[ some things are meant to be ]
The sound of church bells fills the garden as the white fence opens, revealing Taehyung dressed in a black tuxedo with a smile as bright as the Busan sun. Butterflies fluttered around him as he began his march towards Jeongguk, his eyes focused on the latter, shining with unshed, happy tears.
Jeongguk hears his mother and Taehyung’s mother silently cry from somewhere in the audience as they also watch him walk slowly. He feels his best man, Yoongi, give a congratulatory pat on his back and sees Jimin, Taehyung’s best man, from across him grin at him widely and wetly.
Jeongguk draws in a sharp breath as he focuses on the way his fiancee, his soon to be husband, from the other end of the aisle takes his last few steps as a single man.
The movie scenes are real, Jeongguk thought. Time does stand still when you see the love of your life walk down the aisle.
Jeongguk knows that the bunny smile that Taehyung loves is tattooed on his face, and he can’t help but feel both nervous and excited about marrying this ethereal man.
His smile visibly grows when the sound of bells ringing melodically from afar mix with the opening guitar chords of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love playing along with it.
It’s why Jeongguk fought tooth and nail with Taehyung to be the first groom who stood on the altar.
He brings a hand up to wipe the tear that threatened to fall from the corner of his eyes, can feel his bottom lip wobble and his heart nearly burst out of pure happiness at the scene before him.
As Taehyung marches, Jeongguk starts to recall bits and pieces of his and Taehyung’s memories together, and can see their life and journey together flash before his eyes as Elvis Presley sing the first verse of the song.
wise men say
only fools rush in
but I can’t help falling in love with you
Jeongguk remembers each time the universe had led him to Taehyung, remembers each memory that pointed him to the older and he can’t help but feel happy he held on to that string that connected him to this man.
The first memory was the day before New Year's eve, which coincidentally was Taehyung’s birthday as well but Jeongguk didn’t know at that time.
He was five years old at that time and his mother had just finished tucking him and his brother in bed. For some reason unbeknownst to him, Jeongguk felt exuberant that day.
Maybe it was because both his mother and father hadn't been leaving for work since Christmas season had begun, maybe it was because he and his brother had spent the whole day having a snow fight while their father watched at a close distance with a wide grin on his face.
Or maybe there was just something about that particular day that just made him feel happy.
"Eomma," Jeongguk whined before she could leave his and his brother's shared bedroom. "Tell us the story one more time."
He heard his brother groan from the single bed beside him. "Not again, Jeonggukie," he groaned as he buried his head into his pillow. "We heard it ten million times already."
"I still want to hear it," Jeongguk said with his bottom lip jutted out. "Please Eomma, Please tell us again."
Jeongguk heard his mother chuckle before she turned around to re-enter the bedroom and sat at the edge of his bed, with a glowing smile on her face. Looking at Jeongguk fondly.
"Okay," she said as she brushed her hand through Jeongguk’s fringe gently. Jeongguk cheered, while his brother only groaned from his own bed. “Where do you want me to start, my little rabbit?”
Jeongguk gave her a starry eyed look before answering, “The bells,” with his doe eyes looking up at his mother.
She only smiled at him with the same starry look in her eyes.
shall I stay?
would it be a sin?
A few years later, when Jeongguk had finally met Taehyung at a bar he didn’t want to go to at first, when fate finally decided to make their paths cross.
Jeongguk felt glad that he managed to tear his body away from his computer. He felt happy because his decision to join the guys for the night ended up being the best decision of his life, because Jeongguk has never met someone as attractive and as captivating as Taehyung is.
Taehyung, who wobbled into Jeongguk’s life, with a hazy look in his eyes and a smile that reminded the younger of the shape of a box.
Taehyung, who looked soft and delicate around the edges, with pink wet lips and moles adoring his face that Jeongguk wanted to trace his fingers on.
He stumbled into their booth, nearly tripping over his own two feet and immediately started talking about a drink he described as poison, causing Jeongguk to lightly laugh at the absurdity of it, and making Taehyung look into his direction.
Jeongguk swears he heard the bells as soon as their eyes meet, swears his heart did a flip and only remembered to get a grip when Hoseok, who sat beside him, elbowed him on the ribs. He was able to hide the light blush in his cheeks from Taehyung, but not from Yoongi who smirked at him knowingly.
Jeongguk remembered hanging onto Taehyung’s every word as if he held the secrets to the world when they went outside to get some air, he clung onto every one of his breathy laughs that sent shivers down his spine. It’s like he had tunnel vision for the older, he was hypnotized like a moth to a flame.
