Living as a young model, Taehyung knew he wouldn’t get as much privacy and freedom as he could hope for. He was aware of the fact when he’d chosen to follow the path of fame and at that moment he didn’t really think it could be that bad. In fact, he thought quite the opposite. Being famous meant a lot of friends and contacts, many parties to attend, an entire world to travel around and money. Even though he always tried to be positive, he knew money ruled the world. That much was obvious and so before he signed the papers he’d never thought of how it could affect his personal life.
Somehow, he managed to keep his home hidden. It was something his best friend and him never understood because paparazzi always followed them around when they went for a night out. Unlike other celebrities, he didn’t live in the popular areas, neighborhoods where you would expect a celebrity live in. He knew it wasn’t going to remain a mystery to the media forever which was why he treasured every peaceful morning when he could just take his little puppy for a walk to a nearby park without having to worry about being followed.
Early May mornings have always been his favorite. It was the only period when he didn’t mind waking up early. He loved the fresh smell of the wind and the warm feeling of the sun shining right into his eyes. Putting on one of his hoodies and a matching one for his puppy, together they left their cozy home and went for their morning walk. Jimin always said he was spoiling the dog way too much and Taehyung couldn’t deny that, but he always argued saying it was just him showing love.
"Joon? You called me?" Taehyung called his brother once he saw a couple of missed calls as he walked towards the park, "No, I didn’t forget about the photoshoot, I still have what-," he paused to check the time, "Three hours or so," he let Namjoon ramble about how he should be more responsible, "Fine then two and a half, geez, it’s almost the same anyway. Don’t worry I won’t be late."
He would never admit it, but he loved the brotherly love and care he received from his older brother. It wasn’t because he was dependent on him or because he couldn’t take care of himself. Simply, he liked the attention because he knew Namjoon loved him for who he was and not for the money or fame. Sadly, there weren’t many like him and he’s struggled with fake people who wanted to use him because of his popularity.
"I’m currently walking Tanie and-," he paused again when Yeontan started barking. "I have to go, I will see you soon!"
They’d long reached the park and were following the path around a small lake surrounded by ducks. Shaking his head, he gently pulled the leash to get his dog’s attention away from the birds. There was something about pigeons and birds in general that Yeontan found curious.
Taehyung loved this park the most because it had many cherry blossom trees. The pink petals were his favorite thing about spring. It was unoriginal, as Jimin said every year, but the flowers were so pretty, and Taehyung liked pretty things. Especially when the wind was a little stronger it made the petals fall on the ground. He went to his usual spot and sat down on the ground, letting Yeontan run around and enjoy his little freedom for the time being.
Keeping an eye on his puppy who was running in circles around his owner, Taehyung enjoyed the carefree feeling. He loved his job, but sometimes he wished he could have a peaceful life, find a partner and enjoy cutesy dates, holding hands and first kisses without being disturbed by the cameras. He took out his phone and took a few pictures of the park and Yeontan before he laid down and watched the clouds.
He often wondered whether it was the right decision to become a model. The profession itself wasn’t a problem at all, it was the fame that came with it. It brought a lot of disappointment and betrayal which awoke trust issues. He wondered if he could ever find somebody who would love him sincerely without looking at his bank account and the connections he had with other celebrities.
Soon, his thoughts were interrupted by the intense barking sound of two dogs, one of which was his own. He sat up looking for Yeontan who was running towards a small white Poodle. "I swear to god-" he cursed and stood up to run after his puppy.
"Tan-ah!" Taehyung called but Yeontan was too preoccupied to even take a while to look at his owner. He put the leash back on as soon as he caught up with the dog and pulled him away from the white Poodle. "Bad pup! Did you learn nothing at all?" he scolded the innocent looking puppy.
Only once he heard soft giggles did he realize that the other puppy likely had an owner too. He looked up to see a boy approximately as tall as Taehyung himself with brown hair that was slightly messy, big round eyes and the cutest smile he’d ever seen.
"I’m sorry, I zoned out and didn’t notice his evil plan!" he apologized to the stranger and looked down at Yeontan strictly only to receive a confused look from the puppy.
"It’s fine, they seem to like each other," the boy giggled again.
The dogs slowly walked around, smelling each other. They sure seemed to feel comfortable around one another, both of them had stopped barking and started playfully biting each other.
Now, Taehyung was never the kind of person who would initiate the "Aw you have a cute dog, what’s the breed and how old is it?" talk. In fact, he kind of hated the dog owners who did that because it was simply awkward. But he felt under pressure and he had to break the silence, so he did exactly just that.
"She is cute! A Poodle, isn’t it?" he asked, confident in his dog breed knowledge.
"A Maltipoo actually. It’s a mix of a Poodle and a Maltese." the boy smiled.
"She is so small, a ball of fur really!"
"Isn’t that what you usually call a kitten?" he laughed but didn’t look annoyed.
"Yeah whatever," Taehyung chuckled nervously because who wouldn’t if they were talking to a random hot guy. Suddenly he realized he was wearing sweatpants and a hoodie, nothing that screamed celebrity. But the boy didn’t freak out which was a good sign.
They watched their dogs in comfortable silence for a while before the boy spoke again, "As much as I would love to let them play a bit more, I have work in a few hours, so we have to go. I’ll see you around?" the boy looked at him with curious eyes.
"Sure! Sorry again for- you know, for the inconvenience," Taehyung apologized again and took a few steps back, ready to leave.
"It wasn’t an inconvenience, quite the opposite actually," he smiled again, locking eyes with Taehyung before he waved and left.
Taehyung stood there for a while, replaying the scene when Yeontan barked to get his attention. "Yeah, he was hot, wasn’t he? No need to tell me that boy," he said as he looked down at his puppy who slightly tilted his head, looking confused again.
Satisfied with the sudden turn of events, they started walking back home to get ready for the photoshoot.
