Work Header

jump higher

Work Text:

taehyung’s getting bored. a possibly conceited, definitely odd, admission to make as a twenty-two-year-old college student. however, it’s the truth—he’s recently switched to seoul national university, is now living in a small two-room apartment only a couple of minutes off campus, and it’s freed a lot of spare time he used to spend commuting.

and thus, he’s getting bored. it’s not that he doesn’t have enough to do with his studies, it’s just that he wants something more. something else. he wants to join some kinda club of sorts, but isn’t sure which—he’s never been too big on sports, so has googled around considering a knitting club, or maybe a marching band just for the hell of it, but then one day he spots a poster in the cafeteria when trying to figure out whether he wants a scone or a muffin.

standard off-white paper tacked up with red pins, it’s decorated with glitter glue and stickers—a skipping rope team. it’s just bizarre enough to spark taehyung’s interest, so he reads through the info a couple of times, considering this might be what he’s been looking for.

it sounds pretty fun, honestly. the last years of his life, rope skipping has been nothing but a memorabilia of childhood—along with hopscotch and duck, duck, goose, as well as the strangely sadomasochistic mercy every child had loved so much but made sure to only ever play when there weren’t any adults around. a schoolyard secret.

besides, the colourful stickers are pretty cute, so taehyung’s sold.

he slides out his phone and opens up contacts, jotting down the phone number listed to get in touch with for more information.

so he does just that, later in the evening when splayed out on the floor next to his bed. he’s only in his boxers and has got a half-empty bag of sour cream and onion chips next to him, and the irony of reaching out to join a workout club whilst looking like that doesn’t escape him. still, though. the half-naked chips consumption is a symptom of his boredom, which he’s trying to assuage by reaching out to join said workout club.

hi there! Smiling Face on Apple iOS 11.2
i saw the ad for the skipping rope team n im interested
sorry ive never done smth like this before haha Sun on Apple iOS 11.2
but yeah, it sounds cool!!!!
im taehyung btw haha prolly shouldve started w that Thinking Face on Apple iOS 11.2Lying Face on Apple iOS 11.2

hey there!
glad to hear that taehyung
im jimin, im captain of the team Man Lifting Weights on Apple iOS 11.2
id like to do an intro session before deciding anything!
how does that sound?

the poster had mentioned as much—the team’s not just for fun, but takes part in competitions, so a certain standard’s expected—before properly joining, interested people would have to take part in an audition of sorts. but it’d stressed that it was still chill enough and, indeed, open for anyone interested.

taehyung quickly changes the contact name and types out a reply,

sounds good ofc!!!

hows ur schedule this week?

im free all afternoons p much?? Calendar on Apple iOS 11.2Heavy Check Mark on Apple iOS 11.2
just say the word!

thursday around 6?

i got the location from the poster

excellent! i’ll see u there

ill look forward to it Smiling Face on Apple iOS 11.2

the next day, taehyung sifts through his closet in search for some decent workout gear. he finds multiple t-shirts, and at least one of them is from middle school—but still somehow, magically, fits him decently. he’d hoped to find a pair of sneakers, even some old ones, but he doesn’t, so he’s got to go out and buy a new pair. it’s never awesome to have to spend money, but he decides that it might help with general motivation as well, so he’ll live.

he makes sure he’s got his phone and money, then makes his way downtown to find a store with sporting goods.

“hi there,” a smiling woman greets him. “can i help you with anything?”

“hi,” taehyung smiles back. “i need a pair of sneakers.”

“you’ve come to the right place,” she says, and gestures for taehyung to come along to the other side of the shop. the wall there is covered with shoes on display, and on the floor there are countless shoe boxes. “are they for casual wear, or?”

“working out,” taehyung shares with a smile. “skipping rope, more specifically.”

“all right, then let’s go look over here,” she says, moving forward and indicating a section of the wall.

taehyung’s eyes scan over the shoes, but just as importantly: the price tags. he reaches out for a pair of red ones, weighs them in his right hand and turns it around to see from another angle. “can i try these on?”

“of course,” the lady smiles at him, waving her hand encouragingly.

“thank you,” taehyung says. he unlaces his right shoe and pulls it off, drops to sit on his ass and starts putting on the red sneaker. it’s too small, so he gets another size and tries that instead—then walks back and forth the shop a couple of times, and finally decides he likes this type. so he gets it, then sifts through the clothing racks of the shop and soon walks out of there with the shoe box and new shorts in a plastic bag.

he feels excitement thrumming through his body, almost skipping back home. this jimin guy and his skipping rope team won’t know what hit ‘em.

half past five, taehyung changes into his clothes, then pulls on a pair of sweatpants over the shorts and stuffs his new sneakers into a bag. he throws on a hoodie and leaves for the gym, looking forward to the first session.

when he gets there, practice is still ongoing. there’s around sixteen or so people skipping, some in pairs with longer ropes and others alone. he hangs around on a bench as they finish up, taking it all in—the ropes hitting the ground echo off the walls loudly, slap after slap, and now and then someone calls out orders or encouragements.

taehyung’s not even sure what he’d expected, but it seems intense, and everyone’s good—skipping so quickly, doing moves much more advanced than taehyung had when he was a kid.

a short guy claps his hands together and calls out all right, and then all the ropes are gathered in a box and everyone starts doing stretching exercises. he talks for a time, others joining in, and soon practice must be over as they slowly start trailing out of the gym.

the short guy tidies up some things, then spins around and lets his eyes land on taehyung. he waves him over, so taehyung gets up and walks to the floor. he gives a smile.

“i’m jimin,” the guy introduces himself, not holding out his hand for taehyung to shake. his voice is lighter than taehyung had expected, a soft contrast to the almost mean intensity in his eyes.

“taehyung,” he replies. he’s a little nervous now, but holding his head high, still mostly excited.

“you ever skipped before?” the next question comes, accompanied with a once-over, taehyung clearly inspected and assessed. taehyung can only hope whatever jimin sees will live up to his expectations.

“no,” taehyung contests, giving a roll of his shoulders. he bounces on his feet, the sneakers brand new and shiny, claps his hands together and gives what he hopes to be a winning smile. “not really. only as a kid.”

“hm, okay.” he gestures for taehyung to follow him closer onto the floor. “it’s a little bit more advanced than what you did in preschool.”

“i figured,” taehyung says, nodding his head. “i’m up for it.”

“that’s good,” jimin says and finally gives a smile. “i’m gonna show you some different moves, and you’re gonna show me your best try. sounds good?”

“sounds great,” taehyung says decisively, clenching his fists. jimin seems like a guy that knows what he wants, and isn’t scared to say it if something doesn’t live up to those demands. taehyung will just have to do his best.

“first, we’ll need to figure out what length rope you need.” he takes the few steps to a box on the floor full of ropes and starts sifting through, picking out a couple and holding them up. he inspects them, gives taehyung another thoughtful once-over, and finally hands one out for taehyung to take. “hold onto the handles and step on it, pull up and see how far the handles will go.”

taehyung stretches out the rope in his hand, surprised by how light and thin it is. he hooks it under his soles, then stretches it towards his armpits.

“hmm,” jimin considers. “jump for me.”

taehyung sucks in a breath, then spins the rope around and jumps over it. his legs feel too long and awkward, but he gets over the rope just once.

jimin tilts his head to the other side and weighs another rope in his hand. “try this one instead,” he says and holds it out for taehyung to take, gesturing for him to hand the other over. taehyung does just so, then tries jumping with the new one upon jimin’s instruction. he seems more pleased with this one, nodding to himself and grabbing his own rope again.

“all right,” he starts, spinning his rope behind himself and letting it rest for a second behind his ankles, then loops it over his head and starts turning it over his head and under his feet. for each rotation, he jumps twice. “so, these are called double hops,” jimin explains, “pretty simple, probably what you did when you were a kid. yeah?”

taehyung nods his head in confirmation, focuses his eyes on where jimin’s setting off and landing back on the floor at a perfect pace.

he stops, the move of it looking almost lazy as he lets the rope come to a halt behind his body, then nods at taehyung. “now you show me.”

taehyung nods, tightens his grip on the handles and stretches his hands as far away from each other as possible to stretch out the rope. then he gets it behind his feet, flicks his wrists to throw it over his head, and jumps off the floor. he keeps flicking his wrists, gets the rope spinning slowly and jumps as jimin did, two times per rotation.

he doesn’t think he can speak much while doing it, though, realising it’s taking all his concentration to jump at the right times.

“decent work,” jimin says, eyebrows furrowing just slightly. “try to focus on your wrist work, you’re being too harsh.”

taehyung takes in his words and attempts to fix it, but his instincts are still telling him to flick his wrists roughly, be sure to put in enough force to get the rope around him.

“all right,” jimin says, waving his hand around. “you can pause.”

the rope falls in front of taehyung’s feet and he steps over it slowly, looks at jimin with hopeful eyes. “was i okay?”

“no telling yet,” jimin disregards his question, pushing his own rope behind his ankles again. he starts spinning without hesitation, now only jumping once per rotation, and still he keeps his eyes on taehyung’s and starts talking, “all right, so double hops aren’t very interesting. they’re also boring to do, in my opinion, so you see these are just regular hops: you spin the rope, you jump over it. not as lazy. still pretty simple, though, so—” he says with an air of finality, letting the rope hook under his feet, “— now you try.”

this proves much more difficult than the double hops. jimin had said simple, but jimin had been lying. taehyung manages two jumps, then the rope tangles around his right ankle and he almost trips over the air. “fuck,” he mutters, gets it detangled and starts over—this time, managing four jumps, but then he messes up again. the problem isn’t starting, the first jump is easy enough, but then it’s like the speed of it fucks with his perception or something—before, the issue of spinning the rope was a rather slowed down one, but now it’s sped up, and he has to focus on that whilst also focusing on actually getting his feet kicked off the ground and body over the rope.

long story short, it’s difficult.

“hmm,” jimin considers, eyes intent on taehyung, which really isn’t helping. taehyung tries again, but gives up and looks at jimin.

“any tips?”

“wrist work again,” jimin observes, casting a glance at taehyung’s wrists. “you’re too rough on them. it’s not a handjob.”

taehyung cracks a smile. “all right.”

“mean it,” jimin says, not even a shadow of amusement on his face. “should be more fluid, relaxed. if you calm that down, the spinning gets easier. let’s try together, yeah?”

“okay,” taehyung agrees.

“i’m gonna start,” jimin says, and with that he starts spinning the rope around. he looks relaxed, as if he isn’t even paying the skipping any attention, eyes still on taehyung. “look at my wrists. see the difference?”

taehyung does see the difference: jimin’s wrists barely look to be moving, only flicking slightly with each rotation. “yeah, i do.”

“that’s how i want yours,” he says calmly. “now, i want you to join in and follow my pace. i’m gonna count for us, yeah?”

“okay,” taehyung repeats, looking at jimin’s feet. he pulls the rope taut and readies it behind his ankles, then spins it when jimin says jump

jump,” jimin repeats half a second later, just before kicking off, “jumpjumpjump —”

taehyung tries following along, shutting down other thoughts and just focusing on the rhythm of jimin’s voice. jumps every time he tells him to, trying to relax his wrists as well as he can.

he thinks he makes it to seventeen before the rope tangles again, but that’s a large improvement from last time. he’s out of breath now, too, which is pretty embarrassing—especially when looking at jimin who’s just been at proper practice for presumably hours and barely looks to be sweating, just giving taehyung an examining look.

“you did well,” he finally decides, waving in his direction. “needs more work, obviously, but not bad for your first time.”

“thank you,” taehyung says, not entirely sure whether jimin’s words really count as a compliment.

“you just transferred here, right?” jimin suddenly changes the subject. “college.”

“yup,” taehyung confirms. “better program. what’s your major?”

jimin squints just slightly, then shares, “applied mathematics. art student?”

“art history, actually,” taehyung confirms. “you’re wondering why someone who’s never held a rope before is trying to join your sacred skipping team?”

jimin crosses his arms in front of his chest and cocks his eyebrow.

“actually, i’ve held rope before,” he says after a second, winking at jimin. “but i was bored, and figured i could join some club of sorts. did i pass?”

“sure,” jimin says, stretching out his arm. he gives taehyung another once-over. “but this is competitive skipping rope, and i don’t play for second place. if you wanna be here, i’m expecting you to put in the work.”

“i won’t disappoint.”

“great,” jimin says. “now, the hops we just did—it’s not all technique. it’s that, and general good shape. you need decent stamina.”

“my stamina’s excellent,” taehyung grins, offering another lopsided grin.

jimin cocks his eyebrow. “that’s good to know,” he says after a second, unaffected, “because you’re gonna need it. try again, see if you can hit thirty.”

taehyung’s struck by the sudden request, switch from borderline small talk back to the assessment. he swallows, stretches the rope out—and looks back at jimin.

“want me to count again?”

“sure,” taehyung says, feigning an indifference that’s not wholly genuine. jimin counting had helped before, so he’s glad when he starts indicating jumps again—it’s easy enough, then, to let his mind blank and just focus on every demand of jump.

by forty-one, which he somehow manages without messing up with the rope, taehyung falls to his knees out of breath. he pants, takes a couple of moments to try to catch his breath, then looks up at jimin from his position on the floor.

“you said something about excellent stamina, if i recall correctly?” he says, arching his eyebrow teasingly at taehyung.

“this shit’s harder than it looks,” taehyung gets out, gasping. “you made your point.”

jimin lets out a small laugh. “you don’t work out much, huh?”

taehyung manages some kinda half-smile half-grimace, stuck between apologetic and sheepish. “i’m starting now, am i not?”

jimin shakes his head, then focuses back on his own rope, pulling it taut. “i’m gonna real quick do a rundown of some other moves. don’t worry,” he adds, “i’m not expecting you to keep up. just sit back and watch. you can do that, right?”

taehyung gives a smile and raises his right hand in a peace sign, then leans back against his elbows.

jimin starts spinning, starting out with a couple of rotations of the simple hops, but quickly switching to criss-cross, then double-unders, and finally showing off with squats, which taehyung’s fairly certain he’ll never be able to pull off, but he’s grateful jimin’s been willing to put in that work because his ass is godly, and he can recognise as much. he is an art student, after all.

finishing up with a couple other moves, jimin finally puts down his rope and leans a hand out to help taehyung up. “so, taehyung,” he says, sucking in a deep inhale and breathing out slowly, “what’re your thoughts?”

taehyung takes a second, blinks. “about what?”

jimin rolls his eyes. “do you wanna join the team or no?”

“oh, yes!” taehyung says, mouth pulling into a boxy smile all on its own. watching jimin’s final display has planted some doubts, or insecurities, in his mind—as has his own performance, a bit nervous he’s not at all a fit for this team, but c’est la vie—goddamn, he might as well give it a shot. “yeah, i’d love to. it sounds fun.”

jimin nods slowly. “right,” he says. “that’s good. practice tuesdays and thursdays, four to six. i expect you to work out outside of that, too. keep that stamina of yours excellent, right?”

he swears he sees a hint of a smirk, proof jimin knows what he’s doing, but it’s gone before taehyung can really catch it. he just smiles, reassures jimin he’ll stay in tip top shape and do his best.

“then i’ll see you next tuesday,” he finishes.

“you definitely will,” taehyung grins, salutes him before walking away.

he’s not too nervous before his first proper practice. maybe just a bit, images flashing by of how he imagines it might go, thinking back to how practiced everyone had looked from what he’d seen thursday—maybe there’s no other newcomers and taehyung will be out of place, but he’s overall not too scared. he’s outgoing, he likes to make friends. he’ll be fine.

he’s unsure whether to change at home, though, or pack his things and do it at the gym. at the end, he opts for the latter, figuring the locker room’s going to be a good place to get a more casual idea of the other team members.

he hears chatter through the door, then sucks in a breath and pushes it open and walks in. he’d been nervous a deadly silence would stretch out as soon as he entered, but it doesn’t happen at all; he’s barely paid any mind, everyone just continuing their chatter as they get changed into shorts.

“hi there,” a guy says to taehyung. he’s smiling brightly, pushing his hair back with a headband. “haven’t seen you before. i’m hoseok.”

“taehyung,” he returns, giving hoseok’s hand a shake. he drops down his bag on the bench and toes out of his shoes, then pulls his sweatpants off. he pulls the sneakers out of his bag and sits down to put them on.

“nice to meet you, taehyung,” he goes on. “jimin did say he’d had someone over. so tell me, he wasn’t too mean to you, right?”

“no?” taehyung says, tilting his head aside. “no, he seemed…not mean? is he mean?”

“ah,” hoseok nods his head, grinning, “on his best behaviour just for you, huh? he gets a bit strict, but rope’s just important to him. don’t let him get to you, yeah?”

“i’ll keep that in mind,” taehyung grins back, sneakers now laced up tight. he claps his hands together. “you’ve done this a long time?”

“three years on this team,” hoseok says. “you skipped before?”

“nope,” taehyung says, smiling sheepishly. “total beginner. poster caught my sight in the cafeteria, shot jimin a text.”

“that’s cool,” hoseok says, and it does sound like it really is cool. taehyung figures everyone’s been a beginner at some point, even hoseok and jimin. “he’s already in there, by the way, setting shit up. you ready here?”

“definitely,” taehyung grins, clapping his hands.

hoseok grins back and highfives him, and they exit the locker room, trailing after some of the others. they make it to the large room with wooden floor—jimin’s there already as hoseok had told, as are orange pins set up and multiple skipping ropes scattered here and there.

“warm-up,” jimin calls out when everyone’s more or less within hearing range. “same as usual.”

taehyung searches for hoseok’s eyes in confusion, tilting his head and letting his mouth drop open to question, “what’s the usual?”

hoseok’s started jogging, so taehyung instinctively follows along next to him, and takes in the response, “three rounds around the field. then push-ups, sit-ups, supermen—fifteen of each.”

“all right,” taehyung says. he doesn’t think he can do fifteen push-ups. he muses quietly just such, and hoseok laughs at him, booming and loud, reaching his hand out to clap taehyung’s shoulder. “just do your best, yeah?”

“i’ll do just that.”

he’s panting by the finish of the first round, but he pulls through the second before he gets a side stitch—by then he’s slowed down and his breathing is coming heavily enough to be embarrassing, but he makes it through the last round. everyone else has already started on the other exercises, but taehyung takes half a minute to catch his breath before kneeling down and getting in the right position to do push-ups.

as expected, he cannot pull through to do fifteen. he does seven, then his arms are trembling and he gives up. he moves around and does as many sit-ups as possible, then finishes up with the superman exercises.

finally, he pushes back up from the floor to his feet, focusing on evening his breathing.

“great,” jimin says a moment later, clapping his hands together. “everyone’s ready.”

taehyung doesn’t miss the pointed glance, but tries not to let it affect him.

“taehyung, right?” jimin checks, looking taehyung’s way again. taehyung nods and confirms with a smile, “yup.”

“i want you to just practice standard hops today,” he goes on, gaze intent. “you need to get secure with the basics before anything else.”

taehyung nods his head. it makes plenty sense, so although there’s a stab of embarrassment at the clear insinuation that he’s not good, he lets it pass without feeling too bad. he accepts the rope jimin hands him, then lingers as he continues giving out instructions for everyone else, before walking to the side to start practicing.

skipping rope, right, how hard can it be? well, to his great surprise, the answer is: fairly hard.

but he’s in high spirits, stretches the rope out and lets it rest behind his ankles, then starts out with double hops first. he knows jimin said regular hops, but the double hops had been more manageable, and he figures he first needs to actually learn how to control the damn rope. when he’s got that down, the actual spinning part, he’ll move on to the jumping part. finally, he’s going to somehow combine them. he’s got faith.

he remembers jimin’s words from thursday about wrist work, then spins the rope for the first jump. he keeps it slow, does another jump, then finishes the first rotation and jumps over the rope again, and then it’s just rinse and repeat.

it’s pretty easy keeping track of the numbers with this kind of move—and one and two and three, and so on, so he keeps the mental tally, which helps zoning out just enough to not mess up.

when he’s confident he understands the basic move (which is, honestly speaking, ridiculously easy: spin a rope around your body and jump over it), he moves on to what jimin had actually told him he wanted him to practice. he lets the rope rest behind his feet, then closes his eyes and brings back jimin’s voice from the other day—he flicks his wrists to start spinning, and then jump — jump — jump —

and it slaps against the backside of his calves, stinging enough to have his mouth drop open in a quiet ohfuck. he bites on his lip and shakes his head, readies for starting over.

he’s losing count by now, but he’s getting more in control of his wrists—keeps them tightened but doesn’t flick them too roughly, and it helps with getting the rope around better, avoids it flying around uncontrollably.

