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Worlds Apart

Chapter Text

“Just get it done”

Mr Kim had had enough today. He shoved some papers into his brown leather briefcase, flipped the clasps and rolled the numbers on the lock. His royal blue Gucci suit jacket was snatched off the back of his chair and as the heavy black leather office chair spun around from the force, he shrugged the jacket onto his shoulders and marched across the room to the frosted glass door, which he promptly swung open and walked through, leaving his PA trotting behind him.

There were some days where he could happily accept that he shouldn’t have left his penthouse apartment and entertained the day… this was one of those. The elevator was hot and stuffy (he made a mental note to ensure the air conditioning was turned up), full of people that smiled and nodded, they all said ‘hello’ because the rumours were that he would fire them if they didn’t. He didn't have time for rumours and he is a believer in 'actions speak louder than words' so he let people believe what they wanted to. His sigh was one of disdain, his eye roll was because people bored him, even his friends were so wrapped up in their careers that no one had fun anymore.

Mr Kim was the CEO of the largest advertising company in at least four states, Seoul and Europe. He was worth more dead than alive or that is what everyone told him and he always felt indifferent to it when someone said it. He worked 16 hour days, lived alone and ate takeaway food whilst working at the desk in his home office when he was actually at home. He made time for his friends when they were free and for the functions and events that required him to attend. There was a time when he cleared his schedule to take a few days break but as of late, that hadn't been possible due to his workload. He didn’t have time for anything else but the money in his bank account, his luxurious penthouse, the red ferrari, the ridiculously expensive suits and holidays cruising on his private yacht (when he had time) made it all worthwhile. He could pay a high class escort to accompany him whenever he needed a plus one and then not have to worry about seeing them again after that. His life was convenient and he had complete control over all of it… or so he thought.

Today he’d left his car at home because one of the new advertising campaigns the company was working on was about a journey. A new drama was due to air and it was about a homeless man and a prince who swap places for a month and it got him thinking. He rarely did anything ‘normal’ that the average person did every day of their lives, he’d never bought a hotdog from a street vendor, never needed to run for a bus or hail a cab. The life he’d lived was one of privilege so it became a personal challenge to tick things off of a bucket list that money couldn't buy… getting the subway was the first thing on said list.

This morning he cheated, asking his PA to pick him up and as he’d climbed into the bog standard Ford, he almost conceded this as part of the challenge. The soap and sanitizer were used several times once he was in his office, then he checked his suit over, just as often, it was a natural reaction and one he didn't really give much thought, even when his PA gave him a look because he guessed what he was doing. He liked his PA, didn’t want the hassle of interviews if his PA decided to resign but he rarely saw his actions as wrong, even if he could probably agree that he was a snob at times, his friends were snobs too and he was surrounded by highbrow people. The people around him and the circles he mixed in meant his actions were normal... to him and his world. Being born with a silver spoon in your mouth was great but in the last year or so he’d started to realise that perhaps his life was a little too sheltered. The icing on the cake was watching the new drama and seeing the complete contrast between the prince and the pauper. Challenges were part of his everyday life, he’d challenged himself to buy up every large advertising firm within a certain radius and he achieved that. The challenge to trend for 48 hours solid on Twitter was also achieved faster than expected, along with everything he set his sights on. Mr Kim Taehyung always aimed high, it was drummed into him from a young age when second place was always considered as failure and winning was always the only option. He was a cut throat business man who earned every ounce of his reputation and deserved the riches he possessed. There were elements of his reputation that were not deserved, he treated his staff well and his heart was always in the right place, even if sometimes it wasn't logical or easy to understand, so any rumours that contradicted this were undeserved.

He was questioning his decision right now though, as he walked down the steps into the subway, shifting his upper body sharply in order to avoid touching members of the public. His repugnance was evident when he had to operate the ticket machine, pulling a small bottle of sanitizer out of his pocket as soon as he had his ticket in his hand. It was humid and sticky underground, the air smelt of something abhorrent and there were far too many people for his liking, wishing very much that he was in his ferrari or in the back of an air conditioned limousine.

Once he found the platform he needed, he removed his suit jacket and slung it over his arm, holding it close to his body because it was worth a small fortune. There were so many different kinds of people rushing about, many in very little clothing due to the heat. The trains that he was pull into the station were crammed with bodies, people pushing and shoving, sweating and breathing on each other and it filled him with dread. He looked inquisitively around him as he tried to work out where the singing was coming from, a sweet angelic voice drifting through the suffocating atmosphere. He strained to listen but there was too much noise and he couldn’t quite get the sense of direction but the hairs prickled on the back of his neck as he tried to drown out the background noise.

Mr Kim took a few steps in the direction of where he thought the singing was coming from and in the distance could just make out a young man sitting against the wall, moving his head from side to side as he sang the melody. He didn’t recognise the song but was intrigued by the man’s voice, wondering why someone with such talent was sitting on the floor of a dirty subway station. He didn’t have time to think though because there was a rush of wind and his train approached, drowning out any other sound around him. He looked quickly towards the train which had a couple of carriages that appeared to be emptier than some he'd seen previously, head darting back to the busker, he couldn't take the risk of waiting for another train and desperately needed to get home so walked quickly, making it just in time as the doors closed.

**

He woke the next morning slumped over his desk, his mouth crusty from the drool that dried at some point in the few hours he'd been asleep. After showering, covering his body in lotion, applying a very minute amount of cologne to his pulse points and opting for the grey Versace three piece suit with matching tie, he was nearly ready to take on the day. He brushed his hair, noting that he was probably due a trim because he wasn't so keen when the dark chocolate coloured tips reached beyond the middle of his ear, he liked it shorter than that, with his fringe covering his eyebrows. He often straightened it because his friends commented that it looked unkempt when it was wavy and when one of your friends is a supermodel and another is a stylist to the stars, you undoubtedly listen to them.

Every one of his close friends attended the same junior, middle and high school, were from equally high class families and they were one elitist gang. Seokjin (known to his friends as Jin) is a Supermodel who travelled the world, was paid unbelievable sums of money just to walk the runway in a city like Milan whilst being told he had to abstain from large food portions to enable him to squeeze into the ridiculously overpriced outfit they wanted him to wear. Jin was a hotel snob along with clothing and champagne, if it wasn't the best then you'd better not offer it to him. He could be quite cutting with his opinions but he always stood by the notion that 'honesty is the best policy' no matter what it is.

Namjoon (aka Joon) is an interior designer with such an eye for detail that many celebrities hired him when renovating their luxurious homes. He had a love for art and all things made of natural wood, seeking out the best carpenters and tradesmen to make his vision a reality. He could make any space fit for royalty at the right price, his snobbery rearing its head when checking for a label on upholstery and judging accordingly. His memory wasn't great, he often appeared to be quite clumsy outside of his work but he didn't have time to be reckless when he was dealing with someone's home or the set of a movie.

The stylist and complete Queen of the group is Jimin (affectionately known as Mochi by his friends and Mini by his partner), he was the over dramatic one who would cause a scene if your shoes didn't match your bag. He is the fashion King (and Queen, rolled into one), he knew everything there was to know about designers, hair and make up. He was in high demand on awards nights and the celebrity that hired him for Oscar night paid nothing short of a small fortune. He put the 'S' in snob and was the first to admit it. Jimin also had a big heart for anyone who he deemed worthy of seeing that side of him and you knew it if you weren't seen as worthy.

Yoongi, the world famous rapper ‘Honsool’, named himself because he went through a very dark phase in his life and buried his head in a bottle of extortionately priced whiskey, drinking alone every day. After going off the rails, some extremely expensive therapy, he poured everything into his music, had a hit album and confessed his love for his lifelong friend, Jimin which got him to where he was today. His grounded and robust nature made him a complete contrast to his theatrical stylist boyfriend but they worked. Yoongi (aka Yoon) was less of a snob than his friends but the scotch whiskey had to be aged to perfection and his jewelry had to weigh a ton.

The happiest member of their elite group is Hoseok (known as Hobi or Seok by most), he masked his snobbery with the biggest smile you’ve ever seen. He owned the biggest dance school in the state, the company name was renowned and even had its own clothing line. ‘EGO’ was printed on leotards, leggings, t-shirts and accessories too and was responsible for scouting many of the celebrities that graced Broadway and Hollywood. It cost a fortune to attend but recently he started a scholarship programme which was heavily sought after. Hobi was an all round snob but you never knew whether he was being serious because he always said it with a laugh.

They were a formidable bunch and their reputations preceded them with most venues in the area bending over backwards for them when they booked a table. There were literally a few venues that were good enough for them, Jimin always complained about the staff uniform, Namjoon wasn’t keen on the decor and Tae wasn’t happy if he wasn’t responsible for their advertising. It all made life a little difficult but it could be a task to get them all together at certain times of the year due to Jin usually being half way across the world on a catwalk somewhere.

**

Taehyung instantly regretted his decision to use the subway when he was three steps from the bottom and the grotesquely warm air hit him. He hated being hot, he hated sweating, he was born in a well air conditioned, spotlessly clean, sterile hospital suite and that was how he lived his life. The dirty arid atmosphere of the underground station made one side of his top lip curl and he could confidently say he despised it.

One of his qualities was the fact that he could learn from a situation and improve on it, he was the perfect student who only made a mistake once, if he made one at all. Taehyung was a complete perfectionist and would always get to the level of perfection he desired until such a time when the bar was raised and he needed to readjust and improve further. Yesterday’s lesson was regarding the ticket machine and today he pulled a disposable glove from his pocket, slid his hand inside then once he had his ticket he could remove the glove, turn it inside out and wait to find a bin. Lesson learned, clean hands and the use of sanitizer was purely to make him feel that bit better instead of being a necessity as it had been yesterday.

Whilst walking along the platform he listened out for that angelic voice he’d heard yesterday, the main reason he was back today. He considered the possibility that the young man might only appear in the late afternoons and evenings to catch the rush hour for commuters and later on, those that are heading out for the night. There was no sign of him this morning, just an empty spot where he’d been sitting yesterday which was annoying because it meant he was definitely going to have to catch the train home today too, a thought he didn't relish.

His work day was full and he knew he wouldn’t be getting away early and depending on how long the final meeting dragged on for, he might just have to ask the company driver to take him home. He felt quite disgusting as he walked from the subway to his building, he didn’t much like walking either.

“Good morning Sir, Mr Kim.” the security guard said as the doors slid open and Taehyung walked into the crisp air of the lobby. He nodded at the security guard, he didn’t really speak to the staff very often, let alone on days when he felt gross after catching a train.

It seemed to take forever for the elevator to arrive, stepping inside and hearing the usual greetings from a variety of staff whom he didn’t know. Once he’d chosen an employee at interview and instructed his PA to send the email offering them the job, he didn’t see them again, leaving the training to those managers responsible for that. He only met with the department managers once a month so didn’t really know them either, unless he’d had to fire one and get a replacement. Taehyung didn’t mix business with pleasure, he paid these people to do a job and to assist him in making his company what it was. He had absolutely zero desire to socialise with these people or make idle chit chat because he quite simply didn’t give a shit, even though he always made sure that as employees, they were well looked after. There were a couple of exceptions though, like when one of the managers graduated after taking on a degree whilst never once letting his workload suffer and when the lady on reception became pregnant after years of fertility treatment. He liked to offer congratulations to those staff on such occasions because he appreciated how hard they had worked and the fact that they’d never given up, was something he admired. Life wasn’t easy for some, that he understood but some people had fight inside them and he was appreciative of those kind of traits. Just last week one of the security guards was given the all clear of a medical condition and Taehyung thought the man was very brave to have endured the treatment he’d had. There was a small amount of humanity inside him but it wasn’t always obvious and he didn’t make a big deal out of it because he preferred for his employees to have an element of fear, being their friend would just muddy the waters. Instead he gave the man an overnight stay in a luxury hotel for him and his partner, all expenses paid at a spa resort because he considered that the man probably hadn't relaxed throughout the course of his treatment and awaiting results. The employee was surprised but incredibly thankful for the gesture having not expected anything at all and being grateful purely because his boss had kept him in a job throughout his ordeal so financially he'd needed never to worry.

Once in his office, his air conditioned space, he washed up in the ensuite bathroom that housed a shower cubicle, sink and toilet. There wasn’t time for a shower but a quick splash of water and a wipe over with some refreshing wipes would have to do for now. It didn’t prevent him from feeling disgusting but it was an improvement on an hour ago when he felt positively grotesque.

There was a tap on the frosted glass door and he shouted “Enter” as he placed his suit jacket on a hook on the wall and took a seat in his big leather chair.

“Good morning Sir, Mr Kim.” his PA was cute.

“Stefan, please call me one or the other.”

Taehyung liked his PA, he had impressed him greatly at the interview and in the year since he’d employed him, he hadn’t let him down. Stefan was 21, looked fresh out of nappies and had a hunger to succeed. The plan hadn’t been to take someone on who was so young but his previous PA was leaving on good terms so offered to stick around and show him the ropes. Stefan was fresh out of business school so learned fast and was grateful for the opportunity.

“Yes, sorry, Mr Kim.”

Stefan sat down in the chair on the other side of the desk and started tapping away on the tablet screen that he held in his lap. He was very attractive and Taehyung would have been lying if he said it wasn’t a positive to having him around.

“Is there anything I need to know?”

“No, Mr Kim. You have your schedule for today and there hasn’t been any adjustments to that. There is an issue with the conference call with Germany on Friday but until that is resolved, I don’t think you need to know as I will need to amend your schedule is necessary.”

“What’s the issue?”

“Moonchild have been hesitating because they want the job to be done for less money.”

“Do they now? I am positive that a friend of mine is due to appear at their show in Paris in a couple of weeks. I will contact him and find out because I’m sure they wouldn’t be so happy if he suddenly withdrew his attendance.”

“Is there anything you would like me to do today?”

“I may need a car this evening so if you could contact the driver and make sure he is aware that would be useful. Also, the director of that drama is coming in this afternoon but I have that meeting in the boardroom so if you could have someone meet him, please.”

“Is the director coming in to look at the slides for the advert?”

“Yes.”

“I will arrange that as soon as I finish here. Would you like me to bring you lunch today?”

“Have lunch delivered at 2pm. I should have 10 minutes to eat it, providing the meeting before that doesn’t go over time.”

Stefan nodded and confirmed his order of kimbap, then left the office to make tea, leaving Taehyung to phone Jin.

“What are you after?” were the first words uttered by Jin.

“How offensive, can’t a guy phone his friend without an ulterior motive?” Tae had 10 minutes before his meeting so didn’t have time to mess about.

“What do you want, Tae?”

“Are you due to appear at that Moonchild show in Paris?”

“Yes, why? Are they causing you trouble?”

“They want to opt for lower quality advertising to get a cheaper deal.”

“That’s probably because all of their money is caught up in this show. The label needs this new line to flourish or the word is that they will go under.”

“How will lowering the quality of advertising achieve that? That is ludicrous. I know we can’t be beaten on price for what we are offering though so taking a gamble on a deal that will be cheaper won’t be positive for them.”

“I’ll throw a supermodel tantrum, it will be fine. If they choose a bad advertising agency to save money, I will be featured so it could affect my reputation too. I’ll just tell them that unless the advertising is top notch, I’m out.”

“Supermodel tantrum, huh?”

“I can flounce with the best of them and I only have to phone Jimin for a tutorial if needed.”

Tae scoffed at his friend, he knew what he was saying was correct “Look, I’ve got to go but let me know when you are back in town.”

“Yeah, yeah. Should be next month depending on whether I go to Paris or not.”

“Great. Thanks, Jin.”

He hung up the phone, pressing the speaker button to end the call. He always forgot which button was the one that ended the call and was convinced that one day he would say something he shouldn’t and the call would still be active. He preferred using his mobile phone because the contraption in the office was complicated and he didn’t use half the buttons. Thankfully it wasn’t important enough to warrant too much thought and he kept the instructions in his drawer just in case.

Before heading off to the meeting, a few rooms away from his office, he checked his emails and saw one from Jin that said ‘incoming’. He didn’t have time to reply and ask what on earth he was talking about but as he passed Stefan’s desk on his way along the corridor, only to be told that the conference call on Friday was going ahead as planned, it all made sense and he smiled to himself.

**

The day was a successful one and with the previous meeting finishing on time, Taehyung decided to take the train home. It was a similar time to yesterday so his theory was that the busker should be there and his plan was to actually stand and listen properly this time instead of taking the first empty train that arrived. His love for music began when his Mother would sing to him as a baby, her voice was classically trained and the most beautiful sound he’d ever heard, so hearing the tone of the man’s voice yesterday certainly caught his attention.

He was incredibly grateful that he’d purchased a return ticket this morning because even with a glove, he didn’t really like touching the ticket machine or standing in the queue of people who were usually sweating and heavy breathing far too close to him. The barriers allowed him past and he was pleasantly surprised by the lack of passengers because he saw the young busker before he heard him this time but as he started the next song, that same angelic tone he heard yesterday danced through the unclean air. He walked closer so he could hear properly, without the sounds of the underground tarring the hypnotising vocals. The man was sitting cross legged on the floor, a bucket hat concealed the top half of his face as he moved his head from side to side and clicked his fingers to give himself a beat.

Taehyung looked down at him, noticing the feeble number of coins dusting the interior of the plastic container placed in front of him. He removed some notes from his wallet and rolled them up, tying the cylinder of money with an elastic band and dropped it into the tub. The man didn’t seem to notice as he started another song and Tae wondered if he had his eyes closed, lost in the melody. A third train pulled into the station and Taehyung decided he should go, he could feel the droplets of perspiration on his neck and back which made him feel revolting. He didn’t want to disturb the young man but was intrigued as to why he was busking and not performing on a stage somewhere. He turned to leave, chastising himself because he knew he would probably have to come back, he wasn’t overly keen on unanswered questions, becoming a bit like a dog with a bone until he was satisfied. Mysteries were not something he was a fan of because he likened it to mental torture if he couldn’t solve it or at least find an explanation that he could live with…. Therefore he knew he would be back, unfortunately.

“Sir!”

Taehyung was startled when a hand grabbed his arm and a short, sharp voice shouted ‘Sir’ at him. He stopped and turned back towards the busker who was standing now, he couldn’t see his eyes properly because of the hat and looked down at the hand gripping his arm with a look of utter contempt.

“Do you mind?” he couldn’t quite believe the audacity of the man.

“Sorry, but you dropped this” the man held out the bundle of neatly rolled notes, letting go of Taehyung’s arm.

“I know I did, that’s usually what people do isn’t it? Drop money into your container?”

The man laughed “Well, yes, but not that much they don’t.”

By now the train was gone and another was approaching “Not everyone has that much to dispose of.”

Taehyung was desperate for a shower and the humidity was stifling. He wondered how anyone could be dressed in black and wearing a hat whilst actually being able to breathe, let alone sing as the young man had been. As the train stopped at the platform he walked away and through its doors, choosing to stand because he dreaded to think how dirty the seats were. The train doors closed and he watched the man put the money in his pocket and for the first time he got a glimpse of the face that would invade his dreams as the busker removed his hat and ran a hand through his hair.

Chapter Text

Control… that pretty much summed up the life of Kim Taehyung but not in the sense that he enjoyed controlling others, more that he needed to be in control of his own life. If there was something affecting him that was out of his control, he found a way to deal with it, which usually involved money but when you have as much as Taehyung, that was an easy option.

Dreams, however, were something he couldn’t control and that night, the dream was a scene from Romeo and Juliet, Taehyung was on his balcony, enjoying a glass of Chateau Margaux when he heard singing from below. The young busker serenaded him, his voice proving hypnotic, as well as a turn on as he looked over the ornate balcony rails. He couldn’t see his face clearly but there was no mistaking who it was as he waved him up… which is where the dream ended. It sparked a desire within Taehyung to hear the busker again, to make sure that the next dream didn't have a blank face.

The next day he cursed when there was an emergency meeting that he hadn’t scheduled, his PA phoning him before he left for the office so he had to drive into work. The meeting was done and dusted quickly when he told the director of the other company that he either towed the line and did things their way or he could shred the contract, losing millions in revenue that would come if Taehyung was in charge of their advertising.. That took 20 minutes and he was soon back in his office feeling annoyed because he detested rushing and having to deal with situations that were unnecessary. He also hated it when people tried to get the better of him, his company was so wealthy that he could gamble and risk losing their business without it affecting very much at all. When he named the company ‘Purple Aura’ he wanted a name that stood for so much more than people expected. He’d always been fascinated by rainbows, purple being the last colour he decided was the most important factor. Purple held up all the other colours, it was essentially the backbone of the colourful arc and he wanted something that was a positive stigma.

He wanted a name that said 'you can trust us' when you see it, thus… Purple Aura, the solid foundation for advertising, was born.

It was a couple of days later that he had a schedule clear enough to catch the train to work, even though he thought it was ludicrous that he was putting himself through the literal definition of hell just so he could find out why the young man was busking and hadn’t been discovered. Hell took on many forms and in this case, it was leaving the office two hours later than planned, just to be diverted on the street, having to walk the long way around to get into the dingy subway station. There was a very minute positive to the hell situation today and that was that leaving the office this late meant there were fewer people around and the lack of commuters in the station told Taehyung that rush hour was over. He hated rush hour, even in the car, too many cars on the road with too many people who can’t drive which was all too similar to rush hour on foot because people seemed unable to walk properly then either. One of the worst things about being close to so many people aside from their body odour was their ability to just stop dead in their tracks and start a conversation, which was incredibly annoying should you be walking behind them.

The station was still an awful place to be as Taehyung approached the busker. The young man had a couple of people standing near him listening to him when Taehyung reached him. He was crouched down today, leaning his lower back against the wall, sleeveless black cotton t-shirt showing his lean arms and well toned biceps, the black cap pulled down covering the top half of his face and Taehyung wondered whether he did that to block out his audience. The black combats looked worn in places and the black military style boots had definitely seen better days, leading the CEO into a train of of thought about whether the man had somewhere to live or if he travelled around all the stations busking.

Taehyung recognised the song he was singing, it was from an old movie and this impressed him because he loved old movies, he didn’t get the time to enjoy them as much as he would like. A train pulled into the station and one of the men standing nearby threw some coins into the plastic tub at the busker’s feet before rushing off to run through the doors before they closed. The sound of the coins hitting the plastic reverberated around the station, echoing in places but not detracting from the angelic voice of the busker.

The rechargeable fan Taehyung was holding to his face, helped ease the oppressive atmosphere slightly as he listened to song after song. He wasn’t in any rush today, aside from the overwhelming desire to get out of the subway station. Taehyung didn’t even like ‘people watching’ because he didn’t really like people, especially those that didn’t mix in the same circles as him. He had a very small circle of people that he could tolerate, then there were the people he saw outside of that circle, like his family. After that were the people he saw most days but only in a professional capacity but he knew a little bit about them because he saw them so often and people such as his PA who engaged in small talk. Once you moved outside of that circle, there were people he saw often and some he saw rarely but either way he didn’t care because it was probably linked to work and he didn’t need to know anything about them unless they impacted negatively on his company.

After the busker finished one particular song he liked, he dropped a cylinder of notes into the pot and the young man immediately looked up. Taehyung didn’t notice that the man was looking at him because he was looking around the station, the lack of hustle and bustle much more obvious once the song had finished.

“Excuse me.” the young man was standing now, looking directly at Taehyung.

“Yes?” he moved the fan slightly to the side so it wasn’t covering his mouth.

“I can’t accept this again.” he held out the bundle of notes.

Taehyung gave him an impervious look “I hardly need it and I always show my gratitude where it is due.”

“Yes but it is too much, I really can’t accept it.”

“Technically speaking, you can accept it but the truth is that you don’t want to. One can only presume that it is a pride thing.”

“And so what if it is my pride? It doesn’t change the fact that it’s too much.” there was a slight irritation to his tone.

“Look, give some to charity if you want or buy yourself some new boots but returning it is insulting.”

“I’m insulting?” the busker scoffed and raised his brow, eyes opening wide, lips pursed.

“It could be interpreted that way, yes. Perhaps ungrateful is a better word?”

The busker took a deep breath and his cheek bulged slightly from where he was poking his tongue into the inside of it, he was quite taken aback by the arrogance on display. He was used to rude people but this guy was in a league of his own. The young man looked at the well tailored suit, the matching waistcoat, the blue gemstone earring that matched the colour of his tie and wondered why he was in the subway at all, let alone throwing his money at him for the second time. He wondered if perhaps the well dressed man wasn’t as well off as he made out because surely he would have a driver or his own car at least? He’d known people like this before, thought they were something they weren’t and quite frankly, they didn’t impress him at all. He even considered the notion that the man was an actor or maybe even an escaped patient from a nearby psychiatric hospital.

The problem was that he was intrigued and he wasn’t about to just roll over and allow the man to think he had won. “So that I am not seen as ungrateful, why don’t I buy us a smoothie with this, you look like you could do with a cold drink.”

Taehyung was in a state of shock at the brass neck of this young man. Firstly, was the busker saying that he looked hot? Which meant he was sweating and looked as gross as he felt. Secondly, what made this man think that he wanted to go anywhere with him at all? It was an unpleasant notion to think that people would see them together but perhaps they would presume he was helping a poor young man. They would surely look like a mismatched couple stood side by side.

“I’m not in need of a drink.” the truth was that he wasn’t in need of being seen in a different setting with the busker, this hadn't been his intention... not that he was one hundred per cent sure what his intentions actually were.

“You can take this back then and I will have to live with being ungrateful or insulting.” he held out the money.

“It is now more appropriate that we add manipulative to that ever growing list of negativity.”

“I’m not being manipulative, I’m being honest. You want me to have this money and I’ve given you the terms on which I will accept it, take it or leave it.” he was being both nonchalant and sincere.

Taehyung could not understand why the man was being so difficult, most people would have taken the money and run. He was used to bartering with business associates and always drove a hard bargain but this was ridiculous.

“You will accept the money that I gave you because I enjoyed your singing, providing I agree to having a smoothie?” Taehyung was irritated because this was insane and he didn’t like being held to ransom.

“That’s right.” the young man picked up the plastic tub and took a lid from his backpack, pressed it down to secure the money inside then placed the whole tub into the bag.

Taehyung looked most unimpressed and was tempted to take the money back but that almost felt like conceding so he agreed “After you, then.”

The busker threw the backpack onto his back and walked off towards the exit, climbing the steps two at a time, glancing behind him when he reached the top to ensure Taehyung was following.

“Follow me, there’s a place not far from here.” he said, walking left, away from the subway.

Taehyung didn’t say anything, he just followed the man feeling a bit confused as to how any of this was happening. A small part of him admired the balls of the busker, it certainly provoked curiosity as to how someone with such character was singing in a station looking like he was homeless.

The young man stopped at a very small cafe that had a counter and three tables inside, he had his back to Taehyung so couldn’t see the disenchanting look on his face.

“Would you like to sit inside or outside? Outside is probably cooler to be honest.”

Taehyung was looking at the young man, he had his thumbs through the straps of his backpack, his lean but muscular arms on display, the peak of his cap casting a shadow across his face as he waited for him to respond.

“You are the one who has been trapped in the station for hours so you choose.” in reality, it didn’t matter to him, inside it would be humid and suffocating, outside would be humid with a slight breeze and people would see them together. The choice wasn’t really one that filled him with enthusiasm.

“We’ll sit outside then. If you take a seat I will go and get the drinks. Is there anything in particular that you want?”

Taehyung moved towards a small square table, he pulled out the chair “I’ll have whatever you have, once fruit is blended it all tastes the same.”

The young man wasn’t going to argue, he nodded and entered the cafe while Taehyung took a clear plastic folder from his briefcase and rested it on the chair so he could sit down on it. The chair didn’t look very clean and he dreaded to think how many people had sat on it, in this weather people would have shorts on and there could be perspiration on it. He never came to places like this, there wasn’t ever any need to and even though he was sure their food and drinks were perfectly acceptable, it really wasn’t a place he would usually be seen in.

He wasn’t waiting for long, the busker appeared and put the two cups down on the table, the liquid inside concealed by the green cardboard cup complete with plastic lid and stripy straw. After removing his bag and sliding it under his chair he sat down and took a sip from his drink, humming in satisfaction and leaning back, eyeing Taehyung with a curious expression.

“The people that own this place are really nice.” he said, smiling.

Taehyung thought that the young man had a kind face, even with the shadowing he could see the sharp jawline and strong features.

“You come here a lot?” he was aware that sounded like a lame chat up line but he hoped the busker had more sense than to believe that’s what it was.

“A couple of times a week, when I have the money.”

“Is busking the way you earn all your money?”

“I earn most of my money by busking but I also work in a diner not far from here three nights a week or whatever shifts they give me.”

“You earn enough to live on?” he asks, putting straw to his lips.

“I have to pay for my school fees so I earn enough to survive.”

“You study too?”

“Yeah, I’m a dance major.”

“Have you ever thought about singing professionally?”

“Oh, I’m not that good. I am lucky enough that in the subway I sound good enough for people to drop money in my pot, that’s all.”

“I think you underestimate yourself.” Taehyung is surprised by the busker's modesty.

“Obviously.”

“Meaning?”

“The amount of money you rolled up was hardly loose change.”

“To me it is.”

The young man drained his cup until the straw made the slurping noises that everyone hated hearing. “So what’s your name?”

“Taehyung, you?”

“Jungkook, Jeon Jungkook.”

“Well, it’s been a pleasure meeting your acquaintance Jeon Jungkook. I need to get going so if you will excuse me, I presume this completes our arrangement?”

“If you mean, will I keep the money, then yes, this completes our arrangement.”

Taehyung smiled briefly as he got to his feet, remembering to put the plastic folder back in his briefcase and picking up his empty cup to put in the rubbish bin. He left Jungkook sitting at the table as he nodded and walked away in the direction of the subway, a little amused yet fascinated by the busker.

That night after the encounter he played everything over in his mind, he couldn’t work out what it was that was so enchanting about the young man, they were from worlds that were polar opposites and Taehyung would have been lying if he said he hadn’t felt a hint of embarrassment sitting outside the cafe. He thought about what his friends would say if they knew, even worse what they’d say if they’d seen him sitting there with the busker. He suspected they would have called the mental health team and would have been convinced he was having a mental breakdown of sorts because Taehyung didn’t do cafes and he definitely didn’t do dates with people like Jeon Jungkook. Whilst sipping on the expensive brandy out of his crystal glass with the ornate 'T' engraved on it, legs outstretched, crossed at the ankle on a dark brown leather foot stool, covered loosely by the satin robe he’d thrown on after his shower, he wondered what sort of establishment Jungkook called home. He’d already made a judgement that it was more than likely some kind of pokey, dingy room or bedsit somewhere in a part of town he’d never been before. There wasn’t anything wrong with that of course, someone had to live in those places and not everyone had the fortune he did. He considered that perhaps Jungkook lived in halls or a dorm on campus, which would make sense because rent isn't cheap, wherever you live. Taehyung knows this from his many business meetings with companies where the cost of advertising has been decided upon based on other expenses and for some smaller companies who had large overheads, the cost of renting their establishment was a big factor.

He also wondered what Jungkook would do with that money, if he would buy himself some new boots or put it towards his school fees. Taehyung tried to work out how much the fees were, given that he worked at a diner and went busking too. There were so many questions as the classical notes drifted around the expanse of his living room, swooping down and kissing the dark wooden floor with its patterned cream rugs. The orchestral sound drifted along the cream walls covered with lavish art and danced around the leather sofa and chairs. Taehyung contemplated a lot whilst listening to the music, he had work to do but set his alarm for 5am so he could drive to work early and get it done then because right now, there were too many questions unanswered and he didn’t like mysteries.

Chapter Text

“You went on a date and didn’t tell me?”

“It wasn’t a date.” Jungkook shook his head.

“You had a one on one meal with a guy! That. Is. A. Date!”

Ash was the same age as Jungkook, he was the same height, with the same black hair in a similar style. People thought they were related when they were seen together and when a teacher in high school got their names mixed up, they became firm friends. Ash was doing a science masters degree but worked several nights a week at the diner plus any other shifts thrown his way so he could pay for his school fees, which is how Jungkook got the job there too, with the owners practically adopting the two boys.

“It wasn’t a meal, it was a smoothie.” he corrects, Ash.

“That sounds like a date to me. Are you seeing him again?”

“Ash, why are you talking like we met, swapped numbers and actually had a date?”

“You didn’t get his number?”

Jungkook threw popcorn at Ash, hitting him in the face “No! Because it wasn’t a date! I had to blackmail him into the smoothie as it was. He’s a bit of a pompous prick to be honest, I doubt I’ll see him again.”

“You have too many morals, I’d have taken the money and run. He gave it to you. Maybe he wants to be your sugar daddy?” Ash wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

“Ewwwww! That’s gross and you read too much fiction. I don’t want to be kept, thank you very much, even by a gorgeous suited guy.”

Ash leapt onto Jungkook, wrestling him to the ground, snatching a handful of popcorn and throwing it at his face “Ahhhhh!! So you think he’s gorgeous?! I knew it! It was a date, you actually don’t have morals, you just needed an excuse to get in his pants!”

Jungkook shoved his friend off “I do have morals and I didn’t get in his pants so your theory is complete rubbish.”

“You should ask him out properly next time instead of using some lame arsed excuse.”

“It wasn’t an excuse. How can I justify taking that amount of cash? I sang a few songs in the subway.”

“He obviously thinks you’re worth it or he wouldn’t have given you it.”

“That might well be but it doesn’t matter now.”

“He’ll be back.”

“I doubt it.”

“He will. You don’t give away that kind of money and not return. He’s already done it twice. You mark my words and you can buy me a smoothie when I’m right.”

“I have to buy you a smoothie if he comes back again?”

“Yep! And when you two go out on a proper date, you can buy me dinner.” Ash said, pulling on his uniform to head to work.

“How is it that I have to keep buying you things because of your lame predictions?”

“When you get married, I want the annex in your huge mansion.”

“Fuck off! Now I know you’re insane.”

With his friend gone, Jungkook went to his room and put the bundle of notes in the jar under his bed. He thought his friend was funny, he played the events of the evening out in his mind and rolled his eyes, if that was considered a date then he was probably screwed because it was the worst date he’d ever been on. He couldn’t work out whether Taehyung did in fact have the wealth he claimed or whether he was a chancer, trying to appear to be something he wasn’t. He didn’t understand why Taehyung interested him aside from the fact that he loathed arrogance and saw it as a bit of a challenge to take him down a peg or two. It was silly really, he didn’t know him, didn’t know anything about him apart from his name, the fact he wore expensive suits and that he was good looking… but he would be lying to himself if he said he didn’t want to see him again, intrigue winning out.

**

The weather appeared to be getting hotter and a consequence of that was that Taehyung’s mood took a nosedive. One could say that it was his own doing because he was the one who decided, once again, to leave his car at home and catch the train to and from work but he would blame the app on his phone that told him it would be cooler and there was a 65% chance it would rain. The app lied, straight up lied… it was hotter than yesterday and the day before and he was perspiring like he’d run a marathon, standing at the bottom of the steps entering the subway with the odour of other people seeping through his nostrils.

“Business class on the 14th, four days. Can you book everything and email me the itinerary? Then you can go home, it’s Friday.” he put his phone away, adding to his irritation was now a business trip to Europe next month where he would have to chair meetings for new investors, his PA was capable but he didn’t like leaving his company for long.

Today, he’d at least had the good sense to leave his suit jacket in the office but even with his long sleeved shirt rolled up to the elbows, he was still too hot. The fan he was holding was now feeling more like a hairdryer as it swooshed around the hot air so he gave up with it altogether. He really just needed to get home and wished he didn’t have this sense of desire to find out more about the busker because he could leave the subway and call his driver otherwise.

“Am I not big enough for you to see?” he shouted at a man who bumped into him, spilling some of his iced americano on his shirt.

“Move out of the way next time.” the man shouted back, annoyed that he’d spilled some of his drink.

“This shirt cost more than you’re worth, idiot!” Tae snorted, looking at the brown stain on the crisp white fabric. He didn't do public confrontation and rarely lost his cool but irritation got the better of him today.

The man gave him an offensive hand gesture and ran for the train that had just pulled into the station, leaving Taehyung fuming under his breath, moving through the crowd to find his platform. He heard the voice before he saw the busker and his mood was marginally lifted when he recognised the song from a musical his mother had taken him too when he was younger. He was once again impressed by the vast array of songs he’d heard the busker sing and wondered if he sang them because he liked them or because he thought other people would like them. He nearly didn’t stop to listen to him today because he could feel that knot of indignation threatening to unfurl in his stomach but when the sweet tone of his voice filtered through the humidity, he thought he may as well stay for the next song.

Jungkook looked like he was sweating buckets, even though he was wearing shorts that reached above his knees and a thin vest. The big boots looked out of place and Taehyung didn’t miss the fact that they were the worn ones that definitely needed replacing. Beads of perspiration ran down the side of his face from the edge of the cap covering the tops of his ears but his voice didn’t falter once. Taehyung was impressed that he was able to sing in this environment, the air was so thick with heat and the rancid smell of body odour, grease and some other things he’d rather not have to think about.

This time, the busker looked up the second that the bundle of notes hit the container, he rolled his eyes, firstly because Ash was right and secondly because he would have to barter with the suited man once again. It was becoming an annoyance that the businessman persisted in dropping so much money because Jungkook wouldn’t accept it easily and then he would have to argue the toss, which was quite frankly a pain in his ass when he just wanted to finish his set and head home.

“You liked the smoothie that much?” Jungkook asked.

“Good evening to you too.” Taehyung glared.

“You know that I can’t accept this.”

“You imply that this is my problem and that I care?”

“I’m not implying anything, I’m just stating facts.”

“That list is getting longer.”

“Which list?”

“The list of negativity that describes you, I’m not surprised that you have forgotten, it is a most unpleasant list.”

Jungkook rolled his eyes and took a deep breath “If something doesn’t hold my interest, I’m bound to forget it.”

Taehyung smirked “Obnoxious, that’s the word going on the list.”

“Okay, well… you can have this money back or come and get a smoothie. The choice is yours.” Jungkook started packing his bag away, he suddenly couldn’t be bothered to continue singing the last two songs he had planned.

“If I wanted a smoothie, I would buy one. Enjoy the rest of your evening.”

“Suit yourself.” Jungkook placed the neatly rolled cylinder of notes in the exact spot he’d been sitting in and turned to walk away.

“Hey! You can’t just leave that there.” Taehyung couldn’t believe the busker was just going to leave that amount of money on the floor.

“I told you I couldn’t accept it and since you won’t accept my terms, someone else can have it.”

Taehyung was extremely exasperated, he grabbed the money and took the steps towards the young man “someone else wouldn’t have earned it!”

“You imply that I care.”

“Insolent. Another word for that list!”

“Because I won’t accept your money? Go and buy someone else, Taehyung and perhaps they will kiss your ass and you can have a list of positivity.”

Jungkook didn’t turn back when he pushed through the commuters and took the steps two at a time, leaving Taehyung standing on the platform, open mouthed and more irked than he’d ever felt in his life.

***

He wouldn’t be going into the subway again and to hell with the busker.

His briefcase still sat out of place near the bookcase where it had landed when he tossed it after slamming his door. He’d thrown his clothes into the laundry bag and stood under a cold shower, the cool water causing goosebumps to cover his skin. The temperature of the water had reduced the heat in his body but hadn’t done anything to decrease the anger he felt after his exchange with the busker. The one thing that did help extinguish the fire inside him was the freezing cold, honey coloured liquid that was currently sliding down his throat, his third glass already. The slight buzz that came from the bourbon swishing around his glass that clinked when the cubes of ice hit it, was refreshing and the more he swallowed, the less irritated he felt. By the fifth glass he had a plan, not born from the fact his ego was bruised, of course not, it was because he hadn’t paid for the services he’d received and he was a man who always gave credit where it was due.

Thankfully it was the weekend and he’d planned on working on Sunday, so waking on a Saturday morning with a slightly fuzzy head and a crick in his neck from falling asleep in his armchair wasn’t such a big deal. He didn’t even have a brunch date as he usually would because it was close to the period where awards nominations would be announced and that affected his friends. Jimin was the main one it affected because the celebrities would be baying for his services and he needed to prepare ideas for possible themes and since he was usually the one bugging Taehyung for brunch, it meant he had a free morning.

There were many perks of having a lot of money and that was that you could usually find someone to do what you wanted if you paid enough and even though the masseuse said he was fully booked, the right amount of money offered ensured that Taehyung got the massage he felt he needed. Some paracetamol, a shower, a thorough deep tissue massage and he was feeling a whole lot better than he had when he first opened his eyes this morning.

The day went quickly because once he was feeling more himself, he got some work out of the way, having checked his emails and reading the itinerary for his trip, he thought it was best to get ahead. It was soon time to go on a wild goose chase and even in the cold light of day he still thought that going to the diner where the busker worked was a good idea. The idea came to him through his whiskey clouded mind last night because he conceived that if he didn't ever see Jungkook again then their last exchange was one he’d lost and he wasn’t having that. There were very few people in his life that had ever gotten the better of him and he sure as hell wasn’t about to allow an idiotic street urchin to be one of them.

Taehyung accepted that he probably looked out of place walking into the diner with its tasteless name ‘Dino’s Dawgs’ in lights and everyone looking like they’d just fallen out of bed. The small diamond in his Chanel necklace was probably worth more than the building but this wasn’t the time to be considering such things. His beige trousers were well fitted, the white scoop neck top, with its three quarter length sleeves, was tucked nicely into the waistband adorned with a rich brown leather belt. His hair was parted in the middle and styled to perfection, it had been recently coloured so there was a brown gradient with the ends being a milk chocolate colour. He’d been reluctant to have the colour but Jimin insisted that ombre was the rage and he needed to be current when he was meeting with important people because it showed he wasn’t stuck in the dark ages, which is apparently what everyone would think if his hair was all one dark colour. Taehyung really wasn’t convinced that the CEO of a company or the middle aged men sitting around a boardroom table would give a shit about the colour of his hair but he listened to his friend anyway and if he didn’t like it he could always change it.

He eyed the seat of the booth he was shown to and was somewhat relieved that it was leather because the last thing he wanted was to sit on a fabric surface that would harbour dust and all the things he tried to avoid. The waitress was cute, she couldn’t hide the obvious attraction as her cheeks flushed and she couldn’t maintain eye contact, rushing through her lines to say someone would be over to take his order soon. Once she’d gone, he glanced over the menu and while waiting for a server, checked his phone for emails and the like. He was scrolling through Yoongi’s personal social media page when a familiar voice cleared his throat beside him and he looked up to see the busker standing there.

“Good evening Sir” Jungkook cursed inwardly as the man looked up and he realised who it was.

Taehyung noticed the change in expression and had expected such a welcome “Good evening.”

“Can I take your order or would you like longer to decide?”

“I’ll have an iced tea please.”

Jungkook scribbled it down “Will that be all?”

“For now.” Taehyung answered then he went back to scrolling through his phone, smiling to himself when he saw the message that Jimin left on Yoongi’s wall declaring his love for him and knowing how much Yoongi would’ve complained about it.

He wasn’t waiting for very long when Jungkook appeared with his drink, placing it on top of the cardboard coaster that had ‘DD’ printed on it. He acknowledged the drink then looked up at the busker “Thank you.”

“Can I get you something to eat, Sir?” Jungkook didn’t like calling him sir because he annoyed him and it left a bitter taste in his mouth. At least in the subway he could speak freely but here he was at work and had to remain professional because he couldn’t risk losing his job.

“What would you recommend?”

“Everything on the menu is good but I’m sure you are used to more upmarket dining.”

“Are you suggesting this fine diner isn’t upmarket?”

“I’m just surprised to see you in here, that’s all.”

“I’m full of surprises, Jeon Jungkook. I think we should add ‘judgemental’ to that list.”

“Perhaps I should start my own list, sir. I think ‘stalking’ would be at the top of it.” Jungkook was chewing the inside of his cheek because he was slightly irritated by Taehyung’s presence.

The fact that Taehyung laughed out loud in the most taunting way was both unexpected and highly annoying.

“You think I’m stalking you?”

“Aren’t you?”

“Pretentious, is definitely added to the list.”

“I do find that to be amusing coming from you with your airs and graces and the way you look down your nose at everyone.” Jungkook was getting flustered and struggling to maintain control. He couldn’t believe how rude this man was and certainly couldn’t understand why he was following him around.

“I would add ‘observant’ to the list but I don’t believe that to be a negative.”

Jungkook huffed and conceded that for now, it would be better to walk away and get on with his job. Taehyung got right under his skin and he would end up saying something he regretted if he stood at the table any longer, especially when he could see someone on the table further down who clearly wanted to order.

Taehyung sipped on his tea when the busker walked away, it hadn’t been his intention to wind him up when he decided to come here but he appeared to rub him up the wrong way a lot. He felt the bundle of notes in his pocket, he’d planned on leaving it as a tip and walking out but now he didn’t want to leave on such hostile terms and considered where to go from here when Jungkook came back.

When he did return, he placed a white basket of calamari down in front of Taehyung. The golden rings of battered squid, nestled on some finely sliced lettuce with a wedge of lemon on top and a pot of white creamy sauce beside it.

“This isn’t mine, I didn’t order anything.” he said, looking up at the busker.

“You asked me what I would recommend and this is what I chose, sir. If you would prefer me to take it away, I will.”

“No, not at all. Thank you.”

Jungkook was surprised by the softness that laced his words and the sudden kindness in his eyes, wondering what the change in attitude represented.

“You’re welcome, would you like another iced tea?”

“Yes please.” Taehyung didn’t miss the fact that the busker’s demeanor had softened as a result of him being nicer.

“Enjoy your food, I won’t be very long.”

“Do you get a break?”

“I’m sorry?”

Taehyung smiled and raised an eyebrow “A break… do you get one?”

“Yes, of course.”

“When? When is your break?”

“In 20 minutes or so unless it gets busy.”

“Would you join me for your break? You could bring my tea then.”

Jungkook thought perhaps there had been an alien invasion while he was gone and that someone had abducted the real Taehyung and replaced him with someone semi likeable. He didn’t know how to respond after being on the defense so much.

“I usually sit out the back but thanks.”

“As that is what you usually do, then why not do something different?”

“Okay, I will be back in 20 minutes with your tea.”

“Bring yourself a drink too… unless my money is an issue when it comes to drinks?”

He couldn't think of an excuse to refuse, “Thank you. Enjoy your food.”

Jungkook scuttled off, feeling apprehensive about the sudden U-turn and wondering why there had been an obvious change in tactics. It was perplexing to consider that Taehyung had an agenda, not only could he not even begin to imagine what that agenda might be but he also couldn’t understand why he was the subject of any agenda. None of his questions would get answered if he didn’t speak with him though and there was a part of him that hoped the next 20 minutes would drag.

The 20 minutes didn’t drag, of course they didn’t. They hurried by and were filled with Jungkook taking payments with customers settling their bills and of course the diner had a bit of a lull just in time for his break. He prepared the iced tea for Taehyung and made himself an iced latte, it was far too hot for a regular coffee which he would have preferred. The diner was air conditioned but with all the rushing about, it soon had very little impact on him and a cold drink was the only way to cool down on days when it was warm, even the little windows around the top of the walls didn't help on the days when the air con wasn't having an effect.

“Are you going to take your break standing up?” Taehyung asked as Jungkook put the iced tea down.

“Erm, no, of course not.” he answered, sliding into the space opposite Taehyung.

“Thank you for the drink and the calamari was good, it was a good choice.”

Taehyung wasn’t lying, he didn’t make a habit of blowing smoke up people’s backsides so he meant it when he complimented the food and the busker’s choice. It wouldn’t have been his first choice and he’d definitely eaten better calamari elsewhere but given the establishment he was in, it was good.

“It’s one of my favourites. Thank you for the drink.”

“No problem. Have you worked here for long?”

“About a year, I think. My friend, Ash works here and got me the job. The owners are nice and the pay is better than most places.”

“But you still need to busk too?”

“Yeah but that’s because I can study in between and when it’s quiet at the station I can get some work done. It gets busy here, there are rarely any quiet times.”

“Yesterday, one of the songs you sang was from a musical, have you seen it?”

“Chicago?”

“Yes.”

“I’ve seen the movie but not the musical. You know it?”

“I saw it when I was younger. Do you like musicals?”

“I like the idea of them. I’ve seen the productions at school, even danced in one of them.”

“You’ve never been to a live stage show?”

“No, I don’t really get the time.”

Taehyung eyed him curiously “What do you do in your spare time?”

“I answer your questions.” he smirked.

“Technically you don’t because you didn’t answer the last one.”

“You know a lot about me, Taehyung. Do I get to ask you questions?”

“You can ask me anything you like, that doesn’t mean I have to answer.”

Jungkook had many questions he wanted to ask the man in the expensive suits who dropped money like it was worthless, who had an air of snootiness, who appeared to be repulsed by everything around him yet for whatever reason kept returning. He couldn’t make sense of it, Ash was convinced he wanted to be someone’s sugar daddy but that didn’t ring true because he would surely find someone easier to control and Jungkook wasn’t that person.

“What do you do when you aren’t stalking me?”

The small smile that formed on his mouth showed he was amused “I work.”

“Doing what?”

“Advertising.”

“You aren’t very forthcoming are you?”

Taehyung leaned forwards “Perhaps you aren’t asking the correct questions?”

“Do you work nearby? Is the building big or small? Have you worked there very long? Is that enough for you to elaborate?”

The entertainment factor was high and the fact he was entertained showed as the small smile grew “Yes I work nearby, have you heard of Purple Aura?”

“Who hasn’t?” Jungkook had heard of the company, he’d seen the adverts and seen the name under the branding of other companies. He knew the huge building uptown with its purple trim around the outside and all its glass. He’d known students at university who were desperate to get one of the intern positions because it was such a lucrative company… and then it dawned on him… as he ran through everything he knew about the company… he remembered the article in one of the magazines earlier in the year… he hadn’t seen it until now…

“We are doing something right if that is the response.” Taehyung said, watching as Jungkook’s eyes widened.

“You’re Kim Taehyung.”

“Is that a question or are you telling me that is who I am?”

“Are you? Are you THE Kim Taehyung?”

“If you mean, am I the owner of Purple Aura, am I that Kim Taehyung, then yes, I am.”

“Wow. That explains a lot.”

It explained the snobbery and haughtiness, it explained the money that’s for sure. Jungkook scoffed as he thought back to the article in Vogue, the dashing CEO on the cover, the questions about his life and photos spread across two pages.

“You probably know more about me than I do about you or at least now you have the upper hand.”

“True, does that mean that I should expect more questions?”

“There’s plenty I would like to know so you should definitely expect more.”

Jungkook scooted to the end of the seat “They will have to wait, I need to get back to work. Can I get you another tea or anything else to eat?”

“No, thank you, just the bill when you are ready.”

Jungkook nodded and headed towards the back of the diner with his empty cup, his mind boggled with the information that one of the richest men in the country wanted to get to know him. It didn’t make any sense and he made a mental note to make that a question that he needed the answer to because that was something Google wouldn’t tell him. He was lost in thought, entering his details onto the touchscreen, finding the order for the table Taehyung occupied. He printed out the receipt, making sure his iced latte was on it because he had willingly accepted the offer of a drink. The receipt was placed in a leather folder, he added some mints for good measure and was confused when he got to the table and Taehyung was nowhere to be seen.

On the table was a neatly rolled cylinder of notes, sitting on top of two more notes and a business card. He picked it all up and scribbled on the back of a napkin was the message:

You will find enough to cover the bill and a tip
plus the money you wouldn't take yesterday.
Contact me when you have the terms to accept it.
KTH

Jungkook stared at the words on the white paper napkin, he needed to get through his shift and find enough head space to give it some thought. He put the cylinder of money in his pocket, settled the bill with the two notes and put the change in the jar of tips for the kitchen staff. The napkin was folded and put away in his bag along with the business card, it was shiny and lilac with a darker purple border, he presumed to look like an aura. He stared at the name, the email address, company website, direct line and mobile number printed, wondering whether that was his personal number or a business phone?

Suddenly he had a lot to think about outside of his usual routine, away from school and work. They were from worlds that were so far apart there was probably a whole universe between them but first he needed to know what a man like Kim Taehyung wanted with him.

Chapter Text

“Was that him? The rude prick, or whatever you called him?” Ash was fixing himself some toast before work.

“Was what who?” Jungkook said peering up from the textbook he was copying notes from.

“The guy you had the date with. The one you said was stuck up his own ass. Marsha sent me a text last night and asked me who the sexy guy was that you took your break with.”

“It could have been anyone, what makes you think it was him?” he says over the rim of the glass he is sipping orange juice from.

“First, you are totally avoiding the question so I’ll take that as a yes and second, I told you he would be back so I trust in my ability of being right all the time.” Ash couldn't help the cheerful tone as he spoke, knowing he was right.

Jungkook pursed his lips and rolled his eyes “Yes, it was him.”

“He is totally stalking you!” he blurts out in complete excitement.

“That’s what I told him.”

Surprise evident as Ash asks, “You did?”

“Yes, I did. He has this supposed list of all the negative words he has attributed to me so I told him he was a stalker. I don't get why he'd go to the trouble of this list but keep following me around.”

“He has a list? What words?” this was news to Ash.

“He says I’m ungrateful, manipulative, judgemental and some other things, I can’t remember.” the list had gotten so long that he couldn't recall every word that Taehyung had told him was on it. He also disagreed with most of the words anyway so switched off.

“But he still stalks you so it can’t be that off putting for him.”

“Exactly, why bother when I'm supposedly all these bad things?”

“He says all those negative things but persists on following you around so he must like you. Maybe he's a bit of a masochist? What did he want last night?”

“To give me the money I refused to take the other day in the subway.”

“And you just happened to have your break with him, which is totally like a second date, you know?” Ash walks into the lounge and winks several times with the piece of toast in his hand.

“Ash, you talk shit. It wasn’t a second date because there wasn’t a first date.” he huffs, chewing the end of his pen.

“Why does it feel like there’s something you’re not telling me? Why are you so secretive if you don’t like him? You are very evasive and selective when answering questions about him. Perhaps that's why he keeps coming back, to get the full answer to things."

“There’s a lot to consider, that’s all.” Jungkook hasn't been able to think of much else.

“Like? Oh come on! Tell me! Please, pretty please? I’m your bestest bestie, tell me, please?”

“Stop whining.”

“I will whine louder if you don’t tell me though.” he stuffs the piece of toast into his mouth and puts his hands together in a pleading gesture.

Jungkook took a deep breath and put down his book “Okay! But you can’t tell anyone.”

“Did you fuck him?” The tone a little higher than normal as his eyes opened wide.

“What? No! I’ve just said we haven’t been on any dates so how the hell did you leap to sex?”

“What else wouldn’t I be able to tell people?”

“Ash, shut up! You can’t tell anyone because I need to give it some thought…”

“Give what some thought?”

“...if you keep your mouth closed, I will tell you.”

“Sorry… okay… go.”

“The guy… it’s Kim Taehyung… as in the Kim Taehyung.”

Ash stared at his friend “Purple Aura Kim Taehyung?”

“Yeah. He gave me his business card and told me to contact him once I’ve worked out the terms on which I will accept the money he gave me for busking”

“You’ve got Kim Taehyung as your stalker?”

“Yes, it would seem so.”

“Wow! Now, that is cool! What is there to think about? The guy is loaded! I definitely want that posh annex in your mansion.”

“I don’t even know where to begin with that. I don’t care that he is loaded. I don’t want his stupid money if he thinks that is how he gets what he wants. I’m not going to be bought, Ash. I didn’t like accepting his money before I knew who he was and knowing doesn’t change anything. He’s still an arrogant prick.”

“Of course he is, he’s rich. Most rich dudes think they’re better than everyone else, you know that. But he is hot! At least you didn’t get an ugly old rich guy stalker.”

“The fact that he is gorgeous doesn’t change anything, Ash.”

“You definitely fancy him.”

“I don’t.”

“You do, you answered too quickly. I’m always right so therefore, you do fancy him. Everyone, fancies him… everyone with eyes. I reckon there’s probably someone out there that doesn’t have eyes and fancies him, he is that fucking hot.”

“You are exaggerating.”

“So he isn’t hot?”

“He is but you are missing the point.”

“The point is that Kim Taehyung is rich, powerful, drop dead fucking gorgeous and he wants his dick up your ass.”

Jungkook looked quite disgusted “I can assure you that won’t be happening.”

“Shut up! If he wanted to fuck you, like he obviously does, you aren’t turning that down.”

“Not everyone is as easy as you, Ash. Besides, I don’t bottom unless it’s a dildo so he will be very disappointed.”

“You don’t know what you’re missing out on. Even if I were some total dom, I’d let Kim Taehyung fuck me if he wanted to and I’d be his sub.”

“Like I said, not everyone is as easy as you.”

“You’ve got too many morals, that’s your problem.”

“I’ll tell him to add it to his list.”

“Oh! So you will be seeing him again?” Ash nudged Jungkook and wiggled his eyebrows.

“No, I haven’t decided, I was speaking metaphorically.”

“Yeah, yeah. Just send him the text and tell him that the terms are that he can give you money providing he’s a great fuck.”

“Go to work!”

Ash made it out of the door as a cushion hurtled towards him, dodging it as he went, leaving Jungkook to go back to his text book. He couldn’t concentrate on the words leaping off the page, the business card was burning a hole in his pocket and he replayed his conversation with Ash over in his mind. There really was a lot to consider, Kim Taehyung had gone to a lot of trouble to find him and he wanted to know why.

***

Kim Taehyung was not the type to check his phone straight away when it alerted him to a message or an email, it was usually left for when he could be bothered to look or when he had time… it appeared that had changed and every time his phone chimed, he would check it.

Kim Taehyung was not used to people who didn't jump at his word, usually he wouldn't even be asked 'How high?' because people just did it… it was 37 hours since he’d told Jungkook to contact him when he had the terms for accepting the money.

Kim Taehyung wasn't the type of man to chase anyone, even when they had something he wanted, he would find a way that they came to him… he'd left his car at home today and caught the train into work, thankful that the day was slightly cooler.

Kim Taehyung was work focused, driven by his career, that is what took up 99% of his thoughts… until recently when a certain busker kept creeping in and was definitely taking up more than 1% of his mind.

When he wasn't thinking about Jungkook, he was thinking about why he was thinking about him. He needed to solve all the mysteries surrounding him and get all the answers to his unanswered questions, then he was convinced that he'd be able to move on. It wasn't as if he had anyone to talk to, his friends would quite simply tell him not to be so stupid, they would tell him that he was categorically insane for even talking to the busker, let alone everything since. Over the years his group of friends have had various love affairs and relationships (apart from Jimin and Yoongi) they all preferred to hire a date if they needed one because their careers were too important for complications. They always vetted each other's dates if they did meet someone and rarely did they live up to expectations.

Last year, Hobi met a gorgeous young man, he was brought in as a dance teacher to help him with new recruits after an influx of admissions at EGO. No one could deny the chemistry between them, that was obvious but Hobi started having doubts when he caught sight of the Calvin Klein underwear. He spoke to the group minus Jin and Yoongi who were away on business and Jimin was horrified because 'Calvin Klein was last decade’. They agreed that Hobi should give him a chance though because there was a possibility that it was a mistake and maybe it was the only underwear he could find that day. After that there was a string of further fashion mistakes that Jimin could not forgive (who wears Converse with a suit?) plus Tae pointed out that your appearance was the way you advertise yourself. The more time Hobi spent with him, the worse it got and the day he was invited to his home was the day he had to admit defeat when he drove to the address and turned into a road that was in a part of town that he didn't visit for a reason. One U-turn later and a phone call to the agency and he didn't see the guy again, in any capacity. A meal out with his friends was all that was needed to confirm he'd made the right decision especially when he admitted that he had been starting to feel anxious about having to invite the guy out to events if they'd got that far.

Tae knew that his friends wouldn't understand why he was so interested in the busker, in fact, he didn't even know why he was so interested or what he was even doing. It wasn't as if they could date, it wasn't anything like that but they couldn't even really be friends either, they had practically nothing in common and they were quite literally different species.

And yet with all that being said, he was still walking down the steps to the subway, suit jacket over his arm and his briefcase held to his side. at 7pm after a long day at the office. He didn’t know what he would say to the busker, it wasn’t as if he could scold him for not contacting him and there wasn’t a lot he could say without looking desperate, which he most definitely wasn’t. He had yet to decide whether he liked this uncertain side that was appearing more and more, he was so used to everything being black and white that grey wasn’t familiar. He needed to get control of himself because this was ridiculous and he blamed the stupid drama for it all, even if it was a really good show.

***

Jungkook was sure that the business card was going to wear away as he twirled it around between his thumb and index finger again. If it wasn’t being moved around between his fingers, it was sat somewhere he could stare at it, which is pretty much all he’d done while attempting to work through the text book yesterday. When Ash got home after his shift at the diner, he punched Jungkook playfully, talked through the reasons he hadn’t yet messaged Taehyung, then rolled around on the floor, play fighting until Jungkook admitted he should make a decision.

He didn’t send a message.

He decided to sleep on it.

The classes were a slight distraction but not really because he didn’t know what to say to Taehyung. He didn’t want to go with Ash’s idea of straight up asking him for sex and money, hoping that his friend was joking when he’d suggested it. He reread the napkin and there were so many options to consider. He could say that the terms were a smoothie each time he was given money, he could stretch to a meal, he could suggest a coffee or he could simply just tell him that there aren’t any terms because he wouldn’t be accepting the cash.

Jungkook wouldn’t be bought, that was for sure but he didn’t know what Taehyung was buying so his judgement was a little skewed. If he was buying him, what did he want? If he just wanted questions answered then perhaps they could do that over text message or email but then Jungkook would have to make the first move and send the message after all and he was back to square one of not knowing what to say.

The truth of the matter was that he was curious for so many reasons and he knew he’d regret it if he didn’t see him again… but until he decided what to do with the message he would avoid him. Ash was surprised when Jungkook accepted the shift at the diner instead of busking after classes had finished and reminded him that Taehyung could just go to Dino’s if he wanted to find him. Jungkook was vehement that he was only doing the shift to help out the owners and it had nothing to do with avoiding Taehyung.

It was absolutely about avoidance.

He walked along to Dino’s with his earphones in, he always had them both in his ears but the left one stopped working months ago. He was lost in thought, wondering how on earth his life had taken a turn where he was actually avoiding someone like Kim Taehyung. He was sure that no one else would believe him if he told them, the man that could have anyone he wanted and yet here he was expecting Jungkook to contact him.

Two hours into his shift he was sitting out the back, on an upturned crate in the sunshine, the business card in one hand, his phone in the other… he was going to send a message… this was the decision… but what to say?

Jungkook didn’t even know what his terms were, there wasn’t anything he could think of, he only suggested the smoothies because it was a hot day and he needed to think of something quickly at the time. He then thought about how out of place Taehyung looked at the diner and he hadn’t missed the look of disgust on his face the first time they went for a smoothie. At the time he didn’t think he would be seeing him again so he could let it pass, almost find it amusing… and then he had an epiphany.

He surmised that the way to stop Mr Kim Taehyung from stalking him was to put him off, to make the terms something he may not be keen on, to bring him out of his own ass… to get him to be more human… those would be his terms.

Jungkook
Hi, it’s Jungkook. My terms for the money are that I will buy you lunch tomorrow, if you aren’t busy.

He reworded the message several times, he wasn’t usually a demanding or bossy person but this man seemed to bring it out in him, this man seemed to be bringing a lot out in him. He knew it was short notice and he knew that there was a distinct possibility that Taehyung would be busy with work but if he couldn’t make it then he’d offered his terms and that would be that. He checked the time, it was 7.05pm and his break was nearly up, he had once again lost time to the pompous man who was invading his life.

***

Kim Taehyung rarely did disappointment because his life was so successful, the only time it may happen is if he said he was disappointed in someone but probably wasn’t. Yet that was the only word to describe how he felt right now when he saw no sign of the busker and the subway was filled with noise that didn’t include his sweet voice. Instead of Jungkook singing, he could hear chattering, the odd burst of laughter and someone vomiting further down. He understood why someone would be sick down here, it was something he was surprised hadn’t happened to him. The whole atmosphere put him in a bad mood and without Jungkook to brighten the situation he couldn’t see the point of waiting the eight minutes for the next train. He considered returning to the office to finish off the powerpoint for the meeting he had on Friday, he always liked to be ahead so that would definitely work in his favour but once he was at the top of the steps in the fresh air he thought going home was the best option and took his phone from his pocket to contact his driver. Taehyung did not feel a miniscule spark of hope when he saw he had a message from an unknown number in his phone. This was a regular occurrence because he gave his business cards out all the time but he was slightly hopeful, not that he would admit that. When he read it, the hope faded and he screwed up his face, who did the busker think he was? Should he have expected any less when he told him to come up with terms for accepting the money, it was his own fault for leaving it so open ended.

Kim Taehyung is a man who learns from his mistakes so decided that next time he would have to put restrictions or an expiry date in place so that the busker wasn’t given so much freedom. If he had written that note now, with all this in mind he’d have stipulated his own terms and given him a timescale for replying but now he had to deal with what he was presented with.

KTH
I will consider your offer once I have checked with my PA. No singing today?

He toyed with the idea of that last part, deleted it a few times but couldn’t help but wonder why Jungkook hadn’t been in the subway so sent it anyway. There was always a way to wriggle out of something if the busker implied something that wasn’t true… because whatever he thought about Taehyung, wouldn’t be true.

Kim Taehyung was a man who liked instant results, if he left a meeting after tabling an offer, he expected to be stopped before he reached the door or at the very most, worse case scenario, contacted by phone whilst on his way back to the office. The only people who he accepted delays from, where his group of friends who were usually dropping him a quick message or email while working and rarely did the exchanges require any urgency anyway. When 15 minutes had elapsed and there wasn't any reply from Jungkook, he was slightly irritated, he thought that now the busker knew who he was, he would at the very least appreciate that he was a certain way but obviously not. Since he was walking to his office, caught up with the whole text saga instead of phoning his driver, he found himself taking a detour past the diner… purely out of curiosity because being busy was the only explanation for not replying to his message.

Dino's was busy, very busy and he stood where he thought he couldn't be seen so he could watch through the window. What the hell had his life become, he was almost dying of embarrassment at the mere thought of what he looked like and what his friends would say.

"Excuse me, Sir, would you like to come in?" A young girl asked him, startling him a little.

"Oh, I'm still not sure. I'm just waiting on a call and the noise level is relatively high in there."

The young girl smiled "I can find you a table if you would like to come in."

"Do you work here?"

"Yes, I do."

"Do you know if Jungkook is working this evening?"

The girl's eyes widened and she grinned "Yes, he's in there, would you like me to tell him that you are here?"

"No! No, it's fine. We don't need to tell him anything, do we?" Taehyung handed the girl a note from his wallet.

"Tell who what?" She said with a wink.

"You're a smart girl." He said.

"Are you wanting that table?"

"I'll have to decline, I really do need to wait for this call."

"It was nice to speak to you, Sir." The girl said as she turned and went inside.

Just as Taehyung twisted to leave, he saw Jungkook appear from the back and given that he looked busy, he decided he would allow him the delay on replying to his text this once.

"Why are you smiling at me like that" Jungkook asked as the girl walked past him.

"I'm not able to tell you." She said, tapping her nose with her finger.

Jungkook frowned and changed direction, following her "Tell me what?"

"I told you, I can't tell you."

"I always knew you were odd."

"Okay but you can't tell him that I told you."

"Who?"

"The drop dead gorgeous guy in a suit who was outside."

Jungkook looked around then took the girl by the arm into the back "What guy? What are you talking about?"

"You can't tell him."

"You've not told me anything and I still don't know who it is that I'm not to tell whatever it is that you haven't told me."

They both thought about what Jungkook just said, both kind of confused.

"After I tell you, you can't tell him."

"Okay, okay."

"I saw this gorgeous guy standing outside and went to ask him if he needed a table. He asked if you were working."

"He didn't come in though?"

"No. He said he was waiting for a phone call but I think that was a big fat lie."

"I don't get what it is that you weren't allowed to tell me? What did he say?"

"He asked if you were working. I said yes and did he want me to tell you that he was there."

"And he didn't?" Jungkook had a sneaking suspicion that the man was Taehyung because it wasn't as if there were loads of gorgeous men in suits asking after him but it was only a suspicion.

"No. He paid me not to tell you."

It was confirmed and no longer a suspicion as soon as those words left her mouth. Jungkook rolled his eyes "Did he now? What exactly did he say?"

"He handed me this note rolled up and said we didn't need to tell you anything."

"Of course he did."

"He's so hot! You lucky guy!" she lightly slapped Jungkook on his arm.

"So I keep being told."

"You won't tell him though, right?"

"My lips are sealed." Jungkook smoothed his thumb and forefinger along the seam of his lips.

"Excellent!"

The girl skipped off to her tables and Jungkook took a deep breath. He didn't understand Taehyung, he didn't get why he would come here but not come in and he most definitely didn't get what the big secret was. After his shift he looked at his phone and saw the message from Taehyung, he pondered his response but couldn't help but wonder if he'd gone to the subway to find him first, then tried the diner. He couldn’t fathom what was so interesting about him that the CEO of Purple Aura kept coming back.

Jungkook
No singing, I had a shift at the diner instead. Does your schedule allow for lunch tomorrow?

KTH
1pm, outside the subway entrance.

Jungkook was surprised to have a reply so quickly then stared at the message. There was no question mark, he wasn't asking which made Jungkook want to change plans but he'd go along with it for now, since Taehyung had agreed to lunch at all. The reply in itself was irritating, the problem being that he wouldn't get the answers to anything if he didn't meet with him and as much as he reminded himself what curiosity did to the cat... he couldn't stop himself.

Jungkook
See you then.

Chapter Text

“If I tell you to fuck off, will you?” Jungkook asked Ash.

“No, I’m afraid that isn’t likely. Date number three huh?”

“Ash, I swear to God... “

“You can swear to whoever you want but you are seeing KTH a bit too regularly for these meetings not to be dates.” He stood with his arms crossed over his chest and his eyebrows raised so high they practically blended into his hairline.

“KTH?”

“Kim Taehyung.”

“Yeah… I know who it is, you idiot. Why are you calling him KTH?” Jungkook face palmed in despair.

“Because those are his initials, duh! Saying his full name takes too long when everything I have to say is vitally important. Taehyung isn’t short enough and since you haven’t been fucked by him yet and I’ve not seen him in his undies then I can’t really call him Tae or T.”

Jungkook was squinting at his friend, trying to take in everything he’d just said “Wow, there is so much wrong with that, I don’t know where to start.”

“What are you wearing for your date?”

“I’m wearing what I wear every day, Ash because it isn’t a date.”

“You are meeting a guy and buying him lunch, that is the very definition of a date unless you aren’t gay then it’s a bro date but you are gay so it is a regular date.”

“So if you are gay and meeting a guy, it can’t be a bro date?”

“I don’t think so. You and I have bro dates because I’m not gay, I mean I have questioned that in the past, especially when I met you but sadly it wasn’t meant to be.”

“I feel like every time you open your mouth I have more questions than you could answer.”

“Don’t forget you owe me dinner”

“For what?”

“Because I told you that you would go on a proper date and this is a date.”

“Isn’t a date meant to be with someone you are planning on spending time with romantically?”

“Exactly and you fancy the pants off KTH.”

“It doesn’t matter what I say, does it?”

“Nope.” Ash pursed his lips and shook his head.

Jungkook sighed “You are a complete nightmare. I don’t know why we are friends.”

“Because I’m one of very few people that doesn’t want to fuck you and I tell you the truth. Now what are you wearing?”

“You are also deluded. I’m wearing what I will wear tomorrow.”

“Combats and that t-shirt?”

“Yes, it isn’t as if I’m spoiled for choice now, is it?”

“You need to use some of that money for clothes, we should go shopping!” Ash exclaimed with both hands in the air.

“I hate shopping.”

“I know but I love it! We should go. You have enough spare don’t you?”

“I don’t know. It’s in my pot under my bed. I don’t need new clothes. What I have gets me by.”

“You are seriously the only gay I know that doesn’t like shopping or new clothes.”

“Can you stop talking now? If I’m late I will kill you because I hate being late.”

“You just don’t want to miss any precious seconds with KTH.”

Jungkook pushed Ash out of his room “Bye, Ash.”

Ash allowed himself to be pushed but hooked his fingers onto the door frame and made kissy noises, just to exasperate his friend further, managing to pull his hands away just as the door slammed shut.

**

Jungkook was late and he was cursing Ash as he approached the subway and could see that Taehyung was already there waiting for him. He hated rushing and he hated being late, he was always on time for everything and planned his day accordingly so he took a deep breath because he knew that the time wouldn’t go unnoticed by someone like Kim Taehyung who probably had every second of his day on a schedule.

The very same Kim Taehyung who looked like a model in navy blue tailored trousers and a white silk shirt that showed his forearms because the sleeves were rolled up to just below his elbows. The shirt was neatly tucked into the waistband of said trousers and instead of his usual tie, he had a thin silk patterned scarf tied around his neck. Jungkook felt underdressed as he walked towards him, even Taehyung’s hair was styled so it parted in the centre and the silver rimmed spectacles sat perfectly on the bridge of his nose. Jungkook was far enough away that the dramatic eye roll couldn’t be seen and several eye rolls later he thought he’d better stop it in case Taehyung’s eyesight was better than he thought. He did almost laugh to himself though because if Ash could see him right now he would definitely be reconsidering his sexuality or at least making out like it was an actual option, which he did often because he wasn’t afraid to say when someone was attractive regardless of gender. Jungkook told Ash in the past that he should accept that perhaps he shouldn’t worry about labelling himself and just enjoy whatever it is that he enjoys but he always said he could appreciate a man for his good looks and understand why someone would fuck him but it wasn’t for him… Jungkook thought that he might change his mind if he could see Taehyung right now with his bronzed skin on display at his neckline where the shirt’s revered collar sat open and how his waist tapered and looked so small accentuated by the white shirt into his trousers… of course that wasn’t what Jungkook himself thought… definitely not.

Taehyung raised his eyebrows and looked at the flashy watch on his wrist as Jungkook was within a few feet of him.

“You can add ‘unpunctual’ to your list now.” Jungkook was irked, mainly with himself but seeing the way Taehyung checked his watch irritated him further.

“After that comment, I think I will add ‘impolite’ too.”

“You will need a larger sheet of paper at this rate.”

“Paper? I have enough storage on my phone to keep the list on there.”

Jungkook sighed, his manners eluded him and he should know better “Look, I’m sorry for being late, I would explain but it’s a boring tale involving my best friend, so… anyway, I apologise for keeping you waiting.”

Taehyung tilted his head slightly and looked at the busker with amusement “Your apology is accepted, you can tell me that boring tale over lunch, where is it that we are going?”

“The park on the corner, a few blocks down.”

“St George’s park, for lunch?” Taehyung knew where the park was, he had been there once when he’d been brave enough to skip a few classes in high school. His parents caught him playing basketball with a couple of friends after the school phoned them, he’d been in a lot of trouble that day and lesson learned, he never did it again.

“Yes, there’s a great hot dog stall to the right before you pass through the gates.”

Taehyung turned his head to prevent the very obvious look of disgust on his face, he should’ve guessed it wouldn’t be anywhere remotely civil. This was one of those situations where he knew it was on the list he’d written after watching that drama but after he realised the reality of his dislike for public transport he was more than content with banishing the list to the recycle bin and chastising himself for even considering such idiocy. After spending time in the subway, meeting the busker unexpectedly and visiting the smoothie place and the diner, he thought that was more than enough normality to last him a whole lifetime, much preferring his version of normality. In the drama, the Prince wanted to experience everything that the homeless man did and Tae thought it was endearing at first, now he had decided that he would leave that situation to the drama because stepping out of his comfort zone wasn’t as much fun as he’d hoped especially when so far he'd just spent too much time perspiring. Taehyung also decided that he wasn't a prince and he no longer saw the appeal of public transport etcetera, his friends were right, it was a stupid idea.

They walked down the street side by side, dodging the many people hurriedly going about their everyday lives, unable to talk properly because of the constant interruptions as people walked in between them. The flow of human traffic slowed as they turned the corner near the park, Taehyung wasn’t a fan of walking, it made him feel sweaty and he made a mental note to make sure he found out what the destination was next time so that he could arrange to be driven there… not that he had any glimmer of hope that there would be a next time… no.

“What would you like?” Jungkook asked as they approached the food stall.

Taehyung had no idea what he wanted because usually he would be handed a menu and could look through the items, sometimes written in french or japanese but he could read those.

“What do you usually have?” this was his way out.

“The George and a shake,”he said casually.

“And that is?” Taehyung was clueless, he was kind of hoping that the explanation would be easier for him to grasp but he found reading french easier at this rate.

“Have you been here before?” Jungkook looked at Taehyung, standing side by side in the queue.

“Not really.” he said looking ahead.

“Not really? Or no?” Jungkook raised his eyebrows and smirked.

“No, I haven’t been here before.” Taehyung braced himself for the witty remark.

Jungkook suspected as much “Well, ‘The George’ is a double hotdog with bacon pieces, onions and a cheese sauce on it. I usually get tomato sauce and tell them to hold the mustard, oh and I get a banana shake.”

Taehyung half smiled “You eat all that?”

Jungkook ignored the feeling he got when Taehyung smiled “Yep, but it will probably be all I eat today so it will keep me going. The menu is up there if you want to choose.” he pointed up at the board, trying to ignore the fact that the CEO kept looking at him.

“Why will it be all that you eat today?” Taehyung asked, looking up at the menu written on the board behind the man taking orders.

“It depends what food we have in and if Ash is at the diner I’ll probably just get some studying done. If Ash is working he'll more than likely bring dinner home.”

“Ash?”

“My best friend and roommate.”

“If he doesn't bring food home, what if you get hungry?”

“I won’t.”

“What if you do?”

“Then I will see what we have in. Have you decided what you want?”

Taehyung was too caught up in what Jungkook was saying to absorb the words on the board “I’ll have the same as you.”

“You will? Are you sure?”

“What are you implying? That I can’t eat as much as you?”

“No, not at all, I just didn’t think you’d… I don’t know what I thought.”

Taehyung liked the way Jungkook’s cheeks tinged pink when he was flustered and he liked the way little creases formed at the corners of his eyes when he smiled.

“Then perhaps you shouldn’t think and just order.” Taehyung suggested.

After ordering, they stood to one side while they waited for the food. Taehyung looked at how relaxed Jungkook was, which was the complete opposite to how he felt. Everywhere he looked he saw the type of people that he spent his whole life avoiding, they were the people he employed and who served him in the places he dined. He watched the way the busker joked conversed so naturally with the man like they were old friends, as he handed him the two hotdogs and placed the shakes on the counter, he refused to acknowledge the lone butterfly fluttering around in his stomach as he heard Jungkook laugh at something the man said.

"Do you want extra sauce?" Jungkook asked, turning to face Taehyung.

"No thank you, that's fine as it is." Taehyung couldn't ever remember eating a hotdog, he didn't have any idea whether it was fine or what sauce would be extra. The last sausage he ate was wild boar and apple, served on piped celeriac mash and drizzled with a rich red wine sauce in a restaurant where reservations were three months in advance. The prince in the drama had a hotdog, it was bought for him a well meaning member of public who felt sorry for him... obviously Taehyung knew the actor was playing a role but he was very convincing when he spat it out in disgust.

Jungkook would've been lying if he said that he wasn't enjoying the constant look of uncertainty on Taehyung’s face, opting to carry the hotdogs himself while suggesting that the CEO take the shakes. He was curious as to why a man like Taehyung would put himself through such obvious discomfort for someone as normal as he was. He saw the look on his face earlier when Jungkook told him he probably wouldn't eat again today and he knew it was more than likely because Taehyung could have anything he wanted, whenever he wanted it. He also guessed that Taehyung has never gone without in his whole life.

They found a small table, the two metal chairs were quite weathered but they were sturdy. Jungkook watched Taehyung put the drinks down and give the chair seat a once over with his eyes before actually sitting down.

“Do you come here a lot?” Tae asked, not quite knowing how best to go about eating the hotdog.

“Are you going to ask me that every time I take you somewhere?” Jungkook positioned his napkin so that it would catch any stray sauce or bacon pieces, pulled down the cardboard end so it acted as a lip to the box and took a big bite out of the hotdog.

“How audacious to presume there will be other occasions after this one.” Taehyung knew there would be, he looked into the face of the man who had sauce smeared on his top lip and was happily munching away.

Jungkook swallowed the mouthful he had “When we were at Dino’s, you said there was lots you wanted to ask me so unless you were planning on handing me a questionnaire, it is only natural to presume that we would be doing this again.”

“Maybe next time I will choose the location.” Taehyung said as he took a bite of the hotdog.

“Are you implying that my choices are bad?” he said just before taking another bite, he was halfway through and enjoying it immensely.

“No, I wasn’t implying anything but if that is how you perceive it, that is your prerogative.” he wasn’t sure if he liked the hotdog, it was messy and the cheese sauce glued itself to the roof of his mouth.

“Why do you have so many questions?" he asks after swallowing a mouthful of hotdog.

“Because you spiked my interest and if something interests me I like to find out more about it.”

“Okay but I have a condition.”

Taehyung was intrigued because he’d allowed Jungkook to state his terms a few times now but it wasn’t an option this time. “Do you now?”

“I do…” he swallowed the last bite and screwed up the flimsy cardboard box “...no more big bundles of money.”

Taehyung raised his eyebrows “I told you, I like to show my gratitude and always tip well.”

“You still can, just not with me.”

“But it is because of the money that you are here and it was the reason we had the smoothie the first time.” Taehyung had eaten enough, there wasn’t a lot left but his insides were already complaining about the processed meat and white breaded hotdog roll.

“I am aware of that, which is why I have the condition that I do.”

“What reason would you have for meeting with me again if I haven’t paid you.” as the words left his lips he could see the expression change on Jungkook’s face, he’d offended him and even though it was technically a fact, he could see it hadn’t gone down well.

“For your information, I am not here because you paid me! I am here because I choose to be because I could have taken that money and not contacted you. This was the only way I could accept that money and not feel like shit but thanks for pointing it out and making me feel like shit anyway!”

Jungkook stood up and Taehyung thought he was going to leave. He rose from his seat and started following him as he left the table, grabbing the two cups and cursing under his breath as the squashed box with the remainder of hotdog in it leaked out onto his hand.

“Wait! You misunderstood me.”

The busker turned around when he reached the litter bin, throwing the box and napkins in first “I think you were quite clear but you can add ‘accusatory’ to your list now.”

Taehyung sighed, he was annoyed that this bothered him so much, it was all so much effort and it was quite simply draining but he couldn't just walk away now, it made no sense and he had absolutely no clue as to what 'this' was or what 'this' could be. “Maybe I have conditions too?”

“Draw up a contract and I’ll get my lawyer to look over it.” his tone was dry as the sarcasm dripped from his words.

“I’m definitely adding ‘sardonic’ to the list.”

“Whatever pleases you.” Jungkook turned to leave.

In that moment, Jungkook was the sand pouring through an hour glass, “Can we start again?” Taehyung held out one of the cups in Jungkook’s direction. The scene looked a bit silly, the man dressed in combats, tattered boots and a t-shirt, with his back to the man who looked like he'd just stepped off a catwalk who was clutching one cup and holding the other in his outstretched hand.

Jungkook took a deep breath and looked over his shoulder, stopping at Taehyung's words, his expression less than impressed. "Start again? How far back would you like to go? Should I start singing so you can throw money at me and expect that money to get you whatever it is that you want?"

"I thought we could start today again but I'd be more than impressed if you started singing." Taehyung felt a little out of his depth, he wasn't accustomed to having to work so hard, especially with someone like Jungkook.

The busker turned his body towards Taehyung and took the cup from him "I'm not going to sing and I'm not going anywhere with you again if you've given me money."

"No more tips?"

Jungkook shook his head, "No. No more tips."

Taehyung discarded the rubbish in his hand "Okay. I get to choose where we meet next time though." He thought he may be pushing his luck but a part of him wanted to see if the busker would spend time with him again.

"Providing my condition is upheld, you can choose where we meet next time. You have my number, text me when you have decided." He smiled and turned away, walking through the gates, not looking back but wanting desperately to look over his shoulder.

Taehyung stared after him… what else could he do? No one ever chooses to walk away from Kim Taehyung, he was infuriated, relieved and perplexed all at the same time... what on earth was he doing?

Chapter Text

The audacity of the man! Taehyung didn't ever take his emotions into the office but he'd paced the room, glared at his PA to the point where the poor boy swiftly closed the door and walked out and pressed the keys on his keyboard hard enough that the sound bounced off the walls. Once the shock subsided that the busker had so nonchalantly turned his back on him, he had to consider his options. There wasn't anyone he could speak to about it because he knew what his friends would say and he didn’t even really know what to say to them. He didn’t have a sounding board and could've done with someone completely disconnected to his life to rant at. He had considered phoning one of his group but they would ask why it matters so much and Taehyung didn't have an answer for that. They would definitely question why Taehyung was allowing a busker to wind him up so much when he should just be able to shrug him off but he wouldn't be able to respond to that either. Usually, when it came to a problem, Taehyung would make a decision based on research and facts, perhaps seek the knowledge of an expert but this situation didn't seem to fit any of his usual issues. There may be times when he would seek out his Mother or Father for advice but it was all a bit spontaneous and ad-hoc right at this moment in time and they would be at work.

“Stefan, could you come in here please?” he said, choosing to walk to the door instead of using the phone.

Stefan looked up sharply and fumbled around as he stood up, he dithered a bit and rushed out from behind his desk, grabbing his tablet in case he needed to take notes.

“You won’t need that.” Taehyung said, pointing at the tablet in his hands as he gestured for the boy to sit down.

“You won’t need me to take notes, Sir?” Stefan looked at his boss with his big blue eyes and blonde hair curling around his face. Taehyung always thought he looked angelic and much younger than he was.

“No, not right this minute. I need to brief you on a personal situation and would prefer this conversation to be confidential.” Taehyung walked over to his coffee machine, he didn’t like coffee, it was far too bitter but he could swallow an espresso if the need arose and right now, he couldn't really have a glass of brandy so coffee would have to do.

Stefan was confused, the words his boss had uttered made sense but it was definitely not a familiar situation he found himself in. “Everything that happens here is confidential, Mr Kim, Sir.”

“One or the other, Stefan, please just settle on Sir or Mr Kim.”

“Sorry.”

“An apology isn’t necessary.”

“Okay, Mr Kim.” Stefan shuffles a little in his seat.

“This personal situation is causing me a bit of bother and it is something I’m not accustomed to so I need to run it past someone. Are you comfortable with that?”

“Oh...err… yes, Sir… sorry… Mr Kim.” this was indeed, unfamiliar territory.

Taehyung sighed, he may have to give up on how Stefan addresses him altogether because he spends more time correcting him than anything else.

“The thing is that I met this man on the subway and the situation is a little dire. It has no future and it can’t go anywhere but I’m finding it increasingly problematic to distance myself.” Taehyung sat down behind his desk.

Stefan was blinking more than usual “When you say that you met someone? Do you mean romantically?”

Taehyung suspected that he wasn’t being very clear but this wasn’t something he did often. “No, well, I don’t think so.”

“I’m sorry, Sir but I’m not quite sure what it is that you are asking me. How did you meet this man?”

Taehyung cringed internally as he knew he would have to admit it and he hadn’t said it out loud yet “He was singing on the platform.”

Stefan didn’t look shocked or surprised, he looked like he was deep in thought and concentrating on the information that he was being provided with. It was his unfazed expression that told Taehyung that he’d made the right choice to speak to him about it. His friends would definitely have formed an opinion the second the words left his mouth and there wasn't an ounce of uncertainty about that and he knew they would be correct in every piece of advice that followed. If this was Hobi or Namjoon telling him this story, he would be giving them the same advice that he knows they would give him, he'd been there before and knows he should be taking the advice he'd given them in the past.

"Okay, so you started talking to him when you saw him singing? He's a busker, right?" Stefan felt comfortable talking to his boss but wasn't quite sure how free he could be when it came to asking questions so tried to phrase them appropriately.

"Yes, I started talking to him then and yes he busks."

"Have you spoken to him just the once?"

"Stefan, if I'd only spoken to him once, I wouldn't be discussing this with you."

"Yes, Mr Kim Sir, but you have to understand that I am trying to grasp the issue."

"There is definitely an issue, I can assure you of that."

"So… you have spoken to this man several times?" this was like a puzzle that he was trying to make sense of.

"Yes. We have been for a smoothie and we've had lunch. I've also eaten at the place he works at and he spent his break talking to me."

"Wow, okay…" Stefan sat back to let the new information sink in.

"What do you mean by 'wow'? Why 'wow'?" Taehyung asked.

"Because there must be mutual attraction there in order to have spent so much time together. Would you mind if I continued asking questions and speaking my thoughts out loud, Sir?"

Taehyung leaned back in his leather chair and pivoted from side to side "By all means." He was more than happy to answer questions and allow Stefan to dictate this conversation because it meant he wouldn't be offering any information up that wasn't needed… like the worn boots that really bothered him or the fact that the only reason they'd had the smoothie and the hotdog was because of the money and the terms he'd been presented with.

"Have you kissed him?" he did wonder if this question was a little too personal but he came to the conclusion that he had to get the full picture if he is to offer his opinion.

Taehyung recoiled "what? No, absolutely not."

Stefan smiled "But you do like him? As a person? You must like him to spend time with him."

"I suppose I like him, yes."

"And he must like you so let us presume that he does. Why do you say there is no future in it?" he was running over everything the CEO had said.

Taehyung found this whole conversation incredibly uncomfortable. "Because we are two very different people and even if I was interested in him romantically, which I'm not, it has no legs so to speak."

"Excuse me for being so bold and speaking so freely, Sir but if you are not interested in him romantically, I doubt we would be having this conversation at all."

"Hypothetically, let's say I am, only hypothetically."

Stefan forced away the smile that threatened his face. "Okay, hypothetically, you are both interested in a romantic relationship but you feel you are too different, right?"

"Hypothetically, yes."

"Surely that is all a part of the enjoyment of getting to know someone? You would be introducing each other into worlds that you've not experienced and will be treated to new things. That has to be more interesting than meeting someone who dines at the same places, watches the same shows, visits the same venues?"

Taehyung admired Stefan’s outlook, it sounded so simplistic.

"I suppose you could look at it like that but what if we are too different, our worlds are too extreme?"

"Mr Kim, Sir, I am sure there is common ground somewhere. The world you live in is what you make it and if you both really want to be together, you will find beauty in each other."

“That sounds like you read too much fiction, Stefan or perhaps you watch too many dramas?”

“May I suggest that you do not watch or read enough, sir?”

“You are free to suggest what you will during this conversation. It doesn’t change the notion that the cavern between our lives is vast in this hypothetical situation.”

“My honest opinion is that there is a foundation there, there must be for you to have come this far. You just have to live in the moment, if you enjoy his company then that’s a start. If you both want to spend time together, you will find a way. Things are black and white, Mr Kim, you either like him enough to pursue this or you don’t and if you don’t then your choice is simple. The only grey areas are the ones you are putting there yourself.”

Taehyung was concentrating on everything his young, angelic PA was saying and perhaps the grey areas were put there by his own thought process. He wasn’t convinced by everything he was saying but at the very least it was food for thought and Taehyung liked to learn from his mistakes. It was obvious that he continued making mistakes with Jungkook but he couldn’t understand what he was doing wrong, each mistake different, which didn’t help. He wasn’t usually bothered if someone liked him or not but he did want Jungkook to like him, he knew that much, he didn’t know why but he knew he did.

“It doesn’t feel so simple.” he muttered.

Stefan stood to leave “Sir, the situation doesn’t feel simple because there are feelings involved, they might only be fledgling feelings but they are there and they will muddy the waters.”

“Thank you for your time, Stefan. I realise this is a little out of the ordinary and not part of your job description.”

“It really isn’t any trouble, Mr Kim, I hope you can work things out. He must be a nice guy to be causing you this much trouble.”

As Stefan left Taehyung’s office, his words floated through the air and danced around his head. Was it trouble? Did he have feelings? The latter felt like a stretch if he was honest, he hadn’t really decided whether he liked Jungkook all that much, he had to assume that he must like him though… but feelings?

****

Ash was laughing, the type of laugh that echoed around the bus he was currently on.

"If we weren't in public I would beat you." the words forced out through gritted teeth.

"Well at least you won't have to worry about KTH anymore eh?" Ash said, shoving Jungkook with his shoulder.

"Why?" There was a lot of confusion on Jungkook’s face.

"I quote: the man is a fucking arsehole and I hate him." Ash raised his eyebrows.

"Yes, well, that is true."

"So you won't be seeing him again then? Because I wouldn't be spending time with someone I hate, who is a fucking arsehole, oh and an arrogant prick." Ash looked smug.

"I don’t know if I'm seeing him again, he hasn't text me."

"Oh, so you will see him again if he wants to see you? Does that make him less of an arsehole?"

"Ash, fuck off."

Ash laughed again "The sooner you stop being a prick, yourself, the sooner you can just admit you like him and then we can discuss what you think he's like between the sheets."

Jungkook shoved his friend again "And why would I want to discuss that with you?"

Ash winked and giggled "You didn't deny you like him and you have definitely thought about being fucked by him."

"I've told you before, I do the fucking, not the other way around."

"So you wouldn't bottom for KTH?"

"No, I wouldn't."

"Well that's confirmed that you've thought about it."

"So what if I have?"

Ash was laughing again "I love these conversations, we always find out how right I am eventually. It wouldn’t be as much fun though if you admitted it all straight away."

"You are the most annoying person I have ever known and will probably ever know."

"That is why I deserve that annex in your mansion once you and KTH are married with a dog."

"It was a cat last time?"

"Now you have a dog too."

"What next? A horse?"

"You will definitely have stables! You do like him then? Because this is one hell of a conversation if you don't."

"I'm humouring you with this hypothetical situation."

"Oh, is that what you're doing? Silly me."

"I thought you might shut up sooner if I play along."

Ash laughed out loud "I might be annoying but you are in denial so much that I'm convinced you were a Pharaoh in your past life."

"What has Egypt got to do with this?"

"That’s where De Nile is"

"Oh my god, please stop."

Ash was far too busy laughing, tears welling in his eyes, he didn’t notice the bus had stopped until Jungkook was dragging him off.

Jungkook apologised to the bus driver for taking so long to exit the vehicle and hoped his friend would pull himself together soon. "You are ridiculous. How do you crack yourself up like that? You don't make anyone else laugh."

"I do. But that was comedy gold. I'm funny."

Jungkook was about to respond when his phone vibrated in his pocket.

KTH
Are you working at the diner today?

JK
Yes, on my way there now, why?

KTH
I would like to join you for your break and an iced latte.

JK
A hot vanilla latte and I will consider it.

KTH
If you will let me buy it as an apology for the park then I will see you later.

Jungkook stared at the message, stopping a few steps short of the diner “oh my god” he said to himself but Ash heard.

“What? Is that the hated one?”

“He wants to apologise.”

“For what?”

