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Don't worry, love

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It all starts very innocently.

Taehyung isn’t known for hiding his emotions well. He hops and cheers around but anyone paying enough attention can see right past through that, if he distracts himself long enough, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

That’s how Jeongguk notices it.

Going back five years, Jeongguk is new at the office and still in college, a highly esteemed intern who manages to attract the bosses attention even though he barely has time to live.

“Keep an eye on him, Taehyung.”

“Yes, Jessica-ssi.”

“And assist him if you deem it necessary.”

Taehyung deems always as necessary, but Jeongguk is really capable to the point where Taehyung just keeps watching, toying with the idea of offering his help but never really fulfilling these plans. It’s oddly satisfying to watch the younger dealing with things by himself and succeeding.

Sometimes he notices the intern more tired than usual, so he walks to his table, knocks on it twice and asks “Do you ever think about how the birds feel every time they hit a window with their face on full force?”

Jeongguk blinks twice, like he’s waking up from slumber. “Probably... hate?”

“I don’t think they feel anything besides pain, it must hurt like hell. But nice guess!”

And he walks away, no time to look back and see the small smile that stretches Jeongguk’s lips.

They are small things, nothing much, and Taehyung likes to think he’s good at playing it safe. But he was told to watch, and so he does watch. And it’s by watching, that he falls.

It’s one year in, at Jeongguk’s first office annual party, and Taehyung watches as a bad habit that’s hard to get rid off. He’s alone most of the time, anyway, despite greeting everyone that passes through him and making brief small talk. He’s amazing at those, people always seem pleased to stop by him. However, he’s bored out of his mind, and so he’s watching again.

Jeongguk is with the other interns, a little lost but confident, doe eyes showing up every time he thinks there’s no one looking. The other interns are good company for him, or so Taehyung thinks, until one of the boys is clearly flirting with Jeongguk.

That’s not professional at all.

And maybe it’s not the first time Jeongguk catches him watching, but it’s the first time he has emotions such as these on his treacherous face. Taehyung’s expression gives it all away, no matter how fast he tries to look like he doesn’t care, or hasn’t seen it; Jeongguk is too clever to be fooled by that.

It still comes as a surprise when the younger passes through him, pretending interest in the table behind Taehyung.

“What are these, Taehyung-ssi?”

“Caviar? I think.” In any other occasion, he would’ve made some joke answering what Caviar really is, maybe talk about the cycle of reproduction of wild sturgeons, but right now he’s not in the mood.

Jeongguk nods, humming so low that only Taehyung can listen.

He sticks around, trying out the buffet as if he didn’t just come from across the room where there was another buffet just like this one.

“I never asked, how long have you been an employee here, Taehyung-ssi?”

“I was an intern just a year ago. Got hired a little before the contract ended.” It’s a little automatic, how he simply answers what he’s asked, too stressed with the situation to act casually, and he flinches the minute he realizes what he just said to an intern, afraid he just sounded like a complete jerk bragging about how he got himself hired quickly.

“Really?” Jeongguk sounds curious, though. Interested.

“Yeah, uh, I wasn’t even sure they would hire me, so it’s still a surprise.” He laughs shyly, combing his hair with his fingers nervously.

Jeongguk’s eyes catch the movement, and he looks down almost shyly,  too, smiling and wetting his lips.

“Hm.” And something flashes through his doe eyes, suddenly looking a lot less innocent and more… menacing. “Bet I can get them to hire me faster.”

Taehyung almost drops his drink. “Yeah?”

“Mhm.”

He was afraid of being a jerk, but here was the intern accepting it playfully as a challenge. That’s why he fell, Taehyung knows. He’s not proud that he did it, but he’s proud he at least fell for Jeongguk.

He’s definitely someone worth falling for. And breaking some rules, while youre at it.

“I’d like to see that.”

Jeongguk smiles at him, not the cocky grin but the pleased smirk, bunny teeth barely peeking out his pink and full lower lip.

The thing after that is that Jeongguk starts asking for him, even when Taehyung knows fully well, after a year of watching, that the younger doesn’t really needs his or anyone’s help.

Just being caught, and having that small conversationthat was all it took for Jeongguk to catch-up to him. And make his move.

It felt like being in a table game, a chess piece waiting to be taken down by the younger, more experienced player. There  was something extra confident to Jeongguk when Taehyung was at the receiving end of his undivided attention, like he grew older just by being alone with Taehyung.

Maybe because he wasn’t the one already hired by the company, the one who had to pretend like he wasn't enamoured, despite definitely being the one trying to beat that person’s score.

It’s a playful semester, and Taehyung is positive Jeongguk will be hired sooner than ever; which is great, but also what keeps them apart. Office relationships are never seen with good eyes, no matter what you’re told, and to top that, they’re both men.

It’s subtle how Jeongguk let's him know he’s got no problem with thatnot only with the intern flirting with him at that annual party, but also simply stating “I think I like boys more” when he deems that wetting his lips and smirking at Taehyung isn’t enough to make Taehyung understand his intentions (which prompts Taehyung into a fit of coughs). He barely breaks a sweat, just smiling. “What about you, Taehyung-ssi?”

They keep the formal treatment around like a safety shield, never once risking to make it any more personal.

“I don’t…” He coughs, looking away to hide his blush as he pretends to check if there’s anyone around. There never is, they're in the basement, just a few lost souls trying a promotion wandering around from hour to hour. “... think I mind, although I haven’t… dated a lot. With the job, you know.”

I don’t easily fall in love, too, but there’s just something about you… And your smile.

Jeongguk nods, understandingly. “You’re so devoted to work, of course you haven’t dated much.” He doesn’t say it like he’s teasing Taehyung, it sounds more like a praise. “But you should, Taehyung-ssi. It’s nice to get your head off of work, you know? Just a little.”

Yeah, we could do that. Me and you.

“Do you think so? I don’t know. Seems a lot of extra work and wasted time to find someone in the first place. Specially someone who actually wants to, you know… Date. First.”

Jeongguk almost giggles, suddenly dropping all the files he’s holding on the table in between them. “Of course you’d be like that.”

“Like th… what?” He feels a little embarrassed, but fuck it, he’d like to date date someone.

Jeongguk. He would like to date Jeongguk.

“Who wouldn’t want to date you, Taehyung-ssi? Honestly.” He sighs exasperated and leans into the folder again, turning the page almost furiously. “People would line up if you’d at least show them you’re open to that.”

I want to date you. I would be the first one on that line.

Taehyung gulps.

“Thanks, Jeongguk-ssi.”

The intern smiles at him softly, all angry aura fastly gone. “You’re welcome.”

His heart starts stuttering every time he sees the younger after that, and no matter what he consciously wants, Taehyung finds himself almost asking him out, a thousand times.

Have you ever had crepe?

There’s a new exposition downtown.

There’s a sci-fi movie running on CGV.

There’s a nice ice cream place near Hangang Park.

“There’s a photography tour class this Saturday!”

Jeongguk walks to his side, peeking at his phone screen. “That looks rad. Do you like photography, Taehyung-ssi?”

He’s too hyped to realize what he’s doing. “I have an old thing, a gift from my older brother. I play around with it.”

“It says there will be instructors for individual groups...” Jeongguk points out, face getting near the phone to read the words better.

“Too expensive.” He sighs, suddenly sad for not making more friends and investing so much time on work.

