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golden haze

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Taehyung is nothing if not loving. He has the ability to captivate people with his multitude of charms, from his winning grin and easy going attitude to his optimistic, sweet disposition. But even he has his limitations--yes. He can be elusive, in some aspects, never really revealing his true emotions--having been hurt one too many times has left him feeling just a touch jaded. He’s okay with it, for the most part, having grown up in a small town on a small farm with his grandparents filling him to the brim with acceptance and compassion.

He had the stars watching over him, shining bright above him, protecting him like his own personal army. The sun and the moon and the stars all kept him company; and he was just a boy with golden, glowing skin, in love with absorbing the knowledge of an endless universe. They taught him things, his grandparents did. Things about kindness and vulnerability--things about life and growing and becoming the person you want to be.

So no matter how many times Taehyung was pushed to the ground, punched, broken--no matter how many times he had his glasses smashed, was shoved in his school’s hallways, or humiliated in his classes, ridiculed for being obsessed with space, with the stars, with life. Some people just didn’t get him, and Taehyung always smiled through it.

 

No matter what.

 

Except now, when his grandpa is looking at him through glassy eyes, a sad smile gracing his old, wrinkly features as he leans in to give his grandson one final goodbye, Taehyung can’t smile. It’s impossible to when the person who raised him is standing in front of him sending him off to reality. They stand at the end of the platform, listening to the chaos of the train station around them with melancholic faces. Taehyung doesn’t want to go, not really. He wishes he could get his degree here, in his own town, but he can’t. Not when there’s a whole world out there to be explored, to be discovered.

 

“Don’t forget to call,” his grandpa says, one parting goodbye.

 

Taehyung shakes his head. “I’ll call you every day, if I’m not drowning in coursework.”

 

His grandfather chuckles in response. “You’ll be fine. You always have been smart, you know.”

 

“Let’s hope so,” Taehyung replies with a grimace, watching the train come to a stop before him. He tilts his head, grabbing his luggage. “I’ve gotta go now,” he chokes down the cry threatening to break through his lips, “love you.”

 

His grandfather nods at him, watching as Taehyung pulls away, onto greater things. Taehyung steps on the train, his steps long and deliberate.

 

He’s going to be a new person, redefined.  

 

 

College.

 

Taehyung doesn’t know what to make of it; he figures it’s better than constantly being bullied in a town where everyone knew his name, where he was unable to escape from the vicious rumors. Unable to escape from the names they’d call him, the things other kids and teenagers would say when they’d throw him to the ground, the muddy bottoms of their soles pressed against his tear-stained cheeks.   look at his skin--it’s like, shiny and gold. he’s not human, i swear he’s like--from another planet. he probably is an alien. Taehyung thinks back, his breaths coming in quicker as he tries to push down the memories. maybe we should dissect him. Taehyung gasps, shaking his head. College is definitely better, he decides. Even if it is noticeably much lonelier.

 

He’s by no means wealthy, but his grandpa had some investments Taehyung isn’t entirely aware of-- a savings account just for Taehyung when he’d finally gone off to college, a little something for you future, his grandfather would say. And with the money saved up over the years, Taehyung was able to live by himself just a few minutes off campus, the bustle of the city keeping him awake through the nights as he hammers away at papers and reports.

 

It’s not difficult making friends in college, and Taehyung knows he can be likeable. But he’s never really gotten close to people, keeping a broad selection of acquaintances burning in his back pocket if he ever feels too isolated, and a handful of close friends on speed dial. He doesn’t mind it that way, especially now that he’s too busy writing up his senior thesis, spending more hours cooped up in lab kissing his professors’ asses to even think about his social life.

 

His phone buzzes in his pocket as one of his Physics professors talks to him about gravitational pull, too engrossed in his subject to even notice Taehyung chancing a glance at his phone.

 

Joon-hyung 3:41 pm

are you coming tonight?
we’ve got the van packed up and ready

Taehyung nearly forgot, he looks up at his professor--still standing with his back turned, writing a long string of numbers on the board that’s definitely going to be a bitch for Taehyung to decipher later--before he’s quickly typing back.

 

got lab :((((
go on without me i’ll drive up n meet you guys tonight.

 

He slips his phone away just as his professor turns back to him, smiling at him unknowingly. Taehyung squints his eyes at the numbers on the board, nodding his head like he actually fucking understands what the hell his professor’s been saying the whole time. But even before Namjoon texted him, he’d been kind of lost.

 

“So.” he’s almost afraid to ask, but he does anyway, because he’s Kim Taehyung and quite frankly, he has no shame. “What’s that equation for again, professor?”

 

The smile on the professor’s face drops as Taehyung sends him an unabashed shiteating grin.

 

 

When he gets home, he quickly packs his things, checking the time on his watch. It’s only seven, not too late, he can definitely drive there and make it in time for the meteor shower, and believe him, he wouldn’t miss that for the world. It’s not that he’s been neglecting his friends, it’s just that he’s found himself completely bombarded.

 

He’s bad at balancing things, unlike Namjoon who’s working on his third mini album, writing his dissertation and working on his novel all while running his fucking poetry blog. Talent. That’s talent that Taehyung does not have.

 

He’s not like Jungkook either, who keeps his entire schedule on a to-do list. He’s tried to get Taehyung to adopt his system, but it lasted a good half hour before Taehyung got side tracked.

 

Yoongi just does things at his own pace, it’s a miracle he’s capable of getting anything done with the amount of hours he spends in the day just lazing around, but he manages perfectly well.
A mystery.

 

Taehyung likes to think his way of managing things is a mix of Yoongi’s and Jungkook’s: moving at his own pace while haphazardly crossing things off his lists one by one. Except his list of things he has to get done is a mile long, and he can’t halfass his school work when he’s got a scholarship to uphold; which is why he doesn’t feel too guilty that he’s driving up to the camp site to meet with his friends just a few hours late.

 

The sun slowly sets across the horizon as Taehyung embarks on his journey into the wilderness alone. Minutes pass when he realizes that he’s been too distracted by the same homogenous scenery in the distance, a cacophony of colors lining the sky as the sun dips lower and lower with each passing minute. Half of him wants to stop, capture the moment that he rarely gets to appreciate in his hectic college life, but he remembers he has places to get to and people to see and suddenly he’s feeling a little bit like life might just be going too fast, every moment fleeting, and he just can’t keep up. He reluctantly tears his eyes away from the view and starts up his GPS, listening to the monotone voice from his app direct him for a few hours, eyes trained on the empty road ahead of him. Taehyung feels exhaustion tug at him, but he’s excited; he and his friends (mostly just him and Namjoon) have been looking forward to the meteor shower (again, mostly just him and Namjoon) and he thinks about how nice it’ll be with just him and his closest friends under the stars roasting marshmallows and cooking meat on Jungkook’s portable grill. And right when he realizes that none of them are good at cooking-- his signal cuts out. Fuck, he’d completely forgotten about that. He swears he’s grown too accustomed to having a constant wifi source. Taehyung has taken it for granted and now he’s paying the price.

 

Taehyung hums to himself, trying not to worry as he recalls where Namjoon said they’d be. He was a few hours into his drive, surely he’ll figure it out eventually. He looks down at his gas tank, gauging how long he can last just driving around and thinks that maybe taking the train would have been a better idea. But he can’t go back now.  

 

He drives in silence, slowing down anytime he sees an exit that could potentially be his. Taehyung feels his eyes droop, the effects of staying up for far too long finally hitting him. He’s exhausted and alone and he has nothing to distract him. He reaches over his console to feel around for his CD case (yes, he still uses CDs). Yoongi had made him a mixtape for situations like these and it’s around his glove compartment somewhere, he swears, but he can’t really find it with his hands on the wheel.

 

Taehyung looks around on the road. No one’s around. Okayyy, lemme just reach on over-- Taehyung hums to himself, leaning over the console with one hand, eyes darting back and forth between the glove compartment. He pulls the latch open, rummaging through it. And then he looks up to see a scantily clad man walking in the middle of the road, incredibly pale with deep, haunting eyes. Taehyung’s own eyes widen as he lets out a ear-piercing shriek, veering to the left quickly. Everything happens too quickly; his entire body thrusts forward from the impact, his seatbelt locking his chest in place while the airbag discharges. Taehyung’s face collides into it, and for a moment he can barely breathe. His body is sore, his head pounding as he cracks his shut eyes open.

He feels too faint to move, but his engine starts to smoke and he’s still not sure if he killed a man. He shakily unbuckles his seatbelt and pushes himself out of the car with what’s left of his strength. Taehyung rolls out with a groan, his vision is blurry, completely blurry. He squints his eyes, trying to make out any sign of the man in the road, when he sees the silhouette approaching him.

 

“H-Hello?” Taehyung greets with a nervous stutter. The man crouches down next to him, Taehyung’s heart beats erratically in his chest. Oh my god, am I going to die? As the stranger leans in close to him, and Taehyung finally makes out a face. His features are soft, with plump, round lips that curve into a smile, his shockingly gray eyes crescenting-- he reminds Taehyung a lot of the moon. Taehyung smiles back and then the man reaches out to push the soft pad of his finger against Taehyung’s forehead.

 

Sleep.

And the last thought Taehyung has before he’s pulled into darkness is the stranger’s eerily beautiful smile.

 

 

When he wakes up, he’s back in his bed, his room is immaculate, like he’d just moved in. How’d he get home last night? All he remembers is wrenching his steering wheel to the left, desperately trying not to manslaughter a pedestrian. The drive home would have taken at least five hours. Taehyung blinks sleep away, his throat feeling dry, and then he steps out of his bed. Everything feels so strange. There’s a dull pounding in his head that he can’t shake off. He walks toward his bathroom to find the same situation--everything completely sparklingly new.

Taehyung feels sick to his stomach.

He brushes his teeth and gets ready regardless, then walks over to his phone. He immediately calls Namjoon and waits for the line to ring.

 

“Hey Taehyung, what’s up?” Namjoon says, his voice coming out even, like he’s not even upset that Taehyung flaked on him yesterday.

 

Taehyung runs his fingers through his hair, feeling a bump on the side of his head. God, it stings. He winces, before he’s pushing words out of his mouth. “Hi, hyung,” he grimaces, walking back into the bathroom to look at his bruise, “I’m sorry I didn’t show up last night for the meteor shower, I’m really bummed I couldn’t make it.”

 

“What? Was there another meteor shower we were supposed to go to?”

 

“No,” Taehyung says slowly. “There was only one… that we planned for months. And I didn’t show up because--”

 

Namjoon sighs through the line. “Listen, Tae, I’d love to play games with you any other day, but I’m kind of busy.”

 

“So you are mad that I didn’t show up.”

 

“Taehyung. You showed up, we watched the meteor shower, and we all left. You even got ice cream on your way back.”

 

Taehyung freezes completely. He nearly drops his phone, and he feels his entire body begin to shake. He looks down at the date on his phone with eyes as wide as saucers, ignoring Namjoon’s annoyed voice on the other end asking if he’s okay. “Taehyung? Hello? Do you really need me to recount everything that happened to you last week?”

A week has passed since the meteor shower.

An entire week.

And Taehyung doesn’t remember a single thing.

 

 

“What do you mean you don’t remember anything?” Yoongi asks him with a sigh. “You literally came over and ate everything in our fridge yesterday.”

 

Taehyung’s lips wobble, his eyes going wide with fear. “Hyung, I’m being serious, okay? I literally can’t remember anything!” He grips at his hair, unshed tears clouding his vision. “What the fuck happened to me?”

 

“Well shit,” Yoongi looks on, concerned at how serious the younger is. “What was the last thing you remember doing?”

 

Taehyung slumps against the wooden chair of the cafe, looking out the window to see the passersby.

“I was driving to meet you guys so we could watch the meteor shower, then I…” he pauses, thinking carefully before he turns back to Yoongi, “I saw a guy standing in the middle of the highway, and he wasn’t moving, he was just watching me drive toward him!” Taehyung exclaims, piecing his memories back together. “So, I turned my wheel super fast so I wouldn’t hit him, and my car crashed into a ditch and everything!”

Then suddenly, something clicks in his head. He feels a rush of cold air pass through him and suddenly can’t speak. He looks at Yoongi with panic clear in his eyes.

His hyung is yelling something at him, but he can’t hear him.


Taehyung feels like he’s being drowned.

He tries to scream for help, but it feels like the weight of the world is being pressed onto him, like he’s about to be flattened. He closes his eyes, and recollects the last moments he remembers after his crash and sees a man’s face. Beautiful. Ethereal. Otherworldly. He opens his eyes, and turns his head to look out the window of the cafe. Taehyung is breathing again, but his heart nearly stops. Across the street, someone is staring back at him, watching him, with gray, gray eyes.

 

“Taehyung!” Yoongi snaps his attention back, his hands gripping at Taehyung’s wrists. “Are you alright? What just happened?”

 

Taehyung calms himself down, breathing deeply, then his eyes flit back to the spot the man was standing moments ago.

He’s gone.

“I’m...I’m okay.” Taehyung feels his body relax, just a little bit. “I think I just had a panic attack or something... I don’t know.” Taehyung knows that wasn’t a panic attack. And he’s fairly certain it has something to do with that stranger from last week ( last week, he blanches. Jesus, what happened?).

He looks down at his cup of coffee, half of it spilled across the table. Yoongi quickly wipes it up.

 

“I didn’t even know you had anxiety.”

 

“It comes in waves,” Taehyung shrugs. “That hasn’t really happened since I was younger,” he admits, unashamed.

 

Yoongi stares at him assessingly. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

 

Taehyung nods.

 

“So, the last thing you remember was crashing, right? What happened to the guy you saw?”

 

Taehyung shakes his head, his fingers trembling in his lap. “I don’t know.”

He doesn’t think he wants to tell Yoongi what he saw that night.

 

 

Taehyung doesn’t really know what to do in this situation, he really doesn’t. He paces around his room, and then he stops, noticing some of the objects on his shelf are reorganized in various ways, but he’s hasn’t touched them since regaining consciousness.

 

He lets out an annoyed huff. Whoever that man is, he’s really fucking with Taehyung’s mind. He thanks god that none of his professors take attendance, but he’ll definitely have to beg his classmates to send him the notes for a week’s worth of assignments in each of his classes. He decides to focus on getting caught up with his Physics labs first, opening his laptop to look at the assignments on his class’ schedule.

Except something strangely wonderful has happened. But it’s mostly startling, considering the fact that all of his assignments for the next month are done. He checks the rest of his classes, only to find the same phenomenon over again.

Taehyung stares at his screen blankly. Even the things they’ve yet to cover in his seminars are completely finished.

 

“You’re fucking kidding me,” he says breathlessly.

 

Then Taehyung feels the cold air breeze through him. He shivers, about to turn around to close his window when he hears a soft voice whispering.

“I thought you would appreciate it.”

 

Taehyung whips around to look at the man, the same man who’d been plaguing his thoughts all day. “Hello there, human,” he giggles with the small wave of his tiny hand. To be frank, his voice sounds like fucking warmth and fields of flowers blooming and sunshine and Taehyung doesn’t know how to feel about it because this man terrifies him.

 

“Human?” Taehyung wheezes, eyes twitching in confusion as he lets out a shaky breath. “How are you in my apartment? Why are you in my apartment?”

 

The man bites down on his lip, and he has the gall to look a little sheepish, before he pops his lips open. His hands tangle together as he contemplates his words.

“Well, that’s a funny story,” he starts with an apprehensive grin. “I completely didn’t mean to, but I’ve kind of... been you for the past week.” His eyes blow wide open as he moves toward Taehyung. Taehyung backs into his desk as the man comes closer, inspecting him. “I’m sorry. You passed out when you almost hit me with your automotive vehicle and I panicked because you wouldn’t wake up?”

The man tries to explain, wincing a little. “I... may or may not have looked into your memories--which is why you might be experiencing pain in the back of your head, sorry-- so I drove us to the meteor shower, where I originally crash landed, so your friends wouldn’t be suspicious. But then, you, uh. You didn’t awaken. So I just...kept pretending to be you,” he says simply, sitting down on Taehyung’s bed with his hands joined together in his lap, like everything he just said made complete sense.

 

And it’s then that Taehyung’s eyes rake over the man’s body, he notices the man’s skin tone--pale, sickly pale, almost gray-purplish undertones. His hair is silvery-gray as well as his eyes.  Taehyung gulps, trying to think of a possible explanation. “When you say...you pretended to be me…?”

 

He hums. “I shifted, of course.”

 

“Shifted.”

 

“Yes,” he nods his head excitedly. “Is that not what you humans do?”

 

Taehyung pauses, eyeing Jimin strangely. “Define ‘human.’”

 

The man actually whips out a device, a holographic screen with lines of indecipherable code written on it. Taehyung stares at the man in shock.

 

“Ah, okay. Here, I found a definition from a place you’re familiar with, perhaps?” He recites the words as his eyes trace over the foreign language, almost robotically, “‘Human: A member of the species homosapiens; a human being. A member of any of the extinct species of the genus homo, such as homo erectus or homo habilis, that are considered ancestral or closely related to modern humans.’”

 

“I would laugh about the amount of time you said the word ‘homo’ but I’m too shook to even joke about it,” Taehyung breathes out.


The man squints his eyes, mouthing the word ‘shook’ before he’s typing it onto the holographic screen. Taehyung watches various memes come up in front of the stranger before he’s shaking his head.

 

“Okay,” he says with finality. “Okay, so you’re obviously not from around here.” He lets out a breathless, nervous chuckle. “So who are you and where are you from and why are you here with me?”

 

Taehyung is honestly amazed that he could come up with words to say, his body trembling as he stares at the man.

 

The alien (alien? god, Taehyung can’t believe he’s finally meeting an extraterrestrial being under these circumstances), shuts off his holographic screen with the flick of his wrist. A smile blossoms on his face and his cheeks are tinted a light lavender that Taehyung finds surprisingly pretty.

 

“My name is Jimin, I’m from Sector AR-1013 of the Andromeda Galaxy!” He says brightly. “We’re neighbors!”

 

“W-what?” Taehyung sputters.

 

Jimin stills, confused. “Andromeda? And Via Lactea or the Milky Way? Do you not know that we’re neighboring galaxies…?”

 

Taehyung makes a noise of understanding. “Yes, I get that, but that doesn’t explain why you’re in my apartment. Or... like on this planet? Do you not understand the gravity of this situation? Even if you are an alien, which, I admit, at this point it’s pretty fucking convincing--”

 

Taehyung watches Jimin’s mouth twist into a pout, forming the word ‘fucking’ with his thick lips before he’s whipping out his translation device again. Taehyung doesn’t have time to stop him when various pornographic images pop up on his holographic screen, Jimin’s eyes widening with intrigue, his mouth falling open at the suggestive images in front of him. Taehyung flicks Jimin’s hand, earning himself a startled squeak in response.

 

“Even if you are from Sector... whatever, why? What happened? How did you get here? Why are you so far from home?”

 

Jimin looks at him, annoyance clear in his expression. He looks a little more guarded now as waves away the screen. “It’s Sector AR-1013,” he corrects, his voice venomous. “and that’s none of your business.”

 

Taehyung tuts. “Uh, it is my business when you steal my life for a week and shapeshift into some freaky alien version of me.”

 

“I did all your stupid level one course work, you should be thanking me!” Jimin puts his hands on his hips, rolling his eyes, “Sproutlings on my planet could do that. Stop acting like you neanderthals ever evolved past primates.”


Hey! His planet is shitty and people on Earth can be idiots, but only he gets to talk shit about it.


“Well fuck!” Offended, he yells, “If your planet is so great, why don’t you just go back to it?”

 

“I can’t!” Jimin shouts back at him.

 

Taehyung scoffs, “Oh, really? It’s a wonder they didn’t kick you off sooner, with your pretentious attitude.”

 

Jimin goes stock still, face contorting with genuine hurt. Taehyung doesn’t feel guilty. He doesn’t, but he tries to soften his voice, easing off the frustration.

 

“Why are you here , Jimin?”

 

Jimin’s face turns a deep, purplish hue, and it looks a lot like shame was smeared across his skin.

 

“I was exiled,” his words come out reluctantly.

 

Taehyung’s body relaxes. “Oh.”

 

Jimin crosses his arms over his chest, probably in defiance. He looks away from Taehyung.

“I’m sorry for inconveniencing you.” Taehyung thinks he doesn’t sound all too apologetic. “I can return to my ship and take shelter elsewhere.”

 

When Jimin turns toward his window, walking quickly toward his exit, Taehyung feels a surge of overwhelming guilt pool in his gut. Jimin is halfway through the window--on the sixth floor-- when Taehyung realizes how far of a drop Jimin would be falling.

And before he knows it, his hand is on Jimin’s wrist, like a plea. “What are you doing?” He hisses. “You’ll fall.”

 

Jimin rips his wrist from Taehyung’s grasp and steps onto nothing. Nothing. Jimin is suspended in the air, tossing Taehyung pointed look, completely unamused.

 

Taehyung takes a mental step back. Jimin has a reason to be here; maybe he doesn’t necessarily know why Jimin was exiled, but he doesn’t seem dangerous, and Taehyung has always considered himself to be an impeccable judge of character. Jimin looks...Jimin looks just as exhausted as Taehyung does, and Taehyung thinks he should probably have some semblance of sympathy.

 

His chest sinks a little when he sees the expression on the alien, his grip going slack as he slumps his shoulders.

 

“That was stupid of me,” Taehyung shakes his head. “My first interaction with another lifeform from space and I’ve already made an ass of myself.” Jimin quirks a brow, before Taehyung laughs bitterly. “I know more than anyone what it’s like to feel isolated and unwanted, so Jimin, I’m sorry, really.” And when he sees the confusion on Jimin’s face morphing into pleasant shock, Taehyung laughs. “I’m Kim Taehyung.”

 

Jimin mouths his name, instinctively reaching for his translation device before stopping himself, his lips forming a distrustful grimace.

 

“Sorry, I know I was being mean... just. This is new to me, okay. I didn’t intend to be rude to you, but things were just weird today. I know it's not your fault, you don't really know what's going on either, and it must be difficult being away from your home planet. But, if it’s any consolation, you’re welcome to stay here for the time being. At least until you settle in. Yeah.”

 

Jimin’s expression turns gentle. “I understand. Sorry for,” he pauses searching his thoughts, “‘freaking you out’? I didn’t realize humans would pass out for so long after I put them to sleep.”

 

Taehyung shakes his head. “We’re fragile creatures with glass bones and paper skin.”

 

Jimin’s eyes widen, “Really? I could have sworn it was calcium and carbon amongst other things--”

 

“That was a joke, Jimin.”

 

Jimin makes a face of understanding, before he shuffles his feet. “So… you’ll let me stay here? At least until I repair my ship?” His eyes are giant and pleading and Taehyung is weak for cute things-- and Jimin is absolutely the cutest thing he’s ever set his eyes on.

 

Taehyung pushes those thoughts away. “If you’re staying here, I only have a few conditions,” he sighs. “One-- don’t knock me out like you did the first time I saw you.” He winces, recalling the incident earlier that afternoon, “And two-- don’t do that freaky pressure thing that you did when you saw me at the cafe. I like, I couldn’t move. I really didn’t like that.”

