CHAPTER 3 - LANDING
The sky Oikawa Tooru’s heart seeks is a world away from the earth yours is buried in. You are a fool to trust him with your heart anyway.
Where Oikawa Tooru tries to recapture your heart.
Chapter 1 // Chapter 2 // Chapter 3
Pairing: Oikawa Tooru x fem! reader
Genre / Wordcount : Angst (3.5k words)
Warnings: One non-explicit bedroom scene in Chapter 2
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You intend on slipping out of Oikawa Tooru’s life forever.
It should be easy enough. You’ve had enough sense not to tell him where you live (even though he’s asked before). You ask to switch schedules, leave the hospital from a different exit every day. You even sweet talk the security guard to tip you off if he sees him around.
You are prepared to wall yourself up inside of yourself, far away from anyone else, ignoring the flood of messages and calls from him (you are unable to bring yourself to block him completely), but you do not account for Tooru’s tenacity, nor his ironclad will to chase after what his heart desires.
“Where the hell have you been?” he snarls, ambushing you as you leave work, a relentless hunter seeking its prey. He drags you to a nearby park, your wrist in his bruising hold, forcing you to take a seat on a park bench.
“Want to tell me why you’ve been avoiding me for two weeks?”
Feigned placidity is your shield, knuckles white as he looms before you, brows tight with frustration, but there is nowhere for you to run, so you have no choice but to face him defiantly. “I’ve been busy with work, Tooru. My life doesn’t revolve around you.”
He gapes, open mouthed, and at the first sign of his jaw drawing taut, you brace for his anger. It recedes, replaced by an aching sadness which is infinitely worse.
“Do I truly mean nothing to you?”
Is there a universe where Oikawa Tooru means nothing to you? You doubt it exists. It is your fate that he burns more brilliantly than you, a golden boy with wax wings who tastes both of bitter heartache and sunshine. You cannot thwart fate even by hiding your heart away in a dungeon of steel and bone.
But you are older now. If you were to allow him to break your heart again, your prognosis would not be as good as it was when you were twenty one. You may not heal. And it is only inevitable that he will break your heart - who are you to compete with his true love, a mere spectator for his quest for the sun.
So you stay silent, hoping your silence passes as a lie.
“Say something”, he begs, but you only look down at your hands mutely, wishing for the gods to turn you to stone.
“Fine”, he spits. “Fine, I’ll just - I’ll just go.”
He’s only taken a few steps when you call after him.
“Tooru - wait.“
You hate that you have to extinguish the hope in his eyes with your bare hands.
Your palms are scorched with white hot burns. He turns away, but still his voice carries over the winter chill.
“I’m sorry too.”
Loneliness is an old companion of yours, but there are gaping rents in your routine that are Tooru-shaped, that you attempt to paper over it with additional shifts and extra coursework. But in the flickering haze of sleep, his face haunts your dreams, his name wraps across your ribs so tightly that you’re afraid of suffocating in your own bed.
In a rare fit of impulse, you dig up Iwaizumi Hajime’s number from your old phone. He does not respond for a long while. You assume he’s changed his number, but he texts back on a Thursday afternoon.
That’s all he says. You leave it as that.
Iwaizumi texts you again, a lightning bolt out of the blue. You check your phone. He seems to have an affinity with Thursday afternoons.
“Tooru’s overdoing it again, and he won’t listen to me.”
Then he sends an address, a gym not too far from where you are holed up in your apartment on a rare day off, and like a fool, forgetting that Iwaizumi is Tooru’s best friend, first and foremost, you heed his call.
The smell of salonpas and floor disinfectant hits your nostrils when you step through the doors. You feel as if you’ve been transported back in time to the Seijoh gym, your muscles and memories working in perfect harmony to take you to the very center of the court, to take you directly to him.
Icarus, Icarus, I cannot bear to see you fall again.
“It’s unhealthy, the way you’re pushing yourself”, you kneel beside him quietly, echoing your teenage self. “You’re clearly overdoing it”.
He winces when you press an ice pack to his knee, his initial surprise already faded into sullenness.
“What else can I do”, he mutters grudgingly.
“What else can you do?”, you echo incredulously. “You should be taking care of yourself so you can achieve your goals - you want to play volleyball again, don’t you? That’s all you’ve ever wanted, that’s all you ever dreamed of - “
“I’m trying to distract myself from the fact that I won’t have you no matter what I do”, he cuts you off, face twisted with anguish. “I want to be at the top of the world and reach the apex of the sky with you by my side.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“I’m not”, he stares at you with frightening intensity. “I’ve been telling you over and over again that I want you - no, I need you.”
Your temper ignites, blazing through the seams of your resolve.
“You need me? How dare you say that, you - you left me, Tooru. You left me and you will leave me again and again and again because that’s just what you do. You will keep chasing the sun until you've caught it in your hands and I will fall by the wayside again because I cannot follow you.”
