acatwhowrites: (Xiumin♡Poufsouffle represent)
A Cat Who Writes ([personal profile] acatwhowrites) wrote2017-03-24 03:51 pm

it would be better if we weren’t friends

title: it would be better if we weren’t friends
players: Kim Seokjin/Jin, Kim Namjoon/Rap Monster, Jung Hoseok/J Hope, Jeon Jungkook
rating: G
word count: 3,280w
summary: For a change of pace, Jungkook moves from the City to his aunt's house in the Forest for a year. Nothing has changed except for a new wolf pack clawing out territory.
a/n: Originally written for the BTS ABO/Hybrid Challenge event.

bingo squares: Seokjin/Jimin/V/Jungkook - deer - Twilight - Wolf (EXO) - Are you making a nest?

I didn't get to where I wanted to, so this appears to be a two-or-more part AU inspired by Twilight. It's hard! I just want to get the main themes, but I kept getting hooked on characters and roles. So VMin aren't even here, yet, but they will be. They are, predictably, part of the new wolf pack and are basically very friendly puppies.
Read on: AFF || AO3 || LJ

Jungkook's entire life has been boringly normal.

His parents were childhood sweethearts and married young, waiting just a few years after Jungkook's older brother was born to have Jungkook, but they raised him with just as much attentiveness and care and nearly overbearing watchfulness that has Jungkook itching to rebel in some way, shape, or form since before he even lost his spots.

But he didn't. He thought about it, but he didn't, because what could he even do? Everyone knew everyone else in the herd, so if he did something, everyone would soon know, and if they misunderstood, or something bad actually happened... It wasn't worth it. He decided this early on between his pestering his older brother and shyly avoiding the other fawns who tried to befriend him at school.

Instead, he spent his time playing video games and drawing. His entire family draws—draws well, even, and that talent lights a competitive flame in Jungkook's spirit; he wants to be even better—so he borrows pencils and colours and uses any paper he finds to see what works best. His one taste of rebellion was drawing on the walls with washable markers, but they came right off with soapy water, although his mother did keep the doodles for a couple days. It was a family portrait.

There's a routine to his life. Daily expectations within the schedule set for him by his parents and their unconscious repetition. He doesn't know anything different until he's finally growing his second set of antlers.

His mom knocks on his bedroom door one lazy summer afternoon and enters at his grunt of acknowledgement.

Jungkook's buried among the junk covering his bed, stretched out and reading a manga. His mom gently grabs one of his velvet-covered antlers, stopping him from rubbing it against the edge of his laptop. The velvet always makes his antlers itchy.

"I have something important to talk to you about, Jungkook," she says, pushing a pile of clothes aside to sit next to him. Jungkook rolls over to sit up, scratching at his antler until his mom stops him again. Her hands are always cool and sooth the itchiness for a little bit. "Do you like your school?"

He shrugs. "I guess. It's no bad or anything."

"Would you transfer, if given the opportunity?"

He shrugs again. Jungkook doesn't have many friends, no one he hangs out with, anyway, and his teachers don't have much to say about him, either, because he's usually so quiet and keeps to himself.

"I was talking to your aunt earlier, the one who lives in the Forest, and she's offered up her guest room, if you'd like to stay with her and go to school there." She messes with his bangs a little, brushing them over his eyebrows, but they fall back to shadow his eyes. He's overdue for a haircut. "I don't want to push you either way, but I do think it could be good for you. Experience something other than the herd and City."

No one knows him outside the City. Anything could happen, and he'd have to rely on himself and an aunt he's not very close to anymore. His heart speeds up; he can feel his pulse in his chest and itchy antlers.

"Remember your aunt has a couple boys, too. A few years older than you, but they're good boys." She smiles softly, crows feet angling from the corners of her eyes to match the soft lines around her mouth. She's getting older. "You want to think about it? There's still time—"

"I want to do it." Jungkook blushes. "I'd like to go. I think it'd be good."

She nods and pulls him close to kiss his forehead. "Come downstairs with me, then. We'll call her."

His aunt is overjoyed to get their call, and her boys are, too, if the background noise is any indication. She has to yell three times until they leave the room; even then, Jungkook can hear shouting and feels his stomach tighten in anxious knots. He spaces out while his mom and aunt chat and discuss dates and times and what to prepare; he's really just along for the ride but doesn't really mind. Moving schools and towns isn't something he could do by himself, probably, anyway.

