Seokjin makes the decision somewhere between washing his hands and actually exiting the restroom. Instead of turning right and heading back to the booth, he walks forward instead and toward the bar.
With real decisions, important stuff, Seokjin considers himself a fairly thoughtful and considering person. With things that don't really matter, though--why not make snap judgments, or follow his gut? If it's not more successful, at least he has more fun that way.
Not that he's been having much fun tonight. He pushes that thought away.
There's a guy sitting alone, sipping something pink through a straw. Seokjin sets himself down on the stool next to him.
"Hello," Seokjin says. He smiles.
The guy sets his drink down. "Hello," he says, returning the smile. His voice is deeper than Seokjin had expected, which makes him seem not quite as young as Seokjin first pegged him for. All the better, really.
"Did you know," Seokjin says, leaning forward as if to impart some great secret, "that you are the second hottest person in this room?"
A line, sure, but bullshit? Nope. The guy's remarkably handsome: thick dramatic brows over big dark eyes. A wide mouth. Good facial symmetry. He's broad, and his clothes hang on him loosely in a way that's somehow indefinably chic, all in colors and patterns that don't look anything like what anyone else in the bar is wearing.
The guy blinks at him. He's leaned in, too, to hear what Seokjin has to say, and this close Seokjin can tell the glasses he's wearing don't have any lenses in them. "Thank you," he says, sounding very solemn. "I'm honored even to be nominated."
Oh, thank god; he has a sense of humor. Seokjin has known way too many good-looking people who are unbearable boors, full of themselves and somehow assuming handsomeness means having a personality is unnecessary. The worst part is they always seem to assume Seokjin's part of their club.
"Here's the thing," Seokjin says. "I've spent the last hour drinking with my ex-boyfriend and his fiance and I needed to come talk to somebody else for a little while."
"Ah," the guy says, nodding. "I get it. My ex is here, too, actually. Do you want to dance? I'm good at sexy dancing. We could make them jealous."
Seokjin considers it for a moment. There's not anyone else dancing, or anything resembling a dance floor, but they could probably make it work--but no, he decides, shaking his head.
"Okay," the guy says. "Maybe another time." His drink's still sitting on the bar; he takes the straw between two of his fingers and twirls it around in the glass, making a mini whirlpool on the surface. "I don't think I'm going to finish this drink, do you want it? It tastes a little like strawberries, but mostly like alcohol. I'm not big on alcohol."
"Why did you order it, then?" Seokjin says.
The guy shrugs. "Jiminie dragged me out to try and cheer me up about the break-up, but then he had to go leave to pick up his boyfriend from work. And Jungkook was keeping me company, but he got sick of being around so many strangers so he left me too. He's probably back home playing video games. And now my ex is here and I should just leave too, but this drink was really expensive and I didn't want to just have all that money go to waste."
Seokjin reaches out and takes the guy's drink and knocks it back all at once with a flourish. It does taste vaguely of strawberries, in an artificial too-sweet sort of way. "There you go," he says. "You're free. I've broken the chains binding you to this place. Your life is yours once again."
The guy clasps his hands to his chest and gasps. "My hero!" he says, fluttering his eyelashes in perfect imitation of a damsel rescued from distress.
Seokjin does the best impression of a bow that he can from his sitting position.
"I'm Taehyung, by the way," says the person-formerly-known-as-The-Guy-and-now-known-as-Taehyung.
They shake hands.
"Show me your ex-boyfriend," Taehyung says.
Seokjin doesn't bother trying to be subtle about it; he just spins on his stool and points directly to the corner booth. It's not like they're going to notice, anyway, just as wrapped up in each other as they were when Seokjin left for the mens' room.
"Which one is which?"
"The guy who looks like he wants to give you a hug is the fiance. My ex is the goblin sitting on his lap downing shots."
Even from here Seokjin can tell they're both giggling and whispering to each other. Seokjin isn't a killjoy, by any means, but there's only so much anyone can be expected to take. Maybe it wouldn't have been as bad if Namjoon had been along for the celebration drinks like they originally planned, but he had gotten tied up at work, so it was just Seokjin playing third wheel while Yoongi and Hoseok did that two feet away from him. They hadn't even payed attention to his jokes.
Seokjin would never in a million years have expected Yoongi to become the PDA type, but apparently true love changed a person.
"Huh," Taehyung says. "They're both pretty hot. You sure I'm number two?"
Seokjin scoffs as he turns around again. "Are you kidding? If I'm a ten--and I am--neither of them is above an eight. Whereas you are--" He hums, looking Taehyung up and down for a long moment. "You're at least an eight and a half. Maybe even a nine."
