Taehyung vaguely remembers it starting mid-October. Well, technically it started during a birthday, in the midst of drinks and laughter while the room glowed red, pulsating. The speakers were in full volume, blasting something he was sure he’d seen and heard Hoseok dance to before when he would visit his dance studio. Chatter filled the room and their tiny circle was mostly the reason for it; a squeal here and there, an indignant huff, a boisterous laugh, and of course, whistling.
Whistling because someone just arrived that night and joined their little bunch in the form of a figure with a mop of blonde hair, an eye smile, and definitely toned physique.
Fuck, Taehyung breathed, taking him in. He seemed to glow under the lights, looking sultry, especially with how his hands trailed down their common friend Yoongi’s back. It stayed there for a moment until he patted it and then do those eyes stray towards his.
They lock eyes.
Taehyung stills and eventually smiles, reciprocated by who he eventually got introduced to as Park Jimin, a little bit of tongue dragging across his bottom lip as he shook Taehyung’s hand.
The handshake lasted for a few seconds, and Taehyung, ever the opportunist, rubbed his thumb lightly against Jimin’s, trying to drop any hint that he was interested in knowing him better, be it in here or in bed.
Jimin keeps Taehyung’s eyes locked with his and gave him a half-smirk, and whoever was paying close attention could see they were practically eye-fucking.
Who wouldn’t want to fuck a gorgeous creature clad in a plain white shirt that was too loose on him, dipping lowly in his chest, his collarbones out for display? Taehyung thinks of several ways to leave pretty little marks on them eventually if the night progressed into something more. His shirt was fully tucked in black, slim fit jeans, tied with a belt, paired with a pair of combat boots Taehyung didn’t know could turn a person on, especially if the on wearing was already a turn on in the first place.
Taehyung liked to keep his sexual endeavors as kind of a secret, whenever he could. But with the way people usually labeled him (cocky, loud, arrogant), he couldn’t sometimes keep his mouth shut. And it’s not like everyone around him acts like it’s a secret—not when everyone in his circle was practically like him. Almost like him, since some swung only one way at most.
The secret he liked to keep but never really kept was that he liked boys.
He liked fucking them over—bending over a table, sprawled over the couch, pressed against the hood of a car, or balancing over toilets (although that only happened once). Taehyung liked it loud and rough and kinky.
And Jimin was one of them.
He already made up his mind as soon as Jimin entered their little gathering, eventually laughing along with them with his head tilting back whenever he did, throwing himself onto someone else to support his fit of giggles. It intensified when he found himself clutching Park Jimin’s waist later in the night, as he whispered something into the other person’s ear and received a hooded look and, Taehyung swore he felt himself go hard just because of it, a bite of the pouty lips. And the fucking tongue that dragged across Jimin’s lips.
It’s safe to say that Taehyung and Jimin were fuck buddies in every sense of the word. Whenever either one needed a stress reliever, an unwinding, something to quench the frequent thirst, only a text was necessary and some lube and condoms.
Which Taehyung usually had a supply of, even in his car.
Which is where they are right now, in the middle of a parking lot at the back of Jimin’s university.
Jimin was majoring in dance and whenever he could spare some time from practicing and occasional exams, they were fucking.
Kissing. Making out. But they always ended up fucking.
Jimin blows into Taehyung’s ear, nibbling on his earlobe as he rode him urgently, the need to come an overwhelming force. Taehyung grunts, fingers digging into Jimin’s waist and bucks his hips up, eliciting a breathy whimper from Jimin. He finds his lips and bites on it just as Jimin locks his hands on the nape of his neck. Taehyung drags his tongue along Jimin’s jawline and proceeds to suck on wherever he could because he liked leaving marks on Jimin. Liked looking at them whenever he could because it turned him on thinking about how he did those himself.
A shrill ring pierces through the air and Taehyung breaks away to glance at his phone, Jimin still relentlessly bouncing, sweaty, hot—just how Taehyung liked him.
It was the modeling agency and Taehyung couldn’t help but curse. He usually did freelance modeling since his looks were always on demand from companies he didn’t even really know but eventually finds his contact information anyway. Seokjin usually takes care of them, with him being a self-proclaimed manager and all, so Taehyung becomes a little confused on why the agency was calling him directly.
A dance major and a freelance model fucking inside a car at the back of a university.
