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you're only brave in the moonlight

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You're only brave in the moonlight
So why don't you stay till sunrise?

Your body's looking good tonight
I'm thinking we should cross the line
Let's ruin the friendship, let's ruin the friendship
-Demi Lovato, Ruin the Friendship


There are several things that suck about being head over heels in love with one particular Kim Taehyung. 

The first: Kim Taehyung is the very definition of exuberant extrovert. A hopeless romantic, open to the giving and receiving of affection to literally every human he interacts with (and dogs, most especially dogs). He loves everyone he’s ever met. Anyone.

Which is to say, there is no mathematical equation or scientific experiment to work out and see whether Taehyung loves one Park Jimin the most.

The second: Kim Taehyung is not the jealous type, as far as Jimin knows. Or if he is, he’s the world’s greatest fucking actor (which to be fair; Taehyung is pretty great. His performance in the sophomore spring show made Jimin cry, even though he knew Taehyung’s lines by heart because he’d helped Taehyung memorize in their dorm room for weeks. He knew the whole play, saw the whole thing coming he still cried. Jimin never cries).

The fact is, Jimin can wax poetic about whatever dick he may be getting and Taehyung does—nothing. Smiles and enthusiastically congratulates Jimin, offers up a dorky high five. One time he even baked Jimin a “CONGRATS ON THE SEX” cake as a joke. It doesn’t matter that Jimin is lying. It doesn’t matter that Jimin hasn’t gotten laid in months because every time he gets close he just thinks about how he wishes the guy was someone else.  

Kim Taehyung has ruined everything, even no-strings-attached no-fucks-given sex, and Jimin doesn’t even get the satisfaction of knowing he can make Tae jealous over it.

The third: Because of the listed reasons above, Kim Taehyung is pretty impossible to read. Even for Jimin, who’s really good at reading people.

He’s pure to a fault, and on top of it, of course, they’re best friends. So Jimin has no way of knowing if Taehyung’s playful I would die for you’s are meant to be romantic or platonic. He doesn’t know how to subtly convey how he feels about Taehyung because by this point, they’ve said all there is to say. They’re long past the novelty of I love you, and you’re adorable and you’re so important to me. Honey I’m home was a daily greeting for them after the first week of rooming together freshman year. Even the I’m in love with you is said casually, so casually.

If there were lines to Not Cross in the beginning of their friendship, they’ve been blurred out completely by now. Jimin’s got no clue how to change track. He’s not the best with talking about how he feels, those real true deep-down-oh-god-get-those-emotions-away-from-me feels. But on the other hand, he also doesn’t know how to casually imply he wants to sit on Taehyung’s dick without more or less being like hey Kim Taehyung I want to sit on your dick.

An impasse, of sorts.

The final thing that sucks: There is a tiny (i.e., huge, gigantic and terrified) part of Jimin that almost doesn’t want to know what his best friend really thinks of him. It probably has to do with the solid 50% chance that all of Taehyung’s warmth and light and love for Jimin is entirely Platonic and Not At All Gay. And while they’ve seen each other in a myriad of compromising positions in their three years of being roommates and best friends, Jimin would take all of his most embarrassing and horrifying moments combined over the single possibility of rejection. Like, that might actually fucking kill him. Most days, he doesn’t even want to know the truth.

There are reasons, very specific reasons that justify why—in three years of being hopelessly pathetically in love with his best friend—Jimin has not said a single word. Certainly hasn’t made a single move or attempt at a pass.

But when it comes down to it, three years is a long time. A very long time.

So when Jimin’s dam breaks, it breaks hard.



Finals week ends like a fizzled out dud of a firework, quiet and anti-climactic. Summer trailing on the heels of their junior year in a trickle of warm balmy weather. There’s a lazy evening breeze drifting through the window of the apartment that both he and Taehyung share. A breeze that smells like the sea, come all this way to visit smoggy Seoul. On any other day Jimin would probably perch in the window, do some pilates as the sun sets, breathe in and out and in again and think of home.

Tonight, however, he walks with purpose down the hallway away from his bedroom. He’s on a mission. This is the moment. About two hours of planning and another three hours of preparation and general hype has gone into this and he’s not about to fuck it up.

Because it’s summer, which marks several long months of Dick Drought. Because it’s summer, and apparently the temperature rising above eighty is all it takes for him to snap.

Because it’s summer, and Kim Taehyung came home from the library last night and was singing to himself as he scarfed down leftover takeout and asking about Jimin’s day and Jimin thought to himself I am going to climb you like a fucking tree.

Jimin is frustrated, desperate, and horny, which is not a good combination to begin with on an average person.

For someone as single minded as him, it’s downright deadly.

He eases the door open a crack, peers in. Target spotted. 

“Tae-tae.” Jimin’s knuckles smart when he raps them sharply on the door frame. “Can I come in?”

Target in question raises his head, shifting one headphone away. He smiles wide. “Sure, but I gotta warn you, I’m in the middle of comp mode.”

He doesn’t turn away from his computer where—Jimin holds back a great sigh and eye-roll—Taehyung is playing what looks to be Overwatch on the computer.

There’s a tinny crackle on the earphone speakers followed by a, “Hi hyung!”

welcome to your tape, jeon jeongguk, Jimin thinks to himself, before pasting a beatific smile on his face. “Hi Kookie. You mind if I steal Tae for a second?”

“Can’t it wait?” Taehyung starts clicking furiously on the keyboard. 

No. “I mean,” Jimin does sigh now, a small one. “I guess it can. It’s not a big deal anyhow.”

He can’t help but feeling the slightest bit guilty for the voice he uses. It’s a practiced art by now, using just the right amount of pout to trigger Taehyung’s Jimin-Sonar. Somewhere in his best friend’s brain there’s a sixth sense specially dedicated to knowing when Jimin is anywhere near upset on the emotional spectrum, and Jimin just exploited the hell out of it.

Taehyung turns fully now, headphones slipping around his neck. He’s got on a loose dress shirt, unbuttoned down past the sternum. Like he couldn’t be bothered to change after getting out of exams and just decided to undo as many buttons as possible to let air in. The sliver of skin there looks warm. Golden.

Jimin’s guilt evaporates in the same span of seconds it takes his mouth to go dry.

“Kookie can wait,” says Taehyung, followed by a short outburst of noise from the headset that Jimin’s pretty sure is Jeongguk shouting a variety of expletives as Taehyung’s character immediately dies in the game. Taehyung clicks out of the window, giving Jimin his full and undiluted attention. “What is it?”

“I need—,” he bites his lip, licks over the swell, wills heat and color into his cheeks. “I need a favor.”

“Anything. What’s up?” Taehyung scoots forward in his wheelie chair, knees spread, practically an open invitation to sit.

Patience, Park Jimin.

This next part’s the tricky part. Jimin’s never been a particularly outdoorsy person, but when he was a kid his dad got obsessed with fly fishing. Dragged Jimin out to the fucking forest creek to teach Jimin how to wade out into the shallows and catch fish.

It was a miserable time and Jimin nearly threw up when his dad caught one and proudly touted it around. The blood made him nauseas and the trip was short lived. But he did manage to learn a little something about waiting. About bait. About casting the reel and trusting that it will be swallowed whole: hook, line and sinker.

Jimin purses his lips just so, like he’s sad, or put out. Leans his hip against the door frame and hunches a bit and he inhales, pauses, and inhales again like he’s trying to find the right words.

“Well, I’m trying to take nudes for this dude I’m exchanging pics with on Grindr, but I can’t get the angle right. And I was wondering if you could, um, help me.”

He finishes off the utter lie with another furious blush, setting his gaze on the floor.

It’s not weird that he’s asking this. Maybe for other best friends it is, maybe for people who aren’t as close, but it’s not weird for them. Jimin has seen Taehyung naked and Taehyung has seen him naked almost way too many times to count. They’ve showered together a few times, pressed for time and too impatient to care about modesty. They've even—on one Must Not Be Named Occasion that involved too much soju and the persuasion of Jeon Jeongguk—had a dick measuring contest (it was freshman year. Not their first time drunk, but definitely their first time this drunk. Jimin had drunkenly surveyed his own dick in hand, embarrassingly smallish in comparison Taehyung’s, and promptly wanted to shrivel up and die).

So it’s not weird that Jimin is asking this. It’s new, sure, but it’s only weird if Taehyung makes it weird. If Taehyung says something along the lines of “oh gross ew” or “No Homo, Dude” or “I hate you Park Jimin”. But Taehyung isn’t like that at all. Jimin wouldn’t be asking if he were. 

He casts the bait and throws all caution to the wind. Waits.

Taehyung smiles, like it’s nothing. “Sure thing, show me what you got." 




“Well, actually I was hoping that you could take them for me.” Jimin keeps his eyes down, feigning sheepishness, even though he’s feeling goddamn triumphant in this moment. “My iPhone doesn’t really work  with the lighting and you’re such a better photographer than me. You’ll make it all pretty and artsy and professional.”

“I’m hardly a professional. I’ve taken like one class, Jimin.”

“Yeah, but you did those extra seminars with the nude models! You know what you’re working with.”

Although Jimin is lying about pretty much everything else, he’s not lying about this. Taehyung is good, and Jimin isn’t saying that just because he’s thirsty. The boy’s got an eye for the human frame and how it looks in composition to colors, objects, other humans. The talent is undeniable—no matter how much of a novice Taehyung may humbly claim to be. Like his knack for fashion, or his appreciation of art and classical music, it comes naturally.

