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some things are meant to be

Chapter Text

☾ 

 

[ take my hand

take my whole life too ]

 

Taehyung remembered the day as if it were just yesterday. 

His mother sat him down on their living room couch on the eve before his sixteenth birthday, and he remembered the way her eyes looked. They looked gentle yet slightly concerned as she sat next to him while she held his hand.

"Taehyung-ah," she said cautiously. Taehyung remembered feeling her thumb rub the back of his hand comfortingly as she continued to look at him with that gentle yet serious expression on her face. 

Taehyung gave her a confused and worried look in return, trying to rack his brains and think of anything that he had done recently to make his mother approach him like this, but came up with nothing.

“Eomma?” he asked slowly, trying to calm his anxious heart by focusing on the gentle rubs she’s pressing on his skin. 

“Taehyungie,” she said again before taking a deep breath before continuing. "Did you ever wonder how I always knew what you and everyone else was thinking of?"

The question caught him off guard and he went to raise an eyebrow at her in question.

He wasn’t exactly sure where she was going with this, but it always blew his mind away whenever his mother would already have an answer to a question that Taehyung was just thinking of at the top of his head. 

Like the times when he or one of his siblings would approach her to ask if she saw their coat or book or anything, but before they could voice out their concerns, she'd say where the exact thing was without even bothering to look at them.

Taehyung always thought that it was a superpower that all mothers have, mother's intuition and all that. 

His mother chuckled. "It's not exactly mother's intuition, Honey Bear." she said with a gentle smile while still rubbing the back of his hand. "But I guess you're close."

Her words made Taehyung's eyes widen in surprise. He knew he had a baffled look on his face as Taehyung went to stare at her, his mind going completely berserk because he’s quite sure he didn't say those words out loud and his mother may be good at guessing but it didn't go to the extent of her guesses being this creepily accurate.

He swallowed and was just about to ask, but his mother beat him to it. "I know you have all sorts of questions inside your head, Honey Bear." she said patiently as she angled her body to turn and face him completely, eyes boring into Taehyung. "It might sound strange but let me just tell you directly. Please have an open mind as I tell you this. Okay?"

"Okay," Taehyung said slowly. Curiosity piqued. "What is it, Eomma?"

She paused for a second, as if she was bracing herself before she went to look at Taehyung with the same serious face she had been sporting earlier. 

"I can read minds," she said, reviewing his face for any reaction.

Taehyung looked at her for a second, a minute and what felt like more time, then went to snort at her playfully. 

"Yeah right, Eomma," he laughed. "Good one."

His mother sighed at him frustratingly. "Taehyung-ah," she tried again, voice more stern. "Your Eomma is not joking."

She was wearing a look on her face that said that she's being deadly serious. It's enough for Taehyung to understand the seriousness of the matter that she's discussing with him, but he forced himself to tear his gaze away from her and focus on the numerous bracelets he had hanging on his wrists, a habit he does when he's feeling anxious.

"You can read minds?" he asked hesitatingly, but thought that the whole thing was freaking preposterous.

Surely people can't read other people's minds. Right?

"It isn’t preposterous if you’d just hear me out first, Taehyung.” she said sternly. "And yes, we can read minds."

Taehyung's jaw hung wide open. "What do you mean we?" he asked, still trying to get his last two remaining brain cells to wrap around the idea that she’s — that they’re — apparently, mind readers. "I can't read people's minds, Eomma."

"No, not yet you can't." she said.

It only made the younger scrunch his eyebrows at her in even more confusion. "I don't understand," Taehyung replied. The more he thought of it, the more it sounded ludicrous in his head. "I’m sorry but I can’t really take this seriously.”

"Let me help you understand then," she said patiently. She looked at him in a way that reminded Taehyung of those animal rescuers he’d watched on the television before they approached a scared animal in order to save it. "I want you to listen to me, Bear. Don't interrupt me until I'm finished. Okay?"

Taehyung nodded at her despite still feeling wary and gave her his full attention.

"Your Halmeoni gave me this talk too when I was your age, Taehyung-ah," she started to explain slowly. "It was the day before my sixteenth birthday as well.”

Taehyung listened to her, willing his mind to open to this — read: possibility.

“Our family comes from a generation of mind readers, Honey Bear,” she continued. “Both your Halmeoni and I have this gift, and you're about to get it too."

Taehyung was about to open his mouth, thousands and thousands of questions already formed inside his head but his mother put her hand up to stop him as if she could already hear him. — But then again, maybe she can, Taehyung thought.

He forced himself to stop thinking and let her finish. It made her smile at him appreciatively.

"The gift usually presents itself at the age of sixteen, and the first-born child of the mind-reader is usually the one who inherits it." she explained. "Just like I inherited it from my eomma, and just like halmeoni did with her appa."

Taehyung nodded at her to make her know that he's following. "We don't exactly know if there are other mind readers out there or if it's just us, but one thing's for sure, you're about to be a mind reader, Taehyung-ah." she said.

"So starting tomorrow I’ll be able to read peoples’ minds is what you're saying,” Taehyung deadpanned, unable to hold himself any longer. "Me? Read minds? That's what you're saying right?"

It’s weird and the idea of it was hard to process. He just can't see himself as someone who could tap into people's minds like what his mother was insinuating, but apparently, that's exactly what she's trying to say. That it is a fact. That he was weird.

“You’re not weird, Taehyung-ah,” she chided with a roll of her eyes. “You’re special. We’re special.”

Still weird if you ask me, he thought, making his mother scoff.

“I'm not gonna argue with you any further but the thing is, you'll start hearing people's thoughts tomorrow, Honey Bear," she said as she ran her hand through his dark brown hair and tucked a loose strand of it behind his ear. "And, the thing is, it isn’t gonna be easy. It's actually gonna be hard at first."

"Is — " Taehyung started to say, though he’s starting to get used to the idea that his mother would know before he even asked but said it out loud anyway. "Is that why you didn't want me to throw a party tomorrow? Because of the voices?"

He cringed at the end of his sentence. It sounded like a badly plotted horror movie, but the more he thought of it, the more it did seem like one. 

She nodded at him with a sad smile. "Yes," she replied. "It's going to be too much for you to handle all at once, Taehyung. You might have a slight headache for a couple of days once it all starts."

"Okay," Taehyung said as he licked his lips. Partly accepting. Partly hesitant.

It's all too much and there’s only so little that Taehyung could process. A part of him thought that it was cool that he could start reading people’s minds. It was like his childhood dreams of becoming a superhero were coming true.

He heard his mother snort because, of course, she heard that. 

But there’s also another part of him that lowkey feared the idea of being able to enter people’s minds without their consent, just the idea of being able to access their deepest secrets bothered him. Plus, he liked the quiet. 

Contrary to his bubbly and extroverted personality, Taehyung preferred being alone and being trapped in his own mind, so knowing that he’ll start sharing space in his own head to occupy other people’s thoughts rattled him. 

And like a dam that broke, question after question flooded his mind and he felt his anxiety bubble up in the pit of his stomach.

Questions like, Were things ever going to be silent again once it starts? or Will he be able to block unwanted thoughts coming from strangers?

His mother went to hold his shaking hands. Taehyung didn’t even realize that it had started shaking.

“You’ll learn to control it as you grow, Honey Bear,” she answered him soothingly. “And as for the silence, well, there’s going to be one exception.”

Taehyung raised an eyebrow at her. It didn’t really comfort him but he was curious. He asked her telepathically what she meant by that, but his mother only smiled at him before she kissed him on the forehead and began to stand. 

“I don't want to overwhelm you with all details at once, Baby Bear. I'll tell you more about it soon.” she said with a secretive smile. “For now though, enjoy the silence while it still lasts.” And without another word, she left him in the living room and ignored the roaring questions inside Taehyung’s mind.

Taehyung didn’t get much sleep that night. He was waiting for a flip to switch that would suddenly enable him to start hearing voices in his head. 

He waited and waited, till he felt his eyes start to droop closed in exhaustion. Taehyung tried to fight the tiredness he was feeling and willed his mind to pay attention to any possible voices that would enter his mind but his body argued with him by letting out a long yawn.

Taehyung was already half asleep, laying on his side and fighting to keep his eyes open, when he finally heard it. The first voice. 

‘Go to sleep, Honey bear. You’ll hear more voices when you wake up tomorrow.’ 

That effectively woke him up.

Taehyung gasped and sat up suddenly from his bed. "What the -" he murmured under his breath as he tried to search his bedroom for the source of his mother's voice. 

It sounded so clear, so near, as if she was whispering the words directly to his ears. It sent a shiver to run down his spine.

He sighed out in relief when he saw no one and went to lay back down under the covers. 

Taehyung tried to tell himself that it was just the creation of his tired brain - that he's actually finally losing it - but at the same time, the voice was too loud and too real for him to ignore. 

This was what his mother was trying to tell him, it was what she wanted Taehyung to prepare for.

So much to his sanity's protests, he closed his eyes and listened to the quiet hums of his empty bedroom closely. He knew he was acting completely nuts, but it's one way to test if everything was real.

He sighed before he called his mother's name out telepathically. 

Eomma? 

Taehyung waited for a minute and it was silent. Completely silent. 

He was just about to let out a breath of relief and thank his angels for keeping him sane when he suddenly heard her again.

'Can you hear me, Tae-ah?'

Taehyung stilled, as he went to stare at the bedroom ceiling blankly. He’s definitely starting to imagine things.  

‘You’re not imagining it, Taehyung-ah,’ his mother's voice said tiredly inside his head.

Taehyung sat up suddenly again, spooked. His hair at the back of his head standing up. He can feel his hands shake in fear as he processed what happened.

Fuck, he thought.

‘Don’t curse,' his mother scolded. 

Taehyung, to say the very least, was bewildered. Very bewildered. He was finding it hard to wrap his head around the idea that he's just had a telepathic conversation with his mother.

Fuck, he thought again, making him hear his mother sigh. 

‘I’ll let that past but only for today,'  she said sleepily but comfortingly. ‘But please go to bed, Taehyung-ah. Eomma is tired and I can’t sleep with all your loud thoughts.’

Yep. He's definitely having a telepathic conversation with his mother, and yes he's definitely weird.

'We'll talk more tomorrow, Honey Bear', his mother yawned. 'Sleep first. Okay? '

How he was able to calm himself down in the midst of a breakdown was a mystery to him.

Okay, he managed to respond. Okay I will.

Taehyung heard his mother hum in content.

‘Goodnight, Honey Bear,’  she said tiredly. ‘Happy Birthday. I love you.’

I love you too he replied before drifting off to slumber.

Taehyung couldn't decide if his abilities were the best or the worst birthday gift he had ever received.

 

☾ 

 

[ wise men say

only fools rush in ]

 

Taehyung couldn’t remember a time where he couldn’t read other people’s minds.

Once he was able to completely accept the fact that he can actually mind read and allowed his mother to explain the ability more to him, there wasn’t a time where Taehyung wouldn’t know what a person was thinking before they opened their lips.

In fact, Taehyung has a hard time distinguishing the difference between words spoken out loud and words uttered in private. He had to train himself not to react when he’d hear things he wasn’t supposed to hear, and act as if the words weren’t whispered directly to his ears. 

It's fun most times, like whenever he'd hear someone enumerate their shopping list repeatedly or sing a random song inside their head. He’d sometimes try and hold back a laugh whenever he’d hear a stranger whining in their head about an incident that involved embarrassing themselves, or bite back a coo whenever he’d hear a young couple’s loving thoughts towards each other. 

The fun only stops when he hears his own insecurities repeated back at him in passing, or when he hears lies slip through people’s lips and he could still hear the truth. It’s something that Taehyung was forced to grow up getting used to.

It's somewhat easier in some crowded places. When he's on the way to work with people walking past him left and right, he won't hear their thoughts immediately, the sound would usually come out as buzz, like ringing at the back of his head that reminds him of a radio station that’s out of tune. He'd hear their voices coming out distorted accompanied with fuzzy noises and ringing, and honestly, Taehyung prefers the ringing to voices.

No one really knows about Taehyung’s abilities — his mother tried to convince him that it was a gift but he can’t really find it in himself to agree with her — except Taehyung’s parents and his best friend and soulmate, Jimin. 

Jimin, who stormed into his life on the first day of university and told him he had drying saliva on his face.

He was caught off guard when the smaller male approached him, and initially thought he couldn’t read Jimin’s mind but only to realize seconds later that Jimin had actually said exactly  what he was thinking — not leaving any of the good or bad, and was naturally born without a head to mouth filter. 

His lack of filter and Taehyung’s ability to filter through everyone’s bullshit was like a match made in heaven, and they instantly connected and became best friends ever since.

Taehyung told him about his abilities a year before their college graduation, doing it in a way where he wouldn’t scare the male away.

Jimin surprised him that day and caught him off guard just like on the day they first met when Jimin replied with a, "I always knew you were hiding something from me. I was just waiting for you to actually tell me.”

Things became ten times easier after Taehyung had shared his deepest darkest secret to his best friend and felt like he finally had someone who could help carry the burden of listening in to other people's thoughts, and also found a way to make his abilities seem more fun.

He remembered going grocery shopping one time with Jimin during one of their days off, and heard him compliment a male who was a half inch taller than Jimin with ash blond hair, reading what looks like a grocery list in his hand with his eyebrows furrowed. 

‘I wouldn’t mind getting fucked by him,’  Jimin said as he watched the guy from the other end of the aisle. 

Taehyung smirked at him knowingly, and without needing his best friend to ask, he read the poor guy’s thoughts.

‘Where the fuck do I find butanes in a grocery store?'  the guy was thinking. 'Do they even sell butanes here? Jin hyung should’ve gotten this when he went here last week.’

“He’s looking for butanes,” Taehyung whispered conspirasingly to Jimin. A smug grin plastered on his face. “Would you help the boy out, Jimin-ah?”

Jimin only gave him a coy smile as a response, before he turned and walked up to the male, making sure to jut his perky ass out and causing Taehyung to groan in distaste.

He saw Jimin tap the stranger on the shoulder, his smile wide enough to make his eyes form crescents. It was his ‘I want to get in your pants’ smile, that Taehyung was all too familiar with since he's been his wingman ever since they met.

The blond male stiffened at the sight of his best friend.

‘Fuck. Who is this angel?’

He gave Jimin one of their signals, letting him know that the male was interested in him before Taehyung went to do the grocery shopping alone and allowing Jimin to work his charms.

Minutes later, Taehyung met Jimin who's sporting a happy grin on his face.

"How did it go?" Taehyung asked as he went to put the last items on their list in the cart.

Jimin showed him his phone’s new contact entry. Min Yoongi, it reads. 

“I'm glad I got myself a mind-reading bestfriend,” he said smugly. “Very useful.”

Taehyung only snorted at him before dragging him to the checkout counter to pay for their purchases. 

The thing Jimin and Yoongi had — unsurprisingly — progressed, and after seven whole painful months of the two of them playing push and pull, and Taehyung convincing Jimin that Yoongi really does like him, they became an official couple, and Yoongi had moved in with them a couple more months later.

Taehyung didn't tell him of his abilities, but he knows the older male had an idea of what he and Jimin were hiding. Yoongi would often catch him and Jimin having a one sided conversation, with Jimin staying mute and Taehyung responding to the smaller male as if he had been talking to him. 

‘They’re being weird again,’  Taehyung would hear Yoongi think when he’d come into the room unfazed. ‘Looks like another normal day.’

Taehyung’s glad that Yoongi was not the type to pry, and he honestly couldn't think of a better match for Jimin than Yoongi. He’s been in the older’s male mind more than a couple times but not for the purpose of snooping on him but just to ensure that what Yoongi felt for Jimin is real.

And there was no doubt, Yoongi loved Jimin and vice versa fiercely. It was the type of love that Taehyung wished to have, which brings him to the present, where he’s apparently due to meet Yoongi’s friends at some high-end club in Gangnam. 

"It's long overdue, Tae," Jimin had said earlier with a pout. His best friend has been bugging him about meeting Yoongi’s friends for weeks now, and Taehyung was already out of excuses. "Please, I really want you to meet them."

"Jimin," Taehyung said, hesitant. "You know how I feel about clubs."

"But Tae," Jimin whined, as he shook his younger friend’s arm. "It's been so long since we've been to a club."

"You were at a club just last week, Minnie." Taehyung rolled his eyes at him, his tone scolding.

"But you weren't there," the smaller male argued. "Please, I just want to spend time with my best friend and my boyfriend’s best friends."

"Then why don't you invite them to stay here instead and play monopoly or something?" Taehyung countered back.

"Quit being boring," Jimin scoffed. "Listen, I just want you to go out and meet other people, and Yoongi's friends, they’re nice. I'm sure you'll like them. You can read my mind right now and you'll know I'm telling the truth." he said the last part as if it were a dare. 

Taehyung only sighed at him. He can hear his best friend’s thoughts and seemingly good intentions clearly. 

"Fine," he relented, making Jimin grin at him. "But the moment any one of them insults me mentally, I'm leaving."

"Hell, I'll go with you right after I smack whoever it is that dares try," Jimin agreed before hugging Taehyung tight around the waist. "Thank you, Tae, this really means a lot."

Taehyung hugged him back while fondly rolling his eyes at him. 

You would think that the loud bass coming from the club’s speakers is enough to dull every person’s thoughts, but alas, there was a reason why Taehyung avoided clubs like the plague.

He already feels the start of a growing headache, the sound of a deafening buzz rang in his ears as soon as he steps foot inside the club and he’s sure he’s gonna have a migraine as soon as the night ends. Maybe even before then.

Taehyung can already hear strangers' thoughts flood his mind, and he was only ten steps inside.

‘Who is this beauty?’

‘Is that Kim Taehyung?’

‘Look at that fine piece of ass.’

‘Shit. Hope I can bring this fine piece of meat home tonight.’

Taehyung internally groans as he tunes the voices out, settling with the sounds of the annoying ringing rather than strangers’ unwanted thoughts.

He heads directly towards the bar instead of the booth where Jimin had told him to meet, and places an order for their strongest drink, the type of drink that would instantly take Taehyung to a gray area between being drunk and feeling buzzed once he catches the attention of the bartender.

The bartender smiles at him, and of course, Taehyung reads him before he can open his mouth.

“No, I don’t want some fruity drink,” he says a little irritably, his headache worsening. “Give me the strongest drink you have. The type that can fuck me up right here, right now.”

‘Want me to drug your drink then, pretty?’  the bartender scoffed internally, but only responded to Taehyung with a seemingly innocent smile before he went to make his drink.

Taehyung knows that the bartender wasn’t serious, but he watches him mix four different types of alcohol in a cocktail shaker nonetheless to make sure it’s clean. Well, clean in the sense that it wasn't drugged anyway.

“Satan’s poison,” the bartender says as he places a tall glass of dark liquid in front of him that has actual flames in the mouth of the glass. The looks of it certainly makes up the name of it.

‘If that doesn’t fuck you up, I don’t know what will.’  he hears the bartender think.

“Perfect,” Taehyung says, throwing some bills down the counter to pay for the drink and quickly blowing out the flames so he could drink his poison straight. 

The drink — definitely — fucked him up as soon as he put the glass down on the counter with a loud thud. He hisses as he swallows the drink down, feeling the liquid tickle his throat and Taehyung can instantly feel the effects of the alcohol. It was definitely poisonous.

The alcohol gives him his desired effect after a few minutes, and his mind finally finds some solace; albeit there’s still that faint ringing at the back of his head that never really leaves.

At least there aren’t any voices, Taehyung thought grimly before he nods towards the bartender a final time and makes his way to Jimin. He's sure his best friend is gonna give him shit for meeting Yoongi's friends slightly drunk, but he couldn't care less. It was quiet and he wanted it to stay like that for the rest of the night.

Taehyung hears Jimin before he sees him, he could already make out his cheery laugh amongst others' as his feet take him to the booth where Jimin, Yoongi and four other males sat. 

Jimin raises an eyebrow at him as soon as he catches sight of a wobbly Taehyung approaching the booth.

Taehyung can tell that Jimin's sending him a message telepathically but answers him with a subtle shake of his head, making Jimin furrow his eyebrows at him.

“Taehyung,” Jimin says, trying to sound cheerful but Taehyung could hear the exasperation in his best friend’s tone. Jimin stands up and catches him by the arm. “You’re here, and you’re already drunk,”

Taehyung gives him a sloppy and apologetic smile before he gives him a wet peck on one of his chubby cheeks, making Jimin grimace.

“Gotta mute the voices, Minnie,” he whispers to him, before he turns to the direction of the six other males in the table.

“Taehyungie,” Yoongi greets with an amused smile on his face, as he grabs Jimin by the waist to sit him back down on the booth’s couch. “Glad you’re already having a good time.”

“Hyungie,” Taehyung hiccups with his signature boxy smile. “Have you ever tried Satan’s Poison?”

One of Yoongi’s friends snorts out a laugh, making Taehyung look in his direction to meet the owner of eyes that had galaxies of stars locked inside of them. 

He sucks in a breath as he takes the guy in, The star stealer had boyish features despite the muscular body he has and his smile that reminded Taehyung of a bunny. His skin is as white as ivory — and damn his eyes were pretty. 

The galaxy thief had his arms resting on the table, one of which has a full sleeve of tattoos decorated around it, with thick veins popping out. 

Taehyung is usually able to control himself, but thanks to the poison he inhaled earlier, he couldn’t help but feel his mouth water. It’s been so long since Taehyung’s seen someone he was interested in this much physically.

He only realized that he was staring when he heard the unmistakable sound of Jimin’s voice forcefully enter his mind throughout the ringing at the back of his mind.

‘Would you get a fucking grip, Taehyung. You’re embarrassing yourself.’ 

Taehyung hissed, and shot his best friend a look. 

“Sorry,” he says it more to Jimin than the other males who were looking at him funnily. “Guess the alcohol’s starting to get to me already.”

“I’m guessing you're starting to feel like hell,” another male with broad shoulders says before he laughs out loud, impressed with his own pun. 

The other men at the table groaned at his joke but Taehyung only smiles at him. He’s a fan of puns.

