Actions

Work Header

lust for life (keeps us alive)

Work Text:

'cause we're the masters of our own fate

we're the captains of our own souls

there's no way for us to come away

'cause boy we're gold, boy we're gold

 

 

“sorry, kiddo, we’re closed for the day.”

 

the words scratched the back of his throat, sore from the long period without any water going down to soothe the flesh. If he were to be honest with himself, all his body hurt, from the muscles on his back to the skin on his ankles, the elastic of his socks too tight around them. it was an understatement to say that the days were too long and the work too much, but his mind had been so exhausted lately he couldn’t even start to think about better sentences to describe what his body knew well. all yoongi wanted was to drag his body home and let the warm water of his bathtub wash away all his worries, sinking his pain and cleaning his brain from the remnants of his real life.

 

it had been six months since the morning he woke up to the news on the radio he kept by his bed. six months since he packed his stuff and went back to an empty home, to the place where he’d grown up and to where his parents would never return. people still asked him on the streets how he felt every rising morning, how was the awful lawsuit going, if the diner was still open till three a.m. and if the bowling alley still had colorful lighter balls for the children. once somebody asked if he thought he’d ever be able to board on a plane again, whispering the question so low the man almost didn’t hear. yoongi didn’t answer, because there was no answer to that yet, no place the man’d like to go when the weight of the whole world didn’t seem to let go of his shoulders.

 

seven months prior to that night min yoongi had dropped his mother and his father at that busy airport before the sun had even risen, kissing them goodbye before they left for their sunny second honeymoon in the bahamas, his mom’s lipstick still on his left cheek and his dad’s perfume glued to his jacket later that day, while he met hoseok and namjoon at their flat so they could work on their damn zombie book before their agent murdered them for the delay on the deadline. seven months ago he was a fairly successful terror author aiming the new york times’ list, spending thirty of his caffeine-based nights eating bad cheap pizza and laughing his ass off every time his best friends got into some kind of couple’s argument. thirty days going on the events his publisher set up for him across the country and getting a different picture of mr. and mrs. min enjoying piña coladas or getting caught in the rain in some paradisaic scenario. and then that one night, that one night before thirty became thirty-one, yoongi had fallen asleep on the blue wine-stained coach - that one that once belonged to namjoon’s grandma -  pretending he couldn’t hear the moans coming out of their bedroom through the thin walls, until hoseok’s pledges became way too graphic and the man decided whoever said there was no place like home was a fucking genius.

 

twenty-two missed phone calls and the serious tone on the radio speaker’s voice that morning told him there was nobody to pick up again at the airport later that day.

 

whatever happened on the first few nights after that was a blur fueled by alcohol and a comeback from the cigarettes he stopped smoking when he was seventeen, his lungs unused to the feeling after ten years. some faded memories showed up once in a while, like namjoon holding him while yoongi sobbed until he couldn’t breathe anymore and hoseok cooking him lunch, and the agency sending him a letter that it was okay, he should really take a break, the books could wait a few more months. and there were flowers and condolences from familiar strangers and an eulogy that felt pointless with closed, fake caskets, because there were no bodies to bury, the people yoongi loved the most now resting forever under the waters in the middle of nowhere.

 

some nights the pain was unbearable, some nights there was nothing but numbness taking every space inside his mind.

 

it took exactly a whole week and the pressure from his aunts’ messages to sober the man up, putting him on the verge of urgent decisions he didn’t want to make. but there was no other son but him, nobody to mourn the loss and cry at night and re-listen to all the audio messages mrs. min sent once she discovered how to use the messenger tool. there was nobody but yoongi to put his apartment on sale, gather all the old stuff inside it in the trunk of his car and drive that two hour ride back to a town that was once his home, but now felt too much like a distant fantasy. yoongi went back because there was an empty two-store house on the coziest street of the city someone needed to fill and a puppy waiting for owners that’d never regress to be fed. yoongi went back because there was a closed diner slash bowling alley to be opened thursday through sunday, eight to three a.m., and a feeling of nostalgia he couldn’t let go of his head.

 

and of course he could have taken the easiest road, selling everything and pilling himself up in a homesickness that would never go away, but then he remembered, he remembered of being seven and his dad teaching him how to bowl, he remembered being eleven and seeing the proud look on his mom’s face after the reconstruction of the diner was ready and they were about to open the place again, he remembered growing up the coolest kid in school because his parents owned the nicest place to hang out on the weekends and how they spent their lives making sure the customers were always satisfied and the kids were always having fun and being safe. yoongi could never live with himself if the place died with his parents. a part of them could still be alive, and he’d work his ass off to guarantee that, even if it meant throwing away everything he knew and starting over his life.

 

because, you see, min yoongi had always had what some would call a lust for life. he had a fire in his eyes and a smile so bright that being hypnotized for a while was nothing but a mandatory action. his laugh echoed through the walls any time he hit the streets among his friends, and fear of the unknown was not something the man had on his vocabulary. yoongi wrote horror stories because the idea of being terrified of things that weren’t real amused him, and because creating stories was what he did the best, the concept that if someone played enough with words others could see them gaining life through their imagination so sweet to the point it became an addiction.

 

that writer was still alive somewhere inside his chest, either asleep or numbed by the weight of real life and the struggles of managing a business he understood nothing about. the first week running the diner was such a failure the option of giving up was considered again and again between glasses of bad scotch and expired peanuts. but mr. min was always quite the believer, always the one to whisper around how no darkness or season could last forever, and indeed they didn’t. the next saturday morning there was a small truck waking up every citizen in town with its noise and the squealing voice of hoseok screaming commands to a namjoon who was trying to balance two armchairs on top of each other. the awkward, stupid sunshine award-winner fantasy-writing couple rented a house just a block away from the mins’, and at first yoongi thought it was just for some time, just to offer him some support until he was used to living there again, but when the man realized hoseok had already adopted four stray cats and two tabby guinea pigs and namjoon was best buddies with jungkook, the shy guy from the drugstore who now knew by heart his allergy prescriptions, and the elderly lady from the second-handed bookstore slash sex shop, there was no doubt anymore. they were there to stay. they dropped everything back in the capital because, well, what was the fun of living in a big city if yoongi wasn’t there to share it with them?

 

and then there were also seokjin and jimin, the tooth-wrecking doe-eyed couple who worked serving tables at the diner and fed their new boss when he forgot to do it himself and offered to show him how things worked and stayed extra shifts some nights just because the man needed some help. yoongi learned later, from some regular customers, that jin came first and became his mother’s second son, someone she trusted and the manager she had been looking for during years. he was just a year older than yoongi, and got the job in order to pay for his second college degree. jimin came later, pretty much because of his boyfriend, three years younger than him and trying to make an extra income since his day job as a secretary in a dermatology clinic didn’t pay enough, and he wasn’t exactly sure what to make of his future. they were nice and sweet and probably the best-looking couple who ever graced earth, and yoongi was friends with namjoon and hoseok, twice chosen as the kings of the end of the year party at their literary agency headquarters, so that was some tough competition right there.

 

so maybe, someday in the future, when his heart started to feel lighter and the memories brought more happiness than sorrow, maybe then yoongi would be fully himself again, full of thirst and lust and an undying wish of living life the best as he could. but right now and right there, on that night six months after the morning that changed his life forever, he just felt tired. exhausted and sleepy and unwilling to deal with whoever came into the diner with heavy boots and an unstable breathing. yoongi just wanted to go home and forget he just had to rip bubblegum out of the tables near the bowling alley.

 

“i’m sorry”, a deep, clear voice echoed through the open space, a hint of confidence that almost made the owner laugh, “but jimin told me you had a job opening here.”

