Taehyung watches in disinterest, his chin propped on the palm of his left land, as the people around him dance joyously.
“That’s not very proper of you.”
He glances to his right where his father, the General of Jeon army, is sitting and snorts.
“Who cares?” He replies. “It’s not like anyone is paying attention to me. They are all busy admiring the youngest Jeon prince.”
And admiring, they were. Jeon Jeongguk is surely a sight for sore eyes, with him radiating from happiness, his eyes filled with all the stars of the galaxy, his proper and prim mannerisms.
Prince Jeongguk is a happy person, he thinks to himself.
“As if you’re any better,” His father mumbles, following the direction of Taehyung’s gaze.
“It’s my duty to look at him, father. I’m his guard.”
“Well, alright then. Don’t let me be a nuisance to your job.”
Taehyung snorts at his father’s dramatic sentence and shakes his head.
“Ah, for someone who is a general of an army, you’re too unprofessional sometimes.” Taehyung teases.
“Hm, maybe but your father is talking to you right now, not the General of Jeon army. The general will see you in the morning for your training.”
Taehyung’s eyes soften as he hears his father’s words. He is glad his father is someone who knows how to value both his family and duties. He always hopes that he turns out like his father too. His role model.
Taehyung is snapped out of his thoughts when a girl, probably one of the maids, murmurs a small “Excuse me,” to get his attention.
Any sort of emotion on his face leaves and his expression returns back to his usual neutral look.
“Yes?” He asks.
“The queen sent me to get you. Prince Jeongguk is ready to be taken to his chamber. He drank a little too much today,” The girl informs him.
Taehyung nods and politely thanks her. He turns to his father with a small grin and sends him a small salute, “Duty calls.”
His father just chuckles and motions him to go, which he gladly does.
It didn’t take him long to find the Prince. He is sitting on the throne beside his older brother, the Crown Prince.
He bows deeply to all of them and then looks at Prince Jeongguk and motions him to stand up.
“You should go to your chamber now, Jeongguk. It’s past your bedtime.” The King says while smiling at the guests, not sparing his son a single glance.
Prince Jeongguk frowns.
“Father, I’m 21 now — an adult. Don’t you think it’s too humiliating for me to have a bedtime?”
“And don’t you think you are acting a bit childish for someone who claims to be an adult?” The King retorts back and sighs. “Just go to your chamber. Guard Kim is waiting for you.”
Taehyung watches the whole interaction in silence. He watches how the youngest prince sinks into his throne to make himself invisible when he gets no support from his mother or elder brother. He watches how the Prince’s cheeks burn red from embarrassment and the stars that were in his eyes burn out and explode in a supernova. Taehyung watches helplessly.
Prince Jeongguk nods emotionlessly and stands up to leave the ballroom.
Taehyung bows to the royal family once again and follows the Prince back to his chamber.
The walk through the massive fancy hallway is silent except for the tiny sniffs coming from Jeongguk. Taehyung pretends he doesn’t hear them.
They finally reach Jeongguk’s room and Taehyung turns to the Prince so he can take his leave for the day but frowns when he notices Jeongguk still walking straight ahead blankly, missing his door.
“Your Highness, you have crossed your door,” Taehyung informs and suppresses a chuckle when the Prince looks at him with big Bambi eyes that are hazy from the effect of wine he was drinking earlier, full of confusion.
“Guard Kim,” Jeongguk almost slurs the last symbols of his name and stumbles towards him.
Taehyung easily wraps his arm around the Prince’s waist to keep him stable. A small part of his brain gets stuck on the fact of how tiny Prince Jeongguk’s waist is. He shakes his head and tries to step away from the younger boy to give him some space but Jeongguk isn’t having it.
Jeongguk whines and gets closer to Taehyung, almost nuzzling in his neck and hums.
“Did someone ever tell you that you smell heavenly?” Jeongguk drunkenly whispers, his face buried in Taehyung’s chest.
Taehyung’s eyes widen at the display of such a bold act from the usually shy prince.
“Always so good to me,” Jeongguk keeps on mumbling, “Always caring for me.”
“Come on, Your Highness. Let’s get you in your chamber before anyone catches us in this complicated situation that will be difficult for both of us to explain,” Taehyung tries to explain and get the drunk prince in his bed.