"And then he giggled! Can you believe it? He giggled!" Taehyung talked to his best friend as they were walking down the street to grab some coffee while they were having a break from the photoshoot.
"Yeah Tae, you’ve told me that already. At least twice," Jimin laughed at his best friend’s ramblings.
It didn’t happen often that the pair had a photoshoot together, but the world was living for their friendship, so they ended up collaborating every now and then. They loved it because it made everything easier and sometimes their managers would get angry at them for fooling around instead of focusing on their work.
"He was so hot tough, like- so hot! I legit treated Tanie when we got home for that, I swear to god that puppy is so smart!" Taehyung went on about his morning while walking to the nearest Starbucks.
"What? Tae-" Jimin exhaled deeply, "You do know that the dog was just horny or something, going after that Poodle."
"You don’t say that about a dog Jiminie!" Taehyung looked at his best friend in terror. "Also, it’s a Maltipoo., he corrected Jimin, looking pleased with himself.
"Yeah? So, what do you call a dog who wants to- you know. And I bet you didn’t even know what a Maltipoo was before you met that guy," Jimin rolled his eyes and opened the door for his friend to get inside the café.
Thankfully, this part of the town wasn’t that crowded which was something both models were grateful for. It wasn’t too far from Taehyung’s neighborhood. He wanted to invite Jimin home for the break, but their managers didn’t allow them saying they would get caught up with some drama or something, which was probably true.
"You say they are in the mood to make lo-" Taehyung paused and stopped in the middle of the room.
"Tae? What’s wrong?"
"It’s him Jiminie. It’s him! The barista!" Taehyung almost whispered and turned on his heels to leave the shop. To his surprise, his best friend grabbed his elbow before he could make more than one step.
"What are you doing?" he was amused.
"I can’t stay here! He is right there," he nodded towards the counter. He didn’t even know why he felt so nervous, they didn’t even know each other after all. Maybe he felt a little awkward because of the morning meeting.
"Stop being a baby and let’s order," Jimin said as he dragged him towards the counter.
For some reason, Taehyung felt shy and he wouldn’t look up, he just mindlessly stared at the floor and counted the tiles. He heard Jimin making his order and knew he would be forced to look up soon.
"Hello, what can I get you?" the barista asked and smiled.
Taehyung didn’t realize how hot the room was until their eyes met. He felt his cheeks burning and he hated himself for being such a softie at times like this. The boy quickly realized who he was talking to but didn’t say anything about it.
"Uh, hi, I’d like a tall vanilla latte please," he said quickly, reading the first thing he saw on one of the blackboards behind the barista.
"Vanilla late? Don’t you hate vanilla?" Jimin raised his eyebrows next to him.
It was true, Taehyung indeed hated vanilla but he was nervous. Then, there was an awkward silence between the three boys as the barista waited for his customer to maybe change his mind.
"What are you talking about Jiminie? I love vanilla!" he gave him a strict look and Jimin knew he had to play along not to embarrass his best friend even more. It was something Taehyung loved about their friendship the most. The way they could say what they wanted just by looking at each other.
"Alright, a tall vanilla latte it is! And your name?" the boy asked, holding a marker in his hand.
"Huh? Sorry?" Taehyung was confused for a while because a cute boy just asked for his name out of blue. He’d totally forgotten they were in Starbucks where they asked the names and wrote them on the cups.
"Your name? For the cup?" the barista giggled at how his customer acted.
It all clicked then, and Taehyung felt even hotter. He saw Jimin laughing before he punched his arm softly. After an exaggerated ow, Jimin left to wait for his drink at the end of the counter.
"Taehyung. I mean- the name is Taehyung," he said, avoiding the eye contact with the barista.
The boy smiled and stepped aside to start preparing the drink while he let his colleague to deal with the cashier. Taehyung felt relieved. He took out his credit card and paid for his drink before he joined Jimin at the other side of the bar. He was greeted with a soft pat on his shoulder.
"That was hilarious." Jimin laughed before he took his order, saying he would go find a place to sit. The pair would always sit somewhere at the back, not wanting to draw unnecessary attention from people who might recognize them.
"A tall vanilla latte for Taehyung," the boy passed him the drink. Now Taehyung wasn’t sure if it was just in his head, but it looked like the barista winked at him. He muttered a quick thank you before he followed Jimin to the table.
Taehyung ignored the looks he received from the customers, it was something he was used to by then. He usually smiled back at them if their eyes met but this time he was too focused on not spilling his drink to even bother looking around.
"Oh. My. Go,." Taehyung buried his face into his palms as soon as he placed the cup on the table. He’d never felt this flustered before. "He must think I’m awkward now," he looked up at his best friend.
"You are awkward though. Also, I don’t think he considers you awkward. Did you see your cup?" Jimin nodded towards the drink. "The cute guy with the little ball of fur," he read and turned the cup for his best friend to see.
"This is too much Jiminie. This is the end of me. Please attend my funeral," he laid his head on the table, frustrated.
It’s been a while since Taehyung dated. After all the disappointment, he didn’t think he would enter a relationship anytime soon either. That didn’t mean he could embarrass himself in front of cute guys and such.
"Why are you so stressed about this Jungkook guy anyway? Like, I get it, he is hot, but you don’t even know him," Jimin tapped the younger’s head to make him look up.
"Wha-? Don’t tell me you were too distracted to even read the tag on his shirt."
Taehyung didn’t reply. Instead, he took the cup and checked the message before he took a sip of the drink. "This shit is so gross. How do people drink this?" he said a bit louder than he intended and received a few glares and a smirk from the barista.
"Jimin why did you pick a table so close to the bar?" he looked at his best friend who was having the time of his life, laughing. "Also, he didn’t freak out like every other person who gets to talk to us. You think he has no idea?" Taehyung rested his head in his palm.
