“When your house begins to fall, when all the foundation that you built starts to crumble, all you have is metal and dust to breathe and see.”
Hoseok shakes his head and closes the book before putting it into its place. The library is quiet and almost empty, it’s the perfect time to leave and there is that special light that comes from the moon. With a last look and nod toward Jungkook who’s ghosting in front of the librarian, Hoseok adjusts his bag and pushes the big wood door. The streets are cold but he can’t feel it, only able to see the smoke coming out of his mouth, too numb by what’s growing in his chest. The stars are staring at him and it gives him the need to hide, to hold onto something in order to feel his body. People are busy walking back to their homes and Hoseok shivers at how blended into all of this he is. They all wear the same tired face, all have that same look in their eyes, lost and so far away. He can’t keep himself from smirking because he feels proud. Somehow seeing that it works, that what he has been working on for so many years truly has an impact, makes him feel proud in the weirdest way. The consequences of his actions, of his voice, are right there, in the tired sighs, in the way they all walk, as if they were dolls without a goal. It’s in how the sky is grayer, in how the humans feel more and more fragile and sad. He’s proud because it means he isn’t useless, that he’s good at what he’s supposed to do. It means he isn’t a failure, yet bitterness keeps growing whenever he really starts to think about it. It’s weird when things so important in your life, things that become part of you, that are you are this conflicted. Hoseok lets his eyes drop to the ground and walks faster, biting the inside of his mouth, disgusted by his thoughts.
The house is silent when he comes in, Hoseok puts down the keys in the bowl at the entry before taking off his shoes quietly. With a sigh he turns on the lights only to find Yoongi sitting on the couch who frowns and opens his eyes. They’ve already been here before, hundreds of times even but Hoseok still gets goosebumps when he drops his bag at the feet of the coffee table.
“You don’t look good.”
Yoongi glances at him. “Bad day. What about you? You look like shit.”
Hoseok smiles, it’s small but it’s there. He pours himself a glass of cold water that he drinks in one go while staring into the living room, eyes focused on nothing in particular.
“I feel like shit so maybe that’s why and Jungkook bothered me too. You know how he gets.”
Yoongi scoffs but it’s quiet. “When you don’t pay attention to him, yes I know.”
“Why were you in the dark anyway?”
Hoseok puts the glass on the counter and joins Yoongi on the couch, sitting down, leaving a small space between them. He becomes immediately aware of the smell but doesn’t comment on it, waiting.
“Got a headache.”
Hearing that the youngest snaps his fingers, the lights turning off suddenly. The action makes the eldest let out a breath of relief. They stay like that in the dark with the sounds that haunt Daegu this late at night and Hoseok knows now that Yoongi is crying by the way he tries to hide his whimpers. There are those things that you learn when you’ve been living with someone for this long, almost three hundred years were enough to know someone, to have every little habit memorized. It used to bother them, the fact they could know what the other was thinking or wanting with one look. They fought a lot back in the day about this lack of privacy time forced onto them, they talked about it too, to make it easier, to be respectful and set boundaries both of them should acknowledge. Now though, it feels like they don’t talk enough anymore, like all these days never helped them learn about each other, as if they were growing apart, like two strangers. Then again, Hoseok feels a lot.
“Why are you crying?”
Hoseok’s voice breaks the silence with a mystical touch to it.
“I’m not.” Yoongi sighs and the smell just grows stronger. Hoseok won’t be able to contain himself anymore. The air around them changes as the youngest’s power takes over, the flat getting colder by the second, at the edge of freezing.
“Fuck. Can you chill?”
Hoseok wished he could control himself but when it came to Yoongi, he tended to lose his ability to stay calm.
“Cold helps with headaches. Tell me why you’re crying?”
Yoongi finally opens his eyes, they’re purple and dark. Hoseok will never get use to it, it’s unfair how his eyes can turn this color and still be the most beautiful thing the youngest have ever seen. It hurts when that wood smell gets liberated, it holds too much power, makes Hoseok’s body want to crawl to it until it mixed with his own, pushes you to listen to silence, enchants you in thinking you could live within the clouds.
“I’m crying because I’m tired, Hoseok, and this headache doesn’t want to leave me alone.”
Hoseok is the one who closes his eyes this time because lies make his soul grow colder and he’s trying to raise his body temperature. Lies because Yoongi could cure himself easily, he could get rid of all this pain effortlessly but he doesn’t, he chose not to. The air becomes warmer again after some minutes, it prepares the space for what Hoseok’s going to say, it helps him to think that it could make the eldest feel better, that it would make the living room more comfortable.
“Jimin is leaving.”
Jungkook was the one who had told him at the library. Hoseok went there as usual, searching for things he hadn’t read yet, he loved books, loved the fact that they helped him a countless number of times to forget his condition, making him believe he was a simple human being who would die someday. Books and stories had that power to bring you to a place you never been to, they helped you create lives and love stories, they made you sweat with shame and trilled with sound. They were something that made Hoseok happy. Quickly, the library locations where all those stories were became a safe place, somewhere he went to be calm and make his mind clear. It was a place where he could speak to Jungkook and have the company he sometimes needed, it was a good spot, an interesting one. So when Jungkook surprised him by coming from a book he had opened, Hoseok had closed it immediately, only for the ghost to come out of it, appearing in the space. The ghost had that light in his eyes as he told him about the rumors concerning Jimin, Namjoon and how it all was messy situation. Hoseok was aware of those little talks, but he had stayed there, listening to every whisper Jungkook was letting in his mind and Yoongi’s face had popped up in front of his eyes. The ghost had left after answering some of his questions, stuck in the middle of the bookshelves, Hoseok felt angry. His space, his own paradise, the one even Yoongi hadn’t marked was stained with Jimin’s soul and he didn’t know how to feel about it.
Yoongi scoffs, bringing back Hoseok to where they were. “I know. He’s not leaving though, he actually already left.”
“So that’s why you’re crying.”
Hoseok doesn’t need an answer, silence and time gave it to him ages ago. “Come here.” He adds as Yoongi brings up wet violet eyes on him. It’s sad to see someone you care for be this broken and not know what to do to help. It’s frustrating that Hoseok can’t take all the sadness away, can’t make Yoongi forget or just numb his soul with coldness until he’s able to properly breathe. The eldest seeks refuge in Hoseok’s arms, head hiding in his neck, hands crawling at each side, moving as if they were searching for something precious. Yoongi might be trying after all, because Jimin left and probably took everything with him. Jimin left and Jimin might be Yoongi’s first and last love, Hoseok doesn’t really know. They never talked about it, didn’t have the need to. Everything passes eventually and because Hoseok was sure of it, he respected the fact that it was Yoongi’s story, something between him and Jimin. The wood smell grows plugging Hoseok’s nostrils but he still holds Yoongi strongly while listening to him murmuring “Jimin left” as if the eldest was trying by repeating those words tirelessly to accept the weight they held.
Yoongi always cried silently. It was something weird Hoseok obsessed over because it was different, so far from the way he expressed himself. Yoongi was pretty and elegant in everything he did, had that aura, that thing, the look, the attitude. He used to tell Hoseok that the confidence was the result of his training, that he didn’t choose to have it, that it was his family, his condition and power that increased the illusion, he wasn’t trying to play it cool. Looking back at it now, Hoseok understands why the eldest tried to break that fictional image, because it’s dangerous and can make people hurt easily.
