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Rhythmic blaring perforates the senseless concoction of dreams swimming in Hoseok’s mind. At first, it’s easy to brush the noise off, his brain warping the intrusion into a blaring car alarm in the distance as he engages in a game of tug-of-war with his middle school principal.

Eventually, though, the sound proves too distracting and Hoseok finds himself slipping into consciousness. He thrusts his arm out from the blankets and into the chill air of his room, searching blindly for his phone in an attempt to silence the cacophony. After a few unsuccessful grasps and smacks to the nightstand, he completes his mission and the room is once again silent. With the snooze-button hit, Hoseok quickly tucks his arm back into the warmth of his duvet with the decision to get up at the next alarm ring.

Four snoozes later Hoseok forces himself upright, holding back a whine at the chill that latches onto his skin instantly. As he goes about lifting his eyelids they seem lined with sandpaper and it takes a few seconds of laboured blinking before he can keep them open. He decides on what he wants to wear before exiting his bed, giving the freezing air less time to seep into his bones. Once he is dressed and nearly awake, he drags himself into the washroom to address his full bladder and unruly hair.

Washing his face is a true test of strength as Hoseok debates between waiting for his water to warm up and braving the cold stream to get it over with. He goes with the second, and immediately regrets it. Drying his face he feels much more awake, but his teeth chatter in complaint. He considers his face in the mirror for a moment - black hair impressively skewed almost past salvaging, eyes ringed with too familiar dark circles, and the beginnings of splotchy stubble on his chin and neck.

He could shave, probably should. It’s been a few days already. Some people look rugged and handsome with stubble, but Hoseok looks more like he’s lost a fight with rogue tweezers. It’s not his best look, and Namjoon’s taken to calling it ‘homeless chic’ every finals season when the scraggly hairs get far longer than anyone is comfortable with. So, shaving it is the best course of action - but the thought of subjecting himself to the cold water again is more than he can stomach. Besides, it’s not like he’s got anyone to impress.

Hoseok drags his socked feet across his small apartment towards the kitchen. He fills his electric kettle and sets it back on its base, lining the piece of duct tape he had attached to it up with the spout on the kettle so that the finnicky contraption will work. The thing is really on its last legs, but Hoseok’s mother would have a heart attack if he even considered using the microwave to heat up his water, so he makes due. As the machine sputters into action, Hoseok reaches for the instant coffee he keeps in the cupboard just above the kettle. There aren’t many things more indicative of his poor-university-student status than that cupboard. Filled with instant coffee, bulk size boxes of Mi Goreng and various cup ramen from T&T, an entire row of KD, and a few boxes of expired cereals he got at Dollorama, complete with bright green and yellow ‘$1’ stickers. He leans towards the adjacent overhead cupboard, grabbing two mugs. He sets them down to grab a spoon when with a sinking sadness he realizes his mistake, and puts one of the mugs back.

It’s his third error this week alone. Namjoon moved out nearly a month ago, and Hoseok is doing his best to pretend that it isn’t affecting him. Hoseok is happy for him – really. It’s great that Namjoon’s parents decided to make the move from Seoul to Vancouver, that his friend can finally see his parents more than once a year on three week trips.

But Hoseok is lonely .

He didn’t realize it until Namjoon left, but he’s never really been alone. Growing up, his family had been vibrant and loud – a sibling or parent always bursting into his room on the rare occasion he wasn’t bursting into one of theirs. They were close knit and happy, and a lot of what people recognize him for came from years of living in such an infectious environment.

When it had come time for college, Hoseok lived with roommates. His first year spent in dorm, where he had met Namjoon. Namjoon had been an adorably awkward international student with an astounding grasp of English and any other subject thrown at him. The only understandings of western culture he possessed came from Friends and song lyrics. Despite his references for how to behave in North America, he called Hoseok ‘sir’ the first time they met. Hoseok took it upon himself to teach Namjoon about Canadian cultural norms, idioms, and slang. In exchange, Namjoon tutored him, and helped him straighten out the satoori Seokjin always made fun of him for having.

After their first year, the two of them had decided to get an off campus apartment. They managed to find a two bedroom in East Van that cost less than their dormitory and meal plan. The area was sketch as hell, but they would be hard pressed to find anything cheaper anywhere in such an expensive city. It added an extra hour on both ends of their commute, but transit was free and they were allowed to light candles and cook their own food. Also, two people to one bathroom was a much better ratio than they had been living with.