“wrist work,” jimin’s voice suddenly comes, and it surprises taehyung so much he gets caught in the rope and blinks at him slowly. jimin tilts his head, and, flustered, taehyung stretches out the rope and spins it around again. he feels jimin’s eyes on him like a heavy weight, but he does his best to not mess up.

“faster,” jimin says slowly.

taehyung sucks in a breath and spins the rope faster, quickening the pace of the jump, jump, jump in his mind. he has to close his eyes and he feels his breathing already go ragged, fighting not to give up already. when jimin doesn’t say more, he blinks open and looks at him—he’s too out of breath to ask if he’s doing okay, but he thinks the question comes across pretty clearly anyway. jimin doesn’t answer it, though, just gives a final nod with such an impartial expression, then walks away to somewhere else.

taehyung’s confused. he’d expected more of a response—questions how exactly he’s supposed to improve if jimin’s not going to say much more than ‘faster,’ but maybe he’s just more into sticks than carrots. and that’s probably fair. maybe it’s even preferable.

he’s got to take small breaks every now and then to catch his breath; manages a hundred or so skips, then gasps for a minute before starting over, practicing and trying to manage it faster—and time flies, honestly: soon it’s all over for the day, jimin’s telling them thanks for today and see you thursday after they’ve all cooled down with stretching exercises.

“sooo,” hoseok says, clapping taehyung’s shoulder as they trail towards the locker room. “how’d you like it?”

taehyung grins over at him, wiping at his forehead. he doesn’t remember the last time he’s sweat like this, feels himself fuckin’ dripping. “good,” he says, nodding his head. “hard.”

“word,” hoseok agrees.

in the locker room, taehyung drops down on the bench with a loud exhale. he stretches out his arm, then pulls up his leg to unlace his sneakers. “hi,” he grins to the guy next to him. “i’m taehyung.”

“hi, taehyung,” he gets in response. he pulls at his t-shirt, yanking it over his head by the hem and bundling it up. “i’m jeongguk. you’re new.”

“i am,” he winks at jeongguk, lets his eyes drop to his abs before dragging up to his face again. it looks like he noticed, though, flushing just slightly and averting taehyung’s eyes as he starts pulling down his shorts. “how long have you been here?”

“‘round a year,” he says, nodding absentmindedly, before shooting another cute smile and getting into the showers.

taehyung gets to work on stripping out of his own clothes, muscles starting to feel a bit sore now.

faithfully, he’s back thursday—shuffling into the locker room to change into tight black shorts and a red t-shirt, matching the new sneakers. he ties his bangs up in a top-knot; banters with hoseok and jeongguk, who both seem almost surprised to see taehyung again.

“didn’t think i’d come back?” he asks, filling up his water bottle.

“i dunno,” jeongguk admits, shrugging his shoulders. his t-shirt highlights his waist so nicely. “you kinda don’t seem…”

“sporty?” taehyung supplies. he flashes a wide grin. “yeah, i know. must admit i’m not too fond of it, really, to be honest, but this is too wacky to pass.”

“don’t let jimin hear you say that,” jeongguk says, mouth pulling into a small smile. “he’ll have you do extras of something.”

“oh, he can try me,” taehyung grins back.

jeongguk just shakes his head at that, and quickly they make it to the gym, starting the warm-up without having to be told.

apparently taehyung had done well enough last time that he’s allowed more today, included when jimin starts going over choreography and does his best when practicing afterwards. it’s still hard, and he fucks up frequently, feels the sting when the rope hits his skin, but it’s kind of fun as well—soon sweating and ridiculously out of breath, he clasps his hands on his head and tries to calm down while looking at everyone else. it looks chaotic right now, practicing here and there and ropes frequently getting tangled, but it’d looked put-together when jimin had shown. taehyung’s glad everyone else didn’t master it immediately, makes him feel a bit better about how much trouble he’s having himself.

jimin looks at him, asks what he’s doing.

“catching my breath,” taehyung says breathlessly. “just gimme a sec.”

jimin rolls his eyes, but doesn’t press it more.

all things considered, taehyung should’ve predicted how skipping rope would be able to conjure certain mental images, especially taking into account his slightly masochistic streak. (the word ‘slightly’ added out of politeness, softening the avowal somehow.) somehow, he didn’t, though. so now it’s coming to bite him in the ass—whenever something goes wrong and the rope slaps so hard he’s certain it’ll leave marks (which it rarely does, though) or when he slips up and lands on his ass, rope tangling around his calves. it feeds into his daydreams, aesthetic of it quite pleasing.

they call it rope, but it isn’t, really. it’s cable, and nylon-coated, so it slaps hard, especially with how quick they’re spinning it. if you push off just a millisecond too late, or move your arms a little too much, it’ll smack against your legs and that loud thwack will pierce through the room. it always takes a moment for taehyung’s brain and body to process it, but then he feels the sting.

it hurts the least on his calves, and definitely the most the rare times it hits his biceps.

taehyung finds a strange pleasure in it, though. he thinks jimin might have an inkling with how he looks at him whenever it happens and he lets out that knee-jerk little whine, but he only holds his head high and shoots him back a look of challenge.

to make matters even worse, jimin’s so hot. he’d noticed initially of course, but the realisation keeps hitting him every single time he sees him. black hair pushed back and damp with sweat, his t-shirt clinging to his chest so tightly and both biceps and thighs gorgeously on display.

and when he looks at him—his gaze lingers, and it’s so mean. his eyes are intense and appraising, it’s maddening. it makes taehyung’s skin burn red, ready to drop to his knees and beg for mercy if it wasn’t because he loved the fight so much. give and take, the challenge, catching jimin’s eyes every now and then and shooting a smirk his way.

jimin never responds, really. just keeps looking for a second, maybe gives a nod, before looking to someone else and offering adjustments. and he’s not exactly generous with compliments, which is incentive to work harder and really earn it. taehyung wants jimin to look at him impressed, tell him he’s done well and improved.

but he also does quite like it how it is now, too, with the mean eyes and neutral expressions, looking at him like he’s a thing he’s in the process of figuring out.

taehyung isn’t sure how far he is in that process either—if he’s got taehyung all analysed, or if there’s anything left to be assessed, but taehyung’s not very far in his own process of figuring out jimin. they don’t see each other much out of practice—not even in the locker room, jimin usually staying behind to tidy up as everyone else goes to clean up and change clothes, so most times taehyung will be done and on his way out before jimin even makes it there. which is really a shame, as it means he rarely gets the chance to sneak a glance at his abs. or anything further down.

it’s not gay when it’s sports. that’s, like, rule one of jock culture, taehyung’s coming to learn. rule two is feeling out of it every day you don’t visit the gym, something taehyung will never in his life be able to relate to. apparently, the other day jeongguk got out of bed and went to the gym for a couple of hours, then came home and changed directly back into pyjamas. this is a situation where taehyung would suggest not going at all.

he’s become pretty good friends with jeongguk, though; hoseok as well, and he’s on a first name and phone number basis with everyone else, just haven’t grown as tight as quickly.

“you’re dragging on your soles.”

taehyung knows he’s dragging on his soles. he can feel how the rope slides against his shoes every other swing, and he feels his breath catch in his throat every time, anxious it’ll get stuck and not come with him back to the front for another jump.

and of course he’s dragging on his soles—he’s been jumping non-stop for twenty minutes and can barely feel his legs anymore, so jumping at all is a herculean effort. ergo his feet barely leave the floor when pushing off. ergo he’s dragging on his fucking soles. he spits out, “i know.”

“you know?” jimin cocks his head to the side and his look is mean. “then why are you still dragging on your soles?”

“because,” taehyung spits out between pants, squeezing his eyes shut again as he flicks his wrists for another swing, “i’m — fucking — tired.” then he stills his wrists and lets the rope fall in front of his feet and stay there. “you go. show me you’re so much better.”

jimin picks up a rope, keeping his gaze icy and intent on taehyung. he swallows, suddenly unsure whether this was a good road to go down. he does his best at keeping his nerves concealed, though; he’d rather die than give jimin the pleasure of seeing him break.

jimin’s effortless in everything he does, taehyung’s learned quickly—now is no different, of course, keeping his skipping high-speed and face indifferent, even slightly bored, eyes on taehyung’s as he spins his rope for double-unders. taehyung’s tried to explain how he looks many times, but never successfully—there’s an odd grace which should seem more out of place, but somehow makes sense: of course jimin would look elegant, somehow, while jumping at 200 turns per minute and remaining wholly collected. he’s so fucking in control, it’s maddening. it’s driving taehyung right to the goddamn edge.

he’s slowly regaining his breath now, holding his hands on top of his head and leaning backwards to stretch out.

“keep your eyes on me,” jimin says, voice just slightly breathy. “maybe you’ll learn something.”

taehyung grinds his teeth but lets his head snap back, eyes focused on where jimin’s jumping—and jimin’s really all he’s focusing on right now, the rest of the team backgrounded and forgotten, just keeps looking at jimin spinning the rope so quickly, the cracking sound of it tearing through the air and slapping against the ground. he swallows down hard and focuses to keep his mouth closed, looks jimin up and down, then challenges, “you’re a bit slow, aren’t you?”

he thinks he sees his jaw set, but then he lets out a half-laugh, actually speeding up the spins. “think that’s you projecting,” he says flatly. “but you got anything else you want to point out? maybe my hair’s not the right length? my shirt too tight?”

frankly, he’s got a point with the last one—fabric stretched out criminally tight over his chest, pecs visible and making taehyung scared of drooling all over himself. he clears his throat and fires back, “now you mention it, black’s not really your colour. maybe try a light brown?”

“oh, you’re a bad liar,” jimin spits, nearing breathlessness now, but still keeping his eyes on taehyung. “mommy never told you it’s bad karma?”

taehyung sets his jaw. he leans down to pick up his own rope, fingers clenching around the handles. jimin’s right, of course, but taehyung’s not about to let him know that. “whatever,” he says with a roll of his eyes. he hooks the rope under his sole, readies for spinning it, “think i caught my breath again.”

jimin ends his own skipping (again, effortlessly—rope coming to a rest in front of his feet without tangling or slapping against his skin) and tilts his head to the side as taehyung starts up again. he turns around and walks to someone else, leaving taehyung working even harder to improve. one day jimin’s going to look at him with impressment in his eyes, tell him he’s doing well—that he’s done well. he’s annoyed, and frustrated, by how careless and callous jimin is, but he’s just going to have to earn the praise. it’ll be worth even more for all the work he’s put in.

jeongguk Flexed Biceps on Apple iOS 11.2Tongue on Apple iOS 11.2
when r u comingggg Confounded Face on Apple iOS 11.2Clinking Beer Mugs on Apple iOS 11.2Tropical Drink on Apple iOS 11.2

hoseok’s throwing a party, and jeongguk’s been harassing taehyung for the last hour to get him to show up. taehyung’s planning to show up, and he’s told jeongguk as much—he’s just been working on making himself look as hot as possible. he always does, when going out, so it’s nothing special, not him dressing especially up for anyone in particular. he likes the attention, having people turn their heads and think about fucking him. because that’s what they must think about, at least a lot of them, and he likes the power of not giving it to anyone.

im omw now Face With Rolling Eyes on Apple iOS 11.2Face With Rolling Eyes on Apple iOS 11.2
miss me that much??? Winking Face With Tongue on Apple iOS 11.2

jeongguk Flexed Biceps on Apple iOS 11.2Tongue on Apple iOS 11.2
shut up n just get here !!!!

taehyung slides his phone back into the pocket of his skirt, terribly short, nice silk shirt tucked into it. he’s stuck in dangly earrings and done his make-up, lips a happy cherry.

the scene’s already well under way when taehyung finally makes it there; lights dimmed and music loud, couples making out here and there. taehyung’s not sure if hoseok had intended for a smaller thing or not, but he knows just about everyone, so of course the place is crowded, floor overflowing with dropped cups already.

taehyung spots a table with bottles and aims for it, grabbing a plastic cup and a bottle—which turns out to be empty already, but by the third one he lucks out and pours rum into his glass. he downs it, makes a face as it burns down his throat, then spins around and scans the room. he throws on his brightest smile and zeroes in on a tall, muscular guy, makes his way to him and flirts himself to another drink.

after that, feeling the slight tipsiness settle in nicely already, he spins around and looks for jeongguk. he finds him after just a second, makes his way towards him smiling brightly.

finally,” he breathes, pulling taehyung into a hug. “took you long enough.”

taehyung grins into his hair, pulls away and pets his head slowly. “you can just say you missed me, kookie.”

“would if i had,” jeongguk returns good-naturedly. “got all dressed up, huh?”

“hmm,” taehyung hums non-committally, giving jeongguk the obligatory once-over in return. “so did you, didn’t you? cute skirt.”

“thank you,” jeongguk grins, pulling it up by the hem and letting it drop down. he smooths his hands over his shirt, then a smug grin makes it way onto his face. “hoping someone special will show up, huh?” he leans in close, whispers, “jimin’s not here, though. don’t think he’s coming.”

taehyung looks around instinctively, blushes when he hears jeongguk snicker at the reaction. he grabs his cup and downs it in one go, sticks his tongue out. he shoves down the hint of disappointment and holds out the cup for a refill. slowly says, “i didn’t dress up for jimin.”

“the hell you did.”

“i didn’t!”

“liar, liar, pants on fire,” he teases, taehyung’s cup refilled and a fresh one for himself as well. “come on, tae. you’re into him.”

taehyung’s mind’s hazy from the drinks by now and everything feels floaty and feather-light; jeongguk’s voice is velvety and smooth and good, so good taehyung doesn’t fight at all when a dazed smile yields his lips, just grins at him and empties his cup. “hm?”

“jimin,” jeongguk repeats, and jabs a pointed finger into taehyung’s chest. “you’re into him.”

taehyung returns the gesture of jabbing, pressing his index finger into jeongguk’s nose and squealing in delight when he pulls away with a groan. “what makes you think that?”

“you were hard the other day in the showers.”

taehyung squints. “was i?”

“god,” jeongguk groans, shaking his head slightly. “were you?”

“fuck you,” taehyung retaliates, pushing him away.

jeongguk sticks his tongue into his cheek in a crude gesture, then blows a kiss at taehyung. “i got you.”

“i—” taehyung begins, then leans forward and wraps his arm around jeongguk’s shoulders. he gives a tight squeeze and nuzzles his cheek against his, then goes on, “am not into jimin. i jus’ wanna fuck him is all.”

jeongguk rolls his eyes, presses a wet smack of a kiss to taehyung’s cheek. his breath smells of vodka, and everything else is sweat and glitter hairspray. “same thing, isn’t it?”

“nope,” taehyung says. he untangles himself from jeongguk, pushing up and wrapping his arms in a heart shape around his head. “you’re thinking something like love, aren’t you? think i want him to be my boyfriend or something. cute. but i really just wanna sit on his dick, baby.”

“not your baby,” jeongguk grins at him. he downs the rest of his own shot, lets go of the plastic cup. after a second, “so are you g’na make a move or what?”

even in his stupor, taehyung’s got the wits to slowly arch his eyebrow and let out a dissatisfied grunt. “no,” he says, tsks afterwards to make it clear how moronic jeongguk’s sounding. “i respect everything you’re into, but personally—” he stresses the word by pushing his hand through jeongguk’s hair and ruffling it, “—i like going for dick i know there’s a chance of getting. catch my drift? now, i want another drink.”

“you’re terrible,” jeongguk says, but indulges by grabbing him by the wrist and pulling him up and closer to where they can get a refill. “maybe you should consider. jimin’s full of surprises.”

“oh, is he now?” taehyung teases in a whisper, wiggling his eyebrow suggestively. he accepts the held-out cup with a happy grin and downs it immediately, spilling half of it all over his shirt. knowing it’ll get sticky, he half considers stripping out of it, but then focuses back on jeongguk. “how would you know that? you fucked or som’thing?”

“no!” jeongguk says. he shoves him, taking a single sip of his own new drink. “we haven’t. ‘m just saying is all.”

“‘just saying, just saying,’” taehyung repeats, and bold and happy from liquor he drops his glass and leans forward to loop his arms around jeongguk’s neck. he tilts his head aside, pulls him close in a weird hug. “let’s dance.”

jeongguk flushes red and tilts his head aside, probably to make himself seem cocky or confident, but his words are mumbled, “you think i’m on your list of dick you have a chance with, huh?”

taehyung snorts, pulls away to boop his finger to jeongguk’s nose. “i know you are. but i really do just wanna dance now.”

jeongguk rolls his eyes and drags taehyung with him a couple of steps backwards. “good. ‘cause it’s all i wanna do, too.”

the rest of the night passes in a happy blur; he dances with jeongguk, hoseok as well—feels happy and floaty, a dumb smile on his lips all night. and if he feels dismayed at jimin’s absence, he doesn’t show—just loops his arms back over hoseok’s neck and grinds against him, grins at jeongguk’s open mouth.

the next morning, he wakes up in his own bed. he’s feeling surprisingly all right—thanks his past self for the aspirin and water he’d downed before passing out. he looks at his phone, scrolls through the notifications.

he rolls onto his other side, then back, and quickly he’s bored of just lying there. he’s itching for something, a challenge of sorts. not a real fight, but maybe something similar.

he gets out of bed and brushes his teeth—he’s not sure what drives him, maybe the disappointment of last night which he’s decided to repress and not label disappointment at all, but he grabs his gym bag and heads out the door.

as expected, jimin’s there. taehyung’s starting to question whether he lives there, orders all his groceries online and has them delivered to this address. it’s a ridiculous idea, really, but somehow not that far-out. he grins, shakes his head, and makes it to the floor. he catches his eyes, and jimin gives a short nod in response.

“getting tired, captain?” taehyung pokes his tongue into his cheek for a second, then sticks it out slightly at jimin. “need a break?”

“i got here five thirty,” jimin spits out. he looks mostly annoyed, maybe slightly open for the challenge taehyung’s posing. “bet your ass was still asleep by then.”

“well, it’s a saturday. i was out last night.”


“mm,” taehyung agrees, nodding slightly. he sits himself down cross-legged on the gym floor and hooks his chin in his hands, blinking up at jimin. “you didn’t show.”

“you waited for me? that’s real sweet.”

taehyung laughs—a real, booming thing, mouth stretching into a boxy smile. “you wish.”

“oh, no.” he cocks his head to the side, taking both rope handles in one hand, and looks taehyung up and down. “no, i don’t really.”

taehyung flushes a little, but goes on. he’ll blame it on the rum shots from last night, and how the hangover hasn’t hit him properly quite yet. “are you saying you don’t think i’m hot? i’ve seen how you look at me, you know.”

jimin doesn’t say anything. he keeps his eyes on taehyung’s and licks his lips slowly.

“you’d fuck me.” he leans back on his arms, grinning up at jimin. he’s not even sure if he believes this, or he’s just projecting something in the hopes of a reaction to figure out if there’s any possibility at all. still, he goes on, “if i gave you the chance.”

jimin shrugs at him, then breathes out a small sigh. “in your dreams, sweet thing,” he says, then takes a handle in each hand and lets the rope hook under his sole, pulling it taut before spinning it for double-unders.

taehyung stays cross-legged for a while, just looking up at jimin as he jumps at some mind-blowing speed. there’s that characteristic grace to his movements: eyes piercing and staring into taehyung’s, not really smiling, but not the opposite either—he just looks effortless, entirely carefree. shirt taut around his biceps and feet setting off and landing in exactly the same spot, every time. sometimes taehyung wobbles, but jimin doesn’t seem to—everything about him is too fucking practiced.

just then, he comes to a stop, rope catching deliberately under his sole and pulling tight, cocking his head to the side and questioning, “enjoying the show?”

