Actions

Work Header

Even If I Die, It's You

Work Text:

The sky is a murky gray, clouds looming for miles on the horizon, the ground covered in fallen snow from earlier that afternoon. The temperature is dropping as the sun begins to set, the moisture clinging to tree branches outside having already frozen and Taehyung decides its been too long since the last time he admired the icicles dangling from the treetops, the almost whimsical way ice coats the foliage with a translucent outer-coat.

He bundles warm, preparing for a long walk with the fluffiest coat he owns layered over a thick black turtleneck sweater. His fingers protected by wool mittens and his feet clad in the brown winter goulashes he bought years ago. The section of woods behind his house is crisp and white, the trees tall but bare and the ground covered in a smattering of brittle leaves.

Taehyung walks. He steps over fallen tree stumps and under drooping tree limbs. The air is brisk on the tip of his nose and he tugs on the bright pink beanie pulled over his ears. As he walks without aim through the forest, Taehyung can feel the weight of another finished semester lifting off his shoulders, basking in the lightness he feels without the constant pressure of deadlines and demands of club activities, finally letting himself sink into the relaxation of winter break.

A little sound breaks through the reverent silence that falls over the land during a snowfall and Taehyung thinks of all the tiny animals hidden throughout this expanse of trees, smiling. Taehyung spins slowly, searching for the bird— or perhaps a squirrel— that caused the sound. It comes again, a just discernible whimper in the distance.

Taehyung halts, hoping the absence of leaves crinkling beneath his feet will give him leverage enough to pin-point the sound’s origin. There it is again— a definite cry of pain— and he whips around towards the direction it came from. Concern seeps through his veins and he hurries his steps in that direction. The sounds get louder as he maneuvers his way closer.

He peaks around an old oak tree, and there it is. A small bundle of chocolate-colored fluff, curled in on itself. Taehyung’s concern grows when he notices the bloody gash the wolf pup is nursing, nosing at the wound, tongue occasionally licking at the mangled leg.

The pup remains oblivious as Taehyung steps out from behind the tree, but he manages only three steps closer before the pup snaps its head in Taehyung’s direction, a snarl forming on its face. It clambers to its feet, struggling as its injured leg gives way beneath its weight. The leg twitches weakly for a few seconds before the pup whimpers in pain and lays back down, helplessly growling at Taehyung.

Taehyung stops immediately, holding his hands up and looking down, but still keeping the wolf in his line of sight. When the growling quietens to a low rumble, he looks up again. Slowly, cautiously, Taehyung inches towards the pup in as kind a posture he can manage, pausing each time the wolf scurries closer to the tree stump. He gives it time to calm down, but his heart wrenches with each glance he takes at the wound.

Eventually Taehyung manages to kneel about an arms length away from the pup with only a weak sound of protest. He sticks his hand out gently, palm down, to allow the wolf to sniff the back of his hand. To be honest, Taehyung just learned to do this as the proper greeting to domesticated dogs when you want to pet them, but he hopes it will make the wolf accept him in a similar way.

With a rather resigned huff (cute, if you were to ask Taehyung), the pup leans forward to sniff at the hand outstretched in front of him. For a brief, startling moment, Taehyung remembers exactly why he’s not supposed to do this— thoughts of rabies and gnarly bites spring to the forefront of his mind— before the wolf rubs its nose along Taehyung’s hand and looks up into Taehyung’s eyes. He can clearly see the fear in its eyes as if it were human and Taehyung’s heart gives another clench of empathy.

Taehyung doesn’t want to startle it, but he can clearly see the cut on its leg and its clear the pup won’t last long out in this cold with such an injury. The cut doesn’t appear too deep, but runs along the length of its upper thigh, the fur immediately surrounding the wound matted with deep red and blood running down its leg. A distressed noise leaves Taehyung’s mouth as he contemplates what to do.

The wolf resumes licking around the wound, whining every few seconds in pain. Taehyung’s eyes water, and with a sudden determination, he slides his arms gently underneath the pup without thinking too much about the consequences. The pup flinches, but makes no move to resist, so Taehyung hefts him into his arms. “I’m going to help you, puppy, I promise.” It snorts in response.

Taehyung walks as briskly as he can back to his house, avoiding tree stumps and branches as gracefully as he can in attempts to keep the pup as still as possible. It seems to take twice as long before he breaks out of the woods, the brown exterior of his house a few yards away. He jogs the rest of the way, resting the pup against the wall as he struggles to open the screen door before he can use his hip to shove open the back door.

Once inside, he places the pup in the bathtub, grabbing a few towels and the first-aid kit from the cabinet. The pup startles when Taehyung runs the warm water, backing as best it can manage to the other side of the tub. “No, no, it’s okay, it’s okay. It’s just water, baby.”

The wolf looks at him again, eyes saying I don’t believe you. Taehyung sticks his hand under the faucet, hoping to convince the pup. It doesn’t show any signs of getting closer, so he grabs the cup from under the bathroom sink and fills it with water. He slowly pours it over the wound, repeating the action until the wolf seems more comfortable and the fur around the cut is less matted. “See, that wasn’t so bad.”

Taehyung turns the water off and pulls cotton balls and antiseptic out of the first aid kit. The pup eyes him warily when Taehyung brings the antiseptic-soaked cotton ball near the cut. “This is going to sting a little, but we have to clean your cut or it will get worse.” Taehyung gently dabs the cotton swab along the wound once and the pup growls, glaring at his hand.

“Come on, it’s okay.” He dabs at the wound again and it flinches away from the sting of antiseptic. The next time Taehyung brings the cotton towards the wolf’s leg, it lurches forward to grab Taehyung’s entire wrist between its jaws. It’s teeth dig into his arm uncomfortably, but it seems more intent on keeping his wrist away than actually biting him, so he continues dabbing at the wound.

They continue on like this for several minutes, Taehyung wincing in pain, but ignoring it as best he can. When he pulls back to wet another cotton ball, the pup growls at him. “Look we’re almost done, please don’t bite my arm off.”

Taehyung goes back in with the cotton and the wolf snarls at his hand again. He’s able to clean the cut decently before the pup bites at his arm again, eyes flashing a warning. The wolf actually looks threatening then, so Taehyung figures its clean enough. Quickly, Taehyung wraps its leg as best he can before the wolf gets too pissed off at him.

Once the wound is suitably covered, Taehyung scoops the wolf out of the tub. He brings him to the living room, laying the pup in front of the fireplace to dry its leg and warm it up. Now that the adrenaline of finding the injured pup has worn off, he can barely manage the short walk to the living room, the pup much heavier than he remembers.

He sets it down in the living room and retrieves several blankets from the closet, piling them near the hearth as a makeshift bed. Taehyung looks to where he set the pup, dreading having to pick him up again. The wolf seems to sense his weakness, huffing before limping the few steps onto the blankets. “Good boy. I bet you’re hungry, huh? I’ll make us some dinner.”

Taehyung prays the wolf won’t destroy his living room as he heads to the kitchen, opening the fridge and staring at its contents. There’s a steak on the bottom shelf he had been saving for a special occasion, but he assumes the wolf would rather have that than the leftover pizza from the other night.

He throws the steak to cook on the stove while he chops some carrots to balance the meat. The entire time Taehyung cooks the wolf’s eyes never stray from him. Its a little disconcerting having a wild animal watch him so intensely, but he supposes its warranted. Taehyung toils over the stove for over half an hour, finally cutting the steak in half and plating it with equal scoops of carrots on each plate.

The wolf perks up when Taehyung sets a plate on the floor by its nose. Taehyung sits on the couch while he eats, keeping the wolf company. Not even two minutes pass by before the pup is nosing at the empty plate, licked clean aside from several carrots and clinking on the floor. Taehyung clicks his tongue and points at the carrots. “Yah, finish your vegetables.”

They hold eye contact for a few tantalizing seconds, the wolf grumbling as it leans down to eat the last few carrots in one bite. Taehyung praises the pup for finishing the vegetables, bringing their empty plates to the sink to rinse them off. He grabs his backpack and settles back into the couch, the wolf’s eyes never once leaving him. “Was the steak good?”

It just keeps staring at Taehyung. Ignoring the wolf, Taehyung pulls out his laptop, searching the ISBN numbers for his next semesters’ textbooks and researching to find the cheapest options. Midway through his searching Taehyung grabs a bottle of water from the kitchen, stopping to fill a bowl with water when he realizes the wolf is probably thirsty, too. He can feel its eyes following him through the motions and if not for its injured leg, Taehyung would feel threatened.

Even as Taehyung rearranges the last glowing embers in the fireplace and closes the screen after his shower, the pup remains in the same spot on the blankets in the corner, silently watching Taehyung’s every move. He shuts his bedroom door when he goes to bed, playing it safe for the first time that night, praying the wolf doesn’t destroy the rest of his house.

 

Taehyung takes it slow the next morning, lounging in bed for awhile after waking up, fully absorbing his temporary lack of responsibilities. He quietly sneaks to the bathroom when his bladder finally demands attention. After washing his face and hands and brushing his teeth, Taehyung braves the walk to the kitchen to brew some coffee.

He’s overjoyed when he peers around the corner to see the wolf asleep on the blankets, thankful it was able to rest. It’s short-lived, however, because Taehyung forgets to avoid that one creaky floorboard in the kitchen, and he can see the wolf jolt awake out of the corner of his eye. It whimpers as it tries to scamper further into the corner, likely forgetting about its injured leg.

“Hey, hey, it’s okay. It’s just me, you’re okay.” Taehyung holds his hands up, trying to calm the pup down. “Please lay back down, your leg needs to heal still.”

The wolf looks at him warily for a moment before settling back into the blankets. Taehyung breathes a sigh of relief and turns back to the coffee machine. He heats up the last bits of steak leftover from the night before in the microwave and puts a pot of oatmeal on the stove for himself. Once both their breakfasts are finished, Taehyung places the plate of steak pieces in front of the wolf and lounges on the couch with his oatmeal.

They sit in the same positions for most of the day, Taehyung vegging out in front of the television or staring at his laptop, the wolf silently watching on, dozing off every so often. It isn’t until almost dinner time that Taehyung realizes he needs to go grocery shopping; the only things left in his fridge are that leftover pizza and some soy sauce, along with oatmeal and a bag of chips in the pantry. The pup hasn’t moved all day, probably hasn’t moved since last night, but he’s still a little nervous to leave the pup alone in his house. He eventually decides to just cut a slice of pizza up for the wolf, hoping that they’re comfortable enough with each other tomorrow so he can shop then.

