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Setting in a Honeymoon (Me & You)

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“Life sucks.”

“I know, buddy.”

“Like, it really sucks, you know? It’s a total shit-show. There’s nothing good about it, at all.

Taehyung snorts. The sound prompts Jimin to glance at him, eyes flicking away from the tiny, fingerprint-smeared laptop screen where they’ve been binge-watching rom-coms for the better part of the day.

“I totally get what you’re saying,” Taehyung starts, patting Jimin’s thigh sympathetically. “I really do. But also, as your best friend and the only reason you ever make it to lectures on time, it kind of wounds me that you don’t consider our friendship to be a redeemable factor.”

Jimin flinches almost imperceptibly, hand stilling over the bowl of half-salt, half-sugar popcorn nestled between them. “Shit, I’m sorry. You know I didn’t mean it like that, Tae.”

“I know,” Taehyung replies, flicking a piece of popcorn into the air to catch in his mouth. It nearly hits him in the eye and he swears under his breath. “It just makes me feel like maybe you don’t appreciate our High School Musical marathons or attempted spiritual séances as much as I do.”

Jimin pulls a face, feigning a bone-deep shudder. “I still can’t believe I let you talk me into using a Ouija board on fucking Halloween of all days,” he mutters, regret colouring his tone , and he’s really never going to let that one go, is he?

“Granted, probably not my greatest idea,” Taehyung has the decency to admit. “But not my worst.”

Definitely not your greatest idea,” Jimin emphasises firmly. As if stressing it enough times will somehow magically prevent Taehyung from doing something similarly stupid in the future. (It won’t.) “I’d say it ranks somewhere in the same disaster-pool as that time you tried to sleep in IKEA overnight.”

“That was fun!”

“It was a disaster!”

“Yeah, okay,” Taehyung sighs fondly. “But it was our disaster.”

Jimin stares at him incredulously, eyebrows raised almost to his hairline. “I said right from the beginning that I wanted no part in it. I was just trying to get you out of there before you got yourself into serious trouble!”

Taehyung can still vividly picture Jimin sneaking around IKEA at 2am, wide-eyed and frantic, hissing Taehyung’s name under his breath. He’d been walking around so carefully but he still somehow managed to bring an entire shelf full of fake books and decorations crashing down around him, setting off every motion detector in the vicinity. What was supposed to have been a relatively chill sleepover had very quickly turned into a dangerous game of hide-and-seek with two incredibly unamused security guards.

“Oh man, you really fucked up on that one,” Taehyung says, collapsing into peals of laughter.

At least he can now confidently add ‘banned from IKEA’ to his list of valuable life experiences. And it always makes for a great story at parties.

Jimin chucks a handful of popcorn kernels at Taehyung as he continues to laugh and threatens to push him off the bed, but Taehyung just yells and clings to him, his grip vice-like around one of Jimin’s thighs. They shake the bed so violently with their subsequent yelling and tussling that the bowl of popcorn threatens to spill all of its contents out onto the crumpled sheets. But then Jimin’s laughing too, loud and warm and full-bodied, and Taehyung has missed the sound of it so much that it makes his heart swell with an unspoken tenderness.

It doesn’t last long, unfortunately. Jimin comes down from his high pretty quick, collapsing back against his pillows with a long, drawn-out sigh. He brushes stray popcorn kernels off his chest before glancing over at Taehyung, eyes brimming with a phantom pain that Taehyung would fight off a thousand armies for just to find a way to heal.

“I really am sorry you know,” he murmurs into the quiet space between them.

Taehyung blinks back at him, longing to reach out and hold him in all the ways he wants but in none of the ways he’s needed.

“For what?”

“For being such a bummer lately. For not thanking you for sticking around even though you’re probably sick of hanging out with me when I’m all mopey and boring like this.”

Taehyung can almost feel a physical crack forming in his chest. He wants to tell Jimin ‘I could never be sick of you, ever, not in any versions of my lifetimes’ but it feels a little bit too honest, a little bit too close to the small fragment of longing buried deep in his heart. That he intends to keep buried, for both their sakes.

“What kind of friend would I be if I just left you to wallow in your heartbreak all alone?” he says instead. “I’m here for you in sickness and in health, dude. ‘Til death do us part.”

And he means to say it jokingly, but it still rings with just a touch too much sincerity.

Jimin’s looking at him fondly though, so maybe...maybe it was the right thing to say. “You’re such a sap,” he teases, nose scrunching up cutely in mock disgust. Taehyung has to resist the urge to reach out and pinch his cheeks. “But thank you. And I’m sorry, for saying everything sucks; it’s just–”

“The heartbreak talking, I know,” Taehyung interrupts with what he hopes is a reassuring smile. He reaches out to squeeze Jimin’s hand, flowers blooming in his chest when he feels small, soft fingers squeezing back firmly. Even when he’s trying to be the emotionally mature pillar of support here, Jimin still manages to be the one grounding him. “You’re allowed to be sad, Jimin. You guys were together for nearly a year, it’d be weird not to feel heartbroken after going through so much together.”

Jimin sighs again, trailing his fingers down Taehyung’s arm to pick distractedly at the frayed edge of his pyjama sleeve. “You know what the worst part about being dumped is?”

“Yeah, ‘no more sex’, I know,” Taehyung groans. “You’ve mentioned that several times already. Thank you for constantly reminding me, by the way. As someone who has not regularly gotten any for several months now, it’s always nice to be reminded of exactly what I’m missing out on.”

“No, not just the sex,” Jimin says, rolling his eyes as he pinches Taehyung’s forearm teasingly. “I was talking about Valentine’s day.”

“Valentine’s Day?”

“Fucking Valentine’s Day,” he groans. He pulls away from Taehyung and rolls onto his back, burying his face in his hands. “I’d booked for me and Sungwoon to go on this stupid couple’s spa retreat thing. It was really expensive and I’m pretty sure the vouchers are non-refundable; I mean, why would they be?” he scoffs. “Who expects their asshole boyfriend to dump them for absolutely no reason right before Valentine’s day? Certainly not me.”

Taehyung can sense that he’s starting to spiral again, working himself up into a state that Taehyung’s been trying to help get him out of all week with the help of sappy rom-coms and much-needed cuddles. He looks so lost and hurt and it’s so far from his usual radiant glow that Taehyung is once again consumed by a wave of resentment towards Sungwoon for ever making Jimin feel this way. For making him feel like he isn’t the most wonderful person on the planet and the closest thing to an angel Taehyung has ever come across.

Honestly. What a dick.

“Why don’t you just go anyway?” he suggests, reaching over to pry Jimin’s hands away from his face. “No point wasting a whole weekend’s worth of pampering and relaxing just because that asshole isn’t around to share it with you.” He gives in to temptation and pinches both of his cheeks with one hand until his lips jut out, hoping that it’ll make him laugh or at least distract him until he calms down enough to take a steadying breath.

“Go on a couple’s retreat alone?” Jimin wrinkles his nose in disgust, pulling his chin away from Taehyung’s grip. “God that’s depressing. No thanks, I’d honestly much rather just stay in and watch movies with you.”

“We’ve been watching movies all week, aren’t you sick of it yet?”

“Never,” Jimin says with a small but nonetheless blinding smile. “Not when I’ve got you to keep me company.”

It’s silly, the way something so simple can make Taehyung’s heart fill with so much warmth.

He leans onto his side and perches his head on one hand so he can look down at Jimin’s face in contemplation. “Why don’t we go together then?”

Now it’s Jimin’s turn to blink back at him questioningly. “What?”

“It’ll be fun!” Taehyung insists, sitting up and nearly knocking the popcorn over again. “We can use it as an excuse to renew our friendship, or something. I mean, what better way to bond than by relaxing by the pool and getting massages together. We can even do all the nauseatingly romantic crap if you really want to. I’m not opposed to being a surrogate boyfriend if you start to miss Sungwoon too much. Whaddaya say?”

Truthfully, he just wants to get out of their apartment and do something. It’s not that he doesn’t love staying in with Jimin being lazy and cuddling all day, but it has been a week. Even he has his limits. Plus, it’ll be good for Jimin to get out.

“You’re ridiculous,” Jimin splutters around a giggle, the sweet, buoyant sound bubbling out of him like the summer sun. Taehyung is enraptured to the point where he’d be surprised if Jimin couldn’t see the absolutely love-struck look on his face.

“Is that a yes?”

Jimin sighs again, but Taehyung can tell that it’s a begrudging concession rather than a dismissal. “Sure, why the hell not. Let’s go have a romantic as fuck bros weekend.” He looks at Taehyung with a small smile, and it’s so soft and fond that Taehyung nearly forgets how to breathe.

It’s a smile he’s been in love with for years, and he wonders what the hell he’s just gotten himself into.

 


 

As if there aren’t already a million and one extremely well-established reasons why he should be turning tail and running in the opposite direction of this whole ridiculous endeavour, Taehyung’s the one who suggests that they pretend to be on their honeymoon.

A million and one well-established reasons.

The biggest, most glaringly obvious one? If Taehyung had to choose, he’d probably say that the monumental, mountain-sized crush he’s been harbouring towards Jimin for the better part of the last three years that they’ve been in college together is a very, very good reason to be running away.

(Couple’s spa retreat. Honeymoon. Honestly, what was he thinking?)

He’d only really come to the realization that his feelings were nowhere near as platonic as he’d once believed soon after Jimin started dating Sungwoon, when suddenly, for some inexplicable (read: denial) reason he couldn’t bear to be in the same room as them anymore.

He’d found it weird at first. The three of them had all been good friends, even before Jimin and Sungwoon started dating, and he couldn’t understand where this sudden aversion had come from. Why did he suddenly feel like ramming his head into a cabinet every time he happened to catch them making heart eyes at each other? Why did he feel something dark and ugly brewing in his chest every time Jimin talked about how happy Sungwoon made him? He hated feeling like that. Jimin’s happiness had always been important to him, more so even than his own.