They went to every thrift store in the area to find furniture and made Seokjin haul it all in his old Silverado. They painstakingly carried said furniture up the stairs to their apartment, and sincerely debated if they should just give up and buy an inflatable couch instead. Hoseok would have bought a cheap mattress there as well but his mother was irrational when it came to bedbugs and threatened to never let him back in their house if he went bed shopping at a thrift shop. Since they were living together Namjoon couldn’t either, so they spent the first month sleeping on camping gear until they could save up enough to get cheap mattresses from Ikea and haggle with nearby stores for pallets to put underneath. Nothing they owned matched, but it was comfortable. The apartment was eclectic, and systematically cluttered. There wasn’t really enough room for all of their things, but they made it work. There were holes in the wall next to the magnetic knife holder where Namjoon had tried to install it himself only to hit his thumb hard enough to leave a blood blister and a gaping hole in the wrong spot. Hoseok googled what studs were before taking the project over, and they had never gotten around to buying putty to fill the hole like they always said they would. There was a suspicious stain on the ceiling from the time that Namjoon had attempted to make a sick Hoseok a smoothie in their magic bullet, and a permanent dent on the left side of the shutter blinds from the time Hoseok had seen a spider while washing dishes and promptly flung himself as far away as possible.

When Namjoon’s parents told him they were coming, he’d been overjoyed. Hoseok thought about moving somewhere else, but every one bedroom he found was the same price – if not more – than his current apartment. He thought about getting a roommate, but the only other people he would consider living with were already living together in the best apartment ever. To this day no one knew how Seokjin and Jimin had managed to get it, and they weren’t sure if even marriage could get either of them to move out.

It wasn’t ideal to double his payments, but it was really the only choice. He had student loans, and when he went home for the summer he spent almost every minute working in his parents restaurant. He would live at home and save up so that he could afford groceries and textbooks when he was at school. During the school year he made extra cash by choreographing solos for a few dance studios, and now that he needed more income he was looking into teaching a couple of classes on the weekend.

He can’t splurge at Starbucks anymore, and he eats a startling amount of food with the nutritional equivalent of cardboard, but he’s fine, it’s fine.

He can handle the added costs, that’s really not the problem. Not having someone around when he thinks of a good joke, or to help him with his English homework – it happens, okay? – is the problem. When he wakes up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water, the chances of finding Namjoon crouched in front of their open refrigerator with the yellow light illuminating the guilty look on his face and a bottle of maple syrup in his hand are essentially zero. Hoseok supposes Namjoon could always come back to steal his maple syrup in the middle of the night when a craving hit – he’d never given the keys back – but it was still less likely than it had been a month ago.

Hoseok feels nostalgic for things he knows aren’t worth reminiscing. Namjoon is a great friend, but he could be a shitty roommate sometimes.

He would put off doing laundry until Hoseok caught him stealing his underwear, or he snuck off to Walmart and bought more.

He lost everything . All of the time. Once, they had been on their way out to watch one of Jimin’s showcases when Namjoon had paused in the doorway, looking lost and confused with one hand held out as if it had been holding something. He couldn’t even remember what he had lost, only that he was missing something. After ten minutes of progressively exasperated questions, Hoseok realized that somehow, between putting on his jacket and slipping on his shoes, he had lost the toque. That he had been wearing. It was stuck between their couch cushions, and Hoseok didn’t even have the energy to be confused.

Over their two years living together, Hoseok had barely managed to teach him how to make his own Kraft Dinner without turning it into a milky macaroni soup.

He never washed the dishes well enough, and seemed to assume that once something was on the drying rack it would put itself away.

He had embraced the indie music scene so whole-heartedly that Hoseok often heard him crooning along to strange lyrics backed by mandolins and kazoos, or whatever it was that was so popular these days.

Namjoon had managed to break their toilet by flushing it, and they had never been able to fix it properly. There was a string they tied to the float arm and hung out of the tank that you had to pull no less than fifteen seconds after flushing, otherwise it would run forever.

So, no. Namjoon isn’t the be-all end-all for Hoseok, but he is gone. He misses things he hated in the moment, and wonders if all the time alone is making him go loopy.

It isn’t Namjoon’s fault he can’t handle being on his own, so he makes jokes about how nice it is to walk around naked with no one to complain and tries desperately to hide his loneliness.

Hoseok’s a trooper, though, and not even a life in isolation will keep him down forever. So he drinks his cheap instant coffee (with an extra spoonful of sugar – he’s in mourning) and makes sure his bag is properly packed for the day. He rinses his mug and brushes his teeth, lugging his heavy backpack on as he gets ready to go to class.

