“hey—jiminnie, look.” hoseok leaned over jimin, who was sitting cross legged on the floor, and showed him his phone. the weather app was pulled up, and the radar had a big blob of rad heading right for them.
jimin groaned, rubbing his eyes sleepily. “but i don’t want it to rain.” he pouted.
“i know, honey boy, but there’s not much i can do to stop it.”
hoseok nodded. he knew just how much rain storms affected jimin, despite how much he himself enjoyed them, and every time one rolled through the sky he couldn’t help but wish he could do more for jimin. they had tried hugs and cuddling and blankets and warmth but nothing seemed to keep jimin from eventually drifting to the centerpoint of their apartment—the tiled laundry room with hardly enough room for the two of them together. sitting on bare tile could not be comfortable, hoseok imagined, but jimin endured it, sometimes for hours on end.
the day passed, filled with an increasing tension and anticipation that was only ever present when a storm approached. jimin hardly ate that day—a slice or two of bread in the morning and some soup in the afternoon—and tried to avoid loud sounds to the best of his ability. hoseok didn’t like this, seeing his boyfriend sit and wait on their sofa for the incoming pain. he looked like a puppy, sad eyes and a fragile face, inevitable discomfort ahead.
the day passed, and finally, the storm came. the sky grew dark, grey clouds billowed over the sun, and wind whipped through trees outside too violently for anyone’s comfort, even hoseok. rain began to crash to earth, and thus marked the start of jimin’s discomfort for the night. the storm was worse than normal, bringing angrier rain and louder thunder, and it drove jimin off the couch with hoseok to his safe spot in the laundry room almost immediately after it began. hoseok knew by now not to follow or protest; previous attempts to keep jimin close to him had always ended in shaking, tears, and anger, and hoseok knew better now.
each crash of thunder was louder than the last, enveloping their apartment in ominous sounds of branches breaking and rain pelting at the windows and sidewalk outside, and each crash of thunder drew soft whines from the laundry room. hoseok heart cried, distraught at his inability to do much of anything to quiet the storm and kicking himself for it.
hoseok stood, walking slowly into the kitchen and taking a mug down from a creaky wooden cupboard. pouring the remaining old coffee from a few days ago into the mug and mixing in a bit of milk, he leaned against the counter, swishing the drink a bit to mix it. he sipped it, and it tasted bitter, just how he like it, but he stopped short when a distressed whine floated from the room behind him, sounding more anxious than normal.
he turned the corner, glancing into the dark laundry room, but he could not tell where jimin was. switching the light on, he stepped in, slightly confused, until he reached the far end of the room and looked between the washer and the wall. there, curled behind stacks of old newspapers and boxes of laundry detergent, was jimin, quivering and eyes closed, flinching at any sound from outside.
hoseok crouched down, being sure to not get too close. “hey.” he kept his voice soft.
jimin’s eyes cracked open, and he curled in on himself further.
“are you okay?” hoseok knew the answer, but he was worried; jimin had never crawled this far back during a storm.
jimin shook his head slightly. outside, thunder slammed against their apartment, and jimin shut his eyes again, brow furrowed and head down.
hoseok, knowing he would not be able to carry any kind of conversation and not wanting to overwhelm his boyfriend, stood and sipped his coffee again. “i’ll be back.”
he left the laundry room, placing his coffee mug on the counter on the way to his bedroom. once there, he dug through his closet, grabbing the biggest blanket he could find and a heating pad. hoseok shut the closet door, left the door, and threw the blanket over his shoulder, flinching slightly at the bright flash of lightning. once he had reached the kitchen, hoseok stuck the pad in the microwave, setting the timer and leaving it to warm up.
quietly reentering jimin’s safe spot, cold tile seeping through hoseok’s socks, he took the blue fleece blanket and folded it in half. he set it on the floor in front of jimin, who silently watched with watery eyes and only moved when hoseok gathered up the newspapers from beneath him. he set them on top of the washing machine, hearing the microwave beep in the other room. hoseok pulled the detergent container out from the crevice, setting it as a doorstop, and spread the blanket out further. jimin lifted each leg as needed and settled down once hoseok had pushed the blanket under him.
“you want a pillow?”
jimin nodded slightly, and pulled his legs to his chest.
hoseok stood, jogging to their room and grabbing a small square pillow, and on the way back he took the heating pad from the microwave, warmth gradually soaking into his hand.
“okay.” hoseok made sure to keep his voice low and calm, not wanting to worsen things for his boyfriend. he handed the heating pad to jimin. “put this on your tummy, okay? under your shirt. let me know if it’s too warm or not warm enough.”
jimin nodded, gently taking the pad and sliding it beneath his shirt.
“and this.” hoseok handed him the soft pink pillow.
jimin settled back, pillow between his thighs and chest, head forward, and hoseok sat down on the blanket as well. he didn’t touch jimin or reach for any affection; he just sat, looking for storm anxiety music on youtube to block out—at least somewhat—the rain.
music started, soft electronic notes bouncing around the room. jimin closed his eyes tightly, and tried to focus on the music instead of the thunder. hoseok closed his eyes too, after checking the time.
the track was just over five hours long, and hoseok was fully prepared to sit near jimin for that entire length of time, even with nothing to occupy himself.
the rain and thunder may have softened, or the music covered it up well, but either way hoseok’s heart rate had noticeably slowed, and jimin had visibly relaxed somewhat, eyes still closed, eyebrows less furrowed, shoulders not as tense.
hoseok leaned his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. there were no windows in the laundry room, but he assumed it was night by now.
yeah. 8:31 pm.
jimin was asleep, still curled in between the wall and washer, head resting on the pillow and heating pad pressed against his tummy. hoseok was awake, shifting his position every so often and staring into the air in front of him at nothing in particular.
the music carried on.
hoseok blinked, catching himself before he fell asleep fully, and listened for thunder. none. jimin was still asleep, breathing softly and steadily, and hoseok stood, leaving his phone on the floor to continue playing the music.
he left the room, only just remembering his unfinished coffee on the counter, and he gently paced to a window, glancing out into the dark. listening.
there was no thunder, only the patter of rain on the sidewalk and windows. he sipped his coffee, still bitter and still good, and hoseok drifted back to the laundry room. jimin was shifting, half awake and half asleep, smiling a little smile when he noticed hoseok coming back.
“you doing a bit better? the worst of the storm seems to be over.”
the soft voice was draped in curtains of sleep and leftover emotion. “a little.”
things were better.