Colouring pencils, his DS, spare pair of undies, three different kinds of lollipops and a plastic fork.
He's always prepared.
Jeongguk adds a pack of stickers, just in case. Never know when you're gonna need them.
He sighs, conflicted. This is tough.
He needs to be delicate about this. "They don't like you."
"They think you're scarwy." Jeongguk sighs.
Taehyung processes that, looking down at himself. He looks at his sharp black claws and and tongues over his fangs.
He /knows/ he looks cuddly.
Jeongguk zips up his bag and looks at Taehyung, hating to see him sad. He climbs up onto Taehyung's lap. "TehTeh..." he starts holding his face.
"Are you mad?"
"/No!/" He scoffs, then sniffs. "Like I care..."
But now he scoffs. "Intimidating how? They haven't even /seen/ intimidating," Taehyung growls, skin starting to look less human, gaining a glow.
Taehyung whines, skin gaining a healthy flush again almost instantly. "Goo! Stoooop!"
Jeongguk relents once Taehyung sulks out an apology, bottom fangs poking out. "See?"
"This is why you scare them," Jeongguk explains maturely.
"Pffffft," Taehyung spits, laying back on the bed dramatically, folding his arms over his chest. He kicks his legs childishly, jostling Jeongguk, who has enough experience to wait it out. "Tiny wimps!"
Jeongguk climbs off his lap and pulls his backpack on. "I have to go."
Gone is the demon and back is the baby.
"A few hours."
A few hours turns into a full on sleepover.
"Dubu, no!" Taehyung sobs, staring at the boss as she talks to one of the kid's parents over the phone. "He needs to come home! Right! Now!"
He flits around the room, babbling jibberish.
"Na jah bli!"
The boss is oblivious.
He's tempted to go to Jeongguk, he can find him in seconds, can see him in his head.
Instead he goes somewhere else.
It makes Taehyung smile for the first time since Jeongguk left. "Hi, Joonie."
Namjoon takes his hand, pulling him towards the bed. "I missed you."
Since Jeongguk started elementary school, they've all been a little scattered. He can't be with them all at once like he used to when they were younger.
But he tries to see them as often as he can.
He thinks Namjoon knows he's sad, keeps shooting him worried looks and gives him a toy to cuddle.
"What's wrong, Tae?" Namjoon asks gently, petting at Taehyung's tail.
"Googie hates me and wishes I was dead."
Or there's... that.
Taehyung blinks. "Okay, that's not true. I know that's not true, I'm just." He sighs, staring down at the teddy in his lap. He strokes over a fluffy ear. "Googie's making other friends now, and I'm happy, but..."
"You miss him."
Taehyung nods sadly.
Namjoon nods. "Jeonggukkie loves you though, Tae. He'd never not like you. He always talks about you."
"Try not to worry. It'll be okay," Namjoon nods, confident.
He wishes he could stop. He doesn't want Namjoon to think he hasn't helped so he nods, tries to take his words on board.
Getting left behind.
He has the dents in his tail to prove it.
That doesn't reflect on Jeongguk, though. That's Taehyung's own baggage and he has to deal with that.
Namjoon watches on, slightly horrified and hands over the 6th apple juice. "I-I think you've had enough..."
"I know my limits!" Taehyung sniffs, stabbing the straw through the tiny hole and drinks quickly.
Namjoon offers for him to stay the night, but Taehyung wants to be back in Jeongguk's room.
He'll be okay. He knows he will be.
It would be good got him to start it up again.
He flips it open and reads through some of the past entries, all done in different coloured pencils. There's a few notes by Jeongguk that are mostly scribbles.
'GOO + TEH 4 EVER'
He smiles at Jeongguk's messy scrawl, and nods.
"Forever," he repeats with certainty, flipping to the next page to start writing in a bold orange.
Sorry it's been so long, I didn't mean to leave you all alone. I was just having so much fun with my Googie bear, I didn't have time! I promise I'll try harder to fill your pages so your purpose is fulfilled! :D
Googie's older now. He's really shot up! :D
Goo's busier now, though. I got sad today when he went out with his new friends, but it's ok! Joonie told me it'll be ok and I trust him.
Think I'm gonna make something for Goo when he comes home tomorrow, show him I missed him!!
What should I make him?? Hmmm..... (O∆O)
Alright diary, I better go and get started. Thanks for hearing me out, I hope you're doing well too.
｀(^▼^)´↑ <--- Me!!!'
