Kim Taehyung was enjoying some rare free time outside for a change. They got a couple of days off since their promotions ended. They all felt really grateful for some personal time. All the members took off as soon as they heard the word, so there wasn’t any point in sitting alone for an entire day. He heard Jin yelling something like ‘food’ and ‘new restaurant’ on his way out and Jungkook saying he’d go and train some more, but that was it. Not that it mattered, he was enjoying the park at the moment.
He didn’t really know exactly which park it was, but the place looked nice, even in autumn. He dressed warmly though, the temperature’s already low enough to wears his favourite beanie. And although it was cold, he was eating some ice cream.
He never understood why people stopped eating ice cream when summer was over. It wasn’t like ice cream makes you feel cold, on the contrary. It made the air around him seem warmer. But it didn’t matter. He was enjoying his small ice cream, vanilla flavor, with little sprinklers on top. Pretty sure the older man who sold him the ice cream seem to think he was acting like a little child, but he couldn’t care less. The man obviously didn’t recognize him. He was also sure that he wouldn’t get recognized in this abandoned park. Well, almost abandoned. That’s why he picked this place to eat his little treat. The bench he was sitting on felt cold at the beginning, but slowly turned warmer as time passed.
Taehyung was fantasizing about the other few people in the park. Who they were, what kind of jobs they had, stuff like that. He was so into it, that he didn’t notice his ice cream almost falling off its cone, until it was too late.
‘Ah shoot…’ So much for his clean new, dark blue sweater. He almost cursed himself for not closing his jacket. He tried to clean it up as much as possible, but there still was a white stain sitting in the middle of his sweater.
‘Perhaps, if I act like nothing happened, people will think it’s part of the design.’ Taehyung wondered while looking at it from different angles.
‘Yeah, as if…’ He quickly admitted. He tried rubbing it some more, desperate to get it out, but it would only faint slightly. And now, it all but looked like a stain that was caused by vanilla ice cream.
‘Great… Well, at least nobody recognizes me, I’ll just-‘ But his thoughts were interrupted by some high screeching noises, followed by his name.
He turned around to see a horde of high school girls (plus teacher who clearly just noticed this wasn’t going to be an easy trip) waving at him and taking out their phones.
‘Great, seems like that Murphy guy likes me today.’ He toughed. On other days, he wouldn’t mind to wave back or something. But he couldn’t get caught with such a dirty stain and definitely not on pictures. So he turned away from the group as quick as possible. He figured out that he could just calmly leave the park. But that was before he noticed the teacher screaming something like ‘get back here!’.
‘Shoot, running it is’.
Luckily he was way faster that some high school girl and once arriving at the park entrance again, he already lost them. He wasn’t even out of breath. A smile appeared on his face because of the small victory, but he figured he’d better keeps walking if he wanted to stay ahead. He zipped up his coat, hiding the ugly stain and started walking towards the dorm.
He made a large detour however. The dorm would be empty and boring right now and the air was nice. There was no stain anymore, so it didn’t really bother him that people took his picture while passing by.
He kept on walking around without purpose, just enjoying being outside for once. Until, what he figured out was a couple of hours later, his phone kept making sounds. Various messages on twitter with his hashtag came in. He couldn’t really follow them all since the feed kept on coming, until he saw one that got his interest.
‘Oppa, I’m disappointed!’ it read, followed by a link. Curious, Taehyung decided to click on it. Which immediately seemed a bad idea. The title read: ‘Dirty(!?) V’ followed by an article with some pictures. Pictures of him in the park and walking in the city. Pictures with a stain that was bigger and more visible than he thought it would be.
‘Okay, so that’s that, nothing to do about t-‘ But his thoughts were interrupted once more when he read what the article was actually about. It wasn’t the dirty sweater they were wondering about. It was the stain itself that got their attention.
Sentences like: ‘weird shape’, ‘strange place’, ‘what is he into?’ and ‘pretty sure that stain is not innocent, why would he want to hide it otherwise?’ passed by. But it was the last sentence that caught his eye and made him beet red: ‘To be honest, it might be ***’. The last word was censured, but it was clear to everybody what the writer wanted to write. Everything around Taehyung seemed to slow down.
‘They think what?! W-Why would I… How… I’d never…?’ He quickly looked around and started to panic. ‘Oh crap, I need to get out of here!’ He hurried himself into a less busy street and kept moving at a fast tempo, trying to go back to the dorm as quickly as possible. ‘They’re going to be so mad...’ He wasn’t even trying to convince himself that this was just a small bump in the road, nope. Sooner or later the other members, managers, etc. would find out about this.