 

and god, if he weren’t so tired yoongi could have sighed in relief because, yes, finally. they had been looking for an extra employee for nearly two months now, all the work around the diner starting to be too much for three guys and the gentle cook whose face they almost never saw, the elderly woman always singing christmas carols inside the way too neat kitchen. so when jimin mentioned that one of his friends was looking for a job, there was no hesitation, seokjin breaking two milkshake glasses while screaming excitedly, demanding his black-haired boyfriend to get the boy there as soon as possible. of course he’d choose the worst time of the day to show up, five minutes before it was hella late time.

 

based on his short knowledge of jimin and his acquaintances, yoongi was expecting pretty much anything when he turned around, rolling the sleeves of his flannel shirt up and blowing his dirty blond bangs away from his sweaty forehead. but the guy looking at him from the other side of the room, smiling some kind of boxy smile that made his eyes disappear, seemed way too ‘normal’  to jimin’s standard friendships. not average. with a face like that, yoongi could never say the man looked average. he was tall - damn, taller than yoongi himself - and his dark brown eyes were a nice contrast to his light brown hair, his skin just like honey and his pretty lips red-ish and soft, the opposite of his jawline and the column of his throat. the stranger looked as tired as yoongi, dark circles under his eyes and a puffiness to them resembling someone who hadn’t slept in a few days. the simple clothes he wore - worn jeans and a red sweatshirt with holes on the sleeves - were maybe an indication that he lost weight, both the pieces too large on the waist and the thighs.

 

“oh, right”, the elder said, pretending he wasn’t inspecting the man in front of him a few seconds ago, “you are…?”

 

“taehyung. kim taehyung”, and he used that voice again, approaching the owner of the diner slowly before offering one of his hands, “you must be mr. min.”

 

“yoongi”, mr. min was his father, a voice whispered in the back of his mind, his chest too tight for a moment. taehyung’s hand was firm and cold against his own, but he had the kind of grip that stood for some sort of good character, or at least that was the bullshit namjoon taught him when they first met years ago, “did jimin tell you what the job was about?”

 

“yeah”, taehyung nodded, smile much smaller now, “you need a janitor and someone to help at the alley”, he pointed to the isle where the shoes and balls had been neatly organized by seokjin that afternoon, “i can be both.”

 

“any experience?”

 

“to be honest, no”, and his face seemed to fall for a second, the way he changed his weight between his feet a clear sign of how nervous the man truly was, “but i just dropped out of college and, well… i really need the job. and i learn fast, and I will work hard, mr. min…”

 

“yoongi”, he repeated, and maybe it was a bit too harsh, judging by the way taehyung stood, too straight, eyes wide open. the elder sighed, massaging his temples and trying to sound a bit kinder, “it’s okay, i believe you, and i trust jimin. if he says you can handle the job, then it’s yours. show up at seven thirty tomorrow morning and seokjin will explain everything to you and… we can try this.”

 

“thank you”, and his voice betrayed him in some way, showing how much taehyung meant the sentence, how true it had rolled over his tongue, “you won’t regret it… yoongi.”

 

it was hard doing anything different from simply nodding, getting a shy smile in return, the brunette leaving the diner in fast steps, a giant military backpack covering most of his back on his way out. there was a moment of pure silence, of a sheer numbness that couldn’t be controlled, almost like some kind of miracle had just happened right there, the writer side of yoongi’s mind dramatizing every single moment of his existence. or maybe it was really time to go home and take a fucking nap. for thirteen hours. either that or waking up again at six a.m. just because his damn brain liked to gift him with nightmares or sudden inspiration, whatever approached him faster. the man threw the piece of dirty cloth jimin left on the counter over his shoulder - a reminder to pick that up in the morning - stretching the muscles on his neck while looking up for the keys seokjin had left him earlier.

 

some people saw nights as scary periods of time, the absence of light an invitation for trouble and cover for the evil people were still denying under the sunlight. and those people were not wrong. nights were cold and filled with danger and shadows too dark to belong to the realm of light. nights were also the perfect home for negligence, to hide things people were too ashamed of admitting they didn’t care about when sunlights warmed the sky. one of these things was the boy hidden in the alley between the drugstore and the thrift shop two blocks away from where yoongi was locking the diner. two blocks away from the warm place where he just got a job after a week without knowing how he’d be able to survive, taehyung unfolded the two blankets he managed to fit into the backpack he stole from one of his eldest cousins, laying them over the cold brick behind the metal containers that blocked most of the view from the street. he’d stick himself in the middle of them and use the backpack as a pillow once he made sure nobody could see him, and thank the universe for the wise, yet painful, decision of not selling his cell phone the day before, and spending his last couple of bucks on a caramel macchiato so the old lady would let him use the restroom and the wall socket at the cool-ish cafe down the street that afternoon, so now he could set the alarm clock for seven o’clock and beg the jungkook guy from the drugstore to let him use his private bathroom just for a second. maybe he could even convince the guy of lending him some toothpaste, if he told him the right story.

 

if taehyung learned something during that past week was that you needed to be creative to live on the streets. he just hoped, every night, he didn’t need to be that creative for much longer.

 

○●○●

 

“so, how’s the new guy?”

 

it was supposed to be a casual whisperer, a silent conversation between the owner of the diner and his faithful manager, but seokjin was way overenthusiastic for yoongi’s liking. hell, maybe overenthusiastic was still little to describe the man. scandalous would be a more appropriate word to start by. most people were intimidated by his posture and his broad shoulders or how fucking handsome he was, brown hair and full lips, face sculpted by inspired gods. but the reality of it all was that seokjin was a fucking dork, loud and clumsy and so extra. sure, jimin was younger, but sometimes he looked like the real responsible one in the relationship. so it was no surprise when every customer in the damn place could hear his voice praising taehyung’s work so far, the ears of the man getting as red as jin’s stripped sweater.

 

“you should hire him asap, you know. but let me warn you: i’ll be feeding the guy from two to two hours, before he passes out and the kids use him as a new climber”, the eldest suddenly looked with big eyes at their new employee, screaming at the top of his lungs, “taehyung, did you finish that milkshake already?”, before turning to his boss again, this time with the decency of speaking in a lower volume, “by the way, i wouldn’t let hoseok near him. or any of our customers. he’s doing that again”, and without any kind of warning, “jiminnie, make sure tae drinks all the fucking milkshake.

 

holy fuck, are they here again?”

 

that was the most stupid question yoongi could ask, which seokjin happily pointed, because of course namjoon and hoseok would be there, at their usual booth by the window, laptops and notepads covering the entire wooden table while both of the men muttered like crazy over notes and drank insane amounts of coffee, wearing matching pajamas and the most ridiculous slippers one could imagine. they started calling the space their office, and would claim they spent the whole day there working, which involved some kind of scheme where they’d ask random question to other customers for “research” and “the sake of science”. sure, they had finished two books in six months there, and that made their tiny screaming agent very happy since yoongi hadn’t handed a manuscript in almost a year, but well, they didn’t have a business to manage and two crazy friends to babysit. once in a while the smaller man had to head to their booth and ask them, as gentle as he could, to fucking please stop making out in front of the clients they can see your dicks through those damn pajamas goddammit. things had been better since then, but seokjin, deeply offended because once yoongi scolded him from stealing a quick kiss from jimin, demanded constant vigilance.

 

ignoring his stupid friends was a bare necessity if the man wanted to keep sane, choosing to avoid their booth of chaos and heading to where taehyung polished a couple of colorful bowling balls, singing some weird little tune while his attention was really focused on finishing the giant strawberry milkshake seokjin planted in front of him, remains of a hamburger and a plate of fries still around him. the manager was right, the man looked thiner than anyone would point as healthy, his elbows bony and his cheekbones almost sharp. but taehyung smiled to him like everything was beyond perfect, like it was a beautiful day outside, and not the raining mess that didn’t seem like coming to an end very soon.

