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Eternal Instincts

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“We got mail, JK!” Yugyeom’s voice rings through their shared apartment loudly.

 

Jungkook looks up from putting away their kitchen utensils to glance curiously at his best friend. They just moved into this apartment less than a week ago, packed away boxes still sitting in corners of rooms. Getting mail so soon is a bit strange. 

 

Yugyeom walks into their small kitchen shuffling through a small stack of mail in his hand. “Ads, ads, furniture ad, ooh coupons - we should keep these, more ads, a flyer-” The older pauses. 

 

Jungkook continues placing forks in the correct drawer. “Why’d you stop? Was there an ad for a snoring cure?”

 

“I don’t snore that loud and, no, it’s not an ad.” Jungkook turns around. Yugyeom is staring at an envelope in his hand with a bewildered expression. “It’s a letter.”

 

Jungkook makes a confused noise and comes closer. In Yugyeom’s hand is a crisp black envelope with a perfect red wax seal on the front, the letter K engraved in the wax. There’s no stamp or name on the envelope

 

Jungkook’s lost. No one would send them a letter, especially one with such a fancy envelope. The only person Jungkook knows with a ‘K’ surname is Kim Yugyeom. But maybe that has to do with the fact that the only person Jungkook knows is Yugyeom. 

 

“Must have gotten the wrong address - Hey, don’t open it!” Jungkook squeaks as Yugyeom lifts the wax seal. 

 

Yugyeom gives him a look. “Why not? The letter was in our mail box; it could be for one of us.”

 

Jungkook frowns. “We both know it’s not.”

 

“But how can we be sure?” Yugyeom asks. Jungkook opens his mouth to retort but realizes he doesn’t actually have any solid evidence. Other than the fact that neither of them really have any other friends besides each other, he can’t say for sure that the letter isn’t for one of them. And, ok, maybe he’s a little curious about the contents of this mystery envelope. 

 

Yugyeom takes his silence as defeat and opens the letter. The inside of the envelope is a luscious red that matches the wax seal. The letter itself is written on black paper, gold ink shimmering underneath their dim kitchen lights. The two glance at each other before reading. 

 

Im Hajoon, you have been invited to the Kim Coven Gala! 

 

It will be held on Saturday, October 12th starting at 8 p.m. The address is below. 

 

The attire is formal - preferably black tie. You may bring a plus one. 

 

Signed, The Kim’s. 

 

“Who’s ‘Im Hajoon’?” Jungkook asks and Yugyeom shrugs. 

 

They don’t know the person in question - or the Kim’s - but it’s possible that Im Hajoon was the previous tenant. 

 

While the apartment is new to them, the apartment itself is rather old. It’s evident in the way the floor creaks with every step and the wall paint is peeling in certain places. This apartment must have had dozens of tenants before them. 

 

‘Yeah,’ Jungkook decides. ‘Hajoon was probably the guy before us.’ 

 

“Throw it away-”

 

“We should go to this party-”

 

The roommates look at each other, one with a look of disbelief and the other with a face full of mischief. 

 

Jungkook’s frown gets deeper. Yugyeom and his crazy ideas. “Now why would we go to this party?”

 

“We have an invitation.” Yugyeom gives him a ‘duh’ look. 

 

Hajoon has an invitation.”

 

Yugyeom looks around. “I don’t see him here.” 

 

Jungkook isn’t amused. He walks deeper into the kitchen and resumes his task of putting away silverware. 

 

“We are not going, Yugyeom.” He tries to give his tone some finality to it but it must not work because Yugyeom begins to whine.

 

“Why not?” Yugyeom pouts. “It’s a rich people party! It’ll be fun!”

 

“You don’t know if they’re rich.”

 

“Are you telling me you don’t think these Kim’s are rich?’

 

Jungkook stays quiet. 

 

“Come on, Kookie.” Yugyeom grabs his arm. “I’ve never been to a rich person party; don’t deprive me of this opportunity.”

 

“I’m not depriving you of anything. If you want to go so bad then you can go by yourself.” Jungkook turns back around to finish putting away utensils. He’s almost done, only a few more spoons left.

 

“But, it won’t be as fun without you.” Yugyeom pouts. “Come on, Kook, let’s go. We haven’t hung out in so long. We can have fun together.”

 

Jungkook feels a pang of guilt stab his chest. It is true; even though they live together, the two rarely get to be with each other. Most of their time is spent working and if they’re not working, then they’re catching up on sleep or eating. 

 

Jungkook can’t remember the last time they watched a movie together. 

 

“Maybe…” He mumbles.

