#taekook au

when they were 8, jeongguk claimed that he was in love with taehyung.

now that they’re 21, taehyung wonders how the roles got so reversed.
it's ridiculous, actually—the way the younger boy used to proclaim his love for taehyung in their third grade classroom, in front of all his classmates and teachers to see.
he'd saunter in with jewelry stolen from his mom's dresser, kneeling down as he held it out to taehyung.
he'd grin, blindingly—coupled with a soft, "this is for you, because i love you. and i think you would look very pretty with jewelry on," wearing his heart on his sleeve for everyone to see.
and every single time, little taehyung would look down at the sight—and scoff. because boys have /cooties/, even if he was a boy himself. he could not be seen with someone so obviously bearing cooties.
"i don't want it," he'd wave jeongguk off, shutting down his advances. "please go away."
but 8 year old jeongguk was persistent, if nothing else—and he wouldn't back down from smothering taehyung with his affection.
even in spite of all of the older's constant refusals—he'd show up with more gifts—ranging from homemade cupcakes he stayed up past 11 pm to make himself, to necklaces crafted out of pasta (his mom found out about the jewelry theft), to ring pops and more.
he even once showed up in a full-fledged tuxedo at their new year's party, telling taehyung he'd dressed up to impress him, and that he hopes he liked how he looked. the older simply laughed in his face—waving him off before telling him that "no one could look better than me."
little jeongguk had merely agreed with him though, nodding. "you're the most beautiful person i've ever seen!"
but as time went by, their relationship progressed from one of comical romantic advances to that of best friends—jeongguk decidedly backing down in 4th grade, when they became friends over a conversation about avatar.
soon, they were attached at the hip—and taehyung couldn't ask for a better go-to person in his life, especially considering that 13 years later—they still were the most important person in each other's life.
but if he's being truthful, he misses the declarations of love from the younger that seem to be no more.
because 13 years later, living with his best friend in their college apartment, taehyung was now the one hopelessly in love with his best friend.
jeongguk had grown up to be just as loving as he was when he was a kid—greeting taehyung with a kind smile and warm eyes, embracing him softly, leaving kisses on taehyung's forehead in random spurts throughout the day.
he was there for the older through every breakdown, every mishap—offering a shoulder for taehyung to cry on when things are hard, a warm jacket for him to wear when it's cold, a heart for him to love when he feels alone.
and taehyung is so enamored. enamored by all of it—by the way his eyes light up when he talks about the things he loves, by his gaming obsession he can never seem to control, by his penchant for gorgeous tattoos and his eyebrow piercing.
by the fact that he looks so intimidating, at points—but is the most loving, kind person taehyung has ever had the privilege of knowing.
he makes it so incredibly easy to love him, now, and as stupid as it is, taehyung wished he didn't take jeongguk's love for granted back when he was a kid. because maybe then, he wouldn't be so lost in unrequited love right now.
he feels hopeless.
"why do you look so deep in thought?" a soft voice knocks him out of his rumination. taehyung looks up from his spot on the couch, smiling when he catches sight of jeongguk hovering above him.
the younger grins, before settling himself down next to taehyung, wrapping a tender arm around his waist. "do you wanna talk about it?"
taehyung leans into the touch, letting his head nestle into the crook of jeongguk's neck. "mmm," he mumbles—debating whether or not to reveal what he'd been reminiscing on.
he had no idea how jeongguk would react—wasn't ready for him to degrade those times, calling it "child's play", or something worse. "it's nothing," he opts on whispering instead, tracing patterns on jeongguk's abdomen.
"i know you, tae," jeongguk whispers, and his voice gives taehyung chills, "it's not nothing. i want to help you with whatever it is."
and taehyung is weak—has no resolve when it comes to the boy beside him so soon he's sighing, relenting to his wishes. "it's not so much a problem as it is the fact that i was just," he struggles to find the right words, "remembering something, i guess."
jeongguk hums, shifting impossibly closer to the older. "and what might that be?"
taehyung takes a deep breath. "remember how you used to 'love me' in 3rd grade. and you'd go around telling everyone about it, and doing all these grand gestures?"
"oh yeah!" jeongguk's face lights up, giggling softly, "i was so bold back then. props to younger me."
taehyung laughs quietly at his reaction. he's glad to know that jeongguk doesn't think it's stupid now. "you really were," he shakes his head, "i don't know why i was so mean to you. you were adorably sweet."
"it broke my heart a little bit truthfully, but i survived," jeongguk subdues his guilt, turning to leave a soft kiss on taehyung's temple, "but what's that you said?"
"huh?" taehyung tilts his head in confusion. did he say something stupid?
"you said that i used to love you, right?" jeongguk inquires, his eyebrows furrowing—as if he'd just realized it. "why'd you say that?"
"oh, did you not?" taehyung panics—his eyes widening. he'd forgotten it was 3rd grade—those feelings probably weren't real, "that's a good point, we were only 8, i should've—"
“—do you think i ever stopped loving you, baby?” jeongguk murmurs on the edge of his ear, cutting him off—his voice deep and gravelly.
taehyung think his entire world, at that moment, stands still. his eyes widen, his mouth falling agape as he stares up at jeongguk—his jeon jeongguk—eyes crinkled with fondness and sincerity. did he hear him right?
what?
"what?" he echoes his thoughts aloud, eyes blinking repeatedly—as if he could possibly be hallucinating the whole thing, "what did you say?"
and jeongguk looks nonchalantly amused—as if he hadn't dropped the biggest bomb in the world right then. "did you really not know?" he teases, pressing another kiss to the crown of taehyung's head.
taehyung can barely hold himself together, staring at the younger incredulously. he swallows thickly, his throat closing. "...really?"

