Chapter 1: One.
You're on your couch, curled up under a blanket with a mug of your favorite tea and a book, music softly playing from your laptop to join in harmony with the sounds of the thunderstorm raging outside. You stand to replenish your mug of tea when your hear a knock on the door. Frowning, and wondering who could be knocking on your door at 9:00 on a Monday night, you stand on your tip-toes to look through the peephole.
“Jungkook?!” you gasp in shock and step back to throw the door open. He looks absolutely wrecked. His clothes are soaked through, his hair is disheveled, and his beautiful brown eyes, usually so full of life, look empty and sad. “Come in! What happened? What's wrong?” He shuffles into your apartment, and you don't care that he's trailing water on your wood floors. Your best friend looks lifeless, and it pains you to see him that way. Quickly, you work to help him take off his wet clothes, shoving them in your washing machine and turning it on. you find a hoodie and a pair of sweat pants that he'd left here, and you make him put them on, then you sit him down on the couch and make him a mug of tea. Throughout this entire process, he doesn't say a word. You drape your blanket around his shoulders as he stares down into the mug, occasionally taking a sip. “Jungkook...” you whisper. It's then that you notice his eyes are swollen from crying. You sit on the couch next to him and wait patiently for him to speak.
“I... I didn't know who else to come to...” You start to tell him not to worry, but he continues talking. “It's Taehyung-hyung. You know we all went to the beach for a week because our manager-nim gave us the week off.” He waits for you to nod and tell him you remember before continuing. “We had a road trip, but the whole time, we knew something was wrong with Taehyung. We would hear him on the phone every night, talking to his sister and apologizing repeatedly. He didn't show us his real smile once. He barely ate, barely slept. We tried many times to cheer him up, but nothing worked.”
You listen in silence, your hands folded in your lap. He pauses to take a drink from his mug and clears his throat, taking a deep, shuddering breath. You're about to speak, to tell him that you can get Taehyung help for his depression, that maybe you can get him to talk about whatever happened, then he continues again. “On the last day of our trip, we were watching the sunset over the water. There was a tall structure next to us. When we were all distracted, he climbed up to the top. Jin-hyung noticed first, and we all tried to motion for him to come down, but he didn't.”
“Oh no...” you whisper, trying to brace yourself for whatever he's about to say next. He looks up at you, his eyes brimming with fresh tears. His voice cracks as the rest of the story comes out in a broken whisper.
“He jumped, (Y/N). We all went after him, but it was too late. His body was floating lifeless in the water. His head had hit a rock or something and-” he lets out a choked sob is unable to finish as he bows forward, wailing loudly. You put the mug aside and start crying with him, pulling him into your arms. You stay like that for a while, his face buried in the crook of your shoulder, letting out his pent-up sadness. Your phone rings and, reluctantly taking one arm from your dear friend's shoulder, you answer it.
“H-hello?” Your voice cracks, and you clear your throat and try again. “Hello?”
“Hi, (Y/N). It's Namjoon. We can't find Jungkook anywhere, and we were wondering if you had spoken to him or seen him.”
“He's right here, Namjoon-oppa.” The boy whimpers in your arms and you hear a sigh of relief on the end of the phone. There's a short pause before you murmur, “He told me what happened. I'm so sorry.”
“Can I come over, please?”
“Of course you can.”
“Thank you. I'll be there soon.” He hangs up, and you turn your attention back to your dear friend, hugging him close to you like a child.
Chapter 2: Two.
Namjoon takes on the role of the caring leader he always is. A note is discovered.
About an hour later, there's another knock on your door. Not wanting to disturb Jungkook, who's now sleeping with his head in your lap, you text Namjoon telling him to quietly come in. He does, and he looks as devastated as Jungkook did when he first came to your door. “Hi,” he says quietly, “how long has he been sleeping?”
“About fifteen minutes,” you whisper. Namjoon nods and rakes his fingers through his short, damp hair. “Please sit down.” You motion to the armchair that's next to the coffee table, because Jungkook's long body is taking up the entire couch.
Namjoon slowly sinks down into the chair, looking down at his hands. “I told the other members Jungkook is here. They, and I, thank you for looking after him.” He speaks in a monotone voice, the words a mere formality, without looking up, and you reach out and squeeze his shoulder.
“I'm here for you guys, anything you need.” He nods, still not looking up. You sit in silence, listening to the storm outside, and then Jungkook mumbles as he wakes up halfway.
“Noona...?” He stretches and opens his eyes, looking over to see Namjoon, who suddenly has a composed, almost stoic look on his face. “Hi Joonie.”
“Hi, Kookie.” He smiles sympathetically at the younger boy.
“Jungkook, why don't you go sleep in my bed? Namjoon and I are going to talk for a while, and then I'll come hold you while you sleep, okay?” He nods and gets up to go to your room. You brace yourself, ready to hear him start crying again, but thankfully, the only sounds you hear from him are soft snores after anxiously waiting for a few minutes. “Would you like something to eat or drink?” You address Namjoon, who has gone back to staring down at his hands.
“No, thank you. It might be best for me to not be holding something when I tell you this.”
You feel a chill run up your spine. You don't know if you can handle any more bad news tonight, but you'd just promised him that you would be there for him and the rest of the members, no matter what they needed, so you have to keep that promise, even if it breaks you slowly piece by piece. You loved Taehyung so much and had a crush on him ever since he'd first shown you his famous box smile. A smile you would never see again. Swallowing a lump in your throat at that thought, you draw my knees up to your chest and hug them, whispering “Okay.”
“There was a note.” His voice cracks, and he clears his throat. “Taehyungie left us a note. We found it in his backpack.” He shakily draws a folded, slightly crumpled piece of paper out of the pocket of his jeans, and he runs his fingers over it before handing it to you. “I can't...” he covers his face as his shoulders begin to shake. You carefully open the paper and begin to read, immediately blinking back tears.
Dear Namjoonie, Jinnie, Yoongi, Hobi, Jiminie, and Kookie, my precious hyungs and dongsaeng,
I am very sorry to leave you like this. I could not handle it anymore. I did something completely out of character for me. I killed my father because I walked in on him brutally beating my sister. My sister was being attacked, as she had been many times before when I wasn't there, and I had to protect her. I was so angry, and I snapped. The second I saw him lying on the floor dead by my hand, I felt an overwhelming, crushing sense of guilt and emptiness. That feeling did not stop. Namjoon-hyung, I tried calling you right after I did it, but you didn't answer. It's okay, though. I wasn't upset with you. You were busy being a leader to our amazing group. I'm sorry for failing you as a member. I was too broken to be in this world any longer.