“I’m sorry”, he says, voice hushed yet ringing loud in your ears. “I’m sorry I was stupid enough to ever let you go when we were younger. I’m sorry for hurting you - but the time wasn’t right for us then, but it is now. We can make it work, just say the word, please -”
He falls silent as you hiccup into your clenched fist wretchedly, tears blurring your vision. Then, with the gentlest of care, he wipes your tears away with calloused thumbs, cradling your cheek with a steady hand.
“Give me a second chance”, he implores, the blunt edge of his desperation piercing through the chinks of your armour.
You switch tacks. “What about Argentina”, you point out, scrubbing roughly at your cheeks. “I heard, remember? What’s the point of us getting together if you’re going to leave for Argentina anyway?”
“I don’t have to go if you don’t want me to”, he begins. “It’s not that much of a hardship to join the V-League instead. The Adlers are looking for a setter now that Tobio-chan’s playing in Rome...” He sounds as if he needs to be convinced himself.
You shake your head.
“You’ll resent me sooner or later if you stay in Japan for me, I’d rather not have that either.”
“Then -” he says slowly, deliberately. “Will you wait for me?”
“Wait for you?” you echo blankly. “Tooru, I don’t understand.”
He tucks a lock of your hair behind your ear with a wistful smile.
“My professional career will not last forever, I recognise that. Injuries happen, I’ll be less likely to keep up with the physical demands of the sport as my body ages. Sao Juan might not even keep me around for more than a few more years and when that happens, I’ll come home - whether to join a Japanese team or retire for good.”
“I’ll come back to Japan eventually.” He looks you in the eye, breathes his vow. “I’ll come home, to you”.
“Tooru”, you start to say, ready to repeat how ridiculous his words sound, how you’re sure that once he crosses the ocean he will forget you but he stalls your objections when he speaks again.
“I know I’m a greedy bastard for chasing more than one dream, a selfish idiot for asking you to wait for me, a blind fool for not seeing what was before my very eyes. But I’ll be home every summer for national team training in Tokyo, and I’ll come back to see you every chance I get - and in a few years I’ll be wholly yours, forever.”
“But you’ll grow tired of a long distance relationship - for heaven’s sake, that’s why we broke up in the first place when you shifted to Hiroshima for EJP even though it’s just a few hours away by train”, you attempt to counter him with cold logic. “There’s no reason for you to cling on to me, not when there are prettier girls out there in Argentina who can offer you kisses and warm your bed every night.”
He laughs in disbelief, the ice pack sliding to the floor, disregarding your protests about his knee as he kneels in front of you.
“Don’t you understand, princess? I love you, I always have, more than life itself, more than the sun, the moon and all the stars in the sky. There’s been no one else for me but you.”
“Tooru - “
“Give me a chance to prove it’s always going to be you.”
You want to say yes - your heart would carve your chest inside out and present itself on a platter to Tooru if you let it (bleeding, punctured yet miraculously still intact), but the memory of your first heartbreak is a seed that plants tendrils of rotting roots of fear and doubt that wind around your very guts.
“We’ll see”, you finally say. “Let’s see how it goes.”
It's a consolation prize, one Oikawa Tooru accepts gratefully. You only realise belatedly that he's used to making the best of consolation prizes.
Tooru is scheduled to leave for Argentina the very next month.
But in the days leading up to his departure, he seems determined to spend every free moment he has with you. He drags you to supermarkets all around Tokyo, cramming boxes full of Japanese groceries for him to ship to his apartment in Argentina, shopping trips to Uniqlo to stock up on thermal underwear (like a grandpa, you tease him), to his favourite bakeries to eat his fill of milk bread (you know you can freeze them right, you inform him).
He even manages to sweet talk you into spending Hatsumode with him, never mind that you have a shift on New Year’s Day. He swoops you away to a nearby shrine once you clock out, shooing you up the steps so you can toss a coin, clap your hands and say the first prayer of the year before the clock strikes midnight.
“What did you pray for?” you ask over a steaming bowl of ramen from the yatai, the roadside stores lining the streets for the holiday.
His chopsticks fall still in his hands. He looks at you, streetlight glazing his eyes with gold.
“Do you really need to ask?”
“An Olympic gold medal? A healthy knee?”
Tooru laughs, swinging his heels under the chair. “That - yes. But this year I asked the gods for a little more than just that.” His voice trails off as he pauses to sip at his soup. You flush pink when you realise he’s looking at you.
“The gods should smite a greedy bugger like you”, you say, averting your gaze after a long pause. But you let him steal your hand in his grasp when he walks you home at the end of the night.
Tooru leaves Japan once again.
You write him meal plans, scribble reminders on the proper care for his knee. But this time, though his wings are outstretched, fluttering with excitement, he does not turn his back on you. Instead, he holds you close until the departure gate, deaf to Iwaizumi’s scoffing and teasing, a silent plea in his eyes for a farewell kiss.
