Taehyung had been perfectly fine in his seat in economy class. He had his snacks, his iPad stocked full of downloaded movies for the journey and multiple Spotify playlists downloaded. He did a free trial of premium, just so he could have them for the trip. But there was an empty seat beside him, so naturally he talks to the person in the next row over. He can't help it, he's a social butterfly by nature, he craves conversation and music and movies only get him so far.
His mom once told him he could talk for all of South Korea.
The woman is nice and tells him about her trip to Seoul to visit her daughter who's going to school at one of the universities there. She's American and it gives Taehyung a good excuse to brush up on his English, practice more before they land in California. When she asks him what brings him to America, he tells her the truth, doesn't think much of the story anymore. It stings at times, but he's learning to healthily move on from it and try and embrace the good things, not to dwell.
It's gotten easier over the last few months. This trip was a sore reminder of everything that happened, but he's trying to look at it as a positive. He's going a little out of his comfort zone, but he knows if he got a refund, or just gave the tickets away, he'd regret it.
So he tells the lady, Evelyn, everything, from start to finish. Sometimes he has the bad habit of revealing too much without realising he's doing it, and apparently this is one of those times. Because not long after he's told Evelyn why he's flying to California, a flight attendant comes over to him and tells him that the airline would like to upgrade him to first class, free of charge. He's confused as to why at first, knows people sometimes get upgraded for dealing with rude passengers or maybe for lack of room, but Taehyung's perfectly comfortable and he's enjoying his time with Evelyn.
But also, it's first class. The flight attendant explains to him that a few of the staff overheard his story, and they wanted to give him something nice. Taehyung is a little embarrassed, neck hot and a part of him wants to dismiss it, tell them they should upgrade someone else, someone more deserving. But when they keep insisting, Taehyung reminds himself that yeah, why not. He should have this. It's been a rough few months and this is probably a one in million chance it'll happen, he might as well take full advantage.
Which leads him here, being led through a curtain towards the back, where immediately it feels cooler, more space and he thinks maybe he can hear classical music playing from somewhere?
The chairs are bigger, more like armchairs and there's so much foot room that Taehyung could probably lay down between the seats width ways. The flight attendant shows him that there's a bar and complimentary champagne that she places in his hand along with a five star menu if he gets hungry.
It's a long flight, it's past the five hour mark and it's not even half way yet and Taehyung's decidedly excited that he's going to be able to try the first class menu. He doesn't fly a lot, but enough to wonder if each classes food is significantly different.
"Here you are, sir," the attendant says, stopping at a row of seats and gestures to them, one out of the two chairs occupied by a man who seems disinterested in what's happening. Most people in the compartment do. "If there's anything you need, please just let us know."
Taehyung bows, thinks he has more than enough and once he's thanked her, he sits down in his plush seat. He didn't have any overhead luggage, just his carry on and he carefully tucks it under his seat. He eyes the champagne flute in his hand, not really sure what to do with it. He's not a drinker, but he didn't want to seem rude and keep declining the things handed out to him. He takes a little sip and immediately pulls a face, the taste bitter and sharp. Taehyung sometimes wonders if one day he'll just get it, if he'll just get alcohol, take a sip and realise it's amazing. That he's been missing out.
But until that day comes, he sets the glass down in the holder beside him and sticks to his unappreciative pallet.
He rubs his hands over the armrests, soft, squishy leather that feels cool under his palms. It feels expensive and Taehyung can't decide if he feels lavish or just downright nervous sat in some place that he'd likely have to sell a kidney to afford. He looks around the cabin, everyone looking well presentable and focused on whatever they're doing, even if it's just sleep. There's not a single person who isn't well dressed, either in tailored suits or sharp a-line skirts or designer threads.
There's no way he doesn't stand out like a sore thumb in a thrift store plaid shirt and his favourite brown beret.
He twiddles his thumbs, has the desperate urge to reach up and fiddle with the buttons overhead. There's more than the ones in economy, but he clasps his hands together and resists the urge. Taehyung glances down, around, before settling on the guy beside him. He's facing away from him, head turned towards the windows on the other side, but when a hostess comes down the aisle, the guy turns to look at her.
"Whiskey neat. Please," he says and Taehyung studies him for a moment, eyes narrowed, thumbs stilling.
