luxury is dead


there is a lack tonight,
an edge to things
like the lost sharpness
of a knife blunted on empty air
                   nothing leavens the waiting

in the cool echoes,
the dry places the sun has left
after a day of basting the earth,
i can see elements of you:
                  the dark halo of a tousled head
                  caught by the wind
                  in the act of turning to smile.

yet the sound of your laugh
still trembles through the grass.
the light, even now, seems sluggish and drunk,
still glutted from touching you.

i look for the imprints of your face
and almost find them
in clouds and reflections.
                  not quite here,
                  yet not far enough away
                  for forgetting.

zia // k.r.cole {}

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[047.] connection

three a.m. airport terminal is a place out of time
eerie, polished, silent
sleepy. i sit bundled in too many clothes
—yes, i look like i’ve slept here
because i have, and it’s cold seven miles
into the sky, i’m ready for that—
picking nervously at paper with pen,
never quite finding the word i want,
rationing granola like pills.

by six the glossy shops’ shutters
open like bleary eyes on instagram princesses
perfumed with luxury;
i checked in when the first flight crews did
but now travellers are coming thicker
half holiday mood and half grim routine.
i don’t know what it is to vacation;
when i was a kid that
happened to other people. i flew once
as a child but all i remember
is stale air and books on tape
so i don’t know yet if i’m afraid.

the hop to amsterdam isn’t bad;
white knuckles on the take off and
piece by piece focus to keep the anxiety down.
i read once that a distant parent
can cause aviophobia; maybe it’s that
missed connection gnawing at me
or just that i’m bad at giving up control.
now, though, breaking the reality
down into bites that make the challenge
easier, i lurch with cane and wobble
across the concourse
reading dutch with a frown and a dumb hope.

Keep reading

Out of the Egg. (Jungkook x Reader) Part 2

“The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world.” – Demian by Hermann Hesse

Jungkook x Reader; (with the rest of the BTS members here and there)

Fluff, Suspense, Angst; mentions of violence, death, sexual harassment (briefly), and warfare

War/ Rebellion Au

Summary: The world you had once known is now bare and rotting with evil. Families were torn, houses were burned, and businesses were shattered by the Oppressors. In your world, there were only two possibilities – if you weren’t working with them, you were owned by them. However, a new faction arises that sings of hope and taking back the world that was once for the people, calling themselves “The Changers”. Although you tried to go unnoticed by either of them, out of fear of being killed or captured, you soon find yourself deep in the middle of the rebellion after an unexpected encounter.

Parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 (Finale)

Originally posted by shitjeon

Originally posted by baracindy

          “YOU’RE THE LEADER?!” You hissed as Jungkook stepped back behind the stage after his welcome speech.

           He grinned at you cheekily. “What was that about not being better looking than the leader?”

           You huffed. “Well clearly, those girls needed to get their eyes checked.”

           Jungkook chuckled.

           Just then a taller, lean man in a lab coat approached you two. He had circular rimmed glasses and a timid smile.

           "Ah, Y/N.“ Jungkook outstretched his arm, gesturing towards the other man. "This is my right hand man, Kim Namjoon. Namjoon, this is –”

           "Y/N.“ Namjoon smiled warmly and shook your hand. "I’ve heard a lot about you from the Leader. I’m glad we finally found you.”

           You blushed while Jungkook smacked Namjoon.

           "Don’t say that hyung!“

           "Good job, half reading my speech and half making up your own.” Namjoon complimented playfully.

           "Well I don’t talk like you. Make a speech that sounds less like a lecture.“ Jungkook huffed. "I’m an easy going person, not a talking tree of wisdom.”

           Namjoon rolled his eyes. “You’re still a leader. You have to at least appear to have a brain over brawn.”

           "I do too have a brain.“ Jungkook argued.

           Namjoon ignored him and turned to you. "Would you like to accompany me? I have to interview all survivors about their encounters with the Oppressors and their history. It’ll help with our database.”

           You nodded, already feeling at ease with Namjoon. “Yeah, of course.”

           "Already leaving me again?“ Jungkook pouted and you rolled your eyes.

           "Don’t you have leader-ly things to do?”

           "Nope.“ Jungkook shrugged and proceeded to follow you and Namjoon.

           "Tell me if you want me to kick him out.” Namjoon whispered. “All interviews are supposed to be private.”

           "I hear you, hyung.“ Jungkook glared.

           "That’s the point.” Namjoon grinned, causing you to chuckle at their bickering.

