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J- The Pains of Our Yesterdays  C20- Drowning

Hey guys, it looks like Vingle is finally working again. Or at least partially. It's not letting me schedule this card. Whatever. Pain in me arse. So anyway, here's the next chapter finally. Sorry you had to wait so long for it. I'll still do the next chapter on Saturday just as planned (as long as nothing else goes wrong).

Okay. This is the third branch chapter, so I'm not going to say much on it. In case you couldn't tell, this is Jimin's branch.

Thank you to all of you who are reading, liking, clipping, following, and commenting.
Disclaimer: Many of the characters aside from BTS are made up and BTS themselves are not BTS in this story. And, of course, I don't know the BTS boys personally so their personalities are probably mostly fictional.
Italics are finally available, so no more need for { }.
Please let me know if you would like to be tagged or untagged.

Beginning: Chapter 1
Warning: May contain mild language. The usual trigger warnings.


SooJin POV

After our sundaes, Hoseok took me back to my room. He, unfortunately, had to go back to work and I was left to my own devices once again. I practically counted down the minutes until other people came to see me. My parents arrived first. It was amazing that I could actually say that. Everyone except Jimin, who had an issue at work, arrived soon after. I couldn’t help but think that Jimin was looking for reasons to stay away. But I didn’t want to dwell on that. I wanted to let myself enjoy the company. Everyone told me how much better I looked already just from having the bandages removed.

When I told them about wanting to start PT in two weeks, everyone was worried, asking me if I didn’t think it was too soon. I explained what the doctor said about waiting too long they conceded that two weeks would probably be alright.

I impatiently waited for my PT sessions to start. For the entire two weeks, I looked forward to two things, PT and visitors. Everyone tried to come when they could, but sometimes work was bad for a few of them. My mom would sometimes stay the night as well. Hoseok and Taehyung always stopped by when they had free time. I no longer asked about Jimin, knowing I would just hear the same answer. And for Hoseok, I still wasn’t 100% certain, but I was pretty close to that in believing that he would be hurt if I kept asking. Instead, it festered like a wound. But no medicine could fight the infection. I was scared to fall deeper into my depression so I just kept trying to convince myself that I didn’t care. It wasn’t working very well.

The day of my first PT session finally came around. The doctor said I was more than baseline cleared for starting. That gave me something to be happy about. I was excited but also scared. Dr. Lee had informed me that the PT would difficult and painful, even with the extra measures they were adding.

The first step in my recovery was to have a vest strapped around my torso. The vest would be suspended from a track in the ceiling and would therefore help me to stay standing. I also had a walker to hold onto. The therapist would then “walk” me by moving my legs, trying to make my brain remember how walking feels.

It was painful even from the first moments. My injured ribs and various other injuries were all woken up by the PT. And my body made sure I knew it wasn’t happy. Jin, who insisted on being there for the first one, and Hoseok were there with me. I had to be stronger because they were watching and I needed to get out of the hospital as fast as it was possible.

I barely did anything that whole session, but it wiped me out. I was in so much pain and my body was just done. I couldn’t even wait for the aide to help me into bed, Jin and Hoseok insisted on helping me themselves. I was out in a second.

Hoseok came to almost all of my next sessions. I couldn’t convey my gratitude enough. His presence was enough to make me not give up, as much as I sometimes wanted to. One time, he had a meeting at the same as a session, so Taehyung came instead. The brat made it a point to get on my nerves about how sad I must’ve been without Hoseok there. Then he would stand just in front of me so I had to move to hit him. As annoying as he was, it was effective. When he took me back to my room, I finally asked him about Jimin again. His smile faltered for a second before telling me the Jimin was fine and I should just focus on my recovery. It was so frustrating. I cried after he left.

I knew I needed to leave. Not just to be able to actually confront Jimin, but because the water kept rising, day by day. By the end of a week, I still couldn’t move forward on my own yet, but I could now, with a lot of effort, pick up my feet on my own. I spent a lot of my free time sitting on the edge of my bed and moving my legs up and down, up and down.

After that, my recovery started to speed up. I drowned myself in my rehab to avoid drowning from other things. A week and a half later, I could walk very slowly around the track on my own. The harness was already adjusted to no longer be weight-bearing, but simply help me to keep my balance. The therapist had me try without the walker.

Dr. Lee said I was ready to move to the next step, walking bars. There was a pair of hip-level bars that I stood between I would have to balance forwards and backwards, but the bars would balance me on both sides. And, of course, Hoseok was there. He waited at the end of the bars, encouraging me to reach him. The therapist had to stay next to me because I was apparently trying to walk faster than I actually could, leaving me off-balance. The therapist said I was doing very well, but I didn’t feel like it.