The pain of what I did was too much. I hated myself for it. I couldn't forgive myself, nor could I expect anyone else to do so. I could not handle feeling this way anymore. My trip with you all was the best week of my entire life, even though it had to end the way it did for me. I am sorry for what this means for you, as well as my sister, my family, and our fans. You all deserve every bit of happiness that the world can give you. I love you all, and that includes (Y/N). I never got the chance to tell her that. Please let her know that I love her as much as I love all of you.
Forgive me. I'm sorry, my brothers. Please forgive me. I'll always watch over you all.
You read and reread the note, freely sobbing now. You fold it carefully back up and place it on the coffee table. “Namjoon, I...” You clear your throat “I don't know what to say.”
“Jungkook doesn't know. Please don't tell him. Leave that to me and the other members.”
“Of course.” You reach out and place a comforting hand on his thigh. He flinches but lets you keep your hand there for a moment until you finally draw it away to flick a strand of hair out of your eyes. “Jungkook seems to be taking it really hard.”
“Not as hard as Jimin and Hobi are. I was actually afraid to leave them tonight. They're not doing well at all.” He shakes his head slowly as he clenches and unclenches his fists in his lap. “Jin-hyung will take care of them, I know, but we love Taehyung so much. Jiminie and Hobi were the closest to him aside from Jungkook. Jin-hyung and I have to appear strong for their sake, but we're as broken as they are.”
“I'm sure the two of you are doing everything you can for them.” He nods, but seems unsure of himself. “How is Yoongi taking it?”
“Well,” Namjoon sighs, “he locked himself in his studio and refuses to come out. He's been in there since we got back from our trip three days ago.” He finally looks up at you, and you feel a pull in your heart as you see the look on his face, so sad, so broken, so not like the Namjoon you know. “We didn't tell you sooner because we were talking with Taehyung's family about funeral arrangements. I'm so sorry.” His voice hitches and he starts crying again, and before you can do anything, he speaks between heaving sobs “I failed him. I failed my precious dongsaeng as a hyung and a leader, and now he's gone. I should have done more. I should have realized something was wrong.” He hangs his head between his knees and cups his hands around his ears, and your heart breaks. Tears freely streaming down your face again, you gently guide him onto the couch with you and hug him close. He buries his face in the crook of your neck, and you cry together. It takes a while before you can find any words to speak to him.
“Namjoon, it's not your fault. It's not your fault.” Even though you're younger than him, you caress his hair like he's a small child. He shakes his head and eventually calms down enough to pull away and look at you. His eyes are red and swollen from crying, his bottom lip quivers, and he squeezes your hand. You speak softly, “Do you want to stay here tonight? It's late, and you're completely welcome to stay if you don't feel like driving.”
“Thank you, but I should get back to the dorms.” He stands slowly and wipes the last vestiges of tears from his eyes. “Jungkook is staying with you, right?” You nod and stand with him, and his shoulders droop a bit. “Thank you, (Y/N). That makes me feel better.” He offers a small smile, and you return it.
“You're welcome, Namjoon-oppa.” You glance over to the coffee table and notice Taehyung's note is still sitting there, so you pick it up and hand it to him, biting your lip. “You'd better take this and hide it until Jungkook is ready to hear it.”
“Oh, you're right. Thank you.” He carefully slips it into his pocket, and he hugs you briefly before bowing respectfully, barely giving you time to return the gesture, and he leaves. You let out a breath you didn't know you had been holding when you hear that the storm has finally died down, and you're left alone with your thoughts, which is a scary thing. Shaking them off, you make sure your door is locked, switch Jungkook's clothes over to the dryer, and pad softly back to your bedroom, careful not to wake Jungkook as you climb into bed, facing him, and though he's traumatized by what he witnessed, he looks peaceful. You're glad for that, because he's going to need at least a few hours of peace. You care for Jungkook so much, and you just hope he doesn't go through any more pain. That's the last thought you have before you finally drift off to sleep.
Chapter 3: Three.
You awake with a jolt when you feel someone shaking your shoulder, and you almost scream before you see Jungkook above you, eyes frantic and a panicked expression on his face. “(Y/N) wake up, please wake up!” You sit up in bed so you're eye-level with him, and, glancing around, you notice that it's pretty late in the morning.
“Jungkook, what's going on?” You ask groggily, rubbing your eyes. He doesn't say anything, but he has tears in his eyes, and the sight makes you instantly become fully awake. “What happened?”
“It's Hoseok. Jin-hyung just called me and said he's missing.” A chill runs up your spine at his words, and you try to maintain a calm expression. “They think he left sometime in the middle of the night, and he's not answering his phone. We have to do something noona, please?”
“Okay Jungkook, okay. Let me call him, alright?” You squeeze his hand and he nods, loosening his grip on you shoulders. You stand from the bed and look around for your phone before you remember that you left it on the couch. Upon unlocking it, you see that you have three missed calls and four texts, all from Seokjin. Silently cursing yourself, you call him back.
“Hi Jin-oppa, it's (Y/N).”
“Hello (Y/N). Did Jungkook-ah tell you what's going on?”
You sigh and rub your temple, shuffling to the kitchen to prepare some coffee and instant oatmeal to go. “Yes, he did. What do you think happened?”
“We don't know. He and Jimin were up much later than Namjoon and I were, and that's really all we know. I haven't been able to get a lot of information from Jimin.”
“May I speak with him?”
“Of course.” There's a moment of silence, and Seokjin's voice sounds far away as he says “(Y/N) would like to speak with you.”
“H-hello?” Jimin's voice sounds small, and you have to bite your lip to stop a sad sigh from escaping.
“Hi, Jimin-ah. Can you tell me what happened to Hoseok?”
“H-he...” Jimin lets out a shaky breath, and you hear movement, then the next time you hear his voice, it's slightly muffled. “After Namjoon-hyung got home and went to sleep, Hobi-hyung and I were still up talking. After a while, he went to the bathroom, took some pills, and then wandered out of the dorms.” His voice cracks, and you feel your heart drop to your stomach. “I have no idea where he went, but I'm pretty sure he walked. I don't know how to tell Jin-hyung and Namjoon-hyung.”
You quickly finish gathering the makeshift breakfast for you and Jungkook, and take one bag to him as you say calmly to Jimin, “Okay, Jimin, okay. Please put Jin back on the phone?” Jungkook looks up at you confused, and you motion for him to leave the room. “I need to get dressed, Kookie. I won't be long.”
“It's okay if you tell Jin-hyung. I can't.” Jimin speaks hurriedly. There's a scratching noise on the other end of your call as you shut your bedroom door, and you put on a bra, a different shirt, and a pair of shorts.
“Jin-oppa?” you ask softly.
“Yes, yes, sorry (Y/N), I was telling Jimin to try to eat something. Did he tell you anything?”