 

“hey”, the boss greeted, leaning over the bowling alley counter to take a better look at what was going on over there, “how’s everything working so far?”

 

“great”, his deep voice was like melting sugar, something sweet and warm and comfortable. yoongi regretted his decision of putting the boy in the janitor opening immediately. he was pretty sure the customers would order pretty much anything just to listen to that, to have those shining eyes looking at them like that, “the guys are great and they’ve been very helpful. kids are nice and way more polite than i thought they’d be… and you sure have some peculiar friends, yoongi.”

 

“shit. did joonie and hobi give you a hard time? i’m killing those bastards.”

 

“no, don’t mind. they’re funny”, his laugh was cute, the way his shoulders moved along with it, “they told me you’re a writer, too?”

 

“used to be”, yoongi shrugged. it was hard using the word to describe himself when the weight of words didn’t hit his fingers for so long, “now i’m just a diner owner, worried ‘bout restocking ketchup and caramel syrup.”

 

“is the flannel your ‘diner owner’ to-go look?”, he pointed at the man’s red shirt, a playful smirk on his lips, like he was testing waters, checking how far his boss was willing to let him go, “you were wearing a very similar one yesterday.”

 

“something like that. it’s easier to camouflage the mustard stains with one of these”, yoongi blinked, feeling his cheeks getting warm, probably blushing like a teenager being flirted with for the first time, “so, stop by my office at the end of your shift, right? we can discuss payment and other stuff… yeah, please do it.”

 

taehyung nodded, getting distracted shortly after by a group of kids asking for a couple of bowling shoes, slathering water and mud on the wooden floor jimin had cleaned just a few hours before. they were loud, loud and too excited, but it didn’t seem like a big problem for the new employee, who showed them nothing but sympathy and patience, asking for sizes and preferred colors, checking empty slots and getting them lined up around a small table on the left. yoongi smiled at the scene, remembering how he was the one who used to do that back at his high school days, how that was his job and how he cherished every moment spent polishing that damn alley. taehyung did it a little better, but he was glad. it was like he was finally able to breathe again, one less thing to worry about.

 

he should thank the man later.

 

○●○●

 

 

 

the water was ice cold, rolling down his spine over his biggest coat. wet hair blurred everything in front of him, his muscles shaking with the freezing air and his socks soaked inside his boots. everything was gray and dirty and smudged, the smell of rain and rottenness mixed coming from the giant containers by the drugstore and making his stomach sick, like he was about to vomit all the meals seokjin kindly fed him during the day. the man tried his best to stay dry, to find a safe place to sleep after his first day of work, all his muscles sore from the intense schedule, but his whole body filled with something so nice he could almost call it happiness. taehyung haven’t felt that happy in a long time, like a strike of hope just hit him directly and nothing could stop that. until he left the clean, welcoming workplace and went back to his usual dirty spot on the streets, the whole scenario reminding him to never take things for granted. he was grateful that night, praying against the fabric of his backpack. thankful for jimin for thinking about him, thankful for seokjin for worrying about his health, thankful for namjoon and hoseok for making him laugh when he thought he couldn’t anymore, thankful for yoongi for trusting him and giving him the opportunity to show he could do that. yoongi. the name still felt weird coming out of his lips like that, but boy, looking at the man became so natural he was afraid of being too stupid, too obvious. yoongi was something to look forward, even if taehyung didn’t know why yet. he was just… hope. hope that things were starting to get better, hope that in a few days he’d be able to sleep in a soft bed, and not on the dirty brick he was laying on now. a ray of light in the middle of the cold rain.

 

and that last thought was the lullaby that put him to sleep.

 

○●○●

 

 

people believed the human body needed twenty-one days to get used to changes and adapt to them, turning what was once a new into an old habit. new seeing glasses? twenty-one days and you won’t even notice they are there anymore. starting a diet? twenty-one days later you’ll feel like you’ve been doing this your whole life. quit smoking? twenty-one days and you’ll start feeling fresh once again. but for yoongi, after twenty-one days he completely forgot what was life before taehyung showed up. it took him two days to get acquainted with the boy, and maybe a week to feel like he was an old friend. fifteen days later and he wasn’t sure what he’d do without the taller man around. three weeks passed and well, fuck.

 

and it wasn’t just because taehyung’s presence made his life way more pleasant at work, the way seokjin divided the chores around the diner and the bowling alley working to perfection, taking a lot of weight from the owner’s shoulders. just that was already a big deal, something yoongi’d be always thankful for. but taehyung also made yoongi feel like the old yoongi, made him laugh like he did before. he was nice and smart and a little reserved when the subject was his personal life, of course, but it was so easy to be around him while they drank strawberry milkshakes with jimin, or when they stole french fries from namjoon and hoseok or drove seokjin crazy with an old polaroid camera the taller found on the pantry, or just when they talked for hours after the shop had closed, cleaning the mess left behind just glad to be in each other’s company.

 

it was a nice friendship, yoongi kept telling himself every five minutes. they were good friends, and that was it. that was the whole scheme.

 

(no, his heart didn’t beat faster whenever their hands touched, and no, he didn’t have any kind of dream - romantic or sexual - involving the man, not at all)

 

(yoongi was full of shit, indeed, hoseok always making sure to remind him of that)

 

 

○●○●

 

twenty-one days since he had started working there. twenty-one of the first days of feeling truly well in a long, long time. twenty-one days of feeling safe and wanted and loved by a bunch of people he didn’t even know that well before. taehyung couldn’t even believe his luck, couldn’t even express how blessed he felt for everything that was going on. sure, he still wasn’t able to afford a real place to sleep and come back to and call home, but now yoongi had given him an extra key to the diner, and with the responsibility of opening and closing the place every day, he also got a dry, warm place to sleep at night, even if it meant sleeping on the wooden floor of the bowling alley and waking up extra early just to clean any evidence of his presence. he hated doing that, hated the feeling that crept inside his chest and whispered to him things he didn’t want to hear.

 

(”you’re betraying yoongi’s trust”)

 

( ”you’re a loser”)

 

( ”as soon as he finds out he’ll kick you out of here”)

 

( ”do you really think a guy like that would even look twice at a guy like you?”)

 

he shove those thoughts way inside his mind, almost at the bottom of his skull, focusing on the good memories.

 

focusing on the smell of yoongi on that red flannel he forgot there a few days ago.

 

(it wasn’t like taehyung had been sleeping on it)

 

 

 

○●○●

 

 

the red lights coming from the clock on the car’s panel showed it was a bit past four a.m., the silence inside the vehicle mimicking the feeling of the streets, cold and unsure, citizens of that small town sleeping away a tiring day of work and that sweet boredom that only affected the countryside. nobody was seen walking downtown, nothing but some stray cats chasing the mice coming out of hidden culverts. yoongi should be following their example, going to his house to cuddle with holly, the dog, falling asleep almost immediately so he could face the following morning, but yoongi was stupid, and his brain was starting to get consumed by his daily routine. forgetting his cell phone back at the diner wasn’t much of a surprise to him once he realized his mistake, nothing but a silly sigh coming out of his lips when the man started looking his pockets for his car key. maybe taehyung hadn’t finished closing the diner yet. maybe he’d be welcomed with his warm boxy-shaped smile and, if he was lucky enough, he’d be awake enough both of them could have a cup of tea and talk a bit more.