He liked it.
Taehyung turns his phone off and focuses again on Jimin, rutting and grunting even more as Taehyung dragged his fingers down his body, wrapping it around the other man’s member and proceeded to jerk him off.
“Look at me baby,” he says, looking at Jimin straight in the eyes. “Look at me while you come.”
And when Jimin did, mewling and being very loud as to how Taehyung preferred it, stuttering out curses, he followed suit soon after. He presses a kiss against Jimin’s collarbones and bites, ropes of white covering their torsos and Taehyung couldn’t help but laugh a little.
This was fucking fun.
“Ow,” Taehyung flinched as the hairdresser pulled on his hair a little too hard, a stoic expression on her face as if she didn’t even hear him. “Fuck, ow.” He continues.
“What happened, hyung? Jimin pulled on it a little too hard last night?” Jungkook grins as he settles down on the chair beside him, the game on his phone momentarily forgotten.
“Shut up,” Taehyung scowls at him and reaches out to hit Jungkook in the chest, which resulted to the hairdresser grabbing his hair again to keep him still. He swallows the curse and instead, grins at Jungkook.
“Wanna join us? Jimin could grab yours too if you want.” He snickers and watches Jungkook rolls his eyes in the huge vanity mirror with light bulbs surrounding the frame.
“Ew,” Jungkook wrinkles his nose and continues, “I’m not a goddamn voyeur.”
“You never know. Have you tried it?” Taehyung liked teasing Jungkook because with a few prods, Jungkook easily becomes flustered and it almost always entertains Taehyung.
“You know what, hyung? Shut up,” and turns back to his game.
Taehyung didn’t want to push any longer because he was getting a little more irritated by the minute with the hairdresser. One more tug and he was going to flip.
And what Jungkook said was true, though. Jimin had pulled it so hard several times last night as they fucked in Jimin’s dorm, trying to keep their voices low since his roommate was in the other room, claiming to be studying.
A few moans escape from Jimin every now and then as Taehyung swirled his tongue on his cock, taking him deeper every time, and all the while, his hands are entangled in Taehyung’s hair, tugging, pulling, wrenching it with every needy thrust into his mouth.
“So fucking hot babe,” Taehyung had tried to say, “but it fucking hurts—“
Jimin pulled him by his hair to lock lips and thrust his tongue into the other’s mouth and this time, it was Taehyung who groans, voice low, as Jimin bucks his hips up and rubs their naked bodies against each other.
“Fuck me, Tae,” Jimin whispers, his hands no longer in his hair but tugging at the other’s cock as he guides him to his rim. “Fuck me hard like you always do.”
This is why he loves Jimin as his fuck buddy. He knows which buttons to push.
And so he did. He fucked Jimin until he could no longer keep his voice down, until they were both filling the room, the dorm, with their moans, thrusting harder every time. Taehyung’s nails scratch Jimin’s back, leaving traces of red against his skin, the other arching his back even more. Jimin clutches the headboard, the bed creaking so loud, and Taehyung (he still doesn’t know why he did it) reaches out to pry them off and intertwines his own fingers with Jimin’s.
It was supposed to be a no-strings attached kind of relationship.
#1 Don’t hold their hands.
#2 Fuck them from behind, avoid their eyes.
#3 Leave before one awoke.
#4 Never sleep over.
Taehyung realized how he never really held any of his sexual partners’ hands until Jimin. The gesture had always seemed too intimate to him, a little bit personal and too close to home.
Jimin’s hands were small and fit his easily.
As Jimin whimpered and rutted against them, Taehyung found himself pounding into him harder, harder, harder, like he always does.
And as they came, he lets go of Jimin’s hands as he slumped against him.
And leaves as Jimin falls asleep later on.
He has broken rule #1.
Taehyung has been fucking Jimin for a couple of months now. In that span of time, between his modeling gigs and exams, they’ve managed to fuck far too many times than Taehyung could count with his fingers and toes—even with Jimin’s. He doesn’t exactly remember how it became so frequent (there was even that time where they just spent the whole day together as soon as Jimin finished his dance exams and Taehyung had a day off from his photoshoots; it goes without saying that they both had tremendously sore legs and aching throats by the time Jimin left his apartment by 2 am), but what would’ve been the point to be someone’s beck and call if it only happened occasionally? He understands the intensity and the urgency, the rippling desire, even the undeniable thirst.
