Kim V Taehyung. The V wasn’t arbitrary, of course, far from it.
V for Valentine, V for Venus, for Voluptuous, for Very, Very Hot.
In everyone’s eyes, Taehyung was literally the centre of the universe. From letters to confessions, longings to stalkings, Taehyung was the one person everyone pined for.
However, only one person did Taehyung ever pine for himself, and he barely knew Taehyung existed half the time.
“He is so damn pretty, though,” Seokjin ended up saying as he watched Taehyung, along with the rest of the cafeteria’s population. Jeongguk was busy eating at this moment, only looking up.
“Who is?” he asked, mouth full of food, looking around for the interesting pretty thing Seokjin had caught sight of.
“You know who,” Namjoon spoke, sighed. “It’s V again.”
“He’s just...,” Seokjin said, eyes following the pinee. “He’s so pretty all the time, sometimes I just wish-” But he was interrupted by Namjoon elbowing him. “Ah, Namjoonie! What was that for?”
“Yah, stop staring at him,” Namjoon said. “I’m your boyfriend, remember?” Seokjin nodded with a chuckle.
“Of course you are,” Seokjin said, leaning his head on Namjoon’s shoulder affectionately. “No one beats Joonie.”
“That’s right.” Seokjin’s eyes wavered again as he straightened up.
“But, you can’t deny that Taehyung is most likely the prettiest person in school, y’know?” Namjoon rolled his eyes again. And seeing as Jeongguk was only half-listening, he looked up again.
“Who is?” he asked again, eyes searching.
“Don’t worry about it, Kookie,” Namjoon said, giving Seokjin a look. No matter what, Taehyung would be the centre of attention wherever he went, regardless of relationships. Whether it was platonic appreciation or not didn’t usually matter.
“V!” a voice called out, and Taehyung turned to see a short boy rushing up to him. “U-Um...”
“What is it?” Taehyung asked softly, hoping that he hadn’t dropped anything.
“Um... Here!” The short boy handed Taehyung a letter with a flower attached to it. “Thank you!” He bowed slightly before taking off. Taehyung gave no bewildered response, simply opening up the letter and tucking the flower behind his ear so as not to ruin it.
“Dearest Kim V Taehyung,” it read. “I have loved you from the moment I laid eyes on you. You are the sweetest, most caring person to exist on the planet, and I desperately hope that a love will blossom in the moments we share together. If not, I sincerely hope that your life brings you great joy and love from another, and that you will be fulfilled in your days, until the end. Sincerely, Park Jimin.”
Taehyung grinned fondly at the letter, reading it over once more. He hadn’t gotten a letter from an admirer in over a week, and the words made his heart melt a little with affection. Though it was true that a love wouldn’t blossom between him and the short boy, Jimin, he appreciated the bravery and respect given through the letter.
“Park Jimin?” Taehyung asked the smaller boy, who was staring into the void of his locker. Jimin turned and nearly exploded at how close Taehyung was to him. “Thank you very much for the letter, but...”
“Oh, you hate me,” Jimin said immediately, looking down. “I’m sorry for the trouble, but I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer, I-”
“No, no!” Taehyung was quick to deny. “I don’t hate you. Your letter was very lovely, and I’ll always appreciate the kind words and affection, I just... I like someone else.” Jimin looked up then.
“Who?” Taehyung bit his lip, and Jimin was immediately more curious.
“It wouldn’t matter,” Taehyung replied. “He hardly knows I exist.” Jimin tilted his head, confused.
“Everyone knows you, Taehyung-ah,” Jimin said matter-of-factly. “How could someone not?”
“Well, he... I don’t know. It’s stupid, I can never-”
“It’s not stupid!” Jimin was now quick to deny. “What I said in the letter, I meant it. Even if you don’t love me back, I do want you to be happy. And...I’m willing to help you.” Taehyung widened his eyes. This hadn’t ever happened before.
“You... Really?” he asked, and Jimin nodded furiously.
“Of course. I would never compromise someone else’s happiness for my own benefit. Especially your happiness, Taehyung-ah.” Jimin shifted his stance. “So... Who do you love?”
