“Has anyone talked to Hoseok today?” Hyunwoo asked as he entered the living room, a worried expression on his face.
He was met with shakes of the heads from the rest of his members, worsening his frown.
“The last time I talked to him was about 3 days ago when I got food delivered to his apartment. What’s wrong hyung?” Kihyun asked, sitting up from his position on the couch.
The six of them had just come back from another gruelling day of filming, interviews and swarms of monbebes. While it made pride swell in their hearts when they saw the signs they held up and how passionately they fought for their member, it hurt to know that they could not do anything about the situation.
After the scandal got out it was a mess. They had a long talk about what to do, but management finally decided that the best course of action was for Hoseok to leave the group, temporarily or permanently they did not know. This was obviously met with protests from the other six, almost resulting in a shouting match, but Hoseok was quiet the whole time, keeping his head down.
But when Changkyun suggested a brief hiatus until this was all cleared out, he snapped his head up and denied it firmly, saying the members have worked way too hard for this comeback, and it wouldn’t be fair for them to stop everything when they have already started promoting.
“I’ll leave the group, it’s not the members’ fault, they shouldn’t be held liable for my actions.” Hoseok said firmly, though his reddening eyes spoke of how much this hurt him.
“But hyung-” Minhyuk started to protest, but Hoseok stopped him with a soft shake of his head.
With Hoseok agreeing to the terms, the meeting was adjourned, leaving the seven men in a tense situation.
“Why the fuck did you do that hyung?” Surprisingly, it was Jooheon that spoke up, glaring at the elder.
“I couldn’t bring down the group Jooheon-ah, monbebe will be so disappointed if you guys stopped right now,” Hoseok tried to explain, but Kihyun quickly interjected.
“Don’t you think they’d be more disappointed if you weren’t there hyung? Monsta X is seven, everyone knows that, it’s better to take a break and stop here, get this over with, and come back again, together.” Kihyun said, his voice breaking slightly at the end.
“I know that Ki, there’s nothing in the world that I would want more than being with all of you, but doing that is going to bring so much harm to the group, I don’t want to risk it, I don’t want monbebe to get anymore mad than they are now, please understand me.” Hoseok pleaded, his eyes finally betraying him, a tear slipping down his cheek.
“This is bullshit, why the fuck would they ask you to leave? And if they were actual monbebe, they would believe you hyung. There is no reason for you to leave us, or do you want to?” Hyungwon said angrily, but the tears falling from his face said otherwise.
“Hyungwon-” Minhyuk started but was stopped by Hoseok’s hand on his arm. He looked back to see the man, who usually looked so big and strong, seem so tiny and fragile, face showing his emotions, tears running down his face.
For a moment everyone was quiet, shocked to see the truly heartbroken look on Hoseok’s face.
“I-I don’t want to leave, I don’t want to be alone, but I also don’t want you guys to suffer, this is the only option,” He sobbed, fingers clenching on Minhyuk’s sleeve, he bowed his head, feeling so much guilt, “please, forgive me, I’m so sorry,”
At that, Hyungwon let out a frustrated sob and surged forward to grab his hyung in a hug, wrapping his arm around the tiny waist, his other hand holding the back of the crying man’s head.
“No baby, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that, you're not at fault, stop apologizing okay?” Hyungwon rubbed Hoseok’s soft orange hair as the man trembled and sobbed in his embrace, whispering apologies as the taller softly shushed him.
At this point, the others had gathered around the pair, each shedding tears but also trying to comfort their weeping boyfriend.
“We’re going to be alright, you hear me? We’re all going to be alright.” Hyunwoo said into Hoseok’s hair, his arms tight around his members, his boyfriends, and for a second everything was.
But sadly everything wasn’t alright.
Immediately after, Hoseok had to move out temporarily to an apartment a few buildings away from the dorm. To avoid unnecessary drama and danger he had to stay there alone.
The members had to fight tooth and nail to be able to come with him to help him set up the new place, and thankfully they won, but they had limited time since they had a schedule the next day.
The whole time Hoseok tried to be the mood maker, laughing and smiling. Teasing the others and dancing to the music they put on. But as it neared for the time for the others to leave, they could see him losing his spark, getting more and more anxious.
When the last box was unpacked and put away, the music having been turned off a while ago, the apartment falling into a sombre mood.
The managers had started calling them, telling them to get in the car right now, but the six ignored it in favour of wrapping their bunny in a group hug. He had his head buried in Changkyun’s chest, the rapper, holding back tears.
“We have to go now hyung, are you sure you’ll be alright?” He said softly, his other hand coming up to hold the older’s jaw in place so he would look them in the eye.
“I-I have to be, thank you for everything,” Hoseok whispered, looking into each one of his member’s teary eyes, trying to put on a smile as tears welled up in his eyes.
“Hey, hey, bun, none of that, why do you sound like we’re never going to see each other again? We’ll always be here for you, alright? We love you, never forget that.” Jooheon said soothingly, kissing the older’s temples.
