☀︎ 6 ☀︎
The next morning at breakfast Taehyung felt much lighter, as if a massive weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He listened to the conversation going on within his family, not really joining but he found himself smiling at the meaningless chatter as appose to his usual frown sitting upon his face. The family were sitting at a small café that looked over the beach, one that they always loved to go to each morning as they all agreed that no other places beat the breakfast they have there.
Taehyung sipped on his hot chocolate, he really wished he could stand the taste of coffee as he could do with a caffeine boost after the late night he had. He ended up speaking to Jungkook on the beach until early hours of the morning, and although he was definitely feeling the effects from the lack of sleep he managed to get he couldn’t say he regretted spending his time there.
“Why are you so smiley this morning?” Jimin asked, not that he was at all complaining at the complete change in his best friend’s mood.
“Am I? I hadn’t noticed.” Taehyung lies, of course he noticed how much happier he was feeling today and how much he had been smiling at random strangers that passed by. Jimin gives him a questioning look before returning to the conversation everyone else was having, keeping an eye on Taehyung for anymore strange behaviour.
Taehyung goes back to looking around the area, his eyes scanning the beach beneath him. He smiles even wider when he sees Jungkook dragging surfboards along the sand, his beautiful red hair shining brightly under the morning sun. Jungkook seems to feel the stare and glances up, returning the smile and giving an enthusiastic wave in the direction of Taehyung. The older boys cheeks instantly tint a light shade a pink, embarrassed that he had been caught staring, he gives a shy smile and a small wave back before looking back down at the table.
“I should’ve known he was the reason.” Jimin whispers across the table.
“Jungkook, of course! What happened between you two to make you all happy and shit?”
“I went out for a walk last night seen as I wasn’t tired and I bumped into him on the beach, no big deal.” Taehyung shrugs.
Jimin scoffs loudly, shaking his head at the youngers words. “‘No big deal’? You finally talked to the man of your dreams!”
“Well, yeah, I guess.”
“Why are you being so coy about it?”
“I’m not, It’s just- I don’t know? He’s really, really sweet. He offered to help overcome my phobia even though he doesn’t have to, how adorable is that? I honestly think he could be the perfect guy for me but... I’m scared, I guess? He’s got that other guy already, what if I get in too deep and he decides he prefers him over me?” Taehyung sighs, slumping back in his chair.
“Tae, you need to have more faith in yourself. Of course, it’s a possibility that he’ll choose the other guy but you need to at least give it a shot. Besides, he’s offered to spend more time with you, show him how much better you are!” Jimin shoots him an encouraging smile which Taehyung instantly returns.
“Yeah. Yeah, I can do that. Screw that other guy, Jungkook will be mine.”
“That’s the Tae we all know and love.” Jimin laughs before throwing a grape in Taehyung’s direction, both of them giggling loudly when it bounces off his nose and rolls onto the floor.
Mr. Kim sighs at the two of them, “Boys don’t play with food. You are twenty, not two.”
Both of the boys mutter a ‘sorry’ to him, although they can’t help but still laugh under their breath every time they make eye contact with each other.
“Do you want to go for dinner tonight? I heard about this great seafood place at the other end of the beach.” Mingyu offers when they’re packing the surfboards away after a long day.
Jungkook yawns loudly as he stretches out his aching muscles, “I can’t tonight, sorry. I think I’ll go back to the cabin and nap, I’m beat.”
“That’s cool. Another time then?”
“Yeah, definitely. See you tomorrow.” Jungkook smiles sweetly before heading off. He really did need to have a nap before meeting Taehyung later, he was on the verge of exhaustion already.
Jungkook was thankful that the beach cabin him and Yoongi were staying in was close by, he just hoped that he could convince Yoongi to grab him some food before the elders shift started at the bar.
“How was work?” Yoongi asks as the younger enters the cabin.
“Tiring, as per. I need a nap before I actually die.” Jungkook groans as he flops himself down on his bed, the tired springs creaking from his weight beneath him.
“I have an hour before my shift, want me to grab you some food?”
“This is exactly why you’re my best friend. Could you get me pizza?”
“Pizza it is, I’ll be back soon.” Yoongi laughs before leaving the room.
Jungkook instantly closes his eyes and feels himself drifting into a peaceful sleep, everything else fading out and he allows himself to be pulled in.
Jungkook awakens a few hours later, he quickly checks his phone and sighs in relief when he sees it’s only eight pm and he hasn’t missed the time he is supposed to be meeting Taehyung. He glances around the room and sees a pizza box laying on the small table in the kitchen area, a note laying carefully on top of it. The boy stumbles over to it, still not fully awake as he picks up and skims the note that reads, ‘I didn’t want to wake you, but I know you love cold pizza anyway. You know where I am if you need me. -Yoongz’. Jungkook smiles at the note before grabbing a slice of pizza, humming in delight from the delicious taste of it, he really did have the greatest best friend in the entire universe.
He devours a couple more slices before throwing on a different shirt and a pair of shorts, he knew Taehyung wouldn’t have the confidence to go into the sea any future than ankle deep so he doesn’t need to put on swimming trunks or take a change of clothes. Checking the time one final time he see’s that he only has fifteen minutes before the meeting, so he grabs one last slice of pizza and exits the cabin quickly.
