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The Gentlemen

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The realisation of the decision you have to make hits you like a truck the moment you wake up.

You hadn’t lied to Yoongi last night. Chatting with him about it was helpful, and you’re insanely grateful for his attentiveness and the fact that you can be honest with him about things like that. But it doesn’t mean you’re any closer to knowing who you want to be eliminated.

You’ve barely been awake and coherent for a minute before your phone buzzes noisily on your nightstand. Blinking blearily at the screen, a message from Taehyung lights it up. Bunkroom, please.

He’d sent it two minutes ago, your phone giving you that 2min reminder. It must have been what woke you. Your sleepy fingers manage to type out a quick coming now before you force yourself out from the cosiness of the covers and heading down.

Jimin is already there when you arrive, arms crossed to preserve the warmth of his body and perched on the foot of Taehyung’s bed. The masseuse had picked the two-set of bunks, directly across from the door, and he sits wrapped up in blankets, cross-legged and leaning against the far wall. He pats the mattress with a covered hand and you sit between the two, Jimin naturally scooting up to sandwich you between the two.

“Is this an intervention?” you joke weakly, voice still croaky from sleep.

“Not really.” You feel the pressure of Taehyung’s head on your shoulder. “Do you know who you’re voting out yet?”

You let out a self-deprecating scoff. “I do not.”

Taehyung goes silent for a moment. “Well… I have an idea.”

Jimin turns to face him, clearly just as in the dark as you are. “About who to vote out?”

“Kinda,” Taehyung murmurs. The only light in the room is what sneaks in through the crack of the doorway. You let your eyes slip shut as Taehyung winds his fingers into yours. “I want you to vote out me.”

Both you and Jimin go stiff, protesting at the same time. “Tae…”

“No,” the older man to your left says harshly. “Why would you want that?”

Taehyung seems to similarly shrink away and lean in closer, making himself small. “It would be easier on Y/n,” he states in an equally small voice.

Your eyes snap open even though you can only see grey-scale versions of the boys. “Tae, that’s not how this is meant to be. I’m a big girl; I’ll live.”

“You don’t get it,” Taehyung insists, sitting up and untangling himself from you so he can face you full-on. “I know the decision is hard on you. But it’s really hard on us too, and I realised last night that it’s not because I’m worried about getting voted out, it’s because I hate seeing you so upset. We’ve already made a promise to each other. I’ve seen more of you and shared more with you than most of the other guys, and I just think… You know, fuck the competition. You and Jimin both mean more to me than the game, and so I think I’d be happy to take that hit to make things easier on all of us.” His gaze drops, fingers picking at the thread of the blanket. “And, you know, maybe we’d be able to keep us a secret longer if the others saw you vote me out.”

While you sit stunned into silence, Jimin burst into action, gripping your thigh gently but emphatically. “It should be me, then. You’ve been nothing less than a sweetheart this entire time, Tae, you don’t deserve last place. Let Y/n vote me.”

Taehyung chuckles, no sadness or resentment in his voice. “Nobody would believe that Y/n would vote you out, Minnie,” he quips, his teeth gleaming in the dim room. “You’re too good at what you do.”

“I’ve been an asshole. I got in a fight the other day. I don’t think it’s hard to believe at all.” Taehyung makes a noise of protest in his throat, so Jimin cuts back in before he can voice it. “At least let’s flip a coin for it. Leave it up to chance.”

Your body goes lax against the wall with a silent sob of miserable irony. Just yesterday Taehyung had jauntily suggested you could choose who to vote off with a coin toss, and now he was rifling through his bag for one, to see if he or Jimin would be the one to leave. “I haven’t even said yes,” you point out lowly, “I haven’t said I want this. That I’m happy for one of you to leave.”

Jimin lets out a quiet sigh, his face cast in the warm hallway light as Taehyung opens the door wider to see more. “But would you be happier if you made one of them seventh place? Had them think they’re the worst in the house?”

“At least this way we won’t be offended or mad at you,” Taehyung assures as he returns, running his thumb over the engravings on a 50 won coin. “Doesn’t that count for something?”

They’re waiting for you. You bite down on your tongue and force yourself to think. To picture the faces of the others, of how they might react. Hoseok if he was on the chopping block for the second time in a row. Namjoon if he felt like his inexperience was his downfall. Jungkook thinking the fight yesterday was the nail in his coffin, or Jin seeing your elimination as a rejection of him and his feelings. Yoongi after letting you confide in him only to send him figuratively packing.

You’d have to eliminate them eventually. All but one of the guys on this show would face that goodbye at some point. Was it selfish of you to push it off for one more week?

“You can flip it,” you decide after a moment, your stomach sinking immediately. “Fuck, this sucks. I’m so sorry.”

Jimin’s grip on your thigh squeezes once comfortingly, and Taehyung rubs your shoulder, before he turns to his elder. “Min, heads or tails?”

“Heads,” Jimin picks without hesitation.

Taehyung, however, does hesitate. “Doesn’t heads come up more often?” he questions warily.

Jimin grits his teeth and nods. “It should be me.”

The masseuse frowns, his black curls like a dark halo as he steadies the coin on his thumb. “Whoever’s comes up gets eliminated?”

Jimin nods again. “Flip it, Tae.”

The second he flicks his thumb and the coin rises, you squeeze your eyes shut, not even breathing. Hoping that the moment where both of them are going to stay in could last a little longer.

The two boys go silent. You feel their eyes on you, then their hands, both slipping into yours just seconds apart from each other. Feeling your eyes prickle, you clear your throat. “Who is it?”

Without a word, your right side becomes heavy as Taehyung buries his face into your shoulder, free arm wrapping tightly around your waist.

