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Strawberry Latte

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When Jungkook and Seokjin walked into the room, Jimin immediately grabbed the phone out of Taehyung's hand and ran up to them.

"Guys, have you seen this?"

Taehyung ran a hand over his face. "Hey, stop showing everyone," he said, but his laughter gave him away.

It was a video Hoseok had taken during filming of the new MV last week. Everyone else must have been in makeup or catching up on sleep, he couldn't remember, but it had just been him and Hoseok on set at the time. They had done a few takes and the first one, a test just to get the lighting and angles right, had been a chance for Taehyung to entertain the staff and crew.

"Hyung, what is this!" Jungkook was cackling, which was the same reaction Jimin gave. "Ahh, you did so many push-ups that day."

"Oh, Taehyung!" Seokjin said loudly, as if he was trying to project his voice through at least 5 floors of the building. "Look at those muscles! Oh, pit shot, okay! Oh, yeah!"

"Stop making fun of me," Taehyung said, giggling as he got up to take his phone back. He was blocked by Jimin while Jungkook played the video over again and turned up the volume all the way. "Stop being so jealous."

"Who's jealous? I can do twice as many pull-ups as you!"

"Why are you all being so noisy?"

Taehyung stopped wrestling with Jimin and looked over to see Yoongi walk in, decked in a giant white t-shirt over black sweats. His hair looked like he ran his hand through it a couple times when he woke up and decided that would suffice. In his hand was, of course, a large iced americano, condensation already dripping onto the floor.

"Yoongi, come here, look at this." Seokjin didn't wait for Yoongi to react and grabbed him by the arm like a ragdoll, tugging him over to him and Jungkook.

Yoongi chewed on the end of his straw and five long seconds went by when he suddenly cracked a smile and pointed between the video and Taehyung. "How long are you going to flaunt your arms everywhere?"

"Hyung," Taehyung said, striding over like a confident salesman. "No, look. I got more muscles." He paused the video on a shot of his flexed arm. It was a hundred percent more defined than the last time Yoongi saw it a few weeks back when Taehyung had interrupted him on a live.

Yoongi laughed again as he spoke. "What's the point of working out so much if it's just to look at? Shouldn't you be able to do something with them?"

"Lots of people work out just to be hot!" Taehyung was confident in his strengths. "But I can do things too."

Yoongi took a long sip of his coffee, staring at Taehyung the whole time, then said, "Like what?"

Taehyung scratched the back of his neck. "Things. Stuff."

"Can you beat Jungkook at arm wrestling?" said Yoongi, his expression neutral so it was impossible to tell whether he considered that as "doing something".

"I — well, probably not," Taehyung said, crossing his arms. "But I'm sure there are things Jungkook can do that I can do! Since you don't think Jungkook's muscles are just for show."

"We have all used Jungkook at one point or another to open a stubborn jar," said Jimin, who shrugged defensively when Taehyung glared at him to indicate he wasn't helping.

Next to Jimin, Jungkook was equally unsympathetic as he mimed twisting open a lid. He then got a look on his face, like a lightbulb going off, which meant he was either about to say something genius or completely off the mark. "Hyung, you can do exercises with Yoongi-hyung."

"What?" Taehyung said.

Jungkook stepped toward Yoongi and bent down to grab Yoongi by the thighs and proceeded to do a handful of squats. "Like this," he said, face smushed against Yoongi's back. Yoongi drank his coffee unbothered.

When Yoongi's feet returned to the ground, he looked at Taehyung expectantly along with everyone else.

"What?" Taehyung said again.

Yoongi set his drink on the coffee table and wiped his palm on his pants. "Five push-ups."

"Five?" Taehyung said. He was at a point now where he could easily do 50 on his own, but as small as Yoongi was, he was still a whole other person. Taehyung saw a future where he tries to do one and collapses on his face.

Yoongi pointed at the floor. "Are you going to get down?"

Seokjin pulled out his wallet and took out a couple bills. "Twenty thousand says he doesn't make it to three."

Jungkook hopped in place a few times, eyes wide as he shook his head. "Hyung can make it to five."

"Jimin?" Seokjin said.

"Are you really betting on this?" Taehyung said, unsure how they even got here. He just wanted to show Jimin a funny video of himself.

"Two push-ups," Jimin said after some serious consideration.

"Oh, come on!"

Jimin shrugged and shot Taehyung some finger guns. "Sorry, friend. I've seen your form and you always skimp on your core workouts."

