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At my lowest

Chapter Text

It was the same old ceiling he stared at for goddamn 40 minutes now. 'how atmospheric would it be if it rained now', he thought, just to look outside to see the smooth sunshine touching the trees. He sighted, unlocked his phone, just to see that there were no new messages, to see that there was no use to refresh the same social media apps for the 16th time and tossed it away again.
There was nothing happening around him, no, actually there was a lot going on, but he couldn't get himself to care about it, not anymore. Nothing seemed to excite him, everything seemed too worthless to put any effort into. Sometimes he considered reading again but gave up after a few pages. Sometimes he started to continue a show he used to enjoy and lost interest in again after one episode.
He felt bad about his friends, he felt bad about those caring about him, he felt that he didn't want to let them down, even though at the same time he made up excuse after excuse to not go out with them, and even if he did go out with them, he would try to satisfy them, as if he wanted to be somewhere else. But where did he want to be exactly?
No place seemed to fit, no place felt like home, felt comforting.
"Fuck, enough with the self-pity", he hissed and got up from his bed, deciding that it was time to take the shower he had been avoiding the entire day.

The water cleared his mind a bit. He promised himself to answer the people he left hanging online for a while this afternoon, he promised to tidy his room at least a bit and put the dirty dishes in the sink, at least. Maybe he would wash them tomorrow. Baby steps.
With a towel rapped around he walked up to his window and opened it.
His apartment was located in the third floor so he enjoyed observing the busy streets sometimes, but right now it was more of a slower traffic and less people on the streets. Soon the sun would set and the sky would have a pinkish, orange colour like it mostly had in the city because of the pollution and season. But it made him happy, actually one of a few things that did.

Interrupted by his phone ringing he turned around and looked at it like he was trying to kill it. Fuck, he hated people calling him. Why couldn't they understand? There was a reason why texting had been invented.
The phone was urging him to press the red 'reject' button but then he remembered his promise made in the shower.
The name on the display showed '$umoney', a totally creative and not at all self praising name that asshole Junmyeun had given himself and he was too lazy to change it.
He picked up.
"Sooooooo~", he heard the voice at the other side of the line sing.
"How do I deserve the honour of receiving a call from you?"
"It's Thursday, pizza evening Kyungsoo! Don't tell me you forgot..", he could actually hear the pout over the phone and shit, he actually forgot. Wasn't it just Wednesday? What happened?
"I'll take your silence as a confirmation. I'm deeply upset and you should know that, Soo"
"You're not"
"Maybe a little. But you're coming right? Da Nino at 8 o'clock like always"
Kyungsoo considered. The pizza evenings where traditional and actually the last bits of social interaction that survived. But it meant to go out and face his friends, who he loved much, even if he wouldn't admit it and that was the problem. They would ask questions, they would ask him how he felt, they would ask if he had decided what to do in life, which university to go.
Too much thinking, he rolled his eyes. He needed to get out.
"Soo?"
"Yea, yea. Sure, as always. Hadn't had pizza in a while", that was a lie, he had pizza yesterday. Like almost every day, because it didn't require cooking and going out to get takeout. Pizza was easy, pizza was his friend.
"Great! Need a ride?"
Kyungsoo could hear the honest excitement in Junmyeuns voice and smiled softly. He was thankful and sad at the same time. Was it so extraordinary for him to go out? Did they really needed to drag him out? (The answer was yes, but did he want to admit it? Of course not. Denial is a beautiful thing)
"Would be nice. Pick me up at 7.45?", he answered.
"I'll be there, see you later!" With a voice far to happy and energetic Junmyeun ended the call and again Kyungsoo sighed. He kept at least one of his promises. Babysteps.

Chapter Text

At 7.40 he was outside his apartment building, kicking around tiny stones and forming invisible patterns with the tip of his shoe on the pavement.
It's just a normal meet up, he thought. Nervously he looked left and right, waiting for Junmyeun to appear, then he looked down on himself. He tried to pick normal clothes that said 'I have my life together'- but not too much.
Why the hell am I even thinking about his?, he thought and considered that his overthinking might make him go crazy.
Biting his lip he combed with his fingers through his red hair, which was not as messy as it used to be this week. He needed to dye his roots again, but he kinda liked the look. A short while ago Kyungsoo had decided that this hairdo looked best on him, after he finally overcame his horrible egg-hair phase, which resulted in him cutting off all his hair because it was damaged from bleaching and he was just overall frustrated. Of course he regretted it instantly, but what can you do?
Down the road he heard the motor of Junmyeuns Porsche 911 Carrera.
When he had purchased that car, all Kyungsoo could do was laugh at him because it was just so.. Junmyeun. This guy had too much money, and even if he liked to brag about it a lot, he never hesitated to treat his ,not as fortunate, friends.
With his bleached hair, black roots showing, the sunglasses that looked like they were straight out of the closet of a pimp and the roof of the car opened, Junmyeun stopped in front of Kyungsoo with a wide grin.
"You look like the biggest asshole the world has ever seen", Kyungsoo said with a dead serious face.
"That's what all the jealous haters say", he replied comletly unfazed by the comment .His friends completly over the top confidence made Kyungsoo smile a bit and he opened the door to get in the car.
"How many fucking times are you planning to listen to that song?", he noted as he saw the paused track on Junmyeuns phone.
"Russian Roulette is a masterpiece and nobody is going to stop me"
Kyungsoo had no intentions to do so, knowing too well that Junmyeun would never let him forget it if he knew that he was blasting Shakira in his apartment when alone.

