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Honesty is the Best Policy

Chapter Text

Minhyuk was troubled. Now, things rarely fazed Minhyuk, hence his nickname Rocky. It was something of a personal pride and comfort that he was able to remain calm in the face of many weird things. And with the people he lived with, weird was par for the course. But lately, his life had gotten so weird and off kilter that he couldn’t help but feel troubled.

First, MJ and JinJin had been super weird, then they suddenly were together. And before the dust had barely settled on that predicament, Bin and Eunwoo had gotten ridiculously weird and bipolar, and then they got together. And while the couplings weren’t a huge surprise, the events surrounding them were baffling.

And to top it off, he felt like he was missing something. All the others seem to know exactly what was going on (bar Sanha, but he never understood what was going on, the dork), and it frustrated the hell out of Minhyuk. He hated feeling like he wasn’t on top of things; like he was out of the loop. It almost felt like they were hiding something from him. And that hurt.

So Minhyuk had decided to take a walk to clear his head and regain his sense of calm. Except it seemed the universe was out to get him, because he currently found himself in one of the most troubling situations yet. He was currently face to face with a small petite woman in a shop that was definitely not there two minutes ago. Why couldn’t his life be normal?

Said woman was looking at him with a cross of amusement and expectancy. He felt himself bristle slightly. But he took a deep breath and thought rationally. He had no idea where he was, and she was the only person around. The only option really was to talk to her, and it would not be smart to start off on the wrong foot.

“How can I help you?” She started first, breaking the silence.

“Would you be able to tell me where I am? And how to get back to the main street?”

“Seriously, what is it with you people and asking for directions? You’ll be fine. Now, what’s really troubling you?”

“What do you mean?” Minhyuk asked in confusion.

“Only those with troubles that need my special expertise can find me.”

“Special expertise?” He questioned. She fixed him with a knowing look, and Minhyuk felt a chill run through him.

“Tell me, what do you dream?”

“Like, what are my dreams? I want to reach the top with Astro and make people happy with my music-”

“No, those are simply goals and wants,” she cut him off. “What do you dream? What are the hidden desires of your heart that no one but you know?”

“I-I don’t know what you mean.”

“Every person has a dream, buried in their hearts. For some it’s for fame and power. For others, knowledge and understanding. And for some… they crave love.”

Minhyuk stared at her, bewildered. What was she talking about? He didn’t have any buried goal or dream. He worked for any dream he had, and none were secret. He never had a dream he couldn’t share with any-...wait. Curly hair and a dorky grin gasping for air flashed in his mind. A bright blush erupted across his face as he tried to shove the thought from his head. No. No no no that was not a dream. That was simply a random, bizarre delusion caused by exhaustion and a lack of…outlets. He was brought out of his thoughts by an airy chuckle.

“I see you’ve thought of something.”

“No!” He responded far too quickly.

“Are you sure about that? I could help.”

“How could you help?”

“That is my specialty. I help those who find my shop reach their dreams.”

“Well, that is not my dream.” She quirked an eyebrow at him.

“What is your dream then?”

“My dream… is to be calm and confident in any situation!”

“…I see.” She gave him a flat look, and then moved to the large expanse of bottles behind her. She was studying a particularly squash shaped bottle when the building gave a large creak. Both Minhyuk and the woman looked up in surprise, but the shopkeeper’s face quickly turned into a smirk. Minhyuk continued to look up with concern. The building wasn’t about to collapse was it?

Suddenly, there was a thunk in front of him, and Minhyuk looked down to find the woman had put a bottle in front of him. It was shaped like a regular soda bottle, with a deep blue liquid swirling inside. It seemed a bit…thick? About the consistency of a smoothie. He looked at her in confusion.

“This is a magic potion,” she explained. “If you drink this, it will answer your deepest dream.”

“So it’ll make me confident?”

“If that is your dream, yes.”

“…Why should I trust you?” Minhyuk questioned, narrowing his eyes.

“You don’t have to. If you wanted you are completely free to leave my shop and go on with your life. But this is your only chance. I do not take repeat customers.”

“…This is crazy, why am I even considering this, you could just be giving me drugs!”

“True.”

“You should defend yourself, not agree with me!”

