in any shape or form.
Both of you sat in silence for a while and your fingers itched for the door handle. You hated this, hated this because Taehyung didn’t get that you were fine, didn’t get that you were fine with the way Jungkook treated you because you had fucked up and now, these were the consequences.
“You don’t have to do this.”
You kept staring out of the window, kept staring like you couldn’t feel Taehyung’s eyes dig into your profile and demand for you to look at him, kept staring like you couldn’t hear him.
“There’s no one forcing you to go next week. You could just simply-”
“I know,” you said and sighed. You leaned forward and covered your eyes, pressing on them slightly as you thought of everything that had happened today, thought of every little interaction you had shared with Jungkook.
“I know,” you muttered before looking up and turning your gaze to Taehyung, cheek falling into your open palm. “I know.”
Taehyung and you looked at each other for a few seconds.
“You’re still gonna go, huh?”
You sat up straight and unbuckled your seatbelt, arms stretching out to pull Taehyung into a hug. He reciprocated it and you tightened your arms around him a little more than you usually would, chin resting on his shoulder.
“You’re still great, Tae.”
Taehyung chuckled and patted your back, sinking deeper into the hug. You were the one to pull away, but you rested your hands on his shoulder and looked him dead in the eye.
“No, really,” you smiled and squeezed his shoulders. “You’re really great, Taehyung.”
Slightly embarrassed by your words, Taehyung looked down at his hands.
“You’re stupid, Y/N.”
You laughed.
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When you came out of the shower that night and checked your phone, a frown etched onto your face.
[You’ve been added to the “DD” group chat]
[Unknown Number - 11:24 PM] : hi! it’s heejin here and I just wanted to ask if next saturday works for everyone!!
[Unknown Number sent in location]
[Unknown Number - 11:24 PM] : my address!
[tae - 11:27 PM] : uh DD?
[Unknown Number - 11:27 PM] : double date. couldnt think of anything else realy
[tae - 11:27 PM] : okay lol but yeah should work
[Unknown Number - 11:32 PM] : yeah, think I can make it too
[Unknown Number - 11:32 PM] : okay, great! only gotta wait for y/n’s answer now
[tae - 11:32 PM] : wouldnt expect an answer any time soon lmao shes too stupid to text
[You - 11:48 PM] : you take a shower once and immediately people talk shit about you :)) 
[You - 11:48 PM] : but should work for me too
[tae - 11:48 PM] : love you too sweetie! and goodnight!!
[You - 11:48 PM] : :))))
When you went to save Heejin’s number, you got distracted by her profile picture. She was smiling right into the camera, smiling the same smile she had smiled at you. It was almost scary how genuine her smile looked even through a simple picture. No one smiled like Heejin. 
Her number was saved rather quickly, but when you went and clicked on Jungkook’s number, you were, once again, distracted by his profile picture. You should have expected it for Jungkook to have Heejin and him together as his profile picture, but it still shocked and surprised you, had your lips pressing into a hard line.
Jungkook had his arm around Heejin and she was looking at him, mid-laugh There was a proud smirk on his lips, that proud smirk he got whenever he managed to make someone laugh. Both looked at each other and the sun brought out both of their eyes, brought out the love in them. You could practically see it glimmering in their pupils.
Your heart tumbled in your chest, tumbled in the most painful way possible, but you ignored it, ignored it because what else were you going to do? Complain? You had no right to.
And as you let your phone slip into your pocket, a certain thought planted itself into your mind, robbing you of the peace and quiet you thought you would get once you were at home. The roots dug deeper and deeper into you until it was ingrained in you, swimming through your blood and consuming you whole, chewing you up over and over again simply to spit you out.
You would have been Heejin if you hadn’t left.
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“What is she like?”
There was a beat of silence for a moment and you hugged your knees you had pulled close to your body self a little tighter at the question.
Your phone was laying on your desk, speakers on.
“Well,” Taehyung sighed, “she’s- she’s nice, I guess.”
Taehyung said it like a question, clearly choosing his words carefully as he tried not to offend you in any way, and you almost smiled at that. 
“Yeah, she’s nice,” you agreed.
“That’s great,” Yerim started, uncertainty swinging in her words. “Right? That’s great that she’s nice, right?”
No one answered and after a while, you pressed your lips into a thin line and nodded.
“Yeah, it’s great,” you said and you could hear Yerim exhale in relief. You chewed on your lip, and tried not to think about how it was not great and that you hated that Heejin was nice because it made hating her so much more difficult.
“I’m happy for him.”
This time when you said it, you weren’t sure if you really meant it, weren’t sure if you could say it from the bottom of your heart. Jungkook still, of course, deserved so much more, deserved better, but the thought that he was doing so much better with Heejin left a bad and bitter taste on your tongue. You didn’t want to think or feel like that, but your heart was selfish, just like he had said.
“That’s nice,” Yoongi mumbled and his voice was muffled, but the familiar snarky tone came through perfectly. “Nice of you to lie like that.”
You bit down on your lip and buried your face into your knees.
“Dude,” Taehyung said and used ‘dude’ like he always did whenever he was getting mad and refused to use one’s name. 
“What? We all know it’s a lie,” Yoongi said, matter of factly. “It’s not bad. It’s commendable that Y/N’s trying, but let’s not act dumb and oblivious to it.”
“Yoongi,” Yerim sighed from the other side of the line, groaning. “You can’t just say something like that.”
“We were all thinking it.”
You pressed your face further into your knees, squeezing your eyes shut as you hugged your legs closer to your chest.
“Dude,” Taehyung warned again, voice dropping significantly, and you could picture Yoongi rolling his eyes at him before sitting up to defend himself.
“All I’m trying to say is that it’s stupid to lie and pretend that it doesn’t suck that Kook is with Heejil or whatever her name-”
“Heejin,” Yerim threw in and there was a beat of silence before Yoongi continued again.
“Okay, fine, Heejin, but it doesn’t really matter,” Yoongi paused and the silence that settled was deafening and you begged him to continue. “What matters is the fact that Y/N shouldn’t need to pretend to be happy for him. They both hurt each other and acting like Y/N only hurt him is so fucking stupid. Kook’s really gotta learn how to be civil and not act like a complete ass-”
“Tae!” You cut in and looked at your phone like he could see you. “You told them? I thought we agreed on leaving that out.”
“Please, you seriously didn’t think I wouldn’t tell the others, did you?” Taehyung scoffed and you huffed, brows furrowing together as you fixed your phone with a glare like it was to blame for this.
“And I’m happy that he did tell us, Y/N,” Yoongi said and you groaned, burying your face once more into your knees now. “You don’t deserve to be treated like that. I get it that Kook’s mad because it was all very sudden and quick and you were his first love or whatever, but it’s not a reason to be an ass to you.”
You didn’t respond, and for a while, the silence lingered on. It was almost unbearable, but you couldn’t think of anything to say, knowing already you were going to be shut down anyway.
“You don’t have to do this,” Yoongi said and sounded exactly like Taehyung. You looked up and put your chin on top of your knee before closing your eyes and taking a deep breath.
There was a shuffle and a moment later it was followed by a sigh. “No, I do agree with the others. Kook can be mad and everything—we all get it in a way—but it’s not an excuse to be an ass to you and say hurtful shit like that. You’re not selfish for following your dreams. Also, didn’t he technically break up with you? So, actually, I don’t get why he’s still mad at you.”
You stayed silent.
“Again, you-”
“I know, Yoongs,” you groaned. “I know that I don’t have to do this,” a heavy sigh slipped past your lips, “but it’s just this one time anyway and unlike what you guys might think, I’m not hurt by what he said.”
Neither Taehyung nor Yerim nor Yoongi said something for a while and just as the silence was about to become too unbearable and just as you were about to tell them you had to do something and therefore, hang up, Taehyung spoke up.
“You’re stupid, Y/N.”
You peeled your eyes open and lowered your gaze, a tight smile splitting apart on your lips.
“I know.”
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You couldn’t recall how this had happened, how a simple film night turned into a dinner party, but somehow you were all standing in the middle of Heejin’s kitchen, preparing dinner. Taehyung and Jungkook were manning the stove, cooking the meat and Heejin and you were cutting up vegetables for a salad.
You froze at Heejin’s voice and looked up, eyes locking with hers. Jungkook and Taehyung stopped messing around and turned their focus to you two, brows raising at the sudden exclamation. When you looked back down where Heejin’s fingers had curled around your wrist, you realised that you were about to cut off your fingers. Immediately, you let go of the knife and forced a laugh to spill from your lips.
“Shit. Good catch.”
“You okay? Almost cut off your fingers there,” Heejin said with a small smile and you quickly nodded, ignoring the gazes that were digging into your back. 
“Yeah, uh, just spaced out a little,” you mumbled and Heejin laughed, returning to cutting up the rest of her carrots. 
You grabbed your glass of wine and when you took a sip from it, your eyes locked with Taehyung’s. There was a deep line etched between his brows and in an attempt to smooth it over, you smiled at him. It took him a second, but he smiled back at you and seeing his smile had your smile turn into a genuine one.
Your gaze wandered and locked with Jungkook’s. You looked at him without meaning to. Your gaze just automatically travelled to him. His face was stiff and hard. Harsh lines were carved into it and you thought he was going to say something, scoff at you, but then he turned around without a word.
Taehyung and you looked at each other once more and his jaw locked up, but you shook your head. When he sighed, you thanked him with a smile and turned away, putting your wine glass down to focus on your vegetables again.
Heejin stopped and looked up, raising her brows at your sudden exclamation.
“What?” she asked with a tilt of her head and you pointed at the cucumber on her cutting board.
“I, uh, like them diced more,” you said and Heejin blinked at you, expecting you to be joking. “Yeah, I- I just think cucumbers taste better diced.”
You shrugged and Heejin’s light laugh filled the air before she nodded and started dicing the cucumber.
“Okay, sure thing. Diced cucumbers it is.”
You smiled at her. “Thanks.” 
Heejin waved it off. You stopped yourself from shaking your head at yourself because a week ago, Taehyung and you were rolling your eyes at Jungkook for preferring his cucumbers diced, but here you were, making sure his cucumbers were going to be cut the way he liked them.
“So, tell me,” Heejin started when you picked up the knife. She tucked her hair away and looked at you. “What was Kook like in high school?”
You stopped chopping your tomatoes and bit on your lip. You struggled to think of something to say and Heejin’s staring certainly didn’t make it any easier.
“He, uh, well, the same, I think,” you started and your words had Heejin chuckling. “I mean, I don’t think he really changed that much since.” You kept cutting up your tomatoes, eyes focused on the task in front of you. “At least, I doubt it. He didn’t change much during high school, so, I don’t think he did now.”
“Well, what was he like during high school?” Heejin asked again, not getting the answer she had been fishing for.
“Funny and kind,” you said without missing a beat and surprised yourself. You paused before shrugging and transferring your tomato wedges inside the big salad bowl. “He’s—not to gas him up—but he’s always been funny and kind, I guess. Like, he’s just always had a good heart.” You took the last tomato, starting to cut it up into wedges too. “He’s always just cared about others around him and tried to make others happy. It’s- it’s really nice and sweet.”
“Like, one time he stayed after school with,” you quickly swallowed the ‘me’, “uh, one of our friends for hours because they had lost their keys. And they didn’t even ask him to stay. He just did it himself and helped them out because they were, like, freaking out and on the brink of tears. And they weren’t even friends at that point. They were just classmates, but he- that didn’t matter to him. He helped them nevertheless.”
You laughed at the memory a little, remembering clearly how panicked you had been when you had realised that you had lost your keys.
“But he also definitely has his dramatic tendencies, and he’s also very picky with his food. I’m sure you know by now- oh, and he’s constantly late. At this point, it’s just chronic. Don’t get me started on his shitty excuses.”
You put away the last tomato wedges and your grip around the knife loosened. With your eyes on your hands, you sighed and without noticing, a smile stretched across your lips.
“But nevertheless, he’s a really amazing and great person.”
Heejin had long stopped dicing the cucumber and simply stared at you. When you looked up to her, you realised that maybe you had said too much. Your heart dropped into your stomach at the realisation and you were about to dismiss your words when a smile grew on Heejin’s lips.
“That’s great to hear,” she said and you couldn’t figure out if she meant it or not. “Sounds like you two were close.”
“Well, no- He was known for being kind and funny at our school. Ask anybody, they’d say the same thing about him,” you laughed and you hoped you could hide the wavering of your voice. “And if anyone was close to him, then it was Taehyung.”
“What was I?”
Taehyung stood next to you and you were about to respond when he took one of the tomato wedges and plopped them into his mouth. He stopped chewing when he saw the diced cucumbers and he looked at you, but you avoided his gaze.
“Don’t eat all of them. It’s for the salad. Also, are you done with your thing?” you said when he mindlessly reached for a second tomato wedge. You slapped his hand away, eliciting a gasp and whine from him.
“You’re mean, Y/N,” a pout formed on Taehyung’s lips, but you simply rolled your eyes at him, “and, yeah, Kook is finishing everything up.” He rubbed his hand. “Also, what was I?”
You sighed and put down the knife, reaching for the kitchen towel hanging from Taehyung’s shoulder to wipe your hands on it. “Close to him during high school.”
Taehyung raised his brows for a second before his gaze wandered behind you and it clicked in his mind. “Talking about the past, huh?”
“Yeah, Kook rarely ever talks about it,” Heejin said and you took the little piece of uncut cucumber from her cutting board, wanting to busy yourself with something.
“What are you guys talking about?” Jungkook turned off the stove and walked up to you, stopping behind Heejin.
“High school,” Taehyung said and Jungkook’s eyes shot to you. His gaze dug into you, but you acted like you couldn’t feel it, couldn’t feel him looking at you and instead kept your focus on dicing the cucumber in front of you.
“Yeah, you never wanna talk about it, babe,” Heejin repeated again and Jungkook frowned at her words.
“It wasn’t a good time.”
For just a second, you stopped focusing on the cucumber and instead focused on the icicles slowly forming in your lungs and the piercing breeze blowing through your chest, but you pulled it together and ignored the cold spreading through you.
“Wait, seriously?” Heejin asked and looked at Jungkook with raised brows. 
“Yeah, I guess-” Jungkook shrugged and you could feel Taehyung’s eyes on you as you poured the diced cucumbers into the salad bowl. “It wasn’t-”
Jungkook looked over to you for a second, but you didn’t meet his gaze. You just kept staring at the cutting board and over your head, Taehyung shot Jungkook a look that almost resembled a glare. 
“I just don’t like thinking back to that time.” Jungkook shrugged once more and you let go of the knife. It hit the cutting board with a faint thud that had your face contorting and Taehyung tensing up next to you. His fingers pulled on your wrist and wrapped around it, thumb brushing over your skin to soothe you, but it did nothing to thaw the icicles hanging from your lungs, sharp and ready to steal your breath.
“I mean it’s not like it was awful or anything. I did have my friends and a g- uh, stuff like that, and at the time, I thought it was great,” Jungkook continued on, and your heart froze up more and more with each of his words.
His eyes wandered to you, digging into you as he continued,
“But great things always have to come to an end.”
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Taehyung was glued to your side for the rest of the time, and you thanked him with a smile when you felt like you could muster up one. He shot one right back at you and by the time dinner was actually served, you had almost completely forgotten about Jungkook’s words and the way they had frozen up your heart.
You almost forgot.
Because for some reason, you were the one sitting across from Jungkook. When Taehyung and you had noticed, you couldn’t switch anymore. And so, Jungkook and you made sure to keep your heads low and your legs tucked underneath your chairs.
“How come?”
You looked up and blinked at Heejin as she quickly swallowed the rice to continue talking.
“How come both of you haven’t watched ‘Titanic’?” she asked and pointed between Taehyung and you. 
“I don’t think there’s necessarily a reason, right?” you said and looked at Taehyung for confirmation. He hummed in agreement and shrugged, stuffing his face with some of the salad.
“Do you guys just not like romcoms?”
“Uh, wouldn’t say we don’t like them,” Taehyung mumbled, “but we don’t really watch them either.”
“Yeah, most are just a little too unrealistic for me,” you added and took a sip from your wine. 
“I get that. Unrealistic romcoms are definitely the worst,” Heejin laughed. “Kook and I really enjoy romcoms though.”
You almost told Heejin that you knew that, that you knew very much that Jungkook was a sucker for romcoms. He had been the romantic of you two, taking you out on the most extra dates, making sure that you always felt special, trying his hardest to make your relationship into a romcom.
“Netflix has put out some really great and realistic ones though recently,” Heejin continued. ”Like, ‘Set It Up’ is really great and funny and ‘To All The Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before’ while a little more cheesy, is still very great.”
“You really like romcoms, don’t you?” you asked and Heejin beamed at your question, clearly excited about the prospect of talking about romcoms in depth.
“Yeah, I absolutely love them,” she sighed and leaned forward a little, her smile widening. You smiled back at her because it was truly hard not to smile at Heejin.
“What’s your favourite one?” you asked and Heejin’s smile grew into a grin, eyes glossing over as the excitement etched onto her face. 
“Hard question, but I’d say ‘About Time’ and ‘Someone Great’ are some of my favourites,” Heejin said and you perked up.
“Didn’t we watch ‘About Time’?” You looked over to Jungkook without meaning to and when he met your gaze, his eyes were big and flushed with panic. Quickly, you added, “We watched it together, right? All of us?”
Your head whipped around to Taehyung and he was mid-bite, caught off guard. 
“Yeah, no, we, uh, did,” Taehyung coughed out, slightly choking on his rice.
“Wasn’t it great?” Heejin said with a big grin and you nodded, taking a big sip from your wine.
“W-what was the other one again? ‘Someone Great’? What is that one about? I don’t think I’ve heard of it,” you said, changing the topic. Jungkook quickly went back to focusing on his food, but Taehyung was still looking at you out of the corner of his eye.
“Oh, it’s about Jenny—she’s the main character—who is a journalist, and she lands her dream job, but to fulfill it, she has to move across the country,” Heejin started to explain and you thought you were hearing wrong. You almost choked on your own spit and you weren’t the only one noticing the similarities because Jungkook slowly raised his head and looked at you.
“Her boyfriend, Nate, of, I think, nine or ten years ends up breaking up with her because of it and then she and her friends, like, try to forget about everything and cheer her up. It’s a really good film. They also all have their own respective relationship problems and we also get to see Jenny’s and her boyfriend’s relationship through flashbacks,” Heejin finished up telling and Taehyung’s hand found yours. You let go of your fork to interlace your fingers with his because right now, you needed someone to hold onto.
“It’s not your conventional romcom,” Heejin said with a smile. “It’s why I love it so much. It totally brings up the question of love or work and what’s the right choice.”
You hummed and looked away, deciding not to look at Jungkook because you didn’t want to see the way his features contort and harden. You had seen it once already, had seen his face split apart in pain once before. You had seen it when you had told him you were leaving, and ever since, you hadn’t gotten it out of your head. It had haunted you all of these years. 
You knew if you looked at Jungkook right now, the guilt and bad memories would bubble up and chew you out again. A lump would lodge itself into your throat and your heart would tighten into an impossible knot and everything in your body would ache and scream and tears would prick your eyes and your lungs would freeze to ice. 
At the sight of it, you would be left on the floor, gutted and breathless and in pain and frozen.
“What do you think, Y/N?”
You were more than caught off guard by the question and you scrunched up your brows, tilting your head to the side as you met Heejin’s gaze.
“Like, the fact that her boyfriend broke up with her and she essentially had to choose between love and work. What do you think about that?” Heejin blinked at you and her expression was hard to read. Her lips were pressed into a thin line and her brows were slightly raised.
You stammered for something to say, incredibly aware that all eyes were on you. Jungkook seemed to be staring holes into you, almost like he was challenging you to say the wrong thing. Taehyung squeezed your hand even tighter now and you couldn’t thank him enough because it offered you enough strength to croak out, 
“I don’t know.”
For a moment, there was silence.
“Well, I think it was fair of her boyfriend to break up with her because leaving like that was just shitty,” Jungkook piped up and Taehyung scoffed quietly underneath his breath, whispering an ‘of course’ to himself.
“I wouldn’t say breaking up with her was fair at all,” Taehyung argued and you squeezed Taehyung’s hands, wishing he wouldn’t do this, wouldn’t start all of this, but you couldn’t get through him. He couldn’t feel your hand tightening around his, could only feel the anger coursing through his veins.
“How is breaking up with her not fair if they were going to break up anyway? It was inevitable. She essentially left him for a job. Might as well just do it instead of dragging it out,” Jungkook said and put down his fork and knife, leaning back to cross his arms in front of his chest.
“Dude, no, it wasn’t,” Taehyung spat out and tried his hardest to keep his voice level. “They could have tried, tried to work it out somehow. Maybe they would have broken up later, but not trying at all and then being mad at the other person is not fair at all and fucking ridiculous.”
Heejin looked between Jungkook and Taehyung as they threw words at each other’s heads like doing so would make the other understand. You sank deeper into the chair and never more did you wish for a hole to appear underneath you and swallow you. In fact, you wouldn’t mind if the hole swallowed you and never spat you out again.
The conversation had taken a different turn than Heejin had intended it to go and you hoped and prayed she wouldn’t piece it together, wouldn’t figure out what exactly was being said right now, wouldn't manage to read between the lines.
“Can you really blame her boyfriend, though?” Jungkook was slipping now. The anger was consuming him slowly and wholly, taking over him. “I- he must have been so caught off guard by the news that she was moving away. It’s not okay or fair to keep that shit from him all the time and then expect him to be fine with it or supportive after telling him-”
“Yeah, I get it. It sucks that she kept it from y- him, but ever thought that there was a reason, huh?” Taehyung was breaking as well and the mask of friendliness and neutrality was sliding off, sliding off so fast he couldn’t catch it. Not that he bothered to. ”Ever thought that she kept it a secret from him because she was scared and didn’t want to hurt him? Like, fine, dude, be mad at the moment, but hating her forever and not even bidding her goodbye-”
“You don’t seem to get just how hurt I- he was, Taehyung. It’s not that easy-”
“How is it not that easy to be a decent human being? If he loved her, if he really loved her, he would have realised that it was her dream and wished her well-”
“Well, if she really loved him, she wouldn’t have left him like that! But she did because she’s selfish.” 
At this point, Jungkook and Taehyung were essentially screaming at each other, words bitter and far too loud.
“Dude, how is it selfish to chase your dreams? Also, what the fuck are you trying to say? Is she meant to always choose him over everything-”
“No, that’s literally not what I’m saying. She should have talked to him-”
“And she did, but he didn’t listen. What was she gonna do? Harass him into listening?”
“No, because at that point, when he refused to listen, she had already messed it all up! She had already broken him. Fuck, they were literally dating for years and years and one day, she just tells him she’s gonna leave? Like, what the actual fuck? What about their promise of forever? What about that? Was he not enough for her now?”
Jungkook was glaring at Taehyung with his eyes blown out wide and his chest heaving, lungs aching for air.
“She can go fuck herself for that!”
Your knuckles turned white around Taehyung’s hand and your teeth sank into your tongue. It was your poor attempt to numb the pain rippling through you now with even more pain.
Jungkook’s words were dripping with venom and anger. They sliced into you and pushed out any warmth inside you, leaving you freezing and cold. They poisoned you, sent the icicles crashing down from where they had been hanging, and they pierced through your lungs and filled them up with blood. You could feel yourself choke, suffocate slowly and painfully as his words replayed over and over again in your mind like a broken record.
You wanted to press your eyes shut and run away. You didn’t want to hear any of it anymore, didn’t want to have to listen to Taehyung and Jungkook screaming at each other, yelling like it was a battle of who could be the loudest.
Your eyes locked with Jungkook’s and while his stare was cold and hard, colder and harder than you had ever seen it, there seemed to be something else glimmering in his eyes too. And that something made him look like he knew he had gone too far, look like he knew exactly what his words were doing to you, but right now, he didn’t care, didn’t care just how much he was hurting you because in his mind, you had hurt him first, had hurt him worse.
So, hurting you was okay, justified even.
Taehyung fixed Jungkook with a glare, but he simply held his own, eyes digging into Taehyung’s as much as his eyes were digging into Jungkook’s. Taehyung’s nostrils were flared and his jaw was locked to the point it had to hurt. Both slipped into a staring contest either were more than determined to win.
At the end though, it was Jungkook who tore his gaze away, but the anger and frustration were etched onto every line and edge of his face. 
Taehyung scoffed before throwing his fork down on the plate and jumping up. His chair hit the floor and you were about to pick it up when he yanked on your hand. You stumbled after him more than anything else and as Taehyung led you around the table and out of the kitchen, your gaze met Heejin’s.
Her brows were drawn together and for once, there was no hint of a smile on her lips. You wanted to apologise to her, tell her it was all fine—even though you weren’t even sure if it was—but then you saw her hand on his knee underneath the table and suddenly, there was an unbelievably uncomfortable knot sitting in your throat, stopping you.
“I hope you don’t choke on your fucking diced cucumbers, dude.”
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[yoongs - 08:23 PM] : @y/n @tehyung how is the dinner going?
[yeri - 08:34 PM] : ohh, yeah, how is it? are you guys still stuck watching jack draw rose like one of his ~french girls~??
[yeri - 08:34 PM] : also yoongs do you have taes name saved wrong in your phone??? wtf
[yoongs - 08:57 PM] : have you guys gotten to that stupid door scene yet?
[yeri - 09:14 PM] : are you ignoring me? 
[yoongs - 09:43 PM] : @y/n @tehyung didnt you guys say youd try to go home asap
[yoongs - 09:43 PM] : how long is dinner and a film? or are you guys ignoring us?
[yeri - 09:45 PM] : tae, are you ignoring us like yoongs is ignoring me right now?? like y/n i get bc she sucks at texting, but you? tae? not responding? :o
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[You - 04:57 AM] : hey, yoongs! please dont say anything to yeri or tae, but could you give me his address? kinda urgent.
[yoongs - 09:14 AM] : are you okay? why are you texting me at 4?
[You - 09:14 AM] : im fine. ill tell you all about it later. just give me his address please
[yoongs - 09:15 AM] : uff fine
[yoongs sent in location]
[yoongs - 09:15 AM] : its 201
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In high school, you hadn’t been nearly as close to Taehyung as you were now. It wasn’t because you hadn’t been friends with each other, but rather because he had been so close to Jungkook already. Even after your friend group had formed, the two always had a different kind of bond, a deeper one. And even after Jungkook and you had started dating, their bond had been just as strong as yours had been with Jungkook. 
It had never bothered you because Taehyung and Jungkook had known each other forever, had known each other since they were in diapers. In fact, Yerim, Yoongi and you had always poked fun at that, always joked that those two were the true couple of your friend group. 
It was why you should have expected this to happen when you knocked on Taehyung’s front door.
Your lips parted slightly as you stared at him with big eyes. He was equally as shocked as you were, clearly not checking who it had been before opening the door.
“How’d you get in?” he asked with a furrow of his brows and you stammered before pointing behind you.
“Uh, someone let me in when they were walking out,” you explained and Jungkook scoffed slightly, head shaking from left to right as he cursed his neighbour.
Jungkook was donning a simple white T-Shirt and grey swats. You had seen him in this outfit more times than you could count when you had dated, but it still had your heart quickening because, fuck, he did look good dressed like that.
And as you stared at him, all of the memories of yesterday came rushing back to you and immediately, you lowered your gaze to your feet.
“He isn’t here. Didn’t come home yesterday,” Jungkook mumbled, knowing exactly why you were here and that you definitely were not here for him. Judging from your reaction upon seeing him, you hadn’t expected to see him. Another scoff almost escaped him, but somehow, he managed to swallow it. 
When you looked back up to him, Jungkook was already walking away, but the door stood wide open. Interpreting him leaving the door open as inviting you inside, you stepped in and closed the door behind you.
You tightened your grip around your tote bag as you walked inside, steps light. You were ready to run right out if Jungkook was to ask you why the fuck you invited yourself inside, but he didn’t. He just walked into the living room and sat down on his U shaped couch before pulling out his phone and mindlessly scrolling through it.
Unsure what to do—not only because you had never been here before, but also because you hadn’t expected to see Jungkook—you stopped behind him, not daring to take a single step inside the living room.
It was small and most of the room was taken up by the U shaped couch, but somehow it still looked home-y and cozy. Something about it, about the way the furniture was arranged and the room was decorated screamed comfort and you knew Jungkook was to thank for it. 
“Jesus fucking Christ, just sit. Looks like I’m not letting you.”
You snapped around to see Jungkook rolling his eyes at you. He gestured around him, offering you the rest of the couch, but you hesitated to do just what he had told you to. His eyes continued to burn into you and after a second and some internal debating, you wandered around the couch and sat down, choosing the seat that was furthest from Jungkook’s.
The gap between you two was huge, enough to fit Taehyung, Yerim and Yoongi between it, and you were more than thankful for it because the tension was palpable, thick, so thick a knife couldn’t even cut through it, so thick it could stop a bullet.
You put down your tote bag next to you, but you held it close to you, protecting the food inside. After a few seconds of silence, you pulled out your phone, unlocking it to open Taehyung’s and your chat.
[You - 09:32 AM] : where, uh, are you right now?
[You - 09:32 AM] : please come home asap. im sitting in the living room with him and its awkward as fuck. hurry
[You - 09:32 AM] : also why the fuck didnt you tell me you lived w him??
You were about to make a new group chat, add Yoongi and Yerim to it and panic text them when Taehyung came online and started typing.
[tae - 09:32 AM] : wtf??
[tae - 09:33 AM] : why the fuck ar u at my place?? you know where i lve?
[tae - 09:33 AM] : im there asap
[You - 09:33 AM] : i made you food as a way to say sorry
[tae - 09:33 AM] : go into my room its in the back. on the left second dor
[tae - 09:33 AM] : why sorry????
[You - 09:34 AM] : okay good. hurry
[You - 09:34 AM] : uh well your fight with him???? you forgot abt it?
[tae - 09:34 AM] : no ofc not
[tae - 09:34 AM] : but
[You - 09:34 AM] : omfg what does it matter. just come home
[tae - 09:35 AM] : fine
You sighed and hoped that Taehyung was going to come back in the next ten minutes or so because you couldn’t stand being in a room with Jungkook any longer. You just couldn’t forget that he was right here, that he was just sitting a few metres away from you, in the same room as you.
“But she did because she’s selfish.”
“When he refused to listen, she had already messed it all up!”
“She had already broken him.”
“He wasn’t enough for her now?”
“What about their promise of forever?”
“She can go fuck herself for that!”
You pressed your lips together and let your head fall, eyes squeezing shut as you tried to block it all out, tried not to think, but it was hard, hard when the person you had hurt the most in the world was sitting right there. You wanted to fall to your knees and beg for Jungkook’s forgiveness, but you doubted you had a right to even do that, not to mention talk to him.
The guilt had been eating you up since yesterday evening and continued on as you laid in bed, desperately trying to get some sleep. In the end, you watched the sun creep up the sky, painting your hometown in a tragic orange. 
You peeled your eyes open at the sound before slowly raising your head to see Jungkook standing right in front of you, hands buried in his sweats. He nodded towards the coffee table and when you looked at it, a cup of coffee was sitting on top of it.
“Looks like you haven’t slept in years,” Jungkook scoffed, almost like his words were meant to hurt you, but for once, for the first time since you had seen him again, they had warmth spreading through you. 
“Oh, thanks.”
You reached for the cup of coffee, and it was bordering on cold, but when you took a sip from it, you could feel the sun start to shine in your chest and thaw the remnants of the icicles that had stayed behind from yesterday, shine away the mess that yesterday had left behind.
“Thanks,” you mumbled again, but Jungkook had already turned on his heel and sat down again. You didn’t care, didn’t care because that had just been the first somewhat civil interaction Jungkook and you had shared and you couldn’t help but treasure it.
If you were completely honest, the coffee tasted okay at best and kind of bad at worst, and maybe it was because you were incredibly tired so any caffeine was welcomed or maybe it was because Jungkook had given you the cup of coffee, but somehow that was the best cup of coffee you had ever had. It dissolved on your tongue in the best way possible. 
“Uh,” you turned to Jungkook and he looked up from his phone, brows shooting up as his lips pulled into a thin line. You wanted to say something, but your voice had to have dissolved with the coffee because you couldn’t get it to come out.
You simply pointed at your empty cup of coffee and after a few more seconds of incredibly awkward staring, you managed to croak out, “Where can I put, uh-”
“Just leave it on the coffee table,” Jungkook said before immediately turning back to his phone. You nodded nevertheless and did as you were told.
You pulled out your phone too, and, so, you two sat there for a while in silence as you waited for Taehyung to come home. Almost twenty minutes had passed at this point and because you were too focused on your phone, you didn’t notice Jungkook turn off his phone and put it back in his pocket, didn’t notice him press his lips into a thin line before sighing and looking up to you.
“You remember how I like my cucumbers cut?”
Your eyes shot to him and you could feel the heat crawl up your neck at the question, recalling clearly how he had reacted when you had insinuated how well you still knew him, how that had led to him fixing you with the most piercing stare and ended with him telling you that you taught him that people were selfish and that he hoped you were right and that he didn’t have to see you again after this.
“Uh,” you started before carefully continuing, “yeah. I- I do.”
And it was then that you watched Jungkook crack a smile.
He smiled like he hadn’t essentially told you to go fuck yourself yesterday, smiled like you hadn’t broken his heart, smiled like everything was fine between you two. For the first few seconds, you thought your brain was playing a joke on you, thought you were seeing wrong and that the coffee was hitting you just really hard, but then-
“I thought it was dumb that I prefered diced cucumbers.” Jungkook scrunched up his nose and tilted his head at you, and a smile stretched across your lips, heart tumbling in your chest.
“It is,” you said, “but I’ve been kind of dumb these days.”
You shrugged and Jungkook’s smile widened the tiniest bit, and you had to bite on your lip to stop your smile from growing into a grin, from growing a little too big.
“I swear they taste better diced-”
“Oh my god,” you groaned and rolled your eyes at Jungkook in faux annoyance. “You still seriously think that-”
“I don’t think, I-”
“Yeah, I know you don’t think,” you said and slipped back into teasing Jungkook like nothing had ever happened between you two, like you had never left, like he hadn’t hated and resented you for it, like you hadn’t hurt each other, like yesterday hadn’t happened.
Jungkook gasped at your words, and you giggled when you saw the smile pulling on the corners of his lips that he was so desperately trying to hide, relieved to know that you hadn’t crossed a line.
“Damn, I didn’t miss this, Y/N,” Jungkook said with a light laugh and you noticed instantly that Jungkook had said your name. Your heart tumbled in your chest, involuntarily, and as much as you had tried to hide it by biting it away, a grin split apart on your lips.
For once, there was no tension in the air, no cold lingering around you two, no icicles forming in your lungs. For once, your joints weren’t tightening to the point it hurt and ached, no stiffness stretching you straight. For once, you felt somewhat comfortable around Jungkook, somewhat at ease.
“What did you miss then?” 
The answer slipped past Jungkook’s lips, rolled off his tongue without a second thought and you knew it, knew he hadn’t meant to say that, knew he hadn’t intentionally said it when you saw the blood rush to his face and paint his cheeks a bright and blaring red.
Your lips parted slightly and you blinked at Jungkook. Both of you both fell silent again and snapped your heads around, avoiding each other’s gazes as much as possible. And slowly, you could feel the tension fill up the room again, seep into every crack of the room, but this time it was different. 
This time the silence was loud, louder than Taehyung and Jungkook had been yesterday when they were screaming at each other. And with each second it lingered in the stifling air, you felt like it was urging you to say something, urging you to break it and tell Jungkook all of the things you had been wanting to say.
And so, you did, did break it, but you didn’t say the things you had been wanting to say. You said the thing you knew was okay to say.
“Heejin is nice.”
You whispered it into the room, whispered it so quietly like you didn’t want to break the silence that had been begging to be broken. Your eyes stayed on the ground, stayed focused on anything that wasn’t Jungkook, and he did the same, didn’t look up either.
“Yeah,” Jungkook breathed out and propped his arms on his knees, body leaning forward. “I guess she is.”
You nodded, barely registering his answer because you weren’t actually listening for it, not that you could have if you had wanted to because your heart was thumping in your ears, each beat as loud as a bomb going off right next to you. 
“H-how long have you two been dating?” you asked and you were honestly not sure why you were asking because simply thinking about Heejin and Jungkook together hurt you. Somehow you had been spared of their relationship details so far and you were more than thankful for that.
“Well, uh, a couple months,” Jungkook said with a cough. “Almost six now, I think.”
“And she hasn’t met the others yet?” you asked and peeked over to Jungkook. He only lowered his head even more and rubbed the back of his neck.
“Yeah, no, she hasn’t,” Jungkook mumbled.
“How come?” you continued in an attempt to lighten the whole situation, but somehow the air seemed to grow thicker with every word you exchanged. 
Jungkook took his time to answer, eyes scanning the floor like the words would appear on it if he stared long enough, like someone would whisper into his ear why Heejin hadn’t met his friends yet, like he would remember what his reasoning was.
“I- I don’t know,” Jungkook ended up sighing before curling up into himself, head lowering even more as if he was aiming to plant it to the floor.
“How’d you meet?” you asked.
“How does anybody meet anybody these days? Dating apps.”.
“Did you date?”
The question was simple, each word easy to understand, but you had difficulties figuring out what he was asking you.
“When you were there, I mean. Did you date?”
You stammered for an answer, words running away from you like you were children playing Tag on a sunny day with your friends, and you were losing, miserably. The air was knocked out of your lungs and it took you seemingly an eternity to finally get it together and cough out some words, words that put together resembled an answer.
“I- yeah, I, uh, did.” You grimaced at yourself, head lowering to avoid Jungkook’s gaze the same way he had avoided yours before.
“So, you had, like, a serious-”
“No,” you cut in a little too fast. “I mean I dated, but nothing was really serious. I never had anything like a proper- you know.”
The corners of Jungkook’s lip curled up the tiniest bit at your answer.
“How come?”
You sighed and gripped your tote bag next to you, wondering now where the fuck Taehyung was because hadn’t he said he would hurry? 
“It just never felt quite right, I guess.” You shrugged and shifted from left to right, fingers tightening around your tote bag. “They were all funny and kind, but- I guess you could say that something was missing. Like, I don’t know, the spark or whatever.” Another shrug. “But also not like I had time to date. Was busy with my studies anyway.”
Jungkook hummed and for a moment, you both fell silent again. You were about to pull out your phone and mumble something about checking where Taehyung was to change the subject to something lighter, easier, when he cut in.
“Anyone significant though?” Your eyes shot to him and you raised your brows at him. His face was neutral, but there was definite curiosity swimming in his pupils. “Like, memorable? Anyone that stuck around a little longer? Or, you know, you liked-”
“No,” you said with a vigorous shake of your head. “No one that was in any way memorable or significant. Most just- they just kind of blur together.”
Jungkook looked at you for another second, words sinking in with him before he nodded and hummed. Both of you lowered your gazes again and fell into the all too familiar silence, tension creeping up on you.
But before you could be forced to break the silence once again and word vomit all over yourself, there was a rumbling and a frantic turning of keys. A second later, the front door flew open. Hectic and clumsy steps followed and soon enough, your eyes landed on a frazzled and panting Taehyung.
He stopped in the middle of the room, right in front of Jungkook and you. His chest heaved and judging from the sweat running down his temple, he had run a good amount.
Jungkook looked away when Taehyung stumbled into the living room, and instantly, you could feel a change in the air. The tension sat on your chest, suffocating you as it seeped into every corner of the room.
“My room,” Taehyung panted before pointing at you and into the hallway, not sparing Jungkook a single glance as he turned on his heel. You didn’t follow his words and only tightened your grip around your tote bag.
“I, uh,” you cleared your throat and Taehyung stopped, turning around to look at you with raised brows, confused, “I’d rather stay, uh, here.”
“What?” Taehyung asked and irritation started to mix with his confusion. “Why?”
His eyes dug into yours like he was trying to tell you just how little he wanted to stay here, and you sighed, tucking a strand behind your ear. Your tongue swiped across your bottom lip and you could feel your heart quicken in your chest, quicken impossibly.
“I-” you lowered your head before finally mustering up the courage to say it. “I know I said I came here to say sorry for yesterday, but I’m also here to say that I’d like to stop—I guess you could call it fake dating, right?—well, anyway, I’m here to tell you I’d like to stop fake dating you,” you thought to yourself, unsure how to call what Taehyung and you had been doing, “or whatever.”
“Because,” you started, voice quiet and calm, and you couldn’t look at Taehyung or Jungkook as you explained yourself because, fuck, all of this was so ridiculous and dumb, “I don’t like it. I don’t like lying. It’s stupid.”
You shrugged and when you looked up to Taehyung, he had his brows raised at you and his hands on his hips, obviously not believing you at all.
“You’re literally ly-”
“Also,” you cut in, not wanting to give Taehyung a chance to disagree with you and because you had to get everything out right now before the courage left you and you were staring at the floor once again. “Also, it’s just not fair to Heejin. She doesn’t deserve to be lied to you. She’s a good person and if she finds out that we’ve been lying to her, she- I don’t know, might break up with, uh, you know.”
Your eyes flickered to Jungkook. He was already looking at you, and maybe it was because your heart was beating in your ears, tumbling way too loud in your chest or maybe because you couldn’t properly look at him for more than a second, but you couldn’t read his expression. There was something in his eyes, but you couldn’t quite figure out what exactly.
“And we don’t want that, right?” 
Your voice wavered as you said the words and you hoped it would go unnoticed, hoped that neither Taehyung nor Jungkook listened closely enough to hear the waver. You folded your arms over your stomach, focusing back on Taehyung. He eyed you, continued to do so and you had to try your hardest not to shift and look away. 
“Fine,” Taehyung sighed, gaze tearing away to let it wander before his eyes returned to you like he had come to accept your decision just now. “What do you suggest?”
“I- uh,” you flashed Taehyung a nervous smile and wrung your hands together, “I don’t know. I- I figured we’d come up with something,” a short pause, “together.”
When you looked over to Jungkook again, he was staring at the floor before meeting your gaze, obviously not thinking he was going to be included in this. You wanted to muster up something that resembled a smile, but looking at him was something you couldn’t do, so, your eyes flickered to Taehyung. No smile for Jungkook.
“Together,” you repeated and Taehyung sighed, head lowering for a few seconds as he squeezed his eyes shut. When he looked up again, there was a deep line etched onto his features.
“Fine,” Taehyung breathed out before wandering into the room again and sitting down right opposite of Jungkook. 
All three of you occupied one side of the U shaped couch, Jungkook the left, Taehyung the right and you the middle.
“Okay, uh,” you started when the silence continued on too long, leaning forward to grab Taehyung's attention. “I- I’d say we have to break up amicably, right?”
You looked over to Taehyung for some kind of reaction, but his eyes were fixed on Jungkook and his eyes were fixed on Taehyung as well. Your head started to throb and you knew it was a matter of time until it split apart. Unable to take it any longer, you clapped your hands together and cut through some of the lingering tension.
“I thought we were gonna talk,” you said, voice quiet because you were too scared to speak up too loudly. You looked at Taehyung only because looking at Taehyung was easy and looking at Jungkook was not. “Let’s talk then, please.”
Taehyung and Jungkook locked eyes once more, the corners of their lips turned down, but both came to a mutual conclusion.
“Okay,” Jungkook sighed and shifted in his seat. 
“Yeah, fine,” Taehyung mumbled quietly, arms unfolding to rest on his knees. 
There was a moment of silence as he thought.
“You said break up amicably, right?” Taehyung pointed at you and you nodded. “Yeah, sounds like a good idea.”
“What does it matter if you two break up amicably or not?” Jungkook questioned with a furrow of his brow and Taehyung sighed.
“It matters because if Y/N and I don’t break up amicably, we can’t hang out in the future. So, if Heejin were to see us, it’d be weird,” Taehyung explained and the irritation was dripping from his words.
“You guys wanna hang out in the future?” Jungkook asked and Taehyung contorted his face at him.
“Yeah, of course, dude. Why the fuck wouldn’t we? We’re friends,” he said and shook his head at Jungkook, scoffing slightly.
“Okay, great. Break up amicably. How though?” you cut in before things could escalate any further, turning to Taehyung for some answers, but he simply shrugged.
“How about,” Jungkook started and ran a hand through his hair, “How about you two start acting annoyed with each other the next time we meet up? Like, start dropping hints and then, I’ll make some comment about how you two have problems and then, when we see each other again, you two are broken up.”
“Yeah, I doubt that Heejin would like to meet up again after yesterday,” Taehyung said and you hummed in agreement.
“Are you sure this is about Heejin not wanting to meet up or just you?” Jungkook bit back and you sighed inwardly, regretting not taking Yoongi or Yerim with you as support.
“Dude, what the fuck are you talking about?” Taehyung sneered with a scoff and a breathy chuckle, and you were certain your skull was going to break into pieces.
“What am I talking about? How about the fact that you didn’t come home yesterday?” Jungkook asked and pointed at Taehyung, the knit deepening between his brows.
“What does that-”
“Tae, please,” you interrupted and closed your eyes, hating every second of this. “Just don’t, please.”
You peeled your eyelids open and locked eyes with him, shaking your head from left to right as you were on the verge of giving this up and going home. Taehyung’s gaze softened when he saw how tired you were, irritation washing out of him in an instant.
“Yeah, no, you’re right. I’m sorry,” he mumbled, hand reaching for yours and you took it, squeezing it to thank him silently. You two shared a look and both of you were too occupied to notice Jungkook lowering his head and scoffing silently to himself, teeth sinking far too deep into his lip, so much so it should hurt.
“Okay, so, how-” you started, letting go of Taehyung’s hand to concentrate on the conversation again. “How did you imagine us meeting up again? Because I also don’t think that Heejin would want to meet up after yesterday.”
You glanced into Jungkook’s direction, but he kept his head low, acting like he was thinking when in reality, he was trying not to burst. 
“Maybe we could convince Yeri or Yoongs to host a game night or whatever,” Taehyung offered as a solution and you thought about his words for a moment before nodding, a smile tugging on the corners of your lips.
“Yeah, that sounds like something,” you said and turned to Jungkook slightly, glancing into his general direction to gauge his reaction.
