"Dieting isn't counting calories. Dieting is splitting everything in half." Taehyung and Yoongi, probably.
Yoongi doesn't want food. Food means digesting, and digesting slows the creative thought process. Yoongi is fucking creative. He doesn't fantasize about meat roasted on a grill, grease dripping making the flames more impressive, or cake with buttercream frosting and sweet cream separating the layers, or even pizza with extra cheese and sauce and buttered cheese stuffed crust. Food isn’t even that great.
"A diet high in fruit and vegetables makes semen taste better," Taehyung says. His cheek is pressed against the conference table and his tone is miserable. He stares at their lunch -- a tray of cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and celery.
"Why do you know that?" Jeongguk asks.
"If I ever suck dick, I'll keep that in mind," Yoongi says.
Aggressively, he bites a celery stick in half. It tastes like water and sadness. Yoongi ate half a grapefruit for breakfast today. He probably has an uninspired salad to look forward to for dinner. Fuck music. Fuck being an idol. Fuck being able to fit into leather pants.
"Semen is also high in protein," Taehyung continues.
Yoongi tries not to think about what else is high in protein. Steak, for one. Medium rare. So juicy and tender it would melt in his mouth... He angrily chews the rest of the damn celery stick.
"You guys get weird when you're hungry," Hoseok says. He cheerily eats carrot sticks. Yoongi hates him. He hopes Hoseok bites his tongue and bleeds to death.
“Weird? You want to talk about the time Jeongguk held Jimin down so he could eat his face mask?” Yoogni asks snippily.
“You guys promised never to bring it up again!” Jeongguk protests.
“He was going through puberty. Do you remember what those hunger pains felt like?” Hoseok pats Jeongguk on the back.
“I could eat someone’s face mask about now,” Taehyung says.
“With crackers,” Yoongi mutters in agreement.
“So weird,” Hoseok shakes his head.
"What are you doing?" Yoongi bangs on the bathroom door. "We have five minutes!"
There's no answer. Yoongi and his stomach growl. He's not in the mood for this. Breakfast was hours ago and lunch has been delayed. He's hungry, god damn it. At this point, he’s willing to sell Jeongguk’s virginity for a plate of cooked pork.
He jimmies the door open with his ID and acknowledges hanging out with a bad crowd taught him handy things. He's expecting anything from seeing Taehyung on the toilet to seeing Taehyung jerking off. He does not expect to see Taehyung with a bag of chips.
Taehyung guiltily smiles, showing off a mouth stuffed full. Yoongi experiences a disconnect from his body. It's accompanied by a vaguely murderous feelings and Yoongi might kill Taehyung. Who knows? Because that fucking fuck was cheating on their fucking diet.
Fuck everything. Fuck having a below average body mass index. Fuck having sharply defined features. Fuck the leather pants.
Taehyung tilts the bag in Yoongi's direction -- want some? Yoongi steps into the bathroom and closes the door, hard. He locks it for good measure and stalks up to Taehyung. The younger man flinches. Without breaking angry eye contact, Yoongi grabs a handful and stuffs them in his mouth. It's heaven. Salt and oil and potatoes makes his taste buds explode. He takes the bag from Taehyung. Taehyung gives him a crumbly smile.
Yoongi finishes the rest of the bag in four minutes. He licks the salt off his lips and fingers, Taehyung's eyes jealously following the movement. Yoongi is pretty sure his dick is semi hard from eating a bag of chips. It makes it difficult to feel guilty. He's mostly concerned he might start masturbating to food blogs.
Taehyung leaves the bathroom first so they don't look suspicious. Thirty seconds later, Yoongi leaves too. Neither of them notice Jeongguk. "Am I supposed to ignore that?" He asks no one in particular, wide and bewildered eyes. He might also be overwhelmed.
It's an odd situation.
Today was an all broth day. There had been tiny pieces of chicken. Yoongi doesn't hate life. He just wants to die. It’s okay though. The company is doing their best to honor his wish. At this rate he’s going to starve to death.
He's not staring at the ceiling, dreaming about succulent meat and sweet and spicy sauces to dip it in. He's not sighing about his mom's spicy soup. Fuck you for thinking otherwise. He's making this diet his bitch, thanks.
