73: Sunsink [Final Chapter]

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It isn't much longer before Jungkook falls asleep, worn out from the physical and emotional strain of the last few days.

His head rests on your chest, arms folded loosely around you. His eyes flicker beneath the paper-thin lids that cover them, shadows deepening the dip of them. He restlessly moves around, squirming in his sleep.

Then, with a great, heaving sigh, he goes completely still.

Slumbering so deeply, you pause for a minute to make sure he's still breathing evenly.

You gently unwrap yourself, laying his head back down as softly as you can. The pillow creases beneath his ebony hair.

Thankful that he sleeps like the dead, you glide out of the room on silent feet, swishing through the carpet.

You move down the empty hall, headed for Taehyung's darkened room. Before you can get there, the door creaks open to emit a slender, slumped figure.

Jimin.

He looks up as you approach. The sweet curves of his face are thin and haggard, but the hardest part of him to see are his eyes.

Is it just you, or does it feel like the beautiful galaxies that used to shine in Jimin's eyes have been swallowed up by black holes?

He musters a smile for you anyways.

It's blank and flat.

Wordlessly, you hold out a hand to him.

Jimin trudges over, wrapping his hand around yours, and pulls you toward the stairs.

"Come on, gorgeous goddess," he says.

You walk together down the stairs.

You find the others outside, sitting side by side on the drive in front of the house, looking out into the world.

They aren't saying anything.

Just existing.

Jimin lets go if your hand to sit beside Namjoon, who's wistfully watching as a bird floats by on a draft of breeze. Yoongi is beside him with one knee bent up, hands wrapped around his thin ankle.

You sit in between Jin and Hoseok, and lean your head to rest against Jin's shoulder.

It's so strange.

You remember seeing them for the first time, there on the other side of a storefront pane of glass, shrouded in smoke and shadows like mythical beings.

Now you look at them, scraped and bruised and broken, and so human, and think that the world they exist in isn't any different than yours.

They're the same as you.

They were never any different.

It was only how your eyes saw them, how your mind pictured them, how your biases boxed them in. They're yours now, wholly unladen with the weight of expectations - real and raw.

You close your eyes and exist with them.

After a while, Hoseok brushes a soothing hand over your shoulder.

"How are they?" he asks.

"Sleeping," Jimin answers. You nod.

Now all of you are watching the same bird, gliding in the air. Its feathers glitter under the dimly changing lights of early evening, black and ruffled.

It's free, and unfettered.

"We're going to be okay," Namjoon says softly.

He turns his face up, catching the last of the sun's rays on his cheekbones.

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