Doesn't mean he doesn't use his abilities to help him along, though.
Taehyung doesn't care. That 'god' once called him stupid, and now look at him.
In the unemployment line.
So he waits patiently.
Taehyung grins as he listens to him, following behind the pair, nodding along even though it's not directed at him.
While Taehyung waits, he decides to draw a picture for Jeongguk to go with his necklace, giving him more time to talk to the boss.
Little stars and hearts float across the page.
"TehTeh! I had the best time ever!" He throws his bag down and starts to unpack it as he once again recounts his day as Taehyung listens to every word.
When he does finally pause, Taehyung holds the little bag and drawing in his hands up. "I made you something!"
"That ruby is from my home," Taehyung explains with a smile. "It's really special. I look at it when I get homesick."
Taehyung shows him the drawing that goes along with it, and Jeongguk giggles. "Do you like it?"
"I do!" Jeongguk's staring over the drawing before he gasps. "I got something for you, too!"
"We made them and I saved one for you," Jeongguk says, handing it over.
Taehyung gasps, eyes wide.
"Thank you," he says, chest warm.
"I got other stuff to show you!" Jeongguk adds, dropping his bag on Taehyung's gifts.
Taehyung gasps and nods along eagerly to what Jeongguk's saying, cupcake cradled protectively in his claws.
Taehyung looks down at the paper, watching the little animation of Jeongguk jumping into his arms and smiles.
The stars and hearts burst across the page into writing.
GOO + TEH 4 EVER
"Forever," Taehyung whispers into the empty room, holding his cupcake again.
if you know me, you know i can't write angst for long, so just,,, bare with it
be back tomorrow ! ! !
Writing is easy. He can't believe Tolkien needed to strike up a contract for it.
"It's boring for you, TehTeh," he shrugs, going through his homework.
Taehyung sits next to him like usual, own pencil and paper in hand so he can do his "homework" too. "Boring?"
Taehyung stares at the side of his face and he immediately knows it's a brush off. He's been keeping his distance when they're at school, or he gets dirty looks.
"Oh. Okay," he nods with a little smile, lowering his pencil. "That's really nice of you, Googie."
Jeongguk grins at him, focus back on is work.
The best days are when Jeongguk comes home and want to play with him. When they cuddle and eat snacks in front of the TV.
But those days seem to be getting fewer and further apart.
But it's okay, because Jeongguk grinning at him when he comes home is enough for Taehyung.
He's happy if Jeongguk's happy. Always.
"You were so brave, Googie!" Taehyung tells him while Jeongguk pouts, dinosaur bandaid on his arm.
Taehyung bends his head to press a kiss over the bandaid, holds his lips there until the skin gets cooler and his own arm throbs. "There," he says. "How's that?"
It's not something Taehyung's really allowed to do, there's rules against it, but he'd rather be told off than see Jeongguk hurting another second.
It's recess, so Jeongguk's friends are all waiting for him in the playground when they arrive.
"Bye, Googie!" Taehyung calls after him, standing by the car as the boss takes him inside.
"TaeTae!" a voice squeaks from the playground.
Taehyung looks over to see Jimin with his chubby face squished up against the chain link fence. "Jiminie!" he beams, heading over.
Taehyung swallows, throat tight. He giggles around a grin, shoulders bunching up. "Just at home."
Jimin frowns, hand tightening on his. "Someone's pants are on fire."
Taehyung checks himself with a sigh. "Again?"
"No, TaeTae! It means you're lying," Jimin tells him, tugging his hand.
Jimin doesn't smile back. "Come play with me, TaeTae. We can go see the hyungs!"
"You want me to stay?" Taehyung asks, surprised. "Your friends might not like me."
"Then they're not my friends," Jimin huffs. "Come on."
Jimin follows his gaze and tightens his hand on his as he starts pulling him away, glare deep on his face.
Taehyung grins and waves at all the kids that greet him as they pass, shouting out greetings to him. "Hi, guys!"
"TaeTae! Where have you been?" one of them asks, hugging his leg.
Taehyung is elated, hasn't smiled this much in a while. "Just away. Is it okay if I sit with you?"
He rubs at his arm.
"Why is your weird friend back?" someone says.
Someone points over at him and there he is, sitting amongst a group of kids who are burying his feet in the sand and putting little butterfly clips in his hair. His eyes shift over and—oh.
Jimin's glaring at him.
His eyes flicker back to Taehyung who's having his hair put into pigtails. He's got his big square smile on that Jeongguk hasn't seen in ages.
