Taehyung has always been the type for dramatics.
He has a deeply rooted love for cuddling and attention and affection, so the second he stubs his toe, he’ll go whine about it--or maybe he’s sore from practice, he’ll go to a member craving a massage. When he’s sad, he’ll want to be held, and when he’s happy, he wants the world to know. Taehyung has always had a thing for pulling theatrics and overexaggerating his ailments, and the others always find it absolutely adorable.
Except for on days when they’re in a time crunch to get a new choreo down and have absolutely no time for bullshit. Days where they have to get to the studio as soon as possible to work from morning to night to perfect the setlist for their next performance. It’s on these days that Tae’s whining goes right over their heads and straight to their nerves, and as much as they love him, nobody has the time or energy to put up with it.
“Kim Taehyung,” Seokjin’s voice is stern, the way it is when one of the boys does something stupid and it’s his job to handle it as the eldest, lacking all of it’s normal joy. “Wake up. We don’t have time for this.”
The older boy shakes Taehyung by the hip, earning a low whine from the second youngest. Taehyung buries his face in his pillow and takes a deep breath, curling up tighter.
“No, get up, stop it,” Seokjin shakes him a little harder. “I know you’re tired, we all are, but you have to get up, Tae.”
Taehyung mumbles something incoherent into his pillow and moans.
“What? I can’t understand you with your face in a pillow.”
“I said I don’ feel good, Jinnie-hyung,” he flips over so he’s on his back, but keeps his eyes screwed shut. “My throat hurts--”
“-probably from singing too hard yesterday-” Seokjin tries making excuses for all of his symptoms. There’s no way he’s sick, they haven’t been exposed to anyone but each other and their well-kept studio.
“--no, and my stomach hurts--”
“--didn’t you eat a lot last night?”
“--and I feel sick, hyung, I feel so nauseous.”
Seokjin blows out a frustrated exhale, running a hand through his hair. “Look, if you get sick, we’ll take you home, alright? But come on, you have to try. For me, tiger, try for me.”
Taehyung gives a shaky exhale, pushing himself to sit up and immediately regretting it; his eyes aren’t even open and he can feel the world spinning. “I really...I really don’t feel good…”
“You’ll be fine.” Seokjin insists, assuming all of it could just be nerves or from pushing himself, and any other day he’d give all the sympathy in the world and coo and hold him but they just don’t have time for it today.
Taehyung rubs the sleep out of his eyes, hiccuping. “Fine, I’ll...be out in a second.”
Seokjin nods, getting up. Just before he closes the door behind him, he says, “I’m trusting you not to go back to bed,” and gives him a stern look. The younger singer nods in return.
Seokjin can’t help but feel a little guilty--something seemed off about the younger man, but he tells himself it’s nothing and moves on, telling the others that he managed to get him out of bed and he’ll be out in a second.
Taehyung stumbles out to the living room some ten minutes later, looking disheveled but dressed enough to leave the house nonetheless. Jimin and Jungkook both shoot their fellow maknae a concerned look while the hyungs are already out the door. Jimin puts an arm around Taehyung’s shoulder, a wordless comfort, hoping that Taehyung is just tired.
When they get in the car, Taehyung takes a seat in the back, immediately pulling his legs up to his chest and leaning against the window. The coolness of the glass feels nice against his cheek; despite it being the early fringes of winter, he’s hot and sweating. Jimin sits beside him and leans on his shoulder, running his fingers through the younger boy’s hair. He seems to be the only one that notices that something isn’t right--or at least the only one paying any mind to it.
The whole ride to the studio, Taehyung is taking shaky breaths, like he’s trying to take deep breaths but his body can’t do the full job of it. He keeps his eyes closed, occasionally trying to breathe through his mouth to get more oxygen in his lungs. The last thing he wants to do is throw up in the car; he’s fortunate enough to not be a member who gets carsick, like Jimin or Yoongi. And Hoseok was right this morning; they don’t have time for him and his bullshit.
Taehyung can’t help but fight tears at the feeling that nobody cares.
“Tae, wake up,” it’s Jimin’s voice that breaks into Taehyung’s half-asleep state. When did he manage to fall asleep? “We’re here, come on.”
Taehyung nods, inhaling deeply to steel himself. He steps out of the car, watching his exhale turn to fog. Once more, the world spins, and a wave of nausea overtakes him. He leans heavily against the door for a moment, willing his stomach contents to stay in place. He did eat a lot last night, so if he did throw up, it wouldn’t be pretty.
