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Soft and Silent

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It was supposed to be a good day today, but life is an asshole, isn't it?

 

Yoongi, Namjoon, and Seokjin were all supposed to have a good time out in a little area of downtown Seoul. They were just supposed to do a little shopping and go out to eat, but nothing can go as planned, can it?

 

Yoongi felt his breathing pick up as he whipped his head around, looking wherever he could, waiting for his two closest friends to enter his sight for at least a single second. His short stature already made it hard for him to see through the surplus of shoppers surrounding himself, but not even standing on his toes or jumping up could help Yoongi find his two dearest brothers.

 

Taking as deep of a shaky breath as he could, Yoongi clasped his fabric-covered hands against his chest and pushed his way through the crowd. Maybe, if he makes his way to the edge of the street, he could have a better chance of finding his beloved Hyung and Dongsaeng again.

 

Yoongi felt his brain slip further into its panicked state when he realized that the sidelines were doing him no good. He barely noticed his breath taking on a staccato tempo through his foggy brain, lifting a sweater-paw clad hand to anxiously run through his mint hair, like it has been doing for the past ten minutes.

 

His separation anxiety seemed to hit Yoongi like an eighteen-wheeler as his eyes fogged with tears, rarely used voice catching in his throat in a useless, near-silent call out. Seeming to imitate a leaf, his body started to tremor with terror.

 

Soon enough, those tremors turned into vicious quaking, causing Yoongi to lean against a close wall as his wobbly legs gave out from beneath him. Curling into a tight ball, Yoongi tried to ward off his intruding thoughts. Most of the time, Namjoon would already be by his side, rubbing soothing circles into his back and mumbling soft praises into his ears, but right now was not "most of the time."

 

His breathing failed him, turning more and more ragged as the seconds passed, catching on choked cries and feeble calls for his brothers from an underused, gravely, wet voice. His hands alternated between running through his mess of hair, rubbing roughly at his face, clutching onto the soft material of his pastel purple sweater, or scratching at his exposed, scraped knees through rips in his white jeans. His mind was also betraying him, running miles a minute, each thought reminding him of how alone he was and how he would probably never be reunited with Seokjin or Namjoon.

 

As Yoongi moved to clutch his knees to his chest, he saw a tall, orange-haired, warm-smiled figure crouch down next to him. Ignoring the other's soft questioning, Yoongi moved to scoot away from the taller male. Seeing the slight movement, the other opted simply to kneel in front of Yoongi, placing his own long face wherever the other's eyes were to stay in his line of sight.

 

"Hey," the stranger started, just loud enough to be heard by Yoongi, and Yoongi only, "are you having a panic attack or something?"

 

Yoongi was barely able to understand the other, since he couldn't lip-read for shit, and he could only hear his own blood rushing in his ears. He was barely even in control of himself enough to let out the smallest nod in response to the other's question.

 

Seeing the soft "oh, shit, really?" as the stranger broke eye contact, Yoongi flinched slightly, causing the presumably younger male to let out a barely louder swear in response to the reaction.

 

"Do you mind if I, uh, touch you?" Yoongi let out a jerky nod, leaning forward to rest his forehead on the other's shoulder.

 

Gently, through the static radiating through his whole body, Yoongi felt the other lay his hand gingerly in his shoulder. He shifted around and tangled his hands tightly into the other's dark shirt and held on for his life, praying that the other could help calm his rapid heart and lack of air.

 

"Since I might be here for a bit," the orange-haired male softly started, "I'll just let you know that my name's Jung Hoseok."

 

"Good to know," Yoongi's brain mumbled somewhere in his jumbled thoughts. The mint boy wasn't sure if he really needed that information right now, but the other's voice was soft and soothing, so he simply accepted it.

 

Carefully winding his arms around the smaller, Hoseok guided the pastel-haired male closer to himself. Yoongi immediately took this action as an invitation, flinging his arms around the taller and burying his face in Hoseok's neck, not caring if his tears stained the other's shirt or not. The elder simply let his rough sobs fill the air around them and allowed his vicious shaking to quake them both.

 

The younger was quick to catch on to Yoongi's need for physical touch, immediately beginning to softly rub his hands up and down the latter's sides, sometimes stopping to massage his shoulders or back. Hoseok tried his hardest to remember everything his mother had previously told him about anxiety and anxiety attacks, since one of her friends had frequently gotten them.

 

"Hoseok, you need to ask them if you can touch them or not. Some people need it, some can't handle it. If you can, try drawing little shapes on their shoulder blades or the back of their hands and try to get them to focus on that."

 

He could do that. Hoseok gingerly began to trace little triangles, squares, rectangles, and the like onto the other's shoulders with one hand, not stopping the other's motion of running up and down.