“But,” Jungkook started, head raising a little as he looked at Taehyung with his brows slightly knitted together, “that’d mean Heejin would meet-”
Jungkook didn’t finish the sentence, deciding to swallow the rest of it instead and Taehyung and you exchanged a glance, giving him a few seconds to make up his mind again as to what he wanted to say.
“Yeah, no, that’s fine,” Jungkook sighed at the end, nodding, and Taehyung and you locked eyes once more.
“Great. I can talk to them about it,” you said with somewhat of a smile on your lips and Taehyung hummed in agreement and Jungkook just rubbed the back of his neck.
Stifling silence fell over all three of you, but then you remembered why you had come here in the first place. You dug through your tote bag and pulled out one tupperware box before pulling out another one. You placed them both on the coffee table and pushed them into their direction.
Taehyung and Jungkook looked up when they heard the sliding of the tupperware boxes and almost simultaneously, they furrowed their brows together and glanced at you. You didn’t meet either’s gazes, deciding to fiddle with the strap of your tote bag instead. 
“Breakfast,” you said with a shrug and it took Taehyung grabbing his box and removing the top for Jungkook to finally stop staring at you and grab his box.
“You made me food too?” Jungkook asked and stared at the box in front of him before glancing back up to you. You lowered your head even more, cheeks growing hot underneath his eyes.
“Well, no, not really,” you started, clearing your throat. “I mean I didn’t know you lived with Tae, but since he always used to eat so much I figured one box wasn’t enough and so, I made two, but I’m pretty sure two boxes were too much anyway. So, this works out perfectly actually. But it’s just a bunch of stuff I found in my fridge and threw together. Really nothing special.”
You shrugged more and Taehyung mumbled something underneath his breath, but you couldn’t catch it. Without a fork or a chopstick or any cutlery, he dug in, biting off a piece of the fried egg.
“Fuck, it’s good,” Taehyung said with a slight scoff like it was infuriating to him that your cooking (Could it be considered cooking though because you just made some bacon and fried egg and cut up some vegetables?) didn’t completely suck.
“Thanks,” Taehyung mumbled in between bites, enjoying the food so much that he couldn’t even raise his head to look at you.
You nodded and glanced at Jungkook, who had snapped out of whatever he had previously been and finally removed the top of the box, marvelling at the food in front of him. And just like Taehyung, he dug in, fingers first. You watched Jungkook try the bacon and shake his head as he chewed, a smile overtaking his lips more and more as he continued eating.
Jungkook looked up, eyes locking with yours and with the softest smile, he nodded at you.
“Thank you.”
And you nodded right back at him with your heart tumbling far too loudly in your chest.
“You’re welcome.”
All three of you fell silent and for a while, Taehyung’s and Jungkook’s constant chewing was the only thing that rang in your ears at all.
“Uh, Tae, could you give me-” Jungkook pointed at the box of tissues in front of Taehyung, out of his reach. He looked up at Jungkook’s voice, blinking for a few seconds because this had been the first time Jungkook had talked to him in a civil manner. Taehyung nodded and shoved the little piece of carrot into his mouth.
“Yeah, no, sure thing,” he mumbled before taking a tissue and leaning over the table to give it to Jungkook. He took it, wiping his fingers and mouth before locking eyes with Taehyung once more.
“Thanks,” Jungkook mumbled quietly and Taehyung smiled to himself a little before waving it off.
“Sure thing,” Taehyung mumbled equally quiet and you had to stop the grin from growing on your lips. 
For a few more seconds, you sat there as Taehyung and Jungkook practically devoured the food you had made (neither bothered to go to the kitchen and get some cutlery though) before you crossed your arms in front of your chest and turned to Taehyung.
“Why were you so late?” you asked and he looked up, a piece of fried egg hanging from the corner of his mouth. “And where were you that it took you half an hour to get back?”
Taehyung rolled his eyes at you and swiped across his mouth with the back of his hand, swallowing heavily. “I crashed at Yoongi’s, and I swear the traffic was just out of the world this morning. I hit more red lights-”
“What? Was there a fire? Or did someone drop a bunch of mirrors on the road?”
Jungkook choked next to you and you watched him cough and pat his chest, trying desperately not to suffocate. Taehyung and you exchanged glances, and even though it had been incredibly awkward and tense just mere minutes ago, things were slowly changing.
When he finally managed to swallow his food, Jungkook locked eyes with you and you tried to hide it, but a smile grew onto your lips, eliciting his cheeks to grow hot and red.
“You guys never believed me,” Jungkook mumbled, a dramatic pout forming on his lips, and when you looked at Taehyung again, both of you burst out into laughter.
“Can you blame us though? Fires? Broken mirrors?” Taehyung laughed, forgetting everything that had happened between Jungkook and him.
“Why would I lie? There’s literally no reason for me to-”
“Because you forgot time and are now running late and trying to shift blame because you don’t want to get shit on for being late, again,” you offered as an explanation, falling into the same old teasing you all used to do when you were all still in high school and your biggest worries were if your mother or Jungkook was going to drive you home today and if Jungkook was going to stay at your place or if you were going to stay at his.
“I would never do that,” Jungkook argued and you rolled your eyes, exchanging a knowing glance with Taehyung. “Hey! No, don’t look at each other like that. I can see you guys.”
“Never thought or said you were blind,” Taehyung grinned and plopped a small tomato into his mouth. You hummed in agreement, grin growing bigger and brighter when you saw Jungkook scoff and shake his head at Taehyung and you.
“It’s always been you two against me,” Jungkook complained and Taehyung and you rolled your eyes simultaneously, scoffing.
“Please, if anything it was always you two,” Taehyung pointed at Jungkook and you with a piece of carrot before pointing at himself, “against me.”
“That is not true-”
“It was,” you said and locked eyes with Jungkook, nodding. “We’ve gotta admit it. We bullied Tae more than Tae and I bullied you.”
“So, you did bully me then,” Jungkook said and you rolled your eyes in faux annoyance.
“You’re focusing on the wrong thing,” Taehyung started and pointed at you, waving the piece of carrot around like it wasn’t food. “Y/N never got bullied. Only we did.”
“Oh my God, we never did bully you,” Jungkook said with a dramatic turn of his head and you scoffed, shaking your head because, oh, you did get bullied.
“Yoongs bullied me,” you corrected with a raise of your finger. “And if anyone didn’t get bullied, it was Yeri.”
“No, Yoongs bullied Yeri,” Taehyung said with his brows furrowed together and dismissed your words with a wave of his hand, after having finally eaten the piece of carrot. “You know who actually didn’t get bullied?”
“Yoongs,” Jungkook replied and all of you locked eyes, the realisation dawning on you. There was a beat of silence before you all started talking again, simultaneously.
“That bitch really bullied all of us relentlessly, but never got some of it back.”
“How did we not notice earlier?”
“Looks like we’ve got some bullying to do, huh?”
Another beat of silence followed before you locked eyes once more and all started laughing, pearls of laughter spilling from your lips, loud and beautiful.
And all of the tension and stiffness was gone, gone as you laughed your hearts out. Everything that had happened between you three was forgotten for a moment, the grudges were at the back of your minds, locked away for now, and you took it, took whatever the universe gave you that resembled normalcy. Deep down, you knew things were going to be awkward and tense once you all saw each other again, but for now, it was different, was like it used to be. 
Everything was great.
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“I thought you guys would never come,” Yerim laughed, trying so hard to hide the nervosity, but you could hear it. She threw her arms around Jungkook’s neck, pulling him into a hug as he mumbled some excuse into her ear.
“Yeah, sorry.”
You watched Yerim and Heejin meet for the first time and you caught pieces of their conversation, listening to the usual spiel that consisted of ‘Oh, I’ve heard so much about you.’ and ‘It’s so nice to finally meet you’ before plopping a chip into your mouth, deeming whatever Yerim and Heejin were talking about as not interesting.
You had decided to busy yourself with the snacks in the kitchen when the bell had announced Jungkook’s and Heejin’s arrival, coming to the conclusion beforehand that if you looked busy, you didn’t have to get the door and do the obligatory greetings and hugs. With the way the door to the kitchen stood open, you could only see parts of the living room, but you had a perfect view of the front door. You, however, were somewhat hidden by one of Yerim’s plant. Essentially, you stood in the perfect spot to observe without being observed yourself.
“I thought you hated these chips.”
Your head whipped around at his voice and you realised only now he was already standing next to you, fingers grabbing the chip you had been about to eat. A gasp slipped past your lips as you watched him throw the chip into his mouth and lean against the table, shifting his whole weight onto the table.
“Yoongs!” you said, exasperated, but he didn’t care at all, grabbing a handful as he watched Yerim, Heejin and Jungkook exchange pleasantries at the front door.
“Didn’t you say the last time we hung out that these were too stale and bland in your opinion?” he asked, eyes never leaving the people at the front door, and you shrugged, plopping another stale and bland chip into your mouth.
“Opinions change.”
“That was last week.”
“Fine, so maybe they are too stale and bland in my opinion, but Yeri doesn’t have anything else,” you grumbled and threw another chip into your mouth, barely allowing yourself time to swallow and realise (again) just how horrible these chips were and why exactly you hated them.
“Shouldn’t you be saying hello right now?” you asked with a furrow of your brows and Yoongi scoffed.
“Why would I? I don’t live here. Yeri does,” Yoongi said with a scrunch of his nose. “Also, these are fucking horrible.” He looked at the chip in his hand with narrowed eyes. “God, they are stale and bland. I think these are those healthy chips or whatever.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know,” you said, not really caring about the chips anymore, “but you haven’t met Heejin yet.” You nodded into her direction. “You should say hello.”
“Shouldn’t we all say hello to her regardless of if we’ve met her before or not?” Yoongi asked, plopping another chip into his mouth seconds after complaining about them. “So, shouldn’t you too?”
“I- Yeah, technically, I guess. But it’s different for you,” you argued.
Yoongi scoffed and shook his head, pausing a little as he focused on Yerim, Heejin and Jungkook again before snapping out of it. 
“I tell you what,” Yoongi started before shoving a handful of chips into his mouth, chewing to the end before continuing, “you go over there and say hello and then, I’ll do the same thing.”
You stared at Yoongi, but he didn’t meet your gaze, enjoying the view of Yerim, Heejin and Jungkook in the distance instead, and you huffed before mumbling underneath your breath for him to forget it. Both of you ate chips in silence for a few more seconds before he nudged your elbow with his hand, accidentally dropping a chip when he moved a little too quickly, but he didn’t mind or care at all.
“Tae’s going in,” Yoongi informed you and at his words, you looked up to see that, yes, Taehyung was, in fact, walking up to Yerim, Heejin and Jungkook, a strained smile on his lips.
“Yeah, probably because we aren’t,” you mumbled and Yoongi hummed in agreement. “Always there to save the day.”
“Look at Yeri’s panicked smile,” Yoongi said and pointed at her, and as much as you tried not to, you laughed a little, eliciting one from him.
“We’re bad people, Yoongs,” you snorted and he shook his head at you as he watched the horror unfold in front of him. 
“They haven’t made up yet, have they?” Yoongi asked and judging from the way Taehyung and Jungkook were hugging each other (or, well, actually not hugging each other because they were doing that awkward thing Jungkook and you had done the last time you had ‘hugged’ each other, and that was definitely not a hug.), it was obvious what the answer was.
“Obviously not,” you said and reached for your glass of water to wash down the salt. “Things are better though. Last time, they were ready to jump each other’s throats.”
Yoongi snorted and it was then that you remembered and looked over to him.
“Remember how I asked you for Tae’s address? Why didn’t you tell me he was crashing at your place then?”
A smirk formed on Yoongi’s lips and you wanted nothing more than to throw your glass of water into his face. The fact that he was still not looking at you only added to your irritation and frustration with him. 
“You told me not to tell Tae and Yeri, so I didn’t.”
“Yoongi!” you growled and jabbed him in his ribs, eliciting a breath from him. “You should have told me! Do you know how weird it was when he opened the door? You’re impossible sometimes.”
You scrunched up your brows and gritted your teeth, but Yoongi just cackled next to you, obviously enjoying your misery very much.
“You know what?” you asked and put down your glass of water with a little more force than necessary. “I take it back. We aren’t bad people. You are. You’re straight up a dick.”
“Oh, I never agreed with you,” Yoongi said and you frowned at his words, not getting what he was saying. “I know that I’m a bad person, but, trust me, you’re definitely not.”
Your frown deepened and you were about to ask him what he was talking about when Yoongi finally looked at you and stopped eating the chips, letting the few pieces in his hand fall back in the bowl. He dusted off his hand and straightened up to look at you properly.
“Look around yourself, Y/N,” he said and threw his hands into the air. “We’re at a fake game night party or whatever this thing is that you forced Yeri to throw, so you could act ‘annoyed’ with Taehyung because you’re fake dating him and you’re only fake dating him because that dumbass ex of yours, who is also somehow our dear friend, Jeon fucking Jungkook, forgot to tell his current girlfriend that you dated during high school.”
You tore your gaze away and bit on your tongue, trying desperately not to squirm underneath Yoongi’s gaze.
“This is fucking ridiculous,” Yoongi continued and you lowered your head, squeezing your eyes shut. “This is literally the dumbest thing ever. You’re making sure Jungkook, who, again, I don’t know if you’ve forgotten, is your ex, keeps his current girlfriend because he, again, was a dumbass and forgot to tell her about you. And on top of that, he’s been acting like a complete fucking asshole to you.
“Obviously. you’re not a bad person. You’re a fucking saint for putting up with and doing all of this.”
“It’s not like that-”
“Don’t try to convince me otherwise, Y/N,” Yoongi cut in and shoved his face with chips again before regretting it immediately and scrunching up his face in disgust. You peeled your eyes open just in time to watch him drink all of your water, but this time you didn’t complain. You simply sighed and crossed your arms in front of your chest.
“I hurt him-”
“And?” Yoongi argued with a groan. “Stop blaming yourself for everything. We hate it if you do that. If Yeri wasn’t so freaking weak and had stuck to our agreement, this wouldn’t be happening right now.”
You shook your head and pressed your lips together. Yoongi didn’t understand, didn’t understand just what you had done and how much you had actually hurt Jungkook. In fact, none of your friends understood, understood why it wasn’t as easy as they seemed to think it was.
They hadn’t been there when you had told Jungkook you were going, hadn’t been there to witness him crumble apart in front of, hadn’t been there as his anger took over him and consumed him whole, hadn’t been there when Jungkook’s begs for this to be a joke turned into deafening screams and ultimately into bitter words.
You flinched, flinched because Jungkook had never raised his voice withyou, had never looked at you like that. There was no warmth, no light, no love swimming in his eyes. All you could find was anger and pain, and you wished you could say you weren’t the reason for all of that.
His face contorted and hardened into something unreadable, something you had never seen before, and you wanted to soothe over every line, wanted to kiss them over and over again until they were gone. Even with the anger etched onto his face, Jungkook was painfully beautiful, heartbreakingly so.
“Please. Just let me explain, babe-”
“No!” Jungkook cut in and pointed at you, finger jabbing the air like it had wronged him and not you. Your heart rang in your ears and you were almost certain he could hear it too, hear it thumping in your chest. 
“Kook, please-”
“Do not call me ‘Kook’. I’m not fucking ‘Kook’ or ‘babe’ or even fucking ‘Jungkook’ to you. You’ve got no right to call me by my name anymore!”
A new wave of tears streamed down your face at his words. They pierced through you like bullets, hitting you in rapid succession and at the end, you were laying on the floor, on the brink of death.
“You’ve decided to- decided to leave me, no, us for your stupid adventure. You’ve fucking decided to break our promise! Remember our stupid fucking promise of forever?” Jungkook pressed through gritted teeth and took a step towards you, hands waving wildly around him. “You don’t get to say my name, don’t get to act like everything’s fucking fine and I’m your ‘Kook’ or ‘babe’ or whatever the fuck you call me after breaking it!”
You hiccuped and let your head hang as the realisation dawned on you that he was gone. He had slipped out of your reach and walked, no, ran away. He had put oceans and continents between you two, and there was no more asking him to come back anymore.
You knew then, he and you were done.
More curses slipped past Jungkook’s lips, but you couldn’t hear them, couldn’t hear the accusations he threw at you. For that, your heart was breaking and sobbing far too loudly in your chest.
You weren’t sure how much time passed, how long you stood there and cried your eyes out as he paced up and down his room, but by the time, you managed to lift your head, he was sitting on the edge of his bed, elbows resting on his knees and hands folded together with his gaze stuck to the floor.
And you weren’t sure how much time passed, how long you stared at him until he opened his mouth again.
“I really really love you,” Jungkook mumbled through gritted teeth and you knew he wished he didn’t love you anymore.
You wanted to grab him, cup his face and whisper into his ear over and over again just how sorry you were, whisper into his ear until words stopped making sense and the stars rained from the darkened sky.
“I really do,” Jungkook scoffed, but tears spilled from his eyes, involuntarily and far too many. Too proud to cry in front of you now, Jungkook covered his face with his hand and sank his teeth into his bottom lip, but even then, he couldn’t silence the sobs and sniffs. They banged on the walls of his throat and bursted through his lips.
And you hated it, hated seeing him like this, hated seeing his entire body shake and tremble, hated seeing his face contort in pain, hated seeing the tears collect at his chin and drip to the floor, hated seeing his lips quiver uncontrollably, hated seeing him desperately try to keep it together.
You hated seeing Jungkook cry.
But he was, and all because of you.
You were to blame, to blame for the state Jungkook was in right now. You had inflicted that pain on him, had broken and shattered his heart, had made him cry.
“Please, just let me explain-”
“There’s nothing to explain, Y/N,” he said, a sob erupting from his lips again, and you shook your head, trying so desperately to say something, but your tongue was tied into a messy knot. You wanted to tell him that there was so much you wanted to say, so much that needed to be explained, but you couldn’t bring yourself to, couldn’t bring yourself to form the words necessary.
Slowly, Jungkook looked up to you, hand falling into his lap, and when your eyes met his, your heart raptured in your chest. His features were twisted in pain and agony as the tears scared his beautiful face.
“You’re leaving.” Jungkook whispered it into the silence like you didn’t know. 
“You’re leaving me.”
You closed your eyes at his words, shaking your head like you were about to disagree, but you couldn’t, couldn’t even bring yourself to make a single sound. 
The anger in Jungkook’s voice had dissipated into the air and been replaced by disappointment and hurt. And if you had to say which one was worse, Jungkook screaming at you or Jungkook simply looking at you with tears streaming down his face, you would choose the latter every fucking day.
Because without the anger and the screams to numb you, to silence your thoughts and mind, it was obvious, glaringly obvious. 
You had broken Jungkook.
“I hope you’re happy,” Jungkook continued, voice cracking in the worst way possible, and a deaf man could have heard that he was lying, could have heard the bitterness swinging in his words.
“I hope you’re happy knowing you’ve hurt me.”
“You don’t get it, Yoongs,” you mumbled quietly to yourself before looking at your hands. “None of you do.”
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You had always preferred game night over film night. You just always thought that it was so much more fun to play games than to sit in darkness and watch some film half of you didn’t watch anyway or had already watched. Your competitiveness and need to win certainly played into your preference of game night over film night. But right now, you would choose film night over game night any day, would never have another game night ever again if that meant you could switch to having a film night now instead.
You really had no idea what Yerim had been thinking when she had decided to draw lots to determine the teams. 
“So, we need a total of seven points to beat them, right? Both rounds?” Heejin asked you and you nodded, your heart racing more and more as you waited for the game to begin.
2 rounds of Taboo. 90 seconds to get through as many words as possible.
“You sure you don’t wanna be the one explaining? I’m sure you’re better at this than I am,” you said and Heejin shook her head at you.
“Trust me, I’m definitely worse than you,” she smiled. “If we wanna win, it’s best if Kook and you do the explaining.”
“Are you ready, Y/N?” Yerim asked you, her finger hovering above the start button, and you turned around to her before nodding. It was a complete lie, you weren’t ready, but you didn’t think you were ever going to be. 
You always got nervous right before you started playing a game, but this time, it was different, different because it mattered so much more if you won or not. Never had you wanted to win more, and the thought of possibly losing had your stomach churning. You couldn’t disappoint, disappoint him because you knew that he was just as competitive as you, if not more so.
You picked up the first card and scanned it.
“Okay, uh,” you turned around and looked at Heejin and Jungkook, “they are like paintings or sketches.”
“Black and white paintings?” Heejin guessed and you shook your head, biting your lip as you thought of something else to say.
“Uh,” you tucked a strand behind your ear before looking at him, “ you always said you wanted them and they can be in any colour.”
“You always said you wanted them and they can be in any colour‘? What is she talking about?” Taehyung laughed at your poor attempt at describing the word ‘Tattoos’ and you started to panic even more.
“Stop guessing. You’re not on her team,” Yoongi said with a slap to his arm and Taehyung simply dismissed him with a wave of his hand, but he kept his mouth shut.
“Once you get them, they’re forever.”
“Jesus, Y/N, did you get worse at this?” Taehyung laughed and you could hear Yerim’s laugh mix with his. You couldn’t blame them though because you were really struggling to come up with a way to explain ‘Tattoos’.
“Why is Y/N describing and not Kook? Wasn’t he always better at this than her?” Yerim asked and you regretted not putting up more of a fight when Heejin had told Jungkook and you to do the explaining. 
You had always been better at guessing and Jungkook had always been the one better at explaining. You had your roles, but with Heejin on your team now and refusing to do the explaining, you had to step up.
“You got into this huge fight with your parents once because they didn’t like them- oh, you’ve got some now on your freaking hand!”
“Tattoos!” Jungkook exclaimed and you let out a squeal. A smile flashed across your lips before you nodded at him and picked up the next card, the previous card landing on the floor.
 February 14
“45 Seconds,” Yerim said and you turned to Heejin and Jungkook with wide eyes, quickly starting to explain.
“Okay, uh,” you said and tucked a strand behind your ear, brain trying to come up with a way to word this correctly. “It’s a holiday at the start of the year.”
“New Years?” Heejin said and you shook your head at her.
“What holiday is at the start of the year but not New Years?” Taehyung asked and once again, Yoongi slapped his arm, telling him not to guess.
“Easter?” Heejin said and you shook your head.
“30 Seconds,” Yerim interjected and you wanted to curse at her because this was really stressing you out.
“Fuck, uh,” you turned to Jungkook. “We always made fun of it because we thought it was just so commercialised.” You gestured wildly around yourself. “It’s for couples-”
“Oh, Valentine! February 14th-”
You cheered once more before picking up the next card, letting the other one fall to the floor once more.
Harry Potter
“Uh, this is easy” you mumbled. “It’s a fictional character.”
“Sherlock Holmes? Iron Man?”
“No, let me finish first,” you shot back with urgency in your voice. “ He’s really famous-”
“Iron Man!”
“No, God, just let me finish!” you groaned and Jungkook sat back down a little more, lips pressing together to let you talk. Heejin smiled next to him and placed her hand on his knee, trying to calm him, but Jungkook had his eyes fixed on you, desperately trying to get that win.
“15 Seconds,” Yerim smiled, definitely enjoying the distress in your eyes far too much.
“Okay, uh, we can get this one,” you said, stumbling over your own words. 
“You can do, like, quizzes.”  You looked at Jungkook once more. “We did them too!” You gestured between him and you. “You got really pressed because you got Hufflepuff, but you wanted-”
“Oh, Harry Potter,” Jungkook said and snapped his fingers.
“Time’s up!” Yerim said and you dropped the card in your hand.
“Three points, right?” Heejin counted on her fingers and turned to Jungkook and you. 
You let out a long sigh, feeling the stress wash out of you a little because now, you got to do the part you were actually good at, guessing.
“Yeah,” Jungkook nodded as he got up and stretched, preparing himself for the next 90 seconds. “So, four points.”
You walked past Jungkook, slumping into the seat he had just sat in. Your heart was still beating way too fast and the adrenaline was pumping through your veins like a bullet train.
“We can do this, right?” Jungkook asked and turned back around, standing in the middle of the room. When you realised he was looking at you, talking to you, you could feel the heat creep up your neck. “You know, like we used to?”
“Uh, yeah, sure,” you muttered, far too embarrassed to respond properly. He blinked at you before nodding and walking up to Yerim, who was shuffling the cards.
“‘Like we used to’?” Heejin asked and turned to you with a furrow of her brows. You cursed Jungkook and slowly nodded.
“Yeah, uh, he and I were kinda always a team when we played Taboo,” you said before cleaning your throat and avoiding Heejin’s gaze as much as you could.
“Dream team,” Taehyung interjected and you rolled your eyes at him, leaning towards Heejin a little too slap his shoulder.
“‘Dream team’?” Heejin asked, but before you could answer, Yerim, thankfully, interrupted.
“Next round!” she announced and turned to Jungkook, nodding at him when he did. “Go.”
Immediately, Jungkook picked up a card and you turned around again, putting all of your focus on him and winning.
“So, this is something I want but it’s not a thing or object. It’s, like, alive.”
“Dog?” you started and he quickly shook his head. 
“Cat?” Heejin tried and before Jungkook could shake his head, you interrupted.
“No, he wants a dog, not a cat,” you mumbled, brows furrowing together as you thought about Jungkook’s words, trying to figure out what he was talking about until you got it. “Oh, a family!”
“Yes!” Jungkook grinned and gestured for you to think further. “Right, but that’s not it. When you have a family, you have-” 
“Kids?” You quirked a brow at him and Jungkook nodded.
“Okay, right, another word for kids is-?”
“Yes!” Jungkook cheered and grinned at you before throwing the card away and grabbing a new one. He read it and nodded to himself.
“It’s once a year, but not a holiday.”
“Not a holiday?” Yoongi mumbled quietly to himself even though he had told Taehyung not to guess.
“Say more,” you told him and Jungkook sighed, wrecking his brain before pointing at you.
“It’s your favourite day of the year and- You get a bunch of presents and, oh! We threw you a surprise-”
“Surprise party?”
“Yeah, but why did we-”
“My birthday! Is it birthday?”
Jungkook beamed at you and you mirrored him, beaming right back. Your heart was pounding in your chest, but now, it was out of excitement. You could practically taste the win on the tip of your tongue. 
“Okay, uh, this is hard,” Jungkook sighed after picking up the next card. He frowned before looking up. “It’s something you can eat.”
“Yeah, but that’s only the second word,” he said and gestured for you to think further again. “Like, ice cream-”
“Ice cream food? Food ice cream? Ice food cream?” you blurted all out, screaming one word after another, and Jungkook frowned at you.
“‘Ice food cream’? Maybe you’re not that good at guessing,” Jungkook laughed with a shake of your head, and you rolled your eyes at him, mumbling underneath your breath that it had been a long time, but your words fell on deaf ears. “No, it’s not ice food cream. It’s something you shouldn’t eat much of.”
“Sugar?” you guessed, but Jungkook shook his head at you.
“45 seconds,” Yerim said and Jungkook and you looked at each other, eyes wide. The need to win sparkled in both of your eyes and quickly, panic rushed through you, replacing the excitement.
“Say more-”
“There isn’t more. You’ve just gotta think- food is the second word!”
“But what about ice cream? Why did you-”
“Ice cream is-”
Jungkook groaned, “No, I don’t mean cold.”
His brows furrowed together as he wrecked his brain before he thought of something and pointed at you again. “Okay, uh, we used to go to this one place all the time! Remember our midnight dinners? And the category of food that they sell is what we’re looking for.”
“Oh! McDonalds!” You snapped your fingers. “Junk Food!”
When Jungkook nodded at you, you squealed, watching him turn around and pick up the next card.
“If they get this next point, they won, right?” Yoongi asked Taehyung, but you answered.
“Yeah, we beat you then, losers,” you grinned and Jungkook laughed at your words before he turned to the card in his hand, scanning it.
“They’re really good at this, aren’t they?” Heejin asked Taehyung and leaned into him to make sure neither Jungkook nor you could hear her. Not that you two would have anyway, far too focused on the game at hand to pay her any attention, completely forgetting that she was on your team too.
“Yeah, both are incredibly competitive, so they work well together. Like, they practically always know what the other is thinking,” Taehyung mumbled as he watched you shuffle in your seat, not noticing the way Heejin looked at him at all.
You raised your brows when you saw Jungkook freeze up upon reading the card. His jaw didn’t go slack nor did his eyes go wide, but you could see, could see right away that something was wrong.
“Uh? What’s wrong?” you started, but even then Jungkook didn’t look up, eyes fixed on the card in front of him. Slowly, the others seemed to notice too, heads turning to see a frozen Jungkook. 
“20 Seconds.”
You exchanged a glance with Taehyung, but he shrugged at you, and so, you looked at Yerim for some help as she stood right next to Jungkook. She squinted as she tried to read the card herself.
“Oh, shit,” she blurted out and pressed her hand on her mouth when she realised that she had spoken without meaning to. She looked at Jungkook, mouth opening as she struggled to decide to say something or not, but then he snapped out of it.
Jungkook glanced at Yerim’s phone in her hand and looked up to you, eyes locking with yours like before, but this time, it was different. You immediately felt that there was a shift and you had a feeling that it was bad.
“It’s, like, a place you could say.” Jungkook’s voice quivered the tiniest bit, but you noticed immediately. You raised your brows and leaned even more forward, as if you could coax the word out of Jungkook that way.
“Really big,” he continued and looked at you like you should know what he was talking about now. When you furrowed your brows at you, he sighed, “You were there for the past four years.”
Your entire face dropped as the realisation dawned on you and you sat back. You felt Taehyung eyeing you with worry etched onto his face, about to say something, but Yoongi put his hand on his shoulder and shook his head. Only Heejin was more lost than ever, but you paid no one any attention, far too shocked to say anything. 
All of the memories, all of the memories connected to America and all of the pain it had caused not only you but Jungkook when you had left to go there, hit you so hard you feared whiplash. 
You tried to say something, tried to give the answer because you knew it and you really didn’t want to lose, but somehow you just couldn’t. Your voice was gone, had disappeared. The word didn't hurt you, but you knew it hurt him, and that was one thing you didn’t want to do ever again.
Jungkook and you kept eye contact as Yerim counted the seconds and you watched his brows furrow together and his lips press together in a thin line. He was debating internally, trying to figure out what he wanted, if the win was worth it, worth the memories and pain.
Your eyes were fixed on him and when you saw Jungkook sigh a little and nod at you, you knew right away what he was telling you.
You nodded at him too.
And even though Jungkook had told you to say it, the guilt still bubbled up and formed icicles in your lungs, piercing tiny holes in them, and you could feel the blood slowly filter in, suffocating you.
Jungkook and you kept staring at each other, and you should look away because there was no reason for both of you to be still looking at each other, but you couldn’t. 
“Does it still count?” Heejin asked, breaking the silence, and looked at Yerim.
Yerim’s eyes were trained on Jungkook and you, and only when you two tore your gazes away and looked at her, did she speak up. 
“Yeah, it counts.”
Jungkook and you whipped your heads around, looking at each other with big eyes. For a second, both of you didn’t know how to react, but then, the corners of his mouth curled up into a smile. Your lips split apart into a big grin and squeals and cheers escaped you two. You jumped up and Jungkook ran towards you, hands held up for high-fives. You reciprocated it and both of you beamed at each other.
“We won!” 
Jungkook laughed at your words and nodded, eyes softening as he watched the joy spread on your face.
“Yeah, we did.”
His words were soft, incredibly soft. A whispered secret almost. 
“Yeah, we did,” Jungkook repeated with a nod and a smile. “We did.”
You looked at Jungkook and even though you should look away again, you couldn’t. You two were locked into each other’s eyes, locked into each other’s eyes like it was just Jungkook and you in this room, in this world, in this universe, like you were falling in love with one another all over again.
And for a moment, it truly felt like that, felt like it was just him and you in this room, in this world, in this universe.
But then, his gaze flickered to Heejin.
Your eyes grew wide at the same time and your smiles almost slipped off your faces before you both turned to Heejin and let out another round of cheers and squeals.
“We won, Heejin!” Jungkook said and you held up your hand for a high-five. She blinked at both of you and you thought she was going to ask you two what the fuck that just was, confront you on forgetting her for the second half of the game, but then a smile split apart on her face.
“Yeah, isn’t that great?” she smiled and gave you a high-five.
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After another round of Taboo and a few rounds of Charades and Pictionary (which you all won), you were exhausted, definitely spread thin. The adrenaline got to you, but so did actively avoiding your friends’ stares and trying not to get too swept up in the games and forgetting about Heejin again. So, when no one paid attention to you, busy with cleaning up and preparing for the next game, Werewolf, you snuck away.
“Best part of Yeri’s tiny flat, isn’t it?”
You didn’t turn around at Yoongi’s voice.
“Truly is.”
Yerim had a tiny flat, but she had a balcony. It was tucked behind the kitchen and, you had almost not seen it when you had walked in and looked for some peace and quiet. Yerim’s fridge blocked the glass door a little because, after all, the flat was tiny and so was the kitchen. 
The railing of the small balcony was lined with flowers, flowers that Yerim had texted you far too much about, flowers that had gone from blooming to dying to almost blooming to what they are now, almost dying.
Yerim had sent you pictures of the view when she had first moved in, but standing on here yourself was different. Truth be told, the view wasn’t the best, wasn’t breathtaking, nothing compared to the view you had gotten to enjoy at the restaurant, but it was enough to ground you, calm you down and give you the sense of peace and quiet you had looked for.
“You okay?”
You snapped out of your thoughts and looked at Yoongi, offering him a smile as you nodded.
“Yeah,” you said.
“That’s nice,” he hummed before leaning against the railing with his arms, careful not to hurt the flowers. “You sure, though?”
Yoongi peered up at you and you thought about his words for a moment. You had truly thought that this would be worse, that it would be awkward and weird as hell, but you had to say it wasn’t. When Jungkook turned out to be your partner (You had Yerim to thank for that. How was drawing lots to determine the teams a good idea?), you had truly thought that things were only going to go down from there. To your surprise, they didn’t.
There had been some tension between Jungkook and you, but the moment you picked up the first card and desperately tried to explain ‘Tattoos’ to him, both of you completely forgot about it, and instead worked together to win.
So, with a smile, you mirrored Yoongi’s stance, resting your elbows on the railing like him and leaning forward before letting your cheek fall into your open palm and turning to him.
“Yes, I’m sure, Yoongs,” you said. “Thanks for asking.”
Yoongi blinked at you before chuckling quietly to himself and turning his head away, eyes watching the sun dip below the horizon.
“How are you though? You okay?” you asked and watched as Yoongi let out a long and heavy sigh, eyes staying on the horizon.
“I hate this. So, wouldn’t say I’m okay.”
“You do? Sure you’re not hating this because you’re losing constantly?” you teased.
“Yes, Y/N, I do and, yes, I’m sure it’s not because I’m constantly losing. I’m not Kook or you. I don’t need to win. I don’t care that much,” Yoongi said with a roll of his eyes and another sigh. “You realise how dumb all of this is, right?”
You looked at Yoongi, raising your brows at him.
“We’re only doing this so you can act annoyed with Tae and then you two can break up or whatever, right?” he asked you and you nodded. “And that’s what’s dumb about this.”
You tilted your head at him, eyes narrowing as you tried to figure out what exactly he thought was dumb about your plan.
Yoongi sighed once more. “You realise you don’t owe Heejil, or whatever her name is, an explanation, right? Fucking just text her that you’re broken up. Or, you know, better yet, don’t tell her because, again, you don’t owe her anything. She isn’t a friend of ours. She’s just the girl your ex and our dumbass friend is dating.” 
The annoyance was dripping from his voice as you continued staring at him. “Or, like, make up some story and the next time she sees you, just tell her that. You think she’s really gonna question that? She doesn’t know when you or Tae are lying.”
You blinked at Yoongi because how had none of you thought of that before? He was right. You didn’t owe Heejin any sort of explanation, but here you were, meeting up to put on a whole show (that you didn’t even put on) to give her some sort of explanation.
Yoongi seemed to be able to hear his words click in your mind because he scoffed at you. “You guys are fucking dumbasses.”
Now, you scoffed too, scoffed at yourself because, once again, Yoongi was right. You were dumbasses and you couldn’t believe neither Taehyung nor Jungkook nor you thought of this.
Yoongi chuckled and shook his head at you, the corners of his lips turned downwards.
“Yeah, shit.”
You pressed your lips together as you let Yoongi’s words fully sink in with you, dawn on you and float away.
“Hey, guys.”
Yoongi and you turned around at Yerim’s voice, straightening up in an instant. You watched her slide the glass door open, a bowl of chips pressed to her chest as she stepped out.
“What are you two doing out here?” she asked with a tilt of her head.
“Oh, we-”
“Hiding,” Yoongi stated like it wouldn’t get you two in trouble and you whipped your head around to him, hand hitting his arm as you fixed him with a glare.
“Yoongs,” you growled, but he just laughed a little and rolled his eyes at you.
“Hiding?” Yerim questioned with a raise of her brows and tapped her foot like a mother about to scold her children.
“Yeah, hiding,” Yoongi continued and gripped the railing behind him, leaning against it. “We didn’t want to subject ourselves to that bullshit out there any longer. It’s really weird out there.”
“Yoongs, don’t say that. Yeri put effort into today. It’s not that weird-”
“Nope, Yoongs is right,” Yerim sighed and uncrossed her arms, tension washing out of her in an instant. She took a handful of chips and shoved them into her mouth, and as she chewed, a pout formed on her lips. “It’s weird as fuck outside. I don’t know what we’re doing really. Like, we’re playing games and everything and I guess it’s fun or whatever, but something’s just kinda off.”
Yerim shook her head and Yoongi grabbed a couple of chips as he chuckled at her words.
“Told you,” he said and you shoved him away when he grinned into your face, not appreciating the smugness. 
“I mean,” Yerim started again before eating another handful of the chips, “you’re right. Heejin’s nice, but I honestly think she makes things weird-”
“You think it’s Heejin?” Yoongi laughed with a shake of his head before pointing at you. “It’s Y/N and Kook. They’re the ones making it weird.”
“Excuse you? How am I making it weird?” you asked with big eyes, swatting Yoongi’s hand away,
“Please,” Yoongi scoffed with a raise of his brow. “How are you not making it weird? Kook and you are totally in your own world. It’s like you two are dating again, and we’re all, like, six wheeling.”
You scoffed and stared at Yoongi with your jaw open. Your hands balled up into fists at your side and you shook your head at him.
“Bullshit,” you said. “It’s not like that at all.”
“Sure, keep telling yourself that,” Yoongi said, enjoying the way you got all worked up. And before you could stop him, he had placed his hand against your forehead. “Woah, your face’s literally heating up.”
You shoved his hand away, lips pressing together into a line as you shook your head at him and waved him off.
“Bullshit,” you pressed through gritted teeth. “It’s just the sun. It’s summer. It’s hot.”
“Yeah, sure,” Yoongi scoffed at your reasoning, and you were about to curse at him when you realised that you getting worked up was exactly what he wanted.
You turned to Yerim for backup, but she simply stared into her bowl of chips and shoved her face with it, actively avoiding your gaze. A scoff slipped past your lips and you mumbled curses aimed at Yoongi underneath your breath, deliberately ignoring the fact that it was definitely not hot enough today for your face to warm up like that.
Yoongi was ridiculous, definitely ridiculous. Jungkook and you just get carried away when you play games. You were competitive, nothing more. 
Your heart definitely only beat so hard and fast in your chest because the adrenaline was pumping through your veins, and you were only so incredibly happy about winning a stupid game of Taboo because it had been a long time since you had played against your friends, making the wins even sweeter.
It was nothing, nothing like Yoongi had said.
Jungkook and you were acting nothing like you two used to when you dated.
All three of you looked up at the interruption, and your breath hitched in your throat when you saw him. He stood there, gripping the handle of the glass door as he awkwardly shifted from one foot to another. A tiny smile pulled on the corners of his lips while he looked between Yerim and Yoongi, but not you.
“Hey, Kook,” Yerim said and did this terribly awkward dance with Jungkook as she tried to step away and make some space for him, but there was none left, and you couldn’t help but laugh a little. The fact that you were upset just seconds ago was completely forgotten.
“Sorry,” you mumbled between laughs when Yerim turned around to glare at you, and you had to bite your lip to hide the grin that tugged on the corners of your lips. 
Yoongi eyed you with narrowed eyes before he shook his head and sighed. He kicked himself off the railing, and his hand landed on Yerim’s shoulder, stopping her from continuing this terrible dance with Jungkook and drawing her attention to him.
“Yeri, didn’t you want to show me this one thing that you got recently?” 
“What?” Yerim furrowed her brows at him and it took Yoongi raising his brow at her for her to get it. An uneasy and tense smile stretched across her lips before she nodded her head, far too vigorously. 
“Ah, yes, right. That, uh, thing. I- I remember. Let’s check it out, yeah?” Yerim laughed, and you frowned at her words, not believing her even for a second.
Your gaze drilled into Yoongi to ask him what the hell he was thinking he was doing, but he was avoiding your gaze expertly. And when you looked over to Yerim, she had essentially buried her face into the bowl of chips, and you wanted to throw it over your shoulder and demand her to look at you. 
Without really meaning to, your gaze travelled to Jungkook. When you looked at him, his eyes were already on you. His expression was unreadable and you didn’t know what he was thinking, but you knew that it was a bad idea for Yerim and Yoongi to leave you alone with him, knew that you didn’t want them to walk away. Because what were Jungkook and you? Back to being friends? Was it okay to laugh and tease each other now? Or was Jungkook still mad at you?
But before you could say something, Yerim and Yoongi had walked away, had left you standing alone on the balcony with Jungkook right in front of you.
He didn’t step out, didn’t join you on the balcony, and instead chose to stand at the glass door with his hand still gripping the handle. It was like he was ready to slam the door shut and walk away if things started to get a little too much for him, if this conversation didn’t turn out the way he wanted it to.
And you gnawed on your lip as he stared at you, stared at you like he had done before when you two had won your first round of Taboo. Just before the silence got too unbearable to handle and the tension too thick for you to breathe in, Jungkook opened his mouth.
“I missed you.”
Your heart stopped in your chest, stopped in your chest like maybe if it stopped, time would stop and you would get to enjoy the moment a little longer. You had no idea how long you simply blinked at Jungkook, but by the time you finally managed to get your thoughts together and properly look at him, he was shifting from one foot to another with his knuckles white around the grip of the glass door and his eyes dancing around, looking at everything except you.
When Jungkook spoke up again, there was the slightest quiver in his voice. The slightest quiver that told you just how nervous and uncertain he was, how much he feared you laughing into his face.
“I meant it when I said it. I missed you.”
It didn’t sound like a joke, didn’t sound like he was messing with you at all, but it still took your brain seemingly forever to comprehend his words, to realise that he was completely and utterly serious.
“You did?” you asked in a whisper and Jungkook’s gaze found the floor, a breathy chuckle escaping him before he nodded.
“Yeah, I did.”
You blinked at him before your lips curled up into the softest smile.
“I did too.”
Jungkook raised his head and looked at you, and you watched the corners of his lips curl up into the most beautiful and dazzling smile. This time when he smiled at you, it was nothing like the smile he had given you when you had sat in his living room or when you had both realised you had won. No, this smile was different. It was the smile you had dreamt of every night, was the smile you had remembered every morning, was the smile you had longed to see on his lips again ever since you had first seen it.
It was the smile Jungkook showed you when he had whispered the three words for the first time, 
“I love you.”
And so, your heart surged in your chest, rose above and beyond, reached the sky and the stars, touched the sun and moon, and when she fell back down, she didn’t land in your hands. No, she landed in his hands.
“I missed having you around, you know,” Jungkook started, voice still quivering as he spoke. “I missed being able to call you up or text you and talk about everything and anything until we both just fell asleep. I missed showing up at your doorstep and going out for our midnight dinners with you. I missed laughing at other couples for stressing over Valentine before going out ourselves and being one of those stupid cheesy couples we made fun of.
“I missed having my best friend around.”
Jungkook stepped out on the balcony and closed the glass door behind him, hands at his side. There was a heavy sigh, and instantly, you knew. Slowly, his gaze met yours and he stared into your eyes with that look, that look that broke you.
“Why did you have to leave me?”
You sank your teeth into your lip and wrung your hands together, chest rising and falling far too quickly as you ran out of breath simply thinking of the answer. There was so much weighing on you, so many things you wanted to say, but couldn’t say, couldn’t because you couldn’t handle it, not even years later.
“You know why,” you breathed out, eyes searching the floor for words, for words that would escape you.
“Please, tell me again,” Jungkook asked and you wanted to ask him why he wanted to know, why he so desperately wanted to bring it all up again when he and you had done such a good job tiptoeing around it before.
“I-” You shook your head at yourself and you thought that maybe Jungkook would interrupt you and tell you he had changed his mind and didn’t want to hear it again if you paused, but his silence demanded for an answer. 
So, you gave him one, one that was worded badly and didn’t even begin to explain why you left, but it was an answer, the most you could do right now.
“I- it was my dream,” you managed to croak out and you expected a scoff, but Jungkook simply looked at you, waiting for you to continue. “It was my dream to study in America. So, I did it. I- I fulfilled my dream.”
The quietest sigh escaped Jungkook and even though you could barely hear it, you felt your heart tumble in his hands at the sound of, felt her start to slip through his fingers.
“Have I ever told you what my dream was?”
You looked up at his question  and shook your head, unable to make a single sound, not to mention say something.
Jungkook smiled to himself before he wandered over to you, feet stopping right where Yoongi had stood, next to you. And once again, you noticed the gap, the gap between him and you, the gap that seemed to never really close.
“I’ve had it since the start of high school, but unlike you, I didn’t fulfill it,” Jungkook started, eyes gazing into the sky. “I still want it and I do think I’m gonna fulfill it one day, but I don’t think I’m gonna do it the way I thought I would.”
Jungkook shook his head and you were really not sure how to process his words, or what he was trying to tell you. 
“It’s stupid and childish, I guess, but I really thought I would fulfill it, fulfill it the way I had dreamt of.” Jungkook laughed to himself before he fell quiet again.
Slowly, he turned to you, eyes glazing over as he looked at you, looked at you with his incredibly beautiful eyes. You could see the warmth, the light, the love in them, but there seemed to be something else swimming in his pupils, and you hated it when you realised what it was. 