Jeongguk was sat in class, incredibly bored with the various tangent formulas being written on the board. Namjoon said math was easy, especially algebraic formulas. Sure, maybe if you were a super genius, Jeongguk thought. Namjoon and his thousand-point IQ could go... Well, Jeongguk would rather not finish the thought.
He twirled his pencil in his hand, leaned on his desk, and started to feel his eyes close.
That’s when a piece of paper hit him straight in the face. He was lucky the teacher was turned around at the moment or else he’d be in bigger trouble than the time he passed out and actually fell out of his seat and onto the floor.
“Bathroom, first floor,” it read. “Immediately. Sincerely, a friend.” Jeongguk looked around for the paper throwing culprit, but everyone was busy jotting down A’s and B’s in parentheses.
“Sir, may I go to the bathroom?”
Jeongguk was rushing his way, partially thankful to be out of class, down the stairs towards the first floor boy’s bathroom, where he could hear faint arguing.
“No, I can’t do it, no!” one voice said. “Call it off!”
“I can’t call it off now!” the other replied. “He’s probably already on his way here!”
“So stall him and let me escape! I can’t do it!” Jeongguk took a few patient, careful steps, trying to be silent, but inevitably failing when he stepped in a puddle of water made from the broken sink.
“Go!” the second voice urged, and a figure was pushed out of the largest bathroom stall, stumbling backwards and looking around before laying eyes on Jeongguk.
“Hello,” Jeongguk greeted. “Did you send the note?” Jeongguk held up the note for inspection, and the person nodded.
“Um...,” they said, and walked forward. “Sorry, this is difficult.” Jeongguk tilted his head. “Um... I need to confess something.” Jeongguk took a moment to take in the surroundings. He was in a completely disheveled boy’s bathroom at school, during his math class, no less. A plus B equals C was still on his mind, but he tried to focus his attention to the boy in front of him. “I really... I love you. I love you a lot.”
Jeongguk was taken aback.
“C-Come again?” he said, blinking. “What’s your name?”
“My name is... It’s Hoseok, Jung Hoseok. I’m a year below you.” Ah. So that was why he didn’t recognise him at first. “You’re beautiful and smart and good. You don’t care what others think of you, and you only look for the good in others, and don’t only pay attention to their outsides. And... If you would have me, I would be eternally happy by your side.”
“Y-You’re confessing your love to me?” Jeongguk asked, waiting for confirmation. “But I-I don’t know you.” Hoseok looked down. “No, I didn’t mean... I mean, I just... No one’s ever confessed to me before, I don’t...know how to react.”
“Nobody?” Hoseok repeated. “Really?” Jeongguk shook his head. “Oh. I’m sorry, I must’ve scared you off now.”
“No, you didn’t. It’s just... When it comes to these things, I don’t...really have any idea how to act or do...anything.”
“It’s okay,” Hoseok said. “Um... Would you be willing to go out with me?” Jeongguk wasn’t sure how to respond. Yes out of pity, or no out of honesty? He went with the latter.
“I’m sorry, but... I just don’t feel the same way, Hoseok.” Hoseok sighed.
“Thank you,” he replied. “It’s nice that you’re honest, even if it does break my heart a bit. If... If there’s any chance in the future that you change your mind, I’ll always be there, Jeongguk-hyung.” Hoseok bowed, and promptly let himself out of the bathroom.
Jeongguk was eternally astounded.
“Wait, you were confessed to?” Seokjin asked, surprised. “By whom?”
“A boy a year below me,” Jeongguk responded. “Jung Hoseok.” Seokjin hummed in understanding.
“Ah, I’ve heard about him,” Seokjin nodded. “I also heard he’s secretly pining for Min Yoongi.”
“It doesn’t matter to me who pines for whom, hyung,” Jeongguk shrugged, continuing his lunch. “It was just odd to know that someone managed to get me out of class just to say, ‘I love you,’ in the bathroom.” Namjoon chuckled, and Jeongguk managed a smile.
