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707 Dreams

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You're wandering an unfamiliar street , lost and confused until you hear your phone buzz with a new notification: a text. Reading it, you discover this person is chuckling at something you had said earlier, mentioning how they're waiting for you. You were headed to the park, you remember now, to meet up with Him. It made your pulse quicken and your face flush in nerves, and you smile as you approach the empty park to see no one but a single, red-headed male awaiting you on a swing. He grins at your arrival, and you sit in the empty swing beside him and stare at your feet. You suddenly feel the swing move, and you look back to see him pushing you gently, his fiery red curls cascading in front of his closed eyes. The wind whips by, and you turn away to shield your eyes from dust, only to turn back and discover Him missing, only a pair of striped glasses lying where he once stood.

You stand quickly, confused and searching for your beloved. But there is nothing but emptiness. Emptiness, and the sound of faint chuckling riding on the breeze that rustles your skirt and blows your long brown hair into your eyes.

"He's never coming back you know~" a voice echoes around you. It sounds demented, twisted and creepy. "He abandoned you. Left you alone. But didn't you ask to be alone? Why now would you wish to see him? Perhaps that's what happens when you ask to Reset." the voice goes on, teasing you. "You will never see Luciel again!"

With those last words, the wind whips up around you, leaves and dirt swirling up into a vortex that blocks out all light from above, trapping you in darkness. You close your eyes and find yourself cowering in a small ball, trying to cover your ears. You don't hear the panicked voice trying to call your name until it's too late.

You wake with a start, sitting up in your bed and breathing heavy. It was just a dream... It felt like you had been having that same dream every night now. It's becoming eery... And yet, there's something about it that makes you just as unsettled as it does curious. But as your alarm goes off not two minutes later, your thoughts are quickly swept away as you sigh and change your attention. You have school today, and since you awoke from a dream instead of your alarm, hopefully that meant you were awake enough to get ready at a decent pace...

Your name is Mari, and you are currently quite bored with your situation. University certainly wasn't all it was hyped up to be. You finished high school only to go and willingly attend even more classes, many of them being rather distasteful lectures. At least it was a life though, you guess. Sure it sucked, and at times you wondered if any of it really mattered, but you weren't on the streets or anything begging for your life. This was often a thought that kept you going, though lately you began wondering if even that would be better than this boring routine of get up, go to school, go to work, do homework, sleep, repeat. It truly was becoming quite the drag, and every fibre of your being cried out for a saviour, to either end your life or pull you to a better place. Honestly, either sounded good to you at that point.

At least you had one person to occupy your spare time between classes - and sometimes in classes. Yoosung Kim was a sweet and kind boy who shared many of the same classes as you. You two first met when partnered for an assignment in your first year, but he was just so sweet and fun that you two became instant friends. It helped you two felt you had a lot in common and rarely ran out of things to talk about. It helped create a tiny break in your suffering. Though lately one thought had been crossing your mind more and more: what if you weren't there? You knew Yoosung had other friends - a fair amount by the sounds of it - and it made you believe that he would be perfectly fine if you were to suddenly disappear. It's not like you two were the closest in the world anyway. The way he talked, there was someone else closer to his heart. Not that you minded. It would make leaving him easier if it happened, and you often felt he deserved to have someone special in his life. He's just such a sweet and innocent cinnamon roll...

Today's classes consisted of writing, mathematics, and Yoosung's excited ramblings concerning a round of gameplay he enjoyed on LOLOL the previous night. You'd tried LOLOL once thanks to how often Yoosung raved about it, and while you found it mildly interesting and entertaining, your lack of quickly-improving skill level simply didn't make it worth your time. You certainly didn't stack up to the likes of Yoosung or most other online players, so other things ended up taking precedence in your life, like homework and your part time job. Though you have no real idea what you want to do for life after University, you'd often thought about a secretarial job somewhere like the large company C&R or working full time at the bookstore near your house. Both seemed rather stable and simple jobs. You could perhaps live with a job like that.

You see a hand waving in front of your vision and glance over at the source. Yoosung's eyeing you curiously, a frown crossing his lips faintly. "You okay, Mari? You seem to be zoning out like crazy. And that's saying something considering how little sleep I got last night!" he comments energetically. Honestly, if it weren't for the rather dark circles under his eyes, you never would have guessed he had only gotten three hours of sleep. He was just as awake as ever.

"Oh, yeah," you reply, still half in a daze. "Sorry. Just thinking I guess. You know we don't have that much longer left in school, right? So I guess I was just thinking about my future."

Yoosung nods, before thinking himself. "Future... Well, if I can't be a professional LOLOL gamer, I'm not sure either. Honestly, I hadn't thought about it in a while. I have an offer at C&R, but I'm not sure if that's where I want to go." he replies honestly. He sounds serious as well, and you offer him a weak smile at his thought.

"We could always be C&R buddies together," you joke half-heartedly. "But, I think if you have something you're passionate about, you should go for it. Having a passion... You're lucky to have that. You are in a lot of science classes right now, aren't you? Why don't you follow that?"

"That's very true... I could! I guess I just haven't had the right drive lately. Since, you know..." he trails off slightly. Of course you know. He was in quite the mourning period for the first six months of University when you two first met, and he still mentions it quite often. Not that you blamed him. By the way he spoke, you would have been in mourning forever if it had happened to you. His cousin Rika had passed at the same time as his Highschool graduation, and he claimed to never have been the same since. He misses her a lot, but at least he seems to have cheered up and become a relatively happy person for most of University now. At least you were happy about that.

"Yeah, I know." you reply quietly. "All up to you.."

The two of you fall into a small gap of silence as the teacher continues droning on and on about the lesson.

And just like that, another day had passed, your class finishing after what you believed to be an actual eternity. Man, classes are so boring. As you gather your books and stand from your seat, your mind begins wandering back to the dream you've been having. It's so strange, you think, to have a dream revolving around someone you don't even know. Or, do you? You can't be certain, because just as you get lost in your mind, Yoosung interrupts your thoughts again with a question.

"Hey Mari. If you don't have too much homework tonight, wanna join me on a game of LOLOL after dinner? I can set up a server with just you and me if you want!"

You think it over. It had been a while since you played a good game, and considering how lost in thought you'd been that day, you think that maybe one round or two just between you and Yoosung might not be that bad. You nod along slightly and offer him a small smile. "Yeah, sure. Why not! Just you and me though, okay? And try to go easy on me!" you tease slightly.

 

Chapter Text

You sigh as you finally plop yourself down in front of your computer. Cursed homework took you way longer than you expected, but with the night off from work, you decide that skipping out for a few hours to hold your promise with Yoosung won't hurt. Sending him a quick text to let him know you're finally ready, you boot up your computer and sign into the private LOLOL server Yoosung linked you to. As to his word, there's only the two of you in there, and he finds you in game rather quickly. You turn on your mic, and hear the click of his before his cheerful voice fills your ear.

"Hey Mari! Found you~" He chuckles softly. "I'm still glad you agreed to play with me. It feels like forever since I've seen you on a server! And yes, I am on often enough to tell..."

You can hear the slight shame in his voice at these words, but what did you expect? His level didn't get that high being as casual player as you. "Yeah, thanks for the offer, Yoosung." you reply with a faint smile. "I really feel like I needed a break from... well, everything. Are you going to be up late again tonight?"

"Of course! There's supposed to be a special item drop at midnight tonight!" he replies excitedly. "You're welcome to join me if you don't plan on sleeping either, though that seems unlike you."

"Yeah, maybe I will..." you reply, being met only with a gasp of surprise. It's true, you rarely stayed up late unless you were working or busy with homework, so a late night video game was certainly unusual. Yoosung asks if everything's okay, and you shrug before remembering he can't see you. "Yeah," you finally say. "Just a lot on my mind I guess. I've been having these weird dreams lately too... They've been making me think a lot. And let's just say I'm not all that looking forward to sleeping tonight." Yoosung seems to listen and understand, as he hums in thought before moving on. You two understand each other rather well, and you appreciate the fact that you feel comfortable enough to tell him that, though it did take quite the private setting to do it. And he understands enough to just leave you to think if you need, or help you level up and keep your mind occupied. You mentally thank him for that, reminding yourself to say it out loud properly later.

The two of you end up playing for a good two hours, and you find yourself relaxing. You've levelled up your character another 4 levels, and Yoosung seems to have managed another 2 for his own. Though you still envy his diligence to the game, you can't help but laugh as he still manages to mess up things even you wouldn't be caught dead doing. It makes you wonder how he got so good. Perhaps simply by putting so many hours into it.

"Hey Yoosung," you interrupt. "What's that?"

Glancing across your screen, your friendly sparring quest had been interrupted by a notification, and a rather intimidating silhouette standing on the game's horizon. Yoosung' character turns to face the same way as you, and you hear a gasp on his end of the microphone. "No way..." he mumbles softly. Now you find yourself simply confused, but before you can ask, a small chat bubble pops up in the bottom left corner, sent from someone other than you and Yoosung.

-Hello!- the chat read. -Mind if I join? You looked all lonely in here-

You hear Yoosung mumbling again, a little angrier this time, before you hear furious typing from his keyboard. Soon enough, another chat bubble pops up from Yoosung's character. You know what he's saying even before the message is sent thanks to his grumpy muttering, but you still raise an eyebrow in confusion as you re-read his words.

-How did you get in here?! Seven, I swear if you hacked into my server again I'll march over to your house right now and rip your computer screens apart!-

Now you are thoroughly confused. "Seven...?" You mutter quietly. That wasn't the player's username... Though Yoosung acts as though he knows this person.

Another chat pops up from the mystery player.

-Gasp! Yoosung. You have your mic on? Ooh, goodie~ Let me join in the conversation!! As fast as my fingers can be, I know you love to hear my soothing voice-

"Gah!" Yoosung erupts slightly. "He flat out ignored my question! Though it's obvious that damn Seven hacked in because he was bored..." You hear Yoosung sigh softly, and you can only imagine the sad look on his face. "Sorry Mari. I had promised just you and me... Maybe another time, right? At least we got a few hours together!"