 

“Pressure?” Jimin looks taken aback, eyebrows scrunching together in contemplation when Taehyung nods in response. Jimin looks at him, panicked, and then his body suddenly flush against Taehyung’s as he pulls him close. “May I feel you?”

 

Taehyung blushes at the distance between them, or lack thereof. “Well, you kinda already are, so...”

 

Jimin runs his hands through his hair, stopping at the bump on Taehyung’s head. “This might sting,” he whispers against Taehyung’s ear. Taehyung lets out an involuntary whimper, shivering against Jimin.

His hands instinctively wrap around Jimin’s middle as Jimin tugs at his hair. “It hurts,” Taehyung jerks back, feeling Jimin’s prodding at his injury with deft fingers.  

 

Jimin shushes him, cooing a little as he rubs Taehyung’s back with his free hand. “I just need to detach the tracking device.”

 

“Tracking device?”

 

Jimin stays silent, pinching sharply with his fingertips before pulling out the device in one swift motion. It’s a shard-like thing, with lines ringing around its surface. Jimin examines it, before he turns to Taehyung. “The signal is weak, so they’re a few days behind. Do you have any experience with pyrotechnics, Kim Taehyung?”

 

“No,” Taehyung says slowly (he recalls the times he and Jungkook tried to make sparklers back in one of their chemistry labs while their professor was on a leave of absence, but he’s pretty sure that doesn’t count), “but I have a barbecue lighter.”


Jimin raises a brow. “That should suffice.”

Taehyung maneuvers his way into his kitchen nervously in search of his lighter and Jimin immediately sets the shard aflame, the fire touching his pale skin. He doesn’t flinch, it puts itself out on contact with Jimin.

 

“Who’s tracking me?” Taehyung asks. Jimin bites his lip, shaking his head.

 

“It’s...well, you wouldn’t know them.”

 

“No shit, I wouldn’t know them. You’re from a different planet .”

 

Jimin sighs. “They’re not tracking you, they’re probably tracking me. And they’re not going to anymore so let’s not talk about it.”

 

With a sigh, Taehyung figures it must be a bit too much to pry out of Jimin tonight. The alien looks completely exhausted, so Taehyung relents. He gestures for Jimin to follow him and pulls out the blow up mattress from under his bed. “You can take my bed for tonight, just because you look really tired.”

 

“What do I need the bed for?” Jimin asks, looking at Taehyung with excited eyes.

 

“To sleep...?” Taehyung asks.  

 

“Oh. Right! Humans have a circadian rhythm, I almost forgot.”

 

“You...don’t?”

 

“Not necessarily. We sleep when we want to and only then. But it’s more for pleasure purposes rather than a physical need.”

Taehyung knows a thing or two about physical needs, and this is usually the part where he cracks a crude joke in front of someone cute he just met, but he refrains, almost positive it would be lost on Jimin.

 

“I thought you were enjoying being knocked out for so long, because I read that typical humans get five to eight hours of sleep a night? I figured you just wanted to take a vacation,” he trails off, looking around Taehyung’s semi-cluttered apartment. “Don’t most humans cohabitate as well? Where is the rest of your human pack? Or--was that offensive?” Jimin asks, a small gasp on his lips as he lifts his fingers up to his mouth. “Do you have... a partner?”

 

Taehyung raises a brow, his lips curving upward as his eyes trace over Jimin’s worried expression. “It’s not offensive,” Taehyung shakes his head. “Don’t have a partner and most of my family is...well they’ve passed on, I guess. I don’t really know what happened to them, if I’m being honest. I was raised by my grandparents and it’s always been somewhat of a touchy subject for them.”

 

Jimin nods his head, understandingly. “On my planet, when a sproutling reaches a certain age, they’re forcibly separated from their roots. We tend not to keep in contact, but some do if the emotional bond established with one’s roots is strong enough.”

 

Taehyung gestures to his bed, before he’s walking to his closet to pick out a few fresh clothes for Jimin. Jimin looks rather immaculate, but there’s something very strange about his garb; completely white, plain clothing draping over him, as if by exiling him to the void of space, his planet was trying to purify him. It rubs Taehyung the wrong way.

 

“Did you ever, like, try to get in contact with your family--er, roots, again?”

 

“My roots are different from normal sprouts, you could say.” Jimin sits on Taehyung’s bed, kicking his feet lightly. His eyes seem far away like his gaze is still hundreds of billions of lightyears away back in a different galaxy, his galaxy. “My existence is a little bit... unconventional.”

 

Taehyung doesn’t press any further, maybe he’ll save it for another time. He nods at Jimin, a small reassuring smile resting on his lips. “I guess we have that in common then.”

 

“I guess we do,” Jimin replies after a beat, looking up at Taehyung with tired eyes.

 

Taehyung figures that should be enough. He nods at Jimin before he’s slowly leaving his room. “You know, Taehyung, for a human, you’re awfully golden.”

“Is that a compliment?”

 

“An observation,” Jimin says thoughtfully.  Taehyung raises a brow, before shutting the door closed behind him.

 

 

“Hey.” It’s a cloudy whisper in his ears, but he feels the voice everywhere--like it’s engulfing him. “Taehyung,” the voice comes again, this time clearer. “Wake up, the sun is out.”

 

Taehyung cracks his eyes open, squinting, feeling the soreness of his back against his too-firm couch. “What? What’s going on?” He blinks, seeing Jimin peering at him from over the couch. The sun is barely rising, it’s probably six in the morning, way too early to function.

 

But Jimin is looking at him excitedly, and he figures he should probably be showing Jimin more positive aspects of life on Earth. He shuts his eyes with a resigned sigh and then he’s sitting up and staring sleepily at his alien acquaintance. “The sun is out, but not all humans wake up when it comes up.”

 

Jimin deflates a little bit. “Oh. Should I let you rest then?”

 

Waving his hand dismissively, he lies. “Nah, it’s fine. Should probably make breakfast and show you a little bit of the city before I go to class.”

 

Perking up, Jimin nods, trailing behind Taehyung eagerly. Taehyung quickly finds out a few things about Jimin:

 

1) He’s easily fascinated by Taehyung’s daily routine--from brushing his teeth to cooking to changing (that last one is a bit awkward but Taehyung manages to tell Jimin that it’s a little bit weird to stare at people’s naked bodies when they’re not intimate with each other, which brought about an even more awkward conversation when Jimin asks how to become intimate with Taehyung.)

2) He has a weird obsession with caramel macchiatos, courtesy of visiting Namjoon and Yoongi while posing as Taehyung.


3) He sings along with the birds outside Taehyung’s apartment, like he can communicate with the winged creatures.

 

Of those three facts, Taehyung thinks he likes the third the most. There’s something peculiarly soothing about listening to Jimin sing along with the trill peeps of the birds by Taehyung’s windowsill. It’s like Jimin is straight out of a Disney movie, flawless and elegant and something only Taehyung’s wildest dreams could conjure up.

(“Can you understand them?” Taehyung asks one day, watching as a tiny, fluffy little bluejay lands on the tip of Jimin’s delicate, pale finger.

 

Jimin looks at Taehyung curiously before he’s smiling a little mischievously. “Of course not. But I think I relate to them, just a little bit.”

 

“How so?”

 

Jimin shrugs, letting the bird fly away up into a tree while it chirps happily above them. “It has a feigned sense of freedom, but it knows it’s tied down; its instincts would never allow it to stray from where they should be at any given moment. It’s free, but it still finds itself trapped in its primly constructed fate.” The words sound bitter, rotten, contrasting harshly against the softness of Jimin’s features, his relaxed eyes and small, barely there smile.

 

“That’s deep,” Taehyung says, just because he has nothing else to offer. He wishes he could help Jimin, he wants to.

 

“Indeed it is. The fabric of existence is incredibly so, Taehyung. And we’re just a couple of specs on the edge of oblivion.”

 

“Sounds like a John Green novel.”

 

“A what?”)

 

They eat breakfast together, mostly with Jimin asking questions around the slightly burnt toast Taehyung procures from his kitchen along with some overdone eggs. Jimin doesn’t seem to mind, however, instead listening eagerly to Taehyung’s words, tacking on comments left and right up until Taehyung’s alarm goes off and he puts their dishes away before getting ready for his lectures.

 

“Lectures? Like scolding?” Jimin asks, cocking his head as he watches Taehyung fill his backpack with books and loose leaf papers. He’s honestly just stuffing random shit in it, but he can’t bother to look when he’s sure he’s about to be late to Astronomy.

 

He pauses, before snorting. “No, like a professor or someone ‘highly’ trained teaches students about different topics in large seminars.”

 

“Ah,” Jimin nods his head, coming to an understanding. “I’ll work on my semantics,” he says quietly.

 

“You’re picking up our vernacular pretty quickly, though. Do you have the same speech patterns back on your home planet?”

 

There’s a pregnant pause from Jimin, before he’s nodding. “Yeah, something similar. We have a device encoded in a chip that each member of our society has implanted in our brains. It makes language acquisition easier for us, so it’s normal for me to be learning things about your speech faster than your average human.” Taehyung gapes at him, transfixed. Jimin doesn’t notice how Taehyung’s jaw hangs slack, still contemplating his words. “I like the familiarity in certain human languages though. On my planet that camaraderie is only reserved for people who are really close to you. I haven’t spoken to anyone so uninhibited as I have with you in some years.”

 

“No way,” Taehyung says, briefly freezing. “Didn’t you have friends back home?”

 

Jimin hesitates. And his face. His face could haunt Taehyung’s dreams for weeks. “Just a couple.” He looks down at his knees, brokenly, before he says, “I--”

 

Taehyung walks up to Jimin, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Don’t talk about it if it makes you uncomfortable. You’re not obligated to share with me things that make you sad, Jiminie.”

 

“Jiminie?” Jimin whispers, mostly to himself, and then cracks a bashful smile. “Thank you.”

 

Satisfied, Taehyung slips on his shoes and backpack. “I’ll be back in a few hours, will you be alright by yourself?”

 

Jimin folds his hands in his lap, and Taehyung is so, so endeared. Jimin looks just a tad bit childish with his flushed cheeks and ruffled hair in a pair of Taehyung’s oversized pajamas that Jimin is basically swimming in, and he nods with a dutiful look on his face. “I should be.”

 

“Okay,” Taehyung says unsurely, before he remembers. He walks over to his kitchen and presses his home phone into Jimin’s hands. “Here’s my number,” he quickly scribbles on the sheet. “If you need anything, just call me.”

 

Jimin looks down at the phone in his hands with wide apprehensive eyes. “Got it.”

 

Taehyung gives Jimin’s head a little pat, and it’s only then that he notes that Jimin is just a few noticeable inches shorter than him. Cute, he thinks, before he gives Jimin a two fingered salute and walks out the door.

 

The University’s campus is a six minute walk from Taehyung’s apartment, and his building is approximately seven minutes away from the main entrance.

 

And Jimin has called him a total of eight times in the span of thirteen minutes. The first few times were trial runs, of course.

 

“Hi Taehyung, just testing out the phone. Not sure how it works, but I think I’ll--” he hung up on himself.

 

The next few times, Taehyung believes they’re buttdials, and the last time consists of Jimin’s screams cutting in and out until Jimin realizes that he has yet again called Taehyung on accident, a rushed out apology spilling from his lips before quickly hanging up. Taehyung was genuinely concerned for Jimin’s safety, wondering whether or not he should go back to his apartment.

 

How the fuck did Jimin survive unattended for a whole week?

 

Halfway through his lecture he gets a FaceTime call from Jimin, which he (not-so-quietly) answers, earning himself a few glares from his peers surrounding him. Taehyung winces out an apology at them, before he’s waving at Jimin. “What is it?” he tries to whisper. Taehyung would leave but he’s frantically copying down the notes as the professor writes on the board.

 

“Hi Taehyung, I think one of your machines is hungry. I took some food out and now it’s making gurgling crunching noises? What should I feed it?”

 

“Jimin, it’s just the freezer making ice. It does that, don’t panic.” And at that convenient moment, Taehyung’s professor chooses to turn around from the board.

Taehyung’s eyes draw away from Jimin’s grainy face to meet his professor’s eyes. His professor clears her throat, “If you’d like to talk to your boyfriend, Kim Taehyung-ssi, please do it outside instead of disturbing the rest of the class. Thank you.”

(“Who is that, Taehyung? Are you in trouble?”)

 

Taehyung flushes, ducking his head when people around him let out fits of giggles. Jumping out of his seat to the side exit, Taehyung turns his attention back to Jimin. “Please, only call during absolute emergencies. Like someone breaking into the apartment or if you’re, I don’t know? Bleeding out. Otherwise, my professors will skin me alive.”

 

Jimin’s jaw goes slack. “Humans are really that cruel, huh?”

 

“That was a figure of speech.”

 

“Oh, right.”

 

“You... really like rearranging things, don’t you?” Taehyung steps into his apartment to find everything from his fridge stacked up on his kitchen counter. His chairs completely aligned on top of one another, balancing on their strangely angled legs, like some contemporary art piece at the MOMA. He watches one chair promptly fall to the floor, Jimin’s mouth forms a small pout.

 

“It refuses to stay. I’ve tried for hours.” Jimin sighs, “And it’s not like I have anything else to do while you’re away, except use your computer. But messages keep popping up and playing videos I never clicked on--”

 

“Jimin,” Taehyung says slowly. “what were you searching up on my computer?”

 

Jimin whistles low, averting Taehyung’s heavy gaze. “Well, I don’t really understand the context in which you use the term ‘fucking’--”

 

“Jimin. Tell me you didn’t search up ‘fucking’ on my computer. Please,” Taehyung’s eyes twitch.

 

Jimin bites his lip nervously. “I did.”

 

“Great. You’ve discovered porn and now my computer has a digital STD. Some kind of role model I am.”

 

Jimin doesn’t seem to understand Taehyung, but he knows enough to duck his head a little shamefully.

 

Taehyung shakes his head, before he’s sighing out, “It’s okay, Jimin. You didn’t know.” He makes a mental note to explain proper internet usage to Jimin sometime. “How do you feel about sightseeing? I’ll show you around.”

 

Jimin’s face practically glows. “Really?”

 

“Yeah, I don’t have class for the rest of the day.”

 

They leave Taehyung’s apartment after finding clothes in his closet that actually seem like they fit Jimin (it took a while, Taehyung loves baggy clothes). The two of them walk through the crowded inner city streets, people walking fast paced in all directions, horns blaring in the middle of the road with flashing advertisements and neon signs hanging in storefronts--everything seems entrancing to Jimin, Taehyung can tell as he watches Jimin’s eyes roam all across the street’s expanse.

 

It’s lunch rush, so the streets are packed, pushing their bodies together. Taehyung loops his arm through Jimin’s so the alien doesn’t fall behind. Despite Jimin’s constant stops to stare at a few buildings and signs, they make it to the cafe Taehyung usually frequents, slipping through the wooden doors. Jimin quirks his head up, looking excitedly around the minimalistic interior--the tables and seats are all wooden with plants in each of the tables’ centers, the cafe mostly quiet, with just a few people dotting around. Taehyung gestures for Jimin to take a seat at his usual spot, tucked into a corner of the cafe that just the baristas can see.

He notes that Jungkook isn’t working, and lets out a breath of relief he didn’t realize he’s been holding in. Because if Jungkook were working, he would never quit pestering Jimin, asking him about him and his intentions with Taehyung, and Taehyung is not ready to explain to one of his best friends why he’s harboring an extraterrestrial fugitive in his apartment, not yet at least.

 

Jimin looks down at the menu, reading it slowly, mostly looking at the pictures. “Get anything you want.”

 

In hindsight, he probably should have specified that he meant Jimin should just order one or two things, so when they walk up to the cafe’s counter to order, his wallet fucking sobs when Jimin informs the worker he wants to try nearly half the menu.

 

“Jimin,” Taehyung pulls him off to the side. “Uh, I’m pretty sure I don’t have enough money on me to be buying their whole stock. Just pick a few things you really want to try.”

 

Jimin narrows his eyes, jutting his bottom lip out into a pout. “You said ‘get whatever you want.’”

 

Taehyung stares at Jimin before his resolve crumbles. Then he sniffs, looking around the room. “Fine, I guess you don’t want to eat the ice cream I was planning on buying you afterward.”

 

“Ice cream?” Jimin asks softly. Something akin to recognition flashes in his eyes before he says resolutely, “I want the ice cream.”

 

“Pick one thing, then. Just one.”

 

Jimin orders a caramel macchiato and Taehyung gets a crepe that he says they can split. When their orders come out and Jimin hums a song about coffee, Taehyung wishes he could slam his head against their wooden table because Jimin has a dollop of whipped cream on his nose and Taehyung kind of wants to kiss it off.

 

When they leave, they head straight to the ice cream shop, this time with Jimin’s hand tightly tugging his wrist as they snake through the crowd of people.

 

Jimin settles on strawberry and Taehyung gets a flavor called wild ‘n reckless, because that’s how he feels right now when his fingers are intertwining with an alien as they eat their ice cream in the park. He feels strangely warm, like he’s full of something, and he can’t wipe the stupid grin off his face when he looks at Jimin crouched down trying to share his ice cream with a duckling at the edge of the park’s tiny pond.  It’s too sweet a sight to behold.

 

When they walk back to the apartment, hand in hand, Jimin asks why they can’t see stars in the sky.

 

“Because humans are kind of trash and pollute the planet. But, you can see stars in the countryside. My grandparents bought me a telescope when I was really young. We used to sit out on our strawberry fields in the summer and just stargaze.”

 

“Can we do that?” Jimin asks softly, once they’re crossing the threshold into Taehyung’s apartment. “Go somewhere and look at the stars together, I mean. I barely got to see the meteor shower the day I shifted into you, I was too…” he casts his gaze upward to look at Taehyung, “...nervous trying to keep up the facade that I was you to notice anything else. I’ve always want to see what the rest of the universe looks like from Earth.”

 

“I--yeah.” Taehyung smiles. “Maybe sometime next week?” He’s about to pull out his laptop when he remembers that Jimin finished all of his homework. Huh. “Say, Jimin, will you review those chapters of homework you completed for me? I should probably know that material before the exam.”

 

Jimin’s skin glows, his cheeks heating up just a little as his cheeks tinge purple. He nods his head vigorously, a giant smile on his face. “I can teach you everything I know.”

 

 

Taehyung learns much more about astronomy in the past few weeks than he has in his entire college career with Jimin’s help. He’s fascinated by the sheer knowledge of the stars that the alien has. Jimin draws him a few diagrams and even shows him a few star systems just outside of his that he’s visited before, showing him his own culture and things about the universe Taehyung never even fathomed knowing. He helps Taehyung make flashcards, writing down notes for Taehyung to study from while they review for his upcoming tests. They spend hours on end talking about constellations; what the cosmos are really like. (“Stay out of the Crab nebula, the species there are really...crabby.” Jimin laughs to Taehyung, slapping his own knee.

“Did… you just make a pun?”)


Along with the new information regarding space and it’s indefinite probabilities, he learns a few more things about Jimin. He decides maybe jotting down little notes in his phone would help him.

 

  1. He loves food, mainly meat and ice cream, but strays away from other junk food (“It’s not good for me. I trained my body for years and I’m not letting it go down the drain in just a few days, Taehyung.”)
  2. Animals love Jimin, he finds out when birds and dogs and cats flock to him the second they step out the building. Jimin says he finds dogs pleasing, but he loves cats just a smidgen more.
  3. Jimin hates being alone.

 

“Please,” Jimin begs, a little breathless with heat rising up his cheekbones. He’s writhing on the bed, limbs flailing everywhere, his clothes hanging off of his body, revealing way too much skin to Taehyung. Taehyung looks at him sternly, pushing down the tempestuous thoughts roaming around his head, but Jimin continues to throw a fit. “I’m cooped up for hours while you’re gone, TaeTae, please take me with you.”

 

Taehyung shakes his head. “I should have never let you listen in to that call with my grandpa.”

 

“TaeTae.”

Jimin whines and of course Taehyung relents; it’s Jimin we’re talking about. There’s no way he could say no to those pleading eyes and thick, pouty lips.


“Okay, you can come to class with me, but you can’t make a scene or else people will be suspicious. You gotta stay lowkey, alright?”

 

“What’s that?” He asks, not bothering to consult his holographic dictionary.

 

“Low-profile. Don’t draw attention to yourself.”

 

Jimin grins to himself. “Alright, sounds easy enough.”

 

It’s fine. It’s good, bringing Jimin along with him to class. Throughout his Biochem lectures, he’s fine. Physics? Totally okay. He mostly sits with Taehyung in the back of the seminar room sipping on a carton of strawberry milk and listening to the professor quietly, nodding his head along, fascinated.

And then they get to Taehyung’s Astronomy lecture.

 

It’s when his professor begins speaking about space travel, a question that’s been on everyone’s minds since day one of the semester.

 

“Since the universe is inherently vast and growing, it would take eons to even get to our neighboring galaxy, Andromeda,” his professor explains to the class.

 

Jimin giggles loud enough to pry attention from a few of Taehyung’s peers. He rolls his eyes, turning to Taehyung conversationally. “Humans are just too dense to figure out how to use intergalactic wormholes. They’re super convenient. I could go grocery shopping in the crab fucking nebula within a day,” Jimin props his elbow on the desk, resting his cheek on his palm. “Bet,” he tacks on cockily. (Taehyung almost regrets teaching Jimin slang, but he also doesn’t. Hearing Jimin curse has him a weak in the knees, the way he says things so passionately is insanely hot, he admits.)

 

Taehyung stills as everyone turns to look at them, his professor pausing mid-lecture to turn toward them, narrowing his eyes. “Yes, wormholes are indeed a probability of traveling through space, but the precision and science you need to carry out a task such as planting wormholes in certain parts of our universe is inconceivable in any of our lifetimes.”

 

Jimin rubs his temples, staring down at the desk in front of him. “They’re already made by each galaxy’s sector in the known universe,” he mutters exasperatedly. “You just have to pry your heads out of your asses and learn to use them.”

 

“Jimin,” Taehyung hisses, low enough only for the alien to hear. “Shut up.”

 

“What? He’s the one who’s wrong!” Jimin crosses his arms over his chest in annoyance.

 

Taehyung sinks into his seat, dodging everyone’s strange looks at the two of them.

 

When class ends, Taehyung drags Jimin out of the seminar room, trudging to the juice bar just across the street. “Listen, you may be right, but you can’t just say that kind of stuff! People study their entire lives to know a fourth of what you know. And what’d I say about being lowkey?”

 

Jimin tuts. “It’s not my fault your planet is filled with incompetent people.”

 

“Is that what you think of me too?”

 

Jimin whips his head to look at Taehyung with apologetic eyes. “Of course not,” he says softly.
“You’re different.”

 

Taehyung tries not to let that get to his head, but he does blush. “Regardless, keep your knowledge about space limited when we’re outside of the apartment. We never know who could try to snatch you up and keep you for questioning.”

 

“Okay.” Jimin’s lips snap shut.


Taehyung accepts that response, momentarily. He walks up to the cashier, about to ramble off his order, when he feels it. That unbearable pressure crushing down on him, like something giant is pushing itself into Taehyung’s head. He falls to the floor, clutching at his temples. Jimin is next to him in a second, his hands on Taehyung’s shoulders as he tries to pull Taehyung out of... whatever this is.

