Hello. I've brought you the next chapter. Sorry the last chapter was such a downer at the end, but this one will pretty much be as well. But this too shall pass, lol.
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Disclaimer: The events are purely fictional. While BTS is real, I don't know them personally so this is just for fun. the original picture does not belong to me, but the editing does.
Warning: May contain mild language, violence, and blood. Some allusion to mature content. Some talk of death. Kind of dark chapter.
Beginning: Chapter 1
Previous: Chapter 9
Next: Chapter 11
Namjoon looked on the table and saw a picture of Sam and a man he was assuming was Daesung. They looked so happy. He felt a small bang of jealousy and immediately felt disgusted at himself for it. On the picture sat her ring and partially under the picture was another paper that he couldn’t really see. It was almost all black with seemingly random white spots and streaks. And then it hit him. He hesitantly picked up the picture. It was exactly what he thought it was—an ultrasound. Namjoon’s heart clenched painfully. Sam had lost more than her fiancé in that senseless attack.
Namjoon looked at Sam only to find her now looking at the ultrasound.
“I’m so sorry,” was all Namjoon could say. “I didn’t—I didn’t know. I didn’t realize. This—I can’t even imagine…”
“I was two months along,” she said in a voice that sounded distracted. Like she was actually in the past in her head. “We only found out earlier that week. We were so excited. He already started buying things for a nursery. We were getting married the next month and then we were going to have a family.” She took in a shaky breath and looked back to Namjoon. “I didn’t want you to know because… it’s been three years. I’m supposed to be done grieving by now.”
“You are. Most of the year, you are. But when you lose so much like this,” he gently caressed her face, “of course there will be times where you fall back into that grief. But it’s not your whole life. I could never be mad because he was someone so important to you. And then… to know you were pregnant… How could I possibly be mad at you?”
“But… he’s my past. I thought…”
“He’ll always have a piece of your heart, and I understand that; I accept that. I’m glad that he made you happy. He opened your heart and that’s what gives me the chance I have now. Without him, you wouldn’t be the person you are, the person I’m in love with.”
After a moment, Sam responded, “I love you…”
“I love you too, feisty.” He leaned over and gingerly kissed her on the forehead. “You know what might help you feel better?” he asked, standing up.
“A bath.” Sam burst out laughing even as a few last tears fell.
“I’m that bad, huh?”
“Well… I wouldn’t say bad, per se, but I definitely wouldn’t say good.”
“It’s only been a couple days, but yeah, I guess I just didn’t feel like moving. Truth be told, I haven’t really left the couch.”
“Ok, look. You sit here, I’ll throw this stuff in the fridge and run you a nice relaxing, hot bath. Do you have anything for that? Like bubbles or something?”
“Um… there’s Epsom salt under the sink… and I think someone gave me a thing of bubble bath stuff that I haven’t used.”
“Alright, babe, stay here.”
Namjoon was already walking to the fridge. “Don’t like it?”
“No, it’s just strange is all, I guess.”
“Well, you’re mostly my feisty, but right now, I’m taking care of you so you’re my babe.” He walked back and gave her another brief kiss on her head. “I’ll run your bath. Then I brought some food, so we’ll put some food in you. I’ll be back in a minute.” He went into her master bathroom and searched under the sink for stuff for her bath. There was basically nothing for her to pamper herself with. The Epsom salt was probably just for all the aches and pains her job gave her. He finally found the small bottle of a perfumed bubble bath solution, then he started the bath. Her bath was a bath/shower combo so at least it was decently big.
He poured the solution in as he let the bath start to fill. He added a large amount of the salt, just to help her feel better. He wished she had told him what she was going through. He understood her reasoning for wanted to keep it secret, but that only saddened him more. He hoped now she understood she could tell him anything. Namjoon kept checking the temperature of the water as it filled. When the bubbles were a little below the top, he turned the water off.
“Bath’s ready,” he told Sam when he came back to the living room. Her head darted up from the cushion. He felt bad because he hadn’t realized she’d fallen asleep. Sam stood up and slowly walked to the bath. With a shy smile, she closed the door behind her.
