march 3, 2018
it was almost the first day of school. time went by too fast.
jeongin looked out the window of the moving car. his hyungs and himself had been on vacation, as most would call it. they spent their break as wild as they could, staying up until three a.m. to play tabletop games while chan, woojin, and minho drank beer. it wasn't too crazy, but it was what chan allowed, so it was fine by his own standards. jeongin wouldn't be the one to skydive or anything like that, hell, he didn't even like to do aegyo that often. changbin shuffled beside him, bumping jeongin's ribs with his elbow. jeongin moved his sleeping hyung's elbow away from him. it was impossibly tiny in the middle row.
turns out it was extremely hard to fit nine men in a van than they thought ahead of time. but they had already rented the van for a month and there were no take-backsies.
woojin was driving, his wandering eyes constantly looking back on his dongsaengs to check on their condition in the cramped, slightly-overheated van. jeongin would see a hint of a smile on his face each time he looked back. chan was sitting in shotgun, eyes focused on the road. jeongin sighed. they'd been driving for two hours already and it felt like the driver and the shotgun had forgotten that bathrooms exist and jeongin had a big cup of fruit punch before they left the farm they were on. but there was no way jeongin would be losing this bet he made with felix. the said 00’ liner with his thick accent challenged jeongin and the maknae would not lose like this.
whoever asked the driver to stop at a gas station to pee first loses. and at this point, it was becoming almost unbearable how his stomach kept punching him and reminding him that fluids and waste need to exit after digestion . and all the gas stations they passed were like church bells, a blessing. but no one needed to go, and jeongin wasn't going to give up that easily to the hardly fluent foreigner in the very back seat with the rest of the 00’ liners. minho was sat right next to the sleeping changbin, molding himself and accepting his cuddling dongsaeng.
after a good thirty minutes, jeongin almost couldn't take it. minho's stomach erupted, and woojin instinctively pulled in at a gas station an half a hour or so from seoul. jeongin and felix dashed to the bathroom, the bet a tie. seungmin was fast asleep in the backseat with hyunjin playing on his phone beside him. changbin woke up to grab a few snacks for everyone, minho going with him to pick out specifics for each member. five minutes later, they were on the road again. jeongin's head was finally at peace, his head lolled to the side. the cold glass was pressed against his face and all he wanted was to sleep. he wonders briefly how the school year would play out. the nine of them were tight, tighter than most of the couples he'd seen at jyp high. he had seen relationships fall. he had seen the tears, the suicide. he saw how parents push their kids and take them away from those they love. it scared him when he thought of the possibility of that happening to them. if someone wedged themselves in between them. if they turned on each other.
it kept him up, how many nightmares he got. i'm a junior now , he says most of the time in front of the mirror. i know i'll be the last the graduate. but i can keep us together.
no matter what, they were brothers. even if they can't understand each other, or they have different views on the world, they'll always be brothers.
we'll be brothers , jeongin says, one final time. his eyes drift closed in a slumber he couldn't deny any longer.