You chew on your lower lip and decide to just come out with it. “Jimin said that Hobi took some pills and then walked out the front door.” Your voice is a whisper, in case Jungkook is on the other side of the door listening. “That's all he knows.” You hear a quiet sob.
“Th-thank you. Can you and Jungkook come to the dorms? I would feel safer knowing he's here.”
“Yes, we're on our way. We'll see you soon.” You step into your slip-on canvas shoes and open your door, surprised to not see Jungkook.
“Thank you again, (Y/N). Oh, I have to go.” You hear what sounds like a crash on his end of the phone before he hangs up abruptly, not giving you a chance to reply, and you try to push the worrying thoughts from your mind as you find Jungkook sitting on the couch sipping his coffee.
“Are you ready, Jungkook-ah?” He stands and nods, and after you grab your keys and your phone and lock your door behind you, the two of you head to your car. You drive in silence, the only sounds are the low hum of the air conditioner and other cars zooming past, and when you're crossing the bridge that leads you to the dorms where they live, Jungkook's head snaps to the right when he sees what looks like a large pile of rags on the sidewalk.
“(Y/N), STOP!” he yells as he hurriedly unbuckles his seat belt, barely giving you time to pull over and hopping out of the car before it's fully stopped. You look in the direction Jungkook is running in, and you hear him hoarsely cry “Hoseok!!” and you freeze in shock until Jungkook's voice snaps you back into action. “Help me (Y/N)! Help!!”
“Shit.” You mumble under your breath as you wrench your car door open and hurry to Jungkook's side, already pulling your phone out of your pocket. It's then that you see it is, in fact, Hoseok lying unconscious on the sidewalk. Jungkook's hands are fluttering over the elder's lifeless body. You call 119 and report who you've found and where you are, and after confirming that help would be there soon, you hang up and call Namjoon. You don't give him time to say hello. “Namjoon, we found Hoseok. He's not okay. I've called emergency services and they said they'll be here soon. Can you and the boys meet us at the hospital?”
“No. No, no, no. This can't be happening.” Namjoon takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, and then he quietly says “I'll let everyone else know, and we'll meet you there soon. Goodbye. Thank you.”
“You're welcome, good-” he hangs up before you can finish your sentence, and you slide your phone back into your pocket. Jungkook is next to Hoseok on his knees, sobbing so much that his tears land on Hoseok's clothes. “Jungkook...” you say softly, but he doesn't look up. You move next to him and wrap an arm around his shoulders, and you sit and wait for the ambulance, staring straight ahead and willing yourself not to cry. You can't bring yourself to look at Hoseok's lifeless body, though you allow yourself a glance long enough to see that he's barely breathing. Not knowing what else to say, you whisper, “He's going to be okay, Kookie.”
“What if he's not?” Jungkook's voice is broken and shaky, and his body shudders as his sobs overtake him. You squeeze your own eyes shut to keep tears from falling.
“He will be. He has to be.” You mutter this more to yourself than to him, and thankfully, soon after, you hear sirens and jump up to wave the ambulance over to where you are. The paramedics rush to you with a stretcher, and you give them Hoseok's information as they gingerly place him on the stretcher and try to get his vital signs. “Jungkook, please wait in the car. I'll be there in a second.” He nods, and you turn back to the paramedic and lower your voice. “Is he going to be okay?”
“I don't know, miss. I simply do not know. If you want my honest answer, it doesn't seem like he will.” You turn so Jungkook can't see your face, making it seem like you're scratching your neck, as you close your eyes and let out a single quiet sob, quickly brushing away the tears that fall. “We will know more once we reach the hospital. I'm sorry, that is all I can tell you.”
You look back at him and nod, “Thank you. It's okay. We'll be right behind you.” He nods and gives a small, sad smile before going to help the others and loading Hoseok into the back of the ambulance. You get into your car, and after the ambulance starts driving, you immediately start following it. The car is filled with Jungkook's quiet sobs, and you want to cry with him, but you know that if you start crying, you may not stop.
Chapter 4: Four.
You got to the hospital two hours ago. Seokjin, Namjoon, Yoongi, Jimin, Jungkook, and you have all but set up camp in the waiting room right across from the room where they've been trying to stabilize Hoseok, and no one has any idea of what his condition is. Yoongi and Seokjin have jumped up to ask every doctor and nurse that passes by, but none of them know anything, which frustrates Yoongi and makes him curse under his breath. Hoseok's parents and sister are there, too, and Namjoon has been sitting with them and offering them what little comfort he can while answering whatever questions they have. He provides a foundation of comfort for Hoseok's family that you admire greatly. Jimin is fiddling with the fraying hem of his hoodie and Jungkook is staring at his phone, which is open to a picture of Hoseok smiling as he does a finger heart.
Finally, a doctor comes in, looking tired, and everyone instantly shoots up out of their seats. “Parents of Jung Hoseok?” He looks to the older couple, and they lean on one another for support as they approach the doctor. He folds his hands in front of him and bows before looking at them once again. “There was nothing we could do. I'm very sorry. He overdosed on sleeping medication.” Hoseok's mother sinks to the floor, clutching her stomach, and Mr. Jung joins his wife, holding her close. His sister wails loudly and clings to Namjoon. Jungkook and Jimin, both on either side of you, simultaneously cling to you and sob quietly. Yoongi sinks back to his seat and puts his head between his knees, not making any noise, but his body quakes. Seeing Yoongi cry breaks you, and you finally let out the tears you've been wanting to let out all day. Seokjin buries his face in his hands, and only Namjoon looks at the doctor.
“Can we see him please?” he asks, his voice thick with tears.
“The room is quite small, so I would prefer for immediate family to come in first, and then the rest of you can go in two or three at a time. What is your relation to Hoseok?”
“They're his brothers.” Mrs. Jung's voice is quiet but firm as she, her husband, and her daughter join hands, then they look to you. “And (Y/N) is one of his very best friends. They all should get to say goodbye to our precious boy.” The doctor nods and leads Hoseok's family out of the room.
A few moments later, the doctor returns. “Hoseok's immediate family has gone to fill out some papers. Who of you would like to come with me next?” Jungkook and Jimin don't move, and Namjoon, Seokjin, and Yoongi move at the same time. Seokjin glances back at you, and you nod.
“I'll stay with Jungkook and Jimin. We'll... go in when you come back.” Your voice quivers, and you bow your head, clutching the boys on either side of you tightly. Seokjin returns your nod, and the four of them leave the room.
“(Y/N)...” Jungkook's voice is soft, and you look at him. “I... I'm sorry.”
“For what? You did everything you could have done. Please don't blame yourself, Jungkook-ah.”
