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And Love Dares You

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Minsung’s gaze zooms in on the ceiling above him, snuggling into his blanket and pulling the sheets off the corners of his bed. ‘Looks like popcorn,’ he yawns, salty drops of what seem to be sleep-induced tears gathering in the corners of his eyes. The dorm is silent, not a single creature stirring in the depth of the night.

 

It’s Minsoo’s birthday, another shameful reminder of the issue between them that still had yet to be fixed. 

 

The cotton candy haired male looks to his alarm clock in bold white numbering. 

 

It’s 11:49. Eleven minutes until a new day dawns, and he officially begins losing sleep.

 

‘Well, it won’t be the 20th for long, I guess,’ he sighs, turning over and pulling up his phone. What should he do? Call him? Text him? Nothing?

 

Nah, calling Minsoo is out of the question. Minsung falls onto his back, squinting at the bright light of his phone as he scrolls through Twitter. Hundreds of birthday messages from fellow idols, and even more from the fans SA1NT and MAYHEM shared. Tch.

 

Maybe he should just shoot him a text. Just one, so Minsung can’t say that he’s lost complete faith in himself.

 

He knows why Minsoo hates him (God, he’ll probably just never see the end of it, will he?), but he doesn’t regret what he did. It was a just decision. Minsung had only done to Minsoo what he deserved.

 

The past is the past. There’s no changing it, all you can do is move forward and hope that something falls into line on the way.

 

But...really, has he tried doing that at all? It’s been nonstop challenges, pushing back at Minsoo’s anger and never once trying to solve this conflict between them maturely.

 

Maybe—Maybe he can start now. Minsung exits Twitter and opens his messages. All the way at the bottom of his ‘Recents’ list is Minsoo, his beloved little brother. The last text he’s sent him was about a couple years ago, a simple, short congratulations on their debut. Minsoo never replied.

 

His fingers twitch above the stale heat of the phone screen, itching to move, to write something . But God, he just can’t

 

What can he even do? What, cram some kind of half-ass apology-birthday congratulation into one text? Or just ignore the issue entirely?

It doesn’t seem right to him, but that might actually be the smartest decision. There’s no true solving this issue if he tries to do it now, in the middle of the night, through text. He can’t just spring up out of the depths of his supposedly glamour-filled life and say “Hey! I know you hate me but let’s be buddies again! Happy birthday!”

 

‘Shit,’ Minsung chuckles, ‘He’d probably hate me even more if I did that.’

 

It’s not right either, bombarding him with messages at midnight (on his birthday, no less). Hell, Minsoo’s probably not even awake right now.

 

Instead of putting his late-night thoughts into late-night texts, he sits up and types a simple message. 

 

Happy birthday brother. I love you.



This shouldn’t be too bad. Besides, he’s managed to tell him before the exact midnight hour. That’s a good thing, right?

 

Minsung tucks his phone under his pillow after plugging it in to charge. “I love you”. He hasn’t told anyone that in years.

 

But it’s true. Even after all this time, through every bit of resentment he carries for little-brother-Minsoo, he’d never be able to truthfully say that he didn’t love him. Never.

 

Still. Hopefully Minsoo doesn’t suddenly feel the urge to answer the text.

 

***

 

In the morning, Minsung checks his phone to see twelve notifications. Four are emails, seven are from his discord server, and one...one is a text message. He can’t see the sender, or the message itself. He opens it.

 

Hot single moms in your area! Click to meet them…

 

Huh. Just a scam link, or whatever they’re called.

 

Maybe he had been wanting a message from his brother. Or at least something, a little reaction just to let him know that Minsoo hasn’t just blocked him. He clicks on Minsoo’s contact, now resurfaced to the top of the list.

 

Yeah, there’s nothing new. 

 

Just as he’s about to exit the app, he notices a small, four letter word underneath his last message.

 

‘Read’

 

It’s not much, but Minsung rejoices inside. Of course their reconciliation isn’t just going to happen like that, it’s obvious. But he can’t help but smile at seeing this, remembering the days of Minsoo’s petty anger at his brother winning a game being the worst of their conflicts. 

 

He still checks Minsung’s messages, huh? Looks like he does care after all.