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Follow the Signs (Right Back to You)

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Jungkook woke to the glaring of sunlight in his eyes.

Why does the sun have to exist?  He thought. Groaning as he rolled over, he reached out blindly for the fur he knew he’d find. Smiling as his hands sink into the pink downy coat, he opened his eyes as his fingers traced a tickling pattern across the shell of the bunny’s ears, just as he’s done so every day since Cooky manifested.

Jungkook continued the tickling until the ears gave an annoyed twitch, and just like every day since his beloved friend appeared, the bunny turned around and launched himself at Jungkook, making his furry torso at home on the boy’s face. Holding back giggles while struggling to breathe, he speaks through their bond.

“That’s my face you’re laying on.”   He deadpans in his mind, trying and failing to hide his amusement.

“I will continue to lie here until you stop your tickling,”   comes the sleepy reply, voice high pitched and sounding not unlike bells, “though seeing as that will never happen, you must accept your fate as my faithful pillow.”  

“Who would have thought that I, Jeon Jungkook,”   he wailed dramatically through their bond, “would be killed, smothered, brutally taken from this world, by my own Soul-”

“Okay, okay, I get it! Always so dramatic.”   Cooky grouchily responds.

Giggling as he plucks the bunny off of his face and drapes him over a shoulder, Jungkook swings his legs over the edge of the bed. Stretching as best as he can with the body in his arms, he yawns and gets up. Shuffling his way into bathroom connected to his bedroom, he gently plops the bunny onto the counter next to the sink. Cooky immediately flops onto his side, laying down on the space just big enough to hold his small body comfortably.

Smiling, Jungkook grabs his toothbrush. As he’s brushing his teeth, he gazes fondly at the sleepy bunny, feeling the soft and fuzzy emotions emitting from him. Barely able to contain his affection, he wonders what he did to have been so lucky the day Cooky manifested.

Cooky was a being known to humans as Soul Guides, the soul of a person manifested in physical form.

~~~

As little more than a toddler barely reaching his Eomma’s knees, he was told fantastical tales of Soul Guides by his mother.

“Soul Guides are our friends, Kookie,” she had said, as she tucked Jungkook in to sleep, her soft brown hair framing her face and with kind twinkles in her eyes, “They are said to be the purest form of who you are, your soul, placed here with you, to hold your hand and guide you through your life.”  

Jungkook had gasped in wonder, his big doe eyes staring up at his Eomma, all traces of sleep having vanished. He took a big breath and rushed out, “Where did they come from, Eomma? Why do we have them? Why do we need them? Why doesn’t everyone have guides? Why only some people? Do you know anyone who has a guide? Do you think I’ll get one? What would it look like?”

“One at a time, Kookie.” She scolded gently, reaching out to brush hair out of the boy’s eyes.

Jungkook nodded quickly, looking bashful, he asked the first question in his long list, slower this time, “Where did they come from?”

“No one knows for sure, my little one. There is very little that we know about them, and a lot of it comes from lore. What we know though, is that they are the very essence of a person, your heart and soul.” She places a hand over his heart, rubbing soothingly.

Jungkook placed his hand over his mother’s, patting it softly with his chubby toddler fingers. “Why do we need them?”

“Some say we need them to help guide us, to help keep our lives heading in the right direction. Some people believe that a person’s soul is so powerful and bright, that the human body could not contain all of it. If there’s no room to fit such a big soul in such a small body, what do you think happens, Kookie?”

“We get Soul Guides!” Jungkook exclaims.

“Right you are, little one,” she says, “ Not everyone has a guide though, in fact, most people don’t. Nobody knows why, not even the Souls themselves, and if they do, they haven’t said.  One thing is for certain, those that do are very special people blessed with a lifelong companion who knows them more than anyone else ever will.”

“I want a lifelong friend, Eomma.” Jungkook breathes, shifting deeper into his blankets, feeling slightly more drowsy.

“You may just get one. You have the biggest and kindest soul I’ve ever seen, little one. Though it won’t be easy.”

“Why not?”


“Well, Kookie, A long time ago, and even now, Soul Guides are feared by those who didn’t understand them. Mean people would do some not very nice things to those who had Guides. They feared their power. Some thought they were a bad omen, and that anyone who had a Soul Guide was evil. But this isn’t supposed to be a bad story, is it, Kookie? You have no reason to fear them, because they are everything good in this world.”

“I am not afraid of them, Eomma! I think they’re amazing. People are so lucky to have them.” Jungkook says, wonder lacing each word, even as he’s on the verge of sleep. “Do you know anyone who has a Soul Guide?”

“I do,” she smiles, “I have a coworker with a Soul Guide. Her Guide’s name is Hana. She has a personality so bright, it almost shines. She’s a cat, with a coat of fur so beautiful, it looks like the Northern Lights. Her soul is truly beautiful.”

“That is so amazing, Eomma! Can Guides look like anything?” Jungkook asks.

“They can. They can look like flowers, animals, creatures of lore, anything. Your Soul Guide takes the form that best represents yourself, Kookie.”

Jungkook smiles around a yawn, nearly asleep. “Do you think I’ll get a Soul Guide, Eomma?”

His mother stands, retucking her son into bed, before turning off the lamp on the bedside table. As she makes her way to the door of his room, she turns back and whispers to the nearly sleeping boy, “I hope you do, Kookie.”