When you know you’re going to be stuck with someone for so long, useless fights and crying better be prevented.
It all made sense when Hoseok met Taehyung and Seulgi though, he just understood as soon as Yoongi’s brother and his aunt opened the door for them. Yoongi had been lying, it didn’t only come from his family but he wasn’t trying to look cool either. It was a mix of everything, his position as the eldest, his choices and habits, it was complicated. Yoongi had a deep sensitivity but just didn’t voice it with words and sounds; he expressed himself carefully and in silence most of the time. He spoke volumes with the intensity of the purple in his eyes, in how strong his smell was, the world just needed to learn.
“Did he come to say goodbye?”
Hoseok asks while knowing it’s a stupid question but sometimes empty talks helped. Time showed them that it’s easier to talk through things rather than pushing it away until it became too much. Even if it starts from an empty sentence, words could grow and gain sense, people should believe in them more. Maybe it’s the lack of trust in them that led this world into chaos, Hoseok was almost sure of it.
“Of course he did.” Yoongi has his right cheek on Hoseok’s chest now, hand settled on his waist, calm. He’s still crying but it seems like he is starting to accept the fate. “He came, was sad that you weren’t here.” Hoseok hums but keeps silent, letting Yoongi have the time to express himself. “We cried so much.” He says while laughing a little but it sounds utterly bitter. “Maybe that’s why I have such a headache.”
“Sure it is. Why didn’t you cure yourself?”
Yoongi shakes a bit, it’s small but since their bodies are close, Hoseok feels every little move.
“Wanted to feel, it helps. I knew this would happen someday.”
Hoseok closes his eyes and brings a hand to the eldest’s back where it starts to move on its own.
“It was earlier than you thought.”
“So much. I hate time, how it makes your mind forget that it exists, especially for us.”
“I understand Yoongi.”
“Namjoon came to take him; they must be so far now.”
Hoseok feels every letter as he speaks those words. He’s sorry because Jimin was pure and strong, because Jimin made Yoongi laugh in a way nobody ever could, because giving each other comfort seemed to be a strong point in their lives, something Hoseok himself always had a hard time to provide to the eldest. Jimin was an angel, literally. He was a light Yoongi got used to, something his body and mind will maybe search for during eternity. Jimin may have become a shadow in the demon’s life as well.
“It’s not your fault.”
“I know, but still, I feel sorry.”
Yoongi moves to place a kiss on top of Hoseok’s heart before settling down again. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Hyung?”
They stay like that until Yoongi’s eyes stop shedding tears.
“What did Jungkook do?”
Yoongi’s voice surprises Hoseok who was lost in his thoughts.
“Came out of a book, almost screamed and made a fool of myself in the middle of the deathly silent library.”
Yoongi laughs and it spreads warmth in Hoseok’s chest.
“Wouldn’t be the first time.”
“Rude! But yeah I feel like he’s lonely. He gets bored there alone you know...”
“What’s on your mind?”
Hoseok had already thought about a solution for Jungkook, seeing him alone at the library always made his heart break, whenever the younger was seated waiting for him, Hoseok knew that this couldn’t keep going for too long. With all the time he spent there, he learned a lot about Jungkook and what led him to where he was, at least he learned about what he liked, where he came from, those types of things. The ghost wasn’t able to remember the reason of his death nor when it all occurred, Hoseok had tried to make the younger remember but whenever he brought up the subject, he stumbled upon a closed face. His friend clearly didn’t want to talk about it so Hoseok had been respectful, but thinking about it now, maybe he should’ve pushed the younger a bit more. He remembers the first time he saw Jungkook screaming at a girl who was looking for books, headphones on, eyes focused on the shelves. She kept ignoring him and Hoseok could see that it was slowly driving the youngest crazy, leading to more intense screams and sighs as the seconds passed. He stared quietly, he needed to talk to the boy but with the girl still there it might get complicated and put them in a weird situation so Hoseok started to make the area colder. The young woman took a book and left the aisle shuddering with goose bumps all over her arms. As soon as they were more or less alone, he gazed at Jungkook, still in silence and Hoseok met big dark eyes. Surprised, the youngest started to move to see if that man really was seeing him, going left and right, crouching too, it was ridiculous but touching. Hoseok rolled his eyes, a smirk growing on his face and even if the look on Jungkook’s face had been cautious, his body relaxed.
“You can stop screaming. I hear you.”
Those were the first words they had exchanged and since then a billion others followed. Hoseok had grown fond of the youngest who became a friend, Yoongi had too, but it was different, more calm and polite, a relationship you don’t chose, something that falls on you and happens to be good, great even. However, lately Jungkook became more and more depressed, eaten by loneliness and preoccupied by thoughts he couldn’t fully understand. Hoseok had tried to talk to him, help him but his little friend had closed his heart off. The demon wanted to help and relieve Jungkook from that unknown weight that kept getting heavier with time. Ghosts weren’t supposed to stay on earth, the ones that did were empty shells full of resentment and hatred and they were stuck between the two realms feeding on people’s dreams and loves. Hoseok didn’t want that for Jungkook, his position aside, he didn’t want for the youngest to become something that was so far from him. The ghost was a good boy, a bit lost, but utterly good and nice, seeing him crumble little by little pushed Hoseok into taking action.
“I did research on him.”
“Did you find something?”
“Yup. Basically all his life and um…the way he died.”
Yoongi tilts his head, eyes still purple but more on the lavender side.
“You know that it could help him go to the other side.”
Hoseok closes his eyes. He knows that talking about what he found could lead his friend to the other side, god, it was why he did the research to begin with. However learning about the way Jungkook died, the reasons why he became a ghost haunting the library made Hoseok deeply sad and he didn’t want to feel pity over his friend, knowing well that Jungkook would hate him for it. Moreover sharing his knowledge would make his friend disappear from his life and he thought he was ready for it but the way things went, he isn’t, not one bit.
“I know.” Hoseok sighs opening his eyes only for them to fall on Yoongi’s cheek, pink and soft; quickly one of his fingers goes to caress the warm skin. “I’m scared and I’m being so selfish but…”
“You don’t want him to leave yet.” It’s not a question, more a sentence that sounds so full of sense and Hoseok knows it does, especially coming from Yoongi.
“Yeah. It just a lot you know, the way he died, what I found out, it’s a lot and I don’t want him to go dark.”
“How do you know that?”
“Because it’s been years and he hasn’t. Also I could help.”
“He won’t let you Hyung, you know he won’t.”
Yoongi straightens up and their bodies separate, Hoseok misses the touch but sits up as well.
“I didn’t say I would throw a spell on him Hoseok, you know I wouldn’t dare. Still I can help appease the area when you tell him what you found out.”
Hoseok tries not to look surprised but it’s Yoongi, it’s time and it’s tiredness that wins over. The witch looks back at him, eyes growing wide. “You were going to tell him right?” Hoseok turns his face away before passing his hands on his face. “Hob?”
“Of course Hyung. I’m not a heartless asshole!” It comes stronger than he intended.
“I didn’t say you were but you definitely are now.”
Yoongi’s voice is strong and tired, Hoseok shakes a little because the older is always right about him.
