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under open skies

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"taehyung! taehyung!"

he hears the squeals of his youngest cousin before he sees her, as he has not even completely gotten off the bus yet. taehyung has been on a bus for the last six hours straight, without even budging from his seat and he was definitely regretting it now with the way it felt like his spine had repositioned itself to his ass. he swung his backpack up higher on his shoulder as he took the final step down onto the concrete and found his aunt and uncle and cousin waiting for him, waving banners around like he might not recognize them. once he had made his way over his aunt throws her arms around him in a death grip and he buries his face in her neck, enjoying the comforting scent that he could still remember even though it had been around six months since they had last seen each other in person.

"how was the trip?" his uncle asks him as they make their way to the baggage claim to wait for his luggage that had been stowed underneath the bus.

taehyung shrugs his shoulders. "this last leg was the worst. i probably should have just splurged and bought the plane ticket, but i saved almost three hundred dollars on tickets... now i'm not sure it was worth it."

"well, you couldn't have made better timing," his aunt starts with a smile and a hand on her hip. "our annual start of summer bonfire is tonight so you won't miss it. seokjin's boyfriend is around your age and i'm sure he has invited some of their friends, so it will still be fun for you."

he couldn't help but hear the tenseness in her voice as she mentions seokjin's boyfriend, even though he knew it was not out of any sort of malice. his aunt has always been supportive of her son-- and thankfully taehyung, too. it was why he was here at this point in time, but he could tell she was kicking herself for bringing up the word boyfriend so soon.

"sounds great," he chimes and forces out his biggest smile that he can manage. it will be alright, he is sure of it. there was now over three thousand miles between himself in maine and california and he was set to have a good, peaceful summer under the sun, with enough time to rebuild himself. "speaking of which, where is seokjin?"

before his aunt or uncle could even think to respond, mina shoves past her parents and grins at taehyung. "seokjin is out with his boyfriend, probably making gross oogly googly eyes at each other!" she sounds absolutely scandalized by the whole idea, especially coming from a six year old. "something 'bout prior enragedments."

he can't help but laugh at his cousin and picked her up in his arms, jokingly acting like he was going to drop her before he propped her up on his hip. "i do believe you mean arrangements, dearest mina."

"yeah, that's it!" she giggles and slaps her palm gently against his cheek and then presses her lips to it. "i missed you, taehyung! i can't wait for us to play barbies and house all summer."

taehyung feels warm on the inside as he tightens his hold on the little girl in his arms and assures her that it has been all he has been looking forward to his whole trip to maine.

fortunately for taehyung the bus station was not too far from his aunt and uncle's house so he did not have to spend much more time in a moving vehicle. it is comforting that nothing has changed about the house he spent lots of childhood summers living in when his parents came to visit as they pull into the drive. he figures his uncle has to paint the fence in front of the house every once in awhile because there is no way it stays a pristine white picket dream without tender love and care. the family files out of the car and into the house and his aunt tells mina to at least let him be for a few hours to get settled into the guest room, which he appreciates.

unpacking in the quiet is nice, even though he somewhat feels like he is still moving on a greyhound. he did not bring much with him, just a few changes of clothes and a few pairs of shoes, his favorite pillow and stuffed lion, along with his laptop and some toiletries. he feels like he should have brought more and then feels uncomfortable by his lack of attachment to his things back at home.

after he finishes hanging his last shirt up in the closet, he flops down on the mattress and powers his phone back on. there are two unread messages waiting for him. one from his mother, probably asking him to let her know that he made it safely, and the other had been left unopened and unread for a week and he decides upon impulse to just delete the message, admiring his own braveness. he stretches his legs and arms and has never appreciated the comfort of a mattress more in his life. without even really thinking about it, he drifts off into his first comfortable sleep in a few days.

eventually, he stirs awake when he feels something fan across his nose. at first he just wiggles his nose and tries to ignore it, but then he feels it again, blinking his eyes open and he screams at the top of his lungs when his stare was met with another's, completely unknown to him. the stranger hovering above him lets out his own startled shout but then he stands up, holding his stomach in laughter as taehyung asks, "who the hell are you?"

once his heart restarts, he can hear the familiar laughter of his cousin seokjin from the opposite side of the stranger and he shakes his head, "i'm not even here a whole day and you're already torturing me, seokjin?"

"i'm jeongguk," the stranger introduces himself. "seokjin's boyfriend... and i just wanted to let you know he completely put me up to that. it was all of his idea, i was just along for the ride."

taehyung rolls his eyes. "you could have, you know, just declined the suggestion."

"but where's the fun in that?" jeongguk asks and outstretches his hand for taehyung to shake, and he reciprocates reluctantly. "it's nice to finally meet you. seokjin has spent the last three days telling me all about you like i don't have the whole summer to get to know you myself."

"you know, i am in the room still," seokjin interrupts their moment and both sets of their eyes focus in on him. he leans over taehyung's stretched out form on the bed and hugs him in greeting. "but anyway, mom said it's about time for lunch, so you better get downstairs before mina comes in here and drags you out by your toes. she's been freaking out about the fact that you've been asleep the whole morning."

taehyung follows seokjin and jeongguk downstairs to the dining room where his aunt has just started dishing out something that smells delicious. mina is swinging her feet excitedly from her booster seat, waving taehyung over. he follows suit, taking a seat next to the girl, ruffling his fingers through her hair. “it’s about time you wake up, sleepy head!” she giggles at him, trying to shove his hand away from her hair. “i’ve been waiting like, ten centuries.”

after everyone gorges themselves on on some sort of summery pasta salad, taehyung finds himself in mina’s bedroom, seated in between mr. peter the rabbit and jessibell the stuffed koala with a dramatic floppy hat on his head, “miss mina,” taehyung says, taking a sip of his pretend tea and helping jessibell with her own. “i do believe i asked for two lumps of sugar in my tea and i can’t taste any at all.”

mina pouts at him, a hand clutching at her long pearl necklace, “it’s ‘cause you don’t need any more sugar! you’ll get cavities and your teeth will fall out! and you’ll need dentures ‘cause you don’t have any more teeth under yours like i do!”

he snickers at that, but nods in acceptance all the same. “very well then,” he responds, trying not to laugh too hard over the fact that he just got lectured by a six year old about oral hygiene. taehyung turns to mr. peter and wipes at his mouth with one of the napkins on mina’s play table. “such lovely weather we’ve had lately. not a cloud in the sky…”

their tea party lasts into the late afternoon until mina kicks him out of her room, claiming she has to get ready for the big bonfire party. he leaves, shaking his head at her dramatics, appreciating the overdramatics that were uniquely her. he guesses he could get ready himself, not that he requires much. he winds up taking a shower and changing his clothes. afterward he winds up hanging around the living room, watching jeongguk get annihilated by seokjin over and over again at mario kart until they’re sent outside to help his uncle get the fire started.

taehyung blinks when he heads outside, seeing that people have started to arrive, setting up tents like this was some sort of official business. seokjin jabs him in the ribs with his elbow and laughs at his shocked expression. “the summer bonfire is pretty serious business. mom and dad invite all their friends and mom and her friends all get plastered. it’s funny, really. especially when you think, wow, this will probably be me in twenty years.” taehyung nods in response, following after seokjin and jeongguk off toward the front of the property.

the bonfire is, quite literally, the biggest one he has ever seen. he has even been to a few frat bonfire parties in his lifetime-- and no one loves burning shit more than college boys with extra money to blow.

his eyes don't spend much time on the fire. around the same time the sky starts to turn the soft colors of lilac and peach as the sun sets, he finds something much more interesting catching his eye. he knows it should feel wrong, having another catch his eye all so soon... but that's the whole reason he came to maine, right? to get over his heartbreak, to move on?


the ethereal being several feet in front of him seems like the perfect person to help him, if he is perfectly honest. he is practically glowing in the light of the fire and the warmth of the sunset, perfectly paired with the pastel hues of his clothing. taehyung can't see his eyes from the giant sunglasses covering them, but he imagines them being big and brown (a personal preference, more than anything). he has a peach smirnoff in one hand and the other seems to constantly be running through the bangs that are feathered around his forehead.


to put it simply, he is gorgeous, and taehyung knows he isn’t family so he wants to get to know him. it doesn't work out much in his favor because it has been so long since he has visited that all of the family that is there wants to chat with him constantly. he at least pretends he and the stranger have locked eyes once or twice, but he can’t be sure because of the sunglasses. he sticks with watching the mystery person with interest which only continues to rise as the night moves forward.

the stranger seems to favor the peach smirnoff taehyung had first seen him sporting an hour or so later, because he has definitely put away at least a six pack on his own. taehyung himself is a lightweight and knows at that point he would be sitting down on the ground instead of twisting his body to the beat of the song blaring from the speakers he had helped jeongguk set up earlier that afternoon. he still has his sunglasses on, even though there was no longer any trace of sun along the horizon. taehyung thinks he might have had worked up the courage to go and introduce himself if mina had not crawled into his lap twenty minutes prior and fallen asleep, leaving him rooted in his folding chair. there is no doubt in his mind, however, that the stranger is fully aware of his audience, because he truly puts on quite the show.

salvation comes in the form of his uncle pulling mina up from his lap, thankfully sooner rather than later. he tells taehyung to go have some actual fun with a small smile and he is more than ready to. however, he is disappointed when he turns from his uncle to seek out his stranger and he is gone. a small commotion takes his attention away briefly, and he spots him again. someone has brought out sparklers, and the brunet has one in his hand and yet another glass bottle in the other. he has at least taken his sunglasses off and has them half tucked into the pocket of his yellow shirt.

the unknown guest has started spinning with his sparkler and the effects of the alcohol have clearly started to hit him and it shows in his steps and slightly unsure footing. it seems particularly dangerous, especially with the stick on fire in his hand, and sober taehyung finds himself quickening his pace to get closer just in case. as taehyung approaches, he sees his speculation about the stranger is correct, and does have big, brown, warm eyes that taehyung wouldn’t mind crawling into and getting lost in.

the bright colors from sparkler along with the flames from the bonfire and the twinkle of the fairy lights dance across person’s face beautifully, and taehyung almost wants to ask if he is honestly real. just as he gives his final twirl the sparkler goes out and he stops, nearly colliding into taehyung’s chest.

“oh!” he says and practically giggles behind his now free palm. “i’ve been tryna get’you to com’over almosst all night. you’re cute an’i’ve never seen you before.”

his words slur together, but taehyung can’t help but find it endearing and smiles at him, full of teeth. “i could say the same to you,” he says. the stranger beams and taehyung’s heart flutters in his chest.

“i’m jimin. whas yours?” he asks, taking a sip from his bottle.

“taehyung,” he responds, with a hand outstretched to this Jimin. It was nice, it suited him well. jimin takes his hand in his own and squeezes it, and taehyung coos at the small hand holding onto his own.

“well, taehyung,” jimin starts, not letting go of his hand. “would’ya like to dance?” he is looking up at taehyung and his eyes do this ridiculous smoulder looking thing like taehyung was even going to think about saying no to him. he nods his head yes and jimin starts to tug him by the hand, a further bit away from the other guests still dancing. “good ‘cause i wasn’taking nofur an answer.”

taehyung finds himself embarrassingly hard embarrassingly fast, but jimin is also an incredibly obscene dancer. he is almost glad that he had waited to talk to jimin because all of the younger children had gone to bed and he would have been ashamed to let this happen in front of small children. jimin seems well practiced, from the way he seems to perfectly fit his ass against taehyung’s dick, to the way he always seems to know the beat to every song that plays, so that every body roll to the way he wraps his arms around taehyung's neck seems well calculated.

they dance like that for so long that taehyung has completely lost track of time. it is not until jimin turns in his arms and looks him in his lust blown eyes that he realizes nearly everyone has tapered off to their tents for the night. there are a few other couples, now swaying to the slower music that was playing from jeongguk's sound system, but they were wrapped up in each other the way that taehyung has been wrapped up in jimin. jimin is still staring up at taehyung like he is contemplating something and taehyung's face warms up under the attention.

"d'you wanna come back'ta my tent?" jimin slurs as he finishes the last bottle he has been holding onto for awhile, having spent most of its time condensating down the back of his neck. he has a sugary sweet look on his face as he bats his eyelashes at taehyung miserably.

taehyung's first response is to laugh and he boops their noses together, "that's probably not the best idea. you should probably get some sleep." as much as he would love to join jimin, he doesn't know much about him except for the fact he is properly wasted and taehyung isn't that sort of guy. jimin juts his lower lip up out and drops the empty smirnoff bottle onto the ground so he can tug the ends of taehyung's t-shirt in both hands.

"please," he whines. "pretty please."

he sighs and cups jimin's face in one of his hands, "how about i at least walk you back to it?" taehyung isn't sure what else he can offer, because he knows from the way that jimin stumbles after he has linked their fingers together, that there is no way he was going to sleep with him. "do you even know where your tent is put up at?" he asks, hoping maybe jimin isn't that far gone because there are quite a few people who have camped out from the bonfire, as per apparent tradition and for safety reasons, and he doesn't want to have to wake up others or perhaps see things he doesn't want to see, whilst trying to figure out which tent belongs to jimin.

"um, not really," jimin admits. "but i could see the back attic window of the house. and it is brigh’orange and has jimin on the screen flap. i did that so i could find it easier and feared that someone else might have the same tent as mine. last year that happened and i saw some things i will never be able to unsee."

with that little bit of information to work with and the flashlight on taehyung's cellphone, they start their hunt for jimin's tent. they have to stop and regroup every few feet or so because jimin, whilst graceful with his body while planted in one space, cannot say that is true while they are crossing the uneven terrain of taehyung's aunt and uncle's backyard. after what feels like hours, taehyung finally spots the bright orange tent with a sign that says "jimin" plastered to its front.

"you found it!" jimin cheers and flings his arms around taehyung's chest and he catches his body weight as he starts to tumble forward. "are you sure you don't want to stay?" he is really trying to pull out all the charms on taehyung, though he continues on with the shake of his head no. the brunet tries to up his game, standing on the tips of his toes and planting a kiss on taehyung's lips.

he tastes of peach smirnoff and something else sweet as he tries to snake his tongue into taehyung's mouth. his lips are so soft that taehyung honestly could write some sort of detailed poetry about the way they feel against his own, as he tries to steady jimin by curling an arm around his waist. "easy there, tiger," taehyung says as they pull apart. a pair of dark eyes meet his underneath the moonlight and he hates to admit it but he is feeling quite dazzled as they look at each other with no noise between them save for the crickets chirping and the quiet sound of their breaths. he decides he likes the feel of jimin in his arms the way he is holding him now, and it is harder than he expects to let go.

"at least come tuck me in?" jimin asks him, breaking their silence.

taehyung nods his head yes and follows jimin into the tent. he's down surprisingly fast for all of his previously languid movements and patting the spot on the inflatable mattress that jimin must have set up earlier on that evening. "you've got quite the setup going for you," he comments and pulls the blanket up to jimin's neck and pats his forehead gingerly.

as soon as he makes his move to stand up and head out back to the house, jimin whines and tugs on his wrist, "at least stay for a little while?" he asks, voice soft in the quiet of the night. "we can talk for a little or something, if you want."

he gives in without arguing, stretching himself out next to jimin. they're both staring up at the top of jimin's tent, and they're not really doing much in terms of talking. if taehyung didn't make an occasional glance at jimin, he might even have thought he had fallen asleep on him, but his eyes were open and unmoving. he loses track of how long they stay there in silence until he feels the air mattress move underneath them and he takes another look over at jimin. he has propped himself up on one arm and he's looking at taehyung. he can't make much out of it because it is rather dark in the tent, but it makes him want to squirm from the unwavering attention. their gazes do not break until jimin wraps a hand in taehyung's shirt once more and tugs him forward.

their lips meet in a short press of skin against skin and jimin hums after he pulls back, their lower lips still brushing from the lack of distance between them. "you're handsome, taehyung," he mumbles, runs his fingers through his hair. "you're hair is soft. you look very soft," and he giggles as he brushes their lips together once more, the kiss just as short as the last one. "will you at least stay and kiss me until i fall asleep. no harm there?"

taehyung can't seem to deny him this, letting his own hand come around to rest against the slightly sticky with sweat skin on jimin's neck and brings their lips together. all of their kisses are short and quick, but each one draws taehyung back in without even thinking about it. jimin omits this sort of warmth that still feels comfortable despite the summer's humidity around them. he lets himself get lost in their kisses, with jimin's mouth mesmerizing him in the simplest of ways.

he is not sure which of them actually dozes off first, between simple pecks and the gentle grazes of hands and fingers sweeping along various parts of their faces and necks, but much more innocent than taehyung had originally seen the night going from the first time his eyes had set upon jimin. he does not fall into a deep sleep, more in a state of drifting than anything else, and stays that way until he feels the mattress bow underneath him and the front flap of the tent being thrown open. he blinks his eyes open and notices jimin is no longer in front of him first before he hears the retching noise.

taehyung goes after jimin and finds him in the bushes behind where his tent is set up and he makes a consoling noise as he watches jimin spill the contents of his stomach. he approaches quietly, pushing jimin's bangs back with one hand and rubbing his back gently with his free hand and waits for him to finish. it takes a few minutes, but when he stands up straight and wipes his mouth off, he avoids taehyung's eyes at first before he looks to him and smiles, more sheepish than anything else. "sorry i woke you up," he apologizes and wrings his hands together.