           "I don’t mind. He knows pretty much everything about me anyway.“

           Jungkook puffed out his chest proudly. "Yeah, test me. I can answer them!”

           "You’ll just be listening in, in the control room.“ Namjoon shoved Jungkook towards a door while he ushered you to another. "I don’t need your interruptions.”

           Jungkook exhaled defiantly, but stepped into the room anyway. He was greeted by the workers as he sat down, watching you through the one-way glass.

           You glanced around the interview room curiously. It was covered with white padded walls, save the floor which was made of ivory marble. There was a table in the center with four chairs, and a shaded window behind Namjoon, which you assumed allowed the control room to watch and record interviews from the outside.

           "This is standard precaution. I hope you understand.“ Namjoon smiled as he gestured for you to take a seat. "We can’t be too careful nowadays.”

           "I understand.“ You sat in front of him, adopting your emotionless face once again.

           Although you were temporarily ecstatic about reuniting with Jungkook, the grave reality of the world returned to your mind with Namjoon’s words. Who exactly here could you trust? Was everyone in this amazing underground city a Changer, a Survivor? Or would there be someone waiting to tear this apart as they had done the world above?

           "They’re going to hook wires onto you so we can tell if you’re lying or hiding something from us, okay?”

           You nodded, knowing that a refusal would make them skeptical in the first place. Plus, with Jungkook behind the glass, you weren’t as scared as you would have been, had you been alone.

           Jungkook worried his lips as he watched them place wires around your body. He, of course, knew you weren’t related to the Oppressors in any way, but there was still an inkling of doubt. He had seen too many friends betray him– inside the battlefield and out. He prayed to the higher powers that you wouldn’t be one of them.

           "Does anything hurt?“ Namjoon questioned.

           You shook your head and smiled. "It’s uncomfortable, but not painful.”

           He chuckled, “Yeah, well wires shouldn’t be comfortable on your body.”

           You giggled at his lighthearted comment and Jungkook smiled behind the window. He had always liked that you could laugh in the darkest situations. Although neither of you were completely the same anymore, there were still parts of you that felt like home to him.

           "So Y/N, tell us about all your encounters with the Oppressors. How did you survive?“

           Your face fell as the memories you tried to suppress flooded back into the working parts of your mind. Your eyes watered as you recalled finding Jungkook’s father’s body and how your parents had hid you and sacrificed themselves. You told them about the apartment building you had escaped to, that was owned by someone who was helping survivors get new identities and new lives. As descriptively as you could, you spoke about the patrol guards, the countless acts of violence you witnessed, the rumors you heard floating around at work, and anything you could think of that might be of some benefit to them.

           Namjoon remained silent, letting you speak freely. He was jotting down notes and nodding to signify that he was intently listening.

           "So you’ve been alone for years now?” he spoke, once you fell quiet.

           "Yes.“ You choked out, trying to fight back the tears.

           You hadn’t thought about your parents in so long. You hadn’t had the luxury to mourn the dead when you had been fighting so hard to stay alive. Namjoon reached out and grabbed your hand comfortingly.

           "Y/N.” he smiled. “You won’t be alone anymore here.”

           And that completely broke you down into loud sobs; all the hardships and anxieties you had kept to yourself were finally being released.

           You had some room to breathe now. You didn’t have to fight to survive on your own. You didn’t have to live alone and in complete fear of dying without anyone caring.

           Namjoon was at a loss on how to comfort you, having met you only a few minutes ago. He gently patted your hand as he shot a pleading look towards the window, where he knew Jungkook was watching.

           Jungkook scurried to the interrogation room and burst inside. His eyes were watering too at witnessing the visible pain on your face as you retold the tragic passing and sacrifice of your parents, whom you loved so dearly. And he felt guilty that you out of all people had to find his own father’s corpse. He wished so much that he could’ve prevented you from such a sight and such an experience, but back then, it was beyond his control.

           Now, however, was a different story.

           "Get the wires off of her.“ he commanded sternly.

           The people in lab coats rushed over to detangle you as you continued to weep.

           "We don’t have a room for her yet.” Namjoon blinked as Jungkook scooped your frail body up into his arms.

           "She’ll stay with me.“ He breathed as he carried you out of the room easily.

           "Well then.” Namjoon pushed his glasses up and chuckled.

           You were back in the tiny closet compartment of your childhood home, biting down on your shirt to render your sobs inaudible. But the footsteps were closing in and you heard rustling against the knob of your closet. Suddenly, the door was pried open and you heard a gunshot.