/what?/
"i meant everything i said back then, taehyung," jeongguk continues, casually—causing taehyung to shiver. he turns, facing the older—a grin pulling at the corners of his lips, "i loved you then, i love you now—i'll probably spend forever being in love with you.”
and taehyung feels butterflies pool at the bottom of his stomach, fluttering against his chest and fluttering at his heart. he blinks rapidly, unable to tear his gaze off of jeongguk's—his best friend. his jeongguk.
he reaches out a hand, holding it tightly onto the fabric of jeongguk's shirt. "you love me? even now?"
"i thought you knew!" jeongguk shakes his head incredulously—the beam on his face startlingly bright, startlingly beautiful, "it isn't like i ever tried to hide it. i kiss you on the forehead everyday!"
taehyung blushes at the situation—his jaw slack like an idiot as he tries to fully comprehend whatever is going on right now. jeongguk loves him—he's in love with him—has been, since they were 8.
he thinks nothing could feel better than this—this is cloud nine, the lottery, the jackpot at the end of the rainbow. all of it.
"oh my god," taehyung breathes out, "were you just never going to tell me? i had no idea you still felt that way!"
"i didn't think there was a need to," jeongguk scratches at the back of his neck sheepishly—his face red with slightly embarrassment, "i really thought you knew, tae. i'm sorry."
but taehyung is on a roll now—frantic in his confusion. "what if i left? moved onto someone else? and i just never knew you were love with me? would you tell me then?"
"i probably would have let you," jeongguk admits—he leans forward, caressing tenderly at taehyung's cheeks, "all i ever want is for you to be happy. it doesn't have to be with me."
"you're," and his brain won't form coherent words—it's not functioning, "you're ridiculous, jeongguk."
"i've always been ridiculous for you, kim taehyung," jeongguk replies, easily—as if it hadn't taken him a second to even think of it, "you should know that."
taehyung thinks his heart is about to burst at any second now, his heart beating fast and loud in his ears as he looks into jeongguk's bright eyes that are filled with sincerity. without any hesitation, he whispers, "i love you."
it's jeongguk's turn to look utterly dazed now—his eyes blinking in rapid succession. "what?"
"i love you."

"you—what—"

"i love you, jeongguk," taehyung repeats in a rush, "i love you, i love you—" he keeps repeating it until he loses count of how many times he says it. finally stopping when he feels his voice breaking, "and i am so, so incredibly in love with you."
jeongguk's eyes are wide, his mouth hanging open in shock. he looks absolutely dumbfounded, and taehyung wants to laugh at the expression on his face. "you—you love me?" he asks again, his voice small and unsure.
taehyung nods. "i do. and i'm sorry it took me so long to say it."
"oh my god," jeongguk nearly whimpers, his orbs blown out wide, "i've waited for this day my whole life, but i didn't think it'd ever come."
and taehyung is so endeared—his lips borderline quivering as he leans forward, "then don't wait any longer, idiot. come here and kiss me."
and jeongguk complies, easily—fisting at taehyung's shirt to pull him forward before the two meet in a soft touch of lips, mouths molding together in harmony.
their kiss tastes of honey, and tart, sweet strawberry—their bodies warm and comfortable together, and when they part taehyung smiles so widely it hurts.
he's in love. he's in love he's in love he's in love.
he grins at jeongguk, who's smiling brightly at him, eyes sparkling. "i would wait 13 years to do that again, you know?" he murmurs, tilting his head.
"but now, " taehyung breathlessly chuckles, "you don't have to," before pulling jeongguk in for a searing kiss, the sound of his laughter ringing through his ears as he does—feeling him melt into his embrace.
and perhaps his 3rd grade self would probably be disappointed in him right now, but he could hardly care—not when he had the love of his life in his heart, and now in his arms.
and fin 💗 happy late marcy and gelli day to my favorite angels 🥺 you both deserve the whole world <3 i love you as much as jeongguk loves taehyung in this @bIueneptune @endlesslykv
feel free to scream here! i actually quite liked this one 🥺 CuriousCat.me/autumnstae
i feel the need to mention that this is based on my sister and how a classmate had a HUGE crush on her and brought her presents 🥲 unfortunately they are not together now but nick if you are seeing this. know my sister feels horrible about being mean to you and ur legacy lives on

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