Chapter 1: Remember?
This is my bedroom.
Taehyung will be back soon.
Taehyung is my friend.
The lights are on so I don’t get lost.
I am a student.
I live on campus.
Taehyung is also my roomate.
I won’t have to attend classes until my arm gets better.
If I am afraid, I can call Yoongi.
Waking up and recognizing his surroundings felt like solving a puzzle. Jimin had all the pieces, and as he opened his eyes and sat on the bed, he could almost listen to the sound of his brain working at full speed to organize his thoughts.
There were things that Jimin didn’t need to write down on his post-its, there were things that he knew. I broke my arm in an accident, that’s the accident that took my memories away; I don’t need to force myself to remember, my memories will come back soon. Hopefully, I’ll remember soon.
Two days had passed since he had woken up in a hospital bed, and he hadn’t forgotten anything ever since. The doctors had told him that those were good news, that meant that his amnesia was only lingered to the past. Jimin only had erased what had happened previously to the incident, and all the memories after that were safe.
Since then, Jimin had learned he was a university student that lived inside campus with his best friends. Jimin studied something related to art, as he was living near the art department… but they couldn’t tell him exactly what. Hoseok had explained to him that the doctors had been very clear about not telling him more than essential information, because his brain was still healing, and revealing more could expose him to developing fake memories.
Jimin laid awake until hearing the sound of a key opening a door.
“Jiminie, I am back.” he could also recognize Taehyung’s voice.
The place wasn’t big, and he had been laying in the bed which was closest to the entrance. So, Jimin stood up, a little taken aback from being pulled away from his state of ease.
“Oh, hello. Dee- Did you have a nice day?”
Taehyung had told him that they were roommates and very good friends, so Jimin trusted him. In the last two days, Jimin had found out that it was easy making conversation with Taehyung… it almost felt familiar. He guessed it was. If they were roommates, Jimin guessed it was actually familiar for them to talk everyday.
“I did, thanks for asking.” Taehyung’s voice was always slow and patient, not a single trace of annoyance each time the elder asked for things to be explained one more time. “I’ve brought you something.”
It took him a few seconds to take a small notebook out of his backpack. He held it to Jimin, who takes it with shy hands.
Jimin doesn’t know why, but he smiles. “Oh, thanks. You- You didn’t have to-”
“It’s so- It’s for you to write things down.” Taehyung explains. “The doctor said it’s better if you have the information written properly organized, and- and the post its don’t seem ideal for that.”
The notebook had a simple design. It had a black cover, with a small white sticker that had Jimin written in it… probably Taehyung’s handwriting.
“What I’ve learned?” Jimin asks, remembering the feeling of waking up and his brain working at full speed.
“Y- Yeah,” Taehyung nods. “and what you remember. You should start to remember some things-” his smile is soft. “No pressure, but you can just write down what- when you start to remember. Maybe you can use different colours, one for what we tell you and another one for what comes back to your mind.”
“That... That sounds good.”
Taehyung looks around for a minute. Their place isn’t too big; only two beds, a couch with a tv, and a bathroom… Jimin supposed that was all that a student needed.
“I’m going to go get coffee with some friends. T- They are your friends too, actually.” Taehyung doesn’t comment about the mess of post-its filling the floor and the walls of the apartment. “You can come too, if you feel comfortable.”
“I’d like to go, yes.”
Jimin had already met two of his friends: Hoseok and Yoongi. None of them had rang a bell inside his mind, but they seemed like nice people… and so far, Jimin had been comfortable around Taehyung. So, as long as the other boy was around him, he guessed he was safe.
Taehyung pulled a pair of clean clothes from the closet, and disappeared in the bathroom. A few seconds later, Jimin heard the sound of the shower.
Jimin took two markers from what he assumed were his belongings, and followed to sit down on the bed with his new notebook.
I will remember soon.
It felt like a dumb thing to write down. It wasn’t something that he remembered, but rather a fact that had been told to him… he had to start remembering things soon. And to remember sooner, he had been told that he had to do whatever he usually did with his life. So, coffee with friends sounded like a great idea.
We never really forget people, that's what Taehyung had always thought. He truly believed everyone left a trace that helped defining who we are. He didn't believe that for long, though… because Jimin no longer remembered him.
The last two days had been a nightmare, and he still had hopes of suddenly waking up to find out everything had been just a bad dream, a creation of his mind. But Taehyung knew he was wide awake.
He allowed himself to take a long shower, staying under the comfort of the warm water until it run out and it wasn’t warm anymore. He stayed there until his whole body was cold and he started shivering. Taehyung really wanted to wake up.
“We can’t be sure about how long the generalized amnesia will last. But in the next five days, he should already start to regain knowledge of who he is and the people around him-”
“So, he will remember?”
If Taehyung closed his eyes, he could pretend everything was fine. He could pretend that he was about to drink coffee with his friends, as they did every day during weekdays, and everything was normal. Jimin hadn’t got in an accident, and he still knew who he was.
We are soulmates. That’s what he had wanted to say when Jimin asked about him with innocent eyes, but Taehyung had to content himself with replying a simple “We are roommates, I am your friend.”
“We can go once you are ready.” he sat on the unoccupied bed, hair still wet and hands cold from staying under the frozen water for too long. “There’s no rush.”
Jimin didn’t reply right away. That was something new, Jimin staying in silence instead of speaking up his mind, but Taehyung figured that was a side effect of not remembering anything about himself.
Taehyung tried to find peace in the silence. Jimin was completely immerse inside his new notebook, writing with a black marker.
“I- I don’t like coffee.” Jimin’s voice is hesitant, almost as if he was looking for the other’s reassurance. “I don’t- I don’t like coffee.” he repeats.
Taehyung just looks at him, same expression as all the other times Jimin had suddenly correctly stated a fact about himself. “You are right, you don’t.” he smiles, because maybe (just maybe) they are a step closer to going back to normal.
“Then, why are we going to get coffee?” Jimin smiles back. His smile is sweet, and Taehyung’s insides melt in the most bittersweet way possible.
“Because, that’s a thing we do.” he runs a hand through his hair, “We always get coffee together, and you order tea.”
Jimin nods, going back to his notebook to write down something that Taehyung is too far away to read. “I’m ready now.”
The café is two blocks away from their place. When they arrive, Taehyung immediately recognizes Namjoon and Jin sitting on their usual table. Still, he lets Jimin get used to the new loud space before guiding him to the friends he no longer remembered.
They both greet them with a smile.
“Jimin, you came!” Jin’s smile is sweet, and Taehyung wonders if it’s authentic or if he is just playing a role to be as casual as possible. “I’m- I am Seokjin-”
“And I’m Namjoon.” Joon’s smile is less convincing. “We are glad you are alright.”
Jimin’s smiles, and Taehyung thinks that there’s an innocence hidden inside his eyes. Jimin smiles and looks at him, then back at the pair. “They- We are friends, right?”
“We are friends, yes.” Seokjin gently pushes the chair in front of him and gestures for Jimin to sit. Taehyung takes the other chair.
“I don’t like coffee, though.” Jimin giggles, “So, I guess you two are very interesting people. How- How did we meet?”
Namjoon and Seokjin look at Taehyung, almost asking “Can we say that?”
“You’ll find that soon, by yourself.” Taehyung reminds him, to Jimin’s lack of patience. “But you can ask about them… try to- try to rephrase the question.”
Jimin doesn’t look annoyed, just… innocent. Before speaking again, he takes his notebook from his backpack along with a black marker. “Are we- Do we study similar things? Are you from the same university as me?”
This times, Taehyung nods. So, the other two speak.
“I’m going for a Theatre Major-” Seokjin’s face looks relaxed, and if Taehyung recognizes a trace of anxiety, it’s only because he knows him too well.
“I’m going for a Music Production Major-” Namjoon’s voice sounds more firm now, less nervous. “I write and produce music.”
“And I… act. I guess it’s obvious.”
Jimin writes down on his notebook, unconsciously biting his tongue. Taehyung smiles at the presence of an old habit, I guess there are things you don’t forget.
“Is Yoongi coming?” Taehyung asks to no one in particular. “He hasn’t been replying to my texts.”
“I don’t think so.” Seokjin takes a sip of his coffee, “He and Hoseok are not talking to each other, and Hoseok told me he would come so...“
“He is probably avoiding him-” Namjoon states the obvious.
Jimin finishes writing and looks up. “Aren’t Hoseok and Yoongi best friends? Taehyung told me they were best friends.”
“Best friends sometimes fight.” to this, Seokjin doesn’t smile. “Is there anything else you want to know?”
Jimin blinks, he wants to say that he would rather listen to them speaking… that he finds it relaxing, as if he could fit in. But he guessed he did, Jimin liked to think he fitted in. They were friends, so it made sense for him to feel comfortable.
“Why are we friends?” he says instead.
It’s not a random question. Jimin can’t ask how they met, or what had made them friends. But, there were other questions he could ask: if he couldn’t remember who he was, at least he would be able to see himself from the eyes of the people who cared about him.
Seokjin takes another sip of coffee, and Jimin notices that he is holding Namjoon’s hand under the table. “Why are we friends? Mmh, that’s easy.” he sighs, “You are a good person, and- and you laugh easily. Sometimes you laugh so much that you throw yourself into the person that’s the closest to you-”
“You are passionate about what you do.” Namjoon continues, “You always listen to us when we need you to, and you are always kind.”
Jimin writes down fast with a black marker. “Oh, thanks-” his smile is bittersweet.
“Does your wrist hurt?” Namjoon squeezes Seokjin’s hand under the table before pulling away.
“Not much.” Jimin’s tea arrives, and he says thank you to the waiter as she leaves. “It’s nothing compared to my headaches, I guess.” he tries to sound as optimistic as possible, as he hopes they believe him.
“It will heal…” Seokjin says, which Jimin already knows. “It will heal, Jiminie.” he smiles. “Now, how is Taehyung treating you?”
“Is he a good roommate? Do we have to scold him?” Namjoon giggles.
Jimin laughs, though he is not sure why. Taehyung has been nothing but patient and caring, despite just being his roommate, Taehyung had checked on him constantly to make sure he was alright. Jimin wondered if they were really good friends… if they weren’t, Jimin wanted to be. Taehyung seemed like a good friend to have, one of those who answer your phone at 3 am even if they are sleeping.
“He is a good roommate.” Jimin takes a sip of his tea with his only available hand. “Don’t worry, you don’t have to scold him.”
Seokjin nods. “That’s good.”
“He is patient, I hope to remember him soon-”
“Don’t worry about that.” Taehyung quickly interrupts him, “The memories will return naturally, okay?”
Jimin wants to nod, but chooses to place the cup of tea on the table to write something else on his notebook. He had already written a few pages, everything he had learned and things he thought he remembered.
Just when he closes the notebook and looks up, he recognizes a face from across the bar. Hoseok, he remembers, because he had met him at the hospital. He is Hoseok.
“Hoseok is here.” he says, because he was starring. Jimin couldn’t help to stare at his friends, trying to break the barrier that held his memories away. Who are you? What did we do? Did I like you? Was I good to you? Were you good to me?
As he approaches the table and greets them, Jimin also notices the dark bags under his eyes. But maybe Hoseok had trouble sleeping, maybe his face is always like that… Jimin doesn’t really know.
“Hello Jiminie. It’s nice seeing you”
“Hoseok, hi. It’s nice seeing you too.” he sits next to him. And they start to talk about an upcoming dance performance that he has been working on.
They talk for awhile, though Jimin mostly listens. Jimin silently hears the conversation, taking notes of things that he thinks might be important. Taehyung checks on him every few minutes, and Jimin nods to confirm he is okay. He can candle it… it’s just coffee with friends.
Jimin wants to go home. They talk and he loses track of time, but the place is loud and he is starting to feel a little overwhelmed. So, he wants to go home… though he can’t remember where that is.
That’s why Jimin is grateful when Taehyung pays for what they’ve consumed and announces they gotta go, even when Jimin knows there’s nothing holding them back to staying a little longer. Jimin says goodbye, and they don’t talk on their walk back to campus.
Jimin is tired, and his head hurts. He wants to sleep, but he doesn’t want to seem lazy taking into consideration it’s still daytime. But his eyes feel heavy, and he wants to sleep and wake up in a world where he didn’t have an accident that broke his wrist and took his memories away. Jimin just wants to be Jimin, and spend his days doing whatever it is that makes him happy.
“Do you want to sleep?” Taehyung speaks slowly and not too loud, he finds a weird sense of steadiness while hearing him talk. “I’ll stay here doing homework, so you can rest for awhile if you want.”
Jimin wonders how well they really know each other, because Jimin hadn’t been able to sleep alone without his pills… and he hates pills. So, knowing that someone was around was really a good excuse to try to rest without fearing the unknown. “That would be great.” he sighs, already laying in bed. “Thank you, Taehyung.”
So, he falls asleep. It takes him a few minutes, but he ends up losing himself to the darkness, falling into a restless sleep that at least takes him away from his problems. Jimin dreams of a room with mirrored walls, and he feels like he’s been there a thousand times before.
There’s no music, but he can hear Hoseok’s voice talking about how he’s been looking forward for his next performance for months. And Jimin isn’t sure what he is doing, but he sees himself dancing in the reflection, even though he is staying still. Jimin stares at the image of him moving to a rhythm he doesn’t know. But if feels right.
Taehyung is silently working on his tablet for his Digital Arts class, but he is not truly paying attention. He can’t, not when Jimin is laying on the bed next to his, and he can perfectly tell the moment where his breathing changes and he has finally fallen asleep.
“Why are you staring?” Taehyung’s voice is almost a whisper.
He doesn’t need to speak louder, not when they are so close to each other. The rooftop had been his idea, but he never thought it would be so cold… but as soon as he started shivering Jimin had wrapped his arms around him. And now they were there, silently looking at the sunrise, Jimin’s arm around Taehyung’s waist, Taehyung’s arm around Jimin’s shoulders.
They had been silent, but Taehyung noticed that at some point Jimin had turned his head on his shoulder to look at him.
“Do I have something on my face?” he giggles, though Jimin’s expression is serious.
Jimin smiles. “There’s nothing on your face.” his smile widens.
Taehyung can feel Jimin’s hand drawing him closer, even closer than what they already are. And Taehyung doesn’t want to look at Jimin, because he might fall. If he looks at him and Jimin is looking right back into his soul, Taehyung is scared he might give him the last piece of his heart… the last part of himself that doesn’t already belong to him.
“I just wanted to remember you-”
“What?” he giggles to himself, trying to focus on the sun saying hello from far away. “Remember me how?”
“Thought you looked cute, I wanted to remember you like that.”
Taehyung can’t help to look back at him, and indeed, Jimin is staring right into his eyes. “Are you still drunk?”
“I am not.” Jimin laughs, and Taehyung feels at ease. He thinks he could paint Jimin’s laughter, turn it into art so he can hear it everyday. “That’s why I was staring.”
Taehyung thinks of how easy it would be to just lean a little closer, with how their noses are almost touching. But he doesn’t. Instead, he hides his face on Jimin’s shoulder, seeking warmth. “So cheesy.”
Jimin is shivering in his sleep, he fell asleep above the sheets. So, Taehyung wraps him with a blanket, though he doubts the cause of his shivering it’s the cold. The last few days, Taehyung hadn’t been able to sleep, and he had chosen to stay awake making sure Jimin was okay.
The first night, Taehyung had woken up around 4 am with the urge to lay by Jimin’s side and hold him close close. Make sure he was fine… but he couldn’t do that, so instead, Taehyung had looked at him from across the room. Jimin wasn’t fine, Jimin was healing, and Taehyung could only watch and wait for him to recover.
“You are cold, let’s go home.” Jimin says.
And Taehyung wants to correct him and tell him that he is perfectly fine, that being by his side is always warm, comfortable. But he doesn’t. Instead, he nods and helps Jimin to stand up, even when he can do it just fine on his own.
“Alright, let’s go home.”
Taehyung thinks the moment of proximity is over, and he’s left only with the memory of Jimin by his side. But Jimin holds his hand, and they leave the roof together. During their way back to their room, Jimin intertwines their fingers… and Taehyung wonders if he knows. Does he know how much he loves him?
He doesn’t have to wonder much, as the answer comes quickly. When they are already laying in bed, and Jimin asks if he can lay by his side.
“Just until I fall asleep.” Jimin whispers.
And Taehyung agrees, because even if he is not drunk anymore he can still use it as an excuse. So, he lays over Jimin’s bed, and stays by his side almost shyly.
“Ba- But, hug me.”
He doesn’t ask if Jimin is still drunk, he just obeys. Taehyung wraps an arm around Jimin’s waist, and Jimin immediately draws closer, laying his head over the younger’s chest. Taehyung sighs, not sure for how long had he held his breath.
“That’s better.” and when Jimin smiles, Taehyung sees the light inside his eyes. He brings him a little closer, running a hand up and down his back. “Just- Just until I fall asleep.”
They both close their eyes, and the next time Taehyung regains consciousness is to find the sun up in the sky beyond the window. Jimin is still asleep, and they are so close to each other Taehyung is afraid to even breathe and accidentally waking him up.
But he doesn’t, with how lost in sleep he is. And Taehyung just looks at him, because he has always found ease in looking at him. Taehyung is so in love… and he is not sure for how much long he can hide it. Maybe Jimin already knows, with how obliviously he looks at him.
“Jiminie, do you know?” he whispers.
There’s no reply.
Jimin keeps shivering, and Taehyung starts to worry it’s more than just a nightmare. He doesn’t want to disrupt his personal space, but he ends up gently pressing a hand over Jimin’s forehead. He’s boiling.
“Fuck.” Taehyung takes a clean washcloth from the bathroom, drowning in it with cold water.
When he returns to the bedroom, Jimin is whispering unintelligible words. “Just one step back, please.” is all he gets to hear.
“Jiminie-” he is not sure if he should be using a nickname, not with their current situation. But he had a fever, so Taehyung doesn’t really care. “Are you okay?”
He mutters more words that Taehyung doesn’t understand, but eventually, he opens his eyes.
“W-What?” he whispers, raspy voice. “What’s this?”
“Soo- Sorry for waking you up…” Taehyung gently moves the washcloth from Jimin’s forehead. “You have high temperature, and- and you were shivering. Do you feel- Are you okay?”
Jimin sits on the bed, looking around. Brain working at full speed as if he was solving a puzzle. “It’s cold.”
“You have a fever.” he repeats. “I’ll- Wait a second.”
Taehyung disappears inside the bathroom, and reappears with a small bowl of water which he places over the table next to the bed. “You are burning up, let me wet the washcloth with cold water again.”
Jimin closes his eyes, allowing Taehyung to take care of him. He carefully moves Jimin’s hair from his forehead, gentle as if the elder could somehow break down under his touch. When he places the washcloth over his skin again, Jimin sighs.
“My head hurts.”
Taehyung hates the fact that he is alone, but he doesn’t want to stumble the burden with any of his friends either. He can do it, he can take it… he can take care of Jimin on his own.
“I know, Jiminie. Just close your eyes, you’ll feel better soon.”
Jimin obeys, and for a few minutes, they stay in silence. It takes half an hour of Taehyung changing the washcloth and whispering reassuring words until Jimin’s temperature finally cools down.
“He can have symptoms such as high temperature and nausea. That would be normal, it’s part of the stress he’s been through.” the doctor had said.
“Ta- Taehyung, can you pass me my notebook.”
It takes a few seconds for Taehyung to open Jimin’s backpack and find the black marker.
“Not black.” Jimin says, “Aren’t there any colours?”
Taehyung looks harder, and he finds a purple marker. “Purple?”
Jimin opens the notebook, passing through the few pages that he had already managed to write down.
“Taehyung… I- I think I know something. I don’t know if I should ask you or if I should write it down first”, Jimin’s voice is raspy, so Taehyung feeds him the glass of water from across the table. “I want colours… I want colours for what I remember. Black for the things that I’ve been told, I want to be able to see the colours.”
Even when he is not really making sense, Taehyung understands. “You can tell me first, if you want.”
“I dreamed of a room with mirrored walls, and my reflections were moving to a rhythm I didn’t know. But- But I was comfortable… after that I had a nightmare, but that doesn’t matter, I don’t remember it much. But dancing… tha- that felt right.” he sighs, looking around the room. “Is it- Can it be that- Taehyung…”
Taehyung waits for him to build a proper sentence.
“Am I a dancer?”
Taehyung smiles, because each step was getting them a little closer to victory. “Y- Yes, you are.” His eyes are shiny, but he fights the urge to cry. Taehyung can’t allow himself to cry over the fact that Jimin remembered one of the most important pillars of his life… he had to be strong, be by his side. Because Taehyung was having a hard time, but Jimin was the one who had been broken. Taehyung hadn’t been the victim, his job was to be strong and be by Jimin’s side no matter what.
Jimin wrote it down with the purple marker, a bright smile overtaking his face. “I am a dancer.” he said, this time as an affirmation.
Jimin feels comfortable talking to Taehyung. He doesn’t know why, but he finds himself in a weird state of ease while being around the younger. That’s why Jimin reads Taehyung everything he’s written on his notebook, even when he is not sure the latter even cares.
Taehyung looks at him with attention, the ghost of a smile over his lips.
“I live in the room 217. I like tea, but not coffee. I am a good friend, I listen to people when they need it. Seokjin and Namjoon are holding hands under the table-”
Taehyung giggles, and Jimin doesn’t know why, but he giggles too.
“Why were Seokjin and Namjoon holding hands under the table?”
“Well,” Taehyung smiles. “they are- they are very close to each other.”
“Are they best friends?” Jimin closes the notebook, switching his position in bed to be a little closer to Taehyung sitting on the floor.
“That’s one way to say it…” Taehyung looks at him, and Jimin thinks that maybe they are a little more than just roommates. Jimin thinks that maybe him and Taehyung were really good friends, but he doesn’t question why Taehyung would have lied. “They are together.”
“Together like us? Are they roommates?”
“No, they are together- together like… boyfriends.”
Jimin’s mouth forms an oh shape, and Taehyung giggles again at the sight of Jimin’s surprised face.
“They looked cute together.” he proceeds to say. “There’s something else I think I know… I guess that if I have gay friends it shouldn’t be a problem. I’m pretty sure I’m gay, do I remember that right?”
Taehyung smiles. “Yes, you remember that right.”
They keep talking for awhile, and Jimin feels safe stating some things about himself he is pretty sure he knows. There’s nothing big, not bigger than his sexuality and his profession… but every little thing feels like a huge development.
Somewhere along their conversation, Taehyung orders chinese takeout. When it arrives, they eat together on the floor, and Jimin forgets he doesn’t remember half of his identity. Because, it’s easy talking to Taehyung, and he is glad he has a roommate patient enough to stay by his side with a cold washcloth while he is too far gone to take care of himself.
When they are done and it’s already time to sleep, Jimin takes his medicine. He knows Taehyung had classes to attend the next day, and he doesn’t want to wake up shivering again. It was prescribed, and he is taking a lower dosage that the one he was told, so Jimin tells himself that it’s safe, that it’s for his own health.
This time, he falls asleep right away. When he wakes up, Taehyung is gone.
After class, Taehyung meets Jungkook. He knows he can always finds him at the cafeteria around midday.
“Gukkie,” he sits next to him, the younger looking at him a little taken aback from being disturbed while eating. “are you eating the junk food they sell here?”
“You like it too…” he chews as he eats, offering the elder a fry. “I thought I wouldn’t see you around here. How are you holding up?”
Taehyung accepts the food. “I’m- I am doing the best I can, I guess.” he sighs, “Are you going to talk to him?”
Jungkook had chosen not to see Jimin, “not yet” he had said. “Is he still- Is he still gone?”
“He is not gone.” Taehyung immediately shushes him. “Will you come to see him?”
“I don’t think I can, Tae.” Jungkook takes a sip of his cheap soda. “I’m not sure I’d be able to look at him and see that he doesn’t know who I am…” he looks at the elder, “I don’t know how you do it. You- You are living with him, and he has no clue about who you are?”
“But he will remember. He just needs to get back on track… Seeing you may help, Gukkie.”
Jungkook gives Taehyung another fry, which he accepts. “Mmh,” he sighs, “I will think about it. For him… bu- but, I need to prepare myself. It’s just- It’s too much, Tae Tae.”
Taehyung sighs back. It’s too much for me too… but he can’t say it, not even to Jungkook. Instead, he takes another fry, because it’s true that he loves the cheap junk food that they sell on the cafeteria.
“Where is he right now?” Taehyung knows that Jungkook is worried, but he had a weird way to show it. Instead of reaching out to Jimin, he stays eating cheap food and asks his friends about how things are going.
“He was sleeping when I left, I should be back soon.”
And it’s not like he isn’t helping… Jungkook had lost his dance mate, which had caused him to work double so Jimin’s absence wasn’t as tragic as it already was. Jungkook was doing his part, he just wasn’t ready to see him yet. Taehyung wished he could give himself the privilege of not having to witness Jimin as he currently was… but each of them had a role to take, and his was to be the roommate.
“Tae Tae, you know you can come over anytime you want, right?” the younger sighs, because his friends are his weakness and right now he doesn’t know the proper way to act. “I’m just two rooms away… you can come over anytime you want. Hoseok is staying with me, though he refuses to tell me why, but you can always come-”
“I know.” Taehyung replies, although the reassurance is always good. Taehyung feels good knowing he has somewhere to go, even when he wouldn’t even dare to leave Jimin alone at night. It’s nice having the option. “Thanks, Gukkie.” he smiles, “Now feed me another fry-”
Jungkook laughs, but when he sees Taehyung’s open mouth he just obeys. “Did you just come here for the free food?”
They both know he is joking, but Taehyung plays along. “The free food and your company, Gukkie. I’m always blessed by being by your side.” he chews.
They talk about unimportant matters, but Taehyung never manages to forget Jimin is all by himself on their room. The elder is always on the back of his mind, a constant reminder of his current situation.
“Jimin remembered he dances-” Taehyung brings it up while Jungkook is talking about their next performance.
“Oh,” the elder thinks he sees a sign of relief on the younger’s face, but it only lasts half a second. “that’s good.” he smiles, “I haven’t replaced him, you know?”
“How is that?” Taehyung looks at him thoughtfully.
“I haven’t replaced him. I’ve just- I’ve changed some parts, so the choreography still works without him, but- but it’s nothing essential. If he woke up tomorrow knowing all and with a healthy wrist, there would be a place for him.”
“He will remember.” Taehyung says, more to convince himself than to remind Jungkook.
“I just wished he hadn’t been there. If- If he just hadn’t stayed late practicing, he wouldn’t have been there-”
“Don’t do that,” Taehyung shushes him. “There are not could have beens, we just have what it is.” he tries to smile, but he only manages to form a weird smirk, “He will remember, okay? he will heal…”
Jungkook believes him, because Taehyung would never lie. Not to him. “I miss him.”
“He’s right there, if you want to come by-”
“I know, I’ll- I will go. I just- Will you be there?”
“Will you be there? If I see him?”
Had that been what was holding Jungkook back? The thought of being alone with a Jimin that couldn’t remember him? Gukkie, that scares me too. “Of course. I was there when Seokjin and Joon greeted him… I can be there for you too”
"Then," Jungkook takes a sip of his soda. "maybe I can see him tomorrow… Can I? Would- Would you be there with me?"
"Of course." Taehyung steals one last fry. "Is tomorrow after class okay?"
Jungkook nods as Taehyung stands up from his sit. "I'll text you."
Yoongi’s last class was about to start when Jimin called him. The elder didn’t even hesitate to leave the building and start walking to campus, that class wasn’t between his favourites anyway.
“Your last class has just finished?” Yoongi notices that Jimin’s voice was more innocent this days, probably a side effect of all that had happened. He liked it, but he would have given it up right away only to make everything go back to normal.
“Yes, Jiminie.” Yoongi wasn’t sure how comfortable Jimin was with him using a nickname, but he couldn’t help it. He couldn’t help to call him Jiminie the same way he couldn’t help leaving class right away only to check on him. “Now tell me, why did you call? Is everything okay?”
“Y- Yeah.” Jimin giggles, “I was just… bored. Tae- Taehyung told me I could call you if I needed something. I thought- I thought we could hung out.” the stattering wasn’t usual either. “Only if you were free… Maybe- Maybe you are busy. I didn’t think about that. Oh- I’m sorry- You are probably bu-”
“It’s okay, Jiminie. I’m free.” Yoongi stops him. “I’m a few blocks away, I’ll be there in a few.”
“A few minutes- I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
It takes him a little less than expected, as he had walked unconsciously faster than usual. Jimin opens the door right away, after just one knock.
“Yoongi,” he smiles. “come in.”
Yoongi obeys, greeting him with a warm smile, “What’s in your mind, Jiminie?”
Jimin stops to think for a second. After being inside all day, all he wants is to go for a walk with his friends remembering who they are- and maybe dancing. But he can’t do either, because the outside world is still too overwhelming, and he told Taehyung he wouldn’t leave the place without him.
“Not much, my brain’s storage has been reseted. Haven’t you heard?”
Yoongi laughs. Maybe a little louder than what is considered polite, but he can give himself permission to do so considering one of his closest friends doesn’t remember him. “That’s what they’ve told me, yeah.”
“Do you want coffee? I have coffee, it’s mostly all we have here…” Jimin sits on the floor, and Yoongi sits by his side.
“Are you allowed to drink coffee?” he asks. “Is that safe? After… you know.”
“It’s decaf coffee.” Jimin clarifies, “It’s not real coffee. And- I don’t like coffee so, it’s okay. We also have tea.”
Jimin nods, looking around for a second before sliding his notebook from under the bed. “I have something to write down-”
Yoongi nods back, looking at the black notebook with Taehyung’s handwriting on the cover. “Tae gave you that to write everything down, right?”
“Yeah.” Jimin finds a black market and starts scrolling until he finds an empty page.
“You’ve written a lot.” Yoongi points out. “That’s good, right?”
“I don’t know.” there’s a trace of sadness in his voice, it almost hurts Yoongi’s soul. “There are only a few things which I can actually remember, most of it are things which I’ve been told.”
In contrast to Taehyung, Yoongi doesn’t tell Jimin that he will remember. Instead, Yoongi places a hand over Jimin’s knee and says “Either way, we’ll find you.”
Either way, we’ll find you. Maybe it’s more truthful than saying that he will remember, lately Jimin has been scared about it. What if he doesn’t remember? What if he can’t do the only thing that’s expected of him?
But Yoongi is gently touching his knee, telling him that even if he can’t find his memories… they will find him. If he can’t find what he was, they will find who he is. And Jimin isn’t sure how Yoongi can help him with that, but he is just glad of having him by his side.
“Will you help me? Will you help to find me?”
Yoongi draws the hand away. “I can’t help you do that,” he says “but I’ll be by your side while you figure it out. Is that good?”
After a few seconds, Jimin nods. He goes back to his notebook, writing with a black pen.
Yoongi says we will find me. Yoongi is a good friend, he will stick around until I figure myself out.
They change the subject after that, and Jimin starts wondering about more curious facts about his friends. What do they like? What are they passionate about? What holds them together? Anything that he can ask without developing fake memories, he wants to know.
“Has Hoseok always had dark bags under his eyes?” Jimin asks, because that had been the first detail which had called his attention about the guy.
“Hoseok-ah?” Yoongi shakes his head. “No, that’s not usual of him at all. Did he looked like that when you saw him?”
There’s a trace of something else behind Yoongi’s voice, a trace of something Jimin doesn’t quite recognize and that he doesn’t know how to ask. So, he doesn’t. “Yeah, I wrote down that he was the friend with dark bags… though his sight was bright. But he looked a little tired.”
“He must have had a tough week.” If Jimin senses that Yoongi may have been laying, he doesn’t question him. “You’ll see that he is bright and shiny, just- just wait and you’ll find out the energizer that he can be.”
Jimin nods, writing those words down.
“So…” Jimin closes the notebook and looks around. “Namjoon and Seokjin are together, you and Hoseok are best friends, and me and Taehyung are roommates-”
Yoongi looks at his weirdly at the last part of his sentence, but ends up nodding. “That’s correct.” he says, “But… Jiminie, Taehyung told me you’ve remembered a few things. What did you remember on your own?”
Jimin smiles. “More than a few things,” Yoongi can’t help to think that he looks cute, smiling and bright eyes all proud about his achievements. “I am a dancer, and I am gay. I don’t like coffee, I don’t like sleeping alone- I know a few things about myself but they are too basic to mention. I know who I am, but- but I just don’t know why I am who I am.” he pauses. “It’s like- I’ve been given the picture of the puzzle but all the pieces are messily placed over the floor… and I can’t find any of the pairs.”
Yoongi just nods, and he doesn’t tell him that he understands… because he doesn’t. They may all be in pain because of what had happened, but neither of them could even imagine the sense of grief of losing who you are. Only Jimin knew what it was like standing in that cold and lonely place, and he wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.
They are both pulled away from their bubble when they hear the sound of a key opening a door, and Taehyung entering the room.
“Jiminie, I’m back.” he says before looking around. “Oh, and Yoongi. Hello there too.”
“I invited him over.” Jimin offers as explanation, “I was bored, so I called him to hang out… I didn’t want to leave the house so… that’s alright, right?”
“That’s alright.” Taehyung smiles. “That’s good, hanging out with friends is good.” he leaves his backpack on the side of his bed. “You don’t have to explain it though, this is your bedroom too. You don’t have to give me an explanation for everything you do, okay?”
“Okay.” Jimin nods, writing it down on his notebook almost unconsciously.
“Where were you anyways?” Yoongi asks, “Your classes finished like an hour ago, right?”
“Oh, yeah.” Taehyung admits, “I was with Jungkook, we had a few things to talk about.”
“J-Jungkook?” Jimin looks up, eyes opening more than usual and pen falling from his hand.
“Yeah-” Taehyung repeats casually, “Jungkook. He is our-”
“Cooky,” Jimin says. “Cooky… I- I remember him.”
Yoongi and Jungkook’s jaws drop to the floor.
Chapter 2: A trace of you
The second chapter is here! These first two chapters were kind of an introduction to the story, so things will start to move a little faster from now on :)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Jungkook was wandering around campus when his phone rang. He waited until it almost went to voicemail before answering, not even bothering to check who it was.
“Gukkie.” he couldn’t quite catch if Taehyung’s voice was worried or excited. “Where are you?”
“Tae…” he looks around, still not understanding the purpose of the phone call when Taehyung could have just texted him. “I’m right where you left me, is everything alright?”
“Yeah, I’m… I went back to Jimin as I told you I would. It’s just that- I know you said you’d see him tomorrow…” Taehyung sighs, and Jungkook’s figures he’s a mixture of worried and excited. “Do you think you could come by in a few?”
“I…” Jungkook shakes his head, something Taehyung clearly can’t see through a phone call. Still, he changes the direction of his steps to the exit, not sure if he is really going to go out “Why the rush? I need to- I gotta prepare myself, I told you.”
“I know, but-” this time, he sounds excited. “Jimin called you Cooky, when I arrived Yoongi was with Jimin and when I said I had been talking to you he said Cooky-”
Jungkook stops walking, exit visible only a few steps away. “Did you tell him that’s how he used to call me?”
“That’s the thing, I hadn’t even mentioned you until now. I said your named because Yoongi asked, and then Jimin- he said he remembered Cooky-”
“He said Cooky?” Jungkook was having trouble to breathe, tears threatening to come out. But he forced himself to hold them back, standing up straight and looking up. He wouldn’t cry, he couldn’t do that. If the rest of the world was able to keep its shit together, he could do that too… he had to. “I’ll- I will be there in a minute.”
After hanging up, Jungkook gave himself a few seconds to regain control of his mind. He didn’t know the context of the situation, and he didn’t want to get his hopes up… Maybe Jimin had heard about him somewhere else, maybe he meant he remembered the nickname but not him. Jungkook needed to be prepared for everything; if this was a misunderstanding, he had to be able to handle it without blaming Jimin.
That’s why Jungkook didn’t rush himself on his way to the dorms. He didn’t count the minutes, but when Taehyung opened the door he was sure it took him the double amount of time as usual… and still, even with Taehyung’s face in front of him, inviting him to come in, Jungkook didn’t want to move.
Jungkook’s whole body was telling him to stay still, to run away and be as far away from Jimin as possible. Somehow, Jungkook saw himself giving a step forward, and Taehyung closed the door behind them. There was no turning back now, he would talk to Jimin and maybe he would look at him with strange eyes which no longer held the memories of countless shared laughs and tears.
“This is Jungkook,” Yoongi is sitting on the floor, right next to Jimin. Jimin has a cast around one of his arms, and is looking at Jungkook with curious eyes which he hadn’t seen before. The first thing that Jungkook couldn’t help to notice is that Jimin has never looked at him like that before. “this is the Jungkook that Taehyung was talking about.”
Yoongi is pointing at the younger, Taehyung silently standing between them.
“That’s me.” Jungkook is surprised to hear his voice, stable and not a single trace of nervousness. “I’m Jungkook. But you can call me-”
“Cooky.” Jimin smiles, and Jungkook sees a new trace of innocence behind his eyes. “This is… Sorry, my head hurts a lot when I think.”
“Take your time,” Taehyung sits on the floor in front of the other pair, and Jungkook decides to follow, as standing is starting to feel awkward. “you don’t have to think about everything now, whatever comes to your mind it’s already progress.”
“Progress.” Jimin nods, a hand going up to draw circles around his forehead. “I know you are Cooky. You- You dance, don’t you? We dance together.”
Jungkook wants to cry, but he doesn’t. Instead, he looks at Taehyung’s face, the latter with a strange smile… the smile of someone who hasn’t slept properly for quite a few days and that doesn’t have big expectations.
“We do,” he ends up saying. “we dance together, that’s right. We are- We are friends, and we dance. You are my dance buddy…”
“My head hurts a lot.” Jimin changes positions, opening a black notebook that had been laying beside him. “I’m sorry I can’t remember more-”
“You’ve already remembered a lot.” Taehyung quickly shushes him. “Do you want me to give you a coloured marker?”
Jimin nods, and Jungkook just watches as Jimin writes something down.
“Colours for the things I remember on my own, black for what I’m told.” he explains, and Jungkook thinks that sounds like Taehyung’s idea.
“What have you written?”
“Your name is Cooky.”
Taehyung has to leave for another class, but he thinks about the possibility of just staying home. This is the first time in a few days where he actually feels a trace of home, a string to hold and not lose himself to this cruel reality.
He ends up leaving though, after Yoongi convinces him that it’s not a good idea to miss another class. Promises him that he’ll stay with Jimin until he comes back. Jungkook leaves too, though Taehyung thinks the younger has some unsaid thoughts inside him mind.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, Minnie.” it’s all he says as a goodbye, and Taehyung leaves after him.
So, Yoongi and Jimin are left alone again.
“Is there anything you want to do?” he asks, after a few seconds of silence.
They stay in silence for what feels like a long minute, and he doesn’t repeat the question to Jimin but rather waits for him to answer when he is ready.
“Where do you want to go?”
“Where do I want to go?” Yoongi repeats Jimin’s words.
“Yeah,” Jimin moves from the floor to sit on the bed, and Yoongi looks at him from the floor. “you can take me anywhere. Somewhere I love, a place I haven’t been before. Anywhere, we can go anywhere… and I’d be happy to just be there.”
“Oh,” Yoongi giggles, “what if I take you somewhere you hate?”
“I wouldn’t know.” Jimin is smiling, but there’s a trace of sadness in his voice, and Yoongi hears it. “Oh, wait-” he stops smiling, “it would be better if it’s not a crowded place… I get a little overwhelmed by that.”
Yoongi nods. “So, anywhere… but not crowded. That gives us a lot of options.”
“What’s on your mind?”
“Mmh,” Yoongi stands up, and helps Jimin to stand up too. “what do you think about going to the cinema?”
“Isn’t that… around people?”
Yoongi shakes his head, taking his backpack from the floor. “Not the one I’ll take you, and after that we can go to a park where there rarely are any people, what do you think?”
Jimin thinks it over, but ends up nodding. “Let’s go.”
They go by foot, Yoongi allowing Jimin to set a relaxed pace which it’s ideal taking into consideration there’s no rush. Jimin’s head still hurts, but he is getting used to the constant pain, he wants to think about Jungkook a little more… see if he can bring something more back from the back of his mind.
Jimin felt a weird sense of thrilled while thinking about Jungkook, finally finding the right pair to one of the pieces of the puzzle, but not being sure where that stands on the bigger picture. He still knew a limited amount of facts… he knew he called him Cooky, and he could see himself dancing and laughing next to him. That was all, and for now, that felt like enough.
Now Jimin wanted to relax. Jimin wanted to feel normal, just another ordinary young adult hanging out with his friends. That’s why he attempted to carry on an ordinary conversation on their way to the cinema, and after swiping around a few subjects Jimin set up him mind that Yoongi was someone easy to talk to.
It was different from talking to Taehyung; where his roommate made him feel comforted about his current situation, Yoongi made him feel it was okay to just be the way he was. Where Taehyung promised the broken pieces would heal, Yoongi affirmed maybe it was alright to be a little broken.
“I chose the place, I’ll let you choose the movie.”
Jimin looks around the place. It was indeed an empty cinema, the only other people around being the employers and an old lady. Jimin looks over the options, neither of them really calling his attention.
“This one.” he points at the only option which seems like it may remotely entertain him, not really caring about watching a movie and being more about liking the idea of just being outside. “What do you think?”
“Anime.” Yoongi giggles and nods, “That’s a good option, I agree. Let’s watch that.”
But what seemed like a light movie ends up leaving both of them in tears. Jimin forgets who he is again only to focus on the characters and their struggles, eventually eating popcorn.
“Who would have thought a movie called Your Name would have such an emotionally heartbreaking story underneath it.” Yoongi is the first one to speak when the credits start to roll.
“I forgot about who I was for a second-” Jimin jokes.
“Not again, please.” Yoongi follows the joke with a warm smile, “I saw you crying.”
“You cried too, at one point I saw you attempting to hold my hand.”
“The red string, Jiminie… Soulmates. That would make anyone cry.”
“It’s a nice concept.” Jimin stands up, and Yoongi follows. “Do you believe in that?”
“It would be nice if it was real, it would be nice to be meant to be with someone beyond everything.”
Jimin wants to know if he believes in soulmates, and if he has found his. He knows he can’t ask, and only time will give him the answers… only healing will restore his memories. But that doesn’t stop him from wondering.
“We won’t mention we’ve cried to anyone, we’ll take this secret to our grave. Promise?”
Jimin laughs, wondering how many secrets they’ve kept which he can’t reveal because he doesn’t know. “Your secret is safe with me.”
“Our secret.” they leave the building, and Jimin assumes they are already going towards the park. “We are in this together, okay?”
“Okay, okay. Our secret. We’ve cried watching anime, this dies between us.”
Taehyung goes over Jungkook’s as soon as his class finishes. Yoongi sent him a message letting him know he is with Jimin, and that he should try to rest… Still, the mare idea of sleeping on his own makes him sick to his stomach, so, he knocks the younger’s door, not sure about whether he wants to sleep or talk for a while.
“Do I look tired?” he asks Jungkook while laying on his couch. “Yoongi told me to sleep.”
Jungkook makes Taehyung move so he can sit too, and the elder ends up laying his head above the latter’s lap. “Well, have you been sleeping?”
Taehyung moves, trying to find a comfortable spot around Jungkook’s legs. “You didn’t answer my question-”
“Well,” Jungkook starts playing with Taehyung’s hair. “you look just a little… mmh… how do I say it without sounding…?”
“A little what?”
The younger stays silent for a moment, Taehyung closing his eyes to lose himself for a few seconds under Jungkook’s touch. After all, Jungkook is his best friend… he doesn’t need to pretend with him. Taehyung knows he can be honest around him; if he feels like crying, if he just wants to rest, if he is tired as fuck, he doesn’t need to hide it, not to Jungkook.
“Well, you look like shit. Just a little-”
“I feel like shit.” he sighs.
Jungkook starts humming a song Taehyung doesn’t know, assumes he’ll hear it the next time he goes to one of his performances.
“He knows you…” Taehyung speaks softly, “he called you Cooky. Do you- Do you think he’ll remember me soon?”
Jungkook’s hand starts moving up and down Taehyung’s shoulders and back to his hair. Taehyung allows himself to keep his eyes close, letting his guard down.
“The doctors said he’d remember soon, didn’t they?” Jungkook replays, voice as soft. “He’s… healing. He needs time to heal, we all would… in his situation. He’ll know you soon enough.”
Taehyung holds Jungkook’s hand, gently interwinding their fingers. “I want him to remember us. He… he didn’t just forget about me, he also forgot about us. And now-” he sighs, and Jungkook knows he is trying not to cry. “now I’m the only one who knows. It was ours, and now… I’m the only one who knows about it. I want him to know too… I need him to know.”
Jungkook doesn’t reply, he knows there aren’t any honest encouraging words which he can come up with. The situation is awful as it is, and there’s nothing he can do about it. Jungkook wants to tell him that he can cry, that he doesn’t need to hold back his tears, not with him… but he doesn’t. Instead, he holds Taehyung’s hand with both his hands, holding him strongly but gently.
“Is that why you can’t sleep?” he says instead.
“Maybe.” Taehyung’s voice comes out more stable, but there’s still pain in it. “I want to hold him… I want to hug him and assure him that we’ll be okay. But- But I can’t, Gukkie.” he sighs. “I can’t do that, because he has no fucking clue about who I am… and I’m not sure if we’ll be okay-”
“You are soulmates.” Jungkook shushes him. “Tae, you and Jiminie are soulmates… you’ll get through this, I’m sure about that.”
“It will take time…”
“But will you be patient?” Jungkook lets go of Taehyung’s hand and stands up. “Will you wait for him?”
“Of course I will.”
“Now-” Jungkook offers Taehyung his hand again. “Go to bed and try to sleep for a few minutes. I’ll be here the whole time, you can try to sleep. No worries, okay?”
Taehyung nods and stands up, allowing the younger to guide him to his king sized bed, and closing his eyes as soon as he lays downs.
“Thank you, Gukkie.”
“Anything for you.”
He doesn’t fall asleep right away, it takes a few minutes of Jungkook laying by his side and caressing his hair until his breathing stabilizes and Jungkook knows that he has finally fallen asleep. Taehyung whispers something that Jungkook isn’t sure if he’s heard right, but either way, he swears to himself he’ll forget about it… because it feels like a secret he should not know.
“Will you remember me, Jiminie?”
The park is quiet too. This is the longest Jimin has been outside since the accident, and he finds himself amazed by the fact he feels safe. Since what happened, outside felt like a place he shouldn’t be. Jimin had barely felt comfortable in his own room, he had only felt safe when Taehyung had been around.
“This place is nice.” he says, after they sit on the floor and Yoongi takes cookies from his backpack.
“I like it here.” he replays, “I don’t know why it’s always deserted, but I’m glad not a lot of people know about it. It’s- It’s our place.”
“Ours?” Jimin asks, not sure if he should remember something he doesn’t. “Have I been here before?”
“Oh, no.” Yoongi quickly corrects himself. “Me and Hoseok’s, we come here often. I guess it’s ours.”
Jimin nods, not sure what to do with the limited amount of information which he has learned about the pair.
“Why are you avoiding Hoseok?”
Yoongi chokes on his cookie and starts coughing. “Ignore- Who- How?”
Jimin passes him a bottle of water, and after a few sips, he calms downs.
“I’ve heard you’ve been ignoring him. The boys said that while we were at the café… I was wondering, why?”
“It’s-” Yoongi has trouble finding the right words, so he eats another cookie. “Sometimes friends fight, I guess-”
“That’s what they said.” Jimin nods.
They stay in silence for a while, and it’s not awkward. Jimin’s mind is too noisy, too many thoughts wandering around all the time. So, silence is a gift.
“Is that why Hoseok looked tired?”
“What?” Yoongi looks at him with warm eyes, a gentle smile resting on his lips. He looks at piece… maybe this place has something magical that makes it peaceful.
“When I saw Hoseok… He- He looked tired, was it because you two fought?”
Yoongi thinks about it for a moment before nodding. “It could be. We don’t fight that often. We haven’t seen or spoken to each other for a few days now, and that doesn’t happen very often. I don’t know…”
“Why do friends fights?”
Yoongi looks away, and Jimin thinks that maybe he went too far. Maybe he asked something which wasn’t his business, maybe he went over the top.
“Sometimes friends have disagreements. Sometimes we say or do things we don’t mean, and feelings get hurt-” there’s a sparkle in his eyes, and that’s how Jimin finds out that asking Yoongi about Hoseok is very intimate to him. That’s how he discovers that they are very close to each other, that they are-
“Do you think you and Hoseok are soulmates?”
Jimin can’t help to keep asking. He wants to know everything, he wants to learn every single thing he has forgotten about this world and more.
Yoongi is looking at the floor. “Right now I’m not sure.”
Yoongi looks hurt. Jimin thinks there’s something more that he still doesn’t know but he can’t ask. He guesses he’ll find out if he needs to; but right now, he just wants to see Yoongi smile again, and he wants to somehow take away his pain.
“Do I have a soulmate?” he asks instead.
Yoongi smiles a little, but his eyes are still sad. “You do…”
“Who is it?” Jimin moves from his place, eating another cooky and sitting straight, expecting.
“You’ll remember soon.” Yoongi says, looking him in the eyes. “I can’t robb you from that, it wouldn’t be unfair. You’ll remember it by yourself, I don’t want you to somehow change the way you see people because you’ve been told you are connected to someone you don’t even remember.”
Jimin makes a mental note to write down that Yoongi is a good friend, and that he can trust him. He thinks he’s already written it, but he will write it down again nevertheless.
“That seems fair.” Jimin sighs, wishing he could close his eyes and remember everything. “Thank you, Yoongi.”
Yoongi nods and falls back, laying on the grass.
“Hoseok and I will figure it out, don’t think too much about it. We are best friends, we are just- we’ve just had a big disagreement regarding something important. But we’ll survive this. Don’t worry about it, Jiminie.”
Jimin just nods back, not sure if Yoongi is trying to convince him or himself. He doesn’t know how Hoseok and Yoongi get along, he has no memories of them together besides their brief encounter at the hospital. He wishes he knew, he wants to know. If they are soulmates, Jimin wants to see them together… he wants to be happy by seeing them happy, he hopes he’ll get to see them.
“I’m sure you’ll figure it out.” Jimin replays, because maybe Yoongi just needs reassurance. As far as he knows, Yoongi and him have something in common: they’ve both lost something. Jimin has lost his memories, and Yoongi has lost his best friends… at least for a brief amount of time, they both need to learn how to live without them.