~~~

Jungkook smiles around his toothbrush as he fondly recalls that night with his Eomma. He owed her so much for leading him through his early life before Cooky came along, and even after his Guide manifested. He hopes, one day, that he can repay her.

After rinsing his mouth out with water, he grabs the comb from the counter. Shuffling towards Cooky, he reaches out to tickle the bunny’s ears again, only to be stopped by a fluffy paw. Laughing softly, he pulls the Guide into a sitting position.

“Come on, Cooky! Time to greet the day.” Jungkook exclaims brightly.

“Ugh,” the bunny grumbles, “can the day go greet someone else?”

“Afraid not,”  Jungkook replies. He looks at his Guide, unable to help the amusement bubbling up. The bunny’s fur is in complete disarray, sticking up everywhere and making him look as if he’s gotten electrocuted. “Besides, you should be excited. It’s your turn to pick where we go on our day out. Have you decided on a place yet?”

Jungkook begins softly combing Cooky’s pink and white fur, gently picking out the small tangles and snarls that have accumulated from the night, as he waits for the Guide’s answer. Starting from his milky white paws, he moves his way up until the white gives way to soft, pale pink. He’s always loved his Guide’s fur; he would often find himself sinking his fingers into the tufts and petting subconsciously. Not that Cooky minded, the Guide got just as much comfort in the action as Jungkook did.

At the mention of their day out, Cooky perked up. “I was thinking we could go to the National Soul Guides: A History Museum and then after that we could grab some food and head to the park for a picnic. I know Chimmy and Tata would love that!”

“You’re right, that does sound like a great idea.” Jungkook agrees, nearly done brushing the Guide. “I know we’ve talked about wanting to go there. Now seems as good a time as any. I’m sure Jimin hyung and Taehyung hyung would love it as well!  Let’s finish brushing you, then we can go make some breakfast for all of us. I’m thinking waffles. How does that sound?”

Humming at the bunny’s nod of agreement, Jungkook spent the rest of the comfortable silence finishing grooming, finally working his way up to the other’s fluffy pink and white ears. The bunny’s ears were the most sensitive part of his body, so he didn’t like anyone touching them if it could be helped. Often times, getting the Guide to sit still long enough for Jungkook to finish is the hardest part of their morning routine. Because of this,  Jungkook leaves it as the very last place he has to brush. He can already feel the tension thrumming through the bunny’s tiny body, as well as through their bond.

“I know you hate it, but if you could just please hold still-” using his talking as a distraction, Jungkook quickly lunges for the one ear, managing to brush half of it before it twitches out of his grasp and he feels two furry feet pushing into his stomach, forcing him to step back. He glares at the Guide until he feels the feet retract.

“Sorry?” Cooky says, not sounding remotely sorry at all. “It’s reflex, I can’t help it.”

