Actions

Work Header

I'll kimchi my way into your heart

Work Text:

Taehyung woke up to the sound of his phone buzzing next to his head. His hand immediately reached out to shut it down but it kept vibrating obnoxiously. With a grunt he opened his eyes, frowning from the light coming through the open curtains, and searched for the device haphazardly. Finding it he lit up the screen and tried to focus on it. Someone was calling him. He sighed and picked up.

“Hey dad…” He said, or rather growled lowly, his voice hoarse.

 

“You sound ragged. Were you asleep ?” His father replied with a reproving tone. Taehyung couldn’t help but roll his eyes.

 

“It’s seven am on a Sunday, of course I was asleep.”

 

“Mind you, I’ve been up for two hours.” His father retorted dryly. “We’re not all so lucky that we can lay around all day.”

 

Taehyung refrained from pointing out to his dad that a project had kept him up nearly all night and he had gone to bed barely three hours ago. It would be pointless.

 

Why are you calling me ?” he asked instead, and added in thought ‘you never do, and we agreed long ago that it was better that way’.

 

“Your mother is pestering me about this kimchi thing and quite frankly it’s taking way more of my day than it should. So I’m calling you to remind you that if you can’t keep your promise, you can expect us next weekend.”

 

And just like that, he hung up. The phone still on his ear, Taehyung stared at the wall jadedly then sighed and dropped his head on his pillow to scream into the fabric. This conversation was making him boil out of frustration, but the worse of it was that he knew he couldn’t get back to sleep. Not in this state of nerve. And he also knew that his father had done it by design.

 

He rubbed his eyes then pushed the covers and got up. He wanted to cool down a bit, get some air and he quickly settled on going out for a walk. He dressed up warmly, with the thickest coat he could find, then put a beret on his head and mittens on his hands. He grabbed his phone and a pack of cigs, and checked on his way to the door that everyone else in the flat was still asleep. He picked an apple and his scarf, slipped into his shoes and just like that he was gone.

 

He ran down the stairs and soon he was out in the fresh morning air of Seoul. The cold bit his skin and he hastened to tight his scarf around his neck tightly. Taking a bite of the fruit, he started to walk up the street, looking around to watch the city come to life. Unconsciously, he took the way to the studio. He didn’t particularly feel like keeping on working, but he could just wander off from there.

 

There were a few bars on his path, with some people stumbling through the doors after what seemed a drunken night. Apart from them, every other shop was closed, and the silence felt weird for a place usually so full of life. A cigarette between his lips, his hands in his pockets, Taehyung let the walk soothe him, and his anger flew away.

 

But then came worry. Taehyung proceeded his father’s words, realized what they meant, what they ensued . His parents here in Seoul, with him, with his friends . He wouldn’t be able to keep his friends out, not even for a weekend. He was living with Yoongi who was dating Jimin, and they could go to the latter’s place except it was a shitty place and he already had almost all of his things at their flat. That meant his parents would meet them, and they would probably cross path with Namjoon too at some point.

 

Taehyung dreaded the meeting between his parents and his tribe. He agreed that there would be no problem for his mother, because even if there were things that she didn’t understand in his life, she trusted his judgment and supported him the best she could. He was still her son after all, the same boy she had raised and knew by heart. His father however, couldn’t and wouldn’t keep the reprobation out of his voice. He would disapprove, because he didn’t understand and couldn’t accept that Taehyung has chosen another path.

 

They were all some kind of deviant, what with Namjoon and Yoongi being musicians and Jimin pursuing a dance career. Taehyung was a sculptor, he created objects and figures with different materials. Those were not ordinary choices of life and not all days were easy, but being all together made it more enjoyable.

 

He didn’t want his father to ruin this.

 

Rummaging his thoughts, he kept walking, blind to what was happening around. When his cigarette was smoked, he crushed it against a wall and focused on his surroundings to find a bin. Dropping the stub in it, he realized his steps had led him to an indoor pedestrian street halfway between their flat and the studio. The alley consisted mainly in little food shops, aligned one after the other, and had a transparent roof. Yoongi and Taehyung had their habits there, and so did a lot of people, the place being located at somewhat a juncture of the neighborhood. For once it was empty, and Taehyung couldn’t resist the desire to wander.

 

His mind still clouded, he walked to a certain shop specialized in kimchi. Despite never being there himself, the shop was Yoongi’s favorite, and they passed by it often enough for Taehyung to know which one it was. He didn’t really know what he was expecting, maybe some kind of illumination from the kimchi spirit once he would be at the door.

 

He certainly did not expect to find the shop open.

 

He checked the time quickly. Not even seven thirty, why in the hell weren’t they closed. He tried to take a peek inside, but the place seemed desert. Reckoning it had to be a sign of the divine providence, he didn’t think any further and entered.

 

It was indeed empty, but he immediately heard noises coming from the back shop. He followed the counter, passed the tables and the kitchen and noticed an open door at the back of the room. He walked up to it and ended in a small corridor. Another door was open at the end of it, leading to a back alley. As he came closer, Taehyung could hear someone humming a song with a soft voice.

 

He reached the door. A few meters from it, a young man was picking up what seemed to be a heavy box from a pile of ten other boxes while singing quietly. He had long black hair and lips that seemed almost too cute for the way his black shirt clung to his body, sleeves at the elbows to reveal muscles strained by the effort. The tension caught Taehyung’s attention and he didn’t realize for a moment that the other had noticed him.

 

“Who the fuck are you and what are you doing here ?”

 

The brutal question brought him out of his contemplation and he snapped his eyes back to the guy who was staring at him defiantly. He was really cute. Taehyung decided to go for it.

 

“Hi I’m Taehyung and, well, long story short I don’t want to see my asshole of a father so can you please teach me how to make kimchi ?”

 

Jugnkook’s - because that was the boy’s name - eyes widened under the surprise. He checked once again the apparition, this tall and slender dude, face blushed from the cold, blond strands falling from his beret, who had materialized before him and was now asking for his help. Context, he needed context.

 

He put down the box he was carrying and crossed his arms as he looked back at the guy.

 

“Okay… What about the long version ?”

 

Taehyung he said his name was - Taehyung seemed to gauge him questioningly.

 

“You sure you want the long version ?”

 

He nodded with a vivid assent, eyes blinking.

 

“I positively am.”

 

Taehyung shot him a sympathetic look that somehow Jungkook understood as “oh boy, you're going to regret this” and took a deep breath. Then he began his story.

