Chapter SixBeauty of My World
"Let's go somewhere today," Seokjin proposes out of the blue.
The last time Taehyung's been out of the house was when he went to the hospital for a check-up. "Like tour the plantation again?" he asks, remembering the last time Seokjin proposed they do something.
"I was thinking more about going to the nearby town," Seokjin tells him. Taehyung feels mixed reactions to that. The last time he was in the city, it was overwhelming in a bad way. However, it seems that Seokjin wants to go. That must also be why he suggested the idea.
"Sure, we should go," Taehyung complies. So after they finish breakfast, they get ready to go out. As Taehyung is getting changed in the bathroom, his hands brush his face, feeling his peach fuzz.
He doesn't care much about his appearance, but he will be in public with Seokjin. The least he can do is look good with Seokjin.
Taehyung opens the mirror cabinet, about to get his razor when he realizes that he won't even be able to shave if he can find his razor.
Shyly, he opens the bathroom door. "Seokjin?"
"What is it?" he hears Seokjin say before hearing his footsteps come closer.
"Can you help me?" Taehyung requests.
Seokjin's fingertips brush Taehyung's jawline tentatively before turning his head to the side. Carefully, he brings the razor up to the alpha's face. Slowly, he runs the razor along his cheek.
There's an awkward silence as he shaves Taehyung's facial hair and he tries to conjure up something to say. However, he finds himself flustered from being this close to Taehyung.
He's self-conscious of every breath he takes as he can hear every breath Taehyung takes. Seokjin's eyes can't help but stare at Taehyung's features. He is absolutely gorgeous.
Seokjin wonders if he's ever been in any relationships before. He wouldn't be surprised if he had. The thought that he had leaves an odd feeling residing in Seokjin. He wonders how close they got with Taehyung, how long they were together, and how much they loved each other.
Seokjin feels a slap to his face at the L-word. A word he'll never use to describe him and Taehyung.
Seokjin flinches out of his thoughts as Taehyung's fingers encircle his wrist. "Is something wrong?" he asks, innocent to Seokjin's stare.
"No.." Seokjin looks down. "I'm just about done so just wait a bit longer," he says as he continues shaving Taehyung's slight stubble.
Taehyung lets go of his wrist, sitting patiently as Seokjin finishes up. To make sure he didn't miss any spot, Seokjin caresses Taehyung's bread cheeks with both of his hands. Taehyung's beautiful eyes stare past him, his face framed by Seokjin's own hands. Taehyung blinks and when his eyes are shown again, Seokjin almost thinks that Taehyung sees him. This momentary belief makes his heart race, afraid that Taehyung may be disappointed with what he sees, but also anticipating if Taehyung thinks differently.
Seokjin's breath hitches as Taehyung places a hand on top of his. He parts his lips to say something.
"Okay, all done," Seokjin removes his hands before he can do so. He turns away, ignoring the longing in his heart. He squeezes his eyes shut, willing his emotions to go away. In a cheerful voice, he chirps, "Let's go."
Taehyung's mind keeps replaying Seokjin caressing his cheeks earlier. Just thinking about it makes his cheeks heat up. He doesn't know why he keeps thinking about it. It was nothing. Seokjin was only caressing his cheeks to feel for his stubble. Besides, why does he care?
"Jungkook's not giving us a ride, is he?" Taehyung asks, wanting to think of something else. He doesn't hate Jungkook but he's not the biggest fan of him either.
Seokjin laughs, "No. I know you hate him so we're taking the bus."
Taehyung flushes a little at the accusation. "I don't-" He releases a huff, "hate him. Just a little bit of dislike." Is he that readable? Quickly, he changes the subject, "There's a bus around here?"
"Yes, it's about twenty minutes away from here. Is that alright with you?" asks Seokjin as he puts a hand on Taehyung's arm.
"Yeah," Taehyung answers, extending his white cane in his other hand. He's just glad that they won't have to be stuck in a car with Jungkook. "Is anyone around?"
"No, why?" Seokjin wonders.