“You’ll see…” Yoongi speaks softly. “Hoseok is a bright person. You haven’t seen him, but you’ll see. He shines, he has an energy that makes you smile. You’ll see it and we’ll figure it out.”
Jimin eats the last cookie, and they remain in silence. Jimin asks questions about his friends (the ones he knows Yoongi can reply without risking developing fake memories). They start walking their way back to the dorms when the sun starts to set over the horizon.
Taehyung feels like he hasn’t slept for ages. It’s only been a few days, but when sleep takes him, he loses himself to the comfortable feeling of dizziness. He loses himself to a dreamless sleep, feeling completely disoriented once he regains consciousness.
He slowly opens his eyes, confirming he is over Jungkook’s. Jungkook is laying by his side, playing with his console on mute, a small detail that warms his heart.
“Gukkie,” his voice comes raspy and deep, evidence of his recent sleep. “how long has it been?”
“A few hours.” Jungkook leaves the console over the bedside table. “You seemed peaceful, I didn’t want to wake you up…”
“He’s returned. Yoongi stayed with him until he fell asleep.”
Taehyung nods, but the constant feeling of anxiety remains deep inside his chest. I should be there for him, why am I not there for him? I’m being a bad friend, I should have taken better care of him… this is all my fault.
He knows his thoughts aren’t true, but that doesn’t shush the voice inside his head. The burning anxiety, the headaches, the restless sleep.
Jungkook gently caresses his forehead, hand dancing between his neck and his cheeks. “You can sleep for a little longer if you want. I can order something to eat.”
“I’m not really hungry-”
“You need to eat something, Tae. You need to be strong.” Jungkook smiles.
Taehyung feels a knot in his throat again, but he can’t cry. He swallows the pain, reciprocating a weak smile.
“Okay, I’ll try to eat something.”
He closes his eyes again, but he doesn’t fall asleep. He remains still, listening to the sound of Jungkook ordering food and moving around the room. Taehyung wants to know if Jimin is asleep, if he is okay, if he is resting well… he wants to be by his side.
But even when all he wants to do is hug him and assure him they’ll get through this, he knows there’s no much he can do. If he were to return to their shared room, all he would be able to do is watch him sleep. Maybe touch his forehead to make sure his temperature is normal… but not much else. Taehyung feels useless, that’s why he allows Jungkook to order food for him, while he tries to rest for a few more minutes.
He doesn’t open his eyes again until Jungkook sits by his side and whispers into his ears:
Taehyung notices right away that Jungkook has ordered Chinese food at his favourite restaurant, and they eat in silence.
“I should go back to my room.”
Taehyung stands up and looks in the mirror from across the room. Even though he’s slept, he still looks like shit. There are dark bags under his eyes, and his skin looks pale.
“Do I still look like shit?”
Jungkook stands by his side and back hugs him. “Just a little bit.”
Taehyung closes his eyes, losing himself again to Jungkook’s embrace. He wouldn’t be able to do this on his own, so he is glad to have a friend like Jungkook by his side. Taehyung thinks that, with Jungkook’s support, maybe he will make it. With Jungkook by his side, maybe he will make it in one piece, and he’ll still be himself.
“Thank you, Gukkie.” he says before pulling away and going to the entrance.
“You can come by anytime, okay?”
Taehyung nods before opening the door and leaving. His room is a few metres away, but he stays outside for a few seconds.
When he opens the door, all the lights are out except for the lamp next to Jimin’s bed. Taehyung steps inside, making as less noise as possible. He walks all the way to his bed and lays down, not even bothering to lay under the sheets.
“You came back.” Taehyung hears Jimin’s voice, clear and gentle.
He rolls over, looking in his direction.
“Did I wake you up? I’m sorry.”
“You didn’t, I woke up a few minutes ago. It seems like I’ve also forgotten how to properly sleep.” he smiles, and Taehyung can’t help to smile back… even when he doesn’t like what Jimin has just said.
“Why do you think you can’t sleep?” he replies, voice not really a whisper but speaking softly.
“Dunno,” Jimin’s voice is hesitant. “I keep trying to remember things, I try to connect the dots. During the day it’s easier to just forget about it and focus on what’s happening… but it’s harder during the nights.”
“I keep feeling- I keep having this feeling like there’s something missing… while I sleep. Like- I don’t know how to explain it. I’m searching for something, but I don’t know what. There’s something else I need in order to sleep, and I can’t have it because I don’t know what it is.”
Taehyung nods, because he knows. He suspects- he is almost sure he knows what Jimin misses… and it hurts, it hurts in every single bone of his body and deep inside his soul.
“Let me know if you find out what it is…”
Jimin looks at him in the eyes, “I was hoping you would know.”
Taehyung doesn’t know what to reply, he isn’t certain how much he can say without breaking a boundary.
“You don’t like sleeping alone.” he says instead.
Jimin looks at him with the same hesitant eyes, and Taehyung looks at him with pain.
“How do I sleep, then?”
Taehyung looks away, because he doesn’t want to see Jimin’s face when he says this.
“Sometimes… I sleep by your side.”
It’s half a lie. But Taehyung will take the responsibility for it, will make sure this doesn’t fuck Jimin up.
“You sleep by my side?”
Taehyung nods, finally looking back at Jimin. He finds Jimin’s hesitant eyes, and he feels an urge to hug him.
“We are more than just roommates, aren’t we?”
Taehyung doesn’t reply.
“We are- We are friends… right?”
Taehyung nods again, because he doesn’t want to keep speaking.
“Can you- Mhm- Can you sleep by my side?”
Taehyung opens his eyes, taken aback by the sudden question.
“Maybe- Maybe the feeling of something familiar can help me to remember. You don’t have to do it if it’s weird. Just- I just thought it could help… You don’t have to.”
Taehyung thinks about it for a moment. He isn’t sure if laying by Jimin’s side would be a blessing or torture… he misses him, but he wants Jimin to miss him too, he wants both of them to remember. Jimin has just said that laying by his side may help him remember, so, Taehyung decides he’s willing to take the risk.
“Okay, just- let’s move the beds together.”
Jimin nods and stands up.
“Oh-” Taehyung giggles, “I forgot about it, sorry.” he stands up. “Just wait over there, and I’ll move the beds together so we can both fit.”
After moving the beds together, it takes him a few minutes to lay down and find a comfortable position for both of them. Maybe it’s because one of Jimin’s arms is broken, so he can only lay on one side, and Jimin doesn’t know, but Taehyung is used to him laying on his other arm.
But they find the way, and they lay next to each other, only a few inches apart.
“Like this?” Jimin asks.
“Yeah, like this.” Taehyung lies, but he’s sure Jimin will forgive him.
“Good night, Tae.”
“Isn’t it weird that I always call you Taehyung? I thought I could call you Tae… it’s shorter.”
Taehyung just looks at him.
“I can keep calling you Taehyung if you don’t like it-”
“No, it’s not that.” Taehyung whispers. “You can call me Tae… That’s how you call me, it’s alright.”
“Good night, Tae.” Jimin repeats, this time with a smile.
“Good night, Jiminie.”
It takes Jimin a few minutes to fall asleep. For Taehyung, it’s not that simple; he can’t focus, not with Jimin so close to him. So, he closes his eyes and focuses on Jimin’s steady breathing instead, thinking that if he can’t rest, maybe he can at least find piece on that.
Yoongi goes straight to his room after making sure Jimin has fallen asleep. He’s expecting to sleep alone again, to look at the other side of the room only to find Hoseok’s empty bed. This is already the longest fight they’ve ever had, but it’s also the first time they’ve had a disagreement regarding their friendship.
To his surprise, when Yoongi opens the door, Hoseok is waiting for him inside. The red headed is sitting on Yoongi’s bed, looking at the floor. When he gets closer, Yoongi can’t quite read the expression on the younger’s face… there’s something he hasn’t quite seen before. He thought they knew everything about each other, maybe there are a few details that they still don’t know.
“Yoongi…” Hoseok looks up, and Yoongi now understands why Jimin had been so worried about his appearance. “I-”
“You came back.” Yoongi is bad with words when it comes to expressing his feelings towards Hoseok. Normally, he doesn’t need to explain himself… Hoseok just knows. But he still fights to find the right words. “You are here-”
“I’m back.” Hoseok nods, but he doesn’t find Yoongi’s eyes. “I don’t like how we are now. I want us to talk, to be like we were before-”
Yoongi gets a little closer and sits on the other side of the bed, not sure how far away or close to Hoseok he should be. “Are you sure?”
“Are you sure you want to go back to how we were before?” Yoongi says softly, and he hopes the pain he feels inside is not visible.
Now, Hoseok finally meets his eyes. Yoongi looks at him as if Hoseok were some kind of wild flower which he can’t touch, a miracle of nature which he is doomed to admire only from afar.
“Seok-ah, answer me.”
Hoseok moves a little, changing his position so Yoongi is in front of him.
“Yoongi… Don’t- Don’t do this to me. My mind is a mess right now, I can’t- I can’t promise you something I’m not sure I can keep.” he sighs, “I just know that I miss you, and that I want to be home with you. I’ve been sleeping over Jungkook’s, but it’s not the same. You’ve been ignoring me-”
“You said you wanted space, I respected that-”
“I never thought you’d ghost me…”
It’s Yoongi’s turn to sigh. “I did what you asked, are you sure you know what you want? What do you want, Hoseok-ah?”
Hoseok remains silent for a few seconds. He looks around the room, at his perfectly organized empty bed, at the messy coffee table between their beds. “I don’t know, I’m sorry. But- This is home… I want to be home, and this is home.”
Yoongi nods, not content but too tired to fight. He doesn’t want to fight, not with Hoseok, not with anybody. Life is already shitty enough as it is, Yoongi just wants to sleep and wake up feeling like he hasn’t been punched in the face and back-stabbed by his best friend. And he has to think about Jimin… he needs to keep his shit together for Jimin.
“Okay.” it’s all he says. “I’m going to sleep.”
Hoseok nods and moves to his bed. Yoongi isn’t sure how long the younger had been waiting for him, isn’t sure if he wants to find out. He lays in bed, closes his eyes waiting for sleep to come. But he is not able to fall asleep.
After moving a few times around the bed, Hoseok speaks.
Yoongi is tempted to just ignore him, to just pretend he is asleep. But he knows Hoseok too well, and he knows that Hoseok knows him too well to know that he already knows he’s awake.
“Too many thoughts.”
Yoongi opens his eyes, so he can see Hoseok sitting on his own bed.
“You are not even trying, though.”
Hoseok smiles, and Yoongi wishes it didn’t warm his heart the way it does. “I’m not tired yet… I’ll sleep in a few-”
Yoongi just nods.
“Are you alright?” Hoseok says softly.
Yoongi isn’t sure how much he wants to say. Right now, he isn’t sure where their friendship is standing. He knows he can trust Hoseok, but he isn’t sure if he should share his barden, not after not speaking for days. Yoongi just… doesn’t know anything at all.
“I am alive, I guess.” he says instead, because it’s honest. He isn’t hurt, he isn’t wounded. Tomorrow he’ll wake up and he’ll have a perfect sense of who he is and what he is doing with his life, and he knows that Jimin can’t say that. So, he should be able to sleep. And he shouldn’t complain about it.
“Jungkook told me you went to the cinema with Jimin, after he remembered some things about Jungkook. That’s good, right?”
Hoseok knows him too well, Yoongi sometimes wonders if he is somehow able to read his mind to know what he is worrying about, even when it’s scientifically impossible.
“Yeah, he called him Cooky. And he knows that they dance together-” still, Yoongi tries shifting the conversation somewhere else, as far away from him as possible.
“Gukkie must be happy…” Hoseok’s voice is sweet, and Yoongi can’t help to look up and try to find his eyes.
“I’m not sure,” he replies softly, “it’s a lot of responsibility. He was barely able to see him- and Tae is trying to keep them all together. It’s a lot.”
“Keeping them together how?”
“He is trying not to pressure Jimin to remember, says he needs space to heal at his own time. But at the same time- Imagine if one of your best friends can only remember you… Imagine seeing your best friend hurting because his soulmate has forgotten about him, but he suddenly remembers you instead…”
“I didn’t think about that-”
Yoongi sighs, giving up on trying to sleep and sitting on his bed.
“I just hope that Gukkie isn’t blaming himself. It’s not his fault that Jimin only remembers him…”
Hoseok nods. “You went to the cinema with him, did he- did he seem alright?”
“Well,” Yoongi crosses his legs. “he is Jimin, he just seemed… Jimin. At times he seemed more innocent and fragile around the edges, but he’s still himself.”
Hoseok silently nods.
“Oh,” Yoongi half giggles, “he was even worried about you. He said you looked like shit, asked if that’s how you always look.”
“He said I looked like shit?”
“Maybe he used other words…” Yoongi giggles again, “but I’m sure he thought to himself that you looked like shit.”
“Practice without Jimin, and without- without…” Hoseok’s voice comes out a little broken, and Yoongi wishes he hadn’t just said that.
“I know-” Yoongi shushes him. “I think we should rest, you don’t look like you’ve been resting.”
“I know.” Yoongi offers Hoseok his hand, and after a few seconds, Hoseok intertwines their fingers. “We should at least lay down.”
Hoseok half smiles and draws his hand away.
“Good night, Yoongi.”
Yoongi is wide awake, he knows he won’t sleep. He knows that Hoseok probably won’t sleep either, and they’ll spend the rest of the night just looking at the roof in silence.
“Good night, Seok-ah.”
After a few minutes, Yoongi doesn’t fall asleep, but he manages to find some sense of ease. The night is silent, and if he pays enough attention he can hear Hoseok’s breathing. Yoongi closes his eyes, wondering how long it will take them to rebuilt what was destroyed.
Jimin is the first one to wake up. Taehyung is still by his side, eyes shut and stable breathing. The sun is already up, and there’s a ray of sunshine illuminating his face.
“We are friends.” Jimin whispers.
Jimin stares at Taehyung for a couple of seconds. He’s right by his side, close enough to touch. He just looks at him, still half asleep but trying to use all his mental energy to remember him. He wants to remember… wants to see how many times he’s heard Taehyung laugh, know how many times they’ve laid next to each other.
But his brain is blank.
Jimin isn’t sure what he is doing, but he raises his healthy hand and gently removes Taehyung’s hair from his forehead. He can’t help it, he wants to remember… wants to at least regain a small trace of himself.
Taehyung slowly opens his eyes, Jimin’s hand still caressing his forehead.
“G’morning.” his voice is deep with sleep. “Are you okay?”
Jimin half smiles, even though his heart hurts to know Taehyung’s first instinct is to worry about his well being.
“Yeah, I’ve just woken up. Sorry- I’m sorry that I woke you up.”
Taehyung doesn’t comment on the fact that Jimin’s hand is still gently stroking his hair. Jimin doesn’t know what he is supposed to do. But it feels nice, being next to Taehyung feels nice.
“It’s okay.” Taehyung smiles back.
They just look at each other for a second, and Jimin isn’t sure how he is supposed to feel, but he is encountered by a sense of safety.
“Do you have classes today?”
“I do, but not before midday.”
Jimin isn’t sure if he wants the moments to continue, but Taehyung sits on the bed, so he removes his hand.
“Is Cooky coming?”
“He is, we are having coffee together before class. Do you want to see him?”
Jimin sits too, looking at Taehyung with loving eyes.
“I’d like to, yes.” Jimin is honest. He wants to see Jungkook, see if the only door to his memories can somehow widen so he can remember more.
“He’s a few rooms away, by the way. If you ever want to talk to him, you can always go. Yoongi and Hoseok are a little farther away, but they are in the same building. You can always talk to them, I’m sure they’ll be happy to talk to you too”
Jimin nods. “When am I seeing the doctor again?”
“On Monday,” Taehyung stands up, “how do you feel about that?”
“This time I’ll be able to talk for myself, so… I’m looking forward to do that.”
Taehyung moves around the room, tiding the place up a little bit while Jimin takes a shower. Once they’ve both changed, they leave and walk the short distance which separates them from Jungkook’s room.
The younger opens the door after three knocks.
“Tae… Minnie... “ he says with a raspy voice which indicates he’s just woken up. “Come in.”
Jungkook closes the door once the three of them are inside. Jimin looks around, a weird feeling making him uncomfortable inside his stomach, but he doesn’t know exactly what’s causing him to feel like that.
“Did you forget about coffee?” Taehyung sits on the bed, and Jimin imitates him.
Jungkook slowly moves around, Jimin presumes that he is looking for some fresh close to replace his current outfit which consist of his pjs.
“No, I didn’t.” he yawns, “I think there’s something wrong with my alarm. It was supposed to ring, but I didn’t wake up. It’s the second time this week.”
It seemed like Jungkook had been getting more than enough sleep, and Taehyung is a little jealous but he pushes the feeling away.
“Just- Let me find some clothes and take a quick shower- and I’ll be ready to go.”
Taehyung nods, and Jungkook keeps wandering around the slightly messy room. After he finds what he is looking for, he disappears inside the bathroom. They start hearing the sound of the water running a few seconds later.
“Thought we were a little late, but it seems like we could have slept for a little longer.” Taehyung half smiles and looks at Jimin.
But Jimin’s expression is serious. His eyes are wandering around the room, and Taehyung notices that he is breathing a little too loud.
“Hey,” he looks at him with worried eyes, “are you alright?”
Jimin doesn’t reply. He just looks everywhere and nowhere at the same time, and Taehyung doesn’t know what he is supposed to do.
“Talk to me, Jiminie.”
Jimin doesn’t know what’s happening. He had woken up alright, and nothing bad had happened. But, since he had entered the room, he had started feeling sick to his stomach. And now, his head hurts… and he is starting to think that maybe they’ve made a mistake in the hospital and he is seriously ill. Maybe there is something seriously wrong with him, and he is in real danger.
Jimin is hyperventilating, his legs are shaking and the whole room is spinning inside his mind. What’s wrong with him?
“You are having a panic attack,” Taehyung says. “Jimin. What happened?”
Jimin doesn’t reply, because he doesn’t have a clue about what’s happening. He just knows that he is sick and helpless. He can feel his heart beating inside his throat, and he is certain he is about to vomit it and he’ll die. He will die and Taehyung will just witness it all without being able to help him.
“Oh, fuck.” Jimin hears Taehyung, voice far away. “Jiminie, listen to me- I’m- I am here…”
Jimin is somehow aware that he is crying, but he can’t help it. He’s lost control of his body, and all he can do now is witness how he is feeling everything and nothing at all, all at once.
“Jiminie, look at me.”
Taehyung’s voice is louder, so, Jimin looks.
“Hear me out. I’m- I am here… I will be here until you feel better. Look at me, okay?”
Jimin is looking at Taehyung, hearing his voice. But it feels far away, he need it closer.
“I’m alone.” Jimin sobs, choking on his own tears.
“I’m here,” Taehyung speaks louder, and Jimin suspects he may be screaming. He needs him closer, he needs to feel him in order to feel real again.
“Jimin, do you hear me?”
Jimin nods. “There’s something terribly wrong with me.”
“Jimin,” Taehyung repeats his name, and Jimin feels Taehyung’s arms holding him by the shoulders. “is this okay? Are you okay if I touch you?”
Jimin loses himself sobbing again. “It’s okay-” he somehow manages to say, still not sure how he is able to speak when he can’t even breathe.
Taehyung wraps his arms around him, bringing him close in a warm hug.
“I’m going to count slowly. Try- Try to breathe following me-”
That's it for today. I had a really shitty day, but at least I was able to update hehe.
As always, let me know what you think in the comments and leave me kudos uwu
My TW, IG and CC are all @fearmustdie if you want to talk :)
Chapter 3: It's too much
hahahaha don't mind me updating at 2am during a week day.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
This is not what Taehyung had in mind when he said he wanted to hug Jimin. He had thought about holding him close, feeling Jimin’s giggles on his shoulder, he had wished of hearing Jimin’s angelic voice whispering loving words into his ear. Instead, Taehyung feels Jimin’s tears through his shirt, he can feel the way his whole body shakes as he sobs uncontrollably. This is not what he had wished for, not the way he wanted it.
It had been hopeless, trying to get Jimin to breathe with him, he was way too gone… way too lost to the panic. Taehyung doesn’t know that much about panic attacks, he never had one; he’s only heard about them on tv shows. So, Taehyung just holds him close, as close as physically possible.
He doesn’t know how many minutes have passed when Jungkook returns.
“I’m all done. What’s-? Oh no.”
He doesn’t ask what’s happening, he just disappears again and returns with a glass of water.
“Minnie, have some water.”
Taehyung breaks the hug, and Jimin just… shutters again. He’s whole body is still shaking, he’s hyperventilating, and his whole body is wet with sweat.
“I can’t stop- I’m- am sorry. I wan- want to s- stop shaking. I can’t-” he’s barely able to formulate the words, to create proper sentences. “I just- just wa- wanna stop sha- shaking.”
Jungkook sits by his side, holding the glass of water next to Jimin until he finally accepts it.
“Take a sip.” Jungkook says softly.
Jimin isn’t sure how it would make the situation any different, but he obeys. He feels the cold water in his mouth, and then going down his throat; everything is the same but he hasn’t choked- so maybe… maybe there’s still oxygen in his body, and he isn’t going to die.
“Are you fighting it?” Jungkook speaks again.
Jimin nods. Isn’t that what he is supposed to do? When fear comes, isn’t he supposed to give it a fight? to not give up?
Jungkook gives a small sigh and looks him in the eyes. Taehyung remains silent by his side, not sure about what to do.
“I am going to need you to… stop fighting, okay?” Jungkook takes the empty glass of water from Jimin’s hand and places it on the floor. “You need to feel it. I need you to stop fighting it, okay?”
“Wouldn’t- Won’t that make it worse? I don’t wa- want it to be worse. I just- I just want it to stop, Cooky. Can you make it stop?”
Jungkook gently holds Jimin by the shoulders, gentle and hesitant, as if he were afraid to break him.
“Is this okay?”
Jimin nods, so Jungkook’s hands hold him a little bit tighter, less insecure.
“You need to feel it. Your body is forcing you to feel the pain, and it won’t stop until you finally feel it.” he bites his lips, “It won’t be nice. It- It will be hell, but… then- then it will be over. And you’ll feel better. And we’ll be here the whole time, okay? You are not alone, Minnie.”
Jimin just wants it to stop, and he feels like he can trust Jungkook. So, he nods.
“Okay. I’ll- I’ll do that. You’ll be here, right?”
“Yes, Minnie. We’ll be here the whole time.”
Ten minutes pass before the panic attack finally loses its strength and vanishes completely. Taehyung feels useless, just staring at Jungkook doing all the work and telling Jimin reassuring words throughout the way.
“You are not shaking anymore,” he says, while Jungkook leaves to find another glass of water. “I’m sorry I couldn’t help.”
“You hugged me. That- That helped a little bit. Even though it didn’t stop the anxiety, it made me feel a little better.”
Jungkook reappears and sits next to Jimin.
“But I’m fine now…”
“Staying hydrated is important.” he smiles.
So, Jimin accepts the glass with a half smile.
“Do you still want to go get coffee?” Jungkook’s voice isn’t judging nor pressuring, it’s just a question. Jimin somehow feels comforted by it, free to speak his mind without sounding rude if he suddenly cancelled.
“I’d like to, yeah.” Despite everything, going out feels like a good option. He is tired of being trapped, he wants to feel normal again; he wants to be able to go out with friends without thinking about horrible illnesses and death.
“You don’t have to if you don’t want to. I- I can bring the coffee here, or the tea.” Taehyung’s voice also warms his heart.
“It’s okay. I- I want you. I want to go out… I feel fine, I don’t know what happened.” he sighs, “But I want to stop thinking about it… I just want to go out, and- and talk about normal things. I need to go back to normal, don’t I?”
Taehyung and Jungkook share a look for a couple of seconds; once Taehyung nods, Jungkook ends up nodding too as the only respond.
They go to the café inside campus. This is the first time Jimin’s been here, he knows he has been here before but it feels like the first time. He walks between Jungkook and Taehyung, who places a supporting hand on his shoulder after they’ve entered the building.
The place isn’t as crowded as one would imagine, and Jimin is glad. But- he feels the judging stares of every student that passes by… are they looking at me? or am I just overreacting? am I overthinking and seeing things that aren’t really there?
“You shouldn’t have coffee though-” Jungkook says when they finally enter the café.
Jimin sees Taehyung giving a death stare to someone who gives them a judging look. They are… They are looking at me, this is really happening. It’s too late to cancel now.
“This is our table.” Taehyung smiles and they sit, Jimin smiles too even though he has no memories of being here before.
Jungkook gets the drinks. “I’ve brought you green tea.” he places it next to Jimin, and he just smiles politely again.
He is still a little taken aback by the recent panic attack. Now that the rush of feelings has disappeared, he feels like a balloon that has just been popped.
“Why is everyone staring?” Jimin can’t help to ask.
Taehyung sighs. “They’ll stop soon.” he looks around, giving them another stare that could kill babies. “It’s just that…”
“Everyone knows about what happened.” Jungkook interrupts, taking a sip of him coffee. “They will get bored after a few minutes, don’t think too much about it.”
“They know?” Jimin feels naked. Everyone knows, they have the information that he prays so much to remember every night. They know, and he doesn’t.
“It was pretty well known… yeah. That’s why they’ve allowed you to skip classes. Don’t think about it, okay?” Taehyung’s face remains serious, this is the first time that Jimin has seen him being this harsh.
Jimin chooses to change the subject. “Cooky… when it’s your next performance?”
Jungkook’s face immediately lights up. “In a couple of weeks-” he smiles.
“You’ve been working so hard!” Taehyung taps his shoulder. “You’ve basically been organizing the whole event!”
“Really?” Jimin looks at him, wonders if he has some say in the event too… he has no way of knowing it.
“Well… I don’t know. That’s a lot. I’ve had help-”
“Oh, come on!” Taehyung taps his shoulder again. “Don’t downplay yourself, take the compliment.”
Jungkook giggles, and Jimin notices that his smiles reaches his eyes before his mouth. “Okay… Maybe. I’ve done a lot. But Hoseok has helped me too. We’ve all worked hard to make it possible.
Jimin can’t help to replicate Jungkook’s giggles. “Will I be able to go too?”
He asks without thinking, and all their smiles drop.
“Never mind.” he shushes his own question. “It will probably be extremely crowded… and… and I don’t want any of you to have less fun because you suddenly need to babysit me-”
“Don’t say that-” Jungkook interrupts him.
“If you want to, we can go together.” Taehyung offers. “I was going to go… we were already going to go together… think about it,” he smiles again and takes another sip of his coffee. “it’s up to you, okay? if you want to go, we can go together.”
Jimin nods and goes back to his tea.
Jungkook and Taehyung keep talking, and Jimin just listens to them. He is getting used to just listening to people… of being the outsider in conversations, the extra character that no one really notices.
Once they finish their drinks, Taehyung announces that he is late for class; and, after Jungkook scolds him a little, he says goodbye and leaves.
“See you at home, okay?” he tells him.
Home. The word feels odd, but Jimin can’t think of another word to describe their shared bedroom. Jimin’s head hurts a little… but he wants to get to know Jungkook a little bit more, so he makes no comments about it. He just nods to Taehyung, and sees him slowly walking his way out of the café.
“Do you have classes today?”
“I don’t.” Jungkook gives him another one of his bright smiles. “We can stay here a little longer or go back to the dorms, whatever you want.”
Jimin wants to talk to Jungkook, but he doesn’t know where to start. His amnesia also took away his ability to socialize without appearing to be extremely awkward and incompetent.
Maybe… they can go back to what they have in common, to the passion that he knows they share. “We can go to an empty studio… you can show me how you dance-”
“T- That-” Jungkook stutters, “Are you sure you want to do that?”
“Yeah…” Jimin continues, “Maybe it can help me remember… being somewhere familiar, doing something familiar. What do you think?”
Jungkook looks around nervously. “Am- I-” he stutters again, “Okay, let- let me check a free studio. We can do that… yeah, and after that I’ll take you back to the dorms. Is that okay?”
And that’s what they do. Jimin finds out that the dance studios aren’t that far away. The room is smaller than the one in his dream, but it’s still a mirrored room, and he sees his reflection multiplied.
“Is this where we dance?” he asks.
Jungkook leaves his backpack on the floor. “No, it’s not… this is for freshman students. We- We practice on the ones on the third floor-”
“Then, why are we here?” Jimin wonders.
“This once is closer.” Jimin doesn’t know how that makes sense, but he takes the answer without questioning much. He just wants to talk to Jungkook and see him dance, he doesn’t really care where.
“Can you-” Jimin sits on the floor, “Can you maybe… dance a choreography we’ve done together?”
“I can do that- yeah.”
“I’ve been having dreams.” Jimin follows, “I’ve been dreaming of mirrored rooms, and I dance to a rhythm I don’t recognize… but- but it feels right, you know?”
Jungkook knows, even though Jimin doubts he can really empathize with the feeling. “Is that how you remembered me?”
Jimin thinks about it for a few seconds. He doesn’t know how he remembers Jungkook, it’s just something that happened… a name that he heard that suddenly clicked, and he just knew.
“I’m not sure…”
“How is it?”
“I don’t know. I mean- I kind of think that I’ve remembered you by accident.”
Jimin stops talking, and Jungkook allows him to think. He gives him time to formulate a proper answer.
“I’m always thinking about how I want to remember… But at that moment- I don’t know. It just… happened.”
“I am glad you remembered.” Jungkook offers him a smile, followed by an innocent look. Jimin suspects he is a little younger than them, or at least he looks younger than the rest of his friends.
“I wish I knew more, though.” Jimin can’t help to complain. “I wish I could know a little more apart from your nickname and the fact that we dance together…”
“It’s okay. You’ve remembered something… that’s progress, Minnie. Be proud of your progress.”
Jimin half smiles. “I’ll remember more. I’ll see the doctor soon, and I hope they’ll somehow explain to me how I can heal faster…”
“There’s no need to rush, though. You can take your time to heal-”
“Don’t I have classes?” Jimin sees his reflection through one of the mirrors, how fragile he looks: memory-less and with a cast around his arm.
“But- like Tae told you.... They’ve allowed you to take your time to heal-”
“Why is that? Isn’t that some kind of special treatment?”
“Well… not really. Your accident happened while you were occupied with something related to university. Maybe- I feel like it’s their way to feel less responsible.”
“The doctor said it was no one’s fault. That it was- That it was just an accident.”
“Yeah-” Jungkook takes his phone from his pocket, “Shall we start? This was one of your favourite choreographies…”
Jimin nods, and Jungkook plays the music. He watches thoughtfully as the younger dances, paying attention to every little detail which he can process: his body movements, his facial expressions, the aura that he radiates. It’s a catchy song, and it radiates a happy feeling. Jimin smiles, unconsciously moving to the rhythms of the song he can’t remember.
Jungkook keeps moving, and somewhere along the line, Jimin focuses on one of their reflections instead. He sees himself sitting on the floor, and Jungkook by his side. He feels odd, a sentiment similar to the one of his dream: a reflection moving to a beat.
He stops hearing the music, and he finds himself in Jungkook’s body. Somehow, he can feel himself following those same movements… feeling the same feelings. He is a dancer, he is dancing…
He already knew that.
But it’s a little more specific this time. He sees Jungkook by his side… and someone else. They are dancing, and they are laughing… they are having fun. Jimin is encountered by the feeling of content and comfort of doing what he loves the most.
Who’s the other person?
“Hoseok-” he says out loud, right after the music ends.
“What?” Jungkook looks at him from above and sits down to be nearer. “What about Hoseok?”
“-Hoseok. Da- Dancing with us. To this song… We’ve danced to this song with Hoseok…”
Jungkook’s eyes widen, and he hesitantly places a hand on Jimin’s shoulders. “Did you remember that just now?”
“Is it true?”
Jungkook smiles, and he looks almost as happy as in his memory. “It is. We did that choreography together, yeah-”
Jimin can’t handle his inner happiness, so, he smiles. The smile reaches not only his mouth, but also his eyes, and he can also feel it all over his body. Happiness, achievement.
Jimin throws his arms around Jungkook, because he can’t think of anything else to do. He’s content, he’s happiness, he’s proud… and another piece of his memories are back. So, he wants to hug Jungkook, feel him close.
“Cooky, I’ve remembered something. I’m remembering-”
He can feel Jungkook’s smile on his shoulder.
“You did, Minnie. And you’ll remember so much more…”
They stay inside the studio a couple more minutes. They listen to the song again, and they both stand side by side following an easy version of the choreography which Jimin can follow without compromising his arm.
Jimin stops at the sudden sound of the door opening.
“Hoseok-ah,” Jungkook stops too.
“Oh, hey.” Hoseok still looks tired, but he smiles. “I was told you two were here…”
“Hey…” Jimin reciprocates the smile.
“JK… Can I talk to you for a second?”
Jungkook nods, and they both step outside. But even though they aren’t speaking that loud, Jimin gets to hear lost sentences.
“Isn’t this too much exposure?” Hoseok’s voice.
“He doesn’t know. I talked to Taehyung and he told me to just follow him around, follow whatever he wanted to do. He wanted to dance-”
“But the studio?”
“It’s not the studio. He’s just remembered something… this helped. Don’t bring it up.”
Jimin doesn’t have a clue of what they are talking about, so he just looks at the multiple reflections of himself again. He focuses on his face, the slightly marked bags under his eyes due to stress, the dry skin caused by the tiredness.
He wonders if it’s truly possible to regain himself. What if he’s left with scars which he doesn’t know how to deal with? What if he’s left with pieces of memories which he will never be able to recall?
They both come back half a minute later.
“Jiminie- How are you feeling?” Hoseok smiles.
His voice sounds different, and Jimin notices all traces of warning or precaution on his voice (which he has just overheard) are gone. Now, he can only hear Hoseok: Hoseok with a smile, asking how he’s been.
“I’m alright.” Jimin smiles back. He doesn’t say I had a panic attack today, he doesn’t say everyone was staring when I came to campus and I feel like shit, everyone knows what happened except for me. “How are you?”
“I’m alright, thanks for asking.”
Jimin stands up, assuming they are already leaving. “You look less tired.”
He suspects it may be the memory loss, but he doesn’t feel apologetic about being brutally honest. He isn’t afraid of Hoseok thinking he is rude or too harsh… he just thinks and speaks his mind.
“Thanks?” Hoseok makes a weird smirk, but his eyes are still shiny.
“You looked really tired the other day… now you look a little- a little more refreshed.”
Jungkook gets his backpack and Jimin gives a last look at the endless reflections of himself before they finally leave.
“-I’m sorry if I worried you.”
“Well,” Jimin walks between them, he doesn’t know where they are going. “I wasn’t sure if that’s how you always looked or if something had happened to you. So- So I had to ask… and they told me you are a shiny person… that you were just having a few bad days… but- but that you always smile- and that you have an energy that makes people around you happy. Is that right?”
Hoseok smile brightens, and Jimin notices all traces of tiredness vanish for a couple of seconds. “Is that so? Is that what you’ve been told?” his face even blushes a little.
“Where do you want to go now?”
Jimin doesn’t know how long he’s allow to force Jungkook to be around him without being annoying. He doesn’t know that Jungkook doesn’t mind, that he is glad to be by his side after not seeing each other for what felt like ages.
They go back to the café for more coffee, and Jimin opts to drink tea again. He wonders how much coffee can Jungkook’s body handle before exploiting from anxiety or an overdose of energy. He doesn’t ask.
“It’s not that much time if we think about it,” Hoseok is drinking coffee too, but Jimin notices he ordered a decaf. “it’s only two weeks away… there’s not much you can do in two weeks.”
“But we are ready. We’ve been preparing this for months.”
Jimin’s back to just silently listening to other people speaking. It’s easier to be the silent friend when there’s not much you can talk about… and he’d rather focus on something else, to be honest. There’s only a limited amount of times that you can happily tell how you’ve remembered basic things about your identity before it becomes annoying.
If he’s honest with himself, Jimin is starting to feel a little annoying about his identity. He’s losing the thing which he’s been told he needs the most: his patience. Jimin is tired of waiting… tired of wandering. He wants to go back to normal, and he wants it now.
“I doubt there’ll be many people… only dance students. It’s the first one we’ve organized on our own, so that’s okay. Isn’t it?”
“Is Tae coming?”
Jungkook giggles, “You know Tae always comes…”
“So, Yoongi is coming with him, right? like always…”
“I am coming too!” Jimin takes a sip of his tea, “Tae and I are going.”
“That’s good. I am sure you’ll like it-”
Jimin still wonders if he was actually a performer… but he doesn’t ask.
“Why don’t you ask Yoongi if he’s going to come?” there’s a trace of something in Jungkook’s voice which Jimin doesn’t quite understand, something which he kind of doesn’t know what it means.
“We had a fight. We aren’t- We aren’t talking that much.”
Jungkook just nods and takes another sip of his second coffee of the day.
When they are done, Taehyung comes back from class and they go back home.
Jimin barely notices that it’s almost night time. They walk slowly on their way to the dorms, and by the time they get there, the sun is already saying his farewells.
“How was your day?” Jimin asks, despite having been together for the majority of it.
“It was good, thanks for asking.” Taehyung always replays to that question with the same melody, the same slight smile which Jimin isn’t sure if it’s honest or polite.
“I remembered something-”
They enter the dorm and Taehyung goes directly to throwing himself to the bed (their beds are still gathered together). Jimin follows slowing, opting for just sitting by his side.
“Do you want to tell me?” Taehyung’s eyes are closed.
“I’d like to… Yeah.” Jimin doesn’t close his eyes, and he cautiously looks at Taehyung’s face. He is… beautiful. Since he’s met him (again), Jimin couldn’t help to notice how naturally beautiful Taehyung is.
Taehyung doesn’t speak again, so Jimin starts to tell him what he remembered on the dance studio. He mentions every single detail, from the way he felt to how the memory came back to his mind. And… Taehyung is beautiful.
“Did you write it down?”
Jimin shakes his head, even though Taehyung can’t see it. He follows to search for his notebook and find a coloured pen. But… when he gets to the blank page, he doesn’t know how to word it. He remembered a choreography, is there a way to write that?
So, he just writes:
I remembered one of my dances.
He closes the book and opens it again, leaving a few lines empty to write something more on the same page.
Taehyung is beautiful.
“Have you eaten?” Jimin asks, even though he knows it’s impossible that Taehyung somehow managed to get dinner when he went for him right away after class.
Taehyung shakes his head.
Jimin ends up ordering take away, and this is the first time he’s made a phone call to a stranger; he thinks it’s progress. He isn’t sure about what Taehyung likes, so he just orders the same food which they have already eaten.
They talk and laugh until Jimin loses track of time. And… Jimin thinks Taehyung’s laugh is beautiful; he is trying to find ways to make him laugh more, so he can hear that lovely sound again.
“Do you want me to move the beds?” Taehyung speaks slowly, curious eyes looking at him.
Jimin looks around. They are sitting in bed, and each one of them is laying on their respective bed… but, that’s pretty close. There’s no much space between them, and Jimin feels comfortable like that. It feels almost familiar.
“Do you- Do you want to move them back?” Jimin ends up asking, because he isn’t sure how much he can ask of people before starting to be annoying. He doesn’t want to be annoying, he doesn’t want to be a burden. He just wants to be Jimin.
“I don’t mind,” Taehyung’s expression relaxes a little bit, and Jimin feel more certain about himself. “whatever you want to do, it’s okay.”
Jimin nods. “The other day… I was able to rest. You helped me sleep-”
“I didn’t do that much,” Taehyung smiles, and Jimin feels it again- that glance of familiarity. “I’ve told you- We do that sometimes-”
“Do I have trouble sleeping? Why do we do that?” What Jimin really wants to ask is how close they really are… why Taehyung told him they were roommates when they seem like really good friends. But again, he doesn’t. He keeps the question closed inside a small gate in the back of his mind, something to find out later… or maybe, something to remember on his own.
Taehyung moves a little and now they are sitting in front of each other. Jimin looks everywhere but Taehyung’s eyes.
“No, not you.” Taehyung giggles, a beautiful melody. “It’s actually- it’s me. Sometimes I have trouble sleeping… and one day- we tried that- and it worked, so… sometimes we do that. I don’t know-”
Jimin nods again and lays down, looking at the roof. “Thanks Tae-”
Taehyung immediately follows, and Jimin notices their hands are resting side by side, almost touching. “For what?”
Jimin focuses on their hands, on the sense of familiarity. “For being my roommate. Thanks for- Thank you for dealing with all this. You are patient with me, and you’ve been helping a lot, just by being by my side. You didn’t have to, but you did. So… Thank you.”
“Oh-” Taehyung’s hand moves, and Jimin isn’t looking but he can feel how they are now a little closer. “There’s nothing to thank. You are- You are important to me, Jiminie. I am doing this because I care about you, and I want you to get better.” he sighs, “We all do, all of us care about you and are trying our best to help you get through this.”
“All of us?”
“Yoongi, Jungkook, Hoseok, Namjoon and Seokjin.” Taehyung pronounces each name with a smile, and Jimin can feel by his voice how important they are to him. “We’ve all got your back- You know that, right?”
Jimin doesn’t know anything. But… he’s been around them this past few days, and they’ve made sure not to leave him alone, not even for a second. So, Jimin can see it: it sounds real, it is believable that they all care about him.
Suddenly, he feels like crying. The feeling of love and affection should make him feel safe, but he feels lonely. A voice in the back of this brain is whispering that he shouldn’t be loved, that he should stay away from them all.
Oblivion is a blessing.
“We’ve got you. You know that, right?”
Jimin doesn’t want to hold Taehyung’s hand anymore. He moves a little farther away from Taehyung. He can’t no longer feel the warmth from Taehyung’s hand; now, he can only hear his breathing: steady, patient.
“I know.” Jimin lies, “I am grateful.”
After a few minutes of silence, Jimin thinks that Taehyung may have fallen asleep. He doesn’t want to look, he’s too scared he might lose himself to the sight of Taehyung peacefully sleeping again.
So, Jimin just looks at the empty roof. The room is not in full darkness, as they’ve left one light on (for him not to get lost). His mind is wandering around the events of the day; ignoring the panic attack, he had a good day… he was able to remember something knew, and he had fun with Jungkook. For most of the day, he felt comfortable, safe.
But now, his mind keeps wandering around every little detail, every single judging look from strangers in the café. Jimin feels like he shouldn’t have gone outside, he shouldn’t have talked to anybody. Maybe the whole time everything was a joke, and he was the piece of entertainment.
Before he’s able to notice, Jimin’s breathing is out of control again.
I am not safe.
Taehyung wakes up right away, immediately leaving the bed and getting him a glass of water.
This time, Jimin doesn’t want to be touched. He doesn’t want to be alone, but he doesn’t want company either. He can’t put it into words… he only knows that he isn’t safe, and that his whole body is telling him to fight but he’s opted to give up in the hopes of getting the panic attack to die faster.
“What can I do for you?”
Jimin isn’t crying. He thinks he would be able to speak properly if he needed to. This time, instead of feeling like he’s sick, he feels completely and utterly cursed. As his whole body shakes and he forgets how to breathe, he feels every single thing he remembers is taking him a step closer to danger.
“Away-” he mumbles, “Don’t touch.”
He’s scared Taehyung may try to hug him again. Last time, Taehyung asked politely before getting close to him, but Jimin is still scared he may attempt to invade his personal space.
“Do you want me to leave?” he can see the pain in his eyes.
“No- It’s okay. You can- You can stay…” Jimin chokes with air. “But don’t touch. Stay- Stay away, can you? Please.”
Taehyung just studies him for a few seconds. “I can do that, yeah.”
Jimin is still in bed, hugging his legs while sitting on the corner. Taehyung stands up and moves to the opposite side of the room.
“Is this okay?” he asks.
Jimin feels a little bit of air coming back to his body. That’s okay, he has his own space now. He’s no longer in so much danger. He can tell himself he is alone, that no one can touch him: no one can harm him.
“Yeah, that’s okay.”
They stay in silence, and Jimin doesn’t fight it. It’s less aggressive this time, and Jimin feels like it’s shorter even though he isn’t sure about what time it is.
Taehyung doesn’t move until Jimin finally says that he is alright again. And even then, he only gets close to give him another glass of water.
“Do you want me to move the beds? Do you want me to sleep somewhere else?”
Jimin shakes his head. He doesn’t feel like speaking, he had two panic attacks today and he just wants to sleep. He wants to close his eyes and forget about the world for a little while.
“Do you want to talk?”
He shakes his head again. He wants Taehyung to lay down again, he wants to see him sleeping and fall asleep to the sound of his breathing. Is that too much to ask?
Taehyung nods, understanding what Jimin hasn’t even said. Jimin is glad he doesn’t need to say it.
“I’m going- I’m going to lay down again.” Taehyung’s voice is low and gentle, “Is that alright?”
Jimin nods, so Taehyung lays down. He sits on the bed, slowly getting under the sheets. He lays down on the other corner, as far away as possible, giving him his back.
“Good night, Jiminie. Wake me up if you need anything.”
Taehyung can’t see it, but Jimin nods again. He’s grateful for the space.
Jimin waits until Taehyung falls asleep to get under the sheets. It takes a few minutes until Taehyung’s breathing stabilizes again, and Jimin moves slowly, scared to wake him up again. It makes sense for Taehyung to fall asleep right away, after such a long day it makes sense that he is tired and he loses himself to sleep so fast.
Jimin looks a Taehyung’s back in the poorly lighted room. It doesn’t make sense, but even with Taehyung by his side, he feels lonely.
Yoongi doesn’t come home that night. Hoseok waits for him for a few hours, stays awake even though he is tired, tries to keep his eyes open even though they are heavy and in need of sleep.
He starts to worry around 3am, calls Joon to ask if maybe they are together in the studio.
“Nope,” Namjoon’s voice sounds wide awake, Hoseok can hear Seokjin laughing in the background. “Haven’t heard from him, and today he missed a few classes. Is everything alright?”
“It’s okay,” Hoseok lies, because he isn’t quite sure. “he’s just- he hasn’t come back home.”
“Have you tried calling him?”
Hoseok stays silent.
“Why haven’t you called him?”
Hoseok walks around the room. “We haven’t been talking that much-”
“But he isn’t home…”
“He is not.”
Hoseok hears the sound of Seokjin’s voice, followed by a playful fight.
“Give me the phone-”
“But I am talking…”
“Hoseok. It’s me, at what do we owe the pleasure of you calling us in the middle of the night?”
Hoseok sits on the bed. “Yoongi isn’t home… I thought he might have been with Joon is the studio.”
“Hobi… are you sure it is about that?”
Hoseok doesn’t want to talk about it. He knows their friends know that they fought, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. He doesn’t want to open up about what they had done, about why he doesn’t want to directly contact Yoongi.
“If he’s not over there, I guess he’ll come back soon… from wherever he is. Don’t worry about it, forget that I called-”
“Hobi…” Seokjin sighs, “We know there’s something else going on with you two, it’s obvious-”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“That’s… valid. But, if you change your mind, you can talk to us. Talking can help, sometimes. Think about it, okay?”
“There’s a lot of shit going on. I can’t bother you with my silly problems while one of our friends has literally forgotten about his identity-”
“Don’t invalidate your struggles, Seok-ah”
“It’s just- I’m worried. But… forget that I called, alright?”
“We’ll let you know if he comes by-”
Hoseok hangs up. He feels slightly sick, he is aware he is probably overthinking: Yoongi is an adult that can spend the night away without having to give anybody any kind of explanation. But, he is still worried.
Or maybe, all this is an excuse to call him. Maybe his sudden anxiety is an excuse to contact him and getting to hear his voice. He doesn’t know, isn’t sure if he wants to find out either.
“It was a mistake,” Hoseok’s words had been sharp, looking at Yoongi in the eyes fully aware that he was hurting him with every single word. “we should forget about it.”
Hoseok waits another half an hour, walking around the room and going back to sitting on the bed. At this point, he isn’t even trying to hide the fact that he is overthinking, and he is fulling aware that he is overreacting… but he can’t help it. He can’t help to get his cout and leave the dorm, calling a taxi and going to the closest bar that he knows.
He isn’t sure about what he is doing. Yoongi is an adult, he doesn’t need him to look after him… Yoongi can take care of himself, and Hoseok should be respecting the fact the it was him who asked Yoongi for space.
Yoongi is there.
He finds him right away, sitting outside the bar next to the door, cigarette on his right hand and a can of beer on his left one. He doesn’t even register his presence, too focused on his own mind.
Hoseok sits by his side without talking, even though he hates the smell of smoke. He sits by Yoongi’s side and waits for him to notice his presence. It takes a few seconds:
“Seok-ah, what are you doing here?”
Hoseok doesn’t have an answer.
“It’s late, isn’t it?” Yoongi keeps speaking, “Why are you here?”
“I-” Hoseok looks everywhere except Yoongi. “You didn’t come home…” he doesn’t say: I was worried.
“Shit,” Yoongi sighs and smokes. “Seok-ah, you don’t make sense.”
“You look wasted-”
“I am wasted.”
Hoseok doesn’t force a conversation. He lets the silence settle in, allows the moment to linger. Now, he knows that Yoongi is safe: he is alright. Why was he so scared in the first place?
“Aren’t you cold? That jacket is too thin…” Yoongi breaks the silence.
Finally, Hoseok meets his eyes. “It’s alright-” he lies.
“You are shivering-” Yoongi points out, and Hoseok sees a trace of pain behind his eyes through the smoke.
“It’s fine.” it isn’t.
“Should we go home?” Yoongi finishes the cigarette. “You are going to catch a cold.”
Hoseok takes a few seconds to reply. “I said it’s alright-”
“Didn’t you come all the way here for that? To pick me up?”
Hoseok doesn’t really know. He wasn’t thinking straight, he had been acting on instinct.
“What if I did?”
Yoongi sighs again and stands up. It takes him a little longer than usual, and now that he walks a few steps Hoseok notices how drunk he is.
“Sometimes I don’t understand you, Seok-ah” he sighs, and Hoseok feels guilty. “Let’s go home.”
Hoseok calls another taxi, and while they are both sitting side by side on the back of the car, Hoseok can smell the alcohol all over Yoongi. Would Yoongi had kept drinking if he hadn’t dropped by?
When they get home, Hoseok helps Yoongi as he can’t really walk straight. They walk slowly, and when they are finally inside their dorm and Hoseok closes the door, Yoongi immediately throws himself on his bed.
“I’ll get you some water.”
Yoongi doesn’t even bother to take his shoes off, and he just lays above the sheets. He takes Hoseok’s glass of water, moves a little so he can sit down and drink it.