If he was really being honest though, if he could look back past all the denial and the jealousy, it had never even been that sudden. His heart had been pulling him towards Jimin for a long time, longer than he liked to admit. Maybe even from the first time they’d met.

It had taken several bottles of soju and one very long heart-to-heart with Namjoon for him to finally figure things out, and then another good month or so for him to come to terms with the fact that these feelings weren’t going to magically disappear and that some part of him was always going to feel like all the stars in the sky couldn’t hold a candle to Jimin’s smile.

Some deep, fundamentally hopeless part of him was always going to be just a little bit in love.

So yeah, his feelings for Jimin are big and complicated and confusing, but it’s fine. Taehyung can get through one weekend. He’s developed a very long list over the last few years of ways to cope with being quietly in love with Jimin whilst keeping his sanity somewhat intact.

Suggesting that they pretend to be married? Not very high on that list.

Idiot.

“Why would we pretend to be on our honeymoon?” Jimin asks as he pockets his keys, shutting the car door behind him. His dark hair shines warm and beautiful in the dappled sunlight filtering through the trees above them, and suddenly Taehyung is a lot less certain that he’s going to make it through this weekend in one piece.

That’s a very good question, he thinks as he retrieves their bags from the trunk, scrambling slightly to catch up with Jimin who’s already started off down the path towards the spa. It’s mostly because I’m an idiot who’s selfish and also in love with you.

“People love newlyweds,” he explains once they’ve fallen back into step together, deciding that now probably isn’t the right time for him to profess his stupidity nor his pathetic undying love for his best friend. “They might give us free stuff, like chocolate or champagne,” he adds, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.

Jimin seems to contemplate this for a moment as Taehyung passes him his black leather duffel bag. “I suppose it couldn’t hurt,” he admits eventually, the soles of his shoes crunching softly against the stone gravel walkway that leads them down a winding path to the spa’s entrance. “I can’t say I’m totally opposed to the prospect of free alcohol.”

Taehyung claps him enthusiastically on the back. “That’s the spirit!”

“You know, you’re surprisingly knowledgeable about this kind of stuff for someone who hasn’t been in a serious relationship for more than a few weeks,” Jimin adds with a surreptitious sideways glance.

“Excuse you, I’m currently in a very serious and committed relationship with Netflix’s extensive rom-com collection. And crime documentaries. I know how to swindle my way through a weekend like the best of them.”

“I’m not sure whether I should feel sad for you or impressed.”

“A healthy dose of both, I always say.”

 

 

The exterior of the spa is beautiful, all smooth, beige limestone walls lined with neatly trimmed shrubs and bushes. There’s a long, covered archway extending from the front entrance held up by intricate roman pillars with winding vines of ivy twisting delicately around them, and Taehyung can tell that booking a weekend here must cost a small fortune. Jimin must have been saving up for weeks to be able to afford it. He can’t believe Sungwoon would ever turn away from this, from someone who obviously cares for him a great deal and who would do so much for him.

Jimin had been devasted after Sungwoon broke up with him, but Taehyung? Taehyung had been seething.

He takes a deep breath and tries to trample his renewed resentment down, hurrying a few paces ahead so he can pull the front door open for Jimin. Plastering an obnoxious grin on his face, he dips into an exaggerated bow and says, “After you, dear.”

Jimin looks caught somewhere between embarrassment and amusement, but he’s smiling at least, eyes shining with a familiar warmth, so Taehyung counts it as a win.

“Why thank you, husband,” he throws teasingly over his shoulder as he breezes past Taehyung and through the open door.

Something warm and tingly stirs inside Taehyung’s chest, his brain processing and immediately latching onto the word ‘husband’ like it’s the best goddamn thing he’s heard all year. Sure, they’re only pretending, and yeah, the whole thing was his idea anyway, but it’s so different to hear it said out loud like that, like something real and tangible. He remains frozen by the door for a moment, watching Jimin as he walks away, and he tries not to let his mind spiral too far into visions of a future they could never realistically have together. Giving himself a mental shake, he puts on a brave face and finally steps into the building.

There’s an immediate, dramatic shift in temperature, the blistering cold February air suddenly turning into a gentle, embracing warmth. The faint smell of essential oils lingers in the air around him, and he can just about make out the sound of a babbling water fountain somewhere to the left but he can’t tell where it’s coming from. He locates the reception desk off to the far right, and takes a steadying breath before wandering over to join Jimin who’s already talking to a prim-looking woman with a severe ponytail and a serene, almost hypnotic smile.

When he spots Taehyung approaching, he turns to him with a half-smile and concerned eyes and says, “Oh, there you are. You okay?”

Taehyung tries his best to smile back reassuringly as he winds a loose arm around Jimin’s waist. “Yup, never better. Just got a bit distracted.”

“Alright, everything’s sorted for you,” the receptionist pipes up then, sliding two key-cards across the counter-top. “You’ll be staying in room number 203 on the second floor, which you can access via stairs or a lift.”

“Great, thank you.” Jimin pockets one of the keys and hands the other to Taehyung.

“In your room you’ll find complementary robes and slippers, as well as our new, deluxe Sweethearts’ toiletries set. You’ll also find a binder with a list of all the treatments included in the Valentine’s weekend special,” she continues, leaving no time for Taehyung to ask what the hell a ‘deluxe Sweethearts’ toiletries set’ entails. “Breakfast is served between 7.30am and 10.30am, and your scheduled checkout time is at 1pm on Monday.”

Balking at the prospect of being forced out of bed before midday on a weekend, Taehyung chews at his bottom lip contemplatively before leaning forward over the desk.

“Would it be possible to have breakfast served in bed? You see, we’re actually on our honeymoon,” he whispers conspiratorially to the receptionist, winding his arms tight around Jimin’s waist and hooking his chin over his shoulder. “I’ve really been looking forward to treating this one to a proper morning in bed, if you know what I mean.”

The wink probably isn’t necessary, but he’s always had a bit of a flare for the dramatics.

To her credit, the receptionist manages quiet valiantly to a keep a straight face with only the barest twitch of her lips betraying her amusement. “Of course, I can arrange to have breakfast sent to your room in the morning if you’d prefer. Just let me know what time works best for you.”

“That would be perfect, thank you.”

“Do you have any other...requirements?”

Taehyung pretends to think for a moment. “I don’t suppose breakfast includes strawberries and cream?” he asks, unable to help himself, one eyebrow raised suggestively. “Not necessarily for eating but...you know.”

Jimin elbows him in the ribs and flashes him a mildly scandalized look.

“Traditionally, no,” the receptionist says, trying her best to maintain her composure and not appear overly-flustered. “But I can have that arranged for you too, if you would like.”

“He’s just kidding,” Jimin interjects in a slightly panicked tone. Somehow, he manages to look even more flustered than she does. “Regular breakfast is fine, thank you. No strawberries or cream necessary.”

“Alright then,” she flashes them a smile bordering on relieved. “I do hope you enjoy your stay at Paradise Springs & Resort; please don’t hesitate to call the front desk should you require anything else.”

“Thank you, we will!” Taehyung calls over his shoulder as Jimin pulls him away, urgently tugging him towards the elevators and away from further embarrassment.

“I can’t believe those words left your mouth in front of a real, live, breathing person,” he hisses in a low, accusatory voice as soon as they’ve stepped inside the lift. “Strawberries and cream? Really?”

“What? Is that not something normal couples do on Valentine’s day?”

“Not to my knowledge, no.”

“Really? So you’ve never–”

No,” Jimin shoots him a look. “Not with food. It’s...weird.”

“Your loss,” Taehyung says with a small shrug. “Can I still order strawberries and cream for myself, though?”

“Depends; are you going to try and traumatize the receptionist with the prospect of our kinky sexcapades again?”

“Hey, if they’re offering special Valentine’s getaway weekends for couples then they should be prepared for anything. I’m sure she’s heard worse.”

Jimin groans. “Please don’t take that as a challenge.”

 

  

The inside of their room vaguely looks like several tiny Cupids have thrown up inside of it. Red curtains, red carpet, red bed-spread...red, heart-shaped everything, from the pillows on the bed to the candles on the dresser. It’s a lot to take in, and from the look on Jimin’s face it’s way more than even he was expecting.

When Taehyung shoots him a look, he just shrugs and says, “Sungwoon liked this kind of stuff. When I was booking it, it seemed less cheesy.”

Taehyung leaves Jimin to unpack and takes to exploring the bathroom, curious to know more about the complimentary toiletry sets they’d been promised. He finds them sitting on a shelf just above the sink, two identical red, clear plastic bags with white bows on top.

Inside them is much of the same Valentine’s-themed everything, including rose-scented body wash and heart-shaped bath bombs. The real kicker, however, is at the very bottom of the bag, from which he triumphantly pulls out a wide variety of wacky flavoured lube packets.

“Hey, Jimin!” he calls out gleefully as he makes his way back into the main bedroom, “did you know that they make mint chocolate chip-flavoured lube?”

He’s met with silence, and when he looks up he realizes that he has woefully mis-read the energy in the room. Jimin is sitting at the edge of the bed, staring at a red envelope held in his hands.

Taehyung quietly sits next to him and places a gentle hand at the small of his back. He can just about make out the small, cursive Sungwoon elegantly scrawled across the top of the envelope, probably a Valentine’s card Jimin had been planning on surprising him with.

“You okay?” he asks softly, brushing his thumb in small, soothing circles across his back.

Jimin nods imperceptibly, leaning into the touch with a quiet hum. “Yeah, I’m just...thinking about how differently I expected this weekend to turn out. It’s so strange being here now without him after planning it for so long.”