 

“Besides, they’ll have food at the rich person party. We deserve to eat something fancy.” Jungkook silently agrees with him. 

 

“What if something bad happens?” He asks.

 

Yugyeom smiles softly. “The worst that can happen is they kick us out. They can’t send us to jail for just showing up.”

 

Jungkook sighs. Yugyeom’s right. Going to this gala wouldn’t be the worst thing and maybe there really will be fancy food. 

 

“Ok…”

 

Yugyeom beams. “Ok?”

 

“Ok, we can go.” Jungkook sighs again. He squeaks as Yugyeom scoops him up in a hug.

 

“You won’t regret this!”

 

-

 

“What are we gonna wear?” Yugyeom asks. 

 

It’s Tuesday night and for the first time in a while, the two have the night off together. They’re not doing much, eating cheap cup noodles and toast (with butter and jam! They haven’t had jam in a long time.) as they watch a movie on Yugyeom’s shitty laptop. 

 

The heating is out and the apartment is freezing so they sit on their shared bed bundled up in blankets and hand stitched knitted throws. Yarn is cheap and Jungkook’s learned how to do some basic crochet from YouTube tutorials.

 

“Hm?” Jungkook hums. 

 

Yugyeom pauses the movie and turns to fully face him. “To the gala on Saturday. What are we gonna wear?”

 

“Oh.” Jungkook hasn’t thought about that. “I guess a nice shirt and the cleanest pair of jeans we own.”

 

“We can’t wear jeans and shirts! It’s a gala, not a frat party. Besides, the invitation said formal attire.” Yugyeom huffs. 

 

“I guess we’ll just have to rent suits.” Jungkook says. The two look at each other before bursting into laughter. 

 

“Rent suits-” Yugyeom wheezes in poor. “You’re too much.”

 

“In all seriousness, we can go to the thrift store?” Jungkook offers when their laughter dies down. He tears off a piece of jam-covered toast. “Maybe we’ll find something decent.”

 

“God, I swear the employees know us by name at this point.” 

 

 

They don’t find suits at the thrift store, which was to be expected. But, they do find two nice dresses, which was unexpected. 

 

“We got lucky, huh? The thrift store never has cute dresses like this.” Yugyeom says as he holds his chosen red gown to his body. 

 

Yugyeom was the luckier of the two with his pick. His dress, a deep red just a few shades darker than the Kim invitation wax seal, fits him near perfectly. Jungkook’s is white and the waistline is a bit too baggy to be fashionable. 

 

‘Nothing a little sewing can’t fix.’ He thinks to himself as he hangs the white gown in their closet. 

 

“Are you sure we should wear dresses to this party?” Jungkook asks hesitantly. The thought has been on his mind since they left the store. 

 

Yugyeom turns with a mildly confused face. “Why wouldn’t we? I think we’ll look hot.”

 

“It’s just,” Jungkook pushes a strand of hair out of his face. His hair is getting too long, he should get it cut before Saturday. “What if the Kim’s are like, super old and conservative?”

 

Yugyeom softens. “Jungkook.”

 

His best friend walks over and cups his cheeks. “If the Kims are no good, old bats then we’ll spit in their fancy punch bowl and leaves with our heads held high.” 

 

Jungkook smiles. He’s so lucky to have a friend like Yugyeom, one who always knows how to make him feel bette. A friend who makes him laugh no matter what.

 

“I’m not gonna spit in anyone’s punch bowl.”

 

“Then I’ll have to spit enough for the both of us.”

 

-

 

When Saturday comes, Jungkook is a ball of nerves.

 

Everything that could go wrong comes to his mind. What if they miss the party? What if they get kicked out? What if the Kim Coven Gala is some cult meeting? What if this is all some elaborate prank by Jungkook’s elementary school bully?

 

“Jungkook.” Yugyeom says exasperatedly as Jungkook rambles. “None of that is going to happen. We’ll be fine.

 

Jungkook bites his lip, uncaring for the lipgloss he has on. 

 

Earlier today, they’d gone into a make-up store and drained them dry of every free sample the store had to offer. The employees could only glare as they watched the two stuff their plastic shopping bags with samples. 

 

He watches Yugyeom line his eyes with a small eyeliner pencil. 

 

He has a weird feeling about tonight. Not a bad one, per se, but his tummy feels almost sick with anticipation. Something is going to happen at this gala, he can feel it. He just doesn’t know what. 

 

“Now,” Yugyeom sets the pencil down. “How do I look?”

 

Jungkook gives him a proper once over with approving eyes.

 

Yugyeom looks good. His black hair is styled and his darkly lined eyes pop. The dress is spaghetti strapped with a deep v-neck, exposing tan skin and nice chest. The dress is almost velvet in color and reaches the ground, perfectly concealing Yugyeom’s black combat boots. 