“I’m sorry. I’m tired, can we speak about this tomorrow and just go to sleep?”
“Yes we better.” Yoongi stands up and goes to the bedroom, silhouette disappearing in the dark. Hoseok sighs and joins him, the city’s sounds following him like a million ghosts.
They don’t talk about it tomorrow. Yoongi doesn’t bring it up, taking care of his daily tasks as if the events from the day before never occurred. They don’t talk about it mostly because Hoseok is a coward and cooking breakfast for Yoongi, writing a little note and leaving as soon as he could felt safer. The air of Daegu is similar to when winter approaches, it’s easier to breathe, it’s colder too, reminds Hoseok of home, of Suran and Hyoseob. He wonders what they’ve become, if like him they were thrown into a part of this planet for work, pretending to lead a normal life or if they stayed deep down, at the center. He wonders what they would think if they saw him with Yoongi lying down onto their couch while drinking hot tea, what thoughts would cross their mind if they came to one of the classes he teaches at Daegu University. Would they laugh knowing that he has a part time job teaching students about history under a school which has as motto “Love, Light and Freedom”? Hoseok knows Hyoseob would joke about it for a bit but would stop as soon as he would catch Hoseok’s eyes and see how important all these things became for him. Suran is another story, someone Hoseok will never be able to understand yet still love endlessly. She might not understand, the demon he’s sure she wouldn’t but she still loved him as much as he did so she would keep quiet, tease him maybe. Hoseok remembers the hide and seek sessions, can almost hear the screams of the darker side that they use to listen to when they had too much of a drink. It’s been so long but the memories are still so fresh, feel so real and new, not like something that had happened over hundreds of years ago. Suddenly he understands Yoongi’s words concerning Jungkook, about having to tell him his story; everyone had the right to know their history and memories. Hoseok was no one to take them away from Jungkook, no one at all. He opens the door and immediately spots the ghost seated next to one of the library windows, far enough from the crowd. It’s not really full but there are enough souls that Hoseok has to take a book to make himself blend in before finally joining the youngest who doesn’t spare him a glance.
“Are you ignoring me?” Hoseok whispers, still concerned by their proximity to the students seated two tables away. “Jungkook?” He calls again louder but still low enough to not bring any attention on them. Hoseok watches the book to make it look like he’s reading but brings his eyes up when nothing answers him. Not even a look is given to him nor a move delivered, the demon sighs and makes a move to grab the youngest forearms only to be met with a black glare.
“Don’t touch me.”
Jungkook sounds dark and suddenly Hoseok is scared that he’s too late, that he fucked up again, that nothing can be done anymore. The ghost looks so far away, hidden under a way too big amount of maliciousness and the demon tries to focus, to not give in to panic.
“I won’t. Here look I backed off. I won’t touch you.”
Jungkook is still there, Hoseok can see him in the light that shines in those dark eyes and he’s there so Hoseok breathes in.
“You don’t have the right to touch me.”
“I know. I’m sorry Jungkook, I won’t do it anymore.”
“I am ignoring you.”
“I figured. Can you come home?”
“Why would I do that?” Jungkook’s voice bites him and Hoseok tries not to show it off, just smiles.
“Because Hyung wants to see you, because I want you to be with me, get out of here for a bit.”
“How’s Hyung by the way?” Hoseok quirks an eyebrow trying to bring his friend up to face him by showing quirkiness and interest. It’s bad and probably mean but all that spite needs to leave, it can’t stay and haunt his friend. The demon would never forgive himself, hell, Jungkook would never forgive himself. “About Jimin, I meant.” It works Jungkook talks and his voice sounds more like him, slowly.
“He’s going to be okay. Jungkook?”
“Hyung…” Suddenly the youngest appears as deeply young and tired, as if he became lucid for a moment of what was happening. “Hyung, what’s happening to me…I want to go home please?”
It breaks Hoseok’s heart, the shake in his voice, the coldness that grows, it feels like it takes over the library but Hoseok glances over and everyone looks normal. He shakes his head and stands up, discarding the book on a table as he stares at Jungkook’s figure who looks even more floaty.
“Hyung is going to help you okay. Come on Jungkook let’s go home.”
They’re quickly outside and the demon welcomes the pure breeze that slaps him in the face, Jungkook is beside him looking as lost as he could be.
Hoseok gets his phone out and sends a message to Yoongi.
To Yoongi :
Hope the help offer is still on. I’m with Jungkook.
Yoongi is not there when they get to the flat, probably still at work and to be entirely honest it gives Hoseok a pick of anxiety. Jungkook has been edgy on their way here, going from fighting to becoming the character that hate and time want him to become. Yoongi had answered the text simply and the demon didn’t know what the witch had in mind exactly but Yoongi was one of the best and most talented people he knew so he had shook off any doubts and fears to be there for Jungkook. The ghost seemed to be lucid whenever Hoseok was honest with him; whenever he touched the youngest’s hair like he used to so the demon had done just that. They played video games or more Hoseok played video games while Jungkook fucked with the TV or the remote control, they listened to music and talked too and it was already dark when Yoongi came home. He had found them on the couch watching some stupid show, Jungkook looking more human than ever.
Yoongi’s voice may have seemed normal to Jungkook who had just answered with a small “hey Hyung” but to Hoseok’s ears it sounded like hurricanes and winter storms. His eyes were black, not a grade of purple there but the air around them immediately felt better, as if Yoongi was carefully turning the apartment into some sort of bubble cut from the world outside. Hoseok could feel it, sense the power and peace that took over their surrounding with strength, it made his blood boil, a natural reaction from a demon exposed to magic. Jungkook kept looking at the TV and he looked so real, like he was made of flesh and bone, the thought gave the demon chills. It was a hint that a ghost was slowly shifting from one rank to another and Hoseok wished while watching Yoongi cooked dinner that it wasn’t too late, that they still had time. Jungkook stood up suddenly and without knowing Hoseok did too, maybe a bit too quick by the look the ghost gave him.
“Where are you going?” The demon asked voice on edge. Jungkook stared and his mouth opened a little, just like when he finally understands something.
“What’s going on…”
“There sure is something!” Jungkook screams, loud and his eyes grow big and his heart is surprised, Hoseok can see it.
“Jungkook, calm down.”
It’s small again and Hoseok knows it is not for him, Jungkook is asking for Yoongi, pleading almost by the tone of his voice. The oldest turns around and his eyes are bright purple, a color Hoseok had seen only a few times. They are shining, the wood smell getting stronger mixing itself with the oil pasta Yoongi is finished cooking.
“Let’s just eat okay. Then we talk.”
