“Jimin?” Jihyun whispered, gently pushing the slightly open door that groaned at the movement as it swung open to show his brother. Jimin turned away from the full length mirror, brushing his black hair from his eyes to land on his younger brother.
Jihyun stood in the doorway to Jimin’s room, eyes trailing over the usual cleanliness that always made his room seem like a pig stye. The twin sized bed was in the right hand far corner of the room, pushed up against the wall and the window where the blinds were open and letting the morning light shine through and brighten the beige walls. The comforter was a light blue, folded neatly and pillow fluffed while his brown, tattered knapsack sat diligently on the bed like a bad reminder.
The wooden floors were swept, the only rug in the room as frayed and worn as the rest of the older house, and centered in the room was a matching blue of the bed. A dresser was on the back wall, a mirror sitting nicely next to it, and the white closet doors open to show the array of clothing and dirty laundry basket filled to the brim.
Some minor posters lined the wall, mostly Big Bang and Got7 along with some American bands that Jimin loved to listen to but his younger brother had no care for and pictures. Christmas lights were strung over his bed, lightening up pictures that were held up by wooden clips and wires- something Jimin made himself.
Everything about the room was simple. Easy. Everything that Jimin prefered. He was wearing his usual for the day. Tight, dark wash jeans that hung low on his hips, a loose long sleeve tee that seemed to swallow him and a black choker around his neck with combat boots that were once pitch black, but had dulled.
Jimin turned at the sound of his brother, his dark brown eyes being swallowed as he smiled at his little brother, tugging down his sleeves as he faced him. His eyes were lined with light liner, the only make-up he truly wore, and drifted towards his bed.
“What’s up, Ji?” Jimin asked, opening his knapsack and letting his eyes trail over the loose papers, his notebook, and one textbook to make sure he had everything for the day. Jihyun shrugged, still hovering in the doorway.
“Nothing. Just dad wanted to see you before we headed out,” Jihyun replied, twiddling with the cool metal ring on his index finger- a gift from Jimin on his birthday. Jimin lifted his head, dark hair falling in front of his eyes as his head tilted.
“Dad’s home?” A little nod and soft smile. Jimin ignored the familiar hum of his blood, warming his veins and creating the buzz in his ears. He gave a bright smile. “Alright. You got breakfast right? Something good to eat?”
“I’m not five, Jiminie,” Jihyun huffed, but the warm smile was still on his features. Jimin chuckled lightly, nodding his head in agreement, eyeing his brother with a raised brow. Jihyun huffed. “Fine. I’ll go grab an apple. You want one?”
Jimin hummed. “Sounds great. Grab me a granola too.” Jihyun waved over his shoulder in dismissal, making a soft sound of agreement as his converse slapped against the wood of the hall and he disappeared.
Sighing, he closed his eyes and took a moment to breathe, silently chanting in his head for the buzzing to stop, to ignore the way his lamp flickered a bit, and how his fingers were tingling with energy.
When the buzzing slowed, he opened his eyes and grabbed his bag, tossing it over his shoulder easily as he closed the door to his room. Breathing in slowly, he walked down the hall towards the wooden door of the office, already knowing that if his dad was home this early, he would be there.
The pictures lining the walls were chuckling at him, mocking him as he dared not look at them. He already knew what they held. Pictures of back when he was normal. When he wasn’t a freak. Back when his mom was alive and his skin didn’t tingle and the freak accident didn’t fuck up everything.
Each picture was already engraven in his mind. It made his chest constrict and his stomach to bubble and cramp with anxiety and sadness, but he swallowed down the bitter taste and the uncomfortable feeling as he raised his hand to knock on the oak door of the office where the sound of paper and keys drifted to meddle with his ears.
“Come in,” a deep voice urged. Jimin released the breath he didn’t realize he was holding and gripped the cold knob in his clammy one. A spark flew from his fingers to the metal, like a tiny bolt of lightening, and flickered out after a singe.
The hand on the knob tightened and he ignored the urge to dart away. He pushed open the door and let his eyes fall to father, jerking his hand away from the knob and pulled his sleeves over his hand and hiding his fingers that were itching again.
The office was exactly like how it always was. Pristine. Perfect. So utterly clean that it was actually annoying. The rosewood desk held a high tech computer, open to a document filled with random numbers and words that gave Jimin a headache, the papers on top of a large calendar with neatly scrawled handwriting to order his father around all day. The cabinets filed perfectly, color coded to perfection, and a pencil cup filled to the brim with sharpened lead and no staining ink pens.
