80s vmin au where taehyung and his family travel to busan for a summer week long getaway, and while his family play on the beach, taehyung decides to grab his cassette player and headset and favorite diy tape respectfully labeled "songs to disappear to" and explore.
he wanders around the beach with his sling bag of disposable nikons, taking pictures of anything & everything that sparks joy--a puppy tugging on its leash for his attention, two seagulls fighting over dropped fries, a crack in the sidewalk that looks so much like a broken heart.
unfortunately for him, too busy turning his camera at indesiceive angles, he does not see the person barreling in his direction in a pair of bubblegum pink skates that match their hair, clutching a ice cream cone in their hands until they crash into together.
they tumble over into the sand, scraped kneee, elbows jarred & heads knocking. they both whine in pain, but taehyung still has the right mind to take hold of this person's waist delicately to steady them & wheezes out, "sorry, i wasn't looking where i was going, are you ok..ay."
the person, a boy, a devastatingly beautiful boy in a makeshift crop top & sorry excuse for shorts sits back, practically straddling taehyung's hips & gives him a severely unimpressed look. taehyung schools his inner panic remarkly well, but feels his face burn hotly.
the look alone makes tae squeak out another sorry & bite his lip. the ice cream cone is covered in sand a few steps away & that makes the boy scowl more. tae lays there, dazed, kind of scared, a little enticed, no concern for his bag of film or tossed aside cassette whatsoever.
but mostly zeroing in on the gloss covered lips sneering down at him and every point of skin contact.

"you made me drop my stolen ice cream. you gonna get me another?"
taehyung, tongue suddenly feeling like a foreign thing in his mouth, starts sputtering weakly, "i'll get you anything you want."

to which the boy cocks a brow and tilts his head, pink hair ruffled and jostled loose from colorful snap clips in his hair.
a slow smirk forms. teeth sharp. braces glinting. it feels like a threat. taehyung swallows, mouth as dry as the sand they're still lying in.

"don't say things you don't mean, sweetheart."

and that's how kim taehyung meets park jimin, public menace number one.
a/n: so this au rly been living in my brain rent free since last week. ive written a whole timeline in more detail than ive ever done so im EXCITED to work on this. it'll be on-going & probs pretty long so please, PLEASE don’t reply to the tweets; it’ll just break the thread.
overall tw for homophobia and internalized homophobia and i’ll be sure to tag as i go as well. all of the explicit parts will be tagged and if i miss something that /should/ have been tagged, please let me know!!

the next series of events kind of go by all topsy-turvy for tae, leaving him off-kilter and at a complete loss.

one moment he's on the ground flustered and spitting out sand with a boy like no other in his lap and the next he's being bullied into buying said boy a milkshake +
at the beachside diner to make up for his ruined ice cream cone. correction: his ruined stolen ice cream cone.

now he's staring at taehyung shamelessly from across the table, straw between his lips and rolling his skates idly along the tiled floor, a rhythmic dull rattling +
heard over the diner's music. jimin's bare leg keeps brushing against his repeatedly, and taehyung's brain unhelpfully becomes hyperaware of it. it makes taehyung swallow around his strawberry milkshake nervously.
taehyung's family sits a few booths away from them, his younger siblings occasionally twisting in their seats to peek over at them with wide-eyed curiosity. taehyung wiggles his fingers at them just to hear them giggle, but ducks his head when jimin snorts a giggle of his own.
"cute. your folks seem nice," jimin comments, licking his lips clean and plucking the cherry off the top of his matcha green tea milkshake to suck the whip cream off. taehyung stares, much to his own embarrassment.
"your sister called me pretty, so she's already my favorite. your dad looked like he needed to take a shit the second he saw me."

taehyung chokes on his milkshake, and jimin snickers, popping the red fruit in his mouth, stem and all.

jimin shrugs, "i'm used to it. by the way, what's your name? or can i just call you sweetheart from now on? don't think your family would like that though, huh?"

"/taehyung/," he coughs, reaching for a napkin, "my name is taehyung. please don't call me that around them."
"why not? it's cute," jimin chews slowly with pouted lips, "whatever. i'm jimin."

"jimin," taehyung tries, "okay, jimin."

"how old are you?"

"almost twenty-one."

"me too!" jimin beams, cherry stem clenched between his teeth, "when's your birthday?"
taehyung startles into a smile, finding the boy's sudden excitement contagious, "december thirtieth."

"ha, october thirteenth, that makes me older! you can call me jiminie hyung," jimin raises his chin haughtily.
taehyung laughs in exasperation and that makes jimin's smile broaden, "as if! it's only a two month difference!"

"so--i'm still older, show me some respect," jimin sticks out his tongue and taehyung feels compelled to do the same, so he does, both grinning stupidly afterwards.
"i don't have any friends that are same age, this is great."

"friends?" taehyung echoes, blinking back in slight surprise, "we haven't even known each other for more than an hour."
"i live on the fast track. friends can be made in minutes or seconds. besides, i'm a delight, why wouldn't you want to be my friend?"