Jungkook stares more before going to sit on the counter like he’s drawn to the oldest body, Hoseok watches the scene, a deep breath leaving his chest, an enchantment. Yoongi was throwing a spell on Jungkook and the demon didn’t know what to think about this, didn’t understand why this tragic pain kept growing as time passed. Jungkook who just fell in love and was killed for it, Jungkook who was young and who just needed to feel youth through every possible way. The ghost loved books so much, he loved reading maybe that’s why him and Hoseok had clicked this much so quickly. Jungkook loved the girl who worked there too, forty years ago, liked to see her rearrange the books between the shelves, craved to see the way she tucked her short hair behind her ears. Jungkook was a soul crushed by dreams and hopes; he was a heart a bit naive that thought the world he lived in was as pure as he was. Ji-eun was pretty and warm, helped all the people who came to the library trying to forget or learn more, she was soft and had that sensible aura, like old people, those who lived and knew a lot. Jungkook was intrigued and attracted so he had began to leave her notes, silly little poems about dark hair spinning with the air, cherry lips and deep brown eyes. She had started to leave some too and she knew it was him, like a silent agreement they pretended that neither of them knew from whom the letters were coming. Hoseok thinks that the earth and the soil beneath their feet probably remembers all the talks Jungkook and Ji-eun had; the skies might have hidden the memories of the first hugs and tears carefully into a cloud, the books might have written lines about the way they met between dark aisles to giggle and laugh through kisses. Ji-eun had told him the day before; they were seated under their tree, hands touching each other innocently. Her dad was marrying her away and there was nothing she could do about it, nothing Jungkook could have done to stop it. They stayed there passing out and pressing out of their mouths untold feelings until dawn were there, just above their heads. Ji-eun carried something Jungkook had never witnessed on her pretty face, a determination that put shivers upon the boy’s body and he knew. That it was over, that nothing could be done, a decision was taken and only stories could be written and left behind to show and tell to the world that another impossible love had bloomed like lilacs during Spring. Time had come and with it Ji-eun’s silhouette had disappeared between the trees. With seconds and a shared amount of difficulty Jungkook brought himself up on his feet and went to the only place he wanted to be passing through the same trees and putting his feet on the same steps his first love had taken. There was this feeling in the air that morning, something pure that made Jungkook reminded of his younger self, the one who played on the hills with other children, the one who had spoke to a beautiful man, with blond almost white hair and grey wings. Hoseok had seen it all, in his mind, the moments were projected like some scenes from different movies, he saw Ji-eun, Namjoon who helped young Jungkook after he had been bullied, he saw the books and the words, so many words, ink black and dirty with tears. Hoseok had felt everything too, the fear, the love, the longing and finally that strength just before the knife went through Jungkook’s heart, the way his own hands shook at the vision, just like Jungkook’s had at that time. It was crazy, felt horrifying and tragic.
Jungkook was killed for wanting to feel more, he was murdered in one of the aisles Hoseok and him walked a billion times, blood shed on clean wood and memories sucked up by pages.
Jungkook had killed himself.
Hoseok says those last words out loud and only acknowledges it when Yoongi’s steel chopstick fall into his bowl making a strident sound. It’s out and Hoseok had spoken loud and clear, the realization of it makes him bite the inside of his mouth desperately trying to chase after the taste of a blood he doesn’t have. The demon was made of fire, so hot and burning that his body only felt cold, freezing even. He usually loved the feeling, learned to appreciate every nuance of it, from the numbness to the thrilling suffocation it would give him sometimes. But right now he wished he were a simple human, capable of hurting, of feeling his blood move in his veins.
Jungkook is staring down at his bowl and it’s ridiculous, a ghost couldn’t eat but Yoongi and him always loved to pretend because it helped Jungkook feel less lonely and weird, because like that they all looked like a family, something neither of them really had. The ghost is quiet and Yoongi slowly puts his right hand on the youngest’s forearm while staring at Hoseok’s eyes.
“Jungkookie…hey baby look at me.”
Jungkook doesn’t raise his eyes as Yoongi asked, he looks at Hoseok and the demon backs off by the impact, standing up immediately.
“You researched my past?” Cuts Jungkook with a growl. It’s angry; it’s what Hoseok deserves, really.
“Let me explain…”
“Explain what? How you’re so fucking full of yourself and a disrespectful son of Satan? I can’t believe you did this.” He turns to Yoongi “can’t believe you let him do this to me Hyung…I hate you. I hate this.” Jungkook stands up and runs to the door quickly followed by Hoseok who’s running after him but Yoongi’s screaming an incantation. One that makes the ghost and the demon stop, unable to make any move. The wood smell is strong making Hoseok dizzy and slowly heating the center of his body, Jungkook screams and cries while begging the witch to free him from the spell.
“I won’t until both you decide to calm down and talk. I can’t believe I have to use my power against the both of you.”
Yoongi seems utterly exhausted and Hoseok thinks of Jimin who left only yesterday, of how he had been yet again selfish and dumb and Jungkook hears it, quickly glancing at Hoseok. They had instituted this thing not so long after they had become friends, a way to communicate without speaking out loud, just thanks to thoughts, it was practical, saved them a huge amount of time but unfortunately needed a lot of energy.
Hoseok knows the ghost is watching him and that they’re connected so he talks while Yoongi scrubs his face slowly making it turn red, lost in thoughts.
I’m sorry. I am so sorry but please let me explain, let me tell you what I found, why I did all of that. Jungkook, I’m sorry please if you don’t do it for me, do it for Hyung.
The ghost listens and glances at Yoongi before going back to the demon.
“Okay I’ll stay.”
Hoseok tries not to look surprised by how both of the answers are opposite. Yoongi comes back to them, eyes purple and sleepy, surely emptying himself of his energy gazing at the ghost carefully.
The question seems to hurt Jungkook for a reason Hoseok doesn’t understand.
“Yes Hyung, just, please just let go, break this.”
“You won’t leave?” Yoongi asks this time and Hoseok knows it’s for him so he tries to nod but when he can’t he answers with a small “I won’t. Promise.”
With a nod and a sigh from Yoongi, they’re able to move again and the demon must affirm that the witch’s power still surprises him, by how confident and how in control of it he seems to be. The air is glowing with something unusual, Hoseok wonders if it comes from Yoongi or even Jungkook. Now that the news is out there, the ghost might have set something free without even being aware of it. It feels like trees and high grass, velvet green and cold nights, strangely reminds him of Taehyung. The moon holds its light that peeks through the open windows, they all are seated on the couch in a way they did so many times yet it feels different. It’s like fawning goodbyes, like a drama scene, cliché and just full of resentment, tiredness and fear so Hoseok starts to talk. He never had been fond of those awkward moments where it seemed as if the control of the situation was given to someone else, he never liked being in the middle of smothering gatherings, that was a Jimin and Yoongi thing, they always excelled in being friendly and outgoing, a smile when needed, a look if needed. It was inspirational, made Hoseok’s insides break a bit too, it was hard to understand and as he explained the situation and the result of his researches to the ghost, the demon thought that it might be really hard for his friend to understand too. It’s delicate to speak about someone’s life while trying to show honest respect to it, while trying to not empty it of its sense. It’s sensitive and it’s something Hoseok has a hard time doing but Yoongi is there and Jungkook too so he continues as he talks about Ji-eun, about the love and the books. It’s complicated, especially when it’s a friend who doesn’t remember a thing about it, weird as it feels like Hoseok knows more about the ghost than Jungkook himself. It requires some silence, some time where they’re only able to listen to the cars passing in front their flat, where they can hear Jungkook’s memories coming back to him in dribs and drabs. It becomes even harder when the ghost starts asking questions and it makes the demon think of himself questioning his friend back in the library about things that were more or less important, about Jimin. Yoongi has a hand on the back of Jungkook who still looks real but far less than before and Hoseok knows how much comfort and warmth this simple gesture gives. Jungkook looks more like a ghost and the demon never have been happier to see it, than watching his friend go back to that cloudy silhouette, still eyes beautiful and smile so calm.