You bit on your tongue as you watched the wind blow through Jungkook’s fluffy hair and mess it all up, and even then, Jungkook was still breathtakingly gorgeous. And with the sun going down behind you, the most beautiful and heartbreaking halo was cast upon him, surrounding him, hugging him.
“You were my dream, Y/N.”
Your heart didn’t fall to the ground and shatter into pieces because she tumbled too much in Jungkook’s hands. She fell to the ground and shattered into pieces because Jungkook didn’t hold on tight enough, because he couldn’t hold on tight enough.
“You and me, forever. Together. A house, a kid or two, maybe a dog. Really, anything you wanted. That was my dream,” Jungkook whispered, words slipping off his tongue quietly and slowly, like it was a secret, a secret meant to be only shared between him and you.
The corners of Jungkook’s lips curled up into the saddest smile you had ever seen when he continued, “I thought we were going to be together and grow old. I truly thought one day I would get the pleasure and honour of watching you walk down the aisle.”
Jungkook raised his hand and for a moment, it seemed like he was going to cup your face, seemed like he was going to stroke your cheek, but then, he hesitated. It was like he remembered, remembered then that you were not like that anymore, were not dating anymore.
And so, Jungkook shook his head at himself and curled his hand into a tight fist, knuckles turning a painful white before he let his hand drop and swing by his side. It was like if he didn’t curl his hand into a tight enough fist, he would lose and cup your face, stroke your cheek anyway.
“I really thought you were my dream.”
There was no malice in Jungkook’s voice as he spoke. He wasn’t trying to make you feel bad or trying to hurt you. He was simply trying to be truthful, but the truth was ugly and terrible and neither of you liked it very much. But at least, the truth didn’t hurt Jungkook, it only hurt you, only stabbed you in the chest and asked you where your goddamn heart was, only cursed at you for leaving Jungkook, the one boy who had loved you more than anything else in this world.
“Do you regret it?”
You hated that question, hated it so much because, fuck, you didn’t know. You didn’t know if you regretted it, if you regretted leaving Jungkook. You regretted that he and you broke up, regretted the way you two broke up, but did that mean you automatically regretted going to America? Did that mean that going to America was the wrong choice? 
And even though you asked yourself these questions, you didn’t want the answers, didn’t want to know them because, fuck, you were afraid of them, afraid to realise that you regretted both and you had fucked up your chance of true and lasting love with Jungkook and spent all of this time, all these years in a foreign country without your friends and family for nothing.
You lowered your head and squeezed your eyes shut, trying to keep your skull together as it threatened to split open.
In the silence, Jungkook’s steps were loud, ringing in your ears, deafening. And you contorted your face and bit on your lip when you heard Jungkook slide the glass door open, a heavy sigh slipping from his lips before he spoke up, mustering up the best smile he could,
“We’re still gonna bully Yoongs for bullying us, right?”
You chuckled because how could you not? Of course, Jungkook could still make you laugh. It was a sad chuckle, but it was a chuckle no one else could have ever elicited from you.
You lifted your head  and peered at Jungkook over your shoulder, peered at him even though it hurt you to. He was just too beautiful to not look at.
“Yeah, we’ll still bully Yoongs for bullying us.”
You almost didn’t see the way the corners of Jungkook’s lips curled up into something that resembled a smile, almost didn’t see it with the tears swimming in your eyes, blurring your vision.
Jungkook nodded at you, fingers tapping the glass door before he turned around and walked away. And even though you shouldn’t, you watched him, watched him slip away more and more, watched him walk away from you.
You turned back around and only realised then that the sun had almost completely dipped below the horizon. The sky was painted an incredibly mellow and sorrowful orange, and even with your heart shattered on the floor and guilt leaving gaping holes in your chest, you had to smile.
And with that smile on your lips, the tears rolled down your cheeks, sparkling in the sunlight as you let them flow, flow because you didn’t see a reason to wipe them away. Sometimes it was good to just cry, let yourself feel.
“Tell me you’re not crying.”
His voice was quiet, barely above a whisper, but you heard them. You pressed your lips together at his words because, of course, he would also come out to talk to you. You really should have expected it, should have expected it because he was simply that great.
“Well, guess you gotta give me a second then,” you said and rubbed on your cheeks, quickly wiping away the tears you knew were going to have his blood boiling and anger unfurling in his stomach.
“Y/N,” Taehyung sighed as he stepped out on the balcony, glass door clicking shut behind you as his hand gripped your elbow and turned you around. 
“What did he say?” You shook your head, smiling at him as much as possible, but your smile did nothing to soothe the deep line between Taehyung’s brow, did nothing to loosen the grip he had around your elbow.
“Tell me. I don’t care if he’s my friend, he’s-”
“No, stop,” you interrupted with a shake of your head and placed your hands on his shoulder, lips splitting into a grin because truly, Taehyung was the greatest, the greatest friend you could have ever wished or asked for. “It’s nothing. He didn’t say anything.”
You knew with the way Taehyung was eyeing you that he didn’t believe you, didn’t believe you for a single second, but you also knew that you could spend hours trying to convince him otherwise and he still wouldn’t believe you.
“You sure you don’t need me to beat him up a little?”
You laughed. “You think you can beat him up?”
Taehyung scoffed at your words and tried his hardest to look offended, but even he had to smile a little. 
“I’d try for you,” he said and you laughed again, shaking your head from left to right. The thought of a beaten up Taehyung popping right into your head.
“Let’s be honest here, he would just beat you up. No offence.”
Now, Taehyung laughed as well, laughed because he knew you were right. And for a moment, both of you only smiled at each other. For a moment, things seemed great and like he wouldn’t bring it up again that you had just been crying.
But just like a wise man once had said, great things always have to come to an end. 
“You shouldn’t feel guilty.”
Taehyung’s smile disappeared and your hands slid off his shoulder. You sighed, knowing exactly what he was talking about even though he didn’t specify. 
You closed your eyes and took a few deep breaths before humming and peeling your eyes open, head cocking to the side.
“Well, I also shouldn’t stay up so late and get more sleep, but here I am.” Your attempt of humour wasn’t well received at all. Taehyung didn’t even fake a smile at you, and you quickly let yours slip away, realising the weight of the situation and just how serious he was.
“Y/N, I mean it. You shouldn’t feel guilty,” Taehyung said, stressing every word of his last sentence like he wanted to drill it into your head, like he wanted for you to remember it, like he wanted to tattoo it into your skin so you would never forget. 
“It’s not that easy,” you said in a quiet whisper and Taehyung pursed his lips, hands burying into his pockets as he suppressed the sigh from slipping.
“But it’s not like you try either, right? Not like you try to free yourself from all of that guilt,” Taehyung argued and you almost groaned because, once again, he showed you that he had no idea.
“Taehyung, it’s really not that easy. I can’t just wake up and say ‘Well, it’s his fault that he got hurt-’”
“That’s not what I’m asking from you. Yes, you can’t wake up and say that, but you can wake up and say ‘It sucks that Jungkook got hurt by me leaving and was unable to properly forgive me for not telling him earlier, but aside from that I didn’t do anything wrong because I simply chased my dream.’. I’m not asking you to wake up and be all ‘Jungkook can suck a dick.’. That’d be ridiculous, but I’m asking you to stop blaming yourself.”
You tore your gaze away and crossed your arms in front of your chest as you suddenly realised how mesmerising Yerim’s flowers were.
“It’s trying, trying to feel less guilty. That’s what I’m asking from you. And I realise it’s a process, but for the love of God, can you start it?” Taehyung said and tried to get you to look at him again, but you whipped your head around. 
“None of you understand,” you whispered and Taehyung scoffed, hands running through his hair as he tried not to snap.
“But we do!” Taehyung groaned and you turned around to look at him, ready to shut him up and tell him how exactly he was wrong, but he continued, “You seriously think that Yoongs or Yeri or I weren’t hurt by the news of you leaving? You seriously think that we weren’t mad too? You seriously think it was easy for us to go to the airport and wish you well? No!”
Taehyung gestured wildly around himself, chest heaving as he tried to catch his breath, as he tried not to shake you and yell into your face to wake the fuck up.
“It wasn’t. It sucked because while, yes, none of us dated you, we still loved you,” Taehyung said, leaning forward to stress his words. “We were hanging out every day for four years, spending every minute together, and then suddenly, at the start of our last summer, you tell us you’re going to America?”
You swallowed heavily and bit on your tongue.
“It wasn’t easy and it fucking sucked, but we still wanted the best for you, still wanted you to go because we knew just how much you wanted to and how much you had worked for it. You deserved it, truly,” Taehyung said, voice growing soft as he calmed down a little. 
“It was why we did go to the airport with you and wished you well,” Taehyung spat out and for a moment, he stopped, paused and put his hands on his hips, eyes piercing through yours as you struggled to hold his gaze.
“Do you realise that you haven’t said his name?”
You blinked at Taehyung, unable to say anything as a lump lodged itself into your throat, growing bigger and bigger with every word that left him.
“I don’t think you’ve said ‘Jungkook’ or ‘Kook’ even once except for that time when we first saw Kook in the restaurant,” Taehyung said and you really thought he wouldn’t realise. “You feel so guilty you can’t even say his name. It’s fucking ridiculous.”
You uncrossed your arms and let them slip to your side, eyes darting across the floor as you tried to find your words, but you couldn’t.
“And what hurts and frustrates me the most aside from the fact that you will not recognise that your guilt is, in fact, ridiculous, is that Kook treats you like shit. And he’s so rude to you even though you go out of your way to fucking dice his cucumbers, even though you and I are fake dating for him, even though you organised this entire thing to break up with me so Heejin will never find out that all of this is a lie and you’re in actuality Kook’s ex.”
Taehyung was heaving at the end, chest rising and falling as the world spilled from his lips like an overflowing bucket. He levelled you with a gaze and a few seconds passed by before he spoke up again. But this time he wasn’t on the edge of yelling, this time his voice wasn’t dripping of urgency and frustration, this time he was calm.
“Look, I’m not saying that you did nothing wrong and that Kook has no right to be mad at you at all.” You pressed your lips together. “You did just leave, did just apply for that scholarship without telling us beforehand. That sucked, and you shouldn’t have done that. You should have at least told him.”
Taehyung ran a hand through his hair as he gazed off into the sky, eyes squinting when he looked right into the disappearing sun.
“But it doesn’t mean that it’s okay for him to act the way he does. You’ve both fucked up, but it’s been years.”
You leaned against the railing and let out a long sigh, eyes wandering to Taehyung. He offered you a smile and while you felt the corners of your lips quiver and your lungs ache, you smiled back at him. 
“You two obviously have a lot to work through,” Taehyung said and you threw your head back into your neck, gaze finding the sky.
“Where do I start?”
And without missing a beat, Taehyung answered,
“Start by forgiving yourself.”
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When Taehyung came home that night after dropping you off, he found Jungkook in the kitchen, McDonalds bag sitting on the dining table.
“Got anything for me?” Taehyung asked as he made his way over to Jungkook, sitting down opposite of him and crossing his arms in front of his chest.
Jungkook didn’t respond or look at Taehyung, simply putting down his burger on the wrapper that functioned as a makeshift plate before rummaging through the brown bag and tossing a cheeseburger at Taehyung.
“You took Heejin home?” Taehyung asked as he peeled the wrapper away, wondering how Jungkook had made it home before him when he had been at McDonalds before. 
“Uh, she insisted on going home herself. Called her an uber,” Jungkook mumbled between bites and Taehyung stopped unwrapping his burger for a moment to eye him before nodding and continuing. 
“I’m sure everything’s fine,” Taehyung said, trying to make Jungkook feel better, but he shrugged and didn’t really react. 
Interpreting Jungkook’s silence as him not wanting to talk, Taehyung didn’t say anything more and focused on the food in front of him, biting into his burger that was disgustingly cold now, but after the night he had, any food was welcomed, even if it tasted of artificial flavouring and left his throat dry.
And for the next few minutes, Jungkook and he sit in silence, eating. At one point, Jungkook reached for his second burger, tossing Taehyung another one even though he hadn’t finished his nor asked for one. Two bites into his new burger, Jungkook paused and stared at some point in front of him, just not at Taehyung.
“She broke up with me.”
Taehyung looked up, but Jungkook kept his eyes trained in front of him.
“Heejin broke up with me.”
A second passed before Taehyung put down his burger and straightened up. He wasn’t surprised because Yoongi had been right when he had told you that Jungkook and you had been in another world. A blind man could have seen that there was something between Jungkook and you.
“You okay?” Taehyung offered and forgot that he was, deep down, still mad at Jungkook, forgot that Jungkook still made him want to rip out his own hair. 
Jungkook scoffed before dropping his burger. It landed halfway on the wrapper and halfway not, but he didn’t care enough to adjust it. He leaned back and covered his face with his hands, fingers digging into his eyes.
Taehyung was about to make his way over to Jungkook, about to pull him into his arms because he was clearly not doing well, but before he could even move a single centimetre, Jungkook’s hands fell away and he looked up to him.
“Yeah, I am.”
It sounded like Jungkook couldn’t believe himself, like he was angry and frustrated with himself for being able to say that he was okay and mean it, like he wanted to be the opposite, crying and bawling instead.
“I’m okay,” Jungkook said, head shaking from left to right as he furrowed his brows and scoffed at himself. “How am I okay? How am I okay when Heejin, my fucking girlfriend, just broke up with me?”
Taehyung blinked at Jungkook, knowing exactly that he needed to rant right now, needed to get all of the words out.
“She told me to get her an uber and after I did, she turned to me and said that she thought we should break up,” Jungkook recounted, eyes unblinking. “Just like that. We broke up just like that.”
He rubbed his eyes and groaned before snapping out of it and looking back at Taehyung.
“I- I didn’t even fight her on it when she told me to call her an uber. I just did. I did as she told me to, but- but as her boyfriend, I shouldn’t have, right? I should have insisted on driving her home, but I didn’t. I- I knew I should have. I was screaming at myself to, but I just couldn’t. And when she told me we should break up-” Jungkook paused and gestured around like that would finish his sentence. “I, again, didn’t fight her on it.”
A bitter scoff escaped him and Taehyung watched Jungkook shake his head at himself, obviously confused by himself. “Instead of insisting to talk about it or whatever, I just went to fucking McDonalds.” Jungkook punched the bag and it tipped over, slow and sad. “I went to McDonalds! Can you fucking believe? Instead of driving home my girlfriend or fighting for my relationship, I just said okay and went to get food at the shittest place ever.”
Jungkook gestured around himself wildly, hands flailing around like he was drowning and trying to gasp for air. His voice grew in volume and the desperation and frustration seemed to thicken more and more, lacing his every word as he rambled on.
“And it all just doesn’t make sense because it’s not like I don’t care. I do. I do care about Heejin, but it’s just- it’s just-” Jungkook shook his head and pressed his lips into a thin line as he scanned the room for the rest of his sentence. “I just don’t know anymore. I don’t even know why she broke up with me.”
When Jungkook looked at Taehyung, it hurt him to see the frustration swimming in his eyes, hurt him to see how helpless he was. And so, Taehyung sighed and sat up even straighter, gaze levelling Jungkook’s.
“Do you love Heejin?”
“She’s my girlfriend.”
“Was,” Taehyung corrected with a raise of a finger. “But that doesn’t answer my question, Jungkook-” 
Jungkook furrowed his brows at him and shook his head at him.
“What? It does answer your question,” Jungkook said, staring at Taehyung like he had just said the most ridiculous thing ever. “She is- was, whatever, my girlfriend, so, of course, I love her.”
Taehyung scrunched up his nose at Jungkook’s answer and slid his burger to the side to lean forward and be a little closer to Jungkook, needing to look right into his eyes as he said the next word.
“Do you, though?”
Taehyung didn’t give Jungkook a chance to answer.
“Do you seriously love Heejin or do you assume you do because she was your girlfriend?”
Taehyung eyed Jungkook as the words sank into the air and dawned on him, as they replayed over and over again in his head, as they started to push through everything inside him and reached his heart.
“Jungkook, don’t you think there was a reason why Heejin and you had been dating for almost six months and we hadn’t met her yet? Don’t you think there was a reason why you never told her about Y/N?”
He looked at Taehyung, his gaze hazy and clouded with questions. Jungkook had no idea, had no idea why Heejin had broken up with him. She had simply smiled at him and wished him well before getting into the uber, no reason. But he also hadn’t tried to stop her from getting inside and demanded an answer. He had just accepted it with a nod and gotten into his car.
But now, with Taehyung looking at him, gaze digging deep into his, he started to think, started to replay the events of this evening, started to dissect every interaction today. 
He thought about how you all had played Taboo, thought about how you had smiled at him when he had gotten the first word, thought about how you had essentially beamed at him when you two had gotten closer and closer to the win, thought about how you had squealed and jumped up when you had realised you had won, thought about how beautiful you had looked standing on the balcony with the wind blowing through your hair and the sun highlighting your beauty, thought about how he wanted to hold you close to him when he saw you standing there, thought about how you had smiled at him when you had told him you had missed him too, thought about how you were the only thing he could think of.
“I love Y/N.”
The corners of Taehyung’s lips curled up and he nodded.
“I still love, Y/N.”
And once again, Taehyung nodded.
Jungkook slumped into his chair, hands in his lap as he stared at some chip in the dining table, mind far, far away. Never had he been this confused before, never had he ever struggled this much to process anything before.
But at the same time, it made sense, made sense that he was still in love with you. How could he not be? How could he not be when you were the only one that had ever made him so happy that the corners of his lips had started hurting from all of the grinning and his stomach aching from all of the laughing and his lungs screaming for oxygen? How could he not be when you were the smartest, kindest, funniest. most talented, brilliant, inspiring and prettiest person he had ever met?
It made so much sense that Jungkook was still deeply in love with you after all this time, it hurt his brain.
And so, he stayed silent, stayed silent even as Taehyung reached over and bit into his burger after finishing his own.
“What do I do?”
Jungkook surprised himself when he spoke, not intending to, but once the words were out, he wanted the answer. Taehyung put Jungkook’s burger down on his own pile of cheeseburger wrappers and brushed his hands off.
“What do you want to do?”
“I want to tell her. I want to try again. I want to hold her in my arms and kiss her until the sun rises-”
“Okay, calm down, Kook,” Taehyung laughed and leaned back into his chair. “I get it. You wanna rush over to her and profess your love to her in this grand romantic gesture, but take a moment and think about it, about everything.”
Jungkook lowered his gaze and looked up after two seconds, chest pressed against the edge of the table and legs itching to carry him to you.
“You think she’s still up-”
“No,” Taehyung cut in and pointed at Jungkook, burger abandoned to the side once more as he leaned forward. The smile that had pulled on his lips before disappeared.
“Kook, I need you to think about how you’ve treated Y/N these past weeks.” Jungkook straightened up and his legs tucked themselves under the chair when the memories came crashing down on him. “Really think about it.”
And so, this time, Jungkook did think about it, did take a moment and let all of your interaction run through his mind. And the longer he did, the longer he thought about what he had said to you and how he had treated you, the more he wanted to punch himself, the more he wanted to turn back time, the more he wanted to fall to his knees and beg you to forgive him, beg you to just please not hate him.
Jungkook ran a hand through his hair, fingers clawing on the roots as he cursed himself.
“Bad, isn’t it?” Taehyung said and cocked his head to the side. 
“What do I do?”
“Well, I’d apologise first if I were you and I’d take all responsibility for what, well, you’ve done. And I’d tell her that if she doesn’t feel the way I do, that it’s fine and I will do anything in my power to not make it awkward for her and the fact that she’s friends with my friends.”
Jungkook hummed, hummed because he really couldn’t do anything else. He just couldn’t believe how blinded he had been, how blinded he had been by all of that ugly and unresolved anger and pain.
Taehyung let Jungkook think for a while, think before he leaned forward again and said what he had been trying so desperately to tell him, what he had been trying to get through his thick skull all this time.
“But before that, Kook, I need you to realise that when she made your promise of forever, you were teens. Remember how dumb and stupid we were back then? And I know you felt like Y/N was being selfish and leaving you behind to go study in America, but in reality, she was following her dreams. And you thought that those dreams didn’t include you, but they did. You were the one that broke up with her. She did not break up with you. You did.”
Taehyung paused for a second, arms crossing in front of his chest. 
“You decided to not be in her dreams.”
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You banged on the door, banged on it like you were about to kick it in, banged on it like your life depended on it, and when it finally opened, you almost banged on his chest, fist stopping mid-air.
“Who the fuck- Y/N? What are you doing here? It’s five in the morning- wait, why are you all wet? Did you run through the rain?”
You shoved your phone into his face and he squinted, your screen blinding him. The overhead light above you did barely anything to illuminate the hallway you were standing in, leaving both of you essentially in darkness. 
It took him a few seconds, a lot of blinking and wrapping his fingers around your wrist to hold your phone away to finally see what you were showing him.
[heejin - 11:21 PM] : hi! I wasnt sure if I should tell you this or not and I honestly contemplated not to
[heejin - 11:21 PM] : but at the end, I think you should know
[heejin - 11:21 PM] : I’m not too sure what exactly is going on between kook and you, but for what it’s worth, kook and I broke up
[heejin - 11:22 PM] : I hope you two figure out whatever is between you two because I do think you two would be cute. you definitely got my blessing!
[heejin - 11:22 PM] : dream team ;)
Your knuckles turned white around your phone before you let your arm drop to your side. Your heart was pounding in your chest, pounding so much that you were certain that she was trying to leap out of it and fall into his hands again.
Jungkook blinked at you, mouth agape as he struggled to find his voice, struggled to take you all in because did you really stand in front of him, soaked to the bones, hair all tangled up and wet from the rain, chest heaving like you had run all of the way here or was he simply dreaming? Did he finally fall asleep?
“Did I wake you up?” you panted and shifted from one foot to another, expecting him to slam the door in your face.
“N-no, I, uh, I wasn’t sleeping,” Jungkook said and you looked at him before nodding and letting your gaze travel to the side. Your brows pinched together and Jungkook was about to invite you in because, again, you were soaked to the bones, but then, you took a deep breath and opened your mouth.
Here goes nothing.
“Look, Jungkook, I debated with myself for the past four or so hours whether or not I should come here. And then, it started to rain, and, well, I know that you love your romcoms. And even though I also know you probably wanna be the one to execute the grand romantic gesture because you are you and you love so fucking deeply and wholly, I decided that I’m gonna do this because, well, you deserve it.
“When I left for America, I- I truly thought I was going to move on from you at one point, thought you were going to turn into an old love, a memory. I thought that one day I’d tell my grandkids about you, Jungkook, and how you were my first love and how happy you had made me and how bitter our ending had been, but,” you shook your head, “but the truth is, you still have such a hold on my heart. You’re still vibrant and alive in my mind, imprinted in there.
“And I know I’ve hurt you by leaving, but I didn’t leave because I stopped loving you, Jungkook,” tears filled your eyes, “I left because having you, having you by my side, as my boyfriend, Jungkook, made me believe that anything was possible, made me want to reach for the stars, fulfill my dreams because before America, you were my dream. You were the one thing I had wanted for so long, and then, I had you. Then, you were mine, and I was on cloud nine.
“I’ve felt so guilty all this time and beaten myself up for leaving because you were obviously still so angry and hurt by that, and unlike what you might believe, I never wanted that, never wanted to hurt you in any way. I need you to understand that I didn’t leave because you weren’t enough. You were and are enough, Jungkook. I left because you made the impossible seem possible, and so, I thought you’d be my side forever, even if oceans and continents and whatever were between us.
“And I realise that was selfish, selfish of me to just expect you to be fine with it. I should have talked to you, told you about the scholarship and my plans and not broken our promise like that. But I didn’t, and I made you think that everybody is selfish and that you weren’t enough. But that’s not true.” You shook your head and swallowed heavily, trying not to choke on your own tears. “Jungkook, you taught me that people are wonderful and amazing and you made me feel like I was more than enough, beyond enough. And you deserve to feel the same way, so, I’m deeply sorry for failing to do just that and for leaving without a proper explanation and talking to you beforehand.
“I know you probably don’t wanna hear this because you probably hate me now, but even if you decide to slam the door in my face and curse me out for the rest of my life after this and forget about all that I’ve said, I want you to know one thing. 
“I love you. I love you so much it hurts, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop, not even if you hate me.”
Jungkook looked at you, gazed into your eyes, and truly, you thought time stopped. You waited, waited for him to say or do something and it felt like eternities were flying past you as you stood there, blinking at him. And even with tears in your eyes, blurring your vision, you could see him clearly, could see Jungkook standing right in front of you.
“Y/N, oh, my love,” Jungkook started, voice shaky before he took a step closer to you. His hand reached up and he cupped your face. Your cheek was cold, cold from the rain, but the moment he touched you, you felt warmth push through you, through your chest, felt the remnants of icicles melt away in your lungs.
“Please, don’t apologise. I should be apologising to you, should be the one banging on your door and begging for your forgiveness. I don’t hate you. I could never truly hate you.” Jungkook swallowed, voice cracking as the words continued spilling from him without a pause. “I- I’m the one that fucked up so badly, I don’t even know how you can still love me. I hurt you so much, said so much dumb shit and made you feel so fucking guilty when you shouldn’t have felt guilty.” He shook his head at himself and held onto you a little tighter like he was scared you were going to slip away if he didn’t. “I’m so sorry, my love, for being so incredibly blinded by anger and pain for so long. I’m so sorry for hurting you and making you feel like you needed to apologise to me.
“Tae is right. I should have taken you to the airport and wished you well. I should have been there with the others and said goodbye. I shouldn't have screamed at you and stayed at home-”
“Kook, babe, no,” you choked out and grabbed his wrist, holding onto it as you shook your head at him. “Don’t apologise. I- I should have talked to you before. You had every right to be mad at me. I understand why you didn’t go. I understand why you couldn’t do it. It’s fine-”
“But I don’t want it to be fine,” Jungkook interrupted and your fingers tightened around his wrists. “I don’t want it to be fine because I know I hurt you by not being there. And I never want it to be fine or okay or whatever if I hurt you.”
Jungkook and you looked at one another, vision blurry and just as the first tear began spilling from the corner of your eye, you took a step towards Jungkook, closing the gap that had lingered between you two and pressed your lips to his.
You kissed Jungkook, kissed him standing on the doorstep of his front door, kissed him standing there, soaked to the bones, kissed him like it was just you and him in this universe. Your body leaned into his and your hands were desperate for him, desperate to just touch him. You grabbed onto whatever skin and piece of Jungkook you could get, and he did the same, but your kiss was soft and calm, the opposite of your hands. You held onto you like you were drowning, like you were Rose and Jack.
You moved your lips against his and your smile grew the longer you kissed Jungkook. And you wondered if he could also feel the sun shine in his chest, if he could also taste the honey and sugar and love trapped between your teeth, if his skin was also prickling everywhere you touched him, if fireworks were also exploding in his stomach like they were in yours, if this was enough of a grand romantic gesture for him.
You wondered if Jungkook could feel just how much you loved him.
The sun rose behind you two, and when you two pulled away to breathe, you smiled at each other. 
Jungkook didn’t let go of you and neither did you. He cupped your face once more and pulled you close to him. Your breath mixed with his, heavy and varied, but it was all good, all good because smiles were on your lips, all good because you had each other again.
“My love,” Jungkook breathed, and gazed into your eyes the way he had when you had won that round of Taboo and smiled at you the way he had when he and you had stood on the balcony. “I love you.”
“Kook, babe,” you started, pecking his nose before beaming at him, beaming at him like you had used to, beaming at him because he was your sun and your dream. “I love you more.”
Jungkook leaned in for a quick kiss, leaned in the same way he used to whenever his heart pounded a little too much in his chest. And you pressed right back against him, lips finding his, and you knew,
Jungkook was warmth.
Jungkook was home.
Jungkook was love.
“Fucking finally.”
Jungkook and you pulled apart and jerked around to the source of the sound, and when you saw them standing there, behind you, your heart stopped mid-beat. Your jaw went slack as you blinked at them, unable to process what was happening right now.
“Worth it, right?” 
Jungkook and you whipped your heads around one more time, and it was then that you saw Taehyung standing behind you, hands shoved into his pockets and body leaned against the door to the living room.
“Eh, was kinda obvious that this was gonna happen at one point,” Yoongi mumbled with a shrug, clearly unbothered, but Yerim was the complete opposite, hands pressed to her mouth as she tried to stop the squeal from spilling free.
“Oh my God!” she shrieked, voice so high it hurt and Jungkook and you cringed. “I- I’ve been literally dreaming of this!”
“So, worth it, right? Coming here?” Taehyung asked again and squeezed himself between Jungkook and you to step out into the hallway, prompting you to move to the side a little.
“Yes, absolutely!” Yerim grinned and nodded vigorously, and for a moment, you thought her head was going to come off.
“What’s happening right now?” you asked and your hands found Jungkook’s, your fingers lacing with his for some kind of support.
“Oh, yeah, I heard you banging on the door, so, I called up Yoongs and Yeri and told them to get their asses here because our best friends don’t get back together without everybody here to witness it,” Taehyung explained with a shrug.
“Wait, how did you two make it here in time?” Jungkook asked, thumb brushing over your hand as he stepped closer to you to look at Yoongi and Yerim.
“Yeah, unlike what you might think, Kook, traffic isn’t always so bad and there aren’t always fires around,” Yoongi smirked and Jungkook gasped behind you. 
Taehyung, Yerim and you looked at each other, jaws going slack before you started grinning and all three of you had to bite your lips to stop the laughter from spilling free. Jungkook tugged on your hand and you tried your hardest not to laugh, but when you looked at him, you just couldn’t stop it.
Pearls of laughter spilled out and you took Taehyung and Yerim with you. Taehyung placed his hand on Jungkook’s shoulder and gave him a comforting squeeze, and Yerim hid behind Yoongi, trying her hardest to avoid Jungkook’s gaze.
And even though he was offended and tried to keep looking like he was truly offended, he couldn’t help but laugh with you all, couldn’t help himself when he saw you grinning at him like that.
“Can we go now?” Yoongi smiled when you all had calmed down, the bags under his eyes darkening with every second he wasn’t in his bed. “It’s five in the morning and usually, I’m in bed during this time.”
Taehyung smiled at him. “Only if you say, it was worth it.”
Yoongi groaned and threw his head into his neck, not enjoying that answer at all. Yerim giggled and nudged him with her elbow, but instead of just saying it was worth it, Yoongi decided to argue with Taehyung.
“It was so obvious that they were gonna get together again. I honestly wouldn’t have minded if you hadn’t called me.”
“Min Yoongi, are you seriously telling me that you wouldn’t have minded missing out on our best friends getting back together?”
“Honestly? Yeah.”
“He’s lying. Yoongs loves Kook and Y/N together.”
“What’re you talking about, Yeri? I don’t-”
“Do I have to remind you that you texted me last week that you couldn’t believe that they weren’t back together yet?”
“Oh, Yoongs, that’s so cute.”
“Why would you believe her, Tae? It’s bullshit!”
Too busy watching Taehyung, Yerim and Yoongi argue with each other, you didn’t notice Jungkook turning away. So, when you suddenly felt cotton brush against your arms, you were more than surprised.
“What?” you blurted out before looking down at yourself and seeing one of Jungkook’s jackets around your body. 
“Thought you might be cold. You know, with all of that running through the rain and everything,” Jungkook hummed with a shrug and you stared at him for a little before you smiled at him again. You leaned up and pressed a quick kiss against his lips, a kiss that had the corners of his lips curling into the most beautiful smile.
You hugged Jungkook’s jacket closer to your body, trying to keep that warmth in your chest locked down. The smell of his detergent and sweat mixed with your senses and you felt all dizzy, but it was the good kind of dizzy, the kind of dizzy you loved, the kind of dizzy only Jungkook could ever make you feel.
And when he wrapped his arms around you, you quickly wrapped your arms around him too. Your lips brushed against his neck and you left a kiss there, trying to make sure that he would never ever forget that he was more than enough, never ever forget that you loved him like nobody else in this world.
And with his arms around your body, you, once again, felt like the impossible was possible, like the stars were yours to grab, like nothing could ever come between you, but unlike before, you knew that this time, it was all true.
“I love you,” you hummed into Jungkook’s ear and he smiled into your hair before tightening his arms around you.
“And I love you.”
Jungkook and you gazed into each other’s eyes, sunlight sparkling in your pupils before you both slowly leaned into each other, more and more. Your eyes flickered down to his lips and you knew that any second now, he would kiss you. And the thought alone had your heart racing and your breath hitching and your hands shaking but in the best ways possible. And right as your lips were about to connect,
“Fine!” Yoongi grunted and silenced Taehyung and Yerim, cutting them mid-sentence and Jungkook and you mid-kiss. “It was worth it. I missed Kook and Y/N and I’m more than overjoyed to see them together again! My heart is literally melting in my chest and I can’t wait to go home because I wanna shriek and scream into my pillow!”
Jungkook and you turned your heads around to see a panting Yoongi. His eyes were big and nostrils flared as he glared at Taehyung and Yerim.
“Happy now?” he asked through gritted teeth and he looked between Taehyung and Yerim, who were exchanging glances with each other. There was a beat of silence and a second later, the two burst out into laughter. Jungkook and you had to grin too, but you still shook your heads at your friends, the situation far too ridiculous.
“Hey, Yoongs,” Jungkook called over your head before looking at you. When you nodded at him, he turned back to Yoongi, who was, at this point, fuming and mumbling to himself, cheeks red. “You can go home now.”
“Thank you!” Yoongi grumbled and threw his hands into the air, but before he could turn around and drive home with his cheeks and the tips of his ears bright red, Jungkook interjected,
“But you are a dumb, little bitch.”
Yoongi’s jack went slack as he furrowed his brows at Jungkook, more than caught off guard by the sudden insult. It was clear he was struggling to process it, but so were Taehyung, Yerim and you, all three of you going silent at Jungkook’s words.
It took you a moment to understand why Jungkook had said what he had said, and when you did, you burst out into laughter.
You gasped for air as you threw your head back, laughter rippling through your chest, and Jungkook joined you, bending over as he laughed his heart out as well. And soon enough, Taehyung joined you two, finally making the connection himself. Yerim started laughing as well, but only because Taehyung, Jungkook and you were laughing.
Yoongi was left blinking at you three as he struggled to decide whether he was offended or amused, and judging from the smile tugging on the corners of his lips, it was the latter.
“Not like that,” you said with a shake of your head and Jungkook shrugged at you.
“What? Isn’t that we were talking about when we said to bully Yoongs?” he asked with that proud smirk on his lips, that proud smirk he always got whenever he managed to make people laugh. Taehyung and you shook your heads at him, both definitely not thinking of calling Yoongi ‘a dumb, little bitch’ when you had agreed to bully him a little. 
It took a while, but soon your laughter died down, but the grins stayed on your lips.
“Definitely not like that,” Taehyung agreed with you, fingers wiping away the tears, and you three locked eyes with each other, grinning, no, beaming. 
Yoongi sighed after he had enough of whatever this was, and turned on his heel, but once again, before he could go, Jungkook interjected,
“Hey, I think you should all just crash here. It’s, well, early and probably better for you two to not get behind the wheel right now.”
Yoongi opened his mouth to protest, but then, he stopped himself and paused, gaze levelling Jungkook’s.
“I get your bed?”
“Sure thing, I’ll kick you out of it,” Jungkook grinned and even though that had not been the response he had wanted, Yoongi shuffled inside, Yerim right behind him.
“I’m happy you guys are back together,” she told you two as she walked past you and you grinned at Jungkook, a grin he returned right away.
Taehyung let out a sigh, lips still pulled into a smile before he, too, shuffled inside, gaze meeting yours when he did. 
“Thank you.”
“Yeah, seriously. Thanks,” Jungkook hummed and Taehyung laughed before waving you two off, dismissing your words with a flick of his hand.
“No need to thank me,” Taehyung grinned. “I’m just happy that you two are back together.”
Both of you wanted to disagree, but Taehyung silenced you with a smile. And right as he was about to turn into the living room to figure out where Yerim and Yoongi were going to sleep, he looked over his shoulder and met Jungkook’s and your gaze.
“You can name your firstborn after me if you’re truly thankful.” A pause. “Taehyung Jeon. Doesn’t sound too bad, right?”
“You think we would name our firstborn after you?”
“You think I would take Kook’s last name?” 
Jungkook gasped next to you and took a step back, hand gripping your elbow to draw your attention to him. His brows were slightly furrowed together and his mouth agape.
“What’s that supposed to mean? What’s wrong with Jeon?” he asked and you stared at him.
“Gonna leave you two alone now,” Taehyung laughed, not wanting to see where that conversation was going, and joined Yerim and Yoongi in the living room.
“Nothing. Don’t you worry about it,” you said with a smile and stroked Jungkook’ cheek, and instantly, he melted into your touch, frown washing away. “It’s fine. It’s a nice last name.”
You pinched Jungkook’s cheeks, making him pull away and just as he was about to complain and tell you not to pinch his cheek, you continued,
“You know, fine and nice for now.”
Jungkook’s eyes grew big at your words and before he could ask you what exactly you meant with that, (because you knew he was going to. It was Jungkook after all.), you closed the door behind you two. You patted his chest and took his hand to lead him to the others, but he stopped you, pulling you back to him, smirk on his lips.
“You wanna fulfill Tae’s wish?” Jungkook asked with a quirk of his brow and you looked at him, lips pressing into a line. When you didn’t respond, the smirk fell away, prompting you to smile at him again. 
“Let’s join the others, yeah?” you said with a wink, enjoying teasing him a little too much. You didn’t wait for an answer and turned on your heel, but once again, Jungkook stopped you.
“How about we fulfill my dream, then?” 
Jungkook looked at you with the same smirk on his face again, and before you could stop yourself, you laughed at him, shaking your head from left to right. You leaned up to him and planted a kiss on his cheek before patting his chest and walking backwards, pointing at him as you did.
“Just get me a towel.” 
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5K notes · View notes
underthejoon · 11 months ago
All Through the Night [1]
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Pairing: Jungkook x Female Reader
Genre: Royalty AU! Werewolf AU! Childhood Best Friends to Lovers. 
Rating: M for Mature. Sexual Content/Future Smut. Language. 
Word Count: 5,740
Summary: Jungkook, Prince of the Werewolves, must mate before he can take his rightful place as King. How you, a human, became one of the candidates for his Queen is a mystery to all – including you.
A/N: Hi all!!! I decided to split this into two parts because it was taking me so long and I needed a break but didn’t want to keep you waiting any longer.
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The anticipation for what awaits you is agonizing. There is a heaviness in your heart. It is a painful pounding that beats furiously against your breast. It reminds you of everything you have to lose tonight. It reminds you that too much has been left unsaid between you for far too long.
But there is no guarantee that any of it would matter anyway. He is to become a king, after all. What would a king want with a heart as delicate as your own? What use does a king have for a woman like you? A human woman at that. One whose presence could very well mar the crown he will soon wear and everything it stands for.
It does not matter to many that you are no ordinary woman. Your blood is as blue as the ocean is deep but you are a human all the same. How could a werewolf as powerful and revered as Jungkook ever hold his head high with an interloper for a bride? Surely there would be outrage amongst the members of the pack. Surely you would be the cause of far more stress than your tender heart is worth. No, a king needs domain over his kingdom, not the love of a human.
But loving him is not something you can so easily abandon. It expands well beyond what you can fit in that silly heart of yours. It has been growing steadily inside of you since the innocence of your youth. It started way back when Jungkook was still a ruddy cheeked runt who used to chase you through his family’s orchard. It has matured since then, just as you have after all these years. It is deeper now, desperate even. It begs to be unleashed and reciprocated with an equal vigour.
You would know, since desperation is a feeling you have become all too familiar with as of late. The words you have wished to speak for many moons still weigh heavy on the tip of your tongue. Just as they have since you learned of Jungkook’s impending ascension to the throne. An ascension that must be accompanied, much to your agony, by a wedding. Such is the tradition of his kind, that a king must claim his mate before the sun rises on the day of his coronation.
That day is just a week from now and as is tradition, the most eligible of maidens have presented themselves to His Highness for his careful choosing. And as you well know, any king would be proud to select his mate from such a bevy of beautiful, purely bred bitches. Each whose accomplishments far outweigh even that of their ample bosoms. Each who would gladly bear him pups worthy of his namesake. Any of which his pack would be proud to call their queen.
And then, there is you. Yes you, the human girl, as many of his kind call you so lovingly. Nevermind that the very utterance of your name would have once had people dropping to their knees in deference back in your homeland.
But that is just the thing. Here, you are no one. You have been no one since the day you stepped foot in the land of the Were. Here, your parents traded your title and tiara for asylum and anonymity when you were just a young girl. Your land was torn by war and soon vicious whispers of an imminent attack upon the Royal Family left your parents scrambling to find a way to keep you safe. It was only because of the benevolence and compassion of the mighty werewolf king and queen that you are even alive today.
You wish you could say the same for your parents. Or for the many loyal men and women who helped raise you in your early youth. But they are gone, just as your birthright and any chance to be Queen are. Here you are just a human. A meek, little lamb amongst wolves. And to many, you have been nothing but a hindrance to Jungkook and his potential for greatness.
He is to be King! A king whose duty is to choose his queen. A werewolf queen. Which begs the question, what exactly are you doing here? It is not like you volunteered yourself, like the others. But then again, it would not have been appropriate for you to do such a thing. A human has no business inserting themselves in the sacred affairs of werewolves.
However, you also did not object when you were sent for just the other day. You did not refuse or offer any hint of protestation when Jimin came knocking upon your door. The wild glint in his eye coupled with the mischievous way his lips turned up on end let you know that it would not be some regular social call.
No, as Jungkook's most trusted confidant, he was sent on a mission not only to extend the royal invitation, but also to escort you to the palace should you accept. And while you pressed your dear friend the entire way there, he only placated you with soft smiles and a loving hand atop yours.
As much as you wanted to hate being left in the dark, you could not deny the way you positively vibrated with anticipation. You knew what this week meant. You knew that only women allowed in the castle were potential mates for the soon to be King. You knew that this meant you were amongst the elite few. And while the wheels inside your head turned with an abundance of questions, your heart swelled with the once impossible notion that you and Jungkook were destined to be.
You have been living in that limbo since the day you arrived at the palace steps – teetering right on the line of hope and despair. It has been a chore not to let yourself fall too far to one side at any given point. In fact, it has been damn near impossible to keep yourself even keeled with the stakes as high as they are.
Still, you have tried to put up walls – like not allowing yourself to dwell on the memories you have made here in this place. You have tried and tried to wipe them from your mind so as not to fall deeper than you already are.
But how could you forget you and Jungkook sneaking around these empty halls late at night? How could you erase the stolen moments you shared in the darkness? Moments where his hand became permanently entwined with yours as you navigated through the black of night. You only had each other and the implicit trust you shared to guide you safely.
Back then, you never wanted anything more than that closeness. All you truly needed was his hand in yours and the small hope that maybe his heart beat faster just like yours did whenever you touched. But things changed, your desires changed too. They grew as you did which only made loving him hurt more. It was easier to pretend when the throne was not such an imminent threat to the fantasy inside your head.
You are here now though, in his bed, waiting. Your heart is pounding so furiously you are afraid he will hear before he even enters. You desperately wish it would cease. That your head would be clear and free of these memories. That these doubts and emotions that make the blood pump heavy through your veins could be soothed by the very one who has made you this way.
But you cannot expect such a thing. Even though he has invited you here, you cannot expect it is because you are a serious contender for his noble heart. In fact, this could all be some big misunderstanding. His invitation could have been purely a ruse to get his oldest friend inside the castle. He could have wanted you here to give him advice. To help him talk through his feelings before choosing his real mate.
The thought alone is enough to make you clutch at your chest. It is painful enough that you can quite literally feel how it jaggedly cuts away the little hope you still cling to. He would not dare be so cruel, would he? He could not embarrass you so thoroughly, could he?
No, he would not. He could not. Not after you have stripped yourself bare and lain waiting for him to receive you in such a way. He would have surely sent word beforehand to tell you that performing such an intimate ritual together is not what he desires from you. You have to believe that he would not play with your heart so carelessly. Still you doubt yourself. Still you pull the silken sheets up and hide yourself away.
You are certain the others did not meet him this way. That they did not cower. You are certain that they felt proud to partake in such a ritual with him. That they met him as naked as the day they were born. No sheets would hide away their womanly forms from his hungry eyes. Yes, you are certain they met him readily – wet between the legs for His Highness’ maximum pleasure.
But thinking like this does a terrible thing to your insides. You know he has been with others. You have been here for days. But how many now? Two? Three? Are you the last to lie with him?
Has he already made his choice?
It pains you to know they have had him. That he has held them through the night and considered what life would be like with them by his side. It pains you to know that they have felt him hot and hard inside of them. That they have received the very thing that makes you ache so wantonly even now.
Really it is shameful how despite your despair, you are as slick as sleet in anticipation to feel him nestled deep inside of you. It matters not that he has been with them. This is the way of his people. This is his birthright. You would not dream of taking that from him no matter how gruesomely it guts you. You would not dare hold him back from finding his kindred spirit or the one who lights his noble heart aflame. You would never try to stand in the way of his great love, even if that love is not with you.
At the end of the day, you know that the love you feel for Jungkook transcends all of your own selfish desires. It is why you are here now, in spite of the fact that it brings about far too many feelings of inadequacy. He sent for you. And while the intent of his invitation is still a mystery to you, you will always come running when he calls. Such is your burden in this love.
But oh what a beautiful burden it is to bear. Oh how your soul sings when you are blessed with the whole of his attention. He is mesmerizing from the scar on his cheek, to the mole beneath his lip all the way down to the pureness of his heart. You could not deny him even if you tried.
Yes, it is quite apparent that you belong to Jungkook and there is little that can be done about it now. Especially since the time has come for you to finally have him to yourself. Even if it is just for the night, he will be yours until the sun rises.
It seems as though Jungkook is as eager as you for what tonight brings. Because not moments after you see the sun setting through his window, his fist lands heavy against the door, beckoning to enter. It thuds just as your heart does. You have been waiting for years to let him inside.
“You may enter,” you call weakly.