"i don't know. i don't even know anything about you besides your age, your name, and the fact that you have sticky fingers."
tae stares & jimin stares back, that same sparkle of something in his eyes that tae can't put his finger on as jimin works his mouth around the cherry stem still in his mouth.

instead of acknowledging anything tae actually said, jimin suddenly grins smugly, "wanna see a trick?"
uncertain, taehyung taps his fingers against the sides of his glass cup, "i guess?"

jimin lets his tongue lull out. the length of it alone makes taehyung jaw drop and right at the center rests a perfectly tied cherry stem with not one, but two knots.
"that's...neat. cool," taehyung says weakly, trying not to stare so hard at the drop of drool forming at the tip of his tongue.

jimin grins wickedly, and taehyung can guess it's undoubtedly obvious how affected he is, mouth dry and palms damp.
he can't stamp out the uncomfortable feeling crawling up his throat, and rubs his sweaty hands on his shorts as if to get rid of something dirty.

jimin drops the stem carelessly on the table and sucks his straw back into his mouth, eyes taking on a heavier look that has +
taehyung's belly absolutely churning against his will, "you know what they say about people who can tie cherry stems with their tongue?"

"that they're good kissers?" taehyung answers and instantly feels the flush forming the second the words leave his mouth +
taking a drink of his milkshake to shut himself up.

"uh huh. and i've been told i'm very good with my tongue," jimin hums matter-of-factly, eyeing taehyung far too suggestively for the setting they're in, "wanna find out?"
taehyung chokes not for the first time on his milkshake.

"you sure are doing a lot of that. is that what you're good at, sweetheart?"

"will you shut up?" taehyung hisses, head low and shoulders hunched with a face canary red and wide eyes flitting around the diner anxiously.
"how can you say things like that? do you have no shame?"

"never heard of it," jimin rolls his eyes, "trust me, that's not nearly as bad as what i could have said. don't be such a prude," jimin sighs heavily, running his tongue along his braces.
taehyung must be doing something with his face that jimin doesn't like because he sucks his teeth and his lips twist into a subdued frown, "sorry, i guess. maybe i've gotten the wrong impression from you."

"what impression did you have?"
"that you were interested in me," jimin states upfront, resting his chin in his palm, eyes hooded and watching taehyung's face very carefully, "i can tell by the way you look at me."

taehyung's stomach flips, and he flounders uselessly for a moment, much to jimin's apparent +
amusement who can't help but smile a little.

"no, that's not—i mean, i..am—" taehyung finds himself saying but quickly bites his tongue hard enough to hurt, face burning again. jimin eyes him expectantly, but he actively avoids the eye contact.
taehyung starts fidgeting, that familiar uncomfortable ugly feeling stewing in his belly as he finally mumbles out, "can we talk about something else?"

jimin studies him closely with a curious tilt of his head like he's trying to figure something out.
he has stopped rolling his skates which leaves their legs pressed warm together beneath the table, a fact that taehyung refuses to acknowledge, adamantly ignores the livewires sparking to life in his veins.

"what are you doing tomorrow?"
brows furrowing, taehyung lifts his gaze and manages to look him in the eye again. there's a look of clarity there, of an understanding taehyung doesn't quite know how to feel about.

he takes a deep steady breath, blowing his bangs from his pink face on the exhale.
"probably spend time at the beach with my family. why?"

"what about after?"

"i don't know," taehyung shrugs, swiping his fingers through the condensation on his cup and biting his lip when jimin's rolling continues +
leaving the spot of contact cold from the cooling sweat that formed, "nothing probably."

jimin sucks the last of his milkshake through and continues sucking on his straw until there's nothing left in his cup, air scratching through the straw obnoxiously loud +
& garnering the disdainful eye of other patrons.

"perfect," jimin smacks his lips & pushes his cup aside, leaning forward in his seat smirking just as impishly as when they met, "i'll come pick you up at four. are you staying at the motel just down the road? by the laundromat?"
taehyung blinks, bewildered and unsure if he should be confirming this or not, "wait, wait, what? what is this, why are you picking me up?"

"that's for me to know, and you to find out," jimin laughs at taehyung's perplexed face.
"aren't we getting a little ahead of ourselves?" tae scrambles to say when jimin scoots out from his side of his booth, stretching his arms & reminding tae of the fact that he is indeed in a crop top & shorts, midriff & toned thighs exposed to poor unsuspecting souls like himself
"we're literally strangers?"

"actually, we're friends now. i've just officially decided," jimin states grinning, hands on his hips and head held high and looking so incredibly beautiful, "and as my shiny new friend, i demand your company tomorrow."
"but /why/?" taehyung asks, utterly confused, "i'm only here for a week. why put in the effort?"

"first of all," jimin rolls closer, scuffing the tiles with his forward breaks as he places a hand on the table and leans into taehyung's space causing the other boy to shrink back.
taehyung swallows and jimin smirk grows, "a lot can happen in a week, sweetheart, and i'm going to show you a good time."

there's a lot of weight in those words, and it drops like a little hot stone right in taehyung's gut.

it feels like a threat /and/ a promise.
— day 1
(tw for homophobia and slurs)

taehyung stands shivering in the middle of the motel room and tries not to think. the aircon is stuck on full blast turning the room into an icebox, and his hair is still slightly damp from his shower, curling at his ears.
his sling bag waits for him on the bed, his old red chuck taylors abandoned by the door. he's the only one there, having left his family down at the beach after realizing how late it was getting—which, looking back, he's grateful. they didn’t need to witness his tiny crisis.
he'd managed to fit in a quick shower and gave a half-assed attempt at blow drying his hair before realizing he had no fucking clue what to wear. not that it had mattered, right? it was just jimin—whatever that meant.
just some boy he just met that wanted to hang out with him for whatever reason. nothing special.

