It is known that when an individual turns 18, they lose a sense of something from their bodies.
Be it from sense of sight to sense of sleep, the person will not have that ability until they regain it back.
The only way that the sense returns is by making physical contact with your soulmate.
When Junhui was younger, he kind of hoped he didn’t meet his soulmate too soon. He liked having the feeling of no pain.
It is also said that if you have not met your soulmate by the age of 21, you stop aging until you eventually meet your loved one.
Junhui has, objectively, lived for a long ass time. He withdraws his previous statement.
He could blame his soulmate, whoever it is, for taking this long, but eh, he likes living for as long as possible while he can while feeling no pain. 4 centuries wasn’t too bad, another couple won’t hurt, Junhui jokes wryly after he had accidentally spilled hot tea over himself.
Though he cannot feel pain, it doesn’t mean Junhui isn’t entirely invincible. He had to go to the doctor briefly to get treatment for his almost second degree burn from the spill.
At this point he doesn’t really care, because it allows him to actually see what the future is like, something he always daydreamed about in his school days when he was a young lad. But he does scream internally on the inside as he watches all his friends through the ages grow old and die while he still looks like a 21 year old.
And not to mention all the shit that has been going on for the past centuries. For one, he’s glad that he moved to Korea before all the Communist crap became really bad. Seriously, he once got questioned for saying a joke out loud about something Mao Zedong’s ass. (Don’t ask him what it is because he doesn’t want to be hunted down by the Chinese mafia.)
Other than that, he’s been having the absolute time of his life. It’s not like he was getting depressed and losing hope or anything HAHA! Haha! Haha. Ha…
Basically, 25% of Junhui’s time is him enjoying life. 30% is spent crying internally. The majority and remaining 45% is him messing around. Activities included in the majority percent is flirting with anything that walked, joking with anything that walked, and the occasional sleeping around with anything that walked. He means humans by the way. Don’t get any wrong ideas.
But now he is here, in the 21st century. And Junhui can honestly say that it is honestly the best era he has been in. Everywhere he looks, amazing things under the name of technology are everywhere. Phones, laptops, WiFi, video games, robots, you name it, it’s all here and now. Junhui sometimes wistfully thinks about what his old friends would think of this, imagining how some of them would take one look at a phone and scream about the picture on screen after they took ten minutes to turn it on.
To them, it would’ve been something that came from a dream.
Speaking of dreams, Junhui was in the middle of thinking about the same dream he had been having for the past month.
Every night he would find himself in a dark place with thick fog obscuring his view. Junhui would look down to see a white ribbon around his wrist that trailed ahead of him. Taking a few steps forward, Jun would attempt to follow the path that always led him to this figure in the distance.
But as he tried to get even closer, Junhui could only catch a glimpse of the person’s face before he woke up, traces of the dream vanishing altogether.
“Hey, Junhui! Did you hear what the professor said just now? I couldn’t hear him.” Junhui’s friend Wonwoo poked him in the arm, snapping him out of his reverie.
“Sorry, what?” Junhui asked distractedly, shaking his head to clear his thoughts before turning to Wonwoo, who rolled his eyes.
“I asked you if you had heard what the professor said just now, since I couldn’t hear him.”
“Nope, sorry. I was busy thinking about something else.”
“Why are you in this class if you don’t even pay attention?” Wonwoo sighed. But Junhui knew that Wonwoo knew the reason why.
It was a pretty dumb reason, Junhui agreed, but what else was he going to do? Stay in his apartment all day? If he was gonna live for this long he might as well get his education’s worth and see how each era perceived itself.
So 3 years ago, Junhui enrolled in Pledis University, a well renowned college for the arts. Because Junhui was pursuing acting, he had to take an art history class. It was in his course description, so there was no getting out of it.
But again, Junhui has lived for 4 centuries. He pretty much knows every painting to every musical piece there is.
Class ended an hour later, and he and Wonwoo walked to one of tables next to the history building.
There were 5 others at their designated place, their friends Seungcheol, Jeonghan, Jisoo, or Joshua as he preferred to be called, Soonyoung, and Jihoon. They all greeted Wonwoo and Junhui as they sat down.
“Hey guys. How was the class?” Seungcheol asked them.
“Boring,” Junhui said at the same time Wonwoo said “Interesting.”
Soonyoung laughed at the varying reactions.
“Y’know, I would’ve thought you two were soulmates. Opposites attract and all.” Soonyoung joked.
“Nah, I think that’s you and Jihoon,” Junhui shot back.
Junhui, was, not going to lie, a bit jealous at the 2 couples at their table, Seungcheol and Jeonghan, and Soonyoung and Jihoon.