Being so popular, Taehyung rarely met people who didn’t know who he was. It was something that made him sad because he couldn’t make new friends. At least not friends that weren’t popular themselves. He was tired of the overreactions he had to face whenever he was out. It felt like people were afraid to approach or befriend him because he was a celebrity. Which was why he was surprised to have a different reaction for once.
"Well, not everybody knows us Taehyung. Don’t take it for granted," Jimin said before he took the vanilla latte and took a sip. "You are right. This is shit," he said and put the cup back to its spot on the table.
"No but seriously, when was the last time you went to Starbucks and the barista asked you for your name?" he tapped on the table with his fingers, stealing a glance at the bar to see the pretty boy making drinks.
"Fair point. Look, I know you want to have a peaceful and private life, but I’m afraid it’s something you can’t have. Not now at least," he caressed his best friend’s knuckles with his thumb. "I’m still surprised they haven’t discovered your hideout," he grinned.
"It’s called home Jimin," he rolled his eyes. "It’s not just the privacy though. I just want to find somebody who would love me for me, you know, not for the money and fame. After those three idiots I kinda stopped hoping," he sighed and gave the vanilla latte another chance.
The previous relationships Taehyung got involved in were almost identical. It all started nicely but at some point, it was obvious the guys were going for the money. He did try a couple of relationships with other models or singers even, but it didn’t feel right either. Thankfully, those didn’t end badly, and he is still friends with them.
"Tae…" Jimin sighed and looked at his friend pitifully. "I’m sure you will meet somebody worth your love at some point. It may take weeks, months or even years but surely you will be happy. I will make sure of it! I promise!" he caressed his best friends hand, drawing circles onto his palm.
There were times when Taehyung wondered how him and Jimin could be only friends and nothing more. They would be perfect for each other for their personalities were similar, not too different, but it just never was romantic.
Taehyung silently thanked his best friend for his support, cringing at the vanilla taste. He was thankful for the comfortable silence he could share with the older. Sometimes he just had to think for a bit without being interrupted and Jimin was aware of that, always helping him get what he needed.
"Anyway, we should probably head back before some paparazzi hunt us down. Don’t want to make Joon angry again either. It’s really scary if you ask me," Taehyung said after a while.
"Aren’t you gonna say goodbye to the cute barista?" Jimin smirked once they got up, took their things and started walking towards the exit.
"Shut up," the younger said but chuckled anyway.
"Taehyung, can you actually focus?" Hoseok looked up from the camera, "Like if you are going for the ‘I’m in a music video’ vibe, then I’m sorry but it doesn’t look like it."
Hoseok was one of the famous people Taehyung tried to date. They both considered each other hot and enjoyed each other’s company. However, after a few dates they figured it wouldn’t work in a romantic way, so they just agreed to stay friends which was one of the best decision in Taehyung’s life because having Hoseok around just made everything better.
"Ah, I’m sorry I zoned out. Bet I still look better than Jimin anyway," he chuckled, almost making Jimin fall from the chair where he was having his hair styled. Thankfully, the stylist stopped the model from moving to attack his best friend. Jimin might not have looked like it, but he was kind of strong and his punches had left a few bruises on his arms over the years.
"You always look better than Jimin, Tae," Hoseok played along.
"Hey! Is that what I’m paying you for?" Jimin shouted from the make-up area.
"I mean, he is paying me too. Plus, he is my almost-ex and I’m his personal photographer."
"Feels bad that you don’t even have a real ex. Says something about your love life."
"Touché," Taehyung nodded in approval.
"Hey Tae! You are supposed to be on my side!" Hoseok looked back at Taehyung who pretended to be playing on the phone. "Besides, I may or may not be having a thing going on with Kim Seokjin."
Now, both Taehyung and Jimin got up from their places and literally attacked their friend with questions. Seokjin was a well-known model, they even had a couple of photoshoots together. Neither the model nor the photographer mentioned anything about even knowing each other. To say the two models were surprised would be an understatement.
"Quit talking and get back to work guys or we will be here until tomorrow. I believe Hobi’s love life is more interesting than your own, but you can talk about it later over a dinner or something," Namjoon joined the set, sending a warning look to his brother who quickly returned to his place in front of the camera.
The respect Namjoon received was well deserved for he worked really hard to get into his position. He’d always wanted to be a manager of sorts and when his little brother got into modelling and needed a person to manage his schedules, he was more than happy to help. Together they made it to the top.
"Don’t think this is over," Jimin looked at Hoseok strictly before he returned to his seat.
After grabbing a quick dinner with his friends and getting a few pictures taken by the paparazzi, Taehyung managed to safely return home. Yeontan welcomed him by jumping around and licking his face once he was picked up.
"You missed me, didn’t you Tanie?" Taehyung smiled down at his puppy while he was preparing the dinner for his spoiled pet. Yeontan was standing next to him, waiting for the food, waggling his little tail.
"Or maybe you just missed the food," he laughed as soon as Yeontan started eating his dinner eagerly which was gone within a few minutes.
Once he cleaned up he settled in front of his TV and started watching random series while scrolling down his twitter. Yeontan was peacefully sleeping in his soft bed surrounded by plushies. Taehyung always got him new toys to play with which was why his whole living room looked like a toy store.
Sooner than he expected did he get bored and decided to go for an evening jog. He grabbed his earplugs and a pair of sneakers. It wasn’t unusual, but it wasn’t something he did regularly either. He liked having a soft wind play with his hair while he was clearing his mind, listening to songs and trying to relate to the lyrics.
It wasn’t depression, he just had a weak moment every now and then when he needed to hide in his own personal bubble and sit it out. Having many friends, he couldn’t really say he felt lonely, but there was something lacking. Something romantic, something he’s been trying to find for quite a while now. He didn’t literally look for it, instead he patiently waited for something to happen.
There was no one in the park except a few people walking their dogs. He ran towards his favorite place, passing by the lake. Feeling a little exhausted, he decided to take a small break and lay down onto his spot to watch the sky. There was something about the sky that made him calm down, he loved the clouds during the day and the stars during the night.