"Yeah," you reply, smiling to yourself. You did get a few hours, and they were nice while they lasted. You think how you'll have to do that again sometime, just you and Yoosung. Just as you're about to open your mouth again though, an unfamiliar voice interrupts you.

"Ooh, Mari, huh? Sounds like a pretty name~ She your new girlfriend, Yoosung?" The voice is teasing and joking, and you can practically feel the sarcasm drip off it through the microphone. You can easily tell it's a male voice, and as much as you hate to admit it, a rather attractive sounding voice.

"You know very well I don't have a girlfriend, Seven!" Yoosung snaps back slightly. "Now why have you hacked into my server yet again?"

"Why, because you looked lonely! I already told you. Plus, two people can't go on any proper raid you know," the voice - Seven, you have realized him to be called - replies smoothly. You know he's right, but the way he was so smug about it simply made you frown more. You're not in the mood for this right now. "Ah, did I scare your poor friend away? She hasn't moved in a while."

You blink slightly, before hearing a voice seem to whisper directly into your ear a very sweet hello. You feel a touch flustered, the hand resting on your mouse moving enough to give signs of life. "I, uh... No, you didn't scare me away." You say quickly. "I just realized I had some more stuff I had to get done." Okay, so you half lied. Sure, there were things you should be doing, but you simply didn't feel like it right now. You hear the stranger give out a tiny "aww" at your words.

"Leaving so soon? But I only just got here! Maybe Defender of Justice Seven-Zero-Seven has to come through and save the day again, so that the beautiful young lady may stay and play with us!" He seems to cheer slightly, energetically calling out to what feels like the whole world. You think that he must be absolutely crazy! Not to mention the way he spoke and the amount of energy he held in each word seemed so surreal... And wait, did he just call you beautiful? But he didn't even see what you looked like! You find yourself blushing faintly anyway, trying to find your words once again.

"Seven, don't just shout random ridiculous things into the microphone! You haven't even met her, so leave her be! Besides. She actually does her homework, unlike me, so she does not need your 'help', alright?" Yoosung comments with a grunt. It sounded as though he was standing up for you while you recomposed yourself, but you only hear a small chuckle from Seven, and Yoosung only seems to gasp more. "You didn't! I thought V told you not to go digging through people's private files anymore!! Whatever you've hacked into, get out of them right now!"

You're staring to believe that this is some kind of joke between the two. You never truly believed hacking was any real kind of skill or ability, just something made up for movies. Just like Yoosung practically lives in LOLOL, you think this Seven guy must live somewhere like the moon to sound as crazy as he did. With a small sigh, you type out a tiny goodbye in the chat, so as not to disrupt the boys' arguing, and shut your computer off for the night. Though you debate actually following through with finishing your homework, you simply crash on your bed and lay there for a while, thinking.

Another hour or so later, your phone lights up with a text.

Yoosung: Sorry about Seven. He doesn't really understand boundaries or subtleties well. I had fun with you though. Maybe when you're free next we can try again!

You smile weakly at his text, and reply with a simple "sure, I'd love to" message. You truly do, but at the moment you seem content with laying on your bed until morning. Whether you sleep or not, it didn't matter. So long as you didn't dream...

 

Chapter Text

You're walking through a field. It's unfamiliar and wide open, but you don't feel scared. You feel rather comfortable in fact, wandering through the tall grasses and carving your own path amongst the wildflowers. The bright blue sky above seems endless, with not a cloud in sight and the sun shining down on you with a comforting warmth. It almost makes you smile. A small breeze blows past you, rustling your long brown hair into your eyes briefly and temporarily blinding you.

Gently brushing your hair out of your face again, you gasp as you see a person suddenly standing in front of you. A kid to be exact, perhaps no more than the age of 10. You know they weren't there before, and yet there they stand. You stare, taking in their sad smile and closed eyes. You feel some kind of twinge in your heart as you watch them, their messy hair blowing in the disappearing wind before they turn away from you and begin walking away. You feel yourself starting to panic. You don't know why, but you don't want this person to walk away... As though their leaving would be overly problematic, though you're not entirely sure why.

You open your mouth to call out, but no sound escapes your lips. You're frozen in helpless silence as you watch the young boy walk away. You take a tiny step closer to the boy, and you gasp as you see the child beginning to grow. First you simply think it's a distortion of the distance between the two of you, but as the boy's height grows and quickly surpasses your own, even the shape of his body changes, and you can tell that he's in fact aging. You try calling out again, but only a tiny squeak escapes your mouth this time. The boy - now a man - pauses and you think he hears you. With a glance back, your eyes widen as you see his face again, his sad smile still remaining. Then you see it change, and he mouths something to you before turning away again.

"Do you remember me?"

Your eyes spring open, greeted by the familiar sight of a plain white ceiling. Your breathing his heavy, and it's not long before your vision blurs slightly. It takes you a moment to realize the cause of your blurry vision: you're crying. But why are you crying? You're not quite sure... You sit up slowly, glancing to the clock and seeing that your alarm has yet to go off for the day. It was obviously a dream, and you sigh to yourself softly. You think it's a shame that you had a dream the previous night, but you're slightly grateful it was at least different than the previous ones... Though not enough to make you any more comfortable.

You end up lying in bed for close to half an hour until your alarm goes off properly, and you begin your usual routine of getting ready. Toss on some comfy clothes, brush your hair and teeth, and grab a breakfast to go before finally making your way back to the University. Yet another day of classes ahead of you... You let out yet another sigh.

"Morning!" You're greeted by a cheerful voice as you arrive at your locker. Glancing over, you see Yoosung waving to you as he approaches. You offer him a tiny wave in response. He grins at you as you close up your locker, and begins profusely apologizing for the previous night, but you wave it off and tell him it's not big deal. You also give a tiny apology for being so awkward. Yoosung simply chuckles and teases you about being far from awkward. Perhaps that's just because of how close the two of you are. He knows you much better than others would, and you're far more open about yourself as well.

Yoosung chats with you almost the entire walk to your first class, going on about the rare materials he got in the drop at midnight, and the extra levels he had managed to get after you left. He doesn't bring up the stranger that interrupted your private game, and neither do you. You appreciate it though, as you're not sure what you'd even say about this Seven guy that Yoosung talked with, and you are far more happy listening to Yoosung's excited chattering until he's cut off by the day's lectures. They feel as boring as ever to you, and you end up mindlessly doodling on your notebook rather than actually taking notes. It shows just how deep into your thoughts you are today, and you catch Yoosung glancing over your shoulder to see what you're doing on more than one occasion. He seems intrigued, staring for more than a minute every time. It seems he's surprised and caught off guard by your doodle. You know it's not great - you're not a professional artist after all - but Yoosung acts as though he recognizes your doodle. You don't even realize it's a person you're drawing until you make out two eyes from the dull black ink.

You blink slightly as you recognize the person as well, but quickly glance at Yoosung and scrunch up the page you were drawing on. You're not sure why Yoosung was looking so surprised at your drawing, but you know for certain that you should pay more attention since you were now mindless drawing your dreams without realizing. You think about how bad a sign that can be... You shake your head slightly, and try to be more diligent about note-taking so you're not relying on Yoosung for the entire class. It goes smoothly enough, at least until you look down at the end of class and see your pen continuously going over a small, curved line. You had doodled another face - the same as before - but this time with more focus on the eyes. They look so sad, even in your tiny little pen drawing, and you start to think that maybe your imagination has begun to go far too crazy. Maybe cutting down on television at night is smart...

The bell rings for the end of the day, and you begin to pack away your things. Yoosung is quick to do so at his desk, and you shoot him a questioning look. "I have a club meeting today!" He replies excitedly, reading your look easily. "Not a school club though. That club I was telling you about a while ago. We're having an actual meeting today at a friend's house, so I gotta get out of here fast so I'm not late. Though I do have a ride coming since he's apparently in the area anyway..." You find yourself smiling faintly at his happy ramblings. You love seeing him this excited. Though it's true he's told you of this extra club thing he's a member of, you've forgotten most of what it's about besides being something charity related his deceased cousin set up back when he was in high school. You admire him for following through on something like that, even after losing someone so close who was a part of the whole set-up.

"Oh, well that sounds like fun. It's nice to see you be excited again," you comment with a smile. He only grins at you more, slinging his bag over his shoulder and skipping towards the door. You follow him, mostly out of habit and lack of places you need to be at the moment, and he hums softly as he notices this.

"Hey," he starts as you catch up with him. You're both headed towards the main front doors of the school, Yoosung having been smart enough to pack everything he needed for the weekend before the last class and therefore not needing his locker. "I know you're worried about being awkward and stuff, but if you ever want some more people to talk to, just let me know okay? I can introduce you to some of my friends from the RFA. They're all pretty cool, and I'm sure there's one or two you'd get along with okay! Not to mention, I could act as a buffer if something ever goes wrong!"

You smile and chuckle softly. You think about how nice he is to even offer that up, and that leads you to thinking about how nice he is for even dealing with and accommodating your nerves concerning strangers. It's not so much social anxiety, as you've learned, but a fear: of messing up terribly when meeting other people and being left alone, bullied, or hated for being seen as weird. "I uh, yeah maybe." You reply with a weak smile. He only grins more. "We'll see though. You know I'm just happy enough having you as my friend though, right Yoosung?"

He nods quickly, offering you a hug. You embrace him, grateful that your heights are only offset by a few inches, so it feels like the perfect best friend hug and he's not too tall. Not that you care about height, but sometimes being too tall could be a problem. The hug makes you smile easily though, relaxing a little. He lets go and grins, before peering out the front doors with a small pout. His friend isn't there yet, so you offer to keep  him company until he was. In the stranger's defence, the class had gotten out a few minutes earlier than Yoosung had originally told them, but still. Their timing must be pretty good for them to have enough guts to try and show up at the exact time they planned and not early to wait for Yoosung. Though maybe that's just your thought process.

