Hoseok looked like a typical young adult in his early 20s from the outside, but in reality, he was not as typical as others. Hoseok could sometimes time-travel. It happened at the most random times, always saving someone with his supernatural skills.
He himself couldn't understand why or how was this happening, but he felt pretty special because of it. With his extraordinary skills, he had managed to save many people from getting injured or even killed.
Usually there were minor things like saving people from getting hit by a car. He was used to it by now.
He felt like he was the main protagonist of a shonen manga at times. Too bad he couldn't brag about it with anyone else, since nobody but himself knew about it.
If anyone found out about his superpowers, they would definitely lock him up, and Hoseok definitely didn't want that.
His life was quite simple, but good enough for a young adult. He had a stable job, a nice apartment to himself, and even had enough free time for any hobbies.
He also met up with his friends from his high school days every now and then, so he didn't have any complaints from his life. He was just simply enjoying life as it passed by...
"What-why are you here again, Jiwoo~?" Hoseok whined seeing his sister enter the cafe he was working at. Hoseok has been working at this cafe as a barista for a few years now. At first, he didn't really like the idea of being a barista, since that wasn't his actual dream in life, but he couldn't help but work there anyway.
When he was younger, he had always liked dancing, but due to some personal reasons, his family couldn't support this dream and he let it go. Maybe it wasn't meant to be, for him to be a dancer anyway..
"What do you mean why?" Hoseok saw his sister roll her eyes at him as usual. It had been a while ever since she stopped by, so Hoseok was surprised. His sister showing up this randomly, only meant that she was up to something again.
"I'll have the usual, so bring it to me over there. When you finish your shift, come over so we can talk! It's something important.." His sister said to him making him wonder what was going on. Why was she so serious all of a sudden?
Hoseok observed his sister sitting in the corner sipping her coffee every now and then. He was so curious, he wanted his shift to end already so they could finally talk.
After thirty minutes, his shift was finally over so he ran towards her table right away. "Finally, i was this close to leave-" His sister complained, "Tell me! Tell me what's up with you already!" Hoseok demanded from his sister waiting for her response eagerly.
Jiwoo took a final sip from her coffee and finally started to explain, "You know about your three idiot friends? Yoongi, Jin and Namjoon?"
Hoseok nodded feeling as confused as ever. Why would she suddenly start to talk about them?
"Y-eah, i still talk with them everyday. What about them?!"
"It's-Yoongi's little sister...has gone missing or should i say..abducted." Jiwoo said making Hoseok's eyes widen. "It's happening again, Hoseok. Abductions in Gwangju!"
"Again?" Hoseok gulped, starting to feel a little frightened. He really didn't like hearing about such topics. They spooked him to the core, "Don't you remember, dear brother? What happened 12 years ago? When you were 10?" Jiwoo replied, but Hoseok couldn't remember at all. It was like all of his memories were gone.
"I-i don't think i remember- i mean.." Hoseok tried so hard to remember but nothing came up.
"Of course you wouldn't. You were always messing around with your idiot friends that you never paid attention to the poor kids that went missing!" His sister replied sounding a bit harsh this time. "H-hey! Don't say that! I-I cared about those kids as well, of course.. " Hoseok obviously didn't know what his sister was on about.
How could he forget about those kids anyway? His sister thought he was definitely heartless. Or maybe just a careless kid when he was younger.
"They were all your classmates, fool! Park Jimin! Kim Taehyung! Jeon Jungkook!" Jiwoo mentioned their names, hoping that maybe the mentions of their names would sparkle something to Hoseok's mind.
"P-Park Jimin? Now that...is a familiar name. Woah.." He couldn't really say the same for the other two names mentioned, but he could definitely remember Park Jimin. "I never spoke to him really, but i remember him...vaguely.."
"So you know, his case has reopened. And the case of the other two boys as well. I believe that they are all connected-connected to the abductions happening today!" Jiwoo continued explaining, now almost whispering so no one else nearby them could hear.
Hoseok's sister was a criminology major and recently started working at the police department. However, since she was still a rookie, not many of her supervisors trusted her beliefs and ideas, so she wanted to investigate this case by herself. Since they didn't care about it any longer, she would be the one to solve it instead.
Jiwoo was convinced that the suspect they caught years ago, was a false one. The real serial killer was still out there, abducting and killing young children. Someone had to stop him.
"No offence, sis, but....are you sure about this? I mean..didn't they arrest someone years ago for that? Why are they reopening the case?" Hoseok didn't sound very convinced making Jiwoo's blood boil. Not even her own brother was believing her and she couldn't understand why.
"Ugh, whatever, i knew you'd react like this. It was nice seeing you, idiot. I might come around again one day." Hoseok's sister got up, having her briefcase in her arms on her way to exit the cafe. "W-wait~" Hoseok called for her but she just ignored him. Hoseok then realized that he made his sister a little upset.
Maybe, just maybe, he could read more about this case himself. Maybe then he could understand his sister as well.
After work, Hoseok headed to the local library, in order to find old newspapers, then maybe he could find about Park Jimin's case.
And he did.
Park Jimin and the other two young boys were mentioned at this old newspaper. First, they were abducted, then, found dead. Hoseok suddenly felt sick to his stomach. How could someone do this to young children? Or to anyone really?
But what upset him the most was, that he couldn't do anything about it.
He really wanted to save them.
Save Yoongi's little sister from getting murdered before it was too late. But how could he find her? How could he save all of them?
As Hoseok continued reading the old newspaper, he suddenly received a text. He checked and saw that it was his sister. He figured that maybe she was no longer mad at him.
But he almost dropped his phone when he read her text.
JIWOO: I THINK I KNOW WHO THE KILLER IS PLEASE COME HOME SOON I'M AT UR APARTMENT SOS !!
Hoseok placed the old newspaper at the shelf and put his phone away. What could this mean? Did she really find the actual killer and abducter of those kids? Was Yoongi's little sister safe now? Would the dead kids get avenged?
Hoseok rushed to his apartment now bringing out his keys to open the door, then he noticed that the door was already open. What was going on?
Hoseok entered his apartment rapidly but his sister was nowhere to be found. Where was she and why did she forget the door open anyway? Hoseok was definitely going to scold her when he saw her.
"Jiwoo~come on~ this is not funny! Where are you? Y-you know i don't like such stuff-are you trying to scare your little brother?" Hoseok was now trembling as he roamed around his apartment. As he approached his bedroom, he could smell something very unpleasant. It was definitely the smell of blood.
When he entered his bedroom, he dropped his phone on the floor from his shock. Jiwoo was lying on the floor in a puddle of blood. She was stabbed with a knife multiple times, Hoseok was sure she was no longer alive.
"N-no! You're just messing around, aren't you? One of your silly pranks on your scaredy-cat brother, right?! Jiwoo!" Hoseok wept for his sister for at least 5 minutes clinging to her lifeless body, until he heard some footsteps coming towards his direction.
He turned around and looked up, only to be met with an old lady's screams. The old lady was Hoseok's neighbor next door.
"What have you done to her, monster!" The old lady was as shocked as Hoseok that ended up falsely accusing Hoseok.
"N-no! This is a misunderstanding! Why would i kill my own damn sister-" Hoseok protested trying to protect his self, but it was already too late. He could already hear police sirens coming from outside.
He was now trapped, surrounded by many police officers, holding him countable.
Please...please..let me go back!
Hoseok whispered to himself as he was about to get handcuffed by some police officer. He had to go back in time, so he could save his sister. He couldn't be framed for this. No way.
"Wake up, sleepyhead! You're going to be late for school... " Hoseok's sleep was disturbed by his sister's familiar scolding. Hoseok felt like he was dreaming. How could he hear his sister's voice when she had died already? Was this another time travel?
Could he save her from getting murdered this time?
Though, when he opened his eyes, he was as entranced as ever. He realized that he was now located at his old house, in his room specifically. He could see some worn out posters of the Backstreet Boys that he had on his wall and some other superhero figurines from comic books that he loved on his desk.
Was this another dream? A revival?
Then, his thoughts were interrupted by his sister once again. He finally looked up to her, almost crying realizing that she was still alive.
"Sis, you're alive!" Hoseok suddenly clinged to her hugging her tight. Jiwoo was as confused as ever, shaking him off gently, "Silly. What are you talking about? Did you have a nightmare? I told you so many times not to read any of those weird comic books late at night-"
"I'm so glad you're alive!" Hoseok continued his rambling confusing his sister even more. Jiwoo figured that it was probably a bad dream he had. "Come on, go wash yourself then get ready for school. You don't want to upset Mom, do you?"
"M-Mom?" Hoseok stuttered, suddenly remembering about his mother. Of course, since he was back in time, his mother would still be alive. But in present time, his mother had died due to a fatal illness.
Now, he would be able to meet with his Mother again. He definitely didn't expect that.
This was a very different revival.
"Mother! Mother!" Hoseok ran to the kitchen, as he finally found his mother. It had been years ever since he last saw her, making him tear up a little. "My sweet boy, why are you crying? Was your sister a little too mean to you?" His mother asked him gently making him sob even harder.
"Oh dear, what's up with him?" Hoseok's mother picked him up gently giving him a comforting hug, "I'm a-alright, just..it's nothing! Don't worry about it, Mother!" Hoseok reassured his mother as he calmed down a little. He realized that he shouldn't be acting this weirdly, since he was now back in time, he should be acting like his younger self.
"Weirdo.." His sister mumbled seeing her little brother act so strange suddenly. She figured it was probably a weird dream he had. His comic books were definitely the ones to blame.
"You go to school now, and please be careful! Here's your lunch" Hoseok's mother gave him a kiss on the forehead, then handed him his lunchbox. Jiwoo was already in her last year of high school so she usually walked him to school everyday.
"Oh-there's no need to walk you to school today, your idiot friends are here already!" Jiwoo pointed at the street across them. Hoseok then saw his three friends. Yoongi, Jin and Namjoon.
This was definitely a revival.
All of his friends looked as young as he did. They were definitely not 22 years old anymore.
"Hey, Hoseok! We've been waiting here for ten minutes~why are you so late today?" Jin whined to him as he approached them. He wasn't so sure how to act around them. He suddenly forgot how it was to be 10 years old again.
What was the purpose of this revival anyway?
Was it to save his sister from getting murdered in the near future?
"S-sorry, i overslept?" Hoseok apologized awkwardly making his friends laugh, "What kind of excuse is that! I'm pretty sure you were just reading the comic books that i let you borrow last night, weren't you?" Namjoon started to tease his friend. Hoseok figured that he should just play along with them and mess around like he used to back then.
"Yeah, sure. You know how i am.." Hoseok admitted making the other boys giggle, "To be honest, i don't know why you guys are so into comic books when fiction novels exist! They are so much better than comics-" Yoongi suddenly protested making Namjoon and Jin roll their eyes.
Hoseok couldn't help but giggle hearing his friends bicker with each other.
Maybe going back in time wasn't so bad after all.
Or was it?
When they finally reached school, a familiar person walked past him. Hoseok recognized this student right away.
It was....Park Jimin. The first child that had been abducted, then found murdered.
Hoseok couldn't help but shiver a little, seeing the young child still alive and well.
But was Park Jimin really well?
Hoseok then followed the others and entered their classroom. As they sat down to their seats, their homeroom teacher entered the class, starting to talk about the usual things.
Hoseok suddenly remembered about their beloved homeroom teacher.
He was pretty young to be a teacher, but was always very gentle with the children, one of the reasons why all of the kids adored him. Hoseok liked their teacher as well.
Then, he suddenly looked around class, observing his old classmates, remembering many memories he had with them from the past. Nearby him was Park Jimin. He noticed how thin and fragile he actually looked. But the most shocking thing was, the enormous bruise Park Jimin had close to his revealed thigh.
Yes, it was no longer summer, but Park Jimin had some holes in his pants which made the bruises visible to Hoseok's eyes. Hoseok then wondered if he was the only one who knew about this. Did anyone else notice about the bruises Park Jimin had on his body? Hoseok also noticed the cuts on Jimin's short fingers.
Hoseok's thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the bell ringing. He felt someone suddenly poke him, "What are you daydreaming about?" Jin asked his friend while laughing, "Yeah, i'm pretty sure you were staring at the quiet kid for a long time there, Hoseok~" Namjoon joined the conversation teasing his friend.
Hoseok suddenly felt himself blush a little. Was he really staring at Jimin for so long? He didn't even realize.
"S-stop, i was just curious about..something?" His friends of course weren't convinced and continued teasing him, "You seemed really interested in his thighs in particular~is that your favorite thing about a-"
Hoseok just elbowed Yoongi to make him shut up, "S-stop! I just...maybe, i just want to be friends with him. W-would you guys mind if i became friends with him?"
All of his three friends glared at each other in awe, wondering if their friend was just messing around. Hoseok all of a sudden wanting to be friends with the quiet kid of their class?
Hoseok actually was one of the most popular kids in class, so it was quite weird for him to suddenly want to be friends with Park Jimin.
"I guess..having another friend isn't that bad?" Namjoon was the first one to speak up, then the others followed nodding to his words, "Maybe that Park Jimin kid needs a friend too! We should be his friend, don't you think?" Jin added to the conversation making Hoseok smile. He was happy that his friends didn't deny his suggestion.
Now all he had to do was..become actual friends with Jimin.
But how could he do it? He suddenly felt so flustered and shy. He had lived for 22 years, yet was unable to start a conversation..with a 10 year old. Hoseok really hated this.
He really had forgotten how it felt like to be 10 years old.
"There! Park Jimin is leaving! Go talk to him, Hoseok!" Yoongi announced as he saw Jimin walk away glancing over the window of their class. "I'll go then! See you tomorrow, guys!" All of his friends wished him good luck as they cheered for him. They continued looking out of the window as Hoseok ran outside so he could reach Jimin.
"P-Park Jimin! Wait up!" Hoseok was basically chasing Jimin around but hoped that Jimin wouldn't think he was weird.
"Why..what do you want?" The boy suddenly said sounding very cold. Hoseok was surprised by Jimin's attitude. "I'm sorry-i wasn't chasing you around or anything- i was just.. " Hoseok tried to catch his breath as he was panting, running for almost five minutes to reach Jimin.
"W-would you like to be friends..with me?" Hoseok announced to Jimin making him chuckle, "Why would the golden boy of our class want to be my friend? Are..are you messing with me? Is this a bet you've made with your friends? Because..i saw you stare at me with your friends-"
Jimin's words made Hoseok's heart sink a little. So Jimin genuinely believed that nobody wanted to be friends with him.
Hoseok shook his head, "It's not a bet! I-just want to be your friend-please!" Hoseok now sounded desperate confusing Jimin. Why was he so desperate? Why did Hoseok want to suddenly become friends with him?
"Would you do anything for me, if i was your friend, Hoseok?" Jimin suddenly asked Hoseok, "What-i mean..i guess?"