Yoongi ignores that he would probably swallow a tapeworm egg if it meant he could eat again.
He can hear noise in the kitchen. Cabinets and the fridge door opening and closing over and over again like someone is praying food will magically appear. Yoongi feels his stomach gnawing itself and gets up. Maybe if they're lucky Manager hid junk food somewhere. He’s going to help look.
It's Taehyung on the counter, half in the upper cabinets as he searches. This diet definitely made Taehyung her bitch. Yoongi caught the other boy swearing a life of devotion to an intern if she shared her half sandwich. The intern said no, embarrassed and shy, and avoided Taehyung for the rest of the day.
"You're noisy," Yoongi greets. Taehyung jumps and bumps his head. Yoongi takes a sick pleasure in it. At least someone is suffering more than he is. "Find anything?"
Taehyung shakes his head. "No. Manager used to keep his stash in here. He moved it." Taehyung sounds betrayed. The boy hits his head on purpose against the shelf. He whimpers. Yoongi feels slightly bad, but mostly he feels hungry.
It gives Yoongi an idea.
A very naughty idea.
Twenty minutes later, they're standing in a fast food restaurant. The menu is brightly lit and full of diet ruining items. Yoongi can only stare, almost trembling. He wants to order one of everything. Everything.
But he can't. People would definitely find out if he did that.
"We can split it," he says instead. Grease, cheese, buttered bun, mayo... "That's half the calories." He doesn't sound very convincing. Even he knows he's lying. His mouth is watering too much to make it sound honest.
Taehyung nods vigorously. "Yeah. Half the calories. Can we get that one?" Yoongi looks to where Taehyung is pointing. Two half pound charbroiled patties, a bun in the middle, four slices of cheese, dripping mayo and bacon. Fuck yes.
"Yeah," Yoongi says and he doesn't quite succeed in keeping the pure want out of his voice. But it's Taehyung. Taehyung who is licking his lips and whimpering a little. He's squeezing Yoongi's hand in nervous anticipation. Yoongi can relate. The past two weeks, excluding the chip incident, have been nothing but leafy greens and superfoods approved by their personal trainer.
The cashier is an older woman with boredom and spite in every wrinkle line. Yoongi ignores her narrowed eyes. If she didn't want to be at work at four a.m. serving burgers to customers maybe she should find another job.
"Can I have a number ---?" Yoongi asks.
"Small, medium or large?" she asks, her unhappiness apparent in her voice.
"Small," Yoongi answers promptly. He thinks about it and says, "Large. Definitely large." Taehyung nods his head again.
Her eyes flicker to Taehyung. "Are you sure?"
"Yes. With a vanilla milkshake. The one in the forty-two ounce cup."
"And for you?" She asks Taehyung.
"We're sharing," Taehyung says.
The woman looks at their clasped hands and her mouth sours further. She tells them the amount and between the two of them they come up with the cash. Rumor has it their credit card statements are checked for food runs like this.
The woman calls their number, hissing something about moral depravity, Yoongi doesn't particularly care. Taehyung doesn't even look at her.
They cut their burger down the middle, and it's the best fucking thing to ever touch his tongue. He's a tiny bit disappointed how quickly he inhales it. He wants another one but the calorie menu tells Yoongi no amount of running will subtract the calories. The boys split the shake between them as well. Yoongi gives himself brain freeze and his cheeks hurt from how hard he sucks on the straw. Taehyung looks on enviously, chewing on his fries.
"My turn, hyung, please," Taehyung begs.
Yoongi watches curiously when Taehyung pulls off the plastic lid and sets it aside. Grinning like he knows exactly how much he's going to blow Yoongi's mind, Taehyung dips a fry in the vanilla shake. He munches on it and mhmms deliciously. Yoongi doesn't know what he wants. Taehyung looks like he found heaven, but that's gross. Gross. Impish, Taehyung dips another fry and holds it for Yoongi to bite.