“He said ‘for the park’ so I’m presuming he means when he annoyed me.”

Ash grabbed Jungkook by the arm and moved him out of the way as people walked around them “Is he less hated now?”

“If I admit that I like him will you stop throwing my words back at me?”

“No because it’s funny and your contradictions amuse me.”

Jungkook rolled his eyes “I should let him apologise though or that makes me a prick.”

“You are a prick.”

“Thanks. It takes one to know one.”

“Does his apology involve shoving his dick up your ass?”

Jungkook decided that it was better to ignore his friend “he wants to join me on my break today.”

“Definitely say yes, absolutely yes. I get to see how much you hate each other in person.”

“You are staying away from us while he is here, got it?”

“Understood…. maybe .” Ash said with a wink and a wicked grin.

“Ash! I mean it! Please?”

“Why are you so bothered huh? I will stay out of the way so I can be officially introduced when he walks out of your bedroom in his Gucci panties.”

“I’m not bothered and I’m ignoring that last part.”

“You carry on, Tutankhamun.”

They walked into Dino’s and Jungkook replied to the text as he was getting himself ready, Ash giving him a wink and a shove while laughing.

JK
Your terms for the apology are accepted. My break should be at 8pm.

Taehyung read the reply and a small smile formed, he liked the banter between them, that was one thing he knew for sure, he found the busker to be quite witty when he wasn’t being rude. He looked at the time and decided he would stay at the office and work until it was time to leave. The screen in front of him had Google glaring at him, he needed to decide on where their next meeting would be after today and he had no idea where to take him. The first thought was to take the busker to his favourite restaurant but he quickly dismissed that idea because faded combats and worn boots wouldn't get him into the street it was in, let alone past security on the door. It would look like he was treating a homeless person to dinner and he quickly moved on with his thoughts.

They were too different.

***

Jungkook was sure that time had slowed dramatically, he kept checking the large clock on the wall, which he loathed himself for doing, especially when Ash caught him doing it.

"You really must be dreading seeing KTH, checking the clock for the moment of doom eh?"

Jungkook wanted to wipe the very smug grin off of his friend's face but he would only respond with something annoying like "Thou does protest too much" Which is exactly what he said 30 minutes later when Jungkook was trying to sneak a glance at the time.

Taehyung was like a rash. The type that irritates you constantly but when it isn't there anymore, the feeling lingers and you sort of miss it being there because you'd got used to it. Perhaps a rash wasn't the best analogy but he couldn't think of anything else to try and explain why he couldn't get the man out of his mind. The plan to get Taehyung to not want to stalk him anymore wasn't really going too well and he didn't understand why he bothered. They were so different, everywhere Jungkook had taken him, he'd stood out like a sore thumb and he didn't look impressed with any of it. He had enjoyed watching him with the hotdog though, it amused Jungkook immensely how he acted as if it was the first time he'd eaten one.

"Stop daydreaming, lover boy is here" Ash said nudging Jungkook who was staring into space while preparing drinks for table four.

"Can you finish these? I've got 25 minutes until my break. I'll go and take his order."

"I can't wait to see you two snogging each other's faces off, being all sickly and lovey"

"You'll see that around the same time as you get that annex"

"I'll take that as you inviting me to live with you both, thanks"

"Shut up, Ash."

Ash just grinned as Jungkook walked out into the main restaurant area to meet the man who looked like a model as always. Jungkook wondered how he looked impeccable after being at work all day, his grey suit uncreased, his tie, perfectly straight and his hair fluffier than he'd seen it but still styled to perfection. He considered that he'd gone home to change but the briefcase told him otherwise so he was happy to presume he'd come straight from Purple Aura Towers (as the locals liked to call it).

Urgh! Jungkook was disgusted with himself when a smile naturally appeared when Taehyung looked at him approach, standing near the table as he placed his briefcase onto the seat first, sliding in after it. There really wasn't anything he should be smiling about, even if he was incredibly good looking and staring at him with a piercingly soft gaze.

"You're early." Jungkook said as he reached the table.

"One of us has to be." Taehyung responded.

"I already apologised for being late."

"I know and your apology was accepted, as I hope mine will be, for my misunderstood comments in the park. Good evening, by the way."

"Good evening. What would you like to order?" Jungkook didn't agree that it was a misunderstanding in the park, he genuinely believed that Taehyung thought he'd basically bought his time with him but they always seemed to start off on the wrong foot so he decided to see how his break went before he told him what his thoughts on the 'misunderstanding' were.

Taehyung looked amused but Jungkook wasn't entirely sure what was amusing.

"I will have some calamari, a lemon tea, a hot vanilla latte and you can choose another dish to share with me on your break."

Jungkook couldn't prevent himself from smiling at the emphasis on 'hot' since that's what he'd said in his text.

"I will be back with your order soon. If that is all?"

"It is. See you shortly."

Taehyung released the breath that he hadn’t realised he was holding as Jungkook turned and walked away. For a second there he thought he’d blown it again, the brief second he stopped smiling after he’d mentioned his lateness had Taehyung convinced things would go sour. He kind of got the impression that they rubbed each other up the wrong way but he couldn’t be something he wasn’t and he didn’t know what it was that kept getting him into trouble. There wasn’t anyone else in his life that he pissed off on a regular basis so it wasn’t a situation with which he was familiar, therefore he certainly didn’t know how to stop it happening. He’d thought a lot about everything Stefan said to him, the one thing he’d had to admit is that he did like Jungkook, he must do in order to explain why he persisted in coming back and wanting to see him. That was one tiny part of the puzzle in place but the remaining puzzle pieces had been placed into a big bag with the pieces of many different puzzles and shaken up and he had no idea how on earth he was going to complete it because he kept getting it wrong.

It was just after 8pm when the busker returned with Taehyung’s order, the two dishes and drinks balanced on one tray in his hands. As he placed the tray on the table Taehyung’s phone rang and he excused himself, answering the call as he made it out of the diner.

“Yes?” he said without looking at the screen.

“What a lovely greeting.” the soft tone of Jimin floated through the device. Taehyung always thought that he should have been a singer because he seemed to sing as he spoke.

“I didn’t look before I answered. What’s up?”

“Are you outside?”

“Mochi, what is it? I am positive that you haven’t called me to enquire about my view.”

“Did that deal with Moonchild fall through?”

“No, why?”

“You sound like you’re in a bad mood and the last time we spoke you were waiting for a signature.”

“I’m not in a bad mood, I got the contract on Monday.”

“So, what’s eating you?”

“Nothing. Was there a reason for your call?”

“Obviously. I’m in town tomorrow evening, Jin flies in at 6pm and we’ve booked a table at Blue Side for 8pm.”

“I’ll be there.” Taehyung looked in through the window and could see Jungkook sitting alone at the table drinking his drink. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Sure. See you at 7:50.”

Taehyung put his phone in the inside pocket of his jacket and walked quickly into the diner, he felt bad for leaving Jungkook sitting alone and if he’d seen it was Jimin calling he would have returned the call later.

“I’m sorry about that.” he said, sliding into the seat opposite Jungkook.

“Business?”

“Something like that.”

“I ordered you loaded potato skins, it’s another favourite of mine. Enjoy.” Jungkook started to slide out from the booth.

“You’re going?”

“My break is nearly over.”

“I didn’t even get the chance to apologise.”

“You did, I just drank it.”

Taehyung felt rushed and annoyed, out of all the times that Jimin could have picked to phone him, it had to be during the short time he was meant to be smoothing things over with Jungkook. Now he didn’t have a plan and everything was rapidly flying out of the window “Could we try this again?”

“My break?”

“I was referring to us meeting up.”

“Tomorrow night, I’m free after six, why don’t you come to my place and I’ll cook?”

Jungkook had thought about places they could go after the park disaster. He considered ten pin bowling, cinema and the arcades but they all cost money which he didn't have in abundance right now. The extra money that Taehyung gave him was stored away for his school fees and dire emergencies should one crop up, like when their microwave blew up last Xmas because Ash left aluminium foil on the bowl he put in there. Money was tight and so he needed to come up with the cheapest ideas possible, one of those was to cook for Taehyung. It would probably just be dried ramen and chicken but he could ask the chef in the kitchen at Dino’s if he had any vegetables they were due to throw away as he was usually allowed to take it off their hands. He knew that if Marie knew he was asking the chef that she would probably cook an entire dinner, make out that it was leftovers and give it to him so sometimes he liked speaking to the chef without anyone else knowing. He also thought that perhaps… maybe… there was a possibility… a slim chance that a relaxed atmosphere might help Taehyung to stop being so annoying.

Tae was about to accept, even if his mind flooded with an element of surprise by the offer as well as instant concern about the sort of place he'd have to go to, when he remembered the call from Jimin.

"I can't do tomorrow, that phone call earlier was about tomorrow night."

Jungkook raised his eyebrows "the business call?" there was a tinge of skepticism in his voice.

"Yes, that call, I only had the one. Can we postpone for another evening?"

"I'm free the evening after? If it isn't too short notice for you."

"Had I not had that call, I may have been free tomorrow so the night after isn’t short notice. I will check my schedule but I am positive that I am available. Is 7pm suitable?"

"7 is fine. Should I text you my address?"

"I don't have superpowers, I can't read minds so yes please."

"I'm yet to discover anything super about you to be honest."

"I think I should add 'ruthless' to that list."

Taehyung looked at the man who had taken a step to the side so he was standing at the end of the table. He felt things had taken a nosedive again but he didn't know why… again.

"Well, my break is definitely over and I don't want to get into trouble, enjoy your food and thank you for the latte."

"You're welcome, I appreciate you ingesting my apology."

Jungkook gave Taehyung a small smile and walked towards the back of the diner. Ash stopped smiling as soon as he saw the look on Jungkook’s face, it didn’t look like his break had gone well at all. When Taehyung let the diner, he left a note for Jungkook that made him smile (to himself of course):

THIS COVERS THE FOOD AND BEVERAGES.
THE TIP IS FOR THE CHEF.
KTH

The tip was modest and slightly more than the average customer would leave but it did spark a small reaction in Jungkook… maybe there was a redeemable quality in Kim Taehyung after all.

Chapter Text

Taehyung was sitting at his desk, pushing his phone left and right with his fingers. He’d just been to one of the world’s most boring meetings that seemed to drag on for much longer than the 2 hours 37 minutes that he was in the room. It was one of those investor meetings where he had absolutely zero intention of investing in anything so his mind wandered to the place it went to a lot these days… Jungkook.

Earlier that morning he’d been surprised when Stefan had asked him how he was and while they were having their morning briefing, he’d asked if there was an update on his situation. At first, Taehyung was taken aback by the personal question but Stefan asked in such a way, asking if he could ask once he’d got business out of the way, that Tae thought it was kind of him. Stefan looked puzzled as Taehyung explained what happened in the same undetailed way that he explained everything where Jungkook was concerned.

“If you don’t mind me saying, I’d have been annoyed if you’d asked me to spend my break with you then you’d disappeared for most of it.”

“I wasn’t expecting a personal call, I was planning on shutting down whoever it was. It was never my intention to allow the situation to happen as it did.”

“Did you tell him that?” Stefan asked.

“Not in so many words.” Taehyung thought he’d let Jungkook know that he was sorry by asking if they could meet again… that made it clear, didn't it?

“Mr Kim, Sir, while you were outside on the phone, he was probably getting annoyed because you left him on his own and when you came back he’d wasted his break. You initiated the date to apologise but then you left him alone.”

“Date? No it wasn’t a date. Okay, I can accept your perception of the situation and how he was more than likely annoyed with me. That would explain his attitude.”

Stefan smiled, the most obvious thing about his boss was how he was utterly clueless at times and for someone so astute and intelligent, he was quite dumb when it came to this situation. He wasn't focusing on the man he was spending time with, possibly expecting him to behave the same way as everyone else in his life, which from what Stefan knew already, was not going to happen.

"What kind of attitude?"

"He told me that there isn't anything super about me." Taehyung was slightly irked by the comment if he was honest.

"Did you ask him?" Stefan was shocked.

The CEO looked confused, "Ask him what?"

"For a compliment"

"No! I don't need a compliment from someone like him."

Stefan was now annoyed and was feeling sympathy for the busker.

"Sir, if you don't mind my honesty, I would like to say that it is maybe your attitude that is causing the problem."

Taehyung sensed yet another conversation where the circumstances had turned sour, this was becoming a regular occurrence and one he thought was limited to Jungkook but evidently not.

"What attitude?"

"Mr Kim, you just said 'someone like him', which is really derogatory. I am a normal guy like him so I took offense to it, I am probably more like him than I am like you. Also, it is 'someone like him' that you are trying to get to know because you like him."

"I will take that on board, I apologise for any offence caused, it wasn't intentional. I appreciate you giving me your opinion."

Throughout the investors meeting, Taehyung’s mind was replaying his chat with Stefan and the conversation with Jungkook at the diner. He thought that perhaps people like them were far too sensitive because he was of the opinion that getting worked up over such simple things was a bit silly. He thought about what would happen if he allowed himself to be affected by every triviality in a meeting or other area of dealing with people who weren't very happy with him. He decided he would permanently be in a mood and that's why he had to let such things wash over him but Jungkook and Stefan were not like him, obviously.

He was ready for food and some decent conversation by the time he handed his key fob to the car park attendant at Blueside, sometimes he had the space near the front reserved for him and other times he used their parking service. He knew that Jin, Namjoon and Hobi wouldn't be here yet because they were the worst at time keeping out of their group. He semi scoffed to himself as he was shown to their table and saw that two out of the three were missing.

Jimin jumped up and embraced him, kissing him on both cheeks because that was who Jimin was. Jin and Yoongi stayed seated but gave him a big smile as he took his seat.

"The flight was on time then?" Tae asked Jin who was pulling a face at the wine he'd taken a sip of.

"What is this?" Jin asked Jimin before looking at Tae "Early would you believe?"

"I don't drink wine, I just ordered the bottle that had the prettiest label." Jimin said in his defence.

"Because of your career, I forgive that logic but next time please leave the wine to me." Jin said as he waved over the young man dressed impeccably in his navy blue uniform.

"Usually, if it looks good, it tastes good, I mean just take my boyfriend for example…"

"No! No thank you, Mochi." Tae interrupted, knowing exactly where the shameless conversation was heading.

“Just because you don’t get any.” Jimin said, leaning over and kissing Yoongi on the cheek.

“That is irrelevant, I could be having the best sex of my life and I still don’t want to hear about yours.” Tae said to his friend.

“You do realise that we are on dessert?” Yoongi said when he saw Namjoon and Hobi approach the table.

“You do realise that you say that too often?” Namjoon said, taking his seat beside Yoongi.

“You do realise that I only say it because you are late all too often?”

“We like to save the best until last, stop complaining.” Hobi added, pulling out his chair and picking up a menu.

“I heard that Moonchild signed?” Jin said to Tae while nodding in appreciation at the wine he’d chosen.

“Eventually but yes. A supermodel tantrum obviously did the trick.”

“They need to up their game if they are going to compete with the big boys.” Jimin added.

A quiet ‘tink, tink, tink’ sounded as Jin tapped his glass with his nail “Their recent collection was better but they definitely need Purple Aura. Some heavy advertising for their next season’s collection and that should help.”

“Have you got ideas, Tae?” Namjoon asked.

“I do and they involve you lot. I’ve been looking at their past advertising and it’s been non existent, aside from their name on the boards for the show.”

“What do you need?” Jin asked.

“I want the campaign to have you as the focus, Jin, you are a big name in the modelling world and that alone will get attention. The advertising period will fall around awards season so I’m thinking that it wouldn’t be a bad thing if your names were thrown into the public. Yoon, could you do something with the music, I want edgy?”

“I can do that. I don’t have plans for another comeback until the new year so promotions are slowing down.”

“Joon, I might want your advice on the set, Hobi… can you give me two dancers if I tell you what I’m looking for?”

Joon nodded as Hobi spoke “Sure. We’ve just opened up applications for the next intake so all our students are established. You should have a good range to choose from.”

“Mochi, will you have time to come and lead the stylists on set?”

“Depends on the timing because you know how awards season gets but I’ll make time for you. I saw the worst advert yesterday so it would be good to get involved.”

“One of mine?”

“No, not a Purple Aura ad. If it had been one of yours, you’d have known about it.” Jimin crossed his legs.

They ordered their mains, which came out exactly 30 minutes after their starters had been collected and chatter continued.

“Are you still due to be in Europe on the 14th of next month, Tae?” Jin asked his friend.

“It’s been put back to the month after.”

“I’m in Paris then, send me your schedule and we can meet up at that restaurant”

"I will providing it isn't put back again."

Namjoon sat back in his chair "what's causing all the delays?"

"A company from Japan insists on meeting in Europe but they always have hold ups. I did suggest that we fly to Japan but no one agreed."

"It sounds like a lot of fuss." Namjoon replied.

"It is but the Japanese company is huge and we do all their advertising so it's not too much hassle, really."

"Are you two going to that charity night that your record label is hosting?" Hobi asked Yoongi.

Before Yoongi could speak, Jimin chimed in "Absolutely, yes! It's a LGBTQ+ event. You should see our suits!"

"Have you seen your suit, Yoon?" Jin asked him with a chuckle behind it.

There were a few laughs around the table as Yoongi shook his head. They all knew full well that Jimin would have picked out both suits, matching of course, had them tailored to perfection and the chances are that Yoongi would see his suit for the first time when he puts it on.

"He will look amazing, that is all he needs to know. Don't hate just because my man trusts me." Jimin said confidently.

There was more laughter as Yoongi just smiled, of course he trusted Jimin, there wasn't anyone else who could make him look that good and Jimin knew everything there was to know about fashion and him. Even his record label employs Jimin to manage the styling for their new artists because everyone knows that Mr Park Jimin is the best.

"You guys should come, put some of your money to good use and donate it. I'll put you on the vip list." Yoongi said while leaning back so that the waiter could put his plate in front of him.

"What's the money being used for?" Namjoon asked, biting the head off his asparagus.

"The label has bought up an old building and are renovating it. They are using the top floor for office space and stuff that doesn't interest me but the space downstairs, they want to transform it to use as a centre for kids who need help dealing with their sexuality. They're going to have therapy rooms and stuff."

"I'll be there. There's this cute guy I've been meaning to ask out on a date so maybe that works?" Hobi said.

"You want to introduce someone to Jimin on your first date?" Jin laughed.

Jimin glared at Jin "When do you fly out again?"

"I want to know who this guy is." Namjoon added while taking a sip of his wine.

"A couple of our students went for an audition for a big show due to hit Broadway and the guy in charge of casting was there. We started talking and he's a bit more flamboyant than I'm used to but then I thought about Mochi and if Yoon can put up with him then I don't see that as a problem." Hobi purposely did not look in Jimin’s direction because he could feel his eyes boring into him and could imagine the look on his face.

"What the fuck is this? Let's all victimise Jimin day?"

"Oh come on, you have to admit that you are a Queen." Tae said to his pouty friend.

"Yeah but we don't need to make it the topic of conversation. Besides, no one is as flamboyant as me." Jimin watched as his friends nodded.

"You’re my Queen, Mini." Yoongi said quietly, leaning towards his boyfriend.

"Off topic… the guy is a casting director? What else?" Namjoon said.

"He works for the big up and coming shows and has been hired for a couple of movies so he's used to moving in the same circles. We have been chatting and swapped numbers last week because he asked me to let him know if I come across someone exceptional. The texts haven't just been business shall we say?" Hobi grinned.

"So why haven't you asked him out?" Jin looked confused.

“You can’t sext but not ask him out.” Yoongi pitched in.

"Timing. We're both busy. But this charity thing would be a good excuse to ask him and you lot can tell me how great he is."

"What's his dress sense like? Hair colour? Style?" Jimin asked.

"Smart casual most of the time. I asked him where he bought the Versace belt he was wearing last week. You'd have liked it, Tae. Oh his hair is undercut, has been bright red but was blonde last week so I'm thinking he's changing colours."

“I’m impressed with your detail, Joon is shocking at remembering details.” Jimin said to Hobi.

“I am not, detail is part of my job and I have an eye for it.” Namjoon responded.

“It might very well be a part of your job but when it reverts to outside of that, you are awful. The last guy you were seeing, I specifically asked you for a description and you said ‘tall’ and that was it.” Jimin raised his eyebrows because he knew he was right.

“That is beside the point… and it was a girl I was seeing last.”

“No… it was a guy because he only drank martini’s with a cherry in. The girl was the one before it and she was cute but boring, she carried that Chanel handbag everywhere and it didn’t match half her outfits.” Jimin knew he was right again.

Namjoon squinted his eyes as he tried to remember and then his expression changed as the memories came back “Yes, you’re right. How do you remember all that?”

“I have an eye for details, Joon. It is a part of my job.” Jimin said and sat back smugly in his chair.

“Is there anything else you need to know before you embarrass me in front of him?” Hobi asked.

“Nope. I will wait to pass judgement when I see what he’s wearing. You obviously like him?”

“I do, he has the kind of infectious personality that makes me smile. Even his texts give that air of happiness.” Hobi said, grinning.

“I’m excited to meet him, we can discuss meeting up before the event if you like? There’s an exclusive bar nearby that I’m going to contact about their vip room.” Jimin had contacts everywhere.

“I will ask him and give you a call in the week. I’ve not had a night out in ages, it should be a good evening and for a great cause. Are they doing a raffle or something?”

“Of course. A raffle, an auction and general donations.” Yoongi added.

“Give me a contact number because once the centre is finished, I could offer one of our best students as a teacher for an hour a week? Dance classes would be a great way for them to express themselves. There wouldn’t be a charge for the centre of course and the student I have in mind is someone who struggled with his sexuality when he started with us so the kids would relate to him.”

“That would be great. I reckon they would bite your hand off for that, Hobi.” Yoongi reached for his phone to get the number for Hobi.

“When is it?” Namjoon asked.

“In a fortnight, the 7th, I think.” Yoongi dabbed his mouth with his napkin.

“I’ll see what I can do, if I can come I’ll bring Jo, she’s so familiar with these events that it saves me worrying about who to bring.”

Namjoon thought highly of Jo, she had been his accountant for years and was great to take as a plus one when there wasn’t any other option. She lived in a small house on the other side of town, she had several big clients but remained modest. Jo fit in well with the group, she was easy going and friendly, she’d been around them for long enough to know what they were like and she blended in well. In the early days she’d had a bit of a fixation on Namjoon, they’d shared a few moments and evenings between the sheets but they both agreed there wasn’t any longevity in it so chose to remain friends instead, with business kept separate.

Jimin clapped his hands together “I’ve not seen Jo in ages, you deprive us of her, it will be great to see her.”

“I haven’t deprived you of anything, that’s Yoon’s job.” as the words left Namjoon’s mouth, the sound of Yoongi choking on the wine he’d just swallowed could be heard and everyone laughed.

Jimin looked at his boyfriend with a serious, unimpressed expression written all over his face “Did you tell him?”

Yoongi reached his hand up while still coughing and trying to breathe properly, stroking the side of Jimin’s face but missing when Jimin moved away.

“He was meant to have kept it to himself!” Yoongi spluttered, turning sharply to his left to glare at Namjoon.

Jimin folded his arms across his chest and moved his chair closer to the table, twisting himself so he was side on to Yoongi.

“We will talk about this later.” Jimin added.

Tae looked at Yoongi, one side of his mouth moving downwards and ‘yikes’ is exactly what his expression read. There was a momentary silence as everyone looked at eachother feeling the tension that they knew would pass and they were perhaps a little pleased that Jimin had chosen to wait until he got home to yell at Yoongi. Everyone knew what would happen, they would be silent in the car on the way home because Jimin would refuse to speak to him but then once home he would strop and protest, act defiant and with the best amateur dramatics put his point across. Yoongi would listen and wait for him to finish, he would pull him into his arms and tell him he was sorry but that he was the most gorgeous creature on earth and express his undying love for him and then they would have copius amounts of sex… that’s usually how they worked, with both admitting that the best part of arguing was the making up, Yoongi going so far as to stoke the fire on a few occasions just to cause a row so they could make up.

“What about you, Tae?” Yoongi asked.

“I’ll check my schedule but I need to find a new escort agency, that last guy they sent was not what I requested.”

Jin laughed “He was dreadful! I like an accent but it would have been good to have been able to understand him.”

“Or not.” Hobi added, laughing.

“If he interrupted someone once more I was going to ask him to leave.” Namjoon said with a serious tone.

“I won’t forget your face when he pinched your backside.” Jimin scoffed.

Tae recoiled at the memory “By the time you saw him do it, that was the third time and I’d had enough. He was too much and I’d specifically requested for the person to remain quiet unless spoken to. The only thing is that they refunded me and gave me a credit note for the next one. They’d always been good up until then.”

“Maybe give them one more chance and remind them of how they messed up before? If they know this is their last chance, they might provide the goods. If they don’t then they don;t want your business.” Yoongi spoke between mouthfuls of wine.

“Can you imagine if they gave you someone who was the man of your dreams?” Jimin might well be stuck up his own backside but he loved a fairy tale.

Hobi’s face read ‘confused’. “He couldn’t be the man of his dreams, he would be an escort.”

“Exactly. Can you imagine that getting out into the public domain?” Namjoon agreed.

Jin sneered “The CEO and the sex worker, that is a sure way to destroy a reputation.”

Tae put his hands up in protest “We don’t have to worry about that, I’ve never even kissed one of them. The company might assure me that they are clean and tested but it’s not worth risking with people like that. They are there for show only.”

Everyone nodded in agreement as Yoongi spoke “I make you right, Tae, it isn’t worth the risk both healthwise and with your reputation. It was enough hassle finding a company that would sign the NDA.”

“Another reason I want to give this company the chance to redeem themselves. That whole NDA situation was a debacle and I don’t fancy going through that again.”

“How about you meet someone at the charity event and leave the escorts alone? You wouldn’t need to worry about NDA’s or dodgy companies.” Jin suggested after the non-disclosure agreement seemed to cause so much stress..

“Yes! If you actually met someone, you wouldn’t need to worry about all that. Even though you might need an NDA anyway.” Jimin added.

“I’m happy as I am, thank you. I know where I am when I’m paying for company and there aren’t any strings.”

“Don’t you miss being fucked though? Don’t tell me that your array of sex toys keep you satisfied?” one of Jimin’s flaws was his lack of filter.

“Not everything is about sex, Mochi. I’m happy with the way things are. My life doesn’t need any complications outside of work.”

Happiness was the truth but there was a miniscule feeling niggling away deep within him that was evolving at a stagnant pace. That atom sized feeling was caused by the busker and it told him that his life was already more complicated than he was giving it credit for.

“One day you might meet someone and you can share that apartment of yours.”

“You talk like I’m the only single one here.”

“Oh I haven’t even started on Joon and Mr Supermodel yet.”

“I’m too busy to have a relationship, I pick up a fuck when I need to and that’s all I need for now, thank you, Mochi.” Jin excused himself from the table, walking so gracefully towards the bathrooms he appeared to float.

“And you can leave me out of this too.” Namjoon said.

“Is there anything wrong with wanting my friends to have partners who cherish and adore them?”

Yoongi leaned across towards his boyfriend “Mini, you just want to have more people you can fuss over.”

Jimin turned to look at him, met his line of sight for a second then turned his attention back to the others, Yoongi’s sly smile as he sat back confirmed he knew they would be having the best sex later.

When Jin returned, they tied up the evening and said their goodbyes, leaving Blueside with their usual extortionate tip and all satisfied with everything as they had become accustomed. This was their favourite restaurant and the owner of Blueside made sure they were well catered for every time they visited.

Chapter Text

“What are you doing, Ash?” Jungkook asked his friend who had hold of their vacuum cleaner.

“I’m going to paint a landscape in watercolours.” was the sarcastic response.

A bewildered expression appeared on Jungkook’s face “What?”

“Isn’t it obvious? I’ve got a vacuum in my hand, therefore I am going to vacuum the room.”

“Yes… okay… I obviously needed to rephrase. Why are you doing that? And do not say because it needs cleaning.”

“Me? I’m offended that you think I would be that sarcastic.”

“Are you here to get under my skin because if you are, congratulations.”

“I am trying to help, actually! This place is only ever dirty when I’m here on my own because you are a clean freak and yet you’ve spent the last three hours cleaning it because KTH is coming over.”

Jungkook looked up from the coffee table he was polishing “There is a lot wrong with what you just said and it hasn’t been three hours.”

“You finished uni early, you didn’t go to the library like you always do when you have a couple of frees. You came straight here and have been cleaning ever since.”

“Have you been stalking me?” Jungkook's words are laced with a giggle.

“No, that’s KTH’s job. I was at the diner for my first shift, Billy said you’d been in and when I came home, Mrs Delgado from down the hall told me that you were already in.”

“I saw her earlier, she was sitting outside her apartment in that old chair and I gave her some of the food that Billy gave me.”

Jungkook stopped by Dino’s on his way home and the owner had a box of vegetables and other food that were due to be thrown out (so he said) ready and waiting for him. He was so pleased with the box of edible items, he had already decided on using up a few packets of the dried ramen they had in the cupboard and thanks to Billy, he now had an array of vegetables to go with it, he’d even thrown in some pork belly that wouldn’t be used up because there wasn't enough of it left over(so he said). There were times when the diner felt like more than just a job, Billy and his wife Marie always looked out for their staff, allowing them to use their lounge in the living space above Dino’s if they needed some peace and quiet to study in between shifts. Marie sometimes put leftover dinners in containers and gave them to the boys, telling them she always made too much but they suspected that she enjoyed having them to look after as she’d never been lucky enough to have her own family. She always told them that they were her surrogate sons and they were grateful to have them.

There was so much in the box that when Jungkook saw their elderly neighbour, Mrs Delgado, a small Spanish lady who sat in a rotten old armchair outside her apartment, he offered her what he knew he wouldn’t use and she had smiled so much. Jungkook and Ash liked Mrs Delgado, she was lonely and liked to sit and watch the world go by, she was often nosy and difficult to get away from but they liked her all the same.

“I hope you’ve douched your ass as well as you’ve cleaned this room.”

Jungkook looked up with a displeased expression but as he went to open his mouth to respond, Ash switched on the vacuum cleaner so anything he did say was drowned out by the noise and Ash laughed, poking his tongue out at his friend, well aware of what he'd done.

The busker had been so annoyed after his break when Taehyung had left him alone for most of it, all because of a supposed business call. he was slightly perturbed as to why he was bothered by that whole situation because he thought with hindsight that it had been the best outcome, he didn’t want to spend time with Taehyung anyway… did he?

He was learning that Taehyung was infiltrating his mind in ways he hadn’t thought was possible, with everything leading him to think about him. Last night he was in a mood, there was no question about that because Ash spent about two minutes with him then said he was going to see his friend, ‘Smiler’ because he had misplaced the chainsaw he needed to cut through the atmosphere. Jungkook had pulled the blanket over his head and resumed the game he was playing, he’d been killed by someone hiding behind a tree and was seeking revenge as Ash left the apartment. He took his frustration out on the man and his team mates, winning the game and that is when he realised that he was in a mood… it didn’t make him feel any better.

If Jungkook was honest with himself (which he wasn’t) and if he’d believed Ash (which he didn’t) he would have had to accept that the irritation he was feeling was because Taehyung was out in an alleged business meeting, after he’d left him alone at the diner and rejected his initial offer of dinner. Instead he chose to ignore that was the problem and threw several cushions at Ash because he dared to suggest that Jungkook was more affected by Taehyung than he was admitting. It was also last night that Kim Taehyung invaded his dreams for the first time and in that dream they’d had a huge argument at the top of the empire state building. Jungkook didn’t remember a great deal about it, only that he felt better having had the opportunity to tell Taehyung that he was annoyed that he’d left him alone on the break that was his idea.

His classes today were linked to Taehyung in every way that was humanly possible, one of his professors was dressed in purple, when he was sure she always wore yellow, in his music class they were told to listen to ‘Aura’ by Lady Gaga and the big announcement in his dance class was that they would be performing ‘Chicago’ at the end of the year. He felt like he was losing his mind and wondered why he couldn’t go back to a time when thoughts of Kim Taehyung were non-existent. They’d hardly spent any time together really but he had wormed his way in somehow. While between classes he’d remembered to text Taehyung his address and internally panicked when he confirmed that he would see him at 7pm. That was the briefest conversation they’d had and certainly the first that had been straight forward.

“Is there anything else you want me to do?” Ash asked as he put the vacuum away.

“Leave?”

“Oh ha ha! I will be gone before KTH arrives, I have a shift at Dino’s then I’m meeting Smiler and going back to his place because he is stuck on level thirteen of that game he bought.”

“So why are you going there? You can’t play that game for anything.”

“Hey! I passed level thirteen so you can shut up. Just concentrate on giving your butt a good scrub so you’re all prepared.”

“Fuck off, Ash! It’s not my butt that needs cleaning.”

“Oh my God! I knew you wanted to fuck him. I bet his ass is always clean and hairless and I bet he has his anus bleached.” Ash tripped over as he laughed his way to the kitchen.

"Why would you even be thinking about his ass? And why do you think anyone would bleach their anus?"

"I saw it on TV once. These rich dudes either went hairless or had the hairs bleached so they weren't dark."

Jungkook his head "You watch some weird shit."

"When you're rimming him you'll see and you'll think of me."

"Just when I think you couldn't possibly say anything else weird, you prove me wrong."

"Now I know that it isn't the thought of rimming KTH that is the bit you find weird. You have probably dreamed about it."

"I haven't actually."

"You will. We can add this to the list of everything that I say will happen."

"Why does everyone have a list?"

Ash shrugged into his jacket "because you have that effect on us. Please tell me that you know that this evening is a date, right?"

Jungkook frowned "It isn't"

"You invited a guy to your place for dinner… that is a date! How can you not see that?"

“This isn’t a date.”

“What is it then?”

It’s to make up for the fact he bailed on my break time.”

Ash stood by their front door with his hands on his hips, his dark hair curlier than usual framing his face and his big eyes wide “If I told you that a girl asked me round to her place for dinner, you would say it was a date. Actually if I told you we were meeting for lunch in the park, you would say it was a date… oh and if I also told you that she had met me for my break, twice… you would say there was something between us… I repeat… This. Is. A. Date.”

“It isn’t. If I think about the dates I’ve had in the past, they weren’t like this.”

“Which part of cooking dinner for someone in your home after inviting them here, isn’t like a date you’ve had before? You had that annoying guy here for dinner and that was definitely a date because I caught you two at it on the sofa.”

“Yeah but that was different.”

“How? How was that situation different? You met him, you went out a few times and then you invited him here a few times and cooked for him. Those were dates, you were dating. I don’t get why it’s different?”

“Because this is different.”

“Why? Why is it?”

“Because we both knew that we were seeing each other I suppose. We met at that dance thing at uni and knew. It was a normal, boy meets boy thing.”

“But you met KTH and you’ve been seeing him and texting him and now you’ve invited him around for dinner… that’s the same thing.”

“It isn’t. I don’t know what Tae wants but he can’t want anything serious with me so this almost feels like a game until a time when it just stops.”

Ash walked forwards and perched on the arm of the chair “Why wouldn’t he want anything serious with you? You are great.”

Jungkook smiled “You would say that. We are so different, Ash. We met because his idea of excess cash is more than I see in a month. I feel like the test subject in an experiment, there’s no logical explanation for why he’s so interested in me. It feels like someone has dared him to approach me and I don’t believe he is genuine.”

“So why bother at all?”

“Honestly? I don’t know. There’s the very obvious attraction because he’s gorgeous but he gets under my skin and is so irritating. Then we backtrack and conversation is good until one of us says something to annoy the other. I like the banter but I’m wary, people like him don’t want anything genuine with people like us. Maybe he’s bored? Maybe it's a bet among his friends? Maybe he's just like him.”

“I think he must like you, he must? Even for a dare or to cure boredom, it’s a bit like too much effort. He could have let you walk away when you gave him the money back in the subway but he turned up at the diner. He didn’t have to do that.”

“No, but he also has pride and there wasn’t any way he was putting up with me handing him back the money and walking away.”

"To play devil's advocate, his pride would surely have prevented him from turning up at the diner?"

Jungkook shrugged his shoulders "It depends what bothered him more, I guess."

"What now? You just wait until he ghosts you?"

"I don't know."

"Kookie Monster, I've known you a long time and yet I've never heard those three words leave your mouth as much as they have since you met KTH."

“Because it’s confusing. The situation is sort of just happening and when I think I won’t see him again, something happens and we end up meeting.”

“Let’s pretend that he isn’t who he is, just for a second. He is just a regular guy like us, you obviously like him enough to invite him to our home, do you want it to go further?”

Ash was rarely serious but heart to hearts like this required sensitivity and he cared about his best friend a lot. He’d seen the way Jungkook’s face changed when Taehyung was mentioned and he’d spied on him during the break that went wrong. He’d known Jungkook long enough to know when he was battling with himself and he could see it clear as day… he could see that his friend liked Taehyung a lot more than he was allowing himself to admit. Ash also knew that it was a defensive act, as much as Taehyung could be a positive in his life, he could bring negativity too, he made Jungkook feel inadequate amongst other things and this provoked the attitude. The battle was obvious, after only a short amount of time, Kim Taehyung had infected Jungkook but Ash wanted his friend to let his guard down just a little or he would be the reason that this whole situation ended and with that would come regret.

“I don’t know.”

“You do. Ignore that tightness in your gut because you don’t want to admit it. I don’t believe that any of this would be happening if you didn’t want it to.”

Jungkook took a deep breath, Ash was right and he knew it “To a certain extent, it all happened because I wanted it to. I wouldn’t have agreed to meet him if I didn’t want to, I don’t care who he is or how much money he’s got. I’m just not sure if I like him, he’s fucking annoying.”

Ash laughed “He can’t be more annoying than I am.”

“True.”

“Yeah you weren’t meant to agree but thanks. Look, you have to be open to the possibility that KTH likes you. It doesn’t matter who he is because for whatever reason he’s stalked you and men like him wouldn’t waste their time, I don’t think.”

“Let’s see what happens tonight huh? This will be the first time we are properly alone and there’s no time limit, so I may hate him by the end of the evening or he'll see where I live and never speak to me again.”

“That means you don’t hate him now… winning. Did you invite him here as a test?”

“Maybe not consciously at the time. Are you going now?”

“Keep your pants on! Yes I’m going. I’ll be at Smilers if you need me, he’s getting beers in so I may crash on the sofa. Be good, don’t eat too quickly, you don’t want indigestion, don’t let him touch you where you don’t want him to and there are condoms in the trinket box on the coffee table.”

“Oh my god! Ash! Go!” Jungkook couldn’t help but laugh at his friend.

“I’m going. See you tomorrow probably.”

“Yeah… Ash?”

“Yeah?”

“Thanks for the chat.”

“You’re welcome. Now, try not to scare him off with that bratty attitude.”

Jungkook smiled fondly as Ash closed the door, he checked the time and his stomach somersaulted… Taehyung would arrive in less than 30 minutes.

**

“Mr Kim… Sir… could I trouble you for a few seconds before I finish?”

Stefan hadn’t seen his boss all day due to a variety of meetings and calls, the day had run away with him and he’d been meaning on catching up with him.

“What is it?”

Taehyung’s day had been a good one, one meeting in particular went very well when one of the men let it slip that they were interested in a company that was going into administration. Tae didn’t waste any time and put the wheels in motion to buy up that company from under everyone’s noses and he knew he could outbid them so the company would belong to Purple Aura by the end of the week.

“I wanted to ask if you were still going to the man’s home tonight?”

“Yes, I am. Why?”

“So I know whether to ask for an update tomorrow, that is all. Since I’ve known you, this is the first official date I’ve known you to go on, so it’s exciting.” When Stefan smiled, the tops of his cheeks bulged and his eyes shone, he was so cute.

“Date? This isn’t a date and how would you know that I haven’t been on a date? This is the first time we have spoken personally.”

Stefan frowned “I’m confused as to how you aren’t seeing this as a date, Sir?”

“He invited me to his place because his break was a bit of a disaster."

"You genuinely believe that he has invited you to his home for dinner because when you met him at the diner, it didn't go to plan?"

"Yes."

"Sir… Mr Kim, the only reason you invite someone to your home for dinner in these circumstances, is if you like them in a certain way. There is a possibility that he would like a platonic friendship but my guess would be that isn't the case."

"I appreciate your input, Stefan but this meeting is to replace the break disaster. It isn't a date."

"Okay, Sir but it would appear that all of your non dates were because the last non date didn't go so well. Should I presume that there will only be another meeting if tonight is a train wreck?" Stefan raised his eyebrows in a questioning manner, he could see the thought process on his boss's face as he mulled over his words.

"That is a question that I do not have the answer to."

Stefan grinned "I was hoping that you would have a nice evening but now I'm not too sure whether to hope it goes well or not. Good evening Mr Kim, I will see you in the morning."

"Have a good evening yourself." Tae answered as the door to his office clicked as it closed.

**

As Taehyung parked his red ferrari in a space marked 69 (which he found amusing) he looked around to see if anyone was about, convinced that he would return later to find his car gone or wrecked. The look on his face was priceless as he'd driven into Jungkook’s Street where the tattered blocks of apartments were, making sure his dash cam was on, just in case. Jungkook told him to park in the space reserved for his apartment because neither him or Ash owned a car so it was always free.

Taehyung’s biggest dilemma of the day has been deciding what to wear, he'd stood in front of each closet, walked inside and back out again. He was even tempted to phone Jimin at one stage but that thought was extremely fleeting and so went back to wondering what was classed as a step down from casual? Tae's version of casual would still make him overdressed and he didn't know where to start. He'd googled 'casual' and screwed his face up at the images shown but decided that he would opt for comfortable because that seemed to be the way forwards. After many outfit changes, the will to live was hanging on by a thread and he questioned what the point of all this was? Was the busker worth all this hassle? Why was he bothering? Stefan’s words raced around his head about this being a date and it just didn't ring true in his mind because the thought of dating someone like Jungkook was completely alien. It did lead him to consider why he was going to be spending the evening with him and he had to admit to himself that Jungkook provoked certain feelings in him and from the day he'd heard his voice in the station, he hadn't been able to get him out of his mind. He didn't have any answers to most of his questions but decided that he never would have the answers if he didn't spend time with him and the one thing he knew for sure was that he did want to spend some time with Jungkook.

The Ferrari beeped to let Taehyung know it was locked, he checked the camera's little light was on and double checked the app on his phone that relayed the images. He still felt out of place, the long loose flowing trousers rippled slightly in the breeze as he walked, the button down shirt tucked into the waistband allowed for some movement and with the top three buttons unfastened he thought he looked casual. The slip on dress shoes were his most comfortable and he hadn't brought a jacket because it was still warm out so he didn't see the point. His hair was straightened and sitting perfectly, the tips touching the tops of his ears as he favoured a centre parting. The white shirt and beige trousers made him look like a tourist walking along a beach in a foreign destination, he looked cool and free, which was the opposite to how he felt.

As he approached the doors of the old building, he ignored the rusting garden furniture that was upside down in the grassy area to his right. There was a big piece of paper taped over the intercom that said 'out of fucking order again' so he tried to pull the door and it gave way easily allowing him access. He was surprised that the corridor appeared so clean but chose not to use the elevator when it opened and a rancid smell wafted out that reminded him of the subway. Instead he opted for the stairs and once on the third floor of five, he was swallowing hard and breathing deeply, trying to relax his face that he was sure was contorted into an expression of disgust as he pressed the button beside the door of number 69.

Jungkook was nervous as the gentle sound rang through the apartment signalling that there was a guest at the door. There was a part of him that hoped this evening went well, whatever that meant. He was yet to enjoy the company of Kim Taehyung because every time it had gone sour, one way or the other. There was a part of him that preempted the disdain Taehyung would have for his home, his whole apartment was probably the size of Taehyung’s office but it was his home and he was happy here. Everything was shabby and second hand, the furniture was basic and well used. There was a floral armchair, a two seater sofa and a giant bean bag, all huddled around a small circular coffee table. The television was the newest item in the whole apartment, a gift from Billy and Marie when they treated themselves to a new one and wanted the old one to have a good home. They knew the boys liked playing games and they knew the TV they had was small so they couldn't think of a better place for it. The 40 inch screen looked out of place at first but then they moved everything around and attached it to a wall, it still stood out like a sore thumb but they didn't mind. The lounge was the hub of the apartment, there was a small table against one of the walls with two stools underneath, they rarely used it, preferring to eat on their laps. The kitchen was attached to the lounge with an open doorway so if you were sitting on the sofa you could see through to the kitchen which was big enough for three people max. Jungkook tried to remember Ash's words about letting his guard down just a little but he knew they were high because of how he suspected Tae would view his home and that already made him feel defensive. Ash had told him that he was being judgemental by having such views which was the thing that he was expecting of Taehyung so he said they were as bad as each other really. Jungkook was trying… he was trying to believe that Taehyung wasn't here because it was a dare or because he'd drawn the short straw in a game but it was difficult.

He set the table earlier because he doubted that Taehyung would want to eat on his lap and it was a good excuse to sit there. He'd enjoyed cooking this afternoon, it wasn't something he got to do very often. His hand was poised over the handle of his door, he took a deep breath and rolled his eyes at himself when he acknowledged that he might be a little bit excited and was just a tiny bit hopeful about the evening. That deep breath was a great idea with hindsight when he opened the door and saw Taehyung standing there looking the way he did.

"You’re late"

Urgh! So much for setting a negative tone, Jungkook kicked himself.

Taehyung smirked "I would have been punctual had I not taken the stairs. Please accept my apology for the lateness."

The one thing that he'd taken from all his chats with Stefan was that he needed to attempt to not fuel the fire so he promised himself that he would be more courteous and not provoke a negative reaction. He would never be able to answer the questions he had or apply logic to this situation if all he did was bicker with Jungkook so he was going to try.

Jungkook was quite surprised by the response "Apology accepted. Please come in." He said, standing to one side so the deliciously smelling Taehyung could walk past him.

Taehyung paused a few steps away from Jungkook in the hallway, waiting to be shown where to go even though the options were limited to four doors, only one of which was open at the end of the small hall. The door to his right had a sign that read 'WC = Wee Central' so he presumed that was the bathroom, the other two doors he suspected were bedrooms. He waited for Jungkook who walked ahead of him after locking the door and they entered the lounge, Tae trying not to let his face say what his mouth couldn't, without causing offence.

"Dinner smells good." Tae said… he was trying.

"Thanks. It isn't much or what I'm sure you're used to but it's edible, hopefully."

"Edible is always a positive start." Tae quickly diverted his eyes from the sofa, thoughts of how he shouldn't have worn such light clothing entering his head.

"Would you like a tea?"

"Yes please, that would be nice."

Tae followed Jungkook to the kitchen doorway and stood at the threshold so he didn't get in the way. He wondered if the busker had any other clothes than the black combats he always wore or whether he simply had ten pairs all hanging in a wardrobe. He liked that Jungkook was bare footed, he always thought it showed someone was carefree and comfortable but he also wondered if it was because the only shoes he owned were those awful worn boots he persisted on wearing at other times. Tae added another 'difference' to his list, he preferred light or bright clothes and it appeared that the busker only wore dark, mostly black.

"If you would like to take a seat at the table, I can bring dinner through." Jungkook said, faltering slightly as he spoke because of the gorgeous man standing in the doorway. The one admission he'd had to make to himself was the one where he conceded that he fancied Kim Taehyung, it had been brewing, bubbling away and the second he opened the door to him, he just had to give in.

There was a very brief moment before Tae answered that they looked directly at each other. Tae smiled at Jungkook and the smile that was returned made that tiny feeling in his core, bloom just slightly. In the brightness of the kitchen light he could see a small scar on the busker’s cheek and a few small moles that he thought were cute. He was a bit blindsided by the mixture of feelings as the definition of his jawline and the fullness of his lips were anything but cute.

"I don't expect you to wait on me here, let me help."

"You shouldn't expect me to wait on you anywhere"

Damn it! The tone was rude and the words were out before he could stop them. He was frustrated because seconds before, he had looked into Tae’s eyes and seen a normal guy… an extremely attractive guy… but in that moment all the money and their differences didn't matter. Before Tae could answer he chipped in "Sorry."

Tae eyed him curiously and kept the smile on his face "What for?"

"For being rude."

"Oh you were? I hadn't noticed." Tae said with a wink as he turned and walked to sit at the table.

Jungkook couldn’t read him, he didn’t know what to make of that response. He suspected it was sarcasm but was left a little uneasy as to why he’d left it there, why there hadn’t been a response that provoked a reaction. He was actually left a little speechless, perhaps pleasantly surprised as he pondered the lack of bite in the CEO this evening.

Taehyung pulled out the stool and sat down, he looked around the room and there were too many thoughts and emotions rushing around his brain to even pin one down. He did feel jubilant when he saw the glimmer of surprise in Jungkook’s expression and he conceded that it was definitely worth the effort at not retaliating just to see that. He was also trying his best to find some positives while looking around the lounge, it was probably the size of the bathroom in his apartment and he knew Namjoon would have a lot to say about the decor.

Jungkook appeared from the kitchen and placed dishes on the table, going back and forth a few times before taking a seat on the stool opposite Taehyung. He did look a bit sheepish, he promised himself in the kitchen that he would try not to be so aggressive in his responses to the CEO and if he did slip up, he would attempt to apologise to smooth things over because his reactions were automatic sometimes, he spoke from his gut which wasn’t always a good thing when he hadn’t thought it through first.

Tae helped himself to a big spoonful of the ramen, he thought the smell was delicious and he was impressed further as he took a mouthful. It was a far cry from the dishes served in the restaurants he frequented and even when he was getting food at home it was less messy with quality ingredients delivered from a company online. This was hearty, cold weather food and no one had ever cooked for him like this before. Usually when he went out for food with someone, albeit a friend, acquaintance, prospective partner, he went to a top restaurant or if invited to their home, they nearly always had a chef or food delivered. This whole situation was a little out of the ordinary for Tae and so he wasn’t always convinced that he knew what was expected of him or how he should act.

“”You are right, this is definitely edible.” he said with a smile, hoping that Jungkook would see that he was enjoying the food.

“I’ll take that as a compliment, thanks.”

“The compliment was going to come once I’ve finished but you’re welcome to take that and it saves me the bother. I wouldn’t want to inflate your ego.”

Jungkook took a breath “How was your business meeting last night?”

“It was interesting. Did you have a productive evening?”

“It depends on what you mean by productive, I finished an essay and played a couple of games. My roommate was out so it was a quiet evening.” he left out the part where he couldn't stop thinking about Taehyung or the fact that Ash was out because it was better than being around him in a mood.

“What games were you playing?” Taehyung wasn’t really a gamer, he didn’t have the time and had grown out of playing games when he was in his early teens. It wasn’t something he did or his friends did because they were busy and maturity meant no games.

“I like tactical games so I spent the evening shooting people. Games like pubg and Overwatch, that sort of thing.”

Taehyung swallowed the last mouthful of food, he didn’t really know those games, he understood ‘tactical’ but wasn’t up to date on which games were current, it just wasn’t his world.

“It sounds interesting, I have to admit that I don’t really play games.”

“Is that because you don’t like games?”

“No, I played when I was much younger and then I grew up and it was something left behind in my childhood. I don’t get a lot of time, even if I wanted to play now.”

Jungkook tried not to take offence. “Would you like to play something?”

“I think I should leave that to you, it has been many years since I have looked at a game.”

“Worried I will beat you?” he said with a smirk.

“Beating me is a given, Jungkook. There isn’t a doubt in my mind there.”

The smile that accompanied the words shouldn't have caused the miniscule flutter in the very depths of Jungkook’s gut… but it did and he couldn't ignore it.

"That sounds awfully defeatist for someone who is the CEO of his own company." he knew it was possibly goading but he also thought gaming was the ideal way to lighten the atmosphere and create a situation that felt less like an interview.

Taehyung didn't accept defeat on a day to day basis and the only time he willingly rolled over and allowed someone to get the better of him was during sex, so he wasn't going to turn down a challenge, even if he already knew the outcome.

"I will assist you with your endeavour to show me how good you are."

"I'm going to take that as a 'yes' to playing with me."

"But I thought you were referring to a computer game? Playing with you is a different matter entirely."

The sultry look on the face of the CEO made Jungkook’s stomach flutter twice as much as the smile earlier, so much so, that he swallowed hard.

"If only you were that lucky… I was talking about a computer game."

This sort of banter felt good, it was always there but transpires into a bitterness from time to time that clearly neither of them like. They'd both been trying not to allow that negative attitude creep in, to marr their time together and so far the evening wasn't a complete disaster.

Jungkook cleared away the dinner from the table, he was used to carrying multiple dishes at Dinos so it was no trouble. Taehyung asked to help but Jungkook said he could handle it, so wasn't expecting the CEO to be standing directly behind him in the small space of the kitchen when he turned to return to the lounge. He wasn't sure if they'd been this close before, his mind racing frantically to recall but nothing was operating as it usually would. He'd put his hands out in front as he quite literally walked into Taehyung and his hands remained still on his torso.

Tae tilted his head very slightly to the right, he didn't move, he could feel the warmth from the palms on his body radiating through him. He looked into the big brown eyes, startled and wide, his body pulsed as he took in the frame of the busker. He was sure this was the closest they'd been to each other, he could smell something floral but didn't know whether it was his shampoo or cologne. He couldn't ignore the feeling he had which led to the internal admission that this young man clearly affected him in a certain way that he couldn't quite put his finger on. He felt like the mouse being lured to a trap by a small lump of cheese, he was just as curious as that rodent and suspected that this situation would probably get him hurt too but he couldn't find it in himself to turn away.

Jungkook swiftly removed his hands like he’d scolded himself, placing his hands by his side “Oh err, sorry… I err… wasn’t expecting you to be here… standing here… in the kitchen… sorry.” he felt as flustered as he sounded.

Tae was amused by the reaction, he wouldn’t tell Jungkook that but he was slightly amused, particularly as he’d noticed the dark pink tinge that flooded his cheeks and settled at the tops of his ears. “I can’t recall a time when someone has apologised for touching me.”

“I suppose it is a bit odd but we don’t really know each other and… well… I was surprised you were here.”

“I’ve been here a while now, you know?”

Jungkook sighed but the glint in his eye showed a playfulness that Taehyung liked.

“I know. Shall we?” he said, gesturing with his hand for Tae to head into the lounge.

“After you.” Tae said, twisting his body just enough for the other to squeeze past, their bodies brushing past each other as he went.

Jungkook settled on the sofa, he squeezed himself up near the arm so Taehyung could sit down. The sofa was big enough for three, albeit a ‘two seater’ but he didn’t want to make Tae feel uncomfortable after the incident in the kitchen. He held a games controller in his hand which he held out for the CEO to take and nearly giggled when he saw how out of place he looked… gorgeous, but out of place.

Taehyung took the controller from Jungkook and twisted his body so his knees were pointing towards the man sitting next to him. He was still feeling a little warm internally after the closeness experienced in the kitchen, he couldn’t help but think about Jungkook’s words and how his hands felt against him.

“This button is jump, this is crouch and crawl, this one shoots your weapon and you can walk and turn and stuff using these.” Jungkook was pointing to each button and trying to explain as best he could, his mind distracted somewhat.

Taehyung nodded as Jungkook asked him if he was ready “The honest answer is probably ‘no’ but we can start when you are ready.” he felt a bit silly, like a child and he didn’t feel very comfortable with that but he hoped to be able to overlook it.

“Stay close to me.” Jungkook said as the game started, ignoring the way that the CEO edged closer to him on the sofa and knowing that he was probably doing it on purpose so didn’t respond.

“Wait, which one are you?”

Jungkook giggled “The one standing right next to you.”

"Which one am I?"

Jungkook turned to face Tae and using his finger, wiggled the joystick of his controller. "You're that one"

"Which one?"

Jungkook really wasn't sure if Tae was being serious or not but humoured him just in case, they had a game to play after all. He placed his own controller onto the coffee table and turned his attention to the one in Tae's hands, he put his hands over the top of the beautifully smooth hands already holding it "That one there." He said, pressing one of the buttons, pushing away the urge to stroke the skin beneath his fingers, ignoring how perfectly his hands enclosed over Taehyung’s.

Tae wasn't watching the screen, he was distracted by the hands that were rough but were a perfect fit over the top of his own. The same warmth that radiated through his torso in the kitchen now encompassed his hands and he couldn't divert his eyes from the long masculine looking fingers that weren't helping the path his thoughts appeared to have taken.

"Taehyung, you need to look at the TV, you are the one jumping." Jungkook wondered what the CEO was thinking as he stared at their hands, was he thinking the same as him, was he wondering if their hands would ever be clasped together in other situations? Or maybe he was shocked that Jungkook had the audacity to touch him and was searching for a way to tell him without ruining the evening?

"Oh… yes… I see me now."

Jungkook released his hands but Tae spoke quickly again "Which one are you?"

"That one, next to you " he giggled.

Tae liked the sound of a giggling busker “I knew that.”

“Of course you did. You need to stick close or you will die.”

“That is a line that no one has ever used on me before.” he smiled, he could see the side profile of the busker so noticed when his cheeks moved as he too, smiled.

“You need to concentrate, Taehyung.”

“How very assertive, Jungkook.”

“I can appreciate that this might not happen very often but if you could just do as you are told, we won’t lose.”

“Are you implying that I can’t follow instructions?”

“Not at all, I am asking you to do as you’re told.”

Fuck! Those last nine words smashed through Taehyung’s body, reverberated around every part of it and settled in his crotch. The only time in his life where he willingly does as he is told, when he is happy to get on his knees and allow someone to take control is in the bedroom and the desire for Jungkook was gathering pace.

“You’d be surprised at how well I follow instructions in the right circumstances.” the tone was as suggestive as it was intended.

Jungkook moved his hands and fingers quickly, a noise accompanying it as he took out the person shooting at Taehyung. He’d heard every word that the CEO had said, it echoed in his brain and set thoughts in motion that he didn’t need right now when he needed to be focused on the game.

“You’re welcome.” he said, turning to look at Tae and winking with a grin on his face.

“My hero.” was the sarcastic reply.

Jungkook laughed, he liked this banter between them, he liked Taehyung and it was becoming harder to ignore when his body reacted before his brain accepted it.

When Taehyung dropped the controller because someone jumped out from behind a tree and startled him, he laughed while Jungkook blew up the person. The sound of his laughter was something else that Jungkook’s body reacted to and he daren’t turn to look at the gorgeous man sat beside him, the sound was enough, the visual would be too much. He knew he shouldn't have looked when he quickly glanced over at Tae who had the tip of his tongue poking out from between his lips, his face etched with concentration… why hadn't Jungkook noticed any of this before?

The game continued and so did the giggles, particularly when Tae made his character crawl or jump unnecessarily. The defining moment came when Taehyung shot someone who was running at Jungkook, about to launch a grenade. The shock on the busker’s face was a picture as he turned to look at the man sitting beside him.

"You’re welcome" Tae said, mimicking Jungkook’s tone from earlier.

"That was a great shot! You do realise you just finished the game?"

"What? No? Was that a bad thing to do? I thought I'd got the right person." Tae looked dejected.

"That was the last person, you won the game for us. It was a really good move."

"Oh… okay. Technically though, you won the game for us because you killed more people than I did, probably while I was prancing about." Taehyung beamed.

Jungkook was endeared and he couldn't help it "We won the game."

Taehyung liked this Jungkook, he was pleased he'd accepted his invitation this evening because he would probably not have seen this side of him. Tonight there weren't any distractions of other people, traffic, life in general and they'd so far managed not to kill each other… just the virtual characters in the game so he saw that as a win.

"I appreciate the tutorial. Should I ever be in a situation where I get to play again, I will know what I'm doing to a certain extent." Tae said, handing Jungkook the controller.

"Would you like to play again? Another time?"

"Yes, that would be nice. Would you like to meet again?"

Jungkook felt his stomach swish like it was full of liquid "I would. This may be slightly sooner than expected but I was wondering if you are free on Saturday? I was given these tickets for the theme park and my roommate is working, so I thought… maybe you'd like to go with me?"

Taehyung hadn’t been to a theme park before, as strange as that sounded. His school trips were never to places of fun, his parents were usually too busy and when they did go out as a family it was to a luxurious resort on an actual holiday. They’d been to see a stage show at the theatre a few times and visited a few historical places but never a theme park or a fair.

“I would like to accompany you to the theme park. Is it ‘Neverland’ or ‘Whimzy World’?” he knew there were two, he’d done advertising for both at one time so knew where they were.

“The tickets are for Neverland. We can get the bus, it’s easier than the train.”

"I will drive, I can pick you up."

Taehyung did not like the idea of the train or the bus. He remembered that getting the bus was on his list of normal things to do but the subway had been enough of an experience and he was currently sitting in an apartment in a road he would never usually have been in, so that was all more than enough 'normality' and 'out of comfort zone' than he could deal with.

"If you don't mind?" Jungkook felt a little uncomfortable about the offer, he was happy to catch the bus, the tickets for the theme park were free so he only had to think about bus fare but now he wasn't sure if he should be offering fuel money or whether he should just accept the offer.

"You have the tickets so I can provide the transport."

"But the tickets were free, they were a gift."

"It doesn't matter whether you paid for them or not, you are still taking me with you so I would like to drive. Need I remind you that technically so far I haven't really done anything. You have cooked and provided the hospitality this evening and given up your breaks at work, so I would therefore like to drive us to the theme park."

Jungkook wanted to remind Taehyung that the smoothies and everything they'd consumed aside from this evening had been paid for with his money and just because the money was given in tips, didn't change the fact that it was HIS money but he didn't, he didn't say anything about it because there was a floaty feeling milling around his body at the fact that he wanted to drive them, that he was choosing to pick him up. He liked that this was Taehyung’s choice and he would accept the offer because they needed to get there one way or another.

"That’s settled then, I will pick you up at 10am." Taehyung said as he walked towards the door.

"I will wait outside. I will see you Saturday."

Jungkook rushed ahead and opened the door, the catch was a bit tricky sometimes.

"Thank you for this evening, I enjoyed it."

Tae smiled and smiled more when it was returned by Jungkook who was holding the door open.

"I enjoyed it too." Jungkook said, as he became aware that his heart was thumping in his chest.

"Goodnight, Jungkook" Tae said as he walked through the door and disappeared down the hall towards the stairs.

"Goodnight, Tae." was the whispered reply as the busker closed the door.

Chapter Text

“Sir… Mr Kim… could I?...”

“Ask away, Stefan.”

By now, Taehyung was used to the questions coming from his PA, he would either wait until the end of the day and catch him before he went home or he would appear in his office before the day started, always choosing to separate his personal questions from the business side, which the CEO very much approved of.

It was early in the morning, Taehyung had been in the office since 6am after an email that required his attention had arrived. His mind was still full of the evening with Jungkook and how different things had been compared to the other times they’d met. He was pleasantly surprised when Jungkook had invited him to the theme park, if he was honest he hadn’t considered when or how they would meet again so this took that problem away from him at least.

Stefan walked to Taehyung’s desk, he wasn’t due to start work officially yet so he felt comfortable using this as ‘personal time’ because then he could go and make the tea and return in time for their morning meeting to discuss the day and week ahead.

His smile was big, his hair looked curlier than usual as golden ringlets hung around his eyes “Mr Kim, Sir, are you seeing him again?”

Taehyung frowned “That is your first question?”

“Well, yes... “ he felt this to be the logical place to start.

“Yes, he invited me to attend a day at Neverland with him on Saturday.”

“Oh… what went wrong?” concern was suddenly etched on his face.

“With what?” Taehyung was confused.

“Technically you have only met up again due to the dates not going well so I’m presuming that last night didn’t go so well and you have rescheduled.”

Taehyung smiled “I believe that last night went well.”

“This is a big step forwards then! How exciting! Are you going with him on Saturday?”

“I am, I offered to drive, he wanted to get the bus but that was not a realistic option.”

“What’s wrong with the bus?”

“It is full of people, Stefan. I am not someone who belongs on public transport.”

Stefan chose to ignore the insinuation “Did you kiss him? What did you do? Did he cook? What is his place like?”

“Why would I kiss him?” more confusion.

“Because that’s what two people who like each other do.”

“I am yet to ascertain whether he likes me at all, Stefan.”

“He definitely likes you. I don’t understand how anyone would think otherwise? He has now invited you out on a proper date after having you in his home for the evening… he definitely likes you, Mr Kim.”

“Saturday isn’t a date. He has free tickets and his roommate is busy, I’m merely standing in due to his options being limited.”

“Is that what he said?” Stefan eyes his boss curiously.

“That it isn’t a date?”

“Yes and that you are only invited because he doesn’t have anyone else to ask.”

Taehyung looked to the right, replaying the conversation from the previous evening “Well, no, he said that his roommate was working and he wondered if I would like to go with him.”

“Sir, that was an excuse. I could be completely wrong but I would suggest that his roommate may well be working but that was never the plan. I think he was testing the water, perhaps he thought you may not agree to go, so said that as a way of starting the conversation. Either way, he wants to see you again and not just see you, he wants to spend the day with you. Do you invite people to spend the day with you if you don’t like them?”

Stefan was feeling a little exasperated by his boss, he couldn’t understand how a man like Taehyung could be so naive. He’d seen him at work, in full swing in a business meeting, he’d seen him fire people and tear strips off someone who hadn’t done their job properly, heard him on the phone when dealing with companies and he could be ruthless when he needed to be. Yet, here he was, completely oblivious to something so very obvious and Stefan was realising how very un-streetsmart his boss actually was.

“There is a lot to process there.” Taehyung had taken Jungkook's invitation at face value and now there was a different point of view to consider.

“I can only guess what the man’s intentions are towards you so let’s focus on you, Mr Kim, Sir. Why did you accept his invitation to Neverland?”

“It would have been incredibly rude to have declined given that he’d just cooked me dinner and been very hospitable.”

Stefan sighed “Sir, do you like him? I mean… like him?”

“You mean in a romantic sense?”

“Yes, romantically. Unless you are saying that you are putting in all this effort because you want him as a friend?"

Tae blinked.

He blinked a lot.

He looked at the man standing by his desk who was looking straight at him with a look of complete disbelief on his face.

"To be completely honest with you, Stefan, I'm not entirely sure I know the answer to that question because it simply is not that simple."

"It is simple, Mr Kim, Sir. Either you like him romantically or you don't. I think you know the answer but you are allowing it to be complicated by bringing other factors into it."

"It's those factors that could mean that the situation is a non-starter though." the CEO felt their worlds were so far apart sometimes that they were in different universes.

Stefan smiled sweetly "The situation has already started, Sir and I think you've just answered my question. If you weren't interested in him romantically, there would not be anything to consider. My advice is to enjoy your time with him, I do believe he is interested in you and you both obviously have a chemistry between you so enjoy getting to know him. You need a solid foundation for any relationship to work and then everything else will fall into place."

Stefan smiled again and turned to leave the office, he was very conscious of the time and it was time to make tea and start his work day. He suspected that his boss had a lot to consider and he was pleased that they were able to speak the way they did nowadays, even if he still was a little unsure of how frankly he could speak at times.

"Stefan?"

"Yes, Mr Kim." He said with a hand on the door.

"If you were me, what course of action would you take between now and Saturday?"

Stefan scratched his head "If I were you, I would be texting the man to think him for a lovely evening. I would probably maintain conversation leading up to Saturday because I wouldn't want things to be awkward when I picked him up and they would be slightly difficult if there were days without speaking. If I were you, I would want to start building that foundation."

"I will bear all of that in mind as the day goes on, your opinion is appreciated, thank you."

As the door to his office closed, Tae released a heavy sigh and leaned back in his chair, registering the beep that alerted him to new emails but wondering what to do as he looked at the phone on his desk. Stefan was right, it would be awkward if he didn’t have any communication with Jungkook between now and picking him up on Saturday so he picked up the phone and started a new message. He had ten minutes before a short meeting with the web design team which was long enough to send off a message to the busker and thank Stefan for the tea that he would be back with very soon, in the purple metallic travel cup that he always used.

But what to say to Jungkook?

He acknowledged that there was an element of overthinking as he went for basic and decided that it was a start at least.

KTH
Good morning, I would like to thank you for dinner last night. Wishing you luck with your assignment. KTH.

Last night while talking about the remaining days of the week, Jungkook told Tae that he had a lengthy assignment to hand in before he could put every effort into practising for the big show. Tae was glad that he didn't have to take time out of his studies and could get his education out of the way, he thought it was impressive that Jungkook kept going back even though he'd had to take breaks due to financial complications (not that he ever actually said that, it was merely glossed over and an assumption on Taehyung's part).

When Stefan appeared with the tea, Taehyung was shrugging his shoulders into the light grey Saint Laurent suit jacket. He thanked him for the tea, as he always did and picked up the blue folder, he heard his phone vibrate on his desk but he didn't have time to look right now, there was a team of people sitting around a large table waiting for him to discuss the website of a new client.

The walk down to the floor that housed the web design team was short, One stop in the elevator and a few corridors. He passed a few people who all wished him a good morning and he acknowledged them in return, even if he didn't have the faintest clue as to who they were. As he walked into the meeting room, the eight people sitting around, stood up and muttered greetings. He nodded in return and walked around to the front where he placed his cup and folder down before turning his attention to the people shuffling around taking their places once more.

"Good morning everyone. Firstly, I appreciate I am putting you on the spot but I would like an update on the Moonchild website redevelopment. Are we close to completion?"

Eight pairs of eyes looked at Taehyung who had a hand in one pocket of his grey trousers, his hair was parted to one side today, his eyebrows were raised as he waited for someone to respond.

"Well? The objective of asking a question is to get an answer so I expect an answer."

A man got to his feet, Tae recognised him as being one of the department managers but he had no idea of anything else.

"I would say that we are approximately a month from completing the test website, Sir."

"A month? We are not waiting another month. That test website needs to be operational in ten days so that adjustments can be made and the final product completed by the end of the month. If you need to stay beyond your usual hours to do it, then that is what I expect. You are all aware that you will be paid for your time but deadlines must be met, that is the priority."

"Yes Sir, of course, I will see to it."

The man took a deep breath and sat down as Taehyung took a sip from his cup and continued.

“Secondly, I need a team of three for the new Seesaw deal. They are a well established company and have noticed a big dip in sales so they have tasked us with their next advertising campaign. A big part of that is to give their website a complete overhaul because they get very little traffic and they want to start offering an online service. The website needs to be eye catching, it needs to have music because if people like being there, they will shop for longer. This is a mammoth contract, they effectively want a complete image revamp so the website has to reflect this. I expect the team of three in my office this time next week with ideas and examples.”

A young man with bright red hair raised his hand and spoke “How would you like the ideas presented, Sir? A powerpoint? Or sketches?”

“I will leave that to you to decide, as long as I get what I need, the delivery is down to you. 9am next Wednesday, in my office. No excuses, no lacklustre presentation. I want to be able to make a decision on what the next step is on that day. As always, there will be a bonus for you on completion of a successful campaign. I expect enthusiasm and if you do not have enthusiasm, then I would recommend looking for another career. Are there any questions?”

The eight people shook their heads.

“Should you think of any questions or have any problems between now and next week, you can email me or speak to my PA about an appointment. Now, get Moonchild finished, there are enough of you and you have ten days. If your team is struggling, I need to know, I cannot fix a problem if I am not aware of it so I will demand results as things are. Moonchild isn't just about the website, we have the advert to put together and film, plus I am expecting a magazine spread should our campaign be as successful as I anticipate.”

“Yes Sir” one lady said.

Taehyung paused, then picked up his cup and folder, nodding to the table as he walked through the door being held open for him, leaving the people around the table to exhale. He was a fair boss but people knew that he didn’t take any prisoners, he had expectations and if they weren’t met, he would terminate your contract. He often reminded the staff at Purple Aura that the separate departments represented the company as a whole and if he felt someone was letting the company down, he didn't want them working for him. He ran a tight ship, his staff knew what was expected of them and they knew what would happen if they didn’t live up to that.

“Stefan, can you order a new coffee machine for the staff room on the Web design level? I have just been past there and people were complaining about it, apparently it has been broken for weeks. I reminded the people who were complaining that if I am not aware, I cannot do anything about it. I’ve taken their names and will be watching them because I’m not satisfied that they will learn from this and I want their work rate monitored. People who are quick to complain and bad mouth the company without acting on it, are usually lazy.”

“Yes of course, Mr Kim, Sir. I will do that right away.”

“Here’s the list of four names. I want their line managers in my office after lunch and if they, themselves are managers, I want to know about it. I am aware that a few teams had a change of leadership recently so if one of them has a managerial role, I will be stepping in and making the necessary changes. If they are quick to speak negatively about my company over a coffee machine then it begs the question as to what else they have been saying.”

“I will get right on it, Sir. I am just replying to a few emails that require immediate answers and there have been some changes to your schedule for next week but I will email you the alterations once I have finished.”

Taehyung nodded and walked into his office, heading for his desk once he’d hung up his jacket and removed his shoes because he didn’t see the point of having a plush carpet if he was just going to wear shoes all day. It was the type of pile that was so thick that there were footprints left behind as you walked, Taehyung liked to go one step further and go barefooted if he was alone in the evenings, he liked wiggling his toes deep into it.

He sat at his desk and scanned the extensive list of emails, opening all those with a red exclamation mark beside it and rolling his eyes as he saw what some people viewed as 'high importance.' While taking a sip of his tea he looked at the message on his phone, finding it slightly strange how a smile naturally appeared when he saw Jungkook’s name on the screen.

JK
Dinner was no problem. Thank you for that final head shot 😉

Taehyung couldn't stop the way his lips pulled into a bigger smile as he read the last part and saw the emoji.

KTH
It was my duty to rescue you from absolute certain death after you'd been so hospitable.

When his phone buzzed straight away he was impressed and then saw it was Jin.

Jin
I fly out tomorrow evening for 2 days. Brunch before I go?

KTH
Meeting at 10 downtown so could do early lunch at 12?

Jin
Where downtown?

KTH
At the Cliffs.

Jin
I'll phone Blueside and make a lunch res. I'm not eating downtown.

KTH
Perfect.

No sooner had he replied to Jin but another message from Jungkook appeared.

JK
My hospitality is renowned. Being rescued from absolute certain death as opposed to just death is always a good thing.

KTH
I must mix in the wrong circles because news of your exemplary hospitality hasn't reached me. Did you finish your assignment?

JK
Very nearly. I will be handing it in within the hour. You sound like my Father.

KTH
Being Daddy isn't really my thing but who knows? 😉

Taehyung liked this flirty banter, he didn't think it would have been possible a couple of weeks ago when all they appeared to do was irritate one another. He wished he could see Jungkook’s face when he read the message, he wondered if it was flustered like he was when he appeared behind him in the kitchen or maybe flirty comments didn't bother him at all? The CEO got the impression that Jungkook liked to be in control in the bedroom, little things he'd said and the way he held his hands over the controller while they played the games made him believe this but he couldn't be sure. There was also the fact that he quickly pushed away the thoughts because that was a slippery slope to having feelings and wanting more… he wasn't ready for that. He needed to be in control of his senses and emotions at all times, he didn't like being controlled by his heart, it was his head that showed him the right way, his heart would just get him into trouble but it was becoming increasingly difficult to ignore it completely.

JK
I'm not looking for a Daddy so you're safe. I must get this assignment finished, have a good day 🙂

The CEO smiled, he felt justified in his assumption that Jungkook liked to be in control between the sheets…. Not that he had given it any thought at all.

****

It was late when Taehyung finally got home, he'd had Stefan pick up his dinner before he went home and that was three hours before Tae himself finally left the office. He grabbed a glass of wine and settled in the bath, immersing himself in the warm water with its lavender bath oil. He was tired and as he lay his head back against the tiled wall, he switched on the jets to turn the bath into a whirlpool, the gentle streams of water causing bubbles to multiply. The big jacuzzi style corner bath was as stylish as the rest of the monochrome master bathroom with all of the chrome fixings and the wall that the sink was against was made entirely of mirrored glass. There was a large shower, a rectangular shape made of glass that had the bottom half frosted. It housed a shower with two heads that hit you from the east and west when you stood in the middle. There were spotlights on the ceiling but dotted around them were many tiny lights that looked like stars when they were switched on as the only source of light. Taehyung loved to stargaze but living in the city with all the light pollution it wasn't always possible so he brought it to his bathroom, complete with constellations. His bedroom has an ensuite bathroom that was actually a shower room with its large shower, sink and toilet, decorated to the same luxurious standard as the other rooms but when he wants to relax he does so in the master bathroom.

He sipped on his wine and wriggled his toes under the water. The tiny bubbles dancing over his skin and disappearing, only to be followed by more. His thoughts were of Jungkook and wondering what he was doing. Was he at the diner or playing a game at home? He'd wanted to message him earlier to ask if he'd handed in his assignment and to ask him if he'd had a good day but talked himself out if it, even though he now couldn't remember why he hadn’t so he picked up his phone.

Was 10pm too late to send a text? He thought it was on the cusp of being too late, therefore he would send one.

KTH
Good evening. Did you manage to achieve your aim of handing in your assignment?

He sent the message then scrolled through some emails, he’d been so caught up with the posters for the second series of a drama and designing the set for the Moonchild advert after receiving an outline from Namjoon, that he hadn’t read the emails from Stefan. He was pleased to see that he would be meeting with one line manager tomorrow, the four guys complaining about the coffee machine were all in the same department so that made it a little easier to handle at least. It wasn’t how he liked to start his day but he could get that matter sorted before his meeting downtown and lunch with Jin.

JK
Yes I did, thank you. Have you had a good day?

Jungkook’s message surprised Tae a little, it occurred to him that no one ever really asked him how his day had been… he liked it… he liked that Jungkook wanted to know such a small detail.

KTH
My day has been consistently busy. Apologies if my late message disturbed you.

JK
Ash would say I’m already disturbed 🤪 You didn’t disturb me, I was just running through something before bed.

KTH
I don’t know you well enough to collude with Ash but I will make a note of that 😉 What is it that you are running through?

JK
I’m going through a section of choreo we got today. You don’t ever want to collude with Ash, even when you know me better.

KTH
I will make a note of that, also. You seem to inspire me to write lists 😉

JK
I think you just like writing lists, it has nothing to do with me but I’m pleased that I am a cause of inspiration.

KTH
I will add ‘modest’ to the other list, if that hasn’t been added already.

JK
Perhaps I should start a list of words to describe you, then we are even.

KTH
I don’t believe you like being equal to someone, I think you prefer coming out on top.

JK
That last part is the most accurate thing you’ve said, you can add that to your list.

Taehyung sat up in the water, the warmth sloshing around as it was disturbed by the sudden movement. He was now one hundred percent convinced that Jungkook was a man who controlled bedroom activity, he was assertive and forceful at times, he got the impression that he knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to command authority… and now Taehyung knew that he was a top too… unless his mind was in the gutter and he was reading more into Jungkook’s words than he intended.

KTH
I’ve added ‘top’ to the list but moved it into poll position, there are some words that take priority.

JK
It’s a good job that I wasn’t talking about one of the other words in that message.

KTH
Isn’t it just 😉

JK
Do you have a busy day tomorrow?

KTH
I do but I’m meeting a friend for an early lunch so it isn’t all bad. Are you at school tomorrow?

JK
No, I have a day shift at the diner then I might do some busking. I will practice more choreo in between.

KTH
A busy day for you then. I will leave you to your choreo. Goodnight, Jungkook.

JK
Don’t work too hard. Goodnight, Taehyung.

Tae put his phone down after reading through all the messages again, the conversation did cause a warmth inside him and that had nothing to do with the temperature of the bath. This change of direction he was experiencing with Jungkook was one he welcomed but it also worried him when he thought about the differences between them… he still believed they were worlds apart and he didn’t even know if they were on the same page. It was complicated but for now, he would live in the moment and tonight he very much enjoyed the conversation between them.

Chapter Text

"Oh my god, he wants you to call him Daddy."

Jungkook frowned, screwing up his face "What? Can you even read?"

"I can read, it's not about what is written it's about what it says between the lines."

"You mean, what you choose to fabricate?"

Jungkook was sitting in the lounge writing notes on some of the things he'd noticed about the choreography he practiced last night after his text conversation with Tae. Ash was laying on the sofa, summoning the energy to get to the library but not being very successful. He'd asked Jungkook about the texts and his friend gave him his phone so he could read the conversation for himself, even though that wasn't the best idea, obviously.

"This is some shit flirting though. You two are lame."

"Thank you. I'm quite enjoying the flirting, it beats bickering."

"A fuck is definitely on the cards."

"Which two lines is that between?"

"Oh come on! Yesterday you acted all stupid when I asked about your evening with him and then there's these texts where you basically tell him you wanna fuck him and he accepts." Ash throws one hand in the air for effect.

Jungkook looks over at his friend being overdramatic on the sofa, "Are you actually reading the conversation I had with him? I didn't basically tell him anything of the sort."

"You told him your sexual preference… same thing. If you had absolutely no plans to fuck him, you wouldn't be flirting, you wouldn't have wanted him to kiss you in the kitchen and you definitely wouldn't have told him you're a giver."

"WOAH! When did I say I wanted him to kiss me?" the look of shock is evident as his eyes widen and his mouth remains open.

Ash lifted his head off the sofa to look at Jungkook "Deny it!! Tell me I misread what you told me and that you didn't want him to kiss you… tell me!"

"But I didn't actually say that." Jungkook said, a light dusting of red creeping up his cheeks.

"Do you still think this is a bet or that he's lost a dare, or whatever it is that you thought?"

"No, he seemed genuine the other night and he didn't have to ask me about my assignment. I was surprised that he remembered to be honest."

"So you have to accept that he likes you and you also have to accept that Saturday is a date."

"I don't know to what extent or why, but yes, okay, I accept that he must like me. As for Saturday, if I acknowledge it as a date then it feels weird because I don't know if he accepted the invitation as a date. It would be really odd for one of us to be on a date and the other, not." Jungkook tapped his cheek with the end of his pen.

Ash lay his head back down "Why are you overcomplicating this? You can tell him that you're a giver but you can't make it clear that you asked him out on a date? Where is the logic?"

"Because if I ask him out on a date then he might say no because suddenly it means we are dating. That changes things and… well… he could say no, then I’ll look like a complete idiot because I am the one who would have made it clear that I want to date him."

"That’s too many 'becauses' by the way."

"Fuck off"

"So you won't use the word date, even though that's what Saturday is, in case he turns you down? And also that it would mean you were dating, even though that's what you are already doing. And you're worried that you might look like an idiot? Well, let me tell you, that ship sailed, Kookie monster."

Jungkook rolled his eyes “I thought we were too different but the other night while we were playing the game, I didn’t feel like there was such a huge gap between us.”

“That’s because you were sitting beside each other.” Ash laughed.

“You aren’t funny!”

“I am and you know it.”

“No, you aren’t, the fact you think you are, is quite concerning if I’m honest. Anyway, as I was saying, he didn’t have that air of stuck up-ness about him the other night, it felt like he was more human than I’d given him credit for.”

Ash giggled “Apart from when he said you were immature for playing games.”

“He didn’t actually say that in those words but yes, you know that irritated me. I try not to bite as much as I can because the look on his face tells me that he may not mean it as it comes across. It’s difficult though because he really can be a rude arrogant prick.”

“A rude arrogant prick that you like… a lot… and you want to fuck while you call him Daddy… whilst not dating him.”

“Haven’t you got an appointment with some books at the library?”

“Taunting you is so much more fun.”

“I’m going for a shower, I’ve got a shift at Dino’s in two hours and I said I’d go up and see Marie before I start.”

“While checking your phone for a message from KTH.”

“No, I won’t. Besides, he's busy today. I’m not expecting to hear from him.”

“Who’s he out for lunch with?”

“I don’t know, why would I know that?”

“Maybe he’s got guys everywhere and takes a different one out each time?”

“He said ‘a friend’.”

“I know he did… a friend with benefits, perhaps?”

“Shut up, Ash. So what if it is? It’s not like we are anything to each other now is it?”

“Wow, that escalated quickly. It bothers you, doesn’t it?” Ash sits up quickly.

“Not at all, he’s free to sleep with whoever he wants. I’m just some busker boy filling his time when he chooses.” the comment was a flippant one but he can't help but wonder if there's any truth in it or even if he genuinely believes it to be true.

“Hey! That’s not how it is and you know it. That jealousy streak of yours is feisty.”

“I’m not jealous. Now I am going for a shower or I’ll tell Marie that it’s your fault I can’t stay for a coffee.”

Ash held his hands up in the air in defeat, Jungkook’s phone in one of them which he grabs before heading for the bathroom. It wasn’t that he was jealous of course but it was the fact that everything Ash said were things that had made their way into his thoughts one way or another and hearing them out loud provoked a certain reaction.

“I would suggest that you sort your head out and make your intentions clear before he looks elsewhere. You have no right to complain if you don’t.” he called out as the bathroom door closed and he collapsed back down onto the sofa.

***

Taehyung’s meeting with the department line manager had gone as expected, two of the four men were renowned for running their mouths about everyone and everything so he’d issued the manager with a warning to get them under control or he would terminate their contracts. He placed high value on respect and trust and if he couldn’t trust his staff then they would have to go, he could always find others to replace them. He was grateful that he happened upon them yesterday and the manager assured him they would be pulled into line. After that he drove downtown for a meeting to discuss a current advertising campaign with a company who own a chain of restaurants. It was a relatively easy meeting, the company always allowed Purple Aura full control of their campaign so Tae simply had to negotiate the terms of the new contract and finalise the plans for their current one. The meeting was a welcome stress reliever after the way his morning had started.

Now he was walking through the doors of Blue Side after handing his key to the parking attendant and knowing that the young man’s enthusiasm was because he would get to drive the ferrari and get a good tip afterwards. He liked the staff here, they always bent over backwards for him and his friends, with the manager often coming out to speak with them if they were dining during the day when it was quieter.

“About time!” Jin said, standing to greet Taehyung.

“You got here 2 minutes ago so please don’t treat me like Joon or Hobi and the fact that you are here before me is a cause for concern.” he replied, taking a seat and noticing they were at a table for four.

“They told you at the front desk didn’t they?” Jin asks, eyebrows raised.

Tae nodded “They did. They said you’d arrived a couple of minutes ago and you were waiting for me.”

“I should tip them before the meal, then maybe they won’t say anything.”

“It’s worth a try but you might need a gag clause to accompany it because that sounds an awful lot like bribery.”

Jin winked and pointed at his friend “Now, that is an idea.”

Tae laughed, picking up the menu as he spoke “Who else did you rope into lunch?”

“Yoon. He was the only one who was free. Jimin has a meeting with a prospective client, Joon is out of town and Hobi has a day of classes.”

“Did I hear my name?” Yoongi said as he approached the duo.

“I’m going to tell Mochi that your hearing is better than he’s led to believe.” Tae said with a smirk.

“You can tell him but you know he’ll believe me.” was the reply.

“Only because he’s so blinded by love, the soppy idiot.” Jin said.

“Are you calling the love of my life an idiot?” Yoongi asked Jin.

“Yes but I tell him he’s an idiot often enough so pipe down.” the model said.

“Who’s the prospective client he’s meeting with today?” Taehyung asked as the waiter brought over some bottles of fruit juice in slender glass bottles, pouring each one into a frosted glass that had fresh fruit in the bottom.

“Park Jisoo, she’s up for a supporting actress award for her role in ‘Reflection’. She has been looking for a Korean stylist because she wants something with a cultural take on it.”

“Isn’t that her first role?” Jin was a big fan of movies, when he had time. It served him well when appearing at events where there were actors and actresses among the celebrities.

“Yeah. I can’t see Mini taking her on though. He’s got offers coming at him from all directions, even some of his regulars haven’t got a chance this season. I think she thinks that being Korean puts her in front of everyone else but if he operated on that premise he wouldn’t be where he is today.”

“Being the same nationality can’t be the reason he takes her on, that’s absurd. Can you imagine if I did that with companies? He could miss out on some really good business that way.” Tae chipped in.

“He has to operate on a cut throat basis, he can’t have favourites. He has some regulars but they are with him all year round. When it comes to specific occasions like awards season, he has to be selective, he’s the best in his field.” Yoongi was proud of his man, he knew that Jimin had a criteria when it came to choosing clients but he also knew the Jimin who had a big heart and behind closed doors, didn’t always enjoy making such decisions.

“He’ll make the best decision for him, he’s been doing this long enough and the fact that he’s well known, says that he knows what he’s doing. If Park Jisoo thinks she’s going to get a good deal, simply based on nationality then she is very much mistaken.” Jin raised his brow, taking a sip of his juice.

“Has he got many spaces left for the season?” Tae asked, waving the waiter over so they could order food.

“Three left. I think he should only take on one more but he wants to take three.”

Tae gave his order to the waiter then turned back to Yoongi “Have you planned your trip for when it’s over?”

“Yeah. I’ve booked to fly to Norway. We are starting off in Tromso so we can see the northern lights, he’s always wanted to see them and then we fly south to Trysil to a ski resort, you know how much he loves snow.”

“Nice! You’re there for your anniversary too… any plans?” Tae asked while Jin spoke to the waiter, it sounded like he was complaining about something which wasn’t anything new for Jin.

“You might have his left hand thrust at you via video call while we are there, put it that way.” Yoongi said with a big smile.

“I knew it! About time too! I hope you had help choosing the ring, I wouldn’t want to pick out a ring for him, of all people.” Tae laughed.

“Are you going to propose?” Jin was just turning his attention back to the table as the waiter left them to it.

“That’s the plan. The ring won’t matter because I’ve written him a song for the proposal so he won’t see the ring through tears.”

Both Jin and Tae laughed.

“Mochi is going to be an emotional mess. You’re going to ruin him, you know that?” Tae said giggling.

“Please video it so we can use it for emotional blackmail purposes.” Jin suggested.

“If anyone is using that video it will be me, thank you very much.” Yoongi laughed.

“I look forward to hearing all about it.” Tae added.

The waiter brought their food over and the trio happily munched away, with talk turning to the charity event rapidly approaching.

“Are you here for the charity event, Jin?” Yoongi asked.

“It’s a week on Saturday, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. Apparently I get to see my suit Saturday morning.”

“Tomorrow?” Tae asked.

“No… of course not.” Yoongi said while the other two giggled.

“I might be here. I didn’t think I would be but there could be a photoshoot the day before which will put off me flying out for three days.”

“I’ll put your name down then. Will you come alone?”

“Now, you know I like to fly solo. This face doesn’t need a plus one, Yoon.”

“What about you, Tae? Mini said you were having problems with the escort company you usually use.”

“I’ve been in contact with them since the last time we were here and they kept passing me around so I threatened to use my contacts to spread the word about their bad business. I was planning on giving them a chance but after the way they have handled the complaint, I’m not so sure now.”

“So you’re coming solo, too?” Yoongi asked his friend.

“Possibly but you know I prefer having someone on my arm. People are used to seeing me with someone, it is a part of my reputation, now.”

“What he means is that he isn’t as handsome as I am, so he needs someone else to make him look good.” Jin laughed at himself.

“No, what he means is that he has a reputation for being a whore so needs to avoid disappointing people.” Yoongi joined Jin in laughing at himself while Taehyung remained straight faced.

“If I ever need a confidence boost, I know exactly where not to go.” Tae said to his friends.

“You would never need a confidence boost, your arrogance precedes you.” Jin said while chewing.

“True. I draw the line at being a whore though.”

“Tae, you are the only guy who has a reputation for being a player, without actually being one. It’s only because you always have a different guy on your arm every time you go to an event. People make assumptions, you know what they are like.”

“Exactly what Yoon said. Once you find someone to settle down with, you wait for that rumour mill to change. They like to gossip and because you are so private, they have to make shit up. They presume you are a playboy because of the different guys you are seen with and who can blame them? You are an extremely eligible bachelor and there are loads of guys out there that would want to be the one in your bed.”

“People will gossip regardless of what I do. When I did Vogue, the first question was about dating, I really don’t get the fascination.”

“Because they want the details. They want to know who’s in your bed. Remember when you dated that idol? Can’t remember his name. It was everywhere and it was beneficial to his career more than it was yours.” Jin remembered the guy, he thought he was a dick.

“Yeah, he is the reason I haven’t ever dated an idol again. It was a shame because he was very attractive and Mochi liked the way he dressed.”

“But Mochi was his stylist.” Yoongi said and the three guys laughed.

“Exactly, that’s why he liked him. It’s easier with escorts, even you lot can’t complain because you know you’ll only see him for one evening.”

“Have you heard the latest from Hoseok? That guy accepted his invitation to the charity event. He phoned me this morning, they are having dinner tonight.” Yoongi pushed his plate away, satisfied that he was finished.

“This one sounds promising, he seems to be more like Hobi from what he was saying.” Tae added.

“Even though, are we ready for another Hobi in the group?” Jin said, waving his hand in the air for the bill.

“That will be an interesting evening. Hobi is pretty taken with this one so I hope he’s a good guy. He doesn’t need a gold digger.” Yoongi was suspicious of everyone, he’d seen a lot of people using others for their own personal gain over the years.

“Hobi thinks he’s well off so I don’t think he’s a gold digger. We’ll be able to give our thoughts once we’ve met him.” Jin always made a point of asking the awkward questions to new people who appear in their group.

“We are meeting beforehand at that bar around the corner. Mini has organised their V.I.P room for us if you want to join us?”

“I will, I can pick Joon up on the way and we might even be on time.” Jin laughed.

“I’ll be there if I can, it depends where I’m meeting the escort, if I arrange one.”

Jin paid for their lunch, it was his turn so the other two didn’t complain. It didn’t really matter when you had as much money as they did, they each knew that they could afford it so taking it in turns wasn’t a big deal.

After leaving Blueside, Taehyung checked his emails while waiting for the parking attendant to bring him his car. A headache was creeping up on him, threatening his temples and lurking behind his eyes so he phoned Stefan and told him he would be working from home as he had everything he needed there, given his afternoon schedule.

Once home, he changed into his loose pyjama trousers and a t-shirt, his slippers making a padding sound on the hardboard floor as he walked through to the kitchen to get a drink. He liked the peace and quiet of his apartment, the only sound usually was the faint sound of classical music or a show soundtrack playing through his speakers. He rarely watched television and preferred the serenity that silence brought with it.

Stefan phoned him once to tell him that his appointments had altered for Monday but to inform him that otherwise his schedule was as it was in the email he’d sent. He couldn’t resist telling Taehyung to have a good time at Neverland tomorrow and that he looked forward to all the details on Monday, adding that he would make sure he arrived at the office an hour earlier so he could hear it all before work started. Tae smiled weakly at his enthusiasm, at least one of them could be enthusiastic, it warmed him that he cared so much.

He sat at his desk, placing some painkillers beside a glass of water as his headache magnified a little more. He thought about Jungkook, unsure of what time he would be at the diner because he hadn’t been specific on his shift times. Taehyung had considered visiting him but the day had got away with him and the lunch went on a bit longer than expected, as pleasant as it was. While he waited for his computer to reboot since it decided to do an update at this critical time, he tapped a message out to Jungkook on his phone.

KTH
Good afternoon, how has the choreo practice gone today?