“Don’t call me that,” Jeongguk snaps, shocking Taehyung once again. He has never seen the young prince be so bold and angry. This behavior usually came from the Crown Prince.
“Not call you what?” Taehyung asks, curious.
“Your Highness. Don’t call me that. I don’t like it.” Jeongguk pouts and Taehyung is even more confused now. The mood swings of the Prince right now are giving him a headache.
“That’s not allowed, Your Highness. It’s not proper. I might get beheaded for just referring to you casually,” Taehyung replies. He knows he won’t get beheaded for just saying the Prince’s name but he is not brave enough to risk his life just for that.
“I will go into my bed-chamber if you call me by my name,” Jeongguk offers and grins.
Taehyung huffs, the sight of Jeongguk’s smile making him feel endeared for some reason.
“Fine,” Taehyung says, in defeat, and Jeongguk grins in triumph.
Spoiled brat, Taehyung thinks and shakes his head.
“Come on, Jeongguk. Let’s get you to sleep. Okay?” Taehyung says and watches Jeongguk’s face carefully to see how he reacts.
The reaction is not what he was expecting but he is too immersed in looking at the pretty sight in front of him.
Jeongguk’s body relaxes in his hold, his eyes glossy and bright and he hums, content, with a red blush sitting pretty on his cheeks.
Taehyung almost coos out loud as he guides the half-asleep prince into his chamber and tucks him in his bed carefully.
He looks down at Jeongguk who finally fell asleep. He smiles at the tiny snores leaving his mouth and brushes Jeongguk’s hair away that was falling in his eyes gently.
“Goodnight, little prince,” He whispers and leaves the room, a small but prominent feeling blooming in his heart.
Taehyung always feels like he is lucky to be born in the family he is. He could’ve easily been born to a poor family with little to no food or even no shelter over his head but he is not and he thanks his lucky stars every day for it.
Unfortunately, his mother died when he was only two years old. His father raised him and looked after him, despite being busy with his job. He used to be the Captain of the Jeon army. He was their bravest soldier and even now, after 5 years of his retirement, he still gets recognized for his bravery and became the general of the army.
He was five years old when the youngest Prince of the Jeon kingdom was born while the Crown Prince was seven at that time.
He remembers attending both the common people and the royal exclusive parties for the birth of Prince Jeongguk and his first-ever meeting with the Prince.
Taehyung ran sneakily between all the grown-ups and went to the main stage where the crib of the young prince was located. He didn’t know how the men who were guarding the area didn’t notice him but he wasn’t complaining.
He went straight to the crib, which he later on realized was made of gold and was bedazzled with gems, and stood on his tippy toes so he could glance inside the crib and look at the baby who was sleeping peacefully.
He stretched out his hand to boop little Jeongguk’s chubby cheek but he got ripped away from the crib harshly before he could do so.
“Taehyung!” His father exclaimed strictly, “What are you doing here? Did you forget all your manners?”
He felt tears forming in his eyes. His father rarely scolded him.
Before his father could continue to lecture him, King Jeon interrupted him.
“It’s alright, Captain Kim. He is just a kid. I bet he was curious. Hmm, Taehyung? Do you want to see the Prince?” The King asks him with a kind smile.
Taehyung wiped his tears and nodded eagerly.
The King laughed at the sight and carefully took the young Prince out of the crib and lowered himself to Taehyung’s height so he could look at the baby easily.
Captain Kim went to stop the King from kneeling but the King hushed him.
Taehyung looked at the baby with wide eyes. He didn’t get what was so special about the baby. He looked like every other baby he saw in his neighborhood.
Taehyung glanced at King and when the King nodded, he touched the baby’s cheek and giggled how the baby seemed to be waking up.
“Hi, Prince, I’m Taehyung,” He stated proudly. “What is your name?”
The baby, obviously, didn’t reply but made gurgling sounds, grumpy that he was waking up.
“His name is Jeongguk. Prince Jeongguk,” The King answered for him.
“Nice to meet you, Jeongguk!” Taehyung exclaimed.
“No, Taehyung. You don’t call the Prince by his name only. It’s improper,” His father explained to him.