he still found himself going through his travel bag for something a little more tasteful than the swim shorts and white tee he was seen in yesterday.
eventually, he'd opted for a low neckline faded and fraying rolling stones shirt he'd gotten at a thrift store tucked into a pair of equally faded cuffed jeans. he had stared at his reflection for ten whole minutes in the bathroom before wandering out only to stand where he +
stood now, unexplainably uneasy.

taehyung stares blankly at the ugly wallpaper, idly rubbing his chest where an odd tightness lives, and a quick glance at the clock sitting on the bedside table twists his stomach into knots.
"what am i doing?" taehyung mumbles to himself, gaze flickering elsewhere, "this is stupid," he shakes his head and breathes in deeply, lets it all rush out in one felled swoop and walks briskly over to the door to pull his shoes on.
next comes a simple chain necklace and a few bracelets. as he goes to turn the bathroom light off, he gives one last look at himself, scowls at his reflection and flips the switch.

he scribbles a note for his family letting them know he'll be out and about, grabs his bag +
and walkman, and scurries out the door. slinging his headphones around his neck, he takes the stairs two at a time to the bottom floor and braces himself against the sun as he shoulders open the door.
it's as bright and as hot as ever, blinding him the second he steps outside and squints out across the busy roads and sidewalks in front of him. he steps off to the side out of the way of foot traffic and peers curiously through the glass of the neighboring building, finding +
an old laundromat with chipped walls and low lighting.

it's fairly big, bigger than he expected when looking at it from the outside. washers and dryers line the walls as well as sit in rows in the middle of the spacious room.
tables set up for folding are scattered around, buggies are shoved in one corner, and change machines can be seen in the far back.

his eyes continue to wander until they make eye contact with the only person inside, a little old lady folding underwear into neat little squares +
at which point he quickly decides to turn around. he slips his sunglasses on, turning everything sepia warm and leans back against the glass to wait for jimin.

pushing his headphones up on his ears, he presses the play button on his walkman still loaded with his trusty +
"songs to disappear to" tape and people watches.

it's a boisterous afternoon in the middle of july, the streets bustling with people rushing to get to the beaches or to have an early dinner or just to visit the few shops lining the street.
his family made conversation about dinner earlier before he left, but since he'd more than likely be gone, he said not to worry about him. as if voicing it's unhappiness on the matter, his stomach gives a tiny growl so taehyung digs in his bag for a stick of gum.
he's so busy rummaging around inside his bag and singing softly to the crooning jazz tune in his ears that he fails to notice someone speeding right towards him on the sidewalk, the crowd hurriedly parting like the red sea to get out of the way.
he's just about to shove a stick of gum in his mouth when a sudden screech cuts through his music. his head snaps up just in time to bite his tongue on a yelp when jimin breaks sharply in front of him on a yellow bicycle, inches away from hitting him +
shades low on his nose and a grin on his face.

"you didn't bail on me," jimin comments, looking rather pleased with himself as he leans over to rest his arms against the handle bars, "good choice."
𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘪 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢 𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦? taehyung can't help but to think, heaving out a breath he didn’t know he was holding.

"what would have happened if i hadn't showed up?"
jimin shrugs, "go on my merry way? you're cute, but not that cute to lose sleep over."

despite the offhanded comment sending a pang in his chest, taehyung focuses on the fact that apparently jimin thinks he's cute. there are other words on his tongue he could say but taehyung +
hand still hovering awkwardly with his bent piece of gum, can only stare.

jimin's hair is windswept and messy, yellow snap clips in an 'x' formation pinning some of his fringe out of his eyes. he's dressed comfortably in a white and pink shirt knotted in the front for a +
makeshift crop top and belted denim shorts, just as horribly short as the ones he wore yesterday with dirty white hightops. taehyung, so very weak, tries not to stare, but with the way he's leaning, taehyung gets a clear view of jimin's arched back +
prominent dimples dotting his lower back right above his a—

"hey," amused, jimin snaps his fingers, breaking him from his staring match with the dark ink on his hip peeking at him from under the band of jimin's shorts.
"are you gonna stand there gawking all day or are you gonna hop on?"

“you look nice,” taehyung accidentally lets slip.

blinking, jimin looks down at himself as if forgetting what he put on, and smiles a little, “thanks, it’s really nothing too wild.”
flustered, taehyung stuffs his gum in his mouth, and a quick glance around proves he's definitely not the only one staring. jimin doesn't spare passersby a single glance though, attention fully on taehyung.
jimin's gaze drops to taehyung's beat up converse all the way back up to his face, very obviously checking him out behind his sunglasses, an innocent smile on his face.

“you look nice, too, sweetheart.”

"i told you not to call me that," he gripes, ignoring the flush burning +
his cheeks and inching his way closer with uncertainty, “where are we going anyway?”

“𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺,” jimin stresses, gripping the back of his seat and leaning back with a coy smile, “you told me not to call you that in front of your family. and you'll see when we get there."
"is this even safe?" taehyung grumbles, tapping his shoe gently against the back tire.

"sure it is, i'm a wonderful driver,” jimin grins toothily.

taehyung eyes him with a skeptical look that jimin counters with a pout.

"are you doubting me?"
"only a little," taehyung shrugs honestly, smile growing when jimin scowls at him playfully and rolls his eyes.