“Too soon, Jin hyung, too soon,” Yoongi groans with a roll of his eyes before he gestures Taehyung to sit with them. 

The only one that seems to be available is the one next to the starry eyed boy, and Taehyung makes a mental note to read Yoongi and Jimin's minds later when his brain isn't as fuzzy as it is right now. 

It feels like a set up.

He raises an eyebrow at Jimin, and the latter only looks at his fingernails as if it's the most interesting thing in the world. 

“Anyway, let me introduce you to everyone, Tae,” Yoongi says. Taehyung nods at the elder and takes his seat next to the pretty bunny boy.

“The one with the bad puns -" Yoongi starts to say.

— "Hey!" the owner of said bad puns whines.

"- Is Seokjin hyung." Yoongi continues, unbothered. "Might hear more of his bad jokes later though. And he doesn't act like it, but he's the eldest."

“You can call me just Jin hyung,” Seokjin says while rolling his eyes at Yoongi. He offers his hand for Taehyung to shake, to which Taehyung does. 

“This is Hoseok,” Yoongi continues, pointing towards a brown haired male who had a heart shaped smile on his face.

“Pleasure to finally meet you,” Hoseok says brightly as he waves at Taehyung energetically. He has a rather infectious smile and Taehyung could not help but smile back at him in return. "Jimin says you’re younger than him so you can also call me hyung or Hobi hyung."

"Nice to meet you too." Taehyung replies with a smile.

“This is Namjoon,” Yoongi points to the tall male with ash grey hair and dimples invading his cheeks. 

Taehyung was able to hold his hand back from poking his finger in them, but his alcohol induced brain and broken head to mouth filter embarrasses him instead. 

“Your dimples are really deep,” Taehyung says dumbly as he stares at Namjoon with his chin resting on his hand. "I don't think I've ever seen dimples that deep before."

He hears Jimin and the rest of the other males laugh.

Namjoon only smiles at him wide, eyes crinkling and goes to offer his hand for Taehyung to shake. “And you’re quite the loud observer,” Namjoon replies. 

“Sorry,” Taehyung says easily. “I’m only like this when there’s alcohol involved. I’m sorry for being straightforward.”

“All good,” Namjoon replies easily, brushing him off.

“I’m actually surprised you’re still standing,” the guy next to him, the galaxy thief, says teasingly. “I had a small taste of one of those poisons before. Worst hangover of my life.”

“Thanks for the warning,” Taehyung says before he offers his hand for the man to shake next. “And you are?”

“Jeongguk,” he replies with an adorable smile. He does look like a bunny. Taehyung tries hard not to coo. 

They shake hands and Taehyung doesn’t know if it’s the cause of the alcohol or just the creation of his — already weird — mind, but he feels sparks fly as soon as their skin touch. He feels his calloused yet soft hand grip his’ tight and Taehyung’s brain goes haywire.

They hold hands for longer than how a normal handshake should, and Taehyung only remembers to let go when he hears Jimin cough loudly.

He instantly lets go of Jeongguk’s hand as if he was electrocuted and he goes to focus on the other people he’s supposed to meet, trying to ignore the instant — and embarrassingly obvious — attraction he felt towards Jeongguk.

He kind of regrets inhaling alcohol before meeting with them. At least he would know if the attraction is mutual or not. 

But oh well, there’s always next time. 

“Okay now that you’ve met everyone,” Jimin starts to say, disturbing his thoughts. “I was just telling Namjoon hyung here that you work in the library.”

“Oh really?” Hoseok asks, surprised. “For a moment there I thought you were a model or something. You’re too handsome to work in a library.”

Taehyung smiles at him cockily yet playfully. “I get that all the time,” he replies cheekily, making him laugh. "Sometimes I tell them that I am so I wouldn't 'unexpectedly' see them at work. I swear we get a lot of library card holders because of me."

"You could've fooled me," Seokjin says. "I'm a solid ten in terms of looks, but you, Taehyung-ah, are a close eight point seven."

"You're so shameless, hyung." Namjoon says, rolling his eyes at him. "Taehyung is a ten too."

"He's an eleven in my books," Jeongguk cuts in as he takes a drink from his bottle of beer.

Taehyung’s cheeks redden and Jimin scoffs. 

"Why are we even rating looks?" Jimin says. "We're all ten's."

"Says the five." Seokjin rebuts, making the whole table break into easy laughter, and go into a light argument while Taehyung watches the interaction with an amused smile on his face.

He can see himself merge with Yoongi’s friends easily. 

"You'll get used to them bickering," Jeongguk whispers from beside him. "And them insulting each other. I swear they're all harmless."

"Says the one with the worst clapbacks." Hoseok butts in, eavesdropping. "I still haven't gotten over that thing you said about Yoongi hyung."

"Don't remind me," Yoongi sighs, nursing a glass of whiskey in his hands. "I haven't either."

"Why? What did you say?" Taehyung asks them, flashing a grin at Yoongi. The older wasn't really the type who was easily flustered.

"He called him a rock," Namjoon explains with a dimple grin. "We had plans to climb up Mt. Achasan the other week and hyung refused to come."

"Who wants to climb a fucking mountain before the sun even rises," Yoongi scoffs. "That's just asking to be tortured."

"Yoongi's right." Jimin says, unsurprisingly taking his boyfriend's side. "Staying in bed is better."

Taehyung snorts at him. "You know, you guys aren't too far out about Yoongi hyung being a rock," he says, making Jimin give him a hard look. "I mean, Jimin climbs him every night so I kind of see where you're going with that."

Everyone, except Yoongi and Jimin, laughs and Taehyung only smiles smugly.

'Traitor.' Jimin's voice manages to enter his head while the rest of the guys tease the couple. 

“So Taehyung,” Namjoon starts to say as soon as the teasing dies down. “Jimin says you’re good at judging other people’s characters. As if you could read people’s auras or something.”

Taehyung raises an eyebrow at his best friend. 

‘I was drunk when I said that, okay? I’m sorry.’  Jimin apologizes telepathically.

“Something like that,” Taehyung says carefully. 

“Ooh, can you read me?” Hoseok asks excitedly, looking in between Jimin and Taehyung. “I’ve never really met a psychic before.”

Seokjin sighs at him. “He’s not a psychic though, Hobi.” Seokjin says as he slaps him at the back of his head lightly. 

“I don’t know the exact term, okay?”  Hoseok whines as massages the back of his head. “But you get what I mean, right?”

He looks at Taehyung expectantly and the latter only goes to lick the inside of his cheek before he nods at him. 

“Okay,” he says after a while. “I guess I can do that. But I’m kind of a little drunk though, so I might not get everything accurately.”

“It’s fine.” Hoseok replies with an excited smile. “Okay so do it, read me.”

Taehyung sighs as he tries to will his abilities to work again, concentrating hard on Hoseok. It takes a few minutes before he hears the older’s loud thoughts, making his head thump painfully.

“You’re excited about something,” Taehyung says as he subtly massages his temples while his other hand reaches for one of the drinks on the table. The taste of beer instantly makes his face scrunch in disgust before he places the bottle back on the table. “A contest? An upcoming one?” he continues as he eyes scan the table for water.

Taehyung hears Hoseok gasp in surprise, as Taehyung reaches for an unopened bottle of water that’s on the table. Jeongguk goes to help him by standing up to grab the bottle for him. He gives him a thankful smile before he uncaps the bottle and drinks a huge swig of the liquid. 

“Not a fan of beer, I assume?” he hears Jeongguk tease as Hoseok excitedly tells the table about a dance contest that he, Jeongguk and Jimin were apparently participating in in a few weeks, that he was also meant to announce to the group later on but Taehyung beat him to it.  

“Yeah, I prefer hard drinks,” Taehyung says as he puts the empty bottle of water back on the table. “And you dance?”

“Shouldn’t you know that already though?” Jeongguk teases as he takes his bottle of beer that Taehyung had drank from earlier, and wraps his lips around the mouth of the bottle. Taehyung doesn’t stare. (Why would he?)

“I, uh, I’m kind of not feeling myself at the moment.” Taehyung says as he clears his throat, tearing his gaze away from the sinful lips. “Buzzed and all.”

“You okay, Tae?” Jimin asks worriedly, and obviously listening in. “Want to head out?”

Taehyung waves him off. “I’m good, Jimin-ah,” he replies, though the buzzing in his head is worsening by the second. “Just a slight buzz.”

Jimin instantly understands and goes to nod at him. “If you want to go, just tell me,” he says. 

‘If it's getting too much, let me know.’ 

Taehyung winks at him in response before turning his attention back to the table. 

They each take their turns in making Taehyung ‘read their auras’, much to Jimin’s dismay. And although Taehyung normally doesn’t like to willingly enter people’s minds, especially in crowded clubs, he does so anyway. He actually wants to get a close look into each of their lives. (Especially Jeongguk)

He learns next that Seokjin is an aspiring chef, working at some restaurant in Hongdae as a sous chef and is currently saving up to open a restaurant of his own. 

But Taehyung only tells the elder that ‘you like cooking a lot, hyung.’ prompting the group to gush about his amazing dishes, causing Seokjin’s ears to turn a shade of red.

Namjoon is quite the bookworm and is working as a linguist in some fancy company. He’s also attached to a plant he had bought during one of his trips abroad and waters it everyday while telling it nice words to make it grow well. He also likes to ride his bike every Sunday and doesn’t want to learn how to drive as it’s harmful to the environment. 

Taehyung just tells him that he’s a nerd who loves to hug trees to which the whole table bursts out laughing and agreeing with him. 

Taehyung had already gotten a read on Yoongi since Jimin had met him. 

Min Yoongi, bad boy on the outside but a complete marshmallow on the inside. Taehyung remembers an incident where the older had yelled at a cat because it unexpectedly brushed its fur against his legs, making Yoongi stir and mutter profanities out loud, but deep inside, Yoongi felt guilty about scaring the cat away. 

Also, Min Yoongi was completely whipped for a certain Park Jimin. Taehyung ends up telling them the latter.

“That’s not even a secret,” Hoseok snorts as he looks at the couple who both had happy grins on their faces. “I mean, even blind men can see that. Give us something else.”

Taehyung tries to read Yoongi better and immediately regrets it as soon as he sees an image of his best friend kneeling in the club’s dirty restrooms with his mouth open, ready to suck cock.

“Ugh,” Taehyung groans with a disgusted look directed at them. “Not in the club, hyung, that’s disgusting.”

“What?” Yoongi says with a hint of a blush appearing on his pale face. “I didn’t say anything.” 

“Your eyes tell,” Taehyung bullshits. 

Jimin gives him a questioning look and Taehyung only taps his fingers on the table twice.

Since Taehyung was the only one who could read the other’s mind, Jimin made him memorize all sorts of gestures so he could, in his own way, read Taehyung’s mind. 

Scratching his ear meant that there was someone interested in either one of them. Resting his chin on his hand meant Taehyung was interested in someone. A single tap on a surface meant Yoongi was worried about something and Jimin needed to calm him down

— and a double tap meant that Min Yoongi was feeling rather horny. 

Jimin smirks before he gives Yoongi a sultry smile. 

“I can read your eyes too,” he says before whispering something to his ear that both makes Taehyung and Yoongi blush. Of course Taehyung had heard him.

“TMI,” Taehyung coughs out. 

“You’re just jealous because you’re single as a pringle,” Jimin snides as he rests his head on Yoongi’s shoulders. “And I landed myself a fine guy like Yoongi all by myself.”

Taehyung raises an eyebrow at him. “You’re welcome,” Taehyung mutters under his breath, before he reaches towards Jeongguk’s bottle of beer. It seems that as soon as he starts opening up his mind to read Yoongi’s — now his’ — friends’ thoughts, other strangers’ thoughts are starting to enter his mind as well.

And Taehyung wants to revert back to the deafening ringing in his ears rather than strangers’ lewd thoughts. And although he’s not a fan of it, he surprisingly finishes Jeongguk’s beer and immediately goes to stand, instantly feeling sick, so he could get Jeongguk a replacement. 

“Sorry,” he says. “I finished your beer. I’ll buy you another one.”

Jeongguk places a steady hand around his waist to make him stand still. “It’s fine,” he says easily. “I can get myself a beer.”

“I insist,” Taehyung says but his vision is starting to get dizzer the more he stands on his two feet. “Uh, I’ll be right back.”

He hears someone sigh but he doesn’t stay to find out who before he makes his way through the mess of bodies littered all over the club’s dancefloor. 

Taehyung feels someone follows him from behind and tries to use his ability to see who it is, but instantly blocks the voices out as soon as hundreds of thoughts enter his mind at once. 

It wasn’t exactly a good idea to open up his mind in the middle of the dancefloor, Taehyung thought, as he tried to dull the loud ringing and voices that had taken residence in his head. He hisses as he felt a vein in the corner of his temples thump painfully.

Taehyung felt his knees buckle and a pair of muscled hands instantly wrapped around him, catching him.

“Hey, you okay?” he hears his savior ask. It makes Taehyung smile, though his mind still feels like it’s being drilled out.

He turns to face Jeongguk. 

“I’m good.” he smiles. “Thanks for catching me.”

“Anytime,” Jeongguk says, removing his hands around Taehyung’s upper body and holding one of his wrists protectively so he could lead him out of the chaotic dancefloor. “But seriously, I can get my own drink. You don’t look too good.”

Taehyung sighs. “I’m fine, it’s just,” he starts to say as he massages his temples. “It’s just too loud here. I can’t really think straight and I think I’m gonna be sick.”

Jeongguk’s eyes widened at that. “You want to get out and get some air?” he asks, pointing to the direction of the exit. Taehyung nods at him, and without another word, Jeongguk leads him towards the door to exit rather than the bar. 

It gets a tiny bit better as soon as they’re out in the open area. Taehyung goes to lean his back on the building’s wall and take deep breaths. 

Jeongguk is beside him watching him carefully. “You sure you’re okay?” he asks hesitantly. “I mean, you really do look pale, Taehyung hyung.”

Taehyung looks up at him. “Hyung?” he asks, trying to make things light. He doesn’t want to appear completely weak like he already is to Jeongguk. “I’m older than you?”

“Yeah,” Jeongguk says as he scratches the side of his neck. “Jimin hyung mentioned that you were the same age and he’s older than me by a couple years. I mean, you don’t mind me calling you hyung, right?”

“Oh so you’re the baby of the group?” Taehyung teases as he massages his temples. Jeongguk goes to put a hand at his nape and massage him soothingly. Taehyung tried not to purr in content.

Keyword: tried.

“I don’t know about that,” Jeongguk snorts, watching Taehyung lean into his touch with his eyes closed in relaxation. 

“Be nice,” Taehyung scolds lightly. “I’m older and I have a headache.”

“Alright, whatever you say,” Jeongguk grins, still massaging him. “Big baby.”

“We only just met and you’re already teasing me,” Taehyung whines with a pout. He sees Jeongguk scrunch his nose as his bunny grin widens. 

He really is a bunny boy, Taehyung thought. 

“Anyway, since we’re here, mind telling me a little something about yourself?” Taehyung asks conversationally. 

“Thought you were good at reading people,” Jeongguk says, releasing Taehyung’s nape once the older releases a relaxed sigh and leaning his shoulder on the wall next to him, putting his hands inside the pocket of his ripped jeans. 

Taehyung — may have possibly — sneaked a peek at the younger’s incredible thighs. 

Taehyung tries to get a read of him, but the buzzing at the back of his head only intensifies and makes him moan out in pain. 

“Sorry,” he hisses. “For some reason, I can’t get a good read. You know, headache and all,”

Jeongguk hums before he focuses his eyes on Taehyung. “What do you want to know?” he asks. “I’m pretty much a boring person.”

“The more boring, the better.” Taehyung says with an easy smile. “You’re forgetting that I’m a librarian. I live the best boring life.”

Jeongguk laughs at him good-heartedly. “I suppose you do, don’t you?” he snickers. “Well, I’m Jeongguk as you know, I’m twenty-three, and uh, I’m a professional gamer, I guess?”

“A professional what?” Taehyung says surprisingly, hitting him playfully on the shoulder. “That’s not boring content. You promised me that you’re boring.”

“That is boring,” Jeongguk laughs. “All I do is sit in front of my computer all day and play games. What’s exciting about that?”

“Beats having to look for books for other people,” Taehyung sulks. “I like to game too.”

“Really? What game?”

Taehyung gives him a look. “Overwatch.”

Jeongguk’s eyes light up like a Christmas tree and Taehyung’s proud to be the cause of that. 

“No way, you’re just saying that.” he says, rushed and excited. “I love playing Overwatch too. Who’s your main?”

“D.Va,” Taehyung answers, prompting Jeongguk to start to talk animatedly to him about the game. 

They continued to talk for a few minutes, jumping from one topic to another as they stood outside the loud clubs’ building with their hands inside their pockets, and puffs of smoke escapes their lips as the cold embraced their bodies. 

That doesn’t stop them from geeking to the other.

Taehyung thinks that it’s kind of nice to get to know someone in a normal way. It’s nice to find out about a person through words of their actual mouths, rather than thoughts inside their head. 

Or maybe it’s nice to just get to know Jeongguk himself, a small voice says inside his head but he brushes it off. 

Taehyung cannot deny that the younger was exactly  his type. Tall, thighs and tattooed arms that are to die for. — and don’t get Taehyung started on what was under Jeongguk’s shirt. He managed to take a peek when the younger tried to stretch his arms upwards, granting Taehyung a quick look at his abdomen, and he just knows when someone has abs and Jeongguk definitely  has them. 

And not just looks, he and Jeongguk seemed to click, personality wise, the more they shared about each other. 

They appear to share the same dry humor and both like to taunt their friends. Taehyung tried his best not to coo when Jeongguk told him that he had recently adopted a maltese and called him Gureum, and seemed upset when Hoseok and Seokjin had teased the poor dog as ugly. 

“I have never seen an ugly dog in my entire life,” Taehyung says determinedly. “I’m sure Guereum-ie is the handsomest.”

“You’re free to see him anytime,” Jeongguk replies as he looks at Taehyung intently. “I mean, I’m sure he’ll be happy to meet you too.”

Taehyung raises an eyebrow at him. His abilities may be shit at that moment, but he doesn’t really need mind reading powers to know when someone’s interested in him. 

And Jeongguk is definitely  interested. 

Taehyung didn’t fail to notice the younger’s eyes staring into his lips intently. Even through the chaos of the ringing voices in his head, plus his buzzed mind, he sees Jeongguk’s, not so subtle, looks.

“I’m not trying to be assumptive here, Gukkie,” Taehyung says slowly. Jeongguk smiles at the nickname. “But, is that an excuse so I could go home with you?”

Jeongguk only offers him a bunny smile. “I mean, my place is warmer and it’s close.” he says slowly. “And it doesn’t look like we're going back inside anytime soon. I mean, unless I’m reading everything wrong?”

Taehyung offers him his own boxy smile. Tempted with the offer.

“You think Jimin is gonna be mad once he finds out that we ditched them?” he asks, making Jeongguk snort.

“Please. He’s probably in the restroom with Yoongi hyung somewhere doing the dirty or something.” Jeongguk says. 

Oh, if he only knew. 

“Well, you’re actually not too far off,” Taehyung says with a laugh before he pushes himself off of the wall, testing his legs to see if they can stand on its own again. 

Jeongguk offers him his hand. “Take my hand,” he says. “Let’s get out of here.”

Taehyung smiles at him widely before taking it. 

 

— 

 

Despite the cool November air and his rather thin clothing that did nothing to help shield the cold, and for a reason unbeknownst to Taehyung himself, the walk going to Jeongguk’s apartment was surprisingly warm. 

A little cozy, if Taehyung would say so himself. 

The ringing echo inside Taehyung’s head has yet to dull, and he still hasn’t gotten inside Jeongguk’s head. But despite that, despite the cold and incessant ringing, Jeongguk’s hand tightly wrapped around his is the only thing that’s keeping him grounded. That’s keeping his head afloat.

It’s both funny and scary how protected Taehyung feels by just the feeling of Jeongguk’s larger hand holding his, how crazy it is that he thinks the younger’s hand fits his like a glove this early in their — whatever it is that they have.

It’s crazy how Taehyung’s heart flutters whenever he’d catch Jeongguk steal glances his way to check if he’s alright, and how fucking terrifying it is that he associcates safety by just holding a hand. Jeongguk’s hand.

He felt his breath hitch when Jeongguk lets go of his hand to wrap his tattooed arm around his waist as they made their way to his apartment. Taehyung has never experienced being ridiculously attracted to someone this much and this fast before. 

Maybe it’s because of the copious amount of alcohol he inhaled. Maybe it’s because Jeongguk is protecting him during his vulnerable state

—  or maybe it’s just Jeongguk himself, Taehyung thought.

It’s a mystery to him. A mystery he’s hellbent in unraveling. And he will, as soon as he gets the ringing to stop and read Jeongguk’s mind. But for now, he needs to calm the storm in his head, needs to sate his curious mind and his beating heart — with or without the use of his abilities. 

It was all just too much for Taehyung. It was something that he couldn’t wait till they arrived in Jeongguk’s apartment. 

He suddenly stops in his tracks, automatically making Jeongguk halt in his steps as well as the latter turns to look at him questioningly. Concernedly.

“You -?” Jeongguk begins to ask.

“Can I kiss you?” Taehyung breathes out, cutting him off. Eyes staring into the younger’s incredibly shiny eyes. 

Taehyung sees him pause for a second before the corner of Jeongguk’s lips turn into a smile, his bunny teeth peeking out, before managing to nod at him.

It was just a chaste press of their lips. Just two pairs of lips clashing and melding together. Taehyung realized that if Jeongguk’s hands and arms made him warm, his lips set him on fire. 

Taehyung leans more into the kiss, making their chest meet and causing Jeongguk to wrap his arms around his waist instead, helping Taehyung bring their bodies even closer.

A few seconds, minutes or hours pass; Taehyung doesn’t know exactly. He’s only aware of Jeongguk’s lingering hands rubbing his back, and his fingers drawing patterns in his waist. 