Jeongguk remembered their first kiss. He was startled that the older male stopped walking and stood frozen in the middle of the sidewalk, giving Jeongguk a look that made the younger question if his decision to invite him over was too fast.
He felt his pulse quicken and felt a web of panic in his chest as he looked back at Taehyung. He was just about to open his mouth to ask if there was something wrong, if he did anything wrong, when Taehyung beat him to it.
‘Can I kiss you?’ Taehyung asked, a little out of breath, a little bit hesitant. His almond eyes looked back at Jeongguk widely. Hopefully.
Jeongguk was definitely caught off guard, but he couldn’t deny that the older’s lips had been on his mind since Taehyung approached their table, and he’s sure he had an awed look on his face as he stared at him back.
Taehyung was the most beautiful person Jeongguk had met. He couldn’t find it in himself to find the right words to respond, so he settled with a nod instead, unable to trust his voice not to crack.
When their lips met, it felt like Taehyung’s lips belonged to his, like their lips were meant to be pressing and exploring each other. It felt like coming home.
And if that wasn’t perfect enough, he heard it.
A soft ring coming from the wind chimes that his neighbor had hanging outside their window. Some would say it's perfect timing, Jeongguk called it destiny.
Jeongguk remembers pulling back from Taehyung, and the latter looked back at him with a look that Jeongguk had somehow affiliated with love, or at least the start of it.
“That was -” Jeongguk started to say, while he rested his forehead against the other’s.
“I know,” Taehyung mumbled with his eyes closed, his hands clutching the front of Jeongguk’s clothes tightly. “That was fucking incredible.”
That was one word for it, Jeongguk thought. But he agreed with him nonetheless and offered the older a smile, wide enough to make his nose scrunch in adoration.
Jeongguk was never one to fall hard in such a short span of time, but there he was. He hoped Taehyung felt the universe intertwining their lives together as he was.
if I can’t help falling in love with you
Jeongguk remembered the day fate meddled after Taehyung left.
It’s been a week since he last saw Taehyung leave his apartment hastily, looking scared for his life. A week since all of Jeongguk’s hopes for a possible future with the ethereal boy crashed on his bedroom floor.
Jeongguk tried his best to make him stay, to calm him down. His hands itched to hold the older close but was stopped, before Taehyung had literally made a run for the front door.
Jeongguk tried to replay that night over and over again repeatedly, thinking of what went wrong, of what made Taehyung run away like that only to come up with nothing.
It was one of the best nights that Jeongguk has had with a stranger, after so long. He and Taehyung instantly clicked, he felt a sudden connection with him and suspected that Taehyung did as well.
He spent hours sitting in his bed with all his Marvel plushies staring at him, it looked like they judged him for letting Taehyung slip through his fingers.
He was sullen for days and not even Namjoon or Hoseok’s attempts to cheer him up, or Seokjin’s amazing sweet and spicy pork dish worked. The only thing that made Jeongguk feel less numb throughout that week was Yoongi approaching him one night and asking if it was okay for Jimin to give Taehyung his number.
Jeongguk camped beside his phone for days and hours on end, patiently waiting for Taehyung to reach out but to no avail.
He was already starting to lose hope and had already set his mind to forget about the boy who made him hear bells but fate had different plans, as one day, his brother had called in with a favor to pick up a library book for him since he couldn’t leave work that day.
Jeongguk whined the whole way to the library, trying not to get his hopes up by thinking that Taehyung worked there.
When Jeongguk mindlessly pressed the call bell sitting on top of the library’s reception area desk, he didn’t really expect to be suddenly face to face with Taehyung again, with the echoes of the call bell still lingering in the air.
He knew he had a shocked look on his face as he didn’t really expect to see him as soon as he did, and in a way that wasn’t planned by any of them. He felt a cluster of emotions as he stared at Taehyung that ranged from shock to hesitancy and relief.
The whole interaction passed with a blur, he was literally walking on air as he tried to focus on the words coming out of Taehyung’s pink lips rather than his need to get his own lips against Taehyung’s again.
Felt his heart forgive Taehyung, even when Taehyung wasn’t done apologizing to Jeongguk yet and also felt a tiny bit ridiculous for feeling euphoric about the fact that destiny gave them another chance to try again.
And as if fate was on his side, he found his lips meeting Taehyung’s minutes later against a bookshelf that housed books about the telepathy, and a promise of a date the next day.
like a river flows
On their date, Jeongguk could not help but hold back from looking at Taehyung akin to astonishment and wonder as they entered the build a bear workshop.