"i promise you won’t die, now, get on, loser," he jerks his thumb behind him where a padded carrier awaits him.
the second taehyung tosses his leg over, he realizes he doesn’t know where to put his hands. another wave of doubt crashes into him as he settles on delicately placing them on jimin’s shoulders, the safest place he can think of, “are you 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦 this is safe?”
“yes, yes,” the eyeroll is loud and clear in jimin’s tone, “ready?” he asks over his shoulder, foot on the pedal and gearing to go.

“no,” comes taehyung’s slightly panicked reply as he props his feet on the rear wheel pegs, his long legs bent awkwardly.
“too bad,” jimin kicks off abruptly until there’s enough speed to pedal.

at first, they veer dangerously to the side, causing taehyung to yelp in fear and instinctively bring his arms down to wrap around jimin’s waist instead in a more secure hold and hide his face in jimin’s +
back, eyes screwed shut. he can hear jimin laugh, feels the vibrations of it against his forehead and the palms of his hands pressed into his warm sides.

“you can stop hiding, now, y’know,” jimin elbows him lightly, “told you you wouldn’t die.”
it takes taehyung a minute or two to allow himself to open his eyes and peek over jimin’s shoulder, blinking rapidly against the wind. they glide smoothly along a much less populated sidewalk lined with more shops and delicious smelling food stalls.
"that smells good," he comments sulkily chewing his gum, and his stomach rumbles in agreement.

"we can grab something later if you want."


taehyung progressively feels more at ease as they cruise along, eyes wide and curious and enraptured by the scenery +
taking everything in around them with utmost attention. his hand itches horribly to grab one of his cameras, but he’s far too scared to risk letting go of jimin.

they enter a calmer part of town where there’s hardly any car traffic which gives jimin the fine idea of leaving +
the sidewalk to ride in the street, but taehyung is so distracted it barely phases him until—

“hang on tight,” jimin says suddenly.

“why?” taehyung asks absently, finding it difficult to rip his eyes away and look over jimin’s shoulder again.
seconds too late and sorely unprepared for the massive hill they’ve just crested, taehyung feels his heart plummet straight into his stomach. a cut off screech leaves his mouth as they proceed to hurl down the hill at high speed, clinging to jimin’s waist for dear life +
the boy’s laughter and shouts of glee weaving through the whipping wind around them.

it’s over faster than taehyung expects, but he still clutches onto jimin, heart pounding like a drum in his chest even after slowing to a halt.

“we’re here!” jimin brightly proclaims.
noticing how taehyung’s doesn’t let him go, let alone move, jimin twists around to blink at him, “you alright back there?”

wheezing, taehyung’s hands are slippery with sweat and trembling as he draws away with an ashen face and lets his unsteady feet touch solid ground.
“you don’t look so good,” jimin snorts, hand coming up to stop anymore laughter from pouring out.

taehyung glares, shoving at his shoulder lightly and sliding off the seat onto wobbly legs, feeling every bit like a young fawn walking for the first time.
“that’s so not funny, you almost gave me a heart attack!” realizing his gum was gone he glares again, "and you made me swallow my gum!"

“but did you die?” jimin inquires innocuously, propping his bike against the brick wall. he comes up to taehyung and directs him to the shop +
they’re in front of, “come on, i promise this’ll make up for almost making you piss your pants.”

cutting his eyes at jimin, taehyung briefly catches a glimpse through the shop window, eyes immediately perking up at the contents inside.
jimin pulls the door open and a bell chimes. with a hand at the small of taehyung’s back, jimin urges him inside.

mouth falling open in awe, taehyung’s gaze flits around quickly, taking in the compact space of the music store filled with crates of vinyls, containers packed +
full of neatly stacked cassette tapes and cds, and walls covered in posters of music artists from around the world. it smells cloyingly of dust and cardboard, but it’s a scent taehyung’s has learned to love and adore.
the shop owner greets them from the counter, and taehyung, remembering his manners, hastily bows back. he, however, completely misses the look the owner gives after realizing just who has entered his shop, as well as the biting grin jimin happens to send back.
moving further inside, the floorboards creak as he meanders through the rows of vinyls, thumbing through them idly. an old trot song filters through the air from the turntable in the back, a song he can remember hearing while staying with his grandparents, and it makes him smile.
that smile never leaves his face as he sifts through the crates, the world falling away from him as he lets the atmosphere in this little pocket of happiness fill him up.

“i knew this would be a good idea, i can literally see your metaphorical tail wagging."
"you must really love music.”

blinking out of his daze, taehyung looks up to find jimin over in the row across from him watching him, a softer smile on his face.

"how did you know?"
"lucky guess?" jimin shrugs, motions with his head towards taehyung's walkman clipped on his jeans, "every time i’ve seen you, you've been in your own little world listening to it."

"fair enough," taehyung's lips quirk as he winds his headphone cord around his finger +
a restless habit, “yea, i do love music a lot. ever since i was young. my hyung was really into music and my grandparents always had it playing in their house,” taehyung hums, running a delicate finger over a whitney houston album and finding an elton john album right behind it.
“do you like music?”

“yea, but probably not as much as you,” jimin fingers through the crate closest to him halfheartedly.

“still nice to have something in common,” taehyung sets his big curious eyes on jimin and eagerly asks, “what do you like to listen to? +
do you have a favorite artist? what's your favorite song?”

“uh," taken off guard by the onslaught of questions, jimin tries to play off how flustered it makes him by busying his hands with a random david bowie vinyl, "whatever makes me move, really.”
jimin pretends to read the back, “i guess hiphop? pop? that’s always fun. i like prince and michael jackson a lot.”