A gust of wind blows through their bodies and a wind chime rings somewhere, making Jeongguk separate from him and look at him with wide eyes, and an endearing dopey smile on his face. 

Taehyung tries to catch his breath as he looks back at the younger, feeling an insane amount of butterflies flutter in his stomach. It’s insane that he feels this way with just one kiss, and from a boy he’s only just met nonetheless. 

Jeongguk is the one who breaks the silence. “That was -” he starts to say, as he leans to rest his forehead against his. 

“I know,” Taehyung says, out of breath. He closes his eyes and clutches the front of Jeongguk’s clothes. He’s sure he has a dopey smile of his own. “That was fucking incredible.” 

Jeongguk smiles at him again, the type of smile that makes him scrunch up his nose. A smile that Taehyung is growing more dangerously fond of. 

“How much farther till we reach your place?” Taehyung asks. 

Jeongguk chuckles. “Actually, we’re already here. It’s that building over there.” he says, pointing to a building besides the one they’re standing in front of. 

“Oh,” Taehyung blushes as he pulls away from the younger, and surveys the building where the younger had pointed to. “I guess I couldn’t wait.”

“It’s more than okay,” Jeongguk replies easily, a hint of a smile still in his face. “I couldn’t wait to do that too. I’m kind of glad you made the first move actually.”

Jeongguk offers his hand to him and Taehyung takes it with a shy smile. He instantly feels warm again. 

“Really?” Taehyung asks as they both continue to walk towards the building. “Did I ruin any major plans to make your move?”

“I honestly had no plans whatsoever. I just kind of hoped that you’d lean in when I got too close or something.” Jeongguk says as he puts in his code to open the building’s front door. 

There was just something honest about Jeongguk that enamored Taehyung. If his abilities weren’t shit at the moment, he had a feeling that Jeongguk has a complete lack of filter like Jimin.

“I suggest you still try that though,” Taehyung smirks at him. Jeongguk raises an eyebrow at him. “Get closer I mean. I just might lean in. Who knows?”

Jeongguk grins at him. “I’ll do more than just that.” he promises cockily.

True to his words, once the door to Jeongguk’s apartment opens, he doesn’t just lean in. He suddenly turns to cage Taehyung’s body against the wall. 

“This close enough for you?” he asks, voice lower and sultry, causing Taehyung to inhale deeply.

“Close enough,” Taehyung says before he leans in to capture the younger’s lips. 

The kiss this time wasn’t as chaste as their first one. It was hungry. A mess of their teeth and tongues clashing together while their hands explored each other’s bodies. Souls burning with desire.

Taehyung gets the feeling of a thousand bolts of lightning strike his body as he goes to suckle on Jeongguk’s tongue greedily, his hands making its way to the back of his head to ruffle his dark locks, eliciting a moan from the younger. 

Taehyung releases Jeongguk’s tongue and goes to kiss the outline of jaw, he feels the younger’s hands grip his ass and it causes him to groan into his chest. “Where’s your bedroom, Jeongguk?” Taehyung asks, breaths turning out ragged and vision turning hazy. 

Jeongguk manages to rip his body away from Taehyung, hands resting on the side of his body. “Let me show you,” he says, offering his hand to which Taehyung takes. 

Jeongguk closes the door of the apartment, making Taehyung send a message of thanks to his angels that none of the younger’s neighbors have seen them eat each other’s faces before Jeongguk goes to lead them to a hallway in the living room.

Taehyung doesn’t know what possessed him to let go of the younger’s hand to go and latch onto his back instead, while depositing small kisses at the back of his neck. He just couldn’t get enough of him, and Taehyung just couldn’t understand why it’s easy to lose himself to Jeongguk like this.

Jeongguk laughs as he goes to unlock his bedroom door. “Almost there,” he says as he opens the door wide. 

The first thing that Taehyung registers as soon as the door opens is a doll, an actual Ironman doll, sitting in the middle of Jeongguk’s bed. He goes to stop his ministrations in the younger’s neck as he goes to look at it more closely.

Jeongguk is slightly confused when Taehyung suddenly stops, and goes to follow the older’s line of vision. “Fuck, that’s embarrassing,” he says with heated cheeks as he brings a tattooed hand to scratch the side of his head. 

Taehyung smiles at him widely. “I find it cute actually,” he says fondly as he steps into the room. 

There’s a computer — a gaming computer, Taehyung notes — sitting atop a long desk with two monitors and a television mounted on the wall above it. He also sees posters of bands and superheroes plastered on Jeongguk’s dark walls, and a shelf filled with superhero bobbleheads and, surprise surprise, more dolls displayed. 

Jeongguk is a dork, and Taehyung cannot help but grin at him endearingly. 

“You’ll be the first to think that then,” Jeongguk says, body leaning on the doorway as he watches Taehyung take the room in. “I can’t even tell you how many people that Ironman here has scared away.”

Taehyung smiles at him, and he goes back into Jeongguk’s space, wrapping his arms around the younger’s neck and bringing their faces closer. “Sucks for them, they missed their chance to get fucked while Back in Black plays in the background.”

Jeongguk grins at him as puts his strong arms around Taehyung’s waist, and walks over to the bed with the latter walking backwards. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re perfect?” he asks.

Taehyung swallows a gasp and goes to kiss Jeongguk passionately instead. The back of his legs hit the edge of Jeongguk’s bed, and Taehyung goes to sit on it with Jeongguk following suit, angling his body to a half-bow so their lips would stay connected. 

Jeongguk is slowly unbuttoning Taehyung’s cream colored shirt, pulling it off his shoulders and throwing it to the floor. He pushes the older to a lying position and Taehyung pushes himself upwards to the middle of the bed, pushing Ironman off of it by accident. 

Taehyung can feel his dick spurt precum as Jeongguk goes to straddle him and sucks bruises into his collarbones, he groans at the weight of Jeongguk’s body on top of him, and goes to grip his shoulders while Jeongguk bruises him with hickies. 

His hands then find the hem of Jeongguk’s t-shirt and he goes to pull the offensive shirt off of him. 

And yeah, wow. 

“Fuck you’re ripped,” Taehyung says, mouth watering at the sight the younger’s muscles. Hands rubbing them intently before his hands land on the waistband of Jeongguk’s jeans. “Shit, you’re so hot, Jeongguk, fuck,”

Jeongguk smirks down at him as he slides his tattooed hand across Taehyung’s body, thumb hovering over Taehyung’s nipples and rubbing them in circles. “And you’re beautiful, Tae,” he says, “So fucking beautiful,”

It’s the first time someone has ever told him he’s beautiful. Taehyung knows he looks good, he doesn’t need to use his abilities to confirm if his partners mean what they say if they comment on his looks. 

But it was always ‘you look hot’, ‘you’re handsome’ or ‘your ass is so delectable.’  never beautiful. 

Only Jeongguk called him that.

He feels his cheeks heat at the praise, and squirms unders Jeongguk’s hold. Taehyung leans forward, signaling that he wants a kiss and Jeongguk leans down to meet his lips halfway. 

Jeongguk’s legs are still caging Taehyung’s body, and he goes to hold both of Taehyung’s wrists, placing them above their heads as he continues to kiss Taehyung senseless -- in his mouth, all over his face, his neck and places Taehyung’s sure were never kissed yet before, while Jeongguk grinds their crotches together. 

Taehyung moans when Jeongguk continues to hump him. He’s already so worked up and he hasn’t even seen Jeongguk’s dick yet, let alone take all their clothes off. 

“Are we gonna do it like teenagers and just grind our dicks together till we cum or do you actually plan on fucking me, Gukkie?” Taehyung says, skin shining with sweat. 

“Just taking my sweet time,” Jeongguk says with a smug look on his face, before he finally removes both their pants and disposes of them by throwing it somewhere on the floor. “No need to rush, Tae.”

Taehyung hissed as he feels the younger’s hand slip inside the waistband of his underwear and grip his aching cock tightly, hands going in up and down motion and effectively making him moan in content and causing his hips to automatically follow his motions. 

“Feels good,” Taehyung mutters, blissed out. 

Jeongguk continues to stroke his dick and goes to sit up so he can remove Taehyung’s underwear, sliding the fabric off of his legs as he kisses the inside of his thighs. 

Taehyung watches him with heavy lidded eyes as Jeongguk places Taehyung’s legs over his shoulders, and lets go of his leaking cock so he can lay on his stomach. Taehyung feels his back arc when Jeongguk suddenly plants his face in between his asscheeks and licks a line in his entrance.

 A string of curses escapes Taehyung’s lips as Jeongguk repeats the motion. 

“Baby,” Jeongguk says, looking over to him, eyes dark with want. “Hand me the lube and condom, will you?”

Taehyung should feel embarrassed at feeling a wave of arousal hit him at the use of the pet name, but he isn’t. He loves it. 

“Where is it?” he manages to ask.

“Bedside drawer,”

Taehyung manages to reach over to the drawer without having to separate from Jeongguk, fingers looking blindly for the bottle and packet inside. Once he finds them, he goes to check if he got the correct bottle out, and guffaws at the ridiculously funny yet endearing sight of — 

“Here’s your Ironman lube, dork,” he teases as he throws the items in Jeongguk’s direction. 

Jeongguk grins at him as he uncaps the lube. “Mean,” he says as he dribbles a considerable amount of it on his palm. 

“Is the condom gonna light up like Ironman’s chest too?” Taehyung continues to tease but suddenly swallows when Jeongguk suddenly inserts his middle finger inside of him. A loud moan escaping his lips.

“No,” Jeongguk replies amusedly. “But they glow in the dark though,”

Taehyung makes a sound that’s the mix of a laugh and lewd moan as Jeongguk works his finger to open him up. 

Sex with Jeongguk is fun, Taehyung decides.

“Wrap your legs around my neck, Baby.” Jeongguk instructs as he pulls his finger out of him and pushes Taehyung’s ass cheeks apart. “Want your legs to choke me while I open you up and while you fuck my mouth.”

Sex with Jeongguk is fun and oh so fucking hot, Taehyung corrects as he circles his legs tightly around Jeongguk’s neck and inhales a deep breath when two fingers breach his hole. 

He’s ready for the fingers to enter him, what Taehyung wasn’t ready for, is Jeongguk’s dirty mouth to wrap around his length while he scissors his entrance open. 

“Nngh,” Taehyung cries out, back arching as Jeongguk sucks him off while he fingers him open. “That feels good, fuck,” 

Jeongguk hums with his mouth full of Taehyung’s cock. 

The ringing inside Taehyung’s head had somehow stopped sometime during the foreplay. The silence helped him concentrate more on the feeling of Jeongguk’s mouth and fingers.

Jeongguk inserts a third finger inside of him and fucks his fingers inside him, fast and deep causing Taehyung to hiss and moan even more than he already is. It’s when the younger hit his sweet spot when Taehyung grabs a hold of a fistful of Jeongguk’s hair so he could pull him off of his cock and pull him up for a needy kiss.

“Not gonna last if you keep doing that,” he breathes out. Loving the taste of his own precum in Jeongguk’s mouth. 

“Sorry,” Jeongguk says with a shit eating grin. “I got caught up with all those pretty sounds you’re making.”

He kisses Taehyung one last time, long and with his tongue licking the inside of cheeks before he pulls out to remove his black underwear and line his own aching dick through Taehyung’s hole, after he puts the — glow in the dark — condom on.

Jeongguk pushes in while he hugs Taehyung’s legs in both arms, a groan escaping his lips as soon as he bottoms out. Jeongguk is so fucking big, and long and it takes awhile for Taehyung to adjust to his big cock before he nods at him, signaling that he wants Jeongguk to move.

Jeongguk thrusts into him slowly yet deeply at first, his fingers bruising Taehyung’s legs. 

Echoes of their moans filter through the four corners of Jeongguk’s bedroom. Jeongguk’s hips thrust in a way where he pulls out with only leaving the head of his cock inside Taehyung before he pushes back in, and it feels good. 

Taehyung feels fucking good.

“Faster,” Taehyung cries out, actual tears sliding down the corner of his eyes. “Faster, Jeongguk, I- I want more.” 

And faster, Jeongguk goes. 

His thrusts progress from slow and deep, to fast and hard. Taehyung goes to lock his legs around his torso, and could feel his knuckles turn white due to how hard he’s gripping the bed sheets underneath him. 

Jeongguk is slamming in and out of the older male as his hands grip Taehyung’s shoulders. 

Oohs, Aahs and Fucks right there slipped out of Taehyung’s mouth as Jeongguk fucks him unforgivingly, and when Jeongguk hits his prostate, Taehyung fucking screams.

“Jeongguk, Jeongguk, right there, please,” he begs, as he lets go of the duvet under him to put a hand around his poor cock. “Right there, baby, please, right there.”

There’s an animalistic glint in Jeongguk’s eyes as he fulfills Taehyung’s requests, hitting the same spot over and over and over again relentlessly. 

“Close,” Taehyung cries as he feels a wave of arousal build at the pit of his stomach, making his toes curl. “I’m so close, I’m gonna cum, fuck,”

Jeongguk suddenly stops his thrusts, causing Taehyung to whine, and goes to pull the older up so he could fully sit on his lap. He slaps the hand that Taehyung had on his own length.

“Ride me,” he grunts as he pulls Taehyung’s ass cheeks apart. “Go on, Baby,”

Jeongguk doesn’t need to tell him twice, and he goes to bounce while Jeongguk’s cock is inside of him. With the new angle, Jeongguk’s dick hits his prostate deeper, garnering a series of curses to escape his mouth and  pushes his head back in pleasure.

Jeongguk takes that as an invitation and goes to suck and lick his neck, and goes to bring a hand to wrap around Taehyung’s dick. 

The feeling of Jeongguk’s lips sucking his neck, his hands gripping his cock and Jeongguk’s own dick deep inside of him makes Taehyung reach his climax, he decorates his and Jeongguk’s abdomen with white cum as he rolls his head back.

Jeongguk is fucking him hastily as Taehyung sat limp in his hold, completely fucked out, so he could also chase his own release. 

“Cum inside me, Gukkie,” Taehyung says weakly, making Jeongguk moan out before the younger finally finds release and fills the condom with his cock deep inside Taehyung.

They fall on top of the covers together, panting, with Jeongguk’s softening cock still inside him. “That was -” Taehyung starts to say in between breaths. 

“Amazing.” Jeongguk replies with a chuckle, laying on top of him. “You’re amazing, Taehyung.”

And Taehyung smiles into Jeongguk’s neck. “Thought you were gonna scream ‘Avengers Assemble’ while you climaxed.” he teases, rubbing the younger’s back comfortingly. “Kind of waited for it actually.”

“Shut up,” Jeongguk smiles with a nose scrunch before he kisses Taehyung again on the lips and pulls out of him, careful not to leak his own cum by holding the edge of the condom.

“Oh wow,” Taehyung says, watching Jeongguk tie the condom and throw it at a nearby bin. “It really does glow in the dark.”

Jeongguk snorts as climbs out of the bed to go to the bathroom to grab a washcloth. “I wasn’t lying,” he says once he returns, and goes to wipe the cum drying in Taehyung’s tummy. “And I’m not really ashamed of it.”

“I know you aren’t,” Taehyung yawns as Jeongguk goes to lay beside, basking in the complete silence of Jeongguk’s room. “And like what I said, I find it cute. I’ve never been fucked with a glow in the dark condom on before.”

Jeongguk laughs as Taehyung releases a tired yawn.

“Stay the night?” Jeongguk asks as turns to face Taehyung, hand resting on the older’s hip. 

“As long as I get to be the little spoon.” Taehyung replies sleepily, as he goes to lay on top of Jeongguk’s chest while the latter wraps his arm around his body. 

“Perfect, I like being the big spoon.” is what Taehyung heard Jeongguk say before he finally shuts his eyes, basking on the feeling of his sore back and muscles, and enjoying the silence his mind gives him for the night before he starts hearing voices again the next day. 

 

 

Taehyung finds himself in a room he doesn’t recognize as soon as he wakes up and goes to sit up, then immediately regrets it due to his deathly hangover. 

He groans as he massages his temples while looking around the room for Jeongguk with one hand while the other runs through the empty spot in the bed next to him, and feels the sheets cold under his touch, indicating that Jeongguk had been away for awhile now. 

A faint ringing begins to seep through his brain as thoughts of people nearby start to enter his thoughts, but he finds the disappointment of waking up to an empty bed more bothering.

Taehyung sighs. 

Jeongguk must’ve wanted him gone and granted him a way to escape easily. He goes to stand to look for his clothes and sees them neatly folded on the bedside table right beside the younger’s Ironman alarm clock. He smiles and runs a hand through the clock, and goes to put his clothes back on. 

He’s just buttoning the last few buttons on his shirt when he hears the doorknob turn, and Jeongguk comes in, drenched in sweat, his strong muscled and tattooed arms in full display, and his dark locks tied into a small man bun at the top of his head.  

Jeongguk stops in his tracks as soon as he registers what Taehyung’s doing. “You trying to escape?” Jeongguk asks playfully yet carefully. Doe eyes searching Taehyung carefully. 

“Did you want me to escape?” Taehyung asks as he pauses buttoning his shirt, unsure.

Jeongguk goes further inside the room, and goes to close the door behind him. He holds up a brown paper bag and shows it to the older. “Didn’t you see my note?” he asks, as Taehyung goes to collect the paper bag and find some freshly baked strawberry tarts inside. He smiles at Jeongguk’s thoughtfulness.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t,” Taehyung says, looking up to find Jeongguk already looking at him. “Where did you leave it?”

“On my pillow,” Jeongguk replies as he approaches the bed and retrieves a sticky note attached to the pillow then goes to show it to Taehyung.  

‘Tae. Went out for a run. Be back soon with breakfast. Guk’

Taehyung smiles at him. “Might’ve missed it.” he says, stepping in front of the younger and wrapping his arms around his waist. “Sorry.”

“I’ll put it in a place where you can easily find it next time.” Jeongguk replies easily, putting a tattooed arm around his back. 

Next time. Taehyung likes that. The promise of seeing each other again, and the thought of Jeongguk enjoying Taehyung’s company so much that he’s willing to see him again even after he’s already slept with him. 

Taehyung has had his fair shares of hook ups, and most of them just wanted to fuck and go  their own ways. They didn’t really need to say it out loud since Taehyung can read their thoughts, and oftentimes, he doesn’t need to use his powers to just know that that’s what they wanted. 

But with Jeongguk he just knows that that’s not what the younger wants. 

Next time. Taehyung smiles.

He was just about to open his mouth and say that he’d like that. Next time. But he suddenly stops when he realizes something. 

It was quiet. 

Too quiet. 

There’s a soft ringing at the back of his head coming from the apartment that’s right beside Jeongguk’s but no thoughts were coming from Jeongguk himself. He tries to shake his head as he takes a step towards him to look at him with wide eyes. 

“Tae?” Jeongguk asks curiously, an awkward smile on his face. “Something -”

Jeongguk was telling him something out loud. He could clearly see his lips move and physically hear his voice. But none of his thoughts enter Taehyung’s mind. 

His heart is beating erratically as he registers this, and before Taehyung could think more clearly, he goes to pinch Jeongguk on the arm, squeezing his muscle tightly and causing the younger to yelp out in pain. 

Nothing. 

Taehyung couldn’t hear anything. 

If there was something that Taehyung could hear loud and clear, it was pain. And yet there he was, face to face with Jeongguk and none of his thoughts entered Taehyung’s mind.

He gasps as he takes a few steps back from the younger. Completely staring at him in pure shock and disbelief while Jeongguk gives him a worried look. 

“Taehyung,” Jeongguk says slowly, hands held up as if he’s trying to approach a scared animal. And Taehyung, he is fucking terrified. “Taehyung, you look pale. Why don’t you sit down for a minute while I get you a glass of -”

“Step back,” Taehyung warns, holding a hand up to stop Jeongguk from coming near him. 

Jeongguk scrunches his eyebrows at him. “Tae, I don’t understand,” he says, watching him. “What’s happ -”

Before Jeongguk could even complete his sentence, Taehyung goes to the direction of the door, walking backwards. “I gotta go,” Taehyung says. “I- I remembered I had to do something.”

“Wait, you don’t look too good, hyung,” Jeongguk tries to say calmly, taking tentative steps towards him. “Take it easy, I just want to take care of you.”

“I- I’m fine,” Taehyung chokes out, hand grabbing the handle of the bedroom door blindly. “I- I, I need to leave, Jeongguk.”

“Don’t you want to eat the strawberry tarts first?” Jeongguk offers helplessly. 

“No,” Taehyung says. “Thanks for last night, Jeongguk.” And without waiting for a response, he bolts outside the door, not looking back as he makes a run outside Jeongguk’s building, not stopping until he was a few yards away from the building, and the sounds of strangers passing by entering his mind.

As pauses in his running to catch his breath outside a wet market, with shoppers ringing voices screaming in both his ears and his mind, Taehyung could not help but think that he’s never felt this happy and relieved to hear voices inside his head again as much as he did that day.

 

 

[ shall I stay?

would it be a sin? ]

 

‘— and everything went silent.’  Taehyung’s grandmother finished with a wide smile, the wrinkles adoring her face when she smiled made her look more loving than she already is. She sneaked a glance in the direction of the kitchen where his grandfather and father conversed. 

“Okay wow,” Taehyung whispered under his breath, with his jaw hanging open. “That’s —” 

‘Close your mouth, Taehyungie. You’re not catching flies, right?’  his mother scolded from the armchair opposite him as she shook her head at him.

“Sorry,” he apologized to his mother with a boxy smile. “It’s just, that’s kind of —” He tried to search for the right words so as not to offend them. But of course, there were cons to being in a family with mind readers. 

‘Yah that isn’t insane,’  his grandmother said, offended. ‘Me and your grandfather have been together for fifty-five years. That’s not insane. It’s the way it is ever since.’

“You’re not letting me finish,” Taehyung pouted at her.

‘And you’re forgetting that I can read you like an open book,’  his grandmother said as she pursed her lips at him. ‘I know what you’re trying to say, Taehyung-ah.’

