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Home, Promise & Everything Nice

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May, 2014
It’s bound to happen. People change and feelings fade. But no matter how much he braces himself for the impact, it still hurt. At first, no one is brave enough to talk about the issue at hand, but the reality slaps them hard right in the face.

“Lay-ah, Zitao has been calling you for awhile.” Suho nudges him quietly.

He blinks and approaches the younger automatically. “What is it Taozi?”

“That can’t be true. Duizhang would never –” Tao stops mid sentence, eyes unfocused.

Tao starts crying.

It’s tragic how they learn about Yifan from the news – the media, outsiders – and not from the man himself. Suho had gotten the call from the company shortly after the news broke and everything had gone downhill from there. They sit in a circle in the living room, it’s eerily quiet except for Zitao’s occasional sobs.

Yifan has already gone. He had left when he stayed in China, but they hadn't known then that he wouldn't be on a plane back to Korea like the rest of them. There is no message, no explanation.

 

 

At one point, everybody had adored Yifan. The maknae-line had admired him as the cool older brother figure, and even the oldest like Minseok and Lu Han had respected him as their leader, falling for his charisma. It’s devastating, how Yifan betrays their trust.

He remembers when Yifan had tried to leave earlier that year, just before their comeback with Growl. A holiday with his mother that had been a little longer than anyone had expected, resulting a shocking announcement; ”I’m leaving the company.” But they’d managed to make him come back, they’d made him stay. Persuading, compromising and begging. Maybe that's why he doesn't tell them this time.

Yifan just leaves.

 

 

“Now what?” Minseok asks Suho.

“We wait.”

He can never forget the lost feeling he’d felt when he met Suho’s eyes.

 

 

So they wait.

And even though Yifan never comes back, they keep promoting Overdose, ignoring the small changes in the dance choreography. He smiles – he hopes it doesn’t look as fake as he feel – and everyone tries to become what they’re supposed to be. Suho holds his tears while receiving an award alone at a music show and Tao spits angrily about the betrayal – the M unit is in lockdown.

The boys look worn out, even more exhausted than they usually are. And one night after his patrol – checking if anyone needs anything while also making sure every bed is occupied – Suho stays in his room. He usually leaves after bidding him goodnight.

But Suho stays, standing awkwardly in the door frame.

He beckons Suho to come closer. “What is it?”

“Lay-ah,” Suho says carefully, as if he’ll break if he talks any louder. “You miss your family too, right?”

He nods.

“Like I do, like every single person in this dorm.” Suho walks in and sits down beside him, eyes glancing warily at the empty bed across them.

“Yes.”

“I understand why he did that, I do. But I just can’t believe he can be so selfish.” Suho fidgets. “We’re in the middle of promoting! There’s our first solo concert tour in few days and just so much to do, how could – ”

He keeps quiet. Everybody loves rambling these day, eyes lights fiercely but lost it's fire in the middle of conversation - speech left unfinished.

There’d been one night when Yifan had jokingly said, "I’ll leave the group if the company keeps treating us like shit. I mean, if I don’t do it for me, I’ll do it for you guys."

He doesn’t understand, that time.

Yifan’s brows had furrowed then, like they did when he talked about something serious. “You guys wouldn’t brave enough to leave, but I am. Maybe if I leave, the company will treat everyone better.”

“What if the opposite happens?” He doesn’t know why he ask that, but at the time it sounds logical.

“Then you guys can leave too. I’ve opened the golden gate, you just have to follow my lead.” Yifan hummed then, his part from Angel. “Anyway, it's not like I'm gonna start packing my things right here, right now.”

It’s scary how oblivious he’d been.

“I’m always jealous of Yifan's face, I’d kill for that face.” Suho chuckles before he cringes. “He can sing, rap, talk in god knows how many languages, he’s the ultimate leader. And now, there’s only me. I’m scared, Lay.”

“Me too.” Everyone was scared, but he understands Suho’s fear. There's a streak of tears down Suho’s cheeks and his heart aches.

He leans in.

Suho doesn’t move and closes his eyes. This is not a drunken kiss, but it feels like that with how Suho sobs openly in his mouth. They are drunk with pain, heartache, the hurts of not knowing what the future holds. He can taste the tears in between kisses and can’t help but hope that this will be the last time he sees the older cry.

It will pass. They’re gonna be alright.

 

September, 2014
The second time it happens, Minseok slaps Lu Han and cries in front of them.

He’d thought that since Lu Han had left hints about his decision months ago - hinting subtly at the possibility, it would be different.