Packing is something he takes care of on his own. His mom starts tearing up, refolding the shirts he's putting in a suitcase, and has to leave before outright crying.

"Mom, I'm leaving for, like, a year." He hears her noisily blowing her nose and stares at the shoes littering the bottom of his closet. He could live taking one pair of sneakers and another pair of nicer shoes, but he likes his Timberlands and high tops and with it still being summer, he wears sandals a lot, too... "You'll still see me again."

She sighs, dabbing beneath her eyes with a tissue. "You don't understand the heart of a parent, honey. It's our job to worry and cry over our children."

"Would it help if I called home every day?"

"No, that'll just make me miss you more." She opens her arms for him to walk into a hug. "But call at least once a week, so I know you're alive."

"I can do that."

The drive from the City to the Forest is a couple of hours. Jungkook could take the train, but his parents insisted on driving him. He slouches in the backseat of his dad's company car, a comfortable SUV with beige leather seats that always smells like musky cologne. His backpack and boxes that didn't fit in the trunk are piled beside him, but he can still see out the window and watches the angled lines of the City shrink and bend to the curve of leafy trees and waves of gentle hills.

He falls asleep sometime between the middle of nowhere and the edge of the Forest. It's the shade that wakes him. With his head back against where the seat of the car and the door meet, the sunlight shone on the left half of his face. Suddenly cool, Jungkook opens his eyes to immense, deep green.

The Forest is a spacious community many mammals call home. Jungkook's parents are both native Foresters who moved to the City for school and work. He asked them, once, if they missed the Forest, and they both said no, although their expressions were so wistful Jungkook had a hard time believing them.

"Jungkook." His mom reaches behind the centre console to shake his leg.

"Wake up, Kook," his dad says. He looks in the rear view mirror; Jungkook yawns. "We're coming up on your aunt's."

Jungkook rubs at his eyes and sits up carefully. They've left the main road and are on a long driveway. Either side is filled with trees with the occasional lamp post and colourful birdhouse. His parents comment softly on how little it's changed, and Jungkook agrees. The biggest difference is the house itself; it's been repainted and has a new roof.

His aunt is on the porch when they pull up, smiling broadly and wearing the same apron Jungkook remembers from every visit since he was little. It's stained and faded, but it shows a lot of love.

The sisters hug fondly before his dad places a kiss on her cheek, and Jungkook shyly walks into an embrace that feels very similar to his mom's. They're both slight women. His aunt still wears her hair long, braided down her back. "You've gotten so much more handsome!" she exclaims, holding his pink cheeks. "Still very much like your mother, though, with those beautiful eyes."

His mother saves him from more embarrassment. "Where are the boys?" Namjoon and Hoseok are older than Jungkook by a few years, but they never let age stop them from playing with Jungkook and entertaining him as a fawn. They're both involved with music, and their passion ignited an interest in Jungkook, as well. He looks up to them a lot.

"They're still out with some friends right now," his aunt replies, ushering them inside, "but they should be back soon. I told them to be home for lunch, which is almost ready. Just leave his things for now." She waves at his dad. "The boys can unload later. You had a long drive; come inside and have something to drink."

Jungkook meanders the house while the adults head to the kitchen to talk. It's an older house, the family home for a few generations, but it's very clean and pretty with white walls hung with lots of paintings and family photos. The furniture is large but sparse, so the rooms seem cosy without being cluttered.

The stairs still squeak on the first landing. On the second floor, his aunt's room is to the left and overlooks the open stairwell; his cousins' rooms are at the far end of the hall, and a bathroom and linen closet sit between them. Jungkook's room, or the guest room, is the entire converted attic.

He opens the white painted door to clean, steep stairs. As a fawn, he'd climb up on all fours and climb down practically sitting. His second summer, he fell down the last half of stairs and hasn't trusted them since. He gives the handrail and experimental tug; it doesn't budge.

Upstairs, it's wide open and exactly how he left it except for some computer equipment in a corner and what looks like a collection of gaming consoles in the other. This doesn't bother him in the slightest.

