Welcome to Perfect Match where ten single celebrities gather together in a villa to find their perfect match
When Taehyung enters the show, Jungkook has already built a match with someone. When Taehyung falls for him, Jungkook falls for his match
Let the show begin!
Based on the dating show perfect match (you don't need to watch or know it for this au)
Introvert/radio host Taehyung
Charming/solo singer Jungkook
Tags: drama, angst, jealousy, reality show, fluff, happy ending
Someone falls hard first, someone falls harder later
Taehyung stands at the entrance of the door. He turns back to the man holding a heavy big camera covering his face. The man stands there motionless. Taehyung sighs and turns back to the grand golden door. He received the invitation to the dating show a week ago. And here he is.
A week is certainly not enough to prepare himself. A dating tv show? For fuck’s sake.
The cameraman chuckles, visibly noticing Taehyung’s apprehension.
“You’re scared of love that much?” The man asks and peeks from behind the camera.
The audacity. Love doesn't believe in him
Taehyung notices deep pimples lightened by the burning summer sun. “Are cameramen supposed to talk?”
The man with dimples doesn’t grimace, nor does he look put off. He smiles kindly, in a way that Taehyung didn’t expect. Isn’t everything fake in such dating shows?
“You think it’s possible to find love here?” Taehyung asks and hates the note of pure sincerity and curiosity in his voice.
“Why are you here then, non-believer?” Dimple man says in a light tone. Taehyung wonders if this moment will be broadcast later on.
Taehyung dismantles all his elegance and lays on the floor, hands threaded in his hair. In what mess did he just get in?
“If you’re willing to listen to a simple cameraman, I’d say we don’t find love, love finds us and we can’t dictate it the path or the time.
But at least you can have fun and memories and experiences. I am Namjoon by the way, your personal cameraman. And I think you really need a hug right now.”
It happens slowly, but it does happen. Taehyung still lays on the floor, white shirt and black pants be damned.
He steadily lifts his arm in the air and Namjoon lowers the camera, walking slower and engulfing him in a hug.
“I came here because my friend told me I need to get out of my comfort zone, but I am not a celebrity, nor am I good at all this stuff, entertaining or flirting.
I had only one boyfriend in my life and that one was back in school when I would give him my lunches so he spends time with me”
Taehyung pauses when he feels Namjoon chuckling.
“You just made me laugh, how can you ever say you’re not made for entertainment.”
Taehyung doesn’t believe him crucially. But he does accept the support.
He’s an introvert and he’s socially awkward. He has only one friend and had only one boyfriend that should not in any way count as one.
The only time he is confident and acting cool is when he manages his radio channel, hiding behind a mic, not facing crowds and faces or a camera.
But Yoongi said he’s a gremlin. Yoongi is a gremlin himself. So coming from him, such a declaration appeared rather terrific.
Yoongi told him such an opportunity could be life changing.
Taehyung doesn’t know what to think. Living in a luxurious exotic villa has been the strongest motivator. Living with nine other strangers and having your life broadcast to the whole world is not so much.
Well, Taehyung made a bet with Yoongi who called him a coward, Taehyung took great offence. So, here he is embarking in what must be his first ever experience out of his comfort zone. Only to prove Yoongi that he is not a coward, of course.
It’s not like he is a great romantic and still hopelessly believes he could find love here. No, no, of course not.
Taehyung read carefully the premise of the show for nights in a row, anxiety pouring over him.
It all takes place in a villa on an island
where the first round starts with 10 celebrities who try to find love in the house. After each 2 days, the celebrities might match between each other and whoever doesn’t have a match at the end of the night leaves the show. The pairs that are formed are put to big challenges.
Such as, one of the partners from the match is sent on a date with someone new, brought from outside in the next rounds. With new people coming in the show, with games and drama and challenges, the pair that is voted at the end as the best one wins the show.
At first reading the card sent to him, he was very confused. Yoongi tried to explain to him, as if Yoongi is better in such matters. As if.
Upon entering the villa, the stars are tasked with coupling up with one another before their relationships are put to the test.
The couples that are deemed to have the best connection at the end of a game during day will get the chance to win a luxury date and pick a brand new person to enter the villa. They will also get to play matchmaker,
pairing the newest contestant up with an existing person in the game and putting to risk the existing match as a result.
Taehyung was chosen to enter the villa this week and go on a date with a person that has been in the show for 1 week already.
Wow, what a great first experience out of his comfort zone for Taehyung. He should’ve start slower, like registering on a dating app or something. It’s almost as if he just entered a den full of lions of big calibre, whereas he is only a tiger cub with zero experience.
“You’ll be alright” Namjoon pats his head “Now, come on, it’s time for your first date.”
For nights in a row, Taehyung has thought of new identities he could embrace while in the show so he could make someone fall in love with him. But now standing in the decorated room,
roses laying around and the fragrance of strong cherries and coffee, his mind is blank and his hands shake somehow.
This is not good, not good at all. He will be thrown out of the villa on the first day if he doesn’t form a connection now with the person he’s on a date with.
He glances at Namjoon in the corner. Namjoon sends him a ‘fightin’ in the air. He gulps nervously. The door opens.
Taehyung almost faints.
The man that enters is breathtaking, pink hair and a shining smile that is almost blinding.
Taehyung thinks he’ll throw up.
He rushes to the table and grabs the glass of water, gulping it down fast. He could almost hear Yoongi’s scowling on his right shoulder or Namjoon’s supporting cheers on the left one.
He hears a chuckle from behind.
“You’re rather charming, I have never been welcomed like that before on my dates.” The pink haired man walks up close “I am Jimin by the way, you?”
Of course, Taehyung knows Jimin, the sweetheart of the country, the high class model and ambassador of Dior.
He remembers Yoongi has all of Jimin's pictures displayed on his wall in the studio like a high schooler crush.
Taehyung shrugs. He tries to play it cool.
“My best friend has all your pictures on his wall. He stares at them sometimes for hours.” He utters.
Jimin almost falls on the floor laughing.
Taehyung is happy Yoongi is at least helpful in something. “I am Taehyung, you may not know me, I am…”
“I listen to V every Wednesday and Saturday, it’s literally my stress support. And your voice? An Angel's voice literally.”
Taehyung immediately blushes and quickly covers his cheeks with his hands. This is why he is not good at dating and flirting and playing games. He can’t hide anything to save his live, everything is displayed on his face as clear as the sky.
Jimin for some reason finds it cute.
He coos at him as they lay on a couch. The table in front of them is full of cakes and other sweets.
“Damn all the anxiety was worth it” Taehyung blurts and forgets the camera or Jimin who is looking amusedly at him.
“I like you, I feel like we will be great friends”
Taehyung turns to Jimin and smiles earnestly. Is it that easy? Wait, they are on a date, does it mean Jimin just friendzoned him? Did Taehyung already fail? Will he get sent home today? Yoongi will laugh at him for the rest of his life.
At least Taehyung saw Jimin in reality and not through ass quality printed pictures like others.
“You should talk to me too, not just with yourself” Jimin comments and stuffs a whole piece of cake inside his mouth.
Taehyung blushes for a different reason.
“Um, I am not that great at this stuff I guess, it has been some time since I went on a date”
Jimin nods in understanding “Me too, god, I felt so awkward in the beginning here. It’s been almost a year since my last date. You?”
aehyung debates greatly between telling the truth and embarrassing himself or lying and keeping his cool facade.
Well, he didn’t appear cool for a second.
“It’s been almost 8 years” He says all at once, fast, hoping Jimin will not catch it.
“How old are you now?”
Jimin falls off the couch, laughing his ass off on the floor. Taehyung can’t help and join in as well. He feels easy now and most of the tension fell off his shoulders. Maybe it’s not that bad of an idea to join this show.
“So you had a big love at 14?” Jimin teases him more.
“He was well… he liked my lunches”
For the rest of the afternoon, Taehyung and Jimin bond. And the bonding is good. They have much in common and both appreciate each other’s work. Taehyung still gets lost sometimes in his own mind, but Jimin is patient.
Jimin also laughs at whatever he is saying and that’s a miracle.
“Now, onto the gossip.” Jimin tells him, once they almost finished all the food.
“I am all here for it, to be honest I only understood half of the rules of the show”
“No worries, you’ll get the hang of it”
“If I stay more than one day” Taehyung says as a joke. Well, not really. If he doesn’t find a match tonight, he’ll have to leave.
Jimin looks serious all of a sudden. “Kim Taehyung, do you accept to be my match?”
Taehyung chokes with the strawberry juice.
He can hear Namjoon’s laugh behind. Are cameramen supposed to make fun of the people they film?
“You want me as a match? What about your current match?”
“He is an ashole. And I do think we are a perfect match. Even as friends”
Taehyung knows he didn’t feel any romantic spark with Jimin, but he is so happy he met him. “Is it allowed?”
“Let it be our small secret. Many matches in the house are for different reasons than love and attraction, so do not worry” Jimin says. “Now onto the gossip.
The biggest threat in the house right now are Jungkook and Nabi. They have matched since the first night and are going strong. Jungkook seems smitten with her. Not a big fan of Nabi since she’s a fucking snake, but it’s a dating show, so you can’t expect much.
Then, there is Hobi and Jin, they’re the funniest couple, don’t know what’s going on between them however. The rest are matched, but don’t have any chemistry, there’s Lia with Han, Joy with Jae, and my match, the ashole Hyon.”
“That’s a lot of people I am sure I won’t remember the name of”
“No worries, many people come and go, if you don’t have a match at the end of every two days, you leave. Overall, all people are nice, so you shouldn’t worry, you’re a charming one.”
Taehyung rolls his eyes at that
But he takes Jimin’s hand in his and speaks in his deep velvety voice “Lead the way to our den”
Jimin chuckles and they walk from the beach house to the villa.
Taehyung is here to have fun, to create memories, to get out of his shell and maybe make new friendships.
One hour after
Taehyung is screwed.
Did he just feel those insects with wings in his chest growling? Why are his cheeks all red all of a sudden? What’s with his hitched breath and the hot feeling inside.
Taehyung stands inside the villa behind Jimin
as the later makes the introductions. And he stares at Jeon Jungkook, the man with tattoos covering his arms and the body of a Greek god and the smile of the brightest star and… Oh, Jeon Jungkook has a match.
Taehyung is so, so screwed.
Just as Jimin said, they seem strong, there is security in the way they behave near each other. One of Jungkook's arms is around her waist and she's playing with his hair often. Taehyung ignores the cold wave washing over him. He didn't come here to date. It's just his first day.
quick author interruption
interact with the updates and let me know how you like it, let the drama begin, it will get messy
Everyone introduce themselves to him. Taehyung maintains the smile on his face, although he fears the smile will crack up soon. Then, it’s his time to introduce himself.
“I am Kim Taehyung, the radio host of the V Talk channel. Let’s have a great time here”
“Big fan of your show” Jeon Jungkook speaks to him for the first time.
Taehyung’s mind blacks out. “Me too” He blurts.
Jungkook looks confused, Taehyung wants to pretend he’s fainting and avoid the embarrassment.
“This is the spirit, love myself, right” Jin chirps, patting him on his back a little bit too hard.
Taehyung is so lost in his own embarrassment and in the many people’s emotions around him.
Jimin takes him under his wing.
“I want a bit of private time with my match, we’re gonna retreat to the lounge”
“Does Hyun know he’s going home because you matched someone else?” Nabi asks, her long gelled nail scraping her lip, she is almost settled in Jungkook’s lap.
“He’ll find out, it’s the matching session soon” Jimin says and leaves them all. Taehyung follows him like a puppy.
“I think we’ll need a great deal of alcohol here” Jimin speaks once they’re alone in the lounge. Taehyung couldn’t agree more.
The night passes in a blur, he can’t remember much except Jimin saying to the show host that he and Taehyung are a match. There were other people arguing too, some leaving, but Taehyung muted it all, just trying to keep himself afloat everything that was happening.
Hours later him and Jimin are finally confined in the big bedroom reserved for them on the second floor. It’s luxurious and it’s filled with proper romantic things.
“So what now?” Taehyung asks as he throws himself in the soft blankets, the sleep crawls up his eyelids slowly.
He did a lot of socialising today.. Undoubtedly, he said only a few words though, embarrassing himself through half of them. What a shame. Maybe this show will really be useful to his growth.
Jimin only winks at him when he replies without an ounce of shame “Now we hook up”
Taehyung hides his face in the pillows to not show the way his cheeks burn or his eyes playfully roll. He wants to join the game though.
He gives on to his inner desires and retreats from the plush softness of the bed. “Well, what are you waiting for? Get naked”
He speaks in a velvet tone, no trace of joke. It’s truly captivating to notice how Jimin is on the other end of the teasing, suddenly all red and at a loss of words.
“But I thought we are… I mean I am…” Jimin stutters and Taehyung shows the white flag.
He rolls on the bed laughing, finally being able to tease someone himself. It's a pleasure to do it with Yoongi.
“You… shy on the outside, but shameless on the inside.” Jimin cackles and joins him on the bed.
“You know how they say, physically a virgin, inside a whore.”
“No one says that” Jimin exclaims.
“Are all of them really hooking up right now?” He asks mainly because of his curiosity, mainly because a tiny seed planted today in his heart, is perked for a certain tattooed singer.
“Most of them.
Everyone here is horny, wild and seeking drama and attention.” Jimin pauses as he stands up and leans on the armrest “Now what?”
“Please tell me they have uno cards”
Next day, Taehyung wakes up not to a piano sound or his annoying alarm. He wakes up to loud noise outside.
“It’s 8 am, what are they doing?” He asks, half of his face having a pillow ingrained on it, red and nested hair, proper look for a dating show.
Jimin doesn’t look better as he stumbles on the laid out blankets. “They gossip or cause other drama”
“And what do we do?”
“We join there and try to enjoy it too”
They get dressed rather slowly, the premise of going downstairs and facing everyone slowing them down. There is a tiny camera plastered on the table in their room to which Taehyung didn’t pay much attention.
Jimin is faster than him, dressed in a light cream robe. Taehyung wears his denim large pants and a white top, black curls loose, adorned by a pearl. When they leave the room, Jimin stops for a second and ruffles Taehyung’s hair “We need to look like we fucked yesterday”.
Taehyung laughs and he unbuttons the first two buttons on Jimin’s azure shirt “Proper fucking” He says and they both walk down the stairs towards the main area.
Taehyung is immediately called by Namjoon to the side.
“I see you’re doing good, all ready to find love”
Namjoon comments with a chuckle.
“Just ready to have good memories”
“You won’t even notice me following you when you’ll be alone or will need to answer questions at the end of the day. Relax and have fun”
“Can I hug you?” Taehyung asks fast
and when Namjoon nods his head amusedly, Taehyung embraces him tightly. “Thank you for all the comfort”
“Big fan of your radio show, so it’s really my place to thank you for all the comfort you gave me”
Taehyung might’ve teared up
if not for Jimin walking from behind and throwing his arms around him. It’s always comforting to hear how his radio show impacts others, how his work is healing and warmth for others too.
Namjoon winks at him for the last time and Jimin drags him to the main area.
Everyone seats in pairs on the couch, display of affection and all the proper making out or hands on thighs, playing with hair. Taehyung can’t stop but take a look at Jungkook. And wow, he’s even more handsome from up close, in the morning sunlight.
He feels an ounce of guilt for liking a taken person. But a more rational side of him argues that they have been in the show for a week where the purpose is to match up with everyone and find your perfect match. Though it’s clear Jungkook and Nabi found themselves,
as Jungkook smiles at something Jin says, his arm though on Nabi’s back.
When everyone notices them approaching, they whistle and cheer them on. Taehyung is stupefied for a moment until he sees others’ eyes train on his unbuttoned shirt and Jimin’s wink directed at him.
Oh, they all think they fucked last night. Taehyung can play the part without stuttering of course.
He just keeps silent and sits on a couch, trying to play it cool. Jimin sits near him.
“What were you talking about?” Jimin asks, hooking his arms on Taehyung’s back.
“About you finding your great love on this show” Nabi supplies and her smile is borderline creepy with how her lips are not stretched enough for it to be a proper smile.
“Aren’t we here for that?” Jimin asks and Taehyung can already sense the tension falling over them.
“I can sense the drama, that’s why I am going to leave with my boyfriend to make out in the pool” Hobi speaks up, louder, taking Jin’s hand and dragging him away.
“Thank you for at least letting us now, saves me the trauma from last time when I caught you making out in the k…”
Joy says, but is soon interrupted.
“Is there a problem with me matching with Taehyung?” Jimin presses.
Taehyung stares at the commotion in front of him. He did expect drama, but not so soon. It hasn’t even been afternoon.
“It’s just funny how almost every session you match with someone new” Nabi speaks.
“It’s less funnier that you attaching yourself like a leech to Jungkook and not even letting other people talk to him” Jimin argues back.
It burnt. Others are cheering it.
Taehyung can see fire burning in both their eyes. He doesn’t even know if he should interrupt, should he say a word? Hot people arguing with each other? Taehyung keeps silent and observes.
“They’re always like this, at each other’s throat”
All of Taehyung’s coolness dissipates
Because near him, really close is Jungkook. Taehyung feels the musky flavour. He never felt so attracted to someone before.
“Not a fan of drama?” Jungkook asks again. And Taehyung remembers that he should talk, use his words, not stumble on them again and make a fool of himself
“I am? I meant it’s fun while it’s not my drama, which sounds terrible actually, I am not…”
“Honestly? Same. Watching hot people have banter, what could be more fun?”
When Jungkook laughs, Taehyung’s whole resolve crumbles.
He stares at Jungkook, at the way his eyes crinkle and lush lips dance in a bright smile. Taehyung is so screwed.
No, no, it’s forbidden. He doesn’t stand a chance. Taehyung once heard Yoongi saying our mind has infinite powers.
If Taehyung convinces himself he doesn’t like Jungkook, he won’t. It’s only been 2 days, plus Nabi looks quite scary.
Taehyung doesn’t like him.
Taehyung doesn’t like him.
“You’re good?” Jungkook whispers in his ear.
Sweet Jesus, Taehyung is enamoured.
He still can see Jimin and Nabi arguing, the others leaving for the pool. Jungkook is close to him. While Taehyung had a crisis inside, Jungkook moved on his couch.
“I am good, yes”
“Yes, all good, why?”
Jungkook chuckles again and Taehyung thinks he can hear bells.
“You just spaced out for a few minutes. Am I that boring?”
“Far from it” Taehyung mumbles and then he wants to get up and go to the pool and drown himself. Instead he plays it cool when he sees Jungkook’s serious face all of a sudden.
“Have been watching all your movies and shows, they’re good, you’re good”
“Let’s see how long does Taehyung last” Nabi speaks louder and disturbs the little world surrounding them. She gets up from the bed, lowers herself on Jungkook’s lap and leans in to whisper something.
Taehyung doesn’t even need to have hearing superpowers to know what’s happening by the way Jungkook’s eyes darken. They soon leave the room and Taehyung feels his heart sink for a bit. He surely is not made for such a show. Jimin plants himself near him.
“I hate her” Jimin says, pouty lips and stars crinkling in his eyes.
“What really happened between you two?”
“Well, my first match was Suyeon, she liked Jungkook and I advised her to go and talk to him. Nabi made such a drama out of it. Next day Suyeon left the show.
I am sure it’s Nabi who talked to Suyeon’s match and told him to leave her and match with someone else. She's so tied to Jungkook, it's insane. And Jungkook is actually a good guy. He just doesn't know who Nabi is. That snake”
"Well, it's a dating show, what do you expect?"
“Now you’re pro at dating shows?” Jimin fights back and they both stand up from the couch.
“Let’s settle this with a water pistol fight”
“Oh, you’re on, prepare to be defeated.”
Jimin walks outside to prepare the fighting weapons. Taehyung walks the stairs to get dressed.
He feels lighter, there is not so much anxiety anymore. Everyone is very chill. He puts on a red pair of shorts, an unbuttoned Hawaian shirt that Yoongi gifted him.
When he leaves his room towards the terrace, Joy is leaning on the kitchen table, sipping from her orange mojito.
“You should be careful” she says and Taehyung pauses. It’s their first interaction as far as he knows.
“About what exactly?”
“Flirting like that with Jungkook. You’re lucky Jimin kept her busy, if Nabi got to see what I saw, you’d be out of this show next day”
Taehyung is properly confused. “That’s a bit crazy of her” He says.
