☀︎ 5 ☀︎
Everyone decided to head to bed early one night, all being exhausted from a long day of swimming and fun at the beach. Everyone apart from Taehyung, that is. The youngest of the family tried to go to sleep but his mind refused to shut off and he didn’t feel tired in the slightest so he decided to take himself for a walk.
It probably was a bad idea to bring himself back to the beach, he doesn’t know what possessed him to go there but he almost felt drawn to the area. He places himself down on the sand and silently looks out at the sea in front of him, the nighttime making the water seem black and more evil giving Taehyung a shiver that racked throughout his whole body. He wants to leave but something tells him to stay, tells him to keep looking out at the thing he’s most afraid of. He doesn’t know when he starts crying, but after a while his sobs become heavier and heavier and harder to ignore as he buries his head in his knees and attempts to calm himself down.
Jungkook was just taking a calming stroll across the beach when he saw Taehyung crying to himself, the younger had just come back from a nightclub with Mingyu. After they said their goodbyes Jungkook deciding to head to the beach rather than going home, and after seeing the venerable boy in front of him he’s very glad he did so.
“Taehyung?” Jungkook gently calls out, trying not to startle the boy.
Taehyung freezes at the voice before quickly trying to wipe his eyes and compose himself, “J-jungkook, hi! I uh- I was just leaving, need to head back to bed and all that,” he says quickly as he scrambles to pick up his shoes and get himself off of the sand.
“Are you okay?”
“Me? I’m fine! I couldn’t sleep so I decided to get some air. I’m feeling more tired now though, must’ve worked a treat.” Taehyung smiles, which probably would’ve convinced Jungkook if his eyes weren’t bright red and his cheeks didn’t still show tear tracks.
“Do you wanna talk about it?” Jungkook says as he sits down on the sand next to Taehyung, offering him a kind smile to make him feel more comfortable.
“It’s so stupid, it honestly isn’t even a big deal.”
“If you’re crying about it then it is a big deal.”
Taehyung sighs, “Me and my family come here every year, and I just feel like it gets harder and harder for me to spend time with them and relax and actually enjoy myself. Like today, I sat there and watched my brothers and my friends have fun playing around in the sea, they all looked so happy and they were laughing so loudly and it just reminded me how pathetic I was just watching them.”
“Why didn’t you join them?” Jungkook cocks his head to the side as he listens intently to what the elder had to say.
“I have thalassophobia.”
“Fear of the sea. I’m terrified of it, have been since I was a child. So naturally my parents decided to buy a summer home in a place which is surrounded by it, I fight with them every year when they tell us we’re coming out here, obviously, I always end up losing and it never gets any easier.” Taehyung is aware that this is his first proper conversation with Jungkook, and he can’t believe he’s pouring his heart out to him already.
“Did something happen to make you so scared of it?” Jungkook asks without thinking, the sea to him was one of the most beautiful things ever so he couldn’t understand how someone was so scared of it. “Oh God, that question is so nosey, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.” The younger panics, curiosity truly was his downfall.
“It’s fine.” Taehyung laughs. “It probably sounds so stupid, I was on holiday in Hawaii with my family one year. I was eight and my oldest brother was eleven so my parents thought it was perfectly fine for me to go in the sea as long as he was with me. We had this cute inflatable boat thing, so I was sitting in that and Jin was pulling me along as he swam, but then this massive wave came and flipped the whole thing with me in it... I can swim so I tried resurfacing but I swear the water was pulling me back down and all I could do was panic. Jin managed to save me, apparently, I was only under for a minute but it felt like hours. All I could see was black, I was so terrified. My parents all tell me I’m being dramatic and I shouldn’t still be scared of something so stupid that happened when I was eight, but I still have nightmares about it to this day.” He tries not to cry again, but he can’t help the few tears that escape his eyes.
“You’re not being dramatic, that is a traumatic experience and nobody should tell you otherwise. Have you ever tried overcoming it? It might help if you can see how beautiful the ocean truly is.”
“I actually wanted to do that this year, my brother’s boyfriend is a psychology student so I was thinking maybe he could help but he told me he just wanted to relax on this holiday.” Taehyung sadly sighs.
“Maybe I could help...” Jungkook suddenly says. “I mean, I’m confident within the ocean so maybe I’ll be able to help? It’s okay if you don’t want to, it’s just a suggestion...”
“You’re willing to help me with my phobia? But I’m practically a complete stranger to you.”
“Well, let’s change that. My name is Jeon Jungkook, I’m eighteen years old and I’m a first-year sports science major at SNU.”
“That explains the muscles...” Taehyung mumbles under his breath.
Taehyung’s head shoots up in panic, “I mean, I go to SNU too that’s crazy! I- uh- My name is Kim Taehyung, I’m twenty years old and I’m a third-year art major there.”
“That’s so cool, I can’t believe I haven’t seen you around campus.” Jungkook grins widely, he can’t believe he’s been going to the same university as someone as beautiful as Taehyung for almost an entire year and hasn’t even bumped into him once.
“It’s a real shame.” Taehyung sighs again, maybe if he knew they went to the same university he could’ve got to know Jungkook sooner and he wouldn’t be in a battle with some dickhead surfer dude to win the boys heart. “So how do you suppose we conquer my fear then?”
“Well I’m free in the evenings, so how about we meet right here every night and we’ll fight the fear head on?”
“Like... go actually into the water?” Taehyung instantly feels his heart speed up at the thought.
“We’ll take it step by step, you don’t have to go entirely in the water until you feel prepared enough.” Jungkook consoles the elder.
Taehyung finds himself nodding at that, of all the things he thought of doing to grow closer to Jungkook he never thought trying to overcome his biggest fear would be it. But whatever gets him alone time with the boy he’s more than willing to do. “What if I have a panic attack?”
“I actually used to get panic attacks a lot so I’m more than qualified to be able to calm you down,” Jungkook admits, laughing at the implication.
“Ok, you’ve sold me on the idea. Get ready to become my fear coach!” Taehyung says joyfully, feeling much calmer from the sound of the younger’s laugh.
“I’m more than ready. Is nine pm tomorrow okay?”
“Are you sure you don’t have anything else to do tomorrow night?”
“I’m sure I can clear my schedule for you, this is more important anyway.” Jungkook smiles widely, he was actually excited at the thought of being able to get to know Taehyung more, maybe he wasn’t the snobby rich boy he first thought him to be.
“Then yeah, I’ll meet you then.” Taehyung agrees almost instantly, so happy that Jungkook was willing to clear his entire schedule just to help him.
They spent a little longer on the beach after that, neither of them wanting to return home and break the conversation. Taehyung felt a warmth spread throughout his entire body from the fact he was actually able to sit and talk to Jungkook without stuttering or unintentionally acting like a rich brat, maybe he had more of a chance then he thought he did.