Jung Hoseok never believed in ghosts and spirits. Or more specifically, he never chose to believe in the paranormal since he was too afraid to think such things were lurking out there to get him, so when someone asked him about the topic, he always laughed it off as a joke while hiding his fear.
One Sunday evening, Hoseok was walking back to his apartment alone. He went to drinking with his best friend Namjoon earlier the day, and they were drunk and having fun until Namjoon realized that he actually invited his boyfriend Seokjin to join them but Namjoon forgot to pick him up at the bus station, leaving him waiting there alone for more than an hour. Namjoon left quickly to the bus station after paying for the meal and seeing that, Hoseok felt awkward to continue sticking around, and he felt a little tipsy after all those alcohol he chugged down his stomach, so he offered to leave early, leaving the lovebirds alone.
Before reaching the apartment he lived, he had to pass this one alley that he tried to go through as quickly as possible since it was narrow and dim, more so at the night time, and that made him scared about the surroundings placed in the alley, even though it was usually filled with just used cardboard boxes. He turned on the flashlight on his phone and tried to walk through the alley in a straight line (since he was drunk), but then he accidentally stepped on something that made him almost lost his balance.
Looking down, he saw his left foot stepping on something peculiar--a red envelope like thing. Curious, Hoseok bent down and picked it up and examined it up close. It was a red packet, with golden patterns imprinted on it and the opening was not sealed properly. Hoseok opened the thing and emptied out the packet.
“A paper…? Hol’up I can’t read this, it's too small…”
Hoseok squinted and hold the paper closer to his eyes while trying to figure out whatever mystery was revealed on the paper when suddenly someone grabbed his arm.
“AH!! WHAT TH-”
“Sir!! We found the destinated one!!!”
“Good! Bring them over.”
“Finally!!! Now our boss will be satisfied!!!!”
Hoseok was terrified. He tried his best to struggle against the maniacs that just got him yet what he got in return was more people holding him down and pinning him to the ground. He started to yell as loud as he could to get attention and maybe someone nearby to get him the hell out of here.
“LET ME GO!!! LET ME-”
He felt someone used a finger and pressed against his lips firmly.
“Please be quiet...we are not here to hurt you.”
Hoseok was going to bite that god damn finger when the person spoke again.
“You are the only one mister. Please listen to us...”
Hoseok grunted. He could have gotten away from this if he was not drunk and not being mobbed by such a huge crowd, but he failed to escape, and now the only thing he could do was to submit to this one person’s orders in order to not get killed.
“Fine! Just make it quick--wait, wait!!! Where are you bringing me!!!”
Right after the moment Hoseok said yes, the group immediately lifted him up, rushed to a gray limousine parked right outside the corner of the alley, and shoved him inside the limousine so quickly and closed the door.
Hoseok was panicking so hard that he tried to open the car door in every way possible, but as the limousine started to move he knew his efforts were futile. He turned and saw a person sitting at the opposite side. He was going to charge towards the person and knock him out when suddenly the person stood up and bowed. 90 degrees.
“I’m sorry mister...I should have told them to be gentler when bringing you in. ”
Hoseok recognized the voice---it was the person that told him “you are the only one” like 2 minutes ago. Hearing an apology with such a sincere bow, Hoseok suddenly felt like he could not get mad. Giving up his attempt to escape from the moving vehicle, he sat down on one of the seats and glared at the person angrily.
“What the fuck is going on anyway. I demand explanations!”
Hoseok could not believe that he had been brought a mansion located in the most infamously expensive area of the province he was living in. First a limousine, now an 18th-century style mansion, what’s next? A pool filled with hundred stacks of banknotes ? Hoseok rolled his eyes.
Besides that, Hoseok recalled the conversation he just had with Yoongi (apparently that was his name) and was totally convinced that he was into some deep shit that he was unable to escape.
Apparently the harmless looking red packet that Hoseok picked up for fun was a thing that this crazy rich family set down after talking and asking advice from several necromancers. An omen that determined whoever was the one who picked the red packet up was going to marry their son. Their dead son, so he could be less lonely at his stay in the other realm. And now since Hoseok was the lucky(?) person that picked it up, he would marry their son. Right on the day after this.
“He’s fucking dead!”
“Wait I’m a man, and I’m marrying their son!?! This doesn't even add up!!!!”
“I’m sorry, but you picked the thing up and I’m sure my boss won’t let you go that easily.”
“I’M A DUDE WITH A FUCKING DICK!!!”
The limousine finally stopped, and Yoongi took a sip of the champagne he was holding before standing up and opening the door for Hoseok.
“I’m pretty sure that young master would totally be fine with it. Anyway, we are here.”
Hoseok had started to doubt whether he was stuck in a dream or not. At the moment he entered through the enormous doors, there was already quite an amount of maids and workers bowing at him, and he got to met the couple that started all of this.
He was going to reject them when suddenly the lady knelt down in front of him that shocked the entire room.
“Finally...finally someone…now our tae tae will be happy...thank the lords...”
The lady was sobbing so hard that the man beside him had to help her to stand back up and wipe her tears while also wiping his own. Seeing such a miserable scene, Hoseok once again took back his anger and decided to hear what do they had to say.
“Our baby was 18...too young...he always wanted someone to be his partner…” The lady started wailing again. “He even talked about it...how he should get a date before the day he left...oh tae tae…”
Hoseok suddenly felt bad towards the young, deceased son of them. He was supposed to be in an age when one could truly be free and go achieve every dream possible (and Hoseok understands that since he just went through the thrill last year), yet the grim reaper just had to visit early, leaving grief and sorrow behind on the poor couple.
Well, it’s a harmless request if it could soothe the couple’s heart and help them to get over the sorrow, Hoseok thought to himself.
“Alright, I will do it…”
Ghosts and spirits don’t exist anyways.
Hoseok shrugged and signed on the confirmation paper.
“Hoseok-ssi, screaming isn’t a good treatment towards your throat.”
“SHUT UP!! WHAT WAS I THINKING YESTERDAY?!?? MARRYING A DEAD MAN?!”
Hoseok threw the ball of tissue he was holding towards the wall harshly. It bounced back towards where Yoongi was sitting and hit him right at the back of his head before falling on the ground.
“Calm down, Hoseok-ssi. As the butler, I had to make sure this goes in the right direction my boss wanted it to be.”
Yoongi pressed him back to the couch he was sitting on while served him a glass of water.
The wedding was going to start at any moment and Hoseok was seriously regretting his life choices. Especially the ones he made when he was drunk. This one in particular was the worst compared to the other decisions he made in the past 20th years. He was marrying a guy. A dead guy. There was no love, no emotions, no skinship, no whatsoever involved before this and now they are getting fucking married.
Heck, Hoseok could not even remember the name of the guy.
The parents of this guy paid a visit to his family, and Hoseok could not believe his parents agreed to the deal after seeing a single glance of a briefcase of money, and that he was quickly brought into this place so he would get married at the instant. Now he could not even escape since Yoongi was watching him, and if he were to burst out of the lounge and flee everyone would be out there giving him nasty looks which he would not want to receive at all.
“Who am I marrying again?”
“Young master Kim Taehyung.”
Hoseok heard the dreadful tune of Wedding march and the next second he was already being dragged out of the waiting lounge and to the center of the hall by Yoongi.
“Namjoon ahh hhhhnggggggggggghhhh what should I do…”
Hoseok cried out loud while holding a bowl of salad and chomped it down aggressively like there was no tomorrow, and everyone at the bar looked at them at surprise till Namjoon hissed towards Hoseok.
