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Hearts, Power, and Everything in Between

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Seungmin didn't realize he had fallen asleep on the couch until he was awoken by an incessant knocking on his apartment door. A replay of an old Sabrina the Teenage Witch episode was on the television screen; he turns it off before slowly getting up to answer the door. The knocking seemed to grow louder and more desperate as he got closer, which he'd be more sympathetic about but fucking hell it's 2 AM don't you have other things to do? Like sleep?

He rubs his eyes as he opens the door, and completely freezes when he sees who's standing on the other side: Han Jisung, his best friend since the second grade. Han Jisung, who single-handedly attempted to fight the entire football team for not leaving him alone after he was practically shunned by the people he once called family (emphasis on the word attempted). Han Jisung, the boy he didn't realize he was missing so much until he stopped replying to his texts roughly seven months ago.

"Jisung?" It comes out more hoarse than usual, "What are you doing here? It's like two in the morning-"

"Min, I don't have time to explain. Just please let me in," he pleaded. He grabbed Seungmin's free hand to show how desperate he was. Pathetic? Yes, but unnecessary? Not by a long shot.

"Hey, hey, hey, what's wrong? Is someone following you?"

"Yes, but- Min please let me in, I'm begging you."

"What's going on?" Seungmin's older brother, Woojin, walks from his room to the doorway. "Jisung? Where have you been?! It's been like months since we last saw you-"

"I know, hyung, that's why you have to let me in-"

"Ji-" Woojin sighs, "look, I love you and all, but it's really too early for me to deal with this right now-"

"Hyung, I know, I wouldn't be bothering you with this if it wasn't important." He turns to look down the hallway to see if anyone's there. "Now please, let me in before someone comes and neither of you see me ever again."

Seungmin and Woojin exchange a look, then gently pull him into the apartment. Once Jisung's inside, Seungmin shuts and locks the door and they all sit on the couches surrounding the television. Seungmin droops his head down in the midst of the awkward silence, slowly becoming conscious enough to realize that Jisung's actually alive and not dead like his mind was telling him; how the reminder of his sudden disappearance only made dealing with his own mind worsen.

Woojin lets out a breath he didn't know he was holding. "Okay, so..."

"Why?" Seungmin asks, lowly and almost quietly enough to go unheard, "Why did you do it?"

Jisung looks at Seungmin and immediately feels guilty. "Min-"

"SEVEN MONTHS," he says, getting up from his seat in the process, "Do you know how much shit you missed in seven months? I got sick again, Jisung. And it's not like I would've been able to talk to you about it because- oh right! YOU WEREN'T ANSWERING YOUR FUCKING PHONE-"

Woojin places a hand on Seungmin's arm. "Min, calm down-"

"Oh don't tell me to calm down, hyung. I think I have every right to feel as angry as I do." He turns back to Jisung, "I thought you were dead, Jisung. That's what made this all even worse than it already was; the thought of my best friend being dead and not having any way of confirming nor denying it!"

"I know, Min, and I'm sorry," Jisung says, "I would've contacted you sooner if I was safe but... truthfully, I don't think I ever can be now."

Woojin looks at him, "What do you mean?"

"Y'know how I said that someone might come for me and you two might've never seen me again? I wasn't joking about that. Something happened on New Year's Eve that I really can't explain but... all I remember is that these authoritative-looking people came knocking on my door one day and they... shot my foster mom before she could even open it.

"I ran to her and tried to stop the bleeding, but she just kept telling me to run and get out of there. And when those guys busted down the doors and started surrounding us I- I didn't know what to do. I felt this energy growing and bubbling up inside of me, and then the next thing I know they’re all passed out on the floor around us. It bought me time to grab some of my things and get outta there but my mom..." Jisung wipes away the tears beginning to spill from his eyes. "I couldn't save her, Min. I wanted to; she was the first one of them that actually made me feel like I fucking mattered and I couldn't save her.” He lets out a heavy sigh.

“Since then I’ve been on the run, and everywhere I stopped a buncha freaky shit would start happening. Like wildfires occurring where they weren’t common, or people dying of hypothermia in the middle of June. I thought it was the universe telling me I was cursed or something-- I don’t know, but I know there’s something going on and I just want answers.”

Seungmin walks over to sit next to Jisung. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”

“It’s okay, would’ve been hard to since I wasn’t answering my fucking phone.”