None of them had to wait as long as he had to meet their soulmates. Though Junhui thinks he had the upper hand with his better lost sense. While he didn’t have to feel pain, Seungcheol had to deal with blindness for 57 years, and Jihoon had eat tasteless food for 10 years. Jeonghan had lost his sense of touch for 41 years. Soonyoung lacked tiredness for 23 years, though everyone agreed Soonyoung never had an off switch even though he regained his ability to get tired 2 years ago. Finally, Joshua lost his voice for 32 years, and Wonwoo with his 19th year of feeling perpetually cold.
Wonwoo sighed then, rubbing his sweater covered arms even in the 80 degree weather.
“At this rate, I might be like Junhui and wait several centuries before meeting my soulmate.”
Junhui shrugged, and rolled his eyes. “Actually, living for as long as I have really isn’t that bad. You just gotta watch out for whenever the next social revolution is.”
Jeonghan sympathetically grimaced at the Chinese.
“Still haven’t found your soulmate yet?”
Junhui sighed, shaking his head in frustration.
“No, not yet. And everytime I think I’ve found them I discovered they were lying and just wanted a quick fuck.”
Joshua smiled and put an arm around Junhui before he squeezed his shoulder reassuringly.
Don’t worry Junhui. I’m sure you’ll find them soon, Joshua signed.
Junhui sighed and didn’t respond. It wasn’t worth it to say a dumb optimistic thing like “I hope so,” when he’s been saying it for an eternity.
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Minghao was lost.
He had spent the past 20 minutes trying to find the goddamn history building and he was starting to get fed up.
Minghao had asked Mingyu earlier who had been going to the university longer than he has, but his friend’s sign language was rather rusty, and Minghao could only understood half of it.
And there was really no use in asking anyone if he couldn’t hear their response.
Yep, Minghao was deaf as fuck, and he hates it.
Like other 18 year olds, Minghao had lost a sense of something. That sense happened to be hearing. He really wished he had gotten some other sense lost. Thankfully he learned Korean sign language a year before losing his hearing. But it was annoying regardless.
Not only was this a problem for asking directions, it was also a pain when he would go to a cafe or the store, because there would be almost no one who knew KSL. So Minghao would have to bring a small notebook with him to scribble on his request to give the person. And then it would be an awkward passing back and forth from there.
Minghao paused by a building with a cluster of tables out in front, where 3 guys were sitting at one.
Well, time for another awkward “conversation”, Minghao sighed inwardly as he dug into this backpack to find his notebook. As soon as he grabbed it out along with a pen, he approached the table.
2 of them, one with angelic looking features and the other with thick lips and a handsome face, were leaning against each other and seemingly laughing about something. Obviously, they were soulmates. The third boy, who was also very pretty with black hair, was just looking at them with an exasperated yet fond smile when he glanced over and saw Minghao.
Minghao passed him the notebook.
“ Hi, I’m deaf, so sorry for the weird notebook. Do you know where the history building is?” It read.
After reading, the boy opened his mouth and probably made a noise like a gasp. To Minghao’s intense surprise and delight, he began signing in KSL.
Do you know KSL? The boy asked.
Yes! Oh thank goodness, I thought it would be another awkward conversation with me trying to mime what I’m trying to say, Minghao signed back, movements fast in his excitement.
The guy laughed, before responding, Hey no worries, I lost my voice so I learned KSL to communicate. I do the same thing you do whenever I go to a public place. I’m Joshua, by the way. Nice to meet you!
My name is Minghao, nice to meet you too!
The two boys who were busy making googly eyes at each other earlier were now looking curiously at the exchange between Joshua and Minghao. The angelic one read the message on the opened notebook, which was still in between the two. He tapped Minghao on the arm to grab the latter’s attention. He too, began signing in KSL.
If you’re looking for the history building, it’s actually this one to the right of us. Are you in art history by any chance?
Actually I am. I’m planning to major in photography, so I have to take this class. Not looking forward to it though. Heard it was pretty boring.
The angelic boy smiled.
Junhui would agree. He’s one of our two friends that are in that class. Him and Wonwoo.
Why did that name feel so familiar? Suddenly a sudden memory of a white ribbon and mist flashed in Minghao’s mind.
He shook his head to clear the thought, before turning to Joshua and the boy again.
Thanks for your help! I don’t know what I would’ve done without it.
Joshua seemed to giggle, and he handed back Minghao’s notebook. As he did so, his hand brushed against Minghao’s. Time seemed to slow down and Minghao’s breath caught in his throat.
Joshua shrugged before smiling ruefully. Oh well. Worth a try. Though, you seem like the type Junhui would like. Don’t you think so Jeonghan?
