Chapter 1: The Troubles of Park Minhyuk
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!”
“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.
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 2: Soft Lies
Minhyuk lies a lot, mostly to himself. With some unique results.
Sorry this chapter is late! It's been surprisingly hard to find time to update this one. Anyway, I have an unedited version of the whole story! It ended up being a bit shorter than the others, but there's less drama to deal with so I guess that's what happens. A few more questions get answered this time. I admit when I was coming up with this story I struggled a bit with what magic was going to be used on Minhyuk, but I think this turned out okay? I'm mildly worried it's not the most original concept but I will do my best to put my own spin on it. Anyway, enough of me rambling, enjoy the chapter! ^.^
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
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!”
“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.”
“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?”
“…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.
Do you get what's going on now? ;)
Anyway, thank you for reading! I appreciate all comments, critiques and all. :)
Chapter 3: Comforting Hands
Sanha agrees to help keep Minhyuk's secret. How well he does so remains to be seen.
Sorry for the wait, I have been going through some drastic changes in my life that made this have to be on hold for a while. And by that I mean I was moving to JAPAN! I'm studying abroad for a year. :)
So for those of you who read Window to the Soul, this is slightly later than I claimed it would be. I think? I'm still getting used to the time zone differences. So if it is, I apologize.
We are now over half way through this story, and this chapter is just a HAIR more heavy. Should get cleared up soon. Anyway,
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
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.”
“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…?”
“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!”
“But hyung! Sanha whined.
“Why the hell are just accepting it so quickly?!”
“Why, are you lying to me?”
“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.
“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…
“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?”
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.”
“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’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.”
“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.”
“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?”
“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!”
“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.
“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.
I have learned so much about rabbits writing this. I wanted to be accurate. ^.^' Everything Minhyuk does that's not normal is based off of real bunny actions and needs. If you want an explanation, keep reading because I'm about to drop some bunny knowledge! If you don't care thank you for reading and I'll try to get the next chapter up on time!
BUNNY FACTS USED:
-Many foods are actually really bad for bunnies, and often things they can't eat don't taste good to them. Things like the wrong leafy greens, carbs and sugar, and many other "human foods" are poisonous at worst, and upsetting to the stomach at best. Fruit is fine in small amounts as a treat.
-Rabbits thump their foot when agitated or angry, though it can also be used to warn of danger when scared and to a lesser extent when sexually excited.
-Petting is enjoyed and is recommended for calming down a frightened bunny, along with avoiding crowding and covering their eyes and ears.
-Bunnies are quiet creatures for the most part, but they do make interesting noises. They make a noise called "honking" when happy and content, or when scared they can make a high growl that means they feel threatened or angry.
-Frightened bunnies will first try to run, but if trapped their eyes will be wide, ears back and facing out, and they will shiver and chatter their teeth similar to a cold human.
-A content bunny might just flop over, a sign it is comfy and feels safe. Also, if a rabbit likes someone they may lick them, rub their chin on them, or even run in circles around them. Though that last one has more to do with mating and claiming ownership.
-Obviously bunny noses twitch. It's adorable.
If I got anything wrong let me know! ^.^
Chapter 4: All In
The others learn something from Minhyuk, and he learns something in return.
I am so, SO sorry for the long hiatus. It turns out going to college in a foreign country is really time consuming.
Anyways, my update schedule is rather out of wack right now, so I can't guarantee when anything will be. Hopefully I can figure out something soon. For now, take this slightly longer chapter as my apology and with any luck I will finish off this story within the week. Window to the Soul will update once I finish this story. I don't have the time to write multiple stories at once I'm afraid. :/
To those of you who still commented and waited patiently, thank you so much!
Enjoy the chapter!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Minhyuk walked into the room with trepidation. The rest of the hyungs were already gathered, all facing towards Minhyuk when he came in. He felt like he was getting an intervention.
“…You wanted to see me?” He asked, guard up. His foot tapped twice.
“Yeah, feel free to take a seat. You too Sanha,” Bin replied. Minhyuk scowled but complied, Sanha following after.
“So? What’s this about?”
“We were concerned about your recent… changes in behavior,” Jinwoo broached carefully.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Oh, I think you do. Dongmin?” Bin retorted, turning towards his boyfriend who cleared his throat and held up a notepad.
