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When Taehyung had sighed and looked heavenward, quietly asking if his day could get any worse, it was supposed to be a rhetorical question.


It was most certainly not a challenge.  


Something the universe clearly didn’t understand because within the next ten minutes, his boss is beckoning him into his office with a wave of his hand before stiffly telling him they’re going to have to let him go. Taehyung gapes at him. “What do you mean ‘let me go’? I don’t wanna go anywhere!”


“Well,” Jinyoung begins, expression sheepish. “The company’s trying to cut down on its expenses, Taehyung, and we’re letting a lot of employees go.”


Taehyung narrows his eyes. “Oh yeah? Like who, exactly?”


Jinyoung coughs awkwardly, pretending to open and consult a couple of files to hide behind them. He crosses his arms. Slowly, the top of the other’s head emerges and he mumbles out a weak, ‘it’s just you…for now’.


Taehyung sighs at that, letting his head drop into his hands. Getting fired is bad enough on its own. It’s even worse when there's a family reunion in a couple of hours and your ‘lovely’ mother with a penchant for comparing you to every single overachieving cousin is going to be at her bitchiest best. “Can I at least ask why I’m being fired?” he asks, voice muffled into his palms. “And don’t give me any of that cutting expenses bullshit, I’m the best analyst you have. I can't have been your first choice to kick out.”


Jinyoung sighs. “Of course you weren't my first choice, Taehyung. But you definitely made the cut for the supervisor when you put in all those photos of him with his secretary in that presentation with the Board.”


Taehyung looks up at him with horror. “The hairy fucker figured out it was me?”


Jinyoung stares.


Taehyung coughs. “Right, sorry. Not important. You were saying?”


His boss sighs. “You're the best we have, Taehyung, it's true- but Adler is someone you just don’t fuck with.”


And as much as he wants to fight it, Taehyung does understand that. The guy’s hated his guts right from the first day when he had not so subtly suggested that the other shove a pencil up his ass (the cheating asshole deserved it, okay)- he’s only surprised he lasted as long as he did.


(Okay, fine, maybe six months isn’t a lot but whatever. With his skills, he’s probably going to be picked up by another MNC in a couple of weeks, anyway, so this isn't a big deal)


Besides, he’s had a shitty day overall so it really shouldn’t matter that he’s getting kicked out of a job he doesn’t even like. (Does getting fired rank below or above getting dumped by your boyfriend on the Worst Things To Happen In A Day list?)


Nodding slowly, he looks up and aims a weary smile at Jinyoung, who’s still looking uncomfortable. “I guess I’d better clean out my station then.” Jinyoung nods awkwardly and Taehyung huffs as he leaves.


There go his plans of banging his boss in the office, then.




As subway rides go, Taehyung is pretty sure this is his saddest yet. Everyone keeps eyeing the carton full of his belongings, throwing him pitying glances and fuck them, he is not that hard up, okay? He graduated from MIT with honours, he can make CFO in any damn company he wants.


(Nevermind the fact that he’d rather not do anything related to finance or numbers at all.)


The lady sitting next to him is clearly gearing up to say something consoling and while he’d normally appreciate the effort, he’s just not in the mood. Frantically digging around in the box, he triumphantly comes up with an edition of Marie Claire he doesn't think he's read yet, scooting away from her. Burying his nose in the book, he blocks everyone out and sighs. This should be enough to keep him entertained till his stop arrives.


He's not wrong. About ten minutes into combing through the magazine, an article catches his eye. It's a fairly short one, barely covering the page but the title looks pretty interesting-


What's Your (Sex) Number?


Taehyung grins. This should be fun.


Are you someone who enjoys the pleasures of the flesh? Have you frequently let your libido guide you instead of your brain?


...or not. He rolls his eyes at the dramatic language but soldiers on anyway. 


While, normally, you'd be applauded for all that, here's why you need to be careful: p sychiatrists and experts at the R.A.F.K.S. recently conducted a study on the sex and love lives of 300 young men and women only to come to an eye-opening conclusion.


The average amount of lovers a person has before marriage is usually around 10.5.


Taehyung freezes. 