 

his fingers found the the metal knob to the back door, unlocking it slowly, all of yoongi’s body ready to get out of the cold and shake out the disappointment of assuming his employee had already headed home, all of the inside lights turned off and the shadows covering every surface his eyes landed on. it was hard to find the switches on such level of darkness, feet tumbling here and there, trying to not crash with any of the chairs piled up on top of the round tables. yoongi moved slowly, the tips of his fingers finding the spot he needed to press before his sight was compromised by the sudden explosion of yellow lights and a muffled scream that almost made him deaf for a moment. destabilized, the first thing that crossed his mind was grabbing one of the nearest chairs to try to defend himself from the imminent hazard coming his way.

 

what yoongi wasn’t expecting was taehyung - wearing some kind of pajamas and the red flannel he lost a few days ago - looking startled at him, flashlight in his hands like the brunette was empowering a deadly weapon.

 

“what… what are you doing here?”, the eldest mumbled, eyes trying to identify what kind of mess he was witnessing. there he was, kim taehyung, his employee, looking like someone who had just woken up, a confusion of blankets and that ridiculous backpack of his right in the middle of the bowling alley, “what’s going on?”

 

“i can explain… yoongi, i swear i can explain”, the way his voice was trembling weakly sent some kind of hard pang directly to yoongi’s heart, but the confusion was stronger than his instinct of protection.

 

“have you been sleeping in here?”

 

“i have but… i didn’t take anything, i swear. i just sleep, just that, and just because i…”, tears started to appear in his dark eyes, his tone of voice messed up by the sobs yoongi swore the man was trying to hide, “i’m so sorry, yoongi, i shouldn’t have but… i have nowhere else to go.”

 

and for a moment both of them just stared at each other, drinking their presences, trying to read what’s going on those twisted minds of theirs. there was a bit of everything in the air, fear, apprehension, pain and hope. one could almost see the engines turning on their brains, the way that yoongi’s eyes couldn’t leave taehyung’s face, and the way taehyung tried to hold on, to not cry, feeling smaller than he ever felt and feeling more pity for himself that he ever allowed himself to feel. yoongi looked exactly the same way he did when the eldest left earlier that day, his dirty blond hair pushed back, his dark green flannel opened and showing a gray t-shirt under it. his face was still soft and beautiful, but something changed there in the progress, and tae didn’t know exactly what.

 

“i’m making us some tea”, his boss’s voice was hoarse and tired, a tone higher than a whisper, “and then you’re explaining everything.”

 

the brunette just nodded, not knowing how to act at first, just watching while the other got behind the counter, checking their electric kettle for hot water. fortunately jimin had left some before going homr, imagining his friend would like to have something warm to drink after cleaning the place. that simple gesture spared them more moments of awkwardness, taehyung sitting on one of the stools in silence, just waiting, his heart threatening to leave his ribcage at any time now. he couldn’t remember a time where he’d been that nervous before, but that scene, that was a lot like facing his whole future at four in the morning in an empty diner slash bowling alley. yoongi just slipped him a cup of chamomile tea, not quite looking into his eyes, but reaching for the sugar on the other side of the counter.

 

“spill it out.”

 

the way taehyung’s adam’s apple moved when he swallowed hard was enticing, but the elder tried not paying attention to that detail.

 

“i’ve been homeless for a bit over a month now”, those words were harder when said out loud, coming out of the shadows inside the man’s mind, “i was… i was kicked out and had nowhere to go. i was sleeping on the alley between the drugstore and the thrift shop before you gave me the keys and… i swear, yoongi, i wouldn’t have done it if i wasn’t so scared of losing everything during sleep or freezing to death, or some shit like that. it was just for a short time, just until i could have some money to get a real place to stay…”

 

“why did they kick you out?”, it might have come out as a harsh question, but yoongi needed to know what he was dealing with there, even if the fear of the truth was starting to scatter him inside. they were friends, right? they were there for each other. they could talk about anything.

 

family issues”, he chuckled, but there was no fun in that, “i’m adopted”, the way he said it, bluntly and with no feelings on his face, wasn’t a good sign, “you see, my parents never wanted a kid. they liked their lives of glamour and fancy trips and partying all the time, but my grandparents didn’t. they wanted them to grow up, to develop responsibility. so they set up a rule: no inheritance unless they provided them a grandchild. but my mother didn’t want to be pregnant, didn’t want to suffer with a pregnancy, so yeah, a trip to the nearest orphanage and a huge donation later and there i was, a pretty cute baby on their arms and a savings account bigger than this whole city in the bank”, there was just a single tear rolling down his cheek, and yoongi couldn’t help his next action, couldn’t help cleaning that with his fingers, taehyung looking at him like the man was some kind of vision right before his eyes. he breathed painfully before moving on, “and it isn’t like they hated me or something, or that they were awful to me. they just didn’t care enough. my grandparents did, though. the main source of affection i have comes from them, but they died a couple of years ago and, well… things have been harsh since then.”

 

yoongi squeezed one of his hands, both of them looking a little shook when realizing they were entangled, neither of them knowing how they got to that point. but the contact was nice and reassuring, warm skin against cold skin, all the feelings bubbled under that simple touch.

 

“i did what they wanted me to do”, taehyung whispered, looking at their hands united under the yellow light, “went to law school like they wanted me to, met the people they wanted me to meet, but… it got to a point where i couldn’t do it no more. where they were asking too much of me.”

 

“you don’t have to… it’s okay if you don’t want to keep talking, i got it, tae.”

 

“no, i guess i have to… to take it out of me”, he sobbed once, cleaning aways his tears before moving on, “they wanted me to get married to this girl, the daughter of a friend of theirs or some shit. it would be nice for both families, increasing patrimony and influence and hell knows what more but… i couldn’t, yoongi, i couldn’t because… i couldn’t feel that way about her. i can’t feel that about any girl. ever. so yeah, dropped out of college, said i wouldn’t marry her… next thing i knew i was wandering around the city with that stupid backpack, trying to figure out what to do next. i’ve met jimin in college, and one day i saw him at the drugstore and just, you know, started to chat and he told me about this place… and now here we are and i feel so fucking sorry.”

 

“you’re telling me that this whole time you’ve been living in some dirty alley near here?”

 

“yeah. i’ve been showering at the gym, because somehow my parents didn’t cancel my membership there, and living out of seokjin’s kindness every time he feeds me and using the drugstore’s bathroom in the morning to wash my clothes and borrowing what i can from jimin without drawing to much attention.”

 

“you’re… fuck, taehyung. why didn’t you tell any of us about that?”, it was hard to tell who yoongi was mad at, but his small body was tensed, his shoulders in a straight line and his face dark and impassible.

 

“because i’m a fucking moron full of pride”, he shrugged, and he looked so, so small like that, even though he was so tall, “and i was afraid of asking for help.”

 

there was a silence so heavy between them, the way yoongi looked at him and the way taehyung tried to hide, and the only thing one could hear was the sound of their hearts beating fast over their breaths.

 

“get your stuff.”

 

and okay, that was it. that was the moment taehyung had been having nightmares about, the moment yoongi would throw him on the streets again for being a damn liar. his whole body was shaking, but the only reasonable thing he could do was nodding, getting up of the stool, tea untouched, trying to reach his backpack as quickly as possible. it’d suck to sleep on the brick once again, but he deserved that, and maybe he could use the money he had gotten already to buy another blanket and maybe a real, cheap pillow. the brunette stood by the door, trying to fight back tears once again, avoiding his now ex-boss’s gaze over him.

 

“i can give you back the keys now, if you want them and… i don’t know, i’m so sorry, yoongi.”

 

“what the heck are you talking about? why’d i want the keys back?”

 

“because you’re firing me?”, the confusion on the smaller man’s face couldn’t be faked, so now taehyung was the one who didn’t understand shit of what was going on there. he could see yoongi chuckling like a damn kid, before grabbing his cell phone from the counter and walking to him.

 

“i’m not firing you, you idiot. you’re coming home with me.”