Joy laughs at that, but then sobers up “Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. Let’s better be friends”
Taehyung walks to the pool and plants himself near Jimin.
“I just had such a weird conversation in the pool with Joy. Is there some drama going on with her and Nabi?”
Jimin takes his sunglasses and perches them on his hair “Not as far as I know, Joy is really great friends with Jungkook, with Nabi too,
they kind of have this tight circle together with Jae, Joy’s match”
“Weird” Taehyung thinks “She just warned me not to talk with Jungkook because Nabi will hunt me down”
Jimin cracks up at the absurdity. “They must know how good are you at flirting,
they might also know your compact great dating experience”
“I don’t even need to flirt. I will seduce them with my awkwardness, my greatest weapon”
“Speaking about weapons, you’re ready?”
“Born ready” Taehyung exclaims,
but then a very naked, wet Jungkook emerges from under the water, tattoos inked on display, his curly hair framed perfectly on his forehead and a lot of muscles, abs, chest…
Taehyung feels water pinches on his skin. Jimin is aiming at him with the water pistol.
“Earth to Taehyung, bros before hoes or what?”
“You’ll regret challenging me” Taehyung yells before he rushes after Jimin.
It's not really anyone's fault. It's the producers fault. He knows. Putting hot people on an island and sparking drama between them. It's a reality show.
Hours later, everyone is gathered on the terrace as the host gets to announce the game of the day. Taehyung didn’t pay attention last night, but now he looks at the host. He recognizes Seojoon, a famous actor. He is wearing a black suit, naked underneath.
Everyone cheers loudly when he appears in front of them.
“Is the weather so hot here or is it just you all? How are you feeling tonight, ready for another game?”
It’s Taehyung’s first game, he really doesn’t know what to expect. But he is good at games,
well let’s rephrase that a bit.. he enjoys games, he is not sure how good he is at them.
“And how do you feel here Taehyung? Were you properly welcomed?” Seojoon directs the question at him.
Taehyung freezes up for a second. What was he asked again?
He didn’t even hear the question. Others are smiling at him. Taehyung once again remembers Yoongi’s philosophy, if you don’t know what’s happening, always nod and say ‘yes’.
Taehyung does exactly so. “Yes” He replies swiftly.
The rest laugh amused.
Taehyung doesn’t really understand what’s happening, but at least the attention is off him when everyone is instructed to walk outside on the beach for the game.
“You’re killing it, playing cool and mysterious” Hobi remarks while walking alongside him.
“I am really not trying to do that, trust me” He says timidly. Hobi’s aura is warm and inviting.
“Anyway, keep up the good work, you and Jimin, what’s it about?”
“Um… we bonded well?”
Hobi sighs “Ah, so it’s not passion and love, got it”
“No, not like you and Jin, that’s for sure” Taehyung chooses to say.
Hobi blushes prettily. “Every love is different, but I think you’ll find yours here too” Hobi walks in front with Jin catching up on him and throwing side glances at Taehyung.
As if Taehyung would do that. As if anything could get apart those too, even if he got to know them only a day ago.
"Ready to crush that game?" Jimin sneaks up behind him. "The winners get a luxurious date and also the chance to send two participants to dates with new people"
"Was born ready"
When the hosts explain the game, Taehyung stays stupefied for a moment. The game is very silly. One partner needs to stay in a position and say instructions to the other partner who is blindfolded. There is a labyrinth of bushes in front
and at the final position there are cubes that need to be carried back. The main thing is to instruct your partner well to cross all the bushes and get to the cubes, carrying them back.
Taehyung expected something more difficult. He and Jimin are gonna crush this game.
He can see from his position how Jungkook and Nabi have their faces blank, strategising.
“They’re too competitive in these games” Jimin comments “But we’re gonna win this, okay?”
Taehyung nods convinced. But he also can’t help but stare at how Jungkook is all serious
observing the line of bushes, eyebrows furrowed in concentration as if he’s facing a line of army. So cute, so endearing.
The game begins. It’s Taehyung and Jimin, Nabi and Jungkook, Jin and Hobi, Joy and Jae and Lia and Han.
Taehyung gives the directions while Jimin is blindfolded.
Seojoon whistles and everyone rushes forward.
Taehyung is convinced he’ll win for a sole minute until he sees Jimin entangled in the bushes, then rolling in laughter on the ground,
not carrying back even the first cube, while the others are building castles of them.
“Go to your left... not that's your right, run straight, no..." Taehyung takes a deep breath "You need to focus, you’re afraid of some bushes? You need to overcome your fear, it’s just bushes”
Taehyung instructs helplessly, trying not to die from laughter himself.
“I have a phobia of darkness, not bushes, dumbass” Jimin yells.
And then Jimin manages to reach the end of the line towards his first cube somehow,
but while he turns back to Taehyung to send him a flying kiss, his feet get tangled in a bush and he’s falling over.
“Call for help, I am injured” Jimin yells, holding a hand to his chest.
“I am coming my love, wait for me, no hurt can affect you while I am here”
Taehyung rushes and takes Jimin in his arms carrying him back.
When the whistle is heard, Jimin gets rid of the blindfold. They both turn to the couple winning the game, Joy and Jae. At least not Jungkook with Nabi, his mind supplies helplessly.
"I see you had the most fun, Taehyung and Jimin” Seojoon remarks while everyone gets gathered together. “And our winners are Joy and Jae who will enjoy a luxurious date tonight. The rest will have a cocktail party at the villa. Prepare for a hot, spicy night.”
Seojoon walks away and they are left excited over the prospect of a party.
Taehyung is not fond of parties, but he loves cocktails. Yoongi sometimes prepares them for him and they organise their little party in the studio.
“Are you ready to find the proper outfit, blast some music and drink vodka while we do our makeup?” Jimin whispers in his ear.
It sounds like heaven. Jimin holds his hand while they walk back to the villa. Taehyung gets the urge to turn back and get a tiny glimpse of Jungkook.
Silly of him to like a person so much when it hasn’t been days since their meeting. But Jeon Jungkook is hot, mysterious and he has stars in his eyes, literal galaxies floating there.
Nabi is one lucky girl.
And Taehyung is on national television, he knows Nabi is one crazy obsessed girl, Joy harbours some things too. He is a bit scared to want Jungkook, but here he is nonetheless, wanting the man.
There’s something very enticing about Jungkook, no wonder everyone falls for him.
"You really like him, oh god" Jimin exclaims. Taehyung didn't even notice how he was staring at Jungkook's back walking in front of them. "You should tell him, tell Jungkook"
"Should I confess to him that it hasn't even been days, but he's starring in my inapropriate thoughts?"
“Maybe don’t say it like that?”
“Maybe I shouldn’t say it at all.”
“As you wish”
They enter their rooms and Taehyung realises he let the show impact him too much, felt its intensity. He needs to chill.
“Let our own party begin” Jimin exclaims.
Two hours later they both are descending the stairs, a good amount of vodka already travelling in their veins. There is music heard from the terrace and when they enter the area, Taehyung sees everyone dressed up in shining and revealing outfits.
The sunset is slowly falling over them and the whole atmosphere is enticing. They are away from their normal life, their problems, on an island, where they can focus on their feelings, let go of everything.
Jimin is wearing a white dress shirt tucked in a pair of black jeans
with a corset hugging his waist. Taehyung dressed himself in a red toned shirt tucked in tight black jeans, while his smoky makeup is adorned with a bandana holding his curls and exposing his forehead.
Taehyung was wholly prepared to stop thinking about Jeon Jungkook.
But it’s not working. Not when Jeon Jungkook is only wearing a black sleevless top enticing his muscled chest, arms with tattoos exposed and black curls gelled to perfection.
Oh, he’s hot, out of someone’s imagination. And he has Nabi in his embrace.
He and Jimin walk to the tables holding drinks on them. The villa is nestled in a stunning location overlooking the ocean, with lush gardens surrounding the property. The atmosphere is electric as everyone drinks and talks animatedly between them.
It is possible for a moment to forget about the cameras and just let go, enjoy it.
As the sun begins to dip below the horizon, the sky transforms into a brilliant display of oranges, pinks, and purples. Music fills the air.
There are sparkling wines, signature cocktails,
and non-alcoholic beverages to cater to everyone's preferences. As the sky continues to change color, the participants begin to let loose and enjoy the party. Laughter and conversation fill the air as people become more and more intoxicated by the atmosphere.
Some take to the dance floor, swaying to the music and soaking up the last rays of sunshine. Taehyung stops himself from glancing at Jungkook. He fools around with Jimin, joking about things, he also talks to Hobi and Jin, both seated at their table.
“How do you like it here, Taehyung?” Lia asks timidly, walking over to him. Taehyung realises he didn’t really interact with her or with Han, her match.
He tries to ignore the spike of anxiety. “It’s good, having such a different life than back home, away from all the problems”
“I get you, it’s calming in a sense, it gets you to become loose, act on your feelings that you wouldn’t have done before.”
“And what about Han? Are you the perfect match?”
Lia pauses and Taehyung can see her chin clench
“We’re actually exes and I really thought we’re meant to be, that’s why I came to the show, but being afraid every moment that he could go on a date and find a better match than me, it’s really stressful” She confesses.
And Taehyung feels a bit bad.
He knows all people here struggle with their inner problems. They're all people after all.
“If you feel afraid every time that you might lose him, then it’s not really worth it. You deserve having someone who’s confident in loving you.”
Lia trails her fingers on his back, she smiles softly. “Thank you, I… I really needed to hear that.”
She walks off to another table and Taehyung feels the anxiety slowly going away. A lot of people keep a confident facade upfront,
but all of them struggle with something inside. Taehyung shouldn’t forget that.
He retreats back to the kitchen to take some water, when he bumps into Jungkook inside.
Taehyung tried his best to ignore him all evening. It wasn’t very good for his sanity, for his heart,
such a Jungkook, dancing on the dancefloor, radiating confidence, dressed and walking like a Greek God.
“I’d look good on you”
Taehyung hears. The glass of water slips off his fingers, it falls on his shirt, but he is still a bit in daze to care about that.
“I said red looks good on you” Jungkook repeats and crunches down with some paper towels to wipe away the water.
Taehyung closes his eyes, the delusions his mind creates. The alcohol might’ve been a reason too.
“It’s okay, I can wipe it away.” He says embarrassed.
“No, it’s no problem, are you okay, you didn’t hurt yourself?” Jungkook asks, while inspecting his thighs for any damage. This is not good, this is not good at all. The glass is still shattered on the floor.
Taehyung crunches down and starts to gather it.
Next, he feels hands covering his. “Don’t do it with your hands” Jungkook says with his silky voice.
When Taehyung manages to put the pieces of glass on the trashcan, he curses himself. His shirt is soaked wet.
“I will go clean myself and change the shirt” Taehyung says.
Jungkook stares at him for some seconds, eyes unreadable.
“Want me to help you?” Jungkook asks, tone serious, intoxicated, eyes a bit dark.
“Help me undress?” Taehyung inquires, clearly confused with what’s happening. Taehyung is burning inside.
Jungkook is his first crush. Taehyung knows why crushes are called that. When it's not reciprocated, it literally crushes you. Still the temptation is strong.
"Getting undressed is a very tedious and tiring task, you might need a hand helping you" Jungkook replies.
“Well… I mean” He stutters.
Jungkook is too close and the premise of getting undressed by him sounds heavenly. Until a voice is heard from the corridor.
“Jungkook, where are you?”
Next second, Nabi enters the room, her flashy red dress matching the fire in her eyes.
Her blond hair is curled and she looks far too innocent.
“I will go get dressed upstairs” Taehyung says and rushes to his room. He wants to escape the drama, also he wants to escape Jungkook. In the next second, Jimin enters the room, eyes worried.
“You’re okay? What happened? I saw Nabi walking with Jungkook from the kitchen, she looked angry”
“Doesn’t really matter, can you help me find a shirt, I spilled water on mine”
“Sure, let me choose something.”
Jimin opens Taehyung’s closet and looks inside.
Then his eyes stop on a certain corner “Who is this?” He asks, enthralled.
“Who?” Taehyung walks closer and sees what got Jimin frozen. It’s a picture framed of him and Yoongi. “He’s Yoongi, my best friend, a genius producer and biggest fan of yours.”
Jimin is still staring at the picture, trailing its frame with his fingers.
“I see he’s not the only simp, maybe I should make a copy and give it to you?”
Jimin blushes and falls on the bed, sighing dreamily
“He’s pretty. Does he like only my art or he like feels attracted to me, does he find me hot or?”
Taehyung starts laughing, this is really good. He falls on top of Jimin and they end up wrestling and tickling each other for the next hour, forgetting about the party.
Taehyung also takes time in telling Jimin stories and things about Yoongi. When they do remember about the party, Taehyung changes quick in a black shirt and they descend the stairs.
They didn’t really look properly in the mirror, that’s why they didn’t notice the bedroom hair
and unbuttoned shirts.
Hobi teases Jimin for coming late to the party. They look like they fucked. Jimin shrugs it off. Taehyung joins in the laughter, but his eyes can’t help but roam around. Then he finds the source of his inner battles. And he is crushed.
Jungkook is at another table, close to them, passionately kissing Nabi, one hand in her hair while the other holds her chin.
After all, Jungkook found someone to undress tonight.
Taehyung turned out liking Jungkook more than he envisioned.
He also turned out to be hurt more than he planned. And that does make it for him. To finally realise Jungkook already has his match. Taehyung turns to Jimin and smiles reassuringly, they talk for the rest of the night with Hobi and Jimin.
Then Namjoon asks him in a corner for the daily interview.
Taehyung doesn’t look at Jungkook once.
“How has it been so far.”
“A hot mess” Taehyung replies honestly.
Namjoon laughs. Taehyung is seated on a chair. He feels intoxicated a bit, he feels loose.
Yoongi will have a blast watching this later on.
“What exactly happened in the kitchen with you and Jungkook?”
The memory feels bittersweet, of something he could have. “He offered to help me.”
Namjoon doesn’t comment on what type of help that had been.
“And you and Jimin are going strong, do you think he will be your perfect match till the end?”
Taehyung smiles at that “He’s my ride or die practically.”
The night is cut short soon. They are reminded that tomorrow two people will go on dates, then follow a matching session.
Taehyung doesn’t stay to observe how Jungkook and Nabi are missing. He enters his bedroom and falls tiredly on the bed, letting his eyelids close. He has his first crush on this show. It’s fair he shall have his first heartbreak as well.
The next morning they all gather in the main area. It’s the time for Joy and Jae to announce who they sending on dates with new people entering the show.
Jimin is snuggling close to him, the hangover hovering over him. Taehyung can feel a pair of eyes trained on him.
He can also remember how his heart sank yesterday. He doesn’t want it to repeat. Taehyung keeps his eyes on Jimin’s hair, sniffing it from time to time. Soon, Jae and Joy join them. Taehyung is truly curious who will be sent on date.
“They will send one of us, that’s for sure, Joy is Nabi’s minion” Jimin whispers and Taehyung believes it. He saw it with his eyes, how the groups here paired, each with their own strategy.
“It was hard to decide who to send on dates. But here are our decisions.
First going on a date is Lia”
Everyone claps at that, Taehyung does too, he ignores the glare Han sends their way. Lia deserves someone better for her. Taehyung didn’t expect Joy to choose so wisely.
“Next person that goes on a date is Jimin”
“I called it” Jimin exclaims.
Taehyung laughs at that. Pretty predictable. They must have paired Jimin with someone good, believing that Jimin will match with someone else. They really want Taehyung out of the show, oh.
Jimin stands up from his lap.
He departs with a wink “I will come back soon, baby” sending a flying kiss. Taehyung fishes his hand in the air catching it.
Taehyung sees Nabi burning holes in his direction. Today will be fun. A whole day without Jimin. He knows the show is just beginning. Drama is coming.
Taehyung spends half of the day in the flower garden, he has his notes and a pen between his fingers, utterly lost in the riddles, words and confessions for his next radio show. It’s warm outside. The rest are chilling by the pool.
As the sun beats down on his face, Taehyung lets the peaceful silence wash over him. It is a beautiful day, the sky clear blue, and the gentle breeze rustling his naked chest. The sweet smell of the flowers fills his nostrils, and he closes his eyes, feeling his body relax,
maybe this day will not be so bad without Jimin who went on a date.
But as his mind begins to drift, his thoughts turn to Jungkook. They have only known each other for a few days, but there is an insane attraction between them that he can't ignore.
Jungkook is inhabiting his thoughts and dreams all day and night long.
He had never felt this way before. Every time he looks at Jungkook, his heart races, and his palms grow sweaty. He can barely string a sentence together when he is around.
Taehyung sighs, opening his eyes to the bright sky above. Instantly his horizon darkens, dipped in blonde strands of hair and a clipped smile. Nabi is hovering over him.
“How are you feeling, Taehyung?” Her voice is soft when she addresses him. Taehyung is surprised.
He sees her laying near him, pulling her dress delicately to the side, her long floaty hair brisked away by the wind. The summer pink dress exposes her inked arms which match her red lipstick.
Taehyung is intimidated. He is also not sure if she is worth his energy.
“As good as anyone else here” He decides to reply, offering a timid smile, trying for peace. “And you?”
Her smile falters “Not so great. I heard you made a move at Jungkook yesterday at the party, in the kitchen”
Taehyung pales. He is not the man for confrontations.
He always dips low, waits for the white flag or for the calm after the storm. What should he do now? He chooses an easy light reply. Taehyung looks around, but there is no sight of Namjoon. Laughter is heard from the pool.
“I would hardly call it a pass, we were just talking.”
“You hardly say any words to all of us, but you were talking so loosely to Jungkook, you want me to believe that?”
Oh, would you look at that? Here’s the white flag flying off the window. No one except Yoongi can offend his poor conversational skills.
“I guess I was doing what we’re supposed to do here.”
He can see her chin clenching. Taehyung pales more. Loose tongue, loose tongue, curse it damn. He needs to shut up.
“And what exactly are you supposed to be doing?”
Taehyung, shut up, shut up, shut up…
“Finding my perfect match?” His mouth speaks before his mind can filter the words.
Here goes no drama. Why, why... it was hard for him to communicate until now, no less drama? He is not fit. Should he abandon the fighting field, go out the window and retrieve the white flag?
Yoongi would be so disappointed if Taehyung shows the white flag now. Screw Yoongi, he’s not here to defend him, he’s probably laying on a couch, eating popcorn and watching cat videos.
Taehyung is the one now facing an angry woman.
“I think it’s shady what you did, I think it’s fucked up” Nabi speaks through gritted teeth, her eyes are heated with a silent, unspoken anger.
Taehyung doesn't know what to reply, unable to form any words that will spike no further drama.
Despite the aggressive and confrontational air, Taehyung wants no drama, to have no part in it at least. Nabi should confront Jungkook for talking to him in the kitchen, not Taehyung for replying back like any human would do. It’s basic manners.
He can’t say such words to Nabi. She is clearly set on fighting Taehyung. Because she continues.
“I need a mop to pick up your dignity off the floor. You’re desperate. You want to stay in the show, I get it, but there are many people who are single, why go for a taken man?”
“They all have matches?” He corrects quietly, but the red in her eyes intensifies. He tries to keep his voice steady.
“Me and Jungkook are in a relationship.” She spats out, voice filled with venom. “Focus your sight on other people. You have Jimin, is he not enough?”
Taehyung will not let his anger show, he will not get affected. He takes a deep breath and tries to calm himself down, but he can feel the anxiety building up inside him like a storm. He doesn’t want to fight, but he also doesn't want to be pushed around anymore.
He tries to treat it as a joke, lessening the tension. His sudden lopsided grin confuses the girl “Jimin is enough… every night” He says amusedly.
“Then stop talking to Jungkook?”
“Maybe you should control your fucking man then?” His voice raises for the first time.
He curses loudly. He takes a deep breath and stands up from the grass. Nabi has been pushing his buttons for too long. Taehyung feels a wave of fatigue wash over him. He is tired and he doesn’t know if he has the energy to keep up with this argument anymore.
But Nabi stands up from the grass as well and doesn’t retreat from the argument. She pushes further.
“I think you’re shady and I really want you to go home tonight. But if you don’t, you’ll be with me and my friends in the villa and it’ll be really awkward for you.