“Why should I? I have no proof otherwise, and it makes no real difference to me if you choose to follow your dream or not,” she stated plainly. Minhyuk scowled at her, then turned his glare on the drink.

This was a bad idea. His brain was screaming at him to just run. But an inexplicable part of him wanted to do it. Was it curiosity? Or something else? The longer he stared the greater the urge became.

“…God damn it!” He cursed. And then before he could change his mind he ripped the bottle off the counter, opened it, and started gulping it down. Dear God it was disgusting. It almost came back up, but he forced it to stay in his stomach. It tasted like grass, molasses, and what he imagined dog food tasted like all blended together. He shuddered.

“I hope you are happy with your decision. Allow me to show you out.” He blinked in surprise and found himself being quickly led to the door.

“Wait, I still don’t know where I am!” He exclaimed as he was being gently pushed out the door.

“Don’t worry, young Park Minhyuk, you’ll be fine.” His mouth dropped open in surprise as she smiled at him and closed the door in his face. After a few moments of gaping at the door, he turned and froze in surprise. He was back on the main street, the one near the convenience store. He whipped back around, and found himself freezing once again. The shop was gone.
The hell?

Minhyuk swallowed heavily. What has he gotten himself into?

.
.
.
Back in the shop Alice turned around and started back to the counter. She stopped at the sound of bottles clinking.

“It was your idea! Don’t go regretting it now!”

A groan of wood sounded.

“You big softy. He’ll be fine. He just needed a push. And it wasn’t exactly a lie; if his dream had really been to be confident, I would have granted that. But he lied as well, and I think he needs to learn to be more honest with himself.”

A pause, then a small creak. Alice burst out laughing.

“That’s the spirit!”



Minhyuk paid close attention to himself as he went home and went about his normal night routine, but nothing seemed to be different. He sat and ate dinner, enduring Bin's odd teasing remark; Jinwoo and Myungjun were as gross as ever; he added a couple... blackmail photos to his Sanha album on his phone; the usual. He was starting to question if he had imagined the whole thing.

He thought back to the store, and the strange woman. She didn’t seem to believe him when he told her his dream. It was, though! At least, it was one of his dreams. He let out a huff, and got into bed. That other thought… that wasn’t his dream. He certainly wasn’t attracted to Yoon Sanha!

.
.
.
His nose twitched.

Chapter Text

When Minhyuk woke up the next morning, he didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. His nose felt a bit itchy, but he just chalked that up to not having cleaned the dorms in a while. Was the lady just full of BS or was she just a figment of his imagination? Well, either way there wasn’t really a point to dwelling on it now.

He got up and stretched. His legs actually felt a bit sore this morning, maybe he practiced a bit too much yesterday. Ah well, no pain no gain right? He glanced over and was shocked to find Sanha’s bed already empty. Normally it was a fight to wake him up. He frowned and grabbed his phone, checking the time.

Geezus, it was already 9:30. It was unusual for him to sleep so long, especially since Dongmin was quick to wake them up for breakfast. Actually, why did no one wake him up? Great. This day was already shaping up to be troubling. Sighing, he threw on some clothes and made his way out to the kitchen. No one was there besides Bin, who was washing dishes. It must have been his turn for the week. He looked over his shoulder when he heard Minhyuk enter. A strange look crossed his face, but it was quickly replaced with a smile.

“Well good morning sleepyhead, get enough rest?”

“Yeah, actually. Why did no one wake me up?”

“You were balled up so cutely under the covers even Minnie didn’t have the heart to wake you. Plus, you’ve looked a bit stressed lately, so we thought we’d let you sleep in a bit since we don’t have any schedules until this afternoon.”

“Oh, well thanks.”

“No problem! There’s some leftovers in the fridge, you just have to heat them up.” Nodding, Minhyuk went and grabbed something and started warming it in the microwave. Bin continued to wash dishes, though he kept glancing at Minhyuk, as though confused. After a minute Bin spoke up again. “I have to say, I’m actually amazed at how quickly you manage to get Sanha up in the morning. It took the combined effort of me and Dongmin this morning to manage it.”

“You just have to go about it the right way. I just sit on him and tickle him. Works pretty well for the most part.”

“…You sit on him? And put your hands all over him? Every morning?”

