Under The Stars | Jikook
SONG: “1994” - Alec Benjamin
Jeongguk scratched the back of his head lightly as he hung up his backpack, happy to be inside the warm apartment building. With a sigh, he wrapped his knuckles up against the door frame to the kitchen a few times to grab Seokjin’s attention,
“I’m home,” He motioned to the hallway, “Is Namjoon home?”
Seokjin shook his head, “Not at the moment. He was called into work a few hours ago,” He finished up the documents he was signing, and Jeongguk watched him shut the manilla folder with interest.
“Those for the station?” He asked, motioning to the folder of papers.
Seokjin ran a hand through his hair, “Uh, no. They’re for something else, my other job.” He gave him a quick smile, taking more folders from on top of the fridge and ignoring the eyebrow Jeongguk raised in his direction. “There’s some food in the fridge if you want any. I have to run downtown and deliver these to some people for my boss.” He brushed passed Jeongguk, giving him a small pat on the shoulder before grabbing his jacket and leaving the apartment.
The seventeen-year-old shook his head with a sigh, “Alone again, huh?” He mumbled, grabbing his bag from the hook to get started on his homework, trying to ignore the feeling that his brother wasn’t really at the station.
An hour later, Jeongguk didn’t look up from his homework spread out on the kitchen table as his brother’s familiar presence filled the back of his head.
“Gguk? You home?” Namjoon called out, setting his jacket over the back of the couch.
“In the kitchen!”
The younger of the two finally looked up from his paper as he finished up the last question, meeting his brother’s eyes with a confused gaze, “What’s up? You seem distressed.”
Namjoon opened his mouth to question him before Jeongguk tapped his temple lightly with the eraser of the pencil in his hand,
“It works weirdly, Joon. Don’t question it.” He said with a slight smile, “I’ve learned it’s better that way.”
Namjoon shook his head with a chuckle, “It’s nothing Gguk, don’t worry. Just some things at work.”
Jeongguk nodded, deciding not to push it when he saw his brother’s fist clench out of his peripheral vision.
“How was your first day at school?”
He didn’t question the change of subject, “It was okay.” He told him, beginning to pick up his homework, knocking his notebook off the table in the process.
Namjoon picked it up, raising his eyebrows as the notes faded off into separate thoughts. “What’s this?”
Jeongguk zipped up his backpack, “It’s nothing, Joon.” He stated, holding out his hand for the notebook, “It’s a new school thing.”
The notebook was taken from his hands but Namjoon didn’t let up, “You mean this happens whenever you’re overwhelmed?” He asked, eyes moving from the notes to look at his younger brother, “Gguk-”
“Leave it alone, Namjoon.” The boy pleaded, closing the notebook.
“No, Gguk what if someone looked over and saw you writing down their thoughts one day?” He insisted, gesturing toward it as Jeongguk put it back in his bag,
Jeongguk zipped up the bag angrily, spinning to look his brother in the eye, “Well it’s not like I can really think clearly when I have someone else’s thoughts filling up my head!” Picking his backpack up from the floor, he threw the strap over his shoulder. Stepping in front of his brother, he poked him in the chest roughly with his pointer finger, “I don’t care what you went through at work today, but you have no right to take it out on me. So leave it alone, and stop trying to start an argument when I’ve been going through this for years now.”
Namjoon didn’t have time to answer before Jeongguk was heading toward the front door, “Jeongguk where are you going?!”
“You don’t even know your way around here!” Namjoon called after him,
Jeongguk grabbed his hoodie from the hook by the door, “I’m sure I’ll manage.”
Before he could blink, Jeongguk was gone.
Brown eyes wandered from building to building as he passed street after street, Jeongguk was aware he had no idea which way to turn in order to get back to the apartment, but he also knew that if it came down to it, he could track down his laptop that resided in his room.
A sigh escaped his lips and he shoved his hands in the pockets of his hoodie, looking at his feet as he walked along, his head snapped up when he began to feel the prominent presence of other people.
He stepped to the side as two passed him, not making eye contact as the back of his mind screamed at him to avoid contact. Jeongguk watched them through the corner of his eye, telling himself that no matter how frustrated he was with his brother, that he wouldn’t worry him anymore then he already has.
As a child, when Jeongguk had first noticed his abilities were evolving, he struggled with whether or not to tell anyone. The only one who had known about what he could do was his older brother, and even then Jeongguk could see how much stress that had added to Namjoon’s shoulders after he had found out. So Jeongguk decided it was better to keep to himself, and while he had confided in his brother, he didn’t want to burden him anymore with his powers.
When Namjoon had moved to Seoul with his boyfriend, Jeongguk knew that he was just trying to get away from the chaos of his parents, but it couldn’t help the feeling that he wanted to get away from Jeongguk too. Suddenly, he had no one to talk to about what he was going through, nobody to help him through the nights where he couldn’t only hear his parents arguing but also the thoughts of the whole block.
Suddenly, Jeongguk was alone.
So he decided to train himself to harness his abilities, to stop pretending they didn’t exist and wait in fear of when his resolve would break next. Instead, he started to work toward accepting the fact that he was in this for the long run and began to build his skills gradually. Of course with the good came the bad, and Jeongguk had his fair share of it.
A majority of the time, in the beginning, Jeongguk would hurt himself more than he would progress himself. Giving himself migraines that would leave the world spinning, even sudden blackouts on occasion, which gave his parent quite a scare. Thankfully, when the doctors couldn’t find a physical reason, they put it down to so much stress so suddenly.
It made Jeongguk feel like a superhero when he was younger, to sneak around to train himself. And maybe that was why Jeongguk never let up when he was younger, telling himself that any superhero in his position wouldn’t give up after a blackout, or a headache. Anyone in the comics he had read would have gotten off of their asses and tried again, try endlessly until they could do it with their eyes closed and hands tied behind their back, and even then, they would do it again.
So he trained himself to the point where he knew his way around his abilities better than he knew the pages to his favorite comic book, to where he knew his strong points, his weak points, and his limits.
And maybe that was the reason Jeongguk found it to be so frustrating when Namjoon treated him like a child when it came down to it. But at the end of the day, he couldn’t blame him for it, after all, Namjoon hadn’t been there to know just how much his little brother had learned.
Then again, maybe if he had been, Jeongguk wouldn’t feel the need to hide so much.