It was no joke when Jeongguk had mentioned to the older that his previous partners were put off by his growing collection of plushies and Marvel toys, so knowing that Taehyung liked that about him to the extent that he searched up this store to encourage him to grow said collection made him happy.
As he walked around the large store when he and Taehyung went their separate ways, the first thing that caught Jeongguk’s attention were the bells hanging on display at the workshop, bells of different sizes and colors, all of them swaying and chiming silently due to the store’s air conditioner.
Jeongguk was just reaching out to grab a small bell when he saw Taehyung pass by with a happy boxy smile on his face, as the older built the gift he was meant to give Jeongguk.
The sight was enough for Jeongguk to let out his own bunny smile as his head followed the direction where Taehyung ran off too, at the same time, his hand randomly knocked one of the bells hanging in the displays, causing it to fall on the floor and roll over to him, stopping in front of his shoes as if it chose him. As if it was a sign.
And if that didn’t convince him, when Jeongguk picked the bell up from the floor, Taehyung’s ringing bell-like laughter echoed in the store.
Jeongguk knew right then and there that the bell was the one.
And maybe, Taehyung was the one too.
surely to the sea
Despite the loud pop music playing in the bar’s sound systems, Jeongguk remembered the sound of the bell, hanging above the bar’s door ring quietly when Taehyung had apparently left to get some air outside.
Taehyung never mentioned it, but Jeongguk didn’t fail to observe that the older gets mild to intense headaches whenever he’s out with too many people. When he spoke to Jimin about it, he only brushed Jeongguk off, saying that it was nothing to worry about and Taehyung has had these headaches since he was sixteen.
His words did nothing to make him less worried, but it did make Jeongguk more aware of the older and their surroundings whenever they’re out.
Jeongguk started to notice that Taehyung was becoming much quieter compared to when they first arrived at the bar, he knew that the headaches had worsened when the older reached out to hold his hand under the table and when Taehyung began to subtly massage his temples.
He was just speaking to one of his sponsors when Taehyung left, making him excuse himself from the person he was speaking with to instantly follow Taehyung behind.
He ignored Jimin’s protests saying that Taehyung was fine. Jeongguk knew he wasn’t and it eventually proved to be true when he found him outside in the cold, freezing, as he clutched both his temples and the front of his clothes with an iron grip.
Jeongguk felt a rush of protectiveness at seeing Taehyung like that, and he felt adamant of making the pain go away as he approached him and began to massage his nape in the way he knew that Taehyung liked.
Taehyung visibly relaxed at his touch, letting out a sigh that made Jeongguk sag in relief.
He felt guilty bringing Taehyung to his event, he even considered not telling him about it and skipping it altogether but Jeongguk knows that the older had ways of finding out the truth and would insist on going.
Taehyung has been nothing but perfect throughout the weeks that they spent together. Always there to remind Jeongguk to grab a snack in the middle of his games, or tease him senseless when Jeongguk loses a match, effectively making the gamer move on from his defeat.
Or just the small things, like forcing himself to work the kitchen even when Jeongguk knows that he doesn’t know how to cook, or endure spicy foods because Taehyung knows he loves them.
He was thinking of all these things he liked about the older when his tongue mindlessly let go of the word ‘boyfriend’ during their short chitchat.
Jeongguk felt nervous about coming too strong, only to feel instant reprieve when Taehyung responded that he wanted to be his boyfriend too. It felt like a weight was lifted from his shoulders at the older’s admittance.
He had been thinking of a way to ask Taehyung to be in an exclusive relationship for weeks, and even planned a whole speech and dinner to go with it,
But just like how their relationship was since day one, his way of asking came unplanned. Natural. As if destiny itself couldn’t wait for things to come together.
“So boyfriends?” he asked.
Though Jeongguk was sure of what the other was going to say, he still felt himself hold his breath in anticipation.
Taehyung smiled at him, the boxy smile that always brightened up Jeongguk’s days, before replying with a soft and quiet, “Boyfriends.” and leaning in to kiss him.
darling so it goes
Jeongguk remembered the day he realized that he loves Taehyung.
He knew it was coming one way or another, but it was during the time he and Taehyung were laying down on his couch with Taehyung’s head resting on his chest, and while Jeongguk’s arms were wrapped around his waist.
They were watching a popular Japanese anime about soulmates called Your Name.
Taehyung was hugging the bunny plushie to his chest, the sound of its bell rang quietly, when the older reached out to wipe a stray tear from his eyes when the protagonists had met each other again towards the end of the movie.
Jeongguk chuckled softly and held Taehyung closer to his chest.
