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  • honeyboyjeno
    04.12.2021 - 7 minutes ago

    aitai-tai (horimiya au)

    part 1 - introductions

    jisung x reader

    m.list

    prev // next

    #nct fanfic#nct fic#nct fanfiction#nct au #nct text au #nct texts #nct fake texts #nct series #nct socialmedia au #nct social media au #nct sm au #nct x reader #nct fluff#nct scenarios#nct imagines#nct reactions #nct dream au #nct dream fic #nct dream fanfic #nct dream text au #jisung au #nct jisung au #park jisung fic #jisung series#jisung fanfic #nct jisung fanfiction #nct dream fluff #nct dream socialmedia au #nct drabbles#jisung fluff
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  • ljxlj48
    04.12.2021 - 1 hour ago

    My duty, as princess chapter 04

    Lee Jeno x fem reader

    preview, 01, 02, 03, 04

    Genre: arranged marriage au! royalty au!

    Warnings: kinda of angsty :0

    Word Count: 5.5K

    Authors Note: There's people that enjoy this story and I can't even explain how happy it makes me. I love all of you that are enjoying the story and please don't be afraid to ask me anything whether its personal or about the story. There's a lot of things that I wanted to include but eventually took out because the stories length was already too long, so please ask me anything literally. hugs and kisses to everyone that enjoys the story <3

    -----------

    Dinner was over and Jeno just left you at your chamber doors. “Chan a word?” you looked to your guard and walked through your doors, him following ensuite. 

    “Yes, my princess?” He shut the door behind him. 

    “Chan, it’s me,” you pleaded. 

    “(y/n), what’s wrong?” He took a step closer to you, taking your face in his hand.  

    “You’re not angry with me? You’re okay,” you paused, not finding the right words. 

    “My princess, are you trying to ask me if I’m okay with you and the Prince?” Chan laughed a little looking at you, pulling his hand away. 

    “Chan, I’m being serious, the last time,” he put his hand up stopping you. 

    “(y/n), I will always love you, but it’s time I step back and let you go,” Chan offered a sad smile, taking a step away from you, wanting to reach out and pull him close.  Your arms wouldn’t move, felt the tears welling in your eyes. 

    “Always?” you questioned, wanting him to stay a little longer, “you’ll always love me, even if I love someone else?” 

    “I will always love you, my princess,” He smiled walking out the door, leaving you to your thoughts. You could feel the tears fall down your face, you couldn’t even understand why you were crying.  You had an amazing day with Jeno, it finally felt like this union was more than a business contract, but you were selfish. You wanted more, you wanted a romance filled marriage with Jeno, a kingdom to serve, but you also wanted a relationship with Chan, just like back at home.  You wanted it all, everything and everyone. 

    -

    Three weeks away from the wedding, everything was in order finally.  There were no more meetings with vendors, or talking about options you had, it was finally done planning. There was a few last things to manage, just finalizing the details. Chan and Hyunjin finally stopped following you everywhere in the palace, but they did remain close most of the time.  Jeno spent every free moment he had with you, whether it was taking Hades for a walk, or morning breakfast, or walking you to dinner. 

    “I can find the dining hall by myself, your highness,” Jeno was walking you to dinner once again this evening.  

    “Princess, don’t take this away from me,” Jeno smirked, looking at you, “this is the only time I’m guaranteed with you.” This walk was the one thing that was a constant in yours and Jeno's schedule.  

    “Alright then, I’ll grant you the pleasure of escorting me to dinner,” you smirked, teasing the prince. The two of you turned the corner to face Park Jisoo, the sight already has the mask falling into place on your face. 

    “Jeno,” she called out to him lovingly, looking at him with soft eyes. 

    “Jisoo,” the way the name rolled off the tongue, he doesn’t call out to me like that, you thought. 

    She stepped closer, pulling at him, “we haven’t really talked for a minute now,” she sighed, still looking at him, longing for him, “I’ve missed you.” Watching them made your stomach turn. 

    “I, I’m sorry,” Jeno seemed out of breath, almost afraid to say the wrong thing. The mask was cracking. 

    “I shall leave you two to talk privately,” you said with a smile, “I’ll see you both downstairs.” You walked past them moving to the dinning hall, hoping, pleading the mask didn’t crack all the way through.  Is this what Jeno felt when he saw you with Chan? You thought to yourself, how he felt, what he saw, what he thought, was he in as much pain as you were right now. You had no right to be angry that his heart belonged to someone else, yours did too. 

    Did, funny how one word makes all the difference.  Your heart did belong to Chan, he was your love, your light, your warmth, he was your heart, back home. But here, here in Northcy, you embraced the cold, the sparkle of snow, the feeling of the wind in your face, your heart belongs to Jeno now.  You didn’t even notice the shift, the change, when you finally fell in love with the pretty face Prince, who didn’t have a single thought bouncing around in that head of his.  

    -

    “I,” missed you too, is what I wanted to say but, “I’m sorry,” was what came out.  Jisoo, my first love, my high school sweetheart, she was born, bred to be my wife.  That wasn’t a secret to anyone with half a brain, Jisoo’s parents were, are, the most powerful noble family, the only thing they didn’t have was royal status.  And she was going to be exactly that, my wife.

    “I shall leave you two to talk privately,” the princess smiled, it was fake, I could see right through the charade, “I’ll see you both downstairs.”  She walked past the two of us, not sparring me a glance; it hurt, I can't explain why but it did. I was about to go after her, reach out to stop her, to wait for me, but there was something pulling me back, someone keeping me here.  I looked down to see Jisoo’s hand wrapped around my wrist, stopping me from chasing the princess. 

    “Jeno, please look at me, talk to me,” I turned to Jisoo. There were tears in her eyes, my heart broke to see her hurt, “you said you loved me, was it a lie?”

    “It wasn’t a lie,” I didn’t know what to say at this point, I loved Jisoo but I love the princess too.  What do I do?

    “Wasn’t,” she chuckled at the word, “but it is now.”  Tears fell down Jisoo’s face, what do I do?

    “It isn’t a lie Jisoo, I did, do love you,” I was scrambling for words at this point, anything to make this right.  What do I say?

    “Just not as much as you love her,” Jisoo’s voice turned venomous at the mention of the princess.  Why would she say it like that?

    “Jisoo I am required to marry the princess,” I felt this invisible crown on my head, weighing down.  “I love you Jisoo," I do, did at least, "but I cannot continue to see you,” my breathing was even, “I love my fiancée, and I am going to make this marriage work." I want an actually life with the princess, I want to be there for her, care for her, love her. "For me to do that, I cannot see you anymore, I cannot have two relationships.”

    “I can never see you again?” Jisoo's look matched the same as the night I broke up with her, angry.

    “I didn’t say that,” I was losing my confidence, “I just mean that we can not be sneaking around, meeting in private, you coming to my room late in the night, you and me have to stop.” 

    “Ha,” she looked away, not meeting me. 

    "However it would be best,” the final marker, how do you cut off someone you spent more than half your life knowing, a quarter of your life loving, “it’s best if all our meetings remain business strictly.” Mines and Jisoo’s relationship was over, to say it didn't hurt me too would be a lie.

    I left Jisoo standing alone in the hall and made my way to the dining hall. When I got there, some people were sitting, others were standing and talking in small groups. The food hadn’t been brought out yet, so I made my way to the front of the table where father sat. There the princess sat across from Grandma Lee, the two were deep in conversation. 

    “I will support Prince Jeno in every decision that he makes, I have no intention of taking his crown from him,” I heard the princess tell Grandma Lee when I got near, “your majesty, I agreed to this union because I know that it will be beneficial to my people and my kingdom.  No one truly forced me into this, I didn’t argue when my parents presented this to me.” The princess finished her statement. 

    “I know my grandson,” I paused a little away from the table, hearing Grandma Lee speak, the two not noticing my presence just yet, “he is a good boy but he doesn’t trust easily, and for anything to work between the two of you, there needs to be trust” Grandma Lee looked at the princess as if she had already committed treason. 

    “I have gotten to know Jeno in these past few months that I have been in Northcy,” the princess paused, taking a sip of water, “and I truly trust Jeno to do what is best for our kingdoms.  If you had asked me when I arrived if I trusted him, my answer would not be the same, but after getting to know him, knowing what kind of Prince and man he is.  There is no doubt that he will make a fine king.” 

    The princess’ confidence in me had blood rushing to my cheeks, it fed my ego, she believed in me.  I made my way to the table, taking my seat next to the princess and I looked at her. She was, is, the girl I'm going to marry, and that thought has never brought me such joy. 

    -

    Dinner sitting next to the prince was anything but calm, your stomach did flips at every bite you swallowed.  The way Jisoo and Jeno looked at each other was something you couldn’t erase from your memory.  Jealousy, you were starting to become jealous of the relationship Jisoo and Jeno had, the relationship you wanted with Jeno.  Jealousy was a nasty little thing that caused people to do nasty stupid things. And you did something very stupid. 

    Now here you were standing in between Jeno and Chan wondering why you thought this was a good idea.  You were stupid, you weren’t thinking and you just wanted to be with someone, so you called Chan after dinner. Well not right after dinner, it was more like 11pm when you called Chan, but Jeno wanted to go stargazing tonight.  You and Chan were just sitting on the couch, and maybe just, maybe, you kissed Chan, when Jeno walked in. 

    So now here you were standing in between a very disappointed Chan and a very angry Jeno.  

    “Your highness, I apologize for the misunderstanding, it seems the princess wasn’t clear,” Chan said bowing to Jeno, you looked at him utterly shocked he didn’t even attempt to put up a fight, “I’ll be taking my leave now.” 

    “Chan?” you called out to him as he made his way to the door, “Are you serious right now?”

    “Yes, Princess, I am serious because you were mad, so you used me,” Chan was furious, your heart started to race, tears welling in your eyes, palms sweating.  This wasn’t your intention.  Chan had never in the past three years ever just called you princess, it was always ‘my princess,’ and it hurt not hearing the my.  

    Chan walked out slamming the door behind him, Jeno started to chuckle after Chan left. “Really princess?” He looked at you disgusted, “need I remind you, you’re my fiancée.” 

    “Oh please Jeno,” you were angry, Jeno had no right to judge you, “don’t make it seem you’re in love with me now.”

    “Yeah, well at least I wasn’t sticking my tongue down another girl's throat,” Jeno was starting to raise his voice. 

    “You didn’t need to,” you matched his volume, “you made it evident who you loved without that.” 

    “What are you even talking about?” Jeno looked at you dumbfounded. 

    “You and Jisoo, don’t pretend you’re not in love with her, Jeno,” you sighed and decided to take a seat. 

    “Are you serious right now?” Jeno was growing more angry, “you make it seem like you’re in love with me, when clearly you don’t care about how I feel. All you care about is your little guard.” 

    “That is uncalled for,” you practically yelled, pointing at Jeno. 

    “I'm right though,” he yelled at you, “you don’t love me, you love Chan, always have and always will.” 

    “Don’t kid yourself Jeno, of course I love Chan and you love Jisoo, that’s that,” you spoke in a normal voice, pulling the mask on. 

    “I didn’t fool around though,” Jeno said, still wanting to argue. 

    “Oh yeah? You didn’t?” You heard, not from Jisoo, or Jeno, but from Fei and Mei, “what about all those nights when Jisoo came to your room?” Jeno looked shocked at your knowledge, “don’t act so surprised, you know these walls have ears and eyes,” the mask was cracking, you wanted to cry. “Don’t pretend we could make anything between us work, this marriage, you,” you gestured to Jeno, “is nothing more than my duty, as princess,” you were done fighting, not having the energy for this anymore. You left Jeno sitting in the seating area of your chambers walking to the bathroom. 

    After a moment you heard the door open and close. Jeno left.  The tears fell, you just laid in bed crying waiting for sleep to take over. 

    -

    The next day, you were supposed to have breakfast at Jeno’s chambers with him, instead opting to eat in your own chambers. After breakfast, you had a meeting with Queen Jaeyeon and the wedding organizer.  The wedding organizer will be incharge on the day of the wedding, allowing you, or more like Queen Jaeyeon to enjoy the day.  

    That meeting took nearly three hours, by the time it was over, there was only an hour before you had to meet the ladies' daughters of the council for lunch.  You made it back to your chambers, changed your clothes, freshened up your makeup, and went back down to have lunch.  The Luncheon was held at one of the many drawing rooms, this room was called the pink room, previously known as the princess room.  The walls were painted a blush pink, and the decor was shades of pink with gold accents.  By the time you made it to the room, the majority of the girls were there already, just waiting for one or two more.  When you looked around the room, to the girls, you noticed only one person was missing, Park Jisoo.  Of course she was late.  

    “My apologies for being late, your highness,” Jisoo walked in the door, she smirked as she said her apologies.  You thought to yourself, ‘this bitch.’

    “You’re here now,” you smiled, the mask was on, “that’s what matters. Please ladies let us all take our seats.” 

    As soon as everyone was seated, maids brought out the food before long, you sat at the head of the table looking out to every girl there.  You had never wished for Queen Jaeyeon ever in your stay in Northcy but right now, right here, you wished she was here.  

    “Your highness, are you excited for the wedding?” one of the girls, Giselle, daughter of Lord Osaki.  

    “Excited as anyone would be,” You wished this lunch would be over.

    “Where will be the honeymoon, Princess?” Yeri asked, daughter of Lord Kim, her family was in charge of the ports in the country. 

    “The honeymoon will be pushed back until a better time,” You and Jeno were supposed to travel into Modia after the wedding, but it will most likely be pushed back.  

    “Are you ready to be Queen, Princess?” Jisoo asked, her tone was trained. 

    You were taken back by the question.  “I don’t understand the nature of your question,” you said trying to mask the shock in your voice. 

    “Jeno,” she looked up from her plate shocked, placing her hand over her heart, “excuse me, I meant Prince Jeno.” Fake, is all you thought.  “Prince Jeno, said that King Donghae would be stepping down after the wedding,” she looked at you, the look behind her eyes were taunting, “you and the Prince are to be crowned, correct?”

    Your grip on your fork tightening, how dare Jeno tell her and not me, you thought.  Jeno should’ve told you, since it was your head that had to wear that crown and not hers.  “Ah, I understand now,” the mask you wore was stronger than you thought, “Prince Jeno did inform me of this, but as it stands King Donghae hasn’t made it official just yet.”  You smiled, this is your future council, and to hell if you were gonna let someone else run it.  “If King Donghae decides to go through with this, then both me and the Prince will be honored to take on that duty, but as it is to no one’s surprise, me and the Prince will sooner or later have to take on that duty.”  You looked around to all the girls, trying to give a reassuring look. 

    “Of course, your highness,” she gritted her teeth, fake through and through, you thought to yourself.  That was the last of the questions you got, the girls returned to whispering and talking amongst themselves.  No one really talked to you, just giving you looks every other sentence, looking for a nod of approval, one you always gave.  

    After lunch there was supposed to be a council meeting, in which you were required to attend.  There had been many council meetings since the arrivals of all the noble families, many of which you did attend but this was the first that actually required your attendance. As you left the pink room, there was a voice calling out for you. 

    “Princess (y/n),” a girl called from behind you.  You half turned to see her, and by that time she was already next to you, “Zhong Chu-Hua, the granddaughter of Lady Zhong.” She bowed to you, showing her respect. 

    “Ah, yes, I remember,” unsure as to why this girl needed your attention. 

    “I see Jisoo has made herself known to you,” Chu-Hua spoke knowingly. 

    “She has,” the two of you made your way to the throne room, it was where the council meeting was being held. 

    “Jisoo and I have known each other since before grade school,” Zhong Chu-Hua, was the eldest grandchild of the Zhong family, they owned large amounts of land, real estate moguls. “Jisoo and the Prince were always close, as I am sure you’re aware of.” 

    “I am,” the two of you made your way across the main foyer, the doors of the dining hall were opening, and the Lord’s lunch had ended. They were making their way to the throne room as well. 

    “I don’t mean to be discourteous Princess,” you stopped to look at Chu-Hua, and she stared directly back at you, “Jisoo will do whatever necessary to get the crown, she doesn’t know what it's like to lose.”  

    You smiled at Chu-Hua, then turned and continued to walk forward towards the throne room, “have not worry Chu-Hua, I will be quite alright,” you smirked. The two of you came up to the throne room, the doors to the room still closed.  You looked around and saw Jeno talking to Mark and Haechan in what appeared to be a hushed voice. You turned more and saw Chan and Hyunjin in the corner, you made eye contact with Chan and he looked away.  

    Your heart hurt, you had no intention of hurting Chan the way you did. You let out a breath, “are you alright Princess?” Chu-Hua asked startlingly, you had forgotten for a second that she was standing next to you. 

    “I’m sorry,” you sighed, “I’m fine, thank you,” not a second later the doors to the throne room had opened.  Thank goodness, you were getting worried for a second there. 

    Walking into the throne room, you bid Chu-Hua a goodbye as you made your way to the front of the room.  You found the prince, no words were exchanged between the two of you.  Jeno placed a hand on the small of your back guiding you to the front of the room, the mask pulled onto your face.  To anyone looking at you and Jeno, you guys would seem like a normal loving couple.  

    You sat in your seat, behind the queen’s throne on the right hand side.  Jeno’s seat was behind the king’s throne on the left hand side.  It was symbolism, to show that you and Jeno were the future.  People began taking their seats in the room, Mark and Haechan’s seats were at the front of the room facing the rest of the council, but not on the elevated stage that yours and Jeno’s was.  It was a row of three seats, the first remained empty, then Mark sat and Haechan next to him.  

    Lord Park’s family sat closest to the front on one side, no one in between them and the throne.  Jisoo looked at you and smirked.  You never wore a tiara or a crown, just the necklace of the crown, you felt for that necklace, fiddling with the pendant between your fingers.  You reminded yourself ‘I’m the princess, I wear the crown, I have the power’ 

    After everyone had taken their seats, the doors behind you and Jeno opened, and entered into the King and Queen.  Everyone, including you and Jeno, rose and bowed to them, as they took their seats.  When King Donghae and Queen Jaeyeon stood in front of their thrones, the King waved everyone to sit.  He began to make a speech after, one you tuned out before it even began.  

    You tuned out the majority of the meeting, wishing to be in your chambers away from everyone.  

    -

    I have been in countless council meetings, more often than not they were filled with people kissing up to father in attempts to get grants for whatever venture they want to pursue.  I looked over to the princess, she was obviously not paying much attention.  We had put on a show for the council before the meeting started, knowing that the council members would be watching.  I want to reach out to her, apologize for my behavior the other night.  I didn’t have much of a right to be mad at her, or react the way I did.  

    She loved someone else, so did I.  I wanted to, needed to, apologize to the princess and Chan.  I thought of Chan, he was someone just caught in the middle, loving someone he wasn’t allowed to love.  

    When the council meeting finally ended, we put on another show for the council.  Father and mother left behind the door first, then me and the princess followed behind them.  I placed my hand on the small of her back, it looked gentle and kind to anyone else, but she knew it was a show.  

    “Princess,” I stopped her after the doors closed behind us, “I want to apologize.” 

    “You had no right,” she stabbed my chest with her finger, she was angry, “no right at all to make me feel bad for loving Chan, especially when you’re playing both sides.” 

    “Excuse me?” Playing both sides? What was she talking about?

    “You, playing the role of my fiancé during the day, and then playing Jisoo’s boyfriend in the evenings,” she knew, “Tell me Prince Jeno, are you the only one allowed to have it all?” 

    “What?”  All? All of what do I have? 

    “Am I the only one that has to give up a love, Prince Jeno? While you get to have both?” No, I don’t get to have both.  I don’t want both, not anymore at least.  I just want you, Princess, I only have love left for you.  She walked away before I could tell her any of this.  She left me standing there, heart in hand. 

    -

    The council meeting was finally over, you and Jeno put on another show for the council.  The doors closed behind you, leaving you and Jeno to stand alone. 

    “Princess, I want to apologize,” Jeno started off. 

    As he should, he was the one that overreacted, he loved someone else, why couldn’t you? “You had no right,” you started to poke at his chest, his firm, nicely built chest, “no right at all to make me feel bad for loving Chan, especially when you’re playing both sides.”  you were angry but you couldn’t figure out if you were more angry with him or yourself.  

    “Excuse me?” Jeno looked clueless.  Actually it was quite adorable, but still. 

    “You, playing the role of my fiancé during the day, and then playing Jisoo’s boyfriend in the evenings,” you knew, you knew Jeno loved Jisoo, knew from the moment you first saw their picture, but today.  Jisoo knew information that you should’ve known, that Jeno should’ve told you.  “Tell me Prince Jeno, are you the only one allowed to have it all?” 

    “What?”  You hated this, you wanted to be angry with Jeno, angry with him for how he acted, angry that he continued to see Jisoo, angry that you couldn’t have it all, but you couldn’t help but think if the roles were reversed, would you have acted differently than him?

    “Am I the only one that has to give up a love, Prince Jeno? While you get to have both?” No matter how much you love Jeno you couldn’t get over the fact that he blew up on you because you loved someone else just like him. 

    You walked away, leaving Jeno standing there behind you. You wanted Jeno, but you weren’t ready to let go of Chan. Just not yet. 

    After leaving Jeno standing there, you went to find Chan.  Chan and Hyunjin were staying in the palace barracks.  A building a little away from the palace, you made your way there, hoping that Chan was there.  

    -

    When you entered the barracks, all the guards stood to bow to you.  At times you loved the power trip you felt when this happened, when people moved just by your presence.  At other times, like right now, you hated it, you wished to be invisible, wished that you could come in here like it was nothing. 

    “Please, relax, rest,” you stated, waving to them to sit down, “I don’t mean to intrude.” 

    “No intrusion at all your highness,” Johnny, the captain of the palace guards, said, “may I ask what brings you down here, Princess?”

    “I came to see my guards, are they here?”

    “Yes, your highness, right this way,” Johnny led you through the barracks, to a small room in the back.  The barracks was set up like a cabin, with a main sitting area in the front with a kitchen and then halls that lead to different bedrooms.  “Right here, your highness.” 

    You pushed open the door to a bedroom that was smaller than your bathroom.  A bunk bed up against one wall and two chairs with a small table set to the other side.  Hyunjin laid on the bottom bunk, while Chan sat on one of the chairs leaning up against the wall.  

    Hyunjin stood when he noticed you in the doorway, Chan remained seated, the captain had left already.  “Princess,” Hyunjin said, bowing to you. 

    “Hyunjin, please,” you grimaced at him bowing.  

    “(y/n),” Hyunjin said like an apology.

    “Can you give me and Chan a minute?” You asked. 

    “Of course,” Hyunjin gave you a sad smile, he knew.  

    You entered the room and took the seat across from Chan, he stood up and made his way to the small window, looking out.  

    “Chan,” you called to him, hoping he would at least look at you, he didn’t.  “It wasn’t my intention to use you.”  Chan scoffed, but refused to turn around and face you.  “But I know you felt like that, so I want to apologize,” Chan looked down, his hands in his pocket.  “I love you, Chan.” 

