It was still completely dark when Taehyung suddenly woke up out of a dead sleep. His chest was heaving as air worked its way in and out of his lungs at a rapid rate. At first, he thought it was because of a bad dream, but as the haze of sleep started to lift, he couldn’t recall any nightmare. In fact, now that he was thinking about it, he had been dreaming about playing with Yeontan and performing on stage.
Sitting up in bed and scooting back against the headboard, Taehyung rubs the remaining sleep from his eyes, figuring something else must’ve woke him. It was probably nothing. He was ready to lay back down and return to his dreams, when he realized he needed to use the bathroom. Honestly, he could likely ignore it and wait until morning. After all, his bed was already warm- and really comfortable, but something at the back of his mind kept nagging at him to get up anyway and get it over with. The sooner he peed, the sooner he could get back into bed.
Careful of Yeontan sleeping curled up at the end of his bed, Taehyung pushes the blankets off, and swings his legs to the edge of the bed. The tile was cold as he places his bare feet down, but he was too tired to think about slipping his slippers on. Barefoot, Taehyung yawns, scratching at the back of his neck, as he makes his way out of his bedroom, taking a right towards the bathroom near the end of the hallway.
Taehyung doesn’t realize the bathroom light is filtering out, lighting the way for him, until he was right in front of the door. Blinking the rest of the sleep out of his eyes, Taehyung frowns. Seokjin hyung, was really strict about them leaving lights on. Which meant, either someone was inside using it, or one of the members forgot to turn it off before going to bed, and if that was the case, someone was going to definitely hear about it in the morning. Or, someone was actually awake and inside.
The answer to his question came in the form of a notification ding , one Taehyung recognized as Jimin’s. It wasn’t unusual for his fellow group member and best friend, to be up this late. Still, he doesn’t normally leave the bathroom door cracked open for someone to walk in. Wanting to just check and make sure that his friend was okay and not sick, Taehyung steps up to knock, only to stop just shy of his knuckles rapping against the wood, when he hears the softest of sobs.
Immediately, Taehyung’s entire body goes rigid. Maybe Jimin was watching something funny, and the “sob” he heard, was nothing more than an attempt to stifle a laugh. Only, a second sob- this one a little louder than the first, quickly strikes any thoughts of it being laughter muffled behind a hand. With his heart clenched tightly in his chest, Taehyung quietly pushes the door open.
The bathroom was spacious, big enough to fit at least three of them at once, without fighting for space or bumping elbows. Jimin was sitting on the tile floor, with his back pressed against the bathtub. His knees were pulled close to his chest, with one arm wrapped around them, and his cellphone in his other hand. He was dressed in a pair of gray sweatpants that looked like he’d borrowed from Jungkook, with an oversized hoodie. The hood of his sweater hid his hair and part of his face, but the way he would lift his palm to his cheeks, wasn’t so easy to conceal.
Biting at the inside of his cheek, Taehyung can feel an array of emotions course through his veins. The first being concern, and then anger. He doesn’t need to see the screen in order to know what was making his friend so upset. Jimin had a habit of scrolling through their social media to read comments from their fans; some of those comments were more negative than positive. And something told him that, that was exactly what Jimin was doing sitting on the bathroom floor at four in the morning.
Taehyung’s seen some of them, they all have. Each member have their fair share of antis, who seem to make it their life’s mission to tear them down in some of the most vicious ways. Most of the time, they’re able to just let the hate roll off their backs or ignore it completely. Some of them, like Namjoon hyung and Yoongi hyung, vent their frustrations through their music. Using it to create some of their best lyrics.
Jimin though, is good at hiding his feelings, keeping them tucked away behind a bright smile and infectious laugh. Unfortunately, he was often hiding his real feelings, his real pain. This wasn’t the first time one of them has found Jimin alone, in the middle of the night, reading such comments. Last time, it was Hoseok hyung, and this time it was Taehyung.
Taking in a deep, calming breath, Taehyung opens the door fully, startling Jimin into dropping his phone. Wide, red-rimmed, eyes jump to him as he comes into the bathroom. His eyes were puffy, and his cheeks were streaked from his tears, and it broke Taehyung’s heart seeing his best friend so hurt.
