five -

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taehyung had missed training for the last six weeks.

now, theoretically it wasn't a big deal, because it was only one out of the twelve sessions that they had as a team a week and it was on a tuesday night, a night that not many swimmers showed up to anyway. and more importantly, taehyung was the strongest athlete in the squad, a few missed practices wouldn't change his technique at all. he'd still be the same.

but the regional gala was coming up and the members seemed to be getting more agitated by the day. afterall, they wanted to keep their winning streak, and they couldn't do that with the absence of their captain and his vital position in the relays; taehyung swam butterfly.

without him and his powerful strokes, the team wouldn't get their well needed head start in the race and would have a slim chance at clutching the pathetic plastic trophy at the end of the whole useless ordeal. but, despite the twelve-plus hour wait and only the inclusion of thirteen or so races, taehyung had to shamelessly admit that he did like the feeling of the waves weaving through his fingers, gliding across his body and the ceasing or his heart as he let the adrenaline take over and force his breath out of his lungs, the rush and tug of water at his heel and the stark temperature difference that always made him shiver whenever he'd first dive in.

he fucking loved swimming.

just... not with his team. taehyung enjoyed independence, he liked living his life with his own rules- something he had never been able to do. but the team was exactly that; he had to listen to everything that the coach had to tell them, he had to listen to the disgusting string of imperatives being spilled from his mouth like poison. bossing around these kids and instructing them, well, he understood that that was his job, but it made taehyung despise him, nontheless.

taehyung meant everything to the squad.

but the squad meant nothing to the taehyung.

of course, he certainly couldn't tell them his excuse. and no, his excuse wasn't just that he 'may-or-may-not-have-a-weird-obsession-with-jeon-jeongguk-and-feels-the-urge-to-stalk-him-at-the-library.'

that was an urge he couldn't quite explain, but he wasn't a creep; he had other, more important, incentives as to why he chose to go there.

___

another week had rolled by in a blur and jeongguk was at the library again, gazing out at the grumpy-grey sky, trying his level best to mind his own business and not glance at kim taehyung. (who was staring intently at the rows and rows of tattered children's novels. some were picture books, others were simple poems. but no matter how hard he was searching, he couldn't seem to find what he was looking for.

he'd been there for an hour, scouring the shelves on a potentially endless quest.

"jeongguk, i'm gonna head home, my mum said you should come 'round to dinner this week," lizzy, jeongguk's co-worker smiled, pulling her hoodie over her head and following jeongguk's transfixed gaze.

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