Taehyung had never needed anyone to tell him he was different. His country vernacular stood out amongst the crowd of trainees, everyone knew he was from a farm. He was darker, he was teased a lot; being weird was the best way to keep everyone laughing with him, and not at him. It came natural to him, really. Lots of people thought it was an act for attention, but really it had just become apart of who he was. He didn’t know how to be not-weird.
He didn’t need anyone to tell him he was weird, or different, or “unique” as some put it. He didn’t need anyone to tell him that most things that happened in his life would be unconventional. When he touched Park Jimin’s hand for the first time, and his wrist felt a slight, painful shock he thought to himself Of course this would happen to me . I’ve attracted so much weird energy to me my whole life, and now this . He ignored it, for months. It was just another weird thing to him. As they became closer, and more in sync ignoring it was all he could really do to keep himself up.
They seemed to escalate over time, though. Some nights when they were drunk Jimin would be half-dancing half-falling into his lap, giggling, and snuggling him close. He would crawl into Jimin’s bed some nights, and pull him as close as he could. The contact making him calm, helping him sleep. Jimin would corner him after dance practice and stare into his eyes like he was searching for answers. On nights when Hoseok was passed out in their living area he would find himself pinned under Jimin, noses bumping, and nails digging into each others’ sides. Kisses became bites, and bites became sucks, and Jimin liked to leave marks on him so that the next day when they pretended nothing happened they had proof under the concealer. It was fun sometimes to pretend like nothing was happening, to act like there was no secret between them, or pretend that this was just an extension of their friendship. Like nothing was happening.
Like sometimes after rehearsal he didn’t find himself stashed in a corner, Jimin rubbing against him hard. His teeth biting on his neck, and his hands gripping his shoulders. Or act like sometimes in the dead of night he’d never find himself slipping down to Jimin’s bunk. His mouth would carefull find its way around Jimins dick in seemingly less time than it took to decide that Yes, Hoseok was snoring much too loud for him to be able to hear anything. Jimin would cum in his mouth and release soft moans into his pillow. He’d slip back up to his bunk, because the next morning? They were just friends again. They had to just be friends. Taehyung knew that’s all they could really be. He felt like he never needed his wrist to tell him he and Jimin were meant for each other, in any capacity.
He didn’t need Jimin to come into their room crying one night about how he loved him. He already knew. He didn’t need Jimin to kiss him because he thought Taehyung didn’t understand what he’d meant. He knew what was happening with them. He didn’t need Jimin to tell him how hard it would be, how he’s asked questions, and how people like them tend to disappear. He knew what would happen if someone found out. He knew, because he was weird, because he was different, because he attracted weird things, because nothing good that happened to him would ever be a normal good that he would disappear and possibly lose Jimin forever if they even made an attempt at this. He also knew that he was willing to risk it, because he knew he needed Jimin.
He knew his counter still moving meant there would be another.
Taehyung laid his head on the chest of his boyfriend, rubbing slowly on the squishy curve of his tummy, smiling slightly to himself. The sun filtered through the blinds onto their bodies on the soft bed in their hotel room (or rather, jimin’s hotel room) leaving warm strips on their bodies.
“I like you with abs or no abs.” His voice was light and airy, filled with sunday laziness and the need to still recover from last night’s show.
“Thank you. Say it in standard Korean.” Jimin ruffled his fingers through Taehyung’s hair.
“No.” he lightly smacked his boyfriend’s tummy. “We’re off today.”
Jimin put his arms around Taehyung pulling his face up to his, and kissed him.
“You’re so cute in the morning.” Jimin smiled at him.
“You’re cute all day.” Taehyung kissed him again, but it was long, and deep, and he felt tingling in his tummy when Jimin pressed his lips harder onto his. He opened his mouth slightly, and Jimin pressed his tongue inside, licking softly at the coolness inside his mouth, and pulling him closer.