“I… Don’t have a camera, but I have a cousin who does. He has already lent it to me before.”

Taehyung’s eyes sparkle, his brain hasn’t caught up to what’s happening just yet.

“Can you check with him? Now?”

Jeongguk laughs, eyes crinkling and nose scrunching. “Yeah, yeah, give me a second.”

He walks out to actually call someone, and Taehyung’s heart does a backflip. It’s not a date, is it? No. It feels like it, though. They’d be going out together after work hours, meeting outside of the office, alone. Getting to know each other more. Better.

His breath catches. 

He slipped.

“All set, I’ll stop by his house tonight after work. We’ll share the fee.”

“Are you sure, Jeongguk-ssi? I… Don’t wanna be a bother, I didn’t even ask if you like this stuff.”

Jeongguk nods dismissively. “I like it well enough, Taehyung-ssi. Besides, it looks like fun.”

You’re fun.

It’s not really expensive, the fee isn’t anything near what hiring a teacher would cost. It’s just an extra feature of the program offered by the photography school, probably as a way to attract new students.

What he doesn’t know is that Jeongguk is expending money he actually doesn’t have.

“Seriously, Guk-ah.”

“I’ll pay you back, hyung, I promise. I’ll eat less, I’ve been gaining some weight anyway…”

Yoongi smacks him at the back of his head. “Aigoo, kid, you have a lot of growing to do yet. Don’t stop eating. Consider it a gift. Get that boy and make him pay you some meat in the near future. Invite me, sometime.”

“Thank you, hyung, you’re so cool.” He hugs him, shyly, and feels Yoongi melt on his embrace.

“You’re too old for that!” Yoongi scolds, not moving to push him away at all. “Go get him, Guk.”

“If it works, I promise I’ll help you get Hoseok-hyung!” Jeongguk shouts before closing the door, not giving Yoongi the time to flip him off.

He does listen to the “damn brat”, though.

That Saturday Jeongguk learns Taehyung’s hands are soft, despite long and lean. He learns they’re warm around his wrist, pulling him up and down, right and left, and Jeongguk wouldn’t have it any other way.

Taehyung looks mesmerized by everything their instructor says, and they don’t talk much about anything besides photography, but it’s like seeing Taehyung truly alive for the first time ever.

Jeongguk falls.

Maybe, during the annual party, he had considered it just a possible fling. They’ve been around each other for too long without Taehyung demonstrating any real interest besides shy glances, and Jeongguk misinterpreted it. After all, what could an angel on Earth want with him, the awkward intern that tries to look tough but takes off his piercings every day before work?

It’s not impossible, he knows it, being graced by luck a billion times before, but it does look unlikely when Taehyung keeps their relationship as professional as possible, not even asking about his weekend when they make small talk because that’s too far from the realms of work.

At the party, though, Jeongguk sees something else. A chance, in the way Taehyung’s eyebrows furrow and the corner of his lips twitch at the sight of someone elseanother man, at thattrying a more casual approach at Jeongguk.

So maybe Taehyung isn’t that interested enough to break the work protocols, but he might be just interested enough.

However, his heart is hoping for more now, so much more, and suddenly Jeongguk is in no hurry. He doesn’t want just a fling anymore.

Like this, doing something he clearly loves, Taehyung is like the sun. At the office, he’s a star too, but not as bright and warm as he feels like right now, attracting the curious eyes of everyone around, acting so freely. Jeongguk basks on his light, and he’s sure he’s shining too, so maybe he’s the moon. Everyone else is a sunflower, only hoping to be in Jeongguk’s place.

He doesn’t know what prompts him to do it, but Jeongguk slides his hand smoothly into Taehyung’s and interlocks their fingers, smiling softly when the elder looks at him a little surprised, like he didn’t even realize his hand was latched into Jeongguk’s wrist in the first place.

Taehyung doesn’t pull away. Taehyung stays.

They stay.

Fast forward through ice creams, teas, museums, movies, expositions, theaters, arcades and everything else Taehyung always wanted to do but together instead of alone, to the next annual partythey’re celebrating Jeongguk’s official recruitment, the fastest intern to join their office, ever. Taehyung raises his glass from across the room, and Jeongguk clinks his in the air.

They’ll celebrate it together, after.

By now, they both hope the other is just a tiny bit in love with them, nothing near what they actually feel because it’s like their chests will burstand that is, maybe, a little too much.

Just to make sure it’s still there, Jeongguk accepts the hug from the other internthe same one from last year, he hasn’t been hired yet but he probably will, eventually.

Taehyung stills, almost forgetting about the drink in his lips.

He swallows forcibly.

The boss, Jung Jessica, eventually speaks up, bringing out Jeongguk’s accomplishments and good record, saying the company is happy to welcome him in the family and mentioning how Taehyung used to be their fastest hire until now.

“He deserves the spot,” Taehyung says even a little too proudly, as if the compliment was for himself.

It kind of feels like it is.

“You trained him well.” Jessica states matter of factly, being responsible for the order in the first place. “I didn’t expect any less from you, Taehyung.”

He bows, gratefully.

“Let’s hope he’ll bring us someone even better than himself, then.”

Jeongguk bows too, his chest blooming in a thousand roses. “I’ll do my best, thank you both. Thank you all.”

They hit a pub downtown, not too far but far enough to avoid anyone from work.

Taehyung thinks he’s going to kiss him, his hands already finding it impossible to stay away from the younger’s arms and shoulders. So he drinks. His drunk self is better at these things, like running from Jeongguk and pretending he hasn’t been thinking about what’s like to kiss him for the past six months.

Jeongguk’s drunk self latches onto Taehyung, however, so there’s not much to do to get away.

“Hyung,” it slips, and no one’s stopping him. “Let’s dance! I wanna dance with you. Dance with me!”

He’s shouting, Taehyung barely registers it through the loud music but he’s right next to his ear and Taehyung closes his eyes in pain as his lips stretch in pleasure.

“Sure.” He answers too low, but Jeongguk catches it falling from his lips and takes him to the dancefloor, finding them a good enough spot, standing right in front of him, and swinging his body as if he’s trying to get Taehyung to follow him.

A hand rests on his shoulder, and Jeongguk looks almost embarrassed, but he explains “Just in case someone thinks of butting in.”

Taehyung takes a step closer, nodding. “Yeah.”

They move together, quickly falling into rhythm with the electronic beats, quickly getting closer without minding it at all, until Jeongguk’s hands fall to Taehyung’s waist and Taehyung’s hands fly up to Jeongguk’s neck, and they won’t kiss, because they’re both drunk, more so in each other than in alcohol itself.

There’s something bitter about being hired, Jeongguk doesn’t want that. They worked hard, Taehyung and him, and this should be a happy moment only. But they’re officially coworkers now, and he can feel Taehyung slipping through his fingers the moment this night ends.

He’ll get to see Taehyung in work every day during the week, but he wants to see Taehyung out of work too. He wants to see Taehyung in Park dates, Dinner dates, Amusement Park dates. He wants to see Taehyung home, playing games with him. He wants Taehyung.

“Tae.” He says almost too softly, cheek resting in the elder’s shoulder. They slow down, even if the music keeps going. “Go out with me.”

Taehyung’s hand presses firmly against his neck. I’m here. I won’t leave.