You wait until Iwaizumi gallantly turns away before you press your lips to his.
“I’ll be back.” He promises. “Wait for me.”
You smile, but you give no other sign of acknowledgement of his vow.
Icarus, Icarus, will you truly abandon the skies for me?
He texts you when he reaches Argentina, almost twenty four hours later. It’s a few more hours before he sends you pictures of his apartment, sunlight spilling onto the kitchen counter, marigolds bobbing in the afternoon breeze.
“I miss Japan”, he writes. “I can’t believe I’m missing Spring in Japan yet again - I haven’t seen the cherry blossoms bloom for so long. But I miss you, most of all.”
“Perhaps we can enjoy Hanami together next time”, you type off hand.
He takes a while before he responds - “I’m looking forward to that”.
He calls you as often as he can, finding pockets of time between practices and competitions, chattering to you about his day, his teammates, his practices - down to the littlest things like the birds that visit the bird feeder he’s installed, the old woman selling empanadas that pinches his cheek.
You try to be more reticent, hold your foolish heart just out of his grasp. But slowly, surely, you fall into a routine of confiding in him - about your patients, the trials of being a young, female doctor in a patriarchal profession, your struggles in trying to qualify for your chosen specialisation.
But you skirt around placing a label on your relationship. You are unsure how to refer to him in your daily life - a friend seems a little understated for what you are, you panic at any attempt of calling him your boyfriend, but you use him as an excuse for turning down blind dates (your colleagues titter at your mystery, unnamed man) and even Iwaizumi calls you to check on how he’s doing.
Tooru being Tooru somehow notices, but does not breathe a word, choosing instead to let you set the pace at which your relationship blooms.
“Your okaa-san called me the other day to ask about you”, you tell him, juggling the phone and a spatula in an attempt to multitask. “She says Takeru is thinking of attending Chuo for university too.”
“Take-chan is a pretty good spiker, but he’s not going to go pro”, Tooru says, huffing his oft-repeated complaints about his sister and her aspiration for her precious only son.
“Tooru”, you interject, putting a halt to his rambling. “Why does your mother know about me?”
You hear a cupboard close and open, the quiet thump of a cloth bag. He must be getting ready for practice.
“She started nagging me again about marriage”, he says. “I’m only twenty seven for heaven’s sake”.
“Okay…” you can recognise Tooru’s attempt to stall a line of conversation he very much does not want to pursue. “What does that have to do with me?”
“Princess”, he whines. “Do you really need me to spell it out for you?”
“Tooru”, you growl. “Stop playing games with me.”
He laughs, static crackling the line.
“I may or may not have gotten frustrated and told her that you’re the only girl I’m ever going to be interested in.”
“Tooru!” you shriek. “We’re not even dating and she’s already coming after me!”
The line falls silent.
“Aren’t we?’ he asks quietly, almost forlorn.
“Tooru, I - ” your voice cracks, you lose your ability to speak.
He sighs heavily, verging on despair. You realise you’ve inflicted pain upon him, a deep wound that bleeds, one that is perilously slow to heal.
“I suppose it’s only fair for me to wait for you to trust me with your heart”.
“Tooru -” you try to say, but he interrupts you.
“It’s alright”, he says. You wonder if you’re imagining the sad smile you hear in his voice. “It’s my fault for making you doubt me. Take as long as you need. I’ll wait for you too.”
The connection cuts off. The line goes dead.
You stare at your phone.
You expect Tooru to be distant for a while. But he proves you wrong.
Instead, he seems determined to tether himself to you and so his barrage of daily texts do not fade - in fact, he transitions to video calls whenever both of you are free.
You meet his teammates on these calls - Matteo, who insists on hijacking the call so he can show you around his family’s vineyard, extracting a promise from you to visit him one day, Miguel, who sends you the recipes for Tooru’s favourite empanadas (you practice making them so often you can make them in your sleep), Gabriel, when Tooru is dragged back to his family home up in the mountains, his grandma pronouncing you as very pretty, and asks him when he’s going to make an honest woman out of you - Tooru blushes bright red when he translates that.
He ends every call with a reassurance that he’ll call you again soon, bids you farewell with the gentlest “I love you”.
He hangs up before you have the chance to decide whether to say “I love you too”.
Spring fades into summer. Cherry blossoms get swept away from the sidewalks, the unforgiving summer heat starts to simmer in the streets.
You are unsurprised when Tooru calls you, crowing that he’s made the Olympic team alongside Kageyama Tobio and Miya Atsumu.
“You know what that means?”
“What?” you ask, juggling an armful of reports, striding down the hospital corridor in an attempt to catch up with your not quite boyfriend during your afternoon break.
“I’ll be coming back to Japan for a couple of months”, he replies, elated. “I’ll be coming back to you”.