"Even..kill someone?" Jimin added making Hoseok tremble a little. Why was Jimin suddenly talking about something like this? Then, Jimin started to giggle noticing Hoseok's horrified expression, "Just messing with you. See you around~" Jimin just waved at Hoseok and jogged cutely running away from him, leaving Hoseok frozen.
But Hoseok couldn't stop thinking about the bruises all over Jimin's body, and now, his ominous talk. Hoseok realized there was definitely something wrong with Jimin.
Jimin needed help. And Hoseok would be the one to help him, save him.
"I'm telling you guys! He blatantly rejected me! Isn't he so mean?!" Hoseok whined to his friends as they were now located at Yoongi's house. They often met at each other's houses, today they chose Yoongi's. They were all gathered in Yoongi's room, in a circle, teasing Hoseok about Jimin once again.
"Maybe he just doesn't like you because you're too loud~" Jin teased his friend again making Hoseok throw a pillow at him, "You're worse than me, Jin! You have no right to talk!"
"But..Hoseok, i think you should be more careful with Jimin. I've heard rumors about him and.." Yoongi suddenly interrupted their silly banter making all of them look towards his direction waiting for him to continue, "There's something..going on with his family, i heard."
"Something going on? What do you mean! Tell me, Yoongi!" Hoseok insisted wanting to know already. He knew such information would help him in the future. "His family-well not really family since he only has his mother but-his mother is..abusive to say the least!" Yoongi announced making everyone gasp.
Hoseok knew there was something going on with Jimin. His mother being abusive explained all the bruises on Jimin's body.
Hoseok suddenly got up, "Where are you going, Hoseok?" Namjoon asked seeing him get up so quickly, "I-i just remembered i need to help my sister out with something! See you guys tomorrow!" Hoseok lied to his friends coming up with the lamest excuse he could ever think of.
He wanted to find Jimin. It was now late at night, but Hoseok figured Jimin wouldn't be home yet. Since Jimin came from a dysfunctional family, there was no way he would want to stay at home all the time.
Hoseok figured Jimin probably wandered around the neighborhood, hiding somewhere safe every afternoon until it got dark. Seeking for a place to escape from his cruel mother.
Hoseok looked everywhere around their neighborhood. The only place he hasn't searched yet, was the park close to his house. Then..he remembered this was the place where Park Jimin's body was found.
His body was found once the snow melted. Hoseok shook his head. No! He wouldn't let this happen again.
He wouldn't let Park Jimin die this time.
Or anyone else.
As he arrived at the park, he saw Park Jimin close to the swings, "Park Jimin!" Hoseok yelled making Jimin turn around, "Oh-it's the golden boy again. Are you stalking me?" Jimin said to Hoseok joking as always. Hoseok now approached Jimin, shivering a little from the cold. It had just started to snow.
"I-i told you! I want to be your friend! And it's not for a bet! I want to be your friend..really!" Hoseok begged to Jimin making him chuckle again. Jimin could now feel his cheeks flush a little, mostly from the cold.
"Sure.." Jimin replied so casually making Hoseok feel suspicious. Was it that simple to become friends with Jimin?
"After all, i might need a friend like you, to keep me warm from the cold days.." Jimin added, suddenly wrapping his arms around him, trying to warm up. Hoseok wondered if Jimin was actually talking about the cold weather or..something else.
Was Jimin referring to his abusive mother?
"S-since we're friends now, i want to give you this! I will invite all of my friends at my birthday party! You're included as well~" Hoseok handed Jimin an invitation card. Jimin was quite taken aback when he saw the date on the card. It was at the 18th of February.
"You will come, right?" Hoseok started sounding desperate again making Jimin chuckle softly, "I guess i will."
"Good~good~i'm so happy that you're my friend ~" Hoseok couldn't help but smile widely at Jimin. It had been a while ever since he felt this way. Maybe making new friends was not as bad as he remembered.
"Aren't you cold, by the way? Your cheeks are-" Hoseok pointed out staring at Jimin's red cheeks, "Your cheeks are red too, dummy!" Jimin protested cutely. Hoseok then placed his hands over Jimin's cheeks in order to warm him up a little, "Didn't you say that you need a friend to keep you warm? My gloves will keep you warm!" Hoseok continued cupping Jimin's cheeks with his hands making Jimin flustered.
Hoseok's touch was very soft and gentle, it made Jimin want to cry. Jimin hasn't received such warm affection for years now..
He definitely needed Hoseok's warmth.
Not just on cold days.
"It's getting too dark now! I should get going .. " Jimin suddenly announced making Hoseok pull away. Jimin suddenly felt the cold hit him in the face again, but he didn't mind. Hoseok would be by his side now.
"Okie~see you around school tomorrow, friend!" Hoseok patted Jimin on the shoulder then left heading home. He realized that his own mother and sister would be worried about him as well. "Yeah, see you.." Jimin whispered as he saw Hoseok leave the park. Jimin now had to go back home as well.
Hoseok prayed that Jimin would be safe.
It was now close to midnight, but Hoseok was still up trying to come up with a plan. Then, he remembered about the two other names his sister had mentioned before; Kim Taehyung and Jeon Jungkook. Hoseok realized that these two were actually a year younger when they were found dead, while Jimin was a year older.
All three of them were found dead in late February, so Hoseok concluded that he had to be careful. Soon enough, they would be abducted and killed.
He only had 18 days left until his birthday party. Could he make it until then?
"Look at you-you're unable to wake up again! What have you been doing?!" Hoseok's sister scolded him once again, trying to wake him up. Hoseok had some visible dark circles under his eyes making things worse. Jiwoo just couldn't understand what her brother was up to every night.
"Mm, just a little more, tired.." Hoseok mumbled having his face nuzzled to his pillow. Being 10 years old was suddenly not so cool. Having to wake up at 7am everyday, coming out of your warm covers and go outside in the cold weather?
"Get up or i will tell Mom~" Jiwoo threatened him, knowing that Hoseok would definitely obey her by then. Jiwoo knew that Hoseok was always obedient when it came to his mother. He never wanted to disappoint her or disobey her.
"Fiiiine- " Hoseok decided to get up, yawning as he got out of his bed. His hair was as messy as ever making his sister laugh, "Really, i think you should stop reading those comic books late at night. Look at your state! You can't even open your eyes properly, silly."
"I was not reading comic books-" Hoseok protested, now heading to his closet so he could find something to wear. His sister exited his room so he could get dressed up.
"I'll be going now~see you later, Mom! Sis!" Hoseok had his school bag and lunchbox with him and was ready to leave for school. He wondered if Jimin was doing alright since last night.
He couldn't wait to see him again. He was excited to be his friend for some reason.
"What's up with you again~" Hoseok's friends teased him right away, pointing at the dark circles under his eyes. Hoseok just pouted, "Can you guys knock it off-" Hoseok yawned making the others laugh, "I'm..sleepy?"
"Yeah, thanks for the information. We can tell that you're sleepy~" Yoongi said in a sarcastic tone. Hoseok just grimaced not wanting to deal with any of his friends teasing at the moment. As they arrived at school, Hoseok immediately looked around, searching for Jimin.
But he was nowhere to be found.
Hoseok wanted to ask him something.
When was Jimin's birthday? It had to be close.
"Oh~are you looking for your lover, Hoseok?" Jin teased his friend obviously meaning Jimin. The others just giggled, "S-top, i was just wondering where he was.."
"But..are you guys even friends? Didn't you tell us that he rejected you the other day?" Namjoon asked Hoseok. Then, Hoseok remembered that his friends didn't know about their meeting in the park. "Oh- i forgot to tell you guys. On my way home last night, i met Jimin in the park and..." Hoseok explained to his friends in details, which made things worse for him.
His friends couldn't stop teasing him, making him blush a little. Is this how they used to act back then? He couldn't remember.
"A-anyway, Jimin is probably sick, maybe.." Hoseok and his friends entered the classroom, heading to their seats. Hoseok kept glancing at Jimin's seat, feeling quite sad seeing his seat empty. He was so excited to talk to him again, but now he was gone.
Then.....he started to have very negative thoughts.
Maybe last night something happened to Jimin and he was now already dead. Maybe his mother went over the line and harmed him-
Maybe, maybe, maybe. He had too many thoughts that he was unable to concentrate in class.
Then, the bell rang. Class was finally over.
"Y-you guys go ahead, i have something i need to do!" Hoseok said to his friends as they looked at him suspiciously. Hoseok just wanted to find out when was Jimin's birthday, so he decided to find out in his own way...
He headed to the teacher's office, looking through the files of each student. Then, he finally found Jimin's. Once he was about to open the file, he jumped when he felt someone behind him.
It was their teacher.
"Jung Hoseok..why are you here?" He asked, his voice sounding gentle but intimidating at the same time, "Teacher! I'm so sorry! I just wanted to find something out and-" The teacher just chuckled seeing the boy so panicked.
He noticed the name of the file Hoseok was looking for. Park Jimin.
"You're interested in one of your classmates, is it?" The teacher picked the files in his hands, "Y-yes, i mean..w-we recently became friends and i just wanted to find out his birthday date-" Hoseok explained to his teacher, still looking very panicked. The teacher just chuckled again, "Here you go then," The teacher handed him over the file.
Hoseok's eyes widened when he noticed the date. Jimin was born in February, 18th, just like Hoseok. "Woah..so we share the same birthday!"
"Yes, as it seems. Your classmate was probably just a little shy to tell you about this. I'm sure he meant no harm." The teacher reassured Hoseok with a smile. Hoseok placed the file on the desk, feeling a little relieved. His teacher wasn't mad at him at all, so at least he slipped away from getting punished.
"Please be careful with Park Jimin, he's a gentle child.." The teacher suddenly said to Hoseok. Hoseok just nodded shyly, "O-okay, i will be going now! T-thank you, Teacher!" Hoseok thanked his teacher and ran away from the office. He had to find Jimin and talk to him already.
Since school was over, he headed to Jimin's place.
On his way to Jimin's place, he saw some blood stains imprinted on the snow, making him panic. Hoseok started to run following the stains as he finally reached to the door. It was open.
Then, he saw Jimin, lying on the floor half naked shivering, his body covered in bruises and red marks.
"J-Jimin! Are you okay, friend?!" Hoseok finally found the courage and rushed in, making Jimin open his eyes. Hoseok could tell that Jimin had been crying looking at his puffy eyes. "N-no! L-leave, i don't want you to see me like thi-s" Jimin covered himself with his hands, shivering from the cold.
"I-wear this! You will freeze to death!" Hoseok took off his coat, handing it over to Jimin. Jimin hesitated wearing it from his slight embarrassment, so Hoseok helped him put it on instead. "See, now you will be nice and warm and-" Hoseok was about to help Jimin get up when he heard foosteps coming from outside.
He gasped when he turned around only to be met with..Jimin's mother.
Yes, Jimin's mother was a very young woman, probably in her early 30's. But looked like a literal mess. She looked very rough and..cold. Nothing like Hoseok's mother.
Hoseok's mother was always very warm and gentle and kind.
"Have you been crying the whole time, Jimin? Get up already, will you." His mother whined suddenly grabbing him roughly by his coat(Hoseok's coat, but Hoseok let him borrow it anyway). Jimin just followed her obediently, not even looking at Hoseok.
He was so taken aback that he didn't know what to do. Just seeing Jimin's abused body like this made him want to sob. Why wasn't anyone helping him? Why didn't anyone care? A 10 year old child was severely abused by his mother and no one cared?
"H-how did this happen to Jimin? T-the bruises?" Hoseok asked and Jimin's mother looked back to him warily, "Jimin is a silly clumsy child, aren't you, honey?" The young woman looked at Jimin carefully and Jimin just nodded obediently, "Mom is right, i fell down the stairs last night. You don't need to worry, Hoseok." Jimin replied coldly, still not looking at him.
Hoseok felt like crying hearing Jimin's lies. Jimin was obviously lying.
But why was he protecting his mother?
"I'll..see you at school then, Jimin-" Hoseok was so terrified that he wanted to run away, go back to his mother and cry. He wanted to save Jimin and he would. He was now more determined than ever.
This time, he couldn't make any mistakes.
"Mom!" Hoseok called for his mother as he arrived home. He just wanted to rest into her arms for a while. Today was just too much for him to handle. Yes, he was 22 years old, but at that time, he felt like he was genuinely 10 years old.
"What is it, dear? Why are you crying again?" His mother asked him as she wiped some tears from his cheek gently, "It's nothing, really! I just..i love you, Mom! Pl-ease don't ever die!" Hoseok clinged to his mother crying again. His mother just petted his hair softly trying to calm him down. Hoseok was really acting like a little child.
But it was okay for him to act like this. He was supposed to be 10 years old anyway.
"I swear..lately all you do is act weird.." Jiwoo mumbled to herself, seeing her brother cry into her mother's arms. She was starting to get a little worried herself.
The next day, Hoseok woke up early, surprising both his sister and mother. Today, he would talk to their teacher about Jimin. He was curious, wondering if their beloved teacher knew about Jimin being abused by his mother. And if he did know, why didn't he help Jimin already? Why was he silent?
Since Hoseok was only 10 years old, he couldn't do much, so he wanted to rely on an adult's help for once.
"Oh~you're early today, Hoseok!" His friends were surprised seeing him hyper than usual, "Yeah, have things to do.. " Hoseok simply replied, not explaining anything to them again. The others just laughed it off, but Yoongi couldn't help but still look at him suspiciously every now and then.
He knew Hoseok was up to something and he was hiding it from them.
"Anyway, let's go to class already. " Namjoon suggested and they all did as he said. Hoseok almost ran towards Jimin's direction when he saw him in class. Jimin was sitting in his seat peacefully, looking as gloomy as ever. He had a fuzzy scarf around his neck, Hoseok figured it was probably his mother's idea, wanting to hide his bruises.
"H-hey, Jimin. Are you alright?" Hoseok approached his desk, asking him gently. Jimin looked up to him and just smiled weakly at him, "I'm always fine!"
"S-sure, you are. Okay.." Hoseok headed to his seat once he heard their teacher enter the class. He then remembered that he had to talk to him as well. He needed his help or anyone else's really.
Classes were over and Hoseok got up from his seat, heading to the teacher's office right away, "I'll be back soon, guys! Just need to ask teacher something!!" Hoseok said to his friends before they had the chance to ask him.
"You guys..don't you think Hoseok is hiding something from us? I mean, lately.. " Yoongi expressed his worries to his friends, but the others didn't feel the same way. "I think you've read too many novels, Yoongi. Why would Hoseok hide something from us anyway? We've been friends for many years...."
"I guess, i'm probably wrong.." Yoongi still couldn't help but be a little suspicious. He was convinced his friend was hiding something from them.
Hoseok found his teacher and interrogated him about Jimin. Surprisingly, his teacher already knew about Jimin's abusive mother, but hasn't done anything yet for obvious reasons. Jimin was already isolated from other kids, so if their classmates were to find out about Jimin's mother, they would definitely treat him differently.