The man behind the desk was equally clean cut. Angular features with shaved face, almond shaped eyes narrowed in calculation, intelligence, and determination. His white button up had its sleeves rolled up and folded, his dress pants ironed and his jacket across his lap as he worked. His dark hair a little messy from a hand, but otherwise perfectly in place.
“Hey dad,” Jimin greeted, realizing his father was absorbed with the numbers on his screen that he hadn’t noticed that Jimin had walked in. The younger shifted his feet awkwardly when dark eyes tore away from the screen to lock with his sons. “Um, Ji said you wanted to see me?”
“Jimin. Yes, come on in. Sorry about that.” Jimin stepped a bit further in the room as he watched his father push away from his desk and groan as he stretched himself out. He offered a little smile once he relaxed again. “The numbers were keeping my attention.”
“It’s fine,” Jimin mumbled, lowering himself in the only other chair in the room that sat directly across from the desk, the leather still new so it squeaked and groaned a bit at Jimin’s added weight. He kept as still as possibly, keeping his hands under his sleeves. “So, um, what’s up?”
Jimin kept his eyes glued to the pencil holder, counting the number of pens, the number of highlighters, and even the number of pencils and when he counted them all, he started over.
“Today you are starting your senior year, correct?” Jimin nodded slowly, already feeling the sinking pit in his stomach start to swell as he got where this conversation was headed. “I expect you to be good, son, and I allowed you to take this dance courses if you kept up with your AP work and kept your GPA high. But with last years mishap-”
“-Accident,” Jimin interrupted, gritting his teeth. He felt it. The heat. The tingle. All the things he hated as it crawled up from wherever the fuck it comes from and makes his blood boil deliciously, bouncing within his veins, wanting to be released. He willed it away. Begged it to stay within the confines of his body.
His father pursed his lips, eyes narrowing a bit further at the interruption. He looked like he wanted to say something but settled on a heavy sigh, a hand rubbing at the bridge of his nose.
“Fine. Accident. I do not need that happening again-whatever it was that blew up the entire computer lab- understood? I can yank you right out of those dance courses if I see any more accidents or lowered grades. Understood?” Jimin’s father asked, head tilting to try and catch his sons eye.
“I know, dad. It won’t happen again,” Jimin promised. At least I hope not… I don’t think I can handle another thing like that, his mind whispered, flinching a bit when he recalled the episode that happened close to the end of last year. He decided to not dwell on those thoughts.
“Good boy. Now, get going. You do not need to get you or Jihyun late for your first day,” his father pointed out and returned his eyes to the screen. Just like that. He was dismissed. No ‘I love you, son’ or ‘good luck today!’. Not even a ‘I’ll see you soon’. It shouldn’t have hurt. He was use to it. But he was.
Sighing under his breath, he grabbed his knapsack resting at his feet and stood, steps briskly heading towards the door for sweet freedom where hopefully the warmth in his blood will die away.
“And, remove that liner. It’s for girls,” his father called after him just before the door shut. Flinching, he hurried faster away, ignoring the burning in his chest or how warm his skin was as he all but scrambled down the steps and out the front door.
The warm air blasted across his face as he stumbled a bit on the front porch, breathing out briskly as he kept the tingle within and focused on the hot breeze ruffling his black hair, the taste of salt on the wind from the Busan skies, and the cries of seagulls.
Briny, hot air was familiar and calming. Each breath was like licking at salt from the beach town. Since it was august, the air was still hot, the sun beating down across his skin and instantly warming him almost unbearably in his long sleeves.
He already felt the sweat build up under his skin, breaking out across his forehead, and how his shirt began to stick to his back as he glanced around. Jihyun was leaning against the black wrought iron fence, his backpack slung across his shoulders, ankles crossed, and a apple against his lips as he chewed absently, staring at the cloudy sky.
Instantly, the tension in his body eased as he breathed out slowly, gripping the strap of his bag as he walked down the wooden steps and soaked in the crunch of the sand and grass as he approached Jihyun.
“Ready?” Jimin asked, plastering a grin on his face as he placed his elbow on his brother's shoulder and leaned on him. Jihyun turned, flashing a grin as he tossed a bright green apple and granola bar.
“Shouldn’t I be asking you that, Technology Repellent?” Jihyun asked, biting back a laugh at the nickname that his brother was labeled last year after the accident. Jimin flushed and groaned, shoving his 15 year old brother harshly that caused him to stumble and burst into laughter.