“nice," taehyung hums in approval, then tilts his head, "makes you move?”

“i dance,” jimin grins at taehyung's look of surprise, “what?”
"nothing," taehyung shakes his head, laughing and appearing taken aback, "well, i didn't expect that i guess."

"i get it, i know you probably think i'm a certified bullshitter, and you would be one hundred percent correct," jimin grins when taehyung laughs at him again.
"but! i do take dance very seriously. i took contemporary in high school. dance was my thing when i was little."

"that's so cool," taehyung says and scrunches his nose, "i don't really have much rhythm. you could probably dance circles around me."
"oh, i'm sure you can move those hips if you tried," jimin winks and wanders away to the cds, giggling as taehyung's face turns pink, "maybe i'll show you how i move my hips one day."
"i think i'll pass, thank you!" taehyung shuffles off down the row to hide his blazing face, his embarrassment met with peals of laughter.

as they continue to talk and pick at each other, taehyung notices how conversation begins to come easier, more naturally.
they joke around and learn each other's music preferences by flipping through vinyls and cds, brushing past each other as they switch aisles.

jimin keeps touching him in places that turn warm like dipping his hands in sun-soaked water—
his hip as he passes by, his elbow to catch his attention, fingertips tucking a loose strand of hair behind taehyung's ear like it's already a natural forming habit. taehyung tries to not let it all get to him, just lets it happen and ignores the fluttering in his belly +
and what that might mean.

at some point, they get on the topic of school and work.

"i never bothered with university. it's not like i could afford it anyway," taehyung plucks another cassette from a container and adds it to the small stack he's collected so far.
"i work on my grandparent's farm back in daegu and do odd jobs here and there around town."

"ohhh, such a good country boy. i bet you're super popular with all the ahjummas," jimin comments, elbowing him teasingly.
whining just for show, taehyung elbows him back and holds his head up high proudly, "as a matter of fact, i am. i'm always in high demand."

jimin snorts, eyeballing a michael jackson cd with interest, "i'm sure you are. they just want something pretty to look at, and i can't +
even fault them for that."

"geez, would you stop that?" taehyung grumbles and tries to walk past him, tapes cradled to his chest, but jimin smoothly steps in front of him and blocks his path.

"stop what?"
they stare at each other for a long moment. try as he might to hold eye contact, taehyung averts his gaze first, already feeling the heat of a blush creeping up his neck.

"saying—those things."
"what, that you're pretty?" jimin asks, cocking his head to the side. taehyung's shoulders hunch instinctively under his attentive gaze, bites at his bottom lip nervously, "i'm only being honest. i'm sure you've heard it plenty of times."
jimin uses his index finger to brush a stray strand of hair out of taehyung's shy eyes, "you're very pretty, taehyung-ah."

"this is different," taehyung breathes out in a hushed tone, a wave of nerves turning his heart into a jackrabbit thumping away in his chest at what +
feels like a spoken secret. he risks a glance at jimin which ends up being a terrible choice since he’s immediately snared by jimin’s intense stare.

"is it?" smiling coyly, jimin takes a step closer into his space, and taehyung gulps embarrassingly loud.
frozen in place, taehyung can only clutch his cassette tapes like a lifeline as jimin steps up on his tiptoes to speak into his ear.

"is it different because it's me?" jimin places a hand on taehyung's shoulder for balance, pressing close enough his lips brush against +
taehyung's ear and causing him to shudder out an exhale, "is it because you like when i call you pretty, sweetheart? does it make your heart race?"

taehyung stutters around his words before biting his tongue all together and adamantly avoids eye contact when jimin pulls away +
with a shit-eating grin. taehyung feels out of his depth, like a fish out of water and doesn’t quite know how to handle jimin’s bold words let alone the situation. he loves and hates this sort of attention that always leaves him hot under the collar.
focusing over his shoulder instead, any words left on his tongue die out when he spots the store owner stalking towards them, tight-lipped and red in the face.

still far too flustered to speak, taehyung frantically waves his hand uselessly behind him to get jimin to peek +
over his shoulder.

jimin groans and sucks his teeth, "uh oh, here comes trouble. that's my signal to leave," jimin winks and pokes the mole on taehyung's nose, "i'll meet you outside, yea?" he places a hand on taehyung's arm, giving it a squeeze as he passes.
a few steps away, he's turning on his heel to walk backwards, "hey, what flavor popsicle do you like?"

"uh," taehyung’s mind draws a blank, still attempting to process the past five minutes as he goes back and forth between looking at jimin and the foreboding approach of the +
store owner, "strawberry?"

"great," jimin turns tail and skips down the aisle, swiveling back around once he's at the door to shout, "hey, ahjussi, i hope sweet haneul is doing alright and doesn't miss me too much!"
taehyung watches him leave in a flurry of laughter, tensing up immediately when a shadow looms over him. turning slowly, taehyung shrinks under the severe look aimed straight at him.

"i'd like to buy these, please!" he squeaks, holding out the tapes like an offering to +
appease the angry looking man.

the owner frowns, eyeing taehyung reproachfully, "a tourist."

"yes?" taehyung says cautiously, more like a question than a statement. he notices the way the older man glares at the shop's entrance where jimin once stood before it slides +
back towards him.

