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I would do anything (just to keep a smile on your face)

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Na Jaemin, aside from being known as a Demigod and one of Cupid’s sons, is also known to be a very cheerful and affectionate person. He greets everyone a good morning while beaming, never fails to motivate his friends at their downs, shows support in the cutest way possible, and just makes everyone happy. The joy he radiates is contagious, and his squad knows that.

 

So when hell week starts to come in and everyone is just tired of dealing with school work and irrelevant shit, Jaemin tries to conceal his exhaustion with a smile for he also finds himself lighting up a bit if he starts to spread some energy with himself.

 

Lakewood Academy’s students walk through the hallways like zombies and Jaemin is an exception, as usual. He walks casually, a small smile on his face as he proceeds to the cafeteria that often serves his most favorite pizza in the world, looking for his friends among the tables occupied by random heads.

 

A hand is raised, and it came from a particular redhead with sun-kissed skin. Jaemin jogs over to the table and finally sees Mark, Renjun, Jeno, Donghyuck, Chenle, and Jisung for the first time that day. Even if he and Donghyuck are roommates, the Demon had to leave earlier because his first subject required him to prepare for a lot of things.

 

“Hey guys,” Jaemin greets and sits on the empty space next to Chenle, and his boyfriend (the first Nephilim after many centuries) Lee Jeno is across from him with a tired smile plastered, but he’s still staring lovingly at the Demigod like the first time. They all respond with groggy voices in return, trying to sound energetic but failing.

 

None of them are even shoving food down their throats. Well, except for Donghyuck since he just drinks blood, but yeah he isn’t even gulping it down. Jaemin turns to Chenle, who’s resting the side of his head on Jisung’s shoulder, trying to get some sleep. “Sorry hyung…I just feel so dead right now.” The Dark Guardian Angel apologizes and his eyes flutter to a close.

 

Jaemin turns to the rest, most especially Jeno who is trying his best to stay awake while reading a thick textbook that he borrowed from the library last week. “I’ll just go get some pizza, okay?” The Demigod tells him, and his boyfriend nods. He gets up from his chair and places his bag there, proceeding to the stall that sells his precious four-cheese pizza.

 

As he strides to the stall, he hears murmurs coming from somewhere within the premises of the cafeteria, and he isn’t sure if they’re supposed to be murmuring but he can hear them well thanks to his heightened sense of hearing. “Why’s he so cheery?”

 

“Who ya talking about?”

 

“That Na Jaemin kid, with the light brown hair.”

 

Hearing his name made him pause slightly. Jaemin blinks his eyes and decides to hear more coming from those people, out of sheer curiosity of what they think about him.

 

“It’s not like his cheerfulness isn’t helping or anything—it’s rather annoying. Like, didn’t he even feel sadness or exhaustion at least once in his life?” Jaemin feels a pang on his chest as he hears it loud and clear, and his smile falters. “People like him irritate me to death.”

 

First of all, Jaemin didn’t really care about people’s opinions about him, especially from people he didn’t know. But maybe it’s the stress from these past few days getting to him, making his shoulders slump and his lips forming into a pout.

 

And as if hearing that wasn’t enough, he hears them again. “Don’t his friends get annoyed? Doesn’t his boyfriend get annoyed?” The impact of words is amazing, how it can feel like a finely made dagger that hits his heart quickly. His pout worsens but he shakes his head and puts up a smile, finally approaching the stall to get his pizza.

 

But he doesn’t enjoy his food when he comes back to their table, no matter how delicious it is. Jaemin gulps it down anyway, because out of all things he disliked the most, it’s being hungry. Even if the bell rang and that meant proceeding to their classes, the words can’t get out of his head as he walks sluggishly.

 

Unfortunately, for the whole day, the thoughts continue to bother Jaemin.

**

“Hyuckie, am I annoying?”

 

Jaemin pops the question that has been bugging him ever since the other day as he and Donghyuck settle on the couch in their shared dormitory. He pokes the melting ice cream with his spoon, unable to meet his best friend’s questioning gaze.

 

“Everyone can be annoying, Nana.” Donghyuck answers frankly. It doesn’t offend Jaemin, because the Demon has always been known to be sharp-tongued, and they have been best friends since they were nine years old so he’s used to it. “I’m quite annoying nowadays, especially to Markie, but I always try to make up for it.”