It stings a little bit, to be reminded of just how little he belongs here with Jimin. Of how he’d much rather be doing this with someone like Sungwoon. Taehyung wishes he could find the words to apologize for not being the right person.

“I’m sorry,” he says simply, hoping that it’s enough but knowing that it’s not.

Jimin chuckles softly and leans his head against Taehyung’s shoulder. “It’s not your fault. I just have shitty taste in men.”

“Still,” Taehyung says, “I can’t imagine it’s easy being here without him.”

“I have you, though,” Jimin mumbles into his shirt. “I think I’ll be alright.”

Taehyung is so in love with him that it almost physically hurts, but he tries to put it all aside to be the source of strength and comfort that Jimin needs right now.

They sit in silence for a moment, Taehyung carding gentle fingers through Jimin’s fringe as they both try to collect different thoughts and breathe against different heartbreaks. After a few minutes Jimin eventually seems to collect himself and starts to pull away.

“Alright,” he says determinedly. “It’s ok, I’m ok.”

He discards the envelope to one side. Taehyung wants to burn it, but he doesn’t think Jimin is quite there yet.

“Awesome,” he says, putting on a brave face because maybe he’s not doing so good himself. But whatever. The show must go on. “What do you want to do now?”

“We should probably finish unpacking,” Jimin suggests, rising from the bed to pick up his discarded bag from the floor. “And then I guess we can look through whatever treatments they’re offering and do one of those if we have time?”

“Sounds good.”

Following Jimin’s lead, Taehyung leaves the comfort of the red, downy duvet to retrieve his own bag. They’re not really here for long enough to warrant unpacking, but it seems to give Jimin something normal and menial to do so he goes along with it.

“Oh–” Jimin pauses suddenly, hands clutched around a pair of pyjamas, “what was that you were saying about flavoured lube earlier?”

Surprised that he’d even been listening, Taehyung laughs and directs him to the toiletry bags in the bathroom. “Without spoiling anything, I’ll just say that if I had to try any of them it would be the red one.”

There’s an ensuing silence in the room as Jimin presumably sorts through the various other toiletries in the set, and Taehyung turns his attention back towards unpacking his bag.

A horrified exclamation of “Bacon?!” comes from the bathroom a few moments later, startling Taehyung and nearly making him slam the dresser drawer against his thumb.

“Gives a whole new meaning to ‘beating your meat’, right?” he jokes, unable to keep the shit-eating grin off his face. He’d been working on that joke since he found the damn thing and is a lot prouder of it than is probably warranted.

Jimin stares at him in astonishment from the doorway of the bathroom, holding the offending item gingerly in front of him like it’s some kind of hazardous waste. “Why on earth would you want someone’s dick to taste like bacon?”

Taehyung shrugs and says, “Curiosity, I guess. Which one would you pick, if you had to?”

Jimin makes a pained face, expressions flitting through something not unlike the five stages of grief as he shuffles through the little foil packets in a sort of resigned contemplation. “This one, probably.”

Taehyung stares at the little blue-green square held in his hand, old memories of cheerfully munching on ice-cream together during the warm summer months unwillingly being pulled to the surface. “Mint chocolate chip? Really?”

“It’s better than bacon,” Jimin says defensively, returning to the bathroom to discard the little packets back into the obscurity they belong to. “Besides, it’s not like I’m ever actually going to try it. It’s weird.”

“Never say never,” Taehyung intones wisely.

Jimin pulls another face but otherwise says nothing, shutting the bathroom door behind him with a resounding click.

Taehyung finishes unpacking his bag in the time that he’s gone and almost immediately grows bored without the company. He eyes Jimin’s bag up curiously, wondering at the secrets kept inside, and figures that there’s probably no harm in him finishing his unpacking for him. Plus, the sooner they’re done here, the sooner they can get to the much-needed pampering and relaxing.

He starts to rifle through the bag’s contents, pulling out shirts and pants and finding so many pairs of socks he reckons Jimin must have packed enough to last him an entire week. For what reason, Taehyung can’t even begin to fathom. When he finally thinks he’s reached the end of the seemingly-infinite stream of clothes, he fishes his hand in one last time just in case he’s missed a stray sock or something. His fingers brush over something soft, almost lace-like, and when he pulls it out he very quickly realizes what it is and almost instantly freezes, hand suspended in mid-air.

Of course, that’s the exact moment Jimin chooses to reappear, the lock on the bathroom door clicking open with the sound of prophetic doom. He also freezes the second he spots what Taehyung’s holding, the unmistakeable red lace and silk of a piece of lingerie dangling from his fingers, and his eyes go wide, mouth popping open to form a small, surprised ‘o’.

“Uh...I can explain?” he offers tentatively, one hand held up like he’s afraid of spooking Taehyung.

“Please,” Taehyung replies almost desperately, unable to look him in the eye, his own eyes glued to the (frankly tiny) scrap of red silk which he still hasn’t found it in himself to put it down.

Jimin takes a few hesitant steps towards him on the other side of the bed, gently tugging at the material until Taehyung relinquishes it with a few surprised blinks. “This is...it was supposed to be a surprise for Sungwoon,” he admits quietly, the beginnings of a blush starting to form at the tips of his ears. “I don’t usually do stuff like this and it was so weird when I bought that I just immediately threw it in my bag so I wouldn’t have to look at it or think about it. I guess I must have forgotten to take it out.”

“Are you sure you didn’t bring it just to try and seduce me?” Taehyung teases mildly, trying to diffuse some of the tension lingering in his own mind. “Because I’m flattered, really, if not a bit confused as to how the hell you were expecting to fit into that...thing.”

Jimin whacks him across the chest, his blush now a furious red spreading across his cheeks and nose. “Shut up,” he grouses, “I knew I shouldn’t have bought it, it’s so stupid.”

“Hey,” Taehyung says, gently grabbing hold of his wrist. “It’s not stupid. It’s nice that you wanted to do something different for him.”

“Whatever, it’s not like he’s here to appreciate now anyway.”

It hurts when Jimin pulls away. He strides towards the dresser and stuffs the red material as far into the corner of the bottom drawer as he can manage, like he can somehow trap his memories of Sungwoon there too.

Taehyung’s beginning to feel like maybe insisting that they go through with this whole weekend might not have been his best idea.

 


  

The whole messy business of lube and lingerie behind them, they settle on going for a couple’s massage, arguably the safest option on the entire list of treatments. Taehyung hadn’t realized just how much of this weekend was going to be strictly couple-oriented, hadn’t even realized so many spa treatments could be done as a couple.

He says as much to Jimin, who just laughs and says, “What the hell did you expect from a couple’s retreat?”

He only fully realizes just how magnanimously he’s fucked up by insisting on coming on this retreat when one of their masseurs leads them to a private changing room, instructing them to strip down to nothing but a small towel wrapped around their waists, and he’s forced to confront the downright obscene sight of Jimin (and Jimin’s bare chest, neck and thighs, god his thighs) all oiled up and illuminated by soft candlelight. He gets so embarrassingly hard so embarrassingly fast that it’s all he can do not to dive face-first onto the massage table and refuse to turn around for the entire session.

“You’re very tense,” his masseur comments halfway through. Taehyung doesn’t have the heart to tell him that it’s probably because he’s popping possibly the biggest, most tragic boner of his life for his best-friend-turned-fake-husband who’s still hung up on his ex-boyfriend.

Jimin looks so profoundly relaxed by the time it’s over that Taehyung wants to throttle him, but he’s too busy trying to cover himself up and rush back to the changing rooms as fast as humanly possible to do much about it.

Jimin sends him a deeply troubled look when he finally catches up to him only to find him half-dressed and fumbling around the room like a newborn fawn. “Did you not want to check out some of the other treatments before dinner?” he asks, confused, still very much half-naked.

Taehyung keeps his gaze resolutely above Jimin’s neck, although it’s a rather poor attempt at self-preservation given that Jimin’s face is just as beautiful as the rest of him, if not more so. “I-I didn’t think we’d have time before dinner.”

Jimin stares pointedly at the clock over his shoulder. “It’s only four o’clock.”

Taehyung blanches. “Oh.”

“Are you okay?” Jimin asks. He takes a hesitant step towards him, concern obvious in his eyes. “You’ve been acting...weird.”

“I’m fine,” Taehyung lies, waving a dismissive hand as he continues to pull his shirt on over his head. “It’s just–it’s a bit warm in here, is all. I feel a bit lightheaded.”

Jimin’s eyes narrow suspiciously. “You’re adding more layers on.”

Damn his perceptive, overly-attentive ass. “Yeah, well, then I got cold. Maybe I’ve got a fever or something.”

Naturally, Jimin takes that as an invitation to step right into his personal bubble and presses a gentle hand against his forehead. He really should have seen it coming; Jimin has an extremely powerful nurturing instinct, all the stronger when he’s around a potentially-ill Taehyung. Taehyung can’t even begin to count all the times he’s been forcefully swaddled into bed with soup and a hot-water bottle for so much as a single sneeze, Jimin hovering over him like a concerned mother hen.

“You do feel quite warm,” he observes, a worried crease forming between his brows. “When did you start feeling like this?”

Taehyung swallows nervously and tries not to let his eyes instinctively drift down to Jimin’s soft, pink lips, so close that it would take nothing at all for him to just lean forward and close the distance in a single breath. “A while ago,” he admits quietly, but he’s not talking about the fever.

“A bath would help,” Jimin suggests, hand still pressed to Taehyung’s forehead as he gently brushes some of the hair out of his face. “Why don’t we try that?”

Taehyung nods reflexively, magnetized to the deep, soothing brown of Jimin’s eyes.

 

 

What he expects to happen is for Jimin to let him scamper off to the safety of their room to run a soothing bath for himself.

What actually happens is something pulled directly out of Taehyung’s deepest, darkest, most repressed desires.