“I’m looking forward to that”, you say, shyly. He hums, contented, satisfied.
A week later, he’s sprinting through the arrivals gate, drawing the ire of airport security when he practically leaps over the barriers to throw his arms around you. Later, you bow deeply and apologise on Tooru’s behalf, especially when you realise that ridiculous boy managed to drop bits and pieces of his luggage in his rush to get to you.
“Princess”, he breathes, his breath warm against your cheek. “I’ve come home”.
“Welcome home, Tooru”, you murmur, smiling softly against his lips. “Welcome home”.
He does not stay with you while he’s training in Tokyo, your apartment is a little too far from the training center for it to make sense. But he shamelessly camps over every weekend and break he has, pouting when you tease him about charging him for the utility bill he’s run up with his penchant for taking boiling hot baths, and bad habit of forgetting to turn off the lights when he leaves.
“When are you going to visit your mom instead”, you scold playfully, waggling a finger at him. “Be a good son and call her once in a while at least!”
“Please”, he drawls lazily, occupying the full length of your tiny sofa. “She’d much rather I spend time with you.”
“We should have dinner with her when she comes down to Tokyo. Actually, we should arrange for dinner with your whole family. Maybe your sister will come around about Takeru’s volleyball career if you talk to her face to face, I know Takeru would appreciate that. There's a little restaurant I can make reservations at, their fried sardines are amazing, isn’t that your dad’s favourite dish?” You prattle off-handedly, marking up your notes in red ink.
Tooru stiffens, craning his head to look at you. “Do - are you ok with that?” he replies, voice sounding a little strangled.
You frown. “Yeah of course - I mean, unless you don’t want to?”
He nearly trips as he climbs over the back of the sofa in his haste to cross the kitchen to you, swallowing your surprise by sliding his lips over yours. You push him away when he starts to press open mouthed kisses down your collarbone.
“I take it you want me to arrange for the meal?” You ask archly, though the effect is rather ruined by heaving breaths you must take to replace the oxygen Tooru seemed intent on sucking right out of your lungs.
He rolls his eyes as if to say the answer to that is painfully obvious, before kissing you senseless again.
Tooru gets you tickets for every single match the Japanese men’s team plays. It’s impossible for you to get two weeks off work (especially as a junior doctor), so you do the next best thing and volunteer for night shifts so you can spend your days in the Ariake Arena cheering your heart out for him.
The Japanese team changes its setter depending on the team it plays, so you are never sure when Tooru might appear again, but when he does, your heart leaps to your throat at how magnificent he looks, controlling every play in the air as if he can fly.
They play Italy, Iran, Korea and Canada in the qualifiers (Tooru destroys the Canadian team in the nail-biting final set with six aces in a row), meeting Argentina in the quarterfinals (he gets drafted for his familiarity with the bulk of the Argentinian players), the USA in the semifinals, Brazil in the finals.
The whistle blows. The ball hits the ground.
You watch Tooru raise his arms in victory before he disappears from your line of vision, being swarmed with the rest of his teammates for winning with a glorious service ace. He emerges from the huddle, making a beeline to embrace Iwaizumi, the stoic trainer shaking with tears as television cameras capture the historic moment.
Gold, for Japan.
Icarus, Icarus, I finally understand why you seek the sun.
He scoops you up in his arms, twirling you around before burying his face in your hair.
“I’m so so proud of you, Tooru”, you whisper, in awe at the feat he’s just achieved.
He should be preening, cocky at scoring the winning point, but he clings on to you, a humble man. “It wouldn’t have meant as much if I didn’t have you”, he replies lowly, delighting in the affection present in every inch of your smile.
His teammates interrupt the moment, sweeping him away from press interviews, and you take the opportunity to slump against the bench, your exhaustion hitting you like a freight train.
“Hey”, you look up to find Iwaizumi staring down at you.
“Hey”, you wave back weakly. Your head is spinning at the thought of having to head back to work at night. You’re busy wondering whether you should just find a bench to curl up and take a quick nap on when he beckons you to follow him. “Where are we going?”, you ask, confused why Iwaizumi Is leading you to the nearest TV screen.
He just gives you an amused grin. “Thought you might want to see this.”
On the screen, the entire volleyball team’s being interviewed by the media, and a question is directed at Hinata, Kageyama, Ushijima and Tooru, asking each of them whether they plan to resume training overseas after the Olympics. They answer quickly, as if the answer is obvious - they all intend to continue competing abroad, Hinata in Brazil, Kageya in Italy, Ushijima in Poland, but Tooru stays silent for a beat too long.
“Oikawa-san”, the interviewer prompts. “Will you be returning to Argentina for the fall?”
Tooru clears his throat delicately, faces the interviewer with his most charming smile. “Gomen”, he apologies. “I haven’t really made this public but I’ve decided that the next season with Club Athelico San Juan will be my last.”