And Jimin wouldn't like that.
Hoseok understood his teacher's reasoning, but he still wanted him to take action. They had to inform the social services. And they did, about five times.
But luckily for Jimin's mother, she had managed to avoid the social services every time they came around to investigate. It pissed Hoseok off. How could Jimin's mother slip away everytime?
He had to do something himself. Obviously the social services couldn't do their job right and Hoseok had to interfere. He had to help before it was too late.
"Jimin!" Hoseok managed to find Jimin before he left. Since Jimin looked so down, he wanted to do something to cheer him up. He just knew the right place that would cheer him up.
"W-want to go out with me?" Hoseok blurted out without realizing what he was saying from his excitement. Jimin's eyes widened from his shock hearing Hoseok's suggestion, "What?"
"I-i mean..like..g-go out..i want to show you something. Something that you would like!" Hoseok started to explain feeling his cheeks redden from his slight embarrassment. Jimin couldn't help but giggle at his silliness, "Okay..sure." As soon as Jimin replied, Hoseok grabbed his hand guiding him outside already.
They were now headed out close to the woods. Hoseok knew it was a bit dangerous to go there by themselves, but he wanted to show Jimin something.
There was a magnificent sight that Jimin had to see. Close to the woods, there was a large tree and a beautiful lake. Since it was February, the lake was still frozen, but it still looked very pretty.
"Isn't it nice? Usually i come here with my mom and sister, especially at summer when there's no snow-but you know! It's pretty with the snow as well, don't you think?" Jimin remained silent for a while staring at the frozen lake, observing the huge tree close to them.
Everything was so pretty and shiny. Jimin couldn't help but smile at the gorgeous scenery. It made him feel like he was suddenly a protagonist of a fairytale.
A beautiful fairytale where Jimin was happy and his mother was nowhere near him.
"Pretty.. " Jimin murmured, still admiring the scenery. "It feels so cold, yet so warm. " Jimin started to say making Hoseok look at him worryingly, "Oh-are you sure you're not having a fever? Are you too warm? I brought these gloves with me so you wouldn't be cold like last time- " Hoseok started talking about the gloves he gave to Jimin but Jimin was just daydreaming in his own world.
Yes, the gloves Hoseok had gifted to Jimin were a bit too warm, but what Jimin meant was that Hoseok was warm.
Just like he said before, Jimin needed Hoseok and his warmth.
There was one week until Hoseok and Jimin's birthday. Hoseok figured out that he had to keep Jimin safe until their birthday, and he would. Everyday, staying by his side, trying to keep him away from his mother.
Today was no different. He was planning to take Jimin somewhere once again.
"Mom-can i ask for s-some money?" Hoseok asked his mother hesitantly, while he was finishing off his breakfast, "Oh, dear. Do you need them for something special?" His mother of course would give him money. Hoseok knew his mother was always so kind towards him. He could never say no to him.
"I'll go to the comic book store with a n-new friend! And i want to buy some books for him.." Hoseok explained to his mother, feeling his cheeks redden for some reason. Why did he suddenly feel so shy talking about Jimin to his mother?
Hoseok's mother just chuckled smiling at him fondly, "Sure. You can bring that new friend of yours around as well, sweetie. All of your friends are welcomed here!"
"I will..bring him here on my birthday!" Hoseok announced to his mother happily. She got up heading to her bedroom so she could find some money to give him. Hoseok was more than thrilled.
It had been years ever since he visited a comic book store.
He felt like he was 10 years old again.
"Sorry guys, but i really want to go alone with Jimin, you know...i don't think he has ever been to such places before and i think it'd be nice for him and i-" Hoseok explained to his friends making them frown. They couldn't lie, they were a little jealous.
Why was Hoseok suddenly favoring Jimin?
"Sure..you can go with him, it's for a day anyway, isn't it. " Namjoon was the first one to speak up again, the others just nodded. Hoseok could tell his friends were a little bitter, making him feel bad.
Maybe they should all go to the book store instead. Jimin could become friends with them as well.
"Say..Jimin!" Hoseok called for Jimin inviting him over, "W-what is it, Hoseok?" Jimin now approached Hoseok, his friends looking at Jimin, "Y-you wouldn't mind if you went out with me and my friends to the book store, would you?"
"I guess..not?" Jimin was a little hesitant feeling embarrassed, feeling all eyes of Hoseok's friends on him. Would this be okay? What if Hoseok's friends didn't like him? He couldn't help but feel a little insecure suddenly.
"You better come, Park Jimin. Hoseok almost didn't want us to tag along so he could be alone with you!" Jin suddenly said to Jimin making him blush. Hoseok just smacked his friend on the chest, "Idiot! D-don't say such things! I just thought maybe Jimin would feel awkward around you guys!" Hoseok tried to so hard to protect himself while the others just started laughing, Jimin as well.
Hoseok thought Jimin's laugh was very beautiful.
He always wanted for Jimin to be happy.
Hoseok had everything planned, but he had forgotten about one thing. They needed Jimin's mother permission. Hoseok figured that Jimin's mother was strict with such things. How would this work out for them?
Now, all five of them were outside of Jimin's house, waiting for his mother to come out and ask for permission. Finally, after five minutes she opened. The other three boys had never seen Jimins' mother before so they were a bit surprised.
She looked..very intimidating.
"Jimin? What is going on here?" His mother asked sounding panicked, "Mom-" Jimin was hesitating, feeling too scared to ask her. Hoseok suddenly spoke for Jimin, "W-we would like to go out to the book store with your son, Ms Park-could we? It would be only for a few hours-"
Jimin's mother scoffed, "Jimin is busy helping me out with things usually at this hour- "
"But it will be only for a few hours! Please! Jimin wants this as well!" Hoseok was persistent, not giving up infuriating Jimin's mother even more. "Huh. You want to go with them, Jimin? You want to go with them and abandon your mother?" Jimin was a bit hesitant, knowing that he would get beat up for this later, but he couldn't help but nod.
He really wanted to go out with Hoseok and his friends, spend some time like a 10 year old for once.
"You little brat-" Jimin's mother suddenly raised her arm ready to hit Jimin, making him flinch, when they were interrupted by someone. Hoseok couldn't believe his eyes. It was his beloved sister.
"I think you shouldn't be doing this in front of everyone, should you, Ms Park?" Hoseok's friends along with Jimin looked up to her in awe. She showed up looking like a superhero saving the victims from a villain.
Jimin's mother pulled away, looking as mad as ever. "Fine. But only for two hours. " His mother replied making all the boys cheer. Jimin couldn't help but smile as well.
"Sis~what would we do without you? You emerged out of nowhere like a superhero or something!" Hoseok praised his sister on their way to the book store. His sister was just on her way back from her part-time job, then saw the commotion happening and of course had to interfere.
Then, she realized Park Jimin was the new friend her brother has been talking about.
"Sure..you nerds have fun at the book store. I'll be heading home now. Be careful!" Hoseok's sister patted Hoseok's head softly then left. All the boys started praising his sister making him laugh.
"Let's go to the book store, everyone! We need to show Jimin our precious treasure!" Hoseok announced to his friends and they all agreed. They definitely would be showing Jimin all of their favorite comic books, even novels(Yoongi would anyway).
Jimin couldn't help but smile as they entered the store. It was the first time he was experiencing something like this. It was a very simple date, but he was still enjoying it. It made him feel very happy, now that he had four friends.
All so warm and sweet.
"Here, Jimin! I'll buy you this one! An early present for your birthday- " Hoseok showed Jimin a comic book in his hands. Jimin has never read any comic books in his life before, so all of this was new to him. Jimin could hear Hoseok's friends a bit further away from them bickering over a comic book. He couldn't help but giggle.
He realized that this was what it felt like to be friends with someone.
"Superman..?" Jimin blurted out reading the title of the comic book, "Yes! Of course it's one of the classics~i'll get this for you okay?" Jimin didn't want Hoseok to spend money on him, but he knew Hoseok would get this for him anyway.
Hoseok was always too kind towards Jimin, that it made him want to cry sometimes. He felt so loved at this moment, but held back his tears so he wouldn't ruin their precious moment.
After two hours of roaming around the store and bickering with each other, they were finally done, now having to return Jimin back home. Jimin wished this day could last forever, but sadly it had to end. He was a bit too scared to go back home.
"See you tomorrow, Jimin!" Hoseok said, his friends as well. "Yeah, see you!"
Jimin entered his house warily, entering the living room slowly. His mother suddenly spoke to him making him jump, "At least you showed up right on time. Go to sleep before i change my mind, will you." Jimin was more than relieved.
For some reason, that night, his mother had decided not to beat him up.
The week came to an end and it was finally Jimin and Hoseok's birthday. For a week now, Hoseok has been trying to keep Jimin safe and he had succeeded. Jimin no longer had any visible bruises on his body and seemed a lot happier. Hoseok was starting to feel as positive as ever.
Now, there was only one day left.
"Mom! Me and Jimin will go buy food for our birthday party, okay?" Hoseok announced to his mother and she just nodded, "You do that, sweetie. Please be careful on your way home. " Hoseok kissed his mother on the cheek gently then headed outside, rushing to Jimin's house.
He was relieved when the door opened and Jimin was still alive and well. "Happy birthday, Jimin!"
"H-happy birthday, Hoseok~" Jimin said to him shyly. Then, Hoseok gave him a short hug flustering Jimin. He was not expecting to receive a hug from him.
"Let's go! We're supposed to meet up with the others at the grocery store and buy stuff for our party!" Hoseok grabbed Jimin's hand, guiding him to the store. But once they arrived to the store, they realized that the others weren't there.
"Ah-those jerks! They lied to me- " Hoseok pouted not seeing any of his friends around. "It's okay, Hoseok. Let's just get the food, the two of us!" Jimin suggested to Hoseok and he just nodded, "Kay! Those jerks though, when i see them i will-"
Hoseok shamelessly ended up spending all his money on food, but he didn't mind. Since he also had Jimin by his side this year, he wanted to have lots of food for everyone.
As they arrived to Hoseok's house, they opened the door, when the sound of whistles and confetti going off were heard, surprising both Jimin and Hoseok.
All of Hoseok's friends along with his sister and mother were at the living room. Jimin noticed all the birthday party decorations all over Hoseok's house making him giggle. Hoseok's friends ditched him on the grocery store so they could surprise him at home.
How sweet, Jimin thought.
"Happy birthday, Jimin and Hoseok! We even bought two cakes for you!" All of the boys cheered, showing them the birthday cakes. "Isn't that too much cake to eat?" Jimin was genuinely shocked.
Jimin has lived for 11 years so far and he has never received a birthday cake, especially one like this. It was the first birthday party where he was actually having fun.
"H-here, Jimin! I b-bought this for you!" This time, Hoseok wasn't gifting Jimin a comic book or gloves. This time, it was..a teddy bear. Hoseok could already hear his friends tease him about it but he didn't care. He thought this present was perfect for Jimin. "Y-you know when you're feeling cold at night, you can cuddle with the teddy and-" Hoseok started to explain, feeling even more embarrassed than before.
Maybe he should have bought Jimin another comic book instead.
"N-no, it's alright! I like it, thank you!" Jimin took the teddy bear into his arms, holding it tight. It was like Hoseok. Soft and warm.
"Let's eat the cake already!" Jin suddenly said sounding as eager as ever making the others laugh, "Yeah, let's do that~"
Then, they all ate their birthday cakes together, feeling as stuffed as ever.
But they would never regret it. Birthday cake was always the best.
"Everyone, thank you for today! It w-was very..nice.." Jimin thanked everyone before it was time for him to go. Jimin felt himself tear up a little, but held back. It was the first time he was feeling happy on his birthday, so he shouldn't be crying.
"I'll walk you home, Jimin. See you guys at school tomorrow!" Both Hoseok and Jimin waved at the others as they left. Hoseok was as happy as ever. It was now midnight and their birthdays were over. But at least Jimin was still alive and well.
Yes, maybe Hoseok had managed to change the future.
"Night, Jimin. I'll see you at school tomorrow!" Hoseok said his good-byes as they arrived at Jimin's place. "Of course! Good night, Hoseok! Thank you for everything..really!" Jimin thanked his precious friend with the fondest smile, "It's nothing, really. You go sleep now, Jimin~"
"Okay.. " Jimin whispered as he entered his house. Hoseok jogged to his house, feeling as relieved as ever.
He finally made it.
Or that's what he thought.
The following morning, Hoseok woke up earlier than usual, eager to go to school so he could see Jimin.
Little did he know that Jimin wouldn't be showing up at school today, or any other day.
Yes, once he entered the classroom, he noticed that Jimin was not there. And even after their classes had started, Jimin was still nowhere to be seen.
Was Jimin missing? In danger? Did Hoseok manage to mess things up in the end?
As soon as classes finished, Hoseok exited the class not even talking to his friends, heading to Jimin's place. He had to make sure if Jimin was alive or not.
As he arrived, he could see some footprints imprinted on the snow, following them only lead him to Jimin's front door. Hoseok kept banging on the door but no one was answering. Then, Hoseok roamed around the neighborhood searching every place he could think of, but still couldn't find Jimin.
Was that it? Was Jimin dead? Missing?
Hoseok felt like a failure. Once again, he had managed to fail, unable to save Jimin like he was unable to save his sister from getting killed.
"What's up with you?" Jiwoo asked her brother seeing him enter the house, looking very distressed. "Just.....J-Jimin didn't show up at school today and.. " Hoseok hesitated, not wanting to finish his sentence. Just thinking about Jimin's dead body being found in a few weeks made him want to cry.
"He's probably sick or something-didn't you walk him back home at midnight last night? He probably caught a cold~" Jiwoo couldn't understand why her little brother was so upset, but she tried to comfort him with her words. It was probably just a cold anyway. Right?
"Y-yeah, probably.. " Hoseok sniffed, wiping some tears from his cheek, heading to his room. He wanted to rest for a while, not wanting to think. The past few weeks he's been trying so hard to save Jimin, yet in the end, he was unable to do so.
He really was a failure.
Hoseok stayed at home for a few days, feeling too gloomy to go to school. The past few days he has been spending his time in bed, sulking all day. He wasn't so sure how to move on from this or what to do.
"Good morning~did you sleep well, sweetie?" Hoseok saw his mother enter his room cheerfully. He wished he could be happy so his mother wouldn't worry, but he couldn't lie to her. "I guess..." Hoseok replied shortly, still under the warm covers of his bed.
"I think..if you went to school, you would feel a little better, don't you think? You will see your other lovely friends as well and.." His mother started to say hesitating a little. She was careful with her words, "M-maybe you're right. I'm sorry, Mom.." Hoseok felt like a disappointment again.
"I know..that it hurts that your new friend has gone missing, but you shouldn't lose hope. I'm sure he will be alright.." Hoseok's mother said to him sweetly, making him want to cry again. Jimin wasn't alright and Hoseok knew that.