           Gasping, you woke up in your apartment, realizing it was all a nightmare. You felt for the gun underneath your pillow to ease your mind. But then you spotted two dark figures on your room floor, sprawled out in awkward positions.

           You tiptoed out of bed to take a closer look, but stumbled back frantically as you recognized your parent’s dead bodies, lying lifelessly and cold in front of you. Then a rough knock was heard on your door and your eyes widened, knowing that they were coming for you.         

           They had found you.

           The door flew open just as you lunged towards your weapon. After another gunshot, you felt a sharp pain being inflicted on your chest.

           You were covered in sweat as you squirmed and groaned. Jungkook stirred worriedly from his makeshift bed on the floor.

           "No…“ you cried as you clutched at your chest.

           "Y/N.” He whispered as he cupped your face. “Y/N. You’re having a nightmare, wake up.”

           You gasped awake and sat up, frantic. You clawed through the darkness, feeling someone’s hands on you. You flailed and thrashed about, terrified out of your mind. Who was in your room? Where were you?

           "It’s me. It’s me.“ Jungkook strongly pinned your arms to your body as he embraced you, trying to calm you down. "It’s Jungkook. You were just having a nightmare.”

           Your breathing slowed as you remembered that you were saved and brought to the Changers’ base just earlier that day. And hugging you was your childhood best friend and leader of the rebellion group, Jeon Jungkook. You relaxed into his chest as you tried to tie the strings of your sanity back together.

           "I’m sorry.“ You whispered.

           He broke the embrace and turned on a dim light so you could see each other’s faces a bit more clearly. He smiled at you.

           "You look terrible.”

           You groaned and pushed your face back into his chest again.

           "This isn’t time for jokes, Kook.“

           "I’m not joking.” he chuckled. “You really do look terrible. Your eyes are so puffy I couldn’t tell if they were open, and you have snot and tears everywhere. I don’t know which is which so I don’t want to wipe your face.”

           "You suck.“ You punched his chest lightly, not wanting to lift your face up out of shame.

           He rubbed your back gently, "Wanna tell me about it?”

           "I just…I guess retelling the past today re-opened my fears. I saw my parent’s corpses and I kept getting shot and captured.“ You mumbled and sunk further into him. "And I’m just terrified, Jungkook.”

           "I’m here now though, Y/N. I won’t let anything or anyone hurt you again, I promise.“ he whispered as he stroked your hair carefully.

           "But who’s going to protect you from getting hurt?” You frowned as you looked up at him worriedly.

           He grinned as he pulled up his sleeves over his hands to wipe your tear-stricken face.

           "I’m invincible!“ he jeered. "Have you seen these muscles? They’re bulletproof!”

           You rolled your eyes, but felt a bit better with his nonsensical jokes. Then you finally realized your surroundings and glanced around.

           "Where are we?“

           Jungkook laughed, "My room.”

           You turned red, realizing you both were on his bed, in the dark. Plus you two were no longer children anymore.

           He smirked, as if seeing the panic in your eyes.

           "Thinking dirty thoughts already?“

           You glared at him. "No.”

           He chuckled. “We’re still building more rooms for survivors so I told Joon-hyung that I’d take you in.”

           You nodded, finally remembering that you had completely broken down in the interrogation room. It was all such a big blur; you assumed that you had immediately passed out from fatigue and the heaviness of your emotions without any idea of where you were being taken. You were trying to piece together the fuzzy fragments of your memories and Jungkook couldn’t help but chuckle at your gears visibly turning.

           "Don’t hurt yourself, Einstein. I carried your sad sack here, and you soaked one of my favorite white shirts. Then you hogged the bed so I had to sleep on the floor.“ he complained as he poked your forehead.

           You felt your cheeks warm. "You were going to sleep next to me when I was unconscious?!”

           Jungkook rolled his eyes. “I’m flattered you’re flustered, but a rebellion leader needs a stable mattress for his back and a good night’s sleep. Your selfish ass took that away from me.”

           You huffed. “Well you shouldn’t sleep next to a lady without her consent in the first place!”

           "A lady?“ Jungkook looked around. "Who’s that? I don’t see one.”

           You shook his body angrily as he cackled. Then he exhaled, rolling onto his back beside you. You glanced over at him while he stared at the ceiling, as if contemplating something. You hugged your knees and waited patiently, taking the time to sneak subtle glances at how different he was physically.

