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i am red with love

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Namjoon has been horny for ten years. It settled in around age fourteen and never went away, about the same time that his limbs became an awkwardly long length and he became unequivocally aware of how little control he had over what came out of his mouth whenever he got too close to anyone. It's very hard to come back from confessing that you used to be a Hilary Duff fanboy (like seriously, there were forums) as a woman bares her breasts to you. Namjoon is into philosophy, but he has always thought of his predicament in more of an equation form:

BASIC DECENCY + (SQUARE INCHES OF REVEALED SKIN)/(FUNCTIONAL GRIP LENGTH) + (-CHILL) = ALWAYS FUCKING HORNY

Namjoon's functional grip length was in the 95th percentile and he had never been chill for a single moment in his life, so he was doomed by mathematical law. Spiritually predestined not to pull, ever. That was fine. Namjoon figured that one day he'd learn restraint when sharing his fixation on timelapse youtube videos of echinopsis blooms and things would get better. Ideally, he'd just meet another sexually frustrated loser and they could play board games and have kind of slobbery sex in between rounds. Namjoon was all about inner beauty anyway, having not so much outer beauty himself, so.

In the meantime, he tended to keep his distance from people. It didn't help with his sexual frustration, but he was scared of popping random boners and making people uncomfortable. It really didn't have anything to do with them. So, he aimed for a 95th percentile arms length at all times and hugs no longer than two seconds in total duration from reach to release.

He had his ways of coping. It had been ten years, so. He read a lot of erotic fiction. He watched really a shit ton of porn, but he tried to watch the more cinematic, thoughtful stuff so he didn't accidentally take on any fucked up expectations for future partners. (There was nothing to be done about the fact that he could categorize his porn consumption on a scale of morality, it was just the way of his world.)

Namjoon worked at the Sexual Health Peer Resource Center (SHPRC, and fondly called the Shipwreck by those who spent enough time trapped inside) as a graduate intern. He owned a lot of university subsidized sex toys. He originally pursued the job in an attempt to force his body into chilling the fuck out through sheer overexposure to explicit sex stuff. It worked, kind of, but mostly because it was impossible to make calming undergraduates who were freaked out about the possibility of losing a dildo up their asses erotic in any way shape or form.

When he really thought about it, it was kind of romantic that that was where he met Taehyung. It must say something big that he managed to become intensely and immediately erect in a place so excessively inhospitable to arousal.

When Taehyung first walked into the Shipwreck, he was wearing a pair of gray sweatpants with an oil stain that Namjoon knew from experience was from resting a bare slice of pizza on his leg and absolutely no underwear to speak of. If pressed for how he knew that information, Namjoon would be unable to recount any details because he was busy having his entire life flash before his eyes as every ounce of blood in his body rushed straight to his penis.

Much unlike Namjoon, Taehyung was effortlessly sensual. He probably had never had to think about the ALWAYS FUCKING HORNY equation in his life. Every line of his body was inviting, and he had control of his limbs at all times. Namjoon's insolent mind had begun to conjure a thousand fantasies about him before he realized that Taehyung was speaking to him.

"Hello," Namjoon said, belatedly.

"Hiya," Taehyung said. "My roommate forced me to come collect my free condoms so he can use them."

Namjoon laughed, too loud and grating in the tiny space. He didn't know what to do. He wasn't used to having a boner in the Shipwreck and it made everything seem all sideways and weird-shaped. This little closet filled to the brim with lube and butt plugs was supposed to be his safe space, free from his own desires for once—until this monster sauntered in. Stupidly and against every single training he'd ever attended, he asked, "Don't you think you might need them?"

Taehyung shrugged and reached over to collect a dum-dum out of the bowl near Namjoon's computer. He inspected it for a moment before he pulled off the wrapper and stuck it far back in his mouth, far enough that Namjoon could see his soft palate for a second, not like he was looking.

"What flavor?" Namjoon asked. He was going to lose his job. He understood too late that the thing was happening, the thing where he reached a state of horniness where his mouth completely disconnected from his brain.

Taehyung slurped really loudly and said, full-mouthed, "Red."

"Nice," Namjoon said, his eyes lingering on Taehyung's mouth. He swallowed and repeated, "Nice," as Taehyung turned in a slow circle to inspect the display of masturbatory eggs.

"Not about the Tenga Eggs," Namjoon edited, wincing, and then backtracked. "I mean, well, those are nice too."

Taehyung looked over his shoulder and popped the sucker from his mouth. Namjoon watched too much porn to endure this reality; he was worried he was going to combust. "Have you used them?"

"Oh, uh," Namjoon said.

"Is it weird to you that you have a job where you're like, kind of obligated to tell people about whether you jerk off into an egg?" Taehyung asked. His eyes widened. "Wait, hold on. I'm working on not asking leading questions. How do you feel about people asking you if you jerk off into an egg?"

Namjoon was very thankful for his small, box-like desk and the dark tan he had gotten over the summer which in combination provided him with enough coverage of his dick and his blush that he could live to see the next moment. He cleared his throat.