As they drove through the city Kyungsoo felt eyes on him from time to time.
"What is so interesting?"
Junmyeun hesitated, and Kyungsoo noticed that his grip on the wheel tightened.
"How much did you sleep yesterday Soo?"
Kyungsoo avoided making eye contact. Warm wind played around his hair and messed it up, while the clouds looked like an Monet painting in orange, pink and yellow. The clouds formed beautiful patterns that looked almost floral. It was a nice evening, he noticed.
"Don't do that"
"..What?", Kyungsoo asked confused.
"You always do that. Avoiding the questions. It may work in a group but for fucks sake we are alone in a car what do you expect to happen?"
"I slept enough, don't worry"
"The bags under your eyes tell me something else"
"I just went to sleep very late, but I got a good enough amount"
He wouldn't dare to tell Junmyeun what helped him sleep. He had been clean for a good two month before he started smoking almost daily again, but it calmed him and numbed him. Would the others see him the same way? Exhausted, tired, a mess in general? Nervousness crept up his spine and he felt his heartbeat fasten. He knew it wasn't a good idea to skip the last two pizza evenings, because with that the questions came. They accepted his poor excuses, well knowing that those were lies, but nobody attempted to actually talk about this topic.
They came to stop at a red light, finally Kyungsoo looked to his left. Junmyeun gave him a warm smile, warmer than the evening sun, his platin hair coloured slightly rosé in the sunset light and Kyungsoo felt calmer. "We're here, Soo. I am here. Don't worry"
"Thank you Junmyeun", he said silently and focused his view on the sky again.

Da Nino was going nearly bankrupt when a student at the nearby culinary school took over. Former owner Nino was an alcoholic guy in his mid 50s who couldn't care less about business, even if he said that this restaurant was his life. After he ruined himself he was forced to sell the restaurant which was then worth nearly nothing, because the reputation of the place was speaking for itself.
Now, thanks to the new owner, it was blooming in new glory with wonderful food, amazing coffee and a cozy atmosphere while still being busy. It was hard to get a table, but since they went every Thursday, they were known and welcomed. Well, it didn't harm that Junmyeuns boyfriend was the owner, but he wouldn't consider this the only reason for their regular table.
They parked the car near the entrance and crossed the terrace, where a lot of people where seated, eating, talking, drinking wine and coffee. The restaurant garden was simple but still elegant and welcoming. In a corner next to a small olive tree their friends where already seated, having a cheerful conversation with owner Minseok.
Suddenly someone approached Kyungsoo from the side.
"Long time no seen Grumpy cat!", He found himself next to an intimidating broad figure compared to his own small height.
Seokjin was the co-owner of the restaurant, who Minseok met in culinary school, discovering that they both shared the wish to open a small business, with Seokjin focusing on food, while Minseok was head over heels for coffee. So they found a compromise in an Italian restaurant and café
"I know, I'm sorry. But you know I can't survive without your food for long anyways"
Seokjin chuckled and patted his shoulder.
"I know I'm extraordinarily awesome"
Kyungsoo rolled his eyes but it was true. His delivered pizza was tolerable, almost good even but nothing compared to Seokjins cuisine. But the first problem was that Kyungsoo was way too poor to afford their food every day (and he was too proud to accept the friend discount) and Da Nino boycotted delivery services because, quote Seok-Duo 'The food would loose it's quality and the lack of personal interaction and service is not our business policy'
But the main reason would be that Kyungsoo didn't want his friends to know that the once passionate hobby cook was living off cheap delivery food right now.

Junmyeun was already next to Minseok, chin on his shoulder, grinning like the happy idiot he was and talking some cheesy nonsense.
As Kyungsoo approached the table, heads turned.
Jongin was the first to react, getting up from his seat in superhuman speed and caging him in a tight hug.
"God Nini, you're suffocating him", chuckled Tao, with real concern in his voice.
"Our egg is back, let him be happy", said Sehun rather unimpressed but with a smile while sipping on his glass of wine.
"Egg..fuck you're one to talk Sehun!", said Minseok and turned to the bundle of Kyungsoo and Jongin. "Soo, same as always I guess?", He asked but left without waiting for an answer. Kyungsoo was way to distracted anyways right now, being overwhelmed by the realisation that he missed being here. "I missed you Soo", said Jongin quietly and placed his head on Kyungsoos shoulder, just like Junmyeun had done it to Minseok before, but it meant something completely different for them. Kyungsoo had missed his best friend, he had missed his overly touchy personality (even if he would never admit that) and the literal sunshine that surrounded Jongin. He let himself fall into the embrace and breathed with deep regret. His friends were all here, loving him, they had missed him, and instantly he felt like the worst person in this world for neglecting them like he did.
"I missed you too, Nini"
"Now you two sit down. Soo, we already ordered your favourite wine and Minseok will join us soon" Jongin grinned at him and took his place next to Junmyeun, while Kyungsoo took place next to him and Sehun, who fiddled around with his chocolate brown fringe, parted in the middle of his forehead.
"Good having you back", he said and handed Kyungsoo a glass of his favourite wine.
For one second he wanted to say that's it's only been three weeks but he decided against it. They would ask, or did they know?
A cold wave ran down his spine, he needed to distract himself ,so he grabbed his wineglass and took a sip.
The fruity taste was like home to him, the taste of endless evenings spend in this restaurant, at this table in summertime and at the corner table inside in wintertime.

