Jooyeon woke up from a bad dream.
She dreamt of the same party. The same groups of people smoking and making out. The same drink that Himchan had made her drink.
Except this time Taemin didn't come in time.
Jooyeon was terrified and tears were running down her face in a constant waterfall. She tried to push Himchan away but didn't have the strength to. She tried to open to scream for help but no sound came out.
She felt dirty, violated, used.
She finally saw that the Himchan she came to like was nothing like the one in front of her. He didn't like her, he didn't want anything else from her besides her body. Her affections meant nothing to him but a tool to get to the final aim.
And poor her had followed along willingly, believing in the crap he told her.
Jooyeon's eyes snapped opened and she jolted awake. She gasped for air desperately and felt the tears she was crying in her dream materializing in real life and gathering behind her eyes.
That familiar voice called out again. Jooyeon peeked through her hair that had somehow manage to cover her eyes and saw Taemin moving towards her from the seat he was sitting at the side.
He came over and brushed the hair away from her face, alarmed to see the tears. "You're crying, Yeon." Taemin muttered.
Jooyeon looked at him for a second and sniffled, before throwing her arms around and burying her face in his chest and sobbing all the tears out. "Taemin..."
Taemin softened and wrapped his arms round her, stroking her hair and back in a soothing fashion while rocking the two of them in a steady rhythm. "Shh. Just let it out." he cooed.
Hearing the concern and warmth in his voice, Jooyeon cried even harder. Because she didn't once hear Himchan use that sort of tone on her.
Hearing her loud and suffering sobs, Taemin flinched. His face contorted in pain as he hugged her tighter, trying to take some of the pain away from her. She didn't deserve this. That Himchan was just a bastard.
However Taemin was still a tiny bit glad. At least he came on time.
The next time Jooyeon woke up, it was already some time in the day where the sun was up in the sky and shining brightly. Around 11am, she deduced.
She squinted, adjusting to the light. She finally noticed that the bed and room she had been sleeping in was actually her own. The fact that she was safe in somewhere she could call home made her slightly relieved.
She looked around and didn't see anyone around. Particularly Taemin.
But she did see traces of him in her room though. How her books on her shelf weren't placed in order of height suggested that he had gone through a few of them. How there were two empty cartons of banana milk on the table. How there was a bucket of water with a cloth beside her table that wasn't there before.
Jooyeon's head throbbed as she tried to sit up and she let out a groan. Her eyes felt tired despite the sleep she got, and she thought perhaps it was because of the crying she did last night.
The door to her room suddenly opened and the very owner to those banana milk cartons came strolling. Taemin's eyes widened when he saw that she was awake.
"Yeon! You're up!" he chirped cheerfully. He bounded over to her with a breakfast tray and his familiar bright smile. "I made breakfast!"
Jooyeon blinked at the array of breakfast goodies he got her. Two sunny side ups as eyes, a chicken nugget as the nose and a hotdog mouth. The face smiled up at her retardly, but Jooyeon couldn't find the energy to lift her lips for a smile.
Her eyes widened when she realized what Taemin being there meant. Her head snapped up to look at him. "My parents know?" her voice sounded croaky and rough.
Taemin nodded as he sat down on the side of the bed. "I had to tell them." he explained. "When I returned you to the house late at night and you were unconscious and mumbling things when the drug took effect."
Jooyeon's face fell. She wasn't ready to face the disappointment she caused from her parents.
"Don't worry about it Yeon." Taemin tapped her nose. "Your parents aren't going to ask anything more than what you want to tell." he promised. "And another lucky thing is that Sehun went to Chanyeol's house for a stay over in the end so he still has no idea of what happened. I don't think you want to face with his rage right now."
Jooyeon nodded and forced a smile. She looked down at the happy hotdog-nugget-sunny-side-up face smiling at her and put down the fork. "I'm not hungry."
Taemin sighed. "Yeon, come on don't be like-" he started.
"You already knew?" her soft voice stopped him in the middle of the sentence and Taemin turned to look at her curiously. "Huh?"
Jooyeon looked at him. "You already knew that this would happen didn't you?" Jooyeon croaked. "That Himchan didn't love me. That he would try to take advantage of me."
Taemin softened an he reached out to cup her cheek, wiping off the years gently. "Yes I knew he wasn't the one for you." he whispered. "I knew you two weren't meant to be and I knew he's make you cry."
Jooyeon closed her eyes and more tears fell.
Taemin put the breakfast tray away and pulled her to him, where her head could lie on his shoulder while she sobbed. "But I didn't predict that it would be this painful watching you suffer." Taemin continued in hushed whispers. "I didn't know that watching your tears fall would cause this much discomfort to myself as well."
This made Jooyeon cry harder.
"So just let it out, Yeon." Taemin cooed. "Let it out and be strong again. Don't let your parents or Sunmi or Sehun, or me, worry about you. Himchan's a mistake, but now that you know about him, learn from this. Let him be nothing more than an unpleasant memory."
Jooyeon sniffled and nodded. Taemin waited patiently for her to calm down, stroking her hair and whispering comforting words.
Finally, Jooyeon looked at him with those puffy red eyes of hers. "Thank you. Thanks for saving me, Taemin."
Taemin smiled and ruffled her already messy hair. "Then in return eat your breakfast!" he pulled the breakfast tray back in view.
Jooyeon made a face, she tummy still churning and not ready to consume any food.
"Fine." Taemin pouted. "No breakfast but from now on you call me oppa." he bargained.
Jooyeon blinked at him for a few moments before pulling at the breakfast tray again. Taemin chuckled softly as he cut the egg and fed it to her.
Baby steps, Taemin. Baby steps.