He was sitting cross-legged on the couch, a book in his hands, the one he had once gotten from a fan. It was unusual for him to read, since there was rarely something that would be interesting enough to capture his full attention to the point of him forgetting his surroundings, even time.
Only the lamp next to the couch and the silent flickering of the TV screen lit up the dark room, the swish of paper, whenever he traced the pads of his fingers over the rough structure of the pages to turn them, the only sound disturbing the calm. At least until he heard something drop to the floor, the noise loud and sudden enough to make Himchan jump with fright and search the tiles for whatever that had caused it.
He heaved a sigh when he spotted the remote and rubbed his eyes with the heels of his palms, before looking at the clock on the wall. It was already late or early, if one would insist, so he scanned the room again, realizing that everyone had been long gone to their respective rooms, by now probably safely wrapped up in their dreams like in fluffy warm blankets. All except for one.
Daehyun was sitting on the other side of the couch, his body huddled up against the upholstery, his neck bent into an uncomfortable angle, which forced the younger to dig his chin into his chest. It was only then that Himchan noticed the low, steady sound of Daehyun’s breathing, a monotonous rhythm which matched his own.
Daehyun looked so young in his sleep, his expression so unlike the strained one he usually showed during their performances. Himchan couldn’t help but smile, after all he loved his dongseangs, even the little Jung who was the iest of all.
The boy had been too much for him to handle, his mind too complicated and most of the time unreadable. That’s why he left it up to Bang leader to understand him and deal with his moods, which Yongguk had managed quite well until now.
But lately something seemed off. Himchan was surprised he had noticed the subtle lack of interaction himself. Still, he tried to brush it off until everything seemed to have finally reached its peak. It was a first for him to see Yongguk in such a state, but what bothered him the most was the expression Daehyun had shown. It was as if Himchan was for once allowed to get a glimpse of the piled up wracks of the younger’s soul, where he found something that wasn’t meant for anyone but Yongguk only.
Guilt was written all over Daehyun’s face, misshaped letters deeply ingrained into his skin, permanent and irremovable by anyone but his leader. Himchan didn’t like it, especially the shadows of something that was hovering just beneath the ugly, obvious truth, which he tried to blind out like a filter. But it was no use, deep inside Himchan could sense them, those usually invisible emotions and he couldn’t stand the fact that they were actually there and had probably always been.
A deep frown etched into his flawless features as lingering remains of irritation surged up within him, Daehyun’s soft breathing suddenly too loud and too much for him to bear.
“Daehyun-ah,” Himchan cringed at the sound of his voice, which seemed to hold each bit of hostility his body was able to muster and was relieved when he got no reaction at all, whereon he silently resented himself for his childish behavior. Despite all, Daehyun was his precious dongsaeng and Yongguk his best friend. Who was he to judge those who were as close as family?
“Daehyun-ah,” he tried again as he shifted, stretching out one of his legs until his toes were able to reach Daehyung’s thigh and tapped it. The younger was hot, so hot that Himchan could feel it through the rough fabric of Daehyun’s jeans. He didn’t expect the sudden heat though and jumped in surprise like a scalded cat, withdrawing his foot in hasty movements that woke the younger finally up.
“Why aren’t you in bed yet?” He wondered after watching Daehyun slowly regaining his senses, his voice entwining with the unrecognizable sound that escaped when the boy parted his lips into a yawn. An uncomfortable silence filled the room afterwards.
Daehyun stretched his stiff limbs and squinted at the bright flickering of the TV screen, before finally facing Himchan, which made the older regret his question right away. What was he expecting the other to say anyway?
“You too, hyung. You’re not in bed either.” Himchan smiled, turning his attention back to the book in his hands, searching for the line he had left off, but failed as he was unable to find it. “I’m waiting for Yongguk,” he then retorted and pretended to concentrate on the information provided by a random sentence that had caught his eye, but it was as if he was trying to read in an alien language, not even one single word seemed to make sense.
Himchan held back a frustrated sigh while his gaze remained glued to the pages of his book. No matter what, he didn’t want to see Daehyun’s face, not after he had mentioned their leader’s name. He was sure he wouldn’t be able to deal with the younger if he were to show the vulnerable expression again, the one that revealed more than he probably was aware of.
“Me too, I want to wait with you together.”
Himchan pulled a face inwardly, feeling immediately bad for behaving this way. Why? He wanted to ask, but held his tongue, convincing himself that it was none of his business, but it pissed him off nevertheless. He knew that it was something those two had to resolve on their own, yet he couldn’t help the growing uneasiness in his heart and the undying curiosity, which showed only when his best friend was involved.
Yongguk and Daehyun.
The thought displeased Himchan for a reason he wasn’t able to explain, it scared him and he couldn’t help but be worried about not being able to hide it.