A full-sized bed stands against the wall opposite the stairs, centered under the peaked ceiling. Drawers and a wardrobe are built into either side wall, interrupted by a pair of large windows, and the throw rug in the middle of the room is faded by the sun from either window.

Jungkook manages to shove open one of the windows. He's not sure if he'll be able to close it again, but the attic is stuffy and in need of fresh air.

Birds chatter in the canopy and don't seem to mind Jungkook at all. There's a nest in the gutter right in front of the window. Jungkook sees the remnants of egg shells.

"Who's that handsome buck in our attic?" Two young bucks walk out from the trees.


The deer, Hoseok, laughs loudly and sings Jungkook's name as he wiggles in some kind of welcome dance.

Jungkook nearly trips down the attic stairs but catches himself on the door frame and takes a moment to calm his heart before going down the main stairs and greeting his cousins at the front door.

Hoseok hugs him unceremoniously, making strange, excited noises and exclaiming over how cute he's gotten. Namjoon is a little bit more reserved in his greeting, but not by much. He does manage to tangle their antlers. The sound of striking bone draws their mom, who frees them and sends them all out to unload the car.

"Just get everything unpacked, then come and eat."

Namjoon and Hoseok take turns asking Jungkook about what he's been up to since they saw him last. He answers honestly: Nothing much. They do make him promise to show them his sketchbook, though.

Lunch is a spread of salads and fruit and pie that has Jungkook's stomach growling. No one makes blueberry pie like his aunt.

His parents tearfully leave after lunch. His mom hugs him twice and reminds him to not rub his antlers on any of the furniture and to eat what he's given and to make friends and a rambling list that becomes incomprehensible blubbers.

Jungkook waves as the car leaves, feeling simultaneously sad and excited. His cousins each drape an arm around his shoulders, promising to look after him, and then begin piling their arms with boxes to carry inside.

He nearly drops the box in his arms when someone calls his name. His ears stand up and find them walking through the lower brush that borders the lawn. He smiles when they step out--tall, broad-shouldered, very handsome, with a long, thick tail that waves cheerily behind his legs.

"Seokjin hyung!" Jungkook sets the box on the floorboards and jumps the few steps, tackling his old friend in a tight hug. Seokjin is the oldest of their group and had always taken it upon himself to make sure Jungkook, as the youngest, was safe, fed, and raised properly. Everyone loves him, regardless of his predator status. The general opinion is he's too clumsy and awkward and just plain sweet to be a real threat, so the herd welcomes him.

"You've grown so much! Look at you; you're almost as tall as me." He pinches Jungkook's side. "Still skinny, though. Are you eating enough?"

"And then some," Namjoon calls, taking the box Jungkook left. "Mom's out shopping, just to buy enough food for that glutton."

Jungkook blushes and rubs his neck. He can't help it. Since starting high school, he's just been hungry. A lot of the weight in his backpack is snacks, and he brought an entire box of food for himself that he plans to hide in his closet.

Seokjin laughs, a gaspy sort of ha ha! that Jungkook used to tease him for but now finds it kind of charming. It's different and does not suit a cougar's image. It's probably a big part of why Jungkook likes him so much. He avoids most other cougars whenever he can.

"I thought you'd be at college by now," Jungkook says, side-stepping under Seokjin's arm so it laid across his shoulders.

"Oh, I am," Seokjin replies. He gently scratches a fingernail against Jungkook's antler. "Namjoon told me you'd be here this year, though, so I had to come and say hi, at least."

"Are you staying for the rest of the summer?"

"No, I'm actually heading back to the City today. I just wanted to see you."

"You're staying for dinner, at least." Namjoon drops onto a step with a groan and rubs his shoulder. His antler strikes the support column when he tries to turn his head to look at his aching arm, stunning him and leaving a small dent. "Mom'll be pissed if she hears you were here but didn't eat."

"Yeah!" Jungkook eagerly takes his hand. "Help me unpack until she gets back, at least."

"Why don't your cousins help you?"

Hoseok grabs Namjoon's antlers before they can take out his knees. "We hauled all his stuff upstairs. That's our good deed for the month, but his shit's heavy." He sits behind his brother and carefully sticks his chin on his shoulder. "I swear that kid packed his entire bedroom."

"I did not!"