“oh, absolutely,” taehyung nods solemnly. he gives a grin. “think i’d like it a bit better if you’d turn around, though. would you do that for me? show off that ass of yours.”

it doesn’t seem to startle jimin at all, his face not falling in the slightest—quite the contrary, he just gives a slow roll of his eyes. he turns his back to taehyung slowly, starts spinning his rope again for simple hops.

“must admit, it’s a bit flat,” taehyung lies. “but i’d still fuck it. that’s what you want, isn’t it?”

jimin does another two unhurried hops, then stills the rope by his side and turns back around to face taehyung. he lets his eyes scan over taehyung’s body slowly, dropping low to where his thighs are splayed out on the floor, then dragging back up to his face. “i’ve got a bit on you, though, haven’t i?”

taehyung cocks his eyebrow. “you want it the other way around is what you’re saying? wanna fuck me?”

jimin snorts, and it makes taehyung clench his teeth, but otherwise fights to keep his features schooled calm.

“that’s what you dream about, huh?” jimin asks lazily. he swipes his thumb over his bottom lip and checks taehyung out again (at least, taehyung’s sure that’s what he’s doing). “since you keep bringing it up.”

“we’re talking about you,” taehyung says, pointing his finger. “you’re projecting here, park. i don’t dream about anything but a 4.0 gpa and a good ass nap.”

jimin shakes his head slowly, rolling his eyes at taehyung another time. “keep dreaming,” he says. “now, you gonna jump wheels with me, or you gonna stay there on your ass?”

taehyung jumps up and claps his hands together with a wide smile. an echo reverberates that exercise is good for hangovers, so he figures he might as well. “let’s do it, cap.”

taehyung’s face always goes so slack when he’s concentrating. he focuses all his energy on jumping high enough (but not too high) and keeping his legs stretched all out, muscles tight, so there’s nothing left to control his facial expressions—his mouth falls open and his eyes squeeze shut, blocking out visions so he doesn’t have to think about that either. just the sound of the rope snapping and his own heavy breathing.

“your mouth,” jimin’s voice comes. “taehyung, you look fucking dumb.”

taehyung feels his heartbeat fast in his chest—it skips a single beat and he bites down on his lower lip, channelling his breath out slowly through his nose.

“open your eyes and gimme a smile.” jimin claps his hands and taehyung obeys, blinking open and biting down harder. his legs are killing him, and though he doesn’t have the energy to look around at the others, he doesn’t think anyone of them already is as tired as he is. he feels like an unruly child. “smile, for fucks sake. you gotta look pretty if we wanna win anything.”

taehyung plasters on his brightest, fakest smile. jimin clearly catches the fuck you in it but he doesn’t comment on it—just nods once and thanks him curtly, then focuses his attention on someone else.

he’d like to say he thinks jimin’s gotten meaner after his little stunt the day after hoseok’s party, but he’s honestly not sure if he has. he’s always been mean, and he thinks he might just be overanalysing everything, trying to gauge that hoped-for reaction. and an increase in hostility would be a reaction, wouldn’t it? so maybe he’s projecting. maybe he’s just hoping.

because jimin’s hot, and mocking, and taehyung drops thinking of him tying him up and being even meaner.

but he can’t go there, not in the middle of practice, or at all, really—sometimes it happens on its own, and he’s got no control of it then, but generally he’s trying to steer clear of any fantasies involving him, because it’s only fuel for self-destruction to dream about someone you don’t have a chance with. sure, it’ll feel real good just as he gets off, mind fogged-up thinking of begging and denial, but just afterwards he’ll just feel awful and sad and alone. he wasn’t lying when he talked to jeongguk—it’s better to stick with dick he’s got an actual chance with.

he shakes his head, tries getting his focus back to concentrate on keeping his smile on his face.

a later day, he tries testing again.

“did you know,” he says casually, catching jimin’s eye for just a second before looking back down as he stretches his neck out and leans aside to reach for his toes. “— that i’m wearing very cute panties today?”

stealthily, he sneaks a glance at jimin again; careful enough jimin won’t see he’s observing his reaction, but observing it all the same—not that there’s much to observe. he’d hoped for something, even something minor: a sharp intake of breath, maybe, or just him wetting his lips, but he’s getting a cocked eyebrow and eyes squinting in confusion. his voice is neutral, typically cold, “what?”

taehyung looks up at him and smiles innocently. “nothing,” he says, and goes back to his stretching exercise, but after less than a second, and without seizing eye contact again, he adds conversationally, “pink. lacy.”

this time, maybe there’s just a hint of an inhale.

another party, and taehyung’s already tipsy. he’s such a lightweight, fodder for many jokes, and on top of that he usually doesn’t even like drinking all that much. he’s a prone-to-bad-decisions kind of drunk, as well as arguably too touchy, and then there’s the following day of headache and nausea, so usually he’ll opt for non-alcoholic drinks. but sometimes he’ll get in the mood—and tonight’s one of those times, accepting the cherry pink drink hoseok holds out for him with a happy smile.

he dances with jeongguk, winks at him when he gets shy after receiving a kiss on his cheek. “you’re such a baby,” he laughs, booping his nose.

jeongguk flushes redder, casts his eyes aside and mumbles, “‘m not. i’m hardcore.”

“sure,” taehyung laughs, shaking his head.

not too long after, they’re both back refilling their cups. taehyung’s just taking a sip when jeongguk nods his head towards the hallway, and with a smirk says to taehyung, “oh, look who’s here.”

taehyung has an inkling to where this is going, but obediently he turns his head to look over his shoulder—catching sight of jimin immediately, mouth almost dropping open (and please do note this almost, as it’s crucial to stress his mouth actually does stay closed).

jimin is…hot. taehyung realises now he’s only ever seen him in workout wear (also absolutely stunning, 10/10 would suck off) and the sweatpants and hoodie combo he usually changes into after practice (also hot, in a vaguely fuckboy sort of way)—but he’s never seen him like this, with proper effort put into his appearance. even from the distance, taehyung’s head is already spinning and he’s ready to get to his knees for more than one reason.

he’s in high-waist boyfriend jeans, ripped on the thighs as well as the knees, and rolled up to mid-calf; underneath, he’s got red fishnet stockings and a chunky, black belt around his waist. his t-shirt’s simple, a solid black, but it highlights the rest of the outfit—as well as the black choker around his throat, and the large gold hoops in his ears. his make-up’s popping, earthy shades of eyeshadow and highlighter making him glow gorgeously. in short, taehyung’s half-hard and has to shake his head to snap out of it, turns his head to look back at jeongguk. he gulps, and jeongguk throws his head back with laughter. “you are so into him!”

“he’s so hot,” he groans. “but he’s an asshole. and on principle, i don’t sleep with assholes.”

“oh?” jeongguk cocks his eyebrow.

“it was one time,” taehyung fires back, jeongguk grinning at him again. “i can admit to thinking he’s hot and wanting to suck his dick. doesn’t mean i’m gonna —” he waves his hand around, not sure how to finish the sentence.

“sure,” jeongguk says, “whatever.” then he pulls a condom package out of his pocket and ceremoniously leans his hand closer, pushing it into taehyung’s hand. he winks, “be safe.”

taehyung turns red, brings his hand up to push at jeongguk’s chest. “okay, mom. kinda sad you won’t need this yourself, isn’t it?”

it’s jeongguk’s turn to flush, punches taehyung’s shoulder lightly. “shut up.”

“i’d offer to help,” he says with a shrug, “hook you up with someone. maybe if you hadn’t acted like such a brat just now.”

please,” jeongguk groans. “you can’t even hook yourself up with anyone.”

taehyung rolls his eyes at him, then catches him off-guard and leans in to smack another loud kiss to his cheek. jeongguk pulls away disgusted, wiping where taehyung’s lips touched. “go talk to your crush.”

“shut up,” taehyung says, then pulls jeongguk with him back to dance again. so maybe he’s acting up just slightly hoping for jimin to take notice, but sue him. he’s hot, he knows he’s hot, and he wants jimin to think he’s hot, too. actually, he’s pretty sure jimin already thinks he’s hot—so he decides to push that, letting his eyes fall shut and mouth drop open like he always does at practice, even though he’s been told a million times to close his fucking mouth, and grinds his ass against jeongguk’s crotch.

jeongguk indulges him for a couple of songs, then he slips away and taehyung’s left alone. he pouts to himself, scans his eyes around the room—finally, they settle on jimin, who’s sitting on a couch by himself. looking at taehyung.

he swallows and schools his face into a confident expression, then slowly makes his way towards jimin. “look who showed.”

jimin tilts his neck and looks up at taehyung, letting his eyes scan up and down. he wets his lips and lazily looks back at taehyung’s eyes. “taehyung.”

“jimin,” he says. he gestures, “mind if i sit?”

“make yourself at home,” jimin gestures right back, inviting.

taehyung would be a fool to turn down something like that, so easily he plants himself in jimin’s lap. he’s well aware it’s not what jimin had meant, but he enjoys the little oh he lets out taken by surprise. he grins, “how’re you doing?”

“quite all right,” jimin says slowly. he’s not touching taehyung. not yet, anyway, as taehyung thinks he’d quite like him to. “and you?”

“pretty good,” taehyung hums amiably, nodding his head. “just danced a little with jeongguk.

“i saw,” jimin says non-commitally.

taehyung takes hold of his hands and places them on his own hips, only smiling confidently down at jimin, not otherwise addressing the motion. he lets his own hands come up to rest on jimin’s shoulders, cocks his head aside and catches his eyes to check he’s not telling him to back off.

jimin only gives a squeeze with his hands, so taehyung’s urged to continue what he’s doing. “seen how you look at me,” he says quietly, repeating something he thinks he’s said earlier, but isn’t really sure with his mind already clouded a bit in the best way.

“oh?” jimin tilts his head just slightly, tongue swiping out to wet his bottom lip. “how do i look at you?”

“mm, you know,” taehyung says, leaning close to press his lips to jimin’s neck in a faint kiss. he pulls away again, grinding in his lap just once, “you think i’m pretty, don’t you?”

jimin tightens his grip on taehyung’s waist, right hand smoothing over to press into the small of his back. “do i, now?” he teases. “or do you just want me to?”

taehyung’s breath stutters, but he gets out, “you definitely do.”

jimin gives a tiny little laugh, not too mean, more acknowledging than anything. taehyung flags it a win and wraps his arms around jimin’s neck loosely, leans down to rest his head on his shoulder gently. he purrs into his ear, “bet you can’t guess the colour of m’underwear.”

he feels jimin’s hands grabbing tighter for a moment before moving downwards, cupping his ass and squeezing. he hums in consideration, and taehyung sits back up to catch his eyes, smiling deviously in encouragement. “c’mon, captain. give you three guesses.”

“and if i’m right?”

“you get a kiss,” taehyung grins, blowing a kiss with a loud smack. he goes on, “and if you’re wrong, i get one.”

“fair enough, i suppose,” jimin says calmly, squeezing taehyung’s ass another time before moving his hands up to grip onto his waist tightly. taehyung’s tingling wherever he touches. “black?”

“no,” taehyung says, rolling his eyes. “boring.”

jimin arches his eyebrow. “black’s hot. sex classic.”

taehyung flushes just slightly, biting down on his lip without saying anything else.

“hmm,” jimin thinks for a second, then guesses, “red? silky.”

“nu-uh,” he shakes his head.

“oh, that would be lovely on you, though,” jimin says conversationally. “don’t you think?”

taehyung’s breath stutters and he squeezes his eyes shut, shakes his head to clear his mind before firing back, “i’m lovely in everything.”

“i’m sure you are.” he gives another smile, and finally calmly announces, “baby blue. lace.”

“how’d you—” he mumbles, mouth opening slightly.

“you bent over earlier. caught a glimpse,” jimin says with a grin, sticking his tongue out teasingly. “big fan of the bralette, by the way.”

taehyung swats at his chest, shaking his head in disbelief. “that’s cheating.”

“you made the rules, pretty,” jimin argues, pushing at taehyung’s hips to make him grind in his lap. “now, i won’t force you to kiss me—”

taehyung cuts him off by clumsily pressing his lips to jimin’s, angle a bit awkward but sighing into it nonetheless. he pulls away slightly and mumbles, “what was that?”

“nothing,” jimin rasps, pressing his hand flat on the small of taehyung’s back and kissing him again.

kissing jimin is exactly how taehyung had imagined it’d be—push and pull, curling his hand on taehyung’s neck and taking control like it’s second nature. he licks lazily into taehyung’s mouth, lets him squirm in his lap and groan against jimin’s lips. and he’s the first to pull away, too, of course, taehyung thinks absentmindedly—pecks a quick kiss to his lips and just smiles in some weird way, doesn’t say anything.

“decent enough kisser,” taehyung says after a couple of moments to gather his thoughts. he tries to act casual and thinks he pulls it off well enough. “you good in bed?”

jimin snorts a laugh, runs his index finger lightly up taehyung’s jawline. “bet you’d love to know that, hm?”

taehyung tilts his head, pokes his finger to his chin two times quickly to signal consideration. “dunno,” he says after a moment, “surely not if you’re bad.”

jimin wets his lips, keeps his eyes trained on taehyung’s. “you’re a bit of a tease, aren’t you?”

“am i?” taehyung returns easily, ghosting his finger over jimin’s lips. then he tilts his own head aside, thought striking him, “so am i a good kisser, huh?”

jimin gives another grin, reaches up for what taehyung assumes to be another kiss, so he’s parting his lips and fluttering his eyes shut in anticipation, but to his surprise jimin only hovers a centimetre from taehyung’s lips and exhales gently. he whispers, “very…zealous.”

taehyung groans, dumps his head against jimin’s shoulder. “sounds like you liked it.”

“didn’t say i didn’t,” jimin teases, ruffling taehyung’s hair. “now, you gonna give me a lap dance, pretty? or else i think i’d like another drink.”

taehyung very deliberately doesn’t dwell on the thought, because jimin’s already, apparently, seen what kind of underwear he’s in, and he’s called him pretty, and his lips are slick and puffy after kissing, so he squeezes his eyes shut and crawls out of his lap, sinking down on the couch beside him. he holds his hand out gesturing for jimin to get up and smiles at him. “go ahead. won’t stop you.”

he sits for a moment, just looking at taehyung. finally, “do you—want anything?”

taehyung’s taken aback, then a toothy smile spreads slowly. he bites down on his lip and tilts his head. “surprise me?”

jimin nods, smiles back and pushes up. had taehyung been a stronger man, he might’ve been able to not stare so blatantly at his ass as he walks away. as it is, taehyung’s very weak, very pansexual, and very, very horny.

tuesday afternoon, taehyung is jittery: keeps tapping his fingers against his thigh, playing with the hem of his shirt. he remembers jimin’s voice exactly, the rough tone of it as it dropped deeper with the pretty, hands squeezing his ass—the memory of all night stretched thin by being replayed so much, taehyung unable to shake it off. sitting in jimin’s lap, his eyes so clearly clouded with interest—but nothing more happened, obviously, because they’d both been drinking. they hadn’t even kissed again, neither of them making the first move.

so he’s nervous, now, and excited, to see how jimin’s going to act today—if he’ll pull him aside after practice, call him out again for being a tease and ask if he’d like to go somewhere, sometime.

hoseok cocks his eyebrow at him in the locker room, sticking his tongue out to tease. before he says anything, taehyung rolls his eyes—then dumps down on the bench and pulls at his shoes, starts changing into the short shorts and red t-shirt. he’s recently discovered headbands, too—they’re great for keeping his hair out of his face, doesn’t fall out in the same way elastics have a tendency to. he pushes one on and goes to pull on his sneakers.

making it into the gym, he’s almost skipping—his steps light and bouncy, having difficulties properly masking his excitement slash nerves.

jimin calls for warm-up and he starts jogging around the field, content with waiting for jimin’s inevitable reaction.

so he waits.

and he waits. skips rope as any other time—maybe even more intensely than usually, actually; putting in extra work, showing off he’s a good team member, worth attention.

and jimin pays him no mind at all, barely spares him a glance for the whole two hours.

taehyung doesn’t lose hope, though; it just fuels his enthusiasm, honestly, puts on a good show and assumes jimin will address it afterwards, so he keeps his mouth pretty and open and oh-like, reminding jimin of how good he could be for him.

but what he waits for never comes. he lingers after they’ve done stretching exercises, awkwardly shifts his weight from one foot to the other, curious bystander as jimin tidies up. after minutes, jimin looks up at him, ropes in both hands and expression bored. “do you need something?”

taehyung flushes immediately, mind going blank. not what he’d expected—or maybe just not what he’d hoped; maybe if he’d not gotten so caught up in his own dreams and desires, but instead thought it all over and considered it’s jimin, he would’ve realised to expect exactly this. he sighs, rolls his shoulders. “no,” he says. “no, i guess i don’t.”

jimin shrugs his shoulders and bends down to pick up another rope. taehyung looks at him for just a second, then turns on his feet and makes his way to the locker room.

so it’s as he’d known all along—jimin’s just a hot asshole. the party had really just been a party—jimin had been wanting to make out with someone, and with alcohol in his blood, taehyung had been the first and best option. he’d called him pretty not because he thought taehyung especially pretty, but because it’s what you call the person you’ve got straddling your thighs, looking at you half-desperate, half-drunk.

he sighs to himself. he’s not sure why it stings so much, had known not to get his hopes up for anything—but still, it would’ve been hot to have jimin tie him up and slap him around a little. and isn’t that why he’s been acting up anyway? to make him snap.

maybe he’ll just have to try harder.

at least, he’s decided he’s going to refuse himself to feel sad about this.

he’s been trying to keep his head high and act unbothered during practice, just keep being as he’s always been, but it’s honestly difficult. he feels like a fucking fool, sad and frustrated, and he can’t figure out where jimin actually stands. mostly, he’s sure he’d been wrong when assuming maybe he found taehyung hot, or fuckable, and the party had just been a drunken mistake—but then other times, when he’s pausing from skipping and panting desperately to catch his breath, he swears jimin’s eyes linger on him for longer than necessary. or when the rope slips and he can’t help but whine out at the pain, he thinks jimin’s head snaps up sometimes to glance at him—but he’s never sure. maybe he’s imagining it all, because as sad as it is to admit, he still thinks he’s hot. and he’s still fantasising about him.

now he’s bored in bed, skipping song after song in his library.


what do u want, taehyung?

taehyung rolls his eyes. so he’d hoped to get jimin a little worked up, sue him, but of course his response is as boring and unsurprising as expected. what does he want? for jimin to dick him down, and also maybe cut him some slack during practice, but god’s dead and all that, there’s no winning in this life. he groans, just feeling dumb now, and types out a quick,

fuck wrong chat!!!!
im sorry!!

it takes close to a full minute before a response ticks in, and when it finally does, it’s painfully short and devoid of feelings.


this was a stupid idea. he’s about to give up and just roll over in bed, slide open wordfeud and never open messages again to avoid embarrassing himself like this, but then his phone buzzes another time,

dont worry abt it

if you squint, it’s almost like he has feelings.

“AH!” taehyung yelps, falls forward and squeezes both hands tightly around his right ankle. he whimpers more quietly now, squeezes tighter in an attempt to relieve the pain, but finds it’s no use. he huffs out a groan, bites down on his lip and just sits there, stupid. he doesn’t dare look up, but barely another second passes till he feels warm hands wrapped around his own, and jimin’s asking what’s up.