When Hoseok took me back to my room, I was quiet. I was sure he was worried, but I couldn’t tell him that I was afraid. Talking about it would make me cry too early. After he left, I let the tears start falling silently, the same way I did every day. What I didn’t expect was for him to come back.

The door opened and I quickly turned my head to pretend I was asleep. “Sorry, I left my...” I heard his footsteps. “Asleep already.” The steps stopped at my bedside. There was no way he couldn’t see my tears. I felt the bed dip. His thumb brushed across my skin, just below my eyes. “I can’t imagine how much pain you’re in...” He really couldn’t, physically or emotionally. “I wish I could take it away. I wish I could take your place...”

His hand lovingly caressed my face. And, surprisingly, I didn’t wish I was in love with him instead. I just wished it was Jimin’s hands caressing my face. With my eyes closed, I could even imagine it was Jimin’s hand, even though Jimin’s hands were smaller and rougher. I accidently let out a small sigh. Hoseok jerked his hand back, but I kept my eyes closed. He waited for a minute. Then his hands covered mine.

“I probably shouldn’t do that, huh? I wonder who it is you’re dreaming about...” And with that, his hands left mine. I heard him walk to the couch and then leave again. After he left, I opened my eyes again. I brought my hands up and looked at them. Did Jimin’s hands feel that warm? I fell asleep wondering about that.

Over the next few days, my mood fluctuated between being angry at myself, being upset at Jimin, wanting to just quit, and being crazy determined to work harder. I caught up to my walking speed from the track and felt a little better.

One day while I was at PT, I messed up pretty badly. I wasn’t in a very happy mood that day already. I was walking, eyes focused on each step. I looked up to Hoseok and he smiled. His infectious smile made me smile back, even in my mood.

And then I saw something at the far end of the room. My imagination had apparently decided to play a trick on me. But I couldn’t help it, I guess I was just that desperate. I started to call out to the person “Jimi—“ and tripped. I gasped instinctively and closed my eyes, waiting to hit the ground. I was very happily surprised to be stopped short. However, I didn’t expect to end up in such a literally and figuratively awkward position.

Upon opening my eyes, I found myself with my face in the crook of someone’s neck. It had to be Hoseok. His mouth, in turn, was next to my ear. His breath on my ear sent pleasant shivers down my body. As much as I hated myself for it, I almost wished we could stay like this, that he would turn his face and let his lips ghost over my ear. I was disgusted at myself for feeling this way about someone other than the person I liked, but I couldn’t help it.

His arms kept me from slipping more. Another pair of arms wrapped around my waist and shoulders and pulled me back upright. The therapist kept apologizing for not being more careful and kept asking if I was okay or hurt. I told him I was fine and not hurt but I couldn’t tell him I was okay because my body wasn’t acting like it. Was I really such a pervert?

Once I recovered my wits, I went back to doing the therapy. When I was back in my room, and Hoseok had left, I started to seriously question myself. I knew that I hadn’t had a lot of interaction with the opposite sex growing up, aside from my bastard adoptive father. It made sense that the situation I was in would make me feel like that. But I hated myself for it. It felt like I was cheating even though it was only thoughts and Jimin and I weren’t actually anything.

And then it made me question what kind of feelings I had for Jimin. Was it possible that what I thought was love was simply physical attraction? But if that was the case, then I should feel the same about any of the other guys. All of them were attractive in different ways. And physical attraction shouldn’t cause me this much pain. There was no one I could talk to about it. If I asked anyone, they would know, and I couldn’t allow that. What was I supposed to do?

Narrator POV

SooJin continued to struggle with her questions and steadily rising waters. Any day now and she would have to start treading the water. How much longer after that would she become tired? She knew she never wanted to give up like she did before. She had family and friends to think about now. But everything was so hard.

Jimin requested for the staff to keep his calls a secret. He called every night to see how she was doing. He would ask what was supposed to be on the menu for the next day’s meals and tell them what she liked and didn’t like. And when he slipped away while visiting, there were a few nurses that he would give money to in order for them to buy something special to add to her trays. It was the only thing he could do. He figured he’d found the loophole in his damned promise. As long as she didn’t know what he was doing, he was safe. And so was she.

After almost being caught that night in her room and then in the PT room, he’d decided to step further back. Seeing the position she fell in when Hoseok caught her stirred up a dangerous jealousy. He told himself he didn’t have a right to be angry, he had brought it upon himself. But he couldn’t just go completely. She looked happy most of the time, but he could see something else just beneath the surface, like she was wearing a mask. The kind of mask he’d been forced to wear. She wasn’t happy. He didn’t know why and it was killing him. He couldn’t leave her alone, as much as he felt like he needed to. He just couldn’t. But neither could he be there like he wanted to be. Everything was just so messed up.