“Yes? Though it sounds weird when you say it that way.”

“Well it’s no wonder he gets up quickly. I would too if Dongmin felt me up every morning. Actually, maybe I can get him to do it anyway.” Bin put a soapy finger to his chin, pondering. Minhyuk pulled a grossed out face.

“I don’t need to hear what you and Eunwoo get up to in your own time.”

“Well then don’t share what goes on in your love life,” Bin shot back. Minhyuk felt his face go red as he started sputtering.

“What love life?! I don’t have anything going on, especially not with that brat!”

“Oh really?”

“Yes!”

“Then why is your foot tapping so much?” Minhyuk blinked in surprise and looked down. Sure enough, his left foot was tapping rapidly on the floor in agitation. That was new. He forced it to stop, though now his whole leg felt like vibrating.

“It means nothing! I’m going to go eat in the commons,” he huffed, grabbing his food from the microwave and stomping off. He could hear Bin cackling behind him. Stupid Bin and his stupid perverted brain. There was nothing going on. It was just the most efficient way to get Sanha up in the morning. Even if it made his face adorably red and breathless from laugh- GAH no, he refused to let his brain go down that path. He rubbed his nose.

God, why was his nose all itchy today, were his allergies kicking in? And he felt super antsy. This day was not shaping up to be a good one, regardless of the extra sleep. He got to the common room and hopped up onto the armchair, ignoring Jinwoo and Myungjun cuddling on the couch. They however, did not ignore him.

“Hey Rocky, good to see you up!” Myungjun greeted cheerfully. Minhyuk gruffly nodded in greeting. Jinwoo raised an eyebrow.

“Someone’s a bit grumpy. Did something happen?” He asked.

“Bin,” was Minhyuk’s only response, but Jinwoo seemed to understand and gave him a sympathizing look.

“He just likes to tease. He doesn’t mean harm… most of the time.”

“What was he teasing you about?” Myungjun broke in.

“Nothing,” Minhyuk spat.

“Oh I know! It was Sanha wasn’t it?”

“NO!” Minhyuk bristled.

“Ooh, I hit the nail on the head didn’t I?”

“Myungjun, leave him alone,” Jinwoo chastised. Minhyuk shot him a look of gratefulness.

“Boo, you’re no fun,” Myungjun pouted.

“It’s called respecting personal boundaries.” Myungjun just stuck his tongue out in response.

During this exchange Minhyuk started scrunching his nose, trying to relieve the itch. It was just progressively getting worse. He raised his food to his mouth and took a bite. He almost immediately wanted to spit it back out. He choked it down and stared at his plate in horror. Jinwoo noticed and frowned.

“Is something wrong?”

“Did you guys throw in something past the expiration date? This tastes awful.”

“What? No, it tasted fine to me.”

“Yeah, I didn’t see anything wrong with it. Can I try a bite?” Myungjun asked.

“Go for it.” Minhyuk passed him the plate and Myungjun took a tentative bite, then frowned in confusion.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, this tastes fine to me.”

“Well it didn’t to me. Do you want it?”

“I mean sure, but what about you?”

“I’m just gonna go grab some cereal or something.” He got up and walked back to the kitchen, missing the concerned looks following him.

As he got back to the kitchen he heard people quietly talking. As he got closer he recognized it as Bin and Dongmin. As he was about to enter the kitchen he caught the end of what Bin was saying.

“…smells weird. It’s like overnight it just changed.”

“Well that’s odd, you don’t suppose-”

“Rocky!” Bin interjected, cutting off Dongmin in a rush. “What are you doing back in the kitchen? Did you forget something?” Dongmin hastily shut his mouth and smiled nervously. Rocky just stared at them with a scowl. They were hiding something. Again. Did they think he was stupid? His foot started tapping. Instead of confronting them, he just continued walking into the kitchen, and opened the cabinet to reach for the cereal.

“Didn’t you eat breakfast? What happened to the food you grabbed earlier?” Bin asked in surprise.

“Why do I have to tell you?” He retorted harshly. Dongmin frowned.

“Hey, what was that for? It was just a simple question.”

