Alright, peoples. New chapter. For those of you who have stuck with the (so far) depressing branch, I'm sorry. All your troubles will be remedied in the near future. As for now...
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.
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Beginning: Chapter 1
Previous: Jimin- Chapter 21
Next: Jimin- Chapter 23
Warning: May contain mild language. The usual trigger warning.
After helping me up the stairs, Hoseok helped me unpack. I knew I shouldn’t have said anything to Jimin. It just slipped out. And his reaction... I shook my head and focused on what was in front of me. I watched Hoseok unpack while I started talking to him about what might happen at the press conference. He tried to help calm my worries. He laid out a pajama set. He helped me to the bathroom and waited at my desk until I finished getting ready, worried that I might fall. I told him all I had left was to change and it made him blush lightly. He left and I spent the next 15 minutes changing on the edge of my bed.
The next morning, I woke up at my usual time. But I didn’t feel like getting up. I lay in bed until Jin knocked on the door. He opened it and, seeing I was awake, he asked if I wanted help going down. I told him that I didn’t want to get up yet but I would take him up on it as he was leaving. He frowned slightly before agreeing. I gathered my thoughts while waiting for Jin. He helped me down the stairs. He left and I went to the dining room, trying to see if Jimin was there like he should have been. He wasn’t. Maybe he left early to avoid me. I wasn’t very hungry so I just talked with the ones at the table.
When they finished, I went to the library to grab a book. I planned to read in the living room most of the day. I had picked a book and was carefully trying to carry it to the living room while still using my crutches. I was just passing the staircase when I ran almost straight into Jimin. I gasped in surprise, dropped the book, and started falling back. Jimin tried to catch me but got caught on my crutches and fell on top of me, his hand moving to the back of my head just in time to keep it from hitting the floor.
“S-S-SooJin,” he stuttered. I could even breathe. His body on top of mine, pressed so tightly, sent fire through my veins. Any progress I had made in trying to get over him was completely destroyed in that moment.
“J-Jimin...” The look in his eyes was the same as when he had kissed me while drunk. I silently begged him to kiss me again.
He broke the spell when he looked away. He quickly scrambled off of me, but still making sure my head didn’t hit the ground. He stood up and I sat up. He held out his hands to help me up and I hesitantly took them, unsure if I could let go after doing so. He made the choice for me when he let go to grab my crutches.
“H-here,” Jimin continued to stutter. That stutter... I knew he was just flustered by the situation but I was grateful for it because it almost seemed like I made him nervous. “I’m sorry for running into you. I didn’t see you.”
“Same,” I responded shyly.
He handed me my book. “Here.” And then he left to eat. I felt my heart leave with him. I decided to change directions and go to the music room. I didn’t want anyone to see me cry.
I only let myself cry a little because I knew the aide would be there soon. The aide came and Jungkook and JiEun had already left. There wasn’t a lot to do. The aide brought down my study materials so I could study in the living room. I think I stared at the same page for ten minutes without moving. The aide probably thought I was either stupid or weird. I decided to watch TV instead. We watched TV until the physical therapist came. I wanted to work hard, but he said he could tell I was distracted. And was I ever. I kept replaying the fall over and over in my head. Or maybe not the fall so much as the landing or, rather, Jimin’s body against mine. Every time I thought about it, a small replay of those sensations came back. I hated myself for being so weak. A moment of touching and I was a mess again. I was so pathetic.
After PT, the aide helped me upstairs for my shower and back down for lunch. To make up for my poor PT session, I went on a long, albeit extremely slow, walk around the neighborhood. Then it was back to TV. The aide left when Jin came home. Everyone else came home soon after. We ate dinner early so we could start the party. Jimin was more blatant in his ignoring me than he had been. Namjoon and Taehyung started setting up the drinks in the game room. As soon as they finished, we started.
I hadn’t originally been planning on drinking much when we talked about it the previous day, but given the events that had occurred, I couldn’t help it. And apparently everyone else had had a trying week because they all drank at least as much as me. Minus Jin, of course. I tried to avoid looking at Jimin, but the more I drank, the more I ignored myself. I tried to distract myself by focusing on Hoseok sitting next to me. It only worked so much.
The more we drank, the flirtier Hoseok became. He likely didn’t even notice the change. But it did help to distract. The problem, though, was that the more I drank, the more my gaze turned to Jimin. A couple of times, I could swear that he had just been looking at me, but never at the same time. My attention was always pulled back by Hoseok and Taehyung. And then I finally caught him. What he did next, I didn’t expect and it made me angry. He looked from me to Hoseok and then back to me. One side of his lip turned up almost like a sneer. Then he scoffed, rolled his eyes, and went back to his drink.