"Thanks for asking," Namjoon said. "I really like this job, so no. Yes, I've used them and I like them. But they're kind of bad for the environment. They're single use and not bio-degradable, so um, depending on your—uh, frequency, it could really take a toll."

Namjoon lost steam the longer he had to spend in the direct line of Taehyung's attention, his words getting more haphazard and halting as he went on. But Taehyung just nodded solemnly and picked one up, tossing it a few times.

"I guess one of these too," he said, smiling and setting it in front of Namjoon. "I think it's cool that you care about the environmental impact of your faps."

"Thanks," Namjoon said, aiming for absent as he scanned Taehyung's Tenga Egg and fished out a brown paper bag from inside the desk. "You can pick out up to fifty condoms for free. They're all on that shelf. Let me know if there's something you want that's out of stock."

“I want to get 50 glow-in-the-dark ones,” Taehyung said decidedly, after a quick moment of scanning the shelf.

“Are you sure?” Namjoon asked. He wouldn’t normally make any commentary on students’ purchases other than encouragement, but he would have to stand up to get a box and that would be awkward. Anyway, it tracked logically that really no one needed to have sex with a glow-in-the-dark condom 100% of the time. “There are a lot of options.”

“Yeah, I’m sure. I think it will be funny to make my roommate have sex with at least one glow-in-the-dark weiner present at all times and I can only guarantee that by getting all glow-in-the-dark.”

Namjoon barked out a laugh without meaning to. He really didn’t want to encourage the kind of antagonism that Taehyung was going for, because it could result in like… stifled development or something, but it was pretty funny.

“Okay, but you don’t think you’ll need any at all?” Namjoon pressed, beyond his better judgement. His erection had died down a little, but he adjusted it just in case as he reluctantly rose to retrieve their back stock of glow-in-the-dark condoms. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Taehyung laughed, a quiet, warm thing. “You sound like a pamphlet.”

Namjoon flushed. He heaved the box down from the shelf so he didn’t have to look at Taehyung. By the time he settled back into his chair with the box balanced on his lap, Taehyung’s face was getting really super close to a prostate massager. Namjoon ripped open the box and pulled out a full sleeve, not caring about the actual count. He tore into the plastic and emptied it into the brown paper bag. He hoped there were extras.

Namjoon had just met Taehyung, but he was worried about his sexual health. Beyond the fact that Namjoon was going to inappropriately jerk it to thoughts of a Taehyung-shaped person (who was explicitly not actually Taehyung because that would be invasive) for the rest of his life, it just seemed unlikely that Taehyung wasn’t going to get any for the entire semester. It didn’t make any sense within the bounds of Namjoon’s previously stated equation, for one; though, to reiterate, he was not a mathematician.

“I’m not seeing anyone right now, so,” Taehyung shrugged. He bit into the lollipop with a crunch that went straight to Namjoon’s groin. He was a sad excuse for a professional.

“Well,” Namjoon said, busily cramming the bag with as many spare, non-glow-in-the-dark condoms as were laying on the desk. He sounded like an awkward mom, which was so much worse than his usual brand of awkward. “You can’t know the future, so. I’ll put some in, just in case you decide you don’t want a…”

There was no stopping it once it started, Namjoon knew from experience. The words exited his mouth in slow motion, but not nearly slow enough for Namjoon to regain control over his body and say absolutely anything else. “... glowy disco stick.”

Taehyung stuck out his lips appraisingly and then shrugged, reaching out to accept the bag. “Yeah, I guess. Thanks. What do I owe for the egg?”

Namjoon waved his hand. “It’s on me,” he said, before realizing that it was really, really weird to comp something that someone you just met was 100% going to use to jerk off into. But Taehyung smiled, and not even in an awkward way—just bright and silly, showing all of his teeth.

“Oh wow, thanks,” Taehyung said, clutching the bag to his chest. Namjoon was going to die. This was how he would die, watching this boy wearing pizza stained pants clutch a bag of condoms to his chest. It was mortifying. Taehyung’s smile was infectious though. He managed to grin back for a second before the embarrassment overtook him and he had to hide.

Taehyung’s eyes widened again. “Your dimples.”

“Oh,” Namjoon said, covering his mouth with his hand. “Yeah.”

Cute,” Taehyung said emphatically, nodding seriously. He crunched the last bit of his lollipop and with it went the straggling remains of Namjoon’s sanity.

“Ah, thank you,” Namjoon said, pressing his hands very hard to the tops of his thighs. His face was so hot it was going to melt off. “I just need your ID number.”

Taehyung rattled it off, and his student profile popped up in Namjoon’s database. Taehyung’s ID photo looked like it was taken right after Taehyung woke up from a nap, his hair going in six different angles behind a red sweatband. “Alright… Kim Taehyung. You’re all set.”

“Thanks again,” Taehyung said. “I’ll report back on the egg.”