Namjoon waited just outside the door to make sure she didn’t fall or anything. He surveyed her room. It was only barely less spartan than the rest of the apartment. He could see a picture frame next to her bed and a small bin in the corner, probably a laundry bin. On the walls were pictures that were obviously drawn by children. They weren’t works of art, but she had them on the wall anyway. She treasured the pictures, probably like she treasured the people who had made them. He felt a smile creep onto his face when he thought about what an amazing person she was. He started to walk to her bedside, wanting to see the picture there. It was probably a family picture and he wanted to see how cute she was as a kid.
“Namjoon?” Sam’s voice called from the bathroom. Namjoon raced to the door, ready to assist if something had happened.
“Is something wrong?”
“I—“ she cut off. “I-I—I probably shouldn’t ask you this, but… could you stay in here with me?”
Namjoon’s eyes widened and his breathing shortened. But he knew she wasn’t asking for what his stupid body was intent on it being.
“In there? Are you sure—“
“I’m afraid I’ll fall asleep. The water’s nice and I’m really tired. Of all things, I don’t wanna drown in my bathtub,” she said with an embarrassed chuckle.
Namjoon turned the door handle and pushed it open a crack. “Are you sure?”
“I know, I shouldn’t ask. It’s not fair to you…”
“No, it’s okay. I can handle it. I just…” Namjoon cleared his throat. “I’m coming in, okay?”
Namjoon came in and as soon as he saw her, he felt his body heat up. He cursed himself for his poor self-control. He laid down the toilet lid and sat on it. He avoided looking straight at her while he forced himself to relax.
Sam tiredly giggled. “There are bubbles.” Namjoon looked at her. Her tired eyes were more prominent in the brighter light of the bathroom. And now, more than the sexual desire he felt, he just wanted to hold her. He wanted to take away her sorrow and pain; he wanted to erase the fact that she’d gone through it alone for the past week. He wanted to be a firm foundation for her when she felt like the rest of the world was crumbling around her. He knelt down beside the tub and held her face in his hands. He kissed her gently.
“Rest and soak in the warmth of the water. I’ll make sure you don’t drown.” Sam smiled and nestled down into the bubbles. She was already falling asleep the second her eyes closed. Her hand rested on the edge of the tub and Namjoon set his on hers. She looked like a doll, an angel, just resting there so peacefully. Her thin body and gentle looks betrayed the strength she hid underneath. And yet now, she seemed even more vulnerable.
Namjoon let her rest in the water for a little while until the water started cooling. Fortunately for him, the bubbles were holding up well. Namjoon cupped her face and ran his thumb along her cheek.
“Wake up, babe,” he cooed quietly.
She stirred and leaned into his touch. “Namjoon…” she murmured. Namjoon smiled. Half-asleep, she said his name. His name. That had to mean something.
“The water’s cooling. I need to put more hot water in, okay? Pull your feet up.” She did and her knees raised above the water. Namjoon saw small scars he hadn’t seen before. He wondered how many scars she had. With the work she did and as serious as she took it, there had to be a lot.
Namjoon drained the bath a little to add more hot water without it overflowing. When he finished, he looked back up to Sam. She was sitting up, the bubbles creating a thin layer to cover her skin, with an endearing smile on her face. Namjoon gulped slowly and turned away.
“Thank you. Thank you for being here with me. I feel like… like I’ll never feel alone again. I forgot how nice it was to have a special someone looking out for you and caring for you and loving you. I forgot how to rely on others and I forgot that I was more than just someone whose entire life was work. I forgot how to be a person.”
Namjoon smiled sadly. She’d spent so much of her life by herself that she forgot she actually already had people looking out for her, caring for her, and loving her. Maybe not in the way that Namjoon would now be there for her, but she still had people.
“I’ll never let you feel like that again,” Namjoon assured her. “I’ll be with you whenever you need me. And even when you don’t. I’ll just be here.”
Sam pulled him closer and kissed him lightly. “I love you.”
“Love you too, feisty.”
