Taehyung can still vividly remember the first time they met, like a photographed memory etched into his mind till the end of time.
It was snowing hard on a typical cold winter day when he first laid eyes onto the cardboard box that was weirdly placed in the corner of the children's park, a few blocks away from his house that he walked passed everyday on his way to school. He was ten then, when he had a few minutes to spare before he decided to walk over to the tattered box that was nearly half his height. He was a small kid back then.
Not only was he a small kid, but he was also a straight 'A' student, well disciplined and equally loved by all his teachers and peers. Well, his carefree and unique boxed smile definitely added to that aspect. He was a bright kid.
As Taehyung curiously took a few steps closer towards the object of interest, a drawn out and barely audible whimper escaped from flimsy cardboard of what sounded like a cry of an animal?
With worry laced into his footsteps, Taehyung trudges over quickly towards the muffled cries and the cold flakes of the snows would slide down his warm red cheeks. Then, finally he peaked inside on his tippy toes because the box was nearly half his height and suddenly his eyes dilated in astonishment.
What stared back at him were big, round and dark doe puppy eyes that contrasted it's white fur. The feathery fluff was as white as the snow that surrounded them that morning and Taehyung refrained himself from squealing because the little puppy was so precious--so beautiful. However his heart immediately broke when the puppy whimpered again, crying as if asking 'have you seen my owner' or worse...'why have they left me here in the cold'.
With a swelling heart, Taehyung bent over and hurled the cold cold body of the puppy, in which who knew how long the poor baby had been abandoned in there in the harsh weather conditions. Taehyung immediately cradled the puppy in his small yet warm welcoming arms.
The puppy was shivering fervently until it snuggled into the warmth of the human that had just picked him up and from that moment, Taehyung decided the baby puppy was his to keep--his own responsibility.
Taehyung never really knew much about loneliness and abandonment, or the fear of constantly looking outside of a box and wondering if anyone will ever reach out their warms hands to pick you up again. Taehyung grew up in a loving family who never failed to litter him with happiness, so he was determined to share it with the white ball of fluff within his arms. Tired, cold, hungry, hurt and lonely. Taehyung leans down to kiss it's wet nose and smiles tenderly.
"Snow. From today onwards, you're name is Snow and you're my precious baby."
And true to his word, Snow soon became the most precious thing to ever happen to Kim Taehyung as the boy grew older, but oh you should have seen the look on the teachers' and his classmates' faces when he rocked up to school late that morning carrying the little puppy zipped inside of his puffy winter jacket. Nose red, a soft sheen of sweat evident from running to school late with the additional weight of said puppy under hs clothes but his eyes were shining so brightly. Taehyung couldn't wait to announce to the world his new best friend, the new addition in his family and his new treasure.
"Guys! Say hi to baby Snow!"
And sure the teachers were frightened and had panicked a bit, wondering where the hell the kid even ended up picking up such a puppy and bringingit to school as if it was some 'show and tell' week, but they all found it so sweet that the young boy was so tentative of the little puppy.
Taehyung's parents were espcially skeptical about it first, weren't really too keen on suddenly adopting a dog their young son had brought home one day, carrying it inside of his bright green winter jacket. But as soon as Taehyung held onto the white creature in his small arms, with eyes glittering with plea as he begged his parents to keep his baby snow, Mr and Mrs Kim couldn't exactly say no. Especially when Taehyung was their only child, the little furry playmate would serve to cure his loneliness whenever his parents weren’t there. Not that his parents ever wished for that to happen. But they both knew that it was inevitable.
Things are bound to change all the time, constantly.
A few years soon pass, and Mr and Mrs Kim had never been so grateful for having Snow in their lives because they were home less now. Always too busy with their business and work that they didn't even have time to think about giving Taehyung another sibling, they had even missed his 14th birthday one year. But Taehyung was okay. He was understanding and loving because he knew his parents only wanted the best for him. They worked hard to pay the bills, to keep the food on the table and to provide their son with the best education he could possibly deserve. And Taehyung knew that, so he never asked for more. Besides, Snow was there for him every morning and every night. Every step of the way, literally.