Though, Hoseok didn't want to upset his mother anymore, so he decided to go to school anyway.
"Alright, i'll go to school today, Mom!" Hoseok announced to his mother, finally getting out of his bed. "That's wonderful. I'll go prepare something for you to eat, okay?"
Jiwoo walked Hoseok to school today, since she was a bit too worried not wanting to leave him by himself. Jiwoo knew that there was something strange going on around their neighborhood. There was no way Hoseok's friend just disappeared like this or moved away somewhere else. She was sure something else had happened. Something bad.
"You be careful and don't roam around by yourself, okay?" Hoseok's sister warned him once they arrived at school. Hoseok just nodded, "Yeah, okay. See you.."
Jiwoo just wished her little brother would be his usual cheerful self again. It broke her heart seeing him so gloomy..
Once Hoseok entered their classroom, he could hear all of his classmates talk about Jimin. Talk about how he was abused and other mean things. He just frowned hearing their repulsive words. Jimin was an abused kid and was now missing. How could they say such things about him?
He was ready to start a fight with someone when their teacher entered the classroom.
"Everyone... " The teacher started to say hesitating a little. Hoseok was so sure he was going to talk about Jimin's disappearance. "I was a bit hesitant about this, but i have to let you guys know. It's about your classmate, Jimin. " He continued making Hoseok look towards him.
"Jimin..has been away from school for a few days, because he has moved away to live with his grandmother! So, not to worry. I'm sure Jimin is doing just fine." Hoseok couldn't believe his teacher's words. How could he blatantly lie like that?
Most of his classmates seemed pretty convinced, but of course Hoseok wasn't, because he knew the truth.
Once classes were over, Hoseok stood in the corner looking out of the window for a while. Then, his thoughts were interrupted by his friend, Yoongi.
"Hey..Hoseok." Yoongi suddenly spoke making him jump slightly, "Geez. You scared me, idiot.."
"Sorry..i just wanted to talk to you about something. You know..about Jimin?" Yoongi started to explain making Hoseok turn around, now facing his friend, "Okay..?" Hoseok waited for his friend to continue.
"So..you know, i think..about Jimin running away, i think it's a lie. Don't you think? I think..they're hiding something from us." Hoseok wasn't surprised by Yoongi's statement at all. Yoongi has always been a little too sharp for his age. And Yoongi was right.
All of this was a lie.
"You may be right, friend-"
"But haven't you heard? Another one of our classmates has disappeared but that teacher of ours, hasn't talked about it. Jeon Jungkook. He disappeared last night. He lives next to me and.. " Yoongi announced to Hoseok about Jungkook's disappearance surprising him.
Hoseok had forgotten about Jungkook and Taehyung. Now, he was convinced he was a complete failure. He had forgotten about them, being completely infatuated with saving only Jimin.
"Dammit..!" Hoseok cursed making his friend chuckle, "Hoseok-i think..you should calm down for a few days. I can tell that you're still not well. Me and the guys are worried about you, you know.."
"I'll be-i'll be fine! Don't worry about me! You guys just...stay safe. Okay? I-i have to go now!" Hoseok ran away again, now heading home.
His revival was a failure. Jimin was dead, Jungkook was missing and soon enough, Taehyung would probably go missing as well. He was just so lost, not knowing what to do anymore.
On his way home, Hoseok saw Jimin's mother suddenly emerge out of nowhere holding too many plastic bags in her hands. He saw her throwing them in the trash can. He had a bad feeling about this.
What did she need all those plastic bags for anyway? He was so curious, he had to check what was inside of one of the bags at least. As he saw her leave, he approached the plastic bags and noticed something familiar inside them.
Inside the plastic bags, were the gloves Hoseok had gifted to Jimin. Also the teddy bear.
Hoseok froze for a moment trying to process this.
Just the thought of Jimin being inside of those plastic bags horrified him. Hoseok started to run away, screaming from his horror.
Hoseok suddenly opened his eyes, realizing where he was. He was definitely back in present time. He noticed the blood in his hands making him want to vomit. But then, he could hear police sirens and police officers chattering nearby him.
He remembered how he slipped away from them right on time, then time-travelled.
But why was he back? Why did his revival end like this? Could this mean that he could go back in time again and save Jimin and the others properly? Was this his second chance?
Whatever the reason, now, he had to get away from the police officers and hide somewhere safe. But where could he go?
As he ran for a few minutes, he was now located to a park hiding behind a tree. He wasn't so sure where to go. Should he call his friends for help? Would they believe him..or accuse him as well?
Suddenly, he felt his phone buzz. As he checked his phone he noticed Namjoon had texted him multiple times. What was going on with him?
NAMJOON: THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOONGI, HOSEOK. PLS ANSWER.
NAMJOON: YOONGI HASN'T BEEN ANSWERING ME AT ALL TODAY AND I CAN'T FIND HIM ;;???
NAMJOON: HOSEOK IF U SEE THIS PLS REPLY I NEED UR HELP!
Hoseok took a deep breath, trying to process all of this. What was the meaning of Namjoon's messages? Was Yoongi in danger? Was the killer after him as well?
Then, it hit him. Yoongi probably had realized or found out who the killer was, and the killer decided to eliminate him, just like he did with Hoseok's sister.
Hoseok was infuriated.
He had to find Namjoon and speak to him first. Hoseok dialed Namjoon's number and waited for him to answer.
"Ah-Hoseok! Is that you? Thank god! I've been trying to reach you all day-but you weren't answering." Hoseok felt a little relieved hearing his friend's familiar voice. Then, he remembered how cautious he had to be. They had to find Yoongi and save him before it was too late.
"Listen..Namjoon. Something has happened to my sister and-and i think it's connected to Yoongi's disappearance. Do you think you can help me out?" Hoseok tried his best to remain calm, waiting for his friend's reaction.
"Shit-what do you mean?? Is Yoongi in danger? Hoseok-" Namjoon started to panic on the phone, Hoseok could tell he was trembling a little from his shaky voice. "We need to find him, Namjoon! When was the last time you saw him..and where?" Hoseok asked, still trying to figure out where Yoongi could be.
How did he find out who the killer was? Was it by accident? Or did he investigate like his sister?
"He..was..at the cafe you're working at, i think.. " Namjoon said, making Hoseok gasp, "Shit-that bastard! He probably heard my sister and i talk about it or-" Hoseok wasn't talking about Yoongi. He figured that the killer probably overheard their conversation and took his precautions against his sister. Now, it was Yoongi's turn. Hoseok had a bad feeling about this.
What if Yoongi was dead already?
"I'll go check on Yoongi's apartment, see if he's okay. You come along as well, okay?" Hoseok said to his friend, "O-okay, meet you there in a few.."
Hoseok hang up and headed to Yoongi's apartment right away. As he reached Yoongi's apartment, he could tell there was something wrong in the area. Yoongi's apartment was dark, meaning that there was no one inside.
Or someone hiding.
This was definitely a deja-vu. Hoseok remembered this was the exact same way he found his sister lying on the floor in a puddle of blood. He prayed that Yoongi wouldn't have the same fate..
However, once he entered Yoongi's apartment with a spare key that he had, he could already smell something odd. He wanted to cry. There was no way this was happening. He roamed around Yoongi's apartment, only to find him lying on the floor, blood splattered all over the place, making Hoseok want to puke.
Yoongi was a literal bloody mess and of course was no longer alive. Hoseok then started to cry again, clinging to his friend's lifeless body. He kept cursing at himself.
Failure. Failure. Failure.
Hoseok slipped away from reality for a while, crying to himself, not realizing that outside of Yoongi's apartment, there were many police officers already. Once he heard the police siren, he came back to reality.
"Shit-" Hoseok realized that someone set him up again. He was going to get framed for Yoongi's murder. There was no way he would let this happen again. But where could he go?
Hoseok then checked his phone noticing many texts coming from both Namjoon and Jin this time.
JIN: HOSEOK PLS BE CAREFUL POLICE IS ON THE WAY. NAMJOON EXPLAINED EVERYTHING TO ME.
NAMJOON: HOSEOK SOMEONE SET U UP. I SWEAR I SAW SOMEONE LEAVE YOONGI'S APARTMENT THE OTHER DAY. IT WAS HIM THE DAMN KILLER.
JIN: BUT WE DIDN'T MANAGE TO CATCH HIM DAMMIT.
NAMJOON: HOSEOK WE WILL TRY AND DISTRACT THE POLICE SO YOU CAN ESCAPE OKAY.
Hoseok wasn't so sure if this was a good plan. How would his two friends distract the police?
While he was figuring out how to escape, he could hear some obnoxious sounds coming from outside. He peeked through the window, only to see his two friends outside, starting a fight. They were genuinely fighting, punching each other.
Hoseok couldn't help but laugh at their idiocy. He was so sure this was Jin's plan.
But it worked. Most police officers headed to their side, in order to stop them. This was Hoseok's chance to escape. He found his way out of Yoongi's apartment, now crawling in the backyard. He didn't have a clue where to go next, but he had to go somewhere.
Hoseok was running for thirty minutes now, trying to hide from the police. He realized that the police probably had lost sight of him. He figured that he shouldn't call his friends yet.
Then, he received a call from an unknown number. Who could it be? What if it was the police? Hoseok was very tempted and answered the call anyway.
"H-hello?" Hoseok replied hesitantly, "Yes, is this Jung Hoseok? I'm..Park Junghyun, a friend of your sister, also a co-worker." Hoseok gasped hearing his words. Maybe this was a person Hoseok could trust.
"Yes..it's me-please don't tell me that you believe the police! I would never kill my sister, please don't-" Hoseok was so frightened thinking that this fellow co-worker of his sister's would rat him out, but luckily, he didn't.
"Do not panic. I just want you to come over so we can talk. I believe in you. I know that someone else has killed your sister. I'll text you the address so you can come by."
"Okay.." Hoseok whispered feeling quite relieved.
Once Junghyun send him the address, Hoseok was on his way. He was very curious. What information would he gather from his sister's co-worker?
As Hoseok arrived to the said address, he saw a young man come out. Hoseok could tell he was around his sister's age. He had dark brown hair and was a bit taller than him. He could trust him, Hoseok thought.
"Jung Hoseok? Please do come in. I have lots to tell you.. " Hoseok looked like a literal mess with blood in his hands and clothes, but he didn't mind and entered anyway. Junghyun brought some wet towels so Hoseok could wash himself, then invited him to sit down so they could talk. Hoseok was intrigued to say the least.
"Your sister and i..were sort of rookies working for the police. We were both ignored from our supervisors, and this is how it started. Your sister noticed a strange pattern happening since years ago. Remember what happened in your neighborhood? 12 years ago?" Hoseok gulped knowing what he was talking about.
He was sure he would start talking about Jimin.
"Park Jimin. Jeon Jungkook. Kim Taehyung. All of them disappeared, then, were found dead. And you know what else is strange? That the same thing had happened to a neighborhood close by..!"
"Yet..the killer was never caught." They both replied at the same time, making Junghyun chuckle. "You think so as well?"
"Yes..at first, i didn't believe my sister, but after everything that happened, i was convinced. This guy has been out there for years killing young kids and framing innocent people! He is a little shit-"
"Your sister even sent me a voicemail the day she was killed, which convinces me even more that the real killer is still out there. Listen to this," Junghyun brought his phone close to Hoseok so he could hear.
Then, he could hear his sister's calming voice talk on the phone, "Junghyun, i know who the killer is. I saw him the other day- i saw him-that bastard has been doing this for years and has gone unnoticed-let's meet up tomorrow and talk. Meet me tomorrow at 11pm. "
Hoseok felt goosebumps listening to his sister's words. Who could it be? Why did his sister sound so disgusted? Was it someone she knew? Someone Hoseok knew as well?
"Whoever it is, i've come to realize, that he likes framing others so he can get away with it. He..is very intelligent to say the least. But i'm sure with some proper investigation we will be able to catch him.. " Junghyun said after the voicemail was over.
"It's just too much to process, i think i have to go for tonight. I need to meet up with my friends, maybe they could help." Hoseok wondered if his two friends were okay. Did the police catch them? Did they also escape? What had happened to them?
"Yes, of course. I'm sure you've been through a lot for today. Please go rest. We can talk tomorrow again. "
"See you.." Hoseok finally left, now heading to his friends. He had to meet up with them so they could talk and conclude. They had to come up with a plan themselves. There was no way Hoseok would let the killer slip away this time.
Then, he felt his phone buzz again.
NAMJOON: WE GOT AWAY WITH IT. THE POLICE WERE TOO BUSY CHASING U THANK GOD. COME FIND US. WE'RE CURRENTLY AT THE PARK WITH JIN.
JIN: YOU'RE PROBABLY SO SCARED RIGHT NOW, AREN'T YOU HOSEOK. PLEASE BE SAFE AND COME FIND US AT THE PARK. AND REMEMBER IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT
NAMJOON: ABOUT YOONGI OR YOUR SISTER, IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT. WE'RE HERE FOR U OKAY. WE WILL SOLVE THIS TOGETHER.
Hoseok couldn't help but tear up a little reading his friend's sweet messages. What would he do without them?
Hoseok ran to the park as fast as he could, then he saw them. They both looked like a mess, sitting at the park bench while resting. He could see both of their faces covered in bruises, but at least they were doing okay.
"G-guys.. " Hoseok announced himself to his friends making them look up. They approached him, both giving him a hug. "I'm so glad you're okay, Hoseok!"
"It must've been terrible for you, seeing both your sister and Yoongi-"
"It's okay.." Hoseok replied with a shaky voice. He was trying to convince himself that he was okay, but he wasn't. He was trying so hard not to break down in front of his friends.
Everything was messed up. He managed to mess everything up, because the killer was always one step above Hoseok. He had to surpass the killer.
If only he had a second chance going back.
Hoseok's friends were about to say something, when they could hear police sirens once again. Lights were all over them, making them realize that they were now surrounded.
"Jung Hoseok. You are arrested for the murders of Jung Jiwoo and Min Yoongi. " Hoseok was unable to escape. He was surrounded by a thousands of police officers, not even his friends were able to help.
Hoseok could hear his friends scream at the police officers to let him go, but it was useless. Hoseok was just thankful that his friends believed in him until the very end.
Hoseok was positive.
In the end, he would find the killer. He was not going to get framed for a third time.
➳ 2004 - February, 16
Hoseok suddenly opened his eyes feeling someone poke him. It was Jin and Yoongi. "Did you die or something? I've been trying to wake you up for a while now, Hoseok." Hoseok looked around realizing where he was. They were currently at school, back in time, thankfully.
Hoseok felt like crying from relief, but held back. He had to be more cautious this time.
He had two more days until his birthday party. This time, he had to come up with a better plan. It was his last chance to save Jimin, and the others. This time, he'd save Jimin, Jungkook and Taehyung.