“i—” taehyung tries, casting his eyes up and meeting jimin’s. they’re clouded with something that could almost pass for concern. he flexes his ankle, but immediately freezes up and cries out when it hurts. “it hurts. i’m sorry, i don’t know if i—”

jimin quickly unties his shoe and carefully gets it pulled off taehyung’s foot, then takes ahold of it and moves to bend it just slightly. taehyung’s lip wobbles and he shakes his head, repeating that it hurts.

jimin looks up to the others and waves his hand around. “pack up,” he calls. “practice is done for the day. i’m taking tae to the ER.”

“you’re—?” taehyung squints in confusion, starts pushing up to get to his feet again reassuring he’s fine, but jimin grabs tightly onto his calf and keeps him seated. “your ankle’s broken, taehyung. quit acting tough.”

“i’m not,” taehyung argues immediately, “it’s nothing serious. i’m just overreacting.”

“i know a broken ankle when i see one,” jimin says calmly, stroking his thumb across taehyung’s skin in a gesture that strictly speaking might not have been entirely necessary.

“how do you—?” taehyung starts, but seals his lips shut again when jimin just raises his eyebrow.

“here, come on,” he says after a second, getting taehyung’s arm wrapped over his shoulder and helping him get on his feet. “don’t make me carry you.”

“in your dreams, captain.”

jimin snorts a half-laugh, and slowly he half-carries, half-helps taehyung limp awkwardly across the gym floor.

taehyung whimpers in pain again when jimin helps him into the backseat of his car, telling him to put his leg up. he does as he’s told, then puts on the seatbelt, fighting a little given the awkward angle. it only takes another couple of seconds till jimin’s sliding into the front seat, closing the door and pushing in the keys.

they’re quiet as he pulls out of the parking lot, and after a few moments the silence starts feeling heavy. taehyung coughs, looks out the window. he feels awkward, and finally realising how troublesome this is, so clears his throat another time and clenches his fist, “i’m sorry.”

“huh?” jimin asks, shooting him a quick glance in the rearview mirror.

“you didn’t have to take me,” he clarifies, catching his eyes. he gives a small, apologetic smile and finishes, “so, i’m sorry.”

jimin squints, then shrugs his shoulders. “it’s fine. how’s your ankle?”

“hurts like hell,” taehyung says with a groan, rolling his shoulders. “and not in the good way.”

jimin quirks his eyebrow at him and there’s a faint smile on his lips. “there’s a good way?”

taehyung looks aside, letting his head drop back against the headrest.

the drive isn’t too long, but finding an empty parking spot proves more trouble than either would’ve hoped for. after looking for minutes, jimin looks at taehyung over his shoulder and decides, “you know what? let’s just drop you off here and get you inside. i’ll find a spot after. yeah?”

taehyung shrugs. “sure.”

so jimin pulls up on the curb right in front of the entrance. he loops taehyung’s arm around his shoulder and gets him out the car (effortlessly, one might even say, part of taehyung’s brain faintly notices) and helps him inside. “i’ll be right back, yeah?”

“sure,” he starts, mumbling, “but jimin, you don’t—”

jimin gives him one look and taehyung shuts up. then he turns around, gone quickly, and taehyung’s left waiting on his own.

jimin’s back soon enough, hurrying inside and looking around the room. he spots taehyung and sits down.

“they haven’t called me in yet,” taehyung says, though it feels like stating the obvious. jimin simply nods.

they pass the next ten minutes in silence, and then his name’s called out and they’re led to a hospital room. taehyung limps, jimin helps.

the doctor’s friendly, looks to be in her early thirties and sending taehyung a smile. after the initial introductions, she asks, “can you tell me what happened?”

“uh, yeah.” taehyung coughs, scratches his neck. he sends jimin a look, embarrassed. “we were at practice. skipping rope, and i—i don’t know, i set off wrong, so i come down and i feel it, but i figure it’s not really that big a deal? so i just, you know, shrug it off. i’ve had worse anyway. but then later, i don’t know—ten minutes maybe? i fuck up again, and…well. it really hurt then.”

what?” jimin demands, and taehyung can’t help but look over at him again. “why didn’t you say anything the first time you were hurt? why’d you continue?”

taehyung squints, tilts his head aside. jimin’s just about the last person that’s got any right to ask this question. he’s probably 90% of the reason taehyung had bit it down and ignored the pain. he tells him just so, “no pain, no gain, right, captain?”

“not serious pain,” jimin argues immediately, and he looks almost insulted at taehyung’s words, but not exactly at his attitude—more like he’s insulted at what he’s implying. that jimin wouldn’t care about injuries. “you should’ve said something.”

“well.” taehyung doesn’t really know how to tear his eyes away. “didn’t wanna bother you.”

jimin’s mouth drops open for just a second, then he gathers the composure lost. his fist clench and he swallows, and gone is the compassion, “looks like that worked out well for you, huh? trip to the hospital and everything.”

taehyung tears his eyes away and looks back at the doctor, and she senses the tension between them, taking the lead with another smile. “we’re going to take an x-ray,” she tells.

“okay,” taehyung says, nodding at her. he tries to smile, but finds himself lacking the energy even for something so simple. “just tell me what to do.”

she gives him another smile, and he’s easily guided through everything. she’s kind, touches soft.

“uh, do you wanna call your family or something?” jimin asks after, eyes so intense and almost worried. “to let them know.”

taehyung hesitates, then shrugs. “nah,” he decides. “let’s just get this over with. i’ll call them tonight.”

“all right.” jimin nods his head.

the fracture turns out to be mildly serious. not severe enough for extensive surgery, but he’s moved around and his leg is numbed. he’s given some relaxing meds as well, and then the doctor calmly tells him to take a deep breath and try to relax.

without a word, jimin reaches out his hand for taehyung to take. he does so, clinging onto it as the doctor aligns the broken bones with her hands—not because it physically hurts, because it doesn’t really, given the meds and everything, but because he’s awake and aware and he just wants the support.

jimin doesn’t say anything but a hushed reassurance, not even when taehyung clenches hard enough he’s sure he’s cutting off the blood flow.

after, he of course gets a supportive cast and instructions on how to behave for the next couple of days till he can come in for a follow-up appointment. mostly, he has to stay calm—no skipping any ropes, she says with a smile—and then he’s given pain killers, too.

“it’ll take up to twelve weeks to heal properly,” she goes on. “but i’d like to see you again in a week’s time.”

taehyung complies without complaint, strangely enough quite interested in having his ankle heal properly.

hobbling, he makes it back to jimin’s car and into the backseat again. awkwardly, he realises he’s still in his sportswear, shorts suddenly feeling ridiculously shorts where they ride up mid-thigh. but so is jimin, t-shirt white as always and clinging to his biceps. he’s sitting in the front seat but hasn’t started the car up yet, is instead looking over his shoulder at taehyung. “you okay?”

“i’m—” taehyung swallows and licks at his lips. “i’m fine, just—clothes. y’know.”

jimin cracks a grin, nods his head. “yeah,” he says, turns around and twists his key. “i’ll drive us back to the gym.”

he stays silent for a couple of minutes, but then he can’t anymore. “i wanna…say thank you,” he says lamely, wetting his lips again. “for the trouble. and taking me. and—everything. thanks.”

“it’s really no problem,” jimin reassures calmly. he’s only got one hand on the steering wheel, the other resting lazily on his thigh. “it’s fine. i wish you’d said something after the first mishap.”

“mishap?” taehyung snorts. “just say fuck-up, jimin.”

“hm?” jimin looks displeased, but it’s just for a second. he’s silent for a long moment, then quietly he asks, “why didn’t you?”

taehyung shrugs instinctively, then figures jimin might want more than that. “i dunno,” he confesses, looking out the window again. “i told you inside.”

“you didn’t wanna bother me?”

“yeah.” taehyung sets his jaw, refuses to look over at jimin.

“right.” he’s quiet for another second, then, “well, we’re at the gym now. i can go get our things, and—do you want me to drive you home?”

part of taehyung wants to deny the offer, show jimin he doesn’t really need him. another part of him wants him to drive him home, and it’s the part that wins out in the end. “if it’s not too much of a problem.”

“it’s no problem,” jimin says firmly, then exits the car and is gone for a couple of minutes. he returns with his own black sports bag slung over his shoulder, and he’s put on his hoodie as well. he’s got taehyung’s things in his hands, opens up the trunk to drop it all inside.

“i don’t think i know where you live,” he says as the first thing when he’s back inside the car, shooting taehyung a look over his shoulder.

“no,” taehyung agrees. “you need to, uh, take the exit over there, and then—”

navigating on crutches turns out to be more difficult than you might at first imagine. taehyung’s always had a weird relationship with them—ever since childhood, he’s oddly idealised them, often found himself daydreaming about getting to limp around on them. not for any specific reason, even—it’s not so much a broken bone he desired, or getting a couple of days out of school; just the whole concept of having to use crutches, for a real, properly justified medical reason. it seemed godly.

so he’s immensely disappointed when it turns out to not be at all as he’d made it out to be. frankly, it’s just a pain in the ass—getting around on them is shit, hobbling around like some other humpty dumpty. the conclusion is that kid taehyung was a goddamn dumbass, not that present-day adult taehyung has evolved much in that department.

jimin texts him, just once. a couple of hours after dropping him off from the hospital trip.

are u holding up ok?
dont worry abt missing practice, just get some rest.

taehyung’s not sure whether to interpret it as actual concern, but it definitely feels down that road. right? and he’d held his hand at the hospital—taehyung keeps flashing back and feeling the phantom touch of his small hand in-between his own, warm and soft and letting him squeeze as hard as he wanted to. he’d looked concerned, eyes wide and so gentle, the first time they’d shown even a flicker of kindness—and it’d been lovely. then driving him home afterwards, helping him out of the car and holding his things as taehyung struggled with balancing the crutches and getting the door unlocked.

now he’s texting. taehyung’s reading into it.

im fine!!!
[attached_img] [attached_img
jeonggukie brought me ice cream heh Smiling Face With Halo on Apple iOS 11.2Smiling Face on Apple iOS 11.2Shaved Ice on Apple iOS 11.2

im glad ur doing ok!

he doesn’t say more, not for the rest of the night or following days. taehyung spends his weekend bundled up in bed, rendered half-immobile somehow bringing about the motivation to do some homework. he bangs out a couple of essays, then treats himself with background netflix and candy crush for some hours.

he considers texting jimin again, but really their relationship has never been a text-based one. to be frank, he’s not even sure he can talk of any kind of ‘relationship.’ and since jimin doesn’t text him, he doesn’t text jimin either.

he knows jimin said not to worry about missing practice, but tuesday he’s getting bored and restless, and he kind of wants to see him, so he goes to the gym anyway. not to practice, obviously, just to watch—he brings a notebook and his pencil case, planning to just sit by the sideline and cheer them on; jot down notes, maybe draw a little. if he’s honest, rope isn’t much about the skipping, really—he knows it is for jimin, and of course he’s excited about the upcoming tournament (though he might not even get to go now, depending on how long he’ll be out with the broken ankle), but really? what’s made him keep showing up every week is the team and the fun they have. the time in the locker room is at least as big part of it as the time spent actually spinning rope. so, he doesn’t want to miss out just because he’s injured.

tae,” hoseok grins, running to give him a half-hug before warm-up. “pretty nasty fall you had, jimin updated me on the hospital trip. how’re you holding up?”

“i’m okay,” taehyung reassures, honest. it doesn’t hurt; it’s just itchy, and an annoyance, and then there’s the stab of fear everyone’s going to ditch him since 12 weeks is a long time. he’s hoping he won’t have to be out that long. “nothing serious! told jimin i was just overreacting.”

“that’s not how he told the story.” hoseok looks at jimin over his shoulder for a second, then back at taehyung. “it’s good to see you! you gonna be our very own cheerleader, huh?”

taehyung strikes his arms upwards in a pose, pouting to blow a kiss. “always, hobi.”

“looking good,” hoseok returns, blowing a kiss back. “better get back out there. bet you’re not missing push-ups, huh?”

taehyung snorts. “definitely not. think i’m gonna like them better from this point of view.”

hoseok grins at him, then turns around and jog-trots back to the field.

he’s right about the vantage point—from where he’s sitting, he’s getting a perfect view of jimin’s backside, which means getting to enjoy his ass. so he may be an asshole, but, by god, his ass does not fuck around. he’s not even sure in what direction to steer his daydreams: does he want him to sit on his face? to get to fuck him? to just be allowed touching, maybe leave a few marks? the possibilities are endless.

he cheers the best he’s ever learned: clapping his hands and calling out encouragements, whistling when hoseok pulls off the frog perfectly. he spins around and bows deeply for taehyung, shooting finger guns up at him and yelling thank you.

“you’re a king,” taehyung calls back, mouth stretched into the widest grin.

he jots down some notes, too—nothing fancy, really, just notices how jeongguk’s shoulders barely move, and taehyung already knows that the spin is in the wrists, but he’s going to try to work harder on it in the future, too.

after, everyone starts trailing off to the locker room. he’s not sure whether to make his way there or not; he sort of wants to, it’s part of the reason he showed up—but he’d also like to be helpful, if possible, so he makes his way to the floor and hovers in front of jimin. he’s tidying up, looks zoned out and lost in his own world, so, with great difficulty, taehyung leans down and picks up a rope, then holds it out for jimin, coughing to get his attention.

jimin looks up, narrows his eyebrows, but accepts the rope wordlessly.

taehyung offers a small smile, then places the crutches and makes his way to another rope lying scattered. he tries to squat down to pick it up, slowly pushing back up and turning around, face lit up in victory, but quickly falling when he sees jimin’s cold expression. “what are you doing?”

taehyung swallows, but doesn’t give up yet. he knows he’s useless when relying on the crutches, but he already fucked up, and he feels like a failure. he doesn’t want to be a failure. he wants to be good, and helpful—wants to be someone you can be proud of. quietly, he says, “i wanna help.”

“just—” jimin waves his hand, “leave. fuck off, will you?”

it hits him low in the stomach, air punched out of him—he can’t do anything but just stare at him for a long moment, words settling in properly. to stall, he licks at his lips, swallows dryly, and just as he’s about to apologise, something snaps. it starts in his fingertips, tingling, and moves up his arms till his whole body’s trembling and he feels the tears come, as they always do when he’s upset—it always makes it all worse, being an angry crier, because it makes him stutter like an incoherent fool. “what did i do?” he says, stomping his uninjured foot against the floor. “i’ve been nothing—but nice to you! i’ve been trying so hard, jimin, to make you think i’m good, and make you proud, and i know,” he sucks in a breath and wipes at his eyes, “— i started late and i’m not good like you, and i’ll probably never be as good as you! i get it! but i don’t understand you! i don’t! why are you so rude? you’re so mean,” the word comes out almost like a whimper, but he carries on immediately in hopes to conceal it, “i joined this because i thought it’d be fun, did you know that? and it was! it was fun, but you’re—you’re taking all the fucking fun out of it. it’s not fun! you’re just mean all the time, and i’m trying! so…so fuck you, jimin.” he throws the rope at him, but misses. it lands by jimin’s feet. “i’ll fuck off then, you fucking…asshole.”

then he’s left to stand in silence, inhaling to gasp for his breath. jimin’s just looking at him, expression indecipherable. taehyung’s wishing for something but he’s not even sure what—can’t tell if he wants jimin to argue, or tell him it’s all a misunderstanding, or apologise, or…he doesn’t know. after a second, his voice comes like ice, “you done?”

whatever he’d wished for, that wasn’t it. tears well up again and fall pathetically, so he nods his head as stoically as he can manage. “that’s it,” he gets out, voice wet and broken and barely above a whisper. he’d wanted to make a dramatic exit, but with a broken ankle and crutches in his hands, he’s left to struggle desperately just to pick up his things. it’s so humiliating, flailing around like bambi, jimin just standing there pretending not to see him, head turned to the side. it’s almost making him cry harder, with frustration, but finally he makes his way out of the gym.

for just a second, he considers waiting to see if he can catch a ride from jeongguk, but ultimately he decides against it. he doesn’t want anyone seeing him like this—visibly torn apart, face probably swollen red and glistening with tears, ugly and ugly and ugly, some baby.

the worst part is he doesn’t even get it. he can’t figure out when he’d started feeling anything for jimin, didn’t even think he had—but now there’s no denying it, tearful evidence staring him down. he’s always been stupid, falling for people he either doesn’t have a chance will or who will just treat him like shit. maybe that’s just his type! he almost laughs at the thought, because that’d be so typical.

the doctor would probably get angry if she knew he’d walked home, but what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. maybe his pride will kill him one day, but so be it.

he makes his way to his flat, half-crying but angrily wiping at his eyes and working hard to detach from the aching. finally inside, he rummages through the kitchen—pulls out a bag with 12 cookies and a can of chocolate milk, then sits down on his bed silently.

mindlessly, but meticulously, he eats every cookie—two bites and a sip of his drink, rinse and repeat. he doesn’t feel better afterwards, just used and broken, like a bowl of cereal left out for hours, soggy and gross and not good for anything.

he crawls under the covers, closes his eyes. his head’s hurting a bit now, the aftereffects of crying, but he’s too tired to go find aspirin. he just lies there, breathing slowly.

he really should’ve expected it. he replays the last months—from joining the team out of curiosity and boredom to quickly falling into some area of fancying jimin, but only for something physical, and finally, apparently, that devolving into something more? he should’ve listened to himself at hoseok’s party.

he’s always been such a fool when it comes to these kinds of things. see, he can’t even say the word.

hobi Sun on Apple iOS 11.2Unicorn Face on Apple iOS 11.2
didnt see u at practice yesterday?
i kno ur ankles broken n all but u came tuesdayQuestion Mark on Apple iOS 11.2

yeah, i think im quitting

hobi Sun on Apple iOS 11.2Unicorn Face on Apple iOS 11.2
oh?? for real???
Disappointed Face on Apple iOS 11.2Frowning Face on Apple iOS 11.2 that sucks man

idk its not as fun anymore.. its ok!!! Smiling Face on Apple iOS 11.2Sunflower on Apple iOS 11.2

hobi Sun on Apple iOS 11.2Unicorn Face on Apple iOS 11.2
Disappointed Face on Apple iOS 11.2Disappointed Face on Apple iOS 11.2
if u say so……
if its bc of jimin,,

its not!
promise Smiling Face on Apple iOS 11.2
but if its ok id rather not talk abt it tbh
howre u??? Thought Balloon on Apple iOS 11.2Yellow Heart on Apple iOS 11.2

just texting with hoseok almost has him choking up again, not willing to address any of it. of course it’s because of jimin, and of course it’s painfully obvious, but he’d rather not deal with it, ever.

he’s quitting rope, mind made up. he’ll find another hobby—maybe he’ll join a church choir, or just invest in a dozen of colouring books and spend the rest of his life perfecting his skills in that area. it’s all good.

it’ll hurt for a while, he thinks—knows, but he’s determined not to let himself think of it at all. surprisingly, he’s always been decent at compartmentalising as well—he might carry his heart in a way it’s bruised too easily, but he can zone out from that, like he can zone out from everything. as long as he doesn’t think of it, it’s fine.

hobi Sun on Apple iOS 11.2Unicorn Face on Apple iOS 11.2
as long as ur sure!!!

taehyung’s not. not really, not in his heart, but he doesn’t want to listen to that. that’s what made him like jimin in the first place, telling him to go there and feel anything at all, so his heart is cancelled. it’s better that way, really. and it’s better if he quits rope.

there’s a knock on the door. taehyung’s in bed, curled up under four blankets and with the netflix app open, some cartoon playing but he’s not paying much attention. not really—he’s sort of just zoning, and now there’s a knock. 90% of his body has zero interest in getting out to open, but he somehow manages to listen to the 10% telling him to behave as a normal, functioning human being, so he locks his phone and rolls onto the floor.

he’s only in an oversized t-shirt and home-knitted socks, and faintly he considers throwing on a pair of sweats, but figuring it’s most likely not going to be a stranger, decides it isn’t worth it. he pushes his hand through his hair and grabs for the crutches, then makes it to the door, unlocks and opens it.

it’s jimin.

it’s jimin, in front of his door, looking put together and gorgeous as always, and wearing pants. unlike taehyung. unlike taehyung who’s not wearing pants, nor even a clean shirt and hasn’t checked his reflection in the mirror for two entire days, because it’s weekend and he’s slowly deteriorating despite the promise he made to himself about getting his shit together. there’s a 99.9% chance that he looks like absolute shit, and now jimin’s standing in his doorway.

taehyung realises then that he actually has no interest in seeing jimin. or maybe he does, but it’s some escapist fantasy, and he doesn’t want to indulge in it.

he swallows, somehow summons the willpower to look at jimin’s face, and then—

he’s just looking at him. he’s not even saying anything, just standing there with his stupid messy hair and brown eyes, and looking. like taehyung’s the city’s greatest spectacle.

he doesn’t want them to, but the tears well up anyway. he tries to fight them, looks skyward and blinks rapidly to will them away, but they come anyway, and he sniffles pathetically. his voice is wet and stupid, the way you speak when you’re on the edge of a breakdown and you’re desperately hoping against all odds nobody can hear you’re about to cry, but you know everybody can hear you’re about to cry, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do but try to get the words out as quickly as possible. “what’re you doing here? i—i left, and you—why’re you here? to tell me one last time how much you hate me?”

jimin’s mouth’s agape, and a moment passes in silence where he continues to just look at taehyung. he closes his mouth, inhales audibly, and reaches out his right arm which makes taehyung flinch. he keeps his eyes trained on jimin’s raised hand, but it’s only hovering mid-air now, not drawing closer to taehyung and not touching him. which somehow just makes everything worse, that jimin won’t even touch him. taehyung’s always so stupid.

his stupid desire to make friends with everyone and his stupid heart and his stupid, stupid way of falling even though he’s fucking afraid of heights.

jimin sighs, brings his hand to his mouth and shakes his head slowly. “i don’t hate you, taehyung.”

the tears are angry now but no less embarrassing, wet and falling down his cheeks. he does his best to keep his voice calm, at least, cold and unaffected. “right,” he nods his head. “sure. funny. well, if you could go somewhere else and not hate me, that’d be great. goodbye, jimin.”

he’s about to close the door shut, but jimin looks into his eyes and he seems almost lost, and he mumbles, “please…”

taehyung shrugs and crosses his arms in front of his chest, letting the door stay open. he’s always been too weak; always been too bad at saying no.

