16/04/2000 - nebula
"what colour is your thread?"
kyungsoo looked up at the source of the question, finding a classmate, chanyeol park, clambering into the sandpit that kyungsoo was sitting in.
kyungsoo didn't talk much to chanyeol, (or anyone, for that matter), so it was a little confusing to see him spark up a conversation so abruptly.
it seemed an oddly specific question too, so kyungsoo replied with a tentative, "well, my mum has a lot of colours of thread in her sewing kit."
"no, i mean your thread of fate!" the boy emphasised, gesturing to his right pinky finger.
"thread of fate?" kyungsoo glanced down at his own pinky, finding it as bare as it'd always been. chanyeol's pinky looked just as bare, too, though.
"i don't have one, i suppose. neither do you, though."
"yes i do!" the boy looked outright offended at kyungsoo's suggestion, clutching at his fingers defensively, "i'm just the only one who can see it. well, me and my soulmate!"
kyungsoo nodded slowly, figuring that this boy was just making things up in typical seven-year-old fashion.
"mine's white! that means my love with my soulmate will be pure because white is a pure colour! that's what my mum said, anyway!" he gloated with a smug look on his face.
before kyungsoo was made to listen to any more of the odd boy's ramblings, their teacher called for the class to come inside.
as kyungsoo stood dusting sand off of himself, chanyeol sprung up and saluted at him, before sprinting into the classroom.
later on, at home, kyungsoo came up to his mother and told her all about the silly boy at school making up stories about soulmates and invisible threads.
he expected a light chuckle or an amused expression in response, but instead was met with a concerned look etched into his mother's face.
"you don't have a thread, kyungsoo?"
"no?" kyungsoo responded, suddenly feeling very uneasy at his mother's worried tone.
she went on to explain all about soulmates and the string of fate, clarifying that she planned to tell kyungsoo about it all if ever he asked about the thread on his own finger.
"i should have considered the situation that you wouldn't have one. i'm sorry you had to find out like this."
upon seeing the way her son fidgeted with his hands, tears spilling down his cheeks, she quickly forced a smile and wrapped an arm around him.
"it's alright, soo. lots of people are born without soulmates."
despite the hasty reassurance from his mother, kyungsoo suddenly felt very, very alone.
in class the next day, kyungsoo decided to inform chanyeol of his newfound knowledge.
"mum said i don't have a soulmate."
chanyeol initially exclaimed, "but everyone has a soulmate!", but after catching kyungsoo's uncomfortable expression and dismayed shrug, he quickly said sorry and gave kyungsoo half of his orange to prove he meant it.
"i'll be your soulmate for now!"
"but you already have a soulmate, chanyeol."
"you'll be my other soulmate, then. i'm sure my real soulmate will love you when they meet you, as well!"
while chanyeol's use of "real" ruined the magic slightly, kyungsoo couldn't help but smile at the intention of his words.
and when chanyeol took a stray pipecleaner and wrapped it around his chubby finger, then kyungsoo's, saying "see? we're connected, the same as a string of fate. now we're soulmates too.", kyungsoo felt a little bit less alone.
they spent the rest of their lunch break with the red pipecleaner connecting their pinkies, only removing it when they had to sit in their designated seats for class.
"if we were allowed to sit together maybe we could keep it on longer," chanyeol lamented. he glared at their teacher when her back was turned, which made kyungsoo giggle.
kyungsoo knew, even at his young age, that he was missing out without a soulmate.
but maybe this boy with ears too big for his head and a smile larger than life, was the next best thing.
21/07/2003 - star
"kyungsoo! how would you like to accompany me on my ~super summer soulmate-searching quest of destiny~? "
that sentence alone was too much for eight o'clock in the morning.
"what?" came kyungsoo's slow reply, blinking his tired eyes at chanyeol through the window, who was beaming at him from outside kyungsoo's house.
