“Let’s go, get up,” Taehyung orders Jeongguk through gritted teeth, ripping the covers off him. He’s in no mood to deal with the singers shit today, so when Jeongguk opens his eyes to look at Taehyung, scoff, and close them again to go back to sleep, Taehyung loses it. “Jeongguk,” he grabs the singers ankles to pull on them roughly, attempting to tug him off the bed with a struggle.
Fucking stupid gym rat, all those muscles just to show off.
Jeongguk is halfway off the bed now, his own temper flaring at being woken up like this. “What the fuck do you want, Kim?” he snaps angrily, attempting to crawl back in the middle, but Taehyung grabs onto his leg once again, making the younger fall flat on his stomach.
“Get. Up. You’re already ten minutes late.”
Jeongguk glares at him from over his shoulder, kicking at Taehyung’s hand that’s still wrapped around his ankle. “Why didn’t you fucking, oh, I don’t know, call before you came marching in here?”
“I did,” Taehyung hisses, “but someone turned their phone off, so I had to drive myself here and personally wake you up,” Taehyung is already riled up, he doesn’t need Jeongguk’s eye roll, nor does he need the mumbling of protest.
Jeongguk isn’t the only one that’s tired, for fucks sake.
“Whatever,” Jeongguk huffs out, knowing he’s lost that battle. He rolls onto his back and stares at the ceiling all dazed out, not caring for Taehyung’s impatient foot tap. His eyelids start drooping closed again, and no, Taehyung really can’t deal with this shit right now.
“Jeongguk, so help me god—”
“You work for me, Kim,” Jeongguk speaks gravelly, his eyes still closed, so Taehyung takes that as an opportunity to flip him off, releasing his pent-up frustration. “So watch who you’re speaking to.”
“I’m only helping you, Jeongguk. You’re supposed to be in the van by now, heading to Jimmy’s.”
“Tell them to reschedule.”
“Because you were too lazy and tired to get up and work like an actual adult?” Taehyung mocks, taking out his phone from his slacks to fake-dial Jeongguk’s booking agent. “Surely your fans that had already bought tickets to see you wouldn’t want to hear that.”
Jeongguk’s eyes snap open. He stares at Taehyung for a few seconds, watching how his manager pauses on calling them. He knows it’s a bluff, obviously, but his manager is right—and god, there’s nothing more that Jeongguk hates than his manager being right.
“Fine,” he sits up and rubs his tired face with both hands. “Fine. Shut up and get out so I can get ready.”
“Do you think I’m stupid?” Taehyung pockets his phone and crosses his arms across his chest, holding his ground. “You’re just going to fall back asleep.”
“No, Kim. I’m not.”
“Well, I don’t trust you.”
“And I don’t want you in here while I get dressed, so,” Jeongguk gets off his bed, walking up to his confused manager. He grabs ahold of the elders shoulders, turning him in the direction of his closed hotel room door. He gives him a light push, waving sarcastically when Taehyung looks behind him with narrowed eyes. “Goodbye now.”
“If you’re not ready in ten minutes, I will barge back in here. I have the spare card. I don’t care if you’re indecent or not,” Taehyung threatens lowly, walking towards the door himself.
“I bet you’d like that, wouldn’t you,” Jeongguk says it like it’s a statement, and it makes Taehyung clench his jaw, his patience getting tested yet again.
“Oh, bite me, Jeongguk. I’m not like one of your little fans that fawn over you—”
“And you’re still here preaching about shit I didn’t ask for,” Jeongguk cuts him off with an eyebrow raised, crossing his arms across his chest now.
Taehyung curls his lips inside his mouth, mentally counting to ten inside his head to get himself to calm down. He doesn’t have the time for another argument with the worlds brattiest, most irritating, singer.
He really doesn’t.
“Ten minutes,” he repeats, walking out and slamming the door shut behind him.
“So, I got a call back from Conan and he’d love to have you on his show—but a few days before you release your album, so we can get the fans hyped up for it, plus, the promotion for it would be skyrocketing.”
“Are you even listening to what I’m saying?”
Taehyung snatches the phone right out of Jeongguk’s hands, disregarding the exasperated expression on the singers face. “Listen,” he orders, holding the phone out of Jeongguk’s reach when the younger leans over him to grab at it.