“Um, sure, if you want,” Namjoon said, though he would surely rather be consumed wholly by flame than have to live with even more vivid mental imagery of Taehyung with the egg. As soon as the thoughts entered his mind, so came the realization that he just knew Taehyung had a big dick hidden in his sweatpants. As much as he hated the exotification of penis size intellectually—spiritually, he had less agency. He cleared his throat. “I work Tuesdays and Thursdays at this time.”

Thankfully, he knew that Taehyung probably wouldn’t report back—most students popped in once a quarter to get their condoms with as little eye contact as possible. Nevertheless, the thought really fueled him. Namjoon’s shift ended soon after Taehyung bounced back out of the door and he wasn’t proud to say that he was back in his apartment with his pants around his ankles within the hour.

*

“Hoseok,” Namjoon answered, placing the phone on speaker on his desk. “What’s up?”

Namjoon was going back and forth between his reading and some semi-erotic webtoon that he found recommended on a subreddit. It was probably somewhat sacrilege to go split screen between naked illustrated bodies and philosophical musical theory, but whatever. He was just trying to stay awake at this point.

“Hi Joonie. You still work at the sexual health whatever, right?”

“Sexual Health Peer Resource Center,” Namjoon recited dutifully. “Yep. Do you want information on water- versus oil-based personal lubricants?”

“Stop being gross, are you jacking off right now?” Hoseok pushed forward without pause for answer, even though Namjoon had opened his mouth to share. “Anyway, I need more condoms, but I don’t wanna go in there and ask for them.”

“You do this every semester,” Namjoon sighed, scrolling idly past a panel of two women in a BDSM scene with their cat looking on. “Why don’t you just come in during my shift? It’ll be nice.”

“I don’t want you to watch me choose what condoms I want to use,” Hoseok whined. “Like, I don’t need you to know if I prefer ultra-thin or ribbed. Privacy is sacred.”

“So,” Namjoon said, rolling his eyes. “You’d rather me choose the sensation. Hmmm.”

“I haven’t thought about it like that.” Hoseok goes quiet. “Fuck it, I don’t care. I already tried to avoid this situation by sacrificing my celibate roommate, but he brought back whole bag of glow-in-the-dark condoms.”

Namjoon’s eyes widened to maximum width. He lifted his chin to stare above his monitor. “Uh.”

“Why do you sound like that.”

“What’s your roommate’s name?” Namjoon asked warily.

There was silence on the other end of the line for a moment as the wheels turned in Hoseok’s head.

“Oh my god,” Hoseok screeched on the other end. “You’re egg boy. You motherfucker!”

“He called me that?” Namjoon asked, sitting up a little straighter.

“I hate this. Oh my god. He wrapped that thing you sold him around a cucumber that I was going to use in my lunch to try it out.”

Namjoon laughed without meaning to. “What?”

“This is gross on about a million different levels,” Hoseok said, disgusted. “First, Taehyung is literally gross. Yesterday, I watched him eat an old crumb off of his keyboard. I’m serious. And when he saw me staring, he started laughing and said, just a snack.”

“Like I love him, but he’s disgusting. His feet are always dirty. Why?”

“I don’t know,” Namjoon said, feeling uncomfortably invested in the answer.

“I feel like I’ve adopted him,” Hoseok said. “On top of that, I’m also the shitty parent who keeps sending their kid to class with crust in his eyes.”

“Are there more levels?” Namjoon asked.

“Well, the second level is you, so. You know.”

“I don’t know what you mean by that,” Namjoon said idly, though he did. He clicked into the next page of the webtoon. Gross was a pretty subjective term.

“It’s like you want people to talk about how many times they’ve walked in on you jerking it,” Hoseok sighed. “Honestly. Kookie and I are going to start a support group.”

“Gross is a really subjective term,” Namjoon said primly, rolling his eyes. “And I won’t be shamed for my natural bodily functions.”

“I hate this,” Hoseok groaned. “I already hate it so much.”

“I’ll bring by the condoms tomorrow after my shift,” Namjoon said, taking Hoseok off of speaker and tucking the phone between his shoulder and ear.

Hoseok perked up and said, “Oh right, thanks Joonie!”

Then, “Hey. Hey, wait—”

“Okay, bye!” Namjoon said hurriedly, before Hoseok can do something rash, like say absolutely anything out loud about why he would voluntarily become a condom delivery service.

*

“Do you think I might be,” Namjoon started, eyebrows drawing together. “Um. A sex addict?”

Namjoon’s therapist, an utterly brilliant 30-something woman named Dr. Kwon Boa, looked at him appraisingly and said, “Do you think you’re a sex addict?”

“I’m considering it,” Namjoon said.

“What makes you say that?”

“Well,” Namjoon said. “I’ve told you about the always horny theorem?”

“Ah, yes,” she nods, leaning back in her chair and smiling a little. Her office was small and warm, it always smelled like a yoga studio. “It’s interesting to me that this is the one area of your life that you don’t hesitate to draw hard and fast lines in, when you spend much of your other emotional life wading through grey area and uncertainty.”