The interviewer falls silent, everyone stares at him in shock for a beat before the room erupts. Iwaizumi shakes his head beside you. “Drama king”, he mutters scornfully, though his lips quirk up ever so slightly.
Questions start to pour in -
“Where will you head to next? Will you be coming back to Japan?” What teams are you looking at?”
“Settle down, settle down”, Tooru declares, with an airy laugh. Making sure he’s facing the camera, he stares straight into it, making you feel like he’s demanding every bit of your attention. Then, his face softens, his eyes grow tender the way they do just before he’s about to kiss you.
“I’m coming home”, he says simply. “I will return to Japan for good.”
You stagger backwards, the weight of Tooru’s declaration splitting open your chest with a sledgehammer. Iwaizumi catches your elbow, exclaiming in concern but you wave his concern away, leaning against a wall in an attempt to find some balance, to process the earth shattering change to your life.
“We need to talk”, you text him, before you rush off for work.
He’s still asleep when you finally reach home in the morning, lashes fluttering when the bed dips under your weight.
“Hey sleeping beauty”, you murmur against his cheek, giggling when he pouts, grumbling an almost incoherent “m’ tired”, looping his arms around your waist. “Silly”, you say, shivering as you slide beneath the covers to join him, hair still damp from your shower.
Tooru’s barely awake and you’re halfway towards dreamland when you hear him whisper, breath tickling the shell of your ear. “When you said we need to talk, is that a good we need to talk or a bad we need to talk? ‘Cos if it’s bad, we should probably talk before I have to go do more press and you have to go back to work tonight.”
You give yourself time to gather your thoughts, resting your cheek against the hard plane of his chest. After watching him dance in the sky with golden wings just yesterday, you are hesitant to allow him to cage himself in the confines of your arms.
“I just - I’m afraid you won’t be happy if you come back to Japan”, you mumble. You’re afraid he’ll miss his little apartment in San Juan, the glorious sunsets over the Andes mountains and the teammates he loves so much - Matteo, Miguel, Gabriel, names and faces you’re familiar with but have never met.
You’re afraid he won’t be happy if he chooses to clip his wings just for you.
He laughs fondly when you admit your fears to him, pulling you flush against his chest. “Oh princess”, he says, affection colouring every inflection of his voice. “You make me feel so selfish for making you wait a few more months ‘til the next season’s out. Let me tell you a secret - I’ve seen the sun, and it has nothing on you.”
You hum, unconvinced. “Are you sure?”, you venture, giving him the space to let you down gently.
He huffs, a little hurt. “I wish I could make you believe me”, he says softly, cupping your face delicately with his hands. “Would it help if I propose before I leave for Argentina this time?”
“Don’t joke about that”, you complain, prodding his nose playfully.
“Who said I’m joking?” he replies, tilting your chin up to look at him. Your heart stutters at the earnestness in his gaze, the slightest tinge of vulnerability in his words.
My heart seeks the sky that you hold in your heart, his eyes vow. His heartbeat pounds against his ribcage, determined to echo yours.
“Let’s see when you’re back”, you finally say softly with a smile. “I think I might like that.”
He leaves Japan yet again, though this time his departure is marked with an ironclad return date, this time you openly kiss him in front of Iwaizumi, laughing gaily when he scolds both of you for making a scene and tainting young, innocent minds.
“Take care”, you breathe, reluctant to relinquish your grip on him.
Tooru laughs, before he disentangles himself from you. Reaching a hand into his back pocket, he draws out a thin silver chain that glints in the light.
“May I?”, he asks, stepping around you to fasten the clasp, watching with a pleased smirk as you gasp in surprise.
‘It’s too much”, you murmur, fingering the pendants dangling from the chain.
You are my sun, my moon and all my stars. I love you more than anything in the sky.
“It’s not too much for you”, he says, pressing a kiss to your forehead. “I’ll be back, Princess”.
“The two of you are hopeless saps”, Iwaizumi complains on the drive home. His eyes soften. “But I’m glad for you both.”
He scolds you when you tease about telling Tooru what he said. “I’m starting to see you’re as bad as him.”
You giggle, giddy with delight. “I learnt from the best.”
The next nine months pass in much the same way.
Tooru and you schedule frequent video calls that stretch into conversations that last late into the night. He talks about signing with the Adlers next season, you chatter about the latest gossip from his mother.
He rejoices with you when you get into your orthopedics specialisation, joking that you can operate on his knee next time (you shout at him indignantly for tempting fate), you celebrate with him when his team brings home the championship trophy (he teases you when you blubber over the phone).
The only difference is - when he ends the call with a tender “I love you”, he holds the line long enough to hear a whispered “I love you too”.
The seasons change. Autumn fades into a harsh winter, spring blooms into a warm summer.