Taehyung pulls his sunglasses off, folding them and tucking them into his shirt. "I don't like the weight of the glasses." He's gotten used to not wearing them. The breeze sings happily as it brushes Taehyung's eyelashes.
"We can get lighter ones, if you want," Seokjin offers.
Taehyung shakes his head, "It's fine. I only use them around strangers." He leaves out the fact that he only spends time with Seokjin who he doesn't hide his eyes from and who isn't a stranger. "Would you tell me about the scenery?"
"Of course," Seokjin complies. "There are many trees. Most are still full of green leaves. However, the tips of a few leaves are changing color. The grass too is starting to lose its emerald color."
Taehyung tries to imagine it, conjuring his best memory with Seokjin's descriptions. He wonders how he and Seokjin look together in the middle of this scenery.
"I was thinking of buying you more clothes," Seokjin says as they step off of the bus.
"I already have clothes," Taehyung states.
"Yeah but they're getting worn out and it's going to get colder," Seokjin informs him.
"Okay," Taehyung agrees begrudgingly like a child.
"It'll be fun. Come on," Seokjin voices exuberantly, leading him by his arm.
It's a small town so there aren't that many people but Taehyung can hear the occasional pair of footsteps that pass them or the small greetings exchanged between them and Seokjin. His mind races with thoughts that aren't all that good but he pushes them away. Today is about Seokjin. On the bus ride here, Taehyung decided that he'll be independent today. Seokjin's always taking care of him. So..Taehyung wants today to be like a vacation for him.
"Let's go in here," Seokjin says before dragging Taehyung into what he presumes is a clothing store. Seokjin picks out a bunch of clothing for him, purchasing more than Taehyung thinks is necessary. They leave the store and Taehyung thinks that marks the end of shopping, but Seokjin pulls him into another.
"Which one feels softer?" Seokjin asks before taking his hand and placing it on a silk sleeve. "This one?" He removes Taehyung's hand and puts it on another silk sleeve. "Or this one?"
'Your hand is softest,' Taehyung thinks. Instead, he answers, "Why would I need a silk shirt?"
"Its pajamas," Seokjin replies. "I heard that silk pajamas are the comfiest, finest, and best," he explains. He places Taehyung's hand on the first set of pajamas. "This one is a dark, royal blue with white stripes." Placing his hand on the second set, he describes, "This one is white with black polka dots."
An idea pops up in his mind, "Which one do you like more?"
"It doesn't matter what I like. This is for you," Seokjin chides lightly.
"Then I go with the blue one," Taehyung says. He can hear Seokjin take a set off the rack. Following the sound, Taehyung reaches for another set of blue pajamas, taking it off the rack as well.
"What are you doing? I already got one," Seokjin questions, confused.
"Let's get matching," Taehyung suggests. He doesn't want to spend all of their money only on him. Besides, Seokjin seems excited about the silk pajamas. It would be good if they both got a pair. Seokjin doesn't say anything so Taehyung adds, "Or do you want the white pajamas instead?"
"Taehyung, I don't-"
"White pajamas it is, then," Taehyung announces, putting the blue pajamas back.
"Wait, I.." Taehyung waits patiently, ready for Seokjin to object once more. "Let's get the blue ones." Taehyung grins.
They're wandering the streets, looking for more stores. From the more frequent chattering, Taehyung can tell that more people are out and about. Without knowing it, he sticks closer and closer to Seokjin. "Let's sit for a bit," Seokjin suggests and he gratefully agrees.
They sit on a park bench which sounds pretty secluded. "Seokjin," he annunciates softly to which Seokjin hums as a reply. "Aren't you embarrassed to be seen with me?" he voices the question that's been haunting him since they arrived in town.
He's sure that wherever they go, people must be whispering about them. He can only imagine what they would say. 'Look at them. Poor omega, he has to take care of that blind alpha. Ugh, I could never be with an alpha like him. How could an alpha be that selfish and force that omega to be with him?'
"Of course, I'm not," Seokjin insists.