Taehyung nodded, carefully listening to what his father was saying.
“Nice to meet you, Prince Jeongguk!” He corrected himself .
That was the day when the universe decided to put the fate of Prince Jeon Jeongguk and Guard Kim Taehyung together.
The sound of swords clinking together and heavy groans is the only thing that fills the training hall with occasional commands from the trainers.
Taehyung sits down and gulps down the water quickly as he has been training for two hours now.
Taehyung notices the servants that are standing by the entrance straighten their backs and announces loudly, “His Royal Highness, Prince Jeon Jeongguk, youngest Prince of Jeon Kingdom.”
Everyone stands up straight and drops what they were doing and bows to the Prince, Taehyung doing the same.
Taehyung smiles slightly when he notices Jeongguk getting red at all the attention. His current behavior contrasted highly with the way he demanded Taehyung to say his name. Needless to say, Taehyung finds the difference quite endearing.
The Prince is dressed in an informal robe, different from the fancy one he wore last night, and grabs his sword to practice after warming up.
Prince Jeongguk is a decent sword fighter but his strength is combat fighting. Weapons are not his best caliber. It’s safe to say Prince Jeongguk is much better at Taekwondo than swordsmanship.
But that doesn’t mean that Jeongguk doesn’t try because he does. The Prince is a born perfectionist. He wants to excel in every field whether it’s arts, music, dance, fighting, or even cooking. He wants to learn everything and luckily, he is a fast learner. Jeongguk is an observer, quickly picking up skills as he goes along.
Taehyung shakes his head and gets up to pack up, reminding himself to ask his maid to draw a bath for him as well.
He hums slowly and goes his way to the exit when he hears a painful hiss behind him along with few gasps. He frowns and turns around to see Prince Jeongguk holding his arm which is starting to bleed.
Taehyung hurries quickly to Jeongguk and carefully takes his arm to inspect the wound, ignoring the small gasp the Prince lets out at the sight of him.
Taehyung guides him to the sitting area, everyone giving them space to move, knowing that there is no one better to look after Prince Jeongguk other than his guard.
Taehyung fusses around, making Jeongguk sit at one of the chairs and look at the servants that are standing nearby, doing nothing.
“Are you serious? Your Prince is injured here and you have the audacity to just stand here and do nothing?” Taehyung’s voice starts to rise in anger. “Go and get water, cloth, and medicine now. Quick!”
The servants hurried to get the mentioned things, not wanting to anger Taehyung any further.
“Guard Kim,” He hears the Prince say softly and he looks down at where he is sitting.
“Yes, Your Highness?” Taehyung asks.
Jeongguk frowns at the title but lets it go.
“I apologize for my childish behavior last night. I was acting out of line. Please forgive me as I will make sure it won’t happen again,” The Prince apologizes sincerely.
Taehyung shakes his head. “It’s alright, Your Highness. Please don’t apologize to me. It doesn’t seem good. Besides, what happened last night, stays there. It’s a new day, we can forget it happened,” He rambles.
Prince Jeongguk chuckles slightly, shutting Taehyung up.
Taehyung rubs the back of his neck, sheepishly, “Sorry for rambling like a fool like that.”
Prince Jeongguk shakes his head and smiles kindly, “It happens.”
By that, the servants have returned with the needed things and Taehyung kneels down by Jeongguk and grabs his arms gently.
Taehyung wets the cloth and quickly wipes the blood that was starting to dry on the Prince’s skin. He takes the herbal medicine that was grounded into a paste and applies it carefully to the wound and blows on it gently when Jeongguk hisses softly. He finishes dressing the wound by wrapping a different cloth around the wound, securing it by tying a knot.
The whole exchange felt too intimate for them by how gentle and careful Taehyung was being with Jeongguk.
“Why?” Prince Jeongguk asks suddenly.
Taehyung looks up at him as he is still kneeling, confused. “Why, what?”
“Why did you do this? You could’ve easily asked a servant to do this, then, why? Why this deep concern when the wound itself isn’t that deep?”
The sudden questions from Prince Jeongguk threw Taehyung off guard. He opens his mouth to answer but nothing comes out.
He gulps and looks into Jeongguk’s big doe eyes, full of wonder, and decides to be honest.