As he’s leaving, Hoseok thinks about breakfast, and how he really should have some. But his stomach is protesting his early wake up and the thought of eating is less than pleasant. So he grabs a Christmas orange of compromise and thrusts it into the pocket of his hoody, mentally praising himself for his good intentions as he wanders out the door and makes his way to the streets below.

“Hoseok, you seen this?” Hoseok pauses walking towards his first class of the morning when Seokjin jogs towards him and hands over his phone breathlessly. Whatever is on the screen must be pretty important, Hoseok can’t remember the last time Seokjin ran of his own volition. “Shit, starting the finals homeless scruff early this year?”

“First of all, fuck you.” Seokjin raises an eyebrow, “...hyung. Second off, seen what?  Did Trudeau finally make good on the weed promise?” It’s too cold to stay idle, so Hoseok continues walking, and Seokjin follows suit.

“You don’t even smoke pot.”Seokjin shakes his head incredulously.

“Maybe because it’s illegal, hyung. Because Trudeau still hasn’t made good on his promise.”

“Yeah, yeah. Save me the morality speech. It’s not about the damn weed issue. Guess again.”

Seokjin is probably one of the most attractive people Hoseok knows. Everywhere the man walks, eyes follow. A slim face, bright eyes, and plush lips that garner any and all attention. His smile is captivating, and there is an approachable aura about him. He is lean and narrow – aside from his monumental shoulders. Sometimes they play a game where they see the number of a certain type of object they can balance on them. The most impressive attempt being when Seokjin fell asleep sitting up on Hoseok and Namjoon’s couch and they had fit two bowls comfortably on each shoulder. He didn’t wake up until they started filling the bowls with cereal.

Honestly, Hoseok is surprised he doesn’t have a harem yet.

“You got another confession on that UBC anonymous confession page,” Hoseok guesses blindly. The look Seokjin gives him in return shows how unimpressed he is with the lack of thought. It is a pretty rookie guess, Seokjin’s running total was 28 confessions the last time Hoseok asked.

“Since when is that news,” Seokjin scoffs, “it’s this ad that went viral. I found it on twitter, but it’s local so I did some searching and found it on kijiji. The guy – I think it’s a guy, at least – put it up yesterday, thanks.” Seokjin interrupts himself as Hoseok holds the door open to their building, continuing once they’re both inside, “seriously, you just have to read it.”

Hoseok pauses outside of his classroom door and Seokjin watches expectantly as he reads the ad.

“This offer is not for everyone. Those of you who have saved every penny for most of your life to afford a down payment and currently work around the clock to make mortgage payments, I commend you on your efforts, but this post is not for you.

Do you own more than one property? Do you have so many rental homes with no mortgage payments, yet you still feel unfulfilled? Tired of your illegal tenants whining that there are rats in the walls? Have you always wanted your own dinosaur? Now is your chance my friend.

In exchange for one of your properties, I will be your personal dinosaur for one year. I will be at your beck and call, 24 hours a day, wearing a dinosaur costume. The type of dinosaur is negotiable. I can babysit your children (references upon request), scare the mailman, wash dishes, entertain and impress your guests, and much more. (No sex stuff though, sorry.) I will make realistic dinosaur sounds, eat what the particular dinosaur eats and maybe even sit on a fake dinosaur egg, if you are so inclined. I am well educated, fluent in English and French (as well as dinosaur), can play several musical instruments and have no criminal record or outstanding warrants.

All this and more. This is the only way you will ever have your pet dinosaur, and the only way I will ever be able to acquire a house in Vancouver.

Serious offers only please.

Thank you.”

Wow.

“Shit.”

“I know, right?” Seokjin answers, taking back his phone.

“I remember how desperate Joon and I were,” Hoseok recalls, “And I’m pretty sure we were so far down the prostitution-to-pay-the-bills hole that we had looked into how much it paid and where was hiring, but even we weren’t that hopeless.”

“Oh God, Namjoon dancing. They would have paid him to stop. ” Hoseok can’t help but laugh at this. “To be fair, though, you two were just looking for a rental property. Still terrible in this city, but can you imagine trying to buy a house? Poor fucker.” Seokjin shudders.

“Good point. Remind me of that if I ever think of staying here past grad.”

“Done and done.”