    “Stop,” Chan turned around to face you, putting his hand up to stop you.  “(y/n), I love you, you loved me,” he put emphasis on the ‘ed’ part.  You felt the tears well in your eyes, you hated it, only Chan could bring you to tears in mere seconds, “don’t lie (y/n).”  Chan’s words were stern, borderline hurtful.  

    “I could never lie to you,” you looked down at your lap, trying to prevent the tears from falling.  “That night I wanted to feel like how I felt back home,” Chan’s gaze softened, “but I just hurt you instead, for that I’m sorry.”  The tears fell freely, Chan sat across from you and placed his hand on yours in your lap.  

    “My princess, you know I could never stay mad at you,” Chan smiled, “but I’m not a toy for you to play with.” 

    “I know that.” 

    “And not for you to make the Prince jealous,” you looked down back to your lap. 

    “I’m sorry,” was all you could say.  Chan pulled you up from your chair but you refused to meet his gaze.  He pulled you in for a hug and you felt more tears fall, after crying into his chest for longer than appropriate.  Chan put his hand under your chin, forcing you to meet his gaze.  

    “No more tears, My princess,” using his free hand wiping the tears away from your face. 

    -

    Chan walked you back to your chambers, the silence between you two was comfortable, it felt like before.  You were just down the hall, you could see your chamber doors from where you were. 

    “You need to apologize to the Prince,” Chan spoke up. 

    “What?” you looked at him confused, “Why do I need to apologize to him?” 

    “You were jealous, you sought comfort from another, while being engaged to the Prince,” Chan looked at you like you were a child, “Tell me my princess, if you had walked in on the prince kissing the other girl, would you react differently than him?” 

    You hated that Chan knew you better than most, hated that he could read every part of you, hated that he always knew where your heart lied.  “I do not wish to apologize to the prince,” you said, looking away from Chan trying to show your superiority.  

    “My princess,” Chan said, grabbing your wrist, you were in front of your chamber’s door, he pulled you to face him, “apologize to the prince, he did not do anything to deserve your jealous treatment.” Chan looked at you as if you were a child, you pouted, red rushing to your cheeks, ready to throw a tantrum about a stupid apology.  “Don’t be a brat, and just apologize, my princess,” Chan smirked knowing exactly what you were gonna do, “you’ll feel a lot better once you do.”  Chan started to walk away, but before completely leaving you he turned around walking backwards and said “maybe you’ll get lucky,” with a wink.  

    You had half a mind to chase him and scold him for making such an inappropriate comment, but at the same time, you just laughed.  You felt content, and ready to let Chan go.  Hopefully Jeno isn’t too angry with you, you hoped that you didn’t push him too far away.  

    -

    The evening feast for tonight was cancelled, something about emergency meetings.  Which you gladly accepted, you were left to dine alone in your chambers, you invited Fei and Mei to eat with you, which luckily for you they accepted.  Mei had also slipped in the invitation to Hyunjin and Chan, which you were grateful for.  The five of you sat in your chambers eating dinner, just like back home when everyone had meetings and you were left to roam the palace alone.  

    The five of you laughed, talked, borderline cried, you never wanted dinner to end.  “No but don’t you remember that time, (y/n) beat Minho?” Hyunjin laughed, “the look on his face.”  You all laughed remembering that race.  

    “Please, nothing beats the time (y/n) flicked off the Prince of Aspos,” Fei recounted, causing Mei to choke on her drink recalling the night.  

    “That was the least I could do, considering he said ‘it would be an honor to lick the honey from your toes,’” you mocked the prince of Aspos, everyone nearly died laughing recalling exactly how he sounded.  

    “What about when (y/n) threw her birthday cake, hitting the prince dead center in the face,” Hyunjin said, everyone laughed, but you paused for a minute, the mention of your late brother taking you back for a second.  

    “I remember that,” you smiled to yourself, recalling that birthday, “he said ‘you can’t be queen, you’re just a big baby.”  You chuckled, everyone was quiet now watching you recalling that evening.  “I said, ‘I am going to be queen, just you watch’ and he went,” you let out a breath, the tears were there but not fallen yet,  you felt like you were always crying while here, “he went ‘but you’ll be an ugly one’ and so,” you smiled, you missed your brother but you couldn’t mourn him forever, “and so I chucked the biggest chunk of cake my hand could hold and it really hit his face dead center.”  You doubled over to laugh, and the rest laughed at the memory.  The now sad but fond memory.  “I almost forgot about that night,” a tear was rolling down your cheek, but your smile was still evident, “thank you for reminding me Hyunjin.”  

    “Of course,” Hyunjin offered a soft smile.  The rest of the night there were exchanges of stories of all the reckless things you did in Modia.  You were reminded no matter how alone you felt, there were people here that cared.  Fei, Mei, Hyunjin and Chan, they cared about you, they knew, loved, adored you, and you were utterly, helplessly, whole-heartedly and forever grateful to them.  

    It was well into the night when you finally bid them a farewell, when you all but physically shoved them out your door.  You were grateful for their company but also in desperate need for a good night's rest.  Finally getting them out the door, you hopped into the shower.  From there you did your nightly routine, changed and got into bed.  It seemed as soon as you dropped your phone on the nightstand, sleep took over.  Never falling asleep so fast, you felt relief.

    -------------

    @floweronacloud @cookydream @nctstrawberrycow @marklexleaf @thejeongjaehyun @jackyeongljin @thejungjaehyun

    #lee jeno #jeno x reader #jeno imagines#nct jeno#nct dream #nct dream imagines #nct series #nct x reader #nct imagines #lee jeno x reader #jeno fanfic #nct royal au #nct scenarios
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  • gomhyuck
    04.12.2021 - 1 hour ago

    Catastrophe (Part 2)

    Genre: hybrid au, smut, pwp (this specifice part is pure smut but necessary in plot building lol)

    Pairing: hybrid!johnny x female reader

    Word Count: 1.3k

    WARNING: non-con, anal-fucking

    Everything you’ve done to spoil him flashes back in your head and you regret every single one that led to this point.
    First rule of surviving wildlife is to stay still and quiet in the presence of a predator.

    PART 1

    Johnny pulls out, watching your hole close around nothing. So helpless and weak— he wishes you could see yourself right now. What a sight to see; his owner, all fucked up and it was all his doing.

    If anybody asks him, he’d say he’s the one who owns you. Just look at you...

    He pulls his point-and-shoot camera from the night stand, snapping a photo of you in the most vulnerable position without your consent. But then again, is there even a point in asking anymore?

    You let out an uncontrolled sob, your face wet from all the tears and snot from crying.

    Are you crying because you feel abused or because you liked it? Does it even make sense if it’s both?

    The thought of Johnny bringing physical evidence of what occured tonight bewilders and scares you.

    “J-Johnny… please don’t. No photos, I’m begging you,” you tell him, but then you hear the reeling of film and you realize he can’t exactly delete this photo unless you expose the whole roll.

    You reach out your hand to snatch the camera from his grasp. Do you seriously think you can be any quicker than a cat? Much less a very muscular, seven-foot hybrid?

    “NO!”

    Johnny’s big voice rings in the room as he slams your head down on the pillow, holding you by your fragile neck. He hisses right in your face, drool slowly dripping onto your cheek as you turn your head away.

    He growls with his whole chest. Not like the one he did before while he ate you out-- oh, no. This time, he’s genuinely angry and it shows in his eyes.

    Everything you’ve done to spoil him flashes back in your head and you regret every single one that led to this point. You sob helplessly underneath him, wailing loudly, “no, Johnny please!” repeatedly as he pries your legs open with one hand as the other holds you in place by the neck.

    “You don’t tell me what to do!” his voice booms and makes your ears ring.

    He thrusts swiftly into your pussy dripping with slick, defying your commands by violating you once more. The intrusion is too much for you and you let out a mix of a choked groan and a sob, the wetness barely enough to ease the swiftness of his thrust.

    He’s pummeling into you hungrily as he holds you down by the neck and you’re scared he will snap your spine in half and fuck you to death like this.

    You realize your struggle is pointless when you remember all the documentaries you’ve watched on Animal Planet. First rule of surviving wildlife is to stay still and quiet in the presence of a predator.

    And so you do it. You let him rail you, looking blankly at him and staying completely motionless.

    And it works eventually. Johnny’s hips slow down, cat ears pointing upward and towards you in confusion and curiosity.

    He nudges your cheek with his nose, finding traces of your fear just below your ear and the strength of it takes him aback, making him shake his head to ward it off to no avail. His head spinning, intoxicated heavily by the very thing that feeds his ego; the smell of fear… the smell of his power.

    His cock grows even further and twitches inside you but he’s too drunk and dizzy on your scent to keep going. He collapses on top of you, moaning in lazy pleasure as he drunkenly thrusts into you.

    No, he is no longer acting on animal instinct. This is his body merely reacting to your scent. Johnny is no longer coherent, high on your scent like a cat on catnip.

    His dead weight pins you in place as his slowed tempo eases you to his size, and for the first time since he pounced on you tonight you’re actually moaning in pleasure. Johnny’s body on auto-pilot, intoxicated body not knowing how else to react aside from uncontrollable thrusting. In, out. In, out.

    Johnny’s cock slips out and into your ass by accident and you’re mewling underneath him as his previous release gushes out violently. The filthiness of it is slowly driving you crazy, logic slipping away until nothing remains but your drive to chase your own pleasure.

    You push his body off so you can take control, admiring the way your hybrid is just staring at you hypnotized as you touch him where he needs you most. His hands are mindlessly grabbing at you and you gently pin them by his head as he did with you, the experience of power after losing yours arousing you.

    You slowly lead his cock back into your ass, thinking how the act actually feels so good when you have control over Johnny. Looking down at him as you’re leaning forward and pinning his wrist, you find that his pupils are fully blown in ecstasy, his face expressionless as he’s thrusting upwards mindlessly, chasing your warmth and tightness.

    This ignites something within you, your thrusts picking up speed as you lose yourself into his empty stare. You cum on his cock, coating him with creamy slick as you greedily satisfy no one but yourself.

    “Johnny, fuck you’re so big,” you tell him, your face contorting in pure pleasure as you fuck your ass onto his cock like a crazed animal. “Fuck me, please,” you beg him, riding him and rocking his body wildly as you bounce in madness. He responds with nothing but drunken moans.

    “You useless piece of shit,” you cry in agony as you spit out the insult, convulsing in pleasure only you could give yourself.

    “Cock so huge and you still can’t fuck!” You insult him once more in vain, every word coming in one ear and out the other. You take his cock in your hand, slapping your clit with the head of his cock as you cum even stronger, liquid gushing out of your pussy even harder as his cock hits your sensitive nub.

    The mess you made on his cock shocks you... you didn’t know you could cum this hard... ever. You didn’t think it was humanly possible.

    You slide your hand around the pool of liquid on his stomach, remembering the way Johnny slurped your juices up like it was his meal on death row. You experimentally dip the head of his cock that was hanging above his stomach into the pool of liquid resting in his belly button before licking his head clean, tasting yourself.

    It is… new. It’s… good.

    And you greedily have more, coating Johnny’s throbbing cock with your juices and forcing him in your tiny throat hungrily. This cock that gave you so much pain can give you so much pleasure… and so much cum when Johnny spills his load in your throat without a warning. His load gushes out of your mouth and around his cock and you gag momentarily, the size and the pressure of his release too much for your tiny little throat to handle.

    You watch Johnny as he sees stars above his head, moaning quietly to himself as he mindlessly whimpers your name.

    Your neighbor who lives right across drives into your street from a long day at work, backing her car up towards your window as she tries to park in her front yard. The red light at the tail of her car illuminates Johnny’s fucked out face and you quickly grab his camera, thankful that he had previously cranked the film winder. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to snap the most beautiful portrait of him staring directly at you, fucked out, lips parted, eyes blown and emitting an amber glow under the faint red light.

    Part 3 - Coming Soon

    #nct smut#johnny smut #nct johnny smut #johnny suh smut #johnny scenario #nct johnny scenario #johnny au #nct johnny au #johnny imagines #nct johnny imagines #nct 127 smut #johnny suh#johnny seo#catastrophe #nct johnny suh #nct johnny
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  • yojeongin
    04.12.2021 - 1 hour ago

    EVOL — 10: KISS KISS

    →club pres!renjun x publicity officer!reader

    genre: social media au, humor, fluff, slow burn, romance, slice of life, future angst, coming of age, college au

    m.list | previous | next

    an: trying to make this series shorter than the rest but still with more detail—

    taglist: @btssf9nct @resceluwu @ellie-idk-anymore @hyunsbunny @aminihhj @flower-lise @eggoyu @haknyeonsju @eboyjuni @nshitae @daegalfangirl @luvdroids @samsemsame @haechansgfreal @butterfliesinthenightsky @lyleo @jiye0n0

    let me know if you’d like to join the taglist!

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  • yunho-1999
    04.12.2021 - 2 hours ago

    Chapter seventeen — I'll be fine

    ‹ prev. | masterlist | next ›

    ❥ taglist: @i2gyus @grassbutneo @bbymin23 @leagreenly @kpopwhore123 @le-chenle @flowerbin131 @tentereten @itsyaapollochild @n0whereg1rl @catscoffeeandkpop @sunshinelixie-lee @eboyjuni @neo-teenkidz @samsemsame @kimjngws @hibuki-chan

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  • girasolhyuck
    04.12.2021 - 2 hours ago

    Les Présidents

    Summary: Y/N and Donghyuck are presidents of the French class and music class respectively. A battle between them ensues when one of their classes must be cancelled but no one is willing to let theirs go. Who will give in?

    Pairing: MusicPresident!Haechan x FrenchPresident!reader

    Genre: fluff, a little bit of angst

    Word count: ≈3.4k

    Warning: none

    You were sitting on an uncomfortable plastic chair at the headmaster's office of your high school. Right beside you was the one and only Lee Donghyuck, also known as Lee Haechan, president of the music class. You had known each other for more than ten years, although your relationship did not go any further than some words and classes shared. None of you knew the reason why you were taken out of your lessons, and you were anxiously shaking your right leg up and down, even though you were sure that you had not done anything wrong.

    "Good morning, kids, sorry I'm late," the headmaster, Robert Johnson, apologised after rushing in through the door. "You are probably wondering why you are here. I have some bad news for you."

    Johnson paused for a long time, reclined on his chair, inhaled deeply, and continued explaining, "one of your clubs must be dissolved."

    This was way worse than whatever you had imagined. If you had to organise a school play and act in it? Fine. If you had to stay longer to clean the entire school? Fine. If you had been suspended? Even that would have been fine. However, you were the president of French classes, extracurricular classes aimed for sitting for international exams. Your club, unlike Donghyuck's, did not have many members, it consisted only of ten students. Regardless of how small it was, you could not let it be dissolved, since you were planning on enrolling for the translating major, which required having at least one fluent language certified by an international organism. What is more, your group needed the classroom, the computers, the desks and every other material related. Donghyuck’s music group only needed the physical space: they stored their instruments there. They could easily practice anywhere else, it did not have to be at school.

    "You will have to agree on who stays and who leaves," the headmaster explained. "And if you don't come to an agreement, the other students will choose which class to keep."

    Oh, no, no, no. You were absolutely certain that your class would be eliminated if students had to vote, no one cared about ten "nerds" that got together after school time to study even more. Allowing it would be catastrophic, so you decided to try talking with your opponent, hoping to convince him of helping you.

    "Hey, Donghyuck," you approached him in the corridor while he was going back to class, "I wanted to talk about… you know… the whole "dissolve-a-club" thing."

    "What about it?" He replied with a certain coldness in his tone, a mix between not caring about your problems and not wanting to be late — again — to biology class.

    You two did not have the best relationship in the world —if you can call that a relationship, you were just "people who happened to attend the same year of school." You had known each other for more than ten years, ever since you entered primary school in the same class as him. Although at a certain point in your childhood Donghyuck and you were practically inseparable, now you talked very few times —and only if it was a matter of life or death. You could still remember those good old days where he would come to your house in the afternoons, when you two would swim together, play video games together, roll on the green grass together, lick almost-melted strawberry ice creams together, and have pajama parties together. Unfortunately, why Donghyuck stopped being your friend remained a mystery to you. All of a sudden, one day he just stopped addressing you: he would ignore you in school, decline your calls, and, on one occasion, not eat the cookies you had baked and left at his front door.

    "Well… I actually wanted to ask you for the classroom," you whispered, locking your eyes on the dirty white floor tiles. His intense gaze felt like a burning ray on your skin. You knew that if you looked at him, you would automatically turn red. 

    "Look, I can't give in that easily. My group needs a place to meet and the classroom is the best one. So, sorry but I'll do everything to keep our place."

    "I know, but you could literally do that everywhere. We need the classroom, we have all the materials there. The computers, projectors, white boards, desks, everything. Why can't you just... go to someone's garage and do it there?"

    "Oh, naive little Y/N, you know that we will not give up." Donghyuck retaliated followed by his characteristic devilish smirk. “Why don't you get together in a garage? Our instruments are stored in that classroom, that way we don't need to carry them around everywhere we go. You do understand how hard it would be to carry them whenever we needed to practice, right?"

    "Yes, I get that," you replied. "But maybe there is a way that we can both keep our classes, I don't know, perhaps by reducing our days?" You suggested in hopes of changing his mind.

    "Let me think...," Donghyuck grabbed his chin and looked up to the ceiling as if he was solving some advanced equation, "...no. We practice only two times a week, when actually we would need three at least. If you guys were cancelled, then we could get together more often." 

    You spent all day wondering how you would break down the news to the remaining students from your French class. Of course, they would not be delighted to hear them. Since reducing both of the classes was declared definitely not an option, you would have to make a huge effort in order to get the students' votes. In fact, not huge, but astronomical. Whenever you told someone that you participated in French classes, they would give you the strangest look, followed by a “but we don’t have French classes.” 

    The week had passed quickly, the dreaded day of voting arrived and you were panicking. None of your friends could make it to the event, every single one had a different excuse: “I have to study for History’s exam,” “after school I promised I would go help my aunt paint her house,” and, weirdly enough, “my mom doesn’t let me participate in debates.” To sum up, you would be defending French classes all by yourself, thirty against one. "This could not go any worse," you thought while pacing the backstage of the school's theater anxiously.

    "Good luck, Y/N, you’ll need it. To be honest, you'll actually need a miracle." Donghyuck said behind your back. Very typical of him, witty remarks in an acid, sarcastic tone.

    "Thank you!" You were determined to not let anyone bring you down, let alone if it was your opponent. 

    The time had arrived. You were ready to give everything you had prepared. You had learnt all your arguments, procuring to have an answer to every possible counterargument the other group could come up with. You stayed up all night writing every argument on a different paper, reading them forty-six times each, and giving your speech in front of your bathroom’s mirror.

    After a brief introduction by the headmaster, both leaders got up on the stage and stood behind lecterns, ready to begin the debate.

    Donghyuck glanced at you for an instant. A sweet feeling invaded him, he admired how nervous you were, how your papers were shivering on your hands, how your chest went up and down repeatedly, and how your eyes scanned your notes. Then, another feeling invaded him, but this time it was nostalgia. He remembered your fifth grade school camp, where he confessed his feelings for you. The sun had already set, it was almost freezing cold, and he was sitting next to you in front of the bonfire. With the help of a rush of adrenaline, he grabbed your hand and let out a long, emotional rant. He had never been so honest and vulnerable. Right when he was about to finish, the teacher approached the bonfire and forced the two of you to go to sleep, leaving matters unconcluded. Donghyuck never received an answer.  

    In opposition to what you had thought, it did get worse. Donghyuck and you had just finished giving your speeches when the music group decided to release the attack on their opponent.

    "You say that your class is important, but none of us even knew you existed," a blond boy argued from his seat at the back of the stage, "it would literally be the same if you dissolved, no one cares."

    You gulped. How could you answer that? It was true that French class was not popular — or known —, but you would never admit that.

    "Well… It is important, maybe you are just too self-centred to notice," you clapped back straightening your posture.

    "But you never do anything," a girl standing besides Donghyuck stated, "we have performances every month, we participate in music competitions, and we even hold auditions every year. I've never seen anything from you."

    "That's because you don't care. We post on the school's activity board every week to see if anyone is interested in joining our group."

    "And clearly no one is," the previous blond boy replied instantly. The other students from the music class were now laughing and clapping, it marked the beginning of the end.

    While you were about to have a mental breakdown, Donghyuck could not help but feel guilty. A sudden wave of insults overcame you, making it impossible to defend yourself and your friends. However, you were extremely brave for going out there all by yourself in front of one hundred teenagers to defend your group's interests.

    "Come on! Just cancel her class already!" Another boy shouted from the audience. "Not even her own class cares."

    Ok, now it started getting a little more personal. You were trying very hard to keep yourself together, to answer with politeness and not be affected by what they were saying. Frankly, degrading comments like those were not unusual in the school environment. It was becoming nonetheless too much to handle.

    "You’re all just a bunch of weirdos, you don't deserve it," that goddamn blond boy said, getting up from his seat and advancing towards the stage. "Take a look at yourself: you are nothing but a nerd, studying every second of your life and not having kissed not even one boy. If you weren't that disgusting, you would understand what it means to be relevant, you would realise that your little class is embarrassing, and you would cancel it yourself."

    "Yeah, disappear again and go back to the cave where you belong," some other kid bellowed.

    That was it. Flames took over your throat and a knot restricted you from saying anything. Your eyes became watery, your breathing rate accelerated, and you began shaking again.

    You stared at Donghyuck, your lower lip trembling, a tear sliding through your left cheek, and mouthed "you win."

    You did not want to leave, afraid that you would look like the typical crybaby, but those insults had profoundly affected you and the only choice was to flee before the rest of the students saw you crying.

    The whole theatre went silent. 

    "Well, the music group stays," declared the headmaster, followed by the students' cheers.

    The music group hugged and they were jumping all together in a circle, all of them but Donghyuck. He was too busy remembering your expression the second after you were degraded. Ever since he met you, you had always seemed strong. It was not the first time you had been bullied, there were mean people everywhere, but this was one of the first times you had let them affect you visibly.

    "You can go back home now," the headmaster ordered through the microphone. "And you come with me, we need to agree on some matters," he said to Donghyuck, palming his shoulder.

    You were standing in front of a picture in the classroom that, now, did not belong to your group anymore. It was taken on the very first exam you had sat for. The ten students, three years younger, standing outside the building with tiny French flags. You smiled. Oh, if only your friends could have been there to help you out. Maybe you would not have lost the class, maybe you would not have been insulted that aggressively. Maybe you would not have felt so lonely.

    You admired every tiny detail from that room knowing that you would not go back again. Every binder, poster, pen, and book had been placed in a box that you would carry to your house and later return to their correspondent owners. 

    You were closing the card box when you heard someone entering the room. Donghyuck. What else could he want? To insult you as well?