 

taehyung blinked, speechless, once.

 

taehyung blinked, speechless, twice.

 

on the third time, the blond just grabbed him by the wrist, rolling his eyes with a playful smirk on his lips, a “let’s go, you dweeby” whispered against the air. the taller just followed him blindly, standing there a bit numb while the other locked the door, words lost in his throat and a mind that couldn’t believe quite yet on what was going on. yoongi signed him to get into his weird old chevy, the leather seats scratched and cold, whistling something while taehyung hold his backpack closely to his chest. because, that was a dream, right? there was no way that’d be his real life, no way any of that was really happening. he waited until the man handled the steering wheel, getting slowly to the empty main street, summoning up some courage from some place in the universe.

 

“you don’t need to do this, you know… i can keep sleeping on the diner, it was actually kinda comfortable.”

 

“my parents left a house too big for just holly and i. i’m sure i can squeeze you in some place warmer than the alley floor”, he didn’t flinch even once, eyes on the road, a kind smile on his face, “everything’s gonna be okay, tae. you can stay as long as you need.”

 

“who’s holly?”, it was honestly the only thing the man could answer to that, mind still clouded with the possibility of sleeping in an actual bed, with an actual mattress and actual pillows, a shriver going down his spine.

 

“my dog. pretty sure he’s gonna love you. he has a thing for goofballs.”

 

“oh, shut up.”

 

 

○●○●

 

 

it felt like floating. his whole body weightless, the softness of the mattress and the lavender smell on the pillows creating some kind of sweet inner heaven. there was just the right amount of light escaping through the clear curtains that covered a huge window, all the room bathed in a soft shade of golden, and maybe little birds sang some weird tune outside, or maybe his brain was just overreacting with the six hours of safe, silent sleep he just got. it felt like much more, like taehyung had just woken up from an entire winter hibernating, spring blowing him a raspberry in form of the sound of his alarm clock. the man didn’t even feel the right to be mad at it, all his limbs rested and the muscles on his back finally able to relax after so long being neglected. he didn’t mind getting up, nose stuck on the fabric of the pajama yoongi lent him. it was salmon and warm and smelled like him, a weird mix of citric softener and some fancy cologne. it was still dangerous to do that kind of thing, especially given the place he was staying in now, but jimin was covering his morning shift and his boss said he had stuff to do early in the morning, so it was just taehyung and his stupid heart and a dog named holly that liked to sleep by the fireplace downstairs, enjoying the quietness of having a roof over his head and a temporary fix, a temporary place to call home.

 

smiling for nobody but himself, taehyung got down the stairs, looking for some coffee, a symbolic toast to the brand new life he saw beginning.

 

 

○●○●

 

 

 

“can someone please bring me the ketchup?”

 

there was nobody but the seven of them crowding the small diner, a rare occasion where yoongi had decided it was a good idea closing the place near midnight, just to enjoy the company of his friends and a nice dinner, bottles of beer and plates of french fries cramming the two tables seokjin had put together to fit them all. an old radio played songs nobody ever heard before, but it was impossible to listen to it properly over the sound of jimin and hoseok telling a creepy story about one of their frequent costumers. a month had passed since the night taehyung moved in with his boss, and honestly, not too much had changed in their dynamics, much to the younger’s dislike. he could feel yoongi’s eyes on him sometimes, could see the blush on his cheeks every time they got closer, but the only thing between them was a friendship so strong that no stupid crush was worth of breaking. so they did their thing, that weird little dance around each other, and it was comfortable. it was enough to both of them, for now.

 

“looks like our little jungkookie is in the middle of something here”, namjoon pointed, trying to look over the shoulder of the youngest of them, his fingers typing like crazy on the screen of his cell phone, “if you need some advice on sexting, hobi is the best, for sure.”

 

“aw, babe, you’re making me blush”, his boyfriend played along, sounding affected while biting a mouthful out of a burger.

 

“shut up. it’s just… i don’t know. something i hope works in the future”, the boy mumbled, trying to hide his face on taehyung’s shoulder, “you know, this whole flirting thing is more difficult than i thought it would be. how did you even manage to get together?”

 

“jimin tutored me in french”, seokjin shrugged, fitting an entire onion ring into his mouth, “a couple of words later i already had a hard on and his number written on my wrist.”

 

“you speak french?”, taehyung looked at his friend with surprise, lips forming an o he couldn’t shake off.

 

“only when i really want to take someone to bed.”

 

“ok, how ‘bout you?”, jungkook tried to ignore the way the couple started chatting in the foreign language, sure something really inappropriate was being said, preferring to point at namjoon and hoseok, “how did you get together?”

 

“oh”, hoseok opened his biggest smile, eyes disappearing behind it, “namjoon did the notting hill thing.”

 

the whole table stopped moving, forks and bottles of mustard on air, eyes glued on the couple while yoongi whispered “no, not that story again” and jimin screamed “what notting hill thing?” while namjoon tried to make seokjin stop choking from laughter. the man waited until all of them had calmed down before explaining it easily, like it wasn’t such a big deal.

 

“you know, namjoon was this really big thing in the industry when we met. new york times best-seller and shit, eye on the pulitzer, etc, etc”, he ignored his boyfriend’s whining, waving it off with one of his hands,  “and i was just, well, myself. a very cute beginner serving coffee at the agency so they maybe would be kind enough to take a look at my manuscript. so one day we meet in the kitchen, start talking, go to a few places together and shit happens, as in ‘we fall completely for each other’. but i was afraid everybody would think i was with him just because of his fame and influence, and i was a dickhead full of pride and you know, i tried to run away from him”, the way they looked at each other would be disgusting if it wasn’t the sweetest thing ever, “and then i’m there, minding my own business and serving the big guys those damn caramel macchiatos when he comes in, looks at me in the eye and just says, out of nowhere, ‘i’m just a boy, standing in front of another boy, asking him to love him’ , and sure, at first i got really pissed because i do have the julia roberts smile between the two of us but… yeah. sold.”

 

“that was the cheesiest thing i’ve ever heard”, jimin blinked a few times, mesmerized, “i love it.”

 

“gonna be hard for you guys to beat it”, jungkook laughed, pointing his bottle of beer in yoongi and taehyung’s direction, “but go ahead, let’s hear it”. and maybe it was the awkward silence that followed, that anticipation that made the air heavy and brought all the table’s attention to both of the men, the two of them looking a little clueless, like none had understood what kind of question was just asked. and maybe if namjoon didn’t start coughing loudly and if seokjin didn’t blink in his stupid manner to catch his attention, maybe yoongi would never have understood it at all.

 

“we’re not together. we’re just friends”, the eldest answered in the calmest way he could manage his voice to sound, trying to look completely okay while saying it.

 

“but you guys are living together?”

 

“tae…”, and he looked at his employee, a silent conversation going on between the two of them. the brunette hadn’t told their friends anything about his previous situation, too ashamed and too scared of their judgment, and it wasn’t yoongi’s secret to spread around. if the man didn’t want to say a thing about it, then they wouldn’t, “i really needed a roommate and tae wanted to get out of his parents’ place so… yeah. match made in heaven.”

 

“yeah… he really needed someone to remind him to feed holly”, the younger joked, scratching the back of his neck, sipping beer from his bottle carefully. yoongi ignored the look the five men exchanged after that, focusing on dipping his fries on ketchup and avoiding taehyung’s gaze at any cost, scared of what might’ve been there.