He reads the entire sentence again to make sure he got that right. 10.5?


That's practically nothing! Do they mean 10.5 before a marriageable age or…? (The fuck does a .5 even mean? Half a damn person? A quickie? No penetration? 0/10 clarity, wow.) Deciding that maybe he just doesn't have the entire context yet, he reads on, a sudden sense of unease brewing in him.


While a large percentage of the participants of the study admitted to having an average of 9 lovers, a shocking 11% said they'd entertained almost 12 to 15 partners.


Dr. Naina Marriott, one of the leading members of the panel that conducted the study, revealed that those 11% were much more likely to have trouble settling down into a married life than the rest of the participants. “After a certain number of partners, your own self-esteem begins to dwindle,” she says, “causing you to chase even more partners and start a sort of vicious cycle.”


The study also found that people who had 20 or more lovers couldn't be a part of a steady relationship and often ended up remarrying over and ov-


Taehyung snaps the magazine shut with a horrified gasp. Twenty? Twenty?


He didn't know this. Why didn’t he know this? Shouldn't people be informed of this stuff before they were allowed to go out and do the whole sex thing?


Goddamn it, universe.


But it's fine, really. He's not scared. At all. Slightly alarmed, sure, but totally fine. Because Taehyung hasn't slept with that many people, anyway. So it's fine, it's not like he's in any danger. (Because danger is what it feels like to him. Despite all of his…promiscuous habits, he really does want to end up with someone, someday. Share a cute little apartment, slow dance while making dinner, steal kisses in between bites of their breakfast- the whole damn cheesy package)


Which is why, within the next twenty seconds, he's already trying to figure out his sex number.


There was Mark waaaaay back in Daegu, and then Lance in- wait, no, wasn't Eric the second? Right. So, Mark followed by Eric and then Jay who later introduced him to Minjae-


No no no. Didn't Minjae introduce him to Jay? Or was that Hyungsik?




Cursing under his breath, he takes out his phone to make a list. It's not like it'll be a huge list, but he might as well be organised about it, right? It won't take that long, anyway.




It does take that long.


It takes too fucking long, because by the time he gets to the engagement party venue- he's still counting.


Jimin, the oblivious angel, is unaware of his rising panic as he dries his hair in front of the mirror, prattling on about his fiancé. “So right as I was about to remind Yoongi hyung about our bet, Hobi hyung showed up out of fucking nowhere and cockbl- Kim Taehyung, are you even listening?”


The taller man distractedly looks up from his phone only to find a very disgruntled brother raising an eyebrow at him. Damn. “Of course I'm listening, Jiminnie!” He says, hurriedly scrambling to put away his phone. Now's not the time to count exes, Tae, he scolds himself as he tries to look interested. It's his brother's engagement party. He can afford to have a breakdown about his number later. "I just had an important work message is all."


The aforementioned brother narrows his eyes, clearly seeing through the lie. “Um right. You never even open your email at work, let alone once you're back so cut the crap, dude. What's really going on? You've been distracted all evening.”


“Pfft, me? Distracted ?” he waves a hand carelessly. “I don’t think you know this, Jimin, but in my college-”


“We went to the same college.”


“Well then you must know that in our college, I was famously called Focused Kim-”


“They called you the Zoned Out Kid till fifth semester when you found out and cried about it to the Dean,” Jimin states matter-of-factly, turning back to the mirror. “So, if you don't mind just getting to the point already, please do tell me what’s up, you big baby.”


Taehyung deflates. There's no point in trying to hide the truth from Jimin, he's always been perceptive. Almost too perceptive, Taehyung grumbles internally, thinking about every single time the other boy had been able to decode his crime with just one look at his guilty face. But while he's apprehensive of telling Jimin about the list, he also knows Jimin's the only one who would know exactly how to cheer Taehyung up about it and its alarmingly fast rate of growth (and maybe also help him remember the name of the ice cream parlour boy from high school).