Taehyung’s just one of those people who is good at seeking out the beautiful things in the world that others often miss. He’s got an eye for the soft and unnoticed, Jimin sees it in his eyes when he talks, feels it in that odd ache that sometimes sits in his chest after their conversations. 


“C’mon.” Jimin smiles sweetly, eagerly. “Let’s go to my room. You can critique my back-lighting and everything.”

“You had me at ‘back-lighting’.”

He turns with a breathy laugh, and saunters down the hallway. Saunters because it’s the only way to describe the particular way Jimin moves his hips, making his body sinuous, moving like liquid. You don’t spend eighty percent of your time in a dance studio to not know the subtle difference between a strut and a sway, and he makes sure his hips are doing the latter like it’s effortless. Like it’s breathing. Shit’s tried and true. And were this any other queer dude on the planet, Jimin would have him on his fucking knees already.

But Jimin’s always liked a challenge anyhow. 

He’d done all the prep work earlier, but Jimin’s still quite proud of the way his room looks as they enter. It’s not exactly Mr. Grey’s Red Room by way of theme, but the suggestion of sex is definitely there. In the low lighting that emanates from the small lamp at his desk. In the way the bed is made up, clean sheets with covers pulled back just so, like an invitation. In the smell that wafts from the tea lights Jimin’s got lined up on the window sill (cedar scented—Taehyung had bought one from a dollar store six months back and burned it down to the wick within five days, he loved it that much. The dollar store was out by the time he went back for more, but Jimin had already ordered in bulk online).

The only thing Jimin left out was mood music. Taehyung, bless his heart, prefers classical. And while Jimin is flexible in many ways, he’s not about to get dicked down to fucking Clair de Lune, no thank you. And Taehyung wouldn’t take well to Jimin’s own preferred mix of Usher and Kehlani either. So it’s quiet, yes, but the rush and shudder of the city outside, the breeze in between buildings and the traffic in the street, that’s its own kind of music, its own sort of sensual beat.

Jimin can work with that. 

“Um, okay.” Taehyung’s brow is furrowed, like he’s concentrating. His eyes are everywhere but on Jimin. Taking in the light and dimension, like he’s never actually seen this room before. “Hm. Okay. Let’s see. What sort of angle were you going for?”

Jimin silently gestures at the vanity mirror. “I was playing with my reflection a little bit earlier. Something over the shoulder that captures the front. I dunno. Something like that.”

“Hm.” Taehyung’s brow furrows further, focused as ever. Not at all concerned that they’re discussing taking nude photos. He doesn’t even look remotely flustered, Jimin wants to shake him a little bit, especially as he tosses Jimin a grin and says, “Not to sound sleazy, but—why don’t you change into something more comfortable? Unless you want to take tasteful nudes in Hobi-hyung’s gay sweater and dance leggings.”

Jimin laughs, steps into the bathroom quickly to change. Taehyung’s right, he does need to slip into something comfortable. He’d briefly debated stepping out of the bathroom the room stark naked and going for shock value.

He settles for the next best thing instead.

Amazon Student Prime membership, though on the pricey-side for a broke college student, is the blessing in disguise that Jimin never knew he needed; a fact he learned two months into the fall semester when one night—one very, very messy night—he drunkenly indulged in a shopping spree at 3 a.m. He can’t remember the exact reason he felt the need to do such a thing, but he’s positive it has something to do with either Seokjin or Hoseok yelling, “TREAT YOURSELF BITCH” after a bottle of wine.

Alcohol and Jimin had never been a better combination than the moment a package showed up at his door two days later. No explanation. Just a gift note that said “To Jimin, Love Jimin” and three items: a bullet vibrator, a snapback with gold embossed letters S-E-N-P-A-I that was going to make a perfect gag gift for Yoongi-hyung, and a silk robe. 

It’s the latter item that Jimin’s putting to good use now—the true MVP of the treat yourself extravaganza. The little silk number was meant originally for lounging and pampering but really turned out to be the sexiest item of clothing that Jimin has ever owned, bar none. He slips his arms through the sleeves and ties it tight at the waist, eyeing himself in the mirror quickly, taking in the black silk with red blooming flowers. It’s slinky and soft against his skin and falls about the tops of his thighs and it makes Jimin feel damn powerful. Which is exactly what he needs in moment, the sensation of satin courage for what comes next.

Jimin takes a deep breath. Walks out of the bathroom. Makes sure to walk within Taehyung’s line of vision, makes sure that he sees, because the wrapping is just as important as the unwrapping. He faces the mirror, pretends to fix his hair, not paying Taehyung any attention, while also paying him every ounce of attention he has.

The slightest tug is all it takes, fingers working with practiced efficiency. Soft rustle of fabric hitting carpet as the robe slips from Jimin’s shoulders drops to the floor to an almost a deafening silence.

Almost—save the for cut off choking noise that Taehyung makes behind him.

It takes every ounce of Jimins’ self-discipline not to smile. He doesn’t look at Taehyung. Doesn’t need to. Jimin knows what he looks like, he knows the way the shadows are casting over his shoulders and his back, his ass. He looks over the arch of his shoulder, just barely chancing a glance back across the room.

Hook line sinker. Hook line sinker.

“I think this would make a good angle.” Jimin doesn’t bat his eyelashes so much as he just blinks. It has the same desired effect. “Should we get started then?

“I—I mean.” A pause, Taehyung swallowing. “I can get my camera?”

“That’d be best, yes,” Jimin says gently, stifling a giggle as Taehyung practically sprints from the room.

In the brief silence, a knot of nerves begins to form in Jimin’s stomach that lurches uncomfortably as he stands buck ass naked in the room. It’s warm outside. He’s not cold, or uncomfortable, but it starts like a whisper in his ear just the same.

But what if he doesn’t like you.

Jimin firmly pushes the thought away. He’s got this. He’s hot. And Taehyung may be hard to read but no one, no one, is immune to the sight of Park Jimin’s ass. Everything is fine tuned to perfection, Jimin made sure of it, and yet—

(And yet he’s just the slightest teeniest bit terrified. Sue him.)

“I’m thinking we go with the short telephoto lens? As opposed to the standard one?” Tae dashes back, panting, camera clutched in his hand.

“Whatever you think looks best, maestro,” Jimin coos, snapping to. He’s come too far to chicken out now.

“Right,” Taehyung says, frowning again. He takes a moment to fiddle with the light by Jimin’s desk but really—Jimin know he looks good regardless of the lighting. He’s ready to take some bomb ass nudes. This is what he tells himself as Taehyung lifts the camera.

“You ready?” Is Jimin imagining things—or is his voice trembling slightly?

Jimin nods, and the first audible click of the camera goes off before he’s even finished.

“Sorry,” Taehyung says sheepishly. “Trigger happy, I guess.”

He fiddles with the light at the desk some more. Walks a few feet to the right. Looks down. Starts clicking happily away. After a few minutes, the anticipation in Jimin’s gut fetters out into slight annoyance. Taehyung is quiet. Focused. Focused on the work.

Jimin lasts all of two minutes before:

“Am I doing alright here?” he asks, meaning to come off as flirty but really just sounding fucking desperate.

“Uh-huh.” Click. “Just keep doing that.” Click.

“Doing what?”


“Being Jimin.” Click click.

Jimin preens a little at the cheeky comment, can’t not. But right after that Taehyung lapses into the same cycle of activity—fiddling with the desk lamp, fiddling with the lens, taking a few experimental shots, not once saying a word—and before Jimin knows it another full minute has passed between them in total silence and he kind of wants to die.

It’s not that Jimin is a needy bitch. It’s just that he likes knowing when he’s doing shit right. Since fucking grade school when he earned the most gold stars on the good behavior chart out of everyone in the class, since he worked his ass off to be class president consecutive years, Jimin has liked being told he’s good.

It’s just that he works hard at a lot of shit—his grades, his body, dance, friendships—and he likes being acknowledged for it. Likes knowing he’s on the right track.

It’s not that Jimin is a needy bitch.

(It’s just that one time—after a particular long and grueling dance showcase that Jimin poured literal blood sweat and tears into rehearsal for—Taehyung showed up at the kiss ’n cry with a bouquet of flowers and squeezed Jimin’s cheeks and yelled, “LOOK AT YOU. YOU MAGNIFICENT SHIT. I’M DEAD. I’M SO PROUD. YOU DID SO GOOD. LOOK AT HIM. LOOK AT MY BEST FRIEND. LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL VERY GOOD VERY HARDWORKING MAN” and that night Jimin got home and jerked himself off with those words swimming his head and came so fucking hard he nearly cried.)

He just doesn’t like to be ignored. Full stop.

Change of tactic happens in a heartbeat. Jimin sighs again, turning fully. “Can I see what you’ve got so far?”

“Ah.” Taehyung glances uncertainly at the screen of the camera, shrugs. “Sure, if you want.”  

When Jimin comes over, Taehyung’s gaze is weirdly fixed on the floor and that—that doesn’t sit well with him. 

Jimin knows what he looks like. He knows. He knows he’s hell on wheels, sex on legs, skin soft all over and glowing in the lamp light, like he’s covered in fairy dust. He shaved, moisturized, primped every square inch of himself; there’s no reason in the world Taehyung shouldn’t be paying him attention.

Gently, standing probably too close for comfort, he lifts the camera from Taehyung’s hands, sifts through photo after photo. Here, he thinks with an inward smirk, here is the proof. He was right, he looks good.

Shit, he looks damn good. 