As you're talking with Yoosung, a giggle escapes your lips at a joke he's telling. So far, he's one of the only people able to make you laugh, but you like it that way. You feel like laughter is quite the special sound and feeling, and it shouldn't always be easy to get a proper laugh out. That's you anyway... Your giggle fades out, and your smile falters as you see Yoosung's attention shift to behind you. He grins and waves quickly, and you turn to see who he's waving too.

"Hey! Don't you have your phone on? I've been messaging you for like ten minutes!" a voice nags slightly. "It's a good thing I got a map of your school... I'm parked out back since there's a more direct road out there than the front."

"Eh? Oh no! My phone must still be on silent from class," Yoosung replies, quickly fishing out his phone from his pocket and sighing as he sees a handful of spam texts plaguing his lock screen. You can't help but feel like you recognize the voice speaking to Yoosung, and it takes you a moment to take in his figure.

"Hmm?" the stranger hums softly, coming to a stop just before you. He looks down at you slightly, and you're so caught off guard by his appearance to truly be angered at his tall height. "Yoosung, I thought you said you don't have a girlfriend!"

 

Chapter Text

You're not sure why, but your cheeks are flushing with a faint pink blush as a confused face looks down at you slightly. Then the pair of golden eyes turns back to Yoosung, who's quickly and practically incoherently muttering about being forever alone. The interested eyes turn back to you, and you quickly drop your own golden-brown ones to your feet with nerves. "Aww, she's cute!" The voice says happily, and you can practically hear the grin in his voice. You're still in too much shock to speak, so Yoosung does it for you, assuming it was your nerves acting up.

"I, uh, well anyway! She's just a friend of mine - we're in a lot of the same classes you know - so don't bug her too much." Yoosung starts speaking, and you glance over to him before looking up again. You find you can't help but stare... That familiar face, those bright eyes, that unique red hair... And those glasses you're certain can't be found just anywhere. But why, is all you wonder. It doesn't make sense in your mind. Why would your have such strange dreams of someone you've never met before? And even more so... Why would the stranger in those dreams suddenly appear right in front of you? You start to think that perhaps you were still asleep, that when you awoke in the morning you had accidentally fallen asleep again waiting for your alarm and that's all this was now: a dream. The stranger bows slightly in your direction, offering you another wide smile as his eyes get closer to your own.

"Yes sir, mister Yoosung," the man teases, before offering you a wink as though you're in on the joke. "Allow me to introduce myself. I am the infamous, unheard of, hero and protector of innocent, defender of justice Seven-Zero-Seven!" He acts as though he's on stage, straightening out and throwing his arms up as he practically yells out an unusual and probably made up name. To you, it sounds more like a secret agent code-name kids make up when they're playing make believe, rather than a fully grown adult. Though he sounds just as serious as a kid playing pretend...

"We just call him Seven though," Yoosung interrupts slightly. You glance over at him in confusion. "Seven, this is Mari. My school friend, in case you forgot I had more than just you guys as friends."

"I didn't forget! I just simply don't acknowledge it. It's not like you're all that talkative about your school life anyway.." Seven straightens up again and smirks in Yoosung's direction before looking back at you. "As for you, Miss Mari," he starts with a kind smile. "Perhaps I'll be seeing you. However, me and Yoosung have to be going now! Wouldn't want to keep Jumin waiting, now would we?"

Turning back to Yoosung, Seven gently rustles his blonde hair before pulling him away. Yoosung gives him a small glare, before looking to you with an apologetic smile and a wave. You wave back, smiling briefly so he doesn't worry before frowning slightly. You're confused and even a little scared. You'd never met this man before in your life, and yet here he was: someone you had thought to be a creation of your dreams had stood before you and spoken to you. You start to think that perhaps you're still dreaming, but a gentle slap to the face proves otherwise. No, you're certain you're not sleeping still. You know you're wide awake, and perhaps that worries you more....

You make your way home, lost in thought the whole way. At the moment, you live in a small apartment all by yourself, your last roommate having moved out about a month ago. You don't mind though, because now it felt like you had more space just to yourself rather than worrying about being a burden to someone else or getting in their way. They were nice enough, sure, but it's always nicer having a place to yourself. Not to mention you felt pretty proud about being able to take care of yourself just fine on your own. Though, you did get pretty lonely at times...

You sigh to yourself softly as you dump your bag into a chair in your small living room. You have homework to do, so you sit down at your computer to work on the essay you know is due in a few days, but you simply can't concentrate. Your mind is too occupied by something else. By someone else... So after staring at your half-full page of writing for a good hour and a half, you shut off your computer and try making some tea to clear your mind. You've found a good cup of tea can usually relax you better than anything else. You find it helps a little, and sigh again as you stare into your tea cup with confusing thoughts.

As you begin making dinner shortly after, you hear your phone go off and you look over to see Yoosung calling you. Answering, you position the phone between your shoulder and ear so you can chat as you finish cooking. "Hello!" You greet, a small smile forming on your face.

"Hey Mari! Sorry about ditching you like that earlier. Seven was just so adamant.." Yoosung quickly apologizes. "I'm all done with my meeting now though! Just getting a ride home."

You gasp slightly. "So late? Will you even have time to make dinner? Even I'm away how late I've started... Unless you already ate?" Your questions come out quickly, your concern for the blond obvious and resulting in a small chuckle from him.

"Don't worry about me, Mari! I have some leftovers if I need. I haven't eaten yet, but honestly I almost forgot about eating during the meeting! There's always so much going on with those guys.." Yoosung chuckles again, and you think you hear a second voice before Yoosung makes a hush noise. You shake your head though, before beginning to insist he come over.

"You don't live too far away from me, and since I'm making dinner right now anyway, just come on by. I can quickly make up enough for you too," you insist, putting down the salt you were previously holding to shift your phone again. Yoosung tries to argue that he doesn't want to impose and he's still being driven around by someone else, and you bite at your lip slightly. "Well, they can drop you off, can't they?" you ask, before saying the words you worry you'll regret the most. "Or maybe they can come too... I-If they want. I mean, I don't know if they have a meal planned or something..."

"So cute..." You hear Yoosung mutter slightly, and you mentally glare at him. He had always found some of your proper shy moments adorable, like a puppy, but you hated it. Stuttering and acting quiet was never one of your favourite ways to act, and it happened more often than you wanted. After a moment, Yoosung clears his throat, puts you on hold, and you hear him quietly asking his driver about dinner. You hear a small cheer and then a hum.

"You know, I haven't had real food in a while now... And Vanderwood's been on me about having a better diet than honey buddha chips - even though they're all the diet I need - so sure! Especially if it's that cutie from earlier..." the driver chuckles, his voice just loud enough for you to hear the conversation. You find yourself blushing and gasping at the same time. Of course, you realize you should have known it would be the same person who picked Yoosung up dropping him off, but perhaps a part of you had hoped otherwise. Now you really worried about regretting your words. But it was too late now, as Yoosung came back properly to inform you of the decision, asking for enough food for three and that they would be at your apartment in a few minutes. Saying a quick goodbye, Yoosung hangs up, and you're left worrying and letting your thoughts drift as you add more ingredients to your dinner. Why did it have to be him? What's so special about that red-headed boy that you can't stop thinking about...?

 

Chapter Text

There's a knock at your door, and a cheerful pair of voices calling out a hello from the other side. You pause, placing the last of the dishes to complete setting the table before going to open the door. Before you stands Yoosung, and his friend Seven, who to you looks almost comically tall for a brief second in your doorway after only ever seeing Yoosung standing there. They both wave, and you offer a small smile back to Yoosung's grin.

"Hey. Glad you could make it," you say rather cheerfully. You're thinking that perhaps having them here will keep your mind occupied, even if it is Him you're trying not to think about... Or maybe having him here will give you answers. Honestly, you're not sure, and you're not sure which you'd prefer to happen either. So you shake your head slightly and lead the two men into your apartment, showing them to the dining table set for three and already full with steaming bowls and plates of food. You prefer making food and letting people take their own amount to eat, so placed in the centre of the table is a bowl of rice, a plate of beef in a sweet sauce, another smaller plate holding mixed fried veggies, and a small pitcher of water next to an extra sauce bowl just in case. You feel a touch worried as you hear Seven gasp at the spread being offered him, before grinning.

"It smells amazing! And looks delicious... And so fancy," he comments with a chuckle, turning to you with a grin. "Thanks for having me."

"Oh, don't mind him, Mari. He thinks anything with more effort than grabbing a bag of chips from the pantry is fancy. It does look good though!" Yoosung reassures you. You find yourself relaxing and smiling even more.

"Well, you're welcome Seven. I do hope you both like it.." you reply shyly. You notice Yoosung's face revealing his thoughts about your cuteness, but Seven looks unreadable as he smiles at you. Quickly enough, you all sit and begin eating, though the talking doesn't stop. You find Seven asking you question after question, almost constantly despite his quick eating. He asks if you live alone like Yoosung, what your favourite foods are, what you're majoring in, and how you and Yoosung met.

You pause as you think, having to slow down his questions and even ask him to stop so you can even reply. Taking a breath, you finally begin. You explain how you and Yoosung met in your first year of University, becoming fast friends when first partnered up in a class and discovering many similar interests. You also mention how, just like Yoosung, you're pretty uncertain of your major at this point, yet another reason the two of you get along so well. While Yoosung's at least focusing on science, you are completely lost, perhaps thinking some sort of English major might at least land you a job afterwards. You mention how you used to have a roommate, but they dropped out, leaving you alone in the apartment. Not that you minded. Less to worry about in terms of your habits and other people. Lastly, you give Seven a small, questioning look as you think over your favourite foods. It's not like you have one in particular, but you mostly find his question strange and oddly specific compared to the others he asked. You finally come to a decision and tell him you often favour anything to do with strawberries and chocolate. Especially chocolate ice cream though, not mentioning how much of a comfort food it really is for you. Seven seems to nod along with all your replies, looking genuinely curious at most. She gasps at certain points, acting as though your words are far more dramatic than they actually are, but you can't help but smile faintly. It was funny and cute how hard he tried, and he seemed to only do it more when he saw your small reaction. Was he doing it all to make you smile? It seemed like a silly idea, someone actually putting in effort for you... But still, you couldn't shake that feeling...