“Hoseok, did you bump your head against the wall yesterday? Are you sure you aren't making up nonsense?”
“I do not! And no…” Hoseok took the tissue Namjoon offered and blew his nose hard. “I was just curious yesterday night and today morning I got myself married with a husband that's freaking dead!”
Namjoon narrowed his eyes when he heard such a bizarre statement, but still chose to believe him since Hoseok looked dead serious right now. Not to mention he was really, really bad at lying.
“Once I get home...its over...it will be set…”
Hoseok tugged Namjoon’s sleeve while looked at him with puppy eyes.
“Namjoon, can I live at your place instead?”
“No. Seokjin moved in a few days ago.”
“You guys can like, share a fucking bed or sumn?!”
“WHAT?! Dude, we ain't ready for such intimacy!!” Namjoon released himself as quickly as possible from Hoseok’s grip by smacking his hand.
“Whatever you say, cherry boy.”
Hoseok scowled and resorted to eating his bowl of salad.
What should he do now? He was the one that picked up this cursed invitation and now he had to pay the price. By marrying someone he never knew. Someone dead.
Wasn't marriages supposed to be grand? Something that only happens once a life that could bring him immense joy and happiness, something that he devoted his love and life to the one he loved?
He ducked his head.
“Hey Hoseok, I don't really want to say this but...the responsibility is yours to take now,” Namjoon patted Hoseok’s shoulder and said, trying not to sound awkward. “And let it be alive or dead, you should at least try to solve the problem rather than running away. I can't lend out my place, but I will always offer you my support. In other ways, of course.”
Hoseok finished the last gulp of his salad and decided to head home. Namjoon was right, he should at least see what would go on now. Maybe it was all just a prank. Or maybe nothing happens. What could a dead man do anyway?
Hoseok went back to his apartment just to see Yoongi standing right in front of his apartment door with two other men. Yoongi was holding something covered in black satin with his both hands, which Hoseok assumed it was a portrait by the way he was carrying it. The two other men standing beside were both dressed in robes and holding a wooden box, with some other boxes beside them.
“Oh, you again,” Hoseok mumbled as Yoongi gave him a slight nod as a gesture to say hello. “What do you want?”
“To bring our young master in.”
“...please open the door and wait here for a while.”
Hoseok sighed and unlocked the door, allowing the three in and waited outside the doorstep, dare not to peek at whatever went on in his room. After some time, the three finally walked out with a slightly more relieved expression on their faces.
“Yes,” Yoongi bowed deeply. “Please take care of our young master from now on.”
It is till now that Hoseok realized he had never seen the face of his supposed-to-be-dead husband that he already forgot whatever his name was. Throughout the wedding, Hoseok never attempted to lift up the veil nor do he thought to do so since he could not even think straightly with all those people around him watching, their stares fixated on him. And now that portrait was placed there again, solemnly, with the exact same veil it had on this morning, the face still obscure and hidden under the veil.
Yoongi had nicely arranged the portrait on the middle of a small white wooden table covered with the black satin while using white roses as side decoration. There was also a sketchbook with different colors and sizes of heart stickers, and a plushie of a heart-looking alien lying there.
Hoseok noticed that the boxes Yoongi brought over were still there so he carefully opened one of them and saw that it was filled with manga volumes of Nodame Cantabile.
“What the...this thing is heavy as fuck. Does he even need these?”
Hoseok carefully moved the boxes to the corner and stacked them up so that he could save some space, then went to the bathroom for a really, really long shower. Since he lived alone, he was glad that the house was all quiet except for the sound of the running water, and he exhaled deeply after thinking whatever happened in this mere two days. He stayed in there until he felt like his skin might dry and peel off eventually so he scooted out from the shower, get changed in his purple pajamas and went back to his room.
Nothing had changed, not a trace of anything being moved. The flameless candle still remained its flare while the veil still sits perfectly on the portrait.
Hoseok felt like he should not do this, but he really wanted to take off that stupid veil now and take a peek of how the guy looked.
Just a look won’t hurt, Hobi. No biggie.
He carefully lifted the veil and saw a face that he totally did not expect. Since the photo was in black and white, Hoseok could not tell what exact hair color he was in, but it was definitely not the natural color he should have. He looked rowdy, as from his face he seemed like he did not want to be in the photo at all; yet his face and the features still seemed perfect and it reminded Hoseok of those statues of Greek gods. And the fierce glare from his eyes only made him seemed more charismatic. God does pick favorites, huh. Hoseok wondered how many people would queue up just to have a photo with this guy.
He put the veil on top of the boxes and decided that he should grab the unfinished book and read it before going to sleep, as he was starting to feel bad for the handsome guy--he totally did not deserve to die that early. But, what can you do? Fate is unpredictable after all.
Switching the lights to a warm white shade, Hoseok curled himself in the blankets while started to read the second half of “A tale of two cities” and soon, under the silence and the warm lights of the room, he felt like his eyelids were so heavy that he could not stay awake anymore so he closed the book, put it beside the lamp and ready to truly fall asleep.
He felt something was being thrown to his head. Something soft.
“..wh…-” Before he could turn his head, a book came flying to his direction and slammed right against his back.
He rubbed his eyes and turned his head, just to see something levitating at the air with some other books floating at thin air beside it. It was a man. A ghost that looked like a man, to be exact.
“Awake? So you’re that guy, right?”
Hoseok then let out a loud scream that made the ghost wince, then he quickly hid under the blanket while not facing the direction of where the levitating thing was.
He could not believe what he had just seen in that one glance. It was no doubt-- he was clearly the person on the portrait. The handsome guy with an aggressive look. The one that was supposed to be dead.
His dead husband.
Turns out ghosts and spirits do exist at all.
Hoseok slowly peeked from the blanket, and he could see the spirit still levitating beside him. The books that were floating before were now messily scattered on the floor, and even the whole room was now in a mess that made Hoseok suddenly felt angry over nothing.
The ghost seemed a little bit dejected after hearing that, as he bit his lip while looked away from Hoseok’s glare, and that somehow made Hoseok more pissed.
“I said get out…I don’t want such demons like you be stalking around me for the rest of my life!! GET OUT!!”
He had absolutely no idea why he was screaming towards thin air, but even by doing so, it did not make him feel any better. He threw the blanket at the ghost’s direction, rushed out of the apartment and slammed the door, breathing hard while trying to calm himself down from such outburst.
He let out a yell of frustration. Luckily it was already late morning and most people had gone out from their homes, so there were no people come running towards his direction while telling him to shut up. This is bad. He could see ghosts now, meaning that this marriage thing was totally legit for him and he could not simply ignore its presence as the ghost would be around at all times. Obviously resort to physical means would not work at all on the ghost, as he was fucking dead, but maybe he could talk it out with him? Hoseok took some deep breaths and re-entered the apartment, this time closing the door gently.
As he was brushing up himself in the washroom, Hoseok thought that screaming into one’s face, let alone be dead or alive, was not a very proper thing to do. So, he decided to apologize first to him, then they could talk it out.
He even knocked on the bedroom door before peeping through the door and see how was he doing. What surprised him was that the room was all tidy now, much different from when he got awaken by that flying book, with the ghost now in front of his own portrait and staring at it.
Hoseok sneaked in the room quietly.
“I never asked for any of this. Never!” The ghost turned and faced Hoseok while rubbing his eyes with his sleeves. “You could have just rejected the offer, but I don’t even get to choose!”