Jungkook takes a leisurely stroll down the beach as he enjoys the nighttime breeze, loving the calming sounds of the waves as the lapped onto the sand. Everything was so peaceful, he always loved being by the sea more than being in the city, which just makes it more strange that he decided to move away from Busan to live in Seoul, but he decides to never dwell on that fact of his life.
Taehyung was already waiting on the sand for his arrival, which made him smile at the elder’s promptness. “Hey. Have you been waiting long?” He asks as he stands beside the other.
Taehyung shakes his head with a smile settled naturally onto his face, “I just got here.” He goes to stand and Jungkook holds out his hands to help him up which the elder gladly accepts, both of them shivering slightly as their skin makes contact for the first time. Taehyung clears his throat quickly once he’s on his feet, retracting his hands back faster than the speed of light.
“I was thinking we could start slowly, taking baby steps is the best way to not overwhelm you, right? So we can just stand where the sea meets the sand and allow it to come to us.” Jungkook quickly says, trying to play off the previous occurrence.
“‘Allow it to come to us’? Is the sea a dog now?” Taehyung jokes.
“I mean, if it helps you to think of it that way, then sure.”
“Oh hell no, I love dogs too much to put them alongside the ocean in my mind.”
Jungkook laughs at the other before making his way towards the water, stopping himself once he realises Taehyung was not following. “Aren’t you coming?”
“I-uh... yeah?” It was definitely more of a question than an answer, which Jungkook doesn’t allow to slide.
“You can hold my hand if it makes you feel less nervous.” The younger offers, holding his hand out towards Taehyung to be able to take.
Taehyung knows that taking Jungkook’s hand will only make him feel more nervous, but in a completely different way then facing his fear does. He inhales deeply before accepting the offer, deciding that he shouldn’t allow such a perfect opportunity to hold Jungkook’s hand pass him by. Jungkook leads them both down the beach, stopping when they were a couple of steps away from the incoming tide.
“Deep breaths, ok? It can’t hurt you, remember that.” Jungkook encourages as he steps the rest of the way forward, only close enough to the sea that it runs over their feat with every passing wave.
Taehyung tenses when he feels the first cold mass of water lap over his feet, gripping Jungkook’s hand tighter as he squeezes his eyes shut and focuses on not having a panic attack.
Instantly the elder relaxes, but not because he was convinced he wasn’t about to be pulled into his death, no. He relaxed by how heavenly the name ‘Tae’ sounded escaping Jungkook’s lips, his nickname had definitely never before sounded so sweet to his ears.
“Do you think you’re ready to open your eyes?” Jungkook cautiously asks, he felt Taehyung relax so he knows he must be feeling at least slightly calmer now.
“Erm- I could try? Maybe... Yeah.” Taehyung had an internal conflict with himself before forcing himself to squint his eyes open and stare at the vast amount of ocean ahead of him, instantly freezing back up and finding it hard to breathe.
“Are you okay?” Jungkook panics, feeling Taehyung grip his hand tighter than ever, it’s clear the answer was no. “Breathe, Tae. It’s okay, I’m here.”
“I w-want t-to go, I c-can’t... I-I...” Taehyung tries to pull away and run, tears pricking at his eyes as he tries not to stare at the water in front of him, tries to block out the deafening sounds of the waves crashing into the shore.
Jungkook doesn’t let the elder’s hand go even though he’s trying to pull away as hard as he could, he knows that if he lets him go he’ll run off and he can’t allow him to be alone, not now. The younger instead quickly heads away from the water and sets them both down on the sand, coaxing Taehyung to look at him and breathe carefully.
Taehyung seems to calm down after a couple of minutes, Jungkook coaching him through his panic attack until it finally dies down to soft sniffles and shaky breaths. “I’m sorry,” the elder mumbles, feeling embarrassed about the whole situation.
“Don’t be. It’s your first time being that close to the sea in a long time, It’s understandable that you freaked out. I didn’t expect this to be an easy process anyway, I’m more than prepared.” Jungkook says with a comforting smile, enough to make the elder believe every word he was saying.
“Do you really think I can overcome this? I’m actually losing faith after that episode.” Taehyung bitterly laughs.
“I’m sure you’re strong enough, you just have to believe in yourself more.” Jungkook unconsciously rubs circles on the back of Taehyung’s hand with his thumb.
Taehyung slightly jumps from the motion, he didn’t even realise his hand was still in Jungkook’s so the feeling was completely unexpected, but it definitely wasn’t unwanted. “I hope I don’t have a panic attack every time, I feel drained now.”
Jungkook laughs at the words, happy that Taehyung is now feeling better and can joke about the situation. “I’m sure it’ll get easier, we just need to keep at it.”
Taehyung smiles and nods, he wants to believe that was true, maybe if he tells himself it enough then it really will get easier. He was thankful that Jungkook was so comforting and supportive, which only makes him see how just how much of an amazing boyfriend he would truly be. He smiles at the thought before following Jungkook’s gaze out into the sea, the sight less threatening now he was further away from it. They sat there in comforting silence with their hands still intertwined, neither of them moving away from the contact as they allowed the night to pass them by.