“Give me my phone back. Now, Kim.”
“This is important, so listen—”
“Look, you’re my manager for a reason. You worry about all this shit for me and then I just show up—”
“You don’t just show up because there’s more we need to discuss—”
“Okay, we can once you give me my phone back,” when Taehyung shakes his head no, Jeongguk takes a deep breath, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Kim,” he growls out, nostrils flaring. He tries to reach for it once again, but Taehyung dodges him and doesn’t think twice before he’s shoving it down the front of his pants. Jeongguk stares at him, unblinking, unmoving, and—“did you just put my phone in your fucking pants?”
Now that Taehyung can calm down, he belatedly realizes that could’ve gone better. And by better, he means it could’ve been settled in a more mature, professional way.
Flushing a bit, Taehyung tries to remain nonchalant about it all, like he doesn’t have Jeongguk’s phone currently in his pants, and oh god, he really doesn’t think, does he? “Now, like I was saying—”
“You think I won’t get it?”
Jeongguk’s gaze is unwavering, face set in stone. “You really think I won’t reach into your pants and take it out right now?”
Taehyung feels his heartbeat quicken, breaking out into a mini panic attack. “I can get you for sexual harassment,” he weakly encounters, subtly flinching when Jeongguk abruptly turns in his seat to face him properly.
“Yeah? And I can get you for unprofessional behavior. I can guarantee you’d hardly find another job after this when you have the words ‘shoving stars phone down pants’ on your reasoning for being fired,” Taehyung cringes, knowing Jeongguk’s annoyingly right. Jeongguk may be the most intolerable person he’s worked with yet, but if Taehyung had done this to anyone else, he would’ve been fired on the spot and kicked to the curb, no questions asked. “So, either you just give me my phone, or I get it myself.”
“Fine,” Taehyung grumbles under his breath, his hands on the waistband of his pants. He looks at Jeongguk, who’s still staring at him with tightly pursed lips. Feeling suddenly embarrassed, Taehyung clears his throat. “Can you look away? So I can take it out.”
“How hard is it to just shove your hand in there and pull it out? You had no problem throwing it in when I was looking.”
“Jeongguk,” this isn’t helping Taehyung’s case whatsoever. His cheeks tinge a faint pink and is this how it feels to want to die from mortification? “Just, please. Look away.”
“Whatever,” he scoffs, turning back around to face the front of the moving van. “Fucking child,” he mutters under his breath as an afterthought. Taehyung would retort back with something as equally agitating, but he has a task at hand—and that’s take Jeongguk’s phone out of his pants.
He slips his hand in and grabs it the same exact moment it decides to loudly vibrate with incoming notifications. Jolting in surprise, he pulls it out quickly before Jeongguk can suspect anything, but the singer looks over as soon as it happened, confused.
It’s oddly silent for a few seconds before it dawns on the younger and he’s laughing obnoxiously. “Shut up—” Taehyung warns, but it falls on deaf ears.
“If you wanted to pleasure yourself so bad, you should use a vibrator next time. Not my phone.”
“Oh my god,” Taehyung turns around so his back is to a still cackling Jeongguk, ignoring him and remaining quiet for the rest of the car ride.
Jeongguk nods his head along to the beat his producer, Yoongi, had made—especially to his request.
Usually Jeongguk would have a mix of R&B and alternative beats, but for this era, he’s switching his style entirely up. He’s focusing more on rock and hardcore influences, concept more bad-ass and loud.
He’s beyond nervous to see what his fans will think—he just hopes they’ll be as excited as he feels about it all.
“I was thinking you could add some background vocals to this part,” Yoongi plays it to show him. Jeongguk hums in response, highly taking it into consideration. Then Yoongi’s pausing and fast forwarding the song until it has only about thirty seconds left. “And here, you could add an interlude of some sort. Say some cheesy shit, something that’ll have your fanboys and fangirls creaming themselves.”
Jeongguk snorts. “Like what?”
“I don’t know,” Yoongi shrugs, pressing a few keys on his laptop, alternating the beat a bit and messing around with the sound.
Jeongguk doesn’t get any of this producing music shit and it kinda sucks seeing as he wanted to be involved with this album as much as he can—and that includes producing a few of his own songs.
