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If We Touch Hands, Will I Lose You?

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Everyone has a soulmate. A person meant for them, chosen from before they were even born, fate weaving its strings together to ensure these two people find each other. However, strings can get tangled, things can go wrong, threads can snap and people have to go through life alone, never getting the privilege to look their soulmate in the eye – or even exchange a single word. It’s more common than one would think, accidents happen, people suddenly change unexpectedly in a way that not even fate could predict. The person meant to be your biggest fan could end up being your biggest mistake.

Jimin thanks the stars that he wasn’t one of those.

The funny thing about soulmates however was the fact that you could communicate with them regardless of if you’ve ever met them before. It was odd but people just accepted it, it was an integral part of the whole experience that had existed for centuries. For them it was normal. The thing about soulmates is that they were linked in more than one way. If you were to take a pen, or anything else you’d usually write with, and draw a long line down your arm, your soulmate would see that same line on their own arm. It was because of this that people could talk to their soulmates even if they were millions of miles apart, even if they’d never even uttered a single word to each other.

Why this ability only pertained to the arm no one knew, maybe it was something to do with the veins or some deeper, symbolic meaning but no one questioned it. They were just thankful that they could even do this much.

Jimin especially.

From the moment Jimin could hold a paintbrush, he’d loved to draw. The way he could put his imagination down onto paper was something he found almost magical, if he could think it, he could draw it and if he could draw it then that thought could become some part of his reality. In fact, the very first interaction he ever had with his soulmate was because of drawing, maybe that’s why he now loves it so much. He was 5 years old, previously the only things on his arms were scribbles and messy lines, him and his soulmate being too young for anything of substance, and he’d decided to draw a tree – looking back on it, it was a wonder people even understood it was a tree. The green felt tip was messily coating the skin near his wrist, brown colours underneath in sharp jagged lines that seemingly had no unity to them. It was certainly abstract. He’d shown his mother proudly and she had scolded him for drawing on his arm in felt tip, having read some unsourced, unreliable, article on how this certain brand was toxic to children, but then they both saw the small smiley face drawn underneath it that Jimin certainly hadn’t done, the eyes were different sizes and the mouth was crooked but it was a smiley face nevertheless and Jimin, with one of his front teeth missing and his naturally rosy cheeks, had shouted excitedly at his mother ‘mummy, my soulmate likes it! Look mummy! Look!’ Words pronounced slightly off but understandable even with his blossoming Busan accent.

Eager for the same, small praise, from that day onward Jimin kept drawing on his arm, kept looking at the random objects around to draw and show his soulmate, happily giggling and smiling to himself when he received a ‘you’re good’ that he had to ask his mother to read for him (it was then that they learnt, while still a young child, Jimin’s soulmate was certainly older than him, probably two years by his child like grasp of writing) or a badly drawn thumbs or slightly better drawn smiley face.

Over eleven years, Jimin had gotten extremely good at drawing and his soulmate had watched him bloom into a talented drawer over that time, watching his progress slowly improve day by day, week by, year by year until that scribbly mess had transformed into a realistic cherry blossom tree, petals falling down the slope of his arm and curving around the skin prettily.

 

Jimin was 16 now, 17 in 7 months, and despite talking and communicating with his soulmate nearly every day, the only thing he knew about him was his name, gender and age. Yoongi, male, 19. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to know anything more, quite the contrary, it was just that he was too shy to ever ask for more. There would be moments where ‘can I have your phone number?’ or ‘can we meet?’ would sit on the edge of his mind, finger clicking the top of the pen frantically as he debated whether or not to actually ask, eventually shaking his head and deciding against it. He made a promise to himself however, that when he left high school the first thing he would do is ask Yoongi to meet up with him somewhere – he didn’t care where, he didn’t care if he had to take a 6 hour drive or fly over the country. When his graduation comes, the only thing he wanted to do was stand face to face with the person fate decided he should spend the rest of his life with, his other half.

Until then, he was content scribbling on his arm every day. Not caring if he got told off for not listening in class.

 