“I guess I should wash up before it gets cold again.”
“Alright. I’ll heat up the food. I’ll be back to check on you in a bit, okay? I’ll leave the doors cracked open so if you need anything, you can just yell, okay?”
“Yes, oppa. You really are like a big brother,” Sam chuckled.
“Yah! Don’t call me a brother. I don’t want to be a brother to you. And the few things we’ve done together are definitely not something siblings do with each other.” His voice lowered. “And the things we’re going to do…” He crushed her lips in a bruising kiss. Just as quickly as it started, it stopped and he left the room. Sam set her hand on her chest. She could feel her heart racing.
Then thoughts of what tomorrow was crashed through her current thoughts and she felt guilty. Tomorrow was a sacred day of loss and, even though it had been three years, she shouldn’t be thinking about what she was thinking about. And then she began to doubt herself even more. She still missed Daesung, she probably always would, but she no longer wished that he was at her side anymore. Namjoon made her happy and she was very much in love with him. But doesn’t that mean I’m betraying my love for Daesung?
Sam let out an exasperated sigh. Meg’s told me a hundred times that I have nothing to feel guilty about. The past can’t be changed, only the present and future. Namjoon is with me now so I should be happy to live in the now. Dae would want me to be happy.
Sam finally started washing up. Namjoon called from her bedroom door a few minutes later just to check on her. Sam finished quickly and drained the tub, rinsing herself off with the showerhead for good measure. She rolled her eyes when she realized she hadn’t brought any clothes in.
“Namjoon?” She heard his hurried footsteps just outside the door. The more desperate part of her wanted him to open it.
“Are you okay?” he asked worriedly.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Can you just close my bedroom door? I didn’t bring clothes in so I have to get them from my room.”
He left and Sam heard the door close. She ran her fingers through her damp hair. To blow-dry or not? She went and changed while she thought about it. She stared at the necklace Namjoon had given her only a moment before putting it on. It grounded her in the now. In the end, she decided it was too much effort to dry her hair and she left the room with her hair still damp.
The smell of delicious food hit her as soon as she started walking toward the kitchen. She’d forgotten to eat for the most of the last week and her stomach now angrily demanded food. She heard Namjoon laughing in the kitchen.
“I can hear your stomach from here.”
“The food smells heavenly,” she almost moaned as she entered the kitchen.
“A little piece of heaven for my angel.” Namjoon watched as her whole body stiffened.
“Don’t call me that,” she said, sounding almost angry.
“Call you what?”
“Angel. Don’t call me that, ever. Please.” The last word was gentler. Namjoon wondered if that was something only Daesung had called her.
“Sorry,” he said quietly and turned back to the soup boiling on the stove. While he couldn’t cook, he could at least reheat. He felt arms wrap around his waist from behind.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to snap like that. Just… that name holds bad memories for me.”
“I’ll be sure to not say it again. And… I want to know more about you so that we don’t have to keep apologizing to each other. It seems we do that a lot when we’re together. I don’t like that we keep having to say it to each other all the time. I’m looking forward to the time when that doesn’t happen anymore.”
“Me, too.” Her arms squeezed tighter around him. “Now give me food,” she said to lighten the mood. She held her mouth open. Namjoon ladled some of the soup and blew on it to cool it down. Then he turned, Sam’s arms still around him, and held it to her lips. She drank it down greedily.
“Okay. Sit down and I’ll dish you up some.” Sam shook her head and held onto him. Touching him made him more real than the pain of loss she felt. And on the coffee table in the living room were still the pictures and the ring, things she was afraid to see by herself; afraid she would fall into the sorrow again. Namjoon recognized her demeanor and let her stay. She kept her arms around his waist and followed behind as he took down the bowls and plates she directed him to. He ladled up healthy portions of the soup into the bowls, served the rice from the reheatable container in the microwave, and pulled out the side dishes.
He started to bring everything out to the living room, freezing when he saw the items still on the table. Sam’s hands held his shirt more tightly.
“Can I put these in your room?” he asked.