“Because I realised—” He licks his lips nervously, “I realised the fact that seeing you in pain hurts me more, for some reason, and I don’t know how to deal with that.”
It’s been three weeks since Taehyung talked to Prince Jeongguk and if he is being honest, he is missing him. Taehyung guards Jeongguk like always but there is little to no time for them to actually talk since the young Prince is busy with royal duties these days, especially with the crowning ceremony that is going to happen soon for his older brother.
Taehyung is walking back to his room as he is done for today. He is so ready to just crash on his bed and sleep peacefully.
“Guard Kim!” A maid pants out his name, looking out of breath as she runs towards him.
Taehyung frowns at her disheveled state and helps her catch her breath.
“Are you okay, miss? Do you need some sort of assistance?” Taehyung asks carefully.
She shakes her head.
“No —” She starts. “It’s Prince Jeongguk.”
Worse kind of scenarios starts running in his head making him even more worried.
“What about the Prince? Is he okay? Where is he?” He asks hurriedly.
She nods and quickly answers that the Prince is in the Royal Garden. That’s enough for Taehyung to start moving quickly towards the garden, praying to the heavens that Jeongguk is alright.
Why is he in the garden late at night? He thinks to himself.
It takes him about five minutes to get there and he looks around wildly, trying to find any sort of threat but what he finds is a big swing, decorated by the prettiest flowers — almost as pretty as the person sitting on that swing.
“Your Highness, you called?” Taehyung asks, carefully stepping into the garden and standing in front of the Prince.
“That’s not my name,” Prince Jeongguk comments, ignoring Taehyung’s greeting.
Taehyung gulps, “Are you drunk again?”
Prince Jeongguk giggles, a pretty, pretty sound that Taehyung wants to remember until his last breath.
“No, I did not consume any sort of alcohol today. Also, Don’t think I didn’t notice you ignoring what I said before,” Prince Jeongguk answers.
“That’s not right, Your Highness. You’re my Prince,” Taehyung answers, not wanting to upset Jeongguk.
“Well,” Jeongguk raises his eyebrow. “As your prince, I’m ordering you to call me by my name.”
“W-what? Er, I don’t—”
“Are you denying your Prince’s order?” Jeongguk asks, widening his eyes in faux innocence.
“No,” Taehyung shakes his head.
Jeongguk smiles in triumph, “Better.”
Jeongguk sits back against the swing and starts moving the swing, making the wind blow his hair.
“How are you, Guard Kim?”
Taehyung frowns, “If I’m allowed to call you Jeongguk, it’s kind of strange for you to call me Guard Kim.”
Jeongguk nods. “Fair enough. What do you prefer for me to call you?”
“Taehyung is fine.”
“Okay, Taehyung,” Jeongguk tests out the word and giggles at the strangeness of their situation.
Taehyung shakes his head, endeared.
“Sit next to me, Taehyung,” Jeongguk says and gently pats the empty seat next to him and Taehyung complies.
He sits next to Jeongguk and takes a deep breath, smelling the fragrance of the flowers and cold wind that is kissing their skins soothingly.
“Can I ask why you called me out here?” Taehyung asks, fiddling with a single broken leaf that was on the swing.
“Would I be selfish, if I say that I missed your company? That I wanted to steal some of your busy time to myself?” Jeongguk questions, his voice soft and vulnerable.
“If that’s what being selfish is, then I guess I am selfish, too,” Taehyung replies.
They both look at each other and smile. A smile that is filled with promises, and trust, affection blooming for one another in their hearts, resembling the flowers that are in this garden — pretty, pretty flowers.
Taehyung thinks Jeongguk is prettier, though.
Their rendezvous in the garden continues. It almost felt exciting, thrilling , knowing there might be consequences if they even get caught. They never do, though.
They always see each other after midnight.
Funny enough, they’re coming to the garden once a week to see each other, changed into two times a week to now, three times.
Taehyung felt selfish, in the best way possible.
He felt greedy, always longing for the sweet giggles that escape Jeongguk’s lips whenever he is with him, pining for Jeongguk’s unapologetically loud laugh that Taehyung doesn’t get to hear often because it’s considered ‘inappropriate’ by the people around here, the sound that Taehyung would die for.
