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9-Lives

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Word Count: 2,421

“Get out of here, you filthy animal!”

For the third time this week, and it’s only Tuesday, Jimin slips his hat back onto his head to cover his ears as he leaves the bakery he just got kicked out of. Hiding his ears is the easy part, but it’s the tail that always gives him away. He tries to keep it hidden under jackets and stuff, but that doesn’t always work. If people don’t notice his cat-like eyes, they’ll be sure to realize that he’s a 9-life when his tail slips out and gives him away.

He tries his best to live like a normal being in society, but it’s impossible when every person acts like the 9-lives are somehow less-than human. They’re kind of justified in that treatment, however, since the government of the 9-life planet did send them here to be slaves to the people. It’s all because of some fucking treaty, though. A way to keep the 9-life planet safe from the humans trying to take it over. Seeing as how that means randomly selected 9-lives have to spend 8 of their lives here on this fucking planet the humans call Earth, Jimin doesn’t think it’s worth it.

Jimin, however, got lucky? If he could call it that. He was one of the randomly selected 9-lives to serve Earth, but he was failed to be given a master. There was no one to take him when he arrived because the system was messed up somehow. That’s why he’s been trying to make his living like he has.

Jimin can’t be sure if it’s lucky because—

“Well, well, well,” He hears a deep, raspy voice come from behind him. “What do we have here? It seems this little kitty has strayed too far from home.”

Jimin turns around to see a fairly large and muscular man standing just a few feet from him. “How did you manage to get out of your collar?” The man continues.

Each 9-life pet is given a specialize collar that is registered to their master’s fingerprint so that only their master can remove it. It’s too different from normal pet collars for Jimin to just buy one of them from a pet store to blend in.

“I-I…” Jimin doesn’t have an answer for him. Even though he should have been expecting such a question, he had never prepared an answer to such a thing.

Jimin can sense an air of danger coming from the man as he steps closer. This is definitely not a person that Jimin wants to get himself involved with. “Well, then,” He says. “Looks like you’re free for me to take on as my own.”

“Jimin!”

An unfamiliar voice sounds from behind the 9-life. This voice is deep as well, but it sounds a lot friendlier than that of the man standing before him. When Jimin turns his head back, he sees another man approaching him. This man is tall, but not quiet as large as the more threatening one. “Thank goodness,” The man says as he approaches Jimin. When he’s an arm’s length away, he ruffles Jimin’s hair and Jimin does his best not to snarl at the other. “I’ve be looking everywhere for you.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.” The man with the strong demeanor immediately lightens up. “Does this cat belong to you?”

The seemingly friendly one smiles at the scarier man, wrapping one arm around Jimin’s neck and pulling him closer. “Yep, he’s such a bad one, too.” The nice man says. “He always manages to get out without his collar on.”

9-lives that roam freely, without their collar, are really up for grabs. Anyone can take them. This happens when there are runaway 9-lives or if the owners abandon them. Apparently, though, taking another’s 9-life is something that would never even be heard of. 9-lives that have an owner are left alone. That’s what Jimin had always been told, but it seems to be true.

The scarier man backs off and leaves Jimin with the nicer man. “You should really be careful roaming these streets without a collar,” The man says. “Anyone could pick you up.” He scratches Jimin behind his ear, a weak spot for most 9-lives, and Jimin basically melts into the touch.

Now that he can get a good look at this man, Jimin thinks that he’s really handsome. More handsome than most humans living on this planet. He’s tall, but skinny. He has a friendly face with bright eyes and a heart-shaped smile. His hair is short and brown, and he’s just…he’s kind of breathtaking at the sight.

“Thanks,” Jimin thanks the man. “But…how did you know my name?”

“I’m psychic.” Is the man’s simple response.

“What!” Jimin exclaims. “That’s so cool! What else can you do?”

The man laughs, shaking his head. “Dude, I’m kidding.” He tells Jimin, and Jimin’s ears fold to the side of his head—annoyed that this man would tease him like that. Jimin’s still kind of new to this world, so he doesn’t know what strange abilities humans might have. It’s not fair to tease him like that. “You have a name on the back of your hoodie, so it was just a lucky guess.”

“Oh.” Jimin feels like an idiot.

“I’m Taehyung, by the way.” The man finally introduces himself. “Kim Taehyung.”

“Well, Kim Taehyung,” Jimin says. “It’s nice to meet you, and thanks for saving me. I better be on my way, though.” He bows politely, and he turns to leave. A tight grip on his wrist prevents him from getting very far, and he sees that Taehyung is keeping him there.

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea,” Taehyung says. “I mean, without a collar, people are going to keep trying to snatch you, and you can’t expect me to show up like a prince in shining armor every time.”

“What are suggesting?” Jimin asks, narrowing his cat-like eyes at the other. He’s trying to seem as aggressive as possible.

“You should come home with me.” Taehyung says. “I can give you a collar, and you can roam around freely.”

Jimin snatches his wrist back. Of course. No human would save his life without wanting his service in return. “Don’t think I owe you anything for what you did there,” Jimin snaps. “I could have handled that on my own.”

Taehyung rolls his eyes. “Oh yeah, because big macho men like that are really scared of puny 9-lives, right? What would have done? Scratched him?” He basically mocks Jimin, only pissing the cat off more. “Look, I’m not asking you to serve me. You can still be as free as you want. I just want to put a collar on you because no one is going to mess with a 9-life that belongs to someone.”

Really, he does have a point. As long as he’s being honest, Jimin sees no reason he shouldn’t go home with Taehyung. “All right, fine.” Jimin gives in. “But one wrong move and—”

“What? You’ll scratch me?” Taehyung teases.

“Have you seen the damage cats on your planet can do?” Jimin argues. “We 9-lives are feisty and fearsome creatures! Just because most of us are well-behaved doesn’t—” Jimin is cut of when Taehyung presses his lips to Jimin’s. “—What the hell! What was that for?”

Taehyung shrugs. “It’s how we humans get annoying, but cute, people to shut up.” Taehyung informs him. “Do you want to come home with me or not?”

Jimin just narrows his eyes at the other man. He’s not really sure what to think of Taehyung. Not with him touching Jimin’s lips like that. What was that even? It didn’t hurt. In fact, it actually felt quite nice, but it was still strange. “Fine. I’ll come home with you,” Jimin gives in. “But I’m watching you…”

+++

When Taehyung gets Jimin home, Jimin is absolutely amazed at how big Taehyung’s place is. He doesn’t even live in the main part of the city, but in the suburbs where he owns his own house, and it is huge! Not to mention, Taehyung had a butler waiting for his arrival.

The 9-life is absolutely fascinated by the place. Upon entrance, there’s a place to take of shoes and put on something for the house. Then there’s a step entrance that leads into the lounge area, and behind that, there’s a kitchen. Jimin can see the kitchen from the lounge. It’s way better than the abandoned apartment the cat had been crashing in until now. In the kitchen, there’s a faucet that actually runs water. The water in this place actually works.

As Jimin runs around, admiring the place, his eyes eventually land on smug-looking Taehyung. “Are you regretting your decision now?” His voice sounds even more smug than his face looks.

Jimin shakes his head quickly. “Do I get my own room?” He asks. Not that he’d mind sharing a room with this gorgeous excuse of a human being, but he’d like to have his own room until he can trust Taehyung.

“Come on.” Taehyung waves for Jimin to follow, so Jimin does. The butler follows along behind them.

The human leads him to a room that is quite large. There’s a bed in the middles of the wall, a desk with a computer on it, and some dressers. “This is one of my guest bedrooms, but you can stay in here.” Taehyung tells Jimin. “First thing’s first. You need a shower because you really smell bad…and then we’re going clothes shopping.”

“Hey, I didn’t ask your opinion on how—”

And Taehyung does that thing again. Where he touches Jimin’s lips with his. “Will stop doing that!” Jimin demands.

“Why? Does the kitty like it?” Taehyung teases as he scratches behind Jimin’s ear. Fuck, that feels amazing. “You can wear some of my clothes while Hoseok washes what you have on…if you even want to keep the ratty old things.”

Jimin glares at Taehyung, something he finds himself doing a lot. This human is just…he’s so annoying. Maybe Jimin should touch his lips, too. “These ratty old things are the only thing I have left,” Jimin basically growls at Taehyung. “I’m not throwing them out.”

Taehyung shrugs. “Suit yourself.” He turns to the butler. “Hoseok, Jimin needs a shower, so will you collect a change of clothes and some towels for him?”

“Now wait a minute. I did not agree to showering.” Jimin snaps.

“So what? You’ll play with the water running from the kitchen faucet, but you don’t want to take a shower?” Taehyung asks.

“There’s a difference between my hand getting wet, and water being poured all over my whole body.” Jimin argues back.

Taehyung smiles and stops the butler from leaving. “Would you feel better if I showered with you?” He asks.

“What! No! I can do it by myself.” Jimin insists, and he storms into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.

Taehyung turns to the butler. “Towels and a change of clothes.” He says.

+++

“What do you think?” Taehyung asks, holding up different collars to Jimin’s neck as they entered the 9-life shop first. “Do you want a red collar? Or a blue collar? I personally think they both look great.”

Jimin looks in the mirror, trying to decide which one looks better on him. “I don’t know,” He says. He just doesn’t like the idea of having to wear one of these stupid things.

“Then let’s get them both. We can get all kinds, and you can just wear whichever one matches your outfit that day.” Taehyung says. “There’s nothing better than a stylish 9-life, after all.”

At the end of shopping in that store, Taehyung ends up buying Jimin 15 different collars, all registered to Taehyung’s fingerprint. As they leave, Taehyung puts a pink one on Jimin. “We can’t have us walking around together without your collar.” Taehyung tells Jimin. “People will get suspicious.”

After they are done there, Taehyung takes him out to the mall, buying him clothes from the human section because he says that the human clothing style looks nicer. When Jimin complains that he won’t be able to get his tail through human clothes, Taehyung assures him that Hoseok, the butler, can make any arrangements that will need to be done to the clothes to make them more suitable to Jimin.

“Won’t people get suspicious if I’m dressing like a human?” Jimin asks, his ears folded to the side as he worries about fitting in properly. With a collar he can roam around without people bothering him, but wearing human clothes might throw people off.

Taehyung shakes his head. “No, but you’re really cute when your worried about something.” Taehyung tells him. “They’ll just know not to mess with you because you belong to a really rich person. Only rich people can afford human clothes for their 9-life servants.”

“I’m not your servant.” Jimin complains, and he tries removing the collar. It won’t come off because Taehyung already registered it to his fingerprint.

Taehyung stops him. “I know, Jimin.” Taehyung says. “But everyone else needs to believe you are.” After glaring at him for a moment longer, Jimin stops fighting. “I mean I can remove this if you really want me to, but you’ll be right back where you started.”

“No, I’m good.” Jimin says.

“Are you sure? Because I can take it off.”

Taehyung attempts to scan his finger on the collar, but Jimin jerks away and scratches him. “I said no!” Jimin whines, but guilt instantly washes over him when he sees that Taehyung is bleeding. “Shit. I’m sorry. Please don’t report me.”

With a soft smile and even gentler hands, Taehyung pats Jimin’s head. “I’m not going to report you.” He says, and Jimin can only wonder what kind of a human Taehyung is. “Do you trust me?”

Jimin wants to say yes. He wants to feel comfortable with Taehyung, but it’s hard when humans have treated him as badly as they have. He has a hard time trusting anyone right now. “I don’t trust anyone,” Jimin says. “But…I trust you a little more than other people. No one’s ever been nice to me before.”

Taehyung smiles and scratched behind Jimin’s ear again. This, Jimin can get used to. “I guess that’s a fine place to start.” Taehyung chimes, happy.

Chapter Text

Word Count: 1,752

“Now that we have new clothes that actually fit,” Taehyung says. The two of them are walking out of the mall, and Jimin relishes in the fact that Taehyung is the one carrying most of the bags before he feels uncomfortable and takes them from Taehyung. It’s not that he doesn’t like Taehyung carrying his bags, he loves that. He loves making this human act like his servant even though Jimin should be. Jimin feels uncomfortable because everyone is giving them strange looks, probably wondering why the human is the one doing all the heavy lifting? Is that what the humans would call it? Anyway, that’s why Jimin takes the bags. “I need to go pick up Paws from the groomers, and then we can go back home.”

“Paws is your…?” Jimin says.

“My pet.” Is Taehyung’s simple response.

“Right, your pet…?”

“That I love very much.” Taehyung is completely avoiding telling Jimin what kind of a pet Paws is, and it’s making Jimin anxious.

“Because it’s a…”

“Little cutie.”

Humans are strange. Jimin is concluding this from his time he’s spending with Taehyung. They like to touch their lips with other people’s lips, and that’s just weird. They don’t avoid answering questions you’re obviously trying to get the answer to, and they think they’re better than every other creature in the world. Well, that last one, Taehyung doesn’t seem to have so much, but still. Humans are strange, and Taehyung must be strange, even among them.

At the groomers, Jimin is made to wait outside while Taehyung goes in to get Paws. Again, Jimin is thinking humans are strange. 9-lives are considered pets, but they’re not allowed in the place that pets go to get groomed? Yeah, that makes sense. And as slaves, shouldn’t a 9-life’s master be able to send their 9-life to pick up their pet? Jimin gets his answer when one of the clerks come to the door and hand a bunny to a 9-life that had been waiting outside as well. So they can pick them up, they just have to do it from outside.

It only takes a few minutes for Taehyung to return, and he has a little dog following him. “Yikes! What the fuck!” Jimin shrieks and jumps onto Taehyung’s back. “Taehyung, what the fuck is that thing?”

It is one of the ugliest little dogs Jimin had ever seen, but not quite as ugly as a chihuahua. It’s got ears that stand rather than being floppy, a squished face, and skinny, but strong looking legs. “This is Paws,” Taehyung.

“You have a fucking dog?” Jimin tries to climb further on Taehyung’s back when the little dog gets excited and tries to jump up at Jimin. “Why the fuck do you have a dog?”

“Paws?” Taehyung asks. “She might look like a dog, but she’s basically a cat. Watch: Speak!” Taehyung commands the dog. Jimin screams when the dog barks, and he hugs tightly around Taehyung’s neck.

“It’s a dog, Taehyung.” Jimin says, not really able to get over the fact that there is a dog trying to reach him. “Do you know what I am? I’m a cat. Dogs are our natural enemies.”

“You’re part cat.” Taehyung says, and he wriggles Jimin off his back. “Mostly human. Dog is man’s best friend, so she’s mostly your best friend.”

Jimin tries to run, but the beast is too close. She’s sniffing Jimin’s ankles before rolling over to her belly.

“There, see?” Taehyung says. “She’s lying on her belly because she trusts you.”

Jimin glares at Taehyung. “When cats lie on their belly it’s because they want you to think that they trust you…but then they attack.”

“But Paws isn’t a cat.”

“You just said she’s basically a cat earlier.”

“I may have stretched the truth a little bit.”

“A lot?”

Taehyung nods. “A lot.”

+++

Back at the house, Jimin sits on the couch, watching TV. He’s watching some stupid human show that Taehyung claims has the genre of romantic comedy, but Jimin’s not seeing it. He doesn’t see the comedy. It’s just a stupid show probably created to entertain the minds of even stupider people. On the show, there are two people sitting on the couch together—a man and a woman. Jimin almost gets excited when he sees them touch their lips together like Taehyung did to Jimin earlier that day, but that small touch of lips turns into them licking the insides of each other’s mouths and the man pushing the girl back onto the couch, and…oh god. Jimin has to change the channel.

Cartoons. This should be innocent enough.

After about five minutes of cartoons, Taehyung comes and sits on the couch next to Jimin. Jimin leans over and touches Taehyung’s lips with his own, just as he had seen the girl do to the man on that show. “What is this action called?” Jimin asks.

“That, my dear friend, is a kiss.” Taehyung tells him.

“A kiss.” Jimin repeats the word, hoping to commit it to memory. “Is it the same thing you did before?”

“Yeah, something like that.”

“Then…what if I licked you?” Jimin asks.

“What?”

“Like…if I touch your lips, and then lick you…” He says. It looked really intriguing on television, so Jimin wonders. “I mean your tongue.”

The smile on Taehyung’s face is a mischievous one. “There are different types of kisses.” Taehyung tells him. “A quick one like what I gave to you is called a peck.”

“No…a peck is what a bird does when it’s eating or attacking something. They’re painful. What you did felt nice.”

Taehyung rolls his eyes. “There are different types of pecks, too. What I did to you before was a type of peck.” Taehyung says.

“Then it’s my favorite type of peck.”

“Mine too,” Taehyung says. “What you just did is a kiss. It’s a little deeper than just a peck. Then there’s making out, which is with tongues.” He tilts his head at Jimin. “Do 9-lives not kiss?”

Jimin shakes his head. “No, we mostly lick each other or rub our faces or noses together.” He says. “I’ve never seen any 9-lives touch lips like that.”

“Well, I’ve told you something you want to know about humans,” Taehyung says. “So tell, is it true that 9-lives have six nipples?”

“What!” Jimin shrieks.

“I’m serious.” Taehyung says. He leans over, pushing Jimin back and gripping the bottom of his shirt. He tries to remove it like Jimin saw the man do to that woman on TV. “I want to know if you really have six nipples under here.”

“I didn’t give you permission to take my shirt off!” Jimin snaps.

“Technically, this is my shirt.” Taehyung reminds him. Jimin still hadn’t changed out of the clothes Taehyung let him borrow.

“Taehyung!” Jimin shouts. “Stop it!”

Just as Jimin’s about to scratch Taehyung again, the other pulls back. “Dude, I’m kidding. I’m not going to take your shirt off.” Taehyung says. “I have a little more respect than that. But seriously? Six nipples?”

“You’ve seen female 9-lives,” Jimin says. “Do they have six boobs?”

“So I’m taking that as a no.” Taehyung says, and Jimin nods. “Well, that’s disappointing. And here I was looking forward to having so much fun with so many nipples while I made you feed to all of my sexual fantasies.”

Jimin doesn’t say anything. He just glares at Taehyung. This human is unbelievable. “Can you take this collar off now?” Jimin asks. “I don’t need to wear it in the house, right?”

“Well, hold on.” Taehyung says. “I didn’t come in here to fondle you or anything. I actually came in here to ask if you want to come with me to meet a couple of friends of mine.”

“Humans?” Jimin presumes.

“Nice humans.” Taehyung assures him. “I promise.”

Jimin glares at him.

“I’ll punch them in the balls if they’re not nice to you.” Taehyung promises.

+++

“I don’t see why this stupid beast had to come with us.” Jimin complains, upset that stupid Paws had to come and ruin his quality time with Taehyung. It’s really only been a few hours, but Jimin is kind of slowly getting attached to Taehyung.

“Don’t talk about Hoseok that way.” Taehyung says. Yes, the butler came with them as well, apparently being more than a butler to Taehyung. He’s also Taehyung’s friend.

“I believe he meant the dog, Taehyung.” Hoseok tells him.

“Oh.” Taehyung says. “Right, of course. I knew that.”

They all enter a small cafe together, and there’s a few people inside. Taehyung walks them straight to the large group, the only people in the cafe. Well, really there’s only three people excluding the barista, but three’s a crowd to Jimin.

“Jimin, this is Seokjin,” Taehyung introduces the barista. “Yoongi, Seokjin’s husband, basically. Namjoon, and his 9-life servant Jungkook.”

“Wow, so you managed to get your hands on a 9-life as well, eh, Taetae?” The one Taehyung had introduced as Namjoon says as he makes his way to look Jimin over really well. Jimin steps closer to Taehyung, nervous.

“Jimin, it’s fine.” Taehyung says. “They’re nice people.”

“Yeah, we’re not going to hurt you.” Yoongi says. He slides off the counter and looks Jimin over. “But you sure got a nice looking one.”

Jungkook clears his throat. “Not that Namjoon’s 9-life isn’t fucking hot as hell,” Yoongi says, acknowledging the existence of the other cat in the room.

“Damn right I am.” Jungkook says, confident.

“But seriously, Jimin is really something else.” Yoongi says.

Jimin copies what Taehyung did to him. He presses his lips to Yoongi’s only to be jerked back by Taehyung fractions of a second later. “Hey! Jimin! What are you doing?” He asks.

“What you told me to.” Jimin says, and he realizes that everyone is kind of staring at him like he’s an idiot, and he feels really on the spot. “You said that humans do that when someone is annoying but cute.”

“You can’t do it to just anyone,” Taehyung says. “I just told you that Yoongi is practically married. You can’t just walk around kissing—” He’s cut off when Jimin pecks him on the lips this time.

“Was that right?” Jimin asks. “Can I do it to you?”

Taehyung smiles, and he scratches Jimin behind the ear. Jimin had been wanting him to do that. “Yes. You can do it to me.”

Chapter Text

“How do you sleep like that?” Taehyung’s voice is the first thing Jimin hears in the morning. In fact, it’s what brings Jimin out from his sleep.

The 9-life wakes up from sleeping at the foot of his bed, curled up in a little ball, his tail curled around him. Paws, that evil little dog, is snuggled up to Jimin’s chest, and the cat jumps up and scoots to the back of the bed. The sudden movement brings Paws out of her sleep as well, and she gets excited, jumping up and trying to lick Jimin. “Taehyung, get her off of me!” Jimin whines.

Before Jimin can make another complaint, Taehyung snatches Paws up from the bed and sets her on the ground. “You do know that this entire bed is yours, right?” Taehyung questions the 9-life. “You don’t have to curl up at the end. You can lie down comfortably.”

“I was comfortable.” Jimin assures the human.

Taehyung just stares at him. “You’re unbelievable.”

“You’re one to talk.” Jimin says back.

“If you’re just going to curl up at the foot of the bed, you should just sleep with me.” Taehyung tells him. “No sense in taking up a whole room if your just going to use part of the bed.”

Jimin snarls at Taehyung, glaring at the other. “Nice try, but I’m not your pet.” Jimin reminds the other.

“Then you should probably stop acting like one,” Taehyung says, “And sleep in the bed normally.”

“I was sleeping normally.”

“Really? So 9-lives have an entire bed just to sleep in the corner of it?” Taehyung asks.

“No.” Jimin admits. “Our beds are big like this with mattresses, but more similar to cat beds here. They’re sometimes large enough to fit three of us on them so we can curl up and sleep together.”

“Oh? So three 9-lives sleep together at once?” Jimin fails to notice the catch in Taehyung’s voice.

“Yeah. I mean, the heating on our planet isn’t as good, so we need to keep each other warm.”

“I agree. Things really heat up when you have three people sleeping together.” Taehyung says. “We can do it with Hoseok, if you like. Are you a bottom? I can imagine you being a bottom.”

Jimin tilts his head, confused. His tail flicks in that questioning pattern like cats do when they’re curious about something, his ears twisting so that one is folded to the side while the other stands up straight. “I think we’re talking about two different things…” JImin says, cautious. “I don’t know what you mean by bottom.”

Taehyung huffs an amused laugh, and scratches Jimin behind his ear. Jimin practically melts into the bed. Somehow Taehyung is so good at that. “I know we’re talking about two different things. You’re so innocent, it’s fucking adorable.” Taehyung tells him. He pets Jimin, and Jimin relaxes. Yeah. He can really get used to this. “So, how do 9-lives have sex?”

“What?” Jimin asks. He’s not even shocked by the question, too relaxed by Taehyung petting him.

“I mean, you seem completely clueless.” Taehyung says. “When I was talking about sleep with people, I meant having sex. It’s, like, a double meaning. So…you sleep with three—”

“No.” Jimin says, still really relaxed.

“You’re enjoying this aren’t you?” Taehyung teases. He rolls over so that he’s on top of Jimin, and he presses their lips together in a kiss, not a peck, and he scratches behind both of Jimin’s ear at once. Jimin relaxes even more, melting like butter to every one of Taehyung’s touches. He could almost feel himself melting into the mattress, spreading through every fiber. Is that normal? It doesn’t feel normal. When Taehyung moves his hands from Jimin’s ears to card through his hair, it feels like jolts of electricity rushing through Jimin’s body, and the 9-life lets out a small sound, startled from the sudden rush, and he’s pushing back against Taehyung’s lips. “You are so cute.” Taehyung whispers, scratching Jimin’s chin.

“Taehyung…”

“Come on,” The human says, getting off of JImin. He pulls the 9-life up off the mattress. “Hoseok has breakfast ready.”

+++

“So how long have you been living on Earth?” Hoseok asks.

He, Jimin, and Taehyung all sit around a table outside. Paws runs around near them on the ground, which doesn’t bother Jimin as long as she stays at bay. They’re all eating ice cream. Hoseok has his own, but Jimin is sharing with Taehyung. Mostly because Jimin insisted he didn’t want any when they were at the parlor, but Taehyung made him try his after they left, and now Jimin’s hooked.

“No, what I want to know is why you don’t know anything. Even Jungkook was more educated in our culture than you are when he first arrived to be Namjoon’s 9-life.” Taehyung says. “Why don’t you know anything? Like about kisses or how to sleep in a bed?”

“I wasn’t given a warning.” Jimin says. “I just got randomly selected and sent out immediately. I didn’t have time to study up on the culture.”

“So you guys just get selected and forced out of your planet to come here?” Taehyung questions. Jimin nods. “Wow. That’s, um, that’s gotta suck.”

“It does.” Jimin agrees. “I didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye to my family because I somehow got put in the system when I shouldn’t have been…and they just took me away.”

Jimin’s ears fold to the side, and he wants to cry.

“I understand,” Taehyung says. He pats Jimin’s head. “I didn’t get to say goodbye to my family either.”

Before they can carry the conversation any further, Jimin’s ears quickly perk up when he hears Paws barking. He turns around to find her on the other side of the busy street. “Stupid beast.” Jimin sighs.

“Jimin!” Taehyung shouts as Jimin rushes across the street to grab the dog.

+++

“Taehyung?”

Jimin’s head is pounding when his eyes open. He sees Taehyung moving across the room, coming to him. “Jimin,” The human says. He takes Jimin hands into his. “Are you okay?”

Jimin shakes his head. The pain is unbearable. “What happened?”

“You were an idiot,” Taehyung says.

“Where’s Paws?” He asks, sitting up quickly. Flashes of the incident coming back into his mind. He feels his head rush as he sits up, and Taehyung is gently pushing him back into the hospital bed.

“She’s at home with Hoseok.” Taehyung tells him. “She’s fine. Thanks to you.”

“You sure are lucky,” Jimin hears an unfamiliar voice. It’s a doctor, a female doctor. That’s not unusual to Jimin because most doctors are female on his planet, but he’s never seen a female doctor on Earth before. “Many people would have just let their 9-life die since they have seven other lives to spend on Earth, but Taehyung wasn’t having that.” She says. “He was willing to spend all the extra money to get you patched up out of his own pocket because, well, as he said, every one of your lives is just as important as our single one.”

Jimin’s ears perk up, and he looks at Taehyung, tears filling his eyes. “Really?” He asks. “You said that?”

“Well, of course.” Taehyung says. “We’re family now, and family members take care of each other.”

+++

“Taehyung.”

Jimin stands in the doorway of Taehyung’s room. It’s dark, but Jimin can see, thanks to his cat-like vision. Taehyung pushes himself up from the mattress and looks in Jimin’s direction. “Hey,” He was clearly sleeping, and Jimin woke him up. “What’s up?”

“I can’t sleep.”

Taehyung scoots over on his mattress. “Want to sleep in here?”

“Can I?”

“Yeah,” Taehyung pats next to himself on the bed. “Come on.”

Taehyung lays back down as Jimin makes his way to the bed. Jimin crawls in at the foot of the bed and curls up. He feels Taehyung nudging him with his foot. “Hey, Jimin.” Taehyung says. “Come up here.”

Jimin crawls up in the bed. “Sleep under the covers.” Taehyung says, holding them up so Jimin can get under them. “And try not sleeping in a ball. Just lay straight.”

Jimin does as Taehyung says.

“Hey, Taehyung.”

“Hmm.”

“Can we go and get some ice cream tomorrow again?”

“If you promise not to get hit by another car.”

“I promise.”

“Hey, Taehyung.”

“Yeah?”

“Are you sleeping?”

“If I were sleeping would I be able to respond?”

“I don’t know. Some people talk in their sleep.”

“What do you want Jimin?”

“Do you think we’ll get to hang out with your friends again?”

“Yeah. They’re my friends, so we kind of hang out a lot.”

“But we didn’t see them today.”

“We don’t have to see them every day.”

“I like them.”

“Go to sleep Jimin.”

“Hey, Taehyung.”

“Taehyung?”

Jimin rolls over to look at the human, and he sees that Taehyung’s eyes are closed and he’s breathing heavily. “I think I trust you.” Jimin whispers. “Like, a lot. And I like kissing you.” He sighs. “A lot more.” He rolls over and stares up at the ceiling. “Does that mean anything?”

He looks over at Taehyung. Of course he’s not going to answer. He’s sleeping. “Maybe I don’t want to go back home.” He whispers. He kisses Taehyung in his sleep. “I hope that’s okay.”

Chapter Text

“Since I’m not allowed to kiss Yoongi, I can’t kiss Seokjin either, right?” Jimin asks.

“Right.” Taehyung agrees with him.

The two, including Hoseok and Paws, are going to see Taehyung’s friends again today.

“Then what about Namjoon?” Jimin questions.

“No.” Taehyung says.

“Why not?” Jimin asks. “Does he have a girlfriend?”

“No.”

“A boyfriend?”

“No.”

“Then why can’t I kiss him?” Jimin asks.

“Because I said no!” Taehyung snaps.

Jimin flinches. “But why not?” Jimin asks him. “I’m not supposed to be your pet, so you can’t order me around.”

“Why do want to kiss other people!” Taehyung shouts at Jimin, and Jimin flinches again. “Have you seen me kiss anyone else?”

Jimin’s shocked by Taehyung’s reaction, and he’s not quite sure how to respond. Why does Taehyung seem so angry about this? “But…I thought…you said that—”

“I get it, okay.” Taehyung cuts him off. “9-lives don’t kiss, so you probably wouldn’t understand, but it’s supposed to mean something when you kiss someone.”

“I don’t understand.” Jimin sighs. He’s so confused.

“Usually people have one person they kiss. They don’t go around kissing everyone.” Taehyung explains, calmer now. “You said something about how 9-lives lick each other or something, right?” Jimin nods. “Do you lick everyone?”

Jimin shakes his head. “Of course not,” He says. “But more than one person, you know. It’s, like, how we show that we care about each other. I could lick my mom or my brother or my best friend.”

Taehyung sighs. “You understand the concept of boyfriends and being married, though, right?” Jimin nods. “So relationships on your planet exist somehow.”

“Sure.” Jimin agrees. “9-lives can have boyfriends and girlfriends.”

“Would you have more than one boyfriend at a time?”

“No,” Jimin answers. “I wouldn’t have a boyfriend.”