Taehyung didn't get a chance to defend himself. Yoongi prodded his shoulder and he sank to his hands and knees almost like he was on autopilot. As he got into position, hands shoulder width apart, body straight, he told himself that all things considered, this wasn't even in the top 20 of strangest things he'd ever done. Then he stopped thinking at all, biting back a groan when Yoongi dropped his entire weight onto him, laying his body over Taehyung's.

"Don't you usually sit on Jungkook's back?" said Taehyung, actually concerned now whether he'd be able to even do one push-up.

"I'm distributing my weight," said Yoongi, patting Taehyung's biceps. "I don't want Jimin or Jin-hyung to win."

"This is illegal tampering," Seokjin said.

"Not my fault you didn't think to establish the terms," Yoongi said.

Jimin crouched down in front of Taehyung. "Five proper push-ups, Taehyung. No bending your elbows a little bit."

"Fine, everyone just, stop talking." Taehyung's palms were already a bit numb.

The way Yoongi was lying on him did make his additional weight manageable, though Taehyung had to concentrate more on balancing. He took a couple deep breaths and lowered himself until his elbows were just shy of 90° and, with more effort than he wanted but still less than he expected, came back up. The fact that he successfully did one gave him a boost of adrenaline and he took advantage of the momentum, doing two more before he had to take a breather.

"Ohh, Kim Taehyung!" Jimin said, a grin in his voice. Taehyung didn't have the strength to look up.

"Just two more, hyung!" Jungkook said.

Taehyung closed his eyes and went down again, exhaling loudly and with a slight groan at the end when he pushed up with a moderate amount of strain. Just one more. Was he even going to get the cash for this? Who did Seokjin even bet against? He was V from BTS, a company shareholder! He had money. He also had too much pride, unfortunately.

At least Yoongi was completely still on top of him. All the muscles in Taehyung's body were complaining and his arms were starting to shake. He gathered all his remaining strength and went down, letting out a very unattractive yell as he fought to come back up, but it worked because somehow, miraculously, his body did not give out on him and he opened his eyes as Jungkook jumped about the room cheering, realizing that his arms were extended. He did all five. Jungkook had been right.

Taehyung laughed, incredulous and proud of himself, then promptly collapsed onto the floor. It was only when he was gasping for breath and having difficulty that he realized Yoongi was still on top of him. "...Hyung?"

Yoongi was silent, but Taehyung could feel how tense he was.

A second later, Taehyung felt something else too, pressing against his back. Oh. Yoongi was — was that?

"Yoongi, what are you doing?" Seokjin said. "Get off the poor guy."

Yoongi scrambled to his feet. "Okay, good job," he said, barely audible, his body turned away from everyone. "I'm leaving."

Taehyung sat up in time to see Yoongi hurry off. Yoongi made it partly down one hall before he seemed to realize he was going the wrong way and did an abrupt about face, scurrying just as quickly in the opposite direction. His hand was clutching the hem of his shirt.

"What was that?" Jimin said when Yoongi disappeared from view, laughing. "He came and started the whole thing and he just leaves?"

"Whatever, give me my money," Jungkook said, drawing Taehyung's attention back.

"Now," said Seokjin, holding his hands up, the cash folded between his fingers. "You never formally agreed. You didn't even put up the cash."

"Bullshit! If you'd won, you'd be trying to steal my wallet right now. Give me my money." Jungkook looked at Jimin. "You too, hyung!"

Taehyung didn't care about their bickering. He absently touched the small of his back and noticed that Yoongi's iced americano was still on the table. He didn't think about it too long and stood up, grabbing the drink and leaving without a heads up. Seokjin and Jungkook were already at the physical altercation stage anyway and Jimin was all too happy to egg them on.

They'd just moved into the new building a couple weeks ago and Taehyung was still getting familiar with the layout. All their individual studios were in the same area though and presumably that was where Yoongi had run off too.

Halfway there, Taehyung still didn't know what he intended to do when he arrived. Ask if what he thought he felt was actually correct? Ask why? The new office was giant and the halls winding and yet Taehyung found himself standing in front of Yoongi's studio quicker than he'd expected. Since it was a new building, the keypad was new too, of course. There was a chance Yoongi had changed the passcode, but Taehyung knew he was a creature of habit and felt a flash of pride when the keypad beeped happily and let him in.

"Hyung?" Taehyung said as he slipped his shoes off outside. "You left your coffee."

