Shae awoke to the faint sound of techno punk music and screaching rubber.She rubbed at her eyes with the backs of her hands and faintly remembered where she was, and with whom.
"Ok, ok, but can you do a jump shot?"
"Don't answer that, Woozi, he's just tryna bait yah."
"What am I, chopped liver? Of course I can. Check it!"
Shae squinted up at the top bunk matress above her head. Jump shot? What on earth...?
Shae pushed herself groggily to her feet and squinted about the room full of rows of too many empty bunk beds. She noticed that the very top bunk in the farthest corner looked like a rainbow colored mess: plushies, stuffed animals, blankets, pillows, all strewn about in a haphazard array.
Must be Vernon's.
She chuckled quietly to herself.
Then her eyes shifted to another top bunk, which had plain bedclothes, an extra pillow, and had been neatly folded.
Tae's handiwork, for sure.
The sound of screaching rubber and a THUMP THUMP met her ears again. Shae sighed, shook her head quietly to herself, and muttered under her breath, "Boys."
After a quick stint in the washroom, Shae wandered out into the storage facility and was surprised to see that the open ended back half had become a kind of urban basketball court. Small mettal rings had been attached to the back wall and to a back stretch of racks, making for oposing sides at play.
She was even more surprised to see Woozi and Vernon playing two-on-two against Jungkook and Taehyung. All four of the young men were suited up in athletic gear like they were professionals in training. Vernon had his greasy blonde hair pushed back behind a rainbow bandana. Woozi was sporting fire engine red shorts and black t-shirt, with high top sneakers to match. Taehyung was in a baggy white T, with long green sweatpants that had a metallic sheen as he ran about in his white sneakers. Then there was jungkook, in baggy all-black attire, who was now the one dribbling the basketball right in front of Woozi--wearing a taunt in his typically earnest smile.
"I don't know if I'd count that as a jump shot."
Woozi frowned at Jungkook's comment. The small man's arms were spread wide as he shifted from side to side, staying mute.
Jungkook went on, "Maybe what you really need... is one more year to grow into your sneaks, kid."
Shae couldn't help but be mesmerized by the tension of the scene in front of her, of the slow rythmic pounding of the basketball into the metallic floor, and of the sweaty ernestness of the four young men in athletic battle.
Jungkook fainted left. Went right.
Woozi didn't take the bait; he went right, too.
The ball was snatched. Woozi gave a leap up off of his tiny toes as his arms made the perfect chair shape, his wrists the perfect flicking motion. The ball soared. If there had been a net on the hoop latched onto the wall, it would have swished as the ball sailed through it so perfectly.