"it's alright, i'm sorry you threw up," he takes hold of jimin's hands with one of his and wants to laugh at the fact that he can fit almost both of jimin's in his one, but doesn't say this out loud.

"it's my fault, i definitely got a little carried away with the peach smirnoff," he says and flicks his bangs away from his forehead with a shake of his head. "but after that i am pretty sure i am never going to drink one of those ever again." they both laugh quietly, both sure there are others around them sleeping. "you wouldn't be too opposed to some cuddling?" he asks taehyung, almost looking bashful now that the alcohol has had a little time to wear off.

honestly, it is probably a little too warm for cuddling, the humidity high in the air even though it has to be at least three in the morning... but he figures it can't actually hurt much of anything. "i don't see who could be," he finally responds and jimin is smiling at him, his eyes upturned into crescents and taehyung feels his heart briefly stop in his chest. the last thing he honestly needs is to fall for more boys with deathly sweet smiles, but he lets himself be led back to the tent by jimin all the same.

they rearrange themselves, with taehyung pulling jimin into his chest and an arm around him. this isn't the first time he has held him in his arms since they met and the weight of him there feels like it belongs, but he finds himself laughing in his own head. he always reads too far into things, and this brief little... whatever it is, is no different. but he rests his nose in jimin's hair all the same, and breathes in the smell of the outdoors and the smokiness from the fire pit, and something that he is sure must be jimin's signature scent. the two of them stay that way until taehyung can hear the breaths being inhaled and exhaled from in front of him drop off into something more level and even, and then carefully he quietly tiptoes out of the tent.

he is thankful that jimin had picked such a convenient place to set up his tent, with it being so close to his aunt and uncle's house. he doesn't have much walking to do to get inside. quietly he pulls the back door open and creeps up the stairs to the guest bedroom and lets himself flop down onto the mattress, not even bothering to pull the covers back. taehyung falls asleep after listening to his thoughts move in circles, but ultimately all leading back to jimin, the person he left behind in the tent.

taehyung would like to think that it was going to be easy enough to forget about jimin, especially since in retrospect, they had not spent that much time with each other... but the more he played dolls with mina and helped his aunt around the house with odd jobs, the more he found himself thinking about jimin. there was a pull on his heartstrings that made him want to get to know him a little better.

he knows that summer has just begun and he still has a couple months left in maine, but the more time he lets slip by, the less time he would have to get to know jimin. at first he takes to looking around town for him himself, starting with the farmer's market on a tuesday afternoon, and then the shopping mall the day after that. he looks for him in faces passing on the sidewalk and in cars when he and seokjin are stopped at red lights.

it dawns on him, a week into his search, that he could just ask seokjin himself. he had lived here nearly his whole life and had to at least have some information on this illusive jimin he met at the bonfire.

that is how he finds himself, sprawled out over seokjin's bed, look of innocence decorating his face, waiting for person in mention to return home from work. when he arrives at first seokjin doesn't notice him there, but then as he starts to take off his shirt taehyung coughs and his cousin skyrockets a good three feet in the air.

"jesus, shit, taehyung, what the fuck are you doing?" seokjin asks as he tugs his shirt back down over his chest.

taehyung is all cotton candy smiles.

"i need you to tell me where i can find jimin," he says, plainly. seokjin goes to answer him but taehyung is quick to interrupt. "you know. he's shorter than me... caramel hair and a squishy face. big lips and a big a--"

seokjin holds up a hand to get taehyung to shut up. "i knew who you were talking about when you said his name, taehyung. i saw you guys together the night of the bonfire. luckily for you, i know him," he says, and relief washes over taehyung's face. "he's one of jeongguk's friends. he works down at the small dock here in town."

like he was out of a cartoon, taehyung launches himself up from the bed and out of seokjin's room with a yelled thank you as he flies down the stairs to slide on his sneakers and is out the front door. the bus that heads down toward the other side of the town usually departs around this time and he is determined to catch it so he doesn't have to walk all the way down to the docks himself. he is fortunate there had been a delay in its arrival and he makes it just in time, sitting in his seat eagerly as it heads off toward the opposite end of down toward the coast.

his luck continues on when he finally makes it down to the docks, in the sense that he spots jimin right away. he looks as gorgeous and sun kissed as the last time they saw each other. he's in one of those pastel colored shirts again with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows which honestly should make taehyung cringe, but it is both fun and delicious watching the muscles in his forearms work as he helps guide the rental boat closer to the dock and then helps the man tie it down so it doesn't float off.

it's when he stands up that jimin spots taehyung standing there and he waves excitedly. he finishes up what he was doing before he jogs over to taehyung with a smile on his face that makes his heart pound in his chest in double time.

"hey," jimin greets him. "i was hoping to see you again some time soon." he says it with such a sweetness that it makes taehyung's teeth hurt and his cheeks to turn strawberry pink. "listen. i get off work here in like fifteen minutes. did you wanna maybe hang out for a little bit afterward?" there is a bead of sweat glistening just above his upper lip, and taehyung has to physically keep himself from going to thumb it off.

"yeah," he says, stutters. "yeah, i'd love to."

taehyung waits for jimin on the grassy hill overlooking the water patiently. unfortunately for him, jimin winds up spending his last fifteen minutes inside the main office so taehyung can't watch him work, but with the water and the clouds, the time still passes by quickly. fifteen minutes was still not enough for him to be able to prepare himself for jimin. taehyung figures he has to know just how stunning he looks, with the way he pushes his hair back from his forehead and slips his sunglasses on over his eyes. "alright, let's go. i have the perfect place in mind," jimin tells him, hand outstretched to help taehyung up to his feet.

jimin leads them up the rest of the hill and they walk down the sidewalk for awhile before slipping their shoes off and heading down toward the sand. the heat from the day leaves it warm between his toes, but they continue on until they arrive at a rather large rock planted just far enough away from the water that when the waves came up it only splashed the sides but wouldn't get them wet while they were sitting on the top.

they make small talk for some time while watching the water. taehyung learns that jimin has lived in this little town his whole life, that the water and boats are all he has ever known and he doesn't mind. someday he hopes to inherit his parents live aboard boat and disappear. now that the lighting is better taehyung can see the faintest smattering of freckles on jimin's nose, and he's talking about his day because taehyung asked, scrunching it up as he talks in detail. taehyung wants to boop it, but refrains. the two discuss how taehyung is only here for the summer, visiting his aunt and uncle, that seokjin is his cousin and that's how he found out where he was working. their small talk fills in the space between them, free flowing like they had known each other for ages instead of just a few hours.

"would you be interested in having some fun with me this summer, taehyung?" jimin has taken off his sunglasses before he asks this of him, their eyes meeting. jimin's are dark yet hold so much interest that taehyung would be the first person to jump up and volunteer to explore the uncharted territory in a heartbeat.

"and what constitutes as fun for you, jimin?" he asks, a challenge. he can see the spark in jimin's eyes as he accepts taehyung's words like they were some sort of dare.

taeyhung hardly has time to do anything else when jimin leans forward on their rock and kisses him hard, with one hand steadying himself in taehyung's hair and the other curling around his bicep. he tastes like sunrises and sunsets and all the time in between, and taehyung lets himself get lost in their first sober shared kiss. it's tongue and teeth and warmth, and taehyung wants to spend the rest of the summer doing nothing but running his fingertips up and down the expanse of jimin's chest with their mouths melded together, creating much more heat than any sort of summer sun can evoke.

they separate but their foreheads are pressed together. taehyung peeks one eye open to find that jimin is doing the same thing and they laugh. "well shit, jimin, why didn't you ask sooner?" he asks and jimin is giggling that cute little squeaking laugh that taehyung had originally thought might have been something he only did when he was drunk, but is pleased to hear that his laughter always sounds like this, looks like he is throwing his whole body into it.

a part of him knows he is going to be completely smitten for the summer, but he hopes the more he denies it, the more he will be able to keep this a simple summer hook up.

before they part ways that evening, they swap phone numbers, with jimin promising to text him as soon as he thinks of something for them to do together. taehyung manages to keep himself from saying that he was completely down with simply just sharing each other’s space, if only to save himself from looking like a weirdo.

jimin texts him that night, just as he is getting ready to close his eyes and fall asleep. he tells taehyung he is more than welcome to hang around the docks with him while he works and then they can spend more time together when he gets off. he waits three minutes to respond, trying to seem like he is playing it cool and not too overeager.

they spend a lot of their first days together doing this. taehyung will spend most of his afternoons sitting around on the grassy hill or with his feet in the water while sitting on the dock while jimin cleans rental boats or shows people how to use them. after he finishes for the day they will walk along the beach or sit on their rock. there is a boardwalk that they often stop and get snacks from, but mostly they’re on their rock “sucking face,” as seokjin calls it the one time he and jeongguk are at the beach and catch them in the act.

taehyung and jimin are out on beach towels on one of jimin’s days off, skin glistening with some sort of tanning oil jimin has nicked off his mother, when he suggests they go out for the first time. “a friend of mine is throwing a party tonight… did you wanna be my plus one?” he asks around a snowcone he bought , and taehyung tries hard to not watch the piece he accidentally drops melts and slides down the expanse of his bare abdomen.

“sure,” taehyung says, not even pretending like he took any time to consider it.

jimin smiles at him and nods his head. he goes over the time it starts with him and offers to pick taehyung up and take him along, which he agrees to as he is without car and isn’t sure if seokjin will be attending this party. the pair spends the rest of the early morning and afternoon at the beach, splashing at each other in the water occasionally between flirty kisses. at around two they pack up and jimin drops taehyung off with the promise to see him later.

he isn’t exactly sure what sort of party this is, but assumes it is a house party and that he won’t have to show up looking like he has tried too hard. taehyung showers and rifles through his poor selection of clothing and thinks he might have to spend some of the money he brought with him on clothing if he continues to have a social life, something he did not expect to have when he was originally packing. eventually he decides on a white t-shirt with little snips missing from the collar because it shows off his collarbones nicely and a pair of simple skinny jeans, and calls it that.

taehyung tries to make the time pass by entertaining mina but it does little to ease the nerves in his stomach. he knows that he and jimin have spent a quite a few days together now, but he still can’t help but feel like he might be a little bit too insignificant for jimin. jimin, who has done nothing but shine brightly every time they have been together.

after he plays tea party with mina for the umpteenth time, he helps his uncle with dinner by slicing the vegetables and setting the table. the family sits down together for dinner, and taehyung knows he should eat so he isn’t hungry later, but his stomach is in knots that make it hard to swallow food down. he helps clear the dishes, loads the dishwasher, and just after he starts it he hears a knock on the door. he kisses his aunt goodnight and heads for the door.

when he opens the door, both he and jimin start laughing the moment their eyes meet after looking each other over. they’re in matching clothes, save for a difference in shoes and jimin’s white shirt doesn’t have any holes in it.

“well, you know they do say great minds think alike,” jimin says as taehyung steps past the door and shuts it behind him. he tries not to tense under the hand jimin places on the small of his back, as it catches him off guard before he settles into it as they walk down the drive to jimin’s car.

from the passenger’s seat, jimin lets him control the aux cord and they spend the whole drive crooning along to christmas songs despite jimin’s initial protest. it isn’t much of a drive, and before he knows it, he is being led up the steps to jimin’s friend’s house. he can feel the bass thumping before he even hears the music, and is briefly reminded of his party days and mentally sighs. it’s really no longer his scene anymore, but he was already there and he didn’t want to disappoint jimin. a group of people near the door greet them and thrust cups into their hands, and jimin sips from his almost immediately. taehyung cringes at the mere thought of not knowing what was in the plastic cup, and jimin notices he isn’t drinking and nudges him.

“not really my thing,” he says into jimin’s ear and offers him his cup. jimin shrugs, unbothered, and drinks taehyung’s as well.

drinking may not be his thing, but he has decided he doesn’t mind jimin drinking because apparently alcohol makes jimin want to dance. they’ve barely circled the room when jimin tugs him into the middle of the bodies glowing under black lights and brings their bodies close together. jimin is just as good a dancer as taehyung remembers from the bonfire and he can’t bring himself to complain about it. he doesn’t know how long they spend there on the hardwood floor, pressed together, or how many solo cups jimin consumes, but at some point jimin turns his body and throws an arm around taehyung’s neck and things get dirtier from there.

the hand not busy playing with the back of the hair on his neck keeps wandering around taehyung’s body. it sneaks up his shirt, runs up and down his thigh, circles his fingers in taehyung’s belt loops while pressing open mouthed kisses to taehyung’s neck that soon turn into teeth against skin. “will y’take me home, taehyung?” he asks as he sticks his free hand in taehyung’s back pocket.

“depends… you gonna be able to tell me how to get to your house?” he teases, brushing their noses together when jimin nods.

taehyung all but has to throw jimin over his shoulder to get him to his car, because he keeps wanting to stop and kiss taehyung. it takes some work to get him seatbelted into the passenger seat of his own car, and even more to fish the keys from jimin’s pants pocket. eventually he gets the car into drive and lets jimin give him terrible directions to get back to his house. they get there, however, and jimin leans over the console to press a wet kiss to taehyung’s cheek when they park in the driveway.

“the little half’s mine,” jimin says after taehyung gets him out of the car. “blue topped key on the keyring.”

he looks up at jimin’s house at the mention that the little half is his. it’s a fairly nice house, painted white with navy blue accents, which he guesses makes sense since jimin’s parents are all about their boats, at least, that is what he has gathered from jimin. jutting off from the side of the house is a connected covered area and then what he assumes is some sort of in-law suite that jimin lives in. taehyung leads jimin up the drive and inside.

it’s almost amusing, watching drunk jimin give him a half assed tour of the place before ending off in his bedroom, plain and stark white, until jimin flops down on it and pouts up at taehyung. “i suppose this is going to be a rerun of bonfire night,” he says, playing with taehyung’s belt loops while batting his eyes at him with some sort of coy innocence that taehyung doesn’t believe for a second.

“i just don’t want you to do anything you don’t really want to do,” taehyung says, running his fingers through jimin’s hair.

“i really wanna do you,” jimin mumbles, full on pouting voice and taehyung laughs, patting at jimin’s puffed up and warm cheeks. taehyung sits next to him on the mattress, blush on his face from jimin’s statement. jimin turns his head to look at him, and taehyung can’t believe he is getting puppy dog eyes from him. “will you stay the night, at least?”

taehyung kicks off his shoes and nods his head, “well, you kind of drove me to that party and there is no way in hell i am walking home or stealing your car, so i guess i’m here for the night.” jimin beams at that and sends his own shoes flailing across the room with a cheer. he scoots up the mattress and watches as jimin wiggles himself out of his skin tight jeans, somehow staying upright though he is jumping and stumbling around. taehyung tries not to stare too much at the thighs now on display, and his will breaks as jimin pulls his shirt off from the back of the collar and tosses it somewhere before he joins taehyung on the bed once more.