Yoongi takes the bite. Taehyung doesn't let go quickly enough and Yoongi accidentally licks the other boy's fingers. If he doesn't like it, he'll just spit it at Taehyung. The sweetness goes with saltiness in a way that makes him whisper, "Fuck." He smacks his lips together and Taehyung looks so smug. "I know, right?"
They spend the rest of their cheat meal dipping fries in their shake and holding fries out to the other to munch on. It's over too quick.
They sneak back into the dorm. Unknown to the two boys, an insomniac Hoseok is sitting on the couch in the dark, thinking about his place in the universe when they come stumbling home, giggling to each other and shushing one another, on a sugar high and alive with the giddiness that came with having satisfied a craving.
"What on earth?" Hoseok asks the universe completely bewildered.
“I’m going to create a pizza tree,” Taehyung says.
“That’s not actually possible,” Seokjin says before he can help himself. He knows better than to engage with Taehyung when he gets like this. It’s all nonsense and a headache and really, Seokjin knows better.
“I’m not going to share will you,” Taehyung says petulant.
“That would make pizza vegetable, right?” Yoongi asks, and what, no. Why is Yoongi engaging?
“I think it actually makes pizza a fruit,” Taehyung says.
“I would invest in that,” Yoongi says.
Seokjin blinks. Was Yoongi actually discussing the merits of a pizza tree with Taehyung? He looks closely at the two men. Taehyung’s mood has perked back up as he describes the different pizza trees he would create. “A plain cheese one, one with pepperoni, another one with mushrooms and onions and peppers,” and on and on Taehyung goes. Yoongi’s eyes are closed, and Seokjin would think he was sleeping if he didn’t quietly interject with, “Sausage too,” or, “No pineapple.” It’s like the two men have forgotten Seokjin is even sitting at the table with them.
Seokjin might be hurt if he isn't so confused.
The conversation sticks out to Seokjin. He remembers it every time he sees Yoongi stick his hand in Taehyung’s pockets or Taehyung paw at Yoongi’s clothes. Taehyung has always been needy, but Yoongi liked his space. Everyone respected that space or else. To see Taehyung allowed to blatantly violate it is making Seokjin’s head hurt. That Yoongi being needy too is giving Seokjin a migraine.
Nothing makes sense anymore.
“Taehyung and I are going to get bubble tea. Does anyone want anything?” Yoongi asks.
“Boys--” Manager starts.
“We know. The snack size ones,” Yoongi sighs.
“Good. We don’t need you guys breaking your diets so close to your comeback,” Manager says.
“Me, me, me!” Jimin raises his hand.
Jeongguk and Hoseok also enthusiastically agree while Namjoon shakes his head.
“What about you, hyung?” Taehyung asks.
Seokjin shakes his head. He still hasn’t accepted the fact Yoongi volunteered to go with Taehyung somewhere. Taehyung is a good younger brother. Often too enthusiastic for his own good and easy to side track but good. Trips outside the company for errands are nerve wracking when Taehyung is involved. The maknae line still weren’t trusted outside the building by themselves. And here Yoongi is, indulging Taehyung, again.
“No, thank you,” he smiles politely.
The rest of the group continues doing what they were doing. Namjoon and Hoseok practice their dictation together. Jimin studies the lyrics for their album. Jeongguk listens to the demo of one of their new songs, humming along. None of them watch Yoongi and Taehyung leave. No one else sees Taehyung throw an arm around Yoongi’s shoulders, beaming. No one else sees Yoongi look at Taehyung and smile warmly.
They have to be dating, Seokjin decides. They have to be.
(What Seokin doesn’t know is Yoongi and Taehyung still buy seven bubble teas and drink two as quickly as they can before strolling into the conference room with the others’ orders as well as their own. What he doesn’t know can’t hurt him.)
Manager and the concept director want wardrobe to take Yoongi's pants in an inch. A fucking inch. Across the board, thinner is deemed better. Except Jimin who gets to live on protein shakes and bars. His mantra is more muscle. Yoongi would feel pity for the kid but he gets boiled chicken at least. Yoongi gets lemon water.
Yoongi is going to choke the concept director with the measuring tape. The goal is to make his jaw and cheekbones sharper and the muscle he does have more defined. Yoongi doesn't know why they don't hire better a makeup artist. He's seen 300, thanks, he knows it's possible.