“That’s a lot.”
Hoseok attempts a smile, something reassuring but it turns into an ugly grimace.
“I know…I’m sorry.”
“I’m still angry.”
“And you’ve got all the right to be. I was an asshole.”
Hoseok glances at Yoongi and sees that the oldest is already watching him. The words from the day before seem to resonate and the demon bites his lips wondering why he always searches for conflict.
“You’re not.” Jungkook’s words make Hoseok look at him.
“I am, Jungkook. I shouldn’t have done all this behind your back. It was…”
“Disrespectful.” Yoongi cuts, harsh but so true. “But you did it because you care and I’m sure Jungkookie will understand.”
The ghost raised his gaze at the witch a small smile creeping on his mouth and Hoseok knew what was going to be said even before it did came out of Jungkook, it gave him a headache.
Yoongi smiles, lavender eyes looking warm and kind. “Always with time.”
“Will you be okay?” Jungkook’s asked and there was something edgy in the way his voice sounded, Hoseok couldn’t pinpoint what exactly though. Yoongi sighed and turns to watch the TV which was plain dark before sliding his eyes to Hoseok for a second.
“I think so yeah.”
“Jimin left…a friend told me. I’m sorry Hyung.”
Yoongi passes a hand in the ghost’s hair and suddenly Hoseok is reminded of how young his friend is, seeing him there, next to Yoongi, he screamed youth.
Maybe Jimin was Yoongi’s youth, someone who made him shine the way only innocence could.
“I know he did. It’s okay baby, not your fault.”
“It’s not yours either.” Yoongi looked back at Jungkook, surprised, and there was gratitude in those lavender pupils, something Hoseok should have known was chased.
It said with a small voice, calm and thankful.
“Jungkook?” The ghost looks back at Hoseok, eyes watery. Maybe it was because he knew the weight and the consequences of the talk they just had, maybe it was only a reflection of Hoseok’s face, like looking at a mirror. “Can I have a hug please?” Hoseok never asked this type of thing but it felt right this time. Jungkook and him were close, always on top of each other, holding hands, sitting close while reading the same book, eating noodles at a park, feet touching, ticklish because of Jungkook’s aura. They never asked, never had too, not a time where they scared to be physically close to each other and knowing that Hoseok might have hurt the youngest so much that he didn’t feel comfortable toward skin ship was weird, yet felt right. He needed to ask, to respect the possibility that the ghost wouldn’t want to anymore.
“Of course,” says Jungkook while throwing himself into Hoseok who just holds his friend tight, “of course you can” murmurs the youngest slowly as if it was supposed to be heard only by Hoseok. Yoongi glances at them before gathering the cups and going to the kitchen, letting them have their time. “I’m still pissed off Hyung, I’m sorry for saying bad things earlier. I think I understand why you did that even though I felt betrayed a little bit.” Hoseok hides his head into Jungkook’s neck and stays there, smells and memorizes the feeling, the sensation the youngest always gave him.
“I’m sorry. I love you, please don’t hate me.” The words seem to have jabbed the ghost as he backs up to look at Hoseok’s face.
“Never. I’ll never hate you, earlier was just bullshit. You might do shitty things sometimes, a lot, but I’ll never hate you. You’re so good Hyung, you’re good. And time will help, Yoongi-Hyung is always right.”
Hoseok smiles before grabbing Jungkook by the shoulders and glancing at his friend’s face.
“Yes Hyung is usually right.”
Jungkook pouts and rolls his eyes at the same time.
This time it’s Hoseok who rolls his eyes.
“Hmm, anyway, come here. I never want to let you go, my precious Jungkookie.”
Jungkook laughs, noise muffled by Hoseok’s chest.
The best sound the demon might have ever heard if you ask him.
Letting go was something Hoseok was bound to do. Whether it was Snoopy the dog he had adopted after a mission that had gone bad, Aiko, one of his lovers, or Hafid, that old man who used to live in the flat above his. Hoseok parted ways with hundreds of people he cared for, had seen them slowly disappear from his life without really leaving him any choice. Sometimes they even asked for it, Hoseok remembers Hafid, old and shaky asking him to help him make all the noises and pain quiet, pleading him to make his night endless. It was hard but when Hoseok had done it, when he finally had been able to see peace and contentment on Hafid’s face, letting it all go, the memories, the hot curry, the stories about Nora and the trips in the deserts; how they came to Korea, settled here, feeling quite out of place but staying because they loved the country, the culture that was so far away from them, a deep voice full of warmth and adventures, it was all worth it to set it free. It almost felt fair, something Hoseok was proud of. It needed strength to let it all go because Hafid wanted it, required for Hoseok to not be selfish. Looking back at it now, he doesn’t really know why he had done it, a gut feeling, a pitch of voice, of someone who was like a father to him, a friend, an example. It had been hard but felt fulfilling at the same time, being aware that you helped someone you loved. Hoseok thinks of Snoopy too, that beagle with long ears and big eyes. The demon had been on a mission where he had to make a man, the owner of Snoopy, commit a burglary at one of the biggest banks in Oslo, throwing constant whispers in the man’s mind, making him believe that he was doing the right thing, that it was his last solution. Everything had been under control until the young man snapped out of it and found himself in the middle of a building; gun in hand, people looking at him mortified, on the verge of crying, some watching him as if he were death itself. Hoseok had tried to take over, but unable to do so, the boy went crazy killing the hostage before putting a bullet in his head. Snoopy was in the car, getting out of this mess, Hoseok had seen the little ball of fur and couldn’t let it stay alone. Yoongi was not fond of the dog at the beginning when Hoseok had came back with it, more because it was proof of the demon’s mistake than because they had to take care of it. With time Snoopy had grown on the witch with who they had a special relationship. Snoopy stayed with them for 14 years before dying of old age and letting go had been bitter somehow, like a page that turned itself.
A page in a book that was dedicated to Aiko.
Aiko was a beautiful woman; black hair cut short, gummy smile and crescent eyes. She was someone Hoseok had met in an underground club of Osaka back in the twenties. Intimidating, always seated on a stool in front of the counter, book in hand, pencil placed behind one of her ears, she kept drawing the artists that performed each night. The first time they saw her, Yoongi was there, Jimin too, and it was a crazy evening, one of those where Hoseok wished he had been alone. Bitter of their first meeting, a bit childish about it too, the demon started to come alone. Yoongi had asked why they weren’t welcomed anymore, Hoseok can still make up the way the witch eyes had looked at him, can remember Jimin’s hand as well on Yoongi’s shoulder asking to let go. The witch had done it, effortlessly, which made the demon go into a space he didn’t quite like but kept quiet and thanked Jimin with a wink that was returned sweetly. So the demon had found himself in Sakura every Thursday night as it was the day where people who step their feet on stage danced and sang, his favorites. Aiko seemed to love drawing colorful silhouettes with black charcoal; it was something that put the demon in a state of awe. It started as a fling, for the both of them, slowly, with care and tension; their relationship built itself on its own. Aiko was a human, held an incredible open mind as she accepted Hoseok, Yoongi, Jimin and all the surprises that came with living with people from the other side. Aiko loved citrus tea; Hoseok loved her for all she was, even her lack of taste in teas, he loved her with his entire fire heart, with all his burning insides. He had stayed at her side until her last breath. It was July, hot, damp and deadly. Hoseok had started to spread cold in the room since the morning as usual for Aiko to feel good but he knew that death was coming, even she herself was aware of it, asking him to stay next to her, to not let her hand go.