It’s just another shift spent at the hospital, but you’re slightly on edge today. Tooru hasn’t texted you in more than twenty four hours which is rare for him. You wonder if he’s okay.
At the end of your shift you’re so tired you blink twice to check your eyes aren’t deceiving you. A familiar figure with beautiful brown eyes and windswept hair waves at you, suitcase in tow.
“Tooru?” you stare at him dumbly, paralysed in disbelief.
“Hello, princess”, he breathes, gathering you into your arms. “It’s been a while.”
There’s a velvet box in his pocket, a ring to match the silver necklace that you wear every day. You hand over your heart, press it into his waiting hands.
Icarus, Icarus, welcome home.
183 notes · View notes
Thoughts on Map of the Soul 7
First off its always interesting to see what made the cut from Persona to Shadow . bye bye Home/Mikrokosmos welcome to the cursed place of forgotten but absolute banger B Sides next to Paradise and Love Maze etc.
The missing verse AAAHHH!!!! I already loved how the MV showed the dialogue between Yoongi and his shadow self , this verse made it even more apparent AND addressed things I made note of in my own analysis from the MV re: Yoongi not knowing the downsides of fame etc.
" You're saying no one ever told you that? (yeah yeah) You're saying you really didn't know? (Oh no)"
And as always with Yoongi's songs we gotta address real tough things , but end it on a hopeful note. Which is why Shadow was such a perfect concept for him.
Accept your shadow and things will be better for you. The entire album did such a good job of balancing that good and bad things happen and you have to accept that situations and experiences are never one or the other but always a mix of both.
ALSO the iconic call back the shadow mocks him with
" I wanna big house, big cars and big rings , but in reality I don't have any big dreams" (No more dream ,2013)
"big house,big cars and big rings , the unfamiliar feeling of missing something from the person who accomplished everything" (Home,2019)
"big house , big cars , and big rings , all the things you wanted , you got it all. So what's the problem ? Enjoy it.Or let it go. No? Then run or stop- don't whine, choose one or the other" (Interlude: Shadow,2020)
I think I've already said all I really have to say about Black Swan but I can really appreciate the tracklisting choices here. Dionysus->Interlude:Shadow->Black Swan. Beautiful narrative transition choices.
Also I focused a lot on the clever heartbeat progression lyrics but next to Shadow I can really appreciate the ocean metaphors as referencing the sea of the unconscious and that this is where the fight between persona and shadow truly take place in the album
Haha. Holy fuck . Jimin!!!
"Overcoming different tastes and standards.You'll be wanting only me.Yeah, because you are the one who made me"
Now speaking of tracklisting choices this definitely belongs more in the Persona section . Like it threw me off a bit with the momentum the album has going for it , I would place it as track number 3 , after Boy with Luv but before the more morose tracks of Make it Right and Jamais Vu.
I loved this song and it's a perfect solo showing off Jimins individuality and social chameleon abilities.
He's cute. He's sexy. Your whipped for him. He knows it. What concept should he try on today ? Never being the same is part of the fun.
This works so well even if you think of Jimins solos Lie-> Serendipity-> Filter . All 100% Jimins feelings and all very.very.different things. He's a complex man and a natural extrovert who lives for praise and attention and that's what makes him such a fun entertainer.
This song is going to be so fun live, the playful aspect of fan chanting back "Pick!Your!Filter!" it's just acknowledging the power he has over his fans haha.
I have one thing I disliked about the entire album and it's most prevalent in my time.
Disclaimer : I'm white. I use AAVE , I've been trying to remove it from my vernacular but it's a W.I.P)
That's not how you use finna. Please this is so embarrassing stop using AAVE. Especially incorrectly.
I know it's a really common thing nowadays. In music but in general day to day too(as I've said ,I use it too) but it doesn't mean they should get a pass for it.
Also first time listening to My Time I thought the verse was " Can I someday FINALLY find my time" and honestly? It would be a better (and grammatically correct) line as it would drive home the feeling of loss the song has.
Now besides the awful misuse of finna, this song is so good! Which makes me cringe even more because I'll never be able to listen to it without that bugging the hell out of me and distracting me from how beautiful and meaningful this song is.
I'm curious if this is one of the songs Jungkook made for his mixtape originally? I mean not that he's released that yet , but My Time fits so well with the snippet we have heard from Decocalmania , so who knows?
It's such a well thought out metaphor too. Exploring being displaced in time and space to show how much he missed out on being an ordinary boy because he joined the music industry when he was only 14 years old and how that has and still does fuck him up mentally.It also works as the song explores his present reality. Being famous and loved all around the world and there always being different timezones at play for that and how he can't be everywhere he's wanted even if he wants to be.
Its also got the very Jungkook brand of innocence and wonder of the world/life while not being naive that's always hard to pinpoint but makes the song even more heart wrenching (maybe in the way he asks if he's lived his life correctly so far? Or the transition from I can't hold you I can't touch you to I can hold you I can touch you I don't know)
Also the little riff at the end . killed by JK's superior vocal techniques as always.
