Luhan was in his arms, snoring softly. Because he couldn’t sleep, Sehun decided to simply watch him. During the night, Luhan had shifted. He was now facing Sehun. The latter didn’t dare to move, for he didn’t know if he’d ever get another opportunity to hold Luhan like this; Sehun wasn’t sure he would allow himself that luxury.
Sehun closed his eyes briefly. Could he spend time with Luhan, living in an illusion by referring to him as his boyfriend while being aware that he’ll have to let him go, or should he step out of this dream immediatly and accept the fact that Luhan may leave suddenly? The questions were endless, the answers not enough. Sehun felt confined in all these doubts, yet he broke through them as soon as little whimpers reached his ears. Luhan had a deep frown contorting his face, fighting whatever his unconsious created by trashing about, fingers closing in Sehun’s shirt with a tight grasp.
Luhan told Sehun about his nightmares, one night. He started making them a few years ago, when he moved out from his parent’s house and into his own appartment back in Beijing. The loneliness was too hard to bear. Dark thoughts and remorse would twirl in his mind constantly, making him unable to sleep properly. At that time, because Sehun kept nagging him with questions, Luhan had brushed it off with a laugh. Probably worried that Sehun was taking it too seriously, he quickly ended the topic by saying he felt better now. But Sehun could tell it still happens often; he would hold Luhan tighter whenever that happened.
Sehun thought doing this would be enough today too, but apparently, it wasn’t; Luhan jerked awake with a laboured breathing. Sehun looked at him worriedly, hand reaching up, slowly, to cup Luhan’s face. The sudden touch had Luhan jumping back slightly, eyes moving up to Sehun’s face and blinking as though he couldn’t believe that what he was seeing was real. Thankfully, after a moment, Luhan sighed in exhaustion and relief.
“Sehun…” he mumbled as he burrowed his face in Sehun’s neck, seeking reassurance. Sehun provided it by his hair and letting him hear his voice.
“It was just a nightmare, don’t worry, you’re okay.”
Luhan inhaled sharply. “Please, stay with me,” he struggled to say. His voice was shaking with fear, Sehun couldn’t tell if it was because of the bad dream, or because Sehun could reject his request.
Sehun couldn’t find it in himself to give him a groundless promise. Luhan’s demand was easy to understand, but choosing the right answer wasn’t easy, especially when the words held so much meaning.
“I won’t go anywhere,” said Sehun, leaving the final decision to Luhan. Sehun waited. And though he knew Luhan wouldn’t give him a reply, he didn’t expect the older to fall back asleep. Sehun scoffed at the situation. He leaned back, just enough to scowl at Luhan’s serene face, but he ended up sighing at the sight.
“No matter what you do, I can’t be mad at you,” Sehun murmured. “I can’t stop loving you either…”
Luhan’s eyes fluttered open but he shut them tightly as soon as he was welcomed to the real world by a bright gift from the sun. Wincing, he put his palm over his eyes to block the sunrays as he turned around, the light now hitting his back. Now that he was somehow shield, he opened his eyes carefully and was greeted by another surprise.
Luhan blinked at his friend’s huge grin. “Baek?” He sat up while rubbing his eyes. “What are you doing here?”
“I guess you forgot but today is the Talent Show and it’s like 2pm and we need to practice before tonight.”
Luhan’s eyes widened. He whipped his head towards the nightstand, to read the time. Baekhyun was right, the afternoon indeed began more than two hours ago. He groaned. “I’m so sorry, Baek. You should have woken me up,” he complained as he got up, walking to the wardrobe to take some clothes out and get ready.
“Nah, you look too gorgeous when you’re sleeping. Besides, Sehun asked me not to.”
Luhan halted his movements at the mention of Sehun’s name. “Sehun?”
Baekhyun nodded. “Yeah, he said you needed to sleep. He wanted to stay, but Lay was waiting for him.”
“Oh…” Luhan didn’t know what to do with this information. He remembered Sehun sleeping with him last night, but nothing else. This, however, didn’t mean anything. This action couldn’t define their current status, nor improve it.
“Don’t think too much, baby,” Baekhyun cooed, replying to Luhan’s thoughts as though he could understand them thanks to the different emotions passing by Luhan’s face. “It was so obvious Sehun wanted to kiss you before leaving. He just restrained himself from doing so because I was here.”
Luhan smiled shyly, a bit embarrassed that this simple fact, whether it was an exaggeration or a straight up lie, made him feel better.