After a while, Yoosung tells Seven to quit it, and you take the opportunity to turn the tables. "So Seven," you start, a slightly devious smile on your face. It seemed his energy was beginning to run off on you... "Why are you called that, anyway? I doubt your parents actually named you the number Seven." You tease him slightly, hoping it will get a reaction out of him. It does, albeit slightly faked.

He gasps and places a hand to his heart. "Oh, my lady! How you insult the brilliant minds of my ancestors!" He speaks with a joking tone, and Yoosung gives a small eye roll. It seems he's used to Seven's antics by now, while you aren't and thereby find them a touch amusing. "Alas, you are correct. Though Seven is far more fun, don't you think? Like a secret agent's code name! Though, if you're like everyone else I know, then you must know. Luciel Choi at your service, my dear lady." He offers a wink as he finally gives his name, grinning proudly. You can't help but think every name he gives is strange, but at the same time Luciel has a nice ring to it. It suits him... Red hair as wild and fiery as the depths of hell, but eyes as kind and angelic as any being in heaven might be... And yet, even with that large grin, you think you see a hint of sadness in them. Are you just imagining it, or is he suppressing something incredibly well? It's so difficult to tell...

As you're lost in thought, you barely notice your smile fading and Luciel standing. "Allow me to help you clean, Madame. You made an excellent dinner, I'd hate for you to have to clean it all as well." His offer is kind, as is his smile, and you shake your head slightly as you stand.

"No no," you argue. "You're the guest. You shouldn't have to do anything!" Seven shakes his head in return, offering an even larger smile.

"Please," he starts again. "You hadn't been expecting company. At least let me help before I take Yoosung home." You feel as though you can't argue with him, so you finally give in and he follows you to the small kitchen. "Thank you again," he says once you enter the kitchen. "It's not often I get nutrients found outside of a bag of chips. Heck, my maid might be more grateful than I am!"

"A maid?" you gasp slightly. Was he rich or something? "Are you rich or something?" Oops. Seems you forgot to turn on the filter between your thoughts and your words, and you just accidentally spoke out loud. You blush faintly in embarrassment and turn away slightly to focus on washing dishes. Seven however, only chuckles.

"I guess you could say that. I'm a hacker by profession, so I don't exactly get enough time away to clean. I thought it would be smart to get a maid, even if it hurt my wallet." he explains calmly. You still can't wrap your head around it. You just met a super rich person? That was crazy! What were the chances...? "Hey," he interrupts your thoughts quickly. "Can I ask you another question?" His voice is soft, and you notice how suddenly close he is, his body almost touching yours as he reaches around you seemingly for a dish cloth you have resting near the sink. You nod briefly, feeling another faint blush dust your cheeks. Sure, you've been this close to another person before, but for some reason this felt... different.

You suddenly hear his voice, quiet but clear in your ear, his breath gently tickling your neck as he speaks a question meant only for you. "Who are you really...?"

 

Chapter Text

You gasp, turning around slightly to face him. His expression is somber, his golden eyes curiously looking down at you through his striped glasses. You feel as though you've seen those eyes before, and not just in your dreams. Your own brown eyes stare up at him in uncertainty, now pinned against the kitchen counter with his rather large, lean body. But you didn't feel threatened. In fact, you realize that perhaps you wouldn't mind staying like that for a while, but just as you think that, he pulls away and you're left breathing open air again and he's chuckling as though he just said something funny.

"Ah, forget it. I think all my lack of sleep is finally starting to catch up with me," he starts, smiling weakly. You start to wonder what he's thinking, and before you know it you've been sucked into his world and far too curious for your own good. "Perhaps Yoosung and I should be getting home. Thank you very much for the meal. It was wonderful. And it was nice to see you again!" He says with a slowly growing smile, but you feel differently. You feel worry and sadness in the way he stands and the way he speaks, but you can't say anything because he and Yoosung are gone before you even fully register, and you are left alone confused and scared and uncertain.

Sighing to yourself, you head over to your couch to watch some tv before the evening is over, but on your way you notice a small piece of paper sitting atop the dining table. Picking it up, you see it's from Seven, with a phone number and a witty remark. You also appreciate how nice his handwriting is... "In case you ever want to chat or snoop on Yoosung." the note reads, with a small winking emoticon following it. You smile to yourself softly before finally plopping down on your couch. It was a strange day you just had, and you feel as though you really need to think it over, and you breathe out another small sigh as you relax into the couch.

Before you know it, you're fast asleep.

"Who are you really?" The voice echoes out through the empty void. You can see almost nothing, making out only the ground below your feet and a lone street lamp above you. You can't see out into the distance, can't tell the sky from the horizon, and can't tell where you are. But you know you're scared. "Tell me!" The voice calls out again, angry and frightening. You let out a small squeak in fear at the sheer volume this voice yells at you with, and you briefly cover your ears. "Your secrets. I want them! Tell me your secrets!" The voice is adamant, ever pounding into your eardrums and practically beating you down despite the lack of physicality. You fall to your knees, covering your ears and let out a small scream.

"Leave me alone!" You shout as loud as you can, tucking your head into your knees as you curl up slightly in the centre of the lone light. "I don't remember! I don't know! I don't want to know... Go away, go away!" You give a final scream, breathing heavily. Your eyes are squeezed shut, but you notice the other voice seems to have stopped at your request, and you slowly remove your hands and open your eyes.

You gasp as you see you're no longer standing in darkness, but a bedroom. Not yours, but someone else's. It had to be, right? You take a tentative step forward before noticing something odd: you felt small. Tiny, actually, standing about the height of the doorknob on the closed door ahead of you. You find a mirror standing on a small desk and peer in, only to see a small child staring back, perhaps no more than the age of ten. You're confused, but have no explanation. At the same time, you also understand. You don't feel out of place as a child, and in fact continue on back towards the door. As you get closer, you notice it's not entirely closed, but actually ajar by only an inch or two, and you poke your head out curiously. Then you hear a smash. A shattering of glass or china, you can't tell, but it scares you. It makes you want to curl up and hide, but you're far too curious.

You finally take a hesitant step out into the hallway that stretches out before you, a hand gently pressed against the wall for support as you walk, following the hall out and towards a bright light contrasting the dark hallway. Voices come to be heard, yelling and screaming at one another. One voice is a male voice, gruff and slurred and booming like a giant's. The second is a woman's, harsh and dry-sounding, with ragged breaths in between that sound like tears. You feel your heart go out for the fearful cries of the woman, and you rush forward faster to see what is making her sound so hoarse and tired. Though you almost wish you hadn't.

Upon moving forward, you practically sprint into a scattered living room, furniture overturned with pillows strewn about the floor as though they were thrown. Broken glass and china seems to be littering the entire floor, smashed to pieces and dug into the carpet from footsteps pressing it in further. There are blood splatters against one wall and seeping into the carpet fibres, and a large man with a beer-belly and scruffy beard stands towering over a heaped and disheveled form, only recognizes le by her rich brown hair and the iconic frilly apron everyone knew her for. You knew it to simply hide the lack of money she had and make others worry less.

The man looks over as he hears you stop in the entrance to the living room, wide-eyed and afraid. He turns to you and begins approaching, a bloodied lamp held tight in his hand with the chord dragging behind him. You flinch as he grabs at your hair roughly, raising the lamp before bringing it down.

Your eyes snap open with a scream, and you sit up to reflectively throw your arms over your face. You're breathing heavily, tears streaming down your face. Just a dream, you tell yourself. Just a dream... Right? It was so real, and you have a good idea as to why. You simply hated the fact that you were having these types of dreams far too often for your liking. You hated seeing these things. You always have...

 

Chapter Text

"Sorry again for barging in on your night!" Yoosung says sheepishly, a hand running through his messy hair as he offers you a sweet smile.

You wave his worries away with a wave of your hand and an equally kind smile. "Nah, don't worry about it. Having the company wasn't really all that bad! Plus, you know me, it's probably better you dropped in." you reply with a chuckle. "Otherwise it might have been shameful..."

Yoosung laughs along with you, grinning as he holds open the door for you. It's a bit of a rainy morning, but you honestly don't mind. The rain has always seemed rather calming and peaceful to you, and considering you're inside most of the morning for a class, it made you pretty indifferent. You step into the lecture hall ahead of Yoosung, choosing a couple seats a few rows back from the front.

Pulling out your class-filled notebook and a few colourful pens, you also pull out a small daily planner as Yoosung begins rambling about his latest achievements, both in game and real life. "I even made a healthy breakfast this morning!" you hear him finish, blinking with a small smile to assure him you were listening fully.

"That sounds wonderful! I mostly just had leftovers... So exhausted this morning." you groan in response. Yoosung gives you a worried but questioning look. You simply shake your head at him softly, opening up your planner and turning to the date marked by a small red ribbon between the pages: today's date. It's on the right page, and on the left is yesterday, the once empty lines now filled in with curling writing about groceries, homework to do, and at the very start, what appears to be a small story. You pick up a simple blue pen and begin writing in the empty space of today's page.

A questioning Yoosung peers over, leaning on your desk slightly. "Does that have anything to do with how tired you are? It's so full!" he exclaims. You shake your head again, before pausing and nodding slowly.

"But not for the reason you think," you start with a sigh. "Yes, it's full, but that's not my problem. Not really. I'm fine with late nights and busy weekends. What's been bothering me are these dreams..." Your explanation probably doesn't really explain that much to him, your eyes glancing back at him every now and then as you write while you speak. Placing the dot at the end of your sentence, you finally relax back. You read it over.