Although Hoseok was the first to confess, he wasn’t the last. Word travelled fast through the school, and soon many others were promptly sending Jeongguk letters and pulling him away from class to confess their love for him. Never before had he had to set aside time in the day to get through the many envelopes that had been put in his locker.
It was fascinating to him as the weeks went by.
By two weeks past, he was sure everyone in his year had sent him at least one letter. Some even came with pictures of themselves, some pictures of himself. Once, a giftwrapped box of chocolates was in his locker, which he returned to the sender with an apology and a thanks, seeing as he wasn’t accepting her confession.
“You look weird, Taehyungie,” Jimin said, watching Taehyung from the corner of his eye. Taehyung had his head on his desk. “What’s wrong?”
“Everything is,” he mumbled with a pout.
“Is this about that boy getting confessions?” Taehyung looked at Jimin as if to say, ‘Of course, Jimin, what the hell else?’
“He’s gotten so many letters, Jiminie,” Taehyung groaned, turning to lay his cheek on the desk and face Jimin.
“Are you jealous that your letter count has gone down, then?” Jimin asked.
“Then what does it matter?” Taehyung simply pouted, and that seemed to give Jimin his answer. “Wait. Is it... Is this the same boy that you love?” Taehyung gave him the same, ‘Of course,’ look from before. “Yah, Tae, why didn’t you say something?”
“Because,” he sighed, raising his head and looking at the blankness of the chalkboard, “it wouldn’t matter anyways. He doesn’t know I exist, remember?”
“Yeah, but he could’ve known you existed if you had said something in the beginning!”
“He’s denied every person so far, what makes you think he’d accept me out of the rest of them?” Jimin thought for a moment, and Taehyung could’ve sworn he could see the confession area of Jimin’s brain churning at hyperspeed.
“I got it,” Jimin said, and Taehyung gave his full attention.
“Excuse me,” Taehyung said, stopping a few people in the hall. “Care to join a study group?” The few shook their heads. He dropped his arms with the few pieces of flyer paper, as he was trying to get people to actually take one. Of course, he was actually waiting for Jeongguk to walk past, but he never did.
That is, until after school came.
“Ah, excuse me!” Taehyung called. “Excuse me!” Jeongguk turned around to the noise and walked towards Taehyung, bag hanging off of his uniformed shoulder.
“Yes?” Jeongguk responded.
“Would you care to join a study group?” Taehyung asked, desperately hoping to get a confirming, ‘Yes!’
“Study group?” Jeongguk repeated, and looked at the flyer in Taehyung’s hand. “Really? How many people are there?”
“Just me and my friend, Jimin. But we’re looking for more people.” Jeongguk grinned and folded the flyer, pocketing it.
“I’d like to join, sure,” he said. “I’ve been meaning to join one, I have trouble with math.”
“Yah, that’s good! Jimin’s pretty good at math.” Jeongguk nodded. “There’s a meetup on Friday this week, right after school in the first floor library. Be there?”
“Sure,” Jeongguk said, nodding. “Thank you again, um...”
“Taehyung.” Jeongguk held out his hand.
“Jeongguk. It’s nice to meet you, Taehyung-ah.” Taehyung nodded.
“As it is you, Jeongguk-ah.” Taehyung watched in awe as Jeongguk left, the flyers in his hand crumpling a bit where he was holding them.
“Ah, Jeongguk!” Taehyung greeted when he spotted him walking into the library, Jimin waving by his side. “Glad you could come.”
“Definitely,” Jeongguk said, sitting down and putting his bag to the side. “Do we know what to study?” Jimin pulled up a notebook and studied various scheduling choices.
“Well, first, let’s all determine our schedules, and see what classes we all share...,” he said. All three brandished their schedules, finding that Taehyung and Jeongguk shared the same math and science subjects, where all three of them shared an English subject, and Jimin and Taehyung shared a history subject and one elective subject.
“So, English is the one class we can all study together,” Jimin wrote down, “you both can study two subjects together, and Tae and I can both study two subjects together.” Both Taehyung and Jeongguk nodded along, and the three discussed a schedule that they could work with, along with flexibility and times and places.