“You can’t really blame me, Halmeoni,” Taehyung tried to reason as he scratched the back of his head. “It’s kind of, I don’t know, fishy that there’s one person we’re destined not to hear. What if it just means that we need to stay away from them because they’re private people or something?”

‘That’s not how it works, Taehyungie,’  his mother sighed. ‘You’ll understand better once you meet your person.’

If I meet my person,” Taehyung replied. 

The idea of having one person set aside for you sounded limiting to Taehyung. He’s heard the same story from his mother and grandmother a handful of times, and they’ve assured him countless times that the stars will align and things will make perfect sense when their person is right there in front of him.

It’s not that he’s opposed to the idea, it’s just, there’s a part of Taehyung that just can’t fully accept the whole predestined thing. He can’t see himself just flat out accept a person as his person just because that person will quieten the voices. Just because he can’t read their mind.

Because firstly, isn’t it more reassuring to hear someone’s thoughts because then he’d know that the person is genuine with their feelings towards him? 

Taehyung wants to have free will to choose for himself. He doesn’t want to be with a person just because they’re fated to be together. 

There’s also that possibility of not actually finding this person. Is he supposed to live his life alone till that person arrives? 

He’s also a hundred and one percent gay, what if the universe decided to mess with him and assign a woman as his fated one?

How can Taehyung be sure that the whole thing isn’t foolproof? 

‘You’re impossible.’  his grandmother huffed, obviously hearing his thoughts, as she stood from the couch to join her husband and son in law in the kitchen. 

“Just thinking of possibilities, Halmeoni,” Taehyung called out to her retreating back. Taehyung heard her mutter something under her breath. He swallowed the quiet snickers that tried to escape his lips and went to look over to his mother who’s giving him a hard look. 

“You’re giving Halmeoni a headache, honey bear,” his mother said as she eyes him with an eyebrow raised. “Why are you so against finding your person anyway?”

“I guess I just don’t like the idea of having someone already preselected for me, Eomma,” Taehyung said honestly. 

“You say that, like it’s a bad thing.” his mother scoffed. “If I hadn't met your father, you wouldn’t even be here today. ”

“I know, Eomma,” Taehyung sighed. “But like, what if you meet someone who really likes you and you really like them back but you held yourself back all because you waited for the person who made everything silent.” 

“You’re just saying that because you’re seeing that Eunwoo boy,” his mother countered back. 

“Hey, you like him,” Taehyung pouted. “And Eunwoo-ssi is a nice guy. I’ve been inside his head and all I hear are nice things.”

“I’m not saying he isn’t a nice guy, Taehyung-ah,” his mother said as she stood from the armchair. “I’m just saying that someone will come when you least expect them too, and help you dull the voices out.”

“The exception,” Taehyung snorted with a playful roll of his eyes.

‘Your soulmate,’  his mother corrected, annoyed, as she left him alone in the living room to join the other adults in the kitchen.  

 

 

When Taehyung decided to study Literature in college and applied as a librarian in Seoul’s most prestigious library after graduating, he kind of expected that his mind would be a little more quiet since libraries are generally quiet places. 

Taehyung was heavily mistaken. 

Of course, to a normal human being, libraries are indeed quiet. 

Unfortunately for Taehyung though, he isn’t a normal human being and honestly, he should have realized sooner that the library was the absolute worst place for a mind reader to work because people came there to do one thing —

and that was think.

Finals week at the university across Taehyung’s workplace was next week and the place was packed with university students left and right, with their books and laptops on hand, busy reviewing their lecture notes and memorizing all sorts of equations and formulas from all sorts of subjects. 

To a normal human being, it was peaceful in the library. 

To Taehyung, it was pure chaos.

‘I hope Mr. Choi will accept this even if it’s under two-thousand words,’

‘I am so getting wasted and drunk after I finish this hell of a week,’

‘Should I bother the hot librarian again or should I go and actually start studying?’

Taehyung groans as he goes to lean his head on top of his work desk, closing his eyes and willing these unwelcome thoughts to stay away from him as his head is nearly about to explode.

He usually avoids coming into work during the students’  finals week because it always gives him the biggest headaches ever, and tylenol did nothing to help as the ringing and voices inside his head never ceased. 

It’s always ringing in Taehyung’s head, always noisy with the constant buzzing.  

And Taehyung wanted,  no, — needed — quiet. Even if it’s just for a fucking minute. 

Taehyung sighs as he thinks of a time when everything was quiet, when there wasn’t that constant noise that occupied every corner of his mind, and found that he really didn’t need to think far back as his thoughts took him directly to a doe-eyed, bunny boy that he had — ungracefully — left over a week ago.

He groans at the sudden memory, Taehyung still felt really bad for leaving Jeongguk suddenly without a proper explanation or goodbye, yet at the same time, he doesn’t really regret it. 

When he came home from Jeongguk’s apartment on that fateful — pun intended — day, Taehyung was met with a rather eager Jimin waiting for him on the sofa, dressed in short shorts and an oversized hoodie who Taehyung recognized as Yoongi’s. 

‘You’re back!’  Jimin squealed excitedly in his head, causing Taehyung to groan in pain. 

“Don’t do that,” Taehyung had chided as he removed his shoes and left them by the door. He heads straight towards the kitchen, intentionally avoiding the conversation that Jimin wanted to have, to grab pills for his headache and a glass of water. 

“I have the worst hangover right now, and I’m really not in the mood to hear your thoughts.” he continued to say as he swallowed the pill and took a drink of water. 

“Asshole,” Jimin said as he took a seat on one of the kitchen stools, leaning his elbow on the counter, and resting his chin on his open palm. He’s watching Taehyung like a predator watches its prey before it strikes. 

Taehyung sighed. “What do you want?” he asked over the mouth of his glass, even though he can already read his best friend’s thoughts loud and clear. 

“So, Jeongguk huh?” Jimin teased, his lips upturned into a cocky smile, cutting right to the chase. “I always thought that you and Jeongguk would hit it off, but I didn’t think that you’d hit it off that quick. I want details, Taehyung-ah.”

Taehyung’s heart dropped at the mention of the younger’s name, and his chest constricts at the idea that his best friend — his own selected soulmate — thought that he and Jeongguk would be good together — Jeongguk, who’s his actual soulmate.

It made something coil inside the pit of Taehyung’s stomach. He sighed at his best friend and went to put his glass in the sink. “Not right now, Jimin,” Taehyung replied, a little too glum. “I don’t want to talk about it. At least not yet.”

He went to head over to his bedroom, but was stopped by Jimin gripping onto his arm tightly. His gaze held embers of fire. “What did he do?” Jimin asked threateningly as he looked into Taehyung’s sad-ish eyes. “I swear if he hurt you, that brat is going to get a piece of my mind.” 

“It’s nothing, Jimin,” Taehyung tried to reassure as he pried Jimin’s small hands off of his arm, wanting to escape and get some peace and quiet. 

“It’s clearly something,” Jimin said stubbornly, hands still gripping Taehyung and pulling him to sit on the empty stool beside him. “C’mon, tell me. What’s wrong?”

“It’s nothing,” Taehyung whined, his eyebrows scrunched. 

“It’s not nothing,” Jimin argued, still gripping him so he wouldn’t escape.

“Just drop it, Jimin,” he said, “I don’t want to talk about it. I’m tired and my head hurts.”

‘Taehyung,’  Jimin warned in a deathly tone telepathically, face stoic from emotions. 

“Jimin,” Taehyung said defeatedly. “I told you, I don't want to talk about it. Just leave me alone, okay?”

Jimin sighed deeply before giving him a concerned look. “Listen Taehyung,” he said, “You already have too many of your and other people’s thoughts inside your head. I just want to help you carry some of them. Even if it’s just yours.”

Taehyung felt a tinge of annoyance mixed with a whole lot of love for the blond haired male. 

Out of everyone he knew, Jimin knew the extent of the things that he had to go through with his abilities. He was always the person who knew all the comments, all the good and the bad, that their supposed friends have about him that’s tucked away in the corners of their mind. Jimin knows about the lies his past partners would say with innocent smiles on their faces. 

Jimin was there for him through everything and he loves how the shorter male shares Taehyung’s burdens. It’s why Taehyung chose Jimin as his preferred soulmate in the first place. 

He released a breath he didn’t realize he was holding, and went to look at his lap. “It’s Jeongguk, Minnie,” he admitted.

“Why? What did he do?” Jimin asked firmly, a comforting hand rests on his shoulder. “Did he say, or think anything bad? Cause you know I’ll bitch slap that fucker if he dared -”

“No, Minnie,” Taehyung sighed sadly, cutting his best friend off. “It’s not that. Jeongguk is actually great.”

That caused Jimin to raise an eyebrow at him questioningly. “Okay,” he said slowly as he watched Taehyung with careful eyes. “So what’s the problem?” 

“There shouldn’t be one,” Taehyung said, avoiding looking at Jimin’s eyes. “I mean, he’s great, Jimin. We had a great night last night and he bought me breakfast today. He even got me strawberry tarts and you know I love strawberries.”

“Yeah, I know,” Jimin said patiently. 

“And he’s the biggest dork I’ve ever met. You know I love dorks.” Taehyung whined.

“He is,” Jimin said slowly, his eyebrows nearly meeting together. “I don’t know where this is going, Taehyung. Will you skip the whole taetae language and just get right to the point?”

“That is my point, Jimin,” Taehyung said with a pout. “He’s my ideal type.”

Jimin’s jaw is hanging wide open as he stares at him. “You know, sometimes I wish I could read your mind just so I can save myself from busting a vein whenever I try to decode you.” he said, frustrated. “So he’s a dork, he got you strawberries, the two of you had a great time last night. I still don’t see the problem, Taehyung.”

Taehyung looks at him hesitatingly. “Jimin, I couldn’t hear him,” he said seriously.

Jimin’s eyes widened. “You sure?”

Taehyung nodded at him before burying his head in his arms. “I’m sure. At first I didn’t realize it because you know it usually takes time for the voices to come in when I’m drunk or hungover.” Taehyung murmured quietly. “But there was nothing, Min. I couldn’t hear his thoughts. It was so quiet and the ringing stopped.”

“But,” Jimin said slowly. “But isn’t that a good thing, Taehyung? Like what you said, Jeongguk is great and you get along well. Sounds great if you ask me.”

“You know why,” Taehyung whined.

Jimin sighed. “Taehyung, he’s -”

“- the exception,” Taehyung cuts him off. “He’s the exception.” 

“I meant to say soulmate but whatever floats your boat, Tae,” Jimin snorted.

You’re my soulmate, Minnie,” Taehyung scoffed, retreating from his hiding space to give Jimin a determined look.

‘You can read my mind though, Tae,’  Jimin responds gently, lips smiling.

“So what?” Taehyung said, “I don’t care if I can read your mind. You’re still my soulmate.”

Jimin chuckles at him as he shook his head. “I know I am. I’m not letting that brat steal my title that easily.” he said before giving Taehyung a serious look. “Look, Tae, I know how you feel about the whole soulmate thing, and if I’m being completely honest, the universe did a good job by choosing Jeongguk of all people for you. I mean, he can be a pain in my ass but overall, he’s a good guy.”

“I know he is, Jimin,” Taehyung said. “I’ve only met him for less than a day and I think he’s great. It’s just -”

“What?”

“It’s just, it would’ve been so much easier if he wasn’t, you know?” Taehyung admitted quietly. 

“Easier? How?” Jimin asked.

“Easier to leave if it doesn’t work out.” Taehyung said, refusing to look at his best friend. “I don’t know what’ll happen to me if my own pre-destined mate ends up leaving me.”

Jimin sighed before he went to stand to give him a back hug. Their apartment is quiet, save for the quiet buzzing inside Taehyung’s head.  

‘You don’t know that yet, Tae,’  Jimin’s soothing voice said throughout the noise and buzzing. 

“You don’t too, Chim,” Taehyung replied sadly. “Anyway, I’m really not in the mood to go into details and I’m still kind of tired. I promise we’ll talk later, okay?”

‘Promise?’ 

Taehyung holds up his pinky finger. It’s not really one of their gestures but it’s the universal language for a vow. Jimin hooks his small pinky finger with Taehyung’s and locks them together. 

“This isn’t the end of this conversation,” Jimin said as he finally let go of the younger male. “And whatever it is that’s going on between you and Jeongguk, I’m sure it’ll work out in the end.”

“How do you know that?” Taehyung snorted as he stood to go to his bedroom. He can hear Yoongi’s thoughts start to stir from Jimin’s bedroom.

He hears Jimin sigh. 

‘Because soulmates always end up together.’  Jimin echoed in his head as Taehyung closed his door shut. 

Jimin’s words had echoed inside his head repeatedly over the next few days as if it replaced the ringing that frequented his mind. Thoughts of Jeongguk and his bambi eyes also haunted him like a ghost. 

And if that wasn’t already the worst, the voices and buzzing sounds became even louder after meeting Jeongguk. As if it was punishing him for pushing away that one person who can help mute them.

Jimin eventually grilled him alive when they both found the time to actually talk about everything that happened, and demanded that Taehyung contact him so he could at least apologize if he wasn’t keen on explaining what happened to the younger. 

Yoongi didn’t comment on the whole fiasco, but Taehyung could clearly hear his disappointed thoughts loud and clear though. He knows that Yoongi is trying to be understanding towards him but there was still that sadness that Yoongi had felt on behalf of his friend. 

And honestly, Taehyung would rather have the older yell and confront him, than give him the half hearted smiles that he’s been giving him the last few days.

Jimin gave Taehyung Jeongguk’s number and the mind reader has been staring at their empty chat box for days on end, trying to string the right words together for hours on end only to end up exiting it, and just enduring the noise his mind made him listen to.

It has been the longest week of Taehyung’s life to say the least. 

The sound of the call bell that’s sitting atop of Taehyung’s desk disturbs him from his thoughts and he goes to sit up straight hastily, confused as he didn’t even hear the person’s thoughts when they approached his desk.

“Sorry,” Taehyung says as he fixed the glasses he had perched on top of his head. “Anything I can help you with  -” 

Taehyung pauses and goes to swallow a gasp as his eyes fall upon a familiar face, sporting an equally shocked look on their face as well. 

He swallows the lump on his throat. “Jeongguk?” Taehyung says with wide eyes. “Jeongguk, what — what are you doing here?”

He sees Jeongguk open and close his mouth as he stares at Taehyung back. 

“T-Taehyung,” Jeongguk replied before clearing his throat and scratching the back of his neck awkwardly. “Hey. It’s, uh, it’s nice to see you again.”

Jeongguk looks as handsome as he did the night he saw him. He’s wearing a dark gray sweater paired with black jeans and combat boots. He styled his hair by parting it to the side, revealing an undercut and a collection of silver earrings dangling from his ears.

Taehyung swallows again. “Uh, likewise,” he says dumbly. “Uhm, what brings you here?”

“Oh,” Jeongguk says, his eyes widening cutely. “I’m, uh, here to pick up something for my brother. He said he borrowed a book using the library’s online booking system?”

Taehyung tries not to show his disappointment. Of course Jeongguk didn’t come here for him, Taehyung thought bitterly. After that number he pulled on the younger, why would Jeongguk even bother. 

He shakes his head as he focuses on his job, trying not to mix business and pleasure. “Okay,” Taehyung says a little too shrilly. “Uh, let me just pull up the record. Do you have the booking reference number with you?”

“Yeah, let me just -” Jeongguk replies as he hastily pulls out a piece of sticky note from his pocket and hands it over to Taehyung. “Here you go.”

“Thanks,” he says as he takes the paper from him. Taehyung tried to hide his smile when he saw a rather impressive drawing of Ironman at the corner of the paper. 

Keyword: tried.

He clears his throat when he notices that Jeongguk’s looking at him and goes to enter the details into his computer. Trying not to overthink the small smile Jeongguk sent his way when he caught him staring at the drawing.

It’s tense between them.

It’s also quiet.

It’s very quiet and Taehyung is both grateful he’s given the short break from the voices, and uncomfortable because, well, it’s Jeongguk. 

Jeongguk is watching him type into his computer and Taehyung cannot help but feel self conscious, aware of his own movements and actions.

He clears his throat. “For Jeon Jeongwoo?” Taehyung asks, trying to sound casual as he pulls up Jeongguk’s brother’s record. 

Jeongguk nods at him. 

“Let me just go and look for the book he borrowed in our database.” Taehyung says, still trying to act cool. “It might take awhile, our systems are being updated at the moment. Would, uh, would you like to have a seat somewhere while I go and check?”

“No, I’m good,” Jeongguk replies as he adjusts the backpack he had slung over his shoulder, leaning one of his arms on top of Taehyung’s table. “I’ll wait here.”

Taehyung only gives him a tight-lipped smile, trying hard not to flat out stare at the muscles bulging through Jeongguk’s sweater as he puts in the book’s title on the library’s search engine so he could find the section and the aisle number of the book he wanted to borrow. 

It’s quiet for about two minutes before the younger decides to disturb it. “So,” Jeongguk starts to say as Taehyung waits for the library’s location system to pull up from the computer, effectively making him stiffen in his seat. “This is the library you work in, huh?”

“Uh yeah,” Taehyung replies awkwardly, tapping his fingers on his desk nervously. “I thought you knew, I, uh, mentioned it at the, uhm, bar last time.”

“I might’ve missed it.” Jeongguk says, licking his lips. “I knew you worked as a librarian but I didn’t know you worked here specifically.”

“Small world I guess,” Taehyung chuckles nervously. Mentally cursing the library’s search engine for taking so fucking long to pull up the damn records.

It’s quiet again save for the silent chatter coming from the people who were studying at the library. Jeongguk is looking awkwardly at everything and nothing while they both wait for Taehyung’s computer to load.

Taehyung is the one who decides to break the silence this time.

“I actually didn’t think I’d see you again this soon.” he says, a little hesitant as he looks up to Jeongguk. 

Taehyung sees Jeongguk poke the inside of his cheek. 

“Me too,” he says, before he sighs and gives the older a slightly serious look. “I actually have been meaning to contact you since after that, uh, night, you know.”

Taehyung’s chest tightens at his words.

“Jeongguk,” he sighs, taking his glasses off and massaging his temples. “Listen, I’ve been meaning to contact you too so I could apologize for the way I acted that day. I want to say I’m sorry for leaving like that.”

Jeongguk smiles slowly. “It’s fine,” he says, but Taehyung only shakes his head at him.

“It’s not fine. I was rude and left without properly explaining why.” Taehyung says, avoiding the younger’s eyes. “I swear I have a good excuse. I just can’t tell you what though.”

“I’m sure you do, Tae,” he hears Jeongguk say in a soft tone, the use of the nickname causes Taehyung’s traitorous heart to flutter. “You don’t really have to tell me what happened, I don’t want to pry but I will admit, I kind of hoped you’d text or something since Jimin hyung asked if he could give you my number.”

“I meant to text,” Taehyung explains as he looks at him sincerely. “But I guess I couldn’t find the right words to say. Still, I’m sorry though. For the leaving you part and the not texting part.”

“It’s okay, Tae. I forgive you.” Jeongguk says easily with a genuine smile on his face. 

Taehyung smiles at him in return, getting a warm feeling in his tummy as he stares into Jeongguk’s dark orbs. 

If there’s one thing that Taehyung has learned thanks to his mind reading powers, it’s the ability to also read through people’s facial expressions. Without the use of his powers, he can instantly tell if what the person’s saying is honest or not, and Jeongguk has no trace of malice or venom in his face. Just pure honestly.

A soft ding from Taehyung’s computer breaks their heavy eye contact and the older goes to clear his throat as he checks his computer. 

“So about the book,” Taehyung starts to say as he reads the results on his computer.

“What book?” Jeongguk asks, eyes still dazed.

“The one your brother borrowed?” Taehyung says with a smirk.

“Oh right,” Jeongguk clears his throat. “That book.”

Taehyung chuckles at him fondly. “Yeah that book,” he says. “You can find it on the second floor. In the Psychology section, aisle seven.” He retrieves a paper that has the checkout form printed on it from the printer, and asks Jeongguk to sign.

“Okay,” Jeongguk says as he pockets the form that Taehyung gave him and takes a step back from his desk. “I guess I’ll go to, uh, what was it? Second floor aisle what?”

“Aisle seven,” Taehyung answers with a smile. 

“What section again?” Jeongguk asks as he stares at his boots. “Sorry, I’m not really good at directions and this library is huge.”

Taehyung shakes his head at him fondly. 

He tries to tell himself to stay away, that he shouldn't give in to what fate has intended to happen. That he should just let Jeongguk go and pick the book up himself 

— but he can't really find it in himself to do so. 

He does owe Jeongguk after everything he’s done to him. And he likes to think that he can be friendly with him for Jimin and Yoongi’s sake. Taehyung owes them that.

Right?

So without really thinking things through, he stands and bites his lips as looks between his hands and Jeongguk who's giving him a hopeful look. 

"Would you, uh, like me to help you find that book?" he asks shyly.

Jeongguk grins at him, the bunny type of grin that Taehyung finds pathetically cute and adorable before he nods at him. 

"Sure," he says. "I'd like that, Tae,"

Taehyung smiles at him and walks around his desk, making sure to lock his computer before he leads the younger to the escalators to where the book is.

Jeongguk is following right beside him and when Taehyung retrieves the book from the shelf a couple minutes later, with just the two of them occupying the empty aisle, Jeongguk come closer to him, stepping into the librarian’s space and like a magnet, Taehyung leans in.

“I guess this is your masterplan, right?” Taehyung asks with pink cheeks.

Jeongguk smiles. “Exactly.” he replies.

“If you come close?” the older says under his breath. 

“You lean in.” Jeongguk finishes before their lips meet again for what feels like a long time. Their arms find themselves entangled to the other’s body. And Taehyung doesn’t know how or why, but it feels right. It feels easy. 

When Jeongguk leaves the library that day with bruised lips, he didn’t just leave with the book he was supposed to get for his brother but with a promise of a date with the older the next day after Taehyung’s shift. 

