The government has maintained that all children born are to take a mandatory jab - one to mute every emotion a person can feel. It’s for the better of society, they say. Emotional fluctuation and extremities are the cause of instability. Of dissatisfaction; of war. It’s for peace, they say, and Jungkook had nodded at his teacher’s words all those years ago.
Which is why Jungkook finds himself startling, his eyes darting to the source of the sound - that loud, unconstrained laughter. “Don’t stare,” Jimin frowns at him through the mirror, fingers deftly placing finishing touches to Jungkook’s hair.
He’s Kim Taehyung, or so Jimin says, Director Kim Seokjin’s younger brother. He’s a temporary production assistant covering for one of the crew who got into an accident. “You have to know though, he’s not like us,” Jimin had whispered. “I heard the jab didn’t work on him and he only got away from being put down because his dad works in the Ministry. He’s only allowed to work under his family’s supervision.” He’s under government watch is what Jimin doesn’t say out loud, but they both know what that means.
Yet, Jungkook can’t help but sneak glances at the lanky boy with the unfailing smile and boisterous laugh in between acting the scenes of his newest movie.
Emotions aren’t something foreign to Jungkook. Not at all. The government tames their emotions, but as an actor, Jungkook gets “short jabs” that give him a boost in emotions each day for his acting roles. The jabs usually last him all through the hours at work and much later into the night, leaving Jungkook restless as he waits for the stronger emotions to settle.
And perhaps that’s where everything the government has painstaking built up starts to crack.
A night of hushed conversations with Taehyung as the world sleeps began as an accidental occurrence and became much more than that. Taehyung’s eyes are bright as he listens intently to Jungkook’s stories, excitedly chipping in now and again. He muffles his laughter in his shirt and ruffles Jungkook’s hair whenever they part ways before dawn breaks.
In the light of day, they are nothing more than strangers - the actor and the production crew assistant. But as night falls, the boy who has been drifting at sea takes comfort in the beacon of light that he knows will guide him home.
(Because you can dull happiness, sadness, anger and even pain, but not love. Love is not one but a whirlwind of a thousand emotions, waiting for that one person to come by and settle the storm in our hearts.)