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The Reason

Title: The Reason
Genre: Apocalypse AU. Prequel.
Summary: The world is ending and Taemin is forced to spend what he thinks to be his last moments with the man who bullied him all through high school
Pairing: Jongtae
Rating: PG-13
Note: No warnings because *GASP* no character death. Hm. How mysterious. Is that a prequel I see above this note. Hm. Hm.


Trying to write small stories to make small breaks in between my big projects. I won’t be writing the real story until I'm finished. Don't worry.




The world was falling apart. Every single thing that could go wrong was and it was terrible. He had heard on the news before that other countries were experiencing some kind of freak natural disaster but he had just blown it off. He was sure everyone else had to. No one expected this misfortune to come here.

The world was shaking and the wind was shredding everything and flinging it into the air. Tornados and earthquakes were destroying Korea and there was absolutely nothing they could do to protect themselves. Taemin knew it and instead of running around in panic, or trying to gather up and call his family, he just walked out of his house and stood outside. Watching.

He was waiting for something to kill him, waiting for a car to be flung in his direction, for the wind to blow him in the air, for the earth to open up underneath him and swallow him up. There wasn’t anything he could do to stop it, so why try? As he stood there, it began to rain--thunder storm if he wanted to be accurate.

The raindrops fell on him like showers of glass but he refused to move. He was waiting for that panic and uncontrollable manic urge to survive to kick in. In a demented way, he wanted to run around and plead to the skies like he saw his former neighbors do. There had to be some kind of release in trying to survive.

There had to be.

Perhaps it was the fact that as he stood there, he would see those people get taken down by the earth. Flung into the air by the rain. Crushed by their homes. They wouldn’t survive despite the fact that they were trying so desperately. It was hopeless. Wasn’t it?

It wasn’t that he was suicidal because he wasn’t. He life before this had been alright, not the perfect unicorns-and-rainbows high school musical get your head in the game BS he had seen on TV about adolescent apocalyptic survivors. No, he had been bullied violently all throughout high school. Usually, about small things; the fact that he looked really close to a girl. It bothered him and he was sure he developed a complex.

He still didn’t wish this on any of his bullies. Not a one. No one deserved something like this.

He felt soaked. His legs were frozen in their position. He didn’t feel tired at all. Perhaps it was the adrenaline.

“Taemin?” He heard from behind him. He didn’t turn around. He didn’t care who it was. “It is you right? I know it has to be. Taemin!”

Predictably, he was being yanked around and hugged from the front. The person who had grabbed him was clinging on to him desperately, as if he was his lifeline. He was shaking terribly and it took Taemin a few more moments to realize he was crying.

“Taemin, I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” The man sobbed into his chest.

Taemin was silent. The voice sounded familiar. Very familiar. His soul and stomach clenched at the sound of it. Then, everything came together in his mind and he was flinging Jonghyun off of him in instinctual fury.

“Jonghyun!?”

The very man who had led the group of bullies when he was in high school. The very man whose teases and taunts were nastier than the rest of his lackeys. Every single day he could afford, he would bully Taemin to his hearts content. That man, the very man that ruined his high school life, was a crying mess in front of him.

Taemin was conflicted. He wanted to be happy this man had been reduced to such a pathetic state but at the same time was disgusted to see such a strong person like this. It made him feel more of a jerk for flinging him off.

“I’m sorry. So sorry.” Jonghyun repeated, wiping the rain and tears from his face. His clothes were just beginning to dampen. He hadn’t been in the rain long. “I’m sorry about everything I’ve ever done.”

Taemin frowned. He knew this apology was because of some kind of mental breakdown Jonghyun was going through. He didn’t want to accept it. It wouldn’t be right.

“I’m gunna...gunna...” Jonghyun sniffed, finally picking himself off of the ground. He was trying to control himself, still choking on his sobs. “I’m gunna make it right. I’m gunna make sure you survive this.”

What?

Jonghyun dragged Taemin from his spot, running with desperate haste through the rain and wind as he passed the crying people, destroyed homes and cars. He kept moving, running out of their neighborhood and into the woods. The trees, though vulnerable, still stood. The storm on the outside seemed very quiet. It felt like they had found a sanctuary. Taemin tried to stop them; it seemed like it was alright here.