But what Taehyung couldn’t understand was why was Park Jimin the only thing he could think of these days?
He has always been a skeptic when it came to those stories that fall along the lines of ‘love at first sight’ because fuck that. How do you fall in love with someone as soon as you laid eyes on them? Taehyung thinks, is convinced, that it’s more of ‘wanting to fuck at first sight’. It’s much more believable.
All he could think of, as flashes of light blind him and a set of instructions were called out, was Park Jimin.
Goddamn Park Jimin whose eye smile seemed to have branded itself on the back of Taehyung’s eyes, whose cute little laugh rung itself repeatedly in his ears, whose touches have no longer made him hot with desire but of fondness as gentle caresses tickled his skin, even the soft press of his lips against his cheeks have found a new meaning in the way of what softness meant.
1, 2, 3, someone calls out before another flash of light made his vision stark white.
Taehyung sucks in a breath as Jimin rips his shirt off quite roughly, hands trailing along his chest as he pushes him against the wall of the little room they were cramped in. He was in a hurry, digging his fingers onto his waist, grinding against him in such a way that made Taehyung feel close enough to combusting with clothes on.
“Jimin-ah,” he starts, bringing Jimin’s lips close to his. He bites on it, a whimper escaping Jimin as he travels his hands lower, down south, until he rubbed against Taehyung’s erection. “You’re hungry today, aren’t you?”
Jimin hums, his eyes closed and Taehyung could see his eyelashes fluttering against his cheekbones. “I need you, Tae. I need you to fill me up.”
Taehyung curses under his breath, his stomach turning over and over as those words escaped Jimin’s lips. Jimin needs him.
But as much as he liked to fuck Jimin against a wall (they’ve done it), lift his legs and wrap the other’s thighs around his legs, it felt wrong now.
He couldn’t just fuck Jimin in a cramped closet with hairdressers outside, the photographer milling about, models already boring holes from the other side of the door, curious as to what’s happening although Taehyung knows they already do with the way Jimin lazily wrapped his arms as he was sitting, given a 30-minute break. He had pressed light kisses on Taehyung’s neck with dark hooded eyes, want clearly in them. When Taehyung continued to sit, Jimin sucked on it a little too hard, and that was when he Taehyung dragged the other into the closet.
“What happened today, Jimin?” Taehyung kisses Jimin lightly. 1, 2, 3. “Did something bad happen?”
Jimin grinds against him again, moaning. “Nothing special. I just missed you so fucking much. I was ready to fuck myself with a dildo.”
Jimin misses him. Fuck.
Taehyung, with his newfound conscience that came out of nowhere, grabs Jimin’s hips and flips him over so he presses against the wall, a dull thud resounding across the room.
Jimin giggles, his fingers tickling Taehyung’s nape.
Taehyung can’t do this. He realizes how Jimin deserves something better.
“I can’t fuck you here, Jimin-ah.” As Jimin whimpers in protest, Taehyung continues. “But I will fuck you nice and slow when I finish here. In bed.” Where you should be. But he doesn’t say it.
“Now go, before I change my mind.” He kisses Jimin a little too roughly again, tongues passing over each other before he breaks apart. “I’ll see you later.”
Needless to say, he didn’t fuck Jimin nice and slow that night.
He fucked him hard until Jimin begged in between breathy gasps, his bangs bouncing up and down as a steady stream of curse words fell from his lips, his free hand going over to his own cock to jack himself off while Taehyung pounded him ruthlessly from behind.
Taehyung stopped himself from holding Jimin’s hand, even when he pushed him headfirst onto the bed, ass higher than before, Jimin’s free hand clutching the sheets tightly, face flushed while biting a pillow.
Fucking. Park. Jimin.
“Taehyung, Taehyung, Taehyung,” Jimin repeats, moaning so loud Taehyung was sure the other dormers could hear them beyond these four walls. “Fuck–hngg–yes, there, there–”
Taehyung looks down on Park Jimin.
He stops, and Jimin groans. “I was so fucking close–”
Jimin looks at him behind his shoulder. “What?”
And so he did and Taehyung hovers above him, taking in Jimin’s mouth and slips in a tongue, sucks on Jimin’s, feeling the other’s hands entangling into his hair.