"just come with me!" he shouted, "get dressed, quick!"
kyungsoo sighed, slinking away from the window and throwing on any clothes he could find in his drawer.
it was bad enough being woken up by rocks being tossed against his window, fearing that someone was trying to shatter the glass.
to see chanyeol of all people when he threw open his bedroom curtains, with handfuls of pebbles and standing on his driveway, kyungsoo knew that this wouldn't be a relaxing summer's day.
he did love his best friend of now three years, of course he did. but his obnoxious nature and tendency to spring stuff like this on kyungsoo was nothing short of exhausting.
after sprinting out of his room and finding his mother still asleep, he scribbled a quick note to inform her, and left it by her bedside.
"playing out with chanyeollie. call if you need anything. xxx kyungsoo"
kyungsoo felt quite mature writing something like "call if you need anything". he lightly brushed his hand against the lump in his pocket, the crappy flip-phone he got given a few weeks prior. he grinned to himself pridefully, before making his way downstairs.
he opened the door and was met with chanyeol's excited face.
"we're gonna find my soulmate!"
kyungsoo cocked his head.
"well," chanyeol began, taking kyungsoo's little hand in his own, "it's a string right? so if i just follow it, eventually it's gotta lead to my soulmate!"
kyungsoo thought this idea was a little ridiculous, but it wasn't as if he wasn't used to this level of over-the-top from chanyeol.
"and i'm taking you, because," continued chanyeol, "as far as i'm concerned, they're your soulmate, too! like i said when we first met, they'll love you just as much! we can all be best friends like the three musketeers, right?"
"right," was kyungsoo's reply, and he smiled fondly at chanyeol.
that was all the consent chanyeol needed, as he started dragging him towards his own house.
they got there in two minutes, as chanyeol insisted on running, and kyungsoo was puffing out short breaths by the time they got inside chanyeol's house.
"what do you mean i can't go?"
"i mean," began chanyeol's mother, looking at him sternly, "your soulmate could be anywhere, chanyeol. i'm not letting you go out wandering out on your own. you're only ten!"
"ten and a /half/, mum!" chanyeol corrected, sighing. "i'm perfectly capable of going out on my own! besides i won't be alone, i'll have kyungsoo!"
kyungsoo gave chanyeol's mother a sheepish smile, as if to say "i'm not with him."
she shook her head. "it's too dangerous. and stop roping poor kyungsoo into these situations with you!"
suddenly, a voice piped up from the other room.
"i could go with them, mum?"
it was chanyeol's older sister, yoora. she was sixteen, and chanyeol lit up upon hearing her speak.
"thanks yoora! i always knew you were my favourite sister!"
"i'm your only sister, chanyeol."
chanyeol's mother considered this for a few seconds. finally, she sighed and relented.
"okay. go with yoora. but stay with her! i'm warning you chanyeol, don't run off!"
"i won't!" he promised, smiling.
six p.m. found the three of them walking along the beach. they'd been wandering for hours, led by chanyeol who was following his thread, and it'd led them here.
chanyeol and kyungsoo were walking hand in hand, their other hands holding their shoes, while yoora stayed close by.
they paused briefly, sitting on a large rock to rest.
"what if i meet them here, on the beach? that would be so cool, right kyungsoo? we could play in the sea together and collect shells and all that! wouldn't it be fun kyungsoo? can't you wait to meet them?"
chanyeol's enthusiasm was infectious, and even kyungsoo was starting to become invested in this adventure just as much.
he nodded vigorously, holding chanyeol's hand tighter.
"i hope we find them, chanyeollie."
yoora suddenly spoke from beside them, "hey, we should wrap it up soon if we don't find them. it'll start getting dark in a few hours time, and we don't wanna be waiting til dark for mum to pick us up."
chanyeol sprung up from his rock.
"me and kyungsoo will run. you can catch up to us soon, right, yoora?"
yoora nodded, "just don't go too far, alright?"
the two boys nodded in unison, before dashing off along the sand.
"if they see us running, they'll think we're cool because we can run fast!" kyungsoo said, breathlessly.
"yeah! plus, if we're fast enough, we'll make sure they don't leave the beach before we see them!"
thirty more seconds of running passed before chanyeol slowed to a stop. he gazed out towards the sea, face looking crushed.
"what's up?" kyungsoo asked, hands on his knees and panting.
"the thread. it goes into the sea here. they're overseas, they're not here. they could be anywhere in the world."