The guy looks familiar from his profile shot and Taehyung shifts in his seat to get a better look at him while trying to remain subtle. When the guy briefly looks his way, like a reflex action, Taehyung's eyes immediately go wide because he does know that face.
He stares at the man.
He turns and stares at the seat in front of him.
Then turns to stare at the man again.
Taehyung has seen that face posted over all over social media, over front pages of magazines, over the daily breakfast show he watches sometimes when he wakes up early enough. He has two physical albums with that face on it.
Taehyung had a desktop background on his laptop with the face on it at one point.
"You're Jeon Jeongguk," he suddenly bursts out in a squeak, the words bubbling out of him before he could even think to stop.
The man—Jeon Jeongguk turns his head to look at him again, regarding him with pinched eyebrows. He gives him a once over, sizing him up. "Unfortunately," he answers, voice a little blank.
Taehyung sits up then, having been locked in his seat from shock and twists to face Jeon Jeongguk. His eyes are still wide, he can't believe it and he keeps staring as Jeon Jeongguk looks away from him, the attendant bringing his drink over. He's even more attractive in person, up close, holy moly. He looks every bit like the heartthrob Taehyung's always seen him to be, like some beautiful rock god.
Jeongguk's hair looks darker than he remembers last seeing, reddish eyeshadow blended over his eyes and sharpened with liner. His nails are chipped and painted black and he's covered in piercings. He's wearing a scary looking tank top that's ripped at the sleeves and ribs and his jeans show more skin than actual denim.
It's definitely him.
"I-I'm a big fan!"
Jeongguk looks over at him with a small scowl as he takes a sip of his drink. He nods slowly before turning away again. "Sure you are."
Taehyung has the overwhelming urge to get his phone out and text every contact in his phone, even his old boss at Subway, tell him he's sat next to Jeon Jeongguk in first class right now. But first of all, he's terrified to even humour the idea of turning his phone off of airplane mode. Two, he thinks that would be a little rude to Jeon Jeongguk. And c, he doesn't think anyone would believe him, anyway.
So instead of that, he just stares at the side of Jeon Jeongguk's face, because that is obviously not rude at all.
His arms are out. Taehyung thinks Jeon Jeongguk has lovely arms.
The hoop in the side of his nose is quite dashing, too.
"You gonna keep staring?" Jeon Jeongguk suddenly asks, startling Taehyung. He's not even looking back at him.
Taehyung blinks. "More than likely, yes."
Jeon Jeongguk sighs. "Well, stop."
"Okay." Taehyung looks away immediately and covers his eyes with his hand.
He's not entirely sure how long he sits like that for, staring into the sweaty nothingness of his palm, until he feels a touch on his elbow. "You're being a bit much, aren't you?" Jeon Jeongguk's voice asks.
Taehyung's hand remains. "You told me to stop."
"Yeah, by just not looking."
"And I'm not."
"I'm respecting your wishes."
"I'll never look again."
His arm is suddenly tugged, hand falling from his face. "Would you stop?" Jeon Jeongguk snaps, but Taehyung doesn't miss the way he's trying to tamp down on a smile. "You're definitely being too much."
Taehyung stares again.
Jeon Jeongguk chokes out a laugh, staring at Taehyung incredulously. "You're odd."
Taehyung purses his lips, watching Jeon Jeongguk finish his drink. He looks down at his untouched champagne. "Do you want this?"
Jeon Jeongguk looks at him again, then down to his hand when he gestures to the glass. "You don't want it?"
Taehyung shakes his head.
"How do I know you haven't done anything to it?"
"I." Taehyung blinks. "I mean I've been sat here for maybe two minutes and the flight attendant gave it to me. So if you drink it and something does happen, then it was meant for me and not you and she's not very good at her job."
Jeon Jeongguk looks between him and the glass before he seemingly decides it's worth the risk. "Really are an odd one. Passing up free champagne," he says before taking a sip.
"This odd one doesn't drink," Taehyung says then cringes a little at the resemblance to Yoda and has to bite back the urge to do an impression. He's clearly not making a good impression as himself, let alone a Jedi Master.
Jeon Jeongguk regards him again before taking another sip. "Thanks." It's silent for a minute and Taehyung keeps his eyes down on his lap, despite how much he wants to stare at Jeon Jeongguk's glorious face while he can. "What's your name?"