 

The next day Taehyung does, in fact, go grocery shopping, the house still in one piece when he gets back. For a few days nothing much happens, Taehyung lounges around the house, taking full advantage of his break from school, and actually finds himself enjoying caring for someone other than himself. His efforts are rewarded as he watches the pup gradually regain use of its leg, now able to follow Taehyung around the house. It still lays down for large portions of the day, but so does Taehyung, so he doesn’t judge.

It is decidedly interesting having a wolf— a wild wolf— that, when standing, reaches passed his hips, but barks every day at noon when the mailman brings his mail. Looking at the wolf now, relatively healed several days later, Taehyung has no idea how he managed to carry that all the way from the woods to his house. He thinks he deserves a treat for being such a good person, lugging such a large— dangerous, his mind supplies— animal into his home and healing it.

What better way to pamper himself than to take a bath, he thinks. With a bath bomb and bubbles, he’ll even bake his favorite cookies: Snickerdoodles. So he sets out to make them, pulling out all the ingredients and commencing to mixing them in a bowl. At the sound of food, the wolf saunters up to Taehyung, leg able to support weight but still rather weak. It looks up at Taehyung with wide eyes and Taehyung laughs. “Cookies sound good, don’t they?”

The pup yips and lays down at Taehyung’s feet as he finishes up the cookies, putting them into the oven then cleaning up the mess. He smiles fondly, glad the wolf seems to be warming up to him these past few days. It senses Taehyung looking at it and perks its head up at him, Taehyung smiling down.

They both startle when the timer goes off, telling of the finished cookies. The wolf stands up when Taehyung opens the oven, following the smell with its nose as he places them on the cooling rack. It stays in the kitchen with the cookies while Taehyung heads to the bathroom to draw the bath.

From his basket of Lush products (living so far out in the country saves him enough money to waste on overpriced bath products) Taehyung selects his favorite bubble bar with golden sparkles and a fresh, citrusy scent. He sets out a fresh towel, pair of boxers, and lines the counter with every candle he owns. When the bath is full, he adds a white bomb with little red hearts, the bathroom filling with a soft vanilla scent.

The wolf is staring at the counter when Taehyung comes back to stack every last cookie on a pretty glass plate, intent on feeling as fancy as possible tonight. As a last minute thought, he grabs the copy of Dante’s Inferno he never returned to his lit professor on his way to the bathroom.

To his surprise, the wolf walks right into the bathroom with him despite its previous experience in the room, eyes intent on the plate of cookies set on the counter. Taehyung strips, even more surprised when the wolf’s eyes leave the cookies to watch him. It’s weird for all of two seconds before the wolf’s head snaps back to the cookies as Taehyung lowers himself into the bubbly water.

Laughing at the pup, Taehyung brings the plate closer to himself. “You really like cookies, huh? I outta call you Cookie.”

He meant it as a joke, but the wolf yips excitedly, tail wagging for the first time since they met. The cute expression on its face brings a smile to Taehyung’s lips. “So your name is Cookie. Got it.”

Taehyung grabs a cookie before they have time to cool off, ripping off a small piece to feed to the wolf and taking a big bite for himself. He startles a bit at the hint of sharp teeth when the wolf eats the cookie out of his palm, having forgotten that Cookie is, in fact, a wild animal. Cookie gets comfortable on the bath mat, resting its snout on the side of the tub, looking at Taehyung.

Almost an hour passes just like this, with Taehyung putting a decent dent in his book, feeding Cookie small pieces of Snickerdoodle. When the water starts cooling, Taehyung unplugs the drain and rinses the glitter remaining in the tub. He’s careful not to wash off the gold sticking to his skin, though, because the small specks of glitter always remind him to love his skin, the way they compliment his complexion so well. He slips into a baggy, long-sleeve, red shirt and light blue boxers that barely peek out from underneath the hem of his shirt, comfy.

Taehyung wraps the remaining cookies in plastic wrap and heads to bed, leaving the door open as Cookie follows him in. Cookie looks expectantly at Taehyung as he slides under the covers in bed. Taehyung smiles, “You can sleep in here tonight, puppy.”

The wolf curls up on the rug in front of the bed in response.

 

Something changed in their relationship that day, seeming to take a 180 from the trepidatious nature before. With the rapid healing of Cookie’s leg, the wolf is able to follow Taehyung everywhere he goes, even outside to take out the trash. They lay in the living room together when Taehyung watches Netflix for hours on end and Cookie’s tail wags when Taehyung sings while cooking dinner.

Not more than two days later, Taehyung finally removes the bandage from Cookie’s leg, the only sign of injury the thin line of scar tissue where the cut used to be. He feels a little sad, which is unwarranted, because Cookie is finally healed. As a sort of going away gift— or punishment, depending on how you look at it— Taehyung decides to give Cookie a bath to clean up.

Taehyung is quite proud of himself for being able to wrestle Cookie into the bath tub, the pup now looking up at him with wide eyes and ears flattened on its head. He turns the faucet on warm and fills a bowl with the water, pouring the water over the wolf’s fluffy coat until it’s drenched.

He’s entirely sure Cookie could easily jump out of the bath, but instead the pup tucks its tail between its legs and glowers at Taehyung. Taehyung reaches underneath its fur to wash its belly, too, when he finally notices. “Ah, so you’re a boy. That makes perfect sense.”

The wolf just barks in response.

 

After several minutes of messily trying to dry the pup off without him shaking water all over his bathroom, Taehyung walks him to the back door, kneeling at eye-level with the wolf. “Alright, buddy. Your leg has finally healed, so you don’t have to be locked up in my house any more. I enjoyed you keeping me company for those few days.”

Taehyung thinks he sees sadness in the wolf’s eyes, but he shakes that thought from his mind. He stands up and opens the back door, gesturing for Cookie to go outside. The wolf trots into the yard and immediately goes to the corner to pee. Taehyung chuckles at his antics. As soon as he’s finished his business, Cookie runs back to the door, looking at Taehyung through the glass.

“No, buddy, you can go back now.” Cookie just sits at the door with wide eyes staring back at Taehyung. “Really. You can leave.” A bark. More puppy eyes. “What? Are you trying to come back inside?” Another bark.

Taehyung knows— really he knows— that you aren’t supposed to keep wild animals, that it’s a bad idea. But Cookie has really warmed up to him, and Taehyung really loved doting on him. This house is too big for one lonely college student. “Okay. If you don’t want to go, I guess you can stay here.”

When he opens the door again, Cookie tackles him to the ground, resting his entire weight on Taehyung’s body, tail wagging. Taehyung scratches behind his ears, a relieved sigh escaping his lips. “I know, buddy.”

 

Things become rather domestic from that point. Cookie goes to the door when he needs to go outside, and they’ve gotten into the routine of a long walk through the woods at sunset. The old ladies at the market down the street caught them mid-walk, immediately bombarding Taehyung with questions he really couldn’t answer— what breed is he, how old is he, where’d you find such a large dog? He just brushed them off best he could, saying he rescued him and isn’t sure what breed he is, just knows he has a big heart and big eyes.

The question of how Cookie got so big always throws him off guard. Taehyung claims it’s because he feeds the wolf so well, but he’s not so sure himself. In just the one month of winter break Cookie has already grown a few inches taller, nose going straight to Taehyung’s belly button when the pup nuzzles his stomach. Taehyung knows even the tallest Mastiff would fall short to Cookie, and he’s not sure wild wolves even grow this tall.

 

The first day of the new semester sees Taehyung out of the house from nine in the morning until four in the afternoon, and Taehyung is admittedly a little nervous. He let Cookie out before he left in the morning, but Cookie’s never been alone for more than three hours at a time. His leg jitters in nervousness on the bus ride home, the half-hour ride seemingly stretching on forever.

When he unlocks the front door, he squeezes his eyes shut, afraid to open them and find his house in a mess. All he gets when he opens his eyes is the sight of Cookie staring at him from the hallway, a look of pure betrayal in his eyes. “Oh, Cookie. I’m sorry I had to leave you alone all day.”

Cookie just walks up to him and rolls over, demanding a belly rub. Taehyung chuckles and bends down to indulge the wolf, nuzzling Cookie’s fluffy chest with his head, glad to be home. Cookie eventually stops looking so betrayed every time Taehyung leaves the house, but he never stops demanding belly rubs when he gets home.

 

It’s a sunny day in late March, Cookie rolling around in the fresh green grass, Taehyung on the patio sipping a glass of iced tea as he fondly watches the wolf play around. The weather has been warming up recently and Taehyung worked long and hard yesterday in order to have the full weekend to relax and enjoy being outside. Cookie seems to appreciate Taehyung spending more time outside with him and even brings Taehyung a live toad once with a mischievous glint in his eye.

After a while Taehyung finishes his tea, so he goes inside to put the glass in the sink and accomplish some spring cleaning, leaving Cookie to continue sniffing around the yard. Taehyung sets out to swiffer his entire house, getting every nook and cranny and having to change the wet-wipe several times because of all the fur that has accumulated in the corners.

When he peeks out the window as he walks passed to see what Cookie is doing, the wolf is nowhere in his backyard. This isn’t anything new, Taehyung trusts Cookie to wander through the woods and he always comes back before nighttime, so he isn’t too concerned about it. Taehyung finishes cleaning the floors and decides to go out and find Cookie, maybe play around before the sun goes down.

Walking through the woods, Taehyung contemplates the best method of finding Cookie. If he were a wolf, it would be as easy as catching a scent on the wind, but he’s stuck with his weak human senses. He settles for walking along the river, knowing Cookie loves to nose at the toads that linger on the riverbed. Taehyung spots a tuft of brown in the distance and quickly hides behind a tree stump, hoping to sneak up on the unsuspecting wolf.

What he sees when he peers around the wood is completely opposite of what he was expecting. A young man, looking 18, maybe 19 at most, is standing stark naked in the shallow waters of the creek. He’s facing away from Taehyung, but even with just the back view Taehyung is fucked. The man’s muscles create a sharp ravine down his spine, leading Taehyung’s eyes straight to his— thighs, wow, those thighs.

Taehyung is shaken from his dirty fantasies when the man turns around and he jerks back behind the tree stump. He breathes heavily, hoping the man hadn’t seen him and doesn’t think he’s a stalker-pervert. There’s some rustling from behind him, but when he finally musters the courage to look again several minutes later, the man is gone.

More than flustered, Taehyung hurries back to his house, hoping not to see the man again. As soon as he steps foot out of the woods, he’s tackled to the ground by his very heavy wolf. Cookie licks his face, causing Taehyung to giggle and grasp handfuls of fur around the wolf’s neck. “Where’d you go, buddy? I was just looking for you.”