“Well clearly you don’t feel the need to share things with me, so I don’t see why I can’t do the same.” Bin visibly flinched and shared a look with Dongmin. Minhyuk let out a humorless snort and grabbed his now full bowl. He took a bite and frowned a bit. This tasted weird too, but it was still edible. Maybe he was getting sick? He brushed past the other two and headed for his room, deciding he didn’t want to deal with people at the moment.

This plan was foiled however, as it appeared in his absence a certain maknae had made it back into their shared room.

“Ah! Hyung! There you are! I was wondering where you went,” Sanha greeted with a bright smile. Minhyuk felt himself relaxing a bit unconsciously. He admittedly did really enjoy the company of the oversized baby of the group. There was something very compelling about his bubbly personality and naivety.

“Hey Sanha. I just went for breakfast.”

“Why did you come back here then?”

“I don’t want to deal with the others right now.”

“Why not?” Sanha questioned, tilting his head. Cute, graced Minhyuk’s mind before he shook it away. Now was not the time for weird thoughts.

“It feels like they’re hiding something from me, and I don’t enjoy it.”

“Like what?”

“If I knew what it wouldn’t be hidden now would it?” Minhyuk sighed.

“Well, they hide things from me all the time, but I don’t think it’s that big a deal. They probably have their reasons. And it’s not nice to pry into other people’s secrets.” Sanha said with a nod. Minhyuk let out a soft chuckle as he joined Sanha in sitting on the bed.

“How is it that you’re more mature about this than me? I’m the hyung here.”

“I’m plenty mature!”

“Yeah, mature as a 5 year old.” Minhyuk snarked, receiving a pillow to the side for his troubles.

“Well then you must be a three year old!”

“Says the guy who hit someone with a pillow in retaliation.”

“You deserved it.”

“Oh really?” Minhyuk put his cereal bowl down on the floor. “Well you deserve…THIS!” He lunged forward with greater speed than he anticipated and tackled Sanha to the bed. Rolling with it, he proceeded to pin Sanha down with his legs and attack him mercilessly with wiggling fingers.

“GYAH! HAHahAha…Hyung! *gasp* Stop… it!” Sanha gasped out between laughs.

“What’s the magic word?”

“PLEASE!” Minhyuk finally pulled his fingers away.

“Next time be careful when disrespecting your hyung, otherwise you will face the consequences!”

“Hyung is a meanie!” Sanha muttered, catching his breath.

“What was that?” Minhyuk wiggled his fingers in the air.

“Nothing!” Minhyuk put his hands back down with a laugh. He sat there smiling as Sanha caught his breath, face red. Minhyuk found himself admiring the sight. Seeing Sanha look at him with his bright big eyes and bright red cheeks… something inside him warmed.

“Hyung? Can you get off me now?” Sanha said, breaking the bubble Minhyuk found himself in. He suddenly realized what position they were in and promptly froze. After a moment that seemed to stretch on of them staring at each other, Minhyuk rocketed off of Sanha and the bed and somehow ended up in the corner of the room, pressed against the wall.

What was he doing? What was that? What the hell was wrong with him? Maybe he really was getting sick. Yeah, that had to be it, there was no way he had been straddling Sanha and enjoying it. There was no way he thought he looked absolutely adorable lying there like that-

“Hyung? Hyung, are you okay?” And suddenly the beagle child himself was in front of Minhyuk, eyes blown wide with confusion and concern. Minhyuk couldn’t handle this, he had to get away. This was too much pressure. He was confused, and scared, and-

A high pitched rumble filled the room.

They both froze; Sanha recovered first.

“Did…did you just growl at me?”

“…Maybe?”

“…Why?”

“…I don’t know? It just kind of happened?”

“I didn’t even know people could make that noise! How’d you do it?”

“I have no idea.” They both fell quiet for a second, and then burst out laughing. They both slowly collapsed to the floor, tension leaving as they laughed.

After a minute of sitting on the floor and regaining the ability to breathe properly, Sanha looked over at Minhyuk.

“Are you alright now hyung?”

“Yeah, I’m good.”

“That’s good, I was worried. What made you act like that to begin with?”

“Oh uh…”Minhyuk chuckled nervously, “It wasn’t anything really, I just realized I’ve been getting sick and I didn’t want to infect you is all.”

“Really? Are you sure?”