“Is Jungkookie being mean to you again, Cooky?” A teasing voice floats from the doorway, making the pair turn towards the newcomer.

Jungkook rolls his eyes, watching as one of his roommates, Park Jimin, and his Soul Guide Chimmy, a small white puppy with black ears and a penchant for wearing hoodies, enter the space of Jungkook’s small bathroom.

Jimin is one of Jungkook’s best friends. He met the elder when they both lived in Busan as children, after a particularly nasty encounter with several classmates not long after Cooky appeared.

Jungkook was seven years old at the time, Jimin a year older. Jungkook was in the school bathroom washing his hands when he had found himself cornered by several of his classmates. They had pushed and shoved him to the ground, calling Jungkook and Cooky vicious things, and he could do nothing as he sat on the floor, hunching protectively over his Guide, tears streaming down his face.

It seemed as if something or someone was looking out for him and his Soul that day, as in came Park Jimin, one of the school’s very few students, including Jungkook, who had a Soul Guide.  Before Jungkook knew it, Jimin had chased away the boys tormenting them. He had crouched down in front of Jungkook, while his hoodie-wearing Guide named Chimmy comforted a shell-shocked Cooky.

“Why are you helping us?”  Jungkook remembers asking the elder, still not completely trusting the other boy.

“Birds of a feather flock together,”  he had said, with a gentle sunshine smile, “like calls to like. However you put it, people like us have to stick together!” And that had been that, they became practically inseparable.

Then later, a whirlwind storm came in the form of Kim Taehyung, an easily excitable ball of energy with a boxy smile, a heart of gold, and a red, heart shaped Guide named Tata to match. Jimin and Taehyung hit it off immediately, not taking long at all for them to form an unbreakable relationship.

Ever since then, the three of them never needed anyone else, all perfectly content with each other.

Snapping himself out of his thoughts, he managed to catch Cooky’s reply.

“He’s always mean to me, Jiminie!” the bunny pouted. Jungkook rolled his eyes, Lunging quickly for the Guide’s ears again, he managed to brush both ears in record time, taking a blow to the stomach in the process. Rubbing the sore spot on his stomach, he sets the comb down, grabbing his own to begin brushing out his own knots and tangles.

“If you’re both done being dramatic,” Jungkook ignores twin squawks of indignation, “Cooky chose where we should go for our day out. How does the Guide museum and a picnic afterword sound?”

“It sounds great!” Jimin chirped. “I’ll go tell Tae.” The elder pranced out of the room, Chimmy hot on his heels.

Chuckling lightly, he turns and picks Cooky up and sets him on the floor. “Let’s get breakfast before Tweedledee, Tweedledum, and their accomplices drag us out the door.”

They make their way into the kitchen where Jimin and Taehyung had already begun making breakfast for all six of them. Technically speaking, Soul Guides didn’t have to eat or drink, but many of them enjoyed it, having picked up the tastes of their human counterparts.