 

Okay so there’s my father right, and he’s kind of an asshole, Imma spare you the details but really, Grade-A bastard, and the lesser I see him the better my life is. And then there’s my mother who’s a total cinnamon roll but with terribly poor tastes in men. So she calls me I don’t know like one week ago and she asks me if I’m coming to Daegu for the kimchi season and I’m like “no m’ma, I’m really not.” So she begins to lecture me about traditions and the importance of family bond but I mean I went there for Christmas so it’s not like I haven’t seen them in a year or somethin’. Not to mention that last time I was at their house it went to hell halfway through. Anyway, I’m rendered at telling her I don’t have the money for the trip, which is true by the way, and here she goes saying they’ll come over instead ! My parents ! in Seoul ! She told me she wanted to meet my friends ! Hell no. Uh uh. There’s no way my narrow-minded homophobic genitor is going to meet the walking gaypride that is my entourage. I adore them to bits don’t you dare doubt it but still, not a fucking chance. So here I am protesting because since we’re living already at two and a half in a tiny flat I can’t really welcome them, so they’d have to book a hotel room they can’t really have the luxury to afford, which is also true, my parents are farmers, and I’m extremely proud of that in case you were wondering. But my m’ma is one of those parents to whom food is sacred you know so she pesters me with how I am going to be without kimchi in the kimchi season, and how will I do when I have guests over, uh, have I thought of this ? They’ll expect it and there won’t be any, I will look like a terrible host ! Like the absence of kimchi is a goddamn diplomatic incident or whatever. And, really, who can blame me, the words were out before I could even register. I’m sure you get it. I told her my friends and I had planned to prepare kimchi together anyway since we were all staying in Seoul. The truth is, I’m a dreadfully shitty cook, and my mother perfectly knows that. So, of course, she accused me of lying and to get her of my back, also because the new ep of my anime was finally out, I promised her to send her a pic under ten days. The deadline is now in three days and there’s not an inch of kimchi at my place whatsoever. You’ll ask me, why don’t I seek the help of my friends ? Well cause firstly, my roommate can’t cook for shit. No seriously, it’s a disaster, and he’s lucky his gigs bring him a sufficient amount of money so he can often afford delivery, not gonna complain, he almost treats me every time. Then there’s his boyfriend, who happens to be the love of my other life, my bae til death do us apart but without any kinky stuff because, ew. And his conception of cooking is putting an apron on and then call his mother to talk three hours with her. Three hours ! I swear, Jimin’s mother is adorable but their relationship is seriously unhealthy. Like she was actually glad to meet Yoongi for the first time ! Trust me, nobody’s glad to meet Yoongi-hyung for the first time. He comes off as a blunt and rude dickhead. It’s only if you’re stubborn enough, and if you don’t mind insults and constant nagging, that you can see eventually the beautiful person he is inside. And she said he had been lovely ! Point is, Jimin is untrustworthy due to a complete lack of productivity. Lastly there’s Namjoon-hyung, who is an ever worse cook than me and that’s saying something. Because I’m fine with just burning things, but hyung finds a way to break them too. Therefore I obviously can’t rely on my friends in this situation. That’s why I came here. I happen to pass by your street shop pretty much everyday, I actually live nearby, and the place’s always full so I’m reckoning you must do a pretty good kimchi. So please, please, can you help me make some ? Cause I’m running out of options and you’re kinda my last hope.”

 

Taehyung stopped gesticulating as he ended his tirade and Jungkook had to admit he was actually impressed that the other didn’t seem that out of breathe. Instead he put his hands on his hips and shot him an expectant look. But the young man didn’t really know how to react. His immediate thought was that it suddenly made hell of a lot of informations to process about someone he didn’t know at all. The next one was that somehow his story made sense, and explained pretty well why he had trespassed inside to look for someone. Surprisingly, Jungkook found himself leaning toward compassion but his usual reserved self couldn’t quite lay down arms yet.

 

He went for neutral.

 

“Your… life seems quite a lot to handle.”

 

Taehyung smiled at that, repressing a chuckle and him be damned if Jungkook didn’t find it adorable.

 

“I know. Most of the time I’m barely holding it together. Quite frankly it’s a miracle I’m still alive but looks like cheap anime and instant ramyun make me survive somehow. Will you please help me ?”

 

Jungkook chewed on the smile that was threating to eat his face and briefly nodded.

 

“Okay.”

 

Taehyung’s next argument visibly died down on his lips as he stared incredulously at him.

 

“What really ?”

 

“Yeah,” Jungkook replied, shrugging, “why not ?”

 

And really, why not ? What harm could it do to help this guy, Jungkook wondered. Taehyung couldn’t really represent a physical menace, what’s with his lanky frame and his attitude somewhat absent, as if he were here, but also in a hundred other places at the same time. And right now he seemed like he was in a dire need of help. Jungkook wasn’t particularly good at reading people, but something deep inside was telling him that giving Taehyung a hand was the right thing to do. It would be worth it.

 

“Yeah,” he repeated, putting an end to his somewhat inner conflict, “I’ll make you kimchi Taehyung.”

 

The latter took a few seconds to register his words then his face literally lit up as a wide and boxy smile spread on his lips, his eyes squinting. It made something settle in Jungkook’s heart.

 

Then Taehyung bounced on him.

 

“Oh fuck that’s fantas- wait what’s your name ?”

 

“Jungkook.” He answered with a laugh.

 

“Oh my god Jungkook that’s fantastic !” He gripped his forearm and shook it excitingly and Jungkook let him do so, to keep with the unusual. “I really thought you wouldn’t agree ! Or that it’d be way harder to convince you, like I’d have to sell my body or something…”

 

“For kimchi ?”

 

“You never know with some people.”

 

Jungkook laughed once again. Taehyung was undoubtedly entertaining.

 

“Well I’m not some people. You can come to the shop on one day this week, and we’ll make some.”

 

“Aren’t you free right now ?” Taehyung pleaded, boring his puppy eyes into the other’s and battling his eyelashes. “I’m kinda running out of time.”

 

Jungkook rolled his eyes at the shamelessness but his smile had yet to disappear. He considered the options for a minute but eventually gave in.

 

“Fine. Let me put this boxes aside first and I’ll take care of you.”

 

Taehyung found himself enjoying very much the sound of these words. As well as the prospect of seeing him at his task once again, tensed muscles under tight black shirt and all of that. He leaned against the wall and waved his hand.

 

“Please, proceed.”

 

Jungkook sneered. “Well thank you Your Highness.”

 

It took ten minutes for him to move the dozen of boxes to wherever they belonged. Taehyung watched him work appreciatively, not moving from his place not to bother the other. Eventually Jungkook stopped by him, dabbing a cloth on his face to clean the sweat.

 

“Alright, I’ll grab some ingredients and we’ll be good to go.”

 

Taehyung perked up at this.

 

“We aren’t staying here ?”

 

“No my place is better.”

 

Than a kimchi restaurant ?” He paused, frowned his eyebrows. “You actually own the place right ? You’re not some kind of robber that’s taking advantage of me to escape the police or something like that.”

 

“What ? Are you really wondering that just now ?”

 

“You’re not trying to abduct me are you ?” Taehyung kept on, suddenly suspicious.

 

The other refrained from pointing out that him telling Jungkook his whole life earlier would have certainly helped a lot if he indeed had had the desire to abduct him. Instead he sighed, somehow still amused by the blond’s antics.