“Changes in appetite: seems to dislike many foods that aren’t of the plant variety, including usual favorites. Heightened reflexes and emotions: quick to be startled and upset. Unusual tics including but not limited to: repetitive foot tapping, scrunching nose, absurdly high enjoyment of petting, and dislike of sudden loud noises. Also licking, but unconfirmed.”
“Licking? I’ve haven’t licked anything!”
“You seemed to lick Sanha,” Dongmin responded. Minhyuk whipped his head to look at Sanha, who gave a nervous chuckle.
“It didn’t seem that important to mention?” Sanha tried. Minhyuk’s eye twitched and his foot gave an agitated thump.
“Don’t you dare deny this list, we’ve all noticed you doing them,” Bin stated.
“Fine, but what’s so weird about any of that?”
“You don’t normally do any of that.”
“So what are you trying to get at?”
“We were hoping you’d be willing to tell us the reason why,” Jinwoo tried gently.
“Not really no.”
“Hyung!” Sanha exclaimed, giving him a pointed look. Minhyuk just shot him a warning glare.
“I don’t suppose you want to share Sanha?” Myungjun asked. Sanha bit his lip before slowly shaking his head.
“I promised not to.”
“So there is a reason?” Bin tried, but Sanha just bit his lip and stayed quiet.
“Look, we are just really worried. Even before this you’ve been off lately, all agitated and reclusive. We want to know how we can help. Just… let us in Rocky. Please,” Jinwoo quietly pleaded. Unfortunately, his words had the opposite effect intended. Instead of soothing Minhyuk they made him bristle.
“Let you in? Let you in? What, like you have all been so kindly doing?” He glared around at the surprised and guilty faces around him. “I’m not stupid, though you all apparently think so. You think I wouldn’t notice all the weird shit going on? That I wouldn’t notice you blatantly lying to my face? I didn’t notice or care so much when it was just JinJin and MJ, but when all four of you are clearly in some sort of loop and purposefully keeping me out, it hurts you know? The only one I can fully trust is Sanha!”
Minhyuk was left panting, quivering with anger and a rapidly approaching sense of trepidation. No one moved. They all simply stared, as if suddenly stricken mute. Minhyuk’s shivering got harsher, and he could feel all the negative emotions starting to cloud his sense of consciousness. Then he felt a warm hand grab his, and he startled, looking over to find Sanha watching him with worry.
Without thinking twice about it Minhyuk glomped onto Sanha, who proceeded to stroke his hair with a shaky hand. After a minute, Sanha looked up and addressed the hyungs.
“Look, personally I didn’t mind as much as Rocky-hyung that you were keeping secrets, it’s your business and I’m sure you had your reasons. But I feel the need to point out, if I’m correct in assuming you were trying to protect us from whatever it is, that if you are doing more harm than good, isn’t it pointless? That’s like a knight wearing rusty armor: it protects, but keeps the knight from doing what’s really important.”
After another moment of quiet, Jinwoo seemed to deflate with a sigh. He ran his hands over his face, dragging them down before ruffling his blonde locks. He looked at Sanha with a weary smile. “When did you get so mature?”
“I’m always mature!”
“You literally had a conversation with your feet like three days ago.”
“…I maintain my argument.”
“Rocky…we’re sorry. We didn’t mean to hurt you. OR Sanha. That’s the opposite of what we were trying to do,” Bin broke in softly. Minhyuk finally looked over at them, before diverting his eyes.
“…I know. But it still really hurt. I want to be there for guys, and support you. Hell it’s even my name, that I’m a rock. And I’m pretty damn proud of it actually. But I feel like you can’t trust me anymore. And If I can’t be a rock for you guys, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”
“Oh Rocky…” Bin breathed out, voice tight. He moved to go to Minhyuk, when he froze at his next words, spoken at barely a whisper.
“I just wanted some of that old confidence in myself, that ol’ ‘Rocky Swag’. Maybe that’s why I was so desperate to believe it.”
“…Believe it?” Bin repeated, a sense of ominous familiarity overcoming him. It clicked into place. Unfortunately, Minhyuk realized he had slipped up and was quick to backtrack.
“Nothing! I didn’t say anything!” He redirected, pressing closer to Sanha.
“Are you sure? Minhyuk did someone promise you something?”