Minseok returned with several plates of mouthwatering looking pizzas soon after the first two bottles of wine where gone and they had fallen into casual conversation. Kyungsoo mostly listened and only spoke when asked, but this was not unusual. For one thing he didn't like being the centre of attention and secondly he had nothing to talk about anyways.
It was nice, it was carefree. Already slightly tipsy Tao couldn't hide his excitement when Seokjin appeared behind Minseok and placed a plate carefully in front of him.
"Are you going to join us?", he asked the cook.
Seokjin shook his head. "My work is not done yet, honey. Maybe after the shift" He gave Tao an air-kiss, watched him giggle in amusement and left back through the open doors into the restaurant.
Minseok distributed the plates and took his place next to Junmyeun, who got his special plate.
"Seokjin is still shaking his head every time he has to do the vegan pizza for you", he said to his boyfriend.
"Oh so he is still an ass about it?", Junmyeun asked while making a face in the direction of the restaurant.
"No, actually he likes the change and creativity, unlike other people who always order the same thing"
Kyungsoo glared at him. He had found something that he liked. Why would he change it?
He still enjoyed his dish like the first time he tried it, and with that in mind he started eating.
For a while they ate in silence until Sehun eyed Jongins last piece.
"How can you be almost finished already?", He tilted his head innocently and smiled. "Do you mind letting me try something off your last piece?"
"You know how the chicken pizza tastes like, you yourself had it like twenty times", whined Tao while Minseok was rolling his eyes as Jongin reached over the table and let Sehun take a bite. The eye-contact was unnecessary long and saying he was confused would be an understatement on Kyungsoos side. He frowned. This was..odd. He looked over to Junmyeun who was giving him The Kim-Junmyeun-Eyebrow. Instantly but trying to look casual he unlocked his phone.

To: $umoney (21.23)
What the hell was that??

From: $umoney (21.24)
When you're old enough your parents will explain to you ;)

Kyungsoo watched over to Junmyeun to see him obviously amused winking in his direction.

To: $umoney (21.24)
Explain. NOW!

From: $umoney (21.25)
Well, when two people like each other very much, sometimes something magical happens.

Minseok leaned over to see the display of Junmyeuns phone.
"Don't be a prick", he whispered and elbowed his boyfriend in the side.

From: $umoney (21.25)
It's been weird since two weeks I guess. Dancing lessons seemed to get a little more interesting. Didn't Jongin tell you about it?

He didn't. Exactly he hadn't much contact with Jongin over the past weeks. Mostly because Kyungsoo tended to read his messages, swore he would reply later and never did.
Guilt was overcoming him and a little.. jealousy? Anger?
Why didn't he tell him?
Everyone seemed to know?
But it was his fault. He hasn't been there, hasn't even asked, had no chance to actually notice something was off. What else was different since he was gone?
Kyungsoo felt pain in his chest and his nose started tingling.
Suddenly he felt distance between his and his best friend. Not only the distance that he was responsible for, the distance he evoke through the lack of contact or his disability to be a proper friend. It was a new kind.
What else didn't Jongin tell him?
Did he even cared about Kyungsoo anymore? Did anyone even cared about him?
He took a deep breath and grabbed his wineglass, which he emptied with one sip. Fast he filled up the glass again and emptied it.
"So now that we are on the edge to being drunk and happily filled with food I want to tell you something", Sehun announced with a grin.
Everyone was watching him in anticipation.
"I actually got a modelling contract with a big magazine today!"
Tao squealed and hugged his friend happily, Minseok congratulated him just to insult him seconds after, Jongin had the proudest smile ever and Junmyeun lifted his glass.
"This needs a toast!", he announced.
"To future fashion icon Oh Sehun!", Kyungsoo said and earned a warm smile from Sehun.
"Indeed!" Seokjin was turning around the corner and placed a small shot in front of everyone, including himself.
They spoke another round of gratulation and emptied their glasses, after Seokjin assured Tao that it was totally acceptable to drink during your shift when you're the owner of the restaurant.
Tao was obviously more than tipsy and joked around with Minseok and Junmyeun, while Sehun and Jongin were talking about their dancing lessons.
Kyungsoo listened, then not anymore.
He hated this topic. As much as he was happy for their friends, as much he saw his own life in front of him. Actually he saw nothing. Against his will he became slightly pissed, pissed about himself, about the universe, about everyone being able to talk with each other carefree, about sitting alone in silence and watching how his friends lived their lifes perfectly without him.
How could he be so arrogant to think that Jongin would tell him anything? It didn't mattered anymore. Kyungsoo was a looser without perspective and ambitions. What could he contribute to that friendship that was worth keeping it?
His fist tightened, but he tried to relax fast.
Don't be that asshole that ruins everything for them too, he thought, You've done enough.
Absent he piddled on his nails, staring into the void, while trying to look like he was at least partly following the conversation and considering if he should send that text he was about to write.
Don't deny it, you're sending it anyway, asshole. Don't act like you have any dignity left.
He surrendered in front of himself and stared at the screen.