Cookie just yips and runs to the porch, waiting for Taehyung to let him back inside. Once Taehyung and Cookie are back inside, he commences to preparing a typical dinner for them both, a smaller fillet of fresh salmon with cut and seasoned baby potatoes and green beans. Cookie generally minds his own business while Taehyung cooks, maintaining constant contact with Taehyung’s legs, but Taehyung’s mind is unable to rid itself of the image of the naked boy at the creek earlier.

As guilty as he feels for watching him in the woods, something about the boy was just so— stunning. His sculpted muscles, lean waist, topped with fluffy deep brown hair and wide-expressive eyes. Taehyung considers himself a healthy college senior, so, yeah, he’s easily attracted to the boy’s hot body, but something about him seems so—so familiar, the feeling not like a first meeting but more like coming home to your best friend.

The wolf looks up to him with concern dancing in his eyes, so Taehyung reaches a hand down to briefly scratch at his ears between stirring. “You hungry, buddy?” Cookie yips without hesitation. “Gonna eat all your vegetables like a good boy?” He huffs, rubbing his nose against Taehyung’s hip.

“C’mon, I made you special cookies, but you can’t have dessert if you don’t eat your vegetables.” At this, the wolf makes a short whine in the back of his throat, looking to Taehyung with his signature wide puppy eyes. “Uh-uh, that’s not gonna work. If you want to be big and strong you have to eat your vegetables.” Taehyung looks back to his cooking with an air of finality, Cookie huffing and leaning a little more of his weight on Taehyung in retaliation.

A few more minutes and dinner is served. Taehyung opted to eat at the dining table tonight, one plate on the table and one on the floor next to his chair. They split the salmon equally, but Taehyung, in a bout of remorse, spooned a few more potatoes and beans onto his own plate, sparing Cookie a few of the vegetables.

While Taehyung pours himself a drink in the kitchen, the wolf just stares at him from the dining table. “Go ahead, boy, you don’t have to wait for me.” Cookie doesn’t start eating, though, even after Taehyung sits and puts his napkin on his lap. “What are you waiting for? Aren’t you hungry?”

Cookie just leans forward to nudge at Taehyung’s thigh gently with his snout. “Ok, well, I’m going to eat because I am hungry.” The wolf only seems to give him an encouraging gaze as Taehyung cuts a bite-sized portion of salmon and puts it in his mouth, chewing. Once Taehyung takes a bite of his beans, too, Cookie leans down and begins absolutely scarfing his food like usual. Taehyung decides to just ignore the odd behavior.

He is pleasantly surprised, however, when he finishes, to see that Cookie ate every last bite of vegetables without Taehyung having to remind him. As Taehyung collects the dirty dishes to clean in the sink, a thought occurs to him. He voices it out loud without expecting much of an answer. “I wonder when your birthday is, buddy.”

From beside him, the wolf yips happily. “You know your birthday?” Taehyung laughs a little at the thought of Cookie actually understanding what a birthday is. The wolf yips again at his side. “Is it soon?” His tail wags, dipping his head almost as if he’s nodding. “Like, this month?” Taehyung humors him, but the wolf huffs a negative. “Next month?”

When Cookie spins in a quick circle, tail wagging and giving an excited noise, Taehyung thinks it must be impossible to misunderstand the wolf’s body language. It feels like they’re having a proper conversation. “The first week?” Cookie yips again. “Which day? Is it the first?” Another bark. “Your birthday is on the first of next month?” The wolf runs another excited circle around Taehyung.

Taehyung pauses in awe at what just happened, but shakes it off when the wolf cuddles up to his side and looks at him expectantly. “Well, looks like we’ll have to have a birthday party.”

 

In preparation for the ‘birthday party’ they’ll have next week, Taehyung goes into town for groceries. Though Cookie could technically make the trip with him (the trains allow dogs and he trusts the wolf would stay in front of the stores), he opts to leave the wolf at home, concerned he might startle a passerby with his size alone. Taehyung goes straight to the butcher’s shop first to purchase enough pork belly for a barbecue party for four, planning to grill himself and Cookie samgyupsal until they can’t possibly eat any more. He thinks he has enough ingredients at home for the seasoning and dipping sauce, but he grabs an assortment of leafy greens for wrapping the meat and a few bottles of flavored soju for himself. On his way to the train station, Taehyung spots birthday decorations in a store window and decides to pick up a few bits there, too. By the time he steps onto the train back home, his arms are full of grocery bags, even a few plastic ones from when he ran out of space in his canvas bags.

Taehyung struggles for a few minutes to open the front door of his home, and by the time he opens it, Cookie is standing on the other side with a confused look in his eyes, head cocked to one side. He takes one step into his house and drops all the bags as gently as possible, collapsing on the ground to let the wolf come up and nuzzle his face. “I should’ve brought you along so I could make you carry my bags.”

At the reminder of the many bags, Cookie starts nosing through the piles, likely smelling the meat and trying to figure out what it is. “Yah! You nosey thing, not for you.”

Taehyung swats at the pup to get him away from the bags. When Cookie ignores him and keeps digging around, Taehyung re-collects the bags in his arms and brings them to the kitchen, setting them on the counter so Cookie can no longer reach them. As he starts to put the groceries away, Taehyung decides to test the wolf’s conversation skills once more.

“Do you know how old you’ll be next week, Cookie?” Cookie jogs to the kitchen, wagging his tail. Taehyung doesn’t think wolves live all that long, but he’s also never seen one this huge, so he’s not too sure what to expect. “You can’t be that old. Five, maybe?”

Cookie looks up at Taehyung with a scandalized expression, snorting. “Older? Seven?” The wolf sits down and whines sadly, pawing its face. “Even older? Ten?” Another snort. “Really? You’re that old? What, 15?” Cookie gives a similar negative reaction.

“Seriously? Ok, stop me when I’m right. 16? 17?” Taehyung pauses to give Cookie a chance to stop him, finding it impossible for a wolf to be this old. “18?” At this, Cookie finally yips and wags his tail excitedly. “You’re turning 18 next week? I didn’t know wolves could get that old…”

The wolf trots around the kitchen merrily, completely oblivious to Taehyung’s disbelief. He used to be quite the nature freak when he was a kid, and he swears he remembers reading that wolves usually live about six to eight years in the wild. Even the older ones only live to about thirteen.

 

Later that night, Taehyung lets Cookie out while he begins preparations for dinner. The wolf disappears into the woods for awhile, but this isn’t anything new, so Taehyung lights the grill and continues cooking their dinner. By the time Taehyung is setting out two plates of chicken and rice with an assortment of side dishes for himself, Cookie is sitting patiently at the door waiting to be let in, something in his mouth Taehyung can’t quite make out from the kitchen.

“What’ya got there, boy?” Taehyung opens the door to let the wolf in and promptly screams when he drops a barely alive, white bunny rabbit. Blood from the puncture wound on its neck starts to pool on the patio directly in front of the back door. “Oh my God! Cookie, what are you doing?”

The wolf nudges the carcass closer to Taehyung’s feet and bows to rest his head on his front paws. “Cookie, you can’t bring this here! Oh my God. That’s so gross.”

Cookie looks up at him in confusion, whining sadly. “What, do you wanna eat it? Eat it over there, then.” The wolf stands and rubs his body into Taehyung’s legs, whining. “Is it for me?”

He looks at Taehyung and gives an affirmative noise. Taehyung wants to kneel down to pet the wolf’s head, but he’s too afraid of getting any closer to that dead animal. He opts to reach down with his hand instead. “That’s very sweet of you, buddy, but I can buy food from the store. Please don’t hurt any more bunnies.”

Taehyung shuts the doors, not wanting to deal with the animal right now, and turns back towards the dining room where their dinner is waiting on the table. Cookie follows close behind him. “Ok, well, I made chicken.”

He sets the plate down on the floor in front of Cookie and slowly brings a bite of kimchi to his mouth, trying to forget about the bloodied rabbit sitting on his porch. The wolf watches him eat for a moment before chowing down on his chicken and rice, too.

 

For the remaining six days until the wolf’s birthday, Cookie brings Taehyung a ‘gift’ each evening before dinner. Taehyung told him not to hurt any bunnies, so Cookie brings him a squirrel. Taehyung says no squirrels, Cookie brings him two toads from the riverbed. Finally, Taehyung bursts out no animals, at all, and Cookie finds large stones or long tree branches. In attempts to reinforce the new ‘vegetarianism,’ Taehyung starts to stack and arrange the rocks and sticks Cookie brings him in a decorative formation on the porch.

 

The day of Cookie’s eighteenth birthday, Taehyung gets up early to hang the decorations around the kitchen and living room. He went a little overboard when he went shopping, so both the kitchen and the living room are adorned with hanging ‘Happy Birthday’ signs and the living room with two golden balloons, a one and an eight. Taehyung props a little ‘birthday boy’ button next to Cookie’s water dish and even sets a little birthday sign out in the rock formation. For the final birthday surprise, he crumbles a few freshly baked snickerdoodles on a plate and lays them in front of the wolf where he’s sleeping.

Cookie seems to sense the shift of attention from the surroundings to him and peeks one eye open to look at Taehyung. When the smell of fresh cookies hits his nose, the wolf perks up and immediately starts eating. He eats it all, except for one bite of snickerdoodle that he noses in Taehyung’s direction.

“No, it’s all for you, it’s your birthday.” Cookie whines and nudges the piece a little further. Taehyung relents with a fake-exasperated eye roll, popping the piece of cookie into his mouth. “Happy?”

He yips and runs to the back door, tail wagging. Taehyung lets him outside before moving to clean up the plate. When Cookie comes back around a half hour later, Taehyung gracefully accepts the— heart shaped, oh my god— rock and places it in the center of his current rock formation, just beneath the birthday sign. “I really like this one, buddy.”

Taehyung turns around to wrap his arms around Cookie’s neck and nuzzle the side of his face. The wolf leans into his embrace. “Happy birthday, buddy. You’re a full-blown adult now!”

Cookie nuzzles into Taehyung’s neck, leaning so much of his weight onto Taehyung that he falls under the weight. The wolf doesn’t bother moving, only using this as leverage to lay all of his weight on Taehyung and snuggle as close as possible. Taehyung laughs, ticklish, when Cookie starts licking all over his face, the soft fur of his tail tickling his legs as it swishes back and forth.

“Ok, ok, you’re heavy,” Taehyung manages between giggles. Cookie stands up and runs in a circle twice in the time it takes Taehyung to stand up and open he door. The wolf trots inside, a pep in his step, and waits to see what Taehyung’s going to do. “Today’s your birthday, boy, so we’ll do whatever you want to do.”