"maybe they're just on holiday?" kyungsoo supplied, trying to keep chanyeol's spirits up.
"i don't think so. it was a bit dumb of me to assume that they'd live in the same country as me."
a few beats of silence passed, before chanyeol piped up again,
"i'll buy a boat. one day, i'll buy a boat and i'll find them."
he looked out towards where the sky met the sea, before cupping his hands around his mouth and shouting, "i'll be there soon!"
"me too!" kyungsoo yelled just as loud, before glancing back at chanyeol. he was smiling, as if to say, "it'll be okay".
"any luck?" yoora yelled, running up towards the two boys.
"no." chanyeol said plainly.
"ah, well. no matter what, destiny finds a way to bring soulmates together. you don't need to worry, yeol."
on the car ride home, the sky was clear and the stars were brighter than kyungsoo had ever seen before.
a generic pop-song was playing quietly on the car radio and chanyeol's weight was heavy and real as he slept on kyungsoo's shoulder.
"he really believes that his soulmate is yours too."
it was chanyeol's mother, speaking to kyungsoo, the only two awake in the car.
"it felt like it today." was kyungsoo's simple reply. and it did- when they trudged through forest leaf-litter or along the beach, chanyeol rambled about his soulmate as if they were just as much kyungsoo's. it didn't matter then, that kyungsoo couldn't even see the thread.
they fell into comfortable silence after that, only the faint music and chanyeol and yoora's breathing serving as background sound.
kyungsoo was a little pensive; sad that chanyeol's ~super summer soulmate-searching quest of destiny~ came to a close so quickly.
the search wasn't over though, he assured himself. just put on hold.
kyungsoo gradually fell asleep himself, dreaming of seashells and saltwater and chanyeol.
12/01/2006 - red giant
"do you ever feel jealous of people with soulmates?"
kyungsoo took a few seconds to register the question, then turned away from the telescope he had been peering through, to look at chanyeol. chanyeol had stopped tapping away at (kyungsoo's) nintendo ds and was now looking kyungsoo in the eyes, waiting for an answer from him.
"sometimes, yeah," kyungsoo replied, "but i've had a good few years to come to terms with it."
chanyeol averted his gaze, looking almost guilty, before speaking up.
"y'know," he began, "sometimes i wish i really could give my soulmate to you. you deserve one, probably more than i do."
"chanyeol," kyungsoo sighed, shaking his head, "just because i was unlucky, doesnt mean you deserve your soulmate any less."
chanyeol looked like he was about to reply, but kyungsoo piped up again.
"besides, yeol, it's my birthday. don't go talking about stuff like that, okay?"
they fell into a temporary silence, kyungsoo having shuffled back to the telescope, and chanyeol getting up off the bed and plopping himself next to the shorter boy.
"you found anything?"
"nope," kyungsoo sighed, looking at the floor, "unlucky that i got a telescope on such a cloudy night. i can't see anything!"
chanyeol laughed a bit at kyungsoo's frustrated tone.
"it's alright," chanyeol said between giggles, "i mean, didn't you already get a wish today? 13 whole birthday candles!"
"still though." kyungsoo muttered, staring out the window in contempt.
chanyeol looked a little like he was pondering something, before his face lit up.
"hey, i have an idea!" chanyeol exclaimed, a smile spreading across his face, "wait right here!"
chanyeol scrambled to his feet and began rummaging in his drawers, before pulling out a little notepad and pen. he immediately began drawing something, and when kyungsoo craned his head to have a look, chanyeol held the notepad against his own chest protectively.
kyungsoo rolled his eyes.
"okay! now you can look!"
chanyeol shoved the notepad into kyungsoo's face.
"a shooting star. see, it's even better than the ones in the sky because it's shooting!! if you wish on this it'll come true, no problem!"
in spite of the ridiculousness of this situation, kyungsoo fluttered his eyes closed and wished with all his heart.
"star light, star bright
first star i see tonight
i wish i may, i wish i might
have this wish i wish tonight."
when kyungsoo opened his eyes again, chanyeol was looking at him intently. his penetrating gaze almost screamed "tell me! tell me!"
"i'm not gonna tell you my wish. if i do that, it'll never come true!" kyungsoo said smugly, waving his finger at chanyeol.