They exchange weak smiles, then Seungmin turns to look at his brother across from him. “Wait, Woojin, didn’t something like this happen when-”

“Our great-great-grandfather-” Woojin says in his sudden realization, “Jisung, did any of your foster parents know who your biological ones were?”

Jisung shakes his head. “No, I don’t think so. I tried looking into it myself but I couldn’t get anywhere. It was almost like they didn’t even exist.”

“Hmm, okay. There is one way I know that will determine this for sure. Jisung, could you hand me your arm please?”

Jisung scooches closer and leans over so his inner arm is within Woojin’s reach. He uses one hand to grab it and hold it steady and the other to place two fingers along the vein and applies pressure lightly. “This might hurt for a little bit, but you’ll be fine,” Woojin says.

Jisung nods, maybe a little too quickly to pass off as calm, and glances over at Seungmin. Woojin begins chanting lowly; the words are of a language Jisung can’t understand, causing him to panic a little. He suddenly feels a slight pain on his palm, scrunching his face and screwing his eyes shut as a means to hold out on pulling his hand away. He doesn’t know how much longer he can tolerate it, though, because it’s getting really painful, and he doesn’t even know what Woojin is doing to him for it to hurt so badly-

Then the chanting and the pain stop; Jisung opens his eyes to see Woojin and Seungmin hovering over his arm, which seems to have marks on it mimicking that of a really vague-looking family tree. All of the dots are black except for one at the very end-- that one is white and glowing. Seungmin reaches out and touches the spot with his index finger, making Jisung jump away from sensitivity. When he looks again, the dots are gone.

Woojin looks at Seungmin, who seems to mutually understand what he’s trying to convey mentally, because he says, “Well, I think that answers why you’ve had chaos and bad luck wherever you went.”

“H-how so?” Jisung asks, still looking at them with wide eyes because what the hell just happened?

Woojin’s face contorts into a confused expression. “Seungmin, does he not know?”

“Know what? I’m right here, guys.”

“I never thought we’d need to tell him!” Seungmin whisper-shouts.

“Min-” Woojin stops himself mid-sentence, “Okay, that’s fine. Um, Jisung! You’ve heard of Sabrina the Teenage Witch right?”

“Yeah… what’s this got to do with that?”

“Well… y’know witches and stuff like that? Yeah, that’s all real. Something similar to this happened when our great-great-grandfather found out he was the first witch in our family. Seungmin and I are witches too and are- were part of a coven a few years ago.”

“Wait seriously? You guys have familiars too or something?”

“We do actually,” Seungmin says, “Some witches pick theirs, others wait until one pick them. Either way there’s a special bond between you and the familiar that can’t be compared to any other animal companion you’ve had.”

“Huh... but I've never seen either of your guys’ familiars when I would come over.”

“That's because I keep them at this place called Akiya’s School for the Gifted and Talented.” Woojin says,  “It's in the northernmost part of Sinra.”

“I’ve heard of that school, but I thought that's where all of the GTE students went to after high school?”

“It used to be, but with the way history's played out and the ever growing number of anti-witch groups in the country, they've remodeled it to benefit and protect the witch population more.”

“Along with some others,” Seungmin adds in.

“Others?” Jisung asks, “Like who?”

Just then a loud noise goes off, followed by a bunch of people yelling. Woojin motions for the other two boys to be quiet as he sneaks over to the window. He opens the curtain a little and sees a bunch of men in suits talking to the other tenants of the apartment building outside.

“Shit uh... I’ll be right back, don't do anything that can make those guys in suits come up here.” Woojin walks across the room and exits the apartment, leaving Seungmin and Jisung alone.

Jisung's the first to break the silence. "So... how'd the rest of your gap year go?"

"Mm... It was alright, y'know minus the whole being-sick-for-four-months thing and not-having-your-best-friend-around thing, too."

"I see," Jisung says in a slightly mocking tone, giggling quietly. He rests his head on Seungmin's shoulder. "But now that I'm back, what do you think's in store for us?"

"Well... knowing my brother, he's probably gonna enroll you into Akiya; you're gonna need the protection now."

"You're gonna be going too, right?"

Seungmin can practically hear the nervousness in the other's voice. "Of course, dude! I was supposed to enroll last year, actually, but... things started happening and I just didn't think I was ready, y'know?"

