An Alternate Soulmate
Member: Ha Sungwoon // Wanna One & HOTSHOT
Genre: Slight angst; Psychological; Fluff (Warning: Has violence & mentions child abuse)
Summary: Soulmate! AU
Word Count: 6533
A/N: Hello~ This is Admin Leah. I wrote this plot because I am currently doing research on the history of psychology with a university professor, concerning the focus of Multiple Personalities. There may be slight inaccuracies I have written in order to shorten and make the plot a little more workable. Please try to look upon it kindly!
“It’s honestly the most gorgeous shade of pink though,” your younger sister gushed excitedly, her hands wrapped around the gem, which was strung on a delicate silver chain around her neck. She was right. The gem was indeed a pretty shade of pink, and it matched the boy in front of her, whose eyes were shining brightly as he watched her with lovestruck eyes. They had been childhood friends, sticking through elementary, middle, and their awkward pubescent stage of life as well. And now, between Saeri and Daehwi, you were positive they would live a beautiful life after their inevitable feelings were confirmed by their soulmate gem that they were indeed a pair. You looked on with envy, feeling remorse at how your pendant was black.
When you were born, it was a baby blue, just as everyone else’s had been. It showed that you had not met your soulmate at the right time for you to click romantically, which was fine because you were an infant and more worried about crying for a diaper change. Now, at age 20, you were undeniably single. It had turned black sometime when you were a child, around age six. One day you had woken up, and it was just that. Dark. Gloomy. Despairing. He must have died. Your soulmate was gone before you had a chance, and you were a singular anomaly who had lost hope.
You hated yourself at feeling bitter at your sister’s happiness. Saeri was precious to you, and you were grateful that it was Daehwi she would be spending the rest of her life with. Daehwi was your neighbor as long as you remembered. He was sweet, smart, hardworking, and knew how to respect your sister and your family. Still, seeing the two be so lovely together pricked your heart in the most suffocating manner, and even though it was your idea to invite him for dinner as a congratulatory celebration, you were beginning to feel an inkling of regret.
“Please excuse me, restroom.” You got up, trying to ignore the concerned look Saeri and your parents were shooting at each other, while Daehwi looked sullen. They all must have known your real feelings, the ones you had been keeping in. How you could not stop crying when your best friend had met her soulmate. How it felt to always get a pitiful stare in the streets, and how it was the law to keep your pendant on to prevent infidelity.
You splash your face with a bit of cool water, trying to ignore the icy chills it sent down your spine. As you reentered the dining area, your mother stood up, a warm smile on her face.
“_____? Would you like some fresh air? Your father wants some ice cream.” You smile gently. Your mother always knew that you liked to be by yourself when you were upset, mainly because you could not stand the pity. You nodded, taking the cash from her hand, and pull on the first hoodie and sneakers you can find.
“I’ll be back soon,” you promise, and you leave into the evening air, relishing the heat that was beginning to fade away as the sun was setting. The market was only a few blocks away, nothing unbearable. You kept your pendant a little hidden, not wanting to attract more attention. In truth, the whole neighborhood knew about it, but it comforted you when a visiting family did not have to see.
You idly look through the freezers, picking out a few pints of various flavors. Mint for your father, coffee for your mother. Daehwi and Saeri liked vanilla and strawberry respectively. You liked green tea. You did your best to move it towards the register, but a kind worker stopped you.
“Let me get that for you,” he flashed a friendly smile, taking more than half of them and reducing you to only the green tea and vanilla pints. He hummed a little, his cheeriness showing as he led you to an empty register, taking down the ‘Closed’ sign. He smiled once more at you.
‘He’s cute,’ you thought with a sliver of a smile beginning to show. You looked at his nametag. ‘Ha Sungwoon - PT. He must be a student.’
“That’ll be 15,000 won.” He said, ringing up the register. You narrowed your eyes, before frowning.