 

“well, sucks for you losers, but daddy just got himself a date”, jungkook suddenly announced, stretching to reach his jacket thrown over one of the chairs, the boy getting up under disgusted noises and complaints from his friends about never wanting to hear him referring to himself as daddy again. one of them probably was the author of the rain of sugar packs thrown at his direction a few seconds later, while the youngest among them did nothing but laughing, exiting the diner on promises of updating them on everything later. seokjin mumbled something about being young and stupid, and that was enough for him to get a soft pinch from his boyfriend. the night was dying slowly, the six remaining men dragging their last efforts to make it last a little bit longer when couples start to lean at each other till hoseok decided it was a great time to have some apple pie the cook had left earlier that day.

 

and that was good. it was good keeping his mind busy with the sound of laughing and the glass of the bottles hitting the wooden table, because if yoongi started thinking, well, there were a few places his brain was forbidden to go that were being inconveniently attractive that night, like what would it feel like to be able to reach for taehyung’s hand over the table and lace their fingers together.

 

yoongi just shoved another french frie into his mouth, scolding his own mind for being such a treacherous little thing.

 

 

○●○●

 

there was a cling sound once his keys found the bottom of the china bowl on the desk by the door, echoing through the whole empty house. yoongi could feel taehyung’s presence behind him, and perhaps it was the remains of alcohol in his system or the darkness that greeted them once they entered the place, but the whole scenario - taehyung picking holly up when the dog came running to them, petting him behind his furry ears, wearing his old red sweatshirt and with those bags that never left the underside of his eyes - made that old building look like a home again, warm and complete, like it was before everything. it was the ultimate domestic moment, all the questions their friends asked them during dinner coming back to haunt yoongi’s mind, making him second-guess the promises the man had made every night before falling asleep, the ones where he’d stay away, where he wouldn’t get involved. he tried pushing the nonsense away, focusing on real life and not on how the younger almost leaned to him unconsciously, licking his lips like he was about to say something that would change the moves to their little dance routine, the hide-and-seek game nobody agreed in playing. but yoongi wasn’t ready to that, not yet.

 

“my back hurts like hell”, of course that was the most clever thing to say in the face of situations one was trying to avoid, a sweet escape from a conversation the man couldn’t handle really well at the moment, “i guess… a bath would be nice.”

 

“yeah”, and whatever equation was going on taehyung’s mind showed on his eyes, both flickering like diamonds on the low light of the living room, full of emotions yoongi tried to not get affected by, “that sounds like a really good idea.”

 

the elder got himself nodding, shoving his hands inside the pockets of his leather jacket, wondering if it would be too awkward to just leave his regular guest alone like that, just disappearing like the ghost people accused him of being nowadays. the thing was yoongi had never had a good scale to determine weird situations, moving more on instinct and on the trust he had on his guts than anything else. so the man just went for it, trying to not mess up and fall on the steps like a idiot. it wasn’t like he had to give tae any indication of what he was about to do, anyway. they had passed that point of their relationship where the younger was still shy around his house.  going upstairs, he could hear holly barking happily while taehyung had some sort of conversation with the dog, and it was hard keeping a smile hidden, especially between the shadows of the corridor where no one could actually witness it.

 

he opened the bathroom door, the light bulb trembling for a second before helping revealing the pink tiles that covered the whole room, the mirror greeting his presence with his tired, but surprisingly calm, image. he couldn’t hear anything anymore, not with the noise of the hot water filling the tub in and the door closed, and it didn’t bring him any kind of peace. yoongi got back to being used to excitement and loud conversations heavy in the air, or at least the soothing sound of someone else breathing near him, but now there was nothing but the flow coming from the faucet and his own heart beating fast for no reason while he undressed, throwing his clothes on the hamper behind the sink. all of his muscles suddenly relaxed in contact with the tangerine scented water, the steam making his eyelids heavy, begging him to bend his head on the cold side of the bathtub. and so he did, trying to keep his mind away from the main reason of his sleepless nights, that happened to have the shape of certain brunette chatting with his dog downstairs. for a heavenly second there was nothing but yoongi lying in that bathtub, drowning in the remains of the colorful bath bomb he had thrown in it before.

 

but, a very interesting fact about the min residence was how all the hinges on the doors were well-oiled, making the opening and closing very smooth, no sound at all coming from them every time one decided to switch atmospheres. so nobody could actually blame yoongi when he didn’t realize at first he had company, the aura of another human being hard to identify in the middle of the steam. he did realize, however, once the sound of a belt’s metal buckle crashing onto the floor filled the small bathroom, but even then everything started to pass through him like in a low-budget slow-motion movie. there was the man, alone in his mist-indulged sleepiness, enjoying a well-deserved moment of realignment with himself, and then water was being spilled on the tiles with the weight of another body occupying the small space the tub offered.

 

and god knew the man tried not to open his eyes too fast, not to stare at whoever - what a joke, was there any other possibility? - was watching him carefully on the other side.

 

and god knew, but it was hard when it was taehyung and his bare golden skin sitting before him. it was hard when taehyung obviously needed way more space than yoongi did and obviously there was no space enough to avoid their bodies of touching, caressing, feeling. so yeah, it was pretty hard when taehyung had his long legs pressed on each side of yoongi’s thighs, hot and soft and so close, caging him like the man had no intention of letting him escape this time. it was fucking hard keeping his mind clear and not popping a boner right there just because damn, it was doing nothing good to his sanity realizing both of them were naked there and that if taehyung were gorgeous in clothes, without them he was like a goddamn sculpture, too beautiful too be true. the temperature in the bathroom suddenly raised a hundred percent with the way the youngest pressed his lips against each other, his eyes almost closed in a expression of pleasure from the release the water brought. taehyung was everywhere, and yoongi had a fever that refused to go out.

 

“you were right”, his voice was hoarse, lower than it had ever been, and it sent shivers down the eldest’s spine, words clouding his judgment. the way the brunnete’s head was thrown back, eyes almost closed and lips parted, that whole scene was fucking sinful, how his chest went up and down every time he breathed, disturbing the water around him and turning it into some kind of erotic vision, “the bath was a great idea.”

 

“tae…”, yoongi was afraid, of moving too much, showing too much - which was ridiculous, due the state of both of them -, his brain going elsewhere every time the other man brushed his heels on the sides of his hips, bones against bones, the friction making him swallow hard, trying to keep some kind of silence and all his limbs to himself before he could get even more embarrassed than he already was.

 

“do you feel pity for me?”, was his only answer to the subtle pledge, the question elaborated like it had been in his mind for a while now, voice so low it wasn’t much more than a whisperer. taehyung looked at him under his eyelashes, tip of the tongue resting on his bottom lip while doing it, “because I’m the guy whose parents throw him away cause he’s useless?”

 

“do you feel pity for me?”, sure he’d come up with a better reply, but the surprise had caught him entirely, the subject way too heavy for that moment, but wasn’t that the main point? the intimacy they allowed themselves to share? everything felt like it was too much, like both of them were trapped in a whole different dimension, no one but themselves able to experience that reality, “cause I’m the guy whose parents died in a plane crash?”

 

“no.”

 

“then we’re settled.”

 

“then why are we avoiding the obvious here?”, taehyung didn’t need to say the full words to make yoongi understand what he was really talking about. even though the writer inside his mind appreciated long sentences and going in circles to make the adrenaline levels go higher in each chapter of his stories, he was somehow grateful that the truth wasn’t being said out loud. if he heard it, maybe he’d be hyperventilating way more than he was already doing. his chest was doing this weird thing, like it was about to burst, like his bones and flesh weren’t able to contain the size of his emotions, hands scratching the hard ground of the bathtub like the man needed a confirmation that thing were still there, still solid under his fingers.

 

“because we’re both scared idiots.”