He always typed out the message several times after deleting it because he thought it sounded ridiculous. It was the initial message that caused him trouble because once Jungkook replied, the conversation seemed to flow one way or another.

The computer beeped to announce that it had completed its update and was ready for use. He stretched out his long legs, crossing them at the ankle while calling up his emails and the spreadsheet he needed. His office was a large open space, not quite as big as his bedroom but it was originally intended as a second bedroom. Taehyung had it decorated and turned into an office, the desk was a walnut Japanese style piece of furniture imported from Japan and custom made. As you walked into the room, the desk was practically in front of you on the other side of the room, the walls were a warm pale lilac, which appeared grey in some lights, the large leather chair that sat up against his desk was the same as the one in his office at Purple Aura Towers because Taehyung liked consistency and if one chair worked for him then why would he have any other?

There had been rare occasions when he’d needed to have a meeting in his home office so nestled in the corner to the far right of the door was a set of two, two-seater leather sofas that faced one another, with a small walnut table between them. There was a large walk-in wardrobe hidden behind doors on the same wall that the desk was against, Taehyung had this completely gutted and it now housed his filing cabinets, spare computer and the crystal carafe that he used for still water on the rare occasion that he had a visitor in the room. The carpet was the same as the one at Purple Aura and the spotlights on the ceiling could be controlled in clusters in various places if needed because it was incredibly bright when they were all on at once. Today, he needed relative darkness because his head was pounding and no longer just threatening so he relented, throwing the tablets into his mouth and taking a mouthful of water, pulling a face as he gulped them down.

JK
Hi, I’m on my way to St Georges now, the subway is closed so using the time to practice. Is your busy day going well?

Taehyung stared at the message, wondering why he was going to the park to practice, not home where he presumed he would.

KTH
You practice in the park? My busy day is still busy, thwarted slightly by a headache.

JK
Are you still working, with a headache? Yes I always practice everything in the park.

KTH
Yes I am still working but from home this afternoon. What is 'everything'?

JK
Singing, dancing, anything that needs practice. Have you taken painkillers?

KTH
Yes, just a moment before your initial message. Now who sounds like Daddy? 😉

Taehyung’s flaccid member definitely reacted as he typed out the message, just the thought of Jungkook naked, taking control, caused said reaction and his mouth pooled with saliva.

JK
That wasn’t the intention on this occasion but okay.

KTH
So, there are occasions for that then?

Taehyung couldn’t resist, he really enjoyed this flirty banter and felt a twinge of excitement knowing that he would be seeing Jungkook in the morning, wondering if this type of conversation would be something that filtered into the day.

JK
There is an occasion for everything, Taehyung.

KTH
And I’m guessing that you will decide when that occasion arises?

JK
Maybe. I’m guessing that you aren’t someone who allows others to control a situation.

KTH
You would be wrong. I much prefer to take a backseat in certain situations.

JK
I stand corrected. Would you like to be more specific?

KTH
Where’s the fun in that? I will allow you to find out for yourself.

JK
Are you still picking me up at 10 in the morning?

KTH
I am. I will be outside just before 10. Are we having lunch there?

JK
I have food vouchers that came with the tickets, so yes.

KTH
If you are covering the tickets and lunch, I will get us snacks or anything else during the day.

JK
Everything that I am providing is free.

KTH
Your time isn’t.

JK
I’m suddenly busy tomorrow. Cancelled.

Taehyung read the message several times, confused… what had he said that was that bad or could Jungkook be joking?

KTH
Why?

JK
My time isn’t something to be paid for and that is not what is happening. Are we back to where you think I am only spending time with you because you are paying for it?

KTH
That wasn’t what I meant.

JK
Sure.

Taehyung took a deep breath and pressed ‘call’ he couldn’t risk any further misunderstandings over the limitations of the written word. He was slightly surprised when Jungkook answered with a defensive "What?"

“That was not what I meant so if you will allow me to explain myself?”

“Go on…”

Tae sighed “I was not referring to monetary value, Jungkook. I was pointing out that your time is not equal to free tickets because it is worth something. I certainly was not intending to cause offense, I apologise.”

“I see, well, I’m sorry for reacting.” he knows for definite that when Ash hears about this, he will say he had over reacted.

“Are we back on for tomorrow?”

“Yeah. I appreciate you calling to explain.”

“Some things can’t be explained over text. Are you at the park now?”

“Yep, just walking to my spot.”

“You have a place?”

“Uh-huh. It’s the same spot I go to. It’s away from people and I can have some peace as the park gets pretty busy.”

“Well, good luck with the practice. I will see you at 10.”

“Thanks and yeah, see you at 10.”

Taehyung ended the call and took a very deep breath, slender fingers rubbed at his temples as he squeezed his eyes shut. It bothered him that he’d once again said something to irritate Jungkook, it hadn’t occurred to him at the time, that it would be taken that way but he was pleased he made the decision to call him.

Throughout the rest of the afternoon, Taehyung managed to get a lot done, despite the thunderous pain banging in his head and despite the uneasiness he felt after the misunderstanding with the busker. It was 8pm when he decided to call it a day and then it dawned on him that he hadn’t given any thought to his outfit for tomorrow, having absolutely no idea what people wore on a day out to a theme park. He looked through the website that belonged to Neverland and looked at the people in the pictures for inspiration, sighing as he doubted he had anything suitable. He remembered the Gucci pumps that Hobi bought him last year for his birthday, he’d only worn them once and thought that comfort was key, given that he would be on his feet all day. The rest of the outfit could be matched to the aqua coloured shoes, so he chose a pair of slim fitting jeans, a sky blue patterned polo shirt and one of his favourite navy blue blazers. It was his very definition of outdoor casual, even if the outfit probably cost more than Jungkook’s rent for a year.

He swallowed some more tablets as he climbed into bed, that uneasiness still festering in his core, he looked at the time and wondered what Jungkook was doing at this hour. He decided to fire off a quick text before allowing sleep to take him and hopefully banish the pain in his head.

KTH
Did practice go well?

He wasn’t expecting such a fast response but was pleased that Jungkook replied so quickly.

JK
It did, thank you. How’s your head?

Taehyung smiled a weary smile, the earlier misunderstanding appeared to have been left as the texts returned with their normal tone.

KTH
Not great, I’m going to sleep early in the hope that I wake pain free.

JK
Sleep well then, see you at 10.

KTH
You too. Goodnight, Jungkook.

JK
Goodnight, Taehyung.

Chapter Text

"Do you ever think before you react?" Ash was standing in the kitchen by the doorway with one hand held out in front expressing his irritation and the other hand holding Jungkook’s phone, reading the texts from yesterday.

"Do we have to do this now? He will be here very soon and if I'm late, it will just be brought up later." Jungkook felt like he was being scolded... which he basically was.

"You’re ready, aren't you?" Ash looked up from the phone screen that he as shaking his head at.

"Well, yeah, I suppose."

"So you have time to listen to me then. Firstly I'm pleased you dug out your best jeans because they are more suitable for today and secondly, I honestly get why you got pissed off by what KTH said but next time, have a think about it first. The only thing of any value he's contributed today is the fuel in his car. That doesn't sound like he's buying your time. Plus I need to point out that since you told him 'no tips' he hasn't left any on the one time he's been at the diner and he's asked you if he can buy you a drink and stuff. He might be an arrogant prick but you aren't coming off any better."

Jungkook was penned in, his friend, who was glaring at him, shaking his hand in an expressive way, was standing in the doorway, blocking his escape.

"Ouch!" He said, taking his phone back.

"Look, Kookie monster, IF KTH does like you, let him see the good bits. You are a great catch and your differences don't matter because even if you were super loaded, like him, you'd still be a great guy. Maybe try not to read everything as an insult."

"I'll try… I'm not promising but I will try. I'm just painfully aware of his stature and so many like him look down on people like me, I've seen it at uni, Ash. There are the privileged douchebags who have everything paid for them and walk around like their shit don't stink, they look down their noses at people like me and even when they do badly, you know that Daddy or Mommy will pay the professor to pass them. I'm nothing and yet I work my arse off."

"Give him a chance. If he turns out to be a giant douchebag as well as an arrogant prick then you can just walk away but you need to give him a chance to prove himself. KTH doesn't sound like he's anything like those guys at uni or Ryan.... I understand being cautious but give him and yourself a break."

"Like I said… I'll try. I'm gonna go down to wait for him."

"You probably like him too much already but walking away is always an option. Have a good day."

"I hope to.. What are your plans?" Jungkook turns to ask as he walks towards the door.

"I'm having a day on my butt but I think Smiler wants company later so will go there this afternoon."

"Have a good day and try not to wreck this place."

"What? Just in case you bring loverboy back to fuck him?" Ash wiggled his eyebrows.

"No, but at least you've finally accepted that if anyone's doing the fucking it will be me."

Ash laughed out loud as Jungkook opened the front door "Shit!!" His face turned an immediate shade of tomato as he leapt out of his skin and saw Taebyung standing right in front of him.

"You okay?" Ash called out.

"Yeah, yeah, see you later" Jungkook called back, ushering Taehyung backwards so he could step into the hallway and close the door.

Taehyung had a smirk on his face, he sucked the insides of his cheeks between his teeth to try and stifle the giggle. "Good morning." He said, his eyes sparkling as he looked at the extremely red faced busker who was looking at the floor.

"Err… morning." Was the quick response as he turned to walk along the hall.

"I'm sorry if I startled you, I arrived slightly earlier than planned so thought I would come up."

"Oh… err… it's okay."

Taehyung went to push open the fire exit to take the stairs but followed Jungkook into the elevator instead. He took the time to look him up and down since the busker was still looking at the ground, surprised to see him in jeans instead of the black combats. The jeans looked nice with the blue t-shirt with distressed writing on it and he liked the denim jacket too. It did cross his mind that they were matching to a certain extent and it made him smile.

The elevator was silent, aside from the clunking and grinding of the mechanism as it came to a halt and the doors opened. Taehyung gestured with his hand so Jungkook walked out first, he was struggling to maintain a straight face as the words ‘if anyone’s doing the fucking it’s me’ were on repeat like a broken record playing the same line of a song over and over in his mind.

Jungkook hesitated when they walked through the door into the fresh air, sun beaming but not too warm, as he realised he had no idea what Tae’s car looked like. Tae grinned as he took the lead “I parked just over there.” He’d chosen to park closer to the doors instead of in the parking space as he knew he wouldn’t be long. The red, sleek ferrari beeped as Taehyung approached, reaching for the passenger door and holding it open for Jungkook, whose eyes were wide as he took in the sight of the supercar.

Taehyung slid into the cream leather drivers seat and fastened his seatbelt, looking over at Jungkook who was fastening his too. The bucket seats hugged his body like a leather blanket, wrapping around his back, the interior was spotless and gleaming.

“Jungkook?” Tae said, the remote in his hand, thumb poised to press the button on the fob to start the engine.

“Yeah?” Jungkook replied, looking to his left at the model like beauty looking every bit as expensive as the car itself.

“Would you like to discuss what I overheard at the door?” he attempted to minimise the smirk but he didn’t think he was very successful.

Jungkook diverted his gaze and turned to look in the opposite direction, out of the window “No… thanks.”

Taehyung tilted his head and looked straight in front of him “It’s a shame.” he said through the smugness of his lips.

Jungkook snapped his head around quickly, looking once again at Taehyung “What is a shame?” he snapped.

“That you do not want to discuss it.” he said as he pressed the button and the engine roared to life, sounding like a lion to start with then turning into a pussycat as it purred.

“Why is that a shame?” Jungkook asked, his brows knitting together.

“You will never know now, now that you have chosen not to discuss it.” Tae said as he moved the ferrari out of the space and away from the block of apartments, he thought discussing the elephant in the room would be beneficial but obviously not.

Jungkook huffed under his breath and watched the street fly past, blurring in places as Tae drove them out onto the freeway. The annoyance he felt, the breath that he expelled quickly was the same as a child who had heard the words ‘I told you so’ from his parent. He couldn’t believe how today had started and he’d only been with Taehyung for 15 minutes or so. He could hear the words of his best friend in his head, he’d failed already, reacting to what Taehyung had said and instantly assuming he meant something else completely. He took the deepest of breaths and decided that when he’d counted to 10, he would start the day again, he would forget the beginning and hope that the rest of the day wouldn’t follow suit.

Taehyung was amused, he knew it was possibly a little cruel to be amused because he could see the embarrassment on the busker’s face but he couldn’t help it. He didn’t want the day to be like this though and knew that it was down to him to lighten the atmosphere that hung so heavy in the small space of the car.

“Was it choreography that you were practicing in the park yesterday?" It seemed like a good question to move the morning on from the disastrous start… he didn't think it was disastrous but he suspected that the man in the passenger seat did.

Jungkook turned his head to look at Tae, he'd counted to 10 and welcomed the normality that the question brought, even if he felt the situation was anything but normal. He'd always loved cars, he dreamed often about owning a Lambourghini or Aston Martin, maybe a Porsche so it was a wet dream to be riding in Taehyung’s Ferrari. It wasn't just the car, that was one matter to contend with, the man sitting in the driver's seat was the biggest distraction.

"Yeah, the show choreo. I prefer to practice singing at night. Daytime is for dancing."

Jungkook admired Tae’s side profile as the driver’s eyes were concentrated on the road, the slope of his nose, the fullness of his lips and the sharpness of his jaw were things he hadn’t really noticed before.

“You go to the park at night to sing?”

Taehyung’s voice sounded different in the confined space of the car, deeper, huskier, too seductive for Jungkook not to notice how it made him feel.

"Mhmm, singing in the quiet of the night emphasises certain keys and I can hear all the mistakes, without interruption."

"I am almost positive that there are not many mistakes to hear."

A blush crept up Jungkook’s body, all the way to his cheeks, "You'd be surprised." He said, looking to his right, out of the window.

Taehyung liked the idea of listening to Jungkook in the quietness of the park at night, it had a certain feel to it and he hoped that he could experience it one day.

“Is there a theme or title for the show you are practicing for?”

“Yeah, we are doing Chicago this year.”

Tae looked quickly but briefly at Jungkook, taking his eyes off of the road for a second “Chicago? Really?” his smile was so genuine that it made Jungkook smile too.

Jungkook remembered what Taehyung had told him about Chicago and the way his face lit up caused a flutter inside him “yes, really. Erm… maybe… maybe you could come and watch it?”

“I would like that very much. I would like to see it, to see you perform.”

The faint pink that dusted his cheeks from the blushing earlier, darkened with Tae’s words. “It isn’t for some time yet, it’s usually an end of year thing, dates and tickets announced later in the year.”

Taehyung wondered if they would still be seeing each other then? Whether they would still be doing this, whatever this is.

“Please keep me updated, unless I can gain information from the university website or something?”

“You can do that and I can give you information from the inside.” Jungkook said, smiling.

“Fancy yourself as a secret informant? A spy?”

“Oh yes, I have all the makings of a top spy.” Jungkook laughed.

“I look forward to experiencing you under...covers.” Tae said with a wicked grin on his face.

“I’m a spy not a cop.”

“Spies are always incognito, always undercover.”

“I think you have seen too many crime dramas.”

“I don’t really get much time to watch anything to be honest.”

“You’ve made time for today, though?”

“I have, I usually try and have one day at a weekend where I am work free but it doesn’t always happen…” Tae looked at Jungkook as he parked “... I will always do my best to make time for the things that matter.” he added.

Jungkook inhaled deeply but slowly because he didn’t want to make it obvious that he was affected by Tae’s words. He liked how open the CEO was, how he seemed to just say things that Jungkook would probably only say over text when he could cringe alone. It was ironic that he was starting to like the things that irritated him previously, Tae’s lack of filter causing him to react at times but he appreciated it nonetheless. The CEO had an innocence about him, how he just allowed words to spill from his lips without a care in the world.

"Have you had your car for very long?" he asked, closing the door gently, worried that the breeze would take it from him.

"About 6 months, I suppose. It took some time to arrive. It's a better drive than the Audi R8 I had before it."

"Sure." Jungkook said because he couldn't imagine sitting behind the steering wheel of any kind of Audi, let alone an R8, which apparently wasn't as good to drive as a Ferrari.

Tae was oblivious, "Do you have an interest in cars?" He asked as they walked towards the entrance.

"I do. I like cars a lot. Yours is beautiful."

"My car?" Tae said with a wink.

"Yes, your car." Jungkook replied, not thinking as he jostled Taehyung playfully with his arm. When he realised he looked straight at Tae, unsure of whether his actions were a little too familiar or what his reaction would be.

The CEO was grinning which put Jungkook’s mind at rest, "Have you ever driven a Ferrari?"

"I've not really ever driven anything other than an SUV." Jungkook’s words tinged with embarrassment, little did he know that Taehyung was hiding his own embarrassment, concealing the fact that this would be his first time in a theme park.

"That’s easily rectified isn't it?" Taehyung asks, like it was the most normal question in the world.

"It is?" Jungkook isn't sure what the CEO means.

"You can drive us home." the five words were spoken as easily as telling someone his name.

"What? No… I can't do that." the busker shakes his head.

"Why not?"

"What about insurance and stuff and it's a Ferrari! It's six months old and it's yours." Jungkook thinks that the internal panic is probably evident in his voice.

Tae stopped and turned to face the busker "I can have you insured with one text. If you would like to drive it then you can."

"I'd love to… but…" Jungkook said.

"That’s sorted then. Don't worry about crashing it, I did that a month after getting it." Tae giggled and jostled a shocked Jungkook with his arm, returning the playfulness from earlier.

Jungkook didn't know what to say, he sort of stuttered in his mind every time he went to speak and decided he just didn't know how to respond. He had so many thoughts and feelings scrambling around his brain… it annoyed him how blasé the CEO was about his car, like it wasn't worth more money than Jungkook would ever earn in his life, but then there was the part where he was so unbothered when he told him that he'd only driven SUV's, jumping straight in and wanting to give him the chance to drive the Ferrari. He was so irritating, snobby, rude, seemingly unaffected by all his wealth… yet selfless and so kind too. There was so much to Taehyung that fit neatly into the stereotype box, a dangerous stereotype as far as Jungkook is concerned and one he didn't like at all but there was also so much that conflicted that stereotype and refused to fit inside the box which was confusing and alluring at the same time.

As they approached the entrance, queuing to hand the tickets over, moving slowly, Tae placed a hand on the back of Jungkook’s forearm, just below his elbow. The busker was hyper aware of the touch, he could feel the heat from his palm through the denim and he wished he'd asked him here as a date after all. Ash told him that being on a limbo date would be more awkward than asking him on a date in the first place but he hadn't agreed with him until now and he wouldn't be telling him that he was right.

Jungkook handed the tickets over, they had wristbands fastened to their wrists and maps thrust at them. Tae took one map and put the other one in his pocket, he scanned all the ride names quickly while Jungkook finished up with the lady in the booth who was running through closing times and theme park etiquette with him. Taehyung had no idea about rides, he'd watched a few videos on YouTube where people wore cameras then went on a ride but it didn't help him to decide which ones he might prefer. He would need to trust Jungkook.

“Ready?” He said to the CEO.

“As I will ever be.”

Once in the main area of the park, a giant statue of Peter Pan marking that they were in Neverland, they looked at the map to choose which path to take.

“Which ride would you like to try first?” Taehyung asked, looking at the many options on the map in his hands.

“I’ve done them all lots of times before, I think we should go to ‘Captain Hook Land’ first. What do you think?”

Taehyung caught a whiff of something sweet as Jungkook leaned across to run his finger along the path on the map. His brain short circuited for a fleeting second as the scent from Jungkook’s hair infiltrated his senses.

“Tae? Captain Hook land?” he said, looking up from the map, his eyes meeting Tae’s.

“That sounds like a good plan.” he replied, with a smile.

Jungkook returned the smile “Come on then.” the excitable tone, made Tae smile more as Jungkook did a little skip before heading off in the direction they’d decided upon.

“You like theme parks?” Tae asked as they walked along, fighting with the map, the giant piece of paper never returning to its original state exactly. Leaflets, he felt were one of life's mysteries and he always made sure that when Purple Aura had to create a leaflet of some kind, it would fold back with ease.

“I do. I used to come here a lot.”

“Why did you stop?” Tae suspected that he probably didn’t have the time with school, the diner and busking.

“I had to prioritise my money and coming here wasn’t important enough. I haven’t been in a couple of years so it’s nice to be here again.”

“Does your housemate have a long shift today?”

“Shift?” (damn it!) “Oh yeah! Sorry. No it’s just a lunchtime shift.” Jungkook hoped that it wasn’t as obvious as he felt it was that he quite blatantly lied about Ash working as an excuse to ask Taehyung out today.

Tae was unable to prevent one side of his mouth from curling upwards as he remembered what Stefan’s opinion had been about Jungkook asking him out and his housemate supposedly working. Jungkook's reaction gave him the impression that there was a distinct possibility that his P.A had been correct.

“You could have come here with him this afternoon?”

“He has plans after work.” Jungkook said quickly.

“I see.”

“You didn’t have to come.” Jungkook said, turning to look at Tae.

“I am fully aware of that, Jungkook. I accepted your invitation because I wanted to.”

“Okay.” he says with a small sigh.

They walked past a big hook as the entered the first of four lands "Mmmmm that smells good" the CEO said, sniffing the air.

Jungkook giggled in acknowledgement "Donuts, I bet. It really does smell good."

"How about you choose the first ride and I'll get us some donuts afterwards?"

Jungkook ran through a few answers in his head, he couldn't say no because it was only donuts but it all felt bigger than that. Every time he allowed Taehyung to buy him something it felt like he was being bought, that he would be expected to give something in return. There was always a price and his instincts were telling him not to be so silly. A little voice in his head said that Ash would offer to buy him donuts and he wouldn't think twice about accepting…. But this all felt different as his past sounded like the shrill of a fire alarm in his head.

Taehyung was looking at him with expectant eyes, unaware of the turmoil going on in his mind because of fried rings of batter, coated in sugar. "If you don't like donuts, we can find something else." he added, waiting for Jungkook to answer.

"Donuts would be good, thank you." Jungkook couldn't hide the tinge of guilt that lined his stomach. Taehyung was just offering to get them donuts and he felt bad for once again thinking bad of him... it was just donuts.

"So… which ride first?" Tae was relieved to have the busker choosing the rides, it masked his very obvious lack of knowledge.

"The Croc. We should get that out the way first because if it makes us feel sick, it won't affect the donuts." He'd obviously given it some thought.

"Another good plan. I like your thought process, Jungkook."

The compliment forced his cheeks to turn pink and his face tingled with the blush. He didn't quite understand why he was so affected by the nice comments that came from Taehyung, he could only conclude that perhaps he liked him far more than he was admitting to himself but he would continue to deny it or that would be another thing that his best friend was right about.

"Thank you, let's see if you can handle it."

"I could handle anything you dish out, Kookie." He replied, with the usual wink and big grin on his face.

"That's a bold statement, Taehyung." Jungkook faltered slightly at the nickname, he wasn't sure if it was a conscious decision to call him 'Kookie' or if the playfulness of his comment had taken over… but he liked it, he liked the way it sounded coming from Taehyung.

"I know but I'm convinced there isn't anything I couldn't handle at your hands."

Everything Tae said sounded like a challenge or a proposition. The facial expressions and tone of his voice made Jungkook believe that is what he intended. He didn't know if their relationship would ever move beyond what it was but if it ever did, Jungkook knew that he would ensure that was one statement the CEO would have to relinquish because he would like to believe that he wouldn't be able to handle it if he ever did get his hands on him properly.

Chapter Text

"Where next?" Tae asked. They'd decided to conquer Captain Hook Land before getting donuts so now they were sitting on a bench, fingers and mouths covered in granules of sugar, looking at the map laid out on Tae's lap.

Jungkook laughed at the way Tae licked his lips and Tae frowned, wondering what was so funny but liking the sound. “What is so amusing?” he asked before the busker could answer his earlier question.

“Nothing really, just the way you licked your lips, it tickled me.”

“I wouldn’t want you laughing if my lips were tickling you, Jungkook.” he looked at Jungkook whose eyes were big and sparkling. It amused him the way he blushed because of something so basic and began to wonder if he had a completely different persona in the bedroom.

“I suggest that you don’t tickle me, then.”

“Noted.”

Jungkook couldn’t imagine how good Tae was with his lips. Right now as his eyes scanned the moist plump pillows that glistened with saliva, there wasn’t a lot he was imagining as he couldn’t think about much. He knew what was going through the head of the CEO, the same thing that most people thought when they were getting to know him. Men made a snap judgement, they saw the way he blushed and saw how flustered he could get when they spoke dirty to him, were suggestive or spoke in innuendos. He didn’t understand why he reacted the way he did and why he couldn’t tap into the confidence and bravado that he knew he had… he could sext and even talk dirty on the phone… in the bedroom when in the moment he wasn’t afraid to take charge and lead… he was sure that Taehyung would be thinking the same as everyone else because he shied under eye contact.

There was a moment where the word ‘noted’ hung in the air, they searched each other's eyes for something or maybe nothing but their gazes were locked. Jungkook found that he broke eye contact first, the blush forcing him to look away eventually, he liked looking at Taehyung, he was noticing more and more of the small things that made his stomach flip or forced the red tinge to flood his body. He wished he’d invited him here as a date, it would have made the brief looks and innuendos a logical part of today instead of an awkward part of it because he didn’t know what this was.

“Tinkerbell Land is next? Should we just work our way around?” he asked, distracting himself from the way he was feeling.

“I should hire you, you are full of good ideas”

“You only wish you had an employee like me.”

Jungkook nearly snapped, he nearly bit his head off because he didn’t like the idea of being hired but he saw in Tae’s face that it was intended as a compliment, not a display of his stature. He was learning, he was trying to pay attention to the whole picture and not just focus on the words that if spoken by someone else would probably mean something else entirely. He was starting to believe that Taehyung liked him, he didn’t think that anyone would choose to spend the day with someone they didn’t like, let alone offer them the chance to drive their supercar so on that premise he needed to give him a chance… another thing that Ash was right about.

“I prefer not to mix business and pleasure so it is more beneficial that I am not your boss.” the CEO added in a matter of fact way.

Jungkook allowed the words to sink in, his mouth answering before his brain considered the options which wasn’t always a good thing as he was finding out “So this is pleasure?” it was an automatic response, he made himself blush as he asked and wished immediately that he could get to grip with the ability to think before he spoke.

The expression on Taehyung’s face was one of amusement and confusion, he wondered what Jungkook thought he was doing here if it wasn’t pleasurable. The question further enhanced his own feelings and thoughts that he liked Jungkook and he very much wanted to see where this (whatever this is) took them but the conversation never seemed to lend itself to addressing that topic.

When he tucked the map back into his pocket and stepped closer to Jungkook, his own heart thumped harder, the busker’s eyes looked at him with such softness, he leaned forward a little and watched as his eyes widened and he gulped. Taehyung’s line of sight went to Jungkook’s cheek as he reached up and brushed some granules of sugar from his face “This is definitely pleasure” he said quietly before smiling and stepping back.

Jungkook dusted his cheek with his fingers and felt the now all too familiar feeling of embarrassment creep up his face, his eyes diverting to the path ahead as his his cheeks burned, “This way, then.” he said, after releasing the breath he'd held when Tae got close earlier.

The CEO followed behind, then picked up the pace once so they were side by side "Do we have a plan for the fairy land?" He asked.

Jungkook giggled "Tinkerbell Land."

"Kookie… Tinkerbell is a fairy, is she not?" Tae liked the shape Jungkook’s eyes made when he was smiling as much as he was.

"Yes, Tinkerbell is a fairy." Jungkook liked the way Taehyung could operate his eyebrows independently, the right one raised.

"So, fairyland is an acceptable title." Tae added.

"Not really but I'll let you have this one."

A playful grin formed on his face "You are allowing me this? How very kind of you."

"One of us has to be in charge." Jungkook replied with a satisfied smirk.

"I very much anticipate the excitement of being under your control."

Taehyung held his breath quickly to prevent the giggle that threatened to magnify the situation when Jungkook tripped over his own feet upon hearing what he said. He thought it was probably another thing that would be best not spoken about so he didn't acknowledge it at all.

The first ride was the giant swings, metal seats held on by chains where your legs swung free while it spun around. It was a relatively gentle ride and when allowed through to take their places, Jungkook sat in the seat furthest from the middle, he said he liked it there because the outer seats flew out wider than the others. Taehyung sat on the seat one in from Jungkook and the ride filled quite quickly.

"This is a good choice of ride after donuts." Jungkook shouted to Tae on his right as they were elevated into the air.

"I am but a slave to your theme park plan." Was Tae's reply, which made the busker smile.

With the breeze in his hair and his legs hanging freely, Tae could think about what he would be telling Stefan about today. He felt it was going well, he was enjoying Jungkook’s company and he got the impression that Jungkook was enjoying his, too. He also thought about the lunch he'd had yesterday with Jin and Yoongi, he didn't want to take an escort to the charity event, there was something niggling away at him and he didn't know what it was but it didn't feel right. It was such a dilemma, he couldn't tell his friends about Jungkook, he didn't know what he would say, he didn't even know if there was anything to tell and he wanted to be sure. What he very much wanted to do was invite Jungkook to the charity event and have him meet his friends without the pressure of being his date. Being his date, in itself brought a whole load of expectations and baggage and Taehyung couldn't be sure enough of his feelings to put him or them through that. They didn't know each other well enough and he needed to be sure of his intentions before they met in the group as a couple. He would need to give it some thought.

"Hey, are you okay?" Jungkook yelled from his out-swinging seat, his hands holding the chains loosely.

"It's really peaceful up here." Taehyung shouted back.

Jungkook’s smile turned to a frown when the seat to Tae's right got closer because the young girls in the two seats beside him thought it would be fun to rock side to side and try and bash into each other.

"Here" Jungkook yelled, holding out his hand to Tae.

The CEO reached for it as Jungkook swayed his body and managed to swing himself close enough. He felt the connection instantly, as he had when he'd gone to Jungkook’s place that evening and he'd held the games controller over his hands. Tae's fingers fit in between each of Jungkook’s and folded over his knuckles. It was awkward and strained his wrist but he liked it, he liked that Jungkook had been the one to initiate it, rescuing him from the girls laughing incessantly about something beside him. He could see Jungkook blushing, even this high up he managed to get shy when it was him who made the decision to offer his hand. The way Jungkook was so confident and defensive, yet so coy and soft made Taehyung’s mind boggle, he was a real mystery at times.

Their hands remained clasped until the ride came to a halt and their feet were finally back on firm ground. They both appeared to get a little shy as they parted and undid the harness to release themselves from their seats.

"You’re making a habit of rescuing me" Tae said with a smile.

"I'm a regular knight in shining armour." Jungkook said with the confidence that betrayed him so often.

"Do you ride, Jungkook?" The tone in which he asked the question changed into something that told the busker there was more to the question than was obvious.

"Horses? Yes I can ride." He said quickly, eyes looking ahead.

"Yes, horses. Funny, I didn't think riding was your style."

Fucking hell! Jungkook was convinced that this conversation was connected to what Tae heard him say this morning. He thought it was probably best to ignore it or it wouldn't be long before he would be praying that the ground would open up and swallow him.

"Would you like to get lunch after this Land?" he said, hoping Tae didn't find anything suggestive in that.

"Does that mean you are about to suggest the vomit inducing rides before then?" Tae said, the left eyebrow raising itself this time.

Jungkook giggled "Yes, it does. Come on. Let's do this one next, this is a new one, I've not seen it before."

The ride was a big circle with pods attached to it. As they reached the front of the queue the man directed them to a pod, inside there was what looked like a motorbike seat, a long black leather seat that was positioned in the middle from the rear to the front. Jungkook’s eyes widened as he looked at the backrest to the rear and realised that they were going to be sitting one behind the other without any barrier between them.

"I think you should get in first." Tae said.

The ride attendant spoke "Okay, so, one of you gets in and sits right at the back, that person needs to make sure his back is against the backrest. The other one sits between his legs and you both need to push back and fasten the belt around you. There are bars on the top half of the pod once the lid closes. I'll be back to check your belt."

"Are you going to get in?" Tae asked as the man walked away.

Jungkook inhaled deeply and climbed in, pushing himself as far back as he could go and opening his legs wide, a foot either side of the seat, as Taehyung followed suit. As the CEO pressed himself backwards, Jungkook was sure he would feel how fast his heart was beating against his back. His mind was fogging and he was losing cognitive function as Tae wriggled back, his ass jiggling against his crotch and the inside of his thighs. Tae fastened the belt and tried to twist his upper body so he could look at the busker but they were so tightly squeezed together that there wasn't a lot of room to manoeuvre.

"This position suits you." He said, just as the ride attendant returned, pulling on the belt and securing them in by pulling the pod lid down, encasing them completely.

Tae reached up and held the bars on either side of him, leaning his head back and resting against Jungkook’s shoulder. As the ride started he wriggled a bit more, he knew how flustered the busker was and he couldn't help but allow his mind to drift further into the gutter, given their positioning.

Jungkook couldn't really think of anything except surviving the ride. He could smell Taehyung, his hair, his cologne. The softness of his hair brushed against his face tickled his mouth and nose. His backside fit snugly against his crotch and his back was pressed to his chest. Thanks to centrifugal force, the CEO was forced more firmly into Jungkook and the busker thought he may not live through it. At the peak, when the ride was at its highest and spinning fastest, he was left with no option but to place his arms around Tae's middle and it was all too much, given that his feelings were gaining in momentum along with the ride.

Taehyung really wasn't a fan of this ride, it was dizzying and he felt like he understood how clothing felt in a washing machine on a high spin. The only thing grounding him was the overwhelming presence he felt from the man behind him, holding him tightly. It had been a long time since anyone held him at all, let alone like this. Tae was an intelligent man, he was fully aware that Jungkook was only holding him this way because of the situation they were in but it didn't change the fact that he was enjoying it. He'd nearly forgotten how it felt to have a man pressed against him, strong arms gripping his body, his sex life as scheduled as the rest of his life but in this moment, he didn't care what the circumstances were, he simply allowed himself to enjoy it.

The rush of wind eased through the vents in the pod as the ride began to slow down. It was like their own personal bubble and neither man wanted to get out… not really but neither would admit it to themselves let alone each other.

As the ride attendant released the lid, Jungkook relaxed his hold on Taehyung.

"I can't get out if you don't leave first." He said close to Tae's ear.

Taehyung pushed his lips out and huffed, knowing that neither could be seen and reluctantly scooted forwards so he could climb out. Once out, he held his hand out for Jungkook who looked a bit puzzled by the gesture but accepted it anyway, allowing Tae to help him out.

"That was great, can we do it again later?" Tae asked, using his best acting skills and hoping for a yes and no at the same time.

"You can get in first next time"

"Now, that surprises me, I didn’t have you down as a switch."

Jungkook answered quickly, so quickly that he didn't have time to register his own words "I'm not."

Tae's lips curled into something that was part smirk, part grin "As I suspected."

After finishing off Tinkerbell Land, they made their way through 'The land of the Lost Boys' then headed to the pizzeria for a very late lunch that was now more like dinner. Whilst in the queue, Taehyung rested his hand on the small of Jungkook’s back, his fingers barely touching as they moved forwards slowly.

"What would you like?" Jungkook twisted his body to ask Tae.

"I'll get a table, you order whatever you fancy and I will cover anything extra. I'm starving and you must be too."

"I do have money." Jungkook snapped back.

Taehyung had already started walking towards an empty booth, the pizzeria was relatively nice given that it was in the middle of a theme park. He heard what Jungkook said and hoped his attitude would disappear by the time he joined him. He didn't quite understand why Jungkook reacted the way he did over the seemingly smallest things but he would try and smooth things over if he had to because he thought they were having a good day.

Jungkook ordered the food, the voucher being more than enough which was a pleasant surprise because he ordered the biggest pizza plus sides and drinks. Before heading to the table he went to the toilet, rolling his eyes at a text from Ash, given what had just happened:

Ash
How’s it going? I mean with you keeping that big mouth shut that is 😉

Jungkook quickly pressed ‘call’...

Ash answered immediately, “Oh no.”

Jungkook frowned “What?”

“You’re calling me, this is bad.”

“What? No… it isn’t… well… I don’t think so.”

“Oh no. That doesn’t sound very promising. What have you done?”

“Why does it have to be me? You know that you’re meant to be my friend, right?” Jungkook loud whispered into his phone.

“I know, that’s why I can talk to you the way I do. Duh! So, what have you done and why are you hissing down the phone?”

“I’m in the toilet. The day is going well, actually but I just bit his head off and I’m annoyed.”

“Annoyed? With him or yourself?”

“Him!”

“What did he do?”

“He knows I’ve got those vouchers for lunch but told me to order whatever I wanted then said he’d cover the extras.”

Silence.

“Ash? Hello?” Jungkook whispered forcefully.

There was a loud breath from the other end of the phone which told Jungkook that his friend was still there before Ash responded, “I’m waiting for you to tell me what he did to result in you biting his head off.”

Jungkook sighed, “I’ve told you.”

“You. You are a fucking idiot. Why can it not be a nice thing that he offered? Why do you have to take it badly? He is aware that you had vouchers, he is also aware that he’s fucking loaded and seriously, do you think it would dent his wallet to pay for extras? It was a nice thing to do! We are going to have a talk when you get home, unless you bring him home to fuck him.”

“I knew that would probably be what you’d say.” Jungkook sighed again.

“Go and apologise for being a dickhead! Enjoy your lunch and the rest of the day and Kookie Monster?”

“Yeah?” Jungkook said in a defeated, if not a little irritated, way.

“You need to try not to let Ryan ruin this for you.”

“I gotta go… thanks.”

He pressed ‘end call’ and took a deep breath… Taehyung probably thought he’d left and gone home and he needed to lighten the atmosphere.

Jungkook felt his stomach do a little swoop as he walked towards the CEO who was sitting looking at his phone. The food was laid out on the table and he had the straw to his drink resting on his bottom lip.

“Hey, sorry about that.” Jungkook said as he slid into the seat opposite Taehyung.

“Which part are you apologising for?” Taehyung responded, straw still close to his mouth as he sat hunched over, flicking through emails on his phone that rested on the table.

“Whatever you feel I need to apologise for.” he said… with attitude.

Taehyung sat back in his seat and looked at Jungkook with an unimpressed expression “If I accept your apology, which isn’t really an apology, can we eat?”

On this occasion, Jungkook considered his answer beforehand, he didn’t want the day tainted by something so trivial “Yes. I hope I didn’t order anything you don’t like.”

Tae smiled a little “There isn’t much I don’t like, food wise. You have nothing to worry about there.”

Jungkook returned the smile a little sheepishly as they tucked into the food. He knew that Ash was going to give him the lecture from hell when he next saw him so he decided that he may as well enjoy the rest of the day and if he made an effort, he could update his friend, possibly lessoning the intensity of the lecture.

“Do you have a favourite pizza topping?” Jungkook asked the CEO.

Tae didn’t often eat pizza, the restaurants he dined in didn’t have it on the menu and the last time he remembered eating it was when he was in Italy on business because he hadn't been to his friend's restaurant in a while. There was only one place he frequented if he wanted pizza, usually and that was the most authentic outside of Italy.

“I like it meaty, Jungkook.” he replied, opting for an answer that conveyed something else.

Jungkook managed to prevent himself choking, the innuendo behind the words and the way his name sounded when Taehyung said it that way was just too much.

“I make a great pizza or so my roommate says.”

“You do? From scratch?”

“Making the base is the fun part.”

“Perhaps I will be fortunate enough to experience more of your culinary delights one day and then I can be the judge as to how great it is.” the smile told Jungkook that the last part was meant in jest and the wink that followed confirmed it.

“I’m not sure you could be that fortunate.”

Tae giggled “I look forward to the day that I get to experience just how talented you are with your hands, Jungkook.”

The busker took a deep breath and held it, he was desperate to find a way to stop that tingling sensation that told him his cheeks were pinking up.

They ate and talked, the conversation faltering every time Taehyung resorted to something suggestive and giving Jungkook time to ignore what he said and change the subject, which had become a game that Tae enjoyed playing. Once finished they headed to the final area of the theme park to complete their day, the atmosphere having lightened a lot.

“Peter Pan Land has some great rides.” Jungkook said.

“I am following your lead, Kookie. Your plans have been successful thus far.”

Jungkook liked being called ‘Kookie’ mainly because of the way it sounded coming from Tae because his voice rose in tone as he said it and it sounded playful unlike when he called him ‘Jungkook’ which always sounded downright sinful… which he also liked… a lot.

The first ride they went on was a relaxing ferris wheel type ride, the talk at the top was about the view and how far they could see. It was a good choice after the amount of food they’d recently consumed. The next ride was also relatively gentle, a slow boat ride through the land of Neverland, with statues of the characters and a lightning scene through a cave as Captain Hook made an appearance.

In the queues for the rides, Jungkook was becoming familiar with the feeling of having Tae’s hand touching him, either resting on his lower back or at the back of his arm. He wouldn’t have thought that the CEO would be so tactile but any opportunity that presented itself to touch… he touched.

“I love this ride!” Jungkook exclaimed as they stood penned in my barriers, side by side, Tae’s hand a little lower than it had been all day, closer to the top of his ass than his lower back.

Taehyung scanned the signs and tried to get an understanding of what the ride entailed before he answered “Is it one of your favourites?”

“Yep! We need to work together.”

They were seated side by side in the ride car, the rules on a sign near the laser gun in its holster on the dashboard. They brought the safety bar down onto their laps and took out the guns, listening to the ride attendant as he spoke over a loud speaker and reiterated the rules.

The ride started, the car moved around a track through an indoor cavern or scenes where objects appeared that had light targets on them. The duo had to fire their laser at the targets and collect as many points as possible whilst avoiding the targets that would deduct points.

Taehyung watched as the green digital score on Jungkook’s side changed constantly, the numbers rising every second. His own reflexes weren’t so impressive and holding the gun felt alien but he decided to do his best and once he’d worked out the pattern that the targets would turn… he was ready for the next one and his digital numbers began to rise.

A hologram of Peter Pan greeted them at the end of the ride, congratulating them on a successful journey which freed Neverland from the clutches of evil Captain hook. The ride attendant announced that the explorers in cart number 7 were the victors with a score of 123,000 and Jungkook cheered at the win.

“Yes! We won!” he said excitedly, doing little skips and jumps as they left the ride.

Tae smiled, he liked seeing Jungkook like this “I think it is probably safer to say that you won.”

“No, we won! Okay, so I was a bit concerned at first when you killed that fairy and then you killed Wendy but you came good in the end!” his eyes shone as he spoke.

“I bet you could make me come good, Jungkook.” Taehyung said, as a matter of fact, with a huge smirk on his face, not bothering to look at Jungkook who he saw trip and go bright red, out of the corner of his eye.

Jungkook put his hand to his mouth and coughed, not knowing how to respond so choosing not to. The next couple of rides were quite gentle too, the final ride being the big rollercoaster that Neverland was famous for and it was a nice way to end the day. On the way out they walked through the gift shop, Tae stopped and looked at everything while Jungkook just stood and waited for him.

“Choose something.” Tae said to Jungkook.

“Why?”

“I would like to get you something to say thank you for today.”

“You don’t have to do that. You’ve thanked me, that’s enough.”

Tae tilted his head and raised his brow “Please? Jungkook, I would like to buy you something as a momento of the day, to thank you for inviting me.”

Jungkook inhaled a big breath, he looked at Tae who looked expectantly at him and he felt bad for being so awkward when it seemed that he just wanted to do something nice for him.

“Here.” he said, handing Tae a fridge magnet… Peter Pan’s hat with a fairy in the middle and the word ‘Neverland’ in glittery letters scripted across it.

“Is that all you want?”

“It is a perfect momento of the day.” and he hoped it was small enough to not require anything big in return.

Tae didn’t argue, he paid for the magnet and nodded when the lady asked if he wanted it wrapped, handing it to Jungkook as they walked through the exit towards the car park.

“Thank you.” Jungkook said, feeling warm at the gesture even if he didn't think it was necessary and wondering if it would come at a price.

“You’re welcome. Thank you for today.” Tae replied.

They found the car, it was easy to spot and a definite plus point about having a bright red Ferrari.

“Wrong side.” Tae said to Jungkook. Holding the key fob in his outstretched hand. “I thought you were driving us home.” he added.

Jungkook’s eyes were wide “But what about insurance and stuff?”

“I sorted the insurance while waiting for you in the Pizzeria and there isn’t any other stuff

Jungkook took the key fob and listened to Tae’s instructions about how to start the car and before long he was sitting behind the wheel of one of his dream cars with the engine running and his heart was in his mouth. He melted into the seat as he drove them back to his home, the car was a dream to drive and he could see Taehyung staring at him in his peripheral vision, all the way back. The silence was comfortable, the only words spoken were about the car itself and how it drove. Jungkook tried to rein himself in from outwardly gushing with every comment made about the car, even something as simple as how amazing the steering wheel felt in his hands had him feeling animated.

“You drive well, Jungkook.” Tae said as he unfastened his belt and opened the door to get out when Jungkook parked up outside his complex.

“It’s a lovely car. Thanks for letting me drive it.” Jungkook climbed out and walked around the front to hand the key fob to Tae.

“You are most welcome. You can drive it any time.” Tae said as they met at the front of the car, taking the key fob back, allowing his fingers to stroke the hand of the busker as he did so and leaving his hand where it was.

“And thank you for today, I had a good day.” Jungkook said, his heart suddenly thumping as Tae took a step closer, the oxygen disappearing from where they stood, making it hard to breathe.

“I did too.” the CEO practically breathed the words out as he leaned forwards slowly, the gap between their faces decreasing with each slight movement and Jungkook could practically hear his heart beating as he edged his own face forwards.

Their lips touched, they both instinctively closed their eyes even though the meeting of mouths was brief. Tae’s fingers still had contact with Jungkook’s hand and he stroked across his knuckles as his own heart rate sped up at the sensation of having Jungkook’s top lip resting against the seam of his own lips that were parted very slightly.

He didn’t know if he’d crossed a line but felt that he had. The line he crossed being the line between platonic and something more. His feelings were clear now, his intentions also clear… a big reality check to himself and much to discuss with Stefan on Monday morning.

Jungkook blinked quickly as they parted, stepping back and ignoring the blush that overwhelmed his face. His insides were fluttering and now he was under no illusion that not only did Taehyung obviously like him but that was definitely reciprocated.

Chapter Text

Taehyung had driven home, parked up and was trying to remember how he got to his apartment while pouring himself a glass of wine. He doesn't remember anything about the journey and it seemed that only seconds after leaving Jungkook that he was pulling up in his own parking space. His fingers traced his lips all the way home and it was a huge punch to the gut to finally realise quite how much he liked Jungkook... the little voice in his head telling him that he shouldn't be so surprised. The sound of bare feet padding through the lounge was all that could be heard until he placed his glass down on the coffee table and sat back in his chair. The day had been a lot of fun, perhaps a couple of teething problems that threatened to affect the mood but overall it was a good day.

Taehyung very much wanted to ask Jungkook to the charity event, he also wanted to have Stefan’s opinion on what he should do about whether to ask him. Everything felt so awkward but he needed a plus one and since he'd accepted that he did have romantic intentions towards the busker, his morals wouldn't allow him to take an escort because that wasn't right. He knew for definite that telling his friends about Jungkook was a big no, no, not at this stage when he wasn't even sure whether Jungkook wanted something romantic with him, even if his subconscious flashed an image of the kiss at him at that point in his thought process, that didn't mean anything. The charity event started to look like a puzzle, he had his friends that couldn't know about Jungkook, just yet… he had Jungkook who he wanted to invite but couldn't know that his friends didn't know about them and he had himself who didn't want to go alone or hire an escort… his situation with Jungkook wasn't clear and he had a week to sort it all out… that really wasn't very long at all, when the only person who knows about Jungkook, is Stefan.

***

When Jungkook wandered out of his bedroom Sunday morning, his hair messy, loose t-shirt and shorts all crumpled, he didn't expect to see Ash staring at him while eating a bowl of cereal.

"Morning" Jungkook said, aimlessly turning towards the kitchen.

"Morning. Where were you when I got in last night?"

Jungkook peered out of the kitchen "Who are you? My Mother?"

"Obviously not." Ash said sarcastically.

“I went to George’s.”

Ash huffed loudly “Really? Man! I did not want that to be the answer.”

Jungkook rubbed his left eye, peering through the doorway again “What? Why?”

“I thought you’d gone home with KTH and fucked him all night.”

Jungkook blinked, trying to get rid of the early morning bleariness “He dropped me off here and then I went to the park.”

“Alone?”

“Yes, alone.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“I know you’ve just woken up but this is way harder than it should be. Why did you go to George’s and why did you go alone? Did you two fight?”

Jungkook started on his right eye, wishing he’d just washed his face first “I needed a walk and thought I’d practice a new song. I went on my own because as I said, Tae dropped me off… well… I dropped me off, technically and no we didn’t fight.”

“Hmmmmm…” Ash said, a deep crease on his forehead as he furrowed his brow “... what happened? Why did you need a walk? Is this like in that movie ‘I, Robot’ where Will Smith is told that he has to ask the hologram the right question… because you are definitely not telling me something.”

Jungkook laughed, still rubbing his eye “You would definitely be funny if you were Will Smith.”

“As opposed to you, who isn’t funny at all.”

“I don’t need to be funny.”

“What aren’t you telling me? And what did you mean when you said that you dropped you off? I am losing the will to live right now! I. Want. The. Story.”

“Can I at least get some juice first?”

“Talk while getting juice. It isn’t like our kitchen is a mile away, I can hear you quite clearly from there, you know!”

“Okay, okay, chill your grill.”

“Get on with it.”

“What actually do you want to know?”

“Everything! Everything that happened after we spoke on the phone.”

The fridge door opened and closed again as Jungkook’s voice filtered through to the lounge.

“I apologised and he was a bit of a prick about it, then we had lunch. We went on the last few rides and one of those was that one where you get to shoot with the laser gun. You remember that one?”

“The one where you lost that time and threw a strop… that one?”

Jungkook rolled his eyes, pouring juice into a glass “I did not throw a strop!”

“I hope you didn’t strop in front of KTH.”

“Can you stop talking about stropping, now?”

“Did you win?”

“Yes, we won.”

“Right, so… you won, you were happy and you finished the rides. You bought a tacky magnet then came home.”

“Hey! It is not tacky!” Jungkook put the orange juice away and joined Ash in the lounge.

Ash pulled a face “Wait… I know you’re prone to overreacting but… did he buy that for you?”

Jungkook felt that tinge creep up his neck “That has nothing to do with it, it isn’t tacky.”

Ash coughed to mask the giggle that bubbled in his throat “Carry on with the story… he bought you a gift then what?”

“Then I drove his Ferrari here, we kissed and he left, then I went to George’s.”

Ash was staring at his friend, blinking a few times in quick succession but mostly staring while his eyes started drying out. He attempted to place his bowl on the small table but kept missing it as he continued to stare, lips parted, hand dipping down every time the bowl didn’t make contact with the piece of furniture like he wanted it to.

“If I’d have known it would be this easy to stop you talking, I’d have invented shit to tell you so much sooner.” Jungkook said, while waiting for his friend to speak.

Finally, after many attempts, the bowl was placed on the table and Ash took a breath “You kissed? And Ferrari? And you went to George’s on your own?”

“I don’t really know what to answer but I think yes covers all the questions.”

“Why did you go on your own after you kissed? Didn’t you want to invite him up and bang him?”

“Your choice of words leaves a lot to be desired, dude. Can we please remember that it wasn’t even a date so why you think I would invite him up here to take him to bed, is beyond me.”

“What sort of Ferrari is it?”

“It’s a 488 convertible. Cream leather seats and an absolute dream to drive.”

“He trusted you with that?”

“He said I can drive it anytime I want. There’s nothing wrong with my driving.”

“I know but it’s a Ferrari 488. Is it imported?”

“It is.”

“No wonder you kissed him after that.”

“I didn’t kiss him because he let me drive his car, you know me better than that.”

“I’d have given him a fucking blow job roadside.”

“Yeah well, that’s you and not me.”

“I’m actually surprised that you let him buy you a fridge magnet or was that a compromise because he wanted to buy you the whole theme park?”

“He didn’t say what he wanted to buy, he just asked me to choose something so I chose. You know I tried getting out of it but I know he’d have been hurt, he looked so genuine and said he wanted to buy me something as a thank you.”

“You should’ve just offered to suck him off, you wouldn’t have had a money dilemma then.”

“You aren’t right in the head.”

“Says the guy who got pissy because his boyfriend offered to buy some side dishes for lunch?”

“Fuck off. I won’t be bought.”

“Newsflash... KTH isn’t Ryan. I don’t get the sense that he even remotely thinks that by buying you some side dishes and a fridge magnet that he will have control over your life.”

Jungkook rubbed his face with his hands “He could be starting off small. Ryan didn’t start out big, did he? He wormed his way in, making everyone think we could trust him, using his money to make us think he was a good guy then showed his true colours. People with money think they have the fucking right to control everything, they think they can buy anyone and anything. The rich bastards think they are better than everyone and that it’s the right to behave the way they do.”

“Kookie Monster, I get it, I do but KTH isn’t Ryan and I don’t think it’s fair on him that you have this preconceived idea of who he is based on your past.”

“It’s not just my past though is it? It bleeds into every part of my life and I can’t forget it no matter how hard I try. I live the way I live because of it so how can I forget? On top of that there are the privileged arseholes at uni that remind me of why I hate their kind so much. I don’t trust them, there’s always an agenda.”

“What if his agenda is purely that he wants to get to know you? What if KTH just wants to be with you? What did he say after the kiss?”

“That he’d be in touch. He looked down briefly and for a split second I thought he looked shy but I don’t know. I was just handing him back the remote for the car, I didn’t expect him to kiss me.”

“Has he been in touch?”

“Not yet. It’s only 10:27.”

“Do you believe he will?”

“I haven’t thought about it.”

“So, think about it. Do you believe he will?”

Jungkook raised his shoulders “I don’t know. Belief and hope are different things. I hope he will but I don’t know if I believe he will.”

“Are you going to ask him out on a date now?”

“I don’t know. I still don’t know what he wants.”

“He wants you, obviously. Why wouldn’t you ask him out on a date now? Before, the problem was that you didn’t know if he liked you, well I think that it’s quite clear now that he does, unless he’s kissing lots of people, which is possible but it doesn’t alter the fact that he likes you, he might like lots of people… but he still likes you.”

“I’m not really sure how that helps but thanks.”

“Kookie Monster, this isn’t difficult, you like him so ask him out on a date. You have to try and let him show you that you can trust him. He kissed you and let you drive his car even after you were a bit of a dickhead over lunch, that says a lot.”

“We’ll see, huh? He could quite easily have slept on it and decided against contacting me.”

“I can’t see that happening. I bet he’ll be in touch. I’ll wait until you tell me I’m right.”

“I almost hope he doesn’t contact me so you’re wrong.”

“Like fuck do you.” Ash said, picking up a cushion from behind him and launching it at his friend.

****

A strained, breathy sound was forced from Tae’s mouth, limbs outstretched, arms and elbows locked as he stretched out on his bed, blinking in the early morning light that streamed through his window. His head felt a little fuzzy thanks to the wine he’d consumed last night while thinking about the day he’d had. He pointed his toes and splayed his fingers, a throaty groan leaving his open mouth as he elongated his neck to awaken his body. He was hyper-aware that one part of his anatomy was awake and had been since he opened his eyes. He deduced that the dream he’d had was the cause but he had breakfast to eat and work to do so he didn’t have time to wallow in the after effects of the scenario that caused his morning wood.

He slid his feet into his slippers, the flooring was just a little too cold for bare feet at 10am on a Sunday morning. The satin pyjama bottoms were loose, billowing like the sails on a ship as he moved swiftly through his lounge towards the kitchen, the elasticated waistband sitting below his tummy button. He pulled a white cotton t-shirt over his torso as he walked, his hair ruffling as the neckline stretched over his head. The yawn that followed, resounded off the kitchen cupboards and Tae rubbed his face, threading his fingers through his hair afterwards and opening the fridge to find a bottle of iced tea. He noticed that there was a dent in his pate and reminded himself that he shouldn’t eat after drinking wine late at night because later on he would be smoothing over the pate. He was one of those people who scraped at butter so it still remained even once he’d taken what he needed, he certainly wasn’t someone who dug their knife in and left a crater in it, which is something his Father did and used to drive his Mother mad.

Tae leaned against the white cupboards while waiting for his bread to toast, he frowned at the granite worktop when he noticed a discolouration and made a note in his phone to get someone to look at it. He loved his kitchen, the island in the centre was his favourite part, it was where his juicer and toaster lived, there was a small sink and a few other contraptions that he didn’t ever use (including a bistro style coffee machine) and didn’t really know what most of the appliances were. There were stools around the island so it was somewhere he liked to sit and eat breakfast, the window made up for one entire wall and allowed a lot of light in, it was peaceful. The cleaner that he had kept everything neat and tidy, she came once a fortnight to deep clean but Taehyung rarely saw her, unlike his housekeeper who he saw a few times a week. The kitchen rarely needed cleaning because Taehyung didn’t have the time to cook, even if he could, toast in the morning at a weekend was the extent of his culinary skills. His friends weren’t any better, there were only two of them that could handle themselves in the kitchen and the rest were simply useless. Jin was a good cook, not great but he was probably the one whose talents were wasted because he was rarely at home. When he did get the chance to cook, Jin cooked properly, with the fanciest ingredients and the most exotic flavours, it was never anything that you could class as ‘everyday’. It was thanks to a long term relationship he was in with a chef, that gave him the skills he had. Jin was madly in love, the guy owned a couple of Michelin starred restaurants and gave him lessons after hours, which everyone was skeptical about until Jin actually cooked for them and then they were just disappointed in him for actually having lessons and not getting dirty on the worktops. Yoongi was the other one in the group who could cook but everyone knew that if he was cooking, it would be lots meat, expensive cuts of Wagyu beef and exotic steaks and if Jimin was in the kitchen with him, they would definitely be fucking on the worktops!

Tae scrolled through the news on his tablet, munching his toast, sipping his tea and deciding what to send to Jungkook, message wise, knowing he wanted to send something but not knowing quite what to say. He ignored the little voice in his head that told him this was bordering on ‘relationship’ and he ignored the other little voice that said Jungkook would never fit into his world because he was well aware of both those things.

KTH
Good morning. Thank you, again, for yesterday. I enjoyed myself.

He didn’t know what time Jungkook got out of bed on a Sunday and he thought that 11am might be too early if he was the sort of person to lay in. He knew that he didn’t have any plans today, since they’d discussed it yesterday, with Jungkook saying he would probably play some games and squeeze some choreo practice in.

Tae was pleased when his phone alerted him to a new message, checking the stock market bored him:

Joon
I’ll have those sketches ready for the set next week. I’ll get them sent over as soon as they’re ready.

KTH
Brilliant. I look forward to getting them. Did you decide on colour scheme?

Joon
I went with metallic silver, purple, blue. The theme is ‘space’ so I’m going for vintage style with space age, modern colours.

KTH
Contrasting themes, I like it. Past meets future?

Joon
That should be the punchline! That describes everything.

KTH
I’ll make that the focus and tell everyone.

Joon
This is why you are as successful as you are. I’ll get those sketches over to you in the week.

KTH
Great. Lunch, as soon as I have time?

Joon
I’ll be there.

Taehyung fired off the new motto for the campaign to everyone that needed it, this was a big deal because if it was successful in propelling Moonchild as a brand, it would mean big business for Purple Aura. He was excited that he had all his friends on board, each of them bringing a piece of them into the campaign and the vision he had in his head, he couldn't wait to see it become reality. His friends were incredibly professional and extremely good at what they did, there wasn't anyone else he would trust with something like this and he was grateful that he had such a talented group of people around him.

He went back to scrolling and reading pointless news items that really were pointless but it was his job to know what was going on and by reading the news he often found out about companies that may be in trouble so could buy them up. His phone beeped again and he tapped the screen:

JK
Good morning. You have thanked me enough. I had a good time too.

Taehyung’s insides fluttered and he didn’t even attempt to stop the smile forming as he chewed the last bit of toast.

KTH
I like to show my gratitude, as I am sure you have worked out by now 😉

JK
Is that what the kiss was? Further thanks for the day?

KTH
The kiss was for whatever you want it to be for but it is not common behaviour to use a kiss to show gratitude to everyone.

JK
Thank you for letting me drive your car.

KTH
Was that why you reciprocated the kiss? As gratitude for driving my car?

JK
I kissed you back because you kissed me first but I was grateful that you let me drive.

KTH
In that case I will make a note that you return what is initiated.

JK
Another list?

KTH
No, just a note.

JK
Are you working all day, today?

KTH
More than likely but I’m not adverse to distraction.

JK
I wouldn’t want to disturb you while you are busy.

KTH
You are a distraction, Jungkook.

JK
Something we have in common then.

Taehyung grinned at the message, the kiss clearly having broken down some barriers as he felt a little more confident now he’d had it confirmed that the attraction was mutual. He wasn’t sure that the common ground of them both liking each other was enough but it was a start. He took his iced tea to his office and his computer came to life, he opened up a few programs and leaned back in his chair.

KTH
Are you practising your choreography still, today?

JK
That is the plan for this afternoon but the sun is shining so I may go to George’s.

KTH
The park?

JK
Yes, the park.

KTH
It is a nice day for practising in the park.

JK
It is but if I had a choice, I would wait until it rains.

KTH
You prefer to dance in the rain?

JK
Yes I do, plus the park is quiet because no one goes out in the rain.

KTH
Except you.

JK
Except me 😊

KTH
Why do you like dancing in the rain?

JK
It makes me feel alive, it brings a certain feel to the atmosphere and I like the sound, it almost gives me a tune to move to.

Taehyung liked the way Jungkook’s mind worked, he found that he was lost in the images of the busker moving in the rain, the scene was vivid in his head, even though he’d never actually seen him dance.

KTH
I look forward to seeing you perform, your passion for dance really comes across.

JK
I am passionate about what I do.

KTH
Does that include people?

JK
Are you asking if I am passionate about people?

KTH
I’m asking if you are passionate when you do people?

JK
I don’t do people.

KTH
Men?

JK
That is more accurate.

KTH
Are you passionate, then?

JK
It depends on the man.

KTH
Maybe I will find out the level of your passion.

JK
Maybe you will… that depends on how lucky you are.

KTH
I don’t operate on luck, Kookie.

JK
What do you operate on?

KTH
I prefer to make things happen, rather than rely on luck.

JK
Sometimes, it's luck that brings you what you need.

KTH
True. I will accept that but after that initial luck, it is your own actions that determined what happens.

JK
And I will accept that 😉

KTH
What are you doing at the moment?

JK
Is the next question - what are you wearing? 😉

KTH
That is very forward, Jungkook but since you asked, I'm wearing a T-shirt.

JK
You know that I wasn't asking.

KTH
Do I? So you aren't wondering whether I am in fact wearing only a T-shirt?

JK
Maybe, but you are at home so could walk around naked if you choose to.

KTH
Do you like being naked, Jungkook?

JK
I haven’t really given it that much thought. Certain situations require it so needs must.

KTH
Absolutely and we all have needs.

JK
Speaking of which, I need to help my roommate with something so I will talk to you later.

KTH
Nicely dodged 😉 Catch you later.

Taehyung put his phone in the holder on his desk beside his screen and smirked, pursing his lips in complete amusement. He enjoyed playing with Jungkook, the way he responded to questions and comments that were quite obvious flirting. Tae liked seeing what reaction he could get, hoping he would lure him into some kind of dirty talk because he’d noticed that the busker came across as more forthcoming over text. He was still trying to work him out, he was so defensive and snappy at times whether that was in person or on the phone or via text, he could be quite suggestive in messages and yet in person he was quite shy and bumbling at times… Jungkook was the mystery that kept Taehyung wanting more.

***

Ash’s laugh sounded loudly in the small lounge “Please tell me… please… your face is so funny… please… I need to know what he said.”

Jungkook looked up from the beanbag he was lounging on “He didn’t say anything and what’s wrong with my face?”

“Oh my god… I can’t breathe… I’ve been watching your expressions for ages and I’ve never seen you go red so much in my life. Please tell me what he said to get those reactions.”

“Fuck off, Ash.”

“Has he sent you a dick pic?” Ash said while clutching his stomach.

“What? No!”

“Come on! Unless it’s explicit, I need to know... and even then I need to know!”

“He’s clearly flirting, he says something highly suggestive then he says my name and the problem is that after yesterday, I can actually hear him saying it.”

“Why’s that a problem?”

“Because of the way he says it… it’s like… it’s… the way… just how he says it.”

“Ash's brows knitted together "This is a side to you that I've not seen before. I mean, you can get embarrassed easily by a guy, I know, but this is different. What do you mean 'how he says it?' Surely there aren't too many options?"

Jungkook threw his head back, meeting the floor instead of beanbag, which started off the hysterical laughter again as Ash heard the thump. He ignored his friend who was practically rolling side to side, tears streaming down his face as he cackled, shuffling on the bag of beans until his head was in a better position. He did have hope that Ash would fall off the sofa, which would serve him right for the hysterical laughter but doubted that would happen as he answered him.

"I don't know what it is about the way he says it. I just know that he has two ways of referring to me and one of those is wrong… so wrong… but also right… too right… but the wrong kind of right and… and I can't… I just can't."

Ash turned on his side to face the direction Jungkook was in, wiping his face from the tears, clearing his throat before speaking "That makes no sense at all. What did he say in the messages?"

"Brief summary… he mentioned the kiss, he hopes to experience how passionate I am, he is wearing a T-shirt and he asked if I like being naked."

"Holy fuck! He is literally fucking you with words! You seriously cannot be under any illusion that he wants you? That is straight up him coming onto you."

"He's like that in person too. So we'll be talking and he'll just drop something in that changes the whole meaning of what I said and it embarrasses the shit out of me. Then it's even worse if he says my name. Dude, the guy is ridiculous."

"Are you sure he's a top?"

"Why would you even think that he can't bottom just because he's so… so… erm…"

"Dom?"

"He isn't dom, you need to Google that because he isn't dom. He's got a confidence and a strength in personality, I suppose. He definitely has no filter or shame but that doesn't make him dom. Besides, you know that sexual preference has little to do with your everyday persona."

"I know. I was only asking. I'm surprised that he's not a top."

"I bet he's a real pussycat in bed." Jungkook laughed as he speaks.

"Didn't he tell you that he does as he's told in bed?"

"Something like that."

Ash waves a finger at Jungkook, "I want all the details when you do fuck him. I don't want any of this shyness bullshit. I want details."

"You will get what you're given"

"Confirmation that you wanna fuck him."

"Ash, who in their right mind wouldn't want to? Even you."

"He's not my type, I prefer my men to have white Ferrari's"

"Now, that was amusing… for you, straight boy."

The friends laughed before switching on the TV to play a few games.

****

KTH
How is your day progressing?

Taehyung was taking a break, he'd eaten while working and now, at 4.23pm, he'd decided to send Jungkook a text. He'd spoken to Jin who'd phoned him earlier to say his job had been extended but due to a change in schedule, it meant he'd be back for the charity event so he would definitely be there. He also confirmed he would be popping in to Purple Aura on Friday after landing so he could look at the designs for the advert. The call ended abruptly due to the lack of reception in the building Jin was in, somewhere in Saudi, apparently.

JK
It’s going okay. How about you? Got much done?

KTH
Worked solidly so I’ve got quite a lot done.

JK
I’ve done some practice and gonna shower then grab some food with Ash.

KTH
Is that your way of forcing me to imagine you naked, Jungkook?

JK
It wasn’t but I’m flattered that you think that.

KTH
You’re flattered that I imagine you naked or that I thought that was your plan?

JK
Either is flattering.

KTH
It would be preferable that it wasn’t just my imagination.

JK
What do you want? A video?

KTH
Are you offering?

JK
I was joking, that was my attempt at humour.

KTH
That’s a shame, I will have to persevere with the mental image created by me, for now.

JK
I hope it does me justice 😉

KTH
Jungkook, I doubt it. You are welcome to replace it with reality whenever you like.

JK
You should be so lucky.

KTH
I told you, I make my own luck.

JK
That you did. Good luck with that.

KTH
I almost always get what I set my mind on, Jungkook.

JK
What is it that you want?

KTH
Another kiss, at the very least.

JK
Maybe you won’t be successful in this case. There’s a first time for everything.

KTH
Perhaps, but you returned the kiss so I do not believe that success is in doubt.

JK
I might’ve been caught up in the moment.

KTH
This is true, so does that mean that if I kissed you again that you wouldn’t reciprocate?

JK
That would be for you to find out, surely?

Taehyung grinned to himself, that was a resounding ‘acceptance of another kiss’ in answer to his question, if he’d ever heard one, no matter what the busker tried to proclaim.

KTH
I look forward to finding out, then.

JK
You do that. In the meantime, I need to go.

KTH
Enjoy your shower and food. I will be here all evening if you would like to call me when you are available.

JK
Are you trying to encourage me to distract you from your work?

KTH
I don’t believe you need much encouragement, Jungkook.

Taehyung couldn’t prevent the image of Jungkook in the shower from creeping into his mind. The way he imagined him to stand as he ran his hands over his legs, up to his stomach, he’d seen his bare arms up to his shoulders when he wore the sleeveless top in the subway so picturing his biceps was easy. He suspected that Jungkook was lean but toned because of all the dancing he did, he could see the way his hand would disappear between his legs as he soaped up his scrotum. He closed his eyes as he imagined the way he would fondle his balls and run his fingers along his perineum, then lathering up his penis, how he would feel if it were Tae’s hands, how his flaccid member would grow with each touch. The CEO let a small whimper leave him as his hand headed south, the tips of his fingers dipping beneath the elastic of his satin bottoms. His dick tingled as it awoke, rubbing it with his palm, long fingers closing around it as his jaw relaxed, eyes squeezed shut.

His mind continued showing him the image he’d conjured up, the way the water dripped off every part of the busker’s body, how his hand reached around towards his buttocks and his fingers ran between his cheeks, skimming his entrance. Taehyung’s chest rose and fell as the image developed, imagining how Jungkook would slip a finger inside himself, wet and soapy, the sounds echoing around the bathroom as he added more fingers and found his prostate. Tae’s cock was hard in his hand, he dragged his foreskin down, the head bulging as he pumped himself, the dryness causing the movement to be slower than he’d usually like but it all felt so good he didn’t want to stop. As his mind played the sounds of Jungkook fingering himself, he wondered if he would sound as pretty as he did when he sang, how he would sound as he came. Tae collected the precum from the tip of his cock on his fingers and spread it over the head and around the sensitive rim, he could feel his orgasm seeping through his body from his toes.

He wanted to know whether Jungkook would be shy when he was being ridden and dirty talk was whispered in his ear. He wanted to know whether he could provoke him into fucking him hard, if his shyness would take on a different persona when he had Tae rolling his hips in his lap. Tae saw glimpses of that confidence and he’d made it crystal clear that he was the one who would be doing the fucking and the CEO wanted to be fucked, he licked his lips as he sped up his hand movement and groaned as cum dripped down his knuckles. The images in his mind, he hoped would become reality at some stage.

Chapter Text

“Stefan! Stop! Stop apologising! I am yet to realise how any of this is your fault, so please stop apologising.”

“Yes Sir, sorry… err… I’ll get you a tea.”

“No, you shouldn’t even be here, go home.”

“I will get you a tea, Mr Kim, Sir.”

Stefan hurried out of the office, lights switching on as he rushed through the corridor of Purple Aura, heading to the cafe on their floor where he knew the staff would be in early, preparing food and taking deliveries. He hadn’t anticipated being at work at 4:20am on a Monday and certainly hadn’t wanted to drag his boss out of bed with bad news but that is exactly what had happened.

Stefan’s sister worked in America, teaching Korean and Japanese at a large school, she often forgot about time differences and phoned her brother, full of excitement about something and she was usually disappointed because of the initial response she got, until she realised she’d just woken him up. On this occasion, she’d phoned him continually until he answered because she’d seen some news in Japan relating to Purple Aura and needed to tell Stefan straight away. She always kept up with news in Japan, had many friends there after teaching English there for a couple of years so she often said she had a trio of home countries as she liked America too.

In the article she'd told Stefan about, the media reported that Purple Aura had forged documents to steal a company in Japan. They claimed that an inside source from Purple Aura had confirmed this and that Purple Aura's plan was to demolish the building that the company had operated from for 80 years. There was a photograph of Taehyung bowing to the company owner and the report stated that he had offered to do their advertising to boost the company while stealing it from under their noses. Stefan had read the article online, in shock as words like ‘underhand’ and ‘fraudulent’ were used in conjunction with the company that was anything but. He’d been left without any choice, dialling Mr Kim immediately and meeting him at the office, much to his boss’s surprise.

“Does it sound like I care? I am telling you that I want you here in five minutes!”

Taehyung was on the phone when Stefan placed his tea on the desk, not really knowing what he should do. He sat on the chair on the other side of the desk and scrolled through social media on his phone. His sister had suggested that he tried to find the so called inside source and helped him go through the articles online looking for a clue. He felt sad to see the things being said about his boss and Purple Aura, he knew precisely which company they were talking about, he remembered the deal being done and he remembered the conversations about how to get it back to what it once was.

The company ‘Heiwana ki’ was a small business that designed and built bespoke furniture and carvings from natural wood. The furniture was once sought after but the owners became ill and needed to close for a period of time which meant business teetered off. Namjoon spoke to Tae about it because he’d used them many times, their designs usually a one off and so unique that they were adored by the elite and had a price tag that only suited the wealthy. When the owners' sons were old enough, graduating from university, they wanted to take over the business from their parents and get it going again but by then, the business wasn’t there and they struggled. Namjoon happened to contact them about a dining table for a client of his and when he heard the trouble they were having he’d phoned Taehyung to ask about advertising. That was the time the duo had gone on a business trip together, both flying to Japan so Tae could see the business and speak to the family who owned it.

The problem was that the company couldn’t afford the advertising and Tae wasn’t in the habit of giving his services away for free. He’d agreed with Namjoon that the business offered a unique service and that it needed saving but he wasn’t in the habit of offering charity. After hours of talks with the family and a big family bust up between the sons, the parents agreed to sign over the business to Purple Aura. Taehyung’s lawyer wasn’t pleased because the document drawn up had a clause that stated that the family wouldn’t incur any charges and the nature of the agreement was that ‘Heiwana ki’ would belong to Purple Aura but Tae agreed to keep the name and the business as it was, he would take over everything to run the company and launch an advertising campaign to increase business. Purple Aura would pay the family a wage, twice what they were taking for themselves previously, plus a percentage of profits. Taehyung made sure there was a clause that forbid the sale of Heiwana ki without the permission of the parents. This was his way of giving the family security so they understood that Purple Aura would essentially be a name on documents and on advertisements, only. It was a lucrative deal for Purple Aura because if marketed correctly, if business started booming, there would be a lot of money coming its way. Taehyung's lawyers complained further about the clause that stated that the Parents could buy the company back at any time but there would be negotiations on price, should they wish to do so. It was his legal team's nightmare because they weren't used to putting anyone other than Purple Aura first but Taehyung reminded them that they had a job to do and they were paid extremely well to do that job.

“Stefan, I told you to go home, did I not?” Taehyung said, placing the phone back and leaning forwards in his chair.

“You did, Mr Kim but I would rather stay.”

“I’m not paying you for being here because I have told you to go.”

“I understand, Mr Kim, Sir but I will be staying so you will have to fire me, if you want me to leave.”

Tae’s brow creased as he frowned at the cherub of a young man sitting opposite him “I’m not going to terminate your contract even if you are being incredibly defiant and ignoring the orders of your boss.”

“Would you like me to amend your schedule for today? Do you need any of it cleared?”

“No, I want to keep it as it is. My first meeting isn’t until 11:30 and there is a chance that this will blow over.”

“Can I get you some breakfast, Sir?”

“No. Mr Hugo will be here soon. We will discuss the legalities and I am meeting Public Affairs this evening so I need that last meeting to finish at 7pm and no later."

"I will get on with my day, then…." He pushed the chair close to the desk "... Sir?"

"Yes, Stefan"

"Did Saturday go well?" he shuffled his foot a little, it probably wasn't the right time to ask but he hoped a second distraction might not be a bad thing.

A small smile broke out on Taehyung’s seriously stressed face "It did, thank you for asking." The words accompanied by a slight nod.

Stefan smiled "I'm so pleased, Mr Kim, Sir. I do hope that we can find a point where you can tell me about it because I would like to hear it."

And with that he left the CEO to it.

***

"I'm going to advertise for a new roommate"

Jungkook was sitting at the table, finishing some notes before heading off to uni, Ash was making kissing noises with puckered lips and a stupid grin on his face in between.

"Well, you should've heard you on the phone last night. What was that ridiculous voice and giggle?"

"Ash, shut up! You shouldn't have been listening."

"Was that your shy giggle because he told you he wants to bend you over his desk?"

"He didn't say anything of the sort so stop it."

“What did he say then? We finished that game and you went off to make your love call and I could hear you trying to play hard to get, then there was the little school girl giggling.”

“Next time I will make sure I indulge him in his relentless quest to talk dirty and jerk off loudly.”

“He gives you a boner then? As well as making you giggle like a little girl.”

“I’m not discussing my erections with you.”

“But he gives you one though.”

“The Ferrari did, I know that.”

Ash laughed “It would’ve given me a boner too”

“I hope I’m not there when you see it.”

“When are you seeing him again?”

“We haven’t arranged anything. I was thinking of messaging him this week and asking if he wanted to get some lunch.”

“You mean you’re going to ask him out on a date?” Ash has high hopes for a resounding YES, in response from his friend but also doubts it.

“I am possibly going to ask him if he wants to get lunch.”

“Oh come on!! Mr Monster! You surely can’t have any doubts that you are sort of seeing each other now?” The urge to strangle his best friend is something he is slowly becoming accustomed to.

“I wouldn’t call it that and I feel like we are just taking everything as it comes. I still don’t know that much about him.”

“Google it! What do you spend your time talking about?”

“He mostly asks questions about my course and music and stuff. We talk about whatever comes up, I suppose. Last night we talked about some old movies but he always manages to find an innuendo somewhere.”

“I bet you spend the whole time bright red. This is good. I’m pleased for you, even that stupid giggle is cute.”

“Yes I spend most of the time red, the man knows what he’s doing and is clearly a sadist.”

“Have you sent him a good morning text with a kissy emoji yet?”

“No… maybe… no emoji though.”

“This is practically married life already. Goodnight and good morning texts and you know it’s serious.”

“It’s not serious. We hardly know each other and we are too different, really, it is what it is for the moment.”

Jungkook closed his notebook, gathered up his things and put them in his bag, he had a few classes today, an extended lunch that he planned to spend in the dance studio then a shift at the diner. Monday’s were good to him as he got to dance all day then see two of his favourite people at work so he bid Ash farewell and headed off to tackle his day, ignoring whatever his friend said as he walked out the door.

****

Leading up to lunchtime, his thoughts were completely consumed by the CEO, the phone call the night before was fresh in his mind, particularly the way he’d said his name several times. Jungkook was mostly embarrassed by his reaction to it, he’d had to clamp his hand over his mouth at one point because he feared his reaction was audible and he dreaded to think what Tae would say if he’d actually whimpered down the phone. He’d done his best to explain to Ash about how the CEO seemed to lower his tone as he said it, how his natural speaking voice was baritone anyway but when he said ‘Jungkook’ he held onto the ‘oo’ sound and deepened his voice, hitting him right between the legs. He’d even told Ash that Taehyung had started calling him ‘Kookie’ from time to time which he liked but that gave him different feelings entirely because it was quite playful. He was grateful that his friend left the laughter and eye rolling until after he’d finished because he realised that he’d been in a bit of a daze while talking at the time. Taehyung was bleeding into his life, he was consuming his thoughts and affecting him in so many ways. Jungkook kept putting the mental brakes on because he couldn’t allow himself to get carried away, he wasn’t going to be the one fawning over the highly desirable CEO, putting his feelings on the line only for it to not go anywhere. He couldn’t offer Taehyung anything, the CEO was in a league of his own and they were worlds apart, Jungkook was very conscious of that. However, he couldn’t prevent the thoughts from flooding his mind and the sound of his voice echoing in his head and he could only ignore the fact that he really liked him for so long.

“What are you doing here?” Jungkook said, breathing heavily after a morning of choreo practice.

“Rude!” Ash replied.

“You never go anywhere that could be connected to exercise.”

“I brought your lunch. You left it at home.”

“Oh, thanks.”

“I’m not coming any closer, you stink. I’ll leave it here and go, I’m going to the labs.” Ash pinched his own nose for effect.

“At least I have a reason for being stinky, you don’t.”

“Fuck off, Kookie Monster. Enjoy your lunch texting your boyfriend, kissy, kissy!”

“He’s not my boyfriend and I won’t be texting him.” he says quite curtly.

Ash stops in his tracks, “Why?”

“Because he hasn’t replied.”

Ash walked towards Jungkook “He hasn’t? Maybe he’s busy.”

“Yeah of course.” the droll tone said so much more than the words.

Ash frowned “It’s only been a few hours, he’ll contact you, I’m sure of it. He’d have loved that girly giggle last night.”

Jungkook smiled and rolled his eyes “Just go to the lab, you. I’ll see you at Dino’s later?”

“I’ll be there. My shift starts at five but I’m going up for dinner first.”

“Okay, I start at three. I’m practicing through lunch now, then finishing up here. Marie said she’ll save me some dinner. Don’t eat it all!”

“You are the gannet, not me. Sees ya later.”

Jungkook walked over to where Ash left his lunch, sitting down on the floor against the wall as a few others came in from his class. He looked at the message he’d sent Tae that morning, wondering if it had been too much? All he’d said was ‘good morning’ he thought that would be nice after their phone call and Tae had sent him a ‘goodnight’ text thirty minutes after the call finished. As he chewed the cold pasta, he tapped out another message:

JK
How’s your day going? Did you get any more work done last night?

Last night Tae had told him that he had a few more things to get done but was glad for the break when Jungkook called him so he thought it would be good to ask him about it. He thought about what Tae said at the theme park, about making time for the things that matter and the fact that he’d made time for the call, even though he was working reinforced that for Jungkook. The call didn’t feel rushed or awkward, conversation flowed and the CEO had managed to fluster him a few times and he was glad that it wasn’t a video call, the number of times he blushed. Jungkook loved dirty talk, during sex it had a very specific purpose but the CEO’s lack of filter or shame was highly annoying at times and he got the feeling it was something he would have to get used to if the situation continued.

Before leaving the huge studio for the diner, he used the bathroom to have a quick wash. The studio’s were housed in a separate building on campus, it was several floors of studio space with a huge bathroom which was also a changing room, pretty much like the one that the sports guys had. The university was renowned for their facilities and it took Jungkook a lot of time and effort to get in, originally hoping to get a scholarship but missing out marginally. This was his final attempt to graduate, he was practically a mature student now, he’d tried three times since he was first at the age for university after graduating high school but life got in the way every time. This time he was determined, when he enrolled at this university he was motivated and desperate to succeed. No one was going to get in the way and Ash already being at the university was a big help in him settling in. He wasn’t scared or daunted by moving away and joining Ash, who was now doing a masters degree because he had been able to follow the normal course of life. He’d needed the fresh start, he spent a lot of time missing his best friend who’d moved away from the city they’d gone to high school in. This city wasn’t far and was familiar but it was still ‘new’ when he first moved, he’d worked his backside off to earn the money before enrolling and once he’d been accepted, nothing was standing in his way and he would be graduating this academic year… finally.

He checked his phone, it was just a message from Marie. He looked at his reflection in the mirror, his bare chest glistening where he’d splashed himself with water, tiny droplets rolling down his neck, over his collarbones and losing momentum on his pecs. He chastised himself... ‘Fucking idiot’ he told himself because he looked disappointed that the text wasn’t from Taehyung. He ran a brush through his dark curls that were more defined thanks to the water and sweat, he was still undecided about his hair, Ash said it needed cutting but he was quite liking the longer look. As he tied back the ebony mop into a tight bun at the back of his head, several curls refused to comply and hung loosely around his face, touching his cheekbones. He knew Ash would soon start on about getting a haircut but he would take his time to decide.

***

“What’s up?” Ash asked as they walked home.

“Just tired. That was a mental shift.”

“Is that all?”

“Yeah, what else could it be? The diner was busy all afternoon and this evening.”

“You’ve looked down all evening, that's all." he doesn't believe a word of it.

"I'm fine. Just tired."

"Have you heard from KTH today?"

"I've not checked my phone."

"Wanna play a game when we get in?"

"Mind if we take a rain check? I'm gonna go to George’s and get some practice in."

"I thought you were tired?"

"I am but I could do with the practice."

"Alright, well, I finish early tomorrow so I'll be home most of the afternoon. How about I get some beers?"

"We're broke, Ash."

"I know but Smiler owes me so he can pay me in beer."

Jungkook smiled a weary smile at his friend "I'm going to go busking for a couple of hours tomorrow afternoon but will be back by six."

"You have yourself a bro date."

"Awesome. Can you take my bag up? I'm gonna go straight there."

Ash took the rucksack from Jungkook "Sure. Take it easy, yeah?"

"Yeah, yeah."

Jungkook crossed the road and headed towards the park, he couldn't help but feel disappointed that he hadn't heard from Taehyung all day. The messages were constant more or less yesterday and in the days leading up to Saturday, there had been several so he was perplexed as to why there was nothing from him today. Maybe he'd already allowed himself to get carried away? Maybe he was already in deep? Maybe it was time to accept that this situation meant more to him than he led himself and others to believe.

***

Ash didn't want to tell Jungkook he looked like shit because he suspected it had something to do with the CEO. He didn't want to push him at the moment, he thought he would bide his time until he was left with little choice because there was a chance that he would pull himself out of the bad mood he seemed to be in. Ash knew him well enough to know when to provoke him, when to be brutally honest and when to leave him alone. They had a bro date this afternoon so he would see how the land lay then.

"Morning" Ash said.

"Morning. Have you finished with the shower?"

"Yeah. It's all yours. I'm off now, will see you about six?"

"Haven't forgotten. See you then." Jungkook was more annoyed than anything after he'd thought it would be a good idea to send Tae another text late last night and another this morning. He’d been tempted to phone him but felt stupid because he really was bothered and now he felt like the stalker.

By the time lunchtime arrived, he'd checked his phone more times than he thought was humanly possible and felt even worse than yesterday. Irritation and annoyance was overriding the disappointment in himself for allowing his feelings to get away with him. He should’ve known better, he was kicking himself when deep down he knew this would end badly, he knew that men like Taehyung played sick games with people like Jungkook. He knew that he was just a toy to Tae, he wasn't anything special, just someone to be used and mocked, then dropped when he'd had enough. He'd vowed that he wouldn't allow someone like Tae to control his life again, that he wouldn't let someone who had money worm his way into his life and make him believe his intentions were good, when they weren't good at all. He was annoyed that he'd believed him, he'd actually enjoyed the texts and the calls, he'd dropped a barrier or two when Tae phoned him that time there was a misunderstanding because he wanted to rectify it. He'd dropped barriers on Saturday when he'd apologised at lunch, when he'd seen Tae's face because he wanted to buy him something to thank him, when Tae had let him drive his car… and he'd definitely dropped a barrier when Tae had kissed him. None of it made sense as to why, after the call and texts on Sunday he would simply be ignored but men like Taehyung had no feelings for anyone other than himself so he shouldn't be that surprised.

The songs he sang in the subway were melancholy and represented how he was feeling. Damn Kim Taehyung for walking into his life and infiltrating his mind and body. He found that he scanned the commuters, just in case the CEO appeared, even though he hadn't been in the subway for some time or at least Jungkook hadn't seen him. It provided a further irritation that he was even thinking about him, let alone looking for him, attempting to push away the glimmer of hope and calling himself names for being such an idiot. The subway was rammed, there was a baseball game on so there were fans everywhere. It was so busy that after a couple of hours, he'd had enough and decided to take the long way home, pleased with the money made in the short time he was there. The money in his pot was another reminder of the man who had steamrolled into his life, he wished he'd ever met him now.

When he got home, Ash was laying in the armchair, side on, legs dangling over the arm, his feet moving. He had a beer nestled between his body and the back of the chair and a games controller in his hands.

"Hey! Don't panic, this is my first beer. There's one in the fridge for you."

Jungkook muttered 'thanks' and disappeared into the kitchen, returning with a bottle of beer and collapsing onto the sofa.

“How can you even play like that?” he asked his friend whose head was hanging over the arm of the chair.

“It helps my already incredible gaming ability.”

Jungkook stretched his legs out in front of him on the small coffee table, crossing his legs at the ankle and placing his phone beside his feet as he nestled the bottle in his lap and picked up a controller.

“You are deluded if you think you have any kind of gaming ability.”

“And you are pining.”

Jungkook took a sip of his beer and placed the bottle back between his legs “I’m what?”

“Pining. You have been moping around like a lovesick teenager.”

“I haven’t. I’m tired and… it was busy at the diner last night.”

“I know, I was there.” Ash decided to drop it for now.

Three games and two beers in and the friends were laughing about Ash losing again, even though he was definitely going to win the next one… apparently.

When Jungkook’s phone vibrated loudly on the table, the way he leapt forwards, knocking his empty bottle on the floor, made Ash raise his brows and the look he gave Jungkook said ‘really?’. The busker ignored him, fumbling for his phone and he knew that Ash had seen his face fall when he saw the message.

“Don’t! Do not say a word!” Jungkook said, sitting back and swigging down the last of his beer.

“Confirmed.” Ash said, eyes still on his friend.

“Whatever.”

“I’m going to have a stab in the dark and say that you haven’t heard from KTH.”

“Are you going to start the game or not?”

“Why won’t you talk about it? It is okay to be pissed off. You thought you were getting somewhere at the weekend and he’s ghosted you, I’d be upset too.”

“I don’t want to talk about it, I feel stupid.”

“Have you tried texting him since yesterday morning?”

“Yeah, I text him last night just to say good night and I text him this morning but instead of telling him that he shouldn’t bother to contact me again because he’s missed his opportunity, I said good morning and asked if he is alright.”

“And that’s it?”

“I’m not wasting anymore time on him. Obviously he changed his mind and instead of being a decent human being and telling me he wouldn’t be seeing me anymore, he’s just brushed me off like I’m nothing, which is probably what he’s thought all along.”

“You don’t know that. He might have a good reason? Kookie Monster, I hate seeing you like this, you obviously like him more than you let on or this wouldn’t be getting to you.”

“It’s got to me because I’ve just been dropped like a fucking hot potato! I feel like a child’s toy that wasn’t good enough so I’ve just been thrown away. It makes me feel like shit and he can fuck himself!”

“Not because you might’ve started to believe that you could be more than friends?”

“It doesn’t matter what I believed, does it? I should’ve listened to myself, Ash. Men like him with all their airs and graces, all their arrogance and wealth, they think they can have what they want when they want and to hell with anyone else.”

Ash shook his head “I get what you’re saying and if you were describing Ryan and his family then yeah, I get it but I don’t get that sense with KTH. I know I haven’t met him and I know I don’t know him but I have read stuff about him and I’ve heard the way you’ve spoken about him… I just don’t see it.”

“You don’t need to see anything anymore. He could turn up with flowers and chocolates on his knees begging and he can fuck off. It was great, I got enough money to cover a good chunk of the fees in the last quarter and I drove one of my dream cars. Now are you going to start the game or not?”

Ash was beat, he knew it, there wasn’t anything he could say so he started the game and hoped that Jungkook was wrong about Taehyung because he wanted to see that smile back on his friend’s face. He’d hoped that Tae was different, hoped he could sway Jungkook’s opinion on those rich people he was so against but with each passing hour without any contact, he was reinforcing every negative opinion and every fear that his friend has.

Chapter Text

Wednesday dragged, the fuzzy head caused by the beer from the night before didn’t help and Jungkook was pure angry with himself and the whole world. He’d danced until he was exhausted, pushed himself to focus on the class and learning the routines, he’d intended to go to the diner to meet Ash but cancelled this morning and jogged straight to St George’s after staying on at the studio for two hours longer than he should have.

The daylight hours were coming to a close as Jungkook stopped to take a drink of water, the cold liquid providing some relief as he breathed heavily, the thin white cotton t-shirt sticking to his body with perspiration. Ash had offered to meet him and suggested they both went for something to eat but Jungkook didn’t really feel like being sociable. It was the most annoying situation to be irked so much by circumstances that amounted to nothing in the grand scheme of things. But Taehyung had made an impact and now Jungkook needed to stop wallowing and promise himself that he wouldn’t be so stupid as to fall for such tricks again.

He was about to run through a part of one of the songs that he was having a few problems with when a breeze caught him and carried a familiar scent with it. He rolled his eyes at himself and thought that if he’d had the ability to give himself a kick up the ass, he would have because even now, three days after the phone call with Taehyung, he still couldn't get him out of his mind and now he was smelling him too. It even caused him to wish that Ash was here because he wouldn't think twice about booting him up the backside and telling him that he's a dickhead... a crazy dickhead who is imagining the scent of a certain CEO's cologne.

“Finally!”

Jungkook's stomach lurched and he froze on the spot, turning around to where the voice was coming from, only to be met with a sight that would have prompted a different reaction three days ago. He turned his back, wishing he was an actor, not a dancer because he knew he wouldn’t be able to pretend that Taehyung wasn’t really striding towards him.

“Jungkook.”

Taehyung stopped a couple of feet away, his forehead creased from frowning as he eyeballed the man standing with his back to him.

“I am sure that ‘rude’ or ‘ill-mannered’ is already on the list but if not I will have to include it.” Taehyung's tone was biting.

Jungkook spun around to face him “Sorry, do we know each other?”

Tae put his hands on his hips, moving his suit jacket out of the way as he did so “Is that your attempt at humour? Because if it is I would suggest you stick to dancing.”

“What are you doing here, Taehyung?”

“Since you have chosen not to respond to my message, I thought I would come and ask for a reply in person.”

Jungkook scoffed loudly “Fuck off, Tae! I haven’t heard from you since Sunday night and you have the brass neck to stand here and speak to me like that… fuck… off!”

“That is actually incorrect because I sent you two messages today and left you a voicemail.”

“That was after ghosting me for two days.”

“I explained that I have been busy, I thought I explained in my message this morning.”

Jungkook looked uninspired “Yeah, okay. You were so busy that you couldn’t respond to a text that would take 30 seconds. Millions would believe you, I don’t.”

Tae flexed his fingers on his hips “Please do accept my sincerest apologies that my definition of busy isn’t the lunchtime rush at the diner.”

Jungkook’s face twisted in annoyance “You arrogant prick! Self righteous arsehole! How dare you! It would have taken you a few seconds to reply but you chose not to so don’t stand here with that attitude.”

“It was not a choice, I was not keen on sending you a message so late and nearly didn’t send it but I’d already left it so long that I took the risk of waking you up at 4am.”

“It was too late by then but not in the way you were thinking.”

Taehyung was beginning to get angry because Jungkook was so closed off and wasn’t listening.

“What is it that you would have liked me to have done while I was attempting to save my business and my reputation?”