Taehyung sighs, lying back on the hotel room bed. The older boy would never judge him for anything, anyway, so there's no harm in divulging his latest life crisis. (Well, technically, he did judge Taehyung just this morning when the younger called to inform him that his boyfriend had only ever thought of them as fuck buddies and wouldn't be his plus one for the wedding, but that's besides the point, it's really not relevant-)


Taking a deep breath, he drops the big bomb. “Dr. Marriott said I might not end up married steady to someone.”


There. It’s out in the open. He said it; it was tough to muster the courage bu-




Taehyung huffs at the anticlimactic response. “I said, Dr. Marriott said I might not end up with someone.”


“Wait, Dr. who now?”


“Dr. Marriott. The psychiatrist.”


Jimin looks confused for about two seconds before his eyes widen in horror. “Taehyung,” he starts slowly, like he's trying very hard to keep calm. “You don't have a psychiatrist.”


Taehyung sniffs disdainfully. “Jiminnie, I just found out about her today, alright? Super psychology skills.”


Jimin suddenly looks very panicked. “Tae, did you bully a therapist into listening to your rants again?”


Taehyung bristles. “Okay firs off, I did not bully anyone that time, Jimin, don’t put it like tha-”


“You climbed in through one of Dr. Walker’s windows and proceeded to lock both of you inside so he'd listen to you rant about how bread crumbs are junk food to ducks! How is that not bullying?”


“It's an important piece of information not many people are aware of! And it distressed me!”




“Ugh fine, I'll tell you, jeez,” Taehyung grumbles. Jimin slowly shuffles closer to lie down with a sigh, wrapping an arm around the younger, pulling him till Taehyung's head is snugly sitting in the crook of his neck.


After a few minutes of comfortably lying on the bed, Jimin breaks the silence. “So which idiot have you been talking to this time?”


Taehyung huffs out a laugh. “It was an article in Marie Claire,” he replies softly, rolling his eyes at the ensuing scoff. “Yeah yeah, you can judge me all you want but, it was legit, okay? Like, statistics and a panel of psychologists and shit.”


“And what did these statistics and panel of psychologists try to tell you about your love life?”


Taehyung muffles his voice into his brother's neck, slightly embarrassed. “That those who have sex with more than 20 people usually end up single,” he says awkwardly. “Apparently they conducted a study and discovered that only 11% of people sleep with more than 10.5 people.”


Jimin sighs. “Are you really going to listen to that, Tae?” he asks, exasperation colouring his tone. “You know as well as I do that if your partners had been given enough time, they'd be begging you to marry them as soon as possible.”


“But that's exactly my point!” he says, pulling away to look his brother in the face. “Maybe I moved from partner to partner too quickly! What if I didn't give them enough time?” Jimin opens his mouth to protest but Taehyung doesn't stop to listen, drawing away from the cuddle to rant more passionately. “Like with Zack this morning. Who knows, maybe I kicked him out too quickly!”


Jimin tries to stifle a snort. “Zack only thought of you guys as fuck buddies, Tae. Pretty sure he wouldn't have wanted to stay.”


“Yeah but, I could've covered up the fact that I'm marriage material with great casual sex till he felt, I don't know… relationship-y.”


Jimin laughs and Taehyung smacks his stomach.


“It's not funny! Our lovely mother is going to have yet another thing to nag at me about,” he squirms unhappily. “I can hear her whining already, ugh.”


Jimin pushes at his shoulders, still cackling helplessly. “That's the doorbell, you dumbass. Come in!” he calls out, grinning widely when Yoongi enters a moment later, raising a questioning eye at their proximity.


“Jimin, what did I tell you about having sex with your brother without me?”


Taehyung grimaces, searching for a pillow to pelt the oldest in disgust.


“Not to do it without you,” Jimin chirps dutifully, accepting his fiancé's quick kiss with a cheesy grin. “Don't worry, babe, we were only making out a little. You know I'd never start without you.” Yoongi colours, coughing lightly to cover up his embarrassment. 


Taehyung hates them both. So much. “Have you two been reading that sex book again, you dirty fuckers?” Yoongi opens his mouth and Tae realises his folly instantly, covering his ears in panic. “Never mind, never mind, never mind, I really don’t want to know.”