He quickly takes the eldest hand. “Minseok, calm down.”

“Fuck, you’re an actual jerk, Lu Han!” Minseok screams, eyes glistening with tears.

But Minseok makes a grabbing motion toward Lu Han and when he’s within reach, Minseok hugs him until his knuckles turns white. The other members exchange glances left and right.

Suho is calm when he asks, “Will you use the same law firm as him?”

They all know that Suho is talking about Yifan.

“Yes, I'm contacting Yifan-ge and he said he can help,” Lu Han answers stroking Minseok’s cheek with his right hand.

He stands, ready to leave the room. “Lu-ge, come with me.”

When Lu Han leaves with him, Jongdae hugs Minseok close. “At least he told us beforehand.”

“Yes, so we can be prepared for the chaotic mess he left us with.” Sehun scoffs.

When it’s just the two of them in his bedroom, he asks, “Why?

Lay-ah, you know why.” Lu Han answers with a tired smile.

That’s true. But he can’t help but wonder. “I’m assuming. But you have to make everything clear.

I’m tired. They'd never change, this is a big company, why would they treat us any different? They can get another pawn, we're nothing to them.

You knew that since the beginning, why now, ge?” He pushes - he never pushes, but he's tired, too.

Lu Han laughs hollowly, eyes trained on the empty bed in the room - Yifan’s bed. Everyone avoids it like plague, they only stare, eyes flashing with hurt. Truthfully, he understands why.

Because I'm sick of this. And I'm physically unwell, so I quit.” Lu Han sighs, looking straight at him now. “And I know you feel the same, Lay.”

What?” He recoils - like Lu Han’s hands are on fire - when the older tries to touch him. “Are you – is this some kind of sick joke? You're recruiting me, now?!

No, it’s not like that – it’s just. Lay-ah, I saw you crying in your sleep.” Lu Han adds, “And your injuries –

It’s nothing.” He cuts in with a curt headshake.

Lu Han nods. They simply stare at each other. He wonders if Lu Han realizes how hard he’s making this for the rest of them. There are sounds coming from the living room - sobbing, forced jokes.

Nothing would change if I stay, so I’m leaving. That’s it. But I hope that this’ll mean changes for you and Taozi,” Lu Han says and leaves his bedroom.

The next month, Lu Han leaves them with tears and compromise. The last concert with him is filled with tears, choked sobs and stuttering speeches. And nothing changes.

It’s just Yifan all over again.

 

 

(“Are you two dating?” He hears Minseok ask Suho. “You and Lay?”

The answer comes like a hushed secret, but it's enough for him.

“Yes.”)

 

December, 2014
Nothing changes between them.

He imagines how the things are from the other side. Did Lu Han and Yifan get what they always wanted? He knows Yifan has been casted for some romantic-cliché movie like he'd always wanted. Lu Han smiles a lot now when he doesn't have someone breathing down his neck and steals his air supply.

They are home - and he wants that, too. The company has been nothing but harsh these days, partly because they lost two pairs of legs to keep the group standing strong. If he leaves too..

“I lost two members this year,” Suho traces his shoulder. “What about next year, Lay?”

But Suho is in his arms, warm and trusting. He can’t help but cling to the smallest hope that's left.

So he whispers, “Not me.”

“I’m glad.”

He leans and kisses Suho - a chaste one.

“I love you,” He whispers between kisses.

When Suho only hums his reply, he stops, staring at the ceiling instead.

Nothing changes.

 

May, 2015
“Tao, do you need anything?”

Seeing Suho babying Tao like this is nothing unusual for them. But Kyungsoo has been fidgeting like crazy, only seems to stop when Chanyeol distracts him with his stupid prank. Baekhyun clings to him more than usual.

The illusions starts to fade.

Tao sprained his ankle injury – the one he got from the Idol World Cup in February – and obviously missed the whole promotional round. The media is nothing but meddlesome when they learn another Chinese member is seeking treatment for his injury and they’re performing with only nine members.

 

 

He has physical troubles, too. And he’s one of the main dancers in this group, but Suho is focusing all his strength on Tao. Indeed, Tao is his baby – and after the loss of father – Tao seems to seek more comfort in Suho’s figure. But he was rushed to the hospital twice, the accident in the drama shoot earlier this year and his exhaustion at the ‘Go Fighting!’ filming site. Suho only wishes he recovers well and nothing more.

He wants that kind of love, too.

 

 

“Tao is still a baby,” Suho says while carefully inspecting his waist. “It must be very hard for him.”

