Today, Taehyung decided, as he strode down the hallway purposefully towards his studio, was going to be a productive day.
He had woken up by his alarm on the first ring for once, gone running for the first time in a while (okay half of it was walking), just arrived at the office at what appeared to be before anyone else, was on track to finish Breakout Suckup’s song by 10, going to get coffee with Jihoon at 11, have Breakout Suckup in on a call to review the song at 1, attend a producer meeting for BigCube’s annual artist-wide Christmas album at 3, and be be driven off to shoot a magazine ad for a brand of toothpaste at 5.
Funnily enough, even after the fiasco that happened after his Cozy Conversations performance, the viral gif of his wink had picked him up an endorsement. All he had to do was wink at a camera, and bam, royalties. Still probably easier said than done—he hasn’t had headshots done since he was a trainee—but definitely not the hardest he’d worked for that kind of money.
He opens his door with a creak, sets his backpack down by his Starry Night print, slips his laptop out of the bag, nods in greeting at a couch-slouching Jungkook, and sits down at the desk. Then he cracks his fingers and—
He slowly swivels around, brows furrowed together and stares at the lump of an idol currently making himself at home on his new couch that he had just bought last week.
Jungkook evidently notices him staring. He looks up from his laptop, glasses perched on the end of his nose, “Yeah?”
“Um,” Taehyung blinks. He wasn’t supposed to be there. Or rather, Taehyung wasn’t expecting him to be there. Especially not at 7:30 in the morning.
“What?” Jungkook pushes his glasses up his nose bridge and grins with enough confidence that he makes it look like he belongs there.
The forthcoming ‘ the fuck are you doing here ’ dies on Taehyung’s lips, partly because he’s actually a bit happy to see Jungkook there (did he just admit that to himself? yeah, he did) and so he replaces it at the last second with a much more cordial, and as a result, vaguer, “Can I help you?”
Okay, not exactly what he was going for, and he probably wasn’t going to get the answer he wanted. Might as well ask Jungkook if he’d like fries with that while he was at it.
“Nope,” Jungkook shakes his head and looks back down at his laptop. “I’m good.”
“Um,” Taehyung says, trying to figure out a phrasing to suss out Jungkook’s reason for being here without going on the offensive.
Jungkook looks up again, “Can I help you ?”
Taehyung blinks. Again. “How long have you been here?”
“Half an hour, maybe?” Jungkook checks his watch.
“And, you just let yourself in?”
Jungkook points at the entrance, “The door was unlocked.”
“Um okay,” Taehyung squints, it was kinda way too early for this. “Why here? I guess.”
Jungkook pats a cushion, “You have a nice couch.”
“I had some time before practice.”
“Yeah, that’s it,” Jungkook looks back down at his laptop. After a moment, he notices Taehyung still staring and lifts his head again, “Anything else?”
“I guess not,” Taehyung turns back around and connects his own laptop to the monitor, slightly confused as to why he now felt like he was the one reacting strangely.
“Cool,” Jungkook pops his headphones back over his ears and resumes doing whatever he was doing before.
Jungkook gets up moments later, tossing his laptop and headphones on the couch. He pulls his sweatshirt over his head and picks up his duffel bag and pauses at the door, hand on the frame, with an announcement, “I’m going to go to workout.”
“Okay,” Taehyung points at Jungkook’s stuff on the couch. “Don’t forget your laptop and stuff.”
“I mean,” Jungkook doesn’t miss a beat, “I’m coming back.”
“Oh,” Taehyung feels his face warm at a time it really shouldn’t. This kinda felt like—yeah.
“Um, alright,” and Taehyung turns back to his work, a bit frazzled, and still not entirely sure how he felt about what had just happened.
Jungkook, true to his word, saunters back in, just as Taehyung’s making the final tweaks to Breakout Suckup’s song (now titled December Love , the combination he had Namjoon randomly pick out of a pile of the 10 most generic wintery ballad words he could think of in the shower).
Taehyung pretends to not notice. With his back facing his door and his headphones clamped over the hood pulled over his head, he has the perfect cover. But through the reflection in his decorative mirror, Taehyung watches him as he shoves stuff back into his duffel bag, and starts subconsciously taking note of things like Jungkook looks good when his hair’s a bit damp, his shirt’s clinging in a way that does wonders for his back, and—oh fuck, he just caught Taehyung staring.