So much for being just friendly with Jeongguk. But maybe fate was onto something, Taehyung thought.

 

 

“So let me get this straight,” Jimin says as he sits cross-legged in Taehyung’s bed while the latter searches for an outfit inside his dresser. “You’re going on a date with Jeongguk after a week of radio silence?”

That’s what comes out of Jimin’s pouty lips but Taehyung hears the question floating inside his mind that he, of course, doesn’t miss. 

‘Just like that? It's that easy?’

He snorts at him. “You know,” Taehyung sing-songs as he pulls out some black slacks from the very bottom of one of his drawers. “It doesn’t have to be complicated. Not everyone likes to dance around each other for months before they actually go out and date.” 

"I know," Jimin rolls his eyes at him. "It's just that, I kind of thought there would be some heavy angst after that whole incident. I didn’t think you’d go out and actually start dating as soon as you meet each other again."

Taehyung groans. "Don't remind me, Jimin. I already apologized to Jeongguk about that night and he's already forgiven me." he says. “And I like him, he likes me. It’s not really rocket science.”

He hears his friend sigh. "Soulmates really do have it easy," Jimin murmurs under his breath, making Taehyung scowl at him.

“How many times do I have to tell you that he’s -”

The exception, I know.” Jimin says, rolling his eyes at him. “I’ll try not to use the ‘S’ word if it bothers you that much.”

“It doesn’t bother me,” Taehyung says, defensive, as he pulls out a plain black shirt.  

"Pair that with that belt I got you last Christmas and you'll look amazing." Jimin says as he watches his friend put it above the slacks he pulled out earlier. “And what do you mean it doesn’t bother you? You have that look on your face whenever I say the word ‘soulmate’ .”

Taehyung furrows his eyebrows at him. “What look?” he sulks as wears the shirt and tucks in inside his black slacks.

That look,” Jimin laughs, causing the younger to roll his eyes at him.

“Whatever, Jimin.” Taehyung replies as he retrieves his belt from his cabinet. 

"Anyway, where are you going on your date tonight?" Jimin asks as Taehyung puts the black belt around his waist. "Who planned everything?"

'And are you gonna fuck after?'

"Can you keep your dirty thoughts to yourself for at least one minute?" Taehyung snaps as he goes to put some mismatched socks on. "And we both planned it. Jeongguk's taking me somewhere, he didn't tell me where and I'm taking him to this build-a-bear workshop in Hongdae. I saw that he had a collection of plushies when I went to his place last time.”

“Cute,” Jimin says, smiling widely at him. “I’m sure he’ll love it. I do remember Yoongi hyung saying that Jeongguk collects dolls.”

“They’re not dolls. They’re plushies.” Taehyung rolls his eyes at him as he goes to grab his favorite pair of leather shoes in his shoe rack. “And speaking of Yoongi hyung, if the two of you plan on getting it tonight, try not to do it on the couch like last time. I couldn’t sit on it for a week after reading hyung’s filthy mind.”

“It’s not my fault you’re nosy.” Jimin scowls. “You shouldn’t enter people’s minds without their consent, you know.”

“I didn’t have to enter his mind, I could hear both your thoughts from a mile away.” Taehyung deadpans as he stands to check his reflection in the mirror. “Anyway, how do I look?”

“Fuckable,” Jimin says with a blatant smile. Taehyung rolls his eyes at him and goes to collect his wallet and keys on the bedside table. 

Both of them retreat to the living room where they find Yoongi sitting on the couch, staring blankly into his computer. 

‘Will Jimin like the blue one or the orange one better?’  Yoongi was thinking as stared at a photo of a necklace with pendants that come in different types of gems.

“Blue,” Taehyung says, making Yoongi sit up in alarm and closing his laptop suddenly. 

Jimin raises an eyebrow at him. 

‘What was he thinking of?’ 

Taehyung only shrugs his shoulder at him with a secretive smile, before he stops by the hallway leading out of the door. “Don’t wait up for me, okay?” he tells them. 

“Have fun, Tae,” Jimin teases as he sits on Yoongi’s lap, and snakes his arms around his neck. “Text me for updates.”

“Tonight’s your date with Jeongguk?” Yoongi asks as he wraps his arms around Jimin’s waist. 

“Yeah,” Taehyung replies. “I’m meeting him at the bar we went to last time.”

Yoongi nods at him. “Okay, have fun.” he says casually, but Taehyung also hears the quiet ‘Don’t hurt him, Tae,’  that floated in his hyung’s mind.

“I will,” Taehyung says, his tone reassuring. “And I promise I won’t do anything stupid this time.”

‘I hope not. He was really upset last time.’ 

Taehyung only smiles at him a final time, before turning to wave at them. “Have a great night, you two,” he calls over his shoulder as he grabs his coat from the closet.

“You too!” Jimin calls out. 

He was just a step away outside the door when Yoongi’s thoughts entered his mind at the last minute.

‘He’s finally going. I’ve been wanting to suck Jimin’s cock since this afternoon.’

Taehyung groans as he shuts the apartment door closed and prays for the safety and sanitation of their couch.

 

 

Taehyung is mentally patting himself on the back for managing to put a huge bunny smile on Jeongguk’s face as soon as he takes him to the place he had planned for the night.

“I can’t believe you’re taking me to build a bear workshop,” Jeongguk complains, but there’s a spark in his eyes and a smile on his face that tells Taehyung otherwise. “What am I? Five?”

Taehyung snorts at him as he pulls the younger towards the store. “I’d rather have a five year old Jeongguk,” Taehyung grumbles lightly as he opens the door and lets the younger come in first. “Twenty three year old Jeongguk is a brat.”

Said brat goes to poke his tongue at him, while Taehyung rolls his eyes at him before they enter the store together. One of the staff instantly greets them with a polite bow and proceeds to show them around the store and explain how the process works.

“I gotta admit this looks a tiny bit cool,” Jeongguk whispers to him as he sees a large machine in the far corner of the store mixing polyester through a see-through window just as the staff finished explaining the process and walks away to leave them to work.  “I always hate it when my plushies are not as fluffy as I like them to be, you know?”

Taehyung chuckles fondly at him. “Duly noted, then.” Taehyung says as they make their way to aisles of shelves where various types of plush designs are displayed. 

There were choices ranging from the classic teddy bears, to dinosaurs, a couple of other various animals and some popular cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse displayed there, and Jeongguk’s eyes are shining. 

He and Jeongguk had both decided to get each other something and agreed not to spy on the other while they both built their bear or whatever it is that they plan on building for the other. 

“So I’ll meet you later at the checkout counter, okay?” Jeongguk says excitedly as he begins to go through different dolls in the store’s displays. 

Taehyung chuckles at him fondly. “Okay, I’ll see you then.” Taehyung replies before they part ways to begin their task. 

Taehyung chose this place as his and Jeongguk’s first date location for two reasons. 

The most obvious reason of the two is because Jeongguk is a notorious plushie collector, and the store’s prices for customized plushies wasn’t too expensive. Taehyung thought that Jeongguk would want to go there in the future if he wants to add more to his growing pile of Marvel toys. 

The other reason that Taehyung had was because he wanted to get something for the younger as an apology for leaving him unexpectedly after the night they met. And when Taehyung came across the workshop online yesterday at work, and saw something that he badly wanted to get for Jeongguk, it made him more convinced that he was definitely taking Jeongguk there. 

Taehyung begins to work and chooses the doll he wants. He goes with a light brown, medium sized teddy bear with a black button as its nose and almond shaped marbles for its eyes, and takes it to the machine to get it stuffed. And just like what the younger had hinted earlier, he makes sure that the bear is heavily stuffed, but not too much so it wouldn’t end up exploding if the younger decides to cuddle it at night.

He chimes out a laugh at a mental image of Jeongguk hugging a bear that exploded due to over hugging. He doubts that’ll happen though, but he’s wishfully thinking.

Once the bear is stuffed to Taehyung’s content, he sees Jeongguk approach from the corner of his eyes. Taehyung grabs his bear hastily and hides it behind him while Jeongguk does the same to whatever it is that he decided on getting for Taehyung. 

The both of them walk with their gifts behind their backs as it’s not finished yet with wide grins on both their faces. 

‘I want what they have.’  Taehyung hears one of the staff thought as she looks at them with an endeared look on her face, to which Taehyung smiles even more widely.

“No peeking,” Jeongguk warns with a smile as he approaches the stuffing machine.

“You too,” Taehyung says before he runs away from him. 

Once he was able to escape Jeongguk and keep his gift hidden from him, he goes to select some clothes displayed on another aisle while Jeongguk gets the doll he’s purchasing stuffed. 

Taehyung starts collecting the clothes he plans on making the bear he was buying wear hastily, and rushes over to the accessories aisle when he sees Jeongguk approaching again.

“I’m starting to feel suspicious, you know,” Jeongguk calls out as Taehyung disappears to another aisle, “I hope it isn’t something too vulgar or anything.”

Taehyung snorts. “I’m sure you’d like that.” he calls out from the other aisle. 

He hears Jeongguk laugh followed by the sound of him ruffling through the outfits that were displayed. Taehyung does the same and starts putting the things he needs in his own cart. 

“You’re getting a lot of things,” Jeongguk observes as Taehyung takes more stuff from the accessories aisle. “You really thought this through.”

Taehyung only smiles at him even though Jeongguk couldn’t see him. “I did,” he replies. “I hope you like it, Gukkie.”

Taehyung hears Jeongguk chuckle from the other aisle. 

“Just knowing you’re putting this much effort on your doll is enough for me to love it.” Jeongguk replies softly, making Taehyung smile with blushed cheeks.

Jeongguk is so honest. 

One of the reasons why Taehyung felt hesitant over the whole ‘soulmate thing ’ was because he was afraid of the other person, of his fated mate, holding themselves back from telling everything to him. 

When Taehyung was more comfortable with his abilities and was able to get better at reading other peoples’ minds, he felt more confident and comfortable approaching people because he would know what they were thinking and was able to determine quickly if they’re being genuine or not. Unlike meeting his soulmate, and having that probability that the person will be ingenuine towards him since Taehyung will be coming in blind, with no clue as to what they’re thinking. 

And although Taehyung isn’t sure if what Jeongguk is saying is true or not, Taehyung has a strong feeling that Jeongguk is being true to him. There’s just something pure and honest about him, and he’s sure if he asks Jeongguk anything he was curious about, Jeongguk would feed him no lies. 

He smiles at the thought, and bids Jeongguk goodbye for the meantime so he can go and choose a scent for the bear he’s building for him. 

Taehyung smiles when he sees strawberry scent packets available and adds it to his basket. There was also an option to put music or a voice recording inside the plushie, but Taehyung opted out of it. He takes a mental note of it though since the employee mentioned that he could add one in the future if he wants to.

Once everything was all set, Taehyung takes his purchases to the counter so he can pay for them, with one of the staff collecting the bear and its accessories so they can assemble and stitch it up for him. 

While they complete building Taehyung’s bear, he goes to the waiting area and finds Jeongguk already sitting there, checking his phone. 

The older takes his time observing the younger, who’s wearing ripped jeans and black hoodie with white sneakers and some round glasses perched on his nose. He looks cute yet sexy and it was a dangerous combination for Taehyung’s weak heart. 

“Have you been waiting long?” Taehyung asks, clearing his throat to push his inappropriate thoughts of his handsome date away, making Jeongguk look up at him and pocket his phone. 

Taehyung sits next to him.

“No, I’ve only been here for about five minutes,” Jeongguk says as he looks at Taehyung. “You definitely took your time assembling your doll.”

“I did,” Taehyung replies with a smile. “I already have the whole thing planned out and it took me awhile to look for the things I needed.”

Jeongguk gives him a soft smile. “You know,” he mutters quietly. “I know you’re still trying to make it up to me for leaving like you did the last time -” 

Taehyung groans at his words and Jeongguk laughs. 

“- I mean, like what I said, you’re good. We’re good.” Jeongguk continues to say. “You don’t really have to do the extra effort to make it up to me.”

“But I want to,” Taehyung pouts. “What I did to you was very out of character of me, and I felt really guilty afterwards. I want to do this, so nothing you say will ever change my mind. Plus I already paid for it, the store’s policy says it's nonrefundable.”

Jeongguk grins at him widely. Eyes shining. 

They both hear a bell signaling that their purchases were ready for pick up, and the both of them stand to head towards the claiming area so they could retrieve their items.

They both left the store carrying huge paper bags that had their gift to the other inside, and both agreed to exchange them before they parted ways.

Jeongguk, much to Taehyung’s surprise and delight, took him to a dog cafe as their second location for their date. 

The cafe is small and quiet with only five people there in total, including the two of them and an elderly woman who seems to run the establishment. 

It was peaceful, in Taehyung’s standards, since the store is mostly occupied by dogs than actual people. The main reason why Taehyung loves animals is because animals have no thoughts to share with him, though he can sense the emotions that the animal is feeling, but it’s always either two things, love or food.

Right now, as they enter the cafe and walk towards to the counter, Taehyung feels a huge amount of love and happiness surround him as dogs come to their feet to greet them, he can’t even barely hear the other customer’s thoughts due to the overflowing love coming from the cute doggos that were at his feet.  

Taehyung knows he has a huge boxy grin on his face. 

“Oh my,” Taehyung squeals excitedly as Jeongguk walks next to him, sporting his signature bunny smile. “I love dogs!”

Jeongguk chuckles at him fondly, as they approach the counter where the elderly woman is waiting for them with a small smile on her face. 

“Welcome to Fur ever,” the elderly woman greets with a bow. There’s a small chihuahua sitting on the stool behind her, making Taehyung coo at it delightedly. “My name is Moonbyul and this is my furry assistant, Rocket. What can we get you?”

Jeongguk and Taehyung bow at the woman back politely, and the younger hands Taehyung a menu he got from the counter so he can look for a meal he wanted to order. 

‘They look so young and good together.’  Taehyung hears the woman think, making him smile secretly.

“See anything you want?” Jeongguk asks him as he also stares at his own menu, completely oblivious to the elderly woman's kind thoughts.

Taehyung shakes his head, also scanning the menu. Feeling like he’s floating with happiness at the amount of positivity and silence he was receiving from his surroundings.

The younger tells Moonbyul that they’ll be back shortly to place their orders once they look at their menu, to which the older woman nods with a warm smile. 

They head to sit in one of the empty tables next to a pen full of small puppies, with Jeongguk guiding Taehyung by placing a hand at the small of his back since the older keeps getting distracted by them, and holding both their paper bags with their plushies on his other hand.

Once they’re both seated, and once Taehyung was able to tear his attention away from the adorable puppies, he finds Jeongguk looking at him with a fond look on his face, causing the older to blush crimson.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” Taehyung asks, as he tries to nonchalantly check the menu again to look for something he likes. 

Jeongguk shakes his head at him and goes to do the same. “Nothing,” he mumbles. “You just look really content is all.”

The corner of Taehyung’s lips up turn into a smile. 

“I am happy,” he says. “I really love it here, Jeongguk. I don’t think I’ve ever felt at peace as I do now.”

“Yeah?” he asks, looking up at him happily. “You do?”

Taehyung nods at him, fully showing his smile. “Yes, I do. What made you want to go here on our first date?”

Jeongguk gives him a sly smile. “I might’ve asked around,” he says as he flips through the pages of the menu. “And I think I’ll owe Jimin hyung a whole lot if this date actually ends well.”

Taehyung gives him a surprised look. “Really? You asked Jimin?” he says with wide eyes. He’s mostly surprised because Jimin was able to miraculously hide this tiny bit of information from him, impressed with his best friend for managing to keep this secret from an actual mind reader. 

“Uh yeah,” Jeongguk admits shyly. “He said you preferred quiet places, those with less people. So I figured I’d take you here since it fits the description and I remembered you telling me you love dogs when I told you about Gureum.”

“Yes I do and I love it here.” he says again, happily. “I always prefer being around animals rather than people. It’s more peaceful that way. Less complicated and they only expect pats and treats from you, unlike people.”

Jeongguk chuckles. “I guess you’re right,” he replies. “I read from somewhere that animals only think of one thing, and it’s food.”

Taehyung snorts at him as one of the cafe’s golden retrievers approaches them, and Taehyung goes to pet it. 

“That’s not true,” he says. “They know love too.”

“I suppose that’s true,” Jeongguk says as he watches Taehyung pet the dog. “Eat and love. Sounds like a nice mantra to go by for the rest of your life.”

“Yeah,” Taehyung agrees. “We could learn a thing or two from animals. I mean, the only thing that we really need is to love and to eat. I don’t need any of that fancy stuff that most people brag about. I’m okay with sharing a simple meal with those people who I care about.”

“You have a point,” Jeongguk replies. “I hope I get to be one of those people you’ll care about.”

Taehyung smiles at him. 

“You’re getting real close.” he teases, making Jeongguk smile. 

“By the way,” Taehyung says, as tears his attention from the golden retriever. “I just realized that I didn’t see Gureum at your apartment when I went there.”

“Oh.” the younger says with tinted cheeks. “He’s actually back in Busan, at my parent’s place.”

Taehyung gasps at him teasingly. “You lied to me!” he exclaims dramatically. “All men do is lie.”

Jeongguk only snorts at him. “I didn’t lie,” he says. “I remember clearly saying that you’re free to meet him anytime. I didn’t say he was at my apartment. You assumed he was there and hinted that you wanted to be invited over.”

Taehyung blushes slightly at his words, causing the younger to laugh.

Jeongguk excuses himself and goes to place their order at the counter, leaving Taehyung on the table to play with Loki, the golden retriever, and watches him from the corner of his eyes as Jeongguk smiles at the elderly lady from earlier and tells her their order. 

‘He’s such a sweet lad,’  Taehyung hears her thoughts. 

Jeongguk turns to look at him while Moonbyul gets his change from the cash register, and winks at him goofily when he registers that Taehyung was staring, causing the latter to bark out a laugh.

He is, Taehyung thought, with a fond smile. He really is

Once Jeongguk is back and while they waited for their order to arrive, Taehyung suddenly became curious about the younger. 

Although they spoke and exchanged information about each other back in the bar, he feels as though he knows too little about him and he feels adamant on changing that. 

“So Jeongguk,” Taehyung starts to say. “Tell me more about yourself, other than the fact that you’re a dork who has an unhealthy obsession with Ironman.”

Jeongguk laughs. “That’s actually all there is to it,” he chuckles. “But what else do you want to know?”

Taehyung has thousands of questions swimming in his head. 

Taehyung isn’t new to dating, he’s met and dated a handful of men in the past, the only difference now is that he’s given the chance to ask someone a question without knowing the answer beforehand.

This thing with Jeongguk is something that’s completely new to him. He feels both excited and nervous. It’s his first time meeting someone in a normal setting and he’s itching to unravel Jeongguk like he does with others.

He thinks of a couple things to ask Jeongguk but goes for, what he deems, is the most important one. 

“What’s your favorite color?” he asks seriously.

Jeongguk grins at him with his bunny smile peeking out. “Red,” he answers, making Taehyung’s eyes widen. He expects it to be black but the more he thinks of it, the more it makes sense to him.

“That makes sense,” he says, making Jeongguk raise his eyebrow at him questioningly.

“Why?”

“Ironman’s suit is red.” Taehyung stated while Jeongguk laughed.

“That’s not even the reason why,” he laughs. “But I guess that does make sense.”

“Why do you like red then?” the older asks.

“I don’t know, I guess it's because it’s vibrant?” Jeongguk shrugs. “And it reminds me of a lot of good things. Like balloons in carnivals, Ironman, like what you said, Christmas -”

“Strawberry tarts,” Taehyung suggests with a smile.

“Strawberry tarts.” Jeongguk repeats with a smile. “And love. It reminds me of all those good things. That’s why I like it.”

“Sounds poetic.” Taehyung teases.

“What about you?” Jeongguk asks.

“Grey.” he replies with a smile.

The younger snorts at him. “I didn’t expect that,” he says. “I was thinking either brown or green or something.”

“I guess we’re people we thought we had figured out, only to be proved otherwise.” Taehyung says. 

“Yeah,” Jeongguk replies. “You’re definitely someone I didn’t expect, Taehyung.”

They stare at each other for seconds, a few intense seconds before Moonbyul approaches their table to place their food on the table, effectively making them look away from each other with flushed faces.

‘How cute, it’s just the early stages of their relationship.’  Taehyung hears Moonbyul think as she places the dishes on their table.

Taehyung blushes at the mention of ‘relationship.’ 

Once the dishes are laid out in front of them, both have their chopsticks at hand and start eating, they continue asking questions about the other, while they also try to feed the dogs that would go to their table asking for scraps of food in between.

Conversation flows seamlessly between them, and they answer each other’s questions honestly.

Questions like,

“Favorite Movie? That isn’t Ironman.”

“Love Actually,” 

“Really? I thought you’d say Suicide Squad or something hero-esquey.”

Jeongguk gives him an offended look at the mention of Marvel’s rival.

And then there's,

“Most embarrassing moment?”

“That time I accidentally cut my bangs during high school when I was performing for a school play. I had to wear a green clip on my bangs for months.”

Jeongguk nearly chokes on his pasta at Taehyung’s answer.

“Dream job?”

“You’re gonna laugh but I actually wanted to be a K-Pop Idol at one point in my life.” Jeongguk answers with a blush.

“Wait, so does that mean you’re good at singing and dancing?”

“You’ll have to find out next time.” Jeongguk says with a hopeful smile directed at him.

Taehyung smiles back. “I’d like that.”

Next time.

Once they’re out of questions for the other and both felt full and content, they leave the cafe, making sure to bow at Moonbyul gratefully before leaving and go for a walk by the Han river.

There were numerous people around the area, so naturally the ringing that’s embedded inside Taehyung’s head begins to stir, making him rub his temples as he’s starting to feel uncomfortable by it.

Jeongguk immediately notices and holds his hand in comfort. 

“Too many people?” he asks, worry etched in his face.

Taehyung nods at him shyly. “Yeah,” he murmurs as he tightens his hold on Jeongguk’s hand. 