'Voices and a familiar face. Do I know him? Memories perhaps? Though only one is familiar to me, and it's not him. He was not my family...'

"Wow," Yoosung breathes. "They must be some serious dreams to keep you up at night and make you this tired. Even during finals week I never see you this sleepy!" You nod and close your planner, but Yoosung then slips his hand over yours and snatches it away before you can protest. "May I?" he asks, barely even waiting for an answer as he begins thumbing backwards through the hard-cover book. You nod briefly, before focusing on trying to twirl your gel-pen in your fingers while he reads.

Muttering under his breath, you keep track of what days Yoosung is reading from the key words you catch. "Voices... Familiar face...? Fields... Children... parents...?" he hums quietly. His expression slowly turns from pure curiosity to confusion and uncertainty as he reads, finally reaching the last page and looking up to you again.

"How long have these dreams been happening....?"

"Long enough I guess. They started before my entries too. I only began writing them down when they didn't stop and truly started bothering me. At first I thought it was maybe a movie I watched, or too many late nights. But then they never stopped, and I started seeing flashes of my parents and my
childhood mixed in... I'm just so tired." you explain, letting out a tiny sigh.

Yoosung closes up the planner and places it back on your desk, a thin line formed along his lips in thought. "I'm gonna try some sleeping pills tonight I think, to try and get into a sleep so deep I don't even dream," you add, filling the silence.

"Are you sure that's smart?" he asks worriedly. "Do you need me to come over again? I don't know what I could do to help, but if they're scary dreams I could - "

"No," you interrupt. "Thanks, but I need to figure this out on my own. Besides..." You turn and flash Yoosung a bright smile just as the professor walks in. "I couldn't stand letting you see me like that!"

He seems to nod in understanding. He knew you were secretive. Proud. You simply didn't want him to see you such a mess after waking up from those strange, terrifying dreams. But more importantly, you didn't want him to worry. They were just dreams after all, right? They would have to end eventually, and they didn't cause any harm...

Accepting your words, Yoosung does his best to focus on the quickly-beginning lecture happening at the front of the class, taking care to quietly wake you if you ever started dozing. Which, sadly, was rather often. You're praying those sleeping pills will work, but for now, at least Yoosung understood why you were so tired. It meant he could help cover you in class, and you especially appreciate it later as he buys you a bag of honey buddha chips and a doctor pepper for lunch to try and cheer you up and give you an extra boost of energy.

It definitely helps.

You have a renewed smile on your face as the two of you spend your time enjoying the sun during your break, before finally parting ways for your separate afternoon classes. It's not too bad though. You feel awake now, and as your phone vibrates in your pocket half an hour into the afternoon, you soon discover someone else just as awake as you.

707: God, it's so early!

MC: Seven, it's 2 in the afternoon...

707: Gah, 2?! So early!! I should go back to sleep for another three hours... ;)

MC: Three hours? Now I'm envious of whatever life you live that lets you sleep however late you want!

707: Don't be. I actually haven't slept in two days. I just had a nap! Passed out at my computer I suppose lol

You can't help but roll your eyes as you can practically see Seven's mischievous and sheepish grin through his text.

MC: That's so not healthy Seven!

707: Yeah, but my job requires it of me. So let it be!

MC: Stupid work... What do you even do as a job that would have hours like that?

707: Would you believe me if I said I was a secret agent? ;p

MC: Pfft, as if!

707: Gahh! Called out without remorse!

707: But I guess it is pretty unbelievable. I mostly just do a lot of hacking and coding and stuff anyway.

MC: A hacker? Well that's pretty cool! I can barely understand basic computer tools, and yet you could probably build one.

707: Already have! :D

He was so confident. And funny... You can't help but let out a tiny giggle, and this calls the teacher's attention to you. You have to apologize and slip your phone away for a moment so you don't get in even more trouble before pulling it up again to reread Seven's reply. So confident... You envy him slightly, but at the same time you have this nagging feeling in the back of your mind not to believe the smiles he sends. You're not sure why.

MC: Did it fall apart in a day?

707: Gasp, no! How dare you assume the handiwork of 7-0-7 to be unreliable such as that!!

707: It fell apart in two days, I'll have you know.

You have to cover your mouth to stifle another laugh. You knew it! Though it was still impressive. However, the way he bluntly and happily delivers this information makes you want to burst out laughing, so you have to turn your phone to try and control yourself so you don't get in anymore trouble. He's so funny, and you find it rare that you've connected with someone so well. So quickly...

Then again, Seven feels different. Though it wasn't too long ago you met for the first time, it doesn't feel as though you've simply bonded quickly, but rather, you're just rekindling a previous relationship. It was certainly a strange feeling.

MC: Oh yes, my bad. I should have known your handiwork would have lasted longer than a single day.

 

Chapter Text

707: Hey cutie ;) Did ya sleep well? I hope it's not too early to be texting you.

You find yourself smiling slightly as your phone goes off with a soft buzz, stirring you from your comfortable position in bed the next morning. Rolling over, you grab your phone and sit up slightly, only smiling more at the message. Had he really just called you cute? You hesitate a moment, before remembering you gave him you texted him first before bed, saying you might like that in reply to the note he left behind from dinner. You then blush faintly as you realize just how much you were smiling. You had to stop... It was silly to get involved with anything, you know. Especially with all that's going on in your head right now...

You shake your head slightly to clear your thoughts before bringing back your small smile.

MC: Cutie?? I slept okay I guess. A bad dream kept me up a little closer to morning, but otherwise okay

MC: What about yourself? You sleep well? And it's never too early. If it was, I wouldn't be replying, now would I?

707: You do have a point! I'm sorry to hear you had a bad dream. Those are never fun!

707: Can I ask what it was about that kept you up...?

You hum to yourself softly as you think. Should he know...? Then again, why shouldn't he? He didn't have to know why you had that dream, just that you had it. The chances of anyone knowing your past to begin with was slim, and if anyone were to put the pieces together you could always lie and deter them from the truth. From the embarrassment...

MC: Well, I mean I guess you can. But whether I answer is another story ;)

707: Oh ho ho! Is that so? Such a secretive woman you are, Mari.

MC: Do you like secrets?

707: Sure do! Always sniff 'em out and discover the truth!! Can you handle the truth?

MC: Heh, probably not.

707: haha most people can't, so don't feel too bad about that

707: Now c'mon! What did you dream about last night??

MC: Nothing much. Memories mostly, mixing in with my dreams. SUPER boring stuff! Don't wanna drag you down with it. Especially so early in the morning.

707: Aww, aren't you the considerate one!

707: But is it really that early? I've been up for a while now... Then again, my sleep schedule's messed up as it is. ;p

MC: It's that early for me! Though, anything before noon feels early lately.

707: Very true, my fine friend! Very true.

MC: Fine? Did you magically turn into a gentleman in the last five seconds?

707: Magically? My dear, I AM magic! And I always have been a gentleman! I feel hurt...

MC: Sorry!! You just seem too silly to be seen as a proper gentleman. But maybe that's a good thing...

707: What, me? Silly? Preposterous!!

707: I am serious seven-zero-seven twenty four seven!

MC: Sure you are...

You find yourself giggling faintly at his comedic texts. You can just imagine his smile as he types, and that somehow makes you smile even more. After a while of talking, you finally convince yourself to crawl out of bed and make some breakfast. You have the day off of classes thankfully, though that doesn't stop Yoosung from messaging you at least once. He still had a class, and complained to you in a joking manner while you worked on homework before lunch.

Seven messaged you almost the entire time, only stopping when he said he had to do something before coming back. He seemed to enjoy talking to you, and you are very much enjoying talking with him. Far more than the nervous conversation of the evening prior. At one point, you excuse yourself to get ready, explaining you had to work the afternoon since you had the day off of classes. He sent you a gasping emoticon and allowed you to change in peace. Finding your simple grey work clothes accented by the company's blue colour, you grab your phone and head out, sending Seven and Yoosung messages once at work that you might not respond quickly, and the time flew by about as quickly as it could so you could leave all the sooner.

You're grateful when your shift ends, the sun just beginning to set as you begin your way home. You can't help but think about your day. You and Seven had talked immensely, him quickly getting to know you and you slowly getting to know him. Of course, there were things you kept and information you were surprised he guessed, and the same came from his end. All day, you couldn't shake the eerie and uncomfortable feeling that lingered anytime you talked to or even thought of Seven. Why was that?

Returning home you collapse onto the couch, turning on the tv to drown out your thoughts. It manages to help, until the news begins and the first story talks of the most recent arrests, and you begin remembering your dream from last night. The horribly vivid nightmare of life-threatening events... A shiver runs down your spine at the memory and you stand up quickly, knowing you need something new to ease your mind. Good always helps... A bag of chips and a can of soda to relax you.

When you wander into the kitchen, you don't realize you left your phone on the couch, and only when you hear it vibrating profusely do you realize. A bag of honey buddha chips in hand, you plop back onto the couch and answer your ringing phone without a second thought. You're expecting it to be one of three things: Seven, Yoosung, or someone from work. Rarely is it anything else, and you are far from expecting reality.

A crackling sound comes through from the other end, and you raise your eyebrow slightly. "Hello?" You ask again, hearing no reply to the initial question. When yet another moment of silence passes, you check your phone. Yes, the line is still supposedly alive, your smartphone counting the seconds since you hit the answer button. "Is anyone there?" you ask the static. Still nothing. "Maybe they-"

"Hello...?" a voice comes through. It's rough and sounds garbled from the static, but you can tell it's a man's voice easily enough. "Can y- ear me?" the voice tries, but reception seems to be horrible between the two phones. "I'm- get you- coming- wait-" and the line goes dead. Confused, you pull your phone away and check the number. It was a local number, but even with caller ID the only thing that comes up is Unknown where the name should be.

And then your phone vibrates again. A text this time.