He wants to tell Suho that all of this is hard too, on his part. But he whispers, “What about you?”

“You said you wouldn’t leave.” Suho smirks a little. “I can count on that.”

He stares. “Suho, do you know, when we performed Call Me Baby last month, my hand was bleeding?”

“I know that was not the first.” Suho closes his eyes. “And might be not the last, too. But you won’t leave me, right?”

This whole thing feels like an obligation.

“I've already ask them about opening my own studio in China, but they refused.”

“What?” Suho’s eyes shoot open. “And what did you do?”

He shrugs. He’s been carefully approaching the subject with all of the members, thinking about their opinions. They told him to go for it, but apparently the company disagrees.

“Promise me you wouldn’t leave me, Lay.”

He wants that kind of love, too. But maybe what they have is another kind of love – the one where he would gladly give everything for the other man. But it hurts. And by day he's getting more unsure, as if he’s locked in a room alone.

“Lay-ah, promise me.”

It feels suffocating.

“I promise.”

 

August, 2015
Third is the charm, they say.

When Tao cries – tells them that his dad insists, that this is not healthy – everyone in the room is rushing to calm him. They say it's okay, they understand. Because they can’t be mad with the kid when he was nothing but sweet. When the evidence of this mistreatment is glaring – crying – right in front of them.

Tao leaves with hugs and hushed reassurance, third really works for him.

 

 

(Before his sudden and dramatic outburst, Tao came to him.

“Ge, I'm scared,” Tao says with towel thrown over his shoulder. “Let’s take a bath together.”

He complies easily.

He was still occupied with his clothes when Tao jumped inside the bathtub – full clothes and all. “Ge! Join me!”

“What? Taozi – ”

“Oh come on, ge.” He pouts.

Before he could react, Tao grabbed his shoulder and pulled him inside. With a loud splash, the water splattered everywhere – his clothes half soaked. He stares dumbfounded at Zitao’s laughing figure.

“You look like a lost puppy, ge.” Tao laughs harder. “Let’s cuddle for a bit.”

The bathtub is average in size so it’s a tight fit. But Tao folds himself and spooning him, the water sounds ripple quietly in the background, it feels nice. He is fighting a yawn, wondering when a member will knock – it’s a shared bathroom after all.

Tao is shivering slightly even though the water is warm. “Ge?

Hmm?

I’m hurting everywhere.

Yeah?

So Baba asked me to leave,” Tao says, shifting closer. “May I?

He hugs Tao back, suddenly aware of how close they are – it feels strangely intimate. “Will you be happy?” He whispers.

I’m not sure.”

He hums.

May I, ge?

It’s your call, Taozi.” He traces their group logo on the boy shoulder. “Will you be happy?

I wil.

He kisses the boy cheek, the tears flowing without a sound. “Then you may.”)

 

 

And then, he is the only one left.

 

 

The boys – they’ve become men somewhere along the spotlight, but his boys nonetheless – keeps following him.

“Hyung, will you leave too?” Jongin finally asks.

“You want me to?”

Sehun frowns. “Of course no, hyung. But it’s just easier.”

“Easier?”

“For us, you know.” Jongin plays with Sehun’s hand. “If we take the blow all at once. Not like this.”

Oh.

“So, if you gonna leave, now or eventually,” Sehun says without looking at him. “We won’t stop you.”

He casts them his dimpled smile.

 

 

Jongdae and Minseok don’t say anything, they were close back then – when M and K unit were still one. And after Tao, Minseok seems to smile more freely at him, Jongdae asks a lot about his accent and vocabulary. They’re always around him, but he can’t help but feel left out. That he's different from the rest - alien in his own room, pleasantries thrown at him teammate because they must.

It’s like they are preparing for the worst. If he leaves, the two would be the last remaining members of M unit – before it crumbles into dust. Everyone was so sure that he would leave the group and yet they kept smiling.

It felt lonelier than ever.

 

 

Suho doesn’t stay at his room anymore.

 

January, 2016
He’s been busy with his solo career. And after he missed the year awards because of his individual activities, the media started to get restless. The speculations about him leaving the group, start spreading like a wildfire. Between his breaks – if he has any at all – he wonders if it would be best if he just left.

Just because.

 

 

(“Many of the members in the group are younger than me, I have all this burden on myself as well as the responsibility to maintain this group’s completeness, I will not leave.”

He recites his speech – the company has been flaunting his new studio to the whole world.