      “Hey, Jimin, when’s the homework due?” He was sat in his biology class, uniform feeling stuffy with the lack of air con in the room, staring down at his lacklustre notes and resisting the urge to take his pen and doodle on his arm. He was snapped out of his thoughts however when his seatmate and best friend, Jeon Jungkook poked him and asked him a question.
      “Erm, today?” He said, raising an inquisitive brow at his friend because he should really have known the answer to that. He’d met Jungkook the first year of high school and he thought the lanky, chubby cheeked, bunny smile looking boy was a bit too quiet and he’d been curious as to if he was really as shy as he seemed. He wasn’t, it hadn’t taken very long for the two to become comfortable around each other and Jungkook had burst out of his shell. Not to mention the fact that he’d also burst upwards over the years they’d known each other too. Jimin used to be the same height as Jungkook in their first year but now Jungkook was at least a head above him, no longer looking as lanky as he grew into his body, face losing its baby fat and replacing it with sharp features – though his smile was still very rabbit-esque and made him look younger.
      “What?” Jungkook gaped at him, eyes wide before he groaned and ran a hand through his dark brunette hair. “Oh my god, are you serious?”
      “Yes…” Jimin drawled, voice dripping in sarcasm.
      “Fuck, I haven’t done it!” Jungkook hissed, not raising his voice too loud in fear of making the teacher aware of his predicament as she was currently very involved in whatever she was looking at on her laptop, paper and notes strewn about her desk.
      “Well, she’ll collect them at the end of the lesson so just do it now.” Jimin shrugged, ruffling his black hair up, frowning as he looked down at the notes and realised he’d been quite distracted all lesson and hadn’t picked up on what they were supposed to be learning today.
      “Yeah but then I won’t know what we’re doing this lesson.” The brunette huffed, slouching in his seat and leaning his weight on the desk with his arms.
      “As if you ever pay attention anyway?” Jimin scoffed, clicking the top of his pen repeatedly, chin his hand.
      “Says you, you’re always talking to your soulmate.” Jungkook rolled his eyes and stifled back a yawn.
      “You’re just jealous mine has a brain.” Jimin hummed, smiling a little and casting his eyes down to the bare skin of his arm. Yoongi had made a point of not bothering him during class, wanting Jimin to learn but this was one of the rare times the two actually stuck to that rule. Usually Jimin couldn’t help but doodle thoughtlessly on his arm and Yoongi just couldn’t help but reply and before they knew it, class was over and Jimin didn’t know whether he was in Biology or Geography anymore, his thoughts completely elsewhere.
      “Oh please, you two barely even talk properly, you just draw pictures for him and wait for his reply.” Jungkook retorted, frowning at his best friend.
      “He doesn’t just reply, Jungkook. He writes like… Lyrics.” Jimin mumbled, shrugging a little with his gaze still softly staring down at his arm. “They’re really nice.” Jungkook stared at him for a moment, lips pouting ever so slightly.
      “Gay.” He deadpanned, tone dry.
      “That’s rich.” Jimin kicked him under the desk, foot meeting Jungkook’s shin and earning a hushed winced from the other.
      “I was joking.” He snorted, grinning impishly at Jimin’s glare that held no real threat behind it.
      “You’re just jealous.” Jimin teased, voice lilting as he finally stopped assaulting the top of his pen, the incessant clicking noise stopping.
      “So what if I am? Can you blame me? My soulmate just draws dicks all the time...” Jungkook grumbled, “You know, sometimes I think he’s trying to get me in trouble.” He sighed, recalling the time when his Korean teacher had seen the phallic drawing and given him a detention for being childish and inappropriate. His soulmate was shockingly a year older than them, despite the fact he seemed to have the mind-set of a 12 year old, his name was Taehyung but regardless of all that, he and Jungkook got on immensely well – they had practically everything in common that Jimin almost couldn’t believe how alike they were.
      “They’re nice looking dicks at least.” Jimin said, looking up when he heard a chair scrape on the floor, a student getting up to go and talk to the teacher for some reason.
      “Nice looking dicks? And what makes up a nice looking dick, Park Jimin?” Jungkook chuckled, staring accusingly at his friend.
      “I don’t know, I’m just saying.” Jimin huffed, pausing for a moment before laughing quietly to himself and wiggling his eyebrows suggestively, “Maybe he’s trying to turn you on.” Jungkook grimaced at him, sitting up straight and shoving Jimin on the shoulder with his hand.
      “By drawing cartoon dicks? Oh yeah, real sexy.” He said sardonically, ignoring Jimin’s laughter in favour of looking down at the still closed textbook on his desk, reminding him of the homework he hasn’t done.
      “Whatever, at least he has a sense of humour alright.” Jimin smiled, eyes flitting back down to his arms again, seeing more of a blank canvas than a limb nowadays, before looking back at Jungkook again. “You two are meant for each other for a reason.” He said softly, watching as Jungkook bit his bottom lip and lowered his gaze ever so slightly, something Jimin knew he did when he was flustered or shy.
      “I know.”

 

Jungkook told Jimin to ‘piss off and let me do my homework’ after that, leaving Jimin alone with work he didn’t want to do, a bare arm and a perfect working pen. It didn’t take much debate for him to decide what he wanted to do and without a morsel of hesitation he was pressing the black ink into his skin, looking around for any inspiration and finding it in the birds nest sat atop the tree outside the window. The little home of nature was built with sticks and other light things for the owners to carry in their beaks and the small little black and white birds were sitting inside, four babies and one adult – whether it was the mother or father, Jimin didn’t know – and from the patterns made by their feathers, it was clear they were magpies.
        What was that old rhyme about magpies? One of sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy… What does five mean though? I don’t know… Why do I care anyway? Jimin thought for a second, momentarily distracted before he returned to replicating the image on his arm, sketching out a nest roughly before stroking the shape of the birds, each feather a delicate swipe of the pen. Even though it was a pen, Jimin was able to alternate the intensity of the black by how much pressure he applied and how quick he lifted the pen off of his skin at the end of each careful line. He was absorbed in his drawing, etching out each defined feature of the small fluffy creatures and concentrating so much that he didn’t even notice the writing appearing below his work until he looked behind him again for another glimpse at the nest before looking back and catching the words written just above the bend of his elbow.

       ‘Like a bird, if you fly too high I can’t see you anymore, can’t reach you, forever stuck on the ground as you soar out of my grasp.’

To anyone else, Jungkook especially, it might seem cheesy but all it did was make butterflies rush around Jimin’s stomach, pulling together in knots and making a smile spread on his face. Yoongi wants to go into music, he likes to produce and write songs and even more so he likes to share some of that with Jimin, writing a particular lyric he’s proud of for him or even being inspired by Jimin’s own artistry, the drawings pulling out words from his head that would have otherwise laid dormant at the very back of his mind. Other people might not get it but they do, it’s something special for them, just something for them.
      “Deep.” Jungkook snorted from beside him and Jimin scowled at him, kicking him yet again under the desk with a huff of annoyance.
      “Shut up…” Jimin sighed, going back to his drawing and ignoring Jungkook, looking back at the small lyric with a smile before focusing on the finer details of the drawing, filling the space of his arm up…

 