“Replied to one of my messages so I didn’t start to disbelieve everything you told me. So that I didn’t rubbish the fact that you make time for the things that matter. Clearly those things are only important when you decide they are.”

“So the fact that I sent you messages today, including a voice message, then drove to your home, the diner, then here, counts for nothing?”

“I haven’t listened to your voice message because I’m not interested in your excuses and 'so what' that you drove around looking for me? It’s not like you have a problem affording the fuel.”

“Your maturity is astounding.”

“Fuck off, Taehyung.”

“I might just do that because do you know what? I haven’t been home since Monday morning when I had a phone call at 3:30am to inform me of something that threatened everything I have. I have slept on the couch in my office, if you can call it sleeping, so I will do as you wish and I will fuck off.” he was so infuriated.

Jungkook couldn’t quite relax the knot in his stomach or the tension in his muscles because he was angry, mainly with himself but at Taehyung for making him feel the way he’d been made to feel. Suddenly he also felt a little like shit for not considering that it had been something serious that kept Tae away, he’d been so consumed with being convinced that Tae was the same as everyone else with money that he wasn’t really giving him a chance.

Tae took a step to walk away, he was physically and mentally exhausted, he’d been angry when he parked up because no one ignored Kim Taehyung and now he was bothered for different reasons. He’d known that the busker could be difficult and sensed that he had a bite to him but he was regretting the fact that he decided to come to the park instead of going home first.

“Was it worth it?” Jungkook had a hand on his hip, the bottle of water in the other hand as he glared at Tae, he wanted to look past the anger he was feeling but his mouth just kept moving. The CEO looked so calm and so together that he wasn’t sure if he cared at all and he wanted him to be bothered, he wanted to see that he gave a shit.

Tae sighed and looked at Jungkook “Was what worth it? I do hope you aren’t asking about my decision to come here because that would be daft, even for you.”

“This is why I didn’t bother starting a list for you because ‘arsehole’ covers all of it. I was asking whether ghosting me was worth it, it was my angry way of asking if you managed to fix the problem?”

Taehyung took a couple of steps closer to Jungkook, the park was relatively quiet as daytime gave way to early evening, he could just walk away, turn around and never see him again, that would be such an easy solution to such a maddening situation… but Kim Taehyung rarely took the easy way out and Jungkook was still a mystery he wanted to solve or was it his own feelings that were the mystery?

“Why are you angry?” he asked the busker.

Finally, Jungkook lowered his tone from the previous raised voice that he’d been using to spit words at the man now standing within touching distance. “Because you disappeared, you acted like I didn’t exist and ignored me. I thought… after Sunday… never mind. You just ignored all my messages without a word then you expect me to welcome you with open arms and life doesn’t work like that.”

The CEO, whose suit was slightly crumpled, even after he’d managed to get it pressed at 5am this morning, whose hair was pushed away from his forehead and in desperate need of a good wash (since dry shampoo wasn’t good for it according to Jimin) moved one step closer.

“I didn’t expect that and I was very conscious that you were sending me messages but there didn’t seem to be the time to devote to responding.”

Jungkook dropped the bottle into the paper bag to the left of his feet, part of him wanted Taehyung to walk away, to turn and leave and let him get on with his life but the biggest and loudest part of him wanted to believe him, wanted to believe what he was seeing when he looked into his eyes and saw a man who would probably rather be at home instead of arguing in a park. There was a gentle innocence about the look in the CEO's eyes at times, he searches for it at times when he wants to believe that Taehyung isn't a repeat of his past.

“I’m not going to apologise for being angry.”

Tae reached out his hand and brushed Jungkook’s fingers with the tips of his own, the slightest touch to ground them “I’ve learned enough to know that, I’ve already added ‘stubborn’ and ‘pig headed’ to my list.”

“You won’t be surprised when I tell you to fuck off, then, will you? And you can add ‘insulting’, ‘irate’ and ‘offensive’ to that list too, if you haven’t already.”

“I have already added those because I checked a thesaurus and threw related synonyms on there too.”

Jungkook huffed and sighed, darkness was falling and even for him, this fight was becoming draining, he thought about his conversations with Ash and the countless times that he’d asked his friend why he bothered at all if he didn’t like the CEO. He was sure that Ash would be waving his finger at him and telling him to calm down and he definitely would be telling him to stop acting like a jerk.

He wiggled his index finger tentatively, he didn’t know how far Tae’s fingers were, he was looking downwards, his head tilted towards his chest. There was silence between them as the very tips of their fingers made contact, they both moved their digits with the smallest of motions and Jungkook knew he needed to turn this around.

“Did you manage to sort out the problem at work?” he asked quietly into the space between them, his index and middle fingers touching Tae’s.

“I did, yes. It may rear its head again but we have the evidence and there are things in place to shut it down. There are still a couple of loose ends but the main bulk of stress has peaked, hopefully.” Tae made sure his tone was low, he spoke quietly, he hooked his two fingers around Jungkook’s and they were still.

“That’s good then. You must be worn out, you should go home.” the words left his mouth but he didn’t move and his fingers remained in the grasp of the CEO’s.

Taehyung leaned forwards, the breath that left his lips as he spoke caused a shiver to run the length of Jungkook’s spine and cause goose bumps to peak across his skin.

“I am sorry.” three words that rushed through Jungkook’s ear and melted his resolve slightly.

He looked up, the tingling from the goose bumps still making its way around his body, the CEO was so close to him as he looked into his eyes “I’m sure you are.” he said.

"Would you rather I left you to practice?" he actually didn't want the answer to be 'yes' and he didn't know how he'd feel if that was Jungkook's answer but he asked anyway.

"I was just finishing up. I was going to lay on the grass and look at the stars, I know how lame that sounds but it helps me clear my head."

"Could I join you?"

Jungkook couldn't hide the look of surprise on his face, he definitely didn't expect Tae to want to lay on the grass and gaze at the stars with him. It was something he liked to do after practicing because it allowed his mind and body to relax so he did it as often as he could.

"If you want to, I don't mind you staying."

At that point, Jungkook should have moved but he didn't, he didn't really want to pull away, even though Taehyung wasn't going anywhere. It was an odd feeling and a complete contrast to the one he felt earlier, he was learning as much about himself as he was about the CEO.

"I love to look at the stars, I'd like to stay."

It was Jungkook who moved first, releasing his fingers from Tae’s gentle hold and lowering himself to the floor. This part of St George’s was quiet most days, he'd been using it for practice and a place to reflect since he moved to the city because it was in a far section of the gated park so people didn't venture there. The lake and the cafe, the sports courts and picnic areas were all in the main area so it was usually only dog walkers or the groundsmen that came up this far. It appeared even quieter once darkness fell, the street lights illuminating as much as each one could reach, casting shadows of various shapes and sizes.

Taehyung removed his suit jacket and placed it on the grass beside Jungkook, his breath catching and causing him to cough as he watched Jungkook lay on his back, his toned chest quite prominent through the thin white t-shirt, even in the dim light. The physical attraction was certainly something he couldn't ignore as he felt his body react, even in its weary state. It occurred to him that he hadn't seen Jungkook with his hair tied back before as he lay beside him, turning his head to look at him instead of the sky, he liked it, he thought it suited him.

"Do you do this a lot?" He asked.

"Whenever I can." Jungkook answered, looking straight up at the sky, well aware of the Tae facing him.

"I've always been interested in astronomy."

Jungkook realised that Taehyung rarely offered information about himself, he was usually too busy asking him questions about his life so he liked to hear something like this.

"It's beautiful, don't you think?"

"Most definitely, very beautiful." Tae's voice was a loud whisper.

Jungkook’s heart started beating quickly "You aren't even looking at the sky."

"I wasn't talking about the sky."

Shit! Jungkook could feel the thumping in his chest and his body melting into the ground. His breath hitched as Taehyung’s fingers took hold of his own once more, skimming over his knuckles and stroking his skin. He wanted to turn his head but didn't want to give in because he was still hurt and wanting to protect himself from further harm. He was attempting to reinforce the walls he'd built up in the past few days, not wanting to lower his guard again but also wanting to believe that this wasn't some sick game on Taehyung’s part, when his name was whispered and he thought he would die from the sound.

"Jungkook"

He'd spotted Orions belt and was searching and silently naming other constellations as his brain began to short circuit… the gentle touches on his hand, the close proximity of the man next to him, the way he said his name… then, there it was again….

"Jungkook"

So seductive and tempting, like rich molten chocolate pouring from a fountain and encasing a strawberry or marshmallow on a bamboo stick. He found his head movement was completely automatic, his body betraying him as his eyes locked with Tae’s. It was embarrassing how heavy his breaths were, he was convinced that it was the only sound to be heard but he was caught up in the gorgeous face beside him.

It seemed to take an age for Jungkook to turn his head, Tae was sure he could see the reflection of the stars in his eyes and he’d never met anyone he wanted to stare at so much. The way the streetlights cast a soft glow on his face made him appear angelic, his curls still damp with sweat, stray strands sitting against his cheek. He could feel the roughness of his hands under his fingertips, he liked how masculine his hands were and had imagined a few times how they would feel gripping his shoulders from behind. His attraction for Jungkook was definitely not in question, he couldn’t even put his finger on the specifics because there were a whole host of reasons he fancied him but there had to be more to it than that because here he was, laying on the grass in a park at night after twelve hours sleep in three days.

“Yeah” Jungkook breathed, there was no vocal sound, just a word as he exhaled.

Taehyung placed his left hand on top of Jungkook’s right and folded his fingers around it, he gave it a gentle squeeze then the space between their mouths decreased and their lips met. They were motionless for a while, the fleshy pillows pressed together, Tae continued to squeeze Jungkook’s hand periodically. It was the busker who parted his lips first, taking Tae’s top lip between them and sucking lightly, the hum of satisfaction that came from Taehyung spurred him on, cautiously tracing his cupid's bow with his tongue.

Jungkook probed further with his tongue as Tae pushed his own tongue out to taste him, taste buds set alight by the first contact. The soft wet muscles twisted around each other, the angle awkward but reaching what they could, heavy breaths taking in as much air as possible so they didn’t have to break the kiss. Their hands remained together between their bodies, heads turned, necks straining, their tongues dancing the rumba to music that no one could hear.

They parted slowly, Taehyung smiled and pecked Jungkook quickly on the lips once more before they separated properly “Can we start this week again?” he asked.

“Minus your work situation?”

“Minus you thinking I was choosing to ignore you.”

“We can try that.”

Tae wanted to ask Jungkook to the charity event on Saturday, it had been on his mind when they’d called on Sunday and a couple of times since but he couldn’t quite get the words out and now wasn’t the time. He was running out of days, he knew that but he would have to choose his moment wisely, for now he wanted to enjoy this moment as he leaned in once more and connected their mouths. He was the one who was embarrassed by the noise that left him when Jungkook raised himself up on his elbow, pulling their hands apart so he could lean over Taehyung and deepen the kiss. The way Jungkook teased his lips with his tongue was driving him wild and sparking the desire within him, he opened his mouth wider and moved his hand onto his own chest where it was grasped by Jungkook. Tae’s mind was spinning, laying beneath the busker and feeling like he’d opened Pandora’s box the day he’d agreed to the smoothie.

“You should go home and get some rest.” Jungkook said as he pulled back, gazing down at the man smiling underneath him.

“I’d rather rest here, I won’t have the same view at home.” he smiled more as Jungkook’s face took on the shy expression he was so familiar with.

“Are you working tomorrow?” Jungkook needed to steer the subject away because his face was red, he knew it, thankful for the dim lighting.

“I am, I have a full schedule. Are you at school tomorrow or at the diner?”

“No classes tomorrow but I’m busking early then I have a long shift at Dino’s as I’m working 12 until 8.”

“Perhaps you could call me after your shift? Or I could call you?”

Jungkook smiled sweetly “I’d like that. It might be better if I phone you in case I get held up and can’t answer when you call.”

“I will wait for your call, then.” Tae lifted his head and left a chaste kiss on the buskers lips before they agreed to leave the park and head home.

Taehyung was exhausted but argued his case when Jungkook refused a lift home and eventually he won. The goodnight kiss was as gentle and languid as every kiss shared so far and he suspected that once home, it wouldn’t take him long to fall asleep and it would be Jungkook invading his dreams.

Chapter Text

Taehyung woke with a smile but his body ached from the stress that had thrust itself into his life, he inhaled deeply because one of those stresses had a name… Jeon Jungkook. He rubbed his eye with his index finger and with a paused blink, tried to remember falling asleep last night but presumed he must have crashed out as soon as his head hit the pillow. He hadn’t expected Jungkook to be so hostile when he first arrived at the park but he also hadn’t expected to have his messages ignored either. In fact, he no longer knew what to expect when it came to Jungkook because he was so confusing and maddening most of the time. During the three days that he was fighting to save his reputation, his legal team doing everything in their power to get media outlets gagged, he hadn't once considered that Jungkook would be so bothered by the lack of communication. In his world everyone was busy and going without contact for a few days was normal, even with his family. When it came to ex partners, he would have dates scheduled and very little communication in between, so this was all very unfamiliar territory.

He reached for his phone and bleariness clouded his eyes as he looked at the time, he had a busy day ahead and could definitely have done without a 6am start, his body protesting as he sat up. He sent a text to the masseuse he used, requesting an urgent appointment in the hope that it would sort out the pain he felt as his muscles complained, probably from the three nights spent on the couch in his office. There was a text from Jimin which he read and laughed at, then hovering over Jungkook’s name, the last two messages on there a reminder of how bloody minded the busker could be.

KTH
Good morning 😊

But today was the start of a new day where he really did want to make it up to Jungkook so he knew he hadn’t ignored him on purpose. He wanted to forget the last three days for many reasons, where Jungkook was concerned, he would like to continue from Sunday when he felt they’d connected. The phone call was an extension of the fun parts of Saturday, the texts and conversation on the phone were suddenly fuelled by the kiss, the brief connection of lips had given them confidence and he thought things had changed.

JK
Good morning. Did you sleep?

KTH
Yes I did, thank you for asking.

JK
It’s good that you slept. Good luck tying up those loose ends today.

KTH
I prefer to be tied up. Have a good day, I will hear from you this evening.

JK
You will.

If Taehyung was honest, he’d had doubts about his guesswork about the type of lover Jungkook was, he flustered so easily that he came across as quite timid but the way he took over the kiss as they lay in the park last night told Tae that he was right and he was sure Jungkook could handle a little blushing every now and again. The problem was that Tae was enjoying the fact he could make him blush and liked to see just how blatant he could be before shyness won.

The shower made him feel more human, even though he had a shower in his office, the situation had taken over everything and he didn’t have the time. It became pretty serious at one point with other news and media outlets threatening to break with the fake news and Tae’s legal team spent hours on the phone sending them the documents including the one that said they would be liable for slander if they went ahead after receiving the evidence. Taehyung knew what negativity could do for his business, there were cases where bad press was good press but when it attacked his personal reputation, the trust other companies had in him would disperse and he stood to lose everything. They’d managed to stop any further news stories from breaking, Tae spent a long time on video call with the couple who owned Heiwana ki, they also released a statement confirming that Purple Aura hadn’t ever acted inappropriately and that if it hadn’t been for Taehyung, they may never have been able to reopen at all. With business doing well, it was always Taehyung’s intention to hand the business back to the owners, a clause in the original contract which meant full ownership returned to the couple once all were in agreement but Purple Aura would continue to get a percentage of the profits. It was one of the sons who started the rumour to hurt the CEO’s business, working with a member of staff from Purple Aura, he had never been a part of the original agreement after he caused a family drama, feeling hard done by when he thought Taehyung had stolen his inheritance. It was complicated and messy but it was something the family had to deal with, the son now outcast by his parents and his brothers until he could prove himself. The CEO wanted to have the son charged with slander but after speaking to the parents he decided that it was better left to them to deal with, he had his own situation to deal with when it came to handling the employee who had been so quick t betray him and his company.

Tae felt pretty good as he walked into his building, the usual greetings from people he didn’t really know, striding up the corridor in his burgundy suit, white shirt tucked neatly into the waistband of the trousers, briefcase in hand.

“Good morning Mr Kim, Sir.” Stefan scurried around his desk.

“I despair.” Taehyung said, walking past his P.A and opening his office door.

Stefan blinked several times in quick succession, confused as to what his boss was talking about but grabbed his notebook and followed him inside.

“I will collect your breakfast and your tea after our briefing because you have the early meeting this morning.” he said, sitting down on the chair, placing his notebook on the desk, pen poised.

“Why are you using a notepad?” Tae asked, hanging up his suit jacket and rolling up the sleeves of his shirt to reveal his forearms.

“The tablet is on charge and your schedule is set so I was just being prepared in case you had anything to tell me.”

“I see. There isn’t anything to add apart from the unexpected appointment I have at 1, I was told you know about it.”

“Yes I do and it is in your diary. Mr Park spoke to me to fit it in yesterday. Mr Park is quite amusing, Sir, if you don’t mind me saying?”

“That is not usually a word I would use to describe Jimin so I am sure he would see it as a compliment....” Tae checked the time before continuing “... since we have a little bit of time before your working day officially starts, could I ask you something?”

“Yes Sir, Mr Kim, of course. Is it about the busker?”

“Jungkook, his name is Jungkook, yes it is about him.”

“I have been wanting to ask but with everything that happened, we haven’t had the time.”

“I believe your assumptions have been correct up until now so I wanted to ask you what you think his reason would be for being highly offensive because I couldn’t contact him for two days.”

“Would you mind if we went back to Saturday so I can understand what has happened?”

“No I don’t mind.”

“Saturday went well?”

“Yes, it did. I mean there were one or two moments where he suddenly snapped or became a little bit difficult but I feel it did go well. In fact, when we said goodbye, there was a very brief kiss.”

Taehyung watched as Stefan’s face lit up and he grinned. He’d been in two minds as to whether he should divulge that information but he conceded that since Stefan is the only person who knows anything about the situation he finds himself in, he should be armed with the information.

“That is great news, Sir, I think we have established that he does like you as more than friends then, so that is very good.”

“He hasn’t confirmed that.”

“Did he kiss you back?”

“Well, yes, he did… it was very brief on Saturday.”

“If I could be so honest to say that talking to you about personal matters, as nice as it is, is very hard work, Mr Kim. It always feels like you are holding back and that is your right of course, but if we are to talk and you are asking for my opinion, I can’t give it to you unless I have the information.”

Taehyung sat back in his chair “Yes, I understand and I am giving you the information as you ask.”

“How about you tell me what happened from the kiss up until now?”

“I can’t be too sure what information you need.”

“Give me everything that involves you and Jungkook.”

“Well, after we said goodbye I went home and sent him a text to say goodnight. On Sunday we sent quite a few texts and then he called me in the evening. We were talking for about an hour if I remember correctly. You know what happened in the early hours of Monday morning because I was here. I was so busy that I didn’t respond to his texts on Monday or Tuesday, I sent him messages on Wednesday, which were ignored and I also left him a voice message which he didn't listen to. Due to not receiving a reply, I went to locate him after leaving here and I found him at St George’s park.”

Taehyung frowned when he realised that Stefan had been taking notes as he spoke.

Stefan took a minute to read what he’d written before looking across the desk at his boss “He was mad, huh?” he said, tapping the end of the pen on his cheek, deep in thought.

“He was hostile, yes, you could say he was mad.”

“Jungkook is an emotional guy isn’t he?”

“Erm… well… yes, I suppose you could say that.”

“I get the impression that he is quite fiery, possibly defensive that’s all. He seems to react to the things you do, like when you left him alone on his break and now with the texts. I understand why he gets upset though, I think that I would too.”

“You would? Because I didn’t respond to some texts?” It seemed a little bit over the top to Taehyung, if he was honest, given that they hadn’t even told each other that they liked one another.

“Yes Sir. You had a good day out together, there was a kiss which shows intentions of more than friendship, there were texts and a call the following day which further reinforces the intention because I am going to presume that conversation between you isn’t strictly platonic, then following on from that, his messages are ignored. He was probably wondering why and going over the weekend trying to work out what prompted the blackout.”

Taehyung scratched his head and rubbed his chin with his thumb and forefinger “It was only two days and I was busy. I wasn’t really ignoring him, which I did explain and I apologised in the first message in the early hours of Wednesday morning.”

“Yes but by then, he was angry. Two days is a long time when the previous two days had shown such promise, Sir.”

“I’m not one hundred percent sure that I agree but I am resigned to that happening often with Jungkook.”

“What happened at the park? You said he was offensive and hostile.”

“He was indeed. He cursed at me a lot and shouted. I apologised again and to be quite frank, I was extremely tired so standing in the park having a public shouting match wasn’t something I wanted to continue.”

“He stopped shouting?”

“Eventually, yes. I think perhaps, once I alerted him to the troubles I’d had here, that he reconsidered his position.”

“Then what happened? How were things left? You appear quite happy today so I’m presuming you parted on good terms.”

Taehyung was impressed with the small details that his P.A picks up on, “We star gazed for a little while and we kissed, then I took him home after yet another bout of confrontation.”

“Confrontation? About what?”

Tae took an exaggerated breath at the memory “He didn’t want me to give him a lift home. He wanted to walk.”

“So you argued about that?”

“I wouldn’t say we argued per se but yes, there was a heated exchange. He insisted I go straight home and I wanted to drive him home first.”

Stefan giggled “Oh Mr Kim, Sir, he really does care. I’m sure that he wanted you to go home because of how little sleep you’d had. I expect he didn’t see the point of keeping you out longer than necessary.”

“He said something like that, about how he was capable of getting himself home.”

Stefan rubbed his hands together “That’s so cute. He likes you, he definitely likes you or he wouldn’t care that you ghosted him for two days or that you’d had hardly any sleep. Oh he likes you.”

“I do think that unless he has a nasty habit of kissing everyone he meets, then there is a chance that he likes me.”

“And you like him.” it wasn’t a question because Stefan thought there was nothing to doubt it.

“Yes, Stefan, I like him. I’m not accustomed to kissing people I dislike.”

“When are you seeing him again? Have you messaged him this morning? Are you going to take him out on a proper date, one where you actually ask him?”

“That is too many questions, Stefan. We haven’t arranged anything, yes, I sent him a text and received a reply and no I haven’t any plans to ask him out on a date but I have a charity event to attend on Saturday which I would like to invite him to but as my plus one, not a date.”

Stefan stood up, aware that he needed to go “You should ask him, I think Mr Park is looking forward to Saturday.”

“He told you?”

“Yes, he told me when he arranged your appointment.”

“I would appreciate your confidentiality when it comes to anything that we discuss in this office, regardless of who it is that you are speaking with.”

“That goes without saying, Sir. I got the impression that he wasn’t aware of your romantic situation. I wouldn’t divulge anything because it isn’t my place to do so.”

“Good. Thank you. Could you send Mr Wright in when he arrives and alert security so they are aware that he will need to be escorted from the building once the meeting is over.”

“Yes Sir, of course. I will be back shortly with your tea and breakfast.” Stefan did a small bow and left, a smile on his face because he liked to see his boss happy and after the way the week started, he was pleased to see him less stressed.

***

“You have got some explaining to do, Kookie Monster.”

“What are you doing here?”

“I stopped by on my way to the library. Why are you smiling? Why were you singing in the shower last night and why did you cancel me?”

Jungkook looked around the diner before sliding into the seat opposite his unexpected visitor. Ash was in his room when Jungkook got home last night and he jumped straight into the shower before going to bed.

“Firstly, I’m smiling because I am a professional at work. Secondly, I thought I would get some practice in while showering and I cancelled you because I was exhausting myself in George’s.”

Ash squinted his eyes at his friend “You’ve heard from KTH haven’t you? Did he tell you why he ghosted you? What did he do for you to forgive him?”

“This is not a game show, you can’t just keep firing questions at me.”

“You don’t have long and I don’t have long so just get on with it.”

“Okay! Yes, he sent me messages yesterday but I ignored them so he found me at George’s last night. Don’t look at me like that! I told him exactly what I thought and we had a bit of an argument but his reason was kind of understandable, I suppose. It wasn’t just that he was busy, it was pretty serious.”

“He went looking for you because you ignored his messages? Wow! That dude is into you!”

“He looked for me because he’s arrogant and he obviously can’t handle being ignored.”

“Says you? Who didn’t handle being ignored.”

“That’s different.”

“I thought it would be.” Ash laughed.

“”Fuck off, go and bury your head in books and be useful.”

“So you made up? Anymore kissing?” Ash wiggled his eyebrows and puckered his lips.

Jungkook’s reddened face answered the question first “Making up implies that we are something but we aren’t so no we didn’t make-up… and… yes, there was kissing.”

Ash stood up “You’ve got it bad and so has he. The sooner you both stop messing around, the better. Thanks for the tea, I’ll see you later. I don’t know when I’ll be in tonight.”

“I’m here til 8, anyway.”

“Keep smiling that professional smile for the customers.” he said with a wink.

Jungkook poked his tongue out at his friend and headed back towards the counter to continue his day. Busking went well this morning, the morning rush was profitable and he considered doing the morning instead of evening sometimes, people were happier to hang around and listen in the mornings and seemed more grateful of the songs as they headed off to work. The evenings were full of people who simply couldn’t wait to get home and most didn’t really want to stop and listen to Jungkook.

He was trying to keep himself in check, the kissing last night left him feeling a bit of a daydream state and there was a small part of him that felt bad for being so angry when Tae looked so tired and had obviously had a rough few days. He still believed that it wouldn’t have taken more than a minute to have sent him a text earlier than he had, but if he was going to continue being angry there wasn’t any point in seeing him any more. There was also a part of him that was surprised that someone like Kim Taehyung had gone to so much effort to find him and that helped the belief that maybe he was serious about him after all.

He was in a bit of a daze, he knew he was, he also couldn’t pretend that he wasn’t looking forward to speaking to Tae on the phone after his shift and this time, he would definitely make sure Ash wasn’t listening in.

****

Taehyung was standing near the floor to ceiling windows in his office, half looking out, over the city skyline while the man sitting in the chair was rambling. He moved his brown leather belt slightly and tucked the end into one of the burgundy loops, his right hand slipped into the pocket of his trousers, turning to cut off the man as he spoke. “I am not the least bit interested in what you have to say. I have brought you here merely as a formality.”

The man looked at Taehyung “Get on with it then.” His attitude was clear.

The CEO took two steps away from the window, his hand still in his pocket, an eyebrow quirked “At this moment in time, I am still your boss so I would strongly suggest that you remember who it is that you are speaking to.”

“You aren’t going to listen so why should I bother… Sir?”

“Let me cut to the chase, in about five minutes, your contract will be terminated and you will no longer be an employee of Purple Aura. I have enough evidence to start legal proceedings against you so your excuses are not necessary. I am obviously doing you a favour because it is evident how much you dislike the company, given your actions. You will be paid for the rest of this month and next month and that is more than I have been advised to do. You will be escorted from the building and you are not permitted to return.”

“What about my things?” the man asked, he knew that this meeting would be pointless and he also knew that once they found out what he'd done that he would be fired.

“I will arrange for them to be sent on unless there is something of particular value than you can be taken there once the guard gets here, he can walk you to your office.”

“What, so everyone can watch? No thanks.”

“As you wish.”

“You sit up here and don’t give a shit about people like me, you think you are so much better than anyone else.” Since he was being dismissed, he may as well speak his mind.

“You are entitled to your opinion. I would suggest some self evaluation on your morals before casting opinions on others.”

There was a knock on the door and Stefan poked his head into the office “Excuse me, Mr Kim, Sir, security is here.”

“Thank you, Stefan. Please send him in.”

The door open wider and a tall man in a security uniform walked in “Mr Kim.” he said, nodding his head once.

“Please escort Mr Wright to the exit and ensure he does not return.”

“Yes, Sir.”

The man stood up and looked at Taehyung “Karma will come for you.”

Taehyung took the seat behind his desk and didn’t look up as his now former employee walked out of his office with the security guard, he had no interest in Karma or words spoken in the heat of the moment. Over the years he'd heard it all before, there weren't many people he'd had to fire but the ones he did all said various cutting words as they left. The CEO knew that they were the minority, he understood that most of them reacted out of anger because they'd been caught doing something they shouldn't have. At every meeting he encourages staff to inform him of any issues that arise, no matter how trivial they believe the issues are. He tells his staff often that he can't act on anything if he isn't aware of it and so the words spoken by Mr Wright as he leaves do not deserve his time or consideration. Taehyung is well aware that some companies have a high staff turnover but Purple Aura isn't one of them and there is a reason for that.

***

The hoarse groan that left his plump parted lips as he stretched in the chair at his desk, hung in the air of his office. It was 7:20pm and he didn’t know where the afternoon had gone since he returned from his earlier appointments, one of which was the much needed massage. He checked through his emails once more and closed down the applications on his computer, forwarding his phone calls to voicemail and stretching out his legs once more before placing his mouse to the side and pushing his chair from the desk.

His thoughts went to where they’d been for most of the day… Jungkook.

The massage was most welcomed and not simply for the obvious reasons, he could lay and allow his mind to wander, going over his conversation with Stefan and unable to stop himself from thinking about how it felt to kiss the busker. He also realised that he was running out of time to ask him about Saturday evening, it was possibly already too short notice. As he closed his office door and locked it, he checked the time and had an idea, walking hastily to the elevator, hoping that he would be able to get to the diner on time.

The traffic was light as the red ferrari wound its way through the streets, a tiny spark of excitement bubbled inside him and he acknowledged that it had been some time since he’d been truly excited about something. He parked up in the street nearby and walked around the corner to where the diner was in relative darkness as they were clearly closing up. He could see the silhouettes of the staff in the back and he didn’t want to disturb them so he waited outside, taking his phone out of his pocket and seeing that he had a text from Jimin.

Mochi
We are meeting at Crystal Snow at 6:30pm on Saturday, If you aren’t picking your date up until later, we will see you at the venue at 8:30pm.

Tae
More likely that I’ll see you at the venue.

Mochi
Did you get your hair sorted?

Tae
Your guy did a good job, I like it.

Mochi
Your P.A is so cute when I spoke to him about the appointment. Why haven’t you hit on him?

Tae
He’s my P.A, Mochi, you know me better than that.

Mochi
No wonder you spend so much time at the office.

Tae
I spend so much time at the office because that’s where I work. Stefan is a very good P.A, that is all.

Mochi
A one off wouldn’t hurt. Is he as cute as he sounds?

Tae
Do I need to tell Yoon that you’re inquiring about another man?

Mochi
Low blow, Mr Kim!

Tae
See you Saturday, thanks for the hair appointment, Mr Park.

Taehyung smiled, locking his phone and putting it into the inside pocket of his jacket as he looked up upon hearing the door to the diner open. His smile widened and he reined himself in as Jungkook’s eyes widened seeing him standing there.

“Tae, what are you doing here?” Jungkook looked a little flustered and a whole lot surprised.

“I was on my way home and thought I would stop by after your shift so we could have that phone call in person.”

“You’ve just left work?”

“I have, it’s been a busy afternoon, I didn’t realise the time. Can I give you a ride home?”

“Yeah, sure, I was going to call you on my way home anyway.”

Jungkook could feel that he was blushing, it was a curious feeling because the reason was purely that he was surprised that Tae had met him after work. He thought about how he’d accused him of not making time for him and here he was, doing just that and his cheeks burned with flattery. He may also have been blushing because the CEO looked divine, in the brightness of the outside lights of the diner, couldn’t fail to notice that his hair was darker and had been curled.

“I’m parked over there.” Tae said with a smile.

The ferrari beeped as it unlocked and the two men took their seats inside, fastening their seat belts and closing the doors. Jungkook swallowed harshly as he saw Taehyung properly, illuminated by the interior light of the car. His hair was a chocolate brown, dark all over and curled so the loose ringlets hung down, covering the top half of his ears and framing his handsome face. When the CEO made eye contact, he felt like he'd been caught staring and quickly averted his gaze to his hands in his lap, not missing the way Tae smirked.

“Did you have a less stressful day?” he asked, wanting to distract himself from his thoughts.

“Erm, I guess so. It was definitely less stressful than the earlier part of the week.” The CEO replied.

Tae had a hand on the steering wheel, looking across to the busker who was wearing the familiar black t-shirt and combats, his hair was tied back again but the strands that refused to comply and hung around his face weren’t sweaty like they had been last night. He really liked it when his hair was tied away from his face, he could see the sharpness of his jawline and gave him a sexiness that he couldn’t deny made his groin ache. He ran a hand through his own freshly dyed and curled hair before starting the engine and placing the hand on the wheel. He’d expected to have his hair cut because that is usually what the hairdresser did on Jimin’s advice but apparently, this season, the longer ‘shaggy’ look was all the rage. Having Jimin as a friend was like when he lived at home and he had his Mother to arrange hair appointments for him, he didn’t have to give it any thought because it was taken out of his hands. He didn’t really care about his hair, he washed it and applied conditioning oil treatment to it once a month and as long as it looked healthy, he wouldn’t take the care of it that his friend did. Jimin took care of the whole group’s appearances, making hair appointments and arranging manicures if there was an event coming up. It was too much hassle for them to arrange these things themselves and since Jimin lived in the world of style, it was a part of his job so they let him get on with it. The only one who didn't have the same care and attention from Jimin, was Jin because he had a team of stylists around him most of the time so he always looked impeccable.

“An early night is on the cards then?”

Tae paused the movement of the car as he was about to reverse out of the street “That sounds like a tempting invitation, Jungkook.”

The busker was ever so pleased that the interior lights had switched off at that moment, the only light into the car being any that leaked in through the windows from the headlights of cars or the light from the street lamps. What didn’t help was the addition of his name and the way it oozed from Tae’s lips, it dripped off his tongue, pure sin in liquid form.

“It wasn’t an invitation.” he turned to look out of the window closest to him.

“Shame.” Tae said, the smirk on his lips evident in the way he said it.

Jungkook relaxed into the cream leather and turned to look at the CEO who looked every bit in control as he was. Jungkook couldn’t help that his eyes roamed, skimming over the way the burgundy trousers pulled tight over his thighs, his knees slightly raised as his bottom sank into the driver’s seat. He found that his lips parted a little as he took in the sight of his small waist adorned by the brown belt and accentuated because of the crisp white shirt that disappeared beneath it, with the collar open at the top. Jungkook wished that Tae had left his suit jacket on because the shirt sleeves were rolled up to below his elbow, revealing tanned forearms with prominent veins and a silver coloured linked bracelet sitting on his wrist. When his eyes diverted upwards, following the line of his chest, the skin on display through the open shirt, the broadness of his neck and prominent jaw… he was met with Taehyung’s eyes that had just flitted to him from the road and totally caught him gawking.

“Your… err… your hair looks nice.” Jungkook could have face palmed himself at this point but he’d needed to say something.

The smirk hadn’t disappeared, as prominent as ever “Thank you, as does yours. Do you tie it back for work?”

“And when I’m dancing, it just keeps it off my face. Ash keeps telling me to get it cut but I haven’t decided.”

Tae took his right hand off the gear shift and reached over, taking some stray hair between his forefinger and thumb “I like it like this.”

Jungkook felt like he was suffocating, the ability to think was becoming quite a task as he was consumed by Taehyung.

“Thanks.”

“So shy,” it was almost whispered into the air as he faced the road once more.

“Have you got a relaxing weekend planned? You will need it after the week you’ve had.”

“Not really relaxing.” he wanted to ask him to the event, he did but the words kept getting lodged in his throat. “How about you? Are you working much?”

“I’m not working at all this weekend, I’ve got another 12 til 8 tomorrow.”

Taehyung pulled up, stopping in the parking space that belonged to their apartment and switching off the ignition. The interior light came on with the flick of a switch and Tae unfastened his belt, twisting his body to face Jungkook as much as he could.

“I have an event to go to on Saturday evening and it might be something you would have interest in.”

“What is it for?”

“The record company that my friend is connected with has bought an old building that they are renovating to be a LGBTQ+ centre for people under the age of 18 who need somewhere to go. They want to provide free therapy, acting classes and dance classes too.”

“Is the event to raise money for it? Are they hoping to get sponsors?”

“Yes. Another friend of mine has offered to provide some of his students to teach there.” Tae suddenly thought how much he would like for Jungkook to meet Hobi but showed restraint as he put the brakes on his thoughts.

“I hope you have a good evening and they get what they need for it. There are so many that would benefit from somewhere like that.”

“Would you like to attend it with me?” the words just flew out.

“Go to the event with you?”

Taehyung smiled “Yes, I know it’s short notice so if you are unable to make it, it’s understandable.”

“What is the dress code?”

“Black tie… sort of? I don’t really know. I know that we have suits, one of my friends is a stylist and tends to arrange our attire for events.”

“Could I text you tomorrow and let you know?” Jungkook didn't have a suit but thought he might be able to borrow one. He also wasn’t sure about going, it felt like a big deal and he needed to think about it.

“Of course, Jungkook.”

Jungkook smiled as the CEO reached up and pushed a strand of hair behind his ear, it was so tender, he couldn’t help how he moved his hand up and held his nape as they both moved to lessen the gap between them. It was awkward but as their mouths molded together, neither really noticed. Tae’s hand fell to rest on the central console as he melted, the way Jungkook’s fingers applied pressure to his neck had him becoming pliant. A breathy moan left his lips when Jungkook nibbled his bottom lip and swiped his tongue over it. A fine misting appeared on the base of the window as nasally sounds resounded in the confined space. The kiss was slow but intense, their tongues mingled as if it was their first meeting, neither in any rush to end it.

When they parted, Jungkook kept Tae close, two firm quick kisses left on spit soaked lips before he released the hold on his neck. “I should go.” he whispered.

Taehyung smiled “Sleep well, Jungkook.”

The busker took a deep breath as he opened the car door “I will message you about Saturday, tomorrow. Good night, Tae.”

“Goodnight.”

The CEO watched Jungkook walk away, wanting him to look back because that's what they did in the movies but suspecting that he wouldn't. He wasn't sure whether the text tomorrow would be acceptance of his invitation, he found Jungkook difficult to read at times but the fact that he was considering it, was something. Taehyung liked how enthusiastic the busker sounded when he told him about the centre and tried not to get too ahead of himself as he could see Jungkook involved in it somehow. Eventually he pulled out of the parking space and began his journey home, he was sure that he could still feel Jungkook's lips on his and taste him on his tongue, this would probably be another night full of dreams invaded by the man infiltrating his life.

Chapter Text

“I shouldn’t go.” Jungkook shouted from his room.

“Maybe if I borrowed a suit.” he said walking into the bathroom.

“No, I shouldn’t go.” this was his decision as he entered the kitchen.

“It would be nice to go out, like on a date but it isn’t a date.” were the words spoken while pouring a drink.

“Okay, I don’t think I should go.”

Ash was rooting around down the side of the sofa cushions, as Jungkook sat down in the armchair. “Have you finished?”

“Finished what?” the busker asked.

“Being an indecisive idiot.” was the reply.

“I don’t know what to do.”

“Really? I hadn’t noticed.” Ash said with a giggle.

“What are you looking for?” It finally dawned on Jungkook that he didn’t know what his friend was doing.

“I’ve lost my pen.”

The pen? Your pen?”

“Uh-huh. I had it last night while you were fucking your boyfriend in the car and I’ve lost it. I have an exam in two hours, I need it.”

“I wasn’t fucking anyone and he isn’t my boyfriend. Have you checked the fridge?”

“Do you think you could get married without actually ever going on a date?”

“What? I don’t know, who’s getting married?”

“You will one day and it would be weird if you hadn’t ever been on a date because obviously nothing equates to a date with you two… why the fridge?”

“Because you always get a vanilla shake before bed so if you had the pen in your hand you probably left it in the fridge. It’s a you thing to do.”

Ash thought about it for a split second then went to the kitchen “I thought you were phoning him last night, anyway?”

“I was meant to but he was waiting for me to give me a lift home after work.”

“He is so into you, Kookie Monster. I will keep saying that until it sinks in… Got it!” Ash waved the pen in the air in the doorway “You were right, it was behind the milk.”

“Do you think I should go on Saturday?”

“Yes, definitely. I have a suit but it’s at Dino’s. You can try that on.”

“I would like to go, it sounds like a great cause. I might also like that Tae thought about me because of the dance classes.”

“That’s because he. Is. so. Into. you.”

“It isn’t him who will be into me though is it?” Jungkook laughed.

Ash choked on a giggle “You really need to fuck him because that tension is building. I definitely want details when you do.”

“It is becoming difficult to think of anything else when I’m with him, not gonna lie.”

“You are kissing him more though so that’s kinda expected.”

“I thought that he would take charge more than he does but when we kiss, he just… I don’t know… he turns into putty.”

“But that suits you, you are perfect for each other, surely?”

“Well… yeah… but I didn’t expect him to be like that. He's so confident and cold at times, mainly arrogant but then he touches me and… he… well, I… you know?"

Ash laughed loudly "I think I follow but you aren't making much sense. I don't know if I prefer you pretending to dislike him or this daydreamy, slushiness."

"I'm not daydreaming or being slushy."

"It's a good thing, Kookie Monster. I like seeing you like this, I mean, it gives me a lot to rip the piss outta you but it's also good to see that you're giving Mr Moneybags a chance."

"Fuck off, Ash."

"You are so rude."

Jungkook laughed and tapped out a text to Tae, confirming that he would be attending the event with him tomorrow night and keeping his fingers crossed that the suit fits.

***

When Saturday evening came, Jungkook felt like he was going to throw up everywhere, his nerves were getting the better of him. The messages between him and Taehyung were more or less constant now, he was a little bowled over by the effort the CEO was making if he was honest. Ash wasn't letting him live anything down though, especially when last night, Jungkook paused the game part way through just to answer the phone when Taehyung called him unexpectedly.

He was now standing in his bedroom, looking at his reflection, deciding that he shouldn't go… even though Tae would arrive to pick him up any second. He worried about everything, about meeting people and about there being too many people with money there, hoping they were like Tae and not like most people who are wealthy. He'd never been a fan of posh, stuck up affairs, people flaunting their money and fake laughing about topics that no one really cares about. He checked himself over, the dark grey suit was actually quite smart, it fit him well and Marie had given him a small blue scarf to tie around his neck instead of wearing a tie so that it wasn't quite so formal. The white shirt was crisp and he'd styled his hair for once, Marie had straightened it for him and he’d gelled it into a sort of quiff, showing his forehead. The last time he'd worn a suit was at his Mother's wedding several years ago and that was a day that he would quite happily erase from his memory so he was looking forward to replacing it with something positive this evening… even if he was once again deciding not to go…

The one thing that was most certainly not going to help his nerves, was seeing Taehyung standing by his ferrari dressed like a supermodel. The outside lights of the apartment complex shined bright on the CEO, dressed in a forest green suit, matching waistcoat, blazer and trousers. The blazer was nipped at the waist and the trousers flared slightly at the bottom. The tie nestle under the collar of the white shirt was burgundy stripes and the waistcoat seemed to accentuate his waist. His dark hair looked soft, still curly from his hair appointment on Thursday and Jungkook nearly tripped on air, he thought he was going to die. The smile that spread across Taehyung’s face made him feel less like a mere mortal to his supreme Godliness because whatever their situation was, he was pleased to see him which definitely brought out Jungkook’s shyness.

"H-hi" now was absolutely not the time to stutter or turn into more of an idiot than usual but Tae took his breath away and he hadn't had a minute to get control of himself.

"Hi." Taehyung replied, holding open the door and surprising Jungkook by pecking him on the cheek as he got in.

The busker fastened his seatbelt and used the minute he had before Tae got in, to compose himself and remember that this was no big deal, it wasn't a date, it wasn't as if Tae was dressed like that for him, this was just an event. He should be thankful that this isn't a date because now he could prepare himself for the future, should they ever go on an actual date, he knows what to expect and maybe this could be seen as a dress rehearsal... not that he thinks that viewpoint is helpful at all.

"Are you okay?" Tae asked, clipping in his belt and starting the ignition.

"Yep, thanks. Nice suit."

"Thank you. I would like to take the credit for it but the one I intended on wearing wasn't acceptable apparently so my friend sent this over."

It was a normal situation for Taehyung and the group. Every event that they attended would go the same way with Jimin asking for photos of their outfits and usually disagreeing and sending something over. They would have been annoyed in any other circumstances but Jimin was damn good at what he did and they all usually approved of his choice.

"The same friend who organised your hair appointment?"

"The same one. You will meet him tonight."

Oh! Jungkook hadn't really thought too much about the possibility of meeting Taehyung’s friends and the nausea kicked up a notch which was daft since this wasn't a date.

When they pulled up at the venue, Tae handed the fob to the parking attendant and tipped him. He'd learned that at events like this, they could get busy so a little extra to begin with meant he would get his car first in a queue of people. Money talks. They walked through some doors, up a flight of stairs and into a lavish hall. The record company and first sponsors had spared no cash in setting this up which would certainly encourage others to part with their money. Jungkook felt a little fuzzy as Taehyung placed a hand on the small of his back, as he had done so often when they were at the theme park. It was a small gesture but it was one of many things that he was reluctantly having to admit that he liked.

Jungkook looked around the hall, lots of rainbow colours and people walking around with tall glasses on trays. There were so many people and tables covered with rainbow coloured cloths and giant plumes of feathers as the centre pieces. There was a man juggling, a drag artist doing card tricks and a woman on a trapeze. It was crazy but Jungkook liked it.

Tae saw his group of friends up ahead, standing near a table. The first thing he noticed was Jimin and Yoongi in their matching black sparkly suits with rainbow handkerchiefs in the pockets, they looked amazing but that was a given. Hobi was beaming as he had his arms linked with the man next to him, his hair a fuschia pink which went well with the baby pink suit. They were all laughing, Jo's laugh the loudest which always tickled Taehyung because she was the smallest person in the group and she was mostly quiet unless she was laughing. He could see why Namjoon took her with him to events because she was quite easy going and fun when she wanted to be, part of him always hoped that they would end up together but as time went on that hope disappeared. He smiled when he saw Jin waving, the man looked ridiculously handsome as always, the deep purple suit looked great against his tanned skin and chestnut coloured hair and Taehyung wondered if the suit was down to Jin's myriad of stylists or whether it was Jimin.

"Holy Herrera! The next time I need to make a complaint, you are in charge of it." Jimin was astounded.

"What complaint? Why?" Namjoon, always slow on the uptake.

"Come on! He had problems with that company, he complains and they send him that. And if that isn't a piece of Taehyung then I don't know what is." Jimin pointed straight at Jungkook.

"Yeah, I see that." Jin added.

"Good to see you, Taehyung." Jo said, standing next to Namjoon in the cutest red dress.

"Nice to see you again." Tae said.

""Hi, I'm Jo." She said to Jungkook who smiled in return.

"My apologies, this is Jungkook. That's Jimin, his partner Yoongi, Jin, Namjoon, Jo, Hobi and…. Sorry I don't know your name."

"My bad…" Hobi’s words earning him a scowl from Jimin because that phrase was so two years ago. "... this is Emery. His real name is Arthur but he hates it."

Hobi laughed and Emery laughed too, Tae already thought they were perfect for each other.

"You survived drinks with this lot, then" Tae said to Emery.

"I did! They are so nice."

"This is our table. We only need to sit for the speeches and raffle draw." Yoongi said, looking Jungkook up and down.

"Have you seen Cruise's new movie?" Hobi asked the group in the random way that only Hobi could.

"I have." Jungkook answered.

"I'm an extra in it. I did the casting for it and the director asked if I wanted a cameo." Emery beamed.

"Wow! That's cool." Jungkook had seen the movie a few times.

"Being a handsome supermodel is better." Jin offered.

"Sure it is." Hobi laughed.

"What did you put in your complaint, anyway?" Jin asked Taehyung.

"Is this really the topic of conversation?" Tae said.

"Well, it is now we've seen him." Namjoon smiled.

Jimin had a displeased look on his face "even though, I do think you need to broach the subject of clothing with them. I mean, did they lend you that?"

"Sorry?" Jungkook looked at Jimin.

"Did they lend you that suit or do they expect you to provide your own?" Jimin added.

Jungkook didn't really know what he was talking about "I borrowed it from a friend."

"It needs to go in the feedback, Tae."

"Shall we sit down?" The CEO asked the group who all nodded and took seats around the table.

When they were all seated, Hobi started chatting about a new dancer at his school and Jungkook was animated as he joined in, talking about the different dances and being amazed at the complexity of the styles that the new dancer was able to do. He was enjoying the talk about movies, acting and dance, the arts was something he was passionate about, something he'd always longed to be a part of, he'd never lost sight of his dream, even when he thought all hope was lost.

"So you study and do this in the evening?" Namjoon asked Jungkook.

"I study, yes." Jungkook was getting a bit fed up of how his conversations were interrupted and how Yoongi kept side eyeing him.

"Does this pay for your schooling?" Yoongi asked "or do the extras pay for that?"

"I don't know what this is." Jungkook got the impression that Tae's friend thought that he was taking money from the CEO, which got his back up because he wasn't interested in the money, never has been, didn't even want the tips in the subway.

"Guys, can we not refer to the situation because I'm sure Taehyung doesn't really want it discussed in public." Jin was trying to be the voice of reason. "Not everyone can fly solo like me."

A few of them scoffed and giggled, turning to watch the woman in the leopard print costume eating fire and breathing flames like a dragon on stage.

Jungkook felt really uncomfortable, these people were everything he detested about the rich, they waved their money around in their expensive outfits and looked down their noses at people like him. He sat and listened to them asking Tae about the problem at Purple Aura, they all knew a lot about it, especially Namjoon. He hadn’t realised the full extent of it and was pleased it was rectified because he didn't like the thought that lies and deceit could have destroyed a whole company. The one thing he thought he knew about Taehyung was that he was a businessman who was honest and well respected for the way he ran his empire and the more he heard, the more this thought was reinforced. The conversation, however, was completely out of Jungkook’s remit so he sat quietly, feeling like a fish out of water, glances around the table met with looks from the others every now and again, except Yoongi who stared a lot. He wasn't keen on the looks he was given, it was knotting his insides and causing an irritation to build within him.

He needed to breathe so excused himself from the table. Taehyung stood as he stood "Is everything alright?" the words almost making Jungkook laugh.

"Wonderful" he said, the word dripping with sarcasm as he walked away from the table in search of the bathroom.

Taehyung turned back to the conversation and Jungkook inhaled deeply as he locked himself into a cubicle in the swanky bathrooms, there was a chance that he was reading it wrong but his gut said otherwise. He hated the way he felt, even on his way out of the bathrooms into the hall, everyone looked at him, he was sure they knew he wasn't like them, which was a ridiculous thing to think because he was a guy in a suit like many there. He took a glass of fizz from every tray offered to him on his way from the bathrooms, drinking it down before placing the empty glass on the next tray and helping himself to another. It was on the third pause at a tray, swapping the empty glass for a full one, that Jin appeared on his way to the bathrooms. Jungkook really admired the way he walked so gracefully, practically floating through the sea of people as he approached.

"Hey kid, some friendly advice, Tae doesn't like his dates to talk much. After the complaint, I'd have expected them to brief you but obviously not."

Jungkook looked at the model with a an irritated expression "Who? Brief me on what?"

"You aren't required to act, just smile and look pretty. That's what he pays for. The last guy who spoke too much was the reason for the complaint so I'm extremely surprised that they didn't brief you before giving you the job."

"I'm not following, I'm sorry but I think you're mistaken."

"There’s no need to pretend, Jun… J… Everyone is aware where you were hired from. I just thought I would offer some advice if you wanted to get paid tonight. Tae will refuse to pay if you don't behave accordingly and then it's your job on the line, but suit yourself."

As the light bulb shone and reality set in, Jungkook grabbed the arm of a member of staff walking past, taking two glasses and draining the contents before placing them back on the tray, watching Jin saunter off like he'd done him a favour. The rage burned in his core like the centre of the sun, his face flushed with the sudden onset of alcohol rushing through his system. If he hadn't needed to return to the table to collect the jacket to his suit, he'd have walked out already but it was Ash's suit and he couldn't leave it.

"Did they really?" Namjoon laughed as the group were discussing something that Jungkook had no interest in, he just wanted to leave.

He walked around the table to his seat between Taehyung and Yoongi, making no effort to make eye contact or sit down, taking the jacket off of the back of the chair and cursing when the lining got caught.

"Are you cold?" Taehyung asked him but getting no reply.

"I'd just leave it if I were you." Jimin added, watching as the busker wrestled with the jacket and chair.

Jungkook finally got the jacket free and slipped it on "If you'll excuse me, I'm going."

"What?" Tae's voice sounded beside him.

"Is that your call to make?" Hobi asked him.

Jungkook fought down the urge to shout, the furnace inside raging, the urge to cry hitting him. "You see, I have a headache, it's brought on by my extreme allergy to bullshit. Nice to meet you all."

"Jungkook, wait" Tae got to his feet as the busker strode off.

"What the hell?" Jimin said as Jin rejoined the table looking confused as everyone muttered things about further complaints to the company.

"Where are you going?" Yoongi asked Tae who was putting on his own jacket.

"I'll speak to you all later. I need to go."

"Make sure you ditch the company this time. They can't supply people like that." Hobi said, his words earning nods around the table from everyone except Jin who was none the wiser.

The cool air was the least of his worries as he was spotted approaching by the parking attendant who stuck his thumb up and rushed off to get the car. Tae needed the guy to hurry, he didn't know where Jungkook was or what happened to cause that outburst but no one embarrassed him like that. Jungkook hadn't been gone that long so he had absolutely no idea what could've happened between him leaving the table to go to the bathroom and him returning.

"Going so soon, Sir?" The young man said as he handed Tae the fob and had notes thrust at him in return.

"Yes. Thank you." Tae said, climbing into the Ferrari and speeding off without a second thought.

***

Jungkook was livid, he was stomping down the street when he heard the Ferrari slow down beside him and a familiar voice shout his name through the open window. He didn't turn his head, he kept walking, fists clenched because he'd been made to feel so worthless and was so humiliated that he wanted to murder someone.

The Ferrari slowed, crawling beside him as Tae yelled his name.

"FUCK OFF, Taehyung!" he yelled back.

"Jungkook, get in."

"Are you deaf? I said FUCK OFF!!"

"What is your problem?"

Jungkook felt enraged, laughing deliriously "You are kidding, right?"

"Can you please get in the car?"

Jungkook scowled at him "I'd rather eat my own vomit but thanks."

"Jungkook! Get in the car. I'm not doing this here."

"So don't then… fuck off, Tae. Go home and forget I exist, just like you have all evening."

"Is that what this is about? You're angry because I didn't give you enough attention?"

"Fuck my life! If I say yes, will you leave me alone?"

"No, but I'm about to abandon my car in the middle of the road because you obviously prefer to shout in public."

"Don't be fucking stupid! Just. Go. Home."

Taehyung was someone who didn't like public confrontation, he avoided it at all costs but this man was pushing him to his limit. He wasn't used to someone who didn't listen, who didn't do as instructed and his patience was wearing thin. He cut the engine and climbed out, leaving the red car in the middle of the road. "I'm not going until we've sorted this out."

Jungkook walked back towards him, hand gesturing towards the car "What the fuck are you doing? You can't leave that car there!!"

"Get in it, then." Taehyung was standing with both his hands on his hips, feeling more irritated with every passing second.

"Why, why should I? What makes you think that I want to be on the same planet as you right now? Let alone get in your car."

"I'd rather you yell at me in the car but if you want to shout in the street then we can do that."

"I let you in!! I knew I shouldn't but I did! And you've made me feel everything that I was scared of. You are a fucking cunt! I hate you!" Jungkook was spitting as he forced the words out with venom, using his hands to point and every muscle was tight as he clenched his stomach in anger.

"If you are going to be so offensive I'd rather you got in the car. Let me take you home." he knew that Jungkook could be hostile but this was another level of hostility.

"Your friends think I'm a fucking prostitute!! How would you like me to be?"

Tae's stomach dropped, he'd hoped that Jungkook hadn't picked up on it but obviously he was wrong. "Can we talk about this in the car? I'm going to just leave it there otherwise and walk after you."

"You can't do that to that car."

"I can and I will."

Jungkook stormed towards the car, throwing himself in the passenger seat and splaying his hands out in front of him, palms up at Tae who was stood in the street looking at him "Come on then, arsehole."

Tae walked around the side of the car and got in, fastening his seatbelt and pulling away before Jungkook decided to get out, even though he suspected that if he wanted to get out, he would, whether the car was in motion or not.

"Escort, not prostitute by the way." He said into the darkness of the car.

"Oh well that's so much better. Do you know what is worse than them thinking that I'm a prostitute? Do you? In fact shall I tell you what is worse? The worst thing is that you let them think it! You sat there while they looked down their noses at me and you said nothing! That is worse!"

"And how should I have introduced you? Since you're the one with all the answers."

"That isn't the fucking point! You are the complete arsehole that I thought you were! I gave you a chance, you made me think I had you all wrong but you are just a rich cunt, like the rest. You think that you can have anyone and anything, it must have made you feel so fucking proud that your friends thought you'd bought me."

"You haven't answered my question though? You sit there spitting vile words out at me for the dreadful things I have done, so please tell me, how should I have introduced you? A friend? Would that have been acceptable to you? Would it? Please tell me" irritation laced his words.

"Don't do that! I'm not one of your staff that does as he's told and I'm not someone you can throw money at to get a blow job at the end of the night."

"Jungkook, if you were one of my staff I'd fire you on the spot and I have never paid for sex but I would quite happily give you extra to shut your mouth, not open it."

"Yes I heard about how you want your dates to keep quiet and look pretty. Wow, you are such a pompous prick."

"Who told you that?"

"The model. He gave me some friendly advice."

"I see. Well there is an element of truth in that but I have my reasons and none of it applies to you because you were there under different circumstances. I'm still waiting for you to answer my question Mr 'quick to cast blame'"

"I don't fucking know, is your answer."

Taehyung parked up in space 69 which certainly wasn't amusing anymore.

"If I'd have introduced you as my friend, would that have been okay? You must know the answer, Jungkook, because you seem to have the answers to everything. So quick to shout and address all my faults but hesitant to look at your own."

"Fuck off, Tae. You are so fucking arrogant."

Jungkook made a move to open the door but Tae locked it. "You are exasperating. Answer the question."

Jungkook kicked his leg out, clenching his fists and was doing everything in his power not to cry, he wanted to feel anger but there was a point when the rage manifested itself as tears and he hated that.

"It would've probably made me feel shitty… but… it would've been better than being your prostitute."

"Escort… I've never been with a prostitute and I've never paid for sex."

"Whatever, it doesn't change the fact that they treated me like that, looking down at me because they thought you'd paid me to be there."

"I didn't know how to introduce you so I just didn't. I take responsibility for that. I would like to know why it would've made you feel bad if I'd said you were my friend."

"And I'd have liked to have not been made to feel the way I feel. We don't all get what we want, Taehyung but I'm sure that's a foreign notion to you."

"Please, tell me." he softened his tone.

They looked at each other, both had thoughts running through their minds, Jungkook’s eyes about to lose their battle with the tears welling in them and Taehyung desperate to reach out but wouldn't dare. He’d never fought with anyone like this before, it was all new and he didn’t quite know how to deal with how emotional Jungkook was.

“Because… that would’ve been wrong… I didn’t want to just be your friend.” Jungkook’s voice was quieter and he looked out of the window as a few tears broke free, turning his head away from the CEO.

Taehyung finally had the answer he wanted, the answer he'd hoped for “Jungkook, I’m sorry… truly… if I’d have thought about how much it would hurt you, I’d have done it differently. It was never my intention to hurt you.”

“Well, you have. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so humiliated in my life.” he spoke into the pane of glass beside him, not looking at Taehyung, a few more tears rolling down his cheeks, pausing before they dropped onto his suit.

Tae took a breath so deep that he felt his lungs cry out at full capacity and for once he was lost for words. “I am so sorry. Jungkook, please… look at me.”

The busker shook his head and whispered “No.”

Taehyung reached out his hand but retracted it instantly when Jungkook flinched at the contact “Please… please look at me.”

Jungkook turned his head slowly, the tracks from the tears glistened under the light from the street lamps, he could feel his cheeks getting tight as the skin dried. “What do you want Taehyung? You walked into my life, I didn’t ask for any of this.”

“I know and I would like the opportunity to do this properly.”

“Do what properly?”

“I didn’t introduce you as my friend because that didn’t feel right and…”

Jungkook went to cut him off but he continued.

“... please, let me finish… I know… I was wrong in allowing my friends to think that you were hired, I know and I am so sorry for the hurt that has caused. I like you, Jungkook and I would really like to see where this goes, I couldn’t introduce you as my friend because I have enough friends.”

“It’s too late, Tae. I can’t show my face to those people again. Just go back to hiring people, hire someone who will just keep their mouth shut and ignore comments from your friends because it won’t matter as long as they get paid at the end of the evening. Hire someone who can’t be humiliated and hurt, go back to that, it’s better for us both.”

Taehyung couldn’t lose Jungkook now “I have no right to ask but will you consider allowing me to take you out… on a date… a proper date. Clean slate and if you want to walk away after that, I won’t stop you. I… we haven’t had the chance and, I’d like to have that chance.”

Jungkook actually agreed with him, they hadn’t had the chance but he really was so hurt, he had to decide because if he got out of the car now, he would be turning his back on the CEO forever. He also knew that he couldn’t make a decision in the current circumstances, his mind was the aftermath of a storm, his heart was shattered and his emotions were all over the place.

“Do you want to come up for tea?” he needed to get out of his suit and needed to think. He couldn’t think like this but he couldn’t watch Taehyung drive away, either.

“That would be good, thank you.” he was a little surprised but so grateful that he hadn’t been rejected… yet.

While Jungkook changed, Tae made the tea, he’d insisted, wanting to do something. His heart hurt when he’d seen Jungkook’s tear streaked face in the light of his apartment and he felt rotten. He’d removed his jacket, tie and waistcoat by the time Jungkook emerged in sweats and a t-shirt, face washed but the hurt only too clear.

“I made you coffee.” Taehyung said, pointing to the cup on the coffee table.

“Thanks.” Jungkook picked up the cup as he sat down beside Tae, facing the tv, the black screen showing their reflection.

“I meant what I said, Jungkook. I should have handled this very differently and I'm perfectly capable of admitting when I am wrong."

“You won’t get any argument from me.”

“There’s a first time for everything.”

Jungkook looked over his cup at Taehyung, raising his brow “Really?”

“It’s true but it was bad timing. Sorry.”

Jungkook sighed “That might’ve been amusing if you hadn’t just trampled all over my emotions.”

“That’s fair enough. Will you let me take you out? Properly, on a date?”

“What if I have conditions?”

“Name them.”

“Is that what you really want? To take me on a date? To be with me as more than friends?”

Taehyung put his cup down and turned to face Jungkook “Yes, that is what I want. I would like the chance to take you out. It’s sort of been you taking me out up until now and the topic of dating has never come up, so I would really like it if you would give me the opportunity.”

Jungkook’s mind was numb but fuzzy, like the feeling after a migraine, the pain dissipates and leaves behind a thickness. He couldn’t disagree with the things that Tae was saying but he was apprehensive. “If you win us a game, I’ll think about it.” he said.

“A game?” Tae was taken aback.

“A game.” Jungkook said, gesturing towards the tv and games controllers near the cups on the table. He just needed time to get his head straight, not wanting to make a rash decision because that’s what he always did, he always reacts without thinking. He kind of hoped that Ash would be impressed when he told him. He appreciated the CEO waving the white flag and for admitting his mistake, the innocence on his face leading the busker to believe that he is genuine.

“So, I need to win us the game? Me? Who is unable to tell his character apart from others?”

“Yep.” Jungkook tried to sound unbothered and casual when the CEO was quite obviously confused and a little panicked.

Once the game was on and they were settled, Jungkook turned to Taehyung “eyes on the screen, you are the character jumping.” he said, pressing the button on his controller.

“Sometimes I struggle with looking elsewhere.” Taehyung said quietly, eyes darting to the tv and back again.

“There’s a lot riding on this though so maybe you should focus.”

The tiniest hint of a smile on both of their faces was welcomed as they turned their attention to the game. Taehyung was used to pressure but this felt a bit too much.

After a while there was complete silence in the room, aside from the music coming from the game that was rubbing their faces in the fact that they had lost. Taehyung looked dejected, he was surprised at how heavy his chest felt as he went to stand up.

“Thank you for the game, it was fun.” he said, desperately wanting to hide the sadness in his voice, it was so stupid.

Jungkook got to his feet, he moved his hand forwards and his fingertips found Tae’s, it was surprising how intense such a small thing was as the ends of their fingers made contact, “I accept your invitation, I will go on a date with you.”

“You will? But I thought you said…”

“I know what I said, I’m so hurt, Tae, I can’t help that right now but I want to give us the chance to do things the right way. I’m partly to blame for that because I didn't admit that I liked you as more than a friend and I haven't mentioned dating either.”

Their fingers moved against each other as they stood close “I am sorry.”

Jungkook sighed “I know but it isn’t that simple.”

Taehyung reached up with his free hand and pushed some hair behind his ear “Thank you for giving me a chance.”

Jungkook’s eyes close briefly “Us… I’m giving us the chance.”

“I should go.” Tae said quietly.

“Will you stay, just for a bit longer?” Jungkook was drained and really didn’t want to be left alone just yet, he didn’t want to part when he felt the way he did.

“I’ll stay as long as you want me to.”

They settled on the sofa, both of them squashed on the small piece of furniture, laying down facing each other, Jungkook’s back against the backrest and an arm around Tae’s waist after he’d nearly fallen backwards twice. They didn’t need to talk about anything heavy right now, small talk about the game they’d played and weekend plans was enough. Tae wasn’t sure whether he should but conceded that Jungkook would probably push him off the sofa if it was inappropriate… his right hand moved strands of hair from his face as he brought his face closer and gently touched Jungkook’s lips with his own, pulling back straight away to gauge his reaction.

“Sorry.” he said into the small space between them.

“It’s okay.” Jungkook whispered back.

Taehyung leaned in again, this time slotting Jungkook’s bottom lip between his parted ones. Mouth unmoving as he dragged the tip of his tongue along his moist lips, sparks flying as Jungkook’s tongue greets his own. It isn’t rushed or heated, there is no intensity or obvious desire. This is quite simply, two guys experiencing and tasting each other for what feels like the first time, both well aware of the mountain they need to climb if they are going to make this work.

Chapter Text

Jungkook opened his eyes, then closed them again, feeling like he had the hangover from hell but knowing that wasn’t possible as all the alcohol was burned from his system with the rage he'd felt, he was sure of that. He blinked slowly, eyes bleary, his face felt tight and his head was awash with a dull ache. He couldn’t move, his body felt heavy and then he heard a soft noise, trying to move his head but stopping when his chin came into contact with the head of the CEO snoring quietly on his chest. Jungkook couldn’t remember falling asleep, they lay facing each other on the sofa for ages, their mouths connected, their tongues savoring the taste of the other. At some point, sleep must’ve taken them both but he couldn’t remember when or who'd given in first.

He listened to the steady breaths and beautiful deep sounds coming from the man on his chest, he was just like any other man like this, there wasn’t wealth or materialistic things, it didn’t matter that the suit he wore probably cost more than the furniture in the lounge or that he had a ridiculously expensive supercar parked outside. He shifted slightly so that he could raise his hand and lightly twist the dark curls around his fingers, being careful not to wake him. He thought back to his previous relationships, he couldn’t remember a situation where kissing didn’t lead to sex, not in the way they had been kissing last night anyway, it was refreshing even though when he'd let the event, he'd expected never to see him again. Taehyung was unlike his other partners, he'd never had any complaints about his past, but the CEO certainly stood out... not that they were an actual couple yet because agreeing to a date didn’t mean anything, not really.

Jungkook wondered if Taehyung’s friends would contact him or even if they had done so already, wanting to know that he’d rectified the situation. He presumed that they would expect him to ditch the company for providing someone like Jungkook, they weren’t to blame for having the opinion that they did, that was Tae’s fault for not correcting them but they were to blame for the way they thought their behaviour was acceptable. Whether he was an escort or not, the way they looked down their noses at him and even the tone in which they spoke was unacceptable, even if he'd been getting paid at the end of the evening, it still wouldn't have been enough to warrant that treatment. They reminded him of every reason that he’s made the life changing decisions he’d made in the past, they reminded him of a time when he thought life was great but then he’d had to turn his back on the people he loved because his life wasn’t his own and he wanted to make his way in the world, achieve his goals and attempt to make his dreams a reality. He’d made many sacrifices to get away from people like that, he’d isolated himself from a world where rich people wanted to control his life and he despised people like that. He started to think that Taehyung was different, as Ash had pointed out, he’d done everything Jungkook asked of him with the tips and had been making an effort after the misunderstanding with the ghosting. But after last night… he didn’t know if it was enough.

He was still twirling the dark chocolate curls in his fingers when Taehyung yawned and rubbed his eyes. As he looked up at Jungkook, his eyes were still heavy and watery from the yawn. ‘He really is beautiful’ Jungkook thought, not really aware that his fingers were still busy in his hair.

“Morning.” Taehyung’s voice was hoarse from sleep.

“Morning.” he replied with a small smile.

“What time is it?”

“Just after 7 I think.”

Taehyung groaned, he knew he had a lot to sort out today, sighing at how he would need to talk to his friends about last night, sighing again when he remembered he had a brunch date with Jimin which they’d planned so he could return the suit he wore last night. In all honesty, he didn’t want to move, he didn’t actually want to leave Jungkook because he knew how much he’d hurt him last night and he just wanted to reassure him that things would be different and that it wouldn’t happen again. Tae wasn’t used to chasing people or feeling like he didn’t have the upper hand but last night he’d been very aware that he was close to losing the busker. It was like an important business meeting in the early days, where the people around the table needed convincing to choose Purple Aura for their campaigns, where Taehyung needed to pull a rabbit out of the hat and give the best sales speech of his life to sway them… that was as much as he was used to not having the upper hand and now, it wasn’t a big deal if the companies decided to go elsewhere. He’d spent years building his reputation and 99% of the time, people chose Purple Aura, they didn’t need convincing or a big sales pitch, the reputation and evidence spoke for itself.

The fact that Jungkook was so hurt, was hard to swallow, his reaction was startling to the CEO, he certainly hadn’t ever been spoken to like that but it got the point across nonetheless. He remembered that Stefan had referred to Jungkook as being emotional during one of their chats and Tae could quite confidently agree with that now but he didn’t quite understand the full extent of it. Many of Jungkook’s reactions seemed to be an overreaction, the feistiness and anger must come from somewhere but perhaps that was just Taehyung and the way he viewed it and it was definitely something he needed to learn to manage. He understood why he was hurt last night though, Tae should have corrected his friends but more than that, he should have dealt with the situation before the event, asked him as a date and told his friends who Jungkook was. Taehyung handled it badly, he knew it, he was old enough to accept when he was wrong, which thankfully wasn’t very often, it was now another puzzle he needed to solve because he actually wasn't sure of the best course of action to put things right.

“I should go.” Tae said, pressing his lips gently to Jungkook’s jaw, just to the side of his chin but not making any effort to move.

“You have work to do today?”

“Yes I do but I have a brunch date first… well, not a date as such.”

Jungkook didn’t know why he found the comment so endearing but he did. The way Taehyung corrected himself at the mention of a date.

“Who with?” it came out before he could think.

“Mochi… Jimin.”

“Oh.” Jungkook started to shift his body, moving out from under Tae so he could sit up.

Taehyung started to put on his shoes but turned to look at the busker who was rubbing his face and running his fingers through his messy hair.

“I will tell him about you and explain about last night.”

“There’s nothing to tell, is there?” Jungkook got to his feet and went to the kitchen, opening the fridge.

Taehyung took his waistcoat and tie off of the chair and slipped his arms into the suit jacket, walking the short distance into the kitchen where Jungkook was standing with his back to him. Jungkook stopped pouring the milkshake when he felt Tae behind him, standing so close there was barely any space between their bodies.

“I want to tell him about the date we are going on, about my intentions.”

Jungkook closed his eyes, feeling the heat from Tae’s body, the breath on the back of his neck “You’ll have to ask Jimin to call me and tell me what your intentions are because I obviously don’t matter enough to find out first.”

Taehyung put his hands on Jungkook’s shoulders, he leaned closer “My intentions are to make sure that you feel like you matter to me, which I am failing at, obviously.” he kissed Jungkook on the cheek. “Call me later if you can.”

Tae turned and went to the front door, Jungkook following, fiddling with the lock to pull the door open. He stood with his back against the open door so the CEO could pass by, an irritation festering in his stomach at the mention of Jimin but he didn’t want Taehyung to leave like this, either.

“It’s probably better that you call me when you've got time, if you have work to do later.” he attempted to soften his tone but the irritation still showed.

Tae faced Jungkook, he moved his hands towards him and when his fingertips found Jungkook’s he spoke quietly “I will definitely call you this afternoon. It isn’t just work, I have a date to plan too.”

Jungkook’s fingers hooked around Tae’s and he gave him a small smile “Okay. I don’t have any plans so I’ll be free.” he looked at Taehyung’s lips before he moved closer and left a delicate kiss there.

Tae tugged on his fingers and leaned in for another kiss, wanting to savour the way their mouths worked together, something he hoped they could extend to themselves at some point because he wanted them to work.

***

Taehyung had a lot on his mind, it was a chaotic storm right now and a shower didn’t really make him feel much better. He hoped to get brunch out of the way then get home so he could focus on getting some work done and plan the date. He felt an uneasiness, there was a heaviness sitting in his stomach that made him feel nauseous, he didn't like the way he left things with Jungkook, albeit with a kiss.

He parked up, walked the short distance to the restaurant Jimin chose and smiled at the doorman who opened the door for him, greeting him with a 'good morning, sir"

The lady behind the desk waved over a young man who showed him to the table where there were two empty seats. He chose the one on the left and sat down, placing a menu in front of him.

"Two lime sodas please. Hold the ice on one and add a slice of lemon to the other one. Thanks"

The young man nodded and went off to get the drinks while Tae tapped out a quick text to Jungkook.

Tae
How is your morning going?

He sighed, not knowing if he was doing the right thing but just feeling the need to let Jungkook know that he was thinking about him… that's all he ever did, really. Since the first day he'd heard his voice, his mind always managed to stray to thoughts of the busker. It was only last night that the depth of his feelings was apparent, it wasn't that he hadn't cared about upsetting people in the past, because it would absolutely bother him but it rarely happened. In the business world, he upset people all the time but that was business, that was brushed off because business came first and if he said or did something to upset someone then it was what it was. Last night felt awful, he felt like a headless chicken because he didn't know what to do, apart from apologise. Jungkook was the sand slipping through his fingers as he tried desperately to hold on.

"The traffic was dreadful." Jimin said as he was shown to the table "where did you park?"

"In the car park. Traffic was slow when I left mine."

"There’s a car park?"

"How can you not know that when you chose this place?" Taehyung heard his phone and picked it out of his pocket while his friend fussed with putting his jacket on the back of his chair.

JK
You saw me a couple of hours ago.

Tae
I know but does that mean that I can't ask?

"So what was that all about last night?" Jimin asked as the young man brought the drinks over, putting them on the table and leaving again when Tae waved him away with his hand.

"Which part are you referring to?" The CEO wanted to be sure.

"The whole thing. That was the rudest guy I've met. What happened when you left? Did you complain?"

"It is slightly complicated, Mochi."

"How so?" Jimin looks up from the glass he has to his lips.

"He wasn't from the company. I didn't pay him to be there. I met him just over a month ago and I asked him to go with me."

Jimin took another sip of his drink, the ice making a sound as it knocked against the glass. "So it was a date?"

"No but it probably should have been and I should have corrected you all when you made it clear that you thought he was hired."

"You’ve known him a few weeks?"

"Roughly."

"Where did you meet him?" This was news to Jimin.

"The subway. Are you ready to order?"

Tae waved over the server as Jimin nodded, both of them giving the young man their orders and sending him on his way.

"Is that when you had that ridiculous idea about trying normal things?" he couldn't hide the unimpressed look on his face. He'd told Taehyung at the time that it was a stupid idea.

"That’s the one and for once I agree with you. I blame that drama for putting the idea in my head."

"When is that released? I've seen the ads and one of the actors is up for an award next month as best newcomer."

"The pilot episode airs this week. Are you working with the actor?"

"No, I don't usually take on newbies."

"What happened with that Korean actress? Yoon told us about her."

"I turned her down. So, this non-escort… what does he do?"

Taehyung knew it, he knew he'd feel like this because this is the point when it is apparent that they were worlds apart and he knew what people would say, not just his friends, the entire world he lived in.

"He studies, like he said last night and he works at a local diner."

Jimin raised his eyebrows "And how did you meet in the subway? I could think of many scenarios but I have the feeling it isn't one of them. I'm hoping that his car was broken or that his driver was unwell so he had decided to get the train. Please tell me that he owns the diner and studies to cure boredom."

"He was busking. You should hear him, his voice is straight out of one of those old films we used to watch."

"Tae, how do you go from listening to someone beg, because that's effectively what busking is, to bringing him along to an event?"

"It's a long story, Mochi. We've spent quite a bit of time together. I didn't just meet him in the subway then invite him last night."

"Is this a set up? Are you pranking me?" Jimin looked around the room.

"No, I'm serious. I like him, it took some time to admit it but I like him."

"I know I only met him briefly but I'm not seeing what there is to like, unless you're just fucking him because he's definitely your type."

Their food arrived and they tucked in Tae checking his phone and responding quickly before his conversation with Jimin continued in-between mouthfuls.

JK
You can ask. My morning is non eventful. How is brunch?

Tae
Non eventful sounds appealing. Brunch is good.

"I haven't fucked him at all, we've kissed and that's it."

"What's he studying?"

"Dance. I haven't seen him dance yet though."

"How do you know he's telling the truth?"

"About what?"

"About any of it? Have you given him money?"

"I've been to Dino’s Dawgs so I know he works there and I'm not completely sure why he would lie about studying dance? Yes I tipped him for singing in the subway, that’s the reason we started talking."

Jimin laughed "Of course it is. I'm sure he wanted to get to know you after that. You don't ever tip small amounts."

"It wasn't like that. He wasn't happy with how much I left and would only accept if I went for a drink with him. He's really strange about me paying for things."

"Sure. Maybe he's just got a different tactic to others?"

"It's possible of course but I don't think so."

"What was his problem last night?"

"I let everyone think he was an escort, Mochi. You'd be royally fucked off too."

"Maybe. So what now? Are you together? You do know that suit was awful, right? You cannot suddenly be blinded to what is suitable attire because the guy's got a pretty face."

"I'm taking him on a date. I'm very aware of our differences but I like him. There's something that is making me want to try with him."

Jimin laughed "You’ve always been a sucker for a pretty face and some muscle. I hope he's got a tiny cock because at least then you might come back to earth and start thinking properly."

"I wouldn't pin all your hopes on that."

"What? How do you know about that when you've not had it up your ass?"

"We went to Neverland and we went on this ride where I sat in-front of him. I'm telling you now, it isn't small."

"Things have been getting cosy huh?"

Jimin didn't like it, his suspicious mind was working overtime and he didn't like this one little bit. He would definitely be talking to Yoongi when he got home to see what they could do because there wasn't any way on earth he was having someone like Jungkook take advantage of his friend.

 

***

 

"Oh! So that face has to be bad? You are either pining because lover boy has gone or… I have no idea?" Ash walked out of his room and flopped onto the sofa, yawning and making lots of noise while he did.

"What? There's nothing wrong with my face and how do you know he was here?" Jungkook was sitting at the table, where he'd been trying to write notes since Taehyung left 30 minutes ago.

"I came home stupid hours this morning and you were cuddled up on the sofa, it was cute. I mean, thankfully you had put your clothes back on, that could've been awkward."

"We didn't take our clothes off."

"What's up, Kookie Monster? This isn't what I was expecting."

"I don't wanna talk about it."

"I'm not going to give in. You know, it's when you don't wanna talk about something, that's usually the stuff you need to talk about. Didn’t you have a good time?"

Jungkook looked down at the paper, taking a deep breath and doodling with his pencil. "It was awful. His friends… they treated me like I should whip out a cloth and shine their shoes."

"What? And he let them?"

"Yeah. Really it was his fault. They thought I was paid to be there, that I was basically a prostitute and he didn't correct them."

Ash sat up and leaned forwards "so what happened?"

Jungkook shrugged his shoulders "I left. I told them I had a headache and I'm allergic to bullshit and I walked out."

"Good for you! But how did he end up here? You didn't look like you were angry when I saw you."

"He left too and followed me. He fucking abandoned his car in the road because I wouldn't get in it! He can be such a prick. He drove me home and I couldn't let him go… I've crossed the line, Ash… I'm torn between wanting to turn my back because last night everything I detest about people like that was happening and it made me feel so shitty and then there's the part of me that believes he's different to Ryan and others… the part of me that really likes him and wants to give him the chance. He said some stuff that made me think, he asked if he could take me out on a proper date because he said we haven't had the chance and he was right… but that feeling inside me… I can't shake it."

"We need to separate KTH from Ryan, if you think he's different. I bet you gave him a piece of your mind huh?"

"Yeah, just a bit."

"The way I see it is that KTH can quite literally have anyone he wants, I mean, I'm straight and I'd drop my pants for him. But he likes you, obviously. I don't know why but he's put a shit load of effort in to stalk you and everything, so he must like you, right?"

"He admitted to liking me last night."

"Okay good! So… he likes you and you like him. He has officially asked you out on a date so no more of that stupidity. I bet he felt shitty too after you lost your shit at him… and don't look at me like that, I've seen you go off on one. His friends are clearly dickheads but you can't blame them if they thought you were a hired date. I wouldn't worry about them just yet. KTH isn't going to be like other guys, Kookie Monster, he's not going to act like Jim did last year when you dumped his ass. Has he even dated anyone who doesn't have several bank accounts abroad?"

"Oh my God, it was because of Jim sleeping outside our front door that I had to stay at Smilers for a couple of nights. He really couldn't accept that we weren't working. How would I know who Tae's dated and what their financial situations were?"

"You haven't asked about past relationships yet?"

"We have only just agreed to go on a date."

"Okay, fair point. I'm not excusing his behaviour and I know you aren't going to just let it slide but even after everything that happened last night, he asked you on a date. He could've just let you walk off and never see you again. Mr Monster, I'm here for you, I got your back, you know that, but I know that you can't keep letting your past interfere with now just because your stalker is loaded and reminds you of bad stuff."

"Can't you just agree with me that he is a complete prick?" Jungkook put his head down onto the table.

"He is. For what he didn't do last night, he is a total arsehole. He didn't tell his friends the truth and he didn't stand up for you."

"Go on! I know there's a but." Jungkook whined.

"But he did go after you, he did get you home, he did ask you on a date, he did tell you he liked you and he did stay with you all night… without making a move. He had no incentive apart from you agreeing to go on a date with him."

Jungkook thumped his head on the table "Fuck off. Stop. I hate him."

"God, are we back here again? This time though, you are actually going on a date with the guy you hate, as well as kissing him."

"Fuck. Off."

"You can't be a dick with me Kookie Monster. I've known you too long."

Jungkook thumped his head on the table a few more times.

***

When Jimin got home, he put his keys on the hook near the door and walked down the long hall into the lounge. Yoongi was sitting at the piano playing his favourite song, he instantly melted, a smile spreading across his face. Their home was a house that they'd renovated themselves (their designs) with a lot of thought and furnished with the help of their interior designer friend, Namjoon.

"Hey baby." Jimin said as he walked past their sofas into the large dining room at the back.

Yoongi turned his head to smile at his partner "How was brunch?"

"Interesting."

"Is Tae alright?" He stopped playing and patted his thighs.

Jimin smiled more, taking a seat on Yoongi’s lap "I think he's having a mental breakdown."

"Why? What happened with that company?"

"That escort wasn't an escort. He wasn't hired at all."

Yoongi frowned "So who was he?"

"A student busker who works at a diner… they've been seeing each other."

"Who have?"

"Tae and the guy. It's been going on for weeks."

"You're not serious?"

"Does this face look like it's joking?"

Yoongi took Jimin’s face in his hands "this face is the most beautiful face on the planet."

Jimin was struggling to think as he leaned in for a kiss. "Smooth talker."

"What did you say to Tae?"

"I asked him a lot of questions, mainly. I'm worried about him. The guy begs in the subway and Tae wonders why he's hanging around?"

"Can we do something? He sounds like a gold digger."

"I think we need to do something, Tae isn't thinking straight. That bloody drama has a lot to answer for. But this is real life and I'm not sitting back and watching some pauper mess with everything Tae has worked so hard for."

"I agree with you. Where does he work? Did you say 'diner'?"

"He did say the name of it… erm… Dawgs? Something? Dinos! Dinos Dawgs."

"We need to find out when he's working and go for lunch. We need to look into this guy."

"I'll make some calls tomorrow. What are your plans this afternoon?"

"It entirely depends what you have in mind?"

Jimin didn't say another word, just wrapped his arms around his man and kissed him hard… which told Yoongi exactly what he would be doing for the rest of the afternoon.

Chapter Text

The wine was so cold and crisp on his tongue and it was well needed after brunch and an afternoon working on the big campaign. He'd been itching to call Jungkook sooner but as usual, something came up every time he was going to call it a day. Eventually he drew a line and turned off his computer, he wanted to do some thinking about the date, he had so many ideas but didn't know whether to give Jungkook the choice or just do it. He wouldn't usually ask his date which option they preferred and it hadn't ever been a big deal but this feels like a big deal and the worry of putting a foot wrong is a foreign notion but a real one.

The CEO rarely had time to be spontaneous, his diary was his bible and he even had his non business engagements scheduled in but after thinking about Jungkook all day he decided that a phone call wouldn't be enough tonight. He'd only had one glass of wine so grabbed his key fob and left his home, feeling nervous when he started the ignition of the Ferrari, driving towards Jungkook’s apartment across the city. He spoke into the car “Call Jungkook.” the sound of a phone ringing almost automatic and a “Hello” sounded through the speakers.

“Hi, are you at home?”

“Yeah, why? Have you had a busy afternoon?”

“I’m about to pull up at yours, are you free, now?”

“Free? For what?”

“A drive? A coffee?”

“Oh… err… Can you give me a minute to change? I’m not really dressed to go out.”

“We will be staying in my car so don’t worry about it too much. See you soon?”

“Err… yeah… see you soon.”

Jungkook was standing in the lounge, eyes wide, staring at his phone after ending the call, it wasn’t a regular occurrence that he was rendered speechless but he really didn’t know what to say. “Fucking hell.” was about all he could manage, making Ash look up from the sofa.

“What? Has he dumped your ass because you’re an idiot?” he giggled.

“He’s... erm...here.”

“What? What do you mean ‘he’s here’? I thought he was phoning you after he’d done some work?”

“He said we were going for a drive or a coffee. He’s downstairs. What do you think he wants? Why is he here?" Jungkook looked up briefly from his black phone screen.

"Why are you still standing there? Instead of phoning you, he's driven over to take you for coffee… am I missing something? Because isn't that a really nice thing to do?"

"Well… yeah, it is but I'm not dressed to go out."

"What did KTH say when you told him that?"

"He said we wouldn't be getting out of the car so not to worry about it."

"And you are still standing there, like a gormless idiot, why?"

"I'm in my tracksuit, Ash." he says it like it's the most obvious answer in the world.

Oh for fuck sake! It's a grey tracksuit, you look fine! Now please, put your shoes on and go… or I will because I will suck his dick without question."

"You're vile."

Ash made kissy noises and puckered his lips, waving his hand at Jungkook to shoo him away.

When he finally made it downstairs and through the entrance of his complex, his breath did that annoying thing that happened every time he saw Taehyung. He was leaning against his car, legs crossed at the ankle, cream, loose, flowing trousers and a blue shirt, hair fluffy and curlier in some places than others, scrolling through his phone, so he didn't see Jungkook straight away.

The busker was grateful that he had his attention on his phone because it gave him a second to gather himself. Was there even a moment in the life of Kim Taehyung where he didn't look like he should be on a catwalk or movie set? Jungkook made it his personal mission to find out because it was impossible for someone to look so perfect all the time.

"Hi" Tae said, looking up and standing upright when he heard footsteps.

"Hi" Jungkook got that fluttery warm feeling and couldn't deny that the CEO had an effect on him.

Tae opened the passenger door, as he always did and pecked Jungkook on the cheek as he got in.

"I hope I didn't disturb your evening, sorry, I’m not usually so impulsive.” Taehyung smiled at Jungkook, clicking his seatbelt in place.

Lines appeared on the busker’s forehead as his brow creased “You are apologising for driving over here to see me?”

“I suppose I am. It’s just that I was unable to phone you earlier when I’d have liked to so by the time I was available I thought talking in person would be better.”

Jungkook didn't really know what to say, he sat back in his seat, keeping his head turned, looking at the CEO as he pulled out of the complex and joined the traffic.

“Did you have a lot of work to do then?”

“I did, there’s an important campaign coming up and it’s taking a lot of work. It appeared that every time I picked up my phone, something came up, when I decided to call it a night, I was fully intending to phone you but changed my mind.”

“Well, I wasn’t busy.”

Tae looked over, making eye contact briefly “Lucky me, then.”

Jungkook isn’t sure when it happened, he constantly thought about when everything changed but every time he came up with a different answer so he was clueless. But at some point, it changed, it was like he’d taken off sunglasses in a dimly lit room and could see much more clearly. It was possibly when he woke up this morning with Taehyung in his arms, he softened in the moment he ran his fingers through his hair and the issue of wealth was non-existent. He worried that money and the world he lived in would define Taehyung, would make him who he is but part of him didn’t believe that about him. He wanted to let him in, to trust him wholeheartedly and believe that he is the guy he hopes he is… but after last night, he needed time… in a strange way, it appeared that Taehyung understood that, with the effort he was making, such a small but lovely gesture would certainly not go unnoticed. Jungkook would have to try too.

"Where do people get a coffee this time of the evening?" Tae asks.

Jungkook giggled a little, mostly to himself "McDonald's has a drive through?"

Taehyung hadn't ever been to a McDonald's, drive through or otherwise… did they even do proper coffee? He'd seen the adverts, of course, but he knew better than most that advertising is often a non truth and exaggeration, a story to convince people to buy that product or use that company. When he thought of McDonald's, he thought of cheap, nasty burgers and overly salty fries.

"Do we have another option?"

"Not really, not if you want a drive through. There might be a Starbucks or something, but I travel on foot so I'm not too sure."

"Do you want to go to McDonald's?"

"I really don't mind, Tae, it's just coffee." He fake coughed to hide the giggle in his throat.

"I don't even drink coffee but can hear coffee enthusiasts crying at your words."

"Okay, if you say so." He did giggle this time and the smile that he received from Taehyung caused an internal reaction, one of fondness and something else… something he dared not even entertain right now.

"I do say so, I know a few and I can imagine how dreadfully upset they would be." This was nice, he liked this relaxed banter, it reminded him of the flirty banter that seemed to have got lost recently.

Jungkook just smiled, his teeth visible, his eyes wrinkling, the apples of his cheeks bulging… this was such a nice feeling that he was already wishing that they could remain in the car forever because life was so complicated outside of it.

Taehyung pulled into the drive through, his window slowly winding down, listening to what the female voice had to say through the speaker. He turned to Jungkook "what would you like?"

"Toffee latte, please." His smile faltered a little, it was a feeling that was now deeply embedded, put there by his past and as much as he could reason with himself, that this was only a coffee, just some loose change to most people… the feeling was there, he hated accepting things from people… he very much hated accepting things from someone like Taehyung.

"Is that all?" Tae asked.

"Yes, thanks."

Taehyung relayed the order to the female through the speaker, adding on an apple turnover because he thought it sounded good, not having the time to ask if Jungkook wanted one too so conceded they could perhaps share. He got himself a toffee latte too, he thought he would trust in the busker because he knew what he wanted straight away so it must be okay, not really wanting to try anything else. He noticed that Jungkook had gone quiet, there was something slightly off all of a sudden but he couldn't begin to fathom what the reason was because they were only in a McDonald's drive through and things were the same as they were when he'd picked him up. He drove to each window, pressed his bank card on a machine to pay then collected their order and drove around to the exit, he had an idea, maybe another impulsive move but he thought Jungkook would like it.

"Where are we going?" Jungkook asked, not recognising the direction they were headed.

"Out of the city. You like looking at the stars, so let's find somewhere to look at the sky."

Jungkook smiled, holding the cups and the small brown bag in his lap. "Thanks for the drink. I'll get the next ones."

"You don't need to do that, it's only a coffee."

"I will though… buy the next ones." he said quietly, almost to himself, a statement to help the ugly feeling inside.

Tae turned quickly and smiled but Jungkook was looking out his window and so he couldn't see his face. He turned back to the road and pulled up at the side, it was a small road, just a few street lights dotted around but the darkness was the dominant force out here. Tae pushed something in the car and the roof rolled back, revealing the night sky in all its beauty, with a crescent moon and twinkling stars.

Jungkook sipped his latte and looked over at Taehyung who was already watching him, which made his face flush, wondering how long he'd been staring. "You can see so clearly out here." He said, placing his coffee in the cup holder, handing Tae his drink and the small brown bag.

"It is so clear and beautiful." Tae sipped his drink and pulled a face, it was very sweet and quite artificial tasting but it would do.

Jungkook blushed more, remembering when Tae alluded that he was the view that was beautiful, not the sky and he wasn't sure what he meant this time so just nodded, looking up at the stars and drinking his latte.

"Ouch!" The disgruntled sound from Taehyung made Jungkook look over sharply to see the CEO rubbing his mouth.

"Did you burn your mouth?" Jungkook asked, unclipping his seatbelt so he could twist his body and face Tae.

"Yeah, it isn't pleasant."

"I should've warned you, that's a hazard of eating those." he gestured to the apple turnover.

Tae was rubbing and sucking at his lip, the sticky apple sauce was nasty, he decided. "I bet it's going to leave a red mark."

Jungkook giggled, earning him a stern look from the CEO who pulled down the visor and tried to look at the damage to his mouth.

The busker watched him, pulling his lip and turning his face in different directions, getting as close as he could to the tiny mirror in the visor, the huffing and puffing causing him amusement. "Here, let me see." He said finally.

Tae twisted his body and stuck out his lip, frowning when Jungkook was quite obviously holding back a laugh. "What is so hilarious?"

Jungkook fake coughed "Nothing… well, okay… you're pouting and it's funny, sorry."

"I'm injured, possibly requiring plastic surgery on my face and you are laughing."

At those words, Jungkook did laugh, even snorting, clamping his hand over his mouth. "I didn't realise you were such a drama queen." he leaned over and held Taehyung’s face with one hand, studying his mouth intently.

Tae felt so much fondness looking at Jungkook who was so close now, the warmth from his hand a pleasant heat on his cheek. He could smell his shampoo, even in the light breeze dancing around them. "How bad is it?" He says, with pouted lips, exaggerating it.

"I can't see anything, it isn't even red, I think you'll live." He whispered into the space between their faces.

Tae pushed forwards and his bottom lip slipped nicely between Jungkook’s, whose mouth was slightly open as he concentrated. The hand on his cheek moved to his neck and their mouths moved lightly against each other.