It was decided that English would be studied twice a week with all three, both Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Tuesdays, Jimin and Taehyung would study for their shared classes after English, Thursdays would be the same with Taehyung and Jeongguk. Despite Taehyung having to stay the longest on both days, Jeongguk and Jimin agreed to stay even if they had a different respective subject.
It was nearly perfect, and they agreed to set aside extra time before tests and exams, and agreed to all celebrate when they finished them.
“Jeonggukie,” Taehyung greeted when Jeongguk met in the town’s public library, two months after they had begun the study group. “Jimin texted me that he couldn’t make it.” Jeongguk nodded and set down his bag.
“Yeah, he texted me, too,” he said. “Something about his family outings again.” Taehyung let out a quiet chuckle so as not to disturb the library’s other visitors.
“So, should we still work on English without him?”
“I guess. It wouldn’t hurt, and I can catch him up on the study.” Taehyung shrugged and nodded, opening up his book and starting the session.
After an hour, Jeongguk stretched his neck.
“Okay, can we break for awhile?” Jeongguk said. “I can’t take another minute of learning nouns.” Taehyung sighed and leaned back.
“I know,” he said, stretching his arms. “The difference between there, their, and they’re is so confusing to write.”
“What say we get some food, then?” Taehyung nodded and packed up the books, watching with ease and slight adornment as Jeongguk rubbed tiredness from his eyes.
“Where should we go?” Taehyung asked as they strolled through the streets, bags in hand.
“Maybe sushi,” Jeongguk said. “I know there’s a Japanese restaurant around here somewhere- Ah! There!” Taehyung followed Jeongguk’s wavering pointed finger to the Japanese food market shop, small but easily popular with regulars, something Jeongguk was and Taehyung was not. Regardless, Taehyung followed the excited boy into the shop, letting Jeongguk order for him, as he had no idea what was what.
“Thanks,” Taehyung said as they left, sushi in hand. “Where should we eat?” Jeongguk looked around the busy sidewalk before turning to Taehyung and grinning, nodding to his left and leading Taehyung to yet another place he was bound to be unfamiliar with.
“Here we are,” Jeongguk said, climbing onto the swingset of the playground, careful to avoid the mob of children crawling across the way. Taehyung rolled his eyes as he took the other empty swing. “Nice, right?”
“Why a playground, Kookie?” Taehyung giggled. “What’s special about it?”
“Yah, don’t judge it, Taehyungie,” Jeongguk scolded, opening up his container of sushi. “I like it here. It makes me feel less...old.”
“You’re barely seventeen! You’re not old!” Jeongguk let out a loud laugh, popping an unagi roll in his mouth. “If you were old, you’d have wrinkles and be yelling at kids on your lawn.”
“I already do that anyways,” Jeongguk countered. Taehyung rolled his eyes and began to eat his tuna rolls, swinging a little in silence.
“You know, I never properly thanked you,” Taehyung said after a few moments.
“For what?” Jeongguk asked.
“For joining the study group.” He smiled down at his food. “To be honest, I may have almost failed science without your help.” Jeongguk grinned.
“Well...,” he hummed. “You’re welcome.” Taehyung nodded and they continued eating again.
“Are you done?” Taehyung asked, looking at Jeongguk’s empty container. “Here, I’ll throw it out.” Jeongguk leaned to hand Taehyung the container and he jumped from the swing to walk over to the trashcan.
What he didn’t expect was to turn around and catch someone standing in front of Jeongguk, handing him a letter. Then watching him read the letter. Then bowing when they were seemingly denied.
Taehyung had nearly forgotten Jeongguk’s new knack for attracting piners.
“Who was that?” Taehyung asked. Jeongguk shrugged.
“They were confessing,” Jeongguk said simply.
“I told them I couldn’t accept.” Taehyung nodded in understanding, but couldn’t help but let his curiosity make an appearance.
“Why not? They looked cute.” Jeongguk shrugged, and Taehyung sat on the swing again.
“I don’t know what it is, Tae,” Jeongguk said. “I mean... It’s nice, knowing they care so much, but... I just feel like they only see me on the outside. Not the inside. Does that make sense?”