Hoseok had held onto it with all the will he could give.
During that time they had talked quietly about all the years they had spent together, how Hoseok started to be called Aiko’s boyfriend to Aiko’s son, it made them laugh and it was thrilling to hear the sound for one last time. By the end of the day, Aiko was dead. Jimin next to Hoseok in that bedroom in the middle of Osaka, trying to untie the demon’s hand that was still holding Aiko’s cold one, like life depended on it.
Letting go asked for a lot of things, it was something they all got used to with time. The aftermath was still sour though, making their minds hurt, turning their bodies into numb boxes the more they were confronted with it. Letting go was supposed to be easier after going through it for so many times so why Hoseok was still breaking so hard, why did it seem that it was the opposite, that the more he let go, the more darkness had grown.
Letting go was something Hoseok was bound to do, something he hoped he would learn someday.
Yoongi sits down on the bed bringing back Hoseok, a smile on his face. The demon wonders if it was all a mask under which the oldest hides himself, if what he showed to the world was fake, just expectations, looks that would make everything easier, stopped people from asking too much. He asked himself how the oldest still seemed reasonable after Jimin leaving or Jungkook starting to slowly make his way to where he should be. That coldness of soul, that intellectual approach toward all the events that occurred in their life Yoongi had was something Hoseok admired as much as he was petrified of it.
Was it all a show? Was it a way to protect himself, or just a life philosophy, something the oldest has chosen? Was it fair to the souls who cared for him? Was it right?
So many questions which the demon didn’t have answers for. It would be easy to get them, but Hoseok was tired, Jungkook would be leaving in two days.
Big talks could be held when their time came.
“What did you say?” Asks Yoongi still eating his peach.
Hoseok scratches his hair before letting out a breath.
Yoongi lowered himself to give Hoseok a long kiss, peachy smell all around, before going back to his book. Hoseok stared some more and the thought of letting Yoongi go remained as impossible, and the realization of it made the youngest wonder how the witch might be feeling right now.
If he were being honest, it gave him painful shivers just thinking about it.
Yes letting go was something Hoseok was bound to do but it still sucked anyway.
Jungkook is here in the kitchen popped on the counter gazing at Yoongi who’s cooking again for them. The witch loved making dishes, cooking for Hoseok, Jimin and Jungkook, it seemed to give him a sense of pride, made him happy to see people around him feel appreciative and content. Jungkook passes a tomato to the witch who takes it silently before starting to cut it into pieces. Hoseok watches them quietly, fingers tapping on his forehead.
“Want me to help?”
Jungkook turns back to him and shrugs before nodding toward Yoongi.
Yoongi answers that they don’t need anything for now without even turning around which gives Hoseok the go to leave for the bathroom. There in front of the mirror he stares at his face, at the dark circles growing under his eyes, the way his hair is getting longer, forming little curls at the end of each strand. He’s trying to keep it together as the demon knows this is his last night with Jungkook. Tomorrow the ghost will go to the other side, soul disappearing forever, leaving Hoseok behind. He wished the numbness would come already, hoped that Jungkook was already gone, that only the absence was there. Hoseok lowers himself to splash some cold water on his face and when he stands up Seokjin is there, in the mirror as if the headache that started to take over the demon’s mind was a hint of his long time friend coming for a visit.
“Thought you would come earlier.”
“Well I was busy, more than you as we both know.”
Hoseok sighs and lowers himself again, ignoring the older demon who waits patiently, still stuck inside the glass.
“What do you want?”
“You know exactly why I am here Hoseok.”
“Jungkook is here.”
“I don’t fucking care. It’s been three weeks.”
“Three weeks, so many days without anything from you, not even a message. Call Yoongi.”
“To break this fucking spell. Seriously why does he protect every single piece of glass in this house?”
Hoseok rolls his eyes. “Maybe because he doesn’t want you to come whenever?”
“Call Yoongi, Hoseok.”
“Hyung! Come here a minute please.”
Hoseok hears the noise of utensils being put down, Yoongi’s voice saying that he’ll be right back to Jungkook before muffled footsteps grow louder. The witch opens the door, a knowing look on his face, eyes purple by reflex.
“Why is he here?”
“Hello Yoongi.” There’s this teasing tone in Seokjin’s voice sounding weirdly smothered by the mirror.
“Hello Seokjin, so happy to see you. Felt your incredible aura from the kitchen, it was exquisite.” Yoongi says hypocritically.
“Why the fuck did you call me here Hob?”
“Free him please, we need to talk.”
“Jungkook is right in the kitchen.”
“I know Hyung. Just do it. Please we’ll be quick.”
Yoongi stares at him, eyes harsh and getting darker.
“If he causes a mess, I’ll kill him.”
“I’m still here you know.”
“Oh shut up Jin-Hyung! No shitty business or I’ll kill you.”
Yoongi gives one last bitter look to Seokjin before closing the door, making Hoseok let out a breath he was holding. The demon sees his friend extract himself from the glass with difficulty before he completely materializes in the air, just in front of him.
“So three weeks without a job done nor a call. I assigned them to you though. Explain.”
“I’ve been busy.”
“With Jungkook? I’m sorry Seok but you’re a demon not a babysitter. Spreading darkness, that’s your job, that’s your priority.”
“I needed a break.”
Hoseok hates when Seokjin speaks to him this way, formal, like they weren’t friends, as if they didn’t grow up together. The oldest demon was a coach, someone that helped Hoseok since the beginning, whenever he needed advice, or just someone to talk with; Seokjin was there for him, like a big brother, a light to follow in their dark and obscure environment.
“Jimin left. Jungkook will be gone tomorrow, I’m tired.”
“That’s why your little love stinks this much, how do you manage?”
Hoseok closes his eyes, it’s true that since Jimin left, Yoongi’s wood smell tended to be stronger, but the demon had gotten used to it, learned to like it so it wasn’t bothering him as much anymore.
“I don’t really pay attention to it anymore.”
Seokjin sits down on the edge of the bathtub, quickly joined by Hoseok.
“Lucky you, I’m struggling over here. So Jimin left…explains how in such a shitty mood your love is then.”
“Can you stop that?”
“What, calling him your love?”
“Yes, it’s weird.”
“But it’s true. Anyway when did the fly leave?”
“He’s an angel.”
“Have wings, annoy the shit out of you, hard to kill and make loud noises, sounds about the same to me. So when?”
“Ugh whatever. A few days ago, Namjoon came for him.”
“Do you know why?”
“How’s Yoongi doing now that his love is gone?”
“I don’t know.”
“I see.” They stay quiet an instant, finally able to hear Yoongi and Jungkook mumble back in the kitchen. Seokjin puts a hand on Hoseok’s thigh and squeezes it spreading burning warmth. “You know you’ll be able to meet Jungkook right? And for Jimin and Yoongi, you’ll find a solution, it’s not like he’s dead.”