Your voice is riddled with nerves and you wince at what you must sound like. You could never be Queen with such a lack of authority in your tone. You would be eaten alive just like the lamb they see you as.
Jungkook, however, seems to care not for such trivial things because the sound of your consent sends his chamber doors flying open in a hurry. His rushed entrance makes your knees shake and your heart stutter as you cannot decipher if it is because he is excited or ready to let you down easily. Though you suppose there is no use in speculating when the answer will become apparent in just a moment’s time.
“Good evening, Princess,” he says as though it is a secret. As though it was meant for your ears and your ears alone.
You suppose it is, as he is the only one who calls you this. He is the only one who has shared your secret in silence after all these years. In this room, with Jungkook, you do not have to hide who you are nor who you were born to be. It is part of the reason you love him so dearly. He sees you, unlike everyone else.
“Your Highness,” you offer though you still refuse to look at him head on. With your heart pounding as it is, you are not sure you could handle such a feat quite yet.
Behind you he scoffs, though his distaste at your utterance of his title does not deter him from approaching. He strides with purpose, closer to the side of the bed you are not currently occupying and exhales slowly.
There is a pregnant pause that sends you reeling. It is heavy with words unspoken. It is agony manifested in these moments where each of you wait for the other to move. It is an impasse of indecisiveness and it is only broken when a quivering breath is blown from your lips.
“Will you not show yourself to me?”
His voice rings with a nearly imperceivable hint of desperation. One that confirms why you are here tonight. Jungkook plans to lie with you, just as he has with the others. This knowledge both eases your worries and twists the knife deeper into your gut. But you have been over this before, you will never deny Jungkook. Not even for a moment.
"If that is what you desire," you mumble in an attempt to appear indifferent. You are not ready to show him the whole of your heart. Not just yet. Not until you know what lies inside the depths of his own. But if it is your body he wishes to see, you will give yourself over, albeit nervously.
With all the courage you can muster, you drag the sheet from your shoulder. The silk slides slowly against your skin and you know that his eyes are on you. You hear how he breathes heavily as the plump swell of your ass comes into view. It is frightening to be in such a state of undress with him as an audience. Frightening, but thrilling just the same. Because he wants you, at least for now. He waits with bated breath for you to give him what he wishes.
It is a powerful position to be in, holding all the cards like you do. It is not one you are keen on giving up quite yet. With this in mind, you pause when the sheet falls away. You allow him time to linger on your form. You give him silence to process and appreciate the soft lines of your curves but you do not turn to face him. For you are certain if you do, your new found confidence will vanish the moment your eyes meet.
"Princess," he presses, his voice hoarse with something you cannot place. You have never heard such a tone fall from his lips before. "Must you tease me so cruelly?"
His wicked words ignite what feels like a raging fire within you. One which he stokes with his  very presence alone. It roars deep in your gut now, heating your skin as it licks its way from your toes to your top. It burns bright in its desire to submit to his every whim and you, try as you may to fight it, are no match against your own debauched desires.
Traitorous as your pounding heart may be, it is what drives you towards him and what you truly want. It pushes you to turn, slowly and with as much sensuality as you possess, to face him. To finally show yourself in all your naked honesty and let your love shine through.
Jungkook watches with wide eyes as you bare yourself to him. He traces a treacherous path along your supple skin and shows no sign of shame amidst his open ogling. Rather, he reveres you like a gift presented to him. A gift he would desperately like to tear into but cannot fathom ripping such delicate wrapping.
His sharp inhale is near instantaneous, forcing him to puff out his chest in what can only be described as a display of pride. Dare you say, possessiveness even? Whatever it may be, he does not care to hide it from you. Rather, he looks you dead in the eyes as a low, rumbling growl resonates deep in his chest.
“You are too kind to oblige me, Princess," he utters in too calm a manner for such a sensual situation. "I suppose it is time I return the kindness.”
It seems as though it is your turn now to do the waiting as he does not wish to rush. Instead he raises his bulging biceps above his head at a glacial speed and grabs the fabric that rests at the nape of his neck. Your mouth waters as he salaciously sheds his shirt. At how he moves with a calculated coolness that rivals the fire in his onyx eyes.
He is far too beautiful like this, far too dangerous with his hungry eyes and ruffled locks. And he must know what he is doing to you. He must realize how the broadness of his chest and the toned planes of his stomach have positively stolen your focus from his steely stare.
It is almost as if he wants you like this – ruined. It is as if he has decided to put on some sort of show for your viewing pleasure. The way he runs a palm down the length of his torso and teases the band of his trousers nearly confirms it but it is the faint laughter he lets out that truly gives him away.
He loves this. He loves how you watch him, how you drink him. He loves how your chest heaves and your heartbeat quickens. He loves that your body is telling him what your lips would not dare speak. Yes, he must know that he has made you into little more than a prisoner held captive by these flames he insists on fanning.
"______," he calls, desperate to draw your eyes back to his.
When your gazes lock once more you see the mischievous curvature of a smirk on his lips. The way he licks them sends a shiver down your spine while a fresh wave of wetness slicks the place between your thighs. That is what does it for him. That is the thing that really breaks him.
His facade slips for the most minuscule of moments when his eyes roll back in his head. He can smell it on you. He can smell just how badly you want his body on yours; how wet and ready you are and his cock strains tight against his trousers from the scent alone.
The sight is enough to make your heart leap into your throat. It is enough to have you whimper aloud at the idea of such a beast inside of you. You cannot continue to look at him like this. You cannot handle how he toys with you as if you are his prey. Sussing out your most tender spots so he can sink his teeth in for the kill. He is figuring them out far faster than even you imagined and it is driving you absolutely mad with want.
You are squirming by the time his eyes flutter open but he wanted you this way. His stare borders on obscene and you hardly recognize the boy you grew to love. No he has never gazed upon you so brazenly. He has never looked at you as though you were something to be feasted upon and the realization knocks you near breathless.
With haste you are turning to hide your face and your shame from him. But you do not miss the sound of his trousers hitting the floor. Nor the thudding of his footsteps or the heavy heaving of his chiseled chest. You want him, heavens do you need him and it seems as though this need does not live solely inside of you.
Yes, he must need you the same because he does not hesitate for a single second to join you upon the mattress. He does not stall in smoothly sliding between the sheets and closer to your body. So close that you can feel the heat radiating from his bare chest. But he does not touch your skin. He does not mold himself hot against your back nor make any attempt to push further.
Instead he waits until he hears your breathing steady. He waits until the floor does not feel as though it is falling from beneath you. He waits until you are able to process all of this newness and again you are reminded why it is you love him. Jungkook knows your emotions so well that you do not even need to say them aloud. He would never want to overwhelm you and so he waits until he is certain you are prepared and willing to continue.
“Princess,” he breathes softly. Like you are a frightened doe he does not wish to send scurrying off into the night. "May I touch you?”
Your thighs quiver with fresh yearning at the promise of your bodies meeting. The mere thought of his touch upon your naked skin is enough to undo all of the composure he finally allowed you to regain. It is enough to have your voice catch in your throat and your breath quicken.
It is everything you have ever wanted but the words of affirmation are still lost upon your lips. They still hold themselves tight to your tongue in light of the uncertainty. Instead you offer him indifference. Instead you begin to build your walls back up and pretend as though this is not your wildest dream come true.
“This is your ritual, is it not, Your Highness? Do as you wish."
Your words border on wicked and you half expect him to throw his hands up and leave. He is to be King, after all. He has little need for a petulant human who teases him so. He has lain with others who have not been so coy and withholding and though you wish you could be like them, you cannot. You can never be what Jungkook needs. The realization makes you shudder.
But Jungkook is quick to run a loving hand along your arm. His touch is tender and warm, much as he is. You feel how it lifts your spirit and begins to melt away at the ice you let take hold of your heart. He is set on showing you that he is the same wolf you have always known, no matter how hard you try to keep him at arm's length.
"It is true that this is a sacred rite, but your permission is far more important to me than any tradition," he says with all the conviction he can conjure. "I would not think of taking anything from you, ____. I only wish to receive what you offer willingly."
He punctuates his passionate words with a soft squeeze to the meat of your arm. There he lingers for only a moment before withdrawing his warmth to await your decision.
You cannot fight the feeling that takes hold of you when you hear him speak. You cannot shy away from the overwhelming urge to be wrapped tightly in his embrace. You need him near. You need him to see that you would offer him your world, no matter how small an offering that may be. You would offer him every part of yourself and you intend on showing him that.
With a newfound confidence and hope in your heart, you do the daring deed of sliding your body closer to his. You do not stop until you feel the soothing heat of his chest against your shoulders. You do not stop until his body instinctively curves against yours as he welcomes your nearness. Not until the cleft of your ass is pressed to where he hangs hard against his thigh. And though it is frightening to be so close, it feels as if you were always meant to know each other this way.
"I offer myself," you whisper, breathless. "I offer myself to you in any manner that you desire me."
Jungkook's heart thunders against your flesh as his hand grips the meat of your thigh. You feel how he growls hot against your ear when he guides your leg backwards to hook over his hip. And though he tries to contain himself, it is apparent to you now that he is merely hanging on by a thread.
In light of this revelation you do what you can to unravel him that last bit. You wish to see him utterly unhinged and so you arch your back to press your sopping center against his proffered cock. The noise that escapes him is sudden and raw in its animalism. It thrills you down to your very core to know that you caused such an unfettered display of desperation. That it is you he clings to in order to keep himself together. It is your skin beneath his fingertips and your cunt that has him whining like a wolf in heat. He is to be King, but you are the one who seems to yield all the power.
"And what of your desires, Princess?" Jungkook rasps. His voice is rough with want though his hands tell a different story as they lovingly caress your skin. "I wish to know them. I wish to offer myself as well, in the hope that I might fulfill them all."
You wish to answer him, to regale him with every scene from your most private fantasies but words are hard to come by when he touches you so freely. His fingers dance delicately along your innermost thigh, stopping just shy of the wetness he has created. They stroke softly against your stomach before landing loosely between your breasts.
There, he flattens his palm to feel how your heart races from such tender ministrations alone. You may not have answered, but from the way your body responds to his every touch, he can surmise that being with him like this is likely one of them. He hums a softened sigh of satisfaction and drops his head to nuzzle at the hollow of your throat. It is as if to tell you that you share in this desire. That tonight you both shall have what you have been waiting for all this time.
“Do you know the purpose of tonight’s ritual, ____?” he questions as his lips glide over your pulse point. He smiles when you shiver and press yourself nearer. “Do you understand its significance?”
It would be a lie to say that you fully understood what this mating rite means. All that you know is that Jungkook is to lie with you – inside of you, for the entirety of the evening. Well, you and any eligible maiden who so offers herself to him.
But in all truthfulness, you have done well up to this point to pretend that such a ritual does not exist. Never did you want to think about Jungkook and his future bride. Never did you think you would be here now.
“I know what is to happen tonight, Your Highness. But I am afraid I cannot tell you that I understand why it is of such great importance.”
Behind you Jungkook heaves a sigh of exasperation and for a moment, it seems as though you may have ruined everything. You should know this, if you have any chance at being Queen. You should understand the ways of his people and all of the intricacies of their sacred rites. But he is quick to quell your worries with a soft kiss atop your shoulder.
“I will hear no more of this ‘Your Highness’ from you,” he says with all seriousness. “I do not accept such formality when we are to be one, you and I.”
Your breath catches at that. It shocks you to hear how he speaks of your impending coupling so openly. You have hardly been able to look him in the eye and here he is, kissing your skin and speaking of such intimacy aloud.
“What shall I call you then, Your Highness?” you jest in an attempt to cut through some of the tension.
“Maybe I am a simple creature, but I am rather fond of the way my name sounds on your lips,” he admits with none of your earlier humor. “When I am inside of you, I imagine I will enjoy it even more.”
Such sinful speech sends you reeling once more and the way you greedily gush between the legs comes as little surprise to either of you. You are positively soaked at this point, wound as tightly as one can humanly be without snapping. It pleases the wolf beside you, that much is made obvious by the way he grinds closer to the source of your succulence. It coats his royal cock as he fights the desire that pumps hot through his veins.
“When?” you gasp, desperate and trying to keep yourself rutting against him. It is too much as it is and you are half a breath from begging for him to take you here and now.
Amusement sends a muted laugh rumbling through the broad expanse of his chest. You feel it as he moves to wrap his arm around your waist. In how he manages to pull you closer so that he might whisper in your ear.
“When will I be inside of you?”
His tone is teasing, his breath featherlight as it tickles your skin. He places a kiss below your ear just to revel in the softened sigh you release. Just to indulge himself in the scent you give off from wanting him so ardently.
“Jungkook,” you half warn. You are in no state for games. Your heart is so full of love, your body so wracked with lust that you are hardly able to contain it within yourself.
“Moonlight,” he longingly returns, “how lucky I am to have your radiance bestowed upon me.”
There are no words, no beautiful turn of phrase you can call to mind that can fully describe the feeling that sweeps through you. It is one of absolute joy, of wholehearted enamorment and true fulfillment. You have never experienced such a feeling until now. You have never known such contentment and all from the utterance of a simple sentence. It further solidifies what you have known for most of your life. You will never love another the way that you love him. It is as frightening as it is soothing.
Indeed it is horrifying how easily you have let yourself fall into such a state of being. There have been no assurances made, no words spoken that would lead you to believe that Jungkook is anything but eager to fuck you and here you are, throwing all caution to the wind. It is unsafe, to play so fast and loose with your fragile heart. It is too risky to fall so carelessly.
In an instant, everything has changed. In an instant, anxiousness begins to claw away at the rosy bubble of love you have so foolishly let inflate around you. It reminds you of your reality. You are a human and despite your participation in this evening’s ritual, the likelihood that his pack would allow you to be Queen is laughable.
You cannot do this, you will not recover if you cross this line with him. You will not be able to separate your emotions from an act so intimate.
“____,” Jungkook calls when he feels your attention slipping. “There is something I must say before we continue. Something of the utmost importance.”
Tears burn hot in your eyes when you hear the apprehension in his voice. You know what is to come. He is going to tell you this is just for tonight. He is going to let you know that anything that transpires this evening will be purely physical and shall end as the sun rises. You know it, you feel it in your gut, you feel it in how your heart hammers in your ears. You cannot stand to hear such words from him. You will not stay to have your heart shattered.
With haste, you rip yourself from his arms before he can stop you with his lupine strength. You dare not look him in the eye when you roll from his bed. You dare not acknowledge the worrisome calls of your name when you grab the nearest knit from the bed and drape it around your shivering form. Rather you run with fresh tears falling from your eyes and attempt to distance yourself from the pain that exists in this space.
You run, despite a desperate Jungkook pleading for you to stay. You run and you do not stop until the door to your chamber has sealed you off from the rest of the world. Until you are free to cry openly beneath your own sheets. Until you can mourn the loss of great love and resign yourself to your fate.
You will never be with Jeon Jungkook. 
He is to become King, after all. What would a king want with a heart as delicate as your own?
5K notes · View notes
jungkxook · 4 months ago
—sweeter than sugar. (m)
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⟶ pairing: jungkook x reader 
⟶ genre: ceo!jungkook / sugar daddy au + fluff / smut 
⟶ words: 22,258 oops
⟶ rating: 18+ 
⟶ summary: when infamous playboy jeon jungkook comes to you with a proposition that you know you should say no to, you can’t. because all you really know is that being spoiled has never felt so sweet before
⟶ warnings: lot’s of brand name dropping bc jungkook stays spoiling you!!, sprinkle of angst, unprotected sex, dry humping, grinding, oral sex (f receiving), fingering, face riding, handjob, standing sex, window sex?, riding, creampie
⟶ note: this is a repost of a fic from my old blog, just in case it looks familiar to anyone!
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You have come to find that when rich men and women are drunk enough, they will talk.
Naturally, living in the metropolis that is New York City with its crowded population of millions, you are bound to come across certain interesting people. Yet none have seemingly compared to your experiences with the social elite and upper class businessmen and women of the city. For there, nestled perfectly in the hub of the mayhem and money that is the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in a bar lounge you work at, you learn much about the inner workings and the dramatic gossip of some of the wealthiest people in the city. Stripped down to nothing but self-indulgent humans enjoying their happy hours after a day of work and incredibly drunk off of Cabernet Sauvignon red wine and smooth Louis XIII cognac and martini cocktails, they will talk. They will talk about important business deals, murmur about the hushed world of embezzlers, boast about their latest luxurious purchase, whisper about affairs, and mock fellow friends or business partners.
Of course you listen. You always listen. To you, these people are a whole other species ━ so distant from yourself yet so fascinating. It’s not as if they care about your eavesdropping either, for they do not so much as grace you with a second glance, even when you present them with their drink. Perhaps that’s for the best. After all, you’re certain you’ll never be able to understand them. It’s not as if you like them either. But there is one person in particular who becomes quite the talk of the wealthy entrepreneurs and tycoons that occupy the lounge; the same one person who catches your attention over the many nights of your shifts and you think him to be, perhaps, even more fascinating than his fellow snobby folk.
Jungkook, made of diamonds and gold, is a person you find hard to avoid.
Tabloids and whispers of the eminent young man make him known to you far before you even lay eyes on him and all you know is that he is built upon old money and glory. He is infamous, it appears from the ostentatious words that pluck him from the ordinary and hangs him high above in the endless sky, born into a world where he is lucky enough to be graced with not only the wealth but the handsome features too. You still aren’t quite sure you understand what exactly he does for a living, though you learn over time he’s inherited his father’s company of investment banking at the ripe age of 23 after his father’s retirement. Really, all that seems to pique your interest is the simple fact that he wears clothes that cost the same amount as your college tuition, if not more, whilst you are drowning in obstinate debt. It is a life he will never know, much like his life is one you will never know.
Though many attempt to degrade him as being a spoiled rich kid with a pretty face who doesn’t deserve his father’s company, you can hardly find an inkling of hatred in your bones for the boy. Instead, you find blatant envy laced in every nerve, despite still struggling internally to be thankful for the dismal life you live from a day-to-day basis. It is only on days when the universe itself decides to take it’s annoyance out on you in mundane mishaps that makes you entirely jealous of men and women at the lounge. Of the eminent man that is Jungkook.
As a college student in your final year, the looming fact of paying your tuition debt, amongst other necessities and living expenses, dangles over your head in a foreboding dark cloud. It isn’t the idea that you struggle to barely make ends meet, or yet another heated conversation you have with your landlord only a week prior, begging him to wait until you get paid to give him your rent, or the fact that you work two part-time jobs aside from attending class in an attempt to make enough money to live that makes you break down on one particular Saturday morning. It is when you return from your first job of working an eight hour shift at the café around the corner from where you live, climb the five flights of stairs to your floor after you find that the elevator isn’t working, only to scan through your daily mail of bills and taxes to find an envelope containing a letter with big, bolded words screaming at you EVICTION NOTICE, akin to two middle fingers raised high in the air for you.
That is when the severity of your situation seems to hit you because you suddenly become aware in an entirely pessimistic shame that you have failed. Failed to make ends meet and failed to make your dull routine work of running from one job to the next and attending classes. You skim the contents of the notice rather quickly, your mind stuck somewhere between terror of living on the streets and rushing to get ready for your second shift of the night, but your nervous eyes are able to catch a glimpse of the three week deadline your landlord gives you in order to either return to him the lost rent you are owing to stay or to pack your belongings and leave. You hardly have time to read the rest or devise a plan in order to save your ass as you crumple the paper in anger and toss it on your bed before moving to prepare yourself for work.
The second job you work is at the lounge. It’s popularity amongst the urbanites makes sure that you find little to no time to rest as you are running back and forth from behind the counter to customers serving drinks and other appetizers. It’s a newer job you work, having only been there for six months, but at the four month mark is when he starts showing up, as if the universe further wanted to laugh in your face and taunt that there are people who never have to work hard to simply live.
In the short time span of two months that you see him at the lounge, you never once utter a word to him as your boss makes certain that he personally tends to Jungkook and his friends in an attempt to please the rich boy. However, you admire him from afar anyway, taking note in his appearances and manners. He is always well dressed from head to toe in perfectly tailored and fitting Giorgio Armani suits. His dress shirts are usually either pure cotton or some sort of silky lavish material and a watch and rings are accessories he always seems to wear. He is generous, however, and orders the most expensive drinks for he and his friends and is the one to make sure they find a ride home but you discover he must naturally be a bit of a lush because he is always stumbling out of the lounge well into the night and blissfully inebriated, usually with a girl wrapped around his finger and fawning over him drunkenly. He is, quite obviously, a sybarite, a playboy, but a kind one at that ━ or perhaps that is just a facade.
You do not see him at first when you begin your shift that night, but he seems to make an appearance at the most terrible of times. It is just as you’re finally clocking out for your break and take a step outside next to the building for a breath of air, further off from the other customers of the lounge who like to sit on the patio with a burning cigarette limply dangling from fingertips or the finest of cigars, when you find your boss, Namjoon, joining your side to tell you something you aren’t at all prepared to hear.
“Y/N, I actually wanted to talk to you,” he starts, his tone casual. The night is cool despite being mid-spring, and a breeze ruffles his dark hair and sends a chill down your spine.
“Am I in trouble?” You ask, and though it is supposed to be a joke, you can’t help but fear for a moment about whether you might actually be.
“Oh, no, nothing like that,” he says with a lighthearted chuckle. “No, no. It’s just that━ Well, you see━ You’re most certainly one of our best employees here but, that being said, I think━ Ahem, simply put, with all the new hires we got recently and all their training, we unfortunately are going to have to start pulling your hours.”
His words don’t seem to register in your mind at first and you look at him curiously, dumbfounded. “You what?”
“From now on, we only need you to work ten hours a week here,” he says. “Just for the time being━”
“You’re cutting back on my hours?” You ask abruptly. “Why me?”
“If it makes you feel any better, you aren’t the only one this is happening to,” he replies. “It’s a really shitty thing to do, I know, but we have no other choice.”
Finally, what he says seems to sink in and your eyes widen in disbelief. You push yourself off the wall you are leaning against and round on him instantly. “No, no, you can’t! Please! I need those extra hours and the money━ Look, I just got the news today that I might be kicked out of my apartment in less than a month and I still need to pay back my school tuition. I can’t afford to━”
“I’m sorry, Y/N,” Namjoon says, entirely in a dismissive manner that has you coming to a complete halt and making you feel absolutely foolish. “But there’s nothing I can do right now━ Ah! If it isn’t the man himself! Jungkook! Glad to see you could make it. Excuse me, doll━”
Your boss moves quickly, parting from you with a final pat on your shoulder as if to poorly console you before shifting his attention over to the newcomer, to Jungkook. You’re seething with absolute rage that boils in the pit of your stomach and the tips of your fingers, your mouth hanging opened in an appalled gap, as you whirl around only to have your eyes settle upon your boss devoting all his attention to Jungkook and the friend by his side who is digging through his pockets for a cigarette atop the patio just behind you. You are left entirely forgotten and bristling with anger that you find hard to keep under control as you gawk at your boss before realizing that Jungkook is staring at you.
His dark chocolate pupils peer at you under the shimmering moonlight, reflecting something soft and pensive, but what exactly he is thinking, you can’t surely make out. It catches you off guard and has you clamping your mouth shut as if to showcase some sort of proper etiquette around the prestige boy, a blush warming your cheeks, because why is he looking at you? He’s never taken the time to so much as glance your way with any sort of interest ━ or so you thought ━ and yet here he is, his intimidating eyes piercing yours and making you shift uncomfortably in your spot. You don’t bother to linger any longer after that.
As soon as his friend is calling for his attention, and Jungkook turns to avert his gaze to the conversation that is happening without him, you round on your heel and briskly walk back into the lounge, your mind in a haze of embarrassed confusion and anger.
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Your awkward encounter with Jungkook is quick to slip your mind as soon as you are hurled back into the persistent problems of your life.
The next few days elapse into one another in a useless blur as you try to beg your boss at your first job to allow you more shifts, while simultaneously trying to discover what you will do and who you can live with if you are evicted. Moving back in with your parents seems the most practical but least favourable when they live too far away from your jobs and school. You’re considering asking a close friend if you can live with them for a few weeks when the universe seems to present itself to you one more time, but in a way to redeem itself.
It happens on that Wednesday, only a few days after receiving the eviction notice. You return to your job at the lounge that night for a rather usually dull shift as not many people seem to come out on a night that is in the middle of the week. It’s slow, as you expect, and you try to spend the time by cleaning the bar counter, cleaning the shelves that the bottles of liquor stand on, cleaning glasses, and repeating the process again and again, but even that becomes tedious after a while. The lounge itself isn’t typically a place of gathering for just anybody with it’s all glass panes, dark interior, and lights of hues of purple and blue to help with the ambiance, modern furniture, and smooth jazz music to tie it all perfectly together. It’s nearing 7pm when the door swings open but you hardly pay much attention as you’re uselessly wiping the counter and fretting over the notice. When you hear the sound of someone clearing their throat from behind you, you spin around and come face-to-face with none other than Jungkook.
An involuntary gasp slips past your parted lips before you can swallow it back and your hands quickly abandon the rag you’re holding to nervously smooth down your hair and clothes.
“Hi there,” he smiles and, when he does, it is something daunting and mischievous.
He’s abandoned his usual Armani attire for something a little more casual though even your untrained eye can sense that the clothes he wears still costs much more than what you earn in a day. A Saint Laurent bomber jacket, a Rolex watch, Louis Vuitton dress shoes. His blonde locks are parted ever so slightly off to the side and, as he moves to certain angles under the dim lights of the lounge, you catch sight of the tattoos that cover his arm and are mostly always covered up. Up close, you can see features on his face that you would have otherwise misplaced, like the dainty point of his nose or the piercings on his ears or just how big his eyes truly are, giving him a more youthful appearance even though he is not much older than you as it is. You’re so mesmerized and too busy studying his dazzling attire to notice the fact that he speaks to you that it takes you a moment to respond.
“O━Oh, um, hi,” You force a smile on your face that is visibly so. You gulp back your nerves and straighten up, fighting for your voice. “What can I get you?”
“Just water is fine, actually,” he says and, goodness, why was his voice so smooth and luxurious?
You quirk a brow, the question tumbling from you before you can stop it. “You’re telling me that you came all the way down here for a glass of water that you can easily get at your home?”
Your mouth quickly snaps shut, as you’re suddenly fearful of having said something wrong, but the boy in front of you only chuckles and shrugs sheepishly.
“Ah, well, it’s a Wednesday night and I do have to work tomorrow,” he says.
He’s still smiling as he watches you and the sight has you nervous once more. To avoid his intense stare, you move to gather him a glass of water. It’s silent as you do so, the only sound coming from the other chatter of customers and the music that plays in the foreground. When you slide his drink over to him, his smile widens and he nods.
You nod timidly and try to distract yourself by cleaning once more. Not even before you can turn fully away from him, he’s speaking again.
“So, you know of me, huh?” he asks and then stops himself. “Sorry, that sounded very conceited of me. I’m just━ I don’t know. Surprised.”
“You’re quite the talk of the city,” You point out in a matter-of-fact tone and giggle. “It’s hard to not know who you are.”
Jungkook licks his lips and smiles almost bashfully. The sight seems so rare that it has you staring at him in wonder. His eyes flicked up to look at you past his long lashes and then he lifts his chin to properly face you. “Then who do I have the fortune of speaking to tonight?”
“Y/N,” You introduce, holding out a hand for him. “It’s most certainly a pleasure to meet you properly, sir.”
The boy takes your hand in his, his skin smooth and delicate, and then he does something you do not expect at all. He turns your palm over so that the back of your hand is facing him and he presses a small kiss to your knuckles that leaves tingles running down your spine.
“The pleasure’s all mine,” he says.
You must be entirely gawking at him again as he lets go of your hand because he laughs and straightens up in his seat, taking a sip of his water.
“I actually wanted to talk to you,” he says.
“M━Me?” You ask, still stunned. “Did you want to speak with Namjoon? He isn’t in right now but I can leave a note for you, if you want━”
“Oh, no, that won’t be necessary,” he replies, gently turning down your suggestion. “No, you were just the person I was hoping to find tonight.”
“Oh, really?” You question and Jungkook nods. “Then what can I do for you?”
The smile on his face shifts into a smirk and he pauses to take another sip of his water, leaving you in hanging anticipation. He sets his glass down and props his elbows up on the counter, leaning forward.
“I’ve come to offer you a proposition,” he says.
“A proposition?” You echo.
“Mhm, and it’s one I hope you don’t turn down,” he continues. “See, the other night on Saturday, I couldn’t help but overhear you talking to your boss about your shifts, or lack thereof, and━”
“You heard that?” You gasp, dismayed. “You were eavesdropping?”
“Not exactly,” Jungkook says. “I just so happened to stumble outside just as you were complaining.”
You eye him warily, folding your arms over your chest. “Okay, go on.”
“Well,” Jungkook begins, “I’m here to offer you a job but, I must warn you, it’s a very different kind of job.”
His words seem to intrigue you as you absentmindedly take a step closer to him, lowering your head to listen closely. You don’t reply back but, judging by the interested look on your face, Jungkook casually carries on. He locks gazes with you then, a hard unbreakable gaze that has you looking only at him as he utters his next few words.
“There’s no easy way to explain this that won’t make it seem indecent, but I can assure you that my intentions are pure,” he admits. “Have you ever heard of the term sugar baby?”
As soon as you hear the last of his words, you push yourself up and begin shaking your head furiously. “You want me to be your sugar baby?” You ask. The incredulous question has a blush pinching at your cheeks. “Are you nuts? I’m not that kind of girl. I’m not going to sleep with you even if you pay me━”
“Hear me out,” he says calmly and, for some odd reason, you pause. Your eyes narrow into a scrutinizing glare as you stare him down.
“Fine,” You say stiffly. “Keep talking.”
“It’s a crazy idea, I know,” he says. “And, sure, typically sugar babies are used for sex but I would never force myself on you or force you to do anything you wouldn’t want to. That’s a promise I’ll never break. I just figured that we can keep the companionship aspect of the whole thing and that’s it. Nothing more than having a person by my side.”
“I’m sure you can find plenty of girls to take that role,” You muse aloud.
“Sure,” he admits sheepishly, “but I’m asking you because I want you to be the one and because I know you need this money more than anyone else.”
You fall silent as you study him. He pulls out his phone then and begins to scroll through it almost too nonchalantly but you don’t necessarily mind. You are much too busy pondering his offer.
“But you don’t even know me,” You say at last.
“Also true,” he says, glancing up at you. “I guess you could say that’s another part of the reason why I’m asking you because I wouldn’t mind getting to know you. I mean, I see you all the time at this bar. I would have loved to come up and talk to you at any given moment but you always seemed so caught up in your work. Now I know why.”
Another silence ensues and he watches as you bite nervously on your lower lip. You rake a hand through your hair and sigh.
“How about this?” he asks, shifting in his seat to sit up straighter. “We try it out at least once to test the waters for an upcoming event where you’re my date. If you like it and want to keep going, great. If you absolutely hate it and hate me, then you can forget all about me and that I ever asked you this and I’ll leave you alone. Deal?”
“How do I know you’re not planning my murder?”
Jungkook smirks wolfishly. “That would be bad for business, love, and neither me nor my company needs that sort of attention in the press. So… What do you say?”
“I don’t know. It’s just… a lot. I have to think about it.”
Jungkook nods. “That’s understandable. Here━”
He shifts in his seat and pulls his wallet from his jeans. With a flourish, he procures a business card and slides it onto the table. Then, he gestures for a pen and, once you hand him the one you fish out from the apron tied around your waist, he scribbles his own personal number down on the back. He looks up at you with an ever so pretty smile, his eyes twinkling.
“Call me on this number whenever you decide.”
He doesn’t stay much longer after that. When he does leave, he makes sure to leave you a tip. A considerable sum of $500 in the form of a cheque. He’s long gone by the time you register the amount on the slip of paper and your name scribbled down. When the shock is gone, you tell yourself you can’t possibly take the cheque. But he knows that either way, whether you accept the cheque and his offer or try to return the money to him, you’ll call him one way or another. You realize this only on your way home from the lounge and shake your head at his conniving way. If there was one thing you have learnt during your time at the lounge, rich men always get what they want.
You aren’t entirely too sure what makes you cave. Maybe it’s the fact that, when you return home and are greeted to the looming notice papers, you are reminded that you so desperately need the money, or the fact that Jungkook is as charming and attractive as people say. Maybe it is the fact that he is quite obviously devoting his time and attention on solely you. Perhaps once won’t hurt after all. Then, if he stays true to his word and pays you handsomely, just enough for your rent, you never have to see him again. So the next morning, after a great deal of pensive pacing around your apartment, it is with one final hefty sigh that you call Jungkook. He answers on the third ring with a cordial, “Hello?”
“I can’t believe I’m saying this but fine. You have yourself a deal.”
Even without seeing his face, you can hear the smile in his voice, can see the way it must be tugging at his pink lips. “Ah, Y/N! Great!”
“What do you need me to do exactly?”
“Well, first thing’s first,” he says. “We need to set up some ground rules. First, I won’t try anything on you that you won’t like. Second, since this is technically still a job ━ and I know it’s going to sound ridiculous but stay with me ━ we need to be cautious about gaining romantic feelings for one another. It’ll just get in the way of everything, okay?”
“Okay. Whatever you say.”
“Good,” he says. “Then let’s jump right to it: I need you to be my date at this business dinner party that’s coming up. The logistics of the dinner party bore me. I know as much about it as you do, if I’m honest, but everyone ━ mostly my father ━ thinks it’ll be a good idea to bring a proper date. As if that’ll leave a good impression on these people we’re trying to win over. We’ll see about that.”
“When is it?” You ask.
“Three days from now.”
“As in Paris, France?”
Jungkook hums in agreement a little too calmly for your liking. Your jaw drops open in surprise and you begin to sputter for air, stammering over your words.
“Jungkook,” You say his name sternly, laughing at just how ridiculous this request is. “This whole thing started because I have no money. I’m getting kicked out of my apartment ━ or did you miss that? What makes you think I have the money for a ticket to Paris?”
Now it’s Jungkook’s turn to bursts out into boisterous laughter, and he continues to laugh and laugh as if this is the funniest thing he has heard yet. You are left staring blankly at your wall, completely frazzled and stunned.
“God, you’re cute,” he sighs at long last. “Baby girl, I don’t think you quite understand the concept of this but that’s okay. We can work on it. Here, look. Check your phone━”
As he says this, your phone chimes pleasantly to notify you of a new message. Pulling your phone away from your face, you see a new text from Jungkook’s number: a screenshot of an email of a bank purchase, one that he confirms out loud with his confident words even when you feel your hands shaking in overwhelming anticipation.
“I already bought you a ticket as we were speaking,” he says. “We leave Friday.”
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The concept is entirely too hard to wrap your mind around, even after you sleep on it.
It’s like a dream come true, a fairy tale that people can only ever hope for, and it had fallen so perfectly into your very lap in the form of Jungkook. You pack the next night for Paris (which will only be a two day trip, according to Jungkook), the excitement and nerves finally kicking in and making you jittery and grin from ear-to-ear as you rummage around your apartment. He picks you up early the next morning in a chauffeured BMW before you’re both driven to the airport to fly in two first class seats to Paris. The whole thing is ludicrous but you can’t seem to get enough ━ even with the way he seems to act like a total gentleman by holding the car door open for you and holding your hand as he helps you onto the plane. From what you gather, he is kind and gentle and spends the time talking to you on the long flight to Paris in an attempt to help soothe your nerves when he sees you toying anxiously with your hands. You learn about his father and his company and he learns about your family and school life.
When you arrive in Paris, the streets are suddenly dazzling with a magic you have never seen before. From the architecture to the gardens to the grand tower in the distance, everything seems like a whimsical dream and you, the poor undeserving spectator, can’t possibly contain your excitement. In the chauffeured drive to your hotel, Jungkook watches you with amused eyes and chuckles under his breath when you gawk out the window at the passing city. Your accommodations for the getaway have already been paid for and includes a stay at the Four Seasons Hotel. It is simply marvelous, a palace sculpted so divinely out of white stone and marble in the lobby. The people are friendly, both the employees and other occupants, greeting you with warm smiles and generous gestures, but the atmospheric prestige is slightly nerve-wrecking.
Jungkook pays for your room which is the luxurious Royal Suite, a room much larger than you truly need but, god, do you love it. There’s a spacious living room, a foyer, a marble fireplace and a dining table, the master bedroom accompanied by an all marble bathroom, and private terrace with a view of the surrounding city and the Eiffel tower in the near distance, so close it feels as if you can reach out and touch it. Everything is adorned in gold and ivory furnishing, white plush cushions and bedding with teal accents, white flowers and exceptional pieces of decorations. Jungkook is still with you when he guides you into the suite but he doesn’t speak and nor do you. Instead, he watches as you stare in awe at the overwhelmingly large room and the lavish paintings and furniture that are placed perfectly around, and the platter of macaroons and a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne in an ice bucket atop the glass coffee table. He watches even as you throw yourself to the terrace door, beaming outside at the beautiful view.
“Like it?” he asks, his lips curling upward faintly in an amused smile.
“Like it?” You repeat, astonished. You turn to face him and can’t contain the squeal that bubbles at your lips. You fling yourself down onto the plush sofa nearest you and sigh dreamily as you look up at the boy who is suppressing his chuckles. “I’m in love, Jungkook. I definitely don’t deserve this━”
“Don’t say that,” Jungkook frowns, interrupting you quickly. “Of course you deserve this. I’m glad you’re enjoying it so far. That’s what I want to hear.”
You push yourself up to sit on the couch and cross your legs beneath you. You gaze up at Jungkook, gnawing nervously on your lower lip. “I just feel like you could have found a better person to replace me. I mean, I don’t even know where to start with repaying you.”
“There’s no need to repay me,” Jungkook says. “That’s the whole point of this ordeal. All I want from you is to be my side when I need you. You owe no debt to me. Just keep enjoying yourself, yeah?”
You nod timidly and he smiles. He notices you shift in your seat to stand up once more and he swiftly holds out his hand for you in an ever gentleman-like way. You take it graciously and pull yourself up and then he does it again, lifting your twined hands to his lips to press a tender kiss to your knuckles. He keeps his lips pressed to your skin for a second too long and it has you blushing madly before he finally releases your hand once more.
“It’s late,” he says. “You should get some rest. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow. Set an early alarm, okay? I have something else for you that I want to show you before the dinner party.”
“Sounds like a plan,” You hum almost absentmindedly as your attention is suddenly averted back to the room that you can’t seem to get enough of.
“Sweet dreams, Y/N,” he smiles.
He begins retreating back to the door of the room but stops when he hears you call his name, your voice so distant and faint, soft and gentle and loving, that it makes his heart skip a beat.
“Thank you for everything so far, Jungkook.”
Jungkook notices the irreplaceable smile on your face and it’s so genuine and heartwarming that it has the exact same smile mirroring on his face. He nods once more, understanding, before giving you a sly wink and walking out the door. You don’t stay awake much longer after that, the jitters and excitement eventually soothing into something soft that lulls you to sleep
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You aren’t entirely sure what Jungkook has planned for the next morning but you are most definitely not disappointed.
He comes by your room around 10:00 am, a light rap of his knuckles against the door signalling his arrival. He’s dressed casual today and it, for once during the duration of the time that you’ve been with him, doesn’t make you feel bad for wearing just as casual clothing. He takes you to a café just down the street from the hotel for breakfast and then he walks with you through the streets of Paris, past all the people and hectic life. When you finally arrive at your destination, your jaw drops open in complete unregistered shock because you realize he’s taking you shopping ━ and shopping not just anywhere but the Champs-Élysées and down Avenue Montaigne where all the leading couture designers are. He pulls you into a certain shop with designer and brand name formal wear, dresses and suits of all sorts of materials and lengths lining the walls, shelves, and dressing mannequins.
“I figured we could go shopping for something for you to wear tonight,” he says. “It’s your pick. See anything that catches your attention?”
You snort a bit ungracefully, your fingers running over the silky material of a scarlet red Valentino dress decorating a mannequin near you.
“Yeah, all of it,” You say, your fingers plucking the price tag of the dress and gawking at it. “But not for that price. I’d have to take out another loan from the bank if I’d want to buy this and I’m still paying off my tuition fees.”
Jungkook laughs lightly at your dry remarks and places his hand on the small of your back with such ease that it catches you by surprise.
“Baby girl,” he hums, and the small pet name is enough to make your heart flutter, “I’m buying it for you. Go ahead. Run wild in here. We can get a consultant to help you if you want.”
“I’m going to need more than a consultant to deal with all this,” You say. “It’s making my head spin. If I’m dreaming, please don’t pinch me.”
He smirks, giving you a shake of his head. “I can assure you that you aren’t dreaming. Go on. If you see anything you like, don’t be afraid to tell me. Today is all about you.”
And Jungkook doesn’t lie. Though it feels so wrong to be so spoiled and pampered, you find yourself basking in all of it ━ from the way Jungkook follows behind you as you study every piece of clothing and waits patiently as you try on dress after dress, to the way the employees that work there fawn over your body and the way you model the dress “just perfectly,” to the way they serve you bubbling champagne in crystal flute glasses. It’s all about you, and it’s never felt so good.
It doesn’t stop there. Jungkook takes you to shop after shop, boutique after boutique, until you find a dress that you take quite a liking to. It’s a floor length Alberta Ferretti velvet midnight blue, almost black, gown, the seams of which hugging your body and curves in all the right places. It’s a slightly off-the-shoulder dress, with a heart-shaped scoop neckline and a slit on one side of the dress that runs far up the smooth expanse of your leg to end mid-thigh. It’s the dress you pick because it’s the only dress that seems to garner such a unique reaction from Jungkook. It’s one where he forgets his words momentarily, gazing at you as if you were made of pure gold, because, holy shit, he’s never seen anything so beautiful before. He can’t speak whilst you model the dress for him and the consultant, twirling around and around in front of the mirrors to admire your own figure, because he doesn’t want to miss a single thing about just how gorgeous you look in it.
He doesn’t tell you but, when you decide on that dress, he couldn’t have been any happier.
Even after finding the dress, Jungkook still continues to take you shopping, promising to buy you any other article of clothing or piece of jewelry that catches your attention, though you try to tame your desires as you begin to feel a bit too spoiled. Jungkook doesn’t mind, of course. He never seems to mind. Eventually, after he takes you back to the hotel with all black Christian Louboutin ankle strap heels and a glittering Tiffany necklace and earrings for the dress, he leaves you alone to get ready for the dinner. When he meets you once more at your suite, it is later in the evening and the sun outside has just begun to set. He enters your room looking as if he has just walked out from a Renaissance painting or was sculpted by the Grecians himself in marble stone because of just how divine he looks. He’s adorned in yet another Armani suit, a dark charcoal that is almost ebony black, and his hair is combed and parted neatly to the side. There’s no need to even look at him to know he is already handsome, but something about that night makes his features more prominent.
You’re still in the bathroom when he does enter your room, calling out to you with a, “Y/N? You ready? We need to get going soon.”
He hears your voice carry from the bathroom, light and feathery, and though it is muffled, he can make it out to sound like, “Just a sec!”
So, Jungkook waits. He’s suddenly nervous as he does, fiddling with the cuffs of his sleeves and the hem of his suit jacket, when he hears the bathroom door click open. He hears the clinking of your heels as you walk towards him and then time seems to slow down in a sort of entirely cliche way because all he can focus on is you. And, god, you’re beautiful. If Jungkook is to you only a man-made beauty of Renaissance and Ancient Greek art, then you are to him made up of the stars and the moon and sun, carved divinely from the very hands of the universe itself and kissed all over by enchanting Mother Nature. You are radiant, you are natural, genuine, breathtaking, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. He is far too caught up with the way you look to even pay attention to your words, that only hit him in disoriented white noise.
“Jungkook?” You wave a hand in his face. “Can you zip me up?”
“What?” Jungkook seems to snap out of his daze and shakes his head suddenly. “Oh, right! Sorry, of course. Come here.”
You do, closing the distance between him and you with a wobbly flourish on your heels and turn your back to him. Jungkook gulps as he sees the zipper of the dress hanging low on your back. With cold hands, he begins to pull the zipper up, but he doesn’t seem to notice the way goosebumps run down your spine when you feel the ghost of his touch. When he’s done, you turn to face him once more and place your hands on your hips. Your hair and makeup are perfectly done and the glittering jewellery you wear all makes you look like such an elegant star.
“Well?” You ask. “What do you think? Is it too much? I don’t really know, to be honest. Or am I too underdressed? Oh god, I don’t know━”
“You’re beautiful,” Jungkook says abruptly.
Your cheeks are tinted pink at his compliment and you look down bashfully. He reaches out for your hand and you take it carefully only to have him raise your clasped palms above your head.
“Spin for me, love.”
You obediently follow his command, anxious under his watchful eyes. They drift down and up and then back down and up again to take in your full figure and he sighs under his breath. When you’re facing him again, there is a hint of a smile on his face and his pupils are glistening.
“Magnificent,” he breathes. “My goodness, baby girl, all eyes are going to be on you and only you tonight. I think I’m going to need to keep a watchful eye on you and make sure you don’t ditch me for another man before I can even get to know you better.”
You shake your head at him as he softly drops your hand from his. You inattentively reach out to grab at his already perfectly kempt tie, straightening it from beneath his collar.
“I wouldn’t worry about that,” You giggle. “I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon, Jungkook.”
And Jungkook smiles.
Another chauffeured ride picks the two of you up at the hotel (this time a sleek black Mercedes) and drives you all the way to the Hotel Plaza Athénée, in which one of Jungkook’s associates have rented out the entire restaurant attached to it simply for the cause of their business dinner. Jungkook is the one who gets out of the car first and holds your door open, taking your hand to help you out and hooking arms with you as he guides you inside to the restaurant that you can only describe as a winter wonderland, made upon white furnishing and a magnificent crystal chandelier that resembles falling stars or snowflakes frozen in time.
The party isn’t nearly as terrible as you had thought. It begins awkwardly and you feel uncomfortable, shifting your weight from one heel to the other, and clinging desperately onto Jungkook, but the partygoers are friendly. They talk to you without a problem, introducing themselves with big smiles and welcoming you into their small lavish circle. The party continues on rather pleasantly, though you thank the glasses of red wine you are constantly consuming to not only help pass the time and soothe your nerves, but to distract the rich men and women around you long enough so you can breathe without feeling scrutinized.