"You're not embarrassed to have me, a blind and incapable alpha with you?" Taehyung asks again, unable to believe that Seokjin is completely fine with who he is. Even he is still somewhat ashamed of who he has become.
"No," Seokjin repeats. "Not at all."
"How come?" Taehyung turns his head, angling it so that he'd hear Seokjin better.
"Because I.." Seokjin's voice trails, becoming quieter. Under his breath, he continues, "I like being with you."
Taehyung's lips part at the unexpected answer and his thoughts scramble, leaving him flustered. However, one thing is clear and blaring in his head. 'Seokjin likes being with me,' he concludes. Suddenly, he doesn't feel like he got a punch in the gut. Instead, he feels like he's on a rollercoaster and just finished going down a big slope but another one is coming as he avows, "I like being with you too."
Seokjin drops his eyes, feeling heat occupy his face at Taehyung's reciprocation. Bright pleasure fills his chest and he can't contain the smile that paints his face. He knows he's interpreting it wrong, but he still feels like a bubble floating high into the air. A bicyclist passes them and the bike's bell rings.
"What's that?" Taehyung asks, ears perk.
"A bike," Seokjin tells him. Craning his neck, he looks at where the bicycle came from. "There's a bike store here. They do rentals as well." Getting an idea, he stands up. "Come with me," he says as he takes Taehyung's hand.
Taehyung follows him, a question written on his face. Seokjin takes them to the bike store, pushing the door open. The many varieties of bicycles liter the store.
"Hi," the cashier greets them. "Browsing for bikes?"
"Yeah," Seokjin answers, eyes scanning the variety.
Finally knowing what's going on, Taehyung pulls Seokjin close and whispers in his ears, "You're not going to buy a bike, are you?"
Seokjin chuckles lightly at his assumption. "No, we're going to rent a bike."
"Rent bikes?" Taehyung asks in disbelief. "But how can I-"
"You misheard me. I said a bike," Seokjin corrects him. He knows that Taehyung won't be able to ride a bike by himself. "Excuse me," he turns to the cashier, leaving a confused Taehyung. "Do you have any tandem rental bikes?"
The cashier smiles, "We do. They're right over here."
"I don't know how to feel about this," Taehyung admits as they take the tandem bike out of the store.
"It'll be fun," Seokjin promises. Taehyung presses his lips together, keeping his doubts from escaping. He's not sure if this is a good idea. The main problem is that he can't see where they're going. He'll have to rely solely on Seokjin. As if reading his mind, Seokjin assures him, "I'll be with you every step of the way."
Hesitantly, his hands reach out to find the handles. Slowly, with the help of Seokjin, he maneuvers his way onto the second seat. He grips the handles tightly as Seokjin gets on. "On three, push off the ground and pedal with your right foot first. Okay?"
"Okay," Taehyung confirms, ready to lift his weight off the ground.
"One...two...three," Seokjin counts off.
Taehyung's right foot pushes off the ground and slips onto the pedal, pushing forward. He winces, expecting to be kissed by the cement. However, he's proven wrong as they move forward. He calms down, enjoying it as the breeze tousle his hair. After getting used to it, they pick up speed.
With Seokjin's descriptions of the landmarks they pass, Taehyung paints a picture of the small town. The feel of the wind against Taehyung's face makes him feel giddy and excited.
"Seokjin," he starts.
"Yeah, Taehyung," replies Seokjin.
"Let's go faster," Taehyung requests eagerly.
"Okay," he hears the smile in Seokjin's voice. "But only if you can keep up with me."
Taehyung's mouth lifts into a smile and he pedals faster. The wind hitting against his face increases and he feels like he's on top of the world. Though fearful when they first started, Taehyung isn't anymore. His grip around the handles loosens and he spreads his arms open.
He grins at the sensation he gets in his stomach. Quickly, he taps Seokjin's shoulders to gain his attention. "Spread your arms out," Taehyung tells him.
"What?!" Seokjin yells, opposed to his idea.