You begin to cry before you can even think to stop it, leaning back into him as much as you can with both your hands occupied. Opening your eyes, they remain too blurry to really see out of, but you feel the two of them shift, fingers wiping under your cheeks and cupping your jaw.

“Hey, shh, don’t cry, petal,” Taehyung voice croons, smooth like velvet. “It’s okay, we’re okay.”

You sniff shudderingly, detaching your hands from theirs so you can press over your eyes, composing yourself. “Sorry,” you mumble in a thick voice, “I’ll just miss you.”

You blink away the last of your tears so that his face comes into focus, lips curving slightly, eyes swimming with emotion and with tears of his own. “Hey,” he soothes again, “I’m not going anywhere. All this means is that I can’t have sex with you. It’s not like sex is the only valuable thing about you, the only thing I like about you, you know? I can still hold your hand, I can still be beside you, I can still make you smile. I wanna see that pretty smile again, petal.”

Even though you probably look like a mess, and your heart is fizzy with mangled emotion, you can’t fight the smile that stretches across your lips. Taehyung brightens at the sight, praising you softly as you reach out and shove him playfully. “You sap,” you whine petulantly, heart settling nonetheless.

Having let the two of you share that moment together, Jimin finally pitches in, his voice bright and soothing like yuja tea. “Worst case scenario,” he jibes lightly, “you’ll just have to fuck pup with his hands tied and take the punishment.”

Your laugh is watery but it’s genuine. “Ah, Tae, are you gonna put me in some crazy lingerie or something?”

“I don’t have to when you look gorgeous in everything you wear already,” he admits with a fond smile, before it stretches wider, a cheeky glint in his eyes. “Lingerie sounds nice though. Good thinking.”

Jimin clears his throat lightly and stands up off the bed, slipping his phone out of his pocket to consult the time. “It’s just gone eight, so you have about an hour. I’ll give you two some privacy, yeah?”

Jimin shuts the door behind him, inadvertently pitching the room back into darkness. Taehyung lets out a breathy giggle, getting up to stumble around for the curtains.

You wince and shield your eyes when the white walls gleam with the brightness of the morning sun.

Taehyung looks more gorgeous in the well-lit room than he did in a dim one, so you will your eyes to quickly adjust, drinking him in. Deep chocolate curls resting on his brow, he shakes them back as he gestures up with a single hand. “We should probably go on the top bunk.”

You blink. “Huh?”

“I don’t wanna get my hair caught on the metal springs on the bottom there,” he explains, leaning forward to wrap his fingers around the network of wire that holds up the mattress of the top bunk just above your head. “I swear I’ve done that so many times in just this one night. It hurts.”

Slipping out dutifully, you climb the few rungs of the ladder to sit atop the bunk, reminded of the last time you stayed here with Namjoon and Hoseok. The mood is so different now, only emphasised by the way Taehyung gently tips you back against the pillow the second he joins you.

“Tae, what are you- Tae,” you gasp, feeling the slight tickle of his hair on your neck as he leans in and pulls the neckline of your sleep shirt over your shoulder, baring the flesh. His lips leave light butterfly kisses over the sensitive skin, making you sigh out at the feeling. “What are you doing, Tae?”

He sits up, braced by his forearms on either side of your head. Like this, his hair casts a shadow over his face, but you can see the insistent fire in his eyes. “I want to touch you, petal,” he confesses, “one last time.”

Your heart is seized with emotion, a lump thickening in your throat. “It won’t be the last last time, Tae.”

“True,” he acquiesces, “but for the rest of our time here I’ll have to see the others with you, our Minnie will be able to still be with you, but you and I won’t be able to do any more than hold hands. Won’t you let me treat you like your deserve before then?”

You nod quickly, breath hitching. “Touch me, Tae.”

This time he doesn’t waste time shifting the fabric to the side. Instead, his large palms slip under the small of your back, guiding you to arch it so he can slip your shirt off entirely, tossing it down all the way to the floor.

You sit up and peer over the edge with a wince, glancing back up at Taehyung. “Please don’t fall over,” you plead in a small voice.

The masseuse grins fondly, taking a peek before moving the other way, towards the wall. “It’s not that high,” he protests softly, even as he props himself up on one elbow, his leg thrown low over your thighs, keeping you locked in close too. His hand lowers to run lightly down your side, making you shiver. “Better?”

You bite your lip and nod. “Better.”

With a slightly bemused hum, Taehyung dips his head and his lips find your skin again, making use of the lack of shirt to trail kisses lower, unhurried even with the very real threat of the deadline hanging over you.

You let out an airy sigh at the intimate way he moves down your shoulder, over your collarbones, to the swell of your chest. Instead of a straight line, every kiss is plotted out in mindless curls and loops, like he wants to cover as much ground as possible.

As his hair tickles your skin, it sends tingles running down your nerves, your nipples peaking as they anticipate his attention. “Tae…” you breathe, giggling when his chaste touches make you shiver.

His voice vibrates slightly against your skin. “You’re so beautiful,” he praises, his free arm slipping over to gently grasp your arm, thumb running over the crook of your inner elbow. “So gorgeous, petal.”

His palms are like hot coals against your skin as it breaks out in goosebumps, hair standing on end. It feels like a quiet eternity before his mouth reaches one of your nipples, closing around it with the sudden wet heat of his tongue. You cry out at the unexpected stimulation and jerk, but the weight of his head, leg and arm carefully pinning you against the sheets keep you steady.

Taehyung takes his time worshipping your breasts, sucking your nipple with a wet pop as his hand shifts once more to play with the other. Pausing to lick the pads of his thumb and forefinger, he returns to roll the bud between them, making heat pool in your core.

Part of you feels like pushing his head between your legs, or wrapping your legs around his waist and demanding he fills you, but you don’t want this moment to be over any sooner than it has to be. Instead, your fingers wind into his hair, cradling his head to you as you arch your chest up into that delicious stimulation.