To: Kris (22.17)
Hit me up?

From: Kris (22.25)
How much do you want?

To: Kris (22.26)
For 40.000Won. Possible?

From: Kris (22.27)
Always. I'll be there at 0.30?

To: Kris (22.28)
Nice

Easier in his chest he put the phone back in his pocket. At least he would be able to sleep tonight.

Chapter Text

Kyungsoo was watching Kris, who was working on his grinder, from the other side of the living room table .
After arriving exactly at 0:30, he followed his usual routine of going straight to the fridge, raiding it for closed beverages (because opened ones could have been there for days, weeks if not), connecting his phone with the music station, letting himself fall on the couch and unpacking his stuff.
What was nice about Kris was that he never asked any questions. He never made any judgmental comments about the state Kyungsoos apartment was in and just went with it. In fact he was the only one who had been inside Kyungsoos apartment for weeks.
Kyungsoo took four 10.000 Won bills out of his wallet and placed them on the table.
Kris looked up, nodded, eyed Kyungsoo for a short moment, then focused his eyes back on what his hands where doing.
"You look like shit", he said while placing the mixture of weed and tobacco carefully in the middle of a paper.
"Says the one with the manbun", Kyungsoo answered. Second time today someone tells me this, he thought. I should start a piggy bank.
"Insulting humour to cover up your issues. Totally new one from you, Soo"
Kyungsoo rolled his eyes.
"What do you expect, hm? Should I complain my sorrows to you while sad piano music plays in the background and afterwards we cry and hold hands?"
"Jeez, Soo, I was just commenting. Why so sensitive?"
Kyungsoo stretched himself and slided down on the floor, looking up at the ceiling. That fucking ceiling.
"Fuck. Kris I'm sorry. I'm still tipsy and had a weird evening", he was letting out a small groan of frustration.
" Nah it's alright. And, sad piano music or holding hands is not my style anyways, but we could get high and listen to shitty pop music", Kyungsoo looked at Kris who gave him a smug smile and was holding out his hand with the finished joint in it.
Kyungsoo grinned, stood up and seated himself next to Kris on the couch.
"Sounds perfect", he put his feet on the table, took a lighter from his pocket, the joint between his lips and lightened the end.
As he inhaled the tip glowed and he leaned back, finally relaxing.
"How much did you put inside this? That's a lot"
"You looked like you needed it", Kris said, taking a drag himself and opening the bottle of Cola he found while raiding the fridge.
Kyungsoo was staring at the joint that was in his hand again. His mind silenced and he felt less stressed, thought less about how inadequate he had felt tonight.
Taking another three drags and handing it back it Kris, made his head spinning.
"To fast", he said and started to giggle.
Oh no, not the cliché high.
"You're so fucking cute when you giggle", Kris had that smile that made him look the he was already in the skies.
"I'm not cute", Kyungsoo pouted which made Kris laugh hard.
"Awwwww"
"Get fucked"
Kris stared an awful long time at the money on the table.
Kyungsoo was happy to not have a thought in his head at all besides the Imperial march which got stuck in his head for some reason. He snuggled deeper into the couch and layed his head on the backrest.
His head was feeling dizzy like he stood up to fast, a familiar feeling.
Kris poked him in the side and handed him the joint again for the last three drags to take.
"Did you know that there are people who iron their money?", he suddenly asked.
Kyungsoo bursted out laughing.
"What?"
"No shit. There are actually grown ass adults who iron their money. Picture it."
"Why would they do that?"
Kris seemed really confused and frowned.
"Hm, maybe they are really rich and want to show that even their money looks good"
"But wouldn't it make more sense for poor people to iron their money because it's something special? And they don't have so much to iron", Kyungsoo looked at him with his eyebrow raised. Junmyeun was a bad influence.
"Imagine the time you would spend ironing money... Maybe they want to hang it somewhere..."
"Why should they do that?"
"Money bills instead of wallpaper would be rad"
"Nah, that would be creepy. It's thousands of faced looking at you...and couldn't you just buy from the money you used as a wallpaper an actual wallpaper with money printed on it?"
Kris eyes widened and looked at him.
"You're one of the great thinkers of our time, Soo"
Kyungsoo started laughing really hard and was basically hiccuping.
It felt good to laugh and he was just amazed how carefree he was when he was tipsy and drunk in his messy apartment when two hours ago he felt like burying himself for the sake of the greater good.
"Okay next one"
"To command, Sookrates"
Kris was reaching for the baggy and the grinder and started to do what he was best at.
Kyungsoo suddenly felt down. The smile on his face faded and he was looking at this phone.
Jongins chat was opened.
He locked his phone again and placed it on the table.
"Kris?"
Rumbling.
"Can I ask you something"
More rumbling that sounded like agreement.
Kyungsoo started picking on his fingers again.
"What would you say if your best friend is not telling you major things happening in his life?"
Kris looked up, frowning.
"Everyone has their secrets. I guess he has his reasons. Don't take it personal"
Kyungsoos nose started tingling again.
The thought about Jongin triggered his feelings again. The feeling at Da Nino of being left out, being inadequate, worthless.
"How couldn't I?", He hissed. "Everyone knew and if I'm not important enough then he should just.."
"Fuck. Stop!", Kris said with his voice raised a little, but still gentle.
"Soo please, stop this train of bullshit thoughts. Ask him if you really want to know, but it's not fair for him and yourself to get caught up in something so vague which could be solved so easily"
Kyungsoo took a deep breath, he was right. But confronting, asking, fuck no, even texting Jongin was easy to talk about, but actually doing it..
Kris was taking the first drag of the new joint and Kyungsoo considered.
"Damn Soo, you need to get out more"
"I'm fine"
"No you're not. Nobody who uses the word 'fine' is. I won't push you, but if you want come with me on Saturday night. A friend of mine is doing one of these cliché housparties"
"I'll think about it"
Kyungsoo already knew he would definitely stay at home on Saturday, but the weed was calming him again and he felt hungry.
"Thank you for keeping up with my bullshit", he said.
Kris shook his head. "Don't mention it, just pay for Chinese takeout we're ordering now"
He looked at him and smiled. Kyungsoo couldn't help but smile too.