“I think you made a mistake. It should be–”
“Don’t worry about it. You looked a little down.” He said, before taking the money from your hand. You blushed at his words, and he gave you a cheekier smile this time. “I know, I’m cool aren’t I?” You nodded, a small chuckle escaping your lips. You hoped he didn’t know how wistful it was, that you wished somehow your pendant would turn pink and his would too. His was tucked away, most likely because it was work, but you never even bothered to check anymore.
“Would you like paper or plastic?” His voice was pleasant, and you point at the paper bag. “Well, here you go.” He slipped a small piece of paper into the bag as well, giving you a slight wink. “And if you ever need a friend, call me.”
You brushed your hair over your shoulder, the loose waves springing slightly as you did so. Daehwi had left hours ago, and you could hear your sister calling him despite seeing him earlier today. The paper Sungwoon had given you was now in front of you, and you sighed, unable to choose what to do. Did you actually take his offer and leave the house tomorrow before Daehwi came back? Or did you just pass? He was a stranger, but at least he was a cute and nice one.
‘Decide after you wash up.’ You chide to yourself, and tug off the hoodie. Your arms freeze, and the hairs on your arm raise ever so slightly as you let out a scream of horror. In a matter of seconds, Saeri and your mother are by your side, grasping your arm and cradling your head in attempts to calm your frantic sobs.
“H-How?” Saeri murmured, her eyes fixated on the half pink and half black gem. Your mother shook her head, unable to formulate an answer that was certain.
“Just remain calm and strong. ____, are you okay?” You hiccup pathetically, your shutting your eyes as you refused to look at it any longer. Why was it suddenly pink? How? Your soulmate should have been dead for almost 14 years now. There was no reason for the heavens to play such a cruel joke on you. Unless…
“Saeri. Pass me my phone.” She obliged, unsure of what the glint in your eye was. You smooth out the crumpled paper with Sungwoon’s number, trying to focus your vision on the blurry numbers. You type it in, before hitting the call button.
“Who is this?” The voice was confused. “Oh, is this that girl from before?”
“Ha Sungwoon? C-Can you check your gem?” There was a rustling sound from the other side, before a groan.
“I think I left it in my locker at work. Why, is there a problem?” You found it hard to make a sound. Was it even right to force it onto him? Were you just being desperate at this point? Sungwoon would be a gift from the divine forces if he were somehow your soulmate, and yet the idea of it being some false scenario drove you insane. “Hey, don’t worry. You don’t have to tell me. How about we meet at the cafe across the street from the market at 7 PM tomorrow, and we can talk then?” You nod, before realizing he couldn’t even see you. Your mother and sister were alarmed at the exchange, but hopelessly remained silent.
“I’ll see you tomorrow… Good night.” You said softly, before hanging up. Your mother stroked your hair, a sigh escaping her lips.
“I’m so sorry this had to happen to you, ____. Just please, don’t do anything rash, okay? Go wash up and sleep a little. Take some sleeping medicine if you need it.” She got up and left, Saeri following her cautiously.
“Where is he?” You muttered, a little irritated. In honesty, Sungwoon was merely two minutes late at this point, but the sensitivity of the topic made you jittery and unable to bear the weight of your emotions. Your eyes were still puffy as the stress of the situation had reduced you to tears every few hours, and the largest sunglasses you could find in your possession hid your face as you sipped on a bitter iced coffee. ‘Ah, but it isn’t bitter enough.’
You sat there, fiddling with your gem. You instinctively covered the black side, your mind in a turmoil at the sight of the pink. Saeri was right: it was gorgeous. It made you want to believe that this soulmate system was not flawed, that it was what allowed human civilization to have advanced so smoothly since the beginning of history, but there was a twinge of doubt. Why were the recorded accounts of mess ups so rare? Was something hidden? Or was it actually just you that had somehow defied the rules and were given a soulmate who did not exist.