"I thought it would be better to try it out, make sure my lip doesn't fall off or something." Taehyung says, pulling back to look at Jungkook.

"If you'd wanted a kiss, you only needed to ask." Jungkook said, the pad of his thumb stroking Taehyung’s cheek. "That was a lot of effort for a kiss."

"I did burn my lip, that was not a fabrication. Am I required to ask you every time I want to kiss you?"

"No." Jungkook whispered as he made a move forward this time, his lips connecting with the corner of Tae’s mouth.

"If you want me to ask, I will." Taehyung said, closing his eyes while Jungkook covered his jaw in light kisses.

"I don't want you to ask." The busker replied a word between each kiss.

"Then I won't." words spoken as he captured Jungkook’s lips with his own.

Tae hummed as Jungkook grazed his teeth along his bottom lip, his fingers entangled in the inky loose curls tied with a band at the back of his head. He liked it when the busker tied his hair back, it gave him a rawness that Tae craved to experience in its entirety. He pushed into the kiss, twisting his body over the centre console as Jungkook’s hands reached for his shirt, fisting it and pulling him closer. Tae was being pulled, he awkwardly and clumsily made it over the centre console into Jungkook’s lap, their mouths not disconnecting once. He smiled against the busker’s mouth, giving him a mouthful of teeth, reaching for the button that he hoped was where he thought it was so he could move the seat backwards a little.

Saliva soaked lips glistened as Jungkook sat back, pulling away and resting his head against the seat, hands still gripping the front of Tae's shirt "I thought you wanted to look at the stars?" He said with a smile.

"I can't imagine there is a better view than the one I have right now." Taehyung says, leaning forwards and sticking out his tongue to flick at Jungkook’s bottom lip, feeling the breath that he exhales against his skin.

The blush rises from his toes or at least that's how it feels, he realises that the CEO has a habit of causing this reaction in him and he hadn't yet decided if he liked it. "My view isn't bad either." the words leave his lips and before Taehyung can respond he sharply tugs on his shirt and kisses him firmly.

The air around them is heated, even the cool, light breeze can't reduce the temperature. Tae is pleased that the roof is down because he could only imagine how steamed up the windows would be. He liked a man who took control in the bedroom, he always had. People naturally presumed that he was the same between the sheets as he is in a boardroom at work but that couldn't be further from the truth. The bedroom is somewhere he can be himself, not have to be in charge and domineering, he spends so much of his day like that, it was a different story behind closed doors and trying to find someone who didn't have this preconceived idea of him was always a challenge. That is why he didn’t have much success when it came to relationships… it was easier not to bother than to start liking someone, get intimate and realise that the guy expected him to control the situation. He got the sense from Jungkook that he needn’t worry about that side of things because he’d more or less made it clear that he preferred being in charge… even no switching and Tae hadn’t forgotten the words he overheard the morning of the theme park. This excited him so much and he’d wanted to be fucked by the busker before he’d admitted to himself that he liked him and now he actually liked him, he craved the intimacy.

Taehyung was putty in Jungkook’s hands, feeding him soft whimpers with every swipe of his tongue, going lax in his arms as the busker’s hands let go of his shirt to reach around his back and grip his ass. Jungkook’s large hands knead the CEO’s peachy backside, drawing him closer as the noises he is making send sparks of arousal to his nether regions. Tae tilts his head, the tip of his nose making an indent in Jungkook’s cheek as he wants his tongue deeper, wants to taste more, saliva escaping but neither paying it much attention as they devour each other.

When Taehyung pulls back, his lips feel tingly and now he thinks they are definitely red. He reaches out for the strands of hair hanging loosely around Jungkook’s face, the bits of hair refusing to comply with the rest neatly tied back. He wraps a strand around his finger and leans forwards to kiss the tip of Jungkook’s nose. He wants to keep kissing him, to revel in the way he's being held, the way Jungkook’s hands feel so strong on his backside, feeling so small and powerless in his grasp… but he had a really early start.

"I should take you home." he hoped that his voice didn't betray him and show just how disappointed he was but he doubted it.

"Yeah, it's getting late, I guess."

Before he made the move to climb out of Jungkook’s lap, he kissed him once more, their mouths instinctively moving in sync, like they'd been kissing for years. He's never been with anyone like Jungkook before and was finding him more and more addictive as time passed, he couldn't wait to arrange the date tomorrow and tell him what he has planned.

During the journey back to Jungkook’s, they glance at each other often, feeling a bit like a couple of loved up teens, stealing glances when they think their crush isn't looking. A sadness sits in Taehyung’s stomach when he pulls up outside, undoing his seatbelt and getting out of the car as Jungkook does.

"Thank you for coming out with me tonight, given the short notice."

Jungkook walked around the car and stood in front of the CEO, feeling a little shy as he took a step forward into his personal space and put his hands on his hips. "It was really nice, much better than a phone call." A blush creeping up his face and making him feel warm.

"So shy at times." Tae says, more of a thought spoken out loud than anything, reaching a hand up and pushing some hair behind his ear.

Jungkook feels his face heat up more as Taehyung leans in for a kiss, first kissing his cheek then his lips. "I will message you tomorrow." It hasn't escaped him that he's glad that he decided to give Tae a chance, even if a huge part of him could have so easily walked away last night.

Tae gives him a smile, the kind of smile that makes his heart flutter and makes him feel like anything is possible.

"Sleep well, Kookie."

Taehyung gets back in his car and drives away once Jungkook is inside… feeling a whole lot more settled this time and daring to hope that everything will be okay.

Chapter Text

Taehyung quite literally springs out of bed, which for a Monday morning, is quite an achievement. He showers and once dressed in a navy blue 3 piece suit with silk turquoise tie, he grabs his phone because he can't hold off any longer.

Tae
Morning. Have a good day 😊

He can't stop the smile that spreads across his face when he sends it, catching sight of the texts last night when they said 'goodnight' several times after their impromptu coffee date. He felt really good, he isn't going to let anything dampen his mood and he makes a promise to himself to enjoy the feeling.

JK
Good morning. I will try. I hope your day goes well too 😘

Taehyung grins, thankful that he is alone because he looks daft and he knows it, unable to remember a time when he felt like this. The last time was probably when he was at university and seeing a guy in his class, the priority was education so having relationships was frowned upon. They sneaked around and stole kisses when they could, meeting in secret locations around campus, out of view from anyone that could get them in trouble. He always used to wake up feeling excited, looking forward to the day, it certainly made the day go by quickly. But he was young and life was less stressful back then, before he started Purple Aura and worked 20 hours a day to get to where he is today.

When he arrives at the building, he strides down the corridors, seeing Stefan sitting at his desk as he approaches, he suspected that he might be in early as he will want to hear about any update with Jungkook.

“Stefan, can you come in please?”

“Oh erm… yes, Mr Kim… Good morning, Sir. I will get your tea and be straight in.”

Taehyung paused as he opened the door to his office “No, no, I have brought breakfast, please come through.”

Stefan was a little shocked but did as asked and followed his boss into the office, scurrying over and taking his usual seat on the other side of the desk while Taehyung hangs his jacket up and places a take away box on the table. He looked at the box then at his boss.

"There's a peppermint tea in there for you and I didn't know what you like so I bought a choice of pastries and other items."

Stefan was very surprised, Mr Kim was a fantastic boss but this was very new. "For me? Is everything okay, Sir?"

"Yes, for you, there is no one else here who drinks peppermint tea." Tae said quite matter of factly.

"Thank you, Mr Kim… Sir… can I presume that the charity event went well on Saturday evening?"

"Actually, you definitely shouldn't presume that because Saturday went extremely badly, in fact it was a complete disaster."

Stefan was very confused. "O-k-a-y… so… what happened? If you'd rather not talk about it that's fine."

Taehyung sighed. "There was a situation where my group of friends thought that Jungkook was an escort and spoke to him a little harshly but they did that due to their belief that he was hired to be there."

"Oh, wow! Poor Jungkook… but why did they think that? Didn't you tell them?"

"No, it was entirely my fault for the way the situation unfolded."

"But, why? Why did you let them think that? Poor guy, he must've felt awful."

Taehyung took a deep breath.

"Essentially, it was down to the fact that I was unable to process my own feelings for Jungkook. If I told my friends that he was not hired, they would have treated him like we were dating and then there would have been questions asked."

"So the alternative was to let them think he was an escort?"

Taehyung rolled his eyes. "Apparently so."

"What happened?"

"He left the event after telling the table he had a headache caused by an allergy to bullshit."

Stefan laughed then quickly regained composure "sorry, Mr Kim… Sir… but I think that is amazing… good for him."

"I'm pleased he amuses you. When he was shouting obscenities at me in the street, I failed to see the humour, I must admit."

Stefan put his hand up to his mouth to try and hide the giggle festering there. "He yelled at you in the street? You followed him?"

"Yes to both. I couldn't just leave him, I knew I was wrong, even though when he first left, I didn't know why."

"I bet he's feisty"

"You could say that. He's a very emotional person as you have said before."

"Sir, how did you calm him down? Tell me about the rest of the evening." He said, taking a bite of a fruit laden pastry.

Taehyung takes a sip of his tea and picks at the top of one of the pastries from the box, sitting back in his chair.

"Once he finally agreed to get in my car, I drove him to his place, I explained that I was wrong but I thought I had a valid point when I asked him how he'd have wanted me to introduce him. While in the car we both admitted to liking the other and he was upset, I felt so much, looking at him and being unable to comfort him. Then there was the fact that it were my actions that caused him to be so upset and it was difficult to know what to do. He agreed to go on a date with me, a proper date that I am arranging and we went up to his apartment. I can't remember a time when I felt so helpless because he was so sad and it was written all over his face…." Tae sighed at the memory "... we fell asleep together on the couch and in the morning I thought things were going well but when I mentioned having brunch with Jimin… Mr Park… he closed himself off again and I left."

"You left on bad terms?"

"It wasn't necessarily bad, just uneasy. I was meant to phone him on Sunday afternoon but I drove to his apartment and took him for coffee instead. I was so frustrated that something came up every time I wanted to call him so I thought seeing him would be better, especially given the way we parted that morning."

Stefan smiled "That was a really thoughtful thing to do, Mr Kim, Sir."

"I so very much want him to know he matters to me. He can be very difficult but I have accepted that I like him so I would like to see where this goes."

"I can't speak for Jungkook but I can put myself in his shoes and tell you how I would feel?"

"Go ahead, Stefan." the CEO sat back in his chair to listen intently.

"I don't blame him for being so angry after the charity event, I would have felt the same, the humiliation was probably great. I would've been enraged and all my trust for you would have disappeared. I think you will need to bear with him because it's going to be a bumpy ride… if it were me, I would place emphasis on actions backing up what you say. Picking him up for a coffee was so sweet, Sir, it must've meant a lot to him. Did you leave things on better terms after that?"

"Well… yes… we spent some time kissing and it was a really relaxed couple of hours… even though, did you know that apple turnovers can really hurt you?"

Stefan giggled "Apple turnovers?"

“We had very little choice available and we had to use a McDonald’s drive thru, I ordered an apple turnover and it burnt my lip.”

“Haven’t you had one before, Sir?”

“I have never used a McDonald’s before, Stefan and I will not be using one again.”

Stefan was so amused by his boss “Where are you taking him on your date? It’s so exciting to hear you say that you’re going on a date, finally.”

“I am looking forward to it, I have considered so many options but I have decided to take him to the theatre. He likes Chicago and has only seen the movie, he is part of the production at university, where they are performing that show. I thought he would like to see it live.”

Stefan quite literally cooed at his boss “Oh my gosh, Mr Kim, Sir, that is so thoughtful and lovely and what makes it special is that you’ve put so much thought into it. I would be so impressed and it is thoughtful gestures like that, that will aid him in trusting you again, Sir.”

“I’m pleased that you approve, Stefan. Do you really think that he doesn’t trust me any more?” Tae hadn’t considered the longer effects of Saturday night and what Jungkook might feel, other than what he told him about being humiliated and hurt. He definitely hadn’t thought about trust and it saddened him to think that by not dealing with the situation to prevent it, he’d hurt Jungkook in more ways than he conceived possible.

“Like I said, Sir, I can’t speak for Jungkook but I would have my doubts now, if I were him. He trusted you enough to accept your invite and go with you, on top of everything else you’ve done together, so I think he must have trusted you to start with. It also explains why he was so upset when you couldn’t text him for a couple of days because he trusted that you would be in touch but you didn’t. I’m really only saying what I think based on what you tell me, though. Saturday night was a situation with your friends and it was your event so he was in your hands, Sir.”

Taehyung pondered Stefan’s words, he did understand his logic and he wasn’t proud of himself but it was done now, he couldn’t let it fester. “That makes sense, I do want to try. I have spoken to Mr Park about Jungkook now, so he knows what happened on Saturday evening. This is all a lot of effort, I think I am out of touch.”

“It isn’t an easy situation either, Sir. I think that Jungkook will keep you on your toes.”

Taehyung smiled… how true those words were!

***

“Why is it so fucking difficult? I said ‘amethyst’ and this is ‘emerald’... they aren’t even the same colour!”

Jimin was on the phone when Yoongi turned up at Serendipity. The shop was a quaint little place, decorated on the outside with large items of candy to make it look like the witch's house in Hansel and Gretel. Jimin always thought he belonged in a fairy tale but when it came to business he was quite evil at times so he decided that the witch's house from that particular story was fitting. It had a reception area at the front, where a little lady called Greta spent her day, immaculately dressed, extremely well spoken and feisty as hell when dealing with celebrities who think they can speak to her like trash. She has worked for Jimin since he started Serendipity and he was very fond of her, trusting her more than anyone else outside of his family and circle of friends.

"Good afternoon Master Yoongi. How are you?" She greeted him with a cheery smile.

"I'm good, thank you, Greta. Is Mini free?"

"Yes he is, he's in his office but beware because the dressmaker sent green instead of purple."

Yoongi pulled a face "oh! It's a good job that I've brought his favourite sushi with me then."

Greta laughed "He might calm down if you tell him you've brought tuna sushi with you. Did you remember the satay sauce?"

"Yeah, he's the only person I know who eats satay sauce with sushi."

Yoongi walked through reception into a sort of waiting area with four doors, one led to a corridor that housed the offices and an outside area, a second door was a bathroom, the two remaining doors were consultation rooms. It was a lovely place, furnished beautifully by Namjoon in the style of a cottage to fit in with the front of the shop. He opened the door to the office and walked in, Jimin was ranting on the phone but looked up and smiled at his boyfriend who held up the bag to show him that he’d brought lunch.

Yoongi moved across the room, around to where Jimin was sitting at his desk, the large gold and glass desk in the middle of the room, he kissed him on the top of the head before going back to the front and sitting on one of two armchairs nestled in the corner. He set the bag of food down and emptied its contents onto the small round glass coffee table, just taking the last item out as the phone was slammed down.

“Fuck!” Jimin exclaimed, running a hand through his hair.

“Mini, come and sit down” Yoongi looks at his boyfriend who looked stressed.

Jimin smiled, a half hearted gesture as he pushed out from his desk and walks over to his man, leaning down to kiss him before taking a seat in the other chair. He looks at the food laid out on the table and licks his lips, feeling like he’s the luckiest guy in the world to have such a caring and thoughtful boyfriend.

“Thank you for this, babe.” he says, taking a deep breath.

“What happened?” Yoongi asks.

“I decided to use this new dressmaker from Norway because one of my clients will really suit traditional Scandinavian dress and I specifically requested amethyst, then when it arrived this morning, it was emerald… they couldn’t be any different, Yoon.”

“Oh, even I know the difference. Lost in translation?”

“No, absolutely not. She was born in the US and her English is perfect.”

“Is she remaking it?”

“Yeah and I’ve given her a week to get it here, which I know is a strict deadline but she can work 24 hours a day for all I care, it’s her own fault.”

“Fair enough, I think. Hey, I phoned that diner and found out when Jungkook is working, I didn’t know if you’d have time after you got that call this morning so I went ahead and called them.”

“When are we going then?”

“Tomorrow lunchtime if you’re free? If not, he’s there Wednesday evening and for a couple of hours on Thursday morning. Really strange shifts but I’m presuming he works around his studies.”

“I have a meeting tomorrow morning but will be free at lunch, this is important, I messaged Tae earlier, like I do sometimes and see if he can do brunch on Sunday instead of Saturday and he sent an emoji in his reply.”

“An emoji? Which one?”

“The one smiling, showing its teeth. I mean, I think I’ll have to cancel now simply because of this dress situation but still, that is besides the point.”

“He thinks he's happy huh?”

“Yeah, he must but it’s worrying because if this guy is just after what he can get out of him, Tae is going to get hurt. You know what he’s like and it’s been ages since he’s had a proper relationship.”

“He’s never been out with a poor guy either… it’s so weird, Mini. Tae could have anyone he wants, we know there are guys out there who would sell their soul to be with him, we’ve told him enough… then this tramp walks into his life and suddenly Tae wants to be with him… it’s dodgy.”

“I get it, I feel the same way. I’m going to get a few people to do some digging because I don’t trust him. He was quick to throw a strop and walk out of the charity event too, I think he knew that Tae would go after him… it worries me that he’s got him wrapped around his little finger already and I can't believe Tae would follow anyone in that suit.”

Yoongi nodded, placing some sushi in his mouth “let’s see what he’s like in his natural environment huh? That should tell us a lot about him.”

“I think that once we’ve been there, depending on how bad the situation is, we should get the group together to discuss it. I spoke to Jin briefly on the phone this morning but because of the situation with the dressmaker, I didn’t have a lot of time.”

“Isn’t he flying out this week?”

“I think so, he wasn’t too sure when I spoke to him but he did say that he would be available by phone or zoom, so that’s an option.”

“We have ourselves a plan. Now eat up and relax, just for a while.”

Jimin smiled at his boyfriend, he was one in a million.

***

The plans were being put into place and Taehyung was excited, he just put the phone down after speaking to his contact at the theatre and arranging the tickets for the show. He was looking forward to telling Jungkook but was apprehensive too because he wanted to ask him to spend the night with him, he’d even asked the cleaner to make sure the guest room is paid extra attention, he didn’t want to presume anything.

He was daydreaming in his chair when he decides to message Jungkook, he’d planned to call him this evening but the day seemed to have gotten away with him and it was already early evening.

Tae
Hi, are you working?

JK
Just winding up my shift, why?

Tae
Can I give you a lift home?

JK
That would be nice, thanks.

Tae
Be there in 5 minutes.

JK
See you then.

Jungkook was packing his bag when the texts came through, he’d spent the day in a bit of a daze, unable to get the kissing in the car out of his head. Taehyung kissed him in a way that made him want more, the way he allowed Jungkook to pull him into his lap and settled so willingly was still a surprise and a moment he replayed over and over again. During his shift today, it was Marie who asked him about Taehyung, commenting that she’d noticed a change in him, how apparently he appeared happier and there was a shine to his eyes. The skeptic in Jungkook told him that Ash had been chatting shit to Billy and Marie when he saw them last but it certainly got him thinking about whether there was any truth in it. He waved goodbye to everyone, putting his arms through the straps of his rucksack and hoisting it onto his back, unable to hide the smile when he saw Taehyung waiting for him outside.

“Hi.” he greets the CEO, always finding that shyness appear.

“Hi.” Tae responds “I’m parked around the corner today.”

“Okay.” Jungkook says, walking beside him, the smile still on his face and making him feel a bit daft.

When they reach the car, Taehyung opens the car door and kisses Jungkook on the cheek, making him blush more and he rolls his eyes at himself as he gets in, fastening his seatbelt before the driver’s door opens.

“Another act of spontaneity?” the busker asks.

“Not really, I was at the office late and needed to drop a contract off to a business nearby.”

“Have you had a good day?”

Taehyung pulls out of the parking space and onto the road “I have been quite distracted today.” he says, eyes on the road.

“Oh? Has your lip been hurting?” Jungkook twisted his upper body to look at the CEO who looked so good and he considers whether he has a suit kink.

“Oh… umm… no but I suppose it is connected to my lip indirectly.”

“Your lip doesn’t hurt though?”

“No, I think your lips have healing powers, it felt much better after we kissed.” he looks over at Jungkook briefly as he pulls the car up against the kerb outside the entrance to the apartment complex.

“Oh… I don’t think so…” he unclips his belt and opens the car door, feeling the heat rise in his face.

Taehyung gets out of the car too and leans against the door when Jungkook walks around to that side. “I think so, your lips are very distracting.” he reaches out and his fingers tug the sleeve of Jungkook’s jacket, pulling him forward.

Jungkook is standing against the CEO, his heart beating faster than the situation should have caused. “They are?”

“I’ve thought of nothing else today. You are a distraction, Jungkook.”

“Sorry.” he isn’t really sure whether an apology is appropriate because he doesn’t understand what is so distracting about him but he didn’t know what else to say.

Taehyung pulls him closer, it’s such a light tug on his sleeve that Jungkook isn’t sure how it has any effect but his body moves automatically.

“You haven’t anything to apologise for…” he says quietly “... in fact, why don’t you remind me?”

Jungkook places his hands on his waist, sneaking them around the back to where his fingers make contact with the car, leaning in to brush his lips against Taehyung’s, melting at the way they move together so perfectly. His tongue slips out and pushes past his teeth, taste buds firing as it finds the wetness of the CEO’s mouth. His hands press into his back, he swallows the soft sound that leaves Taehyung’s mouth as he pushes him against the car.

"Was that enough of a reminder?" Jungkook says, his heart thumping.

"I think that you should do it again, for clarity."

Jungkook smiles as he leans in "Just for clarity." He says as their lips touch.

Taehyung was reeling inside, the way Jungkook teased the inside of his top lip with the tip of his tongue, how he could feel the heat from the hands on the small of his back. He hadn't been kissed like this before, even Jungkook’s tongue was dominant, pushing into his mouth and setting the pace. Taehyung was quite literally melting, willing to give himself over to the busker that clouded his mind more every day. Every kiss they shared was always so sensual and had a level of intimacy that was unexpected.

"I might need more reminders in future." he says when they part, his hand reaching up to stroke the side of Jungkook’s face.

"I'm happy to oblige... for clarity."

Taehyung leaned in this time and left a soft kiss on his lips. He then took a deep breath because he had no idea how this was going to go when he told Jungkook about their date.

"I took the liberty of arranging our first official date and I apologise if I stepped out of line but I contacted the owner of the diner and asked for your shifts so I could book something."

Jungkook looked surprised, his eyes wide, eyebrows raised, mouth slightly agape "You did?" Well, that explained Marie's comments.

"I apologise if that wasn't the right thing to do but I wanted to book something and needed to know."

"Umm… err… that's fine… really sweet, actually." There had been a brief second of panic, the part of his brain that screamed at him that Taehyung was interfering in his life and was taking over but he couldn't listen to it when the man standing in front of him was looking at him so innocently.

"Okay… that's good. The situation is that I would like to take you to see Chicago on stage on Friday night but I would also like to extend the date… I would like it to extend through to Saturday… but I do have a guest room so please don't think that I am suggesting anything inappropriate or placing any pressure on you… in fact… the choice is entirely yours because I can drop you home Friday night." Taehyung thought that went badly, he cursed himself because he was used to public speaking and chairing meetings in lecture halls but this was frightening.

Jungkook just gawked, he knows he probably looks gormless but it was a whole lot to take in. "Chicago?" Was all he could manage.

Taehyung smiled… "Yes. You haven't seen the live production and I thought you would like to see it."

"Umm… sorry… I don't know what to say." he thinks that he's probably blinking more than usual.

"Please just tell me that you would like to see it and let me take you on our first official date?"

"Y-yes… umm… I… sorry… yes?"

Jungkook was speechless, he needed to think about staying over but the thought that Taehyung had put into the date had quite literally rendered him speechless and he really didn't know how to respond.

Taehyung leaned forwards and kissed Jungkook on the cheek "that was the answer I was hoping for. You needn't decide on anything else right now."

Jungkook moved closer and brushed his lips lightly over Taehyung’s "Thank you." He said, still in a daze.

When Taehyung drove off, he stood and watched until the tail lights disappeared, trying to remember how to put one foot in front of the other and walk. He actually laughed to himself on his way up to the apartment, the sound echoing through the halls, once in the apartment, throwing off his clothes and jumping into bed… he couldn't believe it. He was googling about the show when the notification of a message from Taehyung came up on his phone, he grinned like an idiot when he read it.

Tae
I'm definitely going to need another reminder soon 😘

He giggled… he actually giggled like an idiot.

JK
I will happily remind you 😘

Tae
I can't stop thinking about how your lips feel.

JK
I haven't thought about much else today, if I'm honest.

Tae
I really like the way you kiss me, I very much enjoyed being in your lap in the car.

JK
I very much enjoyed having you in my lap 🤭

Fuck! Jungkook was so embarrassed but he could do this behind a phone and blush all to himself, face planting his mattress.

Tae
You turn me on so much, Jungkook.

Holy shit! Jungkook could hear his name in Tae's voice and his member reacted instantly. He was going to be brave...

JK
You have the same effect on me. I think about you a lot, about how good you'd be for me.

Tae
Oh 😳 I'm hard now, thinking about how I'd do anything you say.

JK
You'd be really good for me, wouldn't you?

Holy shit, Jungkook was going to die, he was only like this in the bedroom or behind his phone… but the heat in his face was like a furnace.

Tae
I'd be so good, I'd do whatever you told me to.

JK
Are you touching yourself?

Tae
Yes, thinking about you.

JK
Stroke yourself slowly, think about how my lips feel on yours, how my hands hold you tight.

God! Jungkook was rolling around on his bed, his own cock hardening as he typed… already horny because of the make out session against the car.

Tae
I am, I wish it were you stroking me.

JK
I know, precious… speed up, I want you to think about how my fingers would feel against your most sensitive parts, how I'd prepare you for my cock.

Tae
Thought about that so many times. I feel like I could come right now.

JK
Do it… come… you earned it.

There was a long pause before Tae replied and Jungkook was palming himself now, thoughts of how he sounds when he cums, how filthy he would say Jungkook’s name as he spilled his load. Reading back through the last few messages and closing his eyes to relive the kisses they've shared, feeling the weight of the man in his lap has him reaching into his underwear and stroking himself properly.

Tae
Would you like to see?

JK
Yes.

Tae
All for you *photo*

Jungkook came as soon as he saw the photo. Tae's cock resting against his stomach, milky drops splattered on his honey skin and he'd managed to get his face in too… fuck! He looked unreal and Jungkook was panting as he replied.

JK
You are so gorgeous and so good.

Tae
I might need a reminder of that too 😉 Goodnight, Jungkook, the shower beckons 😘

JK
Goodnight Tae 😘

Chapter Text

"At least you aren't in Egypt anymore" Ash says, laughing in-between spoonfuls of cereal.

"It wasn't ever funny when you said it before and it isn't funny now." Jungkook looked at his friend and faked a yawn.

"Whatever. Chicago? Seriously, that's so sweet, it's actually vomit inducing."

Jungkook flopped down onto the sofa, nearly spilling his cereal "I'm still shocked if I'm honest."

"Please tell me that you're gonna go?"

"Of course I am. I still worry, Ash. I'm worried that he's chosen something he knows will work and that it's his way in. Maybe he thinks I'll be so overwhelmed that I won't see what he's doing… he went to a lot of trouble phoning the diner too." He spoons a whole heap of cereal into his mouth.

"Kookie Monster! I'm not going to tell you that it isn’t a possibility because we don't know… but… I don't think so. You only think that because of Ryan, which I get! You know I get it but you won't ever be taken in like that again, no one will be able to repeat that... I wouldn't let it happen. I'm pleased you're going on the date though… finally, an actual date, to go with all the other dates that weren't dates." Ash rolls his eyes dramatically.

"They weren't dates. This is a date. I don't know what to do about staying over, though… things heated up over text last night."

"Sexting too?" Ash mumbles, spraying milk and cereal out of his mouth along with the words.

"Mmhmm. And fuck! He totally responded to me saying about him being good for me."

"So you are right about him being a pushover under the covers huh?"

"Ash! Do you have to put it like that? The word you're looking for is 'pliant'. I don't believe that even at his most submissive that he would be a pushover."

Ash scoffed and then laughed "You know that in bed, he's gonna be your bitch."

Jungkook giggled "I hope so… but I still don't know whether to stay over."

"What's stopping you?"

Jungkook shrugged his shoulders "I know that if we make out like we have been doing and we are in his place, that's only going one way."

"OK, so… I'm not seeing the problem."

"I feel too much already but I can keep a lid on it at the moment. That level of intimacy will open the floodgates and I don't think there's any coming back from that."

Ash's brow creased a little as he frowns "You love him but can ignore that until you fuck him, then you won't be able to ignore it any more… and that's a bad thing?"

"I don't love him. I said I feel too much. But yes, that's basically it. If he is the way I think he is, it's even worse because the guy is practically perfect and that's so dangerous."

"It's only dangerous because you're gonna have to let those steel walls down and allow him in. The danger is that you might actually be in love with someone and have to get close to him."

"You’re right, I know you are but it isn't easy, you know? Besides, I just look at him and I get a boner, the guy is so fucking gorgeous, I swear he's not real."

Ash laughed out loud "just imagine how pretty his cock is"

Jungkook blushed "umm… well… I don't need to imagine it."

"What?? He sent you a dick pic?"

"Maybe."

Ash put his bowl on the table and laughed again "well? Is it pretty? You've definitely studied it and don't tell me otherwise!"

"Of course it is…"

"Thought so. Dammit! The guy is actually perfect and he wants your cock up his ass."

Jungkook choked on the spoonful of cereal he was just about to swallow "He can have it. I definitely want to fuck him… decision made… I'll accept his offer of the guest room."

"Like fuck are you sleeping in the guest room or is that the same as the not dates?"

"He might wanna join me?" Jungkook winked and laughed, slightly embarrassed but he enjoyed being able to talk to Ash like this, he was the only person he could. "... and shut up about the dates that were definitely not dates."

"Ha! That's more like it. I want details! Maybe not all the details… but I still want details."

"You’ll get what you're given."

"Is that what you'll say to KTH when he's begging for your dick?"

Jungkook throws a cushion at his friend and laughs "now that was funny."

****

Taehyung had a successful morning, he’d once again leapt out of bed and smiled all morning, even treating Stefan to breakfast again but not giving him the exact details of why he was feeling a little like he was on cloud 9. The sexting with Jungkook stoked the fire, the reaction was instantaneous when the message first came through about how he thought about him being good for him, he had to read it several times before believing it was real. The way his toes scrunched into the rug as he began stroking himself slowly as he'd been told to do, the way his hips bucked up into his hand when Jungkook called him gorgeous. This was what his dreams were made of, he had a feeling that the busker could quite possibly be all of his sexual fantasies rolled into one and he really didn’t know what to do with that information.

He was relieved that Jungkook took it well when he told him about the date but he was nervous about whether he would agree to stay. Taehyung was perfectly happy to bid him goodnight after their evening and bring him breakfast in the guest room, if that is what he was most comfortable with. He suspected that once Jungkook was in his apartment, that the chances were high that things would escalate, judging by the make out sessions they’d already had, but he would be happy to comply with whatever the busker was happy with… even if that meant going to bed alone with a hard on. He also had to accept that he might not want to take that step and stay over at all, which would be a harder pill to swallow but one he would of course graciously accept.

KTH
Are you having a successful morning? 😘

It was stupid because he felt giddy just sending a handful of words and an emoji in a text. He was also aware that it was late morning and Jungkook had a shift at the diner so wouldn’t reply until he had his break but it didn’t stop him from smiling as he sent the text in reply one received earlier. He’d fallen into this routine of sending messages first thing in the morning and throughout the day when he was able to, sometimes he couldn’t because of a meeting or general work stuff but he always made sure he sent his very first 'good morning' text, even if it was at 5am as he brushed his teeth.

There was a knock on the door and Stefan appeared “Mr Kim, your afternoon appointments, Mr Kim and Mr Jung are here, Sir.”

“Thank you, show them in and can you bring three sparkling waters.”

Taehyung stood up as Namjoon and Hobi were shown through, taking seats on the two leather couches away from his desk. He’d already laid out the paperwork and set up a laptop so they could work in comfort.

“Someone looks happy.” Tae says while looking at the smile on Hobi’s face.

“I am, Emery is a really great guy.”

“Things are going well then?” Tae asks his friend, loving that he looks so happy.

“They are, which makes a change because by now I’d have found a fault somewhere but so far so good. He took me for dinner last night to Soleil and we know how difficult it is to get a table there."

"I'll bear that in mind." Namjoon said, crossing his legs and reading through the brochure on the table.

"It's good, it's really good. About time you found someone to put up with you." Tae said with a grin.

"So what happened to you after Saturday? What the hell was all that about?" Namjoon asks Tae, looking up from the glossy pages of the proposed set for the advert.

"Saturday?" It felt like forever ago, so much has happened since then that he'd forgotten.

"The escort, the charity event? Did you complain?" Namjoom raised his eyebrows.

"Oh you mean my catastrophic mess?" The CEO says honestly.

"Your what?" Hobi looked as confused as Namjoon.

"That was my fault, really. He wasn't hired to be there, I invited him."

"Since when? Why didn't you say something?" Namjoon leaned forwards as Stefan brought the bottles of water and glasses in, leaving them on the table.

"Because I obviously wasn't thinking and decided to handle the whole situation really badly."

"Oh no… oh no… surely not?" Hobi looked at Namjoon as he spoke.

"What?" Hobi asks his friend.

"Please tell me that you haven't fallen for a prostitute?" Namjoon looks at Taehyung.

Hobi’s mouth falls open "What?"

Taehyung feels the light rouge tinge seeping up his neck. "Firstly can I just be clear that I have never used a prostitute, you know this. Secondly, there may be a miniscule amount of truth in there somewhere."

"You've fallen in love with a sex worker?" Hobi is struggling at this point.

"No… no… can we please forget the whole sex worker element? I haven't ever used a sex worker, just the escorts.. but he wasn't… isn't an escort."

"So where is the tiny bit of truth? You're in love with that guy that you let us think was an escort?" Namjoon questions.

“I’m not in love with him but I do like him a lot.” Taehyung was fully aware that his feelings were probably more than ‘like’ but he couldn’t entertain that right now and certainly wasn’t about to admit it.

“That wasn’t the first time you’d met him?” Hobi was trying to catch up. He thought this is how people feel when they've just woken from a coma.

“No, we met about a month and a half ago, maybe? We’ve seen each other several times and I invited him to the charity event because he’s a dance major and I thought he might be interested in the classes they will be holding for the kids at the centre.”

“Where did you meet him?” Hobi is really curious now.

“In the subway, he was singing. It was that period of my life when I thought it would be beneficial to try the things that normal everyday people do, so I was catching the train to work.”

Namjoon pulled a disgusted face “Yeah, I remember, all because of that stupid drama, right?”

“Hey! I like that drama.” Hobi pouted after he'd been lucky enough to see the whole series when Tae watched it, after filming was complete.

“So, how did you meet then? He was begging and you just asked him out because he’s pretty?” Namjoon was finding it difficult to understand how someone like Taehyung ends up with someone like the busker.

“I left him a tip which he deemed to be too much and he would only agree to keeping it if I went for a smoothie with him. That’s how it started.”

“You agreed to go for a smoothie because some hobo put terms on the money you gave him? Are you serious? Come on, Tae!” Hobi didn’t like this.

“Yes? I can’t say otherwise because that is what happened. He wouldn’t have accepted the money so I went for a drink with him. I wanted him to have it, he’s got a wonderful voice.”

“Jesus! I’d have taken the money back and told him to forget it. What other terms does he have, that have you running around after him?” Namjoon was less than impressed.

“Now? None. Look, guys, I know it’s a lot to take in and I understand that Saturday was a bit strange but he's a really nice guy, I like him."

"Tae, we get that, we do but can you blame us for being suspicious? You… you… meet a poor guy who sits on a dirty floor in the subway, singing to earn cash and now he's got his feet well and truly under the table." Hobi said, taking a sip of the bubbling water.

"Look, there are all kinds of people out there that will take advantage of someone like you… hell! If you weren't one of my closest friends, I might bid for your affection, myself. You are a catch, to say the very least, I was at a client's house last week and her eldest Son asked if it is true that I know you and could I introduce you. It happens a lot and you know that my clients are wealthy and you'd probably have more in common with someone connected." Namjoon sits back in the seat.

Hobi puts his glass down and looks at Tae "What do you have in common?"

"If I'm honest, not very much but I still don't know him that well."

"So what is it, then? Does he give good head?"

"Trust you to lower the tone completely, Hobi." Namjoon says, shaking his head.

"Well? Don't tell me that you haven't considered the same thing." Hobi raises his brow at his friend who just shrugs.

"We haven't done anything aside from kiss so I can't answer your question."

"So what's the fascination with the guy? It doesn't sound like he has anything going for him apart from the fact that he's pretty. What can he offer you?"

"Joon's right, Tae, unless you have aspirations to be his sugar daddy and we all know that won't end well."

Tae sighs "You've made your point and I know you're simply looking out for me and I appreciate it. I'm taking him out on a proper date at the weekend, I'll keep you informed."

The chatter between the three friends turned to work as they discussed the upcoming advert that the group are all involved in. Namjoon made a few minor changes to the set, not entirely happy with the overall look that was presented but after a few tweaks, he approved it once it met Tae’s vision. Hobi showed Tae a few video’s of the dancers he was putting forward and between them they chose one with another in reserve, just in case something happened which meant their first choice was unable to fulfill what they wanted. This advertisement campaign was a big deal, if this went well, it would be very profitable for Purple Aura within the world of fashion.

***

Dino’s was quite busy when Yoongi and Jimin entered the diner, they managed to find a table towards the back, not really comfortable in the environment but needs must. As they sat down they spotted Jungkook taking an order before he nudged past one of the other staff who turned and laughed at him. They'd been able to walk past undetected, the diner was busy and they knew there was a strong possibility that Jungkook would serve them and they were ready for that.

“Inside joke, obviously.” Yoongi says when the guy laughed, turning to look at the menu.

Jimin rolls his eyes “Obviously.”

The guy who laughed at Jungkook comes over to take their order and both are slightly pleased that Jungkook isn’t their server, even if neither are sure whether he would remember them. Both Yoongi and Jimin are dressed down, hair brushed and shiny but nothing special, even make up wasn’t present on Jimin which definitely made him look different to the way he looked at the charity event. Yoongi loved his boyfriend no matter what but it always made his stomach flutter when he was fresh faced, always telling him that his natural beauty was non-comparable. They'd dressed down on purpose, wanting to watch Jungkook at work, maybe pull aside his colleagues and ask them about him or perhaps ask him what he's playing at, himself.

They watched intently as Jungkook went from table to table, taking orders and chatting with customers. He was spritely as he walked around the diner, delivering food to the tables and answering anything that a customer asked.

“He’s clearly well liked here.” Jimin noted.

“He’s a bit too charming for my liking.” was Yoongi’s response.

“Fake?” Jimin asked.

“Maybe. There’s something between him and our server though, don’t you think? They are very comfortable with each other.”

“I considered the same when our server whispered something to him as he walked past him earlier. Do you think they are together?”

“I wouldn’t like to say for definite but it isn’t an unrealistic suggestion.” "I think we should engage him in conversation. He might divulge information about Jungkook."

They were interrupted by drinks and food being placed on their table, Jimin looked at their server’s name badge. “Thank you, Ash.” he said, swapping the drinks around so he had the correct one.

“You’re welcome. Can I get you anything else before I take my break?” Ash asks with a smile.

“That’s all for now.” Yoongi said., watching Ash disappear into the back.

They start to eat, general chat taking over until they hear laughter through the small window near their table. The window is quite high up so not close enough to see but their ears prick up when they hear a familiar name. Their table isn't far from a back door with 'Staff Only' printed on a sign above it, the door wide open and a slight breeze drifting into the diner.

***

“Don’t look like that!” Jungkook nudges Ash as they sit on the crates outside on their break.

“Well, you look so stupid.” Ash laughs.

“Fucking hell, you’re full of compliments today.”

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“Yeah, okay… because you didn’t call me an arsehole as you walked past me earlier.”

“You deserved it, you told me my underwear was showing as I was serving that hot chick.”

Jungkook laughed loudly “That was funny.”

“You aren’t as funny as me so stop trying. Get back to sexting KTH.”

“I’m not sexting, Tae.”

“Who are you sexting then?”

Jungkook punches Ash playfully “I’m not sexting anyone, I am trying to read a message from Tae but someone keeps annoying me.”

“No more dick pics then?”

Jungkook glares at his friend “No, because it is a normal message… can I reply now?”

“Are you going to tell him he’s been good or does he only get told that when he’s sending you a pic of his dick or letting you drive his ferrari?”

"He'll get told he's been good, when he's behaved." Jungkook laughs, the idea is both erotic and amusing.

"Like when you tell him what to do?" Ash wiggles his eyebrows up and down.

"Exactly that." Jungkook blushes, still unable to get his head around the fact that this powerful businessman becomes so pliant in his arms and even over text, as he found out recently.

"Can you tell him to let me drive his ferrari?"

"I'd tell him to give me the ferrari before I told him to let you drive it."

"Think of the things you could get him to do once he's naked and in your hands." Ash grinned.

***

Jimin and Yoongi had heard enough, both appalled with what they'd heard and both now convinced that Jungkook was exactly as they suspected.

"I'm not listening to any more of this, the little arsehole, who the fuck does he think he is?" Jimin seethed.

"Come on, baby, I think we need to phone the others and see what they think about this. Jin is back at the weekend so it'll have to be zoom if he's available."

Yoongi left the money for their meal plus extra, they wanted to be out of there before Ash and Jungkook returned, he knew his boyfriend wouldn't be able to keep quiet. They certainly didn't want to lower themselves to the same level as the busker who had been so rude and highly unpleasant at the charity gala.

***

Jungkook laughed at Ash "I don't think I'd be able to think if I had him naked and in my hands. He just has to look at me fully clothed and I turn into an idiot."

"What do you mean, 'turn'? You've been an idiot for ages."

"Fuck off. Can I please reply to my messages in peace?"

"Yeah, yeah, carry on."

JK
Good afternoon. You always sound so formal in text.

KTH
Even last night? 😉

JK
No, not last night 😳

KTH
Are you on your break?

JK
Yes, it's nearly finished. Have you had time for lunch?

KTH
Not yet, Daddy 😉 I've had a meeting which has now finished so I will have lunch soon.

JK
Will you be working late?

KTH
Not tonight, I have a meeting with a restaurant so will go home from there. What are your plans after your shift?

JK
I might go to George's and get some practice in because I will miss the evening rush for busking.

KTH
I thought you finish at 4?

JK
🙄 Billy has asked me to stay on for a couple of hours.

KTH
I'll make a note of that incase I drive home via the park.

JK
Okay, well, I have to go. Have a good afternoon. 😘

KTH
You too 😘

"Urgh! Look at that soppy face" Ash said "Come on, we have work to do, if you can see through those heart eyes."

"Fuck off, Ash, you're just jealous."

"I'm fucking relieved that you've stopped being a complete prick and accepted that you like him… one step closer to the annexe in your mansion."

"You're so annoying." Jungkook said, jostling his friend through the door.

Chapter Text

Jungkook spent a few hours in the park, dancing until darkness claimed the sky and there was a chill in the air. There was a part of him that felt a tinge of disappointment when Taehyung didn’t turn up even though he hadn’t said he definitely would. His thoughts were consumed by the upcoming weekend and he was excited about seeing Chicago and a whole lot nervous about going back to Tae’s place. He knew what would happen once they were alone without any excuses to part, he’d accepted that they both felt the attraction and the intensity of their kisses told him as much, the sexual tension building every time they were together.

After showering he put on a pair of shorts and lay on his bed on top of the bedding, he hated that after shower feeling when he was too hot to move. Ash told him constantly that if he didn’t have the water so hot there wouldn't be a problem but Jungkook liked hot showers so he didn’t have a great deal of choice. He was scrolling through social media, laughing to himself when he saw a meme that Ash thought appropriate for public viewing, when his phone alerted him to an incoming call.

“Hey.. erm… hi.” he fumbles a little with the phone and stumbles a lot with his greeting when Tae’s name comes up on the screen.

“Hi… am I disturbing you? I can call back if you are busy.” Tae was finally home, even having a meeting in a restaurant at the end of the day and being given dinner still felt like a long day.

"I'm not busy, how was your afternoon?" he answers too quickly, still a little flustered.

"Productive. Did you make it to the park?"

"Yeah, it was a bit busier than usual but my corner is quiet so I got a couple of hours in."

"You will have to tell me which of the dances you are doing, once you've seen the show on Friday." Tae feels such excitement for their date, a chance for the two of them to be out together, a chance for him to do something really nice for the man he was growing so fond of.

Jungkook chews nervously on his lip, "Umm… about that…"

Tae swallows, he's pleased they are only on the phone because he's sure that his face shows concern, apprehensive as he tries to sound otherwise, "What about it?"

"I… well… I would… I'm wondering… well… your offer… I'm wondering if… if it's still… umm… still an option?" Jungkook could kick himself, pleased in this moment that they are on the phone because his face is red and it has nothing to do with the earlier hot shower.

"Which offer would that be, Jungkook?" Tae smiles to himself, he knows it's probably detectable in his voice but he tries for it not to show. Even if some of the smile is relief because he thought Jungkook was going to tell him that he doesn’t want to go at all.

Jungkook throws a hand over his eyes a little harder than expected and slaps himself in the face, never before has he been so grateful for a phone call, even though he wishes this conversation was being done over text. "To come back to your place after the show… I mean it's okay if not… I wanted to ask... since you offered... if that's okay?"

"The offer is still open. Would you like to come home with me on Friday evening, Jungkook?"

Damn Kim Taehyung and his stupidly erotic baritone voice and the way he breathes out his name. "Well... What is your plan for Saturday?"

Taehyung has to remove the phone from his ear and put it on loud speaker on the arm of the chair because he is smiling so much. He wonders if his smile would be audible, "I would like to take you for breakfast on the coast."

Jungkook wonders what is so special about the coast, he's not really been there that often, aside from a few times they'd caught the bus and train to the beach but it was a long journey so they didn't bother all that often. "Okay… I will come home with… with you… thank you."

"I'm looking forward to it." Tae has already instructed the cleaner to make sure everything is perfect, just in case Jungkook had accepted his offer but fires off a quick text to her, just to confirm.

"I am looking forward to it, too. What time should I be ready on Friday?" The butterflies felt more like bats in his stomach as he spoke.

"I will pick you up at 6, we will get food first so you don't need to worry about dinner or anything."

"O-okay… ummm… are you busy after breakfast on Saturday?"

"No, I have reserved the whole weekend for you, Jungkook."

"Oh!" That wasn't supposed to have been audible, but the thought made its way out. "Well… I would like to get us lunch or dinner, if you are getting breakfast."

"It's a date, Jungkook, one that I asked you on, therefore I have arranged it. You don’t need to do anything."

"Tae, I would like to get us lunch or dinner. The date is Friday night, you extending it doesn't matter. Do I need to ask?… How about… Tae, will you have lunch or dinner with me on a second date on Saturday?"

"Are those your terms for breakfast, Jungkook?"

"Yes, those are my terms."

"Then I accept your offer and would very much like to go on a second date with you, on Saturday." Tae found Jungkook to be quite puzzling at times. He thought that because he had been the one to ask him out, that he should be the one to arrange it all… he thought that’s how these situations worked? He is very aware that it had been some time since he had gone out on a proper date with someone who he hadn’t hired to be there but he was sure that things hadn’t changed that much.

Jungkook thought about money, this time of the month was the worst for him as he didn’t get paid until the end of the month and both him and Ash lived off of whatever they had in the apartment plus anything Billy and Marie gave them. He had managed to pull together some cash to take with him for Friday night because he hated the thought of going empty handed, his pride refusing to allow him out without at least having something with him. “Maybe I could cook us something? If you like? Umm… if it’s okay that I use your kitchen.”

“That would be lovely, Kookie. Tell me what you need and I can make sure I stock up.”

It was then that he slapped a hand over his face again, this time the slap was intended because he hadn’t really thought this through because now he wasn’t actually paying for anything at all and it was defeating the object. He needed to think about it, find a way so that he was taking the food to Taehyung’s, so that it was all his doing, which he knew sounded silly but he couldn’t do it any other way. "I could bring ingredients with me, it's fine."

"We are going straight to dinner, it's probably best not to leave anything sitting in the car all evening."

Jungkook had to concede that Tae had a point. "Of course, well, leave it with me and I'll think of something."

"Have a think about it and text me a list, the shopping is done on a Friday morning so it's perfectly okay."

"Do you not work on a Friday?"

"I do work on a Friday, my housekeeper does the shopping. She's very good, so can get whatever you need."

Jungkook rolls his eyes, of course Taehyung doesn't do his own shopping. He forgets every now and again who he is speaking to or spending time with, then something slaps him hard with the reality. "I don't want to give her more work, I will sort it."

Tae is about to answer, to ask him what the problem is because he knows there is one. Jungkook's tone has changed from how it was earlier in the call and he doesn't understand why. He also doesn't understand why lunch or dinner is so important to Jungkook… he will add it to the list of things that he doesn't understand when it comes to the busker and his reactions, maybe he will speak to Stefan and see if he has any ideas.

Instead he aims for altering the situation, to try and get the Jungkook back that he started this call with. "Do you have a busy day tomorrow?"

"Pretty busy and I've got a late shift until close at the diner."

"How late, is late?"

"11 tomorrow, one day a month where we open late, it's okay though, it's usually busy so it goes quickly."

"Can I pick you up and drop you home?"

"You should be in bed by then."

"Is that an offer? I was only suggesting I pick you up but I'm open to suggestions."

"You know what I meant… if you are at home, then you probably wouldn't want to come back out. I will be perfectly okay."

"I won't be at home then… I will see you at 11, tomorrow."

Jungkook did think it was endearing to a certain extent, he didn't know if Taehyung would be going out of his way or not but it was a nice thing to do, he supposed. "Tae, if you get an early finish, just go home and if I leave work and you aren't there, it's fine. You have long days and early mornings so I get it."

"I'll be there."

"Okay."

"Kookie, I have no doubt that you will be fine, I would just like to see you." This was true more than ever after the awkwardness in parts of the phone call.

The busker closed his eyes, took a deep breath and embraced the blushing because he had little other option, "I would like to see you too. See you tomorrow then."

"Goodnight, Jungkook."

"Goodnight, Tae."

***

Wednesday went quite quickly until it was 6pm and Stefan was poking his head around the door to say goodnight. His boss had been busy all day with a string of meetings and phone call after phone call as the day of filming for the Moonchild advert drew ever closer.

“Mr Kim… Sir?”

“Yes, Stefan.” The CEO looked up, deciding that correcting him was pointless.

“Is everything okay with Jungkook and you? Are you ready for Friday?” he stepped just inside the door, allowing it to close, keeping his voice low.

“I believe everything is alright and yes, I have everything ready for the weekend.”

Stefan moved into the office more, past the sofas and coffee machine. “Weekend? And if you don’t mind me saying, you don’t sound so sure about everything being okay.”

Taehyung sits back in his chair, letting go of the mouse and running his hand through his hair. “Yes, weekend. I asked Jungkook if he would stay the night on Friday and he accepted, I have the guest room made up for him, should he prefer that. I’m taking him for breakfast on Saturday and it is Saturday that I feel has caused an issue.”

“Oh… what is the issue, Sir?” Stefan slid himself into the chair on the other side of the desk.

“To be honest, I have absolutely no understanding of what the issue is or could be. I told him I wanted to take him for breakfast on the coast and he then asked if I would be free after that. I said that I had reserved the weekend for him so I would be free. I thought it was all going well and then he said he would like to get lunch or dinner and asked if he could cook so I said for him to send me a list and I would ensure that he has everything he needs. He remarked about not wanting to make more work for the housekeeper and I sensed a change in tone but even when I thought through the conversation I cannot see why.”

“So, he was okay up until you mentioned getting the shopping in?”

“I really don’t know, I think perhaps things changed before that but I can’t be sure.”

“Perhaps he wants to do something nice for you in return and you offering to get the stuff for him defeats the object?”

“That is a possibility, I suppose. He seemed quite insistent that he wanted to bring the food.”

“Sir, maybe if he wants to cook you a meal, he wants to do it all himself. If I were cooking for someone I would feel a little put out if that person offered to get the ingredients. I could be wrong and it might not be that but being in a relationship is give and take and he will naturally want to do things for you.”

“We aren’t in a relationship but I understand what you are saying. The problem is that we are going straight to a restaurant on Friday so the food would be left in the car.”

Stefan rubbed his chin in thought “Hmmm… are you driving, Sir?”

“No, I am arranging a car to take us. I cannot have the evening as I've planned it and drive myself, my aim is for Jungkook to have my undivided attention."

"Are you getting Tom… I mean, Mr Hicks to drive you?"

"More than likely, yes."

"You could ask him to take the food to your apartment after dropping you off at the restaurant, he's trustworthy and knows your place because he helped you home when you were unwell at that event."

"I wasn't unwell, I was extremely drunk but yes, he did. Thank you, it could possibly be the answer. I am picking Jungkook up in a few hours so will ask him about it."

"That's very late?"

"He has a shift at the diner and finishes at 11 so I said I would give him a lift home… why are you smiling at me like that?"

Stefan giggles, he probably wouldn't usually but technically he's finished work and he can't help himself. "First of all, the dates were not dates and now the relationship isn't a relationship… you are actually very sweet, Sir… that's a lovely thing to do."

Taehyung waved his hand dismissively at his PA but he had a slight smile on his lips "Go home, Stefan, I'm not paying you overtime to sit here and laugh at me… goodnight."

Stefan smiled and got to his feet "Goodnight, Mr Kim… stay away from the apple turnovers. See you tomorrow, Sir."

Taehyung shook his head and tutted as Stefan left his office.

****

The few hours after Stefan left, dragged but Taehyung managed to get a lot done, including answering some emails that had been placed at the bottom of his priority list. While thinking about the things that Stefan had said, he made the call to the driver to arrange pick up for Friday, explaining to him that he may need to drop a bag off at his apartment, which Mr Hicks was only too pleased to do. Everything was set, he’d already spoken to the driver when he’d started planning the weekend because he did a lot for the CEO when it came to travel plans and was usually the first port of call, he even doubled up as security at Purple Aura and was one of the members of staff that had been with the company from the beginning.

When Tae saw Jungkook walk through the doorway of the diner, he smiled, it had only been two days but he was reminded of how much he likes him. The smile that was returned put him at ease as he’d been worried things could be awkward after the phone call but the sparkle in his eyes told him that whatever had caused the change in tone, hadn’t had a lasting effect.

“Hi.” Tae says, leaning forward to kiss his cheek.

“Hi.” Jungkook really hadn’t expected Tae to be waiting for him, it was after 11 now and really quite late. Ash finished at six after starting at nine and had been throwing comments at Jungkook all day… unfortunately he’d been convinced that Taehyung would show up and Jungkook would have to tell him that he was right.

They walked to Tae’s car, Jungkook reluctantly allowing him to open the car door for him but also secretly liking it, especially since the CEO always managed to get close and kiss him on the cheek again. He thought chivalry was dead but Taehyung appeared to be unaware of that fact and always treated him like a complete gentleman, which often made him blush, especially when he thought about the side of Tae that was so pliant.

“I hope you didn’t leave home especially.” Jungkook noticed the suit straight away so presumed he hadn’t but also thought that he could have gone home after work and stayed in his work clothes because he knew he was going out again.

Tae pulled out onto the road “I haven’t been home, I came here straight from the office.”

“Have you had a busy day?”

“Always busy but busy is a positive. How was your shift today?”

“It was a little slow this afternoon but picked up after five and I’ve been rushed off my feet, I definitely need a shower, I feel gross.” Jungkook likes it when the diner is busy but he always likes the shower after a hard shift, more, sometimes he goes straight to the park to practice but definitely not tonight.

“You look quite the opposite.” Tae says, looking over, briefly to the man sitting in the passenger seat.

The tingling that accompanies the heat spreading up to his cheeks makes Jungkook sink into the seat a little. He looks over when Tae's eyes are back on the road, he knows he could stare at his side profile all day, let alone anything else. He almost scoffs to himself as he takes in the sight of the CEO, so strong and beautiful, hands on the steering wheel as he moves the car effortlessly through the traffic into the road where his complex is, thinking about the comparison to himself, he was in his work uniform, hair tied back, looking gross. He's sure there is never a time when Taehyung looks as disgusting as he feels.

Jungkook stays in the car because he's learnt that Tae likes to open the door for him, he said as much, the time that Jungkook was already out of the car by the time he walked around to him. He does it begrudgingly because there's a miniscule part of him that actually likes being treated like this, it's not reliant on wealth, it's purely good manners and it seems to please Taehyung that he lets him do it.

He steps out of the car as the door is opened, standing to the side so that Tae can push it closed. It's automatic now, the way his hands reach out for Taehyung’s waist and pull him close, the way Tae nuzzles his cheek with the tip of his nose before he presses his lips to it softly. Time always stands still in these moments, when it feels like everything and nothing is happening at once.

"If you would still like to get the food for Saturday, I have arranged for it to be taken back to my place after we have been dropped off at the restaurant."

Jungkook pulls his head back to look at Tae "You have?"

"If that is what you would like to do then that is what will happen."

"Oh… umm… thanks…" the busker was surprised to say the least but it meant he could get the food himself which pleased him.

Tae leans in, his fingers finding their way into the pockets of Jungkook's trousers, he licks his lips just before he brushes them against Jungkook's lips, it's gentle but it feels intense… every small thing feels so much bigger with Jungkook and it makes his head spin. He tentatively slips his tongue into the busker's mouth, his stomach flips when his tongue finds Jungkook's and the two wet muscles glide over each other. He attempts to smile against his lips when Jungkook pulls him closer, his hands moving around to Tae’s backside and kneading firmly. He takes his fingers out of the pockets and strokes up his arms to cup either side of Jungkook's neck, angling his head to probe deeper with his tongue as his body is pulled even closer, the hands on his ass more firm with their movements.

He knows that Friday night won't have to stop at this point, it's scary and exciting as he knows where this will go… where he wants it to go.

When he breaks the kiss, he knows the look in Jungkook's eyes is telling him that his thoughts about Friday are likely. He's actually a little nervous.

"You should go have that shower." He says, stroking Jungkook's neck with the pads of his fingers where his hands still rested.

"Yeah, it's time to de-gross myself." Jungkook gave the flesh in his hands a light squeeze.

Tae laughed "I think you may have just invented a word."

"Probably but it is appropriate. Good night, Tae."

Tae leans forward and kisses him on the cheek, stepping out of his personal space so he can move away from the car. "Goodnight, Kookie. See you on Friday"

Chapter Text

"You look great! The same as when you asked 5 minutes ago and the 5 minutes before that and before that and…" Ash rolls his eyes.

"Alright! Alright! Okay… I get it… I'm just nervous."

Ash laughed "No… really? I'd never have guessed. What are you nervous about? You are going to be staying at KTH's home for the night and he's taking you on a proper date… why are you nervous? I'd be fucking buzzing."

"Because it's sorta the first time we will be really alone together… like… really alone. I know we've been alone in the car and here but there was always the chance that you would walk in… at his place, we will be alone."

Ash knew that laughing at his friend wasn't helpful but he couldn't help it, the way Jungkook was looking at him, eyes big, worried expression, cheeks tinged pink… it was hilarious. His friend had literally been fretting about what to wear for the past two days, finally settling on a pair of navy blue trousers which Ash lent him and his smartest pale blue shirt with open collar. It wasn't anything amazing but he felt kind of smart and thought he looked presentable. Marie insisted on doing his hair for him, blow drying it so it was more wavy than usual and stealing some of Billy's hair wax to put through it. The ebony waves sat around his face, the ends now going beyond his cheek bones, still undecided whether he prefers it longer or shorter but liking that he can tie it back when he needs to.

"I'd be nervous if I knew that I was about to fuck KTH too."

Jungkook rolled his eyes at his friend "Why did I even think that you would be any help?"

"That was your first mistake." he giggled "Seriously, Kookie Monster, just enjoy yourself. He is so into you and clearly wants you in him."

"Oh my god! You just can't stop for a second, can you?"

"If it was an actual crisis, I would be serious but this is in no way, shape or form… a crisis."

"It is… it is a crisis. This is the first proper date and then I'm going home with him and I'm cooking for him."

"Did you get everything you need? Even that was stupid, you should've just let him get the food in. He could have a whole fridge full of fucking mozzarella and you've just bought more because you have this pig headed desire to pay him back or whatever."

"Thanks for that. Yes I got everything I need. It's not pig headed, I won't just take without giving. I'm never being made to feel like that ever again.”

“No more thinking about the past for now… just enjoy the weekend… you are finally getting to see Chicago! Go and have fun!”

Jungkook held the holdall by the handles, it was full, mainly with ingredients for tomorrow, with a few clothes. He didn’t have very much, the shoes he wore belonged to Ash, as did the trousers and he borrowed some trainers which were in the bag. His best jeans were getting more use and weren’t really for special occasions anymore and he’d thrown in a couple of his nicer t-shirts and a hoodie.

He could feel his stomach swishing about, the nerves causing a bout of nausea as he walked towards the main entrance of his complex and then he walked through the doors and could have sworn that his heart stopped beating entirely.

“Jesus… fuck.” he muttered as he saw Taehyung standing in front of a black stretch limousine.

Jungkook vowed to himself years ago that he would never be impressed by wealth ever again and he didn’t care whether Taehyung had a limo or a bicycle. However, it was Taehyung himself that impressed Jungkook, standing there in a burgundy shirt with a sunflower print, the collar wide and revealing a hint of collarbone, the trousers wide legged and a bluey purple colour. His shoes were smart and his hair more wavy than curly, styled to show his forehead. Tae's eyes shone as a smile stretched across his face when he saw Jungkook and it was then that the busker realised he actually hadn't moved. He felt a bit silly frozen to the spot and so willed his legs to work and continued walking towards the CEO who greeted him with a kiss on the cheek and a "Hi" as he always did.

"Hi" Jungkook replied, trying to focus on his breathing because it was a little heavy for the occasion.

They stood staring at each other for a minute that felt like an hour, Tae reaching his hand out, fingertips finding fingertips of the hand not holding the large bag. The light touches as their fingers moved against each other caused a ripple of goose bumps up Jungkook's arm and a shiver down his spine. His fingers sought out the gaps between Tae's fingers and he gently tugged him closer so he could kiss him softly. It was a tender moment, one that calmed him and made him nervous at the same time.

"Would you like the bag taken to my place?" Tae asked, his nose ghosting Jungkook's cheek.

"Yes please, if that’s okay?"

"Of course it is. Is there anything that needs to go into the fridge? Does Mr Hicks have permission to go into your bag?"

"I divided the ingredients into two separate bags, so he can get them out, it's fine. The bag tied at the top is the one that needs to go into the fridge."

"We can relay that to him in the car. After you." Tae gestured with his hand so Jungkook could get into the car, closing the door behind him and walking around to the other side.

Inside, the limousine was sleek, cream leather seats, a mini bar and TV screen. He looked around, wondering why Taehyung hadn't driven them himself.

"Tom, this is Mr Jeon, we will need you to take two bags from his overnight holdall and put the one tied up into the fridge." Tae spoke to the driver who had the partition rolled down.

"Good evening, Mr Jeon, is there instructions for the second bag?" Tom asked.

"Please call me Jungkook, the other bag can be left wherever possible, it doesn't need anything special doing with it."

"Yes, Sir. Should I leave your holdall in the guest room?"

Jungkook felt the heat seep into his cheeks, he didn't know what to say. Taehyung must've sensed the unease as he answered for him, "The guest room will be fine, thank you… it can always be moved if necessary."

"Yes, Sir. We will be arriving at the restaurant in about 30 minutes so I will bid you goodnight, for now." He rolled up the partition, leaving Taehyung and Jungkook to their journey.

"He's nice, has he worked for you a long time?"

“He’s one of a few that has been with me since Purple Aura started.”

Jungkook didn’t like being called ‘sir’ and the whole situation made him feel uncomfortable but he could reason with himself on some things and he understood that someone like Taehyung would have staff.

Tae looked down at Jungkook’s hand that was resting on the seat between them, he placed his hand closer, fingertips lightly stroking his knuckles. He was bowled over when the busker had emerged from his complex, his breath caught as he took in the sight of him. He was mostly used to seeing Jungkook in loose clothing so tonight it was a welcome sight, the navy trousers that hugged his thighs and the blue button down shirt that was neatly tucked into the waistband, showing the beautifully small waist that was so often hidden. He thought he looked gorgeous and how good Jungkook would look in designer clothing, the fraying of the cotton on one of the buttons, told him the shirt was cheap and he just knew that would be something Jimin would pick up on, maybe he could buy him a new shirt… and new boots at some point?

Jungkook smiled and relaxed a little when he felt the fingers on his hand, wiggling his own to let Taehyung know it was okay. He looked to his right, the CEO was already looking at him and the familiar blush crept up his face. When Taehyung noticed the coy expression, he reached up with his right hand and gently cupped the side of Jungkook's face, leaning in slowly and kissing him on the cheek.

"You are beautiful, Jungkook." His voice, a low hum near the buskers ear as he left a small kiss on the corner of his jaw.

"Umm… thanks." He hated compliments, always has, didn't know what to do with the information except to say 'thanks' and try to ignore the tingling from the embarrassment as it invaded his cheeks.

Jungkook closes his eyes and leans into the lips near his ear, brushing their faces together, then he turns his head to capture Tae's lips with his own. The moment they touch, he exhales, aware of the fingers still stroking his hand between them and the hand still holding his face. He swipes his tongue along the CEO's plump lower lip, catching his teeth too, until he parts his lips and allows Jungkook's tongue in. The hand on his face pulls him closer as they angle their heads to deepen the kiss, he shifts his upper body towards Tae and pushes forwards, wanting to taste more. Their mouths move lazily, their tongues caress each other and a soft sound leaves his parted lips with the next breath. He considers the possibility that he is addicted to kissing Taehyung, the way that even his tongue seems to submit and allow Jungkook's to curl around it and lead the way. He thinks that Taehyung must use a specific brand of mints because the taste is unfamiliar but the slight minty aroma is there, in his saliva and laced in his breath, that too, is intoxicating.

They break the kiss to take in some air, Tae's thumb running across the apple of Jungkook's cheek, "Beautiful." he speaks in a whisper.

The rest of the journey is spent with small talk, relaxed chatter about the time since they last saw each other, even if a day didn't go by now, without texts or a phone call. All the time while they are talking, their fingers intertwine, they don't stop moving and they are both hyper aware of the way neither removes their hand.

When the limo comes to a stop, Taehyung gets out, walks around the car and opens the door for Jungkook. Most people he knows let their driver open doors for them but it's something he's always preferred to do himself, he is quite capable and doesn't see the need for someone else to do it. The only time he relents is when he is going to an important function and there's a fuss with paparazzi, they always shove their cameras in his face so he trusts the driver to open the door when it's the right time for him to get out.

As Jungkook steps out, Tae kisses his cheek, Mr Hicks is standing near the drivers door "I will await your message to collect you." He says.

"We will be here a couple of hours here, the bag is on the seat in the rear." Tae responds.

"Yes Sir, enjoy your meal."

Jungkook looks at the restaurant, it looks expensive… of course it is. He hasn't heard of it but the man in uniform who opens the door for them and plush interior tells him that the prices of everything are going to make him uncomfortable. He's seen places like this before, there was a time in his life when he wouldn't have given his surroundings a second thought but those days are long gone.

Taehyung speaks to the lady at the desk and she is fawning over him, which is completely understandable but incredibly annoying. Jungkook rolls his eyes as she continues to brown nose his date, probably hoping to get a decent tip out of him because as much as he dislikes people like Taehyung, he also dislikes the people that take advantage of those who have wealth. There is also a part of him that believes that the woman finds Tae attractive and could possibly be flirting with him, which is equally as irritating. He is surprised when Tae takes his hand as they follow the lady through to their table, he can't make out the style of the decor but 'expensive' probably covers it. His stomach reacts to having his hand taken, it was an unexpected gesture, he didn't think that the CEO would be so blatant but he was obviously wrong in his judgement. The large room has floor to ceiling screens that can transport the diners to anywhere in the world (or out of this world), they currently show a magical forest, complete with magical creatures and Jungkook feels like he's on Pandora from the movie 'Avatar'. The lady stops at a oval white table, they take their seats on the white and gold coloured seats either side of the narrowest part. The setting is minimalist, a large carafe of water with L.E.D ice cubes is placed in the centre, there are two glasses laden with citrus fruits and more rainbow lit ice and more cutlery than anyone really needs.

Taehyung reeled off the name of two cocktails to the lady and she gave him a flirtatious smile before tottering away. Jungkook wondered why there wasn't a menu because usually in restaurants they had one on the table or one was given to you as you are seated.

"I hope it's okay that I ordered drinks? They do a very tasty cocktail here and I've found this to be the only restaurant that offers it."

"I don't mind, I'm sure it's better than the beer that Ash brought home from his friend's place the other night." He did mind a little bit, he felt incredibly uncomfortable in the surroundings, which were beautiful but he could imagine the cost of the evening and his hotdogs in the park looked ridiculous now (not that, that was a date).

"They do a decadent prix fixe menu here, it's seven courses and they recently altered it to include a beef carpaccio dish which uses wagyu steak which I haven't had here before."

Jungkook remembers a time when he had a twenty course meal at his mother's wedding, the food was delicious until he'd been sick and flushed it down the toilet after the day turned into a nightmare. The prix fixe menu would at least explain why there was a distinct lack of menus around and thankfully he isn't a fussy eater, even if it had been quite some time that he's had any food like this. He now knew what to expect, each course would be intensely tasty and small, with a variety of elements arranged perfectly on a plate. The ingredients would be the best quality, probably imported from places he's never heard of, even if Geography was always one of his top subjects. He's been to places where the cost of the menu was more than he now earned in a week, where the ingredients were names he couldn't even pronounce, it was a world he didn't ever think he'd have to experience again.

"You like beef?" He wants to focus on getting to know his date, doing his best to ignore the little feeling irking him.

"I do but I actually prefer lamb. Do you have a favourite meat?"

"I love lamb and chicken but I enjoy most meats to be honest. They do a great burger at Dino’s, that has bacon and sausage as well as the double burger, it's huge."

"Maybe one day I will try it as per your recommendation. The best burger I have had was an Ostrich burger, the bread was more like a focaccia. It was incredible."

They were interrupted by a member of staff bringing their drinks, followed a second later by their first course. Jungkook sipped his cocktail and licked his lips, "This is really good, it was a good choice."

"I'm pleased that you approve." Taehyung smiled, picking up a fork to start his food.

“Have you had any more trouble linked to that stuff a couple of weeks ago?”

“Not directly, my legal team handles anything that arises from it now.”

“That’s good.” he said while the vegetable puree coated his taste buds.

“Are you looking forward to the show?”

“I am, I have wanted to see it for a long time. It will be interesting because I should know some of the scenes and dance routine from the movie and from our production.”

“You’ll have to tell me which of the scenes you are in. I hope it lives up to the expectations I have from my memory of the first time I saw it.”

“I’m sure it will but you know that sometimes you love a programme, like from when you were a child, then you watch it when you are older and you wonder why you loved it so much. Memories are strange.”

“That very situation happened to me once when my friends were all talking about a cartoon with a dog in it and we couldn’t recall the name of it but we all loved it. I found it and we spent twenty minutes pulling faces at one another. Some things are better left in the past.”

“Very true but sometimes the past shapes us and we have to adapt.”

“That is also true. Tell me about your family. You never mention them.”

“I don’t have any… none I want to talk about anyway. Ash is my family and the couple who own the diner, I suppose.”

Taehyung was about to speak when a waiter appeared, clearing their plates and cutlery, a second waiter behind him with their second course. He wasn’t going to insist that Jungkook talks about something that clearly is uncomfortable for him and he leaves it for another time, perhaps once they know each other to a degree where he will feel happier opening up to him.

“Does Ash have a partner?”

Jungkook is surprised by the change in subject, he was expecting Taehyung to ask more questions and probe him further about his family, caught off guard a little.

“Umm… no, he is single, sort of? He's been seeing someone but I'm not sure where they're at. I'm sure that when you meet him you will understand more.” he half laughs as he finishes the sentence.

Tae smiles in return “Is he that bad?”

“Not really, he’s had a few relationships once he’d finally decided he was hetero and needing to label himself. He just picks the girls that take advantage or the girls who walk around our apartment in one of his shirts.”

Tae isn’t completely sure he understands, “Why is that a problem? The shirts I mean.”

“Because they wear the shirt, only… only that and the shirt doesn’t cover everything.”

“Does that bother him because of you seeing that?” Tae now thinks that perhaps Jungkook is bisexual.

“Oh no, it doesn’t affect me, I’m not interested but Ash isn’t so keen on the girl showing everything off, they don’t know that I’m gay so he thinks that says a lot about them.”

Tae nods, “They should have a little more respect for themselves and for you both.”

“They should. One of the girls walked out of his bedroom in a pair of his boxers and nothing on top, I was studying in the lounge and she got a drink from the kitchen and sat down on the sofa… it was strange. I picked up my books and went into my room, it was just awkward and he wasn’t happy. He’s such a nice guy… he’s strange, quirky and annoying but that’s probably just with me. The girl he's seeing now I've seen once and she had the sense to go back into the bedroom and put on a robe, so who knows about this one?” he giggles a little.

“He’s your family, he’s meant to be those things.” Tae smiles at the man sitting opposite him, whose eyes shine in the lights and make his surroundings pale into the background.

When the seventh course arrives, Jungkook’s smile widens, he loves cheesecake and there’s the smallest square on the plate surrounded by a tiny brownie, thin slices of fresh strawberry and drizzles of white chocolate sauce and a raspberry coulis. The servings are miniscule as expected but the taste and flavours have been unbelievable and he’s enjoyed every course.

“You approve of the dessert?”

“I love cheesecake… I don’t get to have it very often but sometimes when Marie makes it for the diner she saves me a slice and her cheesecake is so good.”

Taehyung feels there is always so much more to Jungkook’s words than what is actually being said but he can never put his finger on what it is. He spends a lot of time guessing as to what it could be, trying to read between the lines and in this case he wonders if Jungkook doesn’t eat a lot of cheesecake because he can’t afford it? Or perhaps it is simply because he is careful about calories with his need to stay trim for dance? He doesn’t know which or even if there is anything else to be read into it but his heart swells at the smile and warmth that radiates from him because of a tiny square of cheesecake.

“You’d better savour that mouthful then…” Tae giggles “... I know this little place that does the best cheesecake and you get a whole lot more than a mouthful. I’ll take you there one day.”

Jungkook’s smile reaches his ears, it’s genuine and he really likes the sound of that, especially the part that tells him that Taehyung wants to take him out again, wants to spend more time with him.

“I’d like that but that will be my treat.” Even if the place is expensive, it’s only a couple of slices of cheesecake so he will get the name of the place beforehand, do his research and work a few more shifts at the diner.

Taehyung was getting the feeling that there was more behind that than Jungkook lets on, he’s noticing that it is becoming a regular occurrence. While they finish up their dessert and drinks, Tae thinks of all the times that Jungkook has wanted to pay for something or take him somewhere and there is a pattern but he doesn’t understand why he feels the need to do it or what the reason could be. The most recent being the insistence that he cook them both lunch tomorrow and the frostiness to his tone when Tae offered to get the ingredients in. He still thinks that there may be some truth to Stefan’s suggestion but it feels like there’s more to it than that now that he’s thought back, never before connecting the dots and still unable to complete the connection properly.

He’s still completely clueless though, even with some of the dots joined because he can’t imagine what his reason would be when it is painfully obvious that he can’t compete with the wealth that Taehyung has. He does want to find out though, he wants to understand but now isn’t the right time. He wants to learn everything there is to learn about the busker, to understand what makes him tick and why he can be so very closed off at times. Taehyung does consider that the reactions recently could be a consequence of the charity gala and the hurt that was caused and in that case it made sense so he would have to bide his time.

“Ready?” Tae asks as he pushes his chair back to stand.

“Ummm… yeah… yeah.” Jungkook is a bit confused, expecting for Taehyung to pay the bill even though he’s really quite relieved not to have to witness it because it was something he’d been dreading since they’d arrived. He has absolutely zero desire to be a kept man and he very much wants to avoid feeling like one as much as is possible.

When they got to the lady at the desk she smiled her over enthusiastic smile at Taehyung, which annoyed Jungkook.

“Was everything satisfactory, Sir?” she asked in her annoying voice.

“Yes, more than satisfactory, thank you.” Tae replied, handing the lady a bundle of notes, “please distribute to the serving staff and kitchen.”

“Yes, of course, Sir. Enjoy the rest of your evening.” she nodded in Jungkook’s direction as she spoke and he just raised his brows at the fact that she hadn’t acknowledged him until now.

Taehyung placed a hand on the small of Jungkook’s back and guided him through the doors that were opened for them as they approached, the limo parked directly outside. Just as Tae opened the car door for Jungkook he kissed his cheek, let his lips linger just a little longer than usual, a small smile appearing when he felt him exhale at the touch.

Once they were seated in the limo, Taehyung took hold of Jungkook’s hand and spoke to the driver, “Did you manage to leave the bag in my apartment?”

“Yes Sir, I put the bag in the fridge as requested and left the other one on the central counter. I placed the holdall in the guest room.”

“Thank you.” Jungkook chipped in.

“Indeed, thank you. We will be going home once the show has concluded, we will be at the usual exit point.” Taehyung added.

“Yes, Sir. Did you enjoy your meal?” Mr Hicks asks.

“It was as good as it always is there but the company was a whole lot better than usual tonight.” Tae looked briefly at Jungkook and smiled, giving his hand a little squeeze.

“Did you enjoy it, Mr Jeon Sir?”

“Oh yes, thank you, the cheesecake was especially tasty…” he grins “...there wasn’t enough of it though.”

Mr Hicks smiles, “There never is in that sort of place, Mr Jeon, those seven courses would probably make one dish.”

Jungkook giggles and Taehyung is staring, he’d zoned out listening to him speak and watching him smile, the sound of his laugh warming him in ways that he didn’t think was possible.

“That is so true, you see more of the staff than the actual food.” he glances at Taehyung and feels his cheeks redden.

“The staff are always polite though and the food comes out in a timely manner.” Tom had been to several restaurants like that one, not through choice but he was treated every once in a while with vouchers for his service to Taehyung or a bonus if he’s had to go out of his way to collect him from the airport at an unsociable hour.

Jungkook rolls his eyes at the mention of the staff, “Yeah, well the lady at the desk was annoying but the service inside was really good and the company was satisfactory.”

The driver nearly choked at Jungkook’s words, looking in the mirror as he saw his boss tilt his head and raise an eyebrow at his date. Tom smiled, he really liked seeing the CEO like this, relaxed and playful, it made a change from his usual work persona where he was the businessman and rightly so.

“Just satisfactory, Mr Jeon?” the driver asked, a touch of humour to his question.

“Maybe I could stretch to ‘good’... maybe.” Jungkook smirked, his eyes not breaking contact with Taehyung’s gaze.

“Looks like you need to up your game, Mr Kim, Sir.” The driver smiles, “We will arrive in about ten minutes, Sirs.” he says before he rolls up the partition to leave the couple in peace.

“Satisfactory?” Tae asks, lips pursed in a tight lipped grin.

Jungkook gives a small nod, “I don’t want your head to get too big.”

“No one has had any complaints before.” now he can’t hide the smile that forms and his eyes sparkle, illuminated by the various lights in the otherwise dark limo.

Jungkook blushes, of course he does, stumped for words as usual when Taehyung takes the conversation into the gutter. He leans forwards while tugging on the hand holding his and presses their lips together, as his tongue skims the CEO’s bottom lip, he can taste the cocktail, so sweet. Tae shuffles a little closer and reaches up to cup the side of his face, fingers gently playing with his hair as their tongues mingle. When they part, Jungkook leans back in to leave one last kiss on his lips “the company just improved greatly.”

“Imagine how much it will improve later, I’m not sure whether your ratings go that high, Jungkook.”

Shit! Fucking hell… the only words going through Jungkook’s mind right now because he is under no illusion as to what Tae means by that.

“I’ll be sure to let you know.” he says quickly as the car stops and Tae gets out, using the time it takes for his door to open, to feel his cheeks with the backs of his hands and take a very deep breath.

Chapter Text

Jungkook feels a buzz of excitement as they walk through the big doors into the foyer of the theatre, there are people standing around chatting and the whole area is decorated as if it were part of a set from the production. His fingers are intertwined with Taehyung’s as they walk through to where a young man in a 1920’s suit, complete with hat, nods and greets them with a smile, “This way, Sir.”

He leads them to a door which is opened by another member of staff dressed accordingly, who also smiles and welcomes them. As they step inside, the man turns to speak to them “You have 20 minutes backstage, Sir and then you will be shown back to your seats. There is a private bar area just outside of your box and drinks are courtesy of Mr Lee, this evening, he apologises for being unable to be here.”

Jungkook feels Taehyung squeeze his hand, however, he’s internally rolling his eyes and huffing, of course they couldn’t simply go to the theatre and attend a stage show, there had to be a box and a private bar, as if the limousine and restaurant weren’t enough. He doesn’t understand the need for all this, why can't they just sit with everyone else and enjoy a show without all the fancy stuff? He doesn’t need all the frills and it doesn’t impress him in the slightest, in fact it makes him wary and makes him question what on earth he is doing in a situation that he vowed he wouldn’t ever be in again.

He looks in Tae’s direction as he feels lips on his cheek and sees the bright eyes and big smile looking back at him, which softens his resolve a little. It's that look of innocence, the sparkling eyes, the genuine expression that tell Jungkook that Taehyung isn't being sinister in the slightest.

“Ready?” Taehyung asks, earning a frown from his date.

“For?” Jungkook quips back.

“I know the owner of the theatre, Mr Lee and he has given us 20 minutes backstage to meet the cast. I thought you might enjoy meeting the dancers and to see their costumes.”

Well… shit! Jungkook might not be bowled over by a display of wealth, unimpressed by a show of riches but he can’t help the way his stomach erupts with butterflies at how Taehyung is looking at him and the thought he’s put into this.

“That would be really great, thank you.” he isn’t completely sure that his gratitude is conveyed as much as he would like it to, there’s still a part of him that wants to hold back, just in case, the part of him that dislikes the wealth and has hidden away from money for so long.

The time backstage is fantastic, the cast are so lovely and Jungkook tells them all about the production at university. One of the dancers even sympathises when he tells her about the part in the choreography that has been causing him a bit of bother and he feels slightly better when he knows that it gave her trouble too. He stands close to Taehyung who has his hand on his lower back throughout the time they are with the cast, he doesn’t say anything, just listens because this is about Jungkook and he’s just pleased to have been able to do this for him. He watches how animatedly his date talks to the cast members, how his eyes shine and his teeth show when he smiles and he thinks he might feel more for him than he previously thought.

On the way back to their box, Jungkook can’t stop smiling and thanks Taehyung again, “That was so good, thank you.” He really tries to make sure he emphasises his gratitude because he very much appreciates that Taehyung used his contacts to do something so very thoughtful.

“I’m really pleased that you enjoyed meeting them, would you like a drink?” Tae guides him to the small bar that serves the few boxes in that area. He likes the privacy of a box, the fact that the bar area will only have twelve people using it at once if the boxes are used to full capacity.

“I’ll have whatever you are having, thanks.” Jungkook takes in his surroundings, looks at the decor of the theatre and the three people standing to the side with champagne flutes in their hands. He makes a judgement on them because of the way the woman in the trio looks him up and down, not hiding the fact that she is doing so. He is sure she wonders what Taehyung is doing with someone like him, the CEO is so dashing and clearly belongs in that environment and Jungkook… doesn’t. He scoffs to himself because he expects that will happen a lot because he looks like the poor guy on the rich guy’s arm, maybe people will think Taehyung is his sugar daddy? Maybe people will automatically presume that Jungkook is a gold digger but that couldn’t be further from the truth and it irks him that they would think that but that’s what people like this do. There was a time when he blended in because he was bought the right clothes and given the right accessories, when his shoes were designer and imported and when his name was on the V.I.P list. That was the time when people spoke to him because of who he was with and they didn't bother to look past the incredibly expensive attire. He couldn't stand people like that now.

“Here you go.” Taehyung hands him a bottle of beer and a tall glass.

“Thank you.” he says, putting the bottle to his lips and drinking straight from it, ignoring the glass and noting the look on the face of the woman that had been staring at him. It's incredibly tempting to belch loudly but even Jungkook wouldn't embarrass Taehyung like that because it's not his fault that the woman is clearly an arsehole.

Taehyung didn’t appear to notice, tilting his glass and pouring the fizzy liquid into it before placing the bottle on the bar and speaking to Jungkook “I didn’t know what to get but I remembered that you mentioned beer earlier.”

“This is fine, thanks.” Jungkook replies, turning his back on the woman and pouring the rest of the beer into his glass before setting the empty bottle beside Taehyung’s on the bar.

Tae takes hold of Jungkook’s hand, leads him through the private entrance to their box where two seats await them. There is a bag on one seat, a black tote with ‘Chicago’ written across it but before Jungkook can sit down, Tae turns to face him and kisses his cheek and his heart rate picks up a little bit.

The CEO takes the empty seat and places his glass in the holder beside him, looking up at his date who is hovering awkwardly, “Are you going to sit down?”

Jungkook looks at the bag on the seat “Someone left their bag, I should take it to the bar.” he says.

“They haven’t, that’s for you, Jungkook.”

“It is? What is it?”

Taehyung smiles and looks at his date with a puzzled expression, “Why don’t you sit down and look in it?”

“Y-yeah, sure.” Jungkook says, trying to be cool but failing thanks to the stutter.

“It’s some Chicago merchandise, nothing major, a few bits and pieces that I hoped you would like.”

Jungkook’s face is heating up as he looks through the bag, he doesn’t know what to say, he feels like he did when he was a young child on his birthday when someone gave him a present and it all got a bit awkward. There was a time in his life when presents were so extravagant and he was so extremely grateful because there was also a time when gifts were meaningful and inexpensive on special occasions. He pulls out a t-shirt, a frosted tumbler, a programme signed by the whole cast, a fridge magnet (which makes him smile as he wants to put it alongside the one from the theme park) and a black trilby style hat. It is all so thoughtful but he wishes that Taehyung hadn’t made such a gesture because he’s added it to his list of things he needs to return the favour for and the list is getting longer after this evening… he doesn’t think that cooking lunch tomorrow will achieve his aim. He already knows what Ash will say, he will tell him that the merchandise is a lovely gesture and that he should be grateful (which he is). He will also rip the piss out of him for getting another fridge magnet and ask if he gave Taehyung the blow job of his life for such a lovely gift. Ash will also tell him that he is overthinking things again, that a bag of show goodies doesn't mean anything malicious and that he shouldn't need to do something in return.

"I genuinely don't know what to say aside from thank you." He might be panicking internally but Taehyung looks so sincere and it really is such a thoughtful gesture that he doesn't know what to say.

Tae smiles "Is there anything else to say, aside from thank you?"

"Probably not."

"Then you don't need to say anything else. I will presume that being lost for words is a positive and you have a bag of goodies, that's settled."

Jungkook looks over at Tae, their chairs are close enough for him to be able to reach out and place a hand on his nape, he applies a little pressure and pulls him towards him, leaning in himself while he does. When their lips are barely touching he says "I love it, thank you." Before the miniscule space between their mouths closes and their lips meet. Taehyung turns his upper body as best he can and rests his hand on Jungkook's thigh, nearly faltering with his jaw movements as he grasps the hard muscle. The kiss is slow, languid even and interrupted when the lights go down to signify the start of the show. Taehyung pulls back, leaning in for one more brief kiss "As much as I would like to continue this, I think we should watch the show."

Jungkook grins, his fingers still stroking the short hairs of Tae's hairline, "I agree with you."

"Now that is a first." he smirked.

Jungkook gives him another quick kiss then lets go of his neck "And probably the last so don't get used to it."

Tae laughed as he turned to face the direction of the stage, he kept his hand on his date's thigh and Jungkook didn't seem to mind it being there.

During the interval, drinks and snacks were brought to them, Jungkook flicked through the programme to follow what was next.

"Are you enjoying it?" Tae asks, pouring his beer and popping something crunchy into his mouth from the serving bowl.

"Oh yes! It's so good! The actress who plays Roxie is great!”

Taehyung thinks Jungkook's smile is infectious because he finds himself smiling too, "she is. It's really good, just as I remember, I actually think I'm enjoying it more being here with you."

Jungkook is a little taken aback, "You are?"

Tae leans across and presses his lips gently to his cheek "Yes, I am."

He can feel the heat rise in his cheeks and thankfully the theatre is thrown into darkness again as the show continues. Jungkook places a hand over Tae's and wriggles his fingers underneath his palm so he can hold his hand properly, he sees Tae smile and feels the gentle squeeze as he focuses on the show. He likes this, the way they can sit and just hold hands, there’s a level of intimacy with Taehyung that he hasn’t really had with anyone else before. He is absolutely certain that by now, in the past they’d have moved on from kissing and hand holding, yet the most he’s done with Taehyung is sexting and making out. Jungkook isn’t used to moving so slowly, a snail's pace, yet the intensity that comes from fingertip touches and languid kisses is a level of sensuality he’s not experienced before.

When the show finishes, they get to their feet and only let go of each other so they can applaud the cast and the musicians, both smiling, Jungkook placing his thumb and middle finger into his mouth so he can whistle loudly. The applause doesn’t die down, even as the cast bow again and leave the stage, it’s only when the lights come on that people start to file out of the auditorium. Taehyung takes Jungkook’s hand and leads them out of the box, making sure that his date has the bag of merchandise with him. They walk down the hall towards an exit and the limo is parked on the other side of the road along with a few other expensive cars, some with drivers and some without. They cross the road and Taehyung opens the rear door, stealing a quick kiss on the cheek as Jungkook gets in.

He's still smiling from ear to ear when Tae gets in, sliding in close next to him. He takes his hand and looks at his date, he looks so happy and he's so pleased that he'd booked the show.

"Thank you for your company, this evening, it's been a really lovely date. I'm thankful that you gave me the chance." Tae's voice is sincere.

For a second Jungkook didn't quite register what Taehyung meant, that all seemed like a long time ago and he's done his best to try and put it behind him. It was probably one of the first times in his life that he tried not to allow his immediate reaction caused by the hurt to control the entire situation. "I just… I thought we deserved that chance… you know? Like you said."

Tae leaned in slowly, speaking just before their mouths met "Are you glad that you gave me the chance?"

Jungkook is having a little difficulty maintaining his thoughts with Tae so close, "Y-yeah… I am." The words more of a whisper than anything else.

The gap between them disappeared as their lips connected, it's a gentle and slow kiss, as usual, even as Jungkook flicks his tongue out, catching Taehyung’s teeth, causing him to repeat the action so Tae opens his mouth, which he does.

When the car stops, Taehyung pulls back, the way he disconnects their mouths but lingers slightly, warm breath just caressing saliva slick lips before he leaves one more brief kiss. They say goodnight to the driver who smiles at the couple and expresses his gratitude to Taehyung who tips him because that's what he always does. He has been working for Taehyung for long enough to know that he will be given a cylinder of notes after doing extra work for him, even though he's paid well anyway and enjoys jobs like tonight. He learned his lesson, the most important one being that his boss will find a way to show his gratitude whether he liked it or not so it was best to accept his offer, whatever that was.

As the limousine drives away, Jungkook is staring at the building in front of him, he feels a hand on his lower back and looks at Tae who is smiling at him. They walk up the steps to the large glass doors where a doorman greets Taehyung and acknowledges Jungkook. The foyer is as grand as you would expect and the CEO taps a code into the elevator which takes them to the top floor and a private landing. The decor is chrome and glass, with abstract art pieces on the smoky grey walls. Taehyung guides them to his door and enters another code which allows them access to his apartment, lights automatically illuminating the extensive main living area.

"Let me show you around, please make yourself at home while you are here." Tae says while removing his shoes.

Jungkook follows suit, places his shoes near Taehyung’s, pausing to allow him to lead the way. It has been some time since he's seen an apartment as luxurious as this with its floor to ceiling windows, the interior a stark contrast to the decor in the main building. He hadn't paid attention to which floor they were on but he guesses that it must be near the top judging by the view, the night time city surrounding them, all twinkling lights and high rise buildings.

"Have you lived here long?"

"A couple of years, I think. It's one of few buildings that has an extensive list of amenities, not that I'm a regular in the gym but I've seen it once."

Jungkook huffs out a half giggle at that and the look on Taehyung’s face as he says it.

"And there I was, thinking that you were into lifting weights."

Taehyung smirks, "I prefer to be the one being lifted, Jungkook." the smirk turning to a grin when he watches the pink tinge flood Jungkook’s face.

Relief is evident when Tae turns and walks away, across the room and up a step into a wide hallway where there are a series of doors. The dark wood continues along the length of the hall but there is a cream and forest green narrow carpet that runs up the centre. Taehyung points to each door as he walks slowly, "The main bathroom is in there but there is an en-suite in each bedroom, use whichever you wish. This is my office, that is my bedroom and this should be where Mr Hicks left your bag.” he says as he opens the second door on the right at the end of the hall.

Jungkook follows Taehyung inside the room and it is as luxurious as he’d expected, the huge windows reflecting the contents of the room as the lights switch on as they enter. The bed looks huge, covered in pillows and cushions, the bedding a slate grey and white, a wall, papered with metallic grey flowers providing the headboard. Jungkook’s feet sink into the plush carpet, there’s a walk-in wardrobe and a door that houses the en-suite bathroom with its large shower and sparkly marble flooring. He likes how simplistically the room is decorated, quite modern compared to the homely feel of the living area.

“Would you like to freshen up, I can go and make us drinks if you would like time to shower or change?”

Jungkook looks around the room, the windows making up one whole wall and he knows that he would spend every evening laying on the bed in the darkness, looking at the view if he had a room like this in his apartment.

“A drink would be nice, thanks, I’m good, no need to change or anything.” he didn’t really have a great deal with him to change into, he sleeps in his underwear and has an outfit for tomorrow but that’s about it.

Taehyung smiles and turns to leave the room with Jungkook having one more look around as he follows him back down the hall. They cross the room to where there are two doors, Taehyung pointing to the door on the right and explaining that is where the dining room and mini library is before he opens the other. The kitchen is illuminated by spotlights covering the ceiling, there are worktops all around the edges, aside from the wall straight ahead of them that is one big window. Jungkook notices the bag of ingredients sitting on the central island near a bistro style coffee machine and he really likes the monochrome decor. He senses that the kitchen doesn’t get a lot of use because it has the appearance of something you would see in a show home. Taehyung walks over to the huge double door, American style fridge and pauses before pulling open the door, “Would you like a hot or cold drink? I have wine, spirits, coffee, tea, water, fruit juice, no beer though, I’m afraid.”

Jungkook stands near the island and smiles “Coffee would be great, thanks.”