In the early Winter mornings when it could drop to minus 20 degrees some days, Snow would always be there to wrap his abundant amount of warmth over the young teenage boy. During the night, when there were bruises and small scars hidden beneath Taehyung's thin shirt, Snow would always crawl over and lick the slight wounds with a sad whimper because he knew his owner was being treated badly at school.
When everyone is young,in primary school, it’s all innocent smiles and cheerful laughter and they all loved the quirky yet talkative Taehyung. In primary school everyone would envy all the small stories about the universe that Taehyung had to tell. He would always speak his mind and blabber on about the stars, the moon, nature and even took interest in the unfathomable things likes maths and science at an early age. Everyone loved the boy when he was younger because he was an unique kid.
But, high school was different.
Not in touch with the latest gadgets? Judged. Didn't hang out with the popular crowds? Sneered at. Didn't have the latest hairstyles? Avoided. Talking too much when nobody asked? Blabbering on and on about the how beautiful the damn cosmos was with thick black rimmed nerd glasses and braces?--You easily became the perfect target for bullying. Especially for a kid like Taehyung who never knew how to raise his fists to fight back because he was just too kind. He didn't want to start useless fights and he just wanted people to like him for who he was. A Dorky, yes but loveable and fun guy at heart. He had a good heart. Isn’t that what mattered the most?
Yet to no avail did he succeed in proving that to the people around him, who only saw him as the annoying chatterbox with a stupid square smile. Abnormal they had called it. Weird kid who never knew how to stop smiling like an idiot.
But that's okay, because his parents would always tell him that his smile was the most beautifullest thing in the whole entire world, one the would put the whole entire universe into shame. His grandma loved it when he smiled at her cooking or laughed at her jokes.
And that thought alone always cheered Taehyung up.
However as a result of it all, Taehyung eventually learnt the hard way about social norms and began to talk less about the world around him and kept to himself more. Getting high grades, graduating and getting into a good university had become his goal. His only goal because well, he just didn't really have many hopes and dreams. He was content as long as he could gaze at the stars. Even if it meant that he had no one to share these moment withs, not even a best friend. But occasionally Snow would join him on his midnight adventures to the cubby house he built one summer to gaze at stars. And Taehyung couldn’t have been happier.
Thankfully, during his last years of high school, people stopped bothering him. They didn't even as much as acknowledge his existence. Ironic, because they stopped assaulting him when he stopped talking altogether.
Sure it hurt Taehyung for a while and sure as hell there were times he got so immensely lonely that he had cried himself to sleep but Snow was always there. Always. Always there to dry the tears that fell, licked the wounds that were inflicted, cuddled him when the weather was too cold and always begged the human to take him out for walks when it was a nice day. So Taehyung made it through his tough adolescent years. Youth sure was a hard thing to grasp onto when all you wanted to do was be yourself and talk about the universe. Guess not everyone shared the same views though.
By the time Taehyung finally graduated with top grades, Snow had grown up so much. Who would've known that the little puppy he had picked up, abandoned by the park, would grow up to be as healthy and big as she was now.
"My baby Snow, oh my gosh I love you so much!"
Overfilled with emotions, Taehyung remembered hugging the dog so tightly that day whispering words of 'Thank you for coming into my life' repetively so many times and he could have sworn that Snow was whimpering back soft grunts of what Taehyung would translate to as 'thank you for saving me that day'.
Snow had always been there through every important milestone in Taehyung's life. Even the insignificant ones as well.
From the first time he fell and broke his arm when trying skate to finishing and graduating high school. Even when he got into the University of his choice, Snow was just always there.