“No! I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Minhyuk grew more and more agitated, his foot thumping up a rapid beat. At this point the others had caught onto what Bin was implying.
“Oh God, Minhyuk did you go near that convenience store?” Jinwoo asked, exasperated.
“Why would I go there?”
“Minhyuk this is important, did you agree to a promise someone made you?”
“NO!” Minhyuk yelled, only for it to shift into an entirely different variety. As he finished his forceful denial a pain filled scream was ripped from his mouth, not entirely human in sound. His hands flew to the side of his head as he dropped to the floor. It all became too much, and he blacked out. As he fully fell to the ground everyone hurried forward, only to freeze when they saw what had happened.
Minhyuk's ears had disappeared, and in their place sprang two long, floppy rabbit ears.
Minhyuk came to slowly, wrestling with making everything make sense. One of the first things he noticed was the blissful lack of pain. The next thing he noticed was how out of wack everything felt. Everything was so much louder, and stronger smelling, and overall overwhelming for his senses. Something felt wrong, though he couldn’t place what. A voice that was far too loud but still strangely pleasant broke through his foggy thoughts.
“Hey, guys! I think he’s waking up!”
“Oi, don’t crowd him, we don’t know how he’ll react.”
“Rocky-hyung, can you hear me?” the nice voice asked, now at a tolerable volume. Minhyuk finally recognized the voice as Sanha. Which meant the breathing and voices further away must be the others. Why the hell were they breathing so heavily? “…Hyung?” Sanha tried again.
Minhyuk realized that he had never answered the first time and went to respond, but before he could speak a different noise escaped his throat. It sounded somewhere between a small burp and a chirp. The room went quiet as his eyes flew open and he sat up, face filled with confusion. He tried to speak again, but he struggled to form words. All that came out were strained chirping noises. The others watched him attempt to talk with mild horror, realizing the issue.
“Rocky, stop, you’re going to hurt yourself. You can still understand us right?” Bin asked. Minhyuk frowned, but nodded and stopped. It was starting to hurt his throat if he was honest. Jinwoo let out a weary sigh, tinged with some relief.
“Well, at least there’s that. You scared the shit out of us back there,” he said. Minhyuk shot him a sour look. Jinwoo put up his hands in surrender. “I know, you definitely were on the worse end of that situation.”
“But geez, Alice sure gave you a weird potion. I have no idea what she’s trying to accomplish with this,” Bin broke in. Minhyuk looked over in confusion, and was pleased that at least Sanha seemed confused as well, though none of the others were. Their reactions were varied. Jinwoo and Myungjun scowled, while Dongmin actually brightened slightly.
“Oh, Alice is the name of the weird lady who gave you the potion that I’m assuming is turning you into a rabbit,” Bin explained, sensing their confusion. Minhyuk’s eyes widened and he turned accusingly to Sanha, who put his hands up in defense.
“I didn’t say anything! I swear!”
“It’s true, he was too busy fretting over you. But please, it couldn’t be more obvious that’s what happened, especially now that you straight up reek magic. The ears are also a bit of a giveaway,” Bin responded.
There were many questions that sprung from this that Minhyuk wanted to ask, but they were all pushed to the wayside in favor of focusing on Bin’s last comment. He became hyper aware of his ears, and realized that was where most of his bizarre sensations were coming from. He shakily brought his hands to the sides of his head and was met with a soft and definitely fuzzy add-on.
Minhyuk bit back a scream and breathed harshly through his nose. Okay. He can deal with this. He had expected it on some level right? It’s fine. He’s fine. No need to panic, everything is alri-
His ears twitched, about half a foot above his head. He let out a screech.
“Woah calm down! We’ll get this worked out I promise!” Eunwoo called out. Sanha immediately moved closer and started petting Minhyuk’s hair, careful to avoid his new ears. After a few minutes he managed to regain his composure and shot a glare over to Bin, who startled in confusion.
“What? What did I do?” He questioned. Minhyuk waved his hands in a vague circle. Bin just continued to stare in bewilderment.
“Wait, I have an idea,” Myungjun exclaimed. He left the room and returned shortly with a pen and notepad. “Here, try this.” Minhyuk immediately grabbed it and started writing, flipping it around when he was finished.
Explain. Who is Alice? And how do you all know her?