He allows himself to be led, dazed, down a maze of hallways he’s not entirely sure he remembers passing on the way down, Jimin’s hand a warm beacon of comfort in his own, until they arrive at a large set of mahogany doors not unlike those leading to the massage room. Jimin pulls them open carefully, and before Taehyung can really register what’s happening they’re being ushered into another room with towels and candles and all manner of perfumed bottles.

He feels a pit drop to the very bottom of his stomach when he catches the words ‘partner pampering bath’ with horrifying clarity.

“A what?” he whispers somewhat frantically, fingers digging into Jimin’s arm when the spa technician turns around to start filling the bath. “This is a what?!”

Jimin hisses and tries to untangle Taehyung’s fingers from around his arm. “A ‘partner pampering bath’,” he repeats, quite unhelpfully. “The hot water should help you feel better, and this way I can take care of you.”

Taehyung blanches. “You know what, I actually think I feel okay, so I’m just gonna g–”

“Would you like lavender or rose-scented bath salts?” the technician interrupts, holding up two glass jars.

“Lavender,” Jimin says at the same time that Taehyung blurts out a horrified “Neither.”

“We’re not doing this,” he tells Jimin firmly.

“Why not?”

“It’s–” too intimate, Taehyung wants to say, as if they never used to feed each other or hold hands or fucking spoon together regularly before Sungwoon came along. Intimacy had always come as naturally to them as breathing. “It’s unnecessary,” he finishes instead. “You don’t have to do this, I honestly don’t feel that bad.”

“It was your idea to come and try to make the most of this,” Jimin points out, running a soothing hand down Taehyung’s shoulder. “This is just me trying to make the most out of it. Let me take care of you.”

There’s a soft look in his eyes that Taehyung finds very hard to resist, something quietly affectionate reflecting years of closeness and trust between them, and it chips away at his resolve a lot faster than he’d like to admit.

Which is how he ends up in a bathtub barely big enough for two (“It encourages intimacy,” the technician explains calmly), back turned to Jimin as he carefully massages the tension out of his shoulders, the sweet smell of lavender bath salts and rosemary massage oil mingling pleasantly in the air around them.

And honestly, it’s not actually that bad. Jimin’s hands are soft and warm against his skin, and faced away like this, Taehyung can almost pretend that it’s someone else behind him and not his best friend who he’s stupidly, irrevocably, ass-over-tits in love with.

“Is this okay?” Jimin asks after several quiet moments of mechanically working his hands over Taehyung’s back and shoulders.

“Yeah,” Taehyung sighs in blissful content, eyes sliding shut of their own volition. “Feels really nice.”

He keeps them closed as Jimin continues to move his hands lower and lower until they’re resting at his waist under the water, rubbing gentle, soothing circles there. It feels so good and so right that he can’t stop the quiet, satisfied groan that slips unbidden from his lips. There’s a moment where Jimin’s hands freeze and Taehyung barely even dares to breathe, cheeks flaring up again in mortification.

He’s just about to apologize and start clambering out of the tub, but Jimin holds him firmly in place.

“Hey, it’s okay,” he murmurs reassuringly, breath tickling the shell of Taehyung’s ears as he pulls him flush against his chest. “I’m glad it feels good. I want to make you feel good, Tae.”

Against his better judgement and with every fibre of his being yelling at him to turn tail and run, Taehyung allows himself to lean back into the familiar comfort of Jimin’s arms, tilting his head back until it’s resting against his shoulder.

It’s funny how he came on this trip to try and bring some joy and comfort back into Jimin’s life, only for Jimin to do exactly the same for him.

They spend the rest of their session like that, Jimin holding Taehyung in his arms as they talk and tease each other in hushed tones under the soft glow of candlelight. It almost feels like how it used to be between them, before Sungwoon came into the picture and before Taehyung’s feelings for Jimin turned into something terrifyingly real and unmanageable. He hasn’t felt this at ease around Jimin in a long, long time. Strange that it should happen now of all times, both of them half-naked in a bathtub on a romantic Valentine’s retreat where they’re pretending to be married.

But then again, the universe has always liked to fuck with Taehyung’s life in increasingly ridiculous ways.

 

 

After their bath they return to their room to get changed for dinner, which Taehyung has been looking forward to pretty much since they arrived. Jimin teases him about it on their way down to the dining room when he spots the excited glimmer in his eyes, joking that Taehyung would probably sell his soul for the sake of a good meal.

“I can’t help that I really like food,” Taehyung says defensively. “That’s just what you get when you grow up with cooking as good as my grandma’s.”

Jimin’s gaze softens. He twines their fingers together easily, their hands slotting together perfectly as if they’re meant to be, although Taehyung knows from experience that they’re not. Just one of the many ways in the which the universe continues to fuck with his life.

A host leads them to their table by a window overlooking the garden, a special booth-like thing designed to push them as close together as possible while still allowing them to eat comfortably.

This entire weekend was designed to send me into shock and kill me, Taehyung thinks as he swallows a lump in his throat and tries to look excited.

“We heard you were on your honeymoon,” the host explains with a conspiratorial wink. “We thought you might find this table a bit more...intimate.”

Taehyung thanks him, ignoring the accusatory look in Jimin’s eyes as they fold themselves into the small (‘intimate’) space.

They’re joined by a perky-looking waitress then, all smiles and dimples as she passes them their menus along with the wine list and details about tonight’s specials. Taehyung is already tuning her out as his eyes scan down the menu hungrily, each item looking more delicious than the last, and Jimin has to elbow him in the side when she asks whether she can get them any water or bread to begin with.

“Not to be that kind of husband, but would it kill you to pay attention to what’s going on around you for a bit instead of your stomach?” Jimin teases.

“I’m starving,” Taehyung whines petulantly, leaning his head against Jimin’s shoulder like he can’t possibly hold it up by himself any longer, “so yes, it might actually kill me.”

The waitress returns then, smiling awkwardly and apologizing profusely for interrupting them. “Just a small gift for the newlyweds,” she explains, holding up a bottle of expensive-looking champagne.

Taehyung gives Jimin a knowing look, a silent I told you so that receives an eye-roll in return. He’s trying to hold back a smile though, and Taehyung’s glad to see that their ruse finally seems to be paying off.

“The real gift is being married to the man of my dreams,” he says easily, ignoring just how much the awful truth of the statement is balanced out by the equally painful lie. Jimin’s definitely the man of his dreams. but this is as close to marriage as they’re ever going to get.

The waitress coos, while Jimin just looks like he kind of wants to die on the spot. “How can you just say stuff like that with a straight face?” he mutters under his breath when she turns around to uncork their bottle. 

“Because it’s fun and you hate it,” Taehyung shoots back, flashing him an innocent smile.

Jimin looks like he’s about to argue, but then there’s the successful ‘pop’ of the champagne bottle being opened behind them and the waitress turns back around to fill their glasses.

When she’s done, Taehyung raises his in a toast. “To love?”

“To us,” Jimin corrects, raising his own glass to clink against Taehyung’s. “And to you, for sticking with me through everything.”

There’s a soft look in his eyes that makes Taehyung feel like maybe...maybe everything is going to be alright. If they could just stay like this forever, if Jimin could just keep looking at him like this then maybe Taehyung can continue to pretend like he’ll always be the most important thing in his life instead of someone who’s just passing through until the next best thing comes along.

 

 

All of the food they order comes out beautifully presented and tastes twice as good. They share almost everything, not because they’re trying to play up the whole romantic newlyweds angle but just because it’s what they’ve always done. Even the part where they feed each other like some nauseatingly cute Hollywood movie couple isn’t them acting, it’s just them being them. The waitress comes back to re-fill their glasses every now and then, and every single time she gets this smitten look in her eye like they’re the most adorable couple she’s ever seen.

When dessert comes around, Jimin orders mint chocolate chip ice cream and Taehyung nearly has an aneurysm watching him eat it. No one should be paying this much attention to their spoon, and it’s made all the worse when Taehyung’s brain helpfully supplies him with images of that tongue and the mint chocolate lube and Taehyung’s di–

“What?” Jimin asks suddenly, head snapping up as if he can sense Taehyung’s eyes on him.

Taehyung flushes, trying to banish the image of Jimin’s mouth anywhere near his dick from his mind. “Nothing!”

He must look incredibly guilty though because a scandalized look immediately crosses Jimin’s face. “Oh god, please don’t tell me you were thinking about the lube.”

“Uh.”

Now Jimin’s blushing too. “Taehyung!”

“I can’t help it! Your–” Taehyung gestures vaguely to his mouth, his face, his general being, “and the spoon, it’s all very...distracting.”

“Well, I’m not going to stop enjoying my dessert just because you’ve got some weird Freudian hang-up on mint chocolate chip ice-cream now,” Jimin states, popping the spoon back in his mouth much to Taehyung’s absolute and horrified dismay.

He turns back to his own slice of cheesecake and tries to pretend like he’s not two embarrassing seconds away from making his excuses and running off to the bathroom.

 


 

They’re a bit tipsy when they make it back to their room after the meal, Taehyung slightly unbalanced on his feet as Jimin can’t seem to suppress his giggles, cheeks red and eyes bright. The waitress had even given them a second bottle of champagne to bring back to their room with them, which Jimin is now attempting to open as Taehyung collapses back onto the bed with a happy sigh.

“Are there any glasses?” he asks once he’s finally managed to get it open.

“Bathroom maybe?”

Jimin returns with two wine glasses held triumphantly in one hand, and they make a start on their second bottle of the night. Taehyung’s only too eager to get more champagne into his system, because it’s the only thing that dulls the intrusive little voices at the back of his mind reminding him that he’s not good enough and he’s selfish and he shouldn’t even be here to begin with.

Jimin joins him on the bed, pressing himself much closer than is strictly necessary but Taehyung’s inhibitions are just low enough that he doesn’t do much to stop it.