All his life, he spent guarding Jeongguk, he always thought Jeongguk was just this happy, kind person— which he is , but Jeongguk is also moody, he gets angry, he is a little bratty when he doesn’t get what he wants from Taehyung. He pouts adorably and glares at him in the most non-threatening way possible.
Jeongguk is not just a happy prince. He is a human, just so Jeongguk.
“You’re not being nice, Tae!” Jeongguk whined as Taehyung did not give him his sword.
“You already have your own, Gguk. It’s not that different from yours,” Taehyung explained and laughed when Jeongguk glared at him.
“No,” Jeongguk shakes his head. “Mine is a Princely sword, yours is a solider-y sword. It’s very different from each other.”
Jeongguk looked proud of his explanation and Taehyung— he is a weak man.
“Fine, Your Highness,” Taehyung said sarcastically, making Jeongguk laugh in joy, “You can have my sword.”
Taehyung realised the innuendo he just suggested and shook his head in panic.
Thank heavens that Jeongguk was too busy admiring the sword instead of paying attention to his words.
Jeongguk just slowly becomes the best part of Taehyung’s life and Taehyung is not complaining because he knows it’s not just him who feels this way.
Because when Taehyung looks at Jeongguk with open affection in his eyes, Jeongguk looks back at him with the same look, when Taehyung kisses Jeongguk’s knuckles softly just because he wants to, Jeongguk kisses his cheek just as gently.
Jeongguk is his little beam of happiness in his life and Taehyung never knew loving someone could hurt this good.
Jeongguk is a happy person.
Jeongguk is a happy person until he isn’t.
Taehyung holds a flower in his hand and makes his way to Jeongguk’s room. It is nine in the morning and Taehyung is ready to wake his little Prince up.
As he makes his way through the royal rooms, the servants bow to him when they see him, he passes by the King and Queen’s chamber but stops when he hears Jeongguk’s voice.
“You guys never listen to me once,” He hears Jeongguk screaming. “It’s always about Hyung. ‘ The Crown Prince this, Crown Prince that ’! Have you guys ever thought about, ‘ Oh, maybe we should spare some of our time to our youngest son, ’ Have you?”
Taehyung’s heart aches at the sadness laced between the anger in Jeongguk’s words.
“That’s not how a Prince should behave, Jeongguk.” He hears the King reply.
“I just—” Jeongguk sniffles, “I just always wished that one day, my parents would see me as their son first rather than the Prince of Jeon Kingdom but you just proved that this will never happen.”
“Jeong—” The queen starts but Jeongguk is quick to leave their chamber.
Jeongguk is in such a hurry that he doesn’t even notice Taehyung who steps aside the moment he feels the door being opened.
Taehyung is quick to follow Jeongguk, not wanting to see his prince being upset. He lets himself in Jeongguk’s bedroom when the Prince slams the door behind him.
Taehyung’s heart breaks when he sees little sobs coming from Jeongguk, who is lying in his bed.
“Gukkie,” Taehyung says, oh so softly and gently as if Jeongguk is the most delicate being he has seen.
“Taehyung,” Jeongguk whimpers, calling out for him and Taehyung is just so quick to hold Jeongguk in his arms, letting him cry.
“Shh, you know I don’t like seeing my little prince cry.”
Jeongguk shakes his head and nuzzles closer to Taehyung’s chest.
“They never understand,” Jeongguk whispers, referring to his parents, “Hate being called a Prince by them but love when you call me your little prince.”
Taehyung hums, his heart clenching at Jeongguk’s words, “That’s right. You are my little prince. My sweet, sweet boy.”
“Yours?” Jeongguk asks, hesitantly.
“ Mine, ” Taehyung confirms, kissing the top of Jeongguk’s head.
“Are you mine, too?”
“I’m all yours, sweet boy. Forever.”
Jeongguk whines and sits up straight to look at Taehyung properly.
“Taehyungie,” Jeongguk whispers, and when Taehyung hums in reply, he nervously fiddles with his fingers.
“Can you kiss me, please?” Jeongguk asks nicely, sitting pretty in front of him, with his big doe eyes that are still a little teary from before, a red blush on his cheeks and nose, his lips in a pout and Taehyung, — he would be a fool to reject his perfect boy like this.