 

there was a nod and a sigh coming from his opposite direction, and a possibility the night had ended there, just like that, no closure at all because it was awkward and fucking warm and damn, what else could go wrong? but next thing he was hearing was a soft “move over a bit”, in that tone he saw him using a thousand times at the diner, and then taehyung was suddenly changing positions, pushing yoongi forward so he could fit behind the man, yoongi’s back clashing against his chest once he was settled, all that new warmth burning their limbs and minds. at first it was some kind of shock, like there was no way in the world his brain could process the body under his, the hot breath on the back of his neck and the sensation of collapsing from inside. he could feel every centimeter of skin and muscle brushing his own, could feel the patterns of the man’s movements and how the water slided between them. and of course taehyung would make his life a little bit more like hell when his mouth was near one of his ears, whispering things like “your shoulders are too tense” right into it, just before his fingers were working on the nods near his neck, going down his shoulder blades, fingertips burning every inch they touched, pressing, scratching, soothing

 

perhaps if it were just the warmth of taehyung’s hands, yoongi’d have survived the whole thing gladly, would have enjoyed the massage and the peace that it would eventually bring. but then there were hot, soft lips following the same path, and he couldn’t hold the embarrassing moan that came out of his own mouth, something almost sinful. all his sensitive spots were there, begging to be pressed, and taehyung filled the need completely with the tip of his tongue. it didn’t get any better when the man’s fingers traced the way through his torso, finding yoongi’s hands and lacing their fingers over the muscles of his abdomen. yoongi squeezed them like he was holding for dear life when taehyung’s mouth found the line of his jaw, teeth scratching lightly the bone there, nose ghosting over his cheeks. “if you want me to go”, he whispered against his ear lobe, legs caging the smaller man between them, “just tell me. tell me if i read it wrong, yoongi.”

 

the funny thing about control is that people actually think they have any saying in whether to lose it or not. true thing is that there’s no such thing as control in the universe, and if there is, nobody actually has any power over that. so it wasn’t right saying that what happened next was yoongi losing control. you can’t lose something you never had in the first place.

 

but it was easy. it was so easy leaning to the side, exposing his neck intentionally, hand searching for taehyung’s hair on his nape, putting it around his fingers like he wanted to for a long, long time. it was easy, even though the position hurt a bit, sliding his mouth against the other man’s, a kiss so hungry he was afraid it might hurt when teeth almost clashed, but it didn’t. taehyung’s lips were everything he ever thought they’d be, and so much more. he could taste the beer they had earlier and something else just his, and he wouldn’t stop any of the sounds his throat was dying to release when the man licked into his mouth, moving their bodies once again so yoongi could feel the line of his hardening cock against the curve of his own ass, teeth grabbing at his bottom lip once fingertips found their way through his navel, going lower, dangerously, teasing the sking there with his short nails.

 

“i’m not fucking you in a bathtub”, were the words said a bit later against his shoulder, and that provoked a bubbling laughter from yoongi’s part. if taehyung had all that innocent aura during the day, all that  sweetheart look with his kind eyes and big smile, hearing him saying such filthy things with that growing confidence took them to a whole new level and damn if yoongi wasn’t even more screwed than he was before, swooning when the man’s hands found his nipples, pressing them up and the circling his thumbs around the nubs, making a loud gasp come out without permission.

 

“and who said you were the one fucking me?”, he’d never been any kind of prude, but it had been a while since the last time that kind of sentence came out of his lips, and it sounded so good, being able to say that to someone he wanted for so long. yoongi’s hands were sank on the muscles of taehyung’s thighs, searching for some stability he wasn’t sure he’d be able to get, “i’m older than you and your boss, where is your respect?”

 

“lost it somewhere inside the water. maybe i should look for it”, his voice against the base of yoongi’s neck made the whole section vibrate, the soft biting not helping in the eldest’s desire of not rutting against him, especially when his hands traveled south, ghosting over his thighs, knuckles brushing softly on the head of his dick, dragging a groan out of him that could be translated in so many ways, “c’mon, boss, get up, or do you want me to carry you around?”

 

“cocky and kinky, isn’t he?”, but the suggestion wasn’t lightly carried,  the man getting up in just one long movement, and ignoring how naked and vulnerable he was to tae’s gaze was an essential part of that scenario, putting his short legs out of the tube carefully, the tiles slippery with the amount of water shed on them, a cold feeling invading his body from the contact with the sole of his feet, “just look around, you don’t wanna slip and fall and end up dead.”

 

“i don’t know what’s worse, your cock-related joke or this ‘dumb way to die’  shenanigan. how did i fall for someone who says this kind of stuff?”, there was a laugh and the wet sounds of water moving around, but the eldest didn’t dare looking back. if there was any intention of answering that inside him, it was lost somewhere else, crushed when his body was being pushed in the direction of his bedroom, mouths clashing in the dark and taehyung’s arms firm around his waist, lifting him up, complaining about his tiny legs or something like that, to which yoongi only answered by sliding his short nails through the man’s back, hearing him sigh bringing some weird satisfaction to the whole thing. one of the highlights of that night would always be the sounds taehyung made in the back of his throat. people who fantasized having sex while listening to the weeknd were missing on a hell of a soundtrack, recorded deep down in yoongi’s mind.

 

it was a blessing that the trip to his room happened to be so short, his habit of leaving the door opened finally paying off after so much teasing coming from his friends. the bed was a clear invitation in the middle of the space, calling them softy for a little play. the man didn’t remember the mattress being so soft, or maybe he was just hyper aware of the surroundings,  the pressure of taehyung’s body on top of him bringing him back to life like he had been drowning in a parallel universe up to that point. thinking was the last important thing when hot breath was ghosting over his navel, a pair eyes so dark and hungry - almost like they were eating the man alive -  yoongi could see himself reflected on them, and well, that kind of blush he saw there  tainting his skin wouldn’t go away any soon. taehyung pressed his thumbs on the soft skin of the eldest’s stomach, traveling down to the bones of his hips, holding them so hard it’d leave marks the next day.

 

but if  one were to properly analyze the whole situation, one not soaked in a feverish bliss, leaving marks was probably taehyung’s intention, the way he nibbled at yoongi’s collarbones, careful but methodical, making the man’s body tremble and move, not trying to escape from the grip, but externalizing the energy about to burst out of him at any second.

 

fuck, are you planning on letting any part of me free of hickeys?”, it was supposed to sound like a whiny joke, but the deep moan that followed it broke completely the petty tone he was trying to carry, because of course taehyung would choose that exactly moment to palm his dick so slightly it would have passed as yoongi’s imagination if he weren’t paying so much attention to every detail, from the friction caused by his calloused, large hands to the way his thumb would press over the vein under his shaft, tugging a little at it, but not too much, enough to prove the theory the younger was just a fucking tease, sent from hell to drive yoongi into a state of numbness from head to toe.

 

“do you mind them? the marks?”, and that sentence could have passed as worried, almost sweet, if the grip on yoongi’s dick didn’t get suddenly stronger, taehyung starting to stroke the length slowly like he was trying very hard to drive the man insane, mouth working again in his inner thighs, almost like he was working on some kind of work of art. revenge was never a nice thing, but maybe for a second yoongi would consider it sooner or later just to shake of how pathetic were his groans whenever a new kind of pressure was applied over his skin. there was a sharp, ridiculous laugh ready to come out, making him sounding so much more maniac than intended when pronouncing his next defiance.

 

“just give me your best, taehyungie.”

 

“oh, you mean i could spank you too? someone once said i’m great at that. those would be pretty marks on your tight little ass...”

 

all the elements that would make that sentence a playful one were there, splattered on his face, boxy smile and all. any unsuspected listener would take it as a joke, product of dirty talk based on solemn challenge and fascination with the whole scenario, a tentative of not turning everything into some awkward move. but then there was a shift in the atmosphere, this moment when everything frozen and there was nothing but the look on yoongi’s face, the way his eyes got bigger and his red, swollen mouth formed an o, his cheeks flusher than before, an image that any artist would pay to put on oil and canvas. that sentence was supposed to be a joke from the moment it escaped taehyung’s lips, but then yoongi was nodding, even if he didn’t exactly meant to, and taehyung’s hands were pressing his slit and spreading precum over the head of his cock, dragging some kind of obscene cry from him, the younger trying to recover from the most pleasant shock he remembered having in a long time.