“taehyung, i don’t…i don’t hate you,” he repeats, and taehyung doesn’t believe a fucking word out of his mouth, unless he’s just stating this to follow up with a final note about how taehyung means so little to him that he doesn’t even deserve proper hatred. “i’m—i don’t know what to…i’m really bad with—with words, and with feelings, really…really bad, but it’s not an excuse, i wanna say—taehyung, i wanna apologise. i wanna say i’m sorry, i really—really am, really sorry, and i—i recognise. i recognise i’m an asshole, and i’ve been an asshole, and i’ve been mean and cruel and made you…made you feel really bad, and you don’t—you don’t have to forgive me, i honestly probably wouldn’t, i just—and it’s probably selfish, definitely, to wanna say sorry, because i can’t—probably live with myself, so i’m an asshole, still, but also…i wanna. i dunno, i think i just want you to know i’m sorry. i wanna take responsibility, so…” he trails off, looks up and blinks slowly, rubbing at his eye with his sleeve. “i’m sorry, taehyung. that’s—that’s all. i’m gonna—i’m gonna go again, and thank you. thank you for letting me speak.”

taehyung’s too stunned to say anything much, just staring at jimin at a loss. he’s crying more, but without sound now, just tears trailing down slowly. he grabs out for jimin’s wrist when he starts to pull away, doesn’t say anything but just holds onto it.

jimin looks at him in confusion, but stays put, simply looking. taehyung sees another tear trailing down his cheek before jimin gets to wipe it away, eyes glassy. he slaps his hand against his chest, and then does it again with the other hand. all he manages to whisper is, “you’re stupid.”

“yes,” jimin says after a moment, voice wavering just slightly. “i know. i’m sorry.”

“why’re you so stupid?” taehyung says, and his voice is almost whimpering as he falls forward the last bit of distance, head curling against the crook of jimin’s shoulder.

“can i—” jimin begins, slowly, finishes even more quietly, “can i hug you?”

“please,” taehyung whispers, and finally he feels jimin so carefully wrap his arms around him. it’s barely there, touch so light and hesitant, but he pushes closer against his chest, not giving a fuck he’s getting his shirt dirty, and not giving a fuck either that he’s still barelegged and looking a mess.

for a long time, they just stand there—taehyung cries quietly against jimin’s shoulder and lets himself be hugged, jimin carding his fingers gently through his hair and shushing him, even though his own voice is trembling with tears as well.

taehyung pulls away first, wiping at his eyes with the back of his hand. “do you wanna—” he tries, then clears his throat, “d’you wanna come in?”

jimin looks terrified, but after a moment nods slowly. “if—that’s okay?”

taehyung nods decisively. “it’s okay.”

he steps aside and allows jimin inside, closes the door after him and hovers as he pulls off his boots. he trails further into the flat slowly, embarrassment about the state of the place suddenly hitting him, so he gestures around before pointing awkwardly with the crutches and mumbling, “sorry about…it’s kinda a mess. and, uh,” looking down, fidgeting with the hem of his shirt with just his fingertips, “i’m kinda a mess, too. i’ll go—” he gestures vaguely, then hurries as well as he can towards the other room to pull on a pair of sweatpants. he fidgets his hand through his hair in an attempt to fix it, but soon gives up and just makes it out to where jimin’s still lingering in the one other room.

“sorry for stopping by unannounced,” he says after another second, pulling at the sleeve of his shirt again. he shifts his weight to the other leg and goes on, “guess i wasn’t really sure you’d—” he clears his throat, scratches at his neck. “can i, uh—i don’t know if i’m done talking.”

“sure,” taehyung gestures to the couch, “you can sit down. do you want—anything?”

jimin shakes his head no after a second, wringing his hands and sitting himself down carefully on the edge of the couch. “i just…if you’ll listen? that’s all.”

“sure,” taehyung repeats lamely, slowly sitting himself down on the other couch cushion, crossing his legs in front of him. he folds his hands and looks at jimin, mindful of the metre’s distance between them.

jimin nods to himself, probably gathering his thoughts, before carefully untangling his hands to push them under his thighs. “you,” he begins, “— think i hate you? sorry. refresh. i’ve made you think i hate you. yes?”

taehyung shudders out a breath, then gives just one quick nod. “something like that.”

“i don’t,” jimin says, tone barely above a whisper. “i don’t at all. i really—like you, actually. guess i’ve fucked up trying to show that.”

“yes,” taehyung says. “you sure have fucked that up.”

jimin looks up at him and when he sees the smile on taehyung’s face, he gives a small one in return. he nods, “sorry about that. i’ve never really—jeongguk says i’m an asshole.”

“jeongguk’s a smart man,” taehyung says, nodding his head in agreement.

“i know,” jimin agrees thoughtfully, clasping his hands together again and looking down at them. “i know that.” after another second, he looks up at taehyung and bites down on his lip, then, “can i say something really stupid?”

taehyung shrugs his shoulders. “sure.”

“i think you’re so pretty.” he flushes red and immediately opens his mouth to continue, “that sounds so wrong and i’m not trying to, you know, just tell you you’re pretty and think it’ll make everything okay because it’s not, i know, i just—i’m dumb around pretty people. and smart people. and people i…like,” he adds in a whisper.

taehyung quirks his eyebrow, head exploding. he doesn’t know whether to believe anything he’s hearing. doesn’t know if he wants to, or if it even matters. he wants to go back to bed and sleep for a couple of days or centuries. he wants a hug. he wants to know if jimin’s for real, and whether that means something. “you’re trying to say you like me?”

jimin looks away. “i guess,” he mumbles, then seems to catch himself and looks back at taehyung with wide eyes. he looks down again and continues, “i mean, yes. yeah. you’re giving me the time of the day, so no more lying or half-truths from here. yes, i’m trying to say i like you. and i wish i’d been…better about it. i didn’t know how to act around you, and then—i dunno, it seemed you kinda kept up with me? you retorted, and it was kinda this back-and-forth and…then i just didn’t know how to move past that, or—i’d already established myself as a this mean asshole and then i didn’t—don’t, actually—know how to not be that. you know?” casting his eyes back up at taehyung, hopeful and wide. “i wish i could…undo everything, all the last months, just…go back and not be me, but—i can’t. i can just say i’m sorry. and i don’t deserve another chance, and you don’t owe me anything, but i wish…i wish we could do it over. i wish i could do it properly, and show you…do it right.”

taehyung’s voice wavers, “the other—the other day? when you…?”

“i’m so sorry,” jimin repeats, looking into his eyes again. “i…i thought—i’d hurt you so bad, and i figured—i thought then it was best i stayed away from you, pushed you away, so—so i wouldn’t hurt you more. i—i was wrong to do that, and i’m sorry. i really am.”

at some point during jimin’s talking, taehyung’s started crying again. it’s not till now, with the room growing silent, that he’s forced to realise it—suddenly his cheeks are wet all over, and jimin’s image seems blurry. “i hate you s’much,” he gets out through a sniffle, shaking his head. “you’re such an idiot. you’re the worst,” he sobs, then falls forward into jimin’s chest again. jimin’s arms wrap around him in a hug, rocking him gently against his chest. taehyung can feel him shaking too, though, pulling him close and resting his face on the crown of taehyung’s head.

taehyung continues sobbing quietly, repeating over and over that jimin’s terrible. jimin’s only replying with i know and i’m sorry, smoothing his hand over taehyung’s back soothingly.

he missed him. they’ve never even hugged before, but somehow he’d missed that, too. he wants to believe him so badly it hurts. wants him to be telling the truth, and wants, more than anything, for everything to just turn out all right. just once, let everything be okay.

he pulls away just slightly, not far enough for him to see jimin’s face, but far enough for his voice to become discernible. “i was so scared,” he whispers, and it seems like it’s his turn to ramble because the words keep coming, “that you hated me. i know i’m plain and boring and unlikeable and…you’re s’mean and i didn’t…i didn’t really mind, i dunno, thought it was kinda…‘s embarrassing,” he trails off, looking down and fidgeting with his hands.

“it’s okay,” jimin says quietly. “you can say…anything. i want you to say it all, i don’t want any more…misunderstandings. please?”

“thought it’s kinda hot,” he whispers, bites down on his lip. “or something. ‘m not sure…anyway, figured you’re just kinda an asshole because it wasn’t just me? not really, you’re sorta mean with everyone, figured it’s ‘cause you’re captain ‘n stuff, and yeah…it was—your eyes, when you looked, i wanted—i wanted you to keep looking,” he goes on, voice muted, and swallows to catch his breath. “you know? it’s dumb. but i liked when you looked, even if your gaze was s’mean. and i didn’t know either, how to—i dunno, how to hit on a mean asshole, y’know? i don’t know…i don’t know when it changed, but then ‘s like…maybe it wasn’t just a facade, y’know? maybe you really…thought i’m a hassle.”

jimin reaches out and grabs hold of his hand carefully, gives a squeeze. he doesn’t say anything, but nods his head in understanding, showing taehyung he can go on if he wants.

“so that’s it, i guess,” he mumbles, gives a shrug. “when we were at the hospital, you were so sweet. holding my hand, saying it’d be okay. and there’s the party, i know i was—i wasn’t wasted, but i was—well, anyway, you called me pretty, and you…we kissed, and i thought…i dunno, maybe i thought it meant something, but then you acted like nothing even happened, and i was so…” he looks up, wide-eyed and trembling, “confused. i was so confused, jimin. i mean, wouldn’t you be?” another pause, before finally finishing, “i don’t know. maybe i just wanted you to say something.”

“i—” jimin says quietly after a moment’s gone by, checking taehyung’s done speaking, “didn’t say anything because…i didn’t know if it meant anything. to you, i mean.”

taehyung tilts his head, but lets jimin’s words sink in and thinks them over, realising he’d acted pretty indifferent afterwards as well—but only really after realising jimin wasn’t acting any different.

“and i know!” jimin interjects quickly, “that maybe i should’ve still…acknowledged it, somehow, but—i dunno? figured you’d probably rather just forget it ever happened or you would’ve bought it up, y’know?”

taehyung squints in response, but after a moment he lets out a sigh. he supposes he sees the logic behind jimin’s words. “because i didn’t notice any changes from your side, i was acting like nothing happened too. right.”

jimin shrugs. “guess so,” he mumbles. “i’m sorry.”

“then,” taehyung starts, nodding decisively, “i’m sorry, too. i see why you…didn’t say anything about it. still think you should’ve, but i am not entirely without blame either.” he cracks a half-grin, gives jimin’s hand another squeeze. “sorry.”

jimin offers a lopsided smile in return, squeezing taehyung’s hand back. he reaches out and ever-so carefully pushes his fingertips through taehyung’s hair to get it out of his face.

“but did it?” taehyung says, casting his eyes aside. “mean something, i mean. to you.” he holds his breath as he waits for jimin to reply.

“yeah,” he says after a couple of beats, voice affected. “did it—to you?”

idiot,” taehyung curses, looking back at jimin’s face just to roll his eyes at him. “i’ve just cried all over you for like forty minutes. of course it meant something to me.”

jimin’s smile is dumbly wide, teeth flashed at taehyung.

“don’t wanna do it again,” he goes on carefully, mind clearing to make decisions. he needs to take care of his heart. “— yet. not till you’ve proven…i need to know you mean it. truthfully.”

“of course,” jimin says solemnly, nodding his head slowly. “but that means—” he exhales a shaky breath, eyes intent on taehyung’s, “— you’re willing to give me a second chance? to get it right?”

“yes,” taehyung says. he nods his head as well, but just once for emphasis. “and can i say something really stupid back?”

jimin nods his head in confirmation, gesturing sure, of course, so taehyung goes on, “i really hope it’s worth it.”

there’s a silence after that, not exactly awkward, but definitely heavy. jimin licks at his lips and nods at him, and taehyung nods back, still neither of them speaking. finally jimin breaks the tension by changing the subject to something else: offering to carry his books to and from classes the next weeks, taehyung on crutches and all.

taehyung insists he doesn’t have to, but jimin insists harder that he wants to.

“we don’t even have the same classes,” taehyung argues, looking aside for a second. the offer’s sweet, really, and it’s making him almost blush thinking of.

“what classes do you have?” jimin asks. “we’ll make it work. and i can…you don’t have to, of course, but if you wanna come to practice, you can drive with me.”

taehyung deliberates for a second, but before answering jimin adds, “jeongguk’s been asking about you.”

“yeah, he texted,” taehyung says. “so did hoseok. i told them i was quitting.”

jimin swallows, nods slowly. “oh.” he licks his lips, goes on, “i see.”

“but maybe i could still come watch,” he says, suddenly feeling almost shy. “maybe i’ll change my mind again…not that i’d be much use with any ropes right now,” he tacks on, aiming for the almost-flirty banter he thinks they’d been good at before.

jimin looks at him with a warm, but small, smile. he nods his head again, “i hope you’ll reconsider.”

true to his words, jimin carries taehyung’s books. taehyung’s not got a lot of classes, so it’s not that big of a deal, but jimin faithfully shows up to carry his stuff as taehyung himself limps around on the crutches.

a bit embarrassed at first by the attention, but quickly taehyung grows to look forward to seeing jimin, and he enjoys how it’s a perfect way to spend time together outside of practice—something he, again, realises they’ve barely done.

now, they get to interact in a completely different setting—all casual, jimin in plain jeans and a black t-shirt, hair swooped back fluffy, asking if class was fun and indulging when taehyung goes on about what they’d covered. and vice versa, taehyung loves to hear jimin talk about his own day, what he’d done and spent time on.

“i read alice’s adventures in wonderland yesterday,” he tells him one day. “have you read it?”

“uh,” taehyung hesitates. “probably? i can’t remember.”

“aha.” he smiles up at him. “same, really. just knew i’d watched the disney movie lots.”

“so how’d you like it?”

and like that it goes on, at first slightly awkward but quickly settling into a nice routine of easy conversation, realising they actually get along pretty well. jimin’s funny and smart, and much less of an asshole this time around. he flirts with him, too; it’s just how he is, and he’s already made it clear he’s interested so he might as well have some fun—and it is fun, when jimin barely ever hesitates, looking at him like he could absolutely ruin him just like taehyung likes to be ruined.

he comes along for practice as well, and he has to hide his smile in his sleeve when he sees how happy jimin seems. he reassures he doesn’t have to, but taehyung decides he wants to, “so let’s just drive already so we won’t be late.”

jimin continues revealing which books he’s reading, and taehyung talks about the classes he’s taking and how it’s cool, most of the time, but sometimes he entertains the idea of switching majors, although he knows he’ll probably just get tired of that, too. so for now he’s staying put, and maybe he’s just getting bored and restless again with this injury keeping him from practicing.

“god, tell me about it,” jimin groans. “when i broke my ankle and couldn’t do shit for so long, it was torture. even just light wrist sprains mess me up, it’s like i’m barely myself…”

“you’re…so jock,” taehyung laughs, shaking his head just lightly. when jimin scoffs and bats his shoulder, he only reaches out to ruffle his hair happily.

“i wanna ask you something,” jimin says another thursday after practice, fresh out of the shower with damp hair and a soft t-shirt. taehyung lets himself admire unabashedly, looking him up and down before grabbing his crutches again to stand up and get ready for moving to the car. he’s taken to quite enjoying skipping rope practice, even from the boring spot on the benches—it really is such a lovely vantage point. he smiles, “shoot.”

“i’m actually—” jimin hesitates, shifting the position of his bag’s shoulder strap. he sucks in a breath, “kinda nervous.”

“oh?” taehyung says, tilting his head. he’s got a pretty good idea where this is going, but he keeps his face looking as neutral as ever. “wanna go to your car first?”

“uh, sure,” jimin mumbles, nods his head. it takes another second before he starts grabbling for his keys, then smiles apologetically and steps forward to hold open the door for taehyung.

he parked as close to the main entrance as possible, so soon enough he’s opened the door up for taehyung and shoved his bag into the trunk.

“so,” taehyung says, clapping his hands to his thighs when they’re both inside the car. “ask away.”

jimin inhales again, then steadies himself wetting his lips. he looks taehyung in the eye, and his voice comes surprisingly steady, “do you want to go on a date with me?”

even knowing it’s what he was going to ask, it knocks the breath just slightly out of taehyung. he feels his cheeks heat up, because he always blushes so fucking easily, and he can’t help the smile that grows quickly. “what kind of date?”

“i was thinking ice cream,” jimin says, tilting his head. “i thought you’d like it.”

“it’s january,” taehyung says, because he figures it’s how normal people might respond. truly, though, he thinks an ice cream date sounds absolutely wonderful. ice cream is not a seasonal food.

“thought you wouldn’t care? but, we can—i mean, if you wanna go out at all, we can…do something else?”

taehyung laughs, shakes his head at jimin. “shh, i’m teasing. i’d like to go on an ice cream date with you.”

jimin looks so relieved, breathing out a sigh as a smile makes its way onto his face. “thank you,” he says. “that makes me happy to hear. are you free this weekend?”

“yup,” taehyung grins. “saturday’s great.”

jimin finally puts the key in the ignition and turns it around, holding onto the wheel with just one hand. “i’ll pick you up around two?” he asks. “wear something cute for me.”

taehyung gives a confirming nod for the suggested time. “you know i always look cute.”

“i sure do,” jimin agrees with a smirk, looking at taehyung for just a moment before turning his eyes back to the street. “especially when you zone out skipping, mouth open and eyes closed. pretty picture.”

taehyung’s close to squirming, the obvious undertones in jimin’s words. “hmm…” he delays, “thought you hated it? it’s like the mortal skipping sin or something; you’re always telling me to stop looking so dumb.”