Hoseok doesn’t want to hear it, doesn’t want to confirm that he is the reason behind why Yoongi got drunk. He doesn’t want to hear Yoongi’s broken voice, doesn’t want to witness what he’s done to him.
“Why did you go looking for me?”
Hoseok sits next to him next to the bed. And now, he can smell Yoongi again: Yoongi smells of smoke and alcohol. He doesn’t like it.
“I don’t know-” he lies again, wonders if he’ll ever get used to it: lying to Yoongi.
Yoongi sighs, finishing the glass of water.
“You are making it really hard for me…” Yoongi’s voice sounds hurt.
Hoseok closes his eyes. “Hard for what?”
“You are making it really hard for me to forget you.”
That’s exactly what Hoseok didn’t want to hear.
“You don’t have to… forget me. I’m your best friend, I will always be here for you-”
“You know what I mean,” Yoongi’s voice is low, almost a whisper. “You keep doing this shit. And I don’t know if I can trust it… You are making me lose my mind, Seok-ah.”
Hoseok opens his eyes. Yoongi is looking at him with pain, and he really doesn’t want to see it. This hurt, all this damage, is his doing; Hoseok deserves to feel guilty.
“I am sorry.”
“Don’t be.” Yoongi moves, and they are a little closer. The smell of alcohol is thicker. “You don’t have to be sorry for not wanting me, Seok-ah.”
Hoseok looks down, sees how close their hands are. But he can’t touch, will never touch… not again.
“I’ll bring you another glass of water-”
Yoongi stops him before Hoseok can move. “I am okay. Don’t worry about it-”
Hoseok nods. “Okay…”
“Will we ever go back to normal?” Yoongi moves again, and their ankles touch.
“We are alright-”
“Don’t talk bullshit.” Yoongi stops him, “We… We fucked our friendship,” he laughs, but it’s dry. “literally. We fucked, and that fucked everything up.”
Hoseok doesn’t know what to answer, he just knows that they can’t go back. Hoseok wishes they could go back, wishes he could have been stronger. But the damage has already been done: he had told Yoongi that he loved him, had allowed him to touch him, had touched him… only to tell him that it was a mistake the next morning.
“Why did you get drunk?” he says instead, trying to change the subject.
Yoongi shakes his head. “I needed to get my mind out of all this shit-”
“Not only- Not only this. I needed to forget for a little while about all the shit that’s going on. Jimin… University… I needed to forget about it, just for a minute-”
“You shouldn’t be getting drunk. You could have talked to me…” Hoseok wants to be there for Yoongi, he is willing to do everything in his power to keep him away from his hurt. But, how much can he do with their current situation?
“I wanted to be alone, okay?” Yoongi sighs and draws away. “Sometimes I need to be alone… and that also includes you. Don’t take it personal.”
It hurts him a little, but he knows he deserves it. Hoseok just nods and moves to his bed.
“I’m going to sleep.” he says, “If you need anything else, wake me up.”
Yoongi doesn’t reply.
Jimin has already counted a hundred sheeps at least ten times, but he can’t fall asleep. Taehyung is still just a few inches away, and he can only see his back: he is close but yet so far. Now that hours have passed by, Jimin’s panic has completely left his body and he’s able to breathe properly following Taehyung’s breathing.
“Tae.” Jimin whispers, hoping he can’t listen. He doesn’t want to wake him up, but… he wants to ask.
Jimin gets a little closer. He isn’t sure if what he is doing is right. He just- He just wants to sleep.
Jimin moves closer, drawing his healthy arm near Taehyung.
“Is this alright?”
Taehyung doesn’t reply, so, Jimin gets even closer. He wraps his arm around Taehyung, hides his face between Taehyung’s neck and his shoulder.
The younger is asleep, but Jimin already feels a little less lonely. Taehyung is a safe place, someone he can lean on. He… wants him closer. Jimin breathes in, telling himself that he can say it was an accident once they wake up the next morning.
Taehyung moves, but doesn’t wake up. Taehyung relaxes around Jimin’s body, moves one of his arms to hold Jimin’s own arm, intertwines their fingers.
Yes, we can say it was just an accident in the morning.
Jimin smiles around Taehyung’s neck. Closes his eyes, starts to count sheeps again.
Maybe he’ll be able to fall asleep now. Maybe this is all he ever needed, and maybe… just maybe, he’ll remember Taehyung in the morning. He hopes so.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Which characters do you like the most? What do you think about the story? Let me know :(((((((((
My CC, TW and IG are all @fearmustdie if you want to talk.
Hope you enjoyed the updted, now I'm going to sleep. Bye,
Chapter 4: Truth can hurt
and a lot of the shit that comes with it.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Today, Jimin is going to the doctor. He wakes up next to Taehyung with a smile on his face, looking forward to the upcoming day. Finally, he’ll be able to learn more about what’s happening to him, and what he can do to heal faster. He’ll be able to do something on his own, he’ll be able to do something without another person following him around like a baby.
He wakes up with his arm around Taehyung’s waist, fingers intertwined. Apparently, that’s a thing they do now: Jimin waits until Taehyung falls asleep and hugs him, hides his face between Taehyung’s neck and shoulders, and Taehyung sleepily looks for his hand and holds him a little closer. And the next morning, they don’t make any comments about it; they just smile to each other and get up.
Jimin noticed Taehyung’s starting to look less tired, and the bags under his eyes are almost gone. He doesn’t know if it is connected to how they’ve been sleeping or if it’s just a coincidence, but Jimin has been sleeping better too… hasn’t had any more panic attacks during the night, so he just wants to think they are both sleeping better.
“G’morning, Tae.” Jimin notices the exact moment in which Taehyung wakes up. “I have to get ready-” Jimin draws theirs hands apart and sits down.
Taehyung is still a little sleepy, rolls over so he can look at Jimin. “G’morning. Today… Right! You have your doctor’s appointment.”
“Are you sure you don’t want me to go too?”
“You have class,” Jimin gets up and starts looking for a pair of fresh clothes. “I’ll be fine, Joon and Seokjin will be with me. You have your own classes to worry about.”
Taehyung yawns, sleepy eyes following Jimin moving around the room. “Okay- Alright. But, you’ll let me know how it goes, right? When I come home, you’ll tell me how it went, right?”
Jimin smiles, finally choosing the perfect hoodie and jeans. “Of course, I always let you know…”
Taehyung smiles and closes his eyes, a sign that he’ll sleep for a little longer.
“Keep sleeping. I’ll get ready and wait for Joon outside.”
Jimin takes a long shower, he washes every part of his body twice. He stays under the water until it starts running cold, and when he closes the tap he stays there for a few more seconds. He also takes his sweet time as he changes inside the bathroom, slowly putting his jeans and a red hoodie, drying his hair off with a towel.
“See you later, Tae-”
Taehyung replies sleepily, and Jimin isn’t sure if he is talking while dreaming or if he has actually woken up.
Jimin waits for Namjoon and Seokjin near the front door. Even though he came earlier, it doesn’t take long for the pair to arrive. Jimin has already seen them before a few times, and he thinks he can trust them: they both seem like good friends, good people. It’s also clearly obvious that they are both happily in love, which makes them radiate a happy energy that makes them happy people to be around.
“Jiminie, are you ready?” Namjoon approaches him, and Jimin nods as a greeting. “Okay, let’s go.”
Seokjin is inside the car, on the driver's seat. Namjoon opens the door for Jimin to sit on the back, and follows to close the door and sit at the front. Again, Jimin feels like he is a child constantly being taken care of… but he doesn’t let that thought come all the way up to his head, and he quickly throws it away. He tries to think of something else: of the fact that he is finally going to the doctor.
“We are early,” Seokjin starts driving. “did you have breakfast? do you want to stop somewhere to get something to eat?”
Despite not eating, Jimin isn’t really hungry, he is too anxious. Maybe later he’ll be able to, once he finds out how things have turned out, but right now, the mare thought of food makes him sick to his stomach.
“I haven’t,” he is honest about it. “but I’m a little anxious. Maybe later, I’d rather have the appointment as soon as possible-”
“We can go afterwards,” Namjoon places a hand around Seokjin’s leg, and Jimin thinks they are a cute couple. “well- only if you want to. We can go somewhere afterwards, what do you think?”
“Don’t you have classes?” Jimin doesn’t want to be annoying, doesn’t want to abuse their hospitality. “I’d like you, but-”
“We are both free today.” Seokjin turns to the right, stops when they come across a red light. “It’s up to you-” Jimin sees him smiling through one of the mirrors.
“I’d like to,” Jimin hesitates. “if you are both free, I’d like you. Yeah…”
Namjoon smiles too. “It’s a plan then.”
After that, Jimin just listens to them speaking. Namjoon starts to talk about his music, and it reminds him of Yoongi. It doesn’t surprise him when he mentions him and their work together. Then, Seokjin rambles for a few minutes about his upcoming play, and by the way Namjoon smiles at him, Jimin keeps noticing how deeply in love they are.
Jimin doesn’t speak that much, only nods his head in agreement when he’s spoken to.
“There’s a coffee shop a block away from here,” Seokjin pulls over. “we’ll wait for you over there, if you don’t need us-”
Jimin is grateful, but he wants to go alone. “I will be alright,” he opens the door of the car “I’ll walk there once I get out.”
“Are you sure you don’t want neither of us to wait for you on the waiting room?” Namjoon looks worried.
“I’m sure.” Jimin gives them a fake smile which he hopes can convince them that he is capable of doing this on his own. “I- I can do this. I’ll go meet you at the café right after, okay?”
Namjoon nods, and Jimin leaves the car.
Jimin notices they don’t drive away until he enters the building. He is grateful he has friends that care about him, but it still feels… too much. Jimin feels like he doesn’t deserve it, like he shouldn’t have all this when he can’t even remember them.
“Good morning,” the receptionist greets him with a smile. “Park Jimin, right?”
Jimin doesn’t know how the fuck do they know him by name just like that, but he doesn’t ask. “Yes, I am Park Jimin. I have an appointment with-”
“Mr. Kim and Ms. Choi,” the receptionist smiles again, and Jimin assumes that that is her polite smile, the one she does to all the patients. “they will be with you in a few minutes. Second floor, room number five.”
Jimin nods and thanks her. The appearance of the clinic doesn’t call his attention; both the walls and the floor are painted white, and there’s a worrying amount of fake flowers everywhere. After getting to the second floor, Jimin sits on a small waiting room, patiently waiting to get called.
There’s not much to look at. There’s a pile of magazines next to him, but Jimin isn’t interested, and he wouldn’t be able to focus on any of them anyways. Right now, he can only think about what he is going to say, how he is going to communicate on his own without any of his friends by his side.
This is the first time doing an activity on his own since the accident. To be honest, Jimin can only quite see himself doing something on his own, but the memory it’s too blurry for him to actually take it into account.
The door next to his seat opens and a man around his thirties dressed all in white appears on the other side. “Park Jimin, come in.”
Jimin stands up and walks, even though he isn’t sure how. He feels a little bit out of his body, as if he wasn’t truly the one controlling how to move. He manages to get inside the room, and the doctor closes the door behind him.
He doesn’t ask much. They start with the basics, and Mr. Kim measures his blood pressure, takes his weight and checks his heart.
“How are you feeling, Park?” the doctor makes a weird face, “your heart is faster than average, are you nervous?”
“Yes, I am quite anxious, to be honest.”
Mr. Park just nods and starts searching something around his desk.
“How is your arm?”
Jimin’s hands are sweaty. “It is alright. I’ve made sure to not move too much…” he sighs, “I hope it heals fast.”
Mr. Kim gives him a weird look that Jimin doesn’t know how to read, and follows to sit down behind his desk. Jimin follows.
“Park Jimin,” he looks over his laptop. “Ms. Choi will be here in a minute, you will talk to her more deeply about your condition. From what I see, your physical health is improving as expected. The next thing that I need to do is… take your cast out, and after that I will leave you all done to talk to Ms. Choi, alright?”
Jimin blinks a few times. Again, he feels out of control of his own body, as if someone else were controlling his everymove.
Take your cast out.
Did he hear that right? or is his mind playing tricks with him, again?
“Sorry- Ex- Excuse me,” he stutters as his eyes go out of focus. “ta- take it out? isn’t- isn’t my arm… bro- broken?”
The doctor looks over his laptop again, and Jimin gets the feeling he is trying to make the appointment as short as possible.
“Park Jimin.” his eyes move from left to right, Jimin assumes he is reading. “No, your arm isn’t broken. But, taking into consideration your situation, we made the call to put you on a cast to decrease the chances of further injuries. You are a dancer, is that right?”
“Y- Yes, I am.” Jimin isn’t sure how he is breathing without passing out. “So, it’s not broken? Didn’t I have an accident? A car accident or something… it broke my wrist and it damaged my brain. That’s why- That’s why I don’t remember-”
Mr. Kim gives him a blank stare. “Park Jimin,” now, he is looking at him with pity. “you didn’t have a car accident, that’s incorrect. That it not-”
“Isn’t my brain damaged?” Jimin is starting to hyperventilate, and suddenly the room seems too small and with too many fake plants to produce enough oxygen for both of them.
“Park Jimin,” he says again, and Jimin is starting to get tired of hearing his name. “your brain isn’t damaged. Your accident, it wasn’t a car accident. That’s- That is incorrect. You will talk to Ms. Choi about that in more depth.”
“B- But...” Jimin somehow is able to keep speaking. This morning, he told himself he would be able to do this. Jimin had told himself he would manage well on his own, so, he forces himself to keep his shit together and speak for himself. “If it’s not a car accident. If my brain isn’t damaged. Why- Where are my memories? Why don’t I remem- remember who I am?”
The doctor takes a deep sigh before looking at him straight in the eyes.
“Park Jimin, you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. That’s the reason why you are here.”
Taehyung finds himself with two free hours as one of his professors sent an email letting them know he wouldn’t be able to make it due to a family matter.
“Remind me again why you didn’t stay in the dorms sleeping…”
He is with Hoseok in one of the dance studios on the third floor. Hoseok is practicing while Taehyung uses the opportunity as a way to practice sketches.
“I was already up and ready-” he keeps dancing around with his pencil. “I needed to do something. I knew you would be here, anyways. And I need to improve my fast sketches. You don’t mind, do you?”
Hoseok shakes his head. “Of course not,” he stops the music and looks over him with a smile. “Tae… draw me like one of you French boys.”
Taehyung laughs loudly, and he wonders how long has it been since the last time he has truly laughed.
“Oh my god, Seok-ah.” he keeps laughing, “I would have come sooner if I had know how bad you wanted me to draw you.”
Hoseok goes to find a bottle of water on his backpack and restarts the music. “Your art is always nice,” he says “I’m glad if I’m somehow able to help you improve.”
“I usually draw Jimin-” Taehyung speaks without thinking, all traces of laughter suddenly gone. “-while he practices.”
“Oh.” Hoseok doesn’t give him one of his brights smiles, instead, he just nods. Hoseok is an optimistic person, someone you can go to when you want to see the bright side of things… but there’s nothing bright about his situation. “I’ll keep practicing,” he says instead. “you can stay as long as you want.”
And that’s what he does. Taehyung practices drawing Hoseok dancing, tries to copy his body from different angles and positions. He’s used to drawing Jimin while dancing, used to drawing him by heart. Now, he needs to look at Hoseok to remind himself that he is drawing him and not Jimin.
“I like it,” Hoseok says when he is done. “you are an amazing artist.”
That’s what everyone says.
Two hours pass by fast, and Taehyung ends up gifting Hoseok the page which he liked the most. He promises him that he’ll do more, that he will gift him a proper one next time rather than a fast sketch.
He doesn’t pay much attention to his next class, mind too busy thinking about what Jimin might be doing. What did the doctor say? how long will it take for him to come home and tell him by himself? Is Jimin ready to do all that by himself? should he have insisted to go with him rather than allowing him to go on his own?
Taehyung is on his way to the campus’ café to meet Jungkook when his phone rings.
Ms. Choi arrives right after Mr. Kim finishes taking Jimin’s cast out. Just now, Jimin realized he could have asked Taehyung to draw something in it so it wouldn’t look so average, but he ignores the thought right away as it’s already too late.
When Mr. Kim leaves, Ms. invites Jimin to follow him to another room inside the building. Jimin can’t stop staring at his arm: not broken. He can’t stop moving his fingers, nervously intertwining his hands together.
The new room is more specious. There are two chairs, a small sofa and a bigger one. Jimin doesn’t know where to sit.
“Please, Park Jimin, sit wherever you please.” Ms. Choi’s voice is sweet, it makes Jimin feel a little less anxious.
Jimin sits on the small sofa, and Ms. Choi moves one of the chairs to sit in front of him.
“Park Jimin.” she smiles, it’s a warm smile. “Can I call you Jimin?”
Jimin is still feeling outside of his own body. He manages to nod, while playing with the sleeve of his hoodie.
“Alright, Jimin.” her voice is soft, almost motherly. Jimin can’t help to think she sounds like his kindergarten teacher. Safe, comforting. “I am Ms. Choi, but you can call me Young. I want you to think of me as someone you can trust-”
“Ms. Young,” Jimin looks around, and the room- he notices the room looks pretty much like a therapist room. The couch, the chairs, the absence of doctor’s equipment. “you are my- my-”
“I am your therapist and psychiatrist.” she says, voice as sweet as before. “How are you feeling today, Jimin?”
Jimin keeps looking around. He chooses to ignore the question. “My arm isn’t broken,” he says instead. “and- and Mr. Kim told me- told me I have- Post Traumatic-” Jimin stutters, anxiety getting the best of him and disabling him from properly breathing.
Ms. Choi gives him a glass of water, waits until Jimin regains control of his breathing and is able to speak for himself.
“I don’t- I don’t remember.” this time, Jimin stutters because of the knot in his throat. Now that he has controlled the anxiety, the tears seem to find their way out from Jimin’s eyes. There’s not much he can do about it.
Ms. Choi gives him a tissue.
“You are my therapist.” Jimin tries to make sense of his reality, the pieces that he knows and the ones that he’s been told. His reality is messy. “And I have PTSD.”
“That’s correct-” Ms. Choi gives him another tissue. “-do you have any questions?”
“Why did everyone lie to me? Why did they tell me I had- that I had an accident? some kind of car accident?”
“We didn’t lie to you. We didn’t tell you that you had a car accident. Do you remember someone telling you that?”
Jimin tries to think about it. Who had told him that he had had an accident? more specifically, a car accident?
No one. He made it up.
Jimin’s jaw drops. “I don’t- I don’t remember.”
“That’s alright.” the doctor nods and offers him a comforting half smile. “What have you remembered in the past few days? What can you tell me about yourself, Jimin?”
Jimin stops to think about it for a second, and then- he remembers: his notebook. He has his notebook on his backpack, so he takes it out and starts scrolling through the pages.
“What is that?” Young asks.
“My friend-” Jimin explains, “My roommate, Taehyung. He gave it to me, so that I could write what I remember.” the thought of Taehyung makes him smile. “I’ve been writing what I’ve remembered and what I’ve been told about myself. Colours for what I remember,” Jimin shows her a page with a colourful phrase, “and black for things people tell me but that I don’t really know.” he puts the notebook back on his lap.
Young nods. “That’s good. Your friend had a good idea.” she smiles again.
“I haven’t remembered him, though.” there’s sadness on his voice.
“And what have you remembered?”
Jimin starts listing all the little pieces of his identity which he was able to collect all by himself. Jungkook, his sexuality, the dance, the fact that he is a dancer, how much he hates coffee, every little piece which he can gather, he tells her.
Ms. Choi writes it down, and Jimin gets to see her handwriting, it’s beautiful.
“Have you had any panic attacks? nightmares? how are you sleeping?”
“I had nightmares and high temperature the first few nights. I have a lot of headaches, like… all the time.” he feels less anxious now, feels like he can talk to Ms. Choi without being judge by his ignorance. “And I’ve had panic attacks too…”
“What do you mean?” Jimin lets go the bottom of his sleeve. “Memories?”
“Whatever it is that you are able to remember.” she says, “I’d like you to start thinking about your friends, the ones you’ve mentioned, not as people that you need to remember, but as people which you already know. I imagine you’ve already tried to remember them-”
“With all my heart.” Jimin answers with honesty. “But- How can I do that?”
“Now that you know that it’s not brain damage, there’s a barrier inside your mind that has been broken. If you had convinced yourself you were incapable of healing, that is gone now. You should… You should take it calmly though. Just, try to remember one step at a time.”
“And what about the accident? What happened to me?”
“You know I can’t tell you that…”
Jimin tries to rephrase it. “But- Will I remember?”
“Your whole mind and body is trying to protect you.” Ms. Choi changes her sitting position, “That is not something your mind wants you to remember. But… you’ll have to. I am going guide you with that. I am here to help you.”
“Can’t I remember everything at once?” Jimin can’t wait. He wants all his memories, and he wants them now. He doesn’t care about the consequences, he just wants to know the truth. Even if the truth hurts.
“I am afraid that’s not possible.” she smiles again, “This will be a process. It will take time, and effort. But, together, we will be able to do it. You will be able to do it, would you like to?”
Jimin nods. “And when will I dance again?”
“Oh,” Young giggles, a sweet sound. “you are physically healthy. Now that your cast is gone, you can go back to dancing if that’s what you’d like. I encourage you to start doing all the activities that you were doing before, you need to keep your mind busy.”
When the appointment is done and Jimin leaves the room, he goes straight to the bathroom. He locks the door, looks at his reflection in the mirror. He is pale, and there are dark circles under his eyes.
Your brain isn’t damaged.
You have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Jimin kneels in front of the toilet and throws up. He hasn’t eaten anything today, but he wraps his arms around the cold ceramic and empties everything he had been holding back. He throws up his dreams, the friends that he was selfish enough to forget, the days which he wasted thinking his brain was damaged, that he would heal and everything would go back to normal.
There’s no going back to normal. There’s no way to fix it.
Jimin doesn’t know what it is, isn’t sure if he wants to know yet. He just knows that he feels… selfish, he feels selfish and useless.
There it is, fucking useless Jimin. Making all his friends worry about him. Forcing his roommate to take care of him. All because he couldn’t handle shit, all because he is weak.
I am weak and selfish and I don’t deserve anyone in my life. I should be alone, I deserve being alone. I deserve to rot on my own.
He isn’t sure how he leaves the building. As he starts to run around streets that he doesn’t know, Jimin is fully aware that he said he would go with Seokjin and Namjoon. As he counts the money on his pocket and gets inside a taxi, Jimin knows that they are waiting for him… that they are probably going to get worried about him for not showing up.
But he can’t see them, not right now. That’s not an option. He can’t go see them while his brain spins and he feels like throwing up again. He can’t go back there… he can’t see them.
He can’t see Namjoon.
Namjoon, the friend that stayed up all night one time Jimin was about to quit university. Namjoon, who had stayed with him on the studio and while Jimin packed his bags. Who had spoken to him until Jimin was able to see the light again.
Jimin knows that, can see that. The piece of the puzzle in his brain. And it hurts.
He can’t see Seokjin.
Seokjin, always confident and making jokes. He remembers Seokjin, one time sitting on the floor next to Jimin… hands shaking and eyes lost.
“I kissed Namjoon,” he had said. “I kissed Namjoon and he kissed me back. Jimin, what if he likes me too?”
He can’t see any of them.
Jimin can’t see neither Namjoon nor Seokjin. He can’t see Jungkook with his smiles that reach his eyes before his mouth; Yoongi, who seems cold but it’s actually one of the warmest people he knows; Hoseok, who is bright bright and knows exactly what he means when they dance side by side.
He can’t see them because…
There’s no Taehyung.
The memories are there. And now, Jimin knows that they’ve always been. He was just… not seeing them. He had been blocking them, he had been being selfish and self-centered and made everyone suffer because he just didn’t want to feel pain.
But Taehyung doesn’t come back to his mind. The boy is still gone, hidden somewhere which seems unreachable for him. Jimin’s head hurts because he can see all the things which he had convinced himself he didn’t know, but he isn’t even selfless enough to unlock Taehyung-
While he is on the taxi, it starts to rain. He goes to campus, thanks the driver and hides his face behind his hoodie. Walks fast, but not fast enough to call anyone’s attention, and hides on the studio that Jungkook had showed him.
When he unlocks his cellphone to play some music, he sees the lost calls.
(10) Lost Calls from Seokjin.
(8) Lost Calls from Namjoon.
(20) Lost Calls from Taehyung.
(30) Messages from Jungkook.
(15) Messages from Taehyung.
He chooses a song, sets it to play on repeat and locks the phone again.
It doesn’t take much until he starts to cry as he dances. He had missed it, the feeling of joy, the freedom and sense of control. As Jimin dances and tears fall from his face, Jimin tells a story he doesn’t know. He tries to write the tale of what he can’t remember, what he is still yet to discover.
Jimin isn’t sure how much time has passed by when Yoongi opens the door and looks at him as if he were a ghost.
“Jimin-” he is paler than usual, hair messy and we from the rain. “Jimin, you are here. We were- We were worried sick. Why did you leave like that? Why the fuck aren’t you answering your phone?”
Jimin looks at him straight in the eye and breaks down. Throws himself to the floor while the music is still playing and moves until he is hugging his legs in the corner of the room. He has no words. He doesn’t know what to say… he’s been blessed with knowledge, but his mind is blank.
“Taehyung-” he hears Yoongi, a little far away. “I’ve found him, he is okay.”
Jimin doesn’t hear Taehyung on the other side of the line.
“I’ll take him to the dorms.” he sighs, “He is a little overwhelmed, first I’ll wait until he calms down… Yes… He looks okay... He is alright. You stay there, okay? I will... I will take him to the dorms, don’t think about it… Sit down, okay? Have something to eat. Bye, Tae. See you soon… I love you too.”
Yoongi closes the door again and walks until he is just a few feet away from Jimin.
“Jiminie, I didn’t mean to upset you. Can I- Can I sit down next to you?”
Jimin nods, so Yoongi sits.
“Talk to me,” there’s worry in Yoongi’s voice, this is the most worried he’s ever seen him. “why are you here? why did you leave like that?”
Jimin stays silent.
“You got us worried, Jiminie. We care about you… we worry about you. We looked for you everywhere… what happened? why did you do that?”
Jimin has trouble trying to speak, tears falling from his eyes. “I know-” he sobs. “-I’m sorry.”
“You are okay,” Yoongi places a hand near Jimin’s back, asking for permission; Jimin gives it. “that’s the only thing that matters. You are okay now.”
Jimin keeps sobbing, and finds himself throwing his arms around Yoongi and hiding his face on his chest. Yoongi holds him close, wraps both his arms around him, lets him sob.
“I know-” Jimin says, when he feels like he is able to breathe again. “Yoongi, I know that my brain isn’t damaged.”
Yoongi holds him closer, lets him speak.
“I couldn’t- I couldn’t go there.” Jimin’s throat hurts, but he forces himself to keep speaking. “After seeing the doctor… After leaving. I- I remembered. It turns out I was the only wrong thing about myself this whole time, I did this to myself, this is my own fault-”
“Nothing about what happened was your fault.” Yoongi’s voice sounds sincere, but Jimin doesn’t believe him. “What do you mean… What did you mean when you said you remembered?”
Jimin moves a little, looks at Yoongi’s face. “I remember you. And I remember all of you… Cooky, Jin, Joonie, Seok-ah. But not- not Taehyung. What the fuck does that mean? Why can’t I just remember what the hell happened and move on with my life?”
Yoongi sighs and looks around, then looks at him again. His eyes look less alarmed now, but he’s clearly still worried.
“You are healing, Jiminie.” he moves Jimin’s hair away from his forehead. “It will take time, okay? A lot of shit happened. If you remembered us, that’s progress. That’s something to celebrate. Don’t-”
“I am not happy. Why can’t I remember Taehyung? Who is he?”
Yoongi thinks about it for a second. Jimin thinks he won’t answer.
“Please, Yoongi. I am begging you. Just one thing- I just want to know that one thing… I am fucking broken, and I don’t understand how I’ll be able to fix me. I need to know just that one thing…”
“He is…” Yoongi starts to say, and Jimin opens his eyes widely. “He is… your best friend. You two are best friends. You two are… soulmates.”
Jimin’s heart shutters.
“Tae is my soulmate? We are best friends? Why didn’t he tell me that?”
Yoongi strokes Jimin’s hair. “He thought it would do more harm than good. He didn’t want to make you uncomfortable. And… you will remember him, eventually. You just need time… he was willing to give you that time.”
“Best friends-” Jimin repeats, because even though it makes sense, he can’t see it. Even though he has the fact, he can’t bring back memories of Taehyung by his side.
“He is worried sick.” Yoongi holds Jimin’s hand. “Can we go back to the dorms? He- We looked for you everywhere. They are waiting… I know it’s a lot, but we were worried. Do you think you are ready to go back?”
He isn’t. But Jimin nods, and they stand up.
“Okay, lets go.”
When they step outside, they rain is gone. Jimin isn’t ready to go back. He doesn’t remember Taehyung, that’s a fact. But he’s got to know him… and he’s known him well enough to know he’ll probably be happy to learn he’s remembered. Jimin can picture Taehyung’s boxy smile when he tells him he’s remembered his friends. Taehyung is the type of friends that would get happy about it, would even be proud, even if he doesn’t remember him.
Jimin knows it, and it breaks his heart. Little pieces shattering everywhere, and he isn’t sure if he’ll ever be able to fix it.
When they get to the dorms, Hoseok and Seokjin are waiting outside. When they encounter Jimin, Seokjin is the first one to speak.
“There you are,” his eyes are wide and full of concern. “oh my god, you are okay.”
Jimin feels guilty.
“I’m sorry, Jinnie.” he can’t help to apologize. He is sorry, he wants to undo all the damage… undo all the anxiety, all the traumas. But life doesn’t work that way, so he can only apologize over and over again. “I am so sorry, I should have told you- I should have talked to you.”
“Jinnie.” Seokjin holds him by the shoulders, almost brotherly. “It’s alright. The only thing that matters is that you are okay, alright? I can’t be mad at you when you call me Jinnie, you are too cute.”
“But, I want to explain.” Jimin sighs, looks at Seokjin in the eyes. “I couldn’t go, Jinnie. I couldn’t go because… when I talked to the doctor, when I left… I remembered some things. And I couldn’t face it. I should have, I should have done it differently- but… I couldn’t. It was dumb, I am sorry.”
“Let’s take him inside,” Hoseok interrupts them. “Tae is waiting. And you are probably tired, we all need to rest.” he places a hand on Jimin’s back. “Let’s go inside.”
Jimin allows them to guide them, drops his eyes to the floor. He can’t take it, he can’t look at them. He lets them take him to the elevator and up to the second floor, walk him all the way to his apartment, open the door for him to step inside.
The first thing that Jimin sees when he looks up is Taehyung. Taehyung is sitting on the floor, and Jungkook is by his side, arms wrapped around him. If Taehyung had looked less tired the past few days, all traces of improvement are gone now.
Taehyung looks up, and their eyes meet.
You are soulmates. Best friends.
Jimin doesn’t feel it. He hopes he could remember it.
“Jiminie,” he stands up and walks until he’s in front of Jimin. Looks like he wants to hug him, opens his arms but doesn’t make the first move, looks at Jimin as if he were holding a piece of his heart (maybe he is). “you are okay.”
But Jimin can’t move. Jimin forgot how to breathe, how to talk. He can only stare at Taehyung, witness how much he worried him.
This is unfair. I keep hurting them, they keep worrying about me and I only know how to hurt them. I don’t deserve them.
Somehow, he finds the words. “I am okay, yeah.” He doesn’t feel okay, but he is willing to lie if that can somehow take away Taehyung’s worried face.
“Your cast is gone.” Jungkook points out, and Jimin can feel Yoongi’s reassuring hand on his back. “How was your appointment? Did it go alright?”
“I can dance again.” Jimin says, feels the air back to his lungs. “Turns out it was never broken. It was- It was just percussion, so… I can dance again.” he smiles.
Jungkook smiles back. “That’s amazing, Minnie. You are invited to come with me if you’d like, just so you know.”
“I know, Cooky.” Jimin sits on the bed, and they all gather around him. “Thank you. I want to see- I need to figure how many dances I still remember. I should remember them, hopefully I remember them and I’ll be able to start getting back on track.”
Hoseok nods, and Jimin notices that he is actually looking at Yoongi. Yoongi’s hand is still on Jimin’s back, though, and the elder doesn’t notice.
“We can go together to the studio anytime you want.” Hoseok says, bright eyes and kind smile.
Jimin has something to say. There is something that he should say out loud, something that he couldn't keep as a secret. But, how can he say it?
I’ve remembered you. All of you… but not Taehyung.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it. It sounds cruel, it sounds like less than what Taehyung deserves. He has been good to him, and Jimin likes to think they are growing to be friends again. Even if he doesn’t remember, Jimin thinks they could be friends again.
But Taehyung deserves more than that.
Jimin chooses to go for a white lie.
“I freaked out because… I’ve remembered a few things.”
They all look at him, eyes open, expecting.
“I’ve remembered a few things about you guys. Of us, together. And… it freaked me out. It was scary, knowing things that I never knew I could be able to forget. That’s why I hide… I am sorry.”
“You don’t have to apologize, Jiminie.” Seokjin starts to speak. “What you’ve just said… that’s amazing. You are remembering.That-”
“That makes us all very happy.” Yoongi continues, a shared looked of I know what you are not saying. Are you not going to tell them? Okay, I won’t either. Take your time.
“But next time-” Hoseok interrupts, “just… answer the phone, okay?”
“I know that was bad-”
“Or… just leaving a message saying you are alive. That would be great too.” Jungkook follows.
“I will. There won’t be a next time.” Jimin tries to sound as sincere as possible. “I promise.”
After they keep up and Jimin reassures them that he is okay, they all leave to their respective dorms. Jimin notices that Taehyung is still weirdly quiet; hair messy, dark circles until his eyes, cracked lips.
Jimin doesn’t like it. He wants to see Taehyung healthy, smiling. He wants to see his boxy smile and his beautiful laugh. He wishes he knew how to make it happen…
Maybe if you could remember him he wouldn’t look so shitty.
“Have you eaten?” Taehyung asks, and Jimin wants to ask him the same thing.
“No, I haven’t.” Jimin isn’t sure how he’s managed to keep it together without food, but now that the rush of emotions is going down, he is starting to get hungry. “Should we order takeout? Eat while watching tv?”
Taehyung stares for a second, as if he was trying to remember every single one of Jimin’s features. “We could do that- Or… do you trust me?”
Jimin nods right away. “I do.” he looks him in the eyes, “What do you have in mind?”
They both change their clothes and leave the dorms. Taehyung buys food to take away on a fast food restaurant a few blocks away. After that, they start to walk somewhere else Jimin doesn’t exactly know.
“Are we going back to campus?” he asks, when he recognizes a few buildings.
“Yes…” Taehyung says, a few steps ahead. “-but no. It’s… somewhere else. You will see.”
Jimin just follows him. And as he had said, they are on campus.
But instead of going to the building that he knows, Taehyung takes another turn. They keep walking for another minute or so until Taehyung stops.
“We are going up-” he says. “I will go first and I will help you get there too. It’s completely safe. There’s literally a staircase…”
“Is it- Is it the roof?” Jimin looks around, finds the staircase right away. It looks, indeed, very safe. “Okay.”
It takes them a few minutes for both of them to go up, mostly because Jimin is still scared of using his freshly cast-free arm. He keeps it still as if it could break, as if just by making the wrong move he could damage it for real.
They eat their food as the sun sets, and Taehyung makes jokes that Jimin is sure he’s never heard before, laughs until his stomach hurts. But he doesn’t mind that kind of pain, would be willing to feel it if it means he gets to smile wide and look at Taehyung’s bright eyes.
“Where did you go? While you were gone…” Taehyung asks once they’ve both finished their food and are looking at the sky. The sun is still visible, the last rays of the day slowly disappearing into oblivion. “You don’t have to tell me though, I was- I was just wondering…”
Jimin looks at Taehyung looking at the sky. He wants to remember him, this moment. He wants to remember all the moments he is around Taehyung, every single moment in which he feels safe.
“I was-” Jimin stutters, “I walked around. First, I walked around for a while, and then I went to the studio.”
Taehyung nods, and Jimin notices that Taehyung’s eyes look brighter than usual. He also notices that Taehyung’s king of beauty is the one that never vanishes. He is not only beautiful because of his looks, but also because of how he speaks, how he looks at the world and the way that everything he touches turns into art.
“Why the studio?” Taehyung’s voice sounds alarmed. “Did you remembered something there?”
“No.” Jimin shakes his head, “I just… wanted to dance. The doctor told me that I could dance. And my mind was spinning a lot.” Jimin moves a little, sits closer. “It felt like the only right thing to do.”
“Did you enjoy it?”
“I felt… like myself.” he sighs, “These last few days… Ever since I’ve woken up, I’ve felt like someone else. It may be mainly because I couldn’t remember who I was, but still… I felt as if I had been playing pretend… not really being myself.”
As Jimin speaks, the sun says its last farewell, and now it’s officially night time. Jimin whispers a quiet goodbye to himself before he continues speaking.
“Dancing felt right. I was able to be me… me. I’ve missed me.”
“I am sorry I didn’t notice that.” Taehyung’s voice doesn’t break, but it’s pretty close to it. “I’m sorry you felt the need to disconnect like that. You’ve been- I’ve been pressuring you a lot to remember faster, and I shouldn’t have done that.”
“Don’t say that.” Jimin’s voice is close to breaking too, he looks for Taehyung’s hand. “You don’t have to be sorry for that. You’ve… You’ve been by my side this whole time. I’m grateful to have someone like you-”
Jimin finds Taehyung’s hand and gently intertwines their fingers. It takes a few seconds for Taehyung to reciprocate it, but when he does, he looks at Jimin’s eyes.
“You haven’t been pressuring me. I think I’ve been pressuring myself… I was the one forcing me to play pretend.” Jimin looks down at their hands. Taehyung’s hand wraps around his completely, and Jimin feels Taehyung’s warmth. They look strangely cute, and Jimin remembers all the times they’ve held hands while sleeping.
“Tae…” he speaks softly, “why didn’t you tell me I had PTSD?”
Taehyung squeezes his hand before speaking. “We weren’t supposed to. That- That could have triggered you. You were supposed to remember that on your own.”
“Oh.” Jimin nods, “It makes sense.”
After that, they stay in silence, and Jimin thinks that they could just stay like that forever and the moment would still be perfect. He feels safe like that, looking at Taehyung. Looking at Taehyung looking at the night sky, looking at Taehyung looking at him, looking at their hands.
Like this, his problems don’t feel that big. Jimin can pretend he remembers they are best friends, he can pretend they know everything about each other.
The moment ends when Taehyung speaks-
“Jiminie,” he is not looking at him, Taehyung’s gaze is lost somewhere around their hands and the floor. “can I ask you something?”
“Yes, of course.” Jimin breathes in.
“Did you- Did you lie about what you remembered?”
At first, Jimin isn’t sure about what Taehyung is talking about. Jimin wishes he were lying… he wishes he could actually remember. He wishes everything was just a silly game which he can stop playing whenever he wants.
“I don’t remember,” he says softly. “why would I lie about that?”
“No,” Taehyung shakes his head, voice still soft. “I mean… about what you’ve remembered today. You said you remembered things about each one of us… you said you remembered moments of us together. Did you- Did you mean that?”
Jimin looks around, finds himself looking back at Taehyung. There’s no malice behind his eyes. Taehyung just looks… tired.
“I did.” he ends up saying.
“What did you really remember?” Taehyung is still looking at the sky.
Jimin thinks about it for a second. He thinks of the exact moment in which he threw up in the bathroom, how knowledge what too heavy and he wasn’t strong enough to keep it all inside. He thinks about how it felt like watching a movie he had already seen before… his memories.
Taehyung deserves the truth.
“I remembered us. Our group of friends.” their eyes meet as he speaks. “Each one of them... except for- except for you.”
Taehyung stays silent, but Jimin thinks he can see the exact moment something breaks inside his eyes. He thinks he can hear something breaking inside Taehyung’s heart. A little piece falling down to the floor, completely shuttered.
And, Jimin’s heart breaks too.
“Yoongi told me we were soulmates,” Jimin tries to find Taehyung’s eyes, but the elder seems distant, far away. “I’m- I am sorry I can’t remember you.”
It takes a few seconds until Taehyung looks up, meets his eyes. Taehyung places a hand fondly around Jimin’s wet face, and only now Jimin notices he is crying.
Taehyung offers him a sad smile, caresses his cheek and wipes away the tears.
“It’s okay, Jiminie…” there’s hurt in his voice. “I guess I love enough for the both of us.”
I wrote this chapter based on my own experience dealing with mental illnesses and seeing doctors. My aim with this story is showing how we are not defined by our traumas, but sometimes they shape some parts of ourselves whether we want it or not. Hopefully, I'll be able to do it right... there's still a long way to go with this story.
My CC, IG and TW are all @fearmustdie if you want to talk.
Chapter 5: House of cards
It took me a little longer to write this chapter because I was lowkey hating it and I kept deleting and rewriting scenes lol.
Note: I am going to start trigger warning everything, just in case. Stop reading this note if you don't want "spoilers", but if you are easily disturbed, I suggest you to read them.
TW for chapter 5:
-Nightmare that involves explicit descriptions of blood. If you wouldn't like to read it, skip Jimin's dream in italics.
-Minor internalized biphobia.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
When they go back to the dorms, they walk side by side with their hands still intertwined. And later, when they lay down, Taehyung is the one who hugs Jimin instead of the other way around. Jimin closes his eyes even though he isn’t tired, allows his body to relax by Taehyung’s side.
It’s okay, Jiminie. I guess I love enough for the both of us.
Jimin can still hear his voice inside his mind, he can feel Taehyung gently caressing his cheek and wiping away his tears. Jimin has lost track of how many times he’s cried the past few days, but that doesn’t keep him away from crying a little more once Taehyung has already fallen asleep.
His body hurts, and he still feels sick from throwing up, and the stress of running away, and lying to his friends about what he’s remembered. It feels like a lot, so Jimin lets it out in the form of tears that fall and wet Taehyung’s shirt.
And Taehyung remains asleep, but he is holding Jimin close, and Jimin wraps him closer gently, careful not to accidentally wake him up.
“I am sorry I don’t remember.” he whispers, shushing his sobs on Taehyung’s chest. “I will remember you, Tae. I- I gotta… I have to bring you back. I will do everything in my power to bring you back.”
That’s how Jimin falls asleep, feeling small and useless around Taehyung’s arms. He falls asleep while his face is still wet, and he hiccups as a consequence of the crying. He falls asleep helpless, wondering how long can Taehyung love for the both of them until it’s no longer enough.
How long can you love for the both of us before it’s not enough anymore?
“I should go practice.” Hoseok packs a few things and looks at Yoongi laying in bed.
“Isn’t it late?” Yoongi doesn’t look up, still focused on his cellphone. “Can’t you go tomorrow?”
Hoseok searches for the keys on the mess that’s their coffee table. “That’s the thing, it’s due tomorrow. I have to do it tonight.”
“Why did you leave it for last minutes?” Yoongi finally looks up.
“I was going to do it today, but we were all busy searching for Jimin.” he sighs, “Where are the fucking keys?”
Yoongi leaves the phone and stands up, finds the keys right away and hangs them to Hoseok. “You look tired, are you sure that’s the best for you?”
“I told Jungkook I’d do it. The boy is already drowning with all the work he’s doing. I can’t pressure him even more… I have to do this.”
“Okay…” Yoongi nods, “but I’ll go with you.”
“W- What?” Hoseok grabs a bottle of water and keeps it in his backpack.
“Do you really want to be in the studio at night on your own?”
Hoseok shakes his head in agreement. “But… You don’t have to.”
“I want to.” Yoongi finds his own backpack on the floor and saves a few snacks inside. “I won’t be able to sleep anyway. If I know you are there on your own, I probably won’t be able to sleep.”
“Okay…” Hoseok opens the door. “Thank you, Yoongi.”
As expected, they are alone. Lately, no one is in the mood to go to campus at night, so they are completely on their own. They go to the studio on the first floor, and Yoongi sits down as Hoseok plays low music and starts to focus on his work.
Yoongi didn’t lie. He knows there was no way he would have been able to sleep knowing Hoseok was all by himself on the studio. Yoongi knows he wouldn’t have been able to not worry about Hoseok’s well being-
Not after what happened to Jimin.
So, he sets aside the fact that he is incredibly tired, and he looks at memes on his phone as Hoseok dances. He keeps it together even when his eyes feel heavy and threaten to close, Yoongi rubs his hands around them, tells himself it’s just a few more minutes… he isn’t that tired… he isn’t tired enough to fall asleep on the floor, is he?
“Yoongi,” when he opens his eyes, Hoseok is sitting next to him. “you are obviously tired. Go home…” he makes a move to place a hand on Yoongi’s shoulder, but then he changes his mind and leaves it hanging in the air. “Go rest…. your back will hurt if you sleep like this.”
“I’m not tired.” Yoongi yaws, tries to hide it with his hand. “I was just closing my eyes for a second. You- You keep doing your thing, I’ll- I will watch.”
Hoseok smiles and-
Yoongi is wide awake.
Hoseok gives him one of his heart-eye smiles that make him look like a literal ray of sunshine. And Yoongi is wide awake, because that’s one of the smiles that made him think that perhaps he likes Hoseok more that just like a friend. The smile that kept him awake at night wondering if maybe he was developing feelings for him…
“Okay,” Hoseok continues speaking, as if Yoongi’s heart hadn’t just missed a few beats. “but if you fall asleep again we are both going home. You should rest in bed, not here-”
“Alright.” Yoongi changes his position, so he is sitting rather than laying on the floor. “I won’t sleep. I’ve told you, I was- I was just resting my eyes for a second. Keep practicing, Hoseok-ah, I’ll just be here.”
This time, Hoseok actually pats Yoongi’s shoulders. “Okay, I’m almost done.”
“Didn’t we just get here?”
“You slept for like… half an hour.”
“Oh.” Yoongi giggles, and Hoseok starts the music again.
This time, Yoongi doesn’t fall asleep. He just watches Hoseok immersed in his music, Hoseok immersed in his music and Yoongi immersed in watching him. Every few minutes, Hoseok pauses the music and tries to follow the steps by himself, makes disapproving or content sounds.
“What do you think about it, Yoongi? Do you like it? Is it good?”
Yoongi sees Hoseok looking at him through the mirror, and there are infinite reflection of them staring at each other.
“I don’t know anything about dance, Seok.” he answers, soft voice in the silent night.
“But- But you know about art.” Hoseok’s voice is as soft. “I want to know what you think…”
“Why is my opinion important? This subject isn’t exactly my cup of tea-”
“But you know about art. You get it… you understand it. Is it good? do you like it?” Hoseok’s voice sounds a little desperate this time around.
“I-” Yoongi thinks about it, because if he is being honest, he lost himself half of the time just by the sight of Hoseok dancing. He didn’t pay attention to the choreography as it is, because he was too lost looking at Hoseok doing what he loves the most. Another kind of smile. “I do, I like it. It’s good… I am sure the team will love it too.”
Hoseok smiles, satisfied. “Thanks Yoongi.”
He plays the music again, and this time around Yoongi makes an effort to actually pay attention to what Hoseok is doing. He sees him, and the infinite reflections, moving to a pace which is not Yoongi’s favourite sound, but that Hoseok makes good enough.
It takes him another half hour to finish. And when they are leaving, the place is still completely empty. Yoongi hears the sound of their steps as they walk the hallways, and he understands why no one would like being alone at night here. To be honest, Yoongi wouldn’t like it either… he is only here because the only thing which he hates more than the idea of being here alone, is the idea of Hoseok practicing on his own.
“Thank you, Yoongi.” Hoseok says, once they are already in their shared bedroom and Yoongi closes the door. “Thanks for coming with me. You- You didn’t have to, so- I appreciate it.”
Yoongi nods, because from his point of view it isn’t that big of a deal. He would do much more for him… but he doesn’t want to share the details right now, not with their current situation. So, Yoongi just nods “No problem. Now, let’s sleep.”
Hoseok nods back, and Yoongi thinks they are already going to move to their respective beds, but- Hoseok moves closer and hugs him. Hoseok wraps his arms around Yoongi’s neck, closing their distance.
Yoongi it’s taken aback by it, body tensing to the touch. He hadn’t expected to find himself resting his head around Hoseok’s chest… this- this wasn’t part of his plan. But after a few seconds, he hugs his back. Yoongi wraps his arms around Hoseok’s back and holds him close.
“What’s this for?” Yoongi asks, head still around Hoseok’s chest.
Hoseok giggles, and Yoongi feels it on his forehead, with how close their bodies are. “For being my friend.”
It’s not unusual for them to hug, but lately they’ve been distant. Since their shared night, since they’ve stepped beyond the friendship boundaries, they’ve been distant. Yoongi doesn’t like that they are distant, but he doesn’t like the fact that Hoseok broke his heart either… so maybe- maybe it makes sense.
“Let’s sleep now.” Yoongi draws apart, and Hoseok lets him. There’s a second in which they only look into each other’s eyes, but Yoongi breaks the moment. He has already been told that Hoseok doesn’t love him back, so he needs to set his own boundaries not to fool himself with hopeless illusions again.
That night, Yoongi is the first one to fall asleep. It takes Hoseok a few more minutes, sleepy eyes looking over Yoongi, thinking about how peacefully he is when asleep. Hoseok’s eyes close slowly, and the last thing that crosses his mind before losing himself to the darkness is how Yoongi had given him everything.
That night, Jimin dreams of Taehyung.
Jimin dreams of Taehyung, and they are talking softly next to the couch. Taehyung’s smile is bright, and his hands are shaking a little bit.
Jimin wants to ask: “are you nervous?” but instead, he feels himself saying:
“Do you want to tell me something?” Jimin moves a little closer and smiles, a reassuring smile that whatever Taehyung wants to say it’s okay. Jimin is here for him, always has and always will.
Jimin feels like this answer is better, it sounds more like him. He feels safe around Taehyung, even though he thinks he’s just forgotten something… Jimin thinks there’s somewhere else where he should be right now.
“I do.” Taehyung eventually answers
Jimin leaves his backpack on the floor and sits on the couch, in front of Taehyung.
There’s definitely somewhere else where he should be. But Jimin doesn’t mind, knows that whatever Taehyung needs to say is more important than anything else.
“Jiminie, you know I love you, right?” Taehyung stands in front of him, so Jimin has to look up to meet his eyes. “You are my best friend, and I would never ever try to damage our friendship-”
Taehyung is standing in front of him, and Jimin is worried now. Is Taehyung upset? did he do something wrong? what can he do to fix it?
