"What did you say?" Kai croaked in disbelief.
Taemin felt his heart sink and dread overcome every fibre of his being. OH GOD WHY. Why did this have to happen? Couldn't he have just thought it in his mind? Why did he have to voice out his thoughts after he so carefully blocked Kai from his mind?
Kai took a step back, his face contorting in pain and disbelief. "Why did you say hyung?" he asked again. "Why did you say about Jooyeon noona being your soulmate?" he demanded.
Taemin moved forward slowly. "I can explain, Kai." he swallowed, not knowing how to take Kai's heartbrokened face.
Kai shook his head, pale and lips trembling. "That's why you told me not to get too close to Jooyeon noona right?" He questioned.
He didn't listen as Taemin begged him to calm down and hear things up. All the words refused to be heard as things began making sense to him.
"That's why you were friends with Jooyeon noona." Kai's eyes widened in realization. "That's why you didn't even bother looking at all those other girls that declared their love for you in the past, because you already knew noona who your soulmate was?"
"Kai, will you just listen to me-"
"That's why you don't want me to fall for noona!" Kai hollered. "Because before I even fought for her I was already eliminated right? Because she's just going to be yours!"
Taemin remained silent. Because it's all true. He had known his soulmate was going to be Jooyeon that's why he didn't even bother about all those other girls. That's why it was such a shock to everyone when he even merely TALKED to Jooyeon on the first day. That's why he didn't want Kai to fall for Jooyeon, not only because he too loved her, but as a brother and caretaker, he didn't want Kai to venture into something he knew Kai would get hurt from.
"Kai..." Taemin breathed heavily, not knowing what to say. Guilt penetrated his soul, but he couldn't do anything about it. Would it have been better if he told Kai from the beginning that Jooyeon was his soulmate, like he told SHINee about it?
"Why didn't you tell me before I fell for Noona, hyung?" Kai accused, clutching his heart.
Taemin his lips. "...I thought we promised each other when we were young not to reveal who we liked until we were going to marry the other person because we didn't want to give each other hopes for a new member of the family lest they left before things were settled, just like Umma and Appa."
Kai closed his eyes as he remembered their child hood promise. They had promised each other not to introduce their girlfriends to each other unless they were going to marry for sure because they didn't want to get excited and happy for their brother and feel the disappointment when family members were taken away from them, just like how their parents had been.
"She's really your soulmate, hyung?" Kai whispered in pain as he opened his eyes again. "There's no chance for me?"
Taemin walked forward and tried to grab Kai's hand but the latter wriggled away. He stared at Taemin for a long time before turning away. "I need time. To think."
Before Taemin had any chance for a second say, Kai ran down the stairs and out of the door, grabbing his wallet and car keys along the way. Taemin tried running after him but obviously the car was faster, and he just stared as Kai drove further and further away.
Thinking that he needed time, Taemin sighed and let him go. "I'm sorry Kai. I'm sorry." he whispered.
It was late at night. Or rather, nearing morning.
It was 5am and Kai hadn't appeared from his alone think time. Its a known fact that youngsters nowadays stay out till it's nearly morning before willing to get their butts home, going to clubs to dance and drink the night away.
But Kai wasn't someone like that. Neither of the Lee siblings were people who fooled out in the night and didn't come home. Especially when they knew that the brothers only had each other and they couldn't lose one another.
Taemin had initially thought that perhaps Kai just needed more thinking time than he thought necessary. After all, it seems Kai fell for Jooyeon deeper than Taemin could have imagined.
But as time passed, Taemin grew more and more uneasy. Where was Kai? Why isn't he back yet?
Kai was the sensible one amongst the two. He was the cool-headed one who thought things out, the one who made sure he didn't do anything out of a moment's rashness such that he would regret. The younger brother who Taemin didn't have to worry about at all, and instead came worrying about the reckless naive older brother Taemin.
And this was the first time Taemin actually saw Kai this upset.
The Lee siblings didn't show anger often. Taemin because he's always happy and nothing seemed to be able to make him angry, except for things regarding Jooyeon, which he recently just found out about himself.
On the other hand Kai didn't get angry easily not because of the same reasons as Taemin, rather, because he didn't really give a damn about anything. He was cool and collected all the time. People that did things to upset him were people he that weren't worth the energy he put into getting angry with them.
Which was why when either of the Lee siblings got angry, it was ten times more frightening.
Taemin could see that Jooyeon meant a lot to Kai and that this news of Jooyeon being Taemin's soulmate really hurt Kai a lot. But what was Taemin to do? He saw the future he and Jooyeon held together, all the happiness. And more so that Taemin had already fallen for Jooyeon now. There was no backing out.
Taemin let out a sigh and groaned as he finally plopped himself on the couch and stared at the clock, after the whole night of pacing and waiting for Kai to return. He tried Kai's phone again and it told him the old news: Kai switched his phone off.
Biting his lips worriedly, Taemin couldn't take it and stood up again, waiting by the door. He hoped Kai would come home soon, that Kai would just show up to show that he was alright. It was worrying right now because although Taemin had no idea how Kai was doing. He didn't get a flash that told him that ai would be home. He got nothing.
Taemin looked around as the sun began rising. He glanced at his watch. It was nearing 7am. The new day was starting already and Kai wasn't even back yet.
Taemin decided to make breakfast just in case Kai came back in time. Perhaps a warm delicious breakfast would warm things up between the brothers. Perhaps food was the key to everything, just like how the same logic applied to Onew and chicken.
Taemin just got out the eggs to do Kai's favourite scrambled eggs when he got a flash of the future.
"NOOOO!!! LET ME GO!!"
"What do we have here, Kai? One of the Lee brothers? This is great."
And it ended.
Taemin's eyes widened and he took a large breath to calm his nerves. "Dansen Choi." Taemin gulped. "He's going to meet Dansen choi?"
Within a blink of the eye, Taemin was out of the door and running like he never did before. This was bad. Very, very bad.
PS: Dansen Choi is an OC too. Don't bother searching for him. ^^