"No, yeah, I get that completely." They sit in silence for a bit. "Honestly? Having to constantly look over my shoulder wore me out, not to mention make my neck sore as hell- hey! Don't hit me for that, I was being serious! Anyway... I'm just glad I won't have to worry as much as I did these past few months. Kinda missed having some boring, normal life for a bit."

Seungmin can't help but smile sadly at that; knowing Jisung for over twelve years now, he knew he was the more adventurous type between the two of them. He loved movies like Journey to the Center of the Earth and Indiana Jones-- even National Treasure for crying out loud-- and would always make him play pirates with him in their primary school days. It almost broke his heart that Jisung's adventurous spirit was damaged, if not lost, because of what happened.

At that moment Woojin opens the door, closing and locking it almost as quickly. "I don't know what happened, but by the time I got down there all the guys in suits were gone. One of our neighbors said someone compelled them to vacate the area and find a new area of work."

Jisung and Seungmin glance at each other. "So that's it? They're just gone?"

"I guess so, Min. Okay, tomorrow we're driving over to Akiya to get you and Jisung enrolled there. Try to be up by nine?"

They both nod their heads. Woojin sighs, "This is the weirdest shit I've experienced, and I've dealt with a lot of weird shit. You can sleep on the couch if you want, Ji. Goodnight."

Seungmin and Jisung watch as Woojin goes back into his room and shuts the door behind him.

"Okay so," Seungmin says as he stands up, "couch or my room?"

Jisung quietly hums, thinking for a while before he answers, "Your room, if you're okay with that."

Seungmin smiles and nods. "Of course."

 

They're about to fall asleep-- Seungmin in his bed and Jisung on the floor-- when the latter asks, "Who do you think that guy was?"

"Which guy?"

"The one Woojin-hyung said compelled those guys to leave." He sits up. "Like, there were at least ten of them out there, right? How does anyone get all of them to do that?"

"I don't know, Ji. But let's go to sleep, we got a big day ahead of us."

Jisung sighs and lays back down, "Yeah, we do."

Chapter Text

 

Fri., Aug 9 at 11:52 AM

 

Furries in Denial has been created.

 

jeongin changed their display name to babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑).

 

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑) added felixie, jisung14, and two others to the chat.


babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑) changed jisung14 's display name to jiji's delivery service.

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑) changed hyunjin the demigod 's display name to giant lap dog.

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑) changed seungmin's display name to smin (snail min).

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑) changed felixie's display name to munchkin ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ.

 

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑)

boop

 

4:39 PM 

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑)

hi guys!!!! just wanted to pop in and say i’m glad we all got thru this first week of school!! can’t wait to see you guys again on monday!!! :D

 

Sat., Aug 10 at 11:49 PM

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑)

wow y’all did Not touch this gc yesterday

rude :<

but~!! no matter bc i have smthn exciting to share

A photo of Yang Jeongin/I.N of Stray Kids with blond hair.

y’all like my new hair? :3

 

giant lap dog

hey good morni

??????????

JEONGIN???/

 

munchkin ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ

oH????

HYUNJIN????? HWANG HYUNJIN?????

(omygod he fuckin dead)

OK BUT HONESTLY U LOOK SO ADORABLE

 

jij’s delivery service

JEONGIN!!! MY BABY HELLO

IT LOOKS AMAZING

 

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑)

thank u hyung ;0;

 

smin (snail min)

good morninggg jeonginnnnn u look so cute as a blonde :’’’

i Love it

 

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑)

//w\\ thank u guys aaaaa

 

giant lap dog

ok im back from freaking the frick out

1) blond looks AMAZINGGG ON U

2) is there a reason why u decided to dye it??

 

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑)

actually there is!!!

today marks one year since my coming-of-age ceremony :D

 

jij’s delivery service

aw omg congrats!!!

ion remember much from mine but the only thing i Can recall is that i almost tripped up the stairs SDHJSHD

i hope urs was better innie

 

giant lap dog

oof

rip my dude

i actually went back to olympus for my ceremony:0

its actually rlly nice up there guys

id take you all but idk how the relationship between the gods and witches are atm :( not to mention that they hardly let humans enter

 

smin (snail min)

it's alright hyunjin!! maybe sometime in the future when the rest of the world stops being a mess

but we'll take your word for it for now asdhsdhs

 

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑)

@jiji's delivery service it was thankfully LMAO but i hope urs was decent at least D:

also olympus seems so cool,,, i mean all i know is from mythology books nd like the percy jackson series SKDJSKD but still if there is a day we can all go we should!!!!

