Alright folks, you asked me to continue the story so here we go...
Part 1 is here:
"What do you mean, you knew?"
"Jiyong told me a few days ago." This conversation is becoming increasingly frustrating for you. Especially since Taeyang seems so calm and matter-of-fact about it.
"Were you going to tell me? Or were you planning to torture our best friend every time we went near him?" You're very clearly worked up, pacing back and forth across Youngbae's living room. 'How can he be so calm?' You wonder. You're almost upset that he's just calmly sitting on the couch while you wear a hole in the floor.
"I don't know." He says, breathing in heavily. "Y/N, can you please sit down." There is a slight edge to his voice as he asks. You stop pacing and stare at him for a moment. You don't want to sit down or be calm. You want things to go back the way they were. But seeing as that isn't an option, you acquiesce and lower yourself to the couch next to him.
Youngbae repositions his body to face you and puts his hand on your thigh. "I think you should take some time to figure out how you feel."
"What? How I feel?" You question him, an incredulous tone in your voice.
"Yes. I think a lot has happened in the past few days. You must have some things to figure out." You're speechless. The only thought you manage to put together is 'is he serious?' He's completely blindsided you with this.
"But... I know how I feel." You protest. Youngbae's expression softens as he takes your hands into his.
"We've only been together for a couple of months..."
"We have yet to exchange I love yous--"
"Where's this going?" Youngbae shifts but you remain frozen in place, a knot in the pit of your stomach making itself known. He takes a deep breath, exhaling slowly, then he locks eyes with you.
"Jiyong loves you. And clearly you care about him. I think the possibility that something more could develop between the two of you is strong."
"WHAT???" Instinctually, you pull your hands from his grasp and eye him suspiciously. "But I'm with you." You say the words slowly, with a sharp edge as though he'd just insulted your entire family. "I chose to be with you... Maybe I'm not ready to say 'I love you' just yet, but you know what my ex put me through. This is my first relationship in over two years. It's going to take me some time." Whether he intended to or not, he's put you completely on the defensive. You can feel the wall you worked so hard at tearing down, start to rear it's ugly head again.
"I know." He can tell you're on the defensive and softens his tone again in an attempt to calm you down. "But, if you knew of Jiyong's feelings before we started dating, would you still have chosen me?"
"Why do I feel like you're pushing me towards him? Why don't you want to fight for me? Don't, don't you want me?" Your voice has raised on octave during the last sentence, as the knot in your stomach grew.
"Of course I do." He voice is soft and caring and it's completely confusing to you. He reaches a hand out but you pull back only to remember the arm of the sofa is against your back. "But, I know Jiyong would be good to you, good for you... You'd be good for each other.
"Why are you saying these things?"
"Because we're hurting him and I can't bare it. I can't continue to hurt him like this." Youngbae's voice raised slightly before he managed to bring it back down. "He's been through enough pain. You've only known us a couple years so you don't know him the way I do." It was true. He had been there with him through all the hard times, you'd merely heard about them. "I don't want to hurt you. Honestly, it's the last thing I want. But Jiyong comes first. I've loved him most of my life. He's my brother."
The room fell silent. Youngbae just pulled the one card you couldn't argue with. You've known since the beginning how close the two of them are. You knew they had an incredible history. And perhaps, deep down, you knew you'd never be able to compete. You inhale several deep breaths, listening to the seconds tick by on the clock in the kitchen.
"So where does that leave us?" The words bounced around inside your head. Two days ago you had a boyfriend and a best friend, and now you've seemingly lost Jiyong and you are facing losing Youngbae too. And none of it is your fault. You've done nothing wrong.
Youngbae reaches his hand out again and this time you let him rest it on your arm. You look up at him, tired and feeling defeated, tears blurring your vision.
"If there is a chance..." His voice cracks and you can see tears welling up in his eyes. He clears his throat. "If there is a chance you could love him.. the way he loves you..." He clears his throat again. "I'd be happy with that... But, I know your friendship is important to him and to you, so at the very least, can you work on that?"
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