Beautiful Park Jimin, with his red, swollen lips, cheeks a rosy pink, matted hair, breathing too hard, a rutting mess. His blonde hair was fanned across the blue sheets, and Taehyung sighs inwardly.
A mess by Kim Taehyung.
He fucks him that way then, with Jimin sprawled under him, his thighs wrapped around Taehyung with enough room to maneuver in, hands clasped together while he looks straight into the man’s eyes. Every now and then, Jimin’s eyes would flutter close, feeling every roll that Taehyung’s hips made, and when he does open them, Taehyung falls a little bit deeper.
Jimin was beautiful.
Taehyung breaks rules #1 and #2 that night, the moon hanging high in the sky, illuminating the whole city and them as it shone through the window, watching them.
Six vodka shots in and Taehyung felt as if the world has completely flipped upside down. Hoseok looks at him with concern as he tries to look for a slice of lemon, fumbling with a pinch of salt, licking them carelessly from his forefinger and sucked.
Happy birthday to me, Taehyung greets himself quite numbly.
Jungkook laughed at the spectacle right in front of him, taking a video of what he knows would be a good blackmail for the other man.
This downtown club wasn’t too full, too crowded, and Taehyung liked it that way. They just finished their end of the year photo shoot, along with Jungkook and his self-proclaimed manager, Seokjin. Yoongi, their photographer for this shoot and Hoseok’s new boyfriend, eyes him with distaste from across the table. Thank the heavens they managed to get a table in a secluded corner where the music was less probing.
“What the fuck are you doing?” He scrunches his nose in disgust.
“It’s my fucking birthday, what did you expect?” Taehyung bites back and downs another shot, making it seven.
“He’s just moping because Jimin isn’t here.” Jungkook laughs and downs a shot. “Ugh, I’ll stop with this one. It’s gross.”
Taehyung glares at Jungkook. “I. Am. Not.”
Seokjin points at him with his beer bottle. “Of course he is.”
Hoseok leans in. “Do you like him now, Tae?”
Taehyung could feel everyone listening closely despite the roar of the music. He doesn’t know what to say, though. Does he like Jimin? Fuck yeah, he does. But does he like him in the way the others were implying? He doesn’t know, he’s not sure, he’s not certain, he doesn’t fucking have the slightest idea if this was real or not.
Maybe it was since despite Taehyung feeling like the world was ending and swallowing him up from drinking too much, he was partly moping around because Jimin wasn’t here. He was going to some goddamn town for the holidays and although they fucked a few times before he left, Taehyung felt like it wasn’t quite right. He felt it was too rough, too in a hurry, too…detached.
Or maybe that was just him.
He fucking misses smelling him, burying his head into the crook of Jimin’s neck where he would lick the skin just to tease him.
Taehyung looks at them one by one. “Do I?”
Yoongi rolls his eyes. “Guy’s fucking whipped. Knew this would happen.”
Taehyung stands up, before toppling over because he was too dizzy, and says, “No one could’ve known.”
“I wouldn’t have imagined it but with the pace you two were on, it should’ve been expected.” Seokjin laughs, tilting his head back to finish his beer. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to call someone.”
Hoseok looks at him quite apologetically and reaches over to hold his hand. “Don’t worry Tae, if things go right tonight, we’ll know both of your answers.”
And since Taehyung was too drunk to even process what it meant, he simply nods, now in a somber mood. He wanted to kick Jungkook’s phone out the kid’s hands so bad, annoyed at how carefree the other looked. Why can’t he be like him? Why did he have to get stuck in this messy pit of feelings?
Jimin is supposed to be his fuck body. No strings attached.
Now, Taehyung didn’t want Jimin to solely be a fuck buddy. He wanted more.
He couldn’t quite believe his eyes when sparkling lights started to dance right before his own eyes. They were too bright and so he squints at them, holding a hand up to partially cover the glow, and only then did he notice they were candles.
On a cake.
A cake held by Park fucking Jimin.
Taehyung, body laden with too much alcohol coursing through his bloodstream, tries to sit up quickly, heart beating erratically.
Jimin was here.
On his birthday. Fuck.
Jimin was wearing his eye smile, partly hidden behind the bright glow of the candles, clearly amused at the mess that went by the name of Kim Taehyung. Taehyung has sprawled on the club’s couch a second ago, suddenly falling asleep as if his eyes were hung with dozens of weights.