Once Jimin says that, Taehyung’s expression falls, and he goes quiet.

“Why?” He asks after a moment, his voice small.

“I am a boy.” Jimin says. “That means I would have a girlfriend.”

“Oh,” Taehyung sounds incredibly disappointed. “Do you like girls?”

“Of course.” Jimin says.

“I mean…you don’t like boys?”

“I like you, don’t I?” Jimin points out. Taehyung looks at him, a shimmer of happiness in his eyes. “And I like Hoseok and all of your friends. You’re all boys, right?”

Taehyung lowers his head again. “That’s not what I mean.” Taehyung sighs.

“You mean like Yoongi and Seokjin, right?” Jimin asks. He somehow gets the feeling he knows what Taehyung is trying to say. “How they are basically married even though they are both boys.”

“Yeah, something like that.” Taehyung says. “Is that frowned upon on your planet?”

Jimin shakes his head. “I don’t think so.” He says. “I mean, it’s not seen on my planet, so I don’t know how people would react to it.”

“Then what about you? How do you feel about it?”

“It doesn’t bother me. I don’t care what people do.”

“Would you want a boyfriend?” Taehyung asks.

“I don’t even know why we’re talking about this when I just wanted to know more about kissing,” Jimin says, remembering that this wasn’t even their original topic of conversation. “But if I could choose who I date, and I loved a boy, then yes. I would want him to be my boyfriend.”

“That’s good enough for me,” Taehyung says. He reaches up and scratches behind Jimin’s ear. “Just promise not to kiss anyone else.”

“I promise.” Jimin says, mostly agreeing because of how good it feels when Taehyung scratches him like that.

+++

“He’s so confusing.” Jimin sighs, resting his head on the table in the break room.

He came to this big headquarters-looking place with Taehyung because Taehyung told him that they’d be hanging out with his friends again. However, Taehyung is actually going to work, which he does work with his friends, so he didn’t lie. However, there’s a meeting, and 9-lives aren’t allowed in the circle room, so Jungkook and Jimin are waiting in the break room for the meeting to be over.

“What so confusing about him?” Jungkook asks. “I mean, I know Taehyung is strange, even for a human, but what’s bothering you right now?”

“I don’t know,” Jimin says. “I guess…I’m just confused because I don’t know anything about this place. I don’t know anything about Earth or humans.” He sighs. “I just want to go home.”

“Do you really?” Jungkook asks him. “I know it’s confusing here, but you have it so easy. Taehyung just took you in as a friend and gave you a collar so people wouldn’t fuck with you. He’s been good to you since you started living with him, and he cares about you. Do you really want to leave him?”

“I suppose not.” Jimin says. “He seems…I don’t know. I think he needs me. Like, he seems lonely in his house. I know he has his stupid beast and Hoseok, but that’s a big place, and it’s just them.”

“He does need you.” Jungkook assures the other 9-life.

“Jungkook, what do you know about kissing?” Jimin asks. Jungkook is the only one of Taehyung’s friends that Jimin would never even consider kissing because he’s a 9-life as well. Since 9-lives don’t kiss, he has no reason to kiss Jungkook.

“Is that what’s confusing you?” Jungkook asks. “The fact that Taehyung kisses you?”

“No,” Jimin says. “It’s that he doesn’t want me to kiss anyone else.”

“Yeah, it’s a bit different for humans.” Jungkook tells him. “For 9-lives, all forms of affection are okay between every sort of person. Family or friends.” Jimin knows that. The only thing one can’t do with family or friends on their planet is having sex. That’s the only thing that is just between two 9-lives that are in-love. Everything else is acceptable amongst all people. “For humans, there are a lot of things that only people in a relationship would do, and kissing is one of them.”

Kissing. That’s something that people in a relationship do. But…Taehyung kind of kissed Jimin moments after their first meeting. They’re not in a relationship. Jimin never agreed to that.

“I’m not—”

“If Taehyung wanted you to be his boyfriend, would you?” Jungkook asks.

Jimin is quiet. He doesn’t know how to respond to that because he hasn’t given it much thought. “Wouldn’t it be bad?” Jimin asks. “I mean, he’s a human.”

“Why does that matter any more than him being a boy?” Jungkook asks. “You’re on Earth until you die eight times, so you might as well do what makes you happy while you’re here.”

+++

“I’m sorry about earlier.” Taehyung apologizes as he joins Jimin on the couch, both of them now back at home. Hoseok is in the kitchen preparing supper. “I didn’t mean to yell at you.”

“It’s fine,” Jimin assures him. “I didn’t realize how much kissing meant to you humans. If you just want me to kiss you, then I won’t kiss anyone else.”

Taehyung smiles. “So we’re good?” He asks.

“No,” Jimin says, and Taehyung’s expression falls into a worried one. “Before I say we’re good, I want you to tell me something.”

“Anything.”

“Why do you kiss me?” Jimin asks. “Jungkook told me that people in relationships kiss each other, but I’m not your boyfriend. So why do you do it?” Jimin feels like he’s going to get hurt if he gets the answer to this. “You think you can just treat me how you want and kiss me because it’s not supposed to mean anything to a 9-life? I have feelings, too, you know, and I don’t like being fucked with, Taeh—”

Taehyung is suddenly sitting on Jimin and locking their lips in a deep kiss. One that has a blush coming to Jimin’s cheeks and a small sound from this throat.

“Stop doing that!” Jimin demands once he manages to shove Taehyung off of him. “If it’s not going to mean anything—”

Taehyung is back on him again. “Shut the fuck up.” Taehyung says before kissing Jimin again.

“I told you has to mean something to humans, didn’t I?” Jimin nods. “Yeah, I admit it. The first time I kissed you was just to get you to shut up, but that’s it. When I kissed you on your bed yesterday, that meant something, and thought you felt it to.”

“Taehyung—”

“I want you to trust me, Jimin. I would never take advantage of you or treat you differently just because you’re a 9-life. Just look at Hoseok. Most people treat their butlers like shit, too, but he’s my best friend. You’re still a living being, and you deserve to be respected and treated as such. Your feelings are important, and I wouldn’t just fuck around with them.”

“I trust you.” Is all Jimin says in response. It’s all he can think to say. He doesn’t know why, but Taehyung’s words made him feel extremely happy.

“You do?” Taehyung asks.

“You haven’t given me a reason not to.” Jimin says. “Yesterday, when I could have died, you got me the care I needed even though I would have eight more lives to spare. No other human would be that considerate.”

Taehyung smiles and scratches behinds Jimin’s ear, and Jimin can’t help it when he purrs this time. He hasn’t done that before, not for Taehyung. Taehyung’s smile widens. “Can I kiss you?” Taehyung asks.

Jimin just tilts his head back, and he purses his lips for Taehyung to kiss.

“Jimin,” Taehyung says when he pulls back shortly after. He takes his bottom lip between his teeth. “I like you. A lot, and I want you to be my boyfriend.”

Jimin smiles. “Okay.” He says.

Taehyung laughs and rubs his and Jimin’s nose together. This is something Jimin knows because it’s a sign of affection on his planet, too. “Okay?” Taehyung says back. “That’s all you’re going to say?”

“Well, what else am I supposed to say?” Jimin asks.

“As long as okay means that you’ll be my boyfriend,” Taehyung says. “Then okay is fine.”

“If I’m your boyfriend,” Jimin says slowly. “What can’t I do with someone else?”

“Other than kissing?” Taehyung asks. Jimin nods. “Holding hands, that’s just for us. You can hug other people, but no cuddling. And don’t let anyone else touch you.”

“How can I hug someone if I don’t let them touch me?” Jimin asks.

Taehyung sighs. “What I mean is, don’t have sex with other people.”

“What!” Jimin shrieks. “I’m not…Taehyung…we’re not…”

Taehyung laughs. “I’m not going to fuck you right now,” Taehyung assures him, “so you can’t let anyone beat me to it. That’s all I’m saying.”

Chapter Text

“Taehyung, stop~” Jimin whines, not really hating the way Taehyung decides to wake him in the morning.  Taehyung places small little kisses all over Jimin’s face, which is quite new to the 9-life. He thought kissing was just lips to lips. He never knew that humans could kiss anywhere else, so he wonders why they don’t just lick each other. That seems normal to Jimin. Kissing, like this, is weird.

“You’re complaining on the outside, but you’re enjoying this.” Taehyung says, somehow knowingly.

“How can you tell?” Jimin asks, opening one eye to look at Taehyung.

The human just smiles back at him, that cheeky smile. “Because you’re purring.” Taehyung points out, making Jimin aware of the fact.

Jimin stops himself from purring and he glares at the human that is maybe his boyfriend. “You know, cats purr when they get irritated as well.” Jimin assures him.

“I know,” Taehyung says and kisses the base of Jimin’s neck. “But you’re not irritated.”

“Slightly.” Jimin admits.

“Well stop being irritated and pouty, and get dressed.” Taehyung says. “We have a long day ahead of us, and I have dinner plans for us.”

“Wait. What?” Jimin asks. “We have dinner every night, so why do we need plans?”

“Are you serious?” Taehyung asks, giving Jimin a deadpan stare. “I mean a date.”

“It’s the thirteenth.” Jimin says.

Taehyung sighs and rolls his eyes. “Are you just saying this shit because you know I find your cluelessness to be fucking adorable?” He asks.

Jimin shakes his head. “I’m serious.” Jimin says. “What are dinner plans?”

“I mean you and I are going out for dinner,” Taehyung says.

“With your friends?” Jimin asks, getting excited.

“No, just us.” Taehyung informs him. “It’s called a date. It’s a thing couple’s do.”

“But that’s boring. Why would you just want to go out with one other person?” Jimin questions.

“Really?” Taehyung asks. “You think it’ll be boring?”

Jimin nods.

“Well then, I guess I’ll have to change dinner plans to something else.” Taehyung tells him. “Instead, we’re riding ATVs, how does that sound?”

“Exciting, but only because I have no idea what that is.” Jimin agrees. “Hoseok’s not coming?”

“Not even Paws will be there.” Taehyung assures him.

“I’m in.”

+++

“Taehyung is the only person you’ve ever kissed?” Seokjin asks. They’re at the cafe with the rest of the group, hanging out until Taehyung and Jimin’s plans alone that evening.

Jimin shakes his head. “No, I kissed Yoongi before, too.” Jimin reminds him.

“Right, but I mean besides for that.” Seokjin says. “9-lives really don’t kiss people?”

“I could have told you that.” Jungkook says, feeling left out since everyone seems to be more interested in Jimin than him right now. “But you guys never asked.”

“So what about sex?” Yoongi is the one who asks the question. “How does that go?”

“He won’t talk about that.” Taehyung tells them.

“But I could tell you,” Jungkook tries grabbing their attention.

“9-lives don’t kiss during sex?” Seokjin asks, completely ignoring Jungkook.

“We don’t kiss at all.” Jimin responds. “We lick each other.”

“Licking, huh?” Yoongi teases, nudging Taehyung’s arm. “Sounds like the 9-lives are into some kinky shit.”

“It’s not what you think,” Jungkook assures him, but they’re still ignoring him.

“So what other kinds of things are different about 9-life culture compared to humans?” Namjoon asks.

“Seriously? You too?” Jungkook whines, frustrated that even his own master is more interested in Jimin than him.

“Well, I guess this dating thing is different.” Jimin says. “Taehyung and I are going on a date alone, and that’s weird.”

“9-lives don’t go alone?” Seokjin asks.

“I’m telling you man,” Yoongi butts in again. “They’re into some kinky shit on their planet.”

“It’s not really that 9-lives don’t go alone.” Jimin says. “But…we don’t really go on dates.”

“No dates?” Namjoon asks. “Do people on your planet fall in love?”

“Of course,” Jimin assures him. “We still have emotions, it’s just that it doesn’t work out quite like it does here…I guess. I don’t know, really.”

“It doesn’t. It’s a lot different on our planet.” Jungkook agrees.

“Oh, Kookie,” Namjoon says, scooting over for Jungkook to join them at the table. “When did you get back?”

“Get back!?” Jungkook questions, exasperated. “I never left! Where the fuck did you think I went?”

“Why didn’t you ever tell us about your planet?” Seokjin asks Jungkook. “It’s really different.”

“You guys never asked me.” Jungkook grumbles as he steals some fries out of the basket on the table.

“That’s because you fit in really well and know about our culture.” Yoongi tells him. “Jimin seems extremely clueless, so we can tell that it’s quite different because of him. You fit in. Really well.”

“That’s because I was trained before I was sent here.” Jungkook tells them.

“Well, since you know more about both cultures,” Taehyung says. “Why don’t you tell us about dating and sex on your planet?”

“I just have one question,” Jimin rejoins the conversation. “Why is sex, like, all you guys talk about?”

“Jimin, don’t act like the 9-lives are any different,” Jungkook says. “They’re cats, for crying out loud.” He looks at the rest of the group. “An innocent one like him is extremely hard to come by on our planet. Trust me.”

“Looks like I got lucky, then.” Taehyung says, scratching Jimin behind his ear. Jimin naturally leans closer to Taehyung, tilting his head to give Taehyung a better angle. “So, tell us about your planet, oh wise one.” Taehyung says to Jungkook.

“As Jimin said, 9-lives are just as likely to fall in love as humans are, but it is different on our planet.” Jungkook tells them. “Being in love doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll end up together. Sex is a common thing. It’s not secret and coveted like it is here. It’s not uncommon to see two 9-lives fucking in the street, and you won’t see parents covering their children’s eyes when it happens. When it’s not mating season, homosexual activities are super common, but same-sex couples don’t really exist in our world. The couples are the ones that raise the families together, always between a male 9-life and a female 9-life. We don’t promote love and romance like you do here. You are stuck with the person you raise your family with, it doesn’t matter if you’re in love or not. Some are, some aren’t. Dating is a thing that doesn’t really exist in our world. 9-lives always go out in large groups, it’s really rare to see only two out together. We mingle a lot.”

“So…then how did you understand the concept of boyfriends?” Taehyung asks, looking at Jimin.

“I don’t really know what it means to be boyfriends in your world.” Jimin assures him. “But I watched a lot of TV, and couples exist in literally every human show. I picked up some from watching that.”

“So how do couples work in your world, then? You said that 9-lives can have boyfriends and girlfriends.” Taehyung says.

“Usually we get paired together by our parents or the queen.” Jungkook tells them. “It’s not really a choice that we make, and it’s not that big of a deal. We can fuck whoever we want, and it’s not considered cheating like it is on this planet. You just raise a family with the person your paired with. That’s all that’s required.”

“Wow.” Namjoon says. “Your world sounds pretty fucked up.”

“Maybe,” Jungkook shrugs. “It’s just a different culture from yours. We certainly don’t have wars and killings all the time, though. I think Earth is pretty fucked up. Our planets is at least peaceful.”

“So…do the 9-lives, like, get off to the other cats fucking in the street?” Seokjin asks.

“No.” Jungkook says. “We don’t really get turned on by it since it’s literally everywhere.”

“Then how did Jimin manage to grow up so innocent?” Yoongi asks.

“He must have been a sheltered kitten.” Jungkook says. “They’re a rare breed and usually something special to the queen, but I’m not sure why he’d be sent here to be a servant.”

It takes Jimin a moment to realize that everyone is staring at him. “What? I’m here now. That’s all you need to know.” Jimin tells them. “My life at home isn’t important.”

+++

“Are you sure you want to be my boyfriend?” Taehyung asks as he and Jimin take their seat in Burger King later that evening. This is their special dinner plans since it’s one of the few restaurants 9-lives are actually allowed to eat in. “I mean, it seems really different from what goes down on your planet.”

Jimin smiles, popping one of the fries into his mouth. “I wouldn’t have agreed to it if I weren’t sure.” Jimin says. “I never really liked our culture, anyway. I like the idea of picking one person for real and sticking to him.”

“Really? You won’t get bored of me?” Taehyung asks.

“Somehow, I think that’s going to be very hard to do.” Jimin assures him. “You’re too interesting to get boring.”

Chapter Text

“This was nice, you know.” Jimin says as he and Taehyung leave from the Burger King together.

“Yeah, I’d rather take you out to a nice and fancy restaurant where we’d need to wear suits and everything,” Taehyung says. “Shower you complements and be the best gentleman by pulling out your chair and holding your coat, but, you know, we can’t do that. We have strict limitations with you being a 9-life and all.”

Jimin can feel his cheeks flushing, but he hopes that it’s not obvious enough for Taehyung to notice. Why is he being so nice right now? Usually they’d be arguing about something, but Taehyung is just being…so kind.

“If we could do all those things,” Jimin says. “What kinds of complements would you shower me with?”

Jimin’s not used to getting compliments because it’s just not something the 9-lives do. They don’t really compliment each other a lot. That’s something that’s considered too intimate. Really, only their partners complement them.

“Oh, you know,” Taehyung says, and his runs a hand of Jimin’s tail. “I’d tell you about how soft and beautiful your fur is.” He says, and Jimin smiles. “I would tell you how fucking adorable it is when you purr. Especially when you don’t realize you’re even doing it. How cute it is that you have tiny ass hands compared to my huge hands.” He says that as he puts their palms together for a comparison. “And I’d tell you how good you taste when I kiss you. Not the first time. When I kissed you the first time, you tasted like fish. Now that you’re all clean and stuff, you taste wonderful.”

“That moment was almost sweet.” Jimin mumbles. “But you ruined by bringing up my fishy breath.”

“I’m just being honest,” Taehyung says.

Jimin doesn’t say anything back to him. His tail twitches in anger as he stops walking with Taehyung. He stands in his spot, clearly annoyed.

“What?” Taehyung asks. He stops and turns back to look at Jimin. “Come on. I didn’t say anything wrong, did I?”

“I like fish.” Jimin says, making sure Taehyung can hear ever ounce of irritation in his voice.

“Jimin, I didn’t mean anything—”

“Didn’t mean what?” Jimin cuts him off. “You decided to make me, a cat, your boyfriend. There are some things that come with that, and my fishy breath is one of them.”

“Jimin, you are only part cat.” Taehyung says. “You have the ears and the tail, and these beautiful cat-like eyes, but everything else is human.”

“Call Hoseok.” Jimin says.

“What?”

“Call him. Now.” Jimin demands. His vision becomes blurry from the tears as he glares at this human before him. “I want to go home.”

“All right, but your home is my home, too.” Taehyung says.

“No.” Jimin says. “I want to go home. To my home. I hate it here.”

“Jimin, if I said something—”

“It’s not you, Taehyung.” Jimin insists. “It’s everyone. It’s this stupid world, and this stupid system. I’m not even supposed to be here!” He shouts, probably dragging more attention to himself than necessary. “Now will you please call Hoseok because my only option is going back to your place?”

+++

When Jimin and Taehyung arrive back at Taehyung manor, Taehyung allows Jimin to run off to his own room where he can be alone. Paws tries to follow Jimin and cuddle with him, but Jimin kicks her out of the room and slams the door before she can make her way back.

Jimin is left alone in his room to mope for about two hours before a light knock comes to the door. “Jimin, are you ready to talk now.” It’s Taehyung’s voice.

“Go away.” Jimin calls back, but he doesn’t actually want Taehyung to go away. He wants him to come in and talk to him.

As if he can read Jimin’s mind, Taehyung enters the room anyway. “Are you okay?” He asks.

“I want to go home.” Jimin says, hugging one of the throw pillows as if his life depends on it.

“For now, this is your home.” Taehyung says.

Jimin doesn’t say anything in return. He just hugs the pillow tighter.

“What happened earlier?” Taehyung asks, placing a gentle hand on Jimin’s knee. “You just suddenly…”

“I’m sorry.” Jimin says. “I’m just…I’m trying to make the best of me being here, but it’s too hard when I don’t know anything about this place, and suddenly I have a boyfriend on top of that, and I don’t even know what that means in this world. It’s all too much to take in at once and—”

He’s cut off when Taehyung kisses him. “I told you didn’t I?” Taehyung says. “That’s how we get people to shut up.”

“It’s really effective.” Jimin says.

“It is.” Taehyung laughs. “Do you know the great thing about having a boyfriend on Earth?”

Jimin shakes his head.

“Your boyfriend can help you figure things out when it gets too hard.” Taehyung says. “That’s what we get into relationships for. To figure things out and learn things about ourselves that we never knew before. It’s person who’s supposed to be there for you and support you and stick with you no matter how hard things get. And when you feel lost, like you do, he’s supposed to make you feel safe. And that’s what I want to do for you, but I can’t do it if you don’t tell me what’s so scary about this world.”

“You keep saying that I’m mostly human,” Jimin says.

“Is that a bad thing?” Taehyung asks.

“Maybe not to you since animals don’t mean shit to people in this world,” Jimin explains.

“That’s not true.” Taehyung says. “I love animals.”

“You say you do,” Jimin says, “But you keep expecting me to act like a human. Would you like me better if I acted more like a human?”

Taehyung remains silent.

“I sleep in a little ball because that’s how I sleep when I’m at home. It’s comfortable and warm, and I feel safe that way.” Jimin explains. “I might look mostly human to you, but that’s only my appearance. On the inside, have you ever considered I might be…well, mostly cat?”

Taehyung still doesn’t say anything.

“I’m a cat, Taehyung, like it or not,” Jimin informs him. “And I don’t want to be mostly human. I don’t want to change for this world, and, well, if you can’t accept that, then I guess I change my mind about being your boyfriend.”

“I’m sorry—”

“I know I’m being selfish, but—wait…what?” Jimin asks. “You said you’re sorry?”

Taehyung nods with a faint smile. “You’re not being selfish,” Taehyung says, and he scratches behind Jimin’s ear. Even when Jimin’s pissed off at Taehyung, that still feels good as fuck. “You didn’t ask to come here, and you’re right. People do expect other to conform to our ways too much. So…how about this? I’ll teach you more about the human culture, and you can teach me more about what it’s like to be a 9-life?”

“Y-you want to be a 9-life?” Jimin asks.

“Well, if I care about you, I have to know where my boyfriend comes from. I want to understand you more, so yeah. I want to learn what it means to be a 9-life.” Taehyung says. “That is…if you still want to be my boyfriend.”

Yes,” Jimin says immediately. “I still want to be your boyfriend. Especially if I can teach you about my culture. I mean…it might be difficult to understand since it’s so different from yours, but—”

“It’s not exactly easy for you, either.” Taehyung points out.

“Right.” Jimin agrees. “So…can I…”

“Can you what?” Taehyung asks.

“Well, I’ve told you that the 9-lives don’t kiss, but we do lick each other, right?” Jimin asks, and Taehyung nods. “So…I want to know if I can…”

“You want to lick me?” Taehyung assumes, and Jimin nods. “Okay.”

Jimin gets up and crawls to Taehyung, way too excited about this. He hooks one arm around Taehyung’s shoulders, and he places his other hand on Taehyung’s knee to hold himself up. He licks along Taehyung’s jawline up to his ear, and Taehyung shivers.

“I’m sorry,” Jimin says as he pulls back. “Was that weird?”

“No, it’s okay.” Taehyung says. “I actually liked that.”

“And, you know, I was crying,” Jimin says. “So, normally the 9-lives would lick me to clean my tears from my face.”

“You want me to—” Jimin nods. “But…that’s a little…”

Please,” Jimin begs. “I can’t lick my own face, and it’s really uncomfortable now.”

“But we have washcloths and—” He stops himself when he sees Jimin’s eyes narrowing at him. He’s supposed to be meeting Jimin halfway with this. “You 9-lives are fucking weird.” Taehyung says, but he licks Jimin’s face clean of his tears anyway.

“Thank you,” Jimin says. “Now can you take this collar off of me?”

“I’m really starting to enjoy this look on you,” Taehyung says. He presses his thumb to reader and the collar unlatches. “Maybe I’ll get you leash, too.”

“Taehyung.”

“Yes?”

“Does being your boyfriend equate to being your slave?”

“Would you believe me if I said yes?”

“No.”

“Then why did you ask.”

“I’m not letting you put a leash on me.” Jimin demands. “You promised you wouldn’t make me your servant.”

“I think I’m changing my mind now.” Taehyung says with a laugh, and Jimin fights back the urge to scratch him.

Chapter Text

“Have you two consummated your relationship yet?” Jungkook asks Jimin as the two 9-lives hang out in the ice cream parlor together. Namjoon gave Jungkook the day off, and so Jungkook wanted to spend it getting to know his only other 9-life friend better. That’s what he told Jimin, anyway.

It took a bit of convincing, but Taehyung eventually let him go.

“I don’t know what that word even means,” Jimin says. “But I feel like it has something to do with sex, and the answer is no.”

“Seriously, Jimin? How long have you two been a couple?”

“Two weeks.” Jimin says, narrowing his eyes at Jungkook.

“Hmm. You know 9-lives usually consummate the instant they’re paired together. Humans…not as quickly, but—”

“And some people have boyfriends nice enough to wait for them to be comfortable.” Jimin says. “Anyway, what’s going on between you and Namjoon?” He asks. “I mean…are you just his pet, or?”

“Namjoon is my Master.” Jungkook says. “Unlike you, I’m a loyal pet to him, and I serve all of his needs, even the sexual ones. As much as I would like for there to be, there is nothing romantic going on between us.”

“That’s sweet, but I’m not Taehyung’s pet.” Jimin assures the other 9-life. “I’m his boyfriend, and I do not serve him.”

“You should,” Jungkook says. “I really think he’d be into that.”

Jimin stops licking at his ice-cream and he just narrows his eyes at the cat before him. “You think so?” He asks with interest, his ears perking up.

“I mean, there has to be a reason he decided to date a 9-life.” Jungkook says. “We’re slaves to people. Maybe this is Taehyung’s low-key way of saying he wants you to be his servant, but he doesn’t want you to know he’s just taking advantage of you.”

Jimin frowns at that, his ears folding to the side. Taehyung didn’t ask Jimin to be his boyfriend to trick him into actually being his slave. He wouldn’t do that. Taehyung doesn’t need a servant when he already has Hoseok. Hoseok does everything for Taehyung. He cleans the house, prepares Taehyung’s bath water, and he even shops for Taehyung. Cooks for Taehyung. Jimin doesn’t need to do anything.

“He has a butler.” Jimin tells Jungkook.

“I’m just saying, Taehyung is a human.” Jungkook says. “Humans are selfish. Even the selfless ones are selfish, so Taehyung has to have some ulterior motive behind this.”

“Are we really sure that Taehyung is a human, though?” Jimin asks. “I mean, he could have come from a different planet, too.”

“The only aliens here are the 9-lives,” Jungkook says. “Taehyung is definitely human.”

“Then I think you have the wrong idea of human.” Jimin says. “Taehyung’s not taking advantage of me.”

“Is it so hard to believe?” Jungkook questions. “I mean, you seem incredibly naive. It wouldn’t be very difficult to take advantage of you.”

+++

“Hey Jimin, can you hand me that bottle opener?” Taehyung asks as he and Jimin are both in his kitchen later.

Jimin glares at him, thinking about what Jungkook said earlier. Taehyung always asks Jimin to do small things like that. Can you turn the light off? He would say when Jimin returns to the room at night. Can you open this jar for me? He would ask when he doesn’t get the lid off. It’s always something small, but maybe this is the sneaky things that Jungkook was talking about.

“Why are you so bossy?” Jimin snaps at him instead of handing him the bottle opener.

“Okay, I’ll get it myself.” Taehyung says. He walks around the breakfast bar, into the kitchen to grab the bottle opener from its spot next to Jimin, and he walks back around to his seat.

“You can try, but you won’t trick me into being your servant.” Jimin assures him. “I know what you’re doing, and it’s not going to work.”

Taehyung just smiles at him amusedly, and he pops the cap off of his orange soda. “Then enlighten me, Jimin.” He says, taking a swig. “What am I doing other than having no clue what you are on about now?”

“You’re trying to enslave me.” Jimin snaps. “You asked if I could be your boyfriend so you could trick me into doing things for you like handing you a bottle opener.”

“Are we going to go through this every other day?” Taehyung asks, still smiling. “Don’t you trust me by now?”

“No!” Jimin demands. “You just asked me to hand you the bottle opener. You’re being sneaky about it, but I saw through your plans.”

“Jimin,” Taehyung says, calm. “The bottle opener was next to you. If you had to go out of your way to get it, I wouldn’t have asked.”

“If a human were standing in my spot, would you have asked him?” Jimin challenges.

“Yes.” Taehyung says, easily.

“Other than Hoseok?”

“Yes.” Taehyung doesn’t change his answer.

“Really?” Jimin narrows his eyes at him.

“Yes.” Taehyung’s answer remains the same. “I had to go out of my way to get it when you could have just handed it to me. Watch.”

Taehyung grabs an orange soda from the collection next to him, and he hands that and the bottle opener to Jimin. “See? Humans do it all the time.” Taehyung says. “Like when I take your empty snack packets when I come into the kitchen to save you the trip.”

Jimin looks at the bottle and the bottle opener and then at Taehyung. He feels somewhat like an idiot because he’s right. Taehyung does small things for Jimin, too, without Jimin having to ask him to. “I don’t know how to use your human tools,” Jimin says to Taehyung, and he hands both items over to him.

Taehyung rolls his eyes, and he opens the bottle for Jimin. “Have you ever had an orange soda?” Taehyung asks.

Jimin shakes his head as he takes the now-opened bottle back. He takes a drink from it and spits it on the counter. “What the hell is this?” He asks, looking at the bottle.

“Orange soda.” Taehyung laughs. “You don’t like it?”

“Like it!” Jimin demands. “This is disgusting! You humans are into some weird shit.”

“If you think that’s weird,” He says and gets up from the other side of the breakfast bar. He grabs a cup from the cabinet and goes to the freezer. He pulls out some ice cream and spoons some into the cup. He goes to take the orange soda from Jimin.

What are you doing?” Jimin asks when Taehyung attempts to pour the orange soda over the ice cream. Jimin snatches the ice cream out of Taehyung’s hand, causing the human to pour the soda in the floor. “Why would you pour that repulsive crap over this marvelous treat!”

“Just try it.” Taehyung says. He easily retrieves the ice cream from Jimin again and pours the orange toxic over the ice cream. “Here.” He says, handing the mixture to Jimin.

Jimin eyes his suspiciously, and Taehyung hands him a spoon. Jimin doesn’t accept it as he just tilts the drink up and tastes it. He licks his lips a few times after, trying to experience the flavor to the fullest. “What do you call this?” Jimin asks, taking another sip.

“It’s an orange float,” Taehyung says. “But you’re doing it wrong.”

He tries to take it from Jimin and show him how it’s done, but Jimin pulls away, drinking more of the orange float. “I like it better like this.” Jimin says, and he takes Taehyung’s left behind bottle of orange soda to pour more over his ice cream. “But why do you call it a float?” Jimin questions, watching it to see if anything happens. “It’s just sitting on the counter.”

Taehyung shrugs. “I didn’t name it,” He says, and he finally takes his chance to spoon some ice cream out of Jimin’s cup and feed it to him. “Probably because eating it is something like heaven, so they call it a float.”