"TehTeh," Jeongguk says quietly, knows Taehyung will hear him.
Taehyung's head snaps up, looking over at him instantly, eyes wide.
Taehyung's in front of him in a flash. He looks anxious. "Um."
"He asked me to play with him," Taehyung says quietly, small.
Said Jimin is marching his way over.
Taehyung looks down at his feet, eyes flickering to the kids behind Jeongguk, then back down. "Didn't want to upset anyone."
"TaeTae!" Jimin calls, stopping a few feet away. "C'mon. I have some animal crackers."
"/I'm/ talking to him, hyung."
Jeongguk frowns. "What?"
"TaeTae," Jimin repeats, ignoring Jeongguk. He holds his hand out. "Jiminie look after you."
Jeongguk tugs Taehyung behind him. "He's not yours to look after. He's mine."
"Let him take the freak!" his friend snickers.
Taehyung's chin starts to tremble a little, biting down on his bottom lip. " I don't mind going."
"No!" Jimin and Jeongguk says in unison.
"Ooh!" his friends tease.
"TehTeh," Jeongguk tries again, squeezing his fingers.
Taehyung has his eyes squeezed shut, shaking. And when he opens his eyes—
"Ew, what is that!" a boy to the side yells.
"What a freak, what is that?" the voices don't stop now and Taehyung pulls his hands away to wipe at his face quickly.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he repeats, frantic. "I didn't mean to."
Seokjin comes marching over, Yoongi in tow.
"What do you think you're doing to Tae?" Yoongi demands, looking at Jeongguk's friends. "How about I make you cry?"
Seokjin takes one look at Taehyung and scowls. "You hurt our friend."
He doesn't know what happens next. But Hoseok and Namjoon are soon there too, telling off Jeongguk's— peers.
"Jeongguk," Namjoon says.
"We need to talk."
Jeongguk's still staring after Taehyung, though, watching the hyungs, other kids he doesn't know gather around Taehyung, worried. "I need—"
"—to listen to me."
"TaeTae is hurting."
"Yeah, I know! And I'm trying to go fix it."
Namjoon squeezes his shoulder gently. "Not just today, Gukkie. For a while now."
Jeongguk frowns. "What? No, he's been fine. It was just today."
Namjoon gives him a look.
"He came to me a while ago," Namjoon tells him, not appreciating the attitude. He folds his arms over his chest. "He told me himself."
Jeongguk blinks, shocked. "He went to you?"
"He said your friends didn't like him." Namjoon raises his eyebrows. "And you knew that, didn't you?"
Jeongguk swallows, looking down. He frowns. "Yes." He scuffs his foot on the ground. "That's why I told him not to come here anymore."
Jeongguk stares at his shoes until they start to blur at the edges. "I didn't mean to hurt him..." he sniffs. "He's been sad a long time? On his own?"
"I left him alone," Jeongguk realises, looking back up at Namjoon. "He hates being alone and I left him."
It makes his heart hurt, knowing Taehyung just /let/ him too.
Jeongguk wonders if he's done that with not just Taehyung, but the hyungs, too. He never meant to hurt anyone, he was just happy to be included and liked by people he /thought/ were cool.
And he was wrong.
Namjoon blinks, surprised. "About what?"
"You said TehTeh's my friend. He's not my friend."
Namjoon frowns, opening his mouth to protest.
"He's my /best/ friend."
He marches off, leaving Namjoon to quickly follow after him, slightly terrified.
He needs a juice box.
He's not sure he'll forgive himself for letting Taehyung get so sad. He needs to make it right.
"TehTeh?" he calls softly.
He really doesn't want Taehyung to be anxious around him, he hates it.
Taehyung gets up, smiling down at Jimin when he tries to stop him as if he wasn't half his size. "It's okay."
Jimin glares at Jeongguk.
As soon as they're away, Taehyung kneeling in front of him, Jeongguk throws his arms around him and squeezes him tight. "Googie sorry TehTeh..."
"Nu, it's not okay," Jeongguk shuts down quickly, pulling back to squish Taehyung's cheeks. "It's not."
Taehyung's eyes go wide and his face softens. "Really?" he checks, voice too soft.
"Really. Us foreber."
Jimin forgives him quickly, tackling him in a cuddle. "Don't hurt him, Gukkie," he warns quietly, however. "Or I'll take him."
"Bye bye!" Taehyung calls out, waving them off.