Eventually the lesson was over and Jimin found himself sat with Jungkook outside near the back of the field where no one else usually comes, eating some sandwiches they’d bought from the canteen beforehand. Jimin’s arm was blank again at the start of lunch, having gone to the bathroom to wash it off but it hadn’t taken long for another picture to fill up that space. This time a random doodle of abstract lines and jagged curves.
      “Jimin?” Jungkook spoke up, mouth full of bread and ham.
      “Hm?” Jimin hummed in acknowledgement, hand still working on the drawing and Jungkook swallowed his food.
      “I was thinking of asking Taehyung to meet me sometime soon.” Jimin snapped his head up at that, eyes widening a little and hand hovering in the air, pen in his grasp.
      “Oh, wow, really?”
      “Yeah, I mean I have his number and we’ve skyped before but I kind of want to see him properly, you know?” Jungkook explained, taking another bite. “Plus I don’t see the point in waiting anymore, we’ve seen and talked to each other and we’ll eventually be together in the future, right? So why should I wait?” Jimin put his pen down on the grass and scratched back of his neck, gaze lowering to the little patch of daisies in front of them.
      “Yeah… Well, if you really want to I guess...” He understands that not everyone thinks the same as him, in fact he was in the very small minority.
      “I don’t get why you’re putting it off so much.” Jungkook said suddenly, popping the first few buttons of his uniform blouse open for comfort. Jimin didn’t reply to him, he simply stared at the ground. “You don’t even know what Yoongi looks like, do you?” He pressed, moving to sit cross legged.
      “I don’t care what he looks like.” Jimin answered after a second of thinking, sighing and looking down at the abstract doodle on his arm. “And I don’t want to see him yet, not like this anyway.”
      “What do you mean ‘not like this’?” Jungkook asked, cocking a brow and resting his elbows on his knees, looking at Jimin, chewing the last bite of his sandwich.
      “Well, he’s 19, Jungkook… He’s going to University this year and I’m 16. I’m a kid to him practically.” Jimin shrugged, pulling his knees up to his chest and wrapping his arms around them for support.
      “You’re 17 later this year, its not that much of a difference.” Jungkook countered, following Jimin’s gaze to the patch of daisies, just to see what he was looking at.
      “He’s so mature though.” Jimin huffed, flicking the wisps of black hair that tickled at his eyelashes away. “Just feels like he’s so far ahead… I want to catch up to him but it seems impossible.” He said, puffing his cheeks out and exhaling deeply.
      “He’s 19 not 30.” Jungkook quipped dryly, frowning.
      “I know but…” Jimin said with a sigh, slightly annoyed at Jungkook’s lack of understanding. “I can’t explain it - I just don’t want to yet. I promised myself that at graduation I’d do it. I’d ask to meet him.”
      “That’s so far away…” Jungkook droned with a groan, rolling his eyes.
      “One and a half years is nothing if I’m supposed to be spending the rest of my life with him.” Jimin scoffed, nudging Jungkook with his shoulder.
      “When you put it like that it makes sense. It also sounds fucking terrifying.” Jungkook said, sitting up straight and staring out like he was reconsidering “Do I even want to spend like 70 years with Taehyung?” He said, recoiling a little, expression confused and Jimin just rolled his eyes.
      “You’re starting to sound like those people who freak out about the commitment and sleep around with so many people that their soulmate doesn’t even want them anymore.”
      “I’m not going to do that… You get what I mean though, right? Your whole life and you’ll only ever be with one person… It’s crazy. It’s kind of scary.” Jungkook finished, pouting and picking at the strands of grass.
      “I’m sure once you see him and can actually reach out and touch him, you’ll forget you ever thought that.” Jimin reassured, tracing the outline of the black ink on his skin.
      “Do you love Yoongi?” The brunette asked suddenly.
      “What?”
      “Do you?”
      “He’s my soulmate, Jungkook.” Jimin answered, slightly confused with Jungkook’s sudden question.
      “Yeah but… Do you love him?” Jungkook pressed, “Our soulmates, they’re picked before we’re even born. It’s like we have no say in who we fall in love with, you know?” His voice was a lot quieter than usual, softer too and Jimin looked at him carefully.
      “They’re our soulmates for a reason.” Jimin said, “I do love Yoongi. Not just because he’s my soulmate, I don’t know how to put it. I just know I love him, there’s no one else I’d rather be with. Just considering it makes me feel terrible.”
      “Sometimes I wonder, if someone other than Tae was my soulmate, could I still fall in love with Taehyung?” Jungkook looked at the ground, eyes downcast and lips frowning ever so slightly. “I wouldn’t want to but I can’t help but wonder if I only feel that way because he’s who ‘fate’ or whatever has decided I should be with – not because of him.” Jungkook picked at one of the white fully grown dandelions, pulling it out of the ground and staring at the deceivingly fluffy looking tendrils poking out of the centre of the flower.
      “Well,” Jimin started with a sigh, “You love him, right? Without thinking about all of that, just Taehyung. Everything about Taehyung, you love it all, don’t you?” He asked and Jungkook nodded, “Then don’t think too much about it, that’s all the answer you need. You wouldn’t want to love anyone other than Taehyung, would you?” Jungkook shook his head and Jimin smiled at him, “Then that’s it. Taehyung is the only one for you. Simple.”
      “I hope so.” He hummed, twirling the green stem between his fingers before inhaling and blowing the many white soft feathery looking seeds off and into the wind.