The couple shrugs and he heaves a relieved sigh. “If you wanted to, though, we wouldn’t mind giving you a practical demonstration,” Yoongi winks and Taehyung grimaces.


“I hate you and the two of you are disgusting,” he declares, watching as Jimin pulls the eldest into their cuddle pile. “Severely disgusting and as your best frie-”


Hoseok is my best fr-”


As your other best friend,” he continues, glaring at Yoongi. “I feel responsible to inform you that you shouldn't be talking about possibly-incestuous threesomes an hour before your engagement party.”


The two of them grin goofily at that and this time, Taehyung can't bring himself to say anything about it, too busy fighting a grin himself. He's unbelievably happy for them having made it here despite the obstacles that blocked their course. His brother, about to marry his boyfriend of so many years. Unbelievable. 


Still, it doesn't mean they can't be jerks. Like now, for instance.


“So what should we be talking about if not kinda-incestuous threesomes with annoying best friends?” Yoongi teases, sneakily drawing him closer so they're all in one big cuddle sandwich.


Taehyung lets it happen, knowing from experience that pointing out the other's secret cuddling habit is only going to bring him pain (his ribs twinge at the memory of the vigorous poking he'd received last time he'd tried to poke fun at the supposedly ‘not-tactile’ man snuggling up).


“I’ll have you know I'm not annoying,” Taehyung replies haughtily, pinching whatever skin on Yoongi he can reach. “And there's plenty of things to talk about that don't include threesomes… Honeymoon destinations, flower decorations, the lack of dick in my life now that Zack's gone, how my mom is going to react to me not bringing a date to yet another family wedding- you know, the usual.”


The couple cackles and Taehyung, being the generous soul he is, lets them. They're the only ones in the family who don't spend every single minute of every single family reunion criticising every aspect of him they can. They're his biggest supporters, encouraging every good decision he makes and standing next to him through the bad ones with a long suffering sigh.


Even now, it's clear Yoongi's focus is more on making sure he has a date so his mom leaves him the fuck alone on the D-Day than laughing at his predicament. “You could always go with Jinwoo,” the oldest suggests helpfully. Taehyung gives up on trying to get Jimin to shut up and frowns.


Why does that name sound familiar…


Yoongi rolls his eyes fondly. “I can't believe you forgot him. Especially since you two got on like a house on fire for a while there. Remember, Jiminnie?”


His brother nods but Taehyung's still wracking his brains. It's right on the tip of his tongue...


“Park Jinwoo?” the shortest supplies. “Mom’s sister's son? Honestly Tae, how you can forget your own cousin-”


Step! He’s her stepson!” Taehyung yelps, everything coming back in a flash. Oh shit, fuck.


The couple stares at him, confused at his reaction.


“Step-cousin,” he clarifies because oh god this is low-key incestuous, oh fuck. “He's Uncle Minho's previous wife's son, remember? We're not even related by blood, actually so.” He babbles on nonsensically, jumping off the bed to look for his phone and make another damn addition to that Sex Number List.


Jimin stares at him suspiciously as he types away on his phone. “Yeah, step-cousin. Anyway, he was moping about his lack of dates to bring to the wedding yesterday too, so you could come with him. It doesn't have to be a boyfriend or something, you know.”


“Oh yeah, haha sure.” Taehyung chuckles nervously, making a mental note to avoid the fuck outta Jinwoo. There's no way he's going to his brother's wedding with someone he’s fucked six ways from Sunday.


Even if said fucking was great.


He makes the addition and realises, with a jolt of surprise, that Jinwoo finishes his list. (He can just put in Ice Cream Guy's name later.) Alright, he thinks with a deep sigh. The moment of truth. Sending up a quick prayer to whoever might be listening, he starts counting.


And stares at the paper once he's done.


Fuck no, he must've made a mistake in adding them up. He recounts and then does it again, desperate when the number doesn't change.




He's had nineteen lovers.


No no no no no no no.




How can he be one person away from twice the national average? He hasn't slept with that many people! And does Minjae even count? It was, like, one time when they were drunk and high off the rush of their first successful theatrical production.