“Heaven.” Jimin repeats the word. “What is heaven?”

“It’s…the perfect place.” Taehyung says.

“So a float tastes like a building?” Jimin asks.

“What? No.” Taehyung says. “It’s a human concept…anytime something is really good or perfect, then we say it’s like heaven. For example, if someone can sing really well, you would say their voice is like heaven.”

“Okay.” Jimin says. “So I can say that your face looks like heaven?”

Taehyung laughs. “No.” He says. “You would say that I have the face of an angel, but that’s actually more you…so don’t say that.”

“Why an angel?” Jimin asks.

“Because angels live in heaven.” Taehyung says.

“So it is a place?”

“My fair kitten, you have got a lot to learn.” Taehyung chuckles, scratching behind Jimin’s ear.

Chapter Text

“Hey, Taehyung.”

“Jimin.”

The nine life sits at the breakfast bar, his small fingers curled around a warm cup of hot chocolate. It’s an okay drink, but Taehyung insists that it’s the best thing on the planet. In that case, Jimin wants to show Taehyung all the wonders of his planet, but he doesn’t know if or when he’ll ever get that chance.

There’s not a lot that Jimin likes about Earth. It’s not that it’s a horrible place, it’s just not what he’s used to. He much prefers the 9-life planet over this.

There is one thing about Earth that Jimin does like, however, and he likes it enough to not want to go home. Taehyung. Taehyung is the only reason Jimin finds his time on Earth enjoyable at all, and, if he can’t take Taehyung home, he’ll put up with whatever mistreatments he gets on this planet just so he can stay with him.

“Why is there so much red everywhere? I mean, when we go to town and stuff, all the stores have so much red in them.”

“Because it’s close to Valentine’s Day, and the colors are red and pink.”

“Why red?”

“Why not?”

“Well…because red is the color of blood, and it’s an angry color.”

“It’s also the color of love and passion and romance.”

“Not where I come from.” Jimin assures him.

Jimin finishes the last bit of his hot chocolate, and he wants to put it in the dish washer. He looks at Taehyung’s cup which is also empty. “Want me to take this for you?” Jimin figures he’d offer to make up for how he behaved before, getting upset about that bottle opener thing.

“Just don’t flip out, thinking I’m taking advantage of you.” Taehyung tells him. He slides his cup over to Jimin.

“I’m over that.” Jimin promises.

He takes Taehyung’s cup, and he rinses them both and puts them in the dishwasher before returning to his seat. “Anyway, tell me about Valant Time’s Day.” He says as he plops onto his stool again.

Valentine’s Day.” Taehyung says as he chuckles at the 9-life. Jimin would hat him laughing at Jimin like that if he didn’t scratch Jimin behind the ear every time he did it. Jimin’s not sure how, but Taehyung always manages to give the best ear scratches Jimin’s ever received. This time, it sends electricity pulsing through Jimin’s energy, just a sudden quick jolt, and Jimin almost slips off of his stool as his body relaxes into the touch. “It’s a dumb holiday for couples to make single people feel bad.”

“We’re a couple.” Jimin says.

“We are.” Taehyung agrees.

“You don’t want to celebrate Valentime’s Day with me?”

“Jimin, it’s Valentine’s Day, and not really.” Taehyung says. “We have an anniversary that we’ll celebrate every year, but Valentine’s Day isn’t really that special. I don’t think it means a lot to prove your love to your boyfriend on the same day everyone else is doing it.”

“Well, I’ve never celebrated before.” Jimin points out. “So it would be special to me.”

Taehyung goes quiet for a moment, and Jimin almost think that he said something wrong. That is, until Taehyung’s face lights up into a smile, and he nods. “Okay,” He says. “This year, we’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day.”

“Right now?” Jimin asks, his tail flicking happily.

“It’s not Valentine’s Day yet, Jimin.” Taehyung tells him.

“So what?” Jimin says. “They have all the stuff in stores now, so there’s no reason we can’t celebrate, right? Today can be our Valentime’s Day. Does that make it special to you?”

“All right, Jimin.” Taehyung says, his voice sounding softer than usual. “Today can be our Valentine’s Day. I’ll agree to that.”

Jimin hops off of his stool and steps closer to Taehyung. He pulls the human down for a kiss, cupping Taehyung’s cheeks in both hands. “I love you.”

Jimin can hear Taehyung’s breath stop for a moment, and see the surprised look on his boyfriend’s face. He can almost see Taehyung trying to process what Jimin just said. “What did you just say?” He asks instead of returning the statement. Clearly he’s having a hard time believing this.

“I-I said I love you.” Jimin tells him, his heart sinking to his stomach. Taehyung’s his boyfriend so he thought that was something he could say. It is isn’t it? “Is that okay? I’m sorry. I meant it, but I shouldn’t have said it. Shit. I’m sorry, Taehy—”

Taehyung kisses him. “I love you, too, Jimin.” He says. “I just never expected you to say it first.” He leans forward and gently blows in Jimin’s ear, causing the ear to twitch, but it feels nice. Taehyung’s breath. “Does it mean a lot if a 9-life says it?” He asks.

“Yes.” Jimin tells him. “We never say it. We believe more in showing rather than saying, and we only say it when it feels absolutely necessary.”

“Then I just have one other question.” Taehyung says. “Do you show it a lot? To me?”

Jimin frowns and pinches Taehyung in the arm. “Of course I show it to you.” He snaps. “Why would you even ask that?”

“Okay, I didn’t mean that how it sounded.” Taehyung tells him. “I mean…what are the things that you do to show me? What’s ‘romantic’ to a 9-life? I need to know these things so I can blow you away today.”

Hoseok chooses that moment to return with Paws after having given her a bath—Taehyung makes him wash Paws everyday, and they take her to the groomers once a week—but he couldn’t have chose a worse time to return.

Jimin hops back onto his stool before Paws starts bothering him. He likes her better now, but he’s still not totally comfortable with her.

“I don’t care if Hoseok is in here.” Taehyung says. “I still want my answer.”

“You two carry on,” Hoseok says. “I’ll be starting a load of laundry and cleaning the bathrooms.”

With that, he leaves from the room.

“What was the question again?” Jimin asks when Hoseok is completely out of the room.

Paws keeps trying to jump on Jimin, so Taehyung picks her up, and she finally settles down in his arms.

“Romantic things for 9-lives.” Taehyung says.

“Oh.” Jimin has to think about it. “I don’t really know, actually.”

“Then what are things that you like, regardless?” Taehyung asks.

“I liked it when you blew in my ear.” Jimin says.

Taehyung chuckles. “Noted, but that’s not what I’m talking about.” He says. “I mean activities. Do you like long walks in the park? Lying down and looking up at the stars? Kissing under the street lights?”

“The stars.” Jimin says. “But how do you know about them? There are no stars on Earth.”

“The are stars on Earth.” Taehyung insists. “Well, they’re not on Earth, but we can see them.”

Jimin shakes his head. “Come outside with me tonight, and you’ll see. There are no stars in the sky.”

“Do you want to see the stars?” Taehyung asks. “Would you feel more at home if you could see the stars for one night?”

Jimin nods.

“Then, Kitten, I’ll take you out to where you can see the stars.” Taehyung assures him.

+++

When the evening finally rolls around their day of playing video games with the butler and Taehyung tickling the shit out of Jimin on the couch comes to an end, their Valentine’s Day celebration begins.

Paws is dropped off at Seokjin and Yoongi’s place to hang out while Taehyung and Jimin enjoy their evening together. Hoseok, on the other hand, comes with them. Jimin doesn’t really have a problem with that, but he would have preferred it if he and Taehyung came alone.

Hoseok pulls into the parking lot of some park, and they get out. Taehyung leads Jimin to a nice little area that has a single picnic table underneath a hut-looking thing—Jimin has no idea what it’s called. Hoseok quickly sets up the picnic table to look more fancy, and he even lights some candles to make the evening more romantic.

“Why?” Jimin asks when he realizes that they will be having dinner out here. Jimin expected to be going to Burger King.

Hoseok doesn’t stay after the table is set. He gives Taehyung the car keys, and he tells them that he’ll be taking the bus home.

“Well, I can’t take you out to any fancy places.” Taehyung says. “So I figured I’d try to simulate a fancy diner experience with you.”

“Oh,” Jimin breathes. He hadn’t realized how much though Taehyung put into this, and he wonder how. Until earlier today, they weren’t planning on doing any of this. How did Taehyung come up with this on the spot?

“So tell me,” Taehyung says. “Do 9-lives have any holidays?”

Jimin nods. “We have a day similar to Valentime’s Day.” He says. “It’s called the Day of Pairing, and it when all the couples of that year are made.”

“You never got paired?” Taehyung asks.

“I couldn’t,” Jimin says. “Because I—” He stops. “You know what? I think I’m going to save this story for the stars.” He says. He has a hard time believing that Taehyung can really show him the stars, so he’ll tell Taehyung about his life if Taehyung proves that the stars really are visible on Earth.”

“Fair enough,” Taehyung says, and he doesn’t push Jimin any further to tell him about it.

Jimin enjoys this dinner that he has with Taehyung. More than the experience, he just likes talking to Taehyung. He’s easy to listen to and easy to talk to. Jimin’s met a lot of humans since coming to earth, but he’s never met one quite like Taehyung. Jimin likes Taehyung. Even more than any 9-life he’s ever met, and Jimin likes 9-lives a lot better than humans. But not better than Taehyung. No one is better than Taehyung, Jimin decides.

At the end of their dinner, Taehyung and Jimin get in the car together, and they drive for nearly two hours. On the way, Jimin gets excited when he notices a few stars in the sky, and then a few more. “Wow, Taehyung, look! Look!” Jimin says while Taehyung drives. It’s still nothing compared to the amount of stars he can see at home, but they’re there just like Taehyung said they would be.

“I know, Jimin, I can see them too.” Taehyung says.

The longer Taehyung drives, the more stars Jimin can see. He only stops when the entire sky is covered with stars, and they get out of the car.

“It’s cold.” Jimin says soon as the cold wind touches his skin, and he runs over to Taehyung to hug him for warmth. A natural things for 9-lives, but sweet for humans, Jimin knows. Because of that, he likes hugging and cuddling with Taehyung, even more than with any 9-life.

“I told you didn’t I?” Taehyung asks as he pulls away from Jimin. “Stars.”

He opens the trunk of the car and he pulls out a whole pile of blankets. Jimin helps him lay the blankets down on the ground so that they’ll have a warm place to sit, and they leave one blanket for them to wrap around themselves.

“So tell me,” That seems to be three words that Taehyung likes to say. “Why were you never paired on your planet?”

“It probably won’t make sense to you.” Jimin says.

“Try me.” Taehyung tells him.

“The queen of our world is actually my mother.” He tells Taehyung. “9-lives usually have two babies at once, so I have a twin brother as well. Between me and my twin, I was selected to be the Successor.”

“The Successor?” Taehyung questions.

Jimin nods. “It means that I live a sheltered life. I stay in the castle, and the only place I get to be outside is in the courtyard.” Jimin explains. “I’m not allowed to talk to people outside of the royal family and our nobles. They’re a group of highly-trusted 9-lives, and they’re known for their morals and logic. Having me talk to them, and only them, is the way that they ensure I only know the purest of intentions when I take the throne.”

“Because talking to people with ill intentions might influence you?” Taehyung presumes.

Jimin nods again.

“So, if you’re that important, how did you end up here?” Taehyung asks. “Not that I’m complaining.”

“That’s the thing,” Jimin says. “I don’t know what happened. I was sleeping in my chambers with a few of the nobles when the Counsel stormed in and took me away, saying that I was selected to go to Earth. Of course the queen fought and said that it had to be a mistake, but there was nothing she could do when the proof was shown.”

“So what?” Taehyung asks. “Now you’re here, and probably corrupted, so what does that mean for the future of your home?”

“I don’t know,” Jimin says. “But there’s nothing I can do about it, so I try not to worry so much.”

“So,” Taehyung says. “Do you like Earth?”

“I’m learning to like it.” Jimin tells him.

“What’s your favorite thing so far?” Taehyung asks.

“Kissing.” Jimin tells him. “Even if there’s only one person I can kiss, I really like—”

And Jimin completely expects it this time when Taehyung cuts him off in his most favorite way.

“You like it that much, huh?”

“9-lives have no idea what they’re missing out on.” Jimin says. “But…” He hesitates a little. “Can we try the other thing?” Jimin can’t remember the name Taehyung told him before.

“The other thing?” Taehyung asks.

Jimin doesn’t even now how to explain it, so he just turns more toward Taehyung, and he licks Taehyung’s lips. “This?” He asks.

“I got’cha,” Taehyung says.

He also turns his body more toward Jimin, and now they’re practically wrapped up in a cocoon with the blanket. “Just follow my lead.” Taehyung says.

Jimin doesn’t have a choice, since he doesn’t actually know how to do this.

Taehyung starts with a kiss, and he kisses Jimin several times before licking along Jimin’s lips and prodding. Jimin gets the message, and he opens his mouth. Jimin flinches and tries to pull back when Taehyung’s tongue enters his mouth. He was expecting it, but it still felt weird to him. It didn’t take long, however, for Taehyung to get Jimin to enjoy it.

Jimin does just what Taehyung said, and he follows Taehyung’s lead, letting Taehyung do what he wants. It stars with soft purrs escaping Jimin’s throat, but then Jimin releases a small moan, mixed with a purr, and Taehyung’s pace picks up and he becomes slightly rougher. Jimin can’t keep up as easily anymore, his tongue not trained for this or used to this at all.

He only registers how light headed he feels and that breath and oxygen are necessary when Taehyung pulls away. Jimin inhales a large intake of air, and Taehyung laughs, scratching him behind the ear. “Is that what you what you wanted to try.”

“Yeah,” Jimin pants, still trying to catch his breath.

“We need to work on your breathing techniques, but you did well for your first time, Kitten.” Taehyung says. “Maybe we can do a little more than making out next time.”

“Next time.” Jimin says and he lies down, pulling Taehyung with him. “For now, just praise me some more. I like it when you’re nice.”

“When I’m nice?” Taehyung questions as Jimin rests his head on Taehyung’s chest, listening to Taehyung’s heartbeat. “When am I not nice?”

“All the time.” Jimin says. “Like when you make me hand you things and such.” He laughs at himself, and he can feel Taehyung sigh.

“Happy Valentime’s Day, Jimin.” Taehyung says.

“I thought it was Valentine’s Day.”

“Not for us.”

Chapter Text

“Why do humans have cars?” Jimin asks once he and Taehyung get out at the small diner that Taehyung decided to bring Jimin to. It’s a change from the Burger Kings they go to on all of their dates. This place just started accepting 9-lives as guests, so Taehyung insisted that Jimin come on a date with him to this place.

“Really?” Taehyung asks. “Two months of living in the human world, and you’re just now questioning that?”

Jimin nods. “It’s kind of boring.” He says. “Sitting in there and suddenly being at the place you want to be moments later.”

“Boring?” Taehyung questions.

Jimin nods again. “Walking is nice.” He says. “There’s really no point in living in the big city if you never take time to see it. Besides, walking inspires better conversations.”

“Does it? Tell me, if we walked here, would we be talking about cars right now?” Taehyung asks.

“Probably not.” Jimin admits.

“Then I think cars inspire plenty of conversation.” Taehyung says as they wait in line.

“Why do you have Hoseok drive you everywhere?” Jimin asks, wanting to learn as much about car culture as he can. It’s clearly a big part of human’s lives, so it must be important. “Most people I see drive their own cars and put them on the side of the street or in car houses.”

“Those car houses you speak of are called parking garages.” Taehyung says. “And I have Hoseok drive me everywhere because I don’t want to have to pay for parking. It’s ridiculously expensive.”

“But you have a lot of money.” Jimin points out.

“Because I don’t waste it on parking.” Taehyung says.

And Jimin wonders if everyone would be as rich as Taehyung if they stopped paying for parking. “But…do you pay to have it parked in the parking garage at your house?” Jimin asks.

“No, and at the house, it’s not a parking garage. It’s just a garage.” Taehyung tells him.

“Why?” Jimin asks.

“Why what?” Taehyung questions.

“Why isn’t it called a parking garage if it’s at your house?” Jimin asks. “You park it in that garage, too, don’t you?”

“Because a parking garage is for public use and holds many cars.” Taehyung informs him.

“But then, shouldn’t it be called public garages instead of parking garages?” Jimin points out. “I mean, parking doesn’t mean public or many. It just means parking, right?”

“You have a point, but stop saying parking. It’s starting to sound weird now.” Taehyung says.

Finally, one of the people who have been standing in the front as people go on ask Jimin and Taehyung if they’ll be taking a table for just the two of them. She then leads them to a small table that’s not outside, but in an area that seems outside with how big the windows are. She sets menus down in front of them before walking away.

“You ask me all the time about human stuff,” Taehyung says. “But I like hearing about 9-lives things, too. Tell me something new about your world.”

It’s true that they don’t talk about Jimin’s home a lot. Taehyung is interested in it and he asks about it once in a while, but Jimin lives in the human world, so it’s kind of more important that he knows about it. That’s why he asks so many questions.

“Well, we don’t have parking garages.” Jimin says. “And people aren’t rich or poor in our world.”

“No?” Taehyung asks.

Jimin shakes his head. “We’re a community, and we live together. We support each other and share everything.”

“Really?” Taehyung asks. “But Jungkook said that the separation from rich and poor is even more severe on your planet than here.”

“I don’t think so.” Jimin tells him. “I’ve never seen anyone get any less than I have.”

“Then, maybe the culture of the castle where you lived is different.” Taehyung says. “You didn’t get out and see the people of your city, right? So you wouldn’t know about their conditions.”

“Are you trying to tell me that you know more about my home than I do?” Jimin demands.

“I’m not the one who said it. This information came from Jungkook.” Taehyung tells him.

“Yeah, and Jungkook also told me that you just want to take advantage of me. He said that you are human and humans aren’t nice to people without ulterior motives, but he’s wrong.” Jimin insists. “Jungkook is a liar. You can’t believe everything he says.”

“What if he’s right, though?” Taehyung asks. “What if the people outside of the castle, those who aren’t rich, are living horrible lives?”

“They’re not.” Jimin pressures. “I can’t do anything about it, anyway. I’m stuck here.”

“Do you want to go back?” Taehyung asks.

“No.” Jimin says easily. Maybe if he hadn’t met Taehyung. Maybe if Taehyung hadn’t shown him that the world he lives in is actually a pretty decent place once you get used to it. Maybe if he didn’t feel like he was falling in love…he would want to go back. There’s no way to bring Taehyung with him, so Jimin’s not going anywhere. “I’ve said it before. This is my home now.”

~*~

After lunch at the diner, which beat every other date in Burger King, Jimin and Taehyung left to go get some ice cream. Taehyung ended up being a jerk and starting a war with the ice cream, getting him and Jimin all sticky and dirty, leading them to have Hoseok come and pick them up and take them home so they can get cleaned up.

“You can shower first.” Jimin offers. Honestly, he hates the shower. He only takes them because Taehyung makes him. “I’ll wait.”

“Jimin, we’re both a mess.” Taehyung point out. “We might as well shower together.”

Jimin looks up, eyes wide. In the time that he’s been with Taehyung, the two have never done anything like showering together. Jimin didn’t even know that was an option. “We can do that?” He asks.

Taehyung laughs, and he ruffles Jimin’s hair. “Come on,” He says, pulling Jimin’s arm. “You might actually enjoy this.”

Chapter Text

Jimin and Taehyung have never showered together before. Jimin didn’t think that humans actually did anything like that. Of course, Taehyung joked about it on the first day that he met Jimin, but Jimin never thought that this was something that humans actually did. They don’t seem to like to share anything.

Needless to say, Jimin’s excited about showering with Taehyung. So much that he fails to think of any ulterior motives that the human might have in mind.

The two go to the bathroom together, and Jimin finally realizes what this means. He has to undress and be naked in front of Taehyung for the first time. Jimin has been naked in front of people before. His people. The 9-lives. It means nothing to them. To be naked in front of a human…that’s a bit different. Humans don’t just get changed in front of each other like the 9-lives do. They don’t walk around in limited clothing during the hot summer months like the 9-lives do. Humans are much more conservative than their 9-life counterparts.

Jimin has already seen a lot of Taehyung’s skin on multiple occasions. He sleep in his underwear on hot nights, so Jimin has seen Taehyung down as far as his underwear. Now, he’s exposed to his boyfriend, Taehyung is fully exposed to him.

Taehyung turns the shower on, and Jimin flinches when the water hits his skin. He really hates showers.

“Relax, Kitten.” Taehyung says, pulling Jimin under the water so that he can get wet.

Taehyung lives in a really big house, and his bathroom is insanely big. There are three different shower heads to soak them from three different angles, and Jimin hates it. What he does like, however, is that the shower is plenty big enough for them to be in here together without getting in each other’s way.

Taehyung runs his fingers through Jimin’s hair as it gets soaked by the spray of the shower heads. Jimin relaxes as he focuses on the soothing feeling, Taehyung scratching behind his ears. “You know, you’re actually really bad at washing up.” Taehyung says. “You never quite get all the soap out of your hair, and you always forget to clean your ears. And I don’t think you ever wash your tail.”

Jimin glares at him, snarling. “Shut the fuck up, Taehyung.” Jimin snaps, swatting Taehyung’s hands away from him. “I didn’t agree to shower with you so that you could belittle me, you asshole.”

“Why do you always think I’m trying to insult you?” Taehyung asks, laughing. “I think it’s really cute that you don’t know how to wash yourself properly.”

“Yeah, well I don’t like you constantly pointing out how I don’t know how to do basic human things.” Jimin says, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Dear Jimin,” Taehyung says, squirting some shampoo into Jimin’s hair. “If I wanted a boyfriend who could do basic human things, I’d have gotten myself one a long time ago, but I didn’t. That would have been boring. You, my sweet kitten, are never boring.”

Jimin glares again, but his expression soon relaxes and softens. “I wish all humans were as sweet as you.” He says, sighing and letting his eyes flutter shut as Taehyung begins massaging the shampoo into his scalp.

“I’m glad they’re not.” Taehyung says. “Then I’d have some serious competition to face.”

Jimin opens one eye to look at Taehyung. “Does that mean I should be worried about other 9lives? Since they are so different from humans?” Jimin asks.

Taehyung laughs as he begins washing the soap out of Jimin’s hair. “No,” Taehyung says. “Other 9lives are taught how to live in the human world before coming over here. You are one of a kind, Prince Jimin.”

Taehyung washes his own hair while Jimin washes his body. One they are both clean, Taehyung helps Jimin finish up by shampooing his tail as well. Jimin hates it. Every second of it. It feels weird with water pouring all of his tail, Taehyung massaging the shampoo all the way down the skin, and even rinsing it out. Jimin hates having his tail washed.

“There,” Taehyung says, turning Jimin around once he has all of the shampoo and conditioner washed out of Jimin’s tail. “All clean, sweet kitten.”

Jimin allows Taehyung to push him to the back of the shower, and he welcomes Taehyung’s lips on his own when Taehyung leans forward to kiss him. He allows the kisses all the way down his neck, but his breath hitches and he shoves Taehyung away when he kisses Jimin’s nipple.

“What the hell are you doing?” Jimin demands, panting.

“Letting you know that I appreciate your nipples. Even if you don’t have six of them, like I really wanted you to.” Taehyung tells him.

“Well, don’t do that.” Jimin snaps. “It felt weird.”

“Bad weird?” Taehyung asks, raising an eyebrow at the 9life before him. “Or good weird?”

“I-I don’t know,” Jimin says. “Just weird, okay?”

Taehyung smirks, and he shuts the water off. “Come on,” He says. “It’s time to dry off.”

After Taehyung and Jimin are dried off, all except for their still wet hair, and Jimin’s tail, Taehyung goes for that thing that he always uses when he gets out of the shower. Jimin has no idea what it’s called, but it looks like a gun and it shoots out hot air. It’s incredibly loud, but it practically speed dries Taehyung’s hair when he uses it.

Jimin almost screams when Taehyung turns it on and aims it toward Jimin’s head. He scratches Taehyung by accident before running to the other side of the bathroom. “What the hell are you doing?” Jimin demands as Taehyung falls into the floor with a laughing fit.

“I’m sorry,” Taehyung says, trying to catch his breath. “I’m sorry, Jimin. I didn’t think you’d be scared of the blowdryer. Look, I’ll turn it on a lower setting, okay?”

“No!” Jimin shrieks, backing further into the corner. “I don’t want that thing near me.”

“Jimin, it’s not going to hurt you.” Taehyung says, dragging Jimin toward the counter again. “I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you. If you trust me, then trust the blowdryer, okay? I’ll start with your tail so that the sound isn’t right by your ears at first.”

Taehyung turns what he calls the ‘blowdryer’ back on, and he begins using it on Jimin’s tail. It feels weird, the air pushing his furs in this direction and that direction. When his tail is completely dry, Jimin feels a bit more comfortable with the machine, and he allows Jimin to use it on his head, too.

Once everything is done, he looks in the mirror to see how he looks. His hair is clean. His ears are clean. And his tail is fluffier than it has been ever since he grew out of the soft, plush, kitten fur stage years ago. He looks really clean, and really good if he says so himself, and he has Taehyung to thank for it. “Maybe we should shower together more often.” Jimin mumbles, shy. “Like, I wouldn’t mind showering with you every night.”

“We’ll make it a thing.” Taehyung says, ruffling Jimin’s hair and messing up everything he just did with it. “Now, can I try fondling your nipples again? I have to know if it was a bad weird or a good weird.”

“Go to hell, Kim Taehyung.” Jimin snaps.

“Park Jimin! Where did you learn that?” Taehyung asks, teasing him.

“I watch TV.”

Chapter Text

The next time Jimin meets with Jungkook is at Taehyung’s work again. The two wait in the lounge while all the company employees go to some business meeting.

“Hey, Jungkook,” Jimin says, sitting down in one of the large chairs with a cup of hot chocolate. Jungkook got him to try coffee once, but Jimin spat it out, deciding that it was too bitter and disgusting and humans liked some nasty ass shit. “There’s something I want to ask you about.”

“There’s always something you want to ask me about.” Jungkook says, propping his feet up on the coffee table from his chair. “Go on.”

Jimin doesn’t fully trust Jungkook. He thinks that this cat is a liar if he’s ever seen one. Still, he’s the only other 9life Jimin can talk to, and, quite frankly, Jimin likes talking to 9lives when he’s unsure about human things. Jungkook is really the only person who understands why Jimin would be confused on some aspects of the human culture.

“I showered with Taehyung.” Jimin says.

“And?” Jungkook asks.

Jimin doesn’t say anything. He just bites his lip and looks at Jungkook.

“You don’t meant to tell me that you two still haven’t done anything, yet?” Jungkook asks. “Seriously, Jimin? How long are you going to make him wait?”

“We did do something.” Jimin assures the younger 9life. “Well, he did something. He kissed me. On my nipple.” Jimin practically whispers the last three words.

“That’s it?” Jungkook asks, raising an eyebrow at Jimin.

“Well…it felt weird, and I didn’t know what to do” Jimin says.

“You don’t have to do anything.” Jungkook says. “Taehyung knows what he wants, so just let him take the lead. He’ll take care of you.”

“Really? Before you were talking about how he’s taking advantage of me.” Jimin says, setting his hot chocolate on the coffee table.

“I said that because I was jealous of you.” Jungkook admits. “You came here without being assigned to a master at all, and you ended up with Taehyung who takes care of you and showers you with love and cherishes you. Most cats that just showed up like you did would have gotten picked up and sold into prostitution, probably, but not you. Not Park Jimin.”

“But you have Namjoon.” Jimin points out.

“It’s not the same.” Jungkook says, huffing a laugh, sounding almost spiteful. “I cherish my master, but he doesn’t care anything for me the way Taehyung cares about you.”

Jimin doesn’t say anything. Jungkook only speaks again when Jimin remains silent for a few minutes. “You said you have a question.” Jungkook reminds him. “I don’t believe you ever asked it.”

“Oh, right.” Jimin says. “I…um…wanted to ask if you could tell me about sex?”

“Sex.” Jungkook repeats the word. “I can teach you whatever you want to know, but first, I want to ask you something. What did they teach you in the castle? I mean, surely they had to have taught you different positions and ways of pleasing your partner right?”

Jimin shakes his head. “I didn’t learn anything.” He says.

“You never saw anyone having sex?” Jungkook asks. According to what he says about the capital city where he lives, it’s extremely rare to go anywhere without seeing a few love-making sessions, but Jimin’s never seen those. Not in the castle.

He shakes his head again.

“Ever touch yourself?” Jungkook asks, trying to get an idea of where to start.

“Um…yes.” Jimin says, and he touches his own arm.

Jungkook rises from his spot and walks around the coffee table. Suddenly, he’s sitting on top of Jimin. “I mean,” He says, and he grabs Jimin’s crotch, making Jimin gasp and shove him off. “Have you ever touched yourself? Like, have you ever experienced an orgasm?”

“I…no.” Jimin admits.

Jungkook sighs. “If you weren’t so damn innocent, I would have a hard time believing you.” Jungkook says. “I’m just wondering how much of a pain in the groin puberty had to have been for you.”

He walks over to the break room table, and he waves Jimin over. When Jimin meets him, Jungkook is pulling a computer out of Namjoon’s bag, and Jimin grabs his wrist to stop him. “What are you doing?” Jimin asks, worried that Jungkook will get in trouble if Namjoon finds him on his computer.

“You’ve got a lot to learn,” Jungkook says. “And only my Master has the best resource for that stored on his hard drive.”

Jimin’s ears and tail twitches in curiosity. “Porn.” Jungkook says. “It may be a bit unrealistic sometimes, but it’ll teach you the basics.”

Jimin sits with him, and Jungkook logs into the computer. He goes into some files and doing shit that Jimin doesn’t understand—never having messed with human computers before—and, suddenly, there’s a video displayed on the screen just like a TV. Jungkook starts it, and Jimin watches.

It starts off like a lot of the shows Jimin has seen on TV. There’s a couple making out. After a while, the guy lifts the girl up by her thighs, and he presses his crotch against hers, and she makes some weird sounds. “Aren’t they supposed to be naked?” Jimin asks, not really understanding what’s going on.

“O-on second thought,” Jungkook says, closing the computer. “Maybe it’s better that I don’t show you this.”

“Jungkook, I want to see it.” Jimin says. “I want to understand.”

Jungkook shakes his head, slipping the computer back into Namjoon’s bag. “I can’t.” He says. “You’re too innocent and pure…and I really shouldn’t be the one to taint you. You belong to Taehyung, so that’s his responsibility.”

“Jungkook, come on.” Jimin begs, but before he gets to ask to see it again, the humans show up.

“Come on, Jimin.” Taehyung says. “It’s lunch time.”

