[17] the picnic (bonus chapter)

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"Oi, Felix, c'mere bro," Chan laughed as he walked towards Felix, his phone pointed towards the latter. "Whatcha make bro?" 

The blonde Aussie, who was holding two bowl of ramen, turned away from Chan and replied, "For me, cause—" 

"Thank you so much, Lixxie!" A female voice said as she took the second bowl of ramen from Felix. Chan turned his phone a little bit so both Felix and Nabi could be in the frame. Nabi blew on her ramen before taking a small bite. A smile grew on her face as she swallowed. "It's perfect!" She exclaimed, giving Felix a side hug as she balanced her bowl on one hand. "I knew you were a good chef." 

Chan cut in, a mischievous smile on his face. "Well, actually, you should visit the next time Felix tries to make pancakes." 

Felix's eyes widened as he remembered what happened. Thankfully, he was saved by Hyunjin, who has just walked over from their picnic spot under the huge Japanese zelkova tree near the back of Chan's huge backyard. 

"Come on, guys, Jisung is waiting for y'all— wait, are you recording, Chan?" He asked, a relaxed smile on his face. 

The Aussie boy nodded. "Yeah, I am. I was watching vlogs earlier and thought it'd be fun if we did it, too! What do you think?" 

Hyunjin grinned. "I think it's a great idea." Felix and Nabi nodded along, and Chan noticed the way her eyes sparkled in with excitement. "Come on now, or the squirrel's gonna kill you."

The group of four walked together towards the picnic blanket to meet their friends next to each other. Chan was zooming in and out on his friends, introducing them all to his phone camera while Hyunjin flirted with him using cringey pickup lines ("Is your mother a chicken? Because you look egg-celent!") as they both cracked up. Beside them, Nabi and Felix were in an intellectual and thought-provoking conversation. 

"Did Jisung spawn at the age of 13?" Felix questioned, a curious look on his face. "Because I have never once heard or seen childhood stories and pictures." 

Nabi nodded along thoughtfully. "Hmm... I'm not sure. Maybe his parents weren't picture people? Or like, he doesn't like reliving his childhood?" They thought hard before the girl piped up again, "Or what if his parents weren't people at all..."

"What if they were squirrels?" The friends stated at the same time before doubling over in laughter like their friends. 

"What are you four laughing about?" Minho asked as they reached the picnic setup, an eyebrow raised at them. 

The group replied instantly. "Nothing," they grinned. When Minho didn't look any less suspicious of them, Nabi loudly slurped some of the soup in her ramen, wiping her mouth with her sleeve afterwards. 

They all sat down in a circle, Nabi sitting down between Felix and Seungmin. The latter grabbed a tissue from the basket and wiped the small droplets of soup near Nabi's mouth, his finger grazing her lips. As he did so, he made eye contact with the girl, and unbeknownst to him, his heart fluttered a bit. 

"Thanks, Minnie," Nabi smiled at him, her heart also beating as fast as the speed of light. A boy just touched my lips, she thought panickily, excited yet shocked at the same time. 

Across the circle, Chan and Jisung noticed this interaction, and they both had the same reaction. I wish I was him. Shaking the thought out of his head, Jisung was the first to snap out of his daze. "Let's play two truths and a lie," he said once everyone was settled. 

They all agreed, except Jeongin, who was left dumbfounded. "How do you play?" He asked, and Jisung looked at him, surprised. 

"You don't know?" When the maknae shook his head, Jisung explained, "Basically, you have to say any three statements, and everyone has to guess which two are true, and which one you're lying about."

"Okay, I guess," Jeongin replied. "I'll go first." When everyone nodded, he began. "Number one: I'm the youngest in my family. Number two: I hate school, and number three: I'm bi." 

After going back and forth with each other, the group finally decided on what to say. Changbin spoke for the group, "We think you're lying about being bi." 

There was a silence where Jeongin made eye contact which Nabi, who was mouthing I didn't help them so don't blame me. He grinned at her before shyly saying, "No, uh, the lie was the first one. I'm the middle child." 

Minho's eyebrows raised. "Really? So you're bi?" Jeongin nodded, and everyone cheered. "I'm glad you told us," Minho whispered to him through the chaos. 

"I'm glad you guys took it so well." 

Minho hugged in response, and everyone joined the hug. "Group hug!" Jisung screamed before jumping onto them all, their laughs turning into squeals as they got squished. Amidst the chaos, Chan's camera lay recording in the grass, and he realized just how lucky he was to have met his friends. 

It didn't matter how crazy his friends were. It didn't matter because somewhere in heart, he knew that these were his people. 

And somewhere in his heart, he knew that the girl who was now standing in front of him, the girl who's laugh sounded like the sweetest music to him, was slowly repairing the crack in his heart that had formed when she left him for the stars. 

And that's when he realized that the girl he called his butterfly was his anchor. 

His anchor to keep going. 

His eyes lit up as he saw the pretty girl twirl in the summer's breeze before collapsing onto the picnic blanket, her smile forming crescents under her eyes as she lay underneath the bright blue sky. 

I think... I like you, Bae Nabi.

~~~

A/N: Hello everyone!! This chapter is written for my best STAY friend (hannah-bahng) to celebrate her birthday! I hope you had a great day, bbg ;) And for those who are following this book, I love you so much <3 I never thought I'd make it as far as I am now, and it's all thanks to you guys! Also, even though this chapter is a bonus (I made it as soft as possible), it does play into the plot, so pay close attention :D Have a great day/night, where ever you are! 

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