 

“No I’m not. But I have to admit that indeed I don’t own this place.”

 

There was no hiding the disappointment in Taehyung’s eyes.

 

“I knew it.” He exhaled dramatically. “It was too good to be true.”

 

Jungkook bit his lip to hold back his laughter. This guy was something.

 

Taehyung, relax. I do work here. And my hyung is the owner.”

 

“Then why are we leaving ?”

 

“Because it’s Sunday, and I don’t want to spend it at my work place. If that reassures you, you can just text my address to that roommate of yours so that he’ll know where to look in case you disappear.”

 

“Sounds fair.” Taehyung nodded.

 

Jungkook rolled his eyes and left him there for a few minutes. The blond was beginning to worry when he reappeared, oversized hoodie now on, hands holding two bags of food where Taehyung spotted, to his dread, unknown vegetables.

 

“Are we good to go Taehyung-ssi ?”

 

“Err…” The blond gestured vaguely, cringing at the formality. “Hyung. I’m too young to be a ssi and besides, you’re doing me a big favor so, I mean, the least I can do is being friendly.”

 

Taehyung almost looked embarrassed as he blabbered his words and the younger couldn’t repress a very fond smile.

 

“Alright, are we good to go hyung ?”

 

“Yeah.” The former breathed out gratefully.

 

***

 

They went out of the shop and began to walk down the alley in silence. The air wasn’t awkward though, they simply felt comfortable enough not to be pulled by the urge to fill in the blanks. Taehyung was looking around, once again noticing the difference in the atmosphere of his surroundings from what he was used to. Jungkook was back to humming quietly to himself.

 

Taehyung eventually looked back at the younger, studying his profile.

 

“Thank you again. For what you’re doing.”

 

The other boy glanced at him, and shrugged.

 

“It’s nothing don’t worry.”

 

“Still, you didn’t have to help me.”

 

“This is what I do everyday anyway.”

 

“All the more. I’m sure you had way more interesting things to do on your day off.”

 

Another shrug, and a light sneer, but Taehyung sensed a gentleness in it.

 

“I don’t mind helping you hyung. Really. And you seem to be in a little bit of a mess right now, if I may.”

 

That was his turn to chuckle.

 

“Yeah, that’s an understatement…”

 

They walked a few minutes more then Jungkook stopped in front the glass door of a middle-sized building. He fished his keys out, beeped the door open then entered and hold the handle for Taehyung. He then led him to the elevator, and once inside pressed the button to the 4th floor. He leaned against the wall as the doors closed and nodded at the other boy.

 

“You paid attention to where we were ?”

 

Taehyung looked at him owlishly, not connecting the dots.

 

“No ? What for ?”

 

“You roommate ? For texting him this address in case you disappear ?”

 

The older’s eyes lit up when he understood.

 

“Hey you’re right !” He exclaimed as he took his phone out of his pocket, unlocked it and quickly typed out a message to whoever.

 

Jungkook watched him do, appalled and amazed at the same time. There was something so disconcertingly candid in Taehyung that he found himself torn the want to protect him at all cost and the urge to talk some sense into him.

 

“You know, it’s hard not to feel tempted to actually abduct you just to see how far I could go. Is the concept of self-preservation something you’re acquainted with ?”

 

Taehyung laughed then tapped his nose with a wink.

 

“Very much so my dear friend. But I trust my instinct of this sort of things, and it’s telling me that you’re a good guy. So I’m rolling with it.”

 

Jungkook smiled, unusually pleased by the small compliment. Maybe because he somehow knew that Taehyung meant it.

 

“Well, thanks. You don’t seem so bad yourself.”

 

The elevator dinged and the doors opened. The younger led the way out, unto a door at the end of the hall. He tapped the code, and entered, Taehyung behind him. They ended up in the entry hall where they toed they shoes off then made their way through the hallway to a big open room split between the kitchen and the living room by a big counter. It was a rather typical Seoul apartment, but larger that what Taehyung expected.

 

“You live here alone ?” He asked as he checked out the living room, with its big couch and different furnitures either filled with books, dvds and games or random objects and photographs.

 

“With my hyung. The one that owns the shop. He’s not here though, spent the night at his boyfriend’s.”

 

Taehyung kept his eyes on whatever he was examining - the tv at the moment - but raised a brow at this. So this hot dude and complete angel appeared to have queer people in his life and seemed to be completely okay with it. He carefully folded this information into his “Might serve later” mental box. Not to get ahead of himself, but, you never know.

 

Jungkook passed in the kitchen and emptied the bags on the counter while Taehyung continued his exploration. On a bookshelf near the tv was quite an impressive collection of mangas and manhwas of all sorts. The young man got immediately drawn to it and he walked up to the shelf with widening eyes.

 

“Can I look ?” He asked although he was already picking up a volume.

 

Behind him, the other boy chuckled.

 

“Suit yourself.”

 

When Jungkook looked back at Taehyung once all the food was out, the latter was watching him with astonishment, a book in his hands.

 

“There’re many romances in there. Sad ones as well, melancholic.”

 

“Uh, yeah.” Jungkook replied, suddenly embarrassed. “Why ? You don’t like it ?”

 

“No, I love it. I’m just surprised.”

 

“Why ?”

 

“I guess you don’t really come off as the poetic type.”

 

The black-haired let a small laugh escape.

 

“You don’t know me Taehyung.” He retorted with a teasing tone.

 

The other smiled and glanced briefly at the shelf. “No but I’m starting to think I want to.”

 

“Alright.” Jungkook spun around to look at the fridge, almost shyly, and Taehyung could have sworn he saw him blush. “What kind of kimchi do you want ?”

 

The older widened his eyes, not knowing what to answer. All things that went beyond microwaved food were uncharted territory for him. “The… basic one ?”

 

Jungkook turned back to stare at him with incredulous wonder. “You’re absolutely clueless about this aren’t you ? Hmm… Where are you from ?”

 

“Deagu.” Teahyung replied proudly. The image of Yoongi nodding with assent immediately popped in his mind.

 

“Then that’d be radish kimchi. But it takes a while to be good to eat, so I’ll give you some boxes to store and today we’ll prepare some cabbage kimchi. It’s better if you let it ferment but you can eat it right away too. That way, technically, you’ll even be ahead of your deadline.”

 

Taehyung batted his eyelashes with a growing adoration for the other boy. “You’re amazing.”

 

The latter snickered, amused but pleased nonetheless, and he began to pull out of the cupboards all sorts of ingredients and put them on the workplan. After a few minutes, he looked afar for a moment thoughtfully and his eyes lit up as he seemed to find what he was looking for in his head. He walked up to the balcony, passing by Taehyung who was watching him do with a growing marvel.

 

“Hey it’s really your lucky day, it just so happens that I have salted and put away some cabbages yesterday for the shop.”

 

“And you wouldn’t mind lending me some ?”