"come on to the counter then," he gruffly says.

taehyung trots after him hot on his heels. he rings up taehyung’s cassette tapes quickly and quietly and places them in a bag while taehyung digs through his bag for a few crumpled won.
taehyung smiles as he hands it over, but it slowly melts away when faced with a deep scowl.

"if you know what's good for you, you'd stay away from that one."

taehyung shifts uncomfortably on his feet, gaze flickering towards the entrance when the bell chimes silently hoping +
it’s jimin, but in walks a young couple instead. a niggling curiosity gets the best of him, "why is that?"

"nothing good comes with being around someone as disgusting as that. if you don't watch out, he'll corrupt you just like the rest."
he sneers, looking down his nose at taehyung, "do you want to be a filthy sinner, boy?"

taehyung recoils almost instantly and feels his blood freeze over in his veins. shivering, his fingers twist into his jeans, and he bites his tongue hard enough to bleed, finding himself +
in a very similar place he'd been before two years prior. it leaves a bad taste in his mouth, and irritation rushes through him so viscerally it takes him by surprise.

in a burst of annoyed courage, taehyung steels himself and takes on the hateful look reflected in the +
owner's eyes head on, "no offense, but what i do with my time and who i spend it with is none of your damn business,” taehyung's voice quivers obviously, but he prides himself for not stuttering.
ignoring the way his hand trembles as he takes his bag, taehyung swallows back the choking anxiety that claws its way up his throat and makes a very swift exit without looking back. he pretends he doesn't hear what he thinks he hears spat at his back right before the door closes.
(tw for mild panic attack and homophobic slurs)

the second taehyung's outside, he wraps his arms around his middle tries not to crumble, struggles to take a few gulps of shaky air. jimin is nowhere to be found, and that makes the tightness in his chest worse.
stumbling over to where jimin’s bike is still leaning, he hunches down with his back against the brick wall and presses his face into his knees, focuses on controlling his breathing.
the shop door bursts open suddenly & alarmed, tae inhales so sharp it stings, braces himself for the owner to come out with more barbs to throw at him.

it's the young couple from earlier. he must be an odd sight to see all huddled on the ground looking like a frightened animal.
they stare openly as they walk by giving him a wide berth, and he quickly drops his gaze to the concrete to avoid seeing anything he might not like in their eyes.

feeling a burning behind his eyes, taehyung rakes fingers through his hair restlessly.
counting carefully, he inhales deeply, holds it, and lets it out slowly, remembers the steps as clearly as the day his hyung taught them to him. there’s an ache trapped behind his ribs that misses him.


taehyung's neck twinges with how fast he tilts his head back +
hitting it against the bricks and all the air rushes out of him in a hoarse sigh that leaves him a little lightheaded. jimin stands before him triumphantly clutching popsicles in each hand, one red and one green, but at the sight of taehyung's distraught face, a switch flips +
and his expression drops.

"hey," jimin’s lips turn into a frown, brows furrowing deeply in concern, "what's wrong? why are you crying?" and then, in a stiffer tone, "what did he say to you?"
it's only when jimin points it out that taehyung feels the wetness around his eyes, can feel a single tear tracking down his hot cheek. he hastily scrubs it away, wipes at his face and eyes with the backs of his hands and gets to his wobbly feet.
"nothing," taehyung knows he isn't fooling anyone, voice sounding brittle and small to his own ears. he clears his throat to interrupt whatever jimin tries to say next and starts walking away, his bag of tapes twisting and bumping against his leg carelessly, "can we just go?"
"'nothing' my ass," jimin scoffs, grabbing his bike and jogging after him, "he said something shitty, didn't he?"

taehyung stares straight ahead instead of at jimin and shrugs his shoulders feigning indifference.
"seriously, taehyung," jimin stops walking, grabs taehyung's wrist to stop him as well, and taehyung sighs heavily, "was it about me? you can tell me, i'm sure it's nothing i haven't heard before."

taehyung doesn't mention how it's not the first time he's had something like +
this slapped in his face either, just looks off into the distance and spots the same couple holding hands further up the sidewalk, the girl hiding a shy laugh into her boyfriend's shoulder over something he must have said.
he rips his gaze away to stare down at jimin's hand around his wrist, small in contrast to his own with nails chipped with peach pink polish, and for a second wonders how it would feel to press palms with it.
taehyung follows the length of his arm with his eyes but doesn't lift his gaze any further than the mole on jimin's collarbone. he swallows around the lump sticking in his throat.

"he told me i should stay away from someone as disgusting as you," taehyung finds it difficult to +
repeat, and looks away when he sees jimin's face falter slightly in his peripherals, "he said you would corrupt me like the others."

silence falls. taehyung looks to the side where an empty abandoned building sits, looks at jimin's reflection in the window and how his face +
appears distorted in the glass but his body language simmers in quiet anger.

"is that all?" jimin asks, rolling his eyes seemingly appearing unaffected, "he'll say that any chance he gets. he’s just mad because haneul couldn’t keep his hands off of me."
somehow, that doesn't make taehyung feel any better. curiosity burns at the tip of his tongue at the mention of that name again, but he lets out a slow breath and says instead, "he asked me if i wanted to be a filthy sinner."

he feels jimin's grip on his wrist tighten.
"and what did you say?" jimin asks after a beat of silence.

"that none of it was any of his business."

taehyung finally looks up at him when jimin's hand falls away, taking its warmth with it, but the pleasantly surprised smile gently spreading across jimin's face blooms a +
different kind of warmth in his chest. taehyung's staring must have caused him to realize what he was doing because jimin fixes his face into something less telling.