The wind chimes attached to the cafe’s door jingled, and you looked up hopefully. Sungwoon was there once again, a hard look on his face as his sharp gaze scanned the area. You waved him over hopefully, and flinched when his eyes met yours. While yesterday he had been radiating a goofy and sweetness, today was something stronger and more charismatic. His hair was gelled a little, and he had a black leather jacket that he straightened ever so slightly as he strode confidently towards you, his presence domineering the cafe.
“I assume you’re the girl.” His words were blunt, void of and emotion that was to be distinctly made out. You cast your gaze away, unable to hold his piercing scrutiny any longer.
“Sungwoon, are you-”
“I’m not that weak fool.” He scoffed, before yanking the chair across from you out. “I’m Injae. Call me by his name one more time and I’ll…” his voice trailed off when you finally snapped, throwing off your sunglasses. They clattered onto the tabletop, nearly toppling the iced coffee over.
You threw him a glare, eyes willing him to shut up in your utter humiliation.
“I get it! You don’t want to be my soulmate– who would? I’m some stupid girl who isn’t supposed to have one.” Your voice rose an octave with you intending it, and the few customers in the cafe were beginning to star. “But really, making up some macho and asshole character for yourself?” You rose, grabbing your stuff and turning to leave. He stared at you, something sparkling in his dark eyes. ‘Was that respect? Or was it being impressed?’ You shoot him a last bitter smile, shoving the door with all your might as you leave.
“Don’t move.” His hand wrapped tightly around your wrist, and a shot of pain caused you to wince from his iron grip. “Did you just call me a character? Do you doubt my existence?” His voice was low, almost a mean growl to it. You sighed, unable to contain your irritation as you tried to pry his hand off. It did not move.
“Let go of me.” You snapped, and he tugged you closer, a dangerous smirk playing on his lips. His eyes were haunting, as if calculating your soul when he peered into yours. He was not tall by any means, but you were short as well.
“Soulmate, you said?” He pulled on your chain, and you struggled to have him release you. You could hear a sharp crack, and felt the chain rip off of you. He broke the necklace you had since you were little. You could feel more tears well up as you blindly lunged for it, but he fended you off easily, examining the gem.
“G- Give it back.” You screamed. Your throat felt raw and congested, almost as if it would close up on you at any point. This was all a mistake. Meeting with him was a mistake. Letting his charming smile get to you the other day was a horrible mistake.
“It’s black. I don’t know why you’re saying I’m your soulmate.” He dangled the chain in front of you, and you snatched it back. He was right. The pink was all gone, replaced with the jet black color it had been originally. You fell to your knees, heaving for air as sobs wracked your body. It was gone. The only hope you had had fled you, and all that was remaining was some emo boy in front of you. He knelt down beside you, his hand patting your back in a surprisingly soothing and warm manner.
“Screw you.” You hiccup lamely, and he suppressed a smile. “I hate you.” He sighed, looking up at the now night sky.
“You aren’t a bad girl. Sungwoon would probably be happy with you.” He said finally, and your ears perked up. “Too bad I can’t let him have you.”
“I don’t understand.” You straightened up, and met his stoic gaze. He offered a hand, pulling you back to your feet with ease.
“He can’t have single ownership of this body by himself.” Injae said coolly, before glancing at the streetlamps that were now flickering on. “I’ll walk you home. It’s the least I could do for stealing his date.” You blushed at his words, before looking away from him.
“I don’t need your help if you aren’t willing to tell me where Sungwoon is.” You bartered, and he snorted in amusement at your words.
“____. I have a name.”
“- he’s probably fighting his way for control right now,” Injae finished, disregarding your interjection completely. You frowned, before turning away to go home. You ignored the footsteps trailing behind you lazily, feeling some satisfaction that Injae, or Sungwoon, or whoever it was, had been at least taking some responsibility. That satisfaction also faded the moment you had realized the sound was gone, and you tried your best to not frown. ‘What a jerk. He probably has some stupid commitment issues,’ you thought bitterly. Still, the black gem had rubbed you the wrong way. It was almost confirming that indeed, you were single for life, while everyone around you would be paired off with someone who would keep them company until they died.