 

The older can’t walk in heels to save his life so he’d gone with his favorite (and only) pair of boots.

 

“You look sexy! 13 out of 10.” Yugyeom grins at Jungkook’s rating. 

 

“You look hot too.” Jungkook’s cheeks pinken at the compliment. 

 

While he didn’t get around to cutting his hair, he did sinch the waist of the dress so it hugs his figure nicely. His dress, like Yugyeom’s, has spaghetti straps although the v-neck isn’t nearly as deep as Yugyeom’s. Over the white cloth, is a thin layer of shimmery material. It doesn’t make the dress glimmer, no, it adds an elegant affect to the simple gown. The shoes, simple mule heels, complete the outfit well. 

 

While Yugyeom looks fiery red like a demon on a mission, Jungkook looks like an angel without wings. He feels light and pretty like one too.

 

“Thanks.” He mumbles with a blush. 

 

“So, how far away is this place?” Yugyeom asks as he picks up his bag. 

 

“Uh,” Jungkook hurries to type the address into his GPS app. “It’s a 35 minute drive.”

 

Yugyeom looks over. “In walking?”

 

“... 2 hours.” Jungkook sighs. 

 

The other winces. It’s already 7:30. If they start walking now, they’ll miss an hour of the party. 

 

“Oh! Maybe we can catch a late bus.” Yugyeom suggests, hope still glimmering in his eyes. 

 

It’s unlikely but Jungkook agrees anyways and the two quickly leave their apartment. On their way down, they see a familiar woman.

 

“Have a nice night, Ms. Lee.” Jungkook greets their neighbor. Ms. Lee is an elderly woman, grey hair shiny in her loose bun. She’s the only neighbor that’s talked to them so far and she was kind enough to make them a delicious batch of cookies (which they definitely ate in one sitting). 

 

“Good evening you two. Oh!” She gasps. “You two look so fancy. Night out?” 

 

“Mhm. We’re hoping to catch a bus over.” Yugyeom replies. 

 

“A bus? You can’t take the bus looking so nice. Why don’t you two just borrow my car?” Ms. Lee offers easily. 

 

Jungkook gasps and waves his hands. “Oh - we couldn’t -”

 

“Sure you could.” She comes over, digging in her purse as she does. The old woman finds what she’s looking for and places car keys in Jungkook’s flailing hands. “You have your license don’t you?”

 

“Well, yes, but-”

 

“Then you’ll be fine.” She softens, smiling in that way only grandma’s and angels can. “I don’t drive anymore. That car is collecting dust in the parking lot. It would make me happy knowing someone is driving it.”

 

“I…” Yugyeom trails off. “Only if you’re sure, Ms. Lee.”

 

“I’m positive.” The old woman nods. 

 

Jungkook is flabbergasted. “Thank you so much for this. Is there anything we can do to repay you?”

 

“Hmm, come over for tea tomorrow. I could use the company.” Ms. Lee pats their hands with a warm touch before continuing to head for the stairs. “Have fun tonight. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t.”

 

“We won’t!” Yugyeom waves. “Thank you again!”

 

And, just like that, their two hour walk gets cut down by an hour and a half. 

 

 

“I can’t believe she did that.” Yugyeom says, still shocked, as he gets comfortable in the passenger seat. “She’s crazy.”

 

Jungkook turns the car on. He hasn’t driven in a while but he’s not too worried. “Don’t call her crazy. She just let us borrow her car.”

 

“Which is exactly why I’m calling her crazy.”

 

 

“Are you sure this is the right way?” Jungkook asks warily as Yugyeom tells him to turn into the woods. 

 

The woods are near their apartment but Jungkook has never entered them. Something always felt… off about the woods. 

 

“Yup, the GPS says this is the way.”

 

Jungkook lets out a breath before continuing to drive, a strange feeling in the pit of his stomach. 

 

 

“Woah.” 

 

Jungkook agrees with Yugyeom’s noise of amazement. 

 

The Kim’s house is beautiful. Surrounded by the luscious green of the forest, the grey of the mansion stands out just enough to be noticeable but not so much that it’s tacky. The mansion is large with, what looks to be, three floors and a greenhouse. 

 

Even though they’re right on time, there are a lot of cars parked in the large front lawn. Ms. Lee’s 2005 Honda Civic stands out like a sore thumb amongst the expensive vehicles.

 

“Let’s take a picture in front of one.” Yugyeom says, already reaching for his phone.

 

Jungkook turns the car off. “Why?”