“Hey, so,” he starts once they’ve gotten a bit more comfortable, lying on their sides with their heads propped up facing each other, “you never did tell me how you manage fit into that piece of lingerie.”

Jimin’s face immediately breaks out into a fierce blush and he reaches out to shove Taehyung’s shoulder lightly. “Can we not talk about this? Please?”

“But I’m curious,” Taehyung replies, pouting and rubbing his shoulder.

“Well, I’m not talking about it. It’s embarrassing and stupid and I wish I’d never even bought the damn thing.”

Taehyung contemplates Jimin’s face for a moment, staring at the worried lines between his brows and the self-conscious way he’s biting his lips, and decides there and then that he’s going to cheer Jimin up for good and make him forget all about Sungwoon if it’s the last goddamn thing he does.

“Fine,” he grumbles, already starting to sit up. He swings one leg over the edge of the bed and places his glass down on the bedside table, ignoring Jimin’s hand as he reaches out to try and pull him back. “If you won’t tell me then I’ll just have to find out for myself.”

“Tae–what?”

Taehyung strides over to the chest of drawers and, with far more bravado than he feels, reaches into the furthest recesses of the bottom drawer until his fingers catch on something soft and he successfully extricates the red, lacey nightmare.

“If I die trying to put this on, I’m blaming it on you,” he calls out over his shoulder before locking himself in the bathroom, Jimin watching him disappear in presumably shocked silence.

There’s a terrifying moment after that where he just stands in the middle of the bathroom staring at himself in the mirror wondering what the fuck he’s doing and desperately wishing he’d brought the rest of the champagne in with him. But then he remembers why he’s doing it, remembers the sad, faraway look in Jimin’s eyes, and decides that if anything it should at least make him laugh and stop attaching so many painful memories to one stupid scrap of material. 

He feels a bit like a contortionist trying to get the damn thing on, twisting and bending at every possible angle as he tries to figure out where the hell everything is supposed to go. He keeps calling out to Jimin every two minutes to complain that nothing fastens as it should or fits in any way that is physically possible for a human being.

“I can’t believe you’re actually doing this,” Jimin calls back, sounding mildly distressed. “You really don’t have to do it if you don’t want to.”

“I will figure this out,” Taehyung declares determinedly. “Even if it kills me.”

It takes several frustrating minutes of artful shimmying and uncomfortable fiddling, but eventually Taehyung seems to get everything strapped and tucked into its rightful place. He chances a glance at himself in the mirror and honestly, it looks a lot better than it felt putting it on. The lace hugs his curves in a rather flattering way and the lace flows gently and pleasantly against his skin. And sure, it leaves almost nothing to the imagination (he has to resist the instinctive urge to try and cover himself up with his hands), but the point is he managed to do it all by himself and the end result actually looks kind of....sexy.

He grabs one of the red, silk robes from the back of the door and slips it on over his shoulders, tying it loosely around his waist. He takes a deep breath, hand poised on the doorknob to steady himself for a moment before he unlocks the door and pushes it open to take a tentative peek into the room.

Jimin is still on the bed, wine glass frozen halfway to his lips as soon as he hears the door open.

“Do you mind turning the lights down? And uh. Maybe if you could sit in one of the chairs over there?”

Jimin narrows his eyes. “Why? What are you planning?”

“Don’t worry, I promise it’ll be fun. Uh...I hope.”

Jimin complies with an apprehensive sigh, either too tired or too tipsy to care where this might potentially be going, dimming the lights and obediently dragging one of the chairs out from the corner of the room to sit on. He watches in silence as Taehyung braves the rest of the walk into the room and grabs his phone from the bedside table.

Seconds later, he’s sputtering out a quiet, horrified “oh my god” when he suddenly recognizes the song that’s playing, and his eyes go wide as he watches Taehyung stride towards him with careful, calculated steps.

“Please tell me that’s not Careless Whisper playing on your phone.”

“Shhhh...” Taehyung shushes. He props a hand on his thigh and leans over his lap, pressing a finger to his lips. “Just sit back and relax.”

Jimin does as he’s told, although his face does something complicated and he’s frozen still as a statue, like a deer caught in headlights.

Trying to school his own expression, Taehyung steps back and sways his hips in time to the music (thank god he took that one salsa lesson with Hoseok). He gives a little shimmy and lets part of the silk robe slip past his shoulder to reveal a stretch of collarbone, bringing his hand up to his face and taking on a mock-scandalized look that has Jimin giggling uncontrollably.

He keeps dancing for a few minutes, his routine growing increasingly over-the-top as Jimin’s laughter and teasing wolf-whistles spur him on. He even pulls the standing lamp out from the corner of the room to twirl around like it’s a pole, and he doesn’t think he’s doing half bad until he leans too far backwards all of a sudden and ends up accidentally pulling the plug out of its socket.

Jimin starts to giggle uncontrollably and it sounds so warm and beautiful that Taehyung feels like he’s being physically reeled in by some invisible force as he steps forward, one foot in front of the other until he’s standing right between Jimin’s thighs.

He fiddles with the noose around his waist keeping the robe in place, fluttering his eyelashes coyly when he asks, “Wanna help me out?”, voice low and deliberately, comically husky.

Jimin laughs again, head thrown backwards with the force of it. “I can’t believe you’re actually doing this,” he says, reaching forward with one hand to tug at the noose. “You’re so ridi–oh.” He pauses when the robe flows open and drops to the floor behind Taehyung, revealing the lingerie underneath.

There’s an odd look in his eyes, and Taehyung’s startled when he realizes that they’re roaming appreciatively over the whole length of his body. He tries not to squirm under the attention, grabbing the champagne bottle from the table behind Jimin and taking a giant swig. It hits the pit of his stomach with a warm, pleasant glow, and grants him just enough confidence to swing his legs over the chair so that he’s straddling Jimin’s lap.

“It’s gonna cost double if you want to touch,” he jokes when he notices Jimin’s hands hovering uncertainly in the air by his waist.

“Damn inflation,” Jimin quips back easily, shaking his head as if in disappointment, and now it’s Taehyung’s turn to laugh.

He’s still trying to think of something witty to say when the song suddenly comes to an end, just as the tips of Jimin’s fingers brush tentatively against his waist. He retracts them almost like he’s been burned, and without the song playing Taehyung is unwillingly pulled back into the mundane reality where this is more awkward than it is sexy, too much of a joke when all Taehyung wants is for it to be real.

He climbs off of Jimin’s lap and collects his robe from the floor, shrugging it on loosely over his shoulders. “I hope you enjoyed that while it lasted because it is never happening again,” he comments lightly, trying to dispel some of the tension that seems to have eased into the now-silent room. “This thing is a bitch to get on.”

“It looks good,” Jimin reassures him hastily, some unreadable emotion colouring his tone. “Like, really good. I’m–yeah. Wow.”

When Taehyung looks up he’s surprised to see that Jimin seems to be blushing more than he is, although it might just be from the champagne more than anything else.

“It’s surprisingly not that awful to wear,” he admits, padding towards the bed on unsteady feet and reaching out for his discarded glass on the bedside table.

“It’s not all that awful to look at, either.”

Taehyung isn’t sure how to respond to that. He’s not sure what to make of the look in Jimin’s eyes either, something quiet and strangely solemn swimming just beneath the surface.

Instead of attempting to address whatever the hell kind of weird energy has just settled between them, he just downs what’s left in his glass in a single gulp and asks, “Do you want to try it on?”

“Tempting,” Jimin says, rising from the chair to join Taehyung by the bed. “I don’t think I could pull it off quite as well as you do, though.” He reaches out to trace the outline of lingerie on his chest peeking out from under the robe, so close to his heart that Taehyung is certain he must be able to feel it beating a mile a minute like the wings of a trapped hummingbird.

“Why do I get the feeling that you’re making fun of me?”

“I’m not,” Jimin says defensively, but there’s a mischievous twinkle in his eye and the hint of a smile already playing at the corners of his mouth that tells Taehyung otherwise.

“You are!” he accuses, pulling away from his wandering hands. “Look at you, you can’t stop smiling at how ridiculous I look!”

“I’m not, I promise!” Jimin insists. He laughs when Taehyung reaches out to pinch him between the ribs where he’s most ticklish, nearly doubled over with the force of it.

The sound of his laughter bounces around the room like liquid happiness, light and free and beautiful, and Taehyung continues to tickle him until they collapse together in a tangled mess on top of the bed.

He has the upper-hand for all of two seconds until Jimin manages to hook his arms around his neck and his legs around his waist, flipping them over and pinning Taehyung beneath him. His hands wander and pinch at Taehyung’s side in retaliation, and as much as Taehyung tries to struggle beneath the full weight of his body he just can’t worm his way out. He collapses in defeat, back hitting the mattress with enough force to knock the air out of him in one pitiful exhale.

Recognizing his victory, Jimin flops down easily on top of him with a smug little smile, arms still wound tight around his neck. They’re pressed so close together that Taehyung can feel the force of both their subsiding laughter vibrating throughout his entire body, and his head buzzes pleasantly, molten joy running through his veins at the realization that this right here, this closeness and familiarity between them, is untouchable.

He feels a strange wetness against his neck then, and he’s about to give out to Jimin for drooling on him when he realizes with a detached, ice-cold sense of dread that those are tears he can feel, and that Jimin’s body isn’t shaking with laughter anymore but with quiet, barely-contained sobs.

“Jimin?” he says, alarmed, wrapping an arm around him instinctively.

“S-sorry,” Jimin stutters, wiping at his face as he tries to pull away from Taehyung’s embrace. “I-I don’t know what happened, you just felt so nice and familiar and then I couldn’t stop thinking about how it used to be with S-Sung–” He breaks off, voice trembling.