“Yeah, it makes sense.” Taehyung knew that from experience. “They only see you as this...idol.”
“Right?” Jeongguk chuckled. “I don’t know what started it. I think from that one younger kid, Hoseok? He was nice, but he must’ve spread some kind of word.” Taehyung laughed. “What’s so funny?”
“Well, in any case, it doesn’t matter. I like someone else, anyways.” Taehyung instantly felt a jolt in him.
“Who is it?” Taehyung asked. “Seriously, who?” Jeongguk looked at his feet and bit his lip.
“Uh... I-It’s Jimin,” he said, and Taehyung’s heart deflated.
“You what?” Seokjin asked incredulously. “You said you liked Jimin?” Jeongguk glared at the elder.
“Yes, how many times do I have to repeat myself?” he said, a little irritated. “I panicked!”
“So? You still lied.” Namjoon gave Seokjin an elbow to the side.
“Give him a break, Jinnie,” Namjoon said. “He panicked, he blurted, but he can still fix it.”
“Really, Namjoon-hyung?” Jeongguk said. “How am I supposed to fix this?” He stuffed a bite of food in his mouth.
“By telling Taehyung the truth.” Jeongguk scoffed.
Taehyung was literally burning a hole in his paper by how fast he was taking down English notes. The teacher taught way too fast to his liking, and trying to differentiate various Latin roots was definitely proving difficult.
Although, as he reached end of his paper, a note was dropped onto his desk.
He unfolded it and, thanking that the teacher didn’t see, read it silently.
“First floor bathroom, quickly,” it read. “It’s very important, come as soon as possible. Sincerely, yours truly.” Taehyung quirked an eyebrow at the sender, and didn’t bother to look for the person who wrote it, instead raising his hand to request to go to the bathroom.
Once Taehyung had gone down the steps into the bathroom, he could hear the impatient tap of someone’s foot.
“Hello?” Taehyung called out. “Is anyone here?” Taehyung waited a few long, arduous moments, and was about to leave until the stall door opened and literally sent Taehyung for a loop.
Jeongguk was standing there with a small flower in his hand.
“Um...,” he said, then looked away for a moment. “Hey, Taehyung.” Taehyung tilted his head.
“Jeongguk?” he questioned. “What’s this about?” He knew he didn’t have to ask, the answer already clear, but he still wanted to make sure this wasn’t a fluke.
“Taehyung, you...,” Jeongguk said, taking a couple steps forward and then taking a deep, calming breath. “You are positively one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the good fortune of meeting. I honestly never thought I’d meet someone as wonderful and caring as you are.” Taehyung listened with increasing focus. “Before, I’m not sure I even knew who you were. But then you asked me to a study group and I’ve been a lot happier - and smarter, I have to admit - than I was before.
“I’m coming to you now to apologise. Before, when we were at the playground, you asked me who I liked and I said it was Jimin. That wasn’t true, at all. It... I actually... I like you, Taehyung. I like you a lot. I don’t know if I truly love you, but I do like you, and I would like to be more than friends.”
Taehyung’s heart swelled and was on the verge of bursting.
Nothing - and Taehyung meant that - could ever come close to this. Every confession he’d ever gotten, every letter, every gift, none of them compared to what was in front of him now.
“Yes,” Taehyung found himself saying before he could stop himself.
“W-What?” Jeongguk said, nerves floating around his head.
“I-I said...yes. Yes, I would like to be more than friends.” Taehyung couldn’t stop the grin from forming on his face, and Jeongguk couldn’t block the contagion, instead letting a smile form on his face, too.
“Thank you, Taehyung,” Jeongguk said, then held out the flower, something he’d forgotten he was holding. “Oh, and this is for you.” Taehyung took the flower and tucked it behind his ear.
“I like you so much, Jeongguk,” Taehyung said, walking forward and holding onto Jeongguk’s chin.
“I like you, too, Taehyung,” Jeongguk breathed, and stood in bliss as Taehyung pressed the first kiss to Jeongguk’s lips.