As predicted, they had barely managed to scarf their food down before quadruple sets of hands began nudging them towards their bedroom with commands to get dressed. With Cooky combed, all Jungkook needs to do is throw on a white t-shirt, ripped, black skinny jeans, and his trusty Timberlands.  

~~~

With everyone ready to go, they grabbed their respective keys and wallets, gave each other nods, and headed out the door. They decide that, since the museum isn’t that far away from their shared apartment, they would save money and just walk the whole way.

Chimmy leads the way, with Tata piggyback riding him. All of them dutifully ignoring the many strangers on the sidewalk with them.

In recent years, situations with humans who have Guides have gotten better, but that doesn’t stop the looks of wary fear as their group makes its way down the street. Being used to this, they continue on their way, chatting happily amongst each other.

“We all have Guides. Why have we never thought to come here before?” Taehyung exclaimed, dumbfounded.

“Maybe because you two always want to go shopping at all the newest stores?” Jungkook mutters sarcastically. Almost immediately, he’s thwacked on the arm by an indignant Jimin.

“Yah, Jeon Jungkook! Just because you have the fashion sense of a wet napkin doesn’t mean we have to!”

Sniggers come out of everyone, including Cooky. Jungkook whips his head towards his Guide. “Traitor!” he projects through their bond, affronted. The bunny musters a shrug and skips away towards Chimmy and Tata, laughing merrily.

“Jimin’s right, you know.” Taehyung agrees solemnly, looking for all the world as if someone had died.

Jungkook points an accusing finger at him, “This is coming from the person who thinks speedos are an appropriate form of swimwear!”

They continued their playful bickering all the way to the museum.

Arriving at the massive structure, Taehyung whistles low.

They approach the tall building, craning their heads to admire elegant architecture that features what seems to be carvings of Soul Guides covering the expanse of walls. There are all sorts of creatures on the walls, both big and small. All of which are holding the hand of their human, as if guiding them towards their fate.

Perhaps, Jungkook thinks, this is what scares Guideless humans the most. Knowing for certain that they are born with no predetermined path, forced to wonder the earth in search of their destiny all alone.

He looks down, sensing eyes on him, to see Cooky giving him a knowing look.   

“Such a beautiful building to be dedicated to the world’s most misunderstood beings, don’t you think.” Jimin wonders, his tone says it as more of a statement than a question.

“Yea,” Jungkook agrees, “Maybe the owners are trying to change the public’s minds by showing them the beauty of Guides?”

“And yet,” Taehyung begins bitterly, “there are still people here, at a Guide museum, giving us nasty looks. And would you look at that,” he points to several signs posted at the entrances, “a Guide museum, for the history and lore of people and their Guides,” he enunciates each of his words around gritted teeth, “has the gall to put up signs that say “Guide Friendly!”  How fucked is that?!”

Jungkook silently agrees. He can tell Jimin does too, but for the sake of calming down his partner and Tata, who was now turned around and watching the exchange carefully, he chooses to soothe and diffuse.

“I- we know, TaeTae. It’s not fair and something should be done about it, but it is getting better. Slowly, yes, but surely. How about we try not to think about that right now, though? This is one of our rare synced days off. Let’s try to have fun and enjoy the museum for what is is, yea? We don’t know when we’ll get to do this again.” Jimin reasons.

Luckily, his words seem to have gotten through to his partner and his Guide, as Taehyung visibly shakes himself once, twice, and then shoots a boxy smile towards the rest of them. “You’re right, Jiminie, I’m sorry. I got a bit overwhelmed. Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get in line for tickets before it gets too crowded!”

And with that, they head towards the ticket lines.



When they finally purchase their tickets, paper admission bracelets attached to their wrists, they enter the museum.

Immediately their eyes are hit with sweeping architecture, a blend of both historic and modern designs. The very old building stands proudly against the test of time, all the evidence of it’s upkeep lovingly displayed in every nook and cranny. But as with almost all old structures, 21st century technology did not turn it’s head away from this place: Massive plasma screens adorn the walls, flashing slides of pictures and information, light fixtures hanging in steady intervals, and intercoms and speakers crooning out traditional music.