When I felt myself tear up, I knew that I wasn’t just angry, I was legitimately upset. He wanted nothing to do with me but I get some attention from someone and he looks at me like that. When Hoseok asked where I was going, I said the bathroom and actually went there. I washed away the few tears that had fallen and made sure it wasn’t noticeable. I opened the door to go back right when I saw Jimin leave the room. I knew it was stupid, but I was too intoxicated to care. I followed him. Walking with the crutches was increasingly difficult with alcohol and trying to open the door was even more difficult. I heard a door close just as I opened the game room’s door.
The library. Why was he going back there? I almost tripped on my way to the door. I fumbled with the door knob again but managed to open it. I didn’t bother to close it behind me. I didn’t even know why I was there, but I probably wouldn’t be there for long. It’s not like he would try anything anyway. Other than the accident in the morning, he seemed to despise even being near me. Maybe the memory of the morning was what was making me stupid enough to bother. Jimin turning to look at me made my heart flutter, just like in those stupid dramas I watched at the hospital.
“S-SooJin? W-why are you here?” Just hearing his voice again me want to be closer to him, so I took a step. He watched my feet move. When he looked back up at me, his mask was back in place. “What do you want?”
“To talk to you...” I answered quietly.
“What the hell for? I’ve got nothing to say to you.” I flinched at his words and felt my heart start squeezing again.
“Why are you doing this to me?” I hated myself for the tears I felt build up again. I didn’t want to look pathetic to him.
“Doing what?” he spat.
“That!” I yelled. It was his turn to flinch. “Why are you treating me like I have the plague? No, worse than that. If I was sick, even a stranger would offer kind words. But you... It’s like my very existence is a personal affront, an offense, to you. Why?! If you regretted kissing me then you should have just kept pretending you didn’t remember. You didn’t have to push it so far. I would’ve gotten the picture without you hating me.”
“I don’t hate you. I don’t care enough to hate you.” The tears fell at the same time my heart shattered. “A drunk kiss means nothing.”
I looked up at him. “So you do remember...” He avoided looking at me. Maybe it was just hope, but he looked like he was in pain, like the words he said hurt him.
But the mask went back on. “Yeah, unfortunately,” he admitted with a scoff. “But maybe now you really get the picture.” With a slight hesitation, he walked towards me... and then past me.
I turned to him as quickly as the crutches would allow. “I love you!” I blurted. I clapped my hand over my mouth. I didn’t mean to admit it.
Jimin froze midstep. For a second, I saw him turn back to me, hold me and cry, tell me he was sorry, that he loved me. I saw it in a second. And in a second, it was gone.
“No, you don’t.” Everything stopped for me. Not only was he refusing me, he was making look like a pathetic fool. And maybe that’s exactly what I was. He stood there for another moment and then he walked out. At first, I couldn’t move. And then I couldn’t stand. I collapsed to the floor and started sobbing. There was nothing else, no more chances. That was it. How could I have allowed myself to hope to pathetically?
When SooJin didn’t come back, Hoseok became a little worried. What if she had fallen? He excused himself from the game to go check on her. The bathroom was empty. Had she left? What if she was drunk enough to try to go back to her room on her own? He hurried out of the room. That’s when he saw the library door open. He was about to walk in when he heard voices.
“Why are you treating me like I have the plague?” SooJin was in there. Who was she talking to? “No, worse than that. If I was sick, even a stranger would offer kind words. But you... It’s like my very existence is a personal affront, an offense, to you. Why?! If you regretted kissing me then you should have just kept pretending you didn’t remember. You didn’t have to push it so far. I would’ve gotten the picture without you hating me.”
“I don’t hate you. I don’t care enough to hate you.” Jimin? She was talking to Jimin? And he had... kissed her? “A drunk kiss means nothing.” Drunk kiss... Then... the party before the accident... That was why he was behaving strangely. But that wasn’t the problem right now. “I don’t care enough to hate you.” Hoseok’s hands balled into fists. He was livid. How dare Jimin say something like that? What the hell was wrong with him?
“So you do remember...” There was silence for a couple seconds.
“Yeah, unfortunately.” I wanted to go in there and punch him. “But maybe now you really get the picture.” Hoseok heard someone start walking so he backed away, ready to run back to the room if they came closer.
“I love you!” SooJin almost shouted. Hoseok’s heart was in a vice. Now he knew it was true. She was in love with Jimin, not him. The steps stopped short.
“No, you don’t.” Hoseok heard Jimin say. When the footsteps started up again, he took off back to the room, hiding in the bathroom. He was barely able to give himself a second to think when there was a pounding on the door.