    "Congratulations! You have just won the classroom, now go enjoy it!," you barked at the winner while picking up the box and heading towards the door.

    "But, wait, Y/N..." 

    "Look," you interrupted him, "I have just finished cleaning everything up, go celebrate our loss with your friends, after all you desired it." 

    The following days were absolute torture, you begged for the feeling of being a failure to pass rapidly. You tried being as invisible as possible, even more than you already were. During lunchtime, you would sit alone on a table at the back of the cafeteria ten minutes before it closed, all that only for being observed as little as possible.

    Donghyuck would see you in the classes that you shared but you would not even glance at him, and if you did, you would break eye contact instantaneously. He would also watch you eat by yourself during lunch and hear his friends' comments about how lame you were.

    A week later, one day it started raining a little before the classes ended. You had a twenty-minute walk back home so, as you could not care less about yourself, you started walking at a normal pace under the storm. You were halfway there when Donghyuck recognised you while driving back to his house. He stopped his car and asked you if you needed a lift. 

    "No, thank you, I'm fine," you replied to consecutively adjust your hoodie and resume your way.

    "Come on! You are dripping wet! You’ll catch a cold, get in!" Donghyuck shouted from his seat.

    "Don’t worry, I don't want to wet all your car."

    "I don't care about my car, Y/N, I care about you."

    You stopped abruptly. Did he really care about you? Then why did you ever stop being friends? All those nights crying in your bed, wondering why Donghyuck distanced himself from you, wondering what you did wrong, imagining that he deleted all your memories from his mind in order to make some new ones with other new best friends.

    Donghyuck came out of his car and opened the door for you. He extended his hand to grab yours when he got a tiny electric shock feeling on the tip of his index finger. He just rubbed it and got in the car again.

    On the way to your house, at first it was extremely silent, none of you dared say a word.

    "I feel that I owe you an apology." Donghyuck broke the ice.

    You stared at him confused, "Why? You haven't done anything bad to me."

    "Because of everything related to the fight. You have been really distant these last few days," he confessed to you, "I'm worried about you." Donghyuck mumbled hoping you hadn't heard him but, unfortunately for him, you had.

    "Donghyuck, you don't need to apologise for anything, you didn’t say anything mean to me," you replied and smiled, "and thanks for worrying, but I'm fine."

    "I know this may sound weird, but I would like to start our relationship all over again. Leave all our battles behind and make friendlier memories with you."

    "I would love that," you replied. "Nice to meet you, I'm Y/N," you giggled and extended your hand for a handshake.

    "I'm Donghyuck and it is my pleasure." He answered, shaking your hand.

    When you arrived at your house, you thanked him almost a million times and ran towards your front door.

    Immediately after you got in, you laid on the door and covered your mouth with your hands. You could not remember when was the last time you had felt this excited. Now, almost ironically, you could not wait to go to school the following day. You realised that you needed to buy him a present, something in return for his kind action. An idea popped up in your mind, so you ran into your room to change into dry clothes, grab an umbrella and then leave for the mall. 

    "This one is perfect. I'll take it," you exclaimed happily, taking out your card from your wallet. You had just found the perfect gift, it was not anything extraordinary, just a little present for helping you go back to your house, and also to celebrate your new friendship.

    Unfortunately, that day you did not have any classes together, so you agreed on seeing each other where it all began: that damn classroom.

    "Donghyuck?" you opened the door and peeked inside, but it was too dark to distinguish anything.

    When you entered, the lights were turned on right after you had closed the door, showing the boy's figure standing in the middle of the room.

    "Hey, how long have you been here?" you asked him.

    "Just a few minutes, I have something important to tell you."

    You both sat down on the desks, you were eager to know what he had to tell you.

    "I know how important your French class is to you, so I talked with my group and I convinced them to give your group this classroom. We can just do it anywhere, it's not that it is vital for us to have it."

    You were surprised, to say the least. And, honestly, you were extremely close to tearing up, so words could not come out of your mouth.

    "Donghyuck, are you sure about it?" you asked after a few seconds of digesting those news.

    "Yes, there is no one that deserves it more than you. You are hard-working, determined, but most importantly, kind. I've realised that your arguments were solid, and that you've tried to help us as well but I was too blinded by our ambition to see it."

    And… that was it. You exploded in tears and hugged him tightly. 

    There, surrounded by the boy's arms, you whispered "Thank you so much, I really appreciate it."

    Donghyuck held you tightly, gently caressing your soft, vanilla-scented hair. He closed his eyes for a moment, remembering all your common history, from the moment that he first saw you with your cute ponytails and your flowery dress in first grade until the door slam that broke up whatever relationship you had.

    "Oh!" you exclaimed, wiping out your tears from your cheeks with your sleeves, "I got you a present, it's nothing really, just to thank you for giving me a ride to my place and also to celebrate our new beginning."

    You took out the tiny red package from your backpack, handing it to him with some embarrassment.

    "Y/N, you needn't," he said before opening the little box that contained a pendant in the form of a treble clef.

    "I noticed how you always wear a necklace, so I thought it would be nice to add something that represented you, who you are."

    And now Donghyuck was the one flustered. His cheeks turned from his nice tanned colour to a cute reddish pink. He thanked you and promised that he would wear it from that day onwards.

    "I know that this seems a little bit rushed, but…" Donghyuck paused for a second, took a deep breath and then proceeded, "would you like to go on a date with me?"

    You stared at him for less than a second, long enough to make your ex-opponent doubt and start rambling "only if you want, of course. But it is ok if you are not sure, I don't want you to feel pressured to accept or anything."

    "I would love to." He was silenced by your answer. You laid your hand on his shoulder, kissed him on his right cheek and stood up.

    "I'll call you later to arrange the date and everything."

    You gave him a playful grin and suggested "What if we go now? We could go to Starbucks and have a drink there."

    "Génial."

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  • formydy
    04.12.2021 - 3 hours ago

    hello. it’s Danbi again. i just want take a little bit of your time for those who are interested to point out a few things:

    things are still the same as before, kinda. (?) i’m still going to take requests from other members in nct 💗 feel free to request any time ✨ (I recommend you to read my first short fic that will be posted in a few hours before requesting to see if you’re interested in my work hehe :>) although it’s highly unlikely that i would be able to write a full fan fiction for other nct members except for doyoung.
    I completely changed the layout of this blog since my taste has changed over the span of a few weeks 😂
    I also wanted to say that i am a really busy person, therefore, i won’t be able to post as much as i want to but nevertheless, i will still be able to answer requests and dm’s~ :3

    that’s all. i won’t take any more of your time, thanks for taking the time to read. much love from 단비 DANBI🐰🎀

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  • honeyboyjeno
    04.12.2021 - 4 hours ago

    aitai-tai

    pairing: shy loner!jisung x reader

    genre: fluff

    a/n: this is just horimiya, i am just rewriting horimiya but with nct dream so i can relive the story, i take no credit for this plot because it is 100% stolen :) <3

    a/n 2: this isn’t like my usual aus this ones just for fun and i’m gonna update it whenever i have writers block and don’t feel like updating anything else

    horimiya au

    ~ in which jisung is super gloomy loner and you’re bright and popular !gasp! an unexpected meeting leads you to uncover each others secret lives ~

    alternatively: watch or read horimiya

    part 1: introductions

    part 2: ???

    #nct masterlist#nct masterpost#nct series #nct socialmedia au #nct social media au #nct social au #nct sm au #nct au#nct fluff #nct text au #nct dream socialmedia au #nct dream series #nct dream au #nct dream fic #nct fic#nct fanfic#jisung au #park jisung fic #jisung series #jisung x reader #fake texts #jisung fake texts #jisung fluff#aitai au
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  • vvshere
    04.12.2021 - 5 hours ago

    Claw To Bullet Chapter 43 Paperclip

    Summary: They were your family. Until Taeyong gave you that damn mission.

    Genre: NCT Mafia AU!

    Warnings:   language, mentions of death, kidnapping

    OT23

    Masterlist

    @je0ngjaehyun @kpopnightingale @yasmini24 @sweetmoonlight9 @andrea-chanel @sunjayluv @morklee02 @xiaojunssexyeyebrows @choidokim @everrrlasting @kimylovesjay @oh-itsnothing @tyongpoetry @taeil123-blog @miinamalist @12am-musings @jung-breadshop @lovingvanna @rensunjun @01junnie10 @megdoienalds @honeyyypeach @lostheretics @ikuncthevision @sanislifealways @whysoserioussssss @pewpewpwe00 @jakeytiddy @urlocalnctstan @exfolitae @t-k-b-z @xcharlottemikaelsonx @yunho-leeknow @fifty-shades-of-mischeif @notyourwriteer @avianawrites @ne0yong @bbymin23

    You had many plans for every step you took. It was like the roots of a big tree, even only a way had many possibilities. Your goal was to predict as much as you could. So, when Taeyong called you to his office, you were prepared. There was no way that you would let things go astray. You knocked on the door and waited for permission to enter.

    "Come in."

    You opened the door and entered, stood in front of the desk. Taeyong didn't bother with trying to look busy, his eyes were directly on you.

    "You don't seem surprised."

    "I know why you called much or less."

    "So you will cooperate."

    You shrugged and smiled. Taeyong returned your smile and pointed to one of the couches for you to sit.

    "What were you doing at the council meeting? As far as I recall, I canceled the mission I gave you."

    You nodded and turned your head towards the library where Taeyong kept many documents. You pointed at the bookcases.

    "May I?"

    Taeyong frowned but let you anyway, curious about the things you'll come up with. You made your way towards the library and started searching for the council's documents. It was easily found.

    "Here, the decisions made by the council. There weren't many to NCT's advantage, let alone a deep-rooted decision. The council only managed to take temporary decisions. When we check the time, it was around when Scar retired from it."

    Taeyong bitterly frowned. But you continued.

    "So I assumed that Jimin didn't help much. I was needed here."

    You closed the document and leaned on the Taeyong's desk.

    "I'll be honest with you, Taeyong. I'm not like Scar. I think you are aware of this already. This team is a machine, and if I feel a crack, I won't wait for an order to fix it."

    You tilted your head to your side, voice becoming lower.

    "I'm ready to devote my heart to you. I'll do anything and everything for the things you try to save. So, use me, like the game-ending weapon. Take advantage of my presence. Let me get you out of the dark."

    Taeyong didn't even realize the time you moved to his side. Your hand gently grabbed his shoulder while you leaned forward. He got intoxicated by the vanilla extracted perfume.

    "But don't you ever doubt me. Don't let what happened to Scar happen to me. Or else I won't just choose the easy way and die."

    You took your hand from his shoulder to twirl his seat while your other hand grabbed him by his tie.

    "That game-ending weapon will aim at you and destroy everything you have left."

    You smiled sweetly at Taeyong's flustrated face. You breathed next to his ear which sent a shiver down to his spine.

    "What will it be, Taeyong?"

    You stepped back and took another paper from your jacket, a smile still creeping on your face.

    "Regarding the woman, Jimin made a fuss about, here. This is who we look for."

    You handed him your blurry CCTV screenshot. Your back was facing the camera, and you were wearing a hat.

    "H-how?"

    "No one matched that dress code exits from any near street. I assume they disguised themselves and used a suitcase to kidnap the woman."

    "Then we can catch them!"

    "Not quite. They probably used the back street to reach the train station where we would lose them around many people with suitcases."

    You enjoyed his shocked face.

    "How can you-"

    Taeyong couldn't finish his sentence. There was no way that you would leak your methods, he thought. Well, you would share some of them in order to gain his trust. Still, you were glad that he didn't ask. It was a big gamble to leak your plans, and you were playing with everything on the bet.

    "I'm telling you, Taeyong. Me being here is a chance, both for you and your family. Use it well."

    "What do you gain from this?"

    You looked at Taeyong's doubtful face. Thankfully your answer was ready. You let out a mocking smile.

    "Isn't that obvious? I want what my ignorant father has, everything."

    You faked anger on your face.

    "My mother, my childhood, I'll never- Nevermind."

    You clenched your fists. Taeyong's relieved sigh didn't go unnoticed by you.

    "You may take your leave. Taeil will update you on your missions."

    You smiled and stepped closer again, using fixing his tie as an excuse.

    "Thank you."

    You whispered in low voice then left the office. The last thing you did was unnecessary because Taeyong felt the urge to loosen his tie.

    Knock knock.

    "Come in."

    Taeil entered after glancing back once again.

    "I want to talk to you about Jihyo."

    Taeyong pushed his hair strands back, pointed to one of the couches for him to sit. But Taeil shook his head.

    "It will be quick."

    "Go ahead."

    "I don't trust her. And I'd appreciate it if you don't as well."

    "Why?"

    Taeyong frowned and leaned forward. Taeil sighed and put his hands in his pockets.

    "Something about her isn't right. She knows everything, does everything right. She always has an upper hand and I don't like it."

    "What do you suggest?"

    "Order me to steal Scar's teeth. She'll lose one of her cards."

    Taeyong recalled minutes ago, the things you offered, the words you whispered in his ear. His frown deepened as he observed Taeil. Taeil walked towards the door and opened it. Johnny and Jaehyun entered the room.

    "I'm not the only one who thinks that. Please, Taeyong. NCT can't handle another traitor criticism."

    Taeyong bit inside of his cheek. Instead of waiting for you to do the research, he could search for "Scar" himself. He only needed those teeth.

    "Do it."

    His voice was low but stern.

    Meanwhile, you sighed.

    "Tsk, tsk, tsk. What did I just tell you, Taeyong?"

    You took off the earplug. The paperclip around the document was a bug you placed in Taeyong's office. It wasn't the only bug you placed. Many of them recorded the whole house simultaneously and your computer was programmed to catch certain words. So, even if you couldn't listen to it live, the program was keeping important records.

    "So, Taeil. You don't trust me, huh?"

    You chuckled and turned on your bed.

    "Wise choice."

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  • yourkimjaejin
    04.12.2021 - 7 hours ago

    AG Catch Up

    SM Halloween House/SMTOWN WONDERLAND 2021

    That night the girls were paired together for their pictures

    The girls dressed as the main four girl characters in Disney’s Descendants.

    Moxy was Uma complete with blue braids and a pirate sword. Aurora was Aubrey (Fans found this hilarious because of course Aurora would choose the villain) Juno and Hannah were Mal and Evie respectively. Both had on the blue and purple wigs and looked fabulous

    For the NCT manito gift, here’s who the girls picked: Moxy = Doyoung, Juno = Jungwoo, Hannah = Taeil, Aurora = Hannah

    The Hannah, Juno and Aurora opened their own manito’s at the AG dorm. Mark ended up making Aurora and he wrote her the sweetest message. Hannah squeezed Aurora into a hug to thank her for her candy. Juno got her manito from Sungchan. She sent him a selfie to thank him. 

    Johnny made Moxy but put all the candy she doesn’t like in it. 127 opened their manitos at a schedule and in the video Moxy dumps the contents out on the table in front of her with a disappointed look on face. You can hear Johnny laughter in the background and you can hear Johnny when Moxy ran after him to hit him. 

    Days later, Johnny posted on his instagram. It was a picture of him and Moxy. He looked mad while Moxy was happy holding up a massive bag of candy. The caption read “She didn’t like my manito so made me make it up to her....”

    NCT AG Seasons Greetings

    This year the concept for the girls Seasons Greetings is ROYALTY!!!!

    For the main photos, The girls are dressed in the finest Regency era wear, decked out in their signature colors. In the secondary pictures, the girls are dressed as modern royalty with more toned down dresses as opposed to the large and heavy dresses of Regency garb

    In the trailer, all the girls had a throne to sit and pose on along with scepters and crowns. In the second half of the trailer, the girls posed in their dresses on a chaise lounge chair with modern crowns on their heads.

    Here are the inclusions: 1. Package, 2. Desk Calendar, 3. Hard Cover Diary, 4. Postcard Set (12 pcs), 5. Folded Poster Calendar Set (2 pcs), 6. Sticker Set (Photo & Handwriting), 7. A4 Poster Set (12 pcs), 8. Mini Brochure, 9. Letters from the Desk of Photocard Set and 10. Crown Making Set

    The Photocard set came with four letters from the girls and 4 photocards. Here are the girls titles in the letters: Queen Juno, Princess Aurora, Duchess Moxy and Duchess Hannah. 

    AG’s seasons greetings also came with a crown making kit where fans could make their crown and attach jewels the the girls pick for their royal versions. Here are the gemstones the girls picks: Moxy - Black Oynx, Hannah - Peridot, Juno - Ruby, Aurora - Blue Moonstone

    MAMA Nominees

    The MAMA  Awards haven’t been in a on/off relationship with NCT AG. In 2019, they lost Best New Female Artist to Itzy. In 2020, they lost Best Dance Performance - Female Group to Blackpink but won Favorite Female Group with the help of their fans. 

    So as the nominations for this years MAMA were announced, the girls kept their hopes low. 

    NCT AG were nominated for three awards: Best Female Group, Best Dance Performance - Female Group and Worldwide Fans’ Choice Top 10. 

    Hours after the nominations were released, Hannah posted a bubble message. She said “Your health comes first before voting. Always take of yourself, y/n! Don’t wear yourself out during this voting season, ok?”

    2021 Changwon K-pop World Festival

    (I couldn’t find a logo like this for 2021 so excuse the 2019!!)

    At the festival, AG performed two songs, Do It Like This and Wildside. The girls decided to surprise the fans with the first performance of the b-side. 

    Their set looked like a MASSIVE tv. For DILT, The tv looked like an old black and white model, down to the nobs on the outside and the antennas at the top. Behind the tv, the set looked like a living room. For DILT, everything was is in black, white and greyscale. Even the girls costumes were made like they were filming a black and white tvshow. 

    For Wildside, the set switches from a living room to a bedroom. The old tv becomes a flat screen and colors in the bedroom are bright and colorful. The girls are dressed in neon’s

    The dance for Wildside is fun but this is really a track to showcase vocals. Fans have been excited to hear Aurora high note in person and they were not disappointed

    Behind the scenes, I.N. got to meet up with Moxy again. The younger praised the group last album touting that it only took him one try to get Moxy’s newest photo card 

    #NCT AG #NCT AG.Moxy #NCT AG.Hannah #NCT AG.Juno #NCT AG.Aurora #NCT AG.Info #NCT AG.Schedule #nct female member #nct female subunit #nct female unit #nct female addition #kpop addition #kpop!au #kpop!addition #kpop!oc #kpop!fakegroup #stray kids#nct dream#NCT 127#wayv#nct u
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  • rnjfy
    04.12.2021 - 12 hours ago

    warning/s: overworking, mentions of bad habits like skipping meals and losing sleep.

    [6:51 pm]

    “you’re overworking yourself.” renjun simply huffs as he tugs on the sleeve of your shirt. he wasn’t wrong, but you had so many tasks due and you couldn’t help but glue yourself to your chair.

    “just a few more minutes, ren. i promise i’ll come to bed, yeah?” your promises fell on death ears as he raises his eyebrow—clicking his tongue as he starts to tug even harder.

    he didn’t like seeing you push yourself so much when he knew that it meant skipping meals, losing sleep and draining yourself of energy.

    “woah—babe.” your boyfriend sighs as he catches you in his arms, your exhausted body nearly toppling over when you went to get up.

    “it’s okay, i’ve got you.”

    #imagines#oneshots#kpop writers #niki writes <3 #nct dream#nct writers#au#fluff #nct dream drabbles #kpop scenarios#timestamps#kpop timestamp#huang renjun #huang renjun imagine #huang renjun drabble #huang renjun timestamp #huang renjUUUUN #nct dream au #nct dream drabble #nct dream imagine #nct dream timestamp #huang renjun loml REAL #i had a rlly bad day so renjun to the rescue!
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  • suhnandmoon
    04.12.2021 - 15 hours ago

    starlight: chapter fourteen - the callout

    pairing: huang renjun x reader

    summary: after a few weeks of adjusting to your new life as a vampire, your friends start to realize that you’ve been avoiding them. what other way to cover up for your sudden flaky behavior than to fake date your neighbor’s friend?

    previous / masterlist / next

    note: my link updating is so slow asdkhjsjhdkf i promise i’ll have all the links updated on sunday!!

    taglist: open and will reblog with everyone on the list

    #renjun#huang renjun #renjun sns au #renjun social media au #starlight: huang renjun #huang renjun x reader #huang renjun sns au #huang renjun social media au #huang renjun scenarios #renjun fluff #renjun x reader #renjun fic#renjun imagines#nct #nct dream imagines #nct dream #NCT Dream Scenarios #nct dream sns au #nct dream social media au #nct x reader #nct dream x reader #nct imagines#nct scenarios #nct social media au #nct sns au
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  • atlas-additions
    04.12.2021 - 16 hours ago

    HANNAH’S CELEBRITY CRUSHES

    hannah’s masterlist

    TAEMIN — SHINEE ♡

    (pls pretend you’re shocked)

    lee taemin has been her crush since trainee days back in yg, like,,, the hold this man has on her

    please she was so starstruck when she met him, and when she got the opportunity to be his bg dancer??? she felt realized

    then she got to be in the same group as him, and still to this day, she can’t believe he’s real

    like?? good looks?? a whole sweetheart??? a gentleman??? TALENTED??? AND SO DOWN TO EARTH??? hand in marriage juseyo🤲🤲

    every time she gets the opportunity she’s always like “anyways my ideal type is taemin oppa–“ (rip all men)

    but in a more serious note, she just admires and loves him (platonically) so much, but can you blame her?? we’re talking about The Lee Taemin here

    GONG YOO — ACTOR ♡

    as someone who’s an avid drama watcher (more like, binging but anyways), this isn’t a surprise too

    listen, if you don’t find gong yoo attractive??? excuse you???

    she fell in love with him when she watched goblin, and since then she’s always like 🥰🥰gong yoo oppa🥰🥰

    one of her dreams is to be able to act with him on a drama…. maybe one day haneul:’)

    she once said gong yoo was her ideal type, and she died when some days after that, an autograph was sent her way

    she was SCREAMING like ???!?!?!?!??!!!

    now that’s one of her most treasured possessions

    PARK SEO JOON — ACTOR ♡

    same as above, she saw him starring in hwarang and since then?? head over heels for him

    probably one of her favorite actors tbh

    almost got casted to be in the same drama as him, but due her schedule being busy, she eventually gave up the audition://

    but still haneul has hopes of maybe one day, acting with him (she’d cry tbh) 🥲

    pls she in love with his deep voice,,,, this man is everything🧎‍♀️

    CHRISTIAN YU/DPR IAN — SOLOIST ♡

    someone save the neos from hannah because she be replaying every single song of this man on daily basis (this is not a joke, doyoung is tired)

    she just really loves how talented this man is,,,,, the visuals are a plus

    “he understood the assignment” hannah every time he’s watching a live from him

    she’s a sucker for tattoos and talented people,,,, again, can you blame her? the man is literally a dream

    he’s funny and has an aussie accent too!!!! so of course she’s like 🥰christian yu🥰

    HEIZE — SOLOIST ♡

    if there’s something hannah doesn’t have is: shame

    with that being said, every time she plays heize’s songs during her lives, she goes “this song is from the love of my life😻”

    heize does know tho, and she just laughed and said that it was an honor lmao

    hannah met her once and she just can’t believe people as sweet as her exist, fr

    she died in the inside, fangirled in front of her, and befriended her

    that’s her biggest flex tbh, she wants to collaborate with heize in some near future

    GIRIBOY — SOLOIST ♡

    awww man she adores this dude so much

    she can’t believe the same boy that wrote “that’s how we ended up” is the same boy that laughs like this (sec 0:52)

    she can’t help but be like,,,, be my bestie sunbaenim, you’re so talented,,, and funny,,, and cute

    more than a crush, she really admires him; he has produced some of hannah’s favorite songs and she looooves the way he raps

    when she knew he really likes sm, red velvet and he even mentioned her too??? she ascended, she was like OKAY COLLAB WHEN??? CALL ME,,, or my manager🙄,,,, BUT I WOULD PREFER IF YOU CALLED ME FIRST

    SUNMI — SOLOIST ♡

    who doesn’t have a crush on sunmi?? you can’t lie here

    hannah lovessss how versatile she is. sunmi can make hannah go from /crying about her ex/ to /throw it back/ let’s gooo

    just like with heize: she fangirled when she met her and befriended her

    now if their schedules collide, watch hannah make her way quickly to say hi,,,, and hug her (bc she can),,,, and gossip and take pics with her

    sunmi: breathes / hannah: amazing beautiful show stopping gorgeous–

    TOM HIDDLESTON — ACTOR ♡

    sigh,,,,,,, tom hiddleston the man you are

    she’d be whipped for loki, no joke. haneul being the #1 loki supporter

    she is always like loki >>>> thor and the neos were like ??? bestie that’s a whole villain

    taeil: but he’s killing innocents?? / hannah: 🙄 aaand? he must have his reasons / yuta: wait,,, she actually has a point– / the neos: YUTA???

    again, the neos are: tired™️ they’ve already watched the same movies with her just because this man would appear (you’re totally valid hannah)

    #female member of nct #kpop addition #nct female member #nct female addition #nct au#aesocnet #nct 24th member #mochiocnet#deluxeocnet#nct#nct hannah
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  • zeety
    04.12.2021 - 16 hours ago

    RECOVERY | part two

    this story is inspired by Sweet Home and requested by @iwilleatyourgod

    ➝ genre : apocalyptic au, action, thriller, horror, monsters au

    ➝ pairing : donghyuck x oc

    ➝ word count : 9,594

    ➝ warnings : EXTREME violence, swearing, mentions of blood, dark themes, death

    part one or part three [coming soon]

    ⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏⚏

    What had once been welcoming expressions had morphed into distrust and uncertainty in only a day. That was the power of one man. It was hard to stand before their eyes of scrutiny. It was even harder to accept that each and every person in the room was at risk of dying and all she could think about was her sister and nephew. How selfish could she possibly be?