Jimin was strong, and his arms were steady, and Taehyung was pliant and soft while he kissed him. It wasn’t always like this, though. Sometimes in a heat of passion they’d clash teeth and rip clothes, biting flesh and digging their fingers into each others’ backs. Usually after a long stint of not being able to hold hands. Sometimes Jimin was soft and quiet and needed arms wrapped around him and to be hugged as tightly as possible. That was usually after many failed attempts at hitting notes. Sometimes, most times, they were both all squish and small and laced fingers and noses touching, and smiles, because they were tired, and they just needed to be near each other.
Jimin pulled back and kissed Taehyung’s nose “My TaeTae.” his smile was bright and big, like he was proud the boy across from him was with him.
Taehyung, in return, kissed his forehead. “My Chim Chim.”
Their phones went off at the same time. There was pause, then Jimin’s went off five times in succession.
“What is this?” He moved from Taehyung to grab his phone. Taehyung’s own phone had started to go off with a much longer time lapse between each notification than Jimin’s, but just as many notifications.
“Since when did I subscribe to any EXO content?” Taehyung asked, going through his phone.
“Mine isn’t even EXO, it’s just Kai.”
“Did you subscribe after seeing his dancing?” Taehyung asked, moving back to his spot with his phone in his hand.
Taehyung peered at the notifications on his phone. “Wait, mine are all Kai, too... it’s all videos...”
“It’s one video.” Jimin said “Why are so many people sending this to us?”
Taehyung felt like something else weird was about to happen to him.
“Whatever. I’m too tired to watch EXO stuff.” Jimin turned his phone on silent, and laid back down onto the bed.
“So many people want us to watch this... maybe we should?” Taehyung peered down at the boy who was now laying across his legs.
“Do what you want I’m just tired.” Jimin lifted the thin shirt Taehyung was wearing, and kissed his tummy. “I’m having much more fun down here, anyway.” He continued to place small kisses on Taehyung’s skin while Taehyung pulled up the video.
“Hello, this is Kai of Exo.”
Taehyung turned up the volume on his phone.
“I don’t know what will happen to me after posting this. I’ve heard that some people disappear...”
“What is he talking about?” Jimin sat up
“Shh I’m trying to listen.” Taehyung shushed him and moved his phone to the middle of the faces so that they could both see.
“...I hope that if it is taken down you, my fans will reupload it. Recently, I’ve discovered that my counter does not work the way I’ve been taught that counters work.”
Taehyung’s eyes grew big
“My counter went down for several people! Some of which were boys!”
He felt Jimin squeeze his hand when Kai said that, he moved closer to him.
“One of which was only a friend... a very good friend of mine, and she is very sweet... I don’t know what will happen to me after all of you have watched this. All I know is that I am tired of hiding. There are so many like me... I know some of you are watching this. If we can all band together we can help stop the disappearances... maybe... but they can’t get rid of us all... more will just be born... I just want everyone to... I just don’t want to have to run. I hope this message gets to someone who needs it.”
The video stopped. Taehyung looked over to Jimin with big, watery eyes, who returned him with the same look, and they both just started laughing.
“Kai likes boys.”
“Lots of boys?” Jimin said back “He’s kind of like us!”
“He just... announced it... on the internet...”
Taehyung was stuck between excitement, and anxiety, but for the time Jimin’s smile and kisses were keeping him calm, and happy.
“Everyone is going to know now... About people like us...” Jimin smiled at him.
Kai’s disappearance was announced the next day. Taehyung was sitting on another hotel bed, Jimin between his legs and both of them on their phones when they both got the notification.
KaiWatch was a twitter they’d both subscribed to, under “fake” twitter handles, of course. It was one of the few outlets, and it wasn’t even an official news source, that was keeping everyone up to date on him. Any news stations that reported on Kai only talked about what a huge disappointment and disgrace he was. They’d had to block it out when they turned on the television and either no one was talking about it, or the people who were talking about it were being terrible.
Kai’s fans however had taken to the internet, and streets. International fans flew out from thousands of miles away to crowd around EXO’s dorm and offer support. There were marches, there were protests, there were “Keep Kai Safe” banners, and everyone assumed that Kai had just been sitting in his room, reflecting, ignoring, being terrified of what might happen to him, but instead, he was gone.
“How did he even disappear with all those people watching out for him?” Jimin sounded a little defeated.
“I don’t know...”