           He had always been handsome, and you knew many of the girls back in the day were jealous of your close relationship with him. But now his face had grown, finally evening out with his ears. His jaw chiseled out and his shoulders and chest broadened. There was an undeniable tug on his sleeves as they curved around his biceps, triceps, and toned forearms as he lay there with one hand behind his head.

           You swallowed and looked away. This was certainly not the time to be thinking of how attractive and manly he had become.

           "What’re you thinking about?“ you mumbled finally.

           "Mmm…” he hummed then turned to his side to face you. “I was wondering the best way to tell you to shower and change into different clothes before going back to sleep.”

           You smacked him, irritated. “I thought you were thinking about something serious, you ass.”

           He laughed, “It’s serious! You know I hate my sheets smelling bad!”

           You exhaled and hopped off his bed. “Fine. Where’s the shower?”

           Jungkook blushed and pointed behind you. “Um, there.”

           You turned and froze.

           There, in the corner of his room, was a clear, glass shower. He would very clearly see you bathing from anywhere in the room.

           "How about the toilet?“ You gasped.

           "Oh that’s closed off, don’t worry.” he giggled.

           "What the heck?“

           "Okay, so I was paranoid and had them build it that way so I could see if anyone was trying to attack me!” he explained firmly. “People are the most vulnerable in the shower!”

           "Are you serious?“ You stared at him in disbelief.

           "I’m quite serious. Anyone could strike when you have your eyes shut while washing your face or if shampoo gets in your eye. Think of the possibilities, Y/N!”

           "But if someone walks in, you’re completely exposed!“

           "Oh, I lock my door.” Jungkook shrugged. “Plus I’d hear and see the door knob rustling and I’d pull out my waterproof weapon.”

           You rubbed your temples. “Still doesn’t make sense to me.”

           "Well that’s just how it is; it doesn’t have to make sense.“

           You sighed and glanced at him. "So um, how exactly do you expect me to shower?”

           "Umm naked?“ he teased and you kicked him off the bed.

           He cackled as he got up nonchalantly. "I’ll go find you some clothes. It’ll take about 10 minutes, so you should be clothed by then.”

           "But if you’re looking for my clothes, how do you expect me to be clothed, you perv.“

           Jungkook chuckled as he took off his sweater and threw it at you.

           "Throw this on first then.” he smirked then stepped out of the room.

           You huffed and hurried out of your clothes. You had been feeling quite filthy, what with who knows how far and where you traveled to get to the base, and of course, the lingering touches of those creepy patrol guards on your skin. You shivered as you let the warm water hit your tired body.

           You had set a timer on your phone for 8 minutes so when it buzzed, you scurried to finish cleansing yourself. On time, you pulled Jungkook’s sweater over your bare body and hid under his covers, feeling completely exposed.

           The door cautiously cracked open.

           "Y/N?“ Jungkook called out.

           "I’m good.”

           He exhaled and stepped inside. He chucked a bag towards you shyly.

           "That’s for tomorrow. But they put underwear and bras in there for you.“

           You asked awkwardly. ”…How did you know my size?“

           "Um those wire thingies scanned your body…” Jungkook looked away. “They do it so the sewers can manufacture you clothes right away.”

           You blushed and nodded. “Oh okay.”

           Jungkook moved to his closet and took out sweat pants. “These will definitely be long, but you’re just going to sleep, so here.”

           "Can I have a white shirt too?“ You smiled innocently.

           He squinted at you. You knew he hated to part with them, but you didn’t want to just wear a sweater and a bra…especially when you were in a man’s room, even if it was Jungkook.

           "Fine.” he agreed half-heartedly.

           You had to pry the shirt out of his death grip and sprint to bathroom before he changed his mind.

           You turned to face Jungkook on the floor. He had his eyes closed and you wondered if he was asleep.

           "Take a picture instead of staring at me.“ he teased.

           You scoffed.

           "Why’re you still awake?” he opened his eyes and glanced up.

           You blushed and averted your gaze. “I guess I slept a lot earlier after my crying fest.”

           Jungkook snorted.

           "Jungkook…“ you started.


           "How did you survive?“ your voice sounded small, but you had been curious this whole time. You had only found one corpse in his apartment, so you thought the rest of his family had been dragged to the barracks and imprisoned in the least.