    She took a hesitant seat at the end of the table with stiff shoulders. Her eyes bounced from face to face before ultimately focusing on the table's shiny surface. There was a suffocating silence in the room as she tried to find the right words to say. How could she even begin to explain? What could she say that would satisfy the questions and concerns the group undoubtedly had now?

    "I don't know where to start," she confessed with an unwavering voice. "What did Mark tell you?"

    "It doesn't matter what he told us. Tell us everything you know." Yuta spoke with a venomous tone. Yumin couldn't help but let her eyes move to find the man. He sat slouched in his seat, his arms crossed across his broad chest tightly as he sent a scowl in her direction.

    "C'mon Yuta, let's not be hostile before-"

    "No. That's fair," the woman interrupted Taeyong. She sat up straighter as she cleared her throat. Her hands sat in her lap, fingers dancing wildly around one another as she tried to calm her nerves.

    "I was sent here by a man named Jiwon. He runs a community of survivors across the city. My family insisted on living there not too long after the monsters came," she paused to look down at her fingers while drawing in a breath. "Jiwon targets other groups for their resources. Usually, it's vulnerable groups - groups full of women, kids, elderly. He's never insisted on a group full of men before."

    "And who are you? Why would he send you here?" Jaehyun wondered with furrowed brows.

    The woman gave a short shrug, her eyes moving back up to find his. "Jiwon and I don't get along. Recently things have gotten out of hand. He told me if I didn't agree to come earn the trust of your group then he'd kill my family. So, I came."

    "You went back and got Mark. Don't you think he'll kill your family anyways now?" Taeyong asked her quietly.

    "How did you even know Mark was there?" Johnny asked before she could answer the man.

    "Donghyuck said Mark had been missing for a week. Jiwon seemed to have thought his plans through, had everything laid out, knew exactly where you guys stayed - he might have a small team, but he wouldn't have been able to know exactly how many people stayed here or what floor you all stayed on. So I went with my gut."

    "And risked Donghyuck's life." Yuta reminded her.

    "I went on my own. Mark was out there waiting for us and you were all too scared to go look. We can't be afraid of those monsters forever." Donghyuck was quick to respond, his eyes wide as he spoke with a fast tongue.

    "You've seen what those monsters do to people. We didn't want to lose more people than we already have. If we go out there we die." Jaehyun protested.

    "It doesn't matter now. Mark is back. And that man is still out there. We need to focus on coming up with a plan." Taeyong interrupted the small debate.

    "What she said is right. I heard him talking to her sister. They're like working together to run that place." Mark started. "The plan is to get some more guys to join their community. More strength, the better chance at, like, taking us all down without issue. Then they're going to come here and tear us all apart."

    "And she," Yuta pointed over at Yumin. "Has no part in it besides coming to snuggle up to us?"

    "No? The Jiwon guy really really hates her." Mark shook his head.

    "She showed up disoriented, unarmed, and with nothing but the clothes she wore. I doubt he even expected her to get here." Donghyuck added. Yumin's eyes snapped towards him with surprise.

    "We need to figure out what his weaknesses and strengths are," Johnny stated.

    "Yumin?" Doyoung asked with raised brows.

    Her eyes jumped towards him. Then she looked around the room at everyone's frustrated expressions. "It's not going to be easy. Jiwon is worse than the monsters out there. He's clever, manipulative. But he's overly confident. The guy thinks he's immortal. Our best bet is to catch him off guard."

    "And what? Sneak into his building and attack him?" Jaehyun offered with raised brows.

    "Maybe." The woman shrugged. "There's a schedule for runs. He's out of the building throughout the day on certain days. The only issue with that is Dabin's involved. She never leaves the building."

    "Your sister, right?" Mark recalled. The woman gave a nod.

    "What if we sent one of us to join? Like a mole. Jiwon wouldn't recognize us." Johnny suggested. The other guys started nodding in agreement, compliments rolling off their tongues as they looked over at the tall man.

    "Would you go Donghyuck?" Taeyong questioned.

    "Absolutely not," Yumin answered for the man as she rose from the chair. The men turned to look at her with surprise at the swift protest. "No one goes there. It's too risky."

    "We don't have a better plan," Doyoung argued.

    "I don't care. Find one."

    The men shared a glance at the woman's words. She watched as they tried to think of something to say to convince her to get on board with their idea. Her heart pounded as she waited for them to insist further. Before anyone could speak again, the cry of a child echoed from the doorway. Everyone's eyes moved to find Taeil walking into the room with his youngest propped up on his hip.

    "What's wrong?" Taeyong was quick to ask the man.

    "She's hungry," Taeil explained quietly. Yumin could see the tiredness in his eyes swimming with the pain of a father struggling to take care of his children.

    "Sit down. I'll get the food ready." Doyoung told the older man as he slipped out of his seat. Taeil didn't hesitate to take his seat.

    It took the man less than ten minutes to get everyone something to eat on the table. Taeil's oldest had joined them shortly after. Everyone attempted to make conversation despite the tension in the air. Yumin took small bites of her food as she listened here and there. She felt like an intruder as she listened to their small jokes and recollections of memories foreign to her.

    "Dad, I want more." Taeil's daughter whined from his lap. It was a quiet complaint, yet Yumin could hear the mumbled words from next to the father and daughter duo. The young girl's face scrunched up with sadness at the sight of her empty bowl. Despite the way her stomach twisted with hunger, Yumin could not take another bite. She pushed her bowl towards the young girl subtly. It took a second for the girl to spot the new food. Her eyes widened as she looked over at Yumin. The woman placed a finger over her lips before she stood from the table and left the room.

    The rest of the evening went by as a blur. Old habits crept up on the woman as she rushed through a short, three-minute shower. As she shuffled around her new room, her fingers itched for a cigarette, a luxury she hadn't had access to since the world had begun to crumble around her. It was hard to sit still. The longer she sat unmoving in complete silence without any distractions was the more that her mind sunk into a dark, pool of thoughts. The temptation to go confront her sister ate away at her. Yet, she knew that if she acted so recklessly it could end in disaster for others. She had risked a lot by going and taking Mark back.

    In the midst of her mental war, a gentle knock rang off of the wooden door across from her. The woman wasn't sure if she was relieved or annoyed by the interruption, but she stood from her bed and crossed the room to open the door anyways. The knob was cold against her fingers as she twisted it yet the smile on the visitor's face was warm enough to heat her skin instantly.

    "Hi," the man greeted her. "Everyone's playing a game upstairs. I thought I'd come ask if you want to join us."

    For a moment she hesitated. Things were without a doubt still tense from earlier. Aside from that, she had never intended on befriending anyone. Her only goal was to survive. It was the fear of being alone with herself for a moment longer that prompted her to change her mind. "Okay."

    Taeyong watched as she stepped out into the dim hall. Her hands shook ever so slightly as she shut the door behind her. A faint smile formed on his face at the woman's reluctance. He reach out a hand and placed it against her shoulder. She looked up at him with slightly widened eyes.

    "Yumin, you're welcome here. Don't hold back, okay? It'll take some time, but everyone will grow used to you after a while." The man assured her.

    She wanted to protest, to explain that her comfort wasn't worth the heartache they'd feel when she failed to save them from the monster waiting for them across the city, but instead, she just gave a short nod in response. The man's smile grew wider as he gave her shoulder a tiny pat and turned to walk. The woman watched him go for a moment before she followed after him.

    Despite the miniature pep talk the man had just given her, Yumin's stomach twisted as she stepped into the main room behind him. For what? She wasn't entirely sure. Majority of the guys didn't even glance in her direction, but she still felt as if she were crossing an invisible boundary as her feet carried her further into the room.

    "Are you thirsty?" Taeyong asked the woman suddenly.

    "Not really." She lied.

    "Let me know when you are, okay? Hey, why don't we join these guys?" The man replied in a matter of seconds. He took a few steps forward before he knelt beside Johnny at a coffee table. It was awkward for her. It was awkward for everyone. She could see the uncomfortable glances the men shared at Taeyong's insistence on inclusion. Her skin crawled as she took a slow seat next to him.

    "Yumin, are you good at this game?" Johnny asked the woman in an attempt to soothe the weird energy in the air. She skimmed over the cards in his hands and the cards laid out on the table before she shrugged.

    "It's been a while since I've played." She admitted.

    "Don't worry. A newborn could win against these guys." Donghyuck interjected. "Come over here. I'll show you how to play."

    "You just lost last round," Doyoung spoke up, his eyes narrowed in disbelief as he looked over at the younger man.

    "Wait- he's so right. You didn't even come close to winning." Mark agreed with a round of laughter.

    "I'll show you, Yumin," Johnny told the woman, ignoring the men as they started to bicker between one another.

    An hour passed. The games went by quickly, yet between the arguing and constant teasing going on each round felt longer. It was nice to see that the guys still carried on as if the world outside hadn't fallen apart, yet at the same time, it made Yumin worry. What would happen when reality caught up to these guys? At some point, the woman left the table of guys behind. Some of the guys had gone to bed for the night, leaving the room much emptier than it had been when she first arrived. She could still hear Donghyuck arguing with Doyoung over a technicality in their game while Johnny and Mark sat mocking the two men. In a weird way, it was comforting to have them as a source of background noise as she stared out of the large window taking up most of the main room's wall.

    "You doing okay?" Taeil approached her when he caught sight of her standing alone. Her eyes flickered towards him for just a moment before she was staring back out at the dark city.

    "I should be asking you that." Was the woman's reply. The man was unsure of the meaning behind her words, but he could see his reflection in the window. It was hard to miss the exhaustion on his features. For a moment he felt a bit embarrassed. It had been a long time since he had looked like his former self.

    "Do you miss them? Your family?" He found himself asking even if he already knew the question was ridiculous.

    "Yes." Came the expected answer.

    "It never gets easier. Being separated from them, I mean. I guess that's not really what you want to hear. Sorry-"

    "I appreciate honesty. You don't have to apologize for being upfront." The woman interrupted him. Their eyes caught for a second before the man gave a surprised chuckle.

    "Do you have any kids?" He found himself asking a moment later.

    The woman gave him an odd look. "Me? No. Just a nephew."

    "Ah. Sorry, I just thought - well, when you gave Yoonah... I thought only another parent would understand." He stumbled over his words. "I just wanted to say thank you for doing that."

    "Don't thank me. It was never mine in the first place." The woman told him in a quiet voice, guilt eating away at her chest for having to take resources from a group already struggling to survive.

    The man was forced to silently watch the woman turn and walk away. She had almost made it out of the room completely when she paused in her step. Her feet carried her back over to Taeyong, who watched with sleepy eyes as the guys finished up another round of their game. He looked at her with wide eyes when she knelt beside him in a rush.

    "What is it? Do you need something?" He asked her in a hurry.

    "Let me go on the next run." She requested with a newfound urgency. The man's worry turned into confusion.

    "Yuta won't like that," Johnny commented from beside the pair.

    "Wouldn't it be better that way anyway? He can keep an eye on me without having to worry about what's happening here." Yumin argued as if the man were already listening despite him being deep asleep down the hall.

    "You want to go out there? Wasn't that encounter with the monster from yesterday enough?" Doyoung asked her as if she had lost her mind.

    "It's too risky, Yumin. You should just stay here." Taeyong agreed with the man.

    "Mark usually goes with you guys right? He should get some rest. Let me help." She tried once again.

    "I can go. I'll be fine." Mark objected from his place at the table.

    "See?" Taeyong nodded his head towards the man. "Just stay here Yumin."

    The woman ran a hand over her face while her mind attempted to find another way of persuading the man. When she found none, she gave a small sigh and stood back to her full height. Without another word, she turned and made her way out of the room. Taeyong watched her disappear through the doorway and released a sigh. He had won for now, but how long would it be until she was restless again?

    The answer came the next morning. The woman barely got any sleep before she was climbing out of bed and tugging her hoodie over her head. She was careful to keep quiet as she snuck out of her room. The last thing she wanted was to alert the others that she was awake. Taeyong would certainly know what she was up to.

    She thought she had been quiet as she crept down the dark hallway, but she realized she had been caught red-handed when the sound of someone clearing their throat filled the air. A grimace crossed her features as her feet came to a stop. She didn't have to turn around to know who it was. It was always him. The same annoyingly observant man who seemed to be six steps ahead of everyone around him.

    "Did you change Taeyong's mind?" He called out to her quietly. She slowly turned, not all surprised to see him propped up against the wall just a few feet away.

    "No." She admitted.

    The corner of the man's lip raised. "Glad you've stopped lying to me."

    "Are you going to stop me from leaving?" She found herself asking, her shoulders already slumped at the very idea of the man being against her. To her surprise, the man shook his head. She watched as he bent down and pulled a bag out from behind him.

    "I'm coming with you." He announced.

    "No. Yuta would kill me if you got injured." She instantly rejected the idea.

    "Unfortunately, it's my choice. Now let's go before Taeyong catches us." The man replied, swinging the bag over his shoulders and pushing off of the wall.

    "Do you even know what it's like out there?" She asked him just as he moved to walk forward.

    "Of course not. That's why I want to go. I can't live in the dark forever." He told her before pushing past her. Without having much else to offer in protest, she turned and followed after him as quietly as she could manage.

    Just like it had been the day before, the air outside was painfully cold. The metal of the ladder burned underneath their fingers as they climbed down. Both of their hearts raced at the prospect of sneaking out, but they were both too stubborn to turn back after they successfully made it to the bottom of the building without any interruptions.

    "Do you know where they've been already?" The woman asked as they started walking down the alleyway.

    The man glanced over at the woman before he started digging around in one of the many pockets of his cargo pants. He pulled out a small sheet of paper with rushed writing on it before he handed it over to the woman. Their eyes met for just a brief second before she started scanning over the handwritten list. To both of their surprises, the corners of her mouth began to curl at the sight of the man's horribly drawn maps.

    "Hey-"

    "Let's go. I know where we can start, but we need to get moving." The woman interrupted him before he could even start his sentence. "Be as quiet as you can. Some of the monsters are super sensitive when it comes to sound."

    He watched in astonishment as the woman started walking away, her hands working lazily at folding the paper back up the way he had originally. It didn't take him long to follow after the woman. His heartbeat raced inside of his chest as they walked side by side.

    The day before had been too eventful to fully take in the city's destruction. Taeyong and the other runners had mentioned how horrible everything was outside, but they had never described the heavy, hollow feeling created inside your chest as you walked through the vacant city. Buildings stood tall, despite the holes and cracks that some possessed. The air was thinner than it had ever been in Donghyuck's memory. A world without any pollution seemed impossible just a few months ago. The world had truly restarted.

    As they continued further into the city, the man wondered if this was truly what he had wanted. It was overwhelming to take in the remainders of a world he had known to once be so vibrant and full of energy. Thoughts of his family and friends plagued his mind. Were they okay? Had they survived all this time? He could feel himself slipping into a space in his mind that was hard to come back from. It wasn't until he felt the warmth of the woman's hand wrapped around his wrist that he was brought back to reality. It was a gentle reminder that he had to be aware of his surroundings at all times now that they stood alone in the middle of purgatory.

    "We can go in here first. Let's stick together, okay?" The woman whispered, her head leaning forward just enough that he could feel the contrast between her warm breath and the cold autumn air. He gave a gentle nod in response. Then, the warmth around his wrist disappeared.

    The pair entered the building with light footsteps. The woman stopped Donghyuck before they could walk in too deeply. She bent down and grabbed a small object from the floor before tossing it across the room. The man reacted out of instinct and reach out to pull her behind him.

    "What are you doing? I thought you said we have to be quiet?" He whispered frantically as he twisted to look down at her.

    She raised her brows at the man's jumpiness. "It's a quick way to see if we're the only ones down here or not."

    The man stared down into her eyes with disbelief written across his soft features. He listened closely for a sound to come from behind them. When it didn't, he gave a scoff. "You're insane."

    "And you're terrified. Regret coming with me now?" The woman replied.

    Instead of responding, the man simply turned on his heels and made his way into the first room they found. Yumin followed after him. They were silent as they searched through every corner of the room, stuffing anything that seemed useful into the bag the man had brought along. They continued to do this as they went from room to room. By the time they left the building, they had collected just a handful of things.

    "It's okay. We can find more." Donghyuck quietly assured the woman when he noticed the disappointment lingering in her eyes. She gave a nod. If he was confident then she would try to convince herself it was true.

    And after searching through three more buildings, she found herself struggling more and more to do that. Again and again, they barely found anything to take back to the hotel. She was just about to suggest they turn around and go to a different part of the city tomorrow when they ended up finding something of substance.

    "Yes!" Donghyuck whispered with excitement as his hands picked up a small bag of snacks. The woman looked at him with confusion as he turned to her with a grin.

    "These are my favorites." He explained lowly.

    They continued to search through the building. Whoever had been there before had either left before the world crumbled or had left in a hurry. Although it wasn't much, they had been able to find quite a bit of resources. The girls would be happy to have something extra to eat. That's all that mattered, Yumin thought.

    They were just about to leave when the sound of something behind dragged down the hall caught their attention. They shared an alarmed glance at the sound. Not wanting to risk being caught by whatever it was, the woman quickly turned and pulled Donghyuck under a table sitting against the wall next to the doorway. She pressed her finger against the man's lips when she realized how heavy his breaths had become. The man shook underneath her touch. She could see the fear swimming inside of his dark, wide eyes.

    She drew in a quiet breath at the sight of the monster entering the room. Donghyuck could see the horror on her features now. He didn't have to turn to know the monster was in the room. The dragging sound was echoing across the floor right behind him. He could feel the ground shake with each step the creature took. Already, he was accepting that this would be the last day of his life.

    The creature was larger than majority of the monsters Yumin had encountered. Not in height, but width. It was almost a perfect circle. A pea-shaped nightmare with a mouth that hung down its entire body frame, dragging against the ground wide and ready to vacuum up whatever dared cross its path. Perhaps if the woman weren't standing a mere three feet away from it she may have found it adorable, despite the ruggedness of its skin and misshapen teeth.

    If the monster knew the pair was in the room with it, it didn't show interest in them. They watched as it stepped over towards the window in the corner of the room. Yumin found Donghyuck's eyes shortly after. She held up three fingers for the man to see before she mouth one unmistakable word. Run.

    The man shook his head. His hand wrapped around hers and pulled her fingers down. He wouldn't leave with her. Her eyes narrowed with frustration. She shook his hand off and raised three fingers again. Donghyuck's eyes narrowed this time. He furrowed his eyebrows as he shook his head, but the woman was already set on whatever plan she had mustered up. He held his breath as the woman crawled out from under the table, leaving him to his lonesome. Her face disappear as she rose to her full height. Then, the table began to shake violently around him. The creature had just started to turn at the sound when the woman pushed the table across the room as forcefully as she could.

    "Run, Donghyuck!" She called over her shoulder with frustration in her voice. The creature began to shout at a violent tempo shortly after. Its body twisted and turned in a panic after being trapped against the wall.

    Donghyuck stood from the floor and moved towards the woman. His fingers curled around her wrist for less than a second before the creature was suddenly throwing itself overtop of the table. The pair stepped back before stumbling to rush out of the room.

    "Get out of here. I'll give you some time to get away." The woman breathed out as they ran down the stairs of the building.

    "Are you stupid? Why would I leave you behind?" Donghyuck shot back at her. The woman went to respond but she was interrupted by a harsh blow to her back. Both her and the man in front of her went tumbling down the stairs, unsure as to what happened until they rolled over and saw the pea creature rolling around trying to stand on its feet.

    "Perfect. Let's go." Donghyuck panted as he stood up. He helped the woman to her feet and made sure to usher her out before she could protest any further. Donghyuck made sure to hold on to the woman's hand as they ran, his fingers locked around hers in an attempt to make sure she didn't slip through his grasp somehow. He was convinced the woman had some sort of death wish. How could she be so willing to risk her life for his when they hardly knew one another?

    They didn't speak again until they had made it halfway back to the hotel. Their lungs burned and their legs trembled with exhaustion, causing them to come to a stop next to a building they had passed earlier that morning. The woman pulled her hand from the man's ignoring the way her cheeks burned when she realized how long she had allowed the man to cling to her on their escape. Donghyuck watched her closely as she reach around him to pull the water bottle sticking out of the side of his bag.