 

munchkin ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ

jinnie nd i will make sure you guys are the first witches nd human(?) to visit when that day comes ;)

also innie uh,,, whats with our display names?

 

smin (snail min)

dude i just realized too SKDSDJK

why exactly am i smin (snail min)

 

3:18 PM

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑)

bc u told me u liked snails D:

hyunjin's is giant lap dog bc he said his sacred animal's a wolf

jisung's dn is based off his fave ghibli movie

nd felix is munchkin bc

actually

@munchkin ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ u told me ur a demigod descended from the helios/helius line?

 

munchkin ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ

ye

what abt it??

 

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑)

well i was reading up on him last night

his sacred animals were like,,, the rooster nd white horse right?

 

munchkin ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ

yea ,,,,,

 

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑)

but u said urs was a,, a munchkin cat???

like did something get lost in translation?? or

 

giant lap dog

sorry a WHAT

 

munchkin ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ

listen-

 

giant lap dog 

dude u never told me that i thought it was one of those two too!!!!

 

babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑)

ooh wait what color is it?

like regardless munchkin cats are cute as heck but i'm just curious

 

jiji’s delivery service

sorry min nd i just finished lessons

but whats this abt lix being a furry

 

munchkin ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ

thats noT

EYE-

 

smin (snail min) 

it's okay lix

like 3/5 of us have an animal in our dn so

 

munchkin ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ

oh my GOD

this house is a fucking nightmare

 

9:32 PM

munchkin ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ

...

@babie (๑˃̶͈̀◡˂̶͈́๑) its an orange one

 

giant lap dog

dude those are so cute

 

munchkin ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ

pLEASE shut up before i go over there nd kick ur shins

Chapter Text

Green Caffeine Lady

 

Sat., Aug 10 at 4:02 PM

bang by after school

CHANGBIN!!

you have the day off tomorrow right??

 

trash can

yea i do, why?

 

bang by after school

>:O

"why"??!

hello??? it's ya birthday tomorrow??

we're supposed to celebrate!!!!

 

wooju * ੈ✩‧₊˚

hey wait i'm not off tomorrow >:(

 

bang by after school

wait what

i thought you were?? :(

 

trash can

i thought so too,,,

man corine cafe sux,, cant even take off on a national holiday

SDHSKDJ

 

wooju * ੈ✩‧₊˚

i'm sorry bin :((

i wanted to come celebrate w you guys this year too but

you know how capitalism is :-\

 

trash can

it's okay hyung!!

but honestly one of these days ppl are gonna revolt

like as much as this place is better than u-know-where

it still has its issues nd shit

 

bang by after school

it does!

but imma be real for a sec,,, i probably would've quit a long time ago if it weren't for you guys working there

 

trash can

aw :')))

that made my dead heart beat for a sec

 

wooju * ੈ✩‧₊˚

that's my man

always the sap huh

 

bang by after school

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ can't help it

 

---

 

Private Chat - angel

 

Sat., Aug 10 at 10:58 PM

angel

hey babe

 

baby bear!

yea?

 

angel

i was kinda curious

ik most of your income comes from your practice in witchcraft nd all but you’re also like??? kinda loaded already last time i checked?

why do you still work @ the café if your inheritance pretty much has you covered skdfjdkhf

 

baby bear!

oh uhh well

i suppose it’s bc corine’s is a place where i can put my abilities and skills to use without like,, the fate of the world depending on it shdjsdh

but also bc it means i can see you (and binnie) almost every day uwu

 

angel

o-oh

cute :(

. wait we practically Live together now wym

 

baby bear!

can never have enough channie in your life!!

 

angel

i suppose hehe

also how's seungmin been doing? i mean ik he's recovered from getting sick bc of,,, y'know

but i feel awkward asking him these kinds of things face-to-face so :(

 

baby bear!

oh!

well first that's very sweet of you and i hope you both can get to a point where you can talk about these things w/ each other comfortably

but he's better now!! i haven't seen him this rejuvenated in a long time tbh

it might be bc jisung's back but i mean who knows !