“____, duck!” A furious shout sounded behind you, and you dropped to the ground, your arms flailing to cover your head as you screwed your eyes shut in panic. A metallic thud rang from behind you, followed by a groan of pain. You uncovered your head, turning to look. A young man holding a small pocket knife was now on the ground, while Injae was glowering him, his teeth bared in a furious scowl with a rusty pipe in his hand.
“Son of a-”
“Don’t hurt him more!” You scream, imagining the damage about to be done. You jumped up, wrapping your arms around Injae, preventing him from swinging the pipe once more. He stopped moving, frozen at your touch, while the other male dropped his knife and ran off, a limp evident. “I’m fine, so don’t… It’s okay, really.” You were breathing hard, unable to fathom the evening. In honesty, your heart was fluttering at the thought of Injae’s heroic save, and you were thankful he was there. But at the same time, it frightened you terribly that he was so eager to fight, that he had no fear for injury.
He finally seemed to breathe again, a huge sigh released as he gently pulled your arms off. He turned slowly, a familiar warm glint of worry in his eyes. ‘Sungwoon?’
“W-What happened?” Sungwoon stuttered, before looking at the heavy pipe in his hands. He dropped it instantly, the clatter of the metal shocking you as you took a step back. He looked at the leather sleeve, horror in his eyes as realization set in.
“Is this Sungwoon or…”
“You met Injae, didn’t you?” Sungwoon’s voice was shrunken with uncertainty, his eyes ashamed as they were cast towards the pavement beneath you two. You nodded, trying to shove the rising confusion and panic down once more. “He didn’t hurt you, did he?” You shook your head, before remembering the gem. You pulled it out, dreading the black. It was half pink once more, and you peered at him nervously.
“Do you remember anything?” He shook his head, his face suddenly tired. “You don’t even know how you were supposed to meet me?”
“I know that much,” he furrowed his brows. “Can I have your name?”
“____.” You bit your lower lip. “Who exactly is Injae?” He looked uncomfortable at the question, but mumbled some incoherent words. You looked at him blankly, and he cleared his throat, his gaze looking away from you.
“He’s my alter” It sounded foreign, something you had never heard of. ‘Alter?’ “I have a special condition. Multiple personality.” The name sounded vaguely familiar, but you still were unsure of what to say. He looked at you, his countenance reflecting the same troubled and mix of emotions you felt internally.
“Never mind. I’ll take you home. Is it near?” You nodded, pointing to the house at the corner of the street. The walk was silent, but it did not feel awkward to you at all. Perhaps it was the shyness of the situation, or how much you had to persevere with him from the very beginning, but it was a silence you could handle quite well. He seemed apologetic every step of the way, and by the time you got to your front door, he sighed and offered a small smile.
“I guess I’ll talk to you later. Good night,” you said quietly, pushing your key to the front door into the lock.
“Wait, ___. I’ll take you out another time. I’m really sorry.” He rubbed the back of his head, unsure of what to do. ‘Was this a date?’ You smiled genuinely at this, and nodded.
“I’ll be looking forward to it. Have a safe walk home, Sungwoon.”
“___! Wake up, there’s a guy here for you.” Saeri’s voice was thick with curiosity, but she was mature enough to not pry, even though it was evident she desperately wanted to. You shot up from your bed. In truth, you had been awake for a few hours now, but you had never found the willpower to leave your room, the only place that seemed to be a haven for your thoughts. You caught a glimpse of your knotted hair in the mirror and winced.
“Can you tell him to wait a few minutes?” You beg, and Saeri nodded in amusement, leaving the room with a soft thud of the door. You ran into the bathroom, brushing your teeth with one hand and brushing your hair with the other. Your mind was wandering to what clothes to wear. Was today his idea of a date? Was it Sungwoon or Injae? You had researched the topic a bit the night before, the moment you had stepped foot into your room, with your trusty laptop.