Hoseok scoffs and closes his eyes. “I won’t be able to meet him as much as I want. For the other two, I just don’t want to talk about it really.”
“You miss him?”
Hoseok looks up and right there he finds kindness, something people might not expect from demons, he sees compassion and love, but the thing that scares him the most is that he can see understanding.
Him, him could mean so many people but it’s as if Seokjin knew exactly who it was.
“Hmm you’ll be okay. I’ll give you a week break, a week Hoseok, not more. Don’t worry about home; I’ll talk to the guys and the chef about it.”
“Thank you Hyung.”
Seokjin stands up, walking until his body is facing the mirror. He turns around, a smirk and eyes yellow, “Enjoy your night Yoongi.” He turns toward Hoseok “And you. Don’t ghost on me.” he says while giving a wink to the younger demon before disappearing as quickly as he came. As soon as Seokjin left, a purple light expand itself on the glass proving that Yoongi certainly heard the old demon’s goodbye. Hoseok stands up chuckling while joining the others at the kitchen.
“Hyung! Come see what Yoongi is doing, this is so cool.” Screams with enthusiasm the youngest and Hoseok shakes all the bad thoughts from his mind.
Tonight it’s Jungkook night.
Hoseok thought that as soon as the ghost would leave, he’ll go back to the life he had before meeting him that it would be easy, or at least require only a few hours to manage the absence.
“A lie.” Yoongi had said that night, back in their bed when Jungkook had left for the library after eating a last meal with them. “It’s not going to be easy, stop trying to fool yourself.”
“It will if I want to.”
“Whatever Hob. Good night.”
Their talk had ended like that. Yoongi had been right again and Hoseok couldn’t help himself remembering the ghost saying that the witch was always right.
It wasn’t easy nor hard, it was just special in its own way, complicated and mixed. Hoseok still went to the library but there wasn’t someone waiting for him anymore, someone who would recommend a book, will scare him by coming out from the most unexpected places. The space would stay as Hoseok’s safe place for eternity but there always will be something missing, making the book’s smell and dust less important, hold less power. With work that Seokjin had sent him as soon as the week went by, Hoseok had found something to focus on, working more than he had for the last few years. He took every mission, sometimes not even reading about it, just doing it. Yoongi had another coping mechanism, he took time for himself, wrote a bit in that book of his, spent time concocting new spells and potions. With time they started to create this new dynamic, one without Jungkook or Jimin, one where they tried to feel complete as much as they could. They weren’t lacking, holes in their daily lives weren’t eating them anymore, they tried their best to start over like they already have done so many times and it seemed to work.
It took a little more than a month, much less than they both expected but maybe were they on their way to get used to it, to how their lives were.
Hoseok’s phone rings and the demon looks up at the last few students who pack their books before deciding to answer anyway.
“Am I disturbing you?”
“No, not really, late class is over. So what’s up?”
“Are you feeling good?
“Yes. Huh why do you ask?” Yoongi sighs and Hoseok turns around to see that only one student is still there, looking like he’s waiting for him, staring blankly at the window at the back of the demon’s desk. “Hyung, wait a second.”
“Nell? Hey, do you need something?”
The boy seems to come back to himself, still looking a bit out of it though. “No, hmm I thought I saw something…” Hoseok understands what when he turns to stare at the same window. There stands Seokjin, white clothes, violet hair up, a smirk on his face. “There’s nothing there Nell.”
“Yes. Anyway have a nice day Professor.”
Hoseok watches the student leave the class before turning his eyes on his friend while bringing his phone back to his ears.
“Hyung? Sorry a student had a question. So how are you, why are you calling suddenly?”
“When will you come back tonight? You said you’d be home early.”
Hoseok glances at Seokjin knowing well the demon is hearing every little piece of their conversation.
“Well something came up, don’t wait for me…I’m sorry”
“Hyung? Are you okay?”
“I’ll try to be home as soon as I can.”
“Sure… Say hello to Seokjin for me.”
“How do you…”
He doesn’t have the time to finish asking Yoongi that the witch has already hung up.
“How did he know?”
“Yoongi is a powerful witch. You’ll send him my greetings too.”
Hoseok sits on his desk, phone still in hand. It seems like Yoongi will forever surprises him, that however many days they spent together, however many times their souls will be taking the same path, the witch will have new resources, habits and impressions to give out. Like the water of a fountain never ending. Hoseok scoffs. “He probably knows you said that…”
Seokjin looks at him like he’s the dumbest creature he has ever seen.
“He’s not god.”
“Anyway, you have a job for me I guess?”
“Right. A club in il-dong called Esukeu. Name : Kono Misoka.”
“I thought you were fluent…An issue with that?”
“No, I am fluent. Just continue please.”
“Perfect! So Age : 31.”
“Hoseok-ah, are you going to keep saying the most oblivious things? I love you sweetie but let me finish. I’m kind of in a hurry.” Hoseok rolls his eyes but keeps quiet. “So yes 31 years old. She goes to Esukeu almost every day to be honest she’s a mess. Easy target, easy job. ”
“Oh Satan’s a bitch and just want you to fuck her up, the usual.”
Hoseok laughs and it’s honest, it’s fresh, makes him realizes it didn’t happen for a long time.
“Oh I see. Any more info I should know?”
“I’ll send you a vision later so you’ll know what she looks like. But Hoseok, you shoot with your honey voice, really you can do whatever but we don’t want her dead.”
“Oh easy, she’s a witch.”
“What the fuck Hyung?”
“A witch really? You know I don’t do fucking witches.”
“Because of Yoongi?”
“What, no! You said it was an easy job, how the hell is this easy?”
“Her powers are down. You take control, steal the last source of her power, clean and leave. Easy.”
“I’m not doing it.”
“Oh yes you are.”
“Hyung, I’m not going to fucking steal the last fragment of a witch’s power.”
Seokjin straightens up and gazes at Hoseok who has his eyes on the ground. He never did a witch, not only because of Yoongi but because those were dangerous missions. Hoseok was used to humans and fairies, used to sweet talking and clever touches. Witches were strong and could sense his aura from a hundred miles away, this was a suicide mission, numbed power or not.
“And can I know why?”
“Wrong answer. Hoseok-ah, you said your relationship with Yoongi wouldn’t cause an issue.”
“It has nothing to do with him. No issue here, I just don’t want to do this job.”
“Stop lying. It has everything to do with him and It certainly is causing an issue now Hoseok.”
“It’s not because of Yoongi. It’s dangerous.”
“And if I give a job, you do it whether it’s dangerous or not. You’re a demon for Satan’s sake.”
Hoseok raises his gaze to his friend, sneaky yet hurt.
“What are you insinuating?”
“That you’re not a human but a demon despite having a job as a teacher or a lover. Understood?”
Hoseok’s body gets cold and the room is cut into two. Seokjin’s burning side and his, freezing so strongly. Words are powerful, words hold sometimes too much meaning and people happen to catch them in the wrong way, put the intent that their mind wants into them. Words are transcendental, no surprise humans lack respect toward them.
“Good. I expect a report.”
“Hyung I said understood okay? I’m on it.”
“I know…take care.”
