it’s late. or early? who knows; jonghyun can’t tell.
he’s spent a couple hours trying to force himself to sleep, shutting his eyes and burying himself under blankets until only his hair peeks out from under the covers but it’s not working and he’s given up trying. he figures the only real way he can go to sleep at this point is to tire himself out, but it’s three in the morning; and does he really want to go outside at three in the morning?
he’s exhausted but doesn’t feel tired, and really, that’s the difference as he weakly grabs at his phone from where it’s charging to open instagram. he’s been feeling lonelier, lately, always does really -- has felt lonely since moving into an apartment by himself -- and he’s always thought the loneliness would go away, but it still hasn’t.
he’s being using instagram a lot recently, the new ‘story’ feature was a blessing in disguise; letting him post the things he used to post regularly in the past, the ones that were childish and weird, instead of the now more professional pictures keeps on his feed as of late. he’s posted a lot of blank pictures recently, and he knows he’s worrying everyone, reads through the messages that angels send him, leaving a smile on his face at their love but a heavy feeling at their concern.
jonghyun just doesn’t know what to do, he knows that his coffee consumption is a problem, but he can’t function without it at this point. he’s not productive when he goes without caffeine in his veins, he needs it to focus. and, really, out of all the obsessions he could have had, this one is at least better than the ones he used to have. the obsessions that left him empty constantly --
the uncomfy feeling is back, and he can’t stop himself before he’s posting another picture of nothing, just the dark ceiling showing in the camera as he puts it in his story, not even leaving a message behind.
he starts getting fidgety, kicking his blanket off. frustratedly, he runs a hand through his hair, tempted to throw his phone across the room.
instead, he looks through his contacts, unconsciously scratching at the corner of his painted nails, feeling ridiculous all of a sudden. he bites his lip and contemplates just trying to go to sleep again, debates if he even can and if trying to shut his eyes for another three hours is actually worth it.
he genuinely even considers just turning his laptop on and trying to write a new song, but he needs to actually be in the mood for that, and right now…
right now, he doesn’t even know what kind of mood he’s in.
he’s not sad, but he’s ways away from what he can consider happy.
he’s… he’s just…
he sighs, blinking in surprise when he’s already hovering over the group’s group chat. he didn’t even realise he went to his messages in the first place, but he’d be lying if he tried to claim he didn’t miss his members’s collective warmth.
it’s not even been that long since he’s seen them, but he misses them, and before he can do anything, he winces when he sees a call incoming from chanhee.
he knows it’ll be worse if he doesn’t accept the call, so he lifts the phone to his ear warily.
“chanhee?” he whispers, quietly, as if speaking loudly would cost him.
“what are you doing awake, jonghyunnie?” is what chanhee says, and it makes something in jonghyun’s heart pang. he’s missed chanhee, his smile, his hugs, and his near brutal bluntness. and jonghyun knows it’ll annoy chanhee if he tries to lie to him, so instead,
“i can’t sleep.”
he hears static on the other end, a sigh? maybe? and suddenly feels really bad for waking chanhee up.
“you should sleep,” jonghyun informs chanhee, tries to go for nonchalant, but all chanhee does is make a disapproving sound.
“i saw your instagram story,” chanhee points out, and frankly jonghyun sorta wants to ask what chanhee was doing awake to see it? but before jonghyun can point it out, chanhee continues, “you should come over.”
“channie --” he tries to interject, but chanhee interrupts him.
“come over now, jonghyun, i’m not joking,” chanhee warns before his voice is softening, “really, jonghyun. please, come over.” i’m worried , is what chanhee isn’t saying, but jonghyun hears it anyways because chanhee always worries.
chanhee sighs, relief clear at jonghyun’s lack of fight, “good. i’ll see you soon, jonghyunnie.”
“bye chanhee,” he mumbles in the phone before hanging up, staring off into the dark of his room as if he doesn’t even know what just happened, and he doesn’t.
he throws off his blanket though, gathers a jacket. he walks through his empty apartment, feeling smaller than usual. instead, he slips on shoes, and quietly steps out of his apartment, keys suddenly in his hands (when did he grab them?) before he’s sneaking his way into his car, a shiver wracking his body at the cold leather.
the coldness outside is unforgiving as he wraps his jacket to him tighter. the sky is still dark, and the wheel feels like ice in his hands, but at least it’s an anchor to keep him grounded.
the drive to chanhee’s apartment doesn’t take as long as suspected since he’s on the road when no one else is, because who, besides him, would be awake at this hour, anyways?
he arrives at the apartment complex with little flourish, stays in the car for an extra ten minutes because he doesn’t have it in him to go outside in the cold just yet. when he finally works up the urge, he calls chanhee, tapping his fingers on the wheel.
“i’m here,” he answers, biting his lip before he hears shuffling.
