taehyung and jungkook are neighbors that don’t get along. but they always cross paths when taking their dogs out for a walk, and their dogs love each other. even worse, bam loves taehyung, and yeontan loves jungkook.
somehow that forces them to become closer.
• light-hearted enemies to lovers, mutual pining, denial and fluff.
• this is a birthday gift for my friend natalia
just as a clarification, her dog will make a cameo in some scenes. her name is ella (just like me xd) so when i mention 'ella' this is who I'm referring to:
neighbors group chat
and this happens every night
late-night dog dates
until something happens
happy but not really
Yeontan is curled up on himself, hiding in the corner of his bed. He doesn’t want to leave the apartment, and usually, Taehyung would let him be. He spoils him a lot, but the vet said to take him out to walk daily, just a few rounds around the block, until he feels better.
It’s their usual walk time, so Taehyung tries to coax Yeontan into going out. But it’s hard. Since Jungkook and Bam went missing, Yeontan isn’t in the best of moods.
Taehyung supposes that if he takes him to the park in his arms, he may cheer up at the sight of other dogs.
But when they reach the park, Yeontan grumbles whenever Taehyung tries to put him down, scratching his chest. It reminds Taehyung of when Yeontan was a puppy.
He used to be afraid of everything, shivering in Taehyung’s arms at any loud sound and unable to make other dog friends.
He only interacted with others -humans and animals- when wanting to defend Taehyung, as if a tiny dog like him could do a lot of harm.
But then, Bam came along. He was just a puppy, almost the same size as Yeontan. A little bigger, even if younger. And they immediately clicked.
Jungkook had moved to the apartment complex only a few months before adopting Bam. He and Taehyung had already held some hated arguments regarding his motorcycle, but they shared a relieved smile when their dogs became friends in front of their eyes. Bam was also a shy puppy.
But he liked to play with an aloof Yeontan. He grew fast until his head was the size of Yeontan’s body. Taehyung’s dog was never scared of him, and Bam was gentle with Yeontan. They loved each other so much that Taehyung and Jungkook could tolerate standing close every night.
And now Bam isn’t around, and Taehyung wants to comfort Yeontan in any way he can.
“Look, Tan, there’s Ella,” Taehyung points at another big dog that usually walks in the park at night. “She’s a little like Bam, isn’t she? Her fur is lighter, but she also likes you.”
Walking closer to the dog and her parent, Yeontan has none of it, whining still. “Tan, you can play with her,” Taehyung whispers to Yeontan and tries to put him down, only for him to start barking in annoyance.
Taehyung doesn’t force him and hugs him against his chest.
Ella’s mother, a small girl with black hair in a ponytail, offers him a sympathetic smile, silently understanding that Yeontan is having a rough time. After asking for permission, she even feeds Yeontan some treats, but it doesn’t lift his mood. Taehyung is worried about Yeontan.
He makes small talk with other people that take their dogs out this late at night as they ask about Yeontan, noticing his sad eyes. Taehyung is petting his head when Ella barks at the trees. Responding to her, Yeontan squirms in Taehyung’s arms, looking around and searching.
Taehyung doesn’t understand what’s happening until he sees him: barking and running toward him. Bam appears with his tongue lolling out and his brown fur as shiny as usual. Taehyung’s chest feels similar to when he was relieved that Yeontan made his first friend.
But something new inside him also draws Taehyung to the dog, forcing him to walk past the other people in the park to meet him halfway.
Like a switch light, Yeontan’s mood changes. The dog twitches, wanting to go down, and Taehyung crouches to let them share an effusive meeting.
Yeontan is trembling like a leave, which usually happens when he’s feeling too many emotions. In contrast to him, Bam is a big dog and has much more space to contain his emotions. But, Bam cannot control his happiness and jumps around, wagging his tail in a frenzy.
Bam presses his paws to Yeontan’s sides, signaling his desire for playing. But he doesn’t chase him immediately; instead, he opts to attack Taehyung with licks first. Taehyung, still crouching but now with a large dog all over him, looks up, expecting to see Jungkook.
It’s not him, but two strangers. They remind Taehyung of Jungkook; the only difference is that they’re shorter. Their skin is filled with tattoos, and they dress in black, just like Jungkook usually does. “You’re not Jungkook,” Taehyung blurts out.
The paler of the two snorts.
The one with a piercing hugging his lower lip says, “we’re not.”