The action somehow helps in dulling the ringing out, and it reminds Taehyung of that first night he shared with the other. He still associates hand-holding, specifically, holding Jeongguk’s hand with protection. 

Taehyung smiles when he notices that Jeongguk is intentionally leading them to places that have less people around and he can’t help but feel grateful for the fact that Jeongguk just knew what he needed without him needing to voice it outloud. 

As if Jeongguk could read his mind.

They stop by to sit on an empty bench under a huge oak tree, placing their paper bags on their laps and watching each other from the corner of their eyes.

“So do you want to exchange gifts now?” Jeongguk asks.

“Okay,” Taehyung grins as he swaps his paper bag with Jeongguk’s. “Open yours first though.”

“Alright,” Jeongguk says, already tearing the bag open and laughing loudly as he pulls out Taehyung’s gift. 

It’s an Ironman Bear. A brown bear, dressed in a grey suit, complete with a plushie version of Ironman’s arc reactor stitched to the plushie’s chest. Jeongguk is looking at the Ironman bear with shining eyes, turning it over repeatedly so he could appreciate the bear’s details more closely.

“Fuck, I love it,” he says shyly. The stars in his eyes are twinkling. “Now I feel like I did a shit job in building mine.”

“I’m sure you didn’t,” Taehyung says with a pleased smile as he starts to open the paper bag with Jeongguk’s gift inside. Jeongguk watches him tear the bag open as he bites his lower lip. 

Taehyung’s smile visibly widens when he pulls out a purple bunny with big black marbles as its eyes and a bell tied around its neck. 

“It’s a bunny,” Taehyung says, hugging it close to his chest. “And it’s just the right amount of fluff. I love it.”

Jeongguk groans. “It’s not as thoughtful as yours.” he sulks. “I’ll go back and make you a better one.”

Taehyung rolls his eyes at him. “No need to do that,” he chides lightly. “I love it, Gukkie. It reminds me of you.”

“You’re just saying that to be nice.” he says as he hugs the bear Taehyung gave him. “I’ll give you something better next time. I promise.”

Next time. Taehyung smiles at that.

“You’re already giving me more than enough, Gukkie.” Taehyung says, taking his hand into his, trying to sound reassuring. “I mean, you forgave me and even went out on this date with me. I could not ask for more.”

“That was nothing, Tae,” he replies. “I want to do all those. I didn’t feel like I was doing you a favor. Honestly, I felt like you were doing me the favor of allowing me to go back to you this easily.”

“No one’s giving anyone favors,” Taehyung says softly, turning to his side to look at Jeongguk face to face. “Okay?”

“Okay,” Jeongguk breathes out, leaning closer to him. “Do me this one favor though,”

Taehyung chuckles. “Let me guess,” he says softly. “If you get too close, I lean in?”

Jeongguk smiles at him before their lips meet in a sweet kiss. 

 

 

It’s been a couple of weeks since Taehyung and Jeongguk’s first date. The first was soon followed by a couple of others that Taehyung has already lost count of, and to say that they were whipped for the other was quite the understatement. 

Both of them have been teased nonstop by their friend group about being so disgustingly sweet, and said comments here and there about how fast their relationship was growing.

Normally, Taehyung would agree with the observation and would take a step back from the relationship to make sure he wasn’t rushing into things head on, but somehow, things with Jeongguk are easy. Just like it always was and always will be.

Their relationship progressed surprisingly fast yet slow at the same time. Taehyung didn’t feel like the whole thing was rushed, even if he only just met Jeongguk for over three months and had just started dating. 

Things came into place naturally. Neither rushed the other, no one felt compelled to do things for the other or felt obliged to be with the other if the chance presents itself.

In fact, it was as if they have known and have been together for years rather than just mere months.

‘Perks of being soulmates,’  Jimin would tease, but this time, Taehyung didn’t find it in himself to argue. 

In the short time that they’ve been together they have developed a routine of sorts. 

A couple of minutes before Taehyung clocks out at work, Jeongguk would come and pick him up so they could eat dinner together, either at a nearby restaurant or at Jeongguk’s apartment since it was closer to the library where Taehyung works at if the restaurant was too crowded.

Then they’d spend time on the couch, either binge watching some anime together or make out till their lips felt numb. (sometimes both at the same time.)

And Taehyung, he’s starting to feel all sorts of fuzzy feelings in his chest whenever Jeongguk would do something considerate for him. Like during the times he would make sure he doesn’t make their dinner too spicy because he knows Taehyung couldn’t take spicy food well, even when Jeongguk himself loves spicy food.

Or when Jeongguk would watch Taehyung with hawk eyes whenever it was the latter’s turn to make their dinner, mindful of the knife that Taehyung would leave carelessly on top of the kitchen countertop and immediately putting it away to make sure it isn’t in harm’s way.

Or just plainly offering his arms for Taehyung to take refuge in whenever the noise of other people’s thoughts get too much for Taehyung, as if Jeongguk knows he’s the only one who could make things quiet for the mind reader.

Taehyung has a feeling that Jeongguk too is falling as fast as him, and he only truly confirms it one day when the both of them were out in Itaewon with the hyungs. 

They were there because the youngest was invited by a game developing company to a launch party of the game they had Jeongguk test out before they officially release it to the general public. 

Taehyung only truly realized how popular Jeongguk was in the gaming scene after the fifteenth group of avid fans, and Jeongguk’s supporters, had approached their table to speak to him. 

‘Jeongguk looks so handsome in person, oh fuck, I think I’m gay.’

‘Oh god, is that the guy he was streaming with the other day? Are they holding hands? Are they together?’

‘Wait, Jeongguk is not single anymore? Is that the noob gamer he was playing with a week ago? At least he’s okay to look at.’

‘I can’t believe Jeongguk is settling for a librarian. How boring.’

‘Yugyeom looks better with Jeongguk.’

Of course these thoughts were well hidden to non-mind readers, and each person who approached their table greeted them with friendly smiles and compliments. 

But of course, Taehyung sees right through them. 

He always does. 

He’s used to these off hand comments from strangers, used to the insults that were as if whispered in his ears, but tonight, Taehyung can’t help but feel affected. 

It’s true that he’s not nearly as good as Jeongguk in terms of gaming, and he’s heard of Jeongguk’s ex-boyfriend, Yugyeom, from Jeongguk himself. 

Taehyung knows that both of them ended their relationship mutually after realizing that the only thing that they had in common was their love for their games and decided that they were best remaining as just friends.

Taehyung knows that there’s nothing to be insecure about, he knows Jeongguk likes him and he’s sure of his feelings towards Jeongguk

But somehow he is. He’s affected and feeling insecure. Taehyung doesn’t know if it’s because of his pounding head, or if it's the sheer amount of crude comments thrown at him in just a short period of time, 

Or if it’s because their comments always say he isn’t good enough for Jeongguk.

There's also that tiny (not really) fact that there’s no way for him to look into Jeongguk’s thoughts to help ease his worries. 

So yeah, he’s insecure, his head feels like it’ll explode due to the voices and his own overthinking and he needs a break. 

“I’m gonna step out and get some air,” Taehyung announces as he stands from his seat. 

He decided on staying sober for the night because he wanted to check on other people’s thoughts. It was Taehyung’s way of making sure that those people who approached Jeongguk didn’t have ill intentions, and knowing they had none towards the younger but a lot towards him, makes him regret his decision. 

Jimin gives him a worried look. 

‘Want some company?’

Taehyung subtly shakes his head at him and without waiting for a response from anybody, he goes outside to the cold January air, coat snuggled tightly around his body and his yellow beret pulled down to his ears to help fight off the cold. 

If there’s one thing the cold winter air is good for, it’s for helping him ward off people. He breathes in and out, leaning on the wall with his eyes closed. Focusing on silencing the voices in his head. 

Taehyung’s head is ringing for a few couple of minutes, his right hand is gripping his temples as an attempt to ease it, while his other hand clutches the front of his coat together to collect the warmth his body is managing to produce.

He feels cold, his head feels like it was run over by a bullet train and his own thoughts are eating him alive. Taehyung’s attempts in trying to calm himself and his brain down was futile. 

That was until he feels someone stand next to him, and feels a calloused yet gentle hand massage the back of his neck expertly, as if it knew just where to rub and massage to make all of Taehyung’s pain and headaches to go away.

And top it all off, the voices are completely silent. 

“You okay, Baby?” Jeongguk asks gently, still massaging his neck. 

Taehyung looks up to find Jeongguk’s eyebrows pinched together in worry. He smiles at the younger. 

“Aish, don’t mind me.” he says. “I just needed some air. You don’t have to babysit me, Gukkie. This is your night after all.”

“But I want to,” Jeongguk says stubbornly, as he lets go of the older’s neck and settles his hands to rest on Taehyung’s waist instead. “I want to make sure my boyfriend’s okay.”

Taehyung snorts but feels a thousand butterflies riot inside his tummy. “Boyfriend?” he asks teasingly, wrapping his arms around Jeongguk’s neck and bringing their faces together, only half an inch apart. “When did I become your boyfriend?”

Jeongguk scoffs at him lightly and hugs him closer. “You don’t want to be my boyfriend then?”

Taehyung gives him a shy smile. “I only want to, if you do too.”

“I want to.” Jeongguk replies softly. “God, I’ve been thinking about it for days already and I want you to be mine.”

His honesty rocks Taehyung to his core, and he can’t help but feel lucky he landed himself on Jeon Jeongguk of all people. 

“Me too, I want you to be mine too.” Taehyung admits quietly, unable to get rid of the huge grin on his face. “I really like you, Gukkie.”

Jeongguk smiles at him wide, complete with the scrunched nose. “I really like you too, Tae.” he says, resting his forehead on top of Taehyung’s. 

He’s happy, Jeongguk is good at making him feel that way recently, but at the same time, he remembers his insecurities from earlier and goes to stare into Jeongguk’s eyes. Trying to read his facial reactions so he could confirm for himself if it’s really what the younger wanted. 

“Even if I’m not that good at Overwatch and I’m just a boring librarian?” Taehyung asks, eyes locked on Jeongguk.

Jeongguk smiles at him as bright as the stars above. “I like you better when you pretend to be good at it actually,” he laughs, making Taehyung hit him lightly on the chest. “You get all pouty and cute when you lose.”

“I do not,” Taehyung whines, prompting the younger to laugh louder. 

“I rest my case,” he says, kissing the pout off of Taehyung’s lips. “And yeah, I would like no one else but you, Tae, You may be a boring librarian -”

Taehyung groans.

“- but you make my life less boring.” he finishes.

“That was cheesy,” Taehyung says. “I might have to rethink the whole boyfriend thing. That was awful.”

Jeongguk rolls his eyes at him. “You like me anyway,” he scoffs. 

Taehyung chuckles. “Unfortunately, I do,” Taehyung says, dropping butterfly kisses on Jeongguk’s cheeks. “And I like no one else but you too, Gukkie, but on one condition,”

Jeongguk raises a playful eyebrow at him. “Anything you want.”

“Teach me how to play better so these assholes wouldn’t give me those pathetic looks again,” he says determinedly, making Jeongguk grin. “The next time you let me play with you while you’re streaming, I want to be able to protect you too.”

“I like to protect you, even when you try to self-destruct to eliminate others most times.” Jeongguk says. 

“That’s true but like I said, I want it to go both ways.” Taehyung says. “You protect me, and I protect you.”

Jeongguk smiles. “Okay, I like the sound of that.” Jeongguk whispers, his face coming closer to his. “So boyfriends?”

Taehyung smiles. “Boyfriends.” he says and leaning in to kiss him. Jeongguk. His boyfriend.

 

 

[ like a river flows, surely to the sea

darling so it goes.. ]

 

It goes without saying that everything fell into place as soon as he and Jeongguk officially got together as boyfriends. It’s like puzzle pieces melding together in the right places, and Taehyung is starting to see the big picture. 

It’s exactly like his mother had told him, it was as if the stars were aligning and everything was making perfect sense. 

It’s just a couple of months. They’ve known each other for five months, two of which were spent together as boyfriends. And Taehyung already considers their relationship like a blanket he affiliates security with, a blanket he’ll have trouble sleeping without at night, a blanket that helps ward the monsters away.

Taehyung sees Jeongguk as a vital part of his life that he can’t live without. He's becoming more and more of Taehyung's safe place. He’s his blanket. His comfort. His safety.

And Taehyung is fucking terrified. 

He’s been in plenty of relationships in the past — some even lasted for years before it eventually reached its end. And not even those long - and serious - relationships made Taehyung feel this much for a person. It’s only with Jeongguk.

Jeongguk is an enigma to Taehyung.

He’s the first and only person that Taehyung got to know naturally. There’s still a lot he has left to discover about the younger, but at the same time, Jeongguk is someone that the mind reader has memorized like the back of his hand.

It scares him knowing that everything was pre-planned, predestined. That fate is behind all of it, and he can't help but picture fate giggling in a corner silently because Taehyung fell into its trap.

And it's not that he's afraid of being with Jeongguk, in fact, Taehyung has no problem with it at all. He likes him, the way that he's falling for the younger feels like being pushed off a cliff. It feels like he's watching himself fall to his doom, with nothing to help him ease or soften the blow. He's just there, falling and waiting for his body to collide with the ground. 

Taehyung knows that it was only a matter of time before he falls in love with Jeongguk.  

Love is something that Taehyung is not familiar with. It’s unknown territory. Yes, he loves his family and friends but it was all platonic. The romantic kind though? It’s foreign to him. 

Yes, he’s had partners before Jeongguk but his feelings towards them always felt like love. He wasn’t in love. So being with Jeongguk.

Being with him for just mere months and already starting to fall in love with him terrified Taehyung to his core. He can't help but get flashbacks of his failed relationships because of a slip of his partner's mind that made Taehyung push them away, how his partners would list off his misgivings and make him feel like he wasn't enough for them.

It's why he wasn't so sure about the whole 'you can't read your soulmate's mind'  plan, because how then would he know if Jeongguk isn't harboring the same thoughts as his past partners?

It's also one of the reasons why he lays awake in the middle of the night watching Jeongguk sleep, watching his chest rise and fall while he's in complete slumber, listening to his rather raucous snores and waiting for his thoughts to enter his.

He thinks fate might change its mind and take Jeongguk and this special bond that they have, since he was hellbent on meeting his person ever since his mother had told him about it.

There's also that issue where he's starting to think that things are going faster than what he had intentionally planned, and not that he has a problem with it, but what if Jeongguk has a problem with it?

It's only been two months into their relationship, and they’re already acting like they’ve been together for years.

Two months and Taehyung is already spending more time in Jeongguk’s apartment than his own because ‘It’s much closer to the library, Baby, it would make sense if you just stayed here to save you time’ , to which he agreed to. And hell, two months in and Taehyung already has a fucking drawer in Jeongguk’s closet and has already claimed the left side of Jeongguk's bed as his.

He’s already comfortable around Jeongguk and he still feels that growing fire in his chest whenever he’d see Jeongguk waiting outside the lobby of the library with his Ironman socks peeking through his skinny jeans. 

Taehyung is already so used to having Jeongguk around, that he pouts whenever he'd see his side of the bed empty because he had to go on his morning jog, and sulks if he doesn't catch him when he leaves for work for the day.

He’s scared and all he can do is wait for the fall, because he’s sure as hell this thing he has with Jeongguk is meant to end up in one way.

Falling in love.

He blames these thoughts on accidentally eavesdropping on a conversation he wasn't supposed to hear, another con of having mind reading abilities.

There was a couple, an ex-couple now, that had broken up at the library today while they were in the middle of studying for an exam. The girl was the one who broke things off, telling the boy that it wasn't working out anymore due to their busy schedules but deep in her mind, Taehyung heard the real reason beneath it all. She was tired of the relationship, even despite being with the guy since high school.

The guy begged her to talk things out, that they look for a way to make it work, but the girl simply shook her head at him and left.

Taehyung cried along with the guy till he left. He had so much love for the girl, overflowing with it in fact, and thought everything was going great till now. Until she decided to leave.

Taehyung knows that he and Jeongguk are not even near a break up, or even an argument at this stage of their relationship. But what if it happens in the future when Taehyung least expects it, when he isn't given a warning beforehand and will be left to wipe his tears and carry on as if nothing happened.

He sighs as he brushes these thoughts away. He’s laying down in Jeongguk’s bed, tired due to the number of people’s thoughts that entered his mind at the library aside from that heartbreaking moment, and looking at a polaroid of him and Jeongguk that’s on Jeongguk’s side of the bed

He smiles at the Ironman picture frame that protects it.

Taehyung then stands, eager to do something to get these thoughts off of his head, and spots Jeongguk’s shelves filled with his plushies. He scrunches his nose at the scent of drying cum coming from them and gets a basket, deciding to bring some of them to the laundromat tomorrow to get the stench removed.

As Taehyung was picking Ironbear (Jeongguk’s choice of name) up from Jeongguk’s bedside table, he notices the absence of his purple bunny that he remembers leaving on the bed before going to work that day.

Taehyung raises his eyebrows and begins to look for it, while also sending Jimin a quick text to verify if he left it at home, to which his best friend replies instantly saying that it wasn’t there. He's sure it isn't back at his apartment anyway but at least it confirms it.

Taehyung’s eyebrows scrunches as walks out to go to the direction of the living room. “Baby,” Taehyung calls as he enters the living room and checks under the couch’s pillows to look for his plushie. “Baby!”

“Yeah?” Jeongguk calls from the kitchen, busy making their dinner. Taehyung can hear the sounds of pots clattering. "I'm in the kitchen, Babe."

“Have you seen Cooky?” he asks, hands perched on his hips as he scans Jeongguk’s living room for the purple bunny that his boyfriend had given him on their first date. “I left him on the bed and I’ve been looking all over for him. I can’t find him.”

He hears Jeongguk drop something from the kitchen before he enters the living room, finding Taehyung in the middle of it with his bottom lip jutted out.

“Maybe you left him at your apartment?” Jeongguk suggests, as he also looks around the living room. 

“I figured that too but Jimin said he couldn’t find him in my bedroom,” Taehyung replies, continuing his search for the bunny. “I have to take some of your plushies at the dry cleaners tomorrow. They’re starting to smell like jizz.”

His boyfriend makes a disgusted face. “And who’s fault is that?” Jeongguk says with a grimace, approaching Taehyung who’s ruffling through the TV stand’s drawers. “The bed was right next to us but who insisted to fuck against the wall instead?”

Taehyung rolls his eyes at him. “As if you didn’t like it,” he murmurs as he heads back in the direction of Jeongguk’s bedroom, with the younger following close behind. “I saw your porn collection the other day, and really? Fucking on walls?”

Taehyung sees his doe eyes widen, making him smirk. “Look who’s talking,” Jeongguk guffaws. “Mr. Muscle Kink.”

The older huffs out a breath at him. “Mr. I-Want-To-Be-Choked,” Taehyung shoots back playfully, while still searching.

“Mr. Role Play,” the younger says with a winning smirk, making Taehyung pause his ministrations to give Jeongguk an appalled look.

They had sex the other night where Taehyung had roleplayed as Pepper Potts and called Jeongguk, Mr. Jeon all throughout the night. He wasn't really into it but the way Jeongguk fucked him hard and made him limp going to work the next day proved to be a good reward.

“That was one time,” Taehyung gasped. “And you liked it.”

“Who told you I did?” Jeongguk teased, a playful smile appearing on his face.

“I’m your fucking boyfriend, Gukkie.” Taehyung whined, causing Jeongguk to laugh. “I know these things.”

“Oh really?” he says, hugging Taehyung from the back and kissing the side of his neck. “Did you read my mind? Is that how you know?”

Taehyung stills and his eyes widen at his words. He knows Jeongguk is just joking, and his words are purely coincidental that just happened to touch on a tender subject without him knowing about it.

For some reason, his words get to him. It's something Taehyung doesn't want to happen and Jeongguk insinuating that he did made his heart worry.

“Thankfully, I haven’t,” he replies, trying to play it nonchalantly.

But Jeongguk, ever the most observant, sees him still and pauses his kissing to check on him. “You okay?” he asks softly, arms tightening around him. “You know I was just joking.”

Taehyung wills himself to get his thoughts straight and only sighs at him, turning around to face him with a smile. “I know you are. I'm just tired and want to snuggle with Cooky, Baby.” he says. “Or should I say, Mr. Jeon,”

He wiggles his eyebrows at him knowingly, and wraps his arms around Jeongguk’s neck, causing the latter to roll his eyes at him but he sees his ears redden.

“I’m cooking dinner, Babe,” Jeongguk complains but he doesn’t let Taehyung go. “Want me to burn the apartment down. Huh?”

“And you say you didn’t like it.” Taehyung shoots back, kissing him on the cheek.

“I didn’t say that,” Jeongguk snorts. “Like what you said, you’re my boyfriend. If anyone would know, it would be you.”

Taehyung smiles at him gently.

“Do you think you can get Friday to turn the stove off so you can fuck me against the wall again?” 

Jeongguk only gives him a bunny smile.

 

 

Taehyung finds Cooky two weeks later sitting on top of Jeongguk’s coffee table when he arrives at the latter’s apartment after work. Jeongguk couldn’t pick him up today because he had other errands to run, and made Taehyung take his car to work so he wouldn’t go home unharmed.

"It's just a couple minutes walk, Gukkie," Taehyung said.

"Just bring the car, Baby," Jeongguk insisted as he placed his car keys on Taehyung's palms. "I don't want to hear it."

Taehyung snorted.

He quirks an eyebrow upwards, and throws his keys and wallet on the table next to the front door after he takes his shoes off and slowly undoes his tie as he enters the younger’s apartment. 

“Gukkie?” Taehyung says, footsteps taking him to the bunny. “Gukkie, where are you? I’m home.”

He hears no one answer, thinking the younger was probably busy streaming his games again and has his earphones on. It wouldn’t be the first time. 

Taehyung sighs as he picks Cooky up. Thankfully, he doesn’t smell like jizz like he expected to as picks it up from the table. In fact, its cotton scent, which was already fading, smells stronger now. As if it had changed recently.