It was probably the vodka.
Not probably. Definitely was more like it.
“Jimin!” He breathes, clearly surprised and happy. Fucking happy.
“Happy birthday, Tae!” He giggles and sets the cake down on the table, sitting close to him right then, pursing his lips and looking at him expectantly.
Taehyung could’ve kissed him then and there, but with the others excitedly milling about, he stops himself and smiles at Jimin instead, heart soaring, hands shaking.
“You’re here? I thought you had to go someplace else?” Taehyung was careful not to move too much. He could feel his stomach churning and now wasn’t the time. Not when Jimin was sitting right beside him, looking as beautiful as ever, bundled up in a scarf and a coat.
Jimin grins at him. “I had to come back and celebrate your birthday. You’re my friend, I couldn’t leave you hanging.” He gestures at the cake. “Strawberry cake, just how you like it.”
Friend. Strawberries. Jimin knows he fucking loves strawberries. Friend. He is Jimin’s friend.
Just a friend?
Taehyung composes himself. “Now that’s what I’m talking about.”
Hoseok claps his hands loudly and beckons everyone in the circle over. “You too, Namjoon.” Namjoon slides closer to Seokjin, head down, too quiet.
“Now, you better make a really great goddamn wish to give justification of how much time Jimin has wasted in just coming over for your birthday,” Seokjin takes his phone out. “In 1, 2, 3.”
Taehyung, with an erratically beating heart, wishes for Park Jimin.
As midnight drew closer, the club starts to fill up, the crowd thickening and the music getting even louder than earlier. Taehyung wasn’t going to make a fool out of himself and stay away from the party, despite being totally drunk now after four more shots.
Could he die this way? Possibly.
His hands crawl over onto Jimin’s thighs and squeeze. The other man eyed him curiously before reaching over to the salt on the table.
He makes a line on Taehyung’s collarbones, dabbing at the skin lightly, his tongue darting in and out, expression intent. It took a whole lot of Taehyung’s willpower not to grab Jimin by his hair just to get a taste of the vodka flavored lips.
“A body shot for the birthday boy.” Jimin grins at him mischievously and retrieves a lemon.
Taehyung couldn’t see the other anymore, not because he was drunk, but because they had literally gone downstairs to dance and order more drinks.
Probably to give the both of them some space, too.
Jimin locks eyes with him as he straddles his hips, shotglass in one hand and the lemon on the other. Even when Jimin takes the shot, a little of the liquor dribbling down his chin that Taehyung would’ve licked if he wasn’t too entranced with the show Jimin was putting on, he maintained the intensity of their gazes. He brings his head down, towards Taehyung’s collarbones, and licks, and sucks, and soon enough, he was biting.
Taehyung grunts, his head tilting back at the pleasure. Jimin doesn’t even suck on the lemon anymore and tosses them aside, before swooping in to take Taehyung’s lips into his own. Taehyung, being partially aware of what was happening, grasps Jimin’s eyes, kneading them and pulling the other man flush against him, clothed cocks in friction and Jimin flutters his eyes open, pleasure resounding all throughout his body and he bites his own lips, a moan escaping despite trying to play it down.
Taehyung kisses each of Jimin’s eyelids, his hands traveling up and under Jimin’s shirt where he feels him up, dragging his fingers across the hard planes of Jimin’s abs, his back, where it stays. Jimin encloses Taehyung’s head with his hands and pulls, tongues lapping at each other, a mixture of each other’s spit, an urgency that wasn’t quite like before.
Taehyung was still drunk and so he doesn’t even surprise himself when he says,
“Jimin, I have to say something.”
Jimin continues to kiss Taehyung’s neck and chest, popping one button open, leaving trails of his him planted on his skin.
He stops and slowly looks at Taehyung with a sultry look.
Taehyung was drunk but he needed to say it. Taehyung felt like the world was upside down, despite the rush of pleasure that coursed through him. Taehyung knew he was gonna puke any moment now, but he holds it in.
This is too sudden but he goes,
“I fucking like you so much, Park Jimin. I don’t know where it started but I fucking do. I don’t know why this happened, or how it happened, but I do. And as much as I want to fuck you on this couch, in public, because we’re both frisky, I can’t. You deserve better than that.”