Hoseok gets through classes as well as usual, and makes the trek home on autopilot. He’s minutes from his stop when he remembers how much he doesn’t want to be alone. Calling his friends won’t work, they’ll see through his carefully built façade of nonchalance with ease. And even if they don’t, none of them live in East Van and commuting will be a pain. So what can he do?

He looks out the bus window while debating, and his eyes catch on the familiar Starbucks logo. For a moment, he thinks about curling up in one of the large chairs, drinking out of an aesthetically pleasing to-go cup, and eating an overpriced pastry.

Then he remembers how much he can’t afford something so extravagant, especially on a lonely whim. Hopes crushed, he’s about to throw out the idea completely until he recalls the Timmies a few blocks from his apartment and pats himself on the back for such quick thinking.

So Hoseok spends his evening in the hectic rush of a coffee chain, nursing an English Toffee and switching between working on homework and pretending to work on homework. Midterms finished up the week before, so he really doesn’t have all that much he needs to do. But the longer he can drag out the illusion, the longer he doesn’t have to spend by himself. Even if he hasn’t talked to anyone other than his server when he first got here hours ago, just having people around makes him feel better.

There isn’t anything inherently wrong with Tim Hortons. It’s cheap, it’s fast, and it’s probably the most Canadian thing there is. It’s a little over-rated in Hoseok’s opinion – an opinion he generally keeps to himself – but he doesn’t hate the place. What he doesn’t like is the feel. Coffee shops are supposed to have an atmosphere, and Tim Hortons feels more like an assembly line. Starbucks isn’t much better, there is nothing that can beat the feel of a real coffee shop. With handmade everything and character to spare. Unfortunately, with handmade products comes handmade prices. Starbucks definitely does a better job than Tim Hortons, from uniforms and set up to the menu options, but he can’t afford it either.

When he walks into a coffee shop, it feels like the place has been waiting for him. That it’s welcoming him with open arms and begging him to rest his bones, stay awhile. At Tim Hortons he feels like the very walls are watching him, waiting for him to stop wasting space so that the next consumer can take his place.

But money speaks louder than atmosphere presence, so he deals.

It’s nearing closing time, and really, he should have left hours ago. If not to study then definitely to sleep. He sits back in his seat, and removes his headphones in favour of taking in the sparse inhabitants around him.

There are a few young teenagers sitting near the entrance, most likely stretching their new found rebellion muscles by staying out later than they’re supposed to. Hoseok is willing to bet they are drinking hot chocolate and talking about their lame teachers.

There is a couple, two women – maybe a handful of years older than Hoseok – smiling and laughing together directly opposite of the teenagers. One of the women points at the other accusingly, shoving sock clad feet off of her lap in mock offense. The other shifts to put her feet back into her shoes, braids swaying wildly as she shakes her head ‘no’ with exaggerated fervor and laughs. She reaches out her hand, and as her accuser accepts she pulls their hands in and kisses the top in apology.

Hoseok smiles at this, and turns his attention to the only other patron in the building. He looks fairly young – either a senior in high school or a freshman in college if Hoseok’s age-radar is to be trusted – and completely overwhelmed.

He is definitely East Asian – Hoseok is pretty sure he’s Korean. He’s wearing a plain black t shirt and a burgundy toque. He’s leaning over an iced capp and taking sips, with one hand on the mousepad of his laptop, the other holding his phone, his attention jumping around between the three comically.

He’s really fucking cute if Hoseok’s being honest.

Hoseok thinks this might be creepy, but decides that the handsome stranger probably doesn’t have enough attention to split four ways so he’s probably fine.

The person’s phone rings and he drops the straw from his mouth and sits up to take the call.

“Hello?” Damn . Hoseok isn’t sure what he was expecting from such an adorable and unassuming man, but it’s not the low, husky phone sex operator voice he gets. Oh, shit. What if that’s sexy strangers job? It’s not like phone sex operators actually get off at work, but Tim Hortons doesn’t seem like the most conducive – or appropriate – location.

“Yes, that’s me. Haha. It’s only a joke if you are willing to help me with no strings attached.” sexy stranger’s voice is joking, but his face is pained.

“I’m willing to do research. I visited the Royal Tyrrell every summer growing up. I’m taking this as seriously as I can. I can speak Korean as well. No, I’m sure. Yes. Yes I am definitely a Canadian citizen.” At this point, Hoseok really hopes sexy stranger isn’t a phone sex operator, because he’s doing a really terrible job if he is. Suddenly, the man’s face shifts into one of discomfort. “No, that’s non-negotiable. Yeah,” He presses his lips into a tight line, “Sorry to waste your time then.” He hangs up with a sigh. Hoseok is confused.