Taehyung—in a way that only Taehyung can—has made Jimin look like the sort of vixen that you see on old pin-up calendars, glamorous and sexy and yet somehow not trashy or pornographic. Even with his nipples peaked in the exposed air of the room, even with the curve of his ass at the base of the frame, even with the blurred yet deliberate shape of his cock reflecting in the mirror, heavy between his legs.

The Jimin beyond the lens is seduction itself. Hell, Jimin would fuck Jimin beyond the lens. That motherfucker’s a work of art.

On spring break of their sophomore year both Jimin and Taehyung had elected to stay on campus together while everyone else went home. Neither of them were from Seoul, so they set out every day to explore what they couldn’t with class schedules. No destination in mind, no assignments to worry about. They could go wherever, and go they did. Tourist traps, parks, market places. They ate whatever was closest whenever they got hungry and didn’t call a cab home until long after the sun went down at the end of each day. 

Towards the end of the week the rains came, heavy and thick. Taehyung dragged Jimin into a museum in retreat, just until the rain stops jiminie, I promise.

The rains did stop, but Taehyung had plopped on the bench in the center of the gallery and wasn’t showing any intentions of moving. He’d gone uncharacteristically still, legs crossed, leaning forward slightly, eyes wide as he stared at the paintings around them, lips parted with wonder. Jimin had never seen that sort of look before. It made his chest pang, the openness, the reverence laid bare. 

(Jimin thinks, sometimes, that that’s when he first began to notice it. Not where it started, but when he took notice. It was like being pick-pocketed in a way, not realizing that your wallet had been swapped for a stone until long after you got home. He was never quite sure what went missing in the midst of those wandering spring days with Taehyung, or when—he was only aware of the particular kind of ache it left behind. Soft and tender as a bruise.)

Taehyung’s gone and turned Jimin into something worthy of a museum. Worthy of being looked at for hours at a time. Only he’s not looking now. 

Everything suddenly feels very overwhelming and not at all in Jimin’s grasp the way he thought it was.

“I know they’re not ideal,” Taehyung speaks, nervously clearing his throat. “I still think the lighting needs work.”

“Yeah,” says Jimin, throat dry, “It’s the lighting.”

Taehyung must hear something in his voice. “You don’t like them?”

“Let’s just try again.”

Taehyung resumes his spot a safe few yards away, this time flicking on the bathroom light, telltale rattle of the fan inside kicking up. Another silence as he presses buttons on the camera, checks Jimin through the lens. The longer the silence drags on, the longer Jimin gets nervous, feels out of his own element. There had been a plan, but he’s finding it kind of difficult to remember any part of it right now.

In the mirror, he can’t truly make out Taehyung’s face—ducked behind the camera as he is. It’s like standing behind one way glass, being this exposed in front of someone he can’t even see. Jimin darts a glance over his shoulder, shy despite himself, only to realize that Taehyung can see everything he does through the lens even closer than normal.

Get a grip, Jimin. This isn’t a fucking wedding night where he’s being deflowered for the first time. This is a seduction, where nudity is no big deal and skin is skin. That is all. 

That is all, and yet he finds his gaze skittering down to the floor instead of staring Taehyung down the way he’d meant to. And suddenly, all of this is too soon, too fast, too much, before it’s even goddamn started. He has fucked and been fucked but for some reason—for some damn indiscernible reason—standing here doing no fucking whatsoever is the most exposed he’s ever felt. He can no longer handle being naked in front of his best friend.


“Get on with it, punk.” The shaky laugh sounds more nervous than chiding.  He breathes in, wills the thundering of his heartbeat to slow. He’s going to do this right or he’s not going to do it all. One fucking brick at a time. 

So they get on with it. It’s somehow even harder than the first round. The clicking of the camera feels like a ticker on a bomb.

There’s a difference, see. In being naked and then feeling naked. One is a fact, the other is a sensation, one that overtakes his body with a flush. Jimin watches Taehyung not watching him—not the way Jimin needs him too—and feels hot and embarrassed and nervous and small and stupid all at once. 

It’s seriously fucking with Jimin's head is what it’s doing. But then, maybe he was a fool to think he was anything but fucked in the head from the start when it comes to Taehyung.

Taehyung, who Jimin clearly misread the fucking signs with and who is clearly not interested in fucking Jimin.

Taehyung lowers the camera again, catching something in Jimin’s expression. “We’ve got some pretty good ones, if you want to stop.”

“Agh,” he finds himself saying, because he’s just that fucking weak. “Just forget it. Maybe I’m having a bad photo day.”

“Is that a thing?”

“That is definitely a thing, Tae.”

“Not for you, I think.”

“Ha.” Jimin eyes the robe on the floor wearily. Would he be too obvious if he picked it up and put it back on? There’s no way Taehyung wouldn’t notice how uncomfortable he is.

“What’s wrong?”

Too late.

“Nothing,” Jimin says, crossing his arms over his naked chest. He suddenly wants to literally run from the room and never be seen again. He’s so stupid. “Just feel like the guy won’t like any of these. It’s not you, you did great! It’s—I just look weird.”

A long pause. Jimin can only look at the floor. 

“I’ll just sext him,” he says miserably. He suddenly wants this whole interaction over as fast as possible. “I’m a good sexter. There are other ways to get a dude to want to fuck you than nudes, haha.”

What had he been thinking? That Taehyung would see his naked body—something he has seen plenty of times before—and get down on one knee for a proposal? That Jimin being suggestive would somehow get Taehyung to notice him as more than a friend? If Taehyung is the purest person Jimin knows, maybe he can’t be corrupted. Hell, maybe he doesn’t even care about sex. There’d been a few guys Taehyung had dated their first year but, beyond that? He didn’t seem to care much for hookups. Oh god, what if Jimin was just making him uncomfortable, and if so, how hard would it be to kick over one of those tea light candles and set himself on fire? 

If Jimin stands still enough, barely breathes, maybe Taehyung will just leave the room. Leave Jimin to disintegrate in peace. He wants Taehyung to leave, just please leave.

He’s halfway to opening his mouth to ask for exactly that when—

“No offense, Jimin. But if this guy doesn’t doesn’t like photos of you, he doesn’t deserve to be looking at you. Let alone fuck you.”


All the air rushes out of Jimin’s lungs. Something in the air physically shifts. Like the zing in the air just before a lightning storm, like walking out of an air conditioned apartment and into the boiling heat in the middle of summer—a change rapid and startling and knocking him flat.

For a second, Jimin honestly thinks he’s hearing things.

Then there’s a careful thud on the dresser, the camera being put down. When Jimin looks up at the mirror, Taehyung is looking back. Eyes locked in reflection that do not shy away. Not as a vivid blush floods Jimin’s face. Not as Taehyung steps closer. There’s no reading what the expression on his face means, like he’s in a trance.

Like he can’t look away.

“Wh—what are you even saying?” Jimin asks, defensive, somehow embarrassed and turned on all at once. He doesn’t understand what’s happening. Or, maybe he does, but it had seemed so unlikely just a moment ago that the sudden reality of it sends him into a near panic.

“I’m saying,” Taehyung says slowly, deliberately, in a tone that’s unlike anything Jimin’s ever heard before, “If he can’t appreciate you, then that’s his loss. Not yours.” 

And then—oh god—and then Taehyung is there, having crossed the space of the room in a single breath. Jimin didn’t even notice, he was too busy looking into the pretty shape of Taehyung’s eyes and trying to decipher the meaning there. Whether it was worry or apprehension or fear. But now Taehyung’s here, and there’s no wondering anymore, no searching to find the meaning. His eyes are hooded and dark. His lips are parted as he looks at Jimin. His voice is so damn deep.

“You deserve to be appreciated. Anyone who can’t do that is wasting your time.”

When Taehyung’s hand falls to Jimin’s waist, it’s barely even a touch—just the pads of his fingers over the jut of Jimin’s hip. He would doubt the gesture entirely were it not for the fact that he can see it, plain as day, in the mirror. 

Barely a touch, but something beneath Jimin’s abdomen throbs, everything in him coiling tight.

“This okay?” Taehyung whispers. He’s not touching anything except for where his fingertips ghost over Jimin’s waistline. Jimin can’t speak. He only nods. “Look at you. Are you looking, Jimin-ah?”

Fuck. Jimin’s looking. Jimin’s looking at Taehyung’s lips at the nape of his neck, at his fingers at his hips, inches away from his cock—which is beginning to get obviously hard. 

Jimin’s looking, feels that he could come just from that. Taehyung’s barely touched him.

“Look at you,” Taehyung repeats. “Who wouldn’t want you?”

Jimin, never one for swooning before dicks are touched, visibly shivers. Sucks his bottom lip between his teeth to avoid making any noise.

Taehyung’s warm breath against his skin is a new sensation unto itself. They’ve fallen asleep together a thousand and one ways, curled up like kittens, Taehyung’s deep puffs of air and occasional snores their own lullaby. Jimin knows all the sounds Taehyung makes—the breathy timbre of his laugh,  the shuddery way he cries. There’s nothing truly unfamiliar here. Not in a way Jimin can put his finger on. There’s that same comfort and surety, only it’s different. It’s so different.

Before Jimin can start to overanalyze, something soft presses in the juncture between his neck and collarbone and it is unmistakably, devastatingly, Taehyung’s mouth. Jimin bites down on his lip even harder. Taehyung’s hand curls around Jimin’s hip fully, no longer a suggestion of touch. His hand feels large—is large—where it grabs hold. Jimin shivers all over again, tips his head back in hopes that Taehyung will put his mouth there again and again and—

“Open your eyes, Jiminie.”