“Hyung!” Taehyung yelled desperately. “Finish up! I gotta piss so bad.” Hoseok flushed the toilet and quickly washed his face from the few tears that had just started to fall. He exited and Taehyung pushed past him. Hoseok went back to the party. When Jimin didn’t come back, Hoseok figured Jimin had decided to turn in after being a complete asshole. He gave some time to SooJin, though. He wanted to let her have a chance to cry and then regain her composure before anyone saw.
After twenty more minutes, Hoseok nonchalantly moved next to Jin. “I think you should go check on SooJin,” Hoseok told him.
Jin looked at him questioningly and then looked to the others in the room. “Where is she? How long has she been gone?” He sounded worried.
“She said she wanted to get some fresh air. I think she went to the library. It wasn’t that long ago.”
Jin nodded and quickly slipped out of the room. Hoseok wished that he could be the one to comfort her, but he wasn’t the one she needed. And since she couldn’t have that person, Jin was the next best.
When Jin saw SooJin sitting on the floor of the library, he panicked and ran over. Kneeling beside her, he asked, “SooJin, are you okay? What’s wrong?” Her eyes were puffy and pink. There were red trails on her face from crying but she wasn’t shedding tears at that moment. In fact, she looked like she wasn’t even really there. She just stared at the door, not reacting to Jin’s voice. Even when he touched her shoulder, she didn’t move. “SooJin, what happened? Did you fall? Are you hurt?”
SooJin slowly turned up to look at Jin. “It hurts so much,” she managed to say.
“Where?” SooJin put her fist against her chest without saying anything. Jin didn’t understand what she was trying to say. “Come on, let’s go. Do you want to go to bed?” SooJin nodded, her eyes unfocused. “Alright, let’s go.” Jin picked her up bridal style and SooJin curled into his chest. His heart broke at her pain. Whatever was wrong, he wished he could take it away.
Jin carried her up the stairs to her room. He would get her crutches later. He set her on her bed. “Let’s get you ready for bed.” SooJin nodded and let him escort her to the bathroom. Jin grabbed some clothes for her to change into and sat on her bed, waiting for her to finish. As soon as she opened the door, he was back to her assisting her to her bed.
Jin turned away while SooJin traded her shirt for a nightgown. When she needed help getting her pants off of her ankles, Jin tried to cheer her up by pretending that her feet were too big for the holes and that it was taking all his strength to take it off. Jin felt a small bit of relief when she cracked a small smile.
“There’s my sister.” He finished and threw her clothes in the hamper.
“Don’t make them end the party,” SooJin told him. “Just tell them I had too much and needed to sleep. Let them have their fun. I don’t wanna ruin it for everyone.”
“You’re such a good kid, worrying about them.”
“Can you hug me, oppa?”
“Of course!” Jin acted offended making SooJin chuckle again. SooJin didn’t want him to let go. Her brother’s arms were warm and comforting, exactly what she needed right then. Jin sensed that and sat down on the bed, still holding her tightly. “Whatever’s wrong... I wish I could make it better.”
“You are right now,” she assured him. She wanted to stay like that, but she didn’t want to ruin her brother’s fun, so she let go. “Thank you, oppa. I feel a lot better.” She forced a smile. Jin petted his sister’s head.
“You don’t always have to be strong.” I’m not, SooJin thought. I’m the exact opposite. How else would I be here like this right now? I’m so weak...
“I’m fine, oppa. Go back to the party. Make sure they don’t hurt themselves. And that JiEun and Jungkook behave. They were getting a little feisty before I left.”
Jin sighed. “Alright.” He kissed her on the top of her head. “Goodnight SooJin-ah, get some sleep.”
“Yes, oppa,” she smiled. As soon as he left, her smile dropped. She turned over in bed. No tears came, she hurt too much to cry.
Jin went back down to the party. Hoseok asked Jin about SooJin and Jin told him she was just drank too much and wanted to sleep. Hoseok let that be the answer. When the others asked as well, Jin told them the same but informed them that SooJin wanted them to keep going. After a little more time, Jin noticed that Jimin hadn’t come back either. He excused himself and went to Jimin’s room to check. He was stopped short by the locked door. Two rounds of knocking, but he didn’t answer. Either he had decided to sleep as well, or, God help him if he had something to do with SooJin’s current state.
Jin left and went back to the party. It finished up a few hours later. Jungkook volunteered to help the drunk JiEun to her room, but even intoxicated, Namjoon adamantly protested. Yoongi took JiEun and Namjoon stumbled to bed by himself. Both Taehyung and Hoseok were very drunk so Jin had to help them one at a time. Jin didn’t miss the increased amount Hoseok consumed after Hoseok told him about SooJin. If it continued, Jin knew he’d be forced to butt in as much as he wanted to give them space.