Like that Seokjin disappears, leaving bitter feelings growing into Hoseok’s chest. Yoongi will know as soon as he comes home that he has a witch as target, he’ll smell her aura, will maybe even feel what Hoseok has done to her. He can already imagine what’s going to happen, can hear the silence, smothering like the cold gets sometimes and he’s already tired of the seconds. The demon bites his lips, it’s complicated, more and more with time, him as a demon, Yoongi, everything seems to want to stumble down as if it didn’t stabilize itself some days ago. Looks unfair, feels like it too and sighing, Hoseok wished Jungkook was here to advise him.
His phone vibrates and Hoseok takes it out.
From Yoongi :
Hob…be careful please.
The night is his now.
The rain pours on the window of the bus, Hoseok gazes at the water falling slowly. Everything seems to say that tonight he should just go home and cuddle with Yoongi, maybe finally have that talk about Jimin but yet here he is in the bus to il-dong, work clothes still on. The demon tilts his head on the seat and closes his eyes; he received the vision a bit earlier. Kono is tall and slim, long wavy red hair, eyes black like coal, a little moon tattoo on her neck. She also has a cross on her wrist, a way to recognize her, the vision was blurry but the demon had the time to decipher other hundred of drawings on her skin without really knowing what they were. Kono was like most of the witches, but she had that glittery aspect to her, shiny, brilliant like stars, Hoseok knew she’ll be easy to catch in the club, can see how in the center of the space she’ll be. Sometimes people without intending to do it were thrown at the front of every gathering as if their soul chased looks and touches, as if the world were waiting for them since its beginning.
Hoseok’s stop is announced and when he opens his eyes, the street is dark, neon lights all around. Fast like the rain, the demon goes down from the bus to a little street in between buildings where he changes his clothes, puts some make-up on and changes his hair color. Hoseok had that habit to change his hair color whenever he had a mission; it felt right, put him at peace, like a ritual, something that promised him that the job will go well. Perfume on to hide who he really is, electric orange strands, he makes his way into the club.
The song is loud, the smell of alcohol and weed as well, nothing unusual or surprising coming into a place like this one. It’s still quite early but the club is already packed, bodies dancing and moving in cohesion, sticking together closely, touching each other mercilessly. Hoseok goes straight to the bar to have a drink but mainly to have a global vision of the space. The air in his lungs is cold, his mind in control, having a drink will only increase his powers, will give him a good enough amount of craziness so he takes a shot then another. Still no Kono is view but Hoseok lets himself enjoy the music to the point where he even goes in the middle of the dance floor, just to be close, to see if he can sense someone coming from the other side, if there’s someone like him. The energy is bubbling and getting at its climax as time passes, the demon lost in the middle of warm bodies. Hoseok at times like these wishes he were like the people that surround him, dealing with feelings, living knowing tomorrow might be your last day.
Hoseok is jealous.
He is of the boy two feet away kissing that girl as if it was the first time, which is after all, just two strangers sharing a moment. He is jealous of the group of friends behind him who laugh and scream while dancing; he is of everyone in this world for having a choice, having a voice of their own. Hoseok doesn’t want their bodies nor to take their place, no, Hoseok just wishes to be somebody else. Someone who would love Yoongi like now but better, someone who would get wild on week-ends, drink, dance and change his hair color for fun. Hoseok would want to be someone with a dream that nobody believes in, would beg to be Jungkook’s friend while the youngest was still alive. Looking at his loves through outstanding lenses that will draw a new world whenever he wished for it. Though, Hoseok loves being a demon, it’s him, runs in his insides, reflects on his skin, explains the light in his eyes so he closes them and starts to dance. He can be whoever he wants during his jobs anyway. The music gets louder, the bass sound making his heart pound harder and it’s perfect, he can feel her coming in, can sense her lunar smell, she’s a moonchild, one that destroys the nights.
Kono delivers a small smell, strong enough for Hoseok to note but she is weak, her aura blurry as if it was screaming for help, seeking for a soul to enter and never leave. Like a dark necessity, Hoseok follows her with his eyes until she stops at the bar asking for booze, the alcohol, warm and fuzzy. She lines up the shots and the demon is like an animal staring at his prey, he guesses it’s the same for every other species. Someone who kills and one who is killed, a sensible chain, something that allows the world to spin in the right direction. He picks at his hair, turns it into a messy tuft of orange, pretty and dangerous, eyes scattered by brown and black Hoseok goes to sit next to Kono, holding his breath. She turns around, let her eyes fall on him, and examines his body before pushing a little glass in front of him.
Hoseok smirks. She’s clueless.
Kono pours a shot of sake for him that she gives him with a smile before pouring one for herself.
“You come here often?”
She drinks the shot and takes another one.
“Yes, almost every day. First time I’ve seen you though.”
“Fancy changing places. I don’t like being tied down.”
“Interesting. Wanna dance?”
“Thought you’d never ask.”
Shoot with honey voice, steal, clean and leave.
Seokjin’s words echo in his mind as he has his hands on Kono’s waist. The dancing and the sake seemed to have made her senseless, freeing her mind. Kono has a big mouth, she talks too much when she’s with pretty boys but it’s making Hoseok’s work easier so he goes along with it, encourages it even. She listens well though, allowing the demon to take control over her slowly as it seems like she has no idea of who Hoseok is. Kono talks and whispers but she still doesn’t want to share from where her power comes, making the situation difficult, yet they have time, Hoseok can be patient. He brings his hand to her neck, holds there, so close to the moon tattoo, if he touches it, she will probably know that he’s from the fire realm, that he’s a demon. However, being on the edge of danger like that gives him a thrilling sensation, Hoseok understands why it’s easy to control humans if this is what they’re feeling as he murmurs to them. He would do it too because it’s hard to feel this with the same amount of deepness and power, it had happened with Yoongi and Jimin but Hoseok gets the better highs when he’s working. It’s empowering, makes you believe that you can do anything which is true in this case. He grips Kono’s neck harder, squeezes it a little making her free a low moan, she comes closer and Hoseok keeps asking her mind to give way, to let him have access to every part of it, that he’s good for her, that she wants it.
“Kono? Hey Kono look at me.”
She does and her eyes are glassy, she’s so messed up and Hoseok’s heart stings with something he tries to push far away. “Hey tell me where do you put it hum? Where is it?”
“Huh, what do you want? I can give it to you.”
Hoseok lets out a deep sigh, closing his eyes, it’s getting late and it seems like he can’t get full access to her unconscious despite the fact that she’s at his feet as if…
As if someone was protecting her.
He snaps out of it, eyes wide open scanning the room but it’s even fuller than when he arrived making it hard to focus. Then he feels it, the hand crawling back to him, climbing up from the middle of his thigh to the side of his back. He senses the body aligned with his, making their flesh touch in the most endearing way possible, like they care. Hoseok loses it right there, hands leaving Kono who stays close to him, still under his control. The demon’s breath accelerates as the hand feels so familiar, like an old tune he puts on repeat, a dangerous touch that electrifies his mind and connect itself to Yoongi.
Does he wanna know?
Does he wanna know when his body already screams him the answer. His head falls on the shoulder of the person without his control, like hypnotized by a way to touch.
There at the hollow of his ears, he listens to this voice, one that he loves as much as he hates it. One with who everything is complicated yet which he wanted to hear one last time even if he wouldn’t admit it out loud.
“She’s under my wings. Didn’t know you had orange hair now Hobi…”