They frown, and Jeongguk takes his hand. "You're coming too, TehTeh."
Taehyung blinks, letting himself be pulled along. "You're sure?"
Jeongguk grins. "I am."
He swears to himself to never make Taehyung cry again.
He wants to see him smiling, always.
And he'll try his hardest to keep it there.
save it for when they're teenagers
the angst is over for now, take a breath, you did it!!
c u soon 💐
Seokjin clutches the bowl protectively. "Hand over the gummy worms and we can talk."
It's their first big sleepover all together and they're already fighting over snacks.
It's been a while since they've all hung out together since they parted ways a little, but now they're back together!
Or, Taehyung on the floor, with Jimin and Jeongguk on his lap.
Hence Taehyung having to balance them both precariously so they don't fall off.
Yoongi is glaring daggers at them too. Pout on his face.
"I don't think so," Jeongguk grumbles and Taehyung jostles him.
Yoongi huffs, wrapping the blanket tighter around himself, making a show of trembling.
Not the smartest plan.
"Tae, your horns are in the way," Hoseok says, patting them softly.
They both share a little look, maybe a little competitive but turn back to the screen.
There's a girl with long hair and a well and a video tape you're not meant to watch. They're all hiding their eyes.
Minus Taehyung who's just... confused, squinting at the screen.
Spirits? Pft. Please.
They're all bark and no bite. He has no time for water ghosts. All they do is make a mess that somebody else has to clean up.
He has a cousin who dated a water ghost. Slippery.
"Unbelievable. I mean how selfish can you be?" he scoffs, oblivious to everyone close to tears. "Water spirit? More like water /damage/ spirit. That's just-- just disrespectful!"
Towards the end of the movie, it's just him, popcorn in hand, eating away in a constant state of disappointment.
"There's a second one!" he barks out, laughing. He goes to look back at the others. "Do you—"
He freezes when he sees the empty room, just Yoongi's dog laid out on her back on the couch, fast asleep.
Immediately, the six of them start to scream.
In turn Taehyung screams.
They all stare up at Taehyung.
Taehyung stares down at them.
"Why are we screaming?"
"TaeTae!" they all start sobbing, climbing off the bed and throwing themselves at him.
"T-The movie was so scary!" Hoseok sniffs, rubbing his face on Taehyung.
Jeongguk nods against his shoulder, wrapping his arms around Taehyung's neck. "Very."
Taehyung frowns, staring down at all the teary faces. He hates seeing them look so upset, clearly shaken.
They all stare up at him in wonder, clutching onto his shirt. "Promise?" Jimin squeaks.
Taehyung glows with sincerity. "I'll protect you all with my life."
That seems to aid in soothing them, and he sets Jeongguk down so they can all have a cuddle. He wipes their sticky faces and pulls lollipops from thin air for them.
"Like what?" Seokjin asks, lips going green from his sucker.
They all think.
"Oh! My cousin told me about how she dyed her hair with Kool-Aid once! We could try!" Jimin suggests.
Jeongguk tries to pull his hair down over his forehead, going cross-eyed in the process.
They all gasp, eyes wide.
"TehTeh..." Jeongguk reaches out and pets over his white hair, smacking away Jimin's hand. "It white!"
The chaos begins.
They drag Taehyung downstairs and after an argument, they decide to section his hair into six segments to have their own creative freedom.
Jeongguk is the one is segment Taehyung's hair, not letting trusting anyone else to do it.
Taehyung sits happily, eating popcorn.
Needless to say, the Kool-Aid goes everywhere, all over Taehyung's clothes and in his ears and on his horns.
But he doesn't mind. All of them giggling makes the stickiness worth it.
"Careful!" Jeongguk will snap every now and then if his head is pulled back. "Gentle with TehTeh!"
Taehyung goes and rinses his hair and his grin slips when he looks at himself in the mirror.
Taehyung scowls, staring at the lovely creations his tiny friends made, faded and sad looking.
Fists bang at the door. "TaeTae! Hurry up!"
"One second!" he calls back.
He can fix this.
"It looks so cool!" Seokjin yells, all of them immediately fawning over Taehyung's bright, vibrant hair.
"You all did amazing!" he praises, kneeling so they can see their hard work.
"Thank you," he tells them, chin pillowed between Yoongi and Namjoon's shoulders. "I've never looked better!"
They end up in a puppy pile, giggling and happy.
He wears it proudly, pulled back in hairstyles the girls at school like to put him in.