“Whattup?” Jungkook raises his brows, lips thinned in a clear attempt to subdue a shit-eating grin. Then cheekily, he gestures at his torso, “Like what you see?”
Taehyung just rolls his eyes and shakes his head. He can see Jungkook’s bicep flexing unnaturally hard out of the corner of his eye as Jungkook folds a towel and stows it away.
What a show-off. Fuckboy material, indeed.
“No,” Taehyung finally retorts. “Just wondering if you even lift. Those look like chicken arms, man.”
“If these are chicken arms, what are yours?” Jungkook scoffs.
“Are you talking about these ?” Taehyung points to his own arm. “Only the finest upper limbs sculpted by fast food and video games.”
“Right,” Jungkook slumps onto the couch with a huff and opens his laptop.
“You know it.”
And Taehyung takes it as his cue to go back to work. It’s all about the little things with the song at this point, adding touches to the background, adjusting the pitch ever so slightly, debating whether that one eighth note was even necessary. This part is the part Taehyung finds the silver linings of wrangled enjoyment when he works on blasé songs like these, layering on details that give the song a bit more depth and complexity than the template he hewed it from. The process of creating the song itself was pretty whatever, it was your standard ballad with a piano and orchestral instrumental with a touch of guitar and a (likely to be overdubbed) soaring money note at the end, with lyrics about having a broken heart (sad) while it’s snowing (sad on sad) in the middle of the lonely December night (sad x3 action, oh baby ).
It’s what Breakout Suckup wanted, an inoffensive song that had mainstream popularity, and that sounded like the twenty other songs she had sent his way for reference (they all sounded about the same), and he thinks at this point, he’s delivered. It’s depressing song porn at it’s blandest, a glop of musical porridge listeners will spoon up, feel mildly sad about upon consumption, and think to themselves ‘I feel like I’ve heard this song before’ , which meant it was also perfect for Bogum’s new drama ending song.
AKA perfect for end of the year OST awards.
He’s just about to come to a final decision on whether to eliminate that eighth note when he feels his headphones sliding off of his ears.
“Yes?” He leans back and frowns at Jungkook, who pulls the headphones over his own head.
“Shh,” Jungkook reaches over Taehyung, takes the mouse and clicks the play button, puts a finger over his lips and mouths exaggeratedly, I’m listening.
“Shh yourself,” Taehyung swipes at his headphones and Jungkook steps just out of his reach. “I’m not done yet.”
“It sounds good,” Jungkook ignores him and hums along with a few notes in a repeating line in the chorus. “Though I feel like I’ve heard this song before.”
“That’s the point.”
Jungkook hums some more. “So who’s it for?”
“Breakout Suckup,” Taehyung says automatically.
“Uh,” Jungkook’s eyebrows quirk in amusement, “Who?”
“Oh wait,” Taehyung pinches his nose bridge with his finger. “Oops. I fucked up, now you know I’m an asshole. Only Jimin and my producer buddies know I call her that.”
Jungkook just cackles, “Seems like you played yourself.”
“Wow, shit, what? I can’t even remember her real name, it’s in an email somewhere, this looks so bad,” Taehyung opens his email client and begins scrolling. He gives up after a minute, “Fuck, I can’t find it. Wow well this is bothering me now, but she’s that idol MC, from Show Champion.”
“Oh,” Jungkook sounds surprised. “The one that interviewed you about Cozy Conversations?”
“Yeah her,” Taehyung snaps his fingers.
“Interesting, it looked like you liked her,” Jungkook mumbles as he rubs his nose with his hand. He sounds oddly pleased, “During the interview.”
“I’m a pretty good actor,” Taehyung drums his fingers on the table. “But admittedly not her biggest fan. She’s a...go-getter. To put it kindly. Definitely knows what she wants.”
“Ah,” Jungkook, lips thin again, picks at the cable of the headphones before taking them off and heading back towards the couch. “Yeah, good job with the song though, will stream when I want to feel sad.”
“Wait,” Taehyung waves as he suddenly has an idea. He holds the headphones out towards Jungkook, “Tell me if what you think about this eighth note—”
A knock against wood interrupts Taehyung, and he swivels around to find Jihoon standing by the door.