 

~~~

 

Yoongi wasn’t the type to get nervous. Or anxious for that matter. In actuality, it was rare for Yoongi to care so much about anything other than his music or how far away the fridge is from his current position but here he was, staring at a recently furnished room with the most daunting and heavy, sickly feeling he’d ever experienced. He had just moved into his new dorm for his first year of college, his supposedly eccentric roommate had apparently gotten here way before him and left before he got here himself as when Yoongi had first arrived with his suitcases and bags of things, there were already items lying around and a fully made bed along with a note that read;

Sorry I’m not here to greet you, roomie! I had to sort some things out with student finance, should be back by the evening though! – Jung Hoseok

Yoongi hadn’t thought much of it, he had just shrugged it off and went about sorting his own stuff out. The dorm was fairly spacious (Yoongi would have thrown a fit if not, considering how much he had to pay for tuition and everything) with a small kitchen in the same room as the living room, a TV and couch in front of the window, white silk looking curtains drawn and a bookcase against the wall near the door to the bathroom where a shower, toilet and sink were inside – just the basics. The door to the bedroom was directly opposite, a small room with two beds either side and matching bedside tables, a desk in the corner and two wooden dressers, one near the door and one next to it. It looked a little sparse with only Hoseok’s things but as he got to work unloading everything, the space slowly looked more and more lived in until Yoongi had empty suitcases and some spare bags to bung underneath the bed.

Now that he wasn’t distracted by the chore of storing his clothes and other such things away, he was painfully aware of the fact that he was starting college. A new place, full of new people… It’s not that Yoongi particularly cared much about other people, it was just that he would prefer to sit in the background and get through college casualty free. He ran a hand through his grey dyed hair and sighed, wondering what to do with his time now. Classes don’t start officially until Monday and it was currently Friday and while most people were planning on getting insanely drunk and throwing parties the weekend before hell starts, Yoongi didn’t fancy that. For starters, he was extremely tired and secondly he just wanted to sit down and look through his notebook.

He grabbed it off the side, along with a pen, and collapsed onto the couch, his sharp, feline eyes squinting through a yawn. The notebook was ripped at the edges, the black cover scratched and faded from use, and there many added pages to it that poked out of the side, filling it and stressing the binder as it stretched to accommodate the extra content. The small book was full of lyrics and songs, some from as far as five years ago and some as recent as 2am this morning, a common occurrence from when inspiration hit out of nowhere and the words simply pour out onto the blank pages without much thinking. He flicked it open to the most recent page, some lyrics scribbled down hastily at the top, and lifted his knees up, feet digging into the cushions of the couch as he used his thighs as a flat surface to write on.

There were so many random snippets of much larger songs that his brain had yet to think up the rest of, little messily written lyrics ranging from the ever popular love songs ‘I can only see you, I can only see you alone. Look, I’m fair with everyone else but you. Now I can’t live a day without you’ to more confident subject matters; ‘Honestly speaking, there’s really nothing to brag about in Daegu. My birth itself is Daegu’s pride, right? Yeah, that’s right’ and strangely enough, none of it would exist without Jimin. Yes, Jimin is the subject of a lot of the lyrics he comes up with- his muse, you could say – but he wouldn’t even have thought about writing songs if Jimin hadn’t pushed him toward it when they were younger. It was Jimin who told him when he was 9 that he should go into writing, maybe poetry, it was Jimin who told him when he was 12 that he thought rappers were really cool and it was Jimin when he was 15 who told him that he should pursue his dream of making music and writing songs when he shared a few short verses of them. At first, it was only Jimin who seemed to stick by his decision but by Jimin’s incessant pushing, he’d reached out to other people who shared the same dreams as him and found his own community of support, something he failed to find anywhere else and with anyone but Jimin.

Which is why whenever he finds himself feeling the tiniest bit proud of what his brain had decided to come up with, he can’t help but share it with Jimin – secretly anxious to hear his reply. He first writes it down in his notebook, pen scribbling noisily on the paper before putting his left arm out in front of him and carefully writing each letter along the length of his arm, the sentence lying horizontally starting near the bend of his elbow down to his wrist.

‘Love blooms like cherry blossoms, but burns and becomes ashes.’

He looked at the black ink sinking into his skin, the texture wet looking as it slowly dried, and waited patiently, unsure of how long it would take for Jimin to reply but not caring anyway. He’d expected the younger boy to write something back but he was even happier to see the tell-tale beginnings of a sketch, knowing that Jimin was bringing his words to life in the form of a picture.

He liked when Jimin praised him but he loved it when Jimin drew for him.

Just as Jimin’s drawings can be a muse for his lyrics, his lyrics can be that same muse for Jimin’s drawings and he was always so fascinated watching Jimin’s inspiration slowly come alive on his own skin, watching as each delicate detail was sketched out, gradually forming a physical representation of Yoongi’s words so beautifully that Yoongi was blown away every time. He was unable to comprehend how Jimin could capture what he was thinking so well, even though after all this time it shouldn’t really be such a surprise. Ever after all these years Jimin could take Yoongi’s breath away by the simplest of things.

Yoongi stared, enthralled, as a cherry blossom tree bloomed on his skin, standing next to his own words, the petals falling down his arm and slowly fading off into a fire, leaving the remaining ashes just above the crease of his elbow. The top of the tree sat next to the word ‘ashes’ whilst the ashes themselves were scattered next to beginning of the sentence, just missing the word ‘love’. He looked in silence at the drawing, at least half an hour having passed since Jimin started and smiled softly to himself, instinctually reaching over to grab his phone off the armrest of the couch. He swiped upwards to open the camera and put his arm straight out in front of him, the ceiling light beaming down on it and making it easier to see. He focused the camera by tapping the middle of the screen with his thumb and waited before snapping two or three pictures to save in his ‘Jimin’ folder, where he’d kept all of Jimin’s drawings that corresponded to his own lyrics (and the drawings that he just really liked) that way they wouldn’t be lost when they were eventually wiped away.

He grinned and put his phone back down, replacing it with the pen.

      It still amazes me how good you are at drawing.

He wrote, finding room on the right side of the tree where there were blank spaces underneath the top of the tree, finding room between the cascading petals.

      I could say the same about your lyrics.

Jimin replied, right underneath his own sentence and Yoongi scoffed to himself, the doting smile never leaving his face.

      Where did the idea come from?

Jimin asked him and Yoongi saw no more room for a reply, so he reluctantly had to stand up and walk to the bathroom to wash the drawing off, knowing that it would vanish from Jimin’s arm too…

Yoongi found it odd how simply knowing that Jimin was thinking about him gave him a tranquil sense of comfort, he’d lost count of how many hours of sleep he’d lost altogether in his lifetime just by writing on his arm and talking to Jimin into the early hours of the morning, Jimin was easy to talk to and even though half the time Yoongi doesn’t remember what they even talk about, just that he had to wipe the ink off of his arm so often to make room that his arm would end up an angry red but he wouldn’t swap that slightly sore feeling of raw skin for anything. He may not know what Jimin looks like, sounds like or even where he lives but none of that really mattered to him when they were lost in conversation. At the end of the day, Jimin was the only person who’s ever seemed to understand him. Friends come and go but Jimin had always been there and hopefully always be, Yoongi couldn’t even begin to imagine life without the bubbly younger boy. He never wanted to…

 

 

 

It’s too hot, the duvet is too suffocating. It’s too cold, the window is open too wide. It’s too uncomfortable, he isn’t used to the new mattress.

Yoongi thrashed until he finally woke up, eyes snapping open, face scowling and glaring at the darkness. Yoongi very much valued his sleep and the only time he was okay losing it was if the reasoning behind it was Jimin, so he was not very happy right now. With a grumble, he reached out in the blackness and scrambled for his phone, grabbing it to check the time. The bright screen stung his eyes and he scrunched his face up in sleepy frustration, squinting as he turned the brightness up before staring at the bold numbers telling him it was 3:04AM. Not happy. He sighed and put his phone back on the side, shoving his face into the pillow and groaning quietly, careful not to wake up his new roommate who had returned at 10PM and, quite loudly, introduced himself to Yoongi, apologising for not being in the dorm earlier. Yoongi had just shrugged about it, telling the boisterous man it was perfectly fine and proceeding to talk about their interests and what courses they were taking.