Chapter Text

“Jimin, you do know that you can ask me about anything you want to know, right?” Taehyung asks as he and Jimin take their seat and wait on one of the workers to bring them their food.

“I know,” Jimin assures him.

“So, if there’s something you want to know about anything, including sex, you really don’t have to go to Jungkook about it.”

The 9life stares at his boyfriend, wondering if he somehow knows about the conversation Jungkook and Jimin were having before Taehyung came to call Jimin for lunch. “I…was I not supposed to?” Jimin asks, not really sure what humans consider ‘cheating.’ On the 9life planet, a concept like cheating doesn’t really exist, but Jimin has learned a lot about the idea from watching television. He knows that he shouldn’t kiss people. Taehyung even made sure to tell him that. He knows that he shouldn’t ‘hit on’ other people, but he never knew that talking about sex with other people wasn’t allowed. He had often seen girls on TV talking about their sex lives to their girl friends, so Jimin thought it was okay.

“That depends.” Taehyung says. “What did Jungkook tell you?”

“Nothing, actually.” Jimin tells him. “Since I don’t know anything, he was going to show me a video, but he changed his mind once it started.”

Taehyung’s expression is unreadable. It’s hard to tell if he’s angry or upset about this, and it makes Jimin nervous. He didn’t mean to upset Taehyung. “How much did you see?” Taehyung asks.

“Um.” Jimin doesn’t know how to answer that. “Nothing? I thought that people were supposed to naked when they were having sex, but they were still wearing clothes. The guy held the girls up and pressed her against the wall, and they kissed—you know, similar to when we showered together.”

“You’re cute.” Taehyung says. “So cute that I almost don’t want to do anything to you. I don’t want to ruin this rare innocence that you have about you.”

“What if I want you to?” Jimin asks, staring straight into Taehyung’s eyes.

It’s at that moment that the girl finally brings their burgers to them and sets them down on the table before walking away.

“Then I think I can afford to take the rest of the day off, and we just head home.” Taehyung says.

Taehyung is really good to Jimin. Sure, he might tease him a lot, and he might trick him into believing things that aren’t true because Jimin is extremely naive with his limited knowledge of this world. He might do all that, but he’s honestly good to Jimin. He never makes a move on him. If he does, he backs of when Jimin says that he doesn’t want it. In fact, Jimin does want it. He’s just scared because he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He doesn’t want to seem inexperienced compared to his boyfriend.

“Can we?” Jimin asks, his tail twitching with interest. He’d been thinking about this ever since Taehyung kissed him in the shower.

“If that’s what you want,” Taehyung says, and he goes to unwrap his cheeseburger. “We’ll eat and—”

“Now.” Jimin says, grabbing Taehyung’s wrist. “Please, Taehyung.”

Taehyung stares at Jimin for a moment before grabbing his wrist and pulling him up from the table. He grabs the tray and pulls Jimin along behind him. “You are going to be the death of me, sweet kitten.” He says as he tosses the food in the trash before dragging Jimin out of the restaurant.

*

Hoseok shows up in five minutes, and Taehyung shoves Jimin into the car. It’s quite different from the always gentle treatment he gets from his boyfriend, but Jimin kind of likes it. In a weird way, but he really likes it.

Taehyung pushes Jimin back into the seat so that he’s lying down, and he climbs on top of him. He kisses Jimin as Hoseok drives off, and Jimin tries to shove him off. “Taehyung,” He gasps one he’s finally got his boyfriend’s mouth away from his. “Not with Hoseok here.”

“He doesn’t mind.” Taehyung assures his little kitten before pressing kisses all over Jimin’s neck, and Jimin wonders how many people Hoseok has seen Taehyung do this to. Jimin wants to be the only one. God, he wants to be the only one to experience Taehyung like this.

By the time they arrive at Taehyung’s house again, Taehyung had only gotten as far as kissing. When Hoseok opens the door for him, Taehyung pulls Jimin out of the car, carrying him into the house similar to how the man was holding the girl in the video Jungkook had shown him earlier. Only this is sexier because it’s Taehyung carrying him and Taehyung’s mouth on his. Not some random people that Jimin doesn’t care about in some porn video.

Taehyung easily walks them to the bedroom, something he can’t even manage in the dark—always hitting his knees on the corners of furnitures and earning himself a laugh from Jimin who has no trouble seeing in the dark—but he maneuvers around the house with ease while Jimin is blocking off his vision.

Jimin gasps into Taehyung’s mouth when Taehyung walks him into a wall. Taehyung presses his hips forward, grinding on Jimin just as Jimin had seen the man in the video do, and Jimin suddenly understands why the girl was making those strange sounds. Jimin moans, feeling himself grow hard, and he finds himself grinding back to increase the pressure and friction and make it feel so good.

“Where do you want to do this?” Taehyung asks, pulling back from Jimin’s mouth, a thin trail of saliva acting as the only link between his lips and Jimin’s.

“What?” Jimin asks, panting, his mind completely blank, unable to think of what Taehyung is trying to ask him. He’s more frustrated that Taehyung stopped moving his hips.

“There are lots of places we could do this.” Taehyung tells him. “Here. On the dresser. On the bed. In the shower.”

“I don’t…Taehyung, I don’t care.” Jimin says. “Just please—”

“Bed it is.” Taehyung says, and he makes a move, throwing Jimin on the bed, and Jimin yelps when his body comes into contact with the mattress. Jimin hears Paws barking somewhere outside of the room, but before she can even make it in, Taehyung as the door closed, and he’s joining Jimin on the bed.

He crawls on top of the 9life, kissing him as he has multiple times before, but the way he keeps grinding his hips against Jimin is madness. Jimin keeps letting out soft moans and breaths combines with purrs, and he grips the bottom of Taehyung’s shirt.

When Jimin thought about sex before, he always viewed it as something gross, and he always thought people who wanted it all the time were perverts. He thought it was nothing more than just a simple activity for people to make each other feel nice, but he realizes that he was wrong. Until this moment, he never realized how much he actually wanted Taehyung, and he feels like he has so much of Taehyung right now. He realizes that this activity might not be bad at all, but a way for couples to experience each other to the fullest.

“Are you okay?” Taehyung asks, checking Jimin’s comfort level as his cold hands slip under Jimin’s shirt.

Jimin nods, not wanting Taehyung to stop. He doesn’t know what he wants Taehyung to do, just as long as he doesn’t stop.

Taehyung pulls Jimin’s shirt over his head, and he presses a kiss to Jimin’s nipple, and Jimin easily decides that it was a good kind of weird feeling. He’s grabbing Taehyung’s hands and trying to stop him, however, when Taehyung’s fingers slip under the waistband of his jeans to work at the fastenings.

“Should we stop?” Taehyung asks.

JImin shakes his head. “No,” He breathes, desperate. “It’s just…I don’t know what to do.”

Taehyung smiles, and he leans forward to capture Jimin’s lips in a chaste kiss as he scratches Jimin behinds his ear, causing the 9life to relax significantly—those behind-the-ear scratches feeling a million times better in the heat of the moment. “You, my sweet kitten, need to absolutely nothing.” Taehyung says. “I’ll take care of everything.”

“Great,” Jimin says, fighting to get up, but Taehyung keeps him pinned down on the mattress. “This is just one more way you have control over me, huh? Well, you can just forget it. I changed my mind, I don’t want to do this anymore.” Jimin tries to get Taehyung to let him go, but Taehyung is much too strong for the cat to fight off. “Fuck, let go of me, you controlling asshole!”

Taehyung laughs while dropping his head into the crook of Jimin’s neck and nipping at the sensitive skin there. “God, I fucking love you, Kitten.” Taehyung says, his voice full of affection which causes Jimin’s heart to fill with it. “I’ll leave you alone,” He says, pulling back off of Jimin. “But…” He looks at the obvious bulge in Jimin’s pants. “Do you even know how to deal with that on your own?”

“I…” Jimin starts.

“Touch yourself.” Taehyung says.

Jimin’s not an idiot. Well, not anymore, anyway. He knows that that means now, but he pretends to have no clue. “What?” He asks, tilting his head in curiosity.

Taehyung grab’s Jimin’s hand, does quick to undo the fastening of Jimin’s pants, and he shoves his hand down there for him. Jimin whines when he feels his hand brush against his own member, and Taehyung tells him to grab it. “Sweet Jimin, porn can’t even begin to teach you everything I know.” Taehyung says, pulling a mischievous grin at the 9life.

Chapter Text

Right now, Jimin really hates Taehyung. He hates the way he just sits there and watches Jimin touch himself. He hates the way he looks at Jimin with half-lidded eyes, as if he’s a delicious piece of warm meat that Taehyung would love to sink his teeth into. He hates the way Taehyung makes him feel like prey—torturing him and playing around with him for a while before he goes in for the kill.

With a click of his tongue, Jimin can tell that Taehyung isn’t fully satisfied. Taehyung crawls forward on the bed, squeezing his large hand around Jimin’s smaller one, forcing the 9-life’s grip to tighten around his cock, and Jimin throws his head back, not knowing how to cope with these sensations. “You shouldn’t be so hesitant,” Taehyung says, and it feels so much better when Taehyung kisses him this time. He thought he liked kisses before, but he finds himself in absolutely bliss right now.

Everything right now just seems too much to Jimin. He’s had Taehyung close to him before, but it’s very different with Taehyung seeing him in this state. Taehyung guiding him and telling him exactly what to do.

“Turn over for me.” Taehyung says when he breaks away from Jimin’s mouth. He speaks so easily without a catch in breath, and Jimin can only assume it’s because he stole all the air from Jimin’s lugs—taking his breath away.

“Wh—what?” Jimin asks. With his limited knowledge, Jimin can’t really tell if this is a normal request or not, but he knows that he likes seeing Taehyung’s face. If he turns over, that won’t be so easy.

“You said 9-lives always lick each other, right?” Taehyung asks, and Jimin nods. He’s sure that Taehyung has some ulterior motive here, but he hasn’t done anything that Jimin didn’t like so far, so he decides to trust him and follow orders when Taehyung says again: “So turn over for me.”

Jimin rolls onto his stomach, and Taehyung’s strong hands pulls him up by his hips, settling him on his hands and knees. He pushes down on Jimin’s shoulder so that his front goes forward and his ass is sticking straight up in the air.

Jimin learns that humans are apparently okay with kissing anywhere when Taehyung places a wet kiss right on Jimin’s ass cheek right before spreading them apart and licking up between the crease. Jimin cringes and his hands fist in the bed sheets as he breathes out Taehyung’s name in one, shaky breath.

“No one’s ever licked you like this before?” Taehyung asks.

“N-no,” Jimin admits, and he can only hope that’s the answer Taehyung wants to hear.

“Good,” Taehyung says. “I think you’ll like this. Just relax for me.”

Jimin does. He tries to relax as Taehyung told him to, but he tenses again when Taehyung licks him again. With firm press of his tongue against Jimin’s hole, he licks up only to prod at the entrance when the tips of his tongue reaches that point. It hurts as the muscle pushes its way through, and Jimin whines out loud, gripping so tight on the bed sheets that his knuckles start turning white.

What starts as pain turns into pleasure as Taehyung’s tongue thrusts in and out, and Jimin finds himself sticking his ass out more—begging Taehyung to continue. The other grabs Jimin’s hand and brings it back to his hard member. Jimin gets the hint and he strokes himself as he had been doing earlier. His moans are mixed with purrs, and he just finds himself making all sorts of sounds he never knew he was capable of making.

“Tae…hah…Tae…” Jimin tries when he gets a funny feeling in his stomach.

Taehyung moves his mouth from Jimin’s ass, and he flips the smaller one over. Jimin loses breath once again as his back hits the mattress, but he doesn’t find himself caring much about that when Taehyung kisses him again. “You okay?” Taehyung asks, examining Jimin’s face when he pulls back.

“Yeah…just…” Jimin wants to ask what the hell that was that they were just doing, but Taehyung is soon reaching to the table at the side of his bed and pulling something out of the drawer.

It’s a bottle. Inside the bottle is some kind of liquid that Taehyung takes his time in coating his fingers with. “This is your first time, so I’m going to be nice.” Taehyung says, and bring his mouth next to Jimin ear and his finger near Jimin’s entrance. “I’m going to make a mess of you, but I’ll be nice.”

He blows on Jimin’s ear, making it twitch to distract him from the finger pushing inside of him. This time it does hurt as much as when Taehyung’s tongue was inside of him, but it’s still a weird and uncomfortable feeling, and Jimin digs his fingers into Taehyung’s arms, looking for comfort.

“You’re okay, Kitten.” Taehyung hums, and he kisses Jimin this time to distract him from a second finger. It’s still not painful, and he’s slowly getting used to the feeling—pleasure taking over the uncomfortable feeling.

When he opens his eyes to look at Taehyung, he can see the younger one examining his face, and he occasionally asks Jimin about his level of comfort. “If anything hurts, we can stop,” Taehyung promises. Even with the slight pain from earlier, Jimin knows he doesn’t want to stop. He had never experienced anything like this in his twenty ears of life. At the same time, though, he wonders how they’ll know when they’re done.

Instead of asking question, Jimin just follows all of Taehyung’s orders. He spreads his legs obediently when Taehyung pulls his fingers out, and he allows Taehyung to settle between them when he’s done prepping himself. Jimin wraps his legs around Taehyung’s waist only to squeeze his legs around him when he feels something hard poking at his entrance.

“Relax, Kitten,” Taehyung giggles.

Relaxing is a lot easier said than done, but Jimin tries his best. He hadn’t really been scared until now, and, even still, his own curiosity is stronger than his fear, so he tries not to let Taehyung know that he’s even the slightest bit scared.

“Ready?” Taehyung asks, his voice gentle as ever.

Jimin grips the bedsheets again, ready for whatever pain he has coming his way, and he nods, nibbling on his lip. Taehyung leans forward to kiss him as he sinks into Jimin’s waiting heat, and Jimin can only whine into his mouth as he fully sheathes himself in Jimin’s ass.

It’s only then that Jimin worries about Hoseok or Paws hearing them from somewhere in the house, but Taehyung easily brings his mind back to him as he starts to move. Jimin might not know a lot, but he’s positive Taehyung is good at this. He has to be with how good he’s able to make Jimin feel. Even when it starts off with pain, it’s not enough to get him to ask Taehyung to stop.

Jimin digs his claws into Taehyung’s back, the younger groaning, probably at the pain, and he bites onto Jimin’s shoulder as he picks up speed. Jimin is sure that, if Hoseok doesn’t hear all the sounds coming from Jimin’s mouth, he definitely hears the headboard banging against the wall as Taehyung fucks into Jimin.

It’s not long before Taehyung hits a spot inside of Jimin that makes him sees starts, and his soft burs turn into a loud moan. As Taehyung penetrates that spot with every roll of his hips back into Jimin, Jimin feels that familiar feeling at the pit of his stomach, and his vision soon goes white. He’s in a temporary state of euphoria, an excellent feeling of bliss washing over him, and he feels more sensitive as Taehyung continues before pulling out just a little while later.

The younger one collapses down beside Jimin, and he ties his condom off before tossing it into the trash can. Jimin lies there with a sticky mess on his stomach, and he’s sure that he doesn’t like the feeling as it seems to dry and harden.

“So basically,” Taehyung says, and it’s so much hotter now that he’s a little breathless, too. He whips up some of the white liquid on Jimin’s stomach with his hands, and he brings his fingers to Jimin’s lips. Jimin gets the hint, and he licks and sucks Taehyung’s fingers clean with intent. “That’s sex, my sweet kitten.”

Jimin decides to ignore the uncomfortable, itching sensation on his stomach for the time being, and he rolls over to face his boyfriend with a content smile on his face. He’s still trying to catch his breath, but his breathing has evened out by now. “I can see why you humans like it so much.” Jimin says, nuzzling his face under Taehyung’s chin. His heart swells with love and affection from boyfriend. It’s different from before. Better than before. “I just don’t like…”

“I know,” Taehyung says, and he kisses Jimin’s forehead. “Unfortunately, I don’t know of a way to avoid the mess.” He hums, and Jimin realizes how much he likes the sound of Taehyung’s voice. “Let’s go get you cleaned up.”

Chapter Text

“You did it.”

Jungkook’s words came so suddenly that they caught Jimin off guard, causing the smaller 9-life to flinch and drop the chocolate bar he was trying to open.

“Did what?” Jimin demands, having no idea what his friend, if he could call Jungkook that, was talking about.

“You did it.” Jungkook says, as if putting emphasis on a particular word would clear up any misunderstanding between them. Jimin was still confused.

“I did a lot of things.” Jimin says, bending down to pick up his chocolate bar and continue trying to rip the packaging open. “I wasted my money on this stupid chocolate bar that’s permanently sealed, so I can’t even eat it.”

Jimin sighs, and he takes a seat at the break room table, tossing the chocolate bar down onto the surface.

Jungkook takes the treat up into his hand as he joins Jimin, and he opens it with ease. “Don’t you mean Taehyung’s money?” Jungkook questions, raising an eyebrow at Jimin. “9-lives are slaves. They don’t have jobs, and they don’t get paid.”

Jimin snatches his chocolate back from Jungkook, and he doesn’t even bother thanking him for opening it. “Taehyung gives me an allowance.” Jimin says. “Money that I can do whatever I want with, but I still have no idea what you are talking about. What do you mean by it?”

A roll of Jungkook’s eyes tells Jimin that whatever it is, it should be obvious, and Jungkook is simply thinking that Jimin is an idiot right now. With the more experienced 9-life, and his human friends, Jimin constantly feels like an idiot, so there’s nothing new there. “I mean…you and Taehyung.” Jungkook says, nudging Jimin. “You finally let him—”

“Oh. That.” Jimin says, mentally slapping himself in the face because should have been obvious. “Yeah. We did that.” He adds as if it’s the most simple, normal, and natural thing in the world…because it is. Isn’t it? Then he wonders. “How did you know?”

Jungkook just smiles at him. “I can just tell.” He says. “You look at Taehyung differently now.”

“I-I do?” Jimin asks, slightly offended, though he doesn’t know if that should be a good thing or a bad thing.

“It’s not a bad thing,” Jungkook says. “I actually think it’s cute. Seeing you stare at him like you want him to sneak you away and make a mess of you.”

Jimin presses his palms to his cheeks to keep Jungkook from seeing how flustered he feels. “Why though?” Jimin asks. “Why is it only Taehyung?”

“What do you mean?” Jungkook asks.

“I mean…why is Taehyung the only one who makes me feel…the way he makes me feel?” Jimin asks, not really knowing how to explain it. “Why do I want him to touch me, but I don’t really think about you touching me? Or anyone else for that matter? Is it because Taehyung is the only who has touched me?”

“You know, when you first got here, you were really curious.” Jungkook says. “You still are, but not as much. Do you remember kissing Yoongi the first time you met him?”

Jimin nods, but he’s not sure what that has to do with his question.

“Do you think about kissing him now?” Jungkook questions.

Jimin shakes his head. “Only Taehyung.” He says.

“It’s a funny little thing that humans and 9-lives tend to have in common.” Jungkook tells him. “I don’t think anyone can explain it, but we tend to fall in love with a single person. Some people fall in love with more people, but the person we fall in love with tends to affect us in ways that people we aren’t in love with don’t.”

Jimin nods, listening as Jungkook speaks. “But I love you,” He says.

“You can love someone without being in-love with them.” Jungkook says.

Jimin rests his head on the table, his ears drooping and his tail twitching in confusion. “It’s confusing.” He says, but then he gets a bright idea, and he lifts his head up, his ears going right back up in excitement. “Kiss me.” Jimin orders.

“What?” Jungkook asks.

“Kiss me.”

“Jimin, you can’t just—”

“I don’t care if this is Earth,” Jimin says, more authoritarian now. “I’m still your prince, and you should listen when I command you to do something.”

Jungkook looks confused for a moment, and Jimin realizes it’s probably because he hasn’t told Jungkook his whole origin story like he has to Taehyung, so Jungkook had no idea that Jimin was even the prince. Jimin is glad that Jungkook doesn’t question him about it, but he still doesn’t obey.

“That explains a lot.” Jungkook says, almost under his breath, as if he just came to a realization. He looks back at Jimin and clears his throat. “But I can’t kiss you, Jimin.”

“Why not?” Jimin questions, more curious than he is upset.

“Because there’s someone I like, and…unlike you, I know that I like him, and I don’t want to kiss anyone else.” Jungkook says.

“Someone that you’re in love with?” Jimin questions, and Jungkook nods. “Namjoon?”

Jungkook doesn’t say anything, but he avoids eye contact. After watching for a moment, he think he sees a wet glaze over Jungkook’s eyes, like he might cry.

“I’m nothing to him,” Jungkook snaps. He’s angry, Jimin can tell, but not at him. Not at Jimin, but…maybe at himself? It’s hard to tell.

“Jungkook—”

“I do everything for him. I clean for him. I bathe him. I go to bed with him and let him have his way with me.” Jungkook lists off a few things, but Jimin knows that there’s a lot more. “I’m loyal to him, but all he cares about…” He stops himself. “And then there’s you. Taehyung loves you, and you’re too stupid to realize what that even means—

Jungkook—” Jimin jumps in, highly offended.

“Well, you are.” Jungkook insists. “You are so lucky to have found a human who cares about you like Taehyung does, and you just want to try kissing me for the fun of it. Do you know how that would make Taehyung feel? Do you even care?”

“I…” Jimin doesn’t even know what to say. “I do care.”

Jungkook huffs, and Jimin is only getting angry with him. “I should have known you were the prince.” He says. “There’s no way a common 9-life could come to Earth and expect to be treated like royalty.”

Jungkook!” Jimin shouts, now seriously angry. “I know you’re upset because Namjoon doesn’t take care of you in the same way Taehyung takes care of me, but that doesn’t give you the right to take it out on me. It’s not my fault your master is an asshole.”

Jimin is awarded with a slap in the face, and, honestly, he should have seen that coming. It stings and brings tears to Jimin’s eyes, but he’s sure he deserves it for talking bad about Jungkook’s master like that. Jimin would be angry if someone were to talk bad about Taehyung—but, of course, Taehyung isn’t Jimin’s master.

“Shit,” Jungkook breathes, and he removes Jimin’s hand from his cheek so that he can examine the damage that he did. “Jimin, I’m so sorry. Dammit.” He actually sounds apologetic, but Jimin doesn’t blame him. He was already upset, and Jimin shouldn’t have provoked him. 9-lives tend to be quite feisty when they get angry.

“Jungkook, it’s fine.” Jimin insists, pushing the younger 9-life off of him. “It doesn’t even hurt.”

“It’s not fine.” Jungkook says. “Taehyung is going to kill me.”

Then Jimin comes up with another brilliant idea, and he smiles at Jungkook. “He won’t,” Jimin assures his friend. “If you let me hit you back.”

Jungkook stares at him, worried, but he gives in. “Fine,” He says, and as soon as the word leaves his mouth, Jimin slaps Jungkook right back.

By how much his hand stings, he’s sure that he slapped Jungkook a lot harder than Jungkook had slapped him, but the red mark is easily visible, and Jimin feels satisfied.

Right on cue, Taehyung and Namjoon come to grab their 9-lives for the lunch break.

“Jungkook, hold on,” Namjoon says, pulling Jungkook toward him, and examining his face. “Did someone hit you?”

His voice is protective and full of concern, and Jimin knows that his plan is working.

“It’s nothing,” Jungkook says, his face flushing enough to make the mark look like it’s just part of his reddening cheeks. “I just—”

“Who hit you?” Namjoon asks, voice now more protective than worried. “I will end him for you.”

“It was me.” Jimin jumps in. “Jungkook hit me first,” Jimin shows him his cheek where Jungkook had slapped him. “So I hit him back.”

“Naughty kittens,” Taehyung says, pulling Jimin back toward himself and kissing the cheek that had gotten slapped earlier. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” Jimin says. “Better than Jungkook.”

“That’s my boy.” Taehyung says, brushing his thumb over Jimin’s chin.

As the two humans lead the 9-lives out of the room, Jimin walks next to Jungkook. “See?” Jimin says. “If you didn’t mean anything to him, he wouldn’t care that someone hit you.”

Jungkook doesn’t seem to be feeling any better. “It’s a property sort of thing,” Jungkook says. “No one else reserves the right to hit me, so they shouldn’t. It’s not because he cares.”

Jimin frowns, his ears drooping to the side again. “But he said he would end the person for you,” Jimin points out, hoping that will help. “That means something, right?”

He feels accomplished when a hint of a smile showed on Jungkook’s face. “I suppose it does.” Jungkook hums, linking arms with Jimin.

Now he’s just got to figure out how to get Jungkook to admit his feelings to his master.

Chapter Text

They decide to go to Burger King for lunch because there aren’t really many other options to go when bringing 9-lives along, and Taehyung bitches again about how he wish he could take Jimin to all of the nice restaurants instead of eating this greasy food all the time.

“Why do you care?” Namjoon asks as they wait in line. “You love Burger King.”

“I do, but I think Jimin deserves to try something fancy and delicious.” Taehyung says. He grabs Jimin around the waist and pulls him close to nuzzle his nose into Jimin’s cheek, and Jimin giggles and squirms away, ticklish.

“Why don’t you just buy him some Fancy Feast cat food then?” Namjoon suggests, earning a glare from Jimin and a frown from Jungkook, both of which Namjoon ignores. Jimin can’t help it. He didn’t really hate Namjoon in the beginning, but he’s beginning to like him less right now. He still doesn’t hate him, but he really doesn’t like him. “I’m sure it’s made to the 9-lives liking.”

Jimin opens his mouth to say something snarky back at him, but Jungkook stops him. He doesn’t say anything. He just grabs Jimin’s wrist, but it’s enough for Jimin to know that Jungkook doesn’t want him to say anything.

“Does he make you eat that stuff at home?” Jimin asks when he’s sure that the human’s attention isn’t on them anymore.

Jungkook shakes his head. “No, I usually eat the same thing as Namjoon.” Jungkook assures him, but Jimin eyes him, suspicious. “He just said that because Taehyung said he wanted you to have something fancy, and he was making a pun.”

Jimin blinks in confusion.

“It’s word play.” Jungkook says. “It’s supposed to be funny, but no one honestly thinks it is.”

“Oh,” Jimin says, sort of understanding now. “Oh. I get it. Because it’s Fancy Feast, right?” Jungkook nods. “I thought he was just—”

“I know I make him sound bad,” Jungkook says. “But it’s just because I’m jealous of what you and Taehyung have. I’m just a servant, so I could never have that with Namjoon.”

Jimin wants to respond, but Taehyung turns around to Jimin.

“What do you want, my sweet kitten?” Taehyung asks. “Fish?”

“Yes, please!” Jimin chimes, and Taehyung goes to the counter to order for them.

Once Taehyung has their number, Namjoon goes up to order as well, but Jungkook grabs his wrist before he can get too far. “Can I get a milkshake instead of a cola?” Jungkook asks.

Namjoon gives Jungkook a concerned look. “The last time you did that, it made you sick, and we were in the bathroom for thirty minutes as you puked your guts out.” He says. “Do you really want to go through that again?”

To Jimin, it seems that Namjoon cares about Jungkook in a very similar way to how Taehyung cares about Jimin. Maybe they’re both just too afraid to admit it because a 9-life and a human is sort of like a forbidden love, but Taehyung is weird and doesn’t care about those sorts of things. He’s not human.

“I’m sure it was just soured milk or something.” Jungkook says, brushing of Namjoon’s worries. “I really want the milkshake. Please?”

“All right.” Namjoon gives in, and he goes to order their food.

Taehyung drags Jimin to a random table big enough for four, and they both sit on the same side.

“Taehyung…” Jimin says, wanting to ask Taehyung something before Namjoon and Jungkook join them. “I actually want to try cat food.”

“Why would I—” Taehyung starts to question Jimin’s desires, but the look on Jimin’s face is warning him not to. By now, they’ve had enough arguments about this part-cat, part-human thing. Jimin doesn’t like being called mostly-human because the part of him that is cat actually seems to be the strongest part of him. “May I at least ask why you want to try cat food?”

Jimin shrugs. “Maybe Namjoon is right.” He says. “Maybe it would fit a 9-life’s taste.”

Jimin likes fish and chicken and all sorts of things that cats are actually supposed to be eating, but there’s not really a lot of human foods that he likes eating. Like Burger King, for example. Jimin likes it. He likes the fries, oddly enough, but he doesn’t really like the sandwiches. He likes the fish, but not the bread and vegetables that go with it. He ate it because he thought he had to, but, he once admitted to Taehyung that he doesn’t like it, so Taehyung started ordering just the fish patty for him, without all of the extra stuff.

“If that’s what you want,” Taehyung says. “Who am I to tell you no?”

Jungkook and Namjoon come to join them, and Taehyung doesn’t say anything else on the topic. Jimin is thankful because he doesn’t want them to pick on him for wanting to be a kitty-pet. He knows that they probably would.

When the worker brings their food over, Jimin’s mouth waters at the big pile of fish that Taehyung got for him, and he’s sure he has the best boyfriend anyone on Earth or the 9-life planet could ask for.

“Just fish?” Namjoon questions, raising an eyebrow at Jimin.

“I like fish.” Jimin says.

“And potatoes.” Taehyung says, feeding Jimin one of his fries.

“And Taehyung.” Jimin adds, nuzzling his nose against Taehyung’s and pursing his lips out for Taehyung to kiss him.

“I can also tell because you act differently,” Jungkook says, taking a drink of his milkshake, and Jimin knows that he’s referring to their earlier conversation. “You used to be too shy to show affection like that, but now you don’t care.”

He sounds almost bitter, and Jimin wonders if it’s because of his jealousy.

“I don’t think it’s that.” Taehyung says. “I think he’s more clingy because he’s in heat.”

To that, Jungkook laughs an insulting sort of laugh, the kind where someone just sort of says ha, as if he thinks Taehyung is an idiot, and Jimin gives him a warning glare.

“Sorry,” Jungkook apologizes to Jimin before looking at Taehyung. “But male 9-lives don’t go in heat. That’s just something ridiculous you find in your hybrid-fiction stories here on Earth. 9-lives are like cats, and our males don’t have a heat cycle. Or…do you humans honestly believe that tom cats go into heat just like queens? Breeding, mating, and reproducing would be hell if that were the case.”

Taehyung doesn’t say anything in return, which is strange because he has usually has a response to anything. Jimin assumes that Jungkook must have offended him.

“It was a joke.” Jimin says to defend Taehyung just as Jungkook had done for Namjoon earlier. Jimin didn’t find what Taehyung said to be offensive, but Jungkook must have if he got so defensive about it. “Taehyung knows that we don’t go in heat.”

Jungkook’s face softens as Jimin’s words. “I’m sorry,” This time it’s Taehyung he apologizes to. “I shouldn’t expect humans to know everything, but it just kind of annoys me when they act like they do.”

Taehyung shrugs as he takes a drink of his cola. “I don’t know anything about 9-lives,” He admits, tossing Jimin’s defense right out the window. “So I’m sorry if I offended you.”