The boy shakes his head, and Jimin whispers “She's right. It's not your fault. It's mine.” Your head quickly whips around to look at Jimin. “I should have stopped him. He's had a problem with taking different kinds of medications for a while, and I knew that what Taehyung did would trigger him into doing something like this.” His small hands come up to wipe at the tears streaming down his cheeks. You wait for him to speak again, and after a moment, he whispers, “It's my fault that Hobi-hyung did this.”
“Jimin, no.” Your voice cracks and you hug the boy close. “You couldn't have possibly known.” Your words seem to fall on deaf ears as both boys are now crying uncontrollably. The three other boys come into the room, their faces downcast, and the doctor stands in the doorway, waiting patiently.
“(Y/N)-ah, do you want one of us to go with them instead?” Seokjin's voice is soft. Namjoon and Yoongi sit in the corner of the room, Yoongi fiddling with a lighter but not flicking it, and Namjoon staring straight ahead, seeing everything and nothing all at once.
“No, they need me.” You stand up slowly, Jungkook and Jimin mirroring your actions, and nod to the doctor, who returns your nod and leads you to the room that Hoseok's body is in. The door won't allow you to walk through with both boys clinging to your sides, so you have Jungkook walk in first, followed by you, and Jimin clinging tightly to your hand behind you. The doctor closes the door to the room at your request, and it's then that you finally let your eyes fall on Hoseok's lifeless body. “Oh Hobi...” you whisper, slowly walking to his side. He's still, too still, and his eyes are closed. His skin is pale and cold as you brush your fingers over the back of his hand.
“Hobi-hyung...” Jungkook is sobbing, and Jimin is still behind you, clinging to your hand so tightly that it's starting to hurt, but you let him. Jungkook stands on the other side of Hoseok's body, his hands trembling. “I'm so sorry, hyung. You were our sunshine, our hope, and I should have done more to be the same to you. Now you'll never shine here again. I'm so sorry. I can't live without you.” Jungkook sinks to the chair behind him, his hands covering his face, and you fight to blink back your own tears. Jimin shuffles to stand beside you, never letting go of your hand as he strokes Hoseok's forehead.
“I love you, hyung. I wish I could see your beautiful smile one last time.” His voice cracks, but he shakes his head once before continuing. “I should have helped you. I should have-” his sentence is stopped by a sob bubbling from his lips, and he buries his face in your neck, wrapping his arms tightly around your waist.
“Hobi-oppa.” Your voice is soft, but Jungkook stands straight and looks at you. “There were so many things I never got to tell you. So many things we never got to share. So many memories the eight of us never got to make. I'm so sorry for that. You were too beautiful and positive for such a messed-up world. You were our hope when we had none. You were our happiness when we otherwise could not find any. You were everything we needed, when we thought we needed nothing. If by some miracle you can hear me from the better place you surely are right now, and if Taehyung is with you, tell him the same thing. You were both too good. You didn't deserve this.” You let your tears fall, and Jungkook comes around to stand on your other side again, hugging you and Jimin tightly, as if you were going to slip away at any moment.
Alluding to Jungkook.
You don't remember driving back to the dorms. You don't remember how you came to be sitting on the couch in the living area, Jimin on one side of you and Jungkook on the other. You barely notice Yoongi pacing back and forth, and you don't pay attention to the hushed conversation Namjoon and Seokjin are having. You don't know for how long the six of you sit in agonizing silence, the soft ticking of the clock on the wall the only sign that time hasn't frozen. Then, Yoongi goes to his studio and slams the door behind him. Next, Seokjin goes to the kitchen to try to cook something. Namjoon's phone rings and he goes to his room for a private conversation.
The sun sets as you, Jimin, and Jungkook continue to sit on the couch, the smells of Seokjin's delicious cooking spreading throughout the whole area. Jimin falls asleep with his head on your shoulder, and you hold him close to you. Eventually, you drift off to sleep as well, curled in a tangle of limbs with Jimin. The two of you are in such a deep sleep, and the others are so caught up in their activities, that you don't know when Jungkook sneaks out the front door without a word.
Chapter 6: Six.
Jungkook. Allusion to Jimin.
You wake up to chaos. Namjoon is talking furiously into his phone, Seokjin and Jimin are having a heated conversation, and Yoongi is violently shaking you awake. How the hell did you sleep through so much? “Wh-what? What's going on?” you ask, looking around at the four faces in the room. You frown. Four. That's not right. You realize who's missing, and your panic starts to rise. “Where's Jungkook?”
Yoongi growls in frustration. “Yah! You pabo! How can you ask that seriously?! You were supposed to be watching him!” He throws his weight at the wall and punches a hole in it, not even flinching when the bones in his knuckles crack.
“I'm sorry!” You feel tears stinging the corners of your eyes and you blink them away quickly. You hear a thud and turn to see Jimin on the floor and pounding his fist into the hard surface. Seokjin looks at you desperately, and you rush over to Jimin, hugging him from behind and trying to pull him off of the ground. You succeed, only to feel him shaking in your embrace. “Jimin, please, that won't help,” you cry desperately, holding him tightly, and his body goes slack as sobs wrack his body. “Where is Jungkook?” you ask again, this time looking at Seokjin. He shakes his head slowly, and you notice then that he's been crying as well.
“I don't know, (Y/N). Namjoon is trying to find out.” He sinks to the bar stool behind him and hangs his head. “He's on a group call with some of Jungkook's friends, and-” his voice is cut off when an anguished cry comes from Namjoon's direction. Seokjin and Yoongi rush over to him, and Jimin turns in your arms to bury his face in your neck. “Did they find him?” Seokjin's voice is soft.
Namjoon puts the phone on speaker, and whispers, “Please repeat what you just said.”
There's static for a moment, and then a voice comes through, cracking and broken with unshed tears. “I just found him. He's in the middle of the road. There are cuts and bruises all over his body, and his head is bent back at an impossible angle. There's so much blood. I think he was hit by a car.” The person on the other end of the phone starts crying, and Jimin wails, clinging to you more tightly. Yoongi curses and punches another hole in the wall, and another, then Seokjin forcefully pulls him away.
Yoongi lets out a choked sob and says to no one in particular, “He was just a kid. Just a fucking kid. Why did any of this have to fucking happen?” His shout is tormented as he pushes Seokjin away and walks to his room, pausing in front of you and Jimin, the look in his eyes venomous. “This is your fucking fault, Jimin. And (Y/N)... I can't even look at you.” He stomps to his room and slams the door closed so hard it leaves small cracks in the wall next to the door frame.