SooJin never knew, and she never let the others know how she felt. Maybe if she knew... But as far as she was concerned, she was lost at sea. She was thrown a small lifeline when the doctor finally moved her to a walker. Even though she still felt useless, at least now she could actually walk around. She was advised to only use the walker when someone, preferably a staff member, was with her. The doctor said that if she continued at her current pace, she could be moved to crutches within the next week. After the crutches, she would move to forearm crutches that would provide minimal support for walking.

When at her sessions, though, the therapist had her try walking with support only from him, not a walker or crutches. She slowly walked faster. At the sixth session, the doctor cleared her for the crutches. He told her she was right on schedule. But that wasn’t enough. She became more upset that she wasn’t improving quickly enough for her own satisfaction. Her lifeline was already slipping from her grasp. She had to start treading. Start the clock. How long could she last?

The session after being moved to crutches, Hoseok and Taehyung both attended. They both were taking her back to her room, Hoseok pushing her in a wheelchair because of how exhausted she was. For a while, Hoseok had been noticing something was wrong, and today, he decided that he couldn’t ignore it anymore.

“Tae.” Hoseok stopped pushing SooJin to pull out some money. “Can you grab some chocolate from downstairs? We’ll meet you in the room.” Taehyung took the money. He was about to ask what was up, but Hoseok shook his head and looked down to SooJin.

“Uh, sure, hyung. I’ll be right back.” And he hurried down the hall.

“There’s a machine down the hall,” SooJin told him, her affect barely changing.

“I know. That’s not why I asked him to go.” SooJin tried to turn to look at Hoseok. Without a word, Hoseok wheeled her back to her room. But he didn’t take her to bed. He stopped her in front of the couch and sat directly in front of her.

“What’s going on?” she asked, a little worried.

“That’s what I want to know.” Hoseok stared directly back into her eyes. SooJin broke away. She was afraid if he kept at it, he would be able to see everything she was thinking. “SooJin... I know something’s wrong.”

“There’s nothing wrong. I’m just tired.”

“That’s not all. I’ve seen you every single day. And every day, I get a stronger and stronger feeling that something’s off. I can’t ignore it anymore.”

SooJin still couldn’t meet his eyes. “There’s nothing wrong, there’s nothing off. I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not.” Hoseok grabbed her hands and held them. Tears started to build up in her eyes. “Look me in the eyes and tell me there’s nothing wrong.” When she still couldn’t look at him, he moved his head to be in her vision. When she tried to look away again, he let go of her hands to grab her face. He gently held it still. His eyes were watering as well. Whatever she was going through, it hurt him. And the fact that she wouldn’t tell him hurt worse. Did she not trust him even after everything?

Forced to look at him, SooJin felt her resolve crumbling. She was so afraid of drowning, but she was more afraid of dragging someone down with her. She couldn’t tell Jin because it would only cause him more pain. She knew he would blame himself. She couldn’t tell Jimin. Jimin was avoiding her like the plague. But Hoseok... Since the accident, Taehyung and Hoseok, aside from her brother, were the ones she was closest too. Even more than JiEun. And Hoseok had always been someone she could confide in. She didn’t want to pull Hoseok in... but what if he could pull her out?

“Please... let me help you,” he pleaded with her.

And with that, she finally broke down. “I feel like I’m drowning,” she sobbed, the dam of tears breaking. “Every day, I’m getting more and more tired. I don’t know how much longer I can tread. The bad thoughts... the bad thoughts I told you about... they’re clutching at my legs, trying to drag me down. I feel like I’m losing myself in this place. I’m trying to be strong, but all I can do is try to not worry the others. I feel like I’m losing myself here. I’m so scared.”

Hoseok kneeled in front of her and wrapped her in a hug, trying to convey as much love and comfort as he could. She sobbed harder. “I’m so sorry,” he said quietly. “I’m so sorry it took me so long to notice. I’m sorry you felt this way. And I’m sorry you felt like you were alone. I should have done more. I should have let you know you could rely on me.”

“No,” she quickly refuted. “It’s not your fault, it’s mine. You guys have done so much for me and all I’ve done is take. I couldn’t ask anything more from you guys. That’s why I want to get better. I want to leave here so I can go back to feeling normal. But I can barely even use the bathroom on my own. I can’t shower, I can’t move around. I can’t do anything but sit around like an invalid. So I can’t go home. I absolutely will not allow myself to inconvenience anyone any more than I continually do.”