“You know more than Namjoon does,” Jungkook says, side-glancing his master.

“How should I know about 9-lives when you don’t tell me anything?” Namjoon asks, not even seeming offended by Jungkook’s accusations.

“You never ask me about my culture, so I don’t think you care to hear about it.” Jungkook says, sounding hurt.

“If you want to talk about it, Kookie, I’ll listen.” Namjoon says.

Jungkook doesn’t seem satisfied with that response as he grits his teeth, frustrated. He suddenly lunges as Jimin, and before Jimin even has time to react, Jungkook has their lips locked together in a passionate kiss. Right in front of Taehyung and Namjoon.

Jimin squeaks in surprise, and he tries to fight away at first. When he realizes that there’s no escaping, he, one, wonders why Taehyung doesn’t say anything, and, two, relaxes into it.

Jungkook is panting when he pulls back for air, and Namjoon just smiles. “Kissing really should be a part of 9-life culture.” Namjoon says. “That was kind of hot.”

Clearly, that wasn’t the response Jungkook was looking to get from his master. He looks offended as he gets up from the table and rushes out of the building, and Jimin is almost certain he looked on the verge of tears as he ran away.

“Jungkook!” Namjoon calls after him, and he’s up and out just as quickly as Jungkook was.

Jimin knows that they’ll work things out between them, so he pushes them out of his mind as he turns to face his boyfriend. “Why didn’t you stop him?” He asks Taehyung, his voice serious.

“Like Namjoon said,” Taehyung says, smiling as he speaks. “That was kind of hot.”

Jimin hates that he can’t even be mad about that like Jungkook was. In some way, it makes Jimin bubble with pride and confidence. In another way, it kind of offends him that Taehyung liked seeing someone else kiss him. “What if I said that Jungkook is better at kissing than you are?” Jimin challenges.

“I’ll have to prove you wrong.” Taehyung says, leaning forward and pressing his lips to Jimin’s.

Actually, Taehyung is better. He’s so much better that Jimin enjoys even the most simple kisses, like that one, from Taehyung than he enjoyed making out with Jungkook.

“Here?” Jimin asks after Taehyung kisses him once more.

“Kitten, I’ll kiss you anywhere.” Taehyung assures him. “But not here if you don’t want to.”

“I do…” Jimin says, looking around. Luckily there aren’t very many people in the store right now, and the few who are no longer have their attention on Taehyung and Jimin’s table. “But…are we allowed to?”

“To what? I thought we were just kissing.” Taehyung says, raising an eyebrow at the 9-life, a mischievous grin on his face.

“I mean making out,” Jimin says in a whisper, assuring Taehyung that he didn’t mean any activities more explicit than that.

Taehyung laughs. “Oh,” He says. “We better not. People don’t even like seeing humans do that in public.”

Jimin frowns when Taehyung doesn’t make a move after that, instead goes back to eating his fries. “So we’re not doing it?” He asks, his hopes kind of dying.

“We’re eating first, Kitten.” Taehyung says, kissing Jimin’s cheek. “I’m starving.”

“Is food important or am I important?” Jimin asks, pouting cutely in hopes of stealing Taehyung’s attention.

“Food is important.” Taehyung says, shoving another fry into Jimin’s mouth. “Without it, you would die. And without you, I would die.”

Chapter Text

Namjoon follows Jungkook out of Burger King, and he chases him until he catches up to his pet. Because that’s what Jungkook is. His pet.

Namjoon signed up to get a 9-life for exactly that. Unlike Taehyung, he can’t afford a butler to do all of his work, and he really needed the help. Living on his own, before Jungkook, Namjoon’s place looked like he had at least four other people living with him with how messy it was.

Getting a 9-life was the only way Namjoon could get the help that he needed to keep his place somewhat decent. Of course, there was the option of getting a boyfriend to help him do that instead, but it’s hard to get a boyfriend when his place looked so horrible.

Namjoon did not sign up for a 9-life for everything Jungkook came with. He didn’t sign up to have some cat-person fall in love with him. He didn’t sign up to have a pet that’s probably higher maintenance than himself. And he most certainly didn’t sign up to get his own feelings involved.

So why did all of it happen? Namjoon only wished he knew the answer.

“Jeon Jungkook!” Namjoon calls after the 9-life. He’s too damn fast for Namjoon to catch up. The only reason Namjoon even catches him is because a couple of guys noticed him running after the kitty-pet, and they stopped Jungkook for him.

“Is he your 9-life?” One of them asked when Namjoon finally caught up. A 9-life who belongs to someone won’t be bothered by other people, and people generally watch out for the 9-lives, not letting people mess with those that have owners.

“He’s my master.” Jungkook’s tone is so different from usual. A little darker or sadder? Namjoon can’t tell. He pulls himself free from the man’s grasp.

Having done their job of preventing Jungkook from getting away, but also making sure he was reunited with his rightful owner, the two men leave Jungkook and Namjoon by themselves.

“Come on,” Namjoon says, reaching for Jungkook’s hand. “Let’s go home and talk about this.”

“No!” Jungkook snaps, jerking his hand back. “If you want to talk about it, we’ll talk about it right here. I don’t want to go anywhere with you.”

Namjoon could use his authority to force Jungkook to go home with him. He could punish Jungkook for being a bad kitten, but he won’t. He knows how sensitive Jungkook is, and the cat usually avoids for him for a few hours after being scolded. Unlike most 9-life owners, Namjoon doesn’t hit his pet. He’s well aware that Jungkook has feelings just as much as he does.

“All right, fine. Have it your way.” Namjoon says. “Just tell me why you ran away like that.”

“Because I hate you.” Jungkook says, sitting on the curb. He folds his arms after his chest, his ears folded back to show how annoyed he is as his tail twitches back and forth in short, cut-off movements.

Namjoon sighs, and he joins the 9-life on the concrete. “No you don’t.” Namjoon says, knowing. “You might want to, but you don’t.”

“What am I to you?” Jungkook demands to know, but it should be obvious. He’s exactly what he was sent here to be.

“My pet.” Namjoon says. “That’s what I got you for, isn’t it?”

Tears fall from Jungkook’s eyes as he nods. “I hate Jimin, too.” He says. “He’s a naive little fuck who doesn’t care about people’s feelings. He should have been stuck with you. Maybe he wouldn’t have been an idiot like me, and he wouldn’t have fallen in love with you.”

Namjoon laughs, but he doesn’t mean it to be an insulting things as Jungkook seems to take it. The 9-life tries to stand, but Namjoon easily pulls him back onto the ground so that he remains in a sitting position. “What does Jimin have to do with any of this, Jungkook?” Namjoon asks, not really thinking that Jungkook is making any sense right now. “For the record, I don’t think he’s as naive or as heartless as you are making him sound right now.”

The two sit in silence for a while since Jungkook doesn’t say anything next.

“What do you think you are to me?” Namjoon asks after another stretch of silence.

“Your slave. You said it yourself.” Jungkook answers.

“I said pet. I did not say slave.” Namjoon corrects him.

“Whatever. It’s the same thing.” Jungkook says. “I cook for you, clean for you, shop for you, bathe you, and I help you relieve yourself when you need it. I’m everything you want me to be, and I guess that’s nothing more than your servant and sex toy.”

“Why do you think that?” Namjoon asks. “I mean, that I don’t want you to be anything other than my servant and sex toy.”

“Because it’s all you care about.” Jungkook says, pulling his knees up to his chest. “Instead of getting jealous that I kissed Jimin, you just thought it was hot as fuck.”

Namjoon laughs again, but this time Jungkook seems to know that it’s more that he finds him cute, so he doesn’t get offended. “You know, I don’t think you know as much about humans as you think you do.” Namjoon says, and he finds it adorable how Jungkook’s ears twitch in curiosity. “I mean, don’t get me wrong. You’re more aware of our culture than Jimin is, but you still don’t know everything.”

“Why do you say that?” Jungkook asks.

“You said that, on your planet, a such a thing as cheating doesn’t really exist, particularly when it comes to sexual intercourse. 9-lives can sleep with who they want and such,” Namjoon says, and looks at Jungkook for confirmation. The cat nods. “So what’s important to a 9-life in a relationship?”

“Well,” Jungkook says, thinking. “You mean romantic relationships?” He asks, and Namjoon nods. “I can definitely tell you that sex isn’t important in romantic relationships. We can get that from anyone. What 9-lives need in a romantic relationship is moral support, an emotional connection, and trust.”

“Well, with humans, it varies.” Namjoon tells him. “But, I think most of us can agree that sex is one of the most important things in a relationship because we don’t really sleep around like 9-lives do. On Earth, that’s called cheating, so we like to have partners that are sexually pleasing. So, it is perfectly acceptable for a person to call their boyfriend ridiculously hot, or to speak to him in a sexual manner.”

“So…” Jungkook says. “What? Personalities and emotions aren’t important to people?”

“They are,” Namjoon assures him. “But they’re not the only thing that’s important. With us, you get the whole package. Some people value certain aspects of a person more than others—”

“What about you?” Jungkook asks. “I don’t care about all the other humans. What’s important to you?”

“Honestly…I think I’m still figuring that part out myself,” Namjoon says, and he brushes the tears on Jungkook’s cheek with the back of his finger. “But I know that you have a lot of what I like.”

“Because I’m ridiculously hot?” The tone in Jungkook’s voice is more light and playful now, and Namjoon knows that this talk is actually getting somewhere—even if it doesn’t feel like it to him.

“That’s one thing that I like,” Namjoon agrees, squeezing Jungkook’s knee. “But I also like that you keep saying you hate people like me and Jimin, but I know that you don’t. You’re too kind and softhearted to hate anyone.”

“I really do hate you, though.” Jungkook assures him.

“Oh, I’m sure.” Namjoon says, and he turns Jungkook’s face so that he’s looking directly at him. “I bet you really hate it when I do this,” He kisses Jungkook. “Right?”

“Yes.” Jungkook says, blushing. “I hate that most of all.”

“I like you, Jungkook,” Namjoon admits it finally. “Under different circumstances, I would love to take you out to fancy restaurants and maybe even marry you someday, but we don’t really get that luxury, do we?”

“I don’t care about that. 9-lives don’t marry for love anyway, so…regardless of which planet we’re on or the fact that we’re different races, we wouldn’t be able to do that anyway.” Jungkook points out.

It’s true. Even if Jungkook were human, they couldn’t get married because of them both being men. If Namjoon were a 9-life, and they were living on Jungkook’s planet, it’d still be the same thing.

“So, what do you want to do then?” Namjoon asks. “Just be my boyfriend anyway?”

Jungkook nods, a shy smile on his face. “I’d like that.”

“Then we’ll do that.” Namjoon says. He takes Jungkook’s hand into his own, and he kisses his knuckles.

“Namjoon,” Jungkook whispers. “I know this might sound like a weird request…but it’s hard trying to conform to human norms all the time.” He takes in a breath. “Can I lick you?” He asks quickly and bites lip and closes his eyes like he’s afraid to hear Namjoon’s reaction or he just wants to disappear.

The request and Jungkook’s action afterward is so cute, and Namjoon kisses him on the nose. “If you really want to,” Namjoon says. “I’ll let it slide this one time.”

Jungkook opens his eyes, looking at Namjoon like he can’t believe that the human agreed to such a thing. He leans forward, holding himself up with a hand on Namjoon’s knee, and he quickly licks Namjoon on the nose before sitting back and looking away. “I hope that was okay.” Jungkook says.

“A little weird, but I’ll get used to it.” Namjoon says, and he finally stands. He holds out a hand for Jungkook to take, and he helps the kitten off of the ground. “Ready to go home now?”

“Ready.” Jungkook chimes, following along behind Namjoon.

Chapter Text

“I told Jungkook about me being the prince.” Jimin says when Taehyung gets them back into their bedroom. As much as he would like to continue with this making out thing that he started, he feels that there are some things that he needs to tell Taehyung about his past.

Other than him and Taehyung, the only other being in the room is Paws, but Jimin isn’t worried about the dog running around and telling everyone his secrets. Unlike him, humans don’t have the ability to understand animals at all.

“And how did he react?” Taehyung asks.

“I don’t know.” Jimin says on a sigh. “He got mad.” He has to think back to Jungkook’s reaction. “He said…that of course a royal would be the one 9-life that gets treated well on Earth.”

“It doesn’t matter that you’re royal.” Taehyung assures Jimin, scratching him behind his ear because that seems his favorite way to show Jimin affection. It’s also Jimin’s favorite form of affection, so he’s not going to stop him. “I treated you well before I even knew, and I don’t think I act differently toward you after learning that. Do I?”

“You don’t,” Jimin agrees, shaking his head. “But you know—”

Taehyung shuts Jimin up by kissing him. Normally Jimin wouldn’t mind, but he has something he really wants to say, so he finds the action more annoying than he probably should. “Let’s stop talking about Jungkook, then.” Taehyung says between kisses. “And get you out of these clothes.”

Taehyung tries pushing Jimin back on the bed as his hands slip up under Jimin’s shirt, but Jimin fights back, getting Taehyung’s hands off of him. “I don’t want to talk about Jungkook,” Jimin snaps. “I’m talking about myself, and I’d appreciate it if you’d listen to me.”

“Okay,” Taehyung says, sitting back with his palms facing Jimin as if to let him know that he’s not going to try anything else. “I’m listening.”

“You know…when I first arrived on Earth, I didn’t want anything other than to go back home and be with my family again,” Jimin tells Taehyung, and he tries to ignore the pained feeling in his chest as he recalls his first days on this planet. He thinks back to the day he was ripped from his bed chambers and sent here to live. Back to the days that he had to sneak around the streets of Seoul to steal enough food to keep himself alive for the days leading up to Taehyung taking him in. None of that was easy for him, and he’d rather just forget about it all. “It was just hard running around here without a collar and having to save my own ass from people wanting to pick me up. On one hand I really liked the freedom. I liked being able to see something beyond my castle walls, but, on the other hand, I really missed the safety of being at home.”

“And what about now?” Taehyung asks. “Has that changed?”

“Yes.” Jimin says. “Because of you.”

When Taehyung first brought Jimin in, Jimin didn’t completely trust him. He’s not even sure if he can say that he completely trusts him now, but he certainly trusts him more than he did before, and he trusts him enough to want to stay here over going back home. Now that he’s been on Earth and his mind ‘corrupted’ as far as it has, Jimin’s not even sure what would happen if he ever did go back home.

“Do you know why I’m so naive, Taehyung? Why I’ll practically believe anything anyone tells me, and why I’m so easy to influence?” Jimin asks.

Taehyung just shakes his head.

“Because at home, I wasn’t allowed to do anything.” Jimin tells him. “The only people I ever met were those of nobility or the royal family. I wasn’t allowed to leave the castle walls, and…”

“Jimin,” Taehyung says when Jimin’s voice cracks. He takes Jimin’s hand into his own and rubs his thumb over the back of it, soothing and reassuring. It doesn’t do a lot, but it assures Jimin that Taehyung is right there, and nothing is going to happen.

“If I expressed the desire to leave the castle, I was beaten.” Jimin tells him. He speaks the words slowly, and he tries to control his emotions as the words leave his lips. “They conditioned me to accept a life within the castle walls so that I wouldn’t even consider going out and exploring. I was raised on a very strict schedule, and I had guards around me all the time to control every move I made. I had to be perfect for them. If I wasn’t, I’d get beaten until I was.”

“Why did you ever want to go back there?” Taehyung asks, squeezing Jimin’s hand.

Jimin shrugs, tears silently falling from his eyes. “I don’t know. I guess…even if I was being beaten, I just…wanted to be somewhere familiar.” Jimin says. “I would have chosen a life of being abused at home above having to hide from humans any day.” He pauses, and he chooses a random spot on the floor to stare at. “Compared to my first days on Earth, I didn’t think life at home was that bad.”

“But now?” Taehyung questions.

“You changed my mind.” Jimin tells him, smiling. “Because of you, I feel like I truly understand concepts like friendship, love, gentle, and happiness. And most of all, I know what safe and home and family feels like. I can explore the world without the fear of being beaten or kidnapped by some random human. Taehyung…I like it here, and…I don’t ever want to leave.”

Taehyung smiles, and he presses his lips to Jimin’s forehead—one of Jimin’s favorite kisses. It’s always so gentle and reassuring. “I don’t ever want you to leave, either, Kitten.” Taehyung tells him. “And I won’t ever let you leave. Even if they ever come here looking for you, I won’t let you go without a fight.”

“If they wanted me back,” Jimin says, wrapping his arms around Taehyung’s neck. “They would have already come for me.”

Jimin feels better having shared that with Taehyung. Maybe now he’ll understand why Jimin is so curious. Why he’s excited to explore the world, but most of all, why he’s so afraid of being controlled. Over all, Jimin hopes that having shared this information with Taehyung will improve their relationship, as if it’s not great enough already.

Chapter Text

“Have you ever met a superhero?”

Jimin’s eyes sparkle with interest, genuinely curious if Taehyung had ever met anyone like the people Jimin has only ever seen on TV on this planet. Taehyung seems to know a lot of people, so Jimin is sure that, if anyone has ever met a superhero, Taehyung would be the one.

Taehyung looks across the table at his boyfriend, coffee mug in hand. He looks so mature when he’s all dressed and ready for work, sipping out of his coffee mug, but Jimin knows better. It’s not coffee in that mug. It’s hot chocolate.

“I don’t think anyone has, Jimin.” Taehyung tells the 9-life, and Jimin’s ears droop to the side in response.

“Yes. People have.” Jimin says, nodding his head enthusiastically. “I mean, people might not know that they’ve met a superhero,” He leans in closer to Taehyung to whisper the next part. “Because they keep their identity hidden, but people can meet them.”

Jimin notices Taehyung take his lower lip between his teeth, obviously struggling in bitting back a grin. Or a laugh. Jimin can’t really be sure. He just knows that the younger one is about to go off with his knowledge about Earth, a place that—despite having lived here for a while—Jimin still seems to know very little about. It’s just so fully of mystery to him, but it seems like Taehyung likes it that way.

The younger one leans in closer to Jimin, and he puts his mouth right next to Jimin’s large cat ear. “Superheroes don’t exist, sweetheart.” Taehyung informs him.

“They do too!” Jimin insists, hating that Taehyung makes him feel like such a child sometimes. He’s older than Taehyung. Taehyung has no right to make him feel inferior. “I’ve seen them on TV. How can a person shoot fire out of their hands if they’re not a super hero?”

“I don’t know exactly how they do it,” Taehyung tells him, and Jimin makes a face as if Taehyung is only proving his point. It’s impossible, right? “But they put it in there with computers somehow. It’s just animated.”

“It’s not animated.” Jimin says. “It looks real.”

“I know it looks real, Jimin,” Taehyung says. “But…do they not have superheroes on your planet?”

“We do.” Jimin says. “But they’re just in books and stuff. There are no superhero actors or anything because they don’t actually exist on my planet.”

“Well they don’t exist here either.” Taehyung promises. “Look, I’ll show you.”

He grabs his phone, and, within minutes, Taehyung is turning it to Jimin so that Jimin can watch a video. It’s a scene from a movie that Jimin had seen before, but this time, it’s just the characters doing the motions of their powers.

“This is what it looks like during filming.” Taehyung tells him. “They just add in all the other effects with the computer later.”

“Oh,” Jimin says, his ears folding to the side in disappointment. “That’s a little disappointing.”

The look on Taehyung’s face tells Jimin that he regrets ruining Jimin’s hopes.

“Well, it’s still amazing that you humans have the ability to make superheroes seem real.” Jimin says, perking his ears up and trying to keep Taehyung from feeling so bad.

“Yeah. I suppose that is pretty amazing, isn’t it?” Taehyung agrees.

+++

“Did you know anyone can be a superhero?” Jimin says as he and Jungkook walk around the mall. Jimin holds an ice-cream in his hand, and he slowly eats at it as he and Jungkook shop together. It’s mostly Jungkook doing the shopping, considering Namjoon’s birthday is coming up.

Silly Taehyung forgot to put Jimin’s collar on this morning, so Jimin just makes sure to stick close to Jungkook as they walk through the stores. He definitely doesn’t want to get into another situation like he was in the day he met Taehyung. He probably wouldn’t get so lucky this time.

“What are you talking about now?” Jungkook asks, completely used to Jimin’s general curiosity of the world by now.

“I mean on TV.” Jimin says. “Anyone can be a superhero. Their powers aren’t real. They just make it look real with computers.”

“Really? I had no clue. Thanks for ruining the magic for me.” Jungkook says, clearly sarcastic.

Jimin gets angry at the kid’s attitude. The way he makes Jimin feel like an idiot is completely different from the way Taehyung does it. Jungkook is a 9-life, too, so he should be understand more why Jimin doesn’t know some things about earth. Even still.

“Hey, do you want to go shopping on your own?” Jimin asks, threatening to leave Jungkook right there.

“Um…kind of,” Jungkook says. “But you don’t have your collar on, so I have to babysit you. If you run off and get yourself hurt, that’s your own damn fault.”

Stupid kid, Jimin thinks to himself. He acts like he’s so much better than Jimin. Well, he’s not. Jimin is cuter. Anyone of Taehyung’s friends would agree. Taehyung would agree that Jimin is the cutest one. He’s also more entertaining, probably because he’s so cute and naive. And, well, Taehyung is his boyfriend, and Jimin doesn’t care what Jungkook things. Taehyung is better than Namjoon.

Jimin finishes his ice-cream up and drops the remains in the bin before meeting up with Jungkook in some shop that seems to sell only shoes.

As Jungkook looks around for something he thinks Namjoon might like, Jimin wonders when Taehyung’s birthday is. Did he miss it? Did it pass during the time of him and Jimin being together? Are birthdays that big of a deal to humans? Of course birthdays should be big deals to humans. Jimin has never heard of a culture that didn’t value birthdays in some way. So surely Taehyung wouldn’t have let his own birthday pass without saying anything to Jimin.

They leave from the shoe shop, and Jungkook leads them around the mall again.

“Didn’t find anything in there?” Jimin asks.

“No…” Jungkook sighs. “I know that shoes are something he can use everyday, but he already has a ton of shoes. And I mean a ton. I really don’t think he needs anymore, and I just want to get him something special. Something he doesn’t already have. I mean this is—”

Jimin stops listening to Jungkook as they walk past a shop that catches his attention. He stops and looks into it, afraid to step in. The wall around the shop is completely black, and it’s kind of dark inside. There are strange lights hanging on the wall that seem to affect the color of things, the doorway is taken up by fog, and there are all kind of scary looking decorations and items in the store.

“What is this place?” Jimin asks Jungkook. He had been to the mall many times before this, but this is the first time he ever recalls seeing this shop here. Why is it here? Has it always been here? If not, why is it here now? Why does it look so scary?

Jimin doesn’t get a response, and he turns to ask Jungkook again, but he notices that the other 9-life isn’t there.

Oh shit.

Jungkook must have kept walking when Jimin got distracted by this place. Jimin can only wonder if he purposefully left Jimin behind or if he just didn’t notice that Jimin had stopped following him.

Knowing Jungkook, it really could be either one of those two options.

Well, it might be scary, but this store is probably the only place that he can be safe. It’s dark, so hopefully people won’t even notice that he’s a 9-life. If they do, hopefully they won’t notice that he doesn’t have a collar.

Jimin steps into the store, jumping and letting out a quick yelp as one of the tall statues, or what he thought was a statue, moves and greets him. “Velcome to the Halloveen Shop.” It says, moving its hand in an awkward wave.

“You should stand so still like that,” Jimin says to the figure. “I thought you were a statue.”

The person doesn’t respond to Jimin, instead he does the same awkward wave and greeting to the next customer who walks through the door. Rude, Jimin thinks. The least he could do is apologize for scaring the crap out of Jimin.

Jimin shrugs it off and walks further into the shop. There’s lots of spooky things in here like spiders on webs, pumpkins with faces, and skeletons dangling from the ceiling. What kind of messed up place is this? Jimin wonders to himself.

Jimin thinks the shop is only slightly unbearable. That is, until he walks by a box that lying on the ground, and something jumps out of it and starts speaking to him. It scares Jimin more than the door greeter did, and he quickly turns to leave the shop only to be stopped by the clerk. “Um. You can’t leave without paying for those.” He says.

“What?” Jimin asks, wondering what the fuck he’s talking about because Jimin didn’t pick anything up. He didn’t touch anything in this messed up store.

“The ears.” The clerk says, pointing to Jimin’s head.

“What about my ears?” Jimin asks, annoyed that this clerk won’t just let him leave this spooky ass place.

“They’re fifteen dollars.” The clerk says. “Are you going to pay or not?”

“They’re mine,” Jimin insists. He didn’t take any money from Taehyung when he came here because he wasn’t planning on buying anything. And now Jimin has to pay for something that…what? Is already his. Attached to his own body? This is definitely one fucked up shop. “Do you want me to pay for my tail too? Or what about my feet?”

The clerks blinks in realization. “Oh, sorry. I didn’t realize you were a 9-life.” He says, and he takes Jimin by the wrist. “I need you to come with me.”

“What? No. I was just leaving. I came here with my friend, and—”

“Sorry. All stray 9-lives have to be reported.” The guy says. “Believe me. I don’t want to do this, but I’ll lose my job if I don’t.”

“But I’m not a stray,” Jimin insists. Suddenly he’s more afraid than he was the entire time he had spent in the shop. “I promise. I belong to someone, and he’s going get real mad if you do anything to me.”

The clerk ignores Jimin’s protests, and he drags him to the back, making him sit down in a room that looks a lot like a closet, and he locks Jimin in there.

+++

After a few minutes of sitting in the dark, some security guards come to get Jimin, and they escort him out of the mall. Since he insists that he has a master, they tell him that they’ll be courteous enough to throw him out on the streets rather than putting him in the pound. Jimin doesn’t really know which is worse. He just wishes that he could find Jungkook.

This would have never happened if he didn’t get distracted so easily.

As if things couldn’t get worse, a couple of big guys approach him as he tries to find his way back to Taehyung’s workplace.

“Well, well, well.” One of the guys says. “Look what we have here. If it isn’t a stray kitty-pet.”

Before Jimin even has the chance to try and run, the guys already have him cornered.

+++

When Jimin comes to, he’s in a familiar room. That same hospital he had been in that time that he saved Paws from getting hit by that car. Next to him, sitting in the chair and holding onto his hand, is Taehyung. The only thing that hurts worse than the pounding in his head and the ache of his whole body is the pain in he feels in his heart from seeing the tears in Taehyung’s eyes.

“Tae,” It hurts to even speak, and Jimin is positive that the sound of his voice proves that.

He doesn’t really remember much of what happened. He remembers finding some spooky shop and getting kicked out of the mall. Other than that, his memory is all a blur.

“How are you feeling?” Taehyung asks, placing a hand on Jimin’s forehead.

“Bad.” Jimin tells him honestly, and he feels a pain on his wrist. The one that Taehyung is holding onto. He lifts it up to see if he has a wound there, but his heart skips a beat as he realizes what’s happening.

He has a mark. A single black tally, and he realizes why his body feels so weak right now.

“What happened?” Jimin asks Taehyung, but he’s careful not to let Taehyung see his mark.

“I don’t know everything.” Taehyung tells him. “Jungkook said he lost you in the mall. He returned to us as soon as he found out, and I came to find you. You were unconscious in some ally, but—”

“Then how did you find me?” Jimin asks. “How did you know where I was?”

Taehyung shrugs. “Call it intuition.”

Jimin smiles, and he makes a face like he wants Taehyung to kiss him, so Taehyung does. “You know what I think?” Jimin asks. “I think you’re a superhero.”

Taehyung laughs, but it’s a bitter laugh. “If I were a superhero, I wouldn’t have forgotten about your collar this morning.”

+++

“What is this?” Taehyung asks as he helps Jimin onto the bed. He takes Jimin’s wrist and examines it, and Jimin realizes what he’s talking about.

“It’s my life count.” Jimin tells him.

“Your life count.” Taehyung says back.

Jimin nods, pulling his wrist back. “When a 9-life loses one of his lives, he gets a tally to prove it.” Jimin tells him. “It’s not really that big of a deal, Taehyung—”

Jimin tries to ease his boyfriend’s mind, but Taehyung disappears into the bathroom. He comes back with a bottle of some kind of liquid and cloth. He dabs the cloth with the liquid, and he begins rubbing Jimin’s wrists. He rubs so hard that it almost burns. “Ah, Taehyung.” Jimin winces, jerking his wrist away. “What the fuck?”

“I have to get it off.” Taehyung says, trying to grab Jimin’s wrist again, but Jimin won’t let him.

“Stop,” Jimin demands, and he manages to get the items from Taehyung’s hands. “It’s not going to come off, Taehyung. There’s no taking it back.”

Taehyung plops onto the bed, and he pulls his knees up to his chest as his body starts shaking in sobs. “I’m sorry,” He cries. “I’m so sorry, Jimin.”

Jimin thought that he would be mad at Jungkook for losing Jimin. He thought that he would be mad at Jimin for not keeping up with Jungkook. What Jimin didn’t expect, was Taehyung blaming himself for this whole thing.

“Hey,” Jimin says, pulling Taehyung toward him. “It’s okay. I still have eight other lives.”

“Seven.” Taehyung corrects him. “You have seven other lives on Earth.”

“That’s still plenty,” Jimin assures him. “Compared to your one, we should be lucky you weren’t in my situation.”

Taehyung hugs Jimin, and he pushes the smaller one onto the bed. He’s still crying some, but not as much. “I promise I won’t let anything like this happen again.” He says. “I’ll protect you.”

Jimin sighs, content with his situation right now. “Start by shutting up and letting me sleep.” Jimin tells him. “Dying is exhausting.”

Taehyung laughs and he nuzzles his face into Jimin. “Then sleep, my sweet kitten.” Taehyung says. “I’m not stopping you.”

Chapter Text

Jimin wakes to Taehyung’s fingers running through his hair. He yawns and stretches out, brining his head up from Taehyung’s chest to rest on the pillow so that his and Taehyung’s head are at eye-level with each other.

“Good morning, Kitten.” Taehyung whispers. He wears a fond smile on his face, and he continues petting Jimin’s hair, even with Jimin’s new position. “Did you sleep well?”

“Like a kitten.” Jimin returns, and he nuzzles in closer to Taehyung. “But I’m still kind of exhausted.” Jimin tells him.

Taehyung frowns, and he cards his fingers through Jimin’s hairs at the back of his head, keeping his hand there. “How long will it take you to get your energy back?” Taehyung asks, the guilt very clear in his voice.

Jimin shrugs, and he looks at the mark on his wrist. “I’ve never died before, so I have no clue.” Jimin says. “It could be a day or two. Or maybe even a week.”