Closing the distance between them, he kneels down to pick up the forgotten phone. Turning it over, he checks the fragile device for any cracks. He doesn’t find any, but he does catch a glimpse of the Twitter post Jimin had been reading. It was one of newest selfie pictures he’d posted to their FanCafe account. The poster maliciously pointed out the way Jimin’s colored contacts looked when they were misaligned. Taehyung doesn’t get to see any more of it, because Jimin is propelling himself off of the floor to quickly snatch his phone back.
“What are you doing up, TaeTae?” He asks, voice wavering.
Taehyung frowns, looking down at the man. He sighs quietly before answering, trying to keeping his own emotions in check. “I woke up needing to pee and saw that the light was on.”
Jimin nods his head in understanding, but doesn’t move to leave. Instead, he settles back against the tub once more, drawing his knees close to his chest; staring at the black screen of his phone. No longer feeling the need to pee, his mind more concerned with his friend than his bladder, Taehyung sits down beside the blonde, pulling his own legs underneath him. For a moment, they just sit there in silence, their shoulders barely touching.
“They’re wrong, you know.” Taehyung states, his voice quiet. “Nothing they say is true.”
“I know,” Jimin whispers back, even softer than Taehyung. “But sometimes it’s just gets to be too much.”
They fall back into a comfortable silence after that, with Jimin leaning more towards Taehyung. Close enough now that he can lay his head on the other’s shoulder. Taehyung tilts his head, looking down at Jimin, his hood slipping off his head to reveal his freshly bleached hair. It even smelled more like the dye they used, than the shampoo Jimin normally uses. Closing the short distance, Taehyung presses his lips against the top of Jimin’s head, lingering a bit, before pulling back to speak.
“Lets go to bed.” He says, wrapping an arm around Jimin’s shoulders and giving a comforting squeeze. “We can cuddle until we fall asleep.”
Jimin chuckles lightly, tilting his head back against Taehyung’s arm, looking up at him. “Tae, you literally cuddle all night long. I’ll wake up in the morning with your legs entangled with mine, while you smother me against your chest.”
Taehyung’s lips pull back into a wide smile, eyes disappearing into crescents. “True, but you know you love my cuddles. They’re the best!”
“That’s debatable.” He disagrees with a snort, rolling his eyes. Still, he gets to his feet and offers a hand to Taehyung.
“Hey!” Taehyung exclaims, taking Jimin’s outstretched hand, letting the smaller man help him to his feet. “Name one other member who gives better cuddles than me.”
Jimin doesn’t hesitate to answer, a teasing smirk on his lips. “Jungkookie.”
Eyes wide, hand over his heart, Taehyung gasps in mock hurt. “Park Jimin! You’re telling me, that Jeon Jungkook, gives better cuddles than me? Your soulmate?” He sniffles, dabbing a finger under his eyes, wiping away the nonexistence tears. “I’m hurt.”
“You’re such a baby,” Jimin remarks, rolling his eyes, but trying to fight back the smile. “I’ll meet you in your room. You said you needed to pee, right?”
Taehyung nearly forgot the real reason why he couldn’t fall back asleep in the first place. Jimin’s reminder making his bladder constrict. “Right!” He exclaims, nodding and turning back to the toilet. “I’ll be there in a second. Don’t hog up the bed!” Taehyung yells as Jimin’s closing the door behind him.
Five minutes later, bladder emptied and hands washed, Taehyung enters his bedroom. Jimin had the bedside lamp on, sitting against the wall, with Yeontan sleeping comfortably in his lap; little hands moving through the Pomeranians fluffy fur absentmindedly. Once again, his phone was in his hand, thumb scrolling through whatever it was he had on screen. Taehyung isn’t sure what his friend was looking at now, but the pained expression was gone and he looked more relaxed than before.
The click of the door shutting, grabs Jimin’s attention; looking up from his phone, using the same thumb to press the button on the side, locking the device. A soft smile pulls at his lips, but it wasn’t enough to make Taehyung believe it was real. Neither of them saying anything, a comfortable silence stretching between them. Taehyung crosses the room, feigning a yawn; kicking off his slippers as he climbs into bed, taking position behind Jimin.
Jimin, carefully placing Yeontan beside him, leans over and turns off the lamp, casting the room in moonlight. Stretching out, the smaller man molds his back against Taehyung’s front, taking a moment to get completely comfortable before finally settling down. With Jimin quiet, Taehyung doesn’t want to move too much, slotting his leg between the other man’s knees, his arm resting over his side, holding him close.