 

Donghyuck sees Jaemin nod slowly, and proceeding to shove the ice cream onto his mouth with a downcast gaze. “Na Jaemin, are you okay?” He asks the Demigod, his hand stretched out to massage his shoulder.

 

“It’s nothing.” Jaemin shakes his head and even musters a smile towards him, but it doesn’t reach his eyes—something Donghyuck isn’t used to. “I’m just curious.”

 

The thing about their friendship is that they know each other more than they know themselves, and even more than their boyfriends know them. They know when something is up, even if one of them doesn’t want to talk about it or even acknowledge it, but for now Donghyuck thinks it isn’t the best time to discuss Jaemin’s problem. He settles for a nod instead, but he continues massaging the Demigod’s shoulder for comfort.

**

It’s lunchtime again, and instead of staying in the crowded cafeteria, they all stay in the Haven. It’s a recreational area for P.E. classes, and also a lounging spot where you can meditate. The six of them sit down on the grass while holding onto their reference materials, and the place that they’re in isn’t doing such a great job at easing their minds.

 

Renjun groans, slamming his textbook shut with a huff. “Fuck, can Lakewood give us a break?” The Soul Warrior gets up from the grass and to release his frustration, he throws his textbook to the ground. Jisung sighs and mutters, “Mood.”

 

“Anyway guys, where’s Jaemin?” Jeno asks, making eye contact with the rest of them, his eyebrows scrunched together. All of them shrug their shoulders.

 

“Donghyuck, haven’t you heard from him?” Jeno asks his boyfriend’s best friend, whose eyes are completely focused on his phone. The Demon looks back at the Nephilim and shakes his head. “I’ve been texting him if he wanted to come with us here, but he hasn’t replied.”

 

Chenle sighs, propping his chin on his palm. “I miss Jaemin hyung already.” The rest agree with the Dark Guardian Angel, nodding their heads and Jeno feels his stomach twisting. Ever since Jaemin willingly marked him with the Cupid’s arrow, there has been some force that connects them, making the Nephilim feel what his significant other is feeling.

 

And the twist in his stomach isn’t a good feeling at all. It means something else—and that isn’t coming from the stress of their workload lately, because Jeno knows that Jaemin has always been good in managing his stress, unlike the rest of them. He now feels bothered with it, so he unrolls the sleeve of his white sweater and checks the Cupid’s arrow etched onto his arm. It isn’t throbbing.

 

“Maybe Jaemin is just doing his work alone, Jeno.” Mark pipes up, giving him a pat on the back. Even if his Archangel best friend is assuring him, Jeno can feel that something is definitely wrong.

 

He nods at them and goes back to studying, but he strangely feels his eyes swelling up and heart hurting.

**

Thankfully, the next day, Jaemin shows up to them during lunch in the cafeteria. But here’s the thing: he isn’t beaming at them like always, he obviously didn’t even try to fix himself, and he looks just as exhausted as all of them. His eyes are puffy, and Jeno still doesn’t get what’s making him this sad now.

 

“Jaemin hyung, you don’t look so good.” Jisung tells the Demigod. The youngest turns to the rest of them, asking what’s going on through his eyes. Chenle, who is often beside him, shakes his head in response. Donghyuck reaches out for Jaemin’s hand on the table and squeezes it. Seeing that their brightest friend is at his lowest state also brings them down too.

 

And Jaemin’s always the one spreading great vibes, so they all feel that they should do the same for him. “What’s got you crying, Jaem?” Renjun gets up from his spot between Mark and Donghyuck, and tackles the Demigod with a (not) suffocating hug. “If it’s about this week, trust me, I finish a box of tissues every night.”

 

Jeno can see that the Demigod is trying to lift the corners of his mouth up to smile, but he fails to do so. Instead, his lips fall into a thin line and they quiver. Coincidentally, the rest who have heightened auditory senses hear what they think Jaemin is hearing nearby.

 

“Wow, what a sight. Na Jaemin isn’t smiling so much today.”

 

“Thank the heavens that he’s feeling sad for once. If I saw him smiling, my day would have gotten worse.”

 

Mark, Jeno, Donghyuck, and Chenle turn to the source of those voices. They were right in front of them, a boy and girl peering at Jaemin with such disgusted faces that it actually made their blood boil.