Jimin, who couldn’t even remember shutting them in the first place, does.

Jesus fuck.

There they are. In the mirror. It’s a testament to Jimin’s self control that he doesn’t outright moan at the sight. There’s something bizarrely erotic about being naked while Taehyung is clothed. Jimin’s not sweating, but the flush all across his face and chest imply he’s about to be. The eye contact between them is a tangible thing, and Jimin burns with it. Taehyung’s hand looks so big where it holds him. He can’t stop looking at it.

And now Taehyung is smiling against his skin, and it’s kind of goofy and lopsided and wholly recognizable and Jimin is a weak bitch in how it doesn’t kill his boner any less.

He waits, practically shaking with anticipation, for Taehyung to do something. Wrap a hand around his cock, throw him over his shoulder, hell, whatever. He waits for Taehyung to say something lewd or suggestive that clues Jimin in on how bad he wants his ass. He waits for it.

“See? You’re beautiful.”

It’s not the line Jimin had been expecting, and he loses his breath all over again.

Beautiful. Not sexy or hot. But beautiful. 

Jimin loses his mind and spins around and kisses him.

There’s no time to waste. Jimin’s all tongue and heat and nipping teeth, pressing his body flush against Taehyung’s. He knows all the little ways to be that make boys want him. He’s never not won this game. He is hungry and shameless and when he gets the chance to grope Taehyung’s ass he does not even hesitate.

In all of this, however, he forgot that he was kissing Taehyung.

Taehyung, who once cried for an hour when he accidentally hit a pigeon with his car while driving through a storm.

Taehyung, who gasps and dissolves into wordless baby talk whenever he sees a dog or a small child.

Taehyung, who unironically uses the phrase “make love” in conversation and manages to make it sound not abhorrent to Jimin’s ears.

Taehyung, who Jimin has known for years and still feels kind of terrified of somedays. Most days.

Jimin knows all the tricks to get boys to want him, but Taehyung’s playing another game entirely, and it’s one that Jimin is going to lose. This much is clear the very second Taehyung begins to kiss him back. 

Large, careful hands frame Jimin’s face, pulling him up onto his toes, pulling him even closer. He waits for the ass grab, the groping, the backward dance towards the bed; he’s thrown up all the signs and fuck he wants it. But none of that comes. If Taehyung saw the signs, he’s gunning in the opposite direction because instead—

Instead, there’s a thumb sweeping over his cheekbone, long fingers tilting his chin up, fitting to the shape of his jaw, a gentle thumb pressing at the corner of his mouth in the space between one kiss and another. There’s open mouthed kisses completely devoid of devious intent. Kissing for the sake of kissing.

Instead, there’s Taehyung.

If anyone else were kissing him this good—and fuck, it’s been months, fucking months—Jimin would be bent over in a second, all but gagging for it. But it’s Taehyung, so it’s confusing. Jimin is naked and wanton, but all he can think is about how gentle Taehyung is being, and how if Taehyung really wanted this, he’d be more obvious. Taehyung isn’t exactly good at subtlety.

What are you thinking, he wonders, as Taehyung continues to kiss him something sweet and timid, what the hell are you thinking you baffling ridiculous human being.

As good as the kissing is, Jimin can’t get into it. His thoughts are a rising flood for which there’s no storm drain, not with Taehyung’s lips against his. Jimin can’t take it. And because he’s a masochistic bastard without a single ounce of self control at best, he pulls away. 

Taehyung’s eyes are still closed, and they don’t flutter open until it’s been a few seconds. His gaze is sleepy, eyes hooded. His mouth is terrible.

“Do you not want me?” Jimin sounds angry as he says it.

“Um. No?”

“Then why are you—,” Jimin gestures at the air. “That.”

“Kissing you?” Taehyung’s eyes widen. “Did you not want—I thought.”

“No!” Jimin nearly shouts, then, “That’s not what I meant. It’s just,” he makes a strangled noise, “Kim Taehyung I am naked.”

“Oh, did you want me to be naked too?” Taehyung blinks, brow creasing, immediately reaching for the collar of his shirt.

Jimin, sure that seeing Taeyung shirtless is going to possibly break his entire brain, thus dismantling this conversation, slaps his hands on Taehyung’s shoulders, ending the stripping. “Jesus Christ, Taehyung. Answer me.”

“Ask me a rational question, Jiminie, and I’d be happy to.” Taehyung frowns, tone confused and just a little hurt.

Jimin takes a second, forces himself to breathe and slow down. His fingers are clenched in the material of Taehyung’s shirt. He can feel the warmth of him, wants to sink into it. Doesn’t let himself. Not until he’s sure.

“Do you want me,” he breathes, can’t even pitch his tone enough to make it sound like a question. He can’t look Taehyung in the eye again.

“Didn’t we already cover this? Who wouldn’t want you.”

“I mean,” Jimin says slowly, picking his words thought by thought. His face is burns with shame. “Do you, Kim Taehyung, want me like I want you. In a sexy way. In a gay way. In a ‘I am standing naked in front of you and that can only mean one thing’ sort of way. I don’t care if some rando wants me, or if the rest of the word wants me. None of that means shit if—if you don’t.”

There is a deafening, awful silence.

Taehyung’s shoulders start to shake.

For a horrifying second, Jimin thinks he’s actually crying. That he massively miscalculated, and now he’s destroyed their entire friendship, and Taehyung is openly weeping because he could never ever want to be associated in Jimin in a more-than-platonic way.

But there are no tears, only that ridiculous smile.

“Are you laughing at me?”

“Not at all,” Taehyung giggles, shaking his head, only to nearly fall over with laughing so hard.

“Tae this is so not funny!” 

“It’s a little funny,” he hiccups, “I mean gee, I dunno, Jimin. Do I want you? Was it the kissing that made it obvious? Or the me eagerly volunteering to take nude photographs of you?”

Jimin sputters and makes to retreat but Taehyung covers Jimin’s hands with his own, pulls Jimin back towards him. He’s still chuckling—the sound deep and rumbling against Jimin’s chest. Jimin wants to bash his head against the nearest hard surface in humiliation, settles for pressing his forehead into Taehyung’s shoulder instead. 

“But I’m naked.”

“Yes, this is true.” 

“You didn’t say anything. You didn’t do anything.”

“And you wanted me to—what—carry you over my shoulder barbarian style and have my way with you on the bed immediately?”

A ridiculous heat pools in Jimin’s cheeks and he firmly stamps down the tiny voice in his head that says yes.

The truth is that tends to be how things go for Jimin. There was one guy he’d dated a while back who seemed to like kissing more than actual sex, and Jimin had enjoyed that. But like. For the most part, most dudes were in a hurry to get to the main event.

Which is—fine. Jimin likes sex. He’s not about to act like guys who cut the bullshit are insulting. It’s just.

He’s never known anything but that.  

Taehyung shakes his head, smile fading slightly. “That’s not me. I mean—it is. Sometimes. But that’s like, sixth date me. Or, we’ve-been-married-for-seven-years-and-skip-the-foreplay-me. But I wanted to do it right. So while I appreciate the initiative on your part,” his eyes dart over Jimin’s body for the briefest moment, and Jimin finallythankgod sees the flicker of something darker there. “I wanted to do it right. I want to do it right. I want—”

“What.” Jimin hates how fucking cliche and breathless he sounds, but he can’t help it. He needs to hear it. It’s stupid, but he does. He’s not going to believe it otherwise.

“You, for starters,” Taehyung says, so earnestly, so simply, like it’s nothing. Like he’s not laying Jimin’s entire heart bare. “You, always. You, naked. But also clothed I suppose? I like it when you steal my sweaters. You in the mornings when your voice is all raspy and your hair is actually a mess. You when you’re really sleepy or drunk and you just latch on to the nearest human to hold onto, like a touchy starfish. Or a baby sloth. Or after practice when you’re exhausted and maybe a little cranky and sore. Also maybe when you’re acting silly. Your laugh is the cutest—gosh, Jimin, everything about you is, really.” 

“Shut up,” Jimin says, head dropping, voice muffled in Taehyung’s shoulder. “God, you’re the worst.”

Those gentle coaxing hands are back on his face again, tilting him upwards once more to look up. There’s a light in Taehyung’s eyes that’s damn near blinding. Happiness in the crinkles of his smile that makes Jimin want to run away but also maybe never move again.

“Of course I want you,” Taehyung says, and brushes his mouth over Jimin’s temple, right next to his ear. “Want you like crazy. What a stupid question.”

“You’re stupid.”

“You’re naked.”

“Yes,” Jimin says deliberately, and then raising an eyebrow in challenge. “Are you going to do something about it?”

“Maybe,” Taehyung says, something wicked in the word. “But right now, I just want to kiss you. That okay with you?”  

Once, a guy Jimin was sleeping with on the regular told Jimin he wanted to tie him to the bed and finger him to the edge and back for hours. Another guy said he wanted to rim Jimin until he cried. Another wanted Jimin to call him Daddy and ask for spankings as he came all over his face. Promises of getting fucked against various surfaces in public, getting fucked so fast and hard and deep he couldn’t walk straight the next day—that’s all well and good. But Jimin’s smart enough to know that words are just words, and while he loves to play along as much as anyone who wants to get laid, he takes them with a grain of salt. People tend to promise you lots of things when they want their dick inside of you.

The truth was that getting fucked within an inch of his life was always better in theory rather than execution; most guys simply can’t follow through. He appreciates dirty talk, all the buzz-words that are meant to make him tingle. Appreciates hearing all the ways he’s about to get wrecked, truly he does. But he tries not to get his hopes up too often.