Minutes pass, and Taehyung thinks Jimin’s finally fallen asleep. Only, as he closes his eyes to join his friend, Taehyung feels Jimin inhale deeply. “What if they’re right?” He asks, so quietly that it takes Taehyung a second to figure out what he said.
“Right about what?” He questions, already having an idea where this was leading, but wanting to hear it from him all the same.
“Everything,” Jimin breathes, his voice catching in his throat. “What if I’m not good enough? My singing, isn’t anywhere near as good as Jungkook, or you. And my dancing…” Taehyung can feel Jimin shaking his head against the pillow. “Hoseok hyung is so much better than I’ll ever be.”
Taehyung doesn’t say anything right away, wanting to approach this the right way. It feels like forever, but Taehyung’s arms tighten around the smaller man, holding him as close as he possibly could. “You’re perfect, Jiminie.” He says softly against his ear. “You don’t have to better than Jungkookie, or Hobi hyung, because you’re you, and you have your own strengths. But you’re an amazing singer, and you’re just a good a dancer too.”
He can feel the moment Jimin breathes in to speak, but Taehyung is quick to cut him off. “I don’t care what those jerks on twitter say. You’re beautiful inside and out. Whenever the rest of us are feeling down, or we’re hurt, you’re the first one there every single time. The ‘fans’ who are constantly hating on you, or any of us really, can’t even be called real ARMY. A true ARMY loves and supports all seven of us.”
Taehyung leans into the crook of Jimin’s neck, nuzzling the sensitive skin there, continuing until he hears the blonde giggle and start to squirm. Only then, does he pull back, smile big and boxy. “Don’t listen to them, okay? They’re just being mean, because they don’t have anyone to love them in their own miserable lives.”
Jimin tsks, smacking lightly at Taehyung’s arm resting over his waist. “Don’t say that. They’re entitled to their opinions, even if they aren’t very nice.”
“You’re too nice, Jimin.” Taehyung mumbles, a yawn forcing its way out.
“Maybe,” Jimin whispers, rolling over in Taehyung’s embrace so that he was now facing his chest. Wrapping his own arms around his best friend, Jimin presses his face to the firm expanse of Taehyung’s chest, breathing deeply the scent of Taehyung’s laundry detergent, and bath soaps.
Ever since they were trainees, Taehyung has always been there for Jimin. Attending school together, practicing until early into the morning, and just like now, comforting him when he doubted himself. They’ve always been by each other’s sides, no matter what. Jimin didn’t know what he would do without Taehyung- without any of his group mates, but if he lost Tae, it would absolutely break him. Like losing a piece of your soul.
“Thank you, TaeTae.” He whispers, “You’re amazing. Don’t let anyone say otherwise.” Tilting his chin up, Jimin looks at Taehyung’s face, just barely making it out in the darkness. “You always know the right thing to say to make me feel better.”
Taehyung’s own arms briefly tighten, loosening a moment later so the two of them could once against get comfortable. This time, Jimin position’s himself to lay on Taehyung’s chest, rather than being the little spoon. When they were both comfortable, Taehyung rests his cheek on the top of Jimin’s head, the blondes hair tickling his nose. “You’re always there for others, me especially, it’s alright to be the one needing a little reassurance and love.” He says, kissing Jimin’s hair. “Lets get some sleep though, we’re supposed to be up early for dance practice and vocal training.”
Jimin groans, curling closer into Taehyung, making the other laugh. “We should just turn off our alarms and pretend we didn’t hear them going off.”
Taehyung snorts, poking Jimin in the side. “Are you willing to deal with Hobi hyung when we finally walk in to dance practice that afternoon?”
The smaller man immediately freezes against him. “No, he’d make us work twice as hard for longer than everyone else. You’re right, it’s best if we’re on time.”
“Good, now,” Taehyung kisses Jimin’s head a second time. “Lets sleep while we can.”
Nodding, Jimin closes his eyes, letting the rhythmic beating of Taehyung’s heart, breathes slowly becoming more even. It was soothing, and he knows the moment Taehyung falls into a peaceful slumber. Smiling, Jimin tilts his head up, kisses Taehyung’s cheek and returns to his place against his friend’s chest, letting the soft sounds of Taehyung’s snoring lull him to sleep.