“Wait, one more time. You want me to what?”
Yoongi looks like he’s on the verge of a breakdown, what with the way he’s pinching the bridge of his nose so hard his nails leave indents.
“Don’t make me repeat myself three times, Taehyung, you heard me.”
“I’m sorry but hearing and understanding are two entirely different things.”
“It is to you, yes.”
“So let me get this straight,” he murmurs slowly, a pensive look on his face as he paces back and forth through his manager’s living room, “You want me to find a new specialty…”
“Mhmm.” Yoongi nods, eyes closed and brows furrowed as he deeply hopes with all his heart that his client’s thought-process would finally go in the direction of his own.
“…Which is BDSM. You want me to go from what I do now, to BDSM…”
Yoongi wants to cry. Or scream. Or quit. All of the above.
“For the last time, it’s not BDSM. It’s just a little degradation for God’s sake!” He grates through gritted teeth, “Why are you blowing this out of proportion?!”
“I’m not!” The younger man pouts, crossing his arms in front of his chest like a wronged child. “It’s filthy! I’m not doing that shit, I don’t want to!”
‘It doesn’t matter what you want, you little shit! You’re supposed to be a professional!’… Is what Yoongi would really, really like to say right now, but he doesn’t. He knows Taehyung, and this approach would only cement his stubbornness.
“Listen…TaeTae,” He starts after taking a deep breath, his voice soft and smooth in an effort to suppress the growing frustration churning in his chest, “You’re an extremely talented actor and you have so much going for you. All I’m saying is that maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to expand your areas of expertise, right? Artistic erotica is great, I’m not saying that it’s not but the numbers are clearly stating that it’s not the most popular– are you even listening to me?!”
“Is this whiskey or perfume?” Taehyung muses as he picks up a fancy bottle from Yoongi’s shelf and opens the stopple to sniff it. He pulls a face. “It’s whiskey.”
Yoongi groans and drags a hand across his face in pure desperation. “Did you not get anything of what I was just trying to tell you?”
“Vas-t-en.” Taehyung says blankly, unimpressed with the kind of face his manager sports.
“That’s French for ‘go away’.” He helpfully states.
“I do not get paid enough for this shit,” Yoongi hisses vehemently, poking a finger in his actor’s well-defined pecs to define every word, “I’m 72 different flavours of done with you.”
Taehyung just starts laughing at his manager’s highly critical stress levels and almost tackles him in a strong back hug, playfully shaking the older, but smaller man, “Aw, c’mon, hyung! Just relax, we’ll be fine! Loosen up a little– Hey, you wanna go to that new karaoke place?! I heard you can customize your hamburgers there!”
“Wow, incredible,” Yoongi stares out in front of him, looking dead inside as he hangs limp in Tae’s arms in acceptance of being his ragdoll, “We could both lose our jobs tomorrow but it’s fine because we can customize our hamburgers at Star Song Karaoke.”
Taehyung finally puts his friend out of his misery by releasing him and putting him back down. “Don’t be overdramatic, why wouldn’t we have jobs tomorrow? Women love artistic porn! It’s pretty, there’s hot guys, the lighting is nice and flattering for both and it focuses on the woman’s pleasure instead of the guy’s. There’s enough of that tasteless shit out there already, why do I have to do it?”
Yoongi’s started massaging his temples to reduce the tension before his head will literally burst.
“Because it’s boring, Taehyung. Women don’t like that purely soft stuff anymore. They like to experiment and broaden their sexual interests and kinks. There’s been a huge increase of clicks on degradation videos by female users on online platforms and I suppose they watch it because they like it. So all I’m asking of you is to try and take this opportunity and go with the flow because this is a fickle business.”
There’s a pause where Taehyung looks like he finally gets the gravity of the situation and is about to say something that would take the weight off of Yoongi’s shoulders, but he knows better than to get his hopes up.
”With all due respect, I’m going to ignore everything you just sai–”
“Say cum dumpster.” Yoongi interrupts.
The younger staggers. “What?”
“Cum dumpster. Say it.”
“You’re hopeless.” Yoongi concludes and thereby also that they’re fucked in the most ironic way of saying so. “Not every woman enjoys your kind of flower power glitter sunshine porn, Taehyung.”
“The women i shoot with enjoy it very much, though.” A cocky grin spreads across Taehyung’s handsome face and Yoongi decides to try one last time.
“What about the women who like to be called sluts and whores in bed but have to resort to bad porn with unattractive and talentless actors to get their share of sexual stimulation? Do you know the value your face holds? The mainstream porn needs that face, Taehyung. There are women out there that need to hear they’re a dirty slut in that deep ass voice of yours. Are you going to deny them that?”
“Woah, hyung! That’s impressive. Did you write this speech in advance?”
