TITLE: The Wait
WORD COUNT: 1,128
SUMMARY: Himchan goes out of his way to prove that he loves Jongup in a different way to his other dongsaengs.
P.S.: For emmyxogast. It might be a little bit of a mindfuck, but yeah…XD that’s how I do.
Himchan made him understand that he was there for him whenever he was in need. He’d be there when Jongup’s pants would rip, he’d be there when Jongup would burn himself while making breakfast, he’d be there when Jongup would have a nightmare, he’d be there when his moves in the choreography wouldn’t come out the way he wanted; he promised to be there whenever.
And now it was one of those times.
Jongup was down. It wasn’t just a little situation; it was something that totally broke the boy down. It must have been fatigue or it must have been stress, or it might have just as well been both.
He wasn’t the same Jongup anymore. At recordings his voice would crack, or he would just not get the notes right, while at rehearsals his legs would just move on their own without any of the boy’s control, making him mess up more often than ever. It was like his body was there, but his mind wasn’t.
His gaze was empty, his eyes always red, cheeks always sunken and dark circles only getting darker from the lack of sleep. Himchan noticed. There was no way he couldn’t have noticed – everyone did. But he just couldn’t put a finger on whatever was wrong. Jongup was different. He used to be the carefree one that would wake you up in the morning with his favorite Chris Brown song and a random freestyle dance just to cheer you up. He would smile. Damn, he would smile and your day would automatically be made just like that.
But it’s been weeks and Jongup hasn’t done any of those.
Himchan didn’t ask. No one asked. It was way too shocking for anyone to bring anything up. It was just plain out of the ordinary. Himchan supposed that at some point he would just come up to him and ask for a hug or a place in the bed to just keep him close, to feel safe for a while until he would recharge his batteries and take his mind off things – it was always that way.
But not this time.
Jongup didn’t come. He didn’t say anything, didn’t ask for anything. He would just down one can of those cheap cappuccinos after another and just retreat somewhere where no one would ask anything from him either. Himchan didn’t force him. If he wasn’t ready to tell him what was wrong, then he would just wait it out.
“Hyung…” Came a voice that Himchan could never mistake. It was 2 AM and Himchan just went to the kitchen to have a glass of water. He turned around to face the boy and his heart just broke at the sight. “Hyung, I can’t take it anym…” Jongup’s sentence was cut off by a tiny, uncontrolled sob.
Himchan welcomed him into his arms, as he always did, shushing him away when he wanted to continue talking. Jongup buried his face into the crook of Himchan’s neck, letting out everything that he seemingly suppressed all that while.
Himchan could feel the hot tears rolling down his collarbone as Jongup cried silently. He always cried silently. Himchan would never know if he cried during the night only in the morning when he’d wake up to the sight of swollen eyes and a still slightly wet pillow. Jongup was always that way. He wouldn’t put his pain onto the others; he considered it wasn’t their concern and that he should try to be as little of a burden as possible.
No matter how hard Himchan insisted to educate Jongup otherwise, to make him open up, and convince him to empty all that load of worries, sadness that were sometimes obviously eating him up inside and just let the others help him with them. But it was in vain. Jongup still bottled everything up, saying he was alright and just brushing off the subject whenever Himchan brought it up.
“Let’s get some air.” He didn’t want to wake up the others, so he just walked Jongup to the balcony and sat down onto the small bench.
Jongup’s tears ceased by then and only a couple more were still hanging on his cheeks. Himchan wiped them off endearingly, smiling weakly, trying to calm him down, but hiding the hurt readable on his own face as well. “What is wrong, Jongup?” He caressed the boy’s cheek with the back of his hand one more time, before taking Jongup’s hand into his.
“I… I just…” the boy sighed, trying to regain control onto words. “It’s everything around me… I feel like I am not good enough even though I am giving out my all, I feel like I am a burden for this group, I just… feel like I am stuck, I don’t feel like I can bring something better out of myself anymore, I feel like I am outweighed by the situation and… this thing is not for me.” He then let out the breath he was holding all the while he was talking.
He then told Himchan everything. He told him how even Junhong, the youngest could easily outshine him, first with his rap and lately with his dancing skills as well. Daehyun and Youngjae had the vocals, Yongguk was the leader and rapper, Himchan had the looks, while he was becoming sort of useless to the group; he was nothing special.
“How can you say that?” Himchan then took the boy’s face between his hands, forcing him to look into his eyes. “You are special and indispensable just like anyone else in the group, there’s no one more or less talented. We are here to learn to become better, ok? You are special, Jongup.” Himchan said that with a glint of something different in his eyes, just like when he would say something indeed significant, something as if ripped from the bottom of his heart. “You are special for all of us… for me.” Himchan’s voice came out a little bit lower, as if afraid to say what he just said.
“How can I?” Jongup shook his head with eyes half drowned in tears. “You could easily replace me with Junhong, the adorable and awfully talented maknae…” He scoffed.
“You’re right, I could…” Himchan spotted the slight change in the boy’s facial expression. “But I wouldn’t…” Himchan barely whispered before leaning in to kiss Jongup, slowly, tenderly. He could feel the boy’s lips frozen into place, but his eyes were closed, afraid to look into the Jongup’s. He wanted to at least take in the moment if Jongup would push him away afterwards.
Jongup still didn’t move, not even after Himchan pulled away. Himchan’s eyes opened though. They opened to see Jongup’s eyes opening just then as well.