And Andy was in his life (and bed) for an exact time period of twelve hours, can he really be considered a “partner”?


Also, Adam didn't even-


Taehyung shakes his head, huffing at himself. He's not the kind of low person who makes excuses about things like this. He slept with a bunch of people and to suddenly pretend that it doesn't count would be douchey. And if there's one thing Taehyung is not, it's a douche.


Ignoring the weird looks his friends are throwing him, he takes a deep breath, putting his game face on. All he can do right now is make sure he gives a good speech at the engagement party.


(…and then call a meeting with his squad, because this? Is some serious shit.)




“This is not serious shit,” Yoongi tells him flatly, three hours later, seated at their regular table in the gang’s favourite bar. Taehyung scowls at him.


“We're here, Yoongi, might as well help now,” Seokjin shrugs, taking a sip of his weirdly coloured drink.


Yoongi glares at him. “We're here because Taehyung managed to get through his speech without embarrassing Jimin or me. Not because we had to discuss his dumb Vogue—” “Marie Claire, ” Taehyung whines. “—dating bullshit.” the elder finishes with another glower.


Namjoon frowns. “Don't you mean without embarrassing hims -”


“I mean exactly what I said.”


Taehyung glares at the shorter man, hating the fact that a voice in him low-key agrees with the other. His brother, thankfully, doesn't seem to possess this voice and joins him in glaring at his fiancé, who withers slightly. “As Tae’s best friend, you-”


“I told you, Hoseok’s my best-”


As Tae’s other best friend,” Jimin continues, narrowing his eyes. “You really should be showing a little more concern. Darling.”


Everyone snickers at the hostility layering the term of endearment and Yoongi makes a mental note to get reservations at his fiance’s favourite restaurant before schooling his features into something he hopes resembles sympathy for their resident idiot. Taehyung wants to laugh at the attempt but the larger issue at hand keeps settling in the pit of his stomach like an uncomfortable weight.


How is he supposed to just ignore the fact that he might never end up in a stable, happy, permanent relationship?


“Hey,” Hoseok’s soft voice breaks him out of his reverie. “You okay, buddy?”


Taehyung flashes him a mostly genuine smile. Mostly. “I guess.”


The elder purses his lips and pulls at the other to give him a quick squeeze around the shoulders. “Cheer up, I’m sure there are tonnes of others who’ve crossed twenty! How many people do you think would’ve even been honest in that survey? No one just exposes themselves in a public survey, Tae.”


Taehyung feels something like hope bloom in his chest. “You really think so?”


Hoseok smiles, bright and radiant. “Of course I do!”


“Well, how many people have you slept with, hyung?”


The smile freezes. “Wh-what?”


“I said-”


“Yeah no, I heard you. I just-I mean,” he chuckles nervously. “That’s not- I’m no benchmark, Tae, come on, you know that.”


Yoongi snorts. “You’re asking someone who’s barely kissed three people in his entire life, kid, come on. Don’t embarrass Hobi,” he teases.


Hoseok glares at him. “Your fiance was wrong, you’re clearly not my best friend.” Yoongi throws him a betrayed look. “Besides whose fault is it that I don’t have much experience?” he asks pointedly, eyebrows raised.


“Uh, yours for being a wimp?”


“No, yours for being an overprotective spoilsport,” Hoseok snaps back. “You never let me date any of the guys I like!”


“Because they don’t deserve you, Seok!”


“But you won’t even let me find out!” Hoseok whines. Taehyung coos at their friendship, pinching his youngest hyung’s cheeks.


“And anyway you have no right to speak, you’ve only ever slept with this mochi here,” Hoseok sniffs, expertly flinging an ice cube from his drink straight into Yoongi’s shirt.


The latter yelps and wiggles like an eel, failing to get it out as the rest watch in mild amusement. “You, Jung Hoseok,” he snarls, once he’s finally managed to fish out the half-melted cube, “don’t understand true romance. That just means Jimin’s the only one I’ve trusted and loved that much.”