 

Unsurprisingly, most of their day consists of sitting outside and enjoying the sunny, warm weather. Cookie runs back and forth between the woods and Taehyung’s backyard for a few hours, even dragging Taehyung out for a long walk through the trees. The warm weather has pushed the trees and flowers into full bloom, making the walk pleasant, the thick canopy of leaves up above creating shade from the sun. Along the way Cookie finds a collection of forest paraphernalia to gift to Taehyung, his pockets weighing down with rocks as the walk goes on.

They walk along the bed of the creek where Taehyung spotted the naked boy weeks ago. Cookie’s attempts at catching a toad are thwarted by Taehyung each time the wolf lunges at one, and Taehyung laughs maniacally each time Cookie pouts up at him.

When they circle back home, Cookie walks right into the bathroom and demands a bath— much to Taehyung’s surprise— and even noses at a bubble bar until Taehyung crumbles it under the running water and rubs the bubbles into Cookie’s thick fur. The room fills with the sweet citrusy scent of the bubbles as Taehyung gently scratches Cookie’s back and lathers soap into his paws.

By the time Cookie is rinsed and relatively dried, it’s almost four o’clock and Taehyung needs to begin preparing the meat and side dishes for Cookie’s big birthday dinner. The wolf follows him around the kitchen as he pulls out ingredients to begin cooking. Taehyung makes a mental list of the order he should prepare everything, down to the jar of kimchi getting set out on the table. With the open windows letting in the fresh spring breeze, Taehyung sets to work cooking.

 

A few hours later, all that’s left to cook is the samgyupsal itself, which he sets out next to the grill on the table, pre-cut into thin slices, along with pieces of onion and garlic for flavor. He places the plate of washed and separated leaves and the small bowls of kimchi, spicy cucumber, and rice on the table. One bottle of peach flavored soju sits on the table next to one singular shot glass, a little lonely if you ask Taehyung, but he can’t give alcohol to an animal.

As he lights the grill and places the garlic and onion on the edges, Taehyung says to Cookie, “We’re gonna have meat all night. I wish you could sit up here and cook with me, but it’s your birthday, so I don’t mind cooking for you.”

Cookie barks and puts his paws on the edge of Taehyung’s chair, now standing at the same height as Taehyung, watching as Taehyung checks the temperature of the grill. Deeming it hot enough, he starts laying strips of meat along the grill. While he waits for the meat to cook, Taehyung turns on his bluetooth speaker and plays his favorite playlist from his phone. Cookie wags his tail when Taehyung starts singing along.

Taehyung flips the meat after a few minutes and prepares two lettuce leaves for wrapping. When the meat is ready, he pulls off two slices and dips them in a bit of sauce before wrapping them in the lettuce. He places one down on the plate in front of Cookie. “Happy birthday! Eat up, Cookie.”

The wolf stares up at him expectantly, and Taehyung catches on quickly to what he wants. “It’s your birthday, Cook, you have to eat first this time.”

They stare at each other for a few heated seconds before the wolf leans down and eats the wrap in one bite. Once Taehyung sees that Cookie ate it, he reaches for his own wrap, putting the whole thing in his mouth. “Mmm, Cookie, this is delicious.”

Cookie whines shortly, tail wagging impatiently against the floor. Taehyung quickly pulls another piece off the grill and wraps it, placing it down on the wolves plate. He makes a few more to put on Cookie’s plate, too, so that he can clear up enough space for another round of meat. Taehyung eats another, lays the meat around the grill with his tongs, and pours himself a shot of soju.

Taehyung holds up his shot glass and yells, “To Cookie, for his 18th birthday! You’ve lived a long time buddy,” and knocks back the shot. When he looks back down at the wolf, there’s still one lettuce wrap sitting on the edge of his plate. Cookie whines and gently nudges the wrap towards Taehyung. “For me?”

Cookie yips. Taehyung reaches for the wrap and pops it into his mouth. “Thanks, bud.”

They form a routine for the next hour or so; cook meat, shot of soju, wrap the meat, eat, repeat. With each round of meat, Taehyung wraps several in a row for Cookie to eat while he tends the meat, and Cookie always leaves one for Taehyung to eat. At one point, four or five shots in, Cookie whines as Taehyung brings the glass to his lips for another drink, feeling left out. Taehyung tries to explain that dogs can’t drink alcohol, but his tipsy mind isn’t very stubborn, and he ends up pouring a bit into the cap of the bottle for the wolf to taste.

By the time they’ve eaten all the meat, Taehyung’s more than a little drunk, having finished the bottle of peach soju and almost half of the strawberry one. The sun has long since set behind the trees and he can hear crickets chirping outside. Taehyung has enough presence of mind to turn off the grill and stack the dishes in the sink before he collapses on the sofa, the clock in his living room reading 10:34.

Cookie trots up next to Taehyung and licks his open palm hanging off the sofa. “Did you enjoy your birthday dinner, baby?”

The wolf whines and nuzzles his head into Taehyung’s arm. “Look at me, drunk and full from all the food you made me eat, if you were a human I’d think you just wine and dined me.”

Cookie whines some more in response, rubbing his nose against Taehyung’s forehead. Taehyung’s arm closes around the fur nearest his hand and nuzzles the wolf back. “Sometimes you’re so smart, I think you might actually be a werewolf.”

Taehyung bursts out into laughter, eyes scrunched up and tears forming in the corners, unable to notice how stock still Cookie has gone. He’s only broken out of his laughing fit when the wolf makes a sound, almost sad. “What, boy?”

Cookie runs around behind the couch and Taehyung, too drunk and lethargic to move, lays there wondering what’s happening. His confusion only grows when he hears a strange sound, almost grotesque in the way it sounds like snapping bones. The sound continues for almost a whole minute before the house goes silent.

“Taehyung-hyung.”

Taehyung startles and jumps off the couch, turning around so fast the room spins. The boy standing behind the couch reaches forward to help steady him, but Taehyung jerks way in panic. “Who the hell are you?”

The room stops spinning, and Taehyung focuses on the boy, naked, brown hair, muscles. Something clicks in Taehyung’s mind. “You’re the boy I saw naked in the woods!”

Taehyung points an accusatory finger at the boy, and he sees the stranger hold back a giggle. “What are you doing in my house and— and where’s my dog?”

“I’m Jeongguk.” The boy flashes an awkward smile, holding his hands up in a placating manner.

“It’s nice to meet you, Jeongguk, but how did you get in my house?” Taehyung is freaking out. This is the boy he watched like a creep as he bathed in the woods, but he can’t seem to feel guilty because this boy broke into his house. Which he’s freaking out about, where is his wolf? Shouldn’t he be protecting him?

“I— you let me in here.” The boy looks rather uncomfortable, and something in the back of Taehyung’s mind says go get him some clothes.

“I didn’t let anybody in here, especially not at this time of night. And naked, at that.”

“No, I mean— Cookie. I’m Cookie. I mean, technically my name is Jeongguk but,” Taehyung’s brain starts making the connection. Jeongguk, Jeonggukkie, gukkie, cookie. He must have drank too much soju because this shouldn’t make any sense. “You said it yourself. I’m a werewolf. But now I’m not so sure I should have told you this. I should go.”

Drunk Taehyung thinks much slower, and much less efficiently, but he’s starting to understand. The boy in the woods, how he couldn’t find Cookie at that time, all the times he felt like they were having conversations. The fact that this boy just claimed he’s a werewolf. It all clicks in Taehyung’s mind. “Oh my god! Cookie is a werewolf.”

The boy, who had been making his way towards the back door, turns around with a confused look on his face. “Uh, yeah. That’s what I said.”

Taehyung points at the boy again. “You’re Cookie!”

The boy cringes. “Well, actually I’m Jeongguk, but—“
“You’ve seen me naked!” Jeongguk looks up at Taehyung, a deer caught in the headlights. “I let you lay in my room while I jacked off!”

Jeongguk blushes so red, Taehyung can see the flush all the way to the boy’s chest. “I’m so sorry, I— I really didn’t mean to intrude I just—“ The boy panics, looking far more concerned than Taehyung is. He bows a full ninety degrees. “I’m so sorry.”
Taehyung bursts out into laughter, significantly calmer than he was mere minutes ago. “This is so funny. I’m so drunk.”

A confused look returns to Jeongguk’s face as Taehyung laughs all the way down the hallway, into his room, and shuts the door. He can hear Taehyung mumbling something about drank too much and I must be hallucinating before it goes quiet. Taehyung reemerges a minute later with a set of clothes in his hand.

“This is hella weird, but it’d be less weird if you were wearing clothes. Although,” Taehyung very conspicuously runs his eyes along Jeongguk’s body, “I’m gonna miss this view.”

Jeongguk grabs the clothes from Taehyung’s hands and quickly puts them on, trying to hide his blush behind his fringe. “You— You found me in my natural form and I never really had the chance to break it to you until now.” Jeongguk looks up nervously at Taehyung. “Surprise?”

Taehyung looks thoughtfully at the boy. “I’m definitely going to freak out again when I’m sober.”

Jeongguk winces. “Maybe I should sleep outside?”

“What? No, that’s rude. It’s your birthday, I wouldn’t make you sleep outside. Just sleep on the couch.” Taehyung stumbles back to his room, a reminder of just how much he had to drink. “I’m going to bed. Good luck tomorrow!”

 

Taehyung wakes up with a— thankfully— mild headache, the taste of stale alcohol on his tongue. He reaches around blindly for his phone to check the time, seeing its fairly early, quarter after nine. There’s a bottle of water on his nightstand that he doesn’t remember putting there, but he takes three big gulps from it anyway. There’s a strange feeling, like he’s forgetting something important, but he shakes it off and walks to the bathroom to brush his teeth.

After brushing his teeth and washing his face, Taehyung walks to the kitchen to make coffee, and promptly screams when he spots a young man on his couch. He reaches for the nearest weapon— a frying pan from the stove— when the boy startles awake and falls off the couch. “Who the hell are you?”

The boy stands up completely straight. “My name is Jeongguk, but you know me as Cookie. I’m a werewolf and we met officially last night, but I’m the wolf that’s been living with you for several months now. Please don’t hurt me.”

Taehyung stares threateningly at Jeongguk for a few, long seconds. Slowly, he remembers the events of last night, getting drunk off his ass and joking that Cookie is a werewolf, only to find out that he actually is. Taehyung lowers the frying pan.

“How many rocks do I have on my back porch?” Jeongguk looks confused for a moment. “If you’re really Cookie, you should know how many rocks there are. You’re not allowed to look.”