Massive sections branch off from the main room, each one specially labeled with a number for easier navigation. Stairs, escalators, and elevators are placed strategically around the room, granting guests access to the second floor.

All six of them glanced at each other in wonder, not knowing where to begin. Jimin passes both Jungkook and Taehyung a map of the museum and keeping one for himself, so no pair gets lost if they split up.

Jungkook crouches down next to Cooky, letting the bunny read over his shoulder. They silently read the map together until the Guide firmly decides that he would want to go through the Guides, Humans, & Their Bonds exhibit first. Agreeing easily enough, Jungkook voices their decision to the rest of their friends who are also crouched down next to their Guides while they look over the map.

“We had a vote, and the majority ruled that we go to Lore of Manifestation first. If it’s okay with you and Cooky, we can split and then meet back up again at around 12;30 in the…” Jimin pauses, scanning the map, “Guides & Their Abilities exhibit. Is that okay with the both of you?”

Jungkook agrees, Cooky nodding impatiently and tugging sharply on Jungkook’s shirt.

“Alright, alright!” Jungkook chuckles as he waves goodbye to the others. He stands, map in his hand to check if they’re heading for the right exhibit number. Finally, they’re off. “What’s gotten into you? Excitement?”

“You could say that.”  the bunny hums through their bond, giving up speaking aloud now that they’re not in the presence of friends.

“Care to share?”

“Not yet.”

Letting the subject drop once he’s realized he won’t get another word from the bunny, Jungkook looks around the expansive main room. He gazes into the passing exhibits and taking note of their title and number, making a mental list of all the exhibits he’d like to see. Cooky is more leaping than walking now. Exasperated, Jungkook is forced to keep up with the Guide’s fast pace.

After a few minutes, they finally arrive at the entrance to Guides, Humans, & Their Bonds. Jungkook turned to look at Cooky. He expected to see excitement thrumming through his tiny body, but instead he sees an indecipherable gleam in his eyes. The bunny was looking around, practically jumping in place. Not wanting to risk the wrath of his seemingly annoyed Guide by asking again, Jungkook begins the exhibit.

A lot of it was stuff that Jungkook already knew from his experience with Cooky: Soul Guides manifest to children seemingly only between the ages 5-10, with no explanation for why this is.  They and their humans are connected, telepathically Bonded to each other from the very start. They are able to feel each other’s emotions, speak in their minds, hear each other’s thoughts if they allowed it. Guides and their humans cannot go beyond a certain length from each other without feeling an unbearable and warped, tugging pressure and almost pain crackling through their bond, as their bodies scream at them to get back to their other half. Although research is unclear in its validity, one of the best fitted theories for why this happens is that, because a Guide is said to be part of the human soul, if they are separated beyond their bond’s limit, their bodies emit signals of deep distress, causing their bodies to believe that they are in extreme danger. There is not much research in this topic due to the belief that it is a cruelty to attempt this deliberately, finally becoming illegal in the 20th century.

Jungkook pauses in his reading to look at Cooky. He expected the bunny to calm down when they finally entered the exhibit of his choosing, but that seems not to be the case as he looks even more distracted and agitated than before.

“Cooky, would you please tell me what’s-” getting cut off at the sharp and frantic look shot his way, suddenly Cooky was hopping and leaping away from Jungkook, racing further into the exhibit.

 

For one eternal moment, everything was still. Then came an ugly wrenching in his chest, yanking him with force towards his Guide in an attempt to lessen the distance between them. And just as suddenly, Jungkook was off, speeding down the hallway as fast has he could manage. As Jungkook weaved through throngs of people and exhibit stands, he called out pleas through their bond to please stop, Cooky! and what are you doing?!

Cooky turned around a corner, disappearing out of sight. This only served to make Jungkook more panicked and he picked up his speed. Jungkook rounds the corner and suddenly- WHAM!  

Jungkook slams full force into another body. A flash of mint green registers in his mind as their heads collide, before his body is sent careening onto his back. For one moment, as Jungkook tries to regain the breath knocked from his lungs, everything is still. A massive thrumming reverberates through his mind and body, increasing until it reaches a crescendo, but just as soon as it appeared, it vanished and Jungkook is left staring at the ceiling, feeling as if he was on the precipice of something and he’s finally taken the plunge. Dimly he realizes that he no longer feels the wrenching on their bond, concluding that Cooky has indeed stopped his race through the museum and is now somewhere near Jungkook.