“Oh, well,” Namjoon stuttered. “I guess—yeah, that’s interesting.”

“It’s a powerful defense mechanism to close yourself off from your desire with a theorem of your own creation.”

“Uh, I mean—I wouldn’t, like. Put it that way?” Namjoon sputtered. He hated this. Boa was far too good at her job and his simple monkey brain was duped into this position at least once per session.

“How would you put it?” she asked, crossing her ankles.

Namjoon fidgeted. “Um. Just being… realistic, I guess.”

“Is it realistic in your world view that anything is definite?”

Namjoon had spent much too long in her presence waxing poetic about the inevitability of change and the painful stretch of growth. He was a fool, and now he was trapped in a place that he desperately did not want to excavate a mere 30 minutes before he was set to casually run into the locus of his desires.

That was a weird thing to think. Taehyung, just Taehyung was a fine way to refer to him. That would probably help him not act like a complete freak of nature.

“No,” Namjoon grumbled. “The only truth is change.”

“Interesting.”

“I bet,” Namjoon sniped back, even though it wasn’t her fault. “I was just asking for your professional opinion. Because Hoseok called me gross on the phone yesterday.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah,” Namjoon said. “He thinks I masturbate too much. And you know, maybe that’s true, but I just wanted to say that gross is really subjective, well, I did say that to him, and maybe he shouldn’t place judgement on the different ways that I express passion?”

Boa looked at him levelly for a moment before clasping her hands over one knee. “Alright, why don’t we jump into that.”

*

“Oh, hi,” Taehyung said at the door. He was wearing jeans stained at the knees with dirt and a loose black t-shirt. Namjoon’s eyes lingered unbidden on Taehyung’s bare feet for a beat too long before replying.

“Oh, hi,” Namjoon said, holding up the brown paper bag in his hands and then realized it was full of condoms and lowered it slowly. Taehyung smiled a little blankly, probably confused at why Namjoon seemed surprised to find himself at Taehyung’s door with condoms.

“These aren’t for you,” Namjoon clarified. “They’re condoms.”

Taehyung laughed, and moved out of the doorway. “Cool.”

Taehyung scratched at his scalp as Namjoon hovered awkwardly before finally just committing and going inside. Namjoon added, “They’re for Hobi. We’re good friends.”

“This is the weirdest,” Taehyung said, but he didn’t sound like he meant anything by it. He smiled at Namjoon over his shoulder. "He's not here, but do you want to stay? Wanna see something funny?"

"Oh, sure," Namjoon said, like he wasn't already toeing his shoes off and setting the condoms on the counter like a takeaway bag, like he hadn't already texted Hobi and confirmed that he wasn't home but Taehyung was. Namjoon wasn't usually this devious. He also didn't know why he kept prefacing everything with 'Oh' like it was making anything more casual. It really wasn't. He added, "Sure."

Taehyung walked into their living room, a space that Namjoon had only been in a few times since the year started and Hoseok moved back near campus because he and Yoongi had been at each other’s throats when they lived together during the summer. It was neat, as expected since Hoseok was an exceptionally clean person—almost too neat to hold a person like Taehyung, whose casual nature permeated the air like a physical force.

"Hobi-hyung made me keep it in my room because he said it was creepy," Taehyung said with a half-devious look, scuttling down the hall. "Come on."

Namjoon could not do that. He knew that for a fact. He couldn't go into Taehyung's room because he would get too weird too fast. Surely, Taehyung was going to show him the Tenga Egg and cucumber, and Namjoon was going to get turned on by it. It was inevitable, and then Namjoon would be that guy and he wanted desperately to be anyone else.

"Um," Namjoon said, rooted to the spot that he'd adopted in the middle of their living room.

"Come on," Taehyung yelled from where he was already inside. "I think you'll get it."

Namjoon forced himself forward, because it would be impolite not to come when called, he reasoned. He was already feeling a stirring in his groin, so fuck Boa and how she turned his own propensity for explorative thought against him.

Taehyung's room was messy, but Namjoon figured that. He wondered if this was a normal thing for Taehyung, if he was just the kind of person who drew people in and ended up in his room with them after meeting them once in the campus sex store. He hovered in the doorway as Taehyung threw himself onto his bed to reach for something on the floor on the other side.

Taehyung had a good butt. It matched him, the indulgent way he carried himself. Oh god. And his feet were dirty, like they'd been really dirty, but then he brushed them off and maybe washed them a little before coming inside—just not enough. Namjoon was starting to worry he might have a feet thing? He really could have a feet thing. He'd never spent too much time on foot fetish content, but anything was possible. Maybe it was a late onset foot fetish—he really didn't understand how any of that worked. He could google it later.

Taehyung found the thing. Namjoon was sporting a half-chub at the very least and was edging close to his fight or flight response, which had been resoundingly flight since kindergarten when he shoved Lee Taemin for stealing his silver sharpie and then Taemin scratched him so hard on the arm that it left a scar. Taehyung rolled over triumphantly, tucking his legs to his chest and shooting them out to get enough momentum to roll up to a seat. His smile was blinding. Namjoon wasn't going to run. He was trapped. Taehyung was holding the egg, and metaphorically, Namjoon's testicles, in his bare hands.