Taehyung grins, wide and bright, and Seokjin immediately revises. Definitely a nine.
"Mine is over there," Taehyung says, nodding over to a table on the opposite corner.
Seokjin squints and purses his lips while he focuses. There are about a half dozen people, split eveny between men and women, and he's not sure which of them is the one Taehyung's referring to. It doesn't matter. He's immediately sure they're all assholes.
"Hmm," Seokjin says. "Can I be honest? You could do way better."
"That's what Jimin said too!" Taehyung cries. "We met volunteering at the animal shelter and all the puppies liked him. He seemed like such a good guy."
"I can't believe the puppies betrayed your trust like that."
"Exactly!" Taehyung sets his hand on Seokjin's arm. "Why would dogs like an asshole cheater? It doesn't make sense."
"There should be a law," Seokjin says, and Taehyung grins again.
"Are you sure you don't want to make them jealous?" Taehyung says. "I try not to be a petty bitch, but it would really feel good right now to make him see that."
The truth is--the truth is, Seokjin doesn't actually have any particular desire to try to make Yoongi jealous. That's not his thing. Really, referring to Yoongi as his ex-boyfriend is one of those things that's more technically true than anything else; they've been close friends now longer than they ever went out in the first place. He loves Yoongi like a brother, loves Hoseok just as much, and he's genuinely happy for them. They already made him promise to be a groomsman in the wedding.
So, no, he didn't come over here to Taehyung to make anybody jealous, and frankly it's just as well, as wrapped up in each other as his friends are. Seokjin made that split-second decision in the bathroom because...he doesn't know why. Because he wanted to, and he could. That's a good enough reason to do something, isn't it? He doesn't feel any need to examine his motivations any closer. If there's something churning inside about feelings, and love, and the passage of time, and maybe that silver hair he saw in his reflection in the mirror above the sink--well, that can all stay churning underneath, thanks. Seokjin's good as he is, over here charming the pants off the second hottest guy in the room.
On the other hand, if Taehyung is in need...Seokjin's a good guy. He can help him out. He's definitely up for a scheme.
He taps his chin. "You know what?" he says thoughtfully. "Sure. Let's do it."
"Really?" Taehyung says. "Cool."
He stands up, reaching up to raise his glasses until they're perched on the top of his head. Seokjin starts to stand as well, until Taehyung's hand on his shoulder pushes him to stay where he is. Taehyung scoots forward, using his knee to nudge Seokjin's legs wider until there's enough room for Taehyung to stand between them.
The height of the stool means that Taehyung is taller than him like this, but not by much. Seokjin places his hands on Taehyung's waist and stretches up to kiss him, but Taehyung turns his head away at the very last moment.
"No, come on." Even turned away, the curve of his smile is visible. "You gotta build up to it."
It sounds like a challenge. Seokjin likes challenges.
Taehyung's hand is still on his shoulder. Seokjin takes it, brings it to his mouth to press a kiss to the palm. Then his wrist, mouthing gently at the thin delicate skin. Then his elbow, the soft crook of it, which earns him a soft surprised giggle.
Seokjin looks up, meeting Taehyung's eyes. "Keep going?"
In lieu of an answer, Taehyung steps back, tugging Seokjin along with him, up and off of the stool.
There's an inch or two of distance between their bodies which seems, somehow, more obscene than if they were pressed up against each other. Seokjin thinks back to what Taehyung claimed about being good at sexy dancing. He can picture it now, just in the way Taehyung sways, closer and then back again, eyes dark and knowing.
Seokjin hasn't finished, though. He settles his hands back on Taehyung's hips and dips his head just a little, nuzzling against his shoulder and the side of his neck. Taehyung's breath is warm and loud as Seokjin slowly kisses up the line of his jaw and behind his ear.
He turns his head, just enough so that it would be the easiest thing in the world to kiss Taehyung. It's harder not to kiss, to stop right here with their faces so close and their mouths almost touching.
"Is he watching?" Seokjin murmurs.
"I hope everyone's watching," Taehyung says, quiet and low, and he closes the distance between them to nip softly at Seokjin's lower lip.
Seokjin huffs out a ghost of a laugh, and when Taehyung tries to move away he catches him again, pulling him into a real kiss. He's earned it.
Taehyung kisses like he's serious about it, like there's nothing else on his mind but this. Seokjin likes a man with focus. He tightens his grip on Taehyung's hips as they kiss. Taehyung's hand comes up to cup the back of his head, gentle but firm, guiding Seokjin to tilt his head a little as he licks deeper into his mouth.