“okay, i’ll let you in.”
chanhee’s waiting outside his door when jonghyun finally gets to his floor. he has a blanket wrapped around his shoulders, and he waves when he sees him. the anxious feeling is certainly back at the sight of the older, and jonghyun sorta wants to just walk back out, walk back into his bed; he doesn’t want chanhee’s gentle look and kind words, he doesn’t think he deserves it at the moment.
“hi,” is what jonghyun does say, looking down as he fidgets with the zipper of his jacket.
chanhee doesn’t say much, just gives him a knowing smile and ushers him inside. jonghyun lets out a tiny surprised noise at the sight of chanhee’s living room.
inside is a blanket fort, all of the couch cushions arranged with a couple of blankets and pillows neatly framing the sight.
chanhee tugs jonghyun down a bit and kisses his cheek, nudging him, “go inside, i’ll just go grab hot chocolate.”
jonghyun lets himself be moved as he tucks himself inside the soft pillowy mess. it’s a nice blanket fort, really, the cushions provide nice structure, and chanhee used a nice variety of blankets for different layers. it makes a tiny smile reach his features at the thought that chanhee put into this.
jonghyun yawns quietly as he hears chanhee humming from the kitchen when there’s a knock on the door. jonghyun’s brows furrow as he goes to stand before chanhee’s already rushing over, opening it with a soft ‘hello’.
he blinks in surprise when he hears hushed whispers before he’s startled at changhyun crouching down. he shouldn’t be surprised, not really, because of course chanhee would call the others; and even if this feels like an intervention, like he’s being thrown off kilter, like this is a patronization that he didn’t go to the others first so now they’re going to him --
at the same time, he knows they didn’t mean it to be mean, that they want to help him, that they care about him, that they love him, and it’s this that makes him scooch over for changhyun to crawl inside.
“changhyun --” jonghyun starts, his voice catching a bit, but changhyun simply smiles and loops their arms.
“hi jonghyunnie,” he says softly, eyes fond, as he leans over and pecks the corner of his lips and rests his head on his shoulder.
“if you say you’re sorry, i’ll punch you,” changhyun deadpans, and the words cause jonghyun to bark a laugh.
“what -- why?” jonghyun protests before changhyun’s raising his eyebrow, raising a hand to gently flick him his forehead.
“because you don’t have to apologise, dummy,” changhyun rolls his eyes, as if the answer is obvious. jonghyun doesn’t feel like it’s as obvious, though, and his features must show it because changhyun sighs but smiles, “we love you. of course we’re going to be here when you need us. although…”
“although?” jonghyun questions, uncertainty leaking through his voice.
“you should have called,” changhyun frowns, repeating, “you should have called; we had to hear from chanhee.”
before jonghyun can even get a word in after that, there are more knocks, and jonghyun winces as changhyun jumps but grins anyways.
“i’ll get it,” changhyun chirps, scrambling to the door, opening it with a bright greeting.
jonghyun hears minsoo’s quiet, ‘hello’, and daniel’s louder one.
“so what’s this i hear about jonghyunnie not being able to sleep?” daniel asks, and jonghyun can just picture daniel’s hands on his hips and has to avoid snorting at his dramatics.
minsoo does, in fact, snort as he crouches down next to the opening of the blanket fort and plops down near jonghyun, resting his head on his knee.
chanhee carefully sets a tray of hot cocoa on the coffee table in front of them, as daniel starts singing along to whatever song chanhee’s still humming. jonghyun feels minsoo reaching for his hand, fingers grazing his wrist, as changhyun giggles at the vocalists’ antics, plopping down back to his original spot next to jonghyun before crawling behind him just enough to be able to hook his chin on his shoulder, arms moving to wrap around his waist.
daniel grins as he stumbles, situating himself right next to jonghyun where changhyun originally was. jonghyun snickering a bit at his struggles of nearly knocking over the cushions holding the fort up before daniel kisses his temple with a playful smack of his lips triumphantly.
chanhee lays his head down on jonghyun’s thigh, gently tickling his other knee as the youngest avoids struggling under all of their collective weight.
jonghyun wants to play the part of the grumbling maknae, but he’s too tired to keep up the charade as he comforts himself with simply relaxing.
later, they will harass jonghyun about how he’s not sleeping, and jonghyun will sigh exasperatedly but fondly, and they’ll chastise him for his coffee intake, but it’ll be okay because much later, they’ll drag him to a bed and pile on top of him. they’ll stay with him through the entire night even while jonghyun can’t find it in him to sleep easily.
that’s for later. for now, he contents himself with chanhee and daniel’s quiet singing and minsoo and changhyun’s quiet conversation. leaning into chocolate tinted kisses, he’ll let himself be vulnerable in front of his hyungs this once.