“Hey,” Jihoon nods his head. “Am I interrupting something?”
“Oh, shit,” Taehyung glances at his watch. “It’s 11 already. This day is going by really fast.”
“Yeah,” Jihoon laughs. “But I can wait if you’re busy.”
“No, no, it’s okay, don’t want to keep you waiting,” Taehyung jumps up and gathers his wallet and keys. “I need a break anyway.”
Jungkook, small frown gracing his face, doesn’t look up as he nods as Taehyung heads out the door. And Taehyung doesn’t know why, but he feels a bit guilty as he strides down the hall with Jihoon. And the feeling grows in his gut, until it’s almost unbearable as they’re standing by the elevator.
Why was he the one feeling guilty, Taehyung thinks slightly spitefully as he shifts while standing. Jungkook knew he was going to get coffee with Jihoon. Taehyung had given him a heads up like an hour ago.
("Hey I'm supposed to meet Jihoon for coffee at 11."
"Cool, is that it?"
He basically gave him the hint to clear out. It wasn't his fault Jungkook hadn't gotten the message. But, still, Jungkook's displeased expression, imprinted in Taehyung’s mind, made it look he felt really left out.
Ugh, Taehyung gives in, fine. He’s always been too fucking soft.
“You don’t mind if I—” Taehyung points down the hall with his thumb.
“Yeah, no worries, it’d be super cool to talk to Jungkook too,” Jihoon laughs. “I was just about to ask.”
“Okay, thanks,” Taehyung jogs down the hall and bursts through the door.
Jungkook’s still laying on the couch, head propped on his hand with a deeper frown plastered over his face. He looks up in surprise as Taehyung nearly trips over a box on his way back in.
“That was fast?” He says, slightly confused.
“You wanna come with?” Taehyung blurts out.
“To what?” Jungkook looks up cautiously.
“Coffee. With me and Jihoon. Jihoon and I, whatever.”
“Oh,” Jungkook looks at him skeptically. ”I don’t have to. It’s your guys’ thing right?”
“We don’t mind,” Taehyung shrugs. “Do you want to?”
“Don’t mind?” Jungkook scoffs. “Doesn’t sound like an enthusiastic invite.”
“Sorry, we’re absolutely dying to have you join us. It’s killing us that you’re not there. Better?”
“Yeah,” Jungkook snorts and gets up. “Sure. If you insist.”
One of the great things about the location of BigCube’s headquarters is that it’s located across from the best hipster coffee shop in the city (in Taehyung’s opinion. Yoongi would beg to differ, but he’s a Starbucks loyalist so his opinion is invalid). It’s been there since Taehyung joined, and gives Taehyung direct access to the multiple cups of caffeine required to successfully get him through the day.
“You guys can find a table, I’ll order, what do you want?” Taehyung says as he stands, slouched, hands jammed in his pockets. “No wait I can guess. Iced coffee for Jihoon and hot...chocolate for Jungkook?”
“Yeah,” Jihoon nods.
“No,” Jungkook rubs his nose through his mask. “Get me an Americano.”
Taehyung feels his brows furrowing, “Really?”
“ Really? ” Taehyung repeats.
“Yeah,” Jungkook rolls his eyes.
“Yes.” Jungkook grits his teeth. “Really. An Americano.”
“Alright,” Taehyung looks at him skeptically. “If you say so.”
When Jungkook walks away with Jihoon, Taehyung orders a hot chocolate anyway.
[ rewind—8 years ago ]
Roughly eight years ago, when Taehyung’s caffeine addiction was just a burgeoning craving rather than something he could debatably be sent to rehab for, after that practice where he had made the fateful first-contact, he had taken Jungkook to this very coffee shop.
His goal? To get close enough to Jungkook where showering him with a bunch of private lessons wouldn’t seem out of the blue. Or at least get the conversation to a point where Taehyung could present them as an option, which the kid would then ideally take.
It was step one in Taehyung’s four grand step plan to take Fuckface down, which went a little something like this:
- Get Jungkook to agree to private lessons provided by some industry insiders Taehyung is friends with
- Jungkook takes said private lessons
- Jungkook Gits Gud™
Easy, straightforward, and minimal effort on Taehyung’s part. Basically the perfect plan.
