Smile Like You Mean It

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Shae felt a little strange sharing a dorm room with three young men.

Darkness had fallen. She lay stretched on top of her covers on the bottom bunk of an otherwise empty bed staring up at the back of an unused mattress.

 She lay stretched on top of her covers on the bottom bunk of an otherwise empty bed staring up at the back of an unused mattress

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She could hear the faint gargle of young Vernon from somewhere in the room. The young sprout of a man was asleep hard and fast, and he seemed to be making odd melodious spit-gargling sounds while he slept, leaving Shae to conclude that he slept a bit like a small dog with his mouth open and his tongue lolling out.

And then there was Tae and Kookie.

She could hear the two of them whispering to each other from a top bunk nearby, neither of them asleep

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She could hear the two of them whispering to each other from a top bunk nearby, neither of them asleep. She could just make out the shadowy shoulder of Jungkook propped up on one arm and turned inward towards the wall where Taehyung lay beside him. By their tone, she wondered if they were arguing.

Either way, all of these young men were a recipe for disaster. At least in terms of getting a healthy night's sleep.

Shae sighed and pushed herself up out of that bottom bunk. She started towards the door.

Jeon Jungkook shifted his head her way and stage-whispered, "Where are you going?"

She swatted in his direction as if he were a fly, buzzing and annoying. "I can't sleep. I'm just going to sit out here for a bit."

Jungkook spoke in stern caution, "Let me know if you want to step outside. I'll come along."

"Yeah, yeah." She was halfway out of the room as he said this, and she let the flap into the bunkroom of that main storage facility swing shut behind her.

There was a dimly glowing bar of light hanging over the front desk on the far side of the storage facility, and it served as a murky nightlight to guide Shae's steps. She made her way all the way across the building, and she slid into the seat behind the skinny countertop space at the end of it. The barstool swivel chair squeaked as she shifted in it back and forth absentmindedly stuck in her drifting thoughts.

I wonder where Joonie is right now? I hope he's alright. Is he thinking of me? Is Chiminie still defending him from Lil and Jin? I sure hope so...

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