"You guys..do you think we should go to the sports center today? I think..Jimin would like it. " Hoseok suggested to his friends, "Totally-we can play basketball together like us four used to! Now it can be five i guess?" Hoseok knew Yoongi would agree since he loved basketball.
But then Hoseok remembered about the other two young boys. Jungkook and Taehyung. He had to keep an eye on them as well, so he thought to invite them as well. "Yoongi..Jungkook is your neighbor, right? Why don't we invite him and his friend Taehyung as well?"
"I think that'd be great!" Namjoon agreed right away, the others as well. Hoseok smiled at his friends feeling relieved. This way, no one would get hurt. All of them together would surpass the killer, Hoseok thought.
"How come you're so good at this game-you're so thin yet you still throw so well-" Hoseok could hear Yoongi whine while playing basketball with Jimin and the others. Surprisingly, Jimin was good at sports, despite his thin image. Hoseok didn't participate but just observed all of his friends have fun with Jimin.
He could see Jungkook and Taehyung interact with Jimin as well. He wondered why those three hadn't become friends in the past before.
This revival was his last chance, and this was definitely progress from last time.
"Guys~i think it's time for us to go or Jimin's mother will be mad-" Hoseok announced to his friends realizing what time it was. Yes, he wanted to keep Jimin away from his mother, but not today.
His friends just grumbled, telling him that he ruined their fun. He couldn't help but chuckle. Jimin approached Hoseok with a smile on his face, "I had fun today, Hoseok! Though..it'd be more fun if you played with us as well! I-i wanted to play with you too.. "
"Oh-" Hoseok suddenly felt a little flustered by Jimin's confession, "S-orry, but you know, my hand..i had a small accident today so.." Hoseok was obviously lying. His body was perfectly fine, but he just wanted to observe Jimin and the others and relax instead. He had too much to think about anyway.
He couldn't slip away from reality and act like a 10 year old anymore. Soon enough, he'd change the future once again.
There was one more day until Hoseok and Jimin's birthday.
On his way to school, he picked Jimin up and walked to school with him. Jimin could tell his mother was a bit bothered seeing Hoseok be so clingy with him, but he didn't care. As long as she didn't harm him.
Jimin had realized that holding hands with Hoseok made him feel very safe, so they ended up holding hands all the time. On their way to school, on their way back. Just casually holding hands whenever.
Hoseok didn't seem to mind either, though he did get teased by his friends a lot. Jimin thought it was very cute when Hoseok blushed while getting teased.
"Say..Hoseok. Can we talk?" Yoongi asked his friend, "Uh, okay. What's up?" Hoseok wondered what was wrong with his friend, since he looked quite serious. "You know..lately, i feel like you've changed. I know i might sound insane, but there are times where i've wondered if this is really you." Yoongi started to explain, Hoseok waiting for his friend to finish.
"Jung Hoseok..who are you? Is this the real you?" Yoongi sounded pretty serious worrying Hoseok. What could he say to him? How could he explain this to Yoongi?
"Of course it's me-i'm just.."
"I really think you've changed, but maybe in a good way. Some weeks ago you couldn't care less about anyone than us and suddenly you started caring about Park Jimin and the bruises on his body. Don't you think it's weird?" Hoseok was surprised by Yoongi, but he was right.
Before the first revival, Hoseok was just a careless child and only cared about his close friends. Hoseok realized that he had changed because of Jimin. He became more affectionate and sweet with others.
"I mean..i've known about Jimin's abusive mother as well, but i never did anything about it because i was scared. Though..you, you found the courage and did something!" Hoseok couldn't believe his eyes. His dear friend was actually tearing up, "You really are amazing, Hoseok. Whatever happened to you, i will continue to be by your side. Please let me help with Jimin!"
"Silly, you don't have to cry. Of course..please! I need your help!" Hoseok patted his friend's shoulder trying to comfort him, "Will you help me save Jimin? Even if it comes to doing unethical things?"
"Unethical things? I hope you're not planning to kill his mother or-"
Hoseok just laughed hearing his friend's response, "Of course not! I will explain to you tomorrow, don't worry. Let's go to class now, friend!"
Hoseok felt a little relieved having Yoongi by his side. He could use his help. Today was finally his and Jimin's birthday. Today he would change the future once again.
The day went the same as last time. Hoseok and Jimin went to the grocery store to buy food together, then got surprised by all of their friends. Though, this time Jungkook and Taehyung were invited as well. Hoseok figured the more people, the better. He had to keep them safe as well.
As they celebrated and exchanged gifts like last time, it was finally time for Hoseok to walk Jimin back home.
Though, this time, Hoseok wouldn't return Jimin home. He would take him somewhere else.
"Jimin, will you let me abduct you? Take you somewhere safe?" Hoseok asked Jimin on their way home, "What?" Jimin was a bit confused hearing Hoseok's question, yet, excited. What could he mean by that?
"Please..trust me, it's to keep you safe. I just know the right place." Hoseok continued explaining to Jimin hoping that he wouldn't find his suggestion weird and follow his plan, "Sure.." Jimin simply replied making Hoseok as happy as ever.
"Follow me, then!" Hoseok started running, holding onto Jimin, guiding him to one of their secret hideouts. Years ago when Hoseok and his friends were younger, they used to play in this hideout. It looked more like a treehouse, but on the ground.
Hoseok knew Jimin would be safe there, at least for now.
"I brought you many blankets to keep you warm and comic books incase you feel bored. Now, i'll go home, but i will be back in the middle of the night. Okay?" Hoseok handed Jimin lots of warm blankets and comic books that he needed. Jimin wished Hoseok could stay with him all night, but he understood why he was doing this.
"See you in a few hours, okay! If something happens, talk to me through this!" Hoseok then gave him a walkie talkie. "Okay..good night, Hoseok. " Jimin whispered to him, "Good night! Sleep well, friend!"
Jimin cuddled up covering himself with the warm blankets, holding the teddy bear Hoseok had gifted him in his arms. He felt as warm as ever, sleeping peacefully for a few hours..
Hoseok was too hyper, not being able to sleep. He kept tossing around in his bed, constantly thinking about Jimin. Was he doing alright? Was he in danger? Would the killer find him there? What about his mom? Maybe this was a bad idea.
He kept having too many thoughts driving him insane. Then, he checked the time and realized it was time to pay Jimin a visit. He put some warm clothes on and immediately ran to Jimin. He prayed that his mother and sister wouldn't find out about this, him sneaking out at almost 3am.
"Jimin!" Hoseok called for him as he knocked on the door three times, "Come in, Hoseok-" Jimin said and Hoseok entered the hideout right away. He was relieved to see Jimin doing okay. "Are you alright? Nothing happened while i was gone, right?" Hoseok asked him gently, now sitting down next to him.
Jimin just yawned cutely, "I was asleep, so i think i'm fine." Hoseok giggled listening to Jimin's answer. So Hoseok had been panicking for nothing. Hoseok scooted a bit closer to Jimin, now joining him under the warm blankets, when a loud noise was heard from outside.
Hoseok and Jimin clinged to each other, panicking from their horror, only to be met with a laughing Yoongi.
"You two are so stupid, it's just me. Calm down." He said as he entered the hideout. Hoseok just cursed at his friend, "Yoongi! I told you to knock three times when you visit Jimin! Don't scare us like that again!"
"Okay, okay. Just wanted to see if you guys were doing okay." Yoongi sat down a bit further away from them, now taking out some food from his backpack, "You guys hungry?"
"Sure, let's eat." Hoseok said, Jimin agreeing with him. They were stuffing their faces with birthday cake some hours ago, but some cup noodles wouldn't hurt in the middle of the night. Jimin was really enjoying this.
It was his first night spending it without feeling frightened of getting beat up in the middle of the night. He could sleep in peace for once.
All thanks to Hoseok.
Hoseok managed to kidnap Jimin from his mother for two days so far. Jimin hadn't showed up at school for two days now, still hiding at their hideout. Hoseok wondered why his mother wasn't calling the police or anyone else. Didn't she worry? Didn't she care?
Didn't his teacher care either? He was a bit curious.
But as long as Jimin wasn't harmed, Hoseok didn't mind. Jimin was spending his time at their secret hideout, with Yoongi and the others. Yoongi even invited Jungkook with him so he could keep Jimin some company. Then, Taehyung tagged along as well.
This way, Hoseok could keep them safe from the killer as well.
Now all Hoseok had to do was find a way to gain the police's attention and expose Jimin's mother. They had to find out about her abuse and get her away from Jimin.
Jimin was now sleeping having the teddy bear in his arms as usual, when his sleep was interrupted by a loud noise coming from outside. Jimin opened his eyes warily trying to understand where it was coming from. There was definitely someone outside. Was he in danger?
He decided to remain silent until there was another loud noise from outside, this time, a loud banging on the door. Jimin tried so hard to remain calm and not panic. Whoever it was, they would go away. Right?
After a few minutes, there was complete silence. Jimin figured that whoever it was outside, they were now gone. He covered himself with the blankets and tried to sleep, praying that the person wouldn't visit him again.
"I'll be going to school now, Mom!" Hoseok woke up earlier than usual surprising his mother and sister. But of course, it was so he could meet up with Jimin again. "Here you go. I prepared plenty of food for you, since you're waking up early lately. You take care, sweetie." His mother handed him the lunchbox and he left right away.
"Mom..don't you think he's up to something lately?" Jiwoo asked her mother making her chuckle, "I'm sure he's not harming anyone, so i believe it will be fine." Jiwoo couldn't help but be a little suspicious of her younger brother, but she trusted her mother.
"Jimin~" Hoseok knocked on the door three times as usual and entered. He saw Jimin still wrapped up in his warm blankets making him smile, "Did you sleep well?" Jimin just nodded, "Yeah, i guess.." Jimin thought he shouldn't tell Hoseok about the incident last night, not wanting to worry him yet.
Maybe he would inform him about it later.
"Here! This is for you~i had breakfast at home so i'll be fine. Eat up, Jimin!" Hoseok handed Jimin his lunchbox making him frown, "B-but isn't this for you to eat?"
"No~please eat! You need it more than i do. Now that i've been holding you captive here, i feel like you barely eat.." Hoseok couldn't help but worry seeing Jimin's thin image. "Holding me captive?" Jimin giggled hearing Hoseok's words, "To be honest, it's better than home.."
"I'm glad you think so. N-now, i have to go. You will be alright, okay?"
"Sure..see you around, Hoseok~" Hoseok just patted Jimin's shoulder gently, then left. Hoseok felt happy just by seeing Jimin eat.
When he arrived to school, he could hear some of his classmates talk about Jimin again. Then, their homeroom teacher announced that Jimin has been missing for 4 days now.
"How is Jimin holding up?" Hoseok's friends asked him, "He's fine, i think? I mean..just a couple more days and i'm sure our plan will work-we just need the social services to find his mother and-"
"Jung Hoseok-may i have a word?" Hoseok was surprised when their teacher called for him, "Y-yeah, sure. We will talk later guys!" Hoseok followed his teacher to the office, wondering what he wanted. He assumed the topic would be about Jimin, however.
"You know..about our Jimin, that he has been missing for 4 days now. Aren't you worried? You seem pretty calm about it." His teacher stated once they sat down, "Ah-teacher! In situations like these, you have to remain calm, right? I just know Jimin is fine.." Hoseok replied making his teacher chuckle softly, "I guess you're right. Well..i will be going to his house today along with the social services."
"To find his mother?" Hoseok's teacher nodded, "Yes. Let's hope that she will not slip away from us this time.."
"Then..good luck, teacher! Please inform me if anything happens!"
"Will do. You are free to go now, Hoseok. " Hoseok left as his teacher gave him permission. Hoseok prayed that they'd be succesful and Jimin's mother would finally get caught. But Hoseok knew that this would likely not happen.
Jimin's mother always found a way to escape.
Hoseok headed to Jimin's hideout, only to hear lots of chattering from outside. Hoseok realized that Yoongi was already there keeping Jimin company along with Jungkook and Taehyung. Hoseok thought it was pretty strange, Yoongi suddenly becoming friends with them, but he didn't mind, as long as everyone was happy.
"You guys were having fun without me, i see?" Hoseok said as he entered the hideout, making the others giggle, "Of course not! It's never fun without you, Hoseok!" Jimin reassured him making Hoseok blush slightly, "I was just kidding, but anyway..what are you guys doing here? What's all this?"
Hoseok pointed at the backpack and cardboard boxes on the floor, "Hoseok..Jimin told us something that you should know. "
Hoseok felt a little tense hearing his friend's words, "W-what? Did someone hurt you, Jimin? Did something happen or- " Jimin just chuckled seeing Hoseok so panicked, "N-no, nothing like that. But..." Jimin hesitated a little, making Hoseok feel even more nervous than before.
"I think..someone was trying to break in last night, while Jimin was sleeping. Whoever it was, he left these." Yoongi explained, then pointed at the backpack and boxes. Hoseok approached the backpack and opened it. Everyone gasped when they saw what was inside.
There were some ropes, a ski mask, some gloves, snow boots and a knife inside the backpack.
"That's creepy," Jungkook said in a shaky voice, the others nodded agreeing, still looking at the items in terror. Hoseok was even more terrified because he knew the exact reason for those items. The person that paid Jimin a visit last night, was definitely the killer.
Hoseok cursed at himself. He was careless again.
What if the killer had managed to break in last night and ended up abducting Jimin? Harming him?
They had to get Jimin out of there.
"Jimin, let's get you out of here. It's not safe to stay here." Hoseok got up suddenly grabbing Jimin's hand, "But where are you going to take him?" Yoongi asked wondering if his friend had a back up plan. "Home." Hoseok replied simply, "Will it be okay..?" Jimin hesitated a little. He didn't want to be a burden for Hoseok's family.
"I'm sure my sister and mother won't mind. It will be just for tonight until we figure something out. Okay? Don't worry about it, Jimin. " Hoseok reassured Jimin seeing him so panicked, "Okay..i'll get my things then.."
They helped Jimin pack his things, then exited the hideout and headed to Hoseok's place. Hoseok prayed that he wouldn't get scolded for this. It's not like he was doing something bad.
All he was trying to do was protect Jimin.
"Oh dear-we have many visitors today?" Hoseok's mother opened the door with a bright smile. Hoseok just knew he would get away with it already. "M-mom, c-can Jimin stay here for the night? It's important because-" Hoseok started to explain making his mother chuckle softly, "He can stay, sure. Just stay out of trouble from now on, will you?" Hoseok nodded feeling relieved. His mother really had a heart of gold.
"I'll see you guys tomorrow!" Hoseok and Jimin said good-bye to the others as they left. Jimin was already feeling more comfortable by Hoseok's mother. Her presence was as warm and comforting as Hoseok.