           Jungkook remained silent for a few minutes and you wondered if you shouldn’t have asked. When you were about to take the question back, he stood up, hugging his pillow, and nudged you over with his foot. You moved over curiously and immediately turned red when he slipped under the covers with you. He fluffed his pillow happily and nuzzled into the comfort of his mattress.

           "It’s a pretty long story.” he smiled sadly. “Will you listen?”

           You relaxed and nodded.

           Seeing the despair in his eyes, you knew the past few years had been just as hard for him as they had been for you. You reached your hand out to him, and he began playing with your fingers nervously as he began his trip back in time.

           Jungkook loved his family dearly and they cherished him in return. He had an older brother who showed him the ropes – how to act cool, dress nice, how to approach people. Since he was the youngest, he tended to be shy and reserved, not sure how exactly to act around adults and older people or even how to take care of the younger. His mother was loving, wise, and warm. Her laughter always filled the house and Jungkook loved to hear it, so he developed a sense of humor just to make her laugh. Even though she was caring, she ruled the house with quiet and firm hand, keeping everyone tidy and in line.

           His father was hard-working and serious, but he did have a playful side to him, albeit not as silly as his sons’. Although he worked a lot, he never compromised spending time with the family. Jungkook loved the weekends where they would all squeeze together on their couch and argue about which movie to put in. Once they settled on a choice, everyone would stay silent and focus, only making funny comments here and there.

           It was comfortable; it was home.

           You were also shy and reserved, considering you were an only child. You didn’t really like interacting with others because you weren’t sure how. As most parents do though, having children of the same age meant sticking them together for play dates. And for the first few times, you sat in awkward silence with Jungkook. It was painfully obvious that your parents’ wanted you two to be friends, but neither of you were sure how to start a friendship.

           In Jungkook’s case, his brother was always there to introduce him and ease him into the conversation. In your case, no one really ever taught or showed you how to be friends with kids your age. However, what brought you two out of the awkward phase was none other than a large chocolate egg.

           You loved them because when you opened round chocolate, there was always a toy inside. That day, your mother had given one to you to appease your tantrums over having another awkward play date with your neighbor. You sat in the middle of your living room unwrapping it when you felt Jungkook’s eyes curiously on you. You glanced over and he blushed, looking away. You smiled slightly. Maybe he liked chocolate eggs too? So you kindly broke it in half and handed him one side of the egg. Scooting over shyly, he accepted it without a word. Then he spotted the toy car that you had taken out from inside and his eyes widened.

           "Did THAT come out of the egg?!“

           He finally spoke.

           And the rest was history.

           Because you were so small and a girl, Jungkook always felt the innate need to protect you. So when the descent into tyranny began, he kept you close at all times. Because he had seen many other female students disappearing and just the thought of that happening to you filled him with dread. You had always been positive of course, and he didn’t try to dispel your mindset, because it filled him with hope as well. If you both had doubts, what would become of it?

           But then the night came.

           Jungkook was jolted awake by the sound of their door, bursting open. His brother was in the adjacent bed, also wide-eyed and alert. Not hesitating, he jumped into bed with his younger sibling and lay a protective arm around him.

           "Where are the two boys?” a rough voice growled, sending shivers down Jungkook’s spine.

           His heart was racing. Was this really happening?

           Then the door to their room collapsed under the weight of a soldier’s foot. Jungkook buried his head into his brother’s chest, terrified.

           "They did nothing wrong!“ His mother appeared, clawing at the soldier desperately as he pointed the gun at her two sons. "They did nothing wrong!”

           "WE did nothing wrong!“ Jungkook’s brother yelled defiantly.

           "Shut up!” the guards howled as they swarmed the room.

           Hands pried Jungkook away from the safety of his brother’s embrace and his face was wet from tears. All this time, he had thought he was strong enough, old enough, powerful enough to protect someone he cared about. He acted tough and puffed his chest out around you because he could glare away a few bullies from bothering you. But the mere seconds that he was in the presence of the Oppressors showed him how little and insignificant he was; how powerless they all had been, how foolish.

           His body yelled at him to struggle and kick them down with brute force, but the gun against his mother’s head paralyzed him. They were all brought to their knees in the middle of their living room, facing each other.

           "Now which of you should be left behind as a warning for everyone in this complex?“ one of the men snarled.

           "Take me.” Jungkook’s brother spoke up immediately.

           Jungkook’s eyes widened in shock. He always admired his brother’s fearlessness and righteousness while he was always so hesitant and selfish.

           "You?“ the gun was shoved against his brother’s temple.