To: Nini (4.03)
Lunch tomorrow?

A loud noise pulled Kyungsoo out of his sleep. He rolled around, annoyed, hoping that the noise would stop.
After a few seconds he recognised that the noise was his phone ringing.
With closed eyes he hit everything on his bedside table until he could feel his phone, which was still making those awful noises.
"Hello?", he growled half asleep into the speaker.
"Don't tell me I woke you up", the voice on the other side of the line said laughing.
"Jongin? Why are you calling so early?"
"Early? It's 3 in the afternoon. But I shouldn't be surprised since your lunch invitation came at 4 last night" Kyungsoo heard him chuckled and yea, he remembered the text.
"I messaged you like twenty times", he continued, "but now you're awake, where do we want to go?"
Kyungsoo blinked a few times, trying to wake himself up, forcing himself to sit up, which was way too much to ask for.
"Uhm..I kinda crave barbeque.."
"Sounds good. Do you want to go to Soyoons place?"
"Sure"
"Then let's meet at Gyeungbokgung station in one hour?"
"Sure", Kyungsoo was yawning.
"See you then", Jongin chirped and ended the phone call.
Kyungsoo was letting himself fall onto the bed again. He already regretted texting Jongin. Not because he didn't want to see him or spend time for him, but because suddenly he realised why he had texted him. Asking him about the matter was something he really wasn't prepared for. He should just ignore it as long as he could and try not think about it. Even his thoughts procrastinated.
He half rolled, half dragged himself out of bed. Eight hours of sleep was definitely not enough for him. From his pile of clothes he promised to fold and put into his wardrobe one day he grabbed a loose striped sweatshirt and his usual black jeans, tossed them onto his bed and patted into the bathroom. He for a moment he conserded skipping the shower, but the smell of weed was still in his hair and so he decided that it would probably be better not to.
Going out to meet people actually forced him to shower which was a huge plus, so he wouldn't rot in his apartment, going through days without getting himself to shower.