He pressed his cheek into the pillow staring at the blue painted wall and sighing, he reached out and pressed his palm against it, the surface cold against his warm skin. He frowned and spread his fingers out, the tiredness seemingly all gone and it annoyed him as he wanted to just go back to sleep but his brain had other ideas now. He pulled away and rolled over to his other side, deciding to just scroll thoughtlessly through his phone until he either falls asleep or the morning light starts to roll in. He grabbed his phone and was glad he didn’t almost blind himself this time when the screen flared on, the light shone on his face and he felt his cheek squish up against his eye as he stayed on his side and typed his passcode in, hand awkwardly twisting so that his thumb could reach the 1 of the far left side of the screen, typing 1310. He flicked through random social networks, not caring too much for what he saw. It wasn’t until he’d rolled his eyes at some random, pointless, poorly worded status that Yoongi noticed the slither of black ink on his arm. Cocking a brow in confusion, he tilted the phone downward and turned his arm over to see, a small grin tugging at the edge of his lips as he saw the picture laid there – a detailed, beautifully drawn butterfly sat right beneath his wrist. The intricate swirls and patterns on the fragile looking wings were noticeable as the screen light of Yoongi’s phone bore down upon them and he looked carefully at each and every pen stroke. Jimin drew butterflies a lot, they were one of his favourite things to draw because they were ‘so uniquely beautiful, each one always looks different from the previous one, there’s always a new design’. Maybe it was because of that they slowly became one of Yoongi’s favourite things as well. He silently reached out to his bedside table, fingers pulling the wooden drawer open and feeling around for a pen that he knew was in there (having put a few inside earlier) and grabbing it. He sat up, propping the pillows up so that he could lean against the back wall, and pulled the lid off with a small audible ‘pop’. He stared at the picture, mind reeling with what to say before he finally pressed the pen into his skin;

      ‘You shine in this pitch darkness that is the butterfly effect. Your light touches, I forget the reality at once.’

Happy with how the writing looked next to the drawing, Yoongi smiled and shone the light on it again, quickly snapping a picture and internally wincing at the bright flash that filled the room but sighing in relief when Hoseok didn’t even stir.

      You’re awake?

When his eyes flickered back, he noticed Jimin’s reply just under the butterfly and he shuffled a little in the bed, getting a little more comfortable.

      Just woke up.

He wrote, a soft grin on his face as he could already predict how the night would go.

      You should go back to sleep, it’s late.

Jimin reprimanded him and Yoongi scoffed quietly, shaking his head slightly.

      It’s the weekend, Jimin.

He kept having to alternate between holding his phone up to use the light to see and writing with the phone in his lap, not entirely sure whether or not his writing was completely eligible as his eyes were still adjusting to the darkness of the room. He had reached back in his drawer for some wet wipes to erase the mess of ink on his arm to make more room to write, drying his skin off on his shirt for convenience each time.

      Still…

Yoongi could practically hear the whine in the words – that is, if he knew what Jimin’s voice sounded like. It didn’t bother him, he was perfectly content with where they were but of course there was at least that slight pull of impatience and want. He wanted to know what Jimin looked like, sounded like, what colour his hair was or the shape of his eyes. He wanted to know all of that and more but if that isn’t what Jimin wanted, not yet, then Yoongi could wait.

      You should go to bed, it’s well past your bedtime, kid.

He knew Jimin’s hatred of being called a kid. That’s why he did it. Jimin always had a bit of annoyance with the fact that Yoongi was two years older than him, it meant Yoongi would then constantly use his age against him, his favourite phrase (Jimin’s least favourite) was ‘respect your elders’ and different variants of the word ‘child’. Yoongi found it fun, Jimin not so much.

      Shut up, it’s the weekend.

Yoongi chuckled quietly and rolled his eyes, Jimin using his own argument against him.

      That’s what I said…

 

 

Jimin smiled into his pillow, sitting up with his back against the headboard and his pillow in his lap, knees tucked up and arm in front of him. He had his lamp on, the room lit up dimly, and his black pen in his hand. He lifted his head up and looked at his arm again, Yoongi’s familiar handwriting always making him feel that little bit warmer. He heard his phone ping, alerting him to a text, and he grabbed it off the side. The only reason he was awake was because he and Jungkook had been talking all night. Jungkook needed Jimin’s moral support when he asked Taehyung if he wanted to meet up and Jungkook had put it off for weeks since he’d announced he was going to do it and then tonight he spent about 4 further hours putting it off and when he finally mustered up the courage to ask, he hadn’t messaged Jimin at all afterwards, leading Jimin to grow bored and start doodling on his arm.

      Jungkookie: HE SAID YES.

Jimin laughed almost silently, looking at the text and smiling, happy for Jungkook as he typed out his reply.

      As if he would had said anything else?

      Jungkookie: I know but… Omg we’re going to meet. I can touch him, like hold his hand and shit or slap him in the face when he tells a really bad joke. I’m so happy I honestly think I might cry.

Jimin rolled his eyes, a small yawn escaping his lips and he spared his arm a quick look to see if Yoongi had said anything further and being slightly disappointed when he hadn’t.

      Nerd.

He straightened his legs out on the bed, stretching his muscles before sitting cross legged, the pillow still in his lap and pen lying on top.

      Jungkookie: Whatever… Anyway I’m going to sleep now, I’m going to pass out I’m so tired, I didn’t think it would take this long. Thanks for staying up with me, night Jimin.

      Goodnight, Kookie.

He locked his phone and put it back on the side, sighing and resting his head on the wall behind him. He puffed his cheeks and closed his eyes, lips pouting before he let the air out in a loud exhale. He looked down at his arm, the inked evidence of their previous conversation still on his skin and he couldn’t help but think about what Jungkook had said some time ago. When he was talking about Taehyung and love and soulmates. Jimin had forgotten about it until now, the situation reminding him of what Jungkook had said. His palms felt a little itchy or clammy, he couldn’t really tell the difference, but it made him pick his pen up again.

      Yoongi?

He wrote on his arm, right underneath Yoongi’s last sentence, not entirely expecting a reply because maybe Yoongi had gone back to sleep? Maybe he wasn’t thinking so hard on things that he perhaps shouldn’t?

      Yeah?

Jimin started worrying his bottom lip, the rate of his heartbeat picking up a little as nerves started to tingle at his fingertips and knot in his abdomen.

      Do you love me?

      What? Where’s that come from?

Jimin sighed and reached for the wipe he’d chucked next to him on the bed and rubbed at all the ink to make more room, feeling a rather long paragraph coming along.

      I just want to know. This whole soulmate thing, is it really love or is it love because that’s what we’re told it is? I love you, I know I do but I can’t help but think is that just because the universe thinks I should and I’m just going along with it? I’m just wondering… Sorry.

Half of Jimin wished he hadn’t said anything, he didn’t want to sound like he was doubting anything but he couldn’t help that nagging thought in the back of his head. It’s all Jungkook’s fault… He thought bitterly, frowning.

      I love you.

His breath caught in his throat and his chest suddenly felt tight.

      How do you know?

Yoongi didn’t write back as quickly as before, his arm was getting pretty full and Yoongi must have realised that too as Yoongi was wiping off all of the ink before Jimin could even reach for another wipe. Even when the skin was clear again, Yoongi still hesitated to write it seemed, Jimin was just staring down at his arm, waiting for Yoongi’s reply and growing anxious every second there was none but when words slowly started to form on his arm, he unknowingly held his breath.

      I don’t know, I can’t explain it. If I could explain it easily then it wouldn’t be love, would it?  I can’t explain why I love you, or how I know that I do. I just know. Just everything about you, good or bad I love.

Jimin smiled, cheeks feeling warmer and the heavy feeling on his shoulders was suddenly lifted, replaced by a shy and slight embarrassment. That was what he had said to Jungkook.

      Calm down, poet.

He wrote, avoiding the words for his own sanity. Jimin always blushed when Yoongi started to speak like that, sure it was him who brought it on this time but he still couldn’t help the warm flush that settled over his body and that tingling feeling at each and every one of his nerve endings had him bringing the pillow back up, burying his face in the soft fabric and dropping the pen to the mattress.

      You asked.

Jimin pulled away from the pillow to peek at the message, resting it on his still raised knees and nibbling the inside of his cheek to try and stop smiling so hard. It didn’t work. He rest his cheek on the plush pillow, head turned to look at his arm with a grin before he picked his pen back up from where he had dropped it next to his ankle.

      I know. Thank you, I love you too.

 