This studio was set up almost exactly the same as Yoongi's last one, just with double the space. Directly across from the door was Yoongi's setup with even more speakers than Taehyung remembered last seeing. There was no one in the chair though and the monitor displayed a static "SUGA". Taehyung took a few more steps inside and stopped abruptly when he found Yoongi hunched over on the sofa with his head in his hands.

"Hyung. You scared me. Why didn't you answer?" Taehyung went over and went to set the drink on the table only to startle again when Yoongi suddenly moved and shoved a coaster across the surface. "Why are you so funny?"

Yoongi finally raised his head. If this were a manhwa, Taehyung imagined Yoongi would have a dark blob over his head, that was how gloomy he looked. "You came to say that?"

"I came because you forgot your coffee," said Taehyung, kneeling on the floor as he moved the drink on the coaster closer to Yoongi. He tapped his fingers on the table. "And maybe to ask about something else."

Yoongi groaned and dragged his hands through his hair, messing it up even more. He sucked in a breath and pressed his lips together as if considering his words, then said, "I'm sorry, I don't know — it was inappropriate."

"What was?" Taehyung said.


"My question wasn't for you to apologize," Taehyung said, eyes drifting down to Yoongi's lap. "I was just wondering if I understood correctly what happened."

"Oh my god." Yoongi dropped his face into his hands, which answered Taehyung's actual question enough, it seemed.

"So, yes? You got um, excited." Taehyung kept trying to get a glimpse of Yoongi's crotch, but surreptitiously. He didn't do a very good job though.

"Stop looking for it," said Yoongi, but covered his lap better with his t-shirt. "I — yes, yeah. But it's gone now. Mortification kills a boner pretty fast."

Taehyung was not expecting Yoongi to refer to it directly and grew unexpectedly shy.

"Like I said," Yoongi said quietly, looking uncomfortable enough for the both of them, "sorry."

But Taehyung still didn't feel very interested in an apology. His mind wandered off onto a tangent and he leaned over the table. "You've never reacted like that to Jungkook, have you?"

"No!" Yoongi's eyes flew open in horror. "We practically raised him."

Taehyung propped his cheek on his palm. "I'm not that much older than him," he said while thinking about all the times over the past year where Yoongi has brought up his devilishly good looks. "I guess you did always make me apologize to people when I acted up."

"We're reminiscing now?"

Taehyung shook his head. "If it's never happened with Jungkook then does that mean…?" Yoongi stared at him, odd since he picked up on stuff right away normally. Taehyung supposed this wasn't a normal situation, even for them. "Is it me?"

It was obvious when things clicked for Yoongi. He looked like he wanted to sink right through the sofa.

"It is, right?" Taehyung said, happy about this development. He smiled and folded his arms on the table and rested his face on them. "Right?"

Yoongi grabbed his iced americano and emptied it with a few long, terse sips, until he was just sucking on air at the end. He was a little rough putting the cup back, ice jostling around, and said, "I don't know. Maybe. Yes."

Taehyung's smile grew. "That's good to know—"


"—that you like me and my muscles."

Yoongi returned to the position Taehyung first found him in, elbows on his knees, head in his hands. Taehyung didn't like seeing him so pitiful and got up to take the empty seat beside him.

"Hyung, I'm not making fun of you, if that's what you're thinking."

"I'm not. I'm thinking that it's been ten years and I still don't know how to tell what you're thinking."

"You could just ask," Taehyung said, a reasonable thing, but laughed when Yoongi looked nauseous at the suggestion. "No? But you're very direct, hyung."

"Not about everything."

Taehyung nodded. "Not about me."

The silence which filled the room then wasn't really awkward, but it certainly wasn't relaxed. Expectant was the best way Taehyung could describe it. He rocked side to side slightly, but stopped the moment he felt Yoongi's hand on his elbow.

"If you're not making fun of me, then what are you doing?" Yoongi said, after what looked like some internal struggle.

Taehyung tapped his chin. "Honestly? Just trying to think of the smoothest way to put the moves on you." He laughed softly, both at the situation and the dumbfounded look on Yoongi's face. "It's kind of difficult when we've known each other for so long and I'm out of practice. I don't think the lines Jimin and I came up with in high school would still work."

"Did they work then?"

"Hyung, don't be mean!" Taehyung said, breathing a little easier when Yoongi cracked a smile. "I had lots of girls who liked it when I offered them bread and strawberry milk."

"That could work on me."