“I’m sure.” Minhyuk smiled at him reassuringly. Then suddenly the base of his spine erupted into pain, and he gasped out in surprise.

“Hyung?! Hyung what’s wrong?”

The pain left as quickly as it came, and he was left gasping for air.

“What the hell?” He managed to breathe out. He felt something soft against his skin, where the pain had just been. Minhyuk stood up abruptly and pulled the back of his pants down slightly, to inspect the area. As he pulled down a soft ball of fur poked out.

He stared at it.

Sanha stared at it.

The short furry tail twitched.

Sanha fainted.

Chapter Text

Minhyuk sat staring at Sanha as he waited for him to regain consciousness. As soon as the maknae collapsed Minhyuk’s rattled mind had desperately focused on that, as it was something he knew what to do with and needed his attention. Once he had verified Sanha’s wellbeing however, he was left alone with his confusion and sudden new… attachment. He poked and prodded at it, subconsciously admiring the sheer softness of it.

So, maybe weird store lady hadn’t been a dream. But she definitely had lied to him. The hell does a bunny tail have to do with being confident? Actually, he’d been feeling weird all morning. His nose kept twitching irritatingly, his foot decided to be super impatient, and his breakfast had tasted god awful. He froze suddenly, eyes widening. Wait. Was… was he turning into a rabbit!? Is that what the potion did?! That lying bi-!

His frenzied thoughts were cut off by a groan from the no longer unconscious boy next to him.
He waited as Sanha slowly gained his bearings and sat up.

“You feeling alright? Anywhere hurting?” Minhyuk asked, his concern leaking into his voice.

“…No, I think I’m good. Bit bruised maybe, but other than that I feel alright,” Sanha replied after a moment of mentally checking himself over. Minhyuk let out a silent sigh of relief. Sanha grew wide eyed and excited and turned towards Minhyuk.

“Hyung, I had the weirdest dream though! You had a tail!”

“…”

“Hyung? What’s with the face?”

“…That… wasn’t a dream.”

“…Huh?”

“I really have a tail.”

“…”

“…”

“…Rocky-hyung, it’s not nice to tease people,” Sanha tentatively scolded. Minhyuk sighed.

“I wish I was.”

“So you really…?”

“Yup.”

“…”

“…”

“Let me see!”

“What?” Minhyuk exclaimed, startled. Sanha shifter closer and tried to look behind him. It was far too close for Minhyuk’s comfort and he felt his face heat.

“I wanna see it! I was too startled last time and didn’t get a good look!”

“Back off!”

“But hyung! Sanha whined.

“Why the hell are just accepting it so quickly?!”

“Why, are you lying to me?”

“No, but-”

“Well there you go! What other reason do I need besides trusting you to believe it?” His response left Minhyuk flapping his mouth like a fish and his face burning. In his distraction Sanha managed to get behind him and find the soft ball of fluff sticking out from the elastic of his pants. He tentatively poked it, then decided he needed further proof and full on grabbed it and yanked. That pulled Minhyuk rapidly back to reality as he cried out in pain.

“What the hell!? Don’t fucking pull it!” Sanha released the tail like it burned him.

“SORRY!”

“You gotta be gentle, it’s attached you doof!”

“It’s really real.”

“I told you.”

“Yeah but I thought you might still be messing with me… can I touch it again? I promise to be gentle!”

“…Fine. But only a little!”

“Yay!” Sanha immediately reached out again, and started petting the soft fur. “It feels really nice!” He exclaimed after a few pets. Minhyuk hummed in response, enjoying the feeling. He almost wished the tail was a bit larger, so he could enjoy the sensation more. Definitely better than being yanked.

All of a sudden Sanha’s hands left the tail and moved to Minhyuk’s head, starting to mess with the hair there. Both let out a small gasp, one of surprise and the other of delight.

“I was right! Your head is just as nice!” Sanha exclaimed, pleased. Minhyuk simply felt his eyes flutter closed as he enjoyed the sensation. His nose twitched and he pushed himself into the warm hands playing with his hair. “Do you like that hyung?” Sanha asked, a note of surprise laced in. Minhyuk let out a small groan in response. “Alright, I’ll keep going then.”