“I-I-I’ll do it. I-I can do it,” she responded without confidence. She felt her determination waver the second she let go of Namjoon. But she had to be strong. She gingerly picked up the items and took them to her room, setting them on top of her dresser. When she came back out, she had to wipe away a few stray tears. Namjoon walked to her and kissed along the trails of tears. Sam sighed at his touch.
“C’mon, beautiful. Let’s get you some food.” He held her close as he guided her to the small table. Sam kneeled on the floor and Namjoon brought the rest of their food and drinks out. When it stayed quiet, Namjoon suggested TV. A variety show was on and, even with the poor quality from the TV, the two were laughing within minutes. Sam ate heartily, her stomach craving all the meals she’d been skipping. “Your hair looks nice, curly or straight.” He pushed back a few stray strands behind her ear.
“Ah, I was just too lazy to comb it out and dry it today again.”
He smiled. At least she was feeling a little better. “Well, I like it.”
After the healthy food, Namjoon brought out the chocolate and ice cream. Sam happily accepted the desserts. The two curled up on the couch afterwards and eventually fell asleep to the droning of the TV.
Sam woke up with the light streaming in through the kitchen window. She felt a warm body behind her and snuggled back into it. Namjoon let out a small noise and his arm that was over her waist tightened. She smiled. Namjoon was with her. He was there. He was still there. And he was her first thought, not confusing him for someone else. Someone else… today was the anniversary of the death of that someone else; that someone else and their baby. She felt the tears start coming again, but silently. She laced her fingers with the hand resting on her stomach. There was a small sigh behind her as Namjoon shifted.
“Fiesty?” came his gravelly, sleep-filled voice.
“Mm. Did I wake you, oppa?”
“Mmm, yeah. But that’s okay. I don’t mind be woken by you. In fact, I look forward to the day when it happens so often that I get used to it.” He innocently kissed along her exposed neck. He just wanted to confirm to the both of them that they were really there.
“I look forward to that too.” With her ribs in mind, Sam turned over slowly to face Namjoon. His eyes were so cute with their puffy-sleep look. “Are you hungry?”
Namjoon nodded. “But I’m also really thirsty. I forgot to drink yesterday.”
“Alright, oppa. Wait here and I’ll grab a tablet and water.”
Namjoon’s grip held firm when she tried to move. “Not yet. Just a little longer like this.”
“Okay,” she chuckled and snuggled against his chest. They stayed like that for some time. Neither of them cared to define what ‘a little longer’ meant and neither cared to look at the time. With a hand on Namjoon’s chest, she could feel his heartbeat starting to slow down. His slower breathing also indicated that he was slipping towards sleep again. She didn’t have the heart to wake him, but it was a weekday and he needed to go to work, as much as she didn’t want him to leave.
Sam gently shook Namjoon. When he stirred, she said, “You have to go to work.”
“Not today,” he murmured, still half-asleep. “I called someone last night while you were in the bath. I’m not working today or tomorrow. And then it’s the weekend.”
Sam pulled back. “Why’d you do that? I don’t want you getting in trouble because of me.”
“I won’t get in trouble, feisty. We’re all close, so we all cover for each other. I don’t ask for days off often so they don’t mind. Trust me, it’s fine.” With a groan, Namjoon sat up, Sam mirroring him. “I want to be here for you. I’m going to be here for you.” He carefully pulled her against him. His chin rested on her head. “I’m not going to let you feel alone.”
Sam curled into him. Around him, she could be weak. Everyone had their weaknesses and the times when their weaknesses became more prominent. Sam had always forced herself to keep up a façade. Anything less than strength was weakness, something she couldn’t allow other people to see. If they saw it, they would jump all over it and exploit it. Even with her friends, she had to appear strong so as not to worry them. But with Namjoon, she felt completely safe. Even though she was worried about causing him trouble and worry, something about him told her it was okay, that he wanted to be strong for her. Since her first love turned his back on her, only Daesung had made her feel that way. She never thought she’d be so lucky to find that again.
“I love you so much,” she told him quietly.