“I hope you know how to use that…” Taehyung points to the machine “...I never use it.”

“I’ve used the one at Dino’s which is pretty similar, I can use it, maybe I need to teach you.”

“I’ve imagined how adept you are at giving instructions.”

Jungkook turns around quickly, taking a white mug from the side of the coffee machine, he knows he’s blushing, he needs to pull himself together. Taehyung smiles, mainly to himself as he takes a small bottle of fruit juice from the fridge and closes the door.

“Umm… do you have milk?” Jungkook asks while grinding the coffee beans and pressing some buttons.

“I do, I have almond milk because that’s what the housekeeper persists in getting, is that okay?" Tae pulls open the fridge door as he speaks.

"Yeah, that's fine." He didn't know if it was fine because he hadn't had almond milk before but as he is thinking about it he turns around to see Tae walking towards him with the carton in his hand.

"Here." He hands Jungkook the milk and pulls out a high chair to sit on while he waits.

"Thanks."

"Hasn't anyone ever advised you that caffeine isn't good for you this late at night?"

Jungkook grins "Of course they have but I like coffee."

"If you are awake all night, don't blame me… or maybe you will."

Jungkook puts the little plastic lid back onto the carton of milk and takes a deep breath, he walks over to the fridge and puts it away, "maybe I will, what? Taehyung?" he knows what he's asking but as he'd walked to the refrigerator he'd noticed that the CEO had one side of his bottom lip between his teeth and he'd felt his member twitch. The way that Taehyung says such suggestive and filthy things but then looks so coy, is enough to drive Jungkook crazy.

Tae tilts his head to one side as Jungkook approaches him, raising his eyebrows but leaving his bottom lip as it is. There is a split second of disbelief where it doesn't feel real that he has the busker here, it felt like he wouldn't get anywhere with him at one stage and yet here he was. Tae takes a breath, the jittery feeling in his body isn't nervousness or anxiety, it's excitement and desire, weeks of kissing, suggestive comments and sexting, all coming to the surface. There's still a chance that he's completely wrong about the type of lover that Jungkook is but there's also a fear that he could be right. If he's right, he may kidnap him and never let him leave, the fact that this man who swooped into his life purely by chance, could actually be all his dreams and fantasies rolled into one, is scary as hell.

He releases his lower lip from the grasp of his teeth "Maybe you will blame me for keeping you up all night."

Jungkook watches as Taehyung chews on his lip, "Why would I blame you? Because it's your coffee?" He says smugly, he's not stupid, he knows exactly what Taehyung was implying when he said it but he doesn't want to allow the blushing to win when he knows that he can have this effect on Tae too.

"If you like… it is my coffee."

Jungkook stands close to Taehyung, close enough that Tae has to look up just slightly, still sitting on the breakfast bar style chair. He picks up the mug of coffee and puts it to his lips, takes a sip and places it back down again, "I do like." he says.

Tae hooks a couple of his fingers into the pockets of Jungkook’s trousers and pulls him a bit closer so he's standing between his legs, "you like the coffee?"

"I do but I'd like to keep you up all night."

He’s about to worry that he has said the wrong thing when Tae tugs on his pockets and before he can think about it, he is close enough to feel Tae's breath on his face. It's Jungkook who makes the final move, pressing his lips to Taehyung’s, eyes closing as he swipes the tip of his tongue along the inside of his top lip. He feels the sparks of arousal as a gruff sound comes up from Taehyung’s throat when their tongues meet. Jungkook places his hands on the thighs either side of him, stroking over the fabric. He tilts his head to the right as the CEO moves to the left, the kiss becoming deeper as their tongues caress each other, he squeezes the flesh under his palms and swallows the sound that comes from Taehyung.

When Tae pulls back, he leans back in to leave a chaste kiss on Jungkook’s cheek, his fingers holding onto the pockets in an attempt to ground himself because his head is foggy with wanton desire for the man standing between his legs, looking at him with the same need in his eyes.

"Will you come to bed with me?" as he asks he presses his lips to the corner of Jungkook’s mouth.

"Yeah." The word comes out as a harsh breath more than a vocal sound as he nods his head to confirm.

Jungkook moves when Tae removes his fingers from his pockets and takes him by the hand, walking through the large living area, past the couches towards the hallway, Tae stopping momentarily with his hand on the handle of his bedroom door. His heart is thumping, he feels like he would see it beating if he looks in the mirror, he's been anticipating this moment for longer than he cares to admit to himself. Once inside, a few wall lights illuminate the room in a golden, warm, dim glow, their reflections visible in the floor to ceiling windows that make up two walls of the huge space. The bed is on a raised platform and looks huge from where they are standing, Jungkook swallows down any nerves he has when he looks at Tae who is staring straight back at him while chewing one side of his bottom lip.

He takes the lead, reaching out for Tae's waist and pulling their bodies closer, connecting their mouths and groaning when their tongues meet once more. His hands move to the buttons on Taehyung’s shirt, nimble fingers working slowly to release each small metal disc from the silky fabric. He daren't think about the skin that is revealed as he reaches the collar, his composure hanging by a thread as it is. He exhales noisily as he runs his hands up Tae's torso, the skin underneath his fingers as smooth as the fabric of the shirt. His stomach flips as he sees Taehyung’s hands fall to his sides so that the shirt slides off his shoulders and floats down to the floor. Arousal spikes through him, he places a hand on each of Tae's shoulders and leans in for a kiss, it's brief, moving along his jaw and dipping his head to attach his lips to the skin below his ear. He works his tongue with his lips, caressing the skin of Tae's neck, closing his eyes in a paused blink every time a soft moan leaves Tae's lips. Jungkook turns Tae around slowly, lips pressing to his nape, one hand moving to his chest, fingertips casually brushing a nipple. He brings the other hand to his throat and lightly holds, applying a slight amount of pressure to push his head back so he can reach more of his neck with his mouth. Jungkook’s mind is buzzing at how pliant Tae is, he's like putty in his hands and he wants to treat him like he's made of the finest porcelain, treat him like a delicate flower, something so precious. He leaves light kisses along the tops of his shoulders as he walks around to face him again, his hands holding him firmly by his waist.

Tae leans in for a kiss, the skin on his upper body awash with goose bumps from the light touches and the shiver that ran the length of his spine when their lips met. He realises that his hands are trembling slightly when he goes to undo the buttons on Jungkook's shirt, he chooses to ignore it, focusing on the way the plastic discs give way so easily. A husky breath expels from his lips as his hands make contact with the naked chest in front of him, the definition of his toned physique causing his brain to short-circuit. He's always been with fit guys, the more toned the better, once he'd ended up with a weight lifter but that was a bit much, especially when he needed all of his meals prepared two weeks in advance in small plastic containers, so they could never eat out together and Tae found him a little high maintenance.

"Beautiful." he hadn't meant to say it out loud but it made its way from his thoughts to his mouth.

Jungkook feels beautiful when he is with Taehyung, the way the word drips from his lips with so much sincerity, it’s difficult not to. He does find it amusing though because he thinks that the CEO is probably the most beautiful person he’s ever seen, convinced that if you look it up in a dictionary, the definition says ‘Kim Taehyung’. He never knows what to say to compliments though so a whispered ‘Thanks’ is about all he can manage.

Time seems to halt as they stand in the large warm bedroom, both pairs of feet sinking into the overly plush carpet, eyes fixed on the other, hands gently exploring as soft gasps can be heard amidst breaths that are becoming heavier with every passing minute. Jungkook smooths his hands up Tae’s arms from his elbows to his shoulders, following the curve to the junction of his neck, thumbs resting on his jaw and fingertips getting lost in his hairline. He brings their mouths together, moist lips that slide so easily against the other, walking forwards instinctively when Taehyung starts taking steps backwards towards the bed.

Tae stops just before the bed, his heels against the step of the platform, he runs his fingertips up and down Jungkook’s spine and rests his hands on the small of his back, thumbs dipping below the waistband of his trousers and palms holding his ass. His body vibrates with anticipation as Jungkook licks into his mouth, he has a momentary panic when he isn’t sure where he put the lube but remembers and internally blushes when he remembers the extra bottles he bought, not wanting to presume but wanting to be prepared.

Jungkook thinks that he could stand here and kiss Taehyung forever and never get bored, he rubs the corners of Tae's jaw with his thumbs as he takes his plump bottom lip between his teeth, then sucks on his cupid's bow. His hands trace down Tae's chest to his stomach, unfastening the belt and trousers, allowing them to drop to the carpet.

Tae shuffles his feet out of the clothing in a heap around his ankles, returning the favour, not brave enough to look down at Jungkook in only a pair of tight boxer shorts. He wants to drop to his knees and tell the busker that he can do anything he wants with him, he's quite willing to roll over and submit himself completely. He's always been that way but there's something about Jungkook that makes him want to be good for him, wants to hear him tell him how good and well behaved he is, he wants to be claimed… he doesn't know what it is about him but he wants that. He takes Jungkook by the hand and steps up onto the carpeted platform that the bed is on, pulling their bodies together, both gruffly exhaling when their hardened lengths are pressing against each other.

Jungkook takes two handfuls of Tae's ass and squeezes, taking a deep breath before connecting their mouths in a gentle kiss. In the time they've known each other, they've done quite a lot of kissing, how their mouths mould together and their tongues stroke each other makes it seem like they've been kissing for years. But these kisses… these ones are the ones that are leading to something… Jungkook is a little scared because he knows this will nail his feelings for Tae. He knows that once they've had sex, it will be without hesitation that his feelings for the CEO are deeper than he'd admit openly… that was scary but he wants this so badly and from the look in Taehyung’s eyes, so does he.

Tae's hands glide up and down Jungkook’s back either side of his spine, the pads of his fingers running over the ridges, he practically groans into his mouth, he can't help it. His mind is whirring at finally having Jungkook like this, it's been a while since he's been so turned on, he's unlocking feelings that he'd long since forgotten.

After mouthing down Tae's neck and back to his ear, Jungkook slips his fingers under the waistband of his underwear, taking handfuls of the soft fleshy buttocks, he moans quietly.

"Lay on the bed." He says, his voice low as he looks into Taehyung’s eyes, pushing down the shorts, careful to lift them away from his erection as he removes them.

Tae chews on his lower lip and nods, eyelashes fluttering, stomach swooping, he feels vulnerable and exposed as he climbs onto his bed, it's the best feeling.

Jungkook is considering if he's dreaming because he has definitely scripted this situation and it is straight out of his realm of fantasies. He knows that Taehyung told him he liked being told what to do but he didn't even blink, he just did it and Jungkook is so hard at the sight of him laying on the bed with his legs spread, looking at him like that.

"Holy fuck, you are so precious, just look at you." There's no blushing now, no embarrassment as he speaks, he feels so confident and he wants to make this man feel good, wants to take care of him.

"I did say that I like to follow instructions." Tae says, feeling like prey as Jungkook crawls over him.

"You did say that. So, do you wanna take these off for me?" Jungkook asks, kneeling upright.

"Are you asking me… or telling me?" He raises his eyebrows.

Holy shit! Jungkook is going to die, quite literally, so that's how Taehyung wants it? That suits him perfectly.

"Take them off." he cocks his head to the right, eyes wide as he too, raises his brow and fixes his gaze on the CEO, who visibly gulps at his tone and words.

Tae nearly chokes as the words leave Jungkook’s mouth, impressed with the change in tone and stance. If anyone spoke to him like this at work he would terminate their contract instantly. In any other part of his life, no one spoke to Kim Taehyung like this but aside from the fact that he thinks that Jungkook would probably get away with most things that others wouldn't, this is how he liked to be treated in the bedroom. It's the only time when he can let himself go and allow someone else to be in charge and he now knows for sure that Jungkook gets off on being in control, which ironically is a contrast to how coy he usually gets but Taehyung is slowly getting used to that.

Tae's eyes are hooded as he sits up, looking up at Jungkook after licking his lips at the sight of his hard member visible through his tight underwear. His eyes travel down his torso, taking in his pecs and the ridges of his abs. He toys with the waistband of his shorts, runs the tip of his index fingers around the top and strokes over his pert buttocks with his hands. He looks up through long lashes when he hears Jungkook tut, blinking and chewing his lower lip.

"You also said you could be good… that isn't being good."

Fuck! Holy shit! Taehyung’s stomach jolts internally, the feeling goes to his toes and he curls them. He wants to be good, wants Jungkook to tell him he's been good so he keeps his gaze on his and removes the underwear, albeit a little slowly. As Jungkook wriggles himself out of the shorts, Tae roams his body with his eyes, his imagination hadn't done him justice, he was so toned but not overly so, his cock was thick and curled beautifully against his body. When Jungkook blushes, he knows he's been caught staring but he can't help it, he must look like an idiot, open mouthed and mouth watering but the busker really is stunning.

Taehyung is gawking at him and for a brief minute, Jungkook's face heats as he sees the CEO's eyes travel down his body. He isn't sure that anyone has ever looked at him like that, however he isn't sure he's ever taken his time with someone as much as this. He quickly focuses, regains composure, he didn't miss the shift in Taehyung’s expression when he told him he wasn't being good, that instant look of guilt like he'd been caught doing something wrong.

"That's better" he says as he puts a knee between Taehyung’s legs and leans in to kiss him, pushing him down onto his back as he claims his mouth with his tongue.

Tae's hands move to Jungkook’s back, fingers pressing into his shoulder blades, lifting his head to push firmly into the kiss because he can't get enough. Jungkook didn't say he was good but he nearly did, 'that's better' was close enough and he was determined to hear him say it properly.

The busker turned his attention to his neck, tongue working in tandem with his lips, tasting then sucking the soft flesh into his mouth, repeating the action down to his collarbone. He hones in on every breath, every rise and fall of Tae's chest, every movement of his adams apple when he swallows. Everything about the CEO is attractive, he's the most enticing thing that Jungkook has ever come into contact with and he's reeling inside. He mouths down his chest, flicks his taut tongue around his nipple, feeling the bud harden as he takes it between his teeth.

Taehyung feels like his body is floating, like it no longer belongs to him as Jungkook kisses his neck and takes his nipple into his mouth. The busker's hair tickles his chest as he feels sparks of pleasure coming from the bud as teeth squeeze around it. Tae's mouth is going dry, breathing deeply as he tries to swallow, so affected by the lips travelling across his stomach and the tongue that dips into his naval. He exhales noisily when he looks down to be met with Jungkook looking up at him “Where do you keep the lube?” a question that Tae answers on the second attempt after wetting his lips.

“In the cupboard there.” he says, pointing at the tall white piece of furniture near the bed.

Jungkook dips his head and sucks a tiny red mark into Tae’s stomach before he gets off the bed and goes to the cupboard where he finds a few bottles of lube. He nearly stumbles on his way back to the bed when he sees the man laying with his upper body propped up on pillows, legs spread, knees slightly bent, face quite flushed and looking like a whole buffet that he couldn't wait to devour. He has the bottle in his hand as he repositions himself with his knees at the side of the CEO, his upper body hovers above him as he lowers his head down for a kiss.

"I need to start another list, with 'beautiful' at the top of it." Tae says, his hand coming up to tuck strands of hair behind Jungkook’s ear.

"I'd say that other list is irrelevant now."

"Some of those words still apply."

Jungkook pulls his head back quickly as Tae made a move to kiss him "if this is you on your best behaviour then I think I need to start a list for you with 'delusional' at the top."

The next thought that goes through Taehyung’s head is wondering how on earth Jungkook can do that? He wants to respond with something witty and smart mouthed but his bedroom persona is yearning to be good so bites his lip, literally, which earns him a smirk from the man hovering over him. Instead he smooths his hands up Jungkook’s arms, over his biceps, along his shoulders and cups either side of his neck, his fingers resting on his nape and his thumbs moving slightly over the skin.

The smirk remains as his mind is flooded with disbelief that Taehyung didn’t answer him back and now he is sure that this version of the CEO is his favourite version. He wonders what he is like at work, in the middle of a meeting or when he has to fire someone… he thinks he might like that version of Taehyung too, if his thoughts are anything to go by. He’d like to see him at work one day, see the composed man in action, then get him alone and see how quickly that composure fades.

He dips his head and slots his lower lip between Taehyung’s, sucking lightly on his cupid’s bow, his weight on the hands either side of his head pressing into the feather pillow. As the CEO pokes the tip of his tongue out past his teeth, Jungkook captures it with his lips and sucks on it, the action igniting a feeling of pleasure in him. He doesn’t know what Taehyung is in to when it comes to sex, aside from the fact that he clearly has a desire to be good and is comfortable taking direction. Jungkook doesn’t really have any kinks, nothing out of the ordinary but he likes the contrast of being rough but with gentle hands, he loves to fuck hard then take care of his partner afterwards. He really likes to push someone to the edge, watch them fall apart at his hands, give them exactly what they ask for, then smother them with affection. He’s only ever been in love once, he thinks, but has always enjoyed sex, especially when his partner is likeminded but Taehyung is beyond his imagination, he seems to be a fantasy all on its own and the excitement coils in his stomach, magnifying the arousal already there.

Jungkook uses his nose to nudge Tae’s head to the side, giving himself access to his neck, he doesn’t know if he wants to be hard or soft on him, not knowing what he prefers so decides to play it by ear and watch his reactions as he goes. His mouth finds Tae’s nipple, he flicks it with his taut tongue and his lips engulf it, feeling it harden and perk up each time he sucks. His mouth moves across to the other side, repeating the action, when he pulls away, he blows on it gently, knows his breath will feel cold against the wetness and smirks when a breathy exhale is expelled from Tae’s lips.

As he moves down Tae’s body, he can taste the body lotion he uses, isn’t sure what the scent is, just knows that it smells of Taehyung. He dips his tongue into his naval and sucks another little red mark into the soft flesh just below it. The tip of the CEO’s member is right near his mouth so he sticks his tongue out and kitten licks the head before licking a fat wet stripe down the length, firm enough to move the foreskin as he does.

Taehyung’s mouth is dry once more, head back, lips parted as he revels in the sensations caused by Jungkook’s actions. His skin feels like it’s got a million insects crawling over it as it tingles and peaks with goosebumps. He is uncertain about what to do with his hands, wants to thread his fingers through Jungkook’s hair and give his scalp a tug but he doesn’t know if that will be a good thing and he really wants to be good so he grips the sheet either side of him.

Jungkook takes the bottle of lube into his hands, kneels up so he can squeeze some onto his fingers and rub it between them. He glances at Taehyung who is watching him, he struggles to comprehend how someone like Tae is looking at him with such desire, wonders what it is that he sees in him when they are so very different or maybe that in itself is the alluring factor. He places the bottle on the bed and gets himself comfortable beside the man on his back who raises his legs automatically, telling Jungkook exactly what he wants without saying a word. His lubed up hand grazes Tae’s erection as he makes his way to the cleft of his ass, stroking his perineum with a fingertip as he goes. He props himself up on his elbow beside Tae’s head and leans across to connect their lips as his fingers find the puckered entrance and he teasingly smooths around it.

Tae has one hand clenched with the bedding in it and the other arm underneath Jungkook which he bends and places the hand on his back, fingertips pressing into his spine. His legs fall open as a finger intrudes, sliding past the ring of muscle before it’s being dragged out again. He lets go of the sheet and brings the hand up to comb his fingers through Jungkook’s hair, it’s so soft and silky, he has always liked longer hair on guys, it’s a secret preference that he’s harbored for years.

As Jungkook pushes his finger in again, he traces Tae’s lower lip with his tongue, allowing a hoarse breath to be expelled as his hair is tugged a little. He curls the finger inside, drags it back and pushes a second digit in beside the first, slightly surprised that Taehyung is so tight, wondering when the last time he’d had sex was or even if he used toys when alone. As he moves the fingers in and out, he finds the sensitive bundle of nerves and when the man beneath him looks to the ceiling, he attaches his lips to his throat and mouths at his adams apple.

“Fucking hell, you’re so tight,” Jungkook’s words are practically a groan as he enters a third finger, twisting them and stretching the muscle until he feels it relax.

Tae pulls on Jungkook’s hair to bring their mouths together, eagerly licking into his mouth and wiggling his pelvis on the fingers inside him. Small sounds fall freely from his lips, his fingers digging into Jungkook’s back and he does his best to keep stroking Jungkook’s tongue with his own while panting.

By the time Jungkook decided that Tae was ready, the CEO was moaning and squirming on his fingers, his body electrified by the massaging of his prostate and the way Jungkook kisses him so firmly. He points to the drawer in the same cupboard unit that had the lube in it when Jungkook asks about condoms, even though he’s desperate to go bareback. He needs to remind himself that this is their first time and that should be something they discuss, even though it suddenly dawns on him that technically they are only dating right now, their relationship undefined.

The busker rolls on the condom, smothers himself in lube and holds Taehyung’s knees against his chest, watching his face for any sign of discomfort as he enters him because he was very tight. He pushes in slowly, slower than he usually would, caressing Tae’s thighs with his hands as he pauses halfway and takes a few deep breaths. Taehyung reaches for the pillow either side of his head and squeezes, as he feels more and more full with every inch that goes in. His eyes don’t leave Jungkook’s, his mouth slightly open and his breaths are a string of moans as the busker’s girth stretches him further.

Once his balls are flush against Taehyung’s ass, Jungkook stops, his hands kneading the flesh of his thighs, searching his face for anything other than pleasure, “Can I move? Is it okay?” the words come out husky through deep breaths.

“Please move.” he can’t wait any longer for him to move, he feels so full and his body thrums with anticipation.

Jungkook circles his hips to get a feel for how relaxed Tae is and as soon as he feels little resistance he pulls out, only to push back in straight away, hoping he'd applied enough lub. Tae’s back curves away from the mattress and he squeezes the pillow close to his ears, elbows out wide.

The busker tries not to get too caught up in his thoughts, wondering how Taehyung usually likes to be fucked, not wanting to go too slow or too hard, his mind a minefield of questions without answers. He thrusts in and out a few times then lowers himself down so his body covers Taehyung’s. Jungkook places his hands over Tae’s and the CEO opens his fists so their hands can be clasped together palm to palm, knuckles pressing into the pillow close to his head. He lifts his head to capture Jungkook’s lips in a kiss, resting his head back again when the busker presses into it, breathing heavily into each other's mouths as he snaps his hips and the room is filled with the sounds of bodies clashing.

“Fuck… you feel amazing.” Jungkook grips Tae’s hands and speaks against his mouth.

“You… too.” Tae manages, body being shunted up the bed with every thrust.

Jungkook kisses him once more then sits back on his knees, raises his legs and continues to thrust, his hands gripping his thighs.He keeps one leg raised in the air with one hand and uses the other hand to take a hold of his dribbling cock, smeared with precum. “You’re so wet… shit… you’re so perfect.” he mumbles through heavy breaths.

Tae keens at the praise, the tight ball of ecstasy wound in his stomach begins to unfurl as the hand around his member strokes the length. Jungkook’s hand motion is firm and his fingertips apply pressure to the thick vein on the underside, the precum glistens on the head of his cock and smears over the foreskin as it's dragged up and down. He clamps his teeth down over his lower lip as deep groans rumble in his throat, his knuckles white where he squeezes the pillowcase beside his head, sounds forced from him as his body jolts from the strength Jungkook is putting into each thrust.

“I wanna hear you, precious.” Jungkook says, noticing that Tae is muffling his sounds.

Taehyung releases his lip instantly then groans loudly when Jungkook says “You’re so good.”

“I’m… I’m gonna cum.” Taehyung announces as a loud moan leaves his lips and he grips the fabric tighter, white streaks dripping down his shaft over Jungkook’s knuckles.

The busker strokes him slowly now, until he stops cumming, moving his hand to hold the other leg and speed up his pelvic movement, grunting with each push of his hips, a light sheen of perspiration dusting his body.

“I’m cumming.” he says with a strained voice as his orgasm wracks his body and he spills into the condom. His movements stutter, he slows to ride out the pleasure coursing through him, deep breaths making his chest heave.

He lowers Taehyung’s legs and wipes the hair from his face with his clean hand, “Have you got something I can clean us up with?” he asks the man laying beneath him looking bleary eyed.

“There are wipes in the drawer.”

Jungkook holds the base of the condom as he pulls out, moving backwards and climbing off the bed. He takes the wipes out of the drawer before he removes the condom and looks around for a bin.

“In the bathroom.” Tae says, his body feels like jelly and he isn’t sure if he can be much help right now.

Jungkook walks towards the bathroom and Taehyung licks his lips at the view, taking an eyeful of the muscular back and perky backside. He’s still in the same position when the busker returns, aware that he may have a dopey look on his face but doesn’t really care after that sex. He lays there and lets Jungkook wipe him over, he’s impressed when he remembers to clean where he held his leg with the hand that had cum on it and he definitely watches him when he goes back to the bathroom to discard the wipes.

Taehyung sits up and moves across to his side of the bed when Jungkook comes back, throwing back the duvet so he can climb in beside him. The feelings flooding his system are quite overwhelming as he snuggles close to the busker, he feels needy and wants to be held. Every part of him is being invaded by intense emotions… feelings that he will acknowledge another day.

Chapter Text

When Taehyung woke up he couldn't stop the smile that spread across his face when he saw the angelic man laying on his side facing him. The dark wavy hair fanned out on the pillow and covering his eyes, until Tae gently brushed it away from his face so he could watch him sleep for a moment. Jungkook looked so peaceful laying there, his lips slightly parted as he breathed, quiet sounds leaving him as he slept. Taehyung’s body clock was used to waking up early, anywhere from 4am and often waking before his alarm, so he wasn't surprised to be awake as the sun came up. It wasn't something he was used to, waking with a man in his bed, his sex life reserved for when they could schedule it and very little time to stay overnight. He takes a last look at Jungkook before sliding out from underneath the covers, pulling on some loose pyjama bottoms and a robe, before folding the busker’s clothes and leaving the room.

**

Jungkook battles with his eyelids to open his eyes, the light pouring through the window is so bright and he feels a bit disorientated in the brief moment when he wonders where he is. He looks around the room, blinking and rubbing his eyes, the room looks different in the light of day, it's much more impressive, if these things impressed Jungkook, which they didn't. The only thing that he found genuinely impressive was the view. He doesn't know where Taehyung is or even what the time is, he has mixed feelings about waking up alone, somewhat pleased because waking up with someone for the first time can sometimes be awkward and somewhat disappointed because the thought of waking with Taehyung was definitely something he would like.

Jungkook looks around and finds his clothes folded on the ottoman at the end of the bed, he feels a bit exposed as his feet feel the carpet beneath them and he reaches for his underwear. He slips on the pale blue shirt from last night, leaving it unbuttoned over his boxer shorts as he trudges across the unnecessarily huge bedroom towards the door. The silence is deafening as he walks down the hall, past the door of the bedroom that was meant to be his and into the living area that is just as bright as the bedroom.

Tae was sitting at the breakfast island on one of the high chairs when he heard bare feet padding across his living room and looked up to see Jungkook enter the kitchen. He was extremely thankful that he had only just swallowed a mouthful of green tea because he knows for sure that he'd have choked and spat it everywhere. It took him a second to get himself in check, Jungkook looking slightly awkward but incredibly gorgeous, standing in the doorway in tight shorts and an unbuttoned shirt. Just to add insult to injury, he'd also tied his hair back and there were a few stray waves framing his face which made the ability to speak, let alone think, quite difficult for the CEO.

"Morning." Tae says, getting off the chair and walking over to the man he was more than fond of now.

"Morning." Jungkook smiled as Tae kissed him on the cheek like he always seems to do.

"Would you like a coffee?" he says, turning to walk back to the island.

Jungkook follows him, he knows that he has a stupid smile on his face and he's thankful that Ash isn't here to see it or he'd never hear the end of it.

"Are you going to make me the coffee or are you offering and then I get to make it myself?"

Tae lingers near the fridge before opening it and appearing around the door with the carton of almond milk.

"I think that you are intelligent so can work out the answer for yourself."

Jungkook snorts and smiles wider "Thought so. So how about I teach you later, after breakfast and then the next time I'm here, you can make me one?"

Taehyung raised his brow "the next time? You'd like to come back?"

That familiar tingly redness seeps into his cheeks "well… sorry… I just… ignore me."

Tae takes the milk to where Jungkook is standing and wraps his arms around his waist, pulling their bodies close, he leans forward and presses their lips together, relishing the feeling.

"I wanted to umm, talk to you about this situation after giving it a lot of thought…" He was nervous, actually nervous, which was just insane for Kim Taehyung. "...I know that we agreed to date and technically today we have two dates and I thought that after three dates and last night… we could maybe reassess things."

Jungkook had been thinking about that too or at least he thinks he has, as Taehyung wasn't really being very clear. "The next step up from dating is a relationship… is that what you are asking?"

"Technically, I'm asking if we could rethink our position and consider the options after you invited yourself back here."

God! Jungkook's face flushed so quickly, he barely had time to register it. He pulled away from Taehyung’s hold and turned to take a white porcelain mug from the metal holder of the machine, setting it down on the granite counter. "You rethink it then come back to me when you have a solution." He’s used to the blushing and heat in his cheeks but this embarrassment was caused by his big mouth and then the smirk on Taehyung’s face… which is gorgeous, even first thing in the morning.

The CEO can see the redness that touches the top of Jungkook’s ears and knows that he's busying himself to hide his embarrassment. For him, he was surprised in the best way that he spoke so naturally about 'next time' because sometimes the busker is difficult to read. It was quite obvious how they both felt last night or he hopes it was. Every touch, every movement was intense and it was undoubtedly some of the best sex he's ever had but he knows that's down to the fact that he has definite feelings for Jungkook… he's just not willing to accept that yet.

Tae turns to face the man who is pressing buttons on the machine, the grinding of coffee beans is the sound that echoes in the kitchen. He notices the purple mark that has bloomed on his neck, just above the neckline of the shirt and he nearly blushes himself, he feels a bit like a teenager again. He reaches out his left hand and wiggles his fingers when they make contact with Jungkook's right hand that hangs by his side while he waits for the machine to do its thing. It's a simple gesture but one that appears to ground them both when the situation becomes less than ideal.

"A solution suggests a problem and I don't believe this is a problem…" he says quietly. "...I would like to take that step up from dating, with you."

Jungkook can feel Taehyung standing quite close, he wiggles his fingers in response to the hand touching his. The sound of the coffee beans being ground doesn't drown out the sound of his heartbeat thumping in his ears as he hears what Tae says, every word knocks a brick from the wall he always builds up in defence of himself when he feels like this. He knows he gets overly defensive quickly, he doesn't do it for attention or because he wants Tae to apologise or change who he is, he does it because he needs to protect himself, that's what his past taught him, he has to defend himself, no one else is going to do it.

If he ignores the wealth and stature of the man standing behind him, the answer is simple. He thinks about last night and how wonderful it was, all the thought Tae had put into their date then once back here, the sex was, without question, some of the best he's had and he doesn't have to ask himself whether he would like a repeat performance. 'You aren't accepting a marriage proposal, it's a relationship so get a grip.' Ash's voice echoes in his head and he wonders when his subconscious became a version of his best friend.

Jungkook takes a breath and curls his fingers around Taehyung’s, twisting his body to face him, his eyes on his chin, gradually looking up to meet the soft brown eyes fixed on him. "I would like that too… to take the next step." The voice in his head makes him want to roll his eyes 'See, that wasn't that difficult, was it?' And he very nearly does, but the soft, plump lips lightly brushing against his own stops him, preferring to kiss Tae back than acknowledge his stupid subconscious.

Their fingers remain linked as they kiss, their lips are merely resting against each other as their tongues do the work. The noise of the coffee machine wanes with nasal breaths and slurping sounds replacing it. Everything is so gentle about Taehyung, he has this incredible soft side that makes Jungkook melt and want to give him the world… the world he already owns so all he can offer is himself, which isn't very much. Jungkook has spent so long away from this world, doing all he can to ensure it never infiltrates his life again and yet here he is, having a mega rich boyfriend. He worries that he isn't enough, has spent a long time telling himself that he doesn't care what people think or if they are of the opinion that he isn't good enough, but he is bothered and he does care. He has deep feelings for the man licking into his mouth, the man who has persevered for an unknown reason, the man who could have anyone he wants but has chosen him. Taehyung isn't a bad person, Jungkook knows that much, but the world he comes from he detests and he hates his friends already, they are the very definition of the life he's spent so long running from.

Tae smiles against Jungkook’s mouth as the kissing stops, his eyes shine, it's been a while since he's been able to call anyone his partner and even though this feels like it's taken ages to get to this point, it also feels like it's happened in the blink of an eye. He knows he has a lot to learn about Jungkook, there's still so much he doesn't understand but he doesn't like unsolvable puzzles or mysteries so he will try to understand. Jungkook treats him like a person, a regular guy and even though he doesn't really know what it feels like to be a normal guy, he knows that Jungkook treats him differently to how others treat him. Last night he was so grateful for everything Tae had arranged, he wasn't bowled over by the luxurious apartment when he was shown around and he certainly didn't seem to hold back during sex. Tae really likes that Jungkook is simply, Jungkook and it doesn't seem to matter where he is or what he's presented with, he doesn't stray from who he is. It's confusing to have someone like that, someone who seems to spend more time bartering and compromising than taking, someone who isn't wowed by a limousine or penthouse apartment or even the stupidly expensive coffee machine that Tae can't use. He finds the busker mind boggling at times, frustrating and definitely infuriating at other times but he's also endearing and incredibly sexy, all of which has had Taehyung’s head in a spin since they first met.

"Shall we go for breakfast now? Or would you like to make your coffee?"

“Where are we going?”

“For breakfast on the coast, just a short trip.”

“Are we going to a restaurant?” Jungkook would be happy with toast and coffee right here.

“Not really, even though the chef does work in a local restaurant. So, are we going now or would you like coffee first?”

Jungkook is confused, he has the feeling that he’s going to be in a situation that makes him roll his eyes and have to reason with himself, possibly even have to listen to the voice that sounds like Ash. "We can go now, if you like."

Tae smiles "Let's go and get ready, then"

****

Jimin had been stomping around a bit for a while before Yoongi makes a quick grab for him as he walks past and pulls him into his arms "I'm sure he will get back to us as soon as he can, you know it's a big show he's doing." Yoongi finds skin under the hem of his boyfriend's satin pyjama top, rubbing soothingly on his back.

"I know, we really need to talk to him, though. I'm not sleeping well and the sooner that Tae knows his little boy is a gold digger, the better. You know he took him out last night? Probably spoilt him rotten, you know what Tae is like." He sighs, leans into Yoongi's hold.

"Jin will definitely get back to us as soon as he can. I spoke to Joon yesterday and he said he would go to the diner if we needed any more information. I told him that we heard enough, the guy is looking for a meal ticket and he's certainly found one. Where did Tae take him?"

"I don't know, I phoned him to speak to him about the hair colour for the Moonchild ad and he said he was getting ready to pick him up. I didn't really want to enter into conversation about it until we've discussed what we heard with the others. Someone must have some information on this guy, I don't get why there isn't anything on his family or where he's from? He's probably a big con artist and he's hustling one of our closest friends."

Yoongi holds Jimin a bit tighter, presses his lips to his forehead, "Hopefully we can speak to Jin today and find out when he's back so we can get together. I don't like this any more than you do. Have you got to go into the office today?"

"No, I've got calls to make and confirmation emails to send. I had a call from the dressmaker early this morning to say that the outfit is being made in the right colour and will be shipped out as soon as it's ready. I need to speak to a few of my trusted hair artists too, Tae agreed on metallic mohawks for the dancers in the ad."

"Mohawks go with the music really well, it's got a punk vibe. My boyfriend is a genius." He moves his hands to Jimin's backside and squeezes lightly.

"Yes he is a genius and you are extremely lucky, Mr Min." He beams.

"You won't get any argument out of me, Mr Park, I appreciate how lucky I am. Bring your laptop into the lounge and get comfortable, I'll make you breakfast."

Jimin captures Yoongi's lips in a kiss, runs his hands up his back and threads his fingers in his hair. "I'm just as lucky." He whispers against his mouth.

****

"I hope you don't get sea sick." Tae says, he hadn't thought to ask before. He parks the Ferrari into a space and releases himself from his belt.

Jungkook looks around him, eyes that have spent the entire journey watching the side profile of his boyfriend… he actually has a boyfriend… one who is wearing a long sleeved gingham button down shirt, sleeves folded up to the elbows, the top few buttons left undone, tucked neatly into a pair of blue loose fitting jeans, sunglasses perched on top of his neatly styled hair. He lost a bit of time to the forearm closest to him, the veins on display as he gripped the steering wheel. He's sure they had a conversation and thinks he must've responded but the view was very distracting... his boyfriend is a distraction.

"Sea sick?" he's noticed the marina but thought they were going to a restaurant.

"Yes, Jungkook, sea sick." he got out of the car and walked around the car to open the passenger door for Jungkook.

As the door opens he gets out, the breeze carrying the smell of the ocean to his nostrils, the sound of seagulls swooping overhead. Jungkook takes Taehyung’s hand when he offers it, some things feel so natural between them and he considers the idea that anything that is awkward is probably down to his own insecurities and allowing his past to dictate his feelings but he isn't ready to banish the defences this early on. He smiles when Tae kisses his cheek and he feels very underdressed walking beside him, even in his smartest jeans and the polo shirt he borrowed from Ash. Things get worse when he sees the man standing at the entrance to a yacht, the boat is sleek, white, with ‘Tata of the ocean’ in a swirly italic font along the side. Jungkook felt like he was walking in cement that was drying slowly, he hates yachts, especially the luxurious kind like this. Yachts are oversized fishing boats with unnecessary furnishings and bought for the sake of being able to say you own a yacht. He doesn’t get why they couldn't just go for breakfast? Why, a simple cafe down the road wasn’t good enough? He’d rather have grabbed a McDonald’s via the drive through than be wearing the fake smile that he’s managed to summon as they are greeted by the very smiley man.

“Good morning, Sirs. We have everything ready for you and will be leaving in about twenty minutes.”

Taehyung didn’t let go of Jungkook’s hand as he responded with a smile, “Thank you.”

As they boarded the yacht, relatively modest in size when compared to some of the others docked nearby, Jungkook asks Tae, “I thought we were going to a restaurant?”

“You could view this as an exclusive floating restaurant?” he says, letting go of Jungkook’s hand to put an arm around his waist and guide him onto the deck.

Everything was light wood, white and chrome as they entered at the stern, there was a seating area of white leather seats that formed a horseshoe shape with a table in the centre of it, all under a canopy. There were sun loungers on the right, on a little decking area of their own, he presumed they were positioned for optimal sunbathing opportunities. Walking past the white seats was a staircase leading to the lower level and a bar area, complete with stools and optics. To the right of the bar, a glass door leading to the bow where there was a small private decking area with a table and chairs all laid out for breakfast. A crisp white linen cloth draped over a square table with rounded edges, white porcelain plates of various sizes, a carafe with fresh orange juice, upturned glasses and a bowl of fresh fruit salad in the centre.

“I will give you a tour after breakfast, if you would like?” Tae said, pulling out a chair so Jungkook could sit down at the table.

“I’m presuming this is yours?”

Tae eyed his boyfriend curiously, “You presume correctly, I will presume you are referring to the yacht?”

Jungkook rolls his eyes, “Yes, I am talking about the yacht.”

Taehyung sensed the change in tone and wondered what the attitude was about it but for now added it to the growing list of things to ask him at a later date, hoping that he could work it out before then or maybe get to the stage where his boyfriend trusted him enough to open up to him.

The yacht left the mooring and the man from the entrance reappeared with a tray balanced in one hand, a cafetiere and white porcelain mugs on it, one of which contained tea, the other was empty, which he placed on the table and smiled, pointing to a small container which had cubes of brown sugar in it, “would you like coffee, sir?”

Jungkook nods and returns the smile, slightly more genuine this time, “Yes, please.”

The man pours him the coffee, hands him the small jug of milk and points once again at the sugar cubes, “Please help yourself to sugar and I will be back with your breakfast. How is it that you would like your eggs cooked, sir?”

“However they come.” he knows that if this was an actual restaurant that he’d probably choose but he can’t do that in this situation because this isn’t a restaurant and he isn’t a paying customer.

Taehyung watched Jungkook, his reactions and mannerisms baffle him completely and he doesn’t know what to make of it.

“The eggs come however you would like them to come.” the man responded.

“Then I will have the same as Taehyung. Thank you.”

The man nods and leaves the couple to it. Jungkook pours his coffee and takes a couple of sips, "where are we going?"

Taehyung had been sitting in silence, drinking his tea and watching the exchange between Jungkook and his staff, "Just a round trip along the coast and back again, I thought you might enjoy the change of scenery. I haven't had the time to come here for a while and opted to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak."

Jungkook is being a bit of an idiot and he knows it. Once again, Taehyung’s reasons for doing something are quite innocent and logical. Maybe one day, Jungkook won't automatically get defensive and hide behind the steel wall he's built up over the years. The problem is that it is all too easy to think that this is all a display of wealth, a chance to boast 'look what I have' and think that it is the ticket to get whatever you want. Money is the licence to do what you want, to treat people however you want and control those around you.

"I suppose you've been busy? It must be difficult to find time."

"It is. I try my best to get away for a few days at some point in the year but I haven't been successful with that so far."

Jungkook took a couple of mouthfuls of coffee, "Where do you go, if you find the time?"

"I like to go to a place along the coast, I have a mooring and there's a private beach. It's great for snorkeling and it's quiet."

"Sounds great, hopefully you'll get to go if work quietens down for you."

"That isn't likely anytime soon. I am travelling to Europe in a week or so on business, if that goes well, there will be more business for Purple Aura, which of course is a good thing but it means I'll be busy."

"Europe? Whereabouts?"

Taehyung was about to speak when their breakfast was brought out, he sipped his tea while the plates of food were put down.

"Would you like more tea and coffee, sir?" the member of staff asks Taehyung.

"No, no tea for me, thank you. Coffee, Jungkook?"

"Yes, please, that would be good, thanks."

The man nodded, "Can I get you anything else?"

Jungkook shook his head, Taehyung smiled at his staff, "We are good, thank you."

When they were left alone, Jungkook started eating after squeezing some sauce onto the plate, "So, Europe? When do you fly?"

"Oh yes, sorry, I was side tracked by the breakfast arriving. I fly to London the week after next, I believe. The trip has had so many alterations that I'm not one hundred percent sure until my P.A confirms the schedule."

"Will you have any down time? It would be a shame if you were working all the time and didn't get to see any sights."

"I may get some time to explore but I have been before. Have you been to London?"

"No. I've never been to Europe, I've studied some places but never been. I actually haven't flown before." He shrugs his shoulders slightly as he tucks into the eggs and bacon.

"You aren't missing anything with flying, I'm not really a fan."

"Ash flew once and there was a lot of turbulence so he hasn't wanted to fly again."

"Turbulence can be quite frightening so I don't blame him. Is there anything you'd recommend I do whilst in London?"

Jungkook looked up and around as he considered the question Taehyung had asked him, swallowing a mouthful of toast, "I know what I would do but it might not be your thing."

Taehyung places his cutlery together on the plate to signal that he's finished and sits back in his chair with a glass of juice in his hand, "I'd like to know, I'd like to learn everything about you, Jungkook."

When anyone else says his name like that it sounds so formal but the way it slinks from Taehyung’s lips, it always sounds either matter of fact or sexual, there appears to be no intermediate.

"Are you into sports?"

"I like a lot of sport, granted, I don't get as much time as I'd like to watch it but I do enjoy it. I take it you are a fan?"

Jungkook smiles widely, "I am. I love NFL, baseball, basketball and martial arts but football is my favourite."

"You'd like to go to a game in London?"

Jungkook nods his head enthusiastically, "My favourite footballer plays for a London club and that is definitely one thing I'd do, as well as all the tourist stuff."

"Who is your favourite player?"

"Heung Min-Son. I went to Hwaseong stadium where we beat Sri Lanka 8-0 in the Asian Cup qualifying game. Son scored a penalty and I was so happy. It's great seeing him play for the national team but I'd like to see him in London."

"He plays for Tottenham Hotspur doesn't he?"

"Yes, he does. They’ve had a whole new stadium built and it looks amazing. A couple of my friends studied in England a couple of years ago and went to the old stadium and did the tour of the ground. You know Son? And Tottenham?"

Taehyung gives a little laugh, "Yes, I know Heung Min-Son and I know Tottenham. Is there anyone in South Korea who doesn't? I was actually due to be in Madrid for the Champions League final but plans changed and I watched it in Japan with Namjoon, he had a Tottenham baseball cap with Son on the front. We were the only two people watching the match in this small bar we found, it was a disappointing evening."

"Oh I was so annoyed, that penalty was wrong and changed everything. Ash and I got very drunk that night on rum because that's all we had left, I remember being very ill and very annoyed."

Taehyung smiles at the man sitting opposite him, it's so good to see him speaking freely about something he's obviously interested in and enjoys. He asks Jungkook more about the sports he likes and even though Taehyung isn't quite as up to date as he'd like to be, he manages to hold conversation and he mostly enjoys learning more about his new boyfriend who has captivated him completely. They finish up breakfast and Taehyung offers to show him around, taking him below deck before going outside to enjoy the view.

Jungkook stands at the front of the ship, holding onto the railing and relishing the wind in his face. He reaches up to comb his fingers through his hair and ties it back, can't see a thing with it blowing everywhere, he nearly loses his balance as he attempts to lean his weight on the barrier. Taehyung moves behind him and places his hands on the top rail either side of Jungkook to hold him steady, dodging his hands as he ties back his hair and the yacht jumps around in the waves. There's something incredibly sexy about watching his boyfriend do his hair, he feels his stomach twist and he is glad that the situation allows for him to press up against him. When Jungkook puts his arms down, he doesn't move, he reaches back, finds the pockets of Taehyung’s jeans and holds him close, pulling him forwards. The CEO turns his head and kisses his cheek, resting his chin on Jungkook’s shoulder, "Would you like to come with me? On my business trip?"

The busker turns to look at Taehyung, twisting his upper body slightly, his fingers still hooked into his pockets, dark strands of hair that refused to be held by the confines of the black band blowing around his face, "To London? Next week?"

Taehyung smiles and kisses the corner of his mouth, the angle is awkward but he doesn't want them to part, "Yes, Kookie, to London, the week after next."

"I can't but thank you." Jungkook faces forwards again, he has a lot to pay out for next month, he'd planned on taking all the shifts possible at the diner and cramming in extra busking around his studies, there's not a chance he could afford to go on a trip.

"You can't? Why? You can study or practice while I'm in one of the monotonous meetings and then we can explore London together."

"I just can't but really… thank you for the offer." He very much hopes that his new boyfriend will drop it.

"Is it because you have to work at the diner?"

"No, Yes…? Partly… I can't, so can we leave it there?"

Taehyung wanted to know why, he was a believer in puzzles being solved, there wasn't anything that couldn't at least be worked out, even with a compromise, "I would like it if you'd tell me so I can try and understand, there is a possibility that we could work something out so you can come with me."

Jungkook feels like an animal backed into a corner, tears prick his eyes but the wind blowing directly in his face stops anything from escaping. He agreed to be in a relationship with this man and he knows he should open up to him but they live in different worlds, he doesn't think Taehyung would understand, even if he tried. "I have commitments and can't justify a trip to Europe." He hopes that's enough but doubts it.

"Financial commitments?"

He sighs, "Yes, financial commitments."

"You can still keep to your financial obligations, that doesn't impact on you coming with me."

Jungkook lets go of the pockets and turns around, caged in by Taehyung’s arms either side of him, "What, because you'll pay for everything? You aren't my sugar daddy and you can't throw money at a situation and expect it to fix it."

Taehyung’s eyes widen as his brows raise in surprise at the outburst, "I'm your boyfriend, I didn't ever want to be your sugar Daddy. The business trip is on the company expenses so I won't be throwing money at anything."

"It's your company, Taehyung."

"I am well aware of that, Jungkook but this trip is an amalgamation of companies brought together by a Japanese firm who foot the bill for our travel, so Purple Aura will be reimbursed once I am back and have submitted my expenses."

Jungkook may have jumped the gun, he may have reacted and shot his mouth before taking the time to speak to Taehyung like he'd asked in the first place. He moves his body around and faces the front without saying a word, reaching his hands back and hooking his fingers into Taehyung’s pockets. The little voice in his head chastises him and he can imagine the expression on Ash's face, he would definitely call him a fucking idiot right now.

Taehyung rests his chin on Jungkook’s shoulder, leaves a gentle kiss on his cheek, "Think about it, if you are able to come, I would love to have you with me."

Jungkook nods and pulls on the pockets bringing their bodies closer which he hopes is enough of a reply.

Chapter Text

“He said 5 minutes.”

Jimin was setting up the laptop for their video call with Jin, he was pleased that he’d managed to make time for them, given his busy schedule. Yoongi joined him in their lounge while they waited for the call after he'd been making a few alterations to the music for the advert in his home studio.

"More like 15 minutes then, as it's Jin."

"That's why I'm about to make coffee, I know that I have time." Jimin smiles before walking across the room to the kitchen.

Yoongi huffed a little laugh, "Do you know when he is due back?"

"He said something about next week but the reception hasn't been great so I'm not really sure." he says, raising his voice above the sound of the coffee machine.

"Hopefully he'll call from the hotel suite so the WiFi is better. I spoke to Joon earlier, he said he'll wait to hear from us with a plan of action once we've spoken to Jin."

"What about Hobi?" Jimin asks as he places two mugs of coffee down and sits on his boyfriend's lap, curling an arm around his neck so he can play with his hair.

"I'll catch up with Hobi in the week, we are due to meet up to discuss the centre anyway." His hand settles on Jimin’s waist as he pulls him close.

Jimin turns his upper body so he can place a delicate kiss on Yoongi's lips, the soft whimper that passes between them unintentionally when his boyfriend's fingers flex on his hip and his tongue glides along his lower lip. He reaches his hand up to cup Yoongi's jaw, his thumb stroking back and forth as their mouths move together.

"PUT HIM DOWN!" Came Jin's voice from the laptop.

Jimin pouts against Yoongi's lips before turning around to scowl at Jin whose laughter travels through the speakers.

"We can finish this afterwards." Yoongi whispers into his boyfriend's ear, his words making Jimin smile as they turn their attention to their friend.

"We were entertaining ourselves because we were left waiting." Jimin says.

"It's a good thing that I called when I did or I'd have got a face full of bare asses."

"Yes, you would have and you would have had no one to blame but yourself and your time keeping."

Yoongi laughed at Jimin’s response to Jin, knowing that he wasn't far off being ridden on the sofa.

"So, what's been going on with Tae? I only know bits from you and Joon."

"The guy he brought to the charity event is someone he's been seeing, which I told you. Yoon and I went to the diner where he works to see if we could find out some more information on him."

"The guy isn't an escort and Tae likes him, you and Joon told me that much. Joon and Hobi met him at Aura and said he told them that he likes him a lot. It’s great to finally have the time to talk properly, I don't really know a great deal, just brief snippets that I've got from you guys. Do you know how the date went?"

Jimin pulls a face that quite clearly says how unimpressed he is at the mention of the date, "we don't know, I spoke to him yesterday and Tae was getting ready. I don't know where he was taking him, I dread to think."

"What happened when you went to his work? What sort of diner is it?"

"It's in the part of the city that we don't go to, Jin." Yoongi says before Jimin speaks.

"He was really flirty with our server, we felt that something was going on there and then we overheard them talking. They were talking about what they can get out of Tae, apparently Jungkook has already driven the ferrari? He said he could get him to do anything once he's got him naked. We didn't stick around after that."

Yoongi pitches in again, "he was showing off dick pics too, I just hope they weren't really from Tae."

Jin opened his mouth to speak but closed it again, he poured some sparkling water into a glass and sipped it before trying again.

"Tae doesn't know any of this?"

Yoongi and Jimin shook their heads before Yoongi spoke, "No, we wanted to speak to you and decide as a group how to proceed. If Tae likes this guy, we need to get this right but we think he's already got his hooks into him. Jungkook is obviously a gold digger but we think there's more to it. We can't find anything on him, he doesn't have family here and there's nothing. To be honest, I'm beginning to think the guy is a hustler."

"Nothing on him at all? Have you had Remy look into it?"

Jimin nods his head, "Yep! Remy couldn't find anything and you know how good he is."

"Wow, okay. So Jungkook might not even be his name, then?"

"Well, that was my thinking. I can't think of another explanation." Yoongi says.

"The way he spoke about Tae infuriated us. You know what Tae is like, he's got a heart of gold and to think that this guy is taking him for a ride makes me angry. Tae has been fine for years with the escorts, I know I give him shit for it and want him to meet someone but given the present situation, I'd rather he stuck to escorts. Jungkook knows what he's doing, he saw the cash Tae threw at him in the subway and saw a meal ticket. He's got Tae exactly where he wants him."

"It's quite clear that we need to speak to Tae about all of this, he needs to know now before it gets any more serious. We can't let Tae get hurt and the only person set to gain from all of this is Jungkook. He'll just take what he can get then move on to someone else, that's what people like him do and we are the ones who will have to pick Tae back up." Jin finished his glass of water and checked the time.

"When are you back? We could all get together then arrange to speak with Tae."

"The show finishes tomorrow night and I have some PR stuff to do the day after. If everything goes to plan, I should fly out in a few days."

"You'll be back by the end of the week, then?" Yoongi asks.

"Yes, absolutely. We could have lunch as soon as I'm back then arrange a dinner with Tae."

"I'll book Blueside once I know." Jimin offers.

"For lunch or dinner?" Jin pops a grape in his mouth from a fruit bowl.

"I think that Blueside will be good for dinner, we can have that large table in the back. I'll book L'Escala for lunch, I saw the manager last week and she said she hasn't seen us in a while."

"It was Hobi’s birthday, the last time I was at L'Escala. They did the best salmon ravioli, the sauce was divine, I wonder if they still do it?" Jin appeared deep in thought, that had been a really nice meal and he'd been between jobs so made sure he cleared his plate that day.

"Yoon and I went there last month?" He said, turning to look at his boyfriend.

"It was the month before, when I picked you up from that client's house. You needed a drink after that and we ended up at L'Escala."

Jimin's facial expression changed as he remembered the client that had quite literally changed her mind with every suggestion he'd had. After several consultations before that appointment, he'd taken along an electric blue jumpsuit with faux fur around the wrists and ankles. The client decided against the fur, so Jimin suggested ruffles which she'd liked but then she didn't like the blue so he'd run through a colour scheme and she'd agreed on a powder blue. In the end and by the time Yoongi picked him up, the outfit was a sleeveless black, high necked bodysuit with a red kilt and Jimin was pulling his hair out.

"I definitely needed a drink and I'm sure we got through a bottle of champagne and more, that night. Thank God we ate too or I'd have been ill."

Yoongi laughs at the memory and how frazzled his boyfriend had been when he got into the car, "I'm sure it was three bottles."

"I'm going to have to love you and leave you, my body and face are needed." Jin smiled at the couple.

"My body and face are needed too." Jimin wiggles his eyebrows at Yoongi who nods in agreement.

Jin rolls his eyes and shakes his head, "I'm definitely going, I saw more than enough earlier."

"Let us know when you are due to fly in and we'll have a car meet you at the airport and book lunch." Yoongi says as they both wave and Jin nods.

Jimin closes the laptop and turns to straddle his boyfriend, "I think the emails can wait for a couple of hours, since you need my body."

Yoongi smoothes his hands up his boyfriend's thighs, pausing to squeeze his plump ass before running up his back and pulling him forwards, "Everything can wait, I definitely need your body."

Jimin connects their lips, taking his boyfriend’s lower lip between his own and gently sucking on it. The breath that leaves Yoongi is tinted with a whimper and Jimin smiles, he knows what gets his man going, they’ve been together long enough now. He thinks he’s the luckiest man alive, he gets to call his best friend his boyfriend and even though it hasn’t always been easy, they are solid. When Yoongi went through therapy after burying his head in whiskey, Jimin had been there throughout, without giving it a second thought. It was when they’d laid everything bare one night with Yoongi opening up about the things troubling him and what he’d discussed during his therapy session, that they’d also admitted their love for eachother. Jimin suspected he had feelings that crossed the line of friendship but didn’t dare admit it, especially with Yoongi going through such a difficult time. He remembers how his eyes had opened wide when Yoongi told him that he needed to be honest about something then continued to tell him how he’d probably loved him for years but hadn’t wanted to ruin a great friendship. It was one of few occasions where Jimin was lost for words as Yoongi explained that the therapist presumed he was already in a relationship with Jimin just from the way he spoke about him. The kiss that followed that conversation sealed it, both of them finally pushing the boundaries of friendship and realising they were meant to be together.

Now, as the buttons on Jimin’s shirt were unfastened one by one, Yoongi’s fingers working quickly but carefully, they were both almost thankful that he’d hit rock bottom because essentially it had given them the courage to admit their feelings for eachother. Yoongi’s breath catches in his throat as he smooths his hands up Jimin’s chest to his shoulders so he can push the shirt off, he wouldn’t be without the man on his lap and is convinced that it was his love and support that enabled him to move forwards and be who he is today.

Jimin lets the shirt slip away from his body before he moves in to swipe his tongue along his boyfriend’s lower lip. He will never tire of the way Yoongi looks at him, he always looks as though he’s seeing him for the first time and even after all these years that hasn’t ever changed. He thought that perhaps the look would change over the years and with living together but it hadn't.

Yoongi runs his hands up the muscular back of his boyfriend, stopping at his shoulders. He very much appreciated the work that Jimin put into having the body he does. He wasn't a gym bunny per se, they now had a home gym, but he took great care of himself and it showed. In high school, he took dance classes in his spare time and even though he doesn't dance anymore, the way his body moves sends Yoongi's head into a spin, particularly when he's riding him. He fancies his boyfriend as much now as he ever has and he seems to get more attractive every day, something he didn't think was possible and if he's honest, doesn't really understand.

"Are you taking me to bed or am I taking you right here?" Jimin speaks through a heavy breath as he trails his lips up Yoongi's neck.

"I think you know the answer." Is the equally breathy response.

Jimin gives a little smile, "I'd better get some lube and you'd better get these clothes off."

He winks and grins as he backs off of Yoongi's lap, crossing the room to get the bottle of lube they keep at the back of a cupboard for occasions just like this one. As he turns, he sees his boyfriend removing his sweats and underwear, his body is perfect, lean but strong. Jimin discards his own bottoms and finishes crossing the room naked, the hungry look on Yoongi's face is enough to turn him on, on its own. He hands his man the bottle with an outstretched hand which Yoongi takes, licking his lips as his lap is filled by his boyfriend once more.

Jimin parts his legs as wide as he can while Yoongi slathers his fingers in the clear gel and reaches around him to dip a fingertip into his waiting hole. Jimin takes the shell of his ear between his teeth and circles his hips in small movements. Yoongi enters a second finger, they'd already had sex early hours of the morning so he knew it wouldn't take much to prepare him.

"I love your magic fingers." Jimin whispers in his boyfriend's ear as a third finger is added.

It isn't much longer before Jimin is up on his knees, slowly lowering himself down until his backside meets Yoongi's body. His forearms rest on his boyfriend's shoulders and his fingers get lost in his hair as he starts to roll his hips, pulling on his hair to get his head back so he can nibble on his lips. The way Jimin gyrates his pelvis, fluctuating between small circles and a figure of eight drives Yoongi crazy. His lower half always moves independently and it's the hottest thing, Yoongi's mind can't cope with the tongue exploring his mouth and the tight warmth caressing his cock. His hands grip his boyfriend's hips, he starts grinding upwards to meet his movements. Their chests heave as they grind their way to orgasm, shallow breaths and throaty sounds fill the room, falling over the edge one after the other.

***

"Are you sure? It won't be a lengthy call."

On the way back to the apartment from the yacht, Taehyung received a call that required his attention. It was a foreign notion to have to ask someone if he could disappear into his office for a while but there was a lot that he would have to get used to now that they were in a relationship. He felt out of practice and didn’t like to wing it, he preferred to know what it is that he is doing and be clear about what is expected of him which is something that he has struggled with since he met Jungkook because each moment appeared to present a new challenge.

“It’s obviously something that needs your attention so of course I am sure. I can make a start on lunch and I should check in with Ash anyway.”

Jungkook needed to speak with his best friend after the whirlwind of the last twenty or so hours. It hadn’t even been a whole day yet and so much has happened that he just needs to speak to Ash, even if he can already predict most of what he’s going to say.

Before Taehyung goes to his office, he takes the step towards Jungkook, their hands still connected as they have been since leaving the ferrari. He presses his plump lips to Jungkook’s cheek, “Help yourself to anything in the kitchen, I won’t be long.”

He nods at Taehyung’s words, stands and watches him leave into the hallway then shakes his head as he realises he probably looks like a bit of an idiot with the grin he has on his face. Jungkook doesn't know how long he has so he heads for the kitchen, plugging his earphones into his phone and dialling Ash as he empties one of the bags containing the ingredients for lunch. He counts the number of rings because he knows that Ash likes his ring tone so will probably answer at the last minute when the voicemail kicks in.

"Kookie Monster… please tell me that you are no longer a virgin."

Jungkook frowns, "umm… if you hadn't started that with 'Kookie Monster' I would question who you were talking to."

"A KTH virgin… Well?"

"ASH! Are you asking if we had sex?" He said in a hushed tone, bringing the microphone level with his mouth as he spoke.

"Yes! Yes I am! I wanna know if he's as sub as you thought."

"Will 'yes' do for now? I'm in his kitchen and I didn't phone you to talk about that."

"Yes… yes to what? Have you fucked him?"

"Yes."

Jungkook could hear the muffled squeal down the phone, "oh my god! Yes! Can I have details when you get home later?"

"Yes, now can I please speak to you about why I phoned?"

"Yeah, yeah. So how was Chicago?"

"It was so good and I met the cast. We were in a box…"

"Oh."

"...yeah. the restaurant beforehand was ridiculous, we arrived in a limo and then there were the box seats and bag of merchandise."

"Oh."

"Is that all you're gonna say?"

"What can I say? You'd have been constantly rolling your eyes and pulling a face at it all. It's your worst nightmare and you probably acted like a defensive dickhead at times."

"I can always rely on you, my subconscious has even started sounding like you."

"Does it help?"

Jungkook rummaged through the cupboards looking for scales, "Does what, help?"

"Your subconscious sounding like me, does it help?"

"Helps annoy me."

"Keep telling yourself that, kookie monster. Did you fuck in the limo?"

He found some scales and started weighing out flour, having found the bowls and measuring spoons while pulling faces at his friend’s comments, "No, we didn't."

"You definitely should have. Why are you phoning me anyway? What's happened? Are you still at castle KTH?"

"I'm phoning you because this morning, while we were on his yacht, my boyfriend asked me to go to London with him, in a couple of weeks."

Jungkook was positive that the silence that followed, was actually audible and he could picture Ash's face.

"You need to give me a fucking minute to digest that! Fucking hell! Holy spaghetti and meatballs…"

"Can it be a quick minute? Digest at lightening speed please."

"Now you're his boyfriend, can I please drive the Ferrari?"

"Ash! Please! I'm in the middle of making dough and he could come in at any minute!"

"You're making dough? Why? Your boyfriend is fucking minted! Why are you making dough?"

Jungkook pauses from measuring out the yeast, "You know the answer to that so can you stop being a dick?"

"All that needs to stop by the way. You being a dick needs to stop, especially now. So, when do you leave for London?"

"I'm not."

"Why?"

"I can't. I've got fees coming up and I need to save for a suit, plus my favourite boots won't get me through another wet season."

"I feel like I'm talking to someone whose boyfriend isn't rich as fuck. More than ever you need to let the past go. You put all that to bed when you walked away. I repeat, KTH is not Ryan."

"I know that but I've worked hard to get away from all of it."

"Yeah and now money is back in your life and you can't let what happened poison what you have now."

"It's not poisoning it, I'm just not ready to open up completely."

"It's just his legs you want open, completely." The sound of laughter drifted through the phone.

Jungkook is despairing as he collects some warm water in a jug, "You think I should go, don't you?"

"Duh! Are you shitting me? That has to be the most stupid question you've ever asked, which is quite an achievement because you can be really stupid."

Jungkook needs a new best friend, he's known this for a while but every now and again it appears to be more obvious, "I don't even know how to respond to that."

"You respond by accepting the invitation! How much do you need to take with you? Are you paying for flights? Food?"

"No, he says it's all covered, something about a Japanese company paying for the trip so it's not even Purple Aura that pays for it."

"Please understand how fucking dumb you sound. You have the opportunity to go to London, which is one of your dreams, without paying anything at all and you haven't said yes?"

Jungkook sighs as he weighs out some salt and neatly arranges the ingredients out on the worktop, "It feels like such a big deal, Ash. You know I hate feeling like I'm being kept and that's how this feels. I'm literally turning my back on my life to go to London. It makes me feel sick."

"You overthink all this. Forget the money for a second, you obviously like KTH a lot or you wouldn't be in a relationship with him. If you 'could' afford to pay for yourself and go with him, would you?"

"Yes, of course I would. I mean, obviously there would be school and work to sort out but… yes, I would go."

"So…. Go! If KTH was actually paying for it I'd suggest you asked him if you could pay him back for the flight or contribute to something but as he isn't paying for it, I say, go! BUT you need to work out money and make sure you have something with you, maybe pay for a meal out for you both or buy him something small. Does he have magnets on his fridge?"

"Are you taking the piss out of my magnet?"

"Me? No!"

"He bought me another magnet from the show, anyway."

"Oh my god, that's funny. Only you could have a super rich boyfriend and have him buy you fridge magnets."

"Fuck off. I like fridge magnets."

"Stop it…" the sound of laughter filters through the phone "... Just go to London and stop being a dickhead. We can look at your finances and you have a week at least to get in extra shifts and busk more. You are top of your class and can practice in London so speak to Ms Yoo, I'm sure she wouldn't want you to miss out on this opportunity. Your past with money is shit but this, this is far from shit!"

Jungkook hears a sound coming from behind him and turns to see Taehyung walking into the kitchen, "We can talk about this when I get home later, I have to go."

"I will only talk to you if we are sorting out everything for your trip."

"Yeah, yeah… whatever."

"No fucking on the worktop until you've cleaned up… flour gets everywhere and sticks!"

"Oh my god… bye!" Jungkook ends the call and removes the earphone from his ear, smiling as Taehyung reaches him and kisses his cheek.

"Is your friend okay?"

"Aside from being mentally disturbed, yes, he's fine, thank you. Did you sort out whatever it was the you needed to sort out?"

Jungkook’s hands are by his side, a few traces of flour was evident from where he'd been opening the bag of flour as Taehyung appeared.

"Not really, I need to speak with Jin but he's in Saudi at the moment. What are you making? Did you want some help?" Taehyung lightly held Jungkook’s waist, looking over his shoulder at the ingredients on the worktop.

"I'm making pizza dough."

"You are? I could have booked a table at the Italian nearby if you'd have said you wanted pizza. They do really good pizza, the head chef is someone I have known for years."

Jungkook takes a deep breath, kisses Taehyung’s cheek and turns around to continue opening the bag of flour, "Mine obviously won't be as good but I did say I was going to cook."

"If your pizza is as good as Emiliano's then I would suggest you are both in the wrong line of work..." Taehyung moved away, to the fridge where he took out a bottle of iced tea, "...would you like a drink?"

Jungkook's tone had a chill just as cold as the air in the fridge, "No thank you. I need to get this done so you can judge how much better your friend's pizza is."

Taehyung opens the bottle, pouring it into a tall glass with ice in it, "Can I help?"

"I wouldn't want to put you out."

"I've never made pizza, you could show me, if I'm not in the way?"

Jungkook feels himself soften a little when there is a chest pressed to his back and arms around his waist, "You can pour the water in."

Taehyung presses closer and reaches a hand out to take hold of the jug, "You would like the water in this bowl?"

Jungkook can't say that he's ever cooked like this before, "Yes, please. Pour it slowly, I need to mix the ingredients as you pour."

"Okay." His breath tickles the side of Jungkook’s face as he speaks.

Taehyung pours slowly, one hand settled on Jungkook’s stomach and the other holding the jug. Once it's all in, he watches as Jungkook uses both hands to gather the ingredients, he places the jug down and is impressed at the way his boyfriend's fingers work. He turns his head to the right, moist lips meeting the soft skin of Jungkook’s neck, he makes contact two or three times, the smell of the dough filtering through his nostrils. He smiles against his neck as Jungkook tilts his head slightly.

"Tae, I'm trying to make dough." he says, eyes trying to remain focused as his hands gather the dough into the middle of the bowl, ready to cover it.

"I'm not stopping you." The words spoken against skin, breath fanning over his neck.

"You are." a deep breath taken as Taehyung’s lips and tongue move up to just behind his ear, accessible thanks to the hairband holding the majority of his inky strands.

"You should concentrate harder." words spoken quietly as his fingers flex on Jungkook’s stomach.

Jungkook turns his face to the left and seizes his lips with his own, it is an awkward angle to say the least but there's not much he can do about it with his hands in the bowl and his body pressed against the counter.

"I need to get this into the proving drawer." he says when he pulls back.

"The what?" Taehyung asks with a curious expression.

"The proving drawer. It's the drawer near the oven that is empty."

"To be honest, I couldn't tell you what is in most of the drawers and cupboards so the fact that one is empty, really doesn't help."

Jungkook huffs and laughs in the same breath, "Okay, well, I need to put the dough in the drawer so it can prove for an hour or so. It doesn't need long because I prefer the crust to be thin."

Taehyung pressed his lips to the edge of his jaw and stepped back. Jungkook scrunched his face up out of view, he'd liked having Taehyung so close.

"What happens now?" He asks as Jungkook carries the bowl across the kitchen and opens a drawer that Taehyung is convinced he didn't even know was there.

"Everything else can be done before we want to eat. It doesn't take long to make the tomato sauce and throw some toppings on. I should wash the dishes though."

"See, that cupboard over there houses the dishwasher, that much I do know." He smiles and walks over to where he'd pointed to.

"There is only a few bowls and a jug, I will hand wash them, it'll save electricity and…" he stops what he's saying, it sounds ridiculous given where he is and who he is speaking to.

Taehyung opens the dishwasher and holds out a hand for Jungkook to pass him the bowl he is holding, "the dishwasher will be finished by the time the dough is ready."

Jungkook doesn't argue, he knows it's pointless and he feels a bit stupid for thinking that Taehyung would even care about a dishwasher cycle. He does wipe down the worktop as he hears the dishwasher begin it's wash cycle and checks he has all the ingredients needed for later. He found a few king prawns in the fridge and asks Taehyung if he can use those for a seafood pizza, to which he's told that he can use anything he finds because Tae doesn't know what Mrs Phan, his housekeeper buys most of the time anyway. A roll of his eyes and a sigh later, he's being led through to the living area to decide on a movie for after their late lunch / dinner. They both sit on the couch and run through the extensive list of movies, deciding against a horror because Taehyung admits he scares easily, he's not a fan of zombies and makes Jungkook laugh when he also admits that he couldn't play a zombie apocalypse video game like he does. Jungkook suggests Iron Man but Taehyung says he prefers Thor, proceeding to relay the story of the meal he had with Chris and Liam Hemsworth once, when their agent hired Jimin to do their suits for a movie premiere.

"Do you mind if I shower before I finish the pizzas?"

"Please treat this as if it is your home, Jungkook. I'd rather you didn't feel like a guest."

"Okay, thank you." He leans over to kiss Taehyung before he stands to leave the room, his hand captured, stopping him from going any further.

"Jungkook?"

"Yeah?"

"Will you stay tonight? I will take you home tomorrow."

"Oh… yes, okay. Maybe we could watch the second Avengers too, then?"

Taehyung let's go of his hand, "That sounds like a plan. Use whichever bathroom you wish."

Jungkook nods and smiles, they'd opted for 'The Avengers' as a happy medium. He bends down and kisses Taehyung before taking himself off to the guest room. He needs a shower, to freshen up and should move his things into Taehyung’s bedroom because he knows that's where he will end up tonight.

Chapter Text

As Jungkook closes the guest bedroom door behind him, he leans against it, and closes his eyes, taking a deep breath. He didn’t realise how much he needed five minutes to himself until now, the last 24 hours have been a complete whirlwind and his mind had whiplash from battling with itself. He decides to shower in here, he trusts that Taehyung would leave him alone no matter which bathroom he chose but since he is here, he may as well use this one.

He finally pushes away from the door and goes over to where his bag is, rummaging through it to find the loungewear he’d packed. The jersey fabric shorts and t-shirt could do with an upgrade like the majority of his wardrobe but he couldn’t keep borrowing clothes from Ash. He still can’t get his head around why someone like Taehyung would even look twice at someone like him, they are so different. When he enters the bathroom, with its black marble surfaces and shiny tiles, perfectly clear glass shower with its gleaming chrome fittings, he sighs. It feels like he’s in a luxury hotel suite but this one belongs to his now boyfriend and he’s been told to treat it like his own home. Unfortunately there are elements that feel all too familiar and the ugly feelings that come with that familiarity are the ones that cause him to overreact and become defensive. If he didn’t like Taehyung it would all be too easy and he wouldn’t be here right now, standing in a bathroom that probably costs more than his rent for a year but he does like him, a little more than he should.

He presses a button to start the shower and presses another with a plus symbol on it to increase the temperature displayed digitally in blue LED digits. The water instantly heats up, a fog of white clouding his space in the rather roomy shower. He steps closer to the jet of hot water, looks up into the stream and allows it to hit his face and massage his cheeks before he takes a handful of gel from the dispenser on the wall. While he washes himself, he recounts his conversation with Taehyung on the yacht and the one with Ash on the phone. The trip to London feels like a mammoth decision even if Ash made it sound like there isn’t really a decision to be made. Jungkook really does want to go, he can see the positives, it would be a chance to see his boyfriend in work mode, perhaps but also have a lot of personal time with him. He isn’t sure if they would have separate hotel rooms but presumes not and he would rather they didn’t because living with someone for four days would certainly be a test on their relationship and would give him an insight as to whether this really is something he wants to continue. The last thought is ridiculous, even he can acknowledge that. Taehyung has something that he doesn't see in many people, he doesn't doubt that he has a poker face attributed to his business persona but he has an innocence that shines through and can't be ignored. It's this genuineness that gives Jungkook hope, that maybe he is different.

London has been a dream of his for as long as he can remember but he doesn’t want that to be the reason he decides to go. He very nearly made it to Europe once, a family trip as part of his Mother's honeymoon and he recalls the sheer excitement he felt before it was all snatched away, along with everything else. He can’t allow himself to get carried away this time, won’t be blinded by the wealth and certainly will not be bought but the opposing thoughts tell him that he needs to trust Taehyung a little in order to see that he isn't like Ryan. As he switches off the shower and wraps a towel around himself, walking back into the bedroom, he stands near the window and looks out over the city skyline. The view is beautiful, it feels like he’s been transported into a whole nother world but one he never thought he would be a part of again, with hindsight he wouldn't have wanted it last time either. He dries himself off and looks at the shorts and t-shirt, he knows he will need to buy some new clothes, his wardrobe barely exists and after years of convincing himself that he can live on the bare minimum, if he is to stay with Taehyung, he will need to change that. He hangs up the towel on the warmer and catches sight of himself in the mirror, does he look like a poor guy? He looks like the guy he has been happy being since he left Ryan and his life, since he was forced to make the decision he did after giving chances and not acting on earlier red flags because everyone around him said it was okay. It is the feelings born from the fact that he knows he looks like someone Taehyung picked up sleeping in a doorway when compared to the CEO, that makes him defensive, his own issues causing the divide because Taehyung doesn't make him feel like that. When at work or at university, he isn't 'the poor guy' but the wealth that surrounds him is what makes it appear that way and his mind boggles as to why Taehyung doesn't seem bothered by it. His friends could see it, even when he was dressed up in a suit they made it clear that they knew he was different in the looks that they gave.

Jungkook carries his bag to Taehyung’s room, stands at the closed door and doesn’t know whether to knock in case he is in there. He decides to knock once and when there’s no reply he goes in, then needing to decide where to leave his bag in the immaculate room. Too many decisions, too much thinking time needed when life had been so simple before Taehyung dropped the obscene amount of money into his container and called it a tip. He knows that by being with Taehyung he will eventually have to give up the secrets of his past, the time in his life that he has tried so hard to move away from and be the person he is today. He also knows that his decision to be with Taehyung means that he will have to give up the identity he’s fought so hard to create and step back into the world he left behind but he wonders how the CEO will handle being taken into situations in his world, where money is irrelevant. He is still very much the old Jungkook but history has created something new. Jungkook knows that people like Taehyung don’t mix with people like him, he engineered the meeting in the park and the hotdog for that very reason, if Tae hadn't seen him again after that it would have just confirmed to Jungkook that he is just the same as everyone else with money... yet that hadn't happened and here he was. He still doesn’t know why Taehyung was in the subway that day or why he agreed to the smoothie or why he went to Dino’s or why he accepted the invitation to Jungkook’s place. As he leaves the bedroom he concedes that there are more questions than he has answers for right now but he is sure that the answers will come… maybe on the flight to London? If he decides to go, that is. The most important thing that comforts him is that it is the CEO who broached the subject of defining their relationship, whatever the reasons are, whatever the answers are to his questions, Kim Taehyung wants to be his boyfriend.

He pads bare footed into the open space of the living area, he likes the feel of the hardwood beneath his feet, he’s used to dancing without socks or shoes on so it brings a sense of comfort with it. Taehyung is sitting on the couch with his phone in his hand, brows furrowed and the tip of his tongue just visible between his plump lips. He looks so normal just sitting there, like any normal guy captivated by whatever it is he is doing on his mobile. It’s the fact that he isn’t normal that has Jungkook constantly second guessing himself because most of the time if he ignores the wealth and his friends, he thinks that Taehyung is a guy with amazing qualities and a kind heart.

“Hi.” Taehyung looks up when he hears Jungkook, he smiles when he sees the damp wavy hair hanging loosely around his face.

“Hi, I’m going to go through and finish the pizza bases if that’s okay?”

The CEO gets to his feet “Of course it is, Jungkook, please make yourself at home. I appreciate this relationship is new but I would really like for you to not feel like a guest here.”

Jungkook gives Taehyung a small smile, "I will try, thanks."

Once in the kitchen, Jungkook removes the dough from the drawer and takes it to the island in the middle of the large room. He already has a flour shaker and pizza trays ready on the counter so he can knead the dough and get the bases finished. He's very conscious that he is being watched as Taehyung stands beside him but he doesn't mind, he has a certain level of confidence when he cooks, even if said confidence may take a little knock once his pizza is compared to an actual chef's pizza. He loves the feel of the soft dough in his hands as he kneads it, sprinkling a bit of flour onto the worktop so it doesn’t stick as he works it. He tries not to pay attention to the eyes watching him but it is difficult when Taehyung insists on standing so close.

“Are you going to be kneading your face too?”

The question makes Jungkook look to his left, frowning, “Huh?”

“You have flour on your cheek.” Taehyung points with his index finger.

Jungkook smiles when he realises what Taehyung meant, “I don’t think my cheek needs kneading.”

“Maybe I could assist with the cheeks that do require a good squeeze?” as he spoke, he placed his large palm on Jungkook’s backside and squeezed gently.

“Knead… not squeeze… I don’t squeeze the dough.” he says with a playful cockiness to his voice.

“I stand corrected, is this more acceptable?” his hand massages the pliable flesh in its grasp.

“You have a good technique. Do you like your pizza base thin or thick?” Jungkook was trying not to be distracted but he wasn’t wearing any underwear so there was only one layer of jersey fabric acting as a barrier.

Taehyung leans forwards and without halting his hand movement, kissed Jungkook’s cheek then brushes his hair aside with his nose, “I like it deep, Jungkook.”

The tone of his voice was so low, the baritone seeping into Jungkook’s pores and waking every nerve ending, his breath tickling the tiny hairs on his face and ear, he swallows hard, “I will give it to you deep then.”

Jungkook’s response makes Taehyung choke and splutter a little even though he technically asked for it, he is sure that they aren’t talking about pizza anymore and after last night he definitely wants more “Please.” a word spoken as a breath because he is aroused and he hopes they aren’t talking about pizza because he prefers a thin crust.

The busker turns his head and snares Taehyung’s lips with his own, the dough sitting in a ball on the worktop in front of him, “I need to wash my hands.” he says after pulling away.

The CEO removes the hand from his ass and pulls back, he appreciates Jungkook not wanting to touch him with floury hands, even if he very much wants his hands on him. He stays where he is while Jungkook goes to the sink and cleans off his hands, once dried and free from flour and the remnants of dough, he walks back to where Taehyung is. He places a hand on his hip and pulls him to him, his member reacting to the quiet gasp that leaves the CEO and his mind going blank once more at how pliant this man is. He reaches up with his free hand and traces Taehyung’s cheek and jawline to his chin before he closes the gap between their mouths and connects them. Jungkook knows that his arousal is blatantly obvious as he presses his boyfriend into the worktop, their tongues entangled in a sensual battle.

Tae’s hands work their way into Jungkook’s hair, it’s still damp in places from his shower, he combs through it, the cold strands running like silk between his fingers. He exhales into his boyfriend’s mouth, it’s almost comical how he’s found someone that ticks so many boxes, in a subway station at a time when he thought he was happy hiring people as a plus one. His fingers tug on the strands caught between them as he angles Jungkook’s head so he can slide his lips along his jaw and take his ear lobe between his teeth. The gruff breath that filters from the busker’s mouth stokes the embers in his core and he sucks the soft skin of his neck, not enough to mark but enough to be felt.

Jungkook’s hands search for the hem of the shirt tucked into Tae’s jeans, freeing it from the waistband, caressing the skin underneath. His eyes are closed as he loses himself to the mouth on his neck, the dough can wait, they can eat later because all he can think about right now is getting his mouth on the man devouring him. He doesn’t know if the CEO is open to being fucked in his kitchen but he’s about to find out as he takes a step back, “Turn around.” The words are spoken with a depth that comes from being so aroused and the movement of his chest is partly down to nerves as he doesn’t know if Tae will play ball.

“Here?” with hindsight, it was probably a silly question given the way that Jungkook is looking at him but his sexual exploits have always been restricted to the bedroom.

Jungkook nods once, “Yeah, here… if… umm… if you want?” damn it! It wasn’t the ‘in control’ response he’d been aiming for but it was out now.

Tae doesn’t know the answer, he’s a little too surprised to register that his boyfriend is clearly nervous. What he definitely is sure of, is that he wants Jungkook, his dick is hard and restricted in his jeans which is very uncomfortable, he has one side of his lower lip between his teeth as he nods his head. Butterflies flutter in his stomach as he agrees to the unknown, something he is having to adjust to since he started spending time with Jungkook.

Jungkook’s stomach flips when Tae nods in agreement, “Turn around then.” he says, getting the strength back in his voice.

The CEO does as he’s told, taking a breath and turning around so he’s facing the worktop, he can see the ball of dough further along the counter to his right, thankfully able to place his palms on the part of the granite that isn’t covered in flour. His breath is stolen as he feels Jungkook’s hands snake around his waist and unfasten his jeans, the sound of the metal buckle on his belt loud in the quiet of the kitchen. Before he knows what is happening his underwear and jeans are gathered at his ankles, the hem of his shirt tickling the tops of his thighs.

Jungkook walks forwards and places his hands on the bare hips of the man in front of him, guides him to the left so he can step out of his clothing before he lowers himself to his knees and tilts his head to leave a trail of wet kisses across on the top of his left thigh. He moves across to the right but stops halfway to lick upwards between the ass cheeks in his hands. After leaving wet kisses over the right buttock he pushes with his palms to spread Tae open, his breaths interrupted by the sight of the awaiting pink entrance which he flicks his tongue over cautiously.

“Fuck, precious, you are beautiful.”

Tae can’t remember a time when he felt so exposed as he feels the tongue between his cheeks but he also feels desired when his boyfriend speaks. When the tongue dips into his hole, he groans and bends over the worktop a bit more, resting his forehead on his forearm, partly to hide the blush that he’s sure has spread across his face. As the tongue pushes in further, he finds himself pushing back onto it, the saliva dripping down his scrotum adds to the sensation and he can’t help rocking his hips.

The busker grips Tae’s ass cheeks and pushes them further apart, lapping at his entrance and mumbling noises of appreciation the more he rocks back onto his face. He feels slightly delirious with the knowledge that Tae is enjoying what he is doing this much, he is really starting to enjoy the way both of their bedroom personas seem to compliment each other and how they both slip into their roles so easily. He slips a finger in alongside his tongue, prodding at the spongy bundle of nerves as he dips his tongue in and out. He enters a second finger as he dips down to suck Tae’s scrotum into his mouth, the third finger pushes in alongside the other two as he sucks lightly on one of his balls.

Tae stops his hip movement, uses his forearm to bite onto and muffle his sounds when Jungkook is fucking him with three fingers and the suction on his testicles gives him more pleasure than he’s felt for a while. There is saliva dripping over his forearm onto the kitchen counter and his legs are beginning to tremble, “Please… please… Jungkook.” He speaks into his arm, the words unclear as more drool leaks out and the words sound wet.

Jungkook gives one of his peachy buttocks a quick bite before he’s off his knees and getting to his feet, running his hands up his sides. He leans forwards, “What was that, precious?”

“Please…”

He takes Tae by the shoulders and stands him upright, carefully turning him around to face him, wiping his chin of the saliva and kissing him softly, “I need to get a condom. Are you going to wait here?”

Tae’s chest is heaving, his face is flushed and he is sure he still has drool over his face, “I’ll wait.” He has always practised safe sex, never gone bareback with anyone but boy he wants to feel Jungkook properly and makes a mental note to have that conversation with him sooner rather than later.

The busker doesn’t take very long, he returns from the bedroom and nearly trips over his own tongue as he enters the kitchen and sees Taehyung still leaning against the counter in just the pale blue shirt. The rounded hem just touches the tops of his bronzed thighs, his hair slightly ruffled and his cheeks have the prettiest rouge dusted on them. Jungkook has noticed that Tae has a habit of sucking the right side of his bottom lip into his mouth, which he thinks is a show of his vulnerability and shyness, perhaps but either way, in reality it is actually more sinful than anything.

Tae’s eyes flit from the face of the man approaching him to the obvious bulge, licking his lips because he knows what is hiding beneath the shorts and he wants… he really wants.

“In a hurry, desperate to get back?” he asks, eyebrows raised and a playful tone to his voice.

He wasn’t expecting the look that Jungkook gives him, brow raised and wrinkled as he stops just out of reach, “Yeah, the dough shouldn’t be left.”

“I’d rather you put those hands to better use.” his eyes followed Jungkook as he turned to walk towards the dough.

“Such as?” the struggle was real but Jungkook was willing to exert his self control if Taehyung will persist in trying to be smart.

“Such as kneading this.” he lifted the hem of his shirt and bent over slightly, a large hand rubbing over one of his cheeks as he looked over his shoulder at the busker.

Jungkook takes the few steps towards Taehyung, standing close but not touching, “Why would I want to do that?”

Tae stands upright and frowns, he is unsure how he seems to get himself into these battles when all he really wants is to be fucked and resume what was happening before Jungkook went to get the condom. He almost pouts, not a full pout but he knows that the position of his lips could well be called a pout, “Because you want me?”

“Do I?” he smirks. He knows that if Tae hadn’t been so cocksure when he came back with the condom that he’d have him bouncing on his member by now but his stubbornness will ensure he doesn’t just roll over. He also knows that at some point, Tae will have to give in if his desire to do as he’s told is as prominent as Jungkook thinks it is.

The CEO almost gasps with surprise at the response, he certainly is not used to having to work so hard and he has this internal battle where part of him wants to goad Jungkook and effectively be a brat but the other part of him wants to please and wants to be praised. He steps forward but keeps his hands by his side, he isn’t a fan of rejection, it’s not something he has ever had to deal with on a personal level and it’s a rarity on a business level too. When it comes to work, he always makes sure that a company chooses Purple Aura and if they don’t, there are many more companies that do, so it doesn’t matter and it is their loss. He hasn’t come across someone like Jungkook who is so strong and bites back so easily, the goal posts constantly moving with each conversation they have.

“I want you.” he throws caution to the wind, honesty winning out over one of the many other answers he could have verbalised.

Jungkook gives a small smile, one side of his mouth curving upwards, eyes wide as he reaches out and takes a handful of Tae’s shirt, pulling him close, “You do?”

Tae nods a few times in quick succession, his hands still by his side, one side of his lower lip finding its way between his teeth as he points his chin downwards but looks up at Jungkook fluttering his eyelashes, “I do.” he whispers.

The busker’s hands make their way to his svelte waist, dipping his head down to place a soft kiss on Tae’s lips, “Kiss me.” it’s a demand, not a request, he’s done with the verbal exchange, his length aches and his boyfriend looks so good.

It’s only now that Tae decides he can touch, his hands flying up to thread through Jungkook’s hair as he does as he’s told and kisses him. A sound is omitted from him as he’s pressed against the worktop once more, his length regaining hardness instantly as his tongue seeks the comfort of Jungkook’s mouth. He tilts his head from side to side and he nudges his pelvis towards his boyfriend in an effort to make himself perfectly clear.

The busker’s hands reach under the shirt and seize Tae’s waist, the kiss becoming sloppy as their arousal reaches its peak. He lifts his boyfriend and perches him on the edge of the worktop, the kitchen filled with nasal breaths and throaty sounds. He pushes down his shorts and rips the condom packet with his teeth as Taehyung leans down to mouth at his neck.

“Let me do it.” Tae says, taking the condom from the foil packet.

Jungkook moves back slightly, his hands still holding Tae’s waist as the CEO rolls the condom onto his erection. A deep moan leaves his throat when Tae lets saliva drop from his mouth straight onto his sheathed cock, he continues to be surprised by him, barely able to verbalise his thoughts, “Fuck!”

Tae captures his mouth again, groaning as he’s lowered onto Jungkook’s member, it’s all so filthy and raw, the way he’s held, the way he’s lifted, the way he’s treated is quite literally a dream for him. He’s never had any complaints about his sex life but it’s always been quite formal and for a purpose, never heated and with the level of desire he experiences with Jungkook. That day he climbed into his lap when they went for the coffee in his car and he felt Jungkook’s hands on him, he felt the spark then, it was so great and he hoped it was a taste of what he could expect.

The busker’s biceps bulge and strain as he holds Tae and thrusts into him, grinding his pelvis against his ass, the attempts at kissing fail miserably in a clashing of teeth and an abundance of saliva. A fine sheen of perspiration dusts his body under his t-shirt, the lava pooling in his core threatens to overflow any minute but it feels so good, he doesn't want to stop. Tae's fingers are clasped together at the back of his neck as he holds on tightly, his body under Jungkook’s control like a puppet master and puppet.

"Touch yourself for me." The words forced out with a grunt.

Tae lets go with one hand and reaches between them, the movement unsteady and awkward as his body is jolted with Jungkook's pelvic action. He slides his hand quickly up and down his length, he knows he's close, he was practically cumming when his boyfriend was eating him out and fingering him open with precision. He's been in a state of arousal since they started talking about the thickness of pizza bases so it was of no surprise to him when his orgasm hit him, announced with a gargled breath as he rests their foreheads together, panting heavily and milking himself of every last drop.

"You're just perfect." Three words that tumble from Jungkook’s mouth as he too succumbs to an orgasm, breaths quick and heavy against Tae's mouth as he fills the condom and his hips still.

Tae presses his lips to Jungkook’s, he likes the way their rapid breaths are fed to each other as he's held tight. He waits until Jungkook is ready to stand him on his feet and pulls out so he can discard the condom but feels so fond when he makes sure that Tae is steady on his feet before he moves away towards the bin. He's even more fond when Jungkook says he wants to clean them up and leads him to the ensuite bathroom in the bedroom, asking him where the cloths and towels are kept as he fills the sink and wipes him over first, before cleaning himself. His sexual partners in the past have never been like this, very few have been in this apartment and he can't actually say he's experienced this level f intimacy with any of them. Tae has always been too busy, work has always been the priority and he's always believed that you can't miss what you've never had. He's comfortable in his own company, can always busy himself because there is always something that needs doing and simply hasn't found anyone outside of his friendship group that is worth making time for… until he stumbled upon Jungkook and he ignited something inside him.

"Where do you keep your clothes?" Jungkook asks, handing him a towel.

"I am able bodied enough to dress myself, Jungkook." He speaks softly, finding himself in new territory once again.

"I know but aftercare is important and I'd like to do it." He wipes himself down, hiding the smirk painted on his lips when he sees Tae's reaction as he removed his t-shirt.

Tae gives him directions to his walk in wardrobe that is bigger than Jungkook’s bedroom at home and so organised he knows Ash would vomit because he thinks that Jungkook is a neat freak. To his left are the long sleeved shirts in various colours, followed by short sleeved shirts, then polo shirts and a limit number of t-shirts. There is a rail of neatly hung blazers, knitwear and coats, followed by a selection of neckwear such as ties, cravats and scarves. On his right there were more trousers than he would know what to do with, mostly tailored, the odd pair of jeans and a selection of belts. Straight ahead of him was a floor to ceiling shoe rack and a full length mirror, so many pairs of dress shoes in a variety of finishes from leather to suede, some slip on, some with laces. As he looks up and around him, he is surprised by the mirrored ceiling and wonders why anyone would want that? He finds underwear and socks neatly folded in some large drawers underneath the rails and pulls out a pair of what he thinks are satin pyjamas from a drawer on the other side. The last time he saw this many clothes was when he was at the mall with Ash and they were shopping for a shirt for Billy's birthday.

"Are you lost?" Tae shouts from the bathroom, he's still sitting on the toilet seat after drying himself off and he tries to adjust to someone being so attentive.

"Sorry, you have a lot of stuff but I hope these are okay?" Jungkook appears, handing Tae the underwear and pyjamas as he readjusts the towel around his own waist.

"These are fine, thank you but you really didn't need to."

"I know but I like to. I'm going to finish the pizzas."

"In a towel?" Tae slips his legs into the pyjama bottoms and slides the top on, fingers nimbly working to fasten the tiny buttons.

"My shorts are in the kitchen." his t-shirt is slightly damp with sweat so he can't wear that again but be won't say that. He has very limited options so his shirts and going bare chested will have to do.

Taehyung doesn't get the chance to respond as Jungkook picks up his t-shirt and leaves the room. Once he's finished fastening the buttons he cleans his teeth and runs a brush through his hair, he looks at his reflection in the bathroom mirror and wonders if it's obvious that he feels such warmth towards the man he can hear busying himself in the kitchen. After hanging up the towel and depositing his shirt into the laundry, he hears his phone alert him to a message.

Mochi
The space dust in metallics arrived at Serendipity today. I will go through the colours and have them dropped off at Aura before you fly out. Are we set to start filming once you're back?

KTH
I am waiting to hear from Jin, I need to tie him down to a few days so I can get the ball rolling. Everything will need to be set up before then though. Joon is waiting on a throne so we should be good for when I return.

Mochi
Good. Yoon has the music and we were copied in on the email from Hobi about the dancers. Yoon has sent across a sample of the music so they can prepare. If you need anything, shout.