Hoseok saw small drops of water on the floor in front of the portrait and realized the ghost had been crying, and his heart quickly became soft. The ghost was right, he really did not have a chance to choose anything since he was dead. All of these were arranged by his parents. If death for him was a way to be free, his parents just confined him once again without leaving him a way to escape.
“I’m...sorry. I really am. Can we...do this again?”
He felt guilty about how he just acted towards him.
The ghost ran his hands through his orange hair, his eyes still red; but he quickly shifted towards a wide grin instead and sneered.
“Yeah, whatever. You probably don’t even remember my name anyway.”
“Kim Taehyung. Taehyung. Right?”
“That's me. I’m surprised that you still remember, ahjusshi.”
“Grrrr--I’m just 20, you orange punk!” Hoseok growled towards Taehyung, clearly irritated. “Just 1 year older than you!”
“Whatever you say.”
Taehyung had shifted to a sitting position while still levitating on top of Hoseok’s bed. He kept having that smug face on while playing with his bangs, and Hoseok threw his plushie towards Taehyung out of annoyance.
“It won’t work.”
“I know! I’m just angry towards your disrespect attitude towards your elders!”
“What are you going to do? Sue me?”
Taehyung sneered while lifted the plushie up to the air using his powers. Seeing that, Hoseok immediately grabbed it back and cuddle it tightly before Taehyung could cast it out of the window, then sat on the ground pouting.
“Hey~It was just a joke! Loosen up~” Taehyung glided himself towards Hoseok. “You're no fun.”
“Not with a ghost haunting me, that is!”
“What!” Taehyung seemed a little offended by that. “Hoseok-ssi, I’m connected with you by an apparently unbreakable bond! What else you want me to do?”
Hoseok looked away, bothered by what Taehyung just said but unable to come up with some good response so he just grumbled. “Tch. And now since we are married, you can't even leave me alone because of the voodoo shit.”
“Exactly! I’ll be haunting you till the day you die. No choice,” Taehyung sat in front of Hoseok. “I used to be able to go pass walls and stuff, and now I can't because of the stupid bond that tied us together. Every time when I try to leave the house, I always got bounced back! Such an annoyance.”
Hoseok clutched the plushie tighter and wondered how should he live with Taehyung now. Food and drinks would not be a problem, since ghosts probably would not need such a thing, and that applied to things like water and electricity. However, it is privacy that matters. Hoseok could not stand the fact that someone would be watching him 24/7. With someone this frivolous too! Well, it seemed like he had to come up with some kind of compromise so that the brat could just be as far away as he possibly could.
“Hey, wanna hear something cool~?” Oblivious with how annoyed Hoseok look, Taehyung gilded himself in front of him and smiled. “You know Park Jimin, the famous dancer that's recently blowing up on Twitter?”
“Jimin?” Hoseok looked up after hearing the familiar name. “Yeah, I do. We are in the same dance academy. What about it?”
“He’s hot isn't he?”
“E-eh?” Hoseok thought of the capturing figure of Jimin every time he practiced his solo. How his enchanting moves totally did not make Hoseok got hard. “...sort of?”
“Last time I checked, he got a dope ass tattoo on his ribs.”
“For real?!” Hoseok shrieked. “Wait, on his ribs, you say...did you stalked him?!”
“Yup! When he was alone at home showering too. Turns out his slong wasn't that tiny after all those years passed. Maybe around,” Taehyung gestured. “This size?”
“Oh my god--you’re a fucking perv. Look, thank you for that particular information but--I could have lived my life without knowing that! What’s with you?!” Hoseok felt like he was going to lose his mind once again in front this guy, given that he was near screaming when said that.
“But... isn't that what people are interested in?! Gossips about famous people? And I even got insider info!” Taehyung whimpered like a defeated puppy, his cockiness in his voice slowly fading as he tried to defend himself.
“No! At least not in front a person you just met, alright?! What kind of life were you in to have a mindset like that?! Tell me.” Hoseok groaned, frustrated with how confused Taehyung stared at him. He felt that there must be some reason that led this brat to have such outlandish remarks.
“All my friends in school liked to chat about these, and no one else would react like you do...” Taehyung frowned. He seemed pretty beaten up after Hoseok lectured him, which once again made Hoseok felt that maybe he was too harsh. “I thought it will be fine. I mean, it usually does.”
Hoseok was so tempted to correct whatever Taehyung just said when the alarm went off.
“Oh god, I’m late for work!”
“Yes. Actual labor. Now excuse me and don't mess around, okay?”
After his job, Hoseok usually went straight to the dance academy he enrolled in since he was in high school. Their group had signed in joining a local competition, and so the group had to go practice regularly. Since today was a free day, Hoseok decided to take some extra practices for himself.
“Hobi hyung~!! Can’t believe you came today too!!”
Right when Hoseok walked through the door, Jimin turned his attention from the boy sitting beside him and waved at Hoseok with a cheerful grin. Jimin was always the first one to arrive at the hall, and the last one to leave the building. Unlike Hoseok who aimed to be a choreographer with his own studio, Jimin wanted to continue pursuing his dance career and be the lead dancer in the national team, so he had been training extra hard for his audition.
“Of course!” Hoseok smiled and looked at Jimin, then suddenly he thought of what Taehyung said just before he went out from the door and he felt he could not help but to stare at Jimin’s ribs. With the white shirt soaked by his sweat, Hoseok could actually see a tattoo scrawled on the left side of the ribs.
Jimin quickly grabbed his bomber jacket and covered his torso.
The boy in the uniform that was quietly sitting there suddenly turned and shielded Jimin. He had a white medical eye patch that covered his left eye with black, straight short hair and full bangs (and Hoseok thought that he was cosplaying a certain anime character, but he decided not to say that). He used a metal ruler and pointed at Hoseok as a weapon while glared at him in a threatening way.
“Kook! No pointing sharp objects to people! I’m sorry Hobi hyung...”
Jimin held the boy’s bandaged hand and sent him a glare, which the boy quickly frowned and put back the ruler while mumbled sorry after seeing that. Judging by the uniform, the boy seemed like he was still in high school. There were textbooks for sophomores scattered near where he was sitting, and he had a worn out plushie that was identical with the one Taehyung had.
“This is my little brother, Jungkook,” Jimin patted the boy’s back gently and smiled. “Say hello, Kook.”
Hoseok wondered how come this kid was so silent, but still smiled and greeted the kid. “Hello there, Jungkook.”
Jungkook only nodded without saying a word.
“J-Jimin, I didn’t know you have a little brother! How come he never showed up before?” Hoseok decided to shift the conversation while trying to laugh it off.
“Ah, he was too busy with his studies and his side job before--” Jimin was going to continue, but got interrupted by Jungkook tugging his sleeve. “What is it, Kook?”
Jungkook pointed at his notebook, then whispered something barely audible while tugged Jimin’s sleeve.
“Hm...since you've done introducing yourself, alright then.”
Jimin ruffled Jungkook’s hair. Jungkook then stood up, calmly collected his things and walked towards the corner when he suddenly stopped in front of Hoseok, scanned his whole body, and went to the farthest corner of the room and sat down.
“I’m so sorry Hobi hyung, he just doesn’t really prefer talking to people…” Jimin explained in an apologetic smile.
“He seems like a sweet kid.”
“Thanks Hobi hyung, I will tell him that later. Let’s practice our part now!”
The two of them took a break and Hoseok was left alone with Jungkook after Jimin went to the store nearby.