“mm,” jimin murmurs non-committally, glancing at taehyung again with something smug playing on his lips. taehyung almost whines, wants him so bad. knowing jimin has noticed him acting up, but hasn’t snapped yet is only making him want to act out even worse—everyone’s got a breaking point, and taehyung will just have to work hard and finally reach jimin’s.

he drops him off at home and taehyung makes it inside, already mentally sifting through his closet trying to come up with a cute outfit for saturday.

considering the weather, he quickly ditches anything too short, though it’s a real shame with how lovely he looks in a pleated skirt. sifting through, he picks out a pair of nice, loose pants, then flashes back to sitting in jimin’s lap and being teased about the lingerie, jimin saying he liked the bralette, so with a grin he takes hold of a sheer shirt, thinking he’ll pair it with something lacy to peak through the transparency. even considers red silk, but that might be just a bit too obvious, so he thinks he’ll stick with lace, which is his favourite anyway. maybe just plain black, it’ll stand out well under the eggshell-coloured fabric.

happy with his choice, he moves on to take a shower (which, frankly, is still an unsettling and frustrating process with the cast—but he’s getting it off in a week now, and has never been more excited in his life) before fixing his hair and throwing on just a hint of make-up. generally, he’s not too good at applying it, but he likes it every now and then—especially lip gloss, shiny pinks leaving him looking so kissable in his own, honest opinion.

he’s ready with just ten minutes to go till jimin had said he’d pick him up, so he settles down and snaps a couple of selfies just for good measure.

a smile breaks out when he hears a knock, but he schools it down to something more faded before going to open the door. “hi.”

“tae,” jimin says right back, eyes dropping to trail up and down. he’s barely subtle about it, but taehyung can’t say he minds much—returns the favour, even, taking in how jimin looks. as expected the answer is hot, but the reminder is always nice. today he’s in cuffed jeans, so tight on his thighs taehyung thinks he might get lightheaded, and a simple black sweater. after a moment he says, “you look cute.”

“thank you,” taehyung smiles, fidgeting his hands. “puppy kinda cute or i wanna fuck you kinda cute?”

something tugs at the corner of jimin’s mouth and he licks at his lips, probably thinking something, but finally settling on, “which would be your preference?”

“guess you would like to know, huh?” he turns around and pulls down his jacket from a hanger, gets it on with ease before stepping into his one shoe.

“guess you would, too,” jimin teases. “you all ready?”

“yes,” taehyung says immediately, clapping his hand in finality. “let’s go get some ice cream, baby.”

jimin helps him to his car, and as always drives like something out of fast and the furious, because no risk no fun, right? also, he hasn’t got all day, busy man and all, he told with a grin the one time taehyung asked if he always drove like trying to get away from robbing a bank.

the shop’s adorable, and taehyung tells just so. he didn’t think any ice cream shops would be open, currently, but apparently this one’s an exception, and on top of that they’re the city’s best, if jimin’s to be trusted. it’s kept in pastel colours, a soft-hued daydream of cotton candy and baby blue.

“i’m glad you like it,” jimin says with a smile. “i’m friends with the owner.”

“cute,” taehyung grins. “he give you discounts?”

“mm, sometimes,” jimin says after a moment, smiling fondly thinking of his friend.

“if i owned a ice cream shop,” taehyung starts, “i’d give you discounts all the time. that way you’d have to come visit, wouldn’t you?”

“you think i can be bought with ice cream?”

“you can’t?”

“shut up,” jimin tsks. “what would you like?”

for a long time taehyung deliberates. it’s really a tough choice, because everything in him is screaming to go with a scoop of the strawberry sherbet that looks absolutely mouth-watering, and maybe a vanilla one as well, but then there’s the option of getting a simple popsicle just to show off his best blowjob skills and drive jimin up the walls. really, how is he even supposed to choose between those?

eventually, he figures out a plan—he’ll get the scoops now, and for next rope practice (which will be his second last time just on the bench, though he knows it’ll still take some time before his ankle will allow him back as completely normally) he’s going to bring lollipops, and knock himself out as he watches jimin’s ass. it’ll be a great time.

“i’d like strawberry and vanilla in a cone,” he says to the cashier with a smile, and she immediately gets to scoop up the ice cream for him.

jimin, the heathen, gets mint chocolate and a chocolate fudge. taehyung asks him if he just loves that sweet mixture of chocolate and toothpaste, and jimin fires back if taehyung’s ever tried to brush his teeth in his goddamn life because it doesn’t taste like that and his argument is invalid.

“twice daily,” taehyung says. “because i’m a good boy.”

“sure you are,” jimin says back, keeping a suggestive eye contact for a moment, before pushing in his credit card to pay for both ice cream.

they flop down by a table not smack in the middle of the shop, and taehyung digs the small plastic spoon into his ice cream and pushes it between his lips, figuring popsicles actually aren’t the only thing you can make a show of licking. he keeps his eyes cast down for the first taste, feigning innocence, but he notices jimin hasn’t tasted his own yet. he shoots his eyes up and hums around the spoon, then pulls it out and muses, “this is good.”

jimin swallows. “yeah,” he says, then spoons up a taste of his own, and he definitely keeps his eyes on taehyung’s when splaying his tongue around it. taehyung might’ve made an error or two.

“so, if you had a dog, what would you name it?”

“uh, i dunno?” jimin says, knitting his eyebrows. “i can’t just decide before meeting the dog. what if i show up insistent naming her goldfinch, but then she turns out to be much more of a sunflower kinda puppy?”

“right answer,” taehyung returns immediately, grinning from ear to ear. “smart boy.”

“i do try.”

time passes quickly. the last weeks taehyung’s quickly realised jimin isn’t just a hot fuckboy but actually really sweet, even thoughtful, and now is only further solidifying that. at first glance he really is fuckable, and it’s not like taehyung’s lost the desire to sleep with him; he’s just coming to realise he might also like making breakfast together the morning after, which isn’t what he signed up for at all! he’s kind and all smiles, asking taehyung questions and answering in return—even after they finish their ice cream they stay put in the shop, just talking, for a while, and later jimin says he would ask if taehyung wanted to go for a walk, but there’s the whole thing with him being on crutches. so instead he asks if he wants to go for a drive.

“anywhere in particular?”

“not really,” jimin shrugs his shoulders and plays with his crumpled-up napkin. “just around. if you wanna?”

“sure,” taehyung says after just a second. “sounds fun.”

so that’s what they do. driving in the city doesn’t allow for too much actual driving, instead has them stuck in traffic more often than not, but it’s chill—jimin lets taehyung control the music, so he scrolls through his playlists and settles on a dreamy one, 80s synthpop and slow, ambient tunes, then turns the volume down till it’s just subdued background noise. he looks at jimin and quirks his eyebrow, “this okay?”

“it’s good,” he returns with a small smile.

taehyung lets his eyes drop to his thighs and thinks, not for the first time (and not for the last either, he’s sure) about being held in a chokehold by them, or riding one of them till he comes all over himself just from that like such a messy, messy boy. he swallows, slowly reaches his hand out and casually trails his index finger from jimin’s knee and up mid-thigh, taps gently, before pulling away again.

his muscles flex at the touch, but after a second he relaxes. without looking at taehyung he casually states, “you can touch, you know?”

“hmm?” taehyung feigns indifference, pretending he’s not sure what jimin’s even referring to.

“i’m sure you’re itching to,” jimin says in a matter-of-factly tone, turning on the blinkers to take a right turn. “drool all over your damn self looking at me during practice. wanna see me in a skirt, huh?” he tacks on, finally casting his eyes taehyung’s way and offering a playful smile.

taehyung smiles vibrantly, flashing white teeth and dimples. “that’d be so cute.”

jimin shoots a quick smile, shaking his head just slightly. “how about you, hm? all dolled up in a cute skirt?”

taehyung has to focus on his breathing for a moment, not inhaling too sharply to give himself away. he tries not to blush either, though it’s a harder thing to control. “i’ve got lots of skirts,” he says finally, leaning back in his seats and rolling his shoulders lazily. “they’re good on me. if you’d come to hobi’s party, you could’ve seen.”

“sounds like i missed out.”

“definitely did,” taehyung agrees solemnly, voice trailing into a soft sigh. “it was so short, too. i’m such a catch, don’t you think?”

they’re parked now and jimin looks over at him silently, something burning in his eyes as they drop to taehyung’s thighs, slowly trailing up his chest to finally land back on his eyes. “you’re definitely something,” he says finally, voice slow. considering. “i can’t figure you out.”

“hm?” taehyung teases—or at least tries to, jimin’s words throwing him a little off and making him unsure how to proceed. “i’m a capricorn sun, we’re not easy to figure out.”

jimin huffs out a half-laugh, then grows silent again. “maybe that’s it.”

before taehyung figures out how to respond to that, still contemplating whether to try to break the odd tension or not, jimin goes on, “i’m not sure i really want to.”

“huh?” taehyung says, eyebrows knitting instinctively, now properly confused by what jimin’s saying.

“figure you out,” he says, looking back out the front window. “maybe i wanna continue trying. it’s like a challenge.”

something icy turns in taehyung’s stomach, suddenly feeling weird. “i’m some kinda challenge to you?”

jimin looks over at him, expression so alarmed. “no,” he says immediately, almost desperately. “no. that’s not—it’s not what i meant.”

“what’d you mean then?”

“you’re…special,” he says after a moment’s hesitation. his eyes are splayed wide, like he really wants to get this right. the coldness in taehyung’s stomach melts just slightly, giving way to hope. “i’ve never met anyone like you before. you make me…i don’t know, you make me question everything. and i can’t pin you down, figure you out. but it’s—i don’t mind. i like it. i think…think i like you. maybe just a bit too much.”

“if this is a confession, it’s the weirdest i’ve ever received,” taehyung says finally, arching his right eyebrow. although he’s not lying and jimin’s words are weird, they’re also not at all unwanted.

jimin shrugs his shoulders, features settling back into a blasé expression. “i dunno what it is.”

“i can’t figure you out either,” taehyung admits finally, deciding to just bite the bullet and take the leap.

jimin looks back at him, face still carefree but eyebrow quirking to prompt taehyung.

“you’re an enigma, and all that,” he says casually, shrugging his shoulders. “do you like me? do you wanna fuck me? sometimes i think yes to both, sometimes i think just one of them—and sometimes i think you’d laugh right in my face at the mere idea of either. so,” he finishes, feeling lame and a bit shy for the half-confession hidden in the last sentence, “— what’s the truth, jimin?”

jimin licks at his lips. “didn’t i just say?”

“that you liked me, yes—you thought.”

“well,” he says, licking at his lips another time, “now i’m saying that i do.”

“hm.” taehyung tilts his head and purses his lips, hoping he looks sexy, or something like that. “so that’s for question one. two?”

jimin’s eyes bore into taehyung’s, gaze unrelenting. it’s just a bit dizzying. “do i wanna fuck you?” he says calmly, letting a silence stretch for just a moment. “you have no fucking idea.”

taehyung shudders bodily, pretty sure it’s visible for jimin to see.

“i bet you’re into some freaky shit.”

“oh,” taehyung laughs, “i bet you’re one to talk.”

jimin cracks a sly smile, teasing his tongue into his cheek for a moment. “kim taehyung,” he begins, “should i take this as an indication you find me fuckable?”

taehyung reaches out to bat his shoulder weakly. “think you could keep up with me?”

“think it’d be worth the try.” his intonation makes it sound not exactly like a question, but still a bit querying, leaving space for taehyung to turn him down and close this whole thing immediately.

taehyung’s not interested in that, though. he flashes a cocky grin, “oh, i sure do.”

jimin bites on his lip, fist clenching at taehyung’s words. “when you get out of that cast…”

“you’re gonna what?” taehyung checks, reaching out his hand and trailing it up jimin’s thigh before resting it on top of his hand. “tie me up? cuff my ankles to the bedposts?”

“you into that?”

“yeah,” taehyung admits, almost breathlessly. he’s not exactly shy, the air between them so, so tense; but they’re both pushing as much as they’re pulling, tension only allowed building because of the mutual give-and-take. he’s not scared of being turned down, not anymore, and not scared of jimin laughing either—he might not have him all figured out, but he’s figured out enough to make this confession without fear.

“fuck,” jimin gets out, followed by a quiet groan which rings the victory bell in taehyung’s brain—just as expected, he bites down a private smile. “you for real?”

taehyung squeezes his hand on jimin’s. “as real as you and strawberry cheesecake.”



“sure,” jimin admits, sliding his hand out from under taehyung’s to reach over and grab his thigh instead, squeezing hard enough to make taehyung gasp out a surprised oh. “you know i think about it whenever you fuck up with the ropes.”

“makes two of us then,” taehyung returns amiably. he now laces his fingers through jimin’s and prompts him to squeeze his thigh again.

“this okay with you?” jimin checks, voice gentle.

“more than,” taehyung reassures immediately, and checks right back, “okay with you?”

“fuck, yes.”

“can i take this as indication we’ll be going on another date?”

jimin gives another squeeze to taehyung’s thigh, then lets go to trail two fingers feather-lightly over his cheek. he boops his nose. “you asking me out, kim taehyung?”

taehyung can gives as he gets. “wanna go on a date with me, park jimin?”

jimin smiles, expression fuckin’ soft all of a sudden, almost out-of-place in the midst of everything. “i’d love to,” he says. “where will be going?”

“ultimately, my bedroom,” taehyung says, winking when jimin groans. “but i guess we can make a couple of stops along the way. any thoughts on bookstore dates?”

“never been on one,” jimin says slowly.

“guess we’ll have to change that,” taehyung decides.

“sounds lovely.”

the day taehyung gets off the supportive cast, he goes directly from the hospital to the nearest bakery and buys fifteen donuts to celebrate. it’s been six infinitely long weeks, and he deserves to properly treat himself now that he’s finally free. overreacting just a bit? oh, definitely, but he is a capricorn, as well as a closet thespian.

[attached_img] guess whos FREE!! Footprints on Apple iOS 11.2High-Heeled Shoe on Apple iOS 11.2
i bought donuts to celebrate haha Doughnut on Apple iOS 11.2Smiling Face on Apple iOS 11.2

jimin Peach on Apple iOS 11.2
u look so good!!!!
congrats on getting out of the cast
guess that means ill get to order u around for practice again soon? Smiling Face With Halo on Apple iOS 11.2

ur such a dick!!! Sleepy Face on Apple iOS 11.2Oncoming Fist on Apple iOS 11.2

jimin Peach on Apple iOS 11.2
haha jk
i guess that means were on for a date soon, tho?
if ur still up for that… Thought Balloon on Apple iOS 11.2

Tongue on Apple iOS 11.2Sweat Droplets on Apple iOS 11.2Kiss Mark on Apple iOS 11.2
i sure am!!!

jimin Peach on Apple iOS 11.2
See-No-Evil Monkey on Apple iOS 11.2See-No-Evil Monkey on Apple iOS 11.2 cute!
im looking forward to it Smiling Face on Apple iOS 11.2

me too!
do u have plans sat? Thought Balloon on Apple iOS 11.2Flushed Face on Apple iOS 11.2

jimin Peach on Apple iOS 11.2
are u asking me out?

fuck off i already asked u out Face With Rolling Eyes on Apple iOS 11.2Face With Rolling Eyes on Apple iOS 11.2
now im trying to set up a time for it
sat? Crossed Fingers on Apple iOS 11.2Heart With Ribbon on Apple iOS 11.2

jimin Peach on Apple iOS 11.2
saturdays great!! Smiling Face on Apple iOS 11.2
u mentioned bookstore? Books on Apple iOS 11.2

GOOD!!!! Growing Heart on Apple iOS 11.2
theres a chill secondhand one i wanna take u to
and then go to a cafe after for brownies + whatever u like to drink Strawberry on Apple iOS 11.2Cookie on Apple iOS 11.2

jimin Peach on Apple iOS 11.2
sounds lovely omg!!!
just txt me directions & when to be there Face Blowing a Kiss on Apple iOS 11.2

taehyung’s always liked dressing up. as a kid, he’d invent personas for each outfit, sometimes go whole days acting his self-assigned role of undercover spy, librarian with a dark secret, or whatever else his childhood-frenzied brain would come up with.

the acting didn’t stick as much as the fondness for dolling himself up—so now he’s getting up early, hours to go till the time he’ll meet up with jimin for their date. it’s with routined hands he runs himself a bath, checking the temperature is just on the right side of scalding, before getting undressed and dropping a glittery strawberry bath bomb into the water.

he sinks in and sighs happily, pushing his fingers around the water, feeling it slippery and slick against his skin. it’s such a strange element, he thinks; both the tidal wave and a glass of still water on a bedside table, it’s everything and nothing much at all. he’s much more an earth person himself, stable and not so flimsy, a bit boring if he has to be honest.

if jimin wants to stick around trying to figure him out, that’s fine with taehyung—he just hopes he isn’t too let down when ultimately coming to the realisation there’s not much to see at all. opposed to jimin himself.

he deliberates between waxing for once or just shaving like regularly, but ultimately settles on the latter. lathering up cotton candy shaving foam in his hands, he makes sure he’s smooth and soft all over. that’s something he’s loved for years as well: feeling (being) pretty.

his moisturiser is strawberry as well, obviously the best fruit in the world, and he lotions up, humming along to the music playing softly from his phone.

figuring he’s not really got any reason not to, he picks out a silky, red set of underwear. the colour deep, almost burgundy, and with black lace details by the edges. he knows he looks good in it, takes a second to admire in the full-length mirror before diving back to rifle through his closet in the search for clothes.

he’s not sure which vibes he’s going for today.

it’s like being a kid and coming up with a character, deciding all their little quirks and habits, then picking what kind of outfit they’d wear. so now, what is he going for? 20s punk? kitschy mermaid slash glitter spirit hybrid? sun witch?

the answer’s staring him straight in the eye—he’s obviously going for whatever will make him toe the line between cute and delectable, making jimin lose his mind trying to figure out what he wants to do with him.

he goes with a t-shirt with thin stripes and tucks it into a pair of black jeans, prepares loafers to slip into when leaving and throws on a long, comfy cardigan in a dusty rose. sorting through his jewellery, he picks out a heart choker and changes his earrings, then settles in for make-up. nothing too fancy, really, just fixes up his brows and dabs concealer where he needs it—then chooses a nice lip gloss, shimmery pink, and swipes the applicator over his bottom lip slowly.

he blows a kiss to his reflection, grinning as he closes the lip gloss again. he looks good.

if jimin doesn’t want to fuck him, he’s probably brainwashed.

im leaving now!!! Smiling Face on Apple iOS 11.2
ill see u there? Cookie on Apple iOS 11.2Open Book on Apple iOS 11.2

u def will! x

taehyung figures that by now he really should be used to how jimin looks. as it is, however, he continues to be consistently taken aback by it. maybe he should really be used to that as well, but he’s not, and none of it even matters because the point is jimin’s hot—he doesn’t even know how he has the brains to consider any of this dumb shit when jimin’s in front of him looking so glorious and put-together, casually hanging out outside the store waiting for taehyung to show up.

a simple, green jumper tucked in at the front of a pair of black jeans so skinny they look painted on. black docs and hair swept back so taehyung notices a helix piercing, lobes adorned with a couple of simple hoops.

and he smiles when he looks up to notice taehyung, stepping close to pull him into a hug after the initial exhale of taehyung. he gives him a squeeze, then keeps his hand on his shoulder as he lets his eyes roam over him slowly, not hiding that he’s checking him out. taehyung almost squirms at the attention, the satisfied grin playing on jimin’s lips, but he finally snaps out of it and grins, “it’s good to see you.”

“it’s good to see you too,” jimin returns immediately, looking him in the eye. “you look incredible,” he tacks on, licking at his lips before he squeezes taehyung’s shoulder, then lets go of him and gestures for him to lead the way. “didn’t wanna go in before you got here.”

“good thing i’m here now then,” taehyung smiles, pushing open the door and stepping in. “you didn’t wait long, did you?”