"Come in, here, you can sit on the bed, it's totally fine," Taehyung said excitedly, folding his legs under him.

Namjoon sat down where directed, very carefully arranging his limbs to try and make it less weird for Taehyung, but unfortunately, probably more weird in general. Something crunched underneath his butt, but it sounded cellophane-y and Taehyung just waved his hand at Namjoon's alarmed face.

"Sorry, that was probably from a few days ago," Taehyung said, unbothered. "Now look!"

Taehyung flipped the egg inside out. It wasn't the one that Namjoon gave him, which had a ridged inside—it was a new one. Taehyung had carved a delicate pattern into the soft rubber, trailing and beautiful, like vines crawling their way along the earth. In like, a masturbatory egg way.

"After you gave me the other one, I looked it up because I wanted to make sure I was doing it right and I saw that there were these Keith Haring ones? Like they had his art on the inside and then you jack off with it and the pattern is supposed to feel good..."

Namjoon didn't know how Taehyung managed find such a specific cross-section of things that would make him want to vomit with how turned on he was. "Oh, wow," Namjoon said in a weak, nearly unrecognizable voice.

Taehyung smiled brightly at him, and his whole face transformed, went from achingly hot to silly in an instant. "Here, check it out."

Namjoon took the egg from him. He traced the lines with his thumb, and wondered what kind of mystical creature Taehyung must be to have a mind that looked at a sex toy and was inspired to create art. "This is really amazing," Namjoon said, peeking up at Taehyung who was watching his reaction intently. "Wow, seriously."

"Thank you," Taehyung said, ducking his head quickly. "I mean, you were the inspiration so."

Namjoon flipped it back so the pattern was on the inside, and it looked even better, just a topographic indent under the surface of the smooth, jellyfish-like material. Intellectually, Namjoon knew it was such a weird thing to say that Namjoon, a complete stranger, inspired his sex egg art; but spiritually, Namjoon had never been more honored.

“Well, um,” Namjoon said. “If you want to do more of them, just let me know. I can get the goods.”

“Egg boy,” Taehyung grinned.

Namjoon laughed behind his hand, rubbing across his face before peeking back out at Taehyung, who for some reason, looked like he wanted to know him. “Oh, yeah. That’s me.”

*

Namjoon got Tae a lot more eggs. They started hanging out kind of a lot. Namjoon thought that maybe, much like his theory about the SHPRC, prolonged exposure to Taehyung would help reduce the fervor of his desire to stare at Tae’s ass for the rest of his life; but unfortunately, he was incorrect.

Taehyung liked to hang out with Namjoon in the SHPRC during his shifts and so now nowhere was safe. The first time Taehyung visited his apartment, they played Super Smash for an entire hour and a half in which Tae demolished Namjoon on account of the fact that Namjoon was bad at games and he could not move even his fingers without fear of making his horniness even worse. Taehyung was usually so gentle that it was weird how intense he got about games. And by weird, Namjoon really meant hot. It was hot.

hi its tae

Taehyung introduced himself every time he sent Namjoon a text, like he didn’t think that Namjoon would have bothered saving his number. It was so funny. Namjoon had looked up his number in the school database and saved it on the off-chance that Taehyung ever texted him, so. It really was funny who Taehyung thought Namjoon was, someone with one modicum of chill, maybe.

hi tae. i know it’s you :p

oh cool :-)
i found a super long worm can u come over & see it?

oh
yes

Namjoon was a little embarrassed that he was gone enough for Taehyung that he was going to get dressed specifically to go and see an extra long worm, but. It was so much nicer to be embarrassed about something really good for once. And the thing was, Taehyung wasn’t just hot. Taehyung was also weird and kind and blunt. Taehyung made Namjoon feel like he could do whatever he wanted and Taehyung would meet him where he was. Taehyung made him feel silly for ever bothering to get embarrassed, ever. There was so much to like about him.

im in the back (with worm)…
go into the alley between my bldg + neighbors

Namjoon parked his bike in front of Taehyung and Hoseok’s building and went through the alley as instructed. It was just beginning to edge out of fall and into winter, the air still crisp and cool without being harsh. It was a beautiful day, sun golden and high, air thin with the chill. He didn’t know what to expect at all. Taehyung was like that and it was exciting for Namjoon to know that about him.

“Joonie,” Taehyung’s low voice carried from where light was spilling into the alley from behind the two buildings.

“Taetae,” Namjoon called back and then he said, “Whoa. What?”

Taehyung was standing in the middle of a lush, miraculous growth. The surrounding flora was so overgrown that it took Namjoon a minute to realize that Taehyung was standing in a raised bed. It was gorgeous, dense—like a piece of the wild had risen up to reclaim the land.