@KaiWatch: It has been confirmed by SM that after hours of searching Kai has gone missing. SM claims that they have no info on the disappearance.
@KaiWatch: Scenes from the SM building headquarters look bleak as fans search for answers for their missing idol. More updates to come.
@KaiWatch: Fans have arrived in massive numbers and trampled security guards to enter the SM headquarters looking for Kai.
@KaiWatch: We’ve gotten word that one of the fans is the daughter of the architect who designed the building.
“Taehyung, are you reading all of this?” Jimin’s voice was small
“Yea, yea...” Jimin put down his own phone to look at Taehyung’s
@KaiWatch: The fans are very organized and are going in large groups to specified parts of the building to search for Kai.
@KaiWatch: I’ve just been given word that there will be individual periscope broadcasts of each group going to look for Kai.
“How many broadcasts are there going to be?” Taehyung asked
“I don’t know... The SM building is very big...” Jimin’s voice trailed off as he clicked one of the links.
Taehyung saw a group of fans kick a door down. Inside were seemingly afraid grown ups
“There’s... literally so many fans here...” Taehyung’s voice was barely above a whisper.
“I think... I don’t think they’re all fans...”
The fans searched in every nook and cranny that they could before leaving the room.
“Get out of here!” one girl yelled to the adults before they ran out, and the fans locked the door behind them.
The group kept searching, relentlessly, with no hope in section. Feverishly panting the girl holding the camera said “As you can see Jongin is not in this section of the building. We will now go help other fans who are searching and keep police at bay. Hopefully someone will find him.”
@KaiWatch: The CEO has fled the building alone. No signs of Kai in the SM building have been found yet with 70% confirmed searched.
Taehyung and Jimin waited, going through several different broadcasts one by one until it was confirmed that Kai was nowhere to be found inside the SM headquarters.
There was a hard knock on their door.
@KaiWatch: 100% of the building confirmed searched with Kai nowhere to be found
Jimin got up from the bed and Taehyung watched him as he looked through the peephole, looked back at him, and then opened the door.
“Erica?” Taehyung sat up on the bed.
“Don’t look so surprised.”
All three of their phones buzzed at the same time.
@KaiWatch: Important documents concerning the disappearance of soulmates of SM idols have been found and will be released soon.
@KaiWatch: The SM building headquarters is burning.
“Burning?” Taehyung looked over toward Jimin who shook his head, confused in response.
@KaiWatch: The fans have decided to burn the building in order to insure that Kai cannot be moved there after their search.
@KaiWatch: The fans made sure that all employees were cleared from every place of the building before setting it on fire.
@KaiWatch: Information regarding the missing idols’ soulmates seems to point toward pay off and relocation. No deaths, no kidnappings.
Erica sighed “This is ridiculous.” She sat down on the bed next to Taehyung.
“Why are you here?” He looked up at her. He really hadn’t seen her in a while, and Erica never came to see them alone.
“Logan is missing...” Her voice was weak
“What.” Jimin pounced on the bed next to her. “How? Where did she go?”
“She was on her way over to see Kai right after he... I think they took her...”
Taehyung closed his eyes and rubbed his eyebrows “...I thought if anyone was taken away from me it’d be Jimin... not her...”
Jimin pushed his face into the pillows on his bed. His breathing began to deepen. Taehyung couldn’t tell for sure what he was doing, but he was pretty sure he was crying.
Erica looked over at him, sadness covering her face. “You two have got to get back to Korea...”
“Because the fans are going to burn down everything, and you can’t be stuck in a country where you have no resources, and can’t speak the language... Logan would kill me if I let you two stay here...”
“We have concerts to do here. We have contracts we can’t just leave.” Taehyung felt a little numb, and powerless.
“Bighit is already worried about you. Their HQ might be burned down next if fans suspect this was done to hurt SM.”
“How do you know that?”
“I talked to Jungkook before I came here, but I had to tell you what happened to Logan in person... if someone reads your texts or something like that-”
“I know.” He sighed covering his face with his hands. He felt Erica wipe away a few big tears that trailed down his face.
“Don’t worry... we’ll get her back...” her voice was shaky
“We don’t even know if she’s-”
“Don’t say that. We’ll get her back.”