“Yes.” He answers, face pressing down against his neck, breathing deeply.

Jeongguk shivers. “I want you.”

For the longest of moments, Taehyung doesn’t answer, fingers digging on Jeongguk’s flesh.

“I want you too, Gukkie.”

It’s a mutual silent agreement of pretending they’re just coworkers while they’re inside the office. They exchange greetings, and sometimes work tips, and everyone’s amazed when they’re teamed up together for some job and it works out incredibly right. They’re mostly used separately, though, because they’re too good to be wasted on the same projects. Going home, however, Taehyung showers and changes into something more comfortable and elegant, Jeongguk wears his black leather jacket and piercings, and they meet somewhere else for a date.

Real dates, this time, with Jeongguk’s flirting and Taehyung’s blushing.

Jeongguk wants to kiss him, when he watches Taehyung licking his ice cream spoon and he just wants to latch onto the table and press their cold lips together, but they’ve waited so much already. They should just get it over with. They should wait and do it properly, somewhere they can keep kissing until their lips feel numb and their jaws ache.

They should.

...Not have kissed when there’s paint in both their faces, after an experiment that goes terribly wrong and puts Taehyung out of his Picasso dreams. They’re both on Taehyung’s living room, the floor completely coated by journal pages, a heck of a giant canvas lying on the floor, destroyed. Taehyung’s dog is green. Jeongguk is red. Taehyung is blue.

When they kiss, they make purple.

So maybe the canvas is dead, and they need to give Soonshim a bath immediately, but they’re having a fit of laughter and Jeongguk tries to soak his hair in more blue paint, but Taehyung fastens the hold on his shoulders and pushes him forward. There’s too much teeth, at first, and paint, but neither pulls away, exchanging small pecks until the laughter dies down, and then Taehyung is licking into his mouth, and Jeongguk is biting his plump lip and dragging it, tasting it, and it tastes of chemicals and things you should not put in your mouth.

Jeongguk begs to differ.

He presses further, gently cupping Taehyung’s head with one hand, protecting it from hitting the floor, as the other supports a little of his weight, and Taehyung’s hands explore his chest and neck, just as careful as needy. He licks into Taehyung’s mouth, exploring it, letting their tongues curl around each other, and it’s slow.

It lasts longer than it could, and shorter than it should. It feels like all the months anticipating it, and all the years ahead of them.

Taehyung has stars in his eyes when he opens them, and Jeongguk stares. He always did. Taehyung smiles like he knows, but he says nothing about itjust kisses him again, briefly, and rubs their noses together.

They end up all three inside the shower, clothes and everything, to clean Soonshim first and then themselves, and as Taehyung makes Jeongguk sits and kneels behind him, he combs Jeongguk’s hair too gently to remove the red paint, and Jeongguk throws his head back and juts his lips, asking for another kiss. Taehyung leans down, despite the awkward angle, and pecks him. They do the same when they exchange roles, and it's all too domestic, and right. They can’t help being this greedy when it feels like they’ve been waiting forever to have it.

It’s innocent when Jeongguk helps him out of his ruined t-shirt, and Taehyung pays back the favor by removing Jeongguk’s t-shirt too. They kiss some more, as Soonshim obediently (mostly) waits above a dozen towels on the bathroom floor. Taehyung kisses like he’s holding the world, and Jeongguk kisses like he’d do anything to be exactly that.

They’re basically the same size, and yet so different. Taehyung is soft where Jeongguk is hard, and they’re both so fascinated they can’t stop touching, feeling, pressing closer and kissingnow they’ve started that, there’s no stopping it.

Taehyung leaves the shower still in his soaked shorts, leaving Jeongguk a towel and new clothes with one last smile before he locks the door. Before they move too soon, too fast, but Jeongguk wants it. He wants it like he’s never wanted anything besides, maybe, succeeding.

Fast forward a few months, and the other intern leaves the company.

“I got a better offer elsewhere.” He tells Jeongguk, door closed behind him.

“Oh. I’m happy for you, Mingyu-ssi.”

“Thanks.” He walks to his desk, mere three steps closer. “Now we won’t be coworkers anymore, we should grab a drink together sometime.”

Jeongguk cocks his head, laughing. “Why just now? We could’ve done it before.”

“Oh, I mean it as a date.” Mingyu winks, still smiling as charmingly as ever.

Jeongguk gapes.

His door opens almost immediately, a serious looking Taehyung adjusting his ash gray hair out of his eyes. “Oh, Mingyu-ssi, you’re here. Good luck in your new job.”

“Thank you, Taehyung-ssi.” Mingyu answers, looking at Taehyung with his eyebrows slightly raised.

No one moves. Jeongguk watches as they don’t break eye contact.

“Hm, is there something you want, Taehyung-ssi?” He asks, holding back a laugh.

He can’t know if Taehyung heard what just happened, but the whole scene is just too funny for him to ignore it. Coincidence or not, Jeongguk is having the time of his life.

“Yes, I’m afraid I can’t discuss it in front of Mingyu, though. I’d come back later, but it is of extreme importance.” Smooth, perfect move. Jeongguk feels something like pride and Mingyu nods understandingly and turns back to him.

“Oh. My bad, I’m sorry. Anyway, think about it, Jeongguk.” Taehyung clearly flinches at the lack of formality, but luckily Mingyu isn’t looking anymore and only Jeongguk sees it. “You have my number.”

“Yeah. G-good luck, Mingyu-ssi.”

“You can forget the formalities, Gukkie!” He shoots back from the door, Taehyung right beside him.

The door remains open, and Taehyung remains anchored to the same spot.

Gukkie.” He whispers to himself, almost sadly. And it’s then Jeongguk realizes he’s not about to have a jealousy fit. Quite the opposite. “That’s really a nice nickname.”

Something I’ll never get to call you here.

“I’d rather not have people saying it where I work and try to act professionally.”

You call me like that when we’re outside, and it’s enough.

“Must be nice to drop formalities with the people you’re closest to.”

They won’t ever know I’m one of those people.

“It’s nicer when we’re in private.”

It’s nicer with you.

“Hm, anyway…” Taehyung scoffs, bringing up a folder and picking up a file. “This is for you, the meeting was rescheduled. There are some extra informations in.”

They meet halfway, and Jeongguk takes the file.

“Aren’t you working with the Humax account this time?”

“I was passing by anyway.” Taehyung fakes nonchalant, even daring to shrug a little.

Jeongguk lowers his voice. “I miss you too, babe.”

Taehyung turns beet red, sputtering his way out and leaving Jeongguk chuckling behind.

Not for too long.

Taehyung is watching him intently, sometimes glancing in the direction of the restrooms as if he’s waiting for Jeongguk to go first. They don’t do that. Taehyung keeps watching him, expression serious, eyes burning him entirely. It’s too risky, they don’t do risky, but something’s different today.

Maybe it was Mingyu. Maybe it was the realization, or the new silent agreement, or even the babe Jeongguk teased him with. Jeongguk always teases, but not with words. He's good enough with his eyes and overall face.

Anyway, he finds himself walking casually to the restrooms, and checking if there’s someone inside, picking up an individual one, checking if it doesn’t smell before going in.

He hears steps a few moments later, and there’s a soothing melody being whistled. Eyes, Lips and Nose it’s a favorite of Jeongguk’s, and despite Taehyung’s voice being too deep for that kind of song, Jeongguk wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

They don’t do that, but Jeongguk opens the door, and Taehyung comes in.