“Gukkie,” Taehyung said as the end credits started to roll on the TV screen. His tone was slightly pensive. “Can you imagine a parallel universe where this didn’t happen?”
Jeongguk’s hands stilled from rubbing the older’s side as he listened.
“Where I was with you, and you were with me,” Taehyung continued to say. “But we didn’t end up together?”
He hummed as he thought about it. He’s seen Avengers’ Endgame countless times to entertain the idea of parallel universes, and just thinking of a universe where a certain Jeongguk wasn’t with a certain Taehyung daunted him.
He doubts such a universe, where a Jeongguk wouldn’t come home to find a Taehyung still lazing in bed rather than getting ready for work, exists. He just couldn’t stomach the fact that there may be a universe where Taehyung doesn’t curl into his lap while he played his games, a universe where Jeongguk didn’t include Taehyung’s clothes in his laundry.
A universe where they’re not together.
“I don’t think there is,” Jeongguk said confidently as he sniffed the top of his boyfriend’s hair.
Taehyung scoffed at him as he rested his elbow on the couch to look at him. “There’s bound to be one.” he said with his eyebrows scrunched cutely.
Jeongguk sighed. “Maybe there is,” he shrugged. “But so what? I see way more universes where the two of us are together.”
Taehyung only rolled his eyes at him fondly before turning his gaze back to the television.
“You’re impossible.” he murmured.
“I only see universes where I am with you, and you are with me,” Jeongguk replied softly yet seriously. “And us ending up together no matter what.”
Taehyung was silent for a few seconds before asking, “You sound so sure that we’ll end up together even in this universe.” his tone was joking yet contemplative. “How can you know? What if the universe where we don’t end up together is this one?”
“Well,” Jeongguk sighed. Mulling things through in his head. He understands where Taehyung’s doubts are coming from due to the stories he’s heard about his boyfriend’s ex boyfriends.
Jeongguk refuses to be one of those exes. He wants them to be endgame. But at the same time, Jeongguk doesn’t want to force the older into anything and knows he will live well with the thought he got to love Taehyung in this life. In this universe.
That’s when Jeongguk realized that he loves him.
“If that’s how things will go, and I’m stressing on the word if ,” Jeongguk continued to say, slowly. “Then it’s fine. At least I had the honor of meeting you. And besides, there are other universes where we ended up together.”
He looked down to find Taehyung looking at him, with something dangerously close to love shining in his eyes.
“And whatever universe that is, that’s the one where my heart will live.” Jeongguk finished. Round eyes staring into almond eyes.
Taehyung smiled at him softly and crawled up to meet him face to face, the bunny fell down the floor with the sound of its bell’s ring echoing inside the apartment.
“Thankfully, your heart can live right here in this one,” Taehyung replied, kissing his lips softly then looking down at him seriously. “Just like how mine will.”
Jeongguk placed a hand at the older’s nape to bring him down on another kiss, that’s more heated and filled with love.
“We’re inevitable, Gukkie.” Taehyung whispered into his lips, eyes closed and hands squishing his cheeks.
Jeongguk snorted but it made his stupid heart flutter nonetheless, because Taehyung’s right.
They are inevitable.
some things are meant to be
Jeongguk remembers when the stars aligned, and when things started to become crystal clear for him.
“Is it my turn to drop something on you right now?” he asked Taehyung, a little quiet and reserved, but serious nonetheless.
Taehyung raised an eyebrow at him. Probably thinking of what else is there that's more than what he just spilled on Jeongguk.
“Okay.” he said, nodding.
“There’s also something you should know about me..” Jeongguk started to say, resting his back on the couch and rubbing his palms on Taehyung’s lap. “You see.. My family has soulmates too.”
Taehyung gave him a questioning look, but didn’t dare to open his mouth, allowing Jeongguk to continue.
"My mother would tell me the story every time when I was a lot younger," Jeongguk said, eyes boring into Taehyung's. "We hear bells ringing whenever we meet our soulmates."
Taehyung opened and closed his mouth but stayed mute as he listened to Jeongguk.
“It’s kind of ironic,” he chuckled, wrapping his arms around Taehyung’s waist. “Because your soulmate makes the ringing stop.” Jeongguk continues, eyes staring into Taehyung. “And mine makes the ringing start.”
“What?” Taehyung asks, eyebrows scrunched.
Jeongguk sighs. “Remember the night of our first kiss?” he asks. “Did you hear the wind chimes?”
“Isn’t that just purely coincidental?”
“The call bell in your desk,” Jeongguk continued. “The bell tied around Cooky’s neck. And there’s plenty of others, Baby, but the point is, I start hearing bells whenever I’m with you.”