 

“No, I wouldn’t mind giving you some.”

 

The blond couldn’t bring himself to believe how nice Jungkook was being. That guy, that angel with a really cute face, had to be the universe’s way of making up to him for everything that went wrong in his life.

 

Jungkook got on the balcony and came back with a middle-size container. Taehyung had yet to move an inch, still taken aback by the other’s kindness and slightly falling in love already. The younger was getting closer and closer to perfection with each passing second.

 

Noticing him being unusually quiet, Jungkook tilted his head on the side.

 

“Hyung, are you okay ?”

 

“I…” Taehyung sighed, running a still gloved-hand through his hair. “I’m having a hard time believing someone like you actually exists. I think I want to marry you, and I’m being absolutely serious.”

 

The young man knew he sounded like a complete creep, and he half-expected Jungkook to get scared and just throw him out of his house, but he couldn’t help himself. He hadn’t lied when he had told the younger that he tended to trust his guts when people were concerned, and said-guts were all over the place screaming at him that this guy in front of him was grade A boyfriend material.

 

And it was only proven yet again when instead of freaking out Jungkook simply laughed cheerfully, his eyes squinting and his absolutely adorable nose scrunching.

 

“Let’s take care of the kimchi first. We can always shop for rings later.”

 

He went back to the kitchen while taking off his hoodie. Taehyung watched, embarrassed and a little starstruck. He eventually came back to his senses and took off his coat and his mittens. Then he joined the younger at the counter, and gave him a determined look.

 

“Okay, where do we start ?”

 

Jungkook gazed back at him with an arched brow.

 

“You sure you wanna help ? Wouldn’t you rather sit back and watch ?”

 

The blond almost looked affronted at this.

 

“Of course not ! That’d be incredibly rude of me ! And that’d be cheating. This is for my mother, what kind of son would I be if I didn’t participate at all in the making ?!”

 

The younger smiled at his spirit and retained the clap back he had on the tip of his tongue. Instead, he clapped his hands.

 

“Okay. First thing then, always, is to put our apron on and wash our hands. We wanna stay as clean as possible, and trust me, it ain’t easy.”

 

Once that was done and they were back at the counter, the black-haired picked some long and slim green things from the pile of vegetables as well as a cutting board and placed both in front of Taehyung. He then handed him a knife.

 

“You can start by cutting the parsley. Try to make 3cm-long sticks. Do you know how much that represents ?”

 

“This is 20 cm.” Taehyung immediately replied, confidently, holding out his hand in front of him with his thumb and index raised and gesturing at the width between the two fingers.

 

Jungkook stared at him in incredulous awe for a solid five seconds, then shook his head and nodded amusedly.

 

“Yes hyung, yes it is. Just… do as you want then.”

 

Taehyung beamed, and once again Jungkook’s heart rate picked up at this. They each cut down vegetables for the next ten minutes. Or rather, the younger, who was used to this and to do it quickly to make up for the demand on busy days, put a dent into the pile while the older and inexperienced boy battled with one single onion, after butchering the parsley stems. When he almost cut himself with the knife, Jungkook decided to cut the losses and put a hand on Taehyung’s wrist.

 

“Please, let me. That’ll go faster, and be much safer probably.”

 

“But I wanna heeeelp…” The blond whined, pouting.

 

Jungkook chuckled.

 

“You can help me by standing there all pretty and talking to me. That’d be nice.”

 

Begrudgingly, Taehyung agreed. He put down the knife and circled the counter to face the younger.

 

“Fine. But lord be my witness, I tried.” He hopped on one of the two high chairs that were before the furniture, and rested his elbows on the counter.

 

“So you think I’m pretty ?”

 

Jungkook, who was back to his vegetables, choked on his saliva and his ears reddened visibly.

 

“That… was a way of talking.”

 

“Uh uh.” Taehyung hummed, clearly not believing a word. As he didn’t want the other to close on himself under the embarrassment though, he quickly changed the subject. “So, what’s your story ? You live and you work with your brother, is this a family tradition thing ? Or something you just wanted to do together ?”

 

“… Neither of that I guess.” The black-haired replied after a moment. “Hyung has always been an excellent cook and people have always told him that he should open a restaurant. So when he was 15 he began to work like a hassle and as soon as he got the money, he bought the shop.”

 

“And you ?”

 

“I’m just giving him a hand while I figure out what I want to do with my life. You know, the usual. Didn’t go to college, began to work there straight out of high-school.”

 

“Why ?”

 

I don’t know, it just wasn’t my priority. I had spent four years entirely preparing it and I just wanted to do something else.”

 

“Like making kimchi.” Taehyung said with a smile, pointing at the kimchi paste container that Jungkook was taking out of the fridge. The younger smiled in return, and shrugged.

 

“I like it. It’s simple, it’s comfortable, I have time.”

 

“Time for what ?”

 

“Time to think. To draw. To live. I have all of my life to worry about studies and getting a well-payed job that’ll eat up most of my week. For now, I think I just wanna take my time and do the things I enjoy.”

 

Taehyung reste his chin on the back of his hand and gazed afar.

 

“Yeah, I get that feeling…”

 

“Turns out I truly enjoy this job. I bring people food and joy, it’s rewarding. To be honest I wouldn’t mind doing that for the rest of my life.”

 

The blond looked back at Jungkook who had a contented air on his face, and found himself feeling truly for the younger, that he seemed to be satisfied with his life. Jungkook only deserved good things, he was such a caring soul.

 

“I really respect you for what you do you know ? In your own way, with your own two hands, you make the world a better place. Maybe I’m biased because cooking has always kind of been my sworn enemy, but I have a deep admiration for you.”

 

Jungkook chuckled, but only to hide how embarrassingly pleased he was at Taehyung’s words. Maybe because it was those words, more probably because it was Taehyung pronouncing them.

 

“You really don’t cook ? Ever ?” He asked, to divert the conversation from his self.

 

“I avoid it at all costs. The closest thing to cooking that I have in my life would be when I heat up the salty dough figures my students make.”

 

“Students ?”

 

“I teach creative arts at a kindergarten.”

 

“So that’s what you do for a living ? You know, apart from disrespecting the entirety of Korean cuisine on a daily basis obviously.”

 

Taehyung shot him a glare, but it was softened by the humor in his eyes and his wide smile.

 

“Yeah, amongst other things. It pays bills. And it’s a little bit like you I guess, I don’t feel as trapped as I could have in another work. It’s a demanding job, but with it luckily comes a certain amount of freedom and creativity that I wouldn’t have elsewhere. Unfortunately, we live in a country that’s not keen to arts, and alternative ways of living.” Jungkook nodded understandingly, which prompted Taehyung to be a little be more honest that he had intended to be. “Besides… Kids are nice.” He said in a smaller voice, staring shyly at his fingers. “They don’t judge you for being different. The world is a blank canvas to them, and it’s only up to you to paint it with bright colors and happy things.”