I just want to kiss you.

It’s the last thing he expected to hear. Maybe that’s why Jimin’s entire body stands to in a way it never has before; skin flashing hot, breath catching in his throat, belly giving a low and telling pulse. He is suddenly and unbelievably turned on—anticipatory in a way that feels too much to bear. Like he’s standing in the roaring rapids of a river, scrabbling for purchase on the rocks and just trying to stay upright as the water rises. He hates it.

(He loves it.)

Jimin doesn’t trust himself to speak without saying something absolutely Too Gay, so he just sways forward instead. Feeling brave, feeling just a little woozy, he wraps his arms around Taehyung’s neck, and gives in to the current. Trusts Taehyung to read between the lines for both of them.

Taehyung does and—god.

Kissing feels like a new language in the space of this moment, one they’re both quick on the uptake with. Taehyung’s mouth is soft, coaxing. His hands settle on Jimin’s face again. Jimin’s impatient, Jimin’s already raring to skip to the main event because that’s what he’s used to but he forces himself still, forces himself not to think twelve steps ahead to the getting off part and instead be here.

Taehyung just wants to kiss him. So Jimin stays still and lets himself be kissed. Not a noise to be heard in the room but the catch of their lips. Shallow breath. A low hum in Taehyung's throat that Jimin realizes a second later is a moan against his mouth.

“Tae-tae.” He doesn't mean to sound so breathless and feel so dizzy, but here he is. The nickname's got Taehyung smiling, and Jimin kisses after that smile, surges up into it.

“Jiminie,” Taehyung says back, like this is the kind of moment that demands a call and response. He’s smiling so big, looks so quietly and incandescently happy. “My Jiminie."

His lips find Jimin's pulse again like before along the delicate skin of his throat. Jimin makes a rather ungodly sound. His hands fly up to grip in Taehyung's hair, no longer gentle, no longer able to stay still. The slower Taehyung is, the gentler, the more Jimin wants to rip his fucking clothes off.

"You like that?" Taehyung whispers against his throat, planting another deliberate kiss there, a little lower, against Jimin's adam's apple.

Taehyung's hands—the centerpiece of 80% of Jimin's wet dreams at one point or another—are still innocently holding his face, tilting back his chin. Jimin wants to point out that he'd like it even more if Taehyung were holding his ass, holding his cock, but he can't seem to speak. There are slow, torturously slow kisses moving up his neck, behind his ear. Teeth pulling on his earlobe, tonguing at the piercing there. No fucking way is Jimin going to be able to boss Taehyung around right now. Not when he's kissing him like that. 

So he nods, grips Taehyung harder, says with his body what his useless mouth is apparently too slack and mush-filled to articulate. Arches and presses himself against the line of Taehyung’s torso, shuddering as his cock drags against the material of Taehyung's jeans. It's a maneuver that unbalances them—which is exactly what Jimin wanted; Taehyung flails and grabs at Jimin's waist and ass to cover for the tipping sensation.

“Jesus,” Jimin hears, and only gets to giggle for a moment before Taehyung is crushing their mouths back together.

There is nothing sweet about this kiss. It's the kind of kiss that you read about in those terrible romance novels, where the fireworks burst and the fucking heavens align. Jimin can't exactly hear a choir of angels singing, but he can feel his toes curl against the carpet of their own accord. Can't help the way his mouth falls open when Taehyung’s tongue swipes over his bottom lip. The kiss becomes something just on the edge of hungry, desperate just as before, but it’s no longer just Jimin feeling that way. Like Taehyung put his hands on Jimin's bare skin and changed his mind about “just kissing” shortly after.

Jimin decides that he likes kissing Taehyung—loves it, even. He always kind of knew that if anyone's mouth was going to ruin him for anyone else it'd be Kim Taehyung’s. He wasn't prepared for the reality of it. The warm and the wet and the soft. The teeth tugging at his bottom lip. The way Taehyung seems to know exactly how Jimin wants to be kissed, exactly how he needs it.

Hips stutter suddenly as Jimin feels the hand on his ass move, kneading the muscle. Torn between pushing back into the hand for a better grip and rubbing himself off on Tae's thigh, Jimin finally resurfaces from muteness. Pulls his mouth from Taehyung’s to breathe, “Touch me. More. Please."

“Oh,” says Taheyung, like he's almost surprised to have gotten that response. The hand on Jimin’s waist skims over his back, the dip of his spine, feather-light. It settles on the curve of Jimin’s ass, no squeezing. All suggestion, no action. Jimin does moan now, frustrated.

“Touch me, fucker.”

“Aren't you going to say please?” Taehyung smirks, playful.

No. No, Jimin is not.

Taehyung’s back doesn't necessarily slam into the wall, but it does make a hard enough impact that a framed picture falls with a clatter to the floor. Jimin pins Taehyung with his hips, attacks with his mouth. He sets about mouthing the darkest mark he can against Taehyung’s collarbone, because he’s got a hunch that Taehyung likes that.

Taehyung does. His breath catches, and his hands—thank the Lord—latch on fiercely to Jimin's ass once more.

“Jesus—Jesus Christ,” Taehyung gasps, the sound hoarse enough that Jimin can't help but smirk a little. “Where'd you—what the fuck.”

“What the fuck?” Jimin parrots back, nipping at the elegant jut of his clavicle, tonguing at the divot between his shoulder and neck.

“You cannot expect me to speak coherently while you're doing—fuck—that.”

Jimin pulls back a little, smiling impishly. Waits.

"Okay okay,” Taehyung gasps, staring at the ceiling a bit dazed. He blinks rapidly, like he’s fighting back tears, or a raging boner, or both. “I just. Can't believe this is happening right now. I never thought—" 

"You never thought about this before? Us?” It doesn’t really come as a surprise, Jimin had been expecting it, after all.

"No. No.” Taehyung touches his nose to Jimin’s. “It’s more like ‘I never thought this was possible’. Sorry, that sounds weird.”

That stops Jimin short. He pulls back. "What do you mean?"

“Jimin, you've been with other guys the entire time we’ve been friends.Which there’s nothing wrong with,” he tacks on hurriedly, “Like, sleep with who you want. Be the hoe you want to see in the world. I just assumed that you’re the kind of person who would like. Be upfront about they want if they wanted it. That if you had one shred of romantic interest in me, you’d tell me.” 

“I was with those other guys because my first choice didn’t seem interested.”

Taehyung frowns. “Wait. Exactly how long have you wanted this?”

The brazen sex appeal Jimin had just been luxuriating in shrivels up and dies.

He hates talking about feelings—the reason he'd set up the whole elaborate plan had been because there’d seemed no other way. Going about this the romantic way—the decent way—felt somehow more humiliating than throwing his naked body at Taehyung and hoping for the best. Flawed logic, but Jimin felt like he had no choice. Taehyung had seemed so blissfully oblivious for so long that romance felt pointless. And Jimin, if anything, knows how to nail someone in the sack.

He bites his lip, dread sinking like a stone in his gut. “I don't know. Since last year. Maybe before that? I don't know it wasn’t...I guess it was a gradual thing? But it took me a while to like. Fully realize it.”

“And you didn't think to talk to me about it?  We tell each other anything.”

“Not this,” Jimin mutters. “Look. There was—a plan." 

“A plan.”

“A sexy plan.”

Taehyung chuckles, “Was the plan to willfully seduce me into falling in love with you? Giving me the lay of a lifetime so I never want to leave? Trap me with your succubus powers?”

It’s a joke, Jimin can tell by the teasing lilt of Taehyung’s voice. But when he doesn’t answer the question, the smile drops off Taehyung’s face like melting snow off a roof.

“Oh my god.” He looks absolutely amazed. “You were gonna seduce me. You were gonna be the puppet master who cursed my dick. You’re evil." 

“I didn’t know you liked me back!” squeaks Jimin. “I thought that I’d try an, uh, alternate approach.”

“You said you’ve wanted this since last year? Wanted me?”

Jimin nods, apprehensive.

“I’ve wanted it since freshman year,” says Taehyung, “Not that it’s a competition or anything.” 

An invisible fist squeezes Jimin’s heart where it sits between his ribs. “You—what?”

“You came into the dorm room, maybe the second week of classes? You just came from what must have been a six hour rehearsal but you brought me a extra milk tart from that bakery you stop by when you’ve had a bad day. You were sweaty and disgusting and exhausted but you thought to bring me a milk tart, just because you knew I liked them. That moment, right there. That’s when I knew. But I never—,” Taehyung blinks a bit wildly, casting about for the right words. “You seemed to be so happy casually hooking up with guys this whole time that I was sure it wouldn’t matter that I wanted more. But yeah. I've pretty much been a compass pointed Due Jimin for about three years now. And that’s not even an analogy for my dick.”

“Fuck,” Jimin laughs breathily, letting his forehead thump against Taehyung’s shoulder, curls his hands into the material of Taehyung’s shirt once more. They stand like that for a second, swaying into each other, breathing each other’s air. He’d needed that laugh. It’s a little embarrassing to feel so relieved and giddy, but he does.

The moment stills, and then it passes. Jimin looks up at Taehyung, leveling him with a firm look. “This is really romantic and all, but just so we’re clear: I still want to have sex.”

“Oh thank god,” Taehyung breathes, and they come together again.

Things get a bit hazy, a bit tangled. There’s hands on hips and tongues on skin. Breaths coming fast. Taehyung’s hand drifts upwards and swipes over Jimin’s nipple and Jimin pushes off his toes and keens into Taehyung’s mouth, a wet and gasping sound. 