Everyone's happy. He's happy.
"You guys must have just done a really good job."
imagine if i just ended it like "taehyung really shouldn't play with his food." would i be beaten to a pulp.
this'll be ending soon, friends!!! maybe a few more, i don't want it to be insanely long.
Taehyung whines, grabbing his pillow to cover his face. "No more!"
Jeongguk bounces his weight stubbornly and Taehyung wheezes. "Ah!" he demands, gruff.
Jeongguk huffs. "Make me."
Taehyung blinks. "Are you kidding."
"Goo," he sighs. "I thought you wanted to practice."
"I do," Jeongguk nods. "But see if you can throw me off first. Bet you can't."
"Throw me off!" Jeongguk squeaks, voice breaking. That's been happening a lot lately, the pitch in his voice changing and Taehyung got launched across the room the first time he laughed.
He's learnt his lesson and keeps quiet.
Still cute, though.
"Weakling! Can't, can you?" Jeongguk eggs on, grinning down at him. "You're too weak, Tae."
But maybe Jeongguk would like Japan.
Jeongguk pets at Taehyung's hair. "It's okay, TehTeh. I'll always protect you," he promises. "Forever."
Just Googie and TehTeh.
It's rarer these days, when Jeongguk looks at him like he's still his whole world.
He knows he's not. And that's okay.
Taehyung just has to remind himself of that sometimes.
He just forgets sometimes, that's all.
Taehyung gets up with a bit more difficulty, ankles and knees sore, wincing to himself.
Once Jeongguk's inhaled his breakfast, they're out in the backyard, Jeongguk warming up, eager.
They have to put him in oven mitts since he's burst too many of the balls with his claws.
He's gotten better, he thinks, but Jeongguk still obliterates him, gets more goals than Taehyung saves.
"Try harder, Tae, c'mon!" Jeongguk complains.
Next time he misses a goal, Jeongguk groans. The limp he had yesterday is long gone as he marches over to Taehyung, snatching the ball away.
Taehyung watches Jeongguk kick the ball over the fence and just like every time he does it, Taehyung goes to retrieve it and returns before Jeongguk's even stormed inside.
It's no surprise to Taehyung that Jeongguk makes the team. He doubts himself so much, but he's beyond talented and maybe he's biased, but Taehyung thinks he was easily the best one there.
He gets Jeongguk the video game he wanted instead.
Jimin comes and picks Jeongguk up from school most days and Taehyung always grins at his arrival.
Jimin smiles, eyeing the space beside Jeongguk. "Hi, TaeTae. How're you?"
"I'm good! Did you finish your book report?"
"He didn't," Jeongguk snorts, stepping out the door. "Gotta go, we're late."
His throat ticks as he swallows a thick lump and waves until the pair of them disappear.
He's so happy. He is.
The yell he lets out makes Taehyung's blood chill and he has to fight instincts to not destroy a /child/.
But Googie's hurt.
"It's okay, Googie," Taehyung promises him, eyes sharp as he watches the humans handle his boy.
Jeongguk cries once they're alone, clutching at Taehyung's shirt. "Please..." he pleads softly, tears soaking his shoulder and Taehyung nods.
He'll take the pain away.
But how can he not take it?
He bows his head and presses a kiss to the hot skin, already starting to bruise and feels it run through his body, the slow build-up of pain.
Jeongguk sighs in relief, still sniffling and rotates his ankle carefully. "Thank you, TehTeh."
Taehyung smiles, suddenly tired. "Anytime."
Taehyung is relieved. "Of course you can. You're strong."
Jeongguk wipes his face with a grin. "Coming?"
"I'll just clean this up," he assures. "You go."
When their team win, Taehyung's face lights up watching Jeongguk run around, smile the biggest he's seen it in a long time, beyond happy.
He thinks he stands there for hours, wobbling out to the middle of the pitch and sits down in the centre.
"You're breaking, Taehyung," a voice says.
He's Tae. TehTeh.
"I'm fine," he says, eyes up on the sky.
"You've been here for so long now. Why don't you just come home? Break the bond."
"I said no, Bogum."
Taehyung blinks up at the sky. Things were once so much easier. "I owe him everything. I'll leave when he doesn't need me anymore."
"He already doesn't."
Taehyung winces, pained.
Taehyung swallows. "I'm sure father has it under control. I bet he was happy to see the back of me."
Bogum moves to stand in front of him. "You know that's not true, sire."