    "Yumin, don't ever do that again." He finally found his voice. The woman sent him a questioning look as she unscrewed the cap of the bottle. She passed it to him first. He pushed it back toward her, urging her to take the first drink.

    "Don't risk your life like that again. Do you find yourself that invaluable? Let me die before you act that recklessly." He insisted. The woman took a quick sip of the water, her heart racing at the man's frustrated voice. She pulled the bottle from her lips and passed it back towards him. This time he took it.

    "And what? Return to your group and listen to them wail when I have to tell them you died?" She challenged.

    "And what about your family? Do you want to put that burden on me, too?" He bit back.

    "You mean my sister who's been plotting my death for who knows how long? I'm sure she'll be devastated." The woman replied with bitterness. It had slipped by accident. It was the second crack in the woman's facade. The second sign that she wasn't holding up as well as she was trying to seem like she was. Her eyes shifted away from the man's intense stare as she realized what she had just said.

    "You think nobody cares if you die then? That's why you're so willing to give up your life for mine?" The man pushed further.

    "Those people at the hotel are depending on you to return." Yumin reminded the man. "It doesn't matter anyway. Let's just get back already. The girls will be glad to see what we got."

    The woman went to turn to walk away, but the man stepped in front of her. She avoided meeting his eyes. She stared at his chest as she waited for him to continue lecturing her.

    "Starting right now, you have someone depending on you. So don't act recklessly. I am depending on you, Yumin. Okay?" The man's voice was much softer than it had been previously. The woman drew in a breath at his words.

    "Don't say that." She blurted out with embarrassment, her head lowering so that her eyes could focus on the grassy ground beneath their feet.

    "Why?"

    "Because you don't mean it." She finally forced herself to look up at his eyes. She had hoped to find a sign that he was lying. That he had been trying to comfort her out of a place of pity. There was none.

    "No. You just don't want me to mean it." He corrected the woman. She stood stunned, her lips parted and unable to move to form a word as the man finally raised the water bottle to his lips. He watched her as he drank, the coolness of the water battling the warmth of his flustered face.

    "Let's go, hero. The girls get extra hungry around this time and you do not want to see what happens when they don't get their food." He told the woman as he handed the bottle back to her. She forced him to turn around so that she could place the bottle back where she had gotten it. Then, they took off back towards the hotel.

    When they made it back, the sun was just preparing to switch places with the moon. Its rays were bright in the pair's eyes as they climbed up the ladder to the rooftop. Donghyuck let the woman push into the hotel first, the sounds of the group's voices meeting their ears almost as soon as they stepped into the building. It quickly became silent when they entered the main room. Yumin avoided their eyes as she stuffed her hands into her hoodie, stepping aside just enough for the man behind her to face everyone's stares.

    "This is the most unexciting welcoming I have ever received." Donghyuck was the first to break the tense silence.

    "Where the hell did you go?" Johnny asked the man, his eyes scanning over his friend analytically.

    "Outside," Donghyuck answered before he stepped over to where Taeil sat with the girls. He bent down and shrugged the bag over his shoulder, his fingers working quickly to unzip the bag. Yumin glanced up just in time to see the bright smile he sent the girls as he pulled a couple of snacks out for them to see. The girls released an excited squeal. They moved from Taeil's side in a rush, their tiny hands taking what they desired most.

    "Girls, take it easy. We have to save as much as we can, okay? Only one bag right now." Taeil urged the girls, his hands gently removing the snacks from their tiny hands before they could tear them all apart right away.

    "C'mon ladies, let's go enjoy these in your room so no one tries to steal them from you," Jaehyun joked as he lifted the youngest from the sofa. Taeil and his oldest stood and left the room behind the smiling pair, leaving the rest of the group in a bubble of silence.

    Of course, this bubble was popped much sooner than Yumin would have liked. "Donghyuck, what's up with you? You keep running off. It's dangerous. What are supposed to do if you don't come back?"

    "You could've asked us to go if you wanted to go on a run bro," Mark added on.

    Yuta shook his head as he sunk further into his spot on the couch. "I think it's obvious what the issue is here."

    "Look guys," Donghyuck began as he stood up with the bag in his hands. "We found some good stuff today. And we made it back in one piece. So what's the big deal?"

    "Yumin, I thought we agreed you'd stay here?" Taeyong shifted the focus, his eyes focused on the woman pressed against the wall by the doorway.

    "No, you told me to stay here." The woman corrected him.

    "Okay, Yumin, if you want to go outside that's fine," Doyoung spoke up. "The issue is Donghyuck. You can't keep going outside. We need to know you're safe. If you want to go on a run then ask."

    "Yumin asked to go on a run. You guys wouldn't let her. Why are you rejecting extra help when we need all the help we can get right now? She can't go out there on her own." Donghyuck argued.

    "We know that. That's why I told her to stay here." Taeyong tried to explain.

    "Obviously that didn't work out. Lesson learned. Just let her go on the next run. Problem solved." Johnny suggested.

    "I agree," Yuta spoke up, shocking everyone in the room. "A trial run. If it doesn't work out she stays here from now on. It's fair enough."

    Everyone turned to look at Taeyong. The man scratched the back of his neck as he considered the idea. It wasn't bad, really, but he had already grown so accustomed to having Yuta and Mark as the only runners that adding another seemed risky. Then again, it could work out in the long run. And the woman wanted to help.

    "Are you doing this because you're trying to prove a point? I told you, your background isn't an issue. You don't have to-"

    "I just want to help." The woman interrupted the leader.

    He released a sigh as his hand fell by his side. "Okay. We'll do a test run."

    "I want to start coming, too. If some psycho is going to come kill us then I might as well get some last-minute traveling in, yeah?" Donghyuck spoke with a slight whine.

    "You and Mark on a run? Together? You'll get everyone killed." Johnny couldn't help but tease.

    "At least we'll make it fun. Right, Mark Lee?"

    "Dude you're insane."

    Dinner came and went. Yumin had dinner alone in her room, specifically on the balcony where she found herself watching the roads closely for any intruders. When the cold air became too much, she locked herself away in her room, buried underneath her covers where she rolled around restlessly. A deep sigh escaped her when she became defeated. It would be another night of trying and failing to get some sleep. She rolled over onto her back before she started shuffling her hands around inside her hoodie. Her fingers retrieved the paper Donghyuck had given her that morning. Again, a faint smile formed on her face at the sight of the poorly drawn maps.

    It was only a few minutes later that she leaned over and started shuffling through the nightstand next to the bed. As soon as she found a pen tucked away in the back of the drawer, her fingers wrapped around it. She worked quickly to tear a blank piece off of the paper, making sure to protect the man's hard work. Then, she scribbled a quick, messy 'thank you' across the blank sheet and folded it up without much effort.

    The halls were empty. Usually, they were, unlike the busy floor upstairs. Yumin made sure to keep extra quiet as she tiptoed down the hall. When she reach Donghyuck's door, she slipped the paper underneath the wooden frame before turning and attempting to escape without being noticed. It felt childish. Perhaps even like a game of ding dong ditch - something she hadn't done since she was a young child.

    On the other side of his door, Donghyuck sat lazily with Mark by his side. They had been occupied in reminiscing on days from their former lives, barely able to stay awake as they stared up at the ceiling. It had been Mark who heard the sound of the paper sliding against the floor. He raised from his spot on the bed with wide eyes, terrified that a rodent had somehow managed to survive the chaos of the end of the world long enough to terrorize the occupants of the hotel.

    "What's wrong with you?" Donghyuck gave a small laugh as he pushed himself up to see what it was. When he spotted the somewhat crumpled paper folded up and sitting still on his floor he rolled off of the bed and rushed to scoop it off of the ground. Mark watched as a slow smile stretched across the golden boy's face.

    "What is it? A note from Taeil?" He asked with curious eyes. Donghyuck's smile faded when he realized he had captured an audience's eye. He felt his cheeks warm with embarrassment, opting to shove the paper into the pocket of his sweatpants instead of sharing with the man lounging on his bed.

    "Dude, what was that?" Mark questioned. He was even more curious than he had originally been. He leaped from the bed and advanced on the younger man, his hands already trying to steal the piece of paper. Donghyuck twisted and turned, pushing across the room in a rush even if he knew he was trapped. In a last-minute attempt to escape he moved towards the glass doors leading to the balcony. He ignored the bite of the wind as he stepped out onto the concrete ledge. Mark followed him without hesitation, his hands cornering the man against the metal railings before he could even attempt to slip out of his way. He had been prepared to completely steal the paper from Donghyuck. His hand froze midair when he saw a familiar face staring at them from the neighboring balcony.

    Yumin watched the men with wide eyes. She hadn't expected to see them stumble out into the night. Embarrassment and confusion flooded her chest as she took in the proximity of the men. The feeling only intensified when Donghyuck twisted around, his eyes finding hers almost immediately.

    "Yumin?" He called out with surprise.

    "I was just about to go back inside." The woman responded as she pushed herself onto her feet.

    "Wait!" Donghyuck called out before he even knew what he wanted to say to the woman. "Do you want to come over to my room?"

    The woman glanced between his wide-eyed expression and the man next to him before she gave a quick shake of the head. "I'm going to sleep. Have a good night guys."

    Just like that, she was gone. The only sign she had even been there was the click of the lock that echoed throughout the night air. Donghyuck gave a bewildered scoff as he turned back around to face his friend. Mark scanned the man's expression for a moment before a knowing smile formed upon his lips.

    "So it wasn't a note from Taeil." He teased. Donghyuck scowled at the man before he pushed past him, slipping back into the warmth of his room. He made sure to push the door shut before Mark could follow. Mark's knuckled rapped against the glass gently, his lips parted with surprise at the sudden action.

    "Consider your next words very carefully if you want back inside."

    Things were quiet at the hotel for the next two days. Taeyong had announced the next run wouldn't be until a few days later. He wanted to be sure that they were prepared to take two extra people outside. No one protested. They had enough supplies to last for at least another week and Mark still needed to get some rest, no matter how much he insisted he was prepared for anything.

    It was strange for Yumin to see everyone hanging around as if there were not a care in the world. Anyone looking in wouldn't have known they were all at risk of dying at any given moment by the hands of a man deranged and damaged by a fallen society. Even stranger, it felt like a family to Yumin. It was beyond a community of survivors. Her own family hadn't felt so connected back at her former location. Though, it was clear to see why now that ugly truths had been revealed.

    "Do you want to play?" A gentle voice called out to her. She sat at the end of the sofa off to herself, a small book resting in her hands. At her feet sat one of Taeil's girls with gleaming eyes. It was Yoonah, the girl she had shared her food with.

    Yumin hesitated. She had never been that great with children. Her nephew had been the first she had truly bonded with. Yet, looking into the girl's eyes made it impossible to say no. She shut the book and climbed onto the floor with the girl. Yoonah sent her a large smile as she passed her a set of building blocks.

    "Are you good at making castles?" She asked.

    Yumin hummed. "Can I give it a try?"

    "Yes! I need a castle for my princess. Jiyoo is horrible at making castles." The girl replied enthusiastically.

    "What's your princess's name?" Yumin wondered as she started placing blocks in random areas, hoping it would be enough to fool the young girl.

    "Yoonah. Just like me." The girl was quick to answer. "My mom said I am a princess."

    "Is that so? You must run this place then, yeah?"

    "No. If I did I would eat everything here!"

    "You wouldn't share?"

    "Only with you and dad. You guys shared with me, so I guess that's fair." The girl replied with a slight pout. "Hey, what's that? You're horrible at making castles."

    "What? I tried so hard!" Yumin gave a slight gasp and she looked down at the girl with offense.

    The girl gave a sheepish look. "It's ugly."

    "Yoonah." The girl's father called out in warning. Both the girl and Yumin looked over towards him. He sat on the sofa next to Donghyuck. One held a pencil and book in hand while the other sat slumped against the cushions, his head tossed back lazily and eyes opened just enough to show he was still awake.

    "I thought we talked about that?" Taeil asked the girl with a quirked brow.

    "I am just being honest! Uncle Donghyuck, isn't it ugly?" The young girl defended herself.

    The man finally sat up straight. He leaned forward until his elbows leaned against his knees. It only took a quick glance at the blocks for the man to give a nod. "It's pretty ugly. What is that? A bus?"

    Yumin went to answer, but she was interrupted by the sound of someone calling out for everyone's attention in an urgent voice. Everyone grew quiet as their eyes shifted towards Jaehyun, who stood next to one of the windows with stiff shoulders.

    "There's someone outside." He announced.

    It took only a few seconds for Taeil to rush to his feet. He scooped his youngest off of the floor, accidentally knocking the blocks to the ground as he took off towards the hall, his voice calling out for his oldest frantically. Yumin pushed to her feet as well, making her way towards the window Jaehyun stood at before anyone else could crowd around and block her view.

    "Do you recognize them, Yumin?" Taeyong wondered aloud as he made his way next to her. She looked out towards the ground, barely catching sight of a truck and two survivors sitting across the street.

    The woman stared down at the unfamiliar figures with furrowed eyebrows. She shook her head before looking over at the leader. "What do you want to do?"

    "They're looking our way. They know we're here. It has to be someone with Jiwon, right?" He questioned.

    "He couldn't have found enough dudes already. It's too soon." Mark objected from the sofa, his fingers already chasing each other anxiously as his leg bounced up and down.

    "If he was ready to do anything then he'd be here," Yumin added. "I don't know what this could be, but I say we go find out before they can come let us know."

    "And if they have weapons?" Johnny asked.

    "I'll go down. You guys can watch from up here." She turned to look at the tall man.

    Taeyong shook his head from beside the woman. "We're not doing that. It's too dangerous for you, Yumin."

    "We need to figure something out. They're getting closer." Jaehyun urged as he watched the two figures advance on the building.

    "What if they're not with Jiwon? Maybe they're just passing by and noticed we're up here." Mark spoke with uncertainty.

    "In a building this high?" Doyoung deadpanned.

    "I'll watch and see if they go towards the ladder," Jaehyun informed everyone.

    Taeyong turned towards Yumin. "Why don't you go join Taeil and the girls?"

    "Her?" Donghyuck scoffed. "Good luck with that one."

    Jaehyun turned to look at Taeyong with worried eyes. "They're heading for the ladder."

    "Then they were sent here," Donghyuck concluded aloud for everyone.

    Taeyong ran a worried hand through his hair. "Then we have to prepare for the worst. Everyone make sure you have a weapon. We will only fight if they instigate it, but we're not letting either of them through that door. Okay?"

    Everyone gave quick nods. Some went to retrieve knives, leaving the others to anxiously wait for everyone to prepare themselves. Yumin stood next to the doorway, her hand gripping the pocket knife she had been gifted tightly while her eyes followed the frantic men around the room.

    "Shouldn't we wake up Yuta? He'll be pissed if we let him sleep through this." Johnny wondered as he stood rigidly in the middle of the room.

    "I'll go do it." Mark was quick to offer, wanting to avoid having to be the first to face an intruder. The man slipped into the hallway while everyone else began pouring out onto the rooftop one by one. They waited anxiously, listening closely to the sound of the boots pressing against the metal ladder every second.

    Their hearts pounded violently in their chests as the sight of the first man's head popped into view. If he had been surprised to see the group waiting for him, he didn't show it. He moved calmly onto the rooftop. While he waited for his partner to join him, he placed his hands on his hips and scanned the faces of the group. When his eyes landed on Yumin, his lips curved. He stared at her as his partner finally came to stand next to him. Both of the men looked cleaned up despite the state of the world. For a moment Yumin wondered if these men could've come from Jiwon's building. He never allowed anyone to stay so clean - especially the other men.

    "Everyone's so tense here. What's got you spooked?" The first man taunted.

    Nobody answered. They stared at the man blankly. When the door behind them slammed open, majority of them jumped in panic. Yuta marched out onto the rooftop with a head of disheveled hair and bare feet. There was a fierceness in his eyes as he caught sight of the strangers standing in front of the ladder. Mark stumbled out into the daylight a second later. The difference between the men's energy may have been amusing if it weren't for the severity of the situation.

    "Look at that one." The second man breathed out in amusement at the sight of Yuta.

    "He's ready to fight, isn't he?" The first man gave a slight laugh. "Unfortunately I'm not here to fight - my orders were to collect a certain item."

    "What is it?" Taeyong dared ask.

    The man’s eyes flickered back towards Yumin. “You’re Yumin, right?”

    The woman’s fingers curled into her palms at the sudden attention. On everyone’s tongue sat the same question: what could Yumin possibly possess that Jiwon would want? They had seen what a state she was in when she showed up. How had she been able to hide anything at all? Yuta held his tongue as he awaited a response from the woman because, despite his frustration, he was too curious to do anything but watch the scene unfold in front of him.

    “What does he want?” The woman avoided answering directly.

    “Says he changed his mind. Told us to come bring you back. Apparently, the stunt with the big-headed boy made him a little mad. Not to mention there’s a few men trying to get their hands on the women back home, you know? So he said he knew just the woman to satisfy them.” The first man answered without hesitation. There was a hint of amusement in his voice as if he enjoyed delivering such a message.

    “He wanted us to remind you what happens when you say no.” The second man added when he noticed the hesitation on the woman’s features.

    “That’s not happening.” Donghyuck was the first to object. “Jiwon can go straight to hell.”

    “Is that what you want, Yumin? To stay here and let Jiwon take care of your family?” The first man quirked a brow. “I have to say, I’m surprised you’re letting these men make decisions for you. Jiwon said you had a little more fire to you. I guess he just has a soft spot for you.”

    “Better make up your mind quick, sweetheart. We have things to do. Wouldn’t want Jiwon to come looking for us, would we?” The second man challenged.

    Yumin’s fingernails curled so deeply into the skin of her palms that it was sure to leave small crescent bruises behind. She could feel the stares of the men around her, all anticipating her next words. It was difficult to remain so composed when her chest was pounding violently with a familiar fear, yet had grown distant over the time she had come to stay at the hotel. Just the thought of having to experience such terror every day once again left her in a state of panic.

    “If Jiwon wants me to go, tell him to come to collect me himself. Until then I think it would be best if you boys left.” The woman warned. The strange men shared knowing glances. One gave a half-laugh as he reach into his jacket, his aged hands pulling out a thin, white object. He held it out for the woman to see, inviting her to come to take a closer look. Her jaws clenched together as her feet carried her across the rooftop.

    “Yumin-“

    The woman ignored the call of warning as she stepped up to the pair of intruders. Her hands took the object from the man in a rush, her eyes traveling down to the little Polaroid quickly. Her heart stopped for a moment as she took in the image of her nephew locked away in a room all too familiar to her. The man chuckled as he watched the woman’s fingers begin to tremble, the image shaking wildly in her grasp as she flipped it over to read the text on the back.

    “Enough. You heard her the first time. It’s time for you to go.” Taeyong bravely stepped forward, his eyes narrowed on the men’s bright expressions.

    “Tell Jiwon we’ll be waiting,” Yuta added, his chest puffed out with anger.

    The first man held up his hands in surrender. “We’ll go. Have you made up your mind, little girl?”

    “I’ll go.” She breathed out, much to everyone’s surprise. There was a moment of pause - almost as if the words hadn’t reached anyone at all. Time felt as if it came to a slow. And then it sped up far too quickly for anyone to process.

    “Woah, woah, woah. Have you lost your mind?” Donghyuck cried out as he stepped towards the woman. She kept her head lowered, refusing to look at the man out of fear of changing her mind.

    She felt a hand wrap around her upper arm before she was pulled forward in a rush. From the corner of her eye, she could see another of the men step in front of her, shielding her from the group’s vision.

    “Don’t take another step. We’re leaving now.” The man breathed out a low warning of caution.

    “Yumin you can’t go with them. We will fix this another way.” Donghyuck pleaded. “Don’t you dare go.”

    “Start climbing.”

    Yumin could hear the words of instruction, but her brain couldn’t process what was happening anymore. The Polaroid sat clutched between her fingers as she stared into the back of man in front of her. Voices of disagreement started to fill the air. Some attempted to let the men just leave, others arguing that the woman had to stay. It was the first battle of a war they all had been trying to avoid.

    “If you take another step towards me I’ll send this knife through your chest, boy.” She heard the man grunt out.

    “Donghyuck stop!” Jaehyun warned.

    Yumin could feel the man behind her tugging at her arm, urging her to start climbing. She could hear the aggression in his voice as he barked out commands at her. For a moment she considered his words. Then she contemplated jumping off of the building altogether, bringing an end to the situation as a whole. It wasn’t until she saw the man in front of her lift his arm with a shiny blade held high in the air that she felt her limbs unfreeze. With the only free hand she had, she flipped the blade of the pocket knife hidden away in her hoodie open. The next thing she knew it was buried in the man’s skull.

    The men watched in horror as the man dropped to the ground with a large thud. Foolishly, they assumed it was over now. The worst of the worst had happened. That assumption was quickly proven to be false as the man’s fall revealed a far worse scene unfolding behind him. Yumin released a sharp hiss as a blade buried itself in her side, burning with every inch it pushed deeper.

    A blur of red rushed past her as she dropped to her knees. The group watched as Yuta pushed the second man over the edge of the building. His scream filled the air as he fell to a quick, violent death at the end of the ladder. Donghyuck was the first by her side, only to be pushed back as Taeyong flashed over and placed a comforting hand against the side of the woman’s face.

    “Yumin, just keep breathing okay? We’re going to fix this,” the man spoke with a shaky voice, his slender fingers wobbling wildly as they grazed over the handle of the switchblade.

    “Pull it out,” Yuta instructed from above the pair. Taeyong sent the man a horrified expression. The red-haired man responded by ushering his friend out of the way. He wasted no time. His fingers wrapped around the switchblade and gave a quick tug, removing the blade from her side just as fast as it had been buried there. The woman cried out in agony as she felt the blade tear through her once more.

    “Yumin, we need to get this jacket off of you to put pressure on this,” Yuta told the woman. Her vision was blurry as she tried to process the faces in front of her. Their voices became distant as she tried to keep her consciousness. As they began to pull the hoodie from her torso, her head lulled to the side.

    “Yuta, is she okay?” Donghyuck cried out in panic as he tried to support the woman’s head.

    “Let’s her inside and try to stop the bleeding. It’s all we can do.” Yuta replied, his voice starting to waver now that the woman had fallen unconscious.

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  • stayarmytinyzenmoa-l
    04.12.2021 - 20 hours ago

    Prominence [WCh. 10]

    Social Media AU ; Idol AU ; Added Unit AU

    TW: Language

    CW: None

    Genre: Comedy, Romance

    Pairing: NCT x Idol!Reader, Park Seonghwa x Idol!Reader

    Y/N Pronouns: Female (She/Her)

    (W10/?) [Previous] | [Next]

    [Main Masterlist] | [Prominence Masterlist]

    Word Count: 3.1K

    Notes: Been a while since I wrote something cute about these two lovely people hehe… oh and another new header 😗 what could it mean? It’s pretty straight forward actually

    Disclaimer: Please remember that this is an AU and a work of fiction, obviously the idols mentioned/written about in this story would never partake in these actions. The idols mentioned in this work are meant to be seen more as face claims rather than the actual idols themselves.