They sat this way for a few minutes in pleasant silence, only broken by the occasional soft hum of appreciation from Minhyuk. God getting pet felt nice. Why had he never done this before? Or was it because he was now disconcertingly similar in traits to a rabbit? Whatever it was, he was struggling to find himself minding as much as he did earlier. Except…

“Hey… Sanha?”

“Yeah hyung?”

“Do you think…God this sounds weird. Could you maybe be a bit… rougher?”

“Rougher? Like this?” He tangled his hand in the hair and gently pulled, feeling the strands resist slightly as they fell away. Minhyuk let out a groan, loud and long.

“Yeah, just like that. Keep doing that.” And Sanha complied. This continued for a few more minutes until Sanha pulled just a bit too hard and Minhyuk felt a strange sound come from his throat, like a growl mixed with a squeaky toy. His eyes opened in surprise, and Sanha’s hands stilled.

“…Hyung why do you keep making weird noises?”

“Uh…”

Before he could come up with a reasonable answer there was suddenly loud whispering on the other side of the door.

No Minnie, leave them be! It’s not our place to interrupt!

A loud knocking followed, presumably Dongmin. Minhyuk launched up and pulled his pants up well over his tail. Sanha stood as well, confused. Minhyuk went to the door and opened it with a huff.

“What do you want?!”

“I want to let you know, under your own house rules, that you need to be respectful and kindly stop.”

“What rules?”

“The ones you created when Jinwoo and Myungjun got together, which currently I agree with.”

“What about them?”

“And I quote, ‘no sex in the dorms! At least not while anyone’s home’.” Mihyuk flushed bright red and he started sputtering.

“Who the hell is having sex?!” He finally managed to get out.

“You and Sanha.”

“ME AND WHO?!?”

“Sanha. Is that not who’s in there?”

“NO! I mean, he is in here but that’s NOT what we were doing! Where the hell did you get that idea?!”

“Well Bin and I were passing by and we heard some rather… interesting sounds.”

“Something about being rougher followed by some very not innocent sounding groans,” Bin broke in, smirking. “Though honestly none of what I could hear leading up to that was very innocent.”

“How long were you listening for?!”

“Somewhere around Sanha promising to be gentle.”

“You creep!”

“You’re the creep, doing this sort of thing in the morning!”

“I told you, that’s not what we were doing!”

“Then what were you doing?” Dongmin asked.

“Oh, uh, I was petting his t-” Sanha finally spoke up, only to have Minhyuk clamp a hand over his mouth. Sanha gave him a bewildered expression as Minhyuk tried to desperately plead secrecy with his eyes alone. Sanha seemed to understand and Minhyuk slowly lowered his hand. “I was petting his hair. It’s really soft! And I think hyung found it relaxing.”

“I’m sure he did,” Bin deadpanned, eyebrow raised in suspicion. Okay, he probably could have been more inconspicuous, but he had panicked slightly.

“No, really! Feel it yourself!” Sanha insisted. Minhyuk shot him an alarmed glare but Bin was already reaching forward. As Bin patted his head Minhyuk couldn’t help but enjoy it. His eyes fell to half-mast and the tension in his shoulders drained.

“God, what the hell conditioner do you use? Your hair is as soft as a rabbit!” Bin exclaimed. Minhyuk immediately stiffened again and pulled away.

“Are you done yet?” he grumbled.

“Yeah, yeah. We’ll let you be. Come on Dongmin, they aren’t breaking any decency rules, so let’s leave the lovebirds alone.”

“We’re not-!” Minhyuk started to sputter out as Bin pulled Dongmin away cackling. His foot tapped a few times before he turned around and slammed the door. He stood there fuming for a second before Sanha timidly spoke up.

“Hey…hyung? Why didn’t you want me to mention your tail? Don’t you think the others should know?”

“NO!” Minhyuk snapped. Sanha recoiled, and Minhyuk immediately felt bad. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to snap at you just… please. We can’t tell them.”

“Why not?”

“Because they’ll just make fun of me! Or worse they’ll treat me like some sort tragic case that needs to be pitied.”

“They wouldn’t do that!”

“They already do, Sanha!” Minhyuk exclaimed. Silence followed before he continued in a small voice. “They’ve been keeping stuff from us, treating us like we aren’t able to handle whatever it is. They don’t… trust us. So why should I trust them?”