“nah, don’t worry about it,” jimin smiles, following him inside.

it’s a small place, shelves everywhere overflowing. with the secondhand nature of the shop, it’s never possible to foretell exactly what they’re going to have in stock, but taehyung’s never visited and left empty-handed, always stumbling over some books he can’t think of a way to live without.

taehyung gestures his arms out, offers a smile. “you like books, right?”

“love ‘em,” jimin confirms. “we’re just gonna—” he holds up his arm, waving his hand around pointing at the shelves.

“we’re just gonna,” taehyung grins at him, then, not sure why, steps close to press a chaste kiss to his cheek. “see if there’s anything you like, yeah?”

jimin’s cheeks are flushed just slightly, mouth still hanging open from the impromptu kiss. “i will.”

“oh, and pick a good one,” taehyung says, innocent smile in place. “you’ll have to read it for me later, when i’m all fucked blank and cuddly.”

“mm, i’ll keep that in mind,” jimin returns, nodding his head once.

they roam for a long time, jimin losing himself in the philosophy section—taehyung hangs back and just watches him, feeling something like fondness creep into his heart at the way he squats down, fingertips trailing lightly over all the backs as he reads the titles, completely lost to the fact he’s being watched.

before jimin notices, taehyung shakes his head and zones back to reality, stepping close to a shelf to see if there’s anything he’ll like himself.

taehyung scans the art shelves, clapping his hands in excitement when he finds an old van gogh book. it’s worn and faded, and on the first page he finds old newspaper clippings tucked inside. he smiles to himself, continuing to browse to see if there’s anything else.

“did you find anything?” jimin says, popping up next to him. he rests his hand on the small of his back, smiling encouragingly for taehyung to share the books he’s found.

“i did,” he says with a smile, first holding up the little book on van gogh. “i found this one, which is really cute, i think! then this edition of lunch poems, which i haven’t read but am really excited to! did you find anything?”

jimin smiles, then holds up a book wordlessly. it’s green and purple, title in black font. “howl’s moving castle,” he says. “thought of what you said. wanna read it for you?”

“i love that book,” taehyung says. “and the movie!”

“it’s good,” jimin says. “haven’t read it in some years, and it made me think of you. so…”

“so…” taehyung echoes. he gives a private smile, hugging his own books to his chest. “wanna go pay? and then go to the café?”

“yes,” jimin says softly. there’s a faraway look on his face, zoned out somewhere, but he blinks and snaps back. “yes, let’s do that.”

they both get hot chocolate, taehyung asking for extra whipped cream, and brownies.

“how’s it feel being able to walk all normally again?” jimin asks, forking off a piece of his brownie.

divine,” taehyung sighs out, almost moaning. he’s not even overreacting, feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude every other second that he’s now able to shower and walk and live without such hassle. “it’s perfect. i’ve never been this happy.”

jimin laughs at him, licking at his fork before putting it down. “you’re cute,” he says. “flair for the dramatics. i’m glad you got to get out of it.”

“because it means you can finally get to fuck me, right?”

jimin flushes but sternly says, “because it means your ankle’s healed, idiot. and you get to not limp around feeling like a fool.”

“that’s touching,” taehyung says, “but then you called me both an idiot and a fool.”

“because you’re both.”

“mm, but i like to think i make quite a handsome one, don’t i?” he brings his cup to his lips for a sip.

“looks isn’t everything,” jimin says.

“you’re right,” taehyung agrees solemnly. “i’m sure money’s worth maybe 30% too.”

jimin snorts at him, muttering something about how he’s so dumb, but the smile doesn’t leave his lips for the rest of the time they spend in the café. taehyung buys a big cookie for them to share, breaking it in half and biting off a piece asking jimin another question about something.

it’s good.

it’s easygoing and fun, the both of them laughing lots—all the while there’s a tension, too, though; the flirting only escalating for every passing minute and another loaded comment.

finally, after an hour or more, taehyung laces their hands together atop the table and tilts his head aside. he asks softly,“do you wanna get out of here?”

jimin squeezes his hand and smiles back. “i’d love to.”

taehyung pulls their clasped hands to his lips and presses a kiss to jimin’s knuckles, then lets go of him to tidy up quickly. he grabs his hand again as soon as he’s standing up again, though, and jimin lets him; pulling him close in a half-hug and pressing a kiss to his cheek before letting himself be tugged out of the café.

thankfully, it’s not too long—they spent the bus ride kissing, jimin’s hands warm to the touch where they’re curled on taehyung’s neck. he’s a good kisser, taehyung sighing into it and letting himself come a little undone, nipping at his bottom lip.

soon, they’re getting off the bus, taehyung stumbling from giddiness, pulling jimin along with him towards his small flat. he fumbles with the keys, but finally gets the right one in the lock and pushes the door open for them, welcomes jimin back inside his humble place.

“not much,” he mumbles apologetically, toeing out of his loafers, but jimin cuts him off when pushing him against the wall. “don’t care,” he mumbles, kissing him again, “it’s got you.”

“that’s so sweet,” taehyung says, groans when jimin’s thigh presses between his own.

they make it to his bedroom quickly, taehyung dropping his cardigan on the living room floor as well as peeling off his choker before straddling jimin’s lap where he’s sitting on his bed.

kissing him like he’s dreamt of for weeks and weeks, grinding against his thigh and licking up his jawline before locking his mouth back against jimin’s, sloppy and wet and too much tongue—but jimin’s giving back, letting him kiss as deep and messy as he likes, hands cupping his face, warm and rough to the touch.

“like kissing you,” taehyung admits in between two, surging forward again for another kiss.

“mm, cute,” jimin returns, pulling taehyung’s bottom lip between his teeth and biting down lightly. “like kissing you too.”

“i’m a masochist,” taehyung admits, not sure where it’s coming from, but it feels right.

“you don’t fucking say,” jimin groans, voice already rougher, grip on taehyung tightening.

taehyung snorts out a laugh, feels it boom in his chest and echo out in happy gasps, pushing his fingers through jimin’s hair and tugging lightly. “you okay with that?”

“oh, baby,” is all he says before locking his mouth to taehyung’s sloppily, licking into his mouth like someone starving. “i’m more than okay with that.”

taehyung has to fight not to let himself whine at that—sounds so sincere, the permission to like things and want things, and ultimately let himself slip so deep and have jimin give him what he wants. “good,” he mumbles, leaning forward to kiss him again. “god, that’s good.”

“how d’you wanna do this?” jimin asks carefully, trailing kisses up taehyung’s jawline, a sudden moment of softness. “we’re not moving too fast, right?”

no,” taehyung groans, then repeats it a little softer to be properly reassuring, and checks, “not unless you think so?”

“not at all.” jimin shakes his head, stressing it. “as long as you’re sure.”

“i’m sure,” taehyung says, boops his finger to jimin’s nose for the hell of it. “i want you to fuck me. make me lose my mind.”

“i’ll do that,” jimin confirms with a cocky grin, dragging his thumb across taehyung’s bottom lip, pulling a little.

“and i want—” taehyung licks at jimin’s finger, then crawls out of his lap and goes to pull open the second drawer of his bedside table. he sorts through his paraphernalia, feeling jimin’s gaze on him, and pulls up what’s kept him up for months thinking about. he hands the rope to jimin almost ceremoniously, “— i want you to use this.”

jimin licks his lips slowly, accepting the rope and running his fingers over it. finally he speaks, voice calm, “oh, that’s lovely.”

taehyung shivers, feels his skin thrum with nerves and excitement, mind already loosening up to slip into that nice place.

“baby likes to be tied up?” jimin teases, grabbing taehyung’s wrist softly to pull him back into his lap. “be made to lie back and just take what he’s given?”

love it,” taehyung says, grinding in jimin’s lap. “colour safeword?” he checks, and smiles when jimin nods confirmation.

“you know i’ve thought about it,” jimin goes on. his right hand finds its way into taehyung’s hair, messing it up before pulling. it smarts just slightly, taehyung’s head following along. “how pretty you’d cry for me. you would, wouldn’t you?”

“think you can—” taehyung says in return, smoothing his hands up jimin’s chest and over his shoulders, “oh, make me cry?”

“that’s what you want, isn’t it?” jimin arches his eyebrow, seemingly unbothered by taehyung acting like a brat. taehyung can’t figure out if that’s good or not, whether he wants him to remain so indifferent and clearly aware he’s really the one in control, or if he wants to see it get to him, have him snap. “maso baby.”

“oh, is it,” taehyung breathes out happily, a dreamy sigh. “i’d love nothing more. but the question is if you can make me." 

jimin only curls his hand around taehyung’s neck and runs his thumb over his skin. he suddenly hooks his hands under his ass and turns them over, lying taehyung down on his back and hovering above him. “let’s get you out of these clothes.”

taehyung smiles to himself remembering the surprise jimin’s got waiting for him when he gets taehyung stripped down to his underwear, wiggling his hips in anticipation.

jimin starts with the t-shirt, taehyung sitting up helpfully to get it off, and then pushes him back down.

“oh, lovely,” jimin comments, trailing his finger up the edge of the bralette. “got dolled up just for me?”

“got dolled up for myself,” taehyung says, but there’s a flush in his cheeks he’s sure jimin’s noticing.

“sure you did,” jimin hums, then starts kissing down his chest. it makes taehyung feel oddly self-conscious all of a sudden, the attention, so he huffs out for jimin to get to it, but jimin only looks up at him, makes a show of pulling the fabric aside to swirl his tongue around his nipple, biting down and pulling just slightly, then letting go and telling him to be patient.

“i’ll be patient when i’m dead.” he lets his head flop down onto his pillow, closing his eyes and concentrating on his breathing as jimin continues playing with his nipples.

“you’re needy, huh?” he asks, pinching one between two fingers and pulling, quickly soothing with his tongue.

“not needy,” taehyung retorts, “just wanna get fucked real hard and not sure if you can do that.”

jimin grins to himself, but doesn’t hurry up much—kisses down taehyung’s chest and soft stomach, wet and open-mouthed and a couple of hickeys here and there, but finally he gets to his pants; brings up both hands to unbuckle and zip them down, telling taehyung to lift his ass if he wants to get out of them.

taehyung almost considers putting up a fight about that, too, but eventually just lifts his hips so jimin can push the jeans down his thighs, struggling a little around the ankles but getting them all off and throwing them aside.

matching,” jimin says happily, grabbing taehyung by the hips and smoothing his thumbs over the silk panties. “that’s real cute, tae.”

“my middle name,” he mumbles, but he’s starting to feel lightheaded now.

“very true,” jimin says, trailing an absent-minded pattern on taehyung’s upper thigh. “almost want to keep you in these, you’d make such a mess of them, wouldn’t you? bet you get so wet.”

taehyung almost shudders, because what jimin’s saying is true—but he doesn’t know that yet, and taehyung’s kind of embarrassed about it. “i—” he tries, but gives up, shying his eyes away.

“you do,” jimin sounds so delighted, cupping taehyung’s dick through the fabric lightly. “that’s so cute. god, gonna have fun with you. will you let me?”

“mm,” taehyung mumbles. “yeah. yes.”

“let’s get you tied up, pretty thing,” he smiles. “anything else that gets you hot?”

“degradation,” taehyung says without hesitation. there’s no pressure, jimin doesn’t have to introduce or play with that, but he might as well be honest. “if you’re not into it, that’s okay. oh, but i am.”

“hmm…” jimin teases a finger around the wet spot on taehyung’s panties, tilting his head aside and giving a soft smile. “baby slut gets off to being called mean things? pretty doll just good to get fucked?”

taehyung can’t help but moan, nodding helplessly.

“oh, let’s do this,” jimin says, settling back with a focused expression. he works taehyung out of the panties but keeps the bralette on, then grabs hold of the rope again and holds it up in his hands, considering. “hm,” he hums. “think we’ll keep you on your back, wanna see your pretty face when i make you come till you’re crying.”

if,” taehyung says, but already obediently stretching out his arms and legs for jimin to tie him to the bedposts.

“hmm?” he hums as he gets to work tying up taehyung’s right ankle, rope sliding perfectly against his skin, tied tight. taehyung sighs happily, then answers jimin’s question, “if you make me cry.”

jimin grins down at him like he knows better, tongue poking into his cheek. “mm-hm,” he agrees good-naturedly, checking the knots and, satisfied, moving onto the other foot.

soon taehyung’s tied up spread-eagle and he’s excited about it, pulling just slightly at the restraints to check he’s really rendered immobile. they don’t give, and he almost moans again when the knowledge settles in.

“everything’s in the drawer,” he says, nodding his head towards it. “lube. condoms. everything.”

jimin smiles at him and gives his thigh a gentle squeeze, leaving the bed to go kneel in front of the still open drawer. he sorts through, humming to himself, and taehyung feels exposed and vulnerable left tied up with jimin not looking at him.

“this one’s cute,” jimin says, holding up a glass dildo in one hand absentmindedly, still not looking up from the drawer. it’s got a pink rose at the end of it—taehyung shivers thinking of using it in front of jimin. positions changed, jimin the one tied up and unable to touch as taehyung puts on a show.

“thank you,” he says. “i think so, too. hope your cock’s better, though.”

“mm,” jimin says non-committally, putting the dildo back in the drawer, still rummaging. finally, he seems happy with his choices, kneeling back on the bed and holding up a vibrator for taehyung to see. “think i wanna use this one, though.”

“love that one,” taehyung says happily. “makes me come real good.”

“that’s good to know,” jimin says, picking up the bottle of lube and uncapping it with his thumb. he pours some into his palm, warms it up a bit before fisting his hand around taehyung’s dick, starting to jerk him off slowly.

taehyung groans when he feels it, finally something, but he stays still, not fucking into jimin’s fist. he feels himself leak, though, as always, and shuts his eyes in embarrassment.

jimin takes notice of it too, toying with the head between two fingers, before jerking off the length again. “baby’s so wet already,” he muses. “we haven’t even started playing yet, have we? messy baby. want me to sit on your cute cock?”

“oh,” taehyung groans, clenching his teeth. “bet you’d—love that, hng. not today, though. wanna—fuck me.”

“hmm,” jimin considers, still jerking him off gently. then the touch is gone, and he blinks open his eyes to see jimin now sitting with the vibrator in his hands, looking at it with focused eyes. he turns it on, then touches it to the head of taehyung’s dick.

he kicks his legs at the sudden stimulation, then groans out a happy sound. it feels good. and jimin’s right—they’ve barely started yet. he groans again, then, “don’t let me come.”

“you think you’re in charge?” he cocks his eyebrow. “that’s cute.”

“oh, fuck,” taehyung mumbles, eyes squeezing shut. he squirms, arms pulling at the restraints weakly, all by themselves. “you think you’re—” he tries, opening his eyes again just to look up and catch jimin’s, so icy and focused on him the words get stuck, body shivering.

“sweetheart,” jimin says calmly, trailing his fingertips up taehyung’s left side, right hand still circling the vibrator against the head of his dick. “what’s that?”

taehyung blinks rapidly, already dizzy. his breathing’s coming ragged, and he nods. “prove it to me,” he gets out finally, catching jimin’s eyes again. “think you’re so—good, think you can dom me, hh—hng,” he breaks off when jimin flicks against the slit of his cock with a bored expression, but quickly catches his breath again and finishes, “prove it. convince me.”

“i will,” jimin says, digging his thumb into the slit of taehyung’s cock and trailing the vibrator down the length of it.

he toys with the vibrator for a while, adding his hand to the mix as well and jerking taehyung off, teasing about just how wet and sloppy he’s getting himself, getting him so close—but then drawing back, laughing when taehyung lets out a broken sound, body spasming up rigid before falling back down on the mattress. “oh, but i thought you said i shouldn’t let you come?”

“hng,” taehyung groans, so hard it hurts, mind fogging now and just thinking about coming and jimin and being good, brat act abandoned in favour of wanting to get fucked like a dumb toy. be made into a dumb toy, all jimin’s to play with. he finally breaks, bottom lip wobbling as he starts begging, “please,” he slurs, “jimin, o-oh, jimin, i’ll be—i’ll be s’good. for you, i’ll—please.”

“baby,” jimin says, voice some combination of mocking and fond. “baby’s begging for me?”

taehyung sniffles, nods his head just slightly. “please,” he repeats. his vision’s just a bit blurry from tears and his voice sounds broken, “please. i’ll be good.”

“always knew you would,” jimin says, pressing a gentle kiss to his lips. “but i just can’t decide if i want to make you come just yet. of course,” he goes on conversationally before taehyung gets the chance to respond, “— i’m going to make you come plenty of times later. till you’re so spent. what was it you said? fucked blank.”

taehyung whimpers, fists clenching. he nods his head along as jimin talks, loving the sound of it all, and finally licks out at his lips before hoarsely trying again, “please.”

“please what?” jimin says, turning the vibrator back on, but only on a low setting, and teasing it in a squiggly line up taehyung’s cock. “words, pretty.”

“please lemme come,” taehyung says, voice hoarse, “i—i deserve it. i do. i’m good, i’m s’good.”

“see, i don’t know about that,” jimin counters, dropping the vibrator again. “how you’ve been acting up, trying to get to me? baby’s a cocktease. so i think you’re right, baby, i don’t think i should let you come yet. hm?”

“okay,” taehyung stutters, nodding his head. jimin’s right. he’s got to earn it. “yes. ah.”

“let’s get you warmed up,” he says, hands on his thighs and caressing gently. “want me to finger you open, babydoll?”

taehyung nods his head immediately, a dazed smile yielding his lips and hips subconsciously wiggling to get closer. he catches himself, embarrassed, focuses to still his body and not be so needy. jimin only looks at him fondly, though, so the shame quickly vanishes and he’s left to simply sigh out in content when jimin starts lubing up his fingers, soon grabbing taehyung’s ass and lining up his index finger against his rim.

he pushes in slowly, but taehyung still groans a little, sucking in a breath and holding it. it’s not that he’s not used to it (he is), but it always takes a little time. he likes the stretch, though, the burn as well—smarts so nicely. he likes taking pain, as he’s made fairly clear already.

jimin doesn’t talk much while fingering him, moves practiced and calm, soon fucking three fingers into taehyung and rubbing small circles into his prostate. he’s already on edge, so it doesn’t take long till he has to clench his hands to dig his fingernails into his palms in an attempt not to come already—even though jimin’s fingers are much shorter than taehyung’s own, making it different, not filling him up as well—and in a moment of clarity, he figures he can push that button, too. “that all,” he starts, then cuts himself off with a groan, “— all you got?”

jimin pulls his fingers out slowly just to push in harshly, stretching them apart. “what’s that?”

“pretty,” taehyung says, aiming for a mocking tone, “short fingers.”

jimin pulls them out and wipes his hand on taehyung’s thigh. “finger yourself then,” he says coldly, leaning back and just looking down at taehyung. he cocks his head aside, “oh, that’s right; you can’t! tied up and all…”

taehyung’s mouth opens but he doesn’t say anything, and soon jimin beats him to it anyway, “looks like that leaves you in a pretty shitty situation, huh? my fingers not good enough and you can’t get to finger yourself, and baby’s so desperate to be filled up—oh, no, hm?”

“jimin,” he whimpers, clenching around nothing and feeling so empty, regretting going down this road—or maybe not, not truly, because he swears jimin’s steel self-control is beginning to crack, and taehyung’s sure it’s going to end with him getting dicked down better than ever before. “sorry, i—sorry, didn’t mean it. baby’s good. fill me?”

jimin slaps his thigh. taehyung’s mouth falls open in a groan, and then another hit falls. “yes,” he gets out, careful to make sure jimin knows he’s onboard with this. “that’s—hit me. oh.”

“maybe you’ll earn it,” jimin muses, smoothing his hand gently over where he’s just slapped. “think you can come just from my fingers?”

“mm,” taehyung nods eagerly. he’s not sure, but he thinks he might—already pushed and pulled, he’s sure it won’t take much till he’s coming. “yeah, i ca—” it twists into a garbled moan when jimin pushes three fingers into him again without warning, quickly melting into a low-pitched moan.