Hoseok pretends to gag while Jimin ‘awww’s and presses a quick peck to Yoongi’s cheek. Mood instantly perking up, the latter turns to Taehyung. “Joon-ah’s probably your best bet here. Going by the number of times Hobi and I walked in on him going at it in the recording studios, he definitely has more experience than the rest of us... mere mortals.”


Seokjin rolls his eyes, taking another huge gulp of his drink.


“I’m...not over ten yet, buddy,” Namjoon shrugs apologetically as the youngest turns to him with hope. Hope that is very rapidly dwindling.


“Alright, enough," Seokjin snaps, staring judgmentally at all of them. “I would ask why you’re all so hard up in the sex street, but since Tae and I are the best-looking here anyway, I won’t bother.” Everyone bristles as Taehyung giggles at the boastful statement clearly intended to cheer him up more than snark at the others.


“You’ve got nothing to worry about, Tae,” Seokjin says, more seriously this time. “You know as well as I do these articles are only aimed at fuelling gossip. I’m at sixteen and clearly not an ineligible bachelor.”


Namjoon scoffs. “There you go, Tae. Even Jin hyung isn’t worried,” he says, a slight harshness lacing his tone. The temperature seems to drop tangible degrees as Jin sends a mild glare his ex’s way. “You can relax.”


“What Namjoon-hyung means to say is,” Jimin jumps in, ever-anxious to avoid any unpleasantness, “You really have nothing to worry about. You’re a smart, attractive young man who doesn’t have to rely on anyone or anything to feel better. Least of all sex, alright? Just be yourself and don’t let a magazine define your lifestyle.”

Taehyung nods, feeling somewhat better about the situation. He has never let anything slow him down from the way he lives his life and this little piece of baseless nonsense is definitely not going to have him changing his lifestyle for any reas-


“Or, you know, you could always just stop fucking people till you know you’ve found The One,” Namjoon jokes. Everyone laughs, shaking their heads at the absurd notion.


Except for Taehyung, that is.


Catching sight of the sudden enlightenment dawning on his friend’s face, Yoongi pales. “Tae…” he begins warily, because never has that look lead to anything good in his experiences. Ever. “You know Namjoon was only jok-”


“You’re a genius, Joon hyung!” he yells happily, damaging five pairs of ears in less than five seconds. “That’s just it! It’s exactly what I have to do. I just have to stop,” he says happily, eyes twinkling.


“Stop...what?” Hoseok asks, eyes wide with the same despair that’s slowly rising in all of them.


Taehyung rolls his eyes. “Stop sleeping with people, of course!” he declares, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. “That way, I’m only going to put out when I know it’s the right guy.”


Everyone sighs and-


“And then I’ll marry him!”


-quietly lays their heads down on the table.


Taehyung frowns at the back of their necks. “...what?”


Without looking up, Yoongi shoves his wallet at the other. “Go get yourself a drink and don’t come talk to us till you’re smashed.”


Despite his confusion, the youngest happily accepts the wallet, telling himself not to argue and just enjoy God’s blessing. It isn’t everyday he can go and drink himself silly with Min Yoongi’s card, after all.


Which is why, when twelve midnight finds him drunk as all hell and ordering yet another drink, it is totally said fucker’s fault.


(Okay so maybe the drinking competition with the ever-present alcoholic at the bar had been his idea but hey, he’s single, jobless and having the worst day of his life. Let him live, yeah? And he isn’t that drunk, anyway)


Just as he thinks this evening is getting too boring for his taste (maybe he should consider giving the DDR in the back another shot...?), someone clears their throat next to him.


“You’re looking a lot perkier than this afternoon,” a voice drawls next to him and Taehyung can’t resist his eye roll at the predictability of it all. The universe really is fucking with him today. “Especially for someone who just lost their job.” 


“You’re looking a lot douchier than usual,” he glares at Jinyoung. “Especially for someone who just fired me this afternoon.” He knows the insult doesn't make much sense, but he doesn't really care at this point. Okay, maybe he is a little drunk. 


His ex-boss feigns offense, placing a hand over his heart in exaggerated shock. Taehyung doesn’t bother holding back his snort. “And here I was, thinking of us as friends.”