“Oh, that. Well, Alice is a dreamspinner, someone who makes potions that are designed to help people reach their dreams. They aren’t always... pleasant,” Bin explained. Myungjun snorted in the background.
“That’s one way to put it.”
“...Anyways, she only appears to those that need her special form of magic. As to how we know her, it’s kinda complicated, but me and Myungjun have taken potions from her as well,” Bin continued after shooting Myungjun a glare. Minhyuk startled and Sanha voiced his thought.
“Yeah, that was something. MJ-hyung definitely had it worse though.”
“Really? You don’t say. I would never have thought that being caught in an endless loop of my own death would be worse than a week of vivid dreams,” Myungjun replied scathingly. Minhyuk and Sanha looked at him in horrified confusion.
“Yeah, that potion she gave me promising to help me reach my dream? Made me live the same day over and over with each day ending with me dying. Eventually Jinwoo got dragged into it as well, and then the spell finally broke.”
The two youngest stared in wide eyed horror before moving their gaze to Bin.
“Mine made me live vivid dreams every time I slept that followed the life of Gretel, her daughter. They weren’t very nice dreams for the most part. But I learned a lot about Minnie! So that was good,” Bin said.
“Eunwoo-hyung?” Sanha asked, furrowing his brow.
“Oh, yeah that’s important. Dongmin is Gretel’s son, so Alice’s grandson. He’s also technically not living.”
“And to clarify, I have no magic, which is what powers most living things. I’m not a zombie, no matter what Bin likes to say,” Eunwoo jumped in. “Also, I knew none of this until recently, because I was given a memory erasing potion as a child and left with my current family because of a lot of things I’d rather not get into right now.”
Sanha and Minhyuk sat unblinkingly in silence, mouths slightly open. Then Minhyuk dropped his face into his hands and let out a low rumble of stress. Sanha patted his head in agreement. Minhyuk reached for the pen and paper and started writing again.
That’s what you guys weren’t telling us? That’s what all the weirdness was?
“We’re sorry we didn’t tell you, but it’s hard enough to explain it without having the other person think we’re crazy. And we didn’t want to drag you two into this mess as well,” Jinwoo said.
You do realize that if you had told us that from the beginning I wouldn’t be in this situation right now? Minhyuk wrote.
“We realize that now.”
So is there anything ELSE you haven’t mentioned?
The hyungs glanced at each other.
“I’m part fairy?” Bin responded with a nervous chuckle.
The glare he received was withering.
Alright, one more chapter to go! And then that will be the end of not only this story but this series. It was my first one and I'm feeling rather bittersweet about it. But I'll save all the sappy words for next chapter! Thanks for reading!
(Also go watch and support Astro's new comeback Crazy, Sexy, Cool it is beautiful in every sense of the word.)
Chapter 5: The Truth Hurts, But Will Set You Free
Bin and Dongmin have a chat with Alice, then decide to help Minhyuk be honest in their own way.
I apologize for the very long wait. I was not intending for it to be so long, but I was absolutely swamped. I was barely managing four hours of sleep per night, so I'm afraid I let writing fall to the wayside. Plus when I went back to this chapter I decided I hated it and rewrote the whole thing. But! I AM NOW ON BREAK! So, I will be doing my best to wrap up stories I have going/write enough of a buffer to consistently update.
Thank you so much to those who commented, you really gave me to push to finish this up. As a small token of my appreciation this is the longest chapter by a LOT. I hope you enjoy,
here is the last part of Honesty is the Best Policy and the Dream Store series!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“So, care to tell me why you gave Rocky a potion to turn into a rabbit?” Bin asked. He was sitting on a chair backwards, legs curled around the back. Dongmin was sat on the counter with Alice leaning on it from behind.
“Because that was the potion meant for him,” she responded matter-of-factly.
“How do you know that? Do you have a potion for literally everyone?”
“No, I don’t know which potion will go to who until they come in. I suppose I can sense the compatibility between the magic in the person and the magic in the potion.”
“What about Binnie then? You didn’t want to give him one,” Dongmin questioned.
“That’s because his magic is partly made of someone else’s, so I wasn’t able to decipher which one work for him, or its effects. Gretel here could probably tell because it was her potion originally.”
“So Minhyuk is a bunny because…?” Bin asked, trying to get back on topic. It was the main reason they visited today after all.