"It'll be fun," he mimics Seokjin's promise from earlier. He can sense Seokjin's hesitation, but slowly, he starts to lift his arms. Taehyung's hands trail down to his hands, holding them and guiding them up.
"We're going to crash," Seokjin states.
"With that mindset, we will. So just don't think about it or anything," Taehyung says. Seokjin's arms are spread out now. "Now, close your eyes and feel the wind against you."
Taehyung lets his eyes close, but instead of feeling like he's on top of the world like before, all he can focus on is Seokjin's hands under his. Seokjin then starts laughing. "You're right, Taehyung," he begins. "This is fun. It feels like we're on top of the world."
Taehyung's mind lingers on his words. 'We? Did I hear wrong?'
Taehyung's expression softens as Seokjin bubbles into laughter again. Unconsciously, he leans forward, feeling Seokjin's warmth. He too, bubbles into laughter for Seokjin's laugh is contagious.
He doesn't know what they are, but he likes what is blooming between them.
After eating burgers for lunch, Taehyung and Seokjin catch the bus back. "Do you miss the city?" Taehyung asks as they sit in their bus seats.
"...Not really," Seokjin answers. "There are times when I miss my home, parents, and friends but..for the most part, I like the countryside."
Taehyung settles into his seat, shoulder touching Seokjin's. He feels better, knowing that Seokjin doesn't completely hate being stuck with him, isolated from everyone else.
"Do you miss the city?" Seokjin returns the question.
"No," Taehyung replies, faster than he thought. "I've become used to the countryside." He didn't realize when but he prefers the countryside over the city now.
Would he still enjoy it even when alone? Taehyung gulps at the thought, almost forgetting that Seokjin will leave him once he recovers.
He blinks, letting the thoughts disperse under his eyelids while other surfaces. If he somehow gets his sight back, what should he do? He won't stay on the plantation, right? He has no passion nor knowledge of continuing the strawberry business.
He doesn't want the plantation to just sit around doing nothing though. Yet, he doesn't want to sell it to some stranger. Also, he can't leave his omega dad alone.
There is still the chance(the reality) that he may never see the world again. What should he do then?
Suddenly, he sits up straighter as weight falls on his shoulder. "Seokjin?" he whispers, hearing soft breathing by his ear. He blushes as he realizes Seokjin's fallen asleep and is resting his head on his shoulder.
Taehyung turns his head away stiffly, feeling awkward. He does his best not to move or make noises, not wanting to disrupt Seokjin's sleep, forgetting the concern that occupied his mind only seconds ago. He clasps his hands together in his lap, trying to act indifferent to his new situation. Even so, his face is warm the whole ride as Seokjin sleeps on his shoulder.
When Taehyung awakes the following morning in his blue silk pajamas, he hears birds singing and feels the sun kissing his face. Enticed by the singing, he gets up and gets ready for the day.
Seokjin's soft, even breathing tells Taehyung that he's still asleep. Taehyung lets him continue to sleep, going outside to where the birds are. He has his white cane to help him, but his ears are guiding him.
He stops as the singing nears and he holds his hand out to feel a tree next to him. Concluding that the bird is up there, he no longer moves and instead just enjoys the bird's song. The notes are unusually high, but not pitchy. It sings a sweet tune and as Taehyung listens, he feels his mood lift higher.
When the bird finishes it's song, Taehyung hears it fly off to spread its music elsewhere. He turns away, content and now in a good mood to start the day. He makes his way back to the shed slowly, noticing that it's been quite a while since he's left.
Seokjin must've woken up by now considering the morning is passing quickly.
Taehyung emerges at the shed and his hand easily finds the doorknob, familiar with the motion. He turns the knob and pushes the door open.
"Seokjin?" he asks, feeling someone's presence in front of him and hearing what sounds like ragged breathing. "Are you okay?" Unease falls around him as he's met with no response.
He drops his hand from the door which was the wrong move as the door slams in his face. "Seokjin!" he yells, alarmed. He tries the doorknob again, but it's locked and so he knocks on the door frantically. "Seokjin!" Nonetheless, the door remains stubbornly shut. Taehyung's mind and heart are racing. Did something happen to Seokjin? Did he do or say something offensive?