“Hiya,” Taehyung said, waving. He was barefoot in the dirt.

“This is amazing,” Namjoon said as he approached, his eyes wide. “What the hell? Did you do all of this?”

“I’ve only lived here for two months,” Taehyung said and shrugged, which was not an answer. He was in his dirty jeans cuffed to halfway up his calves, a worn yellow tie-dye shirt that said kairos in small letters, and a red dotted hachimaki tied up to hold back his hair. He looked like he had grown up out of the garden like the rest of the leafy things. “But I really like it. My grandparents have a farm.”

“It’s beautiful,” Namjoon said, turning in a slow circle. “I see where your art comes from.”

“You don’t have to call it art,” Taehyung replied, rolling his eyes. “I just want it to be a sex toy thing.”

“Okay, I see where your sex toy thing comes from,” Namjoon said easily, smiling because he couldn’t help it. Taehyung was the loveliest in general, but he looked powerful and abundant all lit up in golden hour. Lush.

“Thanks,” Taehyung said. “Oh, the worm got away.”

Namjoon brushed his fingers across the leaves that looked the friendliest, feeling very much like he was entering a new world. He rubbed a fuzzy leaf between his thumb and index finger, and looked up at Taehyung, who was curling and uncurling his toes in the dirt. “That’s okay,” Namjoon said. “I’m happy to hang out with you anyway.”

Taehyung beamed at him. Namjoon was relaxed and happy. “Come in, then.”

“Should I take off my shoes?” Namjoon asked.

Taehyung shrugged, crouching down and sifting his fingers through the fertile black dirt. “I just didn’t wanna put mine on. I was clearing the bed. So there’s room for new stuff.”

Hoseok said that Taehyung was gross. It was true; Namjoon had witnessed some things that weren’t at the peak of hygiene in the last month. Taehyung sneezed into his hands and ate things off of the floor and waited a little too long between hair washes.

But this Taehyung, in the dirt. Namjoon understood with a clarity that only comes with putting people in their context, the one that they carried around to all of the places that they weren’t made for. The dirt gave way to all of this beautiful life. Taehyung dug into it with his fingers and toes and made it bloom. It wasn’t something to scrub away; it was rooting him.

He probably still needed to wash his sheets more, Namjoon admitted. But still. He got it. Taehyung was tilt-shifted towards more beautiful things in life.

“She’s back,” Taehyung said, dropping to his knees and plunging his hands into the dirt up to his wrists, wriggling his fingers until it loosened up and he could lift two handfuls and one very, very long wriggly earthworm. “Nice.”

Intellectually, Namjoon knew it was gross. Taehyung was literally holding a worm with his bare hands and looking to be about one second away from cooing at it. It’s just that it wasn’t actually gross at all. There was nothing gross about the tender, thoughtful way Taehyung handled himself or the earth.

Namjoon got close, close enough to see the ridges on each section of her wriggly earthworm body. Namjoon got close enough to see the light sheen of sweat across Taehyung’s face, the bumps where his skin wasn’t perfect, a smear of chalky sunscreen that didn’t quite get rubbed in over his eyebrow, the way his pores were bigger around his nose, the sweet mole on his bottom lip.

Taehyung looked up and said, “Oh, hi.”

Then, Taehyung leaned forward and kissed Namjoon. Just a short press of lips to the corner of Namjoon’s mouth. The worm slithered free from Taehyung’s hands and fell onto Namjoon’s knee, and then back into the dirt. Namjoon didn’t even look down. He couldn’t even blink, really. Taehyung laughed at his expression and clapped his hands to get the loose dirt off.

“Cute face,” he commented. He looked up at Namjoon from under his lashes. “Was that okay?”

Namjoon breathed out, feeling overwhelmed. “Definitely. Yes. Um. Yeah.”

“Oh, good,” Taehyung said. He wiped his hands on his thighs and then grabbed Namjoon’s face with his dirt-caked nails, pressing his thumbs into the fat of Namjoon’s cheeks. “I really like you. You let me drop a worm on you. How do you feel about that?”

The bottom of Namjoon’s stomach dropped out and he knew his mouth was slack and stupid looking. “The worm or you?”

“Either,” Taehyung grinned, laugh hot against Namjoon’s face. Namjoon felt feverish, like the world was ending inside of his body. Taehyung was the best.

“You’re the best,” Namjoon said, because he could. “I like the worm because you like the worm.”

Taehyung nodded seriously. “I like the weird sex egg because you like the weird sex egg.”

“I like other things,” Namjoon said, pained and trying not to move too much in case Taehyung thought he was uncomfortable. He was, but in the way of all things that felt too unbelievable to fit inside of one brain. Being the center of Taehyung’s attention was one of those things.

“I know,” Taehyung said, earnest. “I guess I just meant that I like all of you. Especially the parts that you think are weird.”

“Oh,” Namjoon said, weak. “Okay. Good.”

