I’m still alive but I’m barely breathing.
Bang sauntered out of the room, looking around the dorm for anything remotely fun to do. As usual, Jongup was occupying the Xbox and Daehyun was on the couch, yelling at the younger about what he was doing wrong. Zelo was on a laptop, typing away, probably on some forum for a manga he was reading, and Youngjae was nowhere in sight. He turned around in the hall, and saw that the bathroom light was on, and he heard scrubbing sounds and a few clinks. He was cleaning.
Yongguk walked passed all the rooms, hearing Himchan in theirs, swearing at the pain that was resonating in his backside at this point. He knocked lightly on the bathroom door and pushed it in slightly, looking down at the middleman, crouching with a sudsy sponge and frozen in time. Some soul music was blaring from yellow ear buds, and Youngjae’s head bobbed to the tune while he sang along under his breath. Yongguk cleared his throat to get his attention. Youngjae looked up and removed a headphone, trying to make out who it was through long, blonde hair.
“You really should get that cut soon.” Bang said blankly while Youngjae moved it to the side, tucking it behind his ear. He chuckled before he looked down again to clean, hair falling back into his face.
“Manager said I couldn’t until we’re done with promotions. Did you really have to bleed so much?” Youngjae said, switching the subject abruptly. Bang mumbled a ‘sorry’ and stood in the doorway, observing the younger clean. Youngjae looked annoyed, glaring through his bangs and bearing his teeth.
“Could you leave? Can’t you see I’m busy?” Youngjae snapped, slamming down the sponge on the floor, making red water splash on the once somewhat fresh tile. Yongguk stepped back, holding up his hands.
“Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.” Yongguk said, slightly irritated at the disrespect the younger man was showing towards him. Youngjae stood up, drying his hands on his shirt and apologizing for lashing out. He ran a hand through his hair and let it fall in his face before nonchalantly flipping it to the side.
“More like I woke up in my own bed this morning.” he mumbled. Yongguk raised an eyebrow and persisted.
“You didn’t sleep with Daehyun last night?” Bang asked, stepping in the small room. Youngjae nodded his head and rolled his eyes.
“I’m such an idiot.” he groaned out, slumping to his knees and grabbing the sponge again, working once more on trying to erase the red that seemed to be permanently staining the floor. Bang got down too, holding out his hand so he could clean some, letting the other take a break.
“Do you feel like talking about it?” he asked consolingly. Youngjae shrugged and looked off to the side.
“Not really. But I guess.” Youngjae mumbled some more, now examining his hair thoroughly. Yongguk set down the sponge in a bucket and sat against the wall, arms resting on his drawn in knees.
“You don’t have to if you don’t want to. I mean, I just thought it’d be nice to share. Like I said, you don’t have to. You and Daehyun are normally so close, it’s just strange to see you guys in a fight.”
Youngjae huffed and rolled his eyes. He twirled a single hair around his finger and plucked it from his head.
“He’s been pissed off at me ever since you guys found out we’ve been doing drugs. Why didn’t you hide them better? How are you doing to lose weight now? Do you think this is going to be easy on me either? You never want sex unless you’re high!” he mimicked in a mocking manner. Yongguk smiled a bit and knocked his head against the wall behind him a few time before speaking up again.
“Well, drugs are bad.” was all he could really say. Youngjae laughed.
“You think so? It’s annoying though. He’s been so dependent on them that’s it’s getting a little sickening.” he groaned, running both if his hands through his hair. It looked like he was going to rip it out.
“He gets so frustrated when I’m not on it because I’m really self-conscious about my body and my weight that I don’t even want to show it Daehyun, even though he tells me it’s beautiful. But when I see Jongup’s body and Daehyun pinches me and skin comes up...”
By now, Youngjae’s head was in his lap, body racking with sobs and cheeks stained with tears. Yongguk sat awkwardly, putting out a hand to ruffle Youngjae’s hair.
“I can’t sympathize, but I do know that if he’s being prissy over lack of drugs, he needs rehab. How have you been holding up?” Bang asked, head cocked to the side. Youngjae sniffled a bit and looked through half lidded eyes. He wasn’t even concerned with his well being.
“Please don’t put Daehyun he rehab. If he goes, scandal will arise and then I’ll get caught and we’ll both be fired. I’d rather be miserable and in a job with a man who hates me then miserable and out of a job with a man who loves me. This is all my fault. If I wasn’t so fat and so ugly maybe he’d like me.”
Yongguk lurched forward a bit and offered Youngjae a hug, but he held up a hand and chuckled.
“I’m almost half happy you broke the mirror. Every night before I took a shower I’d spend a good ten minutes just pinching my fat and hating myself. Even now as I’m picking up these shards if glass,” he dunked his hand into the bucket of bloody water and fished out a piece, holding it gingerly in between his fingers. “I can’t stand to look at myself. If your fist hadn’t have broken it, I’m almost positive my face would have.”