 

“are you telling me that… wait, seriously? you want me to?”

 

it would be embarrassing, for sure, if the simple mention of the action didn’t drive yoongi to the edge. that was not something he generally talked to people about, not a topic he’d bring around in his small talks (”the weather is great today, isn’t it? by the way, i love being hit in the ass as foreplay”), but… there was something to it that crossed all the lines and still excited him to no end, the tale of the forbidden fruit and the something-so-wrong-it-sounded-right mixed in an addictive combination. the fact that it was randomly brought up like that just proving that perhaps the odds were finally on his side, saving him from the the embarrassment of asking for it out loud that only existed in his head. yoongi wanted, mouth somehow watering with the idea, cock twitching caged in taehyung’s hand, so all the man could do was keep nodding almost shamelessly, biting his lips so no weird word or sound would come out of it while taehyung stared at him, mesmerized.

 

fuck, just… turn around. got an idea”, he said, leaving space so the man behind him could finally move after being nicely crushed by his legs. yoongi got on his knees, waiting, until he was carefully pulled to the brunette’s lap, ass in the air and cock nicely pressed against his thighs. of anticipation had a smell, it’d probably be filling the room, heartbeats going crazy while facing the possibilities of a little game none of them considered playing before. how they went from shy flirting to open discussion of kinks would always remain a mystery, but damn, weren’t mysteries the reason why humankind kept thriving and improving? yoongi could feel the weight of taehyung’s hand against one of his cheeks, palm just resting carelessly, could feel himself leaking precum over the firm skin under him, and just that made his body shiver completely, train of thought completely lost for the night. “what do you say about ten? it’s okay, isn’t it? god, yoongi… if you need me to stop just… just let me know, ok?”

 

“just do it already, for fuck’s sake.”

 

and the first slap came just like that, without any warning, a taste of punishment for the hush on yoongi’s voice, nothing but the sound of skin hitting hard against skin and the burning sensation that made yoongi swallow hard, trying to hold himself and not to think about the feeling noddling lower in his stomach, and the way taehyung’s other hand caressed his back, going down his spine while he massaged the now red area, wasn’t helping, not when he whispered things like, “oh, you’re acting like a bad boy, aren’t you?” because fuck, if he knew taehyung had that side before maybe the man wouldn’t have taken so damn long to admit how whipped he already was. the second slap came shortly after and losing his mind was the only option once the man started to stroke him slowly while hitting him again, setting up a rhythm to it, pale skin marked with the shape of five fingers. there was a whole pattern to the thing, a ritual taehyung followed religiously. every hit came with a caress right after, the tips of his fingers massaging the sore muscle from right, then to left. if at first he had been shy, now yoongi was pure vocal, groaning and begging. the count was long forgotten, only being marked by taehyung’s heavy breathing and his thumb circling the head of the man’s cock, coordinating the slaps with the tightest thugs, and it was enticing, that reality that put him begging for another one. at the sound of the last slap the whole area was so sensitive it was hard ignoring the urge to release it all, turning yoongi into a sobbing mess, not one coherent thought on his mind before taehyung’s ministrations on him. that was it. that was him. gone, absolutely gone, no way of turning back to an old self who had no way of measuring how far his desire would go.

 

“if you don’t fuck me now i’m gonna come, tae”, the man gritted his teeth, grabbing at the sheets like his life depended on it, knuckles white and blood rushing to his inner body. he could feel taehyung laughing against the base of his spine, biting the small of his back playfully.

 

“lube and condoms?”

 

“first drawer. hurry.”

 

“so bossy”, he laughed, but his whole body showed how nervous he was, hands trembling either from the extensive contact or the pressure he just applied with them, the man nudging his nose gently on his lover’s nape while whispering “turn around so i can see you and spread your legs”, enjoying that brief sense of power, the desire he could see on yoongi’s eyes, pupils dilated and lips shining with spit, skin feverish and flustered while he followed the instructions, the sound coming from the bottle of lube being opened filling the air with heavy anticipation. yoongi gasped when a lube coated finger circled the ring of his muscle, just teasing it, but there was so much going on at the same time, lips being pressed against his own at the same time he felt the familiar burning sensation, hands grabbing at the skin of taehyung’s back for some support. it had been a while since the last time, but the younger was patient to the limit of it, waiting for him to adjust to it, massaging his inner thighs while at it, and when the second finger got in, yoongi wasn’t sure if the fact the man was breathing right over his hard cock was intentional or not, but judging by the mischievous grin on his face, well, the brunette was indeed a fucking brat. he didn’t have the time to complain, though, not when tae started scissoring his fingers, opening him up and dragging the most unholy sound possible out of him. by the time the third finger got in and found the spot that made him whimper.

 

“tae, just fuck me already. i’m not playing, i’m gonna come if you don’t.”

 

“nope, you’re not”, and the smirk was back on on the exact same moment the man held the base of yoongi’s cock in a tight grip, fingers still wet by the lube, hand not moving an inch, and he was so, so hard, all his body did was tremble in the search for a relief that was being denied. he wasn’t well aware of the universe around him anymore, oblivious to the sound of taehyung opening the condom packing, the only taste of reality hitting him when the man pulled him up by the shoulders, getting inside him with only one movement. yoongi moaned his name, hiding his face in the curve of taehyung’s neck, that position guaranteeing that, if yoongi wanted to reach his orgasm, he’d have to be the first to move. taehyung gave him all the choices without thinking twice, waiting for him, the firm grip still around the man’s erection, mirroring every single decision the eldest made. it took him a few moments and the smallest friction on his cock to get him moving, yoongi rolling his hips and groaning against the flesh under his mouth, taehyung adjusting them so he could meet him in every thrust, fingers sank on his ass, directing the man so he could just hit that spot again and again and again. yoongi felt like sobbing, or passing out, whatever helped him get there. he begged, shamelessly, pulling at taehyung’s hair and whispering all sorts of nonsense to him. that worked, somehow, his hand finally jerking him slowly, building even more tension, if it was possible. it wouldn’t take him long, he knew it. he could feel it.

 

all it took was taehyung whispering “cum” and a hard slap against the flesh of his ass.

 

then everything was white.

 

yoongi could feel every muscle in his body quivering, a low buzzing in his ears and the sticky feeling of cum being spilled between them. but the rest was just numbness, stars he saw before his eyes and his voice that died inside his throat. he could feel taehyung chasing his own orgasm, but his body felt so limp the only thing he could do to help was biting his shoulder, something he noticed was one of his likings. that seemed to work, the taller man filling the condom inside him with a deep moan right against yoongi’s ear.

 

“fuck.”

 

“more like fucked, yes”, his ability to be quirky even when exhausted should grant him a prize or something, taehyung’s laughter keeping him warm inside his embrace. the only thing the man did was nuzzling his neck, leaving butterfly kisses there. it was soft, and pathetic, and it made yoongi wanting to never leave that damn bed, staying in those arms in which he felt safe for the first time in forever. it wasn’t that taehyung completed him - no, he was already whole by himself, even after everything that happened, his lust for life was still there somewhere -, but taehyung made that spark inside him ignite and set fire to all of his desires. loving taehyung was like those endless summers people talked about in romances. the man reunited all his strength to bring him closer, even among all the mess they just made and, looking him in the eye, lips so close to his lips, yoongi just had one thing to say.

 

“welcome home.”