Taehyung looks up. "What."
"Your name." Jeon Jeongguk raises a pierced eyebrow. "Have one of those, don't you?"
Jeon Jeongguk nods slowly.
Taehyung says nothing.
"What is it."
Why is this man so beautiful looking. "What is what."
Taehyung is fucking dying.
"Oh, it's Taehyung. And you're Jeon Jeongguk," he points out. Why not just introduce them both while he's at it.
Jeongguk huffs another laugh. "Just Jeongguk is fine."
Okay, Just Jeongguk hangs on the end of his tongue and he swallows it down with difficulty.
Taehyung keeps expecting the conversation to fade out and he'll be left to just stare and resist the urge to talk Just Jeon Jeongguk's ear off. But after another lull in silence, he's not the one to break it again.
"Why are you here?"
Taehyung blinks, nervous. "Like - like on the plane?"
Jeongguk nods. "But more like why are you in first class. You weren't here at the start of the flight."
"Oh! I got upgraded. Really nice of them to," Taehyung says. He doesn't want to get into it, doesn't think someone like Jeongguk wants to know about his sob story. "Why are you?"
"Why am I in first class?
Is Taehyung stupid. "No! No, of course you're in first class. I meant why are you on the plane. To California. Do you have a show?"
"No." Jeongguk finishes off the rest of Taehyung's champagne and sets the empty flute down. "A vacation of sorts, I guess. Needed to get away."
Taehyung nods in understanding. Jeongguk's in the media a lot, has had a lot of scandals around him over the years. Taehyung remembers seeing a news article just the other day that pictured Jeongguk in some type of fight at a club. He thinks Jeongguk gets more flack than he deserves. He won't disagree and say he hasn't done some questionable things, and some just downright bad, but Taehyung thinks the news like painting him as the biggest villain possible. Everyone loves a bad boy persona, and he thinks it's unfair. The media definitely like to over dramatise news. It's in their job to make a story as interesting and compelling as possible, bring in more readers, make everything more eye catching. It's how they get their money. But Taehyung thinks it can be a real defamation of character.
"Going to do anything nice?" Taehyung asks.
"Sit in the sun and cook myself slowly while I drink myself into a coma, hopefully," Jeongguk answers, stretching his legs out and crossing his ankles in front of him.
Taehyung hums, nodding. "Well, don't skip out on sunscreen, then. Give the sun a real challenge."
Jeongguk laughs under his breath, crossing his arms over his chest. "Yeah, right." He rolls his head against the chair to look over at Taehyung. "What about you?"
"On your own?"
Yikes. "Yep. Just doing what Destiny's Child tell me to," he says, scratching the side of his nose, clearing his throat. He smiles tightly. "Being an independent woman."
Jeongguk giggles. He fucking giggles. Taehyung's never heard something so adorable sounding. "On a thirteen hour flight just for Disneyland?"
"Worth every hour," Taehyung says with a smile. He truly means it, too. He's beyond excited, and the long flight is only adding to his budding enthusiasm to get there. Plus he can't check in until tomorrow, so he's going to enjoy just wandering around the city, can crack out his camera he hasn't been inspired to use in a while and take pictures. Maybe he'll go full tourist and head to Hollywood.
"But on your own?" Jeongguk presses and Taehyung chews on the corner of his lip, debating.
"Well, I." Taehyung shifts, propping his chin up on his hand, staring at the emergency instructs tucked into the seat in front. "I wasn't meant to go alone, but it's just panned out that way. So."
Jeongguk fidgets from the corner of his eye. Taehyung thinks maybe he feels awkward, but when he glances at him, he's just turning in his seat to face him more. "What happened?"
"Was meant to go with my boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend," he explains, putting emphasis on the ex as he glances at Jeongguk.
"Yeah," Taehyung nods, exhaling slowly. "It was my birthday present from the end of last year, so it's been booked for a while. I've always wanted to go, so I decided to just go by myself." He shrugs, turning his head to look at Jeongguk.
"Why didn't you bring anyone else instead?"
Taehyung rolls his eyes, can already hear Jimin in his head, demanding he take him. "I'd have felt bad picking between my friends. So I didn't pick at all. Maybe a little sad, but."