“make yourself comfortable,” jimin tells him as he flattens his cheek against the pillow to stare at taehyung like he is expecting him to undress too. taehyung decides to leave his shirt on but he does take his jeans off before he covers his legs with the fluffy white comforter and settles against the pillow waiting for him. “goodnight taehyung. see you in the morning.”

he smiles as jimin haphazardly throws an arm around his midsection and tugs him a little closer, so that taehyung can fall asleep counting the eyelashes brushing against jimin’s cheeks.

it feels like he has hardly been asleep for an hour when the sun starts to filter through the blinds hanging up over jimin’s bedroom window. he smacks his lips absentmindedly and looks over to jimin who is still fast asleep, pillow lines evident against his cheek. as the sun brightens jimin blinks open his eyes and smiles lazily at taehyung, burrows closer to his chest and huffs a sleepy good morning into his neck. taehyung thinks he might actually doze off again when jimin nips the skin stretched taut over his collarbone. “can we play now?” jimin asks, his eyelashes fluttering against his warm skin. his hands have found their way underneath the cotton of taehyung’s shirt, thumbing at his nipples slowly. the action causes taehyung to let out a shaky breath, but nods his head yes all the same.

jimin’s eyes spark to life then, pleased with taehyung’s answer. he swings a leg over taehyung’s and pushes him onto his back without much hesitation, even though just moments before he had seemingly been half asleep. it doesn’t take much coaxing from jimin to get his shirt and underwear off, his hands and lips and fingers knowing just how to make taehyung’s body react in all the right ways. jimin teases and tugs until he has taehyung writhing on his crisp white bed sheets, begging for more and receiving just what he asks for. his thighs are shaking when jimin rolls his own condom on for himself after flopping onto his back, waggling his finger for taehyung to come to him. he rides jimin with the sole intent to please, until his thighs are straining and jimin takes over, an arm wrapped around his waist as he helps guide taehyung’s hips and thrusts up into him. when he comes he brings jimin with him soon after, and it’s humid in the room and it reeks of sex and their skin is sticky. it just makes it easier for jimin to talk taehyung into a shared shower, and then shared kisses over a shared breakfast, to shared cuddles on jimin’s couch while they binge watch bad english anime dubs and laugh all the same.

the first round of sex wakes taehyung up into what he has truly been missing, in terms of what he would only mentally describe, as jimin’s dick magic. after that first time it seems as though he can’t ever get enough of it. they wind up fucking on jimin’s couch before he drives him home and that night, after the whole house has gone to sleep, he calls jimin and gets off just on the sound of his voice.

dick lust can be a terrible, terrible thing.

it’s how they wind up defiling just about every edge of jimin’s miniature home. it’s how he finds himself in a dressing room, hands pressed against the mirror as jimin fucks into him from behind. it’s how he drops to his the knees in the bathroom of some random club and sucks jimin down like his life depends on it.

taehyung almost finds it amazing how they find time to do anything else, with as much time as they spend literally screwing around. but they build quite a nice relationship all the same, at least so taehyung thinks. he keeps telling himself it’s just the magic dick that has his heart in some sort of tizzy, and that he isn’t falling for his summer fling in any way. he definitely isn’t falling for him when jimin introduces him to his parents before they head out on a week long boat trip. he isn’t falling for him when jimin presses him up against the edge of the community pool and kisses him hard until the lifeguards catch them and blow their whistles at them. he isn’t falling for jimin, plain and simple.

the two of them kiss and fuck their way through june and the first of july in a blink of an eye. taehyung ignores the passage of time and jimin never mentions it.

jimin shows taehyung his favorite spot to watch the stars. he spreads blankets out for them out on the grass whenever they go to look at them, and they sometimes just watch in silence and sometimes they kiss underneath the moonlight. sometimes they talk about what they see in the sky, about their days if they weren’t together for most of it.

but this time, it feels different. a lot of their most recent hangouts together have felt different. it makes taehyung feel anxious, because he knows it is because his heart is getting far too involved with the beautiful brunet who likes the stars and peach flavored anything and boats and the ocean. he swears that he can feel the shift with jimin, too, that it isn’t just him having one sided feelings. he hasn’t said anything about it to taehyung, but taehyung feels a difference in the way that jimin touches him, in the way that jimin looks at him.

at this particular moment, jimin looks over at him, tearing his gaze away from the stars and taehyung swallows thickly. he wants to tell himself that he he is imagining the desire and admiration in his eyes, something burning there that doesn't belong in a summer hook up relationship. taehyung doesn't want it there because he doesn't want to fall in love, at least, not here at this point in time, all the while his heart is screaming that it is far too late.

"the fair is coming to town," he says with a smile decorated by a blade of grass stuck against his cheek. "saturday is the last day and they do a special fireworks show. if you time it just right and get on the ferris wheel you get to the top as they start letting them off and they stop the ride for the people at the top to get the best view."

he was sold the moment jimin's lips turned upward toward him, but that was besides the point. "will there be funnel cake?" taehyung asks, a serious look swept across his face and his brow, like it was the ultimate deciding factor, flicking the grass off of jimin’s cheek.

taehyung watches as jimin rolls his eyes and throws his hands up toward the skies, "of course there will be funnel cake there!" he exclaims his statement with such exasperation that taehyung can't help but laugh. "what kind of fair doesn't have funnel cake?"

"a really bad one," he answers jimin's question and reaches for one of his outstretched arms, circling his fingers around jimin's wrist and pulling it down to press a kiss against the warm skin there.

the humidity must sexually spark everything, or at least, that is what taehyung decides when he presses yet another kiss against the inside of jimin's wrist before his mouth moves up to his palm, to his fingers, nose nuzzling against the skin before he wraps his mouth around two of the digits jutting out from his palm. it isn't like he is trying to distract from the subject, pretty sure that even if jimin had not asked him about the fair ahead of time, he still would have dragged him along all the same.

jimin makes a huffing noise and it is almost like taehyung can hear his eyes rolling for the second time in in a matter of minutes. "so is that a yes?" he questions to hide the way his breath hitches when taehyung sucks his fingers back just a pinch deeper, presses his tongue between the two and flicks the tip against the juncture once, twice. their eyes meet, jimin's already darkening over as taehyung pulls off his fingers with a pop.

"i don't see why not," he says, watching jimin's face light up enough that it would put any explosive color bomb to shame. jimin waggles his spit slicked fingers toward him and taehyung snorts but rolls over to his knees and clambers himself on top of jimin all the same, his two knees on both sides of his hips. jimin bites his lower lip while he appreciates the new view and taehyung's cheeks heat up though he blames the weather.

they only stare into each other's eyes for a few beats in time before taehyung swoops down and kisses jimin full on the lips. he hopes no one were to decide to go on a late night stroll of the park, to see jimin and taehyung stretched out in the grass on top of each other, kissing each other as silly as they always did. at this point in their summer together, they had kissed each other so many times that one might think they would eventually grow tired of the act, but each time their lips would slide in sync or even slightly off tempo, it felt completely new, consumed taehyung entirely.

saturday comes quickly, as the time continues to pass as fast as it has been nearly the whole summer. taehyung meets jimin at the entrance to the fair at half past three, nearly chokes on his spit when he sees him standing there. he is wearing the same clothes he had been wearing the day taehyung and jimin had first met, at his aunt's bonfire, sleeves pushed to his elbows and taehyung can't believe someone as handsome as jimin honestly exists.

"hey," jimin greets him, pushes his sunglasses up the slope of his nose, and even though taehyung can't see his eyes, he can feel his stare trained on him. he pulls him into a hug like they had not seen each other the night prior, but he doesn't complain as he noses along jimin's neck and inhales the sharp scent of the cologne he has consistently worn since they have been having fun together.

once the hug ends, taehyung pulls back and doesn't even bat an eyelash when jimin winds their fingers together. he has always been touchy, since that first night, and while this is new, it isn't anything different, not really. or at least, that is what he tries to tell himself as jimin leads taehyung to the ticketing booth and pays for both of their wristbands while taehyung complains that he won't let him pay. eventually, jimin has had enough of it as they stand at the entrance and pulls his sunglasses down far enough to give taehyung a look that shuts him up as he obediently holds out his wrist for jimin to put the wristband on him.

they walk around aimlessly for awhile, admiring the little booths set up by the people from both this town and neighboring ones, looking at all sorts of knickknacks and interesting items. at one point, taehyung picks up a pair of gaudy feathered glasses, in vibrant shades of red and green, encrusted with silver sparkles and slips them on. meanwhile jimin is bent over a display of earrings, comparing three or four different pairs against each other. he stands there and waits for jimin to straighten up again, teeth sinking down against his lower lip to keep himself from laughing. eventually jimin picks a pair and pays the vendor and pockets the little bag before turning to taehyung and he shrieks upon first sight of him.

"jesus christ," he says once he has composed himself and taehyung is laughing uncontrollably, still adorning the festive glasses on his face. he continues on until the lady who owned the booth taehyung picked them from looks at him expectantly, and he slips them off his face and puts them back on the display he found them on. "i leave you alone for three minutes and you get yourself up to no good."

"please," taehyung counters, and they continue on their journey, the both of them ignoring the way their hands slide together wordlessly with ease. "i survived my whole life without you, until this point. i think i could still manage."

the octopus is the first ride taehyung begs to go on, even though it is probably the longest line in the fairgrounds at that point. his perfected puppy dog stare and pout wins jimin over anyway. they can do a lot of people watching from their spot and they make up stories for the strangers (and not so much strangers) that pass by. at one point, they spot jeongguk and seokjin together, jeongguk being toted around on seokjin's back and bopping him on the head with an inflatable bat to spur him to go faster. taehyung shakes his head and jimin laughs, making a comment on how he can't believe that two of the strangest people he has ever met somehow managed to find each other and make the other happy.

taehyung tries to not look longingly at jimin when he says that.

their turn finally arrives and they board one of the carts attached to the arm waiting for them on the ground. he has always been fond of the ride, and hopes they get a cart that spins well and hopes that jimin doesn't have motion sickness or is terrified of the ride and saw how excited taehyung was and was just too afraid to tell him and dampen his spirits. he knows that isn't jimin behavior in the slightest, but it was a possibility. they ride together, whooping and hollering as their cart sends them spinning most of the ride.

after they get off of the octopus, they ride a few different rides spread throughout the fairgrounds. there is an anti gravity ride that they both get on, this ride called the scrambler that sends jimin smashed against taehyung as they whip back and forth on the ground. it’s so much fun that it is almost exhausting, with the way it seems almost every ride seems to have the spinning aspect attached to it. jimin and taehyung make it through most of the rides together, but jimin stops when taehyung eyes a giant candy striped slide where people are going down in potato sacks.

"you go on ahead," jimin tells him with a bright smile. "i'll wait for you down here." he gestures to the exit of the potato sack slide with a smile.

taehyung looks at him one final time to make sure he doesn't want to tag along, before he starts to head up the stairs leading to the top of the multi colored slide. it takes a bit to get to the top, with the line of people ahead of him. once he gets there and settles into his burlap sack waiting on the mint green stripe of the slide he sees jimin standing at the end of his lane, waving at him excitedly. his heart flutters and he laughs as the person manning the slide blows the whistle to signal the start of the race.

he isn't even paying attention to if he is winning against a bunch of eight year olds, instead, watches as jimin crouches down and spreads his arms out wide as if he were going to catch taehyung. he can't help but to mimic the action as he heads down the final bump in the plastic slide. taehyung crashes into jimin's open arms and knocks him backward with a gentle "oomph." they're both laughing as jimin lands on his back, their noses brush. jimin is looking up at taehyung and taehyung's smile grows impossibly wider before jimin raises his head up from the ground to peck his lips.

"caught you," jimin tells him around a breath.

taehyung wants to know if jimin knows that he is truly falling.

he pushes himself up and helps jimin stand with an outstretched hand. after he puts the potato sack back up in the bin, jimin is waiting there again for him with a hand that takes his without a question. “how about that funnel cake now?” he asks taehyung, like he was about to deny the idea of the sugary sweet food.

“lead the way,” he says.

minutes later, jimin and taehyung are sat at a park bench with a giant funnel cake sat between them. it’s dusted with powdered sugar and vanilla ice soft serve and pineapple topping and will probably be the star of taehyung’s next few wet dreams. it looks like heaven and he is just staring at it until jimin nudges his shin with the tip of his shoe. “are you going to eat it or are you going to come in your shorts looking at it?” jimin asks.

“i just might do both,” he says as he digs into the fried dough and moans around the piece he shoves in his mouth. jimin rolls his eyes and laughs, but soon helps taehyung in the process of devouring the food with little complaint. it doesn’t take them long to eat the funnel cake between the two of them, ankles crossed together and silence between them, instead letting the sounds of the fair around provide its own soundtrack.

after they’ve finished and they throw away their trash, jimin turns to taehyung, thumbing some powdered sugar off the side of taehyung's face and sucks his thumb into his mouth. he is smiling something fierce, something taehyung would like to say he sees the most when they are interacting together. "i think we should get in line for the ferris wheel now. i'm feeling lucky about it."

"it's because i am your good luck charm," taehyung says and smiles at his own cheesiness. jimin shoves him with his shoulder, light and playful. he leads taehyung to the line by the fingers, and taehyung is quite surprised by the length of the line for one of the least exciting rides in the park. in fact, he was not even aware there were that many people in the town his aunt and uncle lived in, had decided people had to have traveled in for the fair or something.

they are in line for quite some time. jimin keeps rocking impatiently on his toes ever so often, plays with taehyung's fingers... they even find some time to take part in some in line smooching sessions. taehyung tries to keep the kisses from getting too heated, knowing jimin has no shame no matter the location or how many eyes were on them, and he knows he himself is always quick to be extremely responsive to jimin's touches. eventually he sticks with leaning into taehyung's chest with his back, taehyung's arms wrapped around him and crossed, tucked into the pockets of his shorts.

taehyung has never been more excited to get on a damn ferris wheel as he is once they finally make their way to the front of the line. he honestly hopes that jimin timed it just right (briefly wonders how many other people he has seen the summer fireworks with up at the very top but shoves the thought away) because he seems so keen on being the top cart. they shuffle into the cart together, locking ankles and fingers once they are sat side by side. the ride goes around once, twice, and when they stop up top on the third go around, he is sure they have gotten their timing wrong when he watches them load up the next people into the cart at the bottom and shut the gate. he watches the attendant try and flip the ride back on, but is unsuccessful. a few minutes later he calls over the little intercom that they are experiencing ride difficulties and are working to get them fixed as quickly as possible, but not to panic or worry.

jimin looks at him, seeming pleased with the result as he looks at the time on the lockscreen of his cellphone, "i think with this little roadblock, we will be at the top for the fireworks!" the way he exclaims his statement makes taehyung's heart melt a little bit more, like he had not spent the whole fair excursion a dripping puddle of goo because jimin. he looks over at jimin and catches him staring at taehyung with absolutely no shame anywhere on his face while he does so. his eyes are bright and when their stare connects, he watches as jimin looks down, at what he assumes is his lips. taehyung leans over and kisses him softly, just barely brushing their lips together once, twice, before jimin has scooted over until there is no space between their thighs, hands tangling in his hair and tilting his head to deepen their kisses and hold him there all the same so he couldn't escape, like he would have even thought about it.

just seconds after jimin lets him pull away to breathe, he hears the first pop of a firework going off, and both of their attentions are drawn to the lights exploding in the sky. taehyung watches for awhile himself, once again a small hand tangled up in the warmth of his palm, but soon finds himself looking at jimin. it's precious, the way he reacts as if he has never seen fireworks before a day in his life. taehyung decides his favorite thing to see is the way the colors reflect off the darkness of his eyes, like his eyes are a mirror for the night sky to use. eventually jimin catches on to his stare and he sticks his tongue out to taehyung and says, "why don't you take a picture, it'll last longer!"