Even as you feel his cock plump up between the layers of clothing that separate you, he doesn’t so much as grind his hips, focussing fully on your pleasure. After what could be mere moments or entire minutes, he swaps over, leaning to the opposite breast to lave his tongue over it, baring the slightest nip of teeth to make you gasp.

It feels like a lazy eternity before his hand moves again, this time running a flat palm between your breasts, down your stomach and slipping under the worn elastic waistband. Wanting to give yourself a little room to breathe under the baggy pants you’d worn to bed, you’d foregone panties, and Taehyung hisses in sharply when his fingers run over your mound and immediately dip into your folds.

Recovering quickly, he begins to massage your hooded clit, using your own wetness to lubricate it for a smoother slide. You let out a throaty moan, legs parting to make more room for his sizeable hand. “Tae,” you pant out again, whimpering when he begins pressing kisses to your stomach.

“Yes, petal?” Taehyung questions sweetly, his movement on your clit so slow that you find yourself rocking your hips against him just for more stimulation.

“Want you to kiss me.”

“I am kissing you,” he counters, lips dragging over your hipbone as he speaks.

You whine. “On the lips, Tae.”

His fingers delve lower, parting your folds. “Which ones?”

Though the thought makes you clench around nothing, you push weakly at his shoulder in protest. “Up here, Tae, wanna kiss you properly.”

He gives in, shifting up to join his swollen lips to yours for the first time since you’d gotten up here. Just as you hook your hand on the nape of his neck and kiss him, he breaches your walls with two slick fingers, making you cry out into his mouth.

Taehyung chuckles, massaging you from the inside, fingers scissoring and curling rather than thrusting. “That feel good, petal?”

You nod shakily, eyes fluttering shut as you put your mind into kissing him properly, tongue running down the seam of his lips so that he parts them for you. He continues to work you open with languid grace, his fingers so long and deft that even the most minimal movements take your breath away.

He may be focused on your pleasure, but he doesn’t seem to be pushing you to orgasm, instead letting you bask in the warmth of your arousal and his steady stimulation. Even as he slips a third finger inside you and uses the base of his palm to rub against your clit, you’re reminded of a massage. The way he draws out the moment so that you can enjoy the experience of it, not just the final result. Your muscles go lax and one of your legs hitch up to spread yourself wider for him, but still his ministrations are so slow that you can’t even hear how obscenely wet you must be.

Still fully clothed, you can feel Taehyung’s hardness against your hip, his leg splayed over one of your thighs to keep you still for him. As your pleasure steadily rises, but that familiar curl in your stomach never tightens, you begin to grow needy. First attempting to rut against his fingers, then nipping at his lip in the hopes of riling him up, you eventually resort to pulling away from him and giving him your best puppy eyes. “Please, Tae, I want you to fuck me.”

His eyes are still blissfully shut from the kiss, and his brows furrow just slightly, hand stilling inside you. “I wanna make this last.”

You bite your lip, pressing a hand to his cheek fondly. “I don’t want to run out of time. We’ll end up being late to the meeting.”

Taehyung sighs, tilting his head to press a kiss to your palm. “Who cares if we’re late?”

Your lip twitches. “Sejin, probably. Do you want him coming up here at one minute past nine, interrupting us?”

The masseuse winces, his fingers slipping out of your wet heat. “You think he’d do that?”

“I don’t know, but I don’t wanna risk it either,” you offer up.

“Fuck.” Taehyung sits up and quickly tugs down your waistband, making you squeal and giggle at his sudden change of pace. “You’re right, shit.”

He strips himself even quicker than he did you, jimmying out of his boxer shorts and tugging his shirt over his head like it’s scalding him. Immediately you feel his erection against your thigh, heavy and wet with precum. Instead of getting back up on top of you, you feel Taehyung’s hand - still sticky from your arousal - pulling your hip up to guide you to lie on your side.

With legs intertwined, he hitches your outer leg over his waist and lines himself up at your entrance. Almost shaking with excitement, you cling to him and hold your breath as he pushes forward, his head entering you slowly but surely.

It’s quiet in the bunkroom, the only sound being your shared breathing, but there’s something so vulnerable and tender in that silence, and you tremble as he bottoms out inside you. The angle you’re both at, lying side by side, makes it feel like he’s deeper than you’ve ever felt before, filling you completely. You picture his cock so far inside you that it presses against your stomach, and the thought makes you tremble.

“Okay?” Taehyung checks in, giving you a moment to adjust.

You nod and lean forward to capture his lips, savouring that familiar embrace. “Ready, Tae,” you confirm, clenching around his girth. “Fuck me like you mean it.”

Taehyung lets out an unbidden groan, and just like that his patience is dissolved, rutting up into you with short, staccato thrusts that punch the air right out of you. Your fingers curl, clutching onto him for dear life as your nerves are set alight.

Every rock of his hips grinds his cock into the base of your clit, and you find yourself grinding against him, helplessly seeking out the best angle. “T-Tae, fuck, so good,” you manage to force out, voice wobbling even more than your legs.

His hands are all over you; running over your thighs, stroking your back, gripping your ass to meet every thrust. As you look over to him blearily, that same desperate hunger is evident in his face. You take a few moments to appreciate him. This will be the last time in a while that he’s writhing in carnal bliss because of you, and you fight to memorise every last inch of his face.

His hair is messy from sleep and the roughness of your current predicament, some curling at his temples even as the rest sticks up at odd angles, but on him it looks like some kind of wild halo that just makes him all the more gorgeous. His eyes are clenched shut even as his mouth goes slack. The tiniest gloss of drool gathers in the corner of his lips, which are a swollen pink, contrasting so beautifully with his olive skin. Light moans and exertions fall past those lips like a steady river, rushing louder every time you clench around him.