Taehyung sits up and tries to gently pull him back into his arms, murmuring, “Hey, it’s okay; it’s okay Jimin, I’m here, I’ve got you.” His heart aches when he sees more frustrated tears begin to swell uncontrollably in his eyes.

“I’m sorry,” Jimin repeats softly. He closes his eyes and leans his forehead against Taehyung’s, hands clinging to his shoulders almost desperately as if his body is on the brink of caving in on itself. “God, I’m such an idiot. I really thought I could just move on and pretend like everything was fine, I’m so stupid–

“Stop saying that,” Taehyung interrupts firmly, cupping his face between two hands. “You’re not stupid, Jimin. You’re beautiful, and talented, and so, so thoughtful. You’re...” He pauses, grasping for a word substantial enough to encapsulate just how amazing Jimin is. “You’re wonderful, the most wonderful person I know.”

Wonderful. The word feels inadequate, falling miles short of what Taehyung wishes he could say.

But then again, even if he knew all the languages and words in the world he’d probably still struggle to find the right one.

Jimin sniffles and stares at him in a quiet sort of astonishment, eyes brimming with something soft and hopeful as he leans into his touch. “Y-you really think so?”

“Of course I do. You know you mean the world to me, right?” Taehyung says with a small smile, thumb brushing over his cheek to wipe away a stray tear. “You never have to apologize to me, Jimin; not for being in pain, not for feeling frustrated or heartbroken, not for anything. I’ll always be here for you, no matter what.”

“Tae...”

He nearly topples back against the sheets when Jimin suddenly launches himself forwards into his arms, breaching what little distance is left between them to press their lips together with a fiery sort of desperation.

He’s so stunned that his whole body goes rigid, brain almost short-circuiting as it tries to comprehend what’s happening, tries to process the impossible reality of Jimin’s lips on his and of Jimin’s arms wound desperately around his neck. Even when his brain finally does catch up, his body remains hesitant and he’s slow to act. His hands hover uncertainly at Jimin’s sides, afraid that touching him might undo this beautiful (impossible) bubble of reality they’ve somehow managed to slip into.

And then there’s that malicious little voice whispering at the back of his mind again, clawing at his conscience, telling him that Jimin’s only doing this because he’s lonely and misses being close to someone. Telling him that he doesn’t have any right to be taking advantage of him in this state, not when he wants it all to mean so much more than Jimin can possibly give him.

His hands just hover and his lips remain frozen, unyielding, every inch of him aching to touch but weary of being burned by the inevitable consequence of taking far more than he deserves.

Seeming to sense his reluctance, Jimin leans back slowly, a worried look clouding his expression. “I-I’m sorry, I thought– fuck? Did I just make things really awkward?”

“No! No, you didn’t; don’t worry,” Taehyung hurries to reassure him, reaching out to trace the soft planes of his face with careful fingers. “It’s just– Are you really sure this is what you want? I know...I know I’m no replacement for Sungwoon.”

Jimin is quiet for a moment, eyes glinting in the low light as they drift over Taehyung’s face, and Taehyung isn’t sure what he finds written there but he’s smiling when murmurs, firmly, “It’s not Sungwoon I want, Tae. It’s you.”

Taehyung’s entire resolve nearly crumbles there and then, self-control wavering dangerously close to the precipice of unbridled recklessness when he recognizes his own buried desires reflected back at him in the only pair of warm brown eyes he’s ever truly loved. He manages to reign himself back though, holding what feels like the longest breath of his life, too nervous to do much beyond watch in silent, magnetized fascination as Jimin leans impossibly closer. He presses his lips against Taehyung’s once more, slow, deliberate, and waits for him to call the shots.

And Taehyung calls it.

He parts his lips with a soft, vulnerable sigh and let’s this, whatever it is, consume him. Let’s himself fall off the precipice and prays that Jimin will be there to catch him before he hits rock bottom.

Jimin smiles into the kiss, and it makes him feel dizzy. How strange, to think you know someone’s smile inside out only to discover it’s beauty all over again when it’s pressed against your own. He wraps his arms around his waist to keep him balanced in his lap and decides that maybe, just this once, he can allow himself to pretend. Pretend that this is real and that Jimin really does want him like he says he does even though Taehyung knows better, knows Jimin well enough to understand that sometimes his impulsivity causes him to convince himself of certain impossibilities.

Impossibilities like wanting Taehyung the way Taehyung wants him.

(Taehyung knows better.)

Maybe, just this once, Taehyung will allow himself to pretend that they’re two people who want the same things from each other and not two people hurting so much that they’ll try anything just to make the pain go away. He’s okay with being a temporary band-aid on Jimin’s heart, no matter how much it picks away at the cracked, broken pieces of his own.

He kisses Jimin for all he’s worth, driven by years of pining and repressed feelings buried so deep he’s surprised his heart hasn’t burst at the seams yet, and Jimin kisses him back like it’s the only thing in the world that makes sense to him. Soft keening noises spill from the back of his throat as Taehyung teases his tongue past pliant lips, and Taehyung drinks all of it in, all of the sweet sighs and half-moans, the quiet cacophony of pleasure going straight to his head until he’s heady with desire. He grips Jimin’s hips hard enough to bruise, pulling him closer, closer, until their hips grind together.

Jimin shudders at the friction. “Do that again,” he whispers desperately, twisting his fingers in the hair at the nape of his neck when he complies. “Fuck, Tae,” he gasps, rolling his hips down with fluid, practised ease, fingers digging into Taehyung’s neck and shoulder and jesus they’re both going to be bruised and broken after this, in more ways than one.

Jimin makes a noise of surprise when he’s suddenly hoisted up and rolled onto his back without warning. Taehyung hovers above him, overwhelmed with all the possible ways in which he could go about unravelling his sanity, and lets his eyes roam appreciatively down the length of his body until he grows impatient and tries to pull him closer, lips parting around an indignant huff when all he gets is a quick peck. But then Taehyung’s lips are on his neck and he breaks off into a moan, high-pitched and needy, and the sound of it so intoxicating that Taehyung continues to pepper sweet, chaste kisses across every inch of skin that he can reach just so he can hear it again.

He freezes when he feels a hand gently tugging at his hair, suddenly worried that he’s over-stepped some unspoken boundary between them by going too far too fast and that Jimin wants him to stop, but the hold just tightens as Jimin pulls him closer in a clear request of more, now, please. He’s never been very good at saying no to him, so it’s the easiest thing in the world to give in to the temptation and sink his teeth into the juncture where his neck meets his shoulder, biting down hard enough to bruise. Hard enough that it’ll be impossible to cover up, some selfish part of him wanting to leave a clear trace of himself there for the rest of the world to see.

Encouraged by Jimin’s soft moans and by the desperate fingers that continue to tug at his hair like a lifeline, he noses past the collar of his shirt to press more kisses across his shoulder and collarbone, teeth grazing against his skin every so often. He tugs the rest of his shirt buttons open with restless, eager hands and continues to leave a small trail of nips and kisses all the way down his chest and stomach until he’s an oversensitive, squirming mess even though Taehyung has barely touched him yet.

(Not really, not like he wants to.)

He pauses when he reaches Jimin’s naval, two fingers already hooked into the material of his waistband, and glances up at him uncertainly, wanting to give him every possible chance to put an end to it all.

God knows he doesn’t have the strength or the willpower to be making any sensible decisions by himself right now.

Jimin nods in understanding, a shy little smile playing at the corner of his mouth. He tilts Taehyung’s chin up with gentle fingers, swiping a thumb across his bottom lip as he murmurs, “I want this, Tae. I want you,” and it’s all the encouragement Taehyung needs. He pops Jimin’s trousers open with deft fingers, helping him tug them all the way off once he’s managed to shimmy them down past his hips, and discards them somewhere on the floor behind him to be dealt with later. 

Before he can lose his nerve, he lowers his head and presses a light kiss against Jimin’s hip, lips ghosting against his skin in the barest hint of a touch. He hears Jimin’s breath hitch in response and repeats the motion, lips heavy with intent as he inches closer and closer to his cock. He’s already hard, a bead of pre-cum leaking through his briefs, and Taehyung flicks his tongue out to catch it, wrapping his lips around the head and gently sucking until Jimin is writhing beneath him, hands fisted in the sheets next to him like he can barely manage to keep his body still.

He hisses out a sharp ‘fuck,’ hips stuttering in a restrained upwards thrust when Taehyung pulls off and slips a hand past the waistband of his briefs, wrapping long, nimble fingers around his erection. He gives an experimental tug and watches in fascination as Jimin’s head falls back against the sheets in pleasure, soft sighs morphing into unintelligible moans with every subsequent twist of Taehyung’s wrist, and Taehyung leans down to kiss him once on the lips, slow and filthy, swallowing every noise.

He continues to pump his hand up and down in time with Jimin’s soft pants and groans and kisses down his neck and jaw, lips trailing across his chest and down past the dips and grooves of his abs, lower and lower until he’s biting and marking the tender skin of Jimin’s inner-thigh, shades of blue and purple blooming in his wake.

Jimin keeps an iron grip on the sheets next to him, a choked variation of Taehyung’s name resounding from the back of his throat when Taehyung abandons the gentle kisses and love-bites in favour of wrapping his lips around the tip of his cock. He swirls his tongue around the sensitive head in a maddeningly slow motion that has Jimin writhing and twisting beneath him, jerking his hips up in search of more, so much so that Taehyung has to hold him down by his thighs (god, his thighs) to keep him still, gradually bobbing his head down further until he feels the tip of Jimin’s cock hit the back of his throat. Jimin’s resounding, guttural groan lights a fire deep in his gut and he repeats the motion a few more times, jaw going slack as he slowly grows accustomed to his girth.