There’s nothing lazy about the way they kiss, this time, and by now they’re familiar enough with each other’s mouths to kiss it as if they own it.

It’s too hard to stop, and that’s why they avoid giving in at work.

Fast forward to the weekend, and he stays over at Taehyung’s. It’s video games and dramas, meals that make his heart flutter just because Taehyung clearly tries his best, and Jeongguk helps him. Together, they manage something, and he has to convince the elder how much he loves it.

A toast, for me and you. Us.

A marathon for the bedroom, so we can fulfill the toast.

He grabs Taehyung by his thighs and hoists him up, the elder grunting and locking his legs around Jeongguk’s waist, deepening the kiss. It’s a messy run to the bedroom, but Jeongguk is familiar enough with it because of the number of times he had to chase Taehyung down for something the elder did.

Stained his white tee. Bitten him too hard. Cheated to win in the game they were playing. He chases Taehyung without any harmful intention, just another way to have fun and hear Taehyung’s loud laugh echo through the house, filling Jeongguk’s ears and heart.

Thanks to that, they arrive at the bedroom safely, with the exception of a few hickeys Jeongguk already feels blooming on his neck.

“Tae…” He warns, but it’s Friday, and unless someone calls, they don’t have to work the next day and they’ll mostly fade by Monday.

“I’ll lend you some concealer.”

“No need to.”

“Scarfs?”

“That too.”

Jeongguk sits on the end of the bed and Taehyung stays, loosening the hold around his waist and changing the position just a little to kneel on the bed, straddling Jeongguk’s lap and pulling his hair to make him throw his head back and give him more access to his neck. Taehyung licks the prominent muscle, giving it gentle bites before passing on to the clavicles and shoulders, experienced fingers unbuttoning his shirt and grazing Jeongguk’s skin just enough to send shivers through his body.

There’s a silent question in the air, and Jeongguk isn’t sure he knows how to answer this, so it’s a relief when Taehyung guides him, eyes watching intently every reaction, predicting his wishes, taking off their clothes piece by piece, nothing hurried about it, almost as if he’s not afraid of anything, he’s so sure about Jeongguk, about them, there’s no way this can be anything less than perfect.

It's soothing, and thrilling.

Taehyung lays him down, kisses him one more time, and then trails kisses down his chest, hands gripping his thighs with just the right pressure.

“So pretty, baby.”

Jeongguk whimpers at the praise, suddenly feeling his cheeks heat up, and Taehyung’s eyes blown wide.

“Tae…”

“You know it, don’t you? How pretty you are? God, Gukkie, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone nearly as gorgeous as you.”

Jeongguk rolls his eyes. “Do you have a mirror?”

Taehyung giggles, pinching his thighs. “Funny. And cheesy, great combination.”

“Thanks. Someone has to be a good flirt in this relationship, and it’s obviously not you.”

“Excuse me, Jeon…”

“Also I have a big nose and overall a weird face.”

This is new. Taehyung shuts up immediately, eyes searching him intently. Jeongguk gulps, great, he just managed to fuck everything up, there it goes the perfect atmosphere Taehyung had built up so carefully for them.

He isn’t one of showing his insecurities, mostly because he doesn’t really care. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t there, and it’s exactly that what Taehyung is noticing right now.

“Jeongguk, my pretty, perfect boyfriend. I failed you, but let me make up to it, okay?” Taehyung asks, too softly, and he’s so confused he’s going to blurt the first dumb thing that comes to his mind, like ‘haha, got you, just kidding!’, but Taehyung is faster, climbing up and stopping eye to eye with him. “Your eyes. They hold entire galaxies, I swear, the first time I caught a glimpse of them when you were excited with something, I felt my heart clench and I’m not being overdramatic. It’s magical, and seeing it from up close… Being the reason why your eyes shine like this, makes me feel like the luckiest human being ever. Everything about you makes me feel like that, though.”

Jeongguk let's out a strangled breath.

“Your nose it’s a whole masterpiece from every possible angle, you fool.” Taehyung peppers his nose with brief kisses, pillowy lips feeling extra soft against his skin. “And there’s this stupid mole that always distracts me, oh my god, it’s just not worse than the one under your lip, because that one… Is a real problem. I can’t stop thinking about it and it makes me want to kiss you so so bad at the moments I usually can’t. So I plan to kiss you, instead, I think about how I’m going to hold you later, what I’m gonna do to take your breath away, all because of a mole under your lip. Well, maybe your cupid’s bow holds some of the blame, too, and how pink your lips get sometimes because you keep nipping at them while you work, damn it, why are you so cruel to me during work hours?”

His mouth is open but he barely breathes. Jeongguk takes a sharp breath and smiles, as if he’s not dizzy by the honest words pouring out of Taehyung’s lips. “I’m extra good to you when we’re alone though, hyung.”

Taehyung giggles. “Yes, you are. There’s nothing about you that isn’t lovely, Gukkie. Your sharp jaws could fucking slice me, and they sure take my breath away, but your soft cheeks are so squishy, I love them so much.” He distributes kisses there, too, eyes fluttering and breath catching. “I love cupping your face and sliding my fingers through your hair and then to your neck, I love touching you. Your ears.” He grunts, and it’s not as sexual as it could be. “Let’s not talk about them. Your hair is so soft I could touch it all day. I could touch you all day, and not even sexually speaking, even though your muscles… Yeah, ugh.” He coughs, a little embarrassed, and it’s adorable.

Jeongguk laughs completely fucking endeared.

“What about my muscles, Tae?”

“You know.”

“C’mon, baby, you already started, tell me.”

Taehyung is biting his lips and he’s looking down, to Jeongguk’s chest and arms, a blush coloring his cheeks. “They’re… great. Could definitely touch and kiss and bite them all day. Make it my temple.”

“Go ahead, you know you can do anything you want, right?” He sounds almost too soft, but he hopes the real message is getting through to Taehyung.

“I care about what you want too, Gukkie.” Taehyung answers, eyes full of worry and love.

God. He loves him so much.

“I already told you that, hyung. I want you.”

It’s probably the best thing to say, and Jeongguk prides himself in doing it because he’s usually not the best with words but Taehyung has a way of getting him going. Eventually, if not immediately.

Taehyung does kiss and bites and sucks, marking the ridges of his muscles and gently caressing his nipples, and there’s a lot Jeongguk wants to do, but suddenly it feels just right to give instead of take, because Taehyung’s gave him so much, even though he might feel it’s the other way around.

He watches in astonishment as Taehyung licks tentatively at the head of his cock after marking his thighs with a few hickeys, and maybe he’ll laugh and tease Taehyung about it later but right now he really wants to see the elder taking his cock inside his mouth, lips stretching prettily around his girth like he might have imagined once or twice, like it could’ve happened inside the bathroom at work if Jeongguk hadn’t stopped him, understanding that Taehyung wasn’t in his right mind at the time.

Their first time was supposed to go exactly like this. Privately, with all the time and comfort in the world. God, he wants it to be slow. He asks for just that, Taehyung nodding as he sinks down and bobs up again, taking a little more every time, fingers stroking him gently at the base.