“Sweetheart,” Taehyung mumbles sometime later, voice low and rumbling and sending a heavy pulse between Jimin’s legs. “As much as I’d like to be out of these clothes, I’m rather fond of them. Please don't rip them off my body.”

Jimin pulls away, grinning as he releases the shirt he’d been trying to more or less tear to shreds. “Sorry.”

“Don't be sorry,” Taehyung says, eyes dark and locked with Jimin’s as he makes quick work of the buttons on his shirt. “Where do you want—”

Jimin steps back in answer, holding that eye contact like a string pulled tight between them, beckoning Taehyung without a word. Sways his hips only a little bit, bites his bottom lip for an added effect.

Taehyung stumbles forward like a starving man headed for an oasis in the desert, mouth parted, gaze hungry. Jimin moves slow, takes enough time for Taehyung to at least be rid of his shirt, his undershirt, his jeans. But the time the back of Jimin’s legs hit the bed, Taehyung’s right there with him. Nearly naked. Tan skin flushed. A visible hard-on beneath his underwear. In the candle light casting flickering light and shadows over both of them, Taehyung is practically godlike. Broad. Glowing. Beautiful.

It’s a nearly painful decision for Jimin, deciding where to touch first.

He gives into selfish impulse and starts with Taehyung’s belly, spreads a single hand over the warm skin there. Taehyung’s head falls forward immediately.

Being a dance major means that Jimin spends most of his time with people busting their asses and counting calories to get the perfect six pack. It makes for a pretty picture on stage, after all, having washboard abs.  There’s none of that here; Taehyung’s belly is soft. It gives. Jimin wants to bend down and blow a raspberry into the warmth, and then maybe jack off until he comes all over Taehyung’s stomach. It’s a very conflicting feeling.

For now though, he just wants to touch. Drags his fingers over the curve of Taehyung’s torso, curious and reverent.

Taehyung is watching him, reduced to shivers under Jimin’s hands, breathing ragged. He’s standing so close. The nearness of him makes Jimin feel shy and bold in equal amounts. Shy in how he still can’t seem to look Taehyung in the eyes for too long, bold in how he spins them around in a heartbeat, pushing Taehyung down onto the mattress.

“Mmph,” Taehyung squawks, words cut off as Jimin crawls into his lap, knees planted on either side of his thighs, and kisses him.

Jimin often jokes that Tae’s lap is his favorite place to sit, and that’s true enough. But he’s never sat like this. Naked, facing Taehyung, cock hard and exposed between them. If there were a song playing right now, Jimin would be grinding down to the beat like he was being paid to do it. That’s where he’s at right now. That heavy shameless mind space where he just wants to feel good and make Taehyung feel good too.

He kisses every part of Taehyung’s mouth he can get to, losing himself a bit in the warmth he’s met with. Jimin’s not really a fan of tongue; most guys tend to use it too often and too soon, but leave it to Kim Taehyung to be a fucking expert. Leave it to Kim Taehyung to give Jimin the barest taste of his mouth and leave him wanting more.

They tip backwards, Taehyung making another startled muffled noise that Jimin eagerly swallows up. He’s outright rubbing off against Taehyung now, the drag of his cock against Taehyung’s stomach sending sparks dancing along his spine, spreading out to his limbs. Taehyung’s hands, those fucking long and beautiful fingers, find their way into Jimin’s hair and tug and oh, Jimin likes that. Likes that so much.

“Again,” he hums into Taehyung’s mouth, moaning when Taehyung acquiesces. There’s a pressure gauge in his gut spiking higher and higher, getting closer to a peak.

Only to be interrupted when Taehyung starts laughing again.

“Kim Taehyung I am going to murder—”

“Sorry, sorry, I just—I can’t believe you thought you had to trick me into sex,” Taehyung cracks up. “Me. Me, who once sprung a boner watching you cry during the Notebook. No, don’t look at me like that, this is hilarious. This is one of the funniest things that has ever happened to me.”

“Shut up, I had a plan!”

“Obviously. I’m lying naked underneath you, aren’t I?”

“This was not the plan!” Jimin near shouts, sitting up and covering his face with his hands. He’s naked and sexy as hell, and somehow mortified all over again. “I was supposed to be a succubus! A vixen! There weren’t supposed to be feelings, you ass, you were supposed to be seduced.”

“Aw, baby, nooooooo.” There’s a movement beneath him, and gentle fingers pry Jimin’s hands away from his face as a mouth—a soft, gorgeous, wet mouth—presses kisses against his wrist, the pad of his thumb, his palm, “No, don’t be upset, Jiminie.”

Jimin makes a whimpering noise, and the kisses descend, spreading warmth wherever they land. Palm to wrist, the tender skin over the bluish veins. Wrist to forearm, to elbow crease.

“I was supposed to break you,” he pouts. “I had a plan.”

“And you are doing amazing, sweetie,” Taehyung assures in a very serious voice that completely belies the stupid grin on his face. “Seriously. A-plus seduction. You’re doing so good. I am so seduced. My dick could cut diamonds right about now.”

“This is a disaster,” Jimin groans, as Taehyung smiles at him. 

“Maybe a little,” he admits. “Rest assured, I am completely broken. A mere shell of a man.” And then, he leans forward to press a decidedly more debaucherous kiss to Jimin’s shoulder, just enough teeth and tongue to get the point across as he speaks, “Now, about this ‘plan’ of yours—”

“Oh god stop—”

“What sort of tactics did you have in mind? Wanna hear them.”

“I—,” Jimin’s breath gets caught in his throat. He doesn’t know why it’s suddenly so hard to say. Especially when he’d been dead set on doing it. But he’s learned, or is learning, that hypotheticals are often extremely different from reality when it comes to Taehyung. It could happen exactly as Jimin planned, but there would still be twelve thousand layers of emotion and vulnerability tied into it that he could never predict. That’s how everything with Taehyung is. It’s more. More intense, more earnest, more terrifying. 

More real.

Like he senses the hesitation, Taehyung surges forward and kisses the words free, lips moving over Jimin’s in a dizzying and coaxing manner. It’s intoxicating, the way he tastes. Embarrassment fades away and all Jimin is left with are swollen lips and a mouthful of want.

“I wanted to ride you,” he whispers, punctuated by a moan as Taehyung worries at his bottom lip with his teeth. “Wanted to—ah, fuck—wanted to straddle you. Press you down into the mattress and fuck you like that.”

“You can,” Taehyung sighs into his mouth. “I’d let you.”

“Don’t want you to let me,” Jimin says fiercely. “I want you to want me.”

“Good song. Love that song.”


“Sorry sorry, what were we talking about? Oh right,” Taehyung’s voice shakes a bit, even as he’s teasing. “You riding me.”

Jimin nods, encouraged by the sound of Taehyung’s voice, grinding his hips down, slow and deliberate. He drags his fingernails down Taehyung’s back, just on this side of rough. “Wanted to make you feel good.”

Taehyung shivers and curses against his skin. “Always make me feel good. Not even a question.”

“Fine then. Wanted to drive you crazy.”

“Also a given. But—,” Taehyung’s slow growing smile is hungry. Jimin wants to be swallowed by him whole. “I’d love to see you give it your best shot anyhow.”

Best shot. Jimin sure can try. His hands may be small but it takes minimal effort to shove Taehyung so that he falls, huffing slightly, against the mattress. Tiny he may be but years of dance give him all the core strength he needs. Besides, it’s not like Taehyung is resisting. Let’s Jimin latch his mouth onto one of the darker marks he’d left on his golden skin. Jimin lays himself flat against Taehyung, skin hot, cock throbbing, body cresting like a wave over Taehyung’s wandering hands.

When Taehyung’s mouth finds Jimin’s nipple, Jimin realizes that this cute game of eager touches and kisses isn’t going to last much longer.

Blindly, he slips a hand under the pillow for one of the many strategically placed condoms and lube packets that he’d hidden around the apartment. Taehyung raises his eyebrows in question, but Jimin doesn’t have the patience to explain (he had to get creative, after all. There was always the chance of Taehyung wanting to fuck against the window—so Jimin even hid some in the ficus).

Jimin tears the first packet open when Taehyung’s fingers settle on his wrist.

“Let me.” His voice has gone dangerously deep again, dark brows pinched together in focus. “Want to.”

“You know what you’re doing?” Jimin says, an edge of challenge in his voice.

“Guess you’ll have to be the judge of that one,” Taehyung says, drizzling the lube over his fingers. “C’mere.”

He means get closer but the kiss is all too easy to fall into. They’re sitting up again, chests pressed together as they cling. Using his clean hand, Taehyung gently turns Jimin onto his back. Jimin lets his legs fall open and arches, breathing heavily, as Taehyung slides his hand down down down, over the slope of Jimin’s abdomen, down to the heat between his legs where Jimin needs him the most.

There’s a moment—brief, but a moment just the same—where Taehyung just stares at him in silence. He licks his lips, leans in.

“You’re a vision,” Taehyung says, then cringes. “Sorry, but you really are.”

Jimin whines despite himself. Taehyung’s words feel like touches in their own right, deliberate and purposeful in the way they fall on his skin. He cants his hips upwards, hoping Taehyung will get with the memo, but he doesn’t. He drops a kiss to the thin skin along the groove of Jimin's hipbone, drags his slippery fingers along the hard line of Jimin's cock.