After a moment or two Taehyung chances a glance up at Jimin through his eyelashes. The look of pure, unfiltered bliss he sees written all over his face, lips parted, eyes glazed over, goes straight to his own dick, and he can’t help the unbridled groan that builds at the back of his throat in response, low and embarrassingly carnal. He presses down as far as he can manage, hollowing his cheeks and relaxing his throat muscles until the tip of his nose touches the skin just under Jimin’s naval. Jimin swears and appears to make a conscious effort not to immediately thrust up into the warm heat of his mouth, his measured pants morphing into a desperate, whimpered litany of Taehyung’s name as he slides his tongue back up the underside of his cock to suckle gently at the tip.

Taehyung can tell that he’s close now, can feel Jimin’s thighs tensing under his hands as if trying to keeping his hips still has slowly become a losing battle that he’s so, so close to surrendering himself to. He gradually starts to cant his hips upwards, chasing his orgasm. Taehyung lets it build, releasing his grip on Jimin’s hips to allow him to thrust up and meet the slide of his tongue and the tight, wet heat of his mouth.

He moans around a mouthful cock, loud enough that it sends waves of vibrations through Jimin’s body that have him whimpering and tugging at Taehyung’s hair in warning. Taehyung pulls off obediently and leans up to kiss him instead, open-mouthed and filthy, one hand still wrapped firmly around his length as he continues to stroke him. Jimin relinquishes his hold on Taehyung’s hair to grasp at the sheets again as he fucks up into the tight heat of his fist, broken whines spilling past his lips in variations of Taehyung’s name.

His hips stutter to a sudden stop and he cums on an unintelligible moan, voice pitched so high that there’s no way the neighbouring rooms haven’t heard him. Taehyung jerks him off until he’s spent and oversensitive, thighs twitching involuntarily through the aftershock as he collapses back onto his elbows with a dumbfounded laugh.

Damn,” he mutters, trying (and failing) to get his breathing back under some semblance of control. “I didn’t realize just how much I needed that.”

“Glad I could lend a hand,” Taehyung teases lightly. He feels as breathless as Jimin sounds, almost as if he’d been the one pinned down, all needy and helpless.

He reaches for the box of tissues on the nightstand next to him and passes it over to Jimin, who accepts it with a small, bashful smile. They clean themselves up as best as they can, Taehyung taking over from Jimin when it becomes clear that he’s still far too dazed to do much more than dab distractedly at his chest. He tries not to let the gentle domesticity of it all get to him too much, but it’s not such an easy thing to do with Jimin practically purring under his every touch as he snuggles into his side.

He presses a kiss against the sensitive skin of Taehyung’s neck and reaches down to twine their fingers together. “Hey,” he whispers, eyes glinting in the half-light.

“Hey,” Taehyung whispers back. “What’s up?”

“Just thinking...” Jimin starts, lifting Taehyung’s hand up to his lips and brushing a kiss against his knuckles, “’bout you.”

“Hmm...what about me?”

Jimin continues pressing kisses against his palm and up the length of his wrist. When their gazes meet, there’s no mistaking the clear look of longing in his eyes. “What do you want?” he asks.

“Oh...” Taehyung mumbles distractedly, eyes trained on Jimin’s mouth as he continues to press chaste kisses to the inside of his wrist. His eyelashes flutter prettily against the contrast of Taehyung’s skin. “I’m okay, really. We don’t – you don’t have to do anything.”

How can he possibly tell Jimin that all he wants is him, all the time and in every conceivable way, without revealing the sheer and debilitating extent to which Jimin completely incapacitates him?

“I’m not asking you if you’re okay, I’m asking you what you want,” Jimin says, face now hovering inches from Taehyung’s. He lets go of his hand to wrap an arm around his waist instead, pulling him closer. “Do you want this?”

“I want...”

“This?” Jimin interrupts, nosing Taehyung’s jaw and nuzzling into the side of his neck as his fingers dance along the line of his collarbone.

“I...”

“Or maybe this?” Jimin adds, slipping his fingers underneath the lace to thumb at one of Taehyung’s nipple.

Yes,” Taehyung sighs, a shudder passing through his body as he melts into Jimin’s touch. Yes to everything, anything as long as it’s with you.

Jimin slots their lips together in a sweet kiss belying the darker intention of his wandering hands, no longer nervous and uncertain as they had once been. Now, they roam almost hungrily over the length of Taehyung’s body.

Taehyung watches entranced as the silk and lace of the lingerie slip through Jimin’s fingers like water flowing over rocks. “Good luck figuring out how to get this thing off,” he jokes weakly between kisses, trying to distract himself from the hand currently sliding down his back. He shivers when he feels Jimin’s fingers gently trace the curve of his ass.

“Don’t worry, I’ll tear it off if I have to,” Jimin shoots back, and though his tone is hushed, almost gentle, the look in his eyes is anything but. “Or you can just keep it on, as long as you don’t mind it getting a bit...messy.” He squeezes Taehyung’s ass pointedly

“I don’t mind,” Taehyung blurts out, already breathless, already helpless. “God, do whatever the hell you want, I don’t care; just touch me.”

“Good boy.”

The atmosphere feels a little bit heavier, more intense somehow now that Taehyung is the one being pried and picked apart by insistent lips and unrelenting hands. He feels Jimin’s lips on his neck and all of the trivial, outward sensations still tethering him to reality melt into background noise until he’s powerless to do anything but surrender himself to the wave of pleasure that rolls through his body like a tsunami.

Jimin digs his fingers into his ass to pull Taehyung closer, teeth grazing against his jaw as he slides a knee between his legs. Taehyung breathes a satisfied sigh against his lips at the friction, a sigh that slowly morphs into a soft, keening sound, and he goes still on instinct.

He’s so used to keeping a tight rein on his impulses whenever he’s around Jimin that it’s not until Jimin pulls his waist gently forward with low, encouraging whispers of ‘it’s okay, I’ve got you baby’ that he finally allows his hips to twist and roll forwards in a slow grind against his thigh.

Jimin can’t seem to keep his mouth off of Taehyung’s. The motion of his tongue is slow and deliberate as he swallows every low, reverberating moan that echoes from the back of Taehyung’s throat with each roll of his hips. Taehyung’s already beginning to lose himself to the pleasure building in his gut, barely able to keep up with his kisses anymore as the steady stream of low whines and pants turn his mouth lazy, but Jimin doesn’t seem to mind. He just smiles into the kiss and nips playfully at Taehyung’s bottom lip, keeping a steady, anchoring hold around his waist.

Taehyung could probably keep going like this until the pleasure becomes too much and he eventually unravels at the seams, but it’s not enough. He wants Jimin’s hands on him, all over him, without all of these layers and obstructions between them. He grips Jimin’s arm to bring him to a stop and mutters, “Off,” gesturing vaguely down at himself. “Need this thing off. Want to feel you, all of you.”

Jimin is only too happy to oblige, pressing a brief kiss against Taehyung’s cheek as he slides his leg from between his thighs. Taehyung barely has time to mourn the lack of friction before he’s being rolled onto his back, and then Jimin’s lips are back on his, soft and eager and it’s far, far more than he deserves.

He wonders, distantly, who Jimin thinks of when they kiss.

(Not Taehyung, never Taehyung. Taehyung knows better, and he has to keep reminding himself of that or he’ll only break his own heart after all of this is over.)

He’s brought out of his reverie when he feels a gentle hand on his cheek, and when he opens his eyes Jimin is hovering just above him looking concerned.

“What?” he asks. He can already feel the tears beginning to prick at his eyes, but he swallows all of the ugly, twisted emotions down and stares evenly back at him.

“Oh, Tae...” Jimin murmurs, thumb tracing soothingly across his cheeks.

Taehyung realizes with abject horror that he wasn’t able to swallow his emotions soon enough. They’re already spilling down his cheeks and onto the sheets below.

Maybe he isn’t quite so good at pretending as he likes to think he is.

“Fuck, I’m fine,” he insists, rolling his eyes so he doesn’t have to look at Jimin directly. Lying to him is hard. Necessary, but, hard. “Really, don’t worry.”

“Tae.” Jimin’s voice is firm. “You’re crying.”

Ok. Lying to Jimin is impossible.

“I–” Taehyung starts. Stops. How much should he say? How much can he say? “It’s nothing, I just...” He makes the mistake of looking up and nearly breaks when he sees pain in Jimin’s eyes. “You know you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, right? It’s fine if you want to stop.”

Jimin blinks at him, confused. “Why wouldn’t I want to?”

Because,” Taehyung sighs. He sits up abruptly and shrugs Jimin away. “I’m not an idiot, I know I’m not really who you want me to be. I’m not...I’m not Sungwoon. I’m just me.”

“I told you, I don’t want Sungwoon,” Jimin says, sounding exasperated now, “I want you; why aren’t you listening to me?”

Taehyung fixes him with a sad, watery look, hugging his knees to himself. He feels so, so small. “Sure, you might think that now. But I get it, and it’s fine. You miss him. You miss being with someone, and I just happen to be here. I’m...” he struggles to find the right word. “Convenient.”

Jimin’s expression turns stony. Serious.

Convenient?” he spits the word out like it’s left a bitter taste in his mouth. “You’re not convenient Tae, jesus. Give me a little more credit than that.” He inches a little bit closer, unwrapping Taehyung’s arms from around himself and pulling his hands into his own. He clutches them almost desperately. “You’re not convenient, you’re the best goddamn thing that’s ever happened to me. You’re my best friend. My soulmate.” 

“But Sungwoon–”

“Fuck Sungwoon!” Jimin tries to keep his voice level but something desperate and virile has crept into his tone. “Do you know why he broke up with me?” Taehyung shakes his head. “Because, he said he couldn’t possibly compete with you. I told him he was being ridiculous, that there was no way you were any sort of threat, and I didn’t really get it at the time, but...I think I understand now. Or at least, I’m starting to.”

Taehyung just stares at him quietly, listening. He doesn’t really think he gets it, either.