“He's right. It is my fault.” Jimin mutters the same sentence over and over, and you and Seokjin try to convince him otherwise. Namjoon, who has hung up with Jungkook's friends and then made another call, walks over as well. Jimin rushes over to him and hugs him tightly. “I'm sorry, leader-nim. If I would have been more careful and watched Taehyung-ah, Hobi-hyung, and Jungkook-ah better, none of this would have happened.” He clings to the elder and sobs, and seeing him so broken makes you cry as well, feeling your knees finally give out as you hug yourself. Jungkook was your best friend. You loved all of the Bangtan members, of course, but you were the closest to Jungkook. You went to each other about everything. You helped each other through so much. You were helping him with college applications, and he was helping you get a job at Big Hit Entertainment. Now you didn't know if you could ever even think about working there, or anywhere, without having your best friend to tell about it. He was gone. It didn't seem real.
“Jimin, you can't blame yourself. Please. Yoongi is wrong. He's just angry. He didn't mean it.” Namjoon's voice is surprisingly steady as he comforts Jimin, his strong arms holding him close like a father would hold a child. You stand alone, watching this family fall apart before your eyes. Everything seemed fine a few weeks ago. You sigh, reflecting on how the boys were so excited for their comeback, and now half of them were-
You're pulled out of your thoughts by Seokjin's gentle voice. “Namjoon and I are going to meet Jungkook's friends and call his family as well. Shit, his older brother is going to be devastated. Shit.” It was jarring to hear Seokjin curse like that, but your mental response was muted, like a blanket had been tossed over your brain to keep your thoughts from fully forming. “(Y/N), please stay here with Yoongi and Jimin.” He walks close to you and whispers directly into your ear, “Please don't go to sleep until we get home.” You nod and hug the two of them before they walk out the door. You turn to Jimin, and he sits down heavily on the couch, staring straight ahead.
The two of you sit in silence. The house is too quiet. You move around the kitchen, quietly making coffee and small bowls of oatmeal, knowing that you and Jimin are going to need some kind of food in your stomachs. The rudimentary actions are done as if you are on autopilot. You can't get Jungkook, Taehyung, and Hoseok out of your head. The image of Hoseok in the hospital like that – God, was it only a few hours ago? - is burned into your brain. You can't imagine seeing Jungkook. You feel a pull on your heart as you imagine Seokjin and Namjoon being faced with it. Yoongi was right. Jungkook was just a kid. He hadn't even graduated high school yet. He had less than a year left. It's not fair. It isn't fucking fair.
“What's not fair?” Jimin's soft voice startles you out of your thoughts, and you realize that you'd said the last part out loud. He's standing next to the kitchen counter, his eyes empty and sad. You hand him a mug of coffee and sit him at the table, trying to force your lips into a smile, but they won't. You sink into the chair across from him.
You sigh, deciding to be honest with your thoughts, but you choose your words carefully as you mix a small lump of brown sugar into your oatmeal. “None of it. That they're gone. It's not fair.” Jimin nods mutely, and you watch as a tear slides down his cheek and lands in his mug. No more words are needed. The only sounds that fill the too-quiet house are the soft clanks your spoons make against your bowls and the gentle, muted thump of mugs being set on the table. You're glad Jimin is eating. He's been having an aversion to eating lately, so you're thankful you don't need to prod him this time.
After you finish eating, Jimin goes to sit on the couch and mindlessly flicks through the TV channels. You wash the dishes and set them on the drying rack before joining him. The two of you still don't speak. Jimin finds a random movie, one of those cheesy romantic comedies that looks like it came out in the 80s, but you're only half paying attention, especially when your phone buzzes. You unlock the screen to see a new message from Seokjin.
Seokjin: There were three young men there who saw him walk into the middle of the street, and they happened to be there because they beat him halfway to death before he slowly walked to the middle of the street and right into the path of a large truck.
Your eyes widen and you have to stop yourself from letting out a choked sob. You take a deep breath before typing a short reply, not knowing how to respond.
You nervously fiddle with your phone until it buzzes again, and you nearly drop it in the process of unlocking it to read Seokjin's reply.
Seokjin: Yes. They claimed he initiated it, but they ended up telling us the real story because Namjoon put on his intimidating face. It turns out all our Jungkook did was accidentally bump the shoulder of one of them, and they became enraged when he did not respond.
Your eye twitches, and you glance over to Jimin, who is staring blankly ahead, his hands rubbing nervously up and down his thighs.
You: WHAT?? Those punks. I know Jungkook. He would never do something like that.
You: Shit. I mean, he never would have done something like that.
Seokjin: I know. They ran away guiltily and hid nearby after Jungkook was hit. They stayed to see what would happen with him. They felt guilty that Jungkook's friend was the one that had to find him like that. They also feel guilty that Jungkook is no longer alive.
You feel a flare of anger when you read that text. Because sure they feel guilty, but that won't bring Jungkook back. Nothing can bring him back. If those stupid punks hadn't pushed him over the edge, he might still be here. You have to wipe a tear from your eye at that thought, praying that Jimin doesn't notice. You don't tell Seokjin your thoughts, though.
You: Thank you for telling me.
Seokjin: You are welcome. Thank you for watching Jimin. We will be home as soon as we can. Remember, don't fall asleep. Please.
You: Okay (blush emoji) (thumbs-up emoji)
You set your phone aside. You are determined to stay awake, so you pop a piece of candy into your mouth from the bowl that Taehyung insisted on keeping accessible at all times. You take a deep breath as the credits roll, and you finally speak. “Jimin, do you want to watch another movie?”
“Okay.” His voice is soft, but clear.
“Do you want to talk about anything?” He shakes his head vehemently and stares straight ahead. “Okay.” You rub his back in what you hope is a soothing manner, and the two of you sit through the beginning credits of the next movie in silence. Suddenly he gets up, mumbling something about going to take a bath. “Are you okay?”
“I'm fine. Don't worry, (Y/N).” Without giving you a chance to reply, he goes to the bathroom and closes and locks the door quietly. You listen while the water runs and then stops a few moments later. Something tells you that you should watch him, but he's a grown man, not a baby. You turn the volume on the TV down to keep an ear out for him, but you can't shake the feeling of dread in your stomach.
“He said he's okay, (Y/N). Give him some time to calm down.” You whisper this to yourself while keeping a tight grip on your phone, needing something to keep you grounded.
Chapter 7: Seven.
As you watch your movie, you let it slide that Jimin has been in the bathroom for twenty minutes, thirty minutes, forty-five minutes. People tend to take long baths sometimes, and you know Jimin needed some sort of alone time. You get really into your movie and lose track of time, and before you know it, it's been nearly two hours since Jimin went into the bathroom. “Shit.” You get up and walk to the bathroom door, knocking on it softly.
