touch of your love
Jeongguk has been working as Taehyung's assistant for years and after everything that they've been through together, he can say with utmost confidence that — he hates him.
So after saving up he quits his job.
Or at least he tries to
— enemies to lovers
— fake dating
— falling in love, hurt/comfort, misunderstanding, pining
— model taehyung, assistant jeongguk
— smut to be posted @taehtaeland
Taehyung finishes his eighth glass of wine, just as Hoseok opens the third bottle.
"I mean, I've been working as a model for years and she still hasn't acknowledged any of my accomplishments." Taehyung whines as Jimin refills his glass. "All she's concerned about is who I date"
Hoseok shooks his head with a sad smile directed in Taehyung's way. "I don't really get rich people," he says, also taking tentative sips from his second glass of wine. "I mean, I understand that she's disappointed that you didn't take over the family business and all but still."
"Maybe she just wants you to find someone to be happy with, Teddy Bear." Jimin says encouragingly. "Unlike... you know."
Taehyung sighs. "Maybe," he says, leaning back on the couch and closing his eyes. "But still, it doesn't excuse her behaviour."
Jimin only rubs his arm affectionately, smiling at him sadly.
"Anyway," Hoseok intejects, always the optimist of the group. "I suggest you stop moping around and we start thinking of solutions."
"Yeah," Jimin perks up. "Let's go and find you a serious boyfriend!"
Taehyung groans. "Right, my perfect serious boyfriend," he mutters under his breath. "That I have to find in just under a week."
"Have you tried Tinder?" Hoseok asks.
Taehyung scoffs. "Right, as if I can find a serious boyfriend on a freaking hook up app." he says.
"What about getting back together temporarily with that ex of yours?" Jimin suggests. "Wasn't he adamant on getting you back?"
"Please," Taehyung snorts, sitting up straight to drink from his glass. "And subject myself to another kind of suffering? No thank you. I'll pass."
"Then what do you propose we do then?" Hoseok asks with an eyebrow raised. "You already told your mother you're going with your /serious boyfriend/."
"Yeah Tae," Jimin adds. "You can't back out now that you've agreed. Otherwise your mother won't let you hear the end of it."
"I know," Taehyung groans. "But it's not like I have a lot of options. I've been working my ass off as a model and I barely have time to entertain suitors and it's not like I can find someone who magically be me boyfriend and pretend to know me like the back of their hand."
"True," Jimin sighs. "I'm sorry, Teddy Bear. I wish we can find you someone or at least, find someone who can pretend to be your boyfriend."
"That's actually not a bad idea, Minnie." Hoseok says with a wide grin. "Why don't you hire somebody? You're famous! I'm sure people will
line up to be your boyfriend!"
"Exactly!" Jimin nods. "Maybe you can ask that assistant of yours. What was his name again? Jeongguk was it? to hosts auditions!"
Taehyung laughs at them dryly. "Don't be ridiculous, guys." he says. "He already hates me as it is. If I ask him to do another crazy job, he's quitting again for sure."
"He tried to quit again?" Jimin chuckles. "Why won't you let him quit then? I'm sure you can find another."
Taehyung whines. "You know why I can't," he says. "Before I met Jeongguk-ssi, I went through ten assistants in the span of 3 months."
"It's because of your strong personality, Teddy bear." Jimin says fondly, ruffling his brown curls. "Try taking it easy on him."
"I've tried!" Taehyung exclaims. "But he's already dead set on hating me. The other day he gave me coffee instead of the tea I love."
Hoseok laughs. "Deserved," he chuckles. "I mean, you did make him go back and forth between sets doing this and that."
Taehyung pouts. "I didn't mean to but I did give him a raise though" he sulks. " he became better ever since, well, he was always incredible at his job and knows me well, so, he deserves it."
"He is," Hoseok agrees. "I was impressed he has your panda express order memorized."
"That among other things," Taehying says with a nod. "But still, he wants to quit and I can only stall him for so long. Matter of time he leaves just like..."
Hoseok smiles at him sadly, but Jimin's eyes widens as he looks at Taehyung.
"So you mean to say this Jeongguk-ssi knows you well?" he asks.
"Oh Jimin, you should see them on set," Hoseok replies. "Knows his measurements, his pet peeves, his schedules."
"Knows me just like how mommy dearest does." Taehyung agrees.
Jimin smiles at them slowly. "Well.."
Monday arrives as quick as a blink of an eye, making Jeongguk groan as he sits up from bed and turns his alarm off while he mutters profanities under his breath.
Once upon a time, Jeon Jeongguk was a morning person.
In fact, he was always the first one awake amongst his family members back in his childhood home in Busan.
Jeongguk liked to exercise in the morning, eat a full breakfast and get ready for the day with at least an hour to spare.
He likes the mornings, prefers the sunrise and all that.
But the thing is, that was in the past.
Things changed when Jeongguk graduated college and started becoming an adult.
Things changed when Jeongguk met Kim Taehyung, aka his royal pain the ass, or ‘diva’ for short.
He met the model when Jeongguk was fresh out of college and was in desperate need of a job.
After leaving the dorms and is met with his first ever adult responsibility, which was pay for his cost of living, Jeongguk realized that his part time job at the coffee shop near
the university wouldn’t help much with his expenses which was namely; a roof above his head, actual food and not ramen packs, and bills — a shit ton of them that Jeongguk wished that university taught students about before throwing them out into the real world.
He had just graduated with a business degree and tried to apply to every job posted online and in the newspaper related to it, but ended up with no callbacks or no second interviews.
At that time, Jeongguk had been living with his best friend, Yoongi, who graciously offered his couch and let Jeongguk stay until he can find a job and earn to get an apartment of his own, and although his friend hasn’t said anything about the fact that Jeongguk has been sleeping
on his couch for about three months already and just genuinely wanted to help him out, Jeongguk still felt like he was leeching off of the elder
He voiced out his concerns to Yoongi on one drunken night, only for the older to snort at him fondly and say that he didn’t mind
having Jeongguk over and that he’s free to stay for as long as he can, to which Jeongguk responded by saying that he hated it. Hated relying on people.
He maybe cried a tear or two about it and vented out all his frustrations to the elder all night, fell asleep drunk as fuck,
and woke up with the worst hangover in his life to prove that night’s embarrassing events.
Thankfully, his angel of a best friend, Yoongi didn’t mention it and lived as if that evening didn’t happen, which Jeongguk appreciated,
but about four days after that night, Yoongi came to him and gave him a card that had a name and a number written at the front of it.
Kim Taehyung, it read.
“What am I supposed to do with this?” Jeongguk asked the older.
Yoongi scoffed. “The answer to all your problems,” he said, “A job.”
Jeongguk instantly brightened up at the news, posture straightening and eyes widening in excitement but before he could respond, the older cuts him off with a --
“It’s not exactly related to the degree you took, JK, but a friend of a friend of a friend of mine needs a new assistant” he says as he takes a seat on the dining table opposite Jeongguk. “You fit the qualifications; organized, hard working, patient, understanding, smart, kind -”
“What are they looking for? A relationship?” Jeongguk cuts him off, his eyebrow raised.
Yoongi snorts. “Kind of,” he mutters. “Anyway, the guy who’s hiring is desperate and I heard the pay’s good.
-- Just call or text that number, say you’re the guy Kim Seokjin referred, and schedule an appointment to meet up for an interview.”
Jeongguk stares at him. “Kim Seokjin,” he deadpanned. “Do you mean a totally random Kim Seokjin or do you mean -”
“Worldwide Handsome Kim Seokjin,” Yoongi shrugged. “Model, Face of Louis Vuitton, First Korean model and first male model to cover Vogue. Yup, him.”
Jeongguk’s jaw drops. “How do you know him?” he asked. “Who’s this mutual friend?”
“You remember Namjoon, right?” Yoongi says in a bored tone. “They’re brothers and Kim Seokjin is friends with Kim Taehyung, who’s also a model, so that's that.”
“Any chance you’re mutual friends with any CEOs or something?” the younger asked hopefully.
Yoongi snorted at him. “Not in this universe, kid.” he replied. “I’m afraid you’re stuck with this model dude.”
Jeongguk sighed but he stared at the business card at hand. He doesn’t really have a choice, so after he and Yoongi finished dinner, and the latter has hidden himself away in his bedroom to do more work,
Jeongguk chose that opportunity to call Kim Taehyung to schedule an appointment.
Unfortunately the model didn’t answer his phone call after two attempts, making Jeongguk leave him a message instead to inform him that he’s Kim Seokjin’s referral.
Kim Taehyung replied to his text three hours later, just as Jeongguk was getting ready for bed asking him if he’s free to meet up tomorrow at eight o’clock at a certain address.
Jeongguk instantly responded that he’ll make it and hadn’t heard from the model again, but still, Jeongguk woke up at six o’clock that next morning, spent a good portion of his time ironing the only long sleeved button up he owned and a pair of slacks he hasn’t worn since his
college graduation and shoes that killed his toes, before he showed up at the address that Kim Taehyung sent him ten minutes before eight o’clock.
But when Taehyung didn’t show up after forty whole minutes of waiting, and after Jeongguk sent his third text asking him where he was, but ended up with no response, Jeongguk had decided to leave, mumbling under his breath that Yoongi tricked him.
Jeongguk was just leaving when the door of the apartment building opens and a male, who’s around the same height as him with silver hair, wearing black slacks and a pink blazer over a white dress shirt comes out.
Dangling earrings adoring one of his earlobes, a designer clutch bag at hand and Gucci shades perched behind his head, looking exactly how a model should look and sort of taking Jeongguk’s breath away --
complete with the whole time standing still and song birds sang their songs due to the male’s breathtaking beauty.
He watches as Kim Taehyung’s lips move in slow motion, Jeongguk knows he’s saying something
but he can’t seem to make his brain work again due to the shock of seeing the other’s gorgeous face.
He regains his composure when Kim Taehyung literally snaps his fingers in front of his face repeatedly, making Jeongguk close his eyes and cough out in embarrassment.
“Sorry,” he muttered under his breath. “I- I kind of spaced out there for a second.”
The model sighs impatiently at him despite being the one who’s forty minutes late. The spell breaking the moment it started as Jeongguk takes in the frown on the silver haired voice's face.
but he tries to remain professional since the other is a potential future employer; and besides, if all else fails and he proves to be the person that Jeongguk is starting to suspect of, he’ll flip him off and eat that last bag of potato chips he’s been saving for a bad day.
“Are you Jeon Jeongguk?” he asked briskly, hand on hip and eyebrow raised.
“Uh yeah,” Jeongguk replied, clearing his throat. “That’s me. Jeon Jeongguk.”
He watches as the other nods at him and says, “Follow me.”, not bothering to introduce himself and already walking to head to wherever, making Jeongguk stumble after him.
“So Jeongguk-ssi,” Taehyung said, walking at a fast pace and not bothering to look at him. “Heard you wanted to be my assistant. Why?”
Jeongguk is taken aback, not anticipating that his interview would start at a busy sidewalk with people bumping shoulders with them.
It seems that Taehyung didn’t like to waste his time.
“Uh it’s simple, I just badly need a job and I’m willing to do anything.” he tells him simply, cutting right to the chase and successfully making the corner of the model’s lips smile. Jeongguk counts that as a good sign.
Taehyung looks at him sideways, eyeing him from head to toe, making Jeongguk slightly blush before he turns to look where he’s going. “I like that,” he says. “No bullshit and direct to the point. Next question, are you organized?”
“I’m a Virgo.” is all Jeongguk said as an explanation that made the model nod.
Taehyung hums as the two of them turn a corner. “We’re a perfect match,” he commented. “I’m a Capricorn.”
Jeongguk only smiles at him as a lack of response.
Under different circumstances, he would have flirted or fooled around with a good looking guy like Taehyung, but again, the latter is a potential boss and is kind of acting like a diva.
So he'll pass.
“Are you hardworking, Jeongguk-ssi?” Taehyung continues, oblivious to Jeongguk’s inner thoughts. “I live a pretty fast paced life. I have a lot of places to go and people to see. I need someone who can keep up with me. Do you think you can do that?”
“I mean, I’m wearing these Italian shoes that hurt like a bitch and yet here we are right now and I haven’t broken a sweat nor complained -” Jeongguk explained.
“You’re complaining now.” Taehyung pointed out with an eyebrow raised but a sly smile on his pink lips.
“I’m not,” he shrugged. “I’m just stating a fact. It hurts, but I don’t really care cause I have a goal in mind, which is to impress you enough to hire me. I did well in school, graduated with honors and immediately started looking for a job afterwards. --
I mean, I’ve been unlucky in the last part but while in between jobs, I did small crazy ones to get by, so I guess you can say I’m hard working. I can keep up if I need to.”
Taehyung looks at him, an impressed look on his face and nods. “Sounds promising,” he said before stopping in front of the coffee shop and pulling Jeongguk inside it. “Okay, I’ll give you a trial.”
Jeongguk grins, pleased. “Great!” he replied. “When do I start?”
“Right now,” Taehyung said, making Jeongguk’s eyes widen. “Get me a grande soy vanilla iced chai tea latte, but with only two pumps of vanilla and two pumps of chai and a piece of strawberry shortcake to go.”
Jeongguk opened his mouth, still trying to wrap his head around the other’s order but before he could say anything, Taehyung shoves a black iPhone and black credit card in his hands.
“This is your phone and this is a secondary credit card you can use when you’re with me. The phone has everything, and I mean everything, in it. My schedule, my contact, my emails. Treat it like a lifeline. --
-- When you go back with my order, I want a run down of what today will look like and I expect an uber waiting for us to take us to our next destination. Got that?”
Jeongguk could only stare at the other with his mouth hanging open. Half dumbstrucked and half appalled.
Taehyung pushes him into the direction of the line, and sashays away into a table, pulling out a purple iPhone from his pocket and tapping away doing god knows what and leaving Jeongguk confused
But again, he’s hardworking and tries to recites the order that
the model had said under his breath and enters it into the iPhone’s notepad app, before he goes through the model’s schedule for the day in his calendar, and books an uber for a certain agency he was due to arrive in, all while he’s waiting for his turn in line.
Jeongguk has always prided himself in mastering a certain skill in a short span of time, so he’s feeling a bit confident at how he was able to manage and do the tasks that the model had given him.
He tells the barista Taehyung’s order and pays with the black card, and just as he claims the drink and cake, he gets a notification from his phone that the uber was there, making Jeongguk smile.
He goes into the direction of Taehyung, who’s still busy with his purple iPhone, only looking up from the device when Jeongguk approaches him with his drink and a smug grin on his face.
“Here’s your food and drink, Taehyung-ssi,” he smiled. “And uber’s waiting up front for Scenery Models. You have a shoot that’ll start in about two hours for a Lotte World ad but you’re meeting with a Jung Hoseok beforehand so you can do a quick fitting.
After the shoot, you need to meet up with your publicist, Park Jimin, for a late lunch and you’re free until six-thirty before you go on that online interview for Victoria’s Secret which will last until eight.”
Jeongguk is almost out of breath as he finishes enumerating the model’s agenda. He looks down at Taehyung who’s still seated, looking up at him with a stoic expression as he sips his drink.
He watches as Taehyung slowly puts his drink down on the table and wipes his pink lips with a napkin, before he says, “You got my order wrong”
“I- what?” he asked, jaw opening as he looked at him. “One grande soy vanilla iced chai tea latte with two pumps of vanilla. Right?”
“And two pumps of chai,” Taehyung sighed, getting up from his chair, leaving the drink on the table, still fairly full, and starting to walk out with only the cake that Jeongguk ordered for him.
He stares at the drink that Taehyung left on the table and takes it with him, not wanting to offend the baristas who made it for them and follows the model hastily out the door.
“Uh, Taehyung-ssi,” Jeongguk said once he’s walking next to him. “Not to be rude but why did you leave this drink on the table?”
“Cause I don’t like it.” he shrugged.
“Well,” Jeongguk replied, looking at the other wildly. “Don’t you think it’s rude to leave a drink that someone made especially for you?”
“Nope.” Taehyung said as he opened the uber car door and climbed inside, leaving it open for Jeongguk to enter.
Jeongguk could only sigh before he followed the model inside the car, and the two of them headed into the direction of their next location.
They meet Jung Hoseok when Taehyung directs him inside one of the many rooms inside the model’s company, who greets Taehyung like an old friend and envelopes him in a big hug and greets Jeongguk in a friendly and warm way after Taehyung introduces him.
“For a second there, I thought you recruited another model,” Hoseok says, looking at Jeongguk from head to toe in assessment, making Jeongguk feel slightly awkward. “He’s good looking! I wouldn’t mind dressing you up!”
Jeongguk could only chuckle at the other dryly.
“He’s okay to look at, I guess,” Taehyung replied nonchalantly as if Jeongguk wasn’t in the same room, making Jeongguk subtly roll his eyes at him.
Hoseok laughed at the model. “So feisty,” he teased. “Something up?”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Taehyung replied. “Let’s just get on with today’s agenda. I’m terribly busy today, hoba hyungie, so I’m sorry for my sour mood.”
“It’s alright.” Hoseok said easily as he pulls Taehyung into the direction of a rack of clothes,
leaving Jeongguk alone and the latter using that as his opportunity to scoff since he was the one who was kind of insulted and was given a hard time but was not even rewarded with an simple apology.
He tries to suck it up though.
Judging by the black card in his pocket and the lavish interior and exterior of the building they went to, it seems like he might be given a good offer — that is, if the day goes well.
Jeongguk finds an empty seat nearby, ears perked for any instruction that Taehyung might shoot his way while he plays with the iPhone that Taehyung had given him. Checking emails and future schedules, already thinking of ways to make it look more organized as he does so.
He’s been so immersed and slightly overwhelmed by the model’s schedule in the next three months, that he didn’t notice the latter approaching him with something in his hands.
“Jeongguk-ssi,” Taehyung said, making Jeongguk look up at him and stand up.
“Taehyung-ssi,” he replied
Taehyung responds by shoving a pair of sneakers — designer sneakers in his hands, making Jeongguk raise an eyebrow at him in question. “This is Balenciaga’s last fall’s collection,” he explained. “Give your feet a break and wear them.”
Jeongguk looks down from the shoes to the model with an incredulous look on his face. “I- I can’t accept these, Taehyung-ssi,” he stuttered. “This probably cost a fortune.”
“It’s only about $975.” Taehyung shrugged.
Jeongguk suddenly holds onto the shoes as if it’s made of gold, but in retrospect, they kind of were. The shoes could pay off a month’s worth of rent at a decent apartment plus its electrical and water bill.
“Besides,” Taehyung continued. “Your shoes look ugly. Wear these whenever you’re with me. Okay? I don't want you messing up my aesthetic.”
Jeongguk purses his lips, and nods at the model before the latter walks away to finish his fitting.
The shoes fit like glove and they feel unexplainably immaculate around his feet. He’s starting to understand why rich people got into it, but still, Jeongguk can’t imagine himself being one of those.
And as time passed by, Jeongguk's day starts to slow down while Taehyung’s becomes busier as he’s whisked away to have his hair and make up done, before he changes into the outfit for the shoot and does his model thing.
It infuriates Jeongguk to still think that Taehyung is breathtakingly beautiful after he’s all dolled up, despite the model being an insolent diva.
The shoot finishes in after a couple hours, and Jeongguk watches as Taehyung changes back to the clothes he wore earlier and throws the empty box of cake in the bin before he approaches Jeongguk and grabs the now watered down Chai Latte in is hands and takes a sip.
Jeongguk tried to hide his smug smile. Keyword: Tried.
Taehyung scoffs at him and passes him the half empty cup and rolls his eyes at him. “Still not my order, Jeongguk-ssi,” he said before sauntering off into the direction of the elevators.
“Anyway, have you booked the next uber to our next location already?” Taehyung asked as he took his purple iPhone again from his pocket and started fiddling with it, eyes focused on it.
“Uh,” Jeongguk says, grabbing the black iPhone he was given and immediately going to the taxi hailing cab. “Yeah sorry, I didn’t think -”
“That’s strike two, Jeongguk-ssi,” Taehyung stated, not looking up from his phone. “Do you know what happens when you get one more?”