He takes him so well, so good, and even though it’s slow heat starts pooling at his lower stomach and it’s hard to keep his eyes focused on Taehyung, who checks up for his reactions and massage his balls, kissing his cock to the base and tonguing at the head’s slit. He’s the gorgeous one, what was he even saying, if Jeongguk was the prettiest thing he’s ever seen it was because Taehyung couldn’t see himself all the time.

“I’ll buy you a mirror so you can watch yourself as you blow me, Tae, fuck.”

Taehyung groans and the vibrations make his cock twitch, and Jeongguk pulls him up to kiss him fervently, laying him on the bed and straddling his hips, unintentionally rubbing their cocks together and they both moan, lips grazing before Jeongguk is kissing him again, all hot and messy.

The lube – strawberry flavored, really – is within his hand’s reach, almost hidden under the pillow, but he sees it and takes it as he grinds down and Taehyung grinds up, the pop of the cap being what gives him away, and Taehyung bites his lip as if he’s thinking about how he’s going to ask, but Jeongguk beats him to it.

“Can you finger me open, Tae?”

Taehyung chokes.

“Yeah?”

Jeongguk chuckles. “Are you sure? Didn’t sound like it. I can do it myself if you thi–”

Taehyung sprawl his hand and looks at him with his eyebrows furrowed, pouting a little, which only makes Jeongguk laugh more. He doesn’t take revenge, though, warming the lube on his fingers and carefully circling Jeongguk’s entrance, eyebrows still furrowed but in concentration.

Jeongguk pants right into his mouth, holding his hips as best as he can so he won’t grind down Taehyung’s belly, the feeling of his lean fingers inside Jeongguk being already too much.

“You okay, babe?”

“Feeling amazing, thanks.”

Taehyung smiles at him full of that thing again, love, and reaches to peck his lips as he adds another finger gently, he whispers “You’re gonna ride me?”

“Fucking will, yeah.”

“God.”

“Yeah.” He nods, rocking a little against Taehyung’s finger, feeling they almost hit something. “Tae, you’re near it…”

Taehyung curls his finger, searching, and pleasure spreads through Jeongguk when he finds him, and he moans heartily, grinding down and burying his face on the crook of Taehyung’s neck.

“So hot, baby, inside and out.” Taehyung bites his shoulder, fingers curling and uncurling, a third one joining them and the stretch burns a little now, but he’s so careful, Jeongguk barely has to say anything, Taehyung touches him just right.

He mouths at Taehyung’s neck to muffle his own sounds until the stretch is good enough, and then he grabs Taehyung’s hands and interlocks their fingers, pushing them up to rest beside his head. He joins them with one hand as his other hand goes to the condom package, bringing it to his teeth and he carefully tears it open. He manages to put it on Taehyung’s cock,  and lines it with his entrance, but takes the lube first, just teasing Taehyung’s cock with his ass.

Taehyung breathes shakily, stunned and clearly enjoying every bit of how Jeongguk takes charge of the situation. Jeongguk smiles a little too smugly, wanting to take it all at once but reminding himself his own wish for it to be slow. He can go hard later, plenty of opportunities will come, surely.

Focusing on Taehyung’s face, he slowly spreads the lube and sinks down, bringing their once again interlocked hands to Taehyung’s chest when he bottoms out, circling down and drawing such a deep moan from Taehyung that his whole body shivers.

He rides Taehyung until his thighs are sore, way past from burning, but there’s nothing that’s going to stop him when Taehyung meets his thrusts and looks so utterly wrecked under him, moaning his name and hitting him just right, making him feel so full and so loved. He bounces harder, asking in a whisper “Cum for me, baby.”

“Yeah, oh Guk, I’m–” He throws his head back, so beautifully, so sinful. Taehyung frees one hand to stroke Jeongguk’s cock, spreading the precum with his thumb as he slowly builds up the same rhythm with which Jeongguk rocks into him. “You feel amazing, so good, just perfect baby. I–” He moans again, eyes closing in blinding pleasure.

“Tae, Tae, I’m gonna…”

“Yes, please, cum baby. Wanna feel you–” He forces his eyes open again, focusing on Jeongguk until the younger is faltering and cumming on his chest and hand, Taehyung stroking him through it, hips stilling as the muscles contract around his cock.

Jeongguk urges him on, rocking back twice but his legs can’t do much more like this, so Taehyung holds him and fucks into him, already on edge.

He stops holding on, and Jeongguk is kissing his earlobe and breathing hard right into his ear, still feeling the effect of cumming, so beautifully burned out and Taehyung did that, everything, everything Jeongguk did was for him and it was so good— He cums with Jeongguk’s name on his tongue, hips bucking up and stilling as he spills his load inside the condom and stops breathing, mind going white.

Jeongguk kisses him back to reality, softly, still on top of him, but carefully removing himself to keep the condom on Taehyung. He finally moves to take it off and throws it into the bin – hopefully –, too quick to grab Jeongguk and press their chests together in a tight hugh.

Jeongguk giggles against him, burying his face on the crook of his neck again.

“Good, Tae?”

“Great, Gukkie. Amazing. Fantastic. Are you? Feeling okay, did I hurt you, or? Wait, there’s some tissues here.” He’s a little frantic, and it’s just adorable. Taehyung reaches for the headboard and brings back a package of kleenex, quick to clean the cum on Jeongguk’s skin and the lube on his thighs and ass.

Jeongguk chuckles watching everything with fascination, and their chests bloom.

It’s so intimate, a fleeting moment where the world is a place free of insecurities and fears, and Taehyung understands why, so many times, this is when people confess their feelings. He tosses the wipes away and holds Jeongguk closer, their cheeks pressed together as they breathe in one another and their hearts start to slow down; he wants to say it, but he doesn’t want to say it now.

Not when it’s so easy, not when it can be misinterpreted.

Jeongguk starts speaking low, right into his ear, sinking further into their embrace.

“You don’t need to say it back, you’ll say it whenever you want to. I just needed to let you know, right now, that I love you so much, hyung, I’ve never felt like this before. And you mean so much to me, I hope you know that, I want you to know that. I’m not the best with words, but ever since we went on that Photography tour together, I knew you were all I wanted, and I find myself more right in thinking that every day that passes.”

Taehyung freezes, his breath catches and his mind swirls. This is Jeongguk, though. Jeongguk who insisted on getting closer to him, Jeongguk who was never disheartened by Taehyung’s ways, Jeongguk who would respect his time and his wishes. As always, he breaks the wall Taehyung builds for himself with such ease and care, there’s no way to hold anything back from him.

Taehyung exhales sharply, mentally cursing his dumb mind.

“I was thinking it too. Didn’t… Didn’t want to be cliche or something idiot like it… Didn’t want you to think I was talking about sex… I’m such an idiot…”

“Hey, look at me.” Jeongguk props himself on one arm and scoots closer, littering his face with kisses. He bumps their noses, a playful smile on his pink lips. “You’re my idiot, hm? And I love you.”

Taehyung chokes on a sob. There it is, of course, as always, Jeongguk is too good to him. “I love you too. So fucking much, I could scream till your parents heard it from Busan, and then mine from Daegu. Now.”

Jeongguk giggles and kisses him until he’s giggling too, something pure and innocent despite the lack of clothing of the moment.

