Jimin hated walking alone at night. He hated it more than taking out the trash, which he hated a good amount. He even hated it more than getting up in the morning. He just hated walking alone at night. He didn't hate it because it was a pain. He hated it because he was scared. He hated that he was scared somewhere where he usually felt safe. Jimin hated that he felt comfortable walking these streets during the day when he was going class to class but he was scared to walk them at night. It's not like the streets changed.
You have nothing to worry about, he told himself. He knew he didn't..it was still scary. It was scary walking alone. He didn't have to work late so he guesses he got himself in this position. He had offered to take the late shift at the diner for some extra money. His boss, Seokjin, had gladly obliged. Jimin had only started working at the diner a few months ago but in that time he had grown fond of his boss.
The man was a sweet and kind man, letting Jimin take longer breaks occasionally and have days off to study for tests. In return Jimin would work late and close the diner for him. Today was one of those nights. He didn't mind working late. He liked the quietness that the diner had after the flow of people slowed down. It gave him time to study and even do homework. The only thing he didn't like was walking alone afterwards. The streets were always empty, not a car in place. He was always the only person walking and it made him feel vulnerable. Despite his close relationship with his boss, he didn't feel comfortable asking him to walk home with him. There was only one person he would ask. That would be his best friend Taehyung. A smile forms on Jimin's lips as he thinks about his best friend.
For as long as he can remember they had been friends. Taehyung and Jimin had gone to high school together, had graduated and had even been accepted into the same college. They were both over the moon when they heard about it. They saw each other frequently and even had sleepovers at the others place. Neither of them minded, they always had fun and were safe. Taehyung knew Jimin like the back of his hand. Jimin would do anything for the other in return. He wishes that his best friend was here with him now. He was fearless and would make his fears of walking home alone disappear.
Jimin reaches his apartment and gets out his key. As he reaches for the lock the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. It sends shivers through his body and his heart thumps loudly. Turning around quickly, he looks behind him. The street is empty and quiet, not a person in sight. This makes the nerves in his stomach increase. Unlocking the door and buzzing his apartment, he quickly heads upstairs. It's not until he's in his apartment that he can let out a breath of relief. He quickly turns the lights on, trying to settle his nerves. He continues to turn on the lights as he walks through his apartment hoping to calm his nerves.
Its just your own paranoia, he says to himself. He's inside his apartment now, safe and sound.
He takes out a mug and begins to make himself some tea. Glancing at the clock, he sees that it's midnight. The class in the morning might hurt if he stays up any longer but Jimin can't go to bed nervous. Heading back to his room he feels calm holding the warm mug in his hands. Tea always calms his nerves. When turning on his bedroom light he sees the lump that's under his blue sheets. It's larger than him and Jimin doesn't have to think twice to know who it is.
"Why didn't he tell me he was coming over?" he whispers, setting his cup down on his dresser. He gets changed out of his work uniform and into a large black sweatshirt with grey sweatpants. He washes his face and brushes his teeth before going over to the bed. He touches the lump.
"Tae" he whispers. The lump doesn't move. He's probably sound asleep.
"Taehyung" he repeats, shaking the lump. It finally moves. A hand comes out and moves the covers away, revealing a face. It looks up at Jimin and he frowns. There's a sniff. Jimin heart starts beating faster.
"Taehyung?" He asks. He pulls the covers back to reveal his best friend. He's wearing a hoodie with black jeans. His hair is messy. He turns to look at Jimin and that's when he sees it. The black and bruise around his eye, the cut on his cheek and his lip. The swelling that's taking place below his eye and the dried blood around his nose. He gasps, his hands reaching out to his best friend. He takes his face in his hands and wipes the tears that are falling down his beaten cheeks.
"What happened?" He asks, his voice wavering. He's never seen Taehyung beaten up before. He's seen him cry but never beaten up. Taehyung pulls his face away from Jimin's hands and wipes his cheeks. He doesn't reach out again. He lets him have his space and lets him explain.
"I just ran into some trouble" Taehyung says. His voice is deep and slightly slurred. Jimin frowns at him. He's seen him drunk before, of course. He knows his voice gets deep when he's had enough alcohol. This time it seems different.
"What kind of trouble?" Jimin presses. Is he involved in a gang? Jimin's heart skips and he stops himself. No...he wouldn't be..right? His mind starts spiraling, making up different scenarios that involve Taehyung doing gang-like things. Killing innocent people, tying mob bosses to chairs and demanding to know where the money is. Okay maybe he's getting a little bit out of hand.