~~~~

 

 

Lately Yoongi hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Jimin – not that he doesn’t think about him most of the time anyway – and while he doesn’t necessarily think of it as a bad thing generally, some of the thoughts aren’t exactly leaving him with a happy feeling. He tells himself it’s the stress of college, being in a new place with unfamiliar faces, but he knows that the thought has always been there, just sitting in the back of his mind but never coming to the forefront. Until now, that is.

 

He was sitting at the desk in his dorm, head hung over his notebook, doodling in the top corner of the page absentmindedly, too distracted to focus. He’d barely moved from the seat all day aside from when he had to go to class, just trying to finish this song he’d been working on for a long time but nothing was coming out and when it did, nothing sounded right. He just couldn’t stop thinking, thinking about all the wrong things. He should be thinking about what he was writing but all he could think about was the fact that he’d seen at least two pairs of soulmates bump into each other for the first time since he’d been here and he was jealous. Ever since those times he’d been plagued by thoughts like ‘why couldn’t that be me and Jimin?’ and while he knows that it’s not up to him whether Jimin wanted to see him or not, he couldn’t help that sad frustration whenever he saw couples walking around. It wasn’t true but it felt like they were rubbing it in his face, he couldn’t have that with Jimin (at least, not yet) but he had to watch everyone else have what he wanted so badly.

He ran a hand down his face, hearing Hoseok turning the shower on, and flittered his eyes over to his phone, checking the time, it was late evening and he had barely gotten anywhere with this song. He had half the heart to just give up, if he didn’t care so much about it. He turned the page to the back, giving his mind a break from the subject to see if he could think of anything else, maybe another song or random lyrics – anything to get his brain working properly. He rested his cheek in his palm, tapping the end of his pen against the wooden surface of the desk and Jimin entered his thoughts yet again though Yoongi was sure that he never left to begin with. He sighed and looked at an extremely small piece of fluff that floated in front of his eyes. He frowned and pouted his lips, blowing air at it and making it fly away quickly. He stared back down at his notebook, twirling his pen around his fingers before pressing the tip against the clear skin of his arm and writing.

      Like the dust drifting along freely, you’re right there but why are you beyond my reach.

He didn’t expect Jimin to see it, he’d expected Jimin to be in bed, trying to get to sleep considering it was nearing midnight and he had school the next day but he should really know better than that by now. Jimin should try to sleep early, but he never does.

      That’s pretty.
      You okay? You haven’t written all day until now? College keeping you busy?

Yoongi nearly smacked himself in the face, while he’d been spending all day thinking about Jimin, he’d forgotten to actually talk to Jimin, he sighed at himself and wrote out his reply.

      I’m just stressed out. I can’t seem to get these lyrics right for a song, its part of a project I’m doing…

He was doing a project, and by project he meant producing a mixtape that in reality had nothing to do with college work at all. It was for his own satisfaction.

      Show me.

Jimin asked him and Yoongi didn’t have to think twice about obliging, he liked sharing his work with Jimin just as much as Jimin liked reading it. He flicked through his notebook to the right page, looking at the scribbly writing before re writing it on his arm, a lot neater than what was in his book.

      ‘Same day, same moon, 24/7 every moment repeats. My life is in between. Jobless twenty-somethings are afraid of tomorrow – it’s funny, you think anything is possible when you’re a kid.’

      I like it.

Yoongi closed the notebook, feeling better about the lyric but still having his doubts. It’s not that he didn’t trust Jimin’s opinion, quite the opposite really he valued Jimin’s opinion over everyone else’s, it was just that he trusts himself nearly just as much.

      Do you? I think it sounds a little weird.

And if his own brain was doubting him, then he had to give that doubt some credit.

      No, it’s good, trust me. Very #relatable.

Though, maybe Jimin was right. No, he was. Even if his means of letting Yoongi know that were less than appreciated. He looked at the sentence, a little hastily drawn thumbs up beside it and he scoffed, rolling his eyes amusedly at the choice of words.

      Don’t.

He wrote, shaking his head at Jimin.

      Sorry, but I mean it! It’s really good, I like it.

He set the notebook aside, leaning back in the chair and cracking his neck and back slightly. With a tired smile, he picked his pen back up, arm slowly becoming more and more filled with black ink.

      Thanks, Jimin.

      Anytime.