 

He looked back at Jungkook, almost defiantly.

 

“Kids will believe you if you tell them that there’re rabbits on the moon. Adults will just look at you like you’re dumb.”

 

Maybe sensing, somehow, that this was important, the younger stopped what he was doing for a moment and gazed at Taehyung.

 

“Do you think there are rabbits on the moon ?” He inquired, softly.

 

“No, but imagine how fun it would be it it were true.”

 

And Jungkook smiled, then resumed cooking.

 

“Yeah, that’d be pretty cool.”

 

They spend the next minutes listing all of what the presence of rabbits on the moon could entail, nourishing one another’s imagination and laughing until there were tears prickling at their eyes. As he watched the younger passionately argue that rabbits could very well have invented time travel, the blond felt a wave of comfort and affection wash over him. Most people in his life were used to his quirks and his sometimes peculiar take on things, but most of the time they were in favor of ignoring it because they couldn’t understand. Jungkook went with it, followed him on his mental path and not once had made Taehyung feel weird. Or, at least, only a good weird.

 

Another ten minutes and Taehyung found himself yawning, his lack of sleep catching on. He didn’t want to appear rude, or make Jungkook think that he was bored because he truly enjoyed the younger’s company, but he still hadn’t had even the beginning of a proper resting night and it was getting harder to keep the slumber away.

 

Noticing his eyes starting to drop as Taehyung’s gaze became more and more unfocused, Jungkook smiled to himself and put back the cabbage he was covering with kimchi paste to walk a little bit closer to the other boy.

 

“Hyung…” He lowly called. “You can take a nap on the couch if you want.”

 

“I’m okay Jungkookie, I gotta keep you company…”

 

The younger chuckled softly. “I appreciate the intention, but I’m almost done anyway. So what don’t you go lie down for a bit, while I finish this and take a shower ?”

 

His eyes almost fully closed, it didn’t take more to convince Taehyung, who nodded and stood up. He let himself be gently nudged to the living room by the back of a hand, who belonged to Jungkook who was taking extra care as to not put any paste on Taehyung’s shirt. The latter eventually sat down on the couch, then laid out his legs while he rested his head on the armrest. He closed back his eyes and fell asleep almost immediately, with a thank-you on his lips that Jungkook caught.

 

***

 

Seokjin was walking giddily - yeah, that’s the good word - to the apartment he shared with his younger brother. It was the middle of the morning, and he had just spent an amazing night at his new boyfriend’s house. He couldn’t wait to tell everything to his brother, who would pretend to be deeply bothered by it but actually loved to live through his hyung’s stories. He usually ended up eating cereals while listening to him, as if he were watching a drama. And Seokjin absolutely adored reenacting scenes for him.

 

That is to say, he was excited, and quickly typed in the code to fling the door open. Only, to his great disappointment, to find what appeared to be an empty apartment. He walked in, glanced at the empty kitchen, then at the living-room where he caught sight of a form lying on the couch. He approached, ready to wake up loudly his brother, and was once again discountenanced when instead of the familiar face a boy he didn’t know at all came into view.

 

The boy was sleeping peacefully, his hands near his blond hair, and a blanket was covering most of his body. Seokjin observed him for a moment, smiling a bit, then straightened up and walked to the hallway, unto his brother’s room whose door he opened. He found the latter shirtless, in the middle of his usual daily morning workout.

 

“Yah, Jungkook-ah, can you explain to me why there’s a stranger sleeping on the couch ? Is it a hook-up or are we more on a stray cat situation ?”

 

Jungkook dropped down his weights and caught his bottle of water.

 

“His name’s Taehyung. I’m making him kimchi.”

 

Seokjin squinted his eyes dubiously.

 

“How exactly are you making him kimchi with you’re here and him sleeping over there ? And why exactly would you bring back a random stranger to our apartment on a Sunday morning to make him kimchi ? No, never mind, he’s cute that’s why.”

 

The younger blushed.

 

“I’ve been done with the kimchi for a while now. So I reckoned I could just work out. He looked like he could really help some sleep. And it’s not because he’s cute. I… just felt like giving him a hand is all.”

 

“Sure. And you’re totally not the one who put that blanket so nicely over him either. It is known.”

 

Jungkook rolled his eyes, his ears still burning.

 

“Shut up hyung. How did your night go anyway ?”

 

“Amaaaaazing.” Seokjin declared with a gesture. “But imma wait till your Sleeping Beauty is gone before going into the details because this might take a while. Just know that Namjoon is the most perfect, most adorable and most thoughtful man I’ve ever met and that I really really like him.”

 

The younger smiled joyfully at that.

 

“That’s good hyung. I’m happy for you.”

 

Seokjin winked then turned back to the door.

 

“Imma hit the shower now. See ya.”

 

“Didn’t you shower at Namjoon’s ?”

 

The older smiled devilishly. “Yeah but I didn’t leave immediately after. Turned out, it was a mistake. I need another.”

 

Jungkook scrunched up his nose. “Ew, gross. I didn’t need to know that. Go purify yourself.”

 

Seokjin laughed, and left.

 

***

 

Taehyung woke up once again to the sound of his phone buzzing. He blindly reached for it in his pocket and brought it to his ear, picking up without checking who was calling him, forgetting that the last time he did that it didn’t do him any good.

 

“Hello ?” He grunted out.

 

“Taehyung ! Where the fuck are you ?!”

 

Yoongi. The blond sat up on the couch and rubbed his eyes.

 

“Hey hyung…”

 

Don’t hey-hyung me Taehyung, where are you ? I just woke up to an empty apartment and the only explanation I have is a text that says “Hyung I found a solution to the kimchi situation, I’m safe don’t worry” ! What the fuck is that ? How do you expect me not to worry ?!”

 

“The apartment wasn’t empty, Jimin spent the night like he always does.” Taehyung quietly objected with a yawn.

 

“Yah !” came Yoongi’s voice, and in the background, Jimin’s signature laugh.

 

Taehyung smiled as he looked around, only to notice that he was alone in the big room. He relaxed back on the couch and refocused on his phone.

 

“Calm down hyung. Let me explain. My father called me this morning, to pester me with this, so I went for a walk afterwards. You know that kimchi shop you really like in the covered alley ? Well I ended up there, and the owner’s little brother was coincidentally there as well. He agreed to help me.”

 

“Jungkook-ah ?” Yoongi asked, his voice suddenly laced with much less concern. “He’s a good kid. And he’s always had the best intentions. So you’re at the shop right now ?”

 

“No, actually I’m at his place.”

 

A blank at the other end of the line. Then Jimin’s from the other side of the room but still distinctively. “YOU HOE ! DID YOU USE PROTECTION ?”

 

“Jimin !”

 

Taehyung began to laugh at his friends’ antics. There was the sound of Jimin walking closer, then his voice came again, clearer this time. “Wait, isn’t Jungkook the deep browned-haired one ? With the cute bunny face but the muscles of a Greek god ?”