“I know, I know, you can feel this kind of thing. I just needed to say it because my chest isn’t handling it anymore. I love you, I love you, I–”

Taehyung gently shuts him up by pressing their lips together again, tongue quickly invading his mouth and caressing his tongue, playfully, deeply, meaningfully, half because his own chest might explode if Jeongguk doesn’t stop.

Fast forward to, finally, now. Jeongguk conducting a whole team with four interns on his tow, and Taehyung with another team and six interns. They barely meet during work hours, too busy on opposite offices to exchange more than a wave of their hands right above their heads.

Text messages always find their way, though, and by now they know every restaurant they can meet without being found out.

Sometimes they’re on the same meetings, casually sitting beside each other. And if Jeongguk stares too intently when Taehyung speaks, everyone deems it part of his professionalism. If Taehyung listens to Jeongguk like he’s a breath of fresh air, it’s because his ideas never clash with Taehyung’s, and he’s allowed to be proud of the first intern he ever prepared.

They say they agree too much for coworkers that barely work together, but it doesn’t come as a surprise.

No one suspects anything, until a new intern points out: “Do their rings match?”

Thankfully, she asks that to her friend, not being completely indiscreet about it. Momo, hired a few months back, takes a full minute to realize what Sana is talking about. When she sees it, her glossed lips form an “O”.

“Oh.”

Sana nods eagerly. “Could be just a coincidence. Have they ever talked about dating someone?”

She shakes her head negatively. “But they’re definitely couple rings.”

“Let’s take a closer look.”

They do. The rings match. They weigh the options.

“They never came in together,” Momo says, thinking back to her intern days under Kim Taehyung’s watch.

Sana’s eyes widen. “Could be on purpose. Or just a coincidence, haha.”

“They don’t ever talk? I think I saw they making small talk once, in the cafeteria. Real small talk, like, the weather is good today and shit. I felt like I was in an elevator.”

“They could be doing all the talking privately, though. It’s really easy to slip if you’re hiding an engagement.” Sana points out, wittingly.

“I think Taehyung’s first intern was Jeongguk? He wasn’t really his intern, but Jung-ssi asked Taehyung to assist him.”

“Oh. I think I saw them lunching together, once?”

“But that’s normal, we’re all coworkers.”

“Yeah, but like… I don’t remember seeing them much during lunch hours? Maybe they could be having all the lunches together, know what I mean?”

Momo stops.

Sana stops.

They take a deep breath.

“If that’s the case, we should be careful. Like, they’re probably keeping an image because of work. And they’re, like, the best workers around here.”

“Kind of makes you hopeful, though, right?” And Momo gently reaches for her hand, squishing it before retracting and pretending to get a few napkins for them. “If they’re really doing this, we could too.”

Sana wills her blushing cheeks away.

“Yeah…”

Momo tries asking Jeongguk about it that same day, casually inviting him to a club Friday night.

Jeongguk smiles with his eyes behind his round specs, it’s adorable. “Thanks for inviting me, Momo-ssi, but I already have plans.”

And he unconsciously flashes his ring, unnecessarily fixing his glasses.

“Oh, you could bring her too! Or him. Or them. It’s a great club, very respectful.”

The way his smile widens shows her he’s really thankful for her consideration, and that she sees because she gets this feeling all too well. “We’d love to, but we actually have plans that can’t be postponed. Mom’s birthday.”

“Oh! Send her my congratulations! I hope you have lots of fun. Busan, right?”

“Uh, actually, it’s not my mom…” He looks so embarrassed, like he’s just realized what he’s done, and Momo wants to keep him in her pocket.

“Aish, sorry, I keep intruding. Anyway, I hope everyone has fun!”

Jeongguk laughs, thankful. “You too, Momo-ssi.”

She winks and walks away, shouting a “Maybe next time!” and feeling slightly bad for pressuring him so much. She can’t help how much she wants to know; maybe she’s too invested in it, but there’s a good reason.

Changing back to Taehyung, though. All he sees is Momo from the design department, ex-intern, laughing and touching Jeongguk’s shoulder.

If the coffee machine gives up right on his turn, it’s not his fault. “What? It was working perfectly just until now.” Kim Seokjin grumbles right behind him, but Taehyung keeps his eyes trained on Jeongguk, on the other side of the office floor. “What did you do, Taehyung-ah!?”

“Nothing.” He whispers, battling to peel his eyes away from Jeongguk’s wide smile, his heart racing a thousand marathons because he loves that smile so much it drives him insane. “I just put the capsule and pressed start.”

Seokjin opens the compartment and finds two capsules instead of one.

“Jesus, Tae, look at that. Where was your head at, huh?” The older man nods negatively and tries to fix up the mess, which Taehyung awkwardly helps him with.

The ring on his finger grounds him. His trust in Jeongguk fills his heart in the most tender way, but those are never what bothers him. Those aren't the things that make him sad.

At the office, he can never be the one at the end of those bunny smiles and nose scrunches. Inside the office, he gets a raise of a single eyebrow and maybe Jeongguk will make a small pout, licking his lips and looking away.

I wish you could kiss me.

I wish I could kiss you.

They've moved in together to a new place, it’s in Jeongguk’s name so no one will get suspicious about it, but they own it half/half. The silver rings are indeed engagement rings, of course, and even though they didn’t properly marry (yet), that’s how they live. Taehyung is happy, happy he got to be with Jeongguk this way, and even if they have to hide it, and he rarely gets to see his bunny flash him his front teeth during work hours, well, he can see it everywhere else.

And Taehyung wouldn’t have it any other way.

He still gets to be just a little extra as soon as they’re alone, wearing that crop top Jeongguk loves and the leather shorts that look just a little big on his legs but still show his ass perfectly as he leans against the counter and washes the vegetables they’ll be making for dinner.

The shirt he wears above that outfit is almost a robe, soft fabric always making Jeongguk press his face to the back and Taehyung can feel his hair prickling the back of his neck.

Jeongguk arrives five minutes later, looking twice at his outfit before leaving his suit and wallet on the table and walking to Taehyung.

Strong arms circle his waist and warm hands press against his belly. “Hi, pretty thing.” Jeongguk nuzzles his neck, pressing wet kisses to his nape. “You’re not taking a bath first?”

He presses his cheek to Taehyung’s back, hair tickling his neck, and it’s hard not to sigh in content.

“Are you saying I smell, Jeon Jeongguk?”

Jeongguk chuckles, shaking their bodies and making Taehyung drop a small branch of broccoli.

“No. I’m saying I’d like to take your clothes off and take you to the shower with me.”

Smooth. Always so soothingly smooth.

“Oh. That sounds good.”

That sounds great.

“Yeah.”

Hell yeah.

Taehyung raises his arms and waits for Jeongguk to take off his shirt and crop top, and then his shorts, and then he gives Taehyung a piggyback ride to the bathroom, hands unapologetically full of his ass.

They pass through the canvas they ruined three years ago, hung in the middle of their living room as the finest piece of art. Jeongguk wouldn’t exchange it for an original MonetTaehyung would maybe exchange it for a Van Gogh, but it’s understandable.

(Jeongguk knows he actually wouldn’t.)

The younger is licking his lips with such intent that Taehyung knows what he’s thinking, and as much as he wants to get a blowjob, he wants even more to get on his knees. Still, he lets Jeongguk take off his boxers.

“What… Momo wanted… today?”