Taehyung felt numb as they flew to their home country in a small, private plan. Provided by Erica, of course, who wanted them to get back as quickly, and as safely as possible.
“How are we supposed to get her back?” Jimin asked quietly as they sat away from the other members and staff. The words hit Taehyung softly, like his brain was too thick with anxiety and dread for him to be able to comprehend them. He waited for a while before looking at Jimin, and then shrugging.
Jimin placed his forehead on Taehyung’s shoulder. “We have to get her back, Taehyung... we have to...”
Taehyung mindlessly rubbed at the nape of Jimin’s neck, still not responding. He didn’t know what to say.
Taehyung spotted Logan first in a crowd in a club in Korea. He’d seen on the television that ‘Best Friends and design-model duo Erica and Logan have decided to spend some time in Korea for their current stay-cation.’
He didn’t think he’d ever see either of them out, though.
He was drunk, but he noticed that she was a good dancer. She seemed to get excited when Dope started to blast through the speakers. She looked like she was mouthing some of the words. Despite Jimin being in front of him he couldn’t seem to take his eyes off of Logan.
“Just go talk to her, then. I don’t care.” Jimin’s voice was light, he’d prepared for this.
Taehyung walked over to her and made big gestures with his arms so that he could get her attention before touching her. She looked at him, her eyes were hooded and her expression was big and smiley. He took a deep breath in and waved “Hi!”
Logan pointed to her ears, and mouthed I can’t hear you.
Her face made an exaggerated look of sadness, and she motioned for him to come closer, perching her ear up toward his mouth.
“Hi, I’m Taehyung.” She pulled back and looked up at him, holding her hand out for him to shake.
He grabbed her hand, and immediately felt a jolt of pain. She stepped in close, half resting her chin on his shoulder and said “I think we’re soulmates” into his ear.
She was breathtaking. Everything about her; her skin, her eyes, her nose, her lips, her scent, the raspiness of her voice. He felt like he had been waiting to be this completely intoxicated by a person; someone he couldn’t ignore, someone he had to stay this close to, or she might be a dream.
She lead him to the VIP lounge, and when they got there, they didn’t even say anything to one another. They just stared, softly touching open patches of skin, rubbing their noses together, smiling. Taehyung felt like she was a fantasy.
His phone buzzed. “Ah.. Jiminnie...”
“Who is Jiminnie?” her voice was still light
“Jimin... my friend he’s... in my group...” He knew he couldn’t tell her that Jimin was also his soulmate. Weird counters don’t last too long after discovery. “He’ll be looking for me...”
“Tell him to join us!” He was relieved that she was so relaxed about this.
Before long Jimin entered the lounge. He sat down next to Logan, who was now between him and Taehyung.
Taehyung noticed that Jimin couldn’t stop staring at her.
“You’re really pretty.” were the first words he said, with a big smile.
“I hope your friend here thinks so, too, cause we just discovered we’re meant for each other.”
Jimin gave Taehyung a worried look.
“That sounds great!”
Logan reached over to touch Jimin’s shoulder and Taehyung noticed both of them wince back in pain.
“Wait...” Jimin looked at her, then pulled the sleeve back on his shirt. “I thought you said...”
Logan’s eyes widened. “Oh, no... fuck, no. I... my counter is weird please don’t tell anyone about this I don’t want-”
“No! No! Shh it’s okay...” Taehyung grabbed both of her hands. “Mine... too... and Jimin’s...”
“I never thought it’d be the same person... let alone a girl.” Jimin looked over to him.
She looked from Taehyung to Jimin, then back to Taehyung, and back to Jimin.
“You two are...”
“Please don’t tell!” Jimin cried.
“No! No! I would never!”
They had been home for three days with no leads on Logan, no guaranteed safety for themselves, and somehow even more people missing.
@KaiWatch: It has been reported that after Jackson Wang’s reveal he, too, has gone missing despite fan attempts to keep him safe. Follow @JacksonWatch for more details.
“This is getting out of control.” Taehyung said, sitting on the floor of Erica’s large hotel suite. “People just can’t keep disappearing!”
