Pt. III

Limelight

This hadn’t been the afternoon you were planning, and, to be honest, if you knew that you would have spent several hours in the emergency room, you would have just stayed home.

Your manager stood in front of your hospital bed, a rather nervous looking Taehyung beside him. “So,” your manager said, arms crossed. You had never seen him so serious before, and you definitely hadn’t had him be so mad at you. “Do you want to tell me what happened? Because I need something to tell Mr. Choi, but if you don’t want to tell me what happened, then I will gladly let you go up to his office, by yourself, and explain yourself. And I can promise that it won’t be very fun.”

Maybe mad wasn’t the right word.

Maybe vexed would be better.

Or even “so pissed off that I can see the rage in his eyes and I am legitimately afraid to be alone with him because he might actually kill me.”

Yeah, you thought, shifting uncomfortably on the bed. That sounds more accurate.

Your lack of response caused your manager to raise and eyebrow. “Well?” he prompted, and you had to decide on what you were actually going to tell him.

_____________________

When you walked out of your apartment building, mobs of fans crowded around you. It only took you about ten seconds before you realized that this was a complete mistake, and you would have just turned around and walked right back inside if it weren’t for the fact that you were supposed to be meeting your “boyfriend” in fifteen minutes.

You weren’t sure how well that call would go.

As fans pushed and shoved and called out your name, you only kept your head down, pulling a mask over your face, not that it would really do much. You knew that they would all be posting these pictures and writing about it on their Twitter accounts.

You were bound have have people trying to get a picture of you and Taehyung together, reporters trying to get interviews.

Your stomach flipped at the idea of having people potentially following you around the city. You were worried about sasaeng fans trying to get in between the two of you.

When the word of your relationship began spreading, you realized that you hadn’t completely thought everything out.

Sure you had fans before the relationship was announced, but now you had to deal with ARMYs and the press and the mix was enough to make your skin crawl.

You continued down the familiar sidewalks regardless of how overwhelming it has to have so many people stare as you walked passed storefronts, restaurants, crosswalks, and the like. You kept going for Taehyung, because you recognized that he was probably having just as rough of a time as you were. So when you reached the small cafe you had designated as your meeting place, you calmly walked inside and took a seat at a circular table for two in the back corner of the room, switching from scrolling through your Twitter and watching the door for signs of the boy.

When he walked in, some minutes later, you were surprised to see him look so lively.

The wind was bitter and chilled you all the way to the bone, making the tips of your ear and nose a pink-ish color. Taehyung, on the other hand, looked completely flawless. Sure the violent wind had messed with his hair a bit, and sure his own face way have gotten it’s own pink tint, but he just looked so...so...good.

His eyes scanned the shop for you, and when he spotted you, waving him over, he walked right to you, not caring about the people abandoning their attention directed at their own paper coffee cups and trading it for the two idols, two that are currently involved in a scandal that’s been on just about every social media platform and a handful of television channels.

When the two of you made eye contact, you returned the smile he offered you as  he took his place across from you.

Removing his coat and draping it over the back of the chair he took his seat. Taehyung placed his hands on the table and clasped them together, giving a sigh as he adjusted to the new surroundings. “So what’s this about?” the boy inquired, almost in a sing-songy tone.

You noted how infectious his smile was when you felt your own spreading across your features. You offered a shrug as a response. “Being cooped up inside and just reading article after article about myself was getting a little old,” you answered, a laugh punctuated your words.

Taehyung nodded. “That does get old, doesn’t it?” he asked, playing along.

Despite only really knowing each other for several days, the air between you two was comfortable; it was almost like you had been childhood friends.

“Just a bit,” you said before changing the subject. “I’m going to go get a drink, do you want anything?”

He raised his hand to his face, finger tapping on his chin and acting as if whether getting a cup of coffee from some Starbucks wannabe was the biggest decision he ever had to make.

He continued on like this for maybe another ten seconds before finally saying, “Yes.”