 

“Yep that’s him.” Yoongi confirmed.

 

“Taehyungie !” The young man’s tone sounded way too pleased, and a bit salacious. “You really upped your standards with this one ! You better not leave that place without a date.”

 

The blond found himself picking up at a pillow, like a shy teenage girl enamored for the first time. “I must admit I’m not completely against the idea. He’s a… really great guy Jiminie.”

 

“I knew it !” Jimin exclaimed cheerfully. “Go get yourself that man Taetae !”

 

“But be home at noon.” Yoongi added with authority. “Family lunch. Joon’s coming over to tell us about that new boyfriend’s of his.”

 

“I’ll be there hyung. See you, love you.”

 

“Love you too !” Taehyung heard from his best friend just before hanging up. He smiled to himself as he pocketed his phone, then gazed up and met the eyes of someone he didn’t know.

 

A tall man, with light brown hair and wide shoulders, who carried himself with elegance but had a goofy smile on his lips. Recognizing the guy on many pictures from the frames on the shelves, Taehyung reckoned he had to be Jungkook’s hyung, the owner of the shop. He jumped off of the couch to stand and bowed politely.

 

“Hi my name is Kim Taehyung and I apologize for any inconvenience I may be causing you. Your brother agreed to help me with a big problem that I have, but rest assured that I will be leaving very soon and won’t be bothering you any longer. Actually if you would tell me where Jungkook is, I can go thank him and - ”

 

The older laughed, in a friendly manner, and Taehyung stopped talking. He straighted up to be met by a welcoming smile.

 

“Don’t worry Taehyung-ah, you are not a bother at all. On the contrary, I’m glad my brother decided to help you. He’s in the shower right now but he should be out soon. In the meantime, make yourself comfortable. Do you want coffee ? A tea perhaps ?”

 

“Oh I wouldn’t want to b-”

 

“T-t-t what did I say ? You’re not a bother. Don’t worry. And I’m making myself tea anyway.”

 

Taehyung smiled thankfully.

 

“Well, in this case, a cup of tea would be great.”

 

“Coming right on.”

 

A few minutes later Seokjin sat by his side on the couch and handed him a steaming mug, holding another one is his second hand. The blond accepted the mug gratefully and blew on it to cool down the drink, then took a careful sip of tea and closed his eyes with satisfaction. He happened to be a heavy tea consumer and always felt warmer after drinking it. The one he had beens served was really good, it felt like the perfect thing after his nap.

 

“Thank you so much for this.” He hummed, and drank again.

 

“You’re welcome.” Seokjin replied amicably, sipping from his own mug.

 

“Hey hyung have you seen my -”

 

Taehyung’s eyes immediately shifted to the hallway at the younger’s voice, and the latter cut himself off when their gazes met. His immediately softened upon seeing the other boy awake while Taehyung’s widened at the sight of a Jungkook clearly coming out of the shower, with the usual wet hair sending drops to roll down on a bare muscled chest up unto the little towel that was the only thing covering his modesty.

 

It took all of Taehyung’s inner strength for him not to choke on his tea. He had nothing left to control his eyes though, which positively raked over the young man’s body.

 

“Hey…” Jungkook let out in his direction, with a smile that Seokjin would later describe as ‘already fucking whipped’. “Didn’t know you were awake, sorry. Did you get some rest at least ? I hope I didn’t bother you.”

 

Taehyung forced himself to stop trying to make that towel drop by the sheer pressure of his mind and internally cooed at how considerate Jungkook was being. He felt the blush creep up again on his cheeks and heard Seokjin snort.

 

“It was perfect, don’t worry. Thanks to you I was able to get some much needed sleep. I’m so grateful, I don’t deserve it.”

 

Jungkook made an embarrassed gesture but there was no hiding the content in his eyes.

 

“I told you I’m happy to help you.”

 

Seokjin watched the entire exchange, finding the whole thing adorable and sickeningly cute, but couldn’t help but intervene when he realized that the two boys were only going to thank each other and look at one another lovingly if he let them.

 

“Yah Jungkook-ah, couldn’t you dress properly ?!”

 

Only then the younger seemed to remember that he was half-naked. His face reddened and he scratched the back of his neck nervously. It only strained his bicep, which captivated Taehyung’s gaze once more.

 

“Ah, yeah, I’ll be right back…”

 

With that he turned on his heels, his original question forgotten, and left. The blond refrained from crying at the loss and refocused on his now cold tea. He for a second wondered if he could heat it back up if he were to put the mug on his cheeks, seeing at how hot he was feeling. From what just happened, and under Seokjin’s laughing gaze.

 

“You… uh, you and your brother seem to be really close.” Taehyung said conversationally. “That’s cool.”

 

“Yeah…” The older replied with a knowing smile. “He’s a really great guy after all.”

 

Jungkook came back a few minutes later, this time fully dressed with ripped jeans and another black shirt on. His long hair had yet to dry completely, and Taehyung found himself wanting to run a hand through his strands.

 

“Oh hyung by the way,” the black-haired called out as he went to the kitchen and opened the fridge. “I redid the schedules for the next weeks. Now that you’ve hired Eunbi I was able to make it so that you only have to be at the shop two half-days a week. That way you can focus on your studies.”

 

“You’re studying ?” Taehyung asked from Seokjin’s side, and the latter glanced at him to give him a smile.

 

“Yeah medicine. I’m in my seventh year actually.” Then to his brother. “Thanks Jungkook-ah. I appreciate it.”

 

“I still couldn’t manage to put all of it in one day though.” Jungkook went on as he put the cabbage kimchi containers he had made for Taehyung out of the fridge onto the counter. “It just wouldn’t fit, I’m sorry.”

 

“That’s okay Jungkook-ah don’t worry. And don’t forget to give your own self some rest.”

 

Jungkook raised his head up and gave his hyung a beaming smile.

 

“You know I don’t mind. I love working there.”

 

Taehyung observed him thoughtfully.

 

“He hasn’t realized it yet has he ?” He asked again, once more only for Seokjin to hear.

 

The older shifted his gaze to him.

 

“Realized what ?”

 

“That you basically bought him that shop.”

 

Seokjin smiled and eyed him with a conniving air.

 

“I like you Taehyung-ah.”

 

The blond chuckled and looked back at Jungkook with a growing fondness. He felt the older nudge him lightly and he stood from the couch to walk to the kitchen.

 

“Hey hyung.” Jungkook called as he saw him approaching. He pointed at the two containers. “So I just checked and those look good to go. You can eat one box now, with rice and pork, and let the second one ferment. It’ll taste even better and you’ll be able to cook it. Or, you know, attempt to I guess in your case.”

 

The black-haired was giving him a cheeky smile and Taehyung gently bumped his shoulder.

 

“Yah, don’t make fun of me. I’m gifted in another ways.”

 

“I don’t doubt it.” Was Jungkook’s immediate retort, mocking but sweet nonetheless.