“I love you too, my beautiful, feisty girl.” Sam smiled as she held onto him. Even with just a short time together, she knew she could be happy with him. Scratch that, I am happy with him.
A few minutes later, Sam got up and brought him his drink, the tablet still fizzing in the water turning it a darker and darker red. Luckily, Namjoon had brought pastries and fruit for breakfast, along with their other food. She cut up the fruits he bought and brought out a tray for them. Namjoon was lying upright on the couch, against the armrest. He patted the spot between his legs and Sam sat there with the tray on her lap. Sometimes he fed her and sometimes she fed him. The TV was turned on again until almost noon.
“I have to go somewhere now,” Sam told Namjoon, turning off the TV.
“Oh…” The silence in the room was heavy.
“I need to get flowers too, before I go.” Sam started biting the knuckle of her finger.
Namjoon pulled her finger away. He knew it was a nervous habit of hers and he didn’t want her to feel nervous. “Can we stop by my place first?”
“First?” Sam asked, confused.
“Yeah. I didn’t think to bring a change of clothes, so I’d like to change first.”
“I told you, I’m going to be with you today. I won’t let you feel alone. Especially there.”
“And I have business there too.” Now Sam was even more confused. “I think I should make proper introductions. You loved him and he was your fiancé. I know you feel guilty about loving someone else now, so I want to go with you to tell him. I guess it’s a way of asking for his blessing, even if he can’t answer back. But it’s something a man should do.”
Sam was at a loss for words. It would be strange to take Namjoon with, but at the same time, he had a fair point. It kind of made her fall for him a little more; his consideration was astounding, even being in a situation such as this.
She let out a small smile and nodded. “Okay.” She hurried to get ready and then the two left for Namjoon’s place. He hurried as well while Sam sat on the couch, once again biting her knuckle. Namjoon came out in a pair of black slacks and a dark blue, almost black, button-up dress shirt. Once finished, the two left for a nearby flower shop. They bought the flowers; a small bouquet of lilies for Daesung and a miniature bouquet of wild flowers for the baby. Namjoon held Sam’s shaking hand as they drove to the cemetery.
They parked the car and Namjoon helped a shaky Sam out of the car. She guided them to the inside area where his ashes were kept in the small memorial display case. Because there was nothing of their baby, Daesung’s space was also for their unnamed child. The display had pictures of Daesung with his family, with his friends, with Sam, an ultrasound of the baby, and a few memorable tokens for both of them. Sam touched her hand to the case and silent tears started falling. Without any words, Namjoon held her free hand, squeezing gently to remind her that he was there. Sam smiled at him gratefully.
“Sometimes… I still miss him… and I miss…” She took her hand off the case and held it on her stomach.
“I know, babe. I know. And it’s okay. I’ll still be here with you.”
“He… You two would’ve liked each other if you’d met before. He had a personality that could make anyone laugh. And you have a personality that can make anyone your friend. You would’ve gotten along well.”
Namjoon smiled. He stepped back, still holding Sam’s hand, and bowed at the display.
“Hello, Kang Daesung. My name is Kim Namjoon. I don’t know you, but I know you had to have been a great person, because Sam fell in love with you. And she still loves you. Few men can be so lucky in their lives as to meet an amazing woman like her. I know you took care of her very well, and I’m sure you’ve been watching her and protecting her this whole time. But… I’d like to ask your permission to be the one to take care of her now. I swear on my life to take care of her and love her as much as she deserves. I promise to protect her with everything I have. I love her very much. And I would like for Sam to not feel guilty about it anymore. I’d like your blessing for us to have our love.”
When he finished talking it was silent. Neither of them were expecting a response, but it almost felt like they were waiting for something.
“You have his blessing,” came a woman’s voice from the doorway of the room.
Sam jumped. Her voice was quiet when she spoke next, almost like she was scared, liked she’d been caught doing something she shouldn’t have. “Mrs. Kang?”
Okay, chapter's finished. Sorry it's dark and not super progressive, but I felt it was a good chapter to get the characters closer together. I hope you feel the same. Hope to see you all again on Sunday!
Thanks for reading!
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