“Hyung,” it caught Himchan off guard to be suddenly called out to, the none-existent concentration and his wildly fluttering mind betraying him, given the fact he reacted by facing Daehyun right away. He silently cursed his stupidity and hummed to encourage the other to keep talking, even though he was certain he wouldn’t like the content of their upcoming conversation. Daehyun’s face said it all, even though not a single word had made it past his lips yet.
“Hyung, I… I think I’m…-”
It surprised both when the disturbingly loud ringtone of Himchan’s phone ripped through the peaceful silence that had ruled in the dorm, shamelessly cutting off the younger. But while Daehyun seem rather displeased about the unwanted interruption, Himchan was glad, at least until he recognized the name on the flickering screen, knowing Daehyun did too.
It was weird how Himchan’s eyes felt the need to glance back up at the younger, probably to observe his reaction. Weirder was when the sight of Daehyun’s suddenly stiff frame affected him more than he cared to admit, tying up the initial relief into nasty knots that where heavily filling his belly. Yet Himchan didn’t hesitate to take the call, just like deciding to slide up to the younger and reach for his thigh.
Daehyun’s body temperature seemed still terribly high, the heat he was radiating scorching Himchan’s palm, but he forced himself to hold onto him tightly, his fingers digging into the younger’s flesh. It must have hurt, yet Daehyun didn’t make even a single sound to protest, like he usually would. Instead he leaned closer, craving comfort, which Himchan caught himself not minding to provide.
It confused him.
Everything did. Even the voice of his caller, which was familiar, but not the one he had expected.
“Come and pick him up.”
The connection was cut off before Himchan was able to utter even a single word, which left his mind in a mess.
More than ever.
“What are you doing?” There was something seething beneath Himchan’s skin when he saw Daehyun follow him into the hallway and slip into his trainers. It was similar to the irritation that had been boiling up in his blood vessels not too long ago, yet it was different, laced with thin strands of something that he didn’t know how to hide, since he couldn’t quite understand what it was in the first place.
But even if he knew, Himchan was certain, he wouldn’t bother putting it into words, considering it would confuse him even more, which he didn’t want to happen at all cost. Not now.
There was something he had to do first, before he could allow his mind to immerse itself in the unforgiving sea of his rampant thoughts, which resembled monster waves crashing against the restricting barriers of his brain, reminding him at times of their existence. But exact those barriers were now slowly crumbling down like brittle cliffs with each passing second while he had to endure the persistent silence preserved by the younger.
But when Daehyun handed Himchan his coat and grabbed his own Jacket off the rack, Himchan’s patience had lastly reached its limit. “Yah,” He barked not even bothering to keep his voice down. “I was talking to you!” Himchan’s harsh tone surprised Daehyun so much that he couldn’t help but recoil and trip over the ridiculously huge accumulation of lined-up shoes behind him.
Daehyun’s eyes widened in shock and his lips formed a silent scream as he reeled backwards, yet he didn’t fall, the firm grip around his wrist preventing it. A small sigh of relief emerged his lungs while he tried to regain his balance, the shock still deeply ingrained into his bones as he avoided Himchan’s flaring gaze, his own eyes darting through the darkness before finally settling on the elder’s frame.
“I’ll go with you hyung.” His voice was barely audible, so unlike his usual self, noted Himchan and he knew the younger was aware of the fact that he wasn’t supposed to come along, yet he couldn’t fathom the reason for it, which didn’t mean he would agree though.
“Hyung. I-…” Daehyun tried to protest but got forcefully silenced by the older male’s palm, tightly pressing against his lips and cutting off whatever he wanted to say. “No.” It was short but definite, therewith enough to make Daehyun understand that Himchan wouldn’t bother to explain, neither would he change his mind.
“Go to bed, I’ll take care of Yongguk. Don’t worry,” were the last words spoken by him, before he turned his back on the younger, unable to bear the overwhelming amount of emotions that crept back in shape of ugly shadows, which were now coursing over Daehyun’s face. Himchan didn’t want to see it, the way Daehyun craved their leader’s presence and the way he wanted him for his own.
Himchan wasn’t ready to face it, just like his own thoughts, which were starting to seep through the tiny gaps in the barrier that had been there for too long. Yet he tried to seal them for the last time by closing the front door without looking back and walking away, his steps quick but silent, devoured by the darkness of the night.
I'm back with a short chapter, since I didn’t want to make everyone wait any longer.
I’m surprised so many subscribed, which makes me happy but burdens me at the same time (especially after my small outburst in the last a/n, sorry about that btw, I was a little angry^^).
It’s a first for me to get over 100 subbies. Thank you very much! Still, I feel bad for not being able to update more often, I’m sorry. Life keeps me busy.
I hope this chapter does not disappoint too much, had very little time to write it.
See you soon, hopefully <3