Taehyung laughed, and leaned forward again. Namjoon closed his eyes and tried not to focus on how it felt like his salivary glands were working overtime. But overall, he wasn’t really panicking. He wasn’t worried about anything that he might say. He’d already tried his best to embarrass himself in front of Taehyung. He had the sense that Taehyung would take anything in stride, either way. He kissed Taehyung and let himself be in that moment, lips to lips, warm and a little wet. The tip of Taehyung’s nose was cold and it pressed sweet into Namjoon’s cheek.

Taehyung’s hands dropped from his face to tangle with Namjoon’s own fingers, tugging him forward. He tilted his head and parted his lips, and Namjoon felt very conscious about his tongue as he leaned into the kiss. Except then Taehyung licked into his mouth, deep and searching and without a care to the way he had to stop in the middle and swallow his extra spit. Namjoon could honest to god feel all of his blood rush straight to his groin with the sound.

“Sorry,” Taehyung said, and laughed. He pulled back and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. A smudge of dirt followed, and Namjoon thumbed it away. “I’m excited.”

Namjoon’s laugh was sharp and loud in the crisp fall air. He dropped his head to Taehyung’s shoulder and wrapped his arms around Taehyung’s shoulders, squeezing hard.

“It was hot,” Namjoon admitted, wanting to cry with how true it was, and how he felt like he could say it. “You’re so hot. That sound is going to haunt my dreams.”

“Oh yeah?” Taehyung asked, and his voice took on a different tone, a tone Namjoon hadn’t quite heard yet. Namjoon lifted his head. Taehyung’s face was all hard lines and jaw, his eyes focused, nothing dreamy about him.

“Oh, yeah,” Namjoon said emphatically, mesmerized. Taehyung’s hand traced down Namjoon’s side and he shivered.

“I have more noises,” Taehyung said, his voice low and new so close to Namjoon’s ear.

Namjoon choked. “Oh, fuck yeah.”

*

Namjoon and Taehyung were both pleasure-seeking creatures first and foremost. They went about it differently in their everyday lives, but at its base it was the same. They do what feels good. Namjoon jerks off three times a day and Taehyung eats soft, white bread and watches anime in 12 hour chunks of time. It was not elegant, it was just indulgent, and now they were indulging in each other.

They moved inside, Taehyung just barely stopping to hose off his feet. Namjoon tripped over a tangle of cords on the floor of Taehyung’s room and just managed to land with a knee on the bed. Taehyung didn’t seem to mind at all; he climbed straight on top of Namjoon and sat the ass that had been haunting Namjoon’s dreams right in his lap. He licked his way up Namjoon’s neck and said, “Salty.”

Namjoon squeaked, and Taehyung laughed.

Taehyung had so many more noises, and he didn’t choke them back at all. He just let them tumble from his mouth at anything and Namjoon thought it was so generous. He would have thought that if he had any brain cells left, at least. They kissed, messy and wild, hands everywhere.

“Can I touch you?” Namjoon asked, panting into Taehyung’s mouth. “Like. You know.”

Taehyung nipped at Namjoon’s mouth. “Say it, then? Are you embarrassed?”

“No,” Namjoon said, feeling a little out of body. “No. I’m not. I want to touch your dick so bad. Ever since the gray sweatpants with the pizza stain. I’ve thought about your body, like non-stop for the past two months. I know that’s creepy, and I’m sorry, I tried to think about just a Taehyung-shaped person, but it’s not just your shape that I like, it’s the fact that you’re in it and fuck, I’m still talking.”

Taehyung groaned, and shoved his pants down. “Keep talking.”

“Oh,” Namjoon said, his eyes trained on each new inch of Taehyung’s skin. The familiar loose-limbed, brain-buzzy feeling that he got when he was about to go off the rails was right under his skin. The theorem was going into effect now that Taehyung was getting naked. Except Taehyung was asking him to talk. “Oh fuck, you’re really hot. I think I’ve been fixated on your feet, oh shit.”

“Do you,” Taehyung panted. “Do you have a foot thing?”

“I really don’t know,” Namjoon said, panicked, shoving at his own jeans. “Seriously, I don’t know.”

“It’s okay if you do,” Taehyung said, grabbing Namjoon’s hand and looking at him very seriously considering they both had their pants shoved around their knees. “We’ll figure it out.”

“I can’t believe you look like this,” Namjoon gasped, grabbing at the full curve of Taehyung’s waist. “I can’t believe I get to touch you. I haven’t done this in a long time. Sorry if—”

“Namjoon,” Taehyung said, kissing him firmly. “Come on, touch me then.”

Taehyung pulled away, red mouthed. He spit into his hand, a noisy, disgusting sound and Namjoon almost blacked out. “Oh, fuck. Oh fuck. Taehyung.”

“Did you like that?” Taehyung asked, coy. He moved his hand down to his own cock, slicked it with his spit like something straight from the nasty recessions of Namjoon’s constantly horny mind. He was going to explode. He was going to come so fast, it was inevitable, he hadn’t even been touched yet and he was ready. It was all too much.