She was more than a mere dog and more than a companion. She was Taehyung's little happiness, Taehyung's ball of sunshine, Taehyung's family and friend. Most importantly she was Taehyung beloved little baby Snow. So in the future, when Taehyung gets into a respectable job. He wants Snow to be there. When Taehyung earns lots of money to buy a apartment of his own, he wants Snow to be there. When Taehyung falls in love and gets married, he wants Snow to be there. Because Snow is so very important to him, he wanted more than anything to share that happiness with his future partner and family as well.
Soon it was Taehyung's dream to make that happen, to let Snow be there throughout the most important stages of his life.
But things always change, and perhaps they change for a reason, at least that's what his grandma always told him. Like a natural occurrence for all humans to grow and survive, that kind of thing.
At the bright age of 24, Taehyung finally tastes true pain and suffering, love and loss and all the burning adrenaline of being young. This time, not through his encounter with Snow but with a young handsome boy instead. A boy by the name of Jeon Jungkook who changed everything that Taehyung once had, once knew. In both a good way and a bad way.
"Okay....tomato.....minced beef....I think I need a refill on some midnight snacks. Hmm but I'm gaining a bit of weight...OH! Can't forget treats for Snowyyy,"
Taehyung hums, skidding through all the aisles of the market, the bright red grocery basket in one arm, contrasting to his bright yellow jumper that made people wince out in pain whenever the blazing spring sun would bounce off it because it was just too bright. But it was comfy though, so Taehyung couldn’t care less.
"Ah hah! Found ya,"
Taehyung, now a grown young man with soft brown hair and thick specs, grins as he hauls an armful of snacks and treats for both himself and his precious little(not so little anymore) Snow who is patiently waiting at home.
Trudging along to the counter with the basket that's now full and heavy from all the unexpected things he ended up picking from the aisles when really he had only went to the store to grab some tomatoes. It looks like he'll be going home with at least 3 bags full of midnights snacks. To make himself feel better though, in his defence, Taehyung would argue that half of the stuff is also for Snow.
Upon arriving to the counter, a loud shriek gains everyone’s attention in the small supermarket and Taehyung too, jerks his head up to look into the direction that everyone was peaking at.
"You're a fucking jerk! I don't want your filthy money! I even don't want to ever see you again!"
A girl, in a skimpy outfit, short skirt and a thin tank top accentuating all her busty curves, sends a loud ringing slap across a young man's face, earning gasps from a few bystanders as she huffs angrily and charges out of the door, leaving the male in bewilderment.
"ouch...." Taehyung cringes for the man because damn , poor thing for that to happen in public but soon the crowd disappears and then the cashier tells Taehyung 'total of $80' and he pays with a pout before grabbing onto not three bags full, but four.
"Damn, I overspent on food again." Taehyung groans inwardly to himself but the guilt dies out when he finds himself skipping out of the store because he can't wait to dig into the new limited edition vanilla and melon ice cream.
The bags were heavy sure, so Taehyung takes his time because his apartment was just a few blocks away, however he really doesn't want the ice cream to melt into a puddles of sugary milk.
Nearly there, passing a park area, he spots a familiar stranger slumped over the park bench under the shade of a large tree with his phone stuck to his face. Taehyung doesn't know why but he finds himself staring a little harder at the stranger to then notice the slight reddish mark marred across said male’s face and then he remembers where he had just seen the man.
The one that got slapped in the store before!
Taehyung gnaws down onto his bottom lip as he begins to contemplate. Should he go approach the male or? Approach him and do what though? He's just a young, good looking stranger in nothing but black. Black T-shirt, black ripped jeans and black sneakers. Taehyung winces, probably as black as his soul at the moment.
He grimaces at the thought because poor kid is probably heart broken being ditched and mocked like that in front of a crowd. Although Taehyung isn't sure how and why the young stranger deserved the slap and humiliation that he did, Taehyung's kind heart gives in again. He totally doesn't have a knack for picking up lost puppies in the park. Said male really looks like a lost puppy sitting there alone.