But, there’s always a next time.
“How are you gonna suggest the idea, but have no idea what I can say.”
“Because you usually have girls throwing their bras on stage by a simple fuckin’ hi,” Yoongi drawls, rolling his eyes unimpressed. He’s not lying either. Just last week, Jeongguk had about a whole Victoria Secrets collection worth on his stage. “You could just breathe heavily into the microphone for the rest of the song and that’d be enough.”
“That actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea.”
Yoongi gives him a deadpan expression, waving a hand around when Jeongguk wiggles his eyebrows. A clear gesture that states I really don’t care what you do. I just make the beats.
A sharp ringtone echoes throughout the studio, vaguely startling the singer and producer. “Who’s that?” Yoongi distractedly asks, all his attention and focus back onto his laptop.
Jeongguk groans at the caller ID, debating on answering or not. His day was going so well, so far, too. “Taehyung,” even his managers name tastes like acid on his tongue.
Yoongi doesn’t see the problem with that because he just sniffs and replies with a solemn, “okay. Are you gonna answer it or not? The ringing is annoying.”
Jeongguk presses the answer button before it can go to voicemail. “What.”
“Where are you?”
“Does it concern you?”
“Seeing how I am your manager, yes. And I need you to be here in fifteen minutes. We got lots to discuss.”
“Why can’t we just do it over the phone? Or even facetime,” Jeongguk paces the studio, his hands lightly skimming everything he comes across.
Yoongi grabs the balled-up napkin from this mornings breakfast, hitting Jeongguk in the head with it. Stop touching my shit he mouths at him when Jeongguk looks over, puzzled.
“Because you never listen over the phone,” Taehyung explains with a tired sigh, like it physically wears him out having to verbalize it. “Just be here in fifteen, okay?”
“Jeongguk, I mean it.”
Jeongguk hangs up with a grimace, clicking the side ring switch off so it’s on vibrate now. As expected, Taehyung calls back not even thirty seconds later.
“You put him through hell,” Yoongi laughs to himself, shaking his head. He turns around in his swivel chair, leaning back comfortably with his hands folded on his lap. “You gotta cut him some slack.”
“When he cuts me some I will.”
“He’s just doing his job, Guk.”
“So are you, but you don’t annoy me. So is Namjoon when he’s booking my performances, but he doesn’t annoy me,” Jeongguk deliberately ignores the second incoming call coming from Taehyung, pressing on the wake button twice. “There’s just something about him that gets me riled up.”
“Have you ever thought maybe he’s an ass to you because you’re one to him?”
“Ugh, come on,” Jeongguk feels his phone vibrating in his hands once again and he’s a millisecond away from throwing it across the wall so hard it shatters from the impact. Taehyung doesn’t know when to call it fucking quits. “Who even likes their manager?”
“Plenty do. And you can, too, Guk.”
“Over my dead body,” he scoffs, pressing the button once again. Before Taehyung even has the chance to speak—more like reprimand him some more—Jeongguk speaks up. “Yes, I heard you. I’m coming in fifteen minutes, now stop calling before I fire your ass.”
When Jeongguk hangs up, not even giving Taehyung the privilege to respond, Yoongi laughs some more into his curled fist. “You know, I’m starting to think you’re bluffing,” when Jeongguk simply looks at him to continue, Yoongi sits up straighter. “You won’t fire his ass. You’ve been saying this for the past like, what? Five months?”
“I will. Where do you think Mark, Brian, Lucas and Danny are? Oh, that’s right, fired.”
“Kid, you go through managers like water,” Jeongguk scowls at Yoongi still having the habit of calling him kid—as if he’s a decade older and not by a few years. “It’s a miracle Taehyung even lasted this long. Actually, he’s probably the longest manager you’ve had in your entire career.”
“Yoongi, let’s not be ridiculous now.”
“I’m serious. You’re so damn high-maintenance, you know only Taehyung knows how to put up with your ass, so you keep him around,” Yoongi grins mischievously now, a knowing look in his eyes, and Jeongguk knows he’s not going to like what he’s going to hear next. “I heard from a little birdie that he shoved your phone in his pants.”