Injae was his alternate personality, one of how many she had no clue. He had his own style, his own mind, and his own goals, but from what you could see he was certainly no wicked character. Maybe tough, but he balanced Sungwoon’s kindness very well.
You finally tugged on a pair of jeans and a boxy striped tee, tossing your hair over one shoulder as you left the room. Sungwoon was seated in the kitchen, chatting away in a lively manner with your mother, who looked delighted at his presence.
“- And when she was a child, she said she was going to be a monkey because she had a talent for tree climbing.” Your mother was saying, while Sungwoon chuckled at this newfound information on you. You shot her a pleading look as you walked into the room.
“Mom!” You whined, exasperated. “You can’t tell anyone who walks through the front door how I was a disaster as a kid!”
“But Sungwoon isn’t just any boy,” your mother pointed out with a wise smile, before shooing the two of you out of the kitchen. “Anyways, he volunteered to babysit you for at least the morning so go and act like a young lady for once.” You scoffed at her words in disbelief, while Sungwoon looked mildly amused at the banter.
“Your mother is very friendly,” he said as he opened the door for you. You shot him an accusing look.
“You two might as well be conspiring against me,” you huffed, and he grinned widely at this, putting his hands up as if to surrender. “I think you owe me breakfast.”
“No doubt, I do. To the cafe?” You nodded in agreement. Looking at him closer in the day, he was definitely cute. His skin looked soft and pale, his brown hair falling messily but perfectly at the same time. His eyes had a bright twinkle as he looked around, first at a bird and then at the cars passing by.
“Did you find your soulmate?” You blurt the words as you approach the cafe. He smiled a little at this, stopping in front of the glass door.
“It’s complicated,” he said finally. “I’ll explain, but let’s eat first.” He opened the door, waving you in. You smile a little at his manners, before looking at the menu.
“I like the cinnamon honey toast,” you said finally, and he nodded.
“Go sit, I’ll order. Do you want coffee?” You nodded, and he left you. You took the same seat as you had the day before, fiddling with the gem on your broken necklace. You hadn’t confessed to your parents yet that it was ruined, but there was no urgency to either. The vibrant millennium pink in contrast with the black made you wistful. It was so aggravating that you could not have the same beautiful pink gem as others did.
Sungwoon took the seat across from you, placing the table buzzer in front of him. He handed you a mug of coffee, setting down the small tray with creamer, spoons, and a small thing of sugar. You pour a little cream, watching the white haze dissipate as your swirled the spoon slowly.
“I believe I owe an explanation now.” He began. You peered up at him, sipping the mug with interest.
“I agree with that statement,” you murmur, and the faintest of sadness crept into his smile.
“I want to firstly apologize for any anger or grief caused by Injae. I can’t remember what happened when he was my public identity, but I could tell you were quite shaken at his appearance.”
“Injae… he isn’t a bad guy.” You said hesitantly, before thanking the waitress who set down your breakfast. Sungwoon did not order food, instead only accepting the iced caramel macchiato.
“I suppose he may have developed some feelings for you to have been so kind,” Sungwoon remarked. “He causes a lot of devastating side effects for me, but I’m also grateful for him. He’s made it up in interesting ways for me. I haven’t ever lost a fist fight thanks to him.” Sungwoon chuckled bitterly. “But I’ve also been losing many hours of my life to him.”
“When did Injae form?” You ask gently, cutting off a corner of the toast. He didn’t look surprised at your question, instead twirling his drink in his hand, the clatter of ice cubes sounding.
“I assume you did some research last night.” You blush at how correct his words were. “I think it was when I was about seven years old. He’s the same age as me, but a lot more rash.”