“Oh.” Jimin’s mouth falls open, pleasure spiraling dizzyingly at the touch. “Please, Tae, I need—”

“I know, beautiful, I know,” Taehyung says gently, then seals his mouth around the tip of Jimin’s cock in one swift motion as his finger pushes inside Jimin.

Neither is enough on it’s own, but the combination brings Jimin terrifyingly close to the edge and back again in seconds. He’s trying to bite back the sounds caught in his throat, but Taehyung  takes Jimin deeper into his mouth—the slide of Jimin’s cock against his tongue hot and smooth and absolutely mind-robbing. Positively fucking obscene. Jimin can’t really help the noise he makes.

“Two,” he snaps a moment later, hips bucking up of their own accord. “I’m ready, fucker just—”

Taehyung chuckles, but Jimin feels the second finger, the stretch making him sigh, relax a little further into the mattress, into Taehyung's hand. Taehyung pulls his mouth from Jimin’s cock with a slick pop that has Jimin seeing stars, seeming content to look down at Jimin, eyelids at half-mast.  

“You always this impatient in bed?”

“Only when the guy is taking too long to cut to the the chase and fuck me,” Jimin says, pettiness rising in him. 

“You’re lucky I love you.”

It’s uttered like a caress, but Jimin knows manipulation when he sees it, playing about the corners of Taehyung’s shit eating smile. “You’re lucky I—oh fuck that’s it.”

It goes on like that for a whirlwind of minutes. Taehyung teasing Jimin and bickering back when Jimin threatens him within an inch of his life. Two, then three, fingers inside him.

“Let me up,” Jimin gasps. “C’mon, I’m ready.”

Taehyung, for once, listens. They maneuver wordlessly, a bit awkward. Taehyung letting out a huff as he falls back against the mattress, grunting as Jimin clambers over him, straddling his hips.

Jimin knows he needs to get on with it. But now, knowing how Taehyung likes things, he’s getting all kinds of ideas. He leans over, kisses Taehyung the way he wants to. The way he’s always wanted to. There’s heat between them, but it holds off for a pause.

He pulls down Taehyung’s underwear and—

“Holy hell,” Jimin exhales, and honest to god his mouth waters. Thirst has literal connotations, apparently.

Taehyung has the gall to look abashed. “Sorry.”

“You're officially not apologize for anything remotely related to your dick.” Jimin shakes his head. “It's a nice dick. It’s—,” he falters, biting his lip. “That is a very nice dick Taehyung. That is really—hell, can I—,” Taehyung nods dumbly, expression reverent, and so Jimin brings his hand up to sweep over the head of his cock, thumbing at the pre-cum that’s gathered on the tip, running his hand along the length in the lightest touch. 

Jimin’s been faced with his fair share of penises. He’s never really felt shy about touching one, not since his first few fumbling encounters with sexual experimentation. Taehyung’s packing, but Jimin’s known that since they drunkenly measured their dicks freshman year. But it’s different looking at a dick strictly for ego purposes and for—this.

Taehyung is fully hard, cock heavy and leaking and in Jimin’s hand. For something Jimin had spent so much time imagining, the reality is a bit tilted from how he’d pictured it. He had never imagined his heart to be in his throat. For something he’s familiar with to feel so intensely vulnerable.

For fuck’s sake, Jimin thinks firmly to himself, it’s just a handjob. Don’t make it sappy. He gives Taehyung a solid stroke.

“Ah,” Taehyung shudders beneath him, makes a sound so delicate and wounded that Jimin aches with curiosity. If his hand brings on this, what kind of unholy noise would Taehyung make when Jimin’s got his cock in his mouth?

But they don’t have time for that. They’re both fast hurtling toward the point of no return and Taehyung hasn’t even indicated that he wants it. Which again, throws Jimin off a little. He’s more used to giving head than he is to receiving it. This whole tryst really has been one revelation after another.

He jerks Taehyung’s cock a few times, getting it slick, getting it harder, watches Taehyung’s face closely, the slack of his soft mouth, drinking in the noises falling on his ears like music, the pretty rose blush on his cheeks.

Normally, with hookups, the real job for Jimin is finding some way to get them to shut the fuck up so he can get off. So many guys do this Thing where they think they have to sound super manly during sex—deep caveman grunts that are without a doubt the least sexy thing in the world. Or, worse, they talk. They talk like they’re reading off bad sexts from an Omegle chatroom like that’s going to hit all the right auditory sweet spots. Dirty talk is only sexy when you know how to do it right. Most guys don’t.

Sitting here, dick in hand, Jimin’s got a sneaking hunch that Taehyung might.

“Tell me,” Jimin breathes, words spilling unbidden from his mouth. He sounds breathless, and desperate, and needy, which is ridiculous. He’s not even the one being touched right now, but he’s so far gone he’s not even giving it much thought anymore. “Do you—does this feel good? Do I make you feel good?”

A quiet, punched out whine falls from Taehyung’s mouth. His hands move from where they’re twisted in the sheets to splay wide on Jimin’s waist, fingers slippery-good when they slide down to grip at his ass. His hands are so big, fuck.

“Always make me feel good,” Taehyung sighs, as Jimin twists his hand on an upstroke. “Look so good, feel so good, shit, you’re killing me.”

Jimin nods, pleased, flush stealing over his cheeks. He can’t help the smirk that pulls at his face. The weird sense of satisfaction that comes from it.

“You’re pretty like this,” says Taehyung. It’s the right answer where there was no question, throwing Jimin off once more. “Did those other guys ever tell you that, Jiminie? That you’re pretty?”

Something unbelievably molten coils in Jimin’s stomach at those words, and Taehyung’s fingers push back inside him, meeting no resistance. Those other guys. In truth, those other guys had, but with them it always felt like tell me something I don’t know.

It didn’t feel like a revelation.

Didn’t feel like this.

As if all those times before, the words had fallen on deaf ears, and now here Jimin was—naked with three fingers in his ass, no less—hearing God speak for the first fucking time, and God was calling him pretty. 


“Maybe they did,” Jimin says, rolling his hips with intent, seeking out that certain spot inside himself, but Taehyung pulls his fingers out halfway, the other hand gripping at Jimin’s waist, stilling him. His eyes are huge, fathomless. There’s a fire smoldering there, curling about the corners of his smile. 

“Interesting,” says Taehyung, elegant brow quirked like Jimin’s lying under a microscope instead of sprawling naked in his lap. He grins, like a cat that’s caught the canary. “What else did these other boys say to you?”

There’s a dark heat underlying his words, and it sends a fucking thrill reeling through Jimin. Inviting trouble, encouraging it. There’s no actual anger there, no legitimate jealousy, because it’s Taehyung, but the guise of it is hitting about twelve different erogenous zones that Jimin wasn’t even aware he had.

“All sorts of stuff,” he answers defiantly, chin raised. He rolls his whole body like he’s dancing, for no other reason other than he knows he looks fucking hot doing it. “They got all these ideas about how they’re gonna fuck me. How hard I’m going to make them come. What?” He smiles, vicious, knowing he’s being every ounce of brat there is to be. “You don’t like the sound of that?”

Then Taehyung’s fingers are fully inside Jimin again, filling him up so good, and—

“Sounds like they spend a lot of time talking about themselves, when they should be talking about you,” Taehyung says, tone airy and conversational when just seconds ago he’d been breathless. “Kind of inconsiderate, don’t you think?”

Then his fingers twist, crooking upwards, and Jimin gasps, faltering with his grip on Taehyung’s cock.

“Oh f-fuck, right there. Shit, that’s it.”

“You like this don’t you.” Jimin can hear Taehyung’s smile with eyes closed. “Like hearing about how pretty you are?”

Jimin shakes his head at the same moment that he grinds his hips down, giving an unsatisfied and very revealing groan.

“Mm, I think you do.” Taehyung’s voice becomes a tangible thing, wrapping around Jimin’s throat, filling his lungs like smoke. “I think you love it.”

“Alright, shit, stop—,” Jimin bursts, because if Taehyung keeps going, if he keeps talking, if he keeps touching Jimin like that, Jimin is going to come Right Now and this is going to be all kinds of embarrassing before things even truly get under way. “Stop, it’s—I’m ready. C’mon, let’s go.”

“Okay,” Taehyung says, dropping the teasing act entirely, suddenly sounding just as urgent and close to that teetering edge as Jimin. “Okay, Jiminie, yeah, okay, I got you.”

With that said—the rest is all gestures with minimal words shared. Taehyung gently withdrawing his fingers, Jimin breathing out harshly, tearing at the condom wrapper with teeth, rolling it on with practiced efficiency that has Taehyung hissing through his teeth. The room is quiet again, like it was in the beginning of this whole mess. The breeze still soft, the city still alight outside, only Jimin’s got his heartbeat in his ears. 

And then he’s gripping Taehyung’s cock. Lining himself up. Taking in one last affirming nod from Taehyung, and sinking down.

Mother fucking Christ and heaven above.

For a moment, both of them hardly even move. It’s almost too much to even breathe. Everything goes still. It’s less about the acclimation to cock-in-ass for Jimin and more about, well—everything else. The very real awareness of the point of no return, the line they just crossed, for real, this time.

Jimin waits. They both do. He sits back on Taehyung’s thighs, trying to gather himself, but Kim Taehyung’s got gravity. And it’s not long before Jimin is curving forward to nudge his mouth at Taehyung’s jaw, kissing at the soft damp skin there. Taehyung’s bangs are plastered to his forward with sweat. His cheeks are dusky pink and he looks like he’s trying very hard not to thrust his hips but he also looks totally blissed out. He grins up at Jimin with the widest dumbest smile, an expression cheeky and somehow totally in character considering their current predicament.