Namjoon reached for Taehyung’s dick and squeezed. It was so nice. Great size for the hand. He stroked experimentally once, twice. Taehyung groaned, easy affirmation. “Okay, come on, Joonie, why are you teasing.”

Namjoon didn’t think he was teasing. He blinked down at Taehyung, breathing hard, chest flush where his collar gaped. He slid his hand up Taehyung’s shirt and brushed a thumb over his nipple, catching him as he arched forward into the touch. “Oh.”

“Yeah, you’re sexy, dummy,” Taehyung gasped, and pushed him down onto the bed. Taehyung’s sheets felt lived-in, nothing fresh about them, but it wasn’t bad. Namjoon felt like he could be his whole self in them, just as he was. He shimmied the rest of the way out of his pants, and Taehyung loomed over him looking at him like no one else had ever looked at him in his life.

“What?”

“You heard me,” Taehyung said, shoving Namjoon’s shirt up so he could nibble his way down Namjoon’s chest. “Wow, legs.”

Taehyung’s hands skated up his thighs, and Namjoon twitched, his legs jumping to trap Taehyung between them, sensitive. “Nice,” Taehyung said, but with heat. Namjoon felt it with his whole, entire body.

“I’m not kidding, I’m going to come just from sitting here,” Namjoon said, panicked.

“Really?” Taehyung said, looking interested. Namjoon was going to see that look every time he closed his eyes for the rest of his life.

Taehyung licked his palm, and wrapped a hand around Namjoon’s cock. He squeezed once, and Namjoon, horrified, yelped and came all over Taehyung’s hand.

Taehyung looked down at him with wide eyes. Namjoon stared back, absolutely fucking mortified, even as his body trembled through the aftershocks of his orgasm.

“Oh,” Taehyung said, but it wasn’t like, oh, ew, it was like, oh, fuck. Namjoon propped himself on one elbow and reached for Taehyung, slicking his hand with his own come off of his stomach to make it smooth.

Taehyung surged forward and kissed Namjoon, barely managing to keep it to his mouth. Taehyung panted into the side of Namjoon’s mouth as Namjoon jacked him off, sitting himself in Namjoon’s lap and wrapping his arms tight around Namjoon’s neck. “You’re so easy,” Taehyung whined, sounding so pleased about it. “It’s so nice. I love that. Feels good.”

Namjoon didn’t answer, feeling boneless and emotional, one hand full of Taehyung’s big, beautiful ass and one on his cock. It didn’t take too long before Taehyung was spilling over Namjoon’s fist, gasped moans sweet in Namjoon’s ear.

Taehyung collapsed onto Namjoon’s chest, laying heavily until they both fell back into Taehyung’s sheets.

“We did it,” Taehyung said, his eyes all soft and grin back to goofy.

Namjoon raised a hand and Taehyung high fived him, and it was only after they made contact that Namjoon realized it was the one that was all come-y. Taehyung just laughed, and so Namjoon just laughed and they both rubbed their mess into the sheets and then into each others’ skin.

Taehyung was falling asleep already, not a care to the way his skin was drying all sticky, just cuddled up warm and tangled up in every inch of Namjoon’s 95th percentile functional grip. Pretty gross. Namjoon followed his lead.

*

“Taehyung washed his sheets,” Hoseok said, without saying hello. “I saw him.”

“Oh?” Namjoon said. Taehyung was sitting cross-legged on the floor of Namjoon’s room, trying to solve a rubix cube. He was surrounded on all sides by gently glowing inflated condoms. “Maybe he’s not as gross as you thought.”

“No,” Hoseok said. “You fucking bozo. I think you boned my roommate.”

“Ohhhh,” Namjoon said, like he was remembering something. Taehyung smiled at him and he smiled back. “Oh. Hm.”

Namjoon.”

Namjoon laughed, dropping from his desk chair onto his knees. He fell to the side to lay his head in Taehyung’s lap, and Taehyung lifted his arms to make room. “Okay, yeah.”

Hoseok made a gagging sound on the other end of the line, and Namjoon laughed again. “Hey, stop it.”

“Actually, you know what,” Hoseok said, sounding like he’d emerged clear-headed from a retreat. “This is really good. Taehyung’s going to wash his sheets. You’re going to watch less porn. This is a great development.”

Namjoon looked up at Taehyung, and thought to himself, I would have sex with him in the same dirty sheets fifty million times.

“Tae,” Namjoon said, stroking along the side of his thigh where Taehyung’s shorts were riding up. “Would you watch porn with me?”

“Huh?” Taehyung said, looking down at Namjoon. He shrugged. “Yeah? What kind? Do you wanna figure out the feet thing?”

Goodbye forever,” Hoseok said emphatically, and then line went dead. Namjoon laughed again, and dropped his phone onto the floor so he could hug Tae around the middle, cuddling into his soft stomach.

“Maybe later,” Namjoon said. Taehyung carded his hand through Namjoon’s hair. He felt peace, not a single stirring in his guts at all. “I think I’m good for now.”