This first step was the step Taehyung was worried the least about. It would likely be a walk in the park, the kid seriously needed all the help he could get. And free private lessons? Who wouldn’t say yes?
The only thing he really needed to determine is if this kid was going to be receptive to help. Because if he had too much pride or a giant ego, it would make things a little bit more difficult.
But looking at the way the kid was nervously fidgeting by his side, it was pretty unlikely that he had either.
“So, do you know what you want?” Taehyung stands with his hands stuffed in his pants and glances down at the kid. “I’ll treat.”
“Uh,” Jungkook scans the menu as Taehyung motions a few people to pass them. “Do they have hot chocolate?”
“Probably,” Taehyung squints at the menu and points. “Yeah, there. Not a coffee person?”
“Not really,” Jungkook wrinkles his nose. “It’s like...bean...water.”
“Bean water,” Taehyung laughs. “Never heard it called that before.”
Jungkook doesn’t respond, but he visibly relaxes, a small smile tipping the corners of his mouth. Taehyung steps up to order to pay and they wait and get their drinks before finding a table, a wobbly setup squished in a corner.
“But actually, how do you drink this?” Jungkook pokes Taehyung’s cup. The table wobbles, and Jungkook stabilizes it apologetically.
“Acquired taste. It’s easy when you become old and bitter like me.”
“How old are you?”
“You’re only like 3 years older—no wait,” Jungkook’s eyes flick up at the ceiling. “Two. You’re not that old.”
“You’re 15? Or wait, 16?”
“That would be 3 years, and I’m still way older than you.”
“I’m turning 16 soon, not that much older.”
“Oh, happy birthday! How soon?”
Taehyung scrunches his face, “That’s not really that soon.”
“It’s soon,” Jungkook says stubbornly. “I’m really not that much younger.”
“If you say so,” Taehyung laughs. “Anyway, this place is really good, maybe the stuff you had before was badly made,” Taehyung pushes the cup towards Jungkook. “Wanna try some?”
Jungkook tentatively picks it up and takes a sip and immediately cringes.
“Looks like you’re still not a fan,” Taehyung takes it back with a grin.
“Not really,” Jungkook washes it down with his own drink. “I think I’ll stick to hot chocolate.”
[ fast forward—the present ]
Jungkook at 23, it turns out, isn’t actually that much better at handling his coffee.
He’s just, Taehyung doesn’t even know, dumber about it? It’s so obvious he’s trying to flex on something, it’s just a drink is such an odd choice of vehicle to do it with.
Just like with the soup incident a few weeks ago, Jungkook looks like he’s at war with himself as he takes the tiniest sips possible. It’s really distracting (among other things) when Taehyung’s talking to Jihoon about his process for developing December Love, popping open his laptop and pointing as he comments on the layers, and when Jihoon excuses himself to go to the bathroom, Taehyung sighs and immediately switches their cups.
He kind of knew something like this would happen.
“Um,” Jungkook stares down at his new cup. “What?”
“You can drink mine instead,” Taehyung nods. “Save yourself a bit of misery.”
“What is it?” Jungkook uncaps it and takes a sniff.
“Oh,” Jungkook pulls his beanie down over his ears, lifts the cup to his face and takes a giant gulp. “Thanks.”
“No problem,” Taehyung says into his coffee.
“I usually like coffee,” Jungkook insists. “Just today—“
“Do you really?” Taehyung raises a brow.
“You don’t believe me, do you.”
“No,” Taehyung snorts out a laugh. “Judging by the way you’re drinking that hot chocolate, not really.”
[ rewind ]
Getting 15-year-old Jungkook to talk about himself was a bit like pulling teeth.
Taehyung had thought, based on their conversation in the beginning, that all Jungkook needed was some pointed questions and common ground and he would open up like a flower in bloom, no problem. But instead, it seems that the more Taehyung prods, the more Jungkook clams up.
Jungkook doesn’t ask questions, he answers the ones Taehyung throws at him with as few words as possible, and most frustratingly, he won’t make eye contact. And Taehyung realizes pretty quickly, that he was going to have to quickly figure out the art of getting Jungkook to spit out information if he was going to make this kid idol-ready.
Because right now he kind of felt like lightly slamming his head against the table.
“So,” Taehyung summons all of his patience and smiles his kindest smile. “Where are you from?”