Louder than Bombs
The way this and We are Bulletproof:Eternal seem from the titles to be the songs that are going to be super hardcore and instead are super sentimental and intimate. Whew. Whiplash.
The references to both 2!3! Praying for better days and Love Maze in Namjoons verse were cute.
If ON is a song about fighting your shadow and accepting it as a reality then Louder Than Bombs is the same sentiment but BTS acknowledging that the things that hurt them hurt their fans as well And that everybody is internally at war with themselves and they want to Bring people comfort (as seen in Magic Shop)
I also appreciate Yoongi's verse as a transition from the sentiment of their fans pain to their pain . it's a great bridge from Louder than Bombs to ON
Also again an illusion to the sea of unconsciousness (i love how they sprinkle their metaphors throughout their lyrics it makes it so you truly have to listen to the entire album to really appreciate the craftsmanship involved in the writing process)
Speaking of metaphors eeeyyyyyy if the Persona album was all about flying high , being elevated by the power of their fans love and support (best seen in boy with luvs verse:
"with the wings of Icarus you gave me , not towards the sun , but towards you , let me fly"
Then we get interludes shadow's :
"The moment I'm flying as high as I wished,my shadow grows under the glaring sun,please don't let me shine , don't let me down, don't let me fly , for now I'm afraid"
"No one told me how lonely it is up here, I can leap in the air but also plunge, now I know running away could be an option too, pause.People say there’s splendor in that bright light,But my growing shadow swallows me and becomes a monster.Up high, high, and higher, higher.I only go higher and vertigo overtakes me.I rise,I rise, I hate it.I pray, I pray, hoping to be okay"
Which of course was inspired by a poem Yoongi wrote for BTS and included the lines:
"We dreamed of flying high in the sky but it's to cold here , it's hard to catch our breath.the brighter the light on us. The darker the shadows. What a relief we are seven. What a relief we have each other."
Then we have the rising action apex of the metaphor in louder than bombs:
"The grounds keeps quaking, I collapse on my own ,mute, louder than bombs , yeah."
And then in ON the resolution:
"Rain be pouring , sky keep falling , everyday,oh na na na, bring it , bring the pain on , yeah."
" Even if I fall, I come right up, scream,That's how we've always been.Even if my knees drop to the ground,as long as they don't get buried it won't matter."
"Can't hold me down cause you know I'm a fighter,Choosing to descend into the darkness,find me and I'm gunna bleed with you."
And then just to really drive home the feels in Bulletproof Eternal:
"Yeah we got to Heaven . yeah we have you, have you . we are not seven, with you."
BTS commits to their symbolism and it's a huge reason their lyrics get to you , because their self reflective and self referencing and yeah sometimes long winded even but the pay off is always worth it and hard hitting. Even when you are not paying attention to the continued thematics of flying vs falling and being in limbo it works on you subconsciously anyways so by the time you first hear "yeah we got to Heaven" such an emotional catharsis happens.
Anyways , ON is a banger and an anthem and my only problem is the out of place Bridge near the end. Its seem to be a kpop thing? To suddenly have an R&B solo bit in song where it just doesn't jive with the vibe (ffftt) of the rest of the song. Anyways I love Jungkook's vocals but it just doesn't fit very cohesively with the song in my opinion.
Little sister to Cypher series and wife of Ddaeng it's UGH. A message for the haters and fun use of onematopoeia for putting on repeat endlessly.
The technical skill level of the rap. The social commentary. The catchy chorus and top notch production with unique sounds . so very very very veyrveyryrveyryr good.
As Yoongi has said. Its not a BTS album without a track criticizing society.
I love how they always have songs about things I actively talk about but can't summarize succinctly. This time round it's how people can and do say anything on the internet and online communities trend towards performative rage/purity culture/trolling and how this literally kills people and burn out passionate people who are actively promoting change in more than just an online context. Gosh I love BTS.
I said "AHEM.AHEM.AHEM."stuck in my head anytime I see B.S online followed by a strongly thought I go "UGH!UGH!UGH! I'm raging at the malice filled rage. I'm raging at the rage that had to die out."
Also I laughed so hard at the way the song ends with a gun cocking sound and then machine gun fire. Like , I felt that frustration perfectly. The tongue in cheek humour to this album is top notch
00:00 Zero O' Clock
There's so much I could say about This song But it would personally hurt me to say it. very relatable song, an extremely down to earth song. I feel seen and called out. A song to put on before bed on bad days . probably tear up a bit as it gets to " ooh ooh are you gonna be happy ooh ooh are you gonna be happy?"
I hope so , really.