           "No!” His father bellowed. “Leave me! Don’t touch my family!”

           Jungkook stared as his parents exchanged loving looks, communicating without words. Coldness filled his entire body as it dawned on him that this was going to be the last time all four of them would be together in the very living room where they had spent countless of hours laughing with one another. He fought back his sobs and opened his mouth to volunteer. He would rather be dead than deal with the loss of one of his family members.

           But the gunshot pierced through the silence of the night before his voice was heard.

           "NOOOO!“ Jungkook cried as he watched his father’s body fall limply to the ground. "DADDDD!”

           Immediately, he was bound, gagged, and pulled away from his home. His dad’s lips moved one last time and curled up into a smile before his eyes closed forever. Jungkook struggled frantically. He wanted to be beside his father. He wanted to keep him awake. He wanted to call for help. But the overwhelming strength of the guards’ grips prevented him from budging. He stared at his brother and mother who were crying silently, but not resisting.

           Why weren’t they fighting?

           Because there was no point.

           His body shook violently as he sobbed, helplessly, powerlessly. They were packed into the back of a truck and left in darkness, being taken to who knows where.

           After a few minutes of staring at the black enveloping him, hearing rustling and the cackles of the guards in the front of the truck, Jungkook felt himself being shoved out of the truck suddenly.

           "I believe in your future, my sons.“

           He heard a gentle whisper as he slowly rolled out. He gasped as he felt the cool air hit his skin and a stinging pain as he slammed onto the ground. Quickly, his head shot up and found his mother still in the truck, broken free from the cloth bindings. His eyes widened as she threw a knife towards him. Peripherally, he spotted his brother lunge for it, freeing himself then Jungkook swiftly.

           "Mom.” Jungkook exhaled, in panic when his mouth was uncovered.

           Quietly, his brother grabbed his hand and pulled him into the nearest alleyway.

           "They’ve escaped! The sons have escaped! You bitch, what did you do?“

           Jungkook heard the yelling as his brother continued to lead him through the narrow street.

           "Mom!” he breathed once again, urging his brother to go back.

           "Jungkook, she’s buying us time.“ his brother finally spoke, gritting his teeth to fight back his own tears.

           That’s when it hit him. His parents’ knowing looks, his brother volunteering first. They all were on the same page… except for him.

           They were all protecting him.

           He clenched his fists, annoyed at himself. Why was he so helpless? Why did they have to sacrifice themselves for someone as worthless as him? He couldn’t even do anything for them in return.

           "There! I see them!” the familiar voice of one of the guards echoed behind them.

           Jungkook and his brother sped up. They couldn’t let their parents’ deaths be in vain. They needed to escape; they needed to live. Jungkook swallowed, wondering about you, whether you would be subjected to the same fate or worse. He shut his eyes and willed his legs to move faster, but the guards were getting closer. It seemed they had others on the lookout in the area because they felt that they were being closed in.

           Then suddenly, Jungkook’s brother froze.

           Jungkook opened his eyes, confused by the sudden halt. Then he gasped. In front of them was a group of people dressed in camouflage. They weren’t the Oppressor’s uniforms…but who were they?

           The man leading them grinned.

           "Looks like you two could use a little help?“

           Jungkook’s brother nodded confidently. "The Oppressors are coming after us.”

           "Perfect.“ the guy grinned then turned to the people behind him. "You two, take these survivors to safety. Everyone else, spread out as planned. Move, move.”

           "Wh-who are you guys?“ Jungkook’s brother breathed, in awe.

           The supposed leader of the group patted both of their shoulders warmly.

           "We’re the Changers.”

           You wrapped your arms around Jungkook as he stopped his story to breathe in deeply. He let you embrace and comfort him. He had been separated from his emotions for so long; he didn’t realize how painful it was to recount the past, how much he had suppressed. It was always one battle after another since he had gotten to the base. His mind was constantly filled with thoughts of victory, battle plans, and survival tactics that he spared no time to dwell on anything more.

           "I’m sorry.“ You whispered as you rubbed his arm comfortingly. "You can stop here if you want.”

           Jungkook sniffled and shook his head.

           He chuckled sadly, “My brother will be sad if I don’t tell you how cool he was.”

           You smiled and nodded, ready to listen again.

           "Wow, we have ourselves some strong, fit survivors!“ A woman that referred to herself as simply "B” greeted. “Follow me. We have to interview you.”