“Busan,” Jungkook fidgets, stare still diverted downwards.
“Oh nice, my best friend is from Busan. Have you met Jimin yet? He’s a trainee too.”
“Um,” Taehyung was running out of small-talk questions. “What do you think about being a trainee?”
Jungkook shrugs, “It’s okay.”
“Yeah,” Jungkook frowns slightly.
And Taehyung picks up on it like a hawk, “Anything wrong?”
“Um,” Jungkook hesitates.
Taehyung, relieved that Jungkook for the first time seems like he’s on the brink of saying more than three words grabs onto the thin shred of hope and pulls the lid open, “You can tell me, I’m here to listen.”
“I’m having a, um, hard time with training,” Jungkook finally admits after what looks like a bit of internal deliberation.
Nice, so he at least knows he needs work. Self-awareness of the situation, check.
“Oh no,” Taehyung furrows his brows and pretends like he’s surprised. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
“I know I need a lot of help, it’s like nerves, mostly, and it’s really hard to fix by myself.”
Sweet, receptiveness to charity, check.
“And so, um, I think all the signs are pointing to the fact that I’m not really cut out for this, being an idol I mean,” Jungkook diverts his eyes down and rips the edge of his cup’s sleeve. “It’s not really for me.”
“Why do you say that?” Taehyung asks, panic rising a bit. Self-doubt wasn’t supposed to be factor.
“I, uh, dunno,” Jungkook clenches a fist and unfurls it. “I mean I know I’m not going to make the cut for BTD. And they told us already BigCube isn’t in a financial position to guarantee another boy band.”
“Don’t put yourself down like that, you’ve got a while until they make the final decision.”
“Yeah, but, I can just kinda tell?” Jungkook’s head drops a little further down and his mumbling gets worse. “My evaluation scores are really not that good, and I know I missed some sort of cut because I found out the top candidates are starting to get special lessons.”
“Don’t worry about that,” Oh, wait, a perfect segway actually, Taehyung just needs to slip his proposal in, “I can—“
“Also I’m,” Jungkook continues like he didn’t even hear Taehyung. “I’m not happy here. It’s been a few months, and I haven’t really made friends. I miss my family and I miss my friends back home. And Seoul is so different, I’m honestly not adjusting that well,” Jungkook bites his lip, his eyes glisten a bit and he blinks and he rubs the corner of his lid with the bottom of the palm of his hand. “Sorry, I’m not usually like this, I’m just really, um, tired.”
“It’s okay,” well no, this was bad. But Taehyung reaches over and awkwardly pats Jungkook on the head anyway, as he tries to figure out a way to salvage the situation, “It’s okay, um, you’re working really hard. Like I said before, you have a ton of potential.”
“Thanks,” Jungkook sniffs, and rubs his nose with his sleeve, eyes slightly red. “But honestly, I don’t really want to do this anymore. I’m thinking of quitting pretty soon.”
Taehyung chews on his bottom lip as he watches Jungkook miserably blink out the remnants of suppressed tears into his hot chocolate. This wasn’t going to work out.
Sure, Taehyung was kinda an asshole, but he wasn’t enough of one to manipulate a 15-year-old into heading back into a toxic environment against his own will. His whole plan had hinged on Jungkook being game with moving forward, and well, really wanting to be an idol. This was supposed to be a symbiotic relationship. Which, it turns out, was not looking like the case.
It was kind of a pity, really. Both for the kid and Taehyung’s purposes. Especially since it sounded like he was having a bad time primarily because he was really lonely.
Jungkook had unfortunately entered the company at probably one of the worst times to make friends, when the debut date seemed just around the corner, and the competitive vibe was at a fever pitch. Every new trainee was pretty much regarded as a potential spot-stealing threat, and Jungkook, landing straight into the final-consideration group with his skills and his youth upon entry, probably had a giant target painted on his back.
Combine that with the fact that he seemed like an introvert—at least he’s comes across as one by the way he’s slouched over, gets nervous speaking to strangers, has a hard time looking Taehyung in the eye—it’s easy for Taehyung to see how he was beginning to fold.