Such a Taehyung song , perfect solo . And a different sound to Stigma and Singularity ,which while both were great had very similiar sounds and Taehyung has such a deep lovely voice , he can pull off more than sexy sultry neo-soul and this audience wanted to see that and here we are. I feel like this easily could have been his solo for the love yourself series if things had shaken out differently concept wise. A song that's a love letter to your younger self. About wanting to protect and nourish and say it's going to be okay because I , the current me , exists.
Tae is right , he is a good boy!
"You’re my boy, my boy.My boy, my boy, my boy.We gon' change.We gon' change.We gon' change We gon' change We gon' change We gon' change.We gon' change.We gon' change"
Whew...the contrast between Jungkook's My Time ,then Friends .
I'm My Time :
"Friends ridin’ subway, I’ll be in the airplane mode"
"Heartfelt stories filling the school bus.Now we go out to drive together.Still the same, us of those days“Hey Jimin, today...”
I don't know if they did this on purpose or coincidentally but it does really drive home how even in the same group Jimin and Taehyung got to have a relatively normal childhood while Jungkook didn't . haha.
I adore this song . literally friendship goals. I was smiling the whole song , it's so very wholesome.
And the chorus in particular stuck out to me as the 👌 line
"One day when this cheer dies down, stay hey.You are my soulmate.For eternity, keep staying here, hey. You are my soulmate"
Soulmates isnt a casual thing to throw around , it's a strong commitment to say to someone else. And I love the resolution and acknowledgment that the fame won't last forever , but they will.
Jin is most famously known for being ridiculously handsome or even how incredibly goofy he is , but it's also obvious from his songs that he is an incredibly sweet man. Like his solos ? Awake , Epiphany , and now Moon. A sweetheart to the highest degree.
But Moon is probably the weaker song on the album sadly. Which I guess is fair since Epiphany was one of the strongest on Love yourself Answer
It just isn't exactly new material expressed , I guess. I'm happy to see Him getting more writing credits and his vocals on the song are lovely . But if I'm looking for good Jin songs I'm more likely to stream Tonight or the previously mentioned Solos.
This song compared to Friends is absolutely hilarious . like you have Taehyung and Jimin announcing their SOULMATES and then you have Yoongi and Namjoon being like lol we didn't get along at first but we respect each other now and also people need to understand what Respect means let's get philosophical for a second okay.
Also the reference to Moving on:
"Ayo Suga! I remember when we moved here 3 years ago. When me and you used to fight.all.the.time."
"Ayo Suga! (why?) nowadays I hear the word Respect around me , but I'm confused about the meaning"
I also think the tidbit that this was recorded in one take really changed the song . the conversational tone to the whole song becomes 100% more funny.
Like did anyone else die when Yoongi full auto tune blasting while Namjoon is talking normally said
"Yoongi: What is respect?
Namjoon: huh, Hyung?"
Yoongi: i don't know that's why I'm asking you,kid."
Namjoon: oh right."
And the way the songs just ends with them casually chatting and goofing off in Dialects together. I want to see more behind the scenes for song recording if it all is content like this ffftt.
Their friendship is very different from Jimin and Taehyungs and probably more hard earned but just as wholesome.
Also The nod to Agust D and so far away and Young Forever 😢
We are Bulletproof: The eternal
We all thought this song would be so hardcore and it is the softest song on an album which has 2 band members singing a duet about being soulmates; like the bar was pretty high for fluff.
BTS have kind of already addressed that the reason they don't put out such aggressive songs anymore is their not angry anymore. At least not for themselves. Now that anger is channeled into songs like UGH! But more Cypher 4 and less Cypher 2 and 3 is happening. The transition from We are Bulletproof pt.1 and pt.2 to the eternal feels the same
BTS korean name best translates to Bulletproof Boy scouts and they originally marketed themselves as being a group that would protect the youth by fighting against social norms and pressure and taking that prejudice like bullets. Which oh man. Is really cheesy and they were really embarrassed about. (which I get to I always refer to myself as a BTS fan not Army because it seems like an embarrassing thing to call yourself , although after this song hhaaahhh I really might not mind the term Army anymore 😭)
But they did live up to their name and concept to the highest degree and this song is a nod to their origins. Like the entire album it's a reflection of their youth , their past , the good times and bad and their love for each other and their fans.gorgeous song.
I miss rapper Jungkook though and feel cheated of his return though fftt
Also when I found out BTS worked with Troye Sivan as a cowriter on one of their songs I assumed it was this one based on content and sound ? But i guess Troye worked on Louder than Bombs huh.
When Ego was first released I mainly went whoa how are we going to get from interlude shadow to this in one album? I was kinda skeptical. But BTS delivered as always. This feels like the perfect ending note to the Map of the Soul series and the ending lines really clinch that
Hard it was, and sad it was,Still reassured and made me know myself..Map of the Soul, Map of the All.That's my Ego, that's my Ego.Map of the Soul, Map of the All.That's my Ego, that's my Ego"