 

He opens his mouth to speak but nothing comes out. Jimin is talking to him, trying to speak gently, looking around for help. Taehyung closes his eyes, and instead of seeing Jimin’s beautiful face like the first time this happened, he sees two unfamiliar figures in the recesses of his mind, walking toward him. He gasps, searching for air, his eyes thrown open. Jimin looks at him, scared and concerned.

 

Taehyung gulps, reaching toward the counter to pull himself up. There are a few people crowded around him, the barista asking him if he’s alright. He smiles and nods, waving them off.

 

“What happened? What did you see?” His voice isn’t frantic, but there’s still an edge to it that Taehyung can’t place.

 

Taehyung looks around the juice bar, once. “I saw two people coming toward me.”

 

“Two people?” Jimin narrows his eyes. “Who?”

 

“I don’t know. They were both kind of... bright. I couldn’t see their faces too well.”

 

Jimin mumbles something incomprehensible under his breath. He sighs, then bites his lip. He looks at Taehyung, and Taehyung has never seen him look so serious in the few weeks Taehyung has known him.

 

“Can you tell me what the fuck just happened?” Taehyung asks, fear settling in as his voice quakes with nerves. “What was that?”

 

Jimin shakes his head, “I can’t tell you now, but I will when we get to a safe place.” He takes Taehyung’s hand and they storm out the door, dodging people’s curious glances. “Do you have a place we can stay for a few hours? Preferably with people you trust?”

 

Taehyung stares at Jimin’s face. “Yeah, but,” he pauses, wincing. “Staying with them won’t be pleasant.”

 

 

“Oh my god,” Jungkook guffaws, pointing accusingly at Taehyung. “Is this why you haven’t hung out with us recently?”

 

Taehyung scowls in response. He gives Jungkook a warning look. “Don’t say it.”

 

“Hyungs!” Jungkook calls from the doorway, “Taehyung’s been getting his dick wet with his new boyfriend and hasn’t told us!”

 

Taehyung pushes past Jungkook, fighting down the blush that’s rising up his neck. “Ignore him, he’s hideous,” he says to Jimin.

 

Jimin giggles, nodding politely at Jungkook when he follows Taehyung into his friends’ living room. “Don’t worry, I spent time with them when I was posing as you, remember? I’ve got this,” he whispers to Taehyung, sending him a wink. Taehyung tries to hide the blush threatening to bleed onto his face.

It’s slightly more impressive than your average college apartment, that’s for sure. The couches are only mildly stained with various peoples’ semen, and their countertop is semi-organized. They have a wide range of cereal boxes, as per Jungkook’s request of eating a different cereal each day of the week and Namjoon’s request for strictly non-GMO, organic products.

Their TV is pretty nice, but it’s only because they waited outside a store for a few days on Black Friday last year, but they like to pretend it’s because they’re loaded and not living off of Top Ramen every other meal.

 

Namjoon is already sitting on one of the couches, eyeing Taehyung and Jimin curiously. “Sit down,” he says, gesturing toward the adjacent couch with the wave of his hand. “So this is the reason you’ve been dodging our texts?”

 

He sounds a little bit butthurt, not that Taehyung could blame him. He has been taking care of an alien fugitive, which meant giving Jimin his constant, undivided attention--listen, he has to educate Jimin on human culture, which means binge watching sitcoms and Disney movies and taking Jimin to theme parks and fairs and various shops around the city, okay? There’s really no other way for the alien to absorb life on Earth, there just isn’t.

 

“Sorry, things have been a little bit busy on my end. Y’know, school and stuff,” Taehyung says quickly, then he’s looking at Jimin shyly. “Namjoon-hyung, this is Jimin.”

 

“Hi,” Jimin waves shyly at Namjoon, coming out from behind Taehyung to greet Namjoon.

 

“Jimin?” Namjoon asks. “Just Jimin?”

 

“Park Jimin,” he answers. Taehyung gives him a look, cocking a brow. Jimin does love the park. “Same year as Taehyung at our university.”

 

Jungkook plops down on the couch right next to Namjoon. Jungkook asks Jimin, curiously,  “What’s your major, Jimin-hyung?”

 

Jimin looks at Taehyung, panicked. “Uh, astronomy and dance…?”


Taehyung inhales sharply, trying not to wince at Jimin’s mistake.

Jungkook stares at the two of them, hard. “Why haven’t I seen you around campus before, hyung? I’m a dance major too, and I know everyone in the department.”

 

“See, this is why Taehyung didn’t talk to us. He knew the two of you assholes would interrogate the shit out of his boyfriend and scare him away. Fucking virgo antics, I swear.” (“Hyung, you don’t even know what that means!”) Yoongi slips into their conversation, sitting down in between Namjoon and Jungkook, before he’s leaning in toward Jimin, who almost shrinks back. “They’re both huge nerds, but if you leave them unattended for too long they’ll stare at each other passively like they both want to jump each other’s bones.” Namjoon and Jungkook have the decency to blush, but neither of them deny it.

 

Jimin nods like he knows what Yoongi is talking about, an uncomfortable smile on his face. “I understand,” he tries to relate. “Taehyung and I are exactly like that.”

 

Taehyung sputters, looking at Jimin with wide eyes, “No, Jimin, we are not.” Taehyung turns to his trio of friends, “We’re not, I swear.”

 

Jimin rolls his eyes. “You’re saying you haven’t looked like you wanted to attack me while we’re sitting at our apartment?” Taehyung admits, he hasn’t had the most innocent thoughts about Jimin, but Jimin is completely misinterpreting Yoongi. When Jimin says it, he means whenever they’re playing Overwatch and Taehyung wants to throttle Jimin because he can’t beat Jimin at the damn game. (And he’s been playing it for months, but Jimin’s mastered it in a matter of days and that’s just not fucking fair.)

 

“Whoa, did he say our apartment?”

 

“You two are living together?” Namjoon gasps, his eyes bugging out of his head. “And you haven’t told us?”

 

“How long has this been going on?” Jungkook gasps in mock offense. “Hyung, you are not a good enough liar to have this facade going on for long, so I call bullshit.”

 

“Just a few weeks,” Jimin answers with a shrug.

 

Taehyung feels like he should start digging his grave, like, right now. Yoongi, Jungkook, and Namjoon’s jaws drop to the fucking floor.

 

“Oh my god,” Namjoon shakes his head. Yoongi bites his bottom lip, hard to keep himself from laughing and Jungkook has his head buried in a couch cushion.

 

“Let me get this straight,” Namjoon says (he chooses to ignore Jungkook’s “That must be incredibly difficult with how gay you are, hyung”) “You’ve been together for just a few weeks and you’re already living with each other?”

 

Taehyung opens his mouth to protest, to explain-- but Jimin just says, “yes, exactly” instead.

 

time to crawl to my demise.

 

“Taehyung.” Namjoon’s voice comes out stern and disappointed. “Kitchen, now.”

 

Taehyung stands up, along with Jimin. Taehyung turns to him and whispers, “I think he wants to talk to me alone.”

 

“He looks like he wants to harm you though, are you sure you want to go by yourself?”

Yoongi and Jungkook pass them confused looks which Taehyung definitely ignores.

 

“Yeah, I’ll be fine. Just,” he sighs, squeezing Jimin’s hand before looking at him with a fondness in his eyes he never knew existed. “We should probably talk about...well, everything afterward.”

 

Jimin squeezes his hand back and whispers, “I’ll tell you everything, but you have to promise not to be upset.”

 

Taehyung nods, “I promise,” then lets go of Jimin’s hand to meet Namjoon in the kitchen.

 

“Hey, hyung,” he has his signature shit-eating grin on, the one that’s gotten him out of so many sticky situations in the past--

 

“That dumb grin isn’t going to get you out of this one this time, Kim Taehyung.”

So, this grin will not be getting him out of this one this time.

Namjoon is looking at him judgmentally, like he’s debating what Taehyung’s punishment should be.


“Look, I’m not going to lecture you on who to date or when, but... this is weird. Who is this guy? Where’d he come from and why haven’t you talked to us about him? You wear your heart on your sleeve, but living together and relationships aren’t things you usually take with a grain of salt. Tell me you’ve thought this through, even a little.” His voice is tired by the end of it, because if someone knows how stubborn Taehyung can be, it’s Namjoon. Trust him.

He once watched Taehyung sit outside a supermarket every day for three weeks until the store manager finally agreed to restock their deformed Sonic popsicles (which tasted like shit, by the way).

 

Taehyung rolls his eyes. “You’re all misunderstanding this. Jimin had no place to go--”

 

“An even worse idea to move in with someone, Tae! Do you know how taxing that could be on your relationship? You’re paying for your apartment and he’s just leeching off of you like this? It’s not right.”

 

Taehyung tilts his head back, his frustration could not have been more apparent. “Namjoon. Jimin and I are not dating.”

 

“I know that, dipshit. But I also know that you like him.” It’s Namjoon’s turn to be annoyed.  Taehyung opens his mouth to try and deny the accusation, but Namjoon cuts him off. “Don’t even try to deny it, your heart eyes are ginormous.”

 

Taehyung’s mouth clanks shut. “Whatever. Anyway, it’s fine. I know what I’m getting into, things have just been busy. And it’s mutually beneficial, he’s tutoring me.” The tutoring technically hasn’t started yet, but Taehyung takes a mental note to make it happen soon, his exams are coming up and he needs to actually read his textbooks or take notes or do something to save his GPA.

 

“He’s tutoring you? Really?” Namjoon crosses his arms over his chest, disbelief written all over his face.

 

“Yeah.”

 

Namjoon doesn’t look impressed but he waves Taehyung away. “Fine, but be careful. You may think you know someone but people can reveal their true colors in different situations, Tae. Remember that.”

 

Taehyung wants to laugh because he knows what Jimin’s true colors are.

He’s a little gray with a hint of lavender. He’s seen Jimin blush plenty of times.

 

They walk back to the living room where Jimin is speaking to Yoongi and Jungkook enthusiastically, using his hands as he speaks with a giant smile on his face. Yoongi turns to Taehyung, “Jimin was telling us about how you two got kicked out of lecture hall. Might wanna figure out how to use AdBlock or something, dude. Or if you’re going to watch porn in class, at least use your headphones.”

 

“It was all Jimin’s fault, he infected my laptop!” He turns to narrow his eyes at Jimin. “I thought you were with me, not against me, you traitor.”

 

Jimin shrugs with a knowing grin, looking way too pleased when Taehyung still slides into the spot next to him.

 

Taehyung watches on fondly as Jimin rattles off tiny things he’s noticed about Taehyung while living with him, his friends laughing on the opposite couch as they all poke fun at Taehyung’s antics. Taehyung can’t find it in himself to even be the least bit annoyed. He’s too busy being endeared by the way Jimin’s mouth curves upward as he speaks. He lights up the entire room with his presence.

They decide to watch the ‘pinnacle of broadcast television’ (Jungkook’s words), Ghost Adventures.

 

(“I don’t really understand,” Jimin whispers to Taehyung halfway through an episode. “This... isn’t real, right?”

 

Jungkook lets out a gasp from his seat. “Of course it is! How could you ever doubt Zak Bagan’s authenticity?”

 

“Everything about this show is so obviously fake, Jungkook,” Namjoon remarks lazily, continuing to run his fingers through Jungkook’s hair. “Do you actually think it’s all real?”

 

Jungkook averts everyone’s looks. “No…” he says unconvincingly.)

 

When Taehyung begins to nod off, his head lolling onto Jimin’s shoulder, Jimin nudges his side. “I think we can leave now, if you’d like.”

 

Taehyung nuzzles further into him. “Yeah. Sounds good.”

 

When they head out, Yoongi walks them to the door. “Come over whenever you want, our door is always open.” He smiles at both of them, albeit a little tiredly, before shutting the door after them.

“That wasn’t as bad as you made it seem like it would be,” Jimin laughs as they walk toward the building’s exit. “You said they’d be awful.”

 

With a groan, Taehyung threads his fingers through his hair, pushing his bangs out of his eyes. “They are awful. They’re like---they’re like health insurance companies. They’ll rope you into a false sense of security before they call you one day and tell you that they suddenly can’t cover your medical expenses.”

 

“Okay. So they’re like shifters? Like me?” Jimin nods his head, more confused than ever. “Or do they have different personas for different situations?”

“You mean being two faced?” Taehyung hums contemplatively. “I mean, they’re not geminis, but sure.”


“Humans are so interesting.” Jimin perks up a little bit after that, finally understanding. “My friends are a little odd as well.”

 

“Yeah?”

 

Jimin hums, nodding. “They were definitely unconventional, that’s for sure.”

Taehyung eyes Jimin curiously. It’s the first bit of personal information Jimin has revealed to him since moving in with Taehyung. He doesn’t want to pry any further, not when they’re satiated with a successful meeting with Taehyung’s friends.

 

With the happy aura of the night settling in Taehyung’s veins, long after Jimin decides he’ll partake in a night’s rest, Taehyung lays in bed. Jimin never explained to him what’s been happening in his head.

 

He can’t sleep. Or at least not when two blinding figures are all he can see when he shuts his eyes.

 

“Did you notice anything off about Jimin?” Namjoon asks the second their visitors leave. He looks at Yoongi apprehensively.

 

“He’s, like, glowy. What highlighter does he use and how do I get a hold of it? Maybe it’s the same kind Taehyung uses...” Yoongi raises a brow.

 

Namjoon furrows his brows, “No, not that… It’s just. He looks almost, too perfect.”

 

Jungkook whips his head to look at Namjoon with a burning question in his eyes. “H-He was alright. I mean, he was cute, but perfect?” Jungkook makes a noise of disbelief and looks to Namjoon for a sign of agreement.

 

Ignoring Jungkook’s comment, Namjoon shakes his head. “And the way he was speaking. Did you notice him asking Taehyung a bunch of questions about what we were saying?”

 

Jungkook recoils, jerking his body away from Namjoon. “Whoa, hyung. Maybe he just learns things differently. Or maybe he’s not from here?”

 

Namjoon sighs, “Taehyung said Jimin tutors him. It doesn’t add up.”

 

“What are you trying to say, Joon-ah.” Yoongi narrows his eyes.

 

“What?” Namjoon hisses. “Are you really going to make me say it? Did you notice he turned a little bit purple anytime Taehyung even came close to him.”

 

“Maybe he’s so infatuated with Tae-hyung, he just can’t breathe properly around him,” Jungkook coos.

 

“Jungkook, that’s a health hazard. We should probably tell Tae to take him to the hospital.”

Yoongi slumps into the couch, his body sinking into the warmth that Taehyung and Jimin left. He lets his head loll back onto its cushion, in deep thought. He stares at the ceiling. “I know what you mean, but we’re not going to pry into Taehyung’s life. We won’t. He seems happy, let’s let him have this.” Yoongi shuts his eyes. “He deserves someone who can make him light up like Jimin does. We should make an effort to get to know Jimin, even if he’s a little... strange.”


“I know, I know. I’m just worried,” Namjoon sighs, obviously resigned. “We should all kind of just, be on guard.”

“Should I corner and interrogate him, hyung?” Jungkook straightens his posture, assuming a ‘threatening’ pose, contrasting harshly with his round baby face and wide eyes. He flexes  his arms, revealing toned muscles, gauging Namjoon’s face for a reaction. He grunts, dropping his voice a little lower in the most blatant display of peacocking Namjoon has ever witnessed. “Maybe I can rough him up a bit? Tell him not to mess with Tae-hyung?”

“Lets hold off on that for now, Jungkook.” Namjoon bites back a laugh.

 

Yoongi gags in the background.

 

So, they decide they’re going to befriend Jimin whether Taehyung likes it or not.


...

 

Days pass by in a blur; The two of them find themselves roaming around the city on more nights than Taehyung would like to admit. Jimin shamelessly drags him out of bed at any hour of the day, a grin on his face and eyes filled with more mysteries than the universe would ever dare to hold. “Take me on an adventure,” he says. And Taehyung, always agrees, albeit reluctantly . He can’t refuse Jimin. He swears, at one point, that Jimin is probably using some sort of alien mind trick on him to coerce him into doing outrageous things at odd hours of the night.

(“Jimin, we can’t sneak into the zoo, are you insane?”

“Those animals don’t belong in there, Taehyung. We have to get them out.”

“Okay, your animal activist streaks are cool and all, but I have a lecture at seven am tomorrow.”

“I thought you were my ride or die, my right hand, my go-to…”

“I regret teaching you things.”)

 

But, not this night. No, this night they take it easy. Taehyung hops onto his bike with Jimin sitting on the handlebars, pedaling slowly because Jimin is antsy and can’t keep his head from turning to look at the scenery. It’s refreshing, being a bit further from the chaos of his apartment; from the loud city streets--out here, everything is still. Taehyung focuses on the dirt pavement they’ve come onto, the wind blowing Jimin’s silver hair off his forehead. He thinks he wouldn’t mind getting used to this. He hopes Jimin feels the same.

 

They find themselves at a park, one of Jimin’s favorites. The one with the lagoon somewhere near the outskirts of the city, surrounded by a flurry of trees that move with the bristling wind and filled with moon jellies with a tiny wooden dock to walk on. The water in the lagoon is eerily stagnant, the moon reflecting off the water. The world is quiet here, as if the lagoon were waiting for the two of them.

Taehyung shines his phone’s flashlight, guiding Jimin toward the dock. It creaks, just a bit. The wooden boards are aged with constant use, the lifeguard post is unmanned, being so late at night. Taehyung is certain they’re not allowed to be on the dock, but he shrugs.

Jimin takes Taehyung’s hand habitually, following behind Taehyung with his eyes trained on the moon hanging above them. The stars are barely visible in the city. Jimin says he doesn’t mind not being able to see them, he feels protected. Like if he can’t see his galaxy, his galaxy can’t see him. But Taehyung knows that’s not completely true. He sees the way Jimin’s eyes dim when he looks out the bedroom window at night; he sees the way Jimin’s eyebrows furrow and his lip juts out just a bit. It’s frustrating, not knowing how to comfort Jimin, but he does his best.

“Hey, do you wanna sit down?” Taehyung looks over his shoulder. “We can dip our feet in the water if you want?”

Jimin snaps out of his reverie and nods. His eyes are glossy; it’s just as Taehyung figured. Just one of those nights, I guess.

 

They take off their sandals in silence, sitting at the dock’s edge. Taehyung rolls up his jeans, but Jimin just plunks his toes in, letting the water wet the bottom of his pants. Jimin doesn’t seem to care, his mind is too preoccupied.

“What are you thinking about?”

 

There’s an art to revealing something so deeply personal about yourself--Taehyung knows it all too well. It doesn’t matter what walk of life you come from; young or old, alien or human, at the end of the day, to Taehyung, at least, everyone is inherently the same when it comes to opening up. Jimin is no exception. Taehyung watches the telltale signs transpire in front of him. Jimin’s face crumples, his hands twitch in his lap nervously. He doesn’t dare meet Taehyung’s eyes. Jimin kicks his feet in the water, only stilling when he sees the fluorescent white of a moon jellyfish pushing itself closer to the surface. His toe grazes it a little and he giggles. It’s a beautiful sound, Jimin’s breathless laugh. But now isn’t the time to admire Jimin. Now is the time for Jimin to face his demons.

 

“Jimin,” Taehyung coaxes, softly. His fingers dance across Jimin’s forearm, a gesture of understanding. “I don’t want to pressure you into speaking, but I know what this is about.”

 

Jimin’s mouth immediately tightens into a frown. “I know. I’m... I’m almost ready. Let’s just enjoy this for a few more minutes, okay?”

“Yeah, that’s, uh. That’s fine.” Taehyung nods his head quickly. “You know you can talk to me though, right?”

Jimin turns to him with a lopsided smile. “Yeah, Tae, I know.”

 

It should be weird how easy the words transpire between them. It should be weird how the two of them have grown so attached, so trusting of each other in such a short span of time. But Taehyung doesn’t dwell on that fact too much, not when Jimin lets out a small sigh that makes Taehyung’s heart feel just a little heavy. He’s noticed his own mood dampens when Jimin’s does, like their emotions are intertwined; like in some infinitesimal way, the two of them are connected.

“Being with your friends recently has... it has me thinking about my home planet.” Jimin runs his tongue over his lips. His gaze is cast downward, the water being a new subject for him to study, Taehyung supposes. “I listen to you speak to your grandfather, your friends and I’m envious,” he admits. His words sound hollow to Taehyung, like Jimin’s sickened for even thinking the thoughts. “I guess it’s time for me to come clean about… well, about why I’m here.”

 

“Okay.” Taehyung leans closer to Jimin, nodding for him to continue.

 

“When I was a sproutling, it was determined that I would serve in the High Council’s militia--” he pauses as Taehyung raises a hand.

“What’s that? I need some background information, Jimin.” His eyes are wide and eager and Jimin just shakes his head in response. He sounds exasperated but the fond smile on his face tells Taehyung a different tale.

 

“The High Council is basically a court comprising of different Arc members-- people from all across our planet who are bred to be leaders. They decide laws and punishments, they’re our governing powers.”

Taehyung’s mouth falls open in understanding. Jimin continues, “I didn’t have many qualms about, believe me. Most sproutlings are taken from their roots, but I was a bit different. I was recruited prematurely after one of the High Arcs of our planet’s council had a premonition about me.” Jimin’s throat bobs, he looks at Taehyung unsurely. “I was to be married off to a person I didn’t know, someone meant for me predetermined by fate.” He searches his thoughts. “I don’t know if there’s a word for it, for humans.”

 

Soulmates, Taehyung supplies absentmindedly.

 

He looks at Taehyung unsurely, like he’s about to pop up his holographic dictionary before Taehyung nods at him, gesturing for him to keep going. Jimin’s frown deepens. “I was bred to be accustomed to life of the upper class, to be more suited for royalty, because I was informed that my bond was shared with the heir to the council’s head throne. But at the time, there was news of an assassination attempt on the prince, my soulmate. He was sent away before I had the chance to meet him, but somewhere en route to his place of hiding he was attacked. He’s presumed dead, which is... what I assumed I would be when I found news of this.”

Jimin looks down at his lap bitterly. “Because what good is a bond with a future heir if there’s no heir to bond with? I thought I was just a tool, but my bond’s father, Head High Arc, treated me like I was his own son... It was a blessing.” He smiles at the thoughts flooding through his head. Jimin looks at Taehyung. There’s a shocking seriousness in his expression that sends a wave of dread throughout Taehyung. “I was being trained to be a military advisor for the High Council, but then... then the Head High Arc.”

Jimin’s voice breaks. “He--he was killed. And I know who killed him--I saw it,” Jimin blanches. “I knew I would be blamed for killing him. Me, someone who could never hold a chair on the high council unless bonded to a member themselves. I knew how bad the situation would look to the public eye. So I ran. But running can only get you so far for so long. I would be sent on trial and they’d give me an unjust death for treason. But the killer, the new High Arc, he caught me. He gave me an option: to be beheaded in front of the capital--or exiled from the galaxy. I chose exile, obviously.”

“I want to go home, but I’m afraid-- I’m afraid of what I’ll have to do when I get back and I’m afraid of being punished--of being a disappointment for cowardly fleeing from the High Council instead of fighting and exposing the New Arc.”