Still curious about Jungkook, Hoseok decided that he should try to talk to him again. Under his hoodie, he seemed to be busy writing something on his notebook that he failed to realize Hoseok was standing in front of him. He was even softly humming, seemingly to be in a good mood. Hoseok crouched down to get in the same eye level as the boy so he would seem less intimidating.
Jungkook turned his head sharply at Hoseok and stared, his eyes seem to bore through him. Without the eyepatch covering, Hoseok could not tear his gaze apart from the eerie looking left eye. It was icy blue, with gray veins radiating from his pupil and sticking out like branches.
Hoseok fell backward while covering his mouth, shocked by what he just saw.
Jungkook simply put on his eyepatch, unfazed by Hoseok’s reaction.
“As someone who got himself a ghost husband...I thought you’d be much braver than that.”
“No--wait, how did you--”
Jungkook pointed at his now covered eye and smirked, clearly satisfied after hearing Hoseok confirming his assumption.
“I can see it...you were even forced to do so. A lifelong curse for you, isn’t it?”
A nod. “I could help you out.”
“So you know how to get me out of this mess?!” Hoseok asked while looked at Jungkook with pleading eyes.
“That is, if you want...”
“Finally, yes please!! Tell me how!”
Hoseok almost bounced up in joy. Facing such an immense reaction, Jungkook simply took out a small card from his pocket and handed it over to Hoseok.
Another nod. After then, Jungkook took his stuff, held his plushie tight and left the room without sparing another word.
Hoseok read the card again, this time with more concentration.
“The bunny exorcist...now that’s a weird name.”
“Hobi hyung, did something happen?” Jimin suddenly chimed in, almost scaring Hoseok. “Kook just left again.” Jimin glanced at the card Hoseok got from Jungkook, then let out a gasp. “Oh, that…! Where do you get it?”
“Your brother gave it to me!”
“!! That's rare...he never gives them out himself. Seems like you had caught my brother's interest…~” Jimin exclaimed with a surprised tone, then laughed. “Hobi hyung, either you're really that charismatic or you were being haunted by something nasty!”
“Well not exactly nasty...” Hoseok then proceeded to explain what happened to him in the last three days, of how he picked a cursed red packet and got himself a husband from the other realm.
“...no way that's legit. I know people get haunted by ghosts, but marrying one? Hobi hyung, you sure you don't need a check up from the hospital nearby?”
“I’m not lying!! He even claimed that he had seen your d--” Hoseok covered his mouth before he could finish the sentence.
“Erm ...nothing! I just sent a wrong message!!”
“Hyung, this is a verbal conversation.” Jimin deadpanned.
After a tad bit of effort, Hoseok finally convinced Jimin that he was in fact, married to a dead man. Jimin tried his best to comfort him, but that did not really go well and so they decide to call it a day.
During his bus journey home, Hoseok decided to go online and search for “the bunny exorcist”. He thought some miscellaneous information would have shown up, but what surprised him is that he found a blog that directly showed a picture of Jungkook with a pink bunny mask, and some comments saying how his services did end up helping them.
“A prodigy on exorcism.”
“After all those years I can finally sleep properly qq”
“wonder whats under that mask???”
Hoseok believed that Jungkook could be the one that could get him out from this unwanted posthumous marriage. He decided to wait for his a few days later, and maybe he could enjoy solitude once again by going back to the time like two days ago before he picked up the cursed red packet.
“Now since I found a way to get rid of this nuisance, I should just bear for a few more days. Soon~” Hoseok thought to himself and smiled while opening the door.
The first thing he saw was Taehyung lying down on the ground while reading a book, with a lot of other stuff scattered around him.
“Hey.” Hoseok greeted.
Taehyung’s face lit up, and he flashed a smile when he saw Hoseok walking in from the door.
Hoseok decided to let him be and went into the kitchen to prepare some dinner. He wondered do ghosts need food. Probably not.
“What are you making? Fried rice?”
Hoseok could feel his shoulder suddenly got heavier even though there was nothing on there except the transparent hand of Taehyung. He tried to touch it but he ended up grasping the air.
“Awww, are we holding hands now? Like a couple?”
“No!! I just want to know why I could feel something on my shoulder. I thought I wouldn’t feel anything from ghosts?”
“Maybe you’re just tired then. I can’t possibly know, can I?”
Taehyung shrugged again and focused back on Hoseok’s cooking.
“Fried rice!! Give poor tae tae some too will you~” Taehyung laughed after asking that. “Wait, I forgot the fact that I can’t eat anymore. I haven’t eaten for like a few months! I can watch you finish that tho.”
Hoseok carried his plate with Taehyung following behind him like a lost puppy. Hoseok was going to ignore him but he felt like ignoring someone that kept trailing behind him was a little impolite. And if someone were to watch them in a third person view it must be awkward. So he asked.
“Um..how’s your day?”
“I read some books on your shelf and practiced. Nothing much I could accomplish when I can’t leave this house!!”
“Then what would you do if you could leave?”
“Anything. Just not being here. It’s boring.”
Taehyung answered with a frown, and Hoseok felt that he had more reasons to work with Jungkook if it means to set them both free.
“I thought about what happened this morning and...I was wrong...right?” Taehyung fiddled with the necklace he was wearing, then suddenly sat up straight and said with a serious look, completely opposite of what he was like in the morning.
“You were. That was disturbing to listen to.”
“...sorry...I usually act and talk about stuff like that with the people around me, and no one ever said anything...”
“It’s fine,” Hoseok grabbed a pack of milk and leaned back towards the chair, listening to Taehyung.
“You do forgive me?”
“Of course I would. Why won’t I?” Hoseok looked at Taehyung with surprise.
“I was worried for the whole day that you won’t...but you do! So yay!” Taehyung raised both hands and exclaimed, and seeing Taehyung being this happy made Hoseok crack an unexpected smile.
While later, the two were chilling at the bedroom when Taehyung proceeds to talk about his time when he was still alive. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and that he was pretty pampered in his whole life.
“I remember I went to a preschool before with other kids, but after a while, Mother seemed like she hated it so after that year I was homeschooled.”
He was homeschooled till the age for high school. After that, his parents sent him in a prestigious private high school, but then he quickly became close with one of the populars and became a party animal instead of the obedient son his parents hoped for.
“Yoongi plans and handles my routine. My parents became much stricter about my whereabouts, so sometimes I had to ask him to cover my trails.”
His wealthy background has drawn him a lot of attention and people that wanted nothing more but to take advantage of him. Most of them tolerated his frivolous behaviors, sometimes even encouraged him of doing so, and dare not to defy him. So all he did was to talk shit and do what his other classmates liked, and a lot of partying.
“So before I ended up here, I went to a pool party that one of my classmates hosted and we all chugged down some drinks since they keep offering me those. I passed out...and after that, the first thing I saw was my own body lying there lifelessly! Cool wasn’t it?”
Taehyung recited, trying to make it sound interesting as he could possibly do when all Hoseok felt was pity towards him. The poor dude died, for fucks sake. And he was so calm when saying something messed up like that.
“And then what happened?” Hoseok asked, clutching his plushie tight.
“Apparently my drinks were spiked and I got so high that when someone suggested doing a jump with an epic flip to the pool from the balcony, I accepted,” Taehyung said while toyed his necklace again. “And I did exactly what he told. I plunged in the pool and broke my neck. Oh, and I heard all that on my funeral too, since I don't actually recall anything! The other guys in the party didn't know until the next day.”
Hoseok gasped and touched his nape since he felt pain in his neck simply by hearing that.
“Seriously, no one stopped you!?”