“Jimin? Are you alright in there?” There's no answer. You knock a little louder. “Jimin?” Still no answer. You begin pounding on the door in a panic, violently twisting the doorknob even though you know it won't do any good since it's locked. “JIMIN!” You scream his name, back up, and kick the door once, which makes a key fall from the top of the door frame. You grab it and scramble to unlock the door, fling it open, and let out a blood-curdling scream at what you see, your knees giving out, and you crawl to the edge of the tub.
Jimin's lifeless body is floating in the water. He's fully dressed, his hair is stuck to his forehead, his skin is paper white, and his lips are blue. “NOOOOO!!!!!” You gently lift his head and put your ear against his chest, but you already know you won't hear anything. Still, you break down sobbing when you don't. Jimin is gone, too. “No, no, no, this can't be happening!” You hear pounding footsteps, already knowing Yoongi is in the doorway.
“What the hell, (Y/N)??” You hear a thud and feel his body heat next to yours, but you're afraid to look into his eyes. You can feel anger coming off of him in waves. “You were supposed to be TAKING CARE OF HIM. What is-” His voice cracks and he buries his face in his hands. You reach a hand out and tentatively place it on his back. He flinches but lets you keep your hand there as his body shakes with quiet sobs. “He was a kid, too. Just a fucking child. How could you? How could any of us- how did we not see?” He sobs loudly and finally shakes your hand off.
“I know.” His voice is quiet and broken, and he keeps his face in his hands. Eventually his hands drop limply to his lap. The two of you simultaneously look at Jimin's body, and then at each other. You don't have to see your face to know it looks like his: red, splotchy, wet with shed and unshed tears. Yoongi moves to pull out his phone, presumably to call Namjoon or Seokjin, but the front door opens, making you both freeze. He whispers softly, “Fuck.”
Chapter 8: Eight.
“(Y/N), Yoongi-yah, Jimin-ah, we're home!” Seokjin's voice is hoarse, and you can't tell if it's from yelling, crying, or both. You wince and look at Yoongi, who has gone back to looking at Jimin, brushing the hair out of his eyes with a pained expression. “Hello?” Seokjin calls out again.
You sigh and clench your eyes shut tightly. “We're in here, Jin-oppa.” You take Jimin's hand, wincing at how cold and stiff it is. Footsteps are heard, and then they abruptly stop.
“What...” Seokjin breathes out. “N-no.. NAMJOON!” he screams, and Namjoon comes running.
“No. No no no.” Namjoon rushes into the bathroom, leaving Seokjin standing in the doorway, and pushes in between you and Yoongi so he can lift Jimin's body out of the tub. He carries him bridal style to the living room.. “Drain the water in the tub,” he says to no one in particular as he goes. Yoongi, being closer to the drain, pushes up his sleeve and lifts the plug. The two of you remain on your knees and watch the water drain out, and you cry quietly, because it seems as if you're watching Jimin's life force draining away.
You stand after a few moments, realizing then that your clothes are wet as you shuffle out of the bathroom. You mutely shuck your overshirt off and drape it on a kitchen chair, leaving you in your tank top as you walk into the living room. Namjoon is performing CPR on Jimin, tears streaming down his cheeks, and Seokjin is nervously pacing back and forth behind the couch, muttering under his breath and glancing at Namjoon every once in a while. Yoongi comes up behind you and, in a surprisingly warm action, drapes a towel over your shoulders and then wraps his arms around your waist from behind, his breaths warm on your skin as he hugs you tightly. You lean into Yoongi, your bottom lip quivering as you watch Namjoon, his actions becoming more frantic. He clenches his hand into a fist and slams it down on the coffee table, making you whimper.
“Jimin... not you too...” Namjoon whispers before he bows forward and clutches Jimin's shirt, burying his head in his chest, the moisture from his tears adding to the liquid already soaking the thin material. “Please no.” You turn in Yoongi's arms and bury your face in his chest, and he holds you close. You hear Seokjin take a deep breath before he pulls his phone out and dials a number.
He clears his throat. “Hello, Mrs. Park. This is Kim Seokjin. I'm afraid...” he chokes back a sob, and you clench your eyes shut, feeling Yoongi's hold on you tightening. “I'm afraid something has happened. To Jimin.” There's silence, and Seokjin struggles as he says, “He... he committed suicide by drowning himself.” You can hear Mrs. Park's loud sobs through the phone, and you feel your knees go weak, slipping out of Yoongi's grip and to the ground, wrapping your arms tightly around yourself. “I'm sorry, Mrs. Park. I'm so sorry.” Seokjin sobs into the phone, and you look over to Namjoon, who is still crying over Jimin's body. “Yes, of course. We're going to call emergency services to come pick up Jimin. We'll see you soon. Goodbye, Mrs. Park.”
“I'll make the call.” Yoongi sits on his knees beside you while he pulls out his phone, dials 119, and gives them the needed information before hanging up. “They'll be here very soon,” he murmurs to the other two men. To you, he whispers “(Y/N)-ah, you shouldn't be here when they come to take Jimin.” He laughs sharply. “Hell, none of us should be here. None of us should be in this fucking situation at all. They should all still be alive.” His voice cracks and he weakly punches the floor.
“Yoongi, that won't help anything.” Namjoon's voice is barely above a whisper, but you all hear him clearly. “It is so sad that things had to happen like this, but-”
“But what? Fuck you, hyung. You can't make this better. Nothing can. No one can.” Yoongi's voice shakes as he bolts from the floor, nearly knocking you over in the process, and for the umpteenth time, he locks himself in his room.
You don't pay attention to how long it stays quiet after that, but it feels like mere seconds have passed by before there's a knock on the door. “That will be the paramedics,” Seokjin sighs, “we should greet them and prepare to meet Jimin's family at the hospital.” It feels like too short of a time before you're following the paramedics out the door. Feels like not enough time was spent on Jimin. But you know that the opposite is true. With a heavy heart, Seokjin, Namjoon, and you climb into the same car to head to the hospital. Yoongi chooses to stay home, which worries you.
'Will he be next?' you can't help but think. You keep this thought to yourself, though. Although Seokjin and Namjoon are putting on a brave front, you know that they could break at any moment, and you don't want to be the cause of that. So you keep your dark thoughts to yourself as you pull up to the hospital.
By the time you all leave a few hours later, you're feeling numb. Absolutely numb. You have no thoughts and yet too many thoughts at once. No more tears yet they keep flowing down your cheeks. No energy left and yet you don't want to go to sleep. You haven't properly slept in three days. The last thought you have as you pull on to the street where the dorms are is 'I'll just make more coffee. The boys will like that, too.'