“What would you do if you were not given a studio?” He asks, trying to recite the imaginary scene from the script. “The members trust me. Just like the song Promise, I will always keep my promise to the group; there is no way that I will terminate my contract.”

He wonders if that true.

Not because he’s still clinging to the remaining hopes he has. Nor because he’s scared that he would receive the most hate, now that he is the last one left to leave. Not because he promised Suho to stay. Or because the said man is still smiling softly at him.

He hopes that’s all true.)

 

 

“For you, hyung.”

He inspects the shining thing in Baekhyun’s open hand before squeaks, “But, it’s yours!”

“You need this more than me,” Baekhyun answers, quick to latch the bracelet on his arm.

“Thank you, Baekhyun.” He smiles fondly at the boy.

“It says ‘Fearless Baekhyun’, so whenever you feel scared or lost, remember that you’re not alone. There’s this piece of me, tied with you.” Baekhyun smiles again, this time he pats his shoulder. “You’re not alone, hyung.”

 

 

Suho is singing to his part from Promise, eyes glassy and distant when he walks to his room.

“Hi.”

He smiles, walking closer. “Hey.”

“I watched the press conference.”

“Yeah?”

Suho hums. “You said you wouldn’t leave.”

“I promised.”

When Suho’s smile grows wider he realizes how desperate he actually is for the man's approval – the only sign of love he ever shows.

“Thank you.”

 

October, 2016
Since he’s been pursuing side solo career, it’s nothing new for him to eat breakfast in China and dinner in Korea or the other way around. The lonely feeling only grows when he rarely eats with the the members - his said brothers. He feels like he doesn’t know who he is anymore, only becoming what people want him to be.

The Changsha Prince. Full of innocence. He has to pretend all the time that he feels fake – more of his real self slipping and lost in the process.

 

 

They were waiting for the plane, Suho carefully distancing himself.

“Have you and Suho-hyung had a love quarrel, hyung?” Jongin asks.

He smiles a little, Jongin always asks. “I don’t think so.”

He wonders if they are still boyfriends after all.

Suho looks stunning from this angle, it makes his head throb. The lady announces through the speaker, that they must board the plane right now. He follows dazedly, swaying dangerously by the motion. He takes a deep breath before continuing blindly, ‘boarding, right.’

But everything turns black.

 

 

When he opens his eyes, the throbbing doesn’t stop. He regrets it instantly and immediately shut them again, the void looking harmless.

“Suho?”

“I’m here.” A warm hand quickly intertwines with his own. “Still dizzy?”

He hums, squeezes the hand a little. “What happened?” He’s still scared to open his eyes.

“You lost your conscious right before boarding the plane, sleep deprived they said. We decided we will depart to Japan after watching your condition.”

“Yeah?”

“Uh-huh. Are you feeling okay, now? We have this concert you know?” Suho laughs a little, aiming for a joke. “You have to attend it, we’re the star of it after all.”

He chuckles with him. “I know, you’ve been nagging us nonstop. Repeating, ‘solo concert, guys’, over and over again.”

He might have teared up a little.

Because, since when has his health become a second priority? Since when did the concerts – the unfinished line of works – became everything? When he finally opens his eyes, Suho looks calm, shining, ready to face the world with his mask – that guardian mask. He wonders how long it takes for Suho to leave him.

Just because the job will required him to.

 

 

The group sub-unit is great. Baekhyun can’t stop informing him about every little detail. His latest acting in a historical drama has gained positive responses and he's already preparing for a duet to be released. One with this artist and another with that artist, Baekhyun sings with all his heart.

Minseok seems more confident now. He always works hard – constantly worrying that he is just the oldest and can’t offer anything for the group – and now even harder, believing that he must prove to everyone that he is worth it. Minseok stops worrying when a sudden visit from a Chinese man tells him, “Minnie, you’re more than enough.”

All is good.

 

November, 2016
“Lay, I know you didn’t mean it,” Suho talks to him through the phone and he can almost see the frown on Suho’s face – his tone annoyed and tired. “But just – don’t do that again, okay?”

“But – I meant every word I said.” And then he says it again, determined, “You're beautiful.”

Suho sighs, muttering something he can’t catch. “Alright, I know, but the fans are acting crazy about it. It’s makes me uncomfortable, Lay-ah.”

They’re in the same city anyway, why can’t they just talk face to face?

“I just missed all of you and when I finally supposed to go home the plane got delayed and it’s just, - I do like you though, it’s not fan service.”