I told you before, I’m always here. No matter what. Always.
Himchan finally walked out of the bedroom and found Daehyun standing in front of the door, preparing to knock. His eyes grew wide out of surprise for a brief second before his facial features relaxed again. He dropped his hand to his side and smiled dimly.
“Oh, hello Himchan.” he said a little too politely. Himchan gave him a questionable look and smiled back.
“Hey Daehyun. Is something the matter?” Himchan asked. Daehyun clicked his tongue on the roof of his mouth and bit his lip. He nodded his head and looked at Himchan with hurt in his eyes. Like an understood motion, Himchan stepped aside and Daehyun walked into the room. Himchan followed and laughed at the disturbed look on Daehyun’s face when he saw the condition of the sheets on both beds. He decided to sit on the floor, but Himchan sat on the bed and looked down at the man.
“So, what is it?” Himchan asked, crossing his legs. Daehyun sighed and lay back on the floor, hands overlapping and resting on his stomach.
“I need them.” he simply stated, eyes looking dead as ever. Himchan gave an awkward look at him and ruffled his own hair.
“Need what?” Himchan questioned innocently. He had a good idea about what he was talking about, but he tried to ignore his gut feeling.
“You know...” Daehyun persisted, trying not to say it himself. Himchan nodded and bit his lip in understanding. He shook his head in a disapproving manner. Daehyun groaned and mumbled something, but Himchan couldn’t pick it up. Both of them sat in silence for a few minutes before either of them spoke again. Daehyun piped up first.
“Don’t you think Youngjae is so gorgeous?” he sighed out dreamily. Himchan was taken aback by the statement and stuttered a bit. Daehyun sat up and giggled, trying to hide his face from the blush that was creeping up.
“Sorry for the question. That’s mostly what this is about. Youngjae keeps saying he’d ugly and fat, and it’s starting to make me mad, because I keep telling him that I think he’s so beautiful, but he won’t believe me! Not only that, but he hates his body so much that he won’t even let me see it. When he was high, he wouldn’t care, so he’d have sex with me and now I have to practically force him to have sex with me. I feel terrible when I do it, because half the time he’s experiencing a panic attack and crying. When he was on... he’d do anything. It was fun.” he explained, face dropping into guilt the further into the explanation he got.
Himchan’s face paled at the thought of Daehyun, quite essentially molesting his boyfriend just for his own pleasure. He held up a finger and spoke to clarify.
“Daehyun, so you’re telling me that you force him to have sex with you, right?” Himchan asked incredulously. Daehyun balled up hair in his fists and started to cry.
“Don’t say it like that! It’s not like... It’s not like I raped him! It was consensual... for the most part.” he wept, smacking his head over and over. Himchan stepped off the bed and held the younger boy's wrists so he couldn’t hit himself anymore. Daehyun’s body shook with sobs as he struggled against Himchan’s grip, but Himchan was stronger than anticipated. In a few swift movements, he grabbed both of Daehyun’s wrists with one hand and snapped a hand under his chin so he was looking the other straight in the eyes. Daehyun swung his eyes to the side, but Himchan shook his head so his eyes snapped back to looking at him.
Fear was engraved in every line of Daehyun’s face. His breathing was elevated and sweat was dripping from his neck and forehead. Tears fell form his eyes as Himchan’s intense gaze drilled into his eyes. Himchan smirked a bit as he waited for Daehyun’s iron will to collapse. Daehyun swallowed hard, and he began to choke on himself. His eyes shifted frantically from side to side, looking from some escape; from the room, from Himchan’s glower, from the situation and from the truth.
“I didn’t mean too!” he yelled, shutting his eyes to hide his shame. “You wouldn’t know what you were doing if you’re as high as we were!” he shrieked, voice elevating with every passing word.
“But you forced him to have sex with you when the both of you were sober! That’s what the big problem is! Face it Daehyun, you molested him! You forced him against his will to do things he didn’t want to do! You can go to jail for that, do you understand? Not only have you done very hard rugs, but you’ve also forced someone you love to do something against their better judgment! Have you no sympathy for him?” Himchan yelled over Daehyun’s broken sobbing. Daehyun violently shook his head and tried to fight to get away.
“I thought if I slept with him he’d think he was beautiful! That’s all I want for him! I just want him to love himself as much as I love him. That’s all I want, I swear. I’d never want to hurt him. I love him so much, and all he can care about is how he looks! I see him in such a different light then he sees himself. Why can’t he just realize he’s perfect, just the way he is?”
Himchan’s face dropped and he let go of Daehyun. Almost immediately, he started hitting himself again, now harder than the first time. Himchan sat back and watched the younger boy fall apart right in front of his eyes, and he was helpless as to how to calm him down. Daehyun yanked at his hair, pulling out strands and scratching his arms, drawing little pearls of blood. Himchan observed them drip down and hit the floor delicately, reminding him of the night Yongguk needed help, and how he couldn’t fix that either.
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