Hoseok sat back and held her at arm’s length. “You’re not an invalid, you’re not an inconvenience, and we’ve told you so many times that you’re not a burden like you’re suggesting. We’re all family. We would do anything for each other, you included. And while I understand that you’re doing what you think is best for us, I don’t agree. Something like this, you can’t go at it alone. People need people, it’s just human nature. And I want you to know that we’ll always be here for you, no matter what. No one will ever judge you. We all have our demons. We all need each other. And... there has to be something we can do. There’s always something...”

He trailed off, lost in thought, trying to think of something. SooJin’s tears finally trickled down to almost stopping completely. Hoseok’s words gave her hope.

“I’ve got it!” he yelled, startling her. His eyes bore into hers. A brilliant smile broke out on his face. “I know how you can come home.”


“Home health aides. They’re like the nursing aides here but they’re specially trained and certified to work with people at home. You would only need it during the day when we’re gone. At night, we’ll be home. Aside from help moving around to do the usual things, you don’t need any other special care.” He grabbed her hands again. “We can do this, SooJin-ah. We can get through this. You can get through this.”

SooJin felt hope surge through her like electricity. “C-can we really do that?”

Hoseok nodded emphatically. “I’ll ask my colleagues for recommendations and we’ll get it done as soon as possible. So please, only think about that. If you feel like you’re going to drown, let that be your life jacket. You’ll be rescued soon enough.”

“I think I just was.” They both smiled. SooJin let out a happy sigh. She finally felt hopeful. She was going to get out of the hospital. Hoseok grabbed a washcloth out of the bathroom and wet it. He came back and wiped the remaining tears away, trying to make the red trails from the tears disappear before Taehyung came back. Taehyung was probably taking his time, but he would likely be back any moment.

“Come on, let’s get you settled before Taehyung comes back.” He wheeled her back to her bedside and helped her back into bed. Apparently, either the crying had robbed her of the last of her strength or the relief lifted her ridiculous weight because she fell asleep almost immediately. Hoseok texted Taehyung who came in 30 seconds later.

“Is everything okay?” Taehyung asked.

“Yeah. She was just feeling tired from everything. She’s okay now, though. We’re gonna bring her home.”


“Yeah. She shouldn’t have to stay here any longer.”

There was a moment of silence. “You really love her, don’t you.” It wasn’t a question. It was quiet again for another few seconds.

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Why’s that?”

Hoseok turned to him and then back to SooJin. “You know why.”

“There’s still a chance,” Taehyung responded quickly.

“It’s been this long... And with the way he’s been and how much I’ve been around... Still, her feelings haven’t changed.”

“Well, don’t give up yet. I won’t let you. I don’t know what Jimin’s doing other than being really stupid. If he won’t do anything, then there’s still a chance. She’s not spoken for yet. You can’t give up yet, okay?” Taehyung felt bad for his cousin. He wanted him to be happy, to have the girl he was in love with. But her heart was with someone else. Even so, Taehyung wouldn’t give up yet. He didn’t know much about love, but he knew a lot about women. He knew how much they could change their minds, how much their affections could change.

“I saw him,” Hoseok said suddenly.




Hoseok sighed. “At her therapy session a week ago. He thought he was blending in, and he was for a while because I only saw him halfway through. But he was there. I thought... I thought SooJin might’ve seen him, she started to call his name. But then she tripped. After we helped her back up, he was gone.”

Taehyung was silent for a bit. “It doesn’t mean anything. He’s being secretive which means he doesn’t want her to know. For whatever reason, he’s unwilling to try for anything, which means you still have a chance. A very good one. You’re there for her. Jimin can’t commit to that. He can’t be, or maybe he doesn’t want to be, someone’s pillar. You can. You have to keep trying.” Hoseok didn’t respond after that.

Taehyung wouldn’t try to force her affections to change, but he wouldn’t give up. And it’s not like Hoseok would be stealing her from Jimin, Jimin didn’t seem to care to give her the time of day anymore. Whatever was wrong with him, his feelings were obviously messed up. No sane man would push away a woman like SooJin if he really cared. Perhaps she really was a simple infatuation for him. And perhaps the spell was wearing off. But... he hadn’t yet returned to his old ways, and he was still staying close, just out of reach. It would just take time to figure it all out.

And there it is. I know, I know, I didn't give you a lot to sink your teeth into. But good news is, the next chapter comes out on Saturday. Hopefully that'll help slake your thirst a little more. And still... Jimin, Jimin, Jimin. I both feel bad for him and want to slap him. What do you think? Lol.
Well, I'll see you at the next chapter.

Thank you @Mavis2478 for the story.

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Bruh Squad
I'm dying I'm literally dying lol
@KittenFear ummmm.... I didn't do it, lol