"Jimin, would you like to have a warm bath before you two sleep? I'm sure it will do you some good-" Hoseok's mother suggested and Jimin agreed shyly, "O-okay, if it's alright with you, Mrs Jung-"
"Follow me, i will help you!" Hoseok's mother offered Jimin her hand and Jimin followed her to the bath. Jimin felt a little ashamed, not having had a bath for a few days now, but it was okay. He knew Hoseok's mother would never judge him for it.
"If you need anything, please call for me. Enjoy your bath, sweetheart." Hoseok's mother gave Jimin some privacy letting him have a bath on his own.
Jimin was as ecstatic as ever, having a warm bath after so long. In his life, he has never had a bubble bath, so he was definitely enjoying this to the fullest. He wished he could stay in there forever and just forget about everything.
"Weirdo-i knew you were up to something-but this? You were hiding your friend? What kind of comic books have you been reading?" Jiwoo teased her little brother, "Sis! I did this so i could protect Jimin! Don't you know already-about his mother-"
"Sure i do. I was just messing with you, relax. You've done well, dear brother. " Jiwoo got up kissing Hoseok's forehead sweetly, "You two sleep in your room, but don't you dare stay up all night. You both need sleep." Jiwoo warned her little brother making him smile, "Okay~we will just sleep~"
Jimin finally came out of the bathroom. He was now wearing some of Hoseok's pajamas since he didn't have any other clothes to wear. The pajamas looked a bit oversized on Jimin, since Jimin had a thinner frame than Hoseok. Hoseok thought Jimin looked cute wearing his clothing-
But no! He couldn't be thinking about such things right now.
"Jimin, let's go! We will sleep in my room~" Hoseok grabbed Jimin's hand gently guiding him to his room, "You two, sleep well!" Hoseok and Jimin heard Hoseok's mother shout at them. They both replied with a soft okay.
"Y-you don't mind that we will be sleeping together, do you? It's just that i don't have any other bed and i don't want you to be sleeping on the couch because you know the couch is so uncomfortable and- " Hoseok was rambling from his panic making Jimin laugh, "I think it'd be great to sleep next to you, Hoseok!"
Hoseok just smiled shyly at Jimin, "R-really? Ah, okay. Let's sleep then.."
As they both went under Hoseok's warm covers, Hoseok felt Jimin snuggle up closer to him, making him feel nervous again. In his 22 years of life, Hoseok has never done such things with his other friends before. But it felt nice to be this close to Jimin.
"Warm~" Jimin murmured close to Hoseok, "Hoseok is always so warm and sweet towards me, such a good friend- " Jimin continued his rambling. Hoseok then realized that Jimin was crying, "W-what's wrong, Jimin?"
"Nothing- Jimin is just happy-" Jimin was crying, mostly out of happiness. It felt so warm and pleasant to be in Hoseok's arms that he wished he could sleep like this next to him forever. "I'm glad you're happy. If Jimin is happy, Hoseok is happy too-"
Then, Jimin remained silent, just resting into Hoseok's arms. Hoseok tried not to move so he wouldn't burden Jimin. He was definitely enjoying this as well.
It was a warm night for the both of them.
As Hoseok woke up, he could still feel Jimin cling to him. Jimin's body was tangled with Hoseok's, but he didn't mind so much. As long as Jimin was happy.
"Hey, nerds, wake up! Breakfast is ready!" Hoseok heard his sister's familiar voice making him groan. He wished he could stay in bed longer. It had been a while ever since he had such a peaceful sleep. The past few weeks he's been in agony everyday, always trying to protect Jimin and the others.
"Let's go, Jimin. I bet Mom has made something sweet for us-" Hoseok and Jimin both washed up then headed to the kitchen. Hoseok saw the kitchen table full with food, it was like they were having a feast. Hoseok wasn't complaining really. His mother often prepared such breakfast for them on special occassions.
Today was a special occassion as well, Hoseok thought.
When they all sat down at the dining table to eat, Hoseok saw Jimin tear up again. This time, he couldn't stop his tears and started to sob out of nowhere. Hoseok could see some of his tears fall down to his plate.
"Jimin-" Hoseok wasn't so sure what to say to calm him down, but then, Jimin smiled at him weakly, "It's lovely-" Jimin couldn't finish his sentence from his crying. Hoseok's mother approached him trying to comfort him, "There, there. It's all for you, Jimin, honey."
Hoseok then realized why Jimin was probably crying. He was having a proper meal for breakfast for the first time. Hoseok suddenly wanted to cry as well. Seeing Jimin cry like this broke his heart.
But he knew those tears were out of happiness, just like yesterday.
Jimin was happy.
The next morning, Hoseok's mother received a call from their homeroom teacher, informing them about a plan to capture Jimin's mother. The plan was to visit Jimin's mother, enrage her, then, the social services would show up and capture her. Hoseok decided to visit Jimin's mother with him. This time, his sister would be with them as well. Jimin was as anxious as ever as they knocked on the door. How would his mother react? Would their plan work?
"Are you sure it's okay for you to be here, Sis? I mean you- " Hoseok said to his sister as they waited outside, waiting for Jimin's mother to open, "Idiot! You know i can't leave you two alone with that woman-also you know Mom is sick she can't come out and deal with this nonsense-" Jiwoo started to explain, when the door finally opened making everyone look towards her direction.
Jimin's mother looked like a mess as usual. She was filled with rage approaching them, ready to grab Jimin. "Where have you been for so long?!" Jimin remained silent, standing close to Hoseok, not replying to his mother. He figured he should not interact with her at all and just let her expose herself to the social services.
"You two have been hiding him from me, haven't you? You two brats from the Jung family-Jimin get inside right now-" His mother tried to get hold of Jimin again but this time more violently bringing out a baseball bat with her. "Give me back my son or- "
"Or what? You will beat us up like you did to him? Jimin obviously doesn't want to come back home with you-stay away from him." Jiwoo replied, putting Jimin behind her in order to protect him from his mother. Jiwoo could tell Jimin was already panicking seeing his mother swing the bat towards his direction.
"It will be okay-Jimin-soon enough all of this will end!" Hoseok whispered to Jimin, trying to comfort him. Jimin just held onto Hoseok's hand tighter, trying to calm down. He had to calm down anyway. Hoseok was right.
Soon enough he would get rid of his mother and would never see her again. He couldn't wait for this day.
"You insolent brats-" Jimin's mother was ready to swing the bat at Jiwoo hitting her with it when they were interrupted. They all looked up towards their direction. It was the social services.
After so many months, they finally managed to get in time and capture Jimin's mother.
"Mrs Park. We finally meet. We believe that it's time for your son to be taken into custody-" They announced to her making her laugh nervously, "Why would you take my son away? I haven't done anything wrong-they are the ones who kidnapped my son! Arrest them!" Jimin's mother pointed at Jimin's direction, pointing at Jiwoo and Hoseok. Jimin just looked at her in disgust.
He really couldn't wait to get away from her.
"Mrs Park, please understand. Your son needs to be taken into custody-we have lots of proof that you have been mistreating your son and-" The social services tried to explain again, but with no results. Jimin's mother was now enraged not listening to any of their words. She suddenly walked towards Jimin's direction grabbing him roughly, "You're not taking him away from me- "
"Please stop, Mrs Park-your mother-she will take care of your son properly-" The social services now brought up Jimin's grandmother, making Jimin's mother freeze. It had been a while ever since she last saw her mother. She turned around only to be met with her mother.
Jimin's mother let go of Jimin's hand rushing to her own mother. Jimin's grandmother kept apologizing to everyone including Jimin's mother. Jimin could see his mother weeping into his grandmother's arms, but he didn't feel emotional at all.
Jimin just felt numb. Why did he have to suffer all those years? Why did he have to get beat up by his own mother all those years? He would definitely not feel pity for his mother all of a sudden. No way.
"Are you okay, Jimin?" Hoseok asked Jimin as he was observing the whole situation. "Sure..i will be fine..though.." Jimin was happy that he was finally going to escape from his cruel mother, but then, he remembered that he had to separate from Hoseok as well.
Jimin's mother was now calmer and accepted her fate. She realized that there was no other way and let Jimin get taken into custody. Jimin's grandmother would be his new guardian.
Jimin didn't even say any last words to his mother. Maybe in a few years he would forgive her for this, but not today.
"Hoseok-" Jimin felt himself tear up as it was time for him and Hoseok to separate. Jimin wondered if they would ever meet again in the future. What would he do without Hoseok?
If it wasn't for Hoseok, Jimin would probably be dead in a few years.
"Don't say anything, Jimin. You just..take care of yourself, okay? Pl-ease be well, friend!" Hoseok's sweet words made Jimin tear up even more, "I'll miss you, Hoseok-" Hoseok then pulled him into his embrace, feeling a little too emotional himself. He would miss Jimin, a lot.
But at least Hoseok managed to save Jimin.
"Don't worry-i'll come and find you one day, okay? I promise. We will meet again!" Hoseok pulled away, having some tears in his eyes as well. "P-pinky promise?" Jimin brought his pinky close to Hoseok's making him giggle, "Pinky promise!"
Then, Jimin heard his grandmother call for him. It was finally time for them to go. Hoseok and Jimin kept saying good-bye to each other as Jimin headed to the car.
Hoseok just ended up waving at Jimin when he finally left.
"Come on, baby brother. I think we need to go home now." Jiwoo grabbed Hoseok's hand gently, now heading to their house. Hoseok was a little embarrassed, crying like a baby in front of his sister like this, but he couldn't help it.
He started to feel empty without Jimin.
But if Jimin was happy, Hoseok was happy too.
"I swear Hoseok has been sulking all day today-not even my dad jokes are cheering him up~" Jin said to his friends making them worry even more. Hoseok was as miserable as ever, not having Jimin by his side anymore. He couldn't help but be like this.
But when he heard Jungkook and Taehyung, he remembered about them as well.
Jimin may have slipped away, but the killer was still out there. He had to keep an eye on them as well. Be their protector.
"H-hey, you two. Want to join us to the sports center today? You know ever since Jimin left, it's really empty without him-" Hoseok suddenly said to them surprising everyone. Yoongi just looked at him suspiciously again.
Hoseok was definitely up to something again, Yoongi thought.
"S-sure, we will come!" They both agreed making Hoseok smile. Everything would turn out fine, as long as he kept them safe.
For the past few days, Hoseok has been super clingy to Jungkook and Taehyung, keeping a close eye on them. Everyday, after school, he invited them over so they could hang out.
It's not like the others minded, but they definitely found it a bit suspicious. Was Hoseok trying to replace Jimin? Or was it something else?
"Are you going to tell me what is going on with you or not?" Yoongi asked his friend, feeling very suspicious of him once again. Hoseok has been acting very strange lately, making his friend wonder what was going on.
Jimin was safe. Why was he suddenly trying to protect Jungkook and Taehyung?
"Huh-what are you talking about? I'm perfectly fine!" Hoseok replied making his friend scoff, "You're not. I know that with Jimin gone you've been down lately, but what's up with you trying to protect Jungkook and Taehyung? What is the meaning of this?"
"Listen, Yoongi. I will explain to you even though you will probably think i'm insane. Meet me up at the hideout with Jungkook and Taehyung at 4pm. Okay?" Yoongi just sighed, hoping that he would get a better explanation from his friend already, "Alright.."
Yoongi was already at the hideout with Jungkook and Taehyung waiting for Hoseok. He wondered why Hoseok decided for them to meet there. Wasn't this hideout supposed to be dangerous? Or did he just want to meet up there because it reminded him of Jimin?
Either way, Yoongi was very curious.
"Guys~i'm here! Sorry for being late but my sister was nagging me again, telling me that i should be careful-" Hoseok apologized to his friends as he entered the hideout. He noticed that they all looked at him waiting for him to explain already.
"Yeah, alright. Just tell us what's going on with you already." Hoseok just laughed seeing his friend so eager, "Okay so...you guys, please don't laugh at me, but i believe that..there's a serial killer around our neighborhood- " Hoseok started to explain, all of his friends eye's widening from their shock. A serial killer? In their neighborhood?
"I think..there's a serial killer around, and his target is definitely young children. We even have proof. This hideout. This hideout..could be the serial killer's hideout! Look at the items we found last time. Aren't they suspicious?" The others looked around at the hideout and nodded. Maybe Hoseok was right.
Or maybe he just read too many comic books.
"Hoseok, so you're telling me that you've been acting like Jungkook and Taehyung's guardian angel for the past few days because you think they will be abducted soon?" Yoongi made it sound like Hoseok was insane, but he was right. Hoseok could time-travel so of course he knew about this.
But how could he explain this to the others?
"It's okay, Yoongi. Hoseok isn't causing any harm! Besides-he's a good friend!" Taehyung suddenly said defending Hoseok, "Right! We've had fun with Hoseok the past few days! Even if he was protecting us-" Jungkook added making Hoseok smile. He was glad those two were supporting him, but why was Yoongi so against it?
"For now, i will try and believe in you, Hoseok." Yoongi said making Hoseok feel relieved. He knew he could rely on his friends in the end. "W-we must come up with a plan and catch the killer, don't you think?" Hoseok said when a noise was heard from outside making all of them jump slightly.
The door to the hideout was suddenly open.
Hoseok gasped when he realized who it was.
"There's a serial killer on the loose and you're planning to catch him as well? Honestly why can't you act like a 10 year old for once-gosh!" It was Jiwoo, Hoseok's sister. Her words made the others laugh while Hoseok just pouted. He didn't like being scolded by his sister in front of his friends.
"You nerds-don't laugh! I'm serious! Don't come back here, ever again! If what you're saying is true, you should be scared. Why do you want to catch the damn killer anyway? You're not a superhero, Hoseok! Stop making me and Mom worry!"
"Sorry-" Hoseok just apologized looking down to his feet from his embarrassment. He knew his sister was right, but in reality, he wasn't really a 10 year old, so he had to do something. He wouldn't let the killer get away with it this time.
"Let's go home, all of you!" Jiwoo grabbed her brother's hand guiding him outside. The others followed them as well. They all headed home. In the end, Hoseok's sister had managed to ruin their meeting, but Hoseok wasn't defeated yet. He'd continue pursuing the killer anyway.
"Come on-Mom texted me that she needs some stuff from the grocery store, come and help me out, will you." Jiwoo announced to Hoseok making him groan. He hated going for grocery shopping.
Grocery shopping was only pleasant when Jimin was with him, Hoseok thought.
After thirty minutes of shopping, they were finally done. Hoseok was carrying two shopping bags in his hands while Jiwoo had three. Hoseok really hated this.
"I thought you were going to buy a few things, Sis~what's all this for anyway~" Hoseok whined to his sister and she just scoffed, "This is what you get for not acting like a proper 10 year old. Next time, don't roam around planning to catch a serial killer-"
"A serial killer, you say?" Hoseok heard a very familiar voice, making him drop one of his shopping bags, "T-teacher?" Hoseok realized it was his homeroom teacher. Then, his teacher dropped to his knees so he could pick up the bag Hoseok dropped, "Yes, good evening, Hoseok and Jiwoo. How have you two been? Last time i met with you two, we were.."