Taehyung is confused as he turns his plushie around and notices that it's ears, which became less fluffier over the months, are filled and more fluffier. And not just the ears, but the actual plushie itself felt like it was re-stuffed, and he has a feeling that Jeongguk is behind it.

He remembers complaining to Jeongguk a couple of weeks ago about not wanting to snuggle Cooky anymore because it's becoming less fluffy and its scent was fading. He must've taken it back to the workshop to get it fixed.

He smiles and goes to hug it to his chest, with Jeongguk in mind and heart fluttering at his boyfriend's thoughtfulness.

Taehyung was just squeezing it hard around his arms, can hear the bell tied around its neck ring, when he suddenly freezes at a sound it makes, more specifically, it was a recording of Jeongguk's voice saying something to him that he didn't expect to hear this soon and out of the blue.

He gets a flashback of his and Jeongguk's first date, and remembers the staff saying that they could put a voice message or a song inside that he opted out to, and figures that Jeongguk had remembered it as well.

He looks at the bunny, shocked and frozen and hears footsteps approaching from behind him.

Taehyung can feel his eyes watering as he grips the plushie in his hand, and shakes when he feels a strong pair of arms encircle his waist and soft pillowy lips touch the side of his neck.

He hears the words that he heard from the bunny repeated to him, whispered in his ear.

"I love you, Taehyung." Jeongguk whispers, hugging him tightly and swaying them side to side.

Taehyung feels his breath hitch and a stray tear slide down his cheek. He refuses to turn and face the younger. Refuses to let the same three words slip out of his own tongue without truly thinking things through.

"Fuck, I've been wanting to say that for days already and I just, I couldn't hold myself back anymore." Jeongguk continues to say. "I just, fuck, I know it's too soon, but I know, I just know it's what my heart been wanting to scream for weeks now."

It was painfully quiet inside Jeongguk's apartment and Taehyung can't find it in himself to respond, or even remember how to speak but despite that, despite Taehyung's silence, Jeongguk continues to hold him to allow Taehyung time to process the words that Jeongguk had spoken.

"Talk to me, Tae," Jeongguk says, disturbing the quiet as he holds on to Taehyung. "You don't have to say it back."

Taehyung opens his mouth, but closes it again.

That's the thing. He wants to say it back. Taehyung knows in every fibre and cell of his being that he's also in love with Jeongguk. He can feel his own heart constrict as Taehyung fights the feeling away.

He's being irrational, but growing up knowing that everything was already planned, that this was something that Jeongguk maybe didn't want himself, but was just dragged into. Forced onto. And the fact that this was all fate's doing made him hesitate.

He loves Jeongguk. The younger didn't need to say the words first to make him realize. Taehyung knows he hit the ground. He fell. Nothing stopped him from falling in love with Jeongguk, not even the fact that he felt iffy towards the whole soulmate thing stopped him.

He turns to look at Jeongguk with misty eyes and puts his hands on the younger's cheeks, he feels his bunny plushie drop to the floor with a soft thud as he looks into those damn eyes he found pretty the day he laid his eyes on them.

"Gukkie," Taehyung says quietly. "I, I -"

Jeongguk only smiles at him understandingly.

"I know, Tae," he replies softly.

No you don't

"You don't have to say if you don't feel the same way. But I wanted you to know. Fuck, you're probably the first person I've ever said this to." Jeongguk continues to say, voice soft and full of conviction.

Taehyung sniffles as he brings their faces closer, Jeongguk leans in like second nature, it is by now, before their mouths meet in a feverish kiss. A kiss full of desire, heat and most of all, love.

He feels Jeongguk's tongue penetrate his lips, and Taehyung welcomes it by opening his mouth wide, granting it entrance and sucking on it like his life depended on it.

Jeongguk moans into the kiss as he lets his hands rest on Taehyung's hip bones, squeezing them tight enough to bruise and garnering a groan from the older.

Taehyung lets his tongue go and sucks on Jeongguk's bottom lip instead, while the latter releases his hips from his grip and goes to unbutton the red long sleeved dress shirt that Taehyung was wearing, letting the fabric fall off of Taehyung's shoulders and resting his hands on the side of the older's neck.

"You're beautiful, Tae," Jeongguk says, separating from Taehyung's lips to look at him sincerely.

Beautiful.

Only Jeongguk called him that, and it sends all the butterflies in Taehyung's tummy to flutter at the praise.

"Fuck, how did I get so lucky?" the younger murmurs.

How did I get so lucky, Taehyung wanted to say, but he swallows the words and latches his lips on Jeongguk's neck instead, determined to leave bruises that will last for days.

Jeongguk wraps his muscled arms around Taehyung's thighs, and carries him to the bedroom, Taehyung locks his legs around the younger's torso and lets their lips clash into another breathtaking kiss.

It was only a matter of seconds before he feels his back hit Jeongguk's red duvet, and Taehyung pulls Jeongguk with him, still holding his mouth hostage.

"Baby," Taehyung moans, finally remembering how to speak. "Baby, I want your clothes off."

Jeongguk starts undressing just as Taehyung pleaded, removing the gray flannel he was wearing over his black shirt and throwing it to the side. He sits up quickly so he can take his shirt off next. It joins the flannel not even two seconds later.

It's not their first time but it feels like it is. It feels like he's looking at Jeongguk for the first time, looking at the man he's gone for, that he loves and loves him in return for the first fucking time.

He lets his hands wander through Jeongguk's abs while the latter unbuttons Taehyung's khaki slacks, taking his underwear with it and throws it on the floor, joining his flannel and shirt.

Taehyung hisses when he feels his cock spring free from the fabric and sits up to remove Jeongguk's denim pants as well. Jeongguk stays still as Taehyung removes his pants for him, while he also sucks a bruise in one of Taehyung's collarbones.

Taehyung whimpers when feels a calloused hand grip his hard dick from between his and Jeongguk's bodies, and releases a loud moan when his boyfriends begins to stroke it to full hardness.

"Fuck, Gukkie," Taehyung moans, feeling his toes curl in pleasure as Jeongguk works his cock, letting his thumb circle the head of his dick to spread his precum there and effectively making Taehyung weak on the knees. "Oh fuck, Gukkie,"

Taehyung tries his best to finish undressing Jeongguk from the remaining clothes he has on and quickly throws it to the floor once his shaking fingers finally unbuttons his pants.

Jeongguk shifts their positions as soon as they're both completely naked, making Taehyung sit on top of his abs while Jeongguk rubs patterns into his thighs.

"Baby," Jeongguk says, voice laced with want and eyes burning with desire. "Fuck my mouth."

Taehyung doesn't need to be told twice, and he gets to his hands and knees, guiding his hard dick into Jeongguk's waiting mouth. As soon as Taehyung's dick was planted deep into Jeongguk's throat, he starts to thrust in and out while one of his hands grips onto the headboard of the bed.

He feels tears streaming down his face as he fucks Jeongguk's mouth erratically.

"B-Baby," Taehyung whimpers, knuckles turning white from how hard he's gripping the hard wood of Jeongguk's bed. "Baby, It feels so good."

Jeongguk doesn't respond since his mouth is filled with Taehyung's cock, and goes to grip Taehyung's ass, spreading the cheeks apart so he could insert a finger inside Taehyung's hole.

Taehyung moans at the intrusion, thrusts speeding up and feeling tingles all over his body as his boyfriend's finger fuck him from behind, while he fucks deep into his mouth.

He sees Jeongguk from the corner of his hazy eyes reach for his Ironman lube, and squirts a considerable amount of it on his palm. It doesn't stop Taehyung from fucking his mouth though, if anything, the thought of fucking and being fucked at the same time turned him on.

He feels one of Jeongguk's lubed fingers slide into his hole again, garnering another cry from him. "F-Feels so good, Gukkie," Taehyung cries out. "Feels good. I think I - I'm gonna come."

Jeongguk hums into his cock, the vibrations of his throat making Taehyung moan in pleasure. He feels another finger join the first, and feels Jeongguk scissor him open.

Taehyung's mouth is hanging open at how good Jeongguk makes him feel, feels the start of something build in the depths of his stomach and goes to plant both his hands on the sides of Jeongguk's head and starts thrusting faster and harder.

Jeongguk chokes but he doesn't ask Taehyung to stop, if anything, he encourages Taehyung by adding a third finger to join the two that are scissoring him open. Jeongguk thrusts his fingers in and out of him until he finds his prostate, and it causes Taehyung to reach his climax unexpectedly. 

Taehyung cums into Jeongguk's mouth and tries to pull out, but Jeongguk only wraps an arm around his waist and milks him dry, causing Taehyung to actually cry at how good he feels.

Once he empties his load inside Jeongguk's mouth, he pulls out and lays beside Jeongguk, exhausted to his core, panting in and out, blissed in pleasure.

Jeongguk settles himself on top of him and kisses him, Taehyung kisses back and loves the taste of himself on the younger's mouth. He can feel Jeongguk's rock hard cock hit his thigh and he goes to wrap a hand around it and strokes.

Jeongguk stops kissing him, his mouth is hanging open and his eyes tightly closed as he focuses on Taehyung rubbing his cock.

"Baby," Jeongguk groans, hands bruising Taehyung's hips. "Fuck, that feels good, you're so good."

Taehyung blushes at the praise and continues stroking Jeongguk's cock, he puts a hand on the younger's nape and clashes their lips together to share a lustful kiss. Taehyung is already starting to feel his own cock twitch at the kissing and the noises his boyfriend is making and goes to wrap his legs around Jeongguk, letting go of the younger's cock in the process.

"Fuck me, Gukkie," he begs, his cock already half hard. "Please."

"You sure?" Jeongguk asks, forehead shining with sweat as he looks at Taehyung questiongly.

"Please, Gukkie," Taehyung begs, hands running through Jeongguk's dark locks. "Please, make love to me." Jeongguk's eyes shine at his words and he kisses Taehyung, biting his lips lightly.

Taehyung sees him reach for one his glow in the dark condoms.

"I'm clean," he says suddenly, as he stares at Jeongguk's dark orbs. "I got tested two weeks ago."

Jeongguk grins at him.

"I'm clean too." he says, causing Taehyung to smile back. "I got my test results today."

They've been wanting to try sex without condoms for a while, but never really got the chance to try it yet since they haven't been tested for awhile. Knowing that they now can, with Jeongguk's love confession hanging above them, makes it special. Taehyung can't help but feel his heart grow two sizes bigger.

"Was that the errand you had to do today?" Taehyung asks as he wraps his arms around Jeongguk's neck.

"Yes, among other things," Jeongguk replies, depositing a peck on his lips. "I also had to pick Cooky up at the store today."

“You really planned the whole thing, didn’t you?” Taehyung mumbles, heart full. 

Jeongguk kisses him again. “Anything for you.” he replies through their kiss before he guides his cock inside Taehyung's hole.

Taehyung moans as he feels Jeongguk's bare cock enter him, fingernails drawing patterns in Jeongguk's shoulder blades as the latter pushes in until he bottoms out.

"Fuck," Taehyung whimpers, trying to get used to fullness. There are tears at the corner of his eyes as he waits for the burn he feels in his backside to subside.

"Okay move," Taehyung replies as grabs a handful of Jeongguk's hair. "Move Gukkie, shit, fuck me,"

The younger only nods at him and begins to thrust in and out of him slowly, as he plants his face in the juncture between Taehyung's neck and shoulder while Taehyung continues to grip Jeongguk's hair tightly.

"Faster," Taehyung sobs, toes curling and mouth drooling. "Faster please,"

His words cause the younger to groan, before Jeongguk slams into him unforgivingly, gripping onto Taehyung’s shoulder tightly so as to make sure he fucks into Taehyung deeply. He sets a fast pace, the sound of their skin slapping against each other and their combined moans filling the bedroom. 

“Fuck, I love you, Baby,” Jeongguk groans as his thrust turn erratic, signaling that he was nearing his climax. “You're so fucking tight, Babe.”

Taehyung moans in pleasure at the praise and his confession. He feels his heart skip a beat and it’s enough to cause his cock to leak, and feel the start of a second orgasm approach. 

“Fuck, Gukkie,” Taehyung says breathlessly, wrapping his arms around the younger’s neck as the latter continues to fuck into him. “I’m - I’m gonna cum again.”

Jeongguk groans loudly at his words, his thrust starting to lose its rhythm. 

"You fuck me so good, Baby," Taehyung encourages, whispering the words at the shell of his ear, making Jeongguk groan. "You make me feel so fucking good all the time, fuck."

Jeongguk is heaving, sweat is dripping from his forehead as he ruts into Taehyung in full speed. And soon, Jeongguk is cumming inside of him.

Taehyung can feel the sticky substance filling him up, and it’s enough for Taehyung to feel so aroused that his own cock spurts out a second round of cum, covering both his and Jeongguk’s torsos.

"Fuck!"

They’re panting heavily. Jeongguk has his face planted on a pillow as sweat drips from his forehead. Taehyung is blissed out. He hasn’t cum twice in a row before. He doesn’t even mind Jeongguk’s cum leaking out of him, as his brain and body was exhausted.

Jeongguk pulls out of him gently after a while and stands to disappear to the bathroom, coming back a second later with a wet washcloth at hand and starts to wipe the cum off of Taehyung’s ass and body.

Taehyung purrs in content as Jeongguk takes care of him. He watches Jeongguk pull out a clean duvet from the closet after he puts the one they both soiled in the hamper, happy he landed on someone who loves to take care of him. On someone who loves him.

He makes grabby hands towards Jeongguk throughout his sexed out daze, and Jeongguk only chuckles at him as he approaches the bed with the new duvet at hand.

He kisses Taehyung chastely on the lips after he spreads the duvet over them and turns the air humidifier on, then lays together, with their limbs entangled to the other.

And fuck, Taehyung has never felt this content and comfortable and happy and oh so fucking loved before.

“I love you, Taehyung.” Jeongguk says as he turns the lights off, hugging the older from behind and kissing his shoulder.

Taehyung wants to say it back. He wants to spill his heart's contents. Wants Jeongguk to know that the love he feels for him is reciprocated. That fate did them good by pairing them together.

But he doesn't. 

He only kisses Jeongguk's hand before they drift off to sleep. 

 

 

“Baby, it’s me again,” Jeongguk says, his voice echoing from his phone’s speaker while Taehyung lies in his bed, listening. Feeling as equally defeated as Jeongguk sounded on the phone. 

“Look,” Jeongguk sighs. “I’m sorry for scaring you away like that but can we please talk? Or I don’t know, at least text me and let me know you’re okay?”

Taehyung stifles a sob by placing a palm over his mouth, afraid Jimin or Yoongi will hear him. Jeongguk sounds crushed. Hurt. And there’s no one to blame but himself. God knows Jeongguk, of all people, didn’t deserve the pain that Taehyung had inflicted on him. 

He can’t hold the fact that it was him, that Taehyung made him feel that way.

“I-,” Jeongguk continues, a sniffle escaping his lips causing Taehyung to sniffle in turn. “I love you, Tae. Nothing’s going to change that. If you’re ready to talk, I’ll be waiting. Please call me back.”

The voice message ends followed by the sound of a long beep. The beep sounded quite similar to his heartbeat at that moment. Like it didn’t care to beat anymore if it wasn’t beating for Jeongguk. 

Taehyung didn’t know what compelled him to do it, what made him escape the safety of Jeongguk’s arms in the dead of night after the latter had confessed that he loves him. That Jeongguk loves Taehyung.

Taehyung wasn’t proud of what he did, but he just couldn’t push back the strong urge he felt to distance himself from Jeongguk, and knew that if he didn’t leave him then, he wouldn’t leave him ever. 

Taehyung escaped with tears in his eyes and protests from his heart. Protests he blatantly ignored and pushed at the back of his head as he slowly got off of Jeongguk’s bed and picked a random shirt and a pair of sweatpants from the floor .

He escaped Jeongguk’s apartment immediately, escaped the love that Jeongguk was willing to give like the coward he was. 

He escaped Jeongguk’s apartment after practically living there for weeks, only bringing his purple bunny with him and not even leaving the younger a note or a text telling him where he went.

Taehyung could practically feel Ironbear’s judgemental look as he slipped out the door, clutching his bunny to his chest, not knowing that he took Jeongguk’s heart with him.

That was five days ago. 

Taehyung remembers waking up from a restless night of tossing and turning in bed to find multiple worried messages from Jeongguk, asking him where he was, if he was okay, that he loves him and to come back to him.

Taehyung didn’t respond and left the messages on read, albeit he wanted nothing more than to do what the younger had wanted.

He spent the last five days moping in bed, not even bothering to go to work and trying his best to ignore Jimin and Yoongi’s loud thoughts coming from their own bedroom. Couldn’t bear to handle Yoongi’s anger and Jimin’s disappointment.

He tried to mute their voices by stuffing a pillow to his ears, but the thoughts still came. 

Yoongi’s thoughts of,

‘I can’t believe he hurt him again’

‘What a coward’

‘I thought he loves him’

And Jimin’s

‘Taetae, can you hear me?’

‘Talk to me. Jeongguk’s worried. We’re all worried.’

‘I love you, Taehyung. I’m always here for you.’

He knows he’s not only hurting Jeongguk, but his friends as well, to the point where the couple broke into a huge argument. Probably the biggest argument that Yoongi and Jimin had, where the two of them fought from different corners. Where Yoongi fought Jeongguk’s corner and Jimin fought his. 

Taehyung wanted to step in and break it off multiple times but he just couldn’t bear facing anyone at the moment, too ashamed to. 

How could he, when knows that he’s the only one to blame?

Taehyung sighs as he hugs his bunny close to his chest, letting out tears as he listens to the recording of Jeongguk’s love confession repeatedly.

‘I love you, Taehyung’

Taehyung squeezes Cooky again.

‘I love you, Taehyung’

Again.

‘I love you, Taehyung’

The words come crashing down on Taehyung like a bulldozer. His words and the meaning behind them is enough to shatter his core and break him. 

Taehyung is starting to believe that time is indeed a construct that humans created to make sense of sequential experiences that came together in order to notice how things evolve. Because Taehyung didn’t realize how much, or how little, time and a series of experiences it took for him to fall in love with Jeongguk. He just knows that he does.

He’s only met the younger for a couple of months, and he’s already gone for him. Gone for his doe eyes and bunny smile, gone for his dorkiness and his unreasonable love for Ironman; gone for how he loves (and fucks) fiercely. Gone for his protectiveness and thoughtfulness.

In short, Taehyung is just sickeningly in love with him, but at the same time, he’s also stupid because he may have possibly ruined the best thing that he has ever had the pleasure of receiving, all because he was a coward. 

A stupid fucking coward who couldn’t own up to his feelings, who couldn’t say the same words out loud. 

An idiot who was too proud to admit that fate knew what it was doing when it paired him with Jeongguk.

He chokes back a sob, feeling his bottom lip wobble as he thinks of what Jeongguk must be feeling. Taehyung knows that the pain that he’s feeling doesn’t compare to Jeongguk. He may not be able to read his mind, but he’s spent enough time with him to have an idea of what he’s thinking and feeling.

Is he starting to regret choosing Taehyung? Or worse, Is he beginning to fall out of love for him? 

He gets a flashback of that time when he and Jeongguk were laying on the latter’s couch back in his apartment. The memory feels like it happened a lifetime ago.

They were cuddling while watching an anime about soulmates. Soulmates who had to go through a ton of shit and suffering before they eventually ended up together. 

The movie was good, but since it was a movie about soulmates and Jeongguk just so happened to be his, he can’t help but think of them. 

If that were them, would Jeongguk risk a lot for him? Would he risk creating a different parallel universe just in order for them to end up together?

He remembers asking Jeongguk if he believed in a parallel universe where they weren’t meant to be. Where there was a Jeongguk and a Taehyung who weren’t together, to which the younger had scoffed and said that he didn’t believe that such a universe existed.

Taehyung wasn’t satisfied with the younger’s answer, but left the question hanging like that. Jeongguk, who knew him more than Taehyung knew himself, assured him with a dead set look in his doe eyes that if they happened to live in a parallel universe where they’re not together, then his heart will live in the ones where they were.

Taehyung realized that it was during that time that he fell in love with Jeongguk. With his honesty, his fierceness and his penchant to love with a ferocity that couldn’t compare to others.

He managed to sleep that night with the thought that there was a Taehyung and Jeongguk sleeping cuddled together in a parallel universe.

It was on the sixth day of Taehyung’s pity party when Yoongi, followed by an irritated Jimin, barged into his bedroom with his face flushed red, more out of exasperation than anger towards him.

“Yoongi!” Jimin yells from behind him, wrapping an arm around the nook of the older’s arm to pull him outside. “Leave him alone!”

“No Jimin,” Yoongi says crossly, eyeing Taehyung with a glint of determination in his eyes that made the latter gulp. “If I don’t do this now, I don’t think he’ll get his head out of his ass. Enough is enough.”

“It’s none of your business!” Jimin fumes, standing in between his boyfriend and bestfriend, his back facing Taehyung protectively, covering him. “And you shouldn’t deal with things you don’t understand.”

“Then help me understand!” Yoongi exclaims, causing Taehyung to wince. “Jeongguk is one of my best friends, Jimin. He’s hurting. And look at Taehyung,” he gestures towards the youngest. “He’s hurting too. I don’t understand, Jeongguk doesn’t understand, We don’t have a fucking clue as to what’s happening.”

Jimin was just about to argue back, he has his chest puffed up and his eyebrows scrunched in indignation. Taehyung can hear his best friend’s thoughts loud and clear and decide to step in before Jimin says something he’ll regret later. 

“Yoongi hyung,” Taehyung says weakly, finally tearing himself away from his bed after six whole days, and placing a hand on one of Jimin’s shoulders.

He gives him a look that says ‘I’ll handle it. Thank you, Jimin’ , causing his best friend to nod at him with a tight expression on his face.

“I’m sorry, hyung.” the mind reader sighs. “You’re right. I know you’re trying your best to understand both me and Jeongguk and I know my perspective about the whole thing doesn’t make sense.”