Unable to hold yourself back any more, you lurch forward, teeth pinching your lip with how eagerly you rejoin yourself to his. His responding whimper is muffled, but the way his thrusts stutter as his hands fly up to cup your face close to him speaks volumes.

The movement of his cock deep inside you isn’t measured, or ruthless, or graceful. It’s seeking pleasure and giving pleasure mindlessly, wishing to be as close as you possibly can for as long as you can, barely even speaking to each other.

His lips are equally uncoordinated as they slant against you, his tongue dipping out thoughtlessly, teeth nipping needily. You lose your mind to this primal moment between the two of you, sense of time fading away as minute details like a drop of sweat rolling down your back take centre stage. All you can focus on are his fingernails lightly pressing into your cheek; the roughness of his leg hair against your calf; the squeaking of the springs beneath you.

You can’t even tell if you’re making any noise yourself, so lost in those divine notes that slip off his tongue. At one point your mouths slide apart and he tucks his face into the crook of your neck, focuses on thrusting harder. You dig your fingers into his shoulders, trying to meet those thrusts but every moment your pleasure mounts it just gets harder to make your body obey.

When Taehyung speaks, it’s impossible to tell how much time has passed, if Sejin is waiting outside or if you still have most of the hour. Once he buried himself inside you, you slowly stopped caring about the outside world. Those doors felt like an impenetrable wall that would keep you and him secure for as long as you needed it. His voice comes to you muffled, a tickle on your collarbone. “Wanna feel you cum, petal,” he confesses, voice hoarse. “Are you close?”

You gasp, writhing against him. “Need more, Tae.” You barely manage to finish your sentence before fingers are grinding against your clit, pressing it between the pad of his thumb and his cock. Immediately, heat rushes through you, making your eyes roll back. “Fu-fuck, right there,” you cry, core pulsing with every thrust.

With an added source of pleasure, your orgasm begins to quickly approach, your entire body alight with it. At some point your eyes have fallen shut, and you’ve failed to meet his thrusts, almost entirely unable to think, your mind just overwhelmed with the feeling of his cock moving so deeply inside you.

Taehyung, although similarly delirious with pleasure, seems slightly more put together than you. His hips begin to snap faster, fucking into you without abandon even as the angle prevents him from getting too much momentum. His thumb speeds up, rolling your most sensitive bud over his shaft as it drives into you, and his free hand is trapped between you and the sheets, fingers tangled in your hair.

“Close, so close, gon’cum soon, Tae,” you warn him in a garbled stream when the stimulation begins to surmount what your body can handle. Toes curling, you pant and wait before your orgasm to hit any second, whining every time his length pulls out.

When Taehyung speaks, it’s breathy like a prayer. “Kiss me.”

You have just enough time to seek out his lips before the dam breaks and you’re cumming around him. Still seeking his own end, Taehyung ruts into you and makes out with you messily, groaning into your mouth when you tighten, nerves singing with raw pleasure, an orgasm that never seems to end.

You continue to kiss him as he finally begins to spill inside you, going tense and grinding his hips rather than thrusting. It feels so right, being joined like this with limbs entangled and every breath shared.

It takes you a few moments of coming down from your high to notice the wetness on your cheeks. At first you think you’re crying, overwhelmed from a powerful orgasm, but as you crack your eyes open you see Taehyung pull back, shoulders jerking and a hand clapped over his mouth and nose.

He cries silently, tears soaking the pillow and dripping off his nose, but there’s nothing you can say. It’s just a game, you still have me, we only have to wait a little while, these things wouldn’t bring him any comfort, not when he already knew them. His wasn’t a sadness you had to explain away or solve, it was one he just needed to feel in its entirety.

So, just as quietly as sobs wrack his body, you wrap your arms around him, burying your face in the crook of his neck, and hold him close.

He calms down eventually, pressing his cheek against the crown of your head, but the two of you stay like that for every last minute that you have left.

When your phone vibrates, followed quickly by his, you know that your time is up, and you dress in silence.

The meeting starts at 9:12 a.m. You know this, because by the time Taehyung descends the stairs - joining you several minutes later to prevent suspicion - Sejin is wearing a hole in the carpet, informing the group there is a schedule for a reason.

“Can we get started now?” Sejin asks in a snappish tone, before taking in a measured breath, calming himself. “Sorry. Long day.”

“But it’s only nine… thirteen a.m.,” Taehyung supplies helpfully. Sejin doesn’t seem to find it very helpful. “Sorry. Yes, we can start.”

As the masseuse settles himself on a couch beside Jimin, you do your best not to look their way. Sat beside Sejin on the edge of the coffee table, you’re facing the whole group, but there is a strange sense of calm that comes over you when you look at the others. Knowing they’re safe for at least another week.

“Once again,” Sejin announces, knee bumping yours, “the gentlemen have a chance to defend themselves before Y/n makes her decision. Clockwise around the room; Namjoon, we’ll start with you.”

It’s been a pretty rainy morning, a cold front frosting up the windows and making the heatpump slow to act. The academic has himself bundled up in a thick brown sweater and chunky pants, hands slipped between his own thighs for an extra bit of warmth. Somehow, the stocky clothes just make him look smaller. “Y/n,” he begins, “I know I’m never going to be as experienced as the others beside me, but I do really want to keep learning with you, and exploring different things. You make me feel really comfortable and at ease, which is unusual since usually I panic even thinking about kissing someone, and so I’d be really sad if I lost that learning curve that I’m going up with you. I hope you enjoy our time together enough that you’ll let me stay a little longer.”