“But you’re lucky Minnie is running a little late and that the elevators going down take ages,” Taehyung continued in a bored tone. “So book one right now while we wait.”
Jeongguk does as he’s told and feels grateful when he sees one that’s only ten minutes away from the building, and by the the time he and the model had reached the ground floor, the car was already there waiting for them
and took them to a restaurant where they were due to meet a certain Park Jimin.
Once they’re in the venue, Taehyung asked him to sit in another table since they will be discussing an important business matter, to which Jeongguk agreed
and as he sat there in his table eating food that costs an entire week of groceries, he couldn’t help but think that he could get used to this; Just sitting around, following the diva around like some bodyguard around, suck it up and do as he’s told in exchange for money.
He watches Taehyung from a respectful distance, checking to see if he needs him to do something or not but could see the model deeply immersed in conversation with his publicist, purple iPhone forgotten on the table and even smiling up at the other fondly.
He wonders if there’s anything going on between them as he watches their hands interlace and as he watches Jimin stand and walk around the table to give Taehyung a hug, to which the latter accepts.
Jeongguk snorted as he stabbed into his food, wondering how the publicist didn’t burn when his body hit the diva and stayed there for awhile but as the foot meets his tongue, he forgets about him for a second and moans a little loudly at the exquisite taste of chicken.
Realizing how hungry he is since he spent the whole morning preparing his clothes, waiting for Taehyung and serving him.
He closes his eyes and smacks his lips as he savors the taste of his meal, just as he hears someone clearing their throat and making him look up to find Taehyung with a frown.
“Have you descended down from there?” he asked, crossing his arms.
“You took me straight back to the ground,” or rather to hell. Jeongguk chuckles as he stands. “Are you done with your meeting? Should I book an uber back to your apartment so you could rest before your interview?”
“Yeah, sure.” Taehyung replied. As he checks his watch for the time. “It’s almost four o’clock by the way. You can go now, the trial ends here.”
“Uh, just like that?” he asked with an eyebrow raised.
“Yeah, I mean,” the model said. “There’s really nothing left to do for today. I’m just gonna head home and do that meeting alone. No reason for you to be there.”
Jeongguk nods at him in understanding. “Oh okay,” he says, licking his lips as he looks at the other wearily. “And uh, well, how did I do?”
Taehyung takes a minute before he responds, looking at Jeongguk as he crosses his arms and taps his chin thoughtfully.
“Well,” he said. “First off, fashion sense. You kind of look like my math teacher back when I was high school so I hope these smart casual outfits aren’t a thing. Not everyone can pull them off.”
Jeongguk’s jaw drops on the floor and he looks at Taehyung disbelievingly.
“You’re too focused on doing one thing that you miss out doing others, although your multitasking skills are okay, it still needs a lot of work” Taehyung continued to list off “You tend to be a little restless when you’re left on your own, you cant seem to sit still and lastly -”
Jeongguk watches as Taehyung pokes his chest slowly, as if he’s scooping something up and holds his finger between them for the two of them to see. “You have chicken sauce on your shirt,” he said as he wiped the sauce back on Jeongguk’s shirt. “That’s gonna be a bitch to remove.”
Jeongguk curls his hand into fist due to anger. “Well, at least I’m not rude,” he replied, making the corner of the model’s lips twist. “I mean, we’ve been together since eight-thirty this morning, which you were late to, by the way and you haven’t even introduced yourself.
I mean, sure, we exchanged a text but a short introduction would have been pretty darn nice.”
Taehyung hums at him amused. “Is that so?” he asked. “Well, I’ll have you know, Jeongguk-ssi, I'm the type who’s impossible to forget, so I assumed an introduction wasn’t needed.”
“Still, that’s rude.” Jeongguk pointed out.
Taehyung sighed. “Fine, fine. I’m sorry. Happy?” he asked, sarcastically.
Jeongguk rolls his eyes at the other,
already reaching for the iPhone and the black credit card in his back pocket, cursing under his breath for throwing his extremely tight leather shoes away back at the modeling agency when Taehyung presented him with the expensive sneakers he’s wearing now.
He was just opening his mouth to say his thanks and maybe flip him off when Taehyung interrupts him with a “You passed the trial day by the way.” he said, bored. Unbothered by their brief disagreement earlier.
“And what makes you think I want to work for you after today?” Jeongguk said as he tried to return the model’s black iPhone and card.
Taehyung only gave him a bored smile, before he told him the amount he was willing to pay him on a weekly basis. — a rather generous amount, by the way, that got him slowly retracting his hand away and shove the black items in his pockets, causing the model to chuckle.
“Same time tomorrow at eight o’clock sharp. Check my schedule, get me my latte beforehand and for goodness sake, please get my order right this time. Capiche?” he said with a yawn.
“I’ll be there.” Jeongguk replied, thinking he’s making a deal with the devil.
“Fabulous.” Taehyung said, flicking his silver hair to the side with his long delicate fingers and turning around his heel to go back to his publicist. “Book the uber, Jeongguk-ssi. I’ll be leaving soon and I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Jeongguk doesn’t bother replying since the model was already a distance away, and as he walks the streets of Seoul in his Balenciaga shoes, he couldn’t help but think that the model was right about one thing. — Kim Taehyung was impossible to forget.
Cause here Jeongguk was exactly three years later, still remembering every detail about their first meeting, and sadly still working for the same wretched diva who hasn’t changed one bit.
It’s almost five o’clock in the afternoon, meaning Taehyung’s last photoshoot of the day would be over, meaning Jeongguk gets to escape his own personal hell for a few hours, go home, hit the gym, eat some good food and sleep until reality strikes him again.
Jeongguk watches as Taehyung poses a few couple times in front of the camera, dressed in Gucci from head to toe, his then silver hair now pure black curly hair falling on top of his forehead and dark eyeshadow and makeup, making him look fiercer than how he usually is.
”And that’s a wrap.” the director says, making everyone sigh out in relief. “Good job everyone. You did well!”
Everyone bows at the other in thanks as everyone prepares to either go home or start cleaning up the set that was used for the photoshoot.
They’re at the roof top of a skyscraper, the concept of today’s photoshoot being ‘Blue & Grey’ since it’s the name of the perfume that Taehyung and Gucci have collaborated on together.
The photoshoot mostly consisted of Taehyung wearing an all gray suit that did a good job in highlighting his curves and fat a—
Jeongguk shakes his head as he puts the straps of his backpack over his shoulders.
Safe to say that since that day he’s met Taehyung, he hasn’t worn a pair of slacks or anything business casual. He’s dressed in his skinny jeans today with rips on their knee areas, a navy blue plaid long-sleeved shirt layered under a black shirt, with a bucket hat on top.
He watches as Taehyung approaches him tiredly and once he’s within earshot, Jeongguk waves at him goodbye and says, “Booked you a ride, boss. Should be waiting for you down there in fifteen minutes or so.”
before he turns around to head to the elevators to start making his way home, but before he can escape, he feels the hem of his shirt get caught on something.
Jeongguk turns around to find Taehyung holding it with an unimpressed look on his face. “Something you needed?” he asks with a curious eyebrow raised.
“Yeah,” he says, letting go of his shirt and heading into the direction of the makeshift dressing rooms. Jeongguk follows the model behind with a sigh. “I need you.”
Jeongguk nearly trips over nothing. “What?” he asks
He watches as Taehyung groans, rubbing the side of his face and avoiding looking at him. “I mean, I need to speak to you.” he mumbles.
“Sorry, I have a hangover. I stayed over at Hoba hyung’s place last weekend and I think we drank his entire wine collection.”
“Sorry to hear, Taehyung-ssi,” Jeongguk replies, pursing his lips. “Don’t you think you should be getting some rest tonight”
“I will,” the model says. “After I speak with you, Baby.”
Jeongguk snorts at the other. He only called him that to tease and nothing else but hearing Taehyung call him the same pet name, admittedly, sounded a little hot, but Taehyung was still a bitch though.
“I’m here, you have me.” Jeongguk says, bored. “What do you want to talk about?”
“Well for starters, our relationship.” Taehyung says as they enter the makeshift dressing room and head into the direction of Taehyung’s bag so he could change back to his own clothes.
“There’s still a lot to unpack about that.”
“Right,” Jeongguk deadpans as he helps the other close their gym bag. “Our supposedly loving and serious relationship. What about it?”
“The wedding is in four days, Jeongguk-ssi,” Taehyung starts to say as he takes a seat on one of the chairs in front of the mirror and begins to wipe his makeup off. “We can’t just go there unprepared.”
“I’m prepared.” Jeongguk shrugs. Taehyung clicks his tongue at him, annoyed, making the younger of the two laugh. “I really am. Look, I know we’ve been playing it like a cat and mouse these last three years but I am your assistant after all and I know everything about you.”
Taehyung raises an eyebrow at him in challenge. “Really?” he asks. “What’s my favorite color?”
“You think purple is pretty, but you like earth tones the most on clothes and black and white on furniture. You can’t resist red food and your favorite hair color is blue.”
Jeongguk answers without missing a beat.
Taehyung looks impressed as he looks at Jeongguk. “Impressive. What about my least favorite food?” he asks.
“Anything with beans,” Jeongguk answers.
“That’s because I’m allergic.” Taehyung says, making the other laugh as he shakes his head at him.
“You’re not allergic. You’re just a picky eater.” he deadpans. “And don’t try to argue, I have a copy of your doctor’s record.”
Taehyung raises his hands up in surrender and brings them down to continue removing his make up. “Fine, you know me,” he says simply, removing the last of his dark eyeshadow. “I know you too so you don’t have to worry about my stories.”
“Really?” Jeongguk asks cockily, crossing his arms. “Let’s test that. What’s my favorite foo -”
But before he could finish speaking, Taehyung beats him to it and says, “Depends how loud your moans are after you swallow, but I think it’s the Peking Duck.”
saying the dish's name in a lewd manner that made the other staff nearby look in their direction.
“Stop setting me up.” Jeongguk says, lightly pushing the model. “You’re making it sound weird on purpose.”
“Whatever,” Taehyung replies with a roll of his eyes, collecting the used wipes and throwing them on a bin. “And knowing all the facts doesn’t really matter anyway. The first rule of improv is to always accept the information that was provided. No negating.”
“It’s something they taught me in acting school,” Taehyung shrugs as he stands and disappears behind the curtains behind Jeongguk to change out of his clothes.
“In simpler terms, we just go with whatever the other is saying, no matter what it is. If I say you’re allergic to air, then you are. Simple as that.”
Jeongguk snorts. “Fine, whatever. As long as what we say isn’t crazy or something.” he says with an eye roll.
“Also, we need to think of the story of how we met.” Taehyung says from behind the curtains.
“What do you mean? I’m your assistant, you're my boss.” Jeongguk shrugs. “That’s it.”
“Well,” Taehyung says slowly, making Jeongguk raise an eyebrow of suspicion at him. “I may have told mommy dearest a little lie.”
Jeongguk sighs and crosses his arms. “Okay, what lie are we talking about?” he asks.
“You see,” Taehyung starts to say before he steps out behind the curtains wearing his regular clothes which are his designer pants, an oversized orange and black fuzzy sweater and some white converse shoes. “I may have told her that you’re a businessman.”
“It was the first thing I could think of when my mother called me yesterday to ask more about this mysterious boyfriend of mine,” Taehyung explains with a wave of his hand.
“My parents are in the importing and exporting business. I was supposed to take in their footsteps as their only son but, well, you see how it is, so I told them my boyfriend’s a businessman so mother won’t be as weary when she meets you,
and besides, didn’t you graduate with a business degree?”
“Being a businessman and holding a business degree are two completely different things, Taehyung-ssi.” Jeongguk says, massaging his temples as he drops on the chair that Taehyung vacated.
“And your folks sound like they’re a big freaking deal. What if they ask me what kind of business I run and I tell them something random and they, I don’t know, investigate and figure out we're lying?”
“I thought the same,” Taehyung replies with a smile.
“Sadly, my mother tends to doubt me a lot. He’s thinking you aren’t real right at this moment, actually -”
“She sounds smart.” Jeongguk mumbles under his breath.
“So, I took the initiative to look up companies that’s owned by a Jeon Jeongguk of South Korea, and I found two!”
Taehyung says proudly. Showing more emotion than normal, the younger notes. “So what do you think about being the world's biggest quality disposable chopsticks and toothpick supplier and manufacturer?”
Jeongguk stares at him. Unimpressed. “You make me a businessman for a day but you turn me into some toothpick distributor guy,” he deadpans. “Yeah no, you said there were two. What are they?”
“I don’t think it fits your aesthetic, actually.” Taehyung says, sighing deeply and crossing his arms.
“I get to decide that,” Jeongguk says, also crossing his arms. “What’s the second option, Taehyung-ssi?”
“King-Sized Condom Manufacturer.” the model says, not breaking eye contact with him.
“I’ll go with that.” Jeongguk says seriously, making the other snort.
“A bit pretentious, noh?” Taehyung says with a roll of his eyes.
“Oh, but you might be surprised, Taehyung-ssi,” he replies, wiggling his eyebrows at him suggestively, causing the other to choke out a cough and Jeongguk to grin smugly since he was able to receive a reaction from the other.
“Whatever,” Taehyung says, once recovered. “Anyway, going back to how we met, so you were, a, uh -”
“Sponsor?” Jeongguk suggests.
“Sure, I guess,” he replies. “Don’t give them too many details or anything, keep it short and we’re good.”
Jeongguk nods at the model in understanding. “Fine, I got all that. Rule of Improv, King Koo Condoms -”
“Please don’t call it that, it sounds absurd.”
“And some romantic cheesy story about how you fell in love with me and tried to win me over.” Jeongguk continues, ignoring the other. “I got that.”
“I prefer you falling in love with me first.” Taehyung retorts as he crosses his arms.
“Rule of Improv. Accept the -” Jeongguk tries to repeat. Ever since working with the model for three years, he’s learned the art of memorizing the stuff that Taehyung has said and keeping the words stored in his brain for a couple of days. One perk of the job, he supposes.
“I will hold on to your final pay for as long as legally possible if you dare it.” Taehyung deadpans.
“I fell in love with you at first sight and have never been the same ever since.” Jeongguk recites, making Taehyung smile.
“Okay, I got all that word per word. Can I go now? We have an early call time tomorrow and your uber is probably waiting outside the building.”
“Fine.” Taehyung sighs, also picking up his handbag and walking next to Jeongguk towards the elevators.
“I’m satisfied for now, phase one is all set. Onwards to phase two.”
Jeongguk raises an eyebrow at him. “Phase two?” he as
Taehyung only smiles at him. Evilly that is.
Jeongguk has a sensitive nose to the point that he associates a specific scent to certain thing.
For instance, he associates his Busan home with the scent of salt water and sand since he lived near the beach growing up
and he associates Yoongi with coffee since the elder lives off of it. Jeongguk also has an assigned scent for his boss, Taehyung, which is the scent of rich hood — brand new clothes from luxury stores, an overpriced and barely used apartment in Gangnam that still had the scent of
new paint and new furniture in them and perfume that smells floral; jasmine and daisies on a spring day but with a hint of something expensive, something luxurious in it.
It’s Friday already and it’s nearing the day before Taehyung’s cousin’s wedding. He and the model hadn’t had the chance to talk about their plans since that day they ironed out the details of their fake relationship due to Taehyung’s hectic schedule.
Well, until that day.
Jeongguk smells rich hood, he smells Taehyung as the latter literally drags him by the hem of his sweater to one of the malls they usually frequent together when the model asks him to accompany him to shop for clothes he needs for work.
Taehyung miraculously had a free day and as soon as Jeongguk turned up at eight o’clock in front of his apartment that morning, the model texted him asking to book an uber to the mall since ‘Phase Two’ will be in commence.
Jeongguk snorted as he read the text, not exactly knowing what the need was to give him a makeover since he knows he looks good — the number of men and women he pulls at the club every night and would shamelessly flirt with him was proof of it
— but alas, it’s been three years since he’s been working for the model and he still doesn’t exactly know how his eccentric brain works.
“Taehyung-ssi,” Jeongguk sighs as Taehyung drags him, bypassing one luxury store after another that makes Jeongguk’s stomach churn due
to the thought of the model taking the clothes he plans to buy him off of his paycheck. “I still don’t understand why I need this so-called makeover of yours. I look fine.”
Taehyung snorts and Jeongguk rolls his eyes at him.
“I don’t want fine.” Taehyung replies as they stop by one of the most expensive stores there is. “I was glamorous. I want great. I want something that I deserve.”
It’s Jeongguk’s turn to snort as Taehyung drags him inside the store — Louis Vuitton, before the model lets go of his shirt and sits down on one of lounge chairs inside, the store attendants who recognizes him immediately walking up to him and offering him drinks.
“Mr. Kim,” the store manager greets with a bow as Jeongguk sits beside the model, eyeing the clothes, the expensive clothes, displayed in neat racks that make him gulp. “Our spring collection just arrived, would you like me to take them out for you to see?”
“Not today, darling, maybe some other time. I’m here for something else. Would you be a dear and prepare all your suits and dress shirts please.” Taehyung waves off with a manicured hand before he perches his Chanel shades on top of his head and leans back on the chair.
“Your size, sir?” the store owner asks.
The model gestures to Jeongguk. “For him,” he states. “Get his measurements. My stylist will be here any minute now, darling.”
The store manager nods at him in confirmation before she saunters away, saying she’s just gonna get a tape measure to get Jeongguk’s measurements.
Once she’s out of earshot, Jeongguk leans into the model and says, “Your stylist? Is that really necessary?”
“Yes, Jeongguk-ssi,” Taehyung replies, bored. “This is serious business and I’m afraid we need a professional’s help.”
Jeongguk holds back the urge to roll his eyes at the model. “Taehyung-ssi, please. It’s just a wedding.” he deadpans.
“Not just any wedding!” the model exclaims with an eyebrow raised. “We’re talking about the wedding of the year here. We’re talking about you meeting my mother and as much as you’re attached to these department store clothes, I’m afraid it won’t do and I doubt you own a suit.”
Jeongguk purses his lips and was just about to interject that he does, in fact, have a suit but Taehyung beat him to it with a
“And that suit you wore to some funeral will not do.” that effectively shut Jeongguk up and made him lean back on his chair with his arms crossed,
mumbling under his breath about how annoying the model is.
He feels Taehyung run a hand through his hair as they sit and wait for the store owner to return with the tape measure. “And you could also use a trim.” he states, eyeing him carefully.
“No, not my hair.” Jeongguk whines, pushing his hand off of his head. “I’m trying to grow it out!”
“What are you? A caveman?” Taehyung asks with a huff. “No, we’re getting it cut. Only a little. Maybe a dye as well. What do you feel about blond?”
“Absolutely not,” Jeongguk retorts. “You can dress me up all you want but my hair is off limits.”
“Fine no dye,” Taehyung replies with a roll of his eyes. “But just a trim.”
Taehyung gives him a blank look. “Jeongguk-ssi, quit acting like a petulant child and just do as I tell you.”
“I will as long as you stop dictating what I should and should not do,” Jeongguk says. “You’re not the boss of me.”
Taehyung raises an eyebrow at him.
“Well, I mean, technically you are but you know what I mean.” Jeongguk continued as he stands since the store manager is back with the tape measure.
“And yet here you are fitting the clothes I want you to wear” Taehyung sighs as he watches Jeongguk stand in front of the mirror where employees began fussing over him, measuring his body to get the perfect suit that would fit him like a glove“Looks like I still get what I want”
“You may have a say on what I’ll wear to your event but not how I’d like to style my hair.” Jeongguk replies over his shoulder, lifting his arms so the employees could measure his shoulder.
He hears the model say “We’ll see about that.” under his breath, that made Jeongguk want to argue some more but before he could, he heard another person enter the store and called Taehyung’s name excitedly.
“Tae!” Hoseok, Taehyung’s stylist and one of the few people that model was close with, says enthusiastically, wearing loose designer pants and black shirt with a pager boy hat on top of his head. Removing his sunglasses as he hugs the model.
“Sorry I’m late. Have you been waiting long?”
“No, not at all, hyung.” Taehyung replies with a small smile as the two of them head to where Jeongguk is. “Jeongguk-ssi here is just getting measured up but I asked them to take all their suits out so you could see it for yourself.”