Jimin smiles back. “Hi.”

In the quiet, their breaths mingling, that odd feeling comes creeping up on Jimin again, pressing up against his sternum, like before. Like sitting in the museum with Taehyung all those months ago. That swell. That ache. He feels so tangled up in it, this thing with Taehyung—it has always been all encompassing. And terrifying, too. 

It’s not a sex thing. It has nothing to do with how turned on Jimin is, or how long he’s wanted wanted wanted. He’d call it adoration—pure unadulterated adoration for everything that Kim Taehyung is, from the way he looks at the world to the way he talks to his complete unfaltering earnesty. He’d call it adoration, he’d call it love, but that seems like such a trivial word for this.

This—like they’re in their own world. This—like they’re hearing a song that no one else can, and they both know the lyrics by heart. This—like they’re both in on some gigantic secret.

This—like nothing else matters, so long as they keep going on together.

The craziest part of it is he knows without asking that Taehyung gets it. That he feels it too.

Jimin doesn’t mean to kiss Taehyung. It’s more to shut himself up, keep all these thoughts tucked inside him. He’ll say them. One day. But for now Taehyung’s fingers are threading through his hair, anchoring him in the press of their mouths. He sinks into it, into everything gentle and unspoken between them, Taehyung’s pinned underneath him again, all soft lines and open mouthed kisses and that's good—that’s all well and good. 

Then Taehyung says, “Okay, I’m going to be fully honest here. This is really nice. 12/10 would recommend. But if you don’t move soon, I might actually die.”

And well, Jimin’s grossly in love, but he’s not going to argue with that.

So he gets moving, working himself up and down on Taehyung’s cock at a measured pace, hands splayed wide in the softness of Taehyung’s belly, the gentle groove of his ribs.

Taehyung’s hands seem to have a flight pattern. They can’t decide where to settle, skimming over Jimin’s sensitive thighs, over his back, to squeeze at his ass, to brush over his nipples. They spread fire wherever they touch, and Jimin—trying to concentrate on fucking—finds himself losing self control much quicker than he’d hoped to.

“So pretty,” Taehyung says, grabbing Jimin’s hand and kissing at the wrist, sucking a finger in his mouth for a brief second. “So beautiful, Jiminie, look so good on my cock—”

Jimin shakes his head stubbornly, letting out a furious groan.

“What, too much Macho Porn Star? Sorry, I’ll tone it down.”

“Shut up,” commands Jimin. “Shut up now. If you keep talking I’m gonna—”

Taehyung’s confusion morphs into laughter again, but the sound tapers off into a curse as Jimin slams his hips down particularly hard.

“Race you?” Taehyung offers, and Jimin’s so turned on he almost thinks he’s hallucinating the playful question. But there it is. That edge of competition, of challenge. Like they’re arguing over what movie to watch on a Friday night, or who deserves to win on The Bachelor, like it’s a lazy afternoon and they’re racing to the dorm just because they can, slipping on the icy sidewalks of winter, pushing each other into snow drifts. Ridiculous.

“You’re on.” Jimin grins. “But you should be warned, I am a very high achiev—”

Taehyung digs his heels into the bed spread and thrusts in deep, hitting Jimin’s prostate straight on.

“You were saying?” he asks lightly, as Jimin’s lungs empty of oxygen and his eyes roll back in his head.

It’s all out war after that.

It’s amazing they last as long as they do—mostly because they keep taking breaks to giggle at each other like idiots in between not-so-gentle waves of hiking pleasure. Taehyung leans up, whispers filth and compliments into Jimin’s ear in a constant litany, occasionally thrusting up as Jimin thrusts down, sending sparks shooting up the base of his spine. Jimin, in turn, tries his best to live up to the reputation of Vixen and Sex on Wheels. He really does. It’s not his fault that Taehyung keeps undoing him at every turn in soft kisses, in heated whispers.

Then at some point, at the point, where the swear words and dirty talk gets cut off and they’re just sort of breathing into each other’s mouths in sharp, wet pants. Sweat making everything slick and wet, Taehyung just sort of sits up halfway, meeting Jimin in the middle. He brings up one hand to cup at Jimin’s neck, holding him close. The other he curls around Jimin’s achingly hard cock, thumbing over the slit, gripping tight, moving fast. Sprinting straight for the finish line.

Jimin’s been reduced to small churns of his hips and incoherent noises spilling from his mouth. He thinks he can win this round if he just—doesn’t think about it any further than that. He’d like to think that what happens next is the last weapon in his arsenal. It’s a dirty trick. Certainly not some weirdly necessary thing that he needs. 

“Tae,” Jimin breathes, the smallest sound. “Hey, look at me.”

Taehyung’s gaze snap up to Jimin’s, holds. His brows are dark and drawn together, but his eyes are unfocused. Glassy. Jimin presses their foreheads together, curling his hands in Taehyung’s hair as Taehyung’s grip speeds up. Fuck fuck fuck.

“Look at me, Tae. Don’t you stop looking at me. Don’t stop.” Tae’s not stopping, he stares into Jimin’s eyes like he’d die before he closed them, but Jimin’s well beyond the point of coherency. Of making actual sense. Every part of him feels so good, lit up, turned on, blood rushing fast and hot through him. A distinct feeling rising from his belly.

“Won’t. Promise. Always looking at you, Jimin, always, not gonna stop—”

“Fuck,” swears Jimin, pressing their mouths together like he can brand the shape of Taehyung’s lips into his skin. It’s too much. Taehyung’s fingers wrapped around his cock, Taehyung inside him, Taehyung’s eyes dark and reverent and swallowing him whole.

Taehyung comes gasping always, Jimin, always into Jimin’s mouth. 

Jimin comes saying yes yes yes back.


“Park Jimin, If you leave this bed before at least an hour of cuddling has commenced, I’ll kill you.”

Caught red-handed. Jimin giggles at the not-at-all-threatening growl, but tucks his toes back beneath the comforter just the same, wriggling back into Taehyung’s arms. “I was going to get a glass of water and a washcloth. But if you want to be disgusting, suit yourself.”

“Thank you,” yawns Taehyung, like being disgusting had been his end goal from the start. “I will.”

Jimin huffs, as if there is nothing unbelievably soft and warm glowing in his chest. Maybe it was just finally getting a round of legitimately good sex under the belt. But he knows better.

The good news is that none of this feels awkward. None of this feels weird. It just feels like them. Just Jimin and Taehyung.  

Taehyung as a day to day person is a cuddly koala bear. Post-sex Taehyung is a regular octopus. He’s only got four limbs but they’re enough to do the job of wrapping around Jimin entirely, pulling him close. They face each other on their sides, knees and ankles overlapping.

“So,” says Taehyung after a pause, “We should probably go on a date. We need to at least put on a face that we’re doing this the decent way.”

Jimin raises an eyebrow. “You couldn’t have said that before your dick was in my ass?" 

“I was a bit preoccupied. Plus. Who am I to deny you what you want?”

“And what is it that I want, Kim Taehyung?”

Taehyung peers at Jimin, then—weirdly enough—rolls over and onto him. For a second Jimin thinks he’s going in for a kiss but then he hears the distinct click and zing of the camera being turned on.

Jimin groans, throwing a hand up to cover his face. “You are not taking post-sex nudes of me.”

“I’m not,” Taehyung soothes, glancing at Jimin through the camera. “Just getting perspective.”

Jimin waits while Taehyung makes believe at adjusting the lens, playing along. He stretches out the length of his body, showing off just the slightest. Enough that Taehyung’s eyes catch his in the dark, sparking.

Then, while looking at Jimin through the camera lens, still not taking a photo, Taehyung says, cool and casual as ever, “I think you, Park Jimin, want to go out with me on many dates. But also have lots of sex. I think you want to be appreciated. And complimented. Lovingly worshipped. You want to be taken seriously and you also want to be handled gently. Not because you’re fragile. But because you like it. You want a lot of things, Park Jimin. And I think you want them with me.”

He can’t see Taehyung’s expression—once again—behind the camera. He doesn't need to. He tilts his chin, humming. “And so what if I do?”

A pause. A release of bated breath. Taehyung sets the camera to the side with the smallest smile playing at the corners of his mouth.

“Well, I guess that wouldn’t be so bad.” 

“You punk—,” Jimin scolds but Taehyung’s already surging up, kissing him quiet.  “That was so gross,” Jimin laughs, in between kisses, feeling so goddamn happy he could die from it. “We’re going to be insufferable.”


“Everyone’s going to hate us.”

“Oh, undoubtedly. Wait until we tell the group chat,” Taehyung agrees, fingers tracing meaningless patterns onto Jimin’s skin.

“Mm.” Jimin snuggles up to Taehyung’s side, letting Taehyung wrap around him. They are sweaty and disgusting and they really do need to clean up but he just wants to be here for a bit longer. The rest of the world can wait. “We should tell them soon. Maybe tomorrow. After our date." 

“After our date.” 

“And after I blow you.”

“After you what now.”

“You heard me.”

Taehyung slaps a hand over his chest dramatically, like he’s going into cardiac arrest. “That was so cruel. I can’t believe you just attacked me when I’m in such a vulnerable state. You’re a demon.”

“So I’ve heard.”

“This is unfair.”

“Sucks to be you.”

“You’re lucky I love you,” Taehyung says, again.

“Yeah,” Jimin sighs, that familiar ache settling deep in his bones, taking root in his chest, returning what was stolen from the very first day they met.

“Yeah, I really am.”