“I know, but it was not the time. We’re in the middle of promoting Nature Republic’s product, we can’t just – let’s stop, okay?”

“And you smiled.”

“Just stop, Lay.”

He ended the call.

 

February, 2017
Everyone's almost never home these days, filming for a drama or having individual schedules. But what can he say? He's never home, too. Not their dorm nor his actual home. He’s just floating away. Following blindly what the schedule says, what the manager told him or what the coordi noona makes him wear. He just works, with the other members or by himself.

The media starts to stir the rumor again when he doesn't attend the Gaon Chart Award Show with the other members. He just smiles, he’s used to it by now. Every time he’s missing from the formation because of another schedule, people would start talking about the possibility of ‘OT8’ in the coming time. But whenever it’s Jongin or even Kyungsoo who's missing, they never bring it up. It’s just him.

 

 

Sometimes he watches their videos – the old and new ones – and focuses on everyone face. It’s almost downright scary how they've changed, behind all those make up and hair products. He thought the rookie days – trainee days, even – were pure suffering, but now what would he give to see those bright and happy boys again.

The MV for their latest winter album is sad and in one way or another makes him remember the past. When they were still twelve but one. Different and imperfect but everyone work together and make it whole. Even though it was full of doubt and insecurity, they were happy.

Are they happy, now? Is he?

 

March, 2017
He had missed everything these days. He can’t even attend his own concert, for crying out loud. People as usual, talk. They don't care about the reason behind his absence - they know, obviously - and keep talking. He browses about Thaad Missile, China-South Korea relations and stumbles into an offensive and clearly uncalled article about him instead.

‘The group is better without him anyway.’

‘I know he’s gonna leave the group, people like him can't be trusted.’

They even judge him for the change of his manager - which has nothing to do with him, the company did that - and his profile picture in weibo - ridiculous, he just changed the font and everyone went mad. He stays in China, mostly composing and following his schedule while listening to what people say that he doesn't love his group when he literally breathe from it.

His phone beeped, signaling a text. Unlocking his phone, he frowns in confusion because it’s from Kyungsoo. Do Kyungsoo never texts and opts to call instead, he opens the text curiously and instantly lights up.

from : Kyungsoo
Hyung, everybody is away and I’m alone at our dorm with nothing to do right now, wish you were here. Don’t forget to eat, okay?

He loves his group, band mates - his brothers, but have anyone considered that perhaps they love him back? Maybe just as much as he do if not more?

 

 

The world is small, China is smaller.

After staring in different movies -different genres - for years, they must have met at some point. It still hurts, when he remembers what the elders did. How he tried his best for whom he considers his bes friend in the past. That in the end he didn't gain the trust, understanding or sincerity.

He meets Yifan five times in the span of six month – in bazaar and charity events. The taller never approaches him, neither does he. But fans are going nuts and everyone eats the rumors eagerly, internet is so scary.

They even get to know where he stays and stalk him, shamelessly knocking on his door like it was nothing. Not to mention the one with craziest intention - the members still fussing over him because of the glass bottle incident.

He’s banned to join the group's activities and leave China anyway, why shouldn't he make most out of it? So when he did approach the taller man, he carefully planned it. The member don't need to know.

“Baek, Fan-ge and I went to this place yesterday.” There's a excited hum in the other line. “And I’m leaving with Lu-ge in five. Want to talk with him?”

“Oh, yes, you should go out more, hyung!” Baekhyun’s cheery voice shouts from the other line. “It must be lonely without me, right?”

He tells them anyway.

 

 

But he comes back eventually, when the the political talks have been shimmering down - he still missed the whole concert. He returns to Korea, their shared dorm and everyone welcomes him with relieved smiles. He works ten times harder than ever.

 

October, 2017
It's already bad that he can't keep up with the dance choreography - maybe he’s getting too old for this - and he has to film for another movie too.

“Lay-ah, are you staying late again?” Minseok's head peaks out from the door. “It’s already late, let's go.”

He realizes there’s only him in the practice room, the speaker blasting on it's high volume. He’s sweaty, the v-cut tank top he wears clings to him like a second skin. He’s tired.

“Uh.. I think I’ll stay for a bit, hyung?”

Minseok looks like he’s ready to protest. “Alright. Don’t be to hard on yourself.”

So he stay late in the practice room, working diligently to get the movement right. Because their comeback has to be perfect. Next thing he knows, he had sprained his ankle and had to be hospitalized, Suho worrying over him like a mother hen.