Hoseok grins big and wide as he steps on Jeongguk’s side, looking at him from top to bottom excitedly, as if he’s a kid who about to open his christmas gift early, but then again, Jeongguk thinks he kind of is since the stylist has been wanting to dress him up for ages
since Taehyung had introduced them but Jeongguk always declined since there wasn’t a need for it. Well, at least until today.
“Jeongguk-ssi,” Hoseok greets, still with the huge infectious smile on his face.
Jeongguk sometimes wonders how he and the model became good friends since Taehyung frowns as often as he breathes and doesn’t show that much emotion. “I have been waiting for this moment my entire life.”
Jeongguk offers him a tight lipped smile. “I bet you have, Hoseok-ssi,” he replies. “But please go easy on me. I’m new to all this.”
“You’re in great hands,” Hoseok beams.
“And enough with the Hoseok-ssi. You can just call me Hobi hyung. I mean, we’ve already known each other for what? A couple years? I think we’re past the honorifics. Don’t you think so?”
Jeongguk side glances at Taehyung, who he’s been with more than the stylist
but has not passed the honorifics yet. He guesses that he can’t blame the model since Jeongguk himself was also adamant on keeping their relationship strictly professional these past couple of years.
He tried to be friendly with him, honest he did, but every time he initiates something friendly with the model by asking him personal questions for conversation’s sake, the model would brush him off or avoid them, leaving Jeongguk with no choice but leave things the way they were
One thing he’s learned about Taehyung is that he’s very private, a little secretive. A person with an impenetrable wall that treats everything, Jeongguk included, like a red flag that’s out to destroy him or something.
He has a couple of theories why Taehyung’s the way he is. Perhaps a failed relationship or a person he trusted betraying him.
Jeongguk can’t be too sure since he doesn’t know anything personal about him that's past the information he’s searched in google
and the few couple of clues he reads in the model’s emails.
Maybe the wedding is his chance to maybe know, Jeongguk thought, but he keeps that agenda to himself as he smiles at Hoseok.
“Sure Hobi hyung sounds nice.” he replies to the stylist, making the latter grin.
“Perfect!” Hoseok replies just as the employees of the store return with a rack full of clothes that Jeongguk supposes is his size, trying hard not to wince when he sees a bright yellow colored suit there. “I guess we should get started then, Jeonggukie!”
Jeongguk smiles at the nickname that the older had given him. “I guess we should.” he says as he follows Hoseok into one of the spacious fitting rooms inside the store.
“Do you have any requests, Taehyungie?” Hoseok asks over his shoulder, looking at the model who’s at a display of sunglasses that one of the attendants showed him, as if he doesn’t already own a hundred pairs of them.
Taehyung looks up from two identical looking sunglasses and says, “Make him look like my type.” with the usual expressionless face.
Jeongguk hears Hoseok chuckle and mutter, “As if he isn’t your type already.” under his breath that Jeongguk chooses to ignore before the stylist rubs his palms together excitedly and says, “Ooh, I’m gonna have so much fun with you!”
Jeongguk gulps as Hoseok reaches for the yellow suit he had been eyeing with a frown.
Taehyung has been sitting on the lounge chair for about thirty minutes to an hour already, nursing his fourth glass of iced tea as he waits for Hoseok to finish dressing his assistant up.
He’s seen Jeongguk step out of the fitting room, looking remarkably handsome than usual dressed in the clothes that Hoseok picked up. Taehyung is not blind, he knows that Jeongguk is good-looking
/And hot/, his mind conjures, making him shake his head and turn his attention to the magazine he’s lazing flipping over that contains next season’s new trend.
Truth is, as soon as Taehyung saw Jeongguk that first day three years ago, he found him handsome and maybe a little cute with his baby blue long sleeved dress shirt and slacks that looked a little tight on him (but made his thighs stand out).
If he met Jeongguk under different circumstances, maybe at some bar where he was a stranger that Taehyung could take home for a night and forget about the next day, he’d definitely let him fuck him once or twice.
Or maybe if Taehyung wasn’t preoccupied with other things the day they met, maybe, just maybe, things would have turned out differently.
But alas, it wasn’t.
Since that meeting, Jeongguk had shown his dislike for him. Maybe not as outright compared to his previous assistants and other people who tried and failed to get close to him since Jeongguk is nice.
Contrary to the young assistant’s dislike, Jeongguk was nice to Taehyung. Always offered to do more than what was asked and only snorted at him when Taehyung would insult him accidentally.
And as much as Taehyung would like to repair the damage he’s done, he’s too damaged himself to try and even think of fixing it. So he just let things be and thankfully, regardless of his attitude problem, Jeongguk stayed.
Maybe there were mild threats of him resigning from time to time but he stayed unlike others. He stayed when Taehyung didn’t expect him to, unlike the people Taehyung expected to stay.
“Taehyungie!” Hoseok's voice booms across the store, making him look up from the magazine to look at his friend who has an excited look on his face. “Oh my! I really think that this time, it’s going to be one!”
Taehyung smiles at his friend’s eagerness regardless of the multiple ‘no’s’ he has told him early on and nods at him. “Okay, hyung. Let’s see it.” he says, crossing his legs and waiting for Jeongguk to come out from behind the curtains.
And when he does, Taehyung, to say the least, nearly drools at how utterly handsome, how sinful he looks in a black turtleneck that really made his strong and defined chest stand out with a chain necklace around his neck tucked under a pair of black and gray pinstripe pants
with a matching suit jacket and some shiny shoes that looks ten times better compared to the ones that Jeongguk wore the first day they met.
He hears Hoseok chuckle, making him compose himself and clear his throat.
Feeling thankful that Jeongguk wasn’t able to see his reaction since the younger was looking down, feeling self conscious.
“So,” Hoseok says, dragging his syllables and wiggling his eyebrows at him. “What do you think?”
Taehyung shrugs at him nonchalantly, face schooled to look expressionless as normal and says, “Acceptable.” that made Jeongguk look up at him and Hoseok to clap joyfully.
“I told you this is the one, Jeonggukkie!” Hoseok says, patting him on the back. "
Jeongguk snorts at the stylist. “It’s nice to see you still optimistic after the first twelve suits we wore,” he says.
"The first twelve was good too,” Taehyung butts in, attempting to act nice for once since Jeongguk is doing him a solid and he also wants to establish some type of friendliness with him before their big day tomorrow.
He stands up and heads over to the younger to fix the lapel of his suit jacket.
"You’re handsome, Jeongguk-ssi.”
Taehyung doesn't miss the faint pink on the other’s cheeks at his praise, and somehow, seeing that blush makes Taehyung mistake it as a red flag.
So he, stupidly, adds a “Compared to the times I’ve seen you in the past.” that makes Jeongguk frown and Taehyung to contain the frown that wants to break out of his lips.
“Here I was thinking you’re actually complimenting me.” Jeongguk murmurs under his breath.
“Anyway,” Taehyung says, looking over to the numerous attendants waiting on them. “We’ll take that suit and we’ll take the fourth one he tried on too as a backup suit.”
“Why would I need a back up suit?” Jeongguk asks with an eyebrow raised.
“We need to always be prepared, Jeongguk-ssi. Who knows what my mother or the universe has in store.” Taehyung replies as he takes his wallet out from his clutch bag and fishes out his black card. “Now go change back to your normal people clothes -”
“Normal people clothes.” Jeongguk deadpans.
“- and let’s get out of here.” Taehyung says, ignoring him. “We still have a lot of things to do. We still have to cut your hair, pluck your eyebrows and get a full body scrub.”
“What do you mean cut my hair and eyebrows?” Jeongguk frowns. “I’m not doing that.”
Taehyung sighs deeply at that before he returns to Jeongguk’s space, effectively making the latter take a step back since the model knows he’s trying to look both alluring and threatening.
“Baby, you’re doing that.” he says.
“You’re not gonna force me.”
Taehyung stares at him for a full minute before he closes his eyes in exasperation, looks down on his slip on sandals before he looks up with his irresistible super power.
He sees the moment he won the argument when Jeongguk’s eyes widen in alarm at the pout on the model’s lips and his shiny eyes.
Jeongguk closes his eyes at the sight. “Nope,” he says, shaking his head. “Not gonna fall for that again. Nope. Begone!”
“But Baby,” Taehyung whines cutely, making the attendants and Hoseok chuckle. “Baby please. You would look extra handsome and hot if you did.”
“I know what you’re trying to do, Baby,” Jeongguk replies, eyes still closed. Saying the term of endearment with venom. “And my answer’s the same. It’s still no.”
Taehyung cups the other’s cheeks between his palms, making the other open his eyes. Still blushing profusely.
“If you let me cut your hair and scrub your body,” he says, staging a whisper but he knows everyone within close vicinity could hear him. “I’ll let you bend me over the table and rearrange my guts until I’m -”
“Fuck!” Jeongguk rushes out, looking at the other nervously. “Stop it. Fine, fine! I’ll do it!”
“Because of the fuck -” Taehyung says, still teasing.
“For goodness’ sake, stop it,” Jeongguk says, looking around them to find the employees with flushed expressions on their faces
“I’ll do it. No- no fucks needed.”
The model offers him a smile. A genuine one, finding the other’s mortification a little cute. “Fabulous.” he says, patting the other’s cheek before he turns back to the attendants. “We’ll get them please!”
Before walking over to the counter to pay for his purchases. Taehyung hears Jeongguk say something along the lines of “I’ll bend you over and smack you.” and Hoseok replying with a loud, “You’d like that, won’t you?” smugly.
Taehyung smirks because he won’t mind that too, to be honest.
• w e d d i n g * d a y •
Over the the span of three years — three long fucking years, Jeongguk has acquired the unfortunate habit of memorizing Taehyung’s quirks; and although he doesn’t know that much about the model’s personal life, he can tell you about the tiny things that a certain Kim Taehyung does
For instance, there’s the fact that when Taehyung leans his chin on his palm, it means that he’s either invested in the conversation or is bored and is at the verge of falling asleep; the only difference is that
when he’s invested, his eyes stay focused on you and when he’s uninterested, he blinks more times than normal.
Taehyung also has a ‘model mode’ and that’s when his face is looking broodier than normal, expressionless like that chic in twilight.
It’s an image that Taehyung has established when his career started blossoming, a look that he was known for— A tiger, an ice prince; hence all his photos showed him with either a frown, a straight face or like he’s trying to lure and seduce you
with just a look of his intense eyes.
And he has what Jeongguk calls a ‘kitten mode’ when he’s off-duty, where the model would curl up into a ball, preferably on a soft surface, would stare at his purple iPhone for hours on end either playing a game or busy with other things,
and would literally hiss — in what the model thought as a threatening way but is actually amusing — at anything and anyone that would disturb him.
He’s both an extrovert and an introvert.
Taehyung the model is the social butterfly regardless of his broody face; always trying to get involved with people in the industry to boost his reputation up, while just your normal Taehyung is a hot headed, hissy little kitten.
The only thing similar in those two modes is that Taehyung is frowny in both of them.
Another quirk is that Taehyung smirks when he finds something funny. It’s one of the few expressions that Jeongguk has seen the model wear apart from the default frown,
and purses his lips when he’s offended. He rolls his eyes when he finds a joke unfunny, fake laughs when he’s feeling awkward, licks his lips when he finds someone attractive then looks at them from head to toe,
and his legs bounce repeatedly or he starts biting his nails when he’s nervous as hell.
Just like how his legs are bouncing now.
“Taehyung-ssi,” Jeongguk sighs as he closes his eyes and turns to the side to look at the model.
“Please stop it. We’re in a moving vehicle and I’m getting nauseous.”
“Sorry,” the model replies, in a surprisingly apologetic tone before he sits still and begins to chew the tips of his thumb as he stares at the buildings passing by outside the window.
He still looks like his usual bored self, but there’s this tinge present in his eyes that shows how anxious he really is. Jeongguk would know since, well, since he knows Taehyung well.
The assistant could only sit back and cross his arms as he sits and waits for the two of them to arrive at the wedding venue.
But Jeongguk only sits back for less than a minute, before he huffs out a breath and reaches his hand to massage the model’s nape,
catching the latter by surprise but sighing out in relief not more than fifteen seconds later. His eyes closing as Jeongguk massages him to help ease his nervousness.
It’s one of the things that Jeongguk discovered that Taehyung, when in both kitten and model mode, likes.
He remembers the first time he did it. Taehyung had just finished his first ever important shoot with an important brand — Kore. Kim Seokjin’s clothing brand, and the diva was feeling nervous about the outcome of the photos despite them looking great as usual.
He was restless after the photoshoot and couldn’t sit still, until Jeongguk took pity on him and stood behind him and massaged him the way his father taught him to. Undoing all the knots and tensed muscles on the other’s shoulder blades till he felt the model relax under his
touch, and since then, Jeongguk would be surprised when Taehyung would grab his hand and wrap around his own hand or ankle or whichever part the model wanted massaged, non-verbally asking for a one and the assistant would (always) give in.
Sometimes, Jeongguk does it when he knows Taehyung needs it.
Just like now.
“Relax, Taehyung-ssi,” Jeongguk tells him, trying to sound calm. Remembering what his best friend had told him about being kinder to Taehyung since it’s a stressful situation for the model.
"It’s gonna be fine. Trust me.”
He hears the model huff. “That’s easy for you to say,” Taehyung replies, eyes still shut. “I’m the one who’s introducing a fake boyfriend to my very suspicious mother, Jeongguk-ssi.
I think I’m allowed to feel a little anxious about the whole situation.”
“Well, wasn’t this your idea?” Jeongguk asks him with an eyebrow raised. “I’m sure you’ve put some thought into this before texting me in the middle of the night with this proposal of yours.”
“Actually,” Taehyung says, opening his eyes and looking at Jeongguk as he leans his head on the car’s headrest. “I was a bit drunk when I made this decision and it was all Jimin’s idea to ask you to be my boyfriend.”
“Fake boyfriend.” Jeongguk corrects.
Taehyung rolls his eyes at him. “Whatever. Call it what you want.” he says. “Anyway, my drunk brain thought it was a good idea but as I sit here right now, I’m beginning to think that it’s a bad one. Mother is too perceptive for her own good.
If we say or do one thing wrong, it’s game over. For me, at least.”
“You’re overthinking,” Jeongguk says as he releases the model’s nape and sits back. Though he's not all too confident himself about the whole thing, he’s only acting that way to comfort the other.
“We already ironed out most of the details. It will only fail if your acting is bad.”
The model huffs at his teasing. “I’ll have you know that I was top of my class in acting school,” he replies, nose pointed in the air. “So go worry about your own performance, not mine.”
“Trust me, Baby,” Jeongguk says with a snort. “You shouldn’t worry about me. I can be quite convincing. And like what you said, Rule of Improv. Just go with what the other is saying.”
Taehyung nods. “Yes. Just go with it, no arguing, nothing too outrageous and nothing to make me look bad. I have a reputation to keep.” he says.
“Me too. Nothing to make me look weird and kinky in front of your mother too,” Jeongguk replies, also nodding.
“We’re together after all. So my reputation is yours.”
“You have little faith in me.” the other observes.
“Geez, I wonder why.” Jeongguk says sarcastically.
“Anyway,” Taehyung says, ignoring his snide remark.
“We should be there in a couple minutes. There’s going to be paparazzi there so we’re taking the back entrance. I don’t need another dating scandal.”
“Fine by me,” the younger says.
“I don’t want this getting out too. My eomma is gonna be so upset if she finds out her son is in a relationship through the news and it’s gonna be messy and well, we won’t be working anymore after.. after this, like we agreed.”
He sees Taehyung nod at him slowly. “Oh right, I forgot.” he mutters.
“It’s our agreement, Taehyung-ssi.” Jeongguk reminds him. He realizes that technically, it’s gonna be the last time that he and Taehyung will be together, and well, although it’s what he wanted out of the
whole ordeal, he finds it a little bittersweet. They did work together for three years after all.
“Also, since we’re on the topic of our fake relationship,” Taehyung says, ignoring his remark and looking at Jeongguk all business-like. Gone was the anxiousness in his face.
“No honorifics, okay? I will forgive your disrespect, but only for today. You may call me Taehyung or just Tae.”
“Well, that’s gonna be hard.” Jeongguk points out. “We’ve been in ‘ssi’ basis since the first day we met, and I might slip.”
“Then call me a pet name instead so you won’t.” Taehyung replies as he fishes out a compact powder from a small pouch he brought with him, checking on his make up on the small mirror before fixing his perfectly styled black curly locks.
“Okay, I can think of a few pet names.” Jeongguk smirks.
The model sighs at him. “Nothing kinky please. Reserve your daddies and sirs and masters for someone else. It’s not my thing.”
“Do you prefer calling me daddy instead?” Jeongguk mutters under his breath. Jeongguk feels the compact mirror that Taehyung was using hitting the side of his head, making him turn to look at the model and massage the injured area.
“What was that for?” he frowns but it slowly melts when he sees a genuine look of embarrassment on the model’s face.
“T- That was inappropriate to say.” Taehyung says, eyes wide.
Jeongguk opens his mouth to retort, still rubbing the side of his head, but the other shuts him up
with a, “We’re here.” just as their rental car’s driver stops the vehicle by the back entrance of a lavish looking greenhouse where Jeongguk could see trees and flower shrubs of all colors through the clear glass outside.
True to what Taehyung had said, it wasn’t just any wedding. It’s the wedding judging by the size of the venue and the number of people working for the press waiting at the main entrance of the greenhouse, where security was also present to keep them at bay when
the car bypassed it.
And once the car stops at the other entrance, Jeongguk could make out a few famous faces that’s also using the back entrance to avoid the crew of paparazzi at the main entrance, dressed in magnificent suits and gowns with their bodyguards surrounding them,
and wedding attendants at the front guiding them inside to lead them to their designated seats.
Jeongguk gulps as he and Taehyung unbuckle their seatbelts and step out of the car. He thanks the driver and tells him he’ll text him when they’re ready to leave and
once he’s standing next to the model outside, he hears Taehyung ask, “Ready?”
He nods at the other as he licks his lips, and offers the model his arm to hold to which Taehyung does, before the two of them head into the direction of a short line of guests waiting for their turn
for an attendant to lead them to their seats.
Despite their secret entrance, as soon as he and Taehyung started walking together, they’ve already caught the attention of some of the people lingering there.
Shooting them curious glances, more specifically, Jeongguk could see their gaze focus on their entangled limbs. Taehyung is checking on his phone using his free hand, oblivious to the attention that they were getting.
Jeongguk supposes that the model is far used to the attention unlike he is. He hopes he’ll get used to it since he’s basically dating him.
They fall in a line that leads to the entrance, and as soon as they do, Jeongguk’s acting is already put to the test.
“Taehyung-ie?” someone says, a girl with long blonde hair falling to her waist and bangs over her forehead; wearing a short black yet fancy looking dress. Smiling at the model, big and wide. “Is that you?”
Taehyung puts on the mask that Jeongguk was all too familiar with as
he puts his phone inside his pocket and smiles at the woman.
“Lisa,” he greets warmly, letting go of Jeongguk’s arm to kiss her on both her cheeks like how rich people do. “It’s a pleasure to see you here. How are you, dear?”
“Oh, you know,” she smiles. “Just doing my thing here and there. I should ask you how you’re doing. I saw that perfume deal with Gucci in Vogue the other day. Congratulations!”
Taehyung waves a hand at her daintily. “Oh hush,” he smiles.
“It was just a fun project. You know how I am and my tastes. It was nice to make a perfume I get to design for myself.”
“Still, it’s a big deal.” Lisa replies. “Auntie and Uncle must be proud of you.”
Taehyung fakes a laugh, which tells Jeongguk that he’s feeling awkward.
Making the younger raise a curious eyebrow but stays mute nonetheless.
“Oh they /should/ be,” Taehyung replies, before he clears his throat and wraps a hand around Jeongguk’s bicep. “I haven’t told them the news yet but they must have heard of it from Vogue like you did.”
“Yeah, most likely.” Lisa smiles before she turns her attention to the hand Taehyung was using to clutch Jeongguk’s arm, then to Jeongguk himself with a curious eyebrow raised. “Speaking of your taste, who do we have here, Taehyung-ie?”