There’s a moment of silence, Jeongguk taking a moment to think. “There’s 12. I brought seven to you and when we walked through the woods yesterday I found five more. There’s also three sticks and a sign that says ‘Happy Birthday’.”

Taehyung contemplates for a moment. He knows Jeongguk is right, but he’s still a little baffled at the idea. “What’s the food that we always eat for dessert?”

Jeongguk looks a little uncertain when he answers, “Uh, I don’t know what they’re called. The cookies that you roll in cinnamon and sugar before you bake them.”

“Ok. You’re right about both things. I believe you.” Taehyung puts the pan down and resumes putting the coffee grounds into the pot. “Would you like some coffee?”

“That’s it? You don’t have any other questions? Like, about me being a werewolf.” Jeongguk chances a step towards the kitchen to stand on the opposite side of the island from Taehyung.

Taehyung puts enough coffee and water in the pot to make two cups. “I have so many questions, I don’t know what to ask.” He turns around to look at Jeongguk across the counter. “Do you really howl at the full moon?”

Jeongguk looks offended. “Why would we howl at the moon?”

“Do you live in packs like wolves do?”

“Usually.” Jeongguk sits down on one of the stools sitting under the counter.

“So are there more of you out in the woods that you haven’t told me about?”

Jeongguk sighs. “No, my pack lives farther south, near Busan. I’m alone.”

Taehyung turns around to open the refrigerator, peering in at the food. “What do you want for breakfast?”

There’s no response from Jeongguk, and when Taehyung turns around to see what he’s doing, the boy looks taken aback. Jeongguk recovers after a few seconds and says with a straight face, “Meat.”

Taehyung cackles. He reaches into the fridge and pulls out the carton of eggs and some bacon. “Of course you do. How could I forget.”

Jeongguk watches from the counter as Taehyung scrambles four eggs and fries four strips of bacon. After the eggs are finished and the bacon grease has been blotted on a paper towel, Taehyung splits the food evenly on two plates and sits on the stool next to Jeongguk. “It’s weird eating with an actual human after so long of putting your plate on the floor.”

They eat quietly for a few minutes before Taehyung tries to sneak a peek at Jeongguk. He’s just as gorgeous as he remembers from that time in the woods; fluffy brown hair, big nose, sharp jawline, eating his eggs with his hands. Jeongguk is eating his eggs with his hands.

“What are you doing? I gave you a fork, didn’t I?”

Jeongguk looks slowly down at the utensil sitting untouched next to his plate. “Oh, yeah.” He picks it up a little awkwardly, scooping a small bite of egg into his mouth and chewing. “It’s been awhile since I’ve used one of these.”

“Do you not spend a lot of time as a human?” Taehyung shoves half a slice of bacon into his mouth, looking inquisitively at Jeongguk.

“No. The last time I was in this form I think I was eleven or twelve? Most of us prefer to spend time in our natural forms. It’s easier that way.” He shakily scoops another forkful of eggs into his mouth, having already finished all of his bacon.

Taehyung nods thoughtfully as he finishes the rest of his breakfast. He watches as the boy tries to bring another bite of eggs to his mouth and every last bit of egg falls off his fork. “Give that here, oh my God.”

He takes the fork from Jeongguk and shovels a big bite of egg into the boy’s mouth. Jeongguk smiles sheepishly at Taehyung, the lightest tinge of pink dusting his cheeks as he scoops the last bit of egg into Jeongguk’s mouth.

As he’s rinsing the dishes from breakfast and their barbecue last night, a thought pops into Taehyung’s head. “So, do you not have any where to stay? You said your pack is still down south. Why are you alone, anyway?”

Jeongguk looks a little flustered at that question, and Taehyung’s about to take it back when the boy tells him, “We— I’m alone because it’s my eighteenth birthday. It’s a tradition to go on a journey alone to find… something, as a coming of age thing. It’s time alone to become an adult, to discover things about ourselves on our own.”

“Did you discover anything yet?” Jeongguk looks up at Taehyung, looking a little caught off guard. “Or not yet?”

He pauses, thinking. “Well, I presented as an alpha, and that’s a lot different than what we were expecting. But I think I’ve been doing well.”

Taehyung’s eyes light up at this, confusing Jeongguk at the reaction. “Wait, so the ranks are real, too?”

“Yeah, alpha, beta, omega. Why?” Jeongguk feels a bout of apprehension at the overjoyed look on Taehyung’s face.

“So is it true that alpha’s have huge knots on their dicks?”

Jeongguk blushes all the way up to his ears. “I mean, I don’t know if they’re bigger than usual? That’s a really personal question, hyung.” There’s a glint in Taehyung’s eyes that concerns Jeongguk for all of two seconds before it’s gone and Taehyung’s laughing it off like it’s nothing.

 

The following weeks are something Taehyung never imagined he’d experience, a mixture between spending time with Jeongguk in both his human and natural forms, between having a best friend that he laughs and plays video games with and a furry best friend that still brings him rocks from the riverbed every time he grazes the forest. Every time Taehyung tries to bring up the rocks, Jeongguk blushes and changes the subject. Taehyung thinks both the rocks and the blush are unbearably cute.

It’s a casual night, Jeongguk and Taehyung having just gotten back from their usual evening stroll through the woods, Jeongguk in his natural wolf form and Taehyung’s pockets full and heavy with new rocks to add to his collection. Now Taehyung’s preparing for another night of barbecue while Jeongguk finishes showering and getting dressed. Jeongguk steps out of the bathroom, hair damp and shirtless, just as Taehyung finishes setting out the sliced pork belly and remaining soju from their last barbecue.

“Jeongguk, I thought I told you that humans wear more clothes than that,” Taehyung scolds, trying to hide the way his eyes are glued to Jeongguk’s toned stomach like magnets.

“But, hyung! Clothes are so uncomfortable. And it’s getting hot these days.”

Taehyung tsks, but continues lighting the grill, motioning for Jeongguk to join him at the table. Jeongguk reaches for the bottle of soju to pour Taehyung a drink, faltering when he sees two shot glasses side by side. “Am I allowed to drink, too?”

“We’re not going to follow my example from yesterday, so pick which flavor you want because that’s the only bottle we’ll drink.” Jeongguk looks between the two bottles on the table, one citrus flavored and one pomegranate flavored. He reaches for the citrus one and goes to twist the cap, before Taehyung reaches for the bottle at the last second. “On second thought, let me open it for you.”

The boy watches in awe as Taehyung pierces the cap with a chopstick, wiggles it around a few times, flips the bottle over and hits the bottom, before twisting the cap off and pouring them each a shot, all in the span of about five seconds. Taehyung puts the bottle down and lifts his shot glass in the air. “To discovering new things!”

Jeongguk quickly copies Taehyung’s motions, raising the glass before bringing it to his lips and taking a small sip. Taehyung downs the whole glass and stands up to put the second bottle of soju away before he gets tipsy and decides to drink that, too. When he returns to the table, the garlic and onions are crackling on the grill, so he lines up the slices of beef. Jeongguk immediately focuses on the meat in front of him.

“So, Jeonggukkie, is there a specific amount of time you have to be away from your pack?”

Jeongguk looks up from the meat to make eye contact with Taehyung. “I don’t actually ever have to go back. I can make a new pack, or find a mate and bring them home, or stay as a lone wolf. That’s the point of it, to figure out what direction in life I will take.”

Taehyung hums, flipping the meat with the tongs. “How do you find a mate?”

“We rely a lot on smell. If we find someone that smells like home, that’s who we’re meant to be with. Ideally, anyway.” Jeongguk stares at Taehyung, something swimming in his eyes that makes Taehyung’s stomach feel warm. They hold eye contact for a long moment before Taehyung thinks he should change the subject.

“Meat’s ready. Let me show you how to make the wrap.” He slowly makes a wrap for himself, Jeongguk following the steps easily, both popping the wrap into their mouths once they’ve finished. Taehyung takes another shot of soju while Jeongguk grabs another piece of meat from the grill. Once the wrap is done, he reaches over the table to place it on Taehyung’s plate, nonchalantly making a wrap for himself and avoiding eye contact with Taehyung.

“Why do you always give me your food?”

Jeongguk finishes chewing his wrap slowly. “Isn’t that what the younger one is supposed to do?”

Taehyung looks at him skeptically, something in the boy’s eyes and the tone of his voice telling Taehyung that he’s lying. He eats the wrap anyway. “Thank you, then.”

The rest of the night goes similarly to the previous night, only this time Taehyung pours two shots between cooking meat and barely gets tipsy. Taehyung only makes a few wraps for himself, Jeongguk taking it upon himself— for whatever reason— to feed Taehyung lots of meat. They talk a lot about their childhood’s, the alcohol making the stories just that extra bit funnier, the difference in experiences great enough to keep the conversation interesting.

Jeongguk shares about the time he ran the 25 miles to the beach with his older brother Jimin and ate so much crab he threw up the summer before Jimin left to find his mate. Taehyung asks if he ever found one, and Jeongguk laughs, says he was courted by a wolf named Namjoon from Seoul and that they made it official on their visit back to Busan three months later.

“So how does that work? The mates thing.” Taehyung twirls his empty shot glass with his index finger languidly, tired and full but reluctant to end their conversation for sleep.

Jeongguk gets a dreamy look in his eyes as he explains, “It’s based a lot on smell. You find your mate first by smell, then you’re sure of it with the way you go perfectly together. To seal the mating bond, mates make love,” he points at a spot on his neck, just above his collarbone, “and your mate marks here, so everyone knows you’re taken.”

Taehyung takes a moment to absorb the information, wondering if something so magical and idealistic could really exist in this world. If something so wonderful could happen to him some day. “You sound like a hopeless romantic.”

The younger looks down sheepishly at his empty plate, mumbling, “I am.” Taehyung smiles fondly, the blush on Jeongguk’s cheeks impossibly endearing. When Taehyung doesn’t say anything right away, Jeongguk fidgets in his place, looking anywhere but at Taehyung.

“You sound like you’re in love.”

Jeongguk looks up at Taehyung, that something from earlier in his eyes again before he looks away again. “Maybe.”

But before Taehyung can say anything, mouth gaping at the younger’s confession, Jeongguk stands and starts collecting plates and silverware to bring to the sink in the kitchen. Taehyung’s heart is thumping in his chest and he can’t let Jeongguk get away like this.

“Yah! You can’t just say that and then not tell me who.” He runs up to Jeongguk and peers over his shoulder to see the boy’s face. “Who are you in love with?”