Yoongi felt a lot calmer after that, about the lyrics, about college and about the desire to see Jimin. It still nagged in the back of brain, whispering doubts in his ears but it was easier to ignore when he was caught up in conversation with the younger boy. Some days are easier than others however…

 

 

~~~~

 

 

Jimin couldn’t have been more thankful when the final bell rung, telling him he could finally run home into the loving arms of his bed. He quietly groaned under his breath in happiness as he gathered his things into his bag, rolling his blazer sleeves up for comfort in the slight heat. Bidding goodbye to his teacher and classmates, Jimin adjusted the strap of his bag and ruffled his hair up, yawning a little and eager to get to his locker and sort himself out. He pulled his phone out of his pocket once he left the room, checking the messages he’d gotten from Jungkook.

      Jungkookie: You can leave without me, need to sort some things out for History, I’ll catch up to you if I can though.

He didn’t feel the need to reply, so he just put it back into his pocket, finger brushing against one of his spare pens and he suddenly felt like talking to Yoongi. He’d resisted the urge all day, actually trying to learn for once (even though he’d slipped up a couple times when Yoongi had written out some of his new lyrics and Jimin couldn’t help but doodle out what he thought about them, a melting microphone and burning paper joining all his other drawings in Yoongi’s phone), but school was over now so there was no reason why he couldn’t. Already thinking of Jungkook, it wasn’t hard to create a topic of conversation. His walk slowed down, concentrating on writing on his arm with minor messiness but also trying not to bump into anything.

      Jungkook is meeting Taehyung sometime soon, did I tell you?

He turned the corner and walked down the long corridor, eyes flickering between his arm and the path in front of him. A small first year girl walked past him, accidently shoving him a little when she stumbled and she either didn’t notice or didn’t care since she carried on strolling down the hall, leaving Jimin to mutter under his breath and roll his eyes.

      No you didn’t, that’s cool.

Thankfully, Yoongi was enough to distract from the lack of respect.

      Yeah, I’m happy for them, Jungkook hasn’t shut up about it for months.

He wrote, smiling genuinely, he really was happy that Jungkook was finally meeting Taehyung. The two were always talking, even when Jimin visited Jungkook at his house the two were skyping or calling each other. He finally reached his locker which was conveniently in Central block, only one corridor away from the outside and subsequent exit. He turned around and leaned his back on the locker, not planning on moving just yet to concentrate on his conversation with Yoongi a bit longer. When he looked down, he felt his heart skip a beat.

      Why don’t we meet?

He stared at the writing blankly for a second, gulping audibly and suddenly feeling anxious or nervous or scared, he couldn’t quite pinpoint it.

      What?

      Why don’t we meet? Or at least exchange phone numbers or something. It’s been long enough.

He furrowed his brows, biting his bottom lip harshly as he felt the blood pound in his ears.

      Yoongi I don’t know...

He must have bitten too hard, the taste of red coloured his tongue and it was metallic and bitter but he still didn’t stop. He kept on nibbling at the skin of his lips nervously.

      You always do this, I never ask you because I know what you’re going to say. It was stupid of me to ask really, wasn’t it?

With a small panicked breath, he spun around and opened his locker, grabbing a wipe from the packet he always kept so that he could wipe away the writings on his arm when there were too many. He had one in his bag but it was just easier to get into his locker (he should have a lock on it by now really, but he never got round to buying one). He haphazardly erased everything on his arm, not even waiting or trying to dry his skin before he carried on writing, the ink settling weirdly into his skin from the wetness.

      I’m sorry.

He stared.

      No you’re not.

      Yes, I am.

He inhaled deeply, worry seeping into his bones.

      If you were really sorry you’d suck up whatever pride you’ve got and just say yes already.

That worry was pushed aside for another feeling, one a lot more defensive and offended. He recoiled a little, almost not believing what he was looking at.

      Pride? You think it’s about pride? You think I’m that shallow?

He narrowed his eyes a little, a scowl scrunching up his features as he waited.

      No I never said you were shallow, I just don’t see why you keep putting it off. We’re probably the only soulmates in the whole world that have willingly avoided each other for this long.

That hurt, Jimin felt as though someone had physically just driven into his chest. Low blow, he thought. He couldn’t help how he feels, Yoongi should understand that, he has his reasons for why he’s held it off for so long and Yoongi should respect that – regardless of if it’s rational or not. Yoongi should be on his side, always. As he wrote, the pen was digging a little harshly into his skin.

      So why do you talk to me?

      What?

      Well if that’s how you feel why do you still talk to me? If this is all that pointless.

He resisted a scoff, looking around at the people who were mindlessly bustling around, leaving school and sorting things out in their lockers, talking and laughing with each other whilst Jimin tried to calm the hurt anger settling in his chest.

      I never said that, when did I say that?

      You didn’t have to.

      Stop being so dramatic.

Jimin inhaled sharply, lips forming a straight line and he chuckled breathily. Nothing was funny though.

      Right, okay.

He gripped his pen tightly, knuckles turning white.

      Jimin don’t do that. Is it so wrong for me to want to just see you?

He rolled his eyes, running a hand through his hair. Guess I was wrong to think he understood.

      I’m not ready. You know that.

Jimin didn’t want to talk anymore, he could already feel that one of them was going to say something wrong.

      You haven’t been ready for years, will you ever be?

He didn’t know which of them would be the one to say it though.

      You said you didn’t mind. I thought you understood.

So he wanted to end this conversation before they say something they regret. If they stopped now they could go away, calm down and think about it before apologising and dealing with it rationally.

      I do but I can’t help being impatient, I’m almost 20 fucking years old and I’ve never even heard your voice.

He just didn’t know how to, what to say, how to say it. Plain and simple would be easy, right?

      I don’t want to talk to you right now.

      Don’t be so childish.

Too late it seems. Jimin’s nails dug into his palms, doubts confirmed as he stared down at the slightly messier than usual writing and he let out a breath of disbelief.

      Sorry I’m not 20.

 

 

      Jimin, I didn’t mean it like that.

 

Jimin huffed, turning around and putting the books in his bag in his locker, chucking them in loudly and roughly.

 

      Jimin, don’t ignore me.

 

He chucked the ink stained wipe inside the steel confinement.

 

      Jimin.

 

      I don’t want to talk right now, Yoongi. I’ll write to you later.

 