‘Seven years old… ‘ The thought is unsettling, and the sweetness of the food feels almost sour on your tongue. If you could recall the information you had read last night, it stated that many people with multiple personalities were victims of abuse, most likely as children. You bit your lower lip, refusing to ask that question.
“Now, about my soulmate situation.” You perked up at this, and he chuckled at your outward burst of interest. “I do have a soulmate. I’ve met her. The problem is Injae. Also, I can’t quite tell if this girl realizes she’s my soulmate definitively.” You frown at this, letting the hurt seep in. It was like a thorn pricking you. You could not erase the memories of Sungwoon’s kindness in the past few days, as well as how Injae had saved you. To say you have not fallen for these boys was a lie.
“Oh. She must be a lucky girl,” you huff, before popping another cube of toast into your mouth and chewing sullenly. Sungwoon smiled at your pouting lips. He wondered if you had an idea of how adorable you looked to him in that moment, and placed his half finished drink on the table. He reached out and poked your head, causing you to glare at him.
“Dummy. It’s you.” You nearly choked on your food, and you sipped the coffee in efforts to wash it down, ignoring the scalding liquid on your tongue. He looked amused at your coughing and passed you a napkin.
“W-What do you mean? Is that why it’s half pink?” You put the gem in front of him, and he nodded.
“I believe that must be the case. See, look here.” He took out his own gem, which glowed slightly under the cafe lights.
“But why is mine black then?” You finally said flatly. You wanted to believe in his words more than anything. He was one of the kindest people you had met, and by far the one you wished more than anyone to be your soulmate. Still, the idea of building up false hope lurked in your mind, warning you to back away.
“Black means your soulmate died, doesn’t it?” You nodded.
“That’s why I want to let you in but… I can’t.” Your voice was pained. “You can’t just die and suddenly resurrect. I think my gem is just dysfunctional.” He leaned back in his chair, looking away at your words. He did not want you to cry, nor did he ever want to hurt you. The instances from the day before were haunting him enough. Still, he remembered the utter joy when he had seen his gem turn pink upon meeting you at his part time shift.
“When I was seven, I almost died. I should have died.” His tone was matter-of-fact, but his eyes shone with fear. Fear that you would reject him again. Fear of being alone. “My father was a horrible drunk. He came home one night, trying to beat my sister. I got angry and scared, and i redirected his anger to me.” You gasped at his words. He gave a miserable smile, his lips barely in a ghost of a grin.
“I thought he wasn’t going to make it into the elevator when I tried to run. I was wrong. He started beating me. He had a knife that was stolen. It was too late at night for anyone to be out, and I was bleeding too much. That’s when Injae appeared.” There was a hint of fondness for his alter at this. Tears were brimming in your eyes. “By the time I woke up in the hospital, all I could hear was how I should have been dead. I was stabbed in the abdomen, and I was bruised all over. They said we were both found in the elevator unconscious. I guess Injae was a fighter from the beginning.”
“That’s… I’m sorry.” Your hand reached out and covered his own. He welcomed the warmth that enveloped the backside of his hand, and admired your small hands.
“I think that’s why your gem thinks I’m dead. It’s probably also half pink because of Injae.” Sungwoon said quietly. You squeezed his hand mindlessly, and he flipped his hand so he could entwine his fingers with yours.
“But you are my soulmate then.” The last wall around your weary heart finally crumbled, opening up to him completely. The jealously towards Saeri and Daehwi was a thing of the past, and your future seemed considerably less bleak and worrisome.
“I am but don’t forget we may have a constant third wheel named Injae.” You laughed at his words.
“I’ll win him over.” You said confidently. There was no way you were going to give up Sungwoon that easily. Maybe Injae existed, but if Sungwoon still had a life that was destined to be with you then so be it.
“Of course you will,” Sungwoon jabbed back playfully, and he picked up the tray to return it to the counter. You watched him with newfound admiration. The wait was over. Sungwoon was yours, and you were his.