 

One of them is Jeon Somi, one of the Demons whom Donghyuck can’t stand seeing every damn day; the other is Bae Jinyoung, a fellow Soul Warrior like Renjun who is just as annoying. Jisung catches what’s going on, and even if he is younger than the two people lining up right in front of them, he glares at them really hard.

 

Donghyuck is the one who especially gets angry, getting up from his chair and approaching them in a horrifyingly calm manner. His brown orbs are close to shifting to a blood red as he approaches the two with a fake smile. “So guys, I think I heard you two talking shit about my best friend.”

 

Jaemin gets up from his chair and walks over to the three, grabbing Donghyuck by the arm. “Hyuck, please—,”

 

“Jaemin, let me talk to them.” The tone in Donghyuck’s voice is monotonous it kind of scares Jaemin too. This time, the rest of the gang pulls the Demigod away from his best friend, making him sit back on his chair.

 

“Okay, where were we?” Donghyuck glares at the two of them. “So of course, Somi, you always have something to say about everyone. And you Jinyoung, Renjun loves telling me stories of how you often play dirty during practice matches with fellow Soul Warriors.” He grins brightly at them, just for the sake of being sarcastic.

 

“Stop making my best friend feel like shit just because he’s cheerful as fuck and wants to spread energy.” Donghyuck warns them. “If you can’t deal with how much of a happy virus he is, then shut up.”

 

He starts walking backward while still glaring before turning his back towards them and sees the rest of his friends trying to feed Jaemin the food they have. Now that it’s settled, he settles his butt back on his chair, feeling satisfied.

 

But it seems like Jinyoung and Somi want to start a fight with them once they caught their attention. “Jaemin looks ugly when he’s sad, but he’s a tad bit uglier when he fakes his happiness towards everyone.”

 

Something cracked in Jaemin as soon as he heard it. Not wanting to deal with them any further, he gets up from his chair and grabs his bag, taking his leave as he feels the tears brimming from the corners of his eyes. Jeno now feels the arrow throbbing terribly, and he slightly winces from the pain, but it doesn’t compare to his anger towards the two who just doesn’t know when to shut up.

 

Jeno’s eyes start getting coated in pitch black, meaning that his inner demon is taking over. He growls under his breath as he approaches Jinyoung with big steps, and as soon as he was close enough, he lands a rock hard punch to his face. The action causes uproar in the cafeteria, and Mark is freaking out because this fight shouldn’t have started in the first place.

 

Everyone knows that they should never ever get on Jeno’s bad side. Aside from him being the most powerful student in Lakewood Academy since he is what he is, when anybody tries to hurt any of his friends—most especially Jaemin—he just explodes and it’ll be hard to calm him down once it happens.

 

Jinyoung was already on the ground, holding onto his now purple cheekbone. Somi stands there rigid, and she tries to run away but Chenle pulls her back telekinetically, making her fall to the floor with a loud bang. Jeno grabs for the Soul Warrior’s neck, clenching onto it like an empty metallic can, his pitch black eyes staring right through him.

 

“You just had to shut up, Jinyoung.” Jeno’s voice deepens with every word. Jinyoung was gasping for air but it’s impossible; he is close to dying any moment now.

 

While Jeno’s doing all of this, he is having a battle within himself too. His angelic side is persuading him to stop making things worse and just look for Jaemin instead; whereas his demonic side persists on hurting Jinyoung, because he just had to make the Demigod feel that way.

 

His inner demon is winning this, but the arrow throbs again and Jeno grunts from the pain, finally letting Jinyoung go. When he thought that it wouldn’t get worse, his heart started to ache, obviously mirroring what Jaemin is currently feeling. He quickly comes back to his senses when he opens his eyes, his chocolate brown orbs present again.

 

Jeno looks down at Jinyoung who’s suffering lack of breath, but he doesn’t feel remorse for doing what he did. Mark steps in from behind, and he immediately tends to the Soul Warrior, beginning to ease the situation. The Nephilim catches his best friend mouth at him to go look for Jaemin, and he does.

 

He runs out of the cafeteria, overtaking through students walking in their usual pace down the hallway. Jeno feels the chest pains all throughout, and it’s hurting him knowing that Jaemin’s letting words get to him like this.