"We're doing fine. My brother here was just messing around. Don't mind him. " Jiwoo replied to him making him chuckle. Hoseok was still pouting not liking his sister babying him in front of his teacher.
"Your home is a bit far from here. Why don't i give you two a lift instead?" The teacher offered and Hoseok accepted right away making him laugh again, "Please do, Teacher! My hands are killing me-" Jiwoo just rolled her eyes hearing her brother's desperate cries.
Jiwoo figured it wouldn't be so bad to get a lift from their teacher and accepted his offer.
"Teacher-how come you're always alone? Don't you have a partner- " Hoseok randomly asked his teacher as they were now inside his car. His teacher just laughed nervously, "Hoseok. I know it might seem weird to you since you're still a child, but finding a partner is not as easy as it sounds-"
"Hoseok! Don't ask such invasive questions-" Jiwoo scolded her brother again making him frown. What was up with her today anyway?
"Sorry, Teacher-" Hoseok apologized with a small voice, his teacher just shook his head, "No need to apologize. Your question was fine, i'm not the one who's-"
"Teacher-what's this here in the corner- " Hoseok's teacher panicked when he saw Hoseok pull the box in his car, now, thousands of lollipops and candy emerging out of the box. "What the-" Jiwoo was as surprised as Hoseok. Hoseok's teacher was now bright red from his embarrassment.
"Y-you know, i use them as a coping mechanism so i won't get back to smoking-please understand-i'm not-" His teacher started to explain making Hoseok giggle, "I'll forget about it, only if you give me a lollipop~Teacher!"
His teacher sighed out of relief giving Hoseok a lollipop, "What about you, Jiwoo?"
"No, thanks. I'm fine, Teacher." Jiwoo refused, looking at him suspiciously. Yes, maybe he needed those lollipops for his coping mechanism, but wasn't it just plain weird to have such a huge amount of candy in your car?
They finally arrived home and were dropped off. "See you tomorrow, Hoseok. And Jiwoo."
"See you, teacher!" Hoseok waved at his teacher as he left. Hoseok was relieved that they stumbled across his teacher. His hands were no longer in pain from carrying the shopping bags.
"I never knew your teacher was a weirdo. No wonder you like him-" Jiwoo said to her brother, "Ah~come on! He's not that bad, he's just a little young maybe that's why~ " Hoseok blatantly defended his teacher making his sister roll her eyes again. "Whatever, just go to bed already. And no more plans or mentions of serial killers, okay? You're not a detective or a police officer, so knock it off."
"Okay.." Hoseok whispered and headed to his room. But Jiwoo, knowing her cunning little brother, knew he wouldn't give up this easily. She had to keep an eye on her little brother every now and then.
"So-we will go the secret hideout again today? Alright guys?" Hoseok was planning to pay the secret hideout a visit again, wanting to investigate with his friends this time. Maybe together, they could find some clues that could lead them to the serial killer.
All of them would team up to find the serial killer.
Hoseok, Yoongi, Namjoon, Jin, Jungkook and Taehyung. The only one missing was Jimin.
Hoseok sometimes wished Jimin was there with them , but that would mean Jimin being unhappy with his mother.
As they all arrived to the hideout, they all roamed around, observing, but with no result. There was no way they could find the killer like this. Hoseok was starting to lose hope. Where could he start from?
The only clue he had about the killer was that he was definitely someone his sister knew. He could tell by the tone of her voice, that day through the voicemail, she sounded so disgusted and shocked.
But who could it be?
"Guys-i think we should go back home, before my sister finds out about this again-" Hoseok announced to the others and they agreed. It was pointless to search out there. Hoseok had to come up with a better plan.
"Yeah, you're right-oh, but don't forget about my match tomorrow! You guys are all coming, right?" Hoseok then remembered about Yoongi's basketball match. He figured he could use some distraction and have fun for a while. It's not like it would harm him anyway, would it?
"Of course~we will all come and cheer for you, Yoongi!" Hoseok reassured his friend and he just smiled, "Kay. See you guys tomorrow~ "
"Mom~i'll be going to the match now, i'll be back in a few hours!" Hoseok announced to his mother as he got ready for the match. Today, for the first time, Hoseok would try and have fun, rather than coming up with a plan or think about the serial killer. He wanted to relax for a while.
Even if it was for a few hours.
"You guys-where are the others?" As Hoseok entered the gym, he could only see Jungkook and Taehyung. He wondered where the rest of his friends were. "I think they might be late, but let's find a seat over there until they show up!" Taehyung explained to Hoseok and he just nodded. "Let's sit to the front so we can cheer for Yoongi and embarrass him~" Hoseok suggested making the other two laugh.
"Oh-Teacher is here as well?" As they sat down, Jungkook noticed their homeroom teacher just a bit further away from them. Hoseok was a bit surprised. Why would their teacher want to attend Yoongi's basketball game anyway?
After a few minutes, the game finally had started and Hoseok was distracted by all the loud noise and cheers, not noticing that Jungkook had disappeared. "Wait-where did Jungkook go, Hoseok?" Taehyung whispered to Hoseok, suddenly looking around. Hoseok then looked around as well, not seeing him anywhere.
"Ah-this boy! I was so sure he was next to me a few minutes ago-i'll go find him, Taehyung. You stay here and cheer for Yoongi~" Taehyung just nodded as Hoseok got up. Hoseok was a bit relieved seeing Namjoon and Jin enter the gym. They could keep Taehyung company at least.
Now, he had to find Jungkook. Hoseok was careless just for a few minutes, and he managed to lose him already. Maybe he shouldn't have been careless. Even in places like this, the killer could be out there. What if Jungkook got hurt? Was it too late?
Hoseok started to panic, roaming around the gym eager to find Jungkook.
"Jungkook-Jungkook! Where are you?" Maybe Hoseok was just paranoid, but he had a bad feeling about this. Why did he suddenly disappear? Why didn't he notify the others?
"Oh-Jung Hoseok. We meet again. " Hoseok turned around only to be met with his teacher once again. "Teacher! Have you seen Jungkook? I've been looking for him all over-" Hoseok asked the teacher without hesitation from his panic. Hoseok's teacher just let out a chuckle again irritating Hoseok.
Why was his teacher there in the first place anyway?
"Now that you're talking about it-i think i saw him enter a truck over there-look! That must be it!" Hoseok was horrified when he saw Jungkook's familiar backpack on the inside of the truck. What if the owner of the truck was the killer and he was kidnapping Jungkook? Hoseok had to follow that truck. There was no other way.
"Oh god-No! Jungkook-" Hoseok started to run towards the truck's direction when his teacher grabbed him and stopped him, "Let me give you a ride. I'm sure it will be more efficient using my car, don't you think?" Hoseok had no other choice but accept his teacher's offer.
"Hurry, teacher! Hurry! Jungkook might be in danger! He could get murdered-" Hoseok started to yell once his teacher started the engine. They were a bit further away following the truck that had kidnapped Jungkook. Hoseok remained silent for a few minutes trying to come up with a plan.
What would they do after they reached the truck? How could they save Jungkook?
"You mentioned..the word murder. What makes you think of that, Hoseok?" His teacher suddenly asked, sounding calm. Hoseok wondered why his teacher was so calm when one of his students were kidnapped right in front of him. "Does that even matter! It's just a bad feeling i have! Teacher, hurry! The truck is getting away-" Hoseok was now close to yelling at his teacher pointing at the road in front of him.
Hoseok thought his teacher was a bad driver. He could easily reach the truck in two minutes if he wanted, but for some reason, he was driving very slowly. Hoseok felt so agonized, wanting to take the wheel in his hands and drive himself.
"Is the reason of you shielding Jungkook and Taehyung due to a bad feeling you had?" Hoseok's teacher continued with his odd questions, now driving even slower. Hoseok was so sure they had missed the truck by now. "Teacher! We've missed the truck and what are you talking about-i- " Hoseok couldn't comprehend what was happening at this moment.
"Don't worry. Jungkook is not inside the truck. He is safe, probably now sitting at the gym cheering for his neighbor, Yoongi." Hoseok's teacher replied calmly again. Hoseok was now starting to sweat, feeling his palms get sweatier than before. If Jungkook was not in the truck, then why did his teacher suddenly offer him to help? Where was he taking Hoseok?
"Teacher-what are we doing? Where are we going?!" Hoseok tried to take his seat belt off, but noticed that it was impossible. His teacher just laughed mockingly at him, "You didn't answer my question, Hoseok."
Hoseok gulped, starting to feel even more horrified than before. Just what on earth was going on? Was his teacher kidnapping him?
"Why did you get in my way? How did you know about my two preys, Kim Taehyung and Jeon Jungkook? Why did you suddenly start getting interested in them? Why befriend them out of nowhere when they were the loners of the class? And why suddenly save the abused kid of your class, Park Jimin?"
Then, Hoseok realized the horrifying truth. For months now, the killer he has been looking for was right in front of his eyes. His beloved homeroom teacher.
Now Hoseok understood why his sister sounded so disgusted on the phone.
"Teacher-" Hoseok was so appalled that he didn't know what to say. Would this be his end? Would Hoseok die by the hands of the killer in the end? The irony, Hoseok thought.
For months now he has been trying to keep everyone safe, and now, here he was, close to his own death.
"It always amazed me. How did you do it, Hoseok? How did you know about my plans before me?" Hoseok's teacher repeated his question, feeling irritated by Hoseok's silence. He's been doing this for years now, but has never been faced with such a rare phenomenon.
Hoseok was the only one that had managed to interfere with his plans, and Hoseok was just a mere 10 year old. How did he manage to do all that?
Hoseok managed to save Jimin from his abusive mother and death. Hoseok befriended Jungkook and Taehyung, so they wouldn't get abducted. It was like Hoseok was following a plan.
And his teacher was astound. It was like Hoseok could see the future.
"Well. You're silent and refuse to reply, so i guess i just have to get rid of you, my dear student." Hoseok's teacher stopped the car. Hoseok looked around and noticed that they were now located to a lake. He could see some mountains from afar, making him wonder where they were.
Hoseok wasn't really afraid of dying. He was mostly upset that he never got to say good-bye to his mother and sister. Maybe see his friends for the last time as well.
Maybe meet with his lovely Jimin as well. Hoseok prayed that Jimin would be okay.
"Any last words before you meet with death, Jung Hoseok?" Hoseok's teacher was now out of the car, while Hoseok was inside unable to move. Hoseok figured that his teacher's plan was to drown him while he was still inside the car. His teacher was quite intelligent, Hoseok could admit that.
"Well, then. Have fun, dear student- " Hoseok decided to remain silent until the car started to stroll, now sliding into the lake. "I know the future, Teacher! I will find y-" Hoseok screamed at his teacher before the car had fully sinked into the water. Hoseok's teacher glared at him for a few minutes in awe hearing his last words, then relaxed, when he saw him under the water, struggling from the cold.
Hoseok was now underwater, freezing from the cold water. Soon enough, he'd be dead.
But..he was not sad. He was happy that he managed to save Jimin and the others.
In the end, he wasn't that much of a failure.
Hoseok felt like he had been sleeping for a whole eternity, and he was. Hoseok has been in a coma for almost 12 years now. Luckily, 12 years ago when Hoseok was drowning, a local fisherman was passing by and managed to save him in time. He was alive,but barely living.
He was a living corpse, you could say.
Then, after so many years of resting, he had finally awakened surprising both his sister and friends. Hoseok's mother was no longer in this world, as she died due to her fatal illness. Hoseok's sister was left alone, but never gave up. For years now, she's been trying her best keeping her brother's body healthy.
Jiwoo also swore to herself that she would find the killer that harmed her brother. She wanted to get revenge for her brother of course. So, she was now working at the police department.
"Is he going to be okay, doctor?!" Hoseok had his eyes closed, but he could hear his sister's familiar voice, now talking with the doctor. He had missed hearing her voice, even though most of the time she was scolding him.
"Of course, it will take him some time to fully recover, but eventually, he will be alright. " The doctor reassured Jiwoo and she just sighed out of relief. Once Hoseok opened his eyes, he became unconscious again worrying Jiwoo. Now, she was waiting for him to wake up again.
"S-sis-" Hoseok mumbled making Jiwoo jump from her shock, "Brother? A-are you okay? How are you feeling?" Hoseok now opened his eyes, seeing his older sister in tears. She pulled him into her embrace, her tears continuing from her happiness. She has been waiting for this moment for 12 years now.
"I'm okay, just a little..confused-" Hoseok felt a little better meeting with his sister after his very long nap. His mind was still a bit hazy, having too many blanks. There were many things that he couldn't remember. When the doctor came in and asked him if he could remember what happened before he slept, he was unable to remember.
In his hazy memories, there was only a picture of him under the water struggling to breathe and..Jimin.
"Jiwoo! I-is Jimin okay? And the others? What about Mom?" Hoseok got tense suddenly remembering about his friends and Jimin, holding onto the white sheets of his hospital bed, "They are all doing just fine. Don't worry about them. And Mom is.. " Jiwoo hesitated a little, not wanting to upset her younger brother, but he had to know about his mother anyway. "Try and relax for now, alright? You will have some walking exercises later as well~"
"Okay-" Hoseok whispered, feeling a little upset. He wished there was a way he could have said some last words to his dying mother, but he couldn't. He also wished he could meet with his friends. He suddenly started to miss his childhood days. When he was put in a coma, he was only 10 years and now he was 22 years old. His childhood years were stolen away from him.
But why couldn't he remember what happened to him?
He saved Jimin and the others. But why couldn't he remember the killer?
Hoseok was now working on his walking exercises with one of the doctors at the center. He could see his sister a bit further away talking with a young man. He wondered who could he be.
"Yes-my brother doesn't remember anything about the killer yet-but not to worry. I'm sure..eventually, the memories will come back. He just needs to relax for now-" Jiwoo explained to her co-worker, Park Junghyun. Hoseok of course couldn't recognize him, but in his past revivals, they've met before.
"Then, if something comes up, inform me. We need to catch this bastard before he starts abducting young children again-i've already heard about some similar cases happening close to Busan lately-" Junghyun said to Jiwoo making her click her tongue, "I'm telling you-soon enough, it will be his last."
"Sis-who was that you were talking to?" Hoseok asked his sister. Hoseok was now in his hospital bed again, resting after working on his walking exercises. He wasn't that bad, but was still unable to walk properly. He had to use a wheelchair or a walking stick to move around. He really hated this. He was feeling like a failure again.
"My co-worker. Hoseok, you don't know this, but i'm now working at the police department, for a year now actually-" Jiwoo then explained everything to her brother in details, how she wanted to become a police officer so she could find the killer and make him pay. "Woah-you're not messing around, are you?"