Taehyung whimpers after the announcement is made.
"There's no more fat. I've reached bone. Look!" He pushes his pants down and hikes up his shirt to show off a pointy hipbone. He knocks his knuckles against the bone and it resounds. Yoongi looks. Everyone is looking. Yoongi thinks Taehyung might be sucking in his stomach a little. He approves, especially if it changes the concept director's and Manager's minds.
"That's malnourished. Not sexy," Yoongi says to be supportive.
"You can see his abs," the director shrugs.
"And his ribs," Yoongi adds.
"My abs liked their protective layer of fat!" Taehyung complains.
“He is looking a little peaky,” Manager squints.
Manager insists Taehyung be allowed to gain five pounds. Taehyung also earns Yoongi a half inch back on his pants. Taehyung is forced to listen to a lecture from the concept director about how he wants to project Taehyung’s appeal to their target audience -- “Lithe and slim. A proper flower boy.” -- but Taehyung doesn’t care. He won. He’s not listening to anyone.
"You should be nicer to Taehyung. What if he's insecure about his body?" Seokjin says later, disapproval apparent. "You should have comforted him! Not teased him!"
"Right," Yoongi says. Seokjin has been weird lately, but cookies were definitely required to celebrate their minor victory.
Yoongi invites Taehyung to the studio -- "Try not to work too hard," Hoseok says, lewdly. What the fuck Hoseok. The studio is for working and illicit cookies. What the fuck has Hoseok been doing in the studio? -- and they order cookies from that 24 hour place that also includes cartons of milk. Yoongi orders two dozen and they eat and eat until jeans are unbuttoned and Taehyung is threatening to barf.
They go home after Yoongi is satisfied with a track, all the evidence disposed. Namjoon is awake and waiting for them.
"What were you guys doing? Usually Taehyung comes home earlier. And you never come home when it's still dark outside."
"Working," Yoongi lies automatically.
"Dieting," Taehyung also lies.
Yoongi resists the urge to smack Taehyung upside the head. He settles with poking Taehyung in the back. The other boy jumps in surprise.
Namjoon crosses his arms, speculative, "Uh huh."
Yoongi pushes Taehyung past Namjoon. “We’re going to bed. We’re completely beat. We were worked hard, you know. Goodnight. Don’t stay up too late. Seokjin will eat you.” They hurry down the hall, but Namjoon still catches Taehyung resentfully saying, “No, he won't. Seokjin likes our diet.”
Namjoon's a little bewildered too.
“We know you guys are dating,” Jimin says.
Yoongi sends the picture of bulgogi to Taehyung, and then looks up to see who Jimin is talking to. He’s a little surprised to realize Jimin is staring at him. Next to him, Taehyung checks his messages and makes a sound Yoongi has learned to mean hunger and excitement. The younger man quickly texts back, hopefully the name of a restaurant, and Yoongi’s phone vibrates next. It’s a very obvious exchange.
Jimin makes a noise of disbelief and flaps his hands at Taehyung.
“It’s getting a little out of hand,” Namjoon says. “Like at dinner? Yoongi, you almost stabbed Jimin with a chopstick for trying to pick off Taehyung’s plate.”
“You guys aren’t even trying to hide it,” Hoseok says, sounding amused.
“We aren’t dumb,” Jeongguk says with a pout.
Yoongi is confused. What are they talking about? Who's dating? Taehyung is the only other person sitting around the conference table that looks as confused as Yoongi feels. Everyone else is staring at them with varying expressions of embarrassment, delight, and hurt. Yoongi has a sinking suspicion he knows where this is going.
“Congratulations?” Taehyung hesitantly says. He looks around the room with a smile. His eyes flit from member to member trying to figure out who might be dating someone. This isn't good.
Seokjin sighs deeply, like he’s supremely disappointed. “We know you and Yoongi are dating, Taehyung. You don’t have to hide it anymore.”
“I’m not sure what you’re talking about?” Taehyung says slowly.
‘We have evidence,” Jimin says.