Jonghun ignored his soft resistance and continued to move. Passing tree after tree until he reached an old redwood. The tree was tall, strong and it looked like a very interesting piece of nature. It wasn’t until Jonghyun let go of his hand and furiously began to dig, did he realize he was planning on hiding him inside of it. He dug under the dead leaves and mud until the roots were visible.
This wasn’t a redwood.

The roots were flat and thick, peeking out a bit above ground to make a room in the dirt. The space in between the roots had been emptied out but not by Jonghyun. It was far too clean and even for it to be done by human hands. This tree was unnatural.

Jonghyun, satisfied with his progress, began to push Taemin into the small ditch. Taemin dug in his heels.

“This tree isn’t right, Jonghyun.” He said quickly, unnatural fear and anxiety springing up automatically.

“This tree is different. You can feel it too?”

Taemin didn’t answer, focused on staying away from that anomaly.

“It has to protect you. There’s something about it that’s special -- maybe it’s protecting the rest of the forest. You never know, Taemin. Get...get inside!” With that, he shoved the smaller boy into other boy into the ditch and sent him rolling into the protective roots.

“You better be coming in here with me.” Taemin said, watching Jonghyun stay above ground. He saw the man give a weak smile.

“No, I don’t deserve it. I’m going to go out of the forest and uh...just wait.” Why did that suddenly make him feel sick.

“Jonghyun, if you don’t come into this thing with me I am going to get out and go back to my spot, do you understand that?” His voice sounded breathy and slightly hysteric. He knew this would happen. He had connected somehow, with his former enemy and didn’t want him to leave.

Jonghyun paused, upset with the new ultimatum. Eventually, he slid into the ditch, pulling the dirt he dug in with him. He left a few gaps so that they wouldn’t lose air and went to the middle with Taemin. They were silent. They were in this together now.

“If...if we survive this--”

“We won't.” Taemin said immediately. Jonghyun winced a bit but continued.

“If we survive this, I’m going to make it up to you. For how terrible I was to you, calling you names and stuff, I’ll make it up to you.” Jonghyun gave a breathy sigh, sounding like he was about to cry again. “I’ll stick by you Taemin, help you survive this because if anyone deserves to survive: it’s you.”
Jonghyun laughed. “After all the shit we’ve and others have put you through.”

After a while, they fell into silence again. Jonghyun seemed to never like the quiet and would find something to talk about. His talks were personal and unguarded and Taemin found himself relaxed and comfortable listening to him speak. He never gave any feedback but Jonghyun didn’t seem to mind. Finally, he had someone who would listen to him completely and not judge him. It was nice.

Then an eerie crack broke through their conversation, stuttering before collapsing into the earth. A tree had fallen. The storm was loud, tearing through forest above and around them as Jonghyun let out a whimper and huddled closer to Taemin. Taemin almost laughed, this was so backwards, why was he clinging to him as if he could protect them better than he could, there was nothing he could do.

They sat in silence, listening to tree after tree be flung and destroyed in the storm. Holding onto one another, they felt not exactly safe but alright with their fate. Jonghyun cried but silently, squeezing Taemin whenever a close tree fell. Taemin just let him and made himself blank because someone had to be the one to keep them both sane. He couldn’t breakdown. Jonghyun needed him to be strong.

The storm raged for hours. Hours upon hours upon days upon weeks. Their survival was a blur in their minds. He can remember going out for a bit and dragging a few dead animals from the forest back into their hole when the storm wasn’t as bad. He could remember Jonghyun reaching his hand out to snag a few berries from the bushes that surrounded the tree.

They would survive.

The storm outside grew in power and Jonghyun fell asleep to the call the wind made. Not soon after, Taemin felt a bit drowsy, finally sleeping as he held Jonghyun’s hand. Their sleep would be dreamless, Taemin hoped. Their deaths would be painless and quick, Taemin prayed. It was alright. They had a nice run.

It was fun for a while. They couldn’t protect themselves anymore, not while they were sleeping, it was over. It was finally over.

Darkness.

Sleep.