After what feels like an eternity, Jungkook pushes himself into a sitting position, rubbing at the sore spot on the back of his head. Finally, he looks towards the person that he had managed to play human pinball with and is immediately captivated.

Mint green hair falls into a face so pretty, the air is immediately stolen from Jungkook’s lungs. Though in retrospect, that could have just been in direct relation to his body ricocheting off of the beautiful boy in front of him. He’s pulled himself into a sitting position as well, fixing his skewed black glasses properly perched back on his nose, the glass in them luckily undamaged by the collision.

Finally, he raises his eyes to meet Jungkook’s, annoyance readily in his eyes. Jungkook mentally braces himself, sure that hell is about to poor out of the other man’s mouth, but surprisingly, he keeps quiet. Surprise joins annoyance on his features. Jungkook takes this as his cue.

“I am so sorry! I didn’t mean to run into you, it’s just that I was chasing after my Guide who decided it would be a great idea to take off through the museum, and so I was forced to chase him, and then suddenly I turned a corner and I didn’t see you until it was too late! Is your head hurt? Oh my god, I didn’t give you a concussion, did I?-”

“Aish, kid! Slow down! Everything’s fine- wait, did you say you were chasing your Guide? I was chasing mine too!” A gruff voice says, at the mention of their Guides, both heads whip to said culprits. Jungkook almost chokes on his spit, a very near thing.

Cooky was standing off to the side, not paying any attention to Jungkook or the stranger. Instead, his focus is entirely on the figure swinging back and forth on the tip of one of Cooky’s long ears. The creature is incredibly small and round, light brown fur flecked with darker patches covering the expanse of the tiny body. Belatedly, Jungkook thinks that he looks similar to a chocolate chip cookie. Mildly offended that Cooky seems to have no problem with this tiny Guide touching his ears when he barely allows Jungkook to, he turns back to the man with the minty green hair.

It seems as if he got the same idea too, because the man turns back to Jungkook as well, shock and surprise erasing the annoyance.

“I’m Jeon Jungkook!” he blurts, shoving his hand towards the boy. A suspicious snort rings through his head, accompanied by  real smooth, there. Jungkook’s face heats up and he aims a glare at the bunny.

“Min Yoongi.” Is all he gets, though the reply is not unkind.

“It’s nice to meet you, Yoongi-Ssi.”

“From the looks of it, we can skip right to hyung. I’ve never seen Shooky do that before, with anyone except me,” Yoongi says, looking back at the Guides. “He doesn’t like people or even other Guides touching him.”

“Okay, hyung,” Jungkook lets out a shy smile, “I know what you mean. Cooky hates anyone touching his ears, even me.”

Realizing that they’re still on the floor, Jungkook scrambles up. He reaches out a hand for Yoongi to take, diligently ignoring the judgmental stares from the floods of people forced to walk around them. Yoongi stares at his hand for a moment, two, until it’s becoming embarrassing for Jungkook, and then the elder finally takes his hand, allowing Jungkook to pull him up.

They lock eyes again for another moment before Yoongi looks down. Jungkook follows his gaze, only then realizing that their hands are still clasped. Jungkook squeaks out an apology and yanks his hand away, face burning crimson.

“I’m really sorry again, Yoongi hyung. I don’t know what got into Cooky. He’s usually never like this.”

“It’s hardly your fault,” Yoongi looks to the two Guides again. Now Shooky is completely wrapped up in Cooky’s ears, with only his eyes peeking out. Looking and sounding oddly pleased by this, Yoongi looks back at Jungkook. “It doesn’t look like they’re gonna separate anytime soon. If you’re okay with it, we can tour the museum togeth-”

“I’d love to!” Jungkook rushes out quickly, valiantly ignoring the As smooth as ice comment filtering through the bond. Yoongi is nodding, he’s got a blush high on his cheeks as he gives Jungkook a gummy smile and oh-

It is probably the most adorable thing he’s ever seen, and Jungkook is definitely smitten.

They begin walking through the exhibit again, pretending to pay attention to the screens and various objects behind the glass when really, they’ve spent the entire time talking with each other. Shooky and Cooky lead the way, though close enough to not tug uncomfortably on their bonds.

“Are you in school?” Jungkook asks.