By the time the night is coming to a close, you and Jungkook are equally as drunk off of expensive wine and champagne, and say a reasonable farewell to the other guests before leaving back to the hotel. You don’t leave Jungkook’s side, and perhaps that is because your intoxicated mind is suddenly buzzing with thoughts and your bloodstream is pumping with adrenaline because you are wide awake. You end up back in his room, both of you lounging out on the perfectly made bed, sharing yet another bottle of wine (that Jungkook had ordered from room service) between the two of you, giggling and chatting well into the night.
There is a moment where the late hour of the night and the alcohol seems to finally get to you and Jungkook; where the two of you are simply sprawled out on the bed in a comfortable silence. Your eyes begin to itch with the heavy need for sleep and you find yourself slipping in and out of your stream of consciousness, the fact that you are still confined to the tight dress you wear completely vanishing from your mind. It’s then that it seems to hit you - the whole ordeal with Jungkook and the fact that you are in Paris, wearing clothes that most certainly cost as much as your tuition - and it comes in waves of overwhelming and bursting joy and gratefulness.
“Jungkook,” You hum sleepily, catching the boy’s attention. “I’m serious when I say thank you for everything. It’s just so- so amazing and I want you to know that.”
“I know,” Jungkook says. “I believe you.”
You shift in your spot to stare up at him. He’s reclining beside you, a hand propped behind his head, and he is gazing up at the ceiling before looking over at you. He smiles softly.
“I just don’t want you to think you’re making a mistake by spending all this money on someone like me ━ as if I’m some sort of basket case,” You say. “So if you want to be brutally honest with me and never want to speak to me again after this, please just tell me now so I don’t have to wait to be rejected.”
He quirks a brow, examining your features as if to decipher your words.
“Is that what you think this is all about?” he asks finally. “The rich boy trying to do his moral duty by giving away his money? I’m helping you because I like you and because I don’t want to see someone as sweet and gentle as you being kicked out on the streets. I like you, all of you, and that’s not going to change. I’m not going anywhere.”
He finds you smiling, bright and cheery, your eyes twinkling beautifully. You do not know what compels you to move next ━ possibly the alcohol clouding your mind or the fact that Jungkook is sitting before you, as handsome as ever even at three in the morning ━ but then you are pushing yourself forward, leaning toward him and pressing your mouth against his for a sudden kiss. All you can focus on is the soft plump of his lips, laced with the taste of bittersweet wine and his intoxicating cologne, and it makes you pur with delight.
The action has Jungkook completely shocked but he doesn’t push you away. If anything, he begins to get carried away, but so do you. Suddenly, neither of you seem to be able to get enough of the taste of each other’s lips. You feel his tongue poke against your mouth, grazing your lower lip sensually, practically begging for entrance, and you part your mouth with ease, welcoming all of him. He kisses you slowly, yearning for more, but then the intensity of the kiss heats up. Your tongues dance together in a sloppy wet kiss, teeth clashing together in a desperate and needy fashion, lips smacking roughly against each other’s and igniting flames in every joint of your body. You react without thinking, wiggling around on the bed until you’re lifting yourself up and straddling his hips, sitting back on his thighs.
You’re grasping eagerly at him, tugging at the strands of hair at the nape of his neck, as his own hands come to rest upon your hips, pulling you against him. He parts from your lips then to pepper kisses down to your jawline and neck, where he licks a clean stripe upward. His lips wrap around the delicate skin there and he sucks, something that earns him a moan from yourself. You keen on him in content and jut your hips forward, silently urging him on for more. His breath hitches in his throat but, when you roll your hips against his once more, he moans into your neck.
“Baby girl,” he grunts. “If you keep doing that, I won’t be able to hold myself back.”
You smirk as you nip at his neck, making him growl. “Don’t hold back. I don’t want you to.”
Tingles run down his spine at the way your lips brush against his skin and he tugs you closer to him. He is so absorbed in the wholeness that is you that he can hardly grasp onto a reasonable thought. Especially not when you’re moaning against his neck with a slight whine of, “Fuck, Jungkook, I need you so bad.”
It takes all that he can in him to not cave at your touch and he shifts beneath your weight, gnawing on his lower lip. You can feel the bulge in his pants begin to brush against your inner thigh and the sensation against your throbbing core suddenly excites you. You roll your hips once more against him as you smash your mouth against his for a passionate kiss. It’s messy and eager and hot and you don’t plan on stopping. You think Jungkook has the same intentions with the way he is stifling his moans into the form of grunts and groans, his fingers digging tightly into your skin enough to make you gasp, but then his hold becomes ironclad and he stops your movements with ease.
“No, baby girl, we can’t,” he whispers against your lips.
You lean back on his lap and look at him curiously, admiring the way his lips are bruised red and the way his neck is suddenly marked raw. “Why not?”
Jungkook finds it hard to focus as you run your hands up his chest and back down, your fingertips dancing on the top of his belt. He grabs your hand then, twining your fingers together as he usually does and shaking his head gently.
“Not now,” he says. “I said I wouldn’t force you to do anything you don’t want.”
“But I do want this,” You insist. You lean forward to kiss him once more, moaning in pleasure. “God, I want this so much.”
Jungkook smiles weakly. His hand comes up to grasp gingerly at your cheek and he makes you look at him with delicate gestures.
“You’re drunk. I’m drunk,” he says. “Sometimes people make the wrong decisions when they’re drunk. I don’t want you to regret this when you wake up in the morning, even if you insist right now that you won’t. Okay?”
You sit back on his lap once more, dumbfounded and, albeit, slightly let down, but there’s a part of you that is thankful for Jungkook’s sudden decision. You relent at once, somehow letting a reasonable thought in your mind tell you that Jungkook is right, and you nod.
“Sorry,” You sigh and then yawn. “You’re right. I’m just━ just tired.”
Jungkook nods understandingly, and pecks your forehead gently, a gesture that is enough to leave your head spinning. You push yourself off of him and plop onto the bed with a heavy exhale of air as soon as your head hits the pillow. Once it does, you find it incredibly hard to keep your eyes open and Jungkook smiles lightly. It’s the candid genuinity that makes Jungkook’s heart swell.
“Why don’t you sleep here?” he suggests. “I’ll sleep in your room for the night if you want, or on the couch━”
He’s already standing to his feet when you stop him.
“Wait, Jungkook,” You mumble. When you speak next, your voice is an involuntary drunk whine, “This dress is so uncomfortable━ I just━”
He sees you struggling to reach the zipper of the dress and chuckles under his breath.
“Let me help you, baby,” he hums, his hands brushing against yours as he thwarts your attempts. “Just rest.”
You begin to argue, sounding very similar to a needy child, but Jungkook simply hushes you. In your drunken tired state, you don’t seem nearly as flustered as Jungkook is as he unzips your dress very slowly and the feeling is so foreign that it has Jungkook’s nerves mingling with fear. He’s undressed a girl plenty of times and never once has he been this timid. He finds it hard to focus his eyes elsewhere when he has you shimmying out of the dress because, Jesus, did you have to wear black lace panties with a matching strapless bra? You’re nearly stripped bare before him and he gulps as his eyes flicker down fleetingly over your body and your feminine curves. Before he can linger any longer, he is grabbing one of his plain t-shirts that is hanging off the back of a nearby armchair and slips it over your head and body with such soothing motions and all Jungkook can focus on now is just how cute you look in his shirt, your lips parted slightly, and your hair a hectic mess.
By the time your head hits the pillow once more, Jungkook can hear your tiny snores, and he can’t bring himself to shake you awake to help you into a pair of his sweatpants. Instead, he reaches for the blankets below you and tosses it over your figure and you shift, pushing yourself onto your side and nuzzling your head further into the pillow. As he is straightening up and exhaling a breath of air, he feels a small tug at his hand. He looks down then only to see your hand grasping at his fingertips and hears you mumble, through slurring words and a curtain of hair that crowds your mouth, “Stay.”
Jungkook knows it’s a terrible idea. He knows, deep down, just how badly this is affecting him with all these strange nerves coming to light and with just how easily he seems to give in to your demand. He smiles tenderly once more and nods, despite sighing under his breath.
“Of course, baby,” he whispers. “I’ll stay right here. Go back to sleep, okay?”
You don’t reply, but he doesn’t necessarily need you to. The serenity that is your slumbering face is enough for him and so he changes into a comfortable shirt and sweatpants before slipping under the sheets with you where he falls asleep without trouble. When he wakes in the morning, he finds that your limbs are tangled messily with his and you are pressed closed to his chest, his own arm slung over your waist, and he decides, in that moment, that he made the right choice after all.
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You return from Paris feeling refreshed, strangely, and your heart yearning for another magical getaway to a foreign city.
As if buying you the items he did in Paris wasn’t enough, Jungkook gives you yet another check of money for your time and it is surely enough to make your heart stop altogether. You aren’t quite sure how he knows, but he gives you just the right money to pay for your rent, and then some. It doesn’t just surprise you, but your landlord is at a loss for words when he sees you hand him a sealed envelope with the money you still owe him that very Tuesday, though he doesn’t question it.
Your encounters with Jungkook don’t stop there.
For some reason, you convince yourself to stay with the deal a little longer (perhaps a little selfishly, though you do admit you enjoy the company of Jungkook), but you have also convinced yourself that he’ll disappear, vanish without a trace, after returning from Paris. Fortunately, he doesn’t disappear, and he doesn’t act as if your relationship with him is simply just a job. You find him opening up to you, talking to you as a friend would, and you, in turn, find yourself falling more and more under his charm. Sometimes, he needs you for important business dinners or weddings or polo matches and other gatherings he’s invited to and, each time you go, he pays you fully in return. He always tells you such social events make these businessmen who they are, as if it were all one elaborate game. Other times, he invites you to do the simplest of tasks with him. When it first happens, only a week or two after Paris, you’re lounging in a relaxing bath late one Friday evening and you receive a text from the boy that simply says something along the lines of, “Are you busy? I could really use you right now. Come over if you can.”
Then, shortly after, he sends you another message that asks you, simply, to bring a swimsuit if you have one. The ambiguity and peculiarity of his message, as well as the fear of making sure you don’t disappoint him (but also, quite possibly, the chance to just see him), makes you scurry out of your bath and rush to get changed before chasing out the door. You hadn’t been to his home before then but he texts you his address after you reply that you are on your way and it doesn’t come as a surprise when you see he lives in one of the fancier parts of downtown. The address he gives you leads you straight to a high-rise complex in Midtown Manhattan. The subtly grand lobby is still overwhelming and the doorman and concierge greet you formally as you walk by. Jungkook’s abode, naturally, is the luxury penthouse located at the very top of the building and, walking past the other employees and residents to reach the elevator, makes you feel ashamed of the tight yoga pants and oversized shirt you wear (though no one is actually looking).
You wait anxiously in the elevator and walk the short distance to his entrance as soon as the elevator doors slide open to his floor. Earlier he had sent you a text that instructed you to just simply walk in and so you cautiously press open the front door of the penthouse. It swings wide open and your jaw drops at the stunning view before you. From what you can see, there are two floors to the penthouse, and the main floor has the very outer wall made of ceiling-to-floor glass window panes that look down onto the bustling city below. It is spacious and lavishly furnished and all you know is that your tiny apartment pales in comparison to this. You take a step inside and let the door shut behind you and, as soon as it clicks into place, a chirp of a bark makes you jump. Dashing straight out of a room and charging straight for you is a small white dog, yapping along the way at the newcomer that is you. Your face instantly lights up at the sight and, as the dog begins jumping and barking by your feet, you bend over to scoop him up in your arms, scratching just behind his ears.
“And who are you, cutie?” You coo. “How could Jungkook keep someone like you a secret from me?”
The dog twists in your hold and begins licking at your chin, earning an eruption of giggles from you as you try and gently push him away.
“I see you’ve met Gureum.”
Your head snaps up at the sound of Jungkook’s voice.  He’s standing near a corner he had just turned, leaning casually against the wall. The grin on his face is undeniably strong as he watches you cradle his dog in your arms. He pushes himself off the wall and takes leisurely strides towards you.
“He’s been by my side ever since I was a teen,” he says. “He’s a pretty loyal dog, y’know, and he and I have this special bond going on so I just needed to make sure you were worthy enough to be introduced to him, otherwise I would have told you sooner.”
You burst out into laughter and shake your head. “Well, I’m glad I passed the test and was worthy enough to meet him. Gureum, hm?” You pause and glance back down at the dog. “It means cloud, right? A cute name for a cute pup. I think we’ll get along just fine.”
You plant a kiss on Gureum’s face and then place him down on the ground where he immediately darts off to grab a toy before tottering back. You straighten up to look at Jungkook and gesture around his home.
“Nice place you got here,” You say. “Need a roommate?”
“You want to live together already?” he teases. “You have to at least let me take you out on a few more dates before we get that serious.”
You chuckle lightly and the sound is so silvery and sweet that it makes Jungkook’s heart sing. He is watching you with admiration as you kick off your shoes and begin walking further into his apartment.
“So, what did you want from me tonight?” You asked. “Your text seemed a little urgent.”
“Oh, right,” Jungkook says. He begins following after you and shrugs. “Well, I was going to ask you if you could be my date for an upcoming event. It’s a charity gala ball that my parents and the company will be endorsing in a few months time. It’s fairly a big deal and my father thinks it’ll be good for publicity, again, if I have a proper date by my side since I’ll be hosting the night of the gala and saying a speech.”
“Of course I’ll come with you,” You say. “But did you really have to tell me to come all the way here just to say that?”
Jungkook bursts out into laughter. “I know I could have done that over the phone but, truthfully, I really just wanted to spend a little more time with you. Now that our business talk is out of the way, how does a pizza and movie night sound to you?”
He flings himself down onto the couch nearby and lounges out on it, staring up at you with a look of anticipation. You can’t help but quirk a brow, biting your lower lip to hide the smile that threatens to paint your face.
“You just wanted to spend time with me?” You echo. “So you called me over for pizza and a movie?”
Jungkook nods, beaming up at you. “What do you say?”
“I’ll stay only if you let me have first pick of the movie.”
He pushes himself up to sit (at which point, Gureum takes the liberty of jumping up to sit in his owner’s lap and Jungkook casually threads his fingers through the dog’s fur) and grins, “You can pick every movie we watch.”
“Well, then, if that’s the case━” You plop down next to him on the couch and wiggle around until you’re comfortably positioned. “A pizza and movie night sounds absolutely divine.”
“Good,” he says. “Because I already ordered the pizza while you were on your way here.”
You throw your head back and moan a bit too excessively but it only makes Jungkook laugh. “You spoil me rotten, you know that?”
He shrugs sheepishly and shoots you a wink that has your heart leaping in your chest. He leans in close with a wicked smirk on his face and hums, “Only the best for my baby girl. And, of course while you’re here, we can take a dip in the pool.”
“So that’s what you meant by the cryptic swimsuit text,” You giggle. “I’d love to go for a swim. This apartment’s pool must be amazing.”
“Oh, yes, that one is quite spectacular but I was thinking we could stay within the comfort of my home.”
He says this so simply that you almost don’t register his words. Then it seems to dawn on you the meaning behind his words and you are gawking in pure amazement. “Are you telling me you have a pool in your penthouse?”
Jungkook smirks humorously. “Is it too much?”
You can’t help but shake your head at the cocky tone that twines with his words. A small, bemused thought pops into your head that begs the question just what have you gotten yourself into? A month ago, you would have never been able to imagine living such a life and yet here you are, as Jungkook so graciously had invited you into his own personal world.
Soon enough, you’re standing by the edge of the pool in Jungkook’s home ━ and, yes, he really does have his own personal pool. Tucked away on the second floor of his penthouse, high above the city of New York, like his own perfect little oasis. When you see it, when you’re dressed in nothing but a red bikini standing on the edge of the pool, it feels like a dream. The buildings of Manhattan tower around the penthouse, dazzling with lit windows that shine their soft glow onto the rippling surface of the pool. Somewhere far below you can hear the sound of the city breathing, living; of a distant wailing siren and the squeal of a tire and a blaring horn. And, when you look above, it feels as if you’re so close to the sky that you could reach out and touch the hiding stars.
Jungkook, who is behind you and watching the look of awe paint your face, will smile to himself and then he will give you one playful nudge that pushes you into the pool with a gratifying splash and a yelp of startle on your part that you know will fade into nothing to the people far down below when you’re up this high. He’ll join you in the pool and you’ll sit with him in the serene space, sipping on a bottle of wine and enjoying the pizza he had ordered.
Up there, so high above Manhattan, it feels as if you have the whole world in the palm of your hand and you tell yourself that if this really is a dream, you never want to wake up from it.
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After that night, it isn’t uncommon for Jungkook to text or call you with equally vague messages, asking you to come over to this apartment only to embark on the utmost mundane things. Once, he calls you asking for your help and, when you rush to his apartment, he is debating which flavour ice cream he should bring out for yet another movie night you spend together. Another time, he calls you to accompany him on his walk with Gureum, or to help him buy groceries, or be his extra food critic when he decides to order takeout from a new restaurant.
Each time he calls or texts you, each time he asks you to rush over only for something minor, he ends up paying you in cheques and still spoils you with “little” gifts every now and then, like a watch one night, a pair of diamond earrings another, a shirt you had been eyeing at the store one day when he and you had passed by a boutique while walking Gureum. Though the money and gifts are, by no means, any less valuable or less cherished than they already are by you, your sudden time alone with Jungkook becomes something much more than just material pleasure. When it’s just you and him, curled up next to one another on his couch as you watch the flickering images of the movie play out before you, whether basking in the silence or laughing together until you cry, those moments become precious and sacred and you find yourself enjoying his company much more than his money or gifts.
Your relationship with him carries on like this for weeks upon weeks, until three months seem to pass, though it certainly doesn’t feel like it at all (especially when you are consumed with finishing school). The money he gives you, as well as the money you earn from both jobs you still work, is enough for you to keep paying your rent and your loans off, long after you’ve graduated from school (another celebration that Jungkook so graciously attends and earns strange looks from your friends and family when they see just how close the two of you are). As a gift for your graduation, Jungkook calls you late one evening when you are relaxing in a warm bubble bath. When you answer the call, cradling your phone between your ear and shoulder, he greets you with, “How do you feel about Italy?”
You quirk a brow. “It’s beautiful. I’ve always wanted to go there. Why are you asking?”
“Well, yes, it is quite beautiful,” he says. “But how do you feel about going to Italy? Say, tomorrow morning?”
You nearly drop your phone into the bath when you register his question. You sit up rather quickly, as if that will help steady you against the tremendous question. “Is it for a business thing?”
“Just an us thing,” he says. “To celebrate your graduation.”
He already knows your answer, as do you. Yet you still sputter over your words and then, with a sheepishly large smile plastered on your face, exclaim your approval of the spontaneous trip.
In the morning, Jungkook will come to pick you up in yet another chauffeured drive, much like it had been for the trip to Paris. This time he decides to take you to the Amalfi Coast, a coastal town in southern Italy. You land in Naples and rent a car from the airport (a Lamborghini, to be exact) which Jungkook and you take turns driving with the roof down, the wind in your hair. The narrow winding roads on the sides of the coastal cliff seem to be no match for the exhilarating speed of the car and much of the drive is spent soaking up the rays of the warm sun. The quaint town of the Amalfi Coast is built upon the sides of the steep cliff with small alleyways, cobblestoned streets, blossoming lemon trees, and colourful buildings that spiral down, down, down, to the rocky shores of the beach and the sparkling cerulean waters of the sea. The villa Jungkook rents has a luxurious view of the sea. It’s all shimmering white and ivory and cobalt blue detailings, all culminating in one magnificently breathtaking oasis.
The first day in the town is spent on the beach, and the evening is spent wandering about the streets with you in a sheer white and floral Zimmermann sundress courtesy of Jungkook, sipping on limoncello and eating dinner at an outdoor restaurant as the bright sky fades to night. The streets are just as lively as ever with tourists and distant music, the town glowing softly with its burning lights and candles against the starry sky, and everything is simply perfect. Whimsical. The next day is spent with Jungkook’s friends. You’ve seen them before in passing at other social events you have accompanied with Jungkook and, unbeknownst to you at the time, at the lounge when Jungkook and his friend had stumbled upon your talk with your manager. You come to learn that this same friend is Park Jimin, a wealthy man not much older than Jungkook himself, who is built upon old money and whose family owns a chain of successful global hotels and resorts. Jimin invites the pair of you to a day on his yacht out at sea with a few of his other closest friends.
The yacht itself is quite a spectacle, with three floors to it and a personal pool located on the deck, as well as a bar and a lounge area. You spend most of your time sipping on piña coladas and sunbathing in the glittering sun atop the deck, adorned in a Proenza Schouler black swimsuit and a wide-brimmed sun hat. Jungkook’s friends, you come to find, aren’t as insouciant as Jungkook himself but also aren’t as arrogant as the customers you have encountered at your work at the lounge back in Manhattan. Whatever the case, they are nice enough to invite you into their group and make certain you feel as welcome as you can. When Jimin decides to take the cabin cruiser for a spin around the sea, you stand at the bow of the deck, your hands clasped tightly on the back of your hat so as to keep it from flying away, and laugh spritely as Jimin speeds around in wide circles with the sea’s mist dusting across your face.
At some point, the cabin cruiser comes to a halt, softly rocking against the gentle current of the sea. Jimin is the first one to jump into the water, followed by yourself, and a few other of their friends. When Jungkook joins you in the shimmering ethereal blue waters, the smile on your face is irreplaceable and one that makes a similar grin form on his face. The cool water is a relief against your skin which had, up until that point, been warm with the sticky heat of the day. Jungkook is by your side in an instant, just a short distance away from the cruiser and his other friends. By the time he joins you, you’re positively beaming, bursting with joy, and entirely overwhelmed with appreciation for the kindness of Jungkook and the beauty of Italy.
“Enjoying yourself?” he asks humorously. Of course he doesn’t need an answer ━ not when you are so clearly content and at peace.
“Jungkook,” You sigh his name dreamily. “I’ve never been happier.”
He smiles gingerly. “I believe you.”
“I still don’t want you to think you’re making a mistake by spending all this money on someone like me,” You say.
He quirks a brow, examining your features as if to decipher your words, and squints past the sun.
“That’s still what you think?” he asks finally. “That I regret all the time we’ve been spending together? Because you’d be wrong. When I first asked you about all of this, I did it because I wanted to help you, because I like you. And all our time spent together since then… It’s been incredible.”
“You really mean that?” You ask timidly.
“Of course I do,” he says. “Look, when I’m with you, things feel different.”
“Is that a good thing?”
“Good. Definitely good.”
You catch his gaze on you and, despite all the money and glory he has to his name, he looks at you unlike he has looked to anything else before. As if you’re worth far more than all the gold jewelry and diamonds and pretty coastal towns and designer clothes he has ever seen. As if you’re the whole world and more, right in front of him, under the glittering Italian sun. His eyes then flicker from yours, down to your lips, and you certainly don’t miss it. There’s a tiny voice in the back of your mind that begs you desperately to kiss him. Maybe he’s feeling the same way because, slowly, your faces inch towards one another.
He comes so close, in fact, that you can feel his breath fanning against your neck, can smell the sea’s salt on his skin and the faded scent of his cologne. You come so close to one another that it, perhaps, becomes a little too dangerous. Before anything can happen, Jimin is calling out to the two of you and you both instantly freeze. Jungkook laughs almost sheepishly and you can’t help but join in. Still, even as the day unfolds and you become distracted with every other beautiful detail of the Amalfi Coast, you can’t help but wonder what would have happened had you and Jungkook not been interrupted by Jimin.
And, by the end of the night when you’ve both tucked in for the night in the villa, the realization dawns on you that you, quite possibly, are falling in love with Jungkook.
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Just when you believe things are going impeccably well, the bitterness of reality finally seems to settle in.
A few weeks after your stay in Italy, Jimin invites both Jungkook and you to a party he is hosting at his family hotel in Seoul. Most of the night unfurls smoothly, with you adorned magnificently in a cream-coloured Alexander Wang slip dress and Jungkook in a Saint Laurent dress shirt, lounging by the bar near the lobby of the hotel and sipping on martinis. Jimin’s hotel is full of a type of grandeur that resembles a palace with its elegant ornate decorations and ebony wood carvings. Seoul itself is as spectacular as ever, the metropolis towering around you and all illuminated by the city’s lights. Yet all of this and Jungkook still focuses only on you, his voice low and charming over the soft thump of music, and his eyes twinkling mischievously.
Some time during the night, Jimin begins chatting to you and Jungkook disappears. At first he is chatting to an old confidant but, when you turn to look at him the next time, you find him with another girl at the bar, seemingly flirting with her. Whatever the case, they appear to be rather cozy with one another, and though you know you have no warrant to be jealous, it still creeps upon you without warning and sabotages your night. You try to avert your attention, try to chat with Jungkook’s friends, and flirt with other rich entrepreneurs but nothing seems to distract you long enough ━ not until Jimin mentions something that grabs your attention.
“You know,” he muses pensively. He pauses to take a sip of his cognac and then says, “I’ll admit: I’m surprised you and Jungkook have lasted so long.”
“What do you mean?” You ask.
“Well, it’s not like you two are dating, right?” When you continue to stare up at Jimin with a dumbfounded expression, he continues. “The only reason Jungkook confronted you in the first place was because his parents were pissed at him. Something about him tarnishing their name by his ‘free’ lifestyle, if you will. They got mad at him and his rampaging bachelor ways, having flings with random strangers every other weekend in a foreign city. His parents are really stuck in their old-school mentality; they just don’t want Jungkook to drag the wrong kind of people into the family money and business. They would have even gone so far as to kick him from being CEO of their company.”
“They what?”
“Oh, yeah,” Jimin says. “Didn’t he tell you? That’s partly what the charity gala is for. His father doesn’t think Jungkook will be able to settle down anytime soon. He’s been under a lot of scrutiny. Jungkook was considerably worried there for a moment; I’ve never seen him like that before. I suggested he fall from the limelight for a bit but he thought he could fix all of this. I guess that’s where you came in. I didn’t think Jungkook would last long constantly being tied down but he’s certainly proved me wrong.”
He chuckles then, as if this whole thing was quite amusing to him. Though you aren’t quite sure how to react. You knew Jungkook wanted you to be his date at important social events for good publicity, but it never dawned on you that he could only be using you for his own sake. Maybe it didn’t mean anything. Maybe Jungkook had simply forgotten to tell you, but that just felt as if you are uselessly grasping at excuses. Either way, it slowly begins to dawn on you the whole ordeal of your relationship with Jungkook and, suddenly, you feel used.
You tell yourself Jimin’s words shouldn’t have meant anything anyway because it’s not as if you and Jungkook are dating but you can’t deny the fact that they leave a lasting impression on you. But that’s how it had all started, hadn’t it? Or maybe not. Jungkook had approached you on the basis of needing your company, but he had made it sound so simple ━ as if it was you who needed the help. And you can’t deny the hope you had felt building within you. Had everything Jungkook said to you been a lie? Every pretty word, telling you how great he had claimed it felt to be with you? Jimin’s words all culminate in one prominent thought which is that maybe Jungkook only really needed you long enough for the charity ball, simply so he could earn back his father’s trust and secure his spot in the company.
Whether it was one too many martinis or strawberry daiquiris or the lavish designer dress that suddenly feels too constricting on your body or the way Jungkook was so carelessly flirting with another girl, much like he had done before in Paris and even in Italy, you need to escape. Everything just seems so suffocating and ridiculous. But moreover, you are reminded by the sobering fact that this lifestyle you have suddenly surrounded yourself with is one you have mocked before. It’s one you have claimed you would never have the privilege of understanding, one that you never really yearned to be a part of if it was anything like the wealthy folk who inhabited the bar lounge you work at.
So, you decide to leave.
You aren’t quite certain your abrupt decision will do any good but suddenly all you crave is the comfort of your own home, however much it may pale in comparison to villas in Italy and luxurious hotels in Seoul. You don’t bother telling Jungkook. Instead, you send him a single text that warns him of your departure and inform Jimin who, in his drunken bliss, may or may not remember to tell Jungkook.
And somehow, after you are able to secure a flight back to New York within a few hours and are seated aboard the plane, you’re able to convince yourself that maybe Jungkook wouldn’t miss you anyway.
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Out of your own stubborn will, you begin to ignore Jungkook.
The day after you return to New York, you are greeted by a voicemail from Jungkook who asks curiously why you left. Then, when you don’t respond to that, he decides to send you various texts throughout the week that continue to ask if anything happened, if you’re doing okay, if you’re mad at him. At some point he sends you a text asking if you can come to his place and you decide to respond with a short and cold text simply saying you’re too busy. You don’t know exactly what you expect from pushing Jungkook away. Maybe you had imagined he would forget you altogether and you could casually slip back into the real world that you had lived before meeting Jungkook. Of course that isn’t the case. Jungkook knows something is wrong; he knows that you’re angry but he has no means of knowing why you’re mad at him. Yet he refuses to stop trying to contact you.
It starts with a grand bouquet of saffron crocuses surrounded by Casablanca lilies and gardenias. It first appears at the bar lounge, a massive and beautiful arrangement of flowers encased in a crystal clear vase taking up most of the space of the bar counter which doesn’t exactly please Namjoon. A single card is tucked amongst the petals of the flowers, your name printed in pretty script. It doesn’t say who it’s from but you don’t need to know the name to understand. You decide to leave it at the bar, much to Namjoon’s dismay. The next week, you answer a knock at your door and are greeted to a personal delivery of a small neatly wrapped package that is revealed to be a rose gold Cartier bracelet encrusted with diamonds. You tell the delivery man at the door to return it. The week after that, you answer the front door once more and come face to face with delivery men placing a dozen bouquets of red roses around your apartment. This time you are forced to keep them, and stare at them distantly as they overwhelm your small kitchen in a wild secret garden.
The same week of the gift of the plethora of roses is also the same week of Jungkook’s charity gala. You try to convince yourself to stay home but you can’t not go. Even if Jungkook was possibly using you to his own benefit, it would be a shame if your missing self was indirectly one of the factors that caused Jungkook’s father to change his mind. Besides, it is the least you can do for the man after he had showered you with attention and materialistic pleasure, even if none of it really mattered to him. Your invitation to the gala still stands, that much you know, and the dress Jungkook had bought for you weeks ago is still hanging on the back of your bedroom door. It is a long, A-line Zuhair Murad gown with a plunging neckline, and the tulle and fabric of which is made of a light blush colour. It’s encrusted with sparkling swarovskis where they cluster mostly at the bodice and then trail along the rest of the skirt like falling stars. It’s a breathtaking, elegant piece, and you tell yourself that it is the sole reason why you ultimately decide to go to the gala because it really would be a shame to never wear the dress out.
When you finally do arrive at the gala, it is at Pier 15 in Lower Manhattan. The party itself is on a grand luxury yacht and the duration of the gala is meant to take place sailing around the harbor once night has fallen. As it rests docked by the pier, the yacht is already crowded with various elites and socialites and certain celebrities as the stragglers still trickle in. The party is well on its way, with the guests mingling with one another, enjoying hor d’oeuvres and champagne out of crystal flute glasses, as a live band, somewhere, plays smooth jazz music. You spot Jungkook before he notices you, looking handsome in another Armani suit, standing at the front of the bow of the deck and greeting newcomers. Beside him stands an older woman and man dressed impeccably, both of whom share a striking resemblance to Jungkook. Though you have never met them before, you assume they are his parents. You approach them shyly, with your back straight and your head held high. Jungkook notices you first and his eyes widen in surprise, his jaw unhinging open (partly because it feels as if he hasn’t seen you in months, but mostly because of how divine you look).
“Y/N!” Your name slips past Jungkook’s mouth in an exclamation before he can bite it back. He moves forward as if preparing to walk up to you but he has to hold himself back. He doesn’t miss the way you desperately try to avoid his stare, or the way you stand rigidly beside him.
“I’m sorry I’m late,” You apologize, though you say it mostly for the act you are putting on for his parents. “I got caught up at work and the traffic was horrid.”
“Oh, that’s certainly alright,” The woman says brightly. “You must be Y/N.”
“We’ve heard plenty about you from our son,” The man chuckles to himself. “I was wondering when we would have the pleasure of meeting you.”
Jungkook, who is still in a state of shock, opens and clamps his mouth shut repeatedly, frantically trying to grasp onto a proper train of thought. Eventually, he snaps from his daze and nods towards you. For the sake of the act, he places his hand on your back between your shoulder blades rather than the small of your back he had grown quite acquainted with.
“Mom, dad, meet Y/N,” he introduces. “Y/N, meet my parents.”
You shake their hands in a firm grip and nod politely, tight-lipped, when they introduce their names to you. Soon after, when the sun has dipped below the horizon, the boat takes off on its slow journey around the harbor and the party begins. While Jungkook mingles with his guests, you saunter off to the bar where you concede you will be spending most of your night. A few of Jungkook’s friends are there whom you remember from Italy and so you chat with them if only to pass the time. Fortunately Jungkook is much too busy to find a moment to come up to you. In fact, the only time you are around Jungkook is when he begins his speech to the partygoers at the gala on the deck of the ship. A handful of hours later, the boat docks by the pier once more and, while the party continues to unfurl within the yacht, you decide to venture home.
You have only made it off the yacht and onto the pier when you are forced to come to an abrupt halt. Because there, rushing off the ramp connected to the deck, and hopping down onto the pier in a hurry to catch you with a call of your name, is Jungkook. Truthfully, you had been hoping to escape the party without him noticing; meanwhile, Jungkook, who had been subject to a dull conversation about stocks with an old business partner of his father’s, was hoping he would find you once he managed to break free from the party. Yet now that he has you within his grasps, his words fall short. He stares at you curiously, perhaps a little confused as his brows knit together at the sight of you. There’s a dozen things he wants to ask you, and a dozen more things he wants to tell you, but he can’t.
Instead, he asks, “Where are you going?”
“Home,” You reply. Behind Jungkook, the ensuing party can be heard ━ an amass of sound ranging from regal laughter to soft music. Behind you, and out towards the city, you can hear the sound of passing citizens and tourists, the whizzing of cars and the wailing of a siren. “You don’t need me anymore. Your parents are gone. They looked pleased. You can clearly go have fun now. Maybe go back to that girl who was eyeing you at the bar.”
Jungkook, staring at you with a dumbfounded expression, asks the first thing that pops into his mind that seems the most logical. “Have you been drinking?”
You simply shake your head, though Jungkook has an unnerving feeling that it is more of an act of scrutiny towards him and not an answer to his question. It’s Jungkook’s fault anyway; he wants to talk to you, but he can’t seem to formulate his thoughts into words.
“Just go back to the party, Jungkook,” You sigh.
“I don’t want to,” he says with a frown. He takes a step towards you and pauses. “I want to stay with you.”
When you don’t respond, he pushes himself forward once more. He doesn’t stop until he is standing right before you, where he so very carefully takes your right hand in his. It’s a small action but it’s enough to make your heart swoon. He glances up, makes sure he catches your wandering stare with his.
“Come home with me,” he says. “Whatever’s happening… We can talk it out. Don’t you want to?”
You do. You want to tell him the truth but your stubborn mind warns you to be wary and the small fact that you feel as if you can’t trust Jungkook anymore is enough to make you wince. Perhaps he can sense your hesitation, or notices the way you flinch because he squeezes your hand just enough. And maybe it’s the way his deep carob eyes pour deeply into yours, or the proximity between your two beating hearts, or the way he holds your hand that makes you cave. You tell yourself, much like you had at the start of all this, that just once more wouldn’t hurt. That maybe he’ll finally answer all your questions or that maybe you’ll learn to forget everything you had heard and let Jungkook spoil you with riches.
So, when you nod your confirmation to Jungkook, you not only startle him, but yourself too. He abandons his dwindling party on the fancy yacht for you. He calls for a chauffeur and drives with you in a tense silence back to his home. The perverse silence follows you even as you clamber out of the car, into the apartment’s lobby, and during the elevator ride to the penthouse. When you finally make it to his home, you are disappointed to feel nothing. You don’t know how long you’re in his apartment for, though it really isn’t for that long.
You’ve kicked off your heels and have wandered over to the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room just as he’s shed his suit jacket and tossed it somewhere on one of the couches. He asks if you want something to drink ━ such a mundane question for your relationship with Jungkook, but what else could he ask you at a time like this? He just wants to know what has been plaguing your mind long enough to drive yourself away from him ━ but you only shake your head. Your arms are wound protectively over your chest and, as you eye the illuminated city down below, you are overcome with the feeling of shame and embarrassment. And all because of one sole thought that reminds you: you don’t belong here. Here in this luxurious dress, here in this luxurious penthouse, here with such a luxurious man.
As if that is the cataclystic thought you need, you turn around on one pointed heel and shake your head. “Maybe I shouldn’t have come here tonight. This was a mistake.”
You’re halfway to the door when Jungkook stops you by speaking up.
“Do you mean coming here tonight was a mistake?” he asks. “Or are you really trying to tell me that you think we’re a mistake?”
“There isn’t even a we,” You retort. When you turn to face him, his brows are pinched together in a scowl.
“What has been up with you lately?” he asks. Though his words may sound hostile, his voice is a gentle plea. “You’re mad, aren’t you? Well, what did I do?”
When you don’t respond, he decides to continue on.
“Didn’t you get my gifts?” he asks. “They were the only way I could reach you to apologize. Did you not like them? Because if that’s the case, just say the word, and I’ll buy you anything you want. Just━”
“That’s not it, Jungkook.”
“Then what is it?” His words are a little more vexed than usual. When he realizes this, he pauses and takes a deep breath. Then, running a hand through his perfectly parted hair, he continues on. “I can’t know what the problem is when you won’t tell me what’s bothering you ━ when you keep pushing me away. But I’m trying my hardest to please you. I just need you to talk to me.”
“So you thought the gifts would work?” You ask. When your eyes settle on him, they’re narrowed into a glare. “Did you━ what? Think you could just buy my attention back? Or buy my love? I’m sorry if it came across that way but I’m not another one of your cheap fucks. I’m not going to come crawling back to you just for your money. I just━ I’ve had enough of all of this! It’s so stupid! I feel so ridiculous.”
You raise your hands in the air in a sign of defeat, though really you are bitterly gesturing to the pretty dress adorning your curves and sigh. Cautiously, Jungkook takes another step towards you. “Y/N, please just tell me what’s wrong.”
“Did you even really care about me?”
The question is so abrupt that it catches him off guard. He takes a moment to respond, noting the way you wrap your arms protectively over your chest.
“What are you talking about?” he asks wearily.
“This whole deal between us,” You say. “You just needed a perfect cover so you could impress your parents, right? Secure your spot as CEO so you wouldn’t lose all your money? And might as well get some bonus points for deciding to ‘settle’ down with a poor girl while you’re at it, right? Was that all that I was to you? A cover and the charity case?”
You assume by the way his eyes widen with apprehension and the way his lips are pulled in a thin line that you must be right. He opens his mouth to speak, then closes it, his words stammering in his mind.
“How did you know?” he asks.
“So it’s true?” You ask sourly.
“No. I mean, yes. It’s half true,” he says. Then he shakes his head sullenly. “It was Jimin who told you, wasn’t it?”
“What does it matter?” You retort. “The point is, I’m right. You were just using me the whole time. I bet, on all these fancy excursions you took me on, you and your friends would laugh about it and me. You know, I knew you were rich but I didn’t take you for an asshole too.”
“No!” he exhales sharply, as if he has just felt a horrendous pang of pain in his chest. “I mean, you’re right about my parents and about the CEO position, but everything else is wrong.”
Clearly, you don’t look amused. Your patience is wearing thin, and the way you stare up at him as if he is some stranger altogether makes his chest and throat swell.
“I made a mistake. I’m sorry, okay? I should have told you from the beginning,” he sighs. “They were mad at me ━ my parents. They thought I wasn’t taking the position as CEO seriously enough and they would have taken it away from me. But it wasn’t the fear of losing the money that made me feel ashamed of it all. It was the fact that I had disappointed my parents, and I wanted to make things right. I wanted to show them I was responsible enough to take on the company. I wanted them to trust me.”
“So you had to use me?”
“No!” he shakes his head furiously. “Look… All the business dinners and social events I took you to over these past few months ━ I’d have gone to them all even if you weren’t by my side. The first dinner in Paris I took you to ━ I told you I needed a date to impress those associates and it worked. My parents heard about how well it went and they kept praising you, even though they hadn’t met you. For once they didn’t look so disappointed with me. Having you by my side was just a plus. I wasn’t really using you; you just came at the right time so we could both benefit from this deal between us. But when I first approached you at the lounge, it wasn’t about all of this. It was about you. Because I had seen you there before and because I overheard how you were scared you would get kicked out of your apartment. I wanted to help you because I like you, not because I thought you were a charity case or whatever you think it was. It was because I genuinely wanted to get closer to you. And what I said to you in Italy? I meant it. I meant everything.”
You’re gnawing on your lower lip anxiously, watching him carefully. You haven’t realized that he has slowly been inching closer to you until then. You ask quietly, maybe a little tiredly, “But what do I really mean to you, Jungkook? Pretty words mean one thing but… It’s just been months since this whole thing started and nothing’s ever happened between us and I always see you with pretty girls but I can’t be the only one feeling different. I mean, even in Italy ━ you can’t tell me we weren’t going to kiss but then you turned away and━”
You’re cut off abruptly with a kiss on your mouth, his mouth silencing your own mouth with an unbreakable seam of your lips. It catches you completely off guard but it reminds you so suddenly of all your harbored feelings towards him. The kiss is hard, fast, feverish and it happens all at once that you barely have time to register anything else before you’re parting from with him a loud pop! of your lips. You’re gawking up at him with wide eyes and an ajar mouth, lips swollen red, and breathing fast when a sudden realization dawns on you. All the magic you had felt in Paris and Italy, the dreamlike state of mind you had endured these past few months ━ most of it had been because of Jungkook. Because when you’re around Jungkook, no matter the lavish place or foreign city or pretty beach, everything feels, simply, like magic. Jungkook’s reaction is similar to yours but then it softens into something more cordial. His eyes sweep over your face softly and his hand comes up to rest gingerly upon your cheek.
“You mean the world to me,” he whispers. “And I mean that. I haven’t felt this different in such a long time. These past few months that we’ve spent together, whether it being at boring dinner parties or walking Gureum or having a movie night, it’s meant so much to me. You mean so much to me. No one else matters. No one else compares to you. Fancy cars and Italy and Paris can’t even compare to you. And I’ve never felt so━ so me and so comfortable than when I’m around you. I’m just so thankful you even gave me a chance in the first place━”
This time it is you who silences him again with another short kiss, his words exciting you all too suddenly that you think you aren’t possibly able to contain it. You part from him moments later only to mumble against his lips, “Keep kissing me, please.”
It earns a soft chuckle against your lips but Jungkook doesn’t relent. How can he ever deny such an idea when the taste of your lips is so heavenly? The soft flesh of your upper lip wedged so perfectly between his teeth, the way you sigh with delight against his mouth as the kiss progresses, the way the touch and feel of your lips ignites something so foreign, so lovely, in the very core of his heart, in his bones, exploding with each passing second behind his shut eyelids and at the tips of his fingers. He enjoys it too much to find any reason to stop and, instantaneously, his insatiable hunger for you is coming to light. His eager lips part from yours to nip and suck at your jawline and neck and it earns a beautiful gasp from you, your hands flying out to grasp onto his biceps.
“Let me take care of you tonight, baby girl,” he hums. “It’ll be all about you. I’ll show you just how much you mean to me.”
It’s the way he is whispering his words, deep and husky, that sends shivers down your spine. You curl into his chest instinctively and crane your neck, as if silently begging him for more. You can feel his lips ghost along your jugular as you try to speak next and it is enough to make you flustered and, thus, makes you give up on any attempt to communicate verbally without sounding like a fool. Instead, as if to show him your interest, you catch his lips with yours once more and kiss him eagerly. It makes Jungkook smile and suppress his chuckles as he sees just how desperate you are and, fuck, he finds it incredibly hot. In the next moment, you’re burrowing your face into his neck, your tongue laving circles at his jugular.
“Just as long as you get me out of this stupid dress,” You mumble against his throat.
He laughs lightly and you can’t help the giggle that bubbles at your lips. He grabs onto your waist then and pushes you around until he has your back pressed up against the nearest wall. He leans in against you and replaces your efforts by littering love bites along your neck and down to your collarbone. Your breath hitches in your throat and your hand immediately comes up to allow your fingers to thread in his hair and grasp at something, anything. You’re bristling with excitement as you hold your head higher, lips curling into a smirk. He hums into your neck and then he’s greedily reaching for the zipper of your dress, tugging it down.
As soon as he has the dress unzipped, he watches as you begin to shimmy your way out of the material, tugging it down your torso and then legs and Jungkook makes sure he doesn’t miss one single second of it or the white lace underwear you wear, the perfect perk of your breasts bare. It’s then that Jungkook realizes this isn’t all an elaborate dream in his head; that this is real life, and that you’re opening yourself up completely to him. As soon as you’re stepping out of the dress, Jungkook can’t help but reach out to grab onto your hips and yank you toward him, sighing into your hair, “Fuck, you’re gorgeous.”
Jungkook doesn’t seem to notice the way your own hands snake up his chest to pop open the first few buttons of his dress shirt. Instead, he is much too busy on peppering kisses along your neck and shoulders, down to your collarbones, and back up again, marking you red and purple. It’s then that he starts pulling you with him as he takes quick yet careful strides backwards to the flight of stairs. It’s messy and frantic and results in a lot of time spent pressed up against walls and the railing of the stairs along the way to the second floor, greedy hands and lips unwilling to part from one another. By the time you’ve made it to his bedroom, you’ve somehow managed to unbutton his entire shirt which now hangs open against his chest and your hands selfishly run up and down his exposed skin. Once in his bedroom, he shoves you up against one of the ceiling-to-floor windows that line the wall facing his bed, his lips still attached to your neck, and one of your legs thrown haphazardly around his hips, pressing him into you.