He closed his eyes and started imagining his future which was something he did quite often. He pictured a life where he was just an ordinary boy studying arts or something similar, living in a small apartment with Yeontan and a possible boyfriend. He never connected a face to the boyfriend character in his dream life until now. For some reason, this time he used the pretty barista. Just because he was hot, and Taehyung knew nobody else whom he could actually like.
He didn’t realize he’d dozed off until someone was shaking him awake, "Taehyung? Are you alright?"
When he opened his eyes, he thought he was still dreaming. Never did he expect to wake up to this sight, but it was certainly something he could get used to. "B-barista?" Taehyung rubbed his eyes, still not convinced that was real.
"It’s Jungkook actually, but that’s fine. Yeah barista," he giggled.
"What are you doing here?"
"I was, uh, jogging. I always do a few laps around the lake and I noticed a person laying down on the ground. At first, I paid no attention, but I was concerned when I saw the person hadn’t moved a few laps later, so I came to check, and it was you," he explained and nodded to the place next to him, asking if he could sit down and join him.
"I was jogging too actually, but then I decided to rest for a while and I guess I fell asleep. I’ve been having too much on my mind lately, so it was probably exhaustion," Taehyung said as he nodded for the boy to sit down.
They were silent and once again it was comfortable. This time, Taehyung wasn’t nervous or shy, maybe he was too tired to overthink. He enjoyed the boy’s company for it felt like he wasn’t alone, even though the barista was technically a complete stranger to him.
"Wanna talk about it?" Jungkook asked after a while.
Did he want to talk about it? Yes, it would probably feel good to say it out loud, especially to a person who would be neutral, not being biased by the situation. It was a little dangerous for the guy could simply sell the information to the press, but Taehyung has always been a little reckless.
"It’s just that I feel lonely, but like, in a romantic way? If it makes any sense. I’m not sure if there is something wrong with me, but somehow I keep meeting fake people who end up hurting me," he spoke, looking at the sky instead of the boy. "I feel insecure and I don’t know who to trust anymore," he stayed silent for a while. "And here I am ranting about my problems to a stranger," he let out a soft giggle.
"Well, this is the third time we meet today. Kinda boyfriend-like if you ask me," he joked to lighten up the mood. Taehyung was surprised not to receive pity or some cliché ‘It will be alright’ again. They both chuckled at the words and soon after Jungkook spoke again, "You know, we never know until we try, and I guess disappointment is a part of it. If everything was smooth, then life would be boring."
"I like boring," Taehyung pouted, making Jungkook laugh again.
It was surprisingly warm for a May evening and the sky was clear, so the stars were perfectly visible. He wondered what Namjoon would say about him sitting on the ground with a stranger late in the evening, but he couldn’t care less at that moment.
"I’ve been there too you know. Bad relationships happen to everyone, it’s not something that should scare you away. You should just try to learn from it. Or well that’s what I do anyway," Jungkook finally looked at Taehyung who followed suit.
They just looked at each other for a few seconds before Taehyung broke the silence and spoke, "Thank you, for coming to check if I was alright and for listening to me even though you don’t really know me," he whispered.
After enjoying the surroundings together for a while longer, they decided it was time to go home. Taehyung didn’t want to leave for he felt better around Jungkook, but the last thing he wanted was to annoy the boy even more. They said their goodbyes, and both started walking towards their homes.
"Oh and Taehyung?" Jungkook turned to stop the other, having more to say. Taehyung turned to see the barista, raising his eyebrow. "I come here almost every day at the same time as today, so if you ever feel like talking, you know where to find me. Also, you know where I work and-" he paused, suddenly feeling nervous. "I’m rambling, sorry. Anyway, good night."
Taehyung found the boy’s acting cute. It was nice to see Jungkook flustered for a change, "Alright, I will keep that in mind. Good night, barista," he smiled and continued walking home.
In the morning, despite wanting to see Jungkook, he didn’t visit the park and let Yeontan run around in the garden instead. He didn’t want to seem needy, he had a reputation to keep. Besides, he still had to return to the photoshoot for they didn’t finish everything they needed the day before.
After receiving a call from his brother, he quickly dressed up and drove to the destination. The set was a little different this time. Unlike the other day, they were going for a posh vibe which made Taehyung look forward to it for he’d been having a lot of casual look photoshoot for summer editions.
"Tae can you maybe lean onto Jimin a little?" Hoseok said, looking at the pair through his camera. "Okay, I didn’t say attack him with a hug, but whatever," he complained but took a several photos anyway.
It was nice to work with friends, it made Taehyung feel at ease. Taehyung liked to think he was confident, but he still felt a little nervous when he worked with people he didn’t know. It was just the first few moments though, once he got comfortable with the colleagues, they all became friends.
"So, wanna go grab some Starbucks again after this?" Jimin whispered between switching poses. "Maybe you will see your barista again," he teased.
The truth was, yeah Taehyung really wanted to see the boy again. Obviously. He felt better when he got to say what worried him out loud the other day, but it wasn’t something he wanted Jimin to know because he knew his best friend would be upset about the fact that Taehyung chose to talk to a stranger instead of him.
"He is not my barista. Besides he worked yesterday, so I doubt he will be there again today, but sure I’m craving for a Frappuccino."
Both of them stopped talking after receiving a warning look from both the photographer and their managers. The rest of the photoshoot was smooth. Normally, they would have finished everything in one day, but the fact that they spent more time fooling around instead of working made it take a lot longer.
To his surprise, when they finally arrived at the coffee shop after a couple of hours, he saw Jungkook working behind the bar. Unlike the other day, he didn’t feel nervous, but he still repeated his order in his head over and over again to make sure he wouldn’t accidentally order something he didn’t like again.
"Nice to see you again today. Won’t be a Vanilla Latte this time I suppose," Jungkook chuckled, making sure to remind the customer of their awkward behavior from the day before.