Taehyung smiled at him in a way where he trapped his bottom lip under his teeth, and in a way that just made Jeongguk’s heart grow big.
“So you make it quiet,” Taehyung murmured. “And I make things loud?”
“Pretty much,” Jeongguk says, depositing a quick peck on his lips. “And the other thing is, the universe didn’t just pick me as your soulmate, Tae, it chose you as mine as well.”
“What are the odds of that?” Taehyung smiled.
“Just means that we’re meant to be.” Jeongguk replied, before kissing Taehyung, his soulmate, the love of his fucking life senseless.
so take my hand
Jeongguk reaches a hand out for Taehyung to take as he takes his place beside him at the altar. He stands in front of him, in front of every person they loved, hands clutching the other’s as the notary begins the opening remarks.
Both of them are not tearing their gaze, or keeping their hands apart, from the other. Jeongguk could practically hear their hearts beat as one. He doesn’t even fully register what the notary is saying, and Taehyung could feel the same too.
If it wasn’t for Yoongi patting him on the shoulder to hand him his ring that reminds that he has to say his vows first before he officially makes Taehyung his.
take my whole life too
“Do you, Kim Taehyung, take Jeon Jeongguk as your husband?” the notary asks, facing Taehyung. “To live together in matrimony, to love him, to honor him, to comfort him, and to keep him in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, for as long as you both shall live?"
Taehyung looks at him with a huge boxy grin on his face before mumbling a soft, “I do.” as he slips a golden band on Jeongguk’s left ring finger.
The notary asks Jeongguk the same question.
The soft sound of a bell echoes from somewhere, causing both Taehyung and Jeongguk to smile. It’s as if it was fate’s way of saying, ‘Just get on with it.’ before Jeongguk says “I do.” as he slips Taehyung his ring on his ring finger.
for I can’t help falling in love with you
“You may now say your vows,” the notary says, taking a step back.
Taehyung takes his hands into his, sighing and his eyes are filled with unshed tears.
“Gukkie,” he starts, and the moment he speaks the floodgates starts and he brings a hand to wipe some stray, happy tears from his eyes. Jeongguk brings his hands to his lips to deposit a sweet kiss, to encourage him.
“Gukkie,” Taehyung says again. "I love you more than yesterday, but less than tomorrow. You are the first person I want to see in the morning and the last at night. I look forward to loving the smallest moments, like how your doe eyes shine. Your nose scrunches that lets me know you’re happy, your big heart and dirty mouth. The way you make everything quiet.”
“I know I will not always be what you want me to be. I might forget to listen or forget to share. I might not always agree. I might be stubborn and I might be wrongheaded, but I will always love you. I will always strive to be the man you believe I can be.” Taehyung says, squeezing Jeongguk’s hands. “And I vow to look into your eyes just like I do now, with love and soulful amazement. I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Jeongguk could hear the crowd coo, mixed with sounds of their mothers’ quiet sobbing as Taehyung finishes his vow.
The notary looks at Jeongguk, signaling that it’s his turn.
“Tae,” Jeongguk breathes out, trying his best not to break down. “You told me before that life is a construct. That time was something humans created to make sense of sequential experiences that came together in order to notice how things evolve.”
He hears Jimin snort from behind Taehyung, and the latter just smiles at him.
“How we came to be though, defies that. It was as if every good thing exploded right in our faces, all at once and in slow motion, and if I had to choose my best day ever, my finest hour, my wildest dreams come true. Mine would be you.” Jeongguk says with a soft smile. “I vow to always protect you from harm, to stand with you against your troubles, and look to you when I need protection. I vow to always choose you. Every day, every minute and every second, just like how you choose me.”
“You may not be able to read my mind,” Jeongguk continues quietly. “But I vow to never keep you wondering, to always be honest and to not withhold anything. You’re it for me, Baby. You’re my destiny. I’m glad we live in a parallel universe where this Taehyung and Jeongguk are together.”
Everyone in the garden is full on sobbing, Jeongguk and Taehyung included.
As Jeongguk looks at Taehyung, his soulmate - his chosen and predestined one, the love of his fucking life, with the sounds of bells echoing from afar, and their ring fingers finalizing their union.
He can’t help but go back to the words Taehyung said when he realized that he loves him, that they are inevitable. That they are meant to be.
Jeongguk hears the notary pronounced them husbands, followed by the sound of joyous cheers and applause.
Jeongguk takes that as his cue to take a step closer to Taehyung, and as if Taehyung could read his mind, he leans closer to him.
And you don’t have to read minds to know what happens after that.