You can feel the bulge in his pants and his restrained member poking against your inner thigh and it is what pushes you to give an experimental roll of your hips against his. A rather loud moan falls from your lips at the abrupt contact against your throbbing core and suddenly you need more. You catch his lips on yours and he decides to take the liberty of grinding against you in such agonizing slow circles that it has both of you going absolutely insane but you want to take the time to enjoy every single second of this. His hands grasp at your hips, pushing you further and further up against the window. When he parts from you in the next moment, it is with a fleeting sweep of his hungry gaze down the front of your body, his fingertips dancing faintly along your arms and sides.
He presses one last lingering kiss to your lips and then leaves a trail down your throat, between the valley of your breasts (which he gluttonously grasps at, his thumb swiping over one of your perked bugs), and to your navel. He’s on his knees by the time he’s hovering over your hips, and the leg that had been carelessly wound around his waist now rests upon his shoulder. He plants a kiss on the skin just between your hip bones, just above your panties, and surely he understands your need. His seemingly unencumbered expression is maddening. His fingers dig into your hips and hours seem to pass as you wait for him to touch the one place he neglects. A needy whimper falls from your parted lips that sounds akin to a desperate beg of, “Please, Jungkook. I need you.”
“Shh, baby girl, have patience,” he rasps. “I’m going to treat you just right.”
His promise rouses you and makes you stifle your childlike whines, though your patience is beginning to wear thin. His fingers hook around the lace material of your panties and he slowly drags them down your legs, enjoying the way you bite down on your lower lip in anticipation and watch him with hooded eyes. His eyes take in your soft glistening cunt and he sighs in admiration. Then his tongue makes contact with your clit and a small squeak rips from your throat, your hips immediately bucking forward. He doesn’t seem to mind, though, and if anything moans in delight at the taste of your cum on his tongue. He runs the wet muscle down your folds and back up, swirling slow circles against your bundle of nerves, feeling just how wet you are for him, tasting just how wet you are, and the new sensation hits you all at once, leaving your jaw hanging open. He smirks at your reaction, his tongue continuing its ministration as you’re certain he can feel your arousal grow.
“Jungkook,” You sigh, your hands twisting in his hair. “Ah, th━that feels so good━ Oh!”
The sudden gasp that tears from your throat is a result of his finger pressing against your folds. He runs his digit along your skin, coaxing it perfectly in your sticky succulence that sends a sudden shock of euphoria spiralling all over your body. As he busies himself with swirling his tongue around your sensitive clit, his lips suction perfectly around the skin and he sucks, hard, and his finger slides past your slick folds, earning a cry of delight from you. His finger curls within you and begins pumping in and out of you at a gradual pace but it, mixed with his tongue pressed against your clit, is enough to send you whirling out of control. Your legs are suddenly shaking and, had your leg not been supported by his shoulder, you fear that your knees may have buckled under the pressure
“Ah, Jungkook!” You gasp in a trembling breath. “F━Fuck, nghn━”
The sound is simply divine and Jungkook selfishly wants to hear more. He basks in the way you clench around him, the way you whimper and writhe. Soon he is picking up pace, pumping his finger in you with a reckless abandon and sucking hard at your clit, and it’s almost shameless how fast your sweet release hits you. You’re tumbling over the edge soon after, hips bucking back and forth into his mouth as you chase after your high. Jungkook joins his tongue with his fingers and starts lapping at your walls like he’s eating a full course meal and the new sensation suddenly has you howling.
“Jungkook!” You cry. “Jungkook, I’m━”
You hear him, feel him, hum against your core before it turns into a beautiful moan. He burrows deeper into you, his nose brushing against your clit, eager to carry you to your high, and he does so with ease. As soon as you feel your high rapidly approaching, you let go of all sense of control and welcome it with wide open arms. You’re hit with waves of intense pleasure as you release onto Jungkook’s tongue and finger and, fuck, the sight is even hotter than he could have imagined. He hurries to help you ride out your high, gasps and moans ripping from your throat in a messy cacophony, your hips writhing beneath him. He relents at once when you start to whimper at the oversensitivity and pulls apart, glancing up at you with a glistening mouth, his lips and chin coated with you. He licks at every inch of his face that is shimmering and moans in content.
“Fuck, you taste amazing,” he gasps, his eyes flickering up your dishevelled appearance.
You’re breathing hard, chest rising and falling, and your teeth have bitten down so hard on your lower lip that the flesh is almost swollen. He leans down once more to kiss the inside of your thigh gently and looks up at you through his long lashes. You’re still gasping for air when your hands start tugging at him, trying desperately to pull him back up to you, and he allows you to. When his face is hovering right above yours, you smash your lips hungrily against his for a messy and heated kiss. He grins against your mouth, seemingly enjoying the way you’re biting at his lips, tasting your own cum on the tip of his tongue.
“Tell me what you need from me,” he whispers between your kisses. “What do you want?”
“You,” You gasp. “All of you, fuck. I need you so bad. I’m so wet for you right now; I need you to fuck me.”
His grin shifts into a sly smirk as he hears your pleading whines and he kisses you harder. “Anything for you, baby girl.”
He lets you tackle his neck with harsh kisses and lets your digits trace down his torso to the belt on his pants. You’ve only so much as pushed his pants and boxers down his thighs when both of you grow impatient. His cock pulses, tip angry and red and leaking with milky pre-cum, and you lick your lips at the sight, unable to contain yourself. Your hands reach for his length instantly, fingers brushing against his tip before wrapping firmly around his base. His breath hitches in his throat as you start pumping him, gliding your hand slowly up and down his length, your eyes fixated only on him.
“Fuck,” he grunts abruptly. “Baby girl━”
He pauses and hisses through clenched teeth as you continue. He doesn’t at all expect you to start pleasuring him but he doesn’t mind. In fact, he is carried away as you continue to work your hands against him, jerking him off in just the right pace that he isn’t able to hold himself back. He would have been fine coming right in your perfect hands but he needs more first before he is able to let himself fully go. He struggles to find his words as you begin to quicken your pace, sputtering for air helplessly. He squeezes his eyes shut, gulping hard and trying to focus his attention away from the exaltation he’s receiving.
“Ah, s━slow down, angel,” he breathes. It nearly pains him to pry your hands off of him and when you look at him with those innocent puppy dog eyes, he has to refrain from letting go right then and there.
“What’s wrong?” You ask. “I thought you were enjoying that.”
“No━ I mean, fuck, yes, I was,” he stammers. “But I’m trying not to come undone before I’m filling you up. Fuck, I just need to be in you right now.”
“Then fuck me,” You say boldly. “I’m all yours.”
The words seem to spark a glint in his eyes that entices him to move next. One hand grips at your thigh and lifts it onto his waist, while his other hand pumps himself slowly. Your mewls of euphoria hit his ears in a ringing melody and he waits, patiently, watching as you quiver beneath him, moaning once more. Your teeth sink into your lower lip as you’re held in suspense, waiting for the heavenly contact. When it happens, when you finally feel the tip of his cock push past your folds, your jaw drops open in a silent gap. He pauses then, grunting and hissing as he adjusts to your warmth, before he’s pushing himself into you once more, slowly. He’s perfectly thick, fitting snugly in your core, letting you feel him stretch you open inch by glorious inch. It’s too much for you to handle now, and you can’t help the moan that escapes you.
“Fuck,” You whimper, head lolling back against the windowpane. “Fuck━ I━ I━”
“You’re so wet,” Jungkook grunts. “Shit, you feel amazing.”
You whimper in response and he pushes himself into you the rest of the way until he’s finally buried hilt deep within you. He pauses again, letting you both adjust to the newfound sensation.  He almost collapses against you as he pushes himself deeper into you, grinding against you in slow motions that have your head spinning. He pulls back after a while in one languid stride until only his tip is left buried in your folds before thrusting back into you with enough force to send you tottering forward. He adapts a leisurely pace of thrusting in and out of you so that you can feel him stretch you open all the way until it feels like he’s in the very back of your throat before pulling out and it drives you mad. As your arms wrap around his neck, one of his hands digs into your hips, and the other dances up the front of your chest. It first grasps at one of your breasts, his warm palm wrapping so perfectly around it, before his fingers stretch out amongst your neck.
Favouring a more suitable position, Jungkook comes to one stimulating halt when he thrusts up into you one final time. Momentarily you’re taken from your reverie when he pulls his dripping cock from your folds. Instead, he turns you around and you so easily oblige. He yanks your hips towards him, your ass pressing up firmly against his hips, and then he pushes himself into you once more. Your hands brace yourself as you plant them firmly on the window before you. From this angle, you can see the dazzling lights of the city, and though you know it isn’t possible from this high up, you wonder if any passersby far down below on the streets can see you and Jungkook in such a lewd setting. This time, his pace is fast and precise, his hips angling just right to thrust his cock into you in just the right spot.
“Fuck, baby girl,” he rasps. “Moan for me. Let me hear you.”
There is an internal battle to find your voice, being condemned silent due to the ecstasy that clouds your mind and blocks you from thinking or saying anything reasonable. You swallow hard, all senses focused on the way he’s thrusting into you, picking up speed, the sound of skin against skin and vulgar wet slaps each time he sinks deeper into you. The only way you can describe it is akin to feeling your head being set ablaze and sending it’s flickering flames all over your body and make the dazzling lights of the city blur in with the stars. When he thrusts into you the next time, he is suddenly hitting an angle that has something erupting in you and has you plummeting forward, jaw ripping open. You cry out as you flail forward, your hands slipping from their hold against the window.
“A━Ah, f━fuck,” You hiss. “Jungkook! J━Jungkook━ I’m━”
Your voice is drowned out by another loud moan and the sound is so angelic, so clear, that Jungkook yearns to hear more. He pulls your waist closer to him because there is no way you can find the strength to prop yourself up any longer when it just feels so amazing. His movements become more erratic, messy as he fumbles for your high and his. His warm fingers continue to tug at your ass, your waist, anything to hold you closer to him. But soon even he can’t hold himself together. With the way you clench so tightly around him, he begins sputtering for air. Soon, he has you pressed shamelessly all the way against the window, your cheek laying flat against the cool glass, and his own chest lays taut against your back. His self-indulgent hands snake around your front and push apart your thighs so that he can rub the heel of his palm against your clit. That, mixed with his teeth sinking absentmindedly into your shoulder, and the feeling of his twitching cock buried deep within your core is enough to have you a moaning and whimpering mess.
When he pulls out of you this time, it is to pull you back towards the king-sized bed. In the process, you help him kick off the stubborn remaining material of his pants. He’s only managed to make it as far being seated at the edge of the bed, with you straddling his hips and sitting prettily in his lap, when you eagerly reach down to run his length along your folds. Jungkook is too caught up in the pleasure to even bother to stop you, watching as you grip his shoulders tightly, and ride him in his lap with a reckless abandon. Your actions are desperate, eager. He wraps his arms around your waist, holding you tightly against him, and all you can hear is the vulgar wet sound of his length slipping in and out. It’s disorganized, frantic, desperate, hot, as both of you chase your highs. It hits you first after already being spent from your first orgasm, as if you had just ran straight into a brick wall, and has you completely unprepared. It starts at your core and sparks outward, like electricity flowing through your veins and bones. Your stomach unravels at the feeling, your core tightening around his length and the tight confinement has Jungkook moaning and wheezing for air.
“Jungkook!” You cry. “Fuck!”
You reach your high moments later, coming around his length and coating every inch of him in your sweet release as it leaks out of you, chanting his name over and over again in a beautiful mantra that he finds himself indulging in. The way your high overwhelms your senses has you seeing stars, your head spinning, as your body writhes in his ironclad hold. Jungkook nearly collapses against you at the feeling of your kegel muscles flexing around him, his hands pawing at your back in an attempt to keep a hold on reality. It’s the way your orgasm seems to hit you that has your core pulsating around him, even as you try to come down from your high only to feel the pleasurable ache that is his hard cock buried deep within you. He pulls out then, far too quickly for your liking, but he fumbles to gingerly push you over and you follow suit until you’re laying on your back. He takes no time to position himself back over his entrance, kneeling between your legs, and pushes himself into you once more with a wet squelch. You’re met with a feeling of oversensitivity, but you buck your hips forward, probing him to his release.
“Ah, Jungkook,” You whimper. “Mmm, come for me, baby.”
Your indigent hands tug at his arms, his torso, anything in your reach to have him closer to you and he happily obliges, propping himself up with his elbows. He combs your hair away from your face and kisses your lips tenderly. He pulls his length out of you only to slam his hips back in and rattling you to the bone. You squeak involuntarily, your mouth peppering his jawline and neck with love bites. His thrusts are still quick, desperate almost, as he lusts for his release. The tenderness in your core met with his hard pumps have you sinking your teeth down into his shoulder and he hisses. His hand finds your chin then and he delicately pulls you apart from him before making you face him.
“Keep looking at me, baby girl, okay?” he rasps before cursing under his breath.
You nod meekly, finding solace in gnawing on your lower lip as your eyes make contact with his. The sight has Jungkook nearly coming then and there and how can he not when your hooded eyes are fixated on him, sleepy and innocent, completely fucked out, and you’re sucking hard on your lip. Jungkook has a similar look of exhaustion painted on his face, his eyebrows scrunched together in hard concentration and his lips parting ever so slightly for you to see his gritting teeth. Beads of sweat form on his forehead and yours and suddenly the room is stifling hot, warming your face and body completely. Soon, the oversensitivity you feel soothes into something softer, more pleasurable, and it doesn’t affect you nearly as much. You jut your hips forward then, urging him on and he moans.
“Y/N━ Oh, shit━”
A whimper falls from Jungkook’s lips and it’s so surprising, so hot, that you nearly come again. He’s picking up his pace, snapping his hips messily into yours. He comes only moments later, finally reaching his perfect bliss, and it has him plummeting his hips once more into yours before he’s releasing his hot sticky seed into you. The room is filled with both of your moans, mixed with his breathy groans of your name. His weight gives out beneath him and he falls on top of you though he rocks his hips into yours tiredly to ride out his high until he is finally at peace, boneless from within you. Once he has calmed down from his high, he slumps fully against your chest, his face buried in your collarbone, and the room finally goes silent.
All that fills the air is the sound of both of your wheezing pants and your shrilly beating heart that you are certain even Jungkook can hear. The room is warm, the smell of sex stale in the air, but there is a sheen of pure white elatedness that has you sighing in content. Your fingers rake through Jungkook’s sweaty hair and the silence, with the added warmth of his body laying over yours, almost lulls you to sleep. You’re drifting in and out of consciousness when Jungkook presses his lips to your collarbone and then lifts his head to kiss your own lips. Your eyes flicker open then and you find him smiling down at you and the sight is so radiating, so ardent, that you can’t help but mirror it tiredly. He pulls out of you then and you hiss at the sudden emptiness and the way his milky cum leaks out of you and down your thighs. He stands to his feet, tossing on his underwear, before leaning down to whisper, “I’ll be right back, baby girl, don’t worry.”
He disappears out the room but you don’t know where until he returns a minute later with a damp cloth in hand. He climbs the bed next to you and then he begins to gently wipe at your core with the cloth, making you hum in satisfaction. He finds you smiling at him when he finally looks back up at you and quirks a brow, tilting his head to the side.
“What?” he asks.
“Oh, nothing,” You chuckle lightly, though you’re certain he knows his gentle gestures have your heart bursting with joy. “Come here.”
He does as you say, reclining back on the bed and opening his arms to invite you in. You wiggle closer to his body until you’re pressed up against his side, your head nuzzling into his chest; his own arm wraps around your waist and his other hand lets his fingers run up and down your spine in comforting circles. That, and the sound of his gently thudding heart, is what carries you to sleep that night.
When you awake in the morning, it is to the coarse and wet tongue of Gureum lapping at your cheek. The shimmering sunlight drifts in through Jungkook’s shut blinds and dusts your body in a golden light and heat. It, and Gureum, rouses you back to reality and has you giggling sleepily as you see the small white dog perched up next to you on the bed. Your reach for him to scratch behind his ears as your eyes focus on Jungkook laying just beyond the dog. He’s already awake, gazing up at you with dreary eyes and a soft smile.
“Good morning,” You yawn.
“Morning,” he replies.
He kisses your forehead and you smile once more, folding into him as you hug Gureum close to you. It’s silent again after that and it feels so strange to have everything feel so normal. To be cuddling with Jungkook and his dog in his bed with him after a night of making love, and it is almost as if you were supposed to be there from the very beginning. It was comfortable, it was simple, it was easy ━ and you loved every single second of it. His hand finds yours and your fingers lace together flawlessly and you’re so content with falling back asleep that you nearly miss Jungkook when he speaks next.
“Do you remember what I said to you at the lounge when I first brought up this whole thing?” he asks.
It takes you a moment to think back to that day which seems so far away. His gaze is fixated on your clasped hands but you’re already staring at him.
“The rules?”
He nods slowly. “Do you remember how I said we shouldn’t fall in love?”
You can already sense where the conversation is going and it has your throat swelling, your heart pounding in your chest. “Yes.”
Jungkook finally looks at you, his dark chocolate eyes locking with your own pupils. “Well,” he trails off. “I’m pretty sure I broke that rule because I’m falling in love with you.”
His confession startles you completely, hitting you all at once. You gasp in response, eyes widening in surprise, and you can only hope he isn’t able to hear the frantic beating of your heart.
“When did you break it?”
That is all you can muster, but it doesn’t seem to disappoint Jungkook. He smiles sheepishly, his eyes flickering up to the ceiling.
“Would you call me insane if I said that very night at the lounge?” he asks.
“No,” You reply, catching his attention once more. “Because I’m fairly certain that’s when I started falling for you, too.”
Jungkook’s face begins to light up and it is the first time you have seen him as happily genuine as he is there. His smile radiates the same warmth and glory of the sun and he watches you in a shimmering lovelight as you look away, face flushing, and fingers tracing patterns on his bare chest.
“Can we make another deal?” You ask faintly.
“Of course, anything,” he says.
“Can we━ Can we give us a try?” You inquire.
Jungkook laughs. “You didn’t have to ask. I thought it was already a given that we would give us a try after we said we both have feelings for each other.”
You smile again and look up at him. “But there’s more.”
“What is it, baby girl?”
“I just━” You pause and then push yourself over onto your stomach from beneath the soft sheets. Gureum skips over to the edge of the bed and sits at the very end of your feet. “I want to give us a try without your money getting in the way. I mean, I don’t need you ━ or want you ━ to pay for me to be by your side. I want this to be real and genuine.”
“Of course,” he complies. “This is just you and me now. But, that being said, I’m still obligated to spoil my baby girl rotten every now and then with gifts and there’s nothing you can do to stop me. You still deserve to be treated like a princess.”
You can’t help but laugh, shaking your head at him. You kiss him once more, short and quick, and mumble against his lips a very faint, “Deal. But, on one condition.”
“Go on,” he hums.
“You let me take you out on a coffee date today and let me pay for the both of us this time with my own money,” You say.
Jungkook grins wide and nods enthusiastically. “That sounds perfect. Anything you want, I’ll do.”
You find it hard to look away from Jungkook after that, and you’re certain you find yourself falling even more in love with him then. His golden tan illuminates under the glittering sunlight and you want nothing more than to be in that moment forever where it is just you and Jungkook, Jungkook and you.
“First thing’s first, though,” Jungkook says at long last. “How about we start the morning off right with a round two from last night in the shower right now. What do you say?”
His proposition has you laughing so suddenly that it startles Gureum at the edge of the bed. You lean down again to kiss Jungkook’s irresistible lips. When you part, you catch his mischievous stare and his broad grin and mirror it.
“Well,” You say, “I have always said you like to spoil me rotten.”
“Well,” Jungkook echoes with a chuckle. He shrugs innocently as he speaks next, pressing a chilling kiss to your neck. “Only the best for my baby girl.”
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softykooky · a year ago
the habits of a broken heart.
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☾ genre : soulmates au, unrequited love, art student!JK, english student!Y/N, angst, fluff, subtle enemies to lovers
☾ pairing : jeon jungkook x reader
☾ summary : jungkook and you are soulmates. so says the matching crescent moons on both your wrists. however, things are never as easy as they seem, and you are quick to learn that falling in love with someone who does not believe in love is a one-way ticket to heartbreak. 
“You still are, you know. Worth it.” You release a shaky breath. “But I was stupid to think that I am too.”
☾ word count: 26.3k (my biggest one yet!)
☾ author’s note: this took forever oh my gosh! i really hope you like it! it’s my first time writing such a big single piece, and trying a different style. thank you so much for your support, always! please let me know what you think ♡
The first time he had his heart broken, Jeon Jungkook had been 13 years old. He was fresh out of middle school and so ready to face his freshman year with an impressionable mind and plenty of voice cracks to earn him months worth of teasing. You see, at the age of 13, Jungkook wasn’t something to swoon over. He had yet to grow into his ears and Dr. Park assured him that his braces would be off as soon as she could get them. He was a little lanky and a bit too reticent to be considered social. So when a girl in his grade comes up to him, nervous and stuttering, and asks him to go to the heavily romanticized homecoming dance, Jungkook has already come to the conclusion that she might be his soulmate, even if he was far too young to get his mark yet. 
Her name was Mina, and Jungkook is confronted with this memory every time he visits home and his mother makes the family flip through the photo albums dating back to his high school years. He grimaces every time he sees the picture of them together. Him in a pink button-up to match her offensively ugly ruffled taffeta dress. 
Mina broke up with him three months after that picture was taken, through one of her friends no less and in front of his entire gym class. Jungkook couldn’t remember how long he cried for while he felt the pain from his first heartbreak would never go away, regardless of how much time passes. He held onto his mother and sobbed out the agony and humiliation of Mina not wanting to be his girlfriend anymore, and how he had lost his soulmate before he even knew it was her. His mother assured him that without the mark, there was no way to be sure and that there was hope. But back then, all Jungkook could think of was ways to avoid Mina the next day, especially when they sat next to each other in 3rd period biology.  
At 13 years old, Jungkook thought he would never find love again. 
He is 18 when he stands alongside his parents in a pale examination room and awaits his destiny. He’s leaving for college the next day, yet the only thing that’s making him nervous is the mark that will inevitably appear on his wrist in the next few minutes. The same one he would find on his soulmate’s, and Jungkook wonders if there is the possibility of scaring everyone away when the first thing he’ll ask on a date is: can I please see your wrist? 
To say the least, Jungkook is petrified. Because that mark on his wrist is going to serve as a constant reminder of his missing piece, and Jungkook knows he’ll always feel lacking until he finds them. It’s a crescent moon. Small and black and nestled comfortably on his skin. He knows many times the marks don’t have any correlation with the couples, but Jungkook wonders if you are an astrologist. Or an astronaut. Or just had a weird affinity for the moon. He smiles when they congratulate him and can’t stop himself from thinking that he might be in love with you already. Wherever you are. When he leaves for university, he feels less lonely when there is a crescent moon to accompany him. 
Contrary to the beliefs of his 13-year old self, Jungkook does fall in love again. Hard. This time, it was a girl with brown hair and big eyes and a smile so pretty he could see it from across a crowded room. She was a grade below him; a frazzled college freshman with no clue to where her lecture hall was, and he: a sophomore who had a compulsion of changing his major every other month. When he met her, it had been chemical engineering and three weeks before that was film composition. Her name was Yoojung, 18 years old while he was 19.
 Her soulmate mark is a single star, and even though he knows she is not his soulmate, he can’t help but to think how perfectly their marks complement each other. How they would make a perfect night sky. 
They had met at a frat party, no less, and the combination of cheap booze and bad hiphop music had made her look so incredibly gorgeous under the dim lighting. They had their first kiss in a random person’s living room, highly intoxicated and much too irresponsible and Jungkook had barely even remembered it in the morning until she showed up at his doorstep and invited herself in. Yet it wasn’t too long before he made a perfect space for Yoojung in his life.
 Each day after his physics lecture, he’d go to her dorm and they’d chat over breakfast until she had economics at 10 o’ clock. After she was done, he’d insist that they go get a greasy hamburger at the joint his friends took him to when they got high and, she’d end up dragging them both to the health food restaurant that prided themselves on only using organic. Leave it to Jungkook to find himself a vegan girlfriend. 
Sometimes though, when he looks at Yoojung, his mind drifts to his actual soulmate and a little flower named guilt blooms in his chest. But he is so young and his other half could be anywhere in the world, so Jungkook thinks there is no harm in allowing himself to indulge in a little affection. These days, it wasn’t completely abnormal for soulmates to part ways, and when Yoojung is in his arms, Jungkook likes to think that his soulmate would understand. They would want him to be happy. In the middle of synchronizing their busy student schedules and sneaking in quick kisses through cramming for finals, he had found it unnervingly easy to fall in love with her. 
Deeply and blindly in love. 
Yoojung brought him home to her family on fall breaks and the occasional winter vacation and Jungkook had melded perfectly into their dynamic. The son I never had, her father would tell him over the dinner table while her mother constantly made sure his plate was piled high. Her little sister was visibly in love with him, and would ask Yoojung where he was every time she came home from university, yet avoiding him at all costs when he was there. 
Jungkook’s own family, however, was a different story. To put it delicately, they had liked it more when he came home by himself and left her at school. It had put a strain on their relationship sure, but at the end of the day, Jungkook loved her. A simple love. 
Every day he remembers that their marks do not match. But if this is love and he feels like he is on cloud 9 with every moment they are together, Jungkook begins to doubt if the universe’s will is truly divine and successful. Maybe Yoojung was his soulmate and it did not matter what was on their wrists. 
He loved her intensely, and she did him. She was the first thing on his mind when he woke up and manifested in his dreams when he slept at night. To Jungkook, Yoojung could do no wrong. Like some sort of divine being or angel that the heavens sent just for him, and he found himself thinking maybe he wouldn’t mind spending the rest of his life beside her. 
But he would come to learn that the higher the climb...the harder the fall. 
Jungkook and Yoojung were together for the better part of 4 years before she cheated on him with a guy that she’d supposedly met a couple weeks ago. When Jungkook screams at her asking why she had been disloyal, Yoojung shows him her wrist. Her single inked star. 
“I found my soulmate, Jungkook. And I love you so much, you know I do. I didn’t know how to tell you so I…”
The rest of her words fade into white noise and all Jungkook can do is look at her and commit every detail to memory as he feels her fade farther away. Her teary and remorseful brown eyes. Her plush lips. The fan of her eyelashes and the mole on the side of her temple. He’ll never get to see her like this again. 
“I was ready to be with you, soulmate or not. I know it’s not fair but I wanted the same from you”, he whispers, falling down on the couch and burying his face in his hands. 
“Soulmates be damned, the universe was wrong. I was so hideously in love with you. How could you not at least tell me when you met him?” Jungkook feels his heart collapsing in on itself with every word of resignation. Of burgeoning acceptance. Yoojung can only mirror his desolate expression and stares down at the star on her skin.
 Jungkook wishes it were a moon. 
“Just go, Yoojung.” 
It would have hurt less if it was only a one night stand with a stranger she did not know the name of. He was in love and spineless enough to move past a one night stand. However, Yoojung had found her soulmate and fallen in love with him. Jungkook had merely acted as a placeholder for the real deal to come along and sweep her off her feet. 
This time he doesn’t cry. Just stares out the window of his living room and wonders what it would be like to disappear altogether. When the door is slammed shut, and he is left to nurse his aching soul, Jungkook apologizes in advance to the person that shares the same mark on their wrist as him. He no longer believes that soulmates exist. 
When Jungkook looks back at his 13 year old self with the innocent construct of what heartbreak feels like, he wants to laugh and maybe slap that stupid boy upside the head. Yoojung had destroyed him. Destroyed the innocent and starry-eyed person that he’s tried so hard to preserve. Destroyed his vulnerability and bright outlook on life and in their place, cultivated walls of rock and steel meant to keep everyone out and him safely tucked inside. In her wake, Yoojung left behind a shell of a man who pushed his emotions so deep he became numb and forgot what it was like to feel. 
So Jungkook does what he always does to push away the hurt. He changes his major; to art history this time. He stacks up bracelets on his wrist to forget the mark of a moon. He scrapes up his rainy day money and treats himself to the most expensive pair of Saint Laurent boots he’s ever worn. He tests the limits of the human liver, and takes advantage of the biceps and jawline he’s acquired since high school to establish a reputation. 
To his friends, Jungkook remained raucous and always down to order infinite rounds of shots until he couldn’t see straight. To those that looked even closer, Jungkook was so completely shattered he didn’t even feel it anymore. 
The second time he had his heart broken, Jungkook was 23. He promised himself he wouldn’t let it happen again. 
“For the last time, Jimin, I’m not going to give you a blowjob so you can pay for my student loans.”
You don’t know how many times you’ve had this conversation with your roommate. Most of the time, it was convenient to have a roommate whose parents were loaded and sent him monthly installments that looked more like small loans than allowances. You knew he just wanted to help. Heck, he probably would be willing to pay them off for you without the promiscuous favor, but you had made it clear to Jimin that you wouldn’t be riding off of his charity. 
“Ugh, Y/N you’re really no fun”, he sighs, falling backwards onto your twin-sized bed and feigning devastation. You reward his melodrama with a giggle, ruffling your hands through his fried hair. Jimin had a knack for changing his hair color as quickly as his mood. 
You look at the bill that’s staring back at you from your computer screen, and it feels like it’s just reached out and punched you in the face. “Hey do you think it’s a common mistake for bank tellers to add a few too many zeroes?” 
“Yeah, you’re right. I’m rationalizing as a self-defense mechanism.” Sometimes it was annoying that your roommate had a degree in psychology. Then again, Jimin was making more money than you and your degree in English. 
You sigh deeply and look up at the ceiling in attempts to quell your tears of frustration. And also because it is a plea to whoever is up there controlling your destiny: please I’m begging you. Melt my debt away. 
You and Jimin sit in comfortable silence and he plays with the hem of your worn comforter while you scroll through the emails you have been ignoring in your inbox. You want to smash your head in at all the deadlines. Times like these, there is one thing that brings you comfort and always has since you turned 18. 
The quaint little crescent moon that sits right atop your radius. 
You had a habit of pressing your thumb against it and feeling your pulse against the mark, stupidly wondering if your soulmate’s heartbeat has synched up with your own. If he was out there somewhere, touching his mark and wondering the same about you. He was taking his sweet time, that’s for sure. Jimin sees your nervous tic and sighs again.
“You’re so hopelessly romantic it makes me want to barf, Y/N.” You scowl at his words and chuck a pillow at his unsuspecting face. 
“I don’t understand you, Jimin. Your soulmate is out there and you’re not the slightest bit curious? You don’t want to do anything extra to find them?” Jimin looks at you with a knowing smile.
“That’s exactly it, though. I know they’re my soulmate and I’ll find them when the time is right. So why worry about it? It’s better not to force anything.” His statement is followed up with a grin and his fingers reach out to pinch your cheeks. This was the dynamic of your friendship. He is easy-going and flows like a careless river. You’ve read one too many books to not vie and daydream for the moment you lock eyes with your soulmate. 
Your mom always said that you’ll know just from a look. It’s like getting hit over the head with a ray of sun, she said. Like suddenly their eyes are the only eyes you ever want to look into again. Since then, you’ve dreamt for the day you find someone with that same moon on their wrist. For now though, you had more immediate concerns more along the lines of crippling debt. 
“What do I do, Jimin? Should I be a stripper?” He laughs and the thought makes you groan. You couldn’t even walk in heels, much less try to dance or look like you didn’t have two left feet. Stripper life just wasn’t for you. 
“Hm...I could call in a few favors for you at the office. Get you an internship or secretary position.” 
“Maybe. Too much nepotism. Your father owns the office you work at”, you remind him, and his eyebrows crease further in thought. God, maybe you do have to be a stripper.
“Wait!” Jimin yelps so suddenly you almost fling the computer off your lap. 
“I think I know someone. He’s been looking for a model for his art portfolio or something, and he said he’s willing to pay.” Jimin reaches for his phone and his thumbs type up a storm while you watch from the sideline. 
“I think he mentioned it’s about a month-long project. You’d just have to be on call whenever a stroke of genius arrives.” 
“That sounds great! I’m an amazing model!” you crow, to which Jimin giggles again.
“The several candids I have in my camera roll tell a different story, Y/N.” Naturally, he receives another pillow to the face. But you follow up with a cheery kiss to his cheek as you rejoice in the new opportunity for cash flow by a celebratory dance, which looks more like a wiggle when you remain seated on your bed. 
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!”, you chirped, “I owe you one.”
“Hey...I know how you can repay me.”
 When you look towards him, his eyebrows are raised inquisitively and there’s a devilish smirk on his lips.
Jimin gets a third pillow to his face that day. 
Jungkook’s favorite type of arguments to get into is whether Neo-classicism or post-impressionism had the most impact on European art and architecture. Call him a snob, but he loves to prattle on about Degas and Caillebotte until his opponent tires or concedes out of pure exhaustion. Jungkook regards it as a battle strategy: bore your enemy so that they stop fighting. 
He’s in the middle of a heated debate with his classmate from graduate school when he receives a phone call from Park Jimin. Now, Jungkook has no idea how or when Jimin became an installment in his life, or how he’s roped his way into his inner circle. He just remembers waking up one day with a killer hangover and finding that there was a pink-haired stranger lying on his floor. When he tried to shoo him out, the stranger shoved a wad of money in his shirt pocket, muttering “just five more minutes”, and Jungkook was in no position to deny easy cash. Jungkook now considers Jimin one of his close friends. 
“What’s up, Jiminie?” He laughs into the microphone. 
“I told you not to call me that, you brat. I’m older than you.” 
“I’m taller than you.”
“My dick is bigger.”
“I-okay fine you got me there.” He hears Jimin wheeze over the line as he tries to rein himself in to say what he needs to say. 
“In all seriousness, though. I have a proposition for you.” Jimin lilts in a mischievous tone, which makes Jungkook nervous enough to get up from the café table he had been sitting at with his friend and careen to a quieter corner. 
“Okay, so you know how you were telling me about your portfolio for the gallery. The one you have to submit by the end of the season? How you needed a model on call 24/7 in case inspiration struck?” 
Jungkook wants him to spit it out because he has been searching high mountains and low valleys for someone that would be willing to be his muse for a month or two. Constantly at his beck and call so he can finish this damn portfolio and get his name out there in the art world. Maybe start debating post-impressionism with the cream of the crop. 
“I think I’ve found someone to do that for you.” Jungkook exhales in relief at his words.
“She’s my roommate and she’s super low on cash and unemployed with a bachelor’s in English literature, so she’s got time to spare.” Perfect. That way, Jungkook can call her whenever he needs to.
“That’s amazing, Jiminie. Can she meet me at the art building tomorrow at noon? We can start right away.” Jungkook breathes through the phone, a small weight coming off his shoulders now that another thing had been accomplished. One less thing he had to worry about on the journey to his goal. Jimin confirms the plans and they exchange pleasantries before Jungkook hangs up as the man on the other line starts screaming about his burning lunch on the stove. 
Jungkook catches sight of the mark on his wrist when he looks down, and quickly rearranges his bracelets so that it is once again covered to his eyes. Out of sight and out of mind. 
The gallery portfolio had been a thorn in his side. It had been months in the making and if he allows himself to reminisce, Jungkook remembers the nights he and Yoojung stayed up until dawn and talked about his blossoming interest in art. How he wanted a space of his own to display his works. Back then, she listened to him with stars in her eyes and basked in the afterglow of post-coital cuddling, promising that she would help him achieve it. 
His heart sinks at the memory of the imprint of her tresses of hair spilling on his bedspread. He burned those sheets the second she left. 
Jungkook represses his intrusive thoughts about Yoojung and wills her to get out of his head. He forces it down until it feels like he’s just dumped ice water over his heart and vomited out any semblance of emotion. He makes his way back to the cafe table with a sly smile that hides the internal ache he’s promised himself to never let anyone suspect of. 
“So what were you saying about Renoir’s Moulin de la Galette?”
The art building is situated besides a library, with a bakery flanking its left. Two years spent at the university, and you’ve never once stepped foot there. Maybe it was the daunting abstract sculpture on the front lawn or the prejudices you held against annoying art snobs on their high horses, but you often found yourself subconsciously avoiding the space in intimidation. 
“Okay, Y/N, you’re going to do this so you can pay off your loans”, you whisper under your breath, words meant for your ears and no one else’s. “And if he asks you to pose nude, you run the opposite direction.” 
It was easy to get lost in the building. For art students that know how to draw, they really took advantage of abstractionism to make the most confusing map you had ever seen in your life. Luckily, with some direction from the vapid front desk secretary and some intuition, you were able to to find room 62B. You don’t think you’ll be able to forget the number 62B if you tried, Jimin had screamed it to you so many times as you left the apartment. 
The door soundlessly opens with a nudge of your hand and you stick your head inside.
“You know when Jimin told me he found me a model, he didn’t mention her lack of punctuality.” His voice is calm and subdued with no lingering annoyance, even if his words are uncourteous. You whip around to him and the first sight you see of Jeon Jungkook is merely a tuft of brown hair behind a vast canvas. And some expensive looking leather boots that anchor his feet to the ground. 
You clear your throat and approach with an outstretched hand and the shiniest smile you can muster. 
“I’m Y/N. Jimin’s roommate. It’s nice to meet you.”
“You can call me Jungkook.”
It is when he steps out from behind the canvas that you finally understand what your mother meant when she said meeting your soulmate feels like getting hit over the head with a ray of sunshine. You can’t describe it any other way, but that’s exactly what it feels like. Like the air becomes so sweet in your lungs it turns to viscous honey. Like suddenly the person standing in front of you is Valentine, encapsulated. 
You know he feels it too, yet you don’t know why he forces himself to remain blasé, and if you hadn’t seen his widened eyes and heard the gasp from his lips you would have never suspected anything at all. Stranger courtesy is abandoned and you forcefully grab his wrist, turning it over to find his mark while pulling up your sleeve to reveal your own. 
A little black crescent moon.
Right on the pulse point.
Just like your’s. 
When you finally muster up the nerve to look into his eyes again, you wonder if it is healthy for the human heart to beat so fast and so thunderously it feels ready to jump out of your chest. Jungkook, however, still wears that same expression on his face. Flat and cold, not even a glimmer in his eyes. He stares at you disinterested and wrenches his wrist from your grasp. 
“Wait, Jungkook...aren’t you….”, you sputter through a desperate smile, “aren’t you happy?” He stays silent and trains his attention on the canvas in front of him, but you can see the conflict that swirls in his iris. 
“I’ve been looking for you for so long! And I’ve finally found you. In the art building no less, just my luck that-”
“Y/N, I don’t know what you expect from me but I’m not looking for anything right now.” 
There were no objectively ugly words. But you think the ones that have just spewed from Jungkook’s lips come pretty close. They stoke a fire in your chest.
“What do you mean? We’re soulmates”, you faltered, sinking deeper into confusion as you stare at the unaffected man in front of you, whose only concern is the conglomerate of paint on his palette. 
Jungkook sighs monotonously. Almost as if he had better things to do than be here.
“It’s only a mark on your wrist. And we just happen to have the same one. Amazing that you still think somehow one single person was made entirely just for you.” His words are bored and he doesn’t even have the decency to look you in the eye when he speaks. You think you might want to punch him if you weren’t so speechless.
“Look”, he sighs as if you were inconveniencing him, “I’m not going to sugarcoat it and tell you that I’m the one you’ve been looking for this whole time. We have the same mark, but...I’m not the guy you want.”
“B-But...I’m your soulmate. We-we’re made for each other.”
Jungkook scoffs harshly, and you want to sink into the ground. “That’s just a silly myth.” 
“So you don’t...believe in soulmates?” The words felt wrong to say when all your life, finding your soulmate felt like the ribbon at the end of the finish line. But here he was now, and you felt so small under his gaze. Like you weren’t meant to be there and standing in the same room with him was a concoction for heartbreak.
Jungkook’s syllable pangs in your ear, and you think it might be your least favorite sound. Then you leave. And if it was hard for you to meet your soulmate - the person who you’re destined to be with - who doesn’t believe in you, then walking away from him was a different cross to bear. 
You take the bus home and ignore the glare of strangers when you burst into tears at a red light, and cry the rest of the way back. Your mother hadn’t described this. She prosed on and on about the feeling one gets after finding a soulmate but never mentioned to you how it feels when you find out they want nothing to do with you. What do you do when you realize the person you’ve been chasing for forever has been trying to run away at the same time? 
Jimin holds you together that night on your bedroom floor, while you break apart and scratch at the moon on your wrist until your skin breaks. He listens to the words you sputter; as much as he can decipher when they are drowned out by the painful sound of your sobbing. Jungkook’s beliefs bleed into your consciousness. Perhaps he is right and perhaps there is no such thing as true soulmates, and the marks are obsolete. 
However, when you fall asleep in your friend’s arms from the physical fatigue of violent crying and the sheer mental exhaustion of meeting Jeon Jungkook, your mind comes to a more painful conclusion. 
A more truthful conclusion.
Your soulmate only needed to meet you to decide that he did not want you.
Jungkook doesn’t believe in soulmates. He thinks they’re a stupid coy to give people false hope. An illusion to feign happiness and to take Yoojung away from someone she genuinely loved. Though in the hours of the night, when he is by himself and the bed feels too big for one body, Jungkook wonders if there is truly a reason why someone has an identical moon on their wrist. But he is still so broken and unhealed from the wounds Yoojung left behind.
 So instead of soulmates, he thinks about what she must be doing. If she’s eating well. If she’s moved in with her own soulmate and if they’re happy together. Jungkook is an involuntary masochist and he pays for it with every pillowcase that becomes stained with his tears. 
He sighs out an expletive after downing a shot of whiskey, relishing in the familiar burn as it slides down his throat. Alcohol doesn’t seem to be working efficiently, though. He’s only barely tipsy after years in college building tolerance, and he can still see your face each time he blinks. Like you are imprinted on the back of his eyelids. Jungkook wonders why Jimin had cancelled on the group tonight. 
There is a little devil called remorse and it stands atop his shoulder, unseen by everyone but him, and Jungkook decides he will get rid of it by calling another round of shots. From his seat in the dirty booth, he can see Min Yoongi and his soulmate practically dry humping on the dance floor. If anyone asks him if he ever gets jealous seeing soulmates happy and in love, he’ll laugh in their face and tell them he pities people like that. People that are so blinded by the system. But loneliness is a stern mistress and it makes him think of you. How lovely the moon looks on your wrist. How your hand felt so warm when it caressed against his skin. 
He tips his head back again. Vodka this time.
“Dude, are you okay?” 
To his right comes Kim Taehyung, designated driver extraordinaire, and he looks at Jungkook with friendly concern laced with amusement. Jungkook nods contentedly. 
“Soulmates are so bullshit, Tae”, he snickers, fingers tracing the rim of the shot glass and smirk on his face to mask the bitterness of both the alcohol and his heart. Taehyung spares a knowing glance, resting a hand on his friend’s shoulder with the weight of knowledge of Jungkook’s past. 
The night is young and so is he. He drinks until he can no longer taste the liquor and forgets altogether about what had happened only a couple of hours before. Until the crescent mark on his skin just looks like a shapeless black blob, and it makes him smile. He thinks he likes it better that way. 
Taehyung drops him home and personally tucks him into bed while he is still in jeans and his shirt smells like the bar. His sleep is dreamless that night. When the morning comes and his friends tease him about how he begged Taehyung not to leave, Jungkook will laugh and blame the alcohol for his foggy memory. He won’t tell them that he does remember, and that he was only grasping at any warm body to soothe his aching loneliness.
Usually when he first opens his eyes in the morning, Jungkook is thinking about the next class he has to attend and if he is late (which is usually most of the time). This morning, albeit morbidly hungover, Jungkook thinks of the apple strudels they sell at the bakery next to the art building. Mrs. Kim always gets the pastry to filling ratio just right. But when he opens the door with a jubilant smile on his face and the scent of baked goods already in his nostrils, Jungkook has a feeling apple strudels will have to wait. 
There you are. In all your messy-haired glory, huffing like a caged bull in the doorway of his apartment, fiery gaze directed completely at him and all he can think to say is:
“How do you know where I live?” Jungkook schools his face expressionless in your presence. He hopes this will discourage you, but it only makes you angrier. 
“Park Jimin”, you snarl. 
Of fucking course, it’s always Park Jimin. Jimin who drunkenly sleeps in his bedroom and now Jimin who is leaking his address to any stranger.
“Um”, Jungkook stammers and takes a step back, “what are you doing here? Didn’t I get my point through yesterday?” He can see the statement catching you off guard, and the fury in your eyes dwindles to dejection. Only for a millisecond though, before you are aiming your wrath at him once again. 
You take a deep breath. “What is wrong with you?” 
Jungkook can think of a lot of answers to that query. He opts to interpret it as a rhetorical question and keep his mouth shut. 
“You just...found your soulmate! I’m your soulmate! And you don’t even want to get to know me? At all?”, you scream exasperatedly. Jungkook catches the gaze of a middle aged lady who is not-so-discreetly staring at the two of you, and pulls you inside his apartment by your arm. If you weren’t so frustrated, you would have been flustered at the physical contact. 
“Listen. Soulmates don’t end up together all the time. I’ve told you I’m not really interested in anything right now and it’s not a priority”, he takes a breath through his passionate monologue, “and I’m sorry that that’s not something you expected, but I….don’t want a soulmate.”
Maybe...he just doesn’t want you. 
When he says them out loud to a living breathing person, Jungkook realizes how cruel it sounds. He can see it in the way your eyes have become glossy under his living room lights and the way you shrink into yourself as self-defense against his blows. He rationalizes that he’d rather tell you the truth than lie to you now, only to hurt you later. Really, he’s doing you a kindness. Right?
You turn your back to him to gather your thoughts, and wipe the tears that you refuse to let him see. The salty drops sting the raw skin of your wrist after last night, and you are brutally reminded of the current reality. His brutal honesty makes you want to abandon all hope, but you were a woman with a plan. You came here for a reason, not to just lose your temper in your soulmate’s apartment and tell him what you really thought about him.
“I have a proposition for you”, you asserted calmly, staring Jungkook in the eye as he remains unbothered. 
“Now I reckon something’s happened to you to make you lose all your faith in soulmates, so I’m not forcing you to do anything you don’t want to do.” Your eyebrows furrow when you speak focusedly.