 

“Seriously, thank you so much for everything you’ve done.” Taehyung said, eying the containers. “I owe you my peace and tranquility for the next six months.”

 

“Glad to be of use.” The younger replied humbly after a chuckle. “And happy to be able to make your life a little bit easier.”

 

For the nth time that morning, Taehyung blushed. Not knowing what to do, he checked his phone and sighed upon realizing the hour.

 

“Well, now that everything’s done, thanks to you, I guess I should go. It’s getting late after all and I’ve taken too much of your time already.”

 

There was no hiding the disappointment in Jungkook’s eyes, although he tried to avert his gaze quickly.

 

“Oh, yeah, it really didn’t feel that long…”

 

He sounded like a toddler who had just been announced that they were leaving the amusement park. Still on the couch, Seokjin rolled his eyes.

 

“Why don’t you stay for lunch Taehyung-ah ?” He proposed and Jungkook looked up, hopefully.

 

The blond sighed again and made a face as he looked at Seokjin.

 

“Thank you so much for you invitation, but I regret, I can’t. My roommates expect me by noon, otherwise they’ll consider I’m officially being abducted. I would have loved to stay though.” He added, pointedly turning back to Jungkook.

 

“It’s alright. Maybe another time.” Jungkook said in a little voice.

 

Taehyung wanted to hug him. He wanted to bury his nose into the younger’s neck, mold in chest against his and promise to never leave him. He wanted to swear there’d be another time, and hundreds others after that because if he were allowed, Taehyung would stay by Jungkook’s side forever. Yes he had known him for only a few hours, but Taehyung had never felt so pulled to someone before. He couldn’t really explain it, they just seemed to match together.

 

And he was practically sure he wasn’t the only one of the two to feel like that, seeing as they were gazing at each other with intensity.

 

Seokjin took it as his cue to leave them at it.

 

“Well, it was nice meeting you Taehyung-ah.” He said, standing from the couch and drawing the youngers’ attention. “I hope you’ll stick around.” He walked to the hallway and addressed his brother. “I’m going to go play in my room for a little while, call me when you want to have lunch.”

 

Jungkook nodded and Taehyung smiled.

 

“It was nice meeting you two… hyung.”

 

Seokjin winked at him then left.

 

Once the two boys were alone, they glanced at each other, then the blond dropped his gaze and walked up to the couch where he had put his coat, gloves and beret.

 

“Do you want a ride home ?” Jungkook asked as he watched him put them on.

 

“Oh no, I live nearby, it won’t be long don’t worry.”

 

“Yeah but how are you going to do with the containers ? Don’t take it wrong but I don’t how you’ll manage to carry them both.”

 

Taehyung paused, beret in mid-air. “Oh, I didn’t think about that.”

 

The younger hesitated, then seemed to decide to go for it. “I could walk you home. And carry one of the boxes, if that’s okay with you.”

 

The blond didn’t hesitate a second.

 

“I’d love that.” He replied, smiling softly with his mouth and eyes. And Jungkook beamed at him in return.

 

They finished dressing up, the black-haired putting on his hoodie while Taehyung did so with his mittens, then they picked up the containers and slipped into their shoes.

 

“Oh, one last thing.” Jungkook said as he pocketed his phone and keys, holding the box under his armpit. “HYUNG !” He suddenly yelled, startling the other boy. “I’M WALKING TAEHYUNG-HYUNG BACK TO HIS HOUSE. IF YOU’RE HUNGRY AND I’M NOT BACK WELL SUCK IT BECAUSE YOU’RE MY HYUNG AND YOU HAVE TO FEED ME.”

 

“OKAY I’LL WAIT YOU BRAT.” Yelled back Seokjin. “BYE TAEHYUNG. BYE JUNGKOOK. IF YOU DON’T ASK HIM OUT BY THE END OF IT I’M DISOWNING YOU.”

 

They got out of the apartment to the sound of Jungkook’s low curses and Taehyung’s laugh. Once inside the hallway, the younger began to walk ahead, probably embarrassed. Taehyung shook his head, still chuckling, then quickly caught up to him and once again bumped his shoulder. Jungkook looked at him and Taehyung smiled.

 

“So, what do you draw ?”

 

***

 

The journey to Taehyung’s apartment passed by quickly. They talked of nothing and everything, jumping with ease from one subject to another. They made each other laugh countless times and by the time they arrived in front of his building, Taehyung had never been more certain that he never wanted his time with Jungkook to end.

 

They went in, up in the elevator to the older’s floor, never ceasing to talk and banter. They quieted down once they were at Taehyung’s door, and a pregnant silence took over.

 

“So…”

 

“So.”

 

“This is my door.” Taehyung indicated with a nod of his head.

 

“Yeah, right.” Jungkook replied oh so eloquently.

 

“Once again, thank you, really, for your help. I’m sure you didn’t think about this when imagining your Sunday morning.”

 

“I actually had a way better morning that what I expected…”

 

They both blushed at the words, the author and the reader blushed, everybody blushed, because love - or something very similar that could end up being love if we decide to be level-headed about this - was in the air and it could be felt . They stared at each other for a moment, then…

 

“Jungkook-ah -”

 

“So hum, hyung -”

 

They chuckled in unison then Taehyung gave a sign.

 

“You go first.”

 

“So um… This was nice. I wouldn’t mind for it to happen again. Not the… kimchi aspect, but, you know. Date. Flowers, dinner. Or animes and instant ramyun I don’t care. As long as there’s, well, you.”

 

“You’re adorable.” Taehyung couldn’t help but reply, because his heart was literally bursting with joy and endearment right now. “I would love to go on a date with you.”

 

Because he could carry his container with only one hand while typing on his phone with the other, it was decided that Jungkook was the one to take Taehyung’s number. Once that was done, the blond knocked loudly on the door with his elbow.

 

“Hyung ! Jiminie !” He shouted to the door.

 

“Or, you know, I could have typed in the code.” Jungkook pointed out as he pocketed his phone.

 

“Nah. The neighbors partied until 5 last week. That’s my pay-back. Besides, hyung and Jiminie are going to eat it too. That’s only fair that they contribute a minimum.”

 

The sound of footsteps approaching came from the inside of the apartment.

 

“You know what’s the funniest of it all ?” Taehyung asked while watching the door.

 

“What is ?” Jungkook replied by his side.

 

“I fucking hate kimchi with all of my soul.”

 

Jungkook stared at him in shock, positively affronted.

 

The door opened. Yoongi and Jimin appeared behind it, the former having his arms crossed over his chest, the latter smiling to his ears.

 

“Taehyungiiiie.” The dancer exclaimed delightedly.

 

“Jungkook-ah.” The rapper stated sternly.

 

The youngest immediately widened his eyes, and tried to hide behind Taehyung.

 

“Yoongi-hyung ?” He squealed out. “You never told me that your hyung was Yoongi-hyung !” He then whispered to the blond, who laughed.

 

“You know him ?”

