donghyuck takes the heart out of his chest and says — take it. he strips his clothes off, peels every layer of bravado until he's left with nothing but vulnerability.
bare person is fragile and easy to break. bare person is exposed. maybe that's the reason the idea of nudity feels off; it depends on the person he shares the moment with, though.
being in a group means you have no time to change properly, in a comfortable space of your own. privacy becomes just a fancy vague term used by people who are lucky enough to surround themselves with needed tranquility. in a broad sense, donghyuck, being raised in a family of four children, doesn't possess such experience at all. at this point he can't even imagine living in an environment devoid of constant noise, random screams, morning bickers for the food left, unnecessary queues in front of the bathroom doors, snagged stuff lost forever. all of these things filling his everyday life may be tiring, but he loves them nevertheless. still, having a bathroom for only two of them feels liberating, he's not gonna lie.
maybe seeing johnny being so careless did something to him. the way johnny feels at ease in his skin with or without any garment worn makes donghyuck relax. the scene that still impresses him every time is just out of the shower johnny, hair wet and face free of any make-up product. smell of cleanliness and cologne fills the small room fast; donghyuck appreciates the beauty of naturalness and simplicity, marveling at skin glistening with water drops gliding down, or pooling in the hollow of the navel. he's reminded of rain when the world is born anew. donghyuck loves finding enjoyment in simple things.
every moment carries its meaning, perception changing with context and time flow. nudity may provoke various feelings, and some of them are far from comfort. donghyuck would never have undressed for the sake of stage performance. johnny, the one who looks absolutely fierce with his carved body wrapped in bandages, whispers him in the ear saying his immense soul, his staggering radiance, is already more than enough to take the whole space of the stage and make it his.
"sometimes i'm afraid of you, little beast" johnny murmures, embarrassing him. donghyuck's cheeks feel hot, so he hides his burning face in the saving coolness of johnny's bare chest. his willingness to undress correlates with his bonhomous disposition — johnny wears his heart on a sleeve, donghyuck is not the one to.
nobody is born perfect, as well as nobody has innate knowledge of how to accept the body they're given. donghyuck doesn't know this, too.
he tries. most of the time rational part of him prevails, the one seeing a human body as a wondrous forest inhabited by magical creatures, full of ancient trees towering to the sky, sounds of ambiguous nature, and ephemeral threads of sunlight, or a sanctuary even, desolated and forlorn sometimes. alas, there are times when he feels small, so small he wants to curl up in a ball and hug his knees which may be trembling out of exhaustion. and johnny is always here, and donghyuck doesn't even need to undress to be desperately bare in his presence.
there's not much you can do to a bare person except either ruin, or save them. sincerity is scary, it may be horrifying, blundering, hurtful — donghyuck's heart is stuck in his throat, drumming like a caught bird; what a tragic delicate creature it is. johnny teaches him much about acceptance. they fit so well — donghyuck experiences a child-like wonder like the one babies have when the pieces of their wooden sorting cube toy finally fit in the right holes. johnny loves him bursting with sunlight just the same as he loves him desolated.
each person deserves to be treated as a sanctuary, donghyuck thinks. the less we can do is let ourselves be found in the darkest of times and places.
so donghyuck takes the heart out of his chest and says — take it — squeezes his eyes shut tightly, and waits. hold of johnny's hands on his wrists feels soothing as he tugs gently and puts donghyuck's clumsy figure in a tight hug.
he stays whole.