Instantly, Taehyung adds strength to his hug, pulling Bam closer and feeling protective over the large brown dog. “This is Jungkook’s dog.”
“We know,” the one with cat eyes says.
“We’re Jungkook’s friends.”
“Oh.” That makes sense. Taehyung doesn’t care about Jungkook; he’s annoying and inconsiderate, but Taehyung cares about Bam, unfortunately, including his dad. “Where is he?”
“Who are you?” It’s the cat boy speaking again.
“Ah, I’m Taehyung. His neighbor- well, old neighbor.”
The couple glances at each other as Taehyung adds, “he’s been gone for a while, so maybe I’m no longer his neighbor in the present tense.”
“I’m Yoongi,” the cat boy says. “This is my boyfriend, Jimin.”
Taehyung nods, saving the knowledge that Jungkook hangs out with gay people.
“He got a job in Busan,” Jimin says. “He’s still looking for an apartment near the area that lets him have a dog. An apartment that he can afford.”
“So, meanwhile, we’re taking care of Bam.”
“Oh. But is he coming back for Bam?”
Taehyung doesn’t know why he asks that.
“Yeah. Once he has a place that accepts big dogs like him.”
The couple shares something unknown to Taehyung with their gazes. “He asked us to bring him to this park. Bam was quite miserable at our place. Not even the voice notes Jungkook left for him cheered him up.”
“Jungkook asked you to bring him here?” Taehyung repeats to make sure he heard right.
“Yes. He said Bam must miss Yeontan.”
“Uh, well, he and Yeontan are good friends,” Taehyung says while glancing at the odd pair of dogs: big Bam rolling on his back for a barking tiny Yeontan.
"Jungkook also told us it had to be at this hour. He was very specific about that."
"Yeah," Taehyung smiles. "If it’s not too much trouble, you can bring Bam here more often. I’m sure he’ll like it, and my Tannie will like it too.”
“We definitely will. He's been so sad.”
“Bammie must miss Jungkook,” Taehyung doesn’t say anything about Yeontan missing the man too.
Yeontan looks around, expecting to find Jungkook between the humans, but he’s not there. Luckily, Bam is enough distraction, but that will be a problem. For now, Taehyung ignores it.
As he’s been doing every night for the last months, Taehyung stands with his arms crossed over his chest, silently watching Yeontan play with Bam around the park. But it feels different now that Jungkook isn’t standing across from him with a fond expression on his face.
another play date
getting to know each other
picking up fights
the other gc
it’s a play date
Bam is excited to be at Taehyung’s apartment. Since Yoongi and Jimin dropped him off, he’s been looking around and yapping at every new discovery. He wants to show Taehyung everything, craving his attention, and Taehyung guesses that once he settles, he’ll calm down a little.
Yeontan is happy too, but he stays in his bed, waiting for Bam to come closer when ready. Taehyung is relaxed, watching them, until his phone rings.
Finally, Jungkook is here for his video call. In haste, Taehyung fixes his hair, fluffing it with one hand before answering.
Jungkook’s damp black hair sticks to his forehead on the screen, seemingly just showered. He stares at Taehyung for a long moment, just like during their first video call. But then he blinks. “Where are they?”
“Wow. Not even a ‘hello, Taehyung. How are you?’”
Jungkook laughs. “While it’s nice to look at your face, I want to see the dogs first.”
Taehyung rolls his eyes, ignoring the half-hearted compliment. “I’m taking care of your child; you should be nicer to me.”
“Nicer than I already am, hyung?”
Taehyung raises an eyebrow.
“I’ll be nicer when you show me that Bam isn't a hostage.”
“A hostage? He loves me!” Taehyung doesn’t have to call anyone over. Bam and Yeontan are already close, with Bam jumping to the couch and pressing his snout to the phone while Yeontan stays by Taehyung’s feet, barking.
Jungkook laughs at his dog’s reaction. “Hi, baby. Hi. Happy to see me?” Jungkook’s baby voice isn’t as bad as when Taehyung first heard it. In fact, both times, it’s brought heat to Taehyung’s cheek. “Is Taehyung taking good care of you?”
Instinctively, Taehyung pets Bam’s head.
When Taehyung glances at the phone, he catches Jungkook watching them with a smile. And then a cough. “Where’s Tannie?”
Silently, Taehyung moves his phone to show Tan, pressing tiny paws to the couch and wagging his tail, attempting to climb but unable to do so. Jungkook coos.