"Jeongguk loves me."
Bogum blinks. "Loves?"
Bogum scoffs. "Don't be absurd! We're not—"
"We're not capable of love?" Taehyung finishes, eyes sharp as they lift to Bogum. "Well, maybe I'm special, then! Because I do. I'd do anything for him."
"Like hurt yourself?"
"You're taking pain that isn't yours. You can't absorb it, Taehyung. No matter how much you try. It's against the rules for a reason," Bogum talks to him like a child.
As if Taehyung weren't his prince.
"I know he's human!" Taehyung snaps again, the world trembling.
"What if he never releases the bond?" Bogum demands. "You'll just fade into the background of his life!?"
"Are you?" Bogum shoots back.
"Compared to what I was before I left, yes. I'm happy," Taehyung says. "We're best friends."
"Taehyung... He's growing out of you. You know that."
Taehyung sniffs. "I'm aware."
"That's final. Leave me now."
His shoulders droop and his ankle burns.
Taehyung knows he has to prepare for anything. Bogum's right, knows.
But Taehyung will keep his promise to Jeongguk.
just a reminder that this does have a happy ending, this is just part of life's struggles!!! HAVE FAITH IN ME
that being said, see you in three months 😎
Billions of years old, but time on earth seems to go by so much slower. It never used to; it used to fly by, but now it feels like each day is a century long.
Minutes feel like days, seconds feel like hours.
Taehyung just didn't expect to be one of the things getting left behind.
High school suits Jeongguk. He excels in it. Good grades, lots of friends, work driven.
Jeongguk gets a girlfriend. Then a boyfriend. Then a job.
He's never home anymore, only ever to sleep and eat.
He doesn't blame Jeongguk. He really doesn't. People grow and evolve, and Taehyung /can't/.
He's old but he's frozen.
"Good morning, Googie," he'll return. "Any good dreams?"
"Nah," Jeongguk will say before grabbing his phone, ending the conversation.
Taehyung often goes back to the book that started it all, flip to his page and stare at the red crayon scribbled over his sigil and laughs quietly, so fond.
And the tiny human had said, "Googie."
Black drops hit the page, soaking into the old paper, blurring the crayon.
He decides to put Jeongguk's clean laundry away to be helpful, knows he's studying hard for a test coming up over at the library.
Taehyung accidentally knocks down a whole pile of shirts at the back and kneels down to pick them up, spotting something.
Pulling the box closer, Taehyung looks through and finds his things. His drawings, his gifts, his old journals.
Boxes of old memories.
Everything Jeongguk has grown out of.
"No. I'm not being forgotten. No, no!"
Taehyung paces around Jeongguk's room, needing him to come home now.
By midnight, Taehyung is shaking and his whole body aches, every injury he's ever taken seemingly there, but it doesn't match the pain in his chest.
1AM comes and Taehyung goes to find Jeongguk.
He spots Jeongguk standing around a firepit, arm slung around his current girlfriend, laughing away.
Jeongguk is talking to his friends and briefly spares Taehyung a nod without pausing conversation.
"G-Googie. Can we talk for a minute? Please?" Taehyung pleads.
Jeongguk subtly scowls at him, shaking his head.
Jeongguk's friends laugh at whatever he says and Jeongguk shoots Taehyung another look. "Go home," he mouths.
Taehyung is practically vibrating, skin seemingly turning grey, features getting sharper. "Jeongguk!" he snaps and the fire roars violently.
Taehyung seems to be rippling, black tendrils of smoke rolling off him. "I just. Want. A /minute/," he hisses and beer bottles start bursting in people's hands, thunder clapping above.
He takes him down the side of the house, no one around.
"You didn't come home! What else was I meant to do? Wait around again?"
Taehyung softens a little, stepping closer. "Can we just go home? I don't like it here."
Jeongguk leans back to check again and Taehyung bristles once more.
"You're not even paying attention to me!"
"I thought you liked me for who I am, huh?" Taehyung's skin looks like marble, cold and shiny. Hard. No warmth. "This is me! Don't you love me like this?"
Taehyung's eyes gleam like hellfire for half a second. "I told you. Let's go home. Just be with /me/! For one night!"
"And do what?" Jeongguk snaps. "Colour?"
"I'm not coming home!"
Taehyung's whole body seems to grow, ears sharp and the black of his eyes spreading over his temples and cheeks in thin veins. "Yes!"
"Why can't you just spend time with me?!"