“The company said they would give you a week. I buy this for you,” Suho handed him a bento box while fishing his phone. “I’m sorry I can’t accompany you, I’ll be here tomorrow. How about your role in that action movie? Did you get it?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

Suho hums noncommittally, eyes trained to his phone. “Huh? What did you say?”

He doesn’t answer and feigns sleep. But when Suho leaves without another word, he can’t help but feel that he’s been abandoned. The carefully stacked letters from his fans only make the corner of his mouth twitch awkwardly. He sniffs a little, reaching for the bento box and chumps the whole bibimbap.

It’s spicy.

 

 

Suho doesn’t come the next day or the days after.

 

November, 2017
Chanyeol is composing all the time – sometimes Kyungsoo joins him, too – in his own studio. The company promised them their own sub-unit next year and they work very hard for it. Both of them have gained a lot recognition for their acting skills, Kyungsoo says he feels kinda sad because of it.

He understands that. The way people seem to know him for his innocent figure in the movie or his nickname ‘Naive King’ from the variety show he participated. His songs, his music and dance getting lost in all that blinding spotlight - it's become a routine that many people think is acceptable, just so-so.

And that’s it.

Sehun got a modeling contract, obviously proud and has no shame as he brags about it. Sehun has been proving a lot lately that he’s not just the baby of the group, he feels like a proud father already. The trip to Paris with Suho makes so many opportunities come forth.

Jongin stays composed with Soojung, dancing whenever the company assigns him to. The drama he starred as male lead in is receiving a lot of positive comments and Jongin wouldn’t want anything more. They even still have time to fool around in the meantime, joking and teasing each other.

The boys would be doing fine even without him.

 

 

It was bounds to happen. People change and feelings fade – he knows it by heart now. The feelings will never completely fades but he will never be the same man ever again. He reaches for Suho first, as he did years ago.

Like he always have.

“Junmyeon, I’m leaving the company.”

The man doesn’t budge.

 

 

And everything is a big blur of event after that. Tangling together, making him confused where the one ends and the other begins. It doesn't even make sense - there is no story nor explanation.

There is this hope, a thread of hope that he clings onto with all he's got. It’s called Junmyeon. He clings desperately to him - wishing that everything would change if he just held on.

It doesn't.

All these years he had hopes the man will be enough for him to accept the mistreatment, while commanding himself that it would be fine. He could live with little injuries, homesickness or just some spicy food. He could deal with the loneliness and the man he loves would love him, too.

It’s not enough.

What am I to you? He wants to asks Junmyeon. I love you so much it hurts and I hate you for that. All these years, has it only been him?

Don’t you feel the same?

Five years. After they finish the comeback promotional round, the world tour concert - his responsibility, he knows he’s been waiting long enough, stalling long enough. Five years later and Yixing let’s go.

 

 

Yixing wishes they will understand that it was never his intention to leave them. After all he’s not leaving the group, he’s not leaving EXO - his home, his brothers. It’s the company that he loathes so much. So, he signs the lawsuit and packs his thing, ready to catch a flight to his hometown. Sehun says he would visit sometime, it's not too hard – he has visited Tao three times after all.

“Yixing, I packed your lunch,” Junmyeon says when he walks to the door. “It’s not spicy, this time.”

The others leave them alone, the illusion of privacy – but he thanks them nonetheless.

 

 

He cries. “I loved you.”

“I know.” And Junmyeon cries, too.

Yixing thinks that it might be enough.

 

 

Junmyeon rises from the ground. It's hard on him with the leader title becoming a burden at his shoulder, all the nasty comments and rude behaviour aimed at him. But Junmyeon keeps smiling, protecting the rest of the member with patience and prioritizing them before everything. Even before, when there were twelve of them Junmyeon still worked harder than everybody else, even if that meant he’s lost somewhere in the shadows.

But Junmyeon shines now, with all those acting roles and solos, people noticing him, too. They're starting to realize how precious Junmyeon actually is, they finally know how hard he has worked all this time. Fans chanting his name all over the world and acknowledging him as the most beautiful person. They fall in love with Junmyeon in the proces.

Yixing always has.

 

January, 2018
“Hello?”

The other line is full of incessant chattering before it goes silent. “Hi, Xing. How are you?”

“Hi,” He whispers back. “I’m doing great.”

“Sehun says hello. And Chanyeol too, so does Kyungsoo.” Another muffled sound. “Everybody says hello! Oh- It’s me, Junmyeon, by the way.”

Yixing smiles. “I know, Junmyeon-ah.”

People say letting go is the hardest, and he agrees.