“You also dressed him up.” Yeontan is wearing a yellow hoodie. It’s one of Taehyung’s favorite clothes for him.
“Yes, I wanted him to match Bam.” Taehyung flips the phone so his face is on the screen again. “He’s cute, isn’t he?”
Jungkook and Taehyung’s eyes meet. “Very.”
And then Jungkook chuckles to himself, changing the topic quickly. “Is it cold over there? You picked cozy clothes for them.”
“Ah, yes. It’s a little cold.”
Jungkook frowns, and his gaze is intense, even through the screen. “You should wear something warmer too.”
His concern is adorable, and Taehyung can’t bring himself to argue like he usually would. Even if short-sleeved, his shirt isn’t that light, but Taehyung still smiles. “You’re right. I should.”
Yeontan curls against Taehyung’s thigh while Bam stares at Jungkook with attention.
“I’ll grab something to wear and call you back in a bit.”
“No,” Jungkook whines. He whines! Taehyung can’t believe it. “Just leave the phone out of reach for the little ones and come back when ready.”
Those are too many instructions, but Taehyung finds himself complying.
He puts Jungkook on speaker, leaves the phone on the kitchen counter, and sees Bam go in circles, trying to find the source of Jungkook’s voice. Taehyung walks into his room with Jungkook’s words filling the apartment.
“Jeon Bam, will you be good to hyung and Tannie?”
Both dogs bark, Jungkook talks to them with a gentle but amused tone, and Taehyung searches for a hoodie in his drawer. Taehyung puts on the softest piece of clothing he owns, Jungkook’s faint laughter reaches his ears, and something unfamiliar but warm settles on his chest.
and his feelings are changing
and more days pass
and his feelings also change
the video calls don’t stop
its getting bad
things have changed
he tried :(
“You didn’t tell me you were coming so soon!” Taehyung says while still in Jungkook’s arms, hugging him tightly like he’s been thinking of doing for weeks. Every gloomy feeling inside him disappears the longer he presses his face to Jungkook’s neck.
“I wanted to surprise you.”
Seeing Jungkook again is strange. When he left, Taehyung hated him; now, he only wants to kiss him. But it’s hard to tilt his head and search for a romantic moment with all the barking behind them and the paws digging into their legs.
“You should say hi to your babies.”
Even though the glint in Jungkook’s eyes expresses he has different wishes, Jungkook squeezes Taehyung’s waist and enters the apartment. He greets the dogs happily, plopping on the floor without even taking off his shoes and receiving an excited Bam into his arms.
“Hey, it’s okay. I’m home,” Jungkook says while petting his back. The large dog gets a tight hug from Jungkook, but Yeontan doesn’t get left behind; Jungkook calls him closer too. When the two dogs are around him, Taehyung’s heart aches. He wishes he could see this every day.
Taehyung is not the only one saving the memory in his head; Jungkook is also looking around and processing every detail of Taehyung’s apartment. “I think I already know all of this place,” he looks over his shoulder with a smile.
Because of the video calls. “I guess you do.”
“Your bedroom is over there, right?” Jungkook points at the left door with his chin, still scratching Bam’s head.
When their eyes meet again, Taehyung whines, “Do you want to take them on a walk?”
His nervousness is amusing to Jungkook, who lets out a snort. “Sure.”
For the first time since they met, Jungkook and Taehyung don’t find each other at the park as planned coincidence but go together, sides brushing whenever they walk. Jungkook is wearing a black short-sleeved shirt, displaying his tattoos, too summery for the cold night.
When Taehyung says so, Jungkook offers him a bright smile, promising to change into something warmer when they return to the building.
The sky is turning dark when they reach the park, but many people are walking their dogs at this hour. Bam and Yeontan are in a good mood.
They must be happy both their favorite humans are close to them again. They play with other dogs but constantly return to Jungkook, wanting his attention and pets. During those quiet moments, Taehyung and Jungkook keep peeking at each other, only to look away immediately.
Neither dares to take the first step closer to the other, even if they should talk. They should have spoken at the apartment, but Taehyung made them leave. He has to fix this, so he glances at the other dog's parents in the park and spots Ella playing with Bam behind her mother.
She’s always been kind to him and Yeontan, so she might help. Taehyung approaches her and quietly wonders if she can look over Bam and Yeontan for a while. “Is everything okay?” she asks.
Shyly, Taehyung gestures at Jungkook. “We need to have a private conversation for a bit.”