He was really glad not to catch the rush hour in the subway, because it was horrible. Too many people, too close to you.
At exit 6 Jongin was already waiting, smiling cutely when he saw Kyungsoo coming up the stairs.
He looked casual but more chic than usual. With a white button up, a leather jacket and ripped jeans.
Jongin hugged him tightly and looked at him weirdly.
"What did you do yesterday that you stayed up so long?"
Kyungsoo wanted to burst out in laughter.
Four in the morning would be a record for him, if he actually went to bed then.
"Nothing", he lied.
He didn't really wanted Jongin to know that he was chilling with his drug dealer.
Jongin was grinning devilish at him.
"Did someone come oveeeer~?"
"Hah, I wish"
They were walking down the street, casually talking about Jongins dance lessons and his dogs, while Kyungsoo just enjoyed being a little updated about his best friend's life.
At Soyoons place they got a table at the window and prepared the grill.
Before the meat arrived, Jongin was already all over the side dishes.
His mouth stuffed with food he looked at Kyungsoo and smiled.
He is so precious, thought Kyungsoo and took a sip of his Soju.
"It's 4 in the evening and you're already drinking again?"
For this kind of conversation I need Soju, he thought but said: "Isn't it traditional?"
Jongin was tilting his head.
"Not really..Soo, you're alright?"
"I'm fine"
He earned an eye rolling for that. Kyungsoo had to admit that the answer was the worst and indicated that indeed nothing was fine. But he couldn't put in words how he felt, even if he wanted to.
He looked out the window, remembering that the same situation happened with Junmyeun yesterday. Actually he wished he could talk with someone, really talk, but he was afraid. Afraid about what they would think if they knew what had happened, why he had been gone for so long.
The waiter brought the meat, which was a welcoming interruption before the silence could get too awkward.
Jongin was enthusiastically grabbing the pliers and started grilling. Now Kyungsoo noticed that his friend was not barefaced like him. He was wearing a small amount of eyeshadow which made his eyes look a little darker and more... seductive?
"Nini?", Kyungsoo had to chuckle.
Jongin so into grilling that he just nodded.
"Why are you looking so made up today? I don't think my presence requires this"
Jongin gave him a small glance and focused on the meat again because he was heavily blushing.
Kyungsoo couldn't believe it, he was pink like one of Seokjins sweaters.
"No, I'm sorry, it's not for you"
Now Kyungsoo was leaning closer to him, trying not to get burned by the grill.
"Then tell me"
Jongin was avoiding eye contact at every cost and Kyungsoo had the time of his life.
Suddenly he had an enlightenment.
"Shit, don't tell me you're meeting Sehun!"
Jongins eyes widened to an infinite extent and quickly turned his head to Kyungsoo with a look of disbelief on his face.
"How...?"
Kyungsoo laughed. This was priceless.
"Nini, you're so damn cute"
Jongin made a face and stuffed a piece of pork into his mouth.
"Honestly, how did you know?"
Kyungsoo was confused. Didn't everybody know?
"Aren't you two a thing now or something?"
Jongin frowned.
"What?"
"Well you were quiet obvious yesterday and even Junmyeun and Minseok knew. I thought it's official and stuff"
"Wow what? This is not official, this hasn't even started really. This is not even a 'this'. I'm going to kill Junmyeun. But not when Minseok is around, I'm not risking taking on him"
Kyungsoos thoughts were spinning.
Jongin looked at him closely.
"Did you think I got into a relationship without telling you?"
Kyungsoo felt like shit. Kris was right about everything. How could he have ever been afraid to just ask or even think that Jongin was neglecting him at all, so he just nodded, looking at his hands, which where picking his skin again, guilty.
Jongin lowered his glass and look at him comforting.
"I didn't even knew that this would lead to anything. I didn't want to draw conclusions, I mean, we're on the third date"
Before he could think about it, he blurted out: "So you're fucking him today?"
Jongin spilled his drink on his plate and turned pink again.
"Soo!!"
"Fuck, I'm sorry. We had a moment and I ruined it"
,Good job asshole', he thought and admired his talent for fucking up every social interaction.
Jongin chuckled. "It's alright, but no. We're just going to the cinema"
"Gay"
"Yes Kyungsoo, I am, indeed, gay"
Kyungsoo rolled his eyes for the dramatic effect.
"Your idea?"
"Actually it's his"
Kyungsoo smiled. Who could have guessed Lord Sehun Bitchface could be so cheesy.
But he felt relieved.
"Okay but now you have to tell me how all of this started"
Jongin straightened up excitedly and clapped his hands together.
He started telling Kyungsoo everything. How their dancing lessons got a little more 'intense', how there was a lot of weird tension. Jongins inner struggel if he should ignore it or not. At this point Kyungsoo really wished that he could have been there for his best friend, but it wasn't possible.
He told him how it took all of his courage to ask for a date, how confused and happy he was and how afraid he still is about how their friends would react.
"I guess Tao would really just get it after you literally bone Sehun on the table in front of him"
Jongin lifted his glass to toast with Kyungsoo.
"True"
"And Junmyeun and Minseok have no right to say anything. They've been poisoning us with their cheesy shit since almost two years."
Jongin laughed. "I think it's only Junmyeun. Minseok kinda goes along with it because he's in love"
Kyungsoo was shaking his head energetic.
"Nononono. Have you ever seen Xiumin make coffee for Junmyeun and talking to him when he thinks nobody is looking? He is cheesy and whipped as fuck"
Jongin gave him a toothy smile.
"I really missed you, Soo"