“Right? But everyone there kind of wanted me dead anyway so whatever. I went to school and all I heard was how they didn't have to tolerate me anymore.”
Taehyung shrugged while trying to sound as devoid as he could, but Hoseok could see his eyes glistening as he turned and not facing Hoseok directly.
“Can I have a hug…?”
Taehyung asked in a meek voice.
“You definitely need one. God, I’m sorry that I was so mean before.” Hoseok walked towards Taehyung and embraced him even if it made him look like an idiot sticking his two arms in the air.
It could have been Hoseok’s imagination, but he swore he could felt a warm aura surrounded and embraced him tightly.
“Is it true?! Yoongi is coming tomorrow?!!” Hearing the news, Taehyung swooped up in a flurry while exclaimed, probably the happiest Hoseok had seen him be since he started to stay with Hoseok.
“Yeah, it’s been more than a week since last time he arrived with your portrait,” Hoseok replied. The week went alright. Hoseok came up with some rules like no barging in through walls during shower time and much to his surprise, Taehyung gladly accepted and followed them. Turns out Taehyung wasn’t that difficult to talk to after all, Hoseok thought to himself. Plus, it was nice to have someone to talk to. Hoseok had been living alone ever since he moved out of his family, and having a roommate was new for him. Sometimes Taehyung would enthusiastically talk about how was it like back when he was still alive, what kind of stuff he would do with the other people from school that Hoseok would not mind listening for the whole night.
“Hurray! I’m finally seeing some other human beings other than you, Hoseok hyung!!” Taehyung was clearly still thrilled, as he started to dance around across the room while giggling at Hoseok’s pouty reaction. “By the way, do you have any crayons?”
“Yeah, what for?” Hoseok asked while he started to search in one of the cupboards, taking out a box of old crayons.
“I’ve been practicing with more of my skills lately so I could do a little more than throwing stuff around! I want to draw something for Yoongi~!”
“Go ahead! What color do you need?”
“Just pour ‘em all out first.” Taehyung took some papers and watched Hoseok carefully opened the box and place the crayons neatly on the ground. By concentrating his focus on the light gray crayon, he slowly lifted it up and dragged it closer to him, then tried his best to focus and do a sketch.
“Imma draw Yoongi from my memory...it’s been more than a month since I last saw him!”
Hoseok sat at the opposite side and watched in amusement when suddenly his phone ringed.
He pulled out his phone, and when saw the name “Jungkook”, he almost gasped since he almost forgot about the important deal he did days ago. Quietly, he stood up and walked out swiftly of the door.
Hoseok pressed the “accept call” button and said.
“Hey. It’s Bunny.” Jungkook said, his voice still devoid of emotion. “About your request a few days ago? I’ve come up with something, but I need your cooperation to fulfill the mission. Care to talk about it today?”
Hoseok glanced at Taehyung, who was still engrossed in the drawing, clearly enjoying himself. He thought for a moment, breathed in and replied.
“...sure. Just swing by the academy today.”
Now I'm done with my finals, more updates will be coming~!
"Hyung, how many times have I told you to not disturb during a client's meeting," Jungkook took over the banana milk Jimin offered and carefully took out the straw. "Don't you have better things to do?"
"Hobi hyung is my friend! And friends help each other!!" Jimin smiled and sit down beside Hoseok after pulling Hoseok in a big hug.
"...I don't get it."
The three were now sitting in Jungkook's office (that's what Jungkook claimed) with Hoseok and Jimin sitting on the floor. Jungkook was lying on his bed while writing something on a notebook and sipping the pack. A few stacks of books about exorcism and drawing manga were piled up at the corner, and there was game console casually placed in front of the old television with the game disk still running.
"Yes?" Hoseok stopped examining the colorful vase like container on the desk and snapped up his head as a response.
"Stop staring at my pet bunny...!"
Hoseok slowly looked away, trying not to freak out, and put down the urn while Jimin silently mouthed a sorry to him.
"Anyways, you're married to this... man ...right."
Jungkook asked while emphasized on the word "man".
"Yeah," Hoseok pouted. "And yes he's cool and all but...if I do have to say, I really don't prefer having a spirit as a roommate."
"So Hobi hyung, you want a divorce?"
"Hold up, I'm not a marriage counselor.”
Jungkook replied with a straight face that made the other two laugh.
“W-what!” He blushed as seemed to be flustered towards the laughing, and it was the first time Hoseok saw some expression on him other than blank. “Anyway,” He took a deep breath and recollected his coolness. “Is there a picture of the spirit?"
Hoseok thought of the black veil and portrait at the other side of his room, then nodded.
"Alright, take this."
Jungkook gave Hoseok a small piece of paper scribbled with indistinguishable words.
"Just stick it on the portrait. It's to seal his movements...so you and I can get it done quicker."
After a little more exchange between the brothers, Hoseok left their place with a near emptied wallet and a piece of hand-made paper carefully put in a transparent file.
"Well...I guess after this, we can both be free or something."
He thought to himself with a tint of doubt as he walked up to the flat of his.
"Hoseok! There you are! You're usually at home during this time, so I was wondering where could you been~"
Hoseok saw both Namjoon and his boyfriend Seokjin waiting at his doorstep. The two were sitting at the small bench Hoseok placed and talking to each other before he showed up.
"Even with the dead?"
Hoseok could see a shocked expression from Seokjin when Namjoon mentioned "dead", and he nodded.
Then he opened the door just to be greeted with a bug launched straight into his face.
"Eek!!" Quickly, he tried to brush it off but it stayed at place like something was holding it in place. He looked closer to realize that it was only some newspaper twisted and put together to resemble a bug.
"Taehyung! Kim Taehyung!!"
Hoseok deeply sighed before yelling out loud in annoyance, and he finally saw Taehyung slide out from the space between the wall and the washing machine, snickering. He then hovered towards the stove and showed Hoseok a pot of soup looking solution.
“I tried to go through the soup recipe you stuck up the wall!”
Taehyung exclaimed excitedly while almost shoved the pot right into Hoseok, nearly spilling it on him.
"Joon-ah, is that a floating pot…"
"Don't worry...according to all laws of aviation, there is no way that a pot--"
Namjoon was trying to shield Seokjin behind him while explaining whatever phenomenon he was witnessing when Taehyung finally noticed them. With a loud cheer, he let go of the pot and quickly dashed in front of the couple and gave them a close observation.
"Hoseok hyung, you brought guests?!"
Hoseok grabbed the pot on time before its containments split onto the floor, and put it right in the sink. Then he replying to Taehyung, who already started to twirl around them.
"Yes…!! And they can't see you."
Namjoon looked at Hoseok, mouth wide open, while Seokjin stared at them in confusion. Hoseok quickly gave them a brief summary of the meaning behind the floating pot, and how he ended up in this situation.
"Oh...so your ghost husband is trying to cook something for you?"
Namjoon asked, with surprise, probably not expecting ghosts that were usually associated with malicious supernatural attacks be doing something like cooking.
"I suppose that's the case..."
Hoseok opened the pot lid while replied, then quickly closed it while trying not to show a disgusted expression after seeing whole sticks of celery and unpeeled raw carrots sitting in the container.
"...we're ordering take away pizza."
He announced in a calm voice while stretched his hand to his phone sitting nearby.
"So this is him, huh?”
Namjoon, after asking Hoseok, picked up the portrait and had a closer look at it.
“Wow...he’s good looking.”
“Even I have to agree.”
“Even Seokjin agrees.”
“Hoseok-ssi, I think you’re one lucky guy.”