Taehyung sighs internally, already feeling the sympathy welling in his chest. Fuck. He really doesn’t have the bandwidth for this. Taehyung could barely take care of himself at the moment, if the piles of laundry and unwashed dishes in his apartment were indications of anything, much less another person. His plan before had pretty much been to point Jungkook in the right direction to unleash his true potential, maybe provide a little guidance, and cheer him on from the sidelines as he ripped Fuckface a new one with his raw talent. There was zero intention to get even remotely involved with his life. Really, the most logical thing right now would be to cut his losses, drop Jungkook, and find a more compliant participant, stat.
But, Taehyung’s always been a little too fucking soft, and so he finds himself gesturing at Jungkook’s phone instead.
“Give me your phone,” Taehyung breaks the silence, holding his hand out. “And open it.”
“Huh?” Jungkook looks up, confusion written all over his features, but he unlocks and hands his phone over anyway.
“I’ll give you my number,” Taehyung navigates to Jungkook’s contacts.
“Oh. Um, why?”
“It sounds like you’re experiencing slight culture shock,” Taehyung says as he keys in his number. “I’m from Daegu myself, so I get it. The city’s big and can be a lonely place until you find your niche, but I can show you around and stuff until you get more used to things. If you ever need someone to talk to, hang out with, whatever, just hit me up.”
“Oh, um, thanks,” Jungkook nervously taps the table. “But again I’m—”
“Basically, I’m saying,” Taehyung slides Jungkook’s phone back. “I don’t think you should quit just yet. I mean, if you’re dead set on quitting, then that’s different. But, if you’re hesitating, I would give it a little more time.”
“Oh,” Jungkook stares at his phone for a bit, then nods.
Not really sure what that means, Taehyung waves Jungkook off as they part ways outside the shop, hoping for the best as he walks down the street.
He sighs to himself. This was already starting to be more work that he thought.
Hopefully it pays off.
[ the present ]
Twenty minutes before he's supposed to have a meeting with Breakout Suckup, Taehyung wraps things up with Jihoon and heads back to his studio, Jungkook trailing half a step behind him.
Jungkook has mostly kept to himself during the whole time, playing on his phone or people-watching. He had answered some questions from Jihoon specifically with surprising thoroughness, and apparently had left enough of an impression to have Jihoon extend an invitation to their Coffee Thursday’s, which Jungkook had immediately accepted.
Taehyung lowkey felt like he was being replaced, especially since Jihoon started asking idol-specific questions towards the end but, whatever, the more the merrier, he supposed.
“You can stay here until one,” Taehyung says as Jungkook makes himself comfortable on the couch. “But then I’m going to kick you out.”
“What’s happening then?”
“Breakout Suckup’s coming by to review the song,” Taehyung sinks into his chair and scoots over to his desk. “Shit, I really need to find out what her name is. Do you know it off the top of your head?”
Jungkook shakes his head, “I forgot. Search it on naver?”
“What am I supposed to search? ‘Female Idol’? I can’t even remember what group she’s from.”
“That probably won’t get you much,” Jungkook snorts and he gets up, jeans sliding against the leather of the couch cushion. He wanders over and leans directly over Taehyung, taking control of the mouse. “Do you even use the internet? How do you not know how to search.”
“Of course I do, searching for people without a name is just hard,” Taehyung insists, trying to not think about how the Jungkook’s proximity is sending butterflies to his stomach.
Jungkook doesn’t respond, eyes trained on the monitor, and Taehyung’s head bumps lightly against Jungkook’s chest everytime he moves the mouse or types something on the keyboard.
In a matter of seconds, Jungkook points to the screen, Breakout Suckup’s profile successfully displayed across it, “Literally just did ‘Current Show Champion MCs’, and there you go.”
Taehyung leans his head back to retort, head lightly tapping against Jungkook’s chest, at the exactly same time Jungkook peers down.
Their eyes lock and inches apart, they both freeze.
Ah. The elephant on the room. Taehyung’s heart is spurred in his chest. Neither of them had brought up the kiss from other night at all since, or even remotely hinted at it, but if Taehyung remembered it through his stupor, Jungkook certainly had too.
By Taehyung’s limited deduction skills, he had determined early on that Jungkook most likely did not have a negative opinion about it, considering he had been hanging around Taehyung pretty much consistently since.