“You saw that?” Jeongguk asks in between kisses, tongue finding one of his nipples and swirling around it.

“Yeah…”

“Club, Friday. She invited you too.”

His blood freezes. “What?” Taehyung chokes out, surprised with the calmness with which Jeongguk just said what he thinks he said.

“Not you, you. She doesn’t know it was you, but she said I could take my partner with me. That my partner was invited as well. She specifically said her, and then him, and then she said them, you know, without being gender specific. Said the club is really nice.”

Taehyung grunts. “She’s really nice.”

“Yeah…” Jeongguk goes back to kissing his chest, hands locked firmly on his waist.

It’s a pity we can’t go.

“... I’m sorry.” He tries holding it inside, but it’s impossible.

“Don’t even start, we’re doing great and I’m about to give you shower sex, this will totally kill the mood and for what? Nothing.”

Taehyung chuckles, receiving a pleased nod from Jeongguk, who sucks a little harder at his belly. “Gonna hoist me up and press me against the wall, muscle bunny?”

“Yeah, you bet.”

Taehyung hums, body relaxing and going pliant under Jeongguk’s ministrations.

“She and Sana aren’t subtle at all, but they are girls. I guess everyone is too blind to see they’re more than friends… Do you think we should tell them? About us?”

“Maybe. We’re doing fine, though, and they are, too. Just differently.”

“Yeah… So no need to worry.”

Jeongguk shakes his head negatively, now on his knees, kissing the soft expanse of Taehyung’s thighs.

“God when she touched your shoulder I saw red. Almost broke the coffee machine.” Taehyung admits a little ashamed.

“Jealous, baby?”

“So much.” He closes his eyes, lightly knocking the back of his head on the wall.

That’s something rare; being this open about such an ugly feeling.

“Of her?” Jeongguk asks in between bites, decorating the insides of his thighs with gentle teeth marks.

“Of the fact that she can.”

“You can too.”

They exchange a challenging look.

“Huh. I can, right?”

Jeongguk stands up again, and Taehyung’s hands fastly start undressing him.

“We know each other for five years. No one will look weirdly at it if you touch me.” First the buttons, then the shirt.

“But our rings…”

The rings were a Jeongguk thing.

Briefly rewind three months; they're on vacationno one questioned why two of the best company workers were taking their full thirty days together, they worked their asses off and no one would question their vacations anyway; when someone noticed it, they would just shrug it off as a coincidence, destination: Japan.

Somewhere closer meant more money to spend on accommodation and restaurants, and they sure spend their fair share there. It's their first time traveling abroad, and everything is fun and perfect.

It's on the spur of the moment that Jeongguk drags him to the inside of a jewelry shop. No surprises, no ring inside the champagne thing, just Jeongguk looking around until he points to a silver ring and asks “Can I have two?”

Behind him, Taehyung is choking on air.

They try out a few rings, Taehyung’s heart threatening to give up every time Jeongguk slides a new ring on his ring finger, and Jeongguk chooses without asking anything.

When they leave, Jeongguk puts away the couple rings as if nothing happened, and Taehyung grunts. “Gukkie…”

He looks so smug, Taehyung wants to kiss it away from his face, but at the same time, that’s how he wants Jeongguk to actually feel. He can be all the smug he wants, especially if it’s because of Taehyung.

“This eager to wear my ring, Taehyungie?”

He half whimpers, half pouts.

“Not really,” Taehyung says out of spite and pride, looking away.

Jeongguk drops to one freaking knee, in the middle of a random street in Japan, and Taehyung fucking cries.

Jeongguk is unfair.

Back to now, he’s still as unfair as ever. “So what if they notice?” Shoes off, socks off. “No one will put us against the wall and make us talk. We played this right. We should be able to at least act friendly around each other by now.”

Taehyung decides to be a little unfair, too, sliding his hand to the front of Jeongguk’s pants and pressing his erection gently as he asks: “... Do you crave my touch this much, baby?”

Jeongguk just caves in, no pride in the way of his feelings, almost the complete opposite of Taehyung. “Like crazy. Want your touch all the time, everywhere. Want you.”

Pants off, too.

“You have me.” It sounds almost desperate; I’m yours, I’m yours, I’m yours.

“I do.”

The bathroom wall is cold, but Jeongguk is so hot that every one of his touches burn Taehyung inside out, and it’s exhilarating how he can hold Taehyung in place while he fucks into him like there’s no tomorrow, like this is their last day together and the universe will cease to exist in a blink of an eye, and Taehyung does his best not to fulfill that crazy idea because he definitely feels like he could cease to exist if Jeongguk kept doing that to him, every time, even though he’s just the same when the situation is inverted.

Maybe it’s how the want piles up throughout the whole day, but the intensity of their touches and dedication never cease.

“Nng, baby, feel so…” Jeongguk drops his head on Taehyung’s shoulder, panting. He presses his lips to Taehyung’s chest, making him shiver. “I love you so much.”

God, how embarrassing if he cums because Jeongguk said in that fucked out voice that he loves him. Lucky for him, no one needs to know. The grip of his hands on Jeongguk’s shoulders fastens, and he moans right into his pierced earlobe. “I love you so much too, baby.”

He sees the corner of Jeongguk’s smile as he works to keep up his pace, hands firmly on Taehyung’s ass. “Touch yourself, love. Cum for me.”

He sure does, making Jeongguk follow him soon after as he moans his nickname to his ear and bites his earlobe slowly, in the bliss of his orgasm.

Back to the office, it’s just a common thing when the Opperations Manager Kim Taehyung playfully bumps into the Marketing Manager Jeon Jeongguk. It draws some laughs, one of Jeongguk’s interns throwing a joke about how he’d lose his head if he did that, and there’s even a second of awe because no one’s ever seen the both of them with such genuine smiles; but that’s it.

It takes them one, two, three weeks, and no suspicion arises. Jeongguk and Taehyung start joining some — not many, just one here and there — lunches with other co workers, and no one questions why they didn’t use to do that before. No one questions where they eat when they’re not seen, or if they’re eating together.

It’s three months in when someone sighs and murmurs “They’re so cute.”

Kim Seokjin whips his head to stare at Jaehyun, one of his interns. “What?”

Jaehyun blushes to his very core.  Seokjin gets him water and waits patiently, with a slight crease on his forehead.

“Taehyung-ssi and Jeongguk-ssi. Every time they meet randomly it’s just… frigging cute. There’s no other word, sorry.” Jaehyun clears his throat, clearly uncomfortable. “I didn’t mean to imply anything…”

“It’s okay, Jaehyun-ah, relax a little will you? It’s just… I think you’re right?” Seokjin’s eyes fly to his co workers; Jeongguk is a little bratty and Taehyung was always quiet, but together… “I never stopped to notice it. Hm.”

It dawns upon them slowly, a little per day, as the smallest of interactions occurs and someone mentions something else they saw the other day, and it’s unanimous how they’re always making the office atmosphere lighter and happier when they're together. Eventually, someone points out the couple rings and they’re all secretly hoping that those two are actually together.

Taehyung is freaking out a little, because people actually start asking him about the ring. “You never told us about your partner, Taehyung-ssi.”

“Will you bring your partner at this year’s Annual Party, Kim-ssi?”

“How come I don’t know anything about this partner of yours yet, Taehyung-ah? ” Seokjin half-scolds, playfully.