On his way home Kyungsoo had felt light. After he had said goodbye to Jongin and wished him good luck for his date, the sky had turned pink again and Kyungsoo let the colours sink into his skin.
The good mood stayed until he opened his front door.
The piles of clothes on the floor, used dishes, Chinese takeout boxes from yesterday, the bags of weed he bought and all the other things that reminded him of the mess he was, greeted him.
Angry he tossed his shoes in a corner and if his mood wasn't bad enough his phone made his most hated noise.
The reminder banner appeared on the screen.
'Medication'
He didn't take them yesterday, because he was too afraid to do so in the group but it wasn't like he didn't avoid taking them at any possible occasian. They made him dizzy, but not the good dizzy like weed.
His mood swings were out of this world and the emotions hit him hard.
While mostly he was in a good state of careless numbness he couldn't handle the outbursts of emotions that came over him once in a while. It dragged him up and down.
Kyungsoo got angry as he took the pill from his drawer and went to the bathroom to take some water from the sink to swallow it. He felt like a fucking psycho and he hated to be reminded of that every day at the same time. As if his whole life wouldn't remind him enough of what a pathetic failure he was!
He looked at himself in the mirror. His eyes stared at him, and he stared back at his reflection.
"Why are you like this?!", he shouted at himself.
"Why can't you go through one day without this pathetic self-loathing?"
Here he was again, pitying himself, which was ironic, because that would mean that he was worth the pity.
Some fucking arrogant asshole he was, as if his situation was so bad. Like other people didn't have it worse. He had friends who cared about him, which he didn't deserve at all! Why were they so nice to him? Didn't they see what a piece of shit he was? But on the other side they probably didn't even care. Nobody cared when he was gone, nobody would care if he left again.
The anger about himself, the world, his friends was suffocating him. His fingernails drilled into his palm until they left dark red marks. He was breathing fast, burying his face in his hands, suddenly he realized that his hands were wet. He was crying.
That was the last straw.
Madly furious he turned around.
"You pathetic bastard!"
His fist hit the tiles in the bathroom. The pain in his wrist and knuckles made him even more furious, he hit again and again. With gritted teeth and completely out of his mind he kept beating the innocent tile again and again and....
A cracking sound brought him back to reality.
In horror he looked at the fragmented tile on the wall, stained with his blood.
His hand was bleeding and hurting but he could only stare at the wall.
He broke another thing. His childish tantrums made him destroy another thing which he had no money to repair.
This time the tears just came out and couldn't be stopped.
Kyungsoo sank to the floor of the bathroom. He sobbed and screamed like he hadn't in a long time. But there was no anger, no aggression left. He kept laying on the floor, his head on the cold ground, blood and tears mixing together.
He cried in dispair. He sobbed in helplessness. He screamed out in loneliness.
He wished for his selfhatred to end, he wished to escape this vicious circle of his personal hell he was currently in.

On Saturday he didn't even bother to get out of bed.
The night before, when no more tears had come out, he had just layed on the floor, staring into the nothingness, feeling numb.
After an hour he had dragged himself into bed, without changing clothes and fell asleep.
He was actually quite impressed that he could sleep before sunrise, which proved his theory that crying was a good exercise.
But now his eyes were hurting and sore, his face dry and his knuckles on the right hand pusling with pain.
The aftermath of his breakdown was not giving a fuck anymore. He was used to it.
After an outburst of emotions, the complete opposite followed. He didn't felt the need to eat, he just clicked through his recommendation list on YouTube without really caring what he was watching, and switched between the same apps for hours.
Junmyeun had send him a text asking if he wanted to come over and Jongin had explained his date in every detail, but Kyungsoo couldn't open them.
He knew he was being a fucking hypocrite for wanting his friends to keep him updated, but ignoring them when they did.
At 9 in the evening he finally got up to go to the toilet, drink a glass of water and take his supplies to his bed. Somehow in his sleep he must have undressed himself because when he woke up, he was just wearing his underwear.
His rolling skills were far away from being as good as Kris' but he could manage a pretty good joint. This time Kyungsoo actually opened the window before lighting up the tip, laying down on his bed and inhaling deeply.
Just as he connected his phone to the speakers and played his favourit playlist he received another text.

From: Kris (21.14)

Yo, Grandpa. You're still in for the party?

For at least a millisecond Kyungsoo considered going. But he decided to ignore the text like any other he received today.

From: Kris (21.18)

You asshole, I see you read it.

To: Kris (21.19)

I'm sorry. Not coming.

He typed with the joint between his lips. At the moment his speakers were playing a deep house track he recently was obsessed with. He didn't want to go to a party, he wanted to go out. Anonymous, somewhere without worries.

From: Kris (21.20)

Kyungsoo. I'm not taking no as an answer. Just consider free drinks, nice music and a shitton of people you don't know, you never embarrassed yourself in front of and you never hit on.

Now he actually was considering it. On one hand he hated strangers, on the other it meant that there where no expectations towards him. No feelings of guilt when he didn't speak to anyone.
Free alcohol was also a huge plus and if he was honest, he also needed to get laid.
Maybe someone could fuck the depression out of him.
He could have said it was his good reasoning, but rather the music and the weed which motivated him for some strange reason.

To: Kris (21.22)

You win.

From: Kris (21.22)

Woaaaaah nice! I'll send you the address. Try to not look like shit.