“Come on! That is not cool.” Jimin pouted and rolled his eyes. Jihyun pouted and grinned, showing their similarities in that smile with how both their eyes seem to disappear in that smile.
“Come on, you two! We don’t have all day!” Baekhee called, already a little ways down the street towards the high school. Jimin exchanged a look with his brother before he broke out into a light jog, Jihyun on his heels as they caught up with her.
Baekhee was a senior, like Jimin himself, and had befriended him back in freshman year when he was getting picked on for taking dance courses and could barely utter a ‘hello’ to anyone. She was everything JImin was not in freshman year. She spoke her mind, was brash and didn’t care much for consequences, but he adored her.
Now, as a senior, they had been best friends since. She had taken him under her wing and helped him branch out and gain confidence, promising him that he was handsome and sexy, while at the same time taking his little brother under her wing as well.
Baekhee was still gorgeous, in her own way. Her usually pitch black hair was dyed a scarlet red, cut short in layers and her makeup darker, lining her almond eyes that had colored contacts of a bright blue and her slender build was clad in her dark jeans, tank top, and leather jacket despite the hot weather.
“Alright, you little shits, don’t get your disgusting man-sweat all over me,” Baekhee grumbled as the now very sweaty boys stopped their running and gasped at the heat. Her button nose scrunched as Jihyun gave a pretty grin, rubbing the back of his hand on his forehead and held it out for her. “You are disgusting. You are lucky I love you.”
“Good to see you too, Baek,” Jimin greeted, straightening and adjusting his pack. Baekhee gave her usual smile, red lips curled at the corners as she leaned over and kissed his cheek. He smiled as they began to walk the rest of the short way to school. “How was Japan?”
“It was beautiful, honestly, I was a little sad to go, but mom wanted me back for the school year,” she admitted with a little smile. Jimin smiled back as she walked closer, her arm draped protectively over Jihyun as he leaned against her, biting his apple. “What about you two, losers? Jiminie, did you finish that dance course this summer? Street dance, right?”
Jimin’s heart clenched as he sighed and looked down. Jihyun cast him a small frown, already knowing how much that affected him as he snuggled a bit closer to Baek, whose frown glittered over her features.
“Dad canceled the summer course because of the accident with the computers and so he never got to go,” Jihyun explained. Jimin flinched but cast a smile of gratitude towards his little brother who smiled back. Baek’s frown deepened as recognition lit her blue eyed gaze.
“What? That was just a freak-fucking-accident. It could have happen to anyone!” Baek screeched, looking utterly enraged at this development. A sigh caught in his throat, head screaming that it couldn’t have happened to anyone. But kept silent. “Who the fuck cares if a few computers combusted and the whole school had a little power outages? No biggie.”
“Baekie, the entire computer lab of over sixty computers nearly exploded, a fuse box blew, and the school had no power at all for the last week and a half of school,” Jihyun reminded her in a pacifying voice. Jimin wanted to bury himself in the sand like an ostrich as this point.
Baekhee made a snorting laugh noise in the back of her throat as she grinned wickedly, also remembering what happened before the ‘accident’ as she gave that mischievous grin towards Jimin, who was focused on his combat boots.
“Exactly- no biggie. Plus, that little two-timing bastard got his computer nearly exploded in his face! Fucking priceless. Karma is a bitch, ain’t it?” Baek cackled. Jimin bit back a sad smile, heart clenching. “Speaking of the cheating asshat, have you seen him all summer?”
Jimin shrugged, playing with his sleeves as his ex-boyfriends face appeared in his mind, remembering the entire reason for the ‘accident’ and how badly it hurt watching Cheol kiss and make-out with someone else.
“I mean… he tried to talk to me. Came by my house and all, but I never let him in and told him to piss off and stuff,” Jimin admitted, proud that he had remained strong like that even though the guilt he felt when he saw the small burn on his cheek each time reminding him what a freak he was.
“Was your dad home?” Baek asked, a little worried. He shook his head and she gave a relieved smile. “Good. Little prick doesn’t need to ruin anything else. You’re my baby, Jiminie, and you too, Jihyunie. Don’t worry about Cheol and Ginam. They mean nothing! You are sexy as fuck and don’t need them.”
Jimin nodded, but his mind protested her words, but knew better than to voice his doubts. Still, he was grateful for her. Baek made everything a little better, and he had missed her this summer when she was away.