As he is most days, Hoseok sits beside Namjoon, half-leaning on the taller man. He’s wearing sleek black today; skinny jeans, fitted turtleneck and a cinched waist. Reminiscent of the first two scenes you’d done together, you wonder if he’s wearing those clothes strategically. “My turn? Y/n, if you’re thinking of voting Namjoon out, vote me instead, and if you’re thinking of voting out any of the other guys, good luck to them.” His cheeks lift in a warm smile as you laugh, the humour skimming off some of the tension that weighs the room down. “But on a serious note, I think you and I are extremely sexually compatible, and I take great pleasure in watching you fall apart for me. I want for you to see me as somebody that you can trust to take care of you, but also push you and challenge you. For that, I do hope you choose not to eliminate me.”

You suck in a slow breath. It’s strange hearing them out with no intention of voting them out anyway. Rather than making you feel more indecisive, it reaffirms all the good that you have in this house, that you’re lucky to still retain after the meeting today. You owed Taehyung a massive thank you.

Wedged on the other side of Hoseok is the youngest gentleman. Jungkook has his legs tucked under him, fluffy grey bedsocks peeking out. When Sejin looks at hiim expectantly, he clears his throat. “I actually, um, have a presentation.”

As the rest of the room watches in bewilderment, he hops off the couch and flicks on the television. On the screen, two mirrored selfies of him pouting and winking bracket a message, VOTE FOR JUNGKOOK.

He sucks in a breath suddenly, whirling around to face you. “That should say don’t,” he explains in a rush, “don’t vote for Jungkook.”

Turning back, he crouches beside the cabinet to where a laptop is hooked up to the back of the TV. Changing slides, he straightens up again. A crossfade gives way to a slide which begins with the title, Who Is Jungkook?

“Fucking hell,” Yoongi grumbles, shifting to get himself comfortable on the middle couch he shares with Jin. “Wake me up when it’s my turn.”

Clearing his throat, Jungkook begins to read off the screen. “Who is Jungkook? Successful camboy, avid gamer, budding chef - that’s a picture of me helping hyung cook - and most importantly… Objectively the most attractive guy in the house.”

Even as he hurries to change slides, the other men - namely Jin and Taehyung - protest with cries of outrage and disbelief. Jungkook ignores them, just raising his voice enough to carry over their complaints, waiting for the new slide to bounce in above the previous one. “Why should you save Jungkook?” This time, Jungkook stays crouched, each bullet point having its own slide with a related picture of him. “I will stream with you. I will help cook for you. I will let you play as Widowmaker. I will work out every day so that I stay capable of lifting you easily. I will show you the unflattering pictures I take of the hyungs.” Somehow, Jungkook’s managed to capture a shot of Hoseok mid-yawn, nose scrunched and jaw wide open at the dining table. The man himself lets out an indignant huff, only relaxing once Jungkook switches slides again, a dissolve transition leaving you with a final selfie with Jungkook biting his lip and flicking the camera a peace sign. Jungkook straightens up. “I will give you all these things and more if I’m still in the competition, so please, don’t vote Jungkook.”

Taehyung’s hesitant smattering of applause fills the room as Jungkook switches off the television, sitting himself back down beside Hoseok. Even as he smiles and acts casual about it, you can see his nerves in the way he wrings his hands in his lap. Even if you hadn’t already decided to vote out Tae, there was no way you could’ve voted Jungkook out this week.

Jin is next up, on the couch directly in front of you. His ment is simple. “Vote me out if you think I deserve it. If you genuinely think I’m the worst in the house. I don’t think you do.” The rest of the room falls silent, waiting for him to continue, but he sits back and shuffles Yoongi’s shoulder to indicate his turn.

Sitting up, honey blonde hair disheveled from the back of the couch, Yoongi clears his throat and looks over at you. “You and I spoke last night about the others, about reasons for them to stay in, reasons for them to be voted out. But you didn’t cover me, so here’s mine. Pros: I know my way around the female body in general and, I believe, your body specifically. I’m very willing to give most things a go, I learn fast, and you know that I can keep my head above the water in moments of crisis. I’m a safe person to have in the game.”

You grin. “And your cons?”

Yoongi harrumphs, pouting petulantly. “Well, I’m not going to say them now, am I? I’m trying to promote myself.”

Your bemusement is quick to evaporate when you realise it’s Jimin and Taehyung that are last to defend themselves. Running clockwise, Taehyung is the one who has to speak up now. His eyes dance around the room rather than settling, fingers fiddling with the zipper on his jacket pocket. “Y/n,” he announces, voice so soft and tentative, “I think you and I have a lot of, um, potential together in the bedroom, and, you know, if you keep me in the game, you’ll be able to enjoy the best hands in the business. And I really enjoyed my time with you so much, especially this week. It’s like we have an understanding when we…” Taehyung’s mouth opens, closes. “Uh, so… Don’t vote me out, because you’ll miss out on those things.”

You try not to let the blue cloud in your chest show on your face, staying neutral. You and him both knew you would miss out on those things. That you would miss those things too. Giving a little nod, hyperaware of your reactions, you turn to Jimin.

He’s looking you dead-on, barely moving. “You should vote me out,” he says plainly. “Not…any of the others.” Not Taehyung. “I was a dick the other day, I’ve been an asshole mostly this whole time, and I’m sure the other guys would love it if you did, because they all know I’m the biggest competition. If you ever miss me, I have countless videos online you could watch, or you could watch me fuck one of the guys here. And I’m sure you already have a name in mind, but change it to mine. It should be me.”

Your mouth goes dry, heart racing sickly in your chest. Taehyung’s staring at Jimin with puppy eyes, a silent protest. On the other side of the room, Jungkook lets out a surprised chuckle. “Reverse psychology!” he chirps. “Nice, hyung.”

“So, Y/n,” Sejin asks, voice warm with sympathy, “who’ll it be?”