"Seokjin!" Taehyung tries again. "What's-wrong?" he staggers out, not sure how to proceed. Silence only replies.
'What if Seokjin's hurt? What if he needs someone to help him?' Taehyung thinks as he stands outside, conflicted. 'What if he needs me to help him?'
"Seokjin," he speaks softer, leaning against the door so that he would hear him. "Is something wrong? Are you hurt?" He pauses, waiting for an answer to one of his two questions.
"...I.." Taehyung stands up straighter, just glad to hear that he's responding. "..I'm not hurt...I just..." Seokjin's voice trails off and he can't make out the rest of his sentence. It's quiet again and Taehyung can only hear his breathing. "I just want to be alone."
A meek "oh" escapes from Taehyung's lips, feeling like he took a blow from Seokjin's admission. He thought that he and Seokjin had come to agreeable, likable terms. Yet, it seems that he's wrong on that since Seokjin clearly doesn't want to be with him.
Taehyung clears his throat and announces, "Okay, then. I'll be in the big house." He mentally pats himself on the back because his voice came out unbothered and normal.
Taehyung paces around the kitchen, discordant. Since Seokjin is in no state to make him breakfast, he just microwaved some ramen and ate that. However, now, he was faced with another problem. Should he make breakfast for Seokjin? It's been well over an hour since he last spoke to him, but Seokjin has not left the shed yet.
Taehyung forces himself down on a stool, sliding the ramen packet away from him. He doesn't need to do anything. Seokjin wouldn't even want him to, that's why he told him he wants to be alone.
Thinking back to his encounter with Seokjin, he does find it odd. The request of being alone came out of nowhere unless Taehyung had done something rude that he didn't mean to and doesn't know. Seokjin, himself, was acting weird. Should he be concerned? What if he's sick? That would explain the ragged breathing and kicking Taehyung out.
Taehyung stands up, grabbing the ramen packet and a bowl. He opens the ramen packet and dumps its contents into the bowl. His hand searches for the seasoning packets and when found rips them open and pour them in. Carefully, he adds water to it and then puts it in the microwave.
As he waits for it to cook, he searches through the cabinets until he finds the one with(he thinks) is medicine. At first, he files through them. His fingers round the bottles, feeling every little detail as he tries to guess which medicine is which. This goes on until the microwave beeps, announcing the ramen's completion. Unable to tell the medicine apart, he just grabs all of them.
He struggles to hold all of them in one arm at first, but somehow does it and quickly rushes to the microwave. He grabs the bowl with no caution which causes him to immediately pull away as it burns. Hissing, he slowly pulls the bowl out. Waiting for it to cool down a bit, Taehyung grabs a pair of chopsticks and stirs it. The smell wafts into his nostrils and it doesn't smell burnt so he marks that as success.
Before embarking out the kitchen door, Taehyung also grabs a water bottle. His arms are full of medicine, his hands are occupied by the bowl of ramen and water bottle and he doesn't notice his white cane is left behind. He makes it easily to the shed, having done the trip between the big house and shed a million times.
Unable to use his hands, he kicks the door as a knock instead. As expected, there isn't a reply so he calls out, "Seokjin?" Nervously, he bites down on his bottom lip. "I brought you food, water, and medicine."
"I don't need them," he hears a muffled reply. Taehyung has to think for a bit, having not to count on Seokjin turning him away.
"Yeah, but," he his bottom lip. "I need to get something so, let me inside." He's not sure if his tactic will work. After all, Seokjin seems pretty keen on not letting him in. Before he can think of another way inside, the door creaks open. Taehyung stands up straighter, eyes wide at his success.
"..Come in.." Seokjin's voice is barely above a whisper, sounding far away. Nonetheless, Taehyung steps into the shed. He hears the door shut after him so he assumes that Seokjin is behind him. He turns around, hoping to face him.