They walked the rest of the way to school talking about better topics, Baek offering to take the boys out for a quick shopping trip and a traditional korean dessert after Jimin’s dance practice since she hasn’t had korean food in a while and was dying. The brothers laughed and agreed, eager to spend time with her as they parted ways to head to their respective classes.
After the whispering, the talking, and the other words that followed Jimin as he went, he knew this was going to be a long day. He sighed, but pressed on. If there was one thing he could look forward to, it was his shopping with his two best friends.
His only friends at this point.
His ex had taken that from him too. All his ‘friends’ had sided with him and left him with no one but Baek and his own brother. That was fine. He rather have one really good friend that he can rely on then fake friends who would leave him to die.
So he was okay. And would continue to be okay.
“The new choreography is challenging, but is a lot of fun!” Jimin gushed, trailing behind on sore muscles that were still burning from his harsh dance course that ended about forty five minutes ago.
“Is it a street dance or contemporary?” Baek asked, still highly tuned into his babbling that he always seemed to do when it came to dance, but she never minded. She loved listening to JImin as he talked passionately about dance, just as he listened to her when she gushed about culinary.
Jimin flushed a bit. “Hip Hop for this semester and then Jazz next. I can’t take Street Dance still next summer, sadly, or par extra which dad won’t do,” he admitted, a little frown on his features. Sadness curled in her stomach, but she pushed it away for a smile as she placed another top in her cart and glanced over at her best friend.
His black hair was still a little damp from his quick shower after practice, eyes lined with fresh linder that made them pop, and he was back to normal clothing. The few clothing items he picked out hung over his arm as his brother trailed behind, a jacket draped over his own arm, was what she saw and she smiled.
“Jiminie, you know that if you ever want someone to help out, you know I have good money and don’t mind-”
“Baek,” Jimin interrupted, a frown etched into his beautiful features. She sighed and turned away, already knowing that was about to start their usual tirade. Luckily, he seemed to catch that she got the hint and wanted to drop it too.
“Anyway, how was your first day of senior year, eh?” She asked, changing the subject. Jimin smiled tightly, the darkness lingering in his eyes and weighing down his smaller shoulders, making him look even smaller than he already was.
“Fine I guess. If anything, I am just ready for high school to be over,” he muttered with another sigh and shifted his feet. Baek couldn’t deny that she had the same feelings as she glanced at her semi-full cart.
“Let’s get food. I am so not cool with this heavy mood. Let’s beat it,” she said, already shifting her cart towards the registers. Jimin chuckled lightly, glancing over at Jihyun to make sure he was following.
After getting to the registers, letting his much more social elite friend do all the talking to the cashier, Jimin decided to wander towards the nearby shoe alise, that wasn’t even a foot away from the registers when a voice froze him in place.
“Jimin?” Cheol’s deep voice said, surprise lacing his voice. Jimin froze, panic seizing his muscles at the familiarity of that voice, of the way his body shivered and how his stomach cramped with anxiety. “Jimin it is you!”
Breath catching in his throat, he swallowed thickly, mouth suddenly drier than it was at practice, and felt himself slowly turn to face the one person he didn’t want to see. The one face that made his stomach flutter with things he didn’t want.
Cheol hadn’t changed much over the summer. Maybe a little bit tanner. His broad shoulders were barely concealed by the tight white tee shirt that showed off his biceps and the muscles that Cheol was constantly working.
His hair, a golden brown from being dyed a little too much, was glimmering and thick, a bit fluffy as if he let it air dry instead of blow drying it like he was fond of. Jimin felt bitterness wash over him. He was beautiful as ever, gorgeous in ways Jimin never would be. And yet, Jimin still felt the desire to run his fingers through that fluffy hair and see if it was still soft.
Cheol had his usual grin, kind of a smirk, kind of not, that use to make Jimin’s heart pound like a wild animal trying to get out a cage. His full lips teasing and curled in the corners in friendliness, brown eyes light and dancing.
Everything about Cheol was enticing and mouth watering. The long, thick legs, broad shoulders, and height that made Jimin feel like a fucking child but secertly loved it despite his protests.
Jimin half expected his heart to flurry, to feel his usual blush caress his face anytime the male was near with his thick, musky scent that he use to breathe in like a fucking dope addict, but instead nothing but emptiness and bitterness clung to him as he stared at the face of the man he thought he would marry one day.