           As you had done, they were interrogated, given clothes, and a room for the two of them. And eventually, they were given the choice.

           "I know this is sudden and you two have barely been here for a week.“ B frowned as she stepped into their room.

           Jungkook eyed his brother who sat up straighter, listening intently.

           "But we could use more manpower in the battlefield. Of course, we won’t force you to join. Everyone’s entitled to a choice, but I really believe you two would become fine Changers soldiers.” B smiled.

           "I’ll do it.“ his brother agreed immediately.

           B glanced over at Jungkook, who was a bit hesitant, as usual. Before Jungkook could speak up though, his brother stepped between him and B’s expectant gaze.

           "Leave my brother out of the battlefield, please.” he softened.

           Jungkook stood up hurriedly, “No, I want to fight.”

           "Jungkook.“ his brother frowned. "I promised mom and dad –”

           "Well, I’m going to fight to protect you and myself. I don’t need a promise from people who are gone!“ Jungkook lashed out.

           His brother looked hurt for a split second then smiled understandably.

           "Just have a decision to me by the end of the week.” B mannerly left the two alone to discuss things.

           "Stop treating me like a baby.“ Jungkook huffed.

           "But you’re my little brother, Kook.”

           "But I’m grown up!“

           His brother smiled sadly and ruffled his hair. "Yeah, you’re right. You’re old enough to make your own decisions now. I was just being an overprotective older brother.”

           Then he hugged Jungkook warmly. “But you’re all I have now, Kook, so I want to keep you safe.”

           "Well the same goes for me, you know.“ he retorted, causing his brother to laugh.

           "I can’t argue with you there.”

           "Plus I’d feel better seeing you were safe with my own eyes than waiting behind anxiously.“ Jungkook frowned.

           "Alright, alright. Looks like you’ve made your decision.” His brother patted his cheek. “Let’s go kick some Oppressor ass then.”

           Jungkook grinned widely.

           The two quickly rose through the ranks. Their innately athletic build and keen intuition made them two of the strongest soldiers in the Changers’ army. Not to mention their amiable and sweet personality made them two of the most popular. The Jeon Brothers were favorites in the Underground City. They had their own fan clubs and got letters of admirations and confessions. While Jungkook would always avoid the crowds if he could help it, his brother was always kind-hearted and thanked them for their efforts. But he never accepted any of their confessions, because his heart was already taken.

           As he had suspected, his brother had feelings for B. Since Jungkook was shy and reserved, always preferring the background and shadows, he got really good at reading people and his surroundings. This made him attune to people’s emotions and moods, adjusting his personality accordingly. So he would train on his own or with his comrades to give his brother time alone with B. He suspected B reciprocated his feelings as well, but he never understood why they danced around each other all the time even though the chemistry was evident. They expressed their feelings subtly, almost quietly and secretively.

           Whenever they came back from a triumphant guerrilla attack, B would always seek out his brother’s arms first and his brother’s eyes would search for her upon return. And as was custom with incognito missions, they had to leave their dog tags behind. Jungkook would always put it inside an envelope for safe-keeping then give it to Namjoon, while his brother would always give it to B.

           B went on attacks as well and they planned it accordingly that neither of them was out in battle at the same time. One of them was always keeping the other’s possessions and their home base safe. And the one who was away would find comfort and strength in knowing that someone was waiting for them to return.

           But one day, B didn’t come back for her dog tag.

           And it was this particular rescue mission that took his brother from him.

           They were split up into two teams. His brother led one while another soldier headed Jungkook’s group. He had refused to be put where he couldn’t protect his brother’s back, but his brother stated that he had to put someone that he trusted wholeheartedly into the other group. And Jungkook knew how much rescuing B meant to him so with a heavy heart, he agreed. He knew both teams needed to do their parts in order to pull it off with the least amount of casualties.

           So he wasn’t sure how or why it happened, but when he came to the clearing, his brother was already losing blood quickly.

           "Hyung!“ Jungkook cried frantically as he pressed down on the wound.

           "B…” his brother breathed.

           Jungkook’s eyes searched and spotted her limp body not too far from his brother’s. His heart hurt realizing that his brother probably had been careless, let his emotions get the best of him, and had run to his woman in panic, without thinking of the consequences. From the looks of it, she had been dead even before they arrived to rescue them.

           "Jungkook! What the hell are you doing?“ one of his comrades, Yoongi, yelled. "You’re going to get shot!”

           "Cover me, hyung!“ he commanded.