"fine, i will!" he says, pulling his phone from his pocket and holding tight as he outstretches his arm. "say cheese," he tells jimin. he is still watching jimin when he takes the picture, knowing he has to look fond, with the way that jimin's cheeks were all puffed out from a wide, happy smile, fireworks lighting his face up beautifully against the dark.

taehyung knew, for sure, from that moment, that he was completely gone for the person sitting next to him in the ferris wheel cart. he knew his heart was in it completely, and once that happens, there was no chance of turning back and away from it. he wants to blame jimin for making it so easy to fall in love with him, but there is no one he can blame but himself for this.

they spend the rest of the fireworks lost against each other instead of lost in the colors and the lights, not that taehyung minds. it is so easy to disappear in jimin's mouth with his eyes closed, not sure whether up was down, left was right. jimin could stroke his fingers through his hair and keep him rooted in that spot for all eternity. they kiss until taehyung is sure his lips have to be chapped and the fireworks are over, the ride creaking back to life minutes later after that. taehyung's butt is admittedly stiff when they hobble off of the ride, but jimin drags him along anyway into the line for the fun house. he protests the whole time, admits that he hates fun houses, but jimin continuously pecks him quiet with kisses and nips on the lips, a hand tucked into taehyung's back pocket.

when they finally get inside and jimin gets them seemingly lost in a dark and extremely vacant part of the fun house, he pushes taehyung against a wall and kisses him stupid for the umpteenth time that night before he drops to his knees and takes taehyung's pants with him as he goes down. it isn't until jimin sucks him off within an inch of his life, coming in jimin's mouth, that he decides maybe fun houses aren't too terribly bad after all.

jimin leads them out of the maze of mirrors with ease, even though taehyung’s head is still not necessarily in the game. they run into seokjin and jeongguk soon after exiting and decide to group together for the last little duration of the fair. they stop and get another funnel cake (to taehyung’s enjoyment) and play games until jimin wins taehyung a stuffed bear that probably would have just been cheaper to buy a store with as much money as he spends playing the game. they laugh together as jeongguk wins seokjin a giant homer simpson plush on a first go at knocking over weighted milk gallons. taehyung thinks jeongguk paid to have the game rigged, jeongguk says it is just his strong arm from baseball, and it’s hilarious to watch jeongguk get flustered as seokjin dotes on him, pressing kisses into his cheeks as thanks and praising him for playing the game so well. they’re disgustingly cute, but enjoyable all the same. eventually they part ways and taehyung sends the bear jimin won for him home with seokjin, afraid he was going to leave it behind somewhere.

they’re having so much fun, taehyung hardly notices that just as the fair is starting to wind down, a set of storm clouds seem to be heading over the fairgrounds. jimin looks up at the same time he does, both of them staring at a sky that looked more than unforgiving. a low rumble of thunder shook around them before the bright white of the lightning lit up the night sky. just seconds after that, the rain comes.

it pours out in buckets, causing taehyung and jimin to both screech, along with the hundreds of other fair goers. taehyung goes to reach for jimin’s hand so they won’t be separated by the chaos of all of the people running toward their cars, being urged out of the area by the people working the fair, but his hand meets air.

“jimin?” he calls out, but receives no answer.

his stomach flip flops, even though he knows he has to be close by. it is just that taehyung had taken the bus to the other side of town and then walked the rest of the way to the grounds, jimin had driven and was supposed to drive him home. the bus didn’t run this late, and he was already soaked to the bone and surprisingly not electrocuted. “jimin!” he tries once more, but he hears no response that sounds familiar to the voice he is looking for. he decides the most he can do is head toward the parking area and find jimin’s car before he decides to leave. he could take his phone out of his pocket and try to call him but he is sure it wouldn’t survive all of this rain, he would be surprised if it still works after this.

he’s walking along, trying not to get shoved by the people in a mad dash to their cars, dodging flailing arms here and there. taehyung can’t see much in front of him except for the rain and the cars parked in the grass, but he is almost sure he can see jimin’s car. at least, he hopes it is his, and hopes that the person he is looking for is inside it. taehyung tries to hurry his pace, jumping as a particularly loud roll of thunder sneaks up on him. he is sure it is his imagination that he hears someone calling his own name as he continues to walk toward the car. he won’t know it is his until he gets close enough to see the license plate, mentally cursing jimin for driving such a basic ass vehicle.

as he nears close enough to see the first letter of the license plate through his wet eyelashes and blurry eyes, he hears his name shouted over a crack of thunder and turns. taehyung reacts, just quick enough, as he spins around and sees jimin barreling toward him. his heart flutters before he swallows it down, but still holds his arms out for the person he had been so desperately hoping had been alright. jimin jumps and taehyung catches him, even though the weight catches him slightly off guard and his butt hits the hood of jimin’s car. he opens his mouth to speak, but jimin is too fast for him, laughing a nervous but joyous sounding laugh, and kissing him on the lips. it’s wet, they’re wet, but taehyung kisses back just as eagerly, holding jimin close around the thighs that are wrapped around his waist.

it isn’t long before jimin has his back pushed against the car, kissing him soft and slow with a hand petting at his sopping hair. it is so sweet it almost makes taehyung feel sick, maybe in a good way, and maybe not. he stays lost in it again until another boom of thunder shakes the car underneath his back and the lightning is so close he can see its flash through his closed eyes. taehyung pulls away from jimin’s lips then, and the other blinks his eyes open at him. there is something floating there that taehyung would love to allow himself to misread, but he chooses to ignore it instead. “you’re going to get us electrocuted,” he says.

jimin laughs but climbs off of taehyung and pulls on his hand, “well then, in the back seat, c’mon with you.” he opens the door for him and practically pushes him down inside before he is shutting the door behind them. he crawls over him, thighs barely fitting between the seat and taehyung’s own but he makes it work all the same. jimin leans forward and cups his cheeks in his hands. “i thought i wasn’t ever going to find you in that mess,” he admits, neck swooping to peck taehyung on the lips.

“i think you would have found me eventually, i just can’t believe we got separated that fast,” he manages to mumble between the kisses jimin has started to press all over his face. he can feel himself sliding on the leather of the back seat of jimin’s car from the wetness of their clothes, but he is starting to warm up at least, from the attention his is receiving from jimin and the lack of airflow in the car. he’s sure the windows will fog before jimin is done with him.

“i was afraid you might have gotten hurt,” jimin admits, looking down at him as he balances himself with an arm on the headrest of the backseat. “before i decided to just head for the car i saw a girl get shoved and she tripped over one of the cords for one of the kiosks and she skinned her knees up pretty badly. but now that i know you’re safe…” he rocks his ass backward and against taehyung’s cock, which has slowly started to take interest in the fact that jimin was on top of it.

taehyung blushes under jimin’s admission and smiles into the next kiss that is placed against his lips. it matches the pace of the kiss jimin had initiated on the hood of his car and it causes a flame to ignite near his stomach, its flames licking at his gastric acid and causing his insides to catch fire. he knows he should try and put the fire out, knows he shouldn’t allow himself to love jimin the way his heart wants him to, but his internal protests continue to dull with each swipe of jimin’s tongue against his lower lip, every time the appendage slides against his own and across his teeth. jimin has started to continuously roll his ass up and down the hard line of taehyung’s clothed cock, soft, breathy moans shared between their kisses.

“in case you’ve forgotten, our clothes are completely soaked,” taehyung reminds him when jimin pulls away from taehyung’s mouth to solely focus on the movement of his hips against him. “as much as i enjoy the idea of us rubbing off together, you’re going to chafe my dick in these wet clothes.”

jimin halts his movements and raises an eyebrow before he laughs. “don’t worry, i think my mom has some of that monistat chafing gel at home. i’ll even rub it on your dick for you.”

“how romantic, chafing gel hand jobs,” is all that taehyung can think to respond with. he regrets it, wishes he had never opened his mouth.

jimin’s look falters, if only briefly. “it’s a good thing we’re not in this for the romance.”

he bites his lower lip as he looks down at jimin, a sinking feeling stuck deep inside of him. he knows this is just a simple summer fling, but he has gone and fallen in love… and occasionally jimin does or says things that make him think maybe he might be in a little deeper too. his mind plays back minutes prior to where they are now, when jimin had flung himself into taehyung's arms... maybe he was just reading into things too far. taehyung was brought back into the present time by jimin pinching his nipples over his shirt, their eyes meeting when he gasps out in respond. he doesn't want to think so, but god, does jimin look beautiful sitting on top of him, mischievous but soft eyes looking down at him. he has always been a little bit greedy, decides to swallow his feelings and lets himself get lost in the moment. he uses his hands to bring jimin back down to him, lips locking in another kiss. it's shorter than taehyung likes, but jimin's mouth has other plans, mouthing along his jaw, teeth latching onto his earlobe and pulling.

"i can't wait to get you back to mine," jimin hums in his ear, runs one of his hands up taehyung's shirt. he massages circles into the skin on his stomach, and he is practically purring at the attention. "i want to fuck you... nice and slow. have you whimpering and begging for me to go faster. i want you hovering on the edge, i want you under me for hours, until you just can't take it any more."

taehyung warms incredibly at jimin's words, finds a way in the awkward positioning of being shoved in the back of jimin's car to bring his hips up against the other's. "well then, what are you waiting for?" he asks. "we aren't getting anywhere like this."

jimin pushes his wet hair off of his forehead as he sits back up, a smile playing to his lips that made it clear he was up to no good. a particularly low rumble of thunder adds to the moment for emphasis to his statement, to the look on his face. "it's called foreplay, sweetheart."

he does nothing but watch as jimin re-situates himself on top of taehyung, his back to him. taehyung feels a small slap to his hip, urging him to lift up. he obeys, feeling relieved when his wet shorts and underwear are peeled down off his hips. it is obscene, the way jimin scoots himself up taehyung's body and bends down, glorious ass lifted almost right in front of his face as his front half is ducked down low, almost immediately taking him down deep into his mouth. it's filthy, in all matters, but jimin doesn't seem to think it matters, with the eagerness in which he proceeds to suck taehyung stupid. his breathing is shallow, fogging up all of the windows. he is thankful for the rain and the chaos, or else it would be extremely obvious what it was they were up to. he brings his hands to jimin, slipping his hands in between the fabric of his shorts, a tight fit between the material and the thickness of his thighs, but it is enough that he can still dig his fingers into the cool skin there as he feels jimin's tongue circle his tip before paying attention to the underneath.

just as he is starting to really get into it, feeling the tight heat coiling inside of him and the tremble of his thighs from the position and the feeling of jimin on him, the aforementioned is pulling off with a pop. taehyung whines and jimin giggles, pats at his thigh, and then struggles to pull his shorts back up as the wet material wants to cling at his skin. eventually he gets the material up high enough and rubs him gently through the material.

"jimin," he complains, all the while his eyes are rolling back in his head.

jimin is situated back around and facing him when he blinks his eyes back open, chubby fingers splayed across taehyung's cheeks, "i said it was going to be slow tonight, don't think you'll get to come that easy." he squeezes taehyung's cheeks in his hands until his mouth opens and he does something that almost catches taehyung off guard, but finds it alarmingly hot all the same. once he is pleased with the opening of taehyung's jaw he spits into his mouth from where his lips are hovering above his own and then forces his mouth to close with his grip. "now swallow," he urges taehyung, one of his thumbs trailing from the jut of his lower lip, down his chin, pressing lightly against his adam's apple when he obeys. "now, you're going to stay back here and i want you to touch yourself while i drive us home, but don't come," he says, like it is a suggestion but knows good and well taehyung is going to take him up on it, "if you do..." his hands trail down taehyung's chest, down his stomach, underneath his own hips so he can reach his cock underneath him. "let's just say it will be the last time for awhile. do you understand?"

taehyung bites his lip as he looks up at taehyung. he has done the action so many times over the course of the last few minutes that he is surprised he hasn't chewed a hole straight through. jimin looks so sexy like this, sitting on top of him, eyes dark and wild, with traces of a promise locked in the depths of brown. the eyeliner he had smudged at the corners of his eyes has melted down to his lower lash line from the rain, but it still gives him a smoldering look. "yes," he finally rasps, nodding his head, "i understand."

"good," jimin responds. he kisses taehyung's lips one more time before he is crawling over the console and into the driver's seat.

the car starts and taehyung spits into his hand before he slips it beneath his shorts. he sighs, breathy at the touch to his dick. it's not as good as jimin's hand or mouth, but he knows if he does what he is told, he will eventually get what he wants, one way or another. he rolls his shoulders and smiles to himself as an idea forms in his head. instead of propping his head up against the side of the car where it originally was, he moves so that his head is resting against the back of jimin's car seat. "feels nice, jimin," he says, lowly as he lets his hand work up and down himself. "i'm so hard right now, just thinking about how good you're going to fuck me later." he smiles to himself as he hears a catch in jimin's breath. he whimpers himself, a little bit over dramatic, but he couldn't help the fact that he just wanted to play along with the person in the driver's seat. "can't wait until your hands are on me again, you treat me so well." he moans on the upstroke and has to reel himself back just a little bit. even though his mind and overactive imagination are usually a good thing, the last thing he needs to do is accidentally push himself over the edge with the mental image of jimin fucking into him deeply.

it is funny how jimin said they were supposed to be taking things slow, when he can hardly remember them pulling up into the driveway of jimin's home. he is forever thankful that they have the privacy of jimin's own en suite, detached from his parents house, because it might have made the moment feel awkward more than anything else, with the way that jimin shoves him against the door the moment they're inside, wet clothes discarded in seconds and dropped against the tile of the entry way. he remembers the faint traces of jimin's lips against his neck, nipping against the warming skin as he tangles their fingers together and pulls him toward the bathroom. "c'mon baby," he urges him forward, pulling him along. "let's go take a shower and warm up."

he wants to protest, knows the last thing he needs is to warm up when jimin has made it known he has all of the intentions to take him completely apart, knows he will need another shower afterward. taehyung still follows, regardless, reveling in the fact that jimin lets him explore his skin while he adjusts the tap. it isn't much longer until jimin has him scrubbed clean and pressed against the shower wall, thighs spread as he tongues at his hole with practiced patience. they've spent enough time together this summer that he knows exactly what it is that causes taehyung to fall apart, whether it is slowly or all at once.

jimin makes good on his promise, taking him as close to the edge as he can get him before he stands, grabbing two handfuls of taehyung's ass and squeezing his cheeks together around his own cock, sliding against him once, twice, before turning the shower off. he turns to look at jimin with a cocked eyebrow and jimin just smiles sweetly up at him. they are barely towel dried off when jimin shoves him to the bed and grabs for the lube and a condom before crawling on top of him.

at some point, taehyung winds up with his eyes covered by one of jimin’s scarves, whimpering all the while jimin sucks bruise after bruise into shower warm skin while he slowly pushes two fingers in and out of taehyung, sometimes letting them completely slip out, teasing taehyung as his hole clenches at the loss. at one point he feels jimin's body weight leave his, but only shortly, focusing on the feeling of the mattress shifting underneath him and then a pressure pulling him up. he helps jimin help sit him up under the headboard only slightly, a jimin sized weight pressing on his sternum.

"keep your mouth open for me baby, tongue out," jimin encourages. when taehyung obliges him, he feels a warm heat slap against his tongue, immediately recognizing it as the head of jimin's cock. he moans, goes to suck on the tip when jimin chastises him with a click of his own tongue. once taehyung gets the memo he returns to his original position, letting jimin rub his cock against his tongue. it makes him gag but jimin coos, thumbing at his jaw and the edge of his mouth. this goes on and on until finally he retreats, lifting and releasing the pressure from taehyung's chest. "are you ready for me to fuck you?"

"yes, jimin, please," is his response, not even having to think about it. he knows it will still be awhile, but if jimin is ready, it brings him somewhat closer to coming. jimin removes his blindfold and he is still there, just smiling at him, looking... surprisingly soft in the moment, given all of its previous context. he ducks down and kisses taehyung, and it is so gentle it causes his insides to turn, with the way jimin holds his face in his hands, thumb rubbing a soothing circle into his right cheekbone.

god, does taehyung love him.

it starts out with taehyung on his hands and knees, face near the mattress as his spine curves, ass pressed outward and held open by jimin's hands as he fucks into him with a slow and even pace. it has taehyung moaning, every muscle of his being trembling under jimin's touch. at one point his hands leave his ass to hold his hips, pressing into the skin, before one hand is running down from his neck, all the way to his spine, brushing his thumb against taehyung's stretched hole as he still thrusts at a maddeningly slow pace.