"Nope. I'm telling you, once your memories come back-i will make sure to make him pay!" Jiwoo sounded as determined as ever making Hoseok chuckle, "Okay-sure-"
"By the way, you have some visitors! You nerds, come in!" Jiwoo said a familiar word, making Hoseok realize who the visitors could be. Hoseok's friends. Then, the door opened and there they were. Namjoon, Yoongi and Jin.
"Y-you guys!" Hoseok couldn't help but smile widely seeing all of his friends. He really did miss them, thinking that he would never see them again. "How are you holding up, Hoseok?" Yoongi asked as all three of them sat down close to Hoseok's hospital bed, "I think i'm better, though, some of my memories are still not here-" Hoseok explained everything that he could remember to his friends.
His memories were still a bit hazy when it came to the killer. Hoseok figured he couldn't remember because it was traumatizing..or too shocking for him.
"B-but, guys! Where is Jimin? Is he doing okay?" Hoseok was very curious. Where was Jimin? Was he doing alright? Did he know that Hoseok was hospitalized in a coma for 12 years? Or did Jimin forget about him already?
"Well-" Yoongi started to say, hesitating a little. Then, Namjoon continued instead, "When you were first hospitalized, Jimin was actually the first one to visit you. He tried to visit you every year with his grandma but after a while, he suddenly stopped showing up-we haven't heard of him since then-i'm sorry Hoseok-"
"Oh-it's okay. I guess..he gave up on me? Lost hope?" Hoseok wasn't really mad at Jimin. He understood. Jimin had no obligation to visit him every year but Jimin did anyway. Hoseok just prayed that Jimin was still well.
"Nah. I'm sure he's still thinking about you, silly. He's probably just busy with other stuff-last time i saw him, he was dancing at some academy actually-" Yoongi reassured his friend making him gasp. Something clicked into Hoseok's mind when he heard the word dancing.
Hoseok remember that in his past life, he was dreaming about becoming a dancer as well. Then, he remembered about his first revival. His first revival; going back in time so he could save his sister from getting murdered. His second revival; going back in time so he could save Jimin and the others.
And, how his revival ended, with him finding out who the real killer was.
Suddenly, he pictured the killer in his mind making him gasp.
"Are you okay, Hoseok? Was the news about Jimin too shocking? We didn't want to upset you-" Jin apologized to his friend and the others nodded looking at him worriedly, "G-guys- " Hoseok stuttered, still wondering if what he just pictured was just a hallucination or reality.
Was this the real killer? The one that pushed him onto the lake and practically drowned him?
"What?" All three of them said together making Hoseok chuckle, "W-would you believe me if i told you that..i remember who the killer is?" Hoseok's friends all looked at him eagerly, waiting for him to continue. They could tell Hoseok was not messing around.
"Tell us, Hoseok! We believe in you!" Namjoon encouraged him and the others did as well. Hoseok felt a little more at ease knowing that his friends were always by his side. If they never believed in him, maybe he would have never managed to save Jimin and the others in the first place.
"The killer is...... "
Hoseok was doing his usual walking exercises ready to give up soon, since his legs were starting to feel weak. Hoseok wanted to heal to the fullest so he could prepare himself. He couldn't wait to get out of this center so he could look for the killer and finally end this nightmare.
Hoseok was now resting on the couch at the lobby, still panting from the cruciating exercises. He went over the line again, but it was worth it. He had definitely improved over the past few days.
"Jung Hoseok-" Hoseok suddenly looked up hearing a familiar voice calling for him. He was shocked to say the least. The guy had some nerves to show up there. "Do you remember me?" Hoseok saw him approach now sitting down next to him.
"Teacher-" Hoseok finally said making his teacher chuckle, "That's all you remember? Perhaps, your memories will retun soon-do not worry, dear student." Hoseok cringed a little hearing his teacher call him like that.
The last time he called him dear student, he threw him onto the lake wanting to kill him. What was the purpose of him showing up? What did he want from Hoseok? If he could kill Hoseok, he could have done it years ago while he was in a coma.
But why now?
"Teacher, i'm honored that you've come to see me. Please visit as much as you like. At the end of the day, i was your dear student, wasn't it?" Hoseok tried his best to sound as an innocent little kid, not wanting to let his teacher know that he remembered everything.
Hoseok had to set him up and trap him slowly.
"Of course, you, and your other friends. How are they doing, by the way? Last year i visited Busan and was thinking about Jimin. The kid must still be suffering, he was a right mess when i-" Hoseok realized his teacher was just trying to rile him up. There was no way Jimin was unwell. Hoseok was sure Jimin was doing perfectly fine. Jimin was fine.
"I'm sure..Jimin is just fine, Teacher. Maybe he was just having a bad day when you saw him." Hoseok tried his best to seem unbothered by his teacher's words. He couldn't lose to him again.
Hoseok's teacher just laughed nervously, "Maybe you're right, dear student. I'll be leaving now. See you tomorrow-"
So he would come again, Hoseok thought. He had to inform the others about his appearance and come up with a plan already. It was their last chance to set him up. There was no way back.
Hoseok was now getting better at walking. He still moved around using a wheelchair, but still showed some progress. Some days had passed since his teacher paid him a visit. Hoseok wondered why he wasn't showing up yet. Was he preparing something big?
Little did he know that Hoseok had a plan prepared for him as well.
"Ah, Jung Hoseok. There you are." And his teacher finally made an appearance. "I was quite busy the past few days, but here i am. It's actually my last day in Gwangju.." Hoseok wondered where his teacher would be going. Was his plan to kill Hoseok then move on to another city and start abducting young kids again?
There was no way Hoseok would let that happen!
"Why don't we go and talk somewhere more privately, eh?" Hoseok just nodded. Hoseok's teacher now started to push Hoseok's wheel chair. Hoseok realized that his teacher was guiding him to the elevator. Where were they heading?
"Teacher-where are we going?" Hoseok wondered as they entered the elevator. Hoseok tried not to panic, holding onto his phone in his pocket. If something happened and things got out of hand, he'd just press a button and inform the others. Hoseok's friends and his sister all knew about the identity of the killer. Now all they had to do was catch him. Their initial plan was to make him confess about his crimes while Hoseok recorded him secretly.
"I've heard the view from the roof is very astonishing. I figured we could have our last chat there. " His teacher explained. Hoseok chose to remain silent, waiting for them to reach the rooftop. It was as his teacher said. The view from the rooftop was quite breathtaking. Hoseok then thought about Jimin, knowing that he would love to see this view.
But no! Hoseok couldn't be distracted right now. He had to be very cautious. Sooner or later, one of them would end up being the winner, and the other one, the loser.
"Say-Hoseok. Have you recovered your memories? I'm pretty..curious to say the least. It would be a shame to leave before knowing this-" His teacher pushed Hoseok a bit further away, close to some flowers on the rooftop. Hoseok wondered if telling him about his memories would be a good thing or not.
But why not? He would find out about it either way.
"Teacher. Yes, i remember everything. I remember how you threw me onto the lake and planned to kill me because i ruined your plans-" Hoseok finally admitted making his teacher turn around looking at him horrified, "You've been lying to me all this time, haven't you? Dear student?"
"Yes. I lied to you the whole time-i've known about your crimes the whole time, Teacher-" Hoseok's teacher stopped holding onto the wheel chair, now his eyes on Hoseok's hands. Hoseok cursed at himself when he realized his teacher recognized the phone. "Oh, how wonderful. You were recording our conversation, were you? Thinking that i would admit to my crimes and show it to the police? Now that's a shame, Jung Hoseok." He took Hoseok's phone out of his pocket and threw it to the ground. His phone was now smashed.
But Hoseok wasn't losing hope. Beforehand, he knew something like this would happen, and had a plan B. Hoseok knew his teacher wouldn't get fooled by a simple trick like this, so he had prepared a better plan for him in the end. For now, he just had to enrage him.
"Guess my plan didn't work, Teacher. Are you going to kill me now? If so, do it. I don't mind. My life is meaningless anyway-" Hoseok shruggged looking unfazed by the current situation making his teacher's blood boil. Why was Hoseok so calm about this?
"Jung Hoseok, answer me this, then i will put an end to your life. How did you know..about my plans? How did you know about my exact targets?" Hoseok's teacher repeated the same question he asked Hoseok years ago, right before he tried to kill him. Hoseok just laughed, "I told you already, didn't i, Teacher? I can see the future, that's why. And i went back in time so i could save Jimin and my other friends. Yes, i even went back in time because you killed my sister-"
Hoseok's teacher just laughed nervously, trying to process Hoseok's words. Was Hoseok just out of his mind, being in a coma for so long? What was he talking about?
"The truth is, you don't have to kill me, i will be the one to end my life-" Hoseok's teacher was astound by Hoseok once again, seeing him run with his wheelhair, heading to the edge of the roof. But no! Hoseok couldn't just die yet.
"No-" Hoseok's teacher managed to grab Hoseok's wheeling chair just in time. Now Hoseok was hanging from the edge of the roof, close to dropping. Hoseok knew his teacher wasn't strong enough and soon, he'd drop him off. Hoseok had to rile him up just a little more and everything would be over soon.
"Teacher. You've been waiting for me to wake up for years, haven't you? Because you couldn't live with or without me- " Hoseok was now trembling feeling the cold air hit him in the face. He was so close to dropping off from the roof, but he didn't mind.
"All those years you could have killed me but you never did. Was your life pathetic without my existence? Was it?" Hoseok continued trying to rile his teacher up. All he had to do was push him off. Just one push.
"You've been upset that all those years i was able to beat you, huh? You were bitter that a 10 year old child suddenly showed up and ruined your magnificent plans, is that it?" Hoseok then saw his teacher's eyes widen, realizing that this was the critical hit. His plan was definitely working.
Hoseok's teacher was easy to manipulate in the end.
"Jung Hoseok. You are right, you've hurt my pride but in the end, i will be the one to beat you-" Hoseok closed his eyes out of relief once he felt his teacher finally push the wheel chair. Hoseok was now flying in the air and after a few seconds he landed to something soft. It was as they planned.
Hoseok could hear his teacher laugh hysterically on the roof, once he realized that Hoseok was safe and sound not having a single scratch on his body. Hoseok tricked him well, he could admit that.
"Are you okay, brother?!" Jiwoo ran to her brother immediately, the others followed as well. Hoseok was so relieved everything was over, he could cry. His teacher would now get arrested for attempted murder, and maybe, eventually, he'd confess to his past crimes as well.
In the end, his past revivals weren't in vain.
Hoseok has been trying to find Jimin for three years now but with no luck. After three years of searching, he thought to give up. Maybe, in the end, it wasn't meant to be for them to meet again.
But it made his heart ache every now and then. Hoseok just wanted to know if Jimin was happy, if he was doing well. Just wanted to see him one more time.
Hoseok ended up working as a barista at the same cafe he used to work in his past revival. The irony.
In the end, he ended up working in this cafe once again.
It was now the 18th of February, Hoseok's birthday, yet, he was working. His shift was about to end in thirty minutes, so he was being patient. He didn't have any exciting plans for his birthday really. Maybe meet up with his friends and talk about the past. Maybe just watch a movie together and have a couple drinks.
Hoseok's life was very monotonous lately, to say the least.
Hoseok stared outside of the window looking at the snow falling, observing the people passing by. It really was a boring snowy night. And it happened to be his birthday.
Hoseok thought it was probably the lamest birthday he's ever had . He was now 25 years old.
Hoseok's gloomy thoughts were interrupted when a customer walked towards him, ready to order. He could hear the customer call for his name,then dropping the cup of coffee he was holding on the floor when he saw a very familiar face in front of him, "Hoseok~" He had the cutest smile Hoseok had ever seen, and of course, recognized him right away.
Hoseok pinched himself wondering if this was really Jimin in front of him or he was just hallucinating from his boredom. "Jimin? I-is that you?" Hoseok was still in awe making Jimin chuckle. Jimin thought Hoseok was still the same, just a little taller with an even cuter face.
"Yes, Park Jimin. Your neighbor from Gwangju that you saved years ago-" Hoseok just ran into Jimin's arms giving him a long hug, almost suffocating him. He really didn't want to say anything else. He was just ecstastic that he got to see him again.
"Ah-you're suffocating me- " Jimin whined still being squeezed by Hoseok. But Jimin missed Hoseok as well. Being into Hoseok's arms felt as warm as always. Jimin had missed Hoseok's warmth so much, it made him want to cry out of joy.
"Sorry~i'm just so happy to see you again-i've been trying to find you for three years and.." After Hoseok calmed down from his shock, they sat down and talked about their experiences. Jimin told Hoseok that he had been visiting him a lot when he was in a coma, but gradually stopped after his grandmother died and was a little devastated.
Jimin was currently a dancer. Surprisingly, Jimin was still friends with Jungkook and Taehyung and they often met up. Hoseok was glad those two were doing alright.
"Ehhh, so you're now a dancer? You know, when i was younger, i wanted to become one as well-but then...so many things happened.. " Hoseok thought it was very odd that Jimin ended up being a dancer. It was like he was fullfilling Hoseok's dream instead. "Oh~you know, Hoseok, it's never too late. Why don't you come to the academy so i can teach you~"
"No~that would be too embarrassing, you being my teacher.." Hoseok whined in response. Just the thought of Jimin being his dance teacher, made his cheeks bright red. Hoseok was no longer motivated to follow his dreams. Maybe, in another life time-
"Whatever makes you feel comfortable, though..would you like to attend my performance this week? To be honest, this performance is very critical for my career, so i would like for you to be there. " Jimin said to Hoseok as he took a sip from his chocolate milk. It had stopped to snow now.
"Sure-i'd love to see you dance-i'm sure you're amazing, Jimin!" Hoseok praised Jimin making him laugh cutely, covering his face with his small hands from his embarrassment, "Hoseok~you haven't even seen me dance, for all you know my dancing could suck-"
"No! I'm sure you're great. You've always been so amazing, and strong and.." Hoseok continued praising Jimin making him giggle, "By the way, it's our birthday today isn't it? It will end soon though.." Jimin pouted as he checked the time. It was close to midnight.
"To be honest, you really showed up here at this cafe surprising me out of nowhere. You are my birthday present, Jimin!" Hoseok pointed at Jimin cutely.
"I guess i am-" Then, Jimin felt himself tear up a little, "Haha, guess i felt a little too emotional-" Hoseok frowned seeing Jimin's tears fall to his cheeks. He cupped Jimin's face, in a very familiar way. The only thing missing were his super warm gloves, "Don't cry, Jimin. Now that we've found each other again, i will always be by your side, whenever you need me-"
"After all those years, you never change, do you. Always finding a way to make me feel flustered by cupping my face-" Jimin whined making Hoseok giggle. "Couldn't help but do it anyway~your cheeks look even more squishable than they did back then~" Hoseok was now squishing Jimin's full cheeks making him giggle.
Maybe, in the end, Hoseok was able to have a happy ending as the main protagonist of a shonen manga. This was Hoseok's happy ending.
Just Jimin and Hoseok.
As long as Jimin was happy, Hoseok was too.