           "Ah, fuck.” Yoongi huffed, but did so as Jungkook dragged B’s body beside his hyung’s.

           "Thank you.“ his brother smiled. His hand limply reached out for hers. Jungkook shut his eyes, trying not to break down, and helped them intertwine fingers.

           "I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you hyung.” Jungkook whispered as he turned B’s face towards his brother’s so it would be the last thing he saw.

           "You did, Jungkook. So many times.“ he replied. "You gave me someone to protect and that made me stronger. It helped me continue living. You and B kept me alive, gave me hope.”

           Jungkook sobbed. “But what am I supposed to do now?”

           "Live, Kook. Live and fight for a better future for all of the survivors. Don’t be scared of them. Love them and get to know them.“ His brother cupped his face lovingly. "You were always better with understanding people’s hearts than I was.”

           "That’s not true.“

           His brother smiled. "I believe in you, Jungkook.”

           Jungkook cried as he held his brother’s and B’s hands together tightly.

           "You loved each other so much…why couldn’t it have been me?“ Jungkook wept.

           "Shhh…don’t say that.” His brother lazily wiped his tears. “We knew it was going to happen eventually, yet we still loved as much as we could in the time that was given to us. We knew there would be no future for us from the beginning. We don’t have any regrets, Kook.”

           Jungkook continued to sob, clutching onto his brother’s and B’s clasped hands.

           "Kook, we have to get out of here.“ Yoongi placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.

           Jungkook sniffled and stood up, taking one last look at his brother, who scooted over to plant a kiss on B’s cold forehead. It might’ve been just his imagination or the strength of his wish, but he thought he saw B’s lips curl up in a gentle smile at the contact and her face relaxed. Jungkook rubbed his eyes and glanced back down at the couple in front of him.

           "I love you, hyung.” he whispered.

           "I love you too, Kook.“ his hyung replied as his eyes slowly fell and his spirit left him.

           Yoongi had to drag Jungkook away because his tears were blinding him from seeing the proper path to escape.

           Jungkook felt your body shaking with violent sobs and he smiled. That was so like you to cry for him, since he had run out of tears a long time ago.

           "And so I climbed through the ranks, and with the death of the old Leader, I was the highest rank assigned to take the position. None of my comrades wanted it.” he chuckled. “I felt like my brother would’ve made a better leader than me, but I wanted to take it to make him and my parents proud. I wanted the power to make the difference they believed in and died for.”

           "I’m sure they’re super proud of how far you’ve come.“ You wiped your tears away, trying to compose yourself. "You’re saving so many people, Kook, and you’re giving so many people hope.”

           Jungkook remained silent and you glanced up at him curiously.

           "What?“ you questioned.

           "For how long?” he mumbled. “For how long can I hold onto just hope and small battles?”

           You frowned and cupping his cheek, placed a soft kiss there. He felt his body heat up from the unexpected contact.

           "For as long as there’s still people left fighting for what’s right, Kooks.“ You answered seriously.

           He glanced down at you, and laughed, seeing the fire of determination in your eyes. You had always surprised him back in the day with your bursts of confidence. It was good to know you hadn’t changed much.

           "Yeah, you’re right.” he stretched and yawned, feeling the drowsiness kick in now that he was at ease.

           "Jungkook.“ You sat up, staring down at him.

           "Hm?” he blinked.

           "Do they still give Survivors a choice?“

           "A choice? Yeah, why?” he tilted his head curiously.

           "Because…“ you pursed your lips together. 

           "Jungkook, I want to fight too.”


[038.] dark noon at gwithian

rocks sit black and hunched
their faces turned
to an unruly sea,

creased as if blinking with disappointed eyes.

their dark brows furrowed
at a distant horizon
and a storm that may never come,

they wait,
gazing into the blackened light,

and the sound of silence
stuns with the suddenness
of a broken clock,
a door slammed
or a word unspoken.

the swell of the waves
and the gulls halt their screaming.
clouds draw closer
as if afraid,
needing each other’s nearness,
and everything seems to
clench its breath.

for just a moment,
for just one beat

of a heart that holds all

all that exists is waiting.

rain begins to pat
at the smooth-skinned rocks
and, like a veil,
it shivers across the tide.

- dark noon at gwithian // zia // k. r. cole //

I know I talk a lot about wanting a luxurious lifestyle but I dead wouldn’t mind living countryside surrounded by a lake and hella flowers with only about 5 specific people knowing how to get in touch with me.