"Just some angry guys at a bar," his friend continues. He doesn't look up at him and Jimin won't look away. He looks like he got mugged almost. His heart breaks when thinking about his friend getting beat up. He hates to think about this happening.
"Did you start something?" Jimin asks. The other looks up, his eyes watering.
"Did you?!" Jimin demands. Taehyung opens his mouth to speak and thats when Jimin stands up.
"Why did you start something? Nothing is worth getting a broken nose for!" he shouts at him. His mind has the thought about the thin walls and that his neighbors are trying to sleep but he doesn't care.
"Yes there is" Taehyung grumbles back. Jimin scoffs. How much has he had to drink?
"NO there isn't! Taaaaeeee" he whines. His stomach is filled with worry. His best friend only nods his head.
"Tae, what is worth getting in a fight over?!" he shouts. He's angry now. He should have just left it alone. He shouldn't have thrown any punches. He should have just walked away. If he did he wouldn't have gotten beaten up.
"YOU ARE!" Taehyung shouts louder, standing up. He gets off the bed and stares at him from the other side. His voice is clearer and his eyes have regained a focused look. He seems to be sobering up. Jimin halts. He stares at Taehyung, unsure of what to say. His nerves increase and he tries to think straight.
"B-but look at what happened!" He shouts, pointing at his face. Taehyung clenches his jaw and shakes his head.
"Would you have wanted me to NOT defend your honor?' He shouts. Jimin opens his mouth to respond but he's beaten to it.
"You're my best friend Jimin. I'm going to defend you no matter what" he says, his voice still loud. The other doesn't say anything. Jimin can't help but wipe the tears that come to his eyes. He doesn't want to be emotional in a time like this but he can't help it.
"I love you" he grumbles, walking to the other side of the bed. Chuckling, his friend hugs him tight, whispering it back. Jimin lets a few tears fall before he pulls away. His eyes land on the cuts and bruises. Telling himself to be strong he takes Taehyung's hand. He drags him towards the bathroom. He turns on the light and sits him down on the toilet while he gets out the first aid kit. He's never used it before but now he's glad that he bought one. Not knowing much about how to clean injuries, he does his best to get all the dried blood off and the swelling down with some ice. Taehyung winces when he puts the ice around his eye but Jimin knocks his hand away from his pain. His injuries need to be taken care of.
He washes any other dirt out of his friends hair in the sink and pats it dry with his towel that he usually keeps here. He lets him borrow some of this clothes and finally they're in the bed again. They're lying side by side, their fingers intertwined. They sit in the dark bedroom, staring at the ceiling.
"What did they say about me?" Jimin asks, looking over at him. He knows he shouldn't ask this but he finds himself doing it anyways. Taehyung shakes his head. Jimin nudges his shoulder, urging him to tell him.
"They said mean things Jiminie" he whispers. He stops nudging. He can only think of what they said and its not good. He nods his head and looks back at the ceiling. He knows they were probably drunk out of their minds and didn't know half the things they were saying. Jimin only squeezes his hand harder.
"No more fights" he scoots closer to him. Lifting his arm, Taehyung lets him fit into the crook of his arm. He nods his head. Jimin rests his head on his chest and closes his eyes, feeling the warmth that he gives off. The room is quiet, only the sound of their breathing. He isn't sure if Taehyung is asleep or still awake. He wants him to sleep, wants him to be refreshed. He know he won't sleep. He'll be awake all night. His mind will wander to the memories he's shared with him and what will come in the future. Jimin will wonder what the guys were saying and at what point Taehyung snapped and threw a punch. He'll wonder whether he put up a fight or where was outnumbered. He won't ask in the morning because he knows he won't want to talk about it.
They'll wake up tomorrow and get ready for class and go on with things. They won't discuss it. Jimin might press his friend about how bad the others looked. Taehyung will laugh and sling an arm around his shoulder but never say. Jimin will brag to the kids on his dance team about how his best friend defended his honor, smiling and acting out the entire scene as if he was there. He'll spare the "good" details, leaving the dancers wanting more of the story. Later, when meeting up with him, Taehyung will ask why all these people he doesn't know are looking at him weirdly and asking him how he learned to knock someone out with one punch. Shrugging his shoulders Jimin will act clueless. He'll smile and grab his friends hand, intertwining their fingers and squeezing tight.