The angelic boy, Jeonghan’s, face lit up at the prospect, before falling for a second.
Unfortunately, Junhui and Wonwoo left already back to their dorms. Lazy asses. Maybe you’ll see them next week when the next class starts. Jeonghan perked back up, eagerness showing through his gestures.
Minghao could only raise his eyebrows in skepticism, before he grinned and waved goodbye, thanking them once more before heading back to his dorm.
Throughout the entire thing, Seungcheol had a perplexed expression on his face, as he did not understand half of whatever KSL Joshua and Jeonghan waved their hands to.
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Junhui sighed as he and Wonwoo approached the history building the follow Wednesday morning. Another day, another boring lecture, he thought as he climbed up the stairs to his and Wonwoo’s usual seats.
A male student that Junhui didn’t recognize was already sitting in the seat in the row in front of theirs. As they got closer, Junhui suddenly realized how attractive he was.
He was wearing a beige oversized hoodie, which he was adorably snuggled up in, and was busy looking down at his phone and frowning, putting pouty lips on full display. Junhui continued staring as the handsome stranger sighed and ruffled his fluffy dark brown hair in what seemed like frustration, before glancing up and locking gazes with Junhui.
Oh shit, abort fUCKING ABORT.
Heart racing and face burning, Junhui snapped his head in the other direction, almost getting whiplash in the process. He got a weird look from Wonwoo as they sat in their seats, but all Junhui could do was try to quell the frantic beating of his heart and not to have an existential crisis over how much the boy’s eyes sparkled.
Junhui did not have such a reaction to a person like that before, ever.
What the hell just happened?
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Minghao turned his attention back toward his phone, tilting his head at the strange behavior of some attractive brunette boy whom he made eye contact with before sending one last quip to Mingyu. He then took out a notebook and a pen. He hoped to Lord Jesus that there was a translator so that he could take notes.
It became immediately came clear within the first minutes of class starting that there wasn’t a translator.
Ah shit, here we FUCKING go again.
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No matter what Junhui did, he absolutely could not keep his eyes from the student in front of him.
Junhui really didn’t know what the hell was going on. All he could think about was about the boy’s beautiful brown orbs and how they glittered curiously.
Junhui took a deep breath and both mentally and physically slapped himself, earning himself another strange look from Wonwoo.
Okay, focus. Freaking focus Wen Junhui.
But his eyes went right back to burning holes into the boy’s back.
Welp, he tried. Might as well make the most out of it, because the boy could be not in the class next week.
So Junhui decided to just creepily stare at the student, observing the mannerisms and movements the other made.
After watching for a while, Junhui noticed with amusement that the student seemed to be growing increasingly irritated at something, and had begun shifting in his seat.
As he continued watching though, the other male seemed to grow more and more annoyed, eventually repeatedly clenching the hand he was holding his pen with.
Iit still didn’t prepare Junhui for what happened next.
Suddenly with a frustrated exclamation, the boy threw his hands up.
But in doing so, the hand holding his pen let go.
It flew in the air in a perfect arc.
Straight into Junhui’s right eye.
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Minghao had felt the pen leave his hand, but could only turn around just in time to see it hit the guy from earlier in the face. His eye more specifically.
Minghao had never felt so mortified in his entire life.
He frantically began signing out his apology, before his brain caught up with him and reminded him that the other boy probably couldn’t understand what the hell he was saying, much less doing.
This was officially the greatest worst day of his life.
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Junhui let out a yelp more of surprise, because obviously, he couldn’t feel the painful impact.
The pen bounced off his face and fell into his lap, which he grabbed before blinking a couple times.
His right eye was blurring a bit, but that was the extent of the damage.
He looked back at the student, who was turned around in his seat and gesturing wildly. It took a couple seconds for Junhui to figure out that it was KSL.
- OH MY GOD I’M SO SORRY I DIDN’T MEAN FOR THAT TO HAPPEN IT JUST FLEW OUT OF MY HAND I SWEAR IT WASN’T ON PURPOSE-!
Junhui couldn’t help but notice how adorably flustered the other seemed and he started to giggle.
The boy finally looked properly up at Junhui, and immediately stopped signing when he noticed that Junhui was laughing.
The return of the pouty frown was what made Junhui stifle his giggles. He cleared his throat and smiled before signing back, Hey, it’s okay. There’s no permanent harm done.
The dark haired boy’s eyes widened in surprise, and he signed back tentatively, You know KSL?
Yeah, one of my friends is mute, so I learned it to understand him, Junhui explained.
The boy opened his mouth in an ‘oh’ before he bowed slightly in his seat.
Again, I’m so sorry about that. Are you okay?
Yep! Junhui grinned. “Eye”- am perfectly fine.