Holding out the bowl of ramen, he says, "I made some ramen. You haven't eaten, have you?"
"I'm not hungry," Seokjin answers, causing Taehyung to frown. "Please leave."
Taehyung lifts a brow, confused with the way Seokjin's acting. He has to be sick. There's no other explanation. He takes tiny steps backward until his back hits the nightstand. This helps him know where he is and where Seokjin is(if he's standing in front of him). Taehyung reaches behind him, setting the bowl of ramen down. With the medicine and water bottle in his arms, he touches the ground with his feet, searching for the mat which is easily found. Then, he sits down on the mat. Finally, letting go of the medicine and letting them hit the soft mattress.
"W-what are you doing?" Seokjin stutters, flustered and panicked. This only raises more questions for Taehyung.
"You're sick, aren't you?" Taehyung asks. He knows he won't get an answer so he continues. "I brought medicine. Since I don't know what you're sick with, I brought everything," he gestures to the pile of medicine. Seokjin doesn't say anything nor does he move. Frankly, Taehyung is getting worried. What is it that Seokjin's hiding from him? Why won't he just let Taehyung help him?
Despite the slight frustration that is starting to build up, Taehyung doesn't voice it. Softly, he says, "Come here."
To his pleasant surprise, Seokjin obeys him and he feels movement. By the sound of it though, Seokjin's sitting as far away from him as possible as if he's a disease. Taehyung twists the cap off of the water bottle and holds it out toward Seokjin. "Are you thirsty?" Seokjin doesn't answer him, but Taehyung feels his fingertips touch his as he grabs the bottle. He retracts his hand, but not before noting how hot Seokjin's fingers were even though he only felt them for a mere millisecond.
Hearing Seokjin gulp down the water, he scoots closer towards him. Seokjin stops drinking and assuming that he'll try to get away, Taehyung finds his delicate wrist, wrapping his hand around it. "Don't run from me," he requests gently, not wanting to scare him away. "I just want to help you." Seokjin's wrist stays in his hold, not resisting.
His hand leaves Seokjin's wrist. He hopes that his hand isn't trembling as much as he thinks it is as he brings it up to find Seokjin's forehead. He misses it and his hand falls on the crown of Seokjin's head, feeling his soft hair. Taehyung gulps and it sounds loud in the quietude between them, but he tries not to think too much about it. His hand trails down until it's hovering above Seokjin's forehead. He's not even touching it yet, but already, he can feel the heat radiating off of him.
Still, as confirmation, he presses his hand to Seokjin's forehead. "You're burning up," Taehyung says, shocked at how hot his temperature is.
He pulls his hand away, pushing the medicine bottles to Seokjin. "Take some medicine. It'll help you feel better." Though not at first, Seokjin eventually searches through the medicine he brought. The sound of pills moving around stops. Following that, he hears a bottle open and presumes that Seokjin found the right medicine.
Knowing that Seokjin wants to be in solitude, Taehyung starts to gather the medicine. Yet, before he can stand up, Seokjin speaks, "You're leaving?" He sounds disappointed and hurt?
It doesn't sound like Seokjin wants him to go so he says, "No." He pushes the bottles of medicine off the mat. "I can stay if you want me to." Taehyung feels anxious as he adds, "Do you want me to?" His whole face is burning up as he waits for confirmation.
He doesn't get one. Immediately, he feels stupid. What was he thinking? Maybe he's contracted whatever illness Seokjin has and is losing his mind. Ignoring the medicine and how foolish he felt for asking such a question, he pulls his legs up to stand when a pair of arms wrap around him. "Wait-don't, don't go," Seokjin calls out, cheek pressed into his arm. "Please, don't go."
Taehyung's face is flaming red now, but he does his best to conceal it. He pulls his arm out from under Seokjin and puts it around Seokjin's shoulder, holding him. More heat travels to his face as Seokjin leans in, head resting on his shoulder. "Please don't go," Seokjin whispers now.
Taehyung doesn't even give himself time to process it before saying, "I won't."