 

“So we can pretend we rode in it, duh.” 

 

“Yugyeom no.”  Jungkook says but it’s really just a waste of breath. Yugyeom does what he wants. 

 

(In the end, Yugyeom does get his picture in front of a silver Lamborghini, with Jungkook shaking his head in the background.) 

 

“I’m scared.” Jungkook says at the bottom of the steps. There’s only a few that lead to the big double doors of the manor.

 

The feeling in his stomach grows stronger. The weird feeling has taken over his entire body. He feels anxious in a way he never has before. 

 

“Don’t be.” Yugyeom holds his hand, comforting and warm and familiar. Jungkook looks up and the older wears a look of easy confidence. His nerves ease a bit. 

 

“I’ll be beside you the whole time.” 

 

Jungkook nods. He takes a deep breath as they walk up the steps, his heels clicking against the stone while Yugyeom’s boots make a crunch sound. 

 

The two push open the doors and are met with a gust of cold air. The room they’re in is small and is really just the beginning of two hallways, like a fork in the road. On the wall in front of them is a large note the size of a portrait.

 

Please follow the rose petals. 

 

Jungkook looks down and sees dead red rose petals leading them to the left, down ome hallway. 

 

“That’s cool…” He mumbles before following the petals. He hears Yugyeom’s footsteps behind him.

 

They walk quietly but the silence doesn’t last long. The noise of talking and laughter and the clink of glasses gets louder with every step that they get closer to the party. With every step, Jungkook feels consumed by the feeling in his tummy.

 

He squeezes Yugyeom’s hand and the other squeezes right back. 

 

The trail of dead petals stop and Jungkook looks up.

 

His breath leaves him.

 

The ballroom is cast in a brilliant glow thanks to about a dozen chandeliers hanging high in the ceiling. The room itself is gold in color, the same gold shade that the invitation was written in. The room bustles with people. A few couples dance in the middle of the room while the rest stick to the sidelines, waiters carrying trays of champagne. Long tables full of orderves and snacks line the walls. 

 

The room is a flood of red and black and gold, every single attendee wearing at least one of the colors. Jungkook realizes, with a flush, that he’s the only one in white. 

 

‘I must stick out like a weed among flowers.’ 

 

“Come on,” Yugyeom whispers. “I think I see a cheese tray.” 

 

Jungkook nods and together, they descend the stairs. They pass by others rather easily. Surprisingly, the room isn’t crowded with people. There’s maybe 100 or so guests in total

 

They’ve almost made it to the snack table when Yugyeom gets a tap on his shoulder. The two turn around curiously. 

 

A handsome man with pale skin and long, dark, curly hair has a small smile on his face. His hand is outstretched towards Yugyeom. 

 

“May I have a dance?” He asks, staring straight into Yugyeom’s eyes. 

 

“Uh.” His roommate says attractively. Yugyeom looks at him with a ‘What should I do?’ expression. 

 

Jungkook gives him a small nod with an encouraging smile on his face. 

 

“Yeah, sure.” Yugyeom takes the man’s offered hand. As he walks off with him, his hand slips out of Jungkook’s grip. 

 

He sighs as he feels the overwhelming cold envelop his hand. He already misses Yugyeom’s comforting presence in this big room. 

 

Jungkook continues to the snack table. He swears he can feel eyes on his back as he walks past people but he refuses to look back. He doesn’t want to see the judgemental eyes of rich people. 

 

What are they judging him for? His hair? His makeup? His dress? His shoes? 

 

He isn’t sure. 

 

Jungkook plucks a grape from the table, suddenly not so hungry. A waiter comes by and offers him champagne from a tray. 

 

The waiter wears an almost wary expression. Jungkook can’t imagine why. 

 

He picks up a flute of the bubbly alcohol with a small smile. “Thank you.”

 

The waiter nods before rushing away. 

 

‘Weird.’ He think as he takes a sip. It’s good, it has that kind of refreshing aftertaste that only expensive alcohol has. 

 

Jungkook begins to people watch boredly. He sees Yugyeom dance happily with that pale guy and gives him an excited wave. Yugyeom waves back before pointing at the guy’s back with a huge grin. Jungkook giggles; he loves seeing Yugyeom happy. 

 

“Excuse me,” His giggle trail off as he looks to his left, wondering if the person is talking to him. 

 

A man with black hair, pushed away from his forehead, and almond eyes looks at him. His lips are cherry red and plump, his skin is snow pale.

 

He’s beautiful.

 

Jungkook feels his cheeks warm. 

 

“Are you lost, little one?” 

 

The bad feeling that’s been bubbling in his tummy disappears into nothing.