"damn it!" chanyeol cursed, crossing his arms in defeat.
later on in the night, when both boys were squished into kyungsoo's single-bed, chanyeol would once again ask a half-asleep kyungsoo what his wish was.
"i told you," kyungsoo replied drowsily, "i can't tell you."
"but kyungsoo," whined chanyeol, "if it wasn't for me, you couldn't have made the wish. i crafted that star with my bare hands. i deserve to know!"
"god, fine," kyungsoo relented, "but instead of telling you, i'll just show you."
chanyeol nodded eagerly, and before he could reply, kyungsoo pressed a chaste kiss to chanyeol's nose.
"there. my wish has come true now." kyungsoo murmured, averting his gaze slightly.
the glow of the taller boy's cheeks was glaringly visible, even in the near pitch darkness of the room.
"a-anyway!" stammered kyungsoo, pulling the bedsheets over his face, "go to sleep! it's one-a.m. already!"
chanyeol immediately snapped out of his 'deer-in-the-headlights' expression and regained his usual cocky one.
"hey! i'm used to staying up all night at sleepovers, it's not my fault your mum is boring!" he complained.
despite kyungsoo's lack of reply, chanyeol got a sudden rush of boldness and decided to still kyungsoo's head with his hands and press a kiss to the top of his head.
"your wish has come true double now. see, i told you my star was effective!"
if kyungsoo had been pretending to be asleep, he would have given himself away right there, as he suddenly burst out laughing, burying his head further under the covers.
"you sly dog!"
chanyeol started laughing along with him, and that's the way they fell asleep; giggling their hearts out and snuggling into the warmth of kyungsoo's bed.
for a short second, kyungsoo thought that maybe he could live the rest of his life like this.
20/10/2008 - supernova
"kyungsoo, can you call me? i need to talk to you."
that was the message kyungsoo recieved, at 2:34am, from his best friend chanyeol.
in any other situation, he'd tell chanyeol to go to sleep and promptly collapse back into his own bed.
something about chanyeol's wording unnerved kyungsoo, though. it wasn't the same typo-heavy text speak that chanyeol normally used.
so kyungsoo fumbled with his phone, squinting at the brightness, and dialled chanyeol.
his voice was strained and laced with sobs. kyungsoo couldn't say a word, only listening to the pitiful croaking with an aching heart.
"kyungsoo, they're gone. my soulmate, they're g-gone. "
he spoke in fragments, voice hoarse.
"chanyeollie. do you want to meet up?"
it wasn't a good idea, not really. they were only 15 and it was getting really late, but kyungsoo couldn't bear leaving him alone.
"y-yeah. can we meet up at the park?"
the october wind was unforgiving and bitter, but hell if kyungsoo even noticed, looking frantically around him for any sign of chanyeol.
a few minutes passed before chanyeol showed up, eyes red rimmed and quivering.
he and kyungsoo sat in silence for a few minutes, kyungsoo staring at the sky and chanyeol staring at his right hand, shaking his head and sobbing.
"i didn't even get to meet them."
his voice was barely above a whisper.
"i'll never know who they are. i'll never have that euphoric feeling of meeting them." he looked into kyungsoo's eyes, as if trying to find an answer, any reassurance, but what could he even say, in a situation like this?
"what if i'd just followed the thread? like we tried to when we were little? when it was still there? maybe i could have found them. maybe they could have...they could have..." chanyeol trailed off, rubbing the tears from his eyes. it was no use, they just kept spilling.
he knew deep down that fixating on the "what if's" of a situation like this would only break his heart further, but anything to stop from confronting the soul crushing reality.
he couldn't help it. he let out another strangled sob, burying his face in his hands while kyungsoo rubbed circles on his back.
"i said i was gonna buy a boat. i was gonna follow them, and find them, no matter what."
kyungsoo remembered that day, chanyeol's unrelenting vigour and the glistening sea.
"if they'd just stayed alive a few more years, just a few years longer..."
chanyeol shook his head again.
"but the thread is gone forever now. i can never find them."
kyungsoo had never seen chanyeol so heartbroken, so absolutely crushed.
