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careful what you wish for

Chapter Text

"Guess what I found?"

Seokjin quirks a brow, bemused. His silvery-gray hair falls in his face, currently not styled - he swears it looks best au natural, and none of the others have the energy to argue with him. His hands are stuffed in his jean pockets, obscured by his leather jacket. "What?" he queries, a hint of the entire group's omnipresent exhaustion evident.

Taehyung simply smiles, a hint of angelic charm evident in his bright smile. He twirls a USB between slender fingers, eyes glinting with mischief beneath deep-blue hair. "It's a cursed USB drive!" he chirps, thrusting the piece of plastic towards his group-mate as if to prove it. 

"Really?" Jimin squeaks, darting to his best friend's side. They're like night and day, blue and orange, one bright and one dark, but both energetic enough to have consumed an entire gallon of caffeine each and every morning. "What's so cursed about it? Ooh! Does it give you magical powers? Does it mean I can be a wizard? I wanna be a wizard!"

"Magic isn't real, you two," Yoongi gripes, violet-brown hair mussed and sticking up in strange places. "Cursed things aren't real. Why did you think I needed to hear this?"

Taehyung wilts, disappointment evident. "I mean... I was hoping we could try it," he mumbles, sliding the USB into the pocket of his sweatpants. "It's not like we have anything to lose... right?"

"I think we should try it," Hoseok states, twirling a lock of chocolate-brown hair around one finger. "Think of it this way, Yoongi. You can prove to them curses aren't real this way. And they can try it out, so we all win!"

"I don't get my time back," Yoongi snaps. "I just want to sleep."

"Yoongi, you always want to sleep," Seokjin notes.

"Yeah," Yoongi retorts, folding his arms over his chest. "So? That doesn't mean I'm not allowed to sleep, just because I do it all the time. That's like saying you can't breathe, just because you do it all the time."

"What'd I miss?" Jungkook asks, practically escorted into the room by a bleary-eyed Namjoon. Both parties look fairly tired - it is seven in the morning, after all - but while Jungkook's pitch-black hair lays flat against his head, Namjoon's pure-white locks stick out at random angles. Forget Taehyung and Jimin being night and day... these two are polar opposites. 

"Taehyung attempting to convince us that magic is real," Yoongi smoothly states. "Supported by the person who only recently found out Santa Claus isn't real."

Jimin lets out a protesting squawk, hastily silenced by Namjoon pressing a hand to his temple. "Okay," the leader states, already heading for the kitchen. "Okay. I'm going to get some coffee, and we're going to try this out, so Yoongi and I can go back to sleep."

"This is stupid," Jungkook gripes, but there's a hint of excitement in his gaze nonetheless. "USB drives can't be cursed. That's not a thing. What's on it, anyways?"

"You are interested!" Taehyung squeals, darting forwards to stare into Jungkook's dark eyes. "I knew it! Man, this is gonna be so cool! C'mon, Jiminie! Let's go plug it in!"

Jimin lowers his phone (he's unsurprisingly obvious when taking a group selfie) and stuffs it into the pocket of his jeans. "Yeah!" he chirps, following after Taehyung like an excited puppy.

"Not in my studio, brats!" Yoongi calls after them, a hint of fondness taking the edge off his words. Once the three maknaes are out of earshot, he turns his attention back to a pensive Seokjin, slightly confused by the eldest member's silence. "Jin, you okay?"

"Fine," Seokjin smiles, taking a sip from his mug. A flicker of movement catches his eye, and he isn't able to suppress the smirk that crawls onto his face upon seeing which computer the maknaes opted to use. "I think they went in your studio."

"Hey!" Yoongi shouts, waving a vaguely threatening hand in the trio's direction. "Don't go in the studio!"

"We're not!" Jimin calls, poking his head out of a room that is undeniably Yoongi's studio. "We were just grabbing a cord to plug it in!"

"You don't need a cord to plug it in," Yoongi states. "Just... ugh. Plug it into Taehyung's computer or something."

"Good idea!" Taehyung chirps, leading a still-energetic Jimin and begrudging Jungkook into his room. Jin catches something similar to "got all our MVs on here!" before the door swings shut, leaving the four of them at the mercy of whatever the three younger members decide.

