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Walking down the corridor, Jeongguk keeps his head down with his hood pulled up and his fists clenched by his side.

Ever since the events of yesterday he's found that he's suddenly hyperaware of his surroundings, being able to hear every delicate pin drop, conversations from across the hallway, and the sound of each footstep all at once.

Unfortunately, he finds that this also comes with the deafening sound of lockers being slammed shut and the inevitable bustle of high school students invading his senses even through the earplugs he uses, no music blaring. Since when was everyone so loud?


Clutching his head and wincing, he turns to the source of the noise.

"Hey, Y/n," he mumbles quietly, making you frown.

"Why're we whispering?" you mimic him, continuing to walk. His eyes widen, not having realised he was talking so quietly when to his own ears it sounded so loud.

"Didn't realise through the earphones," he avoids your eyes, stuffing them away in his pocket as you nod, apparently satisfied with the excuse.

As you talk about your day, Jeongguk tries his best to concentrate on your words, he really does. But he finds it difficult when everyone's voices in the busy hallway combine to drown out the sound of your voice.

To make matters worse, someone bumps into him, shoulders colliding impactfully.

"Watch where you're going," he huffs when he sees that it's Lucas, trying to walk away without too much conflict since he really isn't in the mood.

"Excuse me?" Lucas replies, incredulously at the fact Jeongguk has spoken up when he normally prefers to stay quiet.

Cursing inwardly, Jeongguk decides he really doesn't care about anything right now, other than his spinning head and raised temperature because when did it suddenly get so hot?

"You're excused," Jeongguk flings back sarcastically as he shoves off the hand that's clutching his shoulder with an agitated sigh.

At this whole ordeal, you stare wide eyed at Jeongguk's trembling clenched fists and sudden outburst of boldness.

"What did you just say to me?" Lucas seethes, eyes narrowing.

Tongue poking the inside of his cheek, Jeongguk closes his eyes and rubs the crease between his brows, clearly irritated.

"You heard what I said. You're excused," he turns around without glancing at you, about to walk away.

Before he can take another step, Lucas shoves him forcefully and causes him to lose balance. At this you gasp, about to step in.

"Leave it, Y/n. Let's just go to class, he isn't worth it," Jeongguk intervenes, almost expressionless save for the bead of sweat running down his temple and slight breathlessness.

This sudden change in composure makes you look at him dubiously. "You look horrible, Jeongguk. I think you need to go to the nurse." You worry your lip as you look him up and down.

"Gee, thanks," he chuckles, panting slightly, but cuts himself off so suddenly you jump.

One moment he's faced towards you and the next he's facing Lucas with his fist enclosed in Jeongguk's hand. He doesn't know how he managed to sense the movement behind him, and from the look on everyone's face, neither do you.

"Wha- How..." you stammer, blinking at the scene unravelling in front of you.

Swallowing and trying to hide his nerves, he stares at Lucas, eyes cold and breathing hard. "You really shouldn't have done that," he mutters.

And then he pushes him.

He really just means it to be a gentle push, he doesn't even use all of his strength. And yet, somehow Lucas ends up crashing into the locker behind him, making a hollow dent in the metal just by the sheer force of Jeongguk's one hand.

Lucas groans, bending over and clutching at his chest whilst breathing shallowly as Jeongguk steps back, eyes widening at his action. He sees from the corner of his eye that you aren't looking at Lucas. You're looking at Jeongguk with a frightened expression.

"Knew you were a freak," Lucas spits out, glaring at Jeongguk and doubling over once more. The whispers start and Jeongguk's headache gets worse by the second.

"S-sorry," he whispers hoarsely to no one in particular, backing away from the crowds of students. And then, with sincerity in his voice saying an unspoken message to you, "I'm sorry, Y/n. I have to go home, I'll see you tomorrow."

"Jeongguk, wait!" you call frantically, but it's too late. He's already running to the nearest exit.

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