pairing: chan (bang chan) x gender-neutral reader
genre: no smut, married!au, emotionally heavy, lots of plot build-up/context description, slow burn, fluff at the end, second-person POV
word count: 2098
content warnings: themes of death, depression/grieving, lack of eating, swearing; this is a SERIOUS piece that may make you cry. please proceed with caution and take a mental breather after.
summary: your husband chan died a year ago, and life hasn’t been the same until you meet a peculiar stray dog whom you decide to keep.
a/n: partly inspired by the netflix anime film “a whisker away.” hint hint: australian dingo…
⦿ sasaengpaen (사생팬) = crazy spy-like super fans, sasaeng for short; pronounced “sah-seng”
⦿ annyeong (안녕) = multipurpose word that translates to hi/bye and no; in this story, it’s used in the hi/bye sense. pronounced “on-yawng”
It happened a year ago. The crash. The sasaengs. The coma. The stroke. The doctors’ denial of life support. The funeral.
Your husband Chan had died tragically after a catastrophic car accident outside the JYPE building in Seoul when a group of sasaengs tried to take control of an already chaotic situation on the street. Chan had been rushed to the hospital, so bloodied and so internally fractured that he immediately fell comatose and incidentally suffered a stroke due to the bodily trauma.
You’d begged with all your might for the doctors to put him on life support, but they refused, saying he’d be vegetative for the rest of your life. They even sent an insurance liason up to Chan’s ICU suite to speak with you about having to pay for his life support as long as you continued to live, and you were just so beaten down by all the hospital staff that you agreed to release his body to the funeral home his parents had flown in to coordinate with.
And you were destroyed.
Your employer had given you three months’ bereavement, but you still couldn’t bear to go to work for four more months. You slept 12 hours on Chan’s side of the bed every night and only wore his clothes during those four months of intermittent crying. After you used up the remaining sick days and paid time off you’d accrued over the years, your manager finally terminated you for missing too much. The next two months were spent on the couch with no appetite and inconsistent sleep, the good memories of Chan continually flooding back to you at random times.
This was when you’d decided it was time to get your shit together because the scale declared you 15 lbs [7 kg] lighter; the circles under your eyes scared you each time you dared to glance in a mirror; and your phone’s mailbox had filled to its limit with messages from anyone and everyone offering their condolences for your loss. So three months passed, and you were able to gain back most of your weight, sleep more consistently, and clean out your social media.
Those last three months were the cleansing your soul so desperately needed, and for the first time since the incident, you were starting to feel a level of normalcy again. You’d even pushed yourself to get back into the workforce, and thankfully, this new employer didn’t cause a scene about your 11-month gap in job history.
The dominoes were falling back into place. Sadly, you’d felt compelled at one point to ghost the rest of Stray Kids because it was just too painful for you to act like you could handle yourself around them. Out of worry and compassion, they all individually sent you messages here and there, but you told yourself maybe in the future. After all, your life had disintegrated to less than dust, so you were your priority moving forward.