Jeongguk cringes away from Taehyung while still trying to keep the soapy dishes he’s washing over the sink. “I said maybe. It’s too soon to say it.”

“Tell me, tell me. Why aren’t you with them now?”

The look Jeongguk levels him with is serious, and Taehyung sobers quickly. “I’ve only met one person since I’ve left Busan.”

Taehyung’s eyes widen and he can feel red creeping up his cheeks. He takes a step back, unsure how to react over the loud beating of his heart. They haven’t known each other as people for that long, but Taehyung’s known Jeongguk since he found him injured in the woods, he just didn’t know there was a person inside the wolf. In fact, he feels like he’s known Jeongguk passed that. They’ve just been able to click together ever since the wolf’s wound healed all those months ago.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make it weird. It’s just ever since I smelled you I— no, I’m making this weirder. I’ll stop.” Jeongguk puts the rinsed dishes down on the drying rack to run a still-soapy hand through his hair. “I should leave.”

He turns towards the back door and Taehyung panics, reaching for Jeongguk’s wrist to stop him. “Where are you going? You’re gonna leave just like that?”

Jeongguk turns back to Taehyung, confused. Taehyung doesn’t let him have a chance to respond, looking straight into the younger’s eyes and trying to remain calm against the panic rising in his chest. “I don’t want you to leave.”

They stare at each other for a tantalizing second, then Taehyung tugs on Jeongguk’s wrist to pull him closer. He feels like he’s in a drama, acting on the one impulse in his mind and pressing his lips against the younger’s, but he blames the impulsiveness on the alcohol.

Jeongguk stands stock still, wrist laying limp where it hangs from Taehyung’s hand. Taehyung pulls back slightly to gauge his reaction. “Aren’t you going to kiss me back?”

“Can I?” When Taehyung nods, Jeongguk reaches up with his free hand to caress the elder’s cheek. He closes the gap between their lips, this time adding pressure, moving his lips gently along Taehyung’s. Taehyung moves his hand to interlock their fingers and pull Jeongguk closer, his other hand resting over the hand Jeongguk has on his face.

Jeongguk pulls away, inhaling deeply, eyes closed peacefully. Taehyung laughs, “Do I really smell that good?”

He nuzzles his nose into Taehyung’s neck and wraps his arms around Taehyung’s middle. “Yeah, you do.”

Taehyung hums happily, rubbing his cheek on Jeongguk’s head, the two simply embracing each other for a few minutes. Eventually, Taehyung yawns loudly, mouth wide open, and they both decide it’s finally time for bed. They walk to Taehyung’s room together, hands interlocked. Jeongguk shuffles his feet awkwardly as Taehyung climbs into his bed, looking up at the younger expectantly.

“Is this okay?” Jeongguk asks hesitantly. Taehyung just pulls him down by the hand he’s still holding, wrapping his arms around Jeongguk’s shoulders when he settles down next to him.

“It’s not like you haven’t slept here before.” It’s dark in Taehyung’s bedroom, but there’s just enough moonlight shining through the window that he can still see the blush spreading on Jeongguk’s cheeks.

“Yeah, but— That was different. That was just your dog, now I’m a human.”

Taehyung flicks his nose gently with his finger. “But it’s no fun when you sleep on the couch. Then we’re both lonely and cold.”

Jeongguk buries his face in Taehyung’s pillow bashfully, but doesn’t make to protest, so Taehyung takes that as his sign to close his eyes and fall sleep.

 

Their lives thereafter follow a similar schedule as the previous ones; Taehyung still goes to class on the weekdays, leaving Jeongguk alone at the house. He buys mostly meat at the grocery store and still has to practically force feed the boy vegetables. The only difference now is that Jeongguk gives him a good morning kiss as they languidly sip coffee in the kitchen. And when they lay on the couch, relaxing and staring at the t.v., they sit closely on the couch, cuddling and enjoying each other’s warmth.

Nothing much changes on their evening walks through the forest, either. Jeongguk still brings him smooth, nicely shaped rocks and Taehyung still arranges them in a formation on his back porch. Except now when Taehyung confronts Jeongguk about just why he’s been bringing Taehyung rocks, the younger boy skirts around the answer, saying they just looked pretty or some similar bullshit.

At some point, Taehyung gets fed up. The younger has avoided his questioning for days, the rocks outside piling up with no valid reason as to why. He thinks back to the things Jeongguk told him— the reason he’s out alone in the first place, about his brother Jimin who did the same thing a few years back— to try and find some sort of answer. He remembers Jeongguk mentioning his Jimin was courted by a wolf named Namjoon before they became mates.

Courting?

Without thinking much of it, Taehyung whips out his phone to google the term. He clicks on an article written by a wildlife researcher that spent several months observing a pack of wolves. Skimming the article, Taehyung stops to read when he spots a section detailing the days leading up to a wolf couple’s copulation.

The male wolf often would hunt small animals to bring back to the wolf of his interests, and if they other accepts the offer (in this case she did), they feast on the kill together. The wolf would continue to do this for several days, as well as the two wolves generally spending much of their time close together, nuzzling, feeding, going for runs.

Taehyung thinks back to the beginning of the rock gifts, how Jeongguk had initially brought home a rabbit, then other animals before resolving to the stones. Thinks about the way the wolf— whether in natural form or human— never leaves his side for long, the playful walks they take almost every evening if the weather allows.

Taehyung abruptly stands up and paces into the living room where Jeongguk is sitting watching t.v. He points an accusing finger at the younger boy. “Have you been courting me?”

There’s a moment of thick silence, Jeongguk staring wide-eyed at Taehyung, before he simply admits, “Yeah, I have been.”

Taehyung walks around the couch to sit next to the younger. He leans his head on Jeongguk’s shoulder, looking up sideways to watch the younger’s face. “What does that mean?”

“You probably already know. It’s like human dating, I think. It’s a period of time where wolves test out their compatibility, get to know each other, often times leading up to mating. There’s no obligation, of course, but typically one wolf brings the other gifts— like food, animals to eat— to show that he would be a good mate.” Jeongguk pauses to gauge Taehyung’s reaction. He’s still resting on his shoulder, peering up at the younger through his pretty eyelashes. “I just want to take care of you.”

Taehyung takes a deep breath, breathing through the overwhelming warmth that’s spread through his chest. “I like it when you take care of me.”

The elder blinks up at Jeongguk, his long eyelashes dusting gracefully across his high cheek bones, his scent so close Jeongguk can’t smell anything else. Jeongguk leans down to press an awkward kiss to the corner of Taehyung’s mouth, the angle making it difficult to aim. Taehyung sits up to kiss Jeongguk better, their lips meeting in the middle and connecting properly this time.

Jeongguk drapes one arm over the other’s waist, pulling him closer as he deepens the kiss, tilting his head a bit, getting used to the feeling of Taehyung’s lips on his own. Their lips mold together easily, locking together and brushing across each other gently. Experimentally, Jeongguk opens his mouth and sucks on Taehyung’s lower lip, drawing a low noise from the elder.

Taehyung shifts and throws one leg over Jeongguk’s hips, straddling the younger, leaning down to lick across the younger’s lips. Jeongguk opens his mouth immediately, Taehyung licking in between his lips. The younger boy wraps both arms around Taehyung’s waist to pull him even closer, chest to chest. He pulls away to trail wet kisses down Taehyung’s neck, down his throat, sucking a light hickey just below his collarbone.

Jeongguk pulls Taehyung down with a hand in his messy hair, their lips meeting softly, Taehyung lightly nibbling on Jeongguk’s lips. The younger trails his hand back down to circle around Taehyung’s waist as Taehyung nibbles along his jawline to suck a hickey just beneath his ear. Jeongguk groans and pulls away to rest his forehead against the elder’s. “We better stop. You still have classes tomorrow.”

Taehyung sighs, body going limp in Jeongguk’s arms. “You’re right.”

Without so much as a grunt, Jeongguk hefts Taehyung up into his arms, standing and bringing them both to Taehyung’s bedroom. Jeongguk lays Taehyung on the bed before back tracking to turn all the lights off in the house. Taehyung thanks him by pulling the younger into bed, tucking his head in the crook of Jeongguk’s neck, and drifting to sleep.

Jeongguk buries his nose in the soft, recently showered locks of Taehyung’s hair, primarily smelling of soap, but Jeongguk doesn’t mind much. He listens as Taehyung’s breath steadies, feeling the soft puffs of air against his collarbones. As soon as he’s sure Taehyung is fast asleep, he allows himself to close his eyes.

 

The next morning Jeongguk wakes up uncomfortable. Taehyung is still fast asleep in his arms, the alarm not set to go off for another several minutes, but there’s a small heat at the pit of his stomach, a slight itch just beneath his skin. He thinks back to what he learned as a child, about alphas and their ruts, and he thinks he knows where this is going.

Before Taehyung has a chance to wake up, Jeongguk gently slides his arm from beneath Taehyung and quietly— ever so slowly— extracts himself from the elder’s hold. He manages to make it out of the bedroom to the dining room where he stops to contemplate where to leave his clothes. He knows he should get out to the woods before anything real starts happening, especially before Taehyung wakes up and his scent wafts through the entire house.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

Jeongguk whips his head around to spot Taehyung leaning against the bedroom doorway. He removes his hands sheepishly from where they were slowly unlocking the back door. “I was… going outside?”

“You never go outside this early,” Taehyung states matter-of-factly. “And you always wake me up when you want me to let you out.”

Jeongguk gulps, knowing he’s been caught. Taehyung’s always been able to see right through him. He blushes at having to say it out loud, though. “I was gonna go outside… for awhile.”

Taehyung levels him with a look, six times scarier having just woken up. The brown hair on top of his head is sticking in all directions, his arms are crossed across his chest, and his puffy eyes are narrowed at Jeongguk. “Why?”

“I— my body thinks it’s found its mate, so,” Jeongguk can feel blood rushing to his ears, the heat in his face only adding to the growing heat in his body. “So, I think I’m going into rut.”

“You mean, like, that thing in fan fiction when an omega goes into heat? Like you wanna have sex really bad?” Taehyung steps forward to pull Jeongguk away from the door. “Why are you leaving?”

Taehyung’s hand lingers on the younger’s wrist, keeping him from running away. Jeongguk looks down at the floor, a little ashamed. “I didn’t want you to feel uncomfortable. The reason I feel like this is because of you, and I didn’t want you to feel like you had to do anything. Plus it would just be weird.”

“It wouldn’t be weird. I could help you out,” Taehyung says smoothly, like he’s casually talking about the weather. He rubs his palm against Jeongguk’s cheek soothingly. Jeongguk balks.