With eyes stinging, you duck your head, the name on your tongue bitter like battery acid. What you wouldn’t give to throw yourself away instead. “Taehyung.”

The room goes dead quiet. No sighs of relief, expressions of condolence. No announcement from Sejin.

In the two weeks you’d been here, you’d been in this position once before. But that time, exactly one week ago, you’d been subject to a sudden change in events that saved everyone. Now, with Taehyung’s name still hanging in the air like a melancholy ghost, the weight of this decision and its finality sit heavy around the room.

The first cut is the deepest, and as Sejin begins to instruct Taehyung on how to proceed as an eliminated member, you feel like your heart has been sliced in two. The half of you that wants to rush up to him and kiss him silly and take back what you said, and the half that’s filled with an overwhelming relief that you’ve kept the others safe for now.

Taehyung doesn’t look at you much as he leaves. There’s a moment, a single glance, where he gives you a teary smile of approval and comfort. A million words that you can’t say in front of everyone. But then he turns, and he walks out the front door.

Jungkook, who was too shocked into silence to even be listening, straightens up with the wooden thunk of the door closing. “He’s not leaving for good, is he?”

Sejin shakes his head stiffly, before clearing his throat and slipping back into his producer mode. Even as he does so, you can see the elimination upsets him too, his eyes sad. “Taehyung is going around back to the confessional booth for his exit interview. He doesn’t need to be around for prompt distribution, so he’s going to just do it now. Which brings me to this week’s theme.” Sejin pauses for dramatic effect, but it only serves to highlight the sullen mood in the room. “Work hard, play hard.”

You frown in confusion. The first two weeks were easy. Locations, roleplay. You knew what type of thing would be occurring even if you didn’t have the specifics for each member. But this time, you felt totally lost.

Sejin continues. “This week, prompt distribution is also different. Usually, we have you randomly pick a prompt from the bunch. But this time, we have a Bangasm Bomb coming into play. Week 3’s Bangasm Bomb is that whoever won fan favourite in Week 2 will distribute the prompts for Week 3. Yoongi, that’s you.”

Though all of you are a bit reserved, you can’t help but perk up, the interest around the room growing. Yoongi, sat beside Jin but taking up most of the couch, sits up suddenly. “So I give them out randomly, or…?”

“You read all of the prompts and assign them however you choose. Without revealing the prompt to the rest of the group, I ask that you give a reason for each choice.”

Yoongi grins, jumping up in an usual show of liveliness to get the slips of folded paper off Sejin. “I guess I picked the right week to absolutely kill it in the audience vote.” He makes you wait an eternity as he painstakingly opens them all and considers them, eyes dark as they search the room, making little noises of consideration and indecision. Finally, he stands up straight and immediately pockets one.

“A reason, Yoongi,” Sejin reminds.

The doctor blinks. “Because I want it?” Moving to the next one in his pile, he approaches Hoseok first. “Okay, this one is because I think it’s best done by a professional.”

Hoseok takes the slip and holds it close to his chest as he reads, brows lifting. “That’s probably a good idea,” he affirms. “Thanks, hyung.”

Yoongi, clearly gleeful with his position of temporary power, glances at the next slip. “Ooh! Okay, this one is for Jin-hyung because it fits perfectly.”

Jin accepts the slip warily, letting out an exasperated laugh when he reads it. “You little shit.”

Yoongi’s grin is wide enough that you can see his gums. “I love this,” he informs Sejin, “whoever came up with this needs a raise. Anyways; next one.” Opening a fourth piece of paper, he immediately seeks out Namjoon. “I’m giving this to you because I think you’ll get a kick out of it, and I heard through the pipeline that you like to be called daddy.”

Namjoon goes red faster than a changing traffic light, spluttering violently on a lungful of air when he reads the prompt.

Before he has the chance to put it away, Hoseok puts a strong hand on his shoulder and holds him in place so he can quickly sneak a peek of it, collapsing into a peal of laughter when he sees it. “You’re probably right,” he quips to Yoongi, who preens in satisfaction.

“Okay, moving on,” Yoongi continues, “Jungkook, this one’s for you. I figure you’re such a switch that you could play this either way, and I’m curious.”

You furrow your brows, as does Jungkook, but the moment the youngest man reads his prompt, the lines in his face smooth out in realisation. “Thanks, hyung,” he offers up sweetly. “I like this one.”

“I’m sure you do, kid,” the doctor says with a pat of his shoulder, before handing Jimin the final prompt. “And I’m giving you this one because it’s the last one left.”

Jimin scoffs at the weak reasoning, but his eyes dart up to you immediately once he looks at what it says. With a lip curling in bemusement and interest, Jimin thanks Yoongi. “This suits me just fine.”

Done assigning prompts, Yoongi turns to Sejin. “If this show gets greenlit for a second season and you don’t offer me a job, I’ll be personally offended.”

Sejin rolls his eyes with a begrudging smile. “Good job, Yoongi. And meeting adjourned, ev- Wait, no! There’s more; almost forgot.”

You lift your brows, waiting for some other groundbreaking twist or dramatic flair that seemed to keep cropping up during these meetings.

The producer stands himself up, patting his back pocket where his phone rests. “I just had a meeting with the showrunners, and they’re not happy with the punishment for breaking elimination rules. I’ll go tell Taehyung this after, since it mostly concerns him and Y/n, but as an FYI, the protocol around eliminated members has changed a bit.” He takes a breath, hands up and ready to gesture his explanation. “Basically, our old system was that if an eliminated member touched Y/n sexually, he’d be out of the house for good, and if Y/n touched the eliminated member sexually, she had to wear an outfit of that person’s choice. Uh, it seems that second system isn’t really that drastic, and could easily be manipulated, so we’re changing it up upon the showrunners’ request. Now, if the eliminated member touches Y/n sexually, he’ll have to leave as usual, but if Y/n touches him sexually, her punishment has changed to being taken out of the house for 24 hours.”