"jimin," taehyung practically pleads, "please, please. please, fuck me faster."

jimin's response is to halt his thrusts inside of him, instead switching to circling his hips in a motion that is just as slow, but abuses his prostate in such a way that has his spine somehow curving deeper as he tries to somehow bring jimin even further inside him. "but baby, we're just getting started," he reminds taehyung.

at some point jimin pulls out of him and has him flipped over onto his back. until he met jimin, until they started their summer of fun, he would have never guessed himself to be this flexible... but there he is, on jimin's bed, presenting his hole to him with one leg pressed so far back his own thigh is near his ear, the other wrapped around jimin, heel digging into his back like he was trying to egg him on to go faster, harder, even though it isn't doing much of anything. he is unsure what time it even is, how long they have even been going for, when jimin finally leans down and whispers in his ear that it's okay for him to come. taehyung does not have to be told twice, spurts of white hitting his chest and speckling jimin's, the force of his orgasm after having waited so long is intense to the point he has to shut his eyes, but even then, his heart is still pounding in his chest and he isn't even sure that he can hear. jimin continues to fuck him through his orgasm, into over sensitivity, never breaking the gentle and slow pace he started him out with. it isn't until that taehyung finds the strength in him to say, "jimin, please, i--" that he comes inside the condom, deep inside taehyung.

taehyung stares at jimin as he pulls out, ties off the condom, and tosses it into the trash can. jimin sits up and he continues on looking, watches the muscles in jimin's back work. he wants to wrap a hand around his waist and pull him close. he knows that he is exhausted and worn out, and that jimin has to be in the same boat, but after their conversation earlier, about there not being any romance in their situation, no matter how slow and lovely jimin fucked him, he can't bring himself to ask jimin to come back to bed as he pushes off the mattress. he shuts his own eyes and wishes there weren't tears forming behind closed eyelashes.

he must have dozed off, but he comes to as the mattress dips some time later on. jimin is knelt over him, wash cloth in hand as he gently strokes over taehyung's stomach and his cock before wiping him down in between his thighs and down his hole as well. taehyung isn't sure why he does it, but he pretends to stay asleep as jimin works to get him clean, and then tosses the cloth to the floor with a wet smack against the hardwood. after he finishes, taehyung almost expects him to leave again, thinking they probably crossed some sort of line in the midst of all this and jimin was just now noticing it. instead jimin pulls the covers up around them and throws an arm around taehyung's waist, nuzzling his nose against the bare skin of his arm. taehyung listens as his breath drops off into an even, peaceful pattern, and lets himself be pulled closer toward the figure pulling him along in his sleep.

"oh, would you stop fussing over yourself," jimin tells him, patting him on the butt as he walks by taehyung who is adjusting his hair for the umpteenth time in the mirror across from jimin's closet. "there will hardly be anyone there for you to impress. it's all just a bunch of old white people who own boats." taehyung laughs at that, leans into jimin's touch when he wraps his arms around him and rests his chin on taehyung's shoulder. "depending on if the jung's are in town or not, you might get to meet hoseok and his boyfriend namjoon. they're around our age, pretty cool. they were practically the only reason i ever survived these parties as a kid. then they got older and started getting drunk off champagne and making out with each other and it got a little less fun."

taehyung laughs at that and twists so he can press his mouth to jimin's, who reciprocates the kiss briefly before he pulls away, "c'mon. my parents will gripe endlessly if we are late, even though they won't as much as breathe in our direction the whole night."

they file into jimin's car wordlessly, and sing along to the top hits on the radio as they drive off toward the clubhouse where the annual summer boating gala is held. it isn't too far up the coast, but far enough that taehyung knows he has never been there before. as they park and head toward the entrance, he can hear the chatter from inside leaking out of the windows that have been cracked open. taehyung knows they both look like absolute jackasses, khaki shorts and a button up he borrowed from his uncle, but something about dress code being enforced caused them to look the way they did.

as soon as they walk in, jimin grabs the two of them glasses of champagne by the stem and thrusts one in taehyung's hand, "i know you don't drink much, but you're going to need this." taehyung just laughs and nods his head, taking an obligatory sip from his glass. he watches as jimin makes a nodding gesture to his parents and he waves at the one other guy that taehyung recognizes in the room, having seen him down at the docks while he was often waiting on jimin to get off work. some time later he is introduced to hoseok, a tangerine dream, and a gangly noodle limbed blond who looks just as out of place as taehyung feels named namjoon.

he learns that hoseok's parents own one of the docks not too far off from where they are now, that he could care less about boats but his parents would croak if they ever found that out. namjoon had been the neighborhood best friend for many of years until they became more. he elbows hoseok in the ribs when he refers to him as the arm piece. namjoon is friendly, and always offers to go fetch them more drinks so they don't all lose their spots where they've crowded in the corner, away from the party.

taehyung has lost count of how many glasses he has had, but he knows his head feels fuzzy from all of the bubbles, and the way that namjoon's jokes keep getting more and more funny even though they're particularly dry in humor. eventually both namjoon and hoseok disappear into the crowd and jimin huffs in their direction, "they probably won't be back any time soon."

"we could play a disappearing act of our own," he suggests to jimin, looking at him with an eyebrow raised past his bangs. jimin doesn't even seem to contemplate it before he is up on his feet, tugging taehyung along with him toward the back of the clubhouse, past the bathroom and the little kitchenette before he tugs them into what looks like a janitorial closet of sorts. jimin hums and reaches around like he is looking at something before he finds it, tugging on a string and a single light bulb at least dims the area around him.

"i used to sneak back here and play pokemon when i was younger," jimin explains out of nowhere, almost like he had been reading jimin's mind. "they used to have more parties here, i even kept a pack of batteries in the back just in case."

he warms under the little piece of jimin's childhood that he chose to share. "and now you're sneaking off here to get your dick sucked," taehyung chides as he pushes jimin gently against the door and sinks to his knees, pops the button of his shorts and rolls his eyes when he finds that jimin has chosen to go commando under his shorts.

jimin sticks his tongue out at him in response. "hey, i never said that was my plan when we came in here, you took that all upon yours-- jesus, taehyung." his head hits the wood behind him as taehyung takes him into his mouth, his tip hitting the back of his throat with a now well practiced ease. he takes jimin's hands and places them on top of his head, leaning into the touch as he runs his fingers through the hair on taehyung's head before tugging slightly, thrusting forward into taehyung's mouth at an even pace. "your mouth feels so good, baby. taking me so well," he whispers and taehyung hums in contentment. he lets jimin have his way with him until jimin is tugging him off and up by the hair until he is on his feet and kissing him. jimin has his shorts and boxers down to his ankles in no time, taking both of their dicks in his hands and jerking them off in sync, using taehyung's saliva and their pre-come as lubricant. "fuck, you're so good, tae. so good."

it's not long before jimin is coming, letting out his little breathy, quiet moans right next to taehyung's ear. he uses his spunk to further assist the slide of his hand on taehyung and it's absolutely filthy, but it has taehyung coming embarrassingly fast a few strokes later. he brings his hand up to taehyung's mouth, the two of them panting as they actively had to try and keep each other quiet. jimin doesn't have to ask, only has to look deep into taehyung's eyes before he is wrapping a hand around jimin's wrist and licking at the come on his hand. "don't swallow, baby," he tells him and taehyung blinks, but listens all the same as jimin shakes his hand free of taehyung's grasp and brings his hand down, scooping as much of their come he can get onto his fingers and shoves them into taehyung's open mouth where he sucks, nearly swallowing on accident when jimin kisses him then, swirling his tongue in taehyung's mouth, now a mix of their come and saliva as they kiss messily. there is spit and probably come dripping from the side of his mouth and running down his chin, but jimin doesn't stop kissing him.

eventually they break apart and jimin manages to find them a roll of paper towels in the dim light and they clean up before pulling up their pants. jimin reaches his thumb up to the corner of taehyung's mouth and wipes away the drool at the corner before he rubs it on the paper towel. "you just get incredibly more hot with each waking second," jimin confesses, and taehyung wonders if he is aware that he did it, but still glows under the praise. "now let's get out there and drink some more champagne."

the party is winding down and taehyung knows that both he and jimin are particularly sloshed, giggling at youtube videos. namjoon and hoseok emerge from the crowd again at one point and stare pointedly at them, cheeks blushed from alcohol and each other, before offering to let them crash in their spare bedroom. jimin is terrible at holding his liquor and taehyung isn't much better, though he has had less jimin, they still agree, squeezing into the back of namjoon's car. the whole time taehyung is practically holding an extremely drunk jimin in his arms as he whispers filthy, horrible, can't believe he is saying those sort of things where his friends could potentially hear, things in his ear. taehyung wants to be embarrassed that he is hard in his shorts, but can't seem to let the feeling take over completely, as he is straining against his underwear when they arrive at namjoon and hoseok's place.

hoseok shows them the guest bedroom and tells them not to defile the bed, though jimin most definitely slurs into taehyung's ear that he has every intention to. as soon as the door closes behind him, jimin's pulling their clothes off and pinning taehyung to the mattress. they're rutting against each other, kissing until jimin is giggling in his ear, which is off putting to taehyung.

"what's so funny?" he finally asks.

jimin looks down at their crotches, almost wants to ask taehyung how he hasn't noticed, before he giggles again and whispers, "taehyung, i can't get my dick up." jimin is giggling again and taehyung can't help but laugh too, wanting to feel sympathy for jimin's case of whiskey dick, but finding the situation much too funny.

"that's nice and all, jimin, but just as a reminder, my dick is hard and fully functional right now," he has to tell jimin, bringing focus back to his own dick, wet against his stomach. jimin pats his thigh before he gets up and heads for his shorts, retrieving the little travel size bottle of lube from his pocket. "jimin, you dog," he chastises as jimin crawls back onto the mattress in his friends’ guest bedroom.

"i'll get you off with my fingers, baby. i'm sorry," he says, placing a wet kiss to the inside of taehyung's thigh as he spreads his legs, blowing a raspberry against his skin. and for the first time since they've met, jimin proves himself to not be as graceful as he normally is. his thrusts are sloppy as he kisses taehyung's neck. at one point they even slip out and jimin tries fingering his butt cheek instead of his hole.

taehyung grumbles as he wraps his thigh around jimin and shoves, trying to roll them over so that he is on top. however, he isn't aware of how close they are to the edge of the bed, and rolls them completely off, jimin's bare back slapping against the floor. "oh my god, i'm so sorry," taehyung say, but jimin is laughing and soon so is taehyung. but it does not change the fact that he is still desperately and frustratingly hard, and wants to come so badly he might just have to jerk off over jimin's chest and lick it off of him, when he gets another idea. he reaches up on the bed and finds the bottle of lube with more ease than the rest of this late night rendezvous has had.

jimin looks up at him curiously, but he flicks open the cap and coats his dick before he drips lube down on jimin's leg, right from where his thigh meets his pelvis, and leans forward, rutting against jimin's thigh, keening at the feeling. "that better, baby?" he asks taehyung and taehyung whimpers as a response, continuing to rub off against jimin.

"yes, much better," he winds up responding, biting down on jimin's shoulder and getting lost in the feeling of skin sliding against skin. "i'm embarrassingly close right now," he admits.

"you're embarrassed that you're going to come soon, meanwhile i can't even get hard," jimin says as if what taehyung said was the most incredible thing. "but you can come whenever you want baby, just let go."

he coaxes taehyung's orgasm out of him with gentle words of encouragement, holding his sticky body close when he does eventually come. he pets at his hair as taehyung comes down, and in turn taehyung sucks a hickey into jimin's neck. "c'mon, let's get up in bed... just remind me in the morning that i need to make sure i didn't get any come on your friends' floor."

taehyung crawls up from the covers he is surrounded by and walks his lips up jimin's torso before swatting his hand against his cheek and flopping down on his back next to him. the humidity is already high outside, he can tell from the stickiness in the room caused by more than just the mutual morning blow jobs the two have shared. they stay silent as jimin catches his breath, ruffles his hand through his hair. the sunlight peeking through his curtains reflects off the rings on his fingers he forgot to take off before they went to sleep the night before and blinds taehyung with a yelp. jimin laughs as any hopes for a quiet morning are rinsed away with the sound of their laughter.

"anything you wanna do today, tae? i have the day off..." he asks, voice trailing off as he stretches his body out, arms going up and legs going out.

taehyung hums as a response. nothing really comes to mind, though he racks his mind to come up with any sort of idea he may have. they have an extra day to spend together this week, and while he feels like they should have some sort of adventure to run off and explore, nothing comes to a head. "well, i don't know about you, but i would be up for a day in bed," he eventually suggests.

jimin makes a noncommittal grunt as he rolls over onto his stomach, resting his chin on taehyung's tanned chest and digging the jutting bone in. "i kind of think i want to get a tattoo," he says. "did'ya wanna go with me?"

taehyung's first answer is a snorting laugh. "you know, most people plan out tattoos and think about it for awhile and try to find a reputable artist before deciding on something like that."

the first thing that jimin does is roll his eyes at taehyung. "that takes half the fun out of it, taehyung," he says, voice laced with a tone that sounds like his idea is the most reasonable thing in the whole world. "plus, that's what yelp and you are for," he giggles then and rolls off taehyung to grab their phones off his bedside table and tossing taehyung's onto his bare chest with a slap. "so get searching."

the two of them spend the next three hours searching and pouring over just about every yelp review of every tattoo artist within a two hour distance of the small town they were in. it takes some time to find a decent one that also takes in walk ins, but they (jimin) finally chooses one two hours away. they file into jimin's car and they are off once taehyung pushes the address into the gps jimin has mounted on the windshield. the whole car ride is filled with incessant chatter and singing along to the songs on the top forty radio station that taehyung has realized jimin is obsessed with... but most importantly, nearly the whole ride is spent with jimin's hand either holding his on the middle of the console between them or resting on taehyung's thigh, playing with his fingers. it is completely distracting, to the point that taehyung finds it nearly impossible that they have already made the trip when they pull up in front of the tattoo parlor in what feels like has only been thirty minutes. the time on the dash lets him know it has been two hours.

jimin throws the car in park and they both look to the front of the parlor and laugh. the yelp reviews definitely had not lied when they said that the front appearance of the parlor leaves much to be desired. they can only hope the rest of the reviews were correct as well, when they said that while the outside looked like a tragedy, the artists on the inside were some of the best around. "well, here goes nothing," jimin says to taehyung, but it sounds like he is saying it more to himself.

"we can turn around and go back if you've changed your mind," taehyung assures him. "i wouldn't be mad." he finds the words, any time spent with you is time well spent, thick on his tongue, but he holds it back. jimin shakes his head no and they exit the car, the summer heat seeming worse from being inside the cool air conditioned car for a prolonged period of time.

taehyung is the one who pulls the door open for jimin and goes in first. he is familiar with the artist playing through the speakers, and he squeezes jimin's hip. for someone who had been so keen on getting a tattoo earlier that morning, his mind has seemingly changed quite quickly. they have hardly waited at all at the front desk when someone around jimin's size pushes through the beaded curtain. despite the summer weather, he is dressed in all black, jeans and a sweater and a beanie, and taehyung briefly questions his sanity. he breaks out into a gummy smile and immediately talks to the two of them, "hey. i'm yoongi. what can i do for you guys today?"

yoongi eyes taehyung with some sort of intent that jimin seems to catch more than he himself, because suddenly his chest has puffed slightly and he steps forward and announces, "i was wanting to get a tattoo," like he had not just been thinking about changing his mind. yoongi's smile doesn't falter, though he does raise an eyebrow semi questioningly, in which taehyung has no other response to other than to shrug his shoulders.