"That's even worse, then. Life isn't measured by your possessions but rather your experiences and the people you meet."

"Namjoon, are you a deer or a fortune cookie?"

"A little of both, most days."

Jungkook tugs at his hand. "C'mon." Seokjin follows, pulling his tail out of reach from Hoseok's grabby-handed mischief.

Somehow, Seokjin makes ascending the perilous attic stairs look effortless. Jungkook supposes it's the natural sure-footedness of a cat, although his friend rarely shows such grace anytime else.

The deer picks some clothes and a couple boxes off his bed to make room for Seokjin to sit--Are you making a nest? he laughs--but the cougar opens another box and takes it to one of the bookshelves, lining up old textbooks and manga neatly. He finds a sketchbook, but it's one Jungkook hasn't started, yet, so he places it on the table that serves as a desk beneath one of the windows.

"Jungkook, I actually wanted to tell your aunt something, but you should know, too."

"Okay? So tell me."

"Be careful at school this year."

Jungkook's heart falls a little. The Forest has always felt like home to him, even though he's spent more time in the City. Its safe here; everyone knows everyone by name if not in person. He slips a wire hanger into the neck of a shirt and adds it to his growing pile, hanging them all on the closet rod at once. The rod sags a little beneath the weight.

The cougar removes a tall book and shoves a trio of shorter ones in its place, sorting them by height to make an angled wave. "A new pack of wolves moved in recently. I don't know a lot about them; they could be totally friendly. I just don't know them. No one seems to, yet. They keep to their pack."

"So why should I be careful? I don't do anything."

"Just stay out of trouble, and don't go looking for any." He pets Jungkook's hair with a fond smile. "Like always."

Jungkook shrugs. "...Okay."

Most of Jungkook's things are unpacked, so the attic room looks much more lived in. He leaves a couple boxes of miscellaneous stuff and things stacked out of the way when they hear his aunt's car pull up the driveway and turn off. Hoseok and Namjoon are already there, carrying in bags of groceries.

"Look at this," Hoseok grunts, opening the front door with a foot. "You'd think we're throwing a party, but it's for Jungbuck."

"He's a growing buck," Seokjin replies proudly.

"Seokjin!" Jungkook's aunt pats his cheek with a warm smile. "I didn't expect you, or I'd've baked a cake. Will you stay for dinner?"

The cougar helps her up the steps, a gentle lapcat more than threatening predator, and shakes his head. "Sadly, no. I came to let you know about the new wolf pack that's moved in. Nothing's happened or anything," he assures quickly. "They're just strangers, so I wanted you to be aware."

"Oh." She nods and hangs her purse with her car keys. "New neighbours... I wonder what I could make for them."

"Mom, they're wolves." Namjoon almost drops a couple heads of cabbage but catches them against his gut. "I'm sure a meat pie would be just fine."

She hums, already making plans. "Do you know if they have children?"

Seokjin bobs his head. "School age, so they may be in Jungkook's class. I don't know much more than that." He glances at his wristwatch. Cell reception is notoriously bad in the Forest, almost as bad as the mountainous Range to the north. "And I need to head back. It was lovely seeing you."

"You, too, dear. Say hello to your family for me, and drop by anytime!"

Jungkook walks out with him, and they part after a lingering hug. Seokjin cuts across the driveway and through the trees; the dark swallows him up instantly, so only his eyes flash when he looks back once to wave.

Curious and a little unnerved, Jungkook goes to Namjoon's room. Hoseok is on the bed with his legs up on the wall, reading a manga. "Hyung..."

"Yes?" they answer in tandem.

"Do either of you know anything about the new wolf pack?"

"A little," Namjoon says. "Why?"

He shakes his head and flips Hoseok's book upside down. "Seokjin hyung warned me about them." Hoseok whacks his thigh with the book and lets his legs slide down the wall until he can roll to sit upright.

"He warned you?" Jungkook nods.

Namjoon pushes his frames up his nose. "They live across the Forest, from what I've heard. No one seems to know a lot about them, if they're even from around here originally. Wolves live all over, you know." He frowns. "I wouldn't think they're dangerous, but if Seokjin hyung says to be careful, then best be safe."

Jungkook relaxes a little, but the warning stays in the back of his mind.