Understanding fills her face. “Oh. Alright.” A pause, and then she offers a polite smile. “Good luck with that!”
Taehyung tries his best not to blush when he thanks her. And to hide his massive failure, he turns around and strides toward Jungkook, pushing him further away.
Even if he lets himself be dragged, Jungkook stares at the dogs. “What’s happening?”
“We need a moment to talk.”
Jungkook doesn’t argue with that and follows Taehyung until a spot where the barking is faint, and a yellow light from a streetlamp paints their faces.
Before Jungkook can say anything, Taehyung clenches his fists. “When are you leaving?”
A long silence. “Maybe tomorrow. I’m not sure yet, but soon.”
It’s a simple answer, but Taehyung’s heart drops. “Will you continue to send voice messages for Yeontan? He’ll be sad.”
“They’re attached to the hip, you know? Best friends and all, and if Bam leaves, they won’t have play dates anymore, not even twice a week like they had when Bam was with Jimin and Yoongi hyung.”
“We’ll video call for them. And—”
Jungkook shakes his head. “We’ll see.”
Taehyung looks away, fighting the disappointment. But a hand on his nape forces him to look at Jungkook again. “What?”
“You’re even more beautiful in person. I had forgotten.”
Taehyung tries to be mad, but his cheeks are burning. “Really? Right now?”
He complains but doesn’t push Jungkook away when he presses their foreheads together. “If not now? When?”
And he has a point there. They need to talk, but Taehyung doesn’t know what to say, and he only wants Jungkook closer than earlier. Parting his lips is a good enough hint.
Jungkook kisses Taehyung.
He’s the one to move first and press their lips together. It’s a soft peck only, but after a pause, Taehyung kisses back, throwing his arms around Jungkook’s neck, pulling him in for a desperate kiss and feeling dizzy. They break apart only to breathe.
But that’s just a beat; they search for each other quickly after and kiss until Taehyung forgets they are outdoors and can't focus on anything that isn't Jungkook's cologne, the hair on his nape, and the sounds he makes. Until Jungkook pulls away, panting against Taehyung’s face.
“Taehyung,” he whispers while his hands toy with the hem of Taehyung’s brown sweater. “Do you want to do more?” His voice melts Taehyung, and even though he wants to, Taehyung shakes his head. After an awkward second, Jungkook smiles at the rejection, “that’s okay.”
“I didn’t mean to overstep.”
“No, you’re not! It’s just that- it’d make me a bit sad. You’re leaving so soon, and this won’t become anything more than this crush, and I don’t really do one-night-stands, so- God, I’m making it awkward.”
“No, no. It’s okay.” Jungkook frowns.
When Jungkook brings a hand to caress Taehyung's cheek, Taehyung sighs.
"It's okay. You're right. But it doesn't-"
Taehyung doesn't let him finish, pressing their lips together for more kissing until a female voice calls out for him, and they break apart with apologetic words.
Walking back to the apartment complex is tense. Probably because of what Taehyung said, which kept Jungkook quiet. They enter Jungkook’s apartment, -where he dropped off his stuff as soon as he arrived-. The layout is similar to Taehyung’s, but the decoration is different.
Bam is losing it, missing his home and showing Yeontan every detail with a wagging tail. Meanwhile, Taehyung and Jungkook pack together, Jungkook had already started before Taehyung got home, so it's mostly organizing the boxes, which they do while eating snacks Jungkook bought.
When it’s past midnight, and there’s no excuse to stay, Taehyung forces himself to stand up even if he wants to be by Jungkook’s side all night. “I should get going.”
Jungkook stares at him with wide lost eyes but doesn’t argue with him and just stands up. “Yeah, you’re right.”
Yeontan is sleepy, so he doesn't startle much once Taehyung picks him up. The walk to the door is uncomfortable, with both remaining silent. But after putting on his shoes, something breaks Taehyung’s heart: Bam catches up to them and stops by the door, blocking it from Taehyung.
He barks, probably trying to communicate what he feels.
“Bam, I have to go,” Taehyung tries to reason with a shaky voice. After so many weeks together, Taehyung understands why Bam would be confused. The barking is so loud, Yeontan stirs and begins to let out distressed whines.
In an impulse, Taehyung lowers Yeontan, and the sound of tiny paws hitting the floor disappears down the hall. “Bam, Yeontan can stay with you tonight. Right, Jungkook?”