Do what you want to, but don’t talk to Jungkook, cause I am fucking over it.”
“I will talk to whom I want”
“Don’t ever go to someone and talk down on them just because you feel threatened. Now watch carefully”
Taehyung feels the sun rays dancing on his naked chest, only adorned by a belly chain. His loose pants barely hang on his hips. Taehyung walks towards the pool. He stands in front of Jungkook. Jungkook stops his discussion with Jin, he turns to Taehyung with questioning eyes.
As Taehyung reaches him, he puts his arms gently around Jungkook’s naked sculpted chest and leans in close to his ear. His voice is soft and deep as he whispers, "If you’re ever interested, the offer to undress me still stands."
Jungkook’s eyes widen in surprise and he blushes deeply. Taehyung can hear gasps in the background.
He leans back and looks at Nabi who is fuming with anger back in the garden. Taehyung turns away and walks back inside the villa.
When he closes the door behind himself, he falls on the bed and starts cursing himself, whining, crying, pulling his hair. Why did he do that, his heart is beating insanely, his hands are so sweaty he can barely breath. It must have been so cringe, why did he do that.
As he replays the moments in his head, more embarrassing washes over him. Taehyung grabs the pillow and pushes it against his face, covering the light. Maybe if he pretends nothing happened, everyone will miraculously forget his stunt. He’s screwed. What would Jungkook think?
Taehyung rolls on the bed for the next hours letting the afternoon rays bathe his body. Soon, he rises from his laziness and exits the room. He hopes people are not hiding behind the door to ambush him. He can always blame it on the sun heat affecting his thinking.
When he steps outside, it is eerily silent. Perhaps everyone is at the pool area still. Taehyung gets to descend the stairs. And then he hears the shouts from a bedroom.
“Please don’t ruin this, we’re trying to make it work, don’t we?”
Taehyung recognises Nabi’s crying voice.
“Please calm down, Nabi. Is it okay to panic like this over…”
“Shut up, you said we'll work on us, but you’re like the others, you’ll leave me in the end too”
Taehyung doesn’t hear the next words, he hears muffled sobbing. Perhaps, Jungkook knelt before her, hugging her tight,
she’s crying against his chest. Then muffled sounds are heard. Perhaps he’s kissing her now. Taehyung’s heart bleeds just a tiny bit. He needs to get out of here. He doesn’t even know Jungkook’s favourite colour, why on earth will his heart ache then?
“This fucking bitch with her fear of abandonment” A velvety voice is heard behind him. Taehyung turns and sees Jae. Taehyung has rarely talked to him. Jae is just as silent as him, most of the time trailing after Joy, his match or tanning at the pool.
Jae is a lean tall man with raven hair and a rose tattoo with thorns placed on his neck.
“Trauma fucks us up sometimes” Taehyung replies steadily. Jae is friends with Nabi.
“But you don’t start manipulating others with your trauma. Although Nabi is not the real snake here.”
“And who is?” Taehyung asks, he tries to keep his tone disinterested, resting his hands inside his pockets.
Jae chuckles “Everything comes with a price, no?”
“What’s the price?’
Jae walks towards him, he leans and whispers to his ear his price. Taehyung’s eyes widen.
He is confused.
“Now onto the gossip, the real snake here is Joy, she likes Jungkook and she’s the one putting Nabi against anyone that dares to interact with him. She whispers lies to Nabi and hopes that one time Nabi will explode and Jungkook will see her face,
Joy will be there to comfort him and all that jazz.”
“Are we in a movie?”
“No, we are in a dating show.”
“It’s a bit too intense. I know the premises of such shows, but it feels like the feelings here run deeper, as if everyone has a longer history with each other.”
“You don’t know the half of it, some do already know each other from other shows and projects. Not to even talk about how Jungkook and Nabi have been friends with benefits for months before. That's why she came to this show, to finally make the relationship work”
Jae laughs loudly when he finally sees shock on Taehyung’s face, something different from his disinterested gaze.
Taehyung had no idea really what’s going on in this show. He thought everyone started walking here from the first floor.
Turns out, everyone is on the 10th floor while he still walks on the 3rd.
“Now don’t forget about the price I asked of you.”
“I will not”
Jae walks beside him and pats his head “Good boy” he descends the stairs and leaves Taehyung.
Taehyung is still standing frozen by the stairs, so lost in his thoughts he doesn't hear the approaching steps, but he does hear the exclaimed voice "Catch me"
Intuitively Taehyung opens his arms. Jimin jumps in them. He tolds him about how boring the date has been.
Jimin asks him to be his match. The matching session passes the same. Taehyung is lost, tired, everything feels disruptive. Jungkook is a taken man, everyone has romantic history with each other. What a mess.
Taehyung's thoughts then drift to the price he'll pay Jae. Oh, damn.
The next morning criples up with a cluttered warmth. Taehyung suffocates in it. The scorching heat wakes him up at 6 am and he’s laying on the cold floor of the balcony. Taehyung listens to the morning sounds, he looks over the sea in the distance.
It would be easy to give up on this game. But he does not do half things, he does not love in half, he does not play in halves. It’s either he lets himself rot in his couch or he stands up and leaves a mark. He thinks about how the viewers will see him once the show is released.
Taehyung loves his fans dearly. He read all their reactions on Twitter once the news of him joining Perfect match were released. He knows they want to see him shining more on TV. Taehyung can give up and go home where Yoongi will behave like a grumpy man.
Or Taehyung can stay here, have fun with what he was offered, help others find their perfect match, watch from the sidelines and create his own image on TV. He lays on the balcony for hours in a string. His eyes remain on the sea, his thoughts wander overseas.
And then his thoughts match the sight in his eyes. Taehyung lowers his eyes to the trial path. Jungkook is naked, running along it, hair sweaty, breath rushed, he has his headphones in. Taehyung does not know much of Jeon Jungkook, except just what the singer displays publicly.
Jungkook on stage, TV, shows appears to be a cheeky charming man, cunning with his words, dangerous as the venom on a staggered sword, but its charm is just as sweet as of a rose poisoned with venom. Taehyung knows why Jungkook is so popular and secretive.
He lets you see just what he wants, he lets you want more.
Taehyung’s heart stops its heartbeat, their eyes meet. Jungkook notices him on the balcony, he stops running. Taehyung doesn’t blink, nor does he avert his eyes even if all of him is burning because of a mere stare.
“Tae, where are you, I am starving like a mad man”
Jimin’s grumpy voice slashes the long stare. When Taehyung turns back to the trail path, Jungkook is not there anymore.
Taehyung walks back inside the room. Jimin jumps on him, attaching himself like a koala.
Why would he give up? When he can enjoy free food, an exotic place with ana amazing person.
Hours later, they are all gathered in the main hall for the game of the day announcement. And as the second week ends, it’s time for wicker games.
When Taehyung looks at Nabi and Joy chatting amusedly on the couch, Taehyung can only pity both, for what the show turned them into. When he looks at Jae, the later winks at him. Taehyung can just guess how the price will affect him further, he hopes it does not reach that point.
When he looks at Lia and her new match that entered the house, a boy Taehyung didn’t learn the name of, he can only hope that something good sparkles there. He does not look at Jungkook. Jungkook has troubled him a lot, he is someone Taehyung doesn’t understand, an enigma.
Taehyung does not like enigmas. Seojoon appears in the big hall, far too happy and dressed up. Taehyung sighs heavily in advance. He can only guess what today’s game will be.
“Lights, camera, action” Seojoon exclaims, tightening at his dress belt with a suspicious grin,
looking down with his lower lip twitched into a devilish smirk that bestows not so great news. Taehyung can see it.
“You are all here to find your perfect match, but your current match may not be your perfect one. We all know kissing is a big part of a couple’s compatibility.
Seven minutes in Heaven, that’s our take on it. Today’s game is called…” Seojoon walks his eyes over them and then his voice exclaims “Kissing game”
“I knew it” Jin mumbles from his right, a loud grumble escaping past his lips.
No wonder, Jin revolts, he and Hobi are almost married at this point.
“Now we’re talking, I love this game” Jae curses with a grin, threading his fingers through his hair.
The others are oddly silent. Taehyung doesn’t look around him to read the reactions of others.
He said fuck it to all. This show is not fair, so Taehyung is hell bent on riding the wave himself and enjoying it, playing a good game, creating a good show and then leaving it with his honour in hand.
Seojoon continues “In today’s compatibility game, you’ll each kiss your partner and other two potential matches that we chose for you. You’ll kiss three people in total while being blindfolded. You’ll rate each kiss without knowing who you’re kissing.
The couple who scored each other the highest will win the game, go on a luxurious date and have the right to choose two people from the villa to go on dates with new participants. The game will be in the evening, prepare your lips.”
Right, it will be fun.
Seojoon leaves them with their jaws hanging open.
“Wanted to taste your lips for a while” Jimin teases as they retreat to the pool.
“All you need to do is just ask” Taehyung grins. But the calmness he portrays outside doesn’t match the storm steering inside.
There is a possibility he'll kiss Jungkook. There are the lowest chances that could happen. Taehyung saw the strong friendship between Joy and Jungkook, he also has seen Jungkook multiple times talking with Lia’s new match, a mint haired man with an eyebrow pierced.
Taehyung greatly thinks about what could be his two own matches, who would he kiss beside Jimin, when he has close to no interaction with others.
He can hear sneers from the main hall. For sure, many are averted to the game. But they came to a dating show,
Taehyung understands the purpose of the game, the hype it’ll create in the viewers.
“Who do you think will be your two other matches?” Taehyung asks Jimin who perched his ass on the kitchen table, a cocktail in his hand.
“I feel like it may be Lia.
We had talked at times when she cried about her heartbreak. Maybe another person could be Hobi, we bonded over our love for dance. Or maybe Nabi, we have a great hatred between each other after all.”
“Well, she’s hot, a bit psychotic, but you know…”
Jimin grins, taking a sip from the glass. Taehyung can see where Nabi's charm is coming from. She is carefree. He walks to the fridge to prepare himself a drink, when an arm grips his shoulder tight. Taehyung turns to Nabi. The girl smiles wildly as she whispers in his ear.
“Better keep your lips shut if he becomes your kissing partner, otherwise I won’t keep my fists shut”
She retracts swiftly with the same intense smile that matches her daily red lipstick.
Jimin watches them with curious eyes, sipping from his drink, swaying his legs in air.
“Did you say the same things to Jungkook?” Taehyung asks with a tilted head.
He can see how Nabi keeps her anger under control, no surprise if she’ll explode soon. Because if you start poking something, it won’t be soon until it pokes you back.
Taehyung is great at pushing buttons, ask Yoongi.
“You have no idea what you are getting yourself into. I am Jungkook’s first and only match.”
Taehyung speaks calmly back, he will not let his calmness be swayed away
“The early bird might get the worm, but it is the second mouse who gets the cheese”
“Good luck, then.” Nabi relents, leaving the kitchen with a huff.
“What was all that about?” Jimin questions with amusement latched onto his voice.
“Oh boy, do I have a story to tell.”
Taehyung prepares a cocktail for himself and they both walk to the terrace.
Soon, Hobi and Lia join them on the grass.
The sun is generous these days, it is extremely warm and sometimes its warmth appears suffocating.
“I will not be against kissing your plump lips, Jimin” Hobi utters with a grin.
“All you need to do is ask, we don’t have to play a game for this.”
“And how is your new match Lia? Didn’t have much time to talk to him, Duri is his name?”
but neither a smile nor a grin reaches her face. “I fear he too fell for Jungkook’s charm. Saw them yesterday talking alone on the terrace in the evening. Jungkook seemed troubled with something.”
Right, after Jungkook had a fight with Nabi. The drama thickens.
Who doesn’t like an enigma? Everyone wants Jungkook.
Lia turns abruptly to him with a raised eyebrow “I heard that Jungkook fought yesterday with Nabi because she came onto you. Is there something brewing between you two?” Her eyebrows wiggle, so are Hobi’s and Jimin’s.
“Wait, wait, you and Jungkook? I want all the details. I know me and Jin 90% of the time are busy doing each other here, but I need all the gossip in the 10% meanwhile”
Taehyung lowers his head, mainly because there is nothing really to talk about,
partly because his cheeks burn under the hopeless desires.
Everyone wants Jungkook. He is not special. Because he does too. He is spared from further questioning when they hear Seojoon's voice. The game is about to begin. The sunset is falling over them. It's almost evening.
Half an hour later. Taehyung is standing in the great hall. His eyes are blindfolded. His hands are sweaty and his breathing is rushed. He likes kissing. He likes to make out. But the secrecy of it all is putting him on edge. He knows the rest are all in different rooms.
The first person he is walked in front of seems just as nervous. Taehyung can feel a rugged breath on his cheeks. There is a hand slowly perched on his face. Taehyung tilts his head, he leans in close and feels a soft pair of lips meeting him halfways.
The person seems taller than him. The touch is fragile, light, their lips collide against each other for some seconds. But then both retreat back and Taehyung can breathe lighter. The kiss wasn’t bad, it was barely a kiss, like a feather touch, like the spring wind.
Taehyung has no idea who it was. Then he raises his arm towards Namjoon, who is his assistant in this game as well. Taehyung raises his fingers, he scores this kiss an 7. Namjoon pats him on the back. He doesn’t see much of his cameraman, only late at night for interviews
and at days for quick smiles and encouraging words. Nonetheless, Namjoon holds great comfort for him.
The second person is walked in front of him. Taehyung waits and then in a swift movement, he receives a quick peck on his lips. The person retreats fast. Taehyung smiles.
He could taste in that frantic movement the berry's taste of lipstick. A lipstick Jimin uses most of the time.
The kiss although short, was very sweet. Taehyung scores it an 8. He is not going to cheat.
For the last person, Taehyung stays on his place as well.
Someone walks close to him.
For some reason, a sense of apprehension lingers in the air. Both are uncertain to lean in first. Taehyung feels a warm breath against his cheek, for some unknown motif his heart beats rapidly in his chest.
Then he feels fingertips brushing over his cheek and then nose, then those fingers trail over his lips, lingering there, then settling on the chin.
Taehyung is impatient, he doesn’t wait any longer. The sooner the game ends, the better. He leans in and captures the other’s lips
It is a short kiss, Taehyung wants to retreat back, but then his lips are captured in a lock. The person’s grip on his chin is stronger and Taehyung feels heat swim through his body at the way he is handled. It’s maddening. Their lips are intertwined but neither does move.
And then the person deepens the kiss, swallowing his lips, his gasps. It feels like he’s drowning or falling from the sky without a parachute. His chin is kept in place, tilted to the side as the person kisses him hard, deep, urgent, with a fever he has never known before.
The gradation of intensity makes him cling to the person as the only solid thing in a dizzy swaying world. He feels a finger pressed to his lips, opening it wider and then a tongue swirls inside. The person’s mouth is parting his now shaking lips, sending wild tremors.
And before he knows it, Taehyung is kissing the person back. Taehyung tastes the bite of liquor and he can’t have enough. It drives him insane, the way their lips slot together.
Fuck his life. He is still unmoving in his place, a hand is still gripping his chin with force,
holding it in place as his mouth is ravished and he gasps for air between kisses. He breathes through the kiss. There is something in not being able to see, but having other senses heightened. Because he feels the kiss with all his senses. He feels the hand sliding down his body
and curling around his waist pressing him closer. His body meets a muscled chest.
“Okay, this is enough, you will be walked to your rooms. You are the last to finish the game. Do not take the blindfold of your eyes yet.”
The kiss ends abruptly. Taehyung steps back.
He ignores how the other person’s lips trail after his in an attempt to catch them again, biting, trying to hold in place.
Taehyung feels an arm on his back guiding him back to his room, up the stairs. All the time he can’t but think how much he’s screwed.
Because he scored the kiss with a ten. Namjoon takes off his blindfold.
“Come downstairs in half an hour. They will reveal the scores.”
Taehyun enters the room and meets Jimin’s questioning gaze.
“I am a dead man, Jimin. I am screwed.” He utters before he falls on the bed.
“What happened? Were the kisses that bad?”
“No, opposite, I will burn in hell” Taehyung lets his body fall on Jimin’s lap. He keeps his eyes closed. He can’t face the world anymore. “I scored someone a 10, we kissed for 5 minutes and I am pretty sure that is Jungkook.”
“Exactly. What about you?”
Jimin smiles timidly “One of the kisses was very sweet, too short, wouldn’t mind to continue it, I scored it a 9”
Taehyung whistles and his sadness turns into happiness for his close friend.
“We’re not winning this game, are we?”
Jimin shakes his head amused. Soon they are asked to come downstairs. Taehyung quickly grabs a black cap, hiding all of his face with a bandana too.
“This for sure won’t save you from Nabi” Jimin says as they walk out of the room.
“It’s the heating, the sun.. you know”
“Sure, sure” Jimin is still laughing, holding his hand all through it as they approach the main hall. Taehyung doesn’t dare to look around. He sits fast on a couch and ignores everyone. Jimin sits near him and keeps him company.
Seojoon joins them.
Taehyung can hear everyone cheering. He guesses those cheers will die down soon.
“How are y’all? Did you have fun?” Seojoon asks.
“Oh, yeah” It’s Jae who exclaims, which earns him a punch on the back from Joy.
Although, Taehyung knows Joy likes Jungkook. What a great show.
“Let’s dive right in. Why don’t we start with Jimin. Tell me sweetheart about your second kiss”
Jimin goes pliant near him, with his body trapped in Taehyung’s arms. “I enjoyed it. It was too short, but very sweet.”
“You scored it an 8. Your second kiss was Taehyung.”
They both hug each other and the rest cheer. Taehyung lowers his bandana as he whispers into Jimin’s ear “soulmate. you’ll see why.”
Seojoon smiles at them “And how was the first kiss whom you scored a 9?”
“It was really good, um… sweet, deep” Jimin is shy when he describes it
“Well, I am glad to announce that your first kiss was Lia.”
Taehyung can see that there is no much surprise in Jimin’s eyes. But his cheeks burn a little. And he hides his head in Taehyung’s chest.
“Now, we’ll go to Nabi, do you want us to tell how was your second kiss?”
Taehyung doesn’t look at Nabi, nor at Jungkook beside her. He keeps his eyes either on Seojoon or Jimin. But his heart is restless.
Nabi grins “The kiss was passionate, lots of tongue, wet, wild, I scored it a 9”
“Well, you did right, because your second kiss was Jungkook”
Then Seojoon goes like these through the rest. Joy has scored the highest to Jungkook, a solid 9. Taehyung sees the exact moment when Nabi freezes, there’s surprise in her eyes. Taehyung can see the wheels turning into her head. She doesn't let it show on her face though.
Jae has scored the highest to Joy. Lia for Jimin, Hobi scored Jimin the highest while Jin scored Nabi the highest.
Taehyung pales when Seojoon’s eyes fall on him.
“I believe you enjoyed the game greatly, Taehyung”
“Just like the others” He mumbles and squirms in his seat.
“Will you tell me about your second kiss?”
“Um… it was sweet, short, definitely an 8, plump soft lips.”
“Lips who belong to your match Jimin” Seojoon announces with a grin.
Jimin high fives him. He whispers “soulmate” to his ear.
“Will you now tell us about the third kiss?”
Taehyung almost dies on the spot. The cap and the bandana hold little to no protection.
“It was okay” He replies swiftly.
A laugh follows. Seojoon wipes the tears from his eyes as he is almost rolling on the floor from it. Okay, a bit exaggerated.
Others are immersed.
“It was just okay but you scored it a whole 10? Don’t be shy now, tell us more”
“Let him be, he’s shy” Jimin rasps as he envelops Taehyung in a tight hug, almost shielding him from the others. Even though Jimin is tiny.
“Glad to announce that your third kiss was Jungkook”
It all happens at once. Cheers, gasps, whistles. Taehyung mutes it all. He hides in Jimin’s chest.
He knew it was Jungkook. There was nothing giving it away. Still, it was clear to him. Taehyung must’ve gone insane.
“Now, on the last person of the evening. Jungkook tell us how was your second kiss?”
Jungkook’s voice is rasped at the edges, as if he lacks oxygen, as if he ran a mile “It was passionate, crazy definitely, how I like it.”
“You gave it a strong 9. I am happy to say it's Nabi.”