As he moved to get up, you stopped him. “I got it,” you said, already walking to the counter where a few other customers stood, one scrolling through something apparently amusing on his phone, and two others who were dressed in their work clothes stood chatting about some meeting they had attended earlier.

Upon placing your order for coffee, you briefly looked over the dessert case, full of various cookies, muffins, cakes, and others of the sort. “Excuse me,” you called to one of the employees, grabbing their attention. You pointed to a freshly baked-looking chocolate chip cookie. “Can I have two of those?”

When you were handed your order, you weaved through the maze of tables and chairs as you made your way back to the brown haired boy waiting for you. When the cups were placed down in the center of the table, the smile he once fostered returned, causing your heart to flutter in the slightest bit.

He is just so cute, you thought, passing him a cookie to go with the hot drink.

Taehyung offered you an enthusiastic “Thank you,” before taking a sip. He closed his eyes as he savored the bitter flavor.

You looked up from your own place and returned his smile, albeit unconsciously. “I hope I got your order right,” you said, tucking a strand of your hair behind your ear. “If it’s not right, I can go get another one.

The boy was quick to deny the offer. “No, it’s perfect,” he assured you, hushing the anxious voice in the back your mind.

The two of you sat there in the back of the coffee shop, for nearly two hours, just leaning back against the comfortable seats. The conversation was nothing of any weight, in fact, the most personal question that was asked was the goal the two of you wanted achieve with your respective groups.

Your answer was to be able to see the world and spread good music across all horizons. Taehyung answered with something you could most definitely relate to. When asked, he answered that he just wants to make a difference in the music industry.

When it got down to it, that’s all any of you wanted to do; it wasn’t just Bangtan or 4ce, but every other idol group you had every had the opportunity to have spoken with. Why go through years upon years of strenuous training and schooling? What was the point of spending entire days, which often turned into evenings, in the recording studio, singing and singing as you tried to get that one note or that one sound down?

You wanted to make an impact.

You just never thought about it that way.

Together, you collected you belongings, shrugging on your jackets and stepping back out into the bitterly cold wind.

“Is there anything else you wanted to do?” Taehyung asks as he shoves his hands into his pockets.

You hadn’t thought about doing anything other than coffee, but your afternoon was, for the most part, free; you just had to be back to the dorm by six-thirty to head to practice with your other members.

There was a brief pause on your part before shaking your head. “Not really,” you admitted. “But if there was something you had in mind, we could do that.”

The boy offered a shrug, sighing in content. “Why don’t we just go walk?”

You agreed. It was nice to have a day to just to wander the city mindlessly.

It was nice to wander the city with Taehyung.

Minutes of walking down crowded sidewalks and busy crosswalks turned into hours, but it felt as if just seconds had gone by.

Conversation was made easy due to your companion’s bright personality and friendly nature. It was honestly refreshing to have someone so down to earth to spend time with; not that Minseo, Jungah, and Hyunmi were anything shy of that. Taehyung just carried an aura of simplicity with him. He didn’t need to do anything to have fun, or to make a situation comical or warm. He simply just spoke his mind and acted freely. He was himself.

As you crossed yet another crosswalk and walked through the gate of a good sized park, the two of you were discussing what it was like moving away from home to start your careers.

“I guess it was a little difficult,” you said, bringing your eyes up to rest on his face. “I mean, I didn’t have friends or family in Seoul, and I was only fifteen when I moved, so being alone was a bit daunting. I met Jungah a week into training, though, and we’ve been together for a lot of things. You know, it’s kind of funny. We weren’t even supposed to debut together. In fact, Minseo and I were supposed to be a duo, but our company kept changing the line up. I was a bit aggravated at first, considering we put so much effort into our debut already, and now we were going to have to change it, but now we’re like family and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Taehyung knew exactly what you meant, and he showed this with a smile and a distant look in his eyes. It was clear he was thinking about his old days as a trainee.