“What?” Yoongi repeats again.
“Ahhh, some of your outings before your comeback were photographed,” Manager says. The man opens the folder in front of him. He pushes a few photos across the table so Yoongi and Taehyung can see. Yoongi pulls the photos closer so he and Taehyung can look at them together.
They’re pictures from when they went out to the fast food restaurant almost two months ago. And it does look pretty bad, Yoongi is willing to admit. The pictures are a little blurry but it is distinctly pictures of Yoongi and Taehyung feeding each other fries. They’re feeding each other. With no context it certainly looks...strange.
“Don’t think you won’t be paying for those fries just because you were on a date,” Manager says.
“Again, what,” Yoongi says.
Manager sighs. Everyone else also looks slightly disappointed. Manager slides a few more pictures across the table. “These are the fan pictures that have been trending the past few weeks. The company hid them since you were so close to your comeback, and we couldn’t afford you to be distracted.”
“It’s okay if you guys are dating. We’re not mad,” Hoseok says. “You don’t have to hide it.”
“I’m a little mad,” Jeongguk says. Hoseok immediately slaps him upside the head. Jeongguk keeps pouting.
The new pictures are pretty bad. The quality is just as sketchy, but there’s a lot of them. Yoongi looks at each photo and wants to laugh. They have pictures of him feeding Taehyung fried street food from their last break day. Pictures of them leaning towards each other late as they entered and exited restaurants. Pictures of them sitting at tables together. A lot of their diet cheating has been immortalized, and the conclusion his group has drawn is secret dating. If Yoongi didn’t know the circumstances behind each photo, he would agree that it looked like they were going on illicit dates.
“You two are grounded though. Your publicist has been tying herself in knots trying to figure out a context for these photos besides gay love affair,” Manager says.
“Wow, you guys have snuck out on more dates than I thought,” Seokjin says.
“We were just hanging out,” Yoongi says and pushes the pictures away.
“You guys don’t sound like you’re just ‘hanging out,’” Jimin says.
“What do you mean,” Yoongi says, side eyeing Jimin hard.
“You told Taehyung you couldn’t live without him!” Jimin says. “I heard you!”
Taehyung squeaks. Frantically, Yoongi tries to remember what Jimin is talking about. There was that day on the stairwell when Taehyung smuggled steak strips in and-- Yeah, Yoongi might have been talking to the steak. Okay, he was mostly to the steak, although he doubts he could live without Taehyung since Taehyung brought him sustenance their personal trainer didn’t think was necessary to Yoongi’s continued survival.
“And what about that time you came home from visiting your family and Taehyung said he missed you? Huh, what about that?” Jimin asks passionately.
A bubble of nervous laughter escapes Taehyung. Yoongi doesn’t say anything. What can he say? I brought him some makchang from home. That would mean admitting to the diet breaking, and the concept director would probably make Yoongi lose the full inch off his waist to spite him.
“I miss all of you when you’re gone?” Taehyung says.
Seokjin rubs his temples. “You guys are always touching each other. Do you know how many times I’ve seen Yoongi’s hand in your pockets, Taehyung?” Yoogni scrunches down in his chair and closes his eyes tightly. He had been sneaking jerky and candy in Taehyung’s pockets recently. “Or that you’re always touching him?” And Taehyung returned the favor by smuggling contraband goods into Yoongi’s pockets. Oh no.
“Taehyung is very tactile,” Yoongi attempts to handle the situation.
“Yeah but you aren’t,” Seokjin says.
Before Yoongi can figure out what to say to that, Namjoon jumps in next.
“Variety show staff says you guys insist on being partnered together,” Namjoon says. “I’ve even overheard you guys bribing them before.”
And that would be all the times the variety show challenges included the possibility for food. Normally, Yoongi couldn’t give two shits about the challenge, but if there was beef on the line, he would be the first to embarrass himself to get it. Winning those types of challenges just so happened to be easier with a partner. They also had a system for individual challenges. They would take turns sabotaging the other members so one of them would win. It’s a good system.
“I didn’t want to say anything, but you guys all suck lately at variety shows,” Yoongi says defensively.