He spits out his shame and it tastes like blood in his mouth.

Taehyung wonders if he’s told anyone, if any of the people he left back home know where he is. But who would he go to when he’s a fugitive?  

“What would they think?” Jimin asks softly.  “My friends who I grew up with--who I trained and protected? And what about the roots I never got the chance to know? I’ve brought shame to them… I… can never go back.” he comes to the conclusion. His eyes are wide and filled with tears. Taehyung watches them fall down Jimin’s soft, pale cheeks.

 

“Oh, Jiminie,” Taehyung says softly. He pulls Jimin by the shoulders and into his chest. Jimin’s body is rigid against his, but he pays it no mind. “You did what you could, and you did the right thing. What happened to your friends, your family… that’s beyond your control. People who care about you want you to be safe. You can’t help them if you don’t help yourself first.”

 

The quiet patter of fish in the distance and the rustling of the trees is all the two of them hear for a moment. Taehyung feels Jimin’s body relax as he lets out a deep sigh. It strikes something warm in Taehyung’s chest. He runs his fingers over Jimin’s back, before he’s whispering, “I know it must be difficult, but don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself.”

Jimin tuts, shaking his head against Taehyung’s chest. “It’s fine, now that I’m here on Earth. It’s just sad that I’ll never be in contact with one of my own people. I see you and your friends... your grandfather-- I can’t help but wish I had something like that.”

Taehyung runs his fingers through thick silky, silvery hair. Jimin leans into him; Taehyung’s touch has become something natural to him, something he finds himself yearning for with each passing minute. Jimin wonders when they started putting their trust in each other. He wonders if he’s even capable of doubting Taehyung.

“You said you had friends back home, right? What happened to them?”

 

Jimin stills and the thoughts come tumbling back like an avalanche of unwanted memories fall over his mind. “They tried to help me escape.” His brows furrow and his lips go pale. It takes him a while to speak, but he finds his voice and it sounds like hearts breaking. “Before the death of the High Arc, there were rumors of assassination attempts. They knew I’d be in danger, they tried to help me out of the capital but they were caught. They were taken into questioning, but that was years ago. I haven’t seen them since Orion knows when. I miss them, but they’re gone.” Jimin swallows thickly. “I have no one.”

 

Taehyung inhales deeply. “I’m glad you had them, but who knows. They were with you, right? In the militia?”

Jimin nods his head. “Yes. We trained together, the three of us. They were both brilliant.”

“I’m glad you had them, then. Who knows. They might’ve escaped as well.”

Jimin makes a face. “I’ll never know.”

They ruminate in silence for a beat longer, wading their feet in the water before Taehyung pulls his out. He looks down at his wrinkly toes, wiggling them in front of Jimin. It takes a while, but he eventually draws a laugh out of the alien.

Walking back to their apartment hand in hand, Taehyung looks at Jimin. “If it’s any consolation, Jimin, you’re not alone.”

Jimin tilts his head to give Taehyung a curious stare.

“You have me.”

“I only have you.” Jimin laughs, shaking his head.

 

That night, when they finally clamber up the stairs and into the apartment, Jimin climbs into bed. Just as Taehyung’s about to go back to the couch, Jimin takes his hand. “Can’t we just share the bed?” He asks in a whisper. Taehyung thinks that maybe Jimin doesn’t want to be alone. Not after everything he just told him. Taehyung nods, sliding into bed next to him. They face each other, eyes wide open, sleep suddenly nonexistent. Especially not when Jimin is looking at Taehyung so intensely, like he’s expecting something of him.

 

Feeling a little self-conscious, Taehyung shuffles. “Hey, uh. Jimin. I know it’s fascinating, but please don’t watch me sleep. It’s kinda...”

 

Taehyung waits a moment before he hears Jimin’s embarrassed, “Right. Got it.”

 

He feels like he’s floating between the realms of day and night, but sleep inevitably digs its claws into him. Before he slips into unconsciousness, he hears the softest voice.

“Say, Taehyung-ah,” Jimin says, just before he lets his eyes shut. “Let’s keep going for a long time.”

 

And Taehyung smiles into Jimin’s hair, trying not to think of his universe without Jimin in it.

Chapter Text


 

Taehyung  blinks his eyes open, the buzz of his phone on his bedside table enough to rouse him from his late afternoon nap.

 

“Yoongi-hyung invited us out drinking. Wanna go?” His voice comes out groggy, his back warm with the press of Jimin’s chest against his body. It came to Taehyung’s knowledge, not long after they first met, that Jimin is a touchy person with absolutely no awareness of physical boundaries. Which is exactly why Jimin doesn’t mind that Taehyung has become his personal koala, Taehyung’s limbs typically wrap around Jimin’s lithe body in his sleep, but the second he shifts away, Jimin clings to Taehyung, searching for warmth again. Which can be a bit of a hassle when Taehyung tries to pry himself away from Jimin when he wakes up in the morning.

He feels Jimin’s breath on the nape of his neck and it sends chills down his spine.
He rather likes the goosebumps that have been permanently fixed on his skin since their decision to share a bed.
He rather likes not feeling so alone.
He... rather likes Jimin.

Taehyung feels Jimin shift around, his fingers scratching lightly at the fabric over Taehyung’s stomach. And then something seems to register within Jimin. He throws the thicket of blankets off of them in a hurry and his body snaps upward. Taehyung jerks back, startled.

“Drinking?” Jimin asks excitedly. “Drinking what, exactly? Alcoholic beverages? Are we finally getting intoxicated together like other humans your age? Is it time to get ‘lit?’”

 

Taehyung looks at him funnily, grinning at Jimin’s brimming curiosity. “Yeah,” he laughs.

 

Taehyung rolls off the bed and pulls a shirt from his drawer on. “Just let me finish changing.”

He decides on something other than culottes for once, sliding on a pair of black slacks and a dark blue button up. Skimming through his closet, he also picks out something for Jimin to wear, something the two of them had picked out on one of their various ventures into the city together. He’s about button his own shirt up and turn to Jimin and tell him to change when he hears Jimin’s say something peculiar. Taehyung’s sure his breath’s been knocked out of his windpipe.

 

“What’d you say, Jimin?”

 

“Oh god, that’s hot.” Jimin reiterates, his intonation completely flat, looking at Taehyung’s golden skin with a blank expression. Taehyung freezes, the clothes he’d picked out for Jimin hanging limply by his fingers before they fall to the floor.

 

“What.”

 

“What?”

 

“Why...did you just say that?” he asks, his voice strained. Taehyung shakes his head. “Where did you learn that?”

 

“Well, Jungkook says it anytime Namjoon-hyung changes, so I figured--”

 

Taehyung quickly shakes his head. “Namjoon-hyung and Jungkook are different.”

 

“What makes them different?” Jimin furrows his eyebrows in apparent confusion. He looks up at Taehyung innocently.

 

Taehyung looks away, blushing. “They’re...they’re. Closer.”

 

A huff of indignation escapes Jimin’s lips. “We’re close too! What do they have that we don’t?” Oh god, Jimin is cute. He’s so, so painfully cute and Taehyung doesn’t really know what to do  about it. He scrambles to conjure up a lie, something semi-believable.

 

“They just. Sometimes people do things. Like wrestle each other, for fun.” He cringes at his words. “They do that kind of stuff. With each other.”

 

“Taetae, we wrestle all the time! I tackled you yesterday, remember?” Jimin answers, a sage smile on his lips. Taehyung thinks he can’t really worm his way out of this.

 

“They wrestle differently. They do. Like, extreme wrestling.”

 

There’s a hum, a beat of silence, and then Jimin sliding off of the bed. “Why don’t we ever dabble in that sort of athleticism? Sounds like a good time.”

Jimin’s voice sends chills through Taehyung. He feels himself shiver and it’s not long before Taehyung is caught in his own web of lies. “Uh, it’s. It’s. I mean, we could. M-Maybe,” he stutters. Then he shakes his head. “I mean, no. We couldn’t, not yet. I’m not the kind of person who wrestles just anyone. I look for a wrestling partner who’s willing to commit to me and love me. So.”

 

Jimin makes a face of understanding. “So, do all humans refer to sex as wrestling?”

 

Taehyung sputters. “I-I. Uh.” He’s stumped. Taehyung momentarily considers renewing his passport so he can run away and flee to a different country to escape from this embarrassing moment. But then, he remembers Jimin is an alien from a different galaxy. If he managed to find a planet millions of light years away, he’d undoubtedly find Taehyung.

 

Shaking his head, Jimin sends a knowing smirk Taehyung’s way. He walks toward the stunned man before picking up his neglected clothes off the ground, making a show of dropping to the floor and bouncing on his heels before walking into the bathroom to change.

 

Taehyung blinks stupidly.

 

Huh.

 

He tacs a few more interesting facts about Jimin onto his growing list.

 

  1. Jimin is kind of a smartass. It would be annoying if he weren’t so fucking cute.
  2. He has an astounding sense of fashion. His tastes, however, are on the expensive side. Taehyung figures coming from an upper-class palace to a measly apartment building was probably a downgrade, so he treats Jimin to a few high end things. That Gucci sweater cost him an arm and a leg though (It was worth the giant grin on Jimin’s face when he put it on).
  3. Jimin’s slut drop could kill a man. Specifically, Taehyung.


Taehyung can’t deny the fact that his mouth went a little slack at the way Jimin dropped to the floor.

 

He also can’t deny the fact that he stares at Jimin’s ass when he walks away.

But who can blame him?

Jimin’s ass is literally out of this world.

 

Taehyung decides to prepare Jimin for it. After all, Taehyung’s not quite sure how Jimin will react to being intoxicated, or if he’ll even be affected at all. They head over to Yoongi’s after stopping by the convenience store to pick up a twelve-pack and a bottle of goldslick vodka (because Jimin thought looked pretty while they were perusing through isles).

 

Namjoon raises a brow when he sees them at the doorstep, before grinning wildly at the bags in Taehyung’s hand that he sheepishly lifts up into view. “Poppin’ a cold one open with the boys?”

 

Namjoon rolls his eyes. “First of all, you didn't even quote it right. Two—Shut up and get in before anyone notices I’m acquainted with you.”

 

Taehyung giggles, ushering Jimin in before trailing into the apartment behind him.

 

It’s like a tornado struck the apartment; as laden as it is with course papers and empty shells of hot pockets and cups of ramen. Namjoon pushes the trash with his foot, “Finals,” he coughs out an excuse. “You know how it is.”

 

Jungkook takes that moment to pop into the living room from his and Namjoon’s shared bedroom. “Didn’t know you guys were coming here! Thought we were meeting at the club?”

 

“Eh, just wanted to pregame.”

 

“Well good. I didn’t really want to waste a buttload of money on some watered down drink anyway, to be honest.” He pushes away a pile of paper lying on the couch cushion and plops down. “Toss me a beer?”

 

They all sit around him, Yoongi coming back home from the studio soon after. Jungkook’s two beers in and he’s already red faced and pressing his lips indiscreetly against Namjoon’s cheek. “Let’s play never have I ever.”

 

“No,” the rest of them say.

Well, everyone except Jimin.

 

“What’s that?” Jimin smiles.

 

“You basically just say things you’ve never, like, done before. And then if someone else has done it, you have to...take a shot.”

 

Jimin hums, turning to Taehyung. “We should play.”

 

“No,” they say again.

 

“Why not?” Jungkook whines, throwing himself back onto the couch. “I hate this fucking family you guys never let me do shit!”

 

Yoongi rolls his eyes. “Last time we did this you ended up on the balcony screeching the lyrics to every One Direction song in existence.”

 

“I was just making a few midnight memories, hyung. Can you blame me for wanting something great?”

 

“Shut the fuck up,” Yoongi groans, throwing a couch cushion in Jungkook’s direction. And then, Yoongi stills. A grin grows on his face. “I have a better idea though.”

 

Jimin and Jungkook perk up. “What is it?”

 

Yoongi looks around at their blank faces, then he procures a bottle of shiny amber liquid. “Body shots.” No.

 

“No,” Taehyung says, this time very alone. “Please. No.”

 

Jimin tilts his head to the side, mouth open and ready to ask when he’s cut off.

“Body shots! Body shots!” Jungkook begins to chant, banging his fists on the coffee table between the sofas. He nudges Namjoon who joins along reluctantly. “Body shots! Body shots!” Their chant gets louder and louder, until Taehyung decides that it’s too early in the night to deal with Jungkook’s shit.

 

Jungkook cheers in elation, fist-pumping the air.

 

It isn’t a good idea.

 

Taehyung stares at Namjoon and Jungkook excitedly stripping while Yoongi whips out his phone to snap the whole thing. Jimin looks on with extreme curiosity, before he turns back at Taehyung. “Are you going to take your shirt off too?

 

Taehyung gulps, averting his gaze. He’s not drunk enough for this. He’s really, really not. “Uh, yeah. I might.”

 

Jungkook sprinkles the salt into Namjoon’s dimple (“Predictable,” Yoongi snorts, smiling affectionately as Jungkook swats him away). Namjoon’s got the lime wedge between his teeth, looking at Jungkook with anticipation as he pours the shot into his glass and downs it quickly, and moves to lick up the salt over Namjoon’s cheek while Namjoon laughs at the ticklish sensation. He makes a loud slurping sound against Namjoon’s skin. If Jungkook’s lips linger too long, no one says anything.

 

Namjoon ends up taking a shot off of Yoongi’s naval, Yoongi shivering a hiss when Namjoon’s tongue flicks to lick up the salt.

(“This is... borderline pornographic,” Taehyung comments. Jungkook’s eyes are glued to the way Namjoon’s tongue traces over Yoongi’s skin. Jungkook’s mouth is dry when he whispers,“I’m literally so hard right now, dude.” Taehyung refuses to look down.)

 

They take a few more, Taehyung opting out until they all turn to Jimin. Taehyung places a protective hand on Jimin’s shoulder, a warning to his friends. But Yoongi whips his phone at them anyway. “Jimin, you’ve never done this before, have you?”

 

Jimin shakes his head, his lips curving up excitedly. “No.”

“You should take a shot off of Taehyung,” Yoongi nods his head. “Taehyung is the body shot king. His collarbones are perfect for it.”

 

Taehyung freezes up, his head suddenly feeling a lot lighter all of a sudden. “Can I, Tae?”

 

Jimin’s voice is small, questioning--god, he looks so innocent and unknowing. Taehyung bites his tongue, a reluctant ‘okay’ slipping out way too easily.

 

And then Jimin’s fingers are at the hem of his shirt, gliding over the expanse of his skin underneath the fabric, feather-light and knowing. Jimin pushes Taehyung back onto the couch, eyes wild as Yoongi hands him a lime.

Taehyung feels his throat constrict as he stares up at hungry eyes hovering over him. Jimin straddles his waist, grabbing the bottle of tequila and pours it into the divot of his collarbone. Taehyung tries not to jerk up, and looks anywhere but at Jimin.

And then Jimin sprinkles the salt on Taehyung’s neck and Taehyung knows he’s a lost cause. He whimpers weakly, when Jimin presses the rind against his mouth, running his thumb over Taehyung’s bottom lip before slurping up the shot right above his bone and licking up his neck to catch the salt. Taehyung thought Jimin was innocent, but the look on his face now is completely devilish, eyes narrowed and determined, before Jimin’s mouth is on Taehyung’s, biting down onto the lime between them and sucking harshly.

 

A series of sharp gasps and whoops go around the room, but Taehyung and Jimin don’t hear them--no. All Taehyung feels is the press of plush, pillowy lips against his and he whimpers, eyes flying shut.

He blocks out the rest of the world.

His skin feels like it’s been set on fire, like sunlight is being poured into his veins. Taehyung feels fucking powerful, like he could conquer the world with Jimin at his side. He pulls Jimin closer--god, he needs him to be closer because this feeling is something he absolutely craves. or maybe it’s just jimin he craves. Jimin is grasping at his arms, his fingers digging into his skin and his body is pressed up against Taehyung’s like he’s read Taehyung’s damn mind. yes. finally, finally, finally.

 

And when the lime falls to the couch cushion and Jimin’s still licking up into Taehyung’s mouth, well-- Yoongi coughs awkwardly, “Okay, uh. I’ve had enough of that. Anyone else ready to head to the club?”

 

...

Strobe lights flicker over the sea of people, sending Taehyung into shock for a brief second. He sticks close to Jimin, their fingers locking together as they snake their way up to the front of the crowd. They get in easily with Namjoon and Yoongi’s help, since their friend is performing tonight. The seedy club is practically jam-packed with a bunch of hipsters who look like they have nothing better to do with their time, Taehyung notes as they all maneuver their way past the bar.

 

Jungkook is already kind of buzzed, having pregamed back at his apartment. He latches onto Namjoon’s side, trying to bury his head in the crook of Namjoon’s neck, instead jamming his head straight into it. Namjoon winces before shaking his head at the younger fondly. They exchange a few words before Jimin is looking at Taehyung expectantly. Taehyung tries not to think about the kiss, he really does. But he can’t fight off the thoughts of Jimin’s salty, plush mouth on his. He wants it again. So badly.

 

Taehyung leans in toward Jimin, trying not to stare too obviously at his lips. “You alright?” He mouths. Jimin nods his head with a giant grin on his face.

 

“I’ve never experienced this before. There’s so many people!” Jimin yells over the bad house remix of some Top 40 song Taehyung’s heard at least five times on the radio.

 

Taehyung smiles, elated at the way Jimin sways his body to the music excitedly. “Awesome. Want a drink?”

 

Jimin nods his head, this time vigorously. He’s barely paying attention to Taehyung now, his eyes drawn to the cypher that’s started in the middle of the dance floor. “Yeah, whatever you’re having is fine,” he replies dismissively. Taehyung chuckles in response, untangling their fingers reluctantly before he’s trying to get through the thick wall of bodies.

 

Taehyung is practically pushed out of the crowd, balancing himself against the bar counter. The bartender shoots him an unsure look. Taehyung dutifully ignores it and rattles off his order. The beat of the music thrums through his body, he stares down at one of the drinks the bartender slides his way and drums his fingers against the granite countertop absentmindedly. It’s a nice club, despite its grimy inhabitants. It’s ceiling dawns a crystal chandelier that has light reflecting off of it in every direction, the strobe lights catch it, a myriad of colors spilling across the burgundy walls and plush seats of the booths toward the back. Taehyung turns his attention back to the crowd, eyes scanning for Jimin, who’s dancing happily along with Namjoon. Namjoon, Taehyung notes, is moving his limbs awkwardly, trying (and failing) to look like he’s having fun. His mood is light, he feels airy, especially with a little bit of bubbly in his system to keep him warm and feeling light. The bartender is in the middle of mixing the drink he ordered for Jimin when Taehyung feels a hand firmly gripping at his shoulder. He turns around with a grin, expecting to see one of his friends, but his smile quickly dies on his face.

 

No one is anywhere near him. Most of the club-goers have abandoned the bar in order to crowd around the stage, nowhere near the bar. Taehyung furrows his brows in confusion.

 

He looks around him one more time to see if anyone is looking at him before he shrugs and continues to wait for his drink in a tipsy haze.

 

It’s when the bartender passes Taehyung the other drinks he ordered when he begins to notice. The first steps are fine, he thinks. But when he tries to get back to the middle of the dance floor, his legs go wobbly, the drinks in his hands sloshing out of their cups. He frowns at the fruity alcoholic beverage wondering where the staccato beat of the music had gone, where the booming of the base went, when the laughter and chants of everyone in the club had suddenly disappeared?

His eyes widen in realization.

He whips his head around, his vision going completely blurry. A sharp throbbing ache shoots through his head, like someone’s sticking needles through it in every direction. He drops the drinks in his hands and doubles over in pain, falling onto his knees. He panics now, eyes going wide when he feels that tight, vice-like grip on his shoulder again. Taehyung wills himself to look over his shoulder, but his body won’t move. Something is trying to drag his body out of the club, he can feel his thighs giving in as his knees slide across the white granite floor.

 

His body goes limp for a moment when something pulls him back to up to reality quite literally. “Taehyung?” Jimin yells over the loud music that comes roaring back to life. “Are you alright? What happened?”

 

In his state of discombobulation, Taehyung stares blankly at Jimin. His body trembles when he blinks up at him with wide, fearful eyes. “I don’t--I don’t know.”

 

“Did someone hurt you?”

 

His throat bobs as he lets out a shaky breath. Taehyung pushes down the fear. Tonight he’s supposed to be showing Jimin a good time. They’re going to get drunk and listen to some underground rapper spit fire about whatever bullshit is popular these days and they’re going to go home and cuddle on their couch and watch cartoons until four in the morning. Taehyung refuses to turn a good night into a bad one just because of some freak incident.


He bites his tongue. “No. I just slipped a little.”

 

Pensiveness crosses Jimin’s features, his eyes narrowing at Taehyung before he seems to accept the answer and guides Taehyung back to their friends.

 

Taehyung lets out a sigh, ignoring the burning sensation on his shoulder. It’ll be okay, he’ll be okay. And he is, for the most part. Namjoon and Yoongi give Taehyung concerned looks before they turn their attention back to the stage, their friend coming on to give a quick little shoutout before starting his set. Taehyung knows Donghyuk; he’s seen him hanging around Namjoon and Yoongi’s studio from time to time, so he knows he’s good. But all he hears is white noise, the blurry screeching sounds.

 

He can practically feel Jimin’s gaze burning him, his eyes still fixated on the stage when Jimin tugs down on the sleeve of his loose button up. Donghyuk comes on stage and the crowd goes mad, the mass of people pushing up toward the stage, bodies pressing closer and closer together. Taehyung’s compressed against Jimin, who’s arm snakes around his waist to steady him. Taehyung admires how unfazed Jimin is by this.

 

Soon, the whole crowd is moving and bodies are swaying  and Jimin is no exception. Taehyung watches, captivated, his mouth hanging open just a bit as Jimin rolls his body fluidly to the slow beat of the man’s voice.

 

It’s dizzying, entrancing, watching Jimin’s lips part and quirk up into a smirk. Taehyung rakes his eyes up over Jimin’s body until he meets his gaze. Jimin is staring at him intensely, playfully--challengingly, almost. And Taehyung’s never been one to back down from a challenge. Jimin’s body moves like water, and Taehyung wants to drown in him. His eyes never leave Jimin’s, but the second they do, he staggers back. His body goes a little numb as he loses control of his body. He watches Jimin’s face drop completely lunging forward to catch him. He hears Jimin saying his name, frantic and hurried. Jimin looks around, searching the crowd for their friends, but they’ve lost each other in the midst of the performance.

 

Jimin’s brows scrunch together and Taehyung watches his mouth moving quickly before he’s hoisting Taehyung up and pushing them through the mass of people.

 

And when Jimin and Taehyung make their way to the exit, they don’t catch the plotting pairs of ethereal eyes lingering after them, before slinking their morphed forms back into the crowd.


 

“Hey,” Jimin says, his knuckles knocking against Taehyung’s as they make their way out the bar’s doors. It’s the middle of winter but Taehyung thinks Jimin brings spring to his life with every word that spills out of his mouth--with every quirk of his lips and sparkles in his eyes flowers bloom.