 

Talking. That was another way to distract, right? Let them know that it'll pass? It would probably be a good idea to try that.

 

"Hey, can you hear me alright?"

 

A soft nod. That's a good sign.

 

"I know you're pretty freaked out right now, but you need to remember that you can get through this. It'll come and go, you just need to stay strong for me, okay? For me, and for yourself. It'll all be okay as soon as this is over, and it will end."

 

What else did his mother say? Think, Hobi, think!

 

"This, Hobi, is lavender oil. It's calming, here, smell. Yeah? Take a little bottle, carry some in your pocket with you. Rub a little onto wherever they can smell it. Maybe your wrist, or your neck, or the back of your hand, anywhere."

 

Hobi fished the tiny container out of his jacket pocket, double-checking the label to make sure it was indeed lavender. As carefully as he could, Hoseok shifted away from the smaller male to smudge a little onto the space under his collarbone, right under where the other's nose was sitting. Hoseok almost regretted moving, from the stressed noise the other made, instantly making guilt flow through his own veins, but it was for the greater good.

 

That little step seemed to do the trick. As soon as Yoongi inhaled the floral scent, a good half of his anxiety seemed to melt away from his being right in front of Hoseok's eyes. The smaller must have been familiar with it.

 

The rest melted away as soon as they heard someone shout, "Seriously, Jin-hyung, where the fuck is Yoon-hyung?" from the right of them.

 

At that, a pained, wet shout exited the older male as he threw his hands out towards the voice. Hoseok instinctively started to wave one arm around like a madman, attempting to draw the attention of the other. As soon as they were spotted, two tall males, one with purple hair and the other with pink, sprinted towards them at speeds Hoseok could only think of as "Jeongguk speed."

 

The purple one, the tallest, immediately took the boy in Hoseok's arms into his own, gently shushing and mumbling soft encouragements to him as he ghosted huge hands over the mint's softly shaking arms and back, who, in turn, buried his face directly into the safety of the giant's neck, breathing in his vanilla and lavender-infused scent.

 

"I'm so sorry you had to see that." The slightly shorter, pink-haired male sighed. "We started freaking out as soon as we realized we lost Yoongi-chi. We should have held his hand or something, we know how he is with crowds, and I guess that set him off pretty harshly as soon as we got lost."

 

"Don't apologize, I'm happy to help," Hoseok gently scolded, running a tired hand through his orange hair. "I'm glad I was able to help him, but if you don't mind me asking, why was it so bad? I've never seen an attack that bad before."

 

The other winced slightly, taking a little pause before starting up. "Yoongi-chi has a lot of really bad separation anxiety left over from his childhood. I guess it's from his PTSD or something like that with the foster system. And, to top that bullshit off, he's had a really bad social phobia since he was eighteen."

 

Hoseok stared at the smallest in shock. No one deserved to have that dumped on them, especially since the other looked so young. From the corner of his eyes, he could see the pink-haired one strain to hear any of the purple-hair's mumbling.

 

"Can he talk at all?" the former whispered. The latter answered by shaking his head slightly, as to not disturb to exhausted male bundled in his arms.

 

"Sign?" Another no. Two identical, soft sighs.

 

"Noises? Anything?" A gentle nod.

 

"Do you need any more help?" Hoseok gently questioned, hoping to be able to aid the situation in any way possible.

 

"Actually, yeah, he was kind of attached to you, so I think we should take you with him while he finishes coming down?" The other two made eye contact over the shuddering male, gently nodding to each other in agreement. With a little gesture to follow them, the purple-haired male helped the smallest to his feet, gripping his hand tightly and led the group to a small café close by.

 

On their way over, Hoseok made sure to lace his fingers through Yoongi's own, smoothing his thumb over the back of a trembling hand as it held on for dear life.

 

When they finally managed to arrange themselves at a booth in the café, Yoongi in between Namjoon and Seokjin, with Hoseok awkwardly sitting across from them, they made small orders and started up a simple conversation topic, introductions.

 

Yoongi was quick to finish calming down, and Hoseok was quick to grow fond of the trio. He learned little facts about the others, like how Seokjin was the oldest, or how Yoongi and Namjoon met back when they both were underground rappers, or how Namjoon and Seokjin absolutely despise mint ice cream, while Yoongi is indifferent to the flavor (through Namjoon's sign translations). They also got to learn things about him, like how he had a dog named Mickey that he adored, that he has a low-key Sprite obsession, or how he actually knows Yoongi (vaguely) from his music theory class.

 

Hoseok was really going to miss this group.

 

Good thing they all managed to find the time to exchange phone numbers before they all went their separate ways.

 

This was hopefully the start of something great for all of them.