“I love you too.” Jimin reassures him, “Tae, I know you never would. You are- You are my best friend too. It’s us…”
Taehyung nods, but his hands are still shaking a little bit.
“It’s us,” Jimin repeats. “you are a soulmate to me. Tae, whatever it is, I will always be your friend. Don’t even doubt that.”
For a few seconds, they remain in silence. Jimin finds comfort in it, always has. Jimin closes his eyes and opens them again, looks at Taehyung looking at him. Gives him time to think about what he wants to say.
“I am in love with you.” Taehyung speaks softly, it comes out as a whisper.
This is the moment in which Jimin realizes he is dreaming. There’s no way this is really happening… Of course, there’s been moments in which they’ve both looked at each other, and Jimin has thought: I could kiss him, I could lean closer and kiss him. But beyond that, Jimin knows Taehyung loves him with all his heart, in a different way from how Jimin loves him.
“Sorry, what?” Jimin asks, because he’s probably heard it wrong.
“I am in love with you.”
And because this is just a dream, Jimin allows himself to stand up and get in front of Taehyung. Taehyung doesn’t speak, and Jimin runs a hand through Taehyung’s hair, moving it away from his face.
“You are in love with me…”
Taehyung stays still, and Jimin leans closer, gets in Taehyung’s personal space.
“Jimi-” Taehyung doesn’t get to finish pronouncing his name, as Jimin leans closer and kisses him.
Their lips meet, and Jimin closes his eyes to the feeling.
Taehyung’s lips aren’t how he had pictured them. Instead of soft and warm, Taehyung’s lips on his feel cold and rough. Jimin opens his eyes as he tastes blood and-
“Tae-” Jimin’s pained voice almost comes out as a plea.
Jimin sees blood, feels blood, smells blood. There’s blood in Taehyung’s lips, and bloody tears are falling from his eyes.
“No, no.” Jimin tries to wipe the tears away, and now his hands are bloody too. “Tae- What- No… not you. Not you…”
Taehyung starts coughing, and Jimin wants to somehow help him but he is only able to stay still. He’s lost control of his own body, and he can only watch as Taehyung falls to his knees and starts coughing blood.
“Not you, Tae Tae…” Jimin falls into the ground too, lands on his knuckles and now there’s blood there too.
Jimin can only see blood, feel blood, smell blood.
“Tae! What’s happening to you?” he cries, and Jimin feels like he’s drowning. With every breath he takes, he feels like his lungs are feeling up with blood rather than oxygen.
“Jiminie-” Taehyung chokes, tries to get on his feet but remains on the floor.
Jimin crawls on the floor, manages to reach Taehyung and holds him on his lap. Taehyung’s beautiful’s face has been destroyed. Jimin looks at him, wipes the blood from his mouth, and barely recognizes him.
“I’m sorry, Tae Tae. I am so sorry.” Jimin runs a hand around Taehyung’s hair, staining it with blood. Jimin doesn’t know what he is sorry for… but he knows he is sorry. A voice in the back of his mind is telling him that this is all his fault. Taehyung is hurting, and it’s Jimin’s fault.
“Jiminie- I fell in love with you… and you… you’ve ruined me.”
If this is a dream, Jimin wants to wake up. Jimin cries louder, and his tears fall in Taehyung’s face and mix up with the blood. This is his fault-
Taehyung fell in love with him, and because he loves him, it ruined him. If Jimin had stayed away, if Jimin hadn’t permitted Taehyung to fall in love with him, he would be okay.
“I am sorry, Tae Tae.” he sobs. “I am sorry that you love me. I will change- I will change so you can’t love me anymore…”
Taehyung starts crying too, spits more blood. “It’s too late, Minnie. You’ve already destroyed me.” he sobs, “Jiminie, wake up.”
Jimin is pulled away from his nightmare and his whole body jumps.
The first thing he recognizes is Taehyung’s face in front of him. Taehyung’s healthy and beautiful face. No blood.
Taehyung gives Jimin a few seconds to become aware of his surroundings. They are still in bed, and Taehyung is still hugging him.
It was all a nightmare. Not real.
“You were crying in your sleep-” Taehyung whispers, steady arms around him. “You worried me, so… I woke you up. Are you- Are you okay?”
Jimin breathes in and out, he can feel his heart beating fast inside his chest. There’s no blood, Taehyung’s face is fine-
“I didn’t ruin you-” Jimin whispers back, feels his eyes starting to fill with tears. Jimin brings his hands to Taehyung’s face, holds him closer. “I didn’t ruin you.” he repeats, using all his strength not to cry. “You are okay.”
Taehyung gifts him a clueless smile. “I am okay, yeah. But- are you?”
Jimin can’t help to just look at Taehyung, absorbing each one of his features. He wants to remember every little detail, keep it hidden somewhere in the back of his mind, so he can’t forget the horrible sight from his nightmare.
Jimin caresses Taehyung’s face, runs his fingers softly around his cheeks and neck. And- Taehyung remains silent, even leans closer to the touch. It’s easier like this, it’s easier when they are both silent and Jimin can pretend he remembers Taehyung.
But, is this what best friends do? Is this alright? Taehyung doesn’t complain, so Jimin continues. “I- I had a nightmare. But… I am okay now.” he whispers, “You woke me up, so I am alright.”
“Oh,” Taehyung nods, and brings a hand up to hold Jimin’s hand cupping his face. “that’s good. I wasn’t sure if I should wake you up. You were- You were crying and shivering.”
“Thanks for waking me up.”
Taehyung breathes in and Jimin breathes out.
They remain like that until Jimin’s heart goes back to normal, and Jimin finds out that he finds comfort in just caressing the younger. He feels content by it, likes the gentle hum that Taehyung does under his breath.
Is this what friends do?
“What did you mean-” Taehyung asks, staring at his lips as he speaks. “What did you mean when you said you didn’t ruin me?”
“I-” Jimin doesn’t want to explain. If he closes his eyes, he can still feel Taehyung’s cold and rough lips, the lips from the Taehyung of his nightmare.
It was just a dream, it wasn’t real, Jimin thinks to himself. He is looking at Taehyung’s lips now, and they seem warm and soft. Taehyung’s lips are probably soft, that was just a bad dream. That wasn’t Taehyung.
“Did I say that?” Jimin lies, “I don’t remember. I was probably still sleepy… Talking nonsense.”
Taehyung doesn’t look convinced, but he doesn’t question him. They remain in silence again, and Jimin thinks they may fall asleep again, just like that.
“You wouldn’t.” Taehyung speaks softly, and Jimin opens his eyes.
“I wouldn’t what?”
“You wouldn’t ruin me.” he holds Jimin’s hand fondly, and Jimin forces himself to close his eyes to fight off the tears that are threatening to come out again. “You would never ruin me, Jiminie.”
He sound sincere. Why would he lie? Jimin has grown to know a lot of things about Taehyung, and he doesn’t seem like a liar. He wants to believe him.
“How do you know that?” he wants to know more, learn more things about them to write on his notebook.
“I know you,” he speaks so softly that Jimin feels he could really cry. “you are good to me. You would never hurt me.”
Jimin wants to say that now he knows he is lying. Because, Jimin is hurting him… Jimin is hurting him by being oblivious, he is hurting him by not being able to remember that they are best friends. Jimin feels the last string of strength breaking and a tear falling from his eyes.
He’s been crying so much lately that he feels pathetic. As if the only thing he could do is cry and be sad about not remembering even though his brain isn’t damaged. Jimin closes his eyes, because maybe like that he can pretend Taehyung can’t see the tears.
“Hey,” Taehyung whispers this time, and he is being so gentle that Jimin wants to break down. “don’t be sad about it. I wanted you to know that about us, but you don’t have to worry about the rest. Okay?”
Jimin nods, but he doesn’t get it. “Why are you so nice to me? Aren’t you mad?”
“Why would I be mad?” out of the blue, Jimin’s isn’t the one caressing Taehyung’s face anymore, and now Taehyung is the one running smoothing fingers in Jimin’s hair. “You are my best friend, do you get that?”
Jimin nods again, and this time he tries to convince himself he is being truthful.
“You are my best friend, Jiminie. Remember or not, I will do my best to help you be better.”
Taehyung smiles, but Jimin knows it’s his sad smile.
“I will try my best too.” Jimin smiles back, and he hopes his smile is more convincing than Taehyung’s.
What Jimin doesn’t say, though, is how scared he is of actually being capable of ruining Taehyung. He doesn’t say how much he fears he could actually hurt him by letting him love him, he doesn’t speak his mind about how he feels cursed.
The rest of the week settles at a smooth pace. The days go by pretty routinely, and before Jimin can even picture himself blinking, he is already dressing up to go to a party. He is excited about it, even though he still feels intimidated by the thought of going to a completely crowded place.
He hadn’t exactly been invited, but Jungkook had mentioned it while talking to Hoseok, and Seokjin had said how it had been a while since they had all gone to a place together, so Namjoon had asked:
“Is Minnie coming too?”
And Taehyung had looked at him with an expression that Jimin didn’t really know how to read, so he had said:
“I’d like to, if we are all going.”
So now, he is getting ready. He had been overthinking every little detail of the event, from what clothes to wear to imagining what they would do there. So, Jimin liked to think he was ready… but he was still scared of something going out of plan and making him explode.
Something going terribly wrong, like when he kissed Taehyung in his dream.
“You sure you want to go?” Taehyung asks for the twenty-seventh time.
And Jimin replies the same thing as always. “Yeah… we are all going, right? it’s been a while. It will be fine.”
The party is a few blocks away, and while Jungkook, Hoseok and Yoongi take the same cub, Jimin, Taehyung and Namjoon go in Seokjin’s car. Again, Jimin opts to stay quiet and listen to his friends speaking. Still, he hasn’t opened up about the fact that he remembers them… Yoongi had asked about it, and Jimin had said that he prefered to say he remembered moments of all of them together, at least until he could remember Taehyung.
“Is it Jackson’s house?” Namjoon asks.
“I heard it’s their cousins’, either way, I’ve already went to a party there and the place managed to not break down somehow-”
“Was it the spring break party?”
“No, but it was after the midterms.”
Jimin nods despite having no idea about what they are talking about.
They park a block away, and while they are walking Jimin goes behind them. Jimin notices Seokjin gets by his side just when they are about to cross the front door.
“Jiminie, I’m driving so obviously I won’t be drinking.” he speaks softly, “If you want to leave just let me know and I will take you to the dorms, okay?”
Jimin would like to feel annoyed, because again, he is being treated like a baby that can’t take care of himself. But, if he is being honest, he is grateful.
“Oh,” Jimin replies when they are already inside. “okay… thanks.”
He feels a little more relieved. He has the option of leaving if he suddenly feels uncomfortable… he hopes he won’t need it, though.
Jimin sits on the couch, and Jungkook and Taehyung take the places next to him. The place is crowded, but Jimin doesn’t mind… yet. He feels like, for now, he can handle it. He can handle the noise as long as Seokjin and Namjoon are speaking as loud and taking most of his attention. It’s alright.
“We can play table tennis in the garden,” Jungkook tells him while taking a sip of his beer. “do you want to go?”
Jimin shakes his head. “Isn’t that for drinking games? I don’t want to d- I shouldn’t drink-”
“Oh, no no-” Jungkook interrupts him, “of course, you don’t have to drink. No one will notice you are not drinking. We can just play…”
Jimin looks around: Jungkook is right, no one is paying attention to anything. Everyone is minding their own business, people aren’t even giving him judging looks like they did in the university’s cafeteria.
They stay in the couch a few more minutes, and Jimin notices Taehyung isn’t drinking either. He doesn’t know if it was right of him to come… what if they didn’t want him at the party? what if this was their opportunity to have some free time from taking care of him but he ruined it by joining?
“Where are Yoongi and Hoseok?” Jungkook asks as he opens another can of beer from the table. “They were here just a second ago-”
Taehyung takes a can of beer too, so Jimin’s body relaxes a little bit. “Those two are super weird lately…”
“And Hoseok never told me why he needed to stay with me those few nights-”
Jimin looks right to left as they speak, following their conversation.
“They had a fight, didn’t they?” Taehyung moves on the couch, and now they are standing up.
“They don’t fight often, though. It seems odd.”
To this, Jimin believes he can actually add something to the conversation. “Friends fight, don’t they? but Yoongi told me friends always find a way to fix it. Maybe they are doing that.”
They walk outside, and it’s a little less crowded, probably because it’s a pretty cold night.
“Fixing it?” Jungkook leaves his beer on the table tennis table and searches for the ball.
“Maybe…” Taehyung stands in the middle and looks at Jungkook and Jimin on opposite sides of the table. “Are we doing 1 verses 1 or-”
“Minnie, do you think you can take it against the both of us?”
Jimin is shy. “I-”
“What makes you think I want to play with you?” Taehyung giggles.
“I always win, and you like winning.” Jungkook looks proud, smiles to his words.
“And you are a very bad loser. I want to make you lose.” Taehyung continuous.
“I-” Jimin repeats. He feels small, he feels like he could crawl under the table and disappear. “I can play with Tae,” his voice comes out almost as a whisper. “and we can go against you… yeah.”
Taehyung laughs. “So, 2 versus 1. We’ll make you cry.”
Jimin knows that Jungkook wouldn’t cry, he knows that he would win even if it was the six of them versus him.
But they start playing and… he loses the first two rounds. Jimin isn’t that good, and Taehyung isn’t an expert either. As they play, Jimin notices that Jungkook tends to let the balls that he sends them score, but not Taehyung’s.
He is letting me win.
Jimin hates it. Even then, even at a party and after five cans of beer… Jungkook still lets him win. As if it was written in his dna to treat him with extra kindness and affection. Jimin hates it.
“I am tired,” Jimin lies, after winning three consecutive matches. “I’ll let you two play.”
Jimin brings a chair and sits next to the table as they keep playing, and the difference is obvious as Jungkook wins the next match. Jimin hates it, because he had been having fun. He had lost himself inside the game for a few minutes, he had disconnected from his shitty reality.
And again, his friends were being easy with him. They were being careful to make sure he was comfortable.
Jimin starts drinking an unopened can of beer that had been abandoned on the floor. When Taehyung notices, he drops the paddle and gives him a disapproving look.
“I thought you weren’t going to drink-” it’s all he says.
“I changed my mind.” Jimin takes another sip, and he knows he doesn’t even like beer and he’d rather drink cocktails but he couldn’t care less right now. “It’s just one can-” he doesn’t even know why he feels the need to explain himself, but he still does. All the fucking time.
“Alright, it’s your choice.” Taehyung and Jungkook keep playing, and it seems like they even forget Jimin is there after a while.
Jimin isn’t speaking, and he isn’t being included in the conversation either. He stands up and leaves, the pair doesn’t even notice. Jimin doesn’t blame them.
Yoongi isn’t sure how he ended up in his current situation. He knows he had entered the party, and the first thing Hoseok had done was to take four shots of vodka and take his hand to guide them somewhere Yoongi didn’t know but wouldn’t ask.
He knows Hoseok isn’t drunk. He knows that the four shots have only made him a little tipsy but nothing else, and they are more of an excuse than an actual reason for what Yoongi thinks they are about to do.
Hoseok is holding Yoongi’s hand, and he closes the door once they’ve hidden inside an empty room upstairs.
“Seok-ah, what are you doing?”
Yoongi isn’t sure yet if he wants to play Hoseok’s game. He doesn’t know if he is strong enough to play it.
“Would you rather go outside with the others?” Hoseok doesn’t answer his question.
Yoongi steps back and collides with the closed door. Hoseok stands closer, almost close enough to touch him, almost close enough to press him against the wall.
“Maybe I can play this game.” Yoongi thinks to himself.
Hoseok kisses him, and he tastes the same as the last time their lips have met: vodka. Hoseok tastes like vodka and broken dreams. Yoongi opens his mouth to him, follows Hoseok’s kind of desperate pace just like the last time.
Hoseok presses him against the door, hands perfectly fitting around Yoongi’s waist as if that’s where they should always be. Yoongi loses himself to the feeling of Hoseok kissing and holding him, sees himself leaning closer to the touch, running his fingers through Hoseok’s hair.
“Seok-ah.” he whispers between kisses.
Hoseok doesn’t say anything, instead, he exhales and presses their lips together again. This time, it’s more tender. Hoseok lets go one of his hands around Yoongi’s waist to cup his face, kisses him one more time. He seems less desperate, as if he now knows he can take his own time as Yoongi wants him too. “Fuck.”
Hoseok gently presses their lips together again, and again… a little less tender this time. Yoongi allows him to completely control the situation, breath stuttering when Hoseok slips his tongue in.
Yoongi is gone. Yoongi thinks he might get drunk by the taste of Hoseok’s tongue, slips his too as Hoseok sets a slow but eager rhythm. He wraps his arms around Hoseok’s neck as Hoseok’s arms go back to their original place in his waist.
Yoongi’s breath stutters again when Hoseok’s teeth find his bottom lip.
“Seok-ah.” his voice comes out breathless, but he forces himself to pull apart and speak. “Are you- Are you drunk?” he asks, even though he knows he isn’t.
“I am not.” Hoseok sounds as breathless.
Yoongi nods and, this time, Yoongi kisses him. It’s less experimental this time, as if they now know what it’s like to kiss each other. Yoongi flips them around, and now he is the one pressing Hoseok against the door.
Hoseok’s hands still fit around Yoongi’s waist, and it feels as if he still had the control of the situation. Yoongi bites Hoseok’s bottom lip, traces kisses all the way to his collarbone, stays in a spot around his neck where Hoseok’s whole body tenses.
It doesn’t last much, as Hoseok pulls him into another eagered kiss. Yoongi lets him, sets a note on the back of his mind about Hoseok’s sensitive spot. Hoseok kisses him again, bites his lip, slips his tongue, presses their lips. Yoongi follows him, sucks at Hoseok’s bottom lip. And just when he starts to wonder how long they can keep going like that, Hoseok pushes him away-
Hoseok pushes him away, arms going to his chest and pulling him apart a few steps back.
“Hoseok?” not again.
Hoseok looks up, meets his eyes, he looks disgusted. “I am not-” he is still breathless, and Yoongi can see the mark he left on Hoseok’s lips. “I am not gay, I am sorry. I am- I am not-”
Yoongi’s heart breaks.
Hoseok slides to the floor next to the door, hides his face inside his legs and starts sobbing. Yoongi doesn’t know what to say. Hoseok is clearly going through some shit. Yoongi knows that, senses it in the way he’s been acting. Hoseok is going through something and Yoongi can’t help him because he hasn’t been talking to him.
There’s nothing he can say. Yoongi’s heart hurts, because there’s nothing he can do to help him. All words feel short, and the only thing he feels he can do is hold him… but he can’t do that either. Yoongi doesn’t feel like hugging Hoseok, not after he’s suddenly pushed him away. Yoongi doesn’t want to step beyond a boundary.
“I’ll call Seokjin.” he says instead.
Yoongi wants to help, but he knows he is not the right person for this. He knows he is in danger of doing more harm that good, and that sometimes the best is to step back. Right now, the best he can do it to step back.
“Stay here, I’ll call Seokjin. Is that okay, Seok?” Yoongi’s voice comes out as a whisper, and he hopes Hoseok can’t hear his pain.
Hoseok nods, so Yoongi stands up and goes outside, leaving Hoseok alone.
A few minutes later, Seokjin comes through the door.
Because Hoseok is standing on the other side of the door, Seokjin doesn’t see him until he finally comes inside and closes it behind him.
“Seokie…” he says is fondly, brotherly, voice filled with worry.
“I am not gay.” Hoseok says it again, but this is the first time Seokjin hears it.
Seokjin sits on the floor next to him, waits until Hoseok stops sobbing before speaking.
“Yoongi told me you were upset. He didn’t tell me why, though.” he places a hand on Hoseok’s knee. “Do you want to tell me what happened? Do you want to talk about it?”
Hoseok nods, but he doesn’t reply right away. He cries a little bit more, tears falling and vision getting blurry again.
“It doesn’t make sense-” he starts.
Seokjin caresses Hoseok’s knee, and it makes him feel comforted. “What doesn’t make sense?”
“I-” Hoseok stutters. “I kissed Yoongi.”
Hoseok doesn’t continue, so Seokjin speaks again. “Did you want to kiss him?”
“I am not gay, Seokjin.” Hoseok replies harshly, a clear trace of disgust in his voice. “I kissed Yoongi, again. I- I keep thinking about him… and it doesn’t make sense. I’ve always…” he sighs, “I’ve always liked girls. I know I like women, all my life I’ve been with women. I am just- I am just confused. I am mixing things up and fucking up my friendship with Yoongi for nothing, just because I am confused-”
“You are allowed to be confused.” Seokjin shushes him. “Confusion doesn’t have to be bad.”
“I am not homophobic,” Hoseok explains himself, despite no one asking. “I am not. All my friends are gay, for god’s sake. So why-” his voice cracks again. “-why am I disgusted by the idea that I may like a boy?”
In that moment, Hoseok realizes why Yoongi decided to call Seokjin in particular. He understands now why he chose Seokjin, not Taehyung or Namjoon or Jungkook, but Seokjin. Seokjin… his bisexual friend. The one who had thought himself to be straight until he had met Namjoon.
“But… you wanted to kiss him, didn’t you?” Seokjin’s voice is soft.
Hoseok sees himself nodding. “I did. And- Jin… I didn’t only kiss him. The other week… when I slept over Jungkook’s for a few night. I- We- I didn’t only kiss him. But now I feel like I’ve ruined us.”
Seokjin nods, hand still caressing Hoseok’s knee. “Have you talked about it with him? To figure out your feelings.”
“Yoongi doesn’t deserve to be with someone who isn’t even sure he is gay.”
“You know you can like women and Yoongi at the same time, right?”
Hoseok shakes his head. “How’s that?”
“You can like Yoongi. Without any labels, you can just… like him in the way that you do. As long as you talk about it and you are honest with yourself.” he breathes in and out, “As long as you don’t keep it all inside and start hating yourself for it, which seems like what you’ve been doing. You can talk about it with him.”
“I still feel like he deserves more.” Hoseok wipes his tears from his face, tells himself he needs to keep his shit together.
“Isn’t Yoongi the one who should decide that?”
To this, Hoseok’s mind goes blank. He hadn’t thought about that possibility. He had only been thinking about himself, about what he thought was the best for both of them.
“Do you want me to give you a ride to the dorms?” Seokjin says when Hoseok stays silent.
“I’ll stay here a little longer.” Hoseok whispers, voice clearly more stable. “Thank you, Seokjin.”
Jimin finds Yoongi on the other side of the backyard. He is sitting on the grass, cigarette on his hand. Jimin sits next to him without sharing a word, Yoongi doesn’t seem to notice his presence.
The elder seems immerse in his own thoughts, eyes lost somewhere around the stars and the moon.
“Can you give me a cigarette?” Jimin asks.
Yoongi jumps out of his own mind. Looks over Jimin, taking a breath of his cigarette before replying.
“You don’t smoke.” smokey air comes out of his mouth as he speaks.
“I know I don’t.” Jimin nods, “But I want to anyways…”
Yoongi gives him a disapproving look. “You are a dancer, you shouldn’t smoke… and I don’t want Jungkook to take my eyes out of my face with a fork.”
“If you don’t give me one, I’ll ask someone else. It’s the same for me.” Jimin knows he is being harsh, but he feels stupid and wants to do stupid things. He wants to keep his mind away from the sense of loneliness despite being around people.
“Okay…” Yoongi sighs. “Here…”
Jimin sets the cigarette in his mouth as Yoongi holds the lighter up, and he breathes in. It lights up, and Yoongi sighs again and rolls his eyes.
Jimin nods. “Yeah…”
They remain in silence, and Yoongi loses himself again looking at the night sky. Jimin feels like he should stay quiet, be as less annoying as he can be. But… he is worried about Yoongi. He wonders, is he allowed to worry about his friends? Taking into consideration how he can barely hold himself together?
“Are you alright?” Jimin’s voice comes as a whisper again, and he hates it. He hates the fact that he is barely able to speak to other people.
“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?” Yoongi sounds tired.
Jimin doesn’t blame him. He assumes his friends are allowed to be tired… he is even tired of himself sometimes, so they should be allowed to get annoyed too.
“That came out wrong.” Yoongi looks at him. “Sorry, kid… I shouldn’t be taking it on you.”
Jimin smiles, because he remembers that Yoongi sometimes calls him kid, and he finds it endearing.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“I don’t.” Yoongi finishes his cigarette and lights another one, “I really don’t.”
Jimin nods. Yoongi doesn’t have to speak if he doesn’t want to.
“That’s alright too…” Jimin stares at his own cigarette, ashes falling to the floor as he lets it seat.
They remain in silence, and Jimin’s mind is filled with the same thought again:
You are bothering him.
Leave him alone.
You are just annoying him.
Even when Yoongi is just silent, Jimin hears every negative thought jumping into his brain until he starts having trouble breathing. He finishes the cigarette and stands up.
“I am going to the bathroom.”
Yoongi just nods and keeps looking at the stars.
Jimin goes inside. He doesn’t really need to go the the bathroom, he’d rather go to stable his breathing more than for anything else. But… he doesn’t know where the bathroom is. He starts walking around with the anonymous mass of people, sees himself going up the stairs.
He just wants to be alone. He just wants to find somewhere to find some sense of clarity with his thoughts.
Jimin finds a room that could be a bathroom door and steps inside. But… it’s a bedroom. He goes around, sees himself holding to a small table and hyperventilating.
“I can..” he speaks out loud. “I can kill this bitch. It won’t- It won’t take over again. I can… I can control myself. It’s my own- my own body. I have control- I have it-”
Someone opens the door.
“Hello?” he doesn’t know who he is.
“I-” Jimin is speechless.
“Oh…” the boy looks him from his feet to his head. “Jimin. You are… the Amnesia Boy. Are you alright?”
“Yeah.” Jimin lies, looks around the room and sees a book on the coffee table next to him. “Sorry… I was looking- I was looking for the bathroom.”
“It’s alright, Amnesia Boy. This is my house. You can stay here if you want… do you want me to call one of your friends? I can call Seokjin if you want.”
Jimin shakes his head. “No… it’s alright. I just needed to breathe for a second.”
The other boy just nods, but he is still looking at him with worried eyes. “Alright. I will leave you alone, you can stay here as long as you need.”
The boy leaves again, and Jimin is left alone with his uncontrollable breathing.
He sees himself holding the book with both hands, reading the title… Romeo and Juliet. He knows the story, it’s a classic. He’s read it in high school, has gone to plays about it. But, it feels like there’s a different ring to it.
Romeo and Juliet.
Jimin had tried to stabilize his breathing, but he’s overtaken by another wave of fear. He feels he should protect himself, stay as far away from danger as possible. But where’s the danger? What does he need to hide from?
Romeo and Juliet.
Jimin sees Taehyung’s face full of blood again. He feels their lips touching, a sense of coldness all over his body.
Romeo and Juliet.
He hears Taehyung saying how he is in love with him, how he’s ruined him. Jimin allows Taehyung to love him, and love is like a knife to the heart. Jimin doesn’t know when he learned that, but he is sure love is nothing but a knife to the heart. Danger.
And he needs to stay away from danger. Blood. Hurt.
Jimin loses himself to the panic attack, legs giving up.
He passes out and falls to the floor.
Hope you liked this chapter. Thanks for reading :)
I'd like to clarify something that I think I may have worded wrong on the ending note of last chapter. I don't have PTSD, but I struggle with other mental disorders... I wanted to clarify that in case it seemed like I had said I had PTSD, which I don't. I'm using this story to focus on things like how to healthily cope and overcome those struggles. Sorry if I worded it wrong.
Again, thanks for reading. And thanks for the lovely comments, they always make me smile.
My CC, TW and IG are all @fearmustdie if you want to talk.
See you on the next update :)
Edit: I fixed a few typos that were bothering me, idk if you'll get a notif as if it was an update but i hope you dont :( sorry
Chapter 6: Romeo & Juliet
TW Chapter 6:
*Minor character death by suicide (and by minor I mean by none of the characters that have already been introduced);
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Jimin wakes up with Taehyung around his arms. That’s a thing they do… Jimin hides his face between Taehyung’s neck and shoulders, and Taehyung sometimes rolls around and lays his head on Jimin’s chest. Jimin doesn’t question it, doesn’t ask Taehyung if that’s what all best friends do or if it’s just them; he doesn’t want to question it, he is happy with the way that things are.
“Wakey-Wakey,” Taehyung’s voice is barely a whisper, but Jimin is able to hear it with how close they are.
Jimin opens his eyes perfectly timed to see Taehyung’s smile. “Five more minutes-”
“This was supposed to be a short nap,” Taehyung giggles. “it’s been like… three hours, Jiminie.”
“Just a little longer-”
“You’ve missed your class.” Taehyung moves a little, but Jimin is still with his arms around him, keeping him close. “Are you feeling alright? Are you having trouble sleeping?”
“No-” Jimin shakes his head, “I’m alright. I just-” he stutters, “I just wanted to stay here a little longer. I can go to the studio later… But, we haven’t seen each other that much this last few days. I just wanted- I just wanted to be by your side for a little while.”
Jimin doesn’t know if he has said too much. Can Taehyung see how much he loves him by looking at him? Can Taehyung see that Jimin is in love with him?
Taehyung looks at him with an expression that Jimin can’t quite read. He is smiling, but there’s a spark behind his eyes that Jimin doesn’t know what it means. He wants to find out.
In moments like this, Jimin thinks he could get just a little closer and kiss him. But he doesn’t, he never does. Because… Jimin isn’t sure how that would work out. What if Taehyung doesn’t want him? What if it ruins their friendship? He can’t ruin it- Jimin won’t ruin it: they are literally soulmates, companions through life. Jimin has made a promise to himself that he would never ruin it.
But right now, Taehyung is looking at him with an expression that he can’t quite read. And, Jimin is sure his face is screaming Kim Taehyung I am utterly and hopelessly in love with you, but Taehyung apparently doesn’t see it.
“I’ve been missing you too. It’s awful that our schedules don’t match-”
“And I’ve been super busy with our upcoming performance…” Jimin sits on the bed, and Taehyung follows him. “There are so many things that I never thought of. Organization, place, equipment-”
“Gukkie and Seok-ah are helping you, though.”
“Yeah, we are doing it together. But, still, it’s so much work. I’m thinking about spending the night at the studio to finish a few dances, so I can stop worrying about that.”
“But I’ll stay a little longer.” Jimin lays his head on Taehyung’s shoulder. At first, Taehyung stiffens a little, but ends up wrapping an arm around him a few seconds later. Jimin closes his eyes, wants to lose himself to the feeling of having Taehyung close. He tells himself that it’s enough: if this is all he can have, it’s enough. He’s grateful with what he has, and he won’t ask for more, Jimin thinks he can take it.
“I like that.” Taehyung smiles in Jimin’s hair, hand caressing Jimin’s arm. It’s enough, he can stay like this… he can live with it. “Do you want to go to the roof once we are both free?”
Jimin nods. “Yeah,” he likes going to the roof and seeing the sun setting by Taehyung’s side. “it’s a plan.”
“It’s a date-” Taehyung says at the same time.
“A- A date?” Jimin moves a little, looking at Taehyung in the eyes. Again, there’s an expression that he can’t read. What is it? What does it mean?
“Un- Unless-” Taehyung maintains eye contact, but he’s shy. “It’s a date. Y- Yeah, like- like all our dates in the roof. It’s us.”
Jimin is completely lost about what Taehyung means. But he doesn’t mind, as long as they spend a couple of hours together, he’s fine with it. It doesn’t matter what it is. And- And Taehyung clearly means a friendly date- like… like all their dates.
“I can’t wait for you to come to the performance-” Jimin changes the subject, because it’s easier that way. “-I’m sure you’ll love it.”
Taehyung moves around, sitting in front of Jimin, knees touching. “I’m sure it’s amazing-”
“You haven’t even seen it yet.” Jimin giggles, because Taehyung has a tendency of praising everything Jimin does, even before he’s seen it with his own eyes.
“But I already know it’s good.” Taehyung smiles, and Jimin’s insides melt. “Everything you do is always good.”
Jimin blushes. “You say that because you are my best friend-”
“But it’s true.” Taehyung hurries to say.
Jimin stays in bed for a few more minutes, and Taehyung stays by his side. They are lying next to each other, and in moments like this, Jimin isn’t sure how much longer he’ll be able to hide it.
Jimin knows… in moments like this: when Taehyung caresses his hair, and Jimin closes his eyes and pretends to fall asleep; when Taehyung tells him random things about his day or about a piece of art that he has been working on, so close he can feel the warmth of his body next to him.
And sometimes, Jimin thinks that he could kiss him. He could peck Taehyung’s lips, and maybe Taehyung would smile. He could kiss Taehyung’s forehead, and maybe Taehyung would draw a little closer. Maybe- just maybe… they would be able to make it work.
After quite a few minutes have passed, Jimin opens his eyes. Jimin opens his eyes, and indeed, Taehyung is looking at him. Taehyung is looking at him with a spark behind his eyes, and Jimin knows there’s a very thin line that’s keeping him away from just drawing a little closer. Taehyung is looking at him… and for a second Jimin thinks that Taehyung’s eyes go back to his lips and back to his eyes.
I am projecting.
“Should I order takeout?”
Jimin showers while Taehyung orders the food. Jimin takes his sweet time under the water. He knows he’ll probably be stuck all night at the studio finishing all the choreographies which he probably should have already finished by now. He’s stressed, and he has little to no free time to do anything at all… but he had missed Taehyung, and he is glad he was able to be by his side, even if that means he’ll have to pull an all-nighter. It was worth it.
When he comes out from the shower, wearing an oversized hoodie and a pair of comfortable pants, the food has already arrived.
“I shouldn’t eat too much…” it’s just rice with vegetables, but he is about to exercise, a lot. He doesn’t want to feel nauseous.
“Don’t go with an empty stomach.” Taehyung sits on the floor, and Jimin sits in front of him. “You can take it with you, in case you get hungry while you are there.” that makes more sense.
Jimin ends up eating a little, and packing the rest on his backpack. He stays by Taehyung’s side as he eats, and he tells him about a project from his Digital Arts class which is making him work harder than usual.
“I’m sure you’ll pass.” Jimin says, moving the bag of food that’s standing between them. Now he is completely in front of Taehyung. “Your art is too good not to give you a passing mark.”
“You haven’t even seen it.” Taehyung giggles.
“But I’m your best friend. I know you’ll do it.”
Taehyung nods and goes back to focusing on his food. Jimin just watches; it’s always nice to see Taehyung eating, it means that he is taking proper care of himself, that he is healthy. Jimin likes to watch Taehyung eating.
He finishes his food and places the plate on the floor by his side. And Jimin notices…
Taehyung has sauce on the side of his mouth.
It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to call his attention.
“Wait a second-” Jimin says. “You have… There’s…” he mimics the movement Taehyung should do to take the sauce out of his mouth. Taehyung copies him, but it’s still there. “No-” Jimin continues. “-there. It’s there-”
Jimin gives up and cleans it by himself with a tissue.
“There.” he whispers. “That’s it.”
Taehyung stays still. “Thanks.”
They stare at each other for a second. And again, Jimin thinks that could be a moment. That could be a signal for him to lean closer and kiss Taehyung. Kiss him for real, and find out if Taehyung kisses him back.
But, wouldn’t that be too cliché? isn’t that what always happens in movies?
Taehyung stands up and Jimin helps him clean the mess they’ve done. Jimin wonders how they are both still alive after living for so long on a diet based on takeout and the cheap coffee from the cafeteria… even when he hates coffee.
Jimin double checks he has everything he needs inside his backpack.
“Are you already leaving?” Taehyung’s voice is soft, so Jimin turns around and looks at him.
“Yeah.” Jimin answers. “The sooner I go, the sooner I’ll come back.”
Taehyung nods, and Jimin assumes he should keep going. But, he feels as if there’s something more that Taehyung wants to say. Taehyung is standing in front of him with a look that he can’t quit read, mouth open and sparkly eyes.
“Do you want to tell me something?” Jimin moves a little closer and smiles, a reassuring smile that whatever Taehyung wants to say it’s okay. Jimin is here for him, always has and always will.
“I do.” Taehyung eventually answers.
Jimin leaves his backpack on the floor and sits on the couch, in front of Taehyung.
Taehyung doesn’t sit by his side, he walks from one side of the room to the other before he finally gathers the courage to speak.
“Jiminie, you know I love you, right?” Taehyung stands in front of him, so Jimin has to look up to meet his eyes. “You are my best friend, and I would never ever try to damage our friendship-”
“I love you too.” Jimin reassures him, “Tae, I know you never would. You are- You are my best friend too. It’s us…”
Taehyung nods, but his hands are still shaking a little bit.
“It’s us,” Jimin repeats. “you are a soulmate to me. Tae, whatever it is, I will always be your friend. Don’t even doubt that.”
Taehyung closes his eyes and breathes in. By the time he opens them again, Jimin has stood up, and now he is standing in front of him with worried eyes.
“Tae, you can always talk to me.”
“I know. But it’s hard to say it…” Taehyung looks into his eyes fondly. “It’s hard to say it because I think you already know. It’s- It’s pretty obvious. But I still need to say it, even though I’m scared to shit of this somehow ruining us.”
“It won’t.” Jimin searches his hand and intertwines their fingers. “You are worrying me, Taetae-”
“I am in love with you.” Taehyung speaks softly, it comes out as a whisper.
And… Jimin doesn’t think he’s heard it right. He thinks that Taehyung may have say something that sounds like it but he’s just hearing what he wishes to hear.
“W- What?” Jimin holds his hand tighter.
This time, Taehyung cups Jimin’s face with his other hand and looks straight into his eyes.
“I am in love with you, Jiminie, and it’s driving me crazy.”
“I know you probably don’t love me like that. I mean, I know you love me… but not in that way. And-” Taehyung makes a move to draw his hand away, but Jimin holds him still in place. “-that’s okay, but I needed you to know. I am… in love with you, Jiminie.”
Jimin breathes in, not fully aware of when did he start holding his breath in the first place.
“You are in love with me?” Jimin speaks as softly.
He thinks he is dreaming. Jimin never woke up from his nap and he will wake up by Taehyung’s side to discover all this was just a dream. This is a dream, Jimin thinks to himself, I can allow myself to have this.
Jimin stands a little closer, Taehyung still cupping his face. He stands closer and gets in Taehyung’s personal space, looks into his eyes, sees his own reflection inside them.
“Jimi-” Taehyung doesn’t get to finish pronouncing his name, as Jimin leans closer and kisses him.
Their lips meet, and Jimin closes his eyes to the feeling. Taehyung responds right away, releasing their intertwined hands to caress Jimin’s other cheek.
Jimin pulls apart, opens his eyes and sees Taehyung looking back at him.
“What does that mean?” Taehyung asks breathlessly.
Instead of replaying, Jimin kisses him again. This time, he opens his mouth and sucks at Taehyung’s bottom lip. He feels Taehyung exhaling and moving one of his hands to his neck, drawing him apart.
“Jiminie, talk to me.” his voice comes out as a whisper, and because of how close they are, Jimin can feel Taehyung’s lips moving as he speaks. “Ta- Talk to me.”
Jimin feels like that would be fair. Taehyung has opened his heart to him, so now it’s Jimin’s turn to open his too. Because he had thought it was a dream, Jimin had been scared of wasting the little time he had. But now that he has kissed him…
What if they are both awake? What if this is really happening?
“Minnie,” Taehyung draws his thumb in circles around Jimin’s neck. “tell me what you are thinking.”
“I-” he stutters, even when Taehyung has already spoken his feelings out loud, he still stutters. “I love you too, I’m in love with you too.”
Taehyung smiles, and Jimin can feel it, with how close they are.
“You do?” he whispers.
Jimin bites his lips, feeling himself blushing. “I do too. Yeah… I thought- I thought you didn’t like me back, though.”
Jimin places both hands around Taehyung’s waist, hides his face around his shoulders.
Taehyung giggles, wraps his arms around him and brings him closer. “Jiminie....”
Jimin moves, so he can see Taehyung’s face again. “Tae...”
For a few seconds, they just look at each other. Taehyung runs his hands around Jimin’s hair, and Jimin allows himself to just look at Taehyung looking back at him.
He loves him back.
“Alright,” Taehyung caresses Jimin’s lips. “can I- can I kiss you now?”
Jimin nods, “Y- Yeah.”
This time, Taehyung is the one who kisses him. Jimin closes his eyes, follows Taehyung’s pace. Still, their lips meet almost shyly, experimental. Taehyung sucks Jimin’s bottom lip and Jimin exhales, runs his hands around Taehyung’s hair.
The kiss is… soft. Taehyung is kissing him softly, and Jimin doesn’t mind a single bit. Jimin allows Taehyung to set the pace, to kiss him like that for as long as he pleases. Jimin’s hands stay around Taehyung’s hair, while one of Taehyung’s hands cups Jimin’s face and the other is keeping him steady by the waist.
Jimin brings him a little closer, insides melting when he feels Taehyung’s tongue around his lips. Jimin opens his mouth to him, deepening the kiss. And only now, Jimin realizes…
I am wide awake. This is really happening.
They both lose track of time, and when Jimin pulls apart and opens his eyes, the first thing he sees is Taehyung’s red and pouty lips. Jimin can see the mark he’s left on Taehyung’s lips, wonders if there’s a mark on his as well.
“I should leave for practice-” Jimin smiles.
And Taehyung smiles back, leans again and pecks Jimin’s lips once more. “Yeah, you were- you were about to leave. Bad timing, sorry.”
Jimin giggles. “Perfect timing,” he whispers. “I’ll try my best so I can come back as soon as possible.”
“Will you do that?” Taehyung looks him in the eyes, and Jimin can’t help to bring a hand up and caress Taehyung’s neck.
“Yeah,” he says. “I will finish all my choreos and come back. And then, we can talk a little more.”
“We can talk… and kiss. We can talk and kiss a little more.”
Taehyung hums in agreement.
“We need to talk more, that would be great.” Taehyung gets Jimin’s abandoned backpack from the floor. “But work hard, don’t do everything in a rush because of this. If you don’t finish your dances for the show because of me, Jungkook will personally cut me in little pieces and have me for breakfast.”
Jimin laughs and pecks Taehyung’s lips one last time, so he can take the feeling of Taehyung’s lips on his as he leaves.
“See you later, Tae-”
“See you soon, Jiminie.”
Jimin walks slowly on the empty street. He takes his time on his way to campus, looking at the night sky and the moon.
He loves me back.
Jimin walks with a smile on his face. He isn’t sure how long it’s been since he was this happy. His insides still feel liquid because of the feeling of Taehyung kissing him, and his mind is speaning in the most wonderful way.
When he arrives to campus, Jimin goes straight to the third floor. He takes the stairs, aware that he is probably on his own taking into consideration it’s almost midnight. But he doesn’t mind, he needs to focus… so being by himself seems appropriate.
He practices in silence, only playing music every once in a while to make sure that he is following the right beat. He needs to finish three choreographies, and he’s done with the first two after three hours.
That’s when he hears a sound…
At first, he blames his tired mind and continues to mind his own business. He feels his eyes heavy, and his muscles are hurt around his feet and arms. Jimin continues perfecting the dance that he’ll have to teach to a whole class of students-
The sound comes again.
This time, Jimin’s heard it more clearly. It sounds… like a cry. It’s almost like a plea, a pained scream.
“You lied.” the unknown voice seems near, could be a few rooms away. “You said forever but you lied. You’ve only been pretending to love me, you’ve been playing with me… haven’t you? I’ve been a silly doll in your stupid game.”
Jimin wonders if he is tired enough to be imagining things. Is it possible that there are people fighting on campus at three in the morning? Jimin pauses the music, but keeps practicing.
“What are you doing? Come back here!” another voice, a girl. The girl’s voice sounds as furious as the boy’s, furious mixed with pain.
“That’s enough…” Jimin says out loud.
He won’t be able to keep practicing, not like this. He might as well leave and get some rest, come back later and figure out how he can finish all his work on time.
“Don’t touch me-” the girl’s voice shouts.
And that- that calls Jimin’s attention. He doesn’t think about it, but he immediately leaves the room to find the source of the noise. His mind pictures the worst possible scenario, but Jimin knows that if he has to fight to protect someone else, he will.
“You never wanted me, did you?”
“Nick, you are not making sense. Can you hear me out for a second?”
Jimin follows the noise, he is now sure that he is standing outside the room where the unknown voices are fighting. It’s one of the studios, Jimin’s rehearsed over there a couple of times.
He opens the door and finds the scene.
His first reaction is to breathe out, because the girl is standing various feet away from the other man. So… no physical violence, no need for Jimin to fight.
“Who are you?” the guy asks, standing next to the opened window.
Jimin shivers, he hadn’t thought this through. He had just acted on instinct, he had just responded to the threat that someone may have been in danger, and maybe he was able to help.
But now, the two strangers are staring at him, and Jimin feels the only thing left to do is to speak.
“I am- I am a student. Is everything alright between you two?”
“What are you doing here?” the boy ignores his question.
“I could ask you the same question…” Jimin stands closer, evaluates the situation. He… He feels like he has interrupted a private moment, but he has no way out now.
“Don’t you have somewhere to be, pretty boy?”
Jimin isn’t sure if he is free from fighting anymore, he feels like he’s got himself in a sensible situation. Can he walk and leave now? Can he simply walk out of this situation?
“I was practicing but I couldn’t focus with all the noise you two were making. Don’t you have somewhere else to fight?”
The boy moves away from the window, closer to Jimin. “Why don’t you mind your own business?”
The girl stands between them. “Nick, see what I’m saying. You are just proving my point-”
“Your point is useless!” Nick moves away again. His eyes are red and full of tears; the girl’s hair is messy.
“Can you- Can you stay?” the girl asks Jimin.
Jimin isn’t sure about his role in this conversation, but he nods.
“Are you scared of me, babe?” Nick stands closer to the opened window, a curious smirk over his lips.
“I am scared of what you can do. Nick, you need help.” the girls stands closer, and Jimin stays still. “I am not leaving you, I am just asking you to get help. Get better, and come back.”
Nick doesn’t look happy anymore, chest going up and down from his uneven breathing. “I thought you would fix me…” he is crying now, and Jimin wonders if the guy’s emotions are always this unpredictable. “I thought you would be there for me, Ash.”
Ash stands closer, every step slow as if he was afraid to scare the other man. “But I can’t do that, love. You need real help, help of a prof-”
“Fucking Romeo and Juliet, you said you’d always be there for me.” Nick takes another step back, and Ash stays still. “All lies… All you did was lie… You are- You are everything, everything. I can’t do it without you- I… I need you, babe.”
“But Romeo and Juliet both died…” Ash gets closer, and this time Nick is the one to stay still. Ash carefully sets a hand over Nick’s chest, both of them visibly hyperventilating.
“Together, Ash. They remained together until the end-”
“You can’t have that mindset…” Ash cups Nick’s face with his other hand, and the boy closes his eyes. “We won’t be Romeo and Juliet.”
Jimin still doesn’t know his role here. Is he supposed to make sure he doesn’t hurt her? make sure they don’t hurt each other? But the girl told him to stay… so he did. If she told him to stay, it’s because she prefered not being alone, and Jimin will stay for as long as he is needed.
“I love you…” Ash says, voice cracking a little bit.
“I love you too.” Nick kisses her.
And now, Jimin really doesn’t know what to do. Should he stay watching them, like a creep? Is it awkward if he just casually walks out?
“Is everything alright now?” he decides to speak.
Ash pulls apart, and she thinks it through for a few seconds. Eventually, she nods. “Yeah, I’ll- I’ll call us a taxi and we’ll get going. He will calm down, don’t worry about it… Sorry we interrupted your practice.”
Jimin nods back. “Alright, you sure?” he asks again.
“Yeah…” she repeats, “It was just a silly fight. Thanks.”
Jimin isn’t a hundred percent convinced, but it doesn’t seem to be another option. What should he do? stand there until both of them say sorry and promise not to fight ever again?
So, Jimin murmurs an okay, and starts walking out.
He already feels the exhaustion overtaking his body as a consequence of overworking himself. So, Jimin walks slowly… He takes the stairs, tries to push his stress away. Now, he needs to sleep. He promised Taehyung he would come back as soon as possible and he had ended up staying in the studio for hours.
Jimin remembers him and smiles. The memory comes back to his mind… kissing Taehyung, Taehyung whispering he is in love with him, Jimin saying he loves him back. Jimin remembers the feeling of Taehyung’s lips on his, warm and soft.
And now, when he arrives to the dorms, maybe he can kiss him again. The thought of kissing Taehyung again, the promises of more kisses to come, makes Jimin giggle.
Jimin is almost outside, he is already on the last floor. He is walking at a peaceful pace, looking at the sky while thinking about Taehyung’s lips and-
Jimin doesn’t see it, he has been too immersed in his own thoughts to pay attention to it. But, something had fallen to the ground.
Jimin looks down to see what’s fallen next to him-
He recognizes the clothes. He had just been talking to the boy wearing them.
Jimin would never be able to specifically recall what he did next. He sees himself moving him around, placing a two fingers on his throat to find no pulse, and starting CPR, he sees himself as a third person watching from the outside, he sees himself crying, he sees himself telling the girl who is sobbing on the ground to call an ambulance.
He sees blood.
There’s blood all over the boy’s face.
There are tears mixed with blood.
And Jimin continues doing CPR, even when the situation makes it useless. He continues until his wrist hurt and he thinks he’s heard a “crack”.
Jimin can’t recall it. Will never be able to recall it. But he needs to stay conscious, he needs to keep it together until help arrives. Help-
Somewhere sometime after, Jimin isn’t sure how much time has passed, he feel arms wrapping around his body, pushing him away. He sees lights, hears voices-
But none of the voices are louder that the sound of the girl crying. And none of the lights are more blarrying than the image of the boy’s bloody face. Jimin will never be able to forget it, even if he can’t recall it, he will never forget.
Jimin feels his legs giving up, but he doesn’t feel himself falling to the ground.
He thinks that someone may have caught him.
Someone has caught him just in the right time-
Love is like Romeo and Juliet.
That’s the last thought that crosses his mind before passing out.
Taehyung finds himself immersed in a state of deja vu. Someone telling him that Jimin has passed out, that they need to go see him. Yeah, it sounds pretty familiar.
“I talked to him and he seemed weird,” Taehyung recognizes Jackson’s voice, but he doesn’t get to focus on his face. “so I stayed outside the room and waited for him. He wouldn’t come out… So I entered again and found him like that.”