KTH
We are on course to meet the deadline. Did you get the call from Chanel?

Mochi
You are the one who set the deadline so it's reassuring that things are running to plan and if not, just change it. Chanel can forget it, I'm not dressing the star of a top drama in one of their outfits on the terms they set out. They can come back to me if they're that desperate. The outfit didn't even have a clutch bag!

KTH
It sounds like a life or death situation.

Mochi
Are you mocking me?

KTH
Probably, if I knew what a clutch bag was.

Mochi
You are uncultured, I will forgive you. I've made you an appointment to get that mop of yours crafted before you fly out. I've already sent your cute PA the details and he's added it to your schedule.

KTH
Does Yoon know that you think my PA is cute?

Mochi
Don't you worry about Yoon, he knows he's the only man for me. You should hit up your PA though, I keep telling you this.

KTH
I'm perfectly capable of deciding who I hit up, thank you for your concern. You know I like Jungkook.

Mochi
So you say. The guy is a student, he's going to graduate and move on. Don't get too caught up with that one. Your PA however, is cute and isn't going anywhere.

KTH
I've never mixed business and pleasure, you also know that.

Mochi
There's a first time for everything. I'll be in touch once that stardust is with the courier.

Taehyung shakes his head at his friend and smiles, he wants to tell him how his relationship with Jungkook has developed but would rather tell him in person. He knows that after what happened at the charity event, he has to get it right and it's because of the events of that night that things are so strained between his friends and his boyfriend. He hasn't spoken to Jungkook about his friends yet either but right now he wants to enjoy the time they have together, so he puts his phone on the nightstand and leaves the bedroom in search of his boyfriend, the aroma of pizza floating through the air the closer he gets and a big smile stretches across his face.

When he reaches the doorway to the kitchen, he pauses, leaning against the wall as he watches Jungkook milling around. The busker is clearly in a little world of his own, unaware that he has an audience, earphones in as he sings quietly to himself. The shorts he is wearing hang quite low, Tae’s sharp inhale of breath a consequence of the view. The natural light pouring in through the windows illuminates every curve of Jungkook’s upper body, his sculpted back on full display as he twists and turns taking the pizzas out of the oven and placing them on the worktop. Having a shirtless man in his kitchen is certainly another first for Taehyung, contrary to popular belief in the media, he rarely has had a man back here at all.

While Jungkook has his back to him chopping tomatoes for a salad, Tae walks up behind him and smiles when he wraps his arms around his middle, startling the busker who stops what he’s doing, “Hi.” he says accompanied by a kiss to his shoulder.

“Hi. I didn’t know how long you would be so I went ahead and cooked the pizzas. I’ve made a garlic bread too and just need to finish up the salad.”

“Wow, you aren’t looking for another job are you?”

“No, Taehyung. Believe it or not, I’m doing this because I wanted to do something nice for you, as your boyfriend now.” Jungkook blushes slightly at the use of the word ‘boyfriend’, he’s not quite got to grips with his relationship status yet.

Tae feels the busker tense slightly as he talks, sensing that perhaps he said something wrong but doesn’t understand what, “It smells delicious. Is there anything I can do?”

Jungkook starts chopping again, adding the diced tomatoes to a bowl with cubes of mozzarella and chopped basil, “You are helping by being where you are.”

“I am?” the question asked as he ghosts his lips along the junction of Jungkook’s shoulder and neck.

“You’re keeping me warm.” he says with a gulp, the lips on his skin forcing him to close his eyes for a second.

“I will stay here then…” his palms flat against his boyfriend’s stomach, fingers moving slightly stroking the skin taut over muscles, “... when it’s ready, I can take it through so you can put on a shirt. Would you like to eat at the table or on the couch?”

“The couch would be nice, if that’s what you want to do. I don’t need a shirt, I’m warm enough.” The extra nights stay and the sex earlier meant that his choice of clothing options had dwindled greatly. He’d been restricted as it was, carefully planned out what to wear and when, borrowing clothes and attempting to make sure that he was covered for the occasion.

Tae is aware that the puzzled expression on his face can’t be seen as he mulls over the conversation, “I’ll be right back.” He presses a kiss into Jungkook’s shoulder and disappears from the kitchen, hurrying through to the guest room where he enters the wardrobe and pulls out a box to take back to the kitchen.

Jungkook is filling the dishwasher when Tae returns with the box in his hands, “I’m done. We can take the food through.”

“Here.” Tae says, holding out the box.

Jungkook looks at the box then at Taehyung who is smiling at him, “What is it?”

He puts the box on the worktop and removes the lid, gesturing for Jungkook to look inside, “My friend, Hoseok owns a dance company and they have their own clothing line. When it was first launched, he gave us gift boxes with the items in it. Asking you to stay another night was a bit impulsive of me, I hadn’t considered that you were prepared for one night only so you can have this.”

Jungkook peers into the box, moving aside the tissue paper and finding various items, he pulls out a sweatshirt with ‘EGO’ in big yellow letters written down the sleeve, “I can’t take this, Tae. Your friend gave this to you, it’s special and I’m fine.”

“It’s been sitting in a wardrobe for years, I’ve never worn any of it, it isn’t really my style but I thought that as a dancer, it might be more your thing.”

Jungkook also finds a t-shirt, bandana, wristbands and sweatpants, all royal blue with ‘EGO’ embroidered somewhere on them, He’s heard of the company, he doubts there is anyone who hasn’t because it’s a big deal especially for those who earn scholarships or who have the money to afford the fees.

“I will borrow it and return it, thank you.” he can’t accept it as a gift but he really could use the clothes and Tae is looking at him with big expectant eyes. Jungkook can see that he means well and he believes him when he says that the clothes in the box aren’t his style, especially now that he’s seen the inside of his wardrobe.

“If that is what you would prefer to do but I will only put the box back in the wardrobe in the guest room, waiting for the next time you stay.” he says, picking up the two pizzas and turning to walk towards the living area.

Jungkook opens his mouth to speak but doesn’t really know what to say. He picks up the box and follows Tae out of the kitchen, “I will change and be back in a minute.”

He goes through to the bedroom and places the box on the bed, removing his shorts he puts on the sweats and t-shirt, choosing to leave the sweatshirt for now. He puts the box beside his bag before he heads back to his boyfriend who has laid out plates, cutlery and the food on the coffee table. The TV is on, with The Avengers paused as Jungkook sits beside him on the couch, he feels a little self conscious but a whole lot warmer than before.

“It suits you.” Tae says, leaning down and picking up a plate to hand Jungkook.

“Thanks.” is the reply as he takes the plate and smiles when Tae keeps hold of it and pulls him close to kiss him on the cheek.

"I thought we could start the movie after we've eaten?" Tae asks, helping himself to a bit of everything, his nostrils flaring as the delicious smells filter through.

"Sounds good." Jungkook is trying not to be too bothered by the fact that he is nervous as to whether Tae will enjoy what he's cooked. It annoys him that he is nervous and he swallows it down because the overriding feeling is one of contentment and comfort. He watches eagle eyed as Tae takes several bites of the pizza, the toppings had caused him the biggest amount of stress as he really didn’t know what to get. In the end he decided that a vegetarian one and a meat feast were the safest options until he knew what Taehyung really did like. He was staring, lips parted, a slice of pizza poised a millimetre from his mouth when Tae swallowed his mouthful and turned to look at him.

“Are you going to eat that?” the CEO said as he took another bite of the pizza slice.

“Oh… umm… yeah.” Jungkook replied, finally taking a mouthful. He didn’t know whether to ask what Tae thought? Should he ask? He looked like he was enjoying it but what if he starts comparing it to his friend’s pizza? What if the pizza he’s eating is just ‘okay’? But what if it’s better?

Tae munches happily, making noises of appreciation as he spoons the tomato salad into his mouth and cuts up some garlic bread to eat too. He is well aware that he’s being watched but decides he will question his boyfriend about it after he’s eaten because he hadn’t realised how hungry he was and the food is good.

“Do… umm.. Do you eat pizza often?” Jungkook is dancing around the houses, he is aware of that but he can’t bring himself to just blurt it out and ask. This is what happens when feelings are launched into the mix because a couple of months ago he wouldn’t have cared less what Taehyung thought and would probably have told him he could starve if he didn’t want to eat it. When he cooked for Taehyung before, it hadn’t really mattered whether he liked it or not, he doubts he’d have lost any sleep over it but it was different now because being in a relationship meant there was the hope of longevity so he would probably cook for him again.

“Not really. We usually eat at a selective few restaurants and pizza isn’t on the menus. If I have the desire for really good, authentic pizza, I go to see Emilio.”

“I see.” he shoves a spoonful of salad into his mouth as an excuse for not speaking any more.

“Even though I don’t think Emilio will be needed for pizza anymore. You have many talents, Jungkook.”

Jungkook whipped his head around to look at Tae, his eyes wider than usual as he battled to chew and swallow the food in his mouth, “He won’t? I do?” he sounded like a complete dimwit which he will also blame on ‘catching feelings’. The smile Tae gives him, makes his stomach swoop and a warmth floods through his entire system and Jungkook is bowled over with the reality that he may have snagged a few more feelings for Tae than he previously thought.

“Why are you surprised? Your taste buds are operational aren’t they?” Tae leans over and kisses the cheek of his boyfriend.

“I just… I don’t know… I thought…” he shrugs his shoulders “... I just expected you to prefer your friend’s pizza, I guess.” he says honestly.

Tae puts his plate on the table and turns to Jungkook, reaches over and takes a hold of his free hand, “Emilio is Italian, he could probably cook world class authentic pizza and pasta before he could walk and he is an amazing chef, you will see one day. The food you have made today is exceptional, Jungkook and you haven’t had the upbringing or tutoring that he has had. I don’t cook by the way so had we not established our relationship status earlier, I would have broached the subject after tasting this.”

Jungkook wiggles his fingers against Tae’s, he’s got that stupid ‘L-word’ expression on his face, he knows he does and he’s thankful that Ash isn’t here because it’s bad enough that his subconscious is telling him he has heart eyes, “Umm… thank you… I think.”

After they had both had their fill, they cleared the table and Taehyung watched as Jungkook found some containers to put the leftovers in, storing it neatly in the fridge… the fridge he had rearranged earlier. Everywhere the busker went, Taehyung’s eyes followed him, leaning against the kitchen counter, bewildered at the level of sentiment spreading warmth inside him.

Every now and then, Jungkook would catch him staring out of the corner of his eye, he could see Tae’s head move as he followed him around. Every time it registered that he was being watched, a red tinge crept up his face and at one point he felt his cheeks with the back of his hand when he had his back to the CEO… he’d hoped that the more he got to know Tae and the more time he spent around him, he wouldn’t blush quite so often but clearly he was wrong to hope such a thing. When he’d finished what he was doing he looked in Tae’s direction, “I’m done, shall we watch the movie now?”

Tae nods and smiles, his lips pressed together, dimples forming at the corners on each side, his eyes bright, “You really don’t have to do everything, my housekeeper is due on Monday.”

“Well, now there is less for her to do, then.” Jungkook says, walking beside Tae into the living room and settling on the couch beside him.

Tae starts the movie and spends the first few minutes of it watching Jungkook in his peripheral vision. It’s been so incredibly long since he’s watched a movie with another person, he tries to recall but can only think of childhood memories or the odd night with friends. He moves his hand towards Jungkook’s, his fingers wiggling underneath so he can entwine them. As the busker looks down at their hands then at Taehyung, he shuffles closer and kisses his cheek.

Jungkook’s face heats up when Tae kisses him on the cheek, he doesn’t even understand why he would blush at a motion that is a regular occurrence between them. He releases his hand from Taehyung’s and lifts it, unable to hide the grin when the CEO moves closer and curls into his side as he brings his arm down and gives his bicep a light squeeze. He rests his cheek on the top of Tae’s head as the movie plays, he feels so comfortable and relaxed as his boyfriend’s fingers move gently on his thigh. They could be sat in a movie theatre, snuggled in the back row, Tae’s screen is large enough for him to imagine it easily. As the night draws in, the room darkens, the only light cast from the screen, he sinks down into the couch a little more and smiles as Tae naturally shifts himself closer. They are so different, Jungkook can’t avoid that but he also can’t avoid the fact that this feels so right, the domesticity and comfort level is undeniable. When Tae lifts his head and looks up at him, he leans down and connects their lips, it’s so soft and a kiss that is barely there but they close their eyes and lose themselves in the intensity of the feelings that it brings them both.

Chapter Text

“What are you doing?” Jungkook frowns hard at his best friend who has grabbed his left hand and is holding it close to his face.

“Looking for a ring.” Ash turns his hand over several times before Jungkook pulls it out of his grasp.

“What? You know I don’t wear rings. Have you lost one? And why do you need to look so closely? Surely you could see from distance.” He was confused and concerned about Ash most of the time but every so often it peaks.

“I was looking for a wedding ring.” Ash says, taking the box from Jungkook and following him into his bedroom where he places the box on the bed and plonks himself down next to it.

“Am I missing something? I was only away for two nights or did I slip into a parallel universe and I was actually away for months?”

“Now who’s talking absolute shit?” Ash fell backwards onto the bed laughing “I was looking for a wedding ring because you should see your face! I knew you were falling for old KTH but seriously! Two nights with the guy and you look like someone returning from a honeymoon.”

“He’s not old.” he starts unpacking his bag, pulling out the shorts and a small smile appears as he thinks about how he wasn’t wearing them for too long.

Ash’s laughter reverberates around the modestly sized bedroom, “I say all that and your only comeback is ‘he’s not old’. Fucking hell you’ve got it bad.”

“I didn’t say it with the same stupid voice so your attempt at imitation is shocking.”

“So, what did you get up to after you spoke to me? Did he like the pizza? Did you tell him you’re going to London? Did you get dicked again?” Ash moved onto his side, laying propped up on his elbow.

Jungkook briefly looks over at his friend and pulls a face at him, “Yes he liked the pizza, tough shit if he didn’t, really.”

“Liar.”

“Whatever! No, I haven’t told him about London because I still haven’t decided…”

“Liar.” Ash repeats.

“...can you shut up?” more of a demand than a request.

“Carry on.” Ash made a gesture with his free hand, buttoning up his lips.

“After the pizza we watched ‘The Avengers’ and kissed a lot on the couch, then we went to bed.”

“And??”

“And, what?”

“More fucking? Was he a good boy? Oh come on! Don’t give me that look! It’s me… come on!”

“When we went to bed we just talked and kissed… there wasn’t any fucking.”

“Were you big spoon?”

Jungkook laughs and snorts a little, “Yes, when we decided to go to sleep, I was big spoon.”

So you only fucked him once? Friday night? How did you manage that?”

“I didn’t say we only fucked once, I said when we went to bed last night, we kissed and talked.” he sounds juvenile but he doesn't care.

“Kookie Monster! If you don’t spill your guts, I will have a threesome in our lounge and make sure you walk in on it and it will go on loudly all night!!”

Jungkook laughs at his friend, “What, again?” he rolls his eyes with a big smile on his face, “We fucked in the kitchen while I was making the dough… but that was it… otherwise we kissed a lot. He’s amazing, Ash, he just gives himself to me and it makes me want to ruin him and care for him at the same time. When I woke up this morning, he was practically laying on top of me, I didn’t have the heart to wake him. I thought he set his alarm as he was already up when I woke up Saturday morning but he said that he switched it off so he could lay in with me. I watched him sleep for a while, he looked so normal.”

Ash slaps his own forehead with his hand, “He is normal… newsflash!”

“You know what I mean. He isn’t like us but he’s not exactly like them either. It’s like he has all this money and power and he often says things that wind me up or could be seen as offensive but… but… there’s this other part of him that’s… ugh!... I don’t know how to explain it… umm… innocent, maybe? He has this innocence about him and I try to see that side of him when he’s pissing me off because I don’t think he’s a bad guy.”

Ash blinks furiously at his friend who looks like he’s daydreaming as he talks, “You don’t think he’s a bad guy?”

“No, I don’t… Unlike his friends and other people like them.”

“It’s reassuring to hear that you think your boyfriend is a good guy.” the words dripped with sarcasm and his facial expression backed it up, just in case there was any doubt.

“I seriously question why I talk to you. People with that level of wealth are usually controlling fuckheads who flaunt their money and expect it to get whatever they want. A great example of this is at that charity event when that model thought I was a prostitute and I was expected to just shut up and look pretty because that’s what I’d supposedly been paid to do. His friends are a great example of wealthy dickheads that think their shit doesn’t stink, just like Ryan did and his family.”

“Another newsflash for you… they are his friends, you aren’t deluded enough to believe that you can sail through life in a relationship with him without having anything to do with his mates, right?”

“I can try and don’t look at me like that.”

“You can try but just like everything connected to KTH, you’re going to have to lower those defences and compromise at some point.”

“I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. I can’t just forget the way they looked down their noses at me, Ash. Even if I accept that Tae is partly to blame because he let them think I was hired, I still hate the way they treated me. I thought about it a lot and even if I was being paid I don’t think I’d have put up with their attitude, it stinks.”

“How are you going to get around it? They are his friends.”

“I don’t know? Avoid them as much as I can? Tae doesn’t mention them that often anyway. I’m sure they are all far too busy with their pompous careers to think about me.”

“Do they know about you, now?”

“They know I wasn’t hired that night but I haven’t asked Tae what he’s told them now. I don’t know if they know about our date or this weekend and I doubt they know that we are actually in a relationship. I would like to be a fly on the wall when they find out that Tae’s boyfriend is someone they thought was a prostitute.” Jungkook huffs out a laugh at the thought.

Ash laughs, “Wait until they find out how broke you are…” he stops laughing and looks seriously at Jungkook, “... do you think they’ll think that you’re a gold digger?”

“Probably? I don’t really know what their friendship is like though so I don’t know whether they’d tell Tae what they think. Something tells me that they would, especially the model or the super snobby one, Jimin.”

“KTH would put them straight though, right? I mean, you’ve been obnoxious about not taking money from him.”

“Thank you, I’m sure Tae had ‘obnoxious’ on his list at one point but that feels like ages ago now. I don’t know how he would deal with it. His track record isn’t great with putting his friends straight, now is it?”

“Definitely not but he is totally in love with you now so it might be different.”

Jungkook throws the t-shirt in his hand at his friend, “He is not in love with me, we have only just decided to be in a relationship.”

“You love him.”

“I don’t.”

“You’d better make that your new Egyptism because you are in love.”

“Egyptism?” Jungkook looks confused.

“That’s what I’m going to call it every time you are stupidly in denial.”

“God, you’re annoying.”

“I know. Did he drive you home, then?”

“Yeah. We had breakfast this morning, I showered and he drove me back."

"When are you going to tell him that you're going to London?"

Jungkook opened a cupboard and put his empty duffle bag inside, "I don't know if I'm going, yet."

Ash huffed and fell onto his back, "You do know, we don't have to play these silly games first? Are you free after classes tomorrow? Let's go to the library and work out your finances."

"I was planning on going to the park after lunch, I've only got classes until one."

"I'll meet you at one, we can make a start over lunch, then you can go and shake your thang amidst the trees."

"It's only because I've known you forever, that I can translate what you just said. If it gets you off my back, I will meet you at one but you can buy lunch."

"Marie made gimbap and I'm picking it up in the morning on my way to class so lunch is already arranged. How about a game and whoever has the least kills, buys coffee? Need I remind you of how generous I am being because you are meant to be buying me dinner"

"You have yourself a deal… now get off my bed, since when was I buying you dinner?"

Ash sits up, "When I told you that you could buy me dinner when I rightly predicted that you would go on a date with KTH. What's in this box, anyway? Sexy lingerie from a little French boutique?"

"Why would that be your first suggestion? And no, I’m not buying you dinner because I never agreed to it."

Ash raises his shoulders, "You love a bit of lace. Remember when I caught you in those stockings?"

"Yes and as I told you at the time, the lingerie was for a costume." Jungkook remembers it well.

"And as I told you at the time, I don't believe you."

"Whatever. No, there's no lingerie. Tae thought that asking me to stay an extra night meant I didn't have enough clothing so he gave me this dance wear. His friend owns 'EGO'."

"As in, ‘EGO, EGO’?”

“Yes, as in ‘EGO, EGO’. I think he was the one whose partner seemed okay at that charity thing but I’m not sure.”

Ash stood up and took the few steps to the door, “This is progress though, you accepting the clothes.”

Jungkook follows him out of the room, “I haven’t accepted them. I’m borrowing them and I will return the box once I have washed what I wore.”

“Of course.” Ash made sure the eye roll was over dramatic as he turned to look at his friend, earning himself a shove.

The friends settled down in the lounge, grabbing drinks from the kitchen and as Ash got the game set up, Jungkook sent Tae a text:

JK
Thank you for a lovely weekend. Don’t work too hard today.

He plugs his phone into the charger and places it on the table, “You’ve got the money to buy coffee, right?”

“It’s you whose finances need working out so we may as well include coffee in that budget, loser.”

Laughter filled the room as the two friends began their game, both of them certain that it would be the other one buying coffee tomorrow.

***

Monday mornings were usually bad but Taehyung was awake before his alarm, grabbing a tea and sitting at the island in his kitchen, unable to prevent himself from daydreaming about the sex he’d had right there on Saturday. After he’d dropped Jungkook home yesterday, he’d been holed up in his office all afternoon and evening, trying to get ahead in preparation for his trip to Europe. It hadn’t escaped him that Jungkook still hadn’t responded to his invitation to accompany him on the business trip and it was frustrating that he didn’t know if he would be going alone or not. He didn’t need to worry about booking seats on a plane since he was taking a private jet which he had only recently bought when it became difficult to arrange flights at short notice when business trips changed and spending hours in economy class was not going to happen. When the text from Jungkook came through while he was working yesterday, he thought that perhaps it would be acceptance of his invitation but it hadn’t been. The text did make him smile though, the conversation that followed was a welcome distraction from dealing with contracts, business proposals and going through the powerpoint for the Moonchild advertising campaign.

“Good morning Stefan.” he greeted his P.A as he strode down the corridor towards his office, pausing just before he entered the code on his door, “Stefan, why are you here? It is 6.30am on a Monday.”

Stefan smiled at his boss, looking around him before answering, “I arrived early in the hope of getting an update, Sir… an… an update on your weekend, Mr Kim.”

Taehyung raised an eyebrow, “You are after some gossip?”

A faint blush crept up Stefan’s face, “Well… umm… not gossip… Mr Kim, Sir… I… I didn’t mean it like that.”

Taehyung’s laughter echoed down the corridors of Purple Aura, a sound that Stefan isn’t really sure he has ever heard before.

“I’ll have a tea, thank you. Please get yourself a hot drink too, I will be in my office.”

Stefan waited until the door closed before he released the breath he’d been holding, he thought for a minute that he was in trouble and had said the wrong thing but his boss’s laughter confirmed otherwise. He went down to the machine to get them both a tea, presuming that the CEO’s cheery disposition meant that the weekend had gone well but he would reserve judgement until hearing it for himself.

After knocking on the office door and placing the hot drinks on the desk, he took the seat on the other side of the desk and waited for his boss to finish what he was doing before asking how Friday night had gone. Taehyung stopped typing, took a sip of his tea and smiled at his P.A who was waiting patiently for him to speak.

“For a first date, it is probably the best date I have had. It all ran smoothly and Jungkook enjoyed the show. It was a lovely evening and the show was very good.”

“Did he like the merch bag?”

“I believe so. There are times when he doesn’t give a lot away and other times when I wonder what he is trying to say because he bites back. He is very much a mystery at times.”

“Did you go to the yacht on Saturday?”

“We did but that was rather strained at times…” Taehyung looked up as he leaned back in his chair “... we’d discussed progressing to the next stage of our relationship before leaving and I hadn’t anticipated any issues on the yacht.”

“Issues? And when you say ‘next stage’, you mean sex or being partners?” Stefan found these conversations difficult at times, it was ironic the way his boss spoke about Jungkook so openly and yet he wasn’t very forthcoming either.

“Oh… no, sex… that…” the CEO suddenly felt a little flustered, this was a whole new level of personal, “... sex, that happened… Friday night. I… erm… by ‘next stage’ I mean ‘not dating’, we agreed to be exclusive.”

Stefan grinned, his eyes shone as he showed his boss how pleased he was for him, ignoring the obvious minor embarrassment, “That’s great, Mr Kim, Sir! You are boyfriends, that’s so great! But, what issues?”

Taehyung returned the smile and drank some more of his tea in the hope that he would feel the embarrassment disappear, “It’s rather difficult to explain. Jungkook was quite…. Prickly? I’m unsure of the best word to describe it and find myself often trying to make sense of the way he is sometimes. The journey to the marina was okay, I think but once onboard, he was quite prickly. I thought perhaps he doesn’t like boats or sailing? But I don’t know, I feel there is a lot to learn about him and I don’t want to push him before he is ready to open up to me. There is the option that this is just the way he is but it is rather sporadic so I’m at a loss.”

“He might have been uncomfortable on the yacht if he doesn’t like boats or the water so you’re right, that could explain it.”

“I asked him to accompany me to London next week but that was a difficult conversation. He accused me of wanting to be his sugar daddy or something along those lines.”

“He said that?”

“He did…” a deep sigh sounds before he continues, “... I don’t really know where that came from, he just accused me. I reminded him that I am his boyfriend and that I didn’t ever have a desire to be his sugar daddy. I have known people that have been in that situation but they are usually much older than I am and they have preferred that to hiring escorts but to me, it’s like buying a relationship. I’ve paid to have a plus one for the evening to an event but haven’t ever wanted to purchase a boyfriend, no matter what Jimin… Mr Park, says…” Taehyung gives a little laugh because he knows full well that Jimin and his friends would have supported the idea of him being a sugar daddy. He knows they worry about gold diggers so at least with being a sugar daddy, it’s all upfront.

“Sir, everything you have told me about Jungkook, tells me that he isn’t the type to be controlled, whether that is down to the fact he has had a bad relationship in the past. I can’t be sure of course but perhaps you should try and take notice when he becomes defensive? Maybe there is a pattern and you can work out what triggers him? Initially, as you were explaining, I thought that perhaps he’s had a sugar daddy in the past and it was a negative experience but that doesn’t sit right with me, he just doesn’t seem like he would enter into something like that.”

“I agree, I don’t believe for one second that Jungkook has had a sugar daddy previously. If he has then it wasn’t successful because he’s really quite poor.”

Stefan screws his face up a little, “I think most people could be described as ‘quite poor’ next to you, Mr Kim.”

“Yes, I appreciate that but he has to sing in the subway to earn money to enable him to go to school and his clothing is very shabby. This is a part of the mystery because I cannot fathom why he wouldn’t accept the tips I gave him initially, he definitely needed it.”

“Mr Kim, Sir? You, don’t say any of this to him, do you?”

“No, I am merely verbalising my thoughts given our current conversation.”

“Could I maybe suggest that you keep it that way? I do not doubt for one second that you like him but sometimes you sound like you don’t and I have a feeling that Jungkook may yell at you again… and probably break up with you.”

“I’m not completely sure that I understand that perspective but I will bear it in mind.” The CEO twists in his chair a little, he considers what Stefan has said and concludes that he is overreacting because he had only stated his observations and spoken honestly but he would be mindful of his opinion.

“Did you explain that the company aren't paying for the trip to Europe?”

“Yes of course.”

“But he didn’t accept?”

“No, I asked him to think about it. I didn’t want to push him. It’s a shame because it was an intimate moment on the yacht and it felt tainted.”

“I’m sure he will open up to you at some point, Sir. He comes across as a very strong individual, I think he is a good match for you.”

“You do?”

“Yes. I think he will keep you on your toes, he’s certainly keeping you interested, despite your very obvious differences. Are your friends pleased for you? I’m sure they have felt bad after what happened at that charity event.”

“I haven’t spoken to them about my new relationship status yet. It only happened on Saturday and I haven’t had the opportunity. Building the bridge between Jungkook and my friends may prove to be a little bit of a challenge.”

“I don’t blame him to be honest, I bet he feels degraded.”

“It’s not going to be easy because I’m anticipating that they will automatically question our relationship due to the differences. They mean well but I think they may rub each other up the wrong way with both sides being without the advantage of knowing one another.”

“Which puts you right in the middle, Sir. I don’t envy you but I’m sure it will all turn out okay. If your friends value you as much as they must do, then they will see that Jungkook makes you happy and if you mean that much to Jungkook then he will try to make an effort with your friends.”

The CEO took a deep breath and released it slowly, “You think that Jungkook makes me happy?”

“If he doesn’t then there is something else in your life that has suddenly put a smile on your face, Sir. I believe that you wouldn’t be going to the lengths that you are if he didn’t bring you happiness. I suspect that your new relationship is a lot like your career, you work hard and have obstacles to overcome, sometimes it is difficult and you wonder why you bother but at the end of the day, you reap the benefits and have a successful business with a lifestyle that is testament to that.”

Taehyung’s forehead creases as he contemplates the words of his P.A, concluding that the angelic young man is quite wise for someone so young, “You have come to that conclusion based on our conversations?”

“I have, Mr Kim, Sir. I know that we aren’t really what you would call ‘friends’ but I have enjoyed getting to know more about you. I’m unsure if I have been helpful at all but I hope I have offered a different point of view at least.”

“You have been helpful, Stefan. I do take on board everything you say and I believe you to be quite insightful. I also appreciate your time because we have these meetings in your own time for which there isn’t any compensation. However, once I return from Europe, I would like to take you for a meal, get you lunch perhap or something, as a way of thanks.”

Stefan stands and pushes the chair closer to the desk, “There isn’t any need for that, Sir but thank you…” he picks up his empty cup and turns to leave, “... I would like to meet Jungkook one day though, it would be nice to put a face to the name and person I think he is.”

Taehyung nods and smiles as Stefan leaves his office, once again he has much to think about after another long conversation with the P.A.

***

“Are you really going to let Marie do it?” As asks as Marie walks into the kitchen and tuts at him.

Jungkook laughs, “Yes I’m going to let her do it, she used to be a hairdresser.”

“How do I not know this?” Ash asks Marie and his best friend.

“I don’t know how you don’t know it. You’ve let me style your hair before, Ash.” Marie’s voice is so soft and it always sounds as if she is singing a lullaby when she speaks.

“Styling hair and cutting it are different things.” he says, taking a big bite of the gimbap in his hands.

The two friends had decided to avoid the library after classes and go to the diner to collect the gimbap for lunch instead. While there, Ash started moaning about Jungkook’s hair and Marie was referee as usual but came up with an idea that appeared to satisfy both of them. Billy was stopping to have lunch with them too and offered to help with the finances once Ash spilled everything, much to Jungkook’s annoyance because he now had two extra people that think he should go to London with Taehyung.

"What's happening here, then?" Billy appeared from working downstairs, kissing his Wife on the cheek as he walks past to sit beside Ash.

"Marie is doing Kookie Monster's hair… gimbap?"

Billy nods his head and accepts the food, leaning back on the pale blue painted wooden chair and crossing one leg over the other. His hair is dark, speckled with grey and cut short. When he was younger his hair was shoulder length and shiny, which he tells everyone was the bait for snaring a catch like Marie. He blames old age for having his hair short, growing a beard and moustache instead. The love between Billy and Marie is evident, even after 43 years. They met at a summer camp when Billy was 17 and Marie just about to turn 19, spending the evenings sneaking around to find somewhere secluded to steal kisses. They were married at 25 and sadly had no babies to show for the 20 years of trying, having to give up any hope when Marie was told that it would never happen naturally. Over the years they've had the diner, they've treated their staff like the children they didn't have and most of them stay in touch even after they've moved on. When they first met Ash, they adored him instantly so as soon as he asked them if they had work for Jungkook, they couldn't wait to meet him. Marie tells everyone that they are her surrogate twins, she adores them both and has told them many times that had she have been lucky enough to have had children, she'd have wanted two boys like Ash and Jungkook.

"When do you go to London, JK?" Billy asks with a mouthful of tuna, rice and dried seaweed.

Ash quickly looks the other way as Jungkook glares at him, much to Billy's amusement.

"I'm not." He says before Marie is telling him to tip his head upside down and to keep still.

"He's not said yes, yet." Ash explains.

"But I thought you said this morning that he was going?"

Ash ignores the inaudible words coming from Jungkook as Marie smooths the electric razor over the base of his hair, inky strands falling to the floor.

"He is going… he just needs to accept it and tell KTH."

"KTH is the boyfriend?"

"Yes, the boyfriend of two days who wants to take him to London and lets him drive his Ferrari… and takes him for breakfast on his yacht… yes, that one."

"Why didn't you tell me he has a Ferrari?"

"You don't like boats?"

Jungkook doesn't say anything as Ash and Billy have their conversation like he isn't there at all.

"I prefer cars. Why do you call him KTH?"

Marie looks up as she moves Jungkook’s hair to the other side for access, "because the boyfriend is Kim Taehyung."

"Who?" Billy doesn't know who to ask the question to, so just asks.

"The owner of Purple Aura." Marie adds before starting on the other side.

“As in the Purple Aura? The advertising company?”

Marie nods at Billy and Ash confirms, “Yep, Kookie Monster has a rich CEO for a boyfriend.”

“Ash! He’s very handsome too.” Marie adds.

“You think so?” Billy asks his Wife.

“Doesn’t everyone?” is her reply which makes Ash nod and snicker.

“I said the same thing, but don’t worry Bill, KTH is also very gay.”

Jungkook lifts his head a little too quickly when Marie says he can, “Are you all finished discussing my boyfriend?” the dizziness waning as he talks.

“Someone’s got it bad.” Billy says as he takes another bite of gimbap.

Ash laughs, “That’s also what I said.”

“Isn’t there anyone on my side… at all… in any of this?” Jungkook asks the room.

“Which side would that be? The one where you don’t go to London because you’re an idiot? Or the one where you complain that your boyfriend takes you for breakfast on his yacht? Or the one where you choose a fridge magnet in a whole store of things because you’re a stubborn shit?” Ash puts the last of the food into his mouth as he finishes what he’s saying.

Marie and Billy can’t prevent the laughter that leaves them as they look at Jungkook who is practically pouting in defiance. Marie puts her arm around Jungkook’s shoulder and kisses the top of his head, “I’m on your side, the side that would like you to follow your dreams and be happy. I don’t believe for one second that you would allow anyone to dictate your life to you again. Don’t miss out on opportunities that present themselves to you just because you want to protect yourself, especially when it could turn out that there isn’t anything to protect yourself from.”

“KTH hasn’t really done anything to make you think he wants to control your life and I think you need to give the guy a break, Kookie Monster.”

“Why don’t you go to London and use that as the test? Four days with him should tell you what you need to know and you may as well live out a dream while doing that. You should learn a lot about him in that time and if it’s a business trip then I’m gonna presume that he will be working during the day or evening so you will have time to yourself. You can do the things that you want to do, you can phone Ash or us, you can even book yourself a flight to come home if you need to.” Billy, the voice of reason says.

Jungkook sighs, “I feel like I’m being bullied.”

“You are, in the kindest possible way.” Marie says as she combs through his hair to make sure it’s done.

“What about my shifts? And I have things to pay out for, I can’t just abandon everything.”

“What things? And Ash can have your shifts if it works around his studies. Isn’t it recap month or whatever?” Billy stands to get everyone a drink.

“Yeah it’s the month where we go over the previous terms work and have a lot of study time. It’s meant to be personal development month.”

“There you go, then. Surely the trip to London could be included in the personal development?” Billy asks.

“Look, I know I can go but what about money? You guys know how I feel about that side of things and I'm not asking him for money. The thought of that makes me want to throw up or maybe I could ask for an allowance so I get regular payments and then he can advise me how to spend it and have a say in my life… maybe… maybe he could choose my outfits each day too.”

Ash's response is to huff loudly enough for everyone to hear and roll his eyes, Marie kisses Jungkook’s head and Billy ignores most of the rant when he responds.

“You need spending money, you can take five days holiday from here which means you still get paid and we have a bit in savings so you can borrow some of that and we can take a little out of your wages each week when you come back. We know you won’t accept it as a gift so this is the option.” Billy sits back down in the chair, stretching his legs out under the pale wooden table that looks like it belongs in an old country style english cottage.

“The diner doesn’t do paid holiday.” Jungkook places a hand over Marie’s hand that still rests on his shoulder.

“You’re right, it doesn’t… but Marie and I do and you work for us.”

“It’s your business.” Jungkook feels an incredible sense of de ja vu as he’s sure this is a similar conversation to the one he had with Tae.

“Yes, which is why you can’t argue it… like you argue everything… every single time we want to help you guys out.” he rubs at his chin, fingers tugging at the black and grey hairs.

“We don’t have the opportunity to spoil anyone and we know that you two would never take advantage of us, which is why we want to help when we can. You both work hard and have never once let us down, we think of you as our sons so let us help. I do have another solution, though.” Marie gave Jungkook’s shoulder a little squeeze.

“Which is?” Billy had no idea what his wife had in mind at this point.

“We will cover your rent for next month… and before you two speak, hear me out… if we cover your rent, it means you both have money to spare and you can do with it what you like. We were going to help you out, Ash, with those textbooks you need and you need that laptop fixing. If you don't have to worry about one month's rent, it frees up money for both of you. Jungkook, I understand everything you have said and I respect you so much. You've known us long enough now, to know that we care about you very, very much so we would like to do this and this way, we aren't actually giving you anything… you just happen to have a lump of money that will need reallocating… maybe for a trip? Maybe?"

The smile that Marie gives them is enough to warm anyone's heart and Jungkook’s resolve is softened. He looks at the three people looking at him and for once he can't think of an opposing argument because everything that has been said has been intended with love and sincerity.

Ash rushes over and wraps his arms around Marie, "Thank you. When Kookie Monster and I get proper jobs, we will pay you back, you know?"

"We will, ten fold. Thank you… both of you, I honestly don't know what to say."

Billy laughs, "Now that's a rarity."

Jungkook sticks his tongue out, "You sound like him," he says as he points at Ash.

"Hey! But Billy's right."

The laughter bounces off every surface in the quaint kitchen, Jungkook’s mind a bit chaotic as it all sinks in. He says his goodbyes after eating his share of gimbap, Ash telling him he'll bring some home. Jungkook was leaving the diner later than planned but he'd had a really good day, he wanted to get a few hours practice in. Ash was staying behind to help Billy clear the stock room so he hugs Marie, giving her an extra squeeze, telling Ash not to forget the food and making sure Billy got a hug too.

The air was still quite warm when he walked out into the street, he thought it might have started to cool as it drew closer to early evening. He popped his earphones in, still persisting in putting one in each ear, hopeful that perhaps one day, the left one would miraculously start to work again. As he scrolled through the playlists on Spotify, he saw a message from Tae and he slapped his forehead for acknowledging the way his stomach did a little flip.

KTH
How has your day been? Did you submit your entry for the math test?

Jungkook frowns, he didn't think Tae was listening when he'd mentioned the test. He'd seemed distracted in the car and Jungkook had forgotten that they'd even talked about it.

JK
Submitted my entry and I've had a good day, thanks. Have you had a good day?

KTH
Unfortunately my day continues. Are you working?

JK
Not today, I am walking to George's Park right now.

KTH
I do hope the flora and fauna provide a gracious audience. I have to go. I could call you later?

Jungkook laughs at that message, eyes darting from the screen to the direction he is walking, as he makes his way towards the park.

JK
The audience in the park is always awesome. Speak to you later.

He slips the phone in his pocket, a smile on his face, humming to the song playing in his ear as he reaches the gates of the park. He has minimal cash on him but finds enough for a bottle of water from the hotdog stall which he drops into his bag. The park isn't heaving like he'd expected and his dance corner is as quiet as always. He sets his bag down, brushes his hair and ties it back before removing his worn black boots. He places his phone upside down in one of the boots and turns up the volume, he needs to warm up first so the song is one that enables him to stretch. As he moves, he feels how tense he’s been, his muscles feeling a little tight and he breathes deeply, inhaling the fresh air. His mind wanders to the trip to London, he has a lot to arrange first and doesn’t want to tell Tae until he’s made sure he is ready to go. For the next couple of hours, he will clear his mind and concentrate on practising, not quite able to believe that he could be walking along the river Thames with his boyfriend in less than a fortnight.

Chapter Text

The grass felt cool against the skin that was showing as Jungkook lay in the park after exhausting himself. Weekday evenings were usually quiet and this Monday evening was no different as dusk made itself at home, blanketing everything in a dark haze as the sun set. Jungkook loves this part of the day, the dusk brings an eerie silence with it that makes the world appear to stand still. He likes gazing at the stars but loves that part of the evening before the sky is dark enough to reveal the blanket of twinkling dots, there isn't a better time to cool down and allow his breathing to return to normal. With his eyes closed, he focused on his heart rate and the prickling sensation as the perspiration dried in the cool air, his mind drifted off to London and what the weather would be like there and whether the sky would look the same.

Jungkook’s mind was somewhere between London and finding motivation to go home and shower, when he heard a familiar voice which prompted him to open his eyes and sit up.

“I didn’t know if you would still be here.” the CEO was finished for the day but on his way to get dinner, he thought he would stop by the park to see if Jungkook was still around. He’d had this warmth inside him all day and after the weekend, he wanted to see his new boyfriend.

“I’m summoning the energy to go home.” Jungkook replies, smiling as Tae gets closer. He wonders how he manages to look as immaculate as he does at the end of a long day, not a hair out of place or a crease in the light grey suit.

“I am just in time then?” as he reaches the busker, he notes the worn boots and empty water bottle. The transparency of his t-shirt in places is evidence of the hard work he’d put in to practising and Tae wishes that he could ignore the extra saliva in his mouth when he notices a nipple just visible through the fabric.

“In time for what?” Jungkook asks, getting to his feet and gathering his things, remembering to remove his phone from his boot this time, after a previous cracked screen.

Tae puts his hand to his mouth and coughs a few times, then looks at either side of Jungkook’s head, “You’ve, erm… you’ve had your hair done.” It was quite possibly the dumbest thing to say considering the shaved sides visible because of the way he had his hair tied up but his body reacted before he’d put his brain into gear.

Jungkook's mind blanks for a few seconds, confusion replaced with the memory that Marie had only shaved an undercut into his hair a few hours ago, "Oh, yeah! Ash has been going on at me for months about my hair…" he rolls his eyes and sort of laughs as he ties his laces, "... he hates my hair this long, especially when I first wake up."

Tae's brow creases slightly, "when you first wake up? I thought you looked beautiful." He isn't completely sure what that is that he's feeling but it irks him.

Jungkook feels the heat creep into his cheeks, thankfully he's too busy with his boots to see Tae looking at him, which always embarrasses him more, "Yeah, he says my hair looks worse first thing. I've usually laid in bed for a bit and brushed it before I leave my room anyway, he just likes to complain."

"So, Ash doesn't like your hair long? Yet it's still long?" Tae thought that maybe he had missed something.

Jungkook finished with his laces and jumped up, grabbing his bag, "That's because it is my hair and I will do with it whatever I want. Ash said he was pleased to see some of it on the floor and if it's tied back it looks respectable with an undercut. Marie offered to do it so he's off my back for a bit."

"Do you like it?" Tae leaves a quick kiss to his cheek once Jungkook is standing beside him.

“I do but I’m really not that bothered. I like being able to tie it back or have it down but hair is hair.” he shrugs.

“I think it suits you.” Tae is aware that his opinion wasn’t asked for but he chooses to give it anyway. It is a muted version of his opinion because he’s fighting the tingling in his crotch. He had come to realise that he has a particular preference for long hair but couldn’t recall a time when he felt such a physical attraction to someone or maybe it was simply the fact that the only people he's fantasised about were probably models or movie characters playing a particularly rugged role. Purple Aura took charge of an advert for a deodorant called 'RAW' once, the model appeared on the set and Taehyung couldn't help staring. The guy had been extremely tall, muscly with hair down to his shoulders, that was so shiny that it was like a source of light on its own. The stylists dressed him in tight leather trousers that revealed the definition of his thighs, a gold vest, torn in places to show the tanned skin underneath and a leather waistcoat. The model was stunning and the look tapped into every wild fantasy that Taehyung had, the fantasies of being thrown over someone's shoulder and fucked until he couldn't walk. He watched the photoshoot, daydreaming while everyone got on with their jobs, not really needed but there to oversee. That was one occasion that he'd been tempted to mix business with pleasure but thankfully had decided to stick by his rule. When the shoot was finished, the model disappeared to get changed and reappeared with a bald head, thick rimmed glasses, wearing an outfit that made him look like a professor, twenty years older than he was. His friends had found the situation highly amusing, with Jin informing Taehyung that the model shaves his head and usually wears wigs for work, as well as contact lenses. Jin told his friend that the model liked to be versatile, enjoying how different he looked with each job. The CEO was just thankful that he hadn't approached the guy at all.

As they walk side by side through the gates, their fingertips meet and they automatically intertwine their fingers, pressing their palms together. Jungkook is sure that his palm is clammy but he likes the way their hands fit together and how natural this feels, "You do? You like it?" He responds to Tae. It surprises him that the CEO likes his hair, he obviously spends a lot of time and effort on his own appearance.

Just as they reach the car, Tae pauses as he is about to open the door for Jungkook, he brushes a few unruly strands of hair from his face, the touch is so tender that his boyfriend closes his eyes briefly, "I do like it, very much." His voice is soft as he leans in and presses a gentle kiss to Jungkook’s lips before he opens the passenger door.

As he fastens his seat belt he thinks about how he's not really used to light-headedness, unless it's because he's consumed too much alcohol, stood up too quickly or pushed himself during a heavy dance practice session, yet it appears to be happening frequently around Taehyung. He looks over at his boyfriend as he pulls away from the kerb into the light traffic, he doesn't really know much about art but he thinks that Tae’s side profile with the city lights illuminating different parts of his face, would attract a lot of attention as a portrait hanging on the wall of an art gallery.

"Would you like me to take you straight home or would you like to get some food, if you haven't already eaten?"

"I've already eaten. I… umm… I ate earlier at the diner… but thanks."

The truth of the matter was that he knew he'd more or less spent the rest of his money on the water and he couldn't accept an invitation for dinner, if he couldn't even offer to pay for his share. The situation weighed heavy in his stomach, he couldn't bring himself to enter into something where he didn't have anything to give back or at least compromise with.

"It was a bit spontaneous so I suspected that you may have already eaten or have plans. Perhaps if you're free, I could pick you up one evening and you could come back to my place for dinner?"

The car rolled into the parking space at the apartment block where Jungkook lives and Tae stops the engine, unclipping his belt and turning to face his boyfriend.

Jungkook looks out of the window, he hadn't realised they'd arrived at his place but he wasn't really paying attention to the road, "That's a lot of effort when you've been working all day, Tae. I could get the bus to yours, I will see what time the night buses start, to get home."

Tae reaches out a hand and takes hold of the hand resting on Jungkook’s thigh, "I can easily pick you up, it isn't effort and… why don't you stay the night? I could drop you home or to work or school the next morning?"

"I'd like to cook for you if I stay… you have a lovely kitchen so I'd like to use it again." He wasn't being untruthful, he meant every word of it, he was simply not giving his boyfriend the other version of the truth.

Tae smiles, "I'm pleased it's getting used properly. Perhaps you could give me lessons?"

"Lessons on cooking?"

"You are very good in the kitchen, Jungkook."

He's thankful for the lack of light in the car because he knows he's blushing, "The pizza was tasty."

With an eyebrow raised and a smirk on his lips, Tae places a hand on Jungkook’s jaw, the pad of his thumb lightly brushing across his plump bottom lip, “Pizza wasn’t the only thing you tasted though, was it?”

Jungkook needs to pull himself together and stop being so damn flustered by words. He’s always been like this and it drives him insane at times, easily embarrassed unless he’s in the throws of arousal, “The salad was pretty good too.”

Tae brings their faces closer together, he wonders at what point they both alter their persona’s, another mystery to solve as he tries to work out how to make this man switch, “As was the garlic bread but you didn’t actually eat any of that whilst in the kitchen, Jungkook.”

Once again he's grateful for the dim lighting as his adams apple bobs when he swallowed thickly. When words fail him (which isn't that often), he chooses to act, he can feel Tae's breath on him as he moves in to connect their lips, bringing his hand up to rest his fingers on his boyfriend's nape. It isn't the easiest angle as they close their eyes and their tongues tangle. They feed each other harsh breaths and whimpers as the need to deepen the kiss intensifies. Tae finds himself pushing into it, encouraged by the hand on his neck that is bringing him closer. It's inelegant and clumsy the way he crosses the centre console into Jungkook’s lap, his suit trousers were certainly not tailored to allow for this extreme movement but neither pay any attention once he's finally seated and kissing Jungkook with vigour. The air in the car is thick with gruff breaths and throaty moans, Jungkook’s hands squeezing the thighs either side of him before they move to embrace the fleshy buttocks of his boyfriend. Tae raises himself up marginally so he can lick down into Jungkook’s mouth, his fingers exploring the shortened hair around the base of his skull, it spikes his arousal further and he struggles to ignore the extreme tightness in his pants.

The windows are misted, their faces flushed when they have to come up for air, "I'm free Thursday." Jungkook breathes out, it gives him time to sort out what he's going to cook. He wants to get out of the car, throw Tae over his shoulder and march him to his bedroom right this minute but he knows Ash is home and their walls are paper thin.

Tae smiles, his eyes are heavy as he leans in to leave a modest kiss on his boyfriend's lips, "I will look at my diary and call you tomorrow with a time to pick you up. Where will you be?”

“Here. I have rehearsal in the morning then a lunchtime shift at the diner, so I will be home after 4:30.” His hands slide up to the small of Tae’s back and he pulls him close.

“Where would you like to be dropped off on Friday morning?” it’s strange to feel so at home in someone’s lap, it’s a whole different level of comfort when you can hold a conversation embroiled in such intimacy.

“At the diner, please, I have a morning shift before heading into uni for a couple of hours.” Jungkook has a meeting with a couple of his tutors to discuss his trip to Europe. He didn't want to accept or reject Tae’s invitation until he was one hundred percent sure. He is grateful that the CEO hasn’t brought it up again, he had wondered whether there was a certain time or date that he had to know by, in order to book an extra seat on the plane but the fact he hadn’t mentioned it Jungkook presumed meant that it wasn’t an issue.

“Are you working this weekend?” he reaches up and twists a loose strand of hair around his forefinger, he likes how Jungkook’s hair goes wavy when damp.

“I have an early shift on Saturday through to three and nothing on Sunday. Do you have work at the weekend?” he still doesn’t really know what Taehyung does, aside from run the company.

“I have a full schedule this week which will probably overflow into the weekend. I need to ensure work is at a satisfactory point before next week.” he doesn’t want to push Jungkook, he is desperate to know whether he will be accompanying him but he is also aware that he told him to think about it and let him know.

“When do you go?” he really does need to know so that he knows how much time he has.

“My flight is early Thursday morning. I would like to spend some time with you before then.” he thinks that after the reaction to the invitation on the yacht and the general feeling to this conversation, it would be better to proceed as if he will be travelling alone.

Tae is a little surprised when Jungkook sits forwards, presses his lips to his cheek, to the corner of his jaw and speaks quietly in his ear, "I will make a decision, it's just… I have a lot to consider."

The CEO wraps his arms around his boyfriend and holds him close, turning his head to whisper back in his ear, "There's no pressure, Jungkook." He means it, he doesn't understand what 'a lot' means or what it entails given that Jungkook only has university and the diner in comparison to everything Tae has to organise… but the way the words are spoken, the way Jungkook is allowing himself to be held, tells Tae that there is more to it, he just can't begin to imagine what.

Jungkook feels relieved, he expected Tae to be pushy and overbearing but he is quite often far from that. The busker can make himself feel like he's backed into a corner, it doesn't take much so he's grateful that on this occasion, he is able to come to a decision without pressure being applied, "thank you." Two simple words but heartfelt when spoken.

The minutes that follow are quiet, a tranquillity surrounding them both, light, gentle kisses, lips brushing against skin as they explore each other's neck and jaw in the semi darkness. Time appears unmoving, both intoxicated by the other in a sensual bubble. The sound of Tae's stomach grumbling disturbs the serenity and he grins, "I should get going."

"Yeah, I should shower, anyway." It doesn't escape Jungkook that neither of them make the effort to move straight away.

Tae leans forwards and lightly brushes the tip of his nose along Jungkook’s jaw before he reaches for the door and pushes it open, managing to climb out with more finesse than when he clambered across from the driver's seat. He straightens himself out, smoothing down his suit as Jungkook gets out of the car, not missing the opportunity to kiss him on the cheek before he closes the door and walks around to the other side.

***

“Tonight.” Namjoon’s voice echoed around the empty room as he cast an eye around the open space of the disused building that was rapidly becoming the youth centre.

“What time does he land?” Yoongi had asked Namjoon to look at the place so that he could start looking for ideas to decorate and furnish it.

“2am or something like that. Is Mochi going to book lunch tomorrow?”

Yoongi nods in reply, “He’s going to book L’Escala but if Jin gets in at 2am tomorrow morning, maybe we should make an early dinner reservation instead?”

“He would probably prefer that, I don’t think any of us need a tired model on our hands. I’ll tell him, I’ve got a driver picking him up from the airport to take him to his place.”

“Hobi won’t make it tomorrow night, he’s got mid-term exams at EGO. I’ll phone him on Friday and fill him in.”

“So, once we’ve had dinner tomorrow night, the plan is to speak to Tae?” Namjoon tapped away on the tablet in his hand, lost in thought while staring at the area designated to be the foyer.

“Yeah, which isn’t going to be easy, Tae flies out on Thursday. He’s going to be busy because as soon as he’s back, the Moonchild advert is due to be filmed.”

“That reminds me, I need to pin down delivery of the throne, it’s going to arrive while he’s in London. I had problems with the colour of the seat. How difficult is it to know what colour platinum is?” Namjoon shook his head at the memory of the countless emails and sighs when he relives the moment he’d received the fifth swatch of fabric to be returned.

Yoongi scoffed, “You should talk to Mini about colour problems, he had a nightmare with a dressmaker recently who got Amethyst and Emerald mixed up, he was pulling his hair out.”

Namjoon looked at Yoongi with a look of complete disbelief, “A dressmaker mixed up purple and green?”

“Indeed they did.”

“I don’t even want to ask how someone could do that, especially in that line of work and we all know that Mochi doesn’t use just anyone. I bet your place was fun to be in while that was going on.”

“I don’t know what you mean.” Yoongi grinned.

“That smile on your face says otherwise, Yoon.”

“You know what Mini is like and you know the best way to calm him down when he’s stressing, it goes from a sarcastic ‘fun’ to actual ‘fun’ very quickly.”

“You are the only person that I know, that actually likes his partner being stressed out.” Namjoon laughs.

“I do not like him being stressed, it isn’t good for his hair and skin or so he says and Mini with a skin breakout is not fun.”

“Just stressed enough so you can fuck it out of him, then?”

“That’s the one… and don’t throw me under the bus this time! You caused me so much grief that night.”

Namjoon laughs more, “Oh stop it! Mochi threw a tantrum, you begged for forgiveness and you were at it all night.”

“How do you know so much about my relationship?”

“Because you two have always been an open book and so easy to read. Plus we’ve known you forever and neither of you are discreet about anything.”

“I can’t really argue with that. Hobi is still with Emery, did you hear about the roses?”

“That was the sweetest thing, even I was a bit emotional when Seok told me. He’s never had anyone do that before.”

“It gave me an idea for my new years proposal. I have spoken to the hotel and they are putting a coloured rose with a balloon in the room, one for each colour of the rainbow.”

“You are too soft! Mochi is going to be a real mess and he will hate you for it at first, you know that, right?”

“I’m prepared. So, did EGO win one or two awards that night?” Yoongi asks.

“It won both the awards it was put in for. One was best dance establishment and Seok was thrilled. It was the day after, that two dozen yellow and blue roses were delivered from Emery.”

“Hobi was emotional when he told me, I think Emery is good for him, he deserves to be spoiled, he works so hard.”

“Emery’s a nice guy too, it’s about time Seok found someone like him. They’ve been spending a lot of time together and so far so good. They could be our next engagement after yours. Next year could be expensive.”

“Don’t bother with any engagement presents, we’ll have a meal when we get back and you lot can foot the bill. Save the presents for the wedding.”

Namjoon huffed a laugh, “You are joking, right? Mochi will want an engagement party and presents.”

“Not if I tell him we will get married as soon as possible, he won’t.”

“Please let me know when that is happening so I can leave the country for a while. Good luck with Bride and Groom-Zilla rolled into one.”

“He won’t be that bad, I’ve already decided he can do whatever he wants. I’m not bothered about where or what colour my underwear will be, I’m just excited about standing up in front of everyone and telling Mini how much I love him, making him mine forever.”

“Ewwww, mushy Honsool.”

“When are you going to find someone to fall in love with so we can rip the piss out of you?”

“There’s too much Joon to go around and too many people I haven’t met.”

“Will you bring Jo to the meal where we let Tae know that the guy he’s seeing is a fraud?”

“If Hobi brings Emery, I might do. I can’t believe that Tae even likes the guy, how did that even happen?”

Yoongi crossed the room to stand opposite the entrance, “No one knows? Mini is convinced it’s just lust because the guy is pretty and he’s up Tae’s street but the fact that he’s some poor common beggar, should have been enough to put Tae off, surely? I’d have thought the minute he opened his mouth that Tae would’ve run a mile, let alone when he found out he works at that diner.”

“The guy isn’t that pretty. He hadn’t even fucked him when I spoke to him so I don’t get it. On the bright side, he’s got that business trip next week so with a few thousand miles between them, it’ll give Tae time to think about what he’s doing. I just hope he sees sense, I really don’t want him to get hurt.”

“That’s the point of all this, none of us want to see him hurt, he’s a great guy with a big heart. Mochi isn’t sleeping well because he’s worried about him and Jin cancelled a shoot to get back here. I hope we aren’t too late and Jungkook hasn’t conned him out of too much money by now.”

“Let’s hope not. Is that where the reception desk is going?” Namjoon gestured towards the spot where Yoongi is standing.

“Yeah, on the rough floor plan this is the reception and waiting area. What do you think about furnishings?”

Talk turned to couches and bean bags as Namjoon scoured the area and made notes. Usually when he did a job for someone, depending on how high profile it was, he would come across their old furnishings and because they didn’t need it anymore, would ask Namjoon to arrange disposal of it. The people he dealt with renewed couches and redecorated so regularly that the items to be binned were always good quality, which he thought could be perfect for the youth centre. It wasn't his usual type of job but he enjoyed a challenge and this would definitely be a challenge. He was tasked with making an impression on little to no budget, to ensure that the overall look was appealing to a wide range of ages, whilst being robust and timeless too. For Namjoon, it was a break from the norm and a chance to work with his friends for a good cause and he was enjoying the experience.

Yoongi was excited about being involved with the centre, he’d known a few people who could’ve done with a place like this over the years, particularly when they were in high school, being privileged didn't mean you didn't have identity crises or other problems. It also gave him something to do for the community in between comebacks and performances. The record company knew that by having ‘Honsool’ as the face of the project, it would entice young people in and hopefully they could reach more people that way, it also attracted sponsors and the more money they had, the less likely that closure would be a risk in the future. Yoongi was also glad that his friends were so supportive, each of them getting involved in whatever capacity they were able to and he was thankful for that. Neither him or Jimin saw children in their future, the closest they'd come was to discuss getting a cat but they'd decided against that too, so the centre was an opportunity to help young people without having them under their feet, it suited them both.

Chapter Text

Thursday mornings were not usually something to feel remotely good about but this one would lead to this afternoon when Taehyung would be stopping by Jungkook’s place to pick him up for the evening. He had been rushed off of his feet, worked until 11pm last night and had to make do with texts to his boyfriend because he couldn’t find enough time to make a call. After the heated moment in his car on Monday evening, he hadn’t really thought about much else and was at times thankful that he was so busy with work or he would probably be daydreaming all day. Despite being busy, Stefan had dropped a few quiet comments about him appearing to be happy and one particular comment about heart eyes which Taehyung Googled because it wasn’t something he was familiar with. Once he knew what it meant, he was led on a train of thought as to whether he’d ever had heart eyes before or whether anyone else would notice? He also felt considerably idiotic for not making the connection with emoji that he has seen in the options on his phone… the one with the actual hearts as eyes. Instead he was secretly relieved that he opted to do his research in private instead of asking Stefan.

KTH
Good morning. Best of luck for rehearsal today.

The morning text had become a habit, it had tiptoed its way in and planted itself firmly during the teeth cleaning process. The reply that followed didn't appear to be at any particular time and Taehyung always presumed it was dependent on whether Jungkook was busking, at the diner or going to classes and at weekends it seemed to be whenever he woke up unless he was working at Dinos.

JK
Thanks. Have a good day. See you later.

JK
Do you like spice?

KTH
I do like it spicy, Jungkook.

JK
Food?

KTH
Not particularly.

JK
Okay, that’s good to know. See you later.

Tae smiles as he gets out of his car and walks towards his building, he does like it when he starts the day with a conversation with Jungkook, no matter how brief. He doesn’t have a great deal of time to moon about though because he has a conference call in an hour, followed by a string of meetings which means he won’t get to eat lunch. He knows that by the time he leaves to collect Jungkook, he will be hungry and tired but knowing that he gets to spend the night with his boyfriend sends a spark of excitement through him.

***

The sweat was pouring from him after rehearsal and they had overrun the time too so he didn’t have time to go home and shower before heading to the diner. Thankfully, a call to Marie and he was cheerfully humming his way down the street, earphones in, the beat pounding through the right side and a little sigh when there’s nothing coming from the left. When he’d been at work yesterday, Marie told him he could use the kitchen to prepare the ingredients for his meal with Tae but after the texts early this morning, the planned Jjampong would have to be scrapped as he is sure that it would be too spicy for the CEO. He’d explained to Marie on the phone after rehearsal, asking for suggestions and she told him not to panic because she had an idea and had everything he needs, so he felt a big sense of relief as he made his way there. Learning to accept help and support is a work in progress but Billy and Marie have proven to be so constant in his life that there came a point when he had to lower his defences and let them in. They work hard to maintain his trust, wanting him to lean on them because when they first met him he seemed so alone, aside from his friendship with Ash. Marie says that the boys awoke her maternal side and during a heart to heart with Jungkook one day, she told him that she didn't really know how to be a Mother and so they could learn together. Jungkook hasn't ever forgotten it and they made a pact that day, forging a relationship that neither would be without now.

"Hey Billy." Jungkook greeted the man standing behind the counter.

"I've left you my shower gel… he won't be able to keep his hands off ya." Billy chuckled as he wiggles his eyebrows.

"Are you sure that you aren't related to Ash?" Jungkook gives a little shake of his head, with a small smile on his lips.

"Is he picking you up from here?"

"No, I'm going home and he's getting me at about five he said."

"I look forward to meeting the man that's put that dopey smile on your face." Billy chuckled again before moving out from behind the counter, placing a hand on Jungkook’s shoulder and giving it a squeeze as he walked towards the diner kitchen.

Jungkook rolls his eyes, "The thought of introducing him to you guys is terrifying, honestly." He calls out behind Billy who laughs more.

Jungkook goes to the door in the back and climbs the narrow stairs that wind around to the right where there is another door. He enters the pass code and shouts out "Hey" as he closes it behind him.

The living area upstairs has always felt homely to Jungkook, largely due to the decor, everything is so warm. The living area is open plan and a relatively large space. The kitchen is tucked away, almost separate, as the area is enclosed by worktops where the room narrows. The remaining space is the living area which houses the dining room table and chairs, plus a sofa and Billy's armchair and everything else that you would usually have in a lounge. It could be viewed as being cramped but the layout of the furniture and the fact that is so spacious means that it never feels like that. The two bedrooms are relatively small, so is the bathroom but it has everything they need and is home, they have always said.

"Fresh towels in the bathroom for you." Marie says as Jungkook finds her in the kitchen.

"Thank you. I'll be quick."

"Take your time."

"Marie, I have a shift downstairs and I still need to sort out dinner."

"Billy is downstairs, if it gets too busy he will call up and dinner is mostly ready."

"It is?"

"After your call this morning, I looked at what I had in and thought bibimbap would be a good choice? You'd already brought over a lot of veggies and I have some belly pork which you can have instead of the seafood"

"That’s great, thanks. Will you use the seafood?" Jungkook had managed to get all the ingredients, more or less for the jjampong, which now had to be changed.

"I will, I'll make a batch of jjampong. You and Ash can take some home tomorrow and you know that Billy will wolf it down."

Jungkook laughs, "yeah, he loves the spicy stuff."

"Now, go and have a shower. I'll show you what I've done when you smell better."

Jungkook smiled and headed through to the bathroom, laughing to himself when he saw Billy's shower gel placed where he wouldn't be able to miss it. He is looking forward to seeing Tae, it was good to see him on Monday when he showed up at the park and Jungkook would be lying if he said he hadn’t felt a huge rush of warmth at the fact that he’d stopped by without even knowing that he would definitely still be there. The sexual attraction was now undeniable, his head was spinning after the intimacy in the car, how the CEO switches and becomes so pliant, the way he climbs into his lap and is so soft, it brings out a confidence in Jungkook that he very much likes.

After his shower, he changes into the clean EGO t-shirt and sweatpants he’d taken to rehearsal, wishing that he’d thought about showering here earlier because he could have been better prepared. He stuffs his combats and vest into his bag and goes out to find Marie busy in the kitchen, humming to a song on the radio while she chops mushrooms on a board.

“Feel better?” she asks, without turning around.

“Yeah, thanks. Don’t tell Billy but his gel doesn’t smell as bad as I thought.”

Marie laughs, “It can be our secret. I’m glad it smells okay, I bought it for him because the one he used before that really was awful. Come here and I’ll show you what I’ve done.”

Jungkook walks over and stands slightly behind Marie as she opens up each plastic pot and points inside, she knows that he knows what each ingredient looks like but she tells him anyway. He is just grateful that she has saved the day, there wouldn’t be that much to do once he got to Tae’s but he was pleased that he was going to be providing dinner.

“Why isn’t your man taking you out for dinner instead of you cooking it?” she asks.

“Because he’s picking me up and dropping me off tomorrow morning, so I’m doing dinner.”

“Oh so it’s just you being silly?”

“I’m not being silly, I just want to feel like I’m not taking, all the time. I don’t have anything to offer him but I can cook so it’s my way of giving back.”

“Why would you think that you don't have anything to offer him?"

"Really? My excess at the end of a week is usually enough to mean I can get a smoothie from that little place I like or enough so Ash and I can get some beers. It would take me months to save for the kind of meal that he’s used to.”

“Relationships are about balance and what he can offer you financially, you can offer him in being who you are. Jungkookie, you need to try and avoid seeing money as being the main issue all the time. I understand what is driving this and why you feel the way you do and why you feel that you need to protect yourself but are you being fair to him by tarring him with that brush?”

Jungkook leaned against the kitchen counter, “I don’t see how I can avoid it? The man oozes wealth, it’s everywhere so I have to be guarded."

Marie looked at Jungkook with the softest expression, a slight smile on her lips, eyes kind, "He might ooze wealth but he obviously cares about you so maybe give him a chance huh? There must be times when you are together where money doesn't even enter into the situation?"

"There are times like that, when he's just a normal guy."

"How does he make you feel when you are together at those times?"

"I feel like someone in the throws of a new relationship. He makes me feel like… I don't know? Desired? Wanted? Important?"

"Isn't that what you need to concentrate on? How would he answer that question if I asked him?” Marie knew that she was probably pushing him a little but she’d seen a new kind of happiness creep into his life and she didn’t want him to ruin it because of being driven by fear.

Jungkook put his hands in the air and shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know? I try to show him that I want to be with him, I accepted the step up from dating to being his boyfriend so that must say something?”

“It’s going to take time for you to let him in and you feel he needs to prove himself and that’s all okay… but don’t lose him in the process… he might be the one, Jungkookie.” Marie put her arm around him, it wasn’t very often that she used a pet name for him but when she wanted to get a point across she thought it was a good way to keep softness in the conversation.

“I still don’t know what he wants from me.”

“Maybe he wants to be loved, just like we all do? You are a handsome man, why is it so impossible to believe that it was love at first sight for him?”

“Have you been reading those romance novels again? Or is it another K-Drama?”

“Cheeky!” she gave him the biggest smile and squeezed his shoulder before going back to chopping, she wasn’t going to push him any more than she had.

****

“Coffee?”

“Yoon! Are you trying to give me a heart attack?”

“Definitely not, you know I couldn’t survive without you, Mini.”

Jimin melted at the words of his boyfriend as his heart rate returned to normal. He’d left Serendipity early to work from home and was engrossed in a particular design, music playing quietly in the background, fully focused when Yoongi appeared in the room, home from his day.

“I spoke to Jin earlier, he was still in bed, he’s jet lagged but will be at L’Escala on time and yes please to the coffee.”

Yoongi crossed the room and bent down to kiss his man, “He won’t be on time.”

“Of course not, he’s never on time. Do you remember that show in Tokyo where he was late for the catwalk and the announcer had to adlib for a couple of minutes?”

“I remember us in the bathtub in the Marunouchi suite at the Peninsula."

"The Tokyo skyline looked even better from my viewpoint pressed up against the windows, too."

Yoongi combed his fingers through Jimin’s hair, "we should definitely go back there, maybe try the other suite? We've not been to Japan for a while."

"I'll see if there are any clients I can meet up with in the new year. We could go for Valentines, I know it's five months away but it will be good to have something to look forward to once awards season is over. You could meet with the producer at Shadow Japan, you've been meaning to get a Japanese album sorted for ages."

Yoongi liked that idea a lot, his record label, Shadow Sounds, have been encouraging him to meet with the Japanese producer for ages so he could certainly mix some business into the trip. "You are a genius, Mini. Leave it with me. I'll go and make that coffee while you finish up here or we'll be late for dinner and we'll never hear the end of it if Jin gets there before us."

“I can leave this here, I’ll come and give you a hand.”

“With the coffee or…?” Yoongi winked at his beautiful boyfriend who had a big grin on his face.

“With anything you want.” Jimin said in response, pushing out from his desk and standing to follow Yoongi out of the room.

***

“Excuse me, Sir, Mr Kim?” Stefan popped his head around the door to the CEO’s office.

Taehyung looks up from his computer, “Yes, Stefan?”

“There have been a few schedule changes to your trip, I will email them across to you.”

“Do the changes affect the dates of travel?”

“No, Sir, the length of the trip remains the same and you depart as already arranged. There has been an extension to one of the meetings, they have asked you to take the presentation on the Monday morning, there is now a scheduled dinner at La Gavroche on Sunday evening and the conference call on Saturday afternoon has been cancelled.”

Taehyung appeared deep in thought as he listened to his P.A, “La Gavroche? I must ensure my French is up to date then, it’s been some time since I’ve had to speak it. What time is the flight back on Monday?”

“Your return flight is at 00:30 on Tuesday, Mr Kim, Sir.”

“Can you please arrange for the car to bring me straight here once I land?”

“Would you not rather go home and get some sleep, Sir? You won’t get here until about 8pm, if I may be so bold and say that it would indeed be better to go home and sleep.”

The CEO takes a minute to think about it, “Thank you, Stefan, it would probably be better if I go straight home and come in early Wednesday morning.”

“Do you know if you are travelling alone?”

“Would you like to come in properly and close the door behind you?”

Stefan moved quickly out of the doorway and closed the door, walking to the desk, “Sorry, Mr Kim, Sir.”

Taehyung waved away the apology with his hand, “It isn’t worthy of an apology, Stefan. I still don’t know whether my business trip includes Jungkook, he hasn’t said very much at all but I am presuming that I will be travelling alone.”

The smile falls from Stefan's face as he's been hoping for better news, “That is a shame. It might be short notice for him?”

“That is very true, on both counts. What time do I arrive in London on Thursday?”

“You arrive in London at approximately 4am BST and the car will take you to the Lanesborough hotel.”

“Why aren’t I staying at the Mandarin Oriental? That’s where I stayed last time and I didn’t have any complaints.”

“I have been communicating with the hotel regarding their Presidential suite featuring in an advert for the ‘Scent of America’ perfume because the company is based in London. I thought it would be beneficial for you to stay there and booked you the Buckingham suite.”

“That sounds like a reasonable explanation. Good work, Stefan, I am impressed with your thought process, it could prove to be rather lucrative.”

“Thank you, Sir. The hotel is extremely impressive and I am sure it will be a lovely stay. I will keep my fingers crossed that you will have company in the suite.”

“I am not a believer in crossing fingers, I feel it could be a poor use of your time and make typing difficult.”

Stefan didn’t know whether his boss was being serious or not. There were times when he portrayed himself to be super intelligent and when it came to business there wasn’t any question, however, there were also times when he came across as lacking common sense and wasn’t really streetwise at all. During his conversations with the CEO he had come to realise that he was a gentle man who simply wasn’t very good with people on a personal level and wasn’t very adept at dealing with feelings or perhaps the main point was that he wasn't admitting his true feelings to himself. He often thought about their chats in great detail afterwards, it wasn’t always a simple task to get to the crux of what his boss was getting at and he often seemed to speak in bullet points, stating facts with little of his own thoughts and feelings included. Stefan could see that there had been progression from the first time the CEO confided in him so he had hopes that would continue.

“Well, I will cross my fingers anyway, Mr Kim, you never know.” he said before turning to walk towards the door.

“I will be leaving here very soon, please take any messages and I will deal with them tomorrow. There shouldn’t be anything urgent. Make sure you get out of here on time please and I will be hand delivering that contract to Maynards on my way to collect Jungkook.”

“Okay, Sir. Have a nice evening.”

Taehyung has noticed that Stefan has been getting to work earlier and leaving late. He is well aware that while he is away, his P.A will have more work to do and as impressed as he is by the young man, he doesn't want him to burn himself out or get to the point where he wants to leave the company. He considers finding out a bit more about him, hoping he could find a way to reward him for his efforts, not to mention how often Taehyung has taken up his time to have a non business conversation. Thoughts are running through his mind when he checks the time on his computer screen and decides enough is enough, he has worked solidly over the last few days in the vain hope that he won't be overloaded with a backlog when he returns from London, even though he will still be working from there.

In the elevator on the way down, he hears a couple of people talking about the new machine in the staff area and they stop their conversation as soon as they see that it is the CEO who has joined them, "Please, continue." He says.

"Good afternoon, Mr Kim, Sir."

Taehyung sighs, he does wonder why the staff persist with both 'Sir' and 'Mr Kim', it's one thing that he can't get a definitive answer to and yet everyone seems to do it, "Good afternoon, can I presume that the new machine is a welcome addition to the staff area?"

The petite blonde nods her head quickly and looks at her colleague who also nods, "Oh yes it is a really good machine and the selection of sandwiches is very good."

The CEO is pleased, particularly after the debacle with the coffee machine, "You know where my office is, if there is an issue, I would expect you to make me aware of it. If I am not in my office, my P.A is rather approachable."

The two ladies bow several times as the elevator doors open, chiming together, "Thank you, Sir. Have a good evening, Mr Kim, Sir."

Taehyung exits the elevator with a smile on his face, greeting the doorman as he leaves the building, a fuzzy warm feeling in his stomach as he looks forward to spending the evening with Jungkook.

***

"Tonight does feel a bit strange, I mean, having a meal to discuss Tae." Jimin gives Yoongi a glance as he buckles himself into their car.

"I know and you're right but what are the other options?" Yoongi responds to his boyfriend.

"There aren't any and we need to see what the others think, as well as getting our facts straight before we tell Tae." Jimin says with concern.

"That's what is frustrating, we have things to tell them but some of that is what we haven't been able to find out, which I think speaks volumes as well. Who is untraceable these days?"

"When searches come up without even a hint, then I think there's a problem. He has to be hiding something."

The car weaves in and out of the traffic, the roads full of commuters heading home for the day. When they pull up at L'Escala, the car park is quiet and they are greeted by a very tall man who smiles as they walk the short distance to the entrance. Neither Yoongi or Jimin are surprised to learn that they are the first to arrive and after the restaurant manager has hugged and kissed Jimin several times, she shows them to their table.

"It's a good thing that I'm not the jealous type." Yoongi says as they sit down.

"Or perhaps it's just lucky for you that I'm very much besotted with you and rather gay." Jimin smiles.

They order drinks and check the time, granted they are early but they are fully expecting Namjoon to arrive next and for Jin to arrive fashionably late, as always… then they can hopefully make a start and once Tae knows the situation, they won't have to hear the name 'Jungkook' ever again.

Chapter Text

When Jungkook left the diner, he had a bag full of food and a head full of the conversation he’d had with Marie. The walk back to his apartment was a good dose of fresh air and the music flowing into his right ear wasn’t enough to distract him from considering whether he was being fair to Taehyung or not. He couldn’t deny that the CEO was trying, the effort he’d made after the incident when he thought he’d been ghosted was clear to see with texts every morning and throughout the day, phone calls and turning up when there was a chance Jungkook wouldn’t even be there. It wasn’t easy to see past the wealth though, it was so prominent and at times it overshadowed everything and he knows that money is a priority for people like Taehyung. Money buys him whatever he wants, he can go wherever he wants, he never has financial worries and Jungkook knows that money is more important than anything and anyone and it doesn’t matter what he does, he could never compete with that.

When he'd packed his bag and received the text to say that his boyfriend was on his way, he went straight downstairs to wait. He smiled as the bright red Ferrari pulled up and he climbed in, Taehyung greeting him with a kiss to his cheek before the drive back to the luxury apartment suite. The traffic was light and Tae whizzed through what traffic there was, general chatter about anything that came to mind. As they parked, the CEO asked about his day and Jungkook told him all about the rehearsal and how they were going to be doing one of the dances as part of a showcase at university.

"You will be performing one of the routines from Chicago?" Taehyung listened animatedly as Jungkook spoke, he liked hearing him talk in such a relaxed manor.

"Yeah, the showcase is for prospective students so they want us to show what we do. We are altering it slightly because our dance teacher doesn't want to give away an element of the show."

They continued talking as the private elevator reached Taehyung’s level and they entered the apartment. It was strange for Jungkook to feel somewhat at home in such a place, it still gave him hotel suite vibes but he liked being here with Tae. After removing his trainers that Ash had given him, he hesitated before going through to the kitchen, a moment where he was on autopilot but brought himself back to feeling that maybe he should ask if it's okay to go through. He reminded himself what his boyfriend told him last time he was here, that he should feel at home and treat it as his own, so in a split second he'd done a complete 360 and headed for the kitchen anyway, followed by Tae.

"Can't you do a specific routine for the showcase?" Tae spoke while removing his tie and unfastening his waistcoat, relieved to be home.

"We still have a lot to master with the Chicago performance so learning something new now would be a big ask." He placed the bag on the island in the middle of the kitchen and proceeded to unload the many tubs of food.

"That is understandable. Couldn’t you use an old routine? The people attending the event wouldn't know it was from a past performance, you would know it and it wouldn't detract at all from Chicago."

"That would have made more sense to be honest. It's not for a month or so, we will see what happens."

Tae watched Jungkook as he organised all the tubs and went through drawers and cupboards to get whatever it was that he needed, “Would you mind if I showered and changed? I could do with getting out of this suit.”

“No I don't mind. If I am supposed to feel at home here then you should be able to feel at home with me being here and do whatever you normally do.” he says with a slight shrug of his shoulders.

The CEO caught Jungkook by the hand as he walked past him, pulling him in so they were chest to chest, “My normality is being here alone and there are some things that are much more fun with two.”

Ugh! Jungkook was powerless to prevent the heat from bleeding into his cheeks because he suspected that Tae was being his usual suggestive self, “You know what I mean.” he said, giving Tae’s hand a little squeeze.

One side of Tae’s mouth curled upwards and he tilted his head to one side, “Oh I know but I’m quite fond of this reaction.” he reached up and he stroked Jungkook’s cheek with the back of his hand.

The busker rolls his eyes and smiles just before he moves forwards and pecks his boyfriend on the lips which leads to a soft and gentle kiss, mouths moving with the synchronicity of an olympic swim team. After one more peck on the lips and a kiss on the cheek, Tae heads off to shower and change, Jungkook left to calm his heart rate and bring himself back down to earth. It takes several minutes before Jungkook realises that he's been staring at the empty doorway like an idiot, shaking his head at himself and tutting. He refocuses and gets to work on cooking the chopped belly pork in a griddle pan while pushing some julienne carrots in a wok, followed by mushrooms, beansprouts and some spinach. He loves the colours of the vegetables as he spoons steamed rice into two bowls, layers the belly pork, vegetables, seasoned seaweed, the sauce he made without gochujang because he thought that would be too spicy and fries two eggs which he puts on top. He leaves the two bowls on the worktop while he loads the dishwasher and tidies up, deciding to mix the bibimbap once Tae is ready.

***

Namjoon, Jimin and Yoongi all have expressions of un-amusement on their faces as Jin shows up twenty three minutes late. They are also not surprised so they also wonder why it bothers them given the fact that it was to be expected. The only relief is derived from it being only Jin that is late and they are not left waiting for Hobi too and Namjoon pleased that he was only eight minutes late for once.

"Please tell me that you ordered the ‘Gaja, Gaia and Rey’?” Jin says as he saunters in and takes a seat next to Namjoon and opposite Yoongi and Jimin.

“Yes, we did, they were waiting for you to arrive.” Yoongi says while putting his hand in the air to get the attention of the server.

“I’m impressed. Have you ordered food or do I have to have input?”

“We took the liberty of ordering food for you. The manager wanted to provide the meal, they have a new head chef and she wants to get in Mochi’s pants.” Namjoon ignores the look he gets from Yoongi as the server comes over.

“Joon, jealousy is remarkably ugly on you.” Jimin adds.

Namjoon responds with a laugh as Jin takes a sip of the wine that has been poured into his glass. The server returns with various dipping oils and a variety of enriched focaccia, as well as a whole host of anti-pasti items that create a feast in the middle of the table.

“So that we are all on the same page, I think we should start from the beginning." Jin says as he places his glass down.

"That would be the charity event, correct?" Namjoon asks, while stabbing a black olive with a small wooden pick.

"Yes, that's the first time we all had the misfortune of meeting the beggar." Jimin sighs.

"I seriously cannot fathom how Tae got himself into a situation where he thought bringing a beggar to an event, as a date of all things, was a good idea?" Namjoon, Yoongi and Jimin all nod in agreement at Jin’s words.

"I don't get it. When Hobi and I went to Aura to see him he said he'd handled the situation badly and that he liked the guy. They'd been seeing each other for months and Tae told us that it all started on what's his name's terms."

Yoongi took a deep breath and swallowed the sundried tomatoes he had in his mouth, "Since when does Tae do something just because it's someone's terms? This is because of a tip or something, right?"

Namjoon nods, "Yeah, he said something about the guy only accepting the tip if he went for a drink with him."

"That’s genius, really, don't you think?" Jimin shook his head in disbelief, "think about it, he makes it look like he won't accept the money which makes Tae think he isn't a gold digger. The terms by which he will accept it is by spending time with him, turning on the charm, therefore ensuring that there will definitely be more money coming his way once his feet are under the table."

"He uses the money as an excuse to get Tae to spend time with him and looks like the good guy. It largely amounts to Tae paying for the guy's time so he may as well be an escort, even though Tae told us that he wasn't one. When we were at Aura, Hobi basically called Tae out on it and said pretty much what you said, Mochi."

"He definitely had Tae under the thumb, even at the charity evening because as soon as he stormed out, Tae followed him. Joon, you said that Tae told you they'd only kissed?" There was a definite scepticism to Jin's tone.

"Mmmhmm, Hobi lowered the tone by insinuating that he gives good head to explain why Tae was seeing the guy and Tae said they'd kissed."

Jimin gave a little giggle, "Oh my God, trust Hobes… wow. I get his logic though, I said to Tae that he's been bowled over by the guy because he's pretty. As soon as I saw him, what did I say? He was a bit of Tae. He's muscular but not too much and he's pretty, if you think about the guys that Tae has been with in the past and the reasons he says he ended it or didn't take it further… that Jungkook guy fits the profile."

"And it's not like there have been many, mainly escorts because he's never been bothered. Yet this guy has reeled him in completely." Yoongi adds.

"I didn't think he was that likeable at the charity event but I'm sure he turns on the charm for Tae." The last word just leaving his lips as Jin took another sip of his wine.

"Aside from his looks, I don't see what the fascination is either. He can't give Tae anything apart from a sexually transmitted disease, maybe."

Namjoon chokes on his drink at Jimin’s words, "Well, let's at least hope that they're using protection, who knows where he's been."

"If he gave Tae an S.T.I he'd just be shooting himself in the foot because there's no way Tae would continue this thing in that situation."

"Jin’s right, but I don't think we can concern ourselves with that right now. There's nothing we can do about it. The only problem if they have slept together is that Tae's going to like him a whole lot more so we all have to be on the same page when we tell him."

Yoongi sits back in his seat and stretches out his legs, crossing them at the ankles as two servers greet the table and place dishes in front of them.

***

Taehyung rubs at his hair with a towel, looking at the bed that he hopes will have his boyfriend in it tonight, he never likes to presume, even now and even after the things Jungkook said when he was here last time. The smell from the kitchen filters through to the bedroom and he can't help but smile, it reminds him of something his Mother used to cook on the rare occasion that she chose to. Usually the cook would make their meals, she did the best lunches but Taehyung really liked her hotteok the most. The housekeeper would usually sneak some extra onto his plate for him, with the excuse that he was a growing boy. The staff they had were always great, his parents were extremely particular with who they hired and rarely did they have to replace a member of staff, everyone seemed to like working for the family.

After hanging up the towel, he went through to the kitchen, the soles of his feet enjoying the feel of the floor beneath them, his loose silk pyjama bottoms flowing like liquid as he moved. There were small dark spots on the blue button down pyjama top from where his hair had dripped, not getting to it quickly enough with the towel. The smell of dinner got stronger as he entered the kitchen, slowing his walk in an attempt to startle Jungkook who had his back to him, humming a song. He could see that he had earphones in but didn't get the expected reaction when he was about to grab him by the waist and Jungkook turned his head and said, "Hi, feel better?"

Tae looked slightly bewildered, "How did you know that I was here?"

Jungkook turned around fully so he was facing Tae, "because I heard you."

The CEO reached up and touched the right earphone, "Even with music playing? I can't hear anything when I'm wearing my earbuds."

"Oh, one of the earpieces doesn't work, I only wear them both in the hope that one day it will start working again." he said with a giggle as he takes them both out of his ears and switches off the music. "Are you ready for dinner now?"

The bewilderment is now for a different reason as Tae finds it difficult to understand why Jungkook wouldn't just buy some new earphones? He would view earphones as being a priority, given that the busker clearly listens to a lot of music. He is about to ask, when Jungkook turns again to face the kitchen counter and starts mixing the bibimbap with chopsticks so he decides against it as his mouth waters at the sight of the food.

"The smell reminds me of when my Eomma cooked for us."

Jungkook smiled as he hands Tae the bowl, "I hope that's a good thing?"

The CEO breathes out a giggle, "Yes, it's a good thing. She didn't get to cook very often so I remember the times she did."

"Did your Appa cook?"

"He would say yes, everyone else would say no. Mai-ling would always ban him from the kitchen. She said he was a bad omen."

Jungkook starts mixing his own food before picking up the bowl and following Tae through to the living area where they sit on the floor either side of the table. He laughs at what Tae says about his Father, "Who is Mai-ling?"

"Our cook. She's still with my parents."

"I see." he says, shovelling some food into his mouth.

"Does your Mother cook?" He makes appreciative noises as he chews.

"Marie helped me with this. She's wonderful in the kitchen."

"Marie? From the diner?" Tae remembers Jungkook mentioning the owners a few times.

“Yes, she makes the most amazing gimbap and it’s always huge, she also makes the best burgers… oh and fried chicken.”

“Do you have a favourite thing to cook?” Tae says while chasing a mushroom around his bowl with his chopsticks.

“Not really, I’ll give anything a try once.”

Taehyung looks up and a smirk forms on his lips, “That’s a very useful piece of information, Jungkook.”

The busker can’t hide the flush in his face or the eye roll as he knows exactly what his boyfriend is saying and it has nothing to do with the actual topic of conversation. Jungkook is trying to get to grips with the way Tae is sometimes and the reactions it provokes but it is a task when he says his name the way he does and appears to enjoy making him blush with innuendos.

“I’m sure it is.”

Tae just offers a smile in response as he continues eating until his bowl is devoid of food. Jungkook feels warm inside because Tae is much more appreciative of his cooking than he ever thought he would be and it brings him back to conversations he has had with Ash and Marie about the way he stereotypes him. He knows he shouldn’t pigeonhole his boyfriend, he knows he shouldn’t tar him with the same brush as his past but he needs to keep his defences raised until a time where he has enough proof to let them down. He is aware that his walls are being chipped away at with situations like this, when Tae shows much more gratitude and enjoyment of his food than he’d expected. Jungkook knows that Ash thinks he’s crazy for needing to do something in return when Tae does something for him but it’s moments like this when he feels really good about the fact that he cooked dinner and it has been so well received, that he feels justified in his decision.

“I would like to take you out for dinner on Saturday, if you aren’t busy? It occurred to me that there aren’t many days remaining before I leave so I would like to spend as much time with you as possible.”

The mention of being taken out for dinner fills Jungkook with dread on so many levels. He considers being busy but he can’t keep avoiding these situations, he knows that. It means borrowing clothes again or wearing something he’s already worn, it means extensive internal counselling of his mind because he naturally starts wondering how he can do something in return to maintain balance. He is also armed with the knowledge that the likelihood is that if he doesn’t go to London with his boyfriend, he will miss him while he’s away so he wants to spend time with him too.

He wishes his life could be more simple or at the very least that he could allow it to be simple, “Oh… umm… did you have a restaurant in mind?”

“Can’t it be a surprise?”

“What if I don’t like it?”

“That wasn’t an issue on our first date?”

“Well no, you planned all that.”

“And I’d like to plan this.” Tae sensed there was a problem but as usual he had absolutely no idea what the problem could be and he felt it wasn’t the right time to ask because Jungkook was already appearing to be quite defensive.

“Couldn’t you give me an idea? If there is a dress code I will need to know.” he doesn’t want to sound ungrateful and he doesn’t want to piss his boyfriend off but he can feel that knot in his stomach so he picks up both of their bowls and gives him a little smile before taking them into the kitchen. He thinks about his conversation with Marie and he suspects that he isn’t being fair to Tae right now but how to change it?

Tae stands once Jungkook has left the room, he is completely out of his depth and it’s puzzling how he always seems to end up here. He cannot comprehend how a dinner invitation can cause this reaction and although it’s more akin to a ‘pop’ than a ‘bang’ as he has experienced from his boyfriend previously, it doesn’t make it any easier to understand.

His mind is awash with options as he tries to solve this puzzle and find the correct path through the maze that is Jungkook when he stands in the open doorway of the kitchen and sees him standing at the sink. He has his back to Taehyung, both hands on the edge of the sink, head lower than his shoulders in a defeated stance. Body language was a topic that Tae knew a little about because he was thrust onto a course on the art of communicating when he first started Purple Aura. It comes in handy from time to time when he can tell that someone’s resolve is softening to a business deal but their mouth is saying the opposite but he doesn’t really think about it or apply it often. The image before him though, tells him that whatever is going on with his boyfriend is bigger than just a meal but until Jungkook feels able to open up to him, he doesn’t believe that it’s his place to further back him into a corner… he’s seen his boyfriend irate and he’d rather not be the cause of that again. He doesn't want to be the enemy and he doesn't want to ruin the time they have together by pressurising Jungkook into telling him things that could upset him.

He walks quietly towards him, in a hushed tone says “hi” and wraps his arms around Jungkook’s middle, clasping his hands together against his stomach. The busker stands upright but keeps his hands on the edge of the worktop, turning his head slightly and saying “hi” back.

This reminds Taehyung of when they were on the yacht and he invited Jungkook to go to London with him, he felt clueless then too. He didn’t think that wanting to treat his boyfriend to dinner would be such a big deal and it is then that he has an idea, “Why don’t you choose the restaurant? I could give you a shortlist and you could make the final decision based on what menu you like the most?” he wasn’t even sure this was about the food but chooses to play along with Jungkook’s earlier argument.

The busker is astonished by the suggestion, once again taken aback by the man who doesn’t seem to be deterred, just keen to find a solution. “Okay, you will need to give me time to search them up.”

Tae kisses Jungkook on the cheek then rests against the side of his face, “I will send you the options via text tomorrow, before lunch.”

Jungkook releases his grip on the worktop and places his hands over Taehyung’s that are still clasped against his stomach, leaning his head into Tae’s, “Thank you.”

***

At L’Escala, the chatter around the table decreased while they ate their main meals and the manager came out with the chef to gauge their opinions on the food. The group of four were complimentary, they had high expectations and the food exceeded them, unable to find a fault and Jin was most impressed with the wine choices. The female manager mooned over Jimin and gushed over Jin when she recognised him from a magazine, taking the time to quiz them both about her ideas for a change in the restaurant staff uniform. It gave Yoongi and Namjoon the opportunity to go over the ideas for the centre after their meeting there, Yoongi finding the drooling over his boyfriend to be quite amusing as he watched her out of the corner of his eye.

Eventually the foursome were left alone again while they waited for dessert and were able to resume the subject of the evening, Yoongi filling them in on their time at the diner, “We know that if Jungkook is telling the truth, that Tae has sent him dick pics which he has shown to at least one person and we know he has driven the Ferrari. We don’t know when though, so that could be a lie.”

Namjoon frowns, “I am astounded that someone would have that conversation where others could hear it. I would have to presume that there wasn’t any doubt that they were talking about Tae?

Jimin shook his head, “No, they said ‘Tae’ and ‘KTH’. There is quite literally no doubt at all. I felt like I was going to vomit. They were so casual about it and the way they planned to get whatever they could out of Tae once he was naked, tells you the power that tramp thinks he has over our friend.”

“And you couldn’t find anything on him?” Namjoon asks.

“Nothing. We thought we were searching for the wrong surname, maybe we’d remembered it incorrectly so we contacted the university and with a few of the right questions we had it confirmed. We had him looked into again but came up with nothing. Everyone that came up as a possible connection wasn’t linked to him at all. The only explanation is that he is using a false name.” Yoongi says, drinking the last of the orange juice in his glass.

“So it looks like he’s a hustler? People do make a living out of that by scamming others.” Jin thinks this could be the only explanation.

“We can’t allow this to go on, I think Tae is already going to be hurt enough but the longer it goes on the worse it’s going to be for him.” Jimin reached across and took his boyfriend’s hand.

“Agreed. We need to bring Hobi up to speed too.” Namjoon adds.

“I can speak to Seok tomorrow and then we need to tackle getting Tae to a meal.” Yoongi says, just as the desserts arrive.

“I’ll phone Tae tomorrow. He doesn’t know I’m back yet. Are we all free Saturday evening?” Jins asks the group.

They all nod as Jimin speaks, “I’ll book Blueside for 7.”

The group agreed and continued their evening, none of them were particularly looking forward to Saturday, they all agreed it was the right thing to do to save their friend, the evidence spoke for itself, they just hoped they were getting to him before he’d had too much money swindled out of him.