A couple minutes making out at a bar, and this is already better than the last few sexual experiences Seokjin has had. He's not sure whether that says really sad things about the last couple guys he's been with or really good things about what's happening now. Both, probably.
When they do finally break apart, Seokjin can't help but admire the way Taehyung's eyelashes look against his cheek, or the way his mouth looks, all red and swollen from kisses. He raises his hand up to cup Taehyung's chin, thumb brushing against his lips. Taehyung opens his mouth and presses his teeth into the flesh, a tiny stinging flash of sensation.
"Oh, I like you," Seokjin says out loud, surprised and a little giddy at it.
Taehyung blinks open his eyes, face spreading into a smile as he releases Seokjin's thumb. "I like you, too," he says. He looks over Seokjin's shoulder. "Your friends were definitely watching."
Seokjin turns around, and--yes, Yoongi and Hoseok are both looking in their direction. As soon as Seokjin meets their eyes, Hoseok lifts both hands to give two aggressive thumbs up Seokjin's way. He's probably hooting something, too, but from this far away Seokjin can't hear it. Yoongi gives his own, more muted, thumbs up as well, paired with an amused, smug smile.
Seokjin rolls his eyes, but he returns the thumbs up anyway before he turns back to Taehyung.
"If you still want to keep up with the jealousy thing," Seokjin offers, "I bet leaving with me would be an extremely effective way to up the ante."
"I think he actually left while we were kissing," Taehyung says, half-shrugging. "But if you were offering just for normal reasons and not just because of that, I would probably take you up on it."
"Probably?" Seokjin says, faux-offended.
"Everything in life has some risks," Taehyung says.
Seokjin takes a moment to consider it, mostly to make Taehyung wait it out. Taehyung doesn't look particularly nervous, though, or impatient, or really anything but genuine and sincere and open.
That's never really been Seokjin's type, exactly. And this was easier when it was part of this fun plot and not whatever this would be now, just two people doing this because they're interested and honest.
Seokjin makes another snap decision. "Yeah, okay," he says, taking Taehyung's hand. "Let's go."
It's a fifteen minute walk from the bar back to Taehyung's place. They're close enough together that their shoulders brush occasionally, unexpectedly, and Seokjin bites the inside of his cheek against his smile every time it happens.
The fresh air feels good, cool and crisp but not yet cold. The moon's bright in the sky and the city's still bustling and busy all around them. Taehyung, Seokjin discovers, is the kind of person who knows everybody, or at least everybody knows him: brief as their walk is, they pass at least five different people who call out affectionate greetings. Taehyung returns them all easily and fondly.
"Hello!" Seokjin says, waving at each of them. "Nice to meet you!" he says, as Taehyung chuckles beside him.
Taehyung whistles as he unlocks the door to his apartment. "Jungkook?"
"You have a roommate?" Seokjin asks, following Taehyung inside.
"No, he has his own place. He just doesn't like to sleep there, so it's always good to check."
Seokjin glances around. It's a good thing Taehyung's friend isn't crashing here tonight, because the place is tiny, a studio with just enough room for a bed, kitchenette and a couch and TV shoved in the corner. Another person would make everything get awkward fast.
Crowded as it is, there's still something cheerful about it, something homey. Maybe it's the walls, all the prints and posters covering practically every square inch, a riot of art and color in all different styles and periods. Seokjin can recognize a couple of particularly iconic and famous ones--that's definitely Starry Night on the wall across from the bed--but that's about it.
The touch of a hand on his wrist brings his attention back to Taehyung, who is watching him calmly. Taehyung raises his eyebrows in a silent question. Seokjin doesn't bother to answer, stepping forward to kiss him again instead.
"I wasn't planning on getting laid tonight," Seokjin says when they reach the bed, "so I hope you're not expecting anything too involved."
Taehyung shrugs, halfway out of his shirt. "We don't need to overthink it."
Perfect, Seokjin thinks but doesn't say.
Neither of them says anything for a while after that at all, actually.
Taehyung has big hands and a dick to match. He's thin but soft around the edges. He kisses like he means it, and he's gratifyingly appreciative of Seokjin's blowjob skills. He laughs during sex, and he makes Seokjin laugh too.
It has been way too long since that happened, Seokjin thinks.
Afterward, when they're laying sweaty and sticky and satisfied on the sheets, Taehyung sighs and raises his head from its resting place on Seokjin's chest. "Are you hungry? I feel like I could eat a horse."
"Starving," Seokjin answers honestly.
Taehyung sighs and rolls off of him. Seokjin sits up in bed to watch as Taehyung crosses the room, still completely naked, to his kitchenette.