“Oh, how rude of me,” Taehyung chuckles, turning to his side to look at Jeongguk. “Lisa, dear, meet Jeongguk. My date. Jeongguk, meet Lisa. She’s Sana and I’s childhood friend.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Lisa-ssi,” Jeongguk replies with a polite smile, bowing at her.
Lisa bows back at him. “Pleasure is all mine, Jeongguk-ssi.” she replies, shooting the model a sly smirk. “And Taehyung-ie, pardon my lack of tact, but I didn’t expect you to bring a beau with you. Does auntie know?”
“She does,” Taehyung tells her, licking his lips. “But just like you, this is mommy dearest’s first time meeting Jeongguk-ss - I mean, Jeongguk sweetheart, too.”
Jeongguk tries not to wince at the model’s near slip and the god awful pet name.
He sees Lisa raise an eyebrow at Taehyung who’s already slightly fidgeting at the realization of his mistake and tries to help his fake boyfriend out.
“Yeah, me and Tae have been keeping our relationship private for awhile now,” Jeongguk tells her.
“But I guess, you can’t keep things like these secret from your parents.”
Lisa laughs in understanding, seemingly forgetting about the minor slip up. “Of course. I understand why you decided on that,” she says. “Mothers and this industry? No difference at all.”
Jeongguk smiles at her and he could feel Taehyung squeeze his arm gratefully.
“By the way, what line of work do you do?” Lisa asks curiously as they progress to the entrance since the guests before them were already led to their seats.
“He’s in the business world.” Taehyung supplies with a smile. “Isn’t that right, Baby?”
“Right,” Jeongguk says, turning to look at Taehyung. Acting confident. Keyword: Acting.
“What kind of business?” Lisa asks.
He begins to pale.
“Uh, the uh -” Jeongguk stutters, trying not to blush at the thought of telling Taehyung’s seemingly sweet childhood friend that he’s a fake business owner of a condom manufacturing company, and kind of regretting not going along with Taehyung’s original plan of making him
a chopstick guy instead. But in his defense, it seemed cooler in his head. He just didn’t think that he’d actually have to say it to other people and have them believe it as true. But alas, it’s too late for regrets now.
And he doesn’t want to give Taehyung the satisfaction of proving that he was right, so he just goes for it. He won’t see these people anymore anyway. That’s what he tells himself at least.
“I -” Jeongguk tries to say.
“He’s in the explicit business, darling,” Taehyung supplies with a devilish smile that effectively makes Jeongguk turn scarlet in embarrassment and in annoyance. He knows what the model’s doing.
Lisa giggles. “Ooh, that’s interesting. What kind of explicit business?”
“My company manufactures and sells condoms, among other things.” Jeongguk says, hoping he sounds confident, but he knows his pink ears have betrayed him since Lisa’s gaze turn in that direction.
“Don’t be embarrassed, Jeongguk-ssi,” Lisa says with a grin. “Business is business and I know your boyfriend’s mother would agree with me. She is a businesswoman too, after all.”
Jeongguk nods at her. “Right.” he replies.
“I just didn’t know how you would react to me, uh, selling sex.”
Lisa raises an eyebrow at him and it makes the assistant realize what he had just said. “I don’t mean, like, prostitution or anything, I mean -” he stutters, before Lisa laughs at him.
“I was just teasing, Jeongguk-ssi,” she says, ending his suffering before Lisa turns to Taehyung. “You got a cute one right here, Taehyungie. I could see why he successfully wooed you. You always liked hot and cute guys even when we were in high school.”
Taehyung fakes a laugh. “Uh yeah, exactly.” he murmurs that made Jeongguk look at his shoes in interest. Trying not to think of that piece of information.
“Anyway, if you need to boost your business, Jeongguk-ssi, just let me know. I’d be glad to help!” Lisa says happily,
nearing the front of the line already.
“She’s a social media influencer and models on the side.” Taehyung stages a whisper.
“Oh shush,” Lisa says with a fond roll of his eyes. “The Gucci model speaks.”
Jeongguk smiles at her. “I’ll take note of that.” he says, before an attendant arrives and offers to lead Lisa to her seat when she shows them her invitation.
“Anyway, I’ll catch you two later.” Lisa says with a wave of her hand.
“Any tips before meeting the parents?” Jeongguk asks.
Lisa hums at him before she says. “Just don’t be intimidated by her,” she replies. “But, if you weren’t by ice prince over here, I think the ice queen should be easy peasy.”
/Ice Queen./ Great. Jeongguk thought as he and Taehyung waves at Lisa goodbye and they’re left alone again.
And after a minute of silence, Jeongguk feels the model turn to his side, making him look at him too. “That was good practice,” Taehyung says as he fixes the lapels of
Jeongguk’s suit jacket. “But a little less stuttering next time, okay?”
Jeongguk snorts at him. “Okay, your highness.” he replies with a roll of his eyes.
Taehyung smirks at him. “I like that pet name. You can use that.” he says before he drops his hands from the lapels
of Jeongguk’s jacket.
“As if.” Jeongguk says. “I’ll only call you that when you’re being a royal pain in the -” But before Jeongguk could finish, another attendant arrives with a professional smile on their face, making the assistant shut his mouth
as Taehyung shows them their invitation and before they’re whisked away to their seats.
The greenhouse looks even more grander from the inside, Jeongguk thought, as they follow the attendant to the wedding’s ceremony area.
They’re walking on a stone pathway where tall flower shrubs are planted on the side of the walkway, and Jeongguk could spot a couple of butterflies fluttering above the flowers while the sunlight peeks through the glass above, emitting a soft glow inside
and tall trees were also planted on the side of the area. The place looks like a fairytale, to say the least.
They’re led to an arch made of numerous pink and white flowers that had fairy lights designed to meld with the small grass that mixed with the flowers,
and when they’re closer, Jeongguk sees polaroid photos of two women in fun and loving poses, which he supposes as the soon to be wives — Sana and Momo, and once they pass it, Jeongguk sees rows and rows of wooden chairs facing the front.
It could probably seat more than three hundred people but as he thinks about it, seeing as it’s the wedding of the year, three hundred seems like a small number.
They reach their seats on the fourth row on the right side, next to the aisle where the wedding entourage would walk.
Taehyung greets a couple of the guests there politely once they’re seated, and introduces him as his boyfriend. Jeongguk still stuttered a few times as he’s introduced, but after the sixth introduction, he’s gotten fairly better and has fully immersed into the role of being
the model’s boyfriend. Not even wincing that much anymore when he tells them that he’s a fucking condom guy.
Though, he still regrets not choosing being the chopstick guy instead since it’s less embarrassing. Fuck his pride, honestly.
More introductions followed the first six.
Jeongguk was introduced to some of Taehyung’s family members already, who exuded the likeness of the typical rich and snobbish asshole but of course, like the seemingly perfect boyfriend that he is, he doesn’t comment.
He does see Taehyung’s lips purse from time to time when they would comment on the model’s career and Jeongguk could only stay quiet through it all. Not really knowing what to do, though, there may have been a time when he wanted to jump into the model’s defense.
And after a few minutes of awkward small talk with the other guests, the sound of a piano echoes inside the greenhouse, effectively silencing everyone there as they wait for the ceremony to start officially. And true enough, flower girls started walking down the aisle,
throwing rose petals and smiling widely at the camera that took their pictures.
Jeongguk hears Taehyung coo in the cutest way he has ever heard from the model before, contrary to how he was not more than two minutes ago when they were speaking to his family members,
making him turn to look at him. He tries to stifle a smile when he finds the model sporting a look of fondness on his face, his smile wide enough to make the model’s eyes crease. And just like the sound he made, Taehyung himself looked cute.
He was always handsome in Jeongguk’s eyes, there’s no denying that. He won’t lie to himself just because he and Taehyung do not see eye to eye, but, fondness looks cute on Taehyung. He likes cute on Taehyung far better, but he won’t say that out loud though.
Jeongguk pretends not to see and turns to look at the aisle again, wanting Taehyung to enjoy the event as they watch bridesmaid after bridesmaid walk the aisle next, dressed in matte pink colored gowns with flowers adorning their hair;
and even wonders what Taehyung would look like with flowers tucked in his curly black hair.
As if reading his mind, Taehyung leans into him and whispers, “I was supposed to be the maid of honor,” under his breath. “Or rather, man of honor.”
Jeongguk turns to look at him and raises an eyebrow. “Then why are you seated here instead of walking the aisle?” he asks.
Taehyung shrugs. “I was too busy to attend the wedding rehearsals and stuff,” he says. “I mean, you’d know that since you handle my calendar.”
“You could’ve told me,” Jeongguk shrugs. “I would have adjusted your schedule or worked something out so you could make your appearances.”
“And have you hate me even more?” the model asks with an eyebrow raised.
“I mean,” Jeongguk starts to say. “That may be true, but I won’t mind it all too much. It is your cousin’s wedding after all and I like doing calendar work.”
Taehyung waves a hand at him, brushing him off. “I appreciate it, but that’s not all the reasons.” he admits,
eyes turning to look at the wedding entourage. “I’m afraid walking runways is one thing for my parents, but the image of their son with flowers in his hair in front of their close associates is another. So thanks, but no thanks.”
Jeongguk opens his mouth, but finds that he has nothing to reply.
It’s the first time that Taehyung has shared something personal, something private with him. And the thing is, the first thing that the model has shared is something unpleasant.
A little sad, if Jeongguk is being honest. He did start to get some ideas based on how Taehyung’s family members interacted with him, but it’s different, it kind of hits harder when Taehyung confirmed it himself.
So he stays mute and just joins the model in watching everyone
settle themselves on the stage instead, trying not to feel affected by the model’s admission as everyone waits for the brides to come in.
A few minutes later, one of the brides with black hair and blonde bangs, wearing a white mermaid gown made of velvet and lace flower
embroidering with a tulip tucked in her ear and clutching the arm of, who Jeongguk supposes, as her father walk down the aisle. Looking happy despite the tears flowing down her cheeks.
And once she’s on the stand with the rest of the bridesmaids and with her parents,
the other bride, with long ash blonde hair tied into a half bun with a flower crown on top of her head, wearing a puffy gown that’s glimmering due to the glitters on the waist area and the diamond necklace around her neck walk down the aisle next.
Jeongguk sees the last bride
wave at Taehyung as she passes them by with a matching tear stricken yet happy look on her gorgeous face, and Taehyung waves back happily. He supposes that the second bride is the model’s cousin, Sana. And he swears he sees the older male’s eyes shiny with unshed tears.
Another emotion that he was able to uncover on the usually broody model’s face in such a short period of time. It seems that Jeongguk is getting more out of this arrangement. It feels like he’s finally able to look through a fogged glass,
a glimpse of another Taehyung that he hasn’t had the chance to meet before. He wonders what else that the day had in store for him, and quite honestly, he feels kind of excited.
The ceremony starts as soon as the brides are at the front with a wedding officiant in between them,
with the latter going on a tangent about what love is and how it finds two people in the most unexpected ways possible.
Love is something that Jeongguk has not taken seriously before. He isn’t opposed to it or anything. It’s not like he isn’t looking for love;
it’s just that he hasn’t experienced it first hand yet or hasn’t met the right person to fall in love with. He thinks love is something that two or more people are supposed to feel when they get a good connection.
A taste of euphoria that could make even the most mundane thing special, all cause love is put into the mix. He does wish to experience it but with the right person.
And sitting there amongst hundreds of others, witnessing the love of those two people who are looking at each
other with hearts in their eyes. As Jeongguk listens to their vows that practically oozes with the affection that they feel towards each other, he feels hopeful for the future that he’ll get to have with someone he can call his.
He thinks people were right in saying that weddings have a way of making you experience love despite not being in love with anyone as he sat there.
Jeongguk hears a sniffle on his side, and does a double take when he finds Taehyung with his own tears streaming down his face,
and wiping them down hurriedly with his fingers when he finds Jeongguk looking at him, already switching to his default model mode as he tries to collect himself.
The younger feels a tinge of fondness for the other at the notion, shaking his head as he reaches for his
handkerchief in his jacket’s inside pocket and offers it to the model.
Taehyung looks at the handkerchief for a couple of minutes before he slowly gets it from him and uses it to wipe his eyes before turning his attention back to the brides,
still sniffling albeit more quietly. Jeongguk pretends not to hear so the model could have this moment for himself without the need to feel self conscious around him, but after a couple of concerning sniffles, Jeongguk gives in and offers the model his hand. A gesture of comfort.
Not even looking at the model, he presents him his open palm and quietly offers it for him to hold while his eyes stay glued to the front where the brides were still delivering their vows, and after a minute of waiting,
Jeongguk eventually feels long and slim fingers intertwine with his, that effectively make the sniffles turn calmer.
It’s just holding a hand. Jeongguk has done it multiple times before with other people, but for some reason, holding Taehyung’s hand felt a little… strange.
The good kind of strange that makes him feel both uneasy yet, surprisingly, it also felt a little right. He thinks it’s because of the wedding spell casted inside the greenhouse that reminded Jeongguk of fairy tales.
He also tells himself that he’s just feeling this way because it’s the first time in years that Taehyung has shown a sign of vulnerability, and nothing else. Plus they were fake dating. It would look good in front of other people. It’s just that and nothing else.
The wedding ceremony ends with a kiss from the brides, making everyone in the greenhouse stand and applaud, Jeongguk and Taehyung included. And minutes later, they’re led into a separate greenhouse where the reception was being held after throwing grains of rice at the newlyweds.
Just like the greenhouse where the wedding ceremony took place, the other greenhouse is also filled with flowers and trees, and lawns of grass under their heels. The only difference is that there’s a huge clearing in the middle of it filled with tables and chairs where
guests could sit and eat, designed with flowers and fairy lights shining above it.
Taehyung leads them to one of the tables and takes a seat on one of the empty chairs and Jeongguk takes the seat next to him as they wait for the party to start
since the brides and their entourage were still in the other greenhouse, completing a photoshoot.
“That was a lovely wedding,” Jeongguk comments as he retrieves two glasses of wine for him and the model. “Your cousin and her wife seem to really love each other.”
Taehyung hums. “Yeah,” he replies. “They- they really do. Sana and I would speak to each other for hours on the phone when she and Momo first met. She claims that it’s love at first sight.”
Jeongguk smiles. “Sounds romantic,” he says.
Taehyung snorts before he takes a huge swig from his wine glass. “Sure.” he mumbles.
It makes Jeongguk raise an eyebrow at the other at his reaction. “Don’t you think it’s romantic?” he asks.
“I mean, I don’t really believe in love at first sight,” Taehyung explains. “Attraction, sure. But love? Yeah, sometimes.. sometimes we mistake love for something else.”
The model shrugs at him nonchalantly. “I don’t know,” he replies.
“Most people don't really love you. They love what you can do for them. At first I thought Momo wanted something from my Sana but she pulled through in the end. She’s actually really sweet and good for her.
Still, that doesn't change how I feel about the whole thing. Love is a hoax.”
“Taehyung-ssi, it’s not always like that,” Jeongguk replies. “At least, not for everyone. I mean, sure. Assholes exists but there are people, rare people, who do love us for real.”
Taehyung sighs. “Listen, I know that but like what you said, it’s rare. A one in a million thing,” he states. “And quite frankly, it’s not for me.”
Jeongguk’s eyebrows scrunch at that, and was opening his mouth to retort but Taehyung waves a hand at him to stop him.
“Anyway,” he interrupts. “In terms of my cousin and her wife, though, I do believe that they have it. Love, I mean. The rare kind.”
Jeongguk wants to redirect the topic back to Taehyung. He can’t help but think that there’s something underlying there.
That there’s something that caused the model to think that way, but he also thinks that it’s none of his business, and they’re not really close to begin to talk about each other’s feelings, especially in this setting. So he just nods and sits back on his chair.
Letting the silence envelop them as they sat and drank their wine.
They sit for a couple of minutes before someone approaches them, wearing a smirk on his face and Jeongguk hears Taehyung scoff under his breath as the male takes a seat opposite them.
“Couz!” he says. “Long time no see. I have to admit, I didn’t expect to see you here.”
Taehyung rolls his eyes at the stranger. “And miss my favorite cousin’s wedding?” he replies snarkily.
The male puts a hand over his heart. “You wound me, Taehyung.” he says dramatically.
“After everything that we’ve been together?”
“After everything we’ve been together, I think it’s appropriate to say that you’re my least favorite cousin, Kai.” Taehyung deadpans as he takes a sip of his wine. “Anyway, what do you want?”
“Can’t I just ask you how you’re doing?” the male, Kai, asks with an eyebrow raised.
“Oh, don’t patronize me. You always have an ulterior motive. Just spit it out.” Taehyung bites back.
Jeongguk sees the other male eye him with a smirk on his face. “Oh nothing,” Kai says.
“I heard from Aunt Yerin that you brought someone with you today, so I thought I’d introduce myself.”
Taehyung snorts, mumbling “Of course you did,” under his breath before sitting up straight and gesturing a hand towards Jeongguk.
Face schooled to look expressionless. “Well, meet Jeongguk. My boyfriend. Jeongguk, meet Kai. My cousin. You might have seen him in a couple of cheap magazines with little clothes on.”
Kai laughs icily at Taehyung’s remark. “Says the one who exchanged a CEO position to become some wannabe model,” he says, making Taehyung’s eyebrows meet. “Anyway, Jeongguk, my man! Nice to meet you.”
Jeongguk can’t exactly say the same, but he tries to be amicable to the other
nonetheless. He offers the other a hand to shake, to which Kai does, and offers him a professional, business-like smile. “It’s nice to meet you, Kai-ssi.” he says with a small smile.
Kai grins at him. “Likewise, likewise,” he replies as he shakes his hand and lets it go.
“I gotta say, though. What exactly did you see with little Taehyung-ie over here?”
“Getting my boyfriend to insult me, I see. How classic of you,” Taehyung comments as he checks his fingernails. Seemingly unbothered but Jeongguk knows him.
He knows he’s pissed due to the way the model pursed his lips. “Don’t you have better things to do? I saw a wedding photographer here somewhere. Why don’t you get your unimpressive body photographed again?”
Kai rolls his eyes at him. “Oh, Tae Tae, lighten the hell up. I was just asking the lover boy over here what he saw in you!” he says. “It’s not my problem that I find it hard for some people to like you beyond your looks.”
“And yet here I am with a boyfriend,” Taehyung says with a smug smile. “And you? I assume you came alone?”
The other snorts at the model. “Relationships aren’t my thing.” he says.
“Says the one who’s Idol girlfriend of, how long was it? A year or something? I don’t know,
but I do know that it was serious and she broke up with you. ”Taehyung retorts icily. “Sorry to hear about the broken engagement by the way.”
Kai takes a step towards the model, and Jeongguk forces himself to push his seat forward as an attempt to shield Taehyung
with his eyebrows scrunching.
Thankfully, he doesn’t have to do much but flex his hard earned muscles as Taehyung’s cousin begins to scoff and lean back on his chair. Not wanting to engage in anything physical, or at least with Jeongguk since the latter could tell that he’s
more muscular than him.
“One day, you’ll get your heart broken.” Kai mutters, beginning to stand and walk away.
Taehyung chuckles. “You’re forgetting one thing,” he calls over Jeongguk’s protective arm. “An ice prince’s heart cannot be broken, darling. It can only melt.”
“Whatever.” Kai says with one last roll of his eyes before he looks at Jeongguk and mutters a quiet, “Good luck with him.” before sauntering away to who knows where.
Once the model’s cousin is out of earshot, Jeongguk turns around to look at Taehyung whose arms are crossed
and eyebrows are meeting.
“Your cousin seems lovely,” Jeongguk comments.
Taehyung sighs. “Please,” he says. “You should meet my aunts and uncles. They’re lovelier.”
Jeongguk can’t help but offer the model a pitying smile.
It’s kind of starting to make sense why Taehyung is the way he is, due to how his family is treating him. Why the model tended to be defensive and how he always has a retort waiting at the tip of his tongue. Meeting one of the model’s family members makes Jeongguk think
that Taehyung has been trained to always fight back, and he’s starting not to blame him for being the way he is now. Or at least, he’s beginning to understand him a little.
