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they’re cuddling on taehyung’s bed, quiet in the early hours of the morning, legs tangled together. jimin’s head is on taehyung’s chest, listening to the steady heartbeat of the boy he’s pretty sure he’s going to marry one day. taehyung’s fingers twist listlessly in jimin’s hair, soft kisses dropping like dew on the top of his head.

jimin takes a deep, shuddery breath, because it’s now or never. if he doesn’t do it now, he’s not sure he ever will. “tae?”

“mm,” taehyung hums, half-asleep. “what’s up, baby?”

the term of endearment slips out easy as breathing, and jimin feels something warm settle in his chest. they haven’t been dating for that long, but the transition from friends to Something More has been a long time coming--which makes jimin that much more nervous to bring up anything that might rock the boat so early on.

but it’s tae--kind, sweet, careful tae, who once cried because jimin accidentally squished a ladybug, who physically cannot watch a movie where an animal dies, who doesn’t have a nasty bone in his body--who, if this does end up being an issue, will let jimin down gently.

still. jimin doesn’t want to be let down at all.

“i have to talk to you about something, um. something kind of important.”

the air shifts, and jimin feels taehyung’s fingers tighten over his hip bone. “is it...something bad? have i done something wrong?”

“no,” jimin hurries to say, smoothing a hand down taehyung’s chest. he presses a quiet kiss to taehyung’s collarbone, nosing at the strip of warm, tanned skin peeking out from beneath his t-shirt. “no, baby, it’s--it’s about me? and it’s...god, i’m fucking this up already.”

taehyung shifts beneath him, presses another soft kiss to the crown of jimin’s head. “hey,” he murmurs, “c’mere,” like jimin isn’t already on top of him.

jimin lets taehyung maneuver him until they’re sitting cross-legged and facing each other, knees touching and fingers intertwined between them. tae’s eyes are warm, a quiet sort of soft, and one of his thumbs traces an invisible pattern over the back of jimin’s hand. “you know you can tell me anything,” he sats, so earnest and sweet jimin could cry.

“tae,” jimin whispers, eyes trained on the bedsheet, “tae, i’m--baby, i’m asexual, i think.” when taehyung doesn’t immediately say anything, jimin barrels on. “i just--i don’t think--i’m not sure, but i’ve never like, enjoyed the thought of sex. kissing is chill, i love kissing. cuddling is great too, but i’ve never? wanted to have sex, with anyone. ever. so maybe i am sure, and maybe i’m definitely asexual.”

it’s quiet for a moment, and then taehyung does the strangest thing--he huffs out a laugh. jimin’s eyes go wide, a mix of horror and embarrassment and shame swirling low in his gut. he flinches back, prepared to give taehyung a piece of his mind when--

“i thought you were dumping me. oh my god, i’m so relieved.” taehyung sits up abruptly, eyes wide with horror. “oh, fuck. that was so selfish. you just told me something so personal and so important and i? laughed? and made it about me? jimin, baby, i’m so sorry. that was--oh my god--”

this time, it’s jimin’s turn to laugh, high and startled and impossibly relieved.

“you’re--you don’t mind?”

taehyung shakes his head so fast jimin’s afraid it’s going to fly off. “no,” he rushes out, surging forward until their faces are so close jimin can smell the toothpaste on his breath. “no, of course not. jimin, it’s you. i adore you.”

“oh,” jimin breathes, voice small. “really?”

taehyung reaches up and brushes a stray strand of hair away from jimin’s forehead. “really really. it’s a part of you, so it’s wonderful. jimin, baby, i don’t need to have sex. i just need you.”

“oh,” jimin repeats faintly. he didn’t--he didn’t think it would be that easy. he’s been agonizing over this for weeks, trying to find a way to bring it up, whether to make a big announcement or drop it casually and now--

now, it’s out in the open, and taehyung doesn’t mind.

“oh,” taehyung echoes, teasing. he presses a kiss to jimin’s forehead. “my baby. whatever your boundaries are--you set that line, i won’t cross it. i want you to be comfortable. i want you to feel safe with me.”

“i do,” jimin says, “i do feel safe with you, which is why i felt okay to tell you. i was just...really scared. not that i thought you would hate me or anything didn’t sign up for this.”

taehyung presses their foreheads together at that, holds jimin in place with a careful hand on the back of his neck. “i signed up for you,” he says, quiet and reverent. “all of you.”

jimin lets out a shaky breath, nuzzles his nose up against taehyung’s like he can’t get close enough. “i’m pretty sure i’m in love with you.”

taehyung beams, eyes pushing up into beautiful little crescents. “sick, because i’m definitely in love with you.”

jimin laughs, a little hysterical, a lot relieved. “i’m--you mentioned boundaries. i love kissing, kissing is great. just like, not too much tongue? not that you use too much tongue, you’re a great kisser--” jimin flushes bright red before continuing. “cuddling is great. totally 100% okay with cuddling. the rest, i’m--not really sure about. i have to figure it out, how much is...too much.”

“we’ll figure it out together,” taehyung promises, “and if you tell me something’s not okay, i’ll never do it again.”

he holds his pinky out and jimin chokes on what might be a laugh, might be a sob. he links his pinky with taehyung’s and leans forward until he can rest his head against tae’s shoulder, hands falling between them. it’s quiet for a moment, peaceful, until--

“oh my god, jimin,” taehyung whispers, suddenly sounding positively mortified. “i touch your butt so much. i’m so sorry.”

jimin bursts into a full-body laugh, taehyung holding onto him to keep him from fall right off of the bed. “it’s okay,” he manages, tears of laughter streaming down his face. and if they’re maybe also happy tears born of this deep, all-consuming love he feels for this ridiculous boy, his ridiculous boy, well. no one needs to know. “it doesn’t bother me, honest. it’s like your stress ball. kind of feels like a massage.”

taehyung lets his head drop forward, shoulders shaking with laughter. “i’ll give you as many massages as you want, baby. i’ll pamper the shit out of you. you deserve it, my beautiful perfect angel of a boyfriend.”

“cheeseball,” jimin murmurs, impossibly fond.

“your cheeseball,” taehyung counters, nose nudging sweetly against jimin’s. “but seriously, please tell me if i ever do anything that makes you uncomfortable, no matter what. i don’t--god, i don’t ever want to hurt you, not even for a second.”

“i’ll tell you,” jimin says softly, fingers tracing a gentle line down taehyung’s cheek. “promise.”

taehyung leans into the touch. “thank you for trusting me with this,” he whispers, eyes trained on jimin’s like he’s trying to memorize every line of his face, every mole and freckle. “i know it was probably hard. thank you, jimin.”

“you make it easy,” jimin tells him, offering a quiet smile. “loving you is so easy, taehyung. easiest thing i’ve ever done. thank you for listening and--i mean, i’m not going to thank you for not being an asshole about this because, y’know, basic human decency, but--”

taehyung laughs, bright and happy. he leans back until he’s lying down and pulls at jimin’s hands until jimin’s lying beside him, one arm strung over his waist. “yeah, that would be pretty bare minimum.” he nuzzles his nose against jimin’s, brushes a soft kiss against his lips. “i love you,” he whispers, shifting so that jimin can tuck his head under tae’s chin. “god, i’m so lucky to love you.”

“i love you, too,” jimin says, fingers twisting in taehyung’s sleep shirt.

they fall asleep tangled up in each other, hearts beating in time. jimin sighs, content and warm and safe. accepted and loved so impossibly hard.