"Right, I’d like a Caramel Frappuccino this time please."
"Name?" Jungkook raised his eyebrow, amused by Taehyung’s expression.
Taehyung wasn’t sure if the barista was just teasing him or he’d forgotten his name for real. He must have looked shocked because Jungkook just laughed and wrote something down on the cup, passing the order to his colleague.
Once he got the cup he checked what Jungkook had written. ‘The cute guy who fell asleep under a cherry blossom’. He looked up at the barista who was carefully watching him, waiting for a reaction. Taehyung felt his cheeks warm again and frowned a little when he saw Jungkook giggle.
"Jiminie, can you let me sit there?" Taehyung asked when he joined his best friend at the table, nodding towards the couch Jimin was sitting on.
"Uh, yeah? But why?" he asked as he switched places.
"Just because it looks more comfortable," the younger took a sip of his Frappuccino and looked behind Jimin who turned around to see what it was Taehyung was looking at.
"Oh I see," he giggled. "What did he write this time?" Jimin asked, reaching out to take his best friend’s cup.
"Nothing special, just my name," Taehyung said quickly and tried to take the cup from Jimin, but it was too late.
Jimin quickly scanned the text and raised his eyebrows once he finished reading, looking at the younger. And so, Taehyung ended up telling him what happened in the evening, not leaving out any detail.
"Tae, you know that was dangerous, right? Anyone could find you, a few pictures like that and they would have a great story to tell. ‘Kim Taehyung passed out in a park, drunk’ I can totally see all the headlines," he scolded his best friend for being reckless. "Not to mention you shared something so personal with a str-"
"I know Jiminie, I really do. I was just feeling sad and he was there, and it just happened. Please don’t tell Namjoon?" he pouted, knowing his pouts were powerful.
"Fine. Just be more careful okay?"
After a reassuring nod, Jimin went back to checking something on his phone while Taehyung looked at the bar where Jungkook was taking orders from the customers. The boy smiled at every person and politely asked what he could get them, helping them pick if they weren’t sure about the drinks or cakes.
Jungkook seemed like a kind boy or that’s what Taehyung got to see in the span of two days. At that moment, he wasn’t sure when, but he knew he would end up meeting the boy in the park. There was something about the boy that made him think they could become good friends.
He didn’t realize he’d been staring until the barista’s eyes met his. He didn’t panic, he smiled and raised his eyebrow instead, trying to turn the situation around. It helped for Jungkook blushed slightly and broke the eye contact even though there were no customers to pay attention to.
"So, what exactly are your plans with Jungkook?" Jimin asked once he locked his phone and took his drink to take a sip.
Taehyung noticed the barista looking their way again. "Pshh Jimin he could hear you, we need a nickname for him, something not suspicious," he leaned closer to his best friend, still checking the counter every now and then.
Jimin’s eyes were full of excitement and mischief as if they were planning something evil. Taehyung rolled his eyes at his best friend’s expression who started seriously thinking of something fitting after a while.
It wasn’t new for them. They created nicknames for basically everyone they knew. It was always just between the two of them, never accepting new members of their little party. When Taehyung met Hoseok, they also thought of one for him, so they could talk about him even if he was nearby.
"How about ‘bunny’?" Jimin looked at his best friend, proud of his suggestion.
"Are you-? Jimin are you serious? How is that not suspicious? You look at the guy and the first thing you think of is a fucking bunny, rabbit or a hare. Not even surprised anymore, especially after your ‘horsie’ suggestion for Hobi," Taehyung shook his head in disbelief.
They spent good fifteen minutes coming up with ideas. After Jimin suggested a few other animals, Taehyung knew his best friend wouldn’t be much of a help in that situation.
"How about ‘poodle guy’ or ‘doe’ or-"
"I’ve got it!" Taehyung almost screamed, drawing attention. "So, you know how his name is Jungkook, right?" he whispered, waiting for Jimin to nod before he continued, "Jungkook. Kookie. Cookie. Biscuit. Get it?"
"And you say my ideas are bad." Jimin laughed but couldn’t hide the fact that he liked his best friend’s suggestion.
"Biscuit it is," they highfived.
The next day was pretty much free. There was just a short meeting scheduled in the afternoon with a new company. Taehyung wasn’t sure what exactly it was, he let his brother handle those, so the only thing he needed to know was the time and the place of the meeting.
Even though he could sleep in, he woke up pretty early to his puppy jumping all over him which Taehyung assumed meant that he wanted to go out and let out all of his extra energy. Taehyung wondered how such a small ball can have twice more energy than he himself.
He didn’t mind getting out of the bed. He took his time to look presentable, hoping he would meet Jungkook a.k.a Biscuit. Not wanting to draw too much attention, he settled on a pair of black jeans and a simple shirt. He made sure to spray one of his favorite colognes before leaving the house.
Yeontan was probably as excited as his owner, if not more. He was still a puppy who wanted to play a lot and Taehyung felt bad for leaving him alone so often when he had to work. Maybe he could play a bit with Jungkook’s puppy while the two talked if they met.
Not knowing where to look for the barista, Taehyung decided to go to his usual spot, hoping Jungkook would pass by and notice him.
"Morning, mind if I join you?" Jungkook indeed found him. He sat down near Taehyung and let his dog out of leash. The puppies quickly got together and started playing just like the first time.
"Good morning to you too, barista," Taehyung teased.
Of course, Taehyung knew his name, but the fact that Jungkook found it annoying and pouted when he heard it made him want to say it all the time. Just to tease him. He didn’t know much about Jungkook, but he felt good around him. He hoped to get to know the boy better.
"So, you came to the café two days in a row, are you stalking me?" Jungkook joked.
"Absolutely," Taehyung looked at the barista who seemed satisfied with the answer. "Not," he giggled and received a punch from the other for messing with him.