Reluctantly, Taehyung sighs before reaching into one of his heavy bags and decides to walk towards the young man sitting under the shade of the tree. Usually Taehyung isn’t one to spark conversations with strangers, but he’s just feeling super happy today, Courtesy of all the new flavoured ice cream that he had purchased moments earlier perhaps.
The man with dark raven locks doesn't look up until he feels a icy cold object being poked to his swollen red cheeks and he jumps at the sudden contact. Confused, the stranger gazes up at Taehyung who is now sporting a huge grin.
(Not weird at all Tae.)
"What the hell-Who are you?"
The young man furrows his eyebrows as he scans Taehyung up and down, squinting because of that damn yellow jumper that was just so annoyingly bright.
"For you, young man." Taehyung nudges again with outreached arms before he clears his throat. The young stranger could've looked a bit more apprehensive but he dismissed the thought of associating 'dangerous' with the little geek in the distasteful yellow jumper, offering him an ice cream at the moment. Taehyung looked anything but dangerous and intimidating. He looked as harmless as a fly.
"You see I kinda saw what happened at the Supermarket before-I'm sorry but yeah just thought you'll want some ice cream to blow off some steam or something I don't know. Besides ice cream is good. Appropriate for anywhere and anytime of the day-"
"Uh thanks," The young strangers cuts Taehyung's words off short, making the elder go slightly red from embarrassment knowing he had talked too much again. Old habits die hard. But the younger male stares at him for a long while with undecipherable furrowed eyebrows before earnestly and carefully deciding to open the icy pole to eat it, giving Taehyung a short glance before biting down onto the cold treat.
Taehyung mentally sighs out in relief with a small smile, not so sure why but he decides to join the stranger as he reaches out into his bag to grab another stick for himself. But he just did, the younger male goes slightly stiff as Taehyung simply plops himself beside the latter, opening the wrap excitedly as he begins nibbling on the cold treat, sighing out in bliss.
"Uh..." Said male questions intently as he watches Taehyung comfortably nibble on the icy pole.
"It sure is hot today isn't? It's only mid spring as well. I think we’re going to be having one of the hottest spring this year." Taehyung says to himself, although he had intended for it to be a conversation starter but as you can see, Taehyung’s not really good at starting conversations.
However it seems to work as the stranger eventually hums and nods in agreement with the statement. Their ice creams melting quick even though they're both sitting under the shade away from the heated sun's gaze.
Another pause of silence before Taehyung decides to speak up again.
"Are you the sort of guy that wears black even in summer?" Taehyung suddenly asks, almost done with his icy pole.
The stranger's ears perk up slightly as he turns to look over at Taehyung, probably wondering how they're even caught up in this weird and awkward situation but he ignores it and decides to answer Taehyung's question anyway. There's just simply no harm to it. And besides, the ice cream offered by the geeky stranger didn’t kill him so Taehyung can’t be that bad.
"You know the sun absorbs wavelengths of dark colours really easily? And you know what that means? The sun's heat will be drawn towards you even more if you keep wearing black and then you'll get even more hotter." Taehyung informs, almost chastising the stranger but it catches the younger's attention. At first the stranger is almost staring at Taehyung incredulously, because who was Taehyung to judge his fashion sense anyway? But then a warm chuckle escapes from the stiff male in black and Taehyung is taken a back. It's quite an adorable laugh in contrast to the hard and tough facade that the younger exudes.
"Well, are you the sort of guy that likes talking to strangers all the time?" The younger male challenges back with raised eyebrows and their eyes meet for a brief moment before Taehyung breaks out into a carefree grin.
"Hmmmm, no not really, but it's nice talking to someone who knows nothing about you to judge. When you talk to a stranger, you just talk. Kind of like what we're doing now. It feels kind of nice doesn't it? "
Taehyung smiles, as he points with his clean icy pole stick that's already finished, back and forth towards him and the male beside him who's suddenly sporting an amused grin. Taehyung probably doesn't catch it, but it's definitely there.