The boy stared at him incredulously before breaking out into the most beautiful smile, high-pitched giggles spilling out that he had to muffle behind his hand.
It sent a pang straight into Junhui’s heart.
Junhui blushed, but grinned giddily as the boy continued to laugh for a moment. The boy gave a soft sigh before stopping, but the smile never left his face.
You just made my shitty day so much better. Thanks for that.
If it was even possible, Junhui was pretty sure his face burned even hotter and brighter, and he faltered a bit. If one could stutter while signing, he was definitely doing it.
N-no problem. Oh, here’s your pen.
Junhui reached forward to hand the pen back.
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Minghao stretched out his hand to take his pen.
As he did so, his fingers made brief contact with the other’s.
An electric shock like he’d never felt before came from where he touched the boy. He gasped as it seemed to run up his arm and disperse across his body.
In his peripheral vision Minghao saw the boy slap a hand to his eye and open his mouth a split second before sound came rushing into his head and he heard, “Ow what the hell?!”
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Junhui grabbed at his eye when he felt a sharp stinging pain. A curse slipped out of his mouth in Chinese before he was hit with the realization.
He could barely see the other boy, who was touching the sides of his head like he couldn't believe he was hearing things.
Together, they slowly both raised their heads and made eye contact like they did before. However, this time, it was charged with emotion and awe and something else.
Junhui’s eyes filled with tears.
After all this time.
He finally found him.
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Minghao was now the one who couldn’t tear his gaze away.
There was a long moment where they just studied each other, beaming and blushing.
The other brunette broke the silence.
“Hi,” he said shyly in Mandarin, biting his lip and looking so cute and happy that Minghao just melted.
“Hello,” Minghao replied in kind, just as shy.
“I’m Wen Junhui. What’s your name, bǎobèi?”
Minghao spluttered unintelligibly at the Chinese endearment. Now normally he wouldn’t tolerate this kind of shit, but this was the one exception.
Because Junhui was one damn beautiful name for a beautiful boy.
“I-i’m... I’m Minghao. Xu Minghao.”
Junhui grinned, showing white and slightly uneven teeth.
“Nice to meet you Minghao... soulmate.”
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“BAHAHAHAHAHAHA WAIT WAIT WAIT HE DID WHAT NOW?!”
Junhui sighed and put his forehead on his palm.
After class ended, Wonwoo, Junhui, and Minghao left class together, the two Chinese holding hands the entire time for the remainder of the class period, and even as they packed their things and walked down the stairs.
Minghao had followed Junhui, just wanting to stay close to his soulmate. But when he saw where they were heading, and who was waiting for them, he was shocked to see that it was Joshua, Jeonghan, and Jeonghan’s soulmate.
Jisoo perked up when he saw Minghao following their other friends, quickly getting Jeonghan’s attention. He waved, and Minghao waved back, smiling happily.
Joshua and Jeonghan were surprised to hear Minghao speak. But then they noticed his and Junhui’s intertwined hands.
“Oh my God, did you guys… are you…?” Jeonghan gasped.
Junhui grinned bashfully.
“Yep. Guys, this is Minghao. I’ve found my soulmate.”
Joshua bumped into Jeonghan and signed, See I told you! I knew they were going to be soulmates.
Minghao turned to Junhui.
“Is Joshua the mute friend that you learned KSL to understand?”
“Yeah he is! But how did you know?” Junhui asked curiously.
“He and Jeonghan were the ones who showed me the history building because I was lost. He also happened to mention you.” Minghao explained.
Jeonghan then leaned forward eagerly.
“Okay, spill the tea. How did you guys touch?”
At that point Wonwoo interrupted Junhui and reccounted the whole thing in detail, a smirk on his face as he got to tease his friend. Call it karma for pulling pranks on poor Wonu while he was Wonwooing.
Seungcheol, Minghao learned his name was, Jeonghan, and Joshua all burst out cackling when Wonwoo told them the part when Minghao chucked the pen at Junhui’s face.
“It was accidental!” Minghao protested, but he laughed all the same. He glanced over at Junhui who was giggling while hiding his face in his hand that wasn’t holding the younger’s.
Minghao blushed sometimes when Junhui squeezed his hand a little for comfort and support.
One things for sure, he was happy spending the rest of his life with the person he would pretty soon love.
And for Junhui?
Well, he was just glad he didn’t have to live for a couple more centuries.
But for a soulmate like Minghao, he would’ve been more than happy to wait an eternity.
“So in the future if you guys have children are you gonna be like ‘Hey kids, wanna know how I threw a pen at your dad’s face the day I met him and found out he was my soulmate?’ ’’
“Jeonghan what the fuck?”