“I am,” Yoongi answers, “It’s my last year. My major is music production. I also rap underground. Though I’ve started focusing on my mixtape more, so now it’s mainly just a hobby and stress reliever I do with one of my best friends. How about you, kid?”

Dodging his way between people, he makes it back to Yoongi’s side. “I major in singing and I have a minor in dance. You rap? That is so cool, Yoongi hyung! I bet you’re great.” Jungkook blurts out, he glances sideways, hoping Yoongi doesn’t catch the blush rising on his cheeks.

They continue chatting with each other, giving up all pretense of paying attention to the museum. Eventually, they reach the end and turn to face each other. Jungkook pulls out his phone to check the time and swears.

“I have to go meet my friends upstairs soon.” Jungkook says regretfully, wanting to draw their time out longer. Yoongi’s face falls slightly, the action weirdly making Jungkook’s heart clench.

“I have to meet my friends upstairs too, If you want, we can walk together. Where are you headed?”

Guides & Their Abilities.”   Cooky pipes up suddenly, a gleam in his eyes. Jungkook gives him a suspicious look before confirming the location.

“That’s where I’m headed too.” Yoongi brightens up considerably. “We might as well go together.” he tacks on at the end, clearing his throat. Jungkook nods his head quickly, agreeing to walk together. There’s snickers to their left, but they choose to deliberately ignore them.

They make their way upstairs and walk into the exhibit that contains their waiting friends. Jungkook immediately spots Jimin and Taehyung with Chimmy and Tata chattering with each other next to their legs. When they spot Jungkook and Yoongi, they give curious looks, immediately laced with surprise when they see Shooky wrapped up in Cooky’s ears. Jungkook shrugs, a little helpless.

On the way towards them, Yoongi calls out to a group of three other people, waving them over. Jungkook notices that each of Yoongi’s friends all have Soul Guides as well.

He looks knowingly at the elder, “Birds of a feather?” he asks, repeating what Jimin once told him.

“Birds of a feather.” Yoongi nods sagely, and that’s that.

 Once they all group together, each call out introductions.

There’s a bright red headed boy with a sunshine smile named Jung Hoseok, he has a mask-loving pony named Mang for a Guide. He mentions that he majors in dance and Jimin immediately squirrells the poor man away to enthuse about their similar passion. Luckily, Hoseok doesn’t seem to mind.

Next, there’s a man with the face of a model and a goofily sweet smile by the name of Kim SeokJin. SeokJin says that he has already graduated from college and that he now owns his own bakery. He has a white, curly haired alpaca for a Guide named RJ. Jungkook notices that the RJ is wearing a parka and his heart dies a little at how adorable it is.

And lastly, with his hand firmly tucked into SeokJin’s, is a dimpled man named  Kim Namjoon. Still in college, he says his major is also music production like Yoongi and that he minors in philosophy. Hanging off his neck, he has an adorably sleepy koala Guide by the name of Koya.

After everyone is done, Jungkook explains how he met Yoongi. “We ran face first into each other when these two,” he points an accusing finger to their two Guides, “Decide to lose it and go on a mad dash through the exhibit.” The two in question look only smug, no hint of guilt on their furry faces.  Everyone laughs at their expense.

They chatter amongst themselves for a long while, all thoughts of the museum tour completely forgotten until RJ pipes up inquiring about lunch.

Jumping on the obvious opportunity presented to him, Jungkook turns hopefully to Yoongi and his friends. “We were actually planning on going for a picnic in the park. Would you all like to come? We were going to grab some barbeque takeout, so there will be plenty enough to go around for all of us!”

“Free food?” RJ says, “We’re definitely in!” Everyone laughs and agrees.

Everyone heads out of the museum, ambling contentedly towards the restaurant while chatting amongst their now bigger group.

Luckily for them, the food joint and the park are quite close to the museum, so they make it to the restaurant quickly enough. They distribute the bags of food and trays of drinks between a few of them for easier carrying.

Making their way into the park, Jungkook notices that, for the day, it’s not as packed as he expected. Lucky for us, he hears across his and Cooky’s bond, who must have picked up on his thoughts, less people to deal with staring at us. Jungkook agrees.

Finding a couple of picnic tables, they push them together to accommodate all of their big group. They line all the food up and help themselves. Jungkook finds himself situated next to Yoongi, with Cooky and Shooky beside the elder. Noticing that the minty haired boy stayed quiet for most of their time, Jungkook couldn’t help the wave of disappointment that courses through him, though he tries to suppress it. He only just met the guy, he reasons in his head, it’s stupid and selfish of him to feel this way.