“Well, you just rest until you feel better.” Taehyung says, and he kisses Jimin’s lips. Jimin really, really likes the culture of kissing. He’d be upset that the 9lives don’t kiss, but he knows that, if they did, it’d be different. Humans seems have this idea that your boyfriend or girlfriend is the only person you’re supposed to do those things with, but the 9lives don’t care. If kissing was a thing with them, they’d kiss everyone. “I’ll take care of you.”

“Do you have to work today?” Jimin asks, hoping that the answer is no.

“I can call in.” Taehyung says, and he kisses Jimin again. “Taking care of you is much more important than showing up for work every day. I get paid the same regardless.”

Jimin’s glad to hear it.

He doesn’t know a lot about work-life on Earth. As a 9life, he’ll never get the chance to know. 9lives can’t get jobs. They’re only slaves.

Even on the 9life planet, Jimin didn’t know much about work life. He was the prince, so he just knows about the duties of being a royal.

Honestly, he’s kind of spoiled.

More by Taehyung than anyone else, but he is kind of spoiled.

“Then…do you just want to stay in bed with me?” Jimin asks, his eyes hopeful.

He had seen on TV, many couples calling into work, lying about being sick. They do it so that they can get the day to spend with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Jimin really want to do that with Taehyung. It always seemed so romantic to Jimin.

A lazy smile on Taehyung’s face and he pulls Jimin closer to himself. “You know what?” Taehyung says, nuzzling his nose right against Jimin’s—something that Jimin finds really comforting because it’s something that he’s used to as a 9life as well. “I’m quite exhausted myself, so yes. I’d love to just stay in bed with you.”

Hoseok bothers them one time, and it’s only to remind Taehyung that he needs to be getting ready for work. When Taehyung tells him that he’s not feeling well today, Hoseok leaves it at that and doesn’t disturb them again. Paws doesn’t get the hint however, and she keeps trying to come into the room, scratching on the door. Jimin hates that dog.

“I really hate your dog.” Jimin mumbles after hearing the scratching at the door for the third time in the past two hours.

Taehyung laughs, bringing their lips together. “She’s not my dog, Sweetie.” Taehyung tells him, and Jimin just gives him a puzzled look. “She’s our dog.”

“She is not my dog.” Jimin snaps. “I don’t have a dog. I would never have a dog.”

“I never thought I’d have a cat.” Taehyung says, tapping Jimin’s nose.

Jimin frowns. “Do you not like cats?” He asks. He had heard about people not liking cats before. In fact, he had heard about people who hate cats so much they actually allow their dogs to hunt cats.

Again, Taehyung laughs. “I love cats.” Taehyung tells him. “But Paws doesn’t, so I didn’t think I’d ever get one because of her.”

“But she likes me…” Jimin says, his ears folding to the side.

“To her, you’re human.” Taehyung says, and Jimin almost snaps at him again. Jimin hates humans…most of them, so he hates being called a human. He’s not a damn human. “She’s probably not even aware of the fact that you’re any different from me.”

And that kind of made Jimin feel good about himself. He had never really thought about that, but dogs probably value the 9lives just as much as they value their human companions. Unlike humans who know that there’s a difference between them.

“Do you like cats or dogs more?” Jimin asks, but he knows it’s a stupid question. If Taehyung liked cats more, he wouldn’t even have Paws, now would he?

“I like them both.” Taehyung answers.

“What about me?” Jimin asks. “Would you like me more if I were a dog?”

To that, Taehyung smiles. “No, Jimin.” Taehyung tells him. “I love your purring, and I love the way your tail twitches back and forth when you’re concentrating on something. I love the way you’re weak to chin scratches,” He says, scratching Jimin’s chin, and Jimin instantly leans into the touch by instinct. “And scratches behind the ear.” Taehyung adds, and he uses his other hand to scratch Jimin behind his ear, and Jimin is completely aware of the fact that he’s purring this time—but it’s because he’s mildly irritated now.

“Taehyung,” Jimin whines, but he can’t pull away. “Don’t do them both at the same time.”

“Why?” Taehyung asks in his usual teasing tone. “Does my kitty like it?”

“No,” Jimin insists, but he knows he’s not very convincing with the way he keeps leaning into it instead of pulling away. “I hate it. And I’m not your kitty.”

“No?” Taehyung asks, and Jimin hates that he stops touching him. “Then whose kitty are you?”

Jimin narrows his eyes at his boyfriend, and his ears fold to the side. “I’m no one’s kitty. I don’t belong to anyone.” Jimin says.

“You are such a cat,” Taehyung hums, scratching Jimin’s chin again. Jimin’s purrs get louder. He’s not sure if it’s because of Taehyung calling him a cat, which he prefers a lot more than being called human, or if it’s because of the chin scratches. “Will it make you happy if I let you call me your human?”

“Maybe.” Jimin says. “Do I get to boss you around, then?”

“Are you trying to imply that you’re not already a bossy little shit?” Taehyung asks, raising his eyebrows.

“Don’t do that.” Jimin says.

“What?” Taehyung asks, and his eyebrows go up again.

“That…” Jimin points to Taehyung’s forehead. “Where you make your eyebrows go up. Don’t do that.”

“You don’t like it?” Taehyung frowns.

“It’s not that.” Jimin assures him. “I like it too much.”

“Oh?” Taehyung chimes, doing it again, and Jimin knows it’s just to fuck with him this time. “What else do you like?” Taehyung asks, clearly excited that Jimin’s sharing something personal like this with him. He rolls on top of the smaller, and he kisses Jimin’s collar bone.

“I’m not telling you that,” Jimin grumbles. “You’ll use it against me.”

“Tell me,” Taehyung says, his hands slipping underneath Jimin’s shirt.

“I won’t.” Jimin insists, his breath hitching as Taehyung’s hands work their way up his abdomen and chest.

“Tell me.” Taehyung says again, his hands freezing right underneath Jimin’s nipples. “Or I’ll stop.”

“That’s fine,” Jimin says, pushing Taehyung’s hands away. “I’m too exhausted for this, anyway.”

Jimin expects more arguments and for Taehyung to persist more, but he stops and gets off of Jimin.

“All right,” He says, and he goes back to petting Jimin’s hair. “Do you like this?” He asks.

Jimin exhales and nods, his eyes fluttering as he just concentrates on Taehyung’s hand in his hair. “It makes me sleepy.” Jimin hums, having trouble keeping his eyes open.

“Then sleep, my sweet kitten.” Taehyung whispers, and Jimin feels his lips on his nose. “I’ll still be here when you wake up.”

Chapter Text

“Okay, wait. What? What is this?” Jimin asks in the morning when he comes into the dining room to see a table full of food. It’s not the normal breakfast food that Hoseok makes with eggs and bacon and such. It’s plates and piles of fish. All different sorts of fish from sushi to fried fish, and it makes Jimin’s mouth water. He honestly isn’t a big fan of human foods, and the fish on earth isn’t even as good as the fish at home, but he still likes it.

“I thought I would do something special for you today.” Taehyung says, walking Jimin over to the table, and he takes his seat. He hands Jimin a pair of chopsticks, allowing the boy to dig in on whatever he wants. “As your boyfriend, it’s important that I make you feel appreciated.”

Jimin can’t even decide where to begin. Should he eat the fishcakes? Or the stew? Most of all he wonders why Taehyung chose today of all days to do something like this. It just so happens to be Jimin’s birthday, but Jimin never told Taehyung when his birthday was. He never even told Taehyung that birthdays were a big deal where he came from. Taehyung never even asked about those things, so Jimin just assumed that they weren’t important here.

So why today?

~Flashback~

“Taehyung!” Jungkook called, running up to Taehyung before the elder had the chance to leave the office and get Jimin from the break room. “Before you go…there’s something I should probably tell you.”

Taehyung looked at Jungkook, curious. “What’s that?” He asked.

“Sunday,” Jungkook said, a little hesitant. “I don’t know…I could be wrong, but I think Sunday is a special day for Jimin.”

Jimin hadn’t told Taehyung that anything was coming up for him. He never really talked about holidays on the 9life planet, but Taehyung knew that was probably because he thought that his traditions didn’t matter so much on Earth.

“What do you mean you’re not sure?” Taehyung asked. If it was some 9life holiday coming up, surely Jimin would love to celebrate it.

“I mean…he never talked to me about this, but at home, we would always celebrate the prince’s birthday on the thirteenth day of the tenth moon. That would be Sunday here.” Jungkook said. “And birthdays are a big deal on our planet. I mean…huge. So…just make sure you do something special for him, okay?”

“Wait.” Taehyung said, grabbing Jungkook’s wrist before the cat could run away. He had no idea what ‘huge’ meant, and he didn’t want to do something mediocre for Jimin if he was expecting something spectacular. “How did the peasants normally celebrate the prince’s birthday?”

~End of flashback~

After breakfast, Taehyung tell Hoseok to give Jimin his robes. Jimin has no idea what he’s talking about until Hoseok comes back with garbs that look almost exactly what his robes looked like back at home. The traditional ones that he had to be wearing anytime he left his bed chambers, and Jimin almost wanted to cry just upon seeing it.

“Taehyung, how—”

“Jungkook told me that today was supposed to be special to you.” He said. “He told me that this was the day that they celebrated the Prince’s birthday, and he assumed that meant it was your birthday.”

Jimin narrowed his eyes at his boyfriend. “You mean to tell me that you’ve been asking Jungkook about my culture behind my back?” He asks, slightly offended.

Taehyung laughs and shakes his head. “I didn’t ask him.” Taehyung assures him. “He told me on his own. I just asked him what I should do to celebrate your birthday because I have no idea how you 9lives do it.”

Jimin looks at the robes, and then he looks back at Taehyung, smiling. “Can I go put it on?” Jimin asks, excited.

“Well, I didn’t have it made to be something to look at.” Taehyung tells him.

Jimin almost squeals, and he rushes off to the bedroom. He immediately strips out of his pajamas, and he attempts to put the robes on. The problem is, he’s never put them on by himself, and he doesn’t actually know how it’s done. He always had servants dress him when he lived in the castle.

“Taehyung!” Jimin calls to his boyfriend, and Taehyung shows up just a few moments later. He knows that Hoseok is supposed to be the servant here, but he didn’t really feel comfortable with letting Hoseok see his body like this. “I don’t know how to put it on.”

“Did you never dress yourself at home?” Taehyung asks as he tries to help Jimin figure it out.

“Have you ever known a prince to dress himself?” Jimin snaps.

Taehyung shrugs. “I’ve never known a prince.” He says. “But I’m sure the thinnest layer is the one that goes on first.” He drapes the robe over Jimin’s shoulder, tying it in the back. They work at it together until they get it figured out, and Taehyung complains most of the time about how difficult the clothing style on Jimin’s planet is.

Once it’s done, Jimin looks in the mirror, and he smiles. He’s satisfied. He really feels like a prince now, and it means so much to him that Taehyung would let him wear something like this, which must look ridiculous in their world.

“Do you want to go anywhere today?” Taehyung asks, wrapping his arms around Jimin’s waist and pressing his lips to Jimin’s cheeks.

“Like this?” Jimin questions, looking down at his outfit.

Taehyung shrugs. “Why not?” He asks, sitting on the bed.

“Because…won’t people stare at me?” Jimin points out.

“They stare at you for being a 9life anyway.” Taehyung says. “So if they’re going to stare at you, you might as well give them a reason.”

Jimin actually considers it for a moment, but he shakes his head. “If we go out, I have to wear the collar.” He says. “And I don’t want to wear the collar with this. It just…wouldn’t feel right.”

The robes are supposed to represent Jimin’s power, and wearing a collar only proves that he’s powerless in this world.

“Whatever you say.” Taehyung says, and he leans forward to grab Jimin’s wrist. He pulls the 9life toward himself, and he opens his bedside drawer to pull out a small bamboo box. “I also got this for you.” He says, handing the box to Jimin.

Jimin sits down on Taehyung’s lap to open the box and see what’s inside. It’s all folded up pieces of paper—notes from all of their friends. On the prince’s birthday, it’s a tradition for all the people in the kingdom to write him notes, so it means a lot to Jimin that Taehyung did this.

“I couldn’t really make all the people in Korea write a note to you, but I did the best I could.” Taehyung says.

Jimin shakes his head. “This may be the least amount of notes I’ve ever gotten on my birthday,” Jimin says, carefully reading them over. “But they’re the most meaningful.”

He smiles as he reads Jungkook’s. “Ah, this kid.” Jimin says, and he reads the note out loud. “It’s funny that I’m writing you a note again this year. I thought I would finally be done with that when I came here, but it turns out I was wrong. I guess it’s a little different this time. I’m no longer writing notes to a stranger I’ve never met before. I hope that you have a great birthday and many more follow this one. Also, I’m sorry for telling Taehyung about our birthday culture behind your back, but I just wanted to make sure you were happy today. Signed, Jungkook.”

“See? He knows that you don’t like me learning about your planet from anyone but you.” Taehyung says, squeezing Jimin’s thigh.

Jimin glares down at Taehyung, scrunching up his nose. “If you ever get any advice from Jungkook again, I swear I will kiss Yoongi again.” Jimin warns him.

“You better not.” Taehyung warns right back. “Just tell me when you have important days coming up, and I’ll find ways we can celebrate them together. I want you to feel at home here.”

“I wouldn’t actually kiss Yoongi.” Jimin says.

“I know.” Taehyung assures him.

“I only like kissing you.” Jimin tells him, dipping his face down to kiss Taehyung, but he’s suddenly pushed off of Taehyung’s lap and onto the bed.

“Gross, fish breath.” Taehyung says, as he stands up, and Jimin blinks up at him, an offended look on his face.

“That was rude.” Jimin says, and he tries to get up, but he’s pushed back down by Taehyung.

“I’m only joking,” Taehyung whispers, breathing right against Taehyung’s lips. “I like you even with fish breath.” This time, he’s the one to take Jimin’s lips in a sweet kiss.

Chapter Text

“Taehyung! Taehyung!” Jimin cheers, jumping onto his human when eight o’clock rolls around, and Taehyung still hasn’t woke up yet.

Slowly, Taehyung opens his eyes, and Jimin can’t contain his excitement. He dips down to press a kiss to his human boyfriend’s lips. Even after living on this godforsaken planet for an entire year, kissing is still one of Jimin’s ways to show affection.

“Wow, looks like someone’s excited this morning.” Taehyung says, laughing, and he pulls Jimin in for a deeper kiss. He rests a hand on Jimin’s lower back, and Jimin knows that he’s trying to be sneaky about it when he slips his hand under the hem of Jimin’s pants.

Taehyung’s hand brushes over Jimin’s tail, and Jimin reaches back to remove the hand with a shudder. “Come here,” Jimin whispers against Taehyung’s lips. Taehyung is reluctant to let Jimin go when Jimin tries to get off of him, but he successfully slips away. “I have a surprise for you.”

Jimin skips out of the bedroom, not even waiting for Taehyung to follow him. He makes his way to the kitchen, only then realizing that he didn’t even tell Taehyung this was where the surprise was. He turns around to go tell him, but Taehyung is already standing behind him, and Jimin yelps in surprise. How does this massive human move around so quietly?

“What is this, my kitten?” Taehyung asks, pulling Jimin into a hug, and he’s even laughing a little.

On the table, there is a small breakfast already set up. One which Jimin fixed up by himself…and with the help of Hoseok, of course. Even after living here for a year, Jimin still hasn’t learned much about cooking. Since Taehyung has a butler do that stuff for him, Jimin never gets the chance to learn.

“It’s breakfast,” Jimin says, his voice mostly muffled in Taehyung’s chest. “For our anniversary.” He adds, and looks up at Taehyung’s face.

Taehyung is looking at the butler, who is standing behind the table like he does when each meal is prepared. “And you let him do this? When you knew that I had something planned for our anniversary?” Taehyung questions.

“You didn’t want me to tell him about your plans, so how could I refuse? He would have gotten suspicious,” Hoseok says in his defense.

Jimin’s ears fold to the side, now only feeling bad because he didn’t want to ruin whatever plans Taehyung had. He just wanted to do something special for his human on their anniversary since Taehyung was always the one doing nice things for him.

“I’m sorry,” Jimin apologizes, pulling away from Taehyung. “We can just clean this up and do whatever you had planned.”

Instead of saying anything, Taehyung just walks to the table and sits at his usual spot. “Did you make this?” Taehyung asks, and Jimin nods. “Then we’re staying right here and eating your breakfast. This is much more special and romantic than what I had planned for us.”

Jimin’s eyes light up, and he hops toward the table to sit across from his boyfriend. “Hoseok helped,” He confesses.

“I know,” Taehyung assures him with a laugh. “There’s no way you knew how to cook all of this on your own.”

“I just gave him the recipes and taught him how to use the stove,” Hoseok tells Taehyung, which is true. Hoseok didn’t do anything as far as the actual cooking goes, but Jimin didn’t want Taehyung to know that. If it tastes bad, he wants to be able to blame part of it on Hoseok—which, now that he thinks about it…it probably wouldn’t work anyway. Taehyung knows that Hoseok is a great cook, and everything he makes tastes good.

“And what is this?” Taehyung asks, pointing to the cute little pancakes that Jimin had made and set in the middle of the table. He did them with colored pancake batter, and he made one in the shape of a cat and the other in the shape of an alien—like the ones from the cute little cartoons that Jimin has seen on TV.

“That’s me and you,” Jimin said. “See?” He points to the cat. “This one is me.” He then moves his finger to point to the alien pancake, “And this one is you. It was supposed to be a human, but I couldn’t get it to look as cute as you, so I made it an alien instead. I thought it was fitting since you’re not really like a human anyway…”

“Oh, is this an alien?” Taehyung asks, turning the plate so that he can look at it more head on.

“Does it not look like an alien?” Jimin questions, slightly offended.

“No, I can see it now,” Taehyung assures him. “I just thought it was an ogre at first.”

Jimin tilts his head in confusion, his tail curling up in a question mark shape like cat’s do when they’re puzzled. “What’s an ogre?” He asks.

At that, Taehyung just smiles at him. “You’ve still got a lot to learn, sweet kitten,” Taehyung says.

Once breakfast is through, Taehyung and Jimin find themselves cuddling on the couch. Paws, the annoying little dog that Jimin has grown to love over his time here, is curled up between them, sleeping. Taehyung plays some movie called ‘Shrek’ to teach Jimin what an ‘ogre’ is, but Jimin doesn’t really pay that much attention to it as he just enjoys the warmth of Taehyung’s body, and he’s gently petting Paws on her head.

“How did you know that today was our anniversary?” Taehyung asks, turning his attention from the TV to Jimin. “And how did you know that it was supposed to be a special day? Did Jungkook tell you? Yoongi?”

Jimin shook his head. He was slightly offended that Taehyung seemed to assume that Jimin had to go behind his back to learn about human culture, but Jimin actually did most of his learning from watching TV and asking Taehyung about things later. “Do you really think that I would forget the day I agreed to be your boyfriend?” Jimin asks. “And I knew that it was supposed to be a special holiday because it’s our day. On my planet, we have the day of pairing, like Valentime’s Day, and you said that you didn’t think that holiday was special because everyone showed their love on that day. I can figure things out, you know. I’m a smart kitten.”

Taehyung brushes Jimin’s hair out of his place and presses a kiss to the cat’s forehead. “You are a smart kitten,” Taehyung says. “And I love that you like being here now. Just a year ago, you hated this planet.”

“I still hate this planet,” Jimin assures him, but he regrets saying it when Taehyung’s smile turns into a frown. “I just hate it a lot less when I’m with you.” He adds quickly.

He’s relieved when Taehyung’s face lights up again, and his smile returns. “You know, your planet’s government actually worked out an agreement with our government here.” Taehyung tells him. “They’re allowing some 9-lives to go back to spend some time with their families. We can go, if you want.”

The thought of going back home sounds exciting to Jimin, but at the same time, he’s scared. As much as he hates Earth, he also hate his planet. Most 9-lives probably want to go home because they’re free there. Jimin was never free, but he finds that he feels more free here. As long as he wears one of the collars that Taehyung got for him, he can actually run around and enjoy the city. At home, he only ever saw the palace. Here, he actually has friends. At home, he had nothing. Besides, the cats at home would definitely smell Taehyung all over him, and Jimin would more than likely get punished because he was supposed to stay pure. Now that their prince is tainted, Jimin knew he wouldn’t be welcomed back with open arms.

“No, I don’t want to,” Jimin says, curling more into Taehyung’s side. “They probably don’t want me back, anyway. I’m the prince…my mother is the queen. If she wanted me back, she could have done something about it.”

“Maybe she does,” Taehyung tells him. “Maybe that’s why the government agreed to letting the 9-lives travel home. Maybe your mother had been working to get this to happen so she could see you again.”

That was probably the only logical explanation as to why the 9-life planet even cared to fight for the cats to come back. Jimin knew better than to think that his mother cared if the common people saw their families again. It’s not that she didn’t care for the common people, but she also saw their lives as being more disposable than the noble and royal family lives.

“Assuming she does want to see me again, she’ll probably make me stay there.” Jimin points out. “I’m not technically supposed to be here anyway, and I’m still kind of under the radar because I’m not officially your 9-life.”

“Then I’ll take you to get registered,” Taehyung says, which only upsets Jimin more. It’s nice that Taehyung wants to make sure Jimin can stay with him, but he knows how Jimin feels about becoming someone’s pet. Even if it is Taehyung, Jimin doesn’t want to do it. “She can’t do anything if you’re registered.”

“I don’t want to be your pet, Taehyung,” Jimin snaps. “I just want…” He stops talking when he gets choked up on his words.

“Jimin,” Taehyung says, his tone soft. He tries cupping Jimin’s cheek and making the cat look at him, but Jimin scratches at him and runs away.

He runs off to their bedroom, and he throws himself onto the bed, sobbing. After a few moments, he feels an impression on the bed and a gentle hand on his back.

“Talk to me, Kitten,” Taehyung says. “Whatever you want, just tell me, and I’ll make it happen.”

“I want to stay with you,” Jimin says, and he pushes himself up on the mattress. When he first met Taehyung a year ago, he didn’t trust him. Not one bit. Now, Taehyung is the only person Jimin trusts. “But I don’t want to become your pet to do it. I want to go home and see my family, but I don’t want to if it means that I have to stay there.”

“Well, what if I stayed there with you?” Taehyung suggests, and Jimin bubbles with laughter at the thought of Taehyung staying on his planet. It’s very different compared to life on Earth, and Jimin is almost certain that Taehyung will hate it more than Jimin hates this place. Still, the thought is cute. “I’m not trying to be funny,” Taehyung tells him, slightly offended. “I’m serious.”

“I know,” Jimin assures, still giggling. “And this is why I love you, but I don’t think my mother would allow a human to live on her planet.”

“Then we’ll go visit your family without registering you,” Taehyung says. “And I’ll bring you back with me no matter what.”

“You can’t promise that,” Jimin says.

“Kitten, I would die before I allowed us to get separated.” Taehyung assures him.

“I don’t want you to die,” Jimin whines, and he grabs Taehyung and pulls him close. “If you die, you won’t come back.”

Taehyung laughs. “It’s just an expression,” He explains. “Just…trust me, please? As long as I can help it, no one will take you away from me.”

Jimin considers it for moment, and he does give in because he trusts Taehyung enough. He knows that this human would put himself in any sort of danger to protect him. “Fine,” Jimin says. “if you want to meet my family so badly, I’ll think about going home.”

Chapter Text

“Oh, I can’t wait for you to see the palace,” Jimin chimes as he and Taehyung get into the car. Now that the time has officially come for them to head to the 9life planet, all of Jimin’s worries about going were completely gone. Rather than being afraid that he might get caught and put into a pound for not being registered, he’s excited for Taehyung to come to his world. He can’t believe that this is really happening. “And my bedroom. It doesn’t really compare to your bedroom, but it’s my room.”

“I can’t wait to see it, Kitten.” Taehyung says, and he ruffles Jimin’s hair, pushing him further into the car so that he could fit in as well.

Hoseok, as always, has the driver’s seat with Taehyung and Jimin in the back. Fortunately for Jimin, dogs aren’t allowed to come to the 9life planet, so they had to leave Paws behind. Hoseok would be staying at Taehyung’s house and taking care of her for them.

“And the food,” Jimin continues, mentally planning all the fun things he and Taehyung are going to do once they get to his planet. “We eat a lot of fish, but you like seafood, so it’ll be okay. You’ll even get to meet my younger brother. He’s cuter than me, but he’ll never admit to it.”

“Your younger brother?” Taehyung questions. “You never told me you have a younger brother.”

Jimin nods. He turns his head from the window to look at Taehyung, deciding that he likes the pleased look on his boyfriend’s face more than watching the city scene go by. “What was the point in talking about him if I didn’t think you were ever going to get to meet him?” Jimin questions. “You know, now that I think about it, they probably named him the crown prince in my absence, which means that he’s pretty high up there. You’ll have to show him a lot of respect.”

“He’s your family,” Taehyung tells the cat. “Of course I’m going to respect him.”

The rest of the car ride is filled with Jimin going on and on talking about his world. He speaks only of the palace because it’s really the only thing he knows about. What he does know about the rest of the world is what it looks like from the tower of the palace, the only chance he ever got to look out on his people. Of course he had met common 9lives in the throne room, where they would listen to complaints and requests from the people, but he never got to see the world they were living in. Because of that, Jimin feels that he wasn’t doing his world justice by speaking about it from the small amount he could.

Eventually they arrive at the station, and that’s when the fear finally hits Jimin. He and Taehyung get out of the car and go up to the gates where they were will be checked in, and Jimin can feel his pulse racing. Ahead of them in line, he sees the guards collecting documents from the humans that are there, probably the official papers stating that these 9lives belong to them, and it frightens Jimin. Taehyung doesn’t have any papers like that because Jimin isn’t registered. If they find out that Jimin is here without documentation, he could be taken away right now.

“Papers,” The guard says to Taehyung when the two of them reach the front, and Jimin stands there. Frozen and in fear.

Taehyung goes through his bag, and he pulls out some papers to hand over to the guard. Jimin cautiously watches trying to see what’s going on, what the papers are. Some of them are about Taehyung, his passport and such, but he sees some information on Jimin, saying that he’s a registered 9life belonging to Kim Taehyung himself, and Jimin’s fear quickly turns to a fire blazing at the pit of his stomach.

“Park Jimin,” The guard said, typing something into the computer. He’s quiet for a moment, and Jimin’s anger turns back to fear again as he watches the man’s expression change from concentrated to intrigued. “I’m not seeing a Park Jimin listed under the ownership of Kim Taehyung,” The guard said. “We do, however, have Park Jimin listed as an illegal 9life.” He pressed a button and stood up from his chair. “We’re going to need to impound him.”

“Wait, what?” Jimin asked, but before he could do anything else, there were two other guards behind him. One of them had his hands pulled behind his back before Jimin could get away, and he put cuffs on Jimin’s wrists. “Taehyung!” Jimin shouted, trying to reach for his boyfriend who just looked so confused right now. The human tried to go after the 9life, but the guard who was at the gate held him back, and the other two successfully got Jimin into their car.

Jimin sat in the police car, huffing and angry and on the verge of tears. He was so close to getting off of this stupid planet, and then this had to happen. First of all, Jimin couldn’t help but wonder how Taehyung had gotten those stupid papers. To Jimin’s knowledge, the 9life had to be present for any papers to be registered, so what even was that? Maybe Taehyung had gotten tired of him. Maybe Taehyung knew that Jimin would get taken away if they came up here like this, and that’s why he did it. To get rid of him.

Going to the pound was Jimin’s worse fear, naturally. All stray and abandoned 9lives were taken there, and Jimin had heard horror stories about them from other cats he had met on this planet, including second-hand information from Jungkook. Apparently humans could do whatever they wanted to these homeless 9lives, and there was nothing that could be done about it. The 9lives weren’t viewed as regular citizens, so they didn’t get all the same rights as everyone else, and most crimes against them weren’t considered crimes.

Jimin was dragged into the building and shoved into cell once they had the cuffs removed from his wrists. The cell was dark. There were blankets for the cats to sleep on, but they didn’t get any real beds, which kind of sucked and made Jimin hope that he wouldn’t be staying here for long. The luxury life of a prince and living with Taehyung had spoiled him into the enjoying the softness of plush mattresses and such.

“Well, well,” He heard a deep, gravelly voice behind. He turned around to see a cat much bigger than himself, broader, too. He was built, and had a hard look about him that made Jimin tremble in fear. “Looks like we got ourselves a kittypet, boys.” He said, tracing his fingers along the collar that only Taehyung has the power to remove. “What brings you here, Kitten? Did you run away from home? Or did you get thrown out when they got bored of you?”

“I’m not a kitten,” Jimin hissed, slapping the larger cat’s hand away. It was tempting to reveal his true identity, to claim himself as the Prince to these low-life felines, but Jimin held it back. The common people on his planet didn’t know what he looked like, and it was likely that he’d only get laughed at for, what the cats would believe as, such a tale. “I didn’t run away, and I wasn’t abandoned. I was trying to go home to see my family once more, and I was kidnapped and brought here. My human will come for me.”

The broad cat clicked his tongue in amusement. “Looks like we’ve got ourselves a feisty one,” He noted. “Maybe we should teach you a lesson or two before the humans get here. We’ll straighten you out before they get to you.”

Jimin didn’t know if this cat meant by roughing him up in a violent way, or a sexual one, but he wasn’t prepared to find out either. Before Taehyung, no one had ever touched Jimin in anyway, and Jimin really didn’t want to let filthy low-born kittens put their paws on him. “Did you not here me?” Jimin snapped, pushing the big cat away. “My human will come for me, so you just stay in your own little corner until he gets here.”

“He’s a pretty kitty,” Another one of the cats said. This one was much more slender, and quite a bit taller. He walked out of the dark back of the cell, and stood in front of Jimin. He cupped the prince’s face, tilting his head back so that he could get a good look at him. “Big beautiful ears, and a soft, plush tail. I’d say he’s likely to have royal blood in him. You only get lush fur like this around the castle.”

Jimin liked this cat. His voice was soft, and his hands were gentle. He didn’t seem to have the intentions of hurting Jimin.

“Are you scared, Kitten,” He asked, petting Jimin’s cheek with the back of his hand. Jimin nodded, but it was comforting to have this cat here. Jimin didn’t even know him, but he seemed friendly enough. “Don’t worry. No one is going to touch you until your Master gets here. I’ll make sure of it.”

*

“Please, you have to help me,” Taehyung begged, laying himself over the table in the café, grabbing Namjoon’s hand into his own. “It took me so long to gain Jimin’s trust, and now he probably thinks that I’ve betrayed him. Or worse, abandoned him.”

“So the form that you had Yoongi make for you backfired?” Jungkook questioned, pushing Taehyung’s hands away. He was obviously particular about people getting too close to his human. “Because…Park Jimin has been registered as an illegal 9life?”

“But how do they know it’s the same Park Jimin?” Namjoon asked, “It’s a common name.”

“Ridiculously common here,” Jungkook noted, “But not on our planet. If it’s a royal name, Jimin is the only one.”

