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#1 (take care of yourself)

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Taehyung's words echo briefly in his mind when he can feel his head start to spin. He sits heavily on the floor, black spots veering dangerously into his vision and top sticking wetly to his back. He tries to steady himself by planting his hands in front of his crossed legs. "Your health is what's most important."

Right now, he can't even remember what comeback it was when Taehyung said that. Maybe War of Hormone. Some advice, disguised as a jab, about him starving himself to get a jaw line. Jimin sighs, tipping forward until his forehead presses into the studio floor, trying to savour the feel of the cold against his sweaty skin.

It doesn't matter when Taehyung said it. He breathes heavily against the studio floor and rocks his forehead briefly onto the smooth rubber, before finally pushing himself up, the muscles in his arms fluttering.

He wants this.

"Take care of yourself."

Despite the protest of his thighs, he pushes off the floor and tries not to stumble when he steps over to the stereo and skips until he arrives at the right song, turning up the volume of the speakers. The bass thuds painfully in his ears, throbbing throughout his head, but that's preferable. It's the muscle memory he needs, not his head. Jimin walks back to the mirror, steeling himself for how far he will push himself for the final routine of the night. Staring hard at himself in the mirror, he tells himself that he needs this.

He needs this.

(your health is what's most important.)

(your health is what's most important.)

(your health is what's most important.)

The song abruptly switches to a slower one once he finishes.  It mirrors the swirling in his head, pushed back by the ever present, frantic want for more. More practice. More stamina. More agility. More... He cuts that train of thought.

His lungs start to burn, his body desperately heaving in air as he sags down. His calves feel almost paralysed - the lactic acid saturating his muscles feels like enough to burn through his skin. He shuts his eyes, briefly, and sleep swirls at the edges of his consciousness. It almost outweighs the satisfaction of practice trembling through him, the satisfaction that always seems to be held above everything else. From his place on the practice floor, wife beater sticking to the smooth rubber of it, he turns his head to look at himself in the mirror. He feels a little disconcerted, as he always does after putting all his concentration into a routine, body still trying to come down from the adrenaline. He meets his own eyes. Staring back at him is Park Jimin from BTS. Or Park Jimin from Busan. Or Park Jimin, pushing the limits. Pushing, again and again. The weak chuckle Jimin pushes out strains his chest and comes out as more of a wheeze. His eyes flick to the ceiling before they roll back to his body. Park Jimin. Tired.

It's ironic, how weak he feels in comparison to the built body he sees. Through the translucent white of the material sticking to him, he can see the muscle taut beneath his stomach, his arms thick with it. Jimin flexes his fingers gingerly, the muscles even in those small digits screaming in protest. He tries to move his toes, and can't. Everything hurts. Everything.

Maybe its how early it is in the morning. Or the fact that, by the time he gets back to the dorm, he'll only be able to catch a few hours of sleep before the recording at Music Bank. Or maybe its the tired boy he sees in the mirror. All of his fatigue starts to trickle down into his consciousness, and he has to bring his hands up to his face to stop his expression from crumbling. There's no one even here to see him. But it's good practice. After a few moments of quiet breathing, he looks back at his eyes in the mirror. The unbidden question of why he does this to himself flits briefly to the forefront of his mind, but he pushes it away as if on reflex. (take care of yourself.)

He tries for a smile. It's a little bitter.