“Oh, I’m sorry, friend,” Taehyung says, widening his eyes in mock-guilt. “I only came out here to have a fun time and I don’t need your noodle ass bothering me, thank you very much.”


Jinyoung laughs. “Pardon me, I thought I saw you checking out this noodle ass the other day.”


Taehyung sniffs delicately. “That’s between me and my right hand and none of your business.” (Alright, maybe he’s a lot more drunk than he previously thought.)


“Oh I think it’s definitely my business.” Jinyoung’s face still has amusement painted all over it but there’s a shadow of something like lust on it, gaze a little hungry as he gives Taehyung a distinct once-over.


Taehyung blinks slowly. There way his eye-candy of the past few months is hitting on him right now. No way. He shakes his head, trying to clear it a little. Looks like it’s time to go find Yoongi. “If you’ll excuse me, I have to go find some people,” he announces. “Who actually care about me and not just the figures I fix for their company.”


“Come on,” Jinyoung groans, throwing his hands up exasperatedly. “You know I don’t give the orders to fire people! Especially not our best analyst.”


Taehyung sighs sweetly. “If only there was a way you could make that up to me.”


He smiles. “Oh, I can certainly think of a few.” The twinkle of amusement in Jinyoung’s eyes steadily deepens into something heavier and Taehyung gulps at the sudden intensity of his gaze. Are they still just bantering?


He gets his answer seconds later as a large, warm hand gently lays down on his at the counter and wow, is the air getting a little thick in here or…?


“How about I show you?” the other whispers softly, leaning forward till Taehyung’s breathing hard and heavy, lips millimetres away from Jinyoung’s. “What do you say, monkeybutt?”


The petname slams him out of his weird trance and he stifles the urge to laugh at the other but...something about the way Jinyoung’s presence is wrapping around him like a thick hazy fog, makes it hard to turn him away. He’s wanted this too, after all.

As the other’s hands wrap around his waist, bringing him even closer, Taehyung only has a few seconds to think this is not going to end well before it’s all slipping away.




As it turns out, he’s right.


It does not go well for him the next morning, when he wakes up to the sight of a heavy arm thrown around his torso. His very bare torso. In fact, you could even say he kinda panics.


“Holy fuck!”


Alright, he full-blown panics, whatever. 


Point is, it’s a Saturday morning, he’s trapped under the arm of someone he desperately hopes isn’t who he thinks it is, naked as the day he was born and a very special kind of soreness in his ass. 


Yeah, he doesn’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to get this one.


Trying to calm his heart rate back down to something that resembles ‘normal’ is hard, especially when he can feel the cause of his soreness poking into his back. On the bright side, at least he doesn’t have to spend half an hour trying to find motivation to stir from the bed.  


Crawling out from under Jinyoung’s arm, he thanks his drunk self for having had at least enough brain cells for coming back to his place and not the other man’s. There’s just always something so comforting about panicking and calling your best friend in your own bathtub.


“Good morning!” Jimin greets him on the first ring, sounding way too happy to Taehyung’s hangover-stricken ears.


He wisely decides not to lessen the chances of him receiving help by being acidic and jumps to the point.


“Okay, Jimin, I slept with my ex-boss and now, I’ve fucking hit twice the national average and he’s sleeping in my bed and I don’t know what to do, I really don’t want to end up being a spinster with twelve cats living alone all the time except for at Christmas when my family visits me out of pity, holy fuck help me I-”


Whoa, hold up a damn second,” Jimin cuts in. “You’re not making any sense. You slept with Carol? Since when are you into women again, Tae, I thought-”


Taehyung growls in frustration. “No, not Carol- Jinyoung! Lee Jinyoung, he fired me yesterday afternoon!”


“You got fired? Jesus, Tae, why didn't you tell me?”


Taehyung closes his eyes, long-suffering. “That’s not important right now, Jimin. The point is: I slept with Jinyoung. I’ve reached twenty. Jinyoung is in my bed. And I need him out. Code Fuckin’ Red, come help me.”


“Wait wait wait,” Jimin says, voice confused. “What do you mean, you need him out? Didn't you say you were gonna marry Number Twenty? Aren't you gonna marry Jinyoung?”