“Hey, are you okay?” Taehyung didn’t realize Jimin had been standing there waiting for him.
The younger of the two is tempted to confess to Jimin about his symptoms too, but it seems like there’s no use. There’s no way out. So he nods and follows Jimin and the rest of the members inside. The normally cozy temperature of the room hits him in the face like he just stepped into a furnace, only worsening the uncomfortable, sticky warmth that’s plagued him since he woke up. The nausea still hasn’t faded and his stomach is audibly roiling and churning sickly.
Taehyung is broken out of his trance by Hoseok clapping and ordering everyone to get into place. The singer stumbles to his spot, and without any more second glances spared to him, the music starts. Shortly after it begins, it stops, however, and Taehyung is disoriented for a moment. He wonders if he managed to blank out and do the choreo without thinking, but he knows that’s unrealistic. Now, there are no glances; all eyes are on him.
“What’s up with you today?” Taehyung knows he’s just stressed, but Hoseok sounds angry and that’s how it’s registered through his brain fog--Hoseok’s mad at him.
“I--” Taehyung’s voice cracks, almost making it clear to the others that he’s on the verge of tears. “Sorry,” he mumbles. “I’ll do better.”
Hoseok crosses his arms, looks up and down the second youngest’s shaky frame, but after a moment he nods anyway. Nobody notices Seokjin, who’s sipping his water and looking awfully guilty in one of the corners of the room--everybody seems to be getting a little concerned, though.
But they don’t have time for messing around. So the music starts again. Taehyung does his best to focus, to actually do the moves right, and he makes it a little farther until the music stops again and all eyes are on him once more.
“Tae, really, don’t you practice at all alone? You’re normally so good at picking up choreo, the one time we need you to get it toge--”
Taehyung cuts off Hoseok’s rant by lurching forward with a heave, bringing up a copious wave of sick that splatters on the hardwood floor. Hoseok freezes, caught off guard--he saw that Taehyung was pale, but he wasn’t expecting to get specks of puke on his shoes today. He looks back at the others, who all quickly jump into action when Taehyung heaves again, his knees giving out.
Jimin runs to his side, holding him up so he doesn’t fall too close to the rapidly growing puddle of sick and get it all over him. He has one hand across his chest and the other pulling back his bangs. “That’s it, get it up,” Jimin knows Taehyung won’t be able to move to the bathroom--he can’t even stand--so he does his best to comfort here, voice soft and light, nothing but love in his tone. “You’re alright, you’re okay…”
Namjoon comes and joins the two with a bottle of water, putting it beside Jimin to give to Taehyung when he’s ready. Jungkook grabs a towel to try and clean some of the sweat off of him, knowing that it can’t be very comfortable to feel soaked, cold, and sticky. Yoongi comes with a washcloth, dampened with cool water, to place on the back of his neck instead--Taehyung is burning up.
“Why didn’t you tell anyone you weren’t feeling good, Tae?” Namjoon asks, wiping tears off his cheek with his thumb.
“I--” Taehyung tries to answer, but he just retches again, and again, his stomach refusing to give him a break.
“He did.” Suddenly, Seokjin--who’s been awfully quiet this whole time--speaks up. “He said he wasn’t feeling good this morning, and I thought he just...I thought he was just stressed.” The oldest crouches down to Taehyung’s eye level, narrowly avoiding the lake of vomit that’s on the floor now. “I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you…”
Taehyung coughs and belches hollowly before he finally gets a break. “N-No, it’s okay,” he says, voice hoarse. “M’sorry I made a mess…” Taehyung can’t stop himself from crying beyond the tears that had already fallen from exertion.
Jimin places a kiss to the crown of his head, slowly helping him to stand and get away from that mess he’s apologizing for as he reassures him that it’s not his fault. Jimin sits Taehyung down on the bench they normally put their stuff on, moving bags around to make room for him and handing him the bottle of water. “Sip slowly, okay? Try and drink a little for me, I don’t want you to get dehydrated.”
As they sit for a moment, the others get their things together--there’s no way they were letting their schedule get in the way when one of the members was horribly ill--and Hoseok returns from the bathroom where he’d gone to wipe the thankfully small amount of vomit off of his shoes.
“You think you’re okay to go, TaeTae? I’m sure you’ll be much more comfortable in bed at home than here,” Jimin asks softly, brushing the younger’s sweaty fringe away from his forehead.