    Seonghwa once again found himself staring at the drawer on his desk. He opened it, the velvet box sliding forward, then quickly closed it again.

    What was he waiting for? You'd known each other this long. Is it because he missed his chance in Rome? What was he so scared of? He opened the drawer once more and pulled it out. It's just a promise ring, it's not like you were getting engaged yet.

    Engaged.

    But this is similar, no? Just without the big white wedding. He'd been pondering this for the whole day now. You were on your way over to return a cardigan you'd borrowed a while back, and one he may or may not have forgotten that he lent to you, and with that impromptu text he wondered if it was time he presented it to you.

    But it's not as romantic as he originally planned.

    He originally planned to give it to you on the last night of the anniversary trip. Everything was in place and the box was even in his pocket. The venue was radiant, the dinner exquisite, and the atmosphere perfect.

    So why did he stop? Why didn't he go through with it? He didn't think he had any doubts then, and he certainly doesn't have them now. So what is it, then?

    What he knows for sure is that he wants to give it to you soon. After your interrupted stay-at-home, he realized just how much he loved you. You had all these plans to do with him, all these things that you wanted to share, and when the other ATEEZ members crashed he was sure you'd be at least a little disappointed. What was supposed to be a relaxed day of getting caught up became a chaotic one with horror movies, night frights, and somewhat of a waste of cake. But it was what you said after it all, when everyone had ridiculously fallen asleep on the floor, that truly solidified it for him. Everything had calmed down, and the adrenaline of it all left the couple still awake. With nothing left to do, out came the crochet materials and then begun the simple crafts. But then you said that something that he wasn't expecting. It was something that he couldn't stop thinking about for the rest of the night.

    "I really like it here."

    It was just a simple sentence, and one that seemingly didn't have much meaning behind it, but Seonghwa saw it differently. You had a patience unmatched, an ability to make the best out of changes in plans. It reminded him that although you and him had your stark differences, in the end you were both willing to sit through it all just to be with one another. Truly, you were his grounder.

    To him, you were like his second half.

    No... No he knows what it is. It's not that he didn't trust you, no. The person he didn't trust happened to be someone you referred to as your best friend.

    "Seonghwa! Park Seonghwa! Hwaseong! My love! My darling! My-"

    "(Y/N), I'm right here!" Seonghwa opened the door from his room and hid his reddened face from the other ATEEZ members while you and the others laughed in joy rather than mocking. Like a melody to his ears, he only peeked slightly through his fingers while the other ATEEZ members teased him. When did you get here? And who's idea was it to have you shout that loud? Mars barked excitedly in your arms, the dog having grown much larger since he was a puppy.

    "Mars, down," Seonghwa points to the ground and the dog sits next to you.

    "Hey! I haven't seen my baby boy for three days now," you crouched down and rubbed Mars' face with both of your hands.

    "I think you've literally rubbed off on him, love, he's been jumping on all the furniture," Seonghwa rubs the back of Mars' ears.

    "Who's a good boy?" You gushed. Mars barks excitedly and licks your hand. "Oop..." Jongho hands you a towel and you wiped it off. "Thank you."

    "No problem."

    "See, (Y/N)? Told you that'd work," Yunho nudges your arm. "She's been here for the past hour, hyung, what were you doing in your room for so long?" He asks.

    "Uh..." he shoves his hands in his hoodie's pocket, fumbling around with the velvet box inside. Shoot, when did he put that in there? He swallowed harshly and you, as if you mildly understood his predicament, just reached into the bag next to you and pulled out the cardigan before handing it to him. "Thank you."

    Sometimes, he thought that you could surely read his mind. As strange as it would sound, and not something he'd admit out loud, he likes to think that he could read you quite well too. It was the small mannerisms that he'd caught on to. He had long picked up on the habits you had when you were stressed, when you were uncomfortable, and when you were suspicious of something. And he had even earlier deduced your habits that showed when you were happy, comfortable, or mischievous. As much as you'd argue that you guarded your emotions well, he believes that he can see past that now. The only question now was whether or not you were the same.

    "Huh? Thank you for letting me borrow it! It's so comfy and warm," you smiled. "But it's also your favorite... and I washed it so it doesn't really..." your voice trailed off. At this moment he could tell you were embarrassed of something, but of what? It was the way your eyes darted to the ground and to the cardigan. Seonghwa blinked.

    "Doesn't really what?" He asks, tilting his head slightly to the side. He opens it up and sees that there's no damage to it.

    "Oh my god!" San groans while he runs both his hands down his face in faux agony. He grabs the cardigan and, literally, rubs it all over Seonghwa as if it was a towel being used after showering. Mars barked loudly, trying to wedge himself between San and Seonghwa to no avail. He eventually walked to you and barked at you instead.

    "What was that for?!" Seonghwa grabs the younger's arms and pulls them off. He shakes the stray strands of hair that had fallen to his face and narrows his glance. San easily tugged his hands away from the older one.

    "Here, (Y/N)," he hands you back the cardigan. You stand still, obviously confused at the events yourself. He grabs the end and throws it over your face.

    "Oh!" Your voice was an odd mix of surprised and satisfied. Mars tried to bite onto the sleeve, but you pulled it up before he could get the chance.

    "Problem solved!" San claps his hands together. "You two are so naive when it comes to dating, it's been a year already, you're tormenting us!" He clicks his tongue. Seonghwa looked between you and San, then it clicked.

    "You know what? You can keep it, (Y/N). It looks nicer on you anyway," he pulls the cardigan off your head and smoothens down the stray hairs.

    "But it's your favorite?"

    "I have loads of others," Seonghwa waves his hand. Yeosang gags.

    "Hey!" A chorus of different voices chimed out and Yeosang snickers.

    "I should get a girlfriend too so I can be disgustingly sweet in front of you guys. I'll snatch your it couple status from right under you," he jokes.

    "It couple? Who calls us that?" You asked.

    "It was literally trending on Twitter the other day!" Wooyoung gasps.

    "Seriously?! Wow, what an achievement," you slipped the cardigan on. "Maybe the companies will let us do more things together now," you laughed.

    "Yeah! We can have collaboration content!" Hongjoong snaps his fingers. "An ATEEZ and ANiMA collaboration, it's perfect!"

    "Oh! I'd love to do more variety together too," Yunho looks giddy, no doubt thinking of all the shows you could be on.

    "How about special stages?" San excitedly adds in. The other ATEEZ members begin to speak over each other, listing different ideas and defending why their idea was better in a typical ATEEZ fashion. Mars, excited by all the chatter, bounded up to Mingi and started barking happily, pouncing from side to side expecting one of them to give him attention. Seonghwa takes advantage of the chaos and pulls you aside. Tapping on your shoulder, you turned to look at him.

    "(Y/N), can I actually talk to you really quick?" He asks. You nod.

    "Sure, what's up?" Seonghwa looks to the seven boys who continued to speak over each other.

    "In private?"

    "Oh... yeah, okay," he led you to his room and locked it behind him.

    "I don't want the guys to hear this," he admits. "Look, (Y/N), I-" He is interrupted by your phone ringing. You rushed to grab it.

    "It's my manager, I'm sorry," you made a move to silence it, but he stops you.

    "Oh, no, go ahead and answer it, (Y/N)!" He says. "I wouldn't want you to get in trouble."

    "Are you sure?"

    "Yeah," he nods. You answered the phone. He could just barely make out what your manager was saying on the other end of the line. You spoke quietly, likely out of courtesy more so than nervousness.

    "(Y/N)? Where are you?"

    "I just had to return something to the ATEEZ dorms really quick, I'll be on my way back soon."

    "You have a meeting scheduled for right now, (Y/N), how am I going to cover you?"

    "I do?!" You moved the phone from your ear to check your schedule. You quickly returned to the call. "Oh shit, I do! I'm so sorry, I'll leave now," you apologized.

    "I'll just tell them you're stuck in traffic, just be safe on your way back. Who took you there?"

    "Ah, Johnny. He's waiting outside."

    "Cool, I'll tell them you were with him scoping out JCC spots."

    "Sounds good, okay, I'll go now."

    "Got it, (Y/N)." You put your phone down, the manager must have hung up.

    "Everything alright?" He asks you.

    "Yeah! Yeah, I'm sorry about that, love, what was it that you wanted to tell me?"

    "It can wait for later, you have a meeting?"

    "Yeah, NCThree's releasing another EP soon," you crossed your arms. "I completely forgot about the meeting until now, we're supposed to be going over the recording and promotional details today."

    "Ah, I see," Seonghwa glances off to the side before looking back at you. He vaguely remembered you mentioning that you were going to be participating in another unit comeback, but he didn't think it would be so soon. If you were meeting about recordings today then that would mean you'd be spending a lot more time with NCThree again, and it conflicted with ATEEZ's schedules so he wouldn't be able to visit you once the next week begins. His thoughts swirled into different possibilities, all of which plagued him and haunted him usually when you weren't around, but they'd been more prevalent lately.

    "Is... Is everything alright with you? I'm currently "stuck in traffic" so you can tell me, you know," you reassured him.

    Should he tell you?

    Seonghwa always prided himself in being rather trustworthy in a relationship. He trusts you as much as you trust him, and it's always worked out that way. But it was just whenever you were around him, something felt off. Call it instinct, call it sixth sense, he didn't know. But each time you spoke to Yangyang he'd feel this strange sense of possessiveness overtake him. He hated that feeling, though. He hated feeling like he had something to prove. He knows he has you, he knows that you're not going anywhere. Why was it that whenever he saw Yangyang he felt this strange urge to just hold onto you? He didn't like the feeling of pure jealousy, it didn't feel right to have, and he denied the thought of even entertaining it. So what is this feeling he has?

    But, at the same time, maybe he was overthinking it. Yangyang was just your best friend, and you had even expressed that very clearly many times. Hell, you've even called Yangyang your brother if anything. He doesn't want to put you in a "him-or-me" situation, such a thing was just wholly selfish. But... he always had this bad feeling when it came to Yangyang. He was perfectly fine with all the other people in your life. Jeno, Johnny, Keeho, Mark, all of them were just guys who happened to be friends with you.

    But not Yangyang, no.

    "Everything's fine, love, just get to that meeting safely, okay? Tell Johnny I said that," he says. "We can talk later when you're free," he takes your hand and rubs circles along the back of it gently.

    "Alright then, you know you can tell me anything, right?"

    "Of course I do," he says. He knew you didn't buy it. You were always receptive yourself as much as you played it off. You were excellent at reading into situations and, who knows, maybe you'll catch onto this before he even decides to properly confront you about it. You made a move to leave, but he tugged back on your hand. "(Y/N)."

    "Yes?"

    "I love you," he holds onto your hand tighter. For a brief moment, your face tensed before relaxing. You must have caught on. Did you know what he was thinking at this moment? "You know that, right?"

    "Seonghwa, what's this about?" You asked him. You turned back to him, holding his hand as well. "Is there something I should know?"

    He should tell you.

    He's never had problems communicating with you. Early on you both set boundaries, you both expressed things you liked and disliked, so why was this so hard?

    "Nothing, I just wanted you to know that," he says. You look down at your interlaced hands. You pulled him close and pressed your lips to his. He felt his shoulders relax, the warmth from your hands moving around his neck being enough to calm him down. He sighs into the kiss, moving his hands around your waist and-

    "Hyung!" Wooyoung bangs on the door and both your eyes shot open, separating quickly. "Hyung, we're still home! Wait for us to leave before locking yourselves into a room! Oh my god!"

    "Jung Wooyoung!" Seonghwa glares at the door and, once again, your laugh diffuses his annoyance.

    "Well, he has a point, I still have a meeting to get to so we should stop before we go too far," you pressed one more chaste kiss against his lips. "I'll call you when I'm free, okay?"

    "Yeah, alright, text me when you get to the company," he says.

    "Of course! Always," you walked to the door and unlocked it, seven boys unceremoniously falling onto the floor in front of you. "Hm, you've all been rather bold lately." Soon, Mars skids to a stop in the hallway and walks on top of the other ATEEZ members to excitedly sit between his parents. "Anywho, I gotta get to a meeting, so I'll see you all later," you nodded and pet Mars. "I'll be back for you on Friday, okay?" You told him. Mars barks and seems to nod, as if understanding you completely. "Bye, boys!" You stepped over them, being sure not to actually step on them, and walked out of the dorms. Once they heard the door shut, San pushes up from the bottom of the pile, the other boys rolling off and harshly onto the floor.

    "Hyung, did you tell her?!" San asks. Seonghwa pulls out the box.

    "No-"

    "Not that! Your ring can wait! I'm talking about your nemesis!"

    "Nemesis seems like a strong word, San," Seonghwa crosses his arms.

    "And too obvious!" Wooyoung argues. "We should go with my original codename: little shit."

    "Whoa, whoa, whoa, there's no need to be rude now," Hongjoong pulls himself up and waves his hand. "If you're looking for something subtle, let's not make it disdainful."

    "Honestly, let's just call him Battery," Yeosang shrugs.

    "Battery?!" The other seven boys shout.

    "Dude... where did that even come from?" Jongho asks.

    "I dunno... I just saw those duracell batteries on the table and thought of it," Yeosang shrugs.

    "I like it," Mingi nods.

    "Better than what those two said," Yunho adds.

    "Wait, wait, there's no need to be childish. Just call him by his name."

    "Okay, what if he's in the same room with us? The point is that he knows we're not talking about him!" Wooyoung explains. Seonghwa sighs. He made the slight mistake of expressing his concern for your groupmate to them and they were on top of it. To the point where Yeosang literally stares Yangyang down whenever they cross paths. He should've just confided it with Hongjoong.

    "Back on topic though, hyung," San clears his throat. "Do you need us to take care of him? We'll tell him to meet us at the KQ parking lot and show him who's boss," San punches his palms and Seonghwa's eyes widen.

    "Definitely not, let's not even consider that," Seonghwa shakes his head furiously. The last thing both he and you need is a scandal.

    "This kid needs to stay in his lane," Wooyoung mutters. "Ever since you mentioned it we've been going over some footage and you are 100% justified in feeling suspicious!"

    "Footage? What footage?" Seonghwa asks.

    "I'm so glad you asked, hyung. Get comfortable," Wooyoung pushes him down onto his bed. "Yeosang! The projector! Mars! The remote! Hong-" as Wooyoung turned to Hongjoong, the older member stared. "Hyung, your laptop," Wooyoung corrects himself. Soon the materials were brought together and Mars hands the remote to Wooyoung. "Exhibit A!"

    "Oh god..." Seonghwa wasn't surprised to see the thumbnail of your Photograph MV Behind. Wooyoung moves to the next slide, snapping his fingers and pointing to the still of the car scene.

    "Look at the way he looks at her!"

    "I already know this!"

    "Exhibit B!"

    "How many exhibits are there?" He asks Yunho.

    "Uh... fifty-two."

    "Okay, okay, I know exactly what you're going to show me, Woo, and I appreciate the apparent fifty-two slide long PowerPoint," Seonghwa places his hand on Wooyoung's shoulder. "But I don't think we need to bully the poor guy, you know?"

    "You're not doing any of the work though," Wooyoung crosses his arms. "Just trust the good ol' 99z," he says with a devilish grin.

    Seonghwa had a feeling that he might have to.

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  • aurorasillusion
    03.12.2021 - 1 day ago

    10:43 pm

    "Love, I can't ignore you." Jaehyun confessed to you, having cornered a terrified you. Your voice trembled as you responded back, "I never asked for your attention." You didn't even know Jaehyun as anything more than the man that had been obsessing over you and stalking you these past few months. "I'd do anything for you." He tried to manipulate you. And he had done everything for you, desperate to have you in his arms. "I don't want you to do anything. Just leave me alone." You cried out, petrified and on the verge of a panic attack. You didn't want this, you never asked to be tortured by being this mans object of twisted desire. "I do adore you. I spent so long watching you." Jaehyun pleaded. Trying to get you to see how much he loved you, and only you. Like you were made for him, an angel sent down just for him. Walking on eggshells was exhausting and quickly became a thing of the past as you screamed "I don't care. I don't want you." Jaehyun was turning inside out, losing what was left of his sanity at the prospect of you not wanting him. Why would you reject him like this. Fine but he wouldn't let you go so easily. "You're my property, mine! I won't let you leave me." He roared.

    #nct jaehyun#jung jaehyun#yandere nct#yandere Jaehyun#yandere#nct#nct 127#time stamp#nct imagines #nct 127 imagines #jaehyun imagines#jaehyun#nct oneshot#nct smut#nct oneshots#nct scenarios #nct yandere au #kpop#kpop imagines#kpop imagine#kpop smut#nct blurbs #nct 127 oneshots #nct 127 smut #nct 127 scenarios #nct 127 jaehyun #jaehyun nct 127 #this is my first time doing this #first ever time stamp #aurorasillusion
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  • duhnova
    03.12.2021 - 1 day ago

    every lie you type - johnny suh

    ⤷ synopsis. y/n is a first year psychology student who is a helpless romantic, johnny is a second year photography student who has a messed up view on love after a toxic relationship and nasty breakup with his ex. when the two meet they instantly click and their future together is looking bright until someone from the past comes back and tears them apart. now everything is messed up and johnny has to work to fix his mistakes before it becomes to late.

    ⇤ | the baddest bitch | masterlist | ⇥

    tag list || @imagining-constantly @youngholuvb0t @daegalfangirl @le-chenle @samsemsame @atinysparkle @coffee-prince-kyungsoo @jj-ms @hibuki-chan @kimjngws

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  • winestainedress-universe
    03.12.2021 - 1 day ago

    DYNASTY ⮚ NCT

    prev⏐ chapter ten ⏐ next ⏐ masterpost

    warnings:  anxiety attack 

    genre: fantasy au, royal au, super powers au

    word count: 5.005

    summary: The apparent calm that reigns in Neo City breaks into million pieces when some members of the Neos find an outsider laying unconscious in the wood. After that, everything they know stops making sense. Menace from the past come back, while they have to rule on their city knowing that the menace of Simon's dictatorial power is closer day by day. The past they never dared to face will wash over them like impetuous waves. The present is filled with doubts, regrets and the mystery of the lost memories of the nameless girl. The future is even more uncertain.

    Can you break the chain with your past even if it's running in your bloodstream?

    “You need to keep an eye on her, Ten.” The two men were walking fast down the corridors. Johnny’s long legs were fast to reach up Ten’s quick speed, as he tried to run away from him. 

    “I’m not a fucking babysitter, John,” he muttered in a harsh tone, as he tried to speed up –uselessly. 

    “Ugh,” Johnny huffed as he licked his lips, clearly shocked at his statement “we went on the next stage?” He asked, reaching him, side by side. “You call me John, now? What’s next Jonathan? Youngho? Or you prefer Mr. Suh?” He asked, voice full of sarcasm. 

    Ten bit his lips and took a deep breath. “This is not about us, please,” he remarked sternly. 

    “But you make it about us since you’re running away from me as if I am a beast,” Johnny exclaimed, throwing his hands in the air dramatically. 

    Ten stopped in his track, turning to face him. 

    “Fine. I answered you. This is not about me, anyway. Go talk to somebody else, or take care of the matter yourself, since you love taking care of the ones you don’t know,” he smiled bitterly. 

    Johnny laughed, rolling his eyes. 

    “See? You did it again,” he said, keeping on following him. “What now? I don’t care about you? Who told you, ugh?” His hand grabbed his, forcing the younger to stop and turn around. 

    “Never said that,” Ten smirked, cocking his head to the side. 

    “You implied that.” Johnny didn’t let his pretty face distract him. 

    “Why would I care?” Ten raised an eyebrow and shrugged. “It’s just sex anyway, isn’t it?” He asked freeing himself from Johnny’s hold who loosened at his words. And as much as he was trying to look unbothered, Ten implied that and was hurt by his own statements. 

    The taller sighed running a hand through his hair, it was impossible to handle him. 

    “Don’t let her do something stupid just because you hate me.” He was standing next to Ten once again, they almost reached Liv’s room.

    Ten let out of his mouth a heavy sigh, as he tried to put his hair back in its place. He just wanted to arrive at his office and get his shit done, not really in the mood to sugarcoat others’ problems. 

    “Fine,” he mumbled, closing his eyes in anger. Johnny smiled, happy that he had finally listened to him. “But I won’t take care of it personally, I have too many things to think about.” He smiled at Johnny, and the older knew that type of smile, it was ‘It might seem like it, but I will never let you win completely.’ 

    “And what are you going to do?” Johnny asked, almost afraid of hearing what he had come up with. And his fear crept more when he saw a practically devilish smile form on his lips. 

    “You’ll see.” And with that, he opened Liv’s bedroom door, without even knocking. And God damn Johnny cursed under his teeth, he just hated the way he always –always– had to make this sudden apparition, like the fucking drama queen he was. Thank God none of the girls was naked, or in an embarrassing situation as they closed their door behind. 

    “Liv?” Bambi peeked her head out of the bathroom door, her hands were holding a towel as she dried her hair with it. Her mouth formed a perfect ‘O’ as her eyes landed on the two men in front of her, thank God she had got dressed before. 

    “Liv’s not– ”

    “Save it, we were looking for you,” Ten cut her off. She jumped on the spot slightly, Ten seemed mad, not serious like always, but mad. And she didn’t like it, not that he was the most reassuring one of them all at first glance but at least he never treated her like shit. 

    She hummed, signalling them that she was listening, but Johnny seemed to have no idea either about the matter. 

    “You’ll be training with the fighters,” Ten said, not a tremble in his voice, not a glimpse of joking, which stopped her from laughing in front of him at his absurd statement.

    “What?” She and Johnny exclaimed at the same time. Bambi stared at the oldest with shock, he didn’t know it? 

    “Problem, Youngho?” Ten’s lips turned into a smirk as he stared at the older. Johnny bit his lips, trying to hold back a curse or worst, to make a scene in front of her. 

    Bambi didn’t understand what was going on, and the touchable tension between them, she also had no idea why he had called Johnny that, but she had a bigger question to solve now. 

    “Excuse me, you two. You can fuck another time,” she said, bringing the attention back on her. They were clearly pissed, or maybe embarrassed by her words but didn’t say anything. 

    “What was that about?” She asked referring to what Ten told her a few minutes before. 

    “Nothing,” Johnny said, trying to get in the way. 

    “No, it was exactly what I said,” Ten remarked, glaring at them. 

    “That was not what I meant, Ten. For fuck sake, she’s not ready for that. Do you know what they do every day and how hard they worked to get there?” Johnny lowered his voice talking directly to the thinker, but she could hear anyway, and honestly, she completely agreed. 