Taehyung almost melts onto the couch. The suspense is killing me. He fears the upcoming drama. But he fears Jungkook’s scoring just as much. What if all the intensity of the kiss was felt only on his part.
“And how was your third kiss Jungkook?”
Taehyung can’t see his eyes, but he knows there’s hesitance in them. And then Jungkook speaks. “The kiss took my breath away.”
Gasps are heard around. “I understand, no wonder you scored Taehyung’s kiss with a 10.”
In the next moment a lot of things happen.
Jimin bursts into laughter near him. Hobi squeals. Nabi stands up and rushes out of the room. Jungkook follows.
“What a great game” Duri, Lia’s new match speaks for the first time.
“Couldn’t agree more. Anyway, the winners of this game are Nabi and Jungkook. Enjoy the night”
Jungkook and Nabi won because they scored each other the highest points. The next second Taehyung rises from the couch. He rushes upstairs, storms inside the room, lays on the floor, closes his eyes. He ignores the chaos outside, that Jungkook and Nabi are going tonight on a date
“If you lay on the floor and pretend nothing happened, Nabi will still be after your ass” Jimin speaks amusedly as he enters the room as well.
“I do not know what you are talking about”
“About the magnificent, magical kiss you and…”
“There was no kiss. I don’t know anything”
“You know what I am curious about. I have yet to see you and Jungkook have a proper conversation, did you even spend some time alone this week at all?”
It dawns on him, Jimin’s words. He shakes his head.
“Then it’s insane, your chemistry. Imagine if you talked alone…
you probably wouldn’t even talk, just jump each other and…”
“Shut up, shut up, nothing happened. And what about you and Lia, when that happened?”
Jimin falls on the bed and hides himself between the covers “I am very sleepy, talk tomorrow.”
Sleep is good.
It puts an end to his inner torments. The next morning, he purposefully takes a long time to be dragged from his bed. Then he spends an entire hour in the shower. He tries not to think of the luxury date Jungkook and Nabi had yesterday night.
It is awkward when he joins the others in the main area. Jimin is already seated on a couch. Hobi calls him to his side and Taehyung lays near him. On the other side there’s Jin. Taehyung knows both have questions laying at the tips of their tongues. But they do not ask.
“I wonder who Jungkook and Nabi will send on dates.” Lia breaks the silence, a soft smile on her lips.
“It must be me for sure again” Jimin utters.
They do not have much time to ponder over the question. Taehyung sees him and his breath halts. Jungkook enters the mansion.
He seems troubled. He is alone.
“Where is Nabi?” Joy asks.
“First person who goes on a date is Duri” Jungkook speaks, ignoring the question.
Lia’s match stands up with a grin and heads outside.
“Jungkook, what’s happening?” Joy pushes.
“Nabi… she sent herself on a date with her ex. She’s bringing him in the show” Jungkook speaks.
“Drama” Jae says lowly.
Joy rushes and hugs Jungkook.
Taehyung looks at Jimin. Jimin stares back at him.
“I don’t have any idea what’s happening.”
Soon, Jungkook is not in the room anymore. Honestly Taehyung has no idea what to think. He feels like he knows how Jungkook kisses, but he has no idea what his soul is made of, or what he's thinking, feeling.
“Won’t be surprised of anything on this show anymore” Jin says
Taehyung excuses himself. He goes to the kitchen. Cocktails nowadays are the only way to survive and entertain the drama.
“She is stupid”
Taehyung hears a voice over his shoulder. He turns and faces Jae’s amused face.
“Why the hell has she done this?” Taehyung inquires.
“She acted impulsively. She wants to make him jealous. Jungkook has a bad history with Nabi’s ex. They’re from the same industry, a bit of close friends turned rivals. Insane, I tell you.”
“And will Jungkook be jealous?”
Jae smiles again, leaning on the kitchen counter.
“Nabi is stupid. Jungkook will never be jealous. Or won’t show it at least. He’d rather leave the show, than do what Nabi expects of him.”
“I just got a headache from all of this”
“Don’t forget about the price for all the precious information I share with you.”
Jae leaves with a cheeky grin.
Today’s the matching session.
Taehyung doesn’t see much of the rest during the day. They lounge near the pool with Jimin, splashing each other with water, playing some board games with Hobi, Jin and Lia. Soon, the evening falls upon them.
There’s a party coming before the start of the matching session.
Taehyung chooses a pair of tight black trousers, a silver chain hanging over his belly, a black sleeveless top with an adorned matching silver choker. He styles his curls that fall on his forehead.
Jimin promises to attend later. Taehyung walks downstairs. Jin and Hobi are wearing matching red suits. Lia is nowhere to be seen. Jae is chilling by the bar. He’s probably drunk already. But he does look good in his black suit with a naked chest underneath. Taehyung walks to him
“I guess it’s time you pay your price, darling”
Taehyung feels the bittersweet taste of the champagne he drowns down his throat.
“Are you sure?”
“He’s now packing his things. Jungkook wants to leave the show.”
“And is Joy there with him, consoling him?”
There's a surprise colouring Jae’s black orbit eyes. Taehyung smiles. So, this is it.
“How did you know?” Jae asks, he seems defeated.
“You are not the only one observing others well. This is why I must pay the price. You like Joy, you truly like her. What a pity.”
Finally, a smile bestows upon Jae’s face. He grins and leans in with his drink. “Let’s cheer for the heartbrokens' club. After all, you understand me well.”
It burns. Taehyung clinks his glass with Jae’s.
The sun has just set over the horizon, casting a warm glow over the sprawling gardens of the luxurious villa. The air is thick with the scent of blooming flowers and the sound of gentle jazz music drifted from the direction of the pool. As Duri arrives with his new match,
a petite black haired girl, so does Nabi with a tall man, all muscles and tattoos, fierce red hair. It must be Nabi’s ex, Eun. Nabi shines and she retells their date excitedly. Taehyung sees though how her eyes roam around in search for someone.
Jungkook and Joy are still absent from the party.
Hobi and Jin act like the hosts, they seem like wealthy socialites, they make their way around the garden, greet the participants, invite others to the dance stage. Nabi is standing in a corner, her eyes are downcast.
She is wearing a flowing summer dress, adorned with sparkling jewels, and her laughter echoes across the garden. But it’s a fake sad laugh. Soon Joy walks out of the house and Jungkook follows her. Joy joins Nabi and hugs her. Jungkook heads to Jin and Hobi.
Taehyung’s eyes shamefully trail from head to toe, Jungkook looks magnificent. He’s wearing a black see through, barely holding his ripped arms and chest. His thighs are enveloped in a pair of black jeans. His beauty is striking. Face chiseled, with high cheekbones
and a strong jawline, giving him an air of confidence and power. But it was his eyes that truly captivated anyone who looked his way.
His eyes were a deep, rich brown, with flecks of gold that seemed to glimmer in the light. They held a depth that was almost hypnotic,
drawing people in and leaving them transfixed. They were the kind of eyes that held the secrets of the universe, as if each one held a star that shone brightly in the darkness.
His face was cute, with a slightly crooked smile that was both charming and disarming at the same time
It was a face that exuded warmth and kindness, making anyone feel instantly at ease in his presence. But there was also a hint of sexiness there, a subtle undercurrent that hinted at a hidden intensity lurking just below the surface.
“Are you writing poems about Jungkook’s beauty in your mind?”
He is woken up from his elusive thoughts. He faces Jae with red burning cheeks. “I was not.”
“Don’t worry. It’s embarrassing, but I do the same with Joy.”
“Damn, we are fools.”
“One fool is misery, two fools are victory.” Jae exclaims and Taehyung is sure he just invented the quote on the spot. Taehyung excuses himself from Jae. He approaches Jimin. It begins to hurt the more he stares at Jungkook.
“I have something to tell you” He immediately says.
Lia excuses herself and leaves them both.
Jimin grins “You want to match with Jungkook tonight, but you don’t know how to tell me?”
Taehyung’s eyes widen “This soulmate bond is scaring me”
Jimin engulfs him in a hug “You’re just too enamoured. I think it’s worth a chance.
The instant chemistry between you too. It’s worth exploring it, otherwise you’ll regret it.”
“And what about you?”
“I think I want to try and match Lia,” Jimin replies sheepishly. “So, take the risk.
You need to have better love experiences to talk about than that one from school when you’d trade lunches for love”
Taehyung laughs, but his voice is pained “I don’t know if Jungkook wants to stay in the show, I actually don’t know him at all.” It’s horror that captures him.
He really has no idea who Jungkook is.
“That’s what this chance is for, to get to know him. You’ll spend days together and nights in a bedroom. You’ll join games and if you win you’ll go on dates together.”
Taehyung turns to look at Jungkook, but he sees Joy instead.
She’s drowning a shot of vodka. Her eyes are fixed on Jungkook standing alone on the terrace. Oh, no.
Taehyung then sees Jae trailing her with his eyes. There’s a silent sadness in them. Oh, no.
Taehyung grabs the shot from Jimin’s hand. He drowns it in one go.
It burns, no more than what he’ll do. Taehyung sees Joy ready to go to Jungkook. Taehyung walks forward first. He reaches Jungkook who raises his eyes at him. He seems surprised.
“Can we talk?”
Jungkook nods. He holds his hand. Taehyung takes it. They walk to the flower garden
It’s his first time being alone with Jungkook. Screw that, it’s his first time doing the first step, taking the risk. He’s so nervous.
“Why is your hand shaking?” Jungkook asks. He holds it gently with both of his hands, threading his fingers over it as they walk in the garden.
Jungkook’s laugh clinks in the warm summer evening. He doesn’t comment on it anymore. They reach the gazebo and sit down.
He has no idea how he should begin it.
“So, I wanted to talk about how…” He pauses, words get tangled on his tongue.
“How you told me I can undress you?” Jungkook asks cheekily. There’s a childish innocence to his words, the way he behaves, but why is it so sexy? His raspy voice, tilted head, intense eyes that stare and do not break eye contact.
“Well, amongst other things.”
Taehyung stargazes in Jungkook’s eyes.
“You want me to undress you here?” Jungkook’s low voice sends shivers through his body. It should be illegal.
Jungkook’s hands are on Taehyung’s thighs, gently caressing. He didn’t notice when that happened.
Taehyung stands up abruptly. He walks on the other corner of the gazebo.
He still hears and sees Jungkook’s amused face.
Taehyung needs to gather up his thoughts and speak eloquently.
“Take your time” Jungkook assures him
“I have a pretty sight in front of me, I am not rushing” He utters as he keeps staring at Taehyung with the same intensity.
Oh, damn this man.
“I know it has been a hard day for you and I also understand that you want to leave the show.
But if there is any chance that you can stay, do it for me. I mean stay for me… no, that wasn’t right, be my match, Jungkook.”
Taehyung expects many reactions, what he doesn’t expect is the surprised eyes, the pause that follows, the silence.
“You want me to be your match?”
Taehyung doesn’t have the courage to say those words anymore. So, he nods.
“What about Jimin?”
“He wants to match with Lia”
“But you two were perfect together, I mean I thought…”
“Me and Jimin have never been together, romantically I mean, we are close friends and…”
“Yes.” Jungkook interrupts him.
“You’re going to be my match?”
“Yes.” Jungkook whispers. He walks closer. His breath is close too, warm, soft. Taehyug takes a step back, but his back faces the wall.
Jungkook corners him against the wall with his arm. Taehyung will melt soon.
He lowers down and escapes the trap under Jungkook’s arm. Taehyung rushes out of the garden. Jungkook follows him through the string of flowers. His smiles and chuckles follow too.
Taehyung is overwhelmed. It feels like a chase. Taehyung reaches the pool.
The party is still in vigour. Jungkook reaches him and his back collides with Taehyung’s.
“Can’t escape now. You are my match” He whispers.
Taehyung’s knees go weak. It is not good, not good at all. He sees everyone’s eyes trained on them.
Jungkook takes his hand and walks them over to Jin and Hobi’s table.
Hobi claps excitedly “This was amazing. I am in awe of the show.” Jin grins beside them.
Taehyung sees Nabi rushing out of the party, tears streaming down her face,
her new match, Eun, her ex follows after her inside the villa.
Taehyung can see Jimin’s wink. He is holding Lia’s hand.
“I believe the party is ending. Should we retreat to our bedroom?” Jungkook whispers to him, over his shoulder, back pressed against his.
“I have something to do, you go first”
Jungkook nods and heads upstairs to their now bedroom.
Taehyung goes to the kitchen. He finds Jae pouring himself another drink. Jae smiles at him when their eyes meet.
“You paid your price, you made Jungkook your match”
“Otherwise Joy would have done it”
“Exactly, though I fear now you’ll leave the heartbroken’s club and leave me alone”
Taehyung shakes his head “Everyone will leave this show heartbroken, trust me. These shows rarely produce something lasting.”
Jae cheers to that, carrying a bottle of rum and leaving the kitchen.
Taehyung heads upstairs. But he be damned. There’s a person standing in his way.
“You just made the game so much more interesting, Taehyung. Make sure to enjoy it while it lasts.” Joy speaks
with a drink in her hand as well. She smiles earnestly and lets him walk upstairs.
What hell of a night.
And Jungkook is his match now. Taehyung wonders if this villa will become hell or heaven for him from now on.
Taehyung takes a deep breath before opening the door to their new bedroom. He has no expectations. He is ready to have Jungkook as another experience.
Jungkook is laying on the bed, only a pair of shorts on, as he scribbles something on a paper.
Once the door closes, Jungkook’s eyes raise to meet his.
Jungkook places the paper on the shelf near the bed. He leans on the armrest with a grin.
“Can I undress you now?” Jungkook says, voice low and husky.
Taehyung shakes his head as he heads to the bathroom
with a pair of shorts in hand from his strawberry coloured pyjamas.
“Can we at least make out?” Jungkook continues. Belatedly Taehyung realises, Jungkook is sulking. He’s also playing.
“Making out is not the answer.” Taehyung replies calmly,
unzipping his pants that fall to the floor, then taking the top off and the jewellery.
“No, but it is the question. To what the answer is ‘Yes’. So, want to make out?”
Taehyung chuckles at the creativity, but he still shakes his head.
He grabs the towel and enters the bathroom.
He can hear Jungkook yelling from behind, “I could’ve undress you more gentle”
Taehyung can’t stop from smiling as water pours over him.
When Taehyung leaves the bathroom, he sees Jungkook already asleep. He is softly tucked in a pile of blankets on the couch.
Taehyung feels fondness rise inside his chest. He lays on the king sized bed. Sleep comes easily to him, sweetly, dreamily.
Taehyung wakes up to the sound of water running. He never imagined that the first thing he would see in the morning would be Jeon Jungkook, half naked getting out of the shower, humming under his breath.
Today will be good.
Jungkook glances at him with a light expression, drying his hair with a towel.
Taehyung is conflicted with how he should proceed further.
“Are you hungry?” Jungkook asks, neatly folding the towel and placing it in a rack. He sits at the edge of the bed.
his eyes stare intently at Taehyung.
He is not used to being seen like this. It makes him feel as if he’s naked. The piercing stare doesn’t end abruptly as Taehyung catches the eyes. He starts to love it on him. He might even become a bit greedy over the attention.
“I brought some food from upstairs,” Jungkook continues, directing his index finger towards the table in the middle of the room. The wooden surface holds a magnitude of dishes and Taehyung can blame his mouth watering reaction to all the food.
He’ll be a hypocrite if he wouldn’t admit it’s because of Jungkook too.
“Are there any strawberries?” Taehyung inquires as he is trying hard to focus on all the dishes.
Jungkook chuckles, the sound resounds in the room, Taehyung is not used to it, this different environment.
At the same time, he is giddy and excited. He has never done it before. Having a crush, so bad that he is ready to get out of his comfort zone, to experience new things, to risk it just to reach the man.
“There are strawberries on the slice of cake
and there is a small plate with fresh strawberries, also a juice on the side.”
Now Taehyung can notice them on the table too. His heart does something inside, heats up, he feels dizziness.
“How did you know I like strawberries?”
“I am observant,” Jungkook replies.
As they both sit at the table, Taehyung can start to feel the tense silence.
“Does it feel awkward?” Taehyung dares to ask, he feels the urgency to be honest with Jungkook, to open himself up. They played with each other enough. Nothing can be built purely on fun.
Jungkook raises his eyes from the plate. There is genius curiosity in his look, childish almost innocent. What a contrast to his inked chest and muscled arms.
“It does feel a bit, but it's natural.”
“What do you mean?”
“Physical attraction can’t sustain a relationship alone.”
“Oh,” Taehyung hums as his heart drops a tiny centimetre down. He grabs a whole strawberry and stuffs his mouth with it.
Jungkook looks at him and there is amusement swimming in his glance “We will just need to find other things to help strengthen the match”
“Talking for a first”
Taehyung scoffs, it’s an immediate reaction he fails to control “What do you think we’re doing now?”
A small chuckle escapes from Jungkook’s lips. It starts off as a low rumble in his throat before growing louder and more pronounced.
His shoulders shake as the chuckle turns into a deep laugh.
The sound of Jungkook’s laughter is infectious, causing Taehyung to grin and chuckle along. His eyes crinkle at the corners, and his head tilts back as he enjoys this peculiar moment.
As the laughter begins to subside, Taehyung once again feels heat swarming from inside.
“I think we need to go on a date,” Taehyung says, solemnly. Deep inside he’s surprised by his own bravery.
“For that we need to win a game.
I am quite sure the game today will be based on questions to test how good we know each other, as we’re already three weeks in the game”
“But we don’t know much about each other”
“Time to change that, what do you think about hiding today from everyone
and spending some time alone until the game?” Jungkook stares at him earnestly. Taehyung is scared of how he already thinks that it’s hard to say no to Jungkook.
“Got a place in mind?”
An hour later, Taehyung walks through the large bushes, his hand is softly held by Jungkook,
who trails him along the garden. When they reach its centre, both sit on the grass.
“This is my favourite place of the villa” Jungkook softly says, as he closes his eyes and leans his face towards the sun, enjoying the rays dancing on his skin.
Taehyung closes his eyes and does the same.
“It has no cameras.”
The fragrance of blooming flowers fills the air, and the soft rustling of leaves in the gentle breeze provides a soothing melody. Taehyung doesn’t know for how long he can hide here with Jungkook,
but he wants to enjoy every bit of it.
They continue to soak in the warmth of the sun on their skin. They open their eyes, their eyes meet, and they exchange a smile. Taehyung takes a deep breath, inhaling the sweet scent of the flowers around them.
"Are you feeling better," Taehyung asks, breaking the comfortable silence. "about what happened yesterday with Nabi and…"
He nods swiftly. "I feel lighter. I really came here to explore, to enjoy, to try new things, meet new people, but then she joined the show too,
I didn’t know she would be here. I broke things with her months prior. We kind of had a thing in the past" Jungkook explains. “I felt burdened in a way and really tried to give it a chance, but…”
“You matched me”
“You’re kind of cute” Jungkook says
and his tone is warm, teasing.
Taehyung has little to no resistance against such an attack.
“And why did you match me?” Jungkook asks. Taehyung deciphers a hint of raw curiosity there.
Taehyung doesn’t know what prompts him to be honest.
He doesn’t feel like playing a role in front of Jungkook or guarding himself. “I had a debt to pay to Jae, he asked me to match with you. Honestly, I find you a very peculiar person, really hard to read, you are everywhere, and still you’re very keen on keeping things private.
I see how you lean towards me, but I also see apprehension hidden in your eyes.”
Jungkook smiles at him, studying his face. "We all have our role here. It’s a dating show after all, a show."
“Was it you playing your role by agreeing to match with me?” Taehyung asks,
his breath halted. Jungkook’s face is one blooming fragrance away from his.
“Was it you paying your price to Jae by offering to match with me?” Jungkook asks him back and Taehyung catches the words with the deep release of breath. Taehyung chuckles, feeling a little bashful.
“No, it was a burst of courage to finally pursue what I want”
“For me it was a chance to get my breath stolen away again.” Jungkook says. The smell of roses, the petals floating in the warm wind, Taehyung wants to fall, he is ready to fall, no matter what awaits him at the end.
Taehyung is ready to have his heart broken by Jungkook. After all, what is Love if not gamble. And if you're going to try to play, at least take some risks and go all the way. Taehyung looks at love like at a game of poker. If he's not intent on winning, he doesn't start it.