“What the hell?” Seokjin's voice breaks you out of your daze. There's smoke. Fire. Screaming. Chaos. Where the dorms once stood is a shell of a building. Blackened walls, no roof, but the lower floors seem to be intact. Police cars and fire trucks litter the street, with officers and fire fighters running around barking orders, talking into phones and radios, tending to injured people as two ambulances and a black van with 'MORGUE' written in big, block letters on the side pull up onto the scene. Upon scanning the area as well as you can before stopping completely, you don't see a familiar mop of pink hair among the sea of people.
“Yoongi...” Namjoon whispers, and you feel a shiver run up your spine as he parks the car and the three of you get out, rushing over to the nearest police officer. “Hello, officer. We live here. Can you please tell me what happened?”
“I know you, kid. You're Kim Namjoon.” The officer smiles, but it doesn't reach his eyes. “A fire was started on the uppermost floor, where I am assuming the living quarters were.” He waits for Seokjin to nod. “It seems that gasoline was poured all over one of the rooms, and then a lighter was thrown.” He pauses and rubs the bridge of his nose, and you don't fail to notice a tear trickling down his cheek before he wipes it away and looks at Namjoon sadly. “We found a body. It was barely recognizable due to being burned so badly.” Seokjin's knees give out at that, and so do yours. Namjoon braces a hand on Seokjin's shoulder to keep himself upright.
“Was...” he clears his throat. “Was it Min Yoongi?”
“We couldn't tell. It was a male, and it looked like he had pink hair. I can not let you see the body. It's too gruesome.”
“How tall? How old? Did he have any recognizable clothes?”
The officer flips to a certain page in his notepad and skims over it for a moment before answering Namjoon's questions. “We think he was in his early 20s. 174 cm tall. He was wearing a t-shirt and jeans.”
Namjoon looks stricken as he murmurs, “Shit. That's Yoongi. Excuse my outburst, officer.” He bows lowly out of respect, and when he comes back up, tears are streaming down his cheeks.
“It's okay, son.” Another officer walks up to them, his mouth set in a grim line.
“Are you family of the young man who burned to death?” Your body tenses at his blunt words, and Seokjin, still on the ground next to you, squeezes your hand before you can speak.
“Yes, we are.” A sob bubbles up from your throat at that. Because it's true. They were family. They are family. A broken family that can not be put back together.
The officer's face softens. “I'm sorry for your loss.” A garbled message comes through the first officer's radio, and the two of them walk away, leaving the three of you alone.
“How did this happen?” Seokjin sighs. It's the first time you've heard him speak in a couple of hours. “We were all so happy. Now, I don't see how we can ever be happy again.” He bows his head forward, and his tears finally fall. You and Namjoon leave him be for a moment, and then Seokjin stands up. His voice is hoarse when he speaks next. “We have to call Yoongi's parents.” His bottom lip quivers as he pulls out his phone, and as he scrolls to the contact information for Yoongi's mother, he starts sobbing, his shoulders shaking with the force of it. “I can't-”
“I'll call them, hyung. I'll do it.” Namjoon gently rubs his crying elder's shoulder, and you finally rise to your feet, surprised when he pulls you into his arms and hugs you tightly, crying into your shoulder. You've never seen Seokjin so weak before. It's enough to make you start crying again, but you let your tears fall silently, squeezing your eyes shut as you hold Seokjin as tightly as he's holding you. Namjoon's voice is soft and broken as he begins his conversation with Yoongi's parents.
“Hello, Mr. Min. I don't know how to say this...”
Things are gonna get interesting after this chapter. I'm going to end it with chapter 11. I already have the last chapter planned, and I'm kinda really excited to see if I can pull it off the way I'm picturing it in my head. Bear with me, folks. It's gonna be emotional.
Chapter 10: Ten.
A time skip, grief, reflecting on the past, and looking to the future.
Seven Months Later...
You're sitting on the couch, flipping through the TV channels, trying to keep your mind busy because your apartment is too quiet. It had been for the last few months. After the fire at the dorms, you had let Namjoon and Seokjin come to live with you, and after things had settled down, you thought that just maybe the three of you could find some sense of normalcy. Namjoon started halfheartedly talking about a solo career as a rapper. Seokjin had started looking into being an actor. That changed when Namjoon died, too. Seokjin spent less and less time at the apartment after that happened.
It was horribly tragic; a cigarette had been carelessly lit and dropped at the gas station where he had just happened to be that day, causing an explosion. It was unclear whether it was Namjoon's cigarette or someone else's. You had been losing sleep over thinking about it, and about Seokjin's change in demeanor and attitude after Namjoon had died. He'd started taking long road trips, only coming home to occasionally bring groceries if you were out and couldn't do it. He'd been gone for two weeks this time. You don't know what to think.
When you finally settle on a show to watch – one of your favorite dramas is on Netflix – your phone pings with an alert from one of the news sites you follow. You hesitantly tap it and read the headline, your heart sinking, and you whisper to yourself, "Shit."
2015 April 29th
BREAKING NEWS: 'Body Discovered in Truck at Haeundae Beach.'
Even though you really don't want to,you click to read the rest of the article. It's short, because the story is obviously pretty new.
'Early this morning, a local jogger discovered the body of a young man presumed to be in his early 20s in the front seat of a dark blue Ford truck. Preliminary examination tells us that he sat in his truck on the edge of the ocean, and the tide overtook him, causing him to drown. It is unclear whether this was accidental or intentional.
UPDATE: Upon further examination and confirmation from bystanders, the man has been identified as Kim Seokjin, formerly of the popular South Korean boy group, Bangtan Sonyeondan. He was the last member alive.
More details will be forthcoming as investigations continue.'
Your phone drops from your hand and lands on your thigh, but you barely register the small amount of pain you feel. They're all gone. All seven of the young men that you were proud and lucky enough to call your best friends are gone. The realization hits you, and you suddenly feel as if you can't breathe. You bow forward, wrapping your arms around yourself, and let the tears flow that you've been holding back for what feels like years.Your phone rings a little while later, and, not caring what you sound like, you answer.
"Hello?" Your voice sounds small and weak, even to your own ears.
"Hi, honey. Your sister told me the news about Seokjin. Are you okay?"
You can't even answer, as you start crying uncontrollably, unable to get any recognizable words out. A moment later, your mother speaks again. "I'm coming over, sweetie. I'll be there soon. I love you." You respond with a shaky, strangled sentence that sounds somewhat like 'okay, I love you too'before hanging up. You turn the TV off, finally realizing that it's been playing for the last hour without you paying attention to it, and sit in silence.
Your mother arrives, and she announces that she's going to help you through everything. The two of you talk about what you need, how she can help, she insists that money is no object, and that she's not trying to be pushy but you're welcome to move back in with her and your father if you feel like you need to. You both leave the conversation feeling much better. You're still sad, and it will take a while for you to work through the pain of losing your best friends, but then you remember something they said, which almost could have been a concept for a future album. One time, Namjoon told you the words "You never walk alone", and you know that those words will help you through life as you handle everything that comes with the pain of losing them. You will be okay. Even though they're physically gone, they're always in your heart, and you will never be without them.