 

Jeno didn’t have to run for long. He enters the library and walks past through the shelves that have students either studying or sleeping towards the deepest corners of the place, thinking that Jaemin is probably here. Once he barely sees people around a particular spot and hears someone sobbing softly, he follows the noise.

 

And there was Jaemin, sitting on the floor and hugging his bag close as he sobs his heart out. The area encircling around his Cupid’s bow mark is swelling, heavily resembling Jeno’s arrow right on his arm.

 

Jaemin was too invested in his tears to even notice that Jeno’s finally sitting next to him. It’s only when he feels a familiar kind of warmth brushing his shoulder that he lifts his face up from his now tear stained bag, and he sees his boyfriend looking at him with concern.

 

“I’m here.” Jeno spreads his arms wide with a half-hearted smile. Jaemin sniffles, trying to fight back the tears that are making way to his eyes for the nth time that day.

 

But he fails on keeping them in, and he lets Jeno embrace him the way he always did as he cried for the nth time, his face resting on the juncture between his neck and shoulder. Jaemin feels the older’s hand playing with the hair on the back of his neck as he begins to wail his heart out, and he slowly starts to feel better.

**

After a couple of crying fits in the library, Jeno brought Jaemin back to his dorm earlier and promised that he’ll come visit him with comfort food once class ended.

 

So when the clock struck six in the evening, Jaemin opened the door only to see his boyfriend carry a huge pack of ice cream that was for him only, and Donghyuck buying four slices of the four-cheese pizza he loves. “The rest chipped in some money to buy you this,” Jeno tells him as he points at the dessert before placing it in the freezer.

 

Jaemin’s heart swells at the thought of them actually doing this for him. He didn’t have to ask any of them to actually comfort him, because they’re always there if he needed them the most, just like how a family is. Perhaps he has gotten so used to shouldering everything on his own ever since he lost his mom that he almost forgot what it was like to have someone look out for him and care about him.

 

The Demigod’s brown orbs turn into bubble pink for a few seconds, signifying that he is overwhelmed by the gesture, but they don’t see it. His pupils convert to its original shade again once they face Jaemin.

 

Unfortunately Donghyuck couldn’t stay, because he said, “Markie’s waiting for me in their dorm, so I’ll make it up to you later, Jaem.” He was by the door making a kissy face, which Jaemin gladly returns with a chuckle. When the door closes, he feels strong arms snaking around his waist from behind, and someone’s lips lingering on his cheek.

 

Jaemin turns around and wraps his arms around Jeno’s neck, finally beaming at him with his wide grin and sparkling eyes for the first time in days ever since those asses brought him down just for being his usually cheery self.

 

One arm remains wrapped around Jaemin’s waist, since Jeno reaches out for his right hand with his free arm, and their fingers naturally intertwine. They just stand there like that, not saying a word but getting lost in each other’s eyes like always.

 

In between admiring each other, Jaemin’s pupils morph into a bubble pink again and it’s one of those moments wherein Jeno feels like the luckiest person alive because he gets to hold the person he loves like this and everything feels like it’s in its right place for once. Everything feels perfect.

 

“This will sound very cheesy, but…” Jeno pauses, and Jaemin blinks his eyes, wondering what he’s about to say. “I would do anything just to keep a smile on your face, Na Jaemin.”

 

“That’s too farfetched.” Jaemin replies and laughs after, closing the distance between their faces as he pecks Jeno’s lips. “But I’d say the same thing too.”

 

They start eating right after on the couch, both munching on the pizzas while telling each other stories of how hell week went for the both of them. They tend to crack some inside jokes only they know, laugh over nonsensical things, and the like. They’re just being comfortable around each other, and it has always been like this even back then, when they were just close friends. The kisses, pet names, and declarations of love are just a bonus to their dynamic as a couple.

 

Honestly, the both of them wouldn’t have it any other way.

**

Na Jaemin, aside from being known as a Demigod and one of Cupid’s sons, is also known to be a very cheerful and affectionate person. He greets everyone a good morning while beaming, never fails to motivate his friends at their downs, shows support in the cutest way possible, and just makes everyone happy. The joy he radiates is contagious, and his squad knows that.

 

And it’s one of the many things that make him all the more lovable in Lee Jeno’s eyes.