 

“Yeah. Scary little dude who seems to possess all the wisdom in the world. Comes at the opening looking like a zombie and orders two dozens of lamb skewers.”

 

Taehyung laughed again. “Yeah that sounds like him.”

 

“Hi I’m Jimin.” The young man made a few steps forward, holding out his hand. Jungkook left the behind of Taehyung’s back to shake it. “Thank you for taking care of our little Taehyungie and getting him back here with his dignity intact.”

 

“He’s intact.” The younger replied. “I couldn’t be so sure about his dignity.”

 

“Hey !” Taehyung protested as Jimin laughed.

 

The latter patted Jungkook on the shoulder and retrieved the container from him. “I like you.”

 

“What about me ?” The blond whined. “I’m the one bringing kimchi into this household !”

 

“That Jungkook made.” Yoongi deadpanned, and Taehyung huffed indignantly, narrowing his eyes.

 

“Whose side are you on ?”

 

Jungkook laughed and Yoongi snickered while rolling his eyes.

 

“Yours, always. Now go put that in the fridge.”

 

Jimin walked to the door as well. Taehyung hesitated, glancing at Jungkook. And because he was a brave guy, that dared things in his life, he turned on the side, raised on his tiptoes and kissed the younger’s cheek.

 

“Call me okay ?”

 

Jungkook looked starstruck for a moment, then his face broke into a big smile and he gazed happily at Taehyung.

 

“I will. We still have to shop for wedding rings right ?”

 

Taehyung giggled. “You betcha. Have a good day Jungkookie.”

 

“You two hyung.”

 

With another giggle, the blond walked to Jimin and Yoongi, who had watched the entire ordeal with raised eyebrows and matching grins on their faces. As the door closed, Jungkook and Taehyung exchanged a last wave of the hand, never once breaking the eye contact until the door forced them to. Then Taehyung sighed deeply and kept pouting until he arrived in the kitchen.

 

“Damn, what happened to you ?” asked Jimin, who had just put his container in the fridge. He turned to take care of Taehyung’s and the latter handed it over as he replied.

 

“I’m in love Jimin. I legit fell in love this morning.”

 

“Woah, in what, four hours ? Well good job Tae, that’s gotta be some kind of record.”

 

He’s perfect though.” Taehyung said as he perched himself on the counter of the kitchen. Then he sighed dreamily. “He’s nice, and smart, and funny, and ridiculously cute, and ridiculously hot. And he cooks Chim. He cooks.”

 

Yoongi, who had situated himself on the couch and had laid down, huffed audibly. Taehyung ignored him.

 

“It’s like the universe had mixed everything that I ever wanted in a guy together and conveniently put in on my path.”

 

“Sounds too good to be true.” Jimin commented, not with malice but instead to get his best friend to keep going.

 

The boy seemed to be radiating, and Jimin was a good platonic soulmate, so seeing him like this made him truly happy. Granted, Taehyung had a habit of falling fast, but he had an hunch that this Jungkook might not end up as much of a douchebag as some of the previous dudes the blond has stumbled unto. Besides, watching them interact, like two awkward infatuated fawns, had been a great pleasure. He couldn’t wait to tell Hoseok about this.

 

“It’s not like this with Yoongi-hyung ?” Taehyung inquired, rousing Jimin from his thoughts. “He’s not exactly what you’ve been looking for ?”

 

Hum no. He’s more of an ensemble of things I never thought I could be attracted to, and yet…”

 

A hand raised from the couch. “Still here.”

 

Jimin laughed and sent him a kiss. “Love you honey.”

 

“Brat.”

 

In the few seconds this interaction had lasted, Taehyung’s face had gone from ecstatic to distressed. He had taken his phone out and was now clutching it in his hands.

 

“Tae what is it ?” Jimin asked, suddenly worried.

 

“Do you think he’ll call ?”

 

The dancer was left speechless for a moment, his heart abruptly shifting from concern to bewilderment.

 

“Are you f- serious right now ? Kim Taehyung, you had that man wrapped around you finger ! For real, that puppy smile he had looking at you, it was even worse than Namjoon went he told us about his first date. So don’t you dare pull that insecure shit on me, cause you’re going to get your man. He’ll call. And if he doesn’t, you know where he lives, you can always go there naked.”

 

“Won’t be necessary.” Yoongi interjected. He still had yet to move. “He should text about any minute now.”

 

As if on cue, Taehyung’s phone vibrated in his hands. The two boys froze, then the blond lit up his screen. A text from an unknown number.

 

Hey it’s Jungkook :)

 

“How does he do it ?” Taehyung whispered, staring at the couch. “What’s his secret ?”

 

“Dunno know.” Jimin replied, just as low, his eyes also fixated on Yoongi. “I blow him almost every night and he still won’t tell me.”

 

The phone buzzed again, once, then twice. Two others messages from that same number.

 

“So ?” Jimin asked avidly, gesturing to the device. “What does he say ?”

 

Taehyung suddenly felt shy. He glanced at his phone, reluctant to pen the content of the texts. Whatever Jungkook had written him, he didn’t feel like sharing it with anyone while reading it. He wanted to savor it, alone, even if not for long. Jimin surely would end up prying it out of him. Still.

 

Jimin studied his face when he didn’t reply. As always, his best friend was an open book to him and he rolled his eyes when he understood why Taehyung wasn’t doing anything.

 

“Alright…” He ceded. “Go read it in your room then roll all over your comforter like the twelve year-old girl that you are. But if you end up talking to him until lunch, you will be bound by best friends’ law to tell me everything about it.”

 

“Deal.”

 

Taehyung promptly hopped off the counter, planted a quick kiss on Jimin’s cheek and rushed to his room, deaf to the choral “Whipped” that followed him. He closed his door behind him, still holding his phone like dear life. Breathing erratically, his fingers almost shaking from the nervousness, he opened the screen to his message app.

 

It has to be noted that a part of Taehyung - the rational, down to earth, chill part of him that, granted, never tended to be his driving force but still existed nevertheless - was looking at himself in shock over this kind of behavior. That definitely what he’d had in mind when he had came to Seoul at the tender age of 18 to Be Cool. That part however had been shut out the moment Taehyung had laid his eyes on Jungkook.

 

Hey it’s Jungkook :)

 

I hope it’s okay to message you. I just felt like we needed to address something very important.

 

YOU HATE KIMCHI ?! WHO THE FUCK HATES KIMCHI ???

 

Taehyung burst in laughter. And to his later profound embarrassment he did exactly as Jimin had said : he let himself drop on his bed and rolled on the covers, kicking one leg in the air. Everything that had happened during the morning came back to him and he was left contemplating the ceiling, breathless but beaming, trying to project Jungkook’s face on it.

 

He reached out for his phone to type an answer.

 

I guess I never found the right kimchi for me.

 

The reply came almost instantly.

 

We need to change that.

 

Taehyung smiled.

 

Can’t wait for it.