“Can I ask something?” You queried as you two left the cafe. Sungwoon had promised to take you to a few of the small boutiques nearby, something you had wanted to do if you ever had a soulmate. ‘Well you do now.’
“Is it what happened to my father?” You nodded, and he squeezed your hand a little. “He’s been going in and out of prison time for various offenses, fined for a lot of other offenses, my parents divorced soon after I left the hospital, and the last time I heard he was taken back into a rehabilitation center for alcohol and now drug abuse.” You winced internally at the long list. You were glad Sungwoon was finally safe but at the same time, you were sad his family had such a dark past to it.
“Is that why you work part time?” He shook his head, looking at you adoringly. He relished the feeling of someone caring for him now: it were as though someone filled the emptiness he had in the first 21 years of life.
“My mother remarried to quite a high positioned businessman. He’s a kind father to me and my sister, and he spoils us all ridiculously. I just like the thought of being independence step by step.” You nodded, admiring his work ethic. “Afterall, I have to be able to support our family, don’t I?” Blushing, you hit him, causing him to erupt in laughter.
“Let’s step by in here.” It was a small accessories store, the same one that Daehwi and Saeri had bought their friendship bracelet from a few years prior. You admired the handcrafted jewelry. He picked up a delicate silver chain, holding it up towards you as if to check how it looked.
“I’ll take this.” Sungwoon said, and the employee at the register nodded.
“Would you like anything else?” He paused, looking at you. Your gaze flitted to the rings and bands, and he smiled.
“Please give us a minute.” He picked up a rose gold band, which had a small silver cloud on it. “Do you like this?” You smiled at the thought of buying it, but you shook your head. You wanted something simple that you could wear together without him feeling awkward.
“Can we take this one?” You held up a thicker, silver band. He smiled, putting it onto your ring finger of your left hand.
“I promise I’ll but you a better one in the future when we’re ready for it.” The employee looked as though she were about to squeal from his words, and you stifle a giggle, nodding shyly.
“We’ll take this too then.” Sungwoon said, pulling out his wallet. He shot you a warning look when you were about to protest. “Let me do this for you at least. Heavens knows I’ll be a terrible soulmate in the future.” You fidgeted on the side, watching him take the chain and his ring back from the employee and greet you again with a glint of amusement in his eyes. He gave you the ring.
“I want you to put it on my hand for me,” he teased, and you rolled your eyes but obliged. You slid it onto his ring finger, admiring how the couple item looked. It dawned on you yet again that now you had someone to spend time with, someone who was going to understand you and be by your side forever. “Also, give me your gem.” You fished it out of your pocket, and he took it off of the broken chain, before putting it on for you. You smiled, reaching out to give him a quick hug as he finished. He reached out his hand, which you grabbed.
The rest of the day was filled with making up for a lack of memories and past filled of hurt with Sungwoon. You visited clothing stores, trying on silly outfits. You went to your favorite food stalls, sharing snacks. You showed each other childhood places in the town that brought happy memories. He showed you the soccer field that he used to play on as a child, while you introduced the playground with your favorite swingset. As the sun was beginning to set, you sighed contentedly at his side, your head resting on his shoulder.
“Why did it take me so long to find you?” You wondered aloud, and he cuffed your head gently.
“Because the best presents take the longest to find. Like me.” You wrinkled your nose at his jokingly arrogant words. “Hang on, I need to go to the bathroom. I’ll be back, and then I’ll walk you home.” You lift your head sleepily, letting him leave for the park restrooms. You waited for his return, fiddling with your phone idly. You had messaged your best friend to call you later at night, wanting to tell her about Sungwoon. Saeri had also asked where you were, and you had told her you would be home soon. And yet, as time trickled on, Sungwoon was still nowhere in your sight. You sighed, brushing the grass off of your jeans and standing up. You started towards the restrooms.