Jeongguk shakes his head. "It's not sad," he assures him. "Fuck that guy. "
Taehyung nods. "Fuck that guy."
"Fuck that guy!” Jeongguk repeats, drawing the attention of a lady beside them. Taehyung giggles. “You can still go smash Disneyland on your own." Jeongguk gives a firm nod and Taehyung feels his heart flutter like the teenage girl he is.
It's such a sweet thing to say and it makes him feel better about what he's doing. He's had his doubts, but getting reassured by a third-party individual that isn't his mom or Jimin is another little pat on the back that Taehyung needed.
"Thank you," Taehyung says, feels a little shy all of a sudden. He definitely wants to change the subject, doesn't want to pour out his sad little life to Just Jeon Jeongguk. "Feel free to write a song about it. I can think up some song titles if you need," he offers.
Jeongguk raises his eyebrow, gesturing for Taehyung to go on.
"Lilo and Bitch."
Jeongguk snorts on a laugh. "You're Lilo?"
"I'm Lilo," Taehyung agrees, nodding solemnly. "How about... Disneyland Blues?"
Jeongguk scrunches his nose and gives his hand a shake, clearly iffy. "Bit basic."
Taehyung tongues his cheek, nodding in agreement. "Ooh! How about You Broke My Heart Bitch And Now I'm Gonna Cry Into Expensive Cotton Candy?"
Jeongguk laughs, but bites his lip to try and stifle it. He smooths his face out impressively fast. "That's catchy. Rolls off the tongue."
"Thank you," Taehyung nods. "Last one. It's A Small Penis."
That seems to set Jeongguk off properly, belting out a loud laugh that he doesn't even try to cover. He smacks the armrest and nudges Taehyung. "That's my favourite one for sure."
Jeongguk laughs again and Taehyung feels his chest go warm. Maybe he should feel a little bad making jokes at his ex's suspense, but he should've really thought of that before he put his dick in Taehyung's roommate.
"Done a few heartbreak songs. Don't think I've ever written one quite like that," Jeongguk manages to say once he's calmed down, wiping at his eyes with the base of his palms.
"Yeah, you've made some amazing ones," Taehyung agrees. "When things first ended with my ex, I'd listen to the whole of Death Rattle on repeat for weeks."
Jeongguk sobers up a little, blinking over at him. He looks surprised. "You've heard my album?"
"Yeah? I told you I was a fan," Taehyung reminds.
"Yeah. But. I thought you were just saying that."
Taehyung chuckles, but he can imagine why. People probably tell Jeongguk they're fans of his all the times when really they're fans of his fame. "No, I really am. One of my favourite songs of all time is Pulp."
Jeongguk looks even more shocked. "That was from one of my earlier EP's."
"Yeah, I know."
Jeongguk leans back and looks him over, eyebrows furrowed but there's a smile working at his face. "Serious?"
Taehyung nods. "Serious."
"You actually like my music."
"Why is that so hard to believe?"
"I mean..." Jeongguk looks him over again. "You're wearing a beret," he points out, scratching his cheek. "Beret's aren't exactly metal."
Taehyung nods, pursing his lips. "Well, the airline wouldn't let me wear someone else's skull as a hat? Weirdly. So the beret has to do for now."
Jeongguk bites down on a grin, glancing down at his lap. "Okay, point taken. You're just." He looks up at him again and gestures at him. "You just don't look like my usual type of fan."
"Not that there's anything wrong with the way you look!"
Ooh, this could be fun. Okay.
"No?" Taehyung twists in his seat fully to look more at Jeongguk again, tucking his leg under himself. "How do I look?"
"You look good!" Jeongguk gets out, voice a little higher pitched. "I like the way you look."
"Oh my god," Taehyung scoffs, eyes going wide as he looks away, jaw open. "Can't believe you just said that."
Jeongguk shoves him harder this time and Taehyung laughs. "Don't be a dick. I mean it, you look nice. I just wasn't expecting someone pretty like you to like someone like me."
Ha ha. He called him pretty.
"Is there a requirement I need? Like should I get my lip pierced and a tattoo on my neck?" Taehyung teases, tilting his head back to expose his throat. "I'll get Beretz Rule, with a z. No apostrophe."
"Ooh." Jeongguk's eyes are on Taehyung's neck. "That's badass." He pokes Taehyung's neck. "What do you do, then? When you're not busy being hardcore."