“Fine. Whatever, I give up. Do what you want, I don’t care.” Yoongi is so annoyed he starts talking in pout, pursed lips making him sound like an angry toddler. Exhausted to the core, he flops down on the couch with a deep sigh, his arms crossed in front of him as he resorts to brooding in silence.
Taehyung’s smug grin instantly transforms into a rectangular one upon hearing his manager speak like that. He’s entirely incapable of taking him seriously when he’s being like this.
Yoongi feels the weight of Taehyung letting himself fall into the cushions next to him, but chooses to ignore it. He’s still mad he won’t even give it a chance, much less hear him out for real.
Something nudges his arm.
“No.” Is his resolute response.
“Come oooon… You know you want to.” Taehyung sings as his long fingers tickle Yoongi’s.
“I said no.”
But Taehyung’s persistent. “The best way to settle an argument is…?”
“I’m not doing it, go away. Vallan or whatever the fuck it was you said earlier in French.”
“It’s vas-t-en, and I’m not leaving before you hold my hand.”
“You’re an annoying little shit, you know that?” Yoongi grumbles.
“And you’re a grumpy old man, now hold my hand grandpa.”
Yoongi manages to resist for thirty more seconds before he caves and lets Taehyung peel his hand from underneath the folding of his arms. It feels nice; Taehyung’s hands are always big and warm. He instantly feels his blood pressure drop.
“See? Isn’t this nice?” Taehyung beams as he intertwines their fingers tightly, making Yoongi grumble something unintelligible that either sounds like ‘I guess so.’ or ‘Get lost.’ Whichever it may be, he doesn’t make an effort to release himself from Taehyung’s grip, so it’s a win.
“You’re exhausting.” Yoongi mutters but subtly tightens his hold around Tae’s hand. It’s just a thing they do, he doesn’t remember when or why. It just helps to diffuse the tension, somehow. Makes them understand each other better.
“I know, I’m sorry,” Taehyung chuckles, “I should hear you out.”
“You can’t even take me seriously for one minute.”
“I’ll try to now.”
Yoongi hesitates, still irritated about how the younger treated him. He knows this might be his only chance to convince him, however. “Promise me you’ll listen to me. I’ll seriously quit if you don’t.”
“I promise,” Taehyung smiles, giving Yoongi’s hand a little reassuring squeeze.
He sighs, “Alright. Like I said those previous twenty times; artistic erotica is great, it’s beautiful, you’re the best in that category and that’s all dandy. But you have to realise that we’re dealing with a niche category here, not to mention that the production costs are expensive as fuck, which is why we can’t afford to put this on the free online market.”
Yoongi dares to take a peek at his actor’s face, which is often telling of what’s going on in his mind. His full brows are slightly furrowed, lips stretched in a serious line, eyes focused on him; his business face. Good.
“You’re not acting right now, right?” The manager asks for good measure.
“No, not right now.”
“Okay. Are you following?”
“Artistic porn is niche, production costs are expensive, no free online platforms possible. Got it.” Tae shoots him finger guns.
Yoongi’s brows shoot up slightly, colouring himself impressed. He usually can’t hold the guy’s attention for more than twenty seconds. “Uh, great. So what I’m saying is, it wouldn’t hurt to try out some new things we can experiment with to put your name on the mainstream porn market as well. Your net worth right now is laughable and our only income comes from the sale of your films and nobody buys hard copies anymore these days.”
“That’s barely enough to cover the production costs anymore. We have to increase your online presence and we have to do it fast before some rookie with a good face and a 7 inch dick takes your place.”
“Mine is 7,5 inches.” Taehyung remarks as if that makes all the difference in the world.
“I- I know, Tae, and that’s uh, very good,” Yoongi awkwardly slips his hand out of Taehyung’s, “You’re a professional with experience, talent and a face and body most people would commit murder for but nobody knows you. Aside from, like, art students and middle-aged women who are still willing to pay fifty bucks for an erotic movie.”
Taehyung nods slowly and it looks like he finally understands the words that come out of Yoongi’s mouth. He looks uneasy, distressed even. “So…When those people stop buying my films…”
“We’re bankrupt.” Yoongi shrugs, a tight-lipped smile on his face as he watches realisation dawn on Tae’s.
A good few seconds of silence ensue before Taehyung speaks again. “And we’re going to be okay if I…If I do de-degradation?”
Yoongi almost starts to feel sorry for him. “Listen, I don’t want you to do anything you’re not comfortable with. I know you feel safe and confident doing what you do now and that degradation is something else entirely. More like the opposite,” He chuckles sheepishly, “It’ll be completely out of your comfort zone, but we can start with something easier first.”
“something easier?” Taehyung’s interest is piqued.
“I’ve scheduled a shoot for tomorrow,” Yoongi grins mischievously, “I want you to meet someone.”