 

Taehyung instinctively laces their fingers together, feeling a weight lifted as soon as they reached the fresh air. “Hi,” he says back, and it’s beautiful, how easily their footsteps fall in sync. “I don’t want this night to end,” he admits bashfully.

 

Jimin hums contemplatively. Then he eyes Taehyung suggestively, his lips forming a smirk. “It doesn’t have to, you know.”

 

Taehyung looks at him, his cheeks heating up at the implications behind Jimin’s words.

“I know a place we can go.” Jimin nods his head in the opposite direction of Taehyung’s apartment.

 

They go down a street Taehyung’s never been through, it’s dusty and dimly lit. But Jimin leads and Taehyung follows.
He thinks he’d follow Jimin anywhere, if he’d let Taehyung.

 

They wind up at a block of food trucks lining the side of the street. People are all queued up, ordering and bustling in this niche pocket of the city. There’s dessert trucks and fusion food and Taehyung’s eyes light up when Jimin pulls him up to a food truck that they immediately gravitate toward.

 

“How did you find this place?” He bites into the wrap, blushing a little when Jimin goes to swipe the sauce that dribbles off his lips.

 

Jimin shrugs his shoulders, nonchalantly. “I don’t stay at home all day when you’re at school.”

 

“Oh?” Taehyung quirks a brow. “Have you learned anything about the fabrics of our measly human society?”  

“Yeah, I’ll take back what little I’ve learned back to my home world.” Jimin passes Taehyung an amused look and Taehyung pretends not to notice the nervous tap of his foot on the pavement. “Plot twist,” Jimin whispers. He looks at Taehyung apprehensively, before he leans in. “I’ve been a spy all along.”

 

Taehyung snorts at the joke. “Get real, you could never be a spy.”

 

Jimin turns his head and swallows thickly, his food becoming particularly interesting. Taehyung doesn’t notice.

 

Instead, Taehyung thinks. He searches the dimly lit street, eyeing up the various vendors and children roaming around. Taehyung loves moments like this. Where there’s mirth in people’s eyes and light shines down on them all from the moon; moments like these where there’s whistles and laughter and enjoyment being felt by everyone around him. He’s energized by things filled with life and colors and small, simple beauties in things as miniscule as a baby’s smile.

 

Then he thinks of Jimin. How his friend has been marooned to a planet he never dreamt of stepping foot on, how he no longer has a home. Taehyung vaguely wonders if Jimin is happy.

 

The crowd on the street slowly diminishes, the children gone and vendors closing down shop. Jimin holds out his hand for Taehyung to put his trash into and stands to find a bin. Taehyung watches him, entranced. Jimin’s every movement is fluid; he’s the embodiment of water, moving with a certain liquidity he’s never seen in anyone before.

 

“Is everyone on your planet this entrancing?” Taehyung bites his tongue to keep the words in, feels he knows the answer, but he decides to save the question for another time. Maybe a time where Taehyung’s not overwhelmed with the unnerving idea that aliens are threatening his peace of mind and thinking about him and Jimin’s safety. Perhaps when he's not feeling like the world is on the precipice of combusting, when he doesn't experience weird black outs, when he doesn't feel like someone, somewhere is watching him. Taehyung has been trying to be discreet about harboring an alien fugitive, but he’s not exactly the quietest person on the planet. He’s an open book, so lying--especially to his grandpa and friends--isn’t an easy task for him to do. But maybe it’s worth it. Jimin’s worth it.

He eyes Jimin reproachfully and he’s sure it’s not his food that’s leaving the bitter taste in his mouth.“Do you think that you could grow to like it here?”

 

Jimin stills. “I--” He sits down next to Taehyung on the curb, watching a food truck drive off. “I think I could, you know? I lied to myself for a few weeks, telling myself everything was okay-- that I wasn’t hurt and that maybe it was all some sick, cruel joke.” His eyes are blank slates, dark and melancholic and all Taehyung wants to do is forget he asked. But he listens. Taehyung understands, to a degree. He gets it.

Everything in his life feels like it's been upturned and his locus of control has never been lower; he can't seem to take reign of what's going on, but it doesn't exactly feel good. But when he looks at Jimin--when he looks at Jimin the anxiety reels itself in, like it's been whipped back. Taehyung rests his hand on Jimin’s shoulder, comforting and quiet.

“When you feel bad, Jimin, don’t be afraid to lean on me. It’s better to talk to me--or someone else--about how you’re feeling than to convince yourself your feelings don’t exist, because. Well. They do. And every emotion you feel is valid. You’re completely justified in being lost. Being in this environment is scary, but I told you before,” Taehyung smiles. “You’re not alone. And I don’t plan on leaving you anytime soon.”

 

Jimin leans closer, his head resting on Taehyung’s shoulder. He hums out a soft, appreciative noise.

 

“Earth isn’t too bad. Humanity is weird, I’ll give you that. It’s...incredible how much hate there is between different cultures--how many ways you can all kill each other before thinking about what you’re actually hurting is your home. It’s. Different. I think that I have a lot more learning to do about this planet. I want to understand. I don’t want to continue being ignorant, I want to know more about this place, about different countries and cultures--things that my acquisition devices can’t do-- I,” he pauses, looking at Taehyung. “I want to know about you.”

 

Taehyung flounders like a fish out of water. He’s shocked stiff, his body completely unresponsive as he processes what Jimin’s said. But now Jimin’s face is flushed lavender, his cheeks heating up and Taehyung swears he sees steam emanating off of skin. Jimin stands up, pulling Taehyung along with him. “I have another place to show you, if you’re still up for it?”

 

Taehyung feels the wind knocked out of him--like he’s lost a sense of his equilibrium and he’s spinning in space with no center of gravity and nothing to hold onto. He’s at a loss for words. “Uh. Y-Yeah,” he stutters lamely.

 

The brisk air kisses Taehyung’s skin, scattering goosebumps across his body like fucking warning bells. Jimin doesn’t like it here. He’ll leave and you’ll never see him again. He can practically feel Jimin’s gaze on him as they walk slowly toward their next location, ignoring the pattering feet against pavement as they make their trek across the city.

 

Jimin’s fingers slip against Taehyung’s, a silent reassurance. It’s a brief touch of skin, but feels a lot like, I’m not going anywhere, not without you.

And it’s just. It’s too easy, as if Jimin could hear Taehyung thinking. Everything about being with Jimin is just so easy --from the way their fingers find each other to the way they know how the other likes their coffee in the morning without even asking.

 

He’s special. He thinks. Then he makes a face, internally laughing to himself. Well, no shit. He’s an alien.  

 

There’s a secluded area, a divot in the lines of the city. It’s aged and rusted with years of wear, but lo and behold, a playground lies ahead of them. Jimin walks to the center of it, spinning around before motioning for Taehyung to follow him onto the tan bark. Taehyung doesn’t hesitate to attach their limbs, their bodies intertwined as Jimin spins Taehyung around by the tips of his fingers. Taehyung swears Jimin’s on his tiptoes, but he sees Jimin floating just a few inches off the ground and remembers that yeah, that’s a thing Jimin can do. He laughs at the space between the ground and Jimin’s feet and Jimin blushes, letting out an indignant yelp.

 

“Are people from your planet usually this short?” Taehyung laughs. He pats the top of Jimin’s head gingerly before letting his fingers run through the silvery locks. Jimin leans into his touch, but the pout on his face remains. He stomps on Taehyung’s foot playfully.

 

Then he dances. Slow and sensual, almost like at the club, but much more personal. He glides through the air expertly, free and flowing. Taehyung stands there, admiring the sight with his jaw hung slack.

 

“Where’d you learn?” He says, after watching Jimin’s feet touch the ground.

 

“Dance?” Jimin pauses his movements, almost flinching. “I trained in the military, but I was allotted time to train in an extracurricular so I chose dance. I had a private instructor.” The words come out uncomfortably stiff. “Dance was...it is my passion.”

 

Taehyung tries to avoid the topic of fighting, of his home planet, and settles for something else. Jimin answers his questions about his favorite styles of dancing--the differences between human dance and Jimin’s planet’s styles. Jimin likes human dances, he’s researched a few and has dabbled just a bit in imitating some dance videos he’s found on Taehyung’s tablet (his laptop is a lost cause at this point).

 

“I really want to learn how to slow dance.”

 

“What? Really? It doesn’t suit you.” Taehyung says. “Well, I mean I’m sure you’ll be great but, I just think you’ve described liking contemporary pieces a lot.”

 

“Well, I mean. Those pieces don’t typically involve partner work, right? And you don’t do..this. contemporary shit.”

 

“Hey! You cussed I’m proud of you.” then he thinks of what Jimin just said. “Why do you need me?”

 

“Well. We’re partners. I want you to be involved. Can you teach me how to do it?”

 

Taehyung gulps. “Definitely. I can do that, but I can’t guarantee I won’t crush your feet, Jiminnie.”

 

Jimin giggles. “Don’t worry about that, I’m sure you’ll be fine.”

 

Taehyung fails to let Jimin know that, he indeed does not know how to slow dance to save his life. He grew up a farmer, spending hours on end in fields staring up into space—He flat out refused to take cotillion.

 

He googles it.  

Taehyung is pretty sure the only people who really look this up are nervous twelve year olds going to their first dance, but here he is shaking as he stares at his useless phone. He promptly stuffs it into his pocket and just places his arms over Jimin’s shoulders. He’s taller by a long shot, but he uses this as an excuse to touch the tips of Jimin’s silvery hair. Jimin’s face melts into something warm, all soft edges and a curious grin. He places his hands gingerly on Taehyung’s waist.

 

“Why don’t you sing for me?” Jimin asks softly, floating upward just a bit to speak directly into Taehyung’s ear. Taehyung shivers.

 

He blinks at the question before he ducks his head. “I’m really not that good…”

 

Rolling his eyes, Jimin pinches Taehyung’s sides. “I’ve heard you while you’re showering. I like your voice, it’s got a nice, rich quality to it.”

 

Taehyung clears his throat, face devastatingly flushed.

 

Jimin flashes his teeth, and it’s cheshire like, the way he eyes Taehyung knowingly. “Sing the song you always sing… the one about the star.”

 

And so he does.

 

When I first met you, it was truly eye-blinding

When I first saw your smile, I felt like I had the whole world

 

Jungkook is immersed in the crowd, the alcohol sending a bubbly, warm feeling in his gut. Or maybe it’s Namjoon’s hand in his, but that’s really not the point. The point is that he’s having the time of his life, completely debauched in a club with some of his favorite people, not a care in the world about the fact that Namjoon and Yoongi’s friend’s rap isn’t the best. He sees Yoongi pushed to the front, but the older doesn’t care too much, he’s losing himself in the music. Jungkook nods his head to the thrumming beat of the club, his body swaying slowly next to Namjoon, when he feels a two pairs of hands on his shoulders.

 

He turns his head to look at them, and it may just be the alcohol, but there’s something different about them. “Tae-hyung,” he says, voice high pitched and wonderful. He giggles, “Did you get a haircut?”

 

Taehyung is looking at him with wide, dark eyes. He tilts his head to the side, expression strangely blank, like he’s going through a database of information before words pour out of his mouth unnaturally. “Yes, just this morning,” he says. It’s. Robotic, almost.


If Jungkook were sober, he would take one look at Taehyung and know something was wrong with him.
If Jungkook were sober, he would tug at Namjoon and Yoongi and scream bloody murder about shapeshifting and Namjoon would certainly lecture him about being logical and not making up some nonsensical fantasy.
If Jungkook were sober, well, he wouldn’t be falling into an intergalactic trap.

 

Jungkook is completely inebriated.

As in, he’s practically falling all over himself, struggling to stand up straight. He thinks he’s dancing, but he’s kind of just shifting from one foot to the other. He blinks stupidly at the doppelganger. “Holy shit, dude. It looks really bad,” he states bluntly. Then he snorts, his eyes widening at his own words as his cheeks puff and he lets out a hyena laugh. He leans on Namjoon, who looks over him curiously.

 

Namjoon’s completely blissed out, his eyes lingering on Jungkook’s bunny teeth and cute, flushed cheeks.

If Namjoon were sober, a pop-up urging him to exit out of the page would be flashing in his vision, just like those weird ones he gets when he’s “definitely not looking at porn, I swear!”

If Namjoon were sober, he could actually think of a plan to get Yoongi and Jungkook as far away from these imposters as soon as he could.


Namjoon is fucking sloshed.

He grins dopily at Taehyung and Jimin, a trail of saliva hanging from his mouth from laughing too hard at Jungkook’s words. “It doesn’t look that bad,” he lies, giggling as Jungkook’s eyebrows shoot up and he tosses Namjoon a look of utter shock.

“That’s a fucking lie,” Jungkook hisses, whipping his head to look at Taehyung, a little too fast. He grabs onto Jimin to steady himself. “Hyung, listen to me,” he slurs. “I would never lie to you about something like this. I would lie to you about how I broke your laptop freshman year--” he pauses, “--which I didn’t do at all, obviously--but I would literally never... lie about your ugly ass hair, I swear on my entire family’s souls.”

 

Taehyung nods at him, a giant smile stretching across his lips. It’s a genuine smile, but it looks wrong over Taehyung’s slightly altered features. “Thank you. That means a lot to me!”

 

Jungkook nods his head sagely, and Namjoon looks like he’s on the verge of tears, afraid he’d offended Taehyung completely.


“What are you drinking?” Jimin asks Namjoon happily, his eyes wide and filled with wonder at the sparkly drink.

 

“It’s called the Apple Nipple? Or was it the Alien Nipple?” Namjoon says the drink’s name like a question. “It’s got butterscotch schnapps, and some other liqueurs I can’t think of.”

Jungkook stares at him, then back at Jimin and Taehyung before he mouths ‘alien nipple’ and bursts into a fit of laughter.

 

Jimin and Taehyung seem to find it funny as well, a bit questionable, but funny. The four of them eventually dance together, Jimin and Namjoon wiggling their arms in what appears to be a very bad version of the wave.

Jungkook is staring at Jimin, his eyes squinting over Jimin’s figure before he notices. “Jimin, you got like, way taller. Weren’t you shorter than me before?”

 

Jimin freezes, mid wave. His eyes widen just a bit, before he’s stuttering. “Uh. No. I’ve always been taller than you. Right?” He laughs nervously.

 

“And Taehyung, your voice sounds a bit weird. Maybe you should stop drinking for the night,” Namjoon adds, concern lacing his voice.

 

Taehyung looks at him, his heart-shaped lips pouting. Have his lips always been that shape? “Yoongi, I’m fine.”

 

“I’m Namjoon,” Namjoon says, pointing at himself with a look of shock. “Right? I’m...Namjoon.” His voice trails off before he brings his hands up to his face like some act of affirmation.

 

Jimin punches Taehyung in the side, sending him a scolding look. “Yeah, hyung. He’s just so...drunk. He’s very drunk.” Namjoon and Jungkook brush off the thoughts, instead turning back to each other to grind sloppily against each other’s bodies. Jimin and Taehyung exchange a glance.

 

Yoongi finally finds his friends in the crowd after a few minutes and looks at the scene before him, eyebrows knitted together in suspicion.

 

Yoongi is completely sober.

Yoongi is sober and he’s staring at two fucked up versions of his friends. Their features are all wrong--they’re similar, but too far off for someone as sober as Yoongi not to notice. It’s a very, very, wrong image.


“Who the fuck are you two and where the hell are Taehyung and Jimin?” He asks, his eyes narrowing.

 

“What?” Taehyung laughs awkwardly.

 

Yoongi slowly moves toward Namjoon and Jungkook, placing a protective arm around his friends. “Cut the shit. Who are you?”

 

Taehyung and Jimin’s facades don’t break. They simply jolt forward, quickly reaching for Namjoon and Jungkook before Yoongi snatches his friends by the sleeves of their shirts and pushes two unsuspecting people from the midsts of the crowd in front of the imposters. Namjoon and Jungkook let out matching yelps, both of them giggling uncontrollably when they get their footing back.

 

He swears he sees red, before he’s pulling at Namjoon and Jungkook, his heart thumping loudly in his chest. Yoongi looks over his shoulder, Taehyung and Jimin’s eyes flash yellow, their teeth bared and they’re hot on Yoongi’s trail. Yoongi lets out a growl, dragging his friends through the crowd, desperate to get them to safety. He doesn’t know who the fuck these people are or what they want, but he’s got a gut feeling it’s not good.

 

They make it past the bar and out the exit, quickly trying to flag down a taxi. But he’s not that fast, he never was to them.

 

Just as a vehicle pulls up before them, Yoongi feels a sensation, like ice dripping down his sides. Namjoon and Jungkook are laughing at his sides, their faces buried into his neck.

And Yoongi’s body falls.

 

 

His phone is vibrating. It’s on his bedside table and it’s vibrating and he’s recognized the numbers on the clock as a glaring eight in the morning. Taehyung huffs, wanting to pull the pillow over his head, but Jimin’s kind of pressed up against his chest with his arms wrapped around his middle so he can’t exactly move. Then he remembers Jimin doesn’t even fucking need to sleep. “You’re awake, aren’t you?” He mutters. Jimin carefully pokes his head up with a mischievous little grin.

 

“I never slept, if I’m honest.”

 

“You were clinging to me like a damn koala,” Taehyung groans, even though they both know that Taehyung loves it.

 

“You were practically purring,” Jimin rolls his eyes, “I know you love it.”

 

Taehyung dutifully ignores him. “You couldn’t get the phone?”

 

Jimin shrugs. “Didn’t want to.”

 

Snorting, Taehyung moves to reach over and grab it. Namjoon’s name stops flashing on the screen. His heart nearly stops when he looks at his notifications He’s missed five calls from Namjoon. With shaky hands, he dials back, Namjoon picking up almost immediately.

 

“Hyung, what’s up?” He rushes his words out.

 

Namjoon’s breath comes out jagged and out of breath. “Yoongi-hyung--”

 

“What happened to him?” Taehyung asks, dread pooling in his gut.


Namjoon chokes out, “We can’t find him. We don’t know what happened last night after you and Jimin dropped us off at the apartment--”

 

“Namjoon-hyung,” Taehyung says slowly. “Jimin and I didn’t drop you off. I sent you a text when I got home, we left the club early.”

 

Namjoon’s breath catches in his throat, then he sighs, his voice crackling through the line. “Tae, it’s no time for jokes. This is serious, he’s just up and vanished!”

 

“Hyung, I’m being serious,” Taehyung groans frustrated. “What’s the last thing you remember?”

 

Namjoon pauses in contemplation. “You guys walked us to the cab and then dropped us off at the apartment... What the fuck is going on?”

 

Jimin wrenches the phone out of Taehyung’s fingers and speaks into it carefully. “Namjoon, I’m going to need you to get out of your apartment right now. Taehyung and I didn’t take you guys home, it wasn’t us--”

 

There’s a crackling sound, a struggle, and a crash coming from the other line. Taehyung and Jimin send each other concerned looks before the line goes silent. It clicks once, then the sound of heavy breathing sounds over the receiver.

 

Dial Tone.

Chapter Text

Taehyung reaches for the phone clutched tightly in Jimin’s hand. “What happened?” He asks, voice frantic as his fingers find Jimin’s. Jimin flinches away, and something about the whole situation doesn’t sit well with Taehyung. “Jimin, what the hell is going on?”

 

Jimin breathes out, eyes clouded and distant. He lets his hands fall limply to his sides. “It’s...not good. This is worse than I imagined.”

 

Taehyung sighs, biting back the frustration in his voice. “What is it? What happened to Yoongi-hyung?”

 

Jimin bites the inside of his cheek, his fingernails digging into his palms before he finally makes eye contact with Taehyung. A hint of regret flashes in his eyes and something ominous and eerie rushes through Taehyung. He feels the guilt resonate within Jimin.

“What if I told you that I’ve been keeping things from you? Bad things--things that...things that I can’t forgive myself for.” Jimin says, reluctantly. Taehyung looks at him, his back straightening. Jimin notices, his shoulders slumping forward.

 

“And what if it’s that I’ve been lying to you about who I am?” His eyes fall shut. “Would you hate me?”

 

Taehyung takes a deep breath. “Jimin,  I know you’ve been keeping things from me. I don’t expect you to tell me everything, or anything if you really don’t want to. If you kept something from me that would hurt me, well. Yeah of course I’ll be hurt, but I trust you. And I trust that if you do hide things...it’s for a good reason. I just need to know that the things that you’ve been hiding weren’t intended to harm anyone.”

 

“Taehyung, it’s not that simple. I--” He pauses, reaching out for Taehyung. Jimin takes Taehyung’s hands in his. Taehyung looks down at their fingers, lacing them together. These past months have been filled with sweetness, nothing but fond memories of the life they’ve cultivated and the relationship they’ve grown together; from their late nights staying up huddled under their sheets, to the quiet laughter Jimin emits in the mornings when Taehyung whines when his alarm goes off, to the way Jimin quirks his head in curiosity at every one of Taehyung’s little antics--it’s lovely. Jimin is lovely. He thinks Jimin’s hands are the perfect size, fitting into his just right. He squeezes Jimin’s palm reassuringly, and Jimin’s eyes water. Taehyung tilts his head in confusion.

He’s grown to know Jimin, grown accustomed to his scent, his laugh, his eyes crinkling when he smiles and nose scrunching up when he’s confused.

Taehyung knows him as a bright source of energy, spreading warmth with every step he takes.

Taehyung knows Jimin--he knows him well enough to understand that Jimin would never hurt him.

He trusts him, because that’s all Jimin’s allowed him to do.

He doesn’t necessarily get where Jimin is from, or what he’s been through. He knows his Jimin, the one who leaves his clothes around the living room and arranges all his furniture and makes his days worthwhile.

He knows his Jimin, who adds coffee creamer to his milk and cereal and whispers constellations into Taehyung’s head. He traces them on Taehyung’s skin when they lay in bed at night when Taehyung pretends to be asleep. Taehyung knows his version of Jimin, this irrevocably beautiful Jimin that makes Taehyung smile wider than anyone else has. And that’s all that matters to him.

But maybe that’s not all that should matter.

 

Jimin shakes his head in defeat. “Why are you so good to me? You...weren’t supposed to be this wonderful, Taehyung. You weren’t supposed to be this lovely.”

 

“What was I supposed to be? What--” Taehyung breathes. Realization hits him like waves of meteors colliding with the surface of a planet. It feels like he’s struck by lightning, like everything is suddenly piecing together. His mouth is dry as he whispers. “Did you crash on Earth with the intention of finding me? Did you plan this? All of this,” he motions to his phone. “Did you want my friends to be involved?” 

 

Jimin’s voice cracks and he backs away, his body moving toward the edge of the bed. “I’m so, so sorry.”

 

Taehyung bites his lip, reeling away as if he’s been burned. The truth is out now, and it hangs stagnant, heavy and thick over Taehyung’s head like a dam ready to break.

It’s a miracle he hasn’t completely lost it. Jimin has this strange way of calming him, even when he feels like tearing his hair out, his breath is even, his heart is light.

He nearly begs for the truth, his voice pleading when his eyes meet Jimin’s. “Jimin, please. Just talk to me. Tell me why.”