"awesome!" yoongi says, sounding genuinely content. "the shop has been a little slow this afternoon and i don't have an appointment until much later this evening. did you have something in mind?"

jimin blanches at this, almost like he forgot like he was going to have to say what he wanted permanently inked on his body. he looks to taehyung and back to yoongi and then says, "um. i kind of was thinking like... a blue morpho butterfly? on my shoulder," he says through wincing eyes, like they were going to judge him for his response. "i kind of like those sort of three dimensional looking butterfly tattoos, if you know what i mean."

the man in black nods his head, face clearly showing that he was thinking things over. "yeah, i know what you're talking about." there is no sign of judgment in his voice which causes jimin to relax a little. "i will get you some paperwork to fill out while i work on drawing up a stencil. is this your first tattoo?" jimin shakes his head up and down and yoongi chuckles. "i could kind of tell. have you eaten anything?"

"no," he answers truthfully while taehyung is flipping through an art portfolio opened up on one of the counters. "i was too nervous to."

yoongi sighs at jimin and shakes his head, "you two go across the street and get lunch and come back, i'll have everything ready by then. you need some food in you. i recommend the pancakes at any time of the day, and if you get a waitress named mindy and tell her you really like whatever eccentric shoes she is wearing that day, she will slip you a free short stack." the way he smiles around his words leads taehyung to believe that yoongi has taken advantage of that same deal many times before.

the two of them listen and nod, leaving the shop together hand in hand. they cross the street with ease and push their way into the diner that seems to be just as empty as the tattoo parlor. the only bodies in the restaurant that they could see before they entered was a woman rolling silverware behind the counter and a guy behind the window, whistling along as he did something with his hands that they could not see.

“hello boys,” the waitress greets them with a smile, stopping what she is doing to meet them at the hostess table. “just the two of us, today?” she asks.

they nod their heads yes, and as she walks away from the hostess station taehyung can't help but look down to see what shoes she has on, despite not getting a good look at her name tag. they're chunky heels, cut in some weird sort of zig zagged triangular pattern and are bright orange and purple, looking like something out of the future and not matching with her uniform at all. “i’m mindy and i’ll be your waitress today. can i get you guys started with something to drink?”

“chocolate milk, if you have it?” jimin asks and mindy nods her head yes, turning to taehyung.

taehyung smiles up at mindy and says, “water please? and i love your shoes… where'd you get them? my sister would love them.”

mindy blushes wildly at the comment and discloses some website he has never even heard of, thankful he doesn't actually have a sister. jimin nudges his shin with the tip of his shoe and once she walks away he asks, “playing footsy with me, jimin? what is this, 2008?”

“i can’t believe you would take advantage of her like that!” jimin whisper-exclaims, looking like this is the most scandalous thing jimin has seen him done in the month and a half he has known him.

“look,” he explains himself. “i figured we would just take yoongi the pancakes. might lower the chances of him tattooing a dick on your back.”

jimin rolls his eyes at him, “that's the reason you're here with me! friends don't let let tattoo artists tattoo dicks on their friends’ backs. unless they're drunk, and we aren't.”

“friends? is that all we are?” he teases.

“well, i figured you'd rather me call you that than a summer fuck buddy out loud and in public,” jimin replies, seconds before mindy comes back and sits their drinks down in front of them.

taehyung no longer feels like eating.

“i can see you boys haven't even opened your menus yet, so just flag me down when you're ready to order, alright?” the waitress tells them and goes back to folding silverware.

jimin switches their drinks around before he opens his menu, and taehyung doesn't protest as he takes a sip of the chocolate milk. his stomach feels sour and he hopes the sweetness will cancel it out. it doesn't. he flips through his own menu, though nothing sounds good, except for maybe leaving and going back to his aunt’s house and cutting himself off from jimin for the rest of the summer, if only to save a little bit of his dignity. but of course, jimin drove them out here and they are two hours away, so he decides on something simple and waits for jimin to decide on something as he closes his own menu. eventually jimin flags the waitress down and orders himself some sort of chicken biscuit platter deal, whilst taehyung himself just orders a side of eggs, over medium, and a short stack of pancakes.

they're quiet before jimin clears his throat, causing taehyung to look up from his chocolate milk. jimin is looking at him with such a gentle, caring expression that makes taehyung want to yell at him to just stop, already. “you okay?” jimin asks. “you didn't order much food. are you not feeling well?”

“i’m fine,” he lies. “figured i would share with you.”

the wait between ordering their food and actually receiving it is not long, and taehyung pours tabasco over his eggs. he finishes them off quickly and jimin is shoving some of his own food onto taehyung’s plate. he first protests, but eats it anyway. the waitress stops by and refills their drinks at one point and brings them a box for taehyung’s pancakes when they ask nicely. jimin pays and taehyung has learned to not even bother fighting it anymore because he always loses that battle. they leave the restaurant with yoongi’s pancake box in hand, but things have still been a little awkward since taehyung made it that way.

"dude, what's up?" jimin finally asks once they are back outside.

taehyung swallows and raises an eyebrow up in fake confusion. "what are you talking about?" he says, trying to seem convincing. it was a major slip up in the diner and he is trying to think of ways to distract from it, but it seems like jimin is having none of it because he has stopped walking and is staring pointedly at taehyung like he can see right through him. there is no way that he can just tell jimin that he was feeling a little down and out because he had just stated the truth. at the end of the day, no matter what taehyung's heart felt, they were nothing more than summer fuck buddies. he chooses to change the topic instead. "so, how did you manage to find the one korean tattoo artist in maine?"

jimin laughs, but he is still eyeing taehyung suspiciously. "yeah, that is quite the coincidence. well, you know what they say... birds of a feather flock together and all that." they cross the street together, hand in hand, and push back into the cool air of the still empty tattoo shop.

yoongi comes back from whatever room he had been in the first time they met, smile still on his face. "welcome back," he says, sliding a clipboard onto the front desk toward jimin. "i'll need you to read through this here and fill out the highlighted information, and i will need to see your i.d. and... here's what i came up with while you were gone."

he thinks it is funny how yoongi almost shyly slides the piece of paper against the glass to the both of them, like his artwork was something to be shy over. the butterfly is nicely done, bright blues popping off the page and the shading done just right to make it look as if it were about to flutter right off the page. jimin nods his head and says, "it's beautiful, thank you so much." he fishes out his driver's license before he starts filling out the information highlighted on the sheet and signs here and there.

"it's kind of hard to show proper shading on the stencil, and of course you can't add the color so i just wanted to make sure that looked okay." he is blushing and taehyung thinks it is kind of funny, seeing a man dressed in head to toe black and decorated with a multitude of tattoos that they can see now that his sleeves are pushed up being so bashful.

taehyung sits the styrofoam box on the counter and points to it, and says "we brought you back some pancakes!" it's fun to watch yoongi's face light up with more smiles as he picks up the box.

"really?" he pops open the top like he thought taehyung might have been lying to him. "thank you!" yoongi takes the completed paperwork from jimin and makes a photocopy of his driver's license before handing it back to him. "okay, jimin. if you're ready, i am. you're more than welcome to come back..."

"taehyung," jimin answers for him, reaching for his hand to tug him along.

they head into the back of the shop and into one of the rooms that branch off of it. "go ahead and take your shirt off and sit with your chest facing the back of the chair. from there i'll shave you up and sanitize everything and then put the stencil down and you can see if you like the placement. and if so, then we can get started. i'll be right back."

in the time yoongi is gone, taehyung circles the room, looking at more of what he again, assumes, are yoongi's drawings. there are flowers and faces and all sorts of neat little designs. he gets to a wall of many polaroids hanging up, and he almost feels invasive looking at them, but he guesses if yoongi didn't want people to see them he wouldn't have them out in the open. there are pictures of a cat with a bit of a snaggletooth, sunsets and landscapes and people who yoongi seems to be looking fondly at. a picture in particular makes him do a double take and he looks closer, because he recognizes a face and blinks. there's a picture, hanging up in yoongi's tattoo room, of jeongguk and the tattoo artist, cheek to cheek. jeongguk looks maybe a few years younger, but it's interesting nonetheless, and he goes to tell jimin about it when yoongi comes back into the room.

taehyung seats himself on one of the little stools closest to the tattoo chair and to jimin and smiles at him encouragingly as he does what yoongi instructs. minutes later jimin is looking in a mirror from a mirror to see the placement of the tattoo stencil on his skin. he smiles when he sees the lines there and agrees that the place is perfect and settles back into the chair that yoongi manipulates so it is in a good place.

"i'll let you in on a little secret," yoongi tells him. "i cried the first ten minutes when i got my first tattoo. i had been trying so hard to seem like a tough ass for my boyfriend at the time, so i had to impress him. but i totally wussed out and he made fun of me for weeks after. he even brought tissues around the next time i went and got one. but honestly... i'm a little bit of a wuss. it kind of feels like a cat scratch on a sunburn, and a lot of people become numb to it after awhile. i don't think this tattoo will take too terribly long, either, but if it gets to a point where you start feeling faint or you absolutely need to stop and take a break, just let me know, okay? no judgment here."

jimin nods and yoongi does a little bit of a test vibration of the tool against jimin's skin so he gets a feel of it, and he lets yoongi know he is ready. taehyung thinks jimin is doing well, doesn't see a flinch in his eye the whole time, but he still holds onto his hand nonetheless. at some point jimin does become sort of numb to the experience and his grip loosens just a little, but he still holds on. yoongi chats with them about small random things, about tattoos and piercings and how many yoongi has and backstory to his little shop that he has had for the past few years.

before they know it, yoongi is patting at the shoulder opposite of his tattoo. "all done," he tells him, handing him the mirror he had used earlier to help him see his shoulder.

"how does it look?" is the first thing jimin asks taehyung, before he even looks himself.

taehyung takes a peek and frowns, and says, "oh no..." he watches the look on jimin's face falter and somehow he manages to keep going with a straight face. "yoongi, i think the pube hair on the right is a little shorter than the one on the left. and the balls are totally uneven."

yoongi sucks his lips back into his mouth to bite back his laughter as he sees jimin go red in the face and slugs taehyung on the shoulder. taehyung catches his hand as soon as it collides and smiles at him. "it's beautiful, jimin, honestly. look for yourself."

jimin places himself at the mirror with the other mirror in hand so he can see and he smiles almost immediately. “thank you, yoongi, it truly is amazing. i really appreciate it.”

the tattoo artist practically glimmers under the praise, his cheeks pink. he takes the mirror from jimin and has him sit back down so he can get him wrapped up and goes over the care guidelines he should follow. jimin pays for his tattoo with a happy little smile stretched across his face and pockets yoongi’s card with another thank you.

jimin drives them back to his place, and at first taehyung feels like he has done something wrong because not much is said between the two of them for the first half of their drive back. at the halfway point they stop and get gas and jimin gets them a cherry icee to share. after their stop, things go back to what has been seemingly normal, with jimin’s hand either on taehyung’s thigh or pressed against his own with their fingers woven together.

he just wishes that jimin would act a consistent way around him.

“taehyung,” jimin says.

they're stretched out in their favorite field on top of the soft blankets jimin always seems to have waiting for them in the back of the car. the stars aren't all that visible for once, covered by a blanket of grey clouds. taehyung rolls to his side to look and see what jimin needs. his face is lit up by the little sliver of the moon peeking out from the clouds and he looks so beautiful. he always does, but there is just something particular in his eyes that night that makes his face really come to life. taehyung’s stomach turns, as he isn't exactly sure what it is that jimin is going to say to him. “yes?” he finally answers.

jimin brings their noses together and huffs against their skin, tangling their legs together. they’re practically going cross-eyed looking at each other and it makes jimin giggle. “i just… wish summer wasn’t over, is all.”

taehyung’s heart throbs at jimin’s admission. he wishes so, too. he knows that all jimin has to do is ask him to stay and he will say that he will without a second thought. it doesn’t come, and he swallows the saliva that has started to pool in his mouth from the nervous feeling. “yeah, hard to believe that i’ll be heading back to california in just a few more days,” he manages to speak, leaning into the warm palm that jimin presses against his cheek.

“i have finally talked my mom and dad into letting me borrow one of their boats so i can take you out on one,” jimin says, and he looks so impossibly soft there in taehyung’s hold. “they’re gonna let me use it the day before you have to go back.”

it takes every ounce of muscle strength in his face to smile at jimin’s words. he knows he has been trying to get taehyung out on one of the boats for weeks now, but he wishes it had not come at such a poor time. “that’s great! i can’t wait,” he says, hopes jimin can’t decipher his fake enthusiasm. “and perfect timing, too.”

“yeah,” jimin says. he doesn’t sound like he agrees. taehyung decides it is his sleepy brain, reading too far into yet another moment they are sharing. it’s just so hard not to, with the way that jimin lets his eyes close gently and kisses taehyung like this one might be one of their last. taehyung can’t help but try to completely memorize the feeling of jimin sucking the fullness of his own bottom lip between his own, knowing that here in just a few days jimin will be nothing but that… memories.

that night, jimin seems particularly sweet on him as he takes him apart on his bed, kissing down his shower cleaned skin before fucking him into the mattress. it makes falling to sleep even more difficult, especially with the way that jimin decides to switch up their sleeping positions for the first time. it takes hours for taehyung to doze off, with the way that jimin’s strawberry scented hair is practically pressed against his nostrils, tries not to be startled at the way that jimin presses himself against taehyung, back to chest, and hauls taehyung’s arm around his midsection and tangles their legs together like they had been when they were out in the field. jimin’s hands hold onto taehyung’s arm even after his breath falls off into even puffs, like he did not intend on ever letting go.

“i love you,” taehyung whispers off into the nothingness, words getting lost in the darkness of the night and jimin’s soft snores. “i love you so much and i can’t stand myself for it.”

he does eventually sleep, even with jimin in his arms and his legs and his nose and in every nook and cranny of his being, few and far between. even though it hurts, it has been nothing but an honor to have succumbed to the magic and brilliance that was the man in his arms.

it is bittersweet because taehyung knows this is the last time he will probably see jimin. he has honestly had such an amazing summer because of him and the time they shared. and just like that, it is suddenly all over. he knows he has no one to blame but himself for how he feels. He knew going into this that this was just meant to be summer fun, no strings attached, and he let himself get burned.

it is hard to make his smile reach his eyes when jimin slips his fingers into the spaces between his own as they step up onto the deck of one of jimin’s parents’ boats. he knows jimin loves boats and is excited to take him out on it finally, and just in time nonetheless, but it is just hard to match his enthusiasm… though their eyes meet once both of their feet are against the paneling and jimin doesn't look all that thrilled to be there either. he supposes it should make him feel better, but it only makes him feel worse.

jimin settles taehyung in the seat next to him and starts the engine and they’re off. the wind is whipping through their hair and honestly, if it were under different circumstances, taehyung might have found it absolutely thrilling. he can feel the whooping stuck in the back of his throat but it stays anchored down with the way that jimin keeps his left hand on the steering wheel and the right has a firm hold on taehyung's, draped on his knee.

they go on and on until there is nothing around them but the blue water and the clouds in the sky. jimin cuts the engine and drops the anchor some time later and he turns to taehyung. “it isn't quite as exciting as their real boat, but they don’t trust me with it. i swear they love that thing more than me. but i finally bothered them enough for the pontoon.”