Taehyung looks at Jimin in the eyes. “I can’t stop thinking about you. Everything has started to become about you, Jimin. And it just doesn’t stop. I just don’t want to fuck you hard as much as you want me to. I wanna take you in slowly, carefully because it’s you Jimin. It’s just not anyone else. It’s fucking you.”
He exhales deeply, starting to get embarrassed. He literally just stopped the two of them from going down on each other and out of nowhere, Taehyung decides to drop a confession. He wouldn’t even blame Jimin if he gets weirded out.
I mean, fuck buddies right?
He knows what he said doesn’t make sense, that it was the vodka talking, and so when Jimin starts to giggle, pressing his forehead against Taehyung’s, he looks at him confused.
Jimin bites his own lips.
“God, me too, Tae. Me, too.” He gives him a peck on his lips. “I fucking like you, too.”
Taehyung, even though the entire moment had to be serious, laughs because he knows Jimin had tried to mock him somehow with the intensity of how he cursed.
“You do?” Taehyung asks, and this time, the blood that rushed to his cheeks heats them up and suddenly, the world didn’t seem to tilt anymore.
“I don’t know how I fell either but I do. And besides, the sex was great. I’m an opportunist. How could I not like you?” Jimin giggles and Taehyung’s heart soars.
He kisses Jimin softly; on his lips, his jawline, his earlobe, down to the column of his neck, and ends on his collarbones. Jimin exposes his neck a bit more and says,
“Now, should we go home to get things started?”
He lays Jimin down carefully, hovering over him, eyes locked with each other. Taehyung leans in to press a kiss, Jimin taking him in, every part of him, and locks the both of them with his arms around Taehyung’s neck, pulling him closer than what was even possible.
All of their clothes were on the floor, scattered, the desire proving to be too much. As soon as they had entered Taehyung’s apartment, it was hard to say which one of them jumped on the other first. All Taehyung remembers, despite being fuzzy, was that Jimin had him pressed on the other side of his door, his pants down. Jimin planted kisses on the inside of his thighs and Taehyung lets out a low growl, pleasure coming in in waves he only always felt around Jimin.
As Jimin took him in, right to the hilt, he ruts shamelessly, fucks Jimin’s mouth, his own fingers in Jimin’s hair and when he looks up at Taehyung, the threat of coming undone right before the reached the bed was too much. Seeing Jimin’s swollen lips wrapped around him was too much of a sight and so he lifts the other up from the ground and strips him off, desire coursing through him, unable to hold it in any longer.
“Take it off, everything off. I need you, Jimin. I fucking need you so much.”
Jimin helps him then and so here they are in bed, Taehyung inserting 1, 2, 3 fingers into Jimin’s hole, eliciting a moan so loudly he could feel it with his own chest. He was so fucking tight and so fucking good.
“Open up for me, Jimin-ah. Open up, baby,” Taehyung kisses the insides of Jimin’s thighs. “So beautiful.”
Jimin is wracked with pleasure as soon as Taehyung inserts himself, after lathering his cock with lube, and breathes out a series of profanity, toes digging into the sheets. He moves slowly, sliding himself in and out carefully, afraid of hurting Jimin although it was quite stupid since he’s been ruthless before.
Jimin holds onto Taehyung’s biceps, legs spread out, mouth open. Taehyung rocks into him, a little faster this time, starting to fall into a steady rhythm. He does it a couple of time before prying Jimin’s hands off him and instead, pins them over his head, locked together.
His eyes never part from Jimin’s, not even until both of them are rutting against each other too hard, the rhythm of two souls being too loud even in the midst of silence. Not even until Jimin finds his own release first, Taehyung swallowing every bit of his noise into his mouth, soothing him from his high. He comes after, unable to hold it in any longer, and as soon as he finishes, he presses his lips against Jimin’s matted hair.
“God, Park Jimin. The things you make me feel.”
Jimin smiles, a satisfied look on his face. “God, Taehyungie. The things you make me do.”
He doesn’t even fuck anymore.
But the word ‘making love’ makes him cringe.
Maybe he was somewhere in between.
As the sun’s rays filtered in, he wishes for better days to come with Jimin and he hopes for the near future.
It’s safe to say, he broke all the rules that night, that day, as he wrapped Jimin in his arms, spooning him, pulling him closer, as the sun started to shine on them, watching them.