It was interesting how the two of them felt so comfortable. Taehyung never believed in fate or anything similar to that, so he didn’t even think much of that. He figured they just clicked because their personalities were similar or something. No deep reason.
"I had work nearby, so me and my friend went there for breaks. I didn’t think I’d meet you there again yesterday though," Taehyung explained.
"Oh, I work there every day for a few hours, it’s just a part-time job."
"Do you like it?" Taehyung asked because it was an important question in his opinion. He didn’t like when people had to do something they weren’t happy with. He often encouraged people to follow their dreams and do things they enjoyed.
"Yes, it’s nice. I get to meet some nice people," he smirked. "Plus, it’s close to my university, so I usually go there right after or before my classes."
"You go to university. Why does that make me feel old?" Taehyung laughed.
Taehyung never got the chance to go to university. Not because he wasn’t good enough or couldn’t afford it, but because he had no time. Right after high school he got a few offers and started modeling a year after. He didn’t really regret not studying further, but he sometimes wondered what it would be like.
"You look young though, how old are you? If you don’t mind me asking."
"I’ll be 25 in December."
"See? You are only 2 years older than me."
Honestly, Taehyung didn’t know what to expect. He felt like the boy would be younger, so he didn’t know why he was surprised. Maybe it was because when he was 22 he felt like a kid and Jungkook seemed to be mature.
After a while of thinking, he asked, "So, what do you study?"
"Uh, management, but I hate it. I kinda did it for my parents and regretted the decision right after the first semester," he chuckled.
"Why don’t you drop it then? What would you like to do instead?"
Taehyung found himself genuinely interested in the younger’s life and preferences. He was glad Jungkook was openly talking to him about his life. He had a good feeling about this. It’s been ages since he met somebody non-popular who was so kind and considerate, so he was ready to befriend the boy.
"Did you really just… make a sex joke?" Taehyung rolled his eyes and laughed together with the boy. "Aye, you are a dirty one, aren’t you?"
"No, I’m not!" he quickly defended himself, getting an amused look from Taehyung. "I promise!"
The way Jungkook pouted was too adorable and Taehyung wanted to pinch his cheek every time. The joke made the mood a lot more comfortable though, so the two of them continued fooling around for a while, sharing jokes they knew or cheesy pick up lines which they considered ridiculous. It’s been a while since Taehyung felt this relaxed.
The biggest mistake Taehyung made when he met someone new was to start thinking about them as a potential partner which often lead to him being disappointed. Of course, it wasn’t his fault because getting attached easily wasn’t something he could control. This time, Taehyung decided not to overthink and just let it go naturally. He really hoped this was a start of a strong friendship.
"Are you a magician?" a dramatic pause, "Because whenever I look at you everyone else disappears," Taehyung winked.
Jungkook couldn’t hold back a laugh at the seriousness of Taehyung’s voice. "Wow, I feel seduced now. Someone should call the police, because you stole my heart," he dramatically touched his chest as if it was bleeding.
Once they stopped laughing about the mini-scene Jungkook created, Taehyung took out his phone and snapped a picture of Jungkook right when his puppy showed him some love. At the sound of the camera, Jungkook looked at Taehyung and raised his eyebrow.
"Oh, I just took a picture of you. I have to show my mom what my future boyfriend looks like," Taehyung smirked and noticed a soft blush on Jungkook’s cheeks.
"You did not just do that. That’s too extra, you know," Jungkook laughed.
"Of course, I will never lose at pick up lines, barista."
They silently watched their puppies play together, chuckling when one of them fell on the ground while running. Taehyung managed to steal a few glances at Jungkook, admiring his visuals. He loved how the morning sun made his skin look so beautiful.
"Hey, so you never answered the question about what you would like to do instead of management," Taehyung remembered.
"Oh right, I don’t want to quit because I’d lose those years. It’s just that really," he met Taehyung’s curious gaze. "And about my hobbies, or things I would like to do instead," he paused to think, "I really like dancing, singing, drawing, even photography an-"
"Whoa, whoa slow down," Taehyung laughed at the enthusiasm and confusion in the younger’s eyes. He figured that Jungkook was probably having an inner battle about what he liked more and how many other things he should mention.
Taehyung used to be like the boy before he started modeling. He loved art and theatre, even singing a little and he himself struggled when he was to choose which way to go. Honestly, he was good at all the mentioned, so the doors were open for him, but modeling seemed to be the easiest choice back then.
"I will just figure out what to do once I have my degree."
"Listen, barista, I don’t want to ruin your cute ideas, but if you know you don’t want to do anything related to management you are wasting your time studying it," he tried to explain carefully but not too much to make the conversation too serious, he enjoyed the chill atmosphere they had.
"You are right, I know that. I only have one year left so I think I will just finish it for the sake of the degree."
It was quite warm outside, the sunlight adding to the aesthetics, making the cherry blossom petals look slight orange instead or bright pink. There were many people in the park, having a morning jog or walking their dogs just like the two were. The boys decided to walk around a bit instead of just sitting.
"I think I love spring days the most. I love how it’s not cold and not too hot. Plus, I love the tickling feeling of the wind," Taehyung closed his eyes for a few seconds to enjoy the weather.
"My favorite feeling is when it’s raining outside, and I’m at home, napping preferably," Jungkook said, dead serious, making Taehyung laugh.
It was funny because Taehyung loved it too, only he didn’t get to have many of those moments because of his busy schedule. But he clearly remembered how he napped almost every day when he came back from school.
Walking around and having a casual conversation about ordinary things was nice. Taehyung felt happy, he always found little things more appealing which was unusual since he was famous. The small distance between them as they walked didn’t seem to bother them and Taehyung thought that people who saw them could think they were a couple. Of course, he didn’t dislike the idea, so he made no effort to step aside a bit and if Jungkook minded, he didn’t say anything.
"Are you going to come today again? To the café I mean," Jungkook asked when they reached the gates of the park.