“So what are you saying?” Taehyung asked, “That his own family are the ones who registered him as illegal?”

Jungkook shook his head, brows furrowed deep in thought. “Did Jimin ever tell you…?” He started, and went quiet again. “Did he ever tell you the story on how he came to live here?”

It was Taehyung’s turn to shake his head. “He only said that he was stolen away from him chambers one night,” Taehyung said. “Said the queen had tried to stop them from taking her son, but there was nothing she could do about it.”

“Them?” Jungkook questioned. “Who is this ‘them?’ 9lives? Or humans?”

“I don’t know. I don’t remember if he gave me that information, but why does it matter?”

“I’m just thinking,” Jungkook said, “If Jimin was sent here without the agreement of the queen, maybe there is someone else in the castle who wanted to get rid of him. So maybe it was his family who sent him over here. Against the will of the queen, and they registered him as an illegal 9life to prevent him from returning.”

“So…what are we going to do about it?” Taehyung asked, feeling hopeless in this situation. “Just leave Jimin to rot in the pound?”

“God no,” Jungkook said. “That kitten is too pure for a place like that. They’ll break him.”

“Then how do you propose we get him out?”

“The only choice we may have…” Jungkook said, “I’m going to have to meet the queen.”

Chapter Text

“Jimin?”

Jimin’s ear twitched at the familiar sound of his human’s voice, and he stirred from his sleep. It had only been a little more than 24 hours without seeing Taehyung, but it had already felt like a century to the 9life. He blinked to clear his blurry and unfocused vision before turning toward the cell door.

“Taehyung,” Jimin said, almost breathless. He peeled himself away from Brain’s grasp. Brain was the tall 9life that was kind to Jimin—all the cats in the prison cell had their own nicknames they called each other by, so Jimin didn’t know Brain’s real name. They gave Jimin the nickname of Prince—without knowing that’s who he actually was—all because of Brain’s assumption regarding Jimin’s royal blood.

Jimin rushed up to the cell door, and Taehyung reached through to stroke Jimin’s hair and give him a little scratch behind the ear. “God, I’ve missed you, Kitten,” Taehyung said, and Jimin couldn’t agree more. He missed Taehyung’s touches and kisses and the way he scratched Jimin behind the ears. He missed hearing his voice and the two of them rambling in bed before falling asleep together. He missed the random adventures and Taehyung’s smile which was as bright as the sun—and, oh yeah. It had only been a little more than a day, but Jimin did miss all of it. “I see you’ve already made some new friends.” He motioned toward Brain in the back of the cell. “Of course you would. I mean, who couldn’t love you?”

Jimin looked back to see his fellow cellmates sleeping, and he turned back to Taehyung. “He’s taking care of me.” Jimin told his boyfriend.

“That’s good,” Taehyung said, smiling. “Is that how 9lives sleep together?”

Jimin assumed he was referring to how he and Brain were curled up together, practically cuddling. The taller cat had his arm and legs draped over Jimin and his nose buried in the fur near Jimin’s ear. Jimin just nodded in response.

“Did you know that we would end up like this?” Jimin asked, thinking about what Brawn, the larger cat, had said when Jimin shared the story about how he came to the pound. He told them about Taehyung having some form that told them who Jimin was, and Brawn had said that Taehyung probably did it on purpose. 9lives didn’t have a strong trust in humans in general, so his assumption was understandable. Brain, on the other hand, assured Jimin that Taehyung would show up to rescue him. He claimed to have a special sight that allowed him to see future events and such—a thing that the other cats laughed about, but Jimin wanted to believe was true.

“I should have,” Taehyung said. “I should have created a fake name for you. I should have thought it through more—it’s my fault that you’re here. I’m sorry, Jimin.”

Taehyung seemed like he wanted to cry, so Jimin shook his head and reached out to touch the younger’s face. “It’s not your fault,” Jimin assured him, “But…do you know how to get me out of here?”

Taehyung grabbed Jimin’s hand to remove it from his cheek, and he pressed a kiss to it. “We’re working on it, Sweet kitten,” Taehyung told him. “Namjoon and Jungkook are returning to your planet now. Jungkook is planning to meet with your mother in hopes that she can do something about this.”

“That’s not going to be easy,” Jimin admitted, “Gaining an audience with my mother is never easy.”

“Well, we’re hoping that she’s aware that her son has been imprisoned,” Taehyung told him, “And we’re hoping that she’ll be willing to listen to the only 9life who has any information on your whereabouts.”

“I haven’t been imprisoned,” Jimin grumbled. “I’ve been impounded, which is definitely worse.” He paused and looked back at his cellmates again. “Well, if I weren’t lucky enough to have this lot as my cellmates, it would probably be worse. These cats are kind, but they can only do so much to protect me. If the humans decide they want to do something with me, there’s nothing they can do.”

“I know,” Taehyung acknowledged, and he reached into the cell to run his fingers across the collar Jimin was still wearing. As much as Jimin hated the collars, it was the only thing keeping him bound to Taehyung right now, so he wasn’t going to let anyone remove it—not that removing it would be easy without Taehyung’s thumbprint. “Since you belong to me, we have a week before they’re allowed to let any humans touch you. After a week, all my ownership rights will be revoked.”

“I don’t belong to you,” Jimin said, knowingly, “The papers were fake. I’m not your pet.”

“They don’t know that,” Taehyung said. “Yoongi created those forms for me, and Yoongi knows how to get around even the strictest of laws. If he says you’re mine, not even the highest levels of government will be able to prove otherwise.”

There was the sound of the heavy door leading to the cells opening, followed immediately by the call of “Kim Taehyung! Your time is up.”

“That means I have to go,” Taehyung said, turning back to Jimin. “We’ll get you out of here soon, Kitten. I promise.”

He kissed Jimin’s hand once more before leaving.

“I told you he would come for you, didn’t I?” Brain’s voice sounded from behind Jimin. “That human cares a lot about you.”

“He’s a rare breed,” Jimin said, turning around to face his friend.

“I can see that,” Brain said. “I hope your 9life friend that he mentioned is able to gain an audience with the queen.”

Jimin’s ears folded the side in confusion at the mention of the queen. In the conversation with Taehyung, they hadn’t mentioned the queen at all. They mentioned Jimin’s mother, but neither of them used the term queen. Jimin doesn’t know about Taehyung, but he steered away from the word knowing that the other 9lives may have overheard them.

“I don’t know what you mean,” Jimin said, acting clueless.

Brain huffed and smirked. “You know exactly what I mean, Prince,” Brain said. “Only a fool would think you were a commoner like the rest of us.”

Jimin didn’t know what to do at this point. The only cat that knew about his status on their world was Jungkook, and that was only because Jimin trusted Jungkook enough to tell him. He didn’t know if he could trust Brain with the same information.

“Do the others know?” Jimin asked, hoping that none of the other cats were awake or listening to them right now.

“Not as far as I can tell,” Brain said. “Your secret is safe with me, and I’m keeping to my promise. I’ll keep you safe until the queen gets here. I don’t really want to face her fury if something is to happen to her precious son.”

~*~

“Park Jimin!”

It was two days later before Jimin heard his name called from outside the cell again. It was early in the morning this time as well, and the voice was another one familiar to the cat’s ears—but almost long forgotten. Jimin felt his heart stop in his chest before racing at 120 bpm right after.

He stood from where he was cuddled up with Brain, and he turned to see his mother standing outside of the cell. The queen looked just as good as ever, dressed in their traditional clothes with her hair fixed up in all the pretty decorations. Bright and colorful—a nice addition to this dull, stuffy place.

“Unlock this door right now, and get my son out of there,” The queen commanded in her authoritarian voice. It had been too long since Jimin had heard proper commands being given. “Behind bars is no place for a prince.”

The instant the door was unlocked and opened, Jimin ran out of the cell and into his mother’s arms. Tears filled his eyes as he took in her familiar scent, and she held onto him tightly. “Oh how I’ve missed you, my sweet boy,” The queen said, hugging him like she was afraid he’d slip away if she let go.

“Taehyung,” Jimin said, pulling away from his mother—which wasn’t as easy as you would think. “Is Taehyung here?” He asked.

“He’s waiting for us outside,” The queen said.

The queen had asked if Jimin wanted to say goodbye to the cats he was living with for now, but Jimin decided that he didn’t want to. They were all still sleeping, and they probably wouldn’t be missing anyway. Besides, goodbyes made leaving a lot harder than it needed to be. Not to mention, Jimin just wanted to hurry up and get outside to see his boyfriend.

The sunlight felt so good on Jimin’s skin after spending half a week in the darkness of the cells, but what felt even better was being back in his boyfriend’s arms. Jimin ran toward Taehyung and leaped onto him, the younger easily catching him and supporting his weight so that they didn’t fall to the ground. “I told you we would get you out of there, Kitten,” Taehyung said before letting Jimin go, and the 9life landed on his feet.

“Mother,” Jimin said, turning to face his mom again. “I know you two have already met, but this is Taehy—”

“What is this?” The queen asked. She grabbed onto Jimin’s hand and examined his wrist. It took Jimin a moment to realize what she was talking about until he remembered the mark he had received when he lost one of his lives.

“It’s—nothing, Mother,” Jimin said, trying to pull his wrist away, but he couldn’t.

“No, it is not nothing,” The queen said. “How did this happen? Explain it to me.”

Jimin didn’t want to explain it. He didn’t want to tell his mother about how he had lost one of his lives because he forgot to put his collar on, and Taehyung hadn’t reminded him. His mother seemed fond of Taehyung right now, and he didn’t want to give her a reason not to be.

“It was an accident,” Jimin said. “I’m fine. I have eight other lives to spare.”

“Was this your fault?” The queen asked, looking directly at Taehyung.

“It wasn’t his fault—”

“It was,” Taehyung accepted the blame before Jimin could properly speak in his defense. “I allowed Jimin to walk around without his collar once, and he got attacked. It was my fault, and I’m sorry.”

It was quiet. The queen was staring at Taehyung with so much anger in her eyes—if she could shoot lasers, Jimin had no doubt in his mind that she would disintegrate Taehyung on the spot.

“Thank you for being kind to my son and taking care of him during his stay on your planet,” The queen said. “Your service is no longer required. You can say your goodbyes, but then we must be off.”

“Because of this?” Jimin asked in disbelief. “It’s just one mark, and you’re crazy if you think I’m going back home with you and leaving Taehyung here.”

“You either come home with me,” The queen said, “Or I’ll ask these humans to put you back in this pound so that you’ll never see Taehyung again.”

Jimin didn’t know what had gotten into his mother, but he couldn’t let her treat Taehyung like that. Not after everything he had done for Jimin since Jimin arrived on this godforsaken planet. He was going to argue on his boyfriend’s behalf, but Taehyung shook his head.

“It’s fine,” He said, and he kissed Jimin lips. It was much too short of a kiss for Jimin’s likings, but what could he do? “We had our fun, Kitten. I think it’s time that you went back with your family.”

Jimin wanted to argue, but he found no words to say. Instead, tears only flooded his eyes, and that was last thing he heard from Taehyung before returning home with his mother.

Chapter Text

With Jimin home, things had somewhat returned to normal. Despite his adventures in the human world, Jimin still wasn’t allowed to explore the city. No. His mother had brought him right back to the palace ‘where he belongs’ she says. There was still apparently no word on who was responsible for sending Jimin to the human world, and, until they found out, Jimin was hardly even allowed to leave his chambers. The only cats he was allowed to have contact with were his brother, and the guards. The queen claimed it was for his own protection, but Jimin didn’t feel safe.

He didn’t feel safe in this world anymore—not that he ever should have felt safe here. The guards standing outside of his room, guarding his door right now, were the same men who beat him when he was here before. Yes, the queen was aware of the treatment her son was receiving from them—it was happening under her orders. Jimin just always thought that’s how life was supposed to be, but his time on Earth, with Taehyung, had taught him otherwise.

“What is this?” The queen asked one day when she visited her son’s room. She was gripping onto the collar that was still arounds Jimin’s neck since Jimin had no clue how to get it off—not that he’d want to even if he could. Taehyung gave him this collar, and, as long as he was still wearing it, he still belong to Taehyung. “Why haven’t you taken this off?”

“It’s my collar, and I can’t take it off,” Jimin explained. Collars were things that didn’t exist in their world.

“What is a collar, and why can’t you take it off?”

It seemed odd to Jimin that the queen would have no idea about the collars since she was the one who was sending her people to Earth to be slaves, but he wasn’t really surprised. After his many conversations with Jungkook in the breakroom of Taehyung’s work, Jimin had learned that his mother was blind to many things going on around her. It probably came from her reluctance to visit the common people. She wouldn’t waste her time on them.

“When 9lives become slaves to humans, they’re given a collar,” Jimin explained to her. “The collars are registered to their Master’s fingerprints, and only the Master can remove the collar.”

“And I’m assuming that would be Taehyung?” His mother questioned.

Jimin just nodded in response, trying not to cry at the mention of his name. When he first arrived on Earth, he never thought that he could grow so attached to a human, to the point of actually missing him when he’s not around. What hurt the most, though, was how easily Taehyung had given up. He was supposed to fight for Jimin. He was supposed to come with Jimin to see the palace and meet his family, but he just gave him up. Jimin was a fool to think he could trust a human.

“It sounds like nonsense to me,” The queen stated when Jimin didn’t say anything more.

She reached up and tried to remove the collar herself. Jimin tried to jerk away, knowing what would happen, but she was too fast. She tried pulling it apart, and it just shocked Jimin instead. When someone attempts for forcefully remove the collar, it shocks the 9life that it’s attached to. Jimin yelped out at the pain, and shoved his mother’s hands away.

“It’s not going to come off,” Jimin shouted. He had never raised his voice at his mother like that, and he regretted it the instant he did. The queen, as much as she loved her children, could be relentless as well.

“Your time in the human world has corrupted you,” The queen said, her voice so sharp that her words cut like a knife. “Maybe Jiho needs to come in here and remind you of your place.”

“I’m sorry,” Jimin quickly apologized, and he hoped that his mother would be forgiving this one time. “I just…I’m tired of being cooped up in here all day. Could I go out to the courtyard for some fresh air?”

The queen actually considered it for a moment, and she nodded. “Only for a few minutes,” She said. “It’s almost time for dinner, so I want you back in here then.”

Since Jimin arrived home, he hadn’t even been able to eat dinner at the table with the rest of his family and nobility. Instead, a plate was prepared for him and brought to his room, giving him no reason to ever leave this place.

Still, his mother had given him the opportunity to go outside, and he wasn’t going to throw that to waste.

It was already dark out, which was fine. Jimin loved the night sky, and he loved looking up at the stars. They were much more beautiful here than they were on Earth, but Jimin can’t get the time that Taehyung took him out to the middle of nowhere to prove to him that the stars were visible on Earth. Apparently light pollution was a thing on that world, and it made the start impossible to seen from the city.

Jimin lay on the ground, resting on his back and looking up at the stars. What Jimin liked the most about the stars here was the way he was actually able to see which color they were burning, rather than all the seemingly white stars that spotted Earth’s sky. The night sky was littered with colors of orange and red and yellow and blue, and how Jimin wished that Taehyung were here so that he could see it. “Idiot,” Jimin mumbled to himself, hating how he had fallen so hard for the human who was just going to let him go. He crossed his arms over his chest, and continued to look up at the sky.

“Well, I was able to make it here, so I’d like to think that I’m somewhat of a genius.”

Jimin’s breath got caught in his throat at the very familiar voice of Taehyung’s. He tried to ignore it, thinking he was maybe just hearing things, but it sounded so real. He brought himself up from the ground, into a sitting position, and he twisted around to see Taehyung standing right behind him. His vision quickly went blurry through his tears, overjoyed at the beautiful sight of his beautiful human.

Without any words, the cat leaped to his feet and hugged onto Taehyung tightly, burying his face in the human’s chest. It had only been a few days since Jimin arrived back at home, but it felt like an eternity since he was able to take in this familiar scent of his human. It was all so refreshing and felt more familiar than home did to him, and it made Jimin dizzy as he sobbed into Taehyung’s chest.

“How did you get here?” Jimin asked easily enough through his tears.

“I told you, didn’t I?” Taehyung asked. “I’m not going to let you go without a fight.”

Jimin just hugged on tighter, afraid to let Taehyung go. He didn’t want to be away from him ever again. If Jimin had to stay here, he wanted that to mean that Taehyung would stay here, too. If Taehyung had to go back, Jimin wanted to go back with him.

“Does the queen know you’re here?” Jimin questioned.

“I would be with you if the queen knew I was here,” Taehyung informed him. “I was turned away at the gate. They said something about how you were only able to see your mother, brother, and a few, trusted guards, so I snuck in.”

“Did you come by yourself?” Jimin asked, looking around the dark courtyard for signs of Jungkook. As a general rule, humans weren’t permitted to travel to the 9life world without a 9life being with them.

“Jungkook came too,” Taehyung said. “He’s visiting his family right now.”

Jimin was glad to hear that, and he hoped that Jungkook had a much better relationship with his family than Jimin had with his own. He hoped that a trip to visit them for a while would be good for him, instead of toxic like this is for Jimin.

“Are you going to take me back with you?” Jimin asked, nuzzling into Taehyung’s chest.

“Who said anything about going back, Kitten?” Taehyung asked, and Jimin looked up at him in confusion. “First, we have to expose your brother for doing this to you.”

Jimin took a step back from Taehyung, looking at the human in confusion. “My brother?” He asked, suspicious. “My brother wouldn’t—”

“Jimin, do you trust me?” Taehyung asked.

Jimin wanted to trust Taehyung, but he was having a hard time believing that his brother was the one who sent him to the human world. He and his brother were always close, so he didn’t want to believe that he would do a thing like that. Still, the thought of his brother betraying him was less painful than the idea that Taehyung was lying about it. He’d rather be betrayed by his own brother than for Taehyung to lie to him.

“I trust you,” Jimin decided, “But what makes you think my brother is the one who sent me to Earth?”

“It’s the only thing that makes sense,” Taehyung told him. “The only reason I can think that someone would send you away was to get you out of the way. Whose way were you in? Your brother’s. Why? Because, if you’re not here, he’s the crown prince.”

It made sense, and Jimin felt like a fool to think that his brother could be trusted. It also made Jimin wonder if the queen knew more about this than she was letting on. Maybe she knew that Jiwon had something to do with this, but she didn’t want him to be thrown in the dungeons for doing such a thing, so she’s playing clueless like she always does.

“Okay, let’s just say that my brother is the one who sent me to your world,” Jimin said, “How are we going to prove that to the queen?”

“Don’t ask me to make a plan,” Taehyung said back, “I’ve never been very good at making plans. Let’s just go talk to your mother, and we’ll figure it out from there.”

Taehyung turned to walk toward the palace, but Jimin quickly grabbed his arm to stop him before he got too far away. “Wait!” Jimin demanded. “You can’t just waltz into the palace like you own the place. My mother doesn’t even know you’re here, and she’s not very welcoming to uninvited guests.”

“No? Then what do you propose we do, sweet kitten?” Taehyung asked.

Jimin thought for a moment, and then he thought of something that might help Taehyung gain his mother’s trust. “Take this collar off of me,” He said.

Taehyung looked quizzical for a second, but he followed Jimin’s order without question. He pressed his thumb to the reader, and the collar snapped right off.

“Just follow my lead,” Jimin said, “And please don’t do anything stupid.”

“I can’t make that promise,” Taehyung said, and Jimin rolled his eyes but led the human into the palace anyway.

Having spent every single day of his early life in the palace, Jimin knew his way around better than anyone else. He prided himself in sneaking around and getting into rooms and places that most of the other cats didn’t even know existed. Because of this, Jimin was able to find the queen’s quarters without getting caught by any of the guards or other noblemen. He knocked on the door to the round office, knowing his mother would be inside right now, and he slowly pushed it open. “Mother,” Jimin said, voice small and hesitant.

The queen whirled around in her chair to face the door where Jimin was standing. His brother and their advisor was in the room with her, and she looked angry that Jimin had come to disrupt whatever it was that they were talking about.

“Can I talk to you? Alone?” Jimin asked.

The queen nodded, and she dismissed the two toms from the room. Jimin walked in, followed by Taehyung, and the queen looked even more enraged now.

“What is a human doing inside the palace?” The queen asked.

“He came here to give up his ownership of me,” Jimin explained, motioning to the fact that he was no longer wearing his collar. “But also because he wants you to hear him out on something.”

The queen looked to calm down a little, and she pointed to the chairs for them to sit down. Jimin was glad that she decided to cooperate, and he only hoped that this would go well.

“Taehyung is here because—”

The queen put up a hand to stop Jimin from speaking. “The human has something he wants me to know,” She said, “I want to hear it from him.”

“Your majesty,” Taehyung said, bowing his head politely—the queen seemed annoyed by the gesture, but Jimin thought it was cute that Taehyung had no idea how manners and displays of respect worked in this world. “First of all, I want to say that yes, it is my fault that one of Jimin’s lives have been taken away. I wasn’t careful enough that day, and not a second goes by that I don’t regret it. I know it’s not going to give Jimin that life back, but I’m truly sorry.”

“Apology accepted,” The queen said, and Jimin was becoming a little suspicious about her cooperation. She had seemed to have a strong dislike for the human when finding out about Jimin’s lost life, but now she seemed so forgiving about it. There had to be a reason. “Is there anything else?”

“There is,” Taehyung said. Jimin really wanted to jump in and say something to keep Taehyung from saying something stupid, but he had to let the human speak. He just hoped Taehyung could figure this out on his own. “Have you been looking into finding out who sent Jimin away? I mean, if that person isn’t punished, how can you be so sure that Jimin is really safe now?”

The queen leaned forward, folding her hands in front of her on the table. She offered a small smile, her sharp front fangs making her look malicious. “First of all, Jimin is the crown prince, and you should address him as such,” The queen said. “Even if he is fond of you, he deserves that respect. And are you presuming that I’m not interested in finding out who was responsible for taking my son away from me? For thwarting all of my harsh efforts to keep him pure? Though, I imagine you had some part in soiling him as well. I’m not blind, and a mother knows—you are responsible for tainting my son.”

“I am,” Taehyung didn’t even seem embarrassed to admit it, but Jimin knew that he, himself, must have been blushing furiously red right now. “What does that mean for me?”

The queen smiled and leaned back in her chair, slouching and sitting comfortably. Jimin had never seen her so relaxed and comfortable in front of someone—she always acted so proper in front of the noblemen and the counsel. “That depends,” The queen said. “I know Jiwon is the one responsible for what happened to Jimin. He sort of admitted it just before you two interrupted us—” which would explain why his mother seemed so furious when they came here, “—he was trying to convince me that Jimin has no right to keep his title after being exposed to the human world. He told me that I should make him the crown prince instead, and—as I said, a mother knows. I saw right through his words, and I know that he was the one responsible for this—that pussy.”

Jimin saw that Taehyung tried not to laugh at the queen’s insult, but he couldn’t help it. A serious glare from the queen got him to shut up real quick, though.

“What I want to ask you, human—”

“Taehyung,” Jimin corrected her.

“Taehyung,” The queen agreed, “How do you think I should punish him?”

“That’s not fair,” Jimin said, knowing where the queen was going with this. “Taehyung doesn’t know—”

Silence,” The queen commanded. “Taehyung, what do you think?”

Taehyung didn’t know anything about their world, and he didn’t know about any of the punishment systems they had. It was interesting to Jimin for Taehyung to be the clueless one, but it wasn’t fair that his mother was using it against him.

“If he really is responsible for Jimin’s banishment, I think it would be right to get an honest confession from him before deciding how to punish him.” Taehyung said.

The queen seemed intrigued by Taehyung’s answer. “What if he’s not the one who committed the crime, but confesses still?” She asked. “Or if he doesn’t confess, but is guilty of the crime? What then?”

Taehyung thought for a moment, and then he turned to Jimin. “What do you think, Kitten?” He asked, clearly afraid to say the wrong thing.

“Um…” Jimin said, looking at the queen. He was hesitant to speak, knowing that she would probably get onto him again, but she seemed ready to listen now that Taehyung was the one who asked for his advice. “I don’t think a confession is necessary. The counsel are only supposed to take commands from the royal family, the queen being the first order of commands. If I was banished to Earth by the right of the counsel, there’s only one place the command could have come from.” He looked right at his mother. “You.”

“Are you suggesting that I’m the one who sent you away?” She asked, not even seeming shaken by Jimin’s almost accusation.

“No, I know that it wasn’t you,” Jimin said. “If you wanted to get rid of me, you would have let me rot in the pound, which means that the counsel got their commands from someone not permitted to give such commands. The only thing that leads me to believe that it must have been Jiwon who issued the command is that he wasn’t banished as well. If someone wanted me out of their way, it had to be because I had something they wanted, and the only thing I had was the right to the throne. Without Jiwon being sent away too, he’s the only one who would have benefitted from my absence.”

The queen smiled. “So, what do you think we should do with him?”

“Banish him,” Jimin said. If his brother hated him enough to send him away, then he didn’t think he wanted him to be in the palace. “Put him in the system, and send him to Earth to live his eight lives out as a slave as he tried to do with me.”

“What about his remaining life when he comes back?” Taehyung asked.

“Put him to death,” Jimin said.

The queen seemed to agree as she nodded at Jimin’s suggestion. “Taehyung, I just want to say that it was very wise of you to ask for Jimin’s guidance in a system that you know nothing about,” She told the human, and Jimin realized then what she was doing. She was testing to see if Taehyung had the same arrogance about him that most humans were presumed to have to the 9lives. “Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t decide a thing like this, but I have something I wish to ask of you.”

“Anything, your majesty,” Taehyung said.

“The time has come for a royal wedding,” The queen said, “But Jimin is going to need someone to marry, and I’m thinking that with our current situation in your world, it would be fitting to have a human sitting next to him on the throne. I can meet with your parents to discuss it if you’d like.”

Somehow, it made Jimin very happy to hear the queen say that she would like for Taehyung to marry her son. With a royal marriage bounding them together, it would be impossible for them to ever be separated again. No one would ever be able to take Taehyung from him.

The human shook his head. “It’d be impossible to discuss it with my parents,” Taehyung said, and Jimin’s ears folded to the side. Taehyung had mentioned how he never got to say goodbye to his own family, but he never told Jimin what happened to them. “But I would be honored to marry your son.”

“Good,” The queen smiled. “Jimin, show your intended to your chambers, and help him wash up. I want you both at the table for dinner tonight.”

Chapter Text

Back in his chambers, Jimin pushed Taehyung down onto his bed—which was much different from the bed that Taehyung had in his world. It was a large, round bed, and perfect for multiple cats to curl up on and cuddle. Of course, there were no cats that would be doing that with Jimin anymore—not since the prince had decided that there was only one person he wanted to be cuddling with from now on. Jimin cupped Taehyung’s face, intending to wash him up for dinner just as his mother had ordered, but Taehyung gabbed Jimin’s wrist to stop him.

“I’m sorry I didn’t ask you earlier, my sweet Kitten,” Taehyung said, “But do you want to marry me?”

Jimin didn’t even notice that he wasn’t given a choice because he hadn’t felt that he needed one. While he had said many time that he wanted to return to his own world—he had eventually grown used to Earth, and his Earthling boyfriend. He couldn’t deny it anymore—he was in love with this human, and he wanted to spend the rest of eternity with him. It didn’t matter if it was here, or on Taehyung’s world. All that mattered was the person.

“That’s not my choice to make,” Jimin said instead of sounding too eager about it. “My mother is the one who gets to decide who I marry.”

“That might be true if you were marrying a 9life,” Taehyung told him, “But your mother has no power over me. If you don’t want to do this, she can’t—”

“I want to,” Jimin jumped in, not wanting Taehyung to explain that they don’t have to get married. He doesn’t want to hear the human say that he has the right to go back to his world, and that he would do it if Jimin didn’t want to be with him. “If I stay on Earth, I’ll have to return after I spend eight lives.” He makes sure not to bring up the fact that he’s already lost one. “And…you have no right to stay here without being bound by marriage. I don’t want anyone to pull us apart again, Taehyung. I love you.”

“And I love you, sweet Kitten,” Taehyung said, and he kissed Jimin’s hands before looking up at the 9life and smiling wide and bright as ever. How Jimin missed seeing this smile. “It just doesn’t feel right to do it like this, so there’s something I want to ask you.”

Jimin tilted his head in confusion, not really knowing what Taehyung was getting at. Taehyung stood from the bed, holding onto Jimin’s hands. He pushed the 9life back a little bit before kneeling on the ground. Jimin was about to ask him what he was doing, but then he began to speak. “Park Jimin,” He said, “I know that we really haven’t known each other that long, but I fell in love with you probably before either of us knew what was happening or where we would end up. I still remember how much you hated me at first and how long it took to gain your trust. I’m sorry that it seems like I betrayed that trust with the recent events, but I assure you I didn’t intend for you to be taken away like you were…I didn’t intend for that to happen at all. If you aren’t mad at me for anything of this, and if you forgive me for everything I’ve done that harmed you, I have one thing to ask. Park Jimin, will you marry me?”

As much as Jimin hated to admit it, he was so confused. Didn’t they just establish that Jimin wanted to marry him? Why was Taehyung asking again? And why did he need to be down on his knee to do it?

“I already said I would marry you, Taehyung,” Jimin said, tugging on Taehyung’s sleeve in an attempt to pull him up off of the ground, but Taehyung stayed knelt in front of him. “Come on, it’s time for dinner.”

Taehyung chuckled, and he kissed Jimin’s hands once again. “As much as you watch TV on Earth, you have never seen a proposal scene?” He questioned, and he finally stood from the ground—reminding Jimin just of how tall he is compared to the cat.

Jimin shook his head.

“It’s when a man decides that he loves his girlfriend so much that he asks for her hand in marriage,” Taehyung explained.

Jimin would question how that has anything to do with them—being two men and all, but his time on Earth had taught him that it was the norm for men and women to marry. That didn’t mean that men couldn’t love men, and women couldn’t love women.

“It’s cute that there’s still a lot you don’t know about human culture,” Taehyung said, scratching Jimin behind the ear. Jimin was glad that he could allow himself to get used to that feeling again—it wouldn’t be going away any time soon.

“Hey, you’re in my world now,” Jimin warned him, “You’re the clueless one here.”

Taehyung laughed, and he pulled Jimin closer to place a kiss on his forehead. “You’re right,” He agreed. Smart human. “So, is there anything I should know about 9life dinner table manners before we go down to eat with your family?”

That was something that Jimin actually had to put some thought into. Being a 9life, all of the special rules that existed in his world just came naturally to him. Of course, he had seen how humans act in their world, but he still had to put some thought into how it compared to his own. The last thing he wanted was for Taehyung to make a bad impression because he didn’t know anything about Jimin’s culture.

“A lot of it is the same,” Jimin assured him, “Like, in Korea, when you wait for the oldest or highest ranked to begin eating before you can touch your food. We do that here, too.”