Namjoon is holding him around his arms, and Seokjin already has his keys in hand.
“We’ll get him to the hospital.”
Hoseok is crying. His eyes are puffy and red, and he is silently crying.
Taehyung sees himself getting in the car, having Jimin on his lap. The drive feels eternal, even when Jimin doesn’t even flinch during the whole time that they are there. And like that, Taehyung can pretend that he’s fallen asleep. He can pretend that he is just sleeping, like all the times he’s fallen asleep on his lap.
“He just passed out…” Namjoon says, Taehyung barely hears him. “We still need to take him, they told us to take him right away if he ever passed out. But-”
“He is not in danger.” Seokjin states, hesitant voice.
Even when they know that Jimin just needs someone to lift his legs, and maybe a little bit of fresh air, they are still scared out of their minds. Jimin, again, defenseless. Again, he is about to wake up around doctors in a place with a shitty lighting.
Taehyung hates it. He hates the fact that he is not able to help, he hates that Jimin has to go through this hell over and over again. Because, the days keep passing and the nightmare doesn’t seem to end. Jimin tries to get back on track, and it seems like he is being thrown again in a pit of fire and hopelessness. Taehyung hates it.
He is vaguely aware that they arrive and Jimin is taken to a separate room. A doctor asks them what had happened, if something in particular may have triggered Jimin to the point of making him collapse.
“I- I don’t know.” Taehyung is short of words.
They all look at each other, trying to find out if together maybe they can make sense of the situation.
“He told me he had to go to the bathroom…” Yoongi’s face is paler than usual. “But- But he didn’t seem weird. It was- It was just… the bathroom.” his voice breaks, “I thought I could leave him alone for that-”
Jungkook appears by Yoongi’s side, wrapping him in a hug. “It could have happened to anyone… It’s not your fault-”
Guilt. Taehyung tries to remember the moment in which Jimin disappeared from his sight. And he… he can’t remember. Jimin had been sitting next to them, and then he had just vanished like thin air.
Taehyung didn’t notice.
“We all…” he starts, “We all left him alone. It’s not your fault, Yoongi.” his voice is close to cracking, but Taehyung uses all his strength to keep it together. “It could have happened to any of us.”
Yoongi nods, but he doesn’t seem convinced.
They all wait outside the room, sitting in those uncomfortable chairs that seem to be around every single hospital.
“I’ll get us coffee…” Seokjin and Namjoon stand up, serious look around their faces.
“I am alright.” Taehyung says. Because he can’t help to remember that Jimin hates coffee, he can’t help to remember all the times he’s drunk it anyways and made jokes about how disgusting it was afterwards.
“I can’t believe you drink this willingly everyday…”
The pair leaves, and Taehyung feels Jungkook resting his head on his shoulder, hand searching for his.
“It will be alright-”
It really feels like deja vu. Again, Jungkook is by his side trying to calm him down. And Taehyung wants to say that he is the older friend, so it should be the other way around. But he takes Jungkook’s hand, and he stares at the blank walls.
Taehyung feels a weird energy around Yoongi and Hoseok. They are sitting side by side, no conversations shared between the two. Taehyung sees Hoseok making an attempt to reach Yoongi’s hand, but backing down before the other can see it.
“Shouldn’t he have woken up by now?” Taehyung asks to no one in particular. “If he just passed out… and everything else is okay, shouldn’t he be up by now?”
It takes Jungkook a few seconds to reply. “They’ll explain it to us. Now all we have to do is wait… don’t overthink it.”
When Seokjin and Namjoon come back, Taehyung wishes he had asked them for coffee. He needs caffeine, he needs his fast juice to keep him going. He keeps his mouth shut, though, and he continues to blindly stare at the walls overthinking every little thing they did tonight.
Another fifteen minutes pass by before a doctor finally approaches them.
“All of you are here for Park Jimin?”
They all stand up, expecting.
“He didn’t hurt himself when he fell, so he was lucky.” the doctor says to no one in particular, “We think something may have triggered him, and that made him pass out. He is… He hasn’t woken up yet, but there’s nothing keeping him unconscious. He is just… asleep, all we have to do now is wait for him to wake up.”
“And how long can that take?” Seokjin speaks, and Taehyung is grateful that this time he is not alone.
“It could be a couple of hours. We won’t know what triggered him until he wakes up and tells us by himself. His body is processing whatever he was able to remember- if he remembered.”
They all nod and thank him for the information.
“Are you all going to wait for him? That could be overwhelming… all of you can’t go inside the room.”
“Can we go inside the room?”
“Not until he wakes up. But still… I suggest you all to go back home and rest, I am sure Park Jimin will be grateful to know you’ve been waiting for him, but it’s not necessary.”
Taehyung’s whole body tenses, and he knows that Jungkook senses it because he gives their intertwined hands a gentle squeeze. Taehyung is not going to leave, not without Jimin. The doctor told them to go back home… and home, for him, is Jimin. Taehyung has nowhere to go without him.
“I’ll give you a ride home…” Seokjin says, referring to no one in particular.
“Alright, let’s go.” Yoongi looks over Taehyung, trying to read his expression. There is no way you are leaving, is it?
“I am staying.” Taehyung states the obvious, and no one seems surprised.
“If you are staying…” Jungkook is still holding his hand, “I am- I am staying with you.”
Seokjin looks at them with tired eyes. “Okay… But give me a call when you need a ride back to the dorms, I’ll take you.”
Taehyung nods, and Seokjin gives him a hug. Again, the situation seems familiar. Last time, Jungkook had stayed until Jimin had woken up, until the doctors had told them that he couldn’t remember a thing… and it had been too much for him, so Jungkook had left.
But this time around, Jungkook stays by his side, and after the rest of them leave, they sit down again. The younger starts telling him stories, memories of all the three of them together. Taehyung sometimes smiles, wishes he could go back and relive those moments again. If only he had known how things would turn out, he would have acted differently-
For example, he would have told Jimin to stay and sleep instead of going practicing to the studio. Taehyung would have told him to just stay, and maybe they would have been able to talk more. They would have spoken about their feelings, and Jimin wouldn’t have been there.
Taehyung thinks about all the things that they could have done differently. All he can do now, though, is wait.
Yoongi and Hoseok share no words on their way back to the dorms. Namjoon and Seokjin carry on the conversation, talking about the weather and making it obvious that there’s something else going on. They remain silent on their way to their room, taking the stairs and walking two feet away from each other.
Yoongi is… tired. After the long night, he just wants to sleep. Hoseok managed to break his heart once again, and then he got worried sick about Jimin. So now, he just wants to sleep. Get to his room, take off his shoes, and sleep. Pass out, forget about the world and lose himself to the dizzy feeling.
Hoseok seems to have other plans.
“Yoongi…” he says, once they’ve already closed the door and Yoongi is halfway from taking his second shoe.
“Not now, Seok-ah. I am tired.” Yoongi throws himself to the bed, closes his eyes.
Hoseok speaks again. “Yoongi… can we talk?”
Yoongi sighs. “I am tired, Hoseok. What are you going to say? That it was a mistake? Again? I am too tired for that… say it tomorrow.”
The words come out harsher than what Yoongi means them to be, and he immediately regrets it.
“I am- I didn’t mean it like that, sorry. But I am tired, Seok-ah. Let’s talk tomorrow, can we? I am sure whether new way you found to regret what we did, you can still tell me about it tomorrow.”
Hoseok doesn’t speak for a few seconds, and he just stays still in front of Yoongi’s bed. Yoongi takes the opportunity to hide under the sheets.
“I wasn’t going to- I wasn’t going to say that I regretted it.” Hoseok whispers.
Yoongi is amazed at how fast he managed to fall asleep. How he probably started dreaming after throwing himself to the bed, because, there is no way he’s heard Hoseok right.
Yoongi doesn’t speak.
“I wanted to talk about it. I think that speaking about it with Seokjin helped me…” his voice comes out shy, and Yoongi has to pay close attention to figure out what his roommate is saying. “I just wanted to talk… Yoongi, can we talk?”
Yoongi sits on the bed, and Hoseok remains still in front of him.
“Sorry, what?” the elder says, because he isn’t sure he’s heard it right.
“I really want to talk about it. Can we talk, please?” the younger begs.
Yoongi nods and pats the place next to him, so Hoseok sits down by his side.
“Talk…” Yoongi is too tired for this, his mind is too done with life to handle a serious conversation. But he knows Hoseok won’t be able to sleep if he doesn’t take the words out of his chest, if he doesn’t let it out.
Hoseok breathes in and out. “Seokjin told me something…. which I hadn’t thought of. And now I can’t stop thinking about it. It made sense… so I was shocked that I didn’t manage to figure it out on my own.”
Yoongi nods, even though he doesn’t understand a single word his friend has just said. “And what do you think now?”
“I haven’t figured myself out yet.” Hoseok speaks softly, and Yoongi opens his eyes to look at him. “And I haven’t been talking to you. I thought-” he stutters, “-I thought I could decide for the both of us. But that’s unfair for you.
“You are right.” Yoongi interrupts him, even though he still isn’t sure about what Hoseok is referring to. “You don’t get to decide for the both of us. But… But you get to have your own opinion.”
“I-” Hoseok’s voice breaks a little, but he doesn’t cry. Yoongi allows him to take his time, remains silent. “I think I am going crazy because… because I’ve always been sure about myself. I am straight, right? I am Hoseok, straight.”
Yoongi sighs, even when he doesn’t mean to.
“But then, you hold my hand-” Hoseok’s voice cracks again, and Yoongi can’t help to place a reassuring hand on the younger’s knee. “-or you smile, you tell me a story about something dumb that happened to you in one of your classes, and-” he exhales, Yoongi knows he is trying his best to keep himself together. “-I want to kiss you. How bullshit does that sound? I want to kiss my best friend. Bro, that sounds gay.”
Hoseok spits a dry laugh, but Yoongi doesn’t feel like laughing back.
“So I start to think about it more often. And it starts driving me crazy… Suddenly, I can’t stop thinking about it. My mind still goes on like bro, that’s super gay and I’m not gay. I am not.” he exhales again, “But I think I like you.”
Yoongi blinks a few times, tries to get his mind to think properly. Is this a confession? If it’s a confession, it’s a very weird one. Is it a joke? If it is, it’s a very shitty one, and Yoongi doesn’t think he would be able to forgive him right away.
Yoongi just looks at him, hand still around Hoseok’s knee.
“Yoongi…” Hoseok whispers his name, and Yoongi dies a little bit. “Say something.”
“What did Seokjin say?” it’s all he manages to say.
“He thought I should speak with you. I feel like you deserve someone who is sure about who they are… but he told me you are the one that should decide that, that I should talk about it with you.”
Yoongi nods. That sounds like something Seokjin would say. And he is grateful that they have a friend that was able to get Hoseok to think properly, someone who got him to speak to him. But Yoongi remains speechless.
“You are right. I am the one that gets to decide that.” Yoongi hears his voice, and he wishes he could express himself better, but he is just too tired. He is too tired for this half confession, too tired to have a confused Hoseok opening up about his confused feelings.
“I am glad you trust me enough to talk about this with me, Seok-ah.”
Hoseok exhales again, and Yoongi wonders if the younger had been holding his breath.
“What does that mean?” Hoseok voice hesitates.
“You are allowed to… explore who you are. But-” Yoongi sighs, “-you already know how I feel about you. I am being honest with you, you can take your time to figure out your identity. But- I have feelings too, Seok. Unless you are sure, don’t break my heart.”
Yoongi is having trouble to control his heart, Hoseok may love him back. But still, even with a half confession, he’s already kissed him. He’s already allowed him to touch him, had touched him. And Yoongi’s heart had been so happy he thought he would explode, only to end up shattering afterwards.
“I can be your friends. Help you out, emotionally, until you figure yourself out…” Yoongi sighs again, he hopes he doesn’t sound as exhausted as he feels. “but I won’t let you play with my feelings, Seok. Don’t- Don’t play with my feelings. I-” he stutters, “I can be your friend for this, and I will go to hell and back for you. But the rest it’s up to you.”
Hoseok nods, thinks about it for a second. It makes sense, Yoongi has replied coherently… he had replied what one would expect, which is much better that the scenario his imagination had created in which Yoongi got mad at him and ended their friendship. So, this is great.
“I will figure myself out…” he ends up saying. “Thanks, Yoongi. Thanks for listening.”
Hoseok stands up, takes off his shoes and lies on his own bed. His heart is beating fast inside his chest, and he feels his feelings all over the place.
I will go to hell and back for you.
Hoseok thinks Yoongi falls asleep right away. Again, it takes a little longer for him. He lays down looking at the roof, wide awake despite the crazy day. Hoseok knows now that he’ll try his best to figure himself out. He will try to figure out his feelings, until he can be certain about whether he loves Yoongi or not.
I will try my best not to break your heart. But please, love, don’t break mine.
OMG I WAS SO ANXIOUS ABOUT THIS CHAPTER. I tried to write it fast fast because I didn't want to leave you with the cliffhanger for too long hehe. I feel like I've left a tiny little peace of my soul writing this... I hope it turned out alright.
As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments. I have an important exam in three days so wish me luck with that :)
Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you on the next update.
Chapter 7: My heart beats
if you are here, the worst has passed.
hope you enjoy this chapter, the vminkook feels are strong.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Jimin feels the headache even before opening his eyes. The first thing that he sees is a white roof, and a fake plant next to his bed.
How did I get here? Who am I? What happened to me?
The disorientation lasts a few seconds, every memory like a stab to his brain.
I don't know. I am Jimin. I passed out at the party.
The second thing he sees is Doctor Young sitting by his side. She is wearing light makeup and casual clothes, her hair in a messy bun.
Jimin breathes in and out. "Taehyung?"
He doesn't mean to say that, but he sees himself formulating the words, hears the sound coming out of his mouth.
"Your friends are waiting for you outside. But first, how are you, Jimin?"
"I-" Jimin doesn't know how he is, but… he wants to see Taehyung. His head hurts a lot, and there are too many feelings running around inside his mind. But he manages to think, Taehyung. "I don't know. My head hurts."
"You were lucky you fell with your hands, you didn't hurt yourself."
Jimin nods. Those are good news.
"Can you tell me who you are? What do you know about yourself?"
Jimin can feel his brain working at full speed, can almost hear the noise. "I am Park Jimin. I am twenty two years old, I am a dancer. I am- I am going for a Dance major at University. I don't like coffee-"
"Alright, that's good." Young looks satisfied, a little more relaxed. She breathes out and sits back on her chair.
"Can I see my friends now?" Jimin is impatient.
"I'd rather you talked first. Do you remember why you passed out? What have you remembered since the last time we've seen each other?"
Jimin can only remember passing out, being scared to the point of unconsciousness. What did it cause it? What did he see?
It hurts, thinking hurts.
"I saw a book. I don't know… I was feeling excluded, annoying. The party was okay, but I felt out of place. So…" Jimin blinks, runs a hand through his hair. "I went to an empty room to breathe… to calm down. But I saw a book, and it was scary-"
He isn't sure if he is making sense, but the doctor nods.
"Do you think that the book is what caused you to pass out?"
Jimin thinks about it, tries to ignore the needles going through his brain. Blinks again, runs the same hand through his hair. It hurts-
"I-" It hurts to know. "I've- I've murdered someone."
He sees himself saying the words, means every line. Jimin's vision goes blurry, tears falling from his eyes. Now, his whole body hurts. Truth hurts. He doesn't know how he knows, but it hurts.
I’ve murdered someone. Pressed my hands to his chest until breaking a bone. I’ve murdered someone, it’s my fault they died. I did it.
Doctor Young tenses again, draws her chair nearer to Jimin's bed. A dead expression on her face when she says "He died the moment he collapsed against the floor, you didn't murder anyone, Jimin."
Jimin wants to believe her. Jimin wants to think that the boy’s death wasn’t his doing, but it’s hard. It’s hard to believe when just by changing some of his actions he thinks the accident may have been prevented.
If only he had stayed and talked to them a little more, if only he had stayed by their side until they had called a taxi. If he had closed a window… Jimin thinks it’s his fault. This is his doing, and he should feel guilty. He deserves every horrible thing that has happened to him since he’s woken up.
I don’t deserve my memories, I don’t deserve my friends, I don’t deserve…
I don’t deserve Taehyung.
He is vaguely aware that Young is guiding him away from the panic attack. Jimin is vaguely aware that he is following her instructions, breathing at the same time. Because, even this, he deserves it.
“Would you like to see your friends now?” Young asks, once Jimin’s panic attack has died down. He hasn’t stopped crying, though, and Jimin has already given up in wiping away the tears.
“Yeah…” he manages to say. He is not crying loud enough to affect his ability to speak. It’s a silent cry, hopeless. “I’d like to. Can they- Can they come in?”
Young nods. “I’ll let them in, and I’ll let you alone for a couple of minutes.”
“Thanks.” this time, Jimin wipes away the tears. He then performs the fakest smile of his entire life, white teeth sparkling. “Thank you, Ms. Young.”
“Talk to them…” she says, already on her way out. “Don’t hold yourself back. It’s alright to talk about it, let it out at your own time. It can help you carry the burden.”
But I don’t want them to carry the burden, Jimin doesn’t say.
A few seconds later, Taehyung and Jungkook enter the room practically running.They throw themselves at both sides of Jimin’s bed, holding one hand each.
“Oh my god,” Jungkook lets out. “Jiminie. Never scare us like that again-”
“I was so worried.” Taehyung speaks, voice firm and full of meaning. “But you are alright, there’s nothing to worry about. You are alright, aren’t you?”
Jimin looks at Jungkook, then Taehyung. Worried faces looking back at him, exhausted. Jimin looks at them, notices their messy hair and the dark circles under their eyes.
My best friends.
Before he even manages to finish faking another smile, tears are already falling from his eyes. He doesn’t back up though, and he still manages to open his mouth until all his upper set of teeth are visible. Another tear, he keeps looking at them.
Jimin sobs, and the smile turns into a weird smirk.
“I- I love you two so much.” he chokes with his own tears. It’s too much, he is feeling too much. Feelings hurt. “I was so scared. I was so scared I’d lose you-”
Jimin knows he is not making sense, but neither Taehyung nor Jungkook ask him to explain himself. Instead, Jungkook holds his hand tighter, and Taehyung gets closer and wraps him in a hug.
“We are here.” Taehyung says, and Jungkook joins the hug too.
Every single cell of Jimin’s body hurts, and he finds himself shaking from how loudly he is sobbing around their arms. Jimin cries, allows himself to feel it-
Jimin allows himself to feel the pain. He’s denied himself to feel it since waking up, and a voice in the back of his mind is already telling him that he is still holding himself back. He isn’t feeling it all, but it’s a start.
Jimin cries, and somewhere along the line he notices that Jungkook is crying too. They are both crying, holding each other, keeping together the broken pieces. Taehyung holds them tight, doesn’t wipe the tears… because sometimes, it’s better to let them fall.
“We love you too,” Taehyung whispers close to his ear. “it’s alright. Let it all out.”
When Ms. Young returns, they’ve already stopped crying. Their faces are a mess, red and puffy eyes. They are no longer crying, but both Taehyung and Jungkook are still holding Jimin’s hands in each side of the bed.
The doctor stands at the end of the bed.
“Do you want your friends here or would you rather be alone for this?”
Jimin isn’t sure what this it, but he knows the answer. “I want them here. It’s okay.”
He feels Taehyung squeezing his hand, Jungkook caressing the back of his hand. It feels better like that, Jimin can almost forget that his hands are filled with blood. He is letting them hold his bloody hands, pretending to be a patient instead of a criminal.
“Alright.” Doctor Young opens a book on the side of Jimin’s bed, the one with all the information about his case. Jimin’s hands are sweaty. “Park Jimin, PTSD with memory loss.” she sighs, inspections Jimin’s face and looks at the intertwined hands. “You passed out during a party but there aren’t any new injuries-”
“When will I be able to leave?”
Doctor Young keeps his eyes on the notebook. “You are not physically injured. You are here until we make sure you have enough mental stability to leave on your own.”
“Why wouldn’t he be mentally stable?” Jungkook asks shyly.
“Well…” Young looks at Jimin, a silent question will you tell them? should I?
“Park Jimin passed out as a consequence of being triggered. The trigger, as I have recently spoken to Jimin, brought back memories from the day of the accident.”
Jimin senses Taehyung’s hand tensing.
“Jimin will start to speak about it at his own pace. We’ve talked, so as a doctor I have an idea of how many memories he could have been able to restore. But, he will open up about it when he is ready. We won’t pressure him.” Young closes the notebook and leaves it on his original place next to the fake flowers. “Right now, Jimin’s mind is processing this new information. I’d like you to stay here for the rest of the day, but we won’t hold you back if you want to leave sooner.”
Jungkook nods, drops Jimin’s hand. Jimin is encountered by a sense of loss, of emptiness, why did he stop holding him? but before he could keep overthinking, he feels Jungkook’s hand caressing his hair. “Processing.” he whispers.
“We don’t want him to pass out again. He was lucky that he didn’t hurt himself and that you were around to bring him here… but we can’t risk that happening again. I want to make sure Jimin is safe once he leaves this hospital.”
“And how will we know that? That he is safe?” finally, Taehyung speaks.
“We’ll talk one more time. And… I’ll change his medication.” Young exhales, and Jimin wonders if the situation is stressing her out, if it’s his fault that she is stressed out. “That will work out. Change of meds, and starting to speak about it… but not too fast. How do you feel about that, Jimin?”
Jimin nods, he doesn’t feel like speaking.
“Have you thought about going back to your classes? Try- Try to think about it, maybe it can help you go back to your everyday routine. You don’t have to… but it could help.”
Jimin nods again, but Young doesn’t leave… so Jimin assumes she is waiting for an answer.
“I’ll think about it.” his voice comes out as a whisper, and Jimin isn’t sure if she is able to hear him. “I promise I will think about it.” he doesn’t try to smile.
To this, Young nods. Satisfied, she leaves the room and promises to come back before he discharges.
Jimin closes his eyes.
He is starting to understand why ignorance is a blessing. Jimin doesn’t feel strong enough to speak. Even with his friends by his side, he feels naked… insecure, unprotected. As if Jungkook could place a hand over his chest and rip his heart with his own hands, as if Taehyung could break his heart by using his words…
Jimin wants them here, but he wants them to leave; he isn’t sure how he is able to feel both ways at the same time. So, Jimin keeps his eyes closed. Tells himself that if he stays like that, he can lose himself to the blackness, to the coldness of the room. But he doesn’t, Taehyung speaks-
“Are you tired?” he speaks fondly, and it warms every part of Jimin’s soul in the most heartbreaking way. “Do you want to sleep?”
Jimin opens his eyes. “I-” his voice is weak, “I am cold.”
He wants to cry again, break down just one more time. It feels like all he does nowadays is cry. He is tired of it… but it feels different. This time around, Jimin believes that if he starts to cry, he will never be able to stop.
“I can get us something warm.” Jungkook offers, hand still around Jimin’s hair. “Would you like that, Minnie? I can get you some tea…”
Jimin nods, and just looking at Jungkook’s worried eyes makes him feel colder.
I don’t deserve them.
“Alright,” Jungkook draws his hand apart, squeezes Taehyung’s hand. He gets up, and Jimin thinks he will leave just like that… but he gets closer again, leaves a tender kiss over Jimin’s forehead. “I’ll find you something to drink.”
Jimin is only able to nod, because any attempt to find words will bring him to tears. And he isn’t going to cry, not because of something so simple.
Taehyung doesn’t speak until Jungkook is finally gone.
“Are you comfortable like this?” he stands up, tugs the sheets around Jimin’s body. “I can go look for one of your pillows… I can bring some of your clothes-” Taehyung moves the ugly fake plant next to Jimin’s bed and leaves a bottle of water. “Whatever makes you feel more comfortable… more at home-”
Taehyung keeps talking, but Jimin barely hears him. He can only pay attention to Taehyung moving around the room, tagging the sheets, checking his temperature. Jimin can’t hear him because he knows-
I am in love with him.
I am in love with Taehyung.
He knows it, but he doesn’t know what to do about it. His mind is still freshly wounded, and everything is messy and ugly. Jimin doesn’t think that loving Taehyung should feel messy and ugly.
“I am okay.” he ends up saying, even though it’s a lie. Jimin is everything but okay, okay is the last word he would use to describe himself. “Tae… It’s okay.”
Taehyung seems to calm down, goes back to sitting next to the bed. There are too many feelings to express, and too little words to say them. Jimin allows himself to look at him, and this time, it feels like another first time.
The first time he saw Taehyung was the first day they met. The second first time, after waking up without knowing who he was. And this time, looking at him with adoration, the love which he will never deserve to have.
“Are we still best friends?” he says instead.
Taehyung looks taken aback for a moment, sits straight on his chair. “Wh- Why would you doubt that?” he sounds hurt, not by Jimin’s words, but by the situation. “Of course we are, Jiminie. I’ve told you that already… What made you think that we weren’t?”
Jimin goes back inside his mind, to the party and the days before that. He felt annoying most of the time, a burden that his friends were forced to carry around. Jimin doesn’t want to feel like that.
“I… feel like I am holding you back-” he manages to speak the truth. “I felt bad at the party because I thought I was keeping all of you from having fun.”
He doesn’t look at Taehyung’s eyes, keeps his gaze around his hands and the sheets.
Taehyung doesn’t respond right away. But when he does, he holds Jimin’s hand again. Jimin sees it before he hears him: the image of their intertwined fingers. Taehyung’s hand is much bigger than his, and Jimin’s hand disappears inside of his. Jimin smiles to this.
“You are never a burden. You- You would never hold us back.” his voice is firm and honest, “Being without you would hold us back… but never you. Don’t- Don’t ever think that.”
“I felt annoying-” Jimin feels his voice cracking, but manages to keep it together. He won’t cry again.
“Why didn’t you tell me? That… That you were uncomfortable?”
Jimin breathes out. “That’s the point. I feel like I should stop bothering you… you are always taking care of me, and I should be able to take care of myself. Shouldn’t I?”
Jimin looks up, finds Taehyung’s eyes on his.
Taehyung is nodding, thinking. “You…” he speaks fondly, shiny eyes. “You always take care of us. Most of the time, you are the one that’s taking care of us.” he exhales, and Jimin sees himself exhaling too. “But now… you’ve been injured, Minnie. It may not be visible, but you were hurt. And we are your friends, so we are taking care of you… just this one time. It’s okay to allow us to take care of you. We want to.”
It doesn’t make sense inside his mind, but Jimin nods.
“Next time…” Taehyung follows, “tell me about it. Don’t shut down. Talk to me, Jiminie. I can’t- I can’t read your mind.”
Jimin nods again, this time he means it. But he doesn’t speak the whole truth, he doesn’t say I am in love with you, he doesn’t say I know that I love you. He keeps that to himself, and it kills him a little bit inside.
Jungkook comes back with two coffees and a cup of tea. Everyone knows which one is for which without having to share words, and Jimin thanks him for the drink.
“Be careful, it’s hot.” it’s all he says.
Jimin takes the first sip a few minutes later, when Jungkook and Taehyung have already lost themselves in a conversation about Taehyung’s Digital Arts class. Jimin looks at them, tries to ink inside his mind the feeling of safety and comfort. Jimin is grateful that he has them, that he is not alone. But still, a voice inside his mind whispers.
“You don’t deserve them.”
It burns deep inside Jimin’s chest, all the way to his heart.
Yoongi didn’t have any expectations. He didn’t overthink about how the next morning could be, nor did he try to guess if Hoseok would stay in the dorm or if he would leave again. So, when he woke up to the smell of coffee and chocolate cake along the image of a still sleepy Hoseok carrying everything in a tray, he was surprised.
“What the fuck-”
There were no other words, those ones seemed the most fitting. Yoongi starts wondering if he accidentally consumed some kind of weird drug which is making him hallucinate, because that would sound much more realistic that what he is actually seeing.
“I bought us breakfast.”
“What the fuck?” Yoongi moves a little, so Hoseok has space to place the tray between them. It smells amazing, too good to be the product of his imagination.
“You said you were tired…” Hoseok explains himself, “that Jimin and everything were exhausting you. So I thought- I thought breakfast could be a good way to recharge your energy.”
“This is not a dream.” Yoongi thinks at loud, sits down properly. This is not a dream, because that sounds exactly like something Hoseok would do for him. Being a literal ray of sunshine and making his heart jump inside his chest, that’s Hoseok. And Yoongi smiles, but he is also screwed. He is screwed because Hoseok isn’t sure about his feelings for him, and Yoongi is-
For Yoongi, Hoseok is a certainty. And seeing the younger sleepily managing to bring him a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast doesn’t exactly help the situation. It just makes him more sure, more hopeless. He can have him like this… like a best friend. But he’s already had more, and he had thought maybe he wasn’t hopeless. So, he is screwed.
“That’s…” Yoongi is happy. His heart is jumping from excitement, and there’s no way to hide it. “very thoughtful of you. Wow, thank you Seok-ah.”
Hoseok smiles, one of his heart smiles. Just when Yoongi didn’t think he could be more screwed, Hoseok smiles.
“I’ve already had breakfast.” Hoseok explains, “I got up early for practice, but I knew you wouldn’t be up… so I thought this could be good. You always forget about meals, so at least you get to start your day properly.”
Yoongi smiles again, tries a piece of the cake. Delicious. “Oh my god, it’s the one that also has vanilla-”
Hoseok giggles, “Yeah… I know you like that on.”
Yoongi asks about Hoseok’s practice, and the breakfast goes around like all their mornings. There’s nothing different about it, Yoongi doesn’t note the difference besides inside his heart.
“Should we call Jungkook about Jimin?” Yoongi remembers out of nowhere, and he feels like a bad friends for even daring to forget the wellbeing of one of his best friends. The best friend that had passed out after talking to him, the one he hadn’t pay enough attention to.
“Jungkook already called me,” Hoseok shushes him, gives him a tissue. “he’s woken up a few hours ago. He is alright-”
“Shouldn’t we go?” Yoongi’s whole body enters on alert mode, ready to flee if he needs to.
“Shouldn’t we go see him?”
Hoseok shakes his head, places the spoon around Yoongi’s fingers so he keeps eating. “There’s no need. Gukkie and Tae are with him, and Seokjin will pick them up once he’s discharged. We can stay here…”
Yoongi nods, relaxes again. “Alright…”
It feels weirds. This past few weeks he’s grown used to constantly caring for Jimin. There’s always a tiny piece of his heart that’s always worried, always ready to go rescue him if he has to. He wonders if they’ll ever go back to normal again.
“I do it too.” Hoseok speaks softly.
Yoongi hadn’t said it out loud. But when it comes to Hoseok, there’s no need to. He just gets him. They understand each other, the same way they became instantly best friends just a few weeks after being paired as roommates. That’s just how they work…
The word rings in the back of Yoongi’s mind. It makes sense. Hoseok being his soulmates wouldn’t be shocking. Yoongi doesn’t think anybody else can fit that place… that spot belongs to Hoseok.
“Will we ever go back to normal?” Yoongi isn’t sure if he is referring to them or Jimin.
“I hope we do. And if we don’t, we’ll figure it out anyway. We’ll learn a new sense of normality.” Hoseok is talking about Jimin.
Yoongi really thinks they are meant to be. He doesn’t even mean it in a romantic way… they are meant to be, meant to find each other somewhere along the way. He’s glad they’ve found each other, glad they can lean on one another.
In moments like this, Yoongi really thinks he doesn’t need Hoseok to love him back the same way that he does. Hoseok’s current love is enough, he’s always been enough. So… he’ll be by his side until he figures himself out, until he’s sure about his feelings. Yoongi can do that.
“Do you really think so?” Yoongi looks into Hoseok’s shiny eyes, finds his own reflection looking back at him.
“I am certain.”
“I want to go home.”
Jimin says it after their late lunch (that could also count as dinner). Jungkook and Taehyung stay the whole day by Jimin’s side, while he talks to more doctors and leaves to talk to Doctor Young again.
They don’t complain, they don’t even make comments about the shitty food. Jimin just watches as the pair stays by his side, only supporting him. Even when Jimin doesn’t really talk that much, even when he doesn’t tell them about what he remembered.
He only talks about it to the doctors, and neither Jungkook nor Taehyung ask why Jimin’s eyes were full of tears when he came back from that one appointment. Jungkook just had brought more tea, and Taehyung had changed the channel on the tv to a kid’s show.
“I want to go home.”
To this, Taehyung looks up from his phone. “Do you- Do you want me to call the doctors again?”
“Yes,” Jimin is still wearing the clothes from the party, and he really wants to take a shower. “I’d rather be home. I don’t- I don’t want to stay the night here.”
“Alright, I’ll go look for a Doctor Young.” Jungkook stands up, leaves the room without asking any more questions.
“I’ll call Seokjin-” Taehyung gets his phone out of his pocket. “He’ll take us to the dorms, you can keep resting there.”
Jimin nods and shakes his head. He wants to go home, but he isn’t sure what that is. “Can we go somewhere else first?”
Taehyung stops typing to look at Jimin. “What do you mean? Where do you want to go?”
The truth is that Jimin isn’t thinking before speaking. He is tired, and Taehyung is probably tired too… so he is being selfish. Jimin is just thinking about himself and his need to feel some sense of safety.
“I thought maybe we could go to the roof-”
Taehyung gives him a weird look, but ends up nodding. “Alright, we can do that. We can go to the dorms to change our clothes and after that we can go to the roof…”
Jimin smiles, “Thanks.”
Jungkook comes back with Doctor Young, and it doesn’t take much until Jimin fills the paperwork while Taehyung leaves the room to make the call. Jimin zones out, regains consciousness of his whereabouts once he is in the car, and Seokjin is asking him how he feels.
Jimin registers replying, he also registers hugging him once they’ve arrived to the dorms. But he doesn’t think too much about it. He sees himself taking a shower, choosing a pair of clean clothes: but he still feels dirty. No matter how long he stays under the water, he won’t be clean.
Once they leave the dorms, Jimin holds Taehyung’s hand. They don’t speak much, and Jimin thinks he likes it just like that. The roof is the same as always and completely different in a whole new way. Jimin doesn’t need Taehyung’s help to climb it, but he helps him anyway. Jimin feels safe around Taehyung’s arms, in a way that he hadn’t felt safe in a long time.
But safety comes in different ways, and Jimin is overtaken by a sense of fear: fear of losing this safety. Because, he had thought he was completely safe until he wasn’t… he was whole until he was shattered, he was Jimin before he turned into a ghost version of himself.
“The sun is almost setting.” Taehyung states the obvious.
Jimin doesn’t mind. He likes hearing Taehyung’s voice, likes the sense of familiarity. There are a lot of things that he remembers, and there are also loads of things which he wishes he didn’t. But Jimin doesn’t think he’ll ever forget Taehyung’s voice.
Taehyung sits down, and Jimin takes the place by his side. Their legs are touching, and Jimin wants to hug him… but he isn’t sure if it would be appropriate, isn’t sure if it would be safe.
“I love you, Tae.” that feels safer. Jimin says every word fondly, looking at the sun preparing his farewell. He’s said it a thousand times, but each time feels different… each time feels like a new affirmation of his promise to him, of his statement of fondness. “You are my soulmate, my…” he doesn’t know how to find the rest of the words.
Loving Taehyung’s is easy, healthy, safe. Isn’t that how love is supposed to be? They’ve always been good to each other. But-
Romeo and Juliet.
Jimin can’t allow himself to feel Taehyung’s love, because… love is nothing but a knife to the heart. He doesn’t want to get hurt, and much more important, he doesn’t want to hurt Taehyung. He doesn’t want Taehyung’s face to bleed, he doesn’t want his boxy smile to lose its brightness.
“I know, Jiminie.” Taehyung is still looking at the sunset, but he reaches Jimin’s hand. Jimin intertwines their fingers, smiles at the sight of their hands together. “I love you too.”
Three words. Three simple words that are shared around continuously all around the world. Words that despite being an affirmation, always come with an answer. Everytime we say I love you, we always expect an answer. Jimin and Taehyung are lucky enough to always get it, to have that mutual bond that brings butterflies to their stomachs.
“A while ago…” Jimin speaks softly, and he moves so he is facing Taehyung rather than being by his side. “I told you I wanted to remember. I was looking at you… in this same roof. I told you I was looking at you because you looked cute, and I would rather remember that than the night sky.”
This calls Taehyung’s attention, and their eyes finally meet. “I was shivering… so we returned the dorms.”
Jimin nods, caresses the back of Taehyung’s hand. It’s a gentle touch, and for now, it feels like enough. “When we were home, I told you to stay by my side until I could fall asleep, but you stayed with me until the next morning…”
Taehyung breathes in, crosses his legs and moves to the side so he is also facing Jimin. “I did…”
“You said… when you thought I was asleep.” Jimin exhales, and it feels like he is taking in Taehyung’s air. “You asked me if I knew… you said Jiminie, do you know?”
Taehyung breathes out. Instead of replying, he just closes his eyes. Lately, Taehyung’s been doing that a lot, and Jimin wonders if it’s his way of fighting off tears. Closing his eyes, focusing on that calm darkness instead of the chaos that’s their reality.
“Did you know?” Taehyung’s voice comes out as a whisper, and Jimin isn’t sure if he’s heard him or if he’s read his lips. “Do you remember?”
“Remembering you…” Jimin knows his words will be a stab to the heart, there’s no other way to put it. But, he’s promised himself he would be honest… especially to Taehyung. In order to heal, he needs to start speaking his mind, picturing his reality. “Remembering you hurts, Tae. I think of you… and it hurts.”
It takes a few seconds until Taehyung opens his eyes again. Jimin only finds pain behind them… and this is unfair, because Taehyung doesn’t deserve to feel pain.
“Then…” Taehyung’s voice cracks, and Jimin uses his free hand to cup his face. “Then… you don’t have to… remember me. If it hurts… you don’t have to.”
“I think of you… and I see blood. I think of your lips, and they are cold.” Jimin runs smoothing fingers around Taehyung’s cheeks, and the younger draws closer to the touch. “But your lips aren’t cold, I know that.”
“I am sorry I’ve brought you pain.”
“You’ve never hurt me. All you’ve ever done is loving me. And… I wish I could return you that. Instead, I am just bringing you pain… it’s my fault that you are in pain-”
“This isn’t your fault, none of this is your fault.” Taehyung quickly shushes him, reacts with his body and places both hands around Jimin’s waist. “And there’s nothing to return… we’ve always- we’ve always been even.”
Jimin nods. They are close, too close. Jimin can’t help to notice that their lips are align, but he can’t act on it. For now, all he can do is drawing closer. Jimin lays his head on Taehyung’s shoulder, presses closer until they are hugging.
“I wish I could do more.” Jimin isn’t sure what he is talking about, but he hopes Taehyung understands.
Jimin feels like he’s found something he didn’t know he’s been missing. That’s the power of Taehyung’s arms… he’s safe, he is home. He missed home.
But even while being home, it still hurts. It hurts, and there’s nothing he can do about it beside closing his eyes and pressing himself closer until he convinces himself that Taehyung’s touch is preventing his wounds from bleeding out.
He feels Taehyung’s lips in his forehead, and Jimin knows the touch is meant to be intimate no matter how much he tries to convince himself he shouldn’t make a big deal about it.
“You don’t have to remember me if it hurts.”
Jimin doesn’t see it, because of how he is pressing around Taehyung’s shoulders, but a tear falls from Taehyung’s face.
It disappears around Jimin’s hair and vanishes into oblivion, because Taehyung manages to hold everything else back. For now, he’ll just have Jimin around his arms. For now, that’s all he wants.
Taehyung falls asleep resting his head on Jimin’s lap. After hugging, Taehyung ends up laying on Jimin’s lap, fingers intertwined caressing each other’s palms. Taehyung doesn’t mean to fall, but it’s always hard when it comes to being around Jimin-
Taehyung always falls for him.
So he falls asleep, and he dreams of Jimin’s hands caressing his hair, isn’t sure if it’s really happening or if it’s a product of his imagination.
“We should go back,” Jimin whispers, but Taehyung hears him far away. “you should rest. You are obviously tired.”
Taehyung wants to tell him that he can rest just fine just like that, around his arms. But instead, he lets out an mhm and loses himself again to the dizziness. He doesn’t hear Jimin speaking again.
Only know, he notices how tired he had been. Taehyung notices how sleep deprived he was. He had barely been able to notice it, being so worried about Jimin’s well being. But know, Jimin is right by his side, and he is alright. So Taehyung dreams again, and Jimin is always next to him.
“Really, I think we should go. I am not sure this is good for your back.”
This time, Taehyung listens, opens his eyes. “Alright-”
But he isn’t sure he ever really wakes up, and Taehyung only remembers sleepily walking around being guided by Jimin, until he is finally lying in his bed.
“Get some rest, Tae. You deserve it.”
Taehyung lets out another mhm. “Won’t you be by my side?”
Jimin tags him in bed, makes sure Taehyung is under the sheets. “I’ll go over Yoongi’s. You deserve to rest well.”
Taehyung isn’t sure how Jimin’s presence would disturb his sleep, but he only half nods. “But you’ll be back, right?” his voice comes out deep with sleep.
“Of course…” Jimin assures him, “I’ll be here in the morning.”
Jimin doesn’t tell him that this is his way of giving Taehyung a break from him. He doesn’t say that he wants him to rest without having to worry about him. He just… finishes tugging him in bed and changes to more comfortable clothes.
“I’ll see you in the morning.”
Taehyung doesn’t reply. The younger’s already lost himself inside another dream, and this time, he dreams of peace. He dreams of butterflies and happy songs, soft kisses and honest smiles. He doesn’t even hear the sound of Jimin closing his door as he leaves.
Yoongi opens the door after the fourth knock.
“Who even-” he speaks to himself while trying to find the hole for the key. “-at this hour…”
He is encountered by the image of Jimin holding a pillow.
Yoongi lets him in before even asking more questions, closes the door behind him.
“What brings you here?”
Jimin yawns. “I wanted Taehyung to rest. To get a break from… taking care of me. I thought I could stay here.”
“You can always come here…” Yoongi whispers, as Hoseok is already asleep.
“Thanks, Yoongi.” Jimin whispers back, getting the message.
They both improvise a bed in the empty space between Hoseok and Yoongi’s beds. They place Jimin’s pillow, and Yoongi provides him of a fair amount of bed sheets. At first, Yoongi insists on sleeping on the floor and letting Jimin use his bed, but Jimin doesn’t allow it.
So, they lay down.
“Good night.” Yoongi whispers, once they’ve both settled in.
“Good night.” Jimin replies.
“Minnie?” Hoseok talks sleepily. “You are here?” he moves around, looks at Jimin laying on the floor.
“Y- Yeah, is it alright?”
“Of course,” Hoseok yawns, clearly not fully awake. “good night.”
And after that, they remain in silence.
Yoongi had been having trouble falling asleep, thinking about Hoseok and how fragile their current situation is. But it seems like Jimin’s presence has brought a sedative effect on him. Yoongi feels how he is slowly losing himself to the darkness, and he feels comfortable. He is comfortable knowing that Jimin is safe and healthy just a few inches away.
Hoseok falls back asleep right away, continuing his dream about a performance that he wishes he could remember in the morning. He dreams of dance in a pretty landscape, and Jungkook is by his side.
Jungkook, on the other side, also falls asleep quietly in his lonely room. He doesn’t mind, he is used to the silence. He had been holding himself back to keep Taehyung together, he had been trying his best to resist until he was sure Jimin is okay. And now, with that certainty, he falls to a dreamless sleep.
Namjoon and Seokjin also fall asleep with no problem, arms around each other and breaths even. They are used to the proximity by now, but Namjoon’s heart still melts to every touch. Seokjin tells him I love you right before he closes his eyes, and Namjoon smiles knowing that will also be the first thing he will see in the morning.
Taehyung dreams of Jimin, and he hopes that this night can somehow keep up to all the lost sleep of the past few weeks. He dreams of Jimin, and they are both happy. He dreams of joy.
Jimin dreams of Taehyung too, he dreams of Taehyung around his arms at the roof, and looking at the night sky. He dreams of a time before he was broken, he dreams of a time where neither of them had to worry about the purpose of love or its implications.
They all fall asleep. They get the rest they deserve, their bodies relaxing as their brains are getting a break from all the chaos. Their hearts beat at similar paces, and a brand new day waits for them ahead… but they don’t have to worry about that just yet.
they deserved to sleep.
thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts!
have a nice day :)
Chapter 8: Feels familiar
This is a slightly longer chapter. It took me longer to write because I had cero motivation to write... I am still unmotivated lol, so I am sorry if it's visible in the chapter :( Please give it love, I really need it rn lol idk if this is good, idk why someone would read this. I am so lost oof
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It's Jimin's first day back. He feels like the world could turn him into dust, cursing him into oblivion. But he survives, he stays at the back of the class and he doesn’t participate much. He takes notes, and Jungkook explains to him what they’ve done while he was gone. It’s alright, he’s got this… he can do it.
The day passes by fast, and before he knows it, he is already at the cafeteria. Seokjin is making jokes, and there’s already a spot for him next Yoongi at the table. Jimin takes the seat, laughs even when he doesn’t really find it funny. It feels familiar.
This isn’t new, he knows he’s done this before. Jimin buys another sandwich, even when he isn’t really hungry, and as Hoseok arrives and takes the seat in front of him, Jimin can’t help to think he’s in a state of deja vu.
But he knows it, he remembers.
He’s done this before. The thought isn’t shocking.
“We have to go,” Hoseok jumps from his chair, even though he’s arrived just a few minutes ago. “Gukkie, we gotta go.” he stands up, dragging Jungkook with him.
“You are right!” the younger leaves a half-eaten sandwich on the table. “See you later, everyone.”
Jimin nods, and they all say goodbye at unison.
“They aren’t overworking themselves, are they?” Namjoon asks with concern.
“Mhm,” Seokjin holds Namjoon’s hand, an habit that Jimin finds cute. “are they? Yoongi… are they overworking themselves?”
“Why the fuck would I know?” Yoongi is drinking coffee despite being lunch time.
“You live with Hoseok…” Jimin states the obvious.
“The show is this weekend.” Yoongi takes another sip, runs a hand through his hair. “It makes sense for them to work more than usual, they’ve started organizing this months ago-”
“With me.” Jimin doesn’t pretend not to know. He knows, and he wants them to know that he knows. Now, they know he knows. “I was supposed to organize it too…”
Seokjin untangles their hands to place a comforting hand around Jimin’s back. “You did. You helped a lot…”
Jimin knows he was part of it. He knows he was as involved as Hoseok and Jungkook, and now the both of them have to do the work that he is not able to do anymore. “I will go to see them…” Jimin tries to sound enthusiastic.
“You’ll be supporting them. And we will be with you.” Seokjin responds, an enthusiasm that Jimin isn’t sure if it’s honest, but he chooses to believe him. If this is one of Seokjin’s plays, Jimin falls for it.
“We’ll have dinner, all of us together, afterwards. How does that sound?” Yoongi finishes his cup and places it on the table, Jimin wonders how much caffeine can a body like Yoongi’s take before collapsing.
“That sounds good.” Jimin smiles, and he isn’t sure if he is playing too… but he tries to believe in it. Maybe if he believes it’s real, he can feel it. “All of us together.”
“But…” Namjoon changes the subject. “does anyone know Taehyung’s whereabouts?”
“He didn’t come by?” Jimin runs a hand through his head, an habit which he’s got again during the last few days.
“No…” Yoongi shakes his head, “we thought that maybe he would come with you. But you showed up with Jungkook, and now we are here-”
“His Digital Arts class has been stressing him out.” Namjoon explains, “Maybe he is working instead of eating-”
“Next time I see him I’ll make him choke with a toast.” Seokjin places his fists together, playing a threatening face that ends in a cute pout.
“Why a toast? Out of all foods?” Yoongi lets out a dry laugh, “that’s not even that nutritious. That’s just… burnt bread.”
“Then I’ll make him choke with broccoli, would that make you happier?
Yoongi shows a gummy smile. “Yeah, it would.”
Jimin isn’t paying attention. He is thinking about the performance, and how he’ll be in a crowded place and he can’t by any means break down. Not in front of the whole college, not when Hoseok and Jungkook have worked so hard for so long to make everything perfect. Jimin will find a way to keep it together, to pass as any other person in the audience.
“Minnie,” Namjoon brings him back to reality. “how have you seen him this last few days?”
“Taehyung…” he explains, “how did he seem? is he stressed out? is he talking to you?”
“He…” Jimin tries to think about it, goes back to their last conversations. Nothing seemed odd about Taehyung during the last few days. If anything, Jimin notices how they’ve got closer… they are better friends now, and they always talk at night time until one of them falls asleep. “He is fine.”
“Just fine?” Seokjin questions him. “He is just- just fine?”
“Yeah…” Jimin doesn’t know what else to say. “He is strong. I’ve seen him doing more homework, but nothing else.” he sighs, “Yeah, he is fine.”
It takes Seokjin and Namjoon a few seconds to believe him, but they end up nodding.
“Fine-” Yoongi repeats, “Jimin says he is fine, so he is fine. Maybe he is taking a shit and that’s why he isn’t here-”
Yoongi is the one who seems odd. His humor is harsher, and he seems less patient, constantly somewhere close to having a bad mood. “What about you, Yoongi, are you fine?” Namjoon lets out, not a scream but with a steady and loud voice.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” Yoongi answers quickly, alert mode on.
“I was just checking, dude.” Namjoon takes Yoongi’s empty cup of coffee and turns it around on the table. “Coffee isn’t a meal. You know that, right?”
Yoongi sighs. “It’s a meal if I want it to be one.”
“That’s not how it works…” Seokjin still has food on his plate, so he places it nearer Yoongi. “Not to sound like a mother, but you should eat something else. Do you want me to choke you with broccoli too?”
Yoongi doesn’t laugh. “I’ll eat later.”
They all know that’s a lie.
“Why not now?” Seokjin insists.
“I’ve just drank coffee… Why are y’all suddenly obsessed with me eating?”
Jimin breaks from his trance. “You should eat.” he whispers.
It’s loud enough for the whole table to hear, and Yoongi sighs.
“I am not hungry, Minnie.”
“But-” Jimin wants Yoongi to be healthy, to feel okay. “I want you to eat.”
Yoongi sighs again, and Seokjin places his plate in front of him.
“The kid told you to eat. Would you say no to him?”
They all know no one would. So Yoongi gives a big sigh, accepts the fork. “The things I do for love…”
He finishes the plate, and Jimin smiles.
Jimin doesn’t see Taehyung again until they meet to go together to the dorms.