He was just thinking of something to say to the other since Taehyung seems affected by
the little encounter with Kai when they both hear the sound of someone speaking into a microphone, their voice echoing throughout the sound systems that the brides were arriving and for everyone to take their seats, making Jeongguk swallow the words that he was about to say.
They stay seated in silence as the rest of the guests find their seats and Jeongguk notices that most of the guests only passed them by and nodded in Taehyung’s direction but none of them wanted to sit with him, and a man who Jeongguk recognized at the wedding ceremony earlier
who spoke with them briefly dropped by, not to share the table, but to ask if he can grab some of the empty chairs there so he could join another.
It’s kind of lonely and Jeongguk starts to understand why Taehyung avoided gatherings like these.
It seems the day revealed a lot about Taehyung. A lot of sad things, actually.
Jeongguk comes from a close knit family. Whenever he’d come to visit home, he’s always greeted by his mother and father at the front door as soon as he steps foot on the threshold with kisses on his
cheeks and with their hands ruffling his hair. He’s the youngest of two sons, so his parents, especially his mother, tended to baby him when he’s home. Asking him how he is, if he’s eating well, if he’s happy and all those other overbearing, yet sweet and loving questions.
Not this. Not ignorance, not a fight match. Not anxiety at the idea of seeing them. Jeongguk never had to prove himself to his parents, or anyone really, since they’re proud of him. Even if he’s just some personal assistant.
As long as Jeongguk is the person they raised them to be — kind, honest and hardworking, they’re proud of him.
And here Taehyung was, literally working his ass off to give a name to himself, /has/ made a name for himself, but all he got so far was mockery.
But he shouldn’t really care. He’s just a pretend boyfriend after all. He’s just a subordinate. Plus, they’ll part ways after this, so Jeongguk convinces himself not to care. He convinces himself that, maybe it was just the tip of the iceberg.
That there’s probably people here who care about Taehyung like how his parents care about Jeongguk.
Jeongguk’s thoughts were soon interrupted at the sound of a loud applause as the newlyweds finally arrived at the reception area, wearing winning smiles, as the two of them walked on the small stage located at the front with their hands intertwined.
He claps along with them and steals a glance at Taehyung, who now has a look of fondness on his face as he watches his cousin and her new wife settle themselves on the stage in front.
The rest was a blur once the program started with the new wives cutting the four layered cake,
their maids of honor delivering their heartfelt speeches and a couple of wedding games that the host prepared that Jeongguk was almost dragged to play but was saved by Taehyung who took pity on him and told the host, who was roaming around the tables dragging players, that they
weren’t interested in joining with his signature steely gaze.
And before Jeongguk knew it, food and drinks were being served and the two of them, in their lone table, started to eat silently. A band is playing lively music and tables nearby echoed with conversation
and laughter, but his and Taehyung’s remained unbearably quiet as they ate their meal, and once again, Jeongguk wonders if it was always like this for the model. He’s almost glad he tagged along otherwise… Well, otherwise, Taehyung would have been lonely.
Jeongguk had just finished scarfing down his meal when Taehyung tapped him on the shoulder, making him look at him. Taehyung scoffs at him lightly and uses the pad of his thumb to wipe the sauce that’s at the corner of his lips, effectively startling him and making him feel shy.
“Was the food not good?” he asks as he wipes his finger on a napkin.
Jeongguk raises an eyebrow at him. Curious about the question. “It was great, actually.” he replies.
Taehyung hums. “Why weren’t you moaning or making angry sounds then?” he asks.
Jeongguk looks away from him. Trying to hide his scarlet ears. “Nothing,” he mumbles. “Guess I had a lot on my mind.”
Taehyung hums again and silence enveloped their table once more. Jeongguk wants to ask him if it’s always like this if he comes to visit home.
If it was always this lonely but felt the words trapped inside his throat.
But it seems no words were needed to be said since Taehyung says, “Don’t start feeling sorry for me, Jeongguk-ssi,” he starts to say in a seemingly unbothered tone.
“I’m far used to it. I was always unlikeable, even as a kid, and as I grew up and decided to become a model instead of being the heir that everyone expected me to be, I became even more unlikeable. So really, it’s no big deal.”
Jeongguk doesn’t really agree but he nods at him nonetheless.
“And you know me,” the model says with a small smile. “I’m -”
“Impossible to forget.” Jeongguk finishes for him with a snort.
“Precisely,” Taehyung nods. “My family couldn’t quite forget my act of rebellion, therefore they all have their opinions of me. Again, I’m used to it and I don’t really care.”
For some reason, Jeongguk doubts that.
“Anyway,” Taehyung says, clearing his throat and avoiding Jeongguk’s pitying gaze. “I saw my mother speaking to a couple of her colleagues. Would you like to get this over with now so we can leave early?”
Jeongguk almost forgets why they were there in the first place and starts to feel nervous. Ice Queen, Lisa had said earlier. He sincerely hopes that Taehyung’s mother isn’t anything like Kai, or like the aunts and uncles Taehyung told him about earlier to be mean to the model.
She is the model’s mother after all.
Really, how bad could she be?
“Best to just rip the band aid off, I guess.” Jeongguk says, standing up along with Taehyung.
“Remember,” Taehyung says as the two of them begin to walk around a string of people standing and conversing
with other people. Avoiding the flower girls that were running along the greenhouse playing tag. “Rule of Improv. Just go with it and for the love of all things good and great, please don’t stutter when you tell her you’re a condom guy.
You wanted to be that person in the first place. Right?”
Jeongguk rolls his eyes at the model. “Yeah, I sure did.” he says, but secretly still regretting his decision. “Don’t sweat it. We had a lot of practice from the other guests and I got better at it, didn’t I?”
“Sure,” Taehyung shrugs as they walk. “Just don’t choke in front of her or I will choke you.”
“How kinky.” Jeongguk comments as they stop by a group of older women huddled together, conversing quietly. Dressed head to foot in Chanel and purses dangling on their arms
and Jeongguk swears he sees a poodle peeking out from a Louis Vuitton bag.
Taehyung crosses his arms from beside him and subtly points to the shortest woman among the group. “That’s her.” he whispers, making Jeongguk look at her.
If Jeongguk could choose a word to describe Taehyung’s mother, he’d have to go with the word ‘Regal’.
The woman is more than a foot shorter than him and Taehyung yet he has never felt small as her scrutinizing gaze meets him and Taehyung.
Jeongguk watches as she tells something to the group, most likely excusing herself since not a second later she’s approaching them with slow steps.
Jeongguk gulps and hopes for the best.
“Remember,” Taehyung mutters under his breath as they walk into the lioness’ den together.
Meeting her halfway. “Rule of Improv.”
“I know.” Jeongguk replies, feeling his hands sweat in nervousness as the distance between them and the Ice Queen diminishes.
“Just go with whatever the other is saying,” Taehyung repeats. Seemingly rambling as a way to calm himself down, Jeongguk just nods along with him. “Nothing too outrageous, nothing too crazy and it must be believable.”
“I know.” Jeongguk repeats.
“And -” Taehyung starts to add.
Jeongguk was just opening his mouth to snap back at him but before he could, Taehyung’s mother chose to cancel all the distance between them and herself personally. Walking and stopping right in front of them before Jeongguk could utter a word,
making him and Taehyung shut their mouths and hold hands immediately.
“Taehyung,” she says, eyeing their joined hands for a solid five seconds before she turns her attention to their faces and gives them the smallest of smiles.
She looks like a female version of the model, only she’s shorter and somehow, she looks way more intense than Taehyung. Jeongguk doesn’t know how that’s even possible. “It’s a pleasure to finally be in your presence, dear. I was beginning to think that you were avoiding me.”
“Mother dearest, please. Quit being a drama queen. I was on my way to see you, weren't I?” Taehyung chuckles nervously as he kisses her on the cheek and returns to Jeongguk’s side. “Anyway, please meet my boyfriend, Jeongguk. Jeongguk, meet my mother. Kim Yerin.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, ma’am,” Jeongguk says, in what he hopes is a confident tone as he bows to her in greeting and shakes her manicured hand.
“Likewise, Jeon Jeongguk,” she says as she eyes Jeongguk from head to toe, as if she’s trying to scan him for any lies and
deceit. But then again, she kind of is, given how much Taehyung has told him about how suspicious she is of their supposed loving relationship. “I was curious to meet the supposed love of my son’s life.”
“Be polite, mother.” Taehyung scolds. Cheeks begin to turn cherry. “I want to keep him by my side for as long as possible.”
Jeongguk blushes at the model’s words while Kim Yerin hums and turns her attention to her son.
“I am being kind, dearest. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Mmmhmm,” Taehyung hums. “Anyway, did father make it?”
“No actually,” Yerin tells them with a sigh. “He’s in China for business, I think. I stopped tracking his whereabouts.”
“I see,” Taehyung nods slowly.
“Anywho,” Yerin says as she focuses her full attention to Jeongguk that makes the latter gulp as he braces himself for a tense session of questioning. The ice queen’s gaze, making him freeze.
“Jeongguk-ssi, I heard you were a businessman.” she states, getting right into business
Not leaving any room for small talk as she crosses her arms and gives him a studying gaze.
“Ah,” Jeongguk replies. Trying his damn hardest not to blush at the idea of telling the rather regal lady in her late fifties the details of his very fake business that he insisted on
fake owning. He wants to turn back time and make himself a chopstick distributor instead but he caught himself in his own trap. “Yes. I am, ma’am.”
“What kind of business?” she asks as she waves one of the waiters carrying chutes of champagne and grabbing one for herself.
Raising an interested eyebrow.
“I- I, uh, make, I mean, I run a company that creates protective rubber used for intercourse.” he says with heated cheeks but trying to look like a calm and cool business man.
“Oh, so you manufacture and sell condoms?” she asks as she takes a sip of her champagne, looking at him through the glass as she does so.
Really, it sounds absurd when she puts it that way, but it is what it is.
Jeongguk fake sells condoms and calls said condoms King Koo Condoms in his head.
“Yes.” Jeongguk says with a tight lipped smile, wishing he could also have a chute of champagne, or maybe a bottle of it for himself.
Her response, though, shocks Jeongguk. “Smart choice.” she replies, no hint of sarcasm present in her tone. If anything, she sounds so professional. So regal, despite their topic.
“Sex is a very profitable choice of income these days. I can’t even tell you the amount of sex toys that we load our boats from China to South Korea on a weekly basis.”
“Well, you know what they say,” Jeongguk says with a small smile.
Grateful for the business degree he has under his belt and the paper he had to write in college that focused on the law of supply and demand. “Strike while the iron is hot. While the demand is hot, we supply what the people want.”
“Precisely.” she states with a nod.
They talk more about business, with Jeongguk using his degree to woo the older woman. Throwing in words like logistics and integrated and all those fancy words that he learned in school. It seems to impress the woman and he could feel Taehyung hum and add an input here in there,
catching up with the two of them. Things were off to a good start, he thinks as he manages to get a small chuckle out of the short woman.
“Although it’s nice to know that Taehyungie here has bagged a fine and educated gentleman like you in the business world,”
Yerin says after she hands Jeongguk a card with her contact details in case he needed his fake condoms exported somewhere. “I can’t think of a scenario as to how the two of you met. Would you care to enlighten me on that?”
Jeongguk takes a second to look at Taehyung nervously and remembers what the model had said not more than ten seconds ago about the rule of improv. This is the part where they have to convince the model’s mother about their relationship — a make or break.
Jeongguk is not exactly good at thinking of scenarios on the spot and mentally kicks himself for being a little underprepared so he thinks of real scenarios instead and tweaks them a little to fit the narrative of his and Taehyung’s fake relationship.
So Jeongguk says, without even really thinking, “We met because I wanted him to model for my brand.” he says with a businessman-like smile.
There’s silence that followed his words with the older woman pausing her chuckling and looking at him blankly.
Taehyung instantly turns to look at him with fire dancing in his irises while Yerin raises an eyebrow. Jeongguk, on the other hand, just wants the ground to swallow him whole as he realizes what he just fucking said to the mother of his fake boyfriend.
“Darling,” Taehyung says through gritted teeth. Staging a laugh. Jeongguk could feel the model squeeze his hand in annoyance and he, quite honestly, deserves it. “Don’t joke around like that. He’s trying to make you laugh, mother!”
“Funny.” Yerin comments stoically.
“We met at a club, mother,” Taehyung starts to say. “Yeah, that’s it. Right, Baby?”
Jeongguk stages a laugh too and could feel sweat beginning to collect at his nape. “Yes, that’s right.” he says.
“S-sorry if the joke was too crass, Mrs. Kim. But yes, we met in a club! That’s right. I saw him dancing at a pole and approached him instantly. It was love at first sight for me. I instantly fell for your son.”
“Pole dancing?” Yerin asks, looking at Taehyung with concern. “Since when?”
Again, another epic fail. This is what they get for playing with fire, Jeongguk thought nervously. He’s seriously wondering why they still haven’t turned to ashes yet.
But alas, they’re still burning and still fighting for the damn lie. He can only hope he makes it out alive and is saved from either Kim Yerin or Kim Taehyung’s clutches unscathed, but he can only hope.
“Yes.” Taehyung agrees with a tight lipped smile. “It- It was in a sex club in Paris, mother. I was just having a little fun. You know me. Nothing too naughty. I promise.”
Jeongguk tries to smile too. Thinking it’s best to keep his mouth shut since he already did some damage,
but, it seems Taehyung couldn’t control himself from retaliating because he adds, “You should have seen my Jeongguk when we met, though, Mother. He was on top of a table trying to grab my attention. I believe he even did a little strip tease.”
Jeongguk raises an eyebrow at the model, but stays mute. Rule of fucking improv and all that.
“He was so madly in love,” Taehyung continues to say. “God, I didn’t know what to do with all the attention. It was a little embarrassing to be honest.”
“I wasn’t trying to strip, /babe./” Jeongguk says, unable to hold himself and trying his best not to clap back. Saying the term of endearment with venom. “You’re exaggerating.”
“Oh really, /honey pie?/” Taehyung challenges.
“Cause, I could have sworn you were calling out my name in front of all the party goers there as you disposed of your shirt to show your impressive abs to everyone there.”
“Oh, was I?” Jeongguk says, subtly trying to shove Taehyung to the side. “I don’t recall that even happening.”
“Must have been the drinks.” Taehyung shrugs.
“Oh right,” Jeongguk replies. Eyes widening as he remembers more details of that club in Paris. “The drinks! The ones we drank all night long till you cried in the club’s bathroom because ‘Jeongguk, I swear I’m experiencing an earthquake. Save me now before I perish.’
Now I remember!”
Taehyung shoots him a glare. That incident was real. They were at an afterparty together and Taehyung took him with him so he could carry his jacket and bag.
Jeongguk vividly remembers convincing Taehyung that 1.) there’s no earthquake and 2.) he’s just drunk off his freaking mind. A rational reason that the drunk model ignored and continued to cry about.
“You and your TaeTae language, kitten. You were so adorable.” Jeongguk says
as he pinches the model’s cheeks. Taehyung glares at him murderously, but also, he blushes at the pet name that Jeongguk used, and the latter smirks as he stores that information for later.
“We agreed to never talk about that, you, you Bambi!” Taehyung says through gritted teeth.
Jeongguk snorts at him. “We never agreed on anything, Baby.” he replies. “We just never spoke about it. Well, until now, I guess.”
“And yet you still brought it up,” Taehyung retorts, eyeing him unwaveringly. Sending a ‘I’m gonna kill you’ signal.
“It’s a good memory, my love,” Jeongguk says, attempting a chuckle. “You were so carefree and…”
And happy, Jeongguk thought.
Probably the happiest that Jeongguk has seen the model in the whole three years he has worked with him despite everything else. Bliss looked good on the model, even though he wasn’t aware of what transpired that night due to his drunkenness.
“And wild.” Jeongguk says instead.
“You tease.” Taehyung mutters, squeezing his hand forcefully that nearly makes the younger wince before he turns to his mother. “Anyway, the rest was history after that. Stuck to my hip as if he was glued there.”
“How could I not?” he replies with a forced smile. “I have to stay with you after that first meeting, kitten.” Literally, he had no choice, he thought.
Taehyung was just about to reply with what Jeongguk guessed as a snide remark when they both heard someone clearing their
throat, making the two of them remember who the third person in their supposed three way conversation was.
“Sounds like a, uh, rather interesting first meeting,” Yerin observes. Face stoic like her son’s.
“And you sound like you two really go way back. How long have you been together again?”
Jeongguk answers with a “Three years.” At the same time Taehyung answers with a “One year.”
Double fuck. Honestly, if Jeongguk has to take a shot every time they fail their
supposed objective. He’d be suffering from alcohol poisoning.
“So, what’s the real answer?” she asks.
“It felt like three years.” Jeongguk attempts as a way to salvage their ruined images. “But yes, just a year.”
“So whipped.” Taehyung adds, squishing Jeongguk’s cheek with more force than necessary that left a pink mark.
“Only for you, Baby cakes.” Jeongguk says as he puts an arm around Taehyung’s waist and pinches him on the side subtly. Taehyung steps on his shoes as revenge.
Yerin hums as she observes the two of them. A look of disbelief on her face. “I see.” she replies before she deposits her empty glass of champagne to a waiter that passed them by. Jeongguk wishes they stayed talking about business, at least she was more pleasant that way.
“Anyway, it was a pleasure to meet the both of you. I’ll go and give the newlyweds my congratulations. Taehyungie, please do see me before you leave. Okay?”
“Of course, mother dear.” Taehyung replies with a nod before the two of them watch her walk away
and head into the direction of the model’s cousin and her wife.
Once she’s out of sight, Taehyung faces him with a look of calm rage in his features and points a finger at his face. “Follow me.” he says under his breath, before he turns around and heads into an area where less
people are staying. Jeongguk follows him from behind with a sigh of defeat.
He is definitely going to be choked, but not in a good way. He thought.
“First and foremost,” Taehyung starts to say as soon as it’s just the two of them.
“What in the actual fuck was that, Jeongguk-ssi? Pole dancing? Really? In front of my mother?”
Jeongguk raises his hands at him. “I panicked, okay?” he exclaims. “I’m sorry. It was the first thing that I could ever think of and I wanted to mix some truth into it.
You did pole dance in Paris if you forgot.”
“You could have literally said a thousand other things!” the model exclaims in rage. “You could have said that we met at a café or you saw me walk the runway and had fallen head over heels for me.
Anything but telling my mother you asked me to model a fucking condom. For Gucci’s sake!”
“Listen, Taehyung-ssi.” Jeongguk sighs as he slowly approaches the model who was pacing back and forth as he ruffles his dark locks angrily.
“It made sense while I was saying that and I realized how absurd it was a little too late.”
“I said I was sorry! What do you want me to do? Turn back time?”
Taehyung groans in annoyance and stops in front of him with both his hands perched on his hips.
“You know, I know you dislike me, Jeongguk-ssi. I understand. Really, I do. You’re not the first to hate me, as you can tell from my supposed loving family members
and close acquaintances and you certainly won’t be the last.”
Jeongguk’s eyes widens at that. “I wasn’t trying to ruin your image or anything. I swear I just slipped!”
“You said you were good at this!” Taehyung exclaims.
“I took a lead role for a school play.” Jeongguk reasons.
“What lead role?” the model scoffs. “Dancing tree number two?”
“I was robin hood when I was in high school.” the younger says, crossing his arms.
“And besides, I don’t really think we failed big time. I think your mother was more concerned than anything else.”
“Yes,” Taehyung deadpans. “Pole dancing and condom modeling.”
Jeongguk sighs at him, slumping down and looking at his shoes before he looks up and gives
the model a sincere look. “I’m sorry, Taehyung-ssi. Okay?” he says. “I choked there but we can try again later. I swear. Let’s just get our stories straight now. Forget Improv -”
“You don’t get it.” Taehyung says with a stomp of his foot on the grass under their shoes. “There is no second chance. That was our only chance and you blew it.”
“We blew it.”
“Doesn’t matter.” Taehyung says.