“It’s you, Tae,” Jimin continues. He lets go of Taehyung’s arms to cradle his face in his hands. “It’s always been you. I see that now.” He’s looking at him so tenderly, and all Taehyung can think is how he never, ever wants to wake up from this dream. Because it must be a dream, it can’t– he can’t

“Listen to me,” Jimin says firmly. “I mean really listen.”

Taehyung nods weakly. “I’m listening,” he mumbles.

Jimin takes a deep breath. “I want you, Taehyung. You and no one else. Okay?”

Taehyung feels like he’s going to pass out. Taehyung feels alive. Taehyung feels a million and one things all at once that he can’t possibly put into words so he just nods again and says, barely above a whisper, “Okay.”

Jimin’s lips stretch into a relieved smile and he leans forward to kiss Taehyung’s forehead, pulling him into his arms. Taehyung caves into his chest, head still buzzing with a million and one inexplicable feelings, and nuzzles into the crook of his neck. Jimin is so gentle with him, holding him like he’s something precious as he brushes his hair behind his ear, pressing chaste, reassuring kisses anywhere he can reach.

Taehyung tilts his head into one of the kisses, catching Jimin off guard as their lips crash together with very little grace but twice the fervour. He tugs Jimin on top of him as he leans back to settle down against the pillows again and Jimin follows easily, hands wandering greedily down Taehyung’s sides as he continues to kiss him with renewed hunger and desperation.

Taehyung arches into Jimin’s every touch as if pulled by some invisible force. He shivers when he feels deft fingers slip blindly through the knots and bows tied around his waist holding the lingerie in place, anticipation flushing through his body as Jimin begins to work at untangling all of the crossed, zig-zagging straps until they unravel alongside his sanity.

It’s slow work – slower than Jimin’s patience will allow him to tolerate, in any case. After a few seconds of fiddling and useless tugging he gives a frustrated half-growl, fingers bunched somewhere in the material around Taehyung’s waist, and pulls, hard.

Too hard.

Taehyung tries to hide his amused smile as he stares down at the now-massive tear in the fabric, but Jimin catches it regardless. He scowls and blushes a deep shade of red from the tips of his ears all the way down to his chest, muttering, “It’s your fault for putting the damn thing on in the first place.”

“I was unaware someone would be in such a hurry to get me out of it,” Taehyung retorts, lifting his hips to help slide the now-ruined scraps of red lace the rest of the way off. “That’s on you for being impatient.”

“I’m not impatient, I’m just – thorough.”

Taehyung smiles. “You’re a little bit impatient,” he says fondly. “It’s cute, though.”

“Hmm, well...I guess I should slow down a little, then,” Jimin murmurs, kissing his way up Taehyung’s chest. “I can take my time with you,” he adds, tongue laving around his nipple, “if that’s what you really want.” He slowly teases one finger down his front, stopping just shy of his cock, a small, malicious smile curling at the edge of his lips.

Taehyung squirms underneath Jimin as if all of his nerves have been shot through with electricity, huffing in frustration. He tries to glare at him through his haze of desire and nudges his hips up in search of friction, but Jimin just smiles and inches his fingers down ever so slightly so that they’re just barely tracing the head of his cock, feather-light and so, so far from what Taehyung needs. He can’t stop the needy whine that slips past his lips, high-pitched and broken and more than a little desperate.

“Now who’s being impatient,” Jimin teases, leaning down to kiss the tip of his nose.

Taehyung’s about to make a grab for his wrist when Jimin suddenly curls his fingers into a tight ring around his cock, and every word of protest dies in his throat only to be replaced by a cracked, desperate moan. “I take it back,” he grits out through his teeth, just as Jimin gives another long, hard squeeze, “God, I take it all back, I’m sorry.”

“How sorry?” Jimin whispers. His breath tickles the shell of Taehyung’s ear, making him shiver.

Taehyung tilts his head to the side to slot their lips together instead of replying, fisting his hands in Jimin’s hair with the strength of all the words he could never articulate out loud. Jimin kisses him back just as fiercely, pressing himself as close to him as he can and closer still, the hand on Taehyung’s cock pumping up and down in earnest now in response to his escalating moans.

Taehyung’s just settling into the rhythm and the heat of it all when Jimin’s hand slows almost to a stop, and he pulls his lips off of Taehyung’s to look down at him in contemplation.

“What? What’s wrong?” Taehyung asks, hands slipping out of Jimin’s hair as he sits back on his heels.

“I wanna try something,” he says after a moment, already starting to clamber off the bed. “Wait here.”

“Where the hell else would I go?” Taehyung yells after him, but he’s already disappeared into the bathroom faster than Taehyung can blink.

When he returns, he has a small, familiar red foil packet held triumphantly in one hand and he’s blushing an almost identical shade as he clambers back onto the bed to kneel between Taehyung’s thighs.

Taehyung can feel his own cheeks starting to flare up. “Is that–”

“Yeah,” Jimin says, averting his gaze. “I, uh, figured I should give it a shot, y’know. Before dismissing it outright.”

“Of course,” Taehyung agrees, blinking in quick succession as his brain tries to process what he’s implying. There’s only so many things someone can intend to do when they climb into bed waving flavoured lube in your face. “A-As long as you’re sure you really want to try it?”

Jimin smiles and presses a chaste kiss against Taehyung’s lips, already nudging his thighs further apart as he tears the packet open (with his teeth, Taehyung’s screaming, on-fire brain points out, quite unhelpfully).

“I’m sure.”

Taehyung exhales sharply as he settles back down against the covers. His heart’s already racing a mile a minute at the mere prospect of watching Jimin’s head bob between his thighs, lips plush and perfect around his cock. His eyes follow him hungrily, heat sinking to the pit of his stomach as Jimin runs his hands up his thighs in quiet reverence before pressing a single, slick finger against the crease between his ass cheeks, tongue flicking out to wet his lips.

Realization quickly dawns on Taehyung’s face. “Oh, you meant – Oh.”

Jimin pauses and glances up at him. “I-Is this okay?”

“More than okay,” Taehyung replies, already pressing his hips down to meet Jimin’s finger.

He whines as the digit slips in deeper, fingers twisting in the sheets next to him as Jimin wraps his other hand around his cock. He sets a steady pace, rhythmically working his finger in and out of Taehyung before slipping a second one in. Taehyung moans in satisfaction at the feeling of being stretched and filled, barely registering the lips brushing against the back of his thighs and ass as Jimin crooks his fingers at just the right angle to make him cry out in pleasure.

Jimin pushes his fingers forward again once, twice, flicking his tongue out to tease the sensitive skin of Taehyung’s balls. Taehyung’s hips snap up of their own volition, chasing the heat of his mouth, and Jimin seems only too happy to comply. He slides his fingers out of Taehyung’s ass, dribbling another generous amount of lube there before leaning down to tease the tip of his tongue around the rim. When he finally pushes his tongue past the tight ring of muscle Taehyung cries out again, a sound he wasn’t even aware he could make ripping from some primal part of his subconscious.

Jimin anchors his arm around one of Taehyung’s thighs to keep him still and pushes his tongue in further, his other hand sliding warm and slick with pre-cum around Taehyung’s cock. Taehyung’s already so close he feels like sobbing, a faded haze descending behind his closed eyelids as he grasps blindly for Jimin’s hand. He clings onto it for all he’s worth, back arching off the bed at an almost painful angle as Jimin continues to work his tongue in and out, pushing him closer and closer to the edge.

Taehyung tries to articulate something other than Jimin’s name or one of the thousand incomprehensible noises he’s been making ever since Jimin’s lips found purchase against his body, but all he manages is a breathless “H– ’m gonna– Jimin,” before he’s careening head-first into oblivion, spurting white, hot strips of cum all over Jimin’s hand and his own chest.

Feeling as though all of his life-force has just been knocked out of him, Taehyung melts into the mattress to soak in the last few pleasurable waves passing all the way through him from head to toe. He closes his eyes for what feels like only a few seconds, but by the time he’s managed somewhat put himself back together and open them again he finds Jimin already curled up under the sheets next to him smelling faintly of soap, his own body wiped completely clean.

“So,” he mumbles sleepily, turning onto his side so that they’re facing each other, “what’s the verdict? Flavoured lube, yay or nay?”

Jimin snorts softly. “Honestly, it wasn’t that bad. Tasted pretty sweet,” he says, licking his lips thoughtfully, “just like the rest of you.”

Taehyung groans and buries his face in his hands, muttering, “God you’re embarrassing,” as Jimin’s eyes dance in amusement.

“I literally just had my tongue up your ass and this is what gets to you?” he asks in disbelief.

“I’m a man of many contradictions,” Taehyung retorts dryly, pulling the covers down so he can snuggle under and press himself closer to Jimin’s comforting body heat. “You’ve known this about me for years, don’t act like you don’t find it extremely endearing.”

Jimin pulls Taehyung into his arms easily, shifting forward slightly until the tips of their noses are almost touching and their legs are all tangled together and they can’t tell where one of them ends and the other begins. “I find everything you do endearing,” he says quietly.

“Sap.”

Jimin grins. “You love it.”

Taehyung huffs but makes no attempt to deny it. “So,” he starts instead, “how would you rank this idea? Better or worse than IKEA?”

“Definitely better than IKEA,” Jimin replies. He hums and pretends to think for a moment. “I’d say it’s probably somewhere in the top ten.”

Taehyung lets out a low whistle. “Damn, didn’t even crack the top five? Looks like I’ll have to try an romance you harder next time. Give those strawberries and cream a try, maybe.”

“Next time?”

Taehyung freezes, his brain only now catching up with his mouth. “Uh, I mean. If that’s okay? We don’t have to–”

“It’s more than okay, Tae,” Jimin interrupts, nuzzling into the side of Taehyung’s neck. “You...you’re more than okay.”