Namjoon gently placed the portrait back to where it was and readjusted its position, then gave a smile after rearranging the flowers on the table.
“It’s a shame that we can’t see him. I think he would be really fun to hang around with.”
Hoseok glanced at Taehyung, who was originally hiding under the bed, peeked out and grinned while blushing. He seemed to be really flattered after both Namjoon and Seokjin complimented him, as he raised his both arms as cheering. Then he realized that he could not be seen by anyone else except Hoseok-- so he slowly put them down again with his smile slowly faded, and Hoseok felt hurt seeing him like that.
After a while, Seokjin suddenly asked Hoseok to follow him after Namjoon excused himself for a phone call.
“What is it, Seokjin-ssi?” Hoseok was genuinely surprised about his request, but still followed it anyway. They walked into the other room and Seokjin closed the door with a solemn expression.
“Is he here?”
“Taehyung? N-no,” Hoseok looked around as confirmation, then whispered back. “Is it something about him…?”
“It’s something about him and you,” Seokjin spoke with the softest voice he could manage while drew himself close to Hoseok. "Are you sure about using that?"
"The what…?" Hoseok turned and looked at where Seokjin gestured, and saw the piece of yellow paper poking out from his bag. "Oh, t-this. This is-"
"I know what it is after seeing it that many times," Seokjin cut him off calmly, while Hoseok quickly hid it again with an embarrassed look. "Hoseok-ssi, I know I don't really have the right to ask this but...are you really sure."
"It's your decision," Seokjin sighed. "I mean yes, he is a spirit that should've stayed in the other realm, but he didn't do anything wrong. Plus, he's a sweet guy, isn't he?"
Hoseok thought of the mischief Taehyung brought, and all those kind hearted intentions behind them, and he became hesitant.
"Just asking as someone first meeting him. Even I can't see him...for now." Seokjin patted his back and gave him a smile as reassurance before exiting the room. "Think carefully about it."
Hoseok started to clean the pot after accompanying the two to the nearest bus station when Taehyung suddenly crawled out from under the stove.
"Hoseok hyung…I'm sorry about that."
"About what?" Hoseok continued scrubbing while asked without looking.
"The soup!! And like...everything?"
"C'mon," Hoseok put down the sponge and looked at Taehyung while sighed. "It's not that bad. Don't apologize for it."
"Well--yeah...but honestly, I thought that was a nice thing for you to do. Really surprising for a trickster like you~"
Taehyung's face lit up after hearing that, and he smiled.
"How was your day in the house then?"
"Bored," Taehyung sat on the kitchen counter and answered. "I read your books on the shelf, then drew something more, and stared at the sun. Oh! I also tried to use your laptop~"
"Watching anime? But I gave up because I don't know your password."
Hoseok reminded himself to make an account for Taehyung when he got the time.
"Here~" Taehyung then showed Hoseok what he had drawn for the day. "How were they?"
Hoseok picked them up and had a close look at each of every drawing. Most of them were sketches of scenery, with some attempts of human anatomy, but one of them caught his attention. It was a sketch of a boy, presumably Taehyung because of the orange hair, hugging a sphere that was emitting light.
"Is this you hugging the sun?"
"I'm hugging you."
Taehyung moved himself closer to Hoseok until their gaze met.
"I really want to do so! I want to get closer to you, but I can't…what can I do, hyung?"
Hoseok felt the same warm aura surrounded him once again, and suddenly his shirt slowly appeared with small water droplets.
"Taehyung," Before he realized, he was air hugging Taehyung again, and Taehyung became more clingy than usual by trying to lean on him. "Don't think too much about it, alright? Yoongi-ssi is visiting tomorrow...don't you want to see him?"
"Then try to get some rest."
Another nod. Taehyung let go of Hoseok slowly, then went through the kitchen wall to the bedroom and gone. Hoseok let out a small sigh while followed suit to the bedroom. He thought of how Taehyung just acted, what Seokjin told him, and the yellow paper Jungkook gave.
He thought that he was very clear about what he was going to do; to resort back to his single status, that was why he consulted an exorcist for help. But now, he suddenly felt remorseful about this. He was not sure was this a good idea after all.
His phone ringed.
"Hobi hyung? It's Jimin. Kook said he's going to your place early tomorrow...he seems surprisingly determined to do this. Also, he asked you to stick that thing on. See you then!"
Jimin hung up quickly before Hoseok can reply with a single word. Hoseok reached to the transparent bag, opened the zipper and carefully took out the paper out. It was semi transparent under the moonlight, and Hoseok stood up and grabbed the portrait of Taehyung that was sitting beside him. He felt his arm was dragged by a brute, sudden force, and with a swift blackout, the next second his fingertips were already pushing down the paper on the face of Taehyung till the surface was near the verge of breaking.
Once he regained the control of his arm, he immediately moved his hand away and saw that it was already attached to there. He waited, with anticipation, but nothing happened. Taehyung still said goodnight to him before dragging his plushie to his side, completely clueless of what he just did.
Hoseok covered the portrait with the veil and quickly hid it under the pillow and shut his eyes tight, forcing himself to sleep.
"...hyung! Hoseok hyung!!"
Hoseok could felt the morning sun slapping on him right at the moment Taehyung yanked the curtains aside. He did not sleep well the night before so he simply pulled his blanket up and buried himself in it, ignoring Taehyung.
Hoseok muffled from under the blanket, eyes still closed due to tiredness.
"But there was someone at the door, and I can't get it!"
"Why not?" Hoseok finally perked up and looked at Taehyung while rubbed his eyes.
"Because I don't know them and they will get scared…?"
"Fine," Hoseok sat up fully, and stretched himself before finally leaving the bed and open the door.
"Hobi hyung~! I bought breakfast as an apology!! Here you go!"
Jimin quickly handed a takeaway breakfast from the nearby fast food restaurant to Hoseok and bowed. He seemed to be in a hurry, as his hair was extremely messy and his socks were mismatched also.
Jungkook peeked out from behind Jimin and nodded at Hoseok, then greeted in a monotone voice. He was wearing a white hoodie with the hood on, and clutching that same worn out plushie tightly that Hoseok thought he may rip it in pieces anytime. He looked grimmer than usual, and Hoseok swore that he could see a flare extruding from his covered eye.
"Where is the room?"
Hoseok pointed at his room with visible reluctance, and Jungkook slowly walked towards it while Hoseok trailed behind him. He did not feel Taehyung's presence since the moment he opened the front door for the brothers, so Taehyung could only be in the bedroom. He felt really bad about actually doing this, and his sixth sense kept trying to convince himself to stop.
Jungkook put on his iconic bunny mask before he opened the door, and turned to Hoseok.
"I will start the annihilation. Step aside."
The door flung open by itself, revealing Taehyung that was grabbed and held down by white, scrawny arms that rose from the ground.
"?!!! HOSEOK HYUNG!!! HELP ME!!!!"
Rattling noises came out as Taehyung struggled from the grips of death but the fingers only clawed deeper into Taehyung. Raising both of his arms, Jungkook levitated and slowly approached the chained spirit as he murmured streams of spells, summoning blue flames that started to latch on Taehyung.
A hand covered his mouth while started to slowly strangle him. His muffled screams and cried finally snapped Hoseok out of the state of paralyzed by fear.
As Jungkook raised his hand and ready to strike his final blow, Hoseok sprinted towards Jungkook, tackled him and caused both of them falling on the ground. Shocked by Hoseok's sudden reaction, Jungkook's spells immediately weakened and Taehyung was freed.