 

Jimin wrenches his hand away from Taehyung’s grasp and it feels all too much like rejection, like everything between them was a lie. But Taehyung is nothing if not forgiving. He’s nothing if not accepting or persistent. He knows Jimin is trying to guard himself, he’s patient. Taehyung waits for Jimin to speak.

“You’re so good, Taehyung. You’re so good and I’m nothing but a monster.”

 

“You know that’s not true, Jimin.” Taehyung says softly. “No one is perfect, but there’s good in everyone and that includes you. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it every day these past few months with you. I don’t know what exactly happened, and maybe that decision you’ve made in the past was the wrong one, but now you’ve recognized what you’ve done wrong. And what matters now is that you’ll do your best to fix it. Living in the past will only cause you more pain, and that’s...that’s not something you should want for yourself.” He nudges Jimin’s thigh with his knuckle. “And I don’t want that for you either, if that’s anything to go by.”

“How?” Jimin’s voice comes out in a hollowed whisper. “How am I supposed to right my wrongs?”

 

Everything is quiet. The birds haven’t chirped since this morning, the sky a muddied gray, and the wind is idle. Like everything around them knows Jimin is feeling upset.

 

(“That’s not me, you know,” Jimin will smile knowingly at Taehyung one day. “It’s not me that the world is reacting to. It’s you, Tae. It’s always been you.”)

 

Taehyung doesn’t have all the answers, but right now he thinks he knows what to say.

“Learn from them, grow from them, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.” He’s confident in his answer now. He leans forward, placing his hand on Jimin’s knee. This is a start. Jimin opens his mouth, to protest, perhaps--but Taehyung won’t let him. Not when he has a punchdrunk grin slapped on his face and he’s ready to help the people he loves.

 

 “Let’s fix this.” He takes Jimin’s hands again and Jimin’s trembling lips slowly turn into a bashful smile. “Whatever it is that you did, let’s fix it together. Let me help you.”  Jimin sniffles, wiping his face. He nods his head in agreement. “Now, tell me what happened to Yoongi-hyung.”

 

--

 

The clouds meander in the sky like a layer of death in sepia tones, the air heavy with a thick, foreboding aura. Taehyung sucks in a breath as he steps out of his car and onto the street. “Well, this doesn’t look too good.”

 

Everything about the apartment complex seems off--it’s strikingly eerie, the lack of people around this bustling part of the city. Taehyung turns to look at Jimin, but it does nothing to ease the dread churning in his gut. Jimin looks just about as shaken up as he is, if not worse. His skin is deathly pale, purple barely tinted on his skin as his fingers tremble. Taehyung takes his hand and Jimin nearly jumps out of his skin.

 

“It’s...worse than I thought,” Jimin whispers, his voice quivering. He gulps. “They’re definitely here and they’re definitely stronger than I anticipated. I can feel their presence.” Jimin pauses. “There’s...something off about this all.”

 

“And my friends?” Taehyung asks hesitantly.

 

“They’re here. All three of them, but it’s like they knew we were coming.” Jimin nods his head slowly. “This is a trap, Tae. I don’t know how safe it is for you to be here--”

 

“Are they alive? Can you...feel them? ” Taehyung asks reluctantly, his voice suddenly a lot shakier.”

 

“Can you?” Jimin retorts.

 

Taehyung searches his head, but his mind is a mess of worries and thoughts and he can’t seem to pinpoint a single thing. Focus, he hears Jimin say. And he can feel Jimin poking around in his head, helping him get a hang of this. His eyebrows furrow in concentration. It’s kind of hard, okay? He thinks back to Jimin and firing that message back to Jimin already takes so much energy out of him. He groans. “Telepathy is a skill I just found out I have like five minutes ago.”

Jimin’s eyebrows shoot up in amusement. Jeez, sorry.

 

“No you’re not,” Taehyung huffs. “Let’s just get in the building.”

 

“Whatever you say, your highness.” And if Taehyung wasn’t so worried his friends were in peril, he might’ve laughed at the irony and sarcasm.

 

They make their way through the building, stopping only to glance at the destroyed elevator shaft. Jimin inspects it with wide eyes, peering down the elevator to see the shaft completely abolished.  Their hearts beat faster as they slowly make their way up the creaking steps and their grip on each other tightens. Jimin looks at Taehyung inquisitively when he bends down to pick up the key hidden not-so-discreetly under the mat that reads Kindly fuck off in cursive print. Jimin mouths the words, squinting down at them. Taehyung nudges him.

 

They take one deep breath in unison, before Taehyung swallows thickly. Then turns the key and pushes the door open.

 

--

 

“So what happened to him?” Taehyung asked. He had to know. He had to know what happened to his friends. “Is he okay? Are Jungkook and Namjoon okay?”

 

Jimin tossed him a barren half smile. “Your friends are being used as bait, which means the chances of them being kept alive is as good as their value to us--well, to you. But I assume they know I care about you so…” He looked at Taehyung, before continuing. “It’s a trap, what we’re going into. But we have the advantage of knowing that. And we have you.”

 

“Me?”

 

Jimin bit his lip. “Taehyung. Haven’t you noticed that you’re different?”

 

“I mean. I have this weird thing where I can’t take a shit with my socks on, is that what you’re getting at? Look, I’m sorry I’ve left my gym socks on the toilet seat--” He started to panic. Some alarm, deep in the recesses of his mind went off. They told him abort. They told him to run. But he wanted to fight. He needed to be brave for his friends, for himself. For Jimin.

 

“Taehyung,” Jimin said softly. “Search your feelings--”

 

“Don’t you dare quote Star Wars at me right now, Jimin, I can and will cry.”

 

“You know it to be true.”

 

Taehyung breathed unsteadily. It’s like he was back in his home town again, kids crowded around him, the name being tossed around like a hacky sack. Alien. He grimaced.

“Yeah. I-I know. I always kind of knew.”

 

“You’re a miracle, you know? It’s unheard of, for our people to be with other species. Your being is unprecedented-- a blessing. But the people who have been following you--I think they’re after me. I may have lied before, but that was to keep you safe. If they know that you know anything at all--well, they might come after you too. I was sent here to capture and kill... I came here to kill--” Taehyung shakes his head.

 

“Don’t force yourself, Jimin, I get it.” Taehyung sighs, “You came here to kill me, right? You wanted to take my spot on the high council, which is apparently...my birthright?” He hums out the words.

 

Jimin froze. “Yes.” Shame colored his face, cheeks practically burning with it. “Yes, that was my intent.”

 

“Why didn’t you?” Taehyung asked. “Why don’t you?”

 

Jimin had been preparing for this, but now, confronted with the actual question, he found himself floundering. “People told me that meeting my fated one would be natural-- it would just happen. But when I saw you--” he hesitated, “--I knew it was different. I knew I would love you the second I laid eyes on you, and it’s... not because we’re fated to have a strong bond…it’s because you’re you. You’re so unabashedly you, and I can’t help but want to protect you. You’re impossible not to love, Kim Taehyung.”

 

“So that’s why you couldn’t do it.”

 

“I don’t think--” Jimin thought carefully of his words. “--I don’t think I’d like to live in a universe without you.” His eyes go wide, like he’d just said something he’d never before understood. “I’ll follow you anywhere.”

 

Taehyung’s breath hitched. “Well then, I’ll do my best to stick around.”

 

Soulmates, then?

 

Yeah, soulmates.

 

--

 

The first thing he notices is that it’s quiet here, oddly so.

 

The second thing he notes is the arrangement of furniture, stacked up much like how he found his apartment when Jimin first arrived. Jimin is looking around the room, eyeing every inch of it as if he’s looking for something. Something hidden.

 

The last thing he notices is Namjoon and Jungkook bickering in a distorted, familiar language, their mouths moving unnaturally before their heads whip around to look at Jimin and Taehyung and everything. Everything is so, so wrong. Their eyes are blown wide, their features not quite right, not quite them.

 

Taehyung can’t breathe again, and it’s just like the times before. He chokes, bringing his hands up to feel his neck, before he locks eyes with this imposter of Namjoon. He straightens his posture. “Where are they?”

 

The alien’s neck moves, and his head does an entire 360. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. My name is Kim Namjoon.” Taehyung fights the urge to scream because ew, what the fuck.

 

“Oh, you’re a fucking liar,” Taehyung scoffs, “Namjoon’s sense of fashion is a mess but even he wouldn’t be caught dead wearing those god awful neon crocs.”

 

“I told you those were ugly.” Fake Jungkook rolls his eyes.

 

Jimin steps in front of Taehyung, pushing him back. “Tae, stay behind me.”

 

The aliens jump out of their seats now that they’ve noticed Jimin. They regard him with shocked expressions. “Jimin,” they hiss out his name like a curse.

 

And Taehyung looks at Jimin. He looks at him and he doesn’t recognize the look in his eyes--it’s cold. Extremely cold, unimpressed. Like that version of Jimin that Taehyung has grown to know-- that version of Jimin that was terrified just moments ago-- has completely vanished.

 

“Seokjin, Hoseok. I would say it’s nice to see you again, but under these circumstances… I’m not too sure.” His voice is unwavering, commanding.

 

If Taehyung hadn’t been so terrified of being killed by aliens who are apparently after his fugitive (kind of) alien boyfriend alternatively titled: soulmate, he’s sure he’d be sporting at least a half chub from the tone of Jimin’s voice alone. Focus Taehyung. Something is really, really off here, Jimin thinks to him. Where are the real Jungkook and Namjoon?

 

Taehyung closes his eyes, and it’s difficult, but he knows his friends are here. They have to be here and they have to be alive. He gets a rush of warmth when he can feel their presence. He can feel their fear, their anxiousness.

The bathroom.

 

Jimin eyes him before nodding subtly in approval.

 

Alien Jungkook throws his arm up into the air and a surge of energy pushes out from his fingertips. That single motion keeps his feet locked in place.

 

Jimin’s head snaps toward the aliens, and it’s like watching a whip crack over skin. Everything happens so quickly, Taehyung can barely make out the way Jimin reappears across the room and grips onto the aliens tightly. They let out pained screeches as Jimin’s hands hover directly above their skulls.

Purple light shoots out of his palms and suddenly their features slowly morph, crunching and crackling and realigning their bone structures. Taehyung looks away, his eyes blown wide as he tries to keep his panic contained. He feels bile rise up his throat, but he needs to find his friends.


“Who sent you?” He hears Jimin bite out. It’s not a language he’s heard before, but he listens.

Taehyung listens to this language not spoken by humans and he understands.


Taehyung turns to see the aliens, one with pale pink skin, while the other is dusted orange. They both look at Taehyung with wide, curious eyes. They’re examining him.

 

“Who do you think?” the pink one spits out--Seokjin, who’d been Jungkook before. “We’ve been sent here to finish the job you couldn’t do.”

 

“There’s been quite a change of plans, not sure if you’ve gotten the memo,” Jimin growls out.

 

“Duly noted, but there’s been a change of plans on our end too. We’re taking you back.” It comes from the other this time, Hoseok. His face heats up a bright orange.

 

“You’re deluded if you actually believe I’d step foot on that brainwashing wasteland again.”

 

“Ah, Jimin. We’re not talking about you.” Hoseok spits out, breaking out of Jimin’s hold way too easily. Jimin tries not to let his shock show, but he’s failing.

They’ve been outplayed.

 

Jimin jolts back, his eyes desperate when he looks to Taehyung. He shakes his head. “I won’t let you hurt him. A single scratch on him and I swear I’ll send you both to float in empty space,” he bites out.

 

Seokjin pouts, crossing his pink arms over his chest. “Jimin, how dare you accuse us of treason. We’re not you, y’know.”

 

Jimin flinches at the jab, but he’s more concerned about what Seokjin has to say next.

 

“We would never hurt our new high arc.”

 

--

 

“What?” Taehyung says stupidly. “Your new what?”

 

Seokjin looks at him, his head bowed slightly. “Your highness, forgive us for the intrusion these past few weeks. It was incredibly difficult to get in contact with you while the spy was here.”

 

“Spy,” Taehyung parrots. He looks at Jimin. “You were stopping them from taking me? You knew and didn’t tell me?”

 

“To protect you from them--”

 

Hoseok interrupts, smugly. “--To keep you from what’s rightfully yours, your highness. He was going to kill you just like he killed your father.”

 

Jimin lets out a groan. “Hoseok, you know I didn’t do that! He was family to me, he treated me like his own. You know this.” Taehyung shoots Jimin a look, his eyebrows shooting up at the venom in Jimin’s voice. Seokjin and Hoseok look at Jimin with uncertainty and Jimin takes it as a chance to continue. “There’s only one person in our entire galaxy that’s capable of killing him and it sure as hell isn’t me.”

 

Unfazed, Seokjin turns his attention back to Taehyung, ignoring Jimin completely. “You’ll come with us. You have to prepare for departure and acquisition of your seat on the council.”

 

“And if I say no?”

 

Hoseok and Seokjin look to each other for support. Then they flick their wrists and a giant holographic screen shines in front of them. “The mission report has shown that if you refuse, we are to apprehend the royal arc by force and destroy this planet.”

 

“Wait, hold up. The whole planet? Your leader is going to throw a hissy fit if I don’t go and he wants to destroy the planet? Who elected this guy?”

 

It’s a bluff. Jimin looks at Taehyung.

 

Taehyung looks down at his locked feet unsurely. You sure? I mean, this is an entire planet we’re talking about. Billions of lives are at stake here. I have to think wisely.

 

There’s no way they have a weapon powerful enough to demolish a whole ass planet. Listen, I have a plan.

 

Did you just say ‘whole ass’? Nicely done. Taehyung smirks. And is this a plan to get my entire planet killed with me along with it? I know this may come as a shock to you but I kind of want to live and I kind of don’t want my planet to explode..

 

Do you trust me?

 

Taehyung sighs. Of course I do.

 

Jimin doesn’t hesitate to command. Act like you’re agreeing to go back with them.

 

Taehyung doesn’t miss a beat, and he pats himself on the back and praises his theater elective professor for coaching him semesters ago. “I’ll go.” He feigns a defeated sigh. “As long as you ensure no humans are harmed. That includes my friends whom I’d like to know are safe.”

 

He looks at Hoseok pointedly, waiting for him to unlock his freakish telekinetic bond on Taehyung’s feet. The shackles that bound him were incredibly heavy, he feels like he can move again, albeit he knows he’ll have bruises blossoming over his ankles for days.

 

Hoseok bows his head. Taehyung immediately rushes over to the bathroom right between Yoongi and Jungkook’s rooms. He hears a muffled scream and then Jungkook’s voice. “Hyung! Help us! They have us tied up and not in a sexy way!”

 

He barges in, fumbling to unlock the door, its handle broken off. Hoseok appears next to him. “You really...don’t know how to use your abilities,” he notes unhelpfully. His eyes are wide, bright and curious. He moves closer to Taehyung, their faces inches apart and stares, completely fascinated. “Incredible. You truly are human.”

 

Taehyung glares at him. He grits his teeth, seething, “And you truly don’t know what I’m about to do to your stupid orange face if you don’t get my friends out of this fucking bathroom.”

 

Hoseok tilts his head, stepping away from Taehyung. “My apologies, your highness,” he grins cheekily. “I’m unaccustomed to your culture.” Hoseok flicks his wrist and the door swings open.

 

Taehyung gapes at the three of his friends. Namjoon’s feet are tied to Jungkook’s hands and Yoongi’s feet are tied to Namjoon’s hands and it would kind of look like some kinky conga line if Jungkook weren’t sobbing and Yoongi didn’t look like he hasn’t slept in days. Namjoon is half awake, his eyes barely widening when he weakly lifts his head to meet Taehyung’s eyes.

 

“What did you do to them?” Taehyung whispered.

 

“I told Jungkook he couldn’t play his simulation device which allows him to shoot other people? The way he described it seemed terribly violent. It was a threat, we couldn’t take any chances. Additionally, Yoongi accidentally broke his computer in the bathtub, and Namjoon refused to eat anything Seokjin cooked. I’m not trying to say they brought this on themselves,” Hoseok pauses, “but they brought this on themselves.”

 

“You’re a monster…” Taehyung whispers.

 

Hoseok raises a brow, before he disappears back to the living room with Seokjin and Jimin.

 

They have Jimin chained up, pink and orange shackle-like bonds lighting up over his lavender skin. He sits in the middle of the living room, examining the furniture structures Seokjin and Hoseok have rearranged. Hoseok eyes him warily before moving toward Seokjin.

 

He pulls Seokjin close. “You sure this guy’s the real high arc?” He whispers.

 

“He has the royal glow, can’t you feel his energy? Taehyung radiates that power those of the high council have,” Seokjin points out. “My trackers are never wrong, plus he’s obviously important to Jimin. It has to be him.”

 

Hoseok hums. “I can’t help but feel like this...this whole thing is a mistake. The situation, it’s strange, isn’t it?”

 

Seokjin stills.

 

“We’ve been imprisoned and suddenly they send us on this mission to retrieve an heir for a seat that’s already been filled? Isn’t it strange that his father’s brother specifically asked us to take him back?”

 

Seokjin looks at Hoseok, his eyes dangerous and narrowed. He looks around the room, eyes cast downward to scan the space. “Watch how you speak. There are ears everywhere and you’re bordering words of rebellion.”

 

“As if this is anything new to us,” Hoseok waves his hand nonchalantly. His voice grows louder, and then his fingers practically dance as he manifests a canon-like weapon from thin air. “Don’t act like we haven’t spent the last few years imprisoned for treason.” His grin is devilish as he aims his weapon straight at the kitchen door. “Gotcha.”

Taehyung bounds into the living room with Jungkook and Namjoon in tow. The two are still tied together awkwardly, Namjoon’s body half dragging on the floor as Jungkook desperately tries to figure out what’s going on. Yoongi trails in a second later, scratching at the scabs on his wrists when it happens.

 

It bursts through the kitchen, tearing the door apart.

 

They all jump back, screaming as Hoseok starts shooting. Bright orange plasma beams erupt from his weapon, covering the monster in neon acid, searing hot. Its skin tears apart as it melts to the ground.

 

Jimin’s eyes widen for a split second before there’s a low growl, a burst of colors shoot out from the other side of the room and a piercing screech shakes the whole building. A giant bulky blue figure rushes toward them.

 

Jimin grins from ear to ear as Seokjin fires what appears to be pink electricity directly at their perpetrator. “Took you guys long enough,” he shakes his head. Seokjin rolls his eyes, firing a blast from his palms to undo Jimin’s shackles.

 

“We had to lose those beefcakes, otherwise we’d all be dead,” Hoseok spits out. “You’ve been really reckless, Jimin.”

 

Seokjin looks over at Jimin, who seems to be watching the two of them carefully. “Jimin,” he says, with a smile. “Did you actually doubt us for a second? Us? Who went to prison for you?”

 

Jimin breathes out, relieved. “For a second, I almost did. Then I saw Hobi’s face twitch and he turned around to cover a laugh. You’re an atrocious actor, Hoseok.”

 

Hoseok shrugs, snapping his fingers so the bumbling trio’s ropes slip off their bodies. “Whatever, the plan worked didn’t it? They think we’re on our way back with the prince.”

 

Namjoon and Jungkook turn to Taehyung with wide eyes. “Prince? Bitch, you’re royalty and you never fucking told us?”

 

“No wonder you’re so rich!”

 

Taehyung sputters, “I literally just found out like an hour ago, fuck off!”

 

Yoongi murmurs from his resting spot on the floor, “That’s nice, now everyone shut up. I’ve been cooped up in the bathroom with these morons for days. I need sleep.”

 

Jimin’s eye twitches in annoyance. “No, we have to figure out what our next move is. The council will be waiting for Taehyung’s return. They can’t be too suspicious, or else they really might send a weapon to destroy this planet.”

 

“Jimin’s right.” Seokjin looks down, letting out a sigh. “There’s most certainly a tracker on our ship. But, when I was reconfiguring a few of our security features, I found something. Something pretty vital.” He swipes his hand in the air to reveal a holographic screen, much like the one Taehyung’s seen Jimin use thousands of times.

 

Jimin walks over to Seokjin, his eyes widening at the display before him. “No….no way. They weren’t lying.” Jimin turns to Taehyung with furrowed brows. “We have to send the ship off. It’s a bomb.”

 

Taehyung’s face contorts in confusion. “What?”

 

Jungkook lets out a little scream. “This would be really fucking cool if it weren’t about the safety of billions of people.”

 

Yoongi punches him in the leg from his spot on the floor. “Not the right time, dumbass.”

 

Taehyung gulps, feet moving on their own as he paces around the room. “Okay, so. The ship you came on is a bomb. Basically it just needs to get off this planet. Is it self-activating?”

 

Seokjin and Hoseok give each other a look. “It’s timer-based. If we’re correct, the other two were the ones who set it off when we locked sights on Taehyung.”

 

“Which means…?” Namjoon asks hesitantly.

 

“It means that if we don’t want this planet to blow to smithereens, we better think of a plan right now,” Jimin answers determinedly.

 

“But how do we get it off the planet? Is there an autopilot setting?” Taehyung asks hopefully only to be met with Seokjin and Hoseok’s grim faces.

 

“No, it was disabled before we even left AR-1013.”

 

Yoongi asks the question no one wants to put into words. “Then...who will pilot it?”

 

A moment passes as they all look to the ground. (“Nose goes,” Jungkook says quickly  as he places a finger to the tip of his nose, only to have it smacked down by Namjoon. “Seriously?”)

 

Jimin bites his lip. “I will.” His mind is made. This was his fault--karma for what he had planned on doing to his betrothed. “It’s my fault that his uncle is after Taehyung now. I’ll pay for my actions.”

 

“Fuck no.” Taehyung shakes his head. “You’re not doing that, Jimin. We can come up with a different plan--”

 

“It’s set to go off mid-flight, there was never an option for you to go back to AR-1013 in the first place, they planned to kill you.”

 

“What?”

 

Seokjin gives Taehyung a flat look. “My highest arc,” he grits out, “do you really think that your bloodthirsty uncle would let you live?”

 

“I don’t know him so I can’t say for sure--”

 

“Even if you went back, you would be imprisoned for falsification of royal blood. Your uncle made it so that your death seemed legitimate in the eyes of the public. Do you know what the punishment for that is? Do you have the slightest clue what goes on in the dungeons of the capital?”

 

“No. Not even a little.” Taehyung bites his tongue. “I’ll take a guess. It’s not...good?”

 

“There is another way to save you both and the planet,” Hoseok sighs.

 

Jimin and Taehyung whip their heads to look at him. “Well, spill it!”

 

“It won’t be easy.” Hoseok pauses, eyes downcast. Then he looks at them, his eyes bright as he stares at Taehyung unwaveringly. “You have to convince the council that you’re the heir to the high arc seat.”

 

“Oh,” Taehyung says shakily. Feigned confidence can only take you so far. “That’ll be easy?”

 

Everyone looks at him pityingly.

//

“So, here’s our plan,” Jimin looks around the room, making eye contact with everyone. “Namjoon and Jungkook will pose as the assassins who came here with Seokjin and Hoseok--got it?” Namjoon nods his head as Jungkook points to himself questioningly. “Yes, you, Jungkook.”

 

Jimin turns to Hoseok, “Since you were the leader of the mission, you gotta tell me how you were keeping in contact with the council--spare no details.”