"Taehyung," Seokjin calls out, "I think you're the man of my dreams."
"Really?" Taehyung says, opening his cabinets. "Tell me about your dreams."
"Hm," Seokjin says. He has to give it some thought. "Well, there's this one where I have this big test I haven't studied for."
"I get that one too!" Taehyung says excitedly. "Sometimes I have to give a presentation in front of the whole class and I didn't even know I was in the class. I hate it. Uh, I have ramen. And...stuff for chocolate milkshakes. That's about it."
"I'll take it," says Seokjin.
They eat on the couch in their underwear. Taehyung is cuddlier than Seokjin expected, somehow. Clingier, maybe, but he doesn't find he minds. There's something comfortable about it, Taehyung's legs slung over Seokjin's or his head against Seokjin's shoulder.
When the food's gone they play MarioKart, and when Taehyung is finally declared the winner of that, they put on an anime they both love. It's two episodes into that before it occurs to Seokjin that maybe he should start heading home.
"Oh," Taehyung says. They've rearranged themselves again while they watched TV, and Taehyung's lying down across the couch with his head in Seokjin's lap. He blinks up at Seokjin for a moment. "You could stay the night here, you know. This is fun."
He's not wrong. It is fun. Why not? Seokjin thinks. Why the fuck not?
"All right," he says. "But I get a rematch later on the game. I know you cheated."
"You cheated!" Taehyung says. "You cheated and tried to tickle me and grab the controller while we were playing. And you still lost!"
"Wow," Seokjin says, laughing, "wow. I don't have to sit here and take this kind of slander." And he pushes Taehyung off his lap and onto the floor.
Taehyung is, it turns out, even cuddlier in his sleep. When Seokjin wakes up in the morning, it takes him a solid minute to extract himself from his clutches. He doesn't think Taehyung grew more limbs in the night, but he wouldn't put it past him, either. When Seokjin finally escapes the bed, Taehyung sighs in his sleep, and then immediately turns onto his other side and clutches a pillow close.
The smile this brings to Seokjin's face doesn't last very long. There really isn't any other food in Taehyung's cabinets or fridge, and not a single bit of coffee to be found anywhere, either. There are four different kinds of juice in the fridge, so Seokjin supposes that will have to do until he can acquire a proper breakfast.
He's putting the bottle back when he notices something on the fridge that makes him do a double take. He's still standing there, staring at it, when Taehyung arises, shuffling up behind him and burying his nose between Seokjin's shoulder blades.
"Good morning," Taehyung says, muffled against Seokjin's skin. His arms wrap comfortably around Seokjin's waist.
"Good morning," Seokjin says. "Did you know you have a picture of Kim Namjoon hanging on your refrigerator?"
Taehyung shuffles a little more, raising his head so he can look over Seokjin's shoulder. "Yeah, of course. That's me and Jimin and Jimin's boyfriend, from when we went to the museum for Jimin's birthday."
"Your Jimin is Namjoon's Jimin," Seokjin says thoughtfully. He rolls it over and over in his mind.
"You know Namjoon?"
"I've been friends with Namjoon since college. He's one of my best friends." Seokjin laughs suddenly. "Namjoon's gonna be a groomsman in the wedding, too."
"Huh," Taehyung says. "You know, Jiminie texted me last night that he came back to the bar after he picked up Namjoon from work, because Namjoon wanted to meet up with his friends, but I had already left. So if you hadn't come over to talk to me..."
"...We might have met last night anyway."
"Yeah." Taehyung squeezes a little harder around Seokjin's waist. Seokjin can feel him bouncing up and down on his toes in excitement. "Do you know what that means?"
"Fate," Seokjin says, straight-faced.
"Fate," Taehyung agrees. Seokjin can't see his face but he knows, as surely as he knows anything in the world, that Taehyung is grinning as wide as humanly possible.
"All right, all right," Seokjin says, clapping his hands. "Fate is one thing, but first things first! We're gonna shower and get dressed and then we're going out for breakfast, because this is terrible and no way to live, Taehyung, I swear to god." He slips out of Taehyung's embrace, turning so he can face him. "Any objections?"
"No," Taehyung says. He's still smiling. His sleep-mussed hair is all over the place in a demonstration of ridiculous anarchy. If last night Taehyung was strikingly handsome, this morning he's just, well, adorable. "I trust your decisions."
"You should," Seokjin says, nodding. "All of my decisions are perfect and brilliant."
If that's not perhaps literally true, Seokjin figures it's at least emotionally true, which is close enough--and Taehyung seems to agree, as he laughs again, shaking his head, and grabs Seokjin's hand to lead him towards the bathroom.