“How was your day?” Taehyung is the first one to speak, and it’s not odd for Taehyung’s hand to find Jimin’s, for their fingers to intertwine.
It was Jimin’s first day back, but it wasn’t a first day… not really. It was an ordinary day, following an ordinary routine. The world had kept turning around while Jimin had stopped. “It was a good day.”
Everyday that Jimin gets to go home to Taehyung, and they are able to peacefully fall asleep after talking aimlessly, it’s a good day. Everyday that they are safe and sound it’s a good day.
Taehyung nods. “Do you want to tell me about it?”
Jimin smiles. He likes to talk to Taehyung about what he’s done, even the smallest details. With other people, he would feel dumb… he would feel it’s not important. But he can talk about it with Taehyung.
He goes straight to the point. “I took a few classes with Jungkook, but then he disappeared in the practice room. So, I was the rest of the day on my own.” they cross the street, “But I was able to do it… I could do it-”
“Of course you could. You’ve done this… This is what you love.”
Jimin nods. “Do you want to tell me about your day?”
Taehyung gives their hands a gentle squeeze. “I’d rather hear about yours.”
“Okay…” Jimin doesn’t question him. “What else do you want to know?”
“How did you feel? Where people nice to you?”
“I mean…” Jimin thinks about it. They are just a block away now. “They know me, and I know them; it’s not as if I were the new kid.” he sighs, “But at times… they’d stare a lot. I wish they hadn’t stared at me that much. I’m just me, you know?”
“Of course you are.” Taehyung agrees, “We know that you are you. Don’t let their perception of who you are shape the way that you see yourself.”
Jimin wants to ask him a question, but he waits until they are already inside. He waits until he’s taken a shower, and Taehyung is immersed working on his tablet. Jimin assumes for his Digital Arts class, but he doesn’t try to look at it. Jimin won’t look unless Taehyung shows him.
Jimin asks what he thought about while they were walking. “How do you see me?”
Taehyung looks up. “What?”
“I was wondering…” Jimin bites his bottom lip, “You said I shouldn’t let others’ perception of me shape the way I see myself.” he exhales, “I wanted to know… how do you see me?”
Taehyung gives him a warm smile. It’s discreet, and Jimin wouldn’t notice that it’s there if it wasn’t for the fact that he is used to see it. “How do I see you?”
“Yeah…” Jimin bites his lip again, takes a seat on the other side of the bed. Their beds are still together. “I was wondering-”
Instead of answering, Taehyung asks another question. “How do you think that I see you?”
This takes Jimin by surprise, and he runs a hand through his hair. “I-” he breathes out, “I am your best friend. So… I hope that you see me as someone you can be proud of. Someone you can trust, someone you can lean on.” he nods, but his voice sounds uncertain. “Am I right?”
Taehyung’s smile widens. “You are right. That’s part of how I see you-”
“How else do you see me?” Jimin asks again.
Taehyung goes back to looking over his tablet, but he keeps talking. “You are… the person that encourages me to be better. You make me want to be better.” Taehyung draws, but Jimin doesn’t get to see. “I see you as the mirror of my soul, you are a part of me which will always be there wandering around.”
Jimin doesn’t understand, and it makes him feel weird.
A part of me which will always be wandering around.
“How is that?” Jimin prefers to ask.
“There’s a part of me in you, I like to think. There’s a part of me that will always be you, I’ve given it to you.”
Jimin still doesn’t understand. “And is there a part of me in you?”
Taehyung looks up. “Only if you’d like to-”
It feels like a different language, a code which Jimin’s wasn’t taught. Is it healthy? Is it good for Taehyung to give Jimin a part of him? Can he take care of it? Can he make him proud? Jimin thinks he is starting to understand, but he doesn’t like it. It makes him feel weird, insecure… because, what if-
Romeo and Juliet.
“Why would you like a part of you to be in me?” Jimin speaks without thinking. “What if I destroy it?”
Taehyung doesn’t hesitate. “I know you won’t. You’ll take care of it.”
“What if I lose it?” Jimin continues. “I forgot you… I- I forgot that part of me in you. Didn’t I ruin it?”
The younger shakes his head, smiles again. “You didn’t.”
Jimin’s voice cracks, even when he doesn’t mean to. “Romeo and Juliet thought that and they ended up destroying each other.”
“We are not Romeo and Juliet.”
After Taehyung’s words, Jimin is able to breathe again. He breathes in and out, feels the air going back to his lungs. He wants to believe him… Taehyung wouldn’t lie, would he?
“We are Jimin and Taehyung.” he continues, “And you’ve made me a better person, you’d never destroy me.”
Taehyung leaves his tablet on the other side of the bed and gets closer, Jimin just nods as Taehyung places a reassuring hand on his back. Jimin is only able to nod.
Jimin and Taehyung.
“You’ve done it.” Taehyung runs his fingers up and down Jimin’s back. “You’ve made it through the day.”
Yoongi wakes up to the sound of Hoseok opening the door. He’s too lost to even bother to check the hour, and he falls asleep again right after listening to the sound of the water running in the bathroom.
It’s not unusual for Hoseok to return at late hours while he needs to practice, Yoongi is guilty of doing the same too. But Yoongi wants to make sure Hoseok is doing things right, that he isn’t overworking himself and that he is resting properly.
“Seok-ah, what time is it?” Yoongi asks, sleepy voice.
Hoseok runs a hand through his wet hair, takes a look at the clock resting on the coffee table. “It’s one in the morning.”
Yoongi nods and yaws, he would rather be sleeping. He can think of a thousand reasons why sleeping and falling again to his dreams would be so much better than speaking; but, he can also think of Hoseok, and he seems like enough to stay awake too. “How was practice?”
Hoseok lays down, stays above the sheets. “It was good. Everything is done, now we just gotta keep this pace until the performance.”
“That’s good.” Yoongi says, sits on the bed. “Did you eat?”
Hoseok nods. “I had a sandwich when we were done-”
“Alright. But did you eat properly throughout the day? You need energy to dance.. You need to stay healthy-”
“I did…” Hoseok breathes in, looks at the roof. “Don’t worry about it. I’m taking care of myself.”
Yoongi nods back, and they don’t say any more words for a while. Yoongi thinks he’s fallen asleep again, and that maybe Hoseok isn’t enough to keep him away from dreaming. But, Hoseok speaks… and he is suddenly wide awake.
“Yoongi?” Hoseok speaks softly.
“Yes-” Yoongi’s eyes are closed.
“I wanted to ask you something.”
Yoongi opens his eyes, looks at the roof. “Yes?”
“Do you-” Hoseok looks over Yoongi, but he isn’t looking back at him. “Do you want to maybe- maybe go out? Together?”
“Yeah. Of course, we can do that. Where do you want to go?” Yoongi doesn’t find the question amusing. They go out all the time, after all.
“I mean.” Hoseok breathes in and out, and Yoongi doesn’t understand why. “A special time going out… not like our usual dinners together. I meant to ask you if you wanted to go out with me- like… like a date? Us together?”
Yoongi is already wide awake, but now he thinks he will never be able to fall asleep again.
“I wanted to take you on a date. You and me, us… together.” Hoseok speaks softly again, and Yoongi is lost now. He thinks he could be able to fall asleep to the sound of Hoseok’s voice. Maybe close his eyes… listening to him humming songs he doesn’t know.
“A date?” Yoongi asks, because by now he’s completely unaware of where their friendship stands. He’s been on a shitty mood during the last few days because he felt as if they were closer to each other but somehow also farther away. “You want to take me on a date?” his voice is deep and raspy, evidence that he’s been sleeping.
“Yeah… if you’d like me to too.”
Yoongi thinks about it. It’s not a matter of whether he wants it or not, because he knows he does. But, what if Hoseok changes his mind again? Does he need to be prepared for the other rejecting him again?”
“Are you sure you won’t take this back later?”
Hoseok replies right away. “I am sure. I’ve been thinking about it, and- and I really mean it. I want to take you on a date. A real date.”
“And what about what you said before? I don’t want to see you hurting again.” I don’t want you to hurt me again.
“I won’t be hurting, you won’t hurt me.” Hoseok moves, finally looks at Yoongi. He is looking back at him. “I don’t have a label yet. But… do I need it now? I just know that I want to take you on a date, and I want us to have a good time. I don’t need anything else, at least not for now.”
Yoongi waits for Hoseok to say something else.
“I can’t give myself a label only for you. But if you’ll have me, I’d like to go on a date. Would you go on a date with me?”
Why is it that everytime Hoseok talks about something important Yoongi is tired? he is always recently awakened or close to falling asleep. But, he is conscious enough to reply-
“Yeah. I’ll accept your date.” he speaks softly, vulnerable. “We can go on a date. I’d like that.”
Hoseok smiles, and Yoongi gets to see it, even in their poorly lighted room.
“Alright.” he finally gets under the sheets. “Good night, Yoongi. We can talk more about it tomorrow.”
“Good night, Seok-ah.”
They both fall asleep right away.
Jimin doesn’t sleep the night before the performance, which isn’t ideal. Not sleeping probably is something his doctors wouldn’t recommend, and he can almost hear Young’s voice telling him to take his medicine so he can have a good night sleep. But life isn’t ideal, and he is still getting used to the new meds, so he doesn’t sleep.
He stays with Jungkook at the studio, which should give him horrible flashbacks but, weirdly, it doesn’t. He is able to watch Jungkook dancing as he stays in one corner drinking orange juice. It’s peaceful, Jimin enjoys peace.
“Was Taehyung going to pick you up?” Jungkook asks during one of his breaks.
“He said he would,” Jimin takes a sip of his juice. “I told him he didn’t have to. I can walk by myself just fine…”
Jungkook nods, but there’s a glance of disagreement on his face. “As if he would let you walk all by yourself at night-”
“I understand why he is coming, but- he shouldn’t have to. I should start doing things on my own, shouldn’t I?”
“You go to class on your own.”
That’s true, so Jimin nods.
“He worries about you. He does it because he wants to, no one if forcing him-”
Jimin takes a sip, and he feels like a child as he smiles to the sound of the straw taking in air. “He worries too much sometimes.”
“That’s because he cares about you.” Jungkook sits down in front of Jimin, and Jimin looks at their reflections. “A lot.”
“I know…” Jimin nods. He knows it, Taehyung shows him that he cares for him all the time. Everyday, when they fall asleep side by side and when they wake up to have breakfast together. When he waits for him after class so they can walk together to the dorms, when he intertwines their fingers. Jimin knows that Taehyung cares for him.
“We all care.” Jungkook gives him a gentle smile, messes up Jimin’s hair. And Jimin doesn’t mind, he even giggles to it.
“Shouldn’t you rest properly tonight?” Jimin wonders, as staying awake after working for so long doesn’t sound like a good idea; but Jungkook doesn’t look like someone who is planning to sleep anytime soon.
“I will-” Jungkook contradicts Jimin’s thoughts. “I’m going back to the dorms with you and Taehyung. I am planning on sleeping like a bear close to hibernation tonight.”
Jimin smiles back, because that’s exactly what Jungkook deserves. “I like that.”
Jungkook messes up Jimin’s hair one more time and stands up, plays the music again and loses himself to the choreography. “One, two, three…”
Jimin watches, and he thinks he’s learned the whole dance by heart now, just by watching Jungkook. He doesn’t remember the dance he made the night before the incident, he isn’t sure if he wants to, but Jungkook’s version seems worth it. He doesn’t think he could have done it better.
Taehyung arrives a few minutes later, Jimin doesn’t count them. He knocks before opening the door, and he sits by Jimin’s side while they wait for Jungkook to revise his steps one more time.
“Just… One more and we’ll go. I’ve got this.”
They just watch, and when he is done they get all their things and leave the building. The streets are cold tonight, and the only part of Jimin that isn’t freezing is the hand that is holding Taehyung’s. Jungkook walks a few steps ahead, but he waits at the interceptions for them to cross the street together.
“It’s finally tomorrow-” the younger says when they’ve arrived to their doors.
“Today,” Taehyung corrects him with a smile. “it’s passed midnight. So, it’s today.”
“You better get some sleep.” Jimin threatens him, points a finger to his face, but it comes out as cute.
“I will-” Jungkook gives them one of their full smiles, those that reach his eyes before his mouth. Both Taehyung and Jimin can’t help to smile back.
“Rest well, see you tomorrow.”
Taehyung only lets go of their intertwined hands once they are already inside their room. Jimin throws himself into the bed… he is tired, but he already knows he won’t be able to even blink tonight.
“Let’s go to sleep, shall we?”
He isn’t going to talk about it with Taehyung. Taehyung had already given him too much, he’s already spend countless nights awake by his side, and Jimin won’t make him spend this one. He deserves sleeping, he deserves to rest all the night the universe has to offer him.
“Yeah, let’s sleep.” he fake yawns, “I am a sleepy already.” he lies.
They sleep a few inches apart, and Jimin tries to find peace in the sound of Taehyung’s breathing. He manages to find it, closes his eyes and counts sheeps that never seem to end. He thinks about the day to come, and how he could have been one of the performers and organizers if things had turned out differently.
He pictures himself dancing on a stage, tries to befriend the idea that he’ll be in the crowd this time around. He will be part of the crowd, and he has to be able to handle it. This night it’s not about him, and his only role is to support his friends. He has to be capable of doing it, there’s no other option.
It doesn’t take long until Jimin is taken away from his thoughts by the sound of the alarm, and he waits a few minutes before gently shaking Taehyung to wake him up for good.
“We have to start the day,” he whispers, a hand moving Taehyung’s hair from his forehead. “it’s an important day.”
“Just five more minutes.” Taehyung lets out, eyes still closed. “Five more minutes and we can start the day.”
Jimin lets him have it. And in return, Taehyung actually wakes up and opens his eyes the next time Jimin calls him. They stay in bed for a little longer though, hands intertwined. Jimin doesn’t want to ask what this is, and for now, he is content with whatever that they have. Having Taehyung like this is already much more than what he deserves, he thinks.
The day passes by fast, and before he can even blink he is already sitting down on the theater. He is sitting between Taehyung and Yoongi, and he likes it like that. Namjoon and Seokjin are carrying on the conversation, and Jimin prefers it like that.
“No spoilers,” Seokjin tells Yoongi, and Jimin notices that this time around Namjoon and Seokjin aren’t holding hands. “I want to be surprised.”
“Didn’t you see them practicing?” Yoongi asks.
“No, I didn’t.” Seokjin replies, and Jimin uses the moment to focus on the people around him searching for their seats, and the theater slowly filling up. “Have all of you already seen them?”
“I have.” Jimin speaks, eyes looking everywhere but his friends. “But I haven’t seen the whole thing put together, only pieces.”
Namjoon nods. “That makes sense-” you’ve worked on it, you already know how it will go. “Has anyone seen them today?”
“Hoseok was already gone when I woke up.” Yoongi adds, “Has anyone seen Jungkook, though?”
“I stayed with him yesterday night, but I think he left his room first thing in the morning.” Jimin speaks again, and he is amazed at how natural it comes. He isn’t trying to make conversation, he is actually effortlessly talking to his friends. “He wasn’t there for breakfast.”
“They had breakfast together, the whole team did.” Yoongi speaks again, and it makes Jimin sad. He could have been there, he could have been part of the team.
The place fills up fast, and in just a few minutes every seat is occupied. Jimin smiles, he is happy the event is a success.
“How long until it starts?” Taehyung asks, just a second before the lights go out.
The whole place goes silent, the only sound being the music. They sit down, and Jimin focuses on the stage lights and the dancers which he knows by face but not by name. Jungkook appears for the first time during the third song, and Jimin can’t help to have the biggest fat smile on his face.
Every act follows a story, and Jimin finds himself immersed in it. It doesn’t have a dialogue, but each performance seems enough for him to understand. He thinks it’s about self-love and self-discovery. Jungkook seems to be one of the main dancers, and it doesn’t take long until Hoseok appears by his side to occupy a main role in the story.
This is definitely about self-discovery, about accepting who we are as we are, Jimin thinks. And he finds himself completely lost to it. He forgets about the people around him, and he can only see the stage. He notices an empty stop in a corner, and a whole in the story which he knows how it could have been completed-
That’s my spot.
Jimin follows the story. He follows this new story, the one which he is no longer part of. The one which he had built doesn’t exist anymore, never will. That story where he was next to Jungkook’s, and where there were two main characters instead of one, doesn’t exist anymore. Jimin can only imagine it.
“I have an idea.” Jimin says one morning on the studio. Every project starts with an idea, with the intention of creating something more. “But we’d have to do it together-”
Jungkook’s breathing is still unstable from practicing. “What is it about?”
Jimin gets his backpack from the floor, and the three of them start walking on their way to the café. “Do you remember last year’s performance? The one organized by the seniors?”
“Yeah.” they both reply at unison.
“I thought- I think we can make one too. We can make one for our last year’s project.”
Jungkook laughs, because organizing a whole event sounds like too much. Only the three of them? that would be impossible. “A whole event?”
“What would it be about?” Hoseok joins the conversation.
“It could be… about us.” Jimin starts, “About all of us. Students.” they enter the café and start looking for an empty table. “About how we come hear with the illusion of become who he want to be, our profession… out passion. “
Jungkook nods, more curious than shocked this time around. “And how would that… continue?”
“Well,” Jimin smiles. He’s been thinking about it for a few weeks now, and he’s finally found the courage to talk about it with his friends. “that depends. I think we tend to obsess over an idealization of who we want to be. But… in reality, we find something else-”
“Oh, no. You want to make a sad story about broken dreams?” Hoseok laughs as they finally find a table and sit down.
“No-” Jimin quickly corrects him, “it’s not about that.” he starts nervously playing with his hair, an habit that comes to him almost unconsciously. “We find something better. The result it’s better than our idealizations because it’s real. And reality is better than dreams. Dreams are better when they are true.”
“Ohhh!” Hoseok and Jungkook sigh, amazed.
That’s how projects start. An idea and three friends. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.
Jimin becomes aware of some changes. A plot twist where there wasn’t one before, an action taken by a character which wasn’t there before. And… he isn’t mad, because each change makes sense. Each change makes sense to the disappearance of his character.
He also notices how it’s subtle. The story has changes, but it wouldn’t be that hard to introduce him to it again. It would be possible. It comes to Jimin’s mind that maybe that was the whole idea of it: Jungkook and Hoseok had been waiting, and Jimin’s spot was always available for him to return to.
But here he is, looking at it from the crowd. He didn’t make it, and now the story is finished without him. Hoseok and Jungkook brought to life what he couldn’t finish, and Jimin feels… proud. He is proud of them, and there is no space in his heart for malice nor jealousy. He is glad they took the project in their own hands, they did the right thing. Now, it’s no longer Jimin’s story: it’s theirs.
When it’s finished and all the dancers come out for a final vow, the whole theater stands up and gives them a well deserved applause. Jimin stands up too, shouts in excitement when clapping doesn’t feel like enough.
The play is over, and he made it. He made it through the day, he is an average adult seeing his friends’ project. He is surrounded by the people he loves, so he smiles to it. Jimin smiles as he looks at Taehyung and Yoongi around him. He smiles at Seokjin and Namjoon a few seats away.
He is happy, and his traumas can’t take that away from him.
They wait for Hoseok and Jungkook in the lounge of the theater. The people start leaving, and Seokjin leaves two buy two bouquet of flowers. When he returns, the place is almost empty.
By the time the dancers appear, it’s only them with and a few more members of the team. Hoseok goes straight to hugging Yoongi, and Yoongi immediately reciprocates the hug.
“You did amazing.” Yoongi gives him one of his gummy smiles, and Hoseok smiles back.
Hoseok is shining, he always is. But this time around, Yoongi feels like he could be blinded by it. He keeps his hands around Hoseok’s waist for a little too long, and he ends up drawing apart despite Hoseok not making comments about it.
“Thank you!” Hoseok is all smile and happiness. There are still traces of makeup around his face despite already wearing casual clothes, and he takes Seokjin’s bouquet of flowers as he smile brightens (Yoongi doesn’t know how that is even possible).
On the other hand, Jungkook goes straight to Jimin. But he doesn’t hug him, though. He places both hands around his shoulders and brings him close, but it’s not quite really a hug.
“You are here.” his voice is full of joy too, and Jimin can’t help to feel excited.
“Of course I am here,” he hands him the flowers, and Jungkook accepts them. “I told you I would be here. I always keep my promises.”
“Did you-” he looks at the flowers, and Jimin notices that the are also traces of makeup around his face. “Did you enjoy it? Was it good?”
Taehyung joins the conversation. “We loved it. You two were incredible.”
Jimin nods, “I really liked it. It was- It was exactly what I had imagined.”
Jungkook’s eye light up to Jimin’s words. It’s a white lie, but Jimin thinks Jungkook will forgive him, it’s a while lie to keep the happy moment… he will take responsibility for it. “Was it?”
“Yes,” Jimin continues. “The different parts, the main character. It was everything I had imagined. I loved it.”
This time, Jungkook brings him closer into a hug. It’s a little messy, with the flowers between them, but Jimin appreciates it just like that.
“Group hug!” Seokjin shouts, pulling Hoseok and Yoongi into the circle. Jimin ends up in the middle with Jungkook, and they all wrap their arms around each other in a way that makes Jimin’s heart melt.
He feels safe. He is sweaty, and Namjoon’s arm is tangled around him in an uncomfortable position; maybe his head is trapped around Jungkook’s shoulders in a way that makes it hard for him to breathe. But… he is safe. Jimin feels at home. He giggles inside the hug, and there’s a permanent smile on his face.
If he had to relive all the shit he’s been through only to get to this moment, he would. For his friends, it’s worth it.
They have dinner together at Jungkook’s favourite restaurant. Jimin notices that Seokjin choses the seat between him and Taehyung rather than by Namjoon’s side, but he doesn’t make comments about it.
They eat until their stomachs are full. Hoseok laughs as he feeds Yoongi, and Jungkook feeds Jimin as well.
“You’ve lost weight, Minnie. You need to regain it.” it’s all he says. And Jimin allows him to feed him, because he is probably right. Jimin has lost shape in the past few weeks, and he is starting to feel better. His appetite is returning, and now that he is enjoying himself around his friends after so long, he is hungrier than ever.
“Have this,” he gives Jimin more food, and Jimin chews. “and a little bit of this.” Jungkook giggles as he finds something else he can catch with his chopsticks. “And what about this?”
“He is going to choke.” Taehyung laughs, but he doesn’t stop him.
“If this is how I have to go, I’ll die happily.” Jimin giggles, mouth full of food.
“You never eat like that when I cook…” Seokjin takes a sip of his beer, pretending to be offended.
“It’s been a while since the last time you’ve cooked for me.” Jimin swallows, and Jungkook’s already left more food on his plate.
“Has it?” Seokjin stops to think about it, makes a serious face. “That’s my bad-”
“When will you cook for me?” Jungkook interrupts them.
“Why should I cook for you?” Seokjin jokes, eats a slice of grilled chicken.
“Because…” Jungkook pretends to think about it, “my performance? I was amazing. I deserve food. I worked hard, that- that can be my reward-”
“Mhm,” Seokjin chews. “I’ll think about it.”
In moments like this, Jimin forgets about his troubles. When he pictures himself, Jimin sees himself as Jimin. In moments like this, he can be Jungkook’s friends; he is someone’s friend rather than a walking trauma. He is… Jimin.
Lately, he hasn’t been sure about who Jimin is. The line feels blurry. Where does he end and the trouble start? he can’t be sure. But right now, he is just someone’s friend. And they all care for him, they care enough to choke him with food and make him laugh.
Jimin likes it like that. He likes this version of himself much more that the others. He likes how his identity is much more than just his mental illness. He is Jimin… he is a dancer, a dancer who has friends that take him out to eat. He had friends to laugh with, friends that hug him and ask if he is feeling okay. Jimin loves it just like that… but he wonders, do they?
Does Taehyung love it like that too? Would Jungkook have preferred the previous Jimin to the current one? Jimin won’t ask. He is too afraid to ask, and he won’t risk ruining this precious moment.
He’ll take it the way that it is.
“Should we ask for the check?” Yoongi asks, once they’ve already eaten all the food and talked to exhaustion.
“What about out date?” Hoseok is sitting on the couch, and Yoongi is busy working on his computer while sitting on the floor. They’ve returned from dinner a few minutes ago, and despite being late, Yoongi keeps up to his habit of working none stop every single day.
“What about it?” Yoongi doesn’t reply with malice, he just wonders. He just wants Hoseok to amplify his question.
“When will we… do it?” Hoseok lays on the couch and looks at the roof. “When can I take you on a date?”
Yoongi can’t help to smile. He likes the way Hoseok says take you on a date, and he wants to find ways to make it say it again.
“What about-” Yoongi pretends to think about it, as if he didn’t know their schedules by heart to already assume when they are both free to go out together. “-next weekend?”
“Mhm,” Hoseok sits down again, and Yoongi can see him from the floor. “which day?”
“Which day would you like?” Yoongi knows they are asking too many questions for a very simple matter, but he likes to see Hoseok thinking about it. He likes to see his hesitation, calculating his steps.
“What about Friday?” Hoseok asks, a hand around his hair. “After class.”
“Is that a question or a reply?”
“Friday.” Hoseok replies more certain, “Let's do Friday.”
Yoongi smiles. “Friday sounds good, yeah.”
“We can go to-” Yoongi starts speaking, but he is interrupted by the sound of someone knocking the door. “Who’s that?”
Hoseok stands up and goes to the door, followed by an intrigued Yoongi behind him. “Who can it be at this hour?”
The stranger knocks the door again. Yoongi finds the key laying on the coffee table and opens the door.
“Jin…” Hoseok invites him to come in, closes the door behind them. “What brings you here?”
“I-” Seokjin’s eyes look a little puffy, evidence that he’s been crying recently, but there are no traces of tears on his face. “Can I stay over?”
“Of course,” Yoongi holds him by the wrist and guides him to the couch, so the three of them sit down. “is everything alright?”
“Namjoon and I fought-” Seokjin sniffs, holding back tears. “I told him I would stay the night somewhere else.”
“Oh…” Hoseok is fast to bring him a glass of water and wrap a reassuring hand around his back. “Do you want to talk about it?”
“I’d rather… not think about it, at least for now. Is that okay?”
“Of course.” Yoongi smiles, more to test if he can make Seokjin smile than for anything else. “You can talk when you are ready. Or… not talk, that’s your choice. We can- We can watch a movie or something?”
Seokjin nods, so that’s what they do. They watch a movie about superheroes that they’ve all seen before, but they still laugh at the repeated jokes and pretend to be surprised at the end. Hoseok falls asleep during some scenes, which makes sense taking into consideration he’s had a long day.
The elder decides speaking once they credits are rolling, eating the leftovers of the popcorn Yoongi made at the beginning of the movie.
“I’ve got a scholarship-” he starts, “-to continue my major in England.”
Hoseok is still sleepy, but to this, he opens his eyes. “Wow, that’s amazing. That’s a great opportunity.”
Yoongi’s jaw drops, “Congratulations. That’s… wow. Was it the one you had first applied for?”
“Yes.” Seokjin looks at the roof, “I applied again, as an already advansed student. I didn’t tell anyone… I thought it was pointless, they wouldn’t accept me anyways so I didn’t think it was important.” Seokjin breathes in, and his eyes are shiny again. “But they did. I got it. And now… I have to decide if I’ll stay here with all of you or accept it and start my life over again.”
Yoongi places a hand on Seokjin’s shoulder, hands him a tissue (just in case). “Why did you-” he goes back to the beginning of the conversation. “-Why did you and Namjoon fight?”
Seokjin accept the tissue and sniffs. “I didn’t tell him about it. Not until… yesterday. I told him about it yesterday.” his voice breaks a little, but not enough to cry, “I know he is proud of me, he told me so. But also… we had to talk about how… I would go to another country for a long period of time, and he would stay here. He… he didn’t like that.” to this, his voice fully breaks, and a tear streams down his face. “He said I should have talked to him first, that- that we should have discussed this together. And he is right… but I never thought I’d get in. I never thought it was ever worth it to talk about it.” he breathes in and out again, trying to stabilize his voice. “He said he wasn’t sure we’d be able to make it.”
Yoongi opens his eyes widely, that is- that is something harsh to say to a partner. But, Namjoon and Seokjin have been together for years now, it makes sense for them to start taking big decisions together. “But… taking the scholarship would make you happy, wouldn’t it?”
Seokjin breaks down before replying, and Hoseok quickly wraps his arms around him and brings him closer. “Take your time to speak.”
“I don’t want to lose him.” he ends up saying between sobs. “I love him. I don’t want to lose him to this. I don’t know if it’s worth it.”
Yoongi nods, even when he can’t even imagine being in Seokjin’s position. “Do you have time to decide?”
“I have to confirm my assistance this month.”
“I’m sure Namjoon didn’t mean it.” Hoseok speaks softly, “It’s a big decision, so he was probably taken aback by it. But… he didn’t mean it. He would never hurt you. I- I think you should think about yourself now… and once Namjoon calms down he’ll start seeing you deserve to do what’s best for you.”
“Do you think so?”
“I am sure.” Hoseok koos, “You’ll both talk about it again, and you’ll be able to make a decision together-”
“If you want to decide it together. Do you?”
Seokjin sniffs, wipes the tears away with the tissue and exhales. “I do. I want to think about us, but I also want to think about me. Can we talk about us while also considering what’s best for me?”
“Namjoon would never hold you back.” Yoongi says, because he knows him well, and he knows how much he loves Seokjin. “He is still taking in the information, he is… processing it. You’ll talk about it later, and you’ll get to making a decision, I am sure of that.”
Seokjin nods, and for the first time since entering the room, he smiles. “Thanks. Thank you- I… I really needed to… let that out.”
Both Yoongi and Hoseok nod, and Yoongi gets the control remote to finally turn off the tv that’s been rolling the credits this whole time.
“Let’s go to sleep.” Hoseok says after a moment. “It’s late, and we all had a long day. Let’s just… rest. Shall we?”
“Yeah…” Seokjin lets out a week laugh. He ends up taking the couch, a much better idea than Jimin choosing to sleep on the floor.
Yoongi and Hoseok look at each other while laying down on their respective beds, the promise of talking more about their date later falls silent in the air. Seokjin and Hoseok fall asleep right away; for Yoongi, on the other hand, it takes a little longer… but when he does, he falls completely.
The first thing that Jimin does when they arrive is take a shower. He is still in a good mood despite not having slept the night before, and he isn’t sure he wants to sleep anytime soon. When he steps out of the bathroom, Taehyung is working on his tablet while sitting on the bed.
“Are you doing homework?” Jimin asks.
“That would be a way to put it, yes.” Taehyung’s eyes don’t leave the tablet, and Jimin looks for a clean tower to dry his hair. “Actually-” the younger says after a moment, and this time, he looks up. “-I think I’ll have to retake this class, I am not doing great.”
“Oh,” Jimin finds the towel and dries his hair off, messing it around. “why do you think that?”
“I’m not-” Taehyung breathes in, “I am not finding my style. Everything I draw looks… artificial. My professor noticed it too and he called me out on it, but that won’t solve it. Odds are I am going to fail and retake the whole class.”
Jimin sits next to him, but he doesn’t attempt to look over Taehyung’s tablet. “You should do whatever it’s best for you and your art.”
“Do you want to see?” it’s been a while since Taehyung has showed him one of his works, so Jimin opens his eyes widely. “This is the one I failed, I am trying to improve it.” he laughs, but there’s no joy in it.
Jimin accepts the tablet and takes a look. He looks at it thoughtfully, the drawing is mainly of a character looking at one side, and there are flowers all around him. It looks like something Jimin wouldn’t be able to draw, even if he tried his best effort. “It looks amazing to me.”
Taehyung laughs. “You always praise my drawing though, you have cero objectivity when it comes to me.”
“You always praise my dance too, so I’d say it’s our own fault.” Jimin laughs back. “I really like it, I am being honest.”
Taehyung smiles, and Jimin keeps looking at it. Jimin doesn’t understand how that could get a failing mark, but again, he doesn’t know much about Taehyung’s major apart what he tells him.
“Do you want to see other ones?” Taehyung asks.
Jimin doesn’t have to think about it, he wants to. He always finds joy in looking at Taehyung’s art. So, he smiles “I’d love to.”
Taehyung smiles back, and he starts scrolling through his folders until he finds one that he likes. “I’ve showed you sketches of these ones, but now I’ve got the final piece.”
Jimin looks at them, and he smiles at the sight of seeing a drawing of himself. “That’s me,” he says, even though he knows it. “I am dancing.”
“You are.” Taehyung gifts him with one of his boxy smiles, and Jimin’s insides melt. “What do you think?”
Jimin holds the tablet closer to see better. He loves them, and he thinks that by looking at it he can see the version of himself that Taehyung sees. He wants to be the way that Taehyung sees him: brighter, better. There’s a glance of something that Jimin doesn’t quite catch, that Jimin doesn’t quite understand. There’s something else that Taehyung sees in him that Jimin doesn’t know about. What is it?
Jimin remembers: I am in love with him.
It’s a thought that’s been wandering around his mind, and he doesn’t know what to do with it. He loves Taehyung, and it’s not a memory but rather a fact. He knows he loves him the same way he knows he loves dancing. Taehyung is safety, peace.
And now, he is looking at the way that Taehyung sees him, the way that he pictures him through his art, and Jimin loves him even more. He wants to be better, everyday he works to be a little closer to that version of himself that Taehyung sees.
“What are you thinking about? Taehyung asks softly, after Jimin stays silent for too long.
“It’s beautiful-” Jimin speaks as soft. “I like the way you see me.” Jimin gets closer, and now their knees are touching, Taehyung leans closer to the touch.
“How I see you?”
“Yeah,” Jimin explains himself, looks up to see Taehyung’s face as he speaks. “you make me look better. Like… a better person of myself. You always highlight the good.” he sighs. “For a second, I forgot how fucked up I am-”
“You are not fucked up.” Taehyung is looking back at him, so their eyes meet. “Don’t say that.”
Jimin lets out a week laugh. “I am a little fucked up.”
“But that’s not who you are…” Taehyung leans a little closer and holds Jimin’s hand, Jimin lets him.
“I want to be like that.” their face are just a few inches away from each other, and Jimin can’t help to look at Taehyung’s lips before going back to his eyes. “It would be nice to be like your drawings. You are… You are an amazing artist, Tae.”
Taehyung caresses Jimin’s palm. “It’s just a drawing. I- I don’t want you to feel bad because of it.” he breathes out, and Jimin feels the air across his face.
“I don’t feel bad-” Jimin quickly corrects himself, eyes darting at Taehyung’s lips again. They are slightly parted, and Jimin wants to get closer. “I was just thinking out loud, sorry.”
“You don’t have to apologize for everything. You know that, right?” Taehyung moves a little farther away, and Jimin’s heart drops to the floor.
“Sorry, I know.”
Taehyung laughs and gets closer again, waits for Jimin to realize what he’s done.
“I didn’t mean it like that-” he giggles. “Okay, no more apologizing from now on. I think I’ve got used to it… Feeling like everything is my fault and other stuff… kind of makes me act like that.”
“Well,” Taehyung draws his hand away, holding the tablet with both hands. “no more apologizing to me. Promise?”
Jimin smiles, despite his hands aching at the loss of contact. “Promise.”
He looks at Taehyung, so close to him, lips slightly parted and eyes looking back at him. Taehyung’s eyes dart to Jimin’s lips before going back to his face, and Jimin takes it as a signal.
He doesn’t think too much about it, he just… does it. Jimin gets closer until their lips meet. He presses a tender kiss on Taehyung’s lips, draws apart a second later to see Taehyung’s face.
The younger is still holding the tablet, eyes open in an expression that Jimin doesn’t understand. “What-” he stutters, “What was that for?”
“I won’t apologize.” Jimin knows he is being a little too confident, but he is tired of waiting. He is tired of every single event of his life going slowly: remembering slowly, slow treatment, slow recovery. He doesn’t want to wait for Taehyung when he is right in front of him.
“You promised you wouldn’t.” Taehyung leaves the tablet on the side of the bed, and Jimin isn’t sure how the scene will follow. Taehyung moves his hands to cup Jimin’s face and smiles.
Jimin takes this as an invitation, and he places a hand on Taehyung’s chest, looks up again. He wants to see every single expression on Taehyung’s face, he wants to remember every single detail. Taehyung closes his eyes to the touch, and Jimin gets closer again.
Their lips align, and Jimin stares at Taehyung’s parted lips before kissing him again. This time, Taehyung responds, and Jimin feels his lips moving with his own. There’s an image at the back of Jimin’s mind warning him that he should be careful, or otherwise he’ll see Taehyung’s face full of blood. He draws apart one more time to look at him.
Taehyung’s eyes remain closed, and there’s the ghost of a smile across his lips. He is not hurt, he is alright. Jimin kisses him again, more certain this time. He opens his mouth and their tongues meet, and Taehyung’s hands hold his face steady so Jimin doesn’t melt to the touch.
He’s missed it. Jimin runs a hand through Taehyung’s hair, he wants to remember every single thing about this moment. Because, truth be told, reality is not fair: they’ve only got to kiss one time, and their world went to shit afterwards.
So, Jimin gets closer to Taehyung, sucks on his bottom lip as they follow a slow pace which seems to content the both of them. The world can’t take this away from him, he deserves.it. After all they’ve been through, Jimin thinks that they both deserve this moment.
Taehyung lays down, taking Jimin with him so he is laying on top of him. His hands move to Jimin’s waist, keeping him in place steadily. Jimin’s hands run through Taehyung’s hair, messing it up. They kiss tenderly, they kiss slowly, patiently.
They’ve waited a lot, but it still feels as if they had all the time in the world. Jimin sets the pace, and Taehyung follows him. The elder pulls apart to breathe.
“What was that for?”
Jimin isn’t sure if he has an answer, he just lets his heart speak. “For waiting.”
Taehyung smiles, and Jimin smiles back. Jimin lets his body relax, laying his head on Taehyung’s neck as they remain in the happiness of the moment.
“I am sleepy.” Taehyung pouts, caresses Jimin’s face again.
“Let’s sleep.” Jimin pecks Taehyung’s lips one more time before rolling around in the bed. Taehyung searches his hand and intertwines their fingers almost by instinct.
They are used to sleeping side by side, but this time around, it’s different. Taehyung holds Jimin close until he is resting his face around his neck. Jimin leans closer, wraps his arms around Taehyung’s waist.
Right before falling asleep, Jimin feels Taehyung’s lips pressing on his forehead. He smiles, not sure if he says the following words out loud or if he is dreaming.
“Good night, love.”
They’ve done this before, the feeling of Taehyung holding him close is familiar. But this time around, it feels like something new.
Thanks for reading.
Chapter 9: Butterfly
FIRSTLY: THANK YOU FOR 1K HITS OMGGGGGGGG
SECONDLY: I AM SO SORRY THIS TOOK SO LONG, I REALLY AM. irl has been a mess and my mental health wasnt helping lol so i was busy trying to not have panic attacks at uni (spoiler: i failed miserably), so i was really tired everytime i came back home and i didnt feel like writing. sorry. but my exams are done-ish now, and i only have a few final projects so the next updates should come out with the normal frequency.
ALSO: this chapter is kinda fluffy uwu, i hope you enjoy it. there's a lot of sope, i felt like they deserved to have a chapter centered around them :)
that's all. enjoyyyy ♡
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Taehyung wakes up to the sound of the alarm. His arms are still wrapped around Jimin, and Jimin’s arms are still wrapped around him. Taehyung smiles.
“Five more minutes.” he mumbles around Jimin’s hair.
Jimin moves his hands and leaves a soft kiss on Taehyung’s shoulder. “You can stay asleep, I am the one who has to wake up.”
The thought of sleeping for a few more hours feels like music to Taehyung’s ears, but he doesn’t want Jimin to leave.
“Do you-” his voice comes out raspy. “Do you have to leave?”
Jimin laughs, kisses Taehyung’s cheek. “Yeah… I have to go to the doctor. I can’t miss that.”
Taehyung nods, eyes still closed. “You are right. You have to go to that-”
Jimin hums, and Taehyung doesn’t see it but he knows he is smiling.
“I can lay for a few more minutes, though.”
To this, Taehyung opens his eyes. “I’d like that.”
Taehyung gets to see Jimin’s sleepy face, messy hair and sleepy eyes. In this moment, he wishes he could make a painting of it, Taehyung wonders if it’s possible to recreate Jimin’s beauty.
“You are starring.” Jimin gets closer, looking back at him.
They’ve kissed the night before, but there’s still a lot to talk about. They haven’t talked about all the implications, all the unfinished conversations. But right now, it feels like they get to enjoy this moment. Taehyung doesn’t think that they have to worry about all the messy stuff, they get to be happy just like this for a little while.
Jimin closes the distance between them, leaves a fast peck on Taehyung’s lips.
Taehyung wants to be able to wake up like this every day. He wonders how much can he rely on this becoming a routine rather than a one time thing. But… he can trust Jimin, he doesn’t have to be scared.
“Now it’s a good morning.” Taehyung smiles, and he can feel Jimin’s lips touching him with how close they are.
“You are so cheesy.”
Taehyung laughs, holds Jimin by the waist and moves him so he is laying on top of him. There is nothing sexual about it, he just… wants him closer.
“But you like me like that.” Taehyung laughs.
Jimin adjusts to the new position, relaxes around Taehyung’s body. “I do-”
This time, Taehyung is the one who kisses him. Their lips meet once more, and it almost feels like an habit. Every single kiss feels like something new, but with a sense of familiarity. Taehyung already knows how Jimin’s lips feel on his, but he is discovering something new with each kiss.
Jimin deepens the kiss, and Taehyung just follows his pace. He thinks he would follow Jimin anywhere, he would hold Jimin’s hand and allow him to guide him, no matter the destination.
“When do you have to go?” Taehyung asks between kisses.
“Fifteen minutes-” Jimin replies, leaving a trace of kisses all the way around Taehyung’s neck to his shoulders. Taehyung moves his head to allow him better access, brings Jimin close to him again so their lips meet one more time.
“Fifteen minutes-” Taehyung repeats, keeps his hands steady around Jimin’s waist. They don’t have to talk about the messy stuff now, they get to have fifteen careless minutes of holding each other close whispering promises which neither of them is sure if they can keep.
“I’ll come back here right after, will you be in class?” Jimin caresses Taehyung’s cheek, and the younger isn’t sure how he hasn’t melted yet.
“I’ll be at the library finishing a group project.” he pouts, kisses him again.
Jimin pouts too. “I’ll see you for dinner then, will I?”
To this, Taehyung nods.
Jimin deepens the kiss once more, decides they’ve talked enough for now. He opens Taehyung’s mouth with his tongue, and Taehyung doesn’t mean to but he whimpers. He is amazed at how every single touch from Jimin drives him out of his mind. Taehyung bites Jimin’s bottom lip, and Taehyung follows him.
His hands stay steady at both sides of Jimin’s waist. Jimin’s hands, on the other hand, mess up Taehyung’s hair and dance around his face to his chest. Taehyung doesn’t mind a single bit.
“I should get ready…” Jimin breaks the kiss, but doesn’t pull away.
“You should…” Taehyung lets go of his hold around Jimin’s waist to gently caress his face. “Don’t be late because of me.”
He doesn’t want Jimin to go, but he knows their happy bubble can only last so long. Jimin has things to do, and Taehyung doesn’t want to be the reason why he misses them. He won’t be that for him.
Jimin pecks Taehyung’s lips one more time before standing up and searching for his clothes around the messy floor.
“This place is a mess.” he speaks to himself.
“Most of it is yours though-” Taehyung replies jokingly.
Taehyung looks at Jimin wandering around the room, choosing between shirts that look pretty much the same. Taehyung won’t say it, but he smiles when Jimin finally makes up his mind and moves to change inside the bathroom.
Taehyung closes his eyes again. He thinks he’ll fall asleep easily, but he wants to stay awake for a little longer, at least until Jimin leaves.
“Good luck, Minnie.” he says, once Jimin gets out of the bathroom.
“Thank you.” Jimin gifts him with one of his bright smiles. He’ll never get tired to look at it. “See you tonight, right?”
Taehyung doesn’t mean to, but he remembers a time when they promised to see each other again, but weren’t able to keep it. It wasn’t their fault, but it still hurts deep inside his heart. He hides it, though, and plays the fakest smile he can come out with. “Yeah, see you tonight. Have a nice day-”
Jimin leaves, and Taehyung is left alone with his thoughts. He knows he’ll se Jimin again, but the wounds from the hurt are still too freshed. Even after kissing him, Taehyung is afraid of Jimin somehow vanishing once more.
When Yoongi wakes up, Seokjin is already gone. The sheets that they gave him are tidely placed next to the sofa, and there’s a small note written in the coffee table:
Thanks for being by my side. I need to talk to Namjoon now.
“Where’s Seokjin?” Yoongi hears Hoseok’s sleepy voice behind him.
“He already left. He left us a little note.” Yoongi turns around to find the younger a few steps away, wrapped in a blanket.
Yoongi can’t help to smile. It’s easy to look at Hoseok, it’s easy losing himself around Hoseok’s bright aura. Yoongi wants to get closer, but he doesn’t… it’s- it’s too soon, he isn’t sure where they are standing yet. He doesn’t want to scare Hoseok, he doesn’t want him to explode again and hurt him in the process. Yoongi doesn’t want to get hurt.
Hoseok walks closer and holds the note. “He went to talk to Namjoon. So… we are really facing the possibility of him leaving us?”
Hoseok and Yoongi had been so busy advising Seokjin, that they didn’t even have the chance to think about how this affected them. Seokjin going away… one of their dearest friends.
“As long as he is happy.” Yoongi mutters.
“What about Jimin?” Hoseok asks, voice almost a whisper.
To this, Yoongi looks up. He hadn’t thought about it: Jimin is getting better, going back on track. How would Seokjin leaving affect him? How would he be able to handle it?
“I am sure Seokjin will talk to him. He’ll talk to all of us, if he makes the decision.”
Hoseok leaves the paper in its original place on the coffee table and drops the blanket to the floor. “Now that he is gone…” he starts.
Yoongi waits for him to finish the sentence, but Hoseok just stares at him: expecting.
“What?” Yoongi ends up asking.
“Our date!” Hoseok almost jumps. “We can talk about out date.” he pouts, sits on the couch and gestures Yoongi to sit by his side.
“Oh!” Yoongi scratches his hair, moves in front of the couch but doesn’t sit. “You are right. The date-”
“You said the weekend was alright, right?”
Yoongi thinks about it again. Their finals are right behind the corner, and if he is being completely honest, he isn’t sure he even has time to shower. Did he- Did he agree to go this weekend?
“I’m not sure.” he ends up saying, “I- I am not sure I have any free time. The finals are almost here…”
Hoseok pouts again, but he nods. “You are right. I- I chose a bad time to suggest a date… We are both busy all the time.”
“What about during the week…”
“I am booked with dance practice every day-” Hoseok looks down, plays with his sleeves. “If you don’t want to it’s alright-”
Yoongi sighs. It’s that what it looks like? That he isn’t interesting in going out? “It’s not that.” he speaks honestly, holds Hoseok’s face with his hand and makes him look up. “I really am busy. And… I want to make sure things go alright. You said you wanted to go on a date, I can’t just take you to the café a block from here-”
Hoseok’s eyes light up. “I just want to go on a date with you. I want to- I want to know what’s like to be with you.” he leans closer to Yoongi’s touch, “I don’t care about the place.”
Yoongi nods, looking around the room before locking eyes with Hoseok. “Still-”
Suddenly, Hoseok jumps from his seat and Yoongi almost falls back. “What about today?” he shouts.
“To- Today?” Yoongi is taken aback, hand still weirdly place around Hoseok’s cheek.
“Yeah…” Hoseok nods, “today. You are here, and I am here. We can go anywhere… I really don’t mind.”
Yoongi is starting to learn the difference between Hoseok loving him as a friend and Hoseok liking him as something more. Hoseok’s friendship is careful: he takes care of everything, makes sure to be mindful about where to stand and how to love. So, Yoongi is amazed by seeing Hoseok making sudden decisions: Hoseok kissing him out of nowhere, pushing him back, asking him on a date. Yoongi is starting to know another side of Hoseok, and he isn’t sure how much he can rely on it yet.
“Alright.” Yoongi ends up agreeing, because he can’t say no to Hoseok’s smile. And Hoseok is smiling back at him, bright eyes filled with expectations. “Tonight?”
Hoseok jumps again, “Tonight.” he gets closer and wraps Yoongi in a warm hug. Yoongi is used to Hoseok hugging him, it’s not a new feeling: but, this time it is different. Yoongi notices that Hoseok hides his face around his shoulders, and Yoongi stutters but he ends up holding him by the waist.
They’ve hugged before, but like everything else they’ve done, Yoongi thinks he can learn to love it again. All this time, being with Hoseok was about being careful: taking care of every touch, every glance… Hoseok couldn’t find out about his feelings. Yoongi was always careful to hide the way his heart beated fast to Hoseok’s heart smiles; but now, Yoongi is starting to wonder if he can stop being careful.
Yoongi is the one to pull back. “I have to go now,” he doesn’t have to, but he should. “Jimin had an appointment today, I told him I’d see him afterwards.”
Yoongi wants to love Hoseok messily, wants to find out if Hoseok can love him like that too. But, Yoongi forces himself to pull away and stop. He gets some clean clothes and disappears inside the bathroom.
Hoseok doesn’t question him.
Yoongi wants to let go. He really wants to allow himself to love Hoseok freely, but he isn’t sure if he can do that just yet.
He doesn’t want to get hurt.
For now, he can only smile and think about their date. They can start with that… Yoongi thinks they’ll figure out the rest later.
They’ll figure it out.
As he opens the door, Seokjin tries to be as careful as possible to not make any noise. He locks the door behind him and takes off his shoes, leaving them at their usual spot next to Namjoon’s.
Seokjin liked coming home and noticing that Namjoon will be there for him just by looking at their shoes resting next to the door. It’s one of the first things that he got used to when they moved together away from the dorms. A simple act that reminded him that they were together, and they lived together: they were planning their lives together.
But this time around, Seokjin doesn’t smile. He just looks at the two pairs of shoes, and notices one more time how Namjoon’s pairs are always messily placed, as if he didn’t really worry about being organized. Next to them, Seokjin’s shoes are standing one next to the other; but somehow, Seokjin finds a sense of familiarity in the mess.
The second thing that he does after getting home is preparing coffee, not even bothering to turn on the lights. He knows that Namjoon is somewhere in the apartment, and Seokjin can still hear the words that shattered his heart just a few hours ago.