"They're going to break something," Yoongi gripes, placing his mug on the table and rolling to his feet. "I'd better go watch them."

"I'm coming too!" Hoseok chirps, a slightly more alert Namjoon in tow. "C'mon, Joonie! Let's go see what the maknaes did!"

Namjoon nods, gaze still bleary from exhaustion. The bags under his eyes are deep and evident, far too much so for Seokjin's comfort. 

"He pulled another all-nighter," Yoongi supplies. "I finished up a rough idea for a new song last night, and he was up all night writing lyrics for it. Moron."

"Yeah..." Namjoon trails off, rubbing at his eyes. "Man, I could use a nap..."

"Why don't you three see what the fuss is about?" Seokjin proposes, already heading for the kitchen. "I'll clean up out here."

Namjoon nods gratefully, and the pair shepherds him to Taehyung's room, Hoseok's hand on his back to ensure his direction stays constant. The last thing any of them need is for Namjoon to pass out, especially since they've all experienced the scare a few times before with Jimin.

"Those music videos are weird," Seokjin muses, moving to place a pan in the sink. There's caked-on remnants of the morning's breakfast on the bottom, and he grimaces, withdrawing a sponge to begin the arduous process of cleaning.

He's in the middle of his third pan when the lights flicker.

It's a normal thing, really. The lights flickering is in no way a cause for alarm. Never mind that this hasn't happened once since they moved in, exempting the particularly bad storms. It's a completely normal thing that is in no way a cause for alarm.

And yet... the loud thumps echoing through the far-too-quiet dorm are.

Seokjin gingerly places the dripping pan in the sink, withdrawing a butcher's knife and brandishing it threateningly. "Who's there?" he calls, heart pounding loud enough that it's sure to be audible. 

With no response forthcoming, he opts to edge closer to the (hopefully) occupied room, hands trembling. "I'm armed!" he calls, pretending to know how to use a butcher's knife effectively. Sure, they all know basic self-defense, but he's not sure what to do if some crime syndicate is attempting to kidnap the other members.

Probably call the police, actually. And yet, if this is some colossal joke... the police won't be much help, will they?

"Taehyung?" he asks, a hand on the doorknob. "Jimin? Jungkook? If this is a joke, you can stop now!"

The room remains quiet. Eerily so, in fact - aside from a gentle whirring, likely the computer, there's no sound whatsoever coming from the room.

He takes a chance and turns the doorknob. 

On first glance, it appears to be an idyllic scene. All the members are blissfully sleeping, crumpled heaps on the carpet floor. The computer's monitor is still on, displaying a screen with a question and text box - hardly important, Seokjin muses. Not when he clearly has bigger problems to deal with. 

"Guys?" he queries, dropping to his knees next to his sleeping groupmates. He shakes Taehyung experimentally, hoping that he can rouse the (possibly?) exhausted vocalist.

There's no response. 

Concern mounting, he nudges Yoongi with his foot. It occurs to him that perhaps Yoongi isn't the best yardstick to measure wakefulness, but the lack of a response still disturbs him. 

"Jiminie?" he tries, poking the younger member's cheek. Normally, that at least elicits a sort of squeaking and inevitably leads to his hand being slapped away, but this silence is downright unnerving.

It's the flickering computer screen that catches his attention next.

"No way," he reasons, running a hand through his hair. "Curses aren't real. They aren't real. Okay? They're not real, so this isn't a problem. They're all just... sleeping. At the same time."

With each consecutive word that escapes his mouth, he's forced to acknowledge how fake this sounds. 

He inhales slowly, placing a hand over Taehyung's chest. There's still a heartbeat, but no other response. It's almost as if they're in a coma.

Slowly, hesitantly, he turns to the computer, unsure of what he expects. As if on cue, words scroll across the computer screen. Seokjin leans closer to read them, already disturbed by the computer's impeccable dramatic timing.

"Hello, KIM SEOKJIN. Would you like a wish?"

"Um..." Seokjin trails off, eyes falling to his friends' unconscious forms. "What?"

"The others have accepted my terms. Would you like a wish?"