“Or what about all the times you guys sneak off to the bathroom together?” Jeongguk demands.
“Jeongguk and a bunch of trainees keep catching you guys do that,” Namjoon says.
“Classy and discreet,” Hoseok grins.
Yoogni doesn’t know what to say to that. He doesn’t think there is anything he can say to that. It looks pretty bad. The group’s ‘evidence’ is actually pretty damning. Either they own up to what they’ve actually been doing or--
“You’re right! We’re dating! That’s what we’re doing,” Taehyung smiles nervously. “You guys caught us. Yaaaaay, you guys.”
“Right,” Yoongi nods slowly. “Dating.”
“Uh huh,” Namjoon says, crossing his arms over his chest with a thoughtful frown.
Taehyung twitches and throws his arm around Yoongi. It’s not very convincing all things considered. Namjoon continues to frown at them. Yoongi leans his head against Taehyung. The frown disappears. Right. Dating.
“We’re very sorry for not telling you all sooner,” Yoongi lies as humbly as he can.
“I knew it!” Jimin shouts. “What did I say? I called this last year!”
Everyone else looks much happier. How long has this been eating at everyone? Hoseok beams at them. Seokjin looks pleased and proud of them. Namjoon gives them quiet words of congratulations. Manager gives them a tired smile and waves off their apology. Even Jeongguk is wearing a tiny smile.
Yoongi almost feels guilty.
And then he checks his texts and Taehyung does know a good place to find bulgogi. It’s hard to feel guilty after that.
“I’m pretty sure I read that dark chocolate helps stimulate the metabolism,” Taehyung says.
“I’m pretty sure I read that if it’s mini, it doesn’t count,” Yoongi adds.
They have a small package of candy. Two servings each. But it’s not just any candy. Oh no. This candy was expensive hazelnut with more calories in one bite than entire stick of butter. This candy is at least four hours at the gym.
Ever since the group came to their super wrong conclusion about them dating, it’s been a little easier to sneak off to shove as much as possible in their mouths. They’ve since perfected the art of scarfing raymun in the company stairwells. Yoongi doesn’t mind the assumption as much as he thought he would. It makes easier for them to sneak in more gym time, which makes Yoongi feel better about sneaking around and eating.
They split the chocolate truffles. They hurry to unwrap the pretty gold tinfoil. Yoongi might have been hurrying a tad too much because he fumbles the candy and it rolls underneath the urinal. Yoongi has a moment where he seriously considers eating it anyways. But that would be disgusting and he still has some pride. Maybe. Taehyung makes his noise of complete pleasure, no wonder their friends thought they were having sex, and that’s his ‘over the calorie limit but worth it’ face.
Yoongi can feel what little pride he has left crumbling.
Later Yoongi will hit his head repeatedly against a wall for what he does. He likes to think that if he hadn’t been so desperate, he would have thought his action through a little more. He licks the leftover taste of chocolate out of Taehyung’s mouth. Yoongi is sure that crosses some lines. Probably all of the lines.
As it is Yoongi has Taehyung’s face in his hands as he swipes his tongue around Taehyung’s mouth, groaning a little because the chocolate is good, but so is Taehyung, and feels the press of Taehyung’s tongue that leads to Yoongi sucking on it. What Yoongi is trying to get at is, he never intended to have the filthiest makeout session ever in the men’s restroom.
“What did we say about class and discretion guys?” Manager whines. “It was literally a month ago.”
Yoongi and Taehyung carefully don’t look at each other.
Things become awkward after that.
“Did you guys have an argument?” Seokjin worries.
“It wasn’t because Taehyung was flirting with that intern, right?” Namjoon asks. “Because I am pretty positive he only did that for the candy in her purse.”
“No,” Yoongi says shortly. “We’re fine.”
Yoongi goes back to being good. He follows the diet their trainer outlined for them. The only chips he eats are kale. If he wants a snack, he eats sliced apples with peanut butter. He doesn’t think about meat, fried food or sugar. He doesn’t.
He also doesn’t think about Taehyung and the curl of his tongue.
“Are you guys avoiding each other?” Hoseok frowns.