You tip your head to the side. “That doesn’t sound like a punishment.”

Sejin gives a strained smile. “You’ll be taken out of the house for 24 hours, handcuffed to me.”

“Huh?” Jin asks incredulously. “Bit wish fulfilment isn’t it, big guy?”

The producer has the good grace to blush. “It’s not like that, and it wasn’t my decision. Apparently, the viewers these days are taking more interest in the workings of staff. Additionally, as with the clothing rule, handcuffing Y/n to another member of the house is once again too easy to work around. Anyways, that’s the new rule. Got it?”

You blink. “So… let’s say I run outside right now and touch Tae’s dick. I’d then have to be handcuffed to you for a whole day and like, do producer shit? Meetings and editing and stuff?”

“That is correct.”

“What happens when one of us needs to pee?”

Sejin lets out a weak laugh. “You’d be allowed out of the cuffs to use the bathroom.”

“What happens when it’s nighttime?” you question, heart sinking as you realise your loophole to Tae is quickly closing up.

“Well, I usually go home around 11 each night, and my girlfriend is happy to take the couch should that happen.”

“What- What if-” Your mind whirls as the other guys chuckle at your predicament. “What if I wake up in the middle of the night to get a drink but you’re still sleeping? What if the guys in your meetings ask why you have a young girl handcuffed to you and I have to explain it’s technically a sex thing? What if-”

“All the things that make this a punishment, Y/n. I suggest you practice restraint and avoid breaking the rule.”

Your glare is softened by a petulant pout. “You’re a sadist.”

“This wasn’t my idea, Y/n. It’ll be a punishment for me too.” Sejin clears his throat. “Anyways; meeting adjourned. I’m off to catch Taehyung up.”

The stunned silence lasts no more than ten seconds once Sejin leaves. Jungkook, a toothy grin and cheeky eyes, starts bouncing in his seat. “Y/n and Sejin sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-”

“Shut up,” you shout with a whine. “This sucks.”

“Such a relief you have six other dicks still to choose from,” Yoongi drawls. “I’m sure you’ll live without one.”

Without thinking, you stick your tongue out at him, making him laugh at your antics, before pushing on Jin’s thigh to stand up. “Well,” the doctor announces, “I, for one, could do with a celebratory brunch.”

Jimin frowns. “What are we celebrating?”

Yoongi beams. “Me making you all my little bitch,” he declares, letting out a startled hoot when Jin jumps up to tackle him, manhandling him towards the kitchen.

As the two chefs of the house begin to lug out ingredients from the pantry, Jungkook turns to the rest of the group with a worried frown. “D’you think Tae is gonna be really sad?” he asks in a small voice.

Finally getting up off the hard surface of the coffee table, you make your way over to him, perching yourself on the arm of the couch. “Maybe,” you admit honestly, “but I think if he needs space, he’ll go upstairs, and if he wants comfort, he’ll come back to us. We should let him choose.”

As it turns out, Taehyung chooses both. The kitchen is steaming with a delightfully savoury aroma by the time he comes back in through the front door. He hovers in the entrance to the kitchen and dining area for a moment or two, waiting for the chatter to die down once everyone catches sight of him.

Announcing that he was taking a long shower but that he’d be back down and not to wait up, he’d rushed to his bedroom and left you all to confusedly finish preparing the food. He doesn’t return until you’ve all almost finished eating.

When he does, though, he appears like an entirely different person.

Wearing a raggedy shirt and pants, face red from a hot shower but hair dry, he dumps a white plastic bag on an empty space on the table with a dramatic flair.

Jimin watches him warily. “Hi.”

“Hi,” Taehyung chirps easily, “we’re dying our hair today.”

The words out of his mouth are totally unexpected, and everyone freezes into a bewildered silence.

Hoseok, with a spoonful of soup and green onion halfway to his face, falters. “Sorry, what?”

“I’ve been thinking,” Taehyung explains, like this is the most important thing he’s ever said. “I don’t want to be excluded and I want to have some fun with you guys instead of moping, so we’re going to dye our hair together.” Pushing aside empty bowls and half-eaten side dishes, the masseuse begins emptying the plastic bag onto the table. Bleach, developer, blood red dye, an emerald green and a deep royal blue.

“Where did you even get those from?” Jin asks, abandoning his plate to eye the products with interest.

“Ordered them online,” Taehyung answers with a shrug. “Well - technically I ordered them ages ago, Jungkookie wanted the e-girl TikTok hair, but I reckon we should just go for it. Some of us are in urgent need of a dye job. Namjoon; that’s you.”

The academic recoils, tugging at his grown-out faded purple ends. “Okay, that’s fair.”

Hoseok winces. “We don’t all have to dye our hair, do we?”

“‘Course not, hyung, you can supervise.”

It takes Yoongi insisting that everyone help clean up the table first that springs everyone into action, and in no time at all Taehyung has scoffed up whatever leftovers remained, and Jin has gathered additional supplies like bowls, towels and tin foil, hustling your ragtag group of eight down to the first-floor bathroom.

It doesnt take long before a temporary salon has been set up in there. With chairs taken from the kitchen, product being mixed in little black bowls on the sink benchtop, and three willing victims clutching towels over their shoulders.

In the first chair, Namjoon is watching in mild alarm as Jimin mixes bleach and developer in a bowl, eyeballing the measurements. With gleaming blue hair of his own, Jimin seems more experienced than some of you, but his job is more difficult than the other stylists of the day, since he had to get rid of Namjoon’s purple before bleaching and dying the lot.

You’d chosen the easiest of the three, Jungkook, and painstakingly consult with some of his favourite TikToks for the right amount of hair to section out as Taehyung takes charge of mixing his own concoction of bleach.