“It fucking blew up and all of this was for absolutely nothing. Ugh, I knew I should have said I got the stomach bug or something and missed the whole thing! I mean, I already disappointed her enough, what’s another reason to disappoint her even more.”
Jeongguk feels bad upon hearing the model’s words. He forgot how important this was to the model, and feels even more guiltier when he starts to see the model’s eyes glisten and hear Yoongi’s reminder from earlier. “Be kinder to him.”
He sighs and was about to deliver a more heartfelt apology to the other when Jeongguk feels a hand land over his shoulder, making him and Taehyung turn to find one of the brides, the one with the princess-like puffy, glittery gown joining them with a warm and happy smile on
her face. The coldness on Taehyung’s features instantly melted like ice.
“Tae!” she greets happily as she wraps her arms around him and hugs the model tightly and lovingly.
“Sana.” Taehyung replies, hugging her tightly back. “Congratulations.”
They separate from the hug but the smiles are still present on their faces. Jeongguk stands straight as Sana looks into his direction before she turns to look at Taehyung again and wiggle her eyebrows at him. The model snorts.
“Who do we have here Taehyungie?” Sana asks teasingly, looking at Jeongguk again.
Taehyung sighs. “My soon to be ex boyfriend,” he says, bored. “Sana, meet Jeongguk. Jeongguk, meet Sana.”
Sana laughs at her cousin’s remark and goes to shake the hand that Jeongguk offered her.
“Oh shut up, Tae,” she says brightly. “What’s it again this time? Found out he hates puppies like the last one?”
Jeongguk scrunches his eyebrows at that. “Who hates puppies?” he asks, unable to control himself. Forgoing greeting her and offering his own congratulations.
Sana laughs again and Taehyung snorts as he puts his hands inside his pockets. “Exactly, right?” Sana says. “But apparently, Taehyungie here managed to date a true blue puppy hater. He has a penchant for dating assholes.”
Jeongguk nods in agreement, but remembers that he’s also ‘dating’ the puppy hater dater, and schools his face to look offended. “Hey!” he says, making Sana laugh again.
Jeongguk decides that Sana is his favorite amongst Taehyung’s family members. It makes sense why Taehyung is fond of her. “Don’t worry, Jeongguk-ssi. I don’t consider you a bad one since I’m assuming you’re no puppy hater.” she says.
“Nope, definitely not a puppy hater.” Jeongguk says. “I have a doberman who’s spoiled rotten at home as proof.”
“You do?” the question was asked by both Sana and Taehyung, making Sana raise an eyebrow at her cousin, before Taehyung shakes his head
and says, “You do.” as he nods his head, as if he’s agreeing. “He does.”
“Anyway, it’s nice to meet you, Jeongguk-ssi.” Sana beams, ever so brightly. “I just spoke to Aunt Yerin a minute ago and she mentioned my favorite cousin brought a boyfriend,
so I had to go meet you right away!”
Jeongguk slowly nods at that, remembering the disastrous meeting. “Yeah, Aunt Yerin,” he mumbles. “She- she seems lovely.”
Both Sana and Taehyung snort. Jeongguk smiles at the twin reaction.
“Congratulations by the way, Sana-ssi,”
Jeongguk says. “The wedding was lovely and this one cried during the vows.”
“I did not!” Taehyung protests, glaring at Jeongguk.
“Nope, he did not.” Jeongguk says, giving Sana a look and the latter laughing again. Taehyung huffs at the two of them.
“I like him, Tae Tae,” Sana comments. “Please don’t break up with him yet. He doesn’t give asshole vibes like the ones before and he seems nice. Whatever it is he did, forget about it.”
“I’ll think about it.” Taehyung replies with a small smile.
Sana nods at him before she takes a seat on one of the empty chairs nearby. “God, my feet are killing me. I’ve been standing on heels for about three hours now.” she sulks. “No regrets though. The achy feet are worth it.”
“It should be. I canceled a fitting for this.” Taehyung jokes, making Sana scoff and playfully kick him.
“I’m actually surprised to still see you here,” she says. “Thought you dipped as soon as me and Mo kissed or something.”
Taehyung shrugs. “Well, you kinda matter to me so I suppose staying for a while is also kind of worth it.” he mumbles.
“Just for me, right?” Sana asks with a smile.
“Just for you.” Taehyung replies, matching the smile on her face. “But I’m leaving in a few, though. I’m just gonna go to Momo and Mother to tell them my goodbyes and go.”
Sana starts to frown at the model’s words. “Oh, at least stay until me and Mo’s first dance.” she says.
“Can’t,” Taehyung says. “If I breathe more of the air that Kai is breathing, I’ll lose brain cells.”
“Was he being an asshole again?” Sana asks.
“It’s his default, darling.” Taehyung scoffs.
“As much as I want to enjoy the rest of the afternoon, I can’t. Not when -” he trails off as he scans the surroundings.
Sana gives Taehyung an understanding smile and reaches to squeeze his wrist with affection.
It makes Jeongguk’s eyebrows meet at the notion and he kind of wants to tap into the telepathy that these two share.
“Anyway, let me go and tell your wife -” Taehyung begins to say.
“That sounds so good to hear.” Sana comments.
“- my congratulations. I’ll try to stick around
for that dance but me and my baby boo,” Taehyung says, gesturing towards Jeongguk. “Will leave as soon as it ends. Do we have a deal?”
Sana smiles at Taehyung gratefully. “Sounds like a deal, Gucci king.” he says.
“Go on and speak to Momo. I’ll keep your non-puppy hater boyfriend company for the meantime. I could use a break from pretending to smile while our family members go into another ‘my horse is bigger than your horse’ discussion.”
Taehyung scoffs. “It isn’t a Kim affair without one.” he says, before he excuses himself and heads into the direction of the other bride who’s no longer speaking to Taehyung’s mother and is just dancing with a flower girl instead.
Jeongguk watches as Taehyung taps
the other bride — Momo on the shoulder, and the two of them exchange tight hugs like how he did with Sana. The smile on his face, the look of fondness displayed on Taehyung’s features made him look… cute.
He only realizes that he was staring when Jeongguk hears someone clear their throat, making the assistant remember who he’s with and turning to look at Taehyung’s cousin with heated ears.
“How whipped.” Sana states with a smile, gesturing to the empty seat next to her
to which Jeongguk takes with a shy smile. “I heard you’re a condom person.”
“You heard right.” Jeongguk says, not even feeling shy anymore at the thought of it, as he grabs two chutes of champagne and passes one of them to the bride, to which Sana accepts.
He was just taking a sip of wine when Sana asks, “I suppose you and Tae make use of these condoms often, right?” that effectively makes Jeongguk choke on his drink, spluttering and wiping his face on a napkin. Sana laughs at his reaction.
“Oh, don’t be prude, Jeongguk-ssi,” she says, slapping his arm. It doesn’t feel awkward around Sana. If anything, it feels like he’s known her for as long as he has known Yoongi due to how comfortable it is to be around her.
“Me and Taehyung talk about our sex lives all the time. We’re grown adults and you sell sex. Surely, it’s nothing alien to you.”
“Right, of course.” Jeongguk says, still recovering and placing his glass of champagne on the table. “Y-yes. I suppose we do.”
Sana raises an eyebrow at him. “Don’t you?”
“Yes,” Jeongguk hastily says. Trying not to think of any explicit images in his head as he continues to ramble as a means to convince Sana.
“Of course we do. We, we have sex all the time. Nearly finished a carton of the uh, condoms and- and all that. Yes. We do. Every- every day and, uh, and uh every surface."
Holy shit, Jeongguk thought as he wipes his forehead with one of the table napkins.
Sana smirks and Jeongguk just wishes to disappear and pop like a bubble.
“Every surface, huh?” she asks as she wiggles her eyebrows at him.
“Have you tried it with no surface at all. I know he owns a sex swing, or at least, that’s what he last told me. Don’t know if it’s still there.”
Again, Holy. Fucking. Shit. Jeongguk most definitely doesn’t want to have an image of Taehyung, his fucking boss,
on a fucking sex swing saved in his head, much less talk about them having non existent sex on that very very real swing.
He doesn’t know what to say, but thankfully, Sana takes pity on him and rubs his arm.
“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll get around to trying it soon. Taehyung is adventurous in bed, likes all that dom and sub things but I mean, you’d know that. Right?”
No, he doesn’t, but they do have imaginary 24/7 sex so he should know so Jeongguk nods at her with a tight lipped
smile. Trying not to physically shake his head to get rid of Taehyung’s intense eyes mixed with arousal and haze in them.
“Of course,” Jeongguk says as he clears his throat.
“I mean, you know him. Taehyung is always one to try different things. Likes to make his own flow and follow it.”
Sana smiles at him. “Yeah, he sure does,” she says as she looks at him. “And that’s what I love about him, you know? I know he tends to be a little strong -”
“A little?” Jeongguk says, unable to control himself.
Sana chuckles. “Okay, a lot strong and guarded,” she continued. “And understandably so. I mean, I guess you’ve met some of the family, right? So I’m sure you’d get why.”
Jeongguk nods. He’s only had a glimpse of the model’s personal life in just a couple of hours and yet, he has discovered a lot already. At least, in how he’s treated by the people who were supposed to love him unconditionally, being family and all.
Seriously, Jeongguk doesn’t get rich people at all.
“And well, there’s…” she trails off, looking at her half empty glass of champagne carefully before she shakes her head and looks at Jeongguk. “There’s more to it but, I guess you see the picture. Right?”
“I do,” Jeongguk smiles at her. “I mean, I can’t exactly relate since, well, it’s kind of different from where I came from but, I do understand what you mean after witnessing it first hand.”
Sana sighs as she stands, wearing the heels she peeled off when she sat again
and giving Jeongguk a smile. “You’re lucky, then, Jeongguk.” she replies. “Not everyone has the, uh, privilege to experience love, or even a touch of it. I’m lucky I found Momo and I'm determined to keep the love I found for as long as possible.”
“I wish you the best, then,” Jeongguk says, also standing up. “And, I don’t know if it means anything but Taehyung thinks you have it. Love. The rare kind. The unconditional one.”
“It does mean something,” Sana beams. “Thank you for telling me, and also, I hope he can have it too. The rare kind of it.”
Jeongguk opens his mouth, about to say that he hopes so too when he realizes that he’s Taehyung’s supposed boyfriend and Sana expects him to give Taehyung
this rare kind that they have spoken about, so he just closes his mouth and nods at her and waves at her goodbye.
“We’ll have to hang out after this, Jeongguk-ssi,” Sana says, starting to head in the direction of her wife.
“We surely must,” Jeongguk nods before Sana leaves him be and heads into the direction of Momo and Taehyung who are busy talking in hushed tones and secretive smiles on their faces.
Jeongguk stays standing in the same spot, watching Sana reunite with her new wife and with her cousin. Taking note of the way Taehyung’s face scrunched into a huge smile, a smile oddly shaped like a box when Sana begins to say something as she flails her limbs exaggeratedly.
Jeongguk smiles from a distance before he retrieves his chute of champagne from the table and takes a sip, enjoying the quick breather and the view of the garden aside as he sings along with the band under his breath.
He’s alone for a minute, when he suddenly hears someone call his name from somewhere. Jeongguk scrunches his eyebrows, thinking who it must be since the only people, or rather, person that he knows there is Taehyung,
and the latter was engaged in a deep conversation recently with Sana and Momo.
Jeongguk turns to where the voice came from and has to swallow a groan when he finds Taehyung’s other cousin, Kai, with a group of other people that are around their age group,
gesturing for him to join them.
Jeongguk does with heavy feet and tries to school a smile on his face, like what Taehyung usually does. “Kai-ssi,” he says, bowing to the group he was with. “Is there anything that I can do for you?”
“Hey Jeongguk-ssi!” Kai grins wickedly, patting him on the back with force as if they were close. “I was just talking to my other cousins about you!”
Jeongguk forces a grim smile and wonders how many cousins that Taehyung has. “Oh?” he asks. “What about?”
“Is it true that you’re dating our cousin, Taehyung?” one of them asks, a girl in a long fitted navy blue gown.
“Yes, I am,” Jeongguk nods. “We’ve been together for about a year now but know each other longer.”
Another person, a male wearing a gray suit whistles. “Damn, that’s long,” he comments before he takes a sip of his drink. Whiskey, Jeongguk notes. “How did you do it?”
“Just a bit of patience,” he tells them kindly. “I mean, he’s not as bad as you think he is.”
“Seems Taehyungie really has you hooked,” the same guy in the gray suit says. “I mean, sure, he’s a supermodel and all, but, I don’t know. It’s a lazy job but, I guess it does help you pull businessmen.”
Jeongguk’s eyebrows scrunched at that. The guy’s statement not sitting right with him. To the rich, and quite frankly, to unappealing assholes like him, they’d think models just pose in front of cameras, look pretty and that’s it.
Sure, that’s one of the key things they do but there’s more to it.
There’s the diet before a considerably important runway or shoot. Taehyung barely eats during fashion week, settling with just a piece of toast that will last him the whole day.
There’s also the insane schedules, a photoshoot that could range from four in the morning or late at night, depending on what the photographer wants.
Taehyung mostly freelances because he claims he can do it himself. Only settling with the publicist, Park Jimin, that his
agency suggested and hiring an assistant, Jeongguk, for himself.
In a sense, he’s his own boss, and although it sounds pleasing to hear, it’s also damn hard because Taehyung does it alone. Taehyung goes to meetings himself. He chooses who to model for himself.
He makes Jeongguk pack his schedule left and right. , because the rule of fame is you need to keep yourself relevant at all costs. The moment you go dry, it would be hard for you to get another job.
So he may be ‘just a model’ to these assholes, but he’s a hardworking one. Jeongguk would know since he’s been working for the model for years. Has been on said schedules and saw the model’s struggles firsthand.
Plus, Taehyung has his moments. He and Jeongguk may not get along well but he isn’t completely evil as they make him out to be. He makes sure Jeongguk eats well when they’re out, asks him if he’s good in between shoots and gives him some of the freebies.
To that day, Jeongguk still uses the pair of balenciaga shoes that the model gave him that first day.
“I think Taehyung has a respectable job,” Jeongguk simply says as he takes a sip of his champagne. “I know he works really hard and it’s not easy to land yourself a gig.
At least, in that industry, it’s hard.”
“Well, he wouldn’t even have to worry in the first place if he just became a CEO as planned” Kai scoffs with a roll of his eyes “I mean, you’re a businessman, Jeongguk-ssi, right? You’d understand that our line of work is more important.”
“Each line of work carries its own importance,” Jeongguk says with a smile. “I don’t necessarily think that being a businessman is more important. We each have our own thing.”
“Damn, you really are crazy about Tae Tae,” Kai laughs, smacking Jeongguk again on the back. “I’m convinced it’s all voodoo or some shit.”
“Or he’s not all bad and /you’re/ actually the asshole,” Jeongguk bites back.
Trying to look composed and calm. It effectively makes Kai’s eyebrows scrunch.
“Watch it, Jeongguk-ssi,” Kai replies under his breath.
Jeongguk, quite frankly, doesn’t feel threatened despite the stance that Kai and the male wearing the gray suit is wearing.
He can throw a punch due to the boxing classes he receives on a weekly basis and the roughhousing he does with his older brother when he comes to visit Busan. He isn’t afraid of some privileged rich dudes.
He is worried about what a fight would mean to the model, though. He has already given Taehyung unnecessary stress and he doesn’t want to add to it any more, so he tries to make an exit and goes to look for Taehyung, who’s still busy speaking to the newlyweds.
“I think I better go and tell the brides my -” Jeongguk was saying, preparing to leave Taehyung’s cousins but before he can take a step, he feels Kai put a hand over his shoulder.
Listen,” he says with glare. Jeongguk sees the other people he was with block the two of them from
Jeongguk sighs, already preparing himself for the worst.
“I don’t take any shit from the likes of you. I don’t care if you’re some bigshot.” Jeongguk sees him clench his fist.
“Do you really want to be immature right now and cause a scene in your own cousin’s wedding?” Jeongguk asks.
He knows that he’s just provoking him at this point, but he can’t stand the privilege that this asshole is oozing with. He’s actually tempted to put him in his place.
“I do what I want when I want to,” he replies.
Jeongguk sighs. “Just proves to me that you’re a bigger asshole than Taehyung.” he smirks.
He sees Kai grimace and pull his arm back, ready to throw a punch while Jeongguk remains completely still and places his hands inside his pockets and waits for the blow.
But before he can feel anything, Jeongguk hears another person call their attention.
An achingly familiar, and regal, voice that got the five of them looking up like deer caught in headlights.
“Kai?” Kim Yerin says, approaching them with her eyebrows meeting. “What do you think you’re doing with Taehyung’s beau? Are you throwing a tantrum again?”
Kai lets go of Jeongguk’s shoulder and schools his face to show an easy going smile. “Aunt Yerin!” he says, kissing the older woman at the back of her hand. “No no, me and Jeongguk were just fooling around. Isn’t that right?”
“I wouldn’t exactly call you threatening to punch me like a high school bully fooling around,” Jeongguk shrugs nonchalantly, looking at Yerin coolly.
Yerin huffs out a breath and points a finger at Kai and her other nephew and niece.
“For goodness’ sake. You’re in your mid twenties. Please act like it!” she scolds. “It’s Sana’s wedding. Quit making it about you otherwise, I might do something about your trust fund!”
That effectively makes the three pale and bow at her in apology. “Sorry, Aunt Yerin,” the three of them echo.
“You shouldn’t be apologizing to me,” their aunt says, crossing her arms and looking at them expectantly. “Apologize to him right this instance."
“But Auntie -” the male in the gray suit tries to argue, only to shut his mouth when Taehyung’s mother gives him a pointed look and goes to bow in Jeongguk’s direction and apologize, the woman with them following his lead.
Kai glares at Jeongguk as he looks at him and mutters a quiet apology under his breath. Jeongguk knows he doesn’t mean it, but it seems to satisfy Yerin as he hears her huff an unimpressed breath and shoos them away.
They instantly relocate somewhere else,
leaving Taehyung’s mother and Jeongguk alone.
He hears the older woman sigh and he turns to look at her and finds Yerin shaking her head. “Sometimes I wonder if my siblings raised them to become proper adults,” she says, more to herself than to Jeongguk.
“I apologize for their childish behavior, Jeongguk-ssi. I’m embarrassed.”
Jeongguk waves a dismissive hand at her. “It’s nothing to worry about, Mrs. Kim,” he replies with a smile. “I wasn’t all too bothered. I’m familiar with schoolyard fights
and I know how to handle them usually. I was more concerned about them causing a scene, and about Taehyung than anything else. I didn’t want him to worry.”
He sees the corner of the older woman’s lips twitch into a small smile at his words. “I still apologize, though,” she says.
“And I appreciate you looking out for my Taehyung. I heard some of what Kai had to say and I’m glad you fought my son’s corner.”
“Always,” Jeongguk says with a smile, and finds that he meant it.
Yerin is smiling at him. It seems she believes that meant it too. “Anyway, I have to go. Will you be alright on your own?” she asks.
“I should be fine, Mrs. Kim,” he answers politely. “Don’t worry about me.”
Yerin nods at him a final time before she saunters somewhere and leaves Jeongguk alone once again. He decides to return to his and Taehyung’s table, grabbing another plate filled with wedding cake and sits there alone as he waits for the model to fetch him.
He doesn’t know for how long he’s left alone until he feels someone take the seat beside him just as he’s taking another bite from the heavenly cake he’s eating.
“What did you do?” Taehyung asks, not bothering to ask him how he is since he’s left him on his own
for nearly half an hour.
“Nothing, I was just eating cake,” Jeongguk tells him with a mouthful of cake, eyebrows scrunched.
The model rolls his eyes at him and places a napkin on Jeongguk’s lap to catch the crumbs of cake falling there and rests his chin on his palm, looking
at him with his full concentration. “Tell me what happened while I was away,” he demands. “And don’t feed me a lie. I know something happened because mother just approached me a minute ago and said you seemed nice and good for me.”
Jeongguk tries to hide his blush by wiping his mouth with the table cloth. “Oh, it’s nothing,” he shrugs. “Kai was talking shit about you, and well, I didn’t like what he said. Might have called him an asshole.”