"Jungkook!! I-please take everything back!! This is not what I wanted!!! I did want to get rid of him at first, and gaining freedom for us both, but…"
Hoseok felt tears dropping from his eyes.
"I-I accept my fate...if I have to be with Taehyung for the rest of my life...so be it!! Please, please don't annihilate him!!!"
Jungkook sighed and whispered a reverse spell, retrieving the room to its original state. The wounds on Taehyung gradually faded while Taehyung watched with confusion and awe.
"Get off me."
"Oh, right," Hoseok quickly jumped off and helped Jungkook to stand up."Sorry."
"So you don't need the annihilation service now?"
"I don't!! I never did!! I always thought your job was sparing bounded spirits free!! I…" Hoseok glanced at Taehyung that was hiding under the bed again.
Jungkook suddenly frowned, clearly upset at Hoseok’s answer, then turned and went back to the living room without a word.
Jimin was munching on the pancakes he bought when Jungkook suddenly slipped in between his arms and buried himself in Jimin’s embrace.
“How was it, Kook?”
“Hyung…I can't believe he stopped me.” Jungkook answered softly. “Why? Don’t people become relieved when I do this?”
“Well,” Jimin put down his fork and looked at the direction of where the room was. “People make exceptions for others that they like, or that they wanted to treasure…let it be anything.”
He turned back to Jungkook and pinched the cheek of the plushie in Jungkook’s arms.
“Don’t you do so too?”
Jungkook looked at it, and suddenly showed a smile of understanding.
Jimin gave a pat on Jungkook’s back.
“Now, I should see who’s outside the doorstep~''
"Hoseok hyung!!" Taehyung quickly scooted next to Hoseok and exclaimed. "Are you alright?"
"I'm sorry, Taehyung. I'm sorry for doing this and being so selfish...I really am."
"Hyung, you really messed up." Taehyung put his hands on Hoseok's while looked at him and gave a sympathetic smile. "But it's alright. You stopped me from dying the second time even though I'm not sure can a dead guy be dead again!"
Hoseok lifted up and looked right back at Taehyung, then wiped his tears.
"Can we...do this again?"
Hoseok felt the warm aura surrounded him along with Taehyung’s embrace. He slowly closed his eyes while letting the aura channel through him.
“...not the annihilation part, that is.”
"So you're basically telling me, you, Hoseok-ssi, the chosen one, tried to murder young master?!!"
Yoongi stood up, obviously dismayed towards Hoseok as he questioned him with his voice raised much more than usual. For a split second, Hoseok thought Yoongi might as well lunge forward and skin him alive, judging by how he was trying his absolute best to retain his cool. He could only keep on apologizing as that was what he could do right now.
Hoseok tried to explain, but he really could not find a good enough excuse to justify himself, so he went back on apologizing instead.
“How do you murder a dead guy?”
Jungkook, out of everyone’s surprise, chimed in the conversation in a quiet voice.
Seemingly triggered by Jungkook’s intervention, Yoongi pointed his finger towards Jungkook while raised his voice in a critical tone--which made Jungkook quickly flinch at that.
“...that's what the spirit said.”
Jungkook murmured. Hoseok looked around, and saw Taehyung nodding his head frantically at what Jungkook just said as back up. It seemed like what Jungkook said was true.
“Hoseok hyung~if only Yoongi could see me I would have explained everything to him! But he probably can’t…-”
Taehyung suddenly stopped wandering beside Hoseok and decided to head in the room instead while the room fell into complete silence.
"I guarantee that something like this shall never happen again.”
Hoseok swore, solemnly, with a determined look. Seeing this, Yoongi decided to give in and stop being hostile towards everyone else at the table since he did realize that doing this would not get their relationship any better than before. So he gave a brief cough as to shift their discussion to something else.
"Thank you, Hoseok ssi...for the assurance. I was too hasty a while ago."
Yoongi bowed, then turning to Jungkook and gave another apologetic bow.
"My apologies, mister."
Jungkook pouted, still upset how Yoongi would just accuse him like that.
“Kook, we normal humans won't see, hear or feel spirits from the other world...so it’s normal for us to misunderstand,” Jimin cuddled Jungkook from aside and calmed him down, like what they would usually do. “Don’t get yourself heated up.”
Suddenly, a paper plane drifted out from the room swiftly and landed on the table.
Hoseok carefully opened it.
"To Yoongi. Oh!"
He quickly passed it forward to Yoongi without further inspection. Yoongi grabbed it with confusion in his eyes, but still read it nonetheless.
"Young master...for me…?"
Hoseok could see Yoongi's hands slightly tremble while he teared up after reading the letter, but quickly wiped them away. "If only I could see young master now," He gave out a tiny grin. "I would inform him that this is the greatest honor I have ever received. And he was really the one who corrected my foolish mistake from a while ago...I should have known."
Yoongi stood up, his face so full of joy like he just won the lottery.
"Young master, Tae...thank you so much."
The other three watched Yoongi from the side silently. Jimin was moved by them, as Hoseok swore that he saw a sparkle formed at the rim of Jimin's eyes. Jungkook remained a neutral expression, but he was watching Yoongi so intensely that there was no doubt he was intrigued by such an interaction.
"Jungkook, I wanted to know...is there any ways that humans could interact with spirits?"
Carefully, Hoseok asked. He knew it might be impossible, but he wanted to give it a shot anyway."
"Huh? For that…"
"If you could annihilate spirits from this realm, surely you could make them visible, right?"
Hoseok was not sure how Jungkook would react, knowing that he just disrupted his work and now asking such a question that was out of the blue.
Jungkook suddenly stared back and stood up. Ignoring how in awe Jimin looked due to his eagerness to actually accepting the request of trying out something new, he walked towards Hoseok with a firm look.
"You surprised me, Hoseok ssi...you're one interesting case." Jungkook said, still in a blunt and direct way, but he had obviously softened compared towards their first encounter. "You rejected my service at first, seemingly marking my first fail...but now that you asked again, I guess I have to do it to prove myself."
Seeing how firm Jungkook seemed to be, Hoseok flashed a bright smile as return.
"Thank you, Jungkook. And for real, there's no need to be that tense!" He patted his back as to give his thanks. "Just call me hyung or something! After this, Imma treat you something well as your reward!!"
"Ah..erm..." Seeing how well received his words were to Hoseok, Jungkook quickly became flustered, and turned away to grab his bag instead. "I...we will see after this. I need to do this for my own curiosity anyway!"
The group went into Hoseok's room again, where Taehyung's relicts were at.
"Floating plushie? Is that young master holding it?"
"Hey Kook, that looked like your plushie! It's like an identical one!"
Jungkook glanced at it, his expression became unreadable once his eyes met the plushie, but he simply shook it off for now by focusing his attention on the notebook he brought along. He shared the page with Hoseok, and the two started to read it together.
“This might not work, but it’s the only way I got.”
May you reveal the once concealed
Show this realm the power they yield
Yet if the lips break their seal
The once ideal would then repeal
“That sounded...oddly poetic. It’s like the person wrote it was trying to make it sound fancy?” Taehyung suddenly interrupted them by popping up between Hoseok’s arms. “Are you going for annihilation 2.0, eyepatch?”
“Oh,” Taehyung let out a dry laugh, probably of how curt Jungkook’s answer was. "Do whatever you have to, I suppose?"
Jungkook stood back, and signed towards the others to clear the surroundings and left the room. So the remaining three swiftly cleared an area up for Jungkook and Taehyung, and got out from the room.