“– Punk, you just messed with the wrong group.” You flinched at the shouting, and your heart rate quickened as you bolted towards the area behind the restrooms. There were about three guys, all menacingly glaring at Injae, who’s hardened expression you could identify all too well. His gaze flickered to you, warning you to stay away, before he smirked a little.
“You guys are clearly picking a fight that won’t end favorably for you.” They huffed indignantly, before charging at him. You covered your eyes with your hands, unable to watch. You could hear yowls of pain, thankfully none of them sounding similar to Injae’s voice, and only looked up when a hand grabbed yours, yanking you forward.
“Time to run, ___.” You let him pull you, away from the park and all of the people there. It was exhilarating, and you almost didn’t mind the situation when you could hear Injae’s laughter as he tugged you along towards your home. The guys were far out of sight, and you stopped running, instead doubled over to catch your breaths. Your face was flushed, and Injae grinned at you.
“Looks like I saved the day again,” there was a childlike note in his voice as he said this. You straighten up, and he sighed, returning once more to the stoic boy he originally was.
“How are you, Injae?” He huffed at your words, scowling ever so slightly.
“You want me to be gone so Sungwoon can be with you, don’t you?” You looked alarmed at his words. In honesty, you hadn’t a clue what to do. “You didn’t even consider my thoughts in your plan!”
“I didn’t have any intentions of that nature,” you retorted softly. “I was going to thank you for taking care of him and keeping him safe over the last 21 years. You really helped him, and I doubt I would have met my soulmate if you didn’t exist.” Injae softened slightly, before returning to a rather emotionless state.
“I suppose he’s the winner of every situation. He has me to protect him, and you to love on him. What do I have?” An ache in your heart crept up at this, and you reached out to hesitantly hug him.
“You’re part of Sungwoon. Doesn’t that mean my love extends for you too? You’re protecting him and yourself. I think you two are missing each other’s perspective just a little.” He stiffened at your embrace, as if unable to know what it was. You looked up at him, sticking your tongue out.
“You’re lucky we both grew to like you a lot then. Otherwise your shoulder would have been dislocated by now.” You roll your eyes at this statement. “Also, tell Sungwoon to stop drinking caramel macchiato. It’s way to sweet. Black iced coffee is way better.”
“Are you a grandpa or a child in disguise?” You grumbled, letting go of him. He coughed a little, clearing his throat and pointing at your gem.
“This is actually my last goodbye.” You froze at his words. “I share a conscience with him. I know how much he means to you, and how much he wants to spend the future with you. I also think that the only and best way I can be with you is for him to take over his life again.” You teared up a little at this. He smiled ruefully, running a hand through his hair.
“I- Thank you. Thank you for everything, Injae. I will never forget you, and I will remind him every other day to drink iced black coffee. Any other requests?” He snorted, before reaching out to stroke your hair fondly.
“You’re a good girl for him. Take care of him, because I can’t anymore.” Injae closed his eyes, aguish flickering over his faces as it seemed to have spasms. He doubled over, and you dropped to a crouch.
“I-Injae? Sungwoon? Are you okay?” A few pedestrians shot looks of concern, and finally he stopped, instead twitching and looking up once more. His eyes were confused, gentle and filled with alarm when he saw your worried face.
“___? What’s wrong?”
“Injae left.” You mumbled, trying to brush the tears off of your face. His hand reached up, wiping them off with his thumb. You smiled sadly. “He said he was thankful for you to find a girl like me. And he said to stop drinking sugary drinks.” Sungwoon chuckled wistfully.
“It’s odd. I feel fine but a little hollow without him. You don’t love him more than you loved me… right?” You shrugged jokingly, and he groaned.
“I do love you more, dumbass.” You whisper as you hug him, snuggling into his chest. “And I’m sad he’s gone, but I’m thankful I can at least spend the rest of my days with you.” On your chain, the gem sparkled a beautiful pink, all the black gone as Sungwoon wrapped his arms around you.