The next morning, SooJin didn’t feel like getting out of bed. She gave the excuse of having drunk too much, but truthfully, she just didn’t want them to see her like she was. Even with alcohol, she barely slept during the night. And when she did, it was fitful and she had nightmares involving dark basements and her adoptive father’s alcohol breath on her skin. She would wake up from one every few minutes according to her alarm clock. In the worst one, Jimin was there, sneering and calling her pathetic. Then, he opened a door she hadn’t noticed before. He shoved her into the pitch black where she heard her adoptive father calling for her, his hands grabbing her. She woke up with a scream stuck in her throat.
SooJin didn’t know who she was angrier at, Jimin for the things he said or herself for being so affected by it. She felt like those girls in the books and dramas who let themselves get heartbroken over a jerk. And yet... there was nothing she could do. Now she knew what they were going through.
She got out of bed when the physical therapist came to the house. Sunday was her rest day so she still had one more day to go. Jin helped her downstairs and she immediately asked the therapist to let them do the work in another room since everyone was in the living room. Jin suggested the library since it was wide open. SooJin practically snapped a “no” and suggested the music room. Hoseok saw Jimin flinch at her “no”. But Hoseok didn’t feel pity for him, only anger.
The next few days were similar. She had a break on Sunday, but her depression hadn’t abated. Finally, Jungkook decided it was time to talk to her. He’d been debating it while she was in the hospital, but now he didn’t have a choice. He wasn’t aware of what had occurred at the party, but he saw both Jimin and SooJin get worse. He had no idea he had things backwards.
Wednesday after school, Jungkook came home while JiEun met with a couple classmates to work on an upcoming project. After searching for a couple minutes, he found SooJin with the aide just sitting in the music room. He quietly asked the aide if he could talk to SooJin alone. After she left, Jungkook walked to the despondent-looking woman sitting in the chair, staring out at the back lawn. She didn’t seem to notice his presence yet. He sat in the windowsill in front of her, finally forcing her to notice him.
“Jungkook? Sorry, I was lost in my own little world.” SooJin forced a smile.
“You don’t have to pretend you’re okay in front of me, it’s easy to see something’s wrong.”
SooJin’s smile dropped. “Is it that obvious?”
Jungkook let out a small puff of air, almost like a laugh. “How could it not be? Everyone already knows that Jimin’s been strange” SooJin flinched at the mention of Jimin’s name “but since yours just happened, I don’t think other people know it’s related. If I didn’t know my brother so well, I wouldn’t have known either.”
“I don’t want to talk about this.” SooJin turned away.
“Yeah, well, I do. I’m your friend and I don’t want to overstep by bounds, but Jimin’s my brother. I can’t keep seeing him like this. He doesn’t eat at work, he doesn’t even take a break, burying himself in work. Everyone said he’s practically become a mute, only talking when absolutely necessary. I don’t even work there but some of my acquaintances there are so worried that they contacted me. I’ve never seen him like this, not even—he’s just never been this bad. I’m pretty sure—I think I’m right in guessing you have feelings for him, right?”
SooJin willed the tears to not fall. She was barely succeeding.
“I know he loves you. And if you have feelings for him, can’t you just tell him? It’s killing him. If you tell him—“
“I did tell him!” SooJin shouted, the dam of tears breaking.
“Y-You did? Then why—“
“I told him I loved him and he said ‘No, you don’t’. He was so cold. He didn’t even look at me. He stomped all over my feelings like I didn’t mean anything. Like my feelings didn’t mean anything. He walked away.” SooJin glared at Jungkook. “So you’re wrong. He doesn’t love me, he hates me. If he cared, he wouldn’t be killing me like this.”
Jungkook was quiet as he tried to think. There was no possible way that could be true. He knew for a fact that his brother was in love with SooJin. That wasn’t a question at all. So why would he push her away like that? It didn’t make sense. Unless... there had to be something else he wasn’t seeing.
“Noona, I think there’s something else.” SooJin closed her eyes forcing herself not to let his words give her hope. “Maybe he’s being blackmailed. Or I don’t know.” Jungkook grabbed her shoulders. “Look at me.” SooJin opened her eyes, sorrow showing in them. “Hate me for this if you want, but please... don’t give up on my brother.”
That sent a jolt through SooJin. “Don’t give up? He practically shoved me aw—“
“There’s something else, I know there is. I know without a doubt that my brother is in love with you. I know it for a fact. So please... just give me some time to figure it out. Please... don’t give up...”
And against her will, SooJin felt a small seed of hope start to grow again. “I hate you.”
Ugh, Jungkook. I feel bad for what you're doing to SooJin. At the same time, I hope you can figure out why your brother is such an idiot and whip him into shape. I really hated writing the library scene. I don't like writing stuff that's that harsh. But I guess it did its job. But don't worry, just like that small seed of hope, there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
Well then, next chapter's out Saturday. Hope to see you then!
Thank you @Mavis2478 for the story.