“So the queen eats first,” Taehyung noted.

“Oh, and you should probably just follow along with the conversation at the table,” Jimin warned him. “Not all topics are suitable for dinner conversation, and you can easily upset the cats by talking about the wrong things. The seating is very specific, too. Since I’m the crown prince, I sit next to my mother, and…since you are now my intended…I guess that means you’ll be sitting across from me. The queen can interrupt anyone she wants in the middle of their speech, but you better not interrupt her. Oh…and most importantly, it’s not weird for cats to lick food off of your face. So please don’t get jealous if somecat does it to me, and don’t feel awkward if somecat does it to you.”

Now that Jimin had explained all of what he thought to be important, he lead Taehyung out of his room, and down to the main floor of the castle. Although Jimin hadn’t been to the dining room since he came back home, he still remembered exactly where it was, and he didn’t need any of the guards to help him find it.

Taehyung seems to be made breathless at the sight of the dining hall. On the far end of the room, there are tall tiger and lion statues, representing the first rulers of the 9lives kingdom—the ones who found this place centuries ago and created treaties so that every sort of cat could live in harmony. The walls are decorated with photos of past rulers, the queen being the most recent. Jimin won’t get a photo in the dining hall until he takes over after his mother.

The table is long enough to offer seats enough for Jimin’s family and more, and there is already all sorts of food on it. There’s freshly caught fish, which is Jimin’s favorite of all, but they also have some small rodents that the hunters had caught and brought in for the chefs to cook. Jimin knows that Taehyung most likely won’t want to eat those, and he only hopes that his mother is understanding of that.

Jimin forgot to mention that they’re not allowed to sit until the queen takes her seat, but he hopes that Taehyung just follows his lead. The queen is standing behind her chair when they reach the table, and Jimin takes his spot next to her, standing as well. The queen motions for Taehyung to take the seat on the other side of her, across from Jimin, and so he does. Thankfully, he doesn’t sit right away. He stands just as everyone else is.

Once all of the other cats make it to the table, which only about four other cats, the queen begins talking and doing the normal before meal speech that does every time they have a meal. Jimin doesn’t know what she talks about half the time because he doesn’t actually listen. He’s always too busy looking at the delicious amounts of food that they have on the table, more excited to start eating than he is to listen to the queen’s words. He wonders if the other cats are the same, or do they actually find some interest in her words?

Once she’s done, she sits down, and so Jimin does, too. Taehyung follows, as does everyone else.

“I am not entirely sure what you humans eat,” The queen said, “But you’re welcome to anything that’s on the table. If doesn’t look appetizing to you, I won’t be offended.”

Taehyung isn’t shy about trying anything and everything that’s offered to him. He eats the rabbit that Jimin’s brother suggests, and he claims that he likes it, but it’s not his favorite. The royal advisor tells Taehyung that the rat tails are his favorite—which Jimin warns him that they have a bit of an odd texture and the flavor to match—but Taehyung still tries it. He agrees with Jimin’s thoughts, but he tried it nonetheless.

After Taehyung has tried all the different foods that the other cats recommended to him, he looks at Jimin. “What would you recommend, my sweet Kitten?” He asked.

“Why do you let him do that?” The queen asks, looking directly at her son, and Jimin shrinks down in his chair, ears folded to the side. “Why do you let him call you kitten?

With all eyes on their side of the table, Jimin suddenly felt as if he had been put on the spot. It wasn’t considered decent manners for any cats to call the prince by such an undermining term like kitten. Jimin didn’t know about the rest of the world, but he believed that being called ‘kitten’ might have been offensive to other cats as well. Humans, on the other hand, called the 9lives whatever they felt like, and Jimin had found Taehyung’s use of the word rather affectionate and sweet.

“I’m sorry,” Taehyung apologized before Jimin could gather up the courage to say anything, “If it’s inappropriate—”

“I have already asked you to address my son as the crown prince,” The queen said. “That is who he is, and you shall show him that respect if you want me to keep this arrangement.”

“Why?” Jimin demanded, finally having the courage to lash back. His time in the human world hadn’t taught him to be soft toward everyone. “It is I who Taehyung is addressing, and I believe that I should be the one to decide how I’d like to be addressed by him. You can punish any cat who calls me by that name, but Taehyung can do as he wishes. If you don’t start showing him some respect, I’ll call this marriage off myself, and we’ll go back to his home.”

Once all the words were out of Jimin’s mouth, his mother struck him across the face. He had never been hit by her own hand before, and he easily decided that this stung the most. He couldn’t be sure if it was because she hit the hardest or if the pain came from the idea that it was actually her who did it this time, but it didn’t really matter. Tears were brought to Jimin’s eyes either way.

“Is that any way to speak your mother?” The queen demanded.

Jimin didn’t answer. He just tried his best to keep his tears from falling. “May I be excused?” He asked.

“Go,” The queen said.

Jimin got up from his spot, and he left the dinner table. He stormed out of the room, rushing off to his bed chambers, and he didn’t even know that Taehyung was following him until the human had caught up to him and grabbed ahold of his wrist right outside of the chambers. He pulled Jimin back, spinning him around, and hugging onto him. When he was safely in Taehyung’s arms was when he finally allowed himself to cry, and Taehyung just held onto him while he let it out.

“I’m sorry,” Taehyung said for the second time that night. It wasn’t his fault, even if he probably felt like it was. “She shouldn’t have hit you.”

Jimin didn’t say anything. He just sat there, in Taehyung’s arms, and he thought about how badly he wanted to go back to Taehyung’s world. It wasn’t fair to make Taehyung stay here. Not when he had Paws and Hoseok at home. Not when he had his work and friends to get back to. Jimin had nothing here. This was what he had to come back home to, and he absolutely hated it. He missed spending time with Jungkook in the breakroom, and he missed bickering with Taehyung over the stupidest things. Jimin regretted his decision to come back here at all. It wasn’t even worth it for Taehyung to meet his family. It wasn’t worth anything. He just wanted to go home. To Taehyung’s home. It was the only place that felt like home to him anymore.

“Do you want to come back with me?” Taehyung asked, as if he could read Jimin’s mind. “We don’t have to get married. At least not here. We can forget about it, and go back to my place and start over.”

Jimin shook his head with tears in his eyes. “I would have to leave,” He said. “After seven more lives, I would have to come back here.”

“Maybe not,” It was Jiwon’s voice that had brought Jimin to pull himself away from Taehyung. His brother was the one who had sent Jimin to earth in the first place, so Jimin wasn’t sure if he should give him the chance to explain whatever it was that he was about to say—but it wasn’t like he had many options either. “I mean, if you really want to go back, I know of a way to make that possible. And we can even make sure you spend the rest of your lives there.”

“H-how?” Jimin asked. He could feel Taehyung grip his wrist tightly, as if to warn him to be careful about Jiwon, but Jimin wanted to trust him. This was the same brother that he had grown up with—sure he may have betrayed Jimin by sending him to Earth without the queen’s commands. But it was that same betrayal that got him to meet Taehyung, and Jimin wanted to trust him right now. He wanted to believe that he still could.

“Mother wants to send me to Earth to be a slave,” Jiwon said, “To make up for what I did to you. If you ask me, it turned out for you better than what everyone thinks, and you clearly don’t want to be here. Convince mother to make me the crown prince, and I’ll see to it that you go back to Earth to live out your remaining eight lives with this human.”

“Jimin,” Taehyung said, trying to hold the cat back, but Jimin stepped closer to his brother anyway.

“All eight of my remaining lives?” Jimin asked.

“What’s the catch?” Taehyung asked for Jimin, who clearly wasn’t thinking there was any catch at all. He’d get to spend his remaining eight lives with Taehyung, and there was nothing that could make that a bad deal.

“He’ll have to become your pet,” Jiwon said, “It’s the only way to ensure that he won’t get taken away from you, and it’s almost as good as a marriage contract—which you wouldn’t be able to obtain in your world.”

Jimin originally hated the idea of becoming Taehyung’s pet, but it sounded tempting right now. He knows and trusts Taehyung well enough to know that he wouldn’t use his Master status against him. If it was the only way they’d get to be together, and Taehyung could stay in his world—where he actually belongs, then that’s what Jimin wanted to do. He turned around to face his human.

“Could we?” He asked. “I mean, do you want to be my Master?”

Taehyung’s smile was soft and sweet, and the way he brushes Jimin’s hair behind his large cat ear was even more so. “It’s up to you, Kitten,” He said.

Chapter Text

“You are expecting me to put my trust in a son who sent our crown and heir away to benefit his own selfish ass?” The queen questioned when Jimin came to talk to her about letting Jiwon take the throne so that Jimin could go back to Earth with Taehyung. More than his responsibilities as the prince, Jimin wanted to stay with the human he had grown so fond of in the past year. “You and Taehyung can stay together if you two marry here. Nothing will be able to take you apart.”

“I can’t ask that of him,” Jimin hated arguing with his mother. As cruel as she could be to the prince, he did love her, and he hated upsetting her. “Taehyung has a family and a life back at home. I can’t ask him to give that up on my account.”

“Does he?” The queen seemed intrigued. “Have a family, I mean? When I offered to ask his parents for them to give you his hand in marriage, he said that wasn’t possible. I assumed them to be dead.”

Jimin didn’t want to answer that question. He never asked Taehyung about his parents because he was afraid that would be the case. Jimin had never even met his own father, so he couldn’t imagine what it would be like to lose not, but two parents at Taehyung’s young age.

You have a family here. You have a whole country here who has been waiting for your return. The wedding ceremony will happen soon enough, and you will take the crown. I’m not discussing this any further.” The queen seemed to have her mind made up.

“I am,” Jimin informed her. “Jiwon gave his word that I would be able to spend my 9th and final life with Taehyung. I trust him to keep to that word.”

“Are you listening to yourself?” The queen asked as if she thought Jimin were the most naïve creature on the face of their planet right now. “Your brother betrayed you, and you decide to trust his word? How naïve can you get?”

Jimin sighed, annoyed how his mother always liked to act like she knew everything. “Look, it’s my life, and I’d like to make my own decisions,” Jimin explained. “I don’t want to take the crown, Jiwon does, so let’s just make both of us happy and let me go back to Earth. You want your kids to happy, don’t you?”

The queen folded her ears to the side, and she let out a sigh. “Why is it that the ones who would be the best rulers never want to take the crown?” She asked, but Jimin could tell that wasn’t a question meant to be answered. She almost seemed like she was asking it to herself. “Let me just ask you one thing.” She stood from where she had been sitting at the other end of the round table, and she walked over to take the seat next to her son. “Do you want to be Taehyung’s pet? Because if you go back to Earth, that’s what’s going to happen. You’ll be his pet. He’ll eventually start to see you as such, and he’ll probably find some other boy to marry. On Earth, you and Taehyung will never truly be equals. You can do that here.”

She was actually making sense right now, and Jimin hated it. He hated thinking that all he ever could be to Taehyung was his pet. Taehyung probably would start to see it that way, and he would want to find someone else to marry. Taehyung is a family man, and, with a 9life on Earth, it would be impossible to start a family. They couldn’t marry, and they couldn’t even adopt children together.

“I…will talk it over with Taehyung,” Jimin decided. “But regardless of what I decide, I expect you to respect my decision.”

The queen nodded, and she ruffled Jimin’s hair. “If you give it some serious thought, I trust you will make the right decision,” She assured him. “You were already smart, and your time in the human world had only made you more so.”

*

“I understand your heart, Jimin,” Taehyung said after Jimin recounted the conversation with his mother to him. They were both sitting on Jimin’s bed together, sitting cross-legged on the round mattress and facing each other. “But I think we are going to have to trust your mom on this one. JIwon had you registered as an illegal 9life before. There’s no telling that he won’t be able to do it again. He could have you arrested and sent back to the pound the instant we step foot on Earth.”

Taehyung’s words made just as much sense as his mother’s words did, and Jimin was beginning to realize that he couldn’t go back to Earth. That didn’t mean that Taehyung couldn’t go back. He didn’t have to leave his friends behind just to be with Jimin. He could return to Earth by himself. Jimin could take the crown, and it would be like none of this ever happened. They could go back to their normal lives, before they ever met each other.

“Then, I think it’s best that you go back to Earth now,” Jimin told him, “My mother can find some other cat for me to marry, and you’ll find someone else on Earth that you love just as much…if not more than me.”

“That’s not happening, Kitten,” Taehyung informed him. “I’m not leaving you now. Not after everything we’ve gone through to make it to this point.” He smiled and kissed Jimin’s lips. “And one more thing, sweet cheeks. I could never find someone I love as much as you.”

Taehyung was so sweet at times that it kind of made Jimin want to cry. Everyone in his life expected so much from him without doing much in return, but Taehyung was just the opposite. He did so much for Jimin without expecting anything from him.

“Then what are we going to do?” Jimin asked, running out of options.

Taehyung placed his fingers to his lips like he was giving it some thought. “I wonder what the rules would be on us getting married here, and then returning to Earth as a married couple,” He said.

“It would turn into a pet contract,” Jimin told him. He had already thought of that and discussed it with his mother, and she had done the necessary research to find out what would happen if that were the case. He and Jimin would be recognized as Master and pet on Earth.

“Then I think we have no other choice,” Taehyung said, and Jimin waited to hear what Taehyung’s decision was going to be. “We have to get married.”

“Why?” Jimin demanded. “Because you think my mother is right? That I’ll only be a pet to you and you’ll find someone else to marry?”

By now, Taehyung wasn’t even surprised when Jimin jumped into his insecurities like this, and he had become pretty good at dealing with it. “Because you have a responsibility here,” Taehyung explained. “And I’d much rather live in a place that we’ll both be treated fairly by law. You won’t be treated fairly on Earth. You know that because of all the shit you’ve already had to go through.”

Taehyung was right. Jimin didn’t give much thought to his limited freedoms on Earth because he lived more freely there, thanks to Taehyung, than he did on his own planet. On Earth, he was able to enjoy the outdoors and eat fatty fast foods. The limitations that he did have were bearable because Taehyung had made it that way. He treated Jimin in such a way that made it hard for Jimin to realize that he was even limited.

“Besides,” Taehyung continued. “We can travel back and forth between the worlds. It’s not like I’ll never see my friends again. Hoseok can take care of Paws if they can’t come here. And, who knows, maybe uniting a human and a 9life in marriage as the kings on your world will do a lot for your people. You could be able to liberate the 9lives on Earth and allow them to live freely. You could allow for non-royal 9lives, like Jungkook, to get married to the person they are in love with.” He paused. “I’m talking about Namjoon, by the way.”

“I know who you are talking about!” Jimin chided, giggling and falling into Taehyung’s lap, full of laughter. The idea of being able to do so much for the cats on Earth really made Jimin consider this more. Especially because he knew Jungkook, and he knew that Jungkook would love to marry Namjoon if he could. He wanted that kitten to be happy.

Then there was the thought of Taehyung. He could marry Taehyung and spend his 9lives with his human, and they could even adopt orphan 9lives, or humans, and raise them together. It would be amazing. They could amazing lives here.

“I’ve made up my mind,” Jimin said.

*

“So, what? You aren’t going to have any royal outfitters put your wedding costumes together?” Jungkook asked as he was accompanying Jimin on a shopping trip in town. It was the first time Jimin had ever been outside of the castle walls, and the first time he was seeing their world.

Taehyung was currently out with Jimin’s mother, doing some shopping of their own.

The world was much like Jungkook had described. There were cats that were busy getting it on in the most awkward of places. It was weird for Jimin, since he wasn’t used to this sort of behavior, but he tried not to be bothered by it. This was their culture, after all.

“I’m having royal tailors put something together,” Jimin assured his friend. “We’re not shopping for clothes for me. We’re shopping for you and Namjoon, which is why I’m having you come along.”

“Namjoon?” Jungkook asked, looking at Jimin in shock. “Namjoon isn’t here.”

“I know,” Jimin hummed, “But I’ve invited him to the wedding. We have our royal advisor going to Earth to bring him back right now. I do hope you know what size he wears in our sizes.”

“I do!” Jungkook chimed, his mood suddenly a lot brighter than it had been when he was dragged to the castle to accompany Jimin on his shopping trip. “You know, I do most of his shopping for him, so I definitely know his size.”

Jimin was glad because Jimin didn’t understand sizes. On Earth, Taehyung was the one who bought all of Jimin’s clothes. It was up to him to figure the sizes out, and Jimin never had to worry about it. On his world, there were the royal tailors who personally made Jimin’s clothes, so he never had to worry about sizes before either. It was a foreign concept to Jimin.

“But, I don’t have any money to buy anything,” Jungkook noted, his cute, black ears folding to the side in disappointment. Jungkook, apparently, came from one of the poorer families. When Jimin became king, he was going to do what he could to help Jungkook’s parents get in a better situation—even if Jungkook was going back to Earth with Namjoon. Jungkook had done so much to help Jimin out, so it was only fair if Jimin could return the favor somehow.

“Don’t worry,” Jimin assured him, and he pulled a handful of diamond coins out of his pocket. “My mom gave me some allowance for this trip.”

Jungkook’s eyes were wide with joy, staring at the collection of coins in Jimin’s hands. “Can I…” He scratched the back of his head in hesitation. “Can I hold one?”

“The coin?” Jimin took one coin from his hand, and he handed it over to the younger cat. “Have you never seen one before?”

Jungkook shook his head. “Not diamonds.” He said, turning the coin over in his hands. “Topaz is the largest value coin I’ve ever seen.”

Jimin almost made a joke about how he had never seen topaz coins, but he forced it back before it slipped out. While he meant it to be a funny and lighthearted joke, he knew that Jungkook would probably taking it as him rubbing his wealth in his face. And that wasn’t Jimin’s intention at all.

 “You can keep that one,” Jimin said when Jungkook tried to hand it back. “I’ve got more than we could even spend in shopping trip.”

Jimin knew that it was something like charity, and he knew that Jungkook was probably a little insulted, but hoped that he would realize that Jimin was just trying to do him a nice favor.

The town looked much different than what Jimin had grown used to on his time in Earth. On Earth, at least in Korea, the buildings were cluttered and there were businesses on top of businesses. While there were many people walking, there were still a lot who drove in cars—which didn’t even exist on this planet. All the cats were walking around in the wide city streets. There were outdoor markets selling fish and other types of seafood. Markets that specialized in rodents, and, on the rare occasion, markets that sold various types of fruits.

Shops that didn’t sell food items were mostly indoors, and that includes the wedding shop that they ended up coming across. Jimin led Jungkook inside, but really he should have been following instead. He had no idea how shopping actually worked, only having ever had people do that for him.

“Hello!” The friendly female cat chimed once she saw some customers enter her shop. “What brings you in here today? A very special occasion, if I may presume, yaong?”

With the short amount of time he had been in the town, Jimin had learned that ‘yaong’ was how a lot of low-born 9lives finished off their sentences. Jimin had never heard that from the cats that lived on Earth, but Jungkook explained that it was a habit they were forced to get rid of before becoming slaves to people. It’s why he didn’t talk like that.

“It is, in fact,” Jungkook was the one to speak. “My friend here is getting married, and we’re looking for the purr-fect outfits for me and my date, yaong.”

Being in the comfort of their own world, and in town, Jungkook allowed for his natural kitty-like accent to come out a lot more. Particularly when talking to the townspeople. It helped him blend in and fit in. Jimin thought the style of speech was a little annoying, but he didn’t say anything. He didn’t want his high-born status to make him seem out of place here.

“And you aren’t hunting for wedding garb for the special mew-ment, yaong?” The clerk had asked, looking at Jimin.

Jimin looked at Jungkook in confusion, hoping he could translate what she had asked. The low-born tongue was too unfamiliar to Jimin for him to understand half of it.

“No, no,” Jungkook answered her instead of translating. “My friend has already found the purr-fect suit mew-lsewhere, yaong. We’ll just be looking for paw-sible clothes for a wedding party, yaong.”

Jimin felt so out of place with the two cats talking to each other. He could only understand half of what they were saying, but he trusted Jungkook enough to take care of everything. After a quick chat with the lady, they were off picking out an outfit for Jungkook.

“And what size does your special cat wear, yaong?” The lady asked when they finally had Jungkook’s outfit decided.

“Oh, he’s not a cat,” Jungkook said, slipping out of his natural dialect and more into how he sounded when they were on Earth. “He’s my Master.”

Jungkook came in here still wearing the collar that Namjoon had put on him. The 9life slaves were required to keep those on while visiting their home planet, so surely this lady had known that Jungkook was a servant cat.

“Oh,” The lady seemed disappointed. “So I’ll be tailoring his outfit to not fit a tail, yaong.”

For some reason, her reaction had offended Jimin. She didn’t have to seem so upset about Jungkook’s special someone being a human. It was sad that the cats had such negative opinions on humans when there were actually some pretty amazing humans out there. Taehyung and his friends were prime examples of that. He hoped that their opinion of humans would start to change after he and Taehyung got married.

It’s not like low-born 9lives opinions really mattered because Taehyung would be king with Jimin, but he still wanted the people to love the man that would be his husband.

Right now, Taehyung was shopping with the queen, so he hoped that the low-born cats would see what was going on when they saw the human with their ruler. He hoped that Taehyung would be able to get the cats to like him.

He paid for the outfits with a single diamond, and the lady almost wept tears of joy when Jimin told her to keep the change.

*

“Where is Namjoon?” Jimin asked when Jungkook came to the dressing room to help Jimin get ready for the ceremony. The 9life had come by himself, and Jimin had expected Namjoon to come with him.

“He’s helping Taehyung,” Jungkook answered.

“Are we sure that’s a good idea?” Jimin asked as he struggled to get his cloak latched onto his outfit. “I mean, I don’t think Namjoon—” Jimin was having a little trouble. He wasn’t used to dressing himself in these clothes, but he didn’t want the help of any of his dressers. “If you can’t tell, royal outfits are a pain in the ass to get on, and I don’t think Namjoon knows how to do it—a little help here, please?”

Jungkook rushed up to Jimin, and he fiddled with the cloak. Since he wasn’t exactly used to the royal garb either, it took him some time to figure it out, but he did get it attached, and Jimin thanked him.

“They’ll figure it out,” Jungkook assured him, and he smiled at Jimin as he flattened out the prince’s cloak. “You look amazing like this, my Prince. I can’t wait for Taehyung to see you.”

“Really? You think so?” Jimin asked, and he looked into the mirror.

His outfit was the traditional blue that the royal family always wears on their wedding day. It consisted of a top with a belt around the waist, and the shirt came out in ruffles underneath the belt. A pair of pants that had green gems on them, and his cape that was pure white with light blue fur at the top around his shoulders. The only thing he was missing was the headpiece, but that wouldn’t be given to him until he and Taehyung were both standing together before the lion statue—believed to be a representation of their original founder and their lord.

“I really think so,” Jungkook said, and he gave Jimin a quick lick on his cheek. “Come on. It’s time for you to see Taehyung.”

Jungkook took Jimin’s hand and led him out of the dressing chamber. Jungkook had never been in the palace before, but he seemed to be able to find his own way around fairly easily. He led Jimin to the event hall, and Jimin fell absolutely breathless at the sight of his husband. Taehyung, like Jimin, was wearing the traditional wedding garb. The only difference is that he was wearing purple, the color for those of non-royal blood marrying into the royal family—the color Jimin’s father had supposedly wore when he was married to the queen.

“Thank you for bringing my prince to me,” Taehyung said when he approached them with a gigantic smile on his face, and he held out his arm for Jimin to take. “You look paw-sitively purr-fect.” He chimed in a teasing tone.

“That’s low-born speak,” Jungkook told him as he bubbled with laughter. “You humans are so cute when you’re clueless.”

“Hey, don’t call my human cute,” Jimin warned his friend, and he wrapped his arms around Taehyung defensively. “You have your own human.”

*

Thanks to the queen negotiating with the 9life counsel on Earth, Taehyung was allowed to have his friends come to the wedding as well. Yoongi and Seokjin were here, and Hoseok was able to make it as well. Jimin was glad to see all of their faces at the event, mingling with other 9lives. All of the 9lives seemed to love every single one of Taehyung’s friends, but they all liked Taehyung the most. They looked a little out of place wearing human clothes rather than the traditional 9life clothing, but that didn’t really stop them from making plenty of friends with Jimin’s extended family and other noble 9lives who were attending the wedding.

By now, everyone was seated and quiet, and Jimin and Taehyung were standing in front of the lion statue together. The head of the counsel was standing between them and the statue, ready to wed the two in a royal marriage.

“We are gathered here today to bear witness to the union of Park Jimin, 9life of royal blood, heir to the pride throne, and Kim Taehyung, a human in which our prince has found a great companion to become his life partner,” The counsel man said, “He may not be a cat by blood, but if he hold Jimin’s heart in his hands, then we can all accept him as a cat in our hearts.”

Jimin couldn’t help but smile wide at the words that had been specially written for this occasion. They were different words than what were normally said, but 9life vows wouldn’t make sense in this case.

“As we stand before our founder, the lion of the old ages, I hereby pronounce these two united in a royal bond,” The counsel man continued. “By no means shall they ever be separated in life, for there is no bond stronger than that of our royal unions. Normally we would have you two lick each other to seal the deal, but Jimin has expressed his dislike for that. He says that the saliva of humans is sticky and gross, so he asked to instead be kissed—whatever that means. So, Taehyung, you may now give Jimin a kiss.”

The entire crowd was bubbling with laughter on the last part of the announcement, and Taehyung was laughing as well when he pressed his lips to Jimin’s. Out of the many times that Taehyung had kissed him before, this was the most special and the most magical. It shot little sparks throughout Jimin’s body, and he found himself nuzzling in for me. Thankfully the 9lives were sorts who were used to seeing public displays of affection—otherwise they may have been booed off the stage.

“Before we conclude this part of the ceremony, Jiwon has a few words that he would like to say.” The counsel man said.

This was the part that Jimin was looking forward to the least, and he had asked him mother not to let it happen. Jiwon was about to make a fool of himself, and Jimin knew it.

His brother stood from his spot, and he walked over to the side of the stage. “Dear brother,” Jiwon said. “I am so happy for your union with Taehyung. So, so happy, but I don’t really understand why you had to do it. The marriage will be void when you return to Earth, so it was ultimately a waste of the crown’s money. And this is why I am better fit to be king that your naïve little ass.”

With Jiwon talking like that, belittling Jimin, it was impossible for Jimin to regret this decision. The queen came up with the brilliant plan—she was queen for a reason. She agreed to a wedding union between Jimin and Taehyung as long as they ‘promised’ to go back to Earth once they were united. Jiwon would then take the throne, and everyone would be happy. The only thing is, Jiwon didn’t know that it was a set up.

The queen worried that Jiwon would have run away if he knew that he wasn’t going to get the throne. He knew what fate awaited him if Jimin came in power, and the queen believed that he would have disappeared before the wedding if he knew that Jimin was taking the crown. So she made sure that he believed that he had won this argument, that way he could be right where they needed him when the time came.

“I’m sorry,” Jimin said at the end of the speech, and Jiwon just looked confused.

The castle knights came up behind Jiwon, and they took him under their hold. “What?” Jiwon demanded, trying to fight away, but there was no escaping the castle knights. They were the most skilled fighters in the kingdom. “What is this? I am supposed to be the king! I am better suited for the crown than that little—”

“Shut him up,” Jimin demanded, not wanting to hear any more of his brother’s pointless insults, and one of the knights had hit him over the head just hard enough to knock him out.

Jimin’s brother was carried from the event hall, and the wedding ceremony had continued on like nothing happened.

“Now that our young prince has reached maturity,” The head counsel continued his words, “I hope that he humbly receives the honor of being crowned our new king.”

The queen stepped down from where she had been standing next to the lion statue, and she removed the crown from her own head. “Not only am I giving you this crown and all the power that I’ve held to the throne,” She said as she placed the crown on Jimin’s head, “But I am also giving you one other gift.”

This wasn’t part of the script, so Jimin didn’t know what to expect. The queen took one of his hands into her own, and she held tightly like she was afraid that she would lose Jimin if she let go. “Had Jiwon not sent you to Earth the way he did, you would not have lost the one life you did,” She placed her hand on Jimin’s wrist where the mark was, “So I am going to give you this one life back, and you can happily live all 9lives with your new husband.”

“But then you would—ah,” Jimin winced, and he jerked his hand back. It was too late. She had already done it, and the mark on Jimin’s wrist disappeared. Jimin would like to have said that he was thankful, but he knew that the queen had to give up one of her own lives to do that.

The queen unraveled the bandaged that she kept around her own wrist all the time, which revealed the number of time that she had died already. Jimin had never seen her wrist because she always kept it hidden, and he was horrified to see that she already had eight marks with one more being engraved there—signifying that her last life had gone to give back the one Jimin had lost.

“Mother—” Jimin choked on his word, and tears filled his eyes. This was supposed to be a happy day, but the queen had ruined it by doing that. “I didn’t ask you to do that!”

The queen’s image started to fade as she stood before Jimin, and Jimin tried holding onto her to keep her here. “Take it back!” Jimin demanded, shouting at his mother’s fading body. He was furious, and tears were streaming down his face. “I don’t want it!”

“Just don’t waste it, my son,” The queen said, her voice sounding more like an echo than a solid voice. “And I will not have gone in vain.”

“Stop!” Jimin demanded as if giving such commands would keep her from fading away. Apparently the only thing more powerful than a royal command was death, and there was no way to keep it from happening. “I order you to take this back! How can I be a good ruler without you to guide me?”

“You already know everything you need to know,” The queen assured him, her voice sounding quieter. "I love you. And Taehyung, please take care of him for me.”

As the queen’s image completely faded, the entire room was silent. Jimin was the only one left in tears, other than Yoongi who was crying on Seokjin’s shoulder. Everyone else in the room was dead silent.

“Jimin…” Taehyung was the first person to speak, and he placed his hand on Jimin’s shoulder.

Jimin immediately turned toward him, burying his face in Taehyung’s chest and sobbing. He was thankful to have his husband here, as there was probably no way that anyone could be as comforting to Jimin as this human was. He allowed himself to cry, not even caring what any of the cats in the audience would think of him.

“This is supposed to be a day for celebrating, my child,” Jimin heard the queen’s voice still echoing in his mind. He lifted his head from Taehyung’s chest and looked around, but no one else in the room was reacting like they had heard it. “Celebrate and be happy. I will always be with you.”

Another stream of tears fell down Jimin’s cheeks, but he smiled up at Taehyung. “I’m okay,” He assured his new husband. “She would want me to be happy and thankful for her gift, so let’s be happy and really make sure we don’t put it to waste.”

Taehyung’s eyebrows furrowed, probably in concern, but he nodded with a smile. “I can agree with that,” He said, and he captured Jimin’s lips in a sweet kiss.

Jimin could still feel the presence of his mother in the room, which was reassuring to him. He would just have to live happily from then on out to keep her spirit happy, and the task of staying happy would be made so easy with Taehyung by his side.