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(Maybe I Love You) We're Too Young For That

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It’s a bit of a joke to himself that for the title and chorus of every single one of Jungkook’s tracks, Taehyung will find inspiration from a random word he finds on the back of a bathroom product bottle. It’s a bit of petty revenge he enacts to make himself feel better for the shit Jungkook pulls him through, and he gets a kick out of it every time he looks over Jungkook’s previous tracklist (which is not often, mind you).

To most people, Jungkook’s album looked like this:

Against the Clock (BigCubeE)

  1. Needed
  2. Try This
  3. Make it Last
  4. Layer on Layers
  5. Vital
  6. Disclaimer
  7. Even After
  8. Complete You

To Taehyung, it a was litany of his product labels. Specifically, it looked like:  

Against the Clock (BigCubeE)

  1. Needed [Hand Moisturizer]
  2. Try This [Hair Mask]
  3. Make it Last [Conditioner]
  4. Layer on Layers [Face Wash]
  5. Vital [Cleanser]
  6. Disclaimer [Contact Solution]
  7. Even After [Dry Shampoo]
  8. Complete You [Shaving Cream]

For this cycle’s title song, the word is “Remember,” as in “Remember, beautiful hair, beautiful you,” a tagline Taehyung finds at 2AM while brushing his teeth, which he tweaks it a bit to become “Remember Me,” a timely trophouse thumper with the vaguest lyrics possible about a failing love.

It’s not really Taehyung’s best work, but Jimin, at least, loves it.

“Fuck,” Jimin pleads, ripping off his headphones. “Give me the guides, I can’t wait another month for this.”

“Sure,” Taehyung laughs. “But it’s got my shitty voice over it. I’d wait for the studio version”

Jimin smacks him on the arm, “Stop cutting yourself down.”

As confident as it makes Taehyung feel, Jimin’s also one of the most basic people Taehyung knows. And so he runs it past someone with an actual taste in music: Namjoon, also known as RM, producer and possibly the source of biggest mancrush Taehyung’s ever harbored in his life.

“It’s good,” Namjoon says, bopping his head along with the beat. “I can see it being a summer hit. Especially with the machine behind Jungkook.”

“Really?” Taehyung’s got enough stars in his eyes to form a galaxy.

“Yeah, ooo,” Namjoon whistles as the beat drops. “That was sick. The pause right before the bass kicks in, especially.”

“Oh,” Taehyung’s chest puffs out slightly in pride. “You noticed?”

“Yeah, nice work. When are you showing him?”

Taehyung checks his watch, “In fifteen minutes.”

“Good luck.”

“I’ll need it,” Taehyung rolls his eyes. “He usually has a million and one changes he wants to make, and usually we end up with something really similar to what we started with.”

“Creative work in a nutshell,” Namjoon shrugs, “Perils of a subjective industry.”

“He’s definitely something else though, have you worked with him before?”

Namjoon shakes his head, “Nope.”

“Seriously?” Taehyung blinks in disbelief. “You’re like the face of the company.”

“Yeah,” Namjoon shrugs. “Funny story actually. Upper management really wanted my name on it, and so I was actually supposed to work on this album. But then someone his team filed a request to have you on it instead.”

“Wait what?”

“Yeah, I don’t know. Honestly, it worked out because I promised Hoseok I’d help produce his mixtape.”

“This is the first time I’m hearing this. Do you know who?”

“Nope,” Namjoon shakes his head. “Didn’t come up. But I’d ask Jin, he’d probably know.”

 



+++

 

 

Jin


 

 

Hey, apparently Namjoon was supposed to work on the album?

 

Who's album

 

My boi's

 

 

Who?

 

Jungkook

who the fuck else lol

Rude

Who told you that?

 

Namjoon

 

Oh

 

Yeah

 

Interesting.

Unfortunately can’t confirm or deny that.

 

So who made the call?

 

Don’t know.

 

You do know.

 

lol

Yeah.

I do.

 

Tellll meeee

 

Can’t lol, confidential.

 

Was it a team decision?

 

Can’t tell you that.

 

So it wasn’t.

Who was it?

 

Can’t tell you that.

 

Why are you like this

 

Can’t tell you that.

 

Wow.

 

Figure it out yourself.

 

Was it you?

 

Oh god no.

 

You’re so mean to me.

 

Who could it be? The answer may surprise you.

 

Hmm.

Jungkook?

Hhaha

Ofc not.

That’d be hilarious.

 

read at 3:14AM

 


 

 

+++

 

It’s not often that Taehyung finds himself down in the dance practice rooms. It’s more of a choice than anything. Besides gaining Jimin as a best friend, there weren't any remotely good memories made in these mirrored dungeons. Even though they had gone through several dramatic remodels since Taehyung had last been figuratively locked down in them, the sound of squeaking sneakers, the color of the hardwood oak floors, and the undercurrent of sweaty odor still gave Taehyung more than mild PTSD.

For a hot minute, almost a decade ago now, Taehyung as a tween with big dreams had tried his hand at the idol lifestyle. Actually, that was an exaggeration. He had been a trainee, and for a multitude of reasons it hadn’t worked out. But that’s really a story for another day, and for benefits including general freedom and the ability to eat things other than chicken breast at any given point in the year, Taehyung had little to no regrets about switching career paths. Except maybe his wasted childhood, but again, you know, story for another day.

