: None; Twins!Taemin/KaiRating
: 1,300+ wordsSummary
: Memories fade, and Jongin can't decide whether to remember or forget.Author’s Note
: Written for Silmi’s birthday. Happy (very, very, very) belated birthday!Petrichor.
The grey mist that had been so obscuring moments before was completely obliterated by the onset of a relentless, unforgiving rain.
Having picked up a knack to know when a rain was about to begin (not that the deafening roars of invisible thunders weren’t enough of a telltale), Jongin had reached his concrete-coloured roof before the first droplet of water left its mark on the ground, and treaded along the narrow strip on the highest of its surface, slippery even when it wasn’t raining. There he sat, with his head tilted at an angle and his arms by his sides, just only holding himself up to not plummet to his death. He had guessed right – the rain came like an unwanted visitor in the middle of the night, banging at his door with clenched fists, intruding the silence with its force. And he liked that.
Another thing he liked was how the water tasted like when it slid down past the contours of his lips and reached the surface of his tongue. Here, water tasted just like it should be – plain, and docile, with no trace of that familiar salty taste his tongue had become accustomed to. He chuckled.
Just when he thought he was safe (as safe as you could be, perched on the roof while it was pouring buckets), he thought he heard a loud yell of Are you crazy?
, but that couldn’t be. Then the unbearably familiar voice seemed to creep closer, this time with a shout of What if you slide off and fall down, you stupid boy
. Only then did he turn his wet, drenched head to the right, and there he was. The other him, crouching precariously on the edge of the roof, shuffling his feet inch by inch in the distance. Through the rain, Jongin couldn’t make out his face very well, but he did see how he then slipped, his body falling in terrifying speed. The moment his knees hit the tiles, his hand managed to grabbed hold of something Jongin couldn’t see. From that point forward, the boy didn’t dare stand up. He crawled in slow, careful scuffles the rest of the way to where Jongin was seated in all his poised glory.
Even when they were seated side by side, the boy had to raise his usually gentle voice to speak. And even then, it was faint.
“Are you crazy?
What if you get struck by a lightning or something? What if you catch pneumonia?” he yelled at Jongin’s profile, taking a handful of the fabric of Jongin’s right sleeve, sodden and cold in his pale white fist.
Jongin anwered as if he was speaking to himself.
“Then I’ll die.”
The grip on Jongin’s sleeve loosened. He turned his head to the side again and, with a small smirk, questioned.
“What? You’ll miss me, Taeminnie?”
Taemin wasn’t sure whether that was a question or a challenge. He also wasn’t sure what to reply, or whether to reply at all, so he stayed silent, letting Jongin revel in his quite revelry. The next thing he knew, the rain had quieted, enough for him to speak without ripping his throat apart.
The very moment he took a breath to ask Jongin What the fuck are you doing here?
, Jongin beat him to the chase and questioned him first.
“How did you get here?”
“I climbed down from your room’s window. It’s easier than to climb down from mine,” Taemin answered.
Jongin scoffed through a crooked smirk. “Funny,” he said. “I usually climb down from yours. More challenge, you see.” Jongin flicked his head, the motion causing splutters of water to impel from dark locks. “How did you know I was here?”
Taemin looked uncomfortable as he answered in brief. “I found smidgens of blood on my window sill.”
For the first time that afternoon, a hint of rose came flooding down Jongin’s cheeks, and it stripped his cocky smirk right off his bronzed but pale face. Taken aback, he addressed the boy next to him. His head was hung low.
“Aren’t you going to ask what happened?”
The boy shook his head, the heavy strands of water-soaked hair dancing along with his movement.
going to ask, though,” he said softly, “why do you do this?”
Jongin exhaled in a long sigh. His tongue welcomed the cold water that found its way through the gap between his lips.
“Do you know the Greek word, ‘petra’, and ichor
, which is the substance that flows through–”
“If you’re only trying to say ‘petrichor’, you sure are taking a roundabout way to do that,” Taemin interrupted him.
Jongin’s lips formed an immediate pout, and he glanced at Taemin with blatant annoyance staining his eyes.
“You never did have a scrap of romance in you,” Jongin stated rhetorically.
Taemin laughed, his eyes crinkling in a delicate glee. The rain had stopped, and the droplets of water that had clung to his lashes were starting to disappear.
“That’s not funny,” Jongin complained with a scowl. “We’re twins, we’re supposed to be alike.”
Taemin stopped laughing, and looked at – no, scrutinised
– Jongin with almond-shaped eyes. What he saw of Jongin wasn’t what he saw in the mirror every day, decidedly. But the resemblance was there, and it was close enough, he thought.
“We look alike,” he said with a shrug of the shoulders.
Jongin raised his eyebrows in disbelief before replying, “No, we don’t.”
Taemin gave another shrug, then followed what Jongin had been doing most of his time there, looking far away and tapping his fingers lightly on the rough surface that supported his frame. The light grey sky had turned darker, the orb of a massive bright fire having set unseen, turning the day into night, murky and cold. The stars were missing, and so was the moon, and the mist that was chased away was now settling back, slinking in without a sound.
“Anytime now,” Jongin whispered.
Just like he knew about the rain, he knew about the scent. Taemin’s fingers reached out to settle themselves onto the back of Jongin’s hand as the scent cavorts past their nostrils, and they stayed there as it reverts back into nothing. Taemin enveloped the hand under his, and turned to see a similar, yet different, face.
“Since when did you start doing this?” he asked.
Jongin lips curled into a smile. A smile, or a cringe, Taemin wondered. But if it was a smile, it wasn’t a pretty one to look at.
“Since I started forgetting how his hands felt like in mine.”
Taemin tightened his lips and gave Jongin’s hands a small grasp.
“Were you hoping to start remembering again how it felt like when you decided to get killed by the rain?” he inquired. “Or were you hoping to forget it?”
“I haven’t decided yet,” Jongin responded.
The next second, the fingers on Jongin’s hand were gone. Jongin breathed out a small huff; he had somehow missed it, the familiar touch of someone so like himself. Maybe he had been away for too long. Maybe he had been lost for too long. Maybe he should’ve taken those hands with him when he decided he wanted to evaporate. But then maybe he was right and he shouldn’t have.
“Good luck deciding then,” Taemin said as he got on his knees to crawl back into the house. He could feel the start of his teeth chattering, and as much as he was inclined to stay, he needed someplace warm before the coughing fit begins.
A small thank you
reached Taemin’s ears as he saw Jongin effortlessly retract his legs and hug them by his chest, and Taemin couldn’t help admiring the boy’s remarkable balance. The next few minutes he spent treading slowly the smooth tiles of the house’s roof. When he turned his head back in the midst of climbing up the window to Jongin’s room, he saw Jongin letting himself slide down the slope of the slippery roof, gliding past the edge, then he could no longer see him. He only heard the thud on the grassy ground.