And years later, he finally found a good game to play with a worthy prize. Jungkook stares at him as if he ca read his thoughts. A if he knows what lingers behind the shy smile and blushing cheeks. Their faces are so close. Taehyung is prompted to make the next move. But...
Jungkook retreats back, his face is now inclined towards the roses. His eyes are close again and Taehyung still doesn’t understand the reason behind the apprehension he noticed earlier in his eyes. Taehyung didn’t lean in, they were just breathing each other in.
It still feels like a tiny rejection. Because Jungkook could have kissed him at that moment. But he didn’t.
"Tell me something about yourself." Jungkook urges and Taehyung remembers the reason they hid in the garden. They have a game to win.
Taehyung tells him about his love for colour green and the sweet flavour of strawberries, he tells him about his passion for jazz and art books. He shares how he wants a big family, how he has limited experience in dating, but he is a very affectionate person.
Jungkook shares snippets of his inner world too. About how he is competitive, practices boxing, likes dancing, loves easy, but has suffered a lot because of that. Taehyung loves hardly. What a contrast between the two.
They talk about their favourite books, places they want to travel to, and their hobbies. As they chat, the sun melts down, the fragrance of roses becomes stronger. Taehyung's crush too. He sees the exposed skin on Jungkook's collarbones. He wants to kiss it. He feels faint.
A part of him, buried deep, that rarely resurfaces, wants Jungkook to be affected just as much by him. Taehyung wants them both to be on fair ground.
The sunset finds them with their bodies touching together, with no space between, with Jungkook whispering things in his ear.
“I can’t believe you listened to that radio episode,” Taehyung exclaims. “I was telling everyone my embarrassing story about my first love and how I traded lunches for his affection.”
Taehyung feels embarrassment wash over him, laughter invades him too,
his head falls in waves of amusement over Jungkook’s shoulder. It’s intimate. He belatedly realises just how intimate it is. Taehyung raises his head and locks eyes with Jungkook. The latter's intense look pierces him.
“I could love you better.” Jungkook whispers.
The words curve his back and part his lips. It’s Taehyung’s turn to retreat back. He abruptly stands up and heads towards the villa “Let’s go or we’ll miss the game” He tries to muffle his voice, but he can hear Jungkook’s deep and rich laughter behind.
Taehyung is overwhelmed by the connection between them, but he equally fears that such raw passion would die easily. When they reach the terrace, they see others already waiting for Seojoon to announce the game. It wa sheaven while they were alone. Now they aren't. Now it's scary
As they sit on the couch, Taehyung can’t help but feel a sense of unease. Jimin immediately attaches himself to him, jumping in his arms.
“Haven’t seen you all day? Where have you been? I missed you”
Taehyung accepts the embrace, he feels soft, he hugs Jimin back,
jimin who is the constant and the source of stability and comfort here. Taehyung sees Joy coming close to Jungkook, asking him something.
It’s as if the little world they build around themselves when they’re alone, explodes once they’re with the others.
Taehyung then looks at Nabi and he’s perplexed upon seeing heartbreak on her face. Her ex’s hand on her thigh doesn’t seem to bring her any satisfaction. Taehyung is not a big fan of Han, her ex, so far as he has seen him around the villa. Han is too loud,
his jokes are offensive but not funny, he is loose with his hands, he treats all this like a jungle, and Taehyung knows he doesn’t like him. Nabi wants to appear scary, but she’s weak and frail inside. Taehyung can see it in her eyes, she’s not defiant anymore.
She is just heartbroken. There could be pain behind her eyes. But Taehyung is not a fool. There could also be plotting there. She's too quiet.
“When are you telling me all the details?” Jimin asks, waking him up from his trance.
Taehyung turns to him with a smile
“There’s nothing much to tell. Ready for today’s game? I am going to absolutely destroy you now that we're in different teams”
Jimin’s answer is cut by Seojun, who enters the area with a big smile as always. Lucky him, he’s not subjected to get hurt in a love gambling show.
“Today we’re about to dive deeper and have fun. What about a bath y’all?” Seojoon grins in the way Taehyung knows everything is about to get freaky. “Everyone’s feeling good about their matches?”
“I was born for this moment” Jin exclaims while he plants a kiss on Hobi’s cheek.
Everyone coos at them.
Seojoon continues “Today’s compatibility challenge will give you an insight into how each of you perceives certain situations. The game itself is very easy. I will read a series of common situations that can happen in any relationship.
If you think my statement is cute, that it is something you would do, then you scribble “cute” on your small board. But if you think the statement is cringe and it’s something you’ll never do, then you answer “cringe. You will be turned opposite each other,
in order not to see what the other partner writes. If your answer to the situation matches with your partner's answer, you gain a point, if it doesn’t you lose one. Three lost points and you need to slide in a big pool of foam. The couple who remains the last on the trampoline
wins the date and a chance to choose two people to go on dates tomorrow.”
Everyone cheers on and then they’re escorted to the beach where Taehyung sees the big trampoline and the pool of foam that follows.
As Taehyung advances towards the game area,
he feels an arm settling on his back, then a hot breath on his neck.
“I just got you, don’t tell me I'm already losing you” Jungkook whispers as he walks beside him, an arm curled around his waist. Jimin remains behind, giving them a bit of space. Taehyung tries to play it cool
“It doesn’t matter where we wander, but if we find the way back to each other.” Taehyung says cheekily. He struggles to not show just how affected he is by each of Jungkook’s words and actions. But the rosy blush on his cheeks gives him away.
After his words, Taehyung feels a soft touch on his cheek. He turns with wide eyes to Jungkook, who pecked his cheek swiftly.
“You were just too cute” Jungkook explains “Eyes on the path, baby” He says as he helps Taehyung not to trip over, holding his body against his.
It takes a while for each match to settle in their spots. Taehyung is turned with his back to Jungkook.
Seojoon begins “First scenario is sharing your toothbrush with your lover”
Taehyung’s immediate action is to scribble ‘cringe’ on his board.
When everyone finishes writing, they turn to the front. Taehyung can hear gasps, as well as hums of happiness. He turns to Jungkook and looks at the cardboard.
They say at the same time with a disgusted look as they see how their answers matched.
“I see two people who answered yes. Joy and Jae explain yourselves.”
“You kiss anyway, I don’t see the problem” Jae says cooly.
“That’s literally disgusting, do you know how many germs there are…” Hobi tries to argue.
Jae cuts him off, standing on his point
“You stuck each other’s tongues down your throats every day. I am also sure you and Jin exchanged every bodily fluid with each other”
Everyone laughs at that, because often they witnessed it themselves.
Seojoon continues the game “Baby or other pet names, is it cute or cringe”
Taehyung thinks about it and hesitates with the answer. He is torn between cute and cringe.
“Show me your answers” Seojoon asks.
Taehyung turns to Jungkook to see his response and immediately cheers. They both scribbled cute.
“Baby, baby, baby…” Jungkook whispers as he leans in and quickly retreats back with a grin. That’s why Taehyung was torn between what to choose. It’s his weakness, being called baby.
When he looks around he can see that Hobi and Jin lost a point, Nabi and Han too.
“Romance is dead” Hobi exclaims as he sees ‘cringe’ scribbled on Jin’s board.
Clean answers have only Jimin with Lia, Joy with Jae and Taehyung with Jungkook.
A couple of questions later, with Jin and Hobi, Nabi and Han and Jimin and Lia already in the pool of foam,
there’s only Joy and Jae and Taehyung and Jungkook left at the trampoline. They both have two wrong answers.
And they’re so close to winning.
“Okay, the game is tight, let’s see who takes this win. Confessing your love to your partner publicly”
Oh, that’s an easy one.
Taehyung scribbles fast, already mentally choosing an outfit for his date later. Of course it’s cringe.
“Turn and let’s see your answers”
Taehyung turns full of smiles, the smiles fall quickly.
“How is that cute?” Taehyung whines when he sees what Jungkook wrote on the board.
Joy and Jae both wrote ‘cringe’.
Jungkook tries to hug him in an attempt of reconciliation, but Taehyung heads forward and jumps in the pool foam.
“Today’s winner is Joy and Jae. Enjoy your date later." Seojoon announces "One small surprise awaits you tomorrow,
a big revelation will be coming, that will probably change the whole show. I am excited. See you soon.”
There’s nothing good happening when Seojoon is excited. Jungkook reaches him soon and latches onto him with his arms. Taehyung feels so warm in Jungkook's embrace.
They chat for a while, theorising what could be the announcement tomorrow. No one has a clue. Jungkook sits beside him on the couch. They’re not over each other, but Taehyung still can feel his warmth or his smile on him sometimes. They all decide to have dinner in their room.
Taehyung falls in bed, exhausted for some reason. Jungkook looks at him from the door.
“You can sleep on the bed tonight, the couch must be uncomfortable” Taehyung mumbles as he stretches on the bed, with a soft hum, patting the space beside him with a grin.
Jungkook is still eyeing him, something dark orbiting inside his eyes “I wonder if you realise how your words sometimes affect me” Jungkook confesses.
Taehyung stills, he’s a bit perplexed, because that’s the exact effect Jungkook has on him. It’s idle.
To have someone share the same earning.
They fall asleep side by side that night. There is enough space between them, still Taehyung feels warmth.
Next day, they find out Joy and Jae send Jungkook on a date with someone, and Lia on a date as well.
Taehyung knew it was to be expected. Still, he feels his heart torn a bit. He thinks this will continue, Jungkook being sent on dates, just so he doesn’t spend time with Taehyung.
He doesn’t stay to see Jungkook off. Taehyung heads to the kitchen.
He grabs a glass of water and tries to drown his pain away.
And then Taehyung feels it. A pair of strong arms wrap around him from behind. He knows instantly who it is, the familiar scent of his cologne filling his senses.
Without a word, Jungkook presses his lips to his cheek
Taehyung feels his body relax into his embrace.
Jungkook nuzzles his face into his neck, his warm breath sending shivers down his spine.
“I am sorry for what’s happening. I will come back soon and we will go to the garden for an evening stroll before the ceremony, okay?”
Jungkook says it with so much confidence, that he’ll come back from a date and still want to match with Taehyung. He doesn’t know if he’s a fool for clinging into that confidence.
The day passes rather pleasantly. Nabi doesn’t come to him anymore, which is nonetheless scary,
she just mops around with Nabi trailing after her.
Jin and Hobi are somewheredoing god knows what.
Jimin keeps him company. He doesn’t seem perturbed that Lia is on another date. They talk about breezy things, insignificant matters, just basking in the warmth of the place.
The matching ceremony arrives soon. Taehyung wants to put all his frustration in the outfit he’ll wear. He ends up dressing in a see-through black shirt tucked in a pair of white pants. He styles his hair, exposing his forehead. The evening proceeds to pass slowly
as he chugs shots at a table and tries not to glance at the door every five seconds.
“Now you understand how I am feeling every time I see him with you” Nabi says while she approaches his table.
Taehyung stays calm, because he knows what Nabi tries to convey. And she’s right.
“Just wait until he comes with his new date here. Wait until you see them interact and you start to fade in his background.”
The evening seems more gloomy. “You’re right Nabi. I have the right to feel heartbreak if that happens.
Just as Jungkook has the right to meet as many people as he wants, to choose anyone he wants to. My heartbreak should not influence or manipulate his own love. It's a dating show”
He can see the moment glass breaks inside her eyes and she walks away, fearing to expose her tears.
No one owes absolutely anything in this show to anyone. They are free to experiment, try and choose. Jungkook shouldn’t feel burdened to like someone else, just because someone can’t accept that he doesn’t like them back. It's as simple as that.
He saw the hurt in Jungkook’s eyes when they talked back in the garden. He knows there’s more to his love failures, more to his deal with Nabi, to how she burdened him to stay with her because of fleeting moments they had together.
Making him responsible for her pain when there wasn’t any promise or responsibility involved. Taehyung won’t do the same. He wants to show Jungkook that he is free to choose. Even if that choice is not him
Taehyung goes away from the villa towards the south corner of the party.
He listens to the soft jazz and feels how much he already changed in this show. And how much he didn’t. He is happy he is more open, more raw with himself, taking the risks and destroying the ‘what ifs’.
He doesn’t want to hold any regrets after finishing this show.
There is commotion heard. Taehyung knows the others have arrived. He can hear cheers and loud banter. Taehyung goes in front of the others with a sheer smile. He walks near Hobi and Jin with a glass of champagne in his hand.
He sees Jungkook first,
it’s no wonder that his eyes immediately find him. Jungkook’s eyes seem to find him rather quickly as well. Taehyung also sees the blond cute guy near Jungkook, pressing onto him. That must be his date.
Still, Taehyung smiles. He turns to Jimin and Lia and her new match,
a curly guy named Hyujin. They talk about their first impressions.
Taehyung feels the warm hand curling around his waist. Then a chest is pressed against his back. Jungkook is hugging him from behind.
“Did you eat well today?” Is his first question.
Taehyung nods, not turning to look him in the eyes, because he’ll give away his reddened cheeks. He can’t keep count of how many times he blushed in this show, because of Jungkook.
Jimin is side-eyeing him with a grin plastered on his face. Taehyung ignores him.
Lia seems to be attached at Jimin’s side again. Taehyung sees her date, Hyunjin departing with a knowing look to find another match.
“Want to go for that evening stroll in the garden?” Jungkook asks him softly. And Taehyung nods quickly.
He excuses himself to get to his room and take his jacket. He tells Jungkook to wait for him in the garden.
Taehyung rushes to his room, excitement swirling inside. He realises as he climbs the stairs that he’s falling hard. He’s falling hard for Jungkook.
The sudden realisation makes him halt in his tracks. He walks silently towards his room, grabs his jacket and accepts it.
No one can really decline love, can they?
On his way to the garden, there’s a guy walking to him. Taehyung recognizes him, it’s Jungkook’s date from today.
“Hey, you’re Taehyung right, Jungkook’s match?”
Taehyung nods, apprehensively. He doesn’t know where it is going, but he doesn’t want to be rude.
“You and Jungkook are a perfect match in my opinion. I was a bit put off by what he told me on our date but seeing you two now…”
“What exactly did he tell you?”
“That he already has his match, he wanted to be honest with me from the beginning, I appreciate it”
Taehyung is drowned in butterflies, he feels them inside, overwhelming him. It’s spectacular.
He walks the rest of the way in utter bliss.
He sees Jungkook with his back turned.
Taehyung walks silently. He leans in from behind and briskly pecks Jungkook’s cheek. Jungkook gasps, he turns back to him, taking him into his arms. “You made me wait here for you for quite a while, how are you going to compensate?”
Taehyung giggles in his embrace. “I am going to let you have the bigger part of the bet tonight”
As they stroll hand in hand through the flower garden, the sweet scent of blooming flowers fills the air. Taehyung feels a sense of peace wash over him.
The warm summer evening is perfect, the air filled with the soft sound of crickets and the twinkling of stars above. The noise from the party fades. It’s just them two.
Taehyung watches Jungkook in silence, admiring the way the moonlight catches the curve of his cheek,
the way his eyes sparkle every time Taehyung tells him a fact about the stars.
Another fact would be that Jungkook himself nests stars in his eyes. Taehyung keeps the information to himself.
Without a word, Jungkook pulls him close, his arms wrapping around his waist
as he leans in to press a soft kiss to Taehyung’s temple. “Want to be my match?” Jungkook whispers in the comfort of the night.
Taehyung contemplates for a second too long, then he replies “Yes”.
Jungkook beams at him. Soon they walk back to the party.
It’s time for the announcement. Taehyung didn’t have enough time to think about what it could be.
When they reach the others, he sees Nabi’s eyes trained on his and Jungkook’s joint hands.
Seojoon distracts them with his arrival.
He’s holding a bottle of champagne, grinning from ear to ear.
Something cold settles in Taehyung’s chest.
Seojoon is too happy, never good news.
“I hope you enjoyed your night, don’t know if it’ll continue after my announcement. Are you all ready?” Seojoon asks excitedly.
Everyone seems to bask and share his excitement.
Taehyung doesn’t. Not even with Jungkook beside him.
“Do you all remember how the purpose of this show was to find your perfect match and get the most votes at the end? Well, it was utter bullshit.” Seojoon announces and everyone gasps. Seojoon basks in the horrified faces. He grins sheerily
“There was an imposter among y’all, an already perfect match, a couple. Their goal was to hide themselves and ruin as many matches as possible, through any way possible.”
“What do you mean an imposter?” Hobi asks.
“Amongst you, from the start there was a couple,
I think they are dating for 4 years now, but no other spoilers will escape my mouth, they were put on this show to test both other matches compatibility and to test themselves as well. Now the rules of this show are as followed:
Try to keep your perfect match till the end of the show, also try to guess who is the imposter, who are those two people who managed to fool you, who is the true first perfect match in this show. If you guess, you all win. If the imposter couple doesn’t get guessed,
if you don’t guess them two, and if they still choose to match each other at the end of the show, they win.”
“And what exactly did this imposter couple do until now?” Hobi tries again.
“They did a lot of things, matched with different people maybe to ruin other matches,
maybe created illusions, drama, you guess, their primary goal was to ruin as many matches as possible. It’s fun, isn’t it? Good luck in your further games and see you soon. Enjoy the rest of the night” Seojoon leaves them all with their mouths hanging open.
Taehyung looks around him and sees shocked faces.
Taehyung turns to Jungkook and sees his calm face. It’s a split second that Taehyung notices the reaction. It’s gone rapidly, but Taehyung saw it, the absolute calmness on his face, no surprise there.
Taehyung said he is ready to have his heart broken by Jungkook. Now he wonders just how much it’ll hurt. Should he prepare himself. Should he defend his heart, attack, retaliate?
veni, vidi, cecidi ad vos
i came, i saw, i fell for you
veni, vidi, amavi
i came, i saw, i loved
They don't have time to start arguing about the imposter. Seojoon returns again with the same maniacal grin and his damn champagne from which he sips often.
“One tiny detail I forgot to add is that there is a possibility that one of the imposters joined later on in the game”
“You got to be kidding me, you fucking…” Han exclaims as there is an amalgam of elicited gasps around.
“You’re really enjoying it, aren’t you?” Jin asks the show presenter.
Seojoon nods with an amused chuckle “It was my idea after all, to change the game rules a bit.”
And with that Seojoon leaves. And chaos starts.
Taehyung is not sure of anything. His heart wailes inside as if heartbreak is already barging at the door. He feels Jimin shifting closer to him.
“I hate this show” Jimin says with a muffled whine against Taehyung’s shoulder.
Taehyung can feel eyes on him. He doesn’t know how to look Jungkook in the eyes and unsee the reaction he catched before.
Jungkook, wouldn’t, would he?
Jimin drags him to the dining area. They grab a glass of water.
“Who do you think it is?” Jimin asks,
one arm leaning on the door leading to the terrace.
“I don’t want it to be Jungkook” Taehyung confesses, because it’s the sole thought that consumes him at the moment.
Jimin’s face melts, softens at the raw honesty and the pinch of pain. He walks closer and embraces him.
“As you play poker, remember to expect a loss too and prepare for it, but do not give up on winning anyway” Jimin speaks as he hugs him tight.
The door to the kitchen opens.
“Am I interrupting something?” Jungkook’s voice is strained, cold at the edges.
He leans in towards the shelf to grab a glass as well, his eyes avoid Taehyung’s.
“No, we were just discussing who the imposter couple could be,” Jimin explains. “Who do you think it is?”
Jungkook tilts his head as he gulps the water, still avoiding Taehyung’s gaze.
He appears deep in thought before he finally answers with a strained chuckle “don’t think you need to look too far to find them”
Jungkook leaves the kitchen and Jimin looks at Taehyung, puzzled. “What was that about?”
Taehyung shrugs “I have no idea”
When they walk the stairs minutes later, they can hear heated arguments coming from the living room. Jimin walks in that direction. Taehyung doesn’t have the energy too.
He enters his bedroom because he wants to be alone. Because he needs to be alone with his thoughts.
But there is a body sprawled on the sheets. Jungkook is softly asleep on the bed. Taehyung gets the impulsive thought to get closer. He sits at the edge of the bed. His hand aches. He lifts it and slowly, carefully, threads his fingers through Jungkook’s raven hair.