Finally, it’s Jin who has also volunteered to dye hair, although it’s not his own that he wishes to dye. Yoongi sits with a bitter scowl on his face as Jin pours in different coloured dyes into one bowl like a mad scientist. With already blonde hair, Yoongi at least has the luxury of skipping out the extra step, but it just gives Jin more time to conceive a crazy colour.

Hoseok, happy to take on the supervisor role, flutters around and hypes everyone up; massaging Namjoon’s shoulders, letting Jungkook show him countless videos and grimacing at what Jin has in his bowl.

“Hey, Tae,” Yoongi calls out in a forced casual tone, “why is it that when you were the one who bought the dye, you aren’t the one getting chemicals all over his hair?”

The masseuse shrugs easily, a tea towel thrown over his shoulder as he stirs away. “What can I say? I’m an artist, not a canvas.”

Jungkook blinks up at him past your shoulder. “I’d like to see you dye your hair, Tae. You’d look pretty with any colour.”

Taehyung reaches out to pinch the maknae’s cheek fondly, but accidentally leaves a smear of white behind. Jumping into action, you hold Jungkook’s chin steady as you wipe it off with your thumb, feeling his eyes on you and his breath hitch.

“Oh, you’re not- Y- You’re going straight in there,” Namjoon stutters shakily. Letting go of Jungkook’s face and stepping away, you glance over to Namjoon and Jimin.

The younger man has Namjoon’s hair sectioned with clips, painting thick globs of bleach onto the purple in his lower layers. “Don’t worry,” Jimin assures, “you’ll look fantastic after this.”

“Worst case scenario, you can lop it all off,” Jin points out cheerily.

Yoongi’s arm reaches out between folds of the towel on his shoulders, keeping Jin at bay. “You better not lay a fucking hand on me with that mindset.”

“Don’t be silly, Yoonie,” Jin teases, adding in some more green. “You’re my Mona Lisa.”

Yoongi humphs and collapses back against his chair, pink smattering his cheekbones.

Taehyung’s hand wraps lightly around your wrist, handing you the bleach he’d mixed up. “We’re good to go,” he declares to you and Jungkook, “I wanna go see what colour Yoongi-hyung’s getting. You guys start.”

Left in charge of the bleach, you turn back to Jungkook. Standing over him, it’s impossible to ignore the way his doe-eyes observe your every move. “Are you still good with these two chunks?” you check.

He nods quickly, lips pressing into an eager but shy smile. “Do you think it’ll look good?” he asks hopefully.

“You’ll look gorgeous.” Getting him to hold the bowl of bleach up for you, you dip the brush included in the box and begin to brush the white, thick liquid over the strands of black hair. He doesn’t flinch as the brush moves higher, sitting so still and patient. “What colour are you going to get it?”

His cheeks puff as he blows air into them. “Hm, I don’t know. Tae said maybe pink? I could mix in only a little bit of red so it’s not so strong. But then pink fades fast.”

You hum, switching to the other side. “You could dye it red and then when it fades it would fade to pink.”

He lets out a little gasp. “That’s smart! I like it.”

From down the room, Taehyung’s voice echoes. “Hyung, you’re fucked!”

“Hey!” Jin cries. “It’s going to look good, just trust me on this!”

Taehyung leans his back against the sink and clasps his palms together like he’s praying. “Yoongi-hyung, picture this. You’re Bob Ross. You’re painting a beautiful lake on a sunny day. Blue sky, clear water, lush riverbanks. Can you see it?”

Yoongi frowns. “Sure.”

“The little cup of dirty water you used to clean your brushes with? That’ll be your hair.”

“Oh, god,” Yoongi moans miserably, slumping so low he almost falls off the seat.

“Disrespectful little brat,” Jin enunciates as Taehyung moves back across the room. “This was your idea!”

It takes the entire rest of the day, but by the time you all sit down on the couches for dinner - courtesy of a food delivery app, Yoongi and Jin both too tired to cook - three of the eight of you have shiny new looks.

Jungkook looks undeniably striking with his stripes of firetruck red framing his face. Contrasting sharply with the black of the rest of his hair, you could easily mistake him for a Twitch streamer or something, pulling off the look with a natural coolness.

Done with purple, Namjoon had taken advantage of Jimin’s decent level of expertise and let the blue-haired man work his magic, bleaching his hair a couple of times and dying it to the unusual choice of silvery grey, the roots slightly darker so that - in Jimin’s words - he could get away with regrowth for longer.

But perhaps the biggest surprise of all is Yoongi, who smugly peacocks around the room with a unique shade somewhere between mint and teal in his hair. Jin had quietly confessed to you and Jungkook when he was cleaning his bowl that it wasn’t in fact, the colour he intended it to be, but that what Yoongi didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him.

The blue-green tones are somewhat reminiscent of the clear lake Taehyung was describing, and it brings out the soft pink of Yoongi’s lips and his dark lashes so beautifully. How Jin’s luck never seemed to run out, you didn’t know, but part of you wished you had volunteered yourself for a dye job too. Now you, Jin, Hoseok and Taehyung were the leftovers with natural hair.

Like some sort of unspoken agreement, the seven of you keep a close eye on Taehyung throughout the evening. You let him pick a movie for all of you to watch, pile extra food into his bowl, Jungkook even brings a secret stash of chocolate down from his room to share with him. All of you sensitive of how he must be feeling, it’s only natural that you take extra good care of the masseuse.

And, when it finally comes to head up to bed, Taehyung is flooded by offers to keep him company in the bunkroom. It’s Jungkook he picks, the two thick as thieves, and shortly after midnight your phone goes off from a text that Jungkook has sent to everyone except Taehyung. Just two words that are enough to allow your mind and body to rest. He’s okay.