“i think it is great,” he says, and honestly, he wouldn't have cared if it had been a two seater paddle boat as long as it had been with jimin. that makes jimin beam and taehyung isn't sure which is brighter, his smile or the sun beating down overhead.
jimin settles a blanket down over the deck and pats the spot next to him for taehyung to join him. they both stretch out over the blanket and stare up at the sky above. taehyung wonders if he can freeze time like this... he truly wouldn't mind. he wonders if he were to ask jimin to pull the anchor and drive the pontoon boat out until they found their own little mini island or at least ran out of gas, what his response would be. if maybe he too wanted to stay together forever.

there is no conversation between the two for quite some time, just the sound of the water occasionally splashing against the sides of the boat, their breathing, and silence. in some sort of sense, this is a perfect last day together.

some time later jimin sits them up and serves them the lunch he had prepared. he claims he slaved over it for hours so taehyung better appreciate it, and taehyung has to bite back his own laughter when jimin hands him a plastic baggie with a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich (his heart sinks lower in his stomach because jimin remembered he hated grape jelly). it's the best sandwich he has ever had, but he is probably a little biased. there are also little bags of chips and jimin made a fruit salad, which taehyung supposes took the most time as the fruit is cut out in fun shapes like stars and moons, hearts and smiley faces.

taehyung is sipping on his capri sun when he catches jimin staring at him, look faltering once he has been caught. it feels like his heart is catching every time it beats, and part of him feels ill in a sense that he knows is definitely not seasickness.

after they have finished eating they're stretched back out on the blankets, with the songs playing from the random playlist jimin made up on spotify playing in the background. the gentle rock of the boat and the soothing sounds, along with the warmth of the sun ease taehyung off to sleep, even though the last thing he wanted to do was spend his last hours with jimin without him.

he wakes shortly after dozing off and turns and rolls onto his side, jumping slightly when jimin has already done the same, had been doing the same. he exhales shakily, taking in the thickness of jimin's gaze, coated in lust and something else that taehyung's inner monologue kept chanting over and over again was not love. jimin's cheeks are pink from the warmth and from taehyung. jimin's hand reaches for taehyung's and tugs his body closer. honestly, it is too warm to be this close, but to be close to jimin is all he desires. their eyes meet, noses brushing. jimin looks down, presumably to his lips, and taehyung goes to do the same but winds up cross eyed because at the same time jimin is surging forward and kissing him with a ferocity that he is not quite used to, an emotion not shown even in their other fits of passion.

it only takes minutes before he is discontent with the positioning and rolls taehyung to his back and climbs on top of him, his thighs bracketing one of taehyung's, a knee placed dangerously close to his crotch. jimin is looking down at him, looking so beautiful it hurts. his head is placed in the perfect position to block the sun and just so that the rays are poking out behind his head in a way that makes him look like the literal sun. he's smiling at taeyhung and his insides are melting into liquid goo, when he leans forward and rubs a thumb gently under taehyung's eye, up his cheekbone and resting near the top of his ear as he places another kiss against his lips.

it takes nearly no time at all for taehyung to get hard, the way jimin keeps kissing him so deeply and whimpering into his mouth, running his fingers underneath taehyung's white t-shirt, tracing patterns along his heated skin, grinding down against taehyung's thigh, gently rubbing his knee up and down his length. jimin is in the same boat (and he mentally chastises himself, as this is no time for seokjin worthy jokes), and taehyung wishes this wasn't all happening so fast... because the sooner it is over, the sooner this ends.

jimin removes both of their shirts without haste, leans forward and spends countless minutes sucking a bruise into his neck, marking him as his own one final time. taehyung has his hands focusing on the small dipping curve of jimin's back as they rub off against each other, before sliding up, up, up against the sweat slick skin. his fingertips gently dance against the still freshly inked skin of jimin's blue butterfly, back down his spine and to the edge of jimin's shorts.

taehyung has just finished with his seemingly favorite spot on taehyung's neck and sucks on his earlobe deftly when taehyung slips his hands underneath the elastic band of jimin's shorts and cupping his ass over his boxers with both hands, pushing him down to grind against his thigh harder. jimin keens quietly straight into taehyung's ear, as he reminds taehyung just how badly he wants him.

"someone up in an airplane might get quite the show," taehyung jokes, just as jimin is popping the button of his shorts and shimmying them down his hips and lifting up to kick his own off once taehyung has begrudgingly removed his hands from his ass. he leaves taehyung, if only briefly, to go to the bag he had packed their lunch in, and comes back with lube and condom in hand.

once he is closer to taehyung again, revealing the goods he brings back, taehyung makes a mock scandalized noise, clutching at the pearls on his neck that did not exist. "why, if i didn't say so myself, i would say you had brought me out here just to fuck me." the words have a teasing lilt, but they still sound crude rolling off his lips. jimin wiggles his eyebrows back in response, dropping the lube and condom near taehyung's hips, leaning forward from between taehyung's legs and resting his chin just below his belly button.

"it's not like i took you out here for the view," jimin teases back and taehyung pushes his palm against jimin's forehead halfheartedly, like he was making to shove him away. he responds by nipping against the bottom curve of taehyung's belly button and then draws his tongue down in a straight line from there to the band of taehyung's boxers, catching against the hair that has started to grow back from that horrid waxing experience jimin had wanted to endure and then smacks his lips, semi regretting the option as they both had been sweating in the summer sun and it had made taehyung's skin quite salty.

taehyung snickers at the look on jimin's face, but it is short lived as jimin finds better things to do with his mouth, like mouthing across the cotton that stretches over his hard on. he is grateful that jimin has taken them out in the middle of nowhere, because he can vocally appreciate his actions with no shame whatsoever, threading his fingers through jimin's soft hair. the way his lips move across and around him, the way his nose seems to know exactly where to nudge, feels almost too intimate even though there is a layer of material between skin. taehyung lets his eyes roll to the back of his head before he shuts them completely, exhales through his nose. he can keep it together, through this, he practically pep talks himself, eyes blinking open to look at jimin just as he starts to peel off his boxers. he kind of thinks that if he did not keep himself one hundred percent involved in this situation he might actually go soft, because every feather light touch of jimin's skin against his own reminds him that he is so much, is too much in love with him and he leaves on a bus back to california in a little more than twelve hours and they will probably never see each other again.

jimin takes hold of one of taehyung's thighs and pushes it upward, leaving kisses against the juncture of his thigh and he thinks he might have heard jimin sigh, but writes it off as his own imagination. the next thing he hears after he wraps one of his own arms around his leg to help keep it up is the flip top of the lube clicking open. he feels the cool liquid hit his waiting hole (and hisses at jimin because what the fuck) and jimin giggles sweetly at him before coating his fingers with the substance as well. taehyung can't bear to look at him, afraid that he might find a way to somehow love him even more if he did, so it is a surprise when the pad of a finger rubs through the lube and against the puckered skin. he is teasing, drawing it out, and taehyung simultaneously wants this to be over while never wanting it to end.

as the first finger pushes into him like they had not just had sex the night before, taehyung stares up into the blue skies above him. the world seems infinitely bigger here, away from civilization. it's just him and jimin, this last time, so he supposes he should truly enjoy it for what it is worth, but something keeps telling him not to. like maybe if he had some sort of bad experience here, it would make him want to forget jimin instead of keep him there forever imprinted on the backs of his eyelids.

"another?" jimin asks, bites down on the meatier inside of taehyung's thigh when he does not get a response right away. taehyung makes the mistake of looking down at jimin, it taking a second for him to register what he has asked him, because he gets lost in the look his summer love affair is giving him. he nods his head yes, moments late but there nonetheless. jimin's eyes visibly soften as he nods his own head yes and presses a kiss to the skin he had just sank his teeth into as he presses his second finger in. taehyung groans as jimin's fingers rock into him slowly, like jimin were purposefully try and move in time with the motion of the ocean.

in their few months together, jimin has seemingly learned taehyung's body inside and out, because it doesn't take much to get him moving his hips in tandem with jimin's fingers and letting out breathy moans as jimin hits all the right places and presses taehyung's thigh even closer to his chest, the muscles whining at the stretch.

it seems like ages before jimin pulls his fingers out and taehyung whines in protest, even though he knows the best is yet to come as he settles back up on his knees, truly looking at taehyung. jimin is hard, cock curved up toward his stomach and looking like it was made for taehyung, and his skin is glowing from the love of the sun and arousal, hair sticking to his forehead. he bites his plump lower lip as he just stares at taehyung, to the point where taehyung starts to feel borderline uncomfortable, squirming under his gaze. jimin bends down at a strange angle, fingers wrapping around the edge of the blankets he had stretched out for them, and rolls them up and up, smacking at taehyung's ass for him to lift it up, which he obliges, and almost questions exactly what the hell it is that he is doing rather than fucking him until he stops just right under taehyung's hips, so when he brings his bottom half back down, he is slightly elevated.

jimin leans over him once more with a smile on his beautiful, little face as he explains, "just wanted you to be comfortable." taehyung blushes at the gesture and reaches down until he feels the foil of the condom package against his fingertips and rips it open to slide it over jimin's cock, refusing to let himself think this was the last time that he was going to get to do so. the lube is opened once more, and it is taehyung's turn to run his hands all along the latex covered skin, drawing pants from jimin's lips as he coats him thoroughly.

taehyung guides the tip of jimin's dick to his hole and breathes through him pushing the tip in before leaning forward as he thrusts inside, his hands traveling the expanse of taehyung's abdomen, his chest, hooking around his biceps, continuing upward until he has their fingers locked together, the backs of taehyung's hands against the blanket covered deck. the weight of jimin is helping to hold his leg up and he curls it around jimin as he continues to move his hips, fucking into taehyung slowly yet so surely.

"you feel lovely, baby," jimin whispers into his ear, like someone around might hear, but it still causes taehyung's stomach to swoop low. he squeezes his fingers and keeps fucking him in earnest. he kisses taehyung's jaw, moaning as taehyung teasingly squeezes around jimin, which in turn causes him to move his hips with more purpose, drawing out moans of taehyung's own. he licks his lips instead of responding to the comment jimin has left buzzing in his ear, afraid he might do something like admit he would miss the feeling of jimin inside him terribly. this is possibly the most sickeningly sweet sex he has ever had but it still feels like acid is corroding his insides all the same. "so good for me. i love how you feel around me, baby."

he is not sure how long they spend like that, moving together while random music plays in the background and waves bustling about them, jimin's lips soon finding taehyung's in many open mouthed kisses, most of them spent moaning each other's names into each other and tongues moving messily together, just as slow as the tempo that jimin has consistently set.

they break apart when jimin breathes, "are you close?" and taehyung nods his head yes. he has been close, closer, closest, as the head of jimin's cock has been rubbing against his prostate, but not wanting to come, not wanting it to be over. "me too, baby, me too." he says, taking one of his hands and snaking it between their bodies and wrapping it around the leaking head of taehyung's own cock, spreading the pre-come around so it isn't such a rough glide, and begins to stroke him with smooth up and down motions. it's a mixture of jimin's hand and his cock that has him coming, teetering on the edge of blissful and downright miserable. jimin is not far behind him, coming and dragging his teeth against taehyung's earlobe, laughing breathily as he easily pulls out. he removes the condom and ties it off, tossing it toward their trash pile from lunch.

jimin leans himself against taehyung's chest, not seeming to mind that he has just mushed taehyung's come against his own stomach, and looks at him, chin resting in his the cup he has made with his hands.

"that was nice," jimin says, voice airy and light as the breeze around them.

their eyes meet and taehyung's heart breaks one final time in his chest as he says, "i wanna get cleaned up and head back to the docks." jimin blinks, cocks his head to the side as if he is confused. it has to be no later than three o'clock... they should have more time together. he can see the thoughts floating through jimin's eyes as they stay in that position. jimin opens his mouth, maybe to protest, maybe to tell taehyung he isn't ready to let him go just yet. taehyung doesn't let him, pushing at jimin's shoulders. "c'mon. i need to check one more time to make sure i've packed up everything, i don't want to miss anything. i don't know if or when i will be coming back."

that last statement breaks the final string holding them together and jimin pushes himself up, back to the pack, and tosses taehyung the baby wipes he too had packed along. they clean themselves up in silence, slip on their clothes in silence, spend these last few moments out at sea in silence. taehyung folds up the blankets of the pallet jimin had spread out for them and hands them back to him wordlessly. this isn't how he really wants things to end, but he doesn't want things to end, but they have to... so he lets it happen.

taehyung takes his seat once again next to jimin as he starts the engine and flips the switch so the anchor pulls itself back up, and presses on the gas. this time, their hands are not linked together. he occasionally glances sideways at jimin, to see if jimin ever stops to look at him too, but never catches him. his lips are set stony and emotionless, reminding taehyung of the times he would see jimin hard at work on the dock, helping the more obnoxious and clueless boat renters out even though they drove him mad. taehyung hurts, knowing he has made jimin angry, but he is angry, too.

how dare he make taehyung fall so deeply in love, how dare he make taehyung have to break his own heart.

they arrive back at the dock in what feels like less time than it took for them to get out into the depths of the water. taehyung watches wordlessly as jimin ropes the boat to the post with ease, watches him throw his pack over his shoulder, and hop onto the deck, all so effortlessly. their eyes don't meet, but jimin still stretches a hand out toward taehyung to help him onto the dock. taehyung takes it, chooses to ignore the slight tremble he can feel in his fingers when they lock together, and he steps onto the wood.

jimin doesn't let go of his hand as they walk up the stretch that leads them out onto the the actual mainland, and then they stop, right where the wood ends and the concrete begins.

"so i guess this is goodbye," jimin mumbles, dumbly.

"yeah... the bus leaves at four tomorrow morning, so i will definitely be appreciating one last sleep in a bed for some time," he says, trying to joke but failing miserably. omits the part where he would rather spend one final night sleeping in jimin's bed, under his sheets, their legs tangled up together. he wonders if he asks to, if jimin would say yes. but if he did, it might be too hard to say goodbye, even more hard to leave.

jimin looks up at him, leans up on his toes and kisses his cheek, near the left side of his mouth, the other side of his face cupped by the warmth of jimin's small hand. "it has been fun, taehyung. i had a nice summer with you."

"yeah, it has been fun," he agrees, even though after this not-break up, he decides this has been no fun at all.

taehyung turns his back on jimin and toward the direction of his aunt and uncle's house. it's a bit of a walk, but he can't bring himself to ask jimin for a ride back. he would rather brood in silence, anyway. there's a part of him, a rather large chunk of his heart, that tells him to turn around, wants to pull him all the way back to jimin. jimin, who, unbeknownst to taehyung, is still standing, rooted where he stood when he left, running his fingers through his bangs and pushing his hair back, watching the shape of his body continuing to shrink the further he got away.

taehyung is glad that the house is empty when he arrives back at his aunt and uncle's. he loves them and mina very much, admittedly does not mind spending time with seokjin, and has even grown to enjoy the company of jeongguk, but he doesn't need the attention right now. for just a few seconds he wants to let his unhappiness show, and does so with the way that his face crumbles and he sobs as he makes his way upstairs to the guest bedroom. his heart and his soul both ache deep inside of himself.

he tosses himself onto the bed and buries his face in his pillow, trying to drown out his own annoying noises. he is so stupid. why did he let this happen? he should have known that day, out on the beach on that giant rock, that when jimin had proposed a summer of fun to him, that it would end up just the opposite. it doesn't feel any more cathartic, crying out his feelings, in fact, the wetness of the material against his cheek is annoying and he hates it when he can't breathe out of his nose.

after some time, he collects himself, if only to flip over onto his back and stare up at the plastic glow in the dark starts that are currently being charged up by the sunlight pouring in through the window and laughs, sounding a bit more crazed than anything else. he reaches absentmindedly over the bedside table and picks up his phone, trying to ignore the static ringing in his ears as he ignores the lock screen of he and jimin together, the night of the marina association's work party, looking rather dashing. he has seven unread text messages; two from his mother, one from seokjin, and four from jimin. he doesn't want to open the ones from jimin, at least not now.

his mother expresses how happy she is that he will be home soon and that she has missed him for the summer but honestly hopes he has had a lovely time and to send everyone off with hugs and kisses from her. seokjin just wanted to let him know when they were going out for dinner and what time he needed to be ready by.

taehyung opens his pictures app and sets to work, knowing that while it hurts now, it will hurt worse later if he tries to go back and sees all their pictures together. one by one he deletes every picture he took of jimin, of them together, every video that contains jimin's laugh, any sort of way that he could possibly remember him by... except for one. he cannot bring himself to delete the picture of the two of them up on top of the ferris wheel, faces lit up by fireworks like it was the fourth of july all over again. he can't bring himself to delete it because he needed it as a reminder that this was all on him. jimin had been looking toward the camera, cheeks and eyes scrunched up in the warmest of smiles, while taehyung was looking at jimin with nothing but fondness in his eyes. this had been the exact moment taehyung had decided he was in love with jimin.

eventually he does pull himself out of bed to give one final run down of the attic he has been living out of for the duration of his summer. he had done his packing that morning, slow and careful, but still wanted to make sure there was nothing that he missed while he had been too busy thinking of other things. it is in the closet that he finds one of jimin's sweaters balled up in the very back corner, from the night that they had came back from walking aimlessly around town. jimin had been prepared by bringing a sweater, knew they had a cold front moving in because of a storm, while taehyung had not been prepared in the slightest. in the end jimin had wound up pulling his sweater off anyway, despite taehyung's protests, and let taehyung pull it over his bare arms to help keep him warm until they arrived back at his aunt and uncle's house.

he knows he shouldn't do it, but decides to anyway. crawling on his knees to reach the balled up yarn, he grabs the sweater and presses it to his nose. it still smells like the salty beachy air that the town was constantly covered in, but it also smells deeply of jimin. he presses it to his nose and inhales deeply once before he folds it and tucks it into the bag he isn't letting them stow under the bus.

taehyung would rather lose all his belongings than lose this last little piece of the man who stole his heart.

there is one thing left sitting on his bed that he is unsure what to do with. the teddy bear jimin won him at the fair is currently staring him down, like it is daring him to leave it behind. he doesn’t really have much room left and he thinks that maybe the sweater is enough of a keepsake of the summer adventure that he let himself embark on. he picks the stuffed animal up off the comforter and gives it one final squeeze in his arms before he heads down to mina’s bedroom. taehyung finds a good place for the stuffed bear in between mr. peter the rabbit and jessibell, fluffing up the stuffed animals and stepping back to admire his own work. the bear fits in nicely and he thinks mina will appreciate the gift more than he will appreciate having to see it on his own bed back at home every day.

at the appropriate time he showers and changes his clothes into something nicer, like seokjin had told him to, and waits for them to pick him up. no more than five minutes after he finishes getting ready, he can hear the horn of seokjin's car beeping from the driveway and he heads out the front door, locking it behind him.