“We don’t have to be together. That’s your will. But…”, you hesitate, pushing past the uncertainty and fear of another rejection from Jungkook, “will you let me at least try? You don’t have to promise anything. Can we just start as friends?” 
Naturally, Jungkook wants to shoot down your offer, kick you out of his apartment, and pretend like he never met anyone by the name of Y/N. Call it divine intervention but when he looks at you, pleading for any semblance of connection, he feels a tug at his heart strings. So Jungkook makes another promise to himself. He would let you “try”, whatever that entails. But there was no virtual possibility of letting you any closer than necessary. 
You both stand in contemplative silence before he lets out a resigned sigh. “On one condition”, he responds slowly, but there is already a premature grin growing on your face and you don’t think you could stop it even if you tried.
“You still have to be my model for the art portfolio.”
You agree before he even gets to take another breath. 
When you finally make your way out of Jungkook’s apartment, parting ways with an awkward number exchange and a ‘see you later’, there is a simultaneous feeling of hope and desolation. The optimism for Jungkook combines with the insecurity that perhaps you, just as you are, is not nearly enough to make someone fall in love. Especially someone who disregards their soul connection to you. 
You walk back to your apartment with a heavy heart that warms with embers of determination. Jeon Jungkook was an enigma. A Bastille fortress of self-defense mechanisms and destructive tendencies, and you know that there is unresolved pain. Call it a soulmate instinct or something, but you see it in his eyes. You see it in the way his face begs to show emotion but his mind refuses to acknowledge. 
You know Jungkook is not obligated to accept you after the dust settles, much less fall in love with you. Under the peach blossoms of the campus sidewalk, you make a promise anyway.  To yourself and to your soulmate and the silly little mark on the inside of your wrist. Even if he does not love you, you vow to help Jungkook learn to love himself.
When you are harshly woken up at 5:30 in the morning, the last person you expected to be blowing up your phone was Jeon Jungkook. If it weren’t for the pure exhaustion seeping through your bones, you would have been excited about your soulmate calling you. Alas, slumber was your soulmate now. Jungkook would have to step down. 
On the other side of the paper thin wall, Jimin is frustratedly banging from his room, your ringtone reverberating throughout the entire apartment. You pick up his call without even opening your eyes.
“Y/N I need you to come to my apartment as soon as you can.” There is no sleepiness in his voice. Just clean and cold like it always is and he has hung up before you get the chance to scold him for waking you up at this unholy hour. You’re about to give him a piece of your mind but you remember he is paying you very handsomely for your efforts, and reluctantly drag yourself out of bed to call an uber. Thank god he doesn’t live too far away otherwise you’ll stick a foot through his canvas for the transportation bill. 
The front of Jungkook’s apartment door is strangely therapeutic, and you find yourself falling asleep standing up after you’ve rung the doorbell. Either time passes too slowly when you are sleep-drunk or Jungkook moves to get the door as quickly as your grandfather does. Whatever the case, you are about to pass out on his doorstep if he doesn’t come soon.
“Y/N, why are you just standing there? The door has been open.” 
“Jungkook. Why are you making me do this so early?”, you yawn, pushing inside the apartment. 
Jungkook takes in your discombobulated appearance, and almost wants to laugh. You were still in your pajamas, and the bun on your head now looked more like a heaping blob that drooped down your temple. It was obvious that you had just rolled out of bed and he almost feels bad for disturbing your sleep, but he does not decide when his strokes of inspiration spontaneously appear. 
The living room is bombarded with Jungkook’s art supplies and stray canvases, and you take note of the clay sculpting table that blends in as furniture next to his kitchen. You plop yourself down on the stool across from Jungkook’s easel, eyes still half closed and impossibly tired.
 In this moment, Jungkook wipes the fact that you are his soulmate from his mind. He needs to do the portfolio. That is all he’s keeping you around for, and the only reason he agreed to your plan was so that you would remain his art model. 
In the silence of his makeshift art studio, Jungkook paints whatever comes to his mind, referencing your figure on the stool for the curves he can never get right without a model and need for a human presence to translate onto his canvas. You become more lucid as time goes by and the sun starts to rise from outside his window, sitting up straighter and paying more attention to his concentrated face as Jungkook pours himself into his creation. 
Looking at him in this light, you realize that he is beautiful. And not just because he’s your soulmate. Jungkook’s hair is scruffy and stubbled, undereyes sporting impressive dark circles. But the way he caresses the paintbrush and the way his body moves to the beat of the painting is poetic. He glances at you sporadically, eyes darting to and fro to capture as much as he can before the creativity burns out. He is beautiful and it makes your heart ache to know that he does not want you. In spite of the bond the universe has created. 
You wonder if in his focused hazed, he notices the new glaze across your eyes and the silent sound of your soul calling out for his. You wipe away the first dripping tear as quickly as it came. You know Jungkook sees, but does not bat an eye and you can’t tell if you’d rather prefer him to acknowledge it. 
It’s 8:00am when he puts the paintbrush down, takes a step back, and surveys his work. His eyes trail over each organic line and areas where he decided to use burnishing instead of cross hatching. It’s far from perfect, but it’s enough. 
“Okay. You’re free to go”, he announces, plucking the painting off the easel and resting it against the wall, hidden from your eyes. 
“W-What? That’s it?”, you sigh disappointedly, “you’re not even going to let me see it?” Jungkook shrugs. His detachedness makes you want to rip your hair out and sob into your pillow at the same time. You don’t understand how a person could be so unfazed. 
“S’not ready for debut. Thanks for showing up, though.” He doesn’t spare you another glance. Just goes back to cleaning his brushes and dumping out the glasses of murky paint water. You ignore the twinge of hurt in your chest and slide off the stool. 
“Okay, fine. Now it’s my turn. Would you like to go have some breakfast?”, you smile expectantly to Jungkook, who stares at you with an indifferent gaze. His first instinct is to make up a half-assed excuse to get out of this, eager to detach himself from you as much as possible and avoid any more interaction. However, he was insanely hungry, and the glimmer in your eye just looks so hopeful even Jungkook couldn’t bear to shoot you down.
He sighs with resignation. A little breakfast couldn’t hurt, and he wasn’t going with you necessarily. You were just...going to the same cafe in the same direction as him and likely sitting at the same table. Yeah, that’s it. 
“Hurry up, I’m hungry.” 
You blinked in shock at his lack of resistance. 
“Yes. Now come on. I know a place with really great apple strudels.”
You weren’t aware that by ‘breakfast’, Jungkook actually meant sitting in complete silence and wolfing down food like your life depends on it. You want to be grossed out when he inhales 3 apple strudels in less than 10 minutes, crumbs flaking on his shirt without a care in the world. Yet you just feel endeared. The sight makes you smile. And maybe if Jungkook did not detest you, you would have leaned over and kissed the cinnamon sugar right off his lips. 
“So….”, you sip on a sweet coffee, “Jimin told me you’re going for a masters in art history?” 
Jungkook nods halfway through a bite of his pastry. “Yup.” 
“Is it something you’re really passionate about?” you inquire, desperately wanting the conversation to delve into something that wasn’t so surface level.
“Uh huh.”
“What are some other things you’re interested in besides art?”
Jungkook is completely clueless. He only spares glances to the windows and occasional looks to his oh so precious breakfast treats. You want to slap him and be angry, but you only sigh. It shouldn’t be so hard to talk to your soulmate, yet it felt like trying to pull teeth when he was so completely disinterested in you. You wonder if this is worth it.
You look up at him from your steaming cappuccino cup and use your wildcard. 
“In my opinion, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus did little for the Italian Renaissance movement.” 
Your statement almost has Jungkook falling backwards in his chair and choking on a piece of fruit filling, eyes growing as wide as saucers when he finally processes what you just said. A flaming insult to the entire art historian community. 
“What do you know about Botticelli?”, he sneers, and you internally celebrate for this is the most emotion Jungkook has shown since meeting you. 
“I know that his work supposedly epitomizes the spirit of the Renaissance”, you swirl the coffee in your cup nonchalantly, lips curving into a knowing smirk. “But if you ask me, Bellini’s San Giobbe Altarpiece did much more to encapsulate the values of 15th century Italy.” 
Jungkook’s speechless expression is one that you want to take a snapshot of and frame it to your wall. It is glorious, and arguably more artful to you than Botticelli himself. So what, you had conveniently forgot to mention to him about the class you took junior year of college, with a professor that made you engrave the fundamentals of Italian painting in your brain. It’s so much more gratifying to see him stunned silent. 
Across the table from you, Jungkook feels a warm smile itching to display itself. Before it can appear, he disguises it as a cold smirk. He feels something akin to a butterfly at the pit of his stomach, but blames it on indigestion and the inhuman pace at which he devoured his breakfast. Yeah that must be it. There was no way he was feeling butterflies. 
He cracks his knuckles, raises his cup to gulp down a lukewarm green tea, and rests his elbows on the table separating the both of you.
“I don’t suppose you could tell me your thoughts on the influences of neo-classicism in the 18th century?” 
“No, Y/N, turn to your left a little”, Jungkook frustratedly sighs behind the camera lens.
“Your left or my left?”
He pauses. “....left.” 
To any outside eye, you and Jungkook look like two buffoons trying to take pictures on what might possibly be the windiest day of the season, under the peach blossom trees. Jungkook had called you earlier that day and stressed about how he needed mixed media in his beloved portfolio, and photographs were the next topic of interest. Though you couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just set out a fruit bowl on his windowsill and call it still life photography.
Jungkook stares down at his camera, dissatisfaction clear on his face. You almost want to apologize for your abhorrent modeling skills but hey, he was the one that chose you. 
“Hmm...try staring at that boat in the distance”, he dictates, standing beside you and aiming the lens at your side profile. You do as he asks, but don’t hear the shutter of the camera. Jungkook sighs again and leans forward, so close you could feel his warm breath hitting your skin. You hope he doesn’t notice the beet blush on your cheeks.
Jungkook’s hands meet your chin when he uses it to slightly tilt your face downwards. He positions you in the way that he wants you to pose and you finally understand why photography is considered an art. Because it’s almost as if Jungkook is molding you like clay, to get the silhouette he wants to capture with his camera lens. The day is brisk, but his skin on your’s lights you on fire. 
“Okay, that’s…..that’s perfect”, Jungkook breathes, hurriedly picking up the camera that had been hanging onto his neck by the strap and angling it. At the moment his index finger presses down on the button, there is a gust of wind that surrounds the both of you.
The breeze loosens a strand of your hair and it falls into your eyes. You let your eyes drift close for a second, smiling into the cold air that tingles on your skin. Jungkook’s breath catches in his throat and he thanks the skies for the howling wind so you wouldn’t be able to hear his thumping heartbeat. But surely it’s only because it’s cold. And absolutely nothing else. Jungkook coughs inconspicuously to snap himself out of his trance, sighing in relief when he realizes your eyes are still closed and that you hadn’t noticed his internal struggle. 
He drags you to a bridge next and makes you lay on the cold wood to which you vehemently object before you remember that he’s paying you and that you want him to fall in love with you, not dislike you more than he already does. After the bridge, Jungkook makes you kneel beside the park pond and dip your hand in the icy water and you find yourself wanting to do the same thing to his precious camera. 
Before the two of you have realized, the sun sets into the horizon and tinges the sky in a combination of purples and pinks that Jungkook himself has a hard time replicating on canvas. He aims his lens at the clouds and takes a picture that he knows won’t make it into his gallery. He just felt the need to have something to remember this day by. For no reason in particular…
A buzzing coming from your coat pocket alerts you both of the time that has passed and how the sky has considerably darkened since you began the session. When you fish your phone out, Jimin’s contact photo is staring back at you while the marimba ringtone continues playing. You put the phone on speaker.
“Hey Jiminie”, you smile and Jungkook catches a glance of it. And the discomfort in his chest is definitely, 100%, not jealousy. Not at all.
“I told you not to call me that! What is with you younger people and your disrespect for the elderly?” The corner of Jungkook’s lips twitch into a subtle smile at the similarity of your’s and his conversations with Jimin. 
“Okay, okay, grandpa. What’s up?”
“Can you come home ASAP? I may or may not have broken the stove trying to make soup.” 
The redundancy of his confession makes you sigh, as Park Jimin desecrating your shared kitchen space was not a rare occurrence by any means. 
“I’ll be right there”, you chided through the line, “please do not cook anything else before I arrive.” 
“Thanks Y/N-ie, you’re the best!” Jimin’s voice is far too cheery and you make a mental note to nag him a little extra when you get home. The phone call is ended promptly and you turn around to Jungkook, eyes widening in surprise when he has already packed up all his photography gear. The sky had turned dark and the streetlights had been turned on to illuminate the park. If you had craned your neck upwards, you would have noticed the stars that awoke again to shine down upon the city. But you didn’t. You only saw the stars that were twinkling in Jungkook’s eyes. 
“Uh”, he stammers, “I’ll walk you home. It’s late.” 
“Oh! Uh...Thanks.” Though he was still cold and indifferent, your heart jumped in elation. Perhaps this could be considered baby steps. 
The trip home is quiet, only the sounds of your tandem footsteps on pavement and the rustle of a breeze through tree leaves fill the space of silence. But the quiet is not uncomfortable. Just a bit awkward as you two try to figure out how to be around one another. Jungkook’s hands are shoved in his pockets and your fingers itch to intertwine themselves around his own. To press your soulmate marks together and feel them calling out to each other. But you and Jungkook are anything but normal soulmates. For you are already head over heels in love with him and he is adamant on not sparing you a crumb of affection. 
To your disdain, the apartment was closer than you thought and the short walk with Jungkook ended before it really even began. You could practically hear Jimin’s impatience emanating from the third story of the building. 
“So I’ll see you later?”, you smile meekly. Jungkook readjusts the strap of his camera bag before nodding. He is walking away before you turn around to enter the apartment building and even though it was something small and mundane, you wished he would have waited to see you get in safely. You make your way inside, more downcast than you had been before.
You don’t see when Jungkook turns around. You don’t feel the reassurance that washes over him when the door shuts safely behind you. 
That night, Jungkook is reminded far too much of Yoojung. When he goes to make his usual chamomile, he finds her mug at the very back of the tea cabinet. She must have forgotten it when she packed up her stuff. When he spoons in the sugar, he remembers how Yoojung drinks her tea with honey instead. And when he feels himself start to fall apart, he remembers how Yoojung is not there to keep him together. 
Jungkook pushes away his pain, abandons the lukewarm mug of tea, and opts for an early bedtime to sleep away the ache. The camera sitting on his nightstand, though, beckons him to look over the photos you both had taken that afternoon. 
In the moment, he had been dissatisfied with the pictures, always thinking there must be a better angle or a better position you could shift into. However when he looks down at his camera now, in the quiet and solemnity of his bedroom, Jungkook can’t help but to think they are absolutely perfect. 
He doesn’t know whether to credit his own artistic skill or you; for breathing life into his photographs. It’s the lines of your hands, the slope of your nose, and the stray strands of your hair that makes his pictures more human. 
The ones he ends up picking though, are not perfectly  staged and not the ones where he made you change the position of your stance for 10 minutes. No, the best pictures were the ones he took without you noticing. When you had just been enjoying the cool breeze or admiring the beauty of peach blossom season. When you point out a cool looking bird and when you stared annoyedly past the cameras lens (at him no doubt). 
Yoojung is gone from his mind for just a tiny fleeting moment. For little reason at all, Jungkook finds himself smiling. And there is only the company of the moon to see it. 
 It is ten o’ clock in the morning and Jungkook comes to a realization that in the couple weeks since he has met you, he has sighed more times than he has in the past 23 years of life. Jungkook sighs when you text him first thing in the morning about the dream you had the night before and describe it in painfully vivid details. He leaves them unanswered. Sometimes he wished you would just email him the google document instead. He sighs when you fidget in your seat when he’s trying to paint and keep focus, but you are only interested in asking him the snacks he has in his fridge or when he’s going to finish. He sighs when you and Jimin collectively trash his art studio by spamming his $1,000 camera with ugly face pictures and sword fighting with his sable paint brushes. Jungkook often has a hard time believing that both of you are in graduate school. 
Today, he sighs when you bombard into room 62B of the art building; what is supposed to be Jungkook’s completely zen and peaceful creative space. You are tiptoeing around him as you always do, scared that you’ll do something to set him off and your soulmate will disown you for good. He glances at you once, eyes quickly darting back to the sculpture he is molding on the clay table and saying nothing. 
“There’s a new cafe that just opened right across from the apple strudel place”, you gulp tensely. “I was gonna go check out the competition.” Your words seem deaf to Jungkook’s ear and he only furrows his eyebrows, fingers fussing over the mass of clay. There was just something he couldn’t get right. He didn’t know what it was. 
Jungkook pushes away the sculpture frustratedly, wipes his hands on his apron, and finally looks at you. Maybe he did need a break and come back to it with fresh eyes. That’s all it was, though. A break. He wasn’t going because you asked him to. 
“They better have blonde roast otherwise you’ll be compensating me for my time.” Jungkook is as ruthless and blunt as ever and you decide to look past it as you always do. Him agreeing to go with you was a mini success. 
“Welcome in! You’ve stopped by at the perfect time. The strawberry scones have just been taken out of the oven!” The cafe employee is far too enthusiastic for receiving minimum wage and greeting grumpy people off the streets who just want to be caffeinated. His name tag reads Jung Hoseok. 
“Oh, strawberry is my favorite”, you whisper, the statement only meant for your ears but Jungkook picks up on it anyway. He declines to tell you that strawberry is his favorite as well. Hoseok’s eyes light up when you and Jungkook approach the entrance, like he finally succeeded at luring a customer. 
The cafe isn’t anything special. A bit more modern compared to the one across the street and you think you prefer the latter because this new one doesn’t have the owner’s handsome son standing at the cash register. He may not be your soulmate, but even you had to admit Kim Seokjin was a beautiful man if there ever was one. However, this cafe is warm and has ceiling length windows that let in an obscene amount of sunlight. Jungkook makes a mental note to try some pictures here in the future. 
Jungkook’s phone buzzes in his pocket and you are already leaving him behind in the dust, walking straight to the counter and peering up at the menu deep in thought. You turn around to see that he is immersed in mysterious conversation, and take it upon yourself to order him a drink. 
“I’ll have a matcha latte. And uh…”, you decide, trailing off as you wonder what kind of drink Jungkook would enjoy. “And an iced vanilla mocha latte, extra whipped cream, extra chocolate syrup. Do you guys have rainbow sprinkles?” 
A little sugar never hurt anyone. Especially someone so often bitter like your one and only soulmate. 
When Jungkook hangs up and makes his way to the corner table where you are situated, the sight of the concoction on the table is enough to give him an instant cavity. You hide your smile behind the mug of matcha. He grumbles and sits down swiftly, sticking the straw past his lips in defiance and you can only watch expectantly. 
“Well…do you like it?” 
This is when Jungkook realizes you didn’t order this to spite him. You just had completely zero idea what he liked and disliked and chose the first thing you thought was best. As cold as he is, he doesn’t have the heart to tell you that when he drinks coffee, he likes it black. No cream, no sugar, and the darkest roast with the most caffeine to push him through those nights spent in front of a canvas or over a clay table. 
Jungkook fights to keep steady from the ambush of sugar and wills himself to swallow it down. There is sticky chocolate syrup on his hands and it feels cosmically more uncomfortable than paint. But Jungkook manages to look up at you and nod, to which you reward with a smile. 
“I knew you would like it”, you say smugly, giving yourself a mental pat on the back. “You look like you have a giant sweet tooth.” There is a mellow giggle that follows your statement. Jungkook feels a flutter at the bottom of his stomach, and convinces himself it’s only because it sounds so much like Yoojung. He catches sight of the moon on your wrist, and pushes the feeling away even farther. 
The two of you spend the rest of the midday there, tucked away in a corner of a cafe and losing track of time as you always do. Jungkook finds himself forgetting about the mountains of work he has to do to finish his art gallery portfolio, and the unfinished sculpture back at the studio that’s just not right. 
Today, he allows himself to enjoy your presence and get to know you more. Your favorite color is yellow. You had a dog named Benny when you were a child. You detest beer with a passion, but enjoy a nightly glass of pinot grigio. Jungkook barely notices when the entire cup of coffee has disappeared. Every last rainbow sprinkle.
On second thought, he feels that maybe there was something sweeter than his unexpectedly delicious iced vanilla mocha latte with extra whipped cream. Maybe that something was sitting right across from him, rambling about the fundamentals of English literature with unexplained vigor. 
Jungkook’s soul feels lighter when he goes to bed that night. And when he finally succumbs to Morpheus, his last lucid thought is of you; sun beams coming from the large cafe windows that comb through your hair. He looks at you through his mind’s eye and all he can see is the potential heartbreak you have the power to put him through. The fan of your eyelashes. The curve of your smile. The plush of your lips. All he can see is Yoojung as she crushes his soul in her bare hands. 
Yet in the midst of his internal conflict, Jungkook’s subconscious allows him to fall in love with you a little bit. Perhaps not love just yet, but affection. Like a toe dip in uncharted waters or sticking his finger in a bowl of creamy cake batter just for a taste. The walls he has built are still there, strong as ever, but perhaps a couple bricks look a bit askew. He doesn’t know, but his soul calls out to your’s through the fortress.
“Y/N I don’t know why you thought this was a good idea.”
“Oh hush, just close your eyes and point where your heart tells you to.”
In the lobby of a train station, facing a map and an ETA board is where you and Jungkook will be embarking on your next “date but not really because you don’t believe in soulmates so let’s just hang out”. It had taken a good two hours of nagging and whining on your part to convince him to abandon his portfolio for just a little bit to go an outing. Now standing here, with you excitedly bouncing next to him and a mystery destination, Jungkook feels something akin to utter regret. 
“What if I choose somewhere that’s a thousand miles away? Or just in the middle of nowhere?”, Jungkook groans, still putting up an unbothered and cold front. 
“Well then we will go somewhere that’s a thousand miles away or in the middle of nowhere”, you quipped back at him. Jungkook had a feeling he wouldn’t be able to get out of this one. 
He reluctantly places a hand over his eyes, sighing with resignation before pointing to a random spot on the map. There is a giggle that sounds to his left and Jungkook finds himself wanting to hear more. 
“Wonderful choice”, you smiled, “couldn’t have picked it better myself.” 
Jungkook peeked his eyes open one at a time, scared of seeing what his intuition has chosen for your guys’ spontaneous destination. He breathes out a sigh of relief when he sees that his fingers landed on a town on the outskirts of the city, 20 minutes away from the university. He silently thanks the universe for not sabotaging his wallet and time. 
“We’re never doing this again, Y/N”, Jungkook speaks as you are in front of him, skipping happily to the front desk to buy two train tickets. 
“Wasn’t it fun, though? The thrill?”, you chuckle at his demeanor, to which he only shakes his head vehemently. You note the newest thing you’ve just learned about Jungkook: he has an aversion to uncertainty and spontaneity. 
The train ride was as brief as it was uneventful. You spent the time rambling to Jungkook about all the quips and quirks about yourself and he only listened. Though he kept quiet, his face was free of any annoyance or indication that you were speaking too much. Jungkook only stared at you and unknowing to you, he soaked in every bit of information like a sponge. If anyone asked, he could tell them what foods you were allergic to, what colors wash you out, and what vegetables you hated the most. 
“Wow you didn’t have to pick somewhere so far away, Jungkook.” You muse as the two of you step out of the train car. So far away in fact, that if you were to crane your head up enough, you would be able to see the university from a distance. 
“Hey, you were the one who made me choose”, Jungkook spares a rare smile, “Would you rather we have shelled out our wallets to go on an 18-hour train ride?”
“Okay, fair point.”
The city was as abundant as it was big, and the both of you walked aimlessly from avenue to avenue, stopping occasionally whenever you see a dog you just can’t help but to pet or whenever Jungkook complained about his sore feet. As cold and indifferent as Jungkook made himself out to be, you’ve quickly come to realize that he’s actually a big baby. He still hasn’t let you in or even lowered his walls by a tiny centimeter, but you like to think that even agreeing to go anywhere with you could be considered significant progress.
Jungkook doesn’t notice the pounding of his heart whenever his hands graze against your’s, walking side by side so close he can feel the heat emanating through your coat. He doesn’t notice the peace he feels, just the synchronicity of his feet as he places them on the pavement. 
The fraught wind that blows straight at Jungkook’s face prompts him to look up from where his eyes were cast on the ground. He almost staggers at how strong it is, but finds himself weak in the knees for a completely different reason.
Of course.
Of all the days, of all the times, of all the people in this entire city.
Of course she had to be the one that was currently staring at him from across the intersection. 
The red light seems to go on forever. Either that or time has just spontaneously frozen, Jungkook can’t tell. But his eyes are fixed on hers and his feet bolster him to the concrete when all he wants to do is sprint the other way and forget he ever saw this ghost from the past. 
Yoojung looks as beautiful as the day she left him. 
She’s gained some weight and her cheeks have filled out, but it looks healthy on her now (Jungkook always chided her for forgetting to eat). She stares at him with a combination of shock and guilt and something he wants to overthink into affection but he won’t give himself that satisfaction anymore. She dyed her hair. Light brown looks good on her. 
She looks...happy. As happy as anyone can look when they’re rushing through thick crowds of a city, traffic horns blaring like a dilapidated symphony. 
In the heat of it all, it’s impossible for you not to notice Jungkook’s sudden change in demeanor or the way he has suddenly stopped breathing. When you follow his gaze, there is a girl on the other side of the street that shares the same starstruck expression and even from the outside looking in, you can feel the weight of something painful in his eyes. In her stature. 
When the lights turn green, the throngs of city dwellers migrate across and you stay beside Jungkook when he doesn’t move a muscle. Not even a finger twitch. But she does. And he can only fight to keep the ache away when Yoojung gets closer with every millisecond. Until she is standing right in front of him and he can smell her familiar vanilla perfume. 
“Jungkook”, she speaks, apprehension in her voice. “It’s been a are you?” 
Yoojung only spares you a side glance while keeping attention on Jungkook and you only grow more curious as to who this strange woman is. 
He wants to speak so badly but his tongue remains frozen. He turns to you with flabbergast in his eyes and shakes his head to snap out of the daze of confusion. Of seeing the love of his life again. Or who he thought was the love of his life. 
“Could you give us a minute, Y/N?” 
You didn’t know why but the words that came from his lips made you feel disappointed. Perhaps you were just stupid for thinking he would introduce you. Tell her that you’re his soulmate and scream it at the top of his lungs with sheer pride. But your imagination has hurt you countless times and you had a feeling this one wouldn’t be the last. You manage a curt nod and push away the twinge in your heart. There was a boundary between you and Jungkook and today was not the day to cross it and introduce yourself as his soulmate to any random stranger. 
Once you are out of vicinity and have found solace in a bookstore 10 feet away, Jungkook allows himself to breathe in Yoojung’s presence. 
“I didn’t know if you were still in the city”, he falters, voice coming out quieter than he would have liked it to. But what was he supposed to sound like confronting the supposed love of his life. 
“I never left, entire life is here.” She sighs, smiling lightly with eyes seeping with guilt. 
He scoffs. “I don’t know Yoojung, you seem to leave behind important things pretty easily.” Jungkook feels himself getting angrier and resentful by the second, and though he knows it is unfair of him, Yoojung’s mere presence brings back all the wounds he never truly healed from. 
Granted, on a concrete sidewalk next to a traffic light pole was not the best place to have a heart to heart about failed relationships. But when has the universe ever given Jungkook the best things in life. He is devastatingly cynical for someone who dedicates his career to art. 
Yoojung wears a frown on her face, but there is no vindictiveness there. Just an overwhelming sense of remorse that Jungkook communicates as pity. 
“I don’t know how else to say that I’m sorry”, she sighs, eyes falling to the ground. Jungkook wishes it would just open up and swallow him whole. 
“Then don’t say anything.” He turns to walk away.
“Wait! Jungkook can we...can’t we catch up or something? For a couple minutes?” Yoojung is visibly desperate, and her hands are outstretched as if wanting to touch him but keeping herself from overstepping the line. 
Jungkook glances through the window of the bookstore, and you are situated on a chair, already nose deep in a hefty book. He wants to smile and tease you for being such a nerd, but the weight of Yoojung’s presence makes him reinforce those walls of indifference tenfold. 
He exhales frustration and inhales temptation, looking back into Yoojung’s familiar eyes and nodding. Jungkook walks to a nearby bench and sits down with no words exchanged, looking forward coldly even when he feels her warmth next to him. A couple months ago, Jungkook would have set all his canvases on fire to feel her beside him again. Now, he’s not so sure.
“So…”, she starts, “who’s that cute girl you were with?” 
“No one.” He shoots out a little too soon with no hesitation. Yoojung gulps.
“You know Jungkook, it’s okay to find someone. I-I know I hurt you, but I’m glad if you’ve found someone who doesn’t.” Jungkook doesn’t say anything so she continues.
“I’m really happy for-”
“I never really forgave you Yoojung.” He stares blankly at the passersby and tries to ignore the ache in his bones. The one that’s been there the day she left and took a piece of his heart with her. 
“And I don’t want to blame you for my decisions but I want you to know that I push away a lot of people because of you. People that don’t deserve it.” From the corner of his eye, he can see her nod solemnly to his words and fidget with her hands in her lap. Part of him feels guilty for unloading on Yoojung. Part of him feels like maybe he deserves to. 
“What you did was really shitty. Astronomically fucking shitty. And I’ve spent the past eternity hating you and maybe I still do, but…”, Jungkook takes a deep breath, “I want to forgive you now. If not fully, then partially. I hope you can understand that.” He finally tilts his head to look at her and though the smile on her face is as beautiful as he remembers it to be, Jungkook no longer feels the longing. No longer feels the sting that he usually does when his thoughts take him back to the years they spent together. 
Jungkook doesn’t want to call it closure, not yet anyway. Sitting here on the bench, he still wants to scream and yell and tell Yoojung of all the nights he’s spent alone since she left. He still wants to drag her back and wonder if she could love him again like she used to. 
But he doesn’t. He listens when she tells him about her new job and her new apartment right by the lakeside. They share snippets of their separate lives. Just deep enough to rekindle something warm but shallow enough to not invite anything else in. 
When he walks away from the bench and into the bookstore, Jungkook stills feels the walls that he has built around himself. He is still scared of opening up and being vulnerable but the anger held for Yoojung for so long is no longer a raging fire. More so a wickering flame. 
When he spots you, though, he remembers why he built those walls in the first place. He remembers how easy it used to be for him to climb a high peak and fall to his demise. Your eyes widen when you catch sight of him, lips curling into a wide smile and clear excitement in your expression. The book in your hands is tossed aside and tunnel vision reserved for him and him only. Something blooms in his chest and he can’t remember the last time someone’s been so elated to just simply see him...aside from his dog. Jungkook reminds himself to act uncaring. If he pretends long enough, he’ll start to believe it himself. 
The train ride home feels longer than the one there. The minutes drag by and perhaps it is because of your drooping eyes or the way Jungkook is looking at you with a different tenderness than he has been before. His stare is not harsh. It’s soft and sweet, but subtle enough for you to wonder if you are just imagining it. The night has always been unforgiving and cold even in the spring, but perhaps all that’s needed to breathe some warmth, is a 15 minute train ride and a wrist with a crescent moon.
Yet every time you become more smitten with Jungkook, there is a harsh reminder that follows you everywhere like a designated storm cloud. 
Jungkook does not love you. And you are trying and you will continue to try but his eyes tell you something he is too courteous to say. You see it now as he sits across from you and admires the skyline from the window. It makes you wonder if it is soulmates he doesn’t believe in, or if it is just you that he can’t bring himself to accept. With every cold glance and wall that he puts up, you start to convince yourself that it is the latter.
“We’re here, Y/N”, Jungkook speaks quietly, interrupting your drifting thoughts. He turns around and leaves the train car with hands tucked in his coat pocket. Did you expect him to escort you out and hold your hand? Of course not. But you were tired of Jungkook being so indifferent to your existence. 
You follow him glumly out the doors that slide close after you step through. Then it zips off again and you wonder where it would have taken you if you just stayed in your seat. If Jungkook would have even noticed that you hadn’t followed him when he left. 
You sigh into the night air and wish it was winter so that your breath could be visible as a white cloud. Maybe then Jungkook would notice that you were a living being beside him. 
“Who was that girl that we met back there?”, you murmur hesitantly. Jungkook nearly chokes on air. 
“No one”, he responds curtly, effectively cutting off the conversation then and there. It makes your heart sink. She must be important and all you want to do is know every single detail about their relationship, but the look in his eyes warn you to not pry. 
You don’t think you can forget the way Jungkook looked at her from across the street. Like he had been lost this whole time and she was the North star. You saw the way his eyes twinkled in the midday sun and sparkled even more when she came closer. You wonder if you’ll ever be able to have that effect on him. 
“Hey, next time you should pick a place you and I both do not live in”, you giggle, nudging his shoulder with your own. It makes him smile and even though your heart feels heavy in your chest, Jungkook looks so beautiful when he smiles. 
The two pair of feet subconsciously carry you both to the front door of your apartment building and the scene is too familiar from the last time. You expect him to turn around and whisper a hushed goodnight under his breath, and you’ll have to watch the back of his head disappear down the street. But he doesn’t. Just stands across from you quietly and waits for you to say something. So you do. 
“Jungkook, I’m sorry if I brought up something you didn’t want to remember. I don’t really know your story but it seems you two have a lot of history.” You want to tell him how hard it is for you to be his soulmate when he is so clearly vying for the warmth of someone else. Someone who didn’t have a crescent moon on her wrist. 
“I know you’ll tell me whenever you’re ready, and if that’s never then I’ll keep waiting until forever. But I’m here if you want to talk or unload and I already know I can help because…” you fidget with your hands and look around nervously. 
“Well, because I’m your soulmate.” 
When you say it loud and explicitly, Jungkook thought the statement would have made him recoil. But it doesn’t. It just seeps through his consciousness and feels warm when he thinks about the weight of those words. You are his soulmate, regardless of if he believes in such a thing or not. You carry the same mark as he does on your wrist and somehow, by some intangible factor, the universe had decided that you were created for him and he for you. 
And when he looks at you. Really looks at you. When Jungkook processes your sincere words and how you manage to deal with his insurmountable boundaries even when you barely know him…
Jungkook has never wanted to kiss you more. 
So he does. 
Your lips taste like mint chewing gum and the ghost of words you wish to tell him but can’t. He feels you stiffen until you completely melt in his hold, and Jungkook cradles your face with both his hands, pulling you closer to him until there is no barrier between you but the clothes on your back and the emotional distance. You feel so far away even when you’re this near. Was it a trick of your imagination when you felt the moon on your wrist tingling? 
It doesn’t last as long as you would’ve liked it to. Jungkook yanks his hands from you like your skin scalded him and takes several steps back. His chest rises up and down violently when his breath comes out ragged, posture stiffening as the gravity of what just happened finally absorbs. You’re there, he knows you’re there and standing in front of him. So why is it he can only see Yoojung. Yoojung and the star on her wrist and apologies on her lips. Yoojung and the tears in her eyes when she walks away. 
You can only stare confusedly when his body goes rigid, and a sudden coldness envelops you both. 
And in the haze of post-embrace, like any two normal lovers, you catch something in his eyes that sets a heavy feeling in your stomach. Before you can confirm if it’s just a trick of the light, Jungkook is already running in the opposite direction and you can only see a shadow of sullen love that follows him. He is gone and you are standing alone, wondering how moonlight could feel so cold even on a spring night. 
You don’t get any sleep that night. Every time you close your eyes, there is only the sight of Jungkook’s disgust and regret to lull you to dreams. 
20 minutes away from your apartment, there is a boy who doesn’t sleep either. He won’t text or call to tell you that he can’t shake off the feeling of your skin on his and your breath fanning his cheek. He won’t admit to himself that tonight, when he looked at you, he felt the possibility of falling in love. He won’t tell you that the moon on his skin longs to be traced by your hands. No, he just shares those secrets with his pillow as its linen soaks up his tears. 
In the midst of it all, there is one verdict that becomes clear to him.
Jungkook wishes he had never told Jimin he needed a muse.
The next three weeks is dedicated to trying to get in touch with your soulmate. Through the whirlwinds of utter confusion and desperation, you try texting, calling, emailing, even showing up at his art studio and apartment to no avail. It seemed he had a talent for avoiding soulmates. 
It hurt, to say the least. That he left you high and dry after giving you the most intense
kiss of your life and doesn’t even have the decency to let you know he’s alive. The feeling of his lips still burns on your skin and you wonder if you are a complete fool for being so smitten with a person who, quite possibly, hasn’t spared you a single thought after that night. You just want - no you just need some clarity. 
Jungkook makes you wait another week before replying. 
It is an impossibly sunny day when you wake up. Your neck is stiff from sleeping like a contortionist and your heart aches even more than your muscles with every passing morning with radio silence from your soulmate. You want to call him and tell him you’re sorry. That you’ll forget anything ever happened. It hurts to even think about it, but for Jungkook, you would go through a little more pain so he would let you into his life. 
Outside the hall, Jimin is singing along to a familiar melody of a song you don’t know the name of and judging by the aroma that wafts through the cracks of your door, he has successfully made a pot of coffee. He has been an anchor throughout this whole thing, and sometimes you make a secret wish to the stars that Jimin had been the one with a crescent moon on his wrist instead. Perhaps that way, you wouldn’t have to go through the agony of chasing love that is constantly sprinting away from you. 
Your phone lays on the bedside table and buzzes innocently to start the morning. When you reach over and scroll through notifications routinely, there is a name there that makes your heart pang. Makes you want to throw up and celebrate at the same time. A text from Jungkook. Your fingers shake as you open it. 
I no longer need a model for the portfolio. Thank you for your involvement. Compensation will be provided promptly. 
The day you met him, you already knew that Jungkook was cold. He never dawdled around a painful truth or toed the line between bluntness and sparing feelings. Jungkook spoke his mind, collateral damage be damned. But this is a different type of cold. This one feels more like dry ice on warm skin. Like the numbing chill of a fading hope. Like winter’s first snowfall when autumn had promised you it would forever stay. 
Phone in your hand and tears threatening to drip down your cheeks, you wish you would have waited a bit more before opening his text. Perhaps that way you could have spent the rest of your morning basking in the spring sun, drinking Jimin’s inevitably bad coffee, having hope that Jeon Jungkook would grow to care for you. Perhaps if you hadn’t opened it so soon, your soulmate would still seem in reach. 
Jimin’s mug nearly drops out of his hand when the door of your bedroom is slammed open. He flings it to the side when he notices your red-rimmed eyes and the shaking hands that clutch onto a cellphone. You scream and sob at the universe, at anyone, asking why it was you that had to experience the chaos of longing. Jimin was there to hold you, as he always is, and helplessly listen to the sound of your heart breaking once again by the hands of Jungkook.
Room 62B of the art building is a place you hope to never have to visit again. Though it’s walls contain memories of you and Jungkook, and the evenings navigating his gallery portfolio along with your convoluted relationship, the wallpaper bleeds with a longing ache. A yearning pain. And if those walls could talk, you don’t think you would want them to say anything at all. They would only murmur what you are slowly accepting to be true.
Jungkook, your soulmate, wants nothing to do with you. 
When you hesitantly rap on the door with a fisted hand, the sound of him rustling from inside makes you want to run the opposite direction. It opens before you get the chance to change your mind and the sight of him nearly takes your breath away. He is beautiful as he always is, hair ruffled and mussed from undoubtedly running his hands through it compulsively. His lips are pink from biting on them and the dark circles under his eyes tells you of the dreams he has deprived himself of. 
Jungkook is painfully gorgeous and painfully not yours. 
“Y/N...I sent you a text earlier.” His voice is saccharine but the words taste so bitter. 
“I know. I read it”, you murmur, shrinking in on yourself. 
“I....Can we talk, Jungkook?” 
His eyes dart around nervously at your question, chewing on his bottom lip and tapping the toe of his shoe as if he was impatient and you were bothering him. And you have known that simply being around Jungkook hurts but the light at the end of the tunnel only continues dwindling. 
You understand why he is acting so restless when your gaze drifts past him and into the room. There is a girl perched on a stool, across from a canvas and easel that you know awfully well. You don’t recognize her but it’s only in your nature to begin comparing every aspect of yourself to this stranger. She sits on her hands and swings her legs back and forth, head in the clouds and eyes trailing the ceiling. She isn’t aware of the weight of her presence in the studio, nor the turmoil she has brought to you, who is standing just outside the door. 
The oxygen in the hallway thins and the breath you’ve been waiting to release since knocking catches in your throat. Coming here, you prepared yourself for a long and inevitably heart-wrenching talk with your soulmate. But you hadn’t prepared for the possibility that he had replaced you overnight. 
The only thought that blares through your mind is that this is your fault. For letting yourself think you were worth more to Jeon Jungkook than any other stranger. You can no longer find it in yourself to be angry at him. Just yourself. 
“You…”, you gulp down a whimper, “you replaced me.” 
Jungkook follows your vacant stare past him and sighs, realizing you had most likely deducted what this scene looked like. You would be right. Between the weeks of trying to understand what you were to him and the impending due date of the portfolio, Jungkook was sure the best way to move past this confusion was to just speed full steam ahead. That meant finding another muse. You were no longer an option.
You only stare down at the floor, but Jungkook begins speaking anyway. 
“Y/N, I…I’m sorry.” You scoff at his words, feigning anger when inside, you truly didn’t know if you could piece yourself back together this time. 
“Look, Y/N. It’s not you. It’s just that…”, he breathes deep, not knowing why it was so hard to say. “I’ve stopped believing soulmates were truly a thing a long time ago. I’m sorry.” 
It’s not the first time you’ve heard these words but it doesn’t mean they hurt any less.
“I didn’t want to initiate anything, Y/N, but you did and I let you and that was my fault to let anything start. I shouldn’t have when I knew nothing would come of it.”
It was a fault to him. It never should have happened. 
“So you just thought you would kiss me and decide that I meant nothing to you afterwards?”
“It was a mistake.” It was painful to think it but when you hear Jungkook say it, you experience a new kind of ache. A humorless chuckle bubbles past your throat.
 “I really thought you would grow to love me. Now I know it’s not your fault that I’m a complete fool. To fall head over heels for my soulmate who wishes he had never even met me. Much less share a mark.” 
You can see Jungkook’s eyes widen at your confession, but you can’t find it in yourself to care. It was the truth. He deserved to hear it. 
“You shouldn’t. You can’t.” He reaches up to pull at his hair frustratedly.
“Can’t what, Jungkook? Love you? You think I want to be in love with someone who wishes I didn’t exist?” You hate your voice for breaking, but its impossibly painful when he does nothing to deny your statement. 
“What do you want me to say, Y/N? What can I say to make this better?”
Try: I love you too.
“I don’t need you to say anything you don’t mean, Jungkook.” 
“Then shouldn’t you leave?”
Jeon Jungkook is cruel even when he doesn’t mean to be. There is oblivion in his gaze, and his question is one of genuine curiosity. But it still stabs you exactly where your heart is most tender. Yes, I should have left. 
“I guess I thought you were worth the pain, Jungkook. When you pushed me away and wanted nothing to do with me, I thought you were worth hurting for just to try a little more. Worth the uncertainty of being around you but never getting to actually be with you”, you numbly mutter, uncaring about the rivulets of tears down your face. Not like it wasn’t something he’s never seen before. There is more to come on the tip of your tongue, and Jungkook stays quiet to let you speak. There is conflict in his vision, but you don’t want to give yourself the false hope that he cares for you. 
Look where that has gotten you before. 
“You still are, you know. Worth it.” You release a shaky breath. “But I was stupid to think that I am too.”
Saying the words are revelation for you as much as it is for him. All this time, you’ve been running away from the truth in the pursuit of your soulmate. You hadn’t realized that the chase led you astray. 
“And I know that loving me is not easy. I’m…”, you force the words out so he can at least hear your turmoil by his hands. “I’m never really good enough for anyone. Why did I expect that I would be good enough for you?” 
Jungkook’s expression crumples into a frown. “Y/N, no, that’s not what I mean-”
“You don’t have to tell me what you mean, Jungkook. I meet you and the first thing you say is that you don’t believe in such a thing. I try to get close to you and all you know to do is push me away. And I try so hard to be enough but how can I when Yoojung still has your heart? So you don’t have to say it. I know what you mean.” You’ve stopped crying but the ache relents, and you can only look desperately at the boy who’s slipping from your grasp with every passing second. 
“I’m sorry.” The message is redundant.
“I can’t…” Rip off the bandaid. 
“I just can’t love you.”
The words make their way past his lips before he can stop them, and they shoot through your core ruthlessly. A sharpened dagger to soft flesh. It manifests itself in a physical pain that reverberates across your chest, and when the last strength left in you is used to stare at Jungkook through a pained and teary gaze, you are deaf to everything but those four words.
I can’t love you.
I can’t love you. 
I can’t love you. 
You’re not sure what he is sorry for at this point. If Jungkook is apologizing for not loving you, you don’t blame him. If he is sorry for entertaining the possibility, you don’t blame him. If he is sorry that you are the one with a crescent moon on your wrist, don’t blame him either. All your life you cherished it like some kind of gift from the universe. Now, nursing your crumbling soul in front of Jungkook, you wish it had never appeared in the first place. 
You shake your head, tucking your lip in between your teeth to stop the sob in your chest from escaping. Through the crack of the door Jungkook hadn’t shut fully, the girl was still there, patiently sitting where you were supposed to and making herself scarce after inevitably hearing you bare your heart to a boy who had no interest in it. 
Humiliation goes hand in hand with heartbreak, and the embarrassment that comes with confessing your love and insecurity urges your feet to run home. But even you cannot deprive yourself of looking at him one more time. 
His wavy head of hair. The scar on his cheekbone that makes him look even more beautiful, if that were possible. The gloss in his dark brown eyes, and the way he looks at you through stone cold walls. You commit it to memory, however painful, before you walk out of his life. 
“Be happy, Jungkook.” 
You truly mean it. 
 The sound of your footsteps getting farther away from him is a sound Jungkook thinks he’ll remember for a long time. It almost prompts him to run after you, cradle you to his chest, and profess how sorry he is again and again until you can truly feel the sincerity. But he doesn’t. Only remains behind the self-procured walls and watches when your figure disappears down the hallway. 