"Why? Do you want me to?" Taehyung smirked.
The location of his meeting wasn’t really close to the place where Jungkook worked, but there were cars for a reason, so he thought that maybe he could drop by on the way home. And if the coffee wasn’t enough for him to want to visit Starbucks again, the anticipation in the younger’s eyes most definitely was.
"Fine, I will stop by. Wouldn’t want you to miss me too much anyway," Taehyung teased the younger more before they parted their ways.
When Taehyung arrived home, he was pleased to see him brother sitting at the table, drinking coffee while reading something on the internet. Namjoon didn’t visit too often for he had his own place but had a spare key in case of emergencies.
"Well hello there," he looked up through his black glasses.
"Joon! What a lovely surprise!" Taehyung approached the table and hugged his brother, receiving a confused look. The brothers had a great relationship, that much was obvious, but ever since they started doing business together, they showed less affection, knowing the other was aware of their love.
Namjoon laughed when Taehyung made no effort to break the hug, "What’s got you in such a good mood?"
"Nothing nothing, I just went for a nice walk with Tanie and enjoyed a beautiful spring morning," he sang as he moved to scan the fridge to see if there was anything he could use to make a decent breakfast.
After a few remarks about not doing groceries regularly from his brother, Taehyung was making pancakes for the both of them. It was simple, but it was their favorite. Their mom used to make pancakes every Saturday morning which brought nostalgia to the brothers. Even though Namjoon disagreed, Taehyung liked to this his pancakes were even better than his mom’s.
"Ah, shit, I don’t think I have strawberries or bananas or blueberries or even maple syrup!" Taehyung cried out.
"No, you do. I knew your fridge was probably suffering, so I did some grocery shopping for you and bought some fruits. So that you are healthy," Namjoon stood up and moved to the hall where he’d left the bags full of goods.
"You. Are. The. Best." Taehyung said when his brother started unpacking the bags, putting everything in place.
Taehyung finished preparing their breakfast, putting two plates on the table. He placed the pancakes in the middle so that they could both take as many as they could eat. He washed the strawberries and peeled some bananas and put them in a bowl which he later put on the table as well. Noticing Namjoon had also bought juice, he took two cups and poured strawberry juice into his own glass and orange juice into his brother’s.
"So, this meeting today. What was it about again?" Taehyung tried to hide the fact that he had absolutely no clue.
Sighing, Namjoon wiped his mouth before he spoke, "The Puma collaboration, remember? They want to go over the details today. It shouldn’t take too long, so don’t worry."
"Will Hoseok do the shoot or will they have their own photographer?"
Namjoon rolled his eyes, saying, "That’s what today’s meeting is for you idiot. They will tell us more once we get there."
It turned out that they were going to use their own employees for the photoshoot that would happen later that month. Taehyung thought May would be less busy, but apparently not. He couldn’t argue, though, it was Namjoon who took care of his schedule. Plus, he clearly remembered his brother making sure he knew how important that collaboration was.
"Are you going to visit your beloved now?" Taehyung teased, getting a ‘maybe’ and a smirk as a response from his brother.
Taehyung couldn’t complain, in fact he was glad that he was left alone. He could drive to the coffee shop in peace, without anyone asking why he wanted to go to that particular Starbucks if there were many closer than the one he was heading to.
As soon as he stepped in, he shared an eye contact with the barista who smiled while writing down the order on the cup he was holding. Taehyung was surprised to see the shop was almost empty.
"Good evening! Been thinking about you a latte," Jungkook said when it was Taehyung’s turn to order. "What can I offer you today?"
Taehyung laughed at the pick up line and rolled his eyes, but decided to play along. "Something sweet, sadly you aren’t on the menu," he grinned.
"It’s okay, no need to overdo it, sugar." Jungkook winked.
Once they were done giggling, Taehyung finally ordered a Caramel Macchiato. "Did you look up coffee shop pick up lines or something?" he asked.
Never was he as happy for his brother’s absence as he was now. It would be embarrassing to say these things with his older brother listening. Maybe they wouldn’t even do it and that would be even worse.
Jungkook took his position seriously this time, talking about different things they had to offer, trying to buy them some time to talk. They scanned the cake options, continuing with the flirting. It was like a battle between them and Taehyung refused to lose. Obviously, they didn’t they the lines seriously, it was just to have fun.
"Less flirting, more working," said a boy who came from the staff room and joined Jungkook at the counter.
The boy was probably a bit older than Taehyung himself. His hair was blonde, he was visibly shorter than his colleague but what got Taehyung’s attention was the pout that was formed on his lips.
"Hey! I’m being professional here, convincing our customers to buy more things just like I was taught when I started working," Jungkook said and looked at Taehyung, realizing what he’d just said.
Taehyung knew what he was talking about. He once tried to work in a cinema snack bar when he was younger, and he had to learn how to get the most out of the customers, always asking if they wanted something more. If they asked for popcorn, he had to ask if they would like a drink to go with it and vice-versa.
"I don’t remember seeing ‘flirting’ under the list of responsibilities in your contract Kook," the boy said, taking the cup with Taehyung’s order to check what he was supposed to prepare.
"Well, you might want to check again."
For a moment, Taehyung felt a little worried about the exchange. Especially when the other barista raised an eyebrow at Jungkook talking back to him. He felt bad for going along with the flirting at that point. The last thing he wanted was for the younger to lose his job.
Unexpectedly the older barista turned to look at him and spoke, "If you are even considering dating this kid, turn back and run away while you still can."
"Yoongi!" Jungkook said, punching his arm.
It was funny to watch Jungkook go from ‘cocky’ to ‘embarrassed’ within a few seconds. Taehyung thought a slight blush looked really pretty on the boy’s bunny cheeks and once again he found himself wanting to pinch or kiss them.
"Did you want sugar?" Yoongi asked politely.