This is more a filler chapter than anything. I wanted to allude to Namjoon and Seokjin's death while sort of going along with the storyline of INU and the Prologue, while putting my own twist on it. I'm sorry if it sucks. The last chapter will be up soon, and if anyone has any comments or criticisms, please voice them and don't be shy. <3
Chapter 11: Eleven.
Forever, they are young.
“Hyung, hyung! Wake up!!” Seokjin hears an all too familiar voice ringing in his ears, but it's impossible, since the boy it belongs to – the one with the unfailing box smile and seemingly endless energy – is dead. Unless...
'Am I dead too? Or was I dreaming?'
His eyes snap open. The sky is blue, the sun is shining, and he's lying on pavement surrounded by a chain link fence. He glances around, finally laying eyes on Taehyung, who is standing on the other side of the fence and, somehow, soaking wet with a large bruise on his forehead. Seokjin gasps and sits up quickly. “Taehyung! Is that really you?What's going on? Where are we? Am I... dead?”
“Yes it's me, hyung. We are all dead, and we're in the time and space right before the afterlife. We've all been stuck here, hyung. We've been waiting for you. The rest of us have been wandering this maze, unable to reach the end because only certain sections of the maze are open, and we couldn't move on until we were all together again.” When Seokjin looks at him confused, Taehyung smiles warmly before continuing, “To a better place, hyung. We have to be together to reach the end of the maze and move on.”
Seokjin slowly rises to his feet and takes a better look around. Sure enough, there is a literal chain link fence maze around them. Something inside him quells the rising questions, everything suddenly clicking in his mind and making perfect sense, until one question remains. “But... where are-”
“JIN HYUNG!!!!!” Jungkook's voice rings out as he runs up and clings to the fence a mere two feet away from Seokjin. “I'm so glad you're here! Yoongi-hyung and I were starting to think you wouldn't come. Now we can finally make our way through the maze and reunite as one family!” As he speaks, he bounces up and down on the balls of his feet. It's then that Seokjin notices the fading bruises on the maknae's body. The others come running up, and Seokjin's heart sinks. Yoongi and Namjoon have burns on their skin. Jimin is soaking wet, just like Taehyung, and can't seem to get dry. Hoseok's skin is deathly pale. Seokjin feels water clinging to his own skin, hair, and clothes. It's like he's wearing a wet suit.
In spite of his mixed feelings and confusion, a warm smile crosses his face as he addresses his dongsaengs. “Then I guess there is just one thing to say. Let's run and find our way to the end, so we can be together. This is not a contest. When one of us makes it out, we will wait for the others. We can and will finally be together again.” As he speaks, the fence rattles, and openings start appearing in random places.
The boys all look on in awe, and Hoseok speaks up, his voice bright as his smile lights up his whole face and spreads warmth to the hearts of the others. “Jin-hyung was the key. We can move on now.” By some miracle, or perhaps a weird twist of fate, the six boys that were there already were put together in pairs in certain sections of the maze. Hoseok and Jimin, Yoongi and Jungkook, and Namjoon and Taehyung all join hands and run off in different directions.
“Hyung, what are you waiting for? Let's go!” Jimin's voice quavers with the excitement that's running through his veins as he dashes after Hoseok. Seokjin smiles after the boy as he strides through the opening that appears to his left.
The boys make their way through the maze, and as they move closer to the end, their bodies return to normal. Bruises fade, clothing and hair becomes dry, burns are healed. As they pass through the maze, they see symbols of their death littering the ground. Pills, lighters, puddles of water, cigarettes, lollipops, sand, and broken glass. They're not phased by it, though. The boys are free from it, from all of it. As they run smiling through the maze, the symbols disappear. They symbolize weaknesses, and the boys are no longer bound by them. They are strong. They have each other again.
Hoseok and Jimin reach the end first. Hoseok's skin has resumed having a more normal pallor, and Jimin is perfectly dry. They yell at the top of their lungs, cheering their brothers on, and jump and holler when any of them makes a right turn. No matter how much screaming they do though, their voices don't go hoarse, nor do their throats hurt from the strain of screaming. They're beyond feeling pain. “Yay, hyung! You made it!” Jimin jumps up and down as Yoongi and Jungkook are the next to come out. Jimin wraps his arms around a very tired-looking Yoongi, whose face brightens up exponentially at the attention he's receiving from his dongsaeng. He embraces Jimin right back, holding the younger boy close. Meanwhile, Jungkook looks tireless and starts jumping around with Hoseok.
The two of them scream and flail around excitedly as Namjoon and Taehyung emerge next, looking exuberant. Jungkook barrels towards Taehyung and wraps him in a hug, instantly bursting into tears that stain the older's shirt. Taehyung soothes him, and the rest of the boys calm down and join the two for a group hug. Seokjin quietly emerges and feels a pull on his heart strings as he comes up behind Hoseok and taps him on the shoulder. “HYUNG!” Hoseok sobs and buries his face in Seokjin's chest. The group of boys maneuvers so they're all embracing each other. The next few moments are a mixture of 'I'm sorry', 'I forgive you', 'I love you', 'I love you too hyung', and soft crying as they hug each other and soothe each other's tears.
Suddenly, the sun sets but somehow becomes brighter. The boys know it's time to finally move on. They look towards the direction of the sun on the horizon and then at each other. As if following a silent cue, one by one, they give words of hope and encouragement to each other.
Namjoon says “We will never walk alone again. We will always have each other.”
Seokjin says “We couldn't fly before. But we can now. We can spread our wings and be free.”
Yoongi says “Though we're not alive anymore, we are young forever.”
Hoseok says “I can shine now the way I couldn't before. I can truly shine. We all can. Together.”
Jimin says “Let's fly together, as brothers, as family, as one. Love is not over. We have each other.”
Taehyung says “I'm sorry my brothers for starting this. But I am glad we can finish together.”
Jungkook says “You all made me the man I am now. I cried with you all. We never have to cry again.”
Once again they look towards the sun, and an unbelievable feeling of calm and peace washes over them, sending chills up the spine of each of the seven boys. They all smile and, with one last deep breath, they start walking. As they get closer, they run. They laugh. They smile. They cheer. They feel their souls leaving their bodies, and they accept it. They are ready. They are free. They are strong in each other. They are together. Forever.
Forever we are young
Under the flower petals raining down
I run, so lost in this maze
Forever we are young
Even when I fall and hurt myself
I keep running toward my dream.
Author's Note: I'm... really proud of this story. I can't believe that it's over.