Cold. Unbothered. Indifferent. That’s what he had always told himself when it came to you. But the hallway feels so lonely and the ghost of your presence feels even lonelier, and Jungkook wonders if he had been wrong. 
He walks back into the studio, permanent frown on his face and shoulders hunched over in stress. The paintbrush feels like a stranger rather than an extension of his arm, as it always does, but Jungkook begins painting anyway. Looking at the girl in front of him, he is reminded of the look on your face when you realized he had replaced you completely in the span of three weeks, without even giving you a notice. Her presence in his art studio suddenly feels entirely suffocating. 
“Mina, Get out.” 
“Get out of my studio. I don’t need you as a model, anymore. Thanks.” His voice cut through the tension of the room, like a hot knife to butter. He recognizes it as the voice he always forces himself to use around you, and grows even more aggravated. 
The girl scoffs annoyedly, snatching her handbag from the floor and rushing out of the room. Obviously she had thought something more was to come from Jungkook’s art arrangement. He made sure to let her know that was not the case. 
There is a gnawing in his chest. Deep and subtle, but it becomes more prominent as the window view from his studio turns from blue to black. He ponders about spending the night in here, instead of going home to his bedroom where he is forced to consult with the agony of solitude. On top of everything today, Jungkook doesn’t think he can handle that. 
Every time he closes his eyes, he sees the pain in your face when he tells you that he can’t love you and he hears the shaking in your voice when you tell him the things that weighed on your soul. He thought the word “wither” was only reserved for flowers. Jungkook didn’t realize a person could wither until he saw it right in front of him. 
In truth, he didn’t know. He didn’t know if he could love you or not. And to Jungkook, that was already a feat in itself. He’s spent so many months convincing himself that his emotional fortress was impregnable. So many nights over whiskey bottles telling himself that love was only for fools and pretenders. To be uncertain about love, now, well...that’s something he is not yet ready to admit to himself. Much less admit to you. But letting you any closer was a fatal game. 
Being uncertain about love means being uncertain about getting hurt. Jungkook has a feeling he wouldn’t make it out in one piece if his heart fell into wrong hands. 
He does end up returning to his apartment that night. But the walk feels far too long and the air feels far too frigid, or perhaps is it because he can’t hear the tread of your footsteps beside him? 
Whatever the reason, tonight feels more lonely.
The stars tell him it’s because he does not like the person he’s alone with. 
Back in room 62B, there is an abandoned painting on a rickety easel. He hadn’t even had the will to wash out his paintbrush, and he’s sure he’ll pay for it the next day. Looking at the piece now, his professor would tell him that there’s too many colors. Too much contrast and nearly not enough depth in his strokes. But what was he to do when he had kicked out his new model and couldn’t get the image of your visible heartbreak out of his brain? 
A familiar wrist with a quaint crescent moon sits on the canvas, and he sure as hell didn’t use Mina as the inspiration. Jungkook reminds himself to throw out the painting tomorrow morning. 
The grease on Jimin’s skillet pan is always so hard to clean. The dish soap never truly cuts through the oil, and no matter how much you rinse it over with scalding water, it still feels soiled. On a normal day, it wouldn’t frustrate you so much. Today, a month-and-a-half after your soulmate made it clear to you that you had no place in his life, you want to throw the pan out the window and cry on the kitchen floor until it collapses with the weight of your tears. 
You settle for throwing down the sponge and making Jimin wash his own dishes.
The phone-that you usually now tend to ignore-buzzes on the counter, and you groan at your complete lack of desire to answer it. But the screen lights up with your roommate’s name and you hit the green button. 
“Y/N! How are you feeling, lovebug?” Jimin’s cheerful tone on speakerphone makes you want to cry. You can only imagine how terrible it is for him to be your roommate when all you know how to do now is mope and cry about a boy who probably hasn’t thought about you since. But he’s been holding you through all your breakdowns, and even sets up the air mattress on the floor of your bedroom when some nights are a little bit harder than most. 
“I’ve had better days”, you glare at the pan in the sink. “What’s up?’
“So I have a friend…”
“Jimin, no.” 
He sighs over the phone understandingly, but still not satisfied. “I know it’s only been a month Y/N, but it doesn’t have to be anything. He’s not looking for anything serious either. But maybe it would be good for you to take your mind off things.” 
It’s been a month. Four weeks. Roughly 31 days, and you still remember every word he said to you in the hallway of the art building. Every pause and quiver of his breath, and the way he looked so completely indifferent to your pain. Was one month enough for you to let go even after finding out Jungkook never planned to hold on in the first place?
“Look, you don’t have to decide now. I’m sorry for pushing you if you’re not ready.” His mumbling is apologetic and it makes you realize that Jimin genuinely means well. Maybe you weren’t ready to move on from Jungkook yet. Maybe you never will be. He was your damn soulmate, after all. But maybe a distraction couldn’t hurt.
“I’ll do it.” 
You can practically feel him smiling like an idiot over the phone. “Really?!” You sigh into the speaker and Jimin knows better to continue talking before you change your mind.
“His name is Namjoon, he works with me at the office. Super cute. Super hot. Super smart. Checks all your boxes!”, he rambles on about the nitty gritty details and though a part you is proud that you’re making the decision to move on with life, you can’t help but to realize that no one will ever be able to “check all your boxes”.
Not if they’re not Jungkook. 
“He sounds great, Jimin.” Anyone can tell your happiness is disingenuous, even through the phone. Jimin tells you that he had already planned a date (without your knowledge), and sends you on your way with a quick goodbye when his taxi arrives. The silence of the apartment after the conversation leaves you feeling even more weighted, but hopeful for the possibility of a distraction. You had a feeling you won’t be able to forget the likes of Jeon Jungkook if you tried. But, if only for a night, you were to forget the pain of loving him, you’ll take that chance. 
“What do you mean they all ‘feel the same’?” Jungkook is exasperated. He had drafted a complete version of his portfolio, working through the nights by the sweat of his brow. Now his professor was telling him that all his pieces felt the same and Jungkook thinks he might commit arson to the art studio.
Professor Sejin sighs contemplatively, taking off his glasses and throwing them on the table, all too familiar with Jungkook’s periodic art tantrums. 
“I mean that your pieces lack any variegation. The portfolio is well done and coherent, but the completed package is one-noted. It’s consistent. But too much so.”
Professor Sejin’s words make him fall back into the chair dejectedly, shoulders slumped and disappointment in his eyes at the critique of his art. Though it is hard to hear, Jungkook always welcomes productive criticism. The older man sympathizes with his downcast eyes and the visible stress on his back. 
“Look, Jungkook”, he affirms sincerely, “you just need to find some dynamic. Something to make people know that you can do more than one tone of art.” It’s obvious that the professor has a soft spot for the boy in front of him, who looks like his entire world is collapsing. The portfolio folder is handed back to him and Jungkook has the urge to burn it and not hear the word “gallery” again in the next decade. 
“I have faith in you. You’ll figure out what it is that you’re missing.” The smile on the man’s face is congenial. Genuine. And even though he has an ambitious amount of work to do, Jungkook finds the will to nod, haul himself off the office chair, and begin the trek back to his studio. 
The pinnacle of spring is approaching and the sun shines brighter with each morning. Not that he would know or care. He’s spent the last month locking himself inside, dedicating every fluid ounce of energy towards completing his project. It’s been surprisingly easier, and Jungkook finds himself finishing paintings, sketches, and sculptures with ease. Like untapped inspiration had revealed itself to him suddenly. Yet it still wasn’t least not according to Professor Sejin. 
Headphones drown out the cacophony of hustlers and bustlers with the laughter of children as accompaniment. He doesn’t allow himself to enjoy the music of the city. Not anymore. It gives him too much space to think, and Jungkook has a feeling that’s not good for anyone and definitely not good for him. 
The sight of a familiar bakery with particularly delicious apple strudels is enough to stop him in his rush, feet winding down until he is standing outside, staring at the door and wondering if he could go in without being reminded of you. Well, it might be too late for that anyhow, but further signs of protest are halted when he hears his growling stomach. 
Jungkook had morbidly underestimated your presence in the memory of his favorite cafe. You are everywhere. He sees your smiling face when he looks up at the chalkboard menu, soul vying for you to be next to him and excitedly choosing a new fru-fru drink that would undoubtedly have excessive sugar. He hears your giggles ruminating through the cafe while the other patrons only hear the music over loudspeaker. He practically feels you near, but that doesn’t matter now. It’s better this way. No one gets hurt this way. 
Jungkook plops himself at a corner table and buries his face in his hands, fingertips soothing over his pulsing eyebags and wrinkles he’s gotten from sleep deprivation. He desperately needs an espresso shot. Or five. 
“Hey…”, a voice makes him snap his head up. Jungkook recognizes the stranger as the owner’s son, who always stands guard at the cash register. The tag on his lapel reads Kim Seokjin, and Jungkook has a distant memory of you gushing over how nice Seokjin’s hair was. He had acted unbothered back then, but Jungkook would die before telling a soul that he was annoyed and jealous when you thought the cashier was cute. 
“Jungkook, right?”. He has a kind smile and a natural air of invitation. Jungkook nods. 
“I’ve seen you around a lot. Where’s that girl you always come here with?”
“I don’t see how that’s any of your business”, he nearly hisses, antsy at the mere mention of you. He instantly regrets it though. Seokjin looks like he’s been cornered with a blunt weapon, and it makes Jungkook sigh at his own asshole-ishness. 
“I’m sorry”, he mumbles, “just not a good day. At all.” 
There is a pause and hesitation before the boy speaks. “Do you...wanna talk about it?” Seokjin’s question is met with silence. 
There is a predictability about Jeon Jungkook. He doesn’t open himself up to anyone. He pretends that he doesn’t have problems so well, people start to become convinced. He avoids new connections like it’s the plague. But there is something so idiosyncratic about Kim Seokjin that makes him want to talk. Makes him want to trust a complete stranger. 
So Jungkook nods, depositing his black backpack besides him and lets himself breathe deep. 
“Her name is Y/N….”
In the lukewarm air of the café, Jungkook tells Seokjin about you. About the tiny crescent moon on your wrist that identically matches his - even unwraps his cloth to show it - and how he pushed you away hard enough to put an ocean’s worth of distance between the two of you. He tells Seokjin about Yoojung and the stars on her skin that have been plaguing him since the day she left. He tells him about that damn portfolio that refuses to be finished; one that he apparently has to start over because Professor goddamn Sejin says it's too boring. He allows himself to unload, and wow is it easier to breathe when you talk about your feelings. Jungkook reminds himself to do that more often. 
The “conversation” seems to stretch for hours (if a conversation can be considered one person unleashing all their hidden baggage on the other while they sit in silence). Jin listens intently through the entire ordeal, offering occasional nods and encouragement for him to continue. When Jungkook finally finishes with a deep breath, falling back on the chair looking completely worn out, Jin fixes him with a hot tea before speaking.
“The portfolio is important to you, Jungkook. If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. Something tells me that you’re not one to give up so easily”, he quips with a playful lilt in his voice. Jin’s genuine faith in him makes Jungkook believe in himself.
“And as for Yoojung, well, I can’t speak on your pain. You are the only one that narrates your experiences but as much as she seems like a villain in your story, perhaps she has opened a door.” Jungkook thinks his voice sounds far too wise to be coming from a guy in his 20’s.
“Would you have known how to nurse a broken heart had it not been for her? I’m sorry she did that to you, Jungkook, but..Yoojung is your past. And I see so much in your future.” 
Jungkook only stares into the abyss of his tea cup. The reflection that stares back is someone he desperately wants to learn to love. When he looks up again, there is a sad glimmer in Seokjin’s gaze. Something so despondent that he feels second-hand pain. 
Jin pulls up the sleeve of his knit sweater. On his wrist sits a faded marigold, so blanched it almost blends in with his skin and makes him wonder if it will just disappear one day. Jungkook feels his blood run cold.
“It’s been two years since she died”, he stares solemnly at his skin, “I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about her.” 
Jungkook’s thought about his soulmate mark disappearing before. Even hoped and prayed for it the days after Yoojung left. But now, when he sees it up close on Seokjin’s wrist, Jungkook doesn’t want to wish that loneliness upon anyone. 
“She was so damn...persistent”, Jin laughs, fondness dripping in every word. “Like your Y/N in that way, I suppose. She had a goal and was hell-bent on achieving it. She was so kind and strong and much more of a badass than I could ever be. I loved that about her.” There is sorrow in his voice when he uses the past tense, and Jungkook feels even worse for pouring his heart out about his very alive soulmate. 
“She was studying to be a doctor, you know? Ironic that even the best doctors couldn’t have saved her in the end.” His sentence trails off and he loses focus gazing out the window, fidgeting with the ring on his left hand with a faraway look in his eyes. 
“I don’t mean to ramble about my dead soulmate for no reason, Jungkook. And I’m in no position to tell you what you should or should not do regarding Y/N. But if I could restart this life with my soulmate, there wouldn’t be one second I would waste not at her side.” Jin’s tone is not accusatory or convicting. Just honest.
“It’s normal to be scared and apprehensive. Hell, I would be more concerned if you weren’t going into it with a shit ton of skepticism. I was terrified. Yet out of the billions of people that could’ve had my mark on their wrist, just knowing that she was that one was enough for me to love her.”
The cup of tea has long gone cold. Jungkook only manages to stare at the mahogany table, thoughts too heavy to voice aloud, so Jin continues. 
“I think I would give anything to know that such a person still exists for me. Someone out there that was chosen by an unknown, cosmic force for an unexplainable reason just for me. To see a mark that matches my own. Well…”, Jin breathes deeply, tears welling in his eyes but not falling, “I think that must be the most wonderful thing in the entire world.”
Seokjin’s words stick with him long after he has departed from the café. Long after the tea has settled in his stomach along with the weight of what a soulmate means to this stranger whose life story he has learned in the course of an evening. 
Even so, Jungkook’s not sure what he should feel. The fear of vulnerability still feels like a designated thundercloud above his head, and the thought of letting you past his walls makes Jungkook want to run the other way.
At the same time, the trepidation doesn’t feel so heavy anymore. It’s still there, and he can’t pinpoint exactly what happened but when he sees your smiling face behind his eyelids, Jungkook doesn’t feel scared. When he focuses on what you look like under sunlight, or your eyes staring at him through a camera lens, there is no fear of the broken heart you could leave him with. Just something warm. Something that feels an awful lot
 But what does Jungkook know about such things? 
He shrugs it off his shoulders, and readies himself for a night of inevitably restless sleep. He blames it on the impending due date of his beloved portfolio, but really, it is you. You and your insistence on trying every single coffee shop in the city. You and your convoluted idea of a date; letting your partner choose the location with their eyes closed. You and…
Just everything about you. 
He falls asleep well into 4am. The thin strap of cloth sits on his bedside table. Even if it is only for the night sky to see, Jungkook lets his soulmate mark breathe. 
It’s been so long since you’ve dressed up or cleaned up to go out anywhere, the reflection that stares back feels like a stranger. You’ve opted for a bold red lip, meticulously applying your makeup so that even the wing of your eyeliner was sharp enough to kill. Jimin forced you to curl your hair too, of course. The girl in the mirror looks beautiful. You know that she is beautiful.
So why is it that you can only see the face that is not enough for Jeon Jungkook? A person that he is unable to love. No, not even foundation can cover the face of longing.
“Y/N”, Jimin sing-songs, “hurry! You don’t wanna be late do you?” No, you don’t want to be late. You want to not go. Maybe retreat to your bedroom and cry the night away again. But you won’t tell him that when he is so clearly ecstatic that you’re spending a night out for the first time in months. 
The restaurant looks like it is entirely out of your budget. Well, you reckon any restaurant is out of your budget with all the debt that looms overhead and your painfully apparent unemployment. Waiting for Namjoon is less than exhilarating, and you spend the time fiddling with your bracelet that conveniently covers the crescent moon. These days, you can’t bear to look at it anymore. Your eyes are glued to the little mark, before a voice sounds from across the table.
“Sorry I’m late, traffic was insane. You must be Y/N, nice to meet you.” You weren’t sure what you expected Kim Namjoon to look like but were pleasantly surprised. Namjoon looks like he takes care of himself, neat and clean and sporting a very shiny watch that looks like 4 months’ worth of rent. 
“And you must be Namjoon. Likewise.” 
When he pulls out the chair to sit down, you can’t help but to notice the cloud on his wrist. It was smaller than yours but you had no doubt it felt just as heavy. If Namjoon felt your gaze on his skin, he did nothing to show it. 
“Hey, I know I just got here but…”, he sighs and takes a look around the room, “do you wanna get out of here? Find the cheapest and greasiest food we can?” His request makes you smile, and you grab the purse that rested on the table. 
“Namjoon, I think that’s the best idea you’ve had yet.” 
You and Namjoon manage to find a diner that wasn’t far from the fancy restaurant, and you thank the skies that you didn’t have to pay $50 for a salad tonight. Just some pocket change for quite possibly the best and oiliest hamburger you’ve ever had. 
By conversation that happens through mouthfuls of food and faces smeared with milkshake residue, you come to learn that Namjoon is an unsurprisingly nice guy. He studies poetry, but is working as a secretary at an office, hence his connection to Jimin. He loves to garden and talks about his bonsai plants to you like they’re his kids, even pulling up pictures on his phone and gazing down at them fondly. It makes you smile. He plays the piano, and likes to take long bike rides when the weather permits. 
It’s nice to have someone reciprocate your effort. It’s something you haven’t experienced in a long time, all credit to one Jeon Jungkook. Namjoon is warm in all the corners where Jungkook is cold. 
In a word, he is pretty damn perfect. And if he had a crescent moon on his wrist, you probably wouldn’t bat an eye or have a lick of doubt in the universe. He encompasses everything you want, so alike you in so many aspects it makes you wary. If Namjoon had your matching soulmate mark, you would already be in love with him. 
But he doesn’t. And that thought alone keeps you from feeling anything but platonicity. He is not Jungkook. You don’t think anyone can make you feel the way Jungkook does. You want to curse the stars for making this so. 
It’s well into the night, and you both remain planted in the diner booth, chatting and chuckling over a plate of french fries. It’s when you drift off while he’s talking about his latest attempt at focaccia that Namjoon sighs and sits back in the seat. 
“What?”, you confusedly ask after he suddenly stops speaking.
He smiles. Stays silent for a couple seconds. Then speaks. 
“So what did your soulmate do to you?”
His question catches you off guard and you can only stare at him, frown on your face and words lost on your tongue. 
“You’ve been staring into space every 5 minutes this whole night, and fidgeting with your bracelet so much I’m surprised it hasn’t fallen off”, he explains, tenderness and sympathy in his tone. 
“Every time I speak, you have this sad look in your eyes and I have a feeling you’re imagining someone else’s face, Y/N. I’ve enjoyed talking to you...a lot. But I can tell you want to be somewhere else so”, Namjoon places his elbows on the table and gazes at you endearingly, “tell me about your soulmate.” 
You stare at Namjoon through shocked eyes, glistening with the onset of tears that you manage to keep from escaping. Gosh, you were pathetic. Already wanting to cry at the mere mention of him. Or maybe the fact that someone could see through your facade. You take a deep breath. 
“His name is Jeon Jungkook.” Your voice quivers, and Namjoon continues listening intently. You are reluctant to continue because you know that once this conversation begins, there is a chance you might have to confront yourself again with the pain of loving someone who doesn’t want love. You internally apologize to Namjoon in advance, for you might cry on this first date. 
“I…I’m completely head over heels in love with him  but after everything, I’m not sure I have the slightest clue what love is. Because what sane person can fall in love with a person who has made it clear that that love wouldn’t be reciprocated from the get go?”
You fiddle with the plastic straw in your milkshake, searching for the courage to go on and tell him about every thought that you have denied yourself the satisfaction of verbalizing. 
“He loves apple strudels, you know. Eats them every time like they’re the last apple strudels he’ll ever have and he doesn’t give a damn who’s watching”, you chuckle, gaze drifting off to space. There is a fondness in your eyes as you speak, and Namjoon does not miss it. 
“He’s as punctual as the day is long. One time I was late to a photoshoot and he almost made me cry lecturing me about the importance of being on time. But now I’m never late.” 
The memory makes you, as well as Namjoon, smile. 
“He paints like his life depends on it, and he’ll get oil paint on his face without noticing and sometimes I just want to reach out and wipe it off. But I think he’d murder me on the spot.”
“How come?”, Namjoon offers his first words in the midst of your monologue. You’re not sure what to say next. 
“Well...I think Jeon Jungkook might be the coldest person I’ve ever met”, you dejectedly sigh. Reality tastes bitter even with remnants of whipped cream on your lips. 
“Every time I was around him, it felt like I was willingly breaking my own heart just for the chance to know that he was next to me. That in this entire world of billions of people, the one with the same moon on their wrist was next to me. And...I guess I didn’t really need him to love me yet”, your gaze locks onto Namjoon and you find he is already staring at you with utmost curiosity and subtle pity. 
“Jungkook alone was enough. I just wish he could have felt the same about me.” 
Perhaps the reason why the truth is so painful to speak is because people have a tendency to run from it. Then when it catches up to you, it’s a harsh trip and fall to the rocky ground. There is no cushion when you land. 
Namjoon doesn’t offer advice. Doesn’t dish his own experiences to relate to your own or even make any comments from his perspective. He just sits and listens in silence, but it doesn’t feel like he is disregarding you. No, his eyes tell you that he soaks in every word. You hope you’ll get the chance to do the same for him...if he ever decides to share his story with you. 
The two of you leave the diner with a prospective to be friends, and no plans of a future second date. You had a strong feeling that spending the entire evening talking about your unrequited soulmate love had something to do with that. Nevertheless, though Namjoon didn’t work out as a distraction, you were glad to have met him. It made you realize something.
Even if Jimin thought you were ready to move on. Even if you thought you were ready to forget. It might be a lifetime before you finally let go of that boy.
The morning reeks of rain and dew, humidity nearly clawing its way through his window and turning his apartment into a swamp. When he wakes up, it is not to his blaring alarm clock, but the uncomfortable sensation of a sweaty shirt sticking to his back. Jungkook groans, already tired of this day. It seems hopeless from the beginning. 
As much as he wanted to stay home and crank up the air conditioner so much that his landlord would come running, Professor Sejin’s voice reverberates through his eardrums.
You art is too one-noted, Jungkook.
Be better, Jungkook.
You’re talentless and will never succeed, Jungkook. 
Of course, these are not Professor Sejin’s verbatim, more so Jungkook’s own mind that twists his teacher’s constructive criticism into something else. He is a master at feeding his insecurity.
Jungkook chugs down a lukewarm cup of black coffee, and his stomach growls for something with a little more sugar and maybe a dash of rainbow colored sprinkles. He guesses he has you to thank for that. The art studio is always a daily destination, and this day is no different. Jungkook has a plan to dedicate himself to fixing his portfolio and maybe finish that clay piece he never got around to. 
The studio is too cold for his liking; Jungkook can’t remember how many times he has begged the superintendent to lower the AC. The cold he can deal with. The loneliness, however, is a different story. Jungkook is always alone. Alone when he’s in his apartment. Alone when he’s in class. Alone when he’s in the art room. These days, aloneness feels more haunting when he knows he had the option to escape it, but chose to stay. A part of him is ready to admit that it’s because of you. 
Jungkook hums a random melody that had been stuck in his head since the morning, fingers gliding over the slick sculpting clay. The days are easier now. He doesn’t think about you so much when the sun is out and there is the bustling of the busy city to distract him. The nights, however, are just as difficult as they have been. Jungkook’s last drifting thought is of you, and your face torturously carries over to each dream. Like his entire being misses you but he refuses to accept it. 
He takes a deep sigh in relief once the sculpture feels finished. Professor Sejin wanted something more dynamic, so there: his very own realist clay piece drawing inspiration from Praxiteles’ sculpture of Aphrodite. He sits back in pride, admiring his own handiwork and giving himself a mental pat on the back. It looks great. Perfect even. It looks….
It looks like you. 
Jungkook pales at the realization as the clay face stares back at him. No, this was supposed to be Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love, inspired by the ancient Greek artist that sculpted her. Then why does she have your nose? Those eyes are definitely your’s and even those cheeks are identical. Jungkook hadn’t even realized that in the rhythm of his art, he got lost and accidentally sculpted your face instead. 
He walks away from the clay table and hurriedly yanks off the soiled apron around his waist, confusion swimming in every cell of his body. How had he just...made a sculpture of you? With no knowledge that he was doing it?
Jungkook leans with his back against the sink, staring down at the floor with furrowed brows and a thundering heart. With a sudden epiphany, Jungkook leaps from his position and pulls out all the canvases, printed photographs, graphite drawings, and clay pieces he’s made for the past few months. Everything he can grab in the small studio space. 
It is then that he comes to the daunting realization:
Holy shit.
Professor Sejin was right.
 Everything feels the same. His whole portfolio has one note and no dynamic or diversity because...well, because all of his pieces are of you. Not you, necessarily, but your breath has come alive on his art in some way, shape, or form. 
The multimedia painting he made two weeks ago using polystyrene sheets was supposed to mimic sunlight through a stained glass window, but Jungkook hadn’t even noticed he'd drawn the window of the café you dragged him to on its opening day. And the colors of the glass is just the twinkle of your eyes when they stare back into his. 
The photoset he spent hours taking around the city, after taking a 15 minute train ride, were just repeats of all the places you two went to that one day. The book store. The park. The streetlight where Yoojung stopped him. He hadn’t even realized he only saved the photos associated with a subconscious memory of you. 
Jungkook can’t explain it, but he feels you in every single picture. Every piece of art that his hands have manifested since you walked into his life, stupid smile on your face and that little moon on your wrist. He feels it...and call it artist’s intuition or something but perhaps that’s why Professor Sejin could feel it too. 
Even though he stopped making you his muse months ago, you are still the root of inspiration for whatever he’s produced since. And if that’s not enough to finally tell him what he needs to hear. Finally make him realize that he’s fallen in love with you without even knowing it, the universe doesn’t know what will. 
The minutes it has been since he realized your place in his life melts like slow dripping honey, feeling like an eternity when it is mere moments. Jungkook regains his focus in the haze. He knows what you mean to him now, but there was something he had to fo first. 
He swipes all his paintbrushes and palette knives to the side, sweat on his brow as he furiously rearranges his portfolio. He takes out the pictures of Mina - no one would miss them anyway - and trashes all the photos he took before he met you. He only uses the art he’s created post-Y/N and tucks them in the manila folder so rapidly, there’s paper cuts on his fingers. But he doesn’t feel them. Jungkook has only one objective. 
He snaps a picture of the new clay sculpture he’s just finished. The photo goes into the portfolio with the name ‘Aphrodite’, but Jungkook knows better about whose face that truly belongs to. Not that anyone would bat an eye. He thinks you are as beautiful as the goddess herself. 
The trip to Professor Sejin’s office is short, unsurprising though, since Jungkook sprints the whole way there. When he arrives, and the professor can only stare as he’s bent over and huffing violently trying to catch his breath, Jungkook reminds himself to spend less time at the studio and more time on the cardio. 
He throws the portfolio onto the man’s desk unceremoniously, nearly collapsing on the chair across from him and not ready to speak yet. Professor Sejin confusedly rifles through the folder quickly, too quickly, and sighs, ready to offer Jungkook yet the same critique again. 
He opens his mouth, but Jungkook cuts him off. 
“Before you say anything…”, he gulps, finally ready to admit the truth to himself. 
“I want you to know that I’ve met my soulmate, a-and there’s a reason why you feel that my portfolio is all the same. There’s a reason why you feel it’s all one-noted or that there’s no progression.” Jungkook takes a deep breath and closes his eyes, and you are there behind his lids. 
“It’s because she sowed the seeds for all of them. Everything. Those paintings and photos and sculptures are just symptoms of what I’ve been feeling this whole time after meeting her. She’s practically the artist, not me.” Professor Sejin stays silent at his monologue, gaze unreadable but eyes sharp and trained solely on Jungkook. 
“Maybe...Maybe art doesn’t need to be super variegated all the time. Maybe it’s supposed to be a cohesive unit and the pieces should string to each other. Maybe paintings should have a relationship to photos and them, to sculptures. Maybe you’re just...wrong.” 
He is exasperated and passion flows out of him through every pore. Jungkook looks expectantly at his professor, who has the open folder in his hand and still in the process of taking in his words. When the adrenaline starts to fade, he realizes that he just dissed his venerable teacher. 
“With all due respect…”, he coughs, “sir.” 
Professor Sejin lets Jungkook spend the next couple minutes in complete torturous silence so that he can finish reviewing his portfolio. The tension is cut with the sound of the man’s hands slapping together as he closes the folder. Jungkook prepares himself for a stern lecture.
However, when he looks up, there is a smile on the man’s face. There’s no malice there, or even disdain. He pulls off his glasses, sets them on the table, and sits back in the office chair, arms folded over his chest. Jungkook can feel his heart threatening to pound past his rib cage. 
“Jungkook…”, Professor Sejin declares, “I think you’ve got a contender for the gallery spot.” 
If someone had asked you what Jeon Jungkook meant to you, you would look them in the eye and tell them that he meant nothing. Because it’s easier to pretend that someone does not mean anything to you after they pretend that you do not exist. That the universe had not given you both matching marks and deemed that your souls were meant for each other. Jeon Jungkook is a stranger to you. One that you wanted so badly to love. But you’ve come to learn that no matter how hard you try; you can’t love someone who doesn’t want to love at all.
So the days trickle by as they usually do. Painstakingly slow and viscous with memories of a boy named Jeon Jungkook and the way he has hurt you enough to last a little bit over forever. 
“I understand why you don’t want to go, Y/N. But aren’t you the least bit curious? Especially after that fancy invitation in the mail?” Jimin’s query is innocent. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make your blood boil. 
“I don’t know...the thought of going to my soulmate’s grand art gallery when the last time we spoke, he told me he can’t love me, just doesn’t seem appealing Jimin”, you snark, burying your face into the bowl of cereal you are now spooning far too aggressively. 
“’s been months. And he wouldn’t have sent you an invitation if he didn’t want you to come.” 
This conversation has happened too frequently since that red envelope arrived at your apartment. You cried your eyes out when you opened it, both out of pride for Jungkook and the fact that no matter what you did, the universe found a way to keep you from moving on. 
A sigh heaves through your chest, and the cereal is abandoned by your loss of appetite. “I’m not going to show up there and have him tell me again all of the reasons he can’t be with me. I barely survived it last time.” 
“But what if, Y/N?”
There is a glimmer in Jimin’s eye and he radiates so much hopefulness for you, you can’t help but to feel it too. 
“Isn’t the what if already enough? You used to tell me that Jungkook was worth anything. Isn’t he worth the risk this time too?”
You don’t have anything else to say after that because as much as you hate to admit, perhaps Jimin is right. Jungkook is worth going through anything for, even if he wants to stay as far away as possible. Call it a fluke in the postal system that the invitation to his gallery landed on your doorstep, but can you allow yourself to read between the lines and dare say that he sent it himself? Can you put yourself through such a perilous thing like optimism?
Jungkook has left you battered and broken for the past months. But you would give your heart to him to break all over again if he asked. 
To say that you did not fit in with those dawdling around the art gallery was a gross understatement. You didn’t just not fit in. Your entire presence and aura defied every expectation, and suddenly, watching the upper echelon of the city mingle with champagne and gaze critically at Jungkook’s art, makes every breath feel like an insecurity. 
The boy in question was nowhere in sight, and you now regret not dragging Jimin with you. The invitation had specifically prohibited plus one’s, and though Jimin whined to no end about his hurt feelings and emptily promised never to talk to Jungkook again, you managed to keep him home. Now, you wish you were back at the apartment with him.
The pieces were, in short, completely breathtaking (to no surprise, of course, this was Jungkook you were talking about). Though you knew he always held doubt in himself, in the short time he allowed you to be in his life, you had never once thought he was anything less than spectacular. Yet you could not allow yourself to completely enjoy them. Each brushstroke and paint color you remember from his palettes, or the filters on the photos that you helped him with, was agonizing to look at. 
You are standing in front of a canvas titled “Windowlight” when a man comes up beside you. He nurses a flute of bubbly champagne and makes no move to gain eye contact. Unknown to you, Professor Sejin knows exactly who you are. He’s seen your face in his student’s portfolio one too many times. 
“Artful use of mixed media, isn’t it?”, he mutters.
“I suppose so.” 
“He’s quite the prodigy. Have you met him yet? I’m sure he’s lurking around somewhere.” The man takes a sip from his glass, smirk on his lips hidden from your eyes that still blankly stare ahead.
“Yes. He’s a...friend.” We share a soulmate mark. He hates my guts. 
He hums a sound of affirmation and you ignore the weird feeling it leaves in your stomach; one that tells you this stranger sees right through you. 
“Ah, how rude of me. Professor Sejin. Arts director and senior advisor.” He spares you a brief glance, but you make no move to shake his hand or pretend to be courteous. You don’t have the energy for it tonight. Just being in this building, surrounded by everything Jungkook has touched, makes you want to collapse into yourself. 
“It was nice to meet you, Y/N.” He speaks nonchalantly, and you almost miss the fact that you never told him your name. Your brows crease in confusion and you are ready to turn and interrogate the stranger, but he is already walking away, gliding smoothly across the gallery. Before he gets too far, though, Sejin cranes his neck and makes eye contact. 
“Oh, and be sure to visit the one called ‘Moon’. It’s upstairs, next to the Aphrodite sculpture on the second level exhibit”, he entreats, a suspicious lilt in his voice.
“Something tells me you’ll appreciate its…sincerity.”
Honestly, you’re not sure what you expected when you came to Jungkook’s art gallery tonight. But to be approached by a stranger who already knows your name, who dubiously instructs you to seek out a mystery art piece, was not on the list of expectations. Still...Professor Sejin’s words made you curious. 
Through the night, your eyes subconsciously seek out that familiar head of fluffy brown hair and a tall gait that always seems to stick out, even in a large crowd. It was as if Jungkook versed himself in complete camouflage, so much so that you began to doubt that he was even in the building.  
The traipse through the gallery is done in silence and solitude, and you tune out the sounds of popping champagne and raucous laughter coming from the second floor, as the patrons undoubtedly banter over which piece to auction off. You hope he keeps them. You’ve never seen someone appreciate art the way that Jungkook does. 
You catch sight of a few pieces that you recognize, ones that you remember him showing you when he had finished. You always excitedly told him every single one was a masterpiece, and Jungkook only rolled his eyes and made minimal effort at hiding the blush on his cheeks. Your steps falter when you come across a set of photographs in black and white, set in consecutive frames next to each other and it feels so warm despite the lack of color. Jungkook just had that special talent when it came to photography. 
It’s the bookstore. In the city during the impromptu train ride you had coerced him to take. Your heart catches in your throat as you recognize all the other ones immediately because’ve been to all those spots. A familiar pressure builds in the back of your eyes, and you swallow down a whimper of pain. 
The urge to leave becomes too strong. But not strong enough to quell the slow burn of curiosity from Professor Sejin. There is a chance that you might not run into Jungkook at all tonight with the vast space and people bumbling through the corridors. It hurts to think that you might never see him again at all, but you’ll allow yourself another indulgence. Something is calling you. 
Moon. He titled it Moon? You grip onto your wrist reflexively and run your thumb over the mark, like you did when you were younger and still had hope for soulmates. The pulsepoint there beats under your finger and lets you know how alive you are. Compels you to give into your curiosity, even if it might decimate your already crumbling heart. The stairs that lead up to the second floor are short, but the trek feels like it knocks the wind out of you, or perhaps that was just the anticipation of what was waiting for you on the other side.
You were right to be scared. Because right in the smack dab center of the circular room is where you see it, and your gasp is one that can be heard from each wall and corner. 
A painting of you. A portrait from the waist up, with oil paint and so much detail, Jungkook has even managed to line the shallow wrinkles by your eyes when you smile. You have never considered yourself beautiful in any sense but the way he has captured you on canvas starts to make you believe that you truly are. You feel Jungkook in each streak of the brushstroke where he hadn’t spread the color evenly. It is as if the painting is alive, and though you are staring at yourself, it doesn’t feel like the way it does in the mirror. Doesn’t feel like a reflection. 
No, this feels like looking through Jungkook’s eyes. It is what he sees in you, rather than what you see in yourself. And what he sees is beautiful. Through the haze of shock and confusion as to why he chose this as the centerpiece, you don’t notice the warm presence that lurks behind you. The one that has watched your every move since you walked into this building. 
“Yeah, that’s my favorite one too.” 
You whip your head around so quick it nearly gives you whiplash, but the sight of him is the nail in the coffin. Jungkook is cleaned up in a black suit, and an unfamiliar smile on his lips he rarely lets you see. A genuine one that he’s tried to hide so many times but now that it’s clear and up close, you resent him for keeping it from you. 
Jungkook is just as gorgeous as the day you lost him. 
But looking at him hurts. You don’t know why you’re even here, and why he sent the invitation, or why he was standing in front of you now and there is not a sliver of antipathy in his eyes. You don’t know why your face is plastered in the center of the gallery. Most of all, you don’t know why you are still weak in the knees for Jeon Jungkook. 
“Although, I have to say, it was a close race between this one and the pictures I made you take at the lake, when you nearly dunked me in the river because it was so cold”, he breathily laughs but you aren’t able to get through the shock just yet. If Jungkook notices your starstruck state, he doesn’t let it affect him. 
“And I definitely have to give some credit to the one I painted after you told me about your dream”, Jungkook prattles on, “where you were a mermaid who planted peaches under the sea, remember? That’s an honorable mention.” 
These memories make you want to smile but in this moment, the best you can do is try to hold yourself together when your eyes begin to warm with tears. Jungkook stays silent when you do. He notices you haven’t said a word and your gaze refuses to meet his. 
“Why are you doing this, Jungkook?”, you curse yourself when your voice cracks. “Why are you telling me these things? Haven’t you hurt me enough?” Jungkook’s smile drops off his face, and for once, you can see your own pain reflected in his eyes. 
He takes a deep breath, hands hanging limply at his side that itch to wrap themselves around yours. To feel your skin. Feel your mark. 
“I…”, he hesitates in his words, “I remember that day every night when I go to sleep, Y/N. Every time I shut my eyes, I just see your face when I told you I can’t love you, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt such aching before. Not even when she left me.” Jungkook’s voice is tinted with desperation but it just makes your walls rise higher. 
He’s lying to you. Your tongue wants to protest, but he continues. 
“I see you in everything”, Jungkook breathes out, like he is also admitting it to himself. 
“The paintbrushes I can never put down to the black coffee I force myself to drink nowadays because the ones I actually like, the ones with too much whipped cream and vanilla syrup, just reminds me of you.” His brows are knitted, and his feet vie to step closer to your quivering form. But you look like a caged animal about to bolt at any moment. 
“And when I’m reminded of you, I am reminded of…”, he gulps down the fear, “I’m reminded of how I am utterly in love with someone who deserves so much more than what I have put them through.”
The blood that runs through your veins drops to subzero temperatures, and you swear in the split millisecond that you have absorbed what he’s just said, your heart ceases its beating. The world stops turning, and the waves still for a brief moment. You can’t find any words just yet, but Jungkook can see straight through you and your stupefied expression. 
“Y-you’re lying to me, Jungkook. Stop lying.” 
“I’m not lying, please…” Jungkook knows he’s losing you by the second, but he’s promised you he would persist. He just wants you to listen. Wants you to feel how sorry he is, and how his soul screams to be next to your’s. 
“I can’t explain how it happened. Like it was an epiphany. Like someone has been screaming at me and I had been ignoring them, and that someone was my own heart.” Jungkook doesn’t stumble over his words once. He does not stutter because it is the plain white truth. 
“Stop, Jungkook.”
“It’s been knocking on the door of my chest and when I finally let it in, it just yells and shouts ‘oh my god, you’re in love’ and then I realized oh my god, i’m in love. In between painting you and convincing myself that soulmates meant nothing to me, I’ve completely and unquestionably fallen in love with you, Y/N.” 
Jungkook can’t decipher the look on your face. Something between the lines of disbelief and heartbreak, and it makes him want to split at the seams at the pain he’s put you through. How he’s convinced you you’re impossible to love. He vows to make it right again.
“And you’re wrong, you know. You’re not hard to love. Hell, I was dead set on never loving again and you managed to make me so smitten, I can’t paint or draw a damn thing without including some aspect of you in it.” Jungkook steps back and gestures to all the canvases and photos that hang on the wall. 
“Take a look around, Y/N. It’s all you. Every piece.” Once he says it, you finally notice Every piece of art in this room can be traced to you, or a memory you two share. It’s so clear, you don’t know how you missed it before. You feel yourself in the art Jungkook has poured his soul into. Instead of making you feel elated, these words that you’ve been waiting your entire life to hear just ignites the sting. 
“Just stop. Please.” It is only a weak whisper through your lips, and he ignores it. 
“If you can’t forgive me, I get it Y/N. I can’t forgive myself either. But can you just know that you are enough. You are more than what I deserve. And I know you told me to be happy, but there is no way I can possibly do that without you.” 
When your gaze falls to the floor, you notice that his wrist is clean of any bracelets or watches. Come to think of it, this is one of the first times you are seeing it clear and in the flesh. Jungkook doesn’t tell you, but nowadays, he doesn’t allow anything to impede on the sight of the crescent moon.
When your guard is down and you are distracted, he finds the perfect time to finally reach forward and take your hand in his. His touch is gentle when it wraps around your wrist, tugging off the ribbon that circled it, and revealing the matching mark. Your pulse jumps under his fingers, and skips a beat when he runs a thumb over the moon. You are already melting with such simple contact, and you almost allow yourself to succumb. Almost.
It’s as if suddenly his skin was scalding, and you snatch your wrist from his grasp at lightning speed. The tears that have strayed down your face are wiped away as quickly as they came. The surprise on his face is missed by your eyes because before he can comprehend what is happening, you are bolting down the staircase and out the glass doors of the gallery. No, you cannot forgive him yet. What would you do if he hurt you again? You don’t think you would survive. 
You ignore the pain of seeing his art pieces as you run, now that you know you are the muse behind them all. The only noise is the sound of blood rushing in your ears, and you are oblivious to the racket of Jungkook’s shoes clapping against marble flooring as he chases after you, expertly dodging the other patrons and butlers holding trays of champagne. 
And Jungkook? Well, he is oblivious to the complete turmoil that runs through your every nerve. He only sees your back, and not the way you bite your lip painfully to keep the sobs from escaping. Not the way your pain is exhibited clear as day in the crease of your eyebrow and the wrinkle of your nose. 
The air outside is so cold it bites at your nostrils, but makes it easier to breathe. The wind calms the thundering heart in your chest.
He must be lying. There was no way he had a change of heart now, not when he was so rooted in his belief before. There is no virtual possibility, on any plane of existence, on any dimension where Jeon Jungkook has fallen in love with you. 
The hand that circles around your wrist tightly to keep you from getting any farther tells you that you are wrong. He did come after you. Jungkook’s strength forces you to stop running, but you can’t find the courage to turn around and face him just yet. But you don’t make an effort to pull away, and he takes it as progress.
“You can run if you want, Y/N. You can walk away from me and from us, but don’t doubt that I’ll always be chasing after you. For as long as it takes.” He is panting and speaking through heavy breaths, but you hear him. Loud and clear. 
“I won’t let you leave again. Not like last time.”
There is no malice. No coldness, and for the first time since you’ve met him, his words feel like warm honey instead of monotone ice. He is utterly distraught when you turn around slowly, hesitant like you’re afraid he will break your heart right then and there. 
His heart shatters at the wetness at your waterline, and the way you look up at him; completely vulnerable and scared. 
“Do you promise?” 
There is a lot of weight in your three-word question. It’s not as innocent as meets the eye, and Jungkook knows it. He feels it. When you ask him if he promises, it is an invitation back to you. You are offering him your heart, which he has already broken and bruised, and trusting him to be careful with it this time around. Jungkook already knows he loves you. And if you let him, he’ll spend the rest of his life making sure this promise remains unbroken. 
“I promise.” 
It’s a commitment. One he used to be terrified of making, but it seems so easy when it’s for you. 
And when you fly forward to wrap your arms around him, Jungkook feels like home. Like the stars twinkle a little brighter and the earth stops spinning for a mere second, just for the two of you. You feel him squeeze you closer, just as tightly, and Jungkook wants to kick himself for depriving you both of a simple thing called love. 
You are here, souls and now bodies intertwined, and Jungkook lets the pain of past hurt fall away. Pain is so miniscule when you are by his side. When you pull back, Jungkook frowns at your red-rimmed eyes, and the tears that still persist. He wipes it away oh so softly, as if you were delicate clay and he, a sculptor. 
“Please don’t cry anymore, princess, it breaks my heart. I’m so sorry.” It is the softest, most sugary tone you’ve ever heard out of him. But hearing affection from his lips makes you feel that perhaps all of this sorrow, this longing, has been worth it. He has been worth it. He always has. 
“I love you, Y/N.” Jungkook’s words are almost as beautiful as he is. 
His lips are familiar when you lean forward and kiss him. Yet they are different. This time, the hands on your waist hold you a bit more carefully, even closer if that were possible. You can feel his thudding heart as it beats against your own, learning to match rhythms with each other, and Jungkook cradles your face in his hand like you are the only artwork he has truly been proud of. 
And it’s true. All the canvases and paints and camera film seem wasted now. Nothing he ever makes will be quite as alluring as the art he holds in his arms in this moment. 
“I love you too, you goddamn idiot.”
You meant it all those months ago, and you mean it now. If Jeon Jungkook was the sun, you would gladly change your name to Icarus. If Jeon Jungkook was the moon, then you are the tides that he pushes and pulls. If Jeon Jungkook belonged to you, don’t have to imagine that anymore. He is your’s, as you are his. 
Old habits die hard, but they are not immortal. They wax and wane, and remind you that in the cosmic vastness of things, you are only human. Humans whose hearts beat in tandem and souls made to complete the other. Humans with identical crescent moons, lost but now found.
Old habits die hard. But you have learned to fix those of a broken heart.