“When we were preparing for our debut, our company decided to keep me a secret from the public,” he said, laughing a bit to himself. “But I get what you mean. About the whole family thing. Coming to Seoul was a big deal for me, too, but my hyungs and Jungkook all work hard to support each other. I remember being a kid and watching interviews with groups saying that they really hand to work together to become successful, and now I know what they mean.”

Before you could respond, some type of squeal cut you off. “Taehyung Oppa!”

The two of you turned to face the source of the shouts, only to find a group consisting of five high school aged girls, all wearing their uniforms. Just the sight of them made you shiver. How are they not dead, yet, you thought to yourself, subconsciously pulling your coat tighter around you.

“Oppa! It’s really you!” one girl squeaked, the high pitch tone made you want to cover your ears with your hands, but you found some way to restrain yourself.

“Omo! Taehyung oppa! I can’t believe you’re here!” screeched another.

The girls in front of you caused numerous glances to be thrown your way. It wasn’t like people didn’t know who you were, they just had the respect to leave the two of you alone while on your “date” with Taehyung.

The group of girls to flocked around you and the brunette boy in a semicircle blocking your path and preventing you from venturing further into the park.

Of course you had been in this kind of situation before, but it was never all that pleasant. Usually it happened when you were out running errands or going to meet the friends you haven’t spoken to in months or maybe even years.

You loved interacting with fans, but sometimes they had the worst timing.

The two of you bowed slightly, greeting them politely and with smiles.

“Oppa,” the girl in the middle was the first to speak up after they had calmed down some. “Can I get a picture with you?”

The boy glanced over at you briefly, seeinging your encouraging smile before answering with a yes.

It wasn’t just the one girl to ask for a photo, but all of them, and then they asked for a group photo.

You weren’t included in any of them. Instead, you stood to the side, awkwardly standing and staring and a bird hopping around and pecking at the grass in front of you.

You knew that one of the fans had been glaring at you, but you didn’t respond by doing anything. You didn’t need to have any negative stories floating around while you were trying to build a reputation for you and your group.

The whole event may have lasted a bit longer than thirty minutes, and the entire time, you secretly wished that everyone would just back off.

Once the girls finally allowed Taehyung to excuse himself, he turned to address you. “Sorry that took so long,” he said, a sheepish look on his face.

You were about to respond as you started down the path once more, but you were cut short when your foot caught on something, tripping you as you made your next step. You stumbled for a second before hitting the freezing cold pavement beneath you with a thud.

The pain didn’t register for a moment. You sat there, leaning back on your hands as you tried to figure out what just happened. You look up from your knee, for a brief second, just catching the gaze of the girl who first asked for a picture with Taehyung. The smug and conniving expression made it clear what had happened.

The girl tripped you.

When he heard the thud as you painfully hit the ground, the boy stopped and kneeled next to you, concern etched in his features, “(Y/N),” he said. “Are you okay? You’re bleeding.”

The spot on your knee which took most of the damage had been scraped on the pavement. It hurt like hell, but you wouldn’t admit it.

You brush off his concern. “I’m fine,” you sighed, moving to get up. However, when you put the slightest bit of weight on your left ankle, pain shot up through your leg, causing you to hiss through clenched teeth, sitting back down immediately. “Okay, nope. I’m not. Taehyung I think I messed up my ankle.”

A look of panic washed over the boy as he tried to figure out what to do. “I-I’ll call your ma-”

You didn’t let him finish. “No,” you shouted, cutting him off and causing a few other people to look your way for a minute. You sighed and lowered your voice. “No. Just...call your manager and tell him I need to go to the hospital. I’ll contact mine once we get there.”

_____________________

Your lack of response only irritated the man even more. “Okay so you go out behind our backs, and now you won’t even tell me what happened,” you manager said.

You couldn’t bear to look at him as tears began to well up in your eyes. Taehyung was right. You should have just stayed home like you were instructed.

“Um, e-excuse me,” Taehyung piped up, stuttering slightly due to his nerves. You manager turned to look at the boy, still seething.

