This is an old draft I've had sitting here for about three years. Cleaned it up sorta, but it's still not at par with my current work. I wanted to keep most of the source material as close to what I wrote three years ago barring some grammatical/diction fluency errors, mostly for a little look into how much I've changed. I just couldn't bear letting it sit in here anymore. I'm not super into fanfiction, fanpop, or even kpop anymore for that matter, but I knew I had to put this out there in some form or fashion. Let me know if you want me to write anything chapter, or do something else with it.


Winter: the season of presents, of family time and sitting by the fireplace, enjoying the company of others as the temperature nears the single digits. It was always seen as a wonderful time to embrace the little happiness in each others' lives; but for Taemin, it was just the opposite.

It also meant not being able to sit alone on the roof for longer than twenty minutes.

˝Hey, kid,˝

Taemin turned to look at the source of the disembodied shout. There was no one else on the roof, so the stranger must have been talking to him. He hadn't even noticed that the door was ajar before the man had made his presence known. Tall and built, this stranger – so inconsequential, yet ever the master of first impressions – had an eery sort of vibe to the way he approached Taemin, his disheveled, black hair seeming to frame his face just so, while the lingering stench of what must have been eggnog and tobacco was gracefully carried over to the younger's nose via the wind. To Taemin, that instance was – simply stated – both awful and beautiful.

˝What are you doing just standing there? It's twenty degrees outside," the man did a once-over of the youth, whom he reckoned no older than nineteen, and yet that physical innocence didn't quite reach the boy's deadpan gaze. The man took a moment to choose his words. ˝If I didn't know any better, I would've thought you were gonna jump.˝

Taemin hadn't noticed he'd been standing so close to edge until then, but before he could say anything, the man had already made his way to his side, presenting cigar and lighting it. This didn't seem to bother Taemin, so the man offered him a hit. With an almost awkwardly polite denial, a comfortable silence followed between them for a while after that.

When Taemin finally found his words, the man was already sitting down, legs dangling over the edge, as if he'd completely forgotten the presence of the boy standing next to him.

˝I was going to.˝

The man didn't look up.

˝To what?˝

˝To jump,˝ Taemin quipped, his fingers pushing at the edge of his sleeve. ˝I was going to jump off the edge.˝

Taemin had expected the man to either say something or stay completely silent, but he hadn't expected the man to laugh, the ghost of his smile almost mockingly illuminated by the flame so close to his face. Anger rose to the boy's skin as the nameless man failed to suppress his apparent amusement, his cigar still dangling from his teeth.

˝You're just as foolish as I thought you'd be,˝

Taemin's eyes narrowed. He was expecting me?

˝Don't you think that's a foolish way to quit?˝ the man scoffed, ˝Everyone thinks it's quicker, like you just jump and it's over lickity-split." The man lifted his gaze to meet Taemin's for the first time, perhaps for added melodrama, something the younger would learn to be a habit of the man's.

"What ever happened to embracing death as it is?

˝Don't be so quick to die, kid. That way, you at least get to wallow in your anguish for enough time before the ambulance comes to know you've made a huge mistake. Go jump in front of a train or something.˝

Another silence of expectancy ensued, neither males daring to speak another word, as if there was a wall dividing the space they inhabited.

Taemin could tell the man was fixed on the busy Seoul streets below his feet, lighting his cigar once again, the flame decorating every contour of his dirty, enchanting face, and perhaps with the simple truth that said face was always meant to be in the daylight: illuminated and for the world to see; yet, there he was, slinked off in the shadows.

˝Go on then,˝ he prompted, ˝Jump. I'm not stopping you.˝
If he had said anything different, Taemin wouldn't have believed he was even talking to him; he'd barely spared him a glance, and only continued to busy himself with staring at the ground as if it was the most interesting shit he'd ever seen.

He probably took my silence as his answer.

"This is beautiful irony." Taemin finally said.

The man only grunted in response.

"You, sitting here with your fire, on the eve of a commercial holiday that's all about lights and joy and fucking chocolates, and you're all dark and brooding and mysterious and faux-wise, but haven't yet offered any words of value– I mean, really, is this some sort of sick joke? The dramatic movie you're auditioning for stopped taking resumes in 2006.

"Why don't you fucking jump? You're already fixing to die with that cancer machine between your teeth. Good way for you to leave me the fuck alone, too. Whether I was or was not going to off myself is irrelevant, but you sir, have ruined the fun of the whole theoretical moment regardless."

The man could only offer another chuckle, the ghost of a grin tugging at the corners of his rather plump lips, which only irked the younger futher.

"What, are you gonna say something like 'I knew you'd say that' now, too?"

"More like I knew you wouldn't jump. Just wanted some company before I did."

"Go to Hell."

"I'm planning to."

"No you're really not– I can tell by the ego you exude that if I pushed you right now, you'd be upset your beautiful face would end up splat on the pavement."

"Kid, all I heard was 'beautiful face'."

"Whoever you–"

"– Choi Minho –"

"– are, yeah - Choi Minho, you're that kind of annoying man who should probably write a book some day about love and hardships that teens will orgasm over, and yet never actually finds a wife of his own."

"You assume I'm into women."

"Oh right, I should've known you might feel intimidated by another being that's possibly prettier than you."

"Everything comes back to my looks, huh kid?"

"I don't want to jump." The younger's exclamation sliced another untimely silence into their rather heated conversation.

"We established that." The man's voice was softer now.

"Did we?"

"It was subtext."

"No, but I really... don't want to. I've always loved.. this night. Christmas Eve. From the rooftop, everything about this place looks so fucking beautiful, even if you know at its core, the city's anything but."

"What lovely irony."

Taemin couldn't see the man's smile, but he could hear it in his voice.