Cheol gave his thousand watt smile as he looked Jimin over, eyes taking in the way he hadn’t changed at all, not even a tan. The smile never left. “You look good, Jiminie. Did you get a little paler though?”
“Yeah, being cheated on by my boyfriend tends to make my skin look a little bit more like a ghost,” Jimin bit out with a sickly sweet smile, channeling his inner Baek. Cheol flinched, a guilty look washing over his face as he shifted his feet and rubbed the back of his neck.
The buzz started. He felt it growing within. Felt that surge that was additive as it was scary as he clenched his fists and breathed slowly, trying to ignore the way he felt his hands begin to shake. Not now. Not here. Not now.
Please… not here. For the love god, keep it in.
“Look, Jimin baby, about that-”
“Don’t fucking call me ‘Jimin baby’. Save that for the dick you're sucking,” Jimin snarled dangerously. The buzz was getting louder. It was blocking out the sounds of the store as heat, tingles, brushed his skin and urged him to let go.
Cheol sighed and ran a hand over his face, holding up his hands in surrender as he met Jimin’s narrowed eyes, noting the anger there. “Alright, I deserve that, but listen, Jimin, I never meant to hurt you. I swear, I was going to tell you about it, but then I started getting second thoughts when I realized that I still loved you so-”
“Fuck you Kim Cheol. Fuck you,” Jimin hissed, silencing the taller, broader male as he stepped closer. He was shaking with rage. He felt the heat in his hands, felt the way it brushed over his fingers. He kept them hidden in his sleeves. “Didn’t want to fucking hurt me? You asshole. You were fucking another guy. You were kissing him the fuck in front of me. Love me? You wouldn’t know what that was if it came up and bit you on your tiny piece of shit you call a dick.”
Cheol gaped as Jimin finished his small tirade, breathing heavy as he glared at the male he once considered to be his future as he shook his head and wished the glare could reflect all the hatred, all the pain, that he was put through so Cheol would understand.
“Take your god damn lies and bullshit and shove it up your ass for Ginam to lick up. Don’t talk to me, don’t look at me, and stay the fuck away from me and Jihyun.” Jimin turned, moving to march past him. He had made it to the registers, the anger causing the buzzing to worsen and he knew if he didn’t calm down, he was going to regret this. He hadn’t missed the flickering lights.
“Wait, Jimin!” Cheol cried, lunging and grabbing Jimin’s wrist in his large hand, firm and familiar as he he yanked the smaller boy to a stop. “Please!”
“LEAVE ME ALONE!” JImin screamed, slamming his hand down on the counter. And like that, he felt all the building energy within his body surge through his tingly, boiling blood and spread out through his fingers in purple sparks as the register combusted, the nearby bulbs shattering and the Inventory control RF tags to sound the alarm.
Cheol scrambled backwards as Jimin jumped, panic overtaking his gaze as the frightened cashier called the manager and she hurried over to the RF tags. Jimin’s breathing was heavy as he stared at the damage he done.
Tears filled his eyes as he lifted his trembling hands, watching the tiny volts of little lightning jumped between his fingers before disappearing altogether. He felt like he couldn’t breathe. HIs throat was tight. Tears blurred his vision, and the pit in his stomach felt so unbearably heavy.
Why am I such a fucking freak?
When he lifted his eyes, hands numbly dropping to his side as his chest heaved, begging to find air but getting none, he looked around at the slightly panicked and confused store as they tried to fix whatever went wrong.
He froze when he saw a male, a very handsome male, across the way staring at the register, to the lights, and then back to the alarms before his knowing gaze was on him. The male looked to be a little older then him. His hair was dyed a light pink- very light, almost blonde- with some other colors mixed in.
He was incredibly handsome, in a interesting way. His face was longer, brown eyes sharp and filled with happiness despite the panic. He was very lean and seemed to be rather simple in clothing choice since he wore light wash jeans, a shirt, and sunglasses perched on his head.
But the way he was staring at Jimin made him unsettled. There was a knowing in his gaze, a bit of sympathy as if he knew what he was feeling, like the male wanted to come and speak, but refrained. Jimin didn’t like it. He felt uneasy about the male. The male whose gaze was a little too… open.
Like he knew something Jimin didn’t.
“Jimin! Jimin, come on! Let’s get out of here!” Jihyun screamed, his hands gripping Jimin’s arm tightly and tugging fiercely. Jimin snapped his eyes away from the handsome stranger, wordlessly letting his younger brother all but drag him out of the store.
He didn’t feel the three sets of eyes watching him.