"Because I don't need you with me anymore!" Jeongguk yells, facing Taehyung again. "I've grown up, I can do things on my own now! I'm not a kid!"
Taehyung goes dead still.
The bond fractures.
"Just leave, okay?" Jeongguk breathes, looking over his shoulder when his name is called. "I can't do this."
After a moment he turns and leaves, returning to his friends.
Taehyung remains, watching him go.
There's no weight in his chest anymore, nothing tethering him to earth.
He picks up the demonology book one last time before he goes.
He smiles. "Bye, dubu. Take care of him," he whispers. "Take care of our boy."
Thunder rolls through the clouds and Taehyung is gone.
He goes home after another hour, his mom in bed and when he finds his room empty but tidy, he droops.
"Tae," he sighs.
"Listen, I know you're mad at me," Jeongguk says into the air. "I'm sorry. Please come out and talk to me?"
Jeongguk rubs a hand over his face and nods. He deserves that.
Once he's gone and cleaned up, got ready for bed, Taehyung still isn't back.
In the morning, Jeongguk stretches out as he wakes. "Morning, Tae," he croaks.
"Nah," he replies on instinct, reaching for his phone before pausing.
Jeongguk sits up, looking around. Everything feels so cold and he feels so... wrong. Sick and sore and his head throbs.
"Tae?" he calls out. He wraps the covers around himself, shaking. "Tae."
'Isn't this Tae's drawing?' Namjoon texts, a photo attached of a crayon drawing of Namjoon and Tae.
'Left me a book too.'
'I got a drawing too.' Yoongi says. 'And a blanket lol. It's really warm. Tell Tae thanks for me.'
'He gave me the friendship bracelet I made him back tho.' Jimin texts.
'Yeah, he gave me my yellow hat back.' Hoseok adds.
"Tae!" he yells, pushing through the pain and yanks his door open, panicking. "Tae!"
"Tae!" Jeongguk keeps yelling, searching through every room. "Tae, come out!"
When he gets downstairs, his mom rushes to his side. "Jeongguk, you look terrible! Sit down right now."
"No. No, no, no. I-I can't!"
"Ah! H-He has to come when I say ah, he has to!" Jeongguk cries, slapping the table. "Ah, Tae!"
It takes him a moment before it all comes crashing back and he's up on his feet again, can hear his mom on the phone as he heads upstairs.
He goes into his closet, finds Taehyung's things in the box and seeing them like that makes him stop.
Jeongguk can hardly breathe. "What did I do."
The demonology book sits at the top and he flips through it.
"C'mon, c'mon, c'mon," he whispers.
He stops when a cleaner page sits between the book, in place of a torn-out page.
Taehyung's writing stares up at him, heart shaking.
'Jeongguk,' it starts.
I must admit, I really don't want to. I don't want to leave. I'
Black inky drops smear the crossed-out words.
'But I understand. You're right. You're all grown up now!!! :D You don't' - another word blurred out - 'need me anymore.'
'I'm so proud of you! Don't ever think that I'm not. I'll be cheering you on always, your biggest fan!! You can do anything you want, I know you can.
You're the best friend I ever had!!!'
A whole sentence is scribbled out, inky stains surrounding it.
'I better go now!!'
"No... Don't go..."
Jeongguk sobs, shaking his head.
'I'll be telling stories about the great Googie to everyone I know!!! My hero. :)
"Taehyung," Jeongguk breathes, touching the green name.
GOO 4 EVER
"Goo and Teh forever," Jeongguk corrects into the silence of his closet.
we'll be back... IN 9 MONTHS. i shouldn't make that joke, people thought it was real last time
this is what you wanted, you have no one to blame but yourself and me 🤝
Jeongguk tries to move on, but he's sure a piece of him is broken. Things just aren't as enjoyable as they once were, everything seems a little duller.
There's a Taehyung sized hole in his chest that nothing can fill, no matter what he tries.
But it's not the same. Jeongguk doesn't think he knows what comfort feels like anymore.
It's been two years, three months and fourteen days since he last saw his best friend.
That he could talk to it. So Jeongguk does.
But today wakes up with a purpose. He needs to be closer to Taehyung and this is how.
He starts from the beginning of Taehyung's story.
'TEH TEH'S JOURNAL!!!' is scrawled on the first page in usual green crayon and Jeongguk cracks a smile. He thinks it's the same crayon Jeongguk gave him when they met.
'Hello!! :D :D :D
This! Is! Exciting!!!