His hand gets a mind of its own, as it softly touches Jungkook’s forehead. Taehyung takes a peek at every beauty spot on Jungkook’s face. A wave of fondness washes over him. Such an overwhelming warmth, a desire to do something, to get closer, to get lost in Jungkook,
to be consumed by him, wholly, to be touched, devoured, breathed through. It’s scary. Taehyung tries to retreat his hand from Jungkook’s hair when it’s catched in a swift lock. He sees Jungkook’s eyes open slowly. There is an unreadable expression on his face.
“Lay here with me,” Jungkook whispers.
When Jungkook touches him, Taehyung gets butterflies. It’s as simple as that. He wants to tell Jungkook. But he’s terrified. He keeps the cards to himself. They are laying in the bed, facing each other, soft blankets covering their body,
eyes locking onto each other, deep breaths, heart beating insanely.
The room is quiet, the only sound is the gentle rise and fall of their breaths. The only light is the soft glow of the moon seeping through the half-opened window blinds. The air is thick, they lay there,
their chests pressed together, feeling the warmth of each other's body.
They are too close, eyes closed, lips scraping, touching. They don't move, don’t deepen the kiss. Instead, they remain locked in the moment, lips touching, breaths interlocking, hearts pounding.
The time drags on as their lips remain interlocked, frozen, neither of them daring to make the first move, afraid, insecure, pity, longing, desire. They pull away, or maybe Jungkook does first.
There’s a bittersweet fragrance to the next morning. Taehyung wakes up alone in bed.
Hours later Taehyung is walking alone along the beach. Namjoon decided to keep him company.
“How has it been?” Namjoon inquires, he holds the camera in one hand, but his dimpled encouraging smile is soft and warm.
“It’s been tough”
Namjoon nods understandingly,
“But you’re doing well, I am proud of you”
Taehyung wants to tear up. He greatly misses Yoongi, the source of his comfort who would play piano for him when his thoughts would get stormy. There is a fleeting thought of leaving the show. But Taehyung quickly turns it down.
Taehyung is thankful Namjoon is near him.
“I saw you spend quite a lot of time with Jungkook and you matched with him, I am happy for you, that brat may seem confident, but he’s too sensitive and a romantic at heart, although someone hurt him enough in the past, but…”
When Namjoon notices how much he spilled, his hand immediately covers his mouth in a horrified gasp. “I said too much again, I am so screwed”
Taehyung tries to smile in reassurance, he pats Namjoon’s back comfortingly
“I won’t tell anyone about it, I promise. But did you know Jungkook before the show?”
Namjoon has his eyes down, he sighs in exasperation “We’re close friends, yes, he actually helped me get this job, but I swear there is no bias or…”
“It’s okay, don’t worry”
Taehyung doesn’t ask all the questions he has in mind. He wants to listen for hours to Jungkook, he wants Jungkook to open himself to him.
"One thing about Jungkook is that he has enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time."
Namjoon says with a soft smile falling on his lips. Taehyung can deschiper the meaning behind his words. Jungkook has been hurt, still he trusts to give love another chance, and then another chance.
"Please don't hurt him" Namjoon says timidly, soft and hidden like a prayer.
“What do you mean? I don’t want to hurt him”
Namjoon exhales “You and uhm… Jimin, you two seem close and in sync and always are together, I thought at first you two are the imposter couple. Jungkook may have thought this too, that’s why he didn’t approach you for so long.”
Taehyung doesn’t have time to fully grasp the words, because a sudden thing invades his mind. “Wait, wait, we all got to know about the imposter couple yesterday, how would Jungkook know before that?”
Namjoon walks faster, as he curses himself
“I always end up spilling things and secrets. I am so screwed.”
Taehyung rushes after him “You’re not screwed, but please answer my question, hyung” Taehyung uses his dangerous charming card. He pouts, looks Namjoon in the eyes with pleading soft gaze.
“Me and him arrived at this villa a day earlier than other participants. We went into the town to a local bar. I got drunk and by mistake told Jungkook about the imposter couple thing.”
“And all this time he thought it was me and Jimin?” Taehyung wants to confirm.
“As I said, once he was hurt enough, so he became very careful about who he falls for”
“But he still matched with me”
“Ask him the reason behind that”
“I will, actually I am going to, now”
“Please do not make out in the garden, there are cameras there” Namjoon utters,
“Wait, Jungkook told me there are no cameras there”
Namjoon smiles sheepishly “I told him there are not, because I was mad at him, I thought he’ll do something embarrassing there, but he just strolls around mopping”
Taehyung rushes out of the beach.
He is ready to show his cards. The sun shines brightly, and the air is filled with the sweet scent of roses when Taehyung reaches the garden, the place Jungkook usually hides in. His heart is beating wildly in his chest.
As he approaches the rose garden, he sees Jungkook there,
on the bench, scribbling something on his journal. Their eyes meet, and he can see the hesitance in Jungkook’s gaze, the unknown that had plagued them both until now. But he also can see adoration there.
With trembling hands, Taehyung reaches up, their eyes locked.
"Jungkook," he begins, his voice soft and trembling. "I…"
Jungkook looks up at him, his eyes filled with cadence. Words gets stuck at the peek of his tongue. Jungkook strides towards him.
“I need to confess something, I…” His words are swallowed.
Taehyung closes his eyes and embraces the sudden kiss, the touch. The kiss which feels like a sacred confession. Their lips dance, entangled together by a deep passion. The kiss is slow, full of substance Taehyung can’t put a name on. Words die on his tongue.
His knees go weak. An arm curls around his waist, holding his body, grounding it.
When the kiss slows down, their foreheads pressed together, breaths hushed, Jungkook looks at him with a piercing gaze.
"I like you," Jungkook says, his voice soft. "I like you a bit too much."
It’s the first time someone says these words to him. Taehyung never knew his heart can ascend to fucking heavens from a mere three words.
There’s a clinical satisfaction in knowing that he is liked back, than he can stare with adoration at Jungkook and feel the same stare back.
It’s new, but it’s not nervous, it’s exciting. To get to know Jungkook and like him even more.
“I like you too,” Taehyung confesses. He leans in and pecks Jungkook’s lips quickly. There’s a clinical satisfaction in knowing he can kiss Jungkook whenever he wants.
“I talked to Namjoon and he explained everything about…”
“I talked to Jimin and he explained everything about…”
They speak at the same time. A laugh bursts out as they both fall in each other’s embrace.
Taehyung might just get addicted to the way Jungkook holds him,
softly like a feather, gentle and caring and warm.
“Something in me wanted more of you the moment you entered the villa. But I was afraid to get hurt again. And…” Jungkook speaks.
They’re resting amidst the roses. Taehyung’s head is resting on Jungkook’s lap.
Jungkook’s fingers are resting in Taehyung’s hair, drawing circles, playing.
“Who hurt you? It’s okay if you’re not okay with sharing it”
Jungkook smiles softly at him, he leans in and pecks his lips. Taehyung closes his eyes and enjoys it.
How Jungkook is warmer and brighter than the sun.
Is this what the beginning of love feels like? Can Love blossom in mere weeks?
“We were best friends. Me, Han and her, my ex Euna,” Jungkook starts, a wave of sadness falls on his face “We were the closest.
She confessed once that she liked me, she said she’ll fight to make me like her back. Soon, I did, fell in love too deep, too hard. Then after 3 years of dating, I walked in on her kissing Han, my supposedly other best friend. That night I lost my best friends, I lost my lover”
Taehyung’s heart roars. He hates cheaters. And he hates anyone that hurt Jungkook. He senses there's more to the story. He doesn’t want Jungkook to hurt remembering. He raises from Jungkook's lap, latches on the man who opened up to him. He hugs Jungkook like a sacred confession.
A confession that he will never hurt him.
“We should win this show” Taehyung finally says.
“What, that’s a bit sudden baby…”
As Taehyung’s whole face flushes red, Jungkook seems to catch on what he said. Because his face is painted the same colour.
“It slipped, I meant…”
Taehyung covers his face with his palm before Jungkook could say it was a mistake.
“You should let it slip more often” Taehyung confesses. “And I want to win this show, no way in hell am I letting Joy and Jae win, the ones who tried to keep us apart”
“You’re sure the imposter couple are them?”
Taehyung nods with a confident stance “They are the only ones who didn’t match with anyone else, they’re always together, they won 90% of the compatibility games and they tried to separate each couple, playing games with us”
Jungkook licks his lips with a grin “I must say you look hot when you’re competitive like this”
After their garden rendezvous, they play the compatibility game of the day and they win. The confessions built a seed of trust between them.
Taehyung got to know that there are a lot of layers to Jungkook. He’s sensitive and he was hurt enough in the past. He built walls around him for all these years. Taehyung is happy Jungkook let him enter his life. He’s a bit afraid that all the pent up attraction could die down
after the show ends, after they go back to their lives. They talk about it on their beach date.
Jungkook confesses that, “I became very calculated in the last years, and unavailable, not as any sort of strategy, no, it was because of fear to get hurt again.
Fear kept me from a lot of things, but the most poignant it kept me away from love, from trusting another person with my heart. I am so happy that my attraction towards you grew bigger than that fear. I am excited to return to my life after the show and explore it with you”
Jungkook looks at him with a piercing intense gaze, he leans in close to his ear and whispers “Also I can’t wait to make love to you, all these cameras around make me go fucking mad I can’t touch you the way I want.”
Jungkook has his many sides and Taehyung grows to adore each one of them. After their date, they decide to send on dates with new people Nabi and Jae.
Somehow Taehyung hopes Nabi will meet someone she truly likes and who likes her back. Sending Jae on a date was out of spite.
Needless to say, Joy doesn’t take it well. While Jae is on a date, she corners Taehyung in the kitchen. Her face is painted in anger, her eyes are red and it’s quite a frightening sight.
Taehyung hates confrontations. And he feels anxiety crippling up.
“How dare you send Jae on a date, our match is already fragile, he… pray that he doesn’t like the girl you choose for him, otherwise” Her hand is raised in the air, but she stops herself. Taeyung feels numb for a second, he freezes up, because everything happens too quickly.
“I am really fucking mad right now” She seizes him up with a deadly glare and then she leaves the kitchen, still cursing out loud. Taehyung sips the water and tries to calm his beating heart.
He really, really hates confrontations.
But he really, really likes the way Jungkook holds him. Because in the next second he feels arms hugging him from behind, then a light kiss on the neck, more butterfly kisses. Jungkook is clinging onto him for the next few hours. Taehyung is not complaining.
At least there’s no doubt now that Jae and Joy are really the imposter couple. Taehyung knew how to push the buttons well so that they reveal themselves.
Later that evening as Jae and Nabi enter the villa with their dates,
Taehyung sees from the corner of his eye as Jungkook is leaned on to Joy. He’s whispering something to her. Their faces are close and Taehyung feels a sting inside. But he trusts Jungkook, he doesn't it faze him or affect his behaviour.
On the other side of the terrace, Jungkook is flushed against Joy, he keeps his voice calm. He leans in and whispers to her ear “I can make your life a living hell if I want to. Don’t make me want to. Keep away from Taehyung.” He doesn’t stay to gauge the reaction.
He strides towards Jungkook, the sense of protectiveness still burns inside. He looks at Taehyung, his heart calms down, falls at peace. Jungkook holds his face. He kisses his smile.
“Baby, have you tried the white wine already? I fear Jin and Hobi will finish it all soon.”
Taehyung almost falls asleep in Jungkook’s embrace throughout the matching session. Nabi surprisingly matches the new girl she was sent on a date with, a somehow intimidating brunette who looks at everyone glaring except Nabi.
Jae still matches with Joy, but Taehyung observes them fighting in the kitchen.
At night, he and Jungkook make out lazily, hidden in the sheets from the entire world Their bodies are tangled together and they fall asleep like that. Taehyung will buy something good for Yoongi.
Because of Yoongi he came to this show. And because he came to this show, he met Jungkook. Because of Jungkook, Taehyung got to know why writers, singers and gods have made at from love. He can see himself falling in love with Jungkook slowly.
The next day they are all gathered for the compatibility game. Taehyung has no idea what to expect. He’s chatting with Jimin over the possible ideas as Jungkook is lost somewhere around the villa.
“I can’t believe it’s been almost a month in this show,” Jimin says excitedly.
“I can’t believe we actually might’ve some love here.”
Jimin turns to him with inquisitive eyes, “So, there is love between you and Jungkook already?”
Taehyung flushes pink “I was talking about you and Lia.”
Jimin doesn’t look like he believes it.
But he still chuckles and clings to Taehyung like he’s his lifeline. Taehyung enjoys the warmth.
“Me and Lia, I don’t think we’re doing well. You know it’s warm with her, but it’s not burning” Jimin confesses in a whisper.
“It’s not exciting, just comfortable, right?”
Jimin nods. Taehyung understands.
“Then just enjoy your time in the show, there is no commitment between you two after the show, don’t worry.”
Jimin hugs him tighter as if they didn’t spend time for a month and not just one day.
Taehyung’s eyes walk over the participants.
He sees Jungkook walking towards him with Namjoon trailing behind.
Taehyung instantly smiles and his heart speeds up. He’s burning inside. This is what Jimin was talking about. Jungkook reaches him and curls an arm around his body. He leans in, leaves a light kiss on his hair,
then his forehead, then his cheek. Taehyung keeps his chills and giggles at bay. He doesn’t show just how much it affects him. But he pushes himself harder against Jungkook’s chest, hiding his head in the crook of his neck, inhaling the green tea fragrance that became familiar.
Soon, Seojoon appears before them. He seems to be more excited each day he comes. It’s as if he knows something they don’t. Of course, he does. He’s one of the two producers of the show.
Jungkook settles behind him, letting his head fall on Taehyung’s shoulder.
His eyes are closed, his face is bathing in the golden array of the sun.
Taehyung looks at him and everything inside feels like floating.
Hobi and Jin are as always hyper active, cheering loudly and awaiting the compatibility game like it’s the funniest thing to do.
Nabi and her new match, Kie, are silently waiting for the rules.
Joy and Jae surprisingly are smiling and Taehyung doesn’t like it.
He is always afraid when mean people smile. It means they know something you don’t. Or they have something up their sleeve.
Taehyung keeps his stance confident. He can’t quiver when Jungkook’s head on his shoulder feels so secure and warm.
“I am very happy to see you tonight. I am going to ask you now to rank yourself from the most compatible couple to the least one.
Rank and place yourself in a line from 1 to 5 in order from the best compatible to the least.”
It elicits an intense chatter among them.
Most of them agree that Hobi and Jin should be in the first place. Taehyung looks around himself amidst the chaos.
He doesn’t know where to place themselves. And Jungkook is not helping either as he’s resting softly on his shoulder paying no mind to what’s happening around.
“I think Taehyung and Jungkook should be in second place,” Jimin suddenly says. He and Lia are staying in fourth place
“You think their love is not fragile, you think they’re strong enough for second place?” Joy exclaims with a chuckle. She sits with Jae in second place. Why is she chuckling?
A chuckle Taehyung doesn’t like. Because it seems like she knows something he doesn’t know.
Taehyung sees from the corner of his eye as Seojoon looks at them amusedly, clearly enjoying the drama.
“I think most will agree that the second place belongs to Taehyung and Jungkook,” Jimin keeps arguing.
“Yes, they have insane chemistry” Hobi encourages with a smile.
“Let them have the second place, it’s sure not you and Jae who deserve it, you two have zero chemistry”
Everyone turns abruptly to the person who just spoke, Nabi. Taehyung looks at Nabi too. And then at Joy’s shocked face.
Jimin is laughing loudly. The rest are just shocked.
Joy shuts up immediately, she doesn’t fight back as Jae drags her to the third place.
Nabi and her match are in fifth place as they are the newest match.
“I can’t believe you’re sleeping through all this chaos,” Taehyung whispers to Jungkook. Which seems to wake up the latter
Jungkook’s eyes are cloudy with a substance Taehyung can’t put a name on. He straightens his posture and takes Taehyung’s hand, guiding him to the second place silently. No one dares to say anything as they finish ranking themselves.
“If it was by me, we’d be right there in the first place, baby” Jungkook leans in and breathes the words against his neck. It spikes goosebumps on his skin.
“I think Hobi and Jin are good too” Taehyung argues, but there is nothing but softness in his voice.
“They could be, if only one of them was more honest”
“What are you talking about?” Taehyung turns to Jungkook with an inquiring gaze. Jungkook kisses his question away in a short swift peck.
“Eyes to the front baby, let’s see what this game is about”
“This was the game,” Seojoon announces with a grin “The winners of this game are Hobi and Jin. Glad to announce this is the last compatibility game of the show. We have 5 more days till the final. Can’t wait, I promise you a truly entertaining show”
“Wait, this was the game?” Jimin asks, everyone mirroring the same confusion.
“Yes, the game was to rank and decide by yourself who is the most compatible couple.” Seojoon leaves them all with another wave of confusion. That man likes to torment them like this.
Taehyung can breath now relieved. He doesn't expect anything sort of surprise to come from Hobi and Jin. They are not Joy and Jae to send Jungkook on multiple dates with hope he'll match someone else other than Taehyung. All iis left now is to enjoy this place till the final.
The moment the game ends Jungkook drags him out on the beach.
“What are you doing?” Taehyung asks between giggles as Jungkook hovers over him on the sand, tickling him.
“I want to spend as much time as I can with you” Jungkook says through the kisses.
“We have all the time in the world after the show” Taehyung whispers between chuckles.
Jungkook doesn’t reply back, instead he’s lowering his kisses from his cheeks to his neck.
“Cameras, cameras” Taehyung manages to say through hushed breaths and giggles.
“There are no cameras here on the beach, the only place that doesn’t have them” Jungkook explains.
“But Namjoon said...”
“Namjoon doesn't know this show better than me. Trust me, baby”
Taehyung lets his head fall on the sand. He lets Jungkook kiss his worries away.
“Let’s play a game,” Taehyung says “For each correct answer we earn the right to a kiss or to a touch”
Jungkook raises his eyes from where he started trailing kisses on the lower abdomen. His eyes seem in a haze, dark, intense, hungry.
“I love games,” Jungkook agrees.
“Um, I have only one best friend.” Taehyung says “Is it true or is it false?”
Jungkook doesn’t take much time before he answers “It’s true, he’s a producer, Min Yoongi if I am not mistaken” Jungkook lowers to leave another trail of kisses.
Taehyung stops him with amused grin
“It’s false, I have two best friends now, Yoongi and Jimin”
Jungkook scoffs, pouts for good measure “Now you just don’t want kisses, that’s it.”
“It’s your turn now”
Jungkook nods “Well, if we’re on the topic of best friends, I have 2 best friends, is it true or is it false”
Taehyung has no idea actually. He knows Namjoon might be one of the friends, but what about the others. He knows Jungkook once had two best friends who betrayed him, Han and Euna, but now… He still doesn't really know much about Jungkook. Taehyung goes with his intuition.
“It’s true” Taehyung exclaims.
“It is, but even if it wasn’t I would still make you win so I can get my kiss” Jungkook leans in and presses their foreheads together.
It’s heaven and a single breath separating two bodies that burn for each other.
The kiss that follows is excruciatingly slow, gentle, cloudy. Their lips intertwine in a delicate swirl of touches. It’s only messy in the way they don’t breath for 5 minutes and keep feeling each other through their tangled lips.
Needless to say they don’t play much after this.
“You said you like games” Taehyung rasps as they stop the kiss to breathe for some seconds.
“I might just like kissing you more.”
As the sun begins to dip below the horizon, casting the sky in hues of pink, orange, and gold, the two lay entwined on a blanket on the beach.
The sound of the waves crashing against the shore muffles out the sound of their kissing.
Their kisses are slow and deep, as they savor each other's warmth and taste. The gentle breeze carries the salty scent of the ocean, mingled with the sweet fragrance of their bodies.
But amidst the euphoria of their embrace, Taehyung can’t shake off a sense of unease. He can feel Jungkook's hurried touches and senses that something is off.
As they kiss, Taehyung runs his hand through Jungkook's hair and pulls away slightly, looking deep into his eyes.
"Is everything okay?" he asks, his voice barely above a whisper.
Jungkook looks away, gazing out at the horizon. "Yes," he replies, his voice quivering.
Taehyung doesn’t relent. "I just have this feeling that this might be one of our last moments together."
The words hang heavily in the air, threatening to shatter the perfect moment they had created.