    “Oh, how? She should spend time with somebody, make friends, that’s what you told me. Or am I wrong, Mr. Suh?” Ten clicked his tongue against his teeth, as he tilted his head to the side. 

    Johnny threw his head back, letting out a curse Bambi couldn’t make out clearly. 

    “This, is not, about us,” He remarked, emphasizing1 every word. 

    Bambi gulped as she stared at them. Johnny looked as scary as the first time she had seen him, even though there was a layer of sadness in his behaviours. But still, there was nothing reassuring about him right now. 

    “Right, it’s not,” Ten breathed out. “Because there’s no us,” he spat out, harshly. Bambi swore she could’ve heard his voice tremble for a moment, but wasn’t so sure about it. 

    “Back to you.” But when he turned around there was nothing of that anymore, he was back at being the serious, calm and composed Ten of always. 

    “You’ll be training with them, something light that will help you keep your mind busy and gain your strength back. You’re weak, your muscles are gone. I bet Cas and Jae can help you with that.” Bambi nodded with her lower lips clipped between her teeth, she was so confused about what she had just seen and what Ten was telling her that that was the only thing she could do. 

    “You’re starting this afternoon, they’ll know what to do.” 

    “But –” Johnny opened his mouth to talk but got shushed once again. 

    “I’ll talk to them, first. I’ve got everything under control,” he said, wetting his lips. 

    “If you don’t have any questions, I would go. You know, I’m quite busy.” Ten smiled, but Bambi could see that something behind it was breaking, almost as if he was holding back the tears that were ready to come out any minute. 

    “Yeah, no question.” 

    “Fine. So you’ll train, and that’s my last decision. Hope it’s fine for everyone,” he finished, facing Johnny, who was looking at him with an expression she couldn’t read. 

    “No problem,” he said, letting his head hang low. 

    “Well, then have a good day, Bambi.” His hand reached for the door knock and pulled it open, just to shush it behind again, with a loud pump. 

    Bambi was about to talk, too curious about what was going on between them but Johnny gave her no time, mumbling a low ‘Bye’ just to disappear too behind the door. 

    The girl sighed, letting her body fall against the wall behind her, her wet hair leaving a patch on it. 

    Why everything had to be so complicated? 

    The light in the training ground was blinding, surely all that white didn’t help to shut the sun’ rays that came through the windows. Bambi raised a hand to protect her eyes and look for the boys. She wanted to train with Liv, but apparently, she was specialized in something too out of the reach for her. 

    She was anxious, even though Ten had told her that her training was supposed to be something light she couldn’t relax. It had been two weeks since she had been there, and she saw Liv coming back in their room –well, technically hers, every night, completely worn out. She eat something, and then took a shower just to collapse on the clean bedsheets and fall asleep. She had told her how hard it actually was, their role seemed to be the funniest one, but they weren’t playing. They always had to keep their body trained and fit. They couldn’t lose their abilities with anything. Their training was dangerous, even though they were raised to do what they did. Blades, guns, ninja stars, knuckledusters, spears, balisongs, and other weapons like that were what they had to handle every day. She just heard their names, and didn't even know all of them, but was kind of scared. 

    “As strange as it sounds you look like a ghost.” A voice dragged Bambi out of her thoughts, she shook her head and looked right in front of her. 

    “Oh, Lucas,” she stated, noticing who was talking to her. A smile then appeared on her face, she hadn’t seen him much since their first meeting. Just sometimes in the morning while they caught up as he swiftly stole an apple just to run in the basements to train, or sometimes at dinner. But still, they had no time to get to know each other. 

    “Nervous?” His big soft smile made its way on his face, causing her to smile too. Maybe now she wasn’t so nervous. 

    “A little,” she breathed out, biting the inside of her left cheek. She felt her face burning and had no idea why. It wasn't like Lucas was the only handsome man there, why did he have this effect on her? She had no idea, but something about his gaze made her feel in the eye of attention. 

    “Don’t be,” he reassured her, placing his hand on her shoulder, to caress it “Jaehyun and I will go easy on you. For now at least.” He smirked at the last words and then laughed with her. There was something about him that made her feel safe and happy. The atmosphere around him was always so easygoing and light that made her want to stay next to him forever. For now, he was the only one who never snapped at her, and maybe she could keep it that way. Not that she wanted to talk to them about herself anymore, anyway. 

    Lucas started walking to the other side of the gym, as she followed she looked around, trying to get a glimpse of Yuta and Liv, but they were nowhere to be found. 

    “They’re in the other room,” Lucas said, answering her unspoken question, “they’re doing dodging with Mark.” 

    A confused look appeared on her face. “Mark?” 

    “Oh, yeah, right.” The boy slapped –literally, not softly at all, his forehead. “You don’t know him.” 

    She shook her head, looking concerned due to the slap he just had given to his head, but he seemed fine. 

    “He’s another one of us, kinda.” He stopped, trying to explain her better. “He’s the youngest, alongside me. But, see, he’s in charge of the Dreamers.” 

    Another confused look appeared on her face, she had heard of them with Ten, but had no idea who they were. It wasn’t like somebody there ever took the time to explain something to her. 

    “They’re the youngest, and more like the brains of the group, ya know, we need them too,” he giggled and she did it too as a reflection.

    “But he fights, though?” She asked. Why Liv didn’t mention him? 

    “Yes, he does. But he’s more like a reserve for us, he couldn’t physically train like us and at the same time be their leader and help Taeyong with stuff. He’s good, and sometimes out of the world but he’s still one,” Lucas joked. 

    Bambi let out a giggle and then nodded. He seemed to be important, then why did she never meet him? 

    Then another thing came to her mind. She had learned that asking about them was something to avoid, even though Lucas didn’t seem like the others she wasn’t in the mood to risk being let down, again.

    “What’s dodging?” 

    “Well, what the word says, pretty much. But we do it in hand in hand combat way, it’s hard to explain honestly.” It wasn’t like he didn’t want to tell her, but he never found himself doing it before. He had to do these things since he can remember, his first toy was a fake beretta 92, which then turned out to become a real one when he was fifteen. He was thrown in the war ground and had no idea why. It was always to defend, but do you really want to defend yourself and don’t hurt with an assault rifle or any other type of gun in your hands? He wasn’t so sure about it.

    “It’s to train reflexes, by the way. With one person is easy, with two or more not so much. With Mark is impossible.” He got back to his light mood, joking another time. But Bambi had seen how the look in his eyes changed for a moment, she couldn’t get why and a part of her wanted to know what was hiding behind it, but still, she didn’t dare to ask. 

    “Is he a God?” She giggled, trying to keep the atmosphere light, and also, she was really curious about this Mark now. 

    “Sometimes I think so.” 

    “If you’re talking about me, then that would be a yes.” They both turned around facing a smiling Jaehyun walking over them. He was wearing a white plan shirt, grey sweat pants and his blue hair were hidden by a snapback. 

    She rolled her eyes, while Lucas simply laughed and greeted him with a high five. She couldn’t understand why he seemed to act so differently in front of different people. From what he had told her he was pretty insecure about himself and also hated what he had become, so why was he going around bragging about something he didn’t like? 

    “Own me anything?” Jaehyun’s face was close to her, snapping her out of her trail of thoughts. Her eyes snapped wide open as she gulped and moved her head back, away from him. 

    “Mh, no?” She mumbled out, not sure what he was talking about and her brain in short-circuit due to his face so close to her. 

    He let out a laugh, his hot breath colliding with her lips, and smirked, clicking his tongue. 

    Bambi automatically bit her lips, fighting the urge to lean forward and kiss him. That was a no, what the hell was wrong with her today? 

    “It’s okay, I already forgave you. Taeyong can make people lose his mind.” He was now standing up, moving next to Lucas who was handing him two boxing gloves. And there it clicked. 

    “Oh my God, I’m sorry,” she exclaimed, standing up from her place, making her way to the two of them. 

    “I was mad at everybody, and I didn’t want to hear anything from anyone. I’m sorry.” 

    “It’s fine. Plus, I hadn’t been too nice to you either, the other day. I deserved it, you chose the wrong time but I deserved it,” he said, smiling, causing a dimple to pop out on his cheek. A flash-back flashed in her mind but just when she was about to concentrate, Lucas called her, making the moment slip away. 

    She shrugged and turned to him. 

    “I don’t have to box, right?” 

    “Nah, that will be us. So, you walk around, trying to run when you’ll feel like and we’ll be there. We’re training with each other but we’ll always have an eye on you and you can always ask.” 

    “You can do that? Not a big deal?” 

    “Nope, we’ll train our reflexes and attention. Avoid punches and looking after you so that you won’t collapse sounds fun,” Jaehyun said, she laughed embarrassed. She hoped her body would take it. 

    “Hey, it’s the first time. You just have to walk and fasten the pace gradually. We really don’t wanna see you passed out on the ground,” he reassured, seeing her worried expression. 

    “Yeah, once was enough,” Lucas said. 

    “Fine, I’ll try my best,” she replied, smiling. 

    “So, how are your days here going?” Bambi, Lucas and Jaehyun were sitting on the bleachers. Their heavy breathing was slowing down, coming down from the strain of their training, when Lucas asked her that. 

    She tapped her feet nervously on the floor and lied. 

    “Good, I guess.” She knew that Lucas was genuinely curious but she wasn’t in the mood to let out anything, especially because there was also Jaehyun there. And if it wasn’t for the fact that her voice came out shaky also from her irregular breath she would bet that her blatant fake tone could be heard perfectly.

    “That’s great!” Lucas exclaimed, his hands clapping together once in happiness, as he widely smiled at her. 

    She nodded, smiling back at him, definitely not the most sincere smile she had given him, but it was okay. 

    “Did you remember something?” Her smile fell from her face as soon as he asked, the imagines of the others reacting badly, triggering her. She shook her head almost frenetically and then mumbled out, “Something, mostly stupid and irrelevant.” 

    She gulped, staring at the ground. No, it wasn’t irrelevant or stupid, but it was something she couldn’t make out, and nobody wanted to help her. 

    “You had any other dreams?” This time it was Jaehyun’s voice to spread in the air. A shiver ran down her spine; why the hell did he want to know? He didn’t care, anyway. 

    “No,” she lied again, but this time her voice was firmer. A strange pain took over her chest, she just wanted to scream out about the dreams that haunted her. How she kept on seeing men in white coats, screens with writings she couldn’t make out and Taeyong’s voice or the red-haired himself. She wanted to know more about it, maybe it was something that had to do with the NCTmentary that Ten talked about, but she couldn’t. So she was stuck, between her mind letting her know something more every day and the people around her letting her float in mystery.

    “What happened the other day, though? Ten told us that Johnny was worried about you and urged him to find you an occupation, are you really okay?” Lucas changed the topic again when he saw that she seemed to have no intention to talk about it. 

    Her eyes went wide, so that was why Ten went for this? And Johnny was really worried for her after what she had told him under the tree? 

    “No –nothing,” she mumbled. “I just don’t do much every day so maybe that’s why.” She tried to cover up, telling them the reason would’ve meant reviling her memories to Lucas and her fragility to both of them, she already didn’t want them to go out with Johnny she couldn’t let that happen again. 

    “Yeah, but why was Johnny worried? Something happened?” 

    “No. I’m fine, maybe he has dad’s instinct and just worries for nothing and wanted to keep my mind occupied.” She tried to smile the most fondly she could, trying to convince Lucas and she kind of got what she wanted. Lucas smiled back at her and nodded, just to say, “Yeah, right. Johnny’s the dad of the group.” 

    But there was one she couldn’t convince. Jaehyun had met her that day, she had stumbled across him, got mad at him, and told him just a few hours before that that day she was mad at everybody. He also knew that she had a fight with the leader, Taeyong told him while he was desperately trying to look for her. And he also knew that she had talked with Johnny, even though he didn’t tell him what their conversation had been about, he saw in his friend's eyes that there was something that clearly left him shocked. So whatever bullshit she was trying to force down Lucas’ throat wouldn’t have been swallowed by him too. 

    In any case, he said nothing. If she wasn’t talking about it was because she didn’t want to, and forcing her would’ve led to no good. 

    “We should go downtown, one day,” Lucas suddenly exclaimed, getting up from his spot, as soon as he felt a tension create between the three of them. He turned around, facing the two that were sitting, waiting for a response that wasn’t coming. He tilted his head to the side and raised an eyebrow. 

    “To do?” Bambi asked hesitantly, voice barely more than a whisper. 

    “I guess you’ve never been out of here, and we all deserve a night out,” he answered with the same bright smile on his face. Honestly, Bambi wondered how he could be always –this– happy, was he on drugs? Because she was sure she could’ve borrowed some. 

    “We work our asses off and you out there chatting.” An ironic voice diverted their attention from their conversation, the three of them looked down on the gym ground, where the other fighters were walking. 

    Liv jumped the fence that divided the training ground from the bleachers and reached them, wrapping her arms around Lucas’ neck. 

    “We just finished, you dipshit,” Lucas answered her, pinching her waist lightly, making her jump. A hiss left her lips but she immediately jumped on his back, wrapping her arms tightly around him. 

    “Take it back, Cas,” she warned threateningly, even though her voice was clearly light and joyful. 

    “Okay, you pain the ass,” he smirked, not trying to fight her off. 

    “I hate you,” she mumbled, trying to choke him, but with a swift movement, he turned her around, almost making her fall. 

    “Are you two finished?” Yuta stopped the bickering as he rolled his eyes at the sky and let himself fall next to Jaehyun. The two nodded, as Lucas loosened the grip around Liv’s waist to gently make her touch the ground again. 

    A chuckle left Bambi’s lips, she loved the dynamics between them, and maybe she was a little jealous, too. What she would’ve done to have somebody this close.

    “Bambi?” A voice the outsider never heard before resounded in the air, making her turn around to the blond-haired boy who was standing next to Lucas. She looked up and down at him, he wasn’t short, but surely standing near a giant made it harder to see it, his slim and fit body was wrapped by the black attire the fighters used to wear most of the times she had seen them. She guessed him to be Mark. 

    “Mark?” Her voice faltered, not really sure about it, even though it seemed to be the only plausible answer. 

    He smiled gently, a soft giggle slipping past his lips. “That would be me,” he beamed, reaching out to shake her hand. 

    “I finally get to meet you,” Mark said as he let go of the hold. “What brings you here?” He asked, surprised of finding her there. 

    “Well, I’ll be training too,” Bambi answered, shrugging to make him see that she barely had any clue either. 

    “You’ll be what?” Both Yuta and Liv exclaimed in shock as they leaned closer to her with their faces, eyes and mouth wide open. 

    Bambi rolled her eyes. “Can you have a normal reaction for once when I say something or yall have a thing for being overdramatic?” 

    “Excuse me, honey, but nobody told us anything and the training ground doesn’t seem the best thing for you,” Liv replied, with an almost sarcastic tone. And with the corner of her eyes, Bambi could see Yuta nod at her words. 

    “It was Ten’s decision,” Jaehyun spoke up, glaring at Liv who seemed almost mad at the matter, “he told us this morning because she’ll be training with us.” He gestured between him and Lucas. 

    “Ah, Ten though this was a good idea?” Yuta snapped, standing up, looking down at Jaehyun, and for a second his gaze moved to Bambi. She wouldn’t have sworn it, but she saw a little bit of disgust in his eyes. 

    Liv slapped a hand on her forehead and sighed, rolling her eyes. “I can’t believe it, isn’t he supposed to be good to make his brain function?” 

    Bambi shifted in her place, a lump started to form in her throat. She was starting to feel out of place and so unwanted. Not that she ever felt welcomed in those walls but now, the feeling was suffocating her. Why did they have to be this harsh? 

    “Wait, you agreed with this?” The brown-haired man asked, raising his eyebrow at the two fighters who were in charge of her. 

    “Yes, what were we supposed to do?” Lucas asked, on his face, there was a veil of confusion, he wasn’t agreeing with their things. 

    “But why? This is out of the world,” Liv asked, her tone getting higher each time, and Bambi tried to get smaller in her place at their every word. Jaehyun noticed that as he briefly glanced at the girl sitting next to him. 

    “It’s not that deep, give it a break.” The blue-haired stood up, placing himself in front of Bambi. His tall stature hid her from Liv and Yuta’s angry gazes. 

    “It’s not that deep? We’ve been in this hell since we can even remember, we got scars on this damn ground since we were children. This is not a fucking game, we risk our lives every day and we’ve grown up doing this!” At this point Yuta was screaming, his voice loud and harsh reaching Bambi’s ears perfectly, his angry tone crushing against her brain making it bleed. And Jaehyun’s body protecting her just wasn’t enough. She wasn’t supposed to be there, he was right. 

    “Oh for fuck sake, Yuta. She won’t do what we do –“ 

    “Yeah, but you’ll have to waste time behind her. You two can’t loosen up the training to babysit somebody we don’t even know.” His tone was getting harsher and harsher, something Bambi didn’t think to be possible. 

    Bambi bit down on her lower lip, trying to hold her shaky breath inside. Her eyes were closed shut, trying hard to concentrate on her breathing that was getting shorter and her heart that was beating uncontrollably fast. Sweat started to pearl her skin, cold shivers running down her spine, as the world outside seemed to fade. She could hear muffled screams and words, they were going on with their fight but she couldn’t make out a single word, and maybe it was better like that. If it wasn’t for the fact that she was starting to feel extremely weak, and it was getting harder to breathe. 

    Bambi got up from her spot, nobody paying her attention, and silently started to make her way down the bleachers. But her whole body was shaking, her breath getting shorter and a tremendous pain formed in her chest as she tried, uselessly, to open her lungs more to suck in more air, but her throat felt incredibly tight, not leaving any space for it to pass. Then she felt like the room was moving around her, a sense of dizziness filling up her sense alongside nausea, the exit door of the gym seemed further away with every step closer she took. She wanted to grab onto something, feeling that she couldn’t make it out of that alive. And silent tears started to roll down her cheeks, it was a familiar pain, over and over again, something she had to come to reality with she wasn't going to let go anytime soon. 

    The curly-haired girl tried to carry herself out of the room, in desperate need of hair. She had to get out of there, but her legs and her whole body couldn’t take it anymore. She met the ground with a loud thump, causing the attention of the others to finally turn to her. The room went silent, as she curled her legs close to her chest. It was wrong, she knew that she should’ve let it open, trying to relax and take deep breaths, but she just felt scared, unwanted there, in the wrong place with the wrong people, as always, and she just wanted to be safe, curling her body into a small ball and disappear. Maybe it would’ve worked, maybe with a snap of her fingers, she would’ve flown somewhere far away from there. 

    Her eyes flung open as soon as she felt a pair of hands around her fragile frame, turning her around making her face the ceiling. She felt lightheaded, not able to make out a defined line, just patches of colours and the white light. 

    A voice called her name, nervously trying to make sure she was still there. It was Jaehyun’s, but she couldn’t get it. And as much as she wanted to answer, no decryptable sound could come out of her mouth. 

    Her eyelids started to move almost frenetically, trying to gain some sanity and find the strength to walk out of there, forever. But her mind gave in; as the pain in her chest got stronger her eyelids fall shut and the last thing she could feel were Jaehyun’s arms around her body, carrying her up and his voice shouting back a mad, “You’re a piece of shit.” 

    a/n: i want to apologize again for the wait but i don’t know how to feel about this story anymore and since i’ve been busy with university i focused on other works that inspired me more. also, i admit that i don’t know how to feel about the whole lucas thing and him being a big part of this story kind of stops me from posting it with ease, i’ll keep him for now since this is all fictional but if an official statement will be released from sm (i'm praying at this point) i might replace him with sungchan. i’ll try to keep posting weekly and maybe might also release a bunch of chapters during the holiday to make up for the weeks of missed updates. 

    #nct#nct fanfiction #nct fantasy au #nct royal au #nct superpowers au #nct found family #nct u#nct 127#nct dream#wayv#nct fluff#nct smut#nct angst #nct x oc
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  • noonaishere
    03.12.2021 - 1 day ago

    Work of Art [J.JH] - eighty-four | such a goof

    “Mmmmmm, berries on hair, goooooood,” you said and slapped the color onto Taeyong’s head.

    He laughed. “Zogg like berries on hair!”

    “I was Zogg.”

    “Were you?”

    “You were Grog.”

    “Ohhhhhh…” he nodded.

    Eunji laughed as she looked at the Switch screen. “So stupid.”

    You laughed. “I’m not the one who started it.”

    “I didn’t.”

    “Liar,” Taeyong said and Eunji smiled deviously at the both of you.

    “Ms. ‘Only talking in monosyllabic words’ over here.” You said as you fixed Taeyong’s hair dye with the dye brush.

    Eunji laughed and went back to the game.

    Hair was bleached and dyed and since they were both done, you dried Taeyong’s hair for him while Eunji sat with her hair up in a towel.

    “Oh, so I wanted to ask you guys something--”

    The door opened and Jaehyun walked in. “Oh, hair dye party? Why wasn’t I invited?”

    “I did invite you,” Taeyong answered. “You said you had to record today.”

    Jaehyun frowned at him. 

    You chuckled and shut off the hair dryer. “Come here.”

    His eyebrows ticked up and he walked over to you. You ran your fingers through his hair. Any hairstylist would have been completely envious of you, with how thick his hair was. He lowered his head as you carded your fingers through it, so his height wouldn’t be an issue. He really did have nice hair that you would have played with for ever, if you could have.

    You walked halfway around him as you looked at how much new growth he had and noticed his ears beginning to go pink. You stopped.

    “Your roots aren’t too bad. But if you want to get them done I could do your hair next week. They’d be more worth bleaching by then.”

    He looked at you for a moment before nodding. “Okay.”

    You nodded back and put the hair dryer on the table. “But this is good you’re all here, so I can ask you all at the same time.”

    “Ask us what?” Eunji sat up.

    “So… one of my professors saw some of the sketches I had done of you guys while you were like, waiting to dance or talking to each other while we were all in the studio that day, and he said that they might make good portraits. So, I was wondering if you’d like to officially sit for me for a few portraits.”

    “Just our faces?” Taeyong asked.

    You nodded. 

    “Are we-- are we good looking enough for that?”

    You were taken aback. You looked at him, affronted. You looked at Jaehyun to see what his reaction was, and he just looked at you and laughed softly. Eunji laughed at your expression and you pointed at her in acknowledgement.

    “Taeyong, you’re like… you have a high fashion face. You should be walking in runway shows. Where-- what-- hold on.” You went to the couch and laid down for a few moments, your wrist on your forehead for extra drama. You got up and walked back over to where they were. “Yes, Taeyong, you’re good looking enough.”

    He laughed shyly at your display.

    “I don’t understand, you have such a strong presence on stage, I wasn’t expecting you to ask something like that.”

    Jaehyun laughed again. 

    “He’s so silly, our dance teacher asked if he wanted to be the center in the show coming up, and he asked if he was good enough. He literally teaches the rest of us.” Eunji said.

    You gave Taeyong a hug. “Such a goof.” You ruffled his hair and put the towel on his head.

