☀︎ 18 ☀︎
When the plane lands in Seoul, Taehyung finally feels like he’s able to breathe properly for the first time since everything happened. He still couldn’t believe how things went from the happiest he’s ever been to being right back to a place of complete fear so quickly, but as Jungkook takes his hand as they make their way off of the plane he knows he’s still grateful he went on his family holiday.
Life without Jungkook wasn’t worth living for Taehyung. Sure, they had only been together for a short amount of time, but the amount of love and trust they’ve been able to form within that time was enough for Taehyung to feel as if they’ve known each other for a whole decade longer. He was was his everything, and the thought of being without him terrified him even though he felt safer far away from the ocean.
“Yeah, Tae?” Jungkook looks to the side at the elder, giving him a small smile as they wait for the taxi.
“Can I- uh... I don’t want to be alone, so can I...” Taehyung stumbles over his words, he doesn’t know why he’s so embarrassed about asking Jungkook such a simple question but something within him was scared he was going to say no.
“You won’t be alone, I can stay at your house until the others come back from Malta.” Jungkook gives his hand a light squeeze, the sweet smile still firmly set on his face.
“I don’t want to go home...”
“Well we don’t have to stay, we can just drop off our suitcases and then go back out-”
“Can I stay at yours instead?”
Jungkook’s lips pull into a straight line, going silent as he thinks about the state he left his apartment in. He knows he didn’t clean before he left, and packing in a hurry the morning before his and Yoongi’s flight he knows the whole apartment is a complete and utter mess. “Tae, my apartment isn’t the best. Besides, won’t you be more comfortable in your own space?”
“I want to be in your space,” Taehyung mumbles, awkwardly looking down at his feet. “But I get it, I shouldn’t just intrude when we haven’t even been together that long.”
“No, that’s not it at all.” Jungkook sighs, giving Taehyung’s hand another squeeze before deciding that the state of his apartment really shouldn’t stop him from making Taehyung feel happy after all he’s been through. “We can go to mine. Just please don’t think my apartment is always so messy, I was in a rush before I left and I was working a lot the week before so I didn’t get time-”
Taehyung looks up, a bright smile spreading across his face as he looks at the younger. “Thank you, Kookie.”
“I can’t believe you’ve got me so whipped already,” Jungkook laughs, the statement causing Taehyung to laugh along with him. It was nice to see the elder finally going back to his old self, heading back to Seoul was definitely the right decision to make.
When the taxi pulls up outside Jungkook’s apartment block he could feel the nerves rising from his stomach all the way up into his throat making it hard for him to breathe. He knows that although Taehyung may still have the odd ‘snobby’ comment here and there he would never look down on someone just because they weren’t as wealthy as him. But, that didn’t stop him from feeling paranoid as they made their way towards the main door, his hands gripping the key almost too hard as he brings it to the keyhole to open it.
“I live on the top floor. The elevator is always broken so I hope you don’t mind all the stairs we have to climb.” Jungkook says shyly as he holds the door open for Taehyung to walk through, subtly observing his reaction to the whole place.
“I don’t mind. I probably should get some exercise, I feel like I haven’t moved much this entire month,” Taehyung says back with a smile. He goes to pick up his suitcase before Jungkook stops him and takes it away from his grasp, meeting his eyes with an even bigger smile.
“I’ll take it for you.”
“Are you attempting to turn me on by displaying your strength?” Taehyung jokes.
“Was actually going for the more ‘helpful boyfriend’ approach, but it wouldn’t really be too bad if that happened.”
“All you’ve been doing all week is showing your helpful boyfriend side, I think I should be the one carrying the suitcases up so I can give something back to you.”
“And take away my chances of possibly turning you on? No way.” Jungkook winks, finally grabbing his own suitcase and making his way up the stairs. He glances over his shoulder to see if Taehyung is following and already finds his eyes glued firmly onto his ass, a sight that makes it hard for him to contain his laughter. “You going to stand there all day dreaming of my ass or are you going to follow me?”
“Oh, right.” Taehyung quickly says, snapping himself out his daze and following his boyfriend up the stairs.
Now Taehyung wouldn’t necessarily call himself an unfit person, but climbing the stairs to Jungkook’s apartment really was a challenge for him. He feels as if he just climbed a mountain when they finally reach the younger’s floor, and Taehyung can’t help but be impressed that Jungkook didn’t even break a sweat during the monstrous trek up there.
“You do that every single day? No wonder your thighs look like they were sculpted by the God’s.” Taehyung breathes out whilst he watches Jungkook unlock the door, leaning against the wall for support.
“Everyday is leg day when you live in this apartment block,” Jungkook laughs. “Before you go inside please keep in mind that I’m not always this messy. I got home late the night before I left for Malta, and then my alarm didn’t go off so I had Yoongi banging at my door as I was trying to pack the next morning so-”
Taehyung softly places his hand over Jungkook’s mouth to stop his rambling, throwing him a sweet smile before saying, “Kookie, I’m just grateful you’re even allowing me into your place, I’m not going to judge you.”