***

The plan to watch a movie hadn’t gone exactly as expected, neither had listening to music because Taehyung was in Jungkook’s lap on the couch and they’d been kissing for the last hour. Intimacy between the couple was never hurried, it was as if every moment would be their last as they took the time to savour it.

“Will you be sleeping in my bed tonight?” he asks as he takes Jungkook’s earlobe between his lips and applies a little suction.

“If you want me to? The guest room is for guests after all.” Jungkook’s fingers flex on his boyfriend’s hips.

"It's more about whether you want to, Jungkook. I would never presume or want to make you feel pressured in any way."

"From now on, I see no reason why I would stay in the guest room." Jungkook feels respected, that is something he didn't say to Marie when she asked him how he feels when they are just being a normal couple. It amazes him how someone like Taehyung, who is quite obviously a strong business man, who must have been pushy and a driving force in order to be as successful as he is, is so soft and patient with him.

Jungkook’s brain begins to malfunction as his boyfriend drags his tongue up his neck and speaks quietly near his ear, "I'd like to be taken to bed, now we have our bedroom arrangement sorted."

Jungkook wasn't going to turn that down, the way Tae phrased it made him yearn for him even more. This was Taehyung’s apartment, yet he was requesting to be taken to bed, putting Jungkook in the driving seat which ignited every flame within him. Their sexual compatibility was definitely not in question and it provided a freedom from the battles he fought when it came to the other areas of their lives. Intimacy brought a release, it enabled him to be himself and he felt that Tae was the same, both of them finding common ground with their sexual dynamic and being free of the people they are outside of the bedroom.

It did have an air of peculiarity as he led Taehyung to his own bedroom but the way he was being given the control so naturally was mind blowing. When it comes to sex, it feels so organic, which is a big turn on in itself. As soon as they are inside the bedroom, the lights switch on and the space is illuminated in a golden glow, the city skyline visible through the wall of windows but as Jungkook stands in front of his boyfriend on the raised platform next to the bed, it isn’t the view that he finds captivating. His hands slide over the silk fabric as he reaches around to Tae’s back and draws him in close, starting at the corner of his jaw he places a line of delicate kisses, stopping just before he gets to his lips.

Taehyung doesn’t move, he stands still, allowing his boyfriend to do whatever he wants, closing his eyes at the softness of the kisses left along his jawline. His hands remain on the busker’s waist as nimble fingers make light work of his pyjama top, eyes locked on each other as each button is undone. Jungkook makes him feel beautiful, he’s used to being the centre of attention to a certain degree, before he started Purple Aura he was popular among his peers and adults alike but of course it wasn't like this. In the world of business, when he takes a meeting and has twenty pairs of eyes on him, it’s a bonus that he feels at home being in the limelight but it's something he never really thinks about, it's an acceptance because it happens on a daily basis. He’s always wondered how Jin handles the attention he gets, Taehyung hasn’t really experienced it to that degree unless he has attended a special event or for a few months after the edition of Vogue was released. However, standing here, being undressed slowly by the man looking at him the way that he is, makes him feel desired and Tae feels like he discovered a diamond in the rough the day he met Jungkook in the subway.

“So beautiful.” Jungkook verbalises the thought that transpires in his head as the final button is undone and he pushes the garment off of Tae’s shoulders. The only sound in the room is the sound of breathing as he glides his hands from Tae’s stomach to his shoulders then down his back, pausing once his hands settle on his backside.

“As are you.” Tae whispers, reaching his hands up to the band tying Jungkook’s hair back. Before releasing the bundle of inky strands, his fingers stroke the undercut, surprised at how soft it feels. He tugs carefully on the band and as the hair falls around his boyfriend’s face, a quiet whimper leaves his lips.

The next time their lips connect, it is more intensive than anything they’ve shared so far this evening and Jungkook pulls them closer so their hips are flush together. Tae’s fingers are entangled in Jungkook’s hair as their heads alternate in opposite directions and the sound of heavy breathing is accompanied by hushed groans and slurping noises.

They manage to undress fully, without losing the connection of their mouths and Tae gasps when Jungkook picks him up and lays him on the bed. The busker feels electric, charged purely from the reactions he gets from his boyfriend. He thinks that Tae, himself, is a gift, one that he wants so badly to accept and keep but there’s a fear that he may never be able to give himself to Tae in return. It's terrifying, the thought of letting his walls down completely, he's worked so hard to distance himself from the past that haunts him more now than ever because his boyfriend is who he is.

Tae's breath catches in his throat as Jungkook crawls over his body, his chiseled jaw appearing to be sharper with the way his hair hangs in waves around his face. The CEO's arousal increases with how much he feels like prey, he feels vulnerable and he practically groans before Jungkook bends down to lick across his lips with a flat tongue. There's nothing robotic or necessary about the intimacy between them, he's had enough sex to know that there is something that sets this apart from anything else he's experienced. He has questioned whether he believes in love at first sight and what it was that made him keen to get to know this man that he still has so many questions for but the mystery remains unsolved.

Both his hands stretch upwards, his fingers interweaving in the silky strands as he pulls his boyfriend down, parting his lips to grant permission before it is asked. He's sure he hears Jungkook make a sound that can only be described as a growl and the noise vibrates through him, causing his member to ache and his pelvis to jolt upwards.

Jungkook pulls back, he wants to devour the man laying beneath him, his face flushed with the prettiest rouge and his lips show signs of the extensive kissing, "are you feeling impatient, precious?"

Jesus! Tae can't cope with the pet name or the assertive tone in which it's spoken. He knows all about changes in tone, this can be one of his biggest weapons in a meeting when he needs to make a point. In this situation, coming from the man hovering over him, it's one of the sexiest things he's witnessed. No one has ever used a pet name before, aside from the standard 'babe' which he's always thought to be lazy and a word he doesn't associate with himself. He's also never needed to be concerned with premature ejaculation but suddenly it's reality as arousal explodes inside him as Jungkook speaks and he whimpers in response.

"Y-yes." He feels so meek but so incredibly sexy at the same time.

"What do you want?" Jungkook says as he leaves little kisses along his collarbone.

"To taste you, I want… to taste you." Each word separated with laboured breaths.

Jungkook stops kissing his boyfriend's soft skin and looks up with a curious expression, "You do, hmm? How about we taste each other at the same time?"

Tae nods, his head feels heavy as he moves it, "God, yes, please."

Jungkook gives his boyfriend a grin, his enthusiasm is more of a turn on than it should be, he thinks, "Are you comfortable being on top?"

Tae starts to move as soon as the last word leaves the busker’s lips, "Absolutely." He breathes out.

The busker lays on his back and guides Tae over him, knees either side of his head, hands that promptly act to take an ass cheek in each and knead at the plump flesh. He's never really had a type that he goes for, that's one question he struggled to answer when asked. He's been with muscly guys, leans guys, men who are shorter than him and those who are taller. The differences between his past partners stand out more because there haven't been many, not compared to someone like Ash who changes his socks less than he changes his partners. What Jungkook does know, is that he is unquestionably attracted to Kim Taehyung and if he had a type, he would be it.

The CEO licks his lips when confronted with the sight of his boyfriend's cock and he leans down to flick his tongue over the slit, drooling precum. He tries not to focus on the large hands squeezing and parting his cheeks, the wet tongue probing at his entrance but it isn't easy, his own cock a weight between his legs. He takes Jungkook into his mouth, doesn't waste time as he takes him all the way to the back of his throat and swallows around the girth. He hums in contentment at the pressure of his boyfriend’s member heavy on his tongue as he pulls off to the head and takes him down again. His mouth falters every now and again as Jungkook inserts fingers and finds his prostate, saliva drips down his scrotum and he struggles to maintain a rhythm.

The busker works efficiently to stretch Tae, removing his fingers to lick over his sensitive rim and bury his face between his boyfriend's cheeks. He has to pause when Tae sucks gently on his member, the warmth of his mouth is overwhelming and he doesn't want to cum like this. He lifts Tae enough to be able to move out from underneath him and smiles when his boyfriend turns around, looking every bit as fucked out as Jungkook himself, feels. He beckons Tae to him with his index finger and loves the way his eyes shine at the gesture.

"You tasted amazing," Jungkook says against Tae's mouth.

"You did too." He replies, lips ghosting each other.

Jungkook takes hold of Tae by the shoulders and gently lays him on his back, taking the lube and a condom from the nightstand. As he's about to rip open the packet, Tae grabs his wrist, "This really isn't the appropriate time to discuss this but I've had the intention of speaking to you about it after you were here last time."

"Are you saying you want to go without a condom?" the busker wants that too and hopes he's not jumping the gun.

Tae is biting his lip, he feels nervous because he's never needed or wanted to have this conversation before, "I've always used protection, I've not once gone without it."

This surprises Jungkook a little but they haven't really discussed past relationships so he is your sure what he expected, "Before our first time together, it was six months that I'd been with anyone else and I always get tested afterwards."

"Are you comfortable with not using protection with me?"

Jungkook is stunned, "You trust me that much?" It was intended as a thought but it found its way to his mouth.

Tae smiles sweetly, a little confounded by the question, sitting up to face his boyfriend properly, "yes, I trust you, Jungkook. You are my boyfriend, you are in my bed, in my home."

The busker drops the packet, covers his erection in the clear gel that smells of candy and makes a note to find one that doesn't smell so sickly sweet. As he bends forwards, he presses his lips to Tae’s and pushes him down, placing a hand either side of his head. Tae draws his knees up and rests his calves on Jungkook’s hips, his hands running up and down the biceps of the man that he's sure has stolen his heart.

Jungkook pulls away just enough so he can look at Tae without either of them going cross eyed, "Are you sure?"

The CEO smooths his hands upwards to Jungkook’s neck and cradles it either side, "I am sure."

This feels so incredibly intimate, Jungkook has gone bareback before but this feels so very unique. He's astonished by the level of trust that Tae is showing in him and it gives him a massive dose of reality, he needs to start opening up more and trusting Tae too. His emotions are fraught as he enters the man beneath him, whose thumbs rub soothingly on the underside of his jaw and just like that, this feels considerably more like making love than fucking.

Tae pulls him down so their tongues can dance and their moist lips can slide against each other, so that their vocal sounds of appreciation are fed to the other. Jungkook doesn't thrust hard, he grinds his pelvis against Tae's ass, ensuring he hits the exact spot inside him as the CEO hoiks his legs up and grips him with his thighs.

Their mouths do not disconnect even if their tongues and lips stop moving as they pant hard and fast. Tae manages to speak as he exhales gruffly, "Cumming."

Jungkook’s brain glitches as he absorbs the word spoken by his boyfriend, yet another surprise. He's close to his own orgasm which now comes barrelling at him full speed as Tae's walls contract around him and the sounds leaving his lips head straight for Jungkook’s cock. He almost cries as he cums, the sentiment is so great that it's quite overpowering. He attempts to kiss Taehyung as he rides out his orgasm, the euphoric feeling flooding every part of him and he feels like he's drowning in it. This is one evening that has had an unfounded impact on him and underneath the feeling of bliss, is a fear that he's not sure he's ready to acknowledge just yet.

Chapter Text

Taehyung is expecting the alarm to sound as the rooster starts crowing and he searches for his phone as his boyfriend stirs. His back is pressed to Jungkook’s chest as he presses his phone screen aimlessly to stop the irritating noise. He wiggles his ass back and grins to himself when the hand on his hip applies a little pressure. “Morning” he says to the space in front of him, smiling more when he thinks about not needing to send the usual morning text when he brushes his teeth.

“Morning.” a croaky response spoken into his boyfriend’s hair.

Jungkook grips Tae’s hip a little tighter as the CEO shifts against his crotch, his fingers making an indent in the flesh, “Tae.” he breathes out, intended as a kind of warning.

Tae suppresses a giggle, turned on by hearing his name spoken in that way, feeling mischievous as he reaches backwards, takes the hand off of his hip and places it on his hardening cock. He wiggles again, takes a few slow deep breaths as he feels lips on his shoulder.

Jungkook is gentle with his hand movement, slow strokes as he places a few light kisses to the CEO’s shoulder and flicks his earlobe with the tip of his tongue, “Someone is horny this morning.” his voice quite gruff from sleep.

Tae’s response is to hum an agreement and circle his hips, his hand moves upwards and he reaches for his boyfriend’s head, pushing his backside backwards. Jungkook groans in his ear at the contact and bucks his pelvis forwards in reply.

“Want me to fuck you, Precious?” his words are low and coarse.

“Mmmmm, thought you’d never ask.” he says nonchalantly with a hint of sarcasm.

Jungkook removes his hand from Tae’s member, now fully hard and pulsing, “I’d rather you were good instead of smart mouthed.” he says into his ear.

The CEO coughs once as he nearly chokes on his own saliva, “Sorry,” he thought that Jungkook may have forgotten about his need for praise, even though last night didn’t feel like the right time for it to come into play. His head is still reeling from the sex they had last night, the depth of emotion was new territory and it’s unsettling him as he's had no time to come to terms with it all.

Jungkook smirks into Tae’s shoulder, his arousal escalating as they slip into their roles so easily, “Are you going to be good for me?” there were a couple of times last night when words and phrases had been on the tip of his tongue but it didn't feel appropriate. He doesn't know how to begin to make sense of what happened between them but he felt a shift in emotion and he can't process it right now when there's still so much that he's not told Tae.

"Yes… I'll be good." there was a time when he found it difficult to comprehend the feelings evoked when there was a guy who told him how attractive he was and told him he was a good boy. Sadly that was a one off and by the time he recognised his obvious craving for praise and vulnerability, he was unable to find someone suitable. Most men in his world are well aware of who Kim Taehyung is and expect the man in the suit to be the man in the bedroom, a world full of people who stereotype others.

Tae handed Jungkook the bottle of lube, his member throbbing when the man behind him moves back slightly to cover himself in the sickly smelling gel before he's against him again, running his fingers between his ass cheeks and dipping two in to make sure he's ready. Tae's fingers twist in Jungkook’s hair, tugging on his scalp as he's stretched, which is done thoughtfully if not unnecessarily. A throaty sound is expelled from his lips when his boyfriend lifts his left leg and positions the head of his cock at his entrance. Jungkook holds his breath as his erection is sucked in slowly by Tae's awaiting hole, taking a sharp inhale of air once their bodies were flush with each other.

The CEO breathes noisily through his mouth as Jungkook starts pulling out and thrusting back in, holding his leg up to deepen penetration. His hand doesn't leave his boyfriend's head as he feels teeth on his shoulder, his prostate being massaged with every movement of Jungkook’s hips. The level of intimacy in this position is unprecedented, he’s had sex in this position before but it didn’t feel like this. Tae manages to free his other hand and takes hold of his length, only to have his hand pulled away and Jungkook’s voice in his ear, “I didn’t say that you could do that.” Tae’s cock twitches at the words and he apologises once more, perhaps he is out of touch with all this. Jungkook takes over, stroking him languidly while firmly grinding his pelvis against Tae’s ass. He kisses his shoulder and notices a couple of pink marks blooming on his skin from where he was sucking at the flesh earlier. He doubts that someone like Taehyung would want marks on display when holding an important meeting so he’s careful. He can hear his boyfriend being more vocal as he speeds up his hand movements and can feel his scalp being pulled that bit more. All it takes is a last swipe over the tip of his cock with Jungkook’s thumb and a loud groan accompanies the white fluid that spills onto the busker’s hand.

“You sound amazing when you cum, you’re such a good boy.” the words tumble from his lips so naturally and are justified when Tae moans in response and arches his back slightly.

Tae’s head is swimming with the haze of his orgasm as he pushes back into Jungkook, his chest heaving. He feels like he could cum again as his boyfriend lifts his leg higher and shifts himself to thrust deeper. He moves his own hand from his boyfriend's head and searches for his hand, gripping it tightly once he finds it.

Jungkook cums with an extended groan, releasing Tae’s leg and slowing down his pelvic movements, he let's go of his boyfriend's hand momentarily but soon takes hold of it again. When he stills his hips, he moves back as Tae wriggles and turns to face him, finally able to share a morning kiss.

"Good morning..." Tae says, "...my alarm is going to go off again very soon."

"The rooster?"

"Unless I have a house guest that I'm unaware of… yes, the rooster."

Jungkook rolls his eyes but smiles, "Why would you have that as your alarm? It's awful."

Tae pecks his boyfriend on the lips, rolls onto his back and sits up, making a grab for his phone as the rooster crows once more, cutting it off straight away, "It gets me out of bed. I usually wake before it goes off."

Jungkook sits up and scoots up to lean against the headboard, "What is the time?"

"5.30."

The busker’s eyes widen, "In the morning?"

Tae giggles, "Yes, 5.30 in the morning."

"Do you get up at this time every day?"

"No… sometimes earlier..." he smiles, twists his body and gives Jungkook a kiss on the cheek, "... I'll do breakfast while you shower?"

Jungkook didn’t have anything to say in response, he couldn’t handle the fact that it was 5:30am and he was awake, let alone deal with the information that his boyfriend gets up earlier sometimes. He can’t tear his eyes away from Tae when he walks to his bathroom to grab a robe, his eyes roam the male’s body and his mouth waters. He manages to quickly divert his eyes but he knows he’s been caught staring, the shit eating grin and raising of one eyebrow on his boyfriend’s face tells him so.

Taehyung doesn’t comment on the very obvious eyeballing by Jungkook, he is used to people looking at him but when his boyfriend stares the way that he is, it makes his stomach flutter. He wraps the robe around himself, opting to shower after they’ve had breakfast and leaves the bedroom to go and collect the food that is being delivered in ten minutes. He'd had the foresight to order food yesterday, Stefan having given him the biggest toothy grin when he was handed the list and asked to arrange it. The young P.A gave him yet another big smile when he confirmed the order was placed and delivery would be at 6am, the CEO was grateful if not a little perplexed by Stefan’s enthusiasm.

When there is a chime at the door, Tae opens it and greets the smartly dressed young man who he's seen around the building. He hands the young man a few notes, thanks him and closes the door, padding through the living area to the kitchen where he places the cardboard box on the island worktop before he looks for plates and cutlery. He's ordered from the delicatessen before and as usual when he opens the box, he's met with an array of amazing smells that drift up his nostrils and make him salivate. He doesn’t do breakfast that often, sometimes he will grab some toast if he has time but that’s usually reserved for a weekend if he isn’t meeting Jimin or one of the others for brunch. As he lays out the selection of meats, fresh pastries, rolled omelette, bacon, pancakes and a bowl of fruit salad he hopes he ordered something that Jungkook will like.

The busker smooths down the Dino’s polo shirt and combs through his hair before taking a black band from his wrist to tie it back. He turns his head to each side, not really having had the opportunity to look at Marie’s handiwork. It hasn’t fully escaped him that his boyfriend shows a lot of interest in his hair in several ways and he wonders if it’s something he looks for in men? They haven’t discussed types, Jungkook hasn’t broached the subject because he suspects that he isn’t Tae’s usual type… he can’t be and he’d rather not have that confirmed. He’s still painfully aware of their differences… are they too different? Even with his reservations and the question as to why Taehyung has pursued him, still unanswered, as he looks in the mirror now, he knows it’s already reached a stage that has gone too far. For whatever reason, Tae has pursued him and his own curiosity has led him to this point but now he doesn’t think there is a ‘turning back’. Last night, his boyfriend showed unequivocal trust in him and he knows he isn’t being fair by holding so much back and keeping his defences up… but how to let him in? Jungkook doesn't have time to ponder the meaning of his life right at this moment, he finishes getting ready, pulling on his black trousers that complete the uniform, throwing everything into his bag, dropping his towel into the laundry and leaving the bedroom to find Tae.

"I hope you're hungry." Tae says when Jungkook enters the kitchen.

"Do you have more house guests that I don't know about?" he smiles and casts his eyes over the huge amount of food that smells delicious.

"I don't have any house guests." Tae says, getting off the high chair and pressing his lips to his boyfriend's cheek.

"Okay then… any house guests that I don't know about." he turns his head to capture Tae’s lips with his own.

"No, it's just us. The last guest I had was promoted… would you like coffee?"

"Are you going to use the machine?"

Tae chokes a laugh out, "No, I ordered you one, along with the food."

"It really isn't that difficult to make a coffee you know? I could've made one…" The tone was sharp and ugh! He kicked himself for sounding ungrateful and softens instantly. He leans in and kisses Tae on the lips briefly, reaches down so their fingertips touch at their sides "... thank you."

They gaze at each other for a minute or so, Jungkook feels the weight of the world on his shoulders and Taehyung isn't really sure he understands what just happened.

"You have a choice, there is a vanilla latte and an Americano. I didn't know which you'd prefer." His fingers stroke Jungkook’s, he can see the change in his boyfriend and has a feeling that he's battling with himself judging by the instant change.

"Thank you, I'll drink one now and take one with me if that's okay?" He looks at Tae with expectant and apologetic eyes, pleading with him silently.

"They are yours so you can drink them whenever you like. Come on, let's eat before we have to leave." Tae gave Jungkook’s fingers a squeeze and pecked him on the lips.

****

"Why are you looking at me like that? Am I late?" Jungkook’s brows knit together as he looks at Billy with a puzzled expression.

"How can you not see it? Even I can see it." Billy smiles as Jungkook walks behind the counter.

"See what? Have you been spending time with Ash again? You know how you get after that."

Billy turns and pokes his head through the gap where food is served from the kitchen, "Marie, could you come out here for a second, please?

"Why are you getting Marie? Is there something on my face? Billy!" Jungkook is concerned, thinking back to the breakfast he'd had not long ago but he is sure that Taehyung would have told him if he'd had something on his face or stuck in his teeth.

Marie appears after leaving the kitchen, "What is it?"

Billy looks at his wife then at Jungkook then back to his wife, "Look at JK… what do you think?"

Marie frowns a little but humours her husband and looks at the man standing with his arms crossed over his chest and deep creases between his eyebrows, "Oh… Oh… definitely."

Jungkook shrugs his shoulders and puts his palms into the air, "Okay so either you two have been spending too much time with Ash or you've been abducted by aliens, which actually could amount to the same thing because I don't know what it is you're talking about. Can one of you please explain?"

Marie saunters over to Jungkook and takes his face in her hands, pinching both his cheeks, "You're in love, Jungkookie."

He now feels more confused than ever as his cheeks redden to make the whole situation worse, "All of this… for that? I thought I was late or I got my shift wrong or that I had something on my face! Oh… and I'm not, so stop talking rubbish."

"He can't see it, Marie." Billy interjected.

"So it seems. You do have something on this gorgeous face… you have the look of love." Marie squeezes his cheeks and beams at him.

"I refuse to believe that you can see anything on my face, maybe I just slept well or had a good breakfast?"

Billy can't stop the laugh that bellows from him, "Maybe, JK, but we all know the reason you slept well."

“Oh my God!” Jungkook’s face tingles with the extreme heat caused by blushing.

Marie laughs quietly, “It’s nothing to be embarrassed about… good for you. This man quite clearly makes you happy and it is wonderful to see. We can’t wait to meet him when you feel the time is right.” she kisses Jungkook on the cheek and squeezes his shoulders as she goes back into the kitchen.

“I agree with Marie, love looks good on you, JK” Billy says with a wink.

“That is not what she said and that isn’t what this is.” Jungkook continues through to the backroom so he can put his bag down, ignoring the mocking sounds coming from Billy.

He is able to finish his vanilla latte before starting his brief shift, caught up in a whole host of thoughts and conversations. His past hasn't mattered since he left it behind him, everyone he's dated has been just like him so it's not been an issue. His exes haven't needed to know anything about his history, it's simply not been relevant and yet now, now he is going to have to open doors in his mind that have been bolted and padlocked for so long because he's done what he vowed he'd never do… fallen into a relationship with someone like Kim Taehyung.

His shift goes quickly, the morning rush forcing time to speed up, even though he was willing it to slow down. Marie gave him a hug and wished him luck before he left Dino’s and soon after that he was sitting with his tutor and the head of performing arts, hands clasped in his lap, feeling quite nervous.

"How can we help you, Jungkook?" his tutor was always smiling, a ray of sunshine for many students some days.

"I would like to discuss the possibility of me taking leave from my studies… Well… not really taking leave because I will still be practising and studying… just not… well… not in person… not here."

"I'm not quite sure that we understand, are you saying that you need time out from your studies? You do know that you are doing exceedingly well, don't you?" his tutor says through a beaming smile.

Jungkook nods, "Yes, I think so… sorry I'm a bit nervous because I haven't even made my mind up and it all feels like a big weight."

"Jeon Jungkook is nervous? Now that is a first." The head of dance is surprised.

Jungkook’s cheeks redden, "I am."

"There's no rush. I'm going to have an educated guess and say that I take it this isn't solely related to your studies?" the smile from his tutor was kind.

Jungkook’s coy expression provided them with the answer as he spoke, "I have been offered the chance to go to Europe and even though I haven't made a decision, there isn't a decision to make if you do not allow it. Therefore I arranged this to discuss it with you both."

Both women looked at each other then turned their attention to Jungkook who was fiddling with his fingers, "Wow! What a fantastic opportunity. Where in Europe?" his tutor asks.

"London… and yes, it is a great opportunity."

"Can I ask with whom? And how this has come about?” the head of dance asks.

Jungkook takes a deep breath, he hasn’t told anyone about Tae outside of his makeshift family and the words feel so strange as they are spoken, “I have a new boyfriend… well… we’ve been seeing each other for a while, I think… sort of… Ash would say differently I’m sure… he has invited me to join him on a business trip… next week.”

Now both women are unable to hide the surprise on their faces as the tutor smiles widely, “A new relationship, that is even more exciting and wonderful, Jungkook. What sort of business is your partner in?”

“Advertising.”

The Head of dance smiles too, “With your academic record and how hard you’ve been working this year, there is absolutely no chance of us preventing you from accepting your partner’s invitation, Jungkook. To have the chance to go to London at any time is a fantastic thing but I can’t think of a more appropriate time than right now, during personal development month. I have no doubt that you will find time to study and practice but I would urge you to only do what is necessary, you will have plenty of time when you return.”

“How long is the trip for?” his tutor asks.

“I think he is due to come back on Monday or Tuesday, he leaves on Thursday.”

“I agree wholeheartedly with Professor Khang, this is a wonderful opportunity and aside from any practice you feel you need to do, I believe you should enjoy yourself. You are incredibly lucky to be given this chance and your partner is lucky to have someone like you in his life to share his business trip with.”

“Jungkook, can I ask why you have hesitated to accept your partner’s invitation? You can choose not to answer but you must have known that we would never have stopped you from going, yet you seem apprehensive.” The head of dance lowers her tone and speaks softly.

“Oh… I do? I suppose that there was a small part of me that hoped you would deny leave so I didn’t have to make the decision.”

Both women look concerned and his tutor speaks up, “Is it a healthy relationship? You aren’t being pressured, are you?”

Jungkook responds instantly, speaking before he has time to think, “Oh no… no, no, it’s nothing like that, honestly. He is… he’s… well… he’s very patient and hasn’t pushed me into making a decision at all.”

“So, what is the problem? If you don’t mind me asking?” his tutor looks less concerned and more curious now.

Jungkook sighs, “We are so very different. Our worlds are polar opposites and I don’t have the money to go, which was my way out until everyone stepped in and now that isn’t an issue any more.”

“So… money isn’t a problem? What is? I don’t think that being different is a problem, it makes a relationship more interesting in my opinion.”

“If I go… I know I will have to let him in a little. We will be spending a lot of time alone and I’ll be far away.”

“Jungkook, that sounds a lot like you have realised that your walls need to come down and if that is the case then I would guess that there are feelings involved. We can’t tell you what to do but I would argue that he is obviously fond of you in order to have invited you along. I would also suggest that he has considered the fact that you will be alone, far from home and spending a lot of time together, probably before he actually invited you, therefore it must be something he wants.”

Jungkook takes a deep breath and scratches his head, “Thank you, both of you.”

The two women smile and bow as the meeting concludes, leaving Jungkook to mull everything over and in no doubt that he will make the correct decision for him.

****

Taehyung has managed to fire a couple of texts to Jungkook but not much else after dropping him off this morning. His workload is heavy as he tries to get everything in order before his trip with so many loose ends that need tying up before he can even think about leaving. When he first arrived this morning, he was pleased to see that Stefan had heeded his advice and wasn’t working at his desk before he should be. He was also secretly pleased because he knew that he was smiling a little too much for a normal Friday morning. It hadn’t been easy dropping his boyfriend off at the diner, he’d wanted to carry on kissing him but he knew he’d end up in his lap and wanting to drive somewhere quiet, even if he was still fuzzy headed after the sex earlier this morning.

He was about to grab a sandwich before an early afternoon conference call when he got a reply from Jungkook followed by his mobile ringing with a voice call from Jin.

"What do I owe this pleasure?" Tae says while reading the text from Jungkook.

JK
The diner was busy. Nearly finished here, then home or the park. How is your day going?

Jin's voice sounded down the phone as Tae was a little distracted by the text, "I'm back for a while and we need to discuss the Moonchild ad. How about dinner tomorrow?"

"We will have to schedule for when I'm back from London, I'm back a week on Tuesday."

"We've got a reservation at Blueside tomorrow at 7pm. It's the only time we can all make it. Don't tell me you can't fit us in."

"I'll juggle some things and give you a call back in an hour. I've got a conference call in ten minutes."

"I will be about, so call me!"

"I will. Give me an hour."

Tae couldn't believe the timing, with only having just arranged a date with Jungkook last night. He knows that Jungkook has a shift until 3pm tomorrow so he has no leeway there, his only option being to phone Jin back after the call and see if they can do lunch instead. Due to their careers and busy lives, there's often one of the group who can't make a get together so this one shouldn't be any different, even if Tae himself is the one who can't make it but he knows that probably isn't the best idea, given that he'd like his friends and boyfriend to get along one day. He doesn't have much time to think though, he sends Jungkook a quick reply before the conference call starts and it's one more meeting off of his schedule.

KTH
Running to schedule. Rain is forecast, home may prove the wiser choice.

JK
I love to dance in the rain.

Tae doesn't get the chance to respond as the call requires his input, needing to clear his mind of the image he has in his head of Jungkook soaked through and dancing in the park. The conference call finishes earlier than expected, the other points they were due to discuss needed some finer details added so it was scheduled into one of the meetings in London to give the company a chance to get the information. He makes his way over to his coffee machine and drinks an espresso, he screws up his face as the bitter liquid hits his taste buds and slips down his throat. The same thought goes through his head whenever he drinks an espresso, wondering why he does it because it's gross.

Tae is about to call Jin back when his phone rings, "Seok, it's good to hear from you." he says, seeing Hobi’s name on the screen.

"Are you good?"

"Yes, thank you. What do I owe this pleasure?"

"I spoke to Yoon after he sent me the music for the ad, I've had to change one of the dancers. I had a student take her exam and she blew me away, so I randomly played her the piece and she was amazing. When I showed Emery, he said that she should go for some movie castings, her style is unique."

"You produce a lot of talent, Seok, she will do well with you. Do you need the dancers to see the set before the day of filming?"

"Yeah, if it's possible I think it would be beneficial if they could spend time on the set. Joon said something about a throne?"

"He's having it delivered while I'm in London. If I give you my P.A's direct line, you can get in touch with him and bring the dancers in, I don't need to be here, you know your way around the basement."

"That's great. I'll see you tomorrow night anyway, Emery wants to tell you about a company he knows are looking for advertising."

"You’re taking Emery tomorrow?"

"Of course. The relationship is going full steam ahead, he's a great guy. We've even spoken about a timeline of when we want to move in together. I've got a really good feeling about this one."

"I look forward to getting to know him better. I'll bring Jungkook with me tomorrow, we have a date arranged already."

"Oh… err… you still seeing him?"

"I am, things have progressed."

"That’s… really good. So we'll see you both tomorrow night then?"

"You will. I believe it's about time he's introduced to the group, properly this time. I won't make the same mistake again."

"Don't be too hard on yourself, maybe that was your way of protecting yourself."

"Protecting myself? From what exactly. You sound holistic, Seok."

"I'm just saying that you could've known something wasn't right, which is why you did what you did."

"I'm not proud of it. It's time to put it right. I'll see you at Blueside, then."

"Sure. Do you know that Jin's back?"

"He phoned earlier, it was Jin who told me about Blueside. I arranged to call him back to confirm."

"I'm seeing him later for cocktails, I can let him know if you're busy?"

"I'll drop him a message and confirm that I'll be there.

"Okay. I'll speak to Joon and get a delivery update on that throne."

"Tell him to email me and copy in my P.A if there's a hold up."

"Will do. See you tomorrow."

"See you then."

Before putting his phone away, he sends a text to Jin:

KTH
Good for tomorrow night. Is 7pm our time to arrive or yours?

Jin
7pm is your time, I don't believe in such restrictions.

KTH
That much we know. Steer clear of that Grand Cru Gin, you don't want to deal with Mochi if you don't show tomorrow.

Jin
You mean, you don't want to have to deal with him if I don't turn up?

KTH
You know he has a masters in sulking compared to your masters in dramatics.

Jin
I flounce well and I make no apologies for it.

KTH
Save the flouncing for the ad.

Jin
I have an endless supply.

The CEO rolls his eyes and laughs to himself, he knows that Jin is most definitely telling the truth.

****

An afternoon visiting a few businesses to discuss their requirements at the very least meant that Tae could go home and change before deciding that he didn't want to speak to his boyfriend on the phone, it was better in person. The group dinner tomorrow night is a massive deal, it's the first step to correcting the disaster of the charity gala and for him to introduce Jungkook as his boyfriend. He really isn't sure how Jungkook will take the invitation, he was hurt so much by the events at the gala and Tae doesn't want to drag all that back up unnecessarily and see him upset again.

As he drives to the park, the rain is easing, he isn't one hundred percent sure that Jungkook will still be there but the texts they'd shared not so long ago, leads him to believe that he will be. He parks up as close to the gates as possible and walks across to where his boyfriend usually is, umbrella in hand, the hood of his coat covering his head. He isn't a fan of the rain but it's preferred over the heat of the sun, plus, rain during the summer months isn't as awful as it is later on in the year. It's still daylight, the rain is light and the temperature is still quite warm as he sees Jungkook. Momentarily he forgets how to breathe when he takes in the sight of his boyfriend in a white vest, black combats and his hair loose, he's soaked through, looking like he has been swimming in his clothes. The definition of his torso is evident through the translucent material sticking to his body and his hair hangs in loose ringlets, dripping with rainwater and sweat.

"This is becoming a habit." Jungkook looks up and smiles as Tae reaches him.

The smile that Jungkook gives him makes his insides flit and he instantly returns the smile with one of his own, “Indeed it is. Have you finished?”

“I have, I was on my way home.”

“Would you like a lift?”

“I’m soaking wet, Tae, I’m almost positive you don’t want me in your car like this.”

“You could always remove your clothes before getting on? I would like you in my car like that.” his smile was as suggestive as his words and the wiggling of his eyebrows added to it.

Jungkook shakes his head and gives a small smile as he laces their fingers together, “I’d rather not be arrested.”

“You don’t like handcuffs?”

Jungkook chokes a bit but a deep breath prevents him from coughing and spluttering more than necessary, he shakes Tae’s hand in his grasp, “Not if we are talking about being arrested.”

Tae huffs out a little laugh, “I had the foresight to put a protective cover on the passenger seat, would you like a lift?”

“Okay, thanks.”

Once inside the car, Jungkook takes a small towel out of his bag, pleased that he’d had the sense to put it in a small waterproof bag first. He wiped his face and neck, then gave his arms the once over as Tae pulled out into the traffic. It was obvious that the CEO had been home to change after work, his usual suit replaced with a pair of sandy coloured chinos and a cream long sleeved collarless shirt. The rain still drizzled, it was the type that was light and relentless where you get drenched slowly throughout the day and there's no opportunity to dry off.

"Was there a reason you stopped by?" Jungkook quickly dabbed the spots of water off the dashboard.

"I have been invited to a meal tomorrow evening and I would like to speak to you about it." Now his stomach felt jittery, he saw what he thought was disappointment flash across his boyfriend's face.

"We can rearrange, it's one of those things." Jungkook shrugs and wipes his neck, the side closest to Tae so he can turn his head to avoid eye contact.

"That isn't what I wanted to discuss. I would like you to accompany me."

Jungkook turn to look at Tae, "Okay, so… what is there to discuss?"

"The meal is with my group of friends…"

Jungkook cuts in immediately, before Tae can finish, "I don't think so."

Tae pulls into the parking space and removes his seat belt so he can face the man sitting in the passenger seat looking less than impressed.

"Just hear me out?"

The busker gives Tae an apathetic roll of his eyes, "Go on."

"I understand how affected you were by the situation previously and that is my responsibility. This will be a completely different scenario because you would be there as my boyfriend."

"And they know that, do they?"

Tae took a breath, Jungkook appeared defensive, almost leaning against the door, arms folded and he couldn't really blame him, "I spoke to Hoseok and told him that I would be bringing you…"

The busker jumped in again, "How very presumptuous."

"... I would like the opportunity to introduce you to my friends, properly and to start afresh. I would like it if you would allow me the chance to put it right."

Jungkook shifted himself, sits back in the seat and looks out of the side window. It's so difficult, he can feel the humiliation sitting in his stomach just thinking about that charity gala and what happened. He knows that Tae is sorry, he's not only expressed it enough but he can see it in his face. Yet he doesn't know if he can face his friends at this stage of their relationship. Last time Tae allowed them to have the opinions they did and to speak to him in that way and Jungkook’s biggest fear is that Tae is too close to his friends to see their behaviour as rude and dismissive, let alone predjudiced and damn wrong. Unfortunately the CEO is one of them, he's familiar with them and the way they are and Jungkook is trying to see his boyfriend differently, but he knows that if it is a case of him versus them, Tae included with them, he will have to walk away. He also knows that he has to meet them again at some point, Ash has told him often enough that they are Tae’s friends so there has to be compromise on both sides.

Jungkook takes a very deep breath and speaks as he exhales, "Where is the meal?"

Tae reaches across the centre console and takes one of Jungkook’s hands in his, "It's at a restaurant called Blueside."

“What time?”

“7pm.”

Jungkook curls his fingers around Tae’s hand, “And if I say no?”

“Then our plans remain as they are.”

“You won’t go?” Jungkook is taken aback.

“No, I had plans with you first.”

The busker sighs, the dilemma and dread weighing heavily on his mind, “But they will know who I am?”

“I promise you that they will know who you are. When we arrive, I will introduce you as you deserve.” he really wants to erase his previous mistake and not only show Jungkook that he's proud to have him as his boyfriend but to show his friends that he's serious about his new relationship.

Jungkook knows that this is a small way that he can show Tae that he trusts him. He knows he will have to start being more open with him and he really does want to start making an effort. It feels like a leap of faith, remembering how nervous he was before the charity event and that is magnified after what happened. He has to trust in his boyfriend though, he has to have faith that he will do what he says and introduce him as he should be… he needs to give the CEO a chance to put the wrong, right.

“Okay, I will go with you.”

Tae leans forwards and places his palm on the side of his boyfriend’s face, the other hand still joined with Jungkook’s hand, “Thank you for giving me the chance to rectify the previous mistake.”

The busker gives him a small smile, apprehensive about the situation he’s now faced with, walking into a restaurant with people he didn’t like the first time he met them and isn’t sure that will change. As he moves towards Tae, meeting him halfway as their mouths connect, he hopes he understands the trust he is placing in his hands. After the hassle of researching the restaurants that Tae messaged him earlier today and finally choosing one, he now had this to deal with.

Chapter Text

“What’s up, Kookie Monster? You’ve been in a little world of your own all day.”

“I’m hardly looking forward to tonight.”

“Once you’re in there and sitting down, I’m sure everything will be fine. KTH is going to introduce you as his dom, nymphomaniac, sex partner… right?”

Jungkook isn’t ever sure why he’s surprised by the shit that leaves his best friend’s mouth, “Do I have to respond to that?”

“That has to be a better option than prostitute though?”

Jungkook scratches his head before punching Ash on the arm as they sit out the back of the diner on their last break, “I’m thrilled that you find this so amusing. How would you feel if the first time you met your boyfriend’s friends, they thought you were a sex worker and treated you like you were dog shit?”

Ash feigned injury but then put a hand on his friend’s shoulder, “I would feel the same as you but you weren’t boyfriends then and you couldn’t even admit that you were dating. That doesn’t make it right but it’s different now so my advice to you would be to go in with fresh eyes. Treat tonight as the first time you’re meeting your boyfriend’s friends.”

“That sounds like great advice.” Marie appeared from around the side of the building, smiling softly.

“Make a note of it because it is a rare thing.” Jungkook adds.

“It is not! I am full of great advice and we have established so many times that I am always right eventually, you have to string everything out and make a meal of it before we accept that I was right… again.”

“You are doing the right thing by going tonight. It’s a big step and it shows willing. Even if it doesn’t go as you’d hope, you have given them a chance and you’d have shown Taehyung that you are making an effort. Once they know that their friend is serious about you, they will respond differently I’m sure and I would think this is important to Taehyung, he wants to make up for last time and he wants to include you in his circle.” Marie smiles at the both of them.

“Okay, I get it, pretend like his friends aren’t upper class dickheads and this is the first time I’m meeting them. I should definitely remember to keep quiet and look pretty though, huh?”

Both Marie and Ash glare at Jungkook who holds his hands in the air and takes a deep breath before heading back into the diner to finish his shift. He's still irked by the words spoken to him at the charity gala but he will do his best to swallow it just for tonight.

***

He’d spent the whole morning working and taken a twenty minute break so he could try and work out how to use the drinks machine in his kitchen. He still remains baffled by the reaction Jungkook had to the coffee at breakfast yesterday morning but he is now trying to come to terms with there being things that he may never get the answers to. He briefly mentioned the situation to Stefan yesterday afternoon and his suggestion was that perhaps Jungkook didn’t see the need to have bought one coffee, let alone two when there was a perfectly good coffee machine right there. Tae thought that was a ridiculous suggestion because the drinks were ordered as part of breakfast and the fact they were ordered meant Jungkook didn’t have to bother with using the machine. Stefan also commented that he thought that it could be seen as a waste of money but Tae couldn’t even get his head around that one because it wasn’t logical so the conversation was left with the CEO being none the wiser. However, Tae decided that he would learn to use it, inspired by Jungkook and wanting to surprise him the next time he stayed.

Tonight felt like a big deal, Stefan wished him luck before he left the office yesterday afternoon, after their brief chat. Stefan’s advice to his boss was to stay true to who Jungkook is and what the relationship means to him. Since then the CEO had thought long and hard about how to introduce Jungkook, he wanted the whole group to know all at once instead of as they arrive so the only way to do that was to be late, themselves. He knew that Jimin, Yoongi and Namjoon would be there just before 7 and sometime before 7:30, Hobi and Jin would turn up so he ideally wanted to get there at the same time as Hobi and Emery since Emery was an outsider too. He hoped that if anyone could form a connection with his boyfriend, that it would be Emery because he is finding his feet in a new relationship within the group too.

He stood in his bathroom after a shower, staring at himself in the mirror as he brushed his teeth, spitting out the water he’d swished around his mouth. It was strange yesterday when he’d used the bathroom after Jungkook, never usually having anyone in his apartment before. His housekeeper made several comments about the extra towels and he’s sure she’d made reference to the bed sheets but she’d said it while he was working at his computer so he'd had the excuse to ignore it. The apartment building provided housekeepers but Tae insisted on bringing Mrs Phan with him from his last place, she was a friend of one of his parents' staff and he refused to let her go. He accepted the cleaner but only once a fortnight and only because it took some of the work load from the housekeeper. Mrs Phan was a 5ft tall Vietnamese widow who was fluent in several languages, incredibly nosey and strict with Taehyung when she needed to be. The little one bed apartment she lived in, was bought as a gift by Taehyung when she lost her Husband and couldn’t afford all of her rent. He’d never experienced her wrath until he gave her the deeds to the property but she’d calmed down when he’d said that it was instead of a pay rise and she’d cried in gratitude, telling him that she wouldn’t have accepted a pay rise. Mrs Phan enjoyed her job, she loved working for the CEO and this morning wanted to know when she would get to meet his new boyfriend, having never seen anyone in the apartment before, to which Taehyung had sworn her to secrecy until he told his parents because he knew Mrs Phan and her friend, Mai-Ling, met up often.

The plan is that once he returns from Europe he will visit his parents and tell them about Jungkook, his parents have their wedding anniversary so they will have a celebratory meal at the end of next month, as always. It will be a relatively quiet meal, usually only Taehyung and both his parents because his younger sister studies in America, wanting to be a lawyer once she is qualified, only returning at Christmas for a couple of weeks now she has a boyfriend there. He has no idea what his family will make of his boyfriend but he can’t think about that now as he leaves the bathroom to finish getting ready.

***

Jungkook feels sick, his hands are clammy and he’s pacing the hallway that leads to the main entrance of his home. Minutes before, he’d been pacing in the lounge but Ash went on and on about him being himself and fuck the snobby shits if they don’t like him. He appreciated the sentiment but it wasn’t helping how he was feeling so after putting on his shoes that went with the same outfit he’d worn on his first date with Tae, he’d come downstairs to pace the hall instead.

He’d been surprised that Tae suggested driving, he’d been expecting him to want a drink, Jungkook was under no illusion that he would need a drink. The whole evening was nauseating, from the friends, the remnants of the charity gala and the cost of the menu which he’d looked up when he needed to know if they had a dress code. The importance of having his own money on him tonight was great, it’s always an issue for Jungkook but never more so than this evening with the way that Tae and his friends are. Thankfully, with not having to worry about the rent next month and a mysterious bonus from the diner appearing in his bank, he felt better at being able to cover his meal at least. Jungkook knows what will happen, he knows that when it comes to paying, that Tae will insist or just cover it but he wants to be able to have his own share. He’s worried that the group will do something ridiculous like split the bill equally between them and then he has no idea what he will do but decides to add that to the whole list of things to fret over.

Jungkook knows he needs to talk to his boyfriend about these things, he needs to open up and let him know how much stuff like this bothers him but it feels like the biggest can of worms and that can shouldn’t be opened this evening. He hears the Ferrari before he sees it, wiping his palms on his navy trousers and feeling quite antsy as he walks to the entrance. Billy had lent him the cutest blue and gold satin neck scarf that he’d had to admit finished off the simple outfit nicely. He had blow dried his hair, left it down and scrunched some wax through it but no matter what he thought of his outfit, as always, he wasn’t prepared for the way his boyfriend looked. When he exited the building and saw Tae standing with the passenger door open, his stomach did somersaults. His long legs covered in simple black trousers but looked anything but simple on the man who should have been a model. The pale pink patterned long sleeve shirt had a large collar and was tucked into the waistband of his trousers, showing off his svelte waist. Jungkook was put at ease by the smile and shine in his boyfriend’s eyes, his forehead on display with his hair styled just to one side.

“Good evening.” Tae’s hand finds its way around Jungkook’s waist as he presses his lips to his cheek.

“Hi.” Jungkook says, clearing his throat because he is sure he sounded like he was daydreaming.

“Ready?”

“Not really.” he couldn’t lie when he is convinced that his face may say otherwise.

“I’m going to make it up to you, I promise.” he says with sincerity.

“I know.” and he does know. He knows that Tae is sorry for before and he knows that tonight is as much about Tae rectifying his mistake as it is about Jungkook giving his friends a chance.

“Did your shift go well at the diner today?” Tae pulls out of the street and into the traffic, he can see that Jungkook is nervous or at least he thinks that is what it is. He’s kicked himself for what happened before and it doesn’t make him feel good that his boyfriend feels the way he does because of something he did but tonight he's going to show him how much he cares and be proud to be with him.

"It was steady, thanks. Did you get everything done that you wanted to?" Jungkook wants to ask him how he and his friends settle the bill when they go out but he can't bring himself to mention it, afraid of Tae’s answer or him thinking that Jungkook is worried about money… which he is.

"I did and more, I might be able to get my list written for packing so Mrs Phan doesn't have to rush."

"Do you eat at Blueside often?" Jungkook knew what he was going to have, he didn't want a starter, just the salmon. It was the most reasonable dish without being too cheap to draw attention to himself.

"Once a month, maybe. It depends on our schedules, time of year and usually if Jin is in the country."

Jungkook nods, like he can relate but he feels so sick with nerves that nodding his head is the best he can do. Tae parks in the designated space that is often reserved for him, a short walk to the carpet lined, awning covered walkway that leads to the entrance. He gets out of the car and walks around to open the passenger door, placing his arms around his boyfriend’s waist as the door closes. He kisses his cheek then leaves a delicate kiss on his lips, before he takes him by the hand, their fingers clasped tightly together as they walk.

They are greeted by a very smiley lady as they enter, she informs Tae that the group are already seated, forcing him to check his watch and look with confusion when he sees that it's only 7:12pm.

"Are Hoseok and Seokjin here?" He asks her.

"Yes, Sir. Master Hoseok arrived about a minute ago." The lady knew the group well, she has worked at Blueside for years and was more than used to the friends.

"That has to be Emery's influence, Seok is always at least twenty minutes late."

"He did receive some cheers from the others, Master Taehyung."

"I bet he did." Tae has always found the staff to be lovely here and in any other walk of life, calling them 'Master' before their first names would be odd but it's something they've always done.

She showed them through to a room where there was an overly large sized table with six pairs of eyes looking at them. Jungkook felt the hairs stand up on the back of his neck as they looked straight to him and a couple of them diverted their gaze to their hands clasped between them. The nausea was replaced with a knotting in his stomach and he was grateful that Tae didn't let go of his hand as they reached the group or his hands would probably be balled into fists at his sides.

"At least when I'm late, I look good." Jin says with a smile.

"That's questionable." Tae lets go of Jungkook’s hand to pull a chair out for him and then proceeds to sit beside him to his right. The large rectangular table has Jin on the left and Namjoon on the right at either end, Emery sits next to Jungkook and Tae, with Hobi, Yoongi and Jimin on the other side. The table is huge and full of a variety of appetisers, glasses, cutlery and napkins, all laid out perfectly on a bright white cloth adorned with a pale blue swirly pattern.

"Did you tell your P.A that I'll be in touch?" Hobi asks Tae.

"I did and here's his business card…" Tae fishes in his pocket and takes out the card to hand diagonally to Hobi, then he sits down and continues, "... before anything else is said, I'd like to officially introduce you all to Jungkook. I didn't do things the right way last time but now we are a couple so I am intending on acting accordingly…" Tae reaches over and places a hand on Jungkook’s thigh, "... Jungkook, that is Emery, Jin, Hoseok, Yoongi, Jimin and Namjoon. Everyone, this is Jungkook, I'd like to offer my apologies for the Charity Gala situation." He breathes a sigh of relief and judging by the way his boyfriend strokes his knuckles, covering his hand with his own, he hopes that means he's done the right thing this time.

"A couple? As in… partners?" Namjoon addresses Tae.

"Yes, to both. I asked him and I was lucky that Jungkook accepted to be my boyfriend." Tae looks at Jungkook and smiles.

A server brings over several bottles and opens them, pouring them into flutes but Tae puts his hand over his glass and shakes his head, informing her that he's driving and asking for a lime soda instead.

"It's nice to meet you properly, Jungkook." Emery says, taking a sip from the glass and giving him a big smile.

"Thanks… and you." Jungkook doesn't know what to say. Emery is the only one to radiate any sort of warmth, he isn't getting a warm feeling from the friends sitting around the table. Jin to his left hasn't taken his eyes off of him and he can feel the others staring too. He isn't comfortable with the general vibe and is trying to focus on his boyfriend who is doing everything he promised and Jungkook is irritated that he isn't getting the chance to let him know that he's grateful.

Everyone starts picking at the food scattering the table, Jungkook feels like there are rocks instead of knots in his stomach now as he grips Tae's hand on his thigh, losing his appetite and getting tired of the constant glances or obvious glares. It is quite clear that they don't like him, even now, even after the way that Taehyung introduced him. He thought there might have been a crack in the ice at least but that isn't happening. When each of the group talks, they give Jungkook a fleeting look which just comes across as dismissive as they address whoever it is they are speaking to.

"Did the label get hold of you this week?" Yoongi looks at Tae.

"They did. We are sorting out some advertising for when the centre is ready. Do you know they offered to pay?"

"They said they'd set aside a budget for it." Yoongi added.

Jimin chipped in, "They were actually given a quote by Get Scene. Yoon told them to contact you. We didn't think you'd do it for nothing but we knew you'd be fair."

"I'm not going to charge them. I was going to donate more money anyway, so I'll just cover all the advertising. I'd rather they had a good campaign, it's important that word gets out about the great work they will be doing."

"Yeah but if it's going to cost Aura, you don't want to do that." Yoongi trusted that the centre would be in the best hands but didn't want Tae to do it at a loss.

"Yoon, it's all in hand, I'm meeting with the Mr Zenigata, Director of the Centre and the Shadow's PR guy when I'm back from London. He said the centre doesn't have a name yet?"

"Not yet." Jimin adds.

"How are they going to name it?" Hobi asks, munching on a breadstick, dipping it in one of the many sauces on the table.

"Loads of ideas have been thrown about but nothing decided yet." Yoongi says.

"They're always talking about it or how to get a name for it but that's as far as it goes." When Jimin speaks, he side casts his eyes over Jungkook who looks like he's about to say something.

"They could run a competition on social media? The record label and companies connected must have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram pages?"

Everyone looks at Jungkook as he offers his suggestion. He hopes that by offering something as part of the conversation that perhaps it will lighten the mood once they engage with him... he doubts it but after Tae has made such an effort, this is his contribution.

"That’s definitely something I could make happen as part of the advertising." Tae gives his boyfriend's hand a little squeeze, their hands still resting on the busker's thigh.

"And what would be the prize?" Jin asks, his eyes not leaving Jungkook, tone condescending.

"Isn't being the person who named the centre, enough of a prize?" Jungkook offers in response.

Jimin laughs, a mocking tone, "wow."

Namjoon scoffs, "Entrants would want money or something as a prize."

"Not everyone wants something." Jungkook says through gritted teeth.

"You could ask the sponsors to provide a prize to encourage entries. I'd throw in a EGO merch box or something." Hobi offers, he thinks the idea has legs and could definitely go places.

"I think it's worth considering. I'll put it forward when I have the meeting." Tae is beaming inside. He thinks Jungkook’s suggestion is a good one and definitely wants to discuss it with him later.

"I'll be surprised if they go for it." Jimin mumbles contemptuously.

"Joon, did you get a date for the throne?" Tae turns to look at his friend.

"Friday. They said before 2pm. Finally." He says, leaning forwards to reach for his glass.

"Do they have my P.A's details?"

"They have your office number. You'll get the calls redirected to him, though?"

"I will but you may as well have a card too." Tae gets a card from his pocket and hands it to Namjoon who accepts the card with a smile and the nod of his head.

"Are you all ready for London?" Jin briefly looks at Tae.

"Not yet, the schedules keep changing and I've got a ton of work to do between now and then."

"It's going to be good to get away."

"It's business, you know what business trips are like, Jin, it's hardly a holiday."

"Yeah but some time out on your own will be good." Jimin chimes.

Jungkook looks at Jimin, "Yeah but he invited me."

"And what did you do to orchestrate that?" The tension around the table builds at Jimin's question.

"What are you implying?" Jungkook frowns at Jimin.

"I'm not implying anything. It was a straight forward question." he says with arrogance.

"In that case, the answer is nothing or did you want me to say that I give good head and the invitation was payment?"

"Then this meal is very similar to the last one, after all." Jin says as he sits back in his chair.

"Please, enough. I'm trying to put that behind me. That was my fault you were led to believe what you did and I invited Jungkook to accompany me to London because he is my boyfriend." Tae was hoping the introduction earlier would make the charity gala null and void but obviously not.

"Look, Tae, that was a misunderstanding but he isn't who you think he is." Yoongi speaks up.

Before Jungkook can speak, Tae jumps in, "What are you talking about, Yoon?"

"We think you should know that we know that you've sent him dick pics and he's driven your car… is that true?" Namjoon asks his friend.

Tae looks at Jungkook then around the table, "How do you know? I haven't spoken to any of you about us yet."

Jungkook sits there confused but his stomach is knotting with Jin's eyes boring into him, he turns his head sharply to his left, looking past Emery who is sitting back in his chair giving Hobi looks, "Am I not pretty enough or quiet enough for you tonight?" he asks the model with a biting sarcastic tone.

Tae asks Namjoon again, while Jin just smirks at Jungkook dismissively, "Joon, are you going to explain?"

"Jungkook, if that's what his real name is, was showing the staff his phone at the dingy diner and one of them was asking about the dick pics." Yoongi interjects.

“The guy he is definitely sleeping with from what Mochi and Yoon saw.” Namjoon adds.

"What?" Jungkook can feel the anger bubbling away.

"What do you mean, if that's his real name? Can someone tell me what is going on?" Taehyung suddenly feels like he's super late to a party that no one told him about.

"We went to his work and we heard him joking about how he can get whatever he wants out of you as long as tells you that you're a good boy and he was very over familiar with the guy serving us." Jimin glares at Jungkook as he speaks.

"You did what?" Tae feels like he has been transported to another universe as he looks at Jimin.

"Why would you tell other people that?" Hobi asks Jungkook. He knew it was bad but didn't know the full extent and the thought that this guy was making a fool out of one of his closest friends is quite frankly shocking.

Yoongi answers Tae’s question, "we were concerned. Some beggar crashes into your life and gets his feet well and truly under the table. So we did some digging. The diner was an eye opener, they were talking about sexting you and what they can get out of you once he's got you naked because you'll do what he wants if he tells you that you are good as well as boasting about driving the ferrari."

Jin speaks up next, "and we couldn't find anything on him. We had a few of our guys do searches and nothing came up. He is untraceable which means he's probably using a false name because what other explanation is there?."

"How fucking dare you!" Jungkook has heard enough.

"Well… deny it… going by Tae's reaction he knows we are telling the truth. How else would we know that stuff… deny it." Jimin denounces the busker.

"I don't have to deny anything or prove myself to you. You've all made up your minds so fuck the lot of you." Jungkook was raging, he had so much he wanted to say but he was so angry that every word was getting lodged in his throat.

"If that isn't an admission then I don't know what is." Namjoon says smugly.

"How much were you going to swindle out of him? Begging to fish for rich guys was a nice touch." Yoongi says.

"You are a hustler, that much is clear. You might have looks on your side but that's it. The game is up." Jimin keeps an eye on Tae who looks like he's in shock.

"Disgusting to think that people like you exist." Jin says into the glass he's drinking from.

Jungkook stands up, he's livid but Jimin speak before he does, "Got another headache from your allergy to bullshit?" Throwing Jungkook’s own words at him from the gala.

"Your heads are so far shoved up your own arses and each other's that the only thing you can smell is shit. You aren't worth it, bunch of cunts… fuck all of you."

"And there you have it, I don't think we need to say anymore." Namjoon adds.

Just as Jungkook turns to leave, Tae stands up, "How dare you! How can you arrange this which is effectively a witch hunt? What happened to respect and calling me with your concerns?"

"You deserve better! Who knows how many have seen your texts? You haven't built the reputation you have only to have that tramp bring you down." Jimin almost spits when he talks, standing now too.

"Fuck you!!" Jungkook balls his fists and storms through the door, he pushes past everyone and everything, searching blindly for the way out, desperate for fresh air, eyes filling rapidly with tears of anger.

Tae looks behind him where his boyfriend has stomped away, then back to the table, "You are all out of line! Tonight was about me making up for last time, I talked him into coming tonight! He trusted me!"

"So what? It's done. He's gone. He's a nobody." Jin says casually.

Tae doesn't do public confrontation and he rarely loses his cool but he's furious.

"So what? So what? I'll tell you what… I love him… okay? For the first time in ages I was happy, genuinely happy… I. LOVE. HIM."

And he does. It burns through him that this is the first time he's admitted it, the first time he's accepted that he loves Jungkook, the first time the words are spoken and it's in these circumstances and worst of all... his boyfriend isn't even here.

"You will find someone else, Tae." Hobi suggests.

Tae was a few steps from the table, heading towards the door when he takes a step back, "Didn’t you hear anything I just said? I said that I love him and right now, the only relationships I am questioning are the ones between me and the people in this room. Now excuse me while I try to stop my boyfriend from walking out of my life and on your heads if he does!"

He rushes out the door and through the restaurant, he is in utter disbelief that this has happened. It's like de ja vu but magnified intensely because he's never been so scared of losing someone and he can't lose the man that he loves now.

Chapter Text

Jungkook can't even see the path in front of him when he crashes through the doors and out into the early evening air, the lady standing near the front desk had tried to speak to him but he didn't hang around to find out what she was saying. His hands are shaking and his face is contorted in anger, sheer sadness manifests as streams of tears freefalling down his cheeks. He can't believe what he's witnessed, he's in shock that they spied on him at the diner and even though he only vaguely remembers the conversation with Ash, he knows for sure it wasn't what they said it was. Once again humiliated by those people and he's had enough. He recognises that he should've stayed, he should have hung around to hear what else was said and to stay with Taehyung because he had been speaking out against the behaviour of his friends which had come as a shock. His mind is a complete mess, the last thing he'd expected was for his boyfriend to speak up the way that he did but he's sure they've probably convinced him otherwise by now. Anyone that saw him now, would think he was intoxicated the way that he staggers towards the Ferrari, he doesn't know where to go, he doesn't know where he is having never been here before. He knows that he can't escape Taehyung because he will want to find out what happened and hear it from him or he will want to finish it, which probably amounts to the same thing. He has learned enough about the CEO to know that he likes to deal with facts and doubts he'd just let it go, especially after the way he dealt with the trouble that Purple Aura had with the company from Japan. It's started raining now but the night air is quite warm, Jungkook can't feel anything as he sits on a giant ceramic flower display, he is vaguely aware that he's getting wet but all he can hear are the words spoken by Tae's friends and the way they looked at him. It's taken him a long time to build some pride and be who he is now, only for a bunch of egotistical rich arseholes to destroy him a second time.

Tae rushes through the restaurant after saying all he needed to say to the people that he thought were his friends. He bursts through the doors and outside he looks around him but can’t see Jungkook, “Have you seen the man I arrived with?” he asks the doorman.

“No Sir, I’ve not been here for the last ten minutes though.”

“He’s my boyfriend and I need to find him.” Tae doesn’t wait for a response, he hurries to the end and looks up and down the street but can’t see Jungkook. It’s drizzling with rain and he decides to drive around and look for him, desperately hoping that he hasn't gotten too far.

He walks back towards the parking space, illuminated in a white haze by the lights along the awning and that’s when he sees Jungkook, head low, hunched over. He doesn’t know what to say but can see he is wet and wants to get him in the car so they can talk, “Jungkook?”

The busker looks up when he hears his name and so many emotions and reactions hit him at full speed, “You took your time, busy toasting the fact that you are free of me?”

“If that’s what you believe then I’m not quite sure why you are still here.”

“Was that your plan? To get me there to humiliate me?” he knows this isn't true but he is so upset.

“I think that you know better than that. Can we go? Please get in the car.” Tae unlocks the car and holds open the door.

“I don’t know better than that though do I? If I knew better I’d have stayed the fuck away from you.”

“Jungkook, please, get in the car.”

“This really is a repeat of the charity event isn’t it?” Jungkook says, standing and pushing past Tae to get into the Ferrari.

Tae takes a deep breath and goes around to the drivers door, sits and fastens his seat belt in silence, his own tears building in his eyes as he starts the car and pulls out into the traffic. He is humiliated, confused and hurt, he had no idea that his friends would react this way and he can feel the pain radiating from his new boyfriend which adds to the hurt.

“Did you know that they were spying on me?”

“Of course I didn’t know. Everything you heard tonight was the first time I’d heard it too.”

“Where are we going now?”

“I’m taking you back to my place.”

“Because we do everything you want? Has it occurred to you that I might want to go home?”

“Has it occurred to you that there were some wild accusations back there and that maybe I might want some answers?”

“We don’t need to be at your place for that.”

“Perhaps we should go back to your place and have this discussion in front of Ash or does he know about tonight already?”

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Ash is my best friend! I’ll tell him what I want, that’s got nothing to do with you or your cunty friends.”

“Do you have to be so foul?” Tae clenches the steering wheel, he was prepared for hostility and a battle with Jungkook but this time it was so different.

“I’m sorry I forgot, you may not know this but beggars and tramps are foul, we lack etiquette, so fuck off.” Jungkook was seething, his defences were sky high and he felt like a wild animal backed into a corner.

“I don’t see you that way.”

“I don’t care.”

“This is an extreme overreaction, even for you, if you don’t care.”

“Fuck off, Taehyung.” he turned and looked out of the side window.

The rest of the journey is completed in silence, the air is thick and heavy, Tae’s mind running at high speed as he comes to terms with his feelings. He loves Jungkook, even now when he’s having words spat at him, he loves him, after what his friends said, there is quite clearly something he’s locked away that drives the way he is… and Tae wants to know what it is so he can love him completely.

They enter the apartment without speaking, both distracted by whatever is going on in their heads, Tae turns the air con down and goes to his room to find some pyjama bottoms and a t-shirt of sorts for Jungkook. When he returns, Jungkook is in the kitchen searching for a drink in the fridge, pulling out a bottle of wine and getting two glasses. Tae’s heart aches at the sight of his boyfriend, he looks so dejected and his face haggard with tears.

“I thought you might want to change into some dry clothes.”

Jungkook downs the contents of the glass and refills it, he’s about to tell Tae to shove it but sees the look on his face and can’t bring himself to speak the words so takes the clothes, mutters “thanks” and goes through to the bedroom to change. The waterworks open as soon he is alone in Taehyung’s bedroom, already there have been some happy memories made here and they are anchoring him to the situation. He hates everyone right now, even Ash and Marie because everyone told him to go tonight, they all said that he should give it a chance, they all said it would be okay even though his gut told him the complete opposite. The fact that he put his trust in Taehyung and decided to go, wanting his boyfriend to have the opportunity to make things right, sticks in his throat and the anger simmers within him because he has been so stupid. Jungkook was stupid to believe that he could have a relationship with someone like Taehyung, even looking past all his airs and graces, the world he lives in and the person he is, was always going to cause a problem.

Now, Jungkook is in a situation that he’s been wanting to avoid, he’s known that he would need to start opening up a little but after this evening, he doesn’t have a lot of choice. He wants to say ‘fuck it’ and go home, he wants to turn his back on the man in the living area waiting for him, he wants to wish that he’d never asked him for the smoothie. He should have been like everyone else and just taken that money, if he didn’t have so much pride he would’ve been fine but as he walks out of the bedroom, he knows that it’s gone too far now because he cares more than he should.

Tae is sitting on the couch, there are two full glasses of wine on the coffee table and Jungkook pushes away how much his heart hurts at the look on his face. He knows he can’t make it better and once again is led back to the burning question of why Taehyung pursued him in the first place.

He picks up one of the glasses and takes a couple of big gulps before he sits down at the other end of the couch, twisting his body to face Tae and leaning against the arm with one leg up resting on the cushion. “They didn’t tell you what they were planning?”

“No, no they didn’t. I would never have taken you into that situation tonight, had I known. I wanted tonight to be positive, surely you could see that from the manner in which I introduced you?”

“What I saw was the way your friends set a trap then looked at me like I was no more than some dirt on the bottom of their shoes.”

“Of course that’s what you would see.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“It means that I put myself out tonight, I attempted to rectify my previous mistake and yet you only see the negatives.”

“Would you like a medal? You spouted a few words to try and make up for the fact that you let your friends think I was a fucking prostitute the first time they met me. Congratulations,”

“Had I known that no one was going to be able to let my previous mistake go, I really wouldn’t have bothered.”

“I was willing to let it go, I wanted to let it go! I wanted to give you that chance to make it right so don’t you fucking dare say that I wasn’t able to let it go. Your arsehole friends didn’t get the memo, though.”

“They haven’t acted appropriately, they shouldn’t have gone to the diner.” Taehyung can't even get his head around that information.

Jungkook scoffs, “Understatement.”

“How much of what they said was accurate?”

“You mean you don’t believe your friends?” the tone was pure sarcasm.

“Jungkook, I would like to hear your side.”

“But they are your friends, Taehyung! They are trying to save you from this tramp. They don’t want you to have a boyfriend who is a beggar, who is only after your money, you deserve better.”

Tae was becoming increasingly agitated, “Can you please stop referring to yourself like that?!”

“They aren’t my words, though are they?”

“No, they aren’t. They are the words of my friends, I understand that but I would like to hear your side of the story. They’ve expressed themselves and now I would like for you to do the same.”

“What’s the point?” Jungkook’s head is starting to ache from the wine and the pressure of the situation. He gets up and goes to the kitchen to get some water, taking some deep breaths as he does because his chest feels so incredibly tight.

Tae follows Jungkook into the kitchen, “The point is that they have accused you of a lot and I think it’s only fair that you get the chance to have your say.”

“If I tell you that all of it was right, that I’m exactly the person they think I am, what will you say?”

“I don’t believe you will say that.” Tae’s heart was beating so hard, his pulse thumping in his temples.

“That isn’t what I asked. How would you feel if I confirmed what they’d said?” he drained the glass of water and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

The CEO could feel the tears welling in his eyes, “I don’t know. I’d feel upset, I suppose.”

“But tomorrow morning you would get up and get your work done here, you would call your friends and tell them they were right and thank them for saving you from the tramp. You would go to work Monday and everything would be normal and you could be relieved that you had a lucky escape.”

“Are you saying that they are right? Are you confirming that everything they said tonight was the truth? Are you?” he blinks quickly, not wanting the tears to fall.

Jungkook looks into Tae’s eyes, he can see the glassiness, he sees the innocence even now and his heart is breaking but the alternative fills him with so much fear that it’s easier to push him away. He shakes his head and looks at the floor, the one thing that he isn’t, is a liar and he can’t tell Taehyung that it was as his friends had said, when it wasn’t. Pushing him away is one thing but he can’t lie, he can’t have Tae think all that of him because he doesn’t want to hurt him like that.

Tae breathes a sigh of relief, he feels quite dizzy as if he’d stood up too fast, he reaches out but doesn’t know what he’s searching for because Jungkook is too far away. He’s scared as he begins to step farther into the kitchen, closing the gap between them, he’s fearful of rejection and hearing things he doesn’t want to hear.

“So… it wasn’t the truth? Please tell me, I would like your side of it.” he speaks softly, cautious in his movements when he touches Jungkook’s fingertips gently with his own.

Jungkook looks up, he wiggles his fingers so slightly that he isn’t sure they are moving at all, “But what if you don’t like what you hear?”

“Then we will deal with it but I can’t make a judgement until I have your side of the story.”

Jungkook takes a very deep breath, his lungs expanding to the point where he feels they might explode, releasing the breath so slowly that it takes forever.

“I don’t remember exactly the conversation I had with Ash, it was a few weeks ago I think but I can tell you what I know.”

“That’s all I’m asking.”

“Okay. Ash was jealous when I told him I’d driven your car after the theme park, he is always begging me to ask you to let him drive it, just to wind me up. He hasn’t seen the pictures you’ve sent me, I can assure you of that. I downloaded an app called Photo Vault that is locked with a passcode, the pictures are in there. Ash probably made a comment about dick pics because he’s an idiot, he’s usually saying something inappropriate…” the next part was difficult but he has to be honest, he laces his fingers with Tae’s as he continues, “... I have spoken to him about sex with you. Not in great detail but he knows me and what I’m like and I’ve been so surprised with the sort of lover you are, that… that I told him bits and pieces. You have this strong business persona and I didn’t expect you to be the way you are and for us to be so well suited in the bedroom. Ash probably did make a comment about me getting you to be good and letting him drive the Ferrari and I probably agreed but it was banter between us, no one else.”

Taehyung listened intently and searched Jungkook’s eyes for a sign of anything that said he wasn’t being truthful but it wasn’t there. He was embarrassed a little, hearing Jungkook talk and knowing that the way he is in the bedroom has been spoken about.

“There wasn’t anyone else involved in your conversation?”

“No, no one. It’s only Ash, Billy and Marie that know about you. I’m not the type to broadcast my personal life.”

“Are you ashamed of me?”

Jungkook’s face contorted with utter incredulity at the question, “Are you serious?”

“Why else wouldn’t you tell people?”

“You mean, like you did? I think that’s more your area of expertise than mine.”

Tae swallows a couple of times in quick succession, the truth does hurt it would seem, “I wanted to put that right tonight.”

“Whatever, Taehyung. Just don’t throw stones when you’re standing in a glass house.”

“Is there anything else you need to tell me about the diner incident?”

“No, my memory of it is vague but I’ve told you what I know. I shouldn’t have had the chat with Ash where others could hear it. We were probably sitting out the back on our break and hadn’t thought about people being able to hear us. I am sorry about that.”

“Thank you, I appreciate your honesty and even though I don’t necessarily feel it is needed, I accept your apology.”

“As I said, I’m not one to broadcast my personal life so I should have thought about it.”

“Are you… “ in retrospect, the diner incident didn’t really matter, Taehyung didn’t quite understand the relationship between Jungkook and Ash but in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t important. However, he did need to ask about the other piece of information and that answer is the one that terrified him the most. “... are you… who you say you are?” the words leave him and he feels like he’s leapt out of an aeroplane, not knowing whether the parachute will open or not.

The question fills Jungkook with dread because the answer isn’t simple, “Yes, I am. My name is Jeon Jungkook, I’ve never lied to you.”

“Why couldn’t they find anything on you? Everyone can be traced nowadays.”

Jungkook’s stomach knots at the question, he feels so violated and he doesn’t want to have to explain, he wanted to open up when he was ready and not because he’s back into a corner, “Maybe your friends make shit detectives as well as being shit human beings.”

“Maybe, but they know people and that doesn’t answer my question.”

“I’ve answered your question, I am who I say I am so either believe me or don’t, I don't care!” he pulls away from his boyfriend and walks into the living area, slumping down onto the couch where he was sitting before.

Tae enters the room and resumes his previous position too, “I believe that you are who you say you are but that doesn’t explain why you didn’t come up in searches or whatever it is they were looking for.”

“I’ve never invaded someone’s privacy so I can’t help you.”

“Why are you getting so defensive if you have nothing to hide?”

“Fuck off, Taehyung. I’m not defensive!”

“You are! You are sitting with your arms crossed and your tone is aggressive. You just walked away from me in the kitchen which is a contrast to you speaking so honestly before that.”

“Perhaps I don’t like that my honesty is in question? Maybe the fact that people have been looking into who I am in such detail has pissed me off?”

“But they have and it’s done so offer an explanation. You were speaking so candidly before but now you’ve closed off.”

“What do you want me to say?”

“I want you to tell me whatever it is you are hiding.”

“Just fuck off,” the words are spoken wearily but with an edge.

Tae slides up to the other end of the couch, sitting right in front of Jungkook, reaches up and pushes some hair behind his ear, “It’s important, please, tell me who you are. If my friends are wrong, I want to know. I can’t defend you or us if I don’t have the facts.”

“Why is it so important? Why can’t you just trust that I am telling the truth when I say that I am who I am? You believed me when I told you about the diner.”

“I do believe you are who you say you are but something is telling me that there is more to it because of your reaction. It is important.”

Jungkook closes his eyes and opens them slowly, looking into the face of his boyfriend who is looking at him with so much affection, even now, “Why is it important?”

It is Tae’s turn to inhale deeply, his chest expanding to its fullest before he releases the breath, “It is important because I love you.”

“What?” Jungkook wasn’t expecting that at all.

“I suspected that my feelings had altered and grown, then while I was confronting my friends at Blueside, after you’d left… it came out… and I knew.”

“You told your friends?” it was suddenly a lot to take in and he wished he’d stayed.

“Yes, I told them. It was the first time I’d admitted it to myself, it just came out and I apologise for that because you should have been the first to hear it.”

Jungkook was struggling to comprehend this, after everything that had happened this evening, after what his friends had said, without knowing what the truth was, Taehyung had defended him and told them that he loved him. Even now, when he still hadn’t given him very much, when the truth about his past was still hidden, Tae is apologising to him because he’d blurted his feelings out to the group instead of him first.

“Please don’t apologise… I… I don’t know what to say.”

“Talk to me… please.” his pleading tone is all that he has left right now.

“I am who I say I am, I promise, that is the absolute truth. The reason they probably couldn’t find any links to me is more than likely because I have a different name to my family. My mother remarried and took my step father’s name.” The tears fall as he speaks.

“Okay, that makes some sense. But if it’s that simple, why the defensive stance?”

“Please… there is more… please… I will tell you… trust me. I am me… I haven’t lied to you but I'm not ready to tell you everything just yet... but I will.”

Tae wipes the tears as they fall, “I do trust you, I’ll be ready to listen when you are ready to talk.”

Jungkook leans forwards and Tae meets him halfway, both closing their eyes and exhaling into the kiss. He pulls back just a little, breaths mingling in the small gap between their mouths. He knows he needs to make a leap of faith and his anger isn't aimed at Taehyung directly. This man, his new boyfriend is here, looking at him with such purity and devotion that his heart is shattering into smithereens. It's in this second that he has a light bulb moment in that maybe they do need to get away, maybe getting out of this environment would be a positive thing for them and if anything else it would really irritate his friends... “I’ll come to London with you.” he whispers. He'd been meaning to accept anyway, he'd wanted to tell Taehyung yesterday but it hadn't happened.

“You will?” Tae whispers back.

With a slight nod of his head, his hands in his lap, he replies, “If I’m still invited?”

Tae pulls back to look in his eyes, his hand cupping his jaw and the pad of his thumb brushing across his cheek gently, “I very much want you with me.”

Jungkook gives a weary smile and connects their lips once more. The evening certainly hadn’t gone as expected and there was still so much more to discuss. He doesn’t understand why Taehyung is so patient with him or why someone like him persists on putting up with someone like Jungkook… but for the first time, the only thing that matters is that he does.

Chapter Text

The pounding in his temples forces him to close his eyes again, he shuffles his body, the arm underneath him is completely dead and the other arm is clutching Jungkook who is pressed to his chest. His movement is restricted by the back of the couch and his boyfriend's body, both too exhausted to move after the emotion of the evening. After Jungkook told him that he would accompany him to London, they'd lay on the couch, arms wrapped around each other, the busker snuggling against him as they spoke. Tae felt almost privileged that Jungkook had wanted to be held, lowering his guard enough to allow Tae to care for him. The CEO had a strong feeling of protection when he encased Jungkook in his arms, the saddest part being that it was his own friends that he needed to protect him from.

He places his palm over Jungkook’s chest, feeling the rise and fall as he breathes steadily, he thinks he could quite easily become lost in the rhythm and calmness, if he didn't need to move. Tae doesn't want to wake him, he thinks he probably needs to sleep after the disastrous evening but Tae really, really needs to move. He slowly removes his hand, careful in his movements as he presses his back into the couch to try and create a gap between them so he can wriggle his way out. It isn't successful though and Jungkook yawns and rubs his eyes, so Tae puts his hand back on his chest and whispers, "Morning" just in case he isn't actually awake, he wants to keep his voice low.

The response he gets is his boyfriend twisting and turning, shuffling and wriggling until he's completely turned around and is facing him as he makes a quick grab for Tae so he doesn't fall backwards off the couch, "Morning" he says quietly, his cheeks reddening slightly from the embarrassment at his close call.

Jungkook looks at Tae and a frown forms, "What's the matter?" he can see Tae's eyes are half open and there's an expression there that he isn't sure of.

"I've got a headache, that's all." Tae's voice is croaky, husky from sleep.

"Where do you keep your painkillers?"

"I can get them."

"Tae, please, where do you keep them?"

Jungkook is still utterly astounded by his boyfriend's reaction last night. Not only did he stand up to his friends and tell them he loves him, he was so patient and understanding once they were back here. He might've been surprised that the CEO defended him to his friends but he wasn't so surprised by his declaration of love. He suspected that Taehyung loved him when he took him to see Chicago and went out of his way to ensure that the whole evening was about the busker. Jungkook had considered that Tae's feelings were deep when he invited him to London and there was his insistence to make his mistake at the charity gala right. As he laid in Taehyung's arms last night, he felt it and upon reflection it was there in every kiss and every time they'd been intimate. Then there was the fact that even though Taehyung knew there is more to Jungkook’s story, he accepted what he was told and didn't push for any more than he was given at the time. Whilst laying in his arms last night, Jungkook decided that the reason that Taehyung pursued him in the first place is no longer relevant. It actually doesn't matter anymore, the reason he stays is what matters now and obviously that reason is that he loves him, everything else is inconsequential, he just wishes that he could openly reciprocate.

"In the master bathroom there's a medicine cabinet." He says drowsily.

Jungkook sits up, turning to sit on the edge and put his feet on the floor. He groans as he stretches and his back clicks before he stands and walks towards the bathroom. While he's getting the painkillers, Tae releases his dead arm from under his own body and sits upright, resting his head back and closing his eyes. He's still in the shirt and trousers from last night and he needs to shower and change but he also very much needs to get rid of this headache or he'll be wanting to crawl under the duvet until tomorrow. He hears his boyfriend return but doesn’t open his eyes and his head feels too heavy to move it, he hates it when he feels like this, he can’t think straight and he’s thankful that it’s Sunday and he’d done so much work yesterday.

Jungkook goes to the kitchen to get a glass of water and comes back to where Tae is in the same position on the couch. He feels slightly responsible for his boyfriend’s headache, he knows that he doesn’t make things easy for him but there are times when everything feels like such a challenge. New relationships are a minefield under normal circumstances but when the past that you’ve locked away is suddenly relevant, it makes it all so much more difficult and never in a million years did he expect that someone like Kim Taehyung would be his boyfriend. There's a part of him that is so angry at Tae's so called friends for treating him the way they have because he's sure that is causing him stress too. He walks around the couch and sits down, “Here, take these.”

Tae lifts his head and smiles, his boyfriend looks concerned, daft considering it’s just a headache, “Thank you.” he takes the tablets from his hand and accepts the glass of water, swallowing both down in one go.

“You should try and sleep it off.” Jungkook suggests.

“I’ll be fine.”

“Tae, it’s still early… well, for me it is. I will make breakfast, you go to bed.”

“Do you have plans today?” Tae wants to spend time with Jungkook, last night was a big deal.

“No, I’d like to spend the day with you… if you don’t have work to do or something, which is fine, I can go home and leave you to it… I can call a cab and…”

Jungkook is stopped by a hand on his face and lips against his own, “I would like to spend the day with you too.”

“Will you get some sleep then?”

“That sounds like bribery?"

Jungkook smiles, "If I have to bribe you to get you to bed then I will."

"You will never have to bribe me to get me into bed, Jungkook."

Damn it! He should've known as soon as the words left his lips, he kicks himself as the familiar blush seeps into his cheeks, "Tae, are you going to go to bed or not?"

Tae has half a smile on his face, he is tired and could probably do with trying to sleep off the headache but he's also very much enjoying this conversation with Jungkook, "You can be so bossy, it's a major turn on."

"And you can be incorrigible… and frustrating."

"Perhaps you should start a list?"

"Definitely not, that's your domain."

"It was a very lengthy list."

"I have no doubt, even though with such a big list of negativity, I wonder why you persisted." Jungkook looked away, he didn't want to know the answer if he was being honest.

Tae sat forwards, "I've never been a quitter, Jungkook… look at me, please…"

Jungkook reluctantly turns to face his boyfriend, Tae stroking the side of his cheek with the back of his hand as he continued, "... the positives far outweigh whatever was on that list."

“I’d like to be able to say the same… but I can’t.” he says with a grin, not wanting to turn the mood because of his own insecurities. There is so much to his past that his boyfriend doesn't yet know.

“Cheeky.” Tae says, pecking Jungkook on the lips.

“Come on…” Jungkook stands and holds out his hands for the CEO to take, “... you are clearly incapable of taking yourself to bed.”

Tae takes the hands offered to him and winces when his head starts banging as he is pulled to his feet, “I am incapable of showering myself too.”

Jungkook shakes his head and rolls his eyes at the brass neck of his boyfriend, “You need to sleep, I can see that your head hurts.”

Tae allows himself to be led to his bedroom, secretly enjoying being looked after by his boyfriend. There is something different about Jungkook this morning, there’s an air of sadness about him and Tae just wants to see him smile properly. He was sure that last night would have been the final straw for Jungkook and there is a tiny part of him that wouldn't have blamed him but he would've done everything in his power to prevent that from happening. He isn't a fan of the dark grey cloud hanging over them, the one that casts such bleakness on his boyfriend and he can't wait until they are on their way to London so they have have some quality time together.

“Would you like to go to the coast this afternoon?” Tae asks as he stands in his bedroom and undresses while Jungkook fusses with the bed, moving cushions and pulling back a corner of the duvet.

“Only if it involves dry land.” he says.

“Don’t you like sailing?”

“I’d just prefer not to today.” he doesn’t want to go on his boyfriend’s yacht or have his boyfriend’s employees serve him. Just for today, he doesn’t want extra reminders of the riches his boyfriend has or the world he lives in. The apartment and car are more than enough for now.

“We can go for a walk along the coast then?” Tae isn’t a fan of walking but if Jungkook wants to remain on dry land then that is what they will do. There is even a possibility that he may start to enjoy walking if he’s hand in hand with his boyfriend.

“That sounds good but I will need to go home first to shower and change. Is that okay? Ash shouldn’t be there, I’m sure he has a shift at the diner this afternoon.”

Tae climbs into bed and sighs with relief when he puts his head on the pillow. Jungkook sits beside him briefly, stroking his head which makes Tae close his eyes, “We can go to your place first, I would like to meet Ash one day though.” his speech slightly slurred as he drifts off to sleep.

“Yeah, he wants to meet you but it’s me who isn’t ready for that.” Jungkook smiles as he leans down and kisses Tae on the cheek before leaving the room, giving him a last glance before he closes the door.

***

"To be honest I think it's infatuation not love."

Yoongi nods in agreement, "I'm inclined to agree with you, Jin."

"I agree too, take Yoon and I for example, we know what it is to be in love and I think that Tae got caught up in all that drama stuff and meets this guy who is different. Maybe that's the fascination with him?"

"Either way, the guy has got his hooks into Tae. Do you think he found him last night?" Jin lounged back into the bucket seat he was sitting in. The three friends meeting for breakfast before Jimin had an appointment with a client.

"I don't know. Jungkook wasn't hanging around to hear anymore though, which surely is a sign of a guilty conscience?"

Both Jimin and Jin nodded, they'd all been perplexed by Taehyung’s response last night, all of them coming to the conclusion that his pride was bruised and he'd had to say something.

"I think Jungkook knew that his game was up. He's so vulgar… who even uses that kind of language at a restaurant like Blueside?" Jin wasn't used to dealing with people like Jungkook and he was pleased that he wouldn't be seeing him again.

"I'm disappointed in Tae for letting Jungkook speak to us like that. Do you think he was right, that we should have spoken to him with our concerns?" Jimin took a sip of his coffee.

"It wouldn't have changed the facts so I don't believe it would have mattered where or when we did it." Jin added.

Yoongi reached across the table and squeezed Jimin’s hand, "He needed to know, Mini, that is the truth. What kind of friends would we be if we hadn't told him what we knew? Tae is hurt now but he will see that we did the right thing."

"I think Jungkook’s reaction would have shown Tae exactly who he is anyway. I can't believe he managed to get Tae to invite him to London." Jimin is still in shock at how clever the busker was at getting his way.

"The trip has come at exactly the right time for Tae, now more than ever he needs time out." Jin says, putting a fork full of omelette in his mouth.

Yoongi takes a sip of his latte, "Hopefully the trip will do him the world of good and when he gets back he can go back to escorts or finding someone on his level."

"Someone who isn't foul mouthed and won't swindle him out of money." Jimin says just before drinking the last of his coffee.

"Exactly, he knew where he was and what he was doing when he was paying for someone on his arm. That last guy that we thought was bad enough to warrant a complaint, doesn't look so bad after all." Jin says.

"Can you even imagine Jungkook at the A.P.A's?" Yoongi asks.

Jimin and Jin come very close to laughing, choking and looking utterly horrified.

"I think we should be grateful that this has all happened after that. The A.P.A's have gotten bigger every year and Tae was nervous enough this year when Aura was up for that award." Jin sighs in relief at the thought.

"The spotlight is going to be firmly on Aura at next year's event if this Moonchild ad is successful. Tae needs someone on his arm that doesn't look like he slept in a doorway the night before and I'm still not over that suit." Jimin feels traumatised at the outfits he's seen Jungkook in.

"This campaign has come at a great time for Tae. Aura will be guaranteed the award for the work on that K-drama ad but if Moonchild goes as well as we expect, it will mean that Aura can be entered into more categories. The cut off is the first week of December ready for February." Jin very much enjoyed the Advertising Prestige Awards this year. He had managed to do some networking while there, Taehyung had given his friends a list of the companies attending so they could use the occasion to their advantage.

Yoongi waves over a member of staff, "The Moonchild ad will go to plan because the whole campaign is quality. As for the A.P.A's, I think we need to be relieved that the beggar won't be around. I really don't need to be babysitting a man in case he says something inappropriate." He finishes just as the young man reaches the friends and takes payment so they can leave.

The friends are all in agreement that the initial hurt will die down and Taehyung is bound to feel relieved once the dust settles.

****

“Are you going to sit there with that smug grin on your face for the rest of the day?” Tae looked briefly at his boyfriend before turning his attention back to the road.

“I don’t know what you mean?”

“You absolutely do know what I mean, Jungkook.”

Jungkook has to take a quick breath before answering, the tone in which Taehyung was speaking was having an effect on him, particularly when he says his name like that, “Oh, you mean the smile that I have because my boyfriend woke with a clear head?”

“Yes, that one. You were right, the nap was a good idea, I would have thanked you properly after my shower but you had cooked a lovely breakfast and I didn’t want it to get cold. Is that better?”

Jungkook looked across at his boyfriend as he parked up in the parking space, waiting for him to look over, “Yes, that is better and you can thank me later, precious.”

Tae isn’t really sure what has brought this playful side out in Jungkook but since he woke up it all felt very light hearted. It does occur to him that it could be bravado because every now and again the sadness is felt. He does come very close to choking at the sound of the pet name though because up until now, he’d only ever used it during sex, “I’m not sure whether I want to behave or be naughty.”

“I’ll leave that decision to you.” Jungkook says, he never usually has the confidence to speak like this but he’d hoped that using the pet name would surprise Tae enough to fluster him but obviously not. While Tae was sleeping he'd made breakfast and listened to one of his playlists, humming as he cooked. He felt like the flames within him had been doused somewhat but in reality, what had happened was that he had to accept that he couldn't continue being in denial as he had been... he would need to let Taehyung in if he wanted this to work. He did feel as if he was being pressured into it now though and not by Tae but by his ignorant friends who were giving him no choice. He knew that he'd have to start letting his walls down at some point and was fully planning to but now he needed to find a way to do it sooner in a bid to repay his boyfriend back for the loyalty he's shown him.

They leave the Ferrari behind and go up to Jungkook’s apartment, walking hand in hand, Mrs Delgado giving them a fond look and winking as the busker says hello. He pulls Tae along a bit faster to avoid any embarrassing question as he decides he will endure the Spanish inquisition another time. The little old lady is sweet and both Jungkook and Ash always stop for a chat or offer to help her with shopping but now is not the time when the shower and fresh clothes beckon. Jungkook can’t wait to get out of last night’s clothes, he’d considered wearing Tae’s pyjamas home but thought knowing his luck all his neighbours would be out so he was better off putting the shirt and trousers back on. His boyfriend had offered to let him choose something from his wardrobe but Jungkook threw some lame excuse at him, changed the subject and quickly dressed in the crumpled but dry clothes from the disastrous evening.

He almost falls through his front door, he’s that eager but stops abruptly as soon as they are in the lounge… oh no!

“Kookie Monster! You are home and doing the walk of sha… oh…. Oh my god… finally!”

If Jungkook could have turned around and disappeared with Tae, without Ash or Tae being aware of the situation then he would have done in a heartbeat… alas, that was not possible. Out of all the times and all the scenarios that Jungkook envisaged his best friend and boyfriend meeting, this was not it… it wasn’t even in his top 50 of ideal scenarios.

Ash is lounging in the armchair, legs spreadeagled, wearing nothing but a smile and some boxer shorts… Jungkook is going to die of embarrassment. He looks at Tae who is grinning, he can obviously sense his boyfriend’s humiliation and is finding it amusing stood there in navy chinos, smart shoes and a grey and white patterned short sleeved button down shirt.

“Why aren’t you at Dinos?” Jungkook asks, glaring at Ash.

“Because I worked until close last night and Billy said I should have today off. Aren’t you going to introduce me to KTH?”

“Oh my God.” Jungkook mutters.

Ash laughs, “You should just be grateful you didn’t come home about an hour ago or you’d have had an eyeful of my bare ass! Miyu left not long ago and we had a lot of fun on that sofa.”

“Oh my God, Oh my God…” Jungkook mumbles, brought back to earth by the squeezing of his hand.

“You must be Ash? I’m Taehyung.” he takes a step forward and offers his hand to Ash. He does want to get along with his boyfriend’s best friend, especially after the way his own friends have behaved.

“He’s got more manners than you, Kookie Monster…” Ash jumps up from the chair and shakes Tae’s hand, “... Yup, I’m Ash. Do you mind if I call you KTH? It’s sorta become a habit already.”

Jungkook closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, he can’t quite believe this is happening as Tae answers Ash, “Feel free to call me whatever you are comfortable with. My P.A appears unable to make his mind up on how to address me so I’m quite used to it.”

“Awesome! KTH it is then! Are you staying? I have a games afternoon planned and Marie gave me a shit ton of fried chicken and beer so you’re welcome to stay.”

Jungkook is about to answer, to explain that they have plans when Tae speaks, “We would love to stay… thank you.”

“We would?” Jungkook looks at his boyfriend, “can I talk to you for a minute? Please?” He leads Tae to his bedroom and closes the door, “We don’t have to stay, I just need to shower then we can go, it’s fine.”

Tae smiles, places his hands on Jungkook’s waist and leans in for a kiss, “I would really like to accept Ash’s invitation, if you don’t mind?”

Jungkook pulls back and studies his boyfriend’s face, “Are you sure? After what happened last night… I…”

“Jungkook, it is because of last night that I would really like to stay.”

“Are you sure?”

“I am… this is your home, this is your life. Jungkook, I want to know everything about you… I meant it when I said I love you.”

Jungkook diverts his eyes away from Tae’s gaze, he’s never been in a situation where he’s wanted so badly to say those three words back but his heart is encased in a vault and he can’t get the words out just yet. There is so much that his boyfriend doesn't know... things that will ultimately lead to him realising that Jungkook is worthless.

“Okay, we can stay.”

“Are you sure?” Tae asks.

“Yeah but I apologise now for everything Ash says.” Jungkook smiles, he isn’t really sure that he’s ready for this and he’s very surprised that Tae wants to stay here. He realises that perhaps he doesn’t give his boyfriend the credit he deserves sometimes, maybe he needs to let himself go and allow Tae in, in more ways than one.

Taehyung wishes tha