“I don’t want to fight, Taehyung.” Yoongi says, releasing a breath. “Things just don't make sense to me and I just want to understand.”

“I know, hyung.” Taehyung replies quietly. “I’ve been keeping you in the dark for too long, and I think it’s time I finally tell you.”

Jimin raises an eyebrow at him in question.

‘You sure?’

Taehyung nods at him, and Jimin offers him an encouraging smile. 

‘I’m proud of you.’

Taehyung smiles at his best friend.

“Well?” Yoongi asks, looking in between the two of them. “What is it?”

Taehyung swallows a deep breath as Jimin holds his hand to show his support. Yoongi watches with calculating eyes.

“Hyung,” Taehyung starts, feeling braver and more determined. “Have you ever wondered how I always knew what you were thinking about?”

Yoongi raises an eyebrow at him. 

“What?” 

“I mean,” Taehyung sighs, looking at Jimin helplessly.

‘You can do it, Tae’

“Have you noticed how I always seem to know what was on your mind?” he says slowly, eyes boring into Yoongi’s seriously. “Have you ever wondered how I already have an answer to a question you were just about to ask?”

Yoongi just looks at him blankly. It reminds Taehyung of himself when his mother broke the news to him. “I guess?” Yoongi replies, confused. “I wondered a couple times, yeah, but what does that have to do with Jeongguk?” 

“He’s getting there, love.” Jimin tells him patiently. Yoongi visibly relaxes at the nickname Jimin used. “Be patient with him, okay?”

Yoongi only nods at him before turning his attention back to Taehyung.

“I’m listening, Taehyung.” he says, arms crossed.

Taehyung could hear Yoongi’s mind come up with the most ridiculous scenarios and tries to stifle a snort at the obscenity of them.

“I’m not dying or anything, hyung,” Taehyung chuckles, scratching the back of his head. “It’s nothing that serious.”

Yoongi’s eyes slightly widen, and his jaw falls. 

“How did you -” he starts to say.

“I can read minds, hyung.” Taehyung says, biting his lips as he surveys Yoongi’s face for a reaction. 

Yoongi has a bewildered look on his face. He opens his mouth to speak but closes his again, and Taehyung could literally hear the gears in his head turn at his admittance. The loudest thought however that he was able to hear was —

‘What the fuck?’

Taehyung laughs lightly. “What the fuck indeed,” he says, making Yoongi step back.

“Are you being serious right now?” Yoongi says, still in disbelief. “You’re not just saying that to get me off your back, right?”

The youngest only shakes his head at him. “I’m not, hyung.” Taehyung says gently. “I wish I was, but I’m telling you the truth. I’ve been reading minds since I was sixteen years old.”

Yoongi is quiet on the outside, but on the inside though, he was loud.

‘How is that even possible?’

‘Is that why he and Jimin can talk without Jimin having to say anything?”

‘If that were true, I still don’t get how this is connected to Jeongguk.’

“My ancestors are mind readers, and this, uh, gift is passed on from generation to generation, I guess.” Taehyung explains patiently. “And you’re right. It’s how me and Jimin communicate. Jimin knows about my gift.”

Yoongi has a puzzled look on his face.

“It’s true, hyung.” Jimin nods, helping Taehyung out. “He really can read minds.”

“Okay,” Yoongi drawls, nodding slowly but still hesitant. “So say that’s true, did Jeongguk — think — of something that upset you?”

“Quite the opposite actually,” Taehyung says. “I can’t read Jeongguk’s mind.”

“What?” Yoongi says, even more confused. 

“I know it’s confusing, hyung.” Taehyung says exasperatedly. “There’s a lot to it but to put it simply, I can’t hear Jeongguk’s thoughts because he’s my soulmate.”

“This just keeps getting better and better,” Yoongi mutters under his breath as he starts to pace around the bedroom. Taehyung only gives him a helpless smile.

“So let me get this straight,” Yoongi says. “You can read everyone's minds, except Jeongguk’s because he’s your soulmate. Right?” Taehyung nods at him. “Okay, so what’s the problem, then? Isn’t that a good thing?”

‘That’s what I said!’  Jimin agrees telepathically. 

“You two are ganging up on me,” Taehyung pouts. “Look I know there should be no problem, it’s just that, I can’t help but feel worried, hyung.”

“Worried about what?”

“I don’t know,” Taehyung shrugs. “I’ve been opposed to the whole soulmate thing for as long as I can remember, Yoongi hyung. I mean, what would you feel if someone told you that there’s already someone out there pre-destined for you? That you had no free will to choose who you’ll love because fate already had someone in mind.”

“Is Jeongguk someone you didn’t have in mind?” he asks. “Did it feel like you didn’t choose Jeongguk?”

“No,” Taehyung whines. “That’s not it. Jeongguk is perfect, okay? I’m more concerned about the fact that Jeongguk did not have the free will to choose. I mean, after all, he was just dragged along the whole thing. What if I’m not it for him?”

“That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard.” Jimin butts in, making Yoongi nod and Taehyung groan. “Taehyung, Jeongguk is literally head over heels for you. There’s no way he’s under any spell that made him love you.”

“You don’t know that,” Taehyung scoffs.

“You don’t either, Tae.” Jimin replies. “I’m pretty sure Jeongguk chose you himself. Soulmate or not. Jeongguk chose you. Jeongguk loves you.”

Taehyung bites his lips as he looks at his shoes. “I just, I don’t want to hold him back.” he admits defeatedly. “I, I love him and I want what’s best for him. I don’t want to drag him into this mess the universe created. And that’s not all. What if we get back together and the universe suddenly decides to take it all back. Take Jeongguk back, and one day I’ll wake up hearing his thoughts.”

“I get your point, Taehyung-ie.” Yoongi says patiently, crossing his bedroom and taking a seat on his bed. “I really do. I mean, I’m still iffy about the whole mind reading and soulmate thing but for your sake, I’m trying to understand.”

Taehyung offers him a sad smile.

“Hear me out, okay?” Yoongi says. “I’ve known Jeongguk since we were just teenagers. I’ve seen him with all the wrong people. I’ve only ever seen him with the right one, and that was you.”

Taehyung opens his mouth to retort but Yoongi holds up a hand to stop him.

‘Listen’  Yoongi says telepathically, though Taehyung could feel that the older felt awkward. 

“Fine, I’m listening.” he says begrudgingly,

“Good,” Yoongi says. “To start off, I just want to say that Jeongguk has never been this happy. Ever. And you’re the reason why Tae,”

“You have your reservations and I get that. You’re scared about Jeongguk not really being in love with you. Scared that he’s just dragged in, but I can assure you that he isn’t. He chose you in his own free will.” Yoongi finishes.

“How do you know that?”

“Cause you chose him in your own free will.” Jimin is the one who answers. “You met, and enjoyed each other’s company and fell in love. Simple as that.”

“Exactly.” Yoongi chimes in. “You chose each other, that soulmate bullshit is just an added bonus.”

Jimin giggles and Taehyung smiles.

“And there’s that thing about fate or destiny or whoever the fuck it is who came up this, possibly taking the whole ‘non-mind-reading’ thing away, but so what, Tae?” Yoongi continues with a shrug. “I mean, will it matter if you can read his mind? Will you love him less if he doesn’t end up being your soulmate?”

Taehyung lets Yoongi’s words mull around his head. He’s been against the whole soulmate thing so it shouldn’t really matter to him if Jeongguk isn’t his soulmate or not. Like what the older said, it was just an added bonus. 

Taehyung’s sure he’ll love Jeongguk no matter what. He'll choose him. Soulmate or not.

“You’re right.” Taehyung sighs.

‘Fucking finally’

‘Thank God’

“I won’t love Jeongguk any less if he doesn’t end up becoming my soulmate.” Taehyung continues to say. 

“Damn right,” Jimin grins. “So it’s high time you end your pity party and face Jeongguk. Tell him everything, Tae.”

“I know. I will.” Taehyung says. “I only hope that I’m not too late.”

“It’s not, Tae,” Yoongi says determinedly. “If there’s one thing I know about soulmates, it’s that they always end up together.”

Taehyung smiles.

“I hope you’re right, hyung.” 

 

 

It wasn’t until the tenth day when Taehyung finally worked up the courage and energy to get out of bed to head over to Jeongguk’s apartment. (Actually, it involved both Yoongi and Jimin needing to physically drag him out to get him to go, but that’s besides the point.)

He’s been standing in front of the younger’s front door for ten minutes already, his hand is bawled into a tiny fist, hovering over Jeongguk’s door as Taehyung forces himself to knock. He has a spare key tucked in his pocket, but he doesn’t think Jeongguk will appreciate it if he uses it. 

He can also hear Jeongguk’s neighbors’ thoughts as he stood in the empty hallway, the continuous ringing and buzzing did nothing to help him. He’s been locked up in bed for too long and got used to the silence, so being outside and suddenly absorbing every person’s thoughts causes his head to ache. 

“Fuck,” Taehyung mutters under his breath as he brings his hand down. He reaches a hand to massage his temples as a way to ease his pain, and at the same time, swallows down the anxiety that’s bubbling from the pit of his stomach.

He closes his eyes and tries to breathe, and tries to silence the voices. But with the uneasiness that Taehyung’s feeling combined with the noise, he can start to feel his heart rate pick up. His anxiety eats him alive. 

“I can’t do this,” Taehyung mutters to himself, eyes still closed and fingers still clutching his head tightly. 

He was just thinking of backing out, of waiting for a few more days to get his head used to the noise again but before Taehyung can step away and head to the stairwell, he hears the click of a lock and the sound of a door creaking open, effectively making Taehyung still. 

The sound was followed by complete silence. The type of silence that Taehyung’s mind took refuge in, the cure his mind needed to make the pain go away.

Taehyung didn’t need to open his eyes to know what occurred. To know that Jeongguk is right in front of him, probably giving him an annoyed look.

He gasps when he feels a gentle and calloused hand, a hand that Taehyung’s all too familiar with, reach to his nape and massage it, effectively making Taehyung’s anxiety to disappear as if it wasn’t even there in the first place and his shoulder to sag in relief. 

“Are you okay, Baby?” Jeongguk’s voice says gently. It’s enough for Taehyung’s lip to wobble dangerously at how gentle, how kind and welcoming Jeongguk sounded even after everything he’s done to him.

Taehyung wills his wet eyes to open so he could look at the angel that he’s been missing for the last few days.

Jeongguk is looking the worst that Taehyung has ever seen him. He’s wearing a hoodie adored with wet patches, of what Taehyung suspects as Soju, if the smell of it is anything to go by and some Ironman boxers. 

But regardless of that, he still has a look of concern, of worry and most of all love in his face. 

That look alone is enough for Taehyung to break down and cry, with Jeongguk holding him close to his chest in reflex, and rubbing his back comfortingly.

“Gukkie,” Taehyung sobs into Jeongguk’s hoodie. 

“Baby,” he replies, relief evident in his voice as he hugs him close and sniffs the top of Taehyung’s hair. “My Baby, stop crying. It’s okay.”

Taehyung shakes his head at him, finding it hard to believe that Jeongguk is so forgiving and accepting; and just so utterly perfect.

“How- how can you take me back this easily?” Taehyung cries, hitting him in the chest lightly. “You should hate me.”

Jeongguk chuckles lightly as he presses a soft kiss on Taehyung’s forehead.

“How could I hate you?” he says quietly. “When I love you so much, Tae. Like what I said, nothing is going to change that.”

Taehyung looks up at him. Stares in the eyes where galaxies were trapped. Looks at Jeongguk as if he’s memorizing his face, down to mole under his lips, to the scar in his left cheek, to the cheeks he loves to squish and the lips he would like to kiss.

Jeongguk comes close, and instinctively and like second nature, Taehyung leans in to meet Jeongguk’s soft pillowy lips halfway.

The kiss isn’t heated, nor is it chaste. It’s a kiss that held so much emotion — an ‘I’m sorry’ and an ‘I forgive you’ , a ‘thank you for coming back’ and a ‘I’m not leaving again’ and most important of all, it’s a ‘I love you’ and a ‘I love you too.’

They break off the kiss at the sound of a wind chime ringing from an open window that’s down the hallway, panting, foreheads leaning against the other and eyes staring into each other. Jeongguk has his hands wrapped around Taehyung’s waist and the latter has his arms wrapped around Jeongguk’s neck.

And in that moment, Taehyung decides to voice his thoughts.

“I love you, Jeongguk.” he whispers. “Fuck, I love you so much.”

Jeongguk smiles up at him, with his nose scrunched and eyes forming crescents before muttering a soft, “I love you too, Baby.” against his lips. 

They grin at each other like love sick fools. Arms not daring to let go of each other.

“I have so much to tell you, Gukkie.” Taehyung says quietly. “Can we come in?”

Jeongguk nods at him slowly, before letting go of the older’s waist and immediately reaching for one of Taehyung’s hands and intertwining their fingers together. Taehyung chuckles at him but his cheeks are still dusted pink.

Once they’re seated on Jeongguk’s couch — Well, Jeongguk’s sitting on the couch and Taehyung is seated on his lap, Taehyung adjusts to the side so he can look at the younger, giving him a serious look.

“Gukkie, there’s something I want to tell you.” Taehyung says as he plays with the loose string on Jeongguk’s hoodie. “A lot actually.”

“Okay,” Jeongguk says encouragingly before he kisses his cheek. “I know there is but first of all, I want to set a rule.”

Taehyung nods at him, prompting Jeongguk to continue.

“Taehyung, I want us to be completely honest with each other, okay?” he says. “No filters, no sugar coating. Give everything to me straight. You know I won’t judge you. I mean, I love you, Tae—”

— “I love you too,”

“— and there’s nothing changing that.” Jeongguk continues. “No more secrets.”

“Okay,” Taehyung sighs as he braces himself. “Okay, no secrets. I owe you that much, Gukkie.”

“Want to go first?”

There’s no point beating around the bush, Taehyung thought. He came there not only to beg for Jeongguk’s forgiveness but to also tell him everything. He nods at the younger, making Jeongguk give him his unwavering attention. 

“First of all, this is going to sound strange.” Taehyung starts. “Like, bat shit crazy strange.”

“Try me.”

Taehyung has rehearsed his speech in the mirror countless times, and no matter how many times he does it, there is no way of breaking it to the younger without Jeongguk thinking that he’s a lunatic. So he decides to just give him straight. No pillowing. No filters.

“I can read minds, Jeongguk.”

It’s deadly silent after a few seconds and Taehyung could see Jeongguk raise an eyebrow at him and a smirk pulling at the corner of his lips. 

“Did you just say you could read minds?”

Taehyung closes his eyes and tries to keep his composure. “This is serious, Gukkie.” he pouts.

“Very.” Jeongguk agrees, as he adjusts Taehyung in his lap. “If you were reading my mind right now, you’d know how serious I’m being.” 

Oh if you only knew, Taehyung thought.

Jeongguk leans forward to kiss the corner of Taehyung's lips, sensing that this moment means a lot to the older and sitting back. 

“I’ll be serious on my face now too,” Jeongguk says with an encouraging smile.

“Thank you,” Taehyung replies as he looks at Jeongguk, trying not to snort at the blank expression his boyfriend is sporting. “So anyway, I can read minds and when there’s too many people around, it makes my head ring.”

The corner of the younger's lips twitches. “Headache,” Jeongguk offers, nodding. “Okay, so that explains that.”

“Yeah,” Taehyung swallows. “So, the night I met you, my head was ringing because there were too many people around, and I literally had to drink poison to make the voices quiet.”

“I remember,” Jeongguk smiles. “You almost tripped walking over to the booth.”

“Anyway that night, my powers —”

“— that sounds cool by the way,” Jeongguk butts in.

“— were, sort of deactivated? Or at least I couldn’t hear anyone’s exact thoughts unless I really focus and listen.” Taehyung continues, ignoring Jeongguk’s playful remarks. “Like with Hoseok, Seokjin and Namjoon hyung.”

“You didn’t get to read mine that night, right?’ Jeongguk asks. 

Taehyung breathes out. “Actually,” he starts, chewing on his bottom lip. “I never got to read your mind, ever, Gukkie.”

Jeongguk raises a questioning eyebrow at him. “You mean that night. Right?”

Taehyung shakes his head at him. “No, not just that night. I still couldn’t hear you in the morning the next day, I looked at you and there was nothing. It was completely silent.”

“You couldn’t hear me?”

“It’s happened once or twice before but it was always for just a few seconds.” Taehyung continues. “But there’s one thing that I can always hear and that’s pain.”

“Hey,” Jeongguk whines, “You pinched me in the arm that morning!”

Taehyung’s cheeks turn pink. 

“I was panicking, okay?” he whines back, bottom lip jutted out. “I couldn’t hear you and that’s never happened to me before. I’m not proud of the things I did that morning but it’s the only thing I could think to do.”

Jeongguk is focusing on him, no hint of a judgment in his expression and it’s everything Taehyung could ask for given the circumstances.

“So, what happened?” Jeongguk asks, staring into Taehyung. “When did you first hear me? When I came to the library? My mind was a complete mess that day. I’m sure you heard me then.”

Taehyung could not help but smile at Jeongguk’s openness to the whole mind reading thing. Unlike Yoongi, who still doesn’t completely believe Taehyung, he’s more accepting of the whole thing. More open to know all the details.

Taehyung guesses it’s partly because of the superhero movies that the younger watches, and another part is because Jeongguk just loves him enough to just go with everything he’s saying. 

“No.” Taehyung sighs. “I— I can’t hear you, Gukkie. I never did. Not a peep. Nothing.”

Jeongguk’s mouth opens and closes once or twice. His eyes are wide as saucers.

“You can’t hear me.” he mutters slowly. “Like at all?”

“Nothing.” Taehyung repeats. 

Jeongguk flexes his jaw. “Is there — are you the only one? Who can do this, I mean?”

“My Eomma and Halmeoni can, but that’s all we know of.” Taehyung explains. “Our family comes from a generation of mind readers. It’s automatically passed from one generation to the next.”

“We are so having kids.” Jeongguk mumbles under his breath, making Taehyung snort but he tries to hide the blush creeping at the tip of his ears at the thought of Jeongguk already thinking of a future that involved kids with him.

“Back to the topic,” Jeongguk says, looking more invested. “Your eomma and halmeoni. Can they hear everyone?” 

“No,” Taehyung whispers, clearing his throat. “They all have one person they — we — can’t hear. Our soulmates.”

Jeongguk opens his mouth and closes it again, once or twice before saying, “The person who makes the world go silent. The person that can stop ringing.” he says quietly. “That’s your soulmate?”

“Yes.” Taehyung's voice is quiet as he looks at Jeongguk, giving him a few seconds to wrap his head around it. 

“Am I— Am I your soulmate, Tae?”

It’s Taehyung’s turn to open and close his mouth as he wonders how much he’ll tell Jeongguk. If he should leave out the part about not believing in it in the first place, but Taehyung remembers he promised the unfiltered truth to him. Taehyung owes him that much.

“You are, Gukkie.” Taehyung admits. Intertwining his fingers with Jeongguk. “And — And that actually scared me. I used to be so against finding someone who’s thoughts I couldn’t hear and just accept them as my soulmate. My other half.”

Jeongguk tightens his grip on Taehyung’s hands. 

“When I met you, you not only made everything peacefully quiet. You didn’t just calm the storm. Fuck, Gukkie, you made me feel protected and understood even when you didn’t have a clue as to what was going on.” Taehyung says. “And that just made me fall in love with you. Not by the fact that I couldn’t read your mind, but by the fact that you’re you. I fell in love with you because you’re you, Jeongguk.”

“It also scared me thinking that you were just a pawn in all of this soulmate business. That maybe you only ever loved me because that’s what fate had initially planned and it’s not what you wanted, because that’s what I felt when I found out I had someone predestined for me.” A tear slips at the corner of Taehyung’s eyes and Jeongguk instantly wipes it for him. “I didn’t want you to not have the free will to choose. And, I — I'm also scared shitless of the possibility that one day fate will change its mind and I don't know, unbond us or something.”

Jeongguk gives him a soft, understanding smile and it’s enough for Taehyung to know that he absolutely loves Jeongguk without a shadow of doubt.

“Is that why you watch me sleep in the middle of the night?” Jeongguk asks, making Taehyung blush. “Because you keep waiting to see if you’ll be able to read my mind?”

Taehyung nods at him.

“I wondered, sometimes, what would happen, what I would do, if I woke up the next morning and I could hear everything in your head. What would that mean.” Taehyung admits. 

Jeongguk’s thumb pauses its trail along Taehyung’s knuckles, tongue licking over his bottom lip.

“And I realized, with the help of Yoongi and Jimin, that I wouldn’t care if it all changed. That I didn’t fall for you because I can’t hear you, but for everything else there is about you.” Taehyung smiles. 

“Your Ironman obsession, your plushie collection. The way your nose scrunches up when you laugh or when you're sad. The way you just lean in to kiss me when I get too close.”

Jeongguk has a soft smile on his face, his face getting closer to Taehyung’s. 

“I loved you for all the little things, Baby,” Taehyung says, face close to Jeongguk. “And fate did me a huge ass favor by making you that person who I get to call my soulmate.”

Jeongguk grins big and wide — the bunny smile that Taehyung adores with his nose scrunching, and doe eyes sparkling. 

“Can we kiss now?” Jeongguk asks, already leaning in.

Taehyung catches his lips without another word. It’s hard and soft all at once. It’s understanding, it’s a thank you for telling me and a thank you for understanding. 

When they separate, with foreheads bumping into each other, Jeongguk looks up at him, softly, yet also seriously.

“Is it my turn to drop something on you right now?” he asks.

Taehyung raises an eyebrow at him. He doesn’t know what else there is to talk about but he nods his head at him nonetheless.

“Okay.”

“There’s also something you should know about me..” Jeongguk starts.

If Taehyung thought his news was shocking, then Jeongguk’s news is completely something else.  

Chapter Text

 

[ 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. 

The bells. 

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.