"you should have asked him if he wanted to be one, now that would have made his head explode."
jimin laughs lowly, rolling his bike along and tossing taehyung his strawberry popsicle as he passes, "come on before he sees us and comes after us with a bible. he's done it before."
taehyung whines as he tries to grapple with the cold treat before it can fall to the ground. he trails behind jimin and discreetly tries to piece himself back together, the beginning of a headache already starting to form at the center of his forehead.
closing his eyes, taehyung heaves a heavy sigh and shakes his head as if that will get rid of the gross feeling lingering over him. rolling his tongue around in his dry mouth, taehyung wraps an arm around his queasy stomach and turns his popsicle in his other hand.
"where did you get this?"

"my favorite convenient store," jimin slurs around a neon green popsicle while reading the back of a michael jackson cd taehyung definitely knows he didn't buy, "they have the best flavored popsicles."
taehyung squints at him suspiciously and gives an experimental lick at the frozen pop, "did you steal these too?"

jimin snorts, but doesn't bother gracing him with an answer.

"i could have bought them for us," taehyung grumbles.
"i would have bought that cd for you too if you needed me to."

"i don't 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 you to buy me anything," jimin sternly points his popsicle towards taehyung for emphasis, "i have my own money, thank you very much."

"then why don't you use it?"
"lots of reasons," jimin turns off the sidewalk once they reach a rocky path leading towards a large open field, his bike clicking along, "capitalism will run us all into the dirt. besides, why give my money to close minded idiots when i can simply not?"
jimin raises his brows towards him, daring taehyung to say otherwise, but taehyung just shrugs because—okay, he can't argue with that.

"plus, my hours got cut at my job, so i shouldn't overspend," jimin pouts with green tinted lips.

"how come?"
"because i 'showed violent signs of aggravated aggression' and 'acted violently unprovoked'," jimin mocks in an exaggeratedly deep voice with a roll of his eyes.

"what does that even mean?" taehyung shoots him a look of exasperation, but as their brick and concrete +
surroundings fall away & their crunching steps open up to a grassy footpath lined with shrubbery that leads to woodlands, his eyes start to wander. it's like walking into a different world. tae looks over his shoulder at the back of those old buildings with a sense of relief.
"it means i punched an asshole in the face and broke his nose."

without looking, his hand moves to his bag for a camera as they make their way towards the treeline, but after registering what jimin said, taehyung whips around nearly dropping his nikon, "you 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵?"
jimin laughs, tries to hide his wide grin with his popsicle and without thinking, taehyung snaps a quick photo of him much to jimin's surprise. taehyung panics for a split second, cursing his poor impulse skills, but jimin only grins wider, turning his eyes into crescents.
taehyung takes another one.

"it's exactly what i said."

"but why?" taehyung turns to take pictures of the clearing rather than face jimin’s knowing look, then he leans back to snap one of the canopy above when they cross the treeline.
"he called me a f*ggot, so i thought he would look cuter with a nose job," jimin says coolly and smiles with too much braced teeth that doesn’t reach his eyes, coming to a full stop once they reach a small shady brook and parks his bike.
taehyung knows he flinches at the word because jimin tuts and comes over and takes his wrist gently, leading him to a patch of worn down grass to sit.

"that's stupid, he's the one that started it," taehyung frowns, the irritation from earlier bubbling up again.
"no one asked for his unnessesary comments. he deserved it. they could have cut you some slack. they should have stood up for you," taehyung ends huffily, licking at his rapidly melting popsicle and grimacing when it drips down his fingers.
taehyung takes notice to jimin's sudden silence and happens to look over only to be pinned in place by his scrutinizing stare. taehyung catches the moment something shifts in his eye, something brighter.

"oh, nothing," jimin smiles like he's got a secret, and it kind of makes taehyung a little nervous, "it is what it is, i'm not too stressed out about it. i expected nothing less from them. they gave me one shift on wednesday out of the goodness of their ugly hearts."
"that's as good as it's gonna get," jimin waves it away indifferently and sucks his frozen treat into his mouth, watching taehyung the entire time and giving a cheeky smile, "it's only for this week, and lucky me, i have you to keep me preoccupied."
taehyung opens his mouth to say something, but all thought melts out of his ears the moment jimin rubs the tip of his popsicle against the closed seam of his lips and locks heavy eyes with his.
mouth running dry, he's unable to rip his eyes away from the way jimin's shiny lips part and wrap around the tip of the rather large popsicle before slowly sinking down half way then nearly all the way to the base effortlessly.
taehyung chokes on his spit, and jimin pulls off with an audible pop and smacks his lips.

"you're dripping all over yourself," jimin points out, going back to innocently licking at his popsicle.
taehyung tears his gaze away to look down where little red dots stain his pants and gives a lamenting groan. his face is hot as he halfheartedly rubs at the splotches, blushing harder when jimin laughs to himself. taehyung pouts and takes a sulky bite of his popsicle.
"you're so easy to fluster, it's cute," jimin pokes at taehyung's bag of tapes, "now, show me what you got."

taehyung handles the cassettes with utmost care, placing them in two rows of three on the grass for jimin to see.
they sit and talk about music while lapping at their popsicles, and taehyung pretends he doesn't stare at jimin's green stained mouth or the fact that he catches jimin doing the same.

“can i ask you a question?”

