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as the rain fades, the shadow grows

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It’s raining.

The shattered eyes of a grey house stare out onto an empty street. The windowpanes are brimming with tears that flood the street below, flowing, rushing, crashing down onto the drenched pavement. The tears will never make it clean again, but they’re trying.

It’s raining.

***

“I’ll be back by six!”

Namjoon stares blankly at the door closing in front of him. There’s a weight in his chest that he’s been trying to ignore all day, but now that Yoongi has left it seems to be growing heavier with each breath he takes. He rubs his eyes and gets up from the sofa with a sigh. Maybe he should make himself a cup of tea? At least that’s what he thinks he normally does when anxiety crawls up his throat like this. It’s hard to remember, what with the rain somehow drowning out his thoughts as well as the sounds from outside.

He finds Yoongi’s favourite tea and puts the kettle on with shaking hands. They really need to get that radiator checked out. The apartment might be shitty and small, but it’s not supposed to be this cold - is it somehow colder than it was just a moment ago? The air seems to be sucking out all of his warmth along with the already dim lights. He picks out a moss green mug and reaches gratefully for the kettle as it finishes boiling.

The scalding Earl Grey is swirling around in his head as his thoughts drown in the green mug. He never really understood the difference between the different sorts of teas, only knew that Yoongi was very particular about it, and that he was only allowed to buy Russian, nothing else. The tea bravely tries to push his anxiety back down his throat, but there seems to be a physical resistance and within a minute he’s on his knees in the bathroom trying not to choke on his own insides. Namjoon’s used to his brain being a warzone whenever overthinking is possible, but this time his brain seems to have completely left the building. His body seems to be fighting itself while his head is brokenly floating among the clouds, far, far above the grey city. For a moment his awareness seems to shift to the part of him travelling through the skies, but the second he seems to catch a glimpse of Yoongi on a dark alley his body retches and he’s flung back to his bathroom floor.

***

The rain won’t stop.

The only colour on the dark street is a stream of red swirling by a storm drain. It leaves behind a trail, a shadow, an unyielding stain of dread on the ground. It’s making itself at home right there on the pavement; growing and fading, drowning and ascending, always coming up for air, never truly leaving. It’s planning on staying there for as long as the pavement will last.

***

A simple love confession is not supposed to be this scary, not even when you’ve been friends for ten years. Especially not when you’ve been friends for ten years. Yoongi would never hate him, would never be disgusted by him. Namjoon knows the worst outcome would be some time of awkwardness while Yoongi gently turns him down, and yet his heart is beating like it wants to run away to another lifetime. No amount of reasoning seems to calm him down, so he sits down with his notebook and a new cup of tea. Still a bit hesitant to touch the tea, he starts writing. It’s become something of a therapeutic outlet as of late, just pushing thoughts out on paper with no regard for their meaning or structure. Sometimes the words turn into whole songs depicting an anxiety attack in vivid detail, other times a word turns into a doodle turns into a drawing turns into tear-stained sketches of clouds and trees and hands. When he’s feeling less anxious and more melancholic, the words turn into bittersweet love songs and sonnets illustrating hushed 4 am conversations and warm hands.

Tonight, the words run down the page as soon as they get there, drowned by the tears he didn’t even know he was shedding. He blinks down at the smudged sentences. There’s something eerily comforting in the way they fade away, as if taking his thoughts with them. It’s a gentle reminder that the world moves on around him, that the anguish filling his head won’t last forever. He’s already forgotten the words.

***

It’s drizzling.

A sliver of moonlight is reflected in a puddle. Wet street corners gleam weakly beneath dim streetlights, blurred and smudgy as if seen through drenched glasses. A hint of red runs along the pavement, slowly circling the wheel of a lone car. It’s found a home by the rusty storm drain.

***

It’s almost seven.

The anxiety turned anguish turned dread has spread from his chest to his fingertips, then grown and grown and grown and filled him to the brim. If this is how his body reacts at only the thought of confession, he truly doesn’t know how it will handle the actual conversation that awaits. The fact that Yoongi is almost an hour late only increases the dread. His head is filling with intrusive scenarios of Yoongi getting lost in the rain, getting hurt in the darkness, fading away from him-

Buzzing. There’s buzzing coming from the kitchen. Namjoon gets up in a rush, pen and notebook falling in a heap on the floor, and rushes to the kitchen. The buzzing sound is drilling into his head, louder than the rain outside, louder than his thoughts. With wild eyes scanning the room he spots his phone vibrating on the counter scrambles toward it with a pounding heart.

“Joon? Sorry I’m late, I know you hate that. I’m almost at the door, but I think I forgot my keys at home, do you think you could come down to the door? It’s freezing out here.” Namjoon smiles through the lump in his throat as he croaks out a quiet yes, of course.

Something like relief is flooding through his veins as he runs down the stairs, keys clutched in one hand and phone in the other. Yoongi is almost home. He still has the terrifying conversation to look forward to, but at least he gets a hug first. There’s nothing like one of Yoongi's hugs to dampen his anxiety.

Only when he pushes the door open does he realize that he ran down without putting on his shoes, but he quickly forgets that as he sees a hooded figure across the street. The streetlights flicker as he lifts his hand to wave to his friend, and he thinks he sees the hint of a smile on Yoongi's face as their eyes meet. Yoongi lifts his arm and steps out onto the street, smile widening as he gets closer to the inviting light of the house.

Neither of them sees the truck.

***

As the rain fades, the shadow grows.

The rain has washed away the tire marks and glass splinters and the dirt and a single glove. The rain has washed away the blood, washed away the blood, washed away the blood- but the blood stain remains. It stains the street like a shadow, glaringly wrong in the streetlights, glaringly dark in the moonlight.