“Just busy with promotions,” Yoongi says.
It’s not that they are avoiding each other. Taehyung just can’t look at him without his cheeks looking sunburned therefore avoids meeting Yoongi’s eyes, and Yoongi can’t stop licking his lips when he sees Taehyung, so he doesn’t see him. It's an awkward dance of missed glances and embarrassment.
“I can hardly wait for promotions to be over. You were both happier before they started,” Jimin sighs.
It’s fine. Whatever. It’s not like Yoongi is missing Taehyung. He misses the food. That’s it. The food.
“I knew you could do it!” The concept director crows when wardrobe tells the man Yoongi pants need to be fixed. “You’ve lost an inch plus the original half inch I wanted you to lose. That is dedication. Taehyung! Come here!”
Yoongi stands still as wardrobe measures his pants and uses pins. The concept director lectures Taehyung on maintaining an image worthy of an idol. Most of it is bullshit. Yoongi would disappear if the man with the sharp needles wasn’t pinning away, instead Yoongi stares straight ahead, biting his tongue. He can’t exactly tell the concept director to fuck off, Taehyung looks fine, better than fine even though he really wants to feed the younger boy a sandwich. Yoongi might not be fired, but he might get his ass chewed for it.
“I’ll talk to your personal trainer,” Manager says quietly. “I’ll ask him to fix your diet. We want you to look cool, not skeletal.”
“Skeletons are cool,” Yoongi says mostly to himself. That’s something Taehyung would say and his heart feels troubled.
(He doesn’t notice the mirror Taehyung stares at, reflecting Yoongi’s slightly gaunt face, with a troubled expression. How can he? He’s too busy pretending he doesn’t have feelings that have been hurt.)
Yoongi spends every night at the studio and only crawls home when he knows beyond a doubt everyone else is asleep. It’s not unusual behavior for him. He’s been known to do it in the past. Even when he and Taehyung were on...friendly terms, he would sometimes doze off in front of a computer. It's just then Taehyung would be the one to wake him up and help him to the sofa, frappuccinos with double whip stashed in the fridge, so Yoongi could catch a few more minutes of sleep before the day started. Yoongi would be a liar if he said he didn’t miss it.
And not just for the frappuccinos.
He’s barely opened his latest file when there’s a timid knock at the door. Yoongi looks up. Taehyung enters with a nervous expression and a large paper bag. Slowly, as not to spook Taehyung, he pushes away from the desk.
“Hey,” he greets because he isn’t the type to beat around the bush.
“Hi,” Taehyung greets back shyly. He hangs by the door. His hand clenches and unclenches the paper bag rhythmically. Yoongi waits. Taehyung clears his throat and raises the bag. “I brought dinner.”
The younger goes to the coffee table and begins unloading the bag. “I went to this place Seokjin recommended. He said our personal trainer told him about it. I didn't know what to think, so I ordered a little bit everything.” Curiosity piqued, as well as hunger and desire for things to be okay between him and Taehyung, Yoongi gets up to approach the dishes Taehyung is setting out.
There’s two small cardboard bowls of pale yellow soup, a salad with pears, cranberries, fennel and hazelnuts, soybeans in some sort of sauce, what he thought might be tofu squares breaded with pistachio and coconut, orange fries of some sort and a fruit tart. His lips twitch. It’s a lot of food, and he’s noticing a theme.
“What kind of restaurant is it exactly?”
“A vegan one,” Taehyung says suspiciously. “I also got us drinks too.” He pulls out two mini cups out of his bag too. Even through the opaque lid, Yoongi can tell the liquid is bright green. Taehyung catches his dubious expression. “I don’t trust it either.”
“So you want to inflict this on me too?” Yoongi teases and takes a seat next to Taehyung.
The younger boy smiles, bright and giddy. Yoongi smiles back slightly. He resigns himself to drinking a dubiously green drink for the sake of that smile. He had...missed it.
“I didn’t want to eat alone,” Taehyung says.
Yoongi doesn’t mention the five other guys who could have eaten with him. He takes the peace offering as it is. They eat together, quietly at first, until conversation takes a lively pace of its own. The food is surprisingly good for not being deep fried first. Only the green drink -- “The woman who took my order claimed it was a smoothie,” Taehyung says warily. -- makes Yoogni shudder.