Taehyung’s eyes widens at that. “You okay?” he asks, concerned. It makes Jeongguk turn to look at the model with a surprised eyebrow raised.
“Uh yeah, nothing really happened,” he tells him. “Your mom came in before anything could, and we spoke for a bit and that’s it.”
Taehyung hums as he nods at him. “I see,” he mumbles. “What did Kai say exactly?'“
Jeongguk scoffs. “He and your other cousins were just talking shit about your modeling, and well, I didn’t like what they had to say.” he answers, slicing his piece of cake using his fork.
“I mean, I know you’re hardworking, Taehyung-ssi. I mean, I’m your assistant so I would know and I didn’t like them invalidating your hard work like that so I just said some stuff and that’s that.”
He takes a bite of his cake, completely oblivious to the other’s cheeks that are beginning to turn the shade of a tomato.
“You didn’t have to do that, you know?” Jeongguk hears the model mumble. “Defend me, I mean. Like I told you earlier, I’m used to it.”
Jeongguk shrugs. “I know,” he says. “But I did anyway and I don’t regret it.”
There’s silence that follows the assistant’s voice as he and Taehyung look at each other meaningfully, and Jeongguk only notices the model has a mole on his right lower eyelid and it looks pretty.
Well, actually, Taehyung’s whole face is beautiful.
Too bad he’s a pain in Jeongguk’s behind.
He watches as Taehyung clears his throat, attempting to compose himself, looking down at his lap before he waves to the waiter to retrieve two glasses filled with some alcoholic beverage and offers one of them to Jeongguk.
“Cheers,” Taehyung says as he raises his glass.
“What are we cheering for?” Jeongguk asks but he raises his glass nonetheless and waits for the model to respond.
“A successful mission?”
Jeongguk snorts. “I wouldn’t exactly call it successful. I mean, your mother does believe us but I think she’s still kind of suspicious, you know?”
“Your resignation?” Taehyung suggests.
“My unemployment. Sure.” Jeongguk deadpans, thinking of the number of pending applications he has submitted to a couple of companies.
“Quit being impossible and help me out here, then,” Taehyung says with a roll of his eyes.
Despite the model’s signature eyeroll, Jeongguk could feel that there’s a change in them. There’s a mix of playfulness instead of its usual annoyance. It makes the corner of the assistant’s lips smile.
He remembers that conversation he and Taehyung had earlier about love. About how Taehyung has trouble believing it despite being loved by many. His mother included.
And maybe him — in a completely platonic way, of course.
Jeongguk could say that after what transpired between them that day, things shifted from the two of the disliking each other’s guts to somewhat tolerating each other’s company.
In just a day, Jeongguk has learned a lot about Taehyung more than the three years they worked together. It almost feels sad to terminate their working relationship.
Jeongguk looks at Taehyung and raises his glass. “Let’s toast to -” he begins to say.
“To?” Taehyung asks but clinks his glass with Jeongguk’s.
“To those who love us.” Jeongguk answers with a smile before takes a sip of his wine. He sees the corner of the model’s lips upturn into the smallest, barely there, smile.
“To those who love us, then,” Taehyung repeats before taking a sip from his drink.
touch of your love
⤑ enemies to lovers, fake dating
⤑ hurt/comfort, light angst with a happy ending, attempt at humor
⤑ model taehyung, assistant jeongguk
• moodboard by @win⁷🐱🐣 // HIATUS
Jeongguk isn’t the type of person who enjoys the spotlight. In fact, he hates it. Hates getting attention from people he doesn’t care about, and just basically, anything that has to do with fame.
For goodness’ sake, he isn’t even on any social media apart from
the twitter account he uses to mainly scream into the void of nothingness.
So really, entering a coffee shop and being instantly recognized by people, to the point where one of them pointed at him directly, is absolute hell for him.
He’s an introvert. He only leaves the house when necessary; that being when he has to go to work or go to the gym, or just be a productive human being. Even when he was still working as an assistant for a rising model like Taehyung, he didn’t want his existence known.
Jeongguk just mainly wants to be another dot in the universe, but apparently, life has different plans for him.
And it’s all Kim Taehyung’s, aka, /the bane of his existence/, fault.
At first it was the stares and the pointed fingers, pretty tame but still annoying. But then they progressed to reporters and some of Taehyung’s fans taking his photo without his consent and spreading them online, and there’s the numerous articles
that’s trying to dissect him and his fake relationship with the model. (That’s pure bullshit.)
Thankfully, though, no one has found out that he’s just Taehyung’s assistant. Well, ex-assistant. The agency where the model works for refused to share any information
and didn’t reveal his true identity. Plus, he’s happy his parents back in Busan were senior citizens who didn’t know how to navigate the internet that well. So at least, he doesn’t have to explain this complicated thing to them.
Since he’s pretending to be some CEO of a freaking condom brand, Jeongguk is unable to find work again. Because one, people are watching his every step every time he steps out of the house and two, companies now know him as Jeon Jeongguk of King Koo Condoms
and thought he was joking when he submitted his application forms online.
In short, Jeongguk is fucked.
And again, it’s all Taehyung’s fault.
Jeongguk fumes as he paces back and forth in Yoongi’s apartment. He’s been staying there for the past week already since a couple of reporters found his address. It was just like old times, really. Felt like before he met the demon and was living a stress free life.
Only his stress tripled because he has no job, he can’t go back to his own damn apartment and people are literally stalking him.
Again, living hell.
“You’re gonna burn a hole in my carpet,” Yoongi comments as he watches Jeongguk from his sofa.
Jeongguk sighs. “Just let me pace in peace, hyung,” he replies. “It’s the only thing I can do these days. I’m at the point where I want to strangle someone, specially, some model dude who I’m supposedly in a fucking relationship with.”
Yoongi chuckles. “Well, why don’t you just tell the reporters that you broke up or something?” he asks.
“Everything we went through would have been for nothing, then.” Jeongguk says, frustrated. “It wouldn’t fix anything. The reporters are still going to trail me around and
ask me why we broke up and people would still think that I’m some condom king.”
The elder laughs at him. Jeongguk scowls. “Plus -” the younger trails off. Thinking of the model and his complicated relationship with his family; thinking it would do more harm
to Taehyung’s reputation – to his career and his family. He’d be a laughing stock /and/ a family embarrassment.
Honestly, he doesn’t even know why he cares in the first place. Taehyung has been nothing but infuriating in the last three years they worked together.
Sure, there were times when it was bearable but the bad outweighed the good memories. Maybe it’s because Jeongguk has gotten a closer look at Taehyung’s personal life. A glimpse of the many secrets that the model has been hiding from him,
and not to mention, he actually enjoyed his time with Taehyung at the wedding.
But again, he can’t deny that the whole fake dating thing has become a nuisance to the plans he had in store for him.
It seems Jeongguk’s life now consists of a ‘before, during and after Taehyung’ and he doesn’t know how it came to that. How his life is tied to the other. How he can’t seem to get away from him.
Jeongguk guesses that Taehyung’s right when he said that he was the type who’s impossible to forget. Because it’s been two weeks since Sana and Momo’s wedding and the diva hasn’t left Jeongguk’s mind. At that point, he should start charging rent.
“Plus, it’s complicated. It’s best to wait for this issue to die down.” Jeongguk answers instead. “I’m sure people would forget about my fake relationship with Taehyung.”
“But when, though?” Yoongi asks.
Jeongguk could only shrug and head to the sofa that Yoongi’s occupying, slumping down next to him with a sigh. “I don’t know but I guess we’ll see,” he says. “Hopefully it dies out before I’m evicted from my place. Bills are piling up and I need a damn job.”
He feels the elder pat his back comfortingly. “If it gets to that point, you’re free to move back in.”
Jeongguk smiles. “Hope it won’t, but until then. Let me just pace in your living room in peace.”
“What does Taehyung have to say about this?” Yoongi asks.
Jeongguk frowns. The thing is, if he’s having a hard time with the stalking and the articles, and all that other shit. He knows that Taehyung is having it much much worse.
Taehyung’s reputation is kind of fragile these days. It only started looking up when he remained single in the past year, which explains why their relationship stirred the media and his critics.
Taehyung used to be known as a serial dater; he’s dated actors and singers in the past, and was accused of using them to get more endorsements and projects. Jeongguk had the displeasure of meeting some of the model’s ex flings, and most, if not all of them were complete airheads.
Jeongguk knew from the get go that they were only ever interested in Taehyung because of his beauty and barely gave him the time of day, which made the model decide to break up with them.
So really, the rumors were all false. It was the model’s ex-flings who used Taehyung and not the other way around. They were the ones who villainized Taehyung, they were the ones who took advantage of Taehyung’s bad reputation back then
to give themselves the title of ‘another one of Kim Taehyung’s victims’.
And now that Jeongguk has thought of it, he realizes why Taehyung is the way he is now. – guarded. distrusting.
It may not be the full picture, but he’s sure that it plays a huge part in building the model’s tall walls.
Great, Jeongguk thought with a sigh. Now he kind of feels bad for ignoring Taehyung’s pleading text messages the past week asking to meet up with him, or at least
to make a public appearance together to save his reputation.
“He sent me a text the other day asking if I could go to his fashion show.” Jeongguk reveals.
“As his boyfriend?”
“And? What did you say?” Yoongi asks, looking too invested. “Hope you said yes.”
Jeongguk snorts at his best friend. “This is no K-drama, hyung. This is my life.”
“Which makes it twice more interesting, if you ask me.” Yoongi replies, shoving him lightly on the shoulder. “And it also makes Taehyung’s struggles more real.”
“Would you please stop being a voice of reason, Yoongi. I kind of want to be an antagonist right now.”
Yoongi snorts. “Do you really?” he asks, an eyebrow raised. “Or are you just trying to be hard headed, but are actually stressed, not because of your existing problems, but
mainly because you feel partially responsible for Taehyung’s problems too?”
“I thought you were a producer, not a therapist.” Jeongguk groans.
He hears the older chuckle. “I’m your best friend, simple as that.” he simply says. om the added stress.”
“I’m just trying to make it easy for you. I mean, I know you, Guk. Sometimes, I think I know you better than you know yourself and that being said, I think you should just message him back. Save yourself from the added stress.”
Jeongguk sighs and leans back on the sofa’s backrest, closing his eyes and wondering how his life came to this. He feels Yoongi nudge his arm and opens his eyes to find the older passing him his mobile phone with a knowing look in his face.
“You know what to do,” Yoongi says, standing up and heading into his bedroom.
Jeongguk could only whine as he opens up the conversation he’s been avoiding and sends a quick text.
Taehyung is stressed. He’s fucking stressed due to a couple of problems he has no idea how he can solve.
Actually he knows the solution, and said solution texted him the night before to offer their help, but Taehyung is done with him. Enough is enough.
He’s absolutely done with Jeon Jeongguk and refuses to owe him any more favors.
He already stooped low and begged the other through text to go to one of his shows, or at least go to a public event together to keep the act of their fake relationship alive, but Jeongguk ignored
him and had the audacity to leave him on read and decline his calls.
Well until last night, that is. Still, Taehyung is nothing but hard headed and self sufficient. He’s confident he can do this on his own. He doesn’t need Jeongguk.
Or at least, that’s what he tells himself.
Aside from the dating scandal looming over the top of his head, Taehyung has also been trying to keep his own mother content by feeding her more and more lies about his fake relationship with his ex-assistant.
And speaking of assistant, he still hasn’t found a replacement for Jeongguk yet, due to the short notice and he’s been dealing with literally everything all by himself to even start looking for a new one.
Taehyung pulls the phone from his ear as his mother continues to ramble about Jeongguk. About how she’s happy he found someone like him. When she could meet him again. If they could possibly talk about a business deal. Stuff like that.
And Taehyung’s at the verge of just admitting to his lies to get this over with, but his mother’s happy tone is making him stop. That and his career.
He counts to ten under his breath, in and out and puts his ear back on the phone’s speaker.
“- I could maybe arrange my schedule in the next two weeks so we could grab some lunch together, dear. Would you and Jeongguk-ssi have time to go?” his mother says.
Taehyung sighs. “I don’t know yet, Mother dear. I’ll have to ask him.”
or rather, he has to think of a thousand excuses as to why his fake boyfriend will be a no show to every event planned in the future.
“Let me know immediately so I can inform my assistant. Okay?” she says.
“Yes mother.” Taehyung says, bored. Wanting to end the conversation already.
He doesn’t hate his mother or anything, actually, Taehyung loves her.
He just hates disappointing her.
She may not show her support for his current career but she also didn’t stop him or forbid him when he announced at dinner back then that he doesn’t want to be a businessman, and wants to pursue modeling instead.
In fact, she was the one who forwarded his name to a client of her’s when Taehyung was just starting out, to help kickstart his career.
So his tone, his attitude is merely just a product of him wanting to show her, show his family that despite going against the current,
he could succeed. That he could make his family proud.
His mother seems to notice his clipped tone as she says, “I’m just happy for you, darling. Don’t take my excitement the wrong way.”
It makes the model feel slightly guilty for being dismissive with her. “I know, mother. I’m sorry. I’m just -”
Lying. Guilty. At my tipping edge, he thought but didn't voice out.
Instead, he says, “Preoccupied with the fashion show for Gucci next week. It’s kind of a big deal since there’s talks of an ambassadorship and a contract with them for a year. So, I’ve been focusing on that more than my beau.”
She hums. Uninterested as always at the mention of his modeling. “Well, that explains why the articles online kept insinuating that the two of you broke up already,” she says.
Taehyung internally groans. It seems he wasn’t the only one in his family keeping tabs of the news. Fuck his life, really.
“Anyway, I’m sure those silly news will clear up once Jeongguk-ssi shows up for your silly walk. Right?” she says, assuring.
Taehyung snorts. “I guess so.” he mumbles. “Anyway, how are you? How’s the business holding up?”
“So so,” she says. “Good thing your father is the one who takes care of the international deals. Heaven knows that I don’t have the patience to deal with our foreign partners.”
Taehyung smiles at that. “Nice to know, mother. Dad doing alright?” he asks.
“I suppose,” she answers. “He’s always gone. You know how it is.”
“Yeah, I do.” he replies, sighing. Taehyung stands, about to get himself
a glass of water and a melatonin so he could go to bed but before he reaches the kitchen, he hears his apartment’s buzzer go off. Indicating that he has a visitor. It makes the model raise an eyebrow in question since it’s past ten in the evening already.
“Hey mother, I have to go. Someone’s at the door and I have to go see who it is.” he says, grabbing a coat hanging on one of the dining chairs and putting it on. “I’ll talk to you again soon.”
They say their goodbyes just as Taehyung heads outside his apartment, not bothering to check the intercom next to his door since the people who usually visit him at this time are his friends – Jimin and Hoseok, sometimes Seokjin hyung when he isn’t away on business.
He could also use some fresh air, maybe a walk in the park. Maybe it could help him clear his head.
He greets the person manning the lobby when arrives at the ground floor, and was just about to ask them to accompany him on a walk when the words got clogged up in his throat.
Taehyung scowls and crosses his arms at the sight of the last person he expected and wanted to see at the moment.
“Jeon Jeongguk,” he hisses, taking slow steps towards him. “What a surprise.”
He hears his ex assistant snort and Taehyung watches him stand from the sofa chairs in the apartment building’s lobby area and approaches him.
Jeongguk is wearing the pair of jeans that Taehyung gifted him, the ones with the rips on the thighs (unintentional, he swears) and
has a hoodie over his head, hands inside the pockets.
“Kim Taehyung,” he replies, once they’re face to face. “Pleasure to see you again.”
Taehyung frowns. “Wish I could say the same.” he says in a bored yet venomous tone. “Anyway, what brings you here at this hour?”
“I want to talk,” Jeongguk replies, looking around the area and keeping his hood down low. “Can we go up and talk privately please?”
Taehyung scoffs and rolls his eyes “After abandoning me and leaving me to worry about everything myself? No way.” he says, nose pointed in the air
He sees Jeongguk roll his eyes at him. “Fine, do you know a place where we can talk privately, then?” he asks. “The paps have been around my apartment for the last couple of days and I don’t doubt for even a second that they’re here too.”
It makes Taehyung sigh, and also a bit more understanding of why his assistant was dismissive of him the past two weeks when he tried to contact him. Still, Taehyung is still upset with him and he’s adamant on believing that he doesn’t need Jeongguk.
“What makes you think that I want to hear what you have to say?” he bites back, hips tilted to the side and eyebrow raised. “When you didn’t even give me the time and place to hear me out?”
Jeongguk sighs. “Taehyung-ssi, please.” he says tiredly.
“Look, I’m sorry for ignoring you. Okay? But I’m here now. I want to help.”
Taehyung wants to believe him. He wants to believe that the look in his ex-assistant’s eyes is sincere. That there’s no ulterior motive, no hidden agenda behind his gracious actions.
But he doesn’t.
“I don’t want your help.” he says, face stoic and devoid of any emotions. Consequences will be waiting for him, but so be it. He’d rather face the storm alone than take shelter from someone else’s umbrella. “So thanks, but no thanks.”
He watches Jeongguk sigh. “Taehyung-ssi,” he says, trying to slowly approach him but Taehyung takes a step back and puts a hand to stop him.
“Have a good evening, Jeongguk-ssi.” he says before he heads into the direction of the elevators.
He clicks the button going up, tapping his foot impatiently. Fuming slightly. He watches as the elevator door slides open a few seconds later, and is just about to enter when an arm blocks his way. The model groans.
“Taehyung-ssi, would you please stop being hard headed for one second.” Jeongguk says, the owner of the arm. Standing in front of him. “I’m just trying to help here.”
“And I thought it was established that I don’t want it.”
“But you need it.”
Taehyung clicks his tongue at him, wrapping his body around the fur leopard coat he’s wearing tightly. “I’ll manage fine, thank you.”
Jeongguk looks at him, his lips pursed and eyebrows scrunched. His eyes nearly made the model rethink his decision due to how earnest, how
genuine they made Taehyung feel. It scares him a little at how it has a power of lowering his guard down, at how it almost makes him reconsider. – almost.
He looks away and pushes Jeongguk to the side. “Thank you, Jeongguk-ssi, for coming here and offering your assistance.”
he says, walls up high and mighty. “And don’t worry about your final pay, I’ll have it sent to your account by the end of the week. I was just kidding about holding it.”
“That isn’t even why I want to help, Taehyung-ssi.” Jeongguk sighs.
“Look, I know it may not be believable but I really do want to help. No strings attached or whatever, I just, I don’t know. Care I guess.”
The model scoffs. “Please, what’s different now than it was two weeks ago?” he retorts.
“I guess I was still pretty mad at the situation back then, I guess I blamed you a little too because you said this wouldn’t come out,” Jeongguk replies. “I mean, I have to put a pause to a couple of my own plans because of this.
Surely you’d understand why I needed to take some time to cool down.”
“I hope you know that I didn’t want this to happen too,” he tells him. “It was totally out of my control, and it affected me too.”
Jeongguk groans. “I know, why do you think I’m here in the first place?”
“Beats me,” he shrugs. “So really, Jeongguk-ssi. Don’t bother. And if it makes you feel any better, I’m sorry for ruining some of your plans. Okay? I didn’t mean to.”
“But -” the younger says, obviously looking upset.
Taehyung points to the exit. “Seriously, I’m all good.” he says. “Now please leave before I call security.”
He watches as the other sighs, shoulders slumping. Looking a little defeated.
“Fine.” he replies, already beginning to turn away and head to the exit.
Taehyung turns the other way, clicking the up button on the elevators again since it closed when Jeongguk blocked it earlier.
He hears the other’s footsteps and Taehyung refuses to look. Ignoring all the warnings that’s telling him to accept Jeongguk’s help.
To stay strong, to stay independent.
Just like he always is.
“You know,” he hears his former assistant start to say just as the doors of the elevators open. “I get why you’re closed off and all, really, I understand. I don’t know all the details but I get why you’re like that.”
Taehyung turns to look at him. Lips in a line, face stoic and guard up. “You don’t know shit.” he spits icily. “So stop pretending like you know me just like everyone else.”