Unknown: Just you wait, princess. I'll find you soon enough, and then the party of your dreams will come to reality.

 

Chapter Text

Hoards of people. Crowds. Bustling. Moving. Pushing. Chattering. Waving. Every loud, obnoxious thing possible. Then again, that's just how hallways are in university it seems. In school... It was rather obnoxious, and really, you found the easiest way to not despise it entirely was your friend Yoosung, the slight appreciation for having a routine, and the tiny fact you enjoy learning new things. Not always, but it helps satisfy that curious itch you were born with. Obnoxious little thing it was...

You're snapped out of your thoughts by a ringtone, interrupting the bustling sounds of the hallway to reach your ears. Your phone! Picking it up, you answer with a curious, "Hello?"

"Mari!" Yoosung calls through the other end. "You actually heard your phone! Phew. I wanted to catch you before you got too far, but you're so zoned out you didn't hear me! And then you disappeared around the corner. Meet me outside, by our spot, okay? It's easier to talk out there!"

"Huh? Yoosung what- You can see me?" you ask quickly.

"Could," he corrects. "Now are you gonna meet me, or not? It's so much quieter out here~"

You let out a tiny huff of a sigh, before smiling to yourself. He did always have a way of making you smile. "Yeah, sure. I'll be right there. But you owe me some after-school snacks!"

"What?" he gasps. "I already bought you lunch snacks! And you're the one with the part-time job, not me!"

You chuckle at his whiny tone. "You're so cute, Yoosung. At least walk me to a café or something? Then we'll be even!"

"Deal!" he replies happily, before hanging up the phone so you could get a move on to your meeting spot.

It's a short enough walk, truly, but with the large crowds it slows your progress immensely. You get there eventually, but you're certain that you're grimacing ever so slightly, and Yoosung only confirms these thoughts as you catch him frowning briefly before flashing you a wide grin and offering you a hug. A quick cheer up that almost always works!

"Sorry about the hallway! I was totally zoned out. Guess I really am tired," you joke with a small chuckle. He gently pats your shoulder and offers for the two of you to begin walking away from the main campus building.

Yoosung just shakes his head with a smile. "Don't worry about it! I get it. It's just a shame you're so tired is all," he hums kindly. He gently interlaces his fingers in yours and gives you another wide smile as the two of you leave the grassy border of the school's campus and step onto the solid cement of the pathway.

Yoosung gently takes your hand in his, swinging childishly as the two of you walk. "So," he hums softly. "You got any plans for the evening?" he asks sweetly. "Because if not, I'd love to set up a server for us for the evening! And if you need, I can be there if you have another nightmare... You know, even if I'm not /physically/ there, you can call me if there is anything bothering you, no matter what time!"

You smile at him, gently squeezing his hand with a reassuring hum. "Thanks, Yoosung. I'll be sure to remember that," you reply, your smile widening. "But, I would love to play some LOLOL with you tonight! It might be nice to help get my mind focused on something else before I pass out," you add with a grin.

His own grin spreads from ear to ear, his grip on your hand gently tightening before he lets out a whoop of glee. "Yes! This is going to be awesome!" Yoosung cheers. "This is going to be an amazing round, and we can go do so many raids together - I have all these plans just you and I can do - and I have this one quest..."

You offer a tiny eye roll as Yoosung begins rambling, but you're grinning. You love seeing him so excited and happy. He has such a contagious smile and sweet laugh that you can't help but be pulled into his infectious excitement as the two of you wander home.

Standing at the doorstep of your apartment, Yoosung offers you a sweet smile. He almost looks nervous, releasing your hand that he had taken a hold of a few minutes ago. "So, I'll text you later - probably like after dinner - so we can maybe talk and get on and stuff," he hums softly. "Thanks for letting me walk you home!" he adds quickly. "I was so worried when you were zoning out earlier-"

"I'm fine, Yoosung," you reply with a tiny giggle. "But, thanks for walking me. It was nice to spend time with you. It's always nice to spend time with you!" you add with a wide grin. He seems to perk up at your reassurance, smiling even more. "I'll even promise you, I'll eat some real dinner if you do as well."

He nods quickly at your offer. "That's fair!" he replies. "I'll even send you a picture to prove it if you do too!" he suggests cheerfully. You nod in reply. "And then we can chat in a bit of a more... personal setting," he adds, almost sheepishly.

"Heh," you chuckle. "LOLOL is personal?"

"It is when it's a private server!!" he argues, but the smile on his face tells he know about your teasing. "And it will be private this time. No hacking hackers getting in tonight, I promise."

You wave your hand slightly. "That's fine. It'd be nice if it was just the two of us, but Seven isn't too bad..!" you comment. Yoosung looks as though he's caught off guard by your reaction, but simply smiles and waves it off after a moment.

"Well, I'm hoping it's just us two tonight," he hums in response.

With a nod of agreement, he wraps his arms around you in a brief hug you return before parting ways, Yoosung turning away and you slipping inside your small apartment and closing the door behind you. You collapse onto your couch for a moment, letting out a sigh. The day had helped you to forget the previous evening, but apparently it refused to go away as your phone bings from within your discarded sweater. Sitting up, you pull the sweater off the floor beside your equally discarded school bag.

Unknown: Are you wondering who I am, beautiful?

Unknown: I know who you are. I know all about you. I'm watching you.

Unknown: And I'm waiting for you.

Chapter Text

Your heart is racing. Her breath catches in your throat. You're staring at your phone.

Unknown: I'm watching you. And I'm waiting.

"What does that mean?!" Yoosung cries into your ear. You blink as you remember you had been distracted the entire LOLOL game you had begun playing. "Can't start as co-op?"

"It means just that! It's an individual mission, Yoosung. Guess you can't take me along," you reply after a moment, trying your best to keep your voice steady. The messages had entered your phone almost two hours ago, but you haven't been able to get them out of your mind. In fact, you still have your phone open to the messages beside your keyboard. You keep trying to analyze it every free moment you have.

"Mari? Mari, you okay?" Yoosung asks. "You seem distracted."

"Hmm? Oh, no! Just tired still," you lie. "I'm fine! Sorry... Oh, give me a minute, and I'll perk up! Gonna grab some gaming food," you tease. Despite having cooked a proper meal - and sending the photo to a smiling Yoosung as promised - you barely ate a thing thanks to the terrifying texts. So despite Yoosung's questioning as you type AFK in your online status, you stand and hurrying into your kitchen, grabbing chips and a soda.

Your phone is still in your hand as you enter the kitchen, and you pause. You had an idea, but it was crazy, and you seriously doubted following through on this. But you were beginning to feel paranoid. And on top of the nightmares, you fear losing anymore sleep. So you hit call on your phone and hold it to your ear as you grab snacks and pop open a red bull.

"Hello! This is Seven-oh-Seven at your service!" a cheerful voice picks out. "How may I be of service today?"

"Hey Seven," you reply quickly, biting at your lower lip. "Can I ask you something?"

There's a hum on the other end of the phone and a short pause before, "Shoot, Mari!"

You gulp slightly. "You said you were a hacker, right?" A soft sound of agreement meets your question. "Could you-... Do you think you could trace a phone number?" you ask hesitantly.

You can almost sense the questioning look Seven is giving you through his phone in the silence that follows your question. "Well, theoretically I could," he hums. "But why should I?"

"Because I think someone's stalking me..." you mutter quietly.

That seemed to stop his teasing look at his phone as the silence between you two becomes more serious.

"And why do you think this...?" he asks.

"Because I keep getting texts and calls from this Unknown number. They say they're watching me and that they know all about me. And.. they're waiting for me." You explain hurriedly. "I know it could easily be a prank, but I'm scared, Seven. Just, please... if you could check for me? I barely get enough sleep as it is, I don't need to lose more due to paranoia."

"Of course! Of course," he replies quickly. "Of course I'll look for you. No one deserves to be scared like that, prank or not. If you can wait, I can stop by later tonight or tomorrow and take a look at your phone," he offers.

You nod at your phone, before letting out a sigh. "Thank you, Seven. I'll probably be up all night, so feel free to stop by and I'll help you however I can..."

"I'll let you know when I'm on my way." With that, you say thank you once again and hang up, hurrying back to your computer.

"Mari!" Yoosung is calling. "You've been gone forever! Do you have your snacks yet?" he asks as you return.

"Yes! But I also decided to put on pyjamas while I was up," you lie. "Because I forgot to do it before we started."

"O-Oh... well, that's alright then I guess. Now c'mon!" he says excitedly. "There's a raid starting!"

A tiny smile spreads upon your face as Yoosung's excitement helps distract your mind for the moment. You get into the raid the longer it goes, cheering and chiding Yoosung every now and then mixing in with your own sheepish laughter. Upon successfully completing the raid, you both cheer in unison and stand cheering as the victory screen flashes before you.

Then a knock interrupts your excitement.

"S-Sorry Yoosung. I gotta go. I got some late-night visitors, so now that the raid is done, I gotta get going," you interrupt his cheering, and you hear a sigh in response.

"Well, no worries then. This was fun! I'll see you tomorrow at school then, alright? Hopefully you can get more sleep! And text me if you need!" he replies quickly. You agree and promise you'll text if anything happens, before signing off and closing your computer. Standing, you slip over to the door.

You're nervous. This was strange, knowing Seven was just outside your door, and he was here because you fear you have a stalker. Doing a quick check through the peep hole as another knock rings out - thanks paranoia, you think - you swing open the door with a warm smile, once again surprised by how tall he is. You're not sure you'll ever get over his tall, lanky figure standing before yours.

"Hello!" he greets cheerfully, a grin on his face despite his purpose for arriving at your apartment.  You offer him a tiny wave, his contagious smile spreading to you as you let him into your home. "I got here as soon as I could. Parking was hard to find, but it's nice since you're not too far away from my place," he hums as he walks in.