Jimin then threw the pen inside and slammed his locker shut, roughly pulling his uniform blazer sleeve down as he slung his bag over his shoulder, frowning as he turned on his heel and began to walk away, stalking past the many students in an effort to just get out. He burst through the door, practically punching it open as he stepped onto the concrete and marched his way to the open gate.

Maybe he shouldn’t be mad, maybe he should have tried to see Yoongi’s point of view more, it was perfectly valid after all but Jimin was tired and irritated already from being stuck in hot classrooms all day. He’ll talk to him later, he said he would and Jimin never went back on his word. He wanted to see Yoongi just as much but not yet. He wants to graduate first, he wants to lose the baby fat on his cheeks first, wants to grow at least two inches taller first. He wants to grow up first.

      “You look pissed.” Jungkook bounded up to him, slightly out of breath, as they crossed the threshold between school and the rest of the world, clutching at the strap of his bag as he jogged up to Jimin and caught sight of his hunched shoulders, tense posture and scowling expression.
      “Oh, do I?” Jimin said sardonically, frowning and walking faster than usual.
      “What happened?” The brunette asked, cocking a brow.
      “Yoongi.” Jimin answered bluntly, lips pursing.
      “What?”
      “I told him about you and Taehyung and he started asking when we were going to meet.” Jimin sighed, rolling his eyes.
      “Right…”
      “I’m not ready yet,” Jimin said as though it were obvious, he looked at Jungkook and then back at the ground, huffing exasperatedly. “I thought he knew that but apparently not. He called me dramatic, childish. Basically said our whole relationship is pointless really.” No he didn’t… Not really. Not at all. Jimin thought, that small rational voice coming out.
      “Did he?” Jimin tightened his grip on his own bag, no.
      “Felt like it…” He mumbled, speed walking so fast that Jungkook was just about keeping up. Why he was in such a rush, he didn’t know, he was just angry and apparently walking really fast was the way to combat that.
      “Jimin.”
      “What?” Jimin bit back, glaring behind at Jungkook who was still slightly struggling to keep up.
      “Calm down, I’m sure he didn’t mean it.” Jungkook said, trying to calm the storm that seemed to brewing in Jimin’s head, making his cheeks flush red.
      “I don’t care, he said it.” Jimin ran a frustrated hand through his black locks.
      “He has a point, you can’t expect him to wait forever.” Jungkook sighed and it wasn’t really helping, it just made Jimin even madder.
      “I don’t expect that! I just want to wait a little longer. I want to graduate first.” He said, he knew he was being unreasonable but he was too irritated to see sense at this point anyway.
      “Then you should have told him that.” Jungkook pointed out and Jimin bit his lip.
      “Shut up.” He grumbled, his stubborn side showing.
      “Oh, I’m right.” Jungkook sang, nudging Jimin with elbow when he could reach. They walked in silence for a moment, Jimin not knowing what to say and Jungkook not wanting to stir the pot.


      “I’m still angry.” Jimin said suddenly, picking up the pace even more so that Jungkook was amazed he wasn’t flat out jogging or running. “I just want to go home.” He sped ahead, eyes focused on the end of the street and the crossing.
      “Stop walking so fast, jeez.” Jungkook complained, brows furrowing in annoyance. “Jimin, will you slow down?” He huffed, rolling his eyes and jogging a little to try and catch up. “You know, for such short legs, they sure do move fast.”
      “Piss off.” Jimin threw back, no real malice behind his words as he grew closer and closer to the end of the pavement.
      “Jimin, wait.”
      “No.”
      “No, seriously, wait up.” Jungkook frowned as his best friend continued to power on in front of him, down the pavement to the crossing at the end of street, a harsh corner nearby. “Jimin, stop.” He huffed, his calves aching from his earlier PE session, unable to walk any faster himself without feeling like his legs might just fall off. “Jimin!” Jimin stepped out onto the road.
      “What?” If he would have just kept walking, he would have made it to the other side of the road in time. “For god’s sake Jungkook jus-!” But he didn’t.

 

There was a scream from someone nearby who was watching but you could barely hear it over the sound of metal thudding against bone, tyres screeching against the tarmac and marking the road, creating a faint burning smell. There was a crack, it was quiet but it was loud, everyone’s hearing tuned acutely to every single different sound as the scene unfolded in seconds. It was so fast you could have missed it but the aftermath of the teenage boy lying on the ground, completely motionless, and the dents in the front of the car would have been enough for your brain to put two and two together.

They always show car crashes to be so incredibly slow in movies and Jungkook had always droned on about how fake it was, that car crashes are quick and over in seconds. They are. They are but they’re not, it’s over in seconds, yes but it doesn’t feel like that.

It was quick for everyone but Jimin and Jungkook. Their senses hyper aware and slowing everything down, they didn’t see the car turn the corner so fast that there was no way the driver would have even seen where they were turning around but Jungkook saw Jimin spin around to face him, looking annoyed and irritated at his constant calling out. Jungkook saw Jimin whip his head around at the very last second, eyes widening and entire body freezing up in shock, unable to move. Jungkook saw the car hit him. He saw Jimin’s upper body smack against the hood of the silver car, his skull slamming loudly against the metal, saw him launch backwards from the force onto the rough, gravelly road, the delicate skin of his cheek meeting the tiny little rocks and scratching. He saw his best friend stay there, not even a finger twitching, as the driver of the car stared on in disbelief and bystanders gasped. The crash was loud, as if you could hear each and every limb in Jimin’s body meeting the hard metal but after that there was nothing. Jungkook could barely hear his own breathing, didn’t know if he even was breathing, just absolute silence as people blinked and stared at the small body on the ground, everyone wondering if that had really just happened?

It hadn’t just happened, had it? Jungkook brought a hand to his mouth, stomach pulling in every direction as the urge to vomit crawled over him. He could see himself shaking but he couldn’t feel it, there was an incessant ringing in his ears and a stinging in his eyes as he tried to get his feet to step forward. Even just an inch forward.
      “Jimin?” He called out, finally moving. His voice wobbled and cracked and was barely above a whisper but he tried. He hoped that once Jimin heard him, he would sit back up and laugh, scream at him that it was some sort of sick joke and Jungkook would punch him in the face for being such a dickhead but that wasn’t it.

As Jungkook finally crouched down behind Jimin and saw his closed eyes, the blood that trickled down from a wound on his head, matting his black hair and staining the road, he realised that it wasn’t a joke, that there was no laughing. That Jimin wasn’t moving.