“People are going to keep disappearing until we find out where they’re going...” Erica’s voice was stern.
“Why haven’t we found that out yet?” He got louder
“Listen. Getting upset at me is not going to help find her or Kai or anyone else for that matter. I can’t treat this like the President treated the Flint water crisis. I can’t just throw money at this and expect it to go away, and believe me I’ve tried. This takes resources, and man-power, and information that may very well be kept under lockdown of several government facilities none of which am I sanctioned to be in. I am a fashion designer not a fucking detective!”
“...I’m... sorry I just...”
“I want her back, too...”
@JacksonWatch: JYP Headquarters has just burned down as the search for Jackson proves futile.
@JacksonWatch: Notice posted from the South Korean Government.
@JacksonWatch: All idols are to be held without internet connection by their respective teams starting at 0:00 hours tonight.
“What? They can’t do that. That’s in six hours...” Jimin shoved his phone in Taehyung’s face.
“They can, and they will. This isn’t just happening in South Korea. Celebrities are revealing themselves all over the world, and it’s creating chaos. People are disappearing and now everyone knows why.”
“I can hide you.” Erica said without any hesitation.
“You can’t. They know we’re friends with you. You’ll be detained, too.” Jimin’s voice was high and scratchy and Taehyung noticed that he seemed to always quickly breakdown when something like this happened.
“I can still try.”
“No... the only people who have since been safe from any of this are the fans... they just keep multiplying.. Getting angrier...”
“So, we just go... with our fans...” Jimin asked.
“No, I’m not saying that I’m just saying that they’re the only people who seem safe... safer than Erica that’s for sure.”
“Then what do we do, Tae?” Taehyung looked at Jimin, and saw that he had his hands in his hair, his eyes bugged out, and were red, and watery, he was shaking.
“Chim...” He reached his hand out for Jimin to grab, and pulled him in when he did. “I’m not going to let them take you away from me... okay?”
Jimin nodded, and took a deep breath.
“So, what do we do?”
“Hello, I am Taehyung and this is Jimin. The location is on, fans, if you want to come find us do it very soon, but we will also tell you. We are at the Park Hyatt in Seoul! Ah! Hopefully you will be joining us soon. We are very afraid to be detained, and do not think it is fair that this is happening.” Taehyung’s voice was shaky.
Jimin continued “Taehyung and I... are soulmates... we knew it from a very long time ago... when we first met... When we found out about the detention we thought that maybe we would run... maybe we would go there, and sit, and be powerless while people like us continue to disappear...”
“We don’t want any special treatment we just want... to be safe.. If we disappear then who knows what might happen to us... Please, fans, keep us safe if you can...”
@JacksonWatch: Follow @VMinWatch for more updates. periscope.tv/w/qmlPASOKJ...
@VMinWatch: Fans have stormed the hotel, and are doing what seems like battling policemen for the idols.
@VMinWatch: The fans appear to have control over the situation. Refusing to let the boys go. Jimin has passed out.
@VMinWatch: The boys have now been taken by policemen. Both are unconscious.
@VMinWatch: Fans followed the policemen to watch appears to be a giant government facility.
@VMinWatch: It has been confirmed that these people will shoot fans to keep them away.
@VMinWatch: If you are within reach of the facility right now, fan numbers are low. Retreat to a safe place.
@VMinWatch: Five fans confirmed dead at the scene. Eleven confirmed injured.
Taehyung woke up in a dark room, way too dark for him to see anything. The last thing he remembered was a fan grabbing his arm.
“Chim?” His breathing was shallow
“Jimin?” He felt around the room for a wall, a bump, another person, anything, really, that might signify to him that he wasn’t alone.
“Tae?” Jimin’s voice was flat and quiet “Tae.. where are you? I can’t see anything.”
“I think it’s just really dark in here... where are you?”
“I don’t know.. My leg hurts a lot...”
“Just keep talking, I’ll find you.”
“Talking about what?”
“Sing House of Cards.”
“Okay...” Jimin started singing and Taehyung found him, and pulled him onto his lap.
“So, I’m gonna guess the fans didn’t get us?” Taehyung sighed
“I don’t think so...”