He made it back to the dorm quite fast and without any people recognizing him and if he was lucky, nobody would be back yet.
‘I’ll just go and put the sweater into the washing machine and go straight to bed. Leave it to tomorrow-me to fix this.’ But when he opened the door of the dorm, the Murphy guy seemed to grant him with his presence once again as he spotted three of his hyungs sitting at the kitchen table, while Jungkook and Jimin quickly disappeared into the living room. The latter seemed to look apologetic, while the youngest just had a questioning look on his face. Clearly Jimin was told to get Kookie away from the grown-up talk although he was, in fact, a grown-up now.
At the table, the hyungs, minus Hoseok, just looked at him. Jin was sitting at the far left, slight disappointment visible on his beautiful face. Namjoon was sitting in the middle, clearly acting like a leader, calm and collected. Yoongi was sitting on the right with an annoyed expression. He had two pages lying in front of him on the table. Taehyung didn’t need to read them; he could clearly make out the article he read earlier.
‘Trust Yoongi hyung to print it out…’ He was brought back to reality when the leader cleared his throat. To say it made him feel uneasy would be an understatement.
“Hyung…” He tried, voice failing a little, but he was cut off by Namjoon’s demanding voice.
“Don’t speak, just take of your jacket.” He just said, barely louder than his normal voice, but without any emotion. There was no room for discussion when he got like this, Taehyung knew. So he just did what he was asked to do.
When the jacket was gone, Jin’s face looked even more disappointed. Yoongi just sighted and Namjoon just stayed the same. Taehyung dared to look down at the stain. It was all dried up now and looked even worse than the pictures. If he didn’t know it was ice cream, he’d probably agree with the article’s conclusion as well.
“I assume you already read this.” Yoongi was the next one to speak. He held the two papers up.
“Explains why you look so embarrassed right now.” Taehyung simply nodded, too afraid to do anything else.
“Leave the article aside for one minute. Tell us what that is.” Jin entered the conversation, pointing at Taehyung’s stomach area.
“Ice cream…” He whispered back while turning his head away from judging eyes. There was a pause afterwards, just for a couple of seconds before he could hear Yoongi sigh even louder.
“Of all the things, ice cream? Really? Can’t you come up with something else?” Taehyung’s eyes widened at the statement. They didn’t believe him?
“What? I’m not lying, hyung!” His voice got slightly louder. Namjoon intervened quiet fast.
“It’s not that we don’t believe you. If you say it’s ice cream, fine, it’s ice cream. But the way you acted afterwards… You practically fled the scene…” the leader didn’t sound convinced in his eyes and he didn’t flee, they got it all wrong. He just wanted to avoid people seeing him as a clutz.
“I didn’t flee, I just…” Taehyung defended himself, trying hard not to shout at his hyungs. But he was again cut off, by Yoongi snorting this time.
“Even so, nobody’s going to believe the ice cream stuff anyway.” ‘So they really don’t believe me…’
“Hyung, you can see me holding the cone!” Yoongi looked at the pictures again and let out an ‘ah’ sound.
“Well, at least we could use that to counter the article.” Yoongi stated matter of fact. For a second, it seemed like the storm blew over. Until Namjoon decided to counter his words.
“Doesn’t matter, it’s teenagers who took these pictures. And with that article…”
“It’s just a coincidence!” Taehyung all but yelled, he couldn’t believe this. The pictures were proof enough. But the leader clearly thought different.
“Calm down! Coincidence or not, these are the facts and even if they believe you, this will still be a problem due to those girls.” Namjoon’s voice was still calm but to Taehyung it seemed like he was yelling at him.
“It’s not! Why are you angry at me? You should be angry at them!” He actually yelled this time, fed up with all the accusations. He could feel tears beginning to pool in his eyes due to the emotions. But he was surprised by Jin yelling back at him.
“Don’t forget who you’re talking to! Yes, we’re angry, because you caused us all a problem, as usual!”
‘As usual’ As soon as those words left his mouth, Jin clearly regretted what he said.
“As usual, huh?” Taehyung whispered, his voice wobbly. ‘Don’t cry.’
“No, Tae, I didn’t-“ Jin tried in a soft voice. But he had enough of it.
“Don’t worry, I get it…” He said before leaving his hyungs behind at the table. He couldn’t keep the tears in if he’d stayed. The last thing he wanted to do was to cry in front of them. He had enough problems already. He was half way towards his bedroom when he heard Namjoon talking from the table.