“I-it wasn’t her fault,” he said, suddenly finding his sneakers to be the most interesting things in the entire world. “I was the one that asked if (Y/N) wanted to go get coffee. This is all my fault. Please don’t...don’t be mad at her, I-I’m the one who screwed up. I’m sorry.”

You were dumbfounded. Taehyung was lying through his teeth to protect you. Taehyung was taking the blame for this whole thing so your manager would just stop yelling at you.

Unbelievable.

“Yeah, well sorry isn’t going to fix that knee and ankle, will it?” you manager snapped, surprising the both of you.

When he saw the defeated look cross the younger boy’s face, you manager mollified a bit, running a hand through his hair in frustration.

A moment of tense silence fell upon the three of you as the doctor returned with a clipboard in hand as well as several other items.

“Hello again, (Y/N),” she greeted, placing everything on a small metal cart, which was at home next to your bed.

You gave a soft smile as you manager sighed and walked towards the reception area of the Seoul National University Hospital’s emergency department. You had no doubt that he was going to call the CEO of your company.

“How is your ankle feeling now that we put some ice on it? Any better?” she inquired.

You doctor made you feel at ease, with her soft spoken voice, black hair just brushing her shoulders and a pair of light pink rimmed glasses resting on her nose. She looked to be in her mid-forties.

“Maybe a little, but it still hurts to move it,” you responded with a frown, shifting your gaze back to your swollen appendage, which now laid propped up on two pillows. You knew that your knee would also probably killing you if it hadn’t been for the novocain they administered while giving you a total of sixteen stitched to close up the gash.

“That’s expected,” she responded, taking a seat on a stool beside you. “So, I have reviewed your x-rays. We actually did two different kinds, today, one regular, which would show a break or fracture, and the other type are called stress x-rays, which means applying some kind of stress to the area when we take it. This is usually used to determine whether or not an injury--whether that be for an arm, leg, or in your case an ankle--is stable. Looking at them, we can see that you have a Lateral Malleolus Fracture, meaning you have a fracture of the fibula where it meet the base of your foot. Luckily, it isn’t too bad so we don’t believe surgery will be necessary to treat it, nor will it be necessary to put you in a cast, but we are going to wrap it and give you a brace, and we do want you to stay off of it as much as possible.”

You fidgeted with the hem of your sweater, feeling more anxious than you had before.

You weren’t expecting to have broken anything. You thought you just bruised some soft tissue of pulled some ligament or something.

This was more than likely going to delay your comeback.

“How long should she stay off of it?” Taehyung asked.

For a moment you had forgotten that he was even there.

“I want to say five weeks,” the doctor answered, grabbing a pair of mint colored latex gloves from a box on the wall, and then grabbing the ace bandage she previously placed on the cart. “Make an appointment with our orthopedic department for then, and they’ll tell you how to go from there. Now, I’m going to start taking care of your ankle, okay? This might hurt a bit, but I’m going to try and be as careful as I can.”

You nodded, trying to stay calm, but even when she just barely touched the injury, your face paled and a whimper escaped you.

The doctor stopped and looked back up to see you biting your lip.

“Does it hurt too much? Should I get you something for the pain before I start?” she asked, sounding more like a concerned mother than anything else.

You swallowed hard.

Yes! you wanted to shout in response, but you really wanted nothing more than to be at home. If you had the choice of being miserable and in pain here at the hospital or being miserable and in pain in your own home, you would definitely choose the latter.

You shook your head the slightest bit, preparing yourself for the torture to come.

“No,” you forced yourself to give as an answer despite every fiber of your being screaming for you to just ask for the damn medication. “I’m okay.”

Just as she turned her attention back to your ankle, a hand clasped yours.

You look to the right and see that Taehyung had moved to try and provide you with the slightest bit of comfort.

And if you were being honest, you thought that this was just as good, if not better than anything a doctor could have given you.

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