Taehyung doesn’t want to let the moment go. He leans in and kisses Jungkook again, fiercely.
The sun has almost disappeared from view by the time they break apart,
panting and breathless. They lay there, watching the sky fade to darkness, not wanting to move, not wanting to break the spell. Taehyung wonders if this spell will break once the show ends.
Jungkook turns towards him, cupping his face in his hands. "Let’s go back to them."
Jungkook holds his hand as they walk back to the villa.
As Taehyung lays on the bed, late past midnight, he thinks that he truly is ready for Jungkook to hurt him. Because the intensity of touches, kisses, words and memories might overcome that.
Or maybe Taehyung is not ready to lose Jungkook. He is afraid of what, he doesn’t know, he doesn’t want to be greedy. He knows he craved love for a long time. He knows love is never real without a pinch of pain, or maybe a sea.
The next morning they are gathered in the big hall
They wait for Jin and Hobi to come and announce who they send on dates for the last time.
Taehyung waks today towards Jimin and sits near him, letting Jimin engulf him in his warm embrace.
Jungkook is resting on the same couch as Joy and Jae.
Taehyung woke up late today and the bed was empty.
When Hobi and Jin enter the villa, they do not seem radiant. Jin in fact looks miserable and Hobi, he just looks hurt for some reason.
“I am really sorry Taehyung, I tried to…” Hobi clutches next to him.
Taehyung doesn’t understand what’s happening.
Jin remains on his spot. “Today on dates will go Lia.” Jin pauses as if he is pained to speak the next name. “And the other person going on a date is Jungkook.”
Silence settles over them. Jimin looks in shock at him.
Taehyung can only see the plastered smirk on Joy’s face.
“And who did you send him on a date with?” Joy asks, voice loud and free.
Taehyung can see Jungkook closing his eyes, tongue pushed against his cheek.
“He will go on a date with his ex, popular news forecaster, Euna”
Taehyung can’t hear much around him. He stands up from the couch and walks outside. He can hear Hobi calling after him. Taehyung ignores it. He’s just too exhausted. Is love supposed to be exhausting? Even when Taehyung matches with Jungkook, something always comes in the way,
like walking through a never ending garden with thorns.
Still, Taehyung knows he has the right to be hurt, but he doesn’t have the right to blame Jungkook for his pain. It’s a dating show and even if they’re a match there were never promises of commitment.
They are all free to explore new options, even options from the past.
Still, it’s harder to breathe.
On the other part of the villa, in the kitchen there can be heard Jungkook’s enraged voice.
“Is she fucking insane?” Jungkook speaks through rage and red eyes. “I don’t think she is playing by the rules anymore, this game is a fucking mess”
“Kook, she sure did break some rules, but let’s not pretend that you will not break them too. It’s always funny to see…”
“Of course you enjoy the drama, Jae.”
“All the past games weren’t that entertaining like this, let’s admit. You got a stellar idea this time, a dating show man, that sure is sick. Now are you that stressed to see your beloved Euna after almost 5 years?” Jae speaks amusedly.
“You know it’s not…”
“You’re worried about Taehyung?”
They fall silent when they hear footsteps approaching.
Taehyung heads to the kitchen to grab a glass of water. When he enters it, he sees Jungkook and Jae by the kitchen counter.
Taehyung is silent as he heads to the cupboard and grabs a glass of water.
Jae walks out of the kitchen with a wink. Jungkook sighs heavily before he approaches Taehyung who sits on the couch in the far corner. Jungkook sits there as well.
When he inclines his head to catch Taehyung’s lips, eyes closing anticipating the warmth, Taehyung averts his face, the lips landing messily on his cheek.
Instead of retreating back, Jungkook walks his lips topsy-turvy, on the cheek and then down to the corner of Taehyung’s lips
Taehyung raises his head higher so that Jungkook ends up kissing his chin instead.
Jungkook resigns and curls to the other corner, resting his head on the backrest, body lazily slounged over the entire couch. His hair is falling waves on his eyes.
“I am sorry, Taehyung. I will do so that yesterday’s moments will not be our last”
Taehyung is still staring ahead, confused, puzzled. Jungkook leaves the kitchen. He walks past Joy and murmurs against her ear “Count your fucking days”
He goes to his date. Taehyung stays in the mansion and mourns a love that didn’t even have a chance to blossom. He hates feeling insecure, weak or afraid. He likes the comfort and the fire in their relationship. He abhors the bumps in it though.
Taehyung strolls through the rose garden when he sees Jae approaching him.
“You have another gossip for me?”
Jae chuckles softly as he sits on the gazebo “I am sure you have a lot of questions and I am simply here to answer them”
“How could you ever match with Joy?”
Taehyung asks, venom laced in his voice. Because there’s an insane difference between Joy and Jae.
Jae seems to share the sentiment. “Joy is a complicated person, she acts for right reasons but using absolutely wrong methods.”
“She’s obsessed with Jungkook” Taehyung says,
lips downcast and eyes lost on the fallen petals.
“This show is obsessed with Jungkook, if you didn’t notice the game revolves around him.”
“Maybe because the entire show is built to test him” Jay says lightly. “But it’s just one theory, do not take my words seriously”
He starts to laugh louder.
Taehyung keeps staring at him, puzzled “How did Joy threaten Jin, there is no way he’d send Jungkook on a date”
“Well, Jin, Jin, our beloved Jin with his perfect match Hobi, rumour has it that Jin is cuffed” Jae supplies the gossip through giggles
“Rumour has it he has someone waiting for him home and he came to the show only to get the prize money and the fame”
“Poor Hobi, I know. There’ll be more than one broken heart at the finale of the show”
“I need to drink” Taehyung says as he bows before Jae
and walks out of the garden.
“Wait, Taehyung, Jungkook really l…”
He shuts Jae down. Taehyung heads towards Namjoon, who is sitting with his laptop in the worker’s rooms. He sees Taehyung approaching and smiles instantly.
“Can you take me to that bar you went with Jungkook, I need to get drunk or else I will go and drown myself in the ocean.”
Namjoon chuckles, but he closes his laptop and stands up. “That’s a bit dramatic.”
“This show is dramatic” Taehyung whines as he latches on Namjoon’s arm.
“So you want to get drunk tonight?”
Taehyung nods earnestly.
“Let’s do it” Namjoon says as they walk out of the villa towards the local bar.
Three hours in and Namjoon sighs heavily. Jungkook will kill him.
Taehyung takes another sip as he complains about the show “Love is not real, it is corrupt and we…”
Namjoon nods as he prays to all gods that Taehyung can handle his alcohol well. But seemingly, he can’t.
“I am just so tired and so in love, why isn’t it easier?” Taehyung confesses. Maybe for the first time, loud and so raw. Namjoon’s breath catches in his throat.
“Love is supposed to be easy, yes. Loving someone is easy. Being secure in a relationship makes loving someone easy.
But to be secure in the relationship is harder, it’s a process of building values together, trust, comfort, honesty, acceptance, respect. Those values do not appear from thin air.”
Taehyung hiccups as Namjoon tries to comfort him. “You remind me of my best friend, Yoongi”
“Because we’re both smart?” Namjoon tries.
“No, because you’re both hopeless romantics”
Taehyung keeps nursing his drink as he watches the people around him. Despite his efforts, he can't shake the doubts and insecurities that plague him, making him question every moment.
As he sits there, lost in his thoughts, with Namjoon walking to the restroom, he feels a hand on his shoulder. Turning around, he sees a tall handsome man smiling at him, his eyes glittering in the dim light of the bar. The man leans in close, whispering something in his ear
that he can't quite hear over the pounding music.
Feeling a sudden surge of annoyance, Taehyung shrugs off the man’s hand and turns back to his drink. He doesn’t want anyone else's attention; he just wants Jungkook's. Taehyung never craved attention, until he tasted Jungkook’s.
Taehyung is staring dreamily at the exit of the bar, remembering the last days. As if on cue, Jungkook’s illusion appears at the exit. Taehyung’s heart spikes up from a mere illusion, he’s such a fool. He blinks multiple times but the illusion doesn’t disappear.
Jungkook’s eyes are scanning the room until they lock onto Taehyung.
Taehyung's heart skips a beat as he watches Jungkook make his way over, his sweaty shirt clinging to his muscled chest and his tattoos peeking over the sleeves. His hair is sweaty too. He looks like he ran.
Taehyung turns back to the bar. He can’t overlook the excitement spiking inside. He feels another tap on his shoulder. Taehyung turns with a blinding smile, but he sees again the man from behind and not Jungkook. Disappointment simmers inside.
“Please go away, you’re not Jungkook. Taehyung speaks as he makes to turn back.
“I can be whoever you want tonight, just let me know” The man speaks on a low tone.
“How about you are one with the ground if you don’t take your lousy hands off him?” A mellow deep voice resounds
And Taehyung beams when he sees Jungkook right in front of him.
“I was just joking, okay. No need to be angry”
Jungkook completely ignores the man as he walks in Taehyung’s personal space, invades it, he settles between Taehyung’s legs and cups his face.
“Why didn’t you fight that man like in movies?” Taehyung asks with a pout. Jungkook pecks his lips once, twice.
“Because I couldn’t care less about him right now. I care about you. Are you okay?” Jungkook inspects with his gaze and his fingers every part of Taehyung.
When he is reassured that everything's okay, Jungkook surges forward and catches his lips, sucking on the bottom lip and thrusting deeper, taking all of Taehyung’s breath away. He leans back after a moment with a soft smile “Let’s go back to the villa, baby”
“How about Namjoon?”
“I texted him I’ll take you back.”
They exit the bar and Taehyung can already feel the dizziness taking over him, though the euphoria is stronger, he doesn’t know if the source of it is the alcohol or Jungkook. Taehyung tries to march forward, but his legs are wobbly.
“Want me to give you a ride?” Jungkooka asks, trying to hide his smile.
Jungkook watches with a smile as Taehyung stumbles, his cheeks flushed. Adorable.
"Come on, Tae," Jungkook says, bending down to offer Taehyung a piggyback ride. "Let's get you back to the villa."
Taehyung giggles, his arms wrapping tightly around Jungkook's neck as he climbs onto his back. "I should get drunk more often."
Jungkook laughs, feeling Taehyung's warm breath against his ear. "You're lucky I am enamoured with you, or I wouldn't be carrying your drunk ass."
As they make their way back, Taehyung chatters incessantly, his words slurring together as he rambles on about nothing in particular. Jungkook listens with amusement, feeling a warm sense of contentment as he carries Taehyung through the warm summer night.
"I just want this show to end and for us to be together already, just the two of us" Taehyung says suddenly, his voice serious despite the drunken slur.
Jungkook pauses, feeling a surge of emotion well up inside him. "I promise it’ll end soon, Tae," he says softly.
"I am sorry you were put under so much doubt and insecurities."
Taehyung's arms tighten around Jungkook's neck, his head resting against his back. "How was your date today?," he asks, his voice barely above a whisper.
They continue to walk, the sounds of the night surrounding
them as they make their way back to the villa.
“I thought I will be angry or sad or vengeful when I meet her again. But the only thought as we stood there on the beach and she looked at me with tears and hope in her eyes… the only thought in my head was worry,
I worried that I am losing you as I spend more time with her. I would get lost in my head, think over if you ate something or what are you doing. I would count down the time until it lasts. And then I rushed to the villa and you were not there.”
Taehyung feels his heart beat madly in his chest for this man.
“Oh, you really like me that much?”
“You have no idea just how much, baby”
Jungkook can't help but feel a sense of peace settle over him, knowing that he has Taehyung by his side again.
As they arrive at the villa, Jungkook carefully sets Taehyung down on the bed, tucking him in and brushing his hair away from his forehead.
“Shouldn’t we attend the matching session?” Taehyung's eyes flutter closed, a soft smile on his lips as he asks the question.
“No, no, it’s okay. I told them we’re a match already.”
“And what about Euna?”
“I don’t know, didn’t stay back to see what she was doing, but most probably she’ll go home as no one would match her.”
Taehyung nuzzles his face in Jungkook’s hand.
“I will bring you a glass of water” Jungkook says.
Taehyung straightens up and walks to the bathroom, he starts brushing his teeth. Jungkook appears in the creek of the bathroom with a glass of water and a grin.
“I think you’re not that drunk as you pretended…”
Taehyung blushes. But he recovers soon. “If I wouldn’t be drunk, you wouldn’t treat me like a baby” He confesses.
Jungkook leans down, pressing a gentle kiss to Taehyung's forehead.
They settle in bed soon. "Goodnight, my love," he whispers,
feeling his heart swell with affection for Taehyung.
“Tell me a fairy tale” Taehyung murmurs as Jungkook plays with his hair.
“It’s not exactly a fairy tale, it is a story, but a very important one, are you listening carefully?”
Taehyung nods, opening his eyes.
“There was once a boy who didn’t know yet that he was born to get heartbroken…”
A contented sigh escapes Taehyung’s lips. They fall asleep in each other’s arms.
Jungkook wakes up in his bed alone. There is a letter written on the pillow
‘I need to clear my head before the finale, let’s keep away from each other’
Jungkook crumbles the paper. He knew that the pressure of the show will get to Taheyung’s head. He knew it’ll be so easy to lose Taehyung. Just as easy as loving him.
Fuck this show, fuck everything.
For the entire day, Taehyung doesn’t see Jungkook. And there’s two more days till the final. Seojoon told them there is one last announcement coming tomorrow, a day before the show ends. Taehyung doesn’t ponder over that. He’s too overwhelmed with what is already happening.
Because his anxiety eased during the entire show, he acted boldly and became more social. He fought for what he wanted, words, actions, expressing his feelings. In the last minute, everything comes crashing down on him. It’s extremely overwhelming.
He can’t split what he’s feeling from what the show created in him, the villa, the games, the drama, the atmosphere. It’s all a mess inside his mind. And worst of all, he doesn’t see Jungkook at all. The man is out of his vision for the entirety of the day.
Taehyung doubts his feelings towards Jungkook a lot, but the ache inside him right now is real, it’s raw and it’s painful. Belatedly, Taehyung realises it’s been only a day and Taehyung misses him. He wonders if outside of the premises of the show, it’ll be the same.
Will he miss Jungkook once the show ends?
Jin and Hobi are the ones who have the most fun. They organise games and try to inflict a bit of spirit in the others. Joy and Jae are quiet, luring around. It’s almost frightening. Nabi and her match Kie are spending time on the beach.
Taehyung is seated between Lia and Jimin as they watch the sunset brazing over the ocean.
“This show changed me a lot” Lia murmurs.
Taehyung can see a tear clinging to the edge of her eye. He agrees. It pushed him out of his shell, made learn through all the bad and good.
It made him learn how butterflies truly feel and how a mind can be wired to revolve around a single person for entire days. Your mind… what a tricky little thing.
“I’ll cry some days after the show ends,” Jimin adds, both his arms draped over Taehyung and Lia.
“I’ll be there to wipe out the tears” Taehyung encourages, forcing a smile on his face. Jimin might see through it. Because he clings to him tighter and whispers to his ear, “It’ll be alright”
Taehyung knows that it will be alright, once he rejects Jungkook’s in the final.
It will be safe, he will be protected, back in his comfort shell where no one could hurt him. Where sunsets are melancholic like this, not burning scorching sun with a palette of colours.
They walk back to the villa. Taehyung stays behind when he sees Nabi alone on the terrace.
She’s scribbling down something. Taehyung doesn’t want to disturb her and at the same time something tugs him to her.
He pauses as he reaches the couch. His hands are fidgeting.
“You can sit” She mumbles without raising her eyes, still focused on the paper.
Taehyung keeps silent, it’s one of the last days but he doesn’t want to leave feeling bitter about bonds he can change. He’s still forming sentences in his head, plausible conversation starters, when Nabi throws the journal on the couch and turns to him,
eyes of an evening purple glow, matching her dress.
“I watched this movie once, about how dating shows are made” She starts, voice thin, almost bruised. “They showed in detail how the participants are manipulated by the producers to act a certain way,
how the show’s workers use their insecurities, past, preferences to create action based on their drama script. I was watching and telling myself how foolish must those people be to let themselves be so easily manipulated, by the ambiance, heated moments.”
Her voice palpably breaks “In the end I became such a person myself, let my feelings get the best of me.”
“You have the right to feel that way, it’s your feelings, they are valid” Taehyung immediately supplies. His hands itching to hold hers for some reason, just to ground her.
“I knew what I am doing by coming to this show, I agreed, I love games too much, to be challenged, to win, to prove wrong, the adrenaline and the rush. I lost this time.”
“Or maybe you won something bigger” Taehyung tries as his eyes draft to Kie, sipping her martini by the pool
Nabi’s eyes soften when they land on her match.
“I am yet to learn how to love someone healthily, I still am learning how you need to love.” She turns back to him “I don’t regret it. I sought this peace for a long time.
You know I had this belief that love is fire burning, volcano erupting in my chest. That’s what my friends told me. My father doesn’t like to talk about love.”
“It's different for everyone.”
Nabi nods “There isn’t a shape of love that fits everyone.
It’s what we need at the moment, it’s what we feel the best with. We may discover hundreds of different forms and emotions. Don’t let anyone tell you this is supposed to be like this or you are supposed to do something. No one can know better than you.”
They are so engrossed in the talk that Taehyung doesn’t notice Kie walking up to them, a pair of red shorts and a red top with a bandana holding her curls.
“I hope you find your shape of love and are happy with it” Taehyung whispers.
He stands up, brushes the invisible dust of his pants.
“And I think you already found yours” Nabi says before he walks back inside the villa, leaving the two girls alone.
He did find it, without searching, without expecting. Now what does he do with it. How does he handle it.
He pauses by the door, he tries to listen to any sound. The bedroom is empty. Jungkook is not there. Taehyung walks further and enters an empty spare bedroom. It’s insane how his hunger could be satiated by a mere sound of his slowly becoming favourite voice.
Or at least the musk scent or the low chuckle. Does he dive deeper into it? Does he cut its roots before it grows and hardens? Jungkook was something to lean on, to ground him, to make him burn, to make him feel the tip of the ocean at his fingers. And it’s been only a month.
What happens with Taehyung’s heart if it prolongs? Taehyung knows he wrote the letter to Jungkook, he wanted… still wants space. But he may just want Jungkook more. Is he allowed to feel like this? Taehyung crumbles on the empty cold bed. The window is half open.
His heart still aches. It’s been only a day.
Sleep comes early to him. Because there’s no one tormenting him in his sleep. There he walks on the sand, someone is kissing his worries and doubts away.
But it ends shortly with the loud screech. It's morning already. he groans.
“Wake up, it’s party time”
Taehyung wakes his eyes begrudgingly seeing Jin at the door, dressed in a red suit. It’s 8 in the morning.
“Today we party all day. That’s what Seojoon said. He’s waiting upstairs to tell us the announcement.”
Jin disappears swiftly.
Taehyung groans. He doesn’t have time to dress properly. Taehyung gets out of his room, just a pair of black shorts on him, exposed chest filled with droplets of sweat. He screeches at his eyes and tries to keep them open. It’s only 8 am.
As he enters the main area, everyone is already gathered on the couch. But Taheyung can’t see everyone, because the moment he steps in, his eyes are drawn to the only person that makes his breath hitch. Jungkook is comfortably seated on an armchair, legs spread apart,
hair sweatily falling on his forehead. His shirt is unbuttoned and he looks deadly bored.
It’s impossible to catch his gaze, Taheyung realises. Not that he wants to. He sits on the nearby chair and tries not to let sleep steal his attention away.
Seojoon walks to them with a serious expression on his face. Taehyung can’t care a lot about what could be the sudden change in his mood. He won't let this show make the gears run in his mind. Jimin jumps in his arms the moment Seojoon starts his announcement.
“My darlings, welcome back to our dating show. It's been an exciting journey, and we've had some incredible moments along the way. But we're now at the end of the road, and we have to make some tough decisions. But before that, let’s have a full day of party.
And we’re a little bit people for a party, don’t you think so? So, I brought more people, all participants of The Perfect Match are welcomed here”
Then the doors open and a crowd of around 10 people enter the villa. Taehyung recognizes some of them,
they are all the people that have been brought new in the show by going on dates with the existing participants and then left the show.
Taehyung basks in the chaos that emerges. Belatedly, he realises Jungkook’s ex is here too.