“Right, running away is going to solve it all. Come back.” But he could hear Jin whispering defiantly almost immediately.
“No, let him go…”
Taehyung felt some relieve when he made it to his room. He just wanted to sleep until everything was over. But a couple of hours alone would do him good as well. What he didn’t expect when he opened and closed the door, however logical it was and what he wasn’t mentally prepared for, was to find Hoseok sitting on his bed in THEIR bedroom.
Taehyung just stood there, highly upset and so afraid of what this hyung would say. But Hoseok just sat there, with no apparent emotions visible on his face. Taehyung hoped he would just leave or, for some miracle, not be mad at him as well.
“So…” Hoseok started, sounding as normal as he possibly could sound. “Seems like you created a bit of a problem?” There was no yelling, no judging really, but Taehyung couldn’t handle it anymore.
“Right, always the problem, aren’t I?” He raised his wobbly voice, trying to be strong. But he could feel the tears rolling over his cheeks as he spoke. He tried to wipe them off, but they just kept coming so he just hid his face in his hands. So much for not crying in front of anybody. But it all became too much. He just wanted some ice cream.
He felt hands on his shoulders and then on his arms, pulling his hands away from his face. He could see a blurry Hoseok standing in front of him, giving him a sad smile.
“Hey, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that, okay? It was meant to be a joke.” He tried while wiping the tears from the younger one’s face. Taehyung eyed him with suspicion, which made Hoseok sign in return.
“I’m not mad, either.”
“Why? Everyone else is. I’m such a big problem.” His voice broke and sounded tired instead of angry so he lightly pushed his hyung away. But Hoseok wasn’t moving. He just wanted to sleep, why wasn’t anyone letting him sleep?
“Why are you here?” Hoseok smiled sadly again at the question.
“I figured three angry hyungs were bad enough, so I didn’t stay. But I knew they would want an explanation from you. I figured there was going to be yelling so I waited for you here. I just got a bit out of hand, really... I’m really not angry…” But it didn’t change the fact that the others were still angry.
“Look, they’re not angry at you, not really. They were hoping to have some more free time, so they’re annoyed.” Great, this didn’t make him feel better, although he knew that his hyung tried. Everyone’s free time was now going to be spend on repairing the situation. He could feel fresh tears threatening to fall. Hoseok’s face fell when he noticed and he quickly cupped the younger one’s face into his hands.
“Tea, you didn’t do anything wrong, okay. Just… Bad place, bad time. If it wasn’t you, it was one of us.” He tried to stop the tears and the hiccups escaping his body, but failed.
“Come here.” He heard his hyung say before he was pulled in a tight hug. Taehyung believed that his hyung wasn’t angry and the hug felt really reassuring, so he hugged him back and stayed like that for a few moments before pulling away.”
“Sorry, I made a mess of your sweater.” Taehyung said sheepishly, pointing at Hoseok’s shoulder. It was wet from all his crying.
“Ah, don’t worry about it.” Hoseok took a peek at it as well, smiling softly. “Oh speaking about sweaters, why don’t you give me yours. I assume it needs to be cleaned.” Taehyung looked at himself and the little piece of clothing that caused a lot of trouble today. He blushed a little when he removed it. Undressing in front of anyone was a bit embarrassing.
“Why don’t you go and wash up in the meantime. I’m sure you must be tired.” He nodded while giving his hyung his dirty sweater.
“Okay.” Taehyung whispered.
“Hmm still curious what caused this kind of stain tho…” He brought the piece of clothing to his nose, like he was going to smell it.
“It’s… it’s not what everyone thinks it is, right?” He asked.
“Hyung!” The younger one whined while blushing even harder. It made Hoseok laugh.
“Kidding!” And then he actually smelled it.
“… Is that vanilla?” He looked at Taehyung while wondering.
“It’s Ice cream…” He answered back.
“Oh, haha. Yeah, now I get why Jin hyung was so mad. You spilled food.” Hoseok laughed even harder than before. It made him laugh a bit in return. He made his way over to the bathroom, but not before turning around, looking at his hyung.
“Hyung, thank you…” Hoseok stopped laughing but kept his smile.
A/N: Whoo, this story took a complete different turn than what I first had in mind (as usual). The prompt challenge is not that hard, but it gives me ideas. And I really needed to start writing again. No spell check (I’m sure you noticed that), I really need to get some sleep!
See you later!