“Okay,” Jungkook mumbles against Taehyung’s hand, the elder removing it with a slight chuckle when he hears the agreement.
“Besides, we really only need the bed for now.”
Jungkook pushes open the door as he glances to the side to look at the elder only to be met with a cheeky grin. He really should make a comment about how thankful he is that Taehyung seems to be back to his old ways, but the excitement of what is possibly about to come has him firmly pressing his lips together and moving to the side for the other to walk inside first.
As soon as he’s inside, Taehyung barely gives Jungkook time to grab the suitcases before pulling him inside. There’s a loud thump when the bags hit the floor once they’re both inside, followed by a bang as Taehyung quickly pushes the door shut behind them. Then their lips are on each other’s, moving slowly for a mere second before they both make the decision to deepen the kiss.
They both giggle as they stumble across the room, Jungkook’s eyes opening to make sure they don’t trip over anything as they make their way over to the bed. Taehyung pulls Jungkook down on the mattress with him as soon as his calves hit the bed frame, the younger now hovering over his body as they never break the kiss.
It was perfect, everything Taehyung had been longing to feel again for the last week, that is until he starts running out of breath. Before, he loved heated make-out sessions with Jungkook that always left him completely breathless, but now as he lungs start burning from lack of air all he can think about is what it felt like when he was in the water. He instantly panics, his breathing picking up as he tries his hardest to focus on kissing Jungkook and not being transported back to the worst time in his life. But he can’t, he can’t escape the memories that come flooding back to him.
Jungkook pulls away immediately when he feels Taehyung struggling for air, instantly sitting back on his heels and pulling the elder up with him. “Tae, baby, what’s wrong?”
“I- I- I’m s-sorry,” Taehyung pants out, tears spilling out of his eyes as Jungkook brings him into his embrace.
“Don’t be sorry, you have nothing to be sorry for.”
“I just- I- I couldn’t b-breathe, a-and I started thinking a-about-”
“Shh, just take deep breaths,” Jungkook whispers, holding Taehyung close as the elder cries into his neck.
They sit like that until Taehyung manages to calm down, neither of them knowing how long they had been sat there for. It’s quiet as Taehyung pulls back slightly, the only thing in the room that can be heard is his slight sniffles as Jungkook wipes his tears away with a sad smile.
“Stop apologising, none of this is your fault.”
“I just thought that if I was away from the water than everything could go back to normal, that I could go back to normal,” Taehyung shakily sighs, his eyes dropping down to look at his hands instead of the boy in front of him.
“Unfortunately it’s not that easy, baby.”
The room falls back into silence for a few minutes, this time being broken by Taehyung’s frustrated groan as he finally looks back up at Jungkook. “I just wanted to be with you like that again, but now I’ve gone and murdered the mood.”
“I’m just happy I even get to be with you, Tae. We’ll ease back into the whole intimacy thing, we don’t need to rush anything,” Jungkook says softly, the look in his eyes letting Taehyung know he means it.
“I love you so much, I honestly don’t know what I did to deserve someone as perfect as you.”
“You stole what I was going to say,” Jungkook laughs, his heart leaping when he sees Taehyung’s smile. “I love you so much, Tae.”
Taehyung giggles but soon cuts himself off with a yawn, the tiredness finally taking over him now that he was back to normal. As soon as Jungkook sees him yawn he immediately shuffles Taehyung to get under the covers, slipping off the bed so he could make sure he was tucked in properly.
“I need to get some food, I’m pretty sure my fridge and cupboards are completely bare. Will you be okay napping until I get back? I promise I’ll be as quick as I possibly can be.”
“I’d rather be cuddling you, but sure.” Taehyung sleepily mumbles as he snuggles further into the pillow, breathing in the scent of Jungkook that he’s now surrounded by.
“We can cuddle for as long as you like once I’m back.”
“Sleep well, angel.” Jungkook quietly says, leaning over Taehyung to place a lingering kiss on the top of his head. He makes sure Taehyung is asleep before he grabs his things to head to the store, hoping that the elder doesn’t have a nightmare when he’s gone. If he has to run around the store looking like a maniac just so he can get back to his boyfriend quicker, he’s more than willing to do just that.
When Taehyung wakes up he realises he’s still alone in Jungkook’s apartment so he knows he must have not been asleep for long. Instead of going back to sleep he decides to stay awake and wait for the younger to get back, after all, he hadn’t taken a good look around the place yet.
Jungkook’s apartment was small, kitchen, living area and bedroom all in one space with another door which he’s assuming leads to the bathroom. It was cute, the small armchair and sofa that didn’t completely match in front of a table with a laptop sat on top of, clearly what Jungkook uses instead of a TV. An empty kitchen that looks barely used, unsurprisingly so since the younger is forever saying he’s not a cook.