The most shocking thing of the last fifteen minutes wasn't Yoongi getting turned on from Taehyung doing push-ups or his indirect confession, but that he was such a natural flirt. Maybe Taehyung should've seen it coming since Yoongi was always good at emceeing, but it was still a nice surprise.

"What do I do?" Taehyung said, scratching his cheek. "I don't have either with me." He glanced down at Yoongi's hand and took it, dropping it in his own palm. "Is this too tame? Or too scandalous?"

"We've done this before," Yoongi said, but he couldn't make eye contact with Taehyung.

"Hm, then—" Taehyung touched Yoongi's cheek to make him look up and leaned over, closing his eyes as he brushed their lips together. It was the barest definition of a kiss, but it still met all the criteria. Taehyung's heart was beating much faster than it should have been considering how chaste that was and couldn't decide how much of it was nerves and how much was just a natural response to Yoongi. He licked his lips. "We've never done that before."

Yoongi looked about as flustered as Taehyung felt on the inside, which was comforting. "Yeah. That was — pretty smooth." His eyes flickered down to Taehyung's lips, so Taehyung did the only logical thing and kissed him again.

But this time, he pressed their lips together a little harder, a little longer, and felt Yoongi's grip around his hand tighten in response. This time Taehyung had enough time to notice how soft Yoongi's lips were, how they smelled faintly of vanilla from the balm he used. He wondered how much a person could like such a simple kiss because he liked this one a lot.

Yoongi's face was even warmer than before when Taehyung pulled away and he cleared his throat, back to avoiding eye contact. It was fine. Out of all the ways this could have gone, this was probably the cutest outcome.

"Hyung, was there a lot of work you had to do today?" Taehyung said, feeling like two kisses was enough for now. His words were calm but he felt the same adrenaline rush as that time half of them launched themselves across a valley in New Zealand. "Do you want to help with my mixtape?"

Yoongi dragged his hand over his mouth, taking a few moments to answer like he had to physically switch the gears in his head. "Which part?"

"Well," Taehyung said carefully, "all of it?"


"I started over." Taehyung held his hand up when Yoongi's expression changed like he was going to scold him. "I know, I know, you told me it's never going to be perfect, but too much time passed and it didn't feel like it fit me anymore."

Yoongi sighed, not judgmental but understanding. "I guess a lot has happened." He glanced down before taking his hand back and went to sit in his chair, reaching under to pull out a stool. He looked behind him when he noticed Taehyung hadn't followed. "What are you doing? Aren't you going to show me what you have?"

"Ah, yes!" Taehyung went over and sat down, digging his phone out. There was a playlist he had compiled the past few weeks as inspiration and a few samples submitted by the company producers he liked. Before he played any of them, he made a soft noise and said, "Hyung, we should do something for luck before we start."

"What are you talking about?" Yoongi said, mumbling his words while distracted by opening up a bunch of programs on the giant monitor.

Taehyung waited for Yoongi to look over and shoved his sleeve up. "Hyung, touch my arm," he said, flexing his bicep.

Yoongi's cheeks turned pink and he immediately looked away. "What are you — stop messing around."

"I'm not!" Taehyung showed off his triceps instead. "Come on, touch it for good luck."

"I don't need good luck."

"I do. So touch it."

"Taehy—" Yoongi was cut off when Taehyung grabbed his hand and made him do it.

"See? Not so bad." Taehyung made sure Yoongi really got in a good grope. "A lot more impressive than last time, right?" He leaned in closer. "And much better than offering some bread."

Yoongi snatched his hand away as Taehyung laughed, mumbling under his breath though he didn't seem to have any real complaints.

It worked though as a good luck charm. Once they actually focused, they listened to part of Taehyung's playlist and Yoongi helped turn one of the samples into a full track. It still needed lyrics of course, but Yoongi managed to create something in less than an hour that really felt like it belonged to Taehyung. It was less surprising when Taehyung remembered the lyrics Yoongi wrote for the track he helped produce on the last album, how the two of them who were so different ten years ago had managed to become a little more similar.

Two kisses were enough earlier, but as the last notes of the track they just worked on faded with a soft crackle from the speakers, Taehyung's giddiness got the best of him and he turned to Yoongi to ask for a third only to find Yoongi already looking right at him. "Hyung?"

"How do you feel about squats?"

Taehyung laughed, quiet but sharp, and propped his elbow on Yoongi's chair as he leaned forward. "I could be persuaded," he said and closed the deal with that kiss he wanted.