“sure, go ahead.”
taehyung slides the last bite of his popsicle off the stick, eyes fixed on the sparkling water and the tiny fish attempting to swim upstream, “who is haneul?”

“ahh, haneul,” jimin hums as if remembering a distant fond memory, leaning back on one hand.
“he’s the music store owner’s grandson. he used to work evenings there. i sort of miss him,” he sighs wistfully.

“what happened to him?”

“he got caught with his pants down and his dick and my mouth in the back room of the shop.”
jimin grins wolfishly at taehyung’s embarrassed groan, “last time i saw him, he was shopping with his new girlfriend and pretended not to know me. kind of sucks because he was pretty sweet. sounded even sweeter when i—”

“okay, i get it!” tae interjects with a flustered glare.
“you’re going to turn into a tomato at this rate,” jimin teases in a sing-song voice, “i know you can’t be as innocent as you look. music can’t be the only thing you like.”

jimin takes the liberty of unclipping taehyung’s walkman from his jeans and disregards his weak protest.
"why don't you just listen to cds? cassettes are so old school."

"it was a gift from my grandparents," taehyung whines a little and tries to reach over and take it back, but jimin pulls away snickering and flops on his back with it held above his face.
"'songs to disappear to'," jimin reads off the label. he makes a curious little noise, "is this a mixtape?"

"yea," taehyung nibbles on his popsicle stick, “i like making them. it’s fun.”

“huh, impressive.”

“i can make you one if you want.”
“would you?”

taehyung watches as jimin thumbs at the play button. their eyes meet, and he presses play.

“sure,” taehyung hugs his legs to his chest as the twangy sound of 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘺 𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘯 by elton john starts playing out of his headphones around his neck.
jimin tugs on the cord, coaxing taehyung to lay down beside him. he hesitates, but a single look at jimin’s body poised in relaxation has him caving in, placing his headphones on the grass between them so they can both listen to the song.
jimin tugs on the cord, coaxing taehyung to lay down beside him. he hesitates, but a single look at jimin’s body poised in relaxation has him caving in, placing his headphones on the grass between them so they can both faintly listen to the song.
rolling onto his back, taehyung squints up at the sunlight filtering through the leaves, "this is a nice place," taehyung comments, eventually deciding to close his eyes against the blinding light. he hums along with the song and listens to the bubbling brook.
"it's my favorite place to disappear to," jimin confesses. something in his voice makes taehyung turn to look at him and finds jimin already looking back. they lay there quietly, just watching, searching for—something.
jimin is the first to move, reaching over to cup taehyung’s cheek tentatively and caress at warm skin all the while watching taehyung’s face contemplatively. it turns taehyung shy, gaze flickering away for a second before returning when he hears jimin cluck his tongue.
he thumbs at the single hoop earring in his left ear, and taehyung doesn’t suppress the full body shiver fast enough.

"do you want to disappear, taehyungie?"

taehyung’s eyes flutter shut, just wants to shut his brain off for that moment to lay & touch & feel okay.

jimin hums, fingers caressing down taehyung’s jawline.

"me too."

and what a relief it is to have that in common.

they repeat the tape twice more in quiet company, speaking in low tones about everything and nothing at all before deciding to leave.
actually, they leave because taehyung's stomach gurgles loudly over the music one too many times that it makes jimin pat his belly sympathetically.

"there, there, buddy, i know."

taehyung quickly rolls away whining about being ticklish, which—awful move on his part because a +
wicked little grin cuts across jimin's face, and the imminent danger strikes fear through him.

"𝘥𝘰𝘯'𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘶𝘤𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘦."

taehyung scrambles to get away, but jimin is too quick on his feet and tackles him back down with a mighty cry.
they roll around in the grass in a playful fight for dominance that ends with jimin easily overpowering taehyung and pinning him to the grass. taehyung doesn't even get the chance to think about the fact that, despite being smaller, jimin single-handedly got the upperhand or +
the compromising position they find themselves in because jimin's cruel fingers dig into his sides wrangling shrieking laughter out of him.

taehyung wheezes for breath, tears blurring his vision as he struggles to get away from a cackling jimin, "okay, okay, i give! you win!"
miraculously, this works. taehyung falls limp underneath jimin's settling weight, gasping greedily for breath. his belly aches from laughing so hard, and he feels flushed all over from the exertion.
"really, you brought this on yourself," jimin teases, smirking down at him.

it doesn't register right away how familiar this position is, that jimin sits comfortably straddling his hips like the first day they met. jimin shifts in his lap to lean down, and taehyung freezes up +
and panics internally, lungs giving out on him with a weak noise.

jimin simply drops a kiss to his nose and pulls away just as quick, leaving taehyung blinking furiously up at the lilac tinted sky through the canopy.
"come on, pretty boy, before your stomach eats you from the inside out," jimin hops to his feet brushing off debris from his clothes as if he hadn't just put taehyung out of commission over something as small as a kiss to his nose.
taehyung could kick himself for how worked up he feels, staring helpless up and wondering how much more of this he'll be able to take.

jimin's hand comes into his line of sight. he stands with feet on either side of taehyung's hips and a smile as bright as the evening light.
slotting their hands together feels like a beginning; the lingering touch when they belatedly draw away, a promise.
(a/n: that's it for day 1!!! i hope it was a decent update and that everyone liked it hdkjgd feel free to tell me ur thoughts so far, i'd love to hear them. 🥺👉🏿👈🏿 thank you for reading!!!)

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