"What did you do to them?" he demands, planting his hands on the desk. "What happened to them?"

"They have accepted my terms. Their  consciousness has been transported to a different realm while they live out their wishes. Would you like a wish?"

"What do you mean, a different realm? How do they get back?"

"Simply put... they don't. The terms of my deal are quite simple. Whether or not they chose to read the fine print is their fault. Would you like a wish?"

"What do you mean, they don't? If this is a joke, it's really not funny," Seokjin growls, panic mounting. "You cursed... thing. Let my friends go."

"I'm afraid I can't do that, KIM SEOKJIN. They have made their wishes. Would you like a wish?"

"Can I wish to set them free?" Seokjin demands. 

There's a pause.

"I... suppose, KIM SEOKJIN. That would be... quite interesting to see. Would you like to make a wish?"

He clenches his fists, heart pounding in his ears. He'd be... selling away his life, wouldn't he? Throwing away his chance to live for the sake of his friends?

He turns to stare at the others, their unconscious forms intertwined with each other. The prospect of never seeing them smile, never hearing them speak, ever again... it's horrible.

"And you promise I'll actually be able to save them?" he questions.

"Yes, KIM SEOKJIN. That would be possible. Would you like to make a wish?"

He inhales, placing a hand on the keyboard. "I wish... I wish to save my friends."

There's a cheerful sound, with the tinkling of bells ringing through the room. "Your wish has been granted."

The screen brightens and turns white, and the room begins to shake. Seokjin wheels, rushing for the door, only to find it locked.

The sound rings through the room ad nauseam, the same five words echoing through the room over and over"Your wish has been granted, KIM SEOKJIN. Please stay still."

There's a sharp cracking, and the walls begin to crumble. Seokjin shouts, reaching for his friends, only to find their bodies gone, though to where he doesn't know.

"Where are they?" he shouts, painfully aware of the cracks snaking along the floors. "Where are my friends?"

"Have patience, KIM SEOKJIN," the voice soothes as the cracks reach the wood he's standing on. "All will be revealed in time."

The floor breaks, and he's free-falling.

It's a wide expanse of white, nothing except for small smears of color to break the monotony. Around him, he catches sight of his friends - a silver-haired Jimin, a blindfold over his eyes, a pink-haired Yoongi flicking a lighter, a chocolate-haired Taehyung running like his life depends on it, an auburn-haired Jungkook sitting alone on a train, a black-haired Hoseok with a wide smile on his face, and finally, finally, he seems to hit the ground.

It's a desolate place, to be sure. He's in what must have once been a neighborhood, though it doesn't even come close to resembling that now. Around him, the houses have shattered windows and are draped with toilet paper, all evidently looted. Sirens ring through the smoke-filled air, presumably from what appears to be distant flames, and as Seokjin runs a hand through his hair, he's glad that it, at least, remains the same shade of silver. 

Funny, how he seems to be perfectly dressed for this world.

He crawls to his feet, eyes settling on a ruined school bus. Its bright yellow coloring is obscured by ash and smoke, though the people around him (of which there are surprisingly many) seem not to mind. It's almost like a rally, though Seokjin can't fathom what they might be rallying for.

"Are you ready to hit 'em where it hurts?"

The voice blares through speakers strategically placed around the block, and Seokjin turns, attempting to find the source. He knows that voice!

Around him, teenagers cheer, all dressed in varying levels of black. Most have piercings, and some have tattoos. Some have cigarettes dangling from their lips, and others have what appear to be hastily-patched wounds, gauze winding around heads, arms, and torsos. They seem to be proud of them, and Seokjin's hand reaches up to brush his piercings, slightly worried. What did he enter into?

Finally, he finds him. 

Yoongi - not his Yoongi, but a darker, sharper Yoongi - stands atop the school bus, silhouetted by the fires raging in the distance. There's a beanie covering his light brown hair, and one hand is buried in an oversized black jacket, one that seems eerily familiar. The other is raised in a fist, and there's a strange sort of cockiness in Not-Yoongi's smirk.

He withdraws his other hand and lifts a microphone from the ground, and the next words are enunciated as clearly as Seokjin's ever heard.

"Let's make those fuckers pay."