“i want you to come for me,” jimin says, working taehyung so well, one hand smoothing over his thigh and up his stomach, pushing in or slapping against the skin, and the other fucking in and out of him. “all over your fucking self, tae.”

“hng,” is all he manages, broken down nicely by now and easily submitting. one-track mind, just working to be good and make jimin proud of him, nodding his head as drool starts slipping down his chin—catching it just a second too late, trying to move his hand to swipe it away but the restraints don’t budge, so now his cheeks heat up red because he can’t do anything about it, and it’s so embarrassing, and what if jimin thinks he’s gross—

“baby’s excited?” he asks, free hand coming up to wipe at his chin, pushing his thumb into his mouth. “drooling all sloppy, hm?”

“is—” taehyung mumbles, jimin retracting his finger to let him speak, but his words still slurring, “‘s it—d’you think…am i gross?”

no,” jimin stresses when taehyung finally finishes in a muted voice. he caresses down his jawline softly. “sweetheart. it’s hot. you’re hot. promise.”

“promise?” taehyung tries, but his heart already feels lighter again, knowing he isn’t creeping jimin out by being…well, him.

“promise,” jimin echoes, staring deeply into taehyung’s eyes. unrelenting. “you’re lovely. let me make you feel good, yeah?”

“yeah,” taehyung decides, then lets his eyes close again and whines softly when jimin starts fucking him again. with his eyes closed, that’s all there is—the feeling of jimin’s hands on and inside of him, rope against his wrists and ankles tied up so he can’t do anything but lie there and let jimin handle him.

he feels it building slowly, but it still takes him by surprise when suddenly his body locks up and he’s coming, moaning through it, and then panting, and then whimpering when jimin keeps his fingers inside of him and takes hold of his dick, rubbing his thumb over the head.

“that’s pretty,” jimin coos, still teasing touches over him. “pretty baby coming like a slut. let’s do it again. do you want that, lovely?”

“shhplease,” he mumbles, giving up now. “please, jimin.”

jimin leans down and kisses over his hip bones, soft and sweet, but then settles back and hits his thighs a couple of times again till taehyung feels tears start welling up from the pain of it—gasps out a soft oh and please, soothed by jimin smoothing his hands over his smarting skin and praising him for taking it so well. absentmindedly he wonders if jimin’s some kind of witch or spirit, so instinctually treating taehyung like he loves to be treated, handling him like he’s spent a lifetime practicing—he makes him come again, this time with the vibrator inside of him and playing his mouth and fingers over his dick, teasing about how sloppy he is, a desperate little thing.

taehyung only nods along, mumbling yes as he cries quietly, and finally goes rigid, falling apart with a gurgly hiccup.

“you’re so pretty when you come,” jimin praises after. “and when you cry. my baby?”

“your—baby,” taehyung mumbles, caught between letting his head flop to the side and close his eyes or look up at jimin. he knows his eyes would be starry, staring almost devoutly, so he opts for the former, letting them flutter shut gently.

“want me to fuck you now?” he asks, hands smoothing up his calves.

yes,” taehyung has the brains to rasp out, licking out at his lips. “yes, please.”

“cute.” he starts working to undo the ties on his right ankle, movements fast but unhurried, gently untying the rope, then moving to do the same for the other foot. he massages him gently, asks if he’s holding up okay.

“yes,” taehyung mumbles. “‘m good. fuck me. want you to—can you hit me? if you—”

“fucking god,” jimin groans, grip on his calves tightening for a second. so it is getting to him. “you want that, pretty thing?”

“please,” taehyung mutters, now looking up to catch his eyes. he nods his head slowly. “please.”

jimin, lovely, lovely jimin, indulges him—lets go of his legs to straddle his thighs, then brings his palm to taehyung’s cheek, not too hard the first time but spurred on by taehyung’s little whine, he connects for another, and another, and then backhands the other cheek. taehyung’s mind fucking sings, gasping out thank you and licking out at his lips.

“baby toy,” jimin’s voice comes softly, gorgeous contrast to how hard he hits, and the gentleness almost only makes the words seem even more mocking, “cry for me.”

taehyung’s lip wobbles and he nods his head. “please, jimin—please, fuck me—”

“okay baby,” he says happily, getting up from the bed. he pulls his t-shirt off by the collar, throwing it aside absentmindedly as he goes to work on getting out of his jeans. taehyung almost drools again when he sees him stripped down to boxers, abs gorgeous and thighs so thick his mind blanks. he mumbles, “fuck, s’hot…”

“hm?” jimin tilts his head back up and looks at him, smile knowing. he pulls at his boxers, stepping out of them and jerking off his own cock a couple of times, eyes closing as he spills out a rough moan.

taehyung’s hands clench instinctively, wanting to touch but not able to. all he can do is beg again, so that’s what he does, voice hoarse and broken like his brain, “please.”

“let me fuck you baby,” jimin says gently, kneeling down on the bed again and leaning down to kiss over taehyung’s tear tracks. “you’ve been so good. come so pretty for me, sweet thing.”

taehyung hums happily, babbling some senseless but pleased sound; feels praised and lovely, knowing he’s been good for jimin makes him glow like nothing else. he hears jimin open up a condom package and his eyes roll back when he hears him groan—soon he’s being grabbed by the thighs and lifted up, jimin lining himself up to fuck into taehyung slowly.

he groans, hands digging into taehyung’s skin so harshly it’ll probably bruise, and taehyung whimpers at the feeling—finally properly stretched, filled up and ready to be fucked. “ji—min.”

“shh, baby,” jimin hums, bottoming out slowly just to fuck back in, taehyung’s feet spasming and hands clenching tight. he licks at his lips but it doesn’t help, spit and drool dripping down and making him a goddamn mess. “let me take care of you.”

“thank you,” taehyung rasps, eyes closing again—but he forces them open, wants to look at jimin, his furrowed eyebrows and set jaw, fucking into taehyung fast and hard, just like he’d asked—just like he’d fucking asked him to, and dreamt of for months and months and now it’s all real, so he’s got to keep his eyes open and take it in. “thank you, thank you, oh, thank you—”

“you’re welcome, sweetheart,” he says softly, pulling out and holding still, playing his thumb against taehyung’s hole in a way that’s so humiliating, highlighting how empty and needy taehyung feels already tearing up begging for him to please fuck him again.

“you’re so cute,” jimin grins when he pushes back in, grabbing onto his thighs.


he picks up the pace even more, taehyung’s body thrashing weakly on the sheets and hands pulling against the ropes. he’s being fucked like a toy, like he wants to.

“gonna fuck you till you’re still—fuck,” jimin grunts, pushing into taehyung again, “— limping tuesday.”

“ooooh,” taehyung cries, voice dumb and sobbing now, just lying there taking it, feeling so grateful for jimin fucking him so well but lacking the vocabulary and brains to currently string anything together resembling words. “o-ohgod.”

“you can call me jimin,” he says, which honestly warrants a gut-punch, but taehyung’s a bit tied up at the moment, so he’ll have to let it slide—besides, he’s angling his hips just right, grinding in real slow, so taehyung’s losing his mind and knows he wouldn’t be able to muster the muscle control to ever deliver any punches. he manages to roll his eyes, he thinks, but isn’t sure because the next second he’s squeezing them shut and babbling out another whiny moan, sound trailing into something that sounds a whole lot like please.

“oh, you’re so cute begging for it,” jimin says, voice just slightly breathless. he fucks in again, goes on, “an hour ago you were such a brat, weren’t you, darling?” he trails a finger down the side of taehyung’s face, then pushes his thumb into his mouth a bit roughly. taehyung obediently swirls his tongue around it, moans out too. “but now you’re being fucked dumb. like a cute toy. you thought you were the one in control, huh? baby thought wrong.”

taehyung gasps when jimin fucks in deep and stays still, pulls at his bralette to dig his nails into one of his nipples. “hhngpleasepl—please—”

“what are you pleading for?” he mocks, rolling his hips slowly, taehyung feeling so full and just taking it—loves to take it, being good like that. “use your words, sweetheart. i’m not a mindreader, am i?”

“hh’s,” he tries, fights to not only get through the fog that is his brain, but also figure out what it actually is he wants. he’s not sure, thinks maybe just anything jimin will give him. “hhji—jimin, wanna—wanna come, want you—want you to c-come…oh, ‘m…i’m so good, ‘m being—s’good, please—”

“you are,” jimin croons, swiping at his cheeks. “let me make you come again. you deserve it, you’ve been so good for me.”

“thank you,” he mumbles, mouth staying open to hiccup as jimin grabs him by the hips again and starts fucking him ruthlessly. it doesn’t take long till he’s groaning something, words continuing to spill, but taehyung’s too out of it to make them out any longer—and soon he’s gasping out asking for permission to come as well, “can—may i, ji—min, may i come?”

“yes,” jimin pants, fucking into him again, thrusts slowing down as he fucks himself through it, and then taehyung’s coming again, almost hurts this time, but a good kind, body trembling from it. “thank you.”

he feels jimin pull out and can’t help but clench dumbly, almost tears up all over at how empty he feels now, but soon there’s soothing touches and jimin’s lips pressed against his skin and whispering praise, and he gently unties the rope from his wrists. he wipes him down gently, pushing a hand through his hair softly—taehyung knows it must be filthy gross, sweaty and damp, but jimin doesn’t seem to mind, only soothes him back to a more conscious state of mind.

“let me see your wrists,” he whispers, taking taehyung’s hands in his own and bringing them to his lips for a soft kiss to the palms. he massages gently where the rope had been tied, leaning over to rummage through the drawer again for a lotion.

taehyung sighs out as jimin takes care of him, handling him so softly and well, rubbing lotion into his skin and curling him up on his chest for a hug. “how’re you feeling, pretty?”

“mmm,” taehyung mumbles, letting his head flop against jimin’s shoulder. he’s coming back to, still a little dazed, but he doesn’t think he’s going to drop too badly, not with how good jimin’s being. his tongue feels heavy in his mouth, though, so his voice comes broken, “i’m good…you?”

“good,” he reassures right back, pressing a kiss to the crown of his head. “let me go get us some water. you’ll be okay here?”

“mmm,” taehyung repeats, letting jimin put him back down on the mattress. he’s not gone long, but still anxiety makes its way to the front of taehyung’s mind, thoughts echoing maybe he went too far, or jimin thinks he’s weird, or gross, or unclean, but then he comes back with a big glass of water in his hand, bed dipping as he kneels back down and holds it out to make taehyung drink something.

satisfied, he puts it down on the bedside table, then curls close to taehyung again, trailing his fingers over his skin softly. “you feeling okay?”

“mmm,” seems to be all taehyung can say. “i’m feeling—you won’t leave?”

“i won’t leave,” jimin says, leaning close to ghost his mouth against taehyung’s. he’s not sure it’s really a kiss, more just breathing gently against each other’s lips. “i’m not going anywhere, baby.”

“then i’m good,” taehyung says, heart warming again. he curls closer to jimin; knows they’re sticky and should go shower, but right now doesn’t want to. he doesn’t own a tub, and the idea of standing up for a shower right now seems herculean—besides, he doesn’t think he’s ever wanted anything like he wants to lie next to jimin right now. “you feeling okay?”

“yes,” jimin says, hand back to play gently with taehyung’s hair. “you’re so beautiful.”

“shut up,” he mumbles, closing his eyes. he feels himself blush, but prays his face is already so heated from everything that jimin won’t notice. “i’ve got drool everywhere.”

“you have,” jimin agrees in a giggle, leaning close to kiss him again. “you’re still beautiful, though. wanna look at you—forever, probably. if i could.”

stop,” taehyung groans, so embarrassed, and jimin’s sappiness is only lighting something similar inside himself, too. “you’re just saying that because you just got laid. ‘n you wanna fuck again sometime.”

“no,” jimin says, voice so calm and sincere taehyung can’t help but blink his eyes open to look at him again. his expression is as sincere as his voice, looking at taehyung with honest eyes. he goes on quietly, “i’m not. i’m saying it because it’s true.”

“fuck,” taehyung mutters before he catches himself. “oh, god. i’m so fucked.”


“i like you so much,” he admits, then closes his eyes again in embarrassment, but now he’s already broached the subject, so there’s no stopping, “god, i like you so much.”

“oh?” jimin’s fingers still in his hair for a second before carding through again, ever gently.

taehyung continues in a mumble, “i dunno if you—if you like me back the same, and i’m not—i’ve never really been good with—you know with, this whole—” he’d wave his hand around to help out if he wasn’t lying down, but as he’s not inclined to move all he can do is go on awkwardly, “relationships, or whatever, i’m not—i dunno what i’m saying, but i like you…”

“i like you too,” jimin echoes back, but taehyung can’t make himself meet his eyes. instead, he pushes his head against jimin’s shoulder and whispers, “‘m scared.”

jimin doesn’t say anything, likely waiting for taehyung to elaborate, so in a final show of strength, he tilts his head back up to meet jimin’s eyes and blinks slowly. he’s looking at him in a way he’s not sure he’s ever been looked at before, and he’s not sure what that might mean. he breathes out, and just repeats what he’s already said now close to a million times, “i really like you.”

“d’you wanna be my boyfriend then?” he asks, flush rising in his cheeks.

taehyung’s heart almost skips a beat; surely gets up to something in his chest. he tries to steady his breathing, almost whines again, before mumbling, “i—do you want that?”

“so bad,” he whispers back. “but i’m—you’re scared?” taehyung nods, and jimin exhales slowly before admitting, “me too. so we can—be scared together? if you want to?”

“oh.” taehyung lets the words echo in his mind, closes his eyes to really let himself think it over. he knows he’s into jimin, physically, and he thinks he knows he likes him, too, and maybe even more—but the idea’s still daunting. maybe that’s exactly why, though. maybe he’s just so scared because he really wants it but isn’t sure he deserves it. he opens his eyes again and surges forward, pressing his lips to jimin’s in a clumsy kiss. “yes,” he breathes against his lips. “yes, i wanna—be that. your boyfriend. you’ll be my boyfriend?”

jimin kisses him back, hands tangling in his hair. “i’ll be your boyfriend,” he mumbles, pulling him even closer. “yes. fuck, yes. baby.”

“now, don’t go easy on him just ‘cause you’re fucking,”  hoseok grins, ruffling up jimin’s hair. back at practice, finally, taehyung’s just finishing up his fifteenth sit-up, looking to where hoseok is standing next to jimin, both already done with warm-up. he catches taehyung’s eyes and winks, then leans closer to jimin and fake whispers, “how is he?”

jimin shoves at his arm and messes with his own hair, trying to fix it, and taehyung will admit he’s playing it cool, the blush in his cheeks only noticeable if you’re really paying attention. as always, though, taehyung’s paying attention. “i won’t,” he stresses. “might just go harder for that and you know it.”

hoseok laughs at that and gets out a that’s the spirit, while taehyung rolls his eyes, “love you too, captain.”

jimin claps his hands together. “so if you’re all done gossiping about my personal life,” he says, adopting an expression of displeased annoyance which taehyung sees right through, “i’d like to get to practice. that okay with y’all?”

“sure thing,” hoseok grins, catching taehyung’s eyes and poking his tongue into his cheek, bringing his hand up in a terribly awful imitation of a blowjob. “you’re the boss.”

jimin lets his smile melt into that dangerous one of his, all kind upfront but teeth glinting like fangs. “i think we should practice our double dutch today,” he says sweetly. “do you wanna turn, hoseok?”

two can play, and hoseok knows the game better than anyone, so he only plasters on a smile mirroring jimin’s perfectly. “not particularly, no,” he says. “but if you want your only guy capable of the frog to be out, that’s fine by me.”

jimin rolls his eyes. “piss off,” he says, then smiles goodnaturedly. “go get a rope and let’s get started.”

practice is great—jimin definitely isn’t going easy on taehyung, or anyone else for that matter, working them all to the goddamn bone; but it’s good, it really is, being back—even though at times it feels like a repeat of his first practices, having to pause all the time to catch his breath, and wobbling on his feet when he sets off. it’ll come back, though, he knows it will—he’s been out for long, so he needs to ease back into it.

for double dutch, he volunteers to turn the ropes, and jimin takes the other end, swinging both ropes to the beat of the bass, and when hoseok pulls off the frog backwards, jimin even lets a compliment fall. taehyung’s so shocked he almost drops the ropes, but afterwards hoseok pulls him into a hug, which quickly turns into a group hug, and jimin saying he’s really proud of him—if hoseok can keep that up they’re gonna take gold at the tournament. that if they can all keep up what they’re doing, he’s sure they’re gonna take the gold.

“you’re getting soft, cap,” hoseok teases. “sure taehyungie’s good for you?”

“will you quit it,” he groans, pushing him away again. “go do double-unders, you asshole. i want 200.”

“aye, sir.”

soon, time’s up, and it’s time for stretching out to cool down. taehyung pulls his foot to his ass to stretch his thigh, reaching out and planting his hand on jeongguk’s shoulder for balance.

who is self-righteous about it, obviously, been grinning at taehyung all practice. he cocks his eyebrow at taehyung, sends him a smirk, but doesn’t say anything till taehyung groans, “what?”

then his lips stretch into a smile, “what did i say, baby?”

taehyung rolls his eyes. “be more specific,” he says, stretching out. “you’ve said a lot of bullshit.”

“about jimin,” jeongguk says, and now his faux smug expression is melting away, giving way to some giddy, wide smile. “and you. and being into him! say it, say i was right.”

taehyung gives up as well—lets himself grin at jeongguk like a lovesick fool, boxy grin yielding his lips. “yeah,” he says, biting down, “yeah, you were right. i was—i was into him. i am into him. and we’re—”

“yeah?” jeongguk presses, hand flapping in excitement. he’s not even stretching anymore, foot just bouncing. “you’re dating? right?”

“we are,” taehyung admits. “i asked him. well, he asked, but i cracked first. and then he asked.”

jeongguk falls forward and brings him into a hug, so tight taehyung almost chokes, but he can’t help but laugh, hugging him back happily.

“i’m happy for you,” jeongguk says. “both of you. you’re both fuckin’ dumb as bricks, but you deserve it—i guess.”

“you guess?”

“i mean, you were already being gross,” he continues, “staring, drooling—shoulda seen yourself at practice. and i imagine it’s only gonna get worse now, which means i gotta consider whether this team’s really worth it! you know?”

“oh, shut the fuck up!” taehyung pushes jeongguk away by the shoulder, rolling his eyes at his words. “don’t pretend you don’t get off watching.”

“i don’t,” jeongguk says, mortified. “shut up, i don’t.”

“right,” taehyung teases. he reaches out to mess with jeongguk’s hair. “whatever you say.” after a moment, he adds a bit more quietly, “thank you.”

“mm?” jeongguk hums. in a more sombre tone matching taehyung’s, he goes on, “you do deserve it, you know? just—let yourself have it. yeah?”

stunned by his words, taehyung can do nothing but nod slowly and let them sink in. he swallows, mouth suddenly drying, then licks out at his lips and gets out some kinda reply, “yeah. i’ll—we’ll try.”

“all anyone can really do,” jeongguk says, then offers a smile which seems final, clapping his hands together. “you’re gonna come change?”

taehyung looks around, catches jimin still tidying up thrown ropes. he smiles to himself and looks back at jeongguk, shakes his head and prepares for the disgusted groan he knows he’s about to receive. “nah,” he says, looking back at jimin. “i think i’m gonna hang around.”

jeongguk looks towards jimin again, and then comes the groan. “oh, fuck you,” he says, shoving at taehyung’s shoulder, and he laughs so loudly in return, poking out his tongue. “get outta here, you freak.”

taehyung just grins at him, watches as he starts jogging towards the locker room. he shakes his head and turns around as well, skipping happily towards jimin, not calling out a warning before jumping onto his back—but jimin catches him, hands instinctively coming up to hold him up. taehyung leans close and kisses the tip of his ear, mumbles, “hey there.”

jimin hoists him up further. “gimme a warning next time, will you?” he says, but he doesn’t sound like he means it much. he just sounds exactly like taehyung feels.

which is to say happy. and dumbly in love.