Suddenly there's an unknown and brief, yet strangely comfortable silence that blankets them for a couple of minutes before the young stranger clears his throat. Aiming his finished icy pole stick into the bin at least 5 metres away but amazingly gets it in. Taehyung is lowkey impressed.
"That's good to know, but kids these days shouldn't really be offering food to strangers. You know the, stranger danger rule, hasn't anyone ever told you that?"
"HEY! I'm not a kid! Mind you brat, I'm pretty sure I'm older than you."
Taehyung pouts, furrowing his neat yet thick eyebrows and the male beside him who laughs because the glare accompanied by the nerdy glasses and bright yellow jumper really makes Taehyung look 10 years younger.
"Hey hey, lay off now did you just call a stranger brat? The nerve," The younger male smirks as he watches Taehyung's reaction falter, determined to gain some respect from the younger.
Setting his posture straight, Taehyung clears his throat and points sternly, "I'm 24 this year, fresh off the bat novelist and Chemistry research assistant.." Taehyung huffs confidently, blowing his long bangs out of the way as the stranger's eyes widen in shock. The guy is actually super surprised because what? Weird geeky boy is actually twenty something ?!
"You're 24? What the hell, you look 12."
"Hey hey brat-"
"Stop calling me a brat. I'm 20 alright and I got a name."
"Ha! I knew it! You are younger than me! You fetus!"
Taehyung jumps onto his feet triumphantly doing a small wriggle with his hips as he giggles dorkily at the stranger and it takes the younger by surprise because as much as Taehyung would like to protest, he is so 12 at the moment.
Suddenly Taehyung stops, making the younger realise he's been gazing at Taehyung for longer than usual before Taehyung plops himself back down onto the bench under the shade beside the younger male again but a tad bit closer this time.
"I'm Taehyung by the way, Kim Taehyung. How about you brat? "
Taehyung teases immaturely. In all honestly, he doesn't know why or how he's sitting here so comfortably, eating ice cream with a stranger, laughing and even spilling out his name. Sure Taehyung can talk an excessive amount sometimes, but nothing about anything personal.
There's just something pleasing and calm, talking to a stranger sometimes. Someone who would look at you for who you are from first glance, not someone based off on rumours or sneers. Taehyung feels light.
The younger ponders for a moment, wondering too, why and how he's gotten himself into this unexpected situation with a strange dorky stranger but he really doesn't like people calling him a brat--so he gives him.
Taehyung flutters his eyes at the younger, he actually wasn't really expecting an answer at all.
"It's Jeon Jungkook, not 'brat' alright." The stranger-Jungkook emphasizes and it makes Taehyung laugh. He realises, when was the last time someone had introduced themselves to Taehyung like this. It feels so genuine.
"Alrightie, Jungkook-sshi. Well, I gotta get going because if I stay here any longer all my food is going to go off and my ice cream is going to melt and OH MY GOSH MY BABY IS WAITING FOR ME AT HOME-"
Taehyung jerks off from the bench, nearly tripping over his own shoes as he checks the time on his watch. He's late. He promised Snow he'll be back home in 15 minutes but he's been gone for nearly 2 hours now. Panic rises in his chest as he struggles to haul all the heavy bags into his arms, completely forgetting about Jungkook's existence, well because Snow > Jungkook.
"Hey, uh, do you need a hand?"
Taehyung spins around, remembering about the younger male who’s now on his two feet and Taehyung finds himself swallowing hard for some unknown reason. Maybe because Jungkook is actually very lean and all his muscles are well portioned. Although he's face may scream 'innocent bunny' in 'tough bad boy clothes' his body tells a completely different story.
Taehyung doesn't realise he's gawking at the younger's appearance until Jungkook continues.