Taehyung peels the phone away from his ear, staring at it incredulously. He cannot believe his brother right now. “No! I’m not going to do anything of the sort. Come on, Jimi-”


“Hyung!” his brother yells excitedly on the other side, calling out to Yoongi loudly. “Yoongi hyung, Tae’s getting married!”


Taehyung chokes.


From the other end, he hears Yoongi grumble out a 'congratulations, dickhead’ before sinking back in bed.


“Yoongi hyung is thrilled,” Jimin informs him chirpily. “This is so exciting! Does this mean he’s giving your job back to you? Are you gonna be promoted now? Will he re-hire you as his secretary this time so he has easy access to blowjobs? Are you guys going to aim for a September wedding, oh my gosh, that’ll be perfect, Yoongi hyung and I’ll be back from our honeymoon and we can help you plan out the details! Ooh and Hobi hy-”


Taehyung panics harder. He’s doing this shit on purpose. He has to be, oh my god. On the other side, Jimin comes to a sudden halt. “In case, you’re wondering- yeah, I’m doing this shit on purpose.”


Taehyung wails.


(But softly)


(He doesn’t want Jinyoung waking up and demanding Round Two)


(Fuck no)


“Please don’t tease me right now, Minnie, I can’t— he’s right outside, oh my god,” he blubbers, trying, and failing, to coherently express how hard he’s panicking at the moment.


Jimin sighs. “I tried to stop you last night, Tae. I saw his arm wrapped around your waist and I genuinely tried to get you to listen to sense but—”


Taehyung shrinks into himself, trying to melt into his bathtub. Please don’t say I turned into Drunk Nate, he prays, please please please.


“—you were in full Drunk Nate mode,” his brother finishes with a heavy sigh. “No one can handle you when you turn into a horny white frat boy, Tae, you know that.”


He curses under his breath. Why can’t he ever make good decisions and resolutions when he’s drunk? Does that shit only happen to people who appear in self-help videos?


“Also you tried to intimidate me by growling and spitting at me. Then proceeded to say that I should let your ‘beastly manhood conquer what it desires’,” Jimin says distastefully, before lightening up a little. “But hey, you sure did conquer, huh?”


Taehyung isn’t sure how, but he can practically see the hostile wink emoji Park Jimin is sending him over call. Even through the phone, his smirk is insufferable and yet he has no choice except to beg for mercy and ask for rescue.


“Jiminnie,” he begins gravely before realising it won't be enough. Fuck. Desperate times call for- “Hyung.”


“Oh wow, I like the sound of this, keep going, Tae.”


Swallowing his pride, he complies. “Jiminnie hyung, you're the only one in the world who’s ever had my back—”


“The rest of the gang is going to murder you for that, but go ahead.”


“—and I’m begging you. To please. Please. Come rescue me. ASAP.” Bits from last night are finally floating back into memory and he’s very certain he doesn’t want to be married to someone who was that insistent on doing it doggy-style. “I don’t want to marry a fucking furry, Jiminnie,” he says as tearfully as he can. He doesn’t use the whole teary-eyed tone often, but the elder is weak for it.


His brother huffs. “I know what you’re doing and I hate that I’m still falling for it.” Taehyung whoops internally. “Okay fine, I’m on my way.”


“Thank you, Jesus Christ, you’re the best, Minnie, I love you, I can’t eve-”


“Alright alright, keep your clothes on.”


“And stop telling you how much I appreciate the existence of an angel like you in my life?” Taehyung asks, clutching his hand to his still-panicking heart. “Never.


Jimin sighs wearily. “No, I mean like literally. Please keep your clothes on and don’t sleep with him again in the time that it takes me to get there, please.”


Taehyung gasps in outrage, for real this time. He’s about to tell the other he’s not that hungry for dick all the time, thank you very much, but the dial tone is suddenly beeping in his ear, signalling the end of the call. He rolls his eyes. Jimin can be so prickly in the mornings, jeez.


Outside, in his room, Jinyoung lets out a loud grunt before turning over to sleep on his other side.


Taehyung sighs.


Jimin better hurry up.