“You— you don’t have to help me.”

“But what if I want to?” Taehyung’s voice is honey sweet, so caring Jeongguk almost wants to cry. He thinks his rut may be making him extra emotional, too.

“I don’t know… I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep from knotting you if you let me touch you,” Jeongguk mumbles, his face flushed.

Taehyung chuckles, running the tip of his finger under the younger’s chin to force Jeongguk to look into his eyes. “Who said you have to?”

Taehyung winks and turns to head into the kitchen, scooping coffee into the pot and turning the machine on. “I have to turn in an assignment today, and I really shouldn’t miss my other classes either. But if you wait for me to come home, I’ll let you knot me.”

Jeongguk chokes on his own saliva at the bluntness in Taehyung’s words, but ultimately agrees. Taehyung pours two mugs of coffee and offers one to the younger, Jeongguk walking up to accept it. He stands next to Taehyung, the little wolf in the back of his mind wagging its tail excitedly. Taehyung leans his body weight on Jeongguk as he sips his coffee. “I’ll be back around three, so you’ll only have to wait a few hours, Jeonggukkie.”

“I’d wait forever for you,” Jeongguk murmurs, surprised at how easily the cheesy words left his lips. Taehyung smiles and finishes his coffee, dropping a bitter tasting kiss on Jeongguk’s lips before he goes to get dressed.

By the time Jeongguk has finished his own coffee, Taehyung is dawned in a red t-shirt and loose fitting jeans, packing his notebook and laptop into his backpack. Jeongguk hands him his water bottle (with a few ice cubes because it’s warm outside) and Taehyung double checks he has everything before heading to the door. Jeongguk trails behind him like always.

“I’ll be back soon, okay?”

Jeongguk leans forward to press a chaste kiss to Taehyung’s forehead. “I’ll be waiting.”

 

Taehyung’s day passes restlessly. He’d managed to turn in his assignment in his first class, barely paid attention in his second class. Now he sits in his last class of the day, leg jittering so much he’s entirely sure the girl next to him is glaring at him. Thankfully there’s only ten minutes left in this class because he hasn’t heard a single word the professor said. He’s too busy fantasizing about when he gets home later.

Earlier in the morning, Taehyung couldn’t pay attention in class because he was worrying about what taking a knot would feel like. But his train of thought was anxious for all of five minutes before he concluded this is going to feel so good I’m going to cry and he hasn’t been able to think of anything else since.

Taehyung thought about how big it would be, how many fingers he’d have to take to even begin to be stretched enough. Thought about how it would feel, the tingling stretching sensation, thought about just how hot it would be inside of him.

He thought about being bent over, face pressed into the sheets as he sobs, Jeongguk pushing inside of him until he can’t pull out anymore. About Jeongguk coming so hard and deep inside him he can’t feel anything else. Wonders how much cum there would be, if Jeongguk will make him into his dirty little cumslut.

Taehyung’s shaken out of his fantasies by the rest of his class packing up, the girl next to him leaving so fast he swears he felt a breeze. Taehyung slings his bag over his shoulder and briskly walks out of the classroom (he didn’t even attempt to pull anything out of his bag, he knew he wasn’t going to pay any attention), checking his phone to see that if he hurries he can catch an earlier train back home.

The train ride is agonizing. Thankfully, nobody sits next to him so his restlessness doesn’t bother anybody, but being trapped in the train car, unable to control how fast he gets home drives him crazy. When the train pulls up to his stop, he’s ready at the door to step off, quickly greeting the old ladies that sit outside the convenience store as he rushes passed.

His calves burn from the fast pace of his walking, but he gets home in record speed. He fumbles for a moment to unlock the door, kicking his shoes off and dropping his bag next to the door once he enters. The house is eerily silent— no Jeongguk waiting to greet him at the door (or pressing him into the hard wood, kissing the daylights out of him). Taehyung walks through to the living room and kitchen, both rooms empty.

Confused, Taehyung heads to his bedroom to change into more comfortable clothes, assuming Jeongguk must have ran for the forest while he was away. He opens the door only to find the younger boy in bed facing the wall, chest rising and falling evenly.

This boy is asleep, Taehyung thinks, appalled. Either way, Taehyung’s always down for a nap, so he changes into a baggy shirt, forgoing the pants, and slides into bed behind Jeongguk, burying his nose in the younger’s shoulder.

Not a second later, Jeongguk groans, shoulders tensing and relaxing as the younger boy wakes up. He turns around in Taehyung’s arms to nuzzle his head into Taehyung’s collarbones. “I was finally able to fall asleep, and you come in here smelling so good I could eat you.”

Taehyung chuckles and runs his hand up Jeongguk’s bicep, flexing from where the younger’s arms are wrapped around his middle. “Why don’t you, then?”

Jeongguk peeks up at Taehyung from underneath his fringe. The elder leans down and presses a wet kiss to Jeongguk’s lips, using his tongue to lick across the seam of his lips and tug his bottom lip into his mouth. Jeongguk groans and uses his body weight to press Taehyung’s back into the mattress, kissing Taehyung back whole-heartedly.

Taehyung wraps his arms around the younger’s neck, pulling him closer, Jeongguk’s tongue licking into his mouth. Jeongguk skims his hands up and down Taehyung’s sides, sending shivers down the elder’s spine. He trails kisses down Taehyung’s throat, wet and hot, licking across Taehyung’s adams apple and stopping to suck a hickey at the top of his sternum.

Taehyung runs his hands through Jeongguk’s hair, combing through the soft dark brown locks, moaning at the sting of a bite on his skin. Jeongguk makes room between Taehyung’s legs to fit himself in, tucking his hands under the hem of Taehyung’s loose shirt and bunching the fabric all the way under his armpits. Taehyung lets his hands roam the expanse of Jeongguk’s strong chest, the boy having not worn a shirt to bed, tweaking a nipple as the younger nibbles on the cartilage of Taehyung’s ear.

“You smell so fucking good,” Jeongguk mumbles into the skin of Taehyung’s neck. He trails kisses down the elder’s neck, down his sternum to suck another hickey right in the middle. He travels to take a nipple between his lips, pinching the other between his thumb and forefinger.

“Jeongguk, please, I want it.” Taehyung pushes down on the hem of Jeongguk’s sweatpants, hoping the younger understands.

Jeongguk licks a stripe up Taehyung’s stomach from the waistband of his boxers to the bright red hickey he just placed. He leans back to give enough room to pull the tiny briefs off of Taehyung’s slender legs, tossing the material over the side of the bed and leaving a trail of kisses from his ankle to the crease of his hip. “Where’s the lube?”

Taehyung takes a moment to think. “In the drawer. Bedside table.”

Jeongguk reaches over and yanks the drawer open, pulling the bottle of strawberry lube out and squirting a good amount on his fingers. He rubs the pads of his fingers against Taehyung’s cute, dusty pink hole teasingly. “Is this okay?”

Taehyung groans and pushes his hips down against the younger’s fingers. “Please. I’ve been thinking about this all day.”

Taehyung’s entrance squeezes around nothing before Jeongguk slips the first finger in, slick with lube and meeting little resistance. Jeongguk pushes all the way to the knuckle, making Taehyung’s hips jolt when he curls his finger. He keeps it curled at he pulls back out, dragging against Taehyung’s walls.

On the next thrust, Jeongguk adds a second finger, Taehyung clenching around them momentarily before relaxing, the fingers going in almost as smoothly as the first. Taehyung moans, the stretch just starting to feel good. Jeongguk pushes in deep, wiggling his fingers back and forth until Taehyung’s hips jump and he lets out a whine.

“Is that good?” Jeongguk asks, curling his fingers against Taehyung’s prostate. Taehyung can only whine again. “Can you take another?”

Taehyung nods eagerly, so Jeongguk pulls his fingers out to squirt more lube on them. He watches for a moment as Taehyung’s hole throbs around nothing before sliding three fingers in. Taehyung groans and throws his hands up to grasp at the pillow, working his hips down onto Jeongguk’s fingers in small little circles.

After Taehyung relaxes around him a bit more, Jeongguk pulls out and thrusts back in, the excess of lube making a squelching noise when they reach deeper. Taehyung whines, Jeongguk’s fingers staying deep and massaging his prostate, brushing against it without letting up the pressure. “Fuck, Jeongguk, fuck.”

Jeongguk works his whole hand in a fluid motion, thrusting shallowly and focusing most of the attention on Taehyung’s spot. “How many fingers can you take?”

Taehyung sobs, barely able to think passed the fingers pressing relentlessly agains this prostate. Jeongguk knows he fingers himself often, Taehyung recalling easily at least three instances in which he left his door open while he touched himself, at the time thinking nothing of the wolf that was sitting on the rug. If anything, the thought of something— even if just a dog— watching him fuck himself on his mint green vibrator excited him. Upon second thought, it could have been the intense stare the wolf always gave him, refusing to look away. “F—four. I can take four.”

Jeongguk is just able to squeeze his pinky in along the other three fingers. Taehyung gasps, breaths coming in short as he breathes through the burn. He doesn’t take four fingers all the time, but the stretch isn’t something he can’t handle. The light burn just makes the experience all the better.

The younger boy pauses with four fingers buried inside Taehyung, waiting for the other’s breathing to become less ragged before he bends them ever so slightly. Taehyung’s whole body shakes, hole clenching and then loosening around his fingers. Jeongguk rocks his fingers gently, getting Taehyung used to the feeling. Once he seems able to handle it, Jeongguk crooks his fingers again, scissoring lightly, working around his insides to get him stretched well.

“Jeongguk— Jeonggukkie, gonna come,” Taehyung pants. “I’m good, I’m good, please.”

Jeongguk curses, pulling his fingers out, moving back to shuck his sweats off of himself and over the edge of the bed. Taehyung’s entrance glistens with lube and Jeongguk’s cock throbs, rock hard in his underwear before he can rip them off, too. When the younger’s cock springs out of his boxers, Taehyung can’t help his mouth falling open, making a mental note to let Jeongguk fuck his mouth next time.

Taehyung hands him the lube that was resting at his side until now, watching intently as Jeongguk squirts a squiggly line along the length of his dick. He grabs Taehyung by the hips and bodily flips him onto his stomach before spreading his cheeks and squeezing another dollop of lube directly onto his hole.

Jeongguk lifts Taehyung’s hips so his ass is in the air, face buried into the pillow below him and drapes his body over Taehyung’s, hands resting on either side of Taehyung’s head. “Are you ready?”

Taehyung whimpers, looking back at Jeongguk best he can in this position. “Please, Jeongguk, fuck me.”

