Jung Hoseok is quite the oddity.
Not that his personality is weird or anything like that, he simply carries a trait with him most humans could not say they possess.
And that was that he could become invisible.
He didn’t really remember when he had discovered it, it always been there he guessed. Or his memory was shitty. Just like he couldn’t remember when he had acquired the unique skill, he could not function well when using it.
You see, the pupils in your eyes are black for a reason, and that is because black absorbs light and sends the information to your brain, thus creating vision. When Hoseok was invisible, his pupils were not black, which meant they couldn’t absorb light, which meant there wasn’t that information being sent to his brain.
Of course having a superpower would come with a weakness. His was that he was blind while in that state.
And even though he had possessed this ability his entire life, he had never grown accustomed to it. He only used it when he had to, which wasn’t too often given his line of work.
As a secret espionage agent for the government, he never had too many missions to carry out. Of course, they were all successful, but that wasn’t just Hoseok’s doing. Since he had never grown familiar with the sensation of blindness, and his hearing or other senses hadn’t adapted to it, he had an escort who would lead him to his target. All Hoseok had to do was walk quietly inside a room and stand there, hearing and noting every single thing that left the informant’s oblivious mouth.
His job was quite effortless and he was always paid well, so he never put up a stink of who he was collecting information from. He preferred not to know their names, only what the goal was.
But luck has a funny way of screwing Hoseok over, and this time it had screwed him over real bad.
On his last mission, while Hoseok was ready and invisible to the eye, his escort doing his job, he had been in a horrible accident.
While on a mission, his escort had been seen by a guard, and was forced to kill him to keep the silence.
Hoseok could hear their grunts as they grappled with each other, the sound of metal weapons whizzing through the air. He could hear when one of them landed a blow to the other’s body with their fist or the hilt of their blades. Even more aware of how their breathing became more labored, knowing one of them would fall soon.
Hoseok was right, as his escort had been been stabbed in the throat and bled to death. He did not know this, and took silent, hesitant steps in the direction of the sound.
What he didn’t know, was that the guard was also injured, and that the fight had occured very close to a long staircase. As Hoseok continued to step forward with uncertainty and slight imbalance, the guard would stumble backwards, hands on their knees to try and catch their breath.
The guard stood up, and as they did, they were hit with a wave a dizziness and darkening vision that sent them swiftly stumbling backwards, colliding with Hoseok. He had been completely unprepared for the impact, and has forced off his feet and sent tumbling down the stairs.
The stairs jabbed, cut, and bruised almost Hoseok’s entire body, and by the time he had reached the bottom, it felt like he had rolled down a mountain. His head had been hit multiple times with extreme force, and he couldn’t resist the urge to slip into sleep.
Hoseok later regained consciousness, yet couldn’t find the strength to open his eyes no matter how hard he tried. So he became content with figuring out where he was. He inhaled, and the smell of chemical cleanliness that reminded him of offices and times when he was sick. He could hear nothing besides the omnipresent beeping of machinery in his left ear and the distant sounds of people chattering and scuffling around. He suddenly became aware of the faint copper taste in his mouth, and he couldn’t remember what would’ve made him bleed. Hoseok moved his right hand outwards, and he was met with the cool touch of metal. He turned his hand, tracing the shape of it with his fingertips.
He put the pieces together, and came to the conclusion that he was in some kind of hospital, lying in one of the beds in a room to himself.
Why am I here?
Then Hoseok remembered what he had heard while on a mission. He remembered how he had heard a body slump to the ground, how he had tried to figure out what was happening without revealing himself, how he had been knocked backwards and down a flight of stairs.
And with the memories flooding back to him, so did the pain. His whole body ached in places he didn’t know even could ache. His head throbbed dully, and he could feel the sting of where the air met the cuts on his body, which had been disinfected and treated already. His right side hurt so much that he could barely move his torso, and he felt how the fingers on his left hand were taped to each other in pairs, the only free digit being his thumb.
Hoseok was now fully awake, but still could not see. He could feel himself opening and closing his eyes, yet there was nothing. By this conclusion, he determined he was still invisible. Even after realizing this though, he couldn’t bring himself to visibility.
He knew the sensation, of how his body tried to shift to its natural state, like he was trying to pull off a blanket of dull numbness that had been laid on him. His brain strained, repeatedly sending instructions to his body to go back , but nothing happened. He remained in that empty nothingness without his vision. Which, by the way, wasn’t a complete darkness or complete white like most everyone thinks. It was just, nothing. No color or anything. He sat there, really thinking about how it felt to be blind.