Jeongguk scrunches his eyebrows at him. “That’s because you refuse to let me in,” he replies, frustrated. “You refuse to let anyone in. Sure, I don’t know the real reason why you’re acting the way you are.
All I know is that you’re hiding something, something that may have hurt you or whatever.I’m not gonna pretend like I do, but I was your assistant, I worked with you for three years. Tell me, when did I ever give you a reason not to trust me?”
Taehyung opens his mouth, but he couldn’t quite think of the words to reply to him. The younger is right, after all. He hasn’t given him any reason, not a single one. True, they disagreed on a lot of things but Jeongguk remained loyal to him.
Never sold any information about him, never badmouthed him to anyone – whether it's the press or to random people when Taehyung would work with other models.
He once overheard his ex-assistant speaking to one of the make-up artists and asked him how Taehyung was.
If he was hard to work with. Taehyung expected him to spill all the tea, but Jeongguk remained professional and said that the model was okay to work with and that the work hours were just strange.
It really is Taehyung’s issue and his hesitancy to let people in. To trust people. It’s his tendency to seek out red flags even though there aren’t any. There really shouldn’t be a reason for him to take his frustration out on Jeongguk. After all, he stuck around when…
Taehyung shakes his head, willing those unwelcome memories to come back and proceeds to enter the elevator.
“Jeongguk-ssi, it’s not that I don’t trust you, but -” Taehyung says as he blocks the elevator's entrance.
“I think you should ask that yourself. Why would you risk a lot for me when I haven’t given you a reason to trust me?”
He sees the younger’s eyebrows scrunch at that. Obviously letting the words sink in and process them. Taehyung shoots him a small smile, albeit a sad one.
“Good bye, Jeongguk. Thanks for the three years together.” Taehyung says as a final note before entering the elevator and clicking the button to have it closed.
greetings, i have made the stupid mistake of using the wrong social media profile for taehyung. apologies for the confusion. if the profile changes during the update, it's cause i corrected it and have no patience to correct ones i already made.
this should be the correct profile for our teddy bear, not the 'teehvee' one
Taehyung is nothing but hard-headed. He’s the type of person who usually goes for what he wants, and feels a gush of pride swelling in his chest when he succeeds in something that people said he’d fail in.
Some would say he’s egoistic, but he just likes to think that he deserves an applause after a great performance.
But that being said, as someone who’s hard-headed and a little bit of a perfectionist, Taehyung absolutely hates it when he’s proven wrong.
He despises it. Admitting to said mistakes, most of all.
So it really pains him. It physically aches to hear Jimin tell him ‘I told you so’ a few days later after that fiasco in the media, specifically, the one that concerns him and Jeongguk, and their nonexistent relationship.
He and the shorter male are currently in Gucci's headquarters, about to meet the director to discuss his possible ambassadorship and finalize it since the fashion show is scheduled the next evening.
The two of them are alone in one of their conference rooms, discussing or rather bantering quietly.
“Act smug all you want, Jimin,” Taehyung huffs with a pout. Arms crossed and eyebrows scrunched. “You’re not getting anything from me.”
“I didn’t think I’d see the day someone would show you your place, Kim Taehyung,” he snickers. Trying to stifle his laughter by holding a hand over his lips. “I have to call Jeongguk-ssi, or better yet, hug him. Otherwise we wouldn’t be in this meeting in the first place.”
Taehyung rolls his eyes at him. Not pleased at all. Refusing to give his best friend the satisfaction of admitting that his ex-assistant’s actions were actually helpful in both keeping the possible partnership with his dream brand, and soothing his worried mother.
Once Jeongguk made that tweet, the rumors of their break-up instantly died down and was replaced by positivity. It was like a domino effect, really.
First it was the news in the media praising how sweet of a boyfriend Jeongguk is, then his mother telling how relieved and happy
she is that they left him and Jeongguk alone, Gucci and this important meeting he’s in.
And somehow it was like a weight was lifted off of Taehyung’s shoulder.
But he won’t admit that out loud of course. Not to anyone, even himself.
True to Jeongguk’s words, he didn’t expect anything from Taehyung after his noble deed. No demands, no additional conditions or whatsoever. He was completely silent afterwards, to the point where the model just waited for something bad to happen.
Something that would take the peace he’s feeling away but nothing came. Like what Jeongguk said, he just helped with no strings attached.
Taehyung doesn’t know what to do with that information. He isn’t used to the idea of being the recipient of someone’s kindness.
And not that Jeongguk wasn’t kind, per say. He always did things for Taehyung before that was above and beyond the model’s expectations, but he always thought that that was the case because there were monetary benefits that come along with it.
But now that Jeongguk isn’t working for him, now that Taehyung isn’t paying him to be kind to him, he realizes the extent of the other’s goodness.
It makes him feel a certain way.
The door of the conference room opens, pausing his and Jimin’s light back and forth banter and Ha Minwoo, Gucci’s director, and his assistant arrives. He and Jimin stand immediately and bow in greeting, with the director following suit
before they all take their seats around the table.
“Taehyung-ssi, Jimin-ssi,” he says with a professional smile as he sits “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you face to face. I apologize if I wasnt able to attend the previous meetings. I was in Paris taking care of things there”
Taehyung wears his model smile on his face. “Not to worry, Minwoo-ssi,” he replies amicably, crossing his legs and intertwining his fingers together. “I’m glad we’re able to meet now.”
Minwoo smiles as he touches the tablet open. “Can I get you two anything to drink?” he asks, eyes on his device as he pulls something up. “I can have my assistant get it for you.”
“Just water would be fine, thank you.” Taehyung answers, before Jimin asks for a cup of coffee.
The assistant bows and leaves the room to fetch them their drinks, just as Minwoo sighs deeply and gives the two of them a stoic look. It makes Taehyung feel slightly nervous.
Once Minwoo’s assistant is back with their drinks and is seated next to the Gucci director, Minwoo
leans on the table, still wearing that serious expression before he says, “So, Taehyung-ssi. I guess you have an idea why we’re all here in the first place.”
Taehyung tries to act cool despite the roaring questions in his head. “Yeah, I believe it has something to do with
the ambassadorship. Am I right?” he says, cutting right to the chase.
“Yes, that’s right.” he says with a small smile. “As you know, that mini campaign we had with the perfume was a huge hit. It easily became one of our best sellers.”
“Well, that’s Taehyung for you,” Jimin says, shooting them a dazzling smile as he pats the model’s back encouragingly. “He isn’t the sold out king for nothing.”
Taehyung smiles at his best friend for the support.
“Oh yes, I have heard of his… reputation,” Minwoo says, which made the smile on the model’s face slowly drop. Bracing himself for the inevitable. “And well, since we’re on the subject. I do want to raise a couple of concerns.”
There it is, Taehyung thought. Another thing that could sabotage his career. He sighs, face turning into the usual stoic one as he waits for Minwoo to say what it is. It’s kind of sad, actually, how Taehyung is used to disappointment.
“So,” Minwoo begins, looking from the two of them to his tablet. “I can’t deny, Taehyung-ssi, that you’ve become one of Korea’s rising models these days. Your journey itself is aspiring. You declined a guaranteed and stable position in your family’s company in exchange
for chasing after this pipe dream. You started with small projects, got your name out there using sheer effort and your hard work until you eventually landed on where you are right now. You really do deserve everything you have now.”
Here comes the ‘but’, Taehyung thought bitterly.
“But..” Minwoo trails off. He turns to face the tablet towards the two of them that shows the recent scandal concerning him and Jeongguk. “I have concerns with what this scandal has to do with our future partnership.”
Jimin leans in and gives the director a serious look. “I can assure you, Director-nim, that that is not something you should worry about,” he says. “Jeongguk-ssi, his- his boyfriend already cleared all the rumors. They’re good.”
Taehyung watches the director frown as he turns the table in his direction again. “I know, I saw his tweet and the articles about it.” he states.
“So that shouldn’t be an issue, then,” Jimin argues, leaning back on his chair. “That shouldn’t affect this possible partnership.”
Minwoo sighs. “I hope that that’s the case but, Jimin-ssi. You and I both know that- that Taehyung-ssi has a… history.”
Jimin frowns and is just about to retort before Taehyung puts a hand over the shorter male’s knee to calm him down. Not wanting to put the whole deal in more
jeopardy as it is. Thankfully, his best friend seems to receive the message and just swallows his words.
“Look, I’m not saying I believe what your ex-boyfriends have had to say about everything,” Minwoo continues.
“But the public does. His reputation precedes him. I mean, you’re his publicist. Surely you understand where I’m coming from.”
“So what does this mean?” the question comes from Taehyung this time. Breaking his silence as he looks at the director, shooting him an icy glaze.
“Does that mean that you don’t want to proceed with the plans anymore?”
“No, not really,” Minwoo says, waving a hand at him. It makes Taehyung and Jimin raise an eyebrow at him. “On the contrary, I’m bringing this scandal up because I think it’s an opportunity for you to
put those past rumors to rest.”
“So, let me get this straight, you still want me to be an ambassador?” Taehyung asks. Feeling a flicker of hope ignite his chest.
“Yes.” Minwoo nods, gesturing for his assistant to pass him the documents she has on her hands.
“But with certain conditions.”
He knew it. It was too good to be true after all, Taehyung thought.
But still, this is Gucci. His end goal, after all. So he ignores the red flags like how he usually does and sits back to listen to their conditions.
Hoping it’s something that he can keep. He nods to the director for him to continue.
Minwoo slides the two of them a copy of the contract and begins to flip through them. “It’s mostly the same one as before. I assume my subordinates already went through the bullet points with
you in the past. Am I right? Do we need to go over them again?” he asks.
“That’s fine, we can skip them.” Taehyung replies. “I am familiar with these contracts after all, so it’s nothing new.”
“Okay great” the director says “I want you two to go to page 4, line number 6 please”
The two of them do what they’re told and read the new condition. It makes the model’s eyebrows raise as he reads and turns to look at Jimin who’s sporting the same expression as him.
“A dating condition?” Taehyung states. “You- you want me to date?”
“Well, not really,” Minwoo shrugs. “We want you to continue dating your current boyfriend, that’s all.”
“But,” Taehyung says, looking from the contract to the director incredulously. “But I thought I have this reputation, this stigma with relationships?”
“And I also said that this is your chance to put that bad reputation to rest, Taehyung-ssi,” Minwoo says seriously. Looking at the two of them carefully. “I have to admit, when I heard about the rumors of you and your current boyfriend’s break up.
I considered pulling out of the contract but then the unexpected happened. Your boyfriend defended you, unlike your previous ones. He cleared your name and it just tells me how serious your relationship is.”
Taehyung gulps. He supposes he owes Jeongguk more than ever before due to his unselfish actions. Still, he hates the fact that the whole fake dating thing is going to drag on more than what Taehyung intended.
“So you’re saying, I just have to stay in a relationship with Jeongguk-ssi to keep the contract?” the model asks.
“Precisely.” Minwoo nods. “Achievable, don’t you think?”
The model’s lips purses at that. It should be achievable, yes. That is if they were in a real relationship, that is.
“Yes.” Jimin answers on his behalf. Nodding at him vigorously. It makes Taehyung bite his lower lip at what the future has in store.
“It should be easy. I mean, they’re in love. Totally crazy for each other. It shouldn’t be hard to do.”
The director beams at Jimin as he slides a pen in their direction. “Then we don’t have a problem.” he says.
“Like I said, I admire you, Taehyung and Gucci want to work with you. We’re just taking precautions. That’s all.”
Taehyung gives him a small smile as he reaches for the pen the director passed him and clicks it open. Tip hovering over his name before he signs.
He’s already devising a plan as he reads the final print, praying to all his angels that his ex-assistant would go through with it.
He signs his name on the contract. It feels a little like dealing with the devil,
but Taehyung thinks there must be worse things than having to pretend to be in a relationship with a person who despises his guts.
Minwoo stands and reaches for a hand to shake. Taehyung accepts and stands. “It’s a pleasure doing business with you, Taehyung-ssi, Jimin-ssi,”
he smiles, already preparing to go out. “I’ll have my assistant mail you a copy of the contract once I have our legal time to file it and all, along with our schedule for the year.”
“The pleasure is all mine, Minwoo-ssi,” Taehyung replies, a little choked.
"I can’t wait to begin working with you.”
“Likewise, and welcome to Gucci, Taehyung-ssi. We’re happy to have you.”
Taehyung smiles. The first genuine one in a while. Finally seeing all his efforts come together. He bows to Minwoo as he says goodbye,
feeling happy — light as air at the idea that his dreams are becoming a complete reality.
Just as Minwoo leaves the room, he stops by the door and shoots Taehyung and Jimin a look, as if he just remembered something.
“By the way,” he says, holding the door open.
“I forgot to ask if you read the print that says that if you and Jeongguk-ssi break up, then that means that the contract is voided as well. Will that be a problem?”
Taehyung’s momentary happiness halts at the director’s words. Unable to help but think that this was all too good to be true.
Still, he’s determined. Not even Jeongguk would soil his plans for him.
He nods and says, “Don’t worry, Minwoo-ssi,” he says confidently. “Me and Jeongguk are solid. It shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t see us breaking up anytime soon.”
Minwoo smiles. “Hope you’re right.” he says, nodding.
Hope he’s right too. Taehyung thought.
—the next day
“You owe me twenty-thousand won.” Taehyung hears Hoseok whisper to Jimin.
“I’ll give it later after the show.” Jimin whispers back.
Taehyung scoffs and rolls his eyes as he closes the curtain shut in front of him to hide the view of Jeon Jeongguk, dressed in an immaculate black suit and heading into the direction of the dressing rooms where Taehyung is.
“I can’t believe you placed bets on whether he was coming or not,” he mumbles as he walks over to the vanity mirrors where chairs were lined up and checks his makeup on the mirror in front of him.
He’s definitely not trying to make sure he looks good before Jeongguk arrives.
Jimin snorts and sits on the empty chair next to him. “That wasn’t our bet,” he says with a blinding smile on his face as he lightly fixes the model’s hair.
“We bet if he’s coming on time or if he’ll run late.”
“And he’s right on time!” Hoseok grins widely, doing a little celebratory dance that makes Jimin roll his eyes at him.
Taehyung scoffs at the two. “How did you know that he was coming anyway?” he asks as he adjusts the outfit he’s meant to walk the runway in. - A dark brown suit with a purple long sleeved shirt underneath with oversized flower brooch pinned at the side.
He’s due to wear two outfits that day, this rather formal one and the other a more… informal one, to say the least.
“I mean, you saw his texts and he explicitly said no to me.” he continues as he leans closer in the mirror to inspect his eye shadow.
“Cause he’s Jeongguk.” Hoseok simply says, as if it's a good enough answer. “He’s been with you for three whole years and he’s far too used to your dramatics already.”
“I am not dramatic.”
The two of them hummed at the model dismissively, making Taehyung roll his eyes at them.
“And he’s absolutely smitten for you too.” Jimin adds, making Hoseok nod in agreement.
“Him?” Taehyung says incredulously. “Smitten with me? Did you forget about the fact that he hates me or are you two just out of your damn minds?”
“C’mon, Baby Bear. Don’t be daft.” Jimin smiles. “If Jeongguk really did hate you, why would he even come here in the first place?”
Jimin scoffs. “And we put up with you because you’re pretty and you make us look good,” he jokes.
“Indeed I am,” Taehyung replies in an equally teasing tone, making the two lightly shove him.
“Anyway,” Hoseok says and he picks his oversized tote bag from the table and perches it on his shoulder. Looking like the high demand stylist that he is.
“Break a leg on the runway, will you? We’ll go and root for you in the audience.”
“Thanks hyung,” he says, just as the curtain opens revealing Jeongguk in all his handsome glory. Dressed to the nines, suit snug around his body, making his muscles stand out.
Taehyung tries not to stare.
But he fails and only registers that he is when Jimin shoves him to the side, making him compose himself.
“Anyway, let’s go and give these love birds the privacy they need, hyung,” his publicist, the traitor says with a smirk on his pouty lips as
he pulls an enthusiastic Hoseok away to give Taehyung and his fake boyfriend the privacy they need.
They say their hellos and goodbyes to Jeongguk on their way out, leaving the two of them alone. With Jeongguk standing wearily by the exit, hands inside his pockets
and looking a little unsure.
“Jeongguk-ssi,” Taehyung greets as he looks at him through the mirror, making the other look up at him and offer him a small smile.
“Taehyung-ssi,” the younger says with a small smile. “You look good.”
The model tries to stifle the blush on cheeks and clears his throat. “Likewise.” he replies before an air of awkwardness lingers in the small space they’re occupying, nearly making them choke due to the ferocity of it.
“So,” Jeongguk starts to say as he takes slow steps towards him and sits on the chair that Hoseok vacated earlier. “Need help with anything? A massage or something?”
Taehyung’s nearly tempted to say yes. He’s still a bit nervous about walking the runway and being introduced as Gucci’s new ambassador. Fearing what the critics would have to say about it, considering the last scandal that he was just in.
And he wonders if he and Jeongguk could convince Minwoo, or the world for that matter, about their supposed relationship so he could keep his contract for the next year. To keep his ultimate goal.
There’s so many factors that’s causing Taehyung to be the strong person that he is now. Aside from his own personal reasons, work was also beginning to contribute to it; brick by brick in his tall walls, and he was hoping that as time passed by, it would get better
but it did the opposite of it.
And now that he’s in the position that he is right now, he can’t help but think that he needs to be stronger. Build the walls higher, like he always does.
But sometimes, Taehyung wishes he could take a break from building and lean on someone. A quick breather, perhaps. Maybe a day when he can forget about images and this fear of getting hurt.
He doesn’t know if Jeongguk is reading his mind, Taehyung thinks that he did because without even waiting for the model’s response, Jeongguk stands and walks to the back of his chair and massages his shoulder blades; rough yet gentle,
effectively soothing all the tension there, and for a split second – Taehyung breathes freely as he leans back on his chair and closes his eyes while Jeongguk stays silent and continues to massage him.
The silence is back, but as Jeongguk undoes the knots in his muscles; as Jeongguk helps him lose the tension he’s been carrying these last couple of stressful days, the silence turns more from a charged one into a more familiar territory.
Like they were transported to when things between them didn’t come with the complications of a fake relationship. When Jeongguk was by him, going above and beyond in helping him. When they’d banter back and forth with no real intention to hurt each other, or cut each other up.
He thinks about what Hoseok and Jimin mentioned earlier about being smitten and wonders if there was some truth to those words. If underneath it all, that supposed hate and enmity, there was some real care and
maybe a little love.
Not love love, but love in the way that Jeongguk doesn’t really wish for his demise.
“Ten minutes, Taehyung.” the stage director says while she peeks inside his small space through the curtains, effectively breaking his line of thoughts and making him sit
up a straighter as he clears his throat.
The touch is gone from his shoulders, and suddenly that momentary peace he was holding onto evaporates as reality strikes and the announcement of his career’s advancements looms over his head.
Jeongguk is looking at him carefully as Taehyung shifts in his chair to turn in his direction.
“So,” he says, crossing his legs and shooting the other a look akin to making a business deal, but then again, it kind of is. “Jeongguk-ssi, let’s talk business.”
The younger raises his eyebrows at that. “What business?”
Taehyung gestures to the both of them with a wave of his hand. “Us.” he simply says. “Our relationship.”
“Okay?” the other responds, still seemingly confused. “What about us?”
The model sighs. “How much do you want?” he asks, making the other’s features contort from a look of realization to offense.
“What?” Jeongguk frowns. “I didn’t do this for money, Taehyung-ssi.”
“Listen, Jeongguk-ssi,” Taehyung replies. “I know you have a heart and gold, and all but at the end of the day, kindness expires. This campaign is important to me. We’re going to be stuck in this arrangement for a while and it won’t really help with your unemployment status.
So might as well take advantage of it. Yes?”
/Take advantage of me,/ Taehyung doesn’t voice out. /I’m used to it anyway./
Like earlier, Jeongguk seems to understand him in more ways than Taehyung had accounted him for, as the younger shakes his head and ruffles his hair.
“I didn’t come here in exchange for anything. I came to help cause, in case you forgot, I know how important this campaign is for you too.” Jeongguk says with eyebrows scrunched.