The bedroom area in the corner is what Taehyung thinks is the best part of the whole apartment, the cosy double bed which he’s still snuggled up in, dressed in light grey sheets. A small shelf displaying various Iron Man figures along with some sports trophies beside them which are all neatly arranged amongst each other. A picture of Yoongi and Jungkook sat proudly on the single nightstand beside the bed which Taehyung can’t help but smile at, next to the frame stood a lamp in the shape of a bunny. Everything was so Jungkook, and Taehyung already felt homely within the small space.
What catches Taehyung’s attention next is the painting displayed on the wall opposite the bed, something that makes him gasp when he gets a better look at it. He sits up and crawls to the edge of the bed to get a better look, completely and utterly taken aback by what he was seeing.
“Oh, you’re awake already,” Jungkook’s voice startles Taehyung, the elder so transfixed by staring at the painting he hadn’t even heard the apartment door open.
“Where did you get this painting?”
Jungkook sets the bags down on the kitchen counter before making his way over to the bed, sitting down on the edge beside Taehyung before looking up at the painting as well. “There was some art exhibition going on during the freshers fair when I first started at SNU, I heard there were some good artists in the school so I decided to take a look. I was drawn to this painting, something inside me told me I just had to have it for my apartment so I practically begged the person in charge to let me buy it. I offered all the money I had for food and rent at the time so the woman said she’ll speak to the owner and see if I could have it and to come back later, so I left and just spent the whole day praying the owner agreed.”
Taehyung listens to Jungkook silently as if it was the most interesting story in the world, the sight making the younger laugh slightly before continuing. “I was kind of hoping the person who painted it would be there when I came back, I wanted to know all about what inspired them to paint it but when I went back it was only the woman there again. She said they agreed for me to take it, and even let me have it for free since they were so honoured that someone wanted to buy their work. I hung it straight onto the wall once I came home, right opposite the bed since it calms me enough to help me sleep at night. I’m still a little sad I never got to thank the artist, this painting is the most amazing piece of art I’ve ever seen.”
The elder still doesn’t speak when Jungkook is finished telling his story which confuses him, until he thinks that maybe he’s insulted him by what he said since Taehyung was an aspiring artist as well. “I’m sure your work is just as good, when I see the art you’ve done I’ll probably want to display one of your paintings instead-”
“You already are,” Taehyung finally speaks, turning to Jungkook with a wide smile and sparkly eyes.
“That’s my painting.”
“It is?!” Jungkook all but shouts, completely shocked by the situation.
“I painted it last summer, it was an excuse to keep myself locked up in the house whilst we were on vacation. It’s the first piece of work I’ve ever been completely happy with so when I came back to SNU and I was told there would be a small exhibition I jumped at the chance for people to see it. I didn’t expect someone to actually want to buy it, but when my professor told me that she had a money offer for my work I actually cried with happiness. I wanted to meet the person that was so in love with what I created that they couldn’t leave without it, but I got scared and just told my professor to give it to them for free and tell them how thankful I was. I never even thought I’d see it again.”
Jungkook gapes at the other, taken aback by the irony of the situation. To think they could’ve met an entire year earlier than they did, it seemed like fate really wanted them together. “I can’t believe this.”
“Me neither. If I knew the boy wanting to buy my art was so cute I would’ve jumped at the opportunity to thank you in person,” Taehyung laughs, raising a hand to brush a stray red strand of hair from Jungkook’s forehead.
“God, I wish you would’ve.”
“Well we’re together now, and I can finally tell you about my inspiration if you’re still interested.”
“Yes, please!” Jungkook happily says, bouncing a little on the mattress in excitement. “You’re so incredibly talented, I don’t understand how your work isn’t already in galleries and hanging in fancy restaurants. I wasn’t kidding when I said this is the most amazing piece of art I’ve ever seen.”
Taehyung smiles before leaning in to kiss the younger, feeling so incredibly happy and honoured at the same time. “I can’t believe I’m dating my biggest fan,” he says once he pulls away, a smirk gracing his lips.
“I’ll always be your biggest fan, I was already willing to go without food and risk being kicked out of my apartment just so I could own your painting.”
“You’re crazy,” Taehyung laughs, leaning in for another kiss which is really just the two of them giggling against each other’s lips. “I love you more than you know.”
“I love you more,” Jungkook says back, smiling when Taehyung rolls his eyes at his competitiveness.
“Can I have my cuddles now? And I’ll tell you all about the painting.”
“I couldn’t think of anything better.”
They spend the rest of the night in Jungkook’s bed snuggled up, only moving when Jungkook remembers he needs to put the food he bought in the fridge and actually put together something for the both of them to eat. It truly was perfect, and Taehyung could not be more thrilled to be back home in Seoul and still with the person he loves more than anything.