Taehyung gently cups Jeongguk’s cheek with his left hand and carefully brings their faces closer and finally — finally, presses their lips together.
Jeongguk’s lips are soft and sweet against his, a little clumsy but oh so enthusiastic to follow his lead, his hands clutching Taehyung’s shoulder and if Taehyung pays enough attention, he can hear both of their hearts beating fastly in their chests.
Taehyung softly bites Jeongguk’s lower lip and feels pleased when the Prince lets out a shaky sigh against his lips. He nibbles one more time before pulling away, not wanting to overwhelm the younger prince but Jeongguk whines in complaint.
“Why’d you stop?” Jeongguk mumbles, his lips rosy red and Taehyung feels a sense of pride in his chest. He did that.
“Didn’t want to overwhelm you, baby,” Taehyung answers and giggles when Jeongguk pouts even more.
“ Nooo, ” He whines, “Want more. Please.”
Jeongguk’s pleading and little mannerism are endearing, causing a stir of arousal in his veins.
“Mhm, how can I deny my sweet boy when he is asking this nicely?” Taehyung says and brings Jeongguk closer to him, making the younger straddle his right thigh.
He leans forward to kiss Jeongguk again, holding his waist and he almost groans how his one hand is covering almost all of Jeongguk’s tiny waist. He leans back and starts peppering small kisses on Jeongguk’s jaw to his neck, sucking the soft skin there, not hard enough to leave a mark but just the right amount for Jeongguk to know that Taehyung’s lips were here.
Jeongguk whimpers, holding tightly onto Taehyung as he unknowingly starts to grind against Taehyung’s thigh. He tightens the muscle of his leg and Jeongguk couldn’t stop the moan that escapes his pretty mouth.
“That’s it, baby. Use me to make yourself feel good,” Taehyung groans when Jeongguk starts grinding faster, his hard-on pressing against Taehyung.
“Tae-Taehyung,” Jeongguk lets out a broken moan, leaning forward to press his lips to Taehyung’s in a needy kiss.
“Come on, darling. You’re doing so well. My hard-working boy. So, so good for me,” Taehyung praises, and Jeongguk moans at his words, his eyes tearing up from the pleasure from both his actions and Taehyung’s praise.
“Want to be good, just for you,” Jeongguk rambles, losing himself in his pleasure and Taehyung swears he has never seen a prettier sight than a needy Jeongguk grinding against his thigh to get himself off.
When Jeongguk lets out a particularly loud moan, Taehyung presses a finger against his lips to silence him but Jeongguk just takes the finger in his warm mouth, sucking on it gently.
“Fuck,” Taehyung groans and laughs breathlessly, “You’re going to be the death of me.”
Taehyung isn’t complaining, though. If Jeongguk, who has now two of his fingers in his mouth, making a mess on his thigh is the reason he will die, he is going to die as the happiest man.
But the sight that is printed forever behind his eyelids is when Jeongguk’s mouth opens in pure euphoria and bliss, that no noise escapes from him, making a mess in his royal silk pants just by using Taehyung for chasing his own pleasure, his nails digging deep into Taehyung’s skin, making him hiss pleasantly.
Jeongguk, in midst of his pleasure, just keeps kissing Taehyung’s neck half-mindedly, losing control over his body, while Taehyung just softly praises and reassures his sweet boy.
“You did so well,” Taehyung mumbles, tucking Jeongguk’s hair behind his ear, kissing him softly and full of affection.
“Love you,” Jeongguk whispers in his ear, soft, sweet, and oh so, vulnerable.
“I love you the most,” Taehyung knows he has never said any words that are truer than these.
Jeongguk leans back and looks at Taehyung and just beams. His cheeks puff up and his eyes crinkle into sweet crescent moons, his adorable teeth on display and he giggles the sweetest melody and Taehyung is so in love.
Taehyung wants to be with Jeongguk forever and just bask in his love that is sweeter than honey, warmer than a blanket on a cold night, prettier than flowers of the garden where they always meet.
Taehyung wants to be with Jeongguk forever.
Jeongguk is a happy person but he is the happiest when he is with Taehyung.