"Now to think of it…" Yoongi looked at Taehyung's plushie that he was asked to hold, then glanced at the worn out one Jungkook owns that was sitting on the table. "Young master did told me once he gave away his old plushie to a friend in his preschool the day before madame decided to homeschool him. Since your brother has a replica of it, could it be?"
Jimin gasped. "Is there where Kook got this from? He really cherishes it for all those years, simply told me it was because this was from a friend of his...I'm glad that they could see each other again even though it's in a quite awkward situation…~"
The door was suddenly flung open, and seemed like the instructions on the notebook worked perfectly fine, as Taehyung is now actually standing on the ground shoulder to shoulder with Jungkook. He was also holding those drawings he did a while ago, and as his eyes met Yoongi, he tossed those in the air like confetti and rushed to give him a big hug.
"Yoongi!! You can see me now, right?!"
"Yes, young master…"
Looking at the two, Jungkook gave a rare grin, genuinely amused that he succeeded. Then Taehyung tugged his hoodie and pulled him in a quick hug before he could react.
"Eyepatch! You weren't as bad as I first thought!"
"Erm, I just...thought we met way before this...and…"
Taehyung seemed confused at first, but a glimpse of Jungkook's worn out plushie was able to quickly recall his memory. "I remember you from preschool!! You were hiding under the table most of the time, isn't it?"
"...and you always ended up screeching beside me."
While Taehyung started to announce their little adventures the two shared in that one year of preschool, Hoseok decided to observe from aside.
To be frank, he was glad that the tension between everyone was resolved before it got way worse, and seeing Taehyung finally having a good time with other people made him felt relieved.
"Hyung!" Taehyung shouted with excitement. "Look at me!! I stepped out of the house!! Lookkkk~!!!!"
He jumped on the railing, and danced along to an improvised beat till he decided to bounce and jumped off, just to levitate himself back up from the ground floor.
"I missed this shit, yooo!! No more walls in my way!"
After doing more backflips, he suddenly went running away while still cheering--till he disappeared in others’ sight.
"Well then. I guess this is truly what you hoped, Hobi hyung?"
"We'll...come again. To visit."
Jungkook squeezed Jimin's hand gently, and the two left the house side by side, with Yoongi who just cleaned the living room up swiftly for Hoseok following behind the two.
An audible growl was heard from Hoseok, reminding him that he had not eaten for several hours.
“Oh. Taehyung! Any recommendations today---oh wait.”
He was going to ask for Taehyung's advice on lunch like what he usually does. Realizing that he could not do that anymore, he sighed, slowly walked in the kitchen to grab whatever food like stuff instead. It had been more than two days already, and he was still struggling in getting used to the fact that he was living alone once again.
The fridge was filled with magnets with different shapes and sizes on the surface. Taehyung kept nagging Hoseok to get some of those so he could put up the drawings he did on there; and now once Hoseok actually bought them, he was the only one left to work on it.
Not in the mood to cook, Hoseok snatched the bag of bread sitting on the top of the fridge, opened the package, and started to munch on it while crouching at the kitchen counter.
To say that he did not miss Taehyung would be a blatant lie. Though not normally seen by others, he already had get used to Taehyung's presence, and how he brought more life to the household by randomly commenting on his almost everything. He knew he was the one that refused to let him stick around at first, but now he just felt a little empty inside. Like how a little part of him got peeled away.
Enjoying the rare silence, Hoseok went back into his own room and lied on the bed, still not used to how quiet the household had become. Taehyung's things were scattered in every corner of the room. A few white roses used as decoration somehow ended up dangling on the fan, and his manga books were everywhere. Must have been the aftereffect of Jungkook’s work, he thought.
The portrait of Taehyung was on the floor. Hoseok only paid attention to it once he really stopped to think wherever Taehyung could have soared to, and it was bothering him a little too much once he realized it.
Half of the paper remained on the surface, occasionally being blown up by the wind, just to end up blocking its eyes. Hoseok would think that since Yoongi handled the portrait with so much care and delicacy, and how Taehyung and him initially encountered right after he lifted the veil, it should be considered one of the most important things for a spirit, for Taehyung. But now, it was just lying so casually on the ground that Hoseok felt like he had to pick it up so it would seem less lonely compared to before. He felt bad to just leave it unattended.
"Cmon, how many times did I remind him not to mess up the room…-"
Hoseok reached to the portrait and quickly scooped it up while murmured.
A piece of crumpled paper suddenly fell out from under the frame, so Hoseok picked it up altogether.
It was a sketch of Hoseok cooking. Taehyung even emphasized details like the drops of sweat and the ingredients lying on the frying pan. There was also a tiny, almost unnoticeable caption scribbled somewhere in the middle.
Sunshine hyung cooking...my love has the sharpest jawline ever ㅠㅠ
Hoseok laughed after reading the caption, and kept on laughing and laughing, till tears started to slowly form. He sniffed, trying to wipe his eyes so he could read that again, but failed as more started to drip and fall everywhere.
"..heh...I must look ridiculous this moment~dont i."
He chuckled, as he held the drawing closely to him and hugged it for a long time, until he suddenly heard a creak from the window. Quickly, he shot up and looked around, with shock.
A pale, half transparent arm went through the window and pushed the window, and Taehyung came slithering in from the narrow gap.
"Ah!!" Hoseok immediately wiped his tears and snot on his sleeve before Taehyung could react to how much a train wreck he seemed to have gotten himself into.
"Y-you came back."
The room fell into a short silence before Taehyung unexpectedly leaned his back against Hoseok's. Beams of the afternoon sunlight filled the room, falling on both of them, painting the surrounding to a gentle gradient from red to orange.
"Hyung," Taehyung whispered. "Remember when we first met? How I screamed at your face that I can't choose anything for myself, even in the afterlife?
"At that time, I was so sure that I would never return once I get myself to freedom. That was my choice at that time. And when I really do get to go, I just...bailed.
Hoseok felt a shift from Taehyung, and now their hands overlapped with each other's.
"But it was nothing like before. Sure, I can stalk through walls and doors freely again, or go anywhere I desired...yet, I am...alone. Free but alone. I missed having someone beside me that talked to me normally for the first time, without any other intentions behind. I actually feel like home here, whether you're here with me.
"It feels great that I get to choose for once...and now, I want to choose and stay with you, hyung. I love to be around you. I love to be with you. I just...really love you now, I suppose.”
With sincerity, Taehyung gripped Hoseok’s hand tighter, his cold fingers wrapped firmly as he tried to not let his voice tremble throughout his confession. Hoseok tried to hide his puffy eyes by burying his face into his other sleeve. That was one hell of a cheesy confession to listen to.
“Taehyung, I...I’m glad to hear that.”
But he enjoyed it, nonetheless.
“Do you like me then?”
“I do love you. Why won’t I? You...you came back when you can choose not to. And I do missed you.”
“Great!” Taehyung suddenly moved away and crawled under Hoseok’s blanket before he could react. “I also missed your bed, Hoseok hyung. And the stuff. I’m glad you took me in again! Good night!!”
“I love you, hyung. But I love my beauty sleep too! So let’s talk next morning and go somewhere fun! On a brand new day~!”
Taehyung pulled Hoseok close, and looked him with pleading eyes, seemingly waiting for something.
“Sure, anywhere with you kid. Tommorrow.”
Taehyung gave a quick but tender hug to Hoseok before going back in the pile of blankets. Hoseok then proceed to snuggle himself on the other side of the bed, finally able to sleep contented with his love near him once again.