Minutes later, Luhan came out from the bathroom to a radiant Baekhyun who earlier rushed him to shower quickly so that he could tell him everything about his perfect date with Chanyeol which, unfortunately for him, didn’t end up with them fooling around under the sheets.
“Yeolie said he didn’t want to rush things…” Baekhyun pouted. “He wants me to feel comfortable first. It’s sweet and all, I love him even more for that but still!” Baekhyun wailed, dropping his head in his hands, “I’m ready! I swear I am. I’ve been waiting for this for so long!”
Luhan chuckled as he pat his depressed friend’s head. “Let’s practice and impress Chanyeol with our performance. That’s why you asked me to help you, right?” Even though Baekhyun asked him that to gain Chanyeol’s heart, because it was already the case, they could use it to earn something else.
Baekhyun suddenly lifted his head up, staring ahead with a new light in his eyes. “You’re right…” He nodded. “If Yeolie hears my melodious voice, he’ll want to know how it’d sound when I moan his name.”
“What?” Luhan blinked rapidly. “I– Baek, that’s not what I meant–”
Whatever Luhan wanted to say, Baekhyun didn’t care. The Talent Show had a new purpose and he was determined to fulfill it.
“It’s time to practice!”
“Call him if you’re so worried.”
Sehun looked up. “What?”
“Luhan hyung. Call him if you miss him.”
“What are you–”
“Don’t bother, Baekhyun told me,” Lay said as he threw a water bottle at Sehun sitting next to him. They finished perfecting their choreography a few minutes ago, and collapsed on the floor right after because of the intensity of their practice. After working so hard, it’s essential to reward the body with water, Sehun knew that, yet the first thing he did after sitting down was checking his phone, and he’d been staring at it since then. “Baekhyun came in Paradise last night, he was drunk and apparently ually frustrated.” Lay shrugged.
Frowning, Sehun reached for the bottle. Not bothering to ask why Baekhyun has to always talk about him, he assured, “I’m not worried, nor do I miss anyone.”
Yixing hummed. “I don’t really know what’s going on between you two, Baekhyun spills a lot but not everything, so I’m not really sure but what I know is that you care a lot about Luhan hyung. You seem to really love him too. No matter how hard you try to hide them, your feelings are real and you can’t fool yourself into thinking they don’t exist.”
“Then what would you suggest me to do?”
“Listen to them.” Lay smiled at him.
Sehun scoffed. “That’s excatly what I’ve been doing.”
“Then what are you waiting for? Why don’t you call Luhan hyung?”
Sehun was about to retort, but no sound came out of his mouth. He frowned, not pleased that Lay had successfully proved his point. Lay cooed at his expression then proceeded to ruffle Sehun’s hair, earning annoyed complaints. Lay’s loud laugh covered most of them.
“Having weaknesses doesn’t make you weak, Sehun. Not acknowledging them does,” Lay said at last, before getting up to practice some more. After tidying his thoughts, Sehun followed him.
Sehun wished following Lay’s words could be as simple as following his moves.
That night, Luhan was looking at the stage he’ll be standing on in a few. He stared at it with a feeling of uneasiness and apprehension. These emotions were fabricating a strange mixture inside, forcing his thoughts to whirl in his mind so fast, Luhan stumbled his way back to his seat, to calm his dizziness.
To divert his mind, he looked around the backstage. Some participants were practicing till the very end, giving each other the last advices and encouragements. It was the case for Kyungsoo and Jongin, whom Luhan spotted in a corner not that far away. Jongin whispered something in Kyungsoo’s ear, something that must have shocked his boyfriend who looked around, as if in fear that someone might have heard what Jongin said. He then gave Jongin what he probably wished was a glare, but it didn’t look that intimidating with the blush mantling his cheeks. Jongin apparently noticed it too, since his lips curled up in a wide smile. They looked content. Luhan smiled at their cute interaction.
“Are you okay?”
Luhan blinked up, eyes widening slightly in surprise to see Sehun. He tried to conceal his anxiousness behind a small smile. “Yes, a bit nervous but… Yeah…” He fiddled with his fingers, unable to look at anything else but them. During the small moment of silence that followed, Luhan only noticed that Sehun was sitting next to him when a hand enclosed his own in its warmth and gave it a squeeze.
“Don’t be scared,” Sehun said softly as Luhan looked at their linked hands blankly. “Tell yourself that you can do it. While singing, close your eyes and think about something you like, or a happy m