“Gah, what the hell is in it?”
He tries to void the taste off his tongue. He scrapes his tongue with his teeth and licks his lips multiple times. Taehyung snickers. “It can’t be that bad! Let me try!” Yoongi expects Taehyung to sip his own drink, instead Taehyung leans in, hands on Yoongi’s thighs, and kisses him.
Taehyung starts the kiss almost shyly, just a touch of lips. When Yoongi doesn’t jerk back, Taehyung becomes more confident. The younger man becomes more assertive. He nips Yoongi’s bottom lip, and soothes the nip with a swipe of his tongue. Yoongi grabs Taehyung’s shirt to haul him in closer. Taehyung makes a soft noise of surprise, needing to readjust since Yoongi tried pulling him into his lap. Yoongi doesn’t mind the drink that’s knocked over as a result. It will probably leave a green stain on the carpet. He finds he doesn’t care about the scolding it will earn him when he opens his mouth under Taehyung’s and Taehyung takes the invitation.
“It’s not that bad,” Taehyung mumbles against Yoongi’s mouth.
Yoongi doesn’t taste the nasty smoothie anymore. All he can taste is Taehyung. He blinks. He grabs Taehyung more firmly so the younger man sits in his lap. Taehyung settles with his knees on either side of Yoongi’s waist and his hands on his shoulders.
“Not bad at all,” he nuzzles Taehyung.
"I want to date you. For real," Taehyung whispers.
"Then I guess we're dating. For real," Yoongi whispers back.
"I don't think you guys are really dating," Namjoon says.
Yoongi doesn't look up from his phone. There's a smoothie place Taehyung is trying to convince him to try. Every since that night in the studio, since they started really dating, the two men decided to try sticking to their diets. It helped that they both liked to dull the hunger pains with intense makeout sessions or sex. Yoongi doesn't even miss contraband food anymore. His diet is once again his bitch. Take that leather pants.
"Are you calling me easy?" Taehyung asks.
Namjoon flushes and hurries to say, "No," he clears his throat. "I think you guys are pretending to date so you can cheat on your diets." He gives them both a stern look.
"Oh really," Yoongi drawls.
He can't quite stifle his amusement. A few weeks ago, Namjoon would have been right but now? The only time Yoongi breaks his diet is when Manager gives the entire group a special treat.
"They really aren't," Seokjin mutters having caught them alone on his bed.
"Sorry, hyung, but you said you weren't coming home that night," Taehyung apologizes again.
"You're right, I like sucking Taehyung's dick for the protein," Yoongi says, full of sarcasm.
"I didn't need to know that," Seokjin groans.
"Again, you guys get weird when we diet," Hoseok says.
"So what does it taste like?" Jeongguk asks expectantly.
Taehyung has that mischievous look Yoongi has learned to associate with fancy chocolate truffles and sex on Seokjin's bed. Yoongi leans back and stares at Namjoon. The man is just adept at reading Taehyung's expression too, except he probably associates the look with trainees lodging complaints and Manager's gray hairs. Sweat breaks out across Namjoon's forehead.
"It tastes like--" Taehyung starts.
"Never mind! I believe you guys!" Namjoon hurries to say. Namjoon's face is hilarious, red, sweaty, and mortified. Yoongi keeps smirking if only not to laugh.
"Does that mean you don't want to know?" Taehyung asks, his eyes still sparkling with trouble.
"Yes," Jimin answers for their leader. "Remember? Class and discretion."
"I still want to know," Jeongguk mutters under his breath.
"Ask him later then," Seokjin orders with a smack to the back of the head.
Taehyung laughs until his shoulders shake. Looking at him, Yoongi thinks it's possible he loves Taehyung. The thought keeps him smirking. He leans across the armchair to kiss Taehyung's temple, and the younger man leans into the touch with a sugary sweet smile. His heart flutters. He figures dieting isn't so hard if Taehyung loves him back.
"I don't know why you think they're faking it. They're cute," Hoseok says.