 

“We communicated via the ship’s mainframe, but it’ll be difficult to do so when your uncle is constantly by the line. I’ve mainly been in contact with him, he’s very interested in the status of our mission.”

 

With a nod, Jimin looks at Seokjin. “I need you to get us a direct line to the high council chambers. Can you do this, Seokjin?”

 

Seokjin hums. “It will be difficult--”

 

“Can you do it or not?” Jimin cuts in icily.

 

“Yeah, I can do it.”

 

“What are you waiting for then?” Jimin hisses. “Get to it.”

 

Taehyung looks at Jimin worriedly. “And me, Jimin?”

 

“You stay out of it.”

 

Taehyung is taken aback. “What? How can I stay out of this when this whole thing is about me?”

 

“You need to be kept safe.” Jimin shakes his head. Then much softer, he steps closer to Taehyung with gentle eyes. “I’ll let you know when you can help, but for now, let me do this for you. You getting hurt is the last thing I want.”

 

Taehyung practically melts, his cheeks sparkling as heat climbs up his face. “Oh...okay.”

 

“This plan does nothing to stop the impending doom,” Yoongi pipes up. “What about the bomb?”

 

“I’m going to disable it,” Jimin says. “It will take a few days for our message to get to the high council, but we don’t have a few days before the bomb explodes.”

 

Hoseok looks at him. “So we send the message now.”

 

Jimin nods.

 

“Now? As in...like this very moment?” Jungkook questions, nerves clear in his eyes.

 

Jimin places a hand on Jungkook’s shoulder. “Tomorrow. Tonight, we rest. We’ve all been through a lot.”

 

They conclude their discussion, Jimin and Taehyung standing by the door as Hoseok and Seokjin stare at Yoongi curiously.

 

Yoongi glares at them, placing one hand on Namjoon’s lower back and his other on Jungkook. He narrows his eyes at the two alien fugitives before heading back to his room. Jungkook and Namjoon are suddenly fine with Hoseok and Seokjin when they tell the bumbling duo that they’d clean up around the apartment.

 

And they’re suddenly even happier with Seokjin and Hoseok when they keep asking questions about Yoongi. (“Does he have a mate?” Seokjin asks quickly, wide eyes and cheeks rosy. Hoseok nods his head, “How does he feel about aliens? Specifically, polyamorous aliens who’ve been imprisoned for a quarter of a decade?”

 

“Boys, boys,” Jungkook shakes his head. (“What are ‘boys’?” Seokjin whispers to Hoseok.) “You’re going about this wrong. Buy him a new laptop and he’ll be doing jumping jacks on your di--” Namjoon shushes Jungkook before he can finish his thought.)

 

Taehyung and Jimin walk back to their apartment without another word. Taehyung’s noticed Jimin’s change in aura--a lot more confident and a lot more fierce. He wonders if this is how Jimin was, back on his home planet. Taehyung tries not to let the butterflies overtake him, but Jimin is a trained military professional, raised to be a commander of his alien fleet. It’s weird to think about, but it’s reality. Taehyung brushes his fingers over Jimin’s, and it’s like his whole demeanor shifts back. He turns to look at Taehyung with gentle eyes. “Something wrong?”

 

Taehyung ducks his head. “I don’t know, you’re just so different as a leader. It shocked me a bit--” He watches Jimin’s expression change. “--not in a bad way though! Just surprising. It makes me wonder what your home planet is really like, y’know?”

 

When they finally approach the building, Taehyung looks at Jimin hesitantly.

 

Did I say something to offend you? He tries.

 

Jimin looks back, then shakes his head. Taehyung thinks it’s easier to communicate through telepathy. It makes things a lot more real and much less scary. He feels safe, being able to talk to Jimin like this--like they can share their own feelings with each other with no one else to intrude.

 

When they enter the apartment, there’s a heavy atmosphere between them. A bomb ready to explode (pun intended). And then suddenly, it does explode. But much like his feelings for Jimin, explosions erupt only in his mind, a modern, monotoned world flashes in his head. Jimin shares these small pieces of his home with him. Then, Jimin sits on Taehyung’s bed, his finger tracing over the spot he expects Taehyung to sit in. Taehyung obliges, turning toward Jimin.

 

“You don’t have to tell me about your planet if you don’t want to.”

 

Jimin sighs. “I know I don’t, but I want to. It’s hard to think about the positives when the negatives just...overshadow it.”

 

“If you only want to talk about the good things, that’s okay too,” Taehyung smiles.

 

Jimin looks at him thankfully. “It’s gorgeous, really. There are three moons there, and one star--We call it Lumous. Our days are shorter than Earth’s, but our nights are warmer and filled with life. Some of our species are nocturnal, mostly doing their business in the dark.” Taehyung watches him with starry eyes. Jimin turns to him. “It’s beautiful, perfectly designed. It’s a highly evolved society filled with explorers and scientists who develop technology you couldn’t even fathom imagining.”

 

“Sounds incredible.”

 

“Incredible yes, but very lonely. On our planet, we don’t value individualism and we stress conformity,” Jimin says. “I loved it, but it’s not like Earth. We had no freedom, just rules we were forced to follow.”

 

“Just kidding, it sounds horrendous,” Taehyung takes back.

 

Jimin laughs in response. “I actually...really love it here, on Earth. With you,” he smiles weakly. “It’s sad that I’ll have to leave it. I’ll miss the trees, we don’t have those back home.”

 

Taehyung furrows his brows, then he perks up. “You don’t have to leave, Jimin.” Then more decisively, he grins. “You can stay here! We can go out to the countryside like I told you before. We can have our own farm and plant as many trees as you want. Ones that grow oranges or peaches or avocados--anything you want.”

 

Jimin bites down on his lip, his eyes a bit watery. “Taehyung, I can’t. Once we clear your name...I don’t know what’ll happen. I’ve done so much wrong, who knows what the council will decide.”

 

“I’m so sorry.” Taehyung deflates. “Everything happened because of me.”

 

“No, Taehyung. I did this to myself. Besides,” Jimin starts, “there’s nowhere in the universe I’d rather be than right here, by your side.”

 

Taehyung holds his breath. Wherever you go, I will go with you. “It’s because we’re soulmates, right?”

 

Jimin shakes his head. “Even if we weren’t, nothing could stop me from wanting to be with you.”

 

Then Taehyung kisses him, soft and sweet until he melts against Jimin.

 

Jimin is breathless, his cheeks a deep purple as he pushes Taehyung to the mattress. Taehyung lets out a gasp as Jimin’s hands slide all over his skin. Tingling, everywhere.

 

“Fuck, Jimin, wait!”

 

Jimin raises a brow. “Do...you want this?”

 

Taehyung does a double take, then looks at Jimin incredulously. “Of course I do! I just-- we need a condom and some lube.”

 

“Condom?” Jimin asks, thinking back to his dictionary. “For what?”

 

Taehyung raises a brow, “No offense, I love you and all but I….don’t know where your space dick has been, Jimin.”

 

Jimin hums, standing up to whip a bag out of thin air. He grabs Taehyung’s hand and pin pricks it. Taehyung lets out a little yelp as Jimin does the same to his own hand. Jimin pops open a holographic screen and thousands of numbers being calculated in a foreign language.

 

“What the fuck are you doing?” Taehyung asks, frustrated.

 

“A test for any possible sexually transmitted diseases either of us might have.”

 

Taehyung’s eyes widen as it computes the results. A moment passes before Jimin turns to look at Taehyung, hopeful and eager. “We’re both good.”

 

Taehyung’s heart soars. Jimin was sent here to kill him, but here he is, killing him in a different way. “What about lube?” Taehyung barely remembers to ask.

 

“Oh, well--” Jimin pauses. Then he looks down at Taehyung with a smirk. “I’ll show you.”

 

Taehyung whimpers as Jimin pins him to the bed, his plump lips all over Taehyung’s neck.

Taehyung feels himself throbbing, his entire body on fire as Jimin touches him everywhere. And suddenly, it’s like…his clothes feel like they’re dissolving.

 

A beat passes when he finally realizes. His clothes are dissolving. “Jimin, what the fuck?”

 

“What?”

 

“What’s happening with my clothes?”

 

“It’s my secretion, it does that,” Jimin winks. Taehyung feels his soul leave his body.

 

“Secretion?”

 

Jimin hums, his eyes glued to Taehyung’s growing erection. “Mhm,” he says lowly. “You can do it too.”

 

Taehyung looks away, embarrassed to even be discussing this like he’s not about to be fucked by an alien. “Uh...? I’ve never secreted anything in my life.”

 

Jimin giggles, his finger tracing over Taehyung’s navel now. His voice drops an octave, but it’s still incredibly sweet. “It’s a soulmate thing. When soulmates are excited and ready to...get intimate, our skin allows us to secrete a liquid that dissolves fabric. Basic biology, Taehyung. Keep up.”

 

Taehyung’s mouth goes dry. “So...I can do that to you?”

 

Jimin nods, eyes filled with lust as he lifts Taehyung’s palm to his chest. Taehyung’s mouth falls open as the fabric sizzles away, leaving Jimin’s chest exposed, pale lavender and silky smooth. Taehyung feels like he’s on the verge of exploding. “God, Jimin…” He groans as he pulls Jimin down onto him, his tongue lapping at Jimin’s neck as Jimin moans softly, letting Taehyung rut against him desperately.

 

“Taehyung, T-Tae...fuck.”

 

Taehyung’s pants are gone and so are Jimin’s, fizzled into nothing. Taehyung gets a good look at Jimin’s naked body and nearly comes. He’s so, so beautiful. His skin turns a deep shade of purple, clearly blushing from all the attention Taehyung is paying him. Taehyung can’t take his eyes off of him; he’s a dream. His arms are nicely toned from all those training days he’s told Taehyung so much about. His thighs--god, his thighs-- Taehyung wants to permanently reside between them, he wants to mark them up, bite them just to see how Jimin would react. Then his dick-- he nearly drools. It’s thick. Deep purple vein-like fissures all run vertically up and down his cock. Taehyung tries to get a look but apparently, Jimin hears his thoughts and he looks at Taehyung through his lashes. Then he licks his lips. “Taehyung, can I try something with you?”

 

“What is it?”

 

Jimin looks away. “I did some research….and people have said that...humans have tight orifices. Like, really tight, especially since some men don’t self-lubricate. I know you’re not used to your lubrication yet, since it’s...well, our first time.”

 

Taehyung gapes at him. “Seriously, what fucking websites did you go on.”

 

“I want you to be comfortable. Can I stretch you out? It might hurt if I don’t.”

 

“Yeah, yes. Jimin, anything, as long as I don’t have to have that conversation with you again.”

 

Jimin’s eyes light up.

 

He spreads Taehyung’s legs apart, his mouth parting as he runs his tongue over his lips. Then he traces his finger around Taehyung’s hole, carefully, before pushing in slowly. Taehyung lets out a small gasp, sinking onto Jimin’s finger.

 

“Humans really are different,” Jimin says, eyes wide with intrigue as he adds two more fingers. He’s entranced by the way Taehyung spreads for him, taking him in with only a little resistance. Taehyung’s hips stutter at the sudden entrance, but he rocks back regardless. Jimin’s secretion is slicking him up nicely. He feels so good, like he can feel Jimin everywhere all at once.

 

“Wow,” Jimin whispers, and his soft smile speaks wonders, as his mouth falls open. “I can’t believe you’re my soulmate. I’m so lucky, aren’t I?”

 

“Yes,” Taehyung practically sings when Jimin hits his sweet spot. His toes curl, and he grabs desperately at the bed sheets beneath him. “Yours..I’m yours...holy shit. Can you fuck me now? Like, I want your alien dick.”

 

Jimin laughs. “Are you sure? It’s not a human dick, it’s way different.”

 

Taehyung nods his head quickly, with fervor. “Please, please.”

 

Jimin narrows his eyes, his grin turning into one from Taehyung’s wildest dreams, eyes filled with love yet so, so cold. “Good things come to those who wait-- I believe is the human saying, correct?”

 

Taehyung swallows thickly, his eyes practically turning into the saucers that he imagines Jimin crash landed in when Jimin massages his prostate painstakingly slow. “Oh...mm--” He loses himself in the pleasure, thighs quivering as he grabs hold of his sheets. “Jimin--it’s...there. You’re there, there, there.”

 

“Baby,” Jimin coos, “you’re babbling.”

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about…” Taehyung lies as he turns his head.

 

“Kim Taehyung, I know when you’re lying. Don’t you want to cum?”

 

Taehyung nods his head quickly, ever so eager to please. “Y-Yeah, I do.”

 

“You’ve got to earn it, then.”

 

Taehyung’s head snaps up when Jimin pulls his fingers out of him, ready to start begging. Jimin quirks an eyebrow at him, nodding his head as if he’s allowing Taehyung to speak.

 

Taehyung looks at him, too flustered to be annoyed. “How do I earn it?”

 

Jimin runs his fingers over the top of Taehyung’s thighs. Taehyung whines. “Be good. Lying isn’t something good boys do, right?”

 

Taehyung stays silent, unable to believe the words coming out of Jimin’s mouth. “Seriously, what kind of porn did you watch?”

 

Jimin stills. “Went on this place called b-d-s-m dot com? Heard some good things about it from a kink subreddit.”

 

“You were on a kink subreddit?” Taehyung double takes. “And in bdsm chat rooms?”

 

“I was doing research for you,” Jimin’s face falls. He brings his hands to his chest, self-consciously. “Is this... not what you like?”

 

“Well, I do like this, really. You actually hit the nail right on its head,” Taehyung blushes bashfully. “But right now, I just want you-- the real you. I mean, unless this is what you’re usually like in bed? I guess that’d be kinda,” Taehyung’s eyes rake over Jimin’s lean body and salivates, “yeah, that’d be kinda cool.”

 

“You’re babbling again, Taetae,” Jimin smiles fondly, then he falters just a bit. “I’m sorry, I just wanted to do something that would make you happy.”

 

Taehyung reaches up to cup his cheeks. “You make me happy.”

 

Jimin giggles, dipping down to capture Taehyung’s sweet, sweet lips.

 

They lose themselves in each other for a while, kissing slowly until their breaths come quicker and their bodies grow hotter. Taehyung bites down on Jimin’s shoulder just a bit. “Can you do what you were doing earlier? With your fingers?”

 

“Course, sweetheart.” Jimin grins cheekily, his face flushing a deep purple as his fingers trail back inside Taehyung.

 

Taehyung moans quietly into the back of his hand. “Jimin, Jimin...”

 

“What is it?” Jimin asks cutely.

 

“People...say the other person’s name during sex. It’s a thing we do.”

 

“I know, I’m just fucking with you.” Jimin laughs, then points down at his fingers sliding in and out of Taehyung. “Literally, though.”

 

Taehyung rolls his eyes trying to fight back a smile. “Oh my god, you’re such a nerd,” he says breathily, back arching when Jimin presses his finger harder against his prostate. “Fuck.”

 

Jimin is a bit more quiet after that, mostly filled with a few questioning stares and small ‘oh’s that fall from his lips anytime he gets a new reaction out of Taehyung.

 

When Taehyung is sure he’s more than ready, Jimin keeps fingering him, stretching him out skillfully as Taehyung whimpers against his sheets. I wasn’t lying when I told you I’d make you wait for it.

 

Jimin smiles when he brings his palm down on Taehyung’s ass. “It’s so pretty,” Jimin says. “Your skin blooms red where I’ve hit you, but the rest of your body is glimmering. It’s mesmerizing how damn gorgeous you are.”

 

Taehyung has been called a lot of things in bed, but Jimin’s read his mind about this, surely. Telling Taehyung how pretty and soft he looks is the perfect way to have him eating out the palm of Jimin’s hands.

 

Taehyung ruts against Jimin’s fingers, feeling his orgasm build up as Jimin fingers him dutifully, he can feel that sweet coil in his stomach, ready to relieve himself--but Jimin immediately retracts his fingers, smiling as Taehyung ruts against nothing. Taehyung breathes out harshly, “Why did you stop?”

 

Jimin laughs, “I didn’t want you to come yet.” He moves down the bed a bit just to have his mouth press kisses to the swell of Taehyung’s ass. He bites down on the supple skin there, drawing out a low moan from Taehyung, “Jimin.”

 

Jimin reaches up to pull gently at Taehyung’s hair. Taehyung writhes against the bed as Jimin bites his ass again, and again, and again until the marks begin to form and his whole face is tinged pink from breathing just a bit too hard.

 

Taehyung cries into his pillow, cock hard as it rubs against the mattress.

 

Jimin finally decides to enter him, his dick hard as he pushes himself inside. It's so full, Taehyung is so full of Jimin, like he's about to burst with all the love he feels radiating off of Jimin. Taehyung whines, begging the other to fuck him harder, eyes shut tight when he begins to feel himself close to coming.

 

“Jimin, Jimin, please, more. Want more,” he babbles, drool dripping down his chin, whimpering out a string of curses.

 

Jimin nods his head, presses kisses to Taehyung’s shoulder. "I can definitely do that. I'll do that for you, anything for you." His hands are shaking but his voice is collected. Taehyung can see through his ruse, he knows Jimin’s just as affected as he is.

 

"Fuck," Taehyung bites down on his lower lip, eyes watering as something strange begins to happen inside of him. It's like...Jimin is expanding. He can feel Jimin everywhere. His pupils blow wide open as he cries out. "W-What is that?"

 

Jimin lets Taehyung adjust for a minute. He raises a brow and smirks, just a bit. His voice is smug as he asks, "Oh? You haven't heard?"

 

Taehyung looks back at Jimin. "I regret showing you that meme."

 

Jimin giggles, rocking his hips forward--a tease. "Customarily, people with my genitalia have sensory villi that can stretch far enough to reach someone's womb. It's used for implantation.”

 

Taehyung's body trembles, his hands shake as he repositions himself so his face isn't entirely buried in his pillows.

 

"They're...stretching me out, then?" Taehyung asks breathlessly as Jimin picks up his pace, moaning lowly against Taehyung's ear.

 

"Yeah, they usually find the most pleasurable spot for you, then based on your reactions, they'll continue to stimulate the area until--well, until the implantation is complete."

 

Taehyung feels himself being stretched wider and wider. He moans out Jimin's name when he feels his prostate start being massaged, a strange sensation as hundreds of villi prod at his sweetest spot. "Jimin, it's...so much. I'm so close..."

 

Jimin pulls out of Taehyung smoothly, cheeks flushed as he stares at Taehyung's ass, dripping with his secretion. Jimin gulps thickly before flipping Taehyung over. "I want to see your face when you cum on my cock, pretty."  Taehyung blushes furiously, eyes rimmed red as he nods his head. Taehyung reaches up with shaky hands, pulling Jimin closer toward him. He presses kisses to Jimin's neck, rocking back up to meet Jimin's thrusts.

 

He feels himself on fire as Jimin pounds right against his prostate, he whimpers out Jimin's name when he finally cums over himself, shivering as Jimin wraps a hand around his dick. He's so sensitive, he cries as Jimin gives his dick a firm squeeze.

 

"Did you think it was over?" Jimin asks, his voice rough. "I haven't even came yet."

 

Taehyung shakes his head quickly. "No, I'm just sensitive..."

 

"Do you not like it?" Jimin asks, hand slowing to a stop but still wrapped around Taehyung's cock. The nervousness is more apparent in his face now. His eyes are wide and hands are cautious, hovering over Taehyung’s skin.

 

"I...I like it," He admits. "I like the oversensitivity, it's-- it feels good." Taehyung hides his face. Jimin grins widely, his hand moving up and down Taehyung's shaft. For a while, it's nothing but heavy panting, the slapping of skin, and Taehyung's muffled moans against Jimin.

 

Taehyung's face is red and his breath is ragged, having cum three times. He knows he needs rest, but his body craves more, more, more Jimin.

 

Jimin still hasn't finished, but his pace is relentless and steady as he rolls his hips against Taehyung's ass. It's been hours, but Jimin hasn't even broken a sweat, his eyes heavily lidded as he whispers a plethora of praise to Taehyung. "So good, baby. Just like that, yeah..."

 

And god, does Taehyung want to please Jimin. He wants to please him so bad. Jimin's hips stutter just a bit as he stares down at Taehyung. "Orion help me," he grunts out, "Kim Taehyung, you're just so fucking cute. You want to please me, huh?" He rubs his thumb against Taehyung's cheek, smiling when Taehyung leans in to his touch.

 

Jimin’s groans grow louder as he pulls Taehyung closer to him, nibbling gently on Taehyung’s neck. He quickens his pace as he ruts harder and harder against Taehyung.

 

Taehyung holds onto Jimin for support, his thighs giving out as Jimin fucks into him. And then, Jimin cums, spilling inside of Taehyung. Taehyung tosses his head back in pleasure, eyes clenching shut as he's filled with Jimin. Jimin kisses his lips gently. "You alright?" He waits for Taehyung to nod, before he pulls out. “You did so well, Taetae.”

 

Taehyung gulps, eyes lidded heavily. He smiles up at Jimin. “Did I?”

 

“Yes, baby, so well," Jimin coos. "You ready for the second round?”

 

“What?" Taehyung's eyes fly open. "What about...refractory period?”

 

Jimin tosses Taehyung a baffled look as he laughs. “We don't have those.”

 

Taehyung’s head falls back onto the pillow. He looks down at his hardening dick and curses his alien ancestry. “Yeah," he sighs contentedly, "I'm up for another round. That was really, really good.”

 

“I'll be gentler this time,” Jimin says as he pushes himself back in, but this time he goes slower, kissing Taehyung’s face everywhere, from his eyes to his nose to a soft kiss on the lips, thrusting his hips decisively, the loud smacking noise of skin against skin echoes through the room along with Taehyung’s chants of Jimin's name. "Jimin...Jimin, fuck. fuck. please, I just… please...more. Faster. I….feel so good.”

 

By the time they're finished, Taehyung has lost count of how many times he's orgasmed. He's been fucked so hard he can't even think straight. "Jimin, I can't do it anymore. I'm tapping out."

 

Jimin smiles against his lips. "Alright, no problem. I'll go take care of...this." He looks down at his hard cock and he makes a move to hop off the bed. Taehyung grabs him by the wrist, stopping him. "Can I do something? For you?"

 

Jimin tilts his head. "Sure."

 

Taehyung tells Jimin how to sit, instructing him as he climbs off the bed and falls onto his knees. "Have you ever had your dick sucked?" He asks shyly.

 

Jimin's brows furrow in confusion. "Sucked? No...?" He looks down at Taehyung curiously, until Taehyung opens his mouth and licks a fat stripe up the base of Jimin's cock.

 

Jimin shivers, eyes lighting up with excitement. "Oh."

 

Taehyung licks his lips before he plays with the tip of Jimin's dick and wraps his hand around the base of it, the villi tickling his palms and the tip of his tongue. Jimin lets out a small groan, eyes falling shut as Taehyung takes him deeper and deeper into his mouth. Then he remembers the stretch of it as Jimin's dick grows seemingly larger in his mouth. His jaw begins to ache as he bobs his head, jerking Jimin off to match the pace he's set.

 

Jimin's eyes widen in wonderment, his mouth watering at the sight of Taehyung's fucked out expression and red-rimmed eyes. He can't hold back-- he moves his hips, slowly fucking himself into Taehyung's mouth, proud when his baby takes him in all the way. Taehyung whimpers around his dick and Jimin curses, watching tears well up in the corners of Taehyung's eyes.