“…Because they care hyung. And you care about them. I know you do.” Minhyuk looked down at his shoes. “But… if it will make you feel better, I’ll keep it a secret. Though you’ll have to tell them eventually.” Minhyuk looked up sharply, then his face melted into a look of pure relief and gratitude.

“Thanks Sanha. I really appreciate it.”

“Sure thing hyung! You can count on me!” Sanha promised, hand on his heart. Minhyuk gave him a bright smile. Sanha blinked.



Sanha discovered that keeping secrets was hard. He felt guilty, and he really felt they should tell the hyungs. But he made a promise, and he would keep it gosh darn it! And he did have to admit, there was something pleasant about having a secret with Minhyuk-hyung.

Lately though, he’s been feeling kind of weird around Minhyuk-hyung. Like earlier, his stomach had been sorta wriggly feeling while he was playing with Minhyuk’s hair. And his heart had done a flutter thing when he had smiled. He hoped he wasn’t getting sick.

Rehearsal was going fine, because they were all focusing on what was happening. Which meant that there was no chance of side conversation or chances to slip up. It was the perfect scenario! Or at least, that’s what Sanha thought. Until it suddenly wasn’t.

It started small. Myungjun made a comment about how Minhyuk seemed to be moving faster and seemed a bit more energetic. Minhyuk merely brushed it off as having gotten more sleep than normal.

Then it got weirder. They were taking a short break and the manager handed out snacks. Minhyuk grabbed his usual favorite and bit into it, only to immediately run to the garbage can and spit it out, tossing the rest of it as well.

“What happened? Was something wrong with it?” Dongmin asked.

“It tasted nasty for some reason. Must have been an off batch or something,” Minhyuk replied.

“Are you doing alright? You said the same thing this morning at breakfast,” Jinwoo said. Myungjun nodded, adding,

“Yeah, and you refused to eat some of lunch. Don’t think I didn’t notice it!”

“Yeah, I’m fine. I just didn’t feel like eating some of it, that’s all. Do we have anything less… sugary?” Minhyuk asked, moving the conversation slightly away from his sudden pallet change.

“We have apples?” The manager supplied with a furrowed brow.

“That’s fine.” After being handed one, he seemed to eat it fine and the subject finally dropped.

The real kicker though came near the end of rehearsal, when the speaker suddenly blew out. It was rather old, and it had decided its time had come and died with a loud, painful bang. Most of the people in the room flinched or covered their ears, surprised by the noise. But Minhyuk? Minhyuk took it to the next level. Within seconds he was flat against the wall, as far from the speaker as physically possible. His eyes were wide and he seemed to be shivering. Jinwoo was the first to react.

“Minhyuk? Are you alright? What’s wrong?” He asked, rushing forward. Minhyuk pressed further into the wall and let out a high pitched growl. Jinwoo froze, as did everyone else who had been pressing in.

Sanha knew that noise. Minhyuk had made that noise earlier when he had been in the corner. Maybe…?

“Everyone step back!” he commanded with far more confidence than he had. Everyone complied, with matching looks of confusion. Bin and Dongmin shot each other looks. Sanha slowly moved forward hands up in a sign of peace. Minhyuk stared at him, silent.

Hoping he was right, Sanha reached Minhyuk and slowly raised his hands to his hair, and started to stroke it gently. He let out cooing noises as he pet Minhyuk, who slowly relaxed under the touches and pressed closer to Sanha, eyes sliding shut. Eventually Sanha pulled him into a hug, continuing to pet his hair with one hand. He froze though as a wet sensation touched his neck.

Did… did Minhyuk just lick him? Before he could say anything though all of Minhyuk’s weight flopped into his arms. Sanha staggered a bit under the unexpected weight but managed to stay upright. After a second of confusion he realized what had happened. Minhyuk fell asleep. He gently lowered his shorter hyung to the floor and turned back around to face everyone else.

They were all staring at him in some weird blend of awe and concern. Bin managed to find his tongue first.

“What…what just happened?”

“Rocky-hyung has been really stressed and high strung lately, so I think he just got sorta… triggered?”