"Kinda lost my date for today, you know Supermarket, slap? Yeah, so got a lot of time on me at the moment. "
The younger shrugs, rubbing the back of his neck with pursed lips before Taehyung walks over and shares with him two heavy bags.
Smiling, Taehyung chimes, "Sure thing lonely youngster." And then Jungkook finds himself rolling his eyes, re-evaluating his choices. He could've just gone home, slept and hit the club at night to search for a quickie with some babe.
But then again, Taehyung is... well interesting. So Jungkook guesses it's okay to have a change once in awhile. And like previously stated, Taehyung is harmless. Although Jungkook is sure he wouldn't want this sort of thing everyday. You know, weird hair, obnoxious giggles, nerdy glasses and distasteful sweaters and bright jumpers.
He's sure, so so sure.
"Baby I'm home !"
Taehyung is almost squealing however Jungkook raises his eyebrows, almost intrigued as he tries fitting the image of Taehyung with his 'baby'. The younger is suddenly taken aback because is this weird guy actually living with his girlfriend? Like this guy actually has a partner?
Jungkook snickers at the absurd thought but he's not really in a position to judge. The walk to the elder's apartment wasn't that far so now they're standing in front of the place. The door swings open and Taehyung walks in, suddenly realising that it's too quiet compared to the usual days.
"Snow?" Taehyung calls again and there's no response. Panic begins to prickle under his skin because it's weird enough that his baby hasn't charged towards him the moment he had opened the door. Not only that, but as he continued to walk further into the house, it was too eerily quiet.
Jungkook stood cautiously at the door, not sure whether or not he should let himself in or just leave the bags there and turn to go. Because he’s not exactly a frequent guest, hell he just met the weird guy 30 minutes earlier. Suddenly he hears a loud scream from inside the house and Jungkook’s legs involuntarily dash inside to where the clatter of sounds were coming from.
"Hey is everything okay-" Jungkook asks worriedly as he sprints inside.
"Snow! Oh my god baby what-"
Taehyung's fingers tremble so much he doesn't even know what to do first. His mind stops working and the only thing he can hear-feel is the fear and anxiety because there collapsed on the cold floor was his precious baby Snow and the sight brings tears to his eyes. Taehyung just knows that something is awfully wrong.
"H-Hey baby-wake up-I'm home. S-s-top playing jokes yeah?" Taehyung's voice cracks as he falls onto his knees beside the dog that's laying unconscious to it's side and his heart breaks at the sight. He wants to reach out and hold his baby in his arms but he's limbs doesn't cooperate and the tears won't stop falling. The fear and panic is so heavy Taehyung doesn't even know what to do.
"Hey. Hey! What are you doing! "
Taehyung suddenly feels a pair of unfamiliar warm hands grasp harshly onto his arms, hauling him up onto his shaking feet but he can't break his eyes away from he sight on the floor. The voice gets louder until it is ringing inside of his eardrums.
"Why are you just standing there? Move!"
Taehyung's now being shoved to the side as he sees the stranger, the young man he met at the park just moments ago who is now, bent on their knees and is holding his baby snow in their arms. Anger begins to rise in Taehyung's heart for no apparent reason. It was just his instincts to protect his baby that kicked in although deep down, Taehyung knew the stranger was just trying to help them.
"H-hey what are you doing? W-Where are you taking my baby-"
"Do you want to save her or not?!" The young man barks back at him and Taehyung finally registers what is going on.
"Grab your phone and call the vet. We're heading there immediately."
With that, Taehyung blinks away his tears and tries to regain his breaths again before fishing out his phone with trembling fingers to do as he was told.
And soon, everything after that became a blur. He hears people talking around, at him, and the world flashes it's vibrant colours to dark dull shades of grey. His heart feels like it has sunken. There's only one single thought that drums relentlessly inside of his head and not even the handsome stranger's warm hand on his lap could stop him from shaking.
What if he were to lose his only friend and family? What if he were to lose his baby Snow?
Taehyung wouldn't be able to know how to live without Snow.