Truthfully, Taehyung still feels really nauseous, but Jimin is right; he does want to go home and lie down. So he nods, albeit hesitantly. Jimin sees his uncertainty, able to assume why he doesn’t necessarily want to get in a car.
“We still have bags in the car, right?” Jimin asks whoever may be listening. “I think I just used one recently…”
“We should, yeah,” Yoongi confirms. “It would be stupid to not have bags when some of us get carsick.”
Jimin turns his attention back to Taehyung. “You won’t make a mess...if you get sick I’ll hold the bag for you, baby, it’ll be okay. Okay?”
Taehyung nods, taking a shaky breath. “Okay.”
And with that, they head off; Namjoon takes a final glance at the mess before they leave and makes a mental note to make sure a janitor comes by soon. Taehyung returns to the seat he sat in on the way here by the window, leaning his cheek against it once more. Jimin sits next to him and offers his hand to hold. Taehyung accepts the offer gratefully, squeezing his hand tightly and getting a squeeze back.
Taehyung closes his eyes, trying again to take deep breaths and keep the water he’d drank down. He doesn’t want to throw up in a car--he doesn’t want to throw up again in general. His stomach gurgles and groans, and he presses his free hand to his abdomen, chewing on his lower lip. Still, despite all of his effort, his mouth starts watering again.
“Y-You said we have bags?”
Immediately, they jump into action, Namjoon taking two plastic bags from the glove compartment and handing them to Jimin. Jungkook, sitting next to Jimin, takes out his water bottle so he can hand it to Taehyung as soon as he’s finished, if not to drink than to rinse his mouth out at least. Jimin sees how shaky Taehyung is so he doesn’t bother trying to get him to hold the bag--the second it’s beneath his chin, Taehyung is retching again. Yoongi, who’s sitting behind them, reaches forward to pull back the singer’s hair.
“We’ll be home soon,” Hoseok reassures from the front, being the one driving. He’s a smooth driver and some of the others are not, so he was trusted with that position. “A few more minutes, TaeTae.”
Taehyung can barely hear him over his heaving, comically loud as always, painful and grating as he heaves up the water he’d drank and a considerable amount of stomach acid. He groans when he has a chance to catch his breath, swallowing once, twice, before picking his head up.
“I think--I think I’m good,” he chokes out between panting, and Jimin nods, tying off the bag and holding his hand once more. Jungkook wordlessly offers the water, but Jimin just shakes his head, figuring he’ll try and get him to drink again when they get home, knowing that it’s much less comfortable to vomit in a moving vehicle than it is at home and in bed with a trashcan.
Just as Hoseok said, they get home a few minutes later. Taehyung moves as fast as he can on shaky legs. The second they get inside, he heads directly to the bathroom. The boys exchange glances--he’s still throwing up? What else could he possibly have in him?
Before following him, Jimin asks Seokjin to make some tea and Jungkook to get some extra blankets so he could tuck Taehyung in nicely once he finally managed to calm down enough to sleep without retching up a lung. And then Jimin is by Taehyung’s side once more, rubbing his back and holding his hair away. He feels all of Taehyung’s muscles tense as he retches, bringing up nothing but trickles of bile, saliva, and foam.
“Taehyungie, I really think you’re empty…” Jimin insists, getting worried that Taehyung will break a rib from the force of which he keeps dry heaving. “Try and breathe, baby, just try to breathe,” he encourages, hoping that Taehyung will calm down soon.
Luckily enough, he does, reduced to panting and burping and groaning once more. Jimin reaches up to flush the toilet for him before hoisting him up to his feet, guiding him slowly but surely to bed. Taehyung plops down on the mattress, happy to be home, and he drags Jimin down with him, immediately clinging to him.
Jimin doesn’t stop him, smiling fondly at the younger boy and placing a kiss to the top of his head once more before continuing to card his fingers through his hair. He covers them both up with the blankets Jungkook had given them, holding Taehyung close. “My poor TaeTae...I’m sorry you’re feeling so sick…” Jimin comments after a moment.
Taehyung doesn’t respond--Jimin would expect at least a hum. He just shifts a bit, clings tighter to Jimin, and exhales deeply. His breathing has evened out--Jimin realizes that he must’ve fallen asleep already. He must’ve been so exhausted.
And taking care of your ailing bandmate must also be pretty exhausting, because when Seokjin comes in with a cup of tea, both boys are fast asleep.