Jeongguk reaches one hand down to guide his length into Taehyung’s hole. With four fingers earlier, the stretch of Jeongguk’s cock is just right. Taehyung is still unbearably tight, though, and Jeongguk has to bury his nose into the elder’s neck and take a breath. Taehyung’s scent sends a shot of arousal straight to his cock that Taehyung can feel when the younger’s dick twitches inside of him.

“You feel so good around me, baby,” Jeongguk says into Taehyung’s ear, voice deep and raspy from holding himself back. He inches out slowly, working his cock back in easily, setting a slow rhythm to get them both used to the feeling. “Wanna fuck you so hard.”

Taehyung whines, fucking himself back onto the younger’s cock, trying to fuck himself faster. Jeongguk catches what he’s trying to do, so he sits up to grab the elder’s hips with both hands. Taehyung moans loudly when Jeongguk pulls him back harshly on his cock, hips snapping into him faster.

Jeongguk loses himself then, thrusting quickly into Taehyung, the tip of his cock hitting deep inside him. Taehyung chokes on a moan when the younger hits his prostate straight on, mouth open and drooling onto the pillow beneath him. The tip of his cock drives straight into it repeatedly as Jeongguk fucks into Taehyung, the wet noises when their hips meet adding to the filthy moans leaving Taehyung’s lips. Jeongguk only jerks Taehyung onto his cock harder, the small whimpers that leave Taehyung’s throat with almost every thrust driving him wild.

One of Jeongguk’s hands travels to the arch of Taehyung’s back, holding him there and admiring the curve of his back, the slim waist that flares out into his pert ass as he fucks the boy into the mattress. Taehyung’s wide shoulders are hidden by the gray cotton bunched around them, but the large shirt only makes the boy look smaller, the curve of his waist disappearing behind the excess fabric. Jeongguk can already see the start of bruises where his hips meet the back of Taehyung’s thighs, and he pushes harder, hoping to mark Taehyung for days.

Taehyung’s body shakes, used to only the cold plastic of his vibrator, or his fingers if he’s not feeling up to it. The warmth of Jeongguk’s cock, by comparison, is the hottest thing he’s ever felt inside of him. The lube makes each slide slippery and allows Jeongguk to thrust harshly and aim perfectly to hit all the right spots deep inside of him that he always struggled to reach himself.

The younger keeps up with his brutal pace, watching as Taehyung’s whole body rocks with each snap of his hips. He puts all the strength he can into thrusting into Taehyung and is rewarded with the sight of Taehyung’s mouth falling open, eyes scrunched shut in pleasure and cheeks painted a rosy red. Jeongguk’s mind fills with nothing but thoughts of fucking Taehyung, hanging him from his knot and filling the boy with his cum.

“Fuck, fuck,” Taehyung chants, feeling the base of Jeongguk’s dick begin swelling, his hole stretching to accommodate the change in size. “Jeongguk, fuck, y-your knot.”

The younger boy keeps fucking him, the harsh pace of his hips working Taehyung open, the base of Jeongguk’s dick slowly growing in size. Each thrust opens Taehyung’s hole around it, the slight burn sending sharp heat to the pit of Taehyung’s belly with each motion. Jeongguk grunts at the feeling of Taehyung clenching around him, his hole only becoming tighter as the younger’s knot grows larger.

Jeongguk pushes his hips deep, grinding the tip of his cock into Taehyung’s prostate as his knot makes it more difficult to move in and out. He pulls out and pushes back in slowly, watching as Taehyung’s entrance grips his swollen cock, stretching around the engorged base and sucking it in. Taehyung whimpers, his hips shaking and working himself back onto Jeongguk’s cock.

“Tae, I’m close.”

Taehyung groans. Jeongguk continues his rapid pace, the movements becoming shallower as the base continues to grow in size. After only a few more thrusts, the knot makes it so Jeongguk can’t pull out anymore, instead keeping it deep inside Taehyung, pressing against the elder’s prostate. Jeongguk pushes his whole body forward and grinds his hips, working the knot against Taehyung’s rim and massaging his spot with the tip of his cock.

Jeongguk thumbs at Taehyung’s entrance with one hand. The rim is stretched completely, just the tiniest bit of his knot peeking out from inside. Taehyung clenches around him at the touch, and Jeongguk moans Taehyung’s name at the feeling of hot arousal pooling in his stomach.

“Jeonggukkie— ah— Jeonggukkie, I want it,” Taehyung babbles, his stomach coiling, but he wants to feel it first. “Want you to knot me, please. Wanna feel your cum, want you to fill me up with it.”

Jeongguk groans, collapsing down onto his hands, chest pressed against Taehyung’s back. He works his hips harshly into Taehyung, the knot making a filthy wet noise as it catches on Taehyung’s rim. Taehyung sobs, feeling it throbbing inside him, his hole tingling at being stretched so far. He’s never felt anything like this— so big, so hot. Taehyung swears he can feel every thick vein against his walls.

“Fuck, Taehyung. I’m gonna come.” Jeongguk sucks a hickey into the top of Taehyung’s shoulder, hips pressing so hard into Taehyung he’s being smashed into the mattress.

Taehyung whines, feeling his arousal so hot in his belly. Jeongguk snaps his hips one last time into Taehyung’s, teeth baring down on the sensitive skin of Taehyung’s shoulder as he comes. Taehyung sobs, tears collecting in the corners of his eyes when he feels Jeongguk’s knot pulse inside of him just before emptying his cum into Taehyung’s ass.

He feels it deep inside of him, Jeongguk’s cum shooting deep, feeling the throb with each spurt of thick liquid. Jeongguk is stock still for a moment, coming so hard he can’t do anything else. The tears slip down his cheeks when Jeongguk ruts his hips weakly into Taehyung’s prostate, the hot cum filling him slowly, trapped inside of him with nowhere to go.

With a particularly hard rock of Jeongguk’s hips, Taehyung whimpers and comes, cock shooting white, hanging untouched beneath them both. Jeongguk pushes their hips down so Taehyung’s laying flat on the bed, rocking his hips into the elder, making his cock rub into the bedsheets. He feels another spurt of cum leave Jeongguk’s cock when he clenches around the younger, the roughness of the cotton on his sensitive dick making him sensitive.

Taehyung hiccups through his orgasm, the feel of Jeongguk’s hot cum filling him to the brim and trapped inside of him coupled with the warm puddle of cum beneath his hips making him feel filthy. Jeongguk breathes deeply into Taehyung’s neck, taking a moment to catch his breath. Taehyung sobs quietly into the pillow, overstimulated with Jeongguk’s dick still inside of him, unable to move.

The younger shifts them together so they’re laying on their sides. Taehyung is able to calm down with Jeongguk’s weight off of him and the younger’s hands rubbing soothing circles into his stomach. When Taehyung’s breathing evens out considerably, Jeongguk speaks up. “We’ll be here for at least ten minutes, it takes awhile for it to go down.”

Taehyung yawns, honestly enjoying the feeling of the younger still inside of him. He shifts a bit, nuzzling his face into the pillow, feeling with his hand the wet spot he made from his drool and tears. Jeongguk squeezes his arms around him, relaxing into Taehyung, the two breathing easily now. “We should take a shower before we go to bed.”

Taehyung hums noncommittally. “Let’s take a nap until then.”

Jeongguk lets him rest for about twenty minutes, the swelling having gone down completely, but unable to muster the strength to wake Taehyung up from his nap. The sun has set, and Jeongguk knows Taehyung will just stay asleep if he doesn’t wake him up. As much as he’d like to keep his cock inside the elder all night, he knows Taehyung deserves to be cleaned up.

“Tae, wake up.” Taehyung groans, rubbing his hands over his eyes but returning to sleep. “Taehyung, c’mon. Let’s go shower.”

Taehyung lays there, limp in Jeongguk’s arms. He knows Taehyung is awake, but he decides to play along. “I’ll carry you and wash your hair, but you have to wake up.”

At this Taehyung lazily opens his eyes, turning around to wrap his arms around Jeongguk’s neck. The movement causes the younger’s dick to slip out, and they both groan at the stimulation. Taehyung can feel the thick cum dripping out of his ass, and he whines, unsure if he wants to get aroused again or go wash it out.

Jeongguk chooses for him, sliding his arms under his back and knees to pick him up princess style and carry him into the bathroom. He sets Taehyung gently in the back of the shower, afraid to put him on the rug for fear of the cum dripping onto it and staining it. He gently pulls the sweaty t-shirt off his small frame before running the water and adjusting it to a warm temperature.

They shower slowly, Jeongguk having to do all the work as Taehyung just stands there with his eyes barely open. Jeongguk shampoos and rinses both their heads, rubs body wash into Taehyung, paying special attention to his ass, tenderly making sure all the cum is out, making sure to keep the soap away from the sensitive area, only using his fingers and water. He towels them both dry when they’re done and dresses Taehyung in a baggy shirt from high school.

“You’re a big baby,” Jeongguk laughs, Taehyung holding onto his arm as the younger slides a fresh pair of light gray briefs up his thighs.

Taehyung smiles. “I’m your baby.”

Jeongguk can’t help but agree. “You’re my baby.”

They crawl into bed together, Taehyung snuggling into Jeongguk’s broad chest, resting his ear right above the younger’s calmly beating heart and throwing a leg over Jeongguk’s thighs. Jeongguk wraps his arms tightly around Taehyung’s waist and buries his nose into the elder’s hair.

It’s silent for awhile, and Jeongguk listens—like usual— for Taehyung’s breath to steady as he falls asleep. Just as Jeongguk relents and let’s himself begin to fall asleep, too, Taehyung breaks the silence.

“How did you get that wound on your leg all those months ago?”

Jeongguk thinks back for a second, remembering the events leading up to their meeting. “I slipped and fell down a steep slope. I rolled all the way down, then hit a jagged rock that was at the bottom.”

Taehyung winces and lets out a sad noise, Jeongguk feeling his face scrunch up against his bare chest more than seeing it. “How were you so careless to do that?”

The younger feels his face get hot, remembering the exact reason he was distracted without a doubt. “I was busy following the prettiest scent I’d ever caught. It smelled sweet, sort of like your house while you're baking those cinnamon cookies and the fire is crackling in the living room. It felt like home, and I had to follow it. To see what it was.”

There’s a pause, and Jeongguk almost thinks Taehyung fell asleep, but the elder asks, “What was it that had you so caught up?”

Jeongguk nuzzles his nose into the elder’s hair, taking a deep inhale and pressing a kiss to Taehyung’s bare forehead. “You.”