 

It's slow, but Jimin doesn't last nearly as long as he did a while ago. He cums inside Taehyung's mouth, hips jerking as he watches the cum drip from Taehyung's lips. Jimin swells with love and pride and he kisses Taehyung's lips raw.

 

But they don't stop there-- no. They keep going and going, and going, until the sun rises high above the sky.

 

“Hey Park Jimin,” Taehyung says, after their lust is properly satiated and their eyes are laden with sleep. “Do you know the stars shine for you?”

 

...

 

The sun peeks out of its slumber, ready to start its journey further up into the sky. Jimin is gazing out the window, deep in thought. Taehyung doesn’t want to disturb him, he’s probably got a lot on his mind. He pretends to sleep, eager to surprise Jimin and scare him a little bit.

 

But Jimin has other plans. Taehyung closes his eyes, but he can feel Jimin’s emotions. He’s incredibly sad.

 

Taehyung barely hears his footsteps, but he can feel Jimin looking down at his sleeping body. He places a light kiss on Taehyung’s temple. “I’m glad I got to love you,” Jimin says softly. Maybe in another lifetime, in another galaxy, the two of us could live together--in peace.

 

He looks back only once to make sure Taehyung is still sleeping, then he sneaks out the door without a sound.

 

Taehyung shoots out of bed, eyes wild as grabs a pair of pants and heads out the door to follow Jimin.

 

He has a feeling he knows exactly what Jimin is about to do, and it won’t be pretty.

...

 

It takes a while for Taehyung to trace Jimin’s location--he can feel him in waves, hear his thoughts in clipped sentences--but when he finally finds the ship, the task of finding his soulmate proves to be much more difficult than he originally thought, what with the clever advancements of technology that he’s been wary of since Jimin crash-landed on earth. He feels around for the ship, hidden in forest foliage. They’re ways away from the city, but that’s to be expected, knowing very well that it’s using a cloaking device as well to keep it hidden from human view. It was probably even difficult for Jimin to find, but nonetheless, Jimin is much more clever than the fools of earth, he’s made that much clear.

 

Taehyung grunts as he closes his eyes, desperately trying to figure out how Jimin climbed aboard the spaceship. He fiddles around, walking along the perimeter of the forest before he’s beelining toward a displaced tuft of grass. He places his palm out, feeling the coldness of something much stronger than any Terran metal. Taehyung smiles now, feeling heat radiate from his palm as the hatch drops open and allows him inside the ship.

 

Taehyung does a quick victory dance before walking toward the center of the ship. He hears Jimin’s thoughts much clearer now-- frantic but determined. Taehyung sneaks his way through it, following Jimin’s thoughts until he finally reaches what appears to be the engine room. Jimin’s fidgeting with a panel, eyes tired with his lip caught between his teeth. He’s muttering out something incomprehensible.

 

It is a bomb, just as Hoseok and Seokjin said. He clicks his tongue. I won’t have nearly enough time to disarm it, just as I expected. I’ve got to do something. I’ve got to save Taehyung, no matter the cost.

 

Just as Taehyung is about to approach him, Jimin vanishes, most likely assessing the other parts of the ship. Taehyung tries not to let the idea of humanity’s impending doom distract him too much. Compartmentalizing just this once may help him out of his headspace. He focuses his mind on Jimin’s thoughts, trying to guide himself to Jimin. Which is how he finds himself in the cockpit. Jimin is hunched over a panel in what appears to be the front of the ship. A holographic screen is in front of him, and he seems to be lost in thought until he raises his fingertip up to the flickering pale blue button in front of him.

 

Taehyung’s rattled out of his thoughts when the engine of the ship roars to life. Okay, he wasn’t panicking before, but he feels like it might be the right time to panic. This ship is set to detonate in less than five hours, he’s gathered from Jimin’s thoughts. Taehyung gasps as Jimin’s ideas splay through his mind, and it’s a horrific plan. Jimin had plotted this, he planned to be long past the Milky Way around the time of the bomb’s detonation. And then, poof. He’ll be gone, blown into stardust.

 

As long as Taehyung’s safe, Jimin sighs.

 

Taehyung lets out a shaky breath. “Jimin.”

 

Jimin snaps his head up and turns to see Taehyung standing there with nothing but betrayal in his eyes. “You were planning to take the ship all along, you were going ...to sacrifice yourself. Alone.”

 

“Taehyung,” Jimin’s heart drops. Then he remembers what his goal is. His face contorts in anger.  “Why are you here? You’re supposed to be back at your apartment. You need to stay safe!”

 

Taehyung shakes his head. “No, you can’t tell me that…How dare you say that. I thought you were over this? I thought we were through with the self-sacrificing bullshit.”

 

Jimin turns his head back toward the pilot’s station.

 

“Don’t you understand that I care about you? You want me to be safe? Well I can’t be,” Taehyung says. Jimin continues to fiddle with the control panel. “Not without you. I can’t be safe without you by my side."

 

“Enough!” Jimin yells. “I’m taking you back, and that’s it.” he runs his fingers over the holographic panel before him, when a giant red light flashes over it. He tries to override the system, the same flashing light repeats over and over again.

 

 His eyes widen. “Oh no. This is… not ideal.”

 

“What?” Taehyung says, coming closer to examine the message.

 

“It’s not letting me steer the ship.” Jimin’s face goes deathly pale.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“We’re stuck,” Jimin croaks. “Fuck. This is not good, you’re not supposed to be here. Why did you come?”

 

Taehyung ignores their current predicament for a moment. “I couldn’t let you do this alone. I’m not leaving you.”

 

“Taehyung, I deserve this--I was planning on doing unspeakable things…things I can never forgive myself for-- Don’t you get it? Let me do this for you. Let me be worthy of your love.”

 

“What the fuck are you saying?” Taehyung practically shouts. “How can you show me that you love me if you’re dead?”

 

There’s a brief moment of silence between the two, nothing but the ship’s methodic beeping and red lights flashing above them. Taehyung sighs, looking down at the metal floors.

 

”I don’t care what you’ve done in the past--I promise. You can redeem yourself by choosing to live for yourself--by choosing to continue to fight for the freedom of everyone around you. You can redeem yourself by choosing not to give into what your world has had in store for you. Fuck that predetermined destiny that you’ve been told, we’ll make our own fate.”

 

“How can you be so calm about this?” Jimin speaks lowly, hushed and incredulous.

 

Taehyung’s eyes widen. “You think I’m calm? I’m everything but calm-- if you haven’t noticed, we’re literally flying into space in a bomb.”

 

“I’ve noticed.”

 

Taehyung tries to breathe in evenly. “I’m not exactly the epitome of stress-free at the moment, but being here knowing you’re by my side definitely keeps me from breaking down. You’re not a cure, Jimin. But having you with me definitely helps. With you here, I feel like we stand a fighting chance.”

 

They head back to the engine room, the bomb in place, a timer set to detonation.

 

“What does it say?”

 

“It’s not good,” Jimin shakes his head. “The bomb will explode in t-five hours.

 

Taehyung and Jimin look at it, Taehyung toys with it before Jimin swats his hands away

 

“It’s no use, it’s security locked and the bomb can only be disarmed by a member of the high council.”

 

“Aren’t I a member of the high council? Technically?

 

“No, It’s not based on genetics or anything, but something that has to be learned.”

 

Taehyung lets out a frustrated groan. “So that’s it? We have no other options?”

 

“I...I don’t know.”

 

Taehyung swallows thickly then grunts. “Let’s break out of it then. Let’s find an exit and try to jump out.”

 

“Taehyung, are you crazy? That’s suicide. We’ll be floating in empty space by the time we figure out an escape route.”

 

“Well have five hours, right?”

A moment passes between them and then Taehyung reaches out to take Jimin’s hand in his own. Taehyung kisses Jimin’s thumb, and the simple gesture is filled with love.

 

“We do.”

 

Both of them are set with heavy determination.

 

And they feel as though they can conquer anything, as long as they’re together.

 

-

 

“We’re fucked. We’re so fucked, Jimin.” They have an hour before the detonation and they’ve made little to no progress--the little progress they have made is that they’ve determined that the ship is a fortress. They’ve found one escape pod, but what with the little oxygen supply they’ve got left, they don’t stand a chance outside of the ship.

 

"One hour," Jimin says quietly. "About half that time until we pass Soteria, then we'll get just to the outer rim of AR-13, where we'll have an unfortunate 'accident' which should, by your uncle's calculations, end in our demise."

 

"Ah," Taehyung says, defeated. "Right on schedule then, huh?"

 

The two slump against the control panel in the engine room, both of them exhausted from scouring the place.

 

Jimin and Taehyung turn to look at each other. "You're pretty, Taehyung."

 

"You're one to talk." Taehyung snorts, shaking his head. "I can't believe an alien from another galaxy stole my beating heart."

 

Jimin scrunches his eyebrows together. "How dare you accuse me of theft."

 

"It's an expression," Taehyung laughs. After a pause, he speaks again. "Is AR-13 short for something? Or is that what the planet is formally called?"

 

Jimin sighs. "It's kind of annoying, actually. Centuries ago, an abducted human returned to earth, speaking of his tales on our planet. After being held captive on our moon, he was entirely too confused. He returned, talking about our planet, spewing half-truths of his experiences. He spoke our planet's name, and people of Earth began misnaming a bright star from your own galaxy as ours. I've called it by its shorthand name, so not to confuse you. But we, Taehyung, are from Altair's solar system."

 

"Altair..."

 

"Yes," Jimin looks down at his knees. "The thirteen comes from our position in the system. We have eight moons, but the closet to our planet is--"

 

"--Soteria."

 

Jimin nods. "A mystifying place, for sure. Not many venture there, it's pretty dangerous, I must admit."

 

When Jimin looks at Taehyung, he only sees a wide grin. "What is it?"

 

"I know how we're going to escape, Jimin."

 

Time is running out, and the ship grows increasingly hotter as they near the Altairian system. “Are you ready?” Asks Taehyung, eyes wide and body jittery.

 

Jimin looks over at him, touching his cheek lightly, just to stop the man from shaking. “As I’ll ever be.”

 

“We’ll take the escape pod up to Soteria, limiting our oxygen supply.”

 

Jimin turns his head. “And if we survive Soteria?”

 

Jimin mentioned it before. The moon around AR-13 isn’t a place that’s exactly...inhabitable. But Taehyung disregards that fact. “When we make it to Soteria, we get an appropriate distance away to dodge the explosion.”

 

“Then…? We won’t have enough oxygen to make it back to Earth by any means. The closest place to get a ship is...well, AR-13.”

 

“I know,” Taehyung says determinedly. “Jimin, are you ready to go back home?”

 

“Taehyung, that’s--that’s out of the question. We’ll be killed.”

 

Taehyung shakes his head, “What if we reveal the fact that I’m alive? That my uncle had murdered my family and attempted to murder us to take my place.”

 

Jimin makes a sour face.

 

“It’s our only shot.”

 

Jimin shakes his head. “Fine,” he says reluctantly. “But the second we find a ship, we’re off that planet.”

 

“And my uncle?”

 

Jimin scowls, “We’ll take care of him a different time. What we need to focus on is getting our asses back to Earth.”

 

“What a shame, really thought we’d be able to go on a joyride around Saturn’s rings.”

 

“Who would do that? You’d be crushed by the asteroids…”

 

“--ou hear us? Hello? Jimin, Taehyung--”

 

Jimin and Taehyung whip their heads in the direction of the noise. “Was that the communication hub?”

 

“Was that Namjoon?” Taehyung asks excitedly.

 

They rush to the cockpit, the flashing red lights continuously raising their blood pressure. But from the communication hub, comes Namjoon’s crackled voice.

 

Taehyung attempts to pop up the holographic screen, running his fingers over it until he can record himself. “Joon? We need help! We’re about to explode.”

 

“What happened to our plan?” Jimin asks snarkily.

 

“I’d rather not risk anything if I don’t have to, thanks.”

 

“We can disable the bomb from our end--we can take control of the ship, but we need you to get to the engine room.”

 

“How can we trust you?” Jimin narrows his eyes. “What if you’re just a snake working for Taehyung’s uncle on AR-13?”

 

“I’m Namjoon, you assholes! We don’t have time for this--”

 

“Prove it.”

 

“Taehyung has one undescended testicle.”

 

“It’s Namjoon!” Taehyung exclaims, rushing toward the engine room.

 

The two of them dutifully follow Namjoon’s instructions, working carefully around the bomb implanted in the ship, both of their hearts pumping loudly as the countdown begins. And then suddenly, the red lights stop flashing. Jimin and Taehyung slump onto the floor, holding each other close as they smile against each other.

 

“Take us home, Namjoon.” Taehyung groans, “No more space adventures...please.”

 

“Sorry to bum you out, but getting back won’t be as easy,” It’s Seokjin this time. “You’re both wanted fugitives now--Jumping into hyperspace won’t be the smartest idea. You’ve gotta lay low for a while.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

Jimin sighs. “Figured this would happen. Intergalactic law allows hyperspace jumps only during official business; we can’t travel as fast as we got here, otherwise we’ll be caught and handed over to the high council for sure.”

 

Taehyung whines. “Then how long until we can get back to Earth?”

 

“Approximately 5,754,623,072 Earth years.”

 

Color drains from Taehyung’s face. “No.”

 

“That’s not funny, Hoseok.” Jimin shakes his head. He turns toward Taehyung, reassuringly. “If we take the intergalactic wormhole system, it should take about three months, max.”

 

He visibly relaxes. “It’ll be like a vacation, kind of.”

 

“I mean, I guess. If you ignore the fact that you’re both alien fugitives and your biological uncle wants to kill you.” Definitely Jungkook this time. Taehyung doesn’t miss the sound of that little shit’s voice.

 

Jimin turns off the communication hub for a moment, turning toward Taehyung. “We’ve had a long day, let’s try to get some rest.”

 

“Fine, but there’s something I’d like to do first. C’mon!” Taehyung laughs as he grabs onto Jimin’s hand.

 

They run around the ship like a couple of teenagers out after sneaking out of the house for the first time. Jimin smiles unabashedly at Taehyung, the two of them tangling together as Taehyung tugs them toward a window.

 

“I barely got to appreciate this scenery,” he says with awe. Space is unbelievable, an expanse of stars spread across his vision like splatters of paint on a black page. It’s a marvelous sight, and he’s able to see it with his own eyes. “Y’know, now we can plan which nebulas to stop by. I really want to go space exploring with you!” Taehyung’s eyes light up. “Show me all the cool places you know. Or maybe we can go somewhere you’ve never been?” Taehyung jokes.

 

“There’s actually a restaurant at the end of the universe that’s pretty good.”

 

Taehyung quirks a brow. “Are you referencing something?”

 

“No,” Jimin smiles, giggling softly at the way Taehyung pouts at him. “Let’s sleep, please. I’m exhausted.”

 

Taehyung follows Jimin up to the sleeping quarters on the ship. It’s small and cramped, but the two of them manage to fit on the cot. Jimin closes his eyes first-- a rare sight Taehyung treasures.

 

 

A day has passed with the two of them sneaking past intergalactic police. They’ve visited a few planets, collecting sustenance and fuel for their journey. Taehyung is in their makeshift bedroom, fiddling with something Jimin had bought him off of a merchant in the K2 system. Jimin takes this time to stroll around the ship. And when Taehyung is out of sight, Jimin opens up his holographic dictionary, and hits the edit button.

 

He makes an entry, his first one in weeks.

 

Taehyung, (n.): Half human; warm and filled with happiness; the comfiest place to rest; the embodiment of love; home.

 

Chapter Text

They meet at the restaurant at the edge of the universe over the onslaught of cheering as a great light flashes a multitude of colors over the brink of existence. Jimin feels a tap on his shoulder, his gaze suddenly ripped away from the breathtaking array that he’s seen a hundred different times. They are just a few light years away from his home planet; he’s used to this view.

 

He turns his head to see a familiar man, golden, sparkling-skinned with a punchdrunk grin, who gestures toward the other end of the packed restaurant. Jimin hastily nods his head, relieved that he doesn’t have to stand at the bar alone much longer. It’s been awhile since he’s been in contact with another Earthling--or so he makes it seem. He gives the man a look of feigned surprise and follows the other to his seat. There are eyes and ears across the universe, and Jimin is a master of self-preservation.

 

They pass a group of Altairians, who eye both of them hungrily, murmuring at them in their own language, a few of them whistling greasily in their direction. Their skin is a ghastly shade of pale red, irises and fingernails the same color. On Altair, manners and etiquette are required by law; but out here, Altairians are lawless thugs, mostly sent out of the system as banishment or exile. Jimin tries not to think too much about that. Instead, he plays his part and shudders, holding back a glare.

 

“Don’t make contact with any of their eyes, they can hypnotize you that way, y’know,” the man tells him with a smirk. “I’ve had it happen before. A real pretty Altairian, lilac skinned with a voice Orion would be envious of.”

 

Jimin blushes, a small smile toying at his lips. “Noted, I’ll definitely keep that in mind.”

 

“They’re looking down on us because we’re Terran--” he looks down at himself, bashfully, “--or half-Terran, in my case.”

 

Jimin nods, exasperated that there are such scum they must be wary of, but thankful that the beautiful stranger understands his discomfort. “I’m very aware.”

 

The end of the universe is near, and the whole process repeats itself, hour after hour, light flashes up in the sky for tourists all across the universe to see.

 

“Is it tiring?” the man asks, his skin glimmering thousands of colors under the blinding lights of the universe’s end. “You look like you’re used to this.” He says this with an amused twist of his lips, cocking a brow at Jimin in question just as a waitress pours a drink into their cups.

 

Jimin shrugs. “I guess. I’m from around here.”

 

“Oh? You don’t say?” Taehyung asks, curious. And then a bit louder, he asks, “Moved here after Earth was demolished, huh?”

 

Jimin laughs, “No, my great grandparents were abducted by Acturians ages ago. I’ve been living in the Equinusia galaxy all my life.” But now Jimin is intrigued. “But you lived on Terra, then? Before it was blown to oblivion?”

 

The man hums. “Nah, I’m from the Altairian solar system, so I’m used to assholes like those,” he nods in their direction.

 

“That explains your skin. May I?” Jimin reaches toward the stranger, who places his hand in Jimin’s own palm. Jimin runs his fingers lightly over his glistening skin, and admires the man in stunned silence. “It’s gorgeous--well, I mean, you’re gorgeous. I’ve never met anyone like you.”

 

The man ducks his head down, smiling just a little as his golden skin blossoms pink from his chest up. The low-cut shirt he’s wearing leaves little to the imagination, and Jimin loves it, he suddenly notices the exposed collarbones, the dips and crannies of the stranger’s physique. Jimin marvels at him thoroughly.

 

“Thanks,” the man replies, suddenly shy.

 

“Tell me about Terra,” Jimin leans in close, almost dramatically. But the man drinks it up, his grin only widening at Jimin’s enthusiasm. “How was it? I heard stories, but I never had the chance to go before…” he pauses, gauging the man’s reaction. The stranger nodded sympathetically at him, but it’s not like Jimin was entirely torn up about the demolition of the planet. It still exists; he gets letters from Hoseok and Seokjin quite frequently--however, if the Altairian high council found out about their little ruse, they might be singing quite a different tune. “There were rumors about what happened back there, but I’ve never known for sure who to believe; there are no more Terrans to tell. Wish I had the chance to meet some.”

 

“I visited a few times, kept a low profile though. I’m not exactly full Terran, and most Earthlings didn’t take too kindly to species who weren’t, y’know. Exactly like them.”

 

Jimin understands, he does. Most Terrans they’ve come across deeper in the universe have the same backstory--none of them having any recollection of Earth after being abducted or all of them growing up in seclusion, too afraid to be judged for being a human. It was sickening how many Terrans have been forcibly taken from their planet.

 

“So how’d you end up here?” Jimin finds himself asking.

 

“What? At the edge of the universe?” The stranger almost laughs. “I wanted to see the hype, just like everyone else. It’s kind of scary, though? There’s an end, and right when you think you might die, that the void might crush you to smithereens, the whole process starts over again. Just an endless cycle. It’s kind of sad though. It’s like the universe itself never gets a break. It’s just constantly pushing and pushing. But one day, one day, at the end of time, it might just burst.”

 

Jimin shakes his head. “That’s a tough pill to swallow.”

 

“It’ll happen,” the man says. “Maybe not in this lifetime, maybe not in the next, but it will.”

 

“Why did you ask me to sit with you, then? To wax poetic about the end of life as we know it? Or is this what you tell all the boys you meet at the end of the universe?” Jimin snarks.

 

“Nah, just the cute Terran boys I happen to find.”

 

“And how many is that?” Jimin asks, his eyes narrowing playfully.

 

The man counts on his fingers, and Jimin is almost a little disappointed when the stranger looks up at him. “Including you? That makes one.”

 

Jimin laughs. “I don’t even know your name.”

 

“Kim Taehyung, but you can call me Tae.”

 

“Taehyung. Tae,” Jimin tests out the water. A pretty name for an equally pretty boy.

 

“And yours?” Taehyung asks, looping his foot together with Jimin’s.

 

“You already know mine, let’s drop this act and get out of here.” Jimin breaks his facade, a smile stretching on his lips. “I can only hold this human form for so long, y’know.”

 

Taehyung pouts, stomping his foot in a tantrum. “Don’t break character.”

 

Jimin rolls his eyes, because he knows how much Taehyung loves to act like he’s rebellious, when in actuality he’s just a giant softie looking for an adventure to spice up his life.

 

“We should probably leave. Those Altairians are looking all too suspicious right now. If we book it, we could probably make it to the next star system alive.” Jimin looks down at his holographic screen, pulling it up for Taehyung to view their next location’s coordinates.

 

“Ooh, can we pass through south Andromeda, we barely had time to pass through it last time and I wanna go stop by a few planets and shop,” he giggles, sipping lightly at his drink as he passes Jimin an excited look.

 

“Taehyung, we’re fugitives,” Jimin leans in, whispering lowly. He rubs circles on Taehyung’s wrist with the pad of his thumb. “We can’t exactly go planet hopping, especially not anywhere less than a couple of hundred light years away from the Milky Way. And definitely not when Altairians are literally on our asses. You know how they are about upholding the galactic law.”

 

“Okay fine,” Taehyung sighs, but immediately perks up, his eyes wide and big and pleading. “Can we at least go through the Tidal Stream?”

 

Jimin can never say no to the stars in Taehyung’s eyes. He relents, of course. “East or Northwest?”

 

“East, of course. Won’t let those Altairians get us; not now, not ever.”

 

“Let’s go then.” Jimin laughs, pulling Taehyung up, meeting some resistance. “Oh? Not willing to see your marvelous stream of gases, now?”

 

Taehyung looks at him, with eyes that seem to hold galaxies. “Park Jimin, I’ve been travelling the universe with you for hundreds and thousands of lightyears. I’ll go anywhere with you.”

 

Jimin stares at him for a minute, looking at the man whose skin shimmers as bright as the universe itself--the man who’s captivated him all those years ago with one single line.

 

hey park jimin, he said eons in the past, do you know the stars shine for you?