"i hope they lived a happy life."
"me too." said chanyeol, sniffing a little.
he interlaced his fingers with kyungsoo's, seeking every and any comfort.
"the worst part is that i can't even mourn for them properly. i never knew them. i feel like dying."
chanyeol sobbed loudly. the noise didn't matter though, there weren't any houses around.
"i keep hoping this is all just an awful nightmare and i'll wake up soon and it'll all be okay. but it's not, it's not a nightmare, it's not okay, it's not, it's not..."
kyungsoo blinked away tears of his own, the weight of the situation too much for his tired brain.
"i wanted you to meet them, too." chanyeol stated with a humourless laugh. "but now you can't. why aren't we allowed to be happy, kyungsoo?"
"we're unlucky." was all kyungsoo said.
"unlucky." chanyeol parroted.
he fell asleep soon after, the exhaustion of crying overwhelming him. kyungsoo wasn't physically strong, but perhaps by sheer willpower he managed to carry chanyeol home. he stayed there overnight too, sitting by the windowsill while chanyeol slept peacefully in his bed.
he briefly entertained the thought of this just being an awful nightmare, too. just like chanyeol said. all he wanted was to wake up in his own room and learn that chanyeol's soulmate was alive and well, his string of fate intact. they could buy a boat and follow the sea, away, away, away.
but it was hopeless. it all felt too real. too down to earth, too heavy. chanyeol's soulmate was gone. neither of them knew how.
life would go on, that was for sure, but in that moment, it truly felt like an asteroid was going to crash to earth and obliterate them both forever.
the worst part was that kyungsoo wouldn't have even minded.
he gazed up at the dark sky again, seeking any kind of comfort. the clouds were too thick to see through but he knew somehow that the heavens gained a star that night. a bright one, to burn radiantly for billions of years.
05/10/2011 - neutron star
it was the name that chanyeol murmured after he awoke from his dream.
kyungsoo had already been awake, watching him shift in his bed and mutter nonsense phrases to himself, then sit bolt upright as he awoke.
"baekhyun byun, that was my soulmate's name, that was him, i saw him."
"in your dream, chanyeollie?"
"in my dream. he sang. kyungsoo, god, his voice was beautiful. it was him, i know it."
all of a sudden, chanyeol started sobbing. kyungsoo grabbed his laptop, booting it up and waiting for it to turn on.
they had just began university, the same one in fact, so rooming with each other seemed like a no-brainer. kyungsoo studied theatre and chanyeol studied music.
kyungsoo was glad he lived with chanyeol. more specifically, he was glad he could be there for chanyeol - dreams and nightmares alike. all he wanted was to keep chanyeol safe.
once his laptop was on, he searched the name. baekhyun byun.
"born in bucheon, south korea. young trainee singer at sm entertainment, died at the age of 16, in osaka, japan, on the 20th of october, 2008."
"the day my thread disappeared."
kyungsoo's heart was thrumming violently, and he turned the laptop screen to chanyeol.
"y-yeah," chanyeol stammered, "that's how he looked in my dream."
"south korea, though. we never would have found him." chanyeol continued, with a cynicism in his tone but his eyes brimming with tears despite it.
"not necessarily. fate always finds a way to bring soulmates together, you two would have met somehow." kyungsoo tried, wanting to offer any words of comfort.
"well we can't now, can we, kyungsoo? it's there, in writing, he's fucking dead! my fucking soulmate is dead, dead forever, don't you get it?"
chanyeol was almost screaming, his voice breaking and tears flowing freely now.
"chanyeol, i...i'm sorry."
chanyeol's face softened for a second.
"no, it's alright kyungsoo, it's not even your fault. it's just...." he stammered, trying not to betray another sob, "i....i hate this....so much..."
kyungsoo gave a small smile, "there's a few videos of him singing. should we give them a watch?"
chanyeol nodded, face scrunched up.
they watched video after video, on kyungsoo's laptop. somewhere along the way kyungsoo realised he was missing one of his classes, but chanyeol's head on his lap made it seem so unimportant.
he patted chanyeol's head with care, and every minute or so, chanyeol would mumble something along the lines of "i love you, baekhyun" or "i miss you so much" and kyungsoo's lap became wet from tears - both his and chanyeol's.
at one point chanyeol had lifted himself off of kyungsoo's lap and and was facing him. his eyes were red and puffy, lips bitten and chapped. kyungsoo could care less though, and for one reason or another, captured chanyeol's lips with his own.
chanyeol reciprocated, and they stayed like that for a few seconds. holding each other much too tight, tears streaming down both their faces, sharing a short kiss.