Ok see you tomorrow!! :D :D :D'
Jeongguk bursts out laughing. It's the first he's genuinely laughed in a while, and of course it's because of Taehyung. He's not even there, but he's still making him laugh.
The human world is weird. It's very cold and kinda stinky. But!! I like my human. He is very tiny and chubby and squishy! His name is Jeon Jeongguk but I call him Googie ^^'
Underneath is an animated drawing of Jeongguk, tiny and flexing.
'He likes me, I think. Likes me for who I am.... It's nice to be liked. He doesn't want anything either I don't think. I could break the deal, but I won't.
I think I'll stick around!!!'
Some entries are full of scribbles, scratches of messy, unrecognisable lines. Then underneath there will be a:
'Couldn't have said it better myself, Googie!!! :D'
He drops his eyes down to the entry open, frantically reading. As he does, he feels his heart sink for the 100th time.
Jeongguk had given him a shitty fucking cupcake and—
He chokes on a sob.
Taehyung had acted like it was the best thing he'd ever been given in his entire life.
'Googie made me a cupcake'
That's all it says, but it's full of tiny black drops bled into the paper.
Like little teardrops.
Taehyung sounds so sad.
'Does Googie not want me anymore?'
It's a retelling of the day Jeongguk realised the kids he hung out with weren't his friends. It's the day he saw Taehyung sad.
'Googie got a shot today ;-; he was so sad and I know I shouldn't have, but I took the ache away'
Jeongguk remembers. He remembers Taehyung kissing his arm and the pain had... vanished.
But now my arm is itchy!!!'
Jeongguk swallows, feels the blood drain out of his face. "No..." he shakes his head. Frowning, he quickly flips through the pages. "No. No, no. That's not... No."
'Googie fell and scraped his knees!!! He was crying so much that it made me cry too!!! But I kissed them better and now I'm having a lil cry in the bathroom
Scraped knees are the worst!!'
"No." Jeonggguk keeps shaking his head, keeps searching.
Two months later.
'I can feel this headache in my eyes. WHY???'
Two weeks after that.
'There's nothing FUNNY about hitting your funny bone apparently!!!!!'
Jeongguk keeps searching. Taehyung took colds, a nasty flu, an ear infection...
They get worse as Jeongguk gets older. When he grew distant again, Taehyung still took away the pain he felt. He always thought he was just removing it, but he...
...was absorbing it?
Jeongguk's hands shake as he drops the journal, thinking of all the times he went to Taehyung, asking him to help him and all this time Taehyung wasn't getting rid of the pain, but moving it onto himself and suffering silently.
He finds and it feels his body go cold at the entry.
'He doesn't need me now.
I'm so lonely.'
'Googie's out with his friends again today. So I think I'll go walk around the garden again, go and talk to the flowers. I read flowers need a lot of love to grow, so I'll give them mine.'
'Jinnie can't see me anymore... he's gotten too old.'
'Ah... I'll miss cuddling Yoongi.'
'Lost Hobi today.'
The day before Namjoon's birthday. 'I can't lose Joonie. Please please please'
The next day. 'He can't see me now.'
He'd isolated Taehyung even more without knowing.
'I lost my Jiminie today. Think this might be the hardest one. He always kept me safe and looked after me. Always held my hand. I went and saw him last night and he cried. I didn't though, I didn't want to make him sadder.'
I miss them all so much. They were the only friends I've ever had. But they've still got each other!! That makes me happy.
And I'll always have my Googie.
He does, however, grab the last journal.
There's no drawings, it's all very plain, not like Taehyung at all.
Flipping to the last page, the worn-down, tiny green crayon rolls out.
my things are in a box why are they in a box'
Jeongguk's heart shatters at the sheer panic in the messy entry.
'what did i do i don't understand no no no no'.
Big passages are scribbled out, there's black drops everywhere, holes in the page.
'he hates me'
Taehyung thought he hated him?
/He/ made Taehyung think he hated him?
'when will he come home i need him here i need him i love him googie and tehteh
ill go find him itll be ok'
Jeongguk had unknowingly confirmed his fears.
Clothes fall down on top of him from the force and he throws them off but pauses when a familiar stripped shirt lands in his lap.
His chokes, touching it gently. "I'm sorry..."
He looks back at the journal, at the last page with any writing on.
...but i promised a happy ending, so i will come thru with that. i think i've drawn the angst on enough......
.....OR HAVE I? FIND OUT IN TWO YEARS.