 

angel

possibly!!

they've been close since like,,, the womb probably

even though i doubt they've known each other for that long

but i mean that's what it feels like y'know?

kinda like how it feels like i've known you for an eternity

even though it's only been like?? a little over seven years now?

 

baby bear!

yeah shdshd somethin like that

sigh they've both been through so much already,,, they haven't even reached 21 yet :(

 that's like the golden age in some countries

my babies,,,,

i keep talking abt them like i'm their parent

is this a sign or

 

angel

,,, well

i think it just means you care for them a lot?

 

baby bear!

i suppose,,,,

they wouldn't have had to deal w/ half the shit they did if it weren't for,, y'know,,,

 

angel

:(

babe none of what happened was your fault, ok?

i think it was bound to happen eventually nd they've come to terms with it

nd you know what? screw the coven they didn't deserve you as the regent anyway

 

baby bear!

:((

thank you channie

i'm sorry idk what came over me,,, ik it's been years but it still continues to haunt us

 

angel

it's alright woojin,,,

the healing process is longer for some than for others

you guys are just handling it the best you can nd that's what matters!!!

oh crap it's almost midnight already uhhh

sorry to cut our convo short but i think i'm gonna head to bed :( i have some errands to run in the morning so,,

<33 goodnight my moonlight prince!! don't stay up too late after you get home!!! ily !!!!

 

baby bear!

you're such a sap please :( but gn i love you too!!!

i'll see you soon~~

 

---

 

Green Caffeine Lady

 

Sun., Aug 11 at 9:35 AM

wooju * ੈ✩‧₊˚

binnie!! binnie the beanie baby!!! happy birthday!!!!! i'm sorry we can't hang out together today :((( i'm deeply regretful for that,,, but still i hope you have the bestest birthday ever bc it's what you freaking deserve!!!! eat lots of good food + if you and chan do drink today make sure to do it responsibly!!!!! ok i think that's it love you my favorite leo uwu

 

trash can

!!!! woojin-hyung!!!!

thank u so much :(( but its okay, ur gonna be makin that coin in the meantime lmao

but chan nd i will be careful if we do drink, dont worry !! love u too hyung <3

 

7:56 PM

bang by after school

ok i know i already wished u a happy birthday irl but @trash can happy birthday binnie!!!! we only met this year but i'm glad i can call you one of my good friends!!! thank you for being there to help me out with my musical projects nd stuff nd for just being there as a friend!!! let's have a good time tonight nd all the nights (nd days) after!!! love ya !!!

 

trash can

AAA CHAN-HYUNG ;_; THANK U

IDC IF U ALREADY SAID IT TO ME THIS SHIT STILL MAKES ME EMO

(i mean more than i already am but anYWAY)

YES LETS HAVE A GOOD FUCKIN TIME TONIGHT!!!! WE DESERVE THIS!!!!!

 

10:54 PM

wooju * ੈ✩‧₊˚

chan???? changbin????/

hello?????

can one of y'all PLEASE answer your fucking phones-

 

11:59 PM

bang by after school

ok soooo

babe don't be angry butt

hehe butt

anyway changbin nd i went out to that lak e

y'know the one i toook you to on our third anniversary???.

we kinda sorta got wasted nd then i

i lost him wooj

idk where he went ,,,,

 

wooju * ੈ✩‧₊˚

you LOST HIM???? IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FUCKING WILLOWS?????

IT'S MIDNIGHT CHAN WHAT ARE Y’ALL DOIN OUT THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE

bang by after school

:( idk he said he wanted to get drunk on his birthday:(

i’m sorry babe :((((

wooju * ੈ✩‧₊˚

-_____-

it's okay...

just make sure he doesn’t get any puke in the car after you find him...