The man sits for a moment, staring at his lap and taking a deep breath. Then he is back to his laptop, scrolling and clicking. His eyes go wide at the same moment he slams the laptop shut. He stares at the device as if it is going to strike him at any moment with a hand pressed against his chest. His phone rings again to take him out of his thoughts.

“Hello! Yes. The one and only.” A forced laugh. “Well, I could look on amazon and send you links to check. Do you have a preference? Yes, that is correct. 24 hours a day, for all your pseudo-dinosaur needs.” He continues to talk, but Hoseok is no longer listening.

There’s no way. It can’t be. The dinosaur guy ? Hoseok sifts through the conversations he’s heard, and it all seems to fit. He hears dinosaur guy say goodbye and his attention refocuses. Before his brain catches up, he is walking away from his backpack and laptop over to dinosaur guy. Dinosaur guy looks up and they lock eyes. Hoseok has no clue what he is doing, but he can’t back out now.

“Sorry, but, umm. Are you, maybe, the dinosaur guy?” Smooth, Hoseok. Like butter.

“The one and only.” The man replies, with a weary smile. He looks Hoseok up and down - and Hoseok remembers the sad attempted beard he was too lazy to deal with that morning. Great first impression. Well, it’s too late to run away now. Actually - it’s never too late to run away. But sexy dinosaur stranger has seen his face so he should probably just keep going.

“What.. umm, what made you place that ad?”

“I was drunk.” He says, too quickly. Hoseok thinks back on the ad. It was a little eccentric, sure, but definitely not drunk post material.

“No you weren’t.” The man flinches at this.

“No, I wasn’t. I wish I was, though. Be a better excuse than how desperate I am.”

“Why are you so set on buying when you are so young? Can’t you just rent something?”

Dinosaur guy’s eyes flare at this, “Why are you so judgmental when you don’t know anything? Can’t you just let me be?” Damn. Touchy subject. Hoseok supposes he is being kind of pushy with this complete stranger who owes him nothing.

“Sorry. Sorry you’re right. It’s none of my business, I’ll just – ”

“No, wait.” Hoseok does as he is told, pausing in front of dinosaur guy’s table and looking back. The man looks tired. “It’s okay. It’s not okay. I’m sorry. It’s been a rough day. I wrote that ridiculous ad and I can’t exactly go back on it now. I’ve been getting calls and emails all day and I can’t just ignore them in case someone actually has something for me.”

“That sucks. No one has been serious yet?”

“Seriously weird. I mean, to each their own and everything, but I said no sex stuff on the ad. I’ve gotten three dick pics already. People can see I’m desperate and just assume I’m desperate for cock.”

Hoseok chokes on his spit.

“That’s not cool,” He manages eventually.

“They just assume I’m gay, too. Did my ad come off as gay? How do you come off as gay in an ad about being a dinosaur servant?”

“Dunno, can’t say I’ve read many to compare yours to. Can I ask a question?”

“Hasn’t stopped you yet,” the man counters, striking a small, genuine, smile. It’s charming as hell.

“Where have you been staying if you’re this desperate for a house?”

“Hostel a few blocks from here. Really nice place, only heard about three murders since I got there.”

“How long have you been here?”

“A few weeks.”

“And yo – ”

A ringing phone cuts Hoseok off, and the man lifts a finger in his direction, signaling for Hoseok to give him a moment.

“Hello. Yes, you have the right number. Umm, I guess I could do that? You already-oh! Sorry, I did say no sex… yes. I see. But that’s still…I can’t say I feel comfortable with that. I’m glad you think I would look good in the wings, that’s very kind of you to say. I still don’t think it’s… no. Look, do you even have a property for me? Hello? Hello?”

“I’m Hoseok, by the way. You are?”

“Taehyung.” Taehyung replies, looking slightly more exasperated than he was before the phone call.

“So, Taehyung. I’m curious. If they have a thing for dinosaurs, do you still call them furries? Or is scalies more politically correct?”

Taehyung groans and runs a palm over his face. “They said they were cool with me being a dragon, they even had a set of wings for me.”

“Well that sounds convenient, why’d you turn them down?” Hoseok is trying his best not to laugh but both of them are smiling and Taehyung’s smile is super distracting.

“They hit me with that it’s a non-sexual kink, though . Listen, if there is a kink involved, I want to at least be able to enjoy it.”

Hoseok feels his cheeks heating up, and in an attempt to fill the silence that follows says the first thing that pops into his head.