“Oh, I admit part of that was because I don’t appreciate being lied to.”
“He needed to learn a little lesson in honesty. Mostly with himself. That was some severe self-denial.”
“He claims you lied to him.”
“I never lied. He just took my answers the way he wanted to hear them.”
“So you never told him that it would make him super confident and reliable?”
“I told him that if that was really his dream then that would be the effect.”
“…So you lied?”
“Bin!” Dongmin scolded.
“What? That’s what that is right?”
“But that was not truly his dream, so it was not a lie. Merely a roundabout way of saying no.” Alice smirked.
“What was his dream then?” Dongmin asked, turning to Alice.
“Each person must discover what their dream is for themselves, I merely help them on their way. But I will say that he clearly had something else in mind when he answered me.”
“How do you know?”
“About two seconds after I asked what his dream was he turned bright red and forcefully denied it.”
“He probably thought of Sanha,” Bin commented.
“That’s your youngest correct?”
“Yup. They are real close, and Minhyuk has this really obvious crush on him. Even has a photo album full of pictures he’s secretly taken. Claims it’s blackmail material.”
“I assume that is not the case?”
“Unless blackmail means staring at them when you think no one is looking.”
“Probably not then.”
“So how do we change him back to normal?” Dongmin asked.
“I’m actually a little surprised he hasn’t already, it’s certainly easy enough.”
“Well clearly he’s having a hard time with it. And though a small part of me finds it hilarious, it is a rather big problem if it continues farther. Plus it seems to hurt him a lot when something new happens.” Bin responded, frowning.
“Really? When I’ve changed into animals it’s never been that bad. I wonder if it’s because he’s human. I’m sorry if that’s the case. How far has he transformed?”
“He’s currently has ears and an inability to speak. Oh, and apparently he has a tail, but he refuses to show us.”
“Already? It’s only been two days, how much is he lying?”
“I told you, he needs to be more honest. It shouldn’t develop unless he tells a lie. Of course, that includes to himself. Lying on purpose does accelerate the process though.”
“So if he tells the truth he’ll turn back into a human?” Dongmin asked.
“Sort of. The main thing in order to fulfill the potion is for him to stop lying to himself about his true dream. Not lying in general will help though.”
“Well then, we just need to tell him to get his head out of his ass and boom! All cured,” Bin exclaimed, punctuating by spreading his arms wide.
“No, he needs to realize and accept it for himself. I’m afraid just telling him probably would only serve to clam him up.”
“Why’d you have to go and make things difficult?”
“Hey, I just make the potions, I don’t make anyone drink them.”
“You still somehow manage to though.” Bin muttered under his breath. Alice shot him a glare anyway.
“So we can’t do anything?” Dongmin interrupted.
“I never said that, you just can’t blatantly tell him. Just nudge him in the right direction.” Bin brightened at her words, a mischievous smirk curling at his lips. Dongmin gave him a wary look.
“What is it?” he asked.
“I have just the idea,” Bin grinned. He was practically purring.
Minhyuk frowned, tapping his foot as he stood in thought in the living room. Lying huh? Geez how petty was she? And it’s not like he had been lying exactly when he answered her. But basically he just had to tell truths? Simple enough. Or it would be if he could freaking talk. He buried his head in his hands. Why did things always happen to him?
Suddenly, there was a rap of knuckles. He startled, and turned towards the source. Leaning in the doorway he found a suspiciously grinning Bin. He quirked an eyebrow and an ear at him, a clear message of ‘and what do you want?’ on his face.
“Come with me, I think I have something that could help with your furry problem,” Bin grinned, walking away without checking to see if Minhyuk was following. Both eyebrows raised and ears alert, he followed after Bin curiously. They came of all places to his room. Minhyuk barely had time to give Bin a confused look before the door was pulled open and he was pushed roughly inside.
He took a few stumbling steps and he tried to regain his sense of balance, the sound of a door slamming and clicking locked behind him. He immediately turned to the wooden entrance and started pounding. Bin the bastard was still giggling on the other side, though it was obvious he was trying to be quiet. Then, from behind, Minhyuk heard movement. He wasn’t alone.