To try and explain, darkness is simply the lack of light, much like the cold is the lack of heat. Say your arm falls asleep and becomes numb, it will not be able to feel either the heat or the cold. That’s kind of what it’s like to be blind, except the numb arm is the blind eye, and the heat and cold is light and darkness. Neither exist.
To put it another way, it’s like trying to see through the back of your head. If you stretch your arms back enough to where your hands touch and you can’t see them, there’s no color that you can see. It just isn’t there because our field of vision has boundaries. Now imagine that feeling of colorlessness, but it’s all you can’t see.
Later that day, after Hoseok had calmed down, a doctor came in and explained his predicament.
“Most, if not all, of injuries will be fine,” She had said in a reassuring voice, “We’ve taken care of those. You also broke one of your ribs and two of your fingers. The only thing we’re worried about right now is that you’re still invisible.”
“What do you mean, ‘most’?” he inquired.
“Well,” she started, shifting her weight from one foot to the other, “We think that the reason you can’t shift back to your normal state is because you’re suffering from brain damage due to blunt force trauma.”
Hoseok sighed, lifting an unseen hand to sweep back his hair. It’s not like this was the worst he’s ever felt, he’d almost died from an infected stab wound one time, he had just never been met with this kind of problem.
“How long until I’m back to normal?” He questioned, already assuming he’d be out of here soon, just like every other time he’s been to the hospital.
“That’s the thing, we don’t have an answer to that. You’re a very peculiar case as you could imagine, so we don’t know how to help quite yet. And it would be too dangerous to experiment with drugs in case it worsens anything,” She replied, her voice low and hesitant.
“Oh,” he muttered to himself.
Hoseok had been wrong, he definitely wasn’t out of the hospital anytime soon.
Even after most of his injuries had healed, he was stuck in the hospital, the doctors running out of ideas on how to help him. He was no longer confined to a hospital bed, free to wander. But he wasn’t too happy about being forced to stay there.
There wasn’t anything to do besides watch-or listen, rather, to the same limited channels they had. It’s not like he had a phone he could go on to talk to friends, since he had left it at headquarters before going on the mission, and everyone was too busy with their fuck up to get someone to bring it to him.
So instead, Hoseok snuck around the hospital to enthrall himself. He still wasn’t used to not being in control, and it felt to him that his senses were duller than they should be. He had been doing this for a while, though, sneaking around to listen to stuff he shouldn’t be hearing, and in it he would learn things. Not a lot about one thing, but he had pretty much had it seared into his brain how to treat any basic minor injury like a jammed finger or a how to get someone to stop choking.
But, after he had started to hear the same things over and over again, that grew old too. Hoseok’s insatiability wouldn’t last for long, though.
Two days later, Hoseok was released from the hospital. But not because they had figured out how to return him to normal, in fact is quite the opposite. They had given up on him. The doctors had run out of possible solutions and couldn’t afford to keep him there anymore.
Not only that, but the government had dropped him. Hoseok’s superiors hadn’t said anything to him, they had just sent a ride to pick him up and drop him off at home with the stuff he had left at headquarters. They left him no money, no escort, and no help. He was alone.
At first, Hoseok hadn’t been able to navigate well. He had had to have one of his friends who knew of his ability come and live with him while he figured things out. But, over time he had been able to devise a way to move around without bumping things 99% of the time.
By accident, he had discovered that he could make sharp sounds that would echo across the rooms or in spaces to let him no where things were. He would mainly snap his fingers or click his tongue when nothing else was giving Hoseok sound to go off of, and it became more effective the more he used it.
When Hoseok had started going back to public places, he had started by just sitting down and listening to how sounds he pinpointed would echo across the air and how they sounded if something was right next to him. Like if he was sitting on a bench by a road and a tree on his right side, and someone would slam a car door shut, he could hear the sound better on his right when he ignored the source of the sound.
Then as he got used to that, he would travel to more crowded places and sit and listen to the sounds there. He would stand in front of oncoming footsteps, practicing side stepping and making sure they didn’t touch him. He would go to even more crowded places, practicing the same things the higher difficulty that came with them, almost like a video game.
This continued, and after a little over a year, Hoseok was able to move through crowds like an octopus through a net, his footwork better than it ever was and able to position his upper body as to barely brush past anyone.
Unfortunately, due to Hoseok developing his senses and getting used to his not so newfound blindness, he had no need for his friends to escort him places. So he stopped talking to them, and it wasn’t like he could text them either. Due to this, Hoseok slowly became mute. He never had a need to use his voice, since no one ever talked to him, let alone pay him any attention. Then again, it’s not like he made it easy. Hoseok really only used his voice when something scared him, as he would give little yelps or shouts when spooked, even sometimes shriek if he was really scared.
It was at this point that Hoseok knew he would be alone for the rest of his life.