Jungkook is frozen. “Yeah.”
But that doesn’t convince him. Bam keeps barking, refusing to let Taehyung go.
Jungkook intervenes, crouching by his side and petting him. “Hey, Bam, come on. Taehyung wants to go home.”
That’s not exactly it, but Taehyung only clutches at his sweater instead of explaining his feelings. “Maybe Bam has something to tell me before I go,” Taehyung murmurs.
But Jungkook misses Taehyung’s last attempt to talk about them and their future, and Taehyung swallows his pain and walks out in a hurry, ignoring Bam’s barks. Yeontan hurries behind him before Jungkook can close the door- if he even closes it, Taehyung doesn’t hear it click.
Bam leaves the apartment before Jungkook can even move, following Taehyung, but Jungkook stays in his place, standing still. Jungkook has been away for a while, so it makes sense Bam prefers Taehyung now. But Jungkook- also has grown attached to Taehyung these weeks.
He repeats their last hours together in his head, and every missed opportunity to kiss Taehyung again or hold his hand. He regrets everything after their kiss and wonders how he could feel so happy to be so confused in such a short time. He guesses relationships are like that.
What he and Taehyung have, even if they haven’t found the word to describe it yet. What he wants to have with Taehyung, even though it’s soon and might not work. But he wants to try.
Jungkook crosses the hall in a hurry, finding Bam scratching Taehyung’s door.
When he sees Jungkook, he stops. The neighbors must be spamming the chat, worried about the crying dog, so Jungkook hurries and knocks on the door. “Taehyung!” he calls, not minding if he wakes everyone past midnight. “Hey, Taehyung!”
Bam joins him with small whines.
But he gets no reply from Taehyung, only a tiny angry barking from Yeontan. Jungkook is used to all the sounds Yeontan makes, but this one is different from usual.
Suddenly, Taehyung slams the door open, and Yeontan’s barks become louder before he circles Jungkook’s feet.
It’s not playful. He’s attacking Jungkook with his tiny body that couldn’t hurt anyone, throwing Jungkook out of the apartment and protecting Taehyung from him. Jungkook has never felt as bad in his life. Looking up and seeing Taehyung’s red eyes only makes it worse.
“Why are you yelling? You’ll wake up everyone!”
“Taehyung, I’m sorry.” That shuts him up at once. “I should have said something, but I thought it was too soon. I mean, we hated each other, and then we didn’t, but- it’s just a four-hour train ride! Even less! It could be worse.”
“We won’t see each other often, but we can try it? I'll move back eventually, but meanwhile, I’ll come over whenever I can and stay here on weekends if I can crash at yours. And you can also come over. I don’t know if Bammie likes trains, but I'll bring him when I can.”
“But I’ll find the way. Our dates won’t be fancy since I’ll probably spend quite a lot in trains and maybe planes, considering how big this guy is.” Bam barks. “But I can cook for you! I guess he could also stay with you for a while, but that would be depressing,” Jungkook rants.
“We can discuss it, and we’ll have to make many decisions and maybe argue. I know we are just starting- if you accept me, of course- if you don’t, I’ll get a ride on my motorcycle, let just one tear out of my right eye, and swallow in pity under the rain as tough guys do.”
Taehyung laughs, covering his face after a loud snort, and Jungkook is hopeful again. “You don’t need to do that, Jungkook.”
“I’m glad. It’s so cold right now!” More laughter. “Will you make me warm and stay awake with me coming up with a way to make this work?”
Jungkook has him. If Taehyung wouldn’t be gone for him, he wouldn’t laugh at his stupid jokes. But he does; he laughs and pulls Jungkook closer, hugging his middle. “I’d love to do that. It sounds very romantic.”
A relieved sigh escapes his lips. “I want to be romantic.”
“It wouldn’t be fair of me to ask you to drop everything back there and return, so I won’t. I know something personal attaches you to that dance studio in Busan, but I’m attached to you too, Jungkook.”
“I am too. So much.”
When Taehyung kisses him, Jungkook can breathe again.
It's scary, but he wants to try.
After a neighbor yells at them to go to bed and have private conversations inside their apartment, Bam and Yeontan turn their fury on the poor guy. Taehyung and Jungkook laugh, apologizing before guiding their protective children back home.
everything is settled
i didn't want to go into detail of how their long-distance relationship works, but it works very well and the puppies are happy now that their two favorite humans are together
hope you enjoyed my first au of the year