If you go, I don’t think we’ll make it.
Seokjin sighs when the coffee machine is done, and he sets on drinking the coffee by itself without adding any milk nor sugar.
He remains there, with the mag of coffee on his right hand, and scrolling through his phone with his left one, resting his body on the kitchen counter. He can’t help going back to the email, the acceptance letter; he reads every word over and over again until he learns it by heart.
It’s a beautiful world, Seokjin thinks. Life is a nice place to be, beyond all the mess and the broken pieces. Leaving in this beautiful world is worth all of that.
What would Jimin say about that?
Jimin. The mere image of his name makes Seokjin’s heart stutter. The last few months have been tough, but Jimin is the strongest of them all. He is the one who’s been through hell and back, managing to forget himself and learning to walk again.
Can Seokjin leave him after everything they’ve been through?
A sound coming from their shared bedroom takes Seokjin away from his thoughts. He recognizes the steps, the slam on the door and the lazy walk all the way to the living room. Namjoon doesn’t mind to turn on the lights either.
Seokjin remains silent, unnoticed. Namjoon goes as far as going to the kitchen and opening the fridge, taking a bottle of orange juice and drinking it from the cup.
His hair is messy, Seokjin notices. Namjoon’s hair is always messy in the mornings, but this time it looks a little bit off: as if it were messy because he had been trying to rip it off of his scalp. Seokjin also notices that he is wearing the same clothes from the day before, the way he was dressed when they had the fight.
Namjoon notices Seokjin after closing the door of the fridge and jumps back.
“You are here.” he holds a hand close to his heart, still taken aback.
“I thought you had told me you didn’t drink the orange juice from the bottle anymore…”
Namjoon chuckles, but it’s sad. “You’ve got me. I still do it sometimes.”
Seokjin leaves the half empty mug of coffee next to him and crosses his arms. “It’s alright. I… I do it too sometimes. It’s not like someone else drinks from it, so it’s okay. It’s just us.”
Namjoon nods, and just now Seokjin notices the bags under Namjoon’s eyes. He looks tired.
Seokjin looks down, and they remain in silence for a moment.
To this, Seokjin looks up, and their eyes meet. Namjoon is looking at him with pained eyes that give Seokjin the urge to hug him, only to see if he can place the pieces together again so he is no longer hurting. But he doesn’t do that.
Their eyes lock and Namjoon looks at him with a serious expression.
Namjoon gets closer, and Seokjin can’t find the strength to look away. They know each other too well, and their relationship has been through ups and downs, but this is the first time Seokjin feared they could break up.
Seokjin exhales as Namjoon closes their distance and hugs him. He wraps his arms around Seokjin’s shoulders, and the latter is fast to reciprocate and hold him close by the waist. He closes his eyes, losing himself to the familiar feeling of being around Namjoon.
It’s easier like this, when they are hugging. When they are close close and all the problems are far away where they can’t reach them. But… they still need to talk. Seokjin presses his forehead on Namjoon’s shoulder, allows himself this moment before everything is in danger of breaking down.
“We need to talk.” his voice comes out more stable than in his mind, and Seokjin is amazed by it.
Namjoon loosens his arms and steps back, but doesn’t pull away. “I know. We do… I know that we do.”
It takes a few more seconds until they finally pull away and go to the couch on the living room.
“I should have told you about the scholarship-” Seokjin starts.
“No.” Namjoon shushes him, “I- I should be the one apologizing.”
They are standing side by side on the couch, close enough for their legs to touch.
“I shouldn’t have said what I said. That was…” he seems to have trouble to find the right words, and Seokjin allows him to think. “mean. I was mean to you, baby. I said I’d never be bad to you, but I hurted you and I am so sorry. I was wide awake all night recalling every single thing that I said… and they were all wrong, I was wrong.”
Seokjin sighs, brings a hand close to Namjoon’s to intertwine their fingers.
“I know that you didn’t mean it like that. I knew you were hurt… I know you, you’d never do that to me.”
“But still, I overreacted, and I made a mistake. And I am sorry.”
Seokjin nods, not sure about what to say. He spent most of the night picturing this scenario and thinking about what to do when they could finally talk, but now his brain is blank.
“You know about the scholarship now. Yoongi and Hoseok know about it too. I’d appreciate if you didn’t talk about it with the others… I want to be the one to talk to them, to tell them about it. I need to figure out how I’ll talk to-”
“Jimin.” Namjoon ends his sentence. “I won’t mention this to them. This is yours… It’s your right to talk about it with them, to let them know how you feel about it and all that. It- it’s your dream, after all, isn’t it?”
Seokjin smiles, but it doesn’t reach his eyes. “It is my dream, yeah. It’s one of my dreams…” he holds Namjoon’s hand closer, brings it to his face and leaves a kiss to his knuckles. “But you are my dream too.”
Namjoon nods, allowing Seokjin to leave soft kisses on his knuckles and the back of his hand.
Seokjin shakes his head and starts playing with their intertwined fingers. “Why should there it be a but?”
“You should follow your dreams, baby. I won’t be the one holding you back. If- If this scholarship is what you want, we’ll figure it out.” Namjoon’s voice is soft, and it almost feels like a caress to Seokjin’s heart.
“So…” Seokjin’s voice comes out just as soft, “you’d let me go?”
Namjoon moves a little closer, and like this, he can wrap an arm around Seokjin’s back. “It’s not about letting you go. I’ve never- I’ve never held you back. We are together because that’s how we are, we are close to each other. We live together and have breakfast while looking at the shitty landscape outside the window, and sometimes you are already asleep when I come home. But we are together, and so far that’s how we’ve worked.” he smiles, and it reaches his eyes. “We’ve made this together, I am sure we can make so much more-”
“What are you trying to say?” Seokjin’s mind is spinning, and there are too many thoughts wandering around to make sense of the situation.
“If you decide that you’ll take the scholarship, you’ll go…” Namjoon then takes a second to breathe, “And I’ll stay here. But, that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be together. We’d just have to find a way to be us while also being apart.”
“I don’t know-” Seokjin stutters, “I don’t know where things can go. If- If I find a job there, and I start to establish my life again-”
“We’ll talk about that when the time comes.” Namjoon smiles again, and Seokjin smiles back, his whole body relaxing around his boyfriend. “You think about yourself first. And about how you’ll talk to the kids… I’ll always be by your side.”
“Just like that?” Seokjin laughs. “No fight about how long distance can be complicated as fuck and I am letting go everything we’ve done here?”
“Just like that.” Namjoon laughs, gets closer until their lips meet. “Let’s make it one day at a time, shall we?”
They end up going to a bar. It’s the only place near the dorms that they haven’t visited together yet, and it’s close enough that if they get stupidly drunk they can just walk their way back home.
When they are already sitting down on a table cornered at the back of the place, Yoongi starts wondering if this is way too casual. He takes a sip of his beer and looks around, the place is half empty but there’s background music which makes the silence less awkward.
They are wearing casual clothes, though Yoongi noticed Hoseok went a little too far with the perfume. But Yoongi doesn’t think Hoseok needs to dress up for him, as he is always beautiful in his eyes.
“What are you thinking about?”
Hoseok breaks his mind bubble, bringing him back to reality.
This is a date, Yoongi reminds himself. But… they already know each other: Yoongi knows how Hoseok looks in the mornings, he knows about Hoseok’s nightmares and dreams, they’ve fallen asleep holding hands more times that he can count.
He is on a date with his best friend, what is he supposed to say?
“Yoongi-ah,” Hoseok talks again with an awkward smile. “what are you thinking about?”
The waitress brings their food and leaves them alone before Yoongi can even consider his presence as an interruption.
“I was thinking about you.”
Hoseok looks up and their eyes lock. He imagines Hoseok must be thinking the same as him: what are they doing on a casual date? they already know everything about each other, they are already friends. What is the point of having dinner and trying to look pretty when Yoongi has already taken care of Hoseok while the other felt sick? When Hoseok once cleaned Yoongi’s face that one time he drunk too much alcohol and puked all over his face?
There’s no point in being fancy.
Despite that, Hoseok drinks a sip of his beer and replies. “About me? Why are you thinking about me? I am right here.”
To this, Yoongi smiles, even when he isn’t sure why. “I was thinking about us. We’ve… We’ve been through a lot, haven’t we?”
Hoseok giggles and moves his hands around the table nervously, choosing to play with the corner of the table. “I guess so.”
More silence follows, and Yoongi notices that Hoseok gets more anxious by second, looking around and drinking his beer a little too fast.
“You didn’t want to come, did you?”
Yoongi is taken aback by the words and leaves his own beer on the table. “Why would you think that?”
“This…” Hoseok spits, “This feels weird. We are being weird, we can barely carry on a conversation and-”
“I wanted to come.”
Hoseok stops rumbling and they lock eyes again, and this time Yoongi offers him an honest smile.
“I said yes because I wanted to come.”
Hoseok visibly relaxes on his seat and hold the beer again, taking another sip. “Then why is it weird?”
“Well,” Yoongi finishes his cup and starts attacking the fries. “first dates are about getting to know the other person, and we already know each other. We… We know how we are, so there’s no point in trying to fake that we are trying to learn more things about us. We already know.”
Hoseok nods and starts eating the fries too. “That makes sense-”
“It does.” Yoongi follows, “It’s not that we are being weird, it’s just that we already know this. We don’t need a first date.”
“Then why are we here?”
Yoongi laughs and half pouts, “You said you wanted to take me on a proper date.”
Hoseok laughs back, and it’s sweet. “My plan failed miserably.” he searches Yoongi’s hand under the table and hold him, almost shyly. “What can I do to fix it?”
To this, Yoongi immediately intertwines their fingers firmly, giving Hoseok the reassurance he needed to hold him back. “Let’s see…” he pretends to think, looking around while eating another fry. “Let’s finish this food that we’ve already paid for, and let’s go somewhere else. Let’s just… be us, we are much better at being us.”
Hoseok smiles. “Let’s be us.”
When they leave the bar, they take a taxi to a destination chosen by Yoongi.
“Hyung, where are we going?” Hoseok jokes around, “Why won’t you tell me?”
“You’ll know.” It’s all Yoongi says.
And they play around in the car, not drunk of alcohol but of themselves: Yoongi feels like smiling and laughing by Hoseok’s presence so close to him. He’s drunk by the thought that this is a date, and that they both like each other (even though they still need to talk more about that).
For now, Yoongi allows himself to giggle while holding Hoseok’s hand, resting his head on the latter’s shoulder until they arrive to the place.
“There’s nothing here…” Hoseok closes the door once they’ve both stepped outside.
“Look again.” Yoongi waits patiently, as Hoseok seems to be drunk to by his company. They make each other stupid, a little reckless, but it makes them be better.
“Oh!” Hoseok jumps in realization. “Our park. You’ve brought me to the park?”
“Yeah…” Yoongi nods, stating the obvious.
“I dress nicely for you and you take me to a kids’ playground-”
“It’s better than the bar, so don’t complain.”
Hoseok laughs and holds his by the wrist, guiding him to the swings like a kid.
“You’ve decided to turn our first date into one of those let’s swing together clichès!”
Yoongi can’t help to laugh back, allowing Hoseok to guide him. “It’s only a clichè if you actually make me go there-”
“We are already on our way. Now I want as to swing at the same time, I want us to be cute and all that shit.”
Hoseok takes the right swing and gestures Yoongi to take the one by his side, which he does.
And of course, they hold hands.
“I told you it would be cute-” Hoseok smiles, and Yoongi feels like he can see the sun despite being night time.
“The things I do for lo-” Yoongi chokes in his own words, “The things I do for you.” he jokes around, but the half spoken phrase lingers at the back of his mind.
Hoseok is kind enough to ignore it. “I know you are enjoying it, don’t pretend that you are not having fun.”
Yoongi smiles. “You are right,” he gives their intertwined fingers a squiz. “this feels nice.”
Silence falls downs, but this times it’s not awkward. They keep swinging slowly at the same pace, their arms following the same rhythm.
“This is a good first date.” Hoseok breaks the silence, looks at him and their eyes lock.
“It is…” Yoongi whispers.
It’s easy like this, when it’s just them and there’s nothing disturbing their happy bubble. Yoongi gets closer, and Hoseok leans down just a little bit. It’s easier like this, when they can be honest with each other and their feelings are simpler. Yoongi rests his forehead on Hoseok’s and closes his eyes-
It’s up to you now.
Yoongi won’t push him. Hoseok is the one who gets to decide if he wants to kiss him, like all their previous kisses.
And just when Yoongi is about to open his eyes again, defeated, Hoseok makes his choice. He says: yes.
Their lips meet, and it’s tender. It’s sweet, the simple press of lips. Yoongi falls for him all over again, wonders if he can remember a time when he wasn’t in love. His breath stutters when Hoseok deepens the kiss, and Yoongi brings his other hand to cup the side of Hoseok’s head, keeping him in place.
It’s still sweet, barely there. But Yoongi doesn’t mind, Hoseok’s lips taste like the sky, and he is currently in heaven.
Hoseok’s lips are familiar, and Yoongi is barely aware of when they’ve called another taxi and went back to their place. Right now, he is only aware that Hoseok is kissing him. They are kissing, and Yoongi’s hands are on Hoseok’s hair, but they also dance around all the way to his back and go back to his neck.
He falls again, but this time he is more certain. This time around, Yoongi trusts that he can fall and Hoseok won’t break his heart again. He can let Hoseok’s hands unbutton his shirt as his lips leave a trace of kisses all the way to his throat. Yoongi allows it, lets Hoseok take the lead.
Hoseok seems to find a spot on Yoongi’s shoulder that he likes and he sucks on it, and Yoongi can’t help to pull the rest of his weight on the wall, whimpering. They’ve done this before, but Yoongi still feels like it’s not enough, he needs more-
“Amnesia doesn’t sound that bad now.”
Yoongi pushes Hoseok away by the sudden appearance of another voice. Yoongi sighs and looks at the unexpected visitor.
“Kid, haven’t you heard about knocking?”
Jimin is looking back at them with opened eyes, jaw dropped to the floor. “And- And didn’t you two hear about locking doors?”
Hoseok fastly buttons Yoongi’s shirt, but some of them are uneven and their hairs are still a mess. “Minnie, what brings you here late at night?”
Jimin’s eyes dance between Yoongi and Hoseok, still looking as if he had seen something horrendous. “I had an idea about a play. But... It can wait… You are obviously busy right now, I’ll… I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
Jimin is quick to leave, closing the door behind him and shouting about how they really should close the goddamn door. He almost runs all the way back to his room, trying to think how much time will it take to forget the recent scene.
“I need new eyes.” it’s the first thing he says to Taehyung when he finally arrives home.
Taehyung laughs and leaves his backpack on the floor, throwing himself next to Jimin on the bed. “What’s that about?”
“I wanted to talk to Hoseok about an idea I had for a performance,” he shakes his head, almost trying to push the memory away. “and I found him in the middle of taking Yoongi’s clothes off.”
Taehyung laughs, petting Jimin’s hair and finding a comfortable position by his side. “Didn’t you knock?”
“The door was open!” Jimin shouts again, “Why would they leave the door open?”
Taehyung keeps laughing, and after a few seconds Jimin ends up half laughing too. “I’ve learned my lesson. It won’t happen again-”
“Those two are a mess, aren’t they?” Taehyung stops laughing, switching to a more serious tone. “I hope they’ve figured things out.”
“Are they together?”
Taehyung giggles, “That’s what we are all trying to figure out. They seem to be working something out, but they haven’t talked to us about it.”
Jimin nods, trying to recall all the signs he noticed about them being together. “Yoongi seems to be very fond of him.”
“He’s always been. They’ve always been together.” Taehyung smiles, “They will figure it out-”
Jimin smiles back, because it’s pretty dumb hard not to smile back at Taehyung’s boxy smiles. “How was your day?”
They always fall back to the same routine. How was your day? What did you do today? How did you feel?
“Did you have dinner?” Taehyung asks, hand still petting Jimin’s hair.
Jimin likes their routine. It feels safe, something he can trust. Taehyung feels safe.
“Do I ever?” Jimin jokes, searching Taehyung’s other hand and interwinding their fingers. This also feels like part of their routine.
“We’ll order something then.” Taehyung keeps playing with Jimin’s hair, fingers dancing up and down his neck and settling on his cheek. “Where you here all day after your appointment?”
“Yoongi picked me up,” Jimin keeps smiling, and there are stars inside his eyes. He places his free hand on Taehyung’s chest. “and after that I had brunch with Jungkook.”
Taehyung makes a disapproving face and gets a little bit closer, Jimin barely notices. “Brunch isn’t dinner, you need to eat well.”
“We always order a crazy amount of takeout, so you don’t have to worry about that.” Jimin gets a little closer too, and now their legs are resting side by side.
This isn’t part of their routine, but Jimin doesn’t mind. He wouldn’t mind if this actually became an habit of their.
“You look happier.” Jimin points out, because Taehyung’s face is close to his and just now he notices that the dark bags under his eyes are almost gone, and his skin looks brighter, he is glowing a little bit. Jimin wonders if he can glow too.
“Do I?” Taehyung’s smile widens, and Jimin isn’t sure if his heart can take it. “Yeah…” he ends up nodding, “I feel happier.”
“Why is that?” Jimin caress Taehyung’s cheek, fingers dancing until they reach his bottom lip. “Why are you happier?”
Taehyung exhales, and Jimin wonders if he had been holding his breath. “Because of you.”
This isn’t part of their routine either, but Jimin leans closer until their lips meet. And, like all their kisses, it’s sweet. Jimin kisses Taehyung’s bottom lip, then his upper one, then the corner of his mouth.
Taehyung smiles again, and Jimin kisses that too. And he smiles when Taehyung kisses him back, slightly biting his bottom lip. Jimin opens his mouth a little bit more, moves around so he is laying on top of Taehyung, legs intertwined.
“I make you happy,” Jimin speaks softly around Taehyung’s lips. It’s not a question, he is just repeating a fact. “you make me happy too.”
This time, Taehyung kisses him, holding him by the waist and bringing him closer. They smile through the kisses, whispering promises that neither of them know if they can keep, but they hope to.
Jimin pulls down, and before Taehyung can complain, he is leaving a trace of kissing down his neck. Taehyung moves his head to the side to allow him better access. It’s easier like that.
It’s easier when they are just kissing, and Jimin pulls away every once in a while just to look at him.
“Why do you do that?” Taehyung speaks softly, smile still on his face.
“You pull away and you just look at me. Why do you do that?”
Jimin leaves another gentle kiss to Taehyung lips before replying. “To make sure you are not bleeding.”
Taehyung doesn’t understand, but he doesn’t ask. Instead, he kisses him again.
Taehyung feels safe like that, with the weight of Jimin’s body above him. He feels safe with Jimin’s fingers playing with his hair and keeping him steady by holding him by the wrist. He feels safe, he really does. He is comfortable around Jimin.
That’s why he doesn’t understand why he still feels lonely. Taehyung kisses Jimin back, but there’s a bitter taste in his mouth. Why does it taste bitter when Jimin is nothing but sweet? It doesn’t make sense.
One of Jimin’s hands is caressing his cheek, but he suddenly stops. Just as Taehyung feels a wave of emptiness all over his body, Jimin stops kissing him.
“Tae?” his voice is shy, worried. His hand remains on his cheek.
“What’s wrong, love?” Taehyung replies casually, because he still can’t quite figure out what’s wrong with him. Shouldn’t he be happy for them?
“You are crying.”
Just now, Taehyung notices that his face is wet, and Jimin is gently wiping the tears away. Jimin moves to the side and Taehyung can’t help to feel small. They sit down, and Jimin wraps his arms around him, bringing him close to his chest.
Taehyung doesn’t know why he is crying.
But he notices that he hasn’t cried in a while. He had to be strong, he had to be the pillar that held all of them together. And now, they are standing by themselves just fine. Taehyung doesn’t have to hold them anymore.
Maybe that’s why the tears keeps falling and he doesn’t seem to find a way to stop them. Once the first one fell, the other ones followed and Taehyung can only barely notice that he is sobbing.
“It’s alright,” Jimin whispers close to his ear. “it’s alright to cry.”
But it still feels wrong. Why is Jimin consoling him? Nothing bad happened to Taehyung. He should be grateful, he shouldn’t even dare to think about crying…
Taehyung chokes on his own tears and brings Jimin closer, because like this, maybe a part of him won’t break down. There’s a part of him in Jimin, and that part is safe. Jimin is safe. But Taehyung is breaking down.
“I thought I had lost you-” he says the words between sobs and without thinking, still trying to make sense why he is even crying.
“But I am here.” Jimin coos, a hand caressing his hair. “I am here, Tae. I am okay.”
“Remembering me hurts you.” it’s like every single broken piece that he had been fighting to keep together has suddenly shuttered and spread all around. But Jimin is holding him, so it’s not that much of a mess. Jimin is holding him together.
“Sometimes. Remember hurts, yeah.” Jimin doesn’t try to lie, and Taehyung is grateful. Taehyung is grateful that they still have honesty.
“It hurted me too, to lose you. To have you around, but you weren’t really you. I- I missed you so much. You said we’d talk… and you never came back.”
“I am sorry that I didn’t came back.” Jimin’s voice is sad now, and Taehyung regrets his words.
“I wasn’t your fault.” he sighs, “We never- We never spoke afterwards.” the tears keep falling, but he is no longer sobbing.
“We can talk now.” Jimin offers with a smile, moves around so he is sitting in front of Taehyung. “We can talk about it now, what did you want to tell me?”
“But-” Taehyung shakes his head. “You don’t want to remember that night.”
“You are right, I don’t.” Jimin nods, pecks Taehyung’s lips fast before the other can even blink. “I don’t want to remember that night, it’s- it’s painful. It’s like I am living it all over again. I’d rather… not remember anything about that day.”
Taehyung nods, still taken aback by Jimin’s sweetness.
“But we are not in that night anymore. You can talk to me now, and I’ll remember you. I’ll remember now. Just- Just like I remember yesterday and tonight… I’ll remember what you have to say now.”
Taehyung thinks about it for a moment, but before he speaks, he settles with caressing Jimin’s cheek again. He finds it calming, the way Jimin leans closer to the touch and closes his eyes.
“I love you.” he whispers it first, and Jimin wouldn’t have been able to hear him if their faces weren’t so close. “It wasn’t just a silly crush… it wasn’t like I suddenly had the urge to kiss you. I thought about it, I carefully thought about every word that I could say to you. It took me months to finally gain the strength to finally tell you that I was in love with you.”
Jimin offers him another one of his sweet smiles, those that actually reach his eyes. “I love you too. I- I didn’t think about telling you because I thought that you didn’t like me that way. I thought I could love you silently, and I could ask you to sleep by my side and pretend that friends sometimes do that too.”
Taehyung leans closer, and with how close they are it takes less than a second to capture Jimin’s lips. “I love you.” this time it’s not a whisper.
And Jimin kisses him again, slowly. Taehyung’s face is still wet and tears are still falling from his eyes. But he allows himself to fall to Jimin’s kiss. It doesn’t last long, as Jimin pulls apart just a second to lean down again and kiss the tears away.
It’s meant to help, but it only makes more tears come out of Taehyung’s eyes, and Jimin keeps kissing him. He peppers kisses all over Taehyung’s face, going back to his lips.
“I love you too.”
The reassurance makes Taehyung smiles, and he wonders how long it will take for him to stop crying. He wonders how long will it take to let go of everything which he had been holding back.
Jimin kisses him on the lips one more time, and this time, Taehyung holds him by the neck so that he doesn’t pull away. Taehyung kisses back, and he thinks he doesn’t mind crying in front of Jimin.
They kiss slowly, lips colliding along tongue and teeth. But it’s still slow, patient. They’ve waited long enough, and now, they have all the time in the world.
“Should I order takeout?” Jimin breaks the kiss a few minutes later, but he doesn’t pull away.
Taehyung nods, so Jimin stands up. He starts the phone call and Taehyung notices that there are still tears slowly streaming down his face.
But he doesn’t feel lonely.
He has Jimin.
we are so close to the end!!!!!!!! thank you so much to every single one of you that has been reading. there are three of you that ALWAYS comment and it literally makes my WEEK, comments make me so happy. AND THE STORY IS SO CLOSE TO THE END I AM NOT READY TO LET THIS GO BUT I GOTTA, my baby has almost fully bloomed :(((((
Okay, enough with being cheesy. That is this week's update.
Thanks for reading♡
Thanks for the comments♡
Just... thank you.
(also leave me a comment if you want to make me smile, just saying)
Chapter 10: Do I know you?
another update posted at 2am in the middle of the week bc yolo.
this chapter is very uwu, i hope you like it!
thanks for 98 kudos :)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Jimin isn't sure why Seokjin asked to see each other at their usual café. Neither does he know why the elder is late. He doesn't question it, though. Instead, he waits a few more minutes and ends up ordering tea. It's easier like that, falling into the habits that don't really have a point.
He waits, he looks around at the half empty place filled with way too many memories. This is where he met them again, Jimin wonders how is it possible to meet his friends more than once, how is it possible to learn how to love them both times? He is grateful he was able to meet them twice, learning how to love them twice, just as much.
Seokjin arrives right after the waitress leaves the tea on the table. The younger sees him coming through the door and searching for him at their usual stop.
Jimin isn't sure why, but he sat somewhere else. He didn't think too much about it, but lately he is getting addicted to change. And at the end of the day, it's just a table, right? It won't mark a difference in their friendship.
"Thanks for waiting for me," Seokjin takes the seat in front of him and takes a quick look at the menu which he knows by heart. "Jungkook asked for a ride and it took longer than expected."
Jimin notices that Seokjin always says thank you instead of sorry. He says thanks for waiting for me, rather than sorry for being late. It's another way of picturing the world, and Jimin wants to learn from him. He keeps apologising all the time for the littlest things, but Seokjin always finds a way to express his gratitude.
“It’s alright,” Jimin offers him a smile. “it’s not as if I were in a hurry.”
Seokjin smiles back, but it doesn’t quite reach his eyes.
“I ordered for both of us, though!” the younger exclaims excitedly, “I’ve ordered you a cup of coffee with a drop of milk, was I right or should I cancel it?”
To this, Seokjin smiles again, but this time it seems more genuine. “That’s good, I’ll have that.”
Jimin isn’t sure when he started telling apart Seokjin’s sincerity from his acting. It’s not as if Seokjin were fake either, but it’s in the way he tries to make things less stressing, trying to take the weight from others for him to carry it instead. Jimin would rather have both of them to share the burden.
“How have you been, Jiminie?”
Another waitress comes and leaves Seokjin’s order on the table, and Seokjin thanks him.
Jimin takes a few seconds to think about his answer. He is… happy. Things are getting better, aren’t they? He goes to the doctor, he takes his medication, he talks to Jungkook, he kisses Taehyung… that’s a routine he can get used to.
The way they are right now it’s something he can get used to, and change doesn’t always have to be scary. Like today, making the simple decision of sitting at a different table. That doesn’t change their friendship, it doesn’t erase their shared memories.
“I’ve been good.” Jimin can’t help to smile at the thought of Taehyung, Taehyung hugging him, Taehyung whispering sweet words as he falls asleep. “Progress may not be linear, but I’ve been going forward for a while.”
Seokjin nods, and there’s a light of something inside his eyes which Jimin doesn’t know how to read. “I am happy for you. Jungkook told me you have been thinking about a play-”
“Yeah!” Jimin is weirdly excited today, a little too energetic. But there’s no need to hide it, not with Seokjin, so he allows himself to move his hands around with an I am talking about my passion look on his face. “It’s still just an aesthetic, though. It’s barely a concept… I have kind of an… idea, the shape of the general weather. The rest will come to me soon.”
“I am sure it will,” Seokjin takes a sip of his drink. “you always find a way to create magic.”
Again, Jimin isn’t sure why Seokjin sounds melancholic rather than happy while saying it, but they both smile.
After a few seconds of silence, Jimin remembers how conversations work.
“What about you?”
Seokjin takes another sip, “I am in the process of making a decision.” he takes his time with each word, almost as if he were tasting them like the coffee.
Jimin finishes his tea. “How do you know you haven’t made up your mind already?” Jimin is familiar with decisions, choices, the existence of the possibility of different paths. He knows that if Seokjin is talking to him, he has a pretty clear idea of what he truly wants.
“What do you mean?” Seokjin is holding the mug with both hands, curious expression on his face while locking eyes with Jimin.
“Is it an important decision?” Jimin suspects it is, but he still asks.
“It is. It is very important…” he sighs, “It would change a lot of things, and affect a lot of people-”
“Would it affect me?” Jimin holds the cup too, even though his is already empty.
Seokjin opens his mouth, but no words come out.
Jimin takes it as an affirmation. “In that case…” he leaves the cup on the table and tries to play a smile. “ask yourself, would you do it if I wasn’t here?”
“You are here. I am very glad you are here-”
“And I’ll be here for a long time.” Jimin places a hand across the table, playing with the envelopes of sugar. “It doesn’t matter the choice you make, I’ll still be here, right?”
Seokjin nods slowly, almost as if he were processing Jimin’s words. “Yeah, you will.”
“There you’ve already made your choice-”
Jimin doesn’t know what it is. He is speaking without knowledge, but change has been good to him. Lately, change has been good. So there’s nothing to worry about, Jimin thinks. There’s nothing to be afraid of, because change always comes in different forms and shapes. And Seokjin will do what’s best for him. Jimin wants Seokjin to do what’s best for him.
“Actually, I wanted to talk with you about it-” Seokjin almost whispers, and suddenly, Jimin is aware of how silent the café is today.
“So, let’s talk about it.”
“I’ve got a scholarship.” Seokjin smiles, and Jimin has seen that smile a lot of times, but today it’s brighter. “The one I once talked to you about, it was a long time ago, it was-”
“England.” There are things that Jimin knows, there are things that he just remembers out of the blue, and it makes him wonder if he ever truly forgot.
“Yeah…” Seokjin’s smile vanishes. “You remember.”
“Why wouldn’t you go?” Jimin suddenly feels a knot inside his throat, but he doesn’t think he will cry. It’s a feeling which he can’t really describe, he doesn’t have a name for it. “It’s your dream.”
“You are here.” Seokjin’s voice is low, but each word is clear. “We’ve been here for you as you are getting better, I can’t leave just like that.”
Jimin doesn’t know if there’s a word for it. He knows that he wants Seokjin to accomplish whatever he wants, even if that means leaving, even when leaving would actually hurt him. Jimin knows he would miss him.
But still, is there a word for that feeling? Loving… selflessly. Loving and letting go, loving and letting the other hurt you because they aren’t doing it on purpose. Is there a name for it? Can he find a way to lessen the sudden feeling of emptiness inside his chest?
“Actually, you can.” Jimin makes an effort to speak loud and clear, to make his words as believable as possible. He wants to show Seokjin he is being sincere. “You can just leave…”
“But what if I don’t want to?”
“You want to go. You applied for it-”
“But I also want to see you as you keep getting better. You’ve grown a lot, I am proud of you and-”
“You can see how much I’ve grown once you come back. I’ll still be here.”
Seokjin breathes out, and his shoulders fall down a little bit, as if he had been tense since he sat down.
“If you are asking me, I think you’ve made up your mind already, Seokjinnie.”
“You’ll be here when I come back. You’ll keep getting better…”
“I’ll make you proud.” Jimin smiles and looks into Seokjin’s eyes, the elder is looking back at him.
Seokjin smiles again, and after seeing it, Jimin wonders if perhaps this was the only honest smile which he gave him during this whole evening.
“There’s still quite a few things which I need to figure out before going-”
“We can help you with it. I am sure all of us want you to go.”
Seokjin’s smile is bright, Jimin likes it when it reaches his eyes and there’s a light inside them.
Still, Jimin thinks he shouldn’t have chosen another table.
When Namjoon arrives, he takes the seat next to Seokjin and immediately holds the latter’s hand that’s resting on the table. Jimin is used to the sight of it, their way of communicating through their eyes. It’s part of their routine.
“Does everyone know?”
They keep talking about Seokjin, and Jimin tries to make it as casual as possible. He tries to smile, he tries not to think about how their usual table is still empty, and maybe they could all leave and come back only to sit there. They could pretend that that was Jimin’s first choice, because maybe he doesn’t like change that much after all.
“Almost-” Seokjin starts playing with Namjoon’s hand. “I still haven’t told Taehyung. I haven’t seen him that much this last few days, he is working a lot in that Digital Arts class, isn’t he?”
“He is…” Jimin nods, the image of Taehyung working non stop until late hours of the night coming to his mind. “I won’t tell him, of course. I’ll wait for you to speak to him.”
“I knew you wouldn’t tell him, Minnie.” Seokjin smiles, and Namjoon intertwines their fingers again.
“He worries a lot about you.” Namjoon speaks out of nowhere, and Jimin knows exactly what he is talking about. “You know that, right?”
“I do.” Jimin replies right away, and he suddenly wants another cup of tea. “We’ve been talking about us a lot lately, so… I know that he worries. He worries and cares so much, I am grateful.”
There’s something that Jimin isn’t saying, but he wants to. Can he say it? He can speak to them, right? Namjoon and Seokjin would understand.
“I like him.” he says it. And he doesn’t just like him, but it’s a start. It’s a good way to start talking about it.
They both nod, waiting for him to keep talking. Jimin does.
“We are figuring ourselves out. We really care for each other.” That sounds more like them, and Jimin smiles.
“I’m glad to hear that.” Seokjin smiles back.
“We are happy for you. You deserve each other-”
“But we’ve been through a lot, haven’t we?” Jimin wonders if he is too damaged to be with someone like Taehyung. But then, he reminds himself that he isn’t broken. There’s no such thing as broken, he is just… healing. That sounds more like him.
“It’s you two.” Seokjin speaks again, “You’ve always been there for each other. The things you’ve been through have only made both of you stronger. At this point, I am sure nothing would be able to stop you two being together.”
Jimin wants to disagree, because there was a time when he said he’d be back later. It was a simple promise, but he wasn’t able to keep it. Still, he smiles to them, and he tries to think about the good times.
“You think so?”
Namjoon reaches for Jimin’s hand on the table, he tenderly holds Jimin’s wrist and looks at him with a bright smile. Namjoon is about to let go what he loves the most, he is about to let Seokjin go so he can grow.
“I am sure about it.” he giggles, “I’m surprised it took you two so long to finally talk about it. But you deserve each other, you’ll be good-”
“I love him.” Jimin can’t help to let out the words. He needs to say them, he wants both Namjoon and Seokjin to understand.
“We know you do.” Seokjin is the one who answers, and he lets go of Namjoon’s hand only to reach Jimin’s other wrist on the table. “And you’ll take of each other while I’m gone… if I go, right?”
“You’ll see as grow. And you’ll be proud.”
“It’s a promise.”
The days pass by, and Yoongi notices that a lot of things have changed but everything stays the same. They start sleeping together, both meanings, and Yoongi thinks he can easily get used to it.
Hoseok is sweet to him. Yoongi is learning new things about him when he thought he already knew everything there was to know, so it’s nice.
“G’morning.” Hoseok smiles, and Yoongi feels it on his shoulder.
Yeah, he can get used to it. And learning new things about Hoseok is always a wonder, like the way he kisses softly after they’ve both cleaned themselves up, or how his smile was as bright as the sun after telling Yoongi that he really cared about him.
But that was all.
There haven’t been any more I love yous between them, but Hoseok had said that he cared for him, and Yoongi said it back. It was nice. But Yoongi…
Yoongi doesn’t know if that’s what he wants. Even when he likes the way things are now, maybe he’d like more. Maybe he’d like to say that he loves him, he knows that he loves him… and Hoseok must be blind if he doesn’t see it.
“It’s 4 in the afternoon-” Yoongi moves around so he can see Hoseok’s face. He wants to see his sleepy smile and his messy hair, he wants to take in every little thing.
“Don’t kill the mood.” Hoseok giggles before kissing him, and it tastes like sleep but Yoongi doesn’t mind a single bit.
And in moments like this, Yoongi wonders what would change if they are already acting like a couple. What would make them different when they already have the love and the trust? He doesn’t want to make things weird by scaring Hoseok… he still has the image of the later crying while drunk at the party, and he doesn’t want to see him like that ever again.
It’s easy to lose himself when Hoseok kisses him. Yoongi is fast to rest a hand on the other’s chest, and Yoongi bites Hoseok’s bottom lip when he holds Yoongi’s face tenderly. Yoongi likes kissing Hoseok, and despite all the shared kisses, it’s not enough. He always wants one more kiss, one more touch, just one more.
“I like you a lot-” Yoongi speaks softly around Hoseok’s lips.
Hoseok smiles. “I know.” another kiss, Yoongi keeps his eyes closed. “I like you too.”
If they both like each other, why can’t they be more? What’s so hard about having a serious conversation and starting something officially? But Yoongi won’t start that conversation, he’ll be patient. Yoongi promised himself he’d wait for Hoseok until he was ready, no matter how long it took.
Hoseok’s lips find Yoongi’s neck and he forgets about it for now. He forgets about relationships and complications, it’s easy to forget about the rest of the world when Hoseok is sucking another hickey to his already marked neck.
And it doesn’t take long until their clothes disappear and Yoongi can only remember Hoseok’s name. He’s learned that Hoseok loves messily, but he is always sweet. Yoongi can only say his name over and over again.
“Yoongi, I like you.” Hoseok speaks afterwards, when they are both pressed against each other and Yoongi is resting his head on Hoseok’s chest.
“I know you do,” Yoongi leaves a gentle kiss on Hoseok’s chest. “you’ve shown me.”
Hoseok starts petting Yoongi’s hair, and he closes his eyes. It’s too nice, too perfect. Yoongi doesn’t think there’s space in his heart for any more happiness.
“I think I am in love with you.” it’s almost a whisper, and Yoongi thinks it sounds like a secret. It’s something Hoseok only wants him to know, a piece of his heart which he’ll never get back.
Yoongi moves a little farther away, enough to be able to see Hoseok’s face. He looks… lovely. Hoseok is beautiful, and Yoongi wants to hear him again.
“Can you repeat that?” Yoongi half smiles.
“I think-” Hoseok starts. “No, I don’t think. I am… I know I am.” he giggles, “I am in love with you.”
Yoongi breathes out, not sure about when he started holding his breath in the first place. For a second, he is out of words. He can only look back at Hoseok looking at him. What can he say when it’s already obvious how much he loves him?
But maybe Hoseok would like to hear it too, maybe Hoseok also needs the reassurance.
“I’ve been in love with you for a long time.”
And it’s worth it, because Hoseok’s smile widens, and Yoongi isn’t sure if it can get any wider. It lasts for a moment, and then it’s gone. Hoseok’s face turns serious, eyes still lock on Yoongi’s.
“Then, why haven’t you asked me to be yours?
This takes Yoongi by surprise, and he actually blinks a few times. “I wasn’t sure that was what you wanted-”
“I am telling you I am in love with you now, what do you think I’d want?”
Yoongi caresses Hoseok’s cheek, fingers going all the way to gently stroke his lips. “Would you like that?”
“Yeah…” Hoseok’s voice is still so soft that Yoongi thinks he is going to melt. It’s a voice he isn’t sure he’s heard before, Yoongi has never heard Hoseok being this sincere, this vulnerable. “I want to be exclusive.”
They sit down on the bed, knees touching. And for a moment, they just stare at each other. Yoongi just looks at Hoseok, trying to figure out if this could be a dream. There’s a curious look on Hoseok’s face, but he is patient, he waits for Yoongi to speak.
“You want us to be exclusive.” he starts, taking his time with each word.
Hoseok smiles again, places a hand on Yoongi’s leg and starts massaging circles around it. “Yeah, that’s what I said.”
“Is there anyone else in the room?”
“Exclusive.” Yoongi says it again, almost giggling.
“If you are going to reject me do it fast please-” Hoseok jokes, draws the hand away and makes a move to leave.
Yoongi is quick to hold Hoseok by the waist to keep him in place, practically throwing himself at him. “I didn’t say that.”
“But you didn’t say yes.” Hoseok pouts, and Yoongi brings a hand to the younger’s face.
This time, Hoseok doesn’t question him. Instead, he stays still. He allows Yoongi to touch him, hand dancing from his cheek to his lips, and then down around his neck. They allow themselves a moment of silence looking into each other’s eyes.
“I’ve loved you for so long.” Yoongi says later, after Hoseok leans closer to the touch and closes his eyes.
He opens his eyes again, looks at Yoongi in a way he isn’t sure if he’s looked at him before. “I’m sorry it took me so long-”
“You made it at your own time, there’s nothing to apologize.” Yoongi replies tenderly, fingers caressing Hoseok’s cheek. “I’ve got you now.”
“You’ve always got me.” Hoseok smiles, and Yoongi wants to kiss him. But he knows that he should wait, he knows that what Hoseok has to say it’s probably important. “You’ve always been so good to me…” he sighs, “I want to be good to you too, I want to give you back all you’ve given to me. Would you let me?”
“Together?” Yoongi is in trance, as if despite Hoseok being extremely clear, his mind still fails to understand the words. They are too good, he’s waited so long and now Hoseok is finally loving him back. Life is good. “If I say yes, we’d be together?”
“Yes.” Hoseok leans even closer, and their lips are align. “I know that what we have is precious. To be honest, I was really scared of messing us up. I was so scared that I denied myself of even thinking of us being together.” he makes a pause then, looks down and goes back into looking at Yoongi in the eyes. “But we are better than that. I want to have everything with you. Denying myself of having us was also denying myself of seeing this whole side of you that was opened to me from the moment I first kissed you and-”
Yoongi can’t take it. He captures Hoseok’s lips almost desperately, and even when Hoseok kisses him back right away, it doesn’t feel like enough. Yoongi brings Hoseok even closer, bites at the later’s bottom lip. He still wants more-
“Is that a yes?”
Only now Yoongi realizes that he hasn’t properly answered. Even when it’s obvious, he hasn’t answered. The words come out easily, heart beating fast inside his chest.
“Yes, I want us to be exclusive.”
This time around, Hoseok is the one to kiss him. Yoongi thinks he tastes like the sun, he tastes of happiness and dreams. Hoseok kisses him slowly, less desperate, and Yoongi follows him. Yoongi always follows him.
“We really should get up.” Yoongi laughs, breaking the kiss.
“It’s Sunday, and it’s the middle of the night.”
“Right,” Yoongi laughs. “You make me forget about time and space.” Yoongi plays with Hoseok’s hair, kisses his lips one more time.
He can kiss Hoseok as many times as he wants know. He can kiss Hoseok until falling asleep, right after waking up. And Hoseok kisses him back every time. Yoongi still feels the same butterflies inside his stomach everytime Hoseok kisses him back.
“Five more minutes and then we go to sleep-” Hoseok says between kisses.
Yoongi nods, certain that ten minutes will turn into half an hour, and then he’ll have to remind Hoseok about sleeping again.
“Should we go out for dinner tomorrow?” Yoongi asks around the twenty minutes mark.
“I’d like that.”
Before finally going to sleep, they end up showering together. They stay there until the water runs cold, and when they are all ready to go, Yoongi isn’t sure if the sweater he picked is actually his, but it doesn’t matter.
They already share half their clothes anyway. So, Yoongi doesn’t mind. And if Hoseok recognizes that the sweater as his, he doesn’t say anything about it either.
When they hide under the sheets, Yoongi wonders why it took them so long to get here. But still, he wouldn’t change a single thing.
Jimin doesn’t know if this is a date. They are drinking beer on the roof, and there’s something about the sun setting that reminds him of Taehyung’s eyes.
“What about this?” Jimin goes through all the papers Taehyung brought with him, different sketches and drawing that he has done since enrolling at university.
Taehyung is finding it really hard to come up with something decent for his Digital Arts class. He is finding it really hard to sit down and finish his pieces, which is very inconvenient for an Art student.
“First year…” Taehyung points out. “But I can’t remember the name of the class.”
Jimin doesn’t see it, though. For him, everything that Taehyung creates is precious.
“What about this one?” Jimin smiles to a watercolor of a tree.
Taehyung sighs. “Fucking artist block-” he moves the drawings away and holds Jimin’s hand, an habit that isn’t exactly new, but Taehyung finds it endearing every time. “I am an Art student, I don’t get the privilege of allowing myself to have an artist block.”
Jimin intertwines their fingers and gives them a gentle squeeze, Taehyung finds the pressure reassuring. “What’s blocking it?”
“If it’s an artist block, there should be something that’s blocking you, right?” Jimin explains himself slowly, searching for another one of the pieces to lay it between their laps. “What’s blocking you?”
“It’s-” Taehyung hadn’t thought about it. He always thought that an artist block was just something that occured every once in a while, and there’s no point in trying to stop it. It’s just what happens, and you have to wait until it’s gone to go back to normal. “I have no idea.”
Jimin smiles, then. He smiles and brings their hands to his face, kissing Taehyung’s knuckles. “You should try to figure that out.”
In this moment, Jimin realizes that he doesn’t care that he doesn’t know if this is a date. He likes being around Taehyung, and their current state of ease is something he is not ready to let go. He wants their happy bubble to remain untouched, unbothered.
Taehyung smiles back, one of his beautiful boxy smiles.
Taehyung kisses him, and for a second, Jimin stutters. There are times when Taehyung kisses him out of nowhere, and it takes Jimin a second or two to remember that Taehyung likes him back, that he loves him back, just like that.
Jimin always kisses him back. He always finds Taehyung’s hand and gestures him to hold him by the waist, and this time around it’s not different. Jimin smiles through the kiss, pulls apart a few seconds later to see Taehyung’s face.
He likes the way that Taehyung looks at him after they kiss. Jimin finds it almost as pleasing as kissing him, the way Taehyung always smiles back and looks into his eyes as if Jimin were something precious. Taehyung makes Jimin feel precious, like one of his pieces of art.
Taehyung kisses him one more time before pulling apart and searching for the sketchbook inside his backpack. Jimin takes another sip of his beer, their abandoned cans already cooled down and destined to be thrown away.
And for a few minutes, they don’t speak. Taehyung sits around Jimin’s legs, resting his back on Jimin’s chest. He starts doodling, and Jimin watches him. He watches as Taehyung transforms the blank paper into something else.
Jimin wraps his arms around Taehyung’s stomach, bringing him a little closer. Even when he can’t see it, he knows that Taehyung is smiling.
“Seokjin is going away.” Taehyung speaks softly, hand still moving the pencil around the paper.
They haven’t spoken about it. Jimin knows, and Jimin knows that Taehyung knows it too, but they’ve both chosen not to talk about it. It’s almost as if they had both agreed to keep their happy bubble untouched, safe.
Taehyung has decided it’s time to break their bubble.
“But he’ll come back.” Jimin speaks as soft, almost whispering to Taehyung’s ear with the way they are sitting.
“We don’t know that.” Taehyung doesn’t sound angry nor sad, he just sounds… sincere. He believes that what he is saying is true.
“He’ll come back.” Jimin repeats the words. Seokjin is leaving, and maybe he’ll find a better life. Jimin wants him to have a better life, to fulfill his dreams, even if that means that he is away from them.
“This is happening too fast,” Taehyung draws putting more pressure on the pencil, and Jimin notices that it looks more violent than before. “it’s been like… a week since he told me he’d leave, and now he is already buying luggages and filing paperwork to leave the country. It’s too fast.”
Jimin doesn’t know why it took so long for Seokjin to finally tell Taehyung. He doesn’t judge him. “This last few months have passed by fast-” he nods.
“And Namjoon is letting him go, just like that?” he starts drawing circles, over and over again.
Jimin hugs him tighter, hides his face around Taehyung’s back and nuzzles his neck. “I don’t get it.”
He didn’t take it well. And Jimin thinks that Seokjin knew this, he thinks that Seokjin was as cautious as possible about it. Jimin thinks that Seokjin is hurting too, carrying the burden that he is leaving his friends behind to accomplish his dreams.
“Love sometimes is letting go.”
But how could Taehyung know? he’s been by Jimin’s side every step of the way. He stayed by Jimin’s side even when he couldn’t recognize him, and he let Jimin meet him again. Jimin is grateful he was able to meet Taehyung twice, he is grateful he fell in love with him twice-
He is grateful he was able to remember.
Taehyung stops drawing and pulls apart, turning around and sitting crossed legged in front of Jimin, knees touching.
“I love you.”
Oh, Jimin knows. Taehyung doesn’t say it all the time, but he’s said it enough times. Enough times for Jimin to be certain that Taehyung loves him back, enough times for him to still blush while hearing them.
“I love you too, Tae.”
Taehyung starts caressing Jimin’s cheek, the other hand resting on Jimin’s waist. Jimin closes his eyes.
“Can you say it again?”
Sometimes Taehyung blushes too. Sometimes Taehyung tells him that he loves him just by looking at him, there are times where Jimin can tell that Taehyung loves him by the way he touches him. Jimin always closes his eyes.
“I love you too, Tae.”
Jimin hasn’t opened his eyes, but he can tell that Taehyung is close to him. He remains still, as Taehyung runs smoothing fingers around his cheek and his lips.
Jimin feels loved.
Taehyung is slow. When Jimin opens his eyes, he can see the light reflected in Taehyung’s eyes with how close they are. Their lips are aligned, barely touching, but Taehyung hasn’t kissed him yet.
Jimin is patient. He waits for Taehyung to kiss him.
Taehyung always kisses him.
It’s sweet, and it starts with the gentle press of lips. And Jimin truly gets what they meant that time they talked about giving themselves a piece of each other. Jimin thinks that with each kiss, a part of him melts with Taehyung, and Jimin is his. Jimin thinks that he’s been his even before they had even kissed.
Sometimes Taehyung kisses his as if he knew exactly what he wanted, and other times, like now, Taehyung kisses him experimentally. He starts shyly, tenderly switching between Jimin’s top and bottom lips.
But Jimin opens his mouth, and Taehyung isn’t that shy anymore. He deepens the kiss, and Jimin’s breath stutters when Taehyung’s tongue finds the roof of his mouth.
But it’s still slow, gentle.
It’s as if Taehyung was being careful not to scare Jimin out, as if he was letting him know that he can always back up.
After everything, Jimin doubted he’d ever feel safe again. Jimin isn’t sure he can really remember the feeling of safety; but, there’s a thing about being around Taehyung’s arms, and there’s something about the way Taehyung bites his bottom lip. Jimin isn’t sure about safety, but it must feel something like this.
Maybe Taehyung makes him feel safe.
Somewhere along the line, Jimin lays down and brings Taehyung on top of him. They never stop kissing. Jimin keeps his hands on Taehyung’s hair, messing it up, and Taehyung’s hands seem to find it’s rightful place on Jimin’s waist.