After Jungkook’s bedtime story, Taehyung knows just how much Jungkook was hurt by her and just how much they had together.
A bitter aftertaste is left in his mouth. Taehyung tightens his grip on Jimin. Jimin turns to him, worried, filling his eyes. Taehyung mumbles a ‘later’.
The other people are seated around, some standing. Taehyung sees her. Lean frame, black long hair, tattooed sleeves, foxy smile. Her eyes are trained on Jungkook. Taehyung sees the moment Jungkook’s eyes rise and fall on her as well.
He still looks deadly bored, but there is an edge to his look.
“You all have given it your all, and you've all shown what it takes to win someone's heart. You've gone on some fantastic dates, shared some unforgettable moments, and formed some fantastic connections.
But we're now at the stage where we decide how strong those connections are. The decision isn't easy, but we have to look at the relationships that have developed and consider if it’s worth fighting for them or giving up.
I want to thank you all for your hard work, for your willigness to open up, to be brave, to act on your desires. You all are amazing. And you all deserve a great party. Go get ready and come downstairs. I will host games, dance party and a good chunk of music. Let’s have fun!”
“Hey, let’s get ready together” Jimin says, snapping his attention by a flicker of his fingers. Taehyung gets his gaze away from the people around him. They all chat loudly with each other and they are already dressed for the party. Seojoon mingles between them.
“Stop looking at Jungkook” Jimin whispers in his ear as he drags him upstairs. “We need to look spectacular tonight.”
“But…” His words are cut by the door snapping loudly behind.
“I have the perfect outfits for this. I am so excited, also nostalgic I might cry,
but that’s not important… hey, hey, Taehyung, are you alright?” Jimin crunches next to him, voice soft.
Taehyung curls in himself and closes his eyes. “I don’t know what I am doing, I don’t know what to do, I am so lost…”
Jimin hugs him for a couple of minutes,
but the embrace is gone soon. Taehyung opens one eye, then another.
Jimin is proudly standing before him, holding a bottle of absolute vodka in his hand.
“You’re crazy,” Taheyung says before sniffling.
“That’s exactly what we need right now. We also need to talk. Come on.”
“But Jungkook is there with his ex and she’s so pretty, and they have such a history together and he has so much more experience than me and I never even dated I just…”
Jimin pushes the full to the brim glass of vodka in his hands.
“Let’s drink first, then words will come easier, and that stone pressing against your chest will dissipate.”
And they do drink, drown approximately 4 shots before everything becomes dizzy and the worry settles down.
Taehyung looks at himself in the mirror.
The wine red shirt that exposes his chest sits leisurely on his body and the black pants tug at his lower abdomen, gripping his waist hard. Jimin is wearing a full black outfit with belts and a corset hugging his waist.
“What happened between you and Jungkook, haven’t seen you together yesterday at all” Jimin starts, putting makeup on his face
Taehyung adds a bit of blush to his cheeks too. His lips are painted dark red.
“Too much happened that I can’t tell you, sorry,
but mainly I just am afraid of what I am feeling and I am afraid if it’s right. All this show, it’s a little game and do you know who created this game?”
“The producers?” Jimin inquires as he applies some dark shadow to his eyelids.
“What?” Jimin turns to him, eyes wide, mouth hanging open.
Taheyung shakes his head “He didn’t really create it, I mean he did, only the idea, he’s not a producer or something, but he wanted to have some fun and they have this wild games with his best friends,
you know how rich people entertain themselves. Robbing a bank or opening a club or starting a drug empire or I don’t know creating a dating show. Not to that extent, but they all love games, each of them has their own ideas. It’s all a mess,
but what I mean is how do I know that what I am feeling for Jungkook is real, that it’s not scripted, that it’s not part of the game…”
Jimin is visibly confused. He didn’t understand a thing, but he still walks towards Taehyung and cups his face. Because he got one thing right.
“You know your feelings for Jungkook are real, don’t you? What really haunts you is if Jungkook’s feelings are truly real or only a part of the game’s rush”
“I… what” He tries to breath deeply, to keep his tears away and then it dawns on him “Oh”
“Oh” Jimin repeats. “Those are valid fears and only Jungkook can truly answer them and only time can show if his answers are true. It comes to the only question, is your relationship with him worth risking your comfort over?”
“What do you think?”
Jimin sits next to him “I think that it depends for everyone. For me, love is so rare, true love that one that makes your burn inside, but also feeling at peace near them, that love that will still burn when you’ll be old, will only become more lenient fire,
but still there, the flicker that keeps you together. I’d fight for that love, but only knowing that my partner fights too. For me it’s a mix of fire and water, I need to feel both in a relationship, keeping me on my toes, but also holding my hand through hard times.”
Jimin sighs dreamily “I am yet to find such a person for myself. Lia is nice, but nice doesn’t keep relationships for long, there’s a lot of people I feel nice with, you know. Also, I think we need another shot and then we join the party.” Jimin pours them another two shots.
He leans in and kisses Taehyung on the cheek.
“If there is something this show I am absolutely grateful for is meeting you” Jimin drowns the shot and smiles blindingly.
Taehyung follows. “Let’s spend a lot of summers and winters together.”
When they walk the stairs, it starts feeling like the end. In a day they’ll need to leave the villa. Taehyung needs to face his fears and doubts. But for today he wants to let go, have fun and bind goodbye to all the monets shared here.
There is loud music, chatter... Jungkook.
The villa is alive with the sound of music, laughter, and the clinking of glasses. Taehyung sways to the beat of the music sitting by a table with Jimin and Lia, his eyes scanning the crowded room.
Taehyung spots him by the bar, his heart skipping a beat.
His pulse races as he watches Jungkook laugh and converse with the other contestants, eyes bright with the effects of the alcohol. Taehyung tries to gulp the bitter feeling, seeing Euna among that group at the bar. Even if Jungkook is not directly talking to her,
even if Jungkook is not smiling specifically at her.
As if sensing his gaze, Jungkook turns his head, his eyes locking onto Taehyung’s. He feels his cheeks flush with warmth as he quickly looks away, his heart aching.
Taehyung tries to focus on the conversation of the people around him, but his mind keeps drifting back to Jungkook. He feels a sudden urge to talk to him, to clear the air between them. But it may be the alcohol in him, it may be his aching heart. He doesn’t do it.
Taehyung smiles at something Hobi says. And then Seojoon clinks his glass. Everyone gathers around him. Seojoon is in a great mood to play 7 minutes in heaven.
Taehyung is in the mood to drag Jungkook upstairs, urges waking up inside him.
Yes, Jungkook wakes up hidden desires inside of him, something that he thought he’ll never experience, that he won’t find his person, the one that populates your mind and never leaves it.
People are already dizzy, champagne and cocktails travel among them.
Taehyung leans on Jimin, his eyes are set on Seojoon, but he doesn’t listen to anything. He’s lost in his mind.
A bit lost in Jungkook, who’s wearing a white crumpled to the edges shirt, unbuttoned to the belly, his neck is adorned by a golden necklace
and his thighs are hugged by a pair of black jeans. He looks like a sin.
“Stop salivating,” Jimin says, pinching his waist. Taehyung sobers up.
“Okay, first pair to enjoy the heaven is Taehyung and Joy, what a great pair, come here”
Taehyung doesn’t manage to process what’s happening, he’s pushed from behind by Jimmin, by a chuckle, people are cheering. And then Joy is dragging him inside the closet.
What a weird situation he found himself into.
They keep silent for the first minute. It’s plenty awkward.
“I don’t like you,” Joy cuts the silence.
“It’s mutual,” Taehyung confirms. They don’t look each other in the eye. Their gazes are directed to the other wall of the closet, opposite each other.
“I am glad”
Taehyung cracks first “Why don’t you like me though?” It comes out as a whine.
Joy seems surprised at the question. She grits her teeth “I have an allergy to good people” Her tone is serious. Taehyung freezes for a second.
“Of course not."
She continues "I don’t like many people. It’s nothing personal.”
“It feels very personal to me,” Taehyung complains as he sits on the floor.
Joy keeps standing. “Let’s just say I thought another person is better for Jungkook”
Oh, “You really like Jungkook”
The confession falls upon them.
Joy falls on the floor near him “I really believed in friends to lovers trope for such a long time. I have been with him after the break up, I have been with him all this time, I thought this show will be the breaking point, instead he just…”
“He matched me”
Taehyung nods. “Oh, and what are you going to do?”
“Nothing, frankly I did enough. I just want him to be happy, no matter with who. Such a fool to believe that for love you need to fight endlessly.
Not unless the other person fights for you too, earns for you with the same intensity.”
“Someone does… earn for you”
“I wish I did the same. Just… don’t hurt him”
“He hurts me too” Taehyung whispers closing his eyes.
“Then you’re a perfect match, okay I was nice enough, I want to vomit, my skin is itching. I am out of here.” Joy walks out of the closet, she steps towards the terrace, but then stops swiftly, turning to Taheyung, who is still laying on the floor.
“I am… just, fuck, sorry for everything, I shouldn’t hurt others when I am hurt. Yes, anyway… I’ll go”
“What are you sorry for?”
“I wish love hurt less”
She leaves the bedroom.
Taehyung stumbles on his feet out of the closet.
At least he doesn’t have any bad blood with anyone here. His heart is at peace somehow. But not really. He walks and joins Jimin who assaults him with questions. The next for the 7 minutes in heaven are chosen Jungkook and Euna. Taehyung wants to choke Seojoon.
Taehyung goes to the bar. He grabs another shot. There’s a presence near him.
“Welcome back to the heartbroken club,” Jae exclaims raising his drink in the air. “You’re so selfless in your desires, Taehyung. You need to be more selfish,
if you find something worth keeping, if it’s mutual, keep it, don’t let it go just because of fears, doubts, those disappear with time, with work.”
“I can’t just barge in that closet and jump Jungkook,” Taehyung whines as he pours himself another drink.
“Is it why you’re drinking now like crazy, because Jungkook went with Euna for 7 minutes in heaven?” Jae’s eyes dart behind him and then he chuckles “I don’t think you have anything to worry about”
Jae walks away and Taehyung turns confused, only to be met with the musk scent,
with the golden rush eyes. Jungkook is here. He’s not in the closet with Euna.
“Do you like dancing?” Jungkook asks, voice fragile.
“Oh” Jungkook steps back, but his hand is held tightly.
“Ask me anyway,” Taehyung counters.
“Do you want to dance?”
As a slower song starts to play, Taehyung and Jungkook step closer together, their bodies swaying in sync with the beat. Everything else around them seems to fade away.
Their eyes meet, and Taehyung feels a shiver run down his spine
as he sees desire, adoration, earning in Jungkook’s gaze. He moves closer to him, his heart pounding in his chest as they continue to dance.
With each touch of their bodies, Taehyung feels a surge of passion course through his veins.
It feels more than just a dance, it feels like a confession. Their bodies move together as if they were one, their movements becoming more and more intimate as the music continues to play. Taehyung missed this, the touch, the lingering gaze, the warmth.
And then Jungkook leans into his ear and kisses his earlobe, softly.
“I missed you,” Jungkook whispers, his hot breath biting at taehyung’s neck.
“Me too…” Taehyung doesn’t finish his thoughts. He lets his head fall on Jungkook’s shoulder.
He lets himself freely fall in love with Jungkook.
As they dance, Taehyung feels himself becoming lost in the moment, lost in the sensation of Jungkook's touch. His hands are strong and gentle at the same time, pulling him close to him as they move to the rhythm of the music.
After they matched, Jungkook although has kept to himself, has been quiet, more reserved, he stayed by Taehyung's side. He ditched his date with his ex to run to Taehyung, he carried him home and opened his heart to him. He ditched everything if Taheyung appeared on his horizont.
No one exists around them anymore.
As the song draws to a close, Taehyung and Jungkook continue to sway together, their foreheads touching as they look deeply into each other's eyes. They are both breathing heavily, their hearts beating as one.
“Whatever you choose tomorrow, know that my feelings towards you are not your responsibility, you’re not chained to them and…”
“Be my match” Taehyung urges.
“But, I mean are you sure?” Jungkook’s voice is rushed, breaking at the edges, he’s such a vision.
Taehyung nods. Jungkook seals it with a kiss. It’s short, it’s swift, it’s sweet. It’s a promise.
For a moment, there is nothing else in the world but the two of them, lost in each other's embrace. And for the rest of the night no one else exists anymore.
Not Seojoon, not Euna, not Joy or Jae, no one.
As the night wears on, Taehyung and Jungkook continue to dance. They catch the sunrise on the beach, together, kisses on skin, arms entangled, hearts too. It feels liberating, like he's floating. It feels a lot like love.
“Be my match, Kim Taehyung. Because I’ve known you for less than a month and suddenly all my love songs are about you. I can’t wait to discover and explore the world with you by my side.” Jungkook asks at the end of the show, the next day.
“Yes. I think you’re worth it, Jeon Jungkook, beyond my imagination. I can’t wait to learn more about love by your side.”
The whole dating show passed slow, but the end is a blur. Taehyung only remembers a lot of tears and nostalgia. Jungkook’s arm around his waist.
He only remembers Hobi and Jin winning the perfect match and Joy and Jae being the imposter couple.
Jimin and Lia split at the end, both refusing to be each other’s match. Nabi and Kie match. Seojoon holds a long speech. Jimin tears up. Taehyung engulfs him in a hug.
The whole final ends fast. His flight is in the evening and he rushes to prepare his things. Jungkook is flying the next day. Taehyung has a lot of things to deal with back home. He also has a date scored with Jungkook.
It’s a bit scary, but all things are, all things great.
The next day Jungkook sips from his drink at the bar. He has a flight soon, Seojoon joins him. The show wrapped up well.
“You owe me a big one,” Seojoon says cheekily as he sits at the bar.
“That black new car you saw in the…”
“That black car exactly.
It’s not easy to change this show so quickly.”
Jungkook grumbles something and returns to his drink. He is quiet most of the time. He prefers to observe more. He knows just what Seojoon wants, how to push, how to pull. Jungkook can’t wait to fly back and see Taehyung.
Just a day apart, but he’s already missing him. Jungkook stares at their chat where Taehyung sent him a recent emoji, a black heart, it got Jungkook smiling to himself for an entire hour.
“He’s got you pretty bad, imagine what happens if he gets to know,” Seojoon laments,
trying to overlook their chat.
“It’s none of your business” Jungkook says with a blank stare.
Seojoon just grins “Faking the imposter couple that the show revolved around, damn I did a good job. No one even guessed that you and Nabi were the real imposter couple.”
“Oh, fuck off,” Jungkook’s attention is swayed by a ping of a message. He stares at the screen, it’s a recent selfie, Taehyung laying on the bed. Jungkook wishes he was there. Seojoon is still nagging him.
“How did you even manage to convince Nabi to pretend,
what about Joy and Jae, they’re not a couple are they, those two hate each other”
“I know how to convince,” Jungkook speaks. He tunes Seojoon out and instead focuses his attention on the chat with Taehyung.
All of this started as a game.
He and Nabi have been hooking up for a while, it became familiar. Joy said it’s only familiarity too. Jungkook didn’t know anymore what love was. Nabi questioned herself too. They both entered their relationship after being hurt in their past.
Joy said they need to test it out,
if they fit each other, if a relationship fits them, if they’re a match, if they’re compatible. And then the idea arose. They had many games in the past, becoming clients at a casino, opening a fake business, travelling to the country they blindly chose on the map,
some wilder ones. It kept them entertained, forgetting for a while about their misery. The idea arose, a dating show to test a relationship, find a perfect match. Nabi was on, she adored challenges, sometimes Jungkook felt himself like a challenge that Nabi tried to conquer.
They contacted Seojoon and Namjoon, and that’s how the show appeared. It evolved more but the sole purpose was to test Jungkook and Nabi, if they are a match.
Everything was going well. Jungkook is lying, it was not.
They both understood that the only thing that ties them together is the pain, the heartbreak they experienced in the past from someone that hurt them. It slowly dawned on them both. On Nabi slower because she didn’t want to lose a challenge, lose Jungkook.
And Jungkook… he met Taehyung. And the day before Taehyung asked him to be his match, Jungkook broke up with Nabi.
Nabi thought if she returns to the show with her ex, the pain, the heartbreak that ties them together, then Jungkook will change his mind.
Jungkook was far too enamoured with Taehyung to notice anything around, to give a damn about anything around him. He forgot the sole purpose of the show. He liked how he was around Taehyung. He wanted to be kissed... his scars, wounds, Taehyung did that. And it was real.
Jungkook knew he'll never need to test his relationship with Taehyung. He could write songs about his feelings, raw, real, consuming. He also realised he doesn't need any games anymore, doesn't need the rush, the adrenaline, the chills. Not when he already has Taehyung.
Jungkook wakes up from his reverie, he turns to Seojoon with a glare "Why did you lie, back then when you revealed about the imposter couple, I know Nabi for a year only and we were not even dating, just testing it out"
Seojoon grins "I wanted to spice things up, a little drama"
Jungkook wants to wipe his grin off. He walks away from the bar and presses his phone to his ear. Taehyung answers after a couple of seconds. His voice calms Jungkook.
"What are you doing. Tae?"
"Trying to get Yoongi off me, he got to know that Jimin is my friend now and he became a leech."
Jungkook chuckles, mentally imagining it, Taehyung fighting a clingy Yoongi.
"And what are you doing?"
"Had a talk with Seojoon"
"Did he threaten you about the imposter couple?"
Jungkook breaths deeply "Not really, just wanted to shove in my face the fact that I owe him."
"Well, let him bask in his own drama. We had enough of ours. By the way I forgot to ask how Joy agreed to fake the imposter couple"
"Actually she offered" Jungkook answers.
“Okay, she didn’t” Jungkook confesses “I bought a vacation for her and Jae to Hawai”
“That’s more like it, anyway Yoongi is killing me here, he demands I call Jimin now and put him on speaker”
“Do that and then record it somehow, I want to see his reaction”
“Will do, have a safe flight, okay?”
“We have a date after all, don’t we?”
Jungkook walks to his flight with his heart light. He thought he lost Taehyung after he confessed everything. But he couldn’t not be honest, he didn’t want their relationship to start with a lie.
Not when he wanted to have Taehyung for the rest of his life. And they agreed to take it slow. Go on dates first, court each other, get to know each other, ease into it. Jungkook couldn’t be more grateful. He can't wait to get to explore a new shape of love with Taehyung.
i am sobbing as i type this, didn't want the fic to end. the plot twists, that's how the fic got a shape, they were there from the beginning. it's midnight here and my eyes are sore, but i am happy, if you can and want to support my writing ko-fi.com/taeterawr
you can reread some parts and connect things. jae told th from the beginning that jk and nabi were friends with benefits before coming to the show. such dating shows are very dramatic, have many twists so that the viewers enjoy. so did this dating show. many lies and twists.
there's more that is left unanswered, hobi and jin's future, jimin and yoongi's meeting, taekook's relationship development, i am planning to post this work on ao3 soon and i will add a bonus small chapter adding all these scenes, like a final wrap of the fic.
again, i am extremely happy to everyone for being with me on this journey, it feels like a long one. now it depends on the person if they'll accept being jk's match after his story, th accepted because this is him, this is how he lives and loves/ no judgement there.
what more can i say, saw some quotes about jk being mysterious or not developed enough. usually in shows you can't really deschiper a person's personality, they play a certain role, wear a mask, are flirty, are how the audience wants them to see. plus jk is quite reserved.
even if publicly charming, he keeps personal things to himself, he lets to show only what he wants, th got to know him better and he fell in love with what he saw. because jk just broke up with nabi weeks ago, even if they weren't together, him and th decide to take it slow
they will not delve right into it, they will take their time. and then they will be happy, because they're each other's perfect match.
anyways love y'all and let me know what you think, there might be some empty holes, edges i didn't fll well, but i am only human
i would write this story late at nights, after a full day of work, so understand when i say that it's not ideal, but it makes me happy, writing does, i hope you enjoyed it again and interact
also look forward to me next fic (hint: it'll hurt so good)
by the way jk told th everything that night after which th said he wants to have space
also quick note, last one, probably
they faked the imposter couple because jk remembered how th told him when he was drunk that he just wants to be with jk he wants the show to end and for the viewers to like him, jk didn't want to put th in a bad spot, also nabi agreed