“You can stay with me if you want.” What? No he can’t. Why would he say that?!

Taehyung lifts an eyebrow, “You know how suspicious that sounds? Offering me a place to stay right after I make a kink comment.”

Yes. It does sound suspicious. What the hell is he doing. “Oh. I didn’t-I don’t-that’s not… I didn’t mean permanently.” Good work Hoseok, that clears everything up.

Taehyung has a knowing smile, “Go on.”

“Well, it’s just. You’re staying in a sketchy hostel, and I don’t have a roommate right now. My place isn’t that great but it’s close and I have an extra bedroom. You could maybe stay while you negotiate with kinky strangers.” Hoseok decides not to think too hard about how ridiculous he sounds, or the fact that he just said ‘kinky strangers’.

“You sell a mean deal Hoseok, but I don’t know if I’m that desperate yet. Shut up, I can hear you disagreeing in your head from here.”

“No, you’re right. That’s fair. I’m not exactly sure why I offered anyways.” He is an idiot, that’s why.

“Where do you live?”

Hoseok gives Taehyung his approximate location, and he brightens considerably.

“Really? That’s pretty close to my hostel. Hmmm.” Taehyung is looking at him funny.

“What? What is it?” Hoseok isn’t sure why he asks, is almost certain he doesn’t want to know.

“I was just thinking that you seem like a nice enough guy, trustworthy and all that. Then I thought that looking nice doesn’t mean you can’t be some messed up serial killer. Not all bad guys wear capes and grow evil mustaches, you know.”

That’s a fair point. The serial killer thing, anyways. Hoseok should be thinking the same thing about Taehyung rather than offering him a place to stay because he’s cute and funny. He considers defending himself, but after a moment defers to humour instead. It’s one of the only things going for him at this point.

“Nope. No capes or evil mustaches around here. Mostly because I’m not a serial killer, a little because I can’t grow one.”

Taehyung laughs at this, his eyes and nose crinkle, his lips widening in a way that displays all of his teeth. Shit.

“Don’t worry, I can’t grow a cape either.” Hoseok rolls his eyes involuntarily, and Taehyung laughs louder at the response. “Wanna walk together, Hoseok the not-serial killer?”

“Surprisingly not the worst nickname I’ve been given. Just let me grab my bag.”

No.

“I wish I was joking.”

Harold? I’m sorry, that’s – that’s a truly terrible name.”

“You’re telling me. I was about seven when I decided there was no way I was letting another teacher or classmate call me that. I still get ‘hoe suck’ jokes to this day, but I’ll take that a million times over Harold.”

Hoseok’s parents had been worried about people trying to say his name, so when he started school they decided on an English alternate. It just so happened to be the most humiliating one in existence.

“I guess I got things pretty easy, everyone just called me Tay.”

“Yeah. You definitely got it better. I mean technically my parents were right about me being the minority - but that’s only because I’m not Chinese.”

As they make their way towards Hoseok’s apartment, the conversation flows easily. Taehyung is easygoing and talkative.

“This is me.” Hoseok gestures vaguely at the unassuming building, and Taehyung takes it in.

“Gimme your phone.” Taehyung says, hand outstretched and waiting.

Hoseok obliges easily, then chastises himself. Taehyung can literally just walk away with his phone, what is he thinking? Why isn’t he thinking? Oh, right. Taehyung.

Taehyung hands it back to him to enter the password and then goes to work. Taehyung’s phone rings once, and then he is handing Hoseok’s phone back.

“Now I have your number,” Taehyung informs him, “In case I change my mind.”

“What if I change my mind?” Hoseok counters.

“I got your phone number, not your house key. I’m just keeping my options open.” Taehyung explains with a shrug. It’s at that moment that Hoseok finally realizes that Taehyung is still in just a t shirt.

“Where are you from, exactly?” He tries not to sound judgey, but it’s November. What is this guy doing in a t shirt?

“Alberta.”

“Oh, nice. Cowtown or Mallville?” Hoseok maybe doesn’t remember the actual names of the cities.

“There’s more to Alberta than Calgary and Edmonton, you know.” Taehyung huffs indignantly. Hoseok holds his ground and stares back, eyebrows raised. “Mallville.” Taehyung finally adds, frowning to himself at being the one to back down.

“Oh Nice. Good ol’ Mallville. That explains the t shirt, at least. Why are you wearing a toque, though?”

Taehyung gives Hoseok a confused look.

“It’s winter.”