He finds Jungkook in the second to last practice room, and lets himself in as he slips through the door. Jungkook’s so engrossed in practice that doesn’t notice Taehyung as he slips through the door. To Taehyung’s surprise, Jungkook’s dancing to one of his B-sides, a borderline indie thing Taehyung had churned out at an early morning jam session with Yoongi that he had been totally taken aback that Jungkook had liked. It was Taehyung’s favorite piece of work on the album, and he had been a little a more than a little upset that it had slipped off the charts first out of the entire album. Infact, Taehyung was surprised Jungkook even had a routine to it at all, given the lack of hype around it.

He takes a seat on the ground, in a dark corner just out of Jungkook’s line of vision and just watches him dance. He’s graceful and strong at the right moments, and moves in a way that just screams a lifetime of practice. Taehyung would never admit it, but Jungkook dancing is really lowkey one of Taehyung’s favorite things to watch out there in the industry right now, and if Taehyung had not known Jungkook on a personal level, he’d probably have been a fan.

For as much as Taehyung dislikes Jungkook as a person, he gets the appeal. It’s mesmerizing to watch him perform. And it makes perfect sense why he was selected by the boy band gods as the breakout member of the group, the Justin Timberlake, if you will.

Looks, on-camera personality, dancing, singing, pretty much in that order. That was the recipe for a solo act. And Jungkook had it all, which is precisely why he was the darling of agency.

Well that, and his insane marketing pull. His brand was pretty much heroin for marketers.

Despite only selling a little over 100,000 albums last cycle, Jungkook consistently ranks in the top five for brand marketing value regardless if he’s actively promoting or not. It’s an odd phenomenon that compounds on itself. As more CF deals piled in and reinforced Jungkook’s informal title of idol CF king, other companies launched themselves on the bandwagon and so on until it ended up at this point, where Jungkook probably makes more on a 30-second clip of himself pulling a ridiculous o face after a bite of fried chicken than he does on his entire tour.

Jimin knows exactly what commercial Taehyung’s talking about, because at a party last month that Taehyung browned out at, apparently he had let one of his deepest darkest secrets slip out.

“Wow, Jimin, just wow,” he had pointed at the TV, eyes glazed and plastered to the screen. “The new CF model is really fucking hot.”

Jimin had apparently taken one look at the TV and blinked, “That’s Jungkook.”

Taehyung had squinted. “Do you know him? Can you give me his number? Can we go buy that chicken? Holy fuck, he’s like my ideal type.”

Someone had apparently captured the whole exchange on video, eliminating any plausible deniability, and Jimin had never let it down since.

Sue him. He thought Jungkook’s face was ridiculously attractive. Why was that funny? He had eyes, and it didn’t stop him from detesting his personality.

Okay, okay, if their roles had been been reversed, he’d totally be beating it into the ground too.

It was all probably funnier for everyone not named Taehyung because when Jungkook was a trainee, he was notoriously baby-faced. And he had been pulled onto Beyond the Direction indisputably because of it, because they needed a token cute member and Jungkook had the other minimum skills required for the job. It actually had helped that he was almost cripplingly shy at the time. He had a tendency of hiding behind the other members during interviews, or answering questions in the least number of words he could manage. But he had always had incredible stage presence, exploding with confidence whether he was dancing or singing and something about the duality of his personality drove his fans crazy.

Of course that was all before he had turned 19, when the stars aligned, he switched makeup artists and the gods of puberty had laid out a red carpet for him. Suddenly Jungkook wasn’t the cute one but the hot one, and that’s when Taehyung people started taking notice.

It coincidently also happened to be around when fuckboy Jungkook started showing up, and Taehyung suspected it was byproduct of his rapid rise in popularity. For whatever reason, Jimin and Hoseok remained unconvinced for a reason they refused to let Taehyung in on, and Taehyung had long since given up trying to get it out of them.

Jungkook suddenly notices him in the corner, eyes flicking towards him in the mirror. It takes him a little more than a second to realize it’s Taehyung, and it amuses Taehyung how quickly his expression flips from neutral to shock. He missteps to the beat and almost trips over his shoes. Taehyung holds back the laughter, professionalism is unexpectedly his forte, and gets up, dusting off the seat of his pants.

“How’d you get in?” Jungkook whips around, almost defensively, eyes wide as he quickly dabs his face with his shirt and fixes his hair. He’s breathing hard, sweat shining on his neck as he interrogates, “How long have you been here? No wait, what are you doing here?”

“Calm the fuck down, someone left the door open and I’m mostly done with the track,” Taehyung sighs as he heads towards the door.

“Okay?” Jungkook looks confused.

“Did you want to listen?” Taehyung stares apathetically at him.

“Sure?”

Taehyung opens the door and takes a step out before he realizes Jungkook is not following him. He sticks his head back through the door, “Aren’t you coming?”

“Where are you going?”

“To my studio. I’m refusing to let you listen to the track on your shitty speakers, there are some details you need to hear on industry-grade equipment.”

Some expression flits across Jungkook’s face, but the punchable one settles back into its rightful place before Taehyung can figure out what it was.

“My speakers are not shitty.”

“You saying it doesn’t make it true,” Taehyung shrugs and pauses. “You coming?”

“Yeah,” Jungkook takes a towel and hangs it over his neck. “Wait, can I shower first?”

“Sure. though I’m not going to wait down here in that case, you can just come up whenever,” then Taehyung turns around and ambles down the hall.

Maybe it would be a constructive session that wouldn’t end with Taehyung never wanting to be in the same room as Jungkook again.

Haha, who is he kidding. He's going to hate himself.