Instead, he laughs and chats with the others. He can’t help but to laugh madly when Jimin, Taehyung, and Hoseok drag Jungkook up, making him join them in dancing the choreo to the latest songs on the radio. When they finish, all of them leaning on each other and giggling, Jungkook catches Yoongi staring at him intently. Unsure of what the look means, Jungkook shoots the elder a smile as he makes his way back to his seat.

They spend the rest of the time finishing off all the food and getting to know each other, goofing off all the while. After several hours of this, they all agree that it is unfortunately getting late.

“I’ve got a dance recital soon that I have to get up super early to practice for. This was really fun though, we should definitely do this again!” Hoseok says, everyone readily agreeing. "Oh, and we should definitely get together soon to come up with something, Jimin!"

"Yes please, Hoseok-Ssi!" As soon as the words were out of Jimin's mouth, he turns to Taehyung, whispering excitedly and shaking his arm.

“And I’m sure most of you have classes tomorrow.” SeokJin pipes in, a knowing tone lacing his words. "Plus it's a great idea to make sure none of my employees or their Guides burned my bakery down."

"I have to get this one," Namjoon points to a sleepy Koya, "back home and into bed because he decided it would be a great idea to stay up all night reading a book. He didn't even pay attention to anything in the museum! The little brat." He complained, though failing to hide the fondness in his face as he looks at the Guide.


All of them exchange phone numbers, taking turns plugging them into each other’s cell phones.

Once everyone is done, both groups split once again, saying their goodbyes and hopes for getting together for another day out. Jungkook can’t help but feel a pang of sadness at this. He really enjoyed getting to meet them, but most of all, Yoongi. He waves a goodbye, sending each of them a smile and a safe trip to their respective homes.

He turns away and begins walking with his own friends when he feels a hand pull him back. Jungkook turns around, coming face to face with a nervous and blushing Yoongi. He gives the man a kind but questioning gaze, unable to hide the spike of hope flaring in his chest.

“I’m really glad that I met you, even though it was at the expense of my face. You have a hard head, you know.”  he admits with a pout, rubbing his forehead.

Jungkook gasps. “I’ll have you know, my head is the softest!”   he glares in mock offense.

Yoongi doesn’t reply, just looks down at his feet with a faint blush staining his cheeks.

“As much as I’d enjoy having our friend groups hang out again, I was just wondering…”

Jungkook tilts his head, the spike of hope in his chest burning hotly.

“Wouldyouliketogoonadatewithme?” the elder rushes out quickly, cheeks flaming bright red in contrast with his normally pale skin.

Jungkook can’t help the massive grin that splits his face. “I’m sorry, what was that, hyung? I couldn’t understand you.”

“Yah, you brat!” he exclaims, “Are you really gonna make me say it again?!”

Jungkook only shoots him a playfully clueless smile.

“Fine, fine! I asked,” He’s looking directly into the younger’s eyes now with determination, “If you would like to go on a date. With me?” he tacks a question on at the end.

“Alone, just the four of us?” he gives a glance to their still wrapped together Guides.

“Just the four of us.” came the elder’s reply, giving a firm nod.

Jungkook gives a massive smile and a soft giggle. “I’d love to.”

Yoongi returns the smile with a gummy one of his own. They laugh and roll their eyes at the sudden hoots and hollers from all of their friends who were not so sneakily eavesdropping.

If smashing headlong into fate leads them to this, this unsure but very present opportunity presented to both of them, then maybe it isn’t so bad in the long run.

===

Shooky unwraps himself and swings down in front of Cooky’s eyes using one of the bunny’s ears, wanting to talk while they have this small moment of privacy from their humans.

“You felt it too, didn’t you?” Cooky says, already knowing the answer.

“I felt it, alright. Hard not to when you have the strings of fate screaming in your head for you to run.”

The bunny nods in agreement, causing Shooky to sway gently from the rocking of his ears. “Now we wait for the next part of their destiny to scream in our heads, and I have a feeling it’s going to be great.”

“Together?”

Cooky cranes his head to look at their charges, seeing the red lines of fate floating around them, tying them tightly together and smiles. “For a very, very long time.”

===

~FIN~