 

Mon., Aug 12 at 1:13 AM

trash can

guys

legitimate question

can u fall in love@ first sight

cuz i think i jus tdid

 

bang by after school

DUDE

WHERE ARE YOU

I’VE BEEN TRYNA FIND YOU FOR LIKE AN HOUR

this forest’s a lot bigger than i remembered--

 

trash can

:(m sorry

just wanted to see the pretty watert

 

wooju * ੈ✩‧₊˚

SEO CHANGBIN

DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW OWRRIED I AM RIGHTNO W

 

trash can

:(((( sorry hyung

im not sure where i am rn

its very,,, sandy,,,,,,,

wooju * ੈ✩‧₊˚

chan i think he’s along the shore somewhere

 

bang by after school

!!! i see him

thank u baby <3

 

wooju * ੈ✩‧₊˚

no problem <3

now get both your asses back home

he’s staying over on the couch

Chapter Text

Changbin had just finished showering when he heard a car honking its horn outside. He wraps a towel around his hips and walks over to the window to see that it's Chan, who looks up and waves at him from his convertible. Changbin rolls his eyes and shakes his head, the smile on his lips betraying the annoyed front he attempted to keep up. He waves back and motions that he'll be out soon. After hastily drying off the water from his hair and body, he throws on a simple t-shirt and jeans, some dangly earrings, and a couple of chains. He then grabs his phone and wallet and slips into a pair of black boots before heading out the door.

He feels the adrenaline rush through his veins on the elevator ride down, yet he doesn't know why he feels so jumpy. Well, of course most people would be excited on their birthday. But for Changbin this was a new level of excitement, so much so that it felt almost foreign. He decides not to worry about it further as he stepped out of the elevator and into the lobby.

Chan waves at him again as he sees him coming out of the building. "Happy birthday, Changbinnie!!"

"Hey, hyung!" Changbin's smile grows twice as big when he sees Chan pulling out his gift for him. "Ah, you shouldn't have!"

"What were you expecting? It's not like I couldn't show up and not get you anything for today!"

"Thank you, really." After getting into the car, he takes the package and shakes it lightly. It's a little heavy, but it doesn't aid him in figuring out what it is. "What the heck is in this thing?"

"Why don't you open it and see for yourself?"

So Changbin does just that. He's extra careful when taking off the cute blue-and-white wrapping paper (which he might save for later, but don't tell Chan that), and once he sees the front design of the box, his jaw drops. "You bought saké?!"

He nods, smiling. "I remember you saying you've never tried it before. One of my friends told me they started importing some from Japan, and I knew I had to get my hands on a bottle before they sold out."

"Holy shit," he whispers to himself, still looking at the box in awe. "Thank you, hyung." He leans over to give Chan a slightly awkward, one-armed hug, which Chan gladly returns. "So, where are we going?"

"Well, I was thinking we can go to that pub you like that's two streets down for dinner. Then we can head over to the Willows and enjoy this bottle of saké! How's that sound?"

"Okay! Lead the way, hyung!"

 

They reach the Willows around a quarter to ten, both men unusually eager to get to the alcohol. Chan pushes the button to let the roof of the convertible collapse on itself. The two of them stare in awe at the sky once it's finished doing so.

"Whoa," Changbin says, "That shit is breathtaking."

"Right?" Chan remains looking at the stars for a few more seconds, then reaches over to grab the box from the back seat, handing it to Changbin after. "Birthday boy, do the honors!"

Changbin laughs at the dorky statement, grabbing the box from him and pulling out the bottle. "I'm assuming you brought cups, right?"

"I did." Chan motions for him to look in the box, and to his amusement, there were already two shot glasses inside.

They both take a glass. Changbin opens the bottle and pours a decent amount into each of them. He puts down the bottle and raises his glass, "To another year of shitty wages and embarrassing stories to tell at the family dinners."

Chan snorts at that. "Cheers." They clink their glasses lightly and down the alcohol. "Tastes like apple."

"I like this," Changbin says, "Let's do another!"

"O-okay."

And they take another shot. And another. And another. And another, until it seems like they've lost count. Neither of them are sure how much time has passed; they've stopped drinking and moved on to telling each other funny stories that happened over the summer.

"And so this fucker got his foot stuck in the burrow where all those snakes were, and it took like... seven people to get him out of there before they could bite him! That guy was really lucky... and those snakes... those snakes did not like him..." Changbin begins to trail off as the effects of the alcohol start to really kick in.

He turns to see Chan fast asleep next to him. "I've been talking to a rock," Changbin mutters, shaking his head.

He decides to leave the car to get some fresher air, his feet carrying him all the way to the dock on the lake. He doesn't know how far away he is from the car, but he doesn't care about that right now. What he does care about is how much he wants to take off all his clothes and go swimming. But he knows he doesn't have anything to dry himself off with if he jumps in. So instead he sits on the dock, takes his phone out and places it down along the wooden planks, and removes his shoes to let his feet touch the surface of the water.