“And what was with the petting?”

“I told you, petting his hair helps him calm down. We weren’t lying earlier.”

“I… see.” Bin responded after a second, though his expression belayed that he did not.

“Well, uh, what should we do now?” Myungjun asked, looking at Minhyuk and then the manager. The manager seemed to be at a loss, before giving a sigh.

“I think that’s it for today. We don’t want to work you to the point of a mental collapse. Minhyuk can have tomorrow off to rest. The rest of you will have to rehearse without him tomorrow. Who is willing to carry him to the car?"

“I will!” Sanha quickly volunteered. If someone else carried him they might notice his tail, and that would be a whole lot harder to explain. Though thinking about it, Sanha himself was very confused. Why did Minhyuk have a tail? And why was he acting all weird? He would have to get the answers out of him later. For now, he bent down and slowly picked up his hyung bridal style. This was harder than he expected. Should he start lifting weights or something?

As if sensing who was carrying him, Minhyuk cuddled closer and grasped Sanha’s shirt. It made Sanha’s chest feel too tight and his face too hot. Maybe he was getting a fever.



Not long after they got back to their shared room Minhyuk woke up. Specifically he woke up when Sanha tripped on his way to put Minhyuk down and all but threw him into the bed. Minhyuk fell with a flail of limbs and rolled off the bed in his disorientation. Now both on the floor they groaned in pain, rubbing their new bruises.

“What happened?” Minhyuk finally asked.

“Just now or earlier?”

“I think I know what happened just now, earlier.”

“You don’t remember?”

“I remember a loud noise, and then just lots of fear. Outside of that is just… sensations. Nothing I could describe or picture.”

“Well, uh, you kinda sorta freaked out? Like, full on panic mode. You seemed pretty out of it. You even did that weird growl thing at Jinwoo.”

“Ughhh…fuck.”

“I managed to calm you down by petting your hair, then you just… collapsed? I don’t know if it was all the stress leaving your body or what but you were out.”

“How’d you explain that?”

“I said you’ve been super stressed lately and the surprise was too much for your frayed nerves. I don’t know if Bin and the others really bought it though.”

“That’s fine, I guess. You did a pretty good job of covering it up. Thanks.”

“I’d say no problem, but I’m beginning to think there is one. Hyung, what’s going on? I know I promised to keep your secret, and I will, but I don’t even know exactly what I’m keeping!” Sanha exclaimed. Minhyuk bit his lip.

“…Fine, you deserve to know. But keep it down okay? I don’t want the others to hear by accident.” Sanha nodded enthusiastically. Minhyuk took a deep breath.

“Okay, so yesterday I went out for a walk, do you remember that?” Sanha nodded. “Well, while I was out I ended up in this weird café shop thing. Inside was this lady. Real small and kinda weird. Long story short, she might have convinced me to drink some sort of potion. And uh, it didn’t have the effects I expected. Instead it uh, seems to be turning me into a rabbit?”

“…A rabbit?”

“A rabbit.”

“…”

“…”

“What do you mean a rab-?!” Sanha yelled.

“Shhh!!” Minhyuk lunged forward and covered Sanha’s mouth, panicked. “Not so loud!”

“You’re turning into a rabbit?! And you don’t see the need to tell anyone?!” Sanha aggressively whispered.

“I’m telling you aren’t I?”

“Yeah but I can’t do anything about it! This is kind of a big deal! We can’t hide this forever!”

“I’m not planning to! As soon as I have some free time I’m going to track down that witch and make her fix it!”

“And how are you going to do that? Do you know where she is?”

“Well, no, but-”

“No buts! Hyung, you gotta think this through more clearly. I really think we should tell the others.”

“No! And you promised not to either!”

“But hyung-”

No buts, remember?” Sanha let out a frustrated groan. Before he could respond though there was a sharp knock at the door. Minhyuk shot Sanha a pointed look before getting up to open it. He came face to face with Myungjun, whose face was grim.

“Good, you’re awake. Can you come to the common room? We want to talk.” Minhyuk’s eyes narrowed in suspicion.

“Why?”

“I think you know why. Come on. You too Sanha.” Myungjun walked away, and Minhyuk reluctantly followed, realizing that this time,

running wasn’t an option.