"That's actually my full-time," Taehyung corrects, tipping his head forward again with a smile. "But my second job is performing at a jazz club."
Jeongguk's eyebrows raise, once again looking surprised. Taehyung wonders if he's some type of anomaly. "For real?"
"Yeah. Do some singing every now and then, mostly play the sax. It's a good gig," he nods. "I enjoy it."
"Huh. I don't think I've ever met a jazz singer before."
"I know I've never met a rockstar before, so we're even."
Jeongguk laughs. His cheeks are a little pink and Taehyung has the overwhelming urge to pinch one. "That's really cool, though."
Taehyung never thought he'd hear Just Jeon Jeongguk tell him he thought he was cool.
It's amazing how time seems to fly once they get into the swing of conversation. They talk for hours, eat dinner together—which turns out to be just as amazing as Taehyung had dreamed of—and get to know each other. They even power nap together, giggling away under a couple of soft blankets the crew provide them.
Everything Taehyung thought is proven right. Jeongguk's really not a bad person. He's sweet and funny and he has his faults, doesn't always handle things in the best of ways, but he's not the demon that a lot of the public have portrayed him to be. He giggles and even pouts when Taehyung teases him sometimes and he's just sweet.
He's never idolised a celebrity to the point where he forgets they're people too, but Jeongguk's so down to earth that after a while he really does forget that he follows multiple accounts that post high definition pictures of him. He's beyond easy to talk to and maybe Taehyung's being naive and hopeful, but he thinks they get along really well. They have a lot in common seemingly, actually like a lot of the same music and Taehyung definitely doesn't miss the opportunity to pick fun at him for liking a few girl groups over dinner.
("Are you sure you like BlackPink? You don't look the part."
"Okay, okay. You made your point. Now are you gonna finish your chocolate cake or not?" )
"Have you ever been to California before?" Jeongguk asks him as they stand at the bar, drinking their mimosas - virgin for Taehyung.
He shakes his head, eating a couple of the complimentary pretzels. "Never."
"Where have you been?"
Taehyung cracks a salt crystal between his teeth. "Went to Japan once."
Jeongguk nods, seemingly waiting for him to keep going. "That's it?"
"That's the whole hog."
Jeongguk stands up, leaning his hip against the bar. "You've never been to an English speaking country."
Taehyung straightens up, too. "I can speak some English, okay. Enough to get by. I go through phases of watching dubbed anime. That's really helped."
"You're cute," Just Jeon Jeongguk says and for a moment, Taehyung remembers who he is and gets a little flustered.
But then he thinks about how Jeongguk tickled him earlier until he relented and gave him his cake and all gushy feelings he has quickly evaporate.
It's when the pilot announces overhead that they should return to their seats and that they'll be landing soon that Taehyung feels the bravest.
"Do you wanna come?" he asks, buckling his belt.
"Do I wanna come where?" Jeongguk doesn't look up from where he's putting their trash in the bin the attendant brings around.
Taehyung swallows. "To Disneyland. With me. We could get separate rooms, obviously," he tacks on quickly, in case that could be a deal breaker.
Jeongguk's head turns to him, dropping the empty can of soda in the plastic bag held out to him before he lowers his arm slowly. "You're asking me to come to Disneyland with you?"
Oh god. He's made a grave mistake.
"You don't have to, I know you've got big plans with UV Rays and Grey Goose. But y'know."
It'd be fun to have you there.
Jeongguk chews on his lip. "I don't know, Taehyung. I don't really wanna be that public right now."
"Right. Of course," Taehyung nods in understanding, genuine smile on his lips. "You deserve to relax."
He doesn't say anymore on it, but Jeongguk is a little quiet for the landing, doesn't talk much until they're given the all clear to collect their overhead bags if they have any and file out of the plane.
"That was probably the most fun I've ever had on a flight."
Taehyung giggles, shouldering his bag as they cross the tarmac towards the airport. He squints at the sun and reaches up to yank off his goddamn beret. "Holy shit it's hot," he squeaks. "I feel like I'm cooking—ohhhh." He looks at Jeongguk and nods. "I get why you came here now."
Jeongguk laughs, but he's staring at Taehyung hair.
"What? Is my hair a complete birds nest?" he asks, reaching up to try and pat it down.