With heavy hearts, each member left the apartment, but not before kissing and hugging Hoseok one last time. Changkyun was the first to step out the door after giving Hoseok a deep kiss and a teasing squeeze of his butt, which made the man yelp and the rest laugh. The youngest laughed and winked at the older man's pout, not being able to resist pinching the reddened cheeks.
Following next, Jooheon also gave him a bruising kiss but opted for a big hug after, lifting and spinning the man, earning Hoseok’s signature loud laugh. "I'm going to miss not hearing that laugh every day," the young rapper mumbled softly, burying his face onto the older's hair and giving one final smooch on the orange strands.
After that was Minhyuk, who wrapped his arms around Hoseok’s neck, leaving pecks across his face and ending on his lips. Pulling back to give him a loud and wet kiss on the forehead, prompting groans from everyone else. Their resident sunshine chuckled at the reaction and looked at the giggling mess in his arms, "Sleep well tonight hyung," Minhyuk said after pecking Hoseok's lips, going away with a bright but albeit watery smile.
Kihyun then stepped forward and softly squished Hoseok’s cheeks with both of his hands, massaging the soft flesh as the older giggled into the warm palms holding his cheeks. Kihyun then gave him a light kiss and brushed their noses together, parting with stern words for him to eat well and to take care of himself.
Hyungwon, who had been watching and leaning on the kitchen counter, walked towards Hoseok with slow steps. Once close, he tilted his head down in an attempt to meet Hoseok's gaze, when the older refused to look at him, Hyungwon raised his hand to delicately hold Hoseok's jaw in place. His other hand came to rest on the pale cheeks, caressing it softly as he leaned down to kiss him. It was short and sweet but made the tears finally spill from Hoseok’s eyes. The taller only smiled and kissed them away gently, leaving a kiss on both his cheeks before pulling away and making way for Hyunwoo.
The oldest gave him a soft smile and pulled him close, wrapping his arms around Hoseok’s slim waist, the other clutching onto Hyunwoo’s shoulders. As Hyunwoo lowered his forehead to Hoseok’s, the other instinctively looked up. Hyunwoo looked down and scanned every inch of his lover’s face, from his big, round, watery eyes that always seemed to sparkle whenever he laughed, the soft, pale cheeks flushed red from tears and the plump red lips that he could never resist.
Hoseok was beautiful, both inside and out, it angered him how anyone would want to hurt such a kind soul. It made him want to wrap the younger man in blankets and just hide away from the world with the other five so they could shower him with love.
But he knew the other would never let him, Hoseok’s love for them was larger than the one he had for his own self, a love that Hyunwoo and the rest vowed to help the vocalist grow every day. For now, all they could do is reassure him that they were not going anywhere, knowing how their bunny hated being alone.
“Seokie,” Hyunwoo whispered, “we love you, you know that? No matter what happens to the group, no matter what anybody says, we’re here for you, and even if we’re apart, we’ll always be there for you.”
Hoseok nodded, too choked up to speak, tears running again down his cheeks.
Hyunwoo smiled again, his eyes crinkling but his heart aching, bringing his hand up and brushing the tears away, rubbing his thumb over the swell of Hoseok’s cheek.
“I love you all too, so, so much,” Hoseok whispered, finally not being able to hold it in anymore, burying his head on Hyunwoo’s broad chest, beyond the point of caring whether his tears and snot are going to ruin the shirt or not.
Hyunwoo’s heart broke, wrapping both arms around the crying male, burying his nose in soft hair, letting his own tears drop.
It seemed like an eternity but also a blink of an eye when after a while, Hoseok’s sobs subsided and he pulled away slowly.
“You have to go don’t you?” He asked quietly, fingers clenching and unclenching around the material of Hyunwoo’s shirt, eyes downcast.
All Hyunwoo could do was nod sadly, his hand coming up to brush Hoseok’s hair behind his ears, moving his fingers to his chin to tilt his head back up.
“But remember what I told you, we will always be there for you, so if anything happens, if you need anything at all, or if you just miss us, please, please tell us alright.” Hyunwoo looked down into Hoseok’s eyes, “Can you promise me that Seokie?”
Hoseok nodded, unable to look away, his heart clenching at the mere thought of having to say goodbye to the loves of his life.
“Use your words baby, come on,” Hyunwoo coaxed, softly rubbing the other male’s jawline.
“Yes, Hyunwoo, I-I promise,” Hoseok finally said, putting on a soft smile, making Hyunwoo chuckle and put on a smile of his own.
Leaning down, he pressed a kiss to Hoseok’s lips, his own lips curving up in another smile when he felt Hoseok sigh contentedly, his arms coming up to wrap around the older’s neck while Hyunwoo’s hands came to hold his hips.
Their moment was broken by Hyunwoo’s phone ringing, no doubt the manager waiting for them to come down.
The two parted, looking at each other and giggling.
Reluctantly Hyunwoo pressed one last kiss to Hoseok’s forehead and playfully ruffled his hair before finally leaving.
As soon as the door clicked shut, the smile slipped from Hoseok’s face. It’s barely been five seconds since the others left, but he was missing them already.
Biting his lip, he shook his head and turned towards his stuff, determined not to dwell too much, knowing how easily he can spiral.
For now, he had an apartment to organise.