He sits there for a few minutes, enjoying the coolness the water provides and listening to the crickets and owls out there in the forest somewhere. He looks down at his right arm, examining the five black-inked roses embedded into his skin and smiles. It's his favorite tattoo he's gotten so far, each rose representing a person who means the entire world to him: two for his parents, one for his sister, and one for Woojin and Chan each.

Changbin looks back up at the sky and notices it'll be a full moon soon. He begins to stand up to head back to the car when his knees start to wobble. He loses his balance and screams as he falls into the lake. He sloshes around and tries to come back up for air, but he's quickly losing the energy to keep fighting. His eyelids grow heavy and begin to close on him, and he feels himself let go and fall further into the water. He really doesn't want this to be the way he goes out-- it can't be, Woojin and Chan are gonna kick his ass in the afterlife if that's the case!

But then he feels something scoop him out of the water. Changbin takes in a deep breath and opens his eyes. He realizes he's not underwater anymore, but he's not necessarily on the ground, either. He also realizes how bright everything around him looks and squints in response. He doesn't know where this weird, purple light is coming from until he looks up and sees the face of a man. Not a regular-sized man though, no. This one seems to be three times the size of him and glowing violet. They look a little older than him and have light-colored hair that's wavy. He takes note of their cat-like eyes and plush lips and how much he really wants to kiss them.

I mean, no I don't... Do I?

He nearly jumps out of his skin when they look down at him, but all they do is smile warmly. "You need to be more careful, Changbin. So many things are out here in the Willows. So many nasty things... I'm afraid all they'll do is rip you up until there's nothing left of you."

Changbin wishes he could say something, anything, right now. Maybe something like "what kinds of things?" or "why would they rip me apart?" or the more important "who the fuck are you and how do you know my name?" Unfortunately for him, all the muscles in his body have tensed up, making it nearly impossible to move, let alone speak.

"It's okay, you're not dying now, and you won't for a long, long time. I can promise you that." The mystery man chuckles lightly. "Your friend's looking for you. I'm gonna set you down so he can find you, okay?"

"Wait-" Changbin finally manages to say, catching them off guard, "Can I at least know your name?"

Their expression grows warm again, and they answer, "Minho, it's Minho. Maybe we'll see each other again if we're lucky."

"Ma-maybe."

 

"CHANGBIN!" Chan calls out when he sees him lying on the sand. He runs over to him and starts shaking the other boy awake. "Changbin!"

"What? What?!" Changbin slowly sits up and looks at him. "What happened?"

"Dude, you wandered away from the car is what happened! I've been looking for you for over an hour! Where'd you even go?"

"I... I just walked down to the lake to look at the water..." His eyes wander to the where the water meets the shore, "...and then I lost my balance and fell in."

"You- well that would explain why you're all soaked." He notices Changbin's phone and shoes next to him and grabs them. "But you were talking about some 'love at first sight' shit in the group chat just a few minutes ago, weren't you?"

"Oh... yeah."

"What was that about?"

"I- I don't know if you'd believe me, hyung. It was... pretty weird."

"I've dealt with my own helping of weird over the past few years, Binnie. Try me."

 

"So he said some magical purple being swept him up from the water and returned him to safety?" Woojin asks once Chan had finished repeating what happened back to him. They're both cuddled up in bed, Chan running a hand through Woojin's hair as they wait for slumber to consume them.

"Basically. I didn't know what to think of it, either, but I knew he was telling the truth. He just sounded really honest about the whole thing. Plus from what I discovered about you in our seven years of knowing each other, I'm pretty open to new things... y'know whatever that thing he saw was."

Woojin hums in response. "Well-" he yawns, "I hope that whatever he saw tonight doesn't come back to kill him in seven days or some shit."

"Yeah, I hope so, too. But um... what do you think it was? Changbin thinks it was a god but I mean-- no offense to him-- I doubt any of the gods we've read about would be courteous enough to spend their time saving a human being."

"Well... our best-case scenario would be something similar but less powerful, like a spirit or a demigod. Worst-case scenario, though? One of Satan's demons from the Underworld."

Chan laughs, but stops when he notices Woojin isn't laughing along. "Wait, you were joking right?"

"Goodnight, Channie," he singsongs.