Nodding in agreement, you lead Seven in and over to your couch, where you put your phone down earlier. "That is nice to know. Thanks for coming, by the way. Especially so late at night. I just- I kind of scare easily," you admit sheepishly, a hand fiddling with your hair ever so slightly.

He waves off your worries with another grin and a shift of his glasses as he follows after you. "It's my pleasure! A cute girl like you shouldn't be up late worrying over something like this. Whether it's a real threat or not, it's never a good feeling to think you're being watched like that." You offer him a small, grateful smile at his words, and he gently ruffles your hair before placing his hands on his hips. "So, grab your phone and show me the messages. I'm going to get my laptop set up."

You nod again, watching as he sits on the couch and begins to pull a very high-tech looking computer out of his black backpack, before grabbing your phone and sitting down next to him. You pull open the messages from the Uknown sender, passing Seven your phone as he holds out his hand for it. Doing a brief read over of the messages, there's a frown that replaces his usual, energetic smile as his eyes move over the screen. Jumping to his computer, you watch as he opens a window and begins typing away quickly, opening a second window and adding in even more text before finally plugging your phone in, a thin cord now connecting your phone to a port on the side of his laptop.

"So," he hums, leaning back as his computer begins to start to an autonomous program, running numbers and information and seeming to search for something. "I've taken some of the information off your phone and put it into my computer manually. Now, I've also plugged it in to get everything digitally as well, and I've created a program that will use your phone's data to try and learn more about who sent you those messages." he explains. "It shouldn't take too long, but if it does I at least shouldn't need your phone for the whole process."

"Wow, you really know how to do that?" you ask curiously. Glancing between the computer working on it's own and the grinning male beside you, you can't help but feel the slightest sense of déjà vu from the setting before you. You can't quite put your finger on it, but seeing the red-headed male sitting proudly before a computer just seemed so oddly familiar...

"Mhm!" Seven nods his head. "Taught myself almost everything I know, too. So it makes it all that much more impressive, doesn't it~" he chuckles softly. You giggle alongside him, nodding. 

"I mean, you were pretty impressive even before that knowledge, but yes. Makes it that much more impressive." you agree with a smile. He was such a dork, you couldn't help but smile and feel relaxed from his presence. You're about to ask him another question, but you pause as you see his smile disappear rather quickly. "Is something wrong....?"

He blinks, waving off your worries for a moment as he begins leaning into his computer, fingers typing away furiously. You watch as his eyes narrow, and he adjusts his glasses a moment as his eyes scan the fast moving text. You have no idea what is happening, what he is seeing, or what any of it means, even if it was going by at a speed you could read. And with his tiny assurance, you try not to worry too much, but the way he suddenly pulls away and unplugs your phone, you almost sense a strange panic surging through Seven. A hand runs through his red curls, and he lets out a sigh as he collapses back against the couch.

"Umm..." you start hesitantly. "What did you find...?" 

"I found a hacker." he admits uncertainly. "This Uknown is more than just a stalker. They somehow got into your phone it seems... Don't worry! There's nothing major about how they got into your phone. At least, nothing that I could see. Just a tiny virus. I can get rid of it easily enough, but still. Knowing that someone is determined enough to actually hack into your phone..."

You bite at your lower lip in fear. All of your previous reassurances have disappeared with his words. "Y-You mean I might actually be in danger?"

 

Chapter Text

"No, no! Not at all." Seven reassures you. "Not since we caught it so early. This person only seems to have sent you a few messages and implanted a bug remotely. So, we'll simply clean out your phone, and I'll try and chase down this person so we can get them to leave you alone!"

He sounded so cheerful, you couldn't help but try and relax. With a tiny nod, you entangle your fingers together slightly and let out a tiny sigh. "Okay..." He chuckles again softly, noticing your worry, and he reaches over and gently ruffles your hair. You let out a tiny giggle at his attempt at reassurance and relaxation.

"See? Nothing to worry about! You'll be fine. I'll start running this back at my place, and we'll have your stalker identified in no time!" He grins again, striking a bit of a comical pose before beginning to pack up his computer. He stands, but your hand is gently grabbing at his. It's warm and comfortable, and oddly familiar, and his expression shifts from a grin to confusion at your actions. Blinking down at you, he stops moving and simply stares. "Everything okay, Mari...?"

"Y-yeah. I just- Thank you." you reply quickly, letting your hand slip from his in embarrassment. You're not sure why you did that. A part of you believes it's because you simply wanted to comfort of another person just a little longer. Another part of you thought it to be something else entirely... You shake your head slightly and offer him a small smile. "I really appreciate you coming by and helping me out. Dealing with all of this and such.."

He grins, nodding slightly. "Of course! It's my pleasure to help out a friend in need."

You're about to open your mouth and say more when you both hear a phone begin ringing, and Seven seems to sigh softly. "Sorry," he starts. "One moment please...!" He then picks up his phone with a cheerful, "Hello!" only to flinch and hold the phone away from his ear slightly. You can hear another voice on the other end that sounded as though it was loudly nagging at Seven. He finally puts the phone back to his ear. "Yes, yes. I do have a life! Yes, I know Vanderwood, but you also know you can't punish me too much because I'm the best agent you have. Mhm.. No, I did not sneak out! I shouldn't have to sneak out of my own home either! Okay okay, I'm on my way now. I'm just with a friend anyway, so it's none of your business..."

You quirk an eyebrow up slightly, watching as Seven hangs up his phone with a brief moment of sticking his tongue out at it, before shoving it into his pocket. He turns to you with a sheepish smile. "Sorry about that...! My maid just called to complain about how I left such a huge mess behind..." he replies with a chuckle. "I best be going before she threatens to beat me over the head with my own computers! But I'll keep you updated on what I find, alright?" You nod, a touch sad that he has to leave so quickly, but you wave at him as he leaves and wish him a good night before finally closing and locking the door behind him. With a sigh, you find yourself suddenly exhausted. So much happened so quickly, that after such a long day, you meander your way to bed and end up crashing upon your bed, falling asleep quickly.

Screams. Crying. It's all you can hear beneath your bed covers. You're tucked tight under your covers, holding yourself and cowering at one end of your bed. Whatever you were afraid of seems to be gone, and you start to make your way out from under your bed-sheets. Tiptoeing out of the empty room, you find yourself wandering through hallways until you come upon a spacious yard, complete with a small swing-set and sand-pit all fenced in with an old but sturdy wooden fence. You see a young boy crouched down in the grass, bandages along his knees and an oversized hoodie engulfing his arms, hands, and upper-body. He holds his hands over his head, and you can just barely make out the vibrant red curls sticking every which way between his fingers.

He seems to be crying.

Trying to take a step forward to comfort the boy, you notice another, almost identical young boy step out of the shadows. He had an angry expression, staring you down before wrapping his arms around the first boy.

"Stay away from him!" the second boy shouts. "Don't come any closer! Or I'll- I'll hurt you!"

He looked terrified. You knew he probably couldn't do you any harm, but you back away, only to bump into someone else, and you realize the boy had been staring through you at this adult male that stepped out in front of you. He was tall and lean, and had the composure of someone famous. He wore sunglasses, and had light hair that almost appeared blue. "I mean you no harm," the man spoke gently. "In fact, I am hear to offer you something even better~"

"Paradise!" you breathe, gasping awake as you stare at the ceiling of your bedroom. Your phone is ringing, and you're sweating. It felt so real. So familiar... As they always did. After a moment of trying to understand what was happening and reorient yourself with reality, you roll over and answer your phone, barely even registering why it was going off in the first place until you hear the voice on the other end.

"Mari? Mari, it's Yoosung! Where are you?!" His voice sounds slightly panicked, and you sit up slowly, rubbing at your eyes and running a hand through your long brown hair to get it out of your face. "The bell's about to ring for class, and you didn't answer any of my messages!"

You pull your phone away from your face and look over the time at the top of your screen, and your heart drops. You were going to be late! "Oh god, I slept in!" you cry, and Yoosung seems to let out a tiny chuckle at your exclamation before hearing you scramble to get out of bed. "Another weird dream. Didn't sleep well. Thanks for calling. I'll explain later!" Speaking in broken and abrupt sentences, you give Yoosung the green light that you're up, moving, and panicking. He gives a brief goodbye before you hang up on him and dress as quickly as possible, racing out the door. There was no waiting around this morning!

 

Chapter Text

"Cho! You're late."

"Y-Yes sir. Sorry sir... Won't happen again sir..." you mutter softly. You had just barely managed to make it to school even remotely close to the time it was supposed to start. Ten minutes late, sure, but it was better than what it could have been! And given how far you had to go, you would feel proud if you weren't so out of breath and ashamed. Quickly finding your seat, you practically collapse next to Yoosung, and he gives you a tiny, reassuring smile before passing you a note.

"Glad to see you made it," the note reads, and you offer him a smile in return. "You mentioned a bad sleep on the phone. Everything okay?" the note goes on, and you sigh softly, quickly working on a reply before pulling out your workbook to try and catch up on what was missed.

"Yeah, another bad dream last night. Some kid was crying, and I couldn't do anything to help him. And there was this strange man... I barely remember him now though, just how strange and out of place he seemed. Like a rich guy in a poor neighbourhood." you write. With a brief tap of your pen, you glance to Yoosung. You decided he deserves to know more, about the real reason your sleep was so poor the evening before. "And I got these creepy messages. In real life, not my dream. Like someone was stalking me, so I didn't sleep very well after that, but everything's okay! I got it taken care of, I promise."

The moment Yoosung reads this, his eyes widen and he looks at you. Pulling out your phone, you briefly show him the fact you have messages from an unknown sender, before putting it away. His look only seems to sour more, but you offer him a reassuring smile. He then passes you yet another note. "We'll talk at lunch then, okay? Tell me everything." You give him a simple nod and smile in response, and relax back to let the rest of the class pass by smoothly.

The bell rings, releasing you and the other students for lunch, and you practically race out to save yourself the risk of the teacher remembering how you came in late and wishing to lecture you. It works, and you quickly find Yoosung and wander outside to enjoy the sunshine, only to discover the slight overcast that had blown in since you left your apartment earlier that morning.