Partner. Taehyung isn’t sure if this is good or bad. It’s not like people tend to be this thoughtful without any ulterior reason.

However, it’s a particularly good year, and Halloween is right around the corner, so the atmosphere at the company is light and fun. Taehyung has a vampire costume ready, even though they don’t usually dress up entirely, a cape and fangs are completely on the menu. Jeongguk will be wearing bunny ears and probably smiling a lot, to show his natural prominent teeth that never cease to make Taehyung’s heart melt. It’s kind of funny how he could be Taehyung’s prey, and they exchange eyebrow wiggles and laughs every time any of them bring it up.

 

(Bottle With Popping Cork )

 

Work hours never end strictly at eighteen o’clock, except when there’s a Halloween surprise party right around the corner.

The whole floor goes black and the bosses come in wearing full witches and wizards costumes. Everyone cries of laughter, and the party begins.

It’s unrealistic to think Taehyung doesn’t immediately run to Jeongguk when even the CEOs are wearing full Halloween costumes, and they’re laughing too much and exchanging the smallest of touches but Sana can’t help but sigh.

Jessica, right beside her, widens her eyes in shock. “What is it, Minatozaki-ssi? Is there something wrong?”

Momo quickly comes to her rescue, as Sana all but chokes on air. “Oh, it’s nothing, Jung-ssi, it’s just Sana really can’t help how Taehyung-ssi and Jeongguk-ssi look so happy when they’re together.”

Instead of questioning further, Jessica sighs too.

Sana and Momo both look startled at her.

“They’re perfect for each other, I’ve been trying to get them together for ages.” She laments, but then she looks suddenly hopeful. “They’re a lot more comfortable around each other now, but those couple rings… Maybe they could be a pair, but who knows?”

“Hm… you… approve of… Would you approve it if they were a couple?” Momo carefully asks, Sana still gaping.

“Why do you ask, silly? Of course I would.”

“But the office policy…”

“They’re two of our best.” Jessica waves her hand, like it’s obvious. It kind of is, but it also isn’t. “They’re great at their jobs. That’s what matters.”

“Hm, Jung-ssi… What if they don’t know that? And, you know, it’s also not usually seen with good eyes, so…” Momo fidgets, still unsure of how to phrase things without going too far and risking something that isn’t ever hers to risk.

Jessica let’s out a small gasp.

“Could it be…?” She shakes her head, sadly. “But that’s so hard, what if I’m being too nosey? What if they’re both straight guys with a girlfriend waiting for them home? I could even ruin their friendship or something.”

The three of them sigh.

“That’s hard,” Momo speaks, looking hopeless.

Sana’s eyes suddenly sparkle with hope.

“You could be, like, super smooth. Look at their costumes! Jeongguk-ssi is a bunny, and Taehyung-ssi is a vampire. Joke about their outfits, say they’d be a nice match. They’ll deal with this as they wish… I think? No harm can come from this?”

Jessica thinks for a moment.

“I think you’re right.”

They hold their breaths as Jessica walks in the couple’s direction.

Meanwhile, the couple is actually doing a couple shot as their interns cheer loudly around them, Taehyung almost choking because he’s laughing and his cheeks are embarrassingly hot right now, Jeongguk extremely endeared by his antics.

They’re a little drunk, yes, and as relaxed as they’ve ever been inside the office. No one seems to mind; Jeongguk certainly doesn’t, Taehyung clinging to him like his whole balance depends on it. The mass of interns dissipates and they’re almost questioning why when Jessica Jung coughs right behind them.

“Jung-ssi! Amazing costume, boss, you look stunning.” Taehyung compliments, making okay signs with his thumbs.

“Thank you, Taehyung-ssi, you’re a great looking vampire as well. And you found your prey, I see.”

Jeongguk chuckles and if he blushes it’s just the heat of the alcohol and Taehyung’s hands on his biceps, because he knows exactly how much Taehyung loves his biceps and it’s no coincidence why he’s grabbing them so fiercely.

“This vampire ain’t ever hurting a fly, Jung-ssi, imagine a bunny like me.”

“True.” Taehyung nods, suddenly serious. “The cutest bunny.”

Jessica is internally screaming. Forever. But it’s part of her job to keep a straight face, and so she hides all her suffering behind a kind smile.

She’s not letting this slide, though, oh no.

“Aigoo, you two make such a sweet couple. You know, I don’t think anyone would mind if these couple rings of yours were actually a pair. Hell, if someone did mind I would personally fire their ass.”

And just like that, Jessica Jung marches away.

Taehyung and Jeongguk stay still for a moment, processing what she’s said, mouths open in disbelief. Then, they look at each other.

“Did she…” Taehyung trails off, clearly stunned.

“Ahm, I guess you should stop clinging to me, hyung…” Jeongguk looks sad, and it’s completely wrong.

Firstly, because he should never be sad. Secondly, because right now there’s not even a reason to be sad.

“Did you hear her, Gukkie?” Taehyung asks, also to make sure that he heard her right.

“Yes, we’re being too obvious, and I know that’s not what you want even though you’re doing it right now, it’s only because you’re drunk…”

Taehyung stops him with both hands on his face, cupping his cheeks and smiling tenderly.

“Jeongguk, look at me.”

The younger looks scared, but he takes a shaky breath. “Okay.”

“Are you listening to me?”

“Yes, Taehyung.”

“I am not drunk. I was just taking advantage of the situation. Your arms look so sinful under this white shirt, I’ve wanted to touch them here, at work, for as long as we’re together.”

Jeongguk chuckles, inevitably relaxing a little. “I think I already knew that, yeah. You almost didn’t drink… But you are a lightweight, hyung.”

“Well, so are you.” Taehyung shoots back, almost pouting. “Jessica-ssi, what she said. Did you listen?”

“Yeah…”

“She basically gave us permission. Like… With all the words we could wish for.”

Jeongguk tenses up again. He thinks no one is looking at them, but with Taehyung’s hands on his face is hard to asses their surroundings. “It… It could be a trap.”

“She wouldn’t do that.” That, Taehyung knows for sure. This is the same Jessica Jung that hired him and put him to help Jeongguk, the same Jessica Jung that hired Jeongguk and trusted them both so much.

She would never set a trap like that. And if she would, well then maybe Taehyung wouldn’t want to work for her anymore. Simple like that.

“But… But it’s not what you want, Tae…”

Taehyung inhales sharply. “Do you think that? Do you think I don’t want everyone to know I love you, and you love me?”

“...”

“Jeongguk.” He says it again, only because he loves saying his name. “Let’s get married.”

They’ve already exchanged rings, Jeongguk had already proposed to him in Japan, and Taehyung said yes despite almost having a heart attack with the whole ordeal, but none of that keeps Jeongguk’s eyes from blowing wide, reaching their full doe form. He gulps. He nods.

Taehyung kisses him, a simple press of their lips together, and it tastes like the entire universe. Because that’s what they are to each other.

(The entire floor explodes in cheers and ovations, as every single employee drops what they’re doing to watch the company’s sweethearts finally admit they’re together. In one of the corners, Momo and Sana literally just scream, but no one’s paying attention to them anyway.)

“That’s what I want.” He adds, deeming it necessary to surprise Jeongguk even further.

Jeongguk sighs, pulling him into the tightest of hugs.

“Me too, Tae.”