"get in loser, we're going shopping," jeongguk yells from the passenger side window and he can hear seokjin groan behind the sound of the engine. "not really... but, the quote seemed appropriate at the time.”

taehyung laughs, seems like the natural thing to do. seokjin gets out and lets him climb into the backseat, their eyes only meeting once through the rearview window. it's funny how, even after all these years apart, seokjin can still read him better than anyone else in the family could ever begin to. it makes it nice when, after they have all been seated at the local crab shack, his aunt mentions that she honestly thought that jimin would be there too. seokjin quickly changes the subject to the some new, weird species of fish that had been discovered, drawing attention from the way that taehyung seems to shrink in on himself at the mere mention of the name. jeongguk squeezes his hand underneath the table, which he finds quite odd, until he hears his cousin's boyfriend's muttered apology under his breath. he almost asks what he is sorry for until he remembers... if jeongguk had not invited jimin to that beginning of summer party, the two might have not met.

the rest of the meal goes by without a mention of jimin, which taehyung is fortunate for. he lets mina sit on his lap and he helps her crack open crab legs, feeding her the meat from the broken shells and listens to her tell him stories with an imagination that seems to be ever growing. dessert has just been cleared when she turns to him, a slightly sticky palm on his face, when she tells him, "i am going to miss you a whole lot, taehyung. you're much more fun than seokjin will ever be!"

seokjin feigns hurt but the whole table laughs, taehyung kissing the younger girl's cheek. "i will miss you too, silly silly girl." she cuddles back into his chest, tiny arms wrapped around his neck. "that just means i will have to come back and see you again, soon. right?"

"yes," she says and her voice wavers and he can tell she is about to cry. he pets at her hair, trying to soothe her. "but that still doesn't change the fact i don't want you to go."

the family coos at her collectively, and taehyung holds her tight. he feels even worse about leaving now, had not thought that when he made the decision to stay for a whole summer, how many different lives would impact his own and how many lives he would impact as well. after the bill is paid for, taehyung rides back with mina instead of jeongguk and seokjin, holding her tiny hand in his own.

it is late in the evening and the house is quiet when seokjin creeps into his attic room, and taehyung is surprised that jeongguk isn't attached to his hip like he usually is. his older cousin crawls into bed next with him wordlessly, the mattress groaning against the added weight. he wonders if seokjin expects him to say something first, or if he is going to be the one that cracks. crickets chirp from the outside and he drums his fingers over his sheet before seokjin sighs and pets at taehyung's hair, his head leaning into the touch.

"the summer went by fast, didn't it?" he asks and taehyung starts out just nodding his head yes. "i am sorry you came here and just got your heart broken again."

the quick change in words comes like a surprise punch to the stomach. he rolls over to look at seokjin, almost expects him to say that he had told taehyung so. had warned him that this was going to end and he would be left feeling empty again. those words don't come. seokjin has always been better than that, even if an i told you so might be exactly what taehyung deserves. "it's okay," taehyung says. "i knew what i was getting myself into, i guess." his lips are pressed into a thin line, even when seokjin pulls at the ends of his hair.

"well, at least you can go back home and not have to worry about running into him on the street or something?" seokjin tries to reason with him and he just nods in agreement. "but, the good news is i think jeongguk has been wanting to do one of those cross country road trip things so you may see us sooner than you would like."

taehyung smiles a little at the last statement, "jeongguk is good for you, seokjin. i am glad he found you."

he watches the color rise in seokjin's cheeks as he swats at taehyung's face. "what makes you think he found me? i will have you know that i was the one who approached him that day in that bookstore." taehyung looks at seokjin, eyebrow raising. "okay so, he may have seen me first but i made the first move. but he is really good. i-- he makes me really happy." seokjin is smiling dumbly and blindingly and taehyung can't help but return the smile.

"i'm happy for you," he says.

it is quiet again for awhile before seokjin clears out the silence once more. "i got you a bit of a going away present, i can't have mina out grand gesturing me. it's from me and jeongguk." he sits up and reaches under the bed for something that taehyung is not even sure how he got there. taehyung sits as well, just as his cousin sits the red wrapped package down in his lap. seokjin gestures for him to unwrap it and so he does, gasping as he stares at the way too expensive pair of noise canceling headphones now sitting in his lap. "they probably won't help with the comfortableness of the ride, but at least you won't have to hear any screaming children or anything!"

taehyung is rendered speechless and he throws his arms around seokjin and hugs him tight. "thank you so much, i really appreciate that. you didn't have to." seokjin just shrugs his shoulder, almost looking bashful at the reaction his gift received.

jeongguk comes back later and joins the two upstairs where taehyung hugs his new friend equally as tight as he had his cousin. the rest of the evening is spent sandwiched between seokjin and jeongguk, watching episodes of the twilight zone on netflix. around eleven the other two leave taehyung to himself and he falls asleep quickly, not looking forward to the long bus ride back home ahead of him.

the alarm goes off much more quickly than he wishes, sleepy and grumpy as he trudges down the stairs. he has his suitcase in one hand and his bag he is keeping with him slung over his shoulder. he checks one more time to make sure he has his cellphone tucked into his pocket as the whole entire family piles into the car to drop taehyung off at the bus station. it's bittersweet watching the car drive away, mina and seokjin sleepily waving goodbye from the car window.

taehyung slips his phone out of his pocket, syncing his new headphones to his phone and slipping them over his ears and starting his sleep playlist. he hopes that maybe if he gets himself in the sleepy zone once again, it won't be that hard to doze back off once he is in his seat at the back of the greyhound.

the bus arrives and they start to board up.

if he had not had his earphones on, music turned up and noise completely canceled out, he would have heard the oh so familiar voice calling out his name.

"taehyung!" jimin calls out, he is running as fast as he can, wishing that his legs were just a little bit longer so that they could carry him a larger distance faster. "taehyung, wait! taehyung, don't go." the bus takes off as he is running and he pumps his legs as quickly as he can. hopes deep down in his heart that taehyung will turn around just this once, see him chasing after the bus, will request to get off the bus and stay with him.

just like the day prior, taehyung never looks back.

the air on the bus is cool and taehyung breaks within minutes, pulling the red and black stringed sweater he stole out and wrapping himself up in its warmth. he turns to his side, the only one on the bus at this point in time, curls up on his side, and sleeps with his nose pressed into the material, breathing the memories of summer he was leaving behind.

he tries not to think of jimin, even when he is awake. the person running through his mind texts him a few hours into his ride and wishes him a safe trip. his heart constricts in his chest and looks over to the open seat next to him. he tries desperately to not imagine jimin sitting there next to him, throwing his body into taehyung as he laughs at some really bad joke he reads off the internet. tries not to imagine the feeling of their fingers ghosting together under the blanket. he thinks jimin would be the type to want to try some sort of freaky stuff while they were on their bus trip home. it isn't hard at all to remember the feeling of jimin's fingers ghosting along the soft curve of his stomach, snaking up and down his thighs, mouth attached to his neck innocently, like he had one coy bone in his body. the bus stops at the next pick up location and taehyung snaps himself out of his own perverted thoughts, as he is no longer the only one on the bus.

at first, jimin seems apt at keeping in contact with taehyung once he is back home in california, which he finds strange. taehyung appeases him at, responding to his text messages and answering his phone calls. the sound of jimin's voice pulls at his heartstrings, and even harder when they facetime or get on skype. he hates that he can see jimin, even from so many miles away.

keeping in contact with jimin makes taehyung feel like he is bleeding from the inside out, like he is in a constant state of being aware of the feeling of his blood running through his veins. he wants to stop, just wants to tell jimin to leave him the fuck alone... but can't bring himself to, because the image of a disappointed and let down jimin still weighs heavy on his heart. it doesn't take much for him to be able to conjure the image of jimin on that boat, when they were supposed to be coming down from some sort of lovely post orgasm haze, when taehyung immediately closed up and told jimin he wanted to go back to the docks. part of him likes to entertain the false concept of that afternoon going differently, most of the time when he is in bed at night and can't sleep. he imagines kissing jimin soft and slow after they had fucked, telling him that he had made a mistake and went and fell in love with jimin. that he was willing to stay in maine to be with him, was willing to bring jimin back with him to california. he can imagine jimin's eye crinkling smile so perfectly as he tells taehyung that he loves him too, that he wants to spend a long time together. it almost disgusts taehyung how creative and active his own imagination is as he plays through that very same fake scene night after night, day after day, morning after morning.

it has been a few weeks since he has been home and his mom comes into his room and accidentally washes the sweater he has kept rolled in a ball on his bed, trying to preserve the smell as much as possible. he pretends like another little piece of him doesn't break and tries not to be angry at his mother for it, as she was trying to be helpful. jimin continues to text taehyung and send him funny pictures, but it isn't making him feel better. how is he supposed to get over jimin when he won't stop talking to him? as far as he understood, after a summer was over, you were never supposed to talk or see a summer fling ever again.

eventually, he has to do what is best for him, even though it hurts, he knows it is the only way he will ever start to feel better. he deletes jimin's phone number from his contact list, he stops answering his texts for the most part. taehyung stops answering his phone calls, ignores his face time requests and then texts a few hours later with some sort of excuse as to why he was busy, until eventually the texts and calls stop.

even though taehyung was under the assumption it was supposed to make him feel better, he still feels like he has gaping holes in his chest where jimin's fingers had poked and prodded until they were large, instead of taehyung taking preemptive measures to let them heal, he kept his own digits shoved inside the holes to keep them open.

he tries to keep his mind busy, hopes that maybe if he just distracts himself, he can forget his summer in maine, that he can convince himself everything that happened the past summer had been some sort of creative dream. taehyung empties the rest of his suitcase that he still has not unpacked and finds a polaroid that he had forgotten jeongguk had taken of he and jimin and the holes are opening back up again, even though they had barely shrank in size. he still thumbtacks the picture of them, pressed cheek to cheek drunkenly at that weird ass house party, up on his cork board bulletin board hanging up on his wall even though he knows he should just throw it away.

the beginning of fall turns into the beginning of winter when seokjin and jeongguk visit taehyung. they spend a week doing all sorts of touristy things that taehyung can admit he has never done, even though he has lived in california his whole life. it is a lot of fun and honestly, taehyung thinks he really needed the company. the thing was, it was easier to not continue to dwell on his own heartbreak, when he could focus on how just in love seokjin and jeongguk were with each other. it was partially weird to be the third wheel in such a severely dramatic love situation, but he also spent a lot of time taking pictures of the couple doing weird shit he could use as blackmail some day.

they are at disney, their second to last day before they head back toward maine, when seokjin cheesily gets down on one knee in front of cinderella's castle and pops the question, much to taehyung's (and jeongguk's, apparently) surprise. it's all sorts of mushy and gross and taehyung fake gags the whole time but he is happy for them, he truly is. it's quite precious, seeing jeongguk's eyes light up, especially from the usual teasing look that he is always giving seokjin. of course he says yes, and the crowd they have gathered all cheers through them locking lips and just being so in tune with each other. honestly, he can't complain, as it gets the trio fast passes for the day.

when the pair leaves back for maine, they promise taehyung and his mother wedding invitations as soon as they decide on some concrete details. it's then taehyung decides he needs to do something else with his life, other than just watching shows on netflix and mooching off his mother who doesn't say anything because she knows that there is something wrong.

winter buds into the beginning of spring and taehyung cannot believe how fast time has moved along. in the few months between seokjin and jeongguk's visit taehyung gets inspired, has traveled and visited more beaches all along the west coast than he has fingers and toes. he always brings back souvenirs for his mother, turtles made out of shells and glaze, magnets that are painted to draw in tourists. he makes money in conveniently inconvenient ways but it is sort of liberating, especially when he knows good and well that with every beach he wanders down, he is searching for something he knows he will not find.

it's just past midnight when he is between the constant struggle of deciding on one more episode of chopped or going to sleep in his hotel room, when his phone vibrates next to him and he looks over at the device. even though the number doesn't have a contact name attached to it, he knows exactly who it is without even having to think about it. the holes he has clogged full with clumps of sand and remnants of broken seashells rush open as the tide rolls in, leaving him gasping and bleeding, any sort of progress washing away.

"i miuss yiur voise," the text reads, the blood rushes in taehyung's ears and he can't hear the critique of arron sanchez on the first dish as he opens up the text. he isn't sure what he is supposed to say to this, how he is supposed to react. his thumbs hover over the keyboard for at least thirty minutes before taehyung sighs and kills the texting app, leaving jimin on read and tosses his phone over onto the couch just across from the bed in case he were to see that taehyung had opened up his text message and decide to reply again.

that night taehyung does not sleep, instead staring up at the ceilings of the room he rented. he doesn't want to spend the whole night berating and insulting himself, but he does anyway. he asks himself why he has to always fall in love so easily, why he has to let himself get hurt so easily, why he has to be so easy, when all it does is make his life more difficult. as the sun peeks up over the horizon, casting an orange and burning glow over his room, he steels himself to the best of his ability. he packs up his belongings and heads back home.

weeks pass and taehyung finds another way to busy himself closer to home. he watches video after video on youtube and finds he has a penchant for making balloon animals. he buys supplies and walks the boardwalk close to his home and sells creations to kids and adults all the the same. it makes him feel a little better to do things that bring smiles to other people's faces and make money all the same, even though it is chump change.

he has saved money from his beach travel excursions, from making balloon animal after balloon animal, and gets a small inheritance when his grandfather passes away. taehyung rents himself a shoebox apartment for dirt cheap, having made a good impression on the owner one afternoon when he had been with his fussy daughter, crafting a little animal to cheer her up. it isn't much but it is furnished for the most part and his mother gives him things to take with him, and it is his. it is like a breath of fresh air, having something that was strictly his own. he could hang up as many anime posters as he wanted without anyone judging him. on days he decides he wants a day off, he can lounge around in his underwear, or even completely naked if he wants. it's peaceful and his neighbors are normal enough to not raise any eyebrows in alarm.

the summer heat has started to roll into california and taehyung is still making balloon animals for the people who visit his hometown, small talks with strangers about drought and what little information he knows, remembers, about boats and things far and few between. he is even pretty sure has talked people into being interested in buying beach real estate, has sold cruises people were unsure of, buy that dress, those shoes, don't settle for less, as he knots and spins balloons into dogs and tigers and pokemon and ballet dancers.

there is the evening he has just about wrapped up for the day, when he feels a finger tap on his shoulder. he has never told a customer no, regardless of whether he had any sort of intention on going home sooner rather than later. the sun has been brutal that day and he is exhausted from standing and walking all day, but he still turns his body turns toward the feeling.

"excuse me, sir," their voice says. "you wouldn't happen to know how to make a blue butterfly, would you?"