"No, no. It looks fine." Jeongguk reaches out to thread fingers through it and Taehyung's heart gives a little extra jump in his chest. "It's cute."
Stop calling me cute, goddammit.
Remember what he did for the cake.
Taehyung hopes his face is hot because of the sun.
When a couple guys, big and hulking walk in front of them, Jeongguk gives them a nod and they walk further ahead. "Who are they?" Taehyung asks, watching them march away.
"My security team."
Taehyung blinks, looking back at the plane. "Where they on the flight with us?" he asks, gesturing back to where they came from with his thumb.
"Yeah," Jeongguk laughs. "Sat behind us."
"I didn't even notice them."
"That's part of their job, Tae," Jeongguk grins, bumping him.
"Wow." Taehyung faces forward again, gives the lady waiting at the terminal a little bow as she greets them. "I'm surprised they didn't tackle me."
Jeongguk snickers. "Only 'cause I told them not to."
Once they're inside the air conditioned airport, Taehyung sighs in relief, shoving his beret in the pocket of his pants. He looks up at the signs overhead, his English not good enough for this. "Baggage claim?"
Jeongguk points across from him, slowing down. "Right down there."
Taehyung nods and stops too, looking back at Jeongguk when he doesn't follow. "You coming?"
"I have to meet with a couple of people from my management team," Jeongguk explains, shouldering his bag with a frown as he puts some sunglasses on with his other hand.
"Oh." Taehyung doesn't move yet. He looks between a bright yellow sign and back to Jeongguk. "I guess this is where we part ways, then."
Jeongguk is still frowning at him, visible even under his shades. "I guess so."
Why does Taehyung feel so sad? He was really enjoying hanging out with Jeongguk, but he supposes now there's no reason for them to stick together, no longer trapped thousands of feet in the air. A part of him wants to offer his number, his Twitter handle, his goddamn blood type, anything that could keep them connected. But he thinks he just has to accept that it is what it is. They had a good time together, had some fun and now it was time to keep on chugging forward. The last thing he wants to do is make Jeongguk uncomfortable and ruin everything by being pushy.
Taehyung takes a deep breath and grins. "Okay. Well, it was really nice meeting you. I had a great time." He starts to walk backwards, ignores the little ache in his stupid chest. "Have fun on your vacation. Try not to destroy your liver too much!"
With one last wave, Taehyung turns and heads towards where Jeongguk had pointed him to, smile dropping. He can let himself have a little mope, be sad that it's over, but he can't let it ruin his whole trip here.
Attractive men need to stop being the bane of his existence.
Still, it's easier said than done and he's definitely got a pout on as he watches the conveyor belt bring around all the luggage. When he spots his suitcase that Jimin gave him to borrow, he steps forward to grab it by the handle, but before he can tug it off the belt, another hand is wrapping over his.
"Lemme grab that."
Taehyung looks up at Jeongguk, blinking in surprise, taking his bag when it's set down in front of him. He watches Jeongguk grab another bag, a big, expensive looking one. "Thanks."
Jeongguk just nods and doesn't say anything for a moment until he's got his bag, too. He sighs. "So, I was thinking."
Taehyung immediately feels like he knows where this is going and his heart jumps for a whole other reason. He keeps his face blank. "Oh? That's never good." Jeongguk grins and nudges him with his foot gently. "What were you thinking about?"
"About your offer."
Taehyung can't hide his smile now. He really hopes he's not reading this wrong. "You changed your mind?"
"Yeah." Jeongguk chews on his lip around his grin. "I wanna go with you. If I still can, of course."
No one's gonna fucking believe this happened at all.
"Well, check in isn't until tomorrow, so we could probaly go and cook in the sun today. Bit of a compromise," Taehyung offers, feels so excited that he could scream.
Jeongguk doesn't look much better off, though. Maybe that's wishful thinking. "I think that sounds like a fair deal."
The pair of them break into giggles, shoving at each other as they start towards the exit to find a car and start their much needed vacations.
-- -- --
from: jimin bby (´⌣`ʃƪ)
am i fuckin stoned or are you at disney with jeon jeongguk
im stoned arent i
idk if i should be more or less offended that you took jeon jeongguk to disney
really weighing my options
you a bitch
love you tho
bring me back a magnet and an autograph