Minhyuk whipped around and promptly froze. In front of him was Sanha. Now, that could be easily explained, as this was also Sanha’s room. What couldn’t be explained however, was what he was wearing. Sanha was wearing an oversized sweater that was pink, fluffy, and easily covered his hands. In fact it could almost be taken as a short dress. A very short dress. That appeared to have nothing underneath. Minhyuk gulped audibly as his brain short-circuited. Then Sanha moved closer.
“Hyung? Are you alright? Do you need me to pet you again?”
Minhyuk wanted to scream. Instead he forced out something he was proud to say was far more rational. He pulled out the notepad he had taken to carrying with him.
「Sanha,」 he wrote. 「WHAT in God’s name are you wearing?」Sanha seemed surprised, and then looked down, seemingly as if he forgot. Which, to be honest, he probably did. He immediately blushed and tugged down on the edge though.
“Oh, uh, Bin told me to wear this and wait in here, and that it would help you if I did.” He looked up curiously though his eyelashes. “Is it helping?”
Minhyuk stared at him for several long seconds before turning and bashing his head on the door behind him. Sanha yelped in surprise.
「Okay. I’m back. I momentarily lost my mind, but I’m okay,」he scribbled out.
“Are you sure? Didn’t that hurt?”
「Yup, but that was the point.」
“Let me see, I think it’s starting to bruise.” Sanha shifted closer and grabbed Minhyuk’s face. Inspecting it closely. “It’s all red, maybe we should get some ice.” He pulled back and blinked in surprise. “Did you hit your whole face? It’s red all over!” Minhyuk made a garbled squeak.
He pushed Sanha away and moved into the center of the room, leaving behind a slightly confused Sanha.
“Hyung? Are you sure you’re alright? You’re acting funny.”
Minhyuk wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. He was not alright. Not at all. Sanha was currently traipsing around in next to nothing and it was doing weird things to him and he had no idea why-
Suddenly, the door opened and Bin’s head popped in.
“Here Sanha, I almost forgot.” He shoved something into Sanha’s hands and quickly backed out, locking the door once again. Sanha blinked in confusion before looking down at what Bin gave him. Minhyuk felt his heart sink as he realized what it was. His phone. When had Bin even gotten his hands on it? Sanha’s brow furrowed as he looked at it.
“Hyung? Why are there a bunch of pictures of me on here?”
And just like that Minhyuk decided maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to fully turn into a bunny. It could be nice. Get pet, get fed, hop around in his relaxing existence, never having to deal with the massive hole he dug for himself.
His mouth opened and closed, not even a squeak coming out. Sanha kept scrolling through what Minhyuk knew was hundreds of photos, the look of concentration slowly intensifying on his face. Minhyuk would think it was an adorable face if he wasn’t currently panicking over how fucked he was. Then a look of epiphany appeared on Sanha’s face and he turned to look at Minhyuk excitedly.
“Hey, Rocky-hyung, do you like me?”
With those words the world froze. Minhyuk became ridiculously aware of his own breathing, and he felt his hands moving as if in a dream. He wrote one word.
“Well, it was the only reason I could come up with that would explain why you have so many pictures of me. Is there another reason?” He seemed almost nervous.
Minhyuk went to write ‘blackmail’, but stopped before the pen touched the paper. He couldn’t bring himself to write it. It didn’t feel right. But that’s what they weren’t they?
That’s never what they were, a part of him whispered.
Then what were they? Why would he bother to take so many pictures otherwise?
Because you thought Sanha was cute.
He thought Sanha… was cute?
He thought of all those moments he took pictures of: Sanha sleeping in the car; Sanha laughing at something Myungjun said; Sanha grimacing after getting a brain freeze from eating ice cream too fast. He thought of all those moments where he felt warm from Sanha smiling at him, where his eyes would trail after his lanky body, where he wanted to touch and feel Sanha’s skin under his hands.
Did he really-
Minhyuk snapped out of it and stared at the now very close and very concerned face of a Yoon Sanha. Instead of replying he slowly lifted his hand to cup Sanha’s cheek. Sanha gave him a look of confusion.
Then Minhyuk lurched forward and pressed his lips to Sanha’s, who let out a squeak of surprise. He pulled back and looked a now red Sanha in the eyes.
“I like you,” he whispered, before erupting into a scream. Everything went black.