“More.” Jimin says it just like that, without thinking it twice.
Around Taehyung, he feels comfortable enough not to have to think things twice.
Taehyung obeys, leaving a trace of kisses on Jimin’s neck. Jimin moves his head to the side to allow him better access, and Taehyung seems to find a spot he likes around Jimin’s collarbones.
Jimin quivers as Taehyung marks him. Another mark to the others he’s already done.
Taehyung goes back to Jimin’s lips, and the shyness is no longer there. Taehyung kisses him firmly until Jimin is left breathless. Jimin feels more of Taehyung’s weight above him, as if he had stopped holding back a piece of him which he was still keeping to himself.
“We are outside, Jiminnie.” he giggles before kissing him again.
Jimin laughs through the kiss. “Let’s go home, then.”
This calls Taehyung’s attention, and he pulls back a little bit with a serious expression on his face. “Are you serious?”
“Yeah,” Jimin whispers. “let’s go home. Shall we?”
Taehyung looks at him for another second before giving him a fast peck on the lips, boxy smile shining even when the sun has already disappeared beyond the horizon.
“Let’s go home.”
They buy food on their way back, hands intertwined as they walk.
Yeah, Jimin believes safety should feel something close to this. Safety sound similar to Taehyung’s smile, and to the way he squeezes their hands every time they stop walking right before crossing the street.
Taehyung is safety.
When they arrive, they have dinner on the couch. And Jimin notices they’ve become one of those cheesy people that feed each other while making different voices, but he is too busy laughing to mind.
It’s not until after they’ve cleaned the place and brushed their teeths that Taehyung kisses him. Jimin’s breath stutters again, and he wonders if there’ll ever come a day where Taehyung won’t make him blush. He doubts it.
“You said more.” Taehyung smiles, and there’s something else behind his eyes. “Do you still want more?
Jimin hasn’t seen it before, but he wants to keep seeing it. He wants to find out exactly what it it. “I do.”
That seems to be enough for Taehyung to kiss him again. And despite the promise of more, Taehyung kisses him slow. Jimin finds Taehyung’s hand to intertwine their fingers, and he smiles through the kiss when Taehyung gives them a squeeze.
It’s slow. Taehyung is patient to make sure Jimin is certain, that he feels safe. This is something they haven’t done before, and Jimin finds himself wanting more every time another piece of clothing disappears between them.
They hold hands, and Jimin makes sure Taehyung is ready before letting go of the last piece of himself that he had been holding back.
But Jimin is slow, and Taehyung follows his rhythm.
Only when Taehyung begs him to go faster, he does so. But even then, he is gentle.
Jimin thinks this is another way Taehyung has of telling him that he loves him. Jimin thinks he can actually materialize Taehyung’s love. For a long time, Jimin thought he didn’t deserve to be loved, but Taehyung was always by his side to make him feel worthy.
He allows himself to close his eyes to the pleasure, because Taehyung makes him feel worthy. Even when Jimin still believes he is a little broken, Taehyung makes him feel whole.
Afterwards, Taehyung lays his head on Jimin’s chest.
They don’t need to speak, and Jimin thinks that gently running his fingers up and down Taehyung’s back is enough, at least for now.
But he is shaking.
Jimin doesn’t notice right away. It’s not until it reaches his hands that he sits down and Taehyung is quick to notice and sit beside him.
“What’s wrong, love?”
Jimin feels safe. Taehyung is safety. Why is he afraid of safety? Maybe this is too good, maybe Taehyung is too good for him to be able to keep him. Jimin is too damaged, and maybe he can only destroy what he touches. Taehyung is too close to him, does he know that Jimin will hurt him?
“I feel safe.” Jimin finds words, be he isn’t sure if they are the right ones. “You are safe-”
Taehyung doesn’t seem to understand, but he carefully searches for one of Jimin’s hands curled around his legs. Jimin holds him tight.
“You are shaking because I am safe?” Taehyung’s voice is soft, just like the way he kisses him. Jimin can still feel the trace of Taehyung’s lips on his.
“You are too safe, and I am too messed up.” Jimin can only vomit the words, legs quivering. “I will break you too, I am too messed up for you. What if I break you? Why do you like someone so damaged?”
Taehyung half smiles, and Jimin doesn’t understand.
“I love you like that.” Taehyung kisses Jimin’s knuckles.
“What does that even mean?”
“I love you like that.” he repeats the words a little louder. “I know your scars don’t define you, you are much more than that. But I also know that they are part of who you are, whether you want it or not. And I love when you smile or laugh, but I love the other parts too. I love you like that, love.”
There’s something in the way that Taehyung says it, that makes Jimin believe it. Taehyung loves him, and even if he feels broken he needs to get up and pull a smile because he is loved. He is loved and he loves.
Not many people in the world are lucky enough to find love, and Jimin is so lucky he’s found someone like Taehyung. Maybe they are both lucky.
Maybe one day, Jimin will actually believe that his scars are just scars instead of freshly opened wounds.
And Taehyung’s face won’t bleed.
I love you like that.
“I love you like that too.”
Jimin’s body stops shaking.
ofc i had to add the name of the fic somewhere in the story ajsdjadh
reminder that after this we only have the final chapter left, and the epilogue :o
my baby is so close to the end :( next chapter is THE FINAL CHAPTER, and then we have the epilogue and that's it omg
to every single one of you.
Chapter 11: We move on
the final chapter.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The airport is cold. Jimin is sitting close to the gate that leads to Immigration, and his coffee is cold as well. He knows that, outside, the clouds are crying and the sky is grey; if he closes his eyes, he swears he can hear it.
“Would you like something else, sir?” the waitress asks with a polite smile.
Jimin shakes his head and he leaves.
The airport is cold, and he shouldn’t have asked for coffee because he doesn’t even like it and he wasn’t able to sleep last night. But lately he’s done a lot of things that he shouldn’t have done.
He’s cried a lot, but Taehyung always says that it’s better to let all that out rather than keeping it bottled up inside our hearts. There’s something in the way that Taehyung says it that makes Jimin believe it, Taehyung wouldn’t lie to him.
Despite that, he’s also been smiling a lot. And who can blame him? it’s easy smiling around Taehyung, it’s easy smiling after a long day of practice with Jungkook when one of them makes a silly mistake. Jimin would rather smile than cry, and lately all his smiles have been honest, so it’s alright.
Hoseok is the next one to arrive. Jimin smiles when he sees him, umbrella on his right hand.
“You came here early.” Hoseok smiles back and sits in front of him.
Jimin arrived five hours earlier. After he gave up on the idea of sleeping, he slowly got off Taehyung’s grip and left him a note near the door letting him know they’d see each other at the airport.
“I didn’t want to be late.” Jimin giggles, because that’s the closest he’ll ever be to express the truth. He didn’t want to miss it, he wanted to be able to see this gathering from start to finish without even blinking in between.
Hoseok nods, understanding. “The others should be here soon.” Hoseok calls the waitress and orders two coffees. “We said we’d gather in half an hour, didn’t we?”
“We did.” Jimin suddenly realizes that they won’t all fit in the table he chose, but he decides that’s a problem for the future. They’ll find somewhere to sit. “When do you think Seokjin will arrive?”
“He’ll come.” Hoseok makes an unconcerned gesture with his hands. “That’s the whole point of this, isn’t it? but maybe Namjoon will hold him back for as long as possible, I know I’d do that if I were in his situation.”
Jimin thinks he’d do that too, but he also thinks he’d let Taehyung go.
“How is Yoongi?” Jimin takes a sip of his cold coffee and smiles with his eyes.
Jimin has barely seen the other for the past month. And the only reason why he’s seen Hoseok is because of their hours of practice together. The both of them have been glued to each other by the hip, too happy to be aware of the world around them.
Hoseok smiles again, and Jimin can’t help to think that he shines. “He’ll be here any minute now. When I left, he said he’d wake up in five minutes-”
“Will he?” Jimin laughs after taking another sip of his coffee, and around Hoseok, it tastes sweet.
“I really hope he did.” the waitress comes back and leaves the two coffees that Hoseok ordered on the table. “I’ve already ordered for him-”
“You trust him a lot.”
In that same moment, Jimin sees Yoongi walking towards them just a few metres away. Jimin waves to call his attention, and Yoongi smiles when he sees him. He sits next to Hoseok.
“I do.” Hoseok finally replies, searching for Yoongi’s hand and intertwining their fingers resting on the table.
“You do what?” Yoongi wonders, gummy smile still bright on his face.
“Nothing!” Hoseok moves one of the coffees in front of Yoongi and gestures him to drink it. “I ordered for you.”
Yoongi forgets about the matter as soon as he takes the first sip of his coffee.
“Do we know anything about Jungkook and Taehyung?” Yoongi asks.
Jimin stayed with Jungkook at the practice room until late hours yesterday night, and the younger promised they’d see each other at the airport and that he wouldn’t be late. On the other hand, the last time he saw Taehyung he was deep lost in sleep.
“I’m sure they are on their way.”
Taehyung ended up passing his Digital Arts class, getting over his artists block. Jimin asked him if he found out what was blocking it, but Taehyung never replayed.
“We should go somewhere after your show.” Yoongi offers, but Jimin is lost in thought.
It’s okay if they don’t talk about everything. Jimin knows they have each other, for the good and the bad moments. There are nights where Jimin wakes up cold in sweat in the middle of a panic attack, and he hides himself in the bathroom because he’d rather be on his own. And it’s okay, because Taehyung always wakes up and stays on the other side of the door with a glass of water, patiently waiting.
They have each other.
“Where would you like to go after your show, Jiminnie?” Hoseok asks slowly, already guessing Jimin has lost himself inside his own mind.
He snaps out of it. “Maybe we can have dinner somewhere quiet.”
Jimin has been so worried about the show itself that he even forgot there will be a life after it. What does he want to do afterwards? he wants to rest, he wants to chill knowing that everything went alright… he hopes everything will go alright.
“You aren’t overworking yourself, are you?” Yoongi downs half of the coffee in one go.
“As if Jungkook would allow me to-” Jimin half giggles.
His friends care for him, a lot. Sometimes, Jimin isn’t sure he deserves them. But they always remain by his side, and Jimin is grateful. Everyday, he tries to be better; so maybe, one day, he’ll feel he deserves them. He’ll be good enough.
As if they had put as spell on them, Jungkook and Taehyung make their entrance and greet them happily.
“We don’t fit.” Jungkook pouts, so they move to another table.
There are two empty seats for Seokjin and Namjoon, and Jimin looks at the empty chairs. He wants time to go slower, but time has a tendency of never listening to him.
“Why didn’t you wake me up?” Taehyung speaks softly, when Jungkook and Hoseok get lost in another conversation. Jimin searches for Taehyung’s hand, and he feels a wave of butterflies when the elder intertwines their fingers under the table. “We could have left together.”
“I didn’t want to wake you up, you looked too peaceful.”
Taehyung smiles and gives their hands a gentle squeeze. “It’s alright, I didn’t even hear you leaving.”
“I’ll start waking you up every morning.” Jimin jokes, the smile of a fool in love all over his face. “Would you like that?”
“As long as you stay by my side.”
Jimin had been joking, but Taehyung’s voice is so serious that he can’t help to blush. Jimin covers up his face with his other hand, trying to hide his smile. “You are so cheesy.”
Another two mugs of coffee join the table, and for a while, they keep talking. They talk like they always do, and they allow themselves to pretend today isn’t the day one of them is leaving the country.
“Gukkie,” Yoongi takes a sip of his freshly served new cup of coffee. “Jimin was saying we can eat somewhere quiet after the show. What do you think?”
“It’s Jimin’s show, he decides.” Jungkook smiles.
And Jimin nods despite not being sure of how right he is. Technically, he was given an available spot to participate during the performance of the Freshman students. He isn’t Freshman, he’ll be performing during what could have been the halftime. But the university made sure he could be part of it, and they made sure he had time between his classes to practice. They’ve worried about him, given his particular case.
“We’ve made it together-” Jimin is quick to add.
“But you’ll be the one on the stage, I am just… helping you.”
Jimin is grateful for having a friend like Jungkook. Someone who cares for him enough to change their schedule to start working on a show that isn’t theirs, someone who is by his side to motivate him everytime he feels he may not be enough.
“It’s yours too…” Jimin insists. “It’s- it’s ours.”
Jungkook ends up nodding, half a smile on his lips.
Jimin doesn’t spot Namjoon and Seokjin until they’ve already reached their table.
“We are all here!” Seokjin smiles bright, and Jimin likes the spark inside his eyes.
They all cheer happily, and Seokjin’s smile only wides.
“Why so many cheers? I haven’t done anything special.”
“Are you kidding?” Yoongi disagrees.
“You’ve got the scholarship of your dreams, and now you are on your way to fulfill your goals in another country.” Hoseok follows.
“Alright-” Seokjin’s smile is still bright bright.
Jimin notices that Namjoon and Seokjin are holding hands. He is used to the sight of it, but he knows he won’t be able to see it for a long time. Taehyung holds him tighter, and Jimin stops looking at his friends to look at him: Taehyung offers him half a smile, and Jimin wonders if they had been thinking the same thing.
Jimin holds him as tight.
“Are you going to bring us presents?” Jungkook asks playfully.
“I haven’t even left and you are already asking for things!”
“But will you?”
“My presence should be the present.”
They are all smiling. And they start talking naturally, as they’ve always done. Jimin even thinks that if he tries hard enough he can pretend this is another one of their usual gatherings at their café-
But this isn’t their usual café. And Seokjin is holding a ticket.
“Your show is only a week away-” Seokjin switches the conversation towards Jimin.
“Yeah,” Jimin wants Seokjin to see it, to see him. But he won’t say it, he won’t make Seokjin feel bad on his day. Today is his day. “I’m excited.”
“I’m going to see it.” Seokjin’s voice sounds certain, as if he was stating a fact. “Joonie will Facetime me the whole time, right?”
“My phone’s data won’t like it, but of course I will.”
Jimin hadn’t thought about that possibility, so he smiles.
“What about timezones?”
“I’ll wake up at 4 in the morning if it’s necessary.” he replies as certain as before.
Suddenly, Jimin feels small. He feels small because sometimes he doesn’t think about all the possibilities, and his friends find a way to make things possible. His friends make everything possible.
“Where’s your luggage?” after a few minutes pass by, Jungkook is the one to notice that Seokjin is only holding a handbag.
“I’ve already checked in. I’m ready to go once it’s time for my flight.”
Jimin thinks that’s good, that gives them a little more time. Jimin doesn’t want them to waste time. He tries to ask it again, he begs clocks to go a little bit slower, just this once. Just for now, so he can enjoy being around his friends for a little bit longer, so they can all stay together.
But time never listens to him. Jimin has never been that lucky.
It passes by fast, but Jimin knows it’s been a while because he’s already ordered another coffee and it’s got cold as well.
Seokjin gets up. “It’s my time.” he offers them another smile, but this time it’s bittersweet.
They walk together to the entrance of Immigration, looking at each other not really sure about where to start or where to go. The memories of countless moments of laughter and tears between them.
Jungkook is the first one to hug Seokjin. Seokjin receives him with open arms and drops his bag to the floor, holding him close and almost lifting him in the air.
“Don’t come back without gifts.” Jungkook laughs, and Seokjin laughs back.
Then, it’s Yoongi and Hoseok’s turn. They both hug him, and Seokjin smiles with teary eyes.
“You two take care of each other.” he places his hands around their shoulders, “If I find out that one of you fucked up, I’ll come back only to kick your asses.”
Taehyung is next. Seokjin hugs him tight and Taehyung makes sure to keep him close for as long as possible. “Take care of him.”
Jimin hears it, and he doesn’t need further explanation to know who him refers to. Seokjin is asking Taehyung to take care of him, and Jimin would like to say that Taehyung is always caring… but he keeps that to himself.
When it’s his turn, Jimin doesn’t find the strength to move. Seokjin is looking at his with expecting eyes, but Jimin’s world is suddenly blurry.
He tries to wipe the tears away before they are noticeable, but Seokjin has already seen them. He’s seen them, and he is quick to close their distance and wipe them away himself.
When Jimin looks up, he finds tears falling from Seokjin’s eyes. He didn’t want to make him cry, he wanted to be stronger.
“I am so… so proud of you.” Seokjin is the one to hug him. And, at first, Jimin doesn’t respond. He is only able to stay still, feeling Seokjin’s arms around him.
He is being hugged.
When will he be able to hug Seokjin again?
That’s when it hits him. And Jimin’s body responds: he leans closer to Seokjin’s touch, and he wraps his arms around him just as tight.
“You’ve grown so much.” Seokjin smiles. “I’m so glad I was able to see you grow.”
Jimin doesn’t really understand what Seokjin means, not now. He’d rather be better… stronger, less fucked up. But Seokjin doesn’t seem to mind, Seokjin keeps telling him that he’s proud, and that he’s helped him become a better person.
Jimin can only let the tears fall.
“I will miss you-” he lets out, voice broken.
“We’ll Facetime. And I’ll see your show, wouldn’t miss that even if I was on the other side of the world.”
“I don’t have to-” he smiles again, but there are fresh tears on his face. “I know I will.”
Jimin draws away to see him better, arms still loose around Seokjin’s forearms. He looks at him, and he can only think of the friend that says thank you instead of sorry. He can only remember the countless drives at night, the memories that are too much to his mind but that don’t feel like enough.
“Will you be all grown up when I come back?”
Jimin thinks about his answer for a second. “I’ll be better.”
They hug again, and it’s less desperate. This time, it’s more to say one last farewell than for anything else. And it works, because Jimin allows himself to memorise this moment for later, maybe for lonely nights where he’ll be missing his dear friend.
When they draw apart, Jimin says that he’ll miss him one more time before taking a few steps back.
Now it’s Namjoon’s turn, and Jimin sees how Namjoon throws himself to Seokjin, but then he looks away. It feels like a private moment, something that should only be theirs, and Jimin isn’t seeing them but he knows that Namjoon has probably already drawn apart only to kiss him, not desperately but tender. Always tender, just to remember the feeling of it.
Taehyung holds his hand, and Jimin jumps back a little from his place. When he sees. Taehyung offering him a smile, Jimin interwindes their fingers. He feels better like that, less empty, a little less lonely.
And just like that, he waves goodbye one last time before crossing the gate. At this point, everyone’s eyes are teary. But none of them comment about it, because they all know… they all feel the same way.
Love lets go.
They stay still for a while. Jimin doesn’t know if seconds or minutes have passed once they finally start walking towards the exit. They walk slowly, and Jungkook places a hand on Namjoon’s back.
Normally, their gatherings end with Seokjin driving them back to their place. But this time around, it’s different. For obvious reasons, they’ve all came here on their own. Seokjin won’t be driving them around for a while, his car already sold and far away.
Taehyung, Jimin and Jungkook take a taxi. Jimin assumes he’ll have to get used to it.
The day of the show comes before Jimin can even so much as blink.
It starts slowly, waking up without the need of an alarm, and around Taehyung’s arms. He thinks he’s got used to this, the warmth of Taehyung’s body around his. He is used to it by now, but it still warms his heart every time. It still brings butterflies to his stomach, and when they kiss good morning, it still makes Jimin see stars.
“I love you.” Jimin says the words between kisses, Taehyung hums. “A lot.”
Instead of speaking, Taehyung holds him a little closer so their legs are intertwined, and kisses him again. It’s a good morning kiss, so there’s nothing heated about it. It’s just the gentle press of lips between smiles; it feels nice.
“When do you have to leave?” Taehyung asks later, Jimin’s eyes are closed.
“We can stay here for a little longer.”
Jimin starts drawing circles around Taehyung’s waist, and the latter leans closer to the touch. “Mhm, I like that.”
“That we can stay here for a little longer?”
Jimin presses their lips again, and it feels like dancing. Jimin is following a song which he isn’t sure exists, but maybe they can write it together. Jimin hopes they can create beautiful things together.
“What’s your schedule for today?”
“Mhm.” Jimin rolls around so he is laying on top of him. “I have the doctor’s appointment in a few hours,” he caresses Taehyung’s cheek. “and after that I’m rehearsing with Jungkook one last time before the show.”
Jimin kisses Taehyung’s nose.
“And what about after that?”
He kisses Taehyung’s eyelids, one gentle peck each.
“We’ll go somewhere to have dinner with the boys-”
“And after that?”
“I guess we’ll come back home?”
Taehyung hums, presses their lips again. “We can do something together.”
Jimin smiles, but he also keeps in mind that he’s still overwhelmed by social situations. He is going to stand on a stage, after a long time… and he is going to eat outside afterwards-
Maybe it’s too much. But still, he doesn’t want to reject him.
“Only if it’s just the two of us.”
Taehyung nods, as if that had been the plan all along.
“It will be just the two of us.”
Jimin kisses him one more time, and he’s already lost count of how many times they’ve pressed their lips together this morning. He likes it, he likes knowing that he can kiss Taehyung all the times he wants, likes the fact that Taehyung is always willing to kiss him.
It makes him feel like flying, with all the thrill of it, but it also makes him feel safe. He is flying with his feet on the ground, and Jimin isn’t sure how that’s possible but he won’t question it. He’ll take him just like that.
Jimin smiles through the kiss. “Love you too.”
They say it a lot, but not all the time. Jimin thinks they don’t need to say it… because they both know. It’s in the way that they hold their hands and share one last kiss every time they are about to go to sleep. Sometimes Jimin knows it in the way that Taehyung looks at him, and it makes him wonder if he looks at Taehyung the same way, he hopes he does. That’s why they don’t have to say I love you all the time, but they still do it because it’s nice.
“What’s today’s appointment for?” Taehyung asks. He always asks, he always shows Jimin how much he cares about how he is doing. Jimin always lets him know with as much details as possible.
“We are going to discuss whether or not I’m ready to lower the dose of my anxiety medication.”
“Oh,” Taehyung strokes Jimin’s hair, gentle. “and what do you think?”
“The change would be after the show, of course. I guess we’d go slow so I don’t feel the difference so much.” he leans closer to Taehyung’s touch. “But yeah, I think I’m ready. Things are good, aren’t they? I am better than yesterday-”
“That’s right.” Taehyung smiles. “Have you been talking to Seokjin?”
“Yeah…” Jimin answers quickly. “We Facetime every day,” he makes a pause, thinking. “he looks happy.”
“Did he tell you?”
Jimin opens his mouth to speak, but he isn’t sure what to say. Did he tell him what? Seokjin only spoke to him about his days, and about how he is getting used to his life in a new place and a new country. He told him about how sometimes he forgets people speak English and he starts talking in Korean out of nowhere. He didn’t mention anything beyond that.
“Did he tell me what?”
To this, Taehyung’s mouth falls into an oh shape. His eyes open wide as if he had just made a mistake.
“Did he tell me what? Is there anything I should know?”
After a few seconds, Taehyung sits down. Jimin takes the place in front of him and finds his hand. He tries to hold his hand as many times as possible.
“Well… He said he’d tell you. I- I feel like he should be the one telling you this. But… I’ve already opened my big mouth so I might as well finish.”
Jimin feels the anxiety increasing, his heart beating inside his chest. “Is it bad?”
“No, no-” Taehyung corrects him. “It’s about why he had the courage to apply for the scholarship again.” he exhales, and Jimin feels the anxiety going down but his heart is still beating fast fast.
“What was it?” Jimin has the courage to speak despite feeling breathless.
“It was you. You made him realise that if the scholarship was what he really wanted, it was worth trying again. Everything that happened, and how you were able to overcome it… it made him realise that he really wanted to go. He’s always said that his dreams were far away, didn’t he? And now he is out there, making them a reality.”
The new information sets inside his mind slowly. He lets it find somewhere to stay, a safe place where he won’t forget it. He knows there are still days where he can’t trust his mind, but he doesn’t want to forget this.
“I helped him to be happier?”
Jimin feels the tears in his eyes, but he blinks to make them disappear. He won’t cry today, he’ll do his best not to shed tears today.
“Was that why he kept saying that he was proud of me? that he wanted to see me grow?”
“I guess so.” Taehyung gives their hands a squeeze and brings them to his face to kiss Jimin’s knuckles.
At the end, Jimin smiles. It looks like he’s left a good mark in the world after all. From the ashes, Seokjin made it possible for a flower to bloom.
Jungkook arrives to the practice room before Jimin. He tells himself that it was an accident and that he made a mistake setting up his alarms, but deep down he knows he did it on purpose. He wanted to arrive earlier, make sure they had the right music and that the outfit was still there ready to be used.
Jimin arrives a few minutes late, but this doesn’t call Jungkook’s attention because he knows he is coming right from his doctor’s appointment.
“We should take it easy today. You’ve got this, we both know you’ve got this.” Jungkook greets him by giving him his outfit and playing soft music for them to warm up.
Jimin changes his clothes, and the outfit feels exactly the same but completely different from when he first tried it on. It’s comfortable and soft, with a glittery jacket that will make him stand out on stage. He looks at the multiple reflections of himself-
I look whole.
Like this, all the struggles that Jimin faced this last few months aren’t noticeable. He looks… whole, as if half of his pieces still weren’t long gone and lost to oblivion. Jimin smiles.
“How do I look?”
Jungkook smiles back, standing in front of him to fix his bow. “You look good.”
“Good enough that I’ll convince the public that I’m capable of performing?”
“You won’t have to convince them,” Jungkook steps back, looking at Jimin with a tender smile. “you’ll show them.”
Jungkook plays the music, and this time around, he just watches. They’ve worked together in this choreography, and most days Jungkook would dance by his side. They’d dance together, and that way, Jimin felt less lonely.
But in a few hours, Jungkook won’t be with him on stage. Jimin needs to be able to handle it on his own, despite knowing that Jungkook will be behind the stage the whole time. He has to do it on his own.
He dances, and he is glad that at least the outfit feels soft on his skin. Jungkook plays the song twice, and both times Jimin performs it perfectly. He’s practiced, he is ready.
Jungkook plays the track on more time, and this time he dances by Jimin’s side… just for the fun of it. Jimin loves dancing with Jungkook almost as much as dancing. There’s something about having him by his side, all the years of trust and friendship adding a spark of something else to their moves.
When the song ends, Jungkook hugs him. Jimin stutters for a second, but when he feels Jungkook’s warmth he is quick to wrap his arms around him as well.
“Tonight, you’ll shine.”
Jimin smiles around Jungkook’s shoulders. “Because all the other performers will be Freshman or?” he jokes.
Jungkook breaks the hug and pats Jimin’s shoulder. “I’m being serious, okay?” he laughs, “You’ll shine because of how talented you are.”
Jimin laughs, almost sure that by now his face is completely blushed. He is already wearing his outfit, and after Jungkook helps him with the makeup he’ll be all ready to go to the stage on the other side of campus for the final rehearsal before the actual play.
He is ready. He is going to perform, after everything. He is going to get on stage and do what he loves the most: his passion, his dreams. He is better at expressing himself by dancing, he’s always been.
What if they notice that he is broken?
Jimin’s breathing increases, and he feels his heart beating fast inside his chest. Jungkook notices, smile disappearing and looking at him with concern.
“What if they notice how broken I am?”
Jungkook is quick to place his arms around Jimin’s shoulders, keeping him in place to make sure he doesn’t collapse on the floor.
“You are not broken, Minnie.” he says each word slowly, making sure Jimin understands their meaning. “You are a good person that went through really bad situations, but that doesn’t make you broken. You are whole, and this has only made you stronger. It’s made you grow, you may have become a whole new person after… everything, but you’ve only become better. You are not broken, do you understand?”
Jimin hears the words, and he tries to digest them in his mind. He tries to process them, make them enter inside his brain, or maybe his heart. Jungkook’s words go inside his heart, and Jimin breaths.
He keeps breathing. “I am not broken?” he hesitates, and Jungkook’s hands around his shoulder tighten.
“You are not.”
Jimin nods. He… believes him. Jungkook wouldn’t lie, would he? and if he says that he isn’t broken, it must be because he isn’t.
“I am not broken.” he whispers it, and Jungkook half smiles. “I am not broken,” he repeats them, more certain. “I am not broken.” louder, and a little proud.
He can perform. He’ll perform. He is going to do what he loves the most, and all his friends will be there to see it.
The stage is bright. As the show starts, Jimin watches silently from backstage. The lights make the stage shine, in contrast to the darkness of the rest of the room that makes it impossible to see the public.
That’s something Jimin had learned after his first performance. With all the lights on you, you don’t get to see who is watching you. The only thing you can do is dance, giving your best, so maybe… just maybe, the darkness will give you an applause afterwards. The darkness has always been kind to Jimin.
“Two more songs and it’s your turn, Park.” one of the organizers reminds Jimin, and his only reaction is to look at Jungkook standing by his side.
“Two more songs-” he repeats, the thrill of standing on stage already calling for him.
“Let’s go to the entrance of the stage.” Jungkook holds him by the wrist and starts guiding him through.
“Has everyone arrived?” Jimin asks shyly.
“Yeah,” Jungkook reassures him. “everyone is here. And Namjoon is already on a video call with Seokjin for him to see everything.”
The image of his friends sitting down a few metres away, waiting for him to finally perform, warms Jimin’s heart. He smiles.
And time suddenly goes slow. One performance finishes and the next one starts, and Jimin watches the first year student giving his all, and his smile widens. He remembers a time when he himself got ready for this same show, also with Jungkook by his side.
Time slows down, but it keeps moving, so somewhere along the line the organizer speaks to him again.
“Ten seconds, Park.”
Jungkook gives him a quick hug, and the whole place goes dark dark. Jimin sees himself walking, feels his legs moving until he is in the middle of the stage. It’s time.
He knows that his jacket is shining, so he sets his body on the beginning pose.
The music starts, and the lights turn on and off and on again.
Jimin starts dancing, and time speeds up again. He moves his body to the beat which he’s learned by heart. Each step precise, a smile over his features. He is dancing… he is able to dance.
He is not useless. As he is already in the middle of the performance, Jimin finds out that he is still able to do what he loves the most. And it kind of feels like he was made to do this, like there is nothing else he should be able to do.
His body moves, and he feels like flying. Almost like kissing Taehyung… so maybe kissing Taehyung feels like dancing, or maybe dancing feels like kissing Taehyung. Either way, Jimin’s body moves and he discovers that he is not broken.
He knows he is not broken because, right now, he feels happy. And broken people aren’t able to feel this good, are they?
As the ending approaches, Jimin can feel his heart beating fast inside his chest. This time, it’s not anxiety nor fear: it’s joy. His perfectly whole heart is beating fast, and he is breathing. The lights go off and on again, and Jimin does the final pose.
The music ends.
Jimin bows and closes his eyes. Can he see? does he want to see?
Jimin starts listening to the applauses. And cheers, are those cheers? Are they cheering for him?
He opens his eyes, and the whole crowd is standing up.
A standing ovation.
Jimin is receiving a standing ovation.
He bows again, smile wider.
Without the lights, he thinks he is able to see the crowd. He thinks he is able to see Hoseok and Yoongi, next to Taehyung. He thinks he is able to see Namjoon cheering, holding his phone up up. Jimin thinks he is able to see Seokjin from the screen too.
When the time comes, he leaves the stage, but the cheers don’t end.
As soon as he finds Jungkook backstage, Jimin hugs him. He throws himself at him, holding him close close until his arms hurt.
“You were amazing!”
“I did it. I am whole.”
When the show is over, everyone waits for Jimin outside. He changes his outfit but he doesn’t take his makeup off, too hurried to waste any more time. Jimin wants to see his friends as soon as possible, wants to see their proud faces greeting him. Jimin wants to hug them, every single one of them.
Or at least, most of them.
Taehyung greets him with a hug, and Jimin is quick to hug him back. Taehyung’s hands find Jimin’s waist, and he starts spinning him around in the air. Jimin laughs, because this is a happy moment, this is worth a good happy laughter.
“I love you so much.” Taehyung puts him back on the floor, but with the way Taehyung is looking at him, Jimin still feels like flying.
And because Jimin can even process the overwhelming feeling of butterflies, Taehyung kisses him. Their lips meet, Jimin holds Taehyung’s cheeks with his glittery hands, and he knows Taehyung’s face will be full of glitter but neither of them seem to mind.
When they draw apart, they are both smiling.
“Now all our congratulations to him will be shit in comparison to that-” Yoongi’s voice makes Jimin snap out of the spell of love made by Taehyung.
Namjoon is the next one to hug him, and they all take turns to congratulate him.
“You were shining-” Hoseok points out, enthusiasm clear in his voice.
“Literally shining!” Yoongi adds while giggling.
“Thank you, guys.” Jimin thinks that his cheeks are starting to hurt with how hard he is smiling. He’s never laughed this much in his whole life, and he is afraid he has somehow hurted a muscle of his face.
“I made a reservation at a very quiet restaurant a few minutes in taxi from here, shall we go?”
Jimin nods, and they start walking towards the street. Namjoon gives Jimin his cellphone and unlocks it.
“Seokjin told me he’d stay up for a little longer. You can talk to him while we are on our way.”
Jimin doesn’t hesitate to make the phone call.
During the dinner, Jimin thinks that time stops. The place is quiet, and their table is nice, so this it’s not overwhelming.
They talk about life, and it’s easier like this when he no longer feels broken. It’s easier when he is certain that his heart is okay. He doesn’t break everything he touches… and he can create.
With his dance, Jimin thinks he can create a new world: somewhere where everyone is happy, and where horrible things are only part of nightmares. Jimin thinks he can actually make it.
When they are done, Taehyung calls a taxi and they get on their way to their next destination.
“Where are we going?” Jimin asks while resting a hand on Taehyung’s leg. He thinks he knows, but he’ll pretend just for the sake of it.
And when they get off the taxi, Jimin knows he was right. They are back on campus, and Jimin knows exactly where they are going.
“Do you think we are the only ones who use that roof?” he laughs, finding Taehyung’s hand so they can start walking.
“I hope we are. That’s out spot… TM!”
Jimin laughs again at the same time that Taehyung does so too, and he finds out that he likes the way their laughter sound together. It makes him laugh harder, it makes the butterflies come back.
When they are already on the roof, they sit side by side with their feet flying in the air. Jimin wonders how he isn’t afraid of this, one would think everything that’s happened had made him afraid of heights, right?
But Taehyung wouldn’t make him fall. And neither of them will ever bleed.
“You are beautiful-” Taehyung’s voice is soft, and Jimin stops looking at the stars only to lock eyes with him. “I feel like I don’t say that enough.”
Jimin blushes and smiles. “You do say it quite often, actually.”
Taehyung laughs, and it sounds better than rain after a drought.
He brings their hands to his face and kisses Jimin’s knuckles. “I will say it more.”
Jimin giggles. “Why?”
“I like how you look at me when I say it. You blush, and it’s cute.”
This only makes Jimin blush harder.
“See!” Taehyung points it out, “Like that.”
Jimin shuts him up with a kiss, and Taehyung doesn’t complain. Jimin bites Taehyung’s bottom lip and he whimpers, and when Taehyung opens his mouth willingly, their tongues meet.
Jimin likes it when they kiss like that. Not too fast nor too slow, with the certainty that they have all the time in the world. Jimin knows he can take all the time in the world to kiss Taehyung, and that Taehyung will let him kiss him just like that.
They kiss for a while, the stars as their only witness.
“Does-” Taehyung hesitates, when they are back at silently looking at the night sky. “Does remembering me still hurt?”
Jimin sighs. It’s… hard to explain. Is there an easy way to say it? “Sometimes.” before Taehyung can react, he is quick to bring their hands to his mouth to kiss the latters palm. “But not remembering you would hurt more.” he kisses Taehyung’s knuckles, then his wrist. “Not remembering how much you love me would hurt more, I don’t… I don’t want to forget, never again.”
Taehyung smiles, teary eyes brighter than the sun. “I love you a lot.”
Jimin smiles too, and with how blurry his sight has suddenly got, he guesses his eyes are teary too. “There are still things that I can’t remember. Lost pieces that I can’t quite find because it would be too much, is that bad?”
Taehyung moves to the side, so he has Jimin in front of him rather the moon. Taehyung would rather see Jimin than the moon. “We’ll do it all again, and you’ll have new memories. You don’t have to remember anything else, unless you want to”
Jimin takes a few seconds. He processes Taehyung’s words before silently nodding. He is grateful to have someone like Taehyung, he’s always been.
“I love you a lot too.” he likes talking to Taehyung, he likes hugging him, he likes kissing him. He wouldn’t mind spending the rest of his life by his side. “We didn’t really talk, did we?” he remembers out of nowhere, and it makes him chuckle.
“About what?” Taehyung wonders, his free hand resting on Jimin’s back.
“About us. About all the implications and how this could have affected our friendship-” he laughs again. “We… never… talked…”
Taehyung laughs back. “We didn’t, you are right-”
They laugh, and it feels like music to Jimin’s ears. Taehyung’s smile makes him feel at ease.
“Do you want to talk?” Taehyung raises and eyebrow.
Jimin laughs harder, but he nods. “Yeah, we could- we could talk about it.”
“Okay, let’s talk”
Jimin moves around too, so they are facing each other. “You are my best friend.” he starts.
“You are my best friend too.” Taehyung smiles, and it’s one of the smiles that he makes while they kiss.
“We won’t ruin this, right?” Jimin speaks his fears out loud. And this time around, he allows himself to speak the fear of any normal young adult finally starting a serious relationship with his best friend. He allows himself to be ordinary. “Because… you are my soulmate. And we can always go back if things turn hard. I wouldn’t want to lose you, ever.”
“You don’t have to worry about that.” Taehyung speaks softly, and it feels like a caress. “I was afraid of that too… but we’ve overcome so much. At this point, I trust us. I know we’ll last for a very long time.”
“You are sure of it?”
Jimin doesn’t know why he is hesitant. He’s seen how patient Taehyung is, he’s seen how caring and lovely he is to him. But he is allowing himself to ramble the stereotypical concerns, because he can.
“I am certain.” he squeezes their intertwined fingers. “I love you, that won’t change anytime soon.”
Jimin smiles. “I love you too, and I’ve loved you for a very long time. I know I forgot you… but I didn’t mean to. I said I’d stop apologizing for it, but I still want you to know that if I could go back to tell you that I wouldn’t be able to come back, I would.”
“You came back-”
“But I wasn’t the same.” Jimin tries to read the way that Taehyung is looking at him, but he can’t find anything. “We couldn’t talk… And still, you stayed by my side.” his voice cracks, but he wants to keep talking.
Then, he remembers Seokjin. He remembers how he always says thank you instead, of sorry. He wants to be more like him-
“Thanks for staying by my side.” he says instead. “I broke the only promise that I had made to you… and still, you stayed by my side. You were patient, and you made me love you again.”
Before the tears can fall from his face, Taehyung is already caressing his cheeks to wipe them away. They lock eyes, and this time, Jimin thinks he can read it: Taehyung is looking him the same way as always, he is looking at him with love.
“I told you… I’d love for the both of us.” he offers Jimin a smile, but this only makes more tears fall from his face.
“You don’t have to anymore.” he breathes in and out, and eventually, the tears stop falling. He smiles, bringing his hands to hold Taehyung’s around his face. “You can love just for you, I can love you on my own now.”
“I think that beyond everything, my soul always knew.” Jimin speaks with his heart. He opens it up for Taehyung to see: this is me, and I’m yours. “Even when I couldn’t tell it myself, my soul knew that you were what I had been searching all along.”
Taehyung kisses him tenderly, and Jimin wonders how can someone be so gentle every single time. Taehyung: with his bright smiles and soft touches. Taehyung, who says they’ll wake up in five minutes but they stay in bed for another ten. Taehyung, who loved him even when Jimin couldn’t even love himself; who waits on the other side of the bathroom every time he has a panic attack, who always orders takeout from the same place because it’s their favourite food.
Jimin breaks the kiss, because Taehyung is smiling way too wide. It’s one of his boxy smiles.
“Promise me we’ll be together for a long time.” he says, and Jimin doesn’t have to think about it. He knows they will, he is certain.
“What about always?”
“Always?” Taehyung giggles.
“Yeah… I promise I’ll always be by your side. Every second we are together, I’ll cherish it. I’ll keep it in a box next to my heart, and I will remember it in dreams.” Jimin doesn’t know where that came from, but it doesn’t matter, because he knows he is being sincere. He knows he can always open his heart to Taehyung, and Taehyung will always take care of it.
“Oh my god.” Taehyung giggles, instantly blushing. “Sometimes I forget how cheesy you can be.” he laughs again, and Jimin looks at the stars, but Taehyung is prettier. “You promise?” Taehyung is serious again, hands still caressing Jimin’s cheeks. “You promise we’ll always be together?”
Before replying, they both smile. Sometimes they don’t need words, sometimes just looking at each other is enough. Jimin nods, and as every promise, they seal it with a kiss.
This time around, the universe doesn’t play tricks on them, and they are able to keep it.
so... this is the end. I'll try to post the epilogue this week :) please let me know your thoughts! this story has been my baby for the past few months and I'm so glad it's finally here for the world to read. I'll get more cheesy at the ending notes of the epilogue uwu, I hope to see you there.
Chapter 12: EPILOGUE
here's the epilogue. it's barely 2k words, but i'm happy with it. enjoy, see you at the end :)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It’s been a year.
They go to see him.
At first, Jimin thinks about buying a bouquet of flowers, but he ends up buying a whole pot. He holds it tight against his chest with his right hand, as Taehyung holds his other hand just as tight.
It’s been a year, and now he is standing in front of the gravestone of someone he’s only seen once in his entire life, but whose face still comes back in nightmares. But Jimin learned enough about life to be sure that he doesn’t want to forget.
“Do you want me to give you some space?” Taehyung speaks softly. Taehyung has always been like that: caring, patient, loving. Jimin is always grateful.
Jimin nods, so Taehyung kisses Jimin’s knuckles once, before letting go of his hand and stepping back. It’s just a few steps, and Jimin knows that if he says the words he’ll be back by his side in less than a second.
“Why I pot of flowers?” Jimin didn’t have big expectations of how a cemetery would be like, but it was not this. There are too many colours, dying flowers laying everywhere. “I wanted to give you something that could last. I’m not sure I’ll ever come back-”
Jimin hears the gentle hum of birds far away, and it’s the only sound he can focus on.
“I wanted to give you something that could last for a very long time, the same way you did to me. It doesn’t have storns, though, as you can see. I… I didn’t want to hurt you. I just wanted to leave something nice.”
As he speaks, he lets his mind wonder. He allows himself to go from sad to angry to hurt. He allows himself to feel everything, to nothing at all. It’s the way that things go. Is there anything right to say? Is there anything right to do? Jimin doesn’t think so, so he allows himself to just speak: say what he needs to say, feel what he needs to feel.
Some scars still bleed every once in a while.
“For a really long time, I thought that maybe if I had done something different, I would have been able to save you. I… I don’t know anymore. I don’t think about it. My doctors say it’s not healthy to think about it. You did what you did, and even when it was your heart that stopped beating, it felt like a part of me died that night too.”
The birds keep singing, and for the first time, Jimin notices that there’s the slightly bit of wind refreshing the air. He breathes in and out, allows himself to feel the oxygen inside his lungs.
“I’m getting discharged next week.” he says it proudly, a smirk hiding behind his lips, “I’ll no longer be a regular patient of that hospital that has too many fake plants.”
He has the date marked on his calendar, so he can cross out everytime he gets closer to the final date. Of course, he’ll still have to check in every few months for a follow up. But… it’s progress. He is progressing.
Jimin isn’t sure for how many more minutes he keeps speaking. He tells about the days when he couldn’t remember a single thing, and how it felt to find every little piece of himself. He tells about how there are things that he knows, but that he doesn’t go back to, the memories that hurt too much and that it’s better to leave behind.
Taehyung comes right away, intertwines their fingers again without saying a word.
“I should…” Jimin stutters, “place the flowers somewhere…”
He says it, but he doesn’t find it in him to actually move. So, Taehyung gently takes the pot out of Jimin’s hands and looks at him tenderly.
“Where do you want it?”
Taehyung didn’t need to save him. Jimin didn’t need to be saved by anybody, that’s not what happened between them. Taehyung simply stood by Jimin’s side all the way, until Jimin found most of the pieces of himself.
“By the side, next to the other flowers.”
Taehyung nods and obeys, placing it in the ordered place.
Jimin looks at the image of the flowers next to the gravestone for a little longer before squeezing Taehyung’s hand and gesturing him to start walking the other way. And they leave quietly, as the birds keep humming and Jimin keeps wondering why a place like this one has so many colours. He wonders why so many people leave dying flowers which will dry off just a few days after being placed.
They take a taxi home, which isn’t the dorms anymore. Instead, the taxi takes them to an apartment a few blocks away from campus. They had decided to move to a bigger place where their only food resources didn’t have to be takeout, and both theirs stomachs have been grateful for it.
“So many boxes!” Jimin exclaims just after opening the door.
With their tight schedules, they’ve barely had time to actually unpack all their things, so the place is currently a bunch of boxes and a few pair of clothes on their closets.
Today, they have time, so they start unpacking in silence.
Taehyung plays music in the background, and Jimin allows himself to hum to the soft beat. It’s nice like this, when they are so used to being around each other that they don’t feel the need of filling all the silences. They know each other good enough, love each other the right amount.
“Oh,” Jimin is the one to break the silence. “it’s been a while since the last time I had seen this…”
Taehyung stops paying attention to his box to look at Jimin. “What is it?”
Jimin gets closer to him, bright smile on his face. “The notebook that you gave me, do you remember?”
Taehyung nods. “Of course I do-”
“It meant a lot…” Jimin locks eyes with Taehyung, and it’s in moments like this that Taehyung realizes that he’ll never stop loving Jimin. Everyday, he loves him a little bit more… and his love never stops growing. “When you gave it to me, it meant a lot. I still had a hard time remembering basic information, and the post-its were a mess… I would stick them everywhere and forget where I had placed them.” Jimin smiles at the memory, even when those weren’t happy times, “You gave me this, and I was able to keep all the pieces of myself in one place, you kept me in one piece.”
Jimin is holding the notebook close to Taehyung’s hands, so he ends up holding it. Taehyung opens a random page, and he finds a mix of blank ink around purple letters. “You were always in one piece, Jiminie-”
“I want you to have it.” the words escape Jimin’s mouth so fast that Taehyung has to think twice to make sure he heard it right.
“But- It was a gift, I gave it to you as a gift.” Taehyung closes it, and looks at the cover with the words written by him, Jimin. “Read the cover, it says Jimin. Ji! Min!”
This makes Jimin giggle, and the sound makes Taehyung smile.
“But it’s your handwriting.” he points out, “It’s yours, it’s always been yours… I was just- taking care of it. Think of it like this: I borrowed it, and now I am giving it back. What do you think about that?”
Taehyung ends up nodding, and Jimin’s smile widens, that’s how Taehyung knows he’s made the right choice.
Taehyung keeps Jimin’s (his) notebook in the second drawer next their bed. It stays there, as weeks turn into months and Taehyung completely forgets about it. They unpack all the boxes, and the place stops being a random apartment to quickly become theirs. It’s their place, their home, where they can stay late during Sundays and Jimin can attempt to prepare a decent breakfast. Taehyung always says they are delicious.
He forgets about it for a couple of months, and it’s only by accident that he finds it back. It’s winter, and he forgets about what he had been actually looking for as soon as he sees it: the black notebook with his handwriting on the cover.
Jimin isn’t home at the time, so Taehyung sits on the floor with his back on the bed and starts scrolling through the pages. He can’t remember at what point Jimin had stopped writing, but Taehyung knows that there had been a time where Jimin wouldn’t go anywhere without it, and it had become an extension of his body.
I will remember soon.
There aren’t any dates written, but Taehyung remembers exactly what was happening when Jimin wrote that. He remembers almost every single one of the sentences, as Jimin would always read them for him out loud before going to bed.
I am a dancer.
He starts going through the pages, until almost everything is written in colours: black for what I’ve been told and colours for what I remember on my own.
He stops. That’s… something new. His name written in purple, a whole page that he hadn’t seen before. But- it’s just his name, and the rest of the page is black.
Taehyung is my soulmate.
It hurts that it’s written in black, but Taehyung knows that it was Yoongi who had told that to Jimin. He also remembers Jimin confessing that deep down he had always felt like their souls were connected, and for Taehyung, that’s enough.
He’s told Jimin a hundred times that he doesn’t have to remember what hurts.
“We can make new memories, better ones.” he had said, and Jimin had smiled.
“That’s how we have two first kisses, right?”
“But the second one it’s the one that counts-”
“Because we both remember.”
Taehyung doesn’t mind, letting go of some of their memories in order for Jimin to be happier. He doesn’t need the past when Jimin is right in front of him, waking him up with kisses and reminding him that he loves him when they are about to go to sleep.
Taehyung is beautiful.
He smiles, because it’s written in purple. He smiles imagining Jimin getting the marker only to write that down. “You are beautiful too.” he speaks out loud, despite being alone.
Taehyung is my best friend.
This one looks messy, as if it had been written in black at first only to remark it with red later. And Taehyung gets it, because some memories came back to him messily.
He goes back to the beginning and sees every page until the very end. Somewhere along the line, Jimin had stopped writing. The notebook had the purpose, Taehyung guesses, to be Jimin’s mind. To gather his memories for him to go back to at night. It was for him to write little pieces of himself, in the hopes of going back to being whole.
He can’t tell when Jimin stopped writing. (He was always whole in Taehyung’s eyes.)
Taehyung cares for me. And I care about Taehyung.
But he scrolls through the pages until the very end, there are still quite a few blank ones. Pages that will always remain empty, unless Taehyung chooses to write something down… now it’s his, after all. Maybe he can write their story, every single detail of it.
Taehyung goes back to the last thing Jimin wrote in it, with bright colours that make him smile. Taehyung smiles, because around all the black ink, the colours prevail.
Purple ink, at the end of the page.
I’m in love with Taehyung.
first of all: thank you. this was a long fic lol im not sure if more than one person even got this far, but thank you. if you are here, i appreciate you and i hope you enjoyed this story. I posted the first chapter during the first week of this semester, and I wrote everyday after coming back from uni until like 3am lol (thats why there are so many typos im sorry), this story really helped me to keep my weak mental stability in place.
I wanted a story that dealed with mental illness without making it beautiful, but that also showed that progress can be made and that we can be better, we are not defined by it. I hope the message was clear.
Please, if you got this far, consider leaving a comment. I'd really like to know your thoughts. Also, I also have a sope&vminkook 43k fic, and a yoonmin oneshot that have already been completed. Soon, I'll start working on a yoonmin fic... so make sure to suscribe if you want to keep up with that!
Again, thank you.
and have a nice day.