"kyungsoo, i've loved you for years. i wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with you and my soulmate. i really..." he choked slightly, "wanted a happy ending. i wanted you in my happy ending. but it's all dark, it's all dark..." he buried his head in kyungsoo's shoulder.
"you deserve to be happy, chanyeol. i love you too, and i know i'll never be a replacement for baekhyun--"
"not a replacement, you were always right there with the both of us, in all my daydreams. i was in love with you, the whole time, i was always in love with you."
kyungsoo's heart swelled.
"you've been there forever. i couldn't imagine my life without you."
kyungsoo croaked out a reply, "he's with us too, you know. he's our angel. our best friend and guardian, now."
chanyeol nodded, still sniffling. "he'll make sure our life isn't dark anymore."
whenever kyungsoo imagined putting a name and face to chanyeol's soulmate, he imagined the sheer despair, knowing he'd never see that face, hear that voice, in real life.
but when they found baekhyun, it felt like leaving a dark tunnel, like taking off a blindfold. it was someone real, someone solid and with depth.
they could finally mourn for him.
16/04/2014 - nebula II
"i love cherry blossoms. i'm so glad we decided to come to japan at this time of year."
"ah, how cliche, chanyeol. next you'll be waxing poetic about how the cherry blossoms are symbolic of the fleeting moments of life." kyungsoo teased, poking his boyfriend's cheek.
"they are though!"
they both burst into a fit of giggles, walking hand in hand down the streets of osaka.
once they found a suitable place- a fairly secluded river surrounded by forest- they sat on the riverbank.
"have you got it, yeol?"
"yep!" chanyeol exclaimed, and pulled a bottle from his bag.
the bottle, which was corked, contained a seashell, a screwed-up old drawing of a shooting star, a toy boat, and of course, a rolled-up letter to baekhyun.
"how will we be sure that he got it?"
"he'll get it. but just in case.."
kyungsoo pulled out three pieces of thread out of his pocket; red, white, and yellow.
he tied the white string to the pinky on chanyeol's free hand, connected his and chanyeol's pinkies with the red, and tied the yellow to his own free hand.
"just for luck," kyungsoo said with a smile. chanyeol's eyes filled with tears.
they released the message in a bottle into the river and watched it float along with the current. hand in hand, chanyeol and kyungsoo fell asleep on the riverbank.
hours later kyungsoo woke up, shaking chanyeol awake too. the afternoon light lit up the edges of his face.
after rubbing his eyes a little, he glanced to the other side of the river.
there he saw a glowing, translucent figure sitting by a tree, watching the both of them. upon meeting kyungsoo's eyes, the figure gave a wink.
"chanyeol, he's here." kyungsoo said, barely audible.
chanyeol smiled tiredly.
"baekhyunnie. you got our bottle?"
baekhyun's spirit nodded enthusiastically, the faint ring of bells sounding with every movement of his head.
"i think baekhyun can go to heaven now." chanyeol said, squeezing kyungsoo's hand tighter.
the golden glow of his halo dulled slightly, and he nodded solemnly.
"baekhyunnie knows we love him, right? we'll be there with you soon enough." kyungsoo whispered softly, "you'll be a good angel til then, right?"
baekhyun's puppy-like features stretched into a smile. he faded away after one last wave of his hand, but both chanyeol and kyungsoo felt phantom arms hugging them from behind.
"baekhyunnie will be right here with you always."
the voice was familiar, even though they'd never heard it speak normally before.
"baekhyunnie is glad chanyeollie and kyungsooyah are happy."
chanyeol turns kyungsoo's head slightly and kisses him quickly.
"live long and well for me, okay? and spare some kisses too!"
"we will, baekhyun. we promise."