"No, he did not. He is already too sweet, can’t you see?" Jungkook was back to his flirty self, probably trying not to look awkward.
"I swear to god, I will fire you, kid."
Taehyung wondered if him and Jimin looked like that when they were together, fooling around or fighting playfully. The imagine of him and Jungkook in the park from the morning also popped up in his head and he smiled.
Despite the quarrel, which wasn’t even real, the two of them looked really close. Taehyung wondered if they were related or if they were best friends just like him and Jimin. He figured he would ask Jungkook later when it’d be just the two of them.
"I’m afraid he already is on fire," Taehyung figured he might as well join and fool around too.
He noticed Jungkook trying hard not to laugh as he himself tried to keep a straight face while keeping an eye contact with Yoongi.
"That’s it. I’ll be going now. If you need anything, I’ll be in the office," Yoongi rolled his eyes and with that he was gone.
Jungkook smiled but didn’t say anything when he got hold of the cup with Taehyung’s unfinished drink and continued preparing it. Taehyung moved to the end of the counter and leaned on it, carefully watching the younger work.
"Careful! It’s hot!" Jungkook said when he passed him the drink. "Oh wait, you don’t need to worry, it’s not as hot as you," he giggled.
"I love the way you espresso yourself," Taehyung said and left to find himself a seat.
More customers walked in, keeping the barista, who had been abandoned by his colleague, busy. There was something satisfying about watching Jungkook work and this time Taehyung took his time to observe. He was about to take a sip when he noticed what was written on the cup. ‘Text me, sugar’ with what seemed to be a twitter username under it. Taehyung shook his head and laughed, taking his phone to check the account.
A few days later, Taehyung and Jimin were sitting in a restaurant waiting for their managers and Hoseok to have a dinner in order to celebrate a successfully finished photoshoot. It was a tradition they started after their first collaboration. Mostly, it was an excuse to have a chill evening without having to worry about their schedules.
"Let me get this straight," Jimin looked up from the menu, to meet his best friend’s eyes. "Biscuit wrote his twitter username on your cup, which is really original by the way," he rolled his eyes, "And asked you to text him. My only question is- Why haven’t you done so yet?"
That was a good question. Taehyung did spend the last few days staring at his phone, thinking whether he should message Jungkook. There was something special about the way they met and their interaction. It was classy and cliché in a way that made him want to keep it like that. On the other hand, he really wanted to talk to the younger and get to know him better.
"I don’t even know if he meant it. We were having a pick up line battle as I told you, he might have just wanted to have the last word," Taehyung quickly defended his actions.
Jimin rolled his eyes and scanned the menu once again. "Even you don’t believe that," he clicked his tongue. "So why waste time?"
Thinking about the words, Taehyung knew his best friend was right. There was nothing he could lose at that point. He didn’t consider their flirting real, but there was something about the message that must have been at least partly sincere.
"Fine, I will message him later. Namjoon should be here in a few minutes, so let’s not talk about it," Taehyung almost whispered as if somebody was eavesdropping.
Ten minutes later, everybody was present, and they started talking about their days. Taehyung remembered Jungkook’s interaction with Yoongi the other day and smiled when he saw his friends bickering. Friendship was important to him, he felt the need to be around people. People he could trust, people who genuinely liked him. And he was sure the four men sitting next to him definitely did meet those conditions.
"Can’t we have a decent dinner for once? Why do you always have to get a pizza?" Jimin’s manager, Kihyun, asked. "Aren’t models supposed to be careful with what they eat?"
The best friends shared an eye contact and started laughing without saying anything, getting confused looks from their friends. Kihyun was right in a way, they really had to watch their food and not eat junk too often, but they could never say no to pizza.
"So," Jimin spoke once they ordered, looking at Hoseok, "What was that about Seokjin?"
Taehyung quickly processed the words and remembered their friend mentioning having something with the model. Immediately he mimicked Jimin, intertwining his fingers, resting both of his elbows on the table and leaning forward. The managers laughed at their acting while Hoseok looked flustered.
"Uh, I mean, we’ve been on a date or five," he said quickly.
"Might have been more, I’m not sure," Hoseok worried on his bottom lip, avoiding the eye contact.
"How come you didn’t tell us!" Taehyung shook his head.
Hoseok talked about how he met Seokjin at a photoshoot that dragged for a few days and how the model flirted with him before he asked him out after their last session. Honestly, Taehyung could totally see those two together, they were both very open minded and friendly, not to mention their humor was similar which was important for people like them.
Once their food arrived, they were silent for they wanted to enjoy their meals. Kihyun spoke right when Jimin was about to take a sip of his drink, "Oh, I just remembered. I heard that the mafia guy, what was his name again, " he paused to think for a few seconds, "Bogum! Right, so apparently he’s back."
"Who?" Taehyung asked even though he heard what Kihyun said clearly.
Jimin almost choked on his drink when he heard the name. "Oh look at that! It’s already dark outside, we should go home. Let’s go Tae," he said as he quickly tried to grab their things and make a run for the exit.
"Jimin, it’s okay. I’m over it," Taehyung placed a reassuring hand on the older’s arm, making him sit down again.
"Park Bogum. You guys act like you know him personally," Kihyun said carefully.
"He’s my ex," Taehyung forced a smile. "Anyway, I thought he was in jail?"
After Taehyung broke up with Bogum, his ex-boyfriend would never leave him alone. He would stalk him and ruin his dates and relationships. Taehyung didn’t understand why because he was the victim, not the other way around. Bogum was really sweet at first but after a while Taehyung realized he was shady, which was confirmed when he was accused of several crimes.
"I’ve heard about it too," Namjoon sighed. "Apparently, his mafia or whatever they call themselves paid ransom to get him out. You need to be careful Tae."
"There is a reason why the world has yet to discover my home! I’m a careful person Joonie!" he said proudly.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed!
Come & talk to me on TWT if you wish, I am always open to new friendships!~