"Sounds like quite the crazy life you've been having lately, Mari,"Yoosung hums as the crowds around you two begin to thin until you're all alone together. Reaching a rather isolated park bench beneath a flowering tree, Yoosung tightly wraps his arms around you, but loosely enough it's not suffocating. You gasp slightly in surprise, before carefully wrapping your arms around him in return. You stand like that together for a moment, silent and holding each other in mutual embrace, but you're the first to pull away.

"Thank you, Yoosung.." you say quietly. You offer him a wider smile, and he returns it easily, finally releasing you from his grasp. "I guess I needed that more than I thought... Things have just been so weird lately! I mean, the dreams I could live with, sure. But then the messages.. They're nothing, really, but it's still freaky, you know?"

He nods along, motioning for you to take a seat beside him on the bench as you begin to admit things you'd been keeping kind of secret in regards to your recent scares. "Especially when this person talks about finding me... It just- it felt like something straight out of a movie. But, I got someone to look at it, and they said it was nothing. Just some harmless messages. So you shouldn't have to worry about me going anywhere!" you add with a wider smile.

"And your dream?" he asks curiously, and you can see in his eyes he's obviously trying to relax regarding the stalking situation. You don't quite understand why he would be freaking out though, since you weren't anymore.

"Oh, right." you catch up. "Well, I mentioned that there was this little boy... I don't know why, but he was crying... And you know me, I felt bad! But then this other kid came out and began yelling at me... Except, it wasn't me he was yelling at, but this guy who I hadn't seen yet. The kids were scared... Yelling at the man to stay back and practically begging not to be hurt. But the man... He said he would offer them.. paradise.." you end up murmuring. Blinking back into the memory of the dream briefly - or would it be the dream of a memory? It honestly felt too blurry to be either - you let out a sigh. "Something felt off about this man though. And I don't just mean in the way he stood out so obviously, but I mean really off. Like he had bad intentions, you know? I don't know... It was just a silly dream, really. I get myself too worked up, I know, but still. It left me with a lingering feeling of unease when I woke up, that's for sure!"

Yoosung seems to frown ever so softly as he listens to you speak. "You talk as though you were really there...!" he teases with a tiny chuckle, and you giggle alongside him.

"Yeah, I guess it probably sounds like that, doesn't it. It certainly felt like that..." you reply with a murmur. Then you shake your head slightly and begin mindlessly braiding a loose chunk of hair off the side of your head. "But, it's just a dream! I was always known for having vivid dreams after all. They had just stopped for a while there in high school. Guess they're just making a comeback~"

Yoosung shrugs slightly. "It seems so. It's still a shame it's now! Causing so many problems on top of that scare with your phone," he hums. "Hopefully you can get some more sleep soon, and feel better! Is there any way I can help though? I mean, I know it's dreams and all, but maybe I could grab you something from my place that will help you sleep better or-"

His offer is interrupted by a loud and surprising growl: the growl of your stomach. You blush in embarrassment, and Yoosung looks at you in slight shock before you both burst out laughing. "Hah, guess you could grab me some food if you're feeling helpful!" you joke. "In my hurry to try and make it to class this morning, I didn't grab breakfast or remember to make lunch~" you admit sheepishly. With a nod of agreement, Yoosung stands, and you stand with him and hurry off to the cafeteria to grab some food before the lunch period ended and you were forced to go back to class. He holds your hand gently the entire time, and even argues kindness and pays for your sandwich so you could begin eating as he finished paying rather than wasting extra time.

Though it wasn't much, it certainly seemed to make the difference, as you finish your sandwich just as the bell rings rather than trying to finish it on the way to the classroom. Taking another sip of the cold green tea you had gotten as well, the two of you make your way back to class. The teacher barely notices you enter this time, and you give Yoosung a thumbs up as the room goes dark. A movie was set to play for this class. Sure, it was educational and would wind up being painfully boring, but at least it meant that you and Yoosung could have a relaxed and fun class making fun of the overdramatized movie being played. It seemed as though today was going to go better than the morning had led you on to believe.

 

Chapter Text

A high pitched buzz screams out. It fills the large classroom quickly, interrupting the movie most of the class had already fallen asleep to. Wide eyes and muttering accusations try and seek out the source of the sound, and it's quickly tied to you and the phone vibrating violently in your pocket. Now the teacher seems to notice you, and as you pull your once silenced phone out to try and solve the problem, the screen blinds you and you're on your feet in an instant. You can barely hear the cursing of the teacher as it mixes with the cries and confusion of the other students while you race out of the classroom screaming that you're sorry.

The door closes behind you, engulfing the room back into darkness, and you race down the halls and out to the empty, grass-covered campus of the school to try and silence your phone. You were certain it had been on silent, so why it seemed to be screaming at you, you have no idea. And then you look down, and you can see the screen of your phone is flashing slightly, jumping between black and white with a fast-moving wall of green text spanning your phone's screen. Your eyes widen, and you panic to try and turn your phone off. You have no idea what is happening, but you know it's bad, and you want to stop it before anything worse happens.

Suddenly, the screen goes black, and text begins appearing letter by letter before you, as though being typed out in real time.

Unknown: I have found you my princess

Unknown: and I won't let you leave my sights.

Unknown: Don't worry, my dear. Soon enough you will understand And soon enough you will be mine.

Unknown: Are you afraid?

Unknown: The look in your eyes is priceless.

You're panicking. They can see you? You had thought Seven said that this was nothing more than a harmless prank stalker? So why was a chill running down your spine? You try and chalk it up to the lack of sun as it's hidden behind thick, dark clouds, but your eyes are scanning the nearby trees and buildings for any sign of someone watching you. Not a thing is made visible.

Unknown: You won't find me, darling. You know that...

Unknown: And I'm sorry I had to get you in trouble. This was the only way I could get you alone lately, it seems~

Unknown: Oh, I'm sorry. I'm being rude. Messaging you like this. Why don't I phone you instead~

You barely have time to register the words on your screen before they're gone, replaced with a glitched-out screen of a regular phone call, the number only coming up as unknown, but it looked to be impossible to ignore the call. So you begrudgingly answer.

"Oh, such a good little girl~" the voice on the other end coos. The voice alone sends another shiver down your spine, and you try once again to find the source, to no avail. "You're so cute when you're scared! I love it~ That boy doesn't know what he has yet, does he?"

You shake your head slowly. You couldn't manage words, but you knew this person could see you. This... Man, you deduced, listening to his voice. But you were also confused. Who was he talking about? What was he talking about. "I-I don't-"

"Oh, you're so confused, aren't you Mari?" the voice replies, dripping with a sickly sweetness. "About who I am. What I"m talking about. How I know who you are~ But you see, the thing is, I know far more about you than you do..." His voice is breathy, close to the phone and quiet, and you can almost feel his presence standing beside you. Despite the fear coursing through your body, you can't help but note his voice, memorizing it slightly as he speaks. "But I guess that's what happens to people like you, isn't it? Trauma victims did have an awful bad habit of pushing their memories deep into the recesses of their mind to the point that they forget that part of their life even existed. And it seems that you, Mari, are a prime example~ Not that you would know that."

"H-How do you-" you stammer out, only to be cut off once again.

"Ah, ah, ah~ No interrupting! And no questions. You'll know in due time, sweetheart. Due time... Besides. If you don't know me now, you don't deserve to know me. So just wait. I couldn't wait much longer though... Not without talking to you. You're just far too sweet and beautiful~ I had to let you know that I was near, so you never felt alone or afraid! I promise, my princess," he continues on, his voice gaining a slight growl to it. "That soon you and I will be together. When the time is right, I will be there to sweep you off your feet and escort you to Paradise~"

You can hear him breathe a soft "Farewell," before your ear is filled with nothing but dial-tone, meaning he had ended the call. Your once frozen heart begins to pound in your chest, so hard and fast you're momentarily afraid it will pop right out of your chest! Your mind is racing, and your vision is slightly blurry with fear. Pulling your phone away from your ear, you finally look down at it, pressing the end call button on your end just to see your phone flash a bright white before going completely black.

Dropping your phone, you find yourself collapsing to your knees beside it, hands shaking and eyes unfocused. What just happened? You're too confused. Too scared! You can't think properly. Your mind is racing, searching for answers to why, as well as the answers to what. What now? Why her? What did he know? Why did he care? You were terrified, and you were so shocked and lost in thought that you barely even notice as the bell rings, and people begin to swarm around you in hordes, parting to go around you as simply as if you were a boulder in their path. Until a pair of more panicked footsteps stop before you.

"Mari?! Oh my god, are you okay? You weren't answering my texts or my calls, and you never came back to class-"

Yoosung's panicked, you can tell just by the sound of his voice. His blue-purple eyes meet yours, filled to the brim with worry as he kneels before you. His hands rest on your shoulders gently, and as he catches sight of your shaking, he pulls you into a tight hug. Your face is gently buried into the crook of his neck, and you take a calming breath, smelling the sweet, familiar scent of pine and vanilla that constantly surrounded Yoosung.

"Thanks..." you murmur quietly. You gently pull away from his grasp, and after a moment of hesitation, he lets you go. His expression is questioning, and you pause to reach for the phone you had dropped. "He-He called me..." you explain slowly. "The stalker. Said he knew me and- and that he would come get me one day... He even knew my name, Yoosung, and it sounded like he was watching me!"

Yoosung's look grows dark for a moment, and the grip he holds on your arms seems to tighten ever so slightly. You go to try and open your phone, to show him, only to find all signs of his call or messages completely gone! In it's place, is a new app on your phone, with a tiny red 1 bouncing above it. A notification... But you don't remember downloading this app. Or ever even seeing or hearing about it before! You eye it curiously, and you're about to click it open when a separate notification catches your attention instead: a text from Seven.

707: Mari! We got a problem here.