    You turned to Jaehyun and Eunji. “What about you guys?”

    “I’m down,” Eunji nodded.

    “Me too,” Jaehyun did the same.

    “Awesome. I’ll text you all at some point to see when we can hang out. I’ll do one-on-ones with you guys so you don’t have to be bored while you’re waiting to be drawn.” You nodded.

    previous | main cast | masterlist | next

    Tag list: @tansyfleurwhisper​​ • @sista7-7​​ • @hey-thatslove • @kimjngws​ • @leagreenly • @daegalfangirl​ • @samsemsame • @yukhseo • @findusenpai • @eileencacai •

    [If you’d like to be added to the taglist, just ask :D 🍑]

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  • naein
    03.12.2021 - 1 day ago

    Lost Sorrows part of STUCK IN THE SIMULATION, collab event hosted by @127-mile.

    Sicheng is put on hold. The air is safer when unmoving; as inevitably persistent, it prevents him from flying.

    CHARACTERS: Dong Sicheng | WinWin, Chittaphon Leechaiyapornkul | Ten, Nakamoto Yuta, Moon Taeil, Qian Kun, implied NCT ensemble KEY WORDS: AU! Simulation, Utopia to Dystopia, references to winwin/yuta, references to winwin/taeil, possible to interpret winwin/ten, (very) winwin-centric, angst, feels, poor poetry WARNINGS: implied anxiety issues and ocd-like tendencies, fear of conflicts, possible to interpret internalised homophobia, implied guilt- fear and philosophical/ethical questionings, referenced loneliness, alcohol briefly mentioned, ambiguous/open ending WORDS: 3713 AO3: Link

    Read completed fic below!

    BEGINNING NOTE: This ficlet is part of @127-mile's collab event: STUCK IN THE SIMULATION. First, I want to thank Èmi for getting to be part of this collab—although, I did think I was going to finish this during the first month of joining! Thank you for your patience!

    The prompt: "The world as we know is no longer. When the survivors were found by the scientists who had predicted what would eventually happen, they were put into a simulation to keep them alive until it was safe to walk on earth again. The simulation could have given the survivors a world where it is safe to walk around, to live, but unfortunately, it is not. At least not for everyone. Utopian, or Dystopian, it is hard to tell which survivor got which. I guess it is time to find out."

    This story is a snippet based on the simulation concept. Chosen theme is: Utopia to Dystopia. Due to unforeseen circumstances I've not been able to go into as much detail on this story as I had wanted to; hence, a lot is left for the readers to fill in the blanks themselves (and I do apologise for that); and I'm at fault for any grammar mistakes and errors. I'll add a note at the end with some clarifications on the set-up of this -verse in case it will help; and if you'd like to try reading this without any spoilers, do skip the end notes for now! Thank you!

    This is an AU, characters are based off NCT's idols but are by no means associated with the artists or the company itself. We take no claims on the real people referred in this story. Everything is fictional. No copyright infringement is intended.

    -————- ✼ -————-

    Time flashes and contorts and twists and turns and folds in on itself and Sicheng has no time, none whatsoever. There is nothing left. His eyes are burning and Sicheng wonders what will happen to him—to his friends who he thought were just beside him a second ago, to himself: Sicheng, the boy who was meant to be nothing but wants too much. The boy who lost himself.

    *

    Days are passing by like blurred sceneries outside a window. Sicheng is the passenger on a train. He’s not sure where they’re heading, but he feels safe. Something about the squareness of it all makes him calm.

    He’s not actually on a train, but he believes he almost could be. Sicheng is moving at a pace that seems to harmonise with the people around him. They all walk as one, yet individually. He never really questioned how it came to be; how their inner pulse picked up the rhythm of those around them—but nevertheless: it’s working. There’s no hassle, no stressful collisions. Sicheng has never seen a single person stumble into someone else during his entire time here (only a limited share of those small interactions, hurried waves, and greetings—enough to make his heart jump up his throat). It’s a miracle perhaps, and Sicheng never believed in miracles but sometimes, he’s inclined to say ‘maybe, just maybe, they exist’.

    Days are easy around this place. Sicheng is content here. It’s peaceful, like the surface of undisturbed water. It’s predictable. Sicheng has a place here; he knows he has a beat. Like a rhythm. It’s on repeat. Just as it is for everybody else.

    *

    Days are uneventful. It’s kinder on his heart, and kinder on his mind. There’s no risk of his organs racing ahead of him. Sicheng feels in control. He’s pretty certain that once, he wasn’t.

    “Are you happy?”

    Sicheng has to turn around, but he’s only turning his head a little. There’s no strain, nor is he surprised to see that it’s Ten who’s walking up to him. Sometimes he’s like a cat, but the presence is serene enough for Sicheng to not tense up.

    Ten lives just down the street. Not far away at all.

    Right now, Sicheng is seated on grass. The slope is covered in seamless endless fields of green (straws fine, and soft to the touch), heading towards a gentle curve of water dividing the land on Sicheng’s side, and the other.

    Ten squats down beside Sicheng, who has his legs crossed in front of him, leaning on his arms a little behind him for support. Sicheng is grateful for the time he spent practising. His muscles seem to remember, still able to provide all the strength he could need. Perhaps, that too is a miracle. Sicheng has a lot to be grateful for. He tries not to forget.

    “Me?” Sicheng replies mildly.

    The question didn’t sound like one that should be aimed at anyone. Yet, Ten only cracks a half smile at him. He’s not mocking, but Sicheng can tell Ten is finding it a little funny. Still. Everything here is gentle. More gentle than Sicheng deserves—probably. Maybe he’s the luckiest alive.

    “Yes,” Sicheng adds, blinking slowly, “How could I not be?”

    “How could you not be,” Sicheng hears Ten repeating his words back to him, though they fall from Ten’s lips like tiny droplets—a soft Summer downpour.

    Ten has an ability to ask questions that make Sicheng feel wrong footed. Not to the extent that Sicheng has ever asked Ten to stop—something about it makes Sicheng want to hear more, he wants to know what Ten has to ask him.

    “Why do you ask?” Sicheng blurts, still perplexed and unable to hide his curiosity.

    “Why?” Ten ponders, though he’s looking a little smug now, “I want to make sure you’re doing well,” he says, sounding honest as he pats Sicheng’s shoulder.

    Sicheng isn’t keen on physical touch, but something about Ten’s small intrusions feels a little grounding. As if it’s more real than the earth he sits upon. Firm, but not harsh. Soft, but not feather-like.

    A very odd thought.

    “How… are you?” Sicheng asks then, shifting on his place; and yes, he can still feel the quality of the grass underneath him still.

    “Enjoying my interaction with you,” Ten replies noncommittally, “One never knows how long it’ll last.”

    *

    It’s the final sentence that keeps lurking in Sicheng’s mind. It’s present at night when he closes his eyes; and it’s still there in the morning when he opens them to a room painted in misty pink and corral mysteries.

    A part of him feels uncertain. It’s as if he had jumped into water that was all too cold. It comes with an alarming shock (a little too quick to process in time), and a looming headache that freezes the body and turns it into stone. Time is not set here, however. This is fine. It’s always been?

    Sicheng resolves to ignore it as much as possible. The headache leaves him alone when he focuses on other things—and he realises, he’s more comfortable this way.

    *

    On a day out, Sicheng is walking on the smooth ground. No stones that can happen to end up in his shoes. This street has been cared for, paved to present an ideal solid ground. Sicheng knows it to be true, or else: how could it be this even?

    Approaching, is a figure with a content look on his face, his teeth shine white like the clouds above them as he gives Sicheng a small wave.

    “I was hoping to catch you,” Kun says.

    Sicheng nods in acknowledgement and is relieved that Kun never asks for anything else.

    “I’m not sure I consider myself caught,” Sicheng replies, but he’s smiling.

    He’s in a good mood. Kun means good news. Sicheng is safe.

    “Only if you’d allow me to,” Kun corrects with a gentle spark to his eyes, “There’s someone new moving in—do you want to welcome him; only if you want to?”

    Sicheng is not the best at being a helpful welcome committee on his own, but Sicheng feels alright here. He’s allowed to be himself. If things take time, no one would notice.

    Sicheng lets his smile linger. It will be alright.

    *

    The new lad is short in stature: cute, if Sicheng is honest. He has a timid smile, looks up at everyone through his eyelashes, and Sicheng felt akin to this man.

    For a flash of a second, Sicheng sees someone else. There is dyed hair taking an aim for his shoulder. It’s pretty, but all things here are pretty.

    “Pleased to meet you,” the new one tells Sicheng with a gesture of a bow, and Sicheng has to pull himself back to the present.

    Was that what it was like to experience flashbacks? Sicheng is fairly certain he’s never had any of those before. He can’t remember when he had first met the person with pretty hair—it’s almost as if Sicheng had conjured up an entire daydream all on his own. He can’t remember the scenery that would have fitted them. Whatever—whoever it was. It must have been the start of something big, complex and… unforgettable?

    Now, however, the young man takes a chance at meeting Sicheng’s eyes; and although it’s not the bright eyes like stars on the darkest of nights that Sicheng can’t figure out why his mind tries to recall—instead, there is a dark pool of untold stories and enveloping comfort, that steals all of Sicheng’s momentary worries away.

    There is a coming and going here, Sicheng can tell. The people that have left are many, and those who join keep collection onto their street. Sicheng has never questioned their reasons. He supposes everyone has their own quests to complete.

    *

    It’s only when Ten is looking at him down by the water again, and if Sicheng didn’t know better, he could have guessed that was an infinitesimal crease between Ten’s eyebrows.

    “How do you find the new chap?” Ten asks, and he’s still looking at Sicheng—although Sicheng is looking at the calm surface of the water, just barely glimmering with reflections of the moon.

    “He’s fine,” Sicheng says, and means it.

    “Not like Yuta?”

    Sicheng turns his head. The name does ring a bell, but the headache is back, and Sicheng can feel a tickling that seems to vibrate into his very bones. It isn’t exciting. It feels off.

    “Hm?” Sicheng looks at Ten, but Ten isn’t looking at Sicheng anymore—at one point, it changed.

    “Was that a mistake?” Ten says as if, to himself alone.

    Ten looks concerned, and Sicheng wants to wipe that expression off of Ten’s face. Ten doesn’t deserve to be feeling like that. He’s always helpful, and he has his own life to tend to. Whatever that is.

    Sicheng realises, he doesn’t know what Ten does. He lives down Sicheng’s street. That, Sicheng knows.

    “Don’t worry,” Sicheng says, and Ten’s shoulders visibly relax.

    He can see Ten’s throat working even so.

    “I hope you’re right,” Ten stands up.

    It’s not the first time Ten has said things that make Sicheng uneasy, yet Sicheng wants to keep Ten around. He prefers to keep them all around, all the neighbours and brief visitors, travellers and passerbys—but mostly, Sicheng likes the time he has on his own. He appreciates the moments when he can simply enjoy the view.

    The view now is Moon Taeil. Taeil is the most recent guy to have turned up on Sicheng’s (and the others’) street.

    Taeil is kind, attentive, quiet when Sicheng wished someone could be, and a friendly hand to hold without needing to hold it physically. Taeil keeps to his own house. It’s easy that way. Sicheng realises he can acquaint himself with Taeil slowly. Any pace seems right. Taeil doesn’t demand anything else; he looks content this way.

    It’s Sicheng’s nights that are different. He dreams of a man that is lively, inventive, full of imagination, and entirely unhinged. For some reason, Sicheng wants to claim Ten to have expressed the latter—but Sicheng knows too, that it’s true. Why? Sicheng isn’t even sure he knows this person. Someone who is everything he isn’t: who overwhelms, and excites in unlimited quantities. A bit like a reminder of Ten—even though Sicheng is certain he has never seen Ten behave that way before. In his dream, the man tells him: “You tell me: what is better, a drink or a dance?” and Sicheng had to look up to realise he had addressed Sicheng—out of everyone. “For who?” Sicheng then inquired. Sicheng learned that the man in his dreams has bright teeth like Kun. “For me—or, for you?”

    *

    Sicheng is pretty sure that life is divided into sections. Almost like chapters. There’s a coming and going, right? Things move on and they’re already scripted in advance. Sicheng feels it on his skin. There are moments that appear to have been cut out, and parts which were added for a special effect. Sicheng has often wondered if he ever will learn what effect they really have; what role they have to play. Perhaps he could read a preview of the next turn for him on, over his shoulder one day?

    There’s voices filtering inside through his window one morning, and Sicheng hurries out. Something in the air feels familiar, and it’s making his hair stand on end. Could it be that he’s always been afraid of conflicts? Yet, why is it that Sicheng’s instincts move him out to attempt to intervene? As if he’s trying to do something else, as if he had already tried to stand by another time.

    “I just want to help!”

    Sicheng can’t tell what has gone wrong, but in front of him: Kun is upset, and so is Ten. Something is not right, and Sicheng attempts to observe that even the sky looks to agree.

    “You’re making it worse!” Kun is almost screaming, and it looks like the sky is about to cry.

    Sicheng licks his lips, as he comes to stand in-between them. His blood is singing in ways he doesn’t think he’s ever felt before. His entire being is screaming ‘wrong’!

    Which is peculiar in itself. Sicheng can tell he recognises this experience all too well. In a dream? Maybe.

    “Calm down?” Sicheng tries, and his voice might be too quiet, but the both of them fall silent with an effectivity as though he had been screaming with all his capacity.

    For a moment, Sicheng wonders if they can hear his thoughts too.

    Ten can only be described as looking sorry—genuinely sad; whilst Kun’s entire form appears troubled (Sicheng could easily picture a cloud around him, evidence of the engine still running hot). What happened? Sicheng isn’t calm. He feels like a thread stretched far too tightly.

    “I care for him,” Kun says, he’s still talking to Ten; and Sicheng feels an odd sting humming around his chest.

    “You’re not real,” Ten retorts too calmly.

    Sicheng can feel his eyes blurring. Something is really wrong. He wonders if this is what a heart attack feels like. The world is caving in, and the sky is bursting out in protest—or perhaps, in sympathy. The rain is cool against his skin. Sicheng wished it was snow. Let it be gentle .

    “Are you?” Kun throws back, but Sicheng is falling to his knees as if the words hit him and not Ten.

    “This is wrong,” someone says, or perhaps it’s Sicheng, but he’s fairly certain it’s someone else.

    He doesn't think he could have produced any words at this moment.

    “I don’t want to leave when you’re making trouble—again,” Kun possibly says; and then it’s dark.

    Sicheng wishes there would be no disputes at all. He wants them to get along, and to be happy. He wants it back. He wants it to be easy.

    *

    When Sicheng comes to, the air is as mild as ever. There are no disturbing sounds, no dark clouds, no rain (not even snow) and no clenching around his heart. He assumes he’s alive, and breathing.

    The day passed with no further questions asked. Sicheng doesn’t have any. All is well. Easier than he thought.

    *

    It’s difficult to remember what happens at night. Mostly it seems like the in-betweens of moments, of days that blur together and emerge into a single fragment as enough proof of his existence. A memory from a childhood, details lost to him, but the lingering feeling of a vivid experience still lingering on the inside of his eyelids. As if he could reach it, see it clearly even, if he just gives himself a second to breathe.

    Most nights lack reason to mention. It’s possible that for a few seconds in the morning, there is a faint smell of nostalgia in the air. Sicheng is pretty sure that he’s never seen those bright eyes before, nor the blinding smile like those of a million dollar ad for another stupid toothpaste, so heavily edited it’s not even realistic anymore. Hence, the face in his mind can’t be real.

    There’s a twitch to Sicheng’s fingertips, as if they want to disagree.

    It has happened before—and it happens again, again, and again.

    The face isn’t even fragmented now. It’s not even a puzzle. It’s a vivid picture, as colorful as the long dyed hair framing his features, and Sicheng can’t ignore it. It gives him chills when he thinks about it, and just like all other things in life that makes his skin itch: he chooses to move on.

    It would have been easy, had he not woken up seeing that smile over and over again.

    *

    Taeil looks worried.

    “It’s nothing,” Sicheng says before Taeil has had the time to ask; after all, Sicheng knows Taeil won’t ask unless Sicheng wants to tell.

    Sicheng is grateful for the space. But often he dares not speak without permission—and with that single thought, Sicheng can see that very face haunting his nights on a bright day like this too. Sicheng can’t really put his finger on it… but he’s sure he’s had conversations about this before. He’s sure… for some reason that he can’t name at all, that the face belongs to someone called Yuta—but why?

    The sun is sprinkling the world in sparkling champagne, a lustrous shine softening it all further. Sicheng wonders if maybe that is the reason he can see that face in daytime, the day provided is all too dreamlike for the crisp, or even scorching presence of Summer’s more common gifts. Yet, Summer here isn’t an excruciating nightmare. It’s bearable. It’s a fresh spring river, scattered in light greens and small flowers.

    “If you insist,” Taeil replies, but he doesn’t look like he’s offended by Sicheng's unspoken distress; and Sicheng trusts that it’s okay.

    It was different in the beginning. Sicheng can still remember the confusion. How he tip-toed around everything—and everyone. He could barely breathe (yet he could)—let alone do things; or anything. At the start, things happened too quickly—or too slow. It took quite some time to adjust. It’s impossible to figure out when that was. How long ago it all started. Sicheng sometimes finds himself trying to remember how it was before all of this. It still comes up blank. He danced, possibly. At times, maybe he sang? But… could Sicheng even sing? He hadn’t tried in a long time. All of it was an uncertain vast land in Sicheng’s mind; growing smaller and smaller by each new moment. He isn’t so sure he really needs to clear up that fog at all. He manages just fine this way. Simple. Safe.

    The times when the entire world seems to tremble: are those snippets that happen every now and then. Mostly at night. Is that what happened to… Yuta? Whatever that was.

    For most of the time, here however, Taeil and Sicheng spend their time in silence. Watch the sun set, and wait for the moon to greet them. They sit until the stars dare say hello, and then they go back. Sicheng can see Taeil’s small smile tugging at the corner of his lips. Sometimes it looks as if he wants to say something—but he doesn’t.

    *

    Eventually, Sicheng is ready.

    “Am I ungrateful if I say, it feels like I’m missing something…?” the feeling has been sitting deep, at the pit of his stomach and made a home there, and Sicheng can’t stand it much longer.

    It’s a feeling that almost makes him sick to the point of: his body wanting to get rid of whatever is so terribly wrong. Sicheng can tell that he can’t go on like this, and something needs to be done about it. But… how do you ask for help, where you have none to talk to?

    “I’m sorry,” Taeil says, as if he is the reason for Sicheng’s ache.

    “Don’t be.”

    “Right,” Taeil smiles, but it looks a little weak.

    Taeil is different in that way. He is happy—but not all shining teeth and extravagant words. Sometimes his frame is edged with something heavy: as if sadness was a concept Sicheng knew well—then, that would be its certificate of companionship.

    “I did wonder when you would bring it up,” Taeil continues, he doesn’t look at Sicheng—and Sicheng is, for once, a little put off.

    He wishes Taeil would look at him, just so he could convince him it was okay.

    “Yes?” Sicheng says, because there is something about Taeil; the way he contains all secrets in the world and makes Sicheng feel as though he knows without asking.

    “You miss them… don’t you?” Taeil looks up, his eyes are clear, but they shine more than they did before.

    “Who?”

    There is silence. The one Sicheng embraces and cares for; the one Taeil carries with him in his bag to pick up whenever it might ease the cold air surrounding them.

    “All of them. Us,” Taeil says, as if he is the communicator with the very Heavens and Earth and Universe, “You?” Taeil looks to Sicheng then, and Sicheng could imagine a tear escaping down his smooth cheek.

    How do you miss something you can’t remember? Sicheng wants to ask, and perhaps he did, because Taeil smiles, although a bit sadly: “You do, if you want to.”

    There is a burning pain and it has put a target in the middle of Sicheng’s chest now. It hurts.

    “It’s difficult, right?” Taeil looks as if he can feel it too.

    “Will it get easier?” Sicheng asks, although he doesn’t truly understand what’s going on.

    “Depends—sometimes—sometimes… not.”

    “Why would I want to?”

    “Remember?” Taeil confirms with Sicheng, “Do you want to keep letting them go?”

    Who? Sicheng begs to ask, but he already knows.

    “When did they go?”

    “When it got too… much.”

    “It’s hard.”

    “Isn’t it all?” Taeil’s voice is softer than Sicheng thinks possible.

    There was a moment when things changed. Somewhere. Sicheng can almost remember it now. A time of uncertainty that had them all under new pressures. There was a choice then.

    “What was it?” Taeil asks.

    “A chance to… remember,” Sicheng breathes.

    Under night lights’ gentle caress Sicheng tries to recall, but almost can’t. He fears Taeil is right, that he will have lost himself too. Sicheng wants to cry, but this isn’t a place for the ugly and imperfect. It slips in anyway, and is sucked right out the moment it breathes up a storm.

    “Are you even real?” Sicheng’s voice is thick with unshed tears.

    “Even if I’m not—who says this isn’t?” Taeil looks calmer with the possibility of nonexistence than Sicheng wishes he would be, “Oh… I’ve made you upset.”

    Sicheng tries to laugh it off.

    “No, no haven’t,” he tries although he knows Taeil is right.

    After a while, Sicheng adds: “Is this goodbye?”

    “Is it?” Taeil tilts his head a little, “For me—or for us?”

    Sicheng sits beside Taeil until dawn is upon them. Goodbyes hurt, but losses scorches. It wasn’t Taeil that upset him; and not Taeil who’s time was up. This time: it is Sicheng’s.

    -————- ✼ -————-

    END NOTE: First of all, thank you so much if you read through the entire short story. I'm incredibly grateful for any likes and feedback, it really means so very much to me! I'm sorry if this was a bit on the way-too-confusing side! The story is a bit like pieces and patches after all.

    In case you've come to this section to get some hints on how this simulation actually works: - Sicheng is in a simulation and all people he meets are pure simulations (though conjured from his own mind/memory of them) - During night, it seems the Utopia setting of the simulation isn't working as well. - When things go... 'badly', more and more pressure is gathered in Sicheng's mental limit of 'too much'—which the simulation translates into: not happy > must remove. Therefore, characters that drop off and aren't mentioned again are the ones the simulation are trying to remove from Sicheng's conscience. Some characters try to alter that, on Sicheng's behalf—or in ways Sicheng remember them acting, we don't know; but that is what leads to the final calling of Taeil making Sicheng realise that this is what's up, and perhaps, Sicheng isn't actually getting any happier. - In short: do take care of yourselves. Pain is difficult, and communication and friendships and all, are complex matters. Things do hurt, but... to always remove grievances doesn't necessarily mean everything will get better (this is NOT to say that you should endure anything anyone does to you! Please do not do that! You deserve better! This is merely to hint also, towards the thing of: extreme emotions sometimes, can also bring you closer together). - Maybe disappointing, but this story isn't exactly a ship plot; however, you can read as much as you want into anything here anyway.

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