Sanha sat and watched Minhyuk who was currently lying asleep on his bed. On the bright side the ears and tail had disappeared. On the downside it had been over a day and Minhyuk still hadn’t woken up. They were going to have to take him to the hospital soon if he didn’t wake up.
The door to the room opened and Sanha looked up to find Jinwoo entering the room.
“How’s he doing?”
“The same. I thought he might have twitched earlier, but I just imagined it.”
“Well, I wouldn’t panic just yet. Myungjun and I slept well over a day when his curse broke.”
“But Bin woke up like normal.”
“Well Bin is a magic fairy boy, let’s not use him as the gauge for normalcy,” Jinwoo smirked. Sanha giggled, then his face slipped back into morose. “Aw, come on Sanha, I’m reasonably sure he’ll be fine. Soon he’ll be up and about and you can canoodle with your boyfriend to your heart’s content.” Sanha blushed and looked at his hands.
“He’s not my boyfriend.”
“Yet. He kissed you and confessed right before collapsing didn’t he?”
“Well yeah, but-”
“Do you not return his feelings?”
“No! I do, it’s just… we haven’t really talked about it yet. So I don’t really know what he wants yet.”
“Well, what do you want?”
“I…think it would be nice…..to date…” Sanha mumbled, getting quieter as he spoke.
“Then I’m sure it will work out. If I know Rocky, it’s that he doesn’t beat around the bush. At least, once he realizes there’s a bush there.”
“You think so?”
“Sanha, Rocky has been pining after you longer than either of you realized. I know so.”
Sanha gave him a small smile.
Minhyuk once again woke up with a blissful lack of his previous pain. He also noticed that everything was mercifully quiet. He let out a soft groan and was pleased he could even make the sound. Then a much quieter Sanha spoke from somewhere to his right.
“Hyung! Are you awake? I’m not imagining it this time right?” Minhyuk pried his eyes open to come face to face with a relieved Sanha. Everything came rushing back and Minhyuk blushed. Regardless he offered a small smile to the boy hovering above him, whom he realized was actually holding his hand.
“…hey,” Minhyuk croaked out. It sounded like he was turning into a frog instead, but he was just happy he could make human noises.
Sanha smiled in return, large and bright, threatening to blind Minhyuk. But he couldn’t look away. He wouldn’t even if he could. How could he have never noticed before? It was as obvious as a neon sign in his face. He loved Sanha.
Said youngest was pulling away. “I should probably go grab the others, they’ve been really worried.” Minhyuk stopped him, tightening his grip on their connected hands. Carefully he sat up and looked Sanha in the eye. Sanha froze and stared back, blushing bright.
“…Go out with me,” Minhyuk declared. Sanha turned impossibly redder before smiling happily.
“Okay!” he chirped. Minhyuk grinned and yanked Sanha forward, connecting their lips. Far too soon for his liking Sanha pulled back. “…Shouldn’t we tell the others?” He asked.
“They kept us out of the loop for so long, they can stand to wait a few more minutes.”
Sanha giggled and let himself be pulled back into a kiss. Minhyuk smiled against Sanha’s lips. No more lying, not when the truth felt this good.
A small chirp escaped his throat.
Alice walked into her back room and placed a small box down next to her other recent favorite customers. Gretel shivered in amusement. Alice looked up.
“A fun bunch aren’t they?”
The shelves creaked in agreement. A bell chimed from the other side of the door. Alice sighed.
“Well, duty calls.” She took one last glance at the row of boxes and softly smiled before sweeping out to help someone else find their dream. As she left the box shined and words carved themselves into the lid.
“The confidence to be honest with oneself.” - Park Minhyuk
And there you have it! A few comments before I leave:
-Minhyuk is not lying or turning back into a rabbit. He just now has some interesting habbits.
-This is my first ever series (and published fanfictions), so I feel both very happy and very sad to see it end. I'm sorry it got so drawn out in the end, but I thank anyone who took the time to read this series, or even just one of the stories, from the bottom of my heart. The feedback always blew me away with how kind and supportive everyone was. It really meant a lot to me.
-I will continue to write stories here on AO3, but I think I will avoid writing multiple series at once from now on. I'll probably stick to one shots for a while, at least until I get Window to the Soul finished up.
Thank you so much again, the ride has been long and wild and I look forward to where the next one takes me! Love you all and I will see all you lovelies next time! ^.^