“How the fuck—”
“A little birdie,” he repeats it as slowly as he can, “If Charlie, your other ex manager, tried that shit, you would’ve fired him immediately.”
“I’m not having this conversation with you,” Jeongguk grumbles, turning on his heel so he doesn’t have to look at Yoongi’s shit eating grin any longer. “I gotta go.”
“Fucking it out would probably help all that tension and frustration, my friend.”
“Same goes for you and Jimin,” Jeongguk shoots back without giving it much thought, opening the door to leave the studio.
Yoongi chuckles some more, “Who says we haven’t?”
And Jeongguk leaves with a mock gag.
“I personally think Mantra shouldn’t be the single for this album.”
“Your opinion is heard and it’s irrelevant.”
“Jeongguk, I’m serious.”
“Yeah? So am I.”
“Do you not see the problem with this?” Taehyung presses on and on. It’s already two am, Jeongguk is in his hotel room, half asleep on his bed, ready to call it a fucking night, but that’d be asking for too much when having Taehyung as his manager.
“What’s the damn problem? It’s the direction I’m going in with this new album, so it’ll give the fans an idea of it,” he slurs tiredly. When Taehyung sucks his tooth in disapproval, Jeongguk just knows that means he’s in for another one of Taehyung’s rants about why he believes his ideas are better than Jeongguk’s.
“How do you go from like....Christmas to Halloween?”
Jeongguk picks his head up from his fluffy pillow, glaring at Taehyung like his managers lost it. Maybe he’s just sleep-deprived—and hey, would you look at that, Jeongguk can sadly fucking relate. “What?”
“Like your music genre just did a whole one-eighty. If you want this album to be successful, you need to start thinking outside the box. Start thinking tactics, Jeongguk.”
“I’m thinking sleep.”
“Look, it’s two am, okay? We can finish this when I wake up. I’m too tired for this crap,” he yawns, falling back against his pillows. Sighing in contentment, he reaches down to pull the blankets over him. “I have an early meeting tomorrow and then I have to meet up with Hoseok for the choreography. I am done for tonight.”
When Taehyung doesn’t argue back, or disagree for once, Jeongguk smiles to himself because finally.
“Alright. Make sure you set your alarm. If not, I’ll call you before driving over since I have to bring you myself.”
It doesn’t register in Jeongguk’s head until he hears Taehyung opening his room door with a soft click. “Wait,” he abruptly sits up, stopping Taehyung from fully walking out. “What do you mean driving over? You’re not staying at this hotel?”
Now getting a good look at Taehyung for the first time this night, he can see how exhausted the elder looks as well with dark circles under his eyes.
“No,” Taehyung looks down at the clean beige carpet before looking back up at an awaiting Jeongguk. “They ran out of rooms here.”
“Where do you plan on going?”
“Not sure. Hopefully somewhere close enough so I don’t have to drive like a half hour back and forth.”
Jeongguk bites his lip in thought. He’s an asshole to Taehyung, sure that much is obvious, but he’s not going to have the elder driving around the city on the brink of sleep, looking for a place to sleep tonight. “Stay here.”
Taehyung looks taken back by the request, knuckles turning white from where he’s still gripping the golden doorknob. “Um, what?”
“Stay,” he encourages. “It’s already late. You shouldn’t be driving around when you’re this tired, it’s dangerous,” upon realizing how that sounded, Jeongguk tries to play it off like it meant nothing. A witty, “How would I explain it to my fans and the public that my manager died because he was being careless and stupid?”
Taehyung gives a soft smile at that, totally disregarding the last thing Jeongguk said. “Are you sure? I’ll take the couch—”
“No, it’s fine. I have a king size anyways, so,” Jeongguk shuffles over so he can leave enough room for Taehyung when the elder shuts the door, toeing off his shoes. “Make yourself at home, or whatever. I’m going to bed.”
Offering your manager to room with you is weird enough in Jeongguk’s opinion.
Offering your manager to share the same bed with you, is where boundaries are beyond crossed.
But Jeongguk knows the guilt of knowing Taehyung was out driving for a place to stay would’ve prevented him of having a goodnight, well rested sleep—so obviously he did it for himself.
And most definitely not for Taehyung’s smile and gentle whisper of a goodnight.