"Wai-" Chan stops himself, too tired to press on the matter. "Goodnight, my prince." He places a kiss into his hair and drifts off to sleep.

Chapter Text

Chaotic Alignment Tingz

 

Mon., Aug 12 at 8:43 AM

scorpio headass

okay SO

 

apollos son

shut up

fuckin dionysus lookin ass-

 

scorpio headass

literally wha t tf did i do now

i said TWO WORDS

 

kitty

its bc ur a scorpio

(also bc u missed biology class but mostly the scorpio thing)

 

scorpio headass

i-

this SLANDER...

y’all rlly hate us scorpios huh ://

 

kitty

i mean-

 

apollos son

ya

 

scorpio headass

u kno what fuck u too jinnie

bitches think that just bc they’re descended from fuckin apollo/helios himself that they’re hot shit

ur NOT

i’m gonna find new friends

who kno how to treat their scorpio friends RIGHT

scorpio headass has left the chat

 

kitty

,,,

jinnie ur gonna add him back right

 

apollos son

ugH

do i have to lixie :(

its already peaceful here w him gone

 

kitty

i mean

that would be the mature thing to do but

if ur not gonna do it i will so either way-

 

apollos son

hMPH ok fine ill do it

 

u kno, i kno, lino  was added to the chat by apollos son

 

u kno, i kno, lino

thank u jinnie

 

u kno, i kno, lino  changed their display name to scorpio headass 

 

scorpio headass 

now!

back to what i was GONNA say until y'all decided to interrupt

i met a boy last night :^)

 

apollo's son 

o wow congratz!!1!

how far did u go with him?

 

kitty

hyunjin-

 

scorpio headass

:-)

i'm still older than u hyunjin :))

remember that

 

apollos son

......

sorry hyung

u were saying?

 

scorpio headass

ah yes!

ok so i spent some time after work just wandering around the willows in deity form bc who's gonna stop me right

then i hear someone screaming so i go to chekc it out

and i see this guy FALL into the fucking lake

like i'm pretty sure he was shitfaced as all hell

but anyway i did the heroic thing and grabbed him outta the water before he drowned

guys

when i tell ya how CUTE this bitch was

ok i mean he looked like all those fuckin e-boys y'all talk about but like

i Know he's a softie

like his face gave it away

he seemed so frightened when he finally came to but he still looked :(( so adorable :((( 

i think i'm whipped

 

kitty

u Are dude

like if u looked up the definition for it thered be a tiny picture of ur face in there

 

scorpio headass

. Thanks

but hm i don't even remember his name

like y'know how when ur in deity form u have this like untapped consciousness unlocked

and ur brain becomes like a fuckin encyclopedia of old knowledge and a sponge for new knowledge

but once ur back in human form most of that info is forgotten

 

apollos son

:/

well that sucks

like legitimately

i feel bad for u hyung

i hope i never meet the loml in deity form

thatd just be sad

 

---

 

Private chat - binnie hyung

  

Mon., Aug 12 @ 9:27 AM

binnie hyung

hey lixie!!!!!

sorry to message u like this but i uh,, have a Dilemma

nd if u have time i was hoping u could hear me out?

 

lixie :3

hey hyung !! uh okay!!!

whats this about?

 

binnie hyung

okay so!!

ik u told me abt how ur a demigod when we were both working @ that summer retreat like two? years ago

i think saw something last night that might relate to that

like the thing looked human but like,,,it wasnt? like it was so much bigger than a human and they like??? glowed???? or something like that idk they had this violet color to them

lix i just wanna know what the fuck i saw last night they were so p r e t t y

like i need to find whoever the fucker was nd ask them on a date,,, or something

 

10:30 AM

binnie hyung

.... lix???

lix i kno u read all that the app tells me u did

 

lixie :3

oh shit sorry hyung

i was in class so i forgot to reply shdjshj

well first i cant believe u still remember me telling u that

and second,,, could u describe them a little more to me?

 

binnie hyung

nah dude its all good!

hmm they had like light brown hair that was a lil wavy

nd they also had double lidded eyes i think???

 

lixie :3

oh?

ok thanks uwu

 

binnie hyung

wait,,,, why do u ask?

do u know them????

lixie????

did u rlly leave me again

;-; i see how it is

 

---

 

Timeline

 

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