So at the minimum, Jungkook was ambivalent and had brushed it off as a joke or a mistake, or something. But, what if, Taehyung allows himself to dream, Jungkook had been okay with it? Or what if he had, in the slim chance, had actually been kinda down with it?
Taehyung tries to search Jungkook’s expression for clues, because he’s pretty sure he won’t be able to get a question out without horribly stuttering. But Jungkook’s face is unreadable, his eyes are kind of dark, and the only thing Taehyung can determine, with his head resting against Jungkook’s chest, is that his heart is beating quick and heavy like a drum.
Wait. Taehyung’s eyes widen. What if—no. It could just be a coincidence.
Jungkook suddenly breaks eye-contact, looking off to the side with a tinge of pink conveniently dusting his ears. A bit of exhilaration begins to swell in Taehyung’s chest. He doesn’t want to get ahead of himself, and maybe he’s trying to read too much into things but, it’s totally possible, Taehyung’s thoughts begin to churn, that Jungkook, maybe—
“Um,” Breakout Suckup’s voice cracks him out of it like a whip. “I’m here.”
“Oh, hey,” Taehyung stands up abruptly, hitting Jungkook in the chin. He shoots out a hand and haphazardly pats Jungkook’s face in apology without looking, “Oh shit, sorry.”
“Ow,” Jungkook winces and jerks his head away. “You just stuck your finger in my eye.”
“Sorry, sorry,” Taehyung puts his hands together.
“It’s fine,” Jungkook grumbles as he goes to gather his stuff, slinging his duffel over his shoulder.
Breakout Suckup cranes her neck. “Is that...? Oh, hello, Jungkook!”
“Hi,” Jungkook squints an eye shut and calls to Taehyung. “I’m taking off now, Taehyung.”
“Cool,” Taehyung wheels a chair over to his desk and motions Breakout Suckup over.
“See ya tomorrow?” Jungkook stops at the door.
Taehyung waves him off, “Yup, see you.”
He only realizes later, mind wandering as Breakout Suckup enthusastically endorses the song and manages to promote herself in the same sentence, that his schedule tomorrow is pretty Jungkook-free.
So, wait, what did he mean—
“So yeah,” Breakout Suckup summons Taehyung back into reality by clapping her hands together. “I’m available tomorrow to record, if that works for you?”
“Um,” Taehyung pulls up his calendar and forgets his train of thought. “Yeah, that’d be perfect actually.”
The shoot for the advertisement goes better than expected, the model training Taehyung had undergone as a trainee comes in handy, and it wraps up a little ahead of schedule. He leaves after thanking and bowing to all of the crew, has drinks with Bogum afterwards (it was their semi-monthly get together, but he also used it to smoothly drop the OST suggestion, and Bogum had said he’s game but he’ll have to talk it over with the production staff, so good start), goes home, goes to sleep.
Then, rinse, wake up, and repeat.
The next morning finds Taehyung striding back down the hallway purposefully towards his studio the next day, deciding that today was going to be a similarly productive day.
He had woken up by his alarm on the first ring for the second time in a row, gone running again (okay third of it was still walking, minor gains though), just arrived at the office at what appeared to be before anyone else, was going to have Breakout Suckup in to record her song at 11 and booked out the rest of the day to start working on his Christmas jingle contribution for the album.
He had been assigned Jungkook’s song, which really wasn’t really a surprise to anyone, but part of him wanted a bit of variety. He was kind of jealous Yoongi got to work on Hoseok’s holiday rap (Cypher-mas was the working title, it sounded pretty dank), but with the tight deadline, he understood the need to play to their strengths.
Besides, getting a legitimate excuse to spend time with Jungkook wasn’t half bad either (not that he’d admit that to anyone), maybe this is what Jungkook has meant by seeing him tomorrow (now conveniently today). As long as Jungkook doesn’t return to his old form of yanking his chain, this could actually be something to look forward to.
But, he’ll see.
Taehyung opens the door to his studio with a creak, sets his backpack down by his Starry Night print, slips his laptop out of the bag, nods in greeting at the twin forms of Jungkook and Jihoon slouched on his couch, and—
“Yeah?” they both say in unison as Taehyung turns around and stares.
“How—? Or wait—why? Or, whatever actually,” Taehyung sighs and says, somewhat sarcastically. “Please, just make yourselves at home.”
That couch probably needed to be broken in anyway.