To: Kris (21.22)

Fuck you.

Kyungsoo stared at the house. It was a house. An actual fucking nice house. In the middle of Seoul. Whoever hosted that party must have more money than god. Around the house was a green area and a gate in front of the driveway inside the property.
He had shamelessly copied Jongins outfit from yesterday, with black ripped jeans, a white loose t-shirt and a leather jacket.
His red hair was styled out of his face, showing his forehead and black undercut.
The closer he came to the entry, the more nervous he got. The wave of confidence induced by weed faded and he immediately regretted his decision to go out.
He could turn around. Now. Why was he still approaching the door. On the other hand he didn't wanted to let his outfit and hairstyle go to waste.
He went up two steps and stood in front of the door.
From the inside there was music, talking and other noises audible.
Kyungsoo wanted to knock, but found the idea very useless regarding the noise level inside the house, so he just opened the door. Those were Kris' friends right?
The friends of his drug dealer he didn't even knew the real name of.
Nothing to be scared of here.
With a big, fat 'fuck it' he opened the door and stepped inside.
Kyungsoos jar dropped. The inside of the house was elegant, the furniture stylish, the walls in cream, stucco on the ceiling. And everywhere drunk people in his age. At least they don't have red cups, Kyungsoo thought, that would be too much.
He took off his shoes (because he saw nobody else wearing theirs) and started looking for Kris. Nobody payed attention to him, everyone was busy talking, laughing, drinking or minding their own business. The music was amazing, Kyungsoo had to admit. The slow bass was pounding in a volume loud enough to feel it, but conversation was still possible.
Carefully to not touch anyone he meandered through the crowd and found himself in the middle of the huge living room, adjacent to a kitchen island. At the site opposite the entry was a huge glass front that was half opened and a few people were sitting and standing outside smoking.
Someone approached him from the side.
"Hey, are you looking for someone?"
Kyungsoo eyed the guy. He estimated that they were around the same age. The other boy's hair was way messier than his, still combed out of his face and his hair was silverish purple.
He was smiling, it made dimples appear on his cheeks.
His clothes were awfully fashionable, but he made a kind impression.
"Oh, I'm Namjoon by the way. This is my house if you're wondering. I just don't know you and yeah..", Namjoon's smile turned kind of awkward.
"Your house? Did you win the lottery or something?", Kyungsoo asked without thinking.
Namjoon chuckled. The awkwardness had disappeared.
"Okay, my parents house. But they're in America for awhile so, I'm free to do what I want"
Kyungsoo nodded impressed.
"Nice. Ah Kyungsoo, my is name Kyungsoo. I'm looking for Kris, he said he was a friend of yours"
He felt kind of stupid right now. Kris friends would most likely know him under his real name, but he didn't know it, so he was helpless.
Kyungsoo felt even more stupid when Namjoon started to laugh at him.
"You must be the certain 'Soo' he talked about. You just missed him, he went out doing business. But he should be back in a few. Until then you can just take whatever you want from the kitchen, help yourself" Namjoon was waving in direction of the kitchen and together they made their way to the kitchen island where a lot of bottles of alcohol of all kind were placed. Kyungsoo grabbed a bottle of Soju and looked around again.
"Ah, smoking and rolling outside please. I think my parents wouldn't be amused if the curtains smelled like weed or tobacco", Namjoon said with one last smile and disappeared again.
Actually that was a good idea, if he had to wait anyways, he could also go outside and smoke. Stoners were easier to talk to anyways.
He made himself comfortable on the still warm stones of the terrace and after seeing that he was not the only one, he spread out his rolling tools. Completely focused on the task he didn't realized he was sitting close to two boys who were talking in Chinese, slightly older than him.
Kyungsoo lifted his head because he felt like someone was staring at him. He indeed found one of the guys staring at him.
The guy may have the blackest hair Kyungsoo had ever seen and a smile that displayed a satisfaction and intoxication high over the clouds. He was nibbling on something Kyungsoo couldn't see.
"Do you want some?", the boy asked him, reaching out his arm, with a cookie on his palm. His dimples deepened. This house was a dimple assembly.
"Oh don't mind him, it's not poisoned or anything. He is just stoned as hell.", the other boy said, brown haired, with blond highlights.
Not that Kyungsoo looked at him he couldn't oversee how young his face looked. Soft features and everything looked way too smooth.
"Let me guess, those are not normal cookies?", Kyungsoo asked.
"I have normal cookies too if you want!", black haired dimple said excited and waved with a pack of cookies in this free hand.
The other one smacked his palm against his forehead in half real, half acted embarrassment.
Kyungsoo shrugged, robbed a bit closer and took the hash cookie out of black haired dimples hand. His face was glowing.
Secretly Kyungsoo wished to be as happy as this guy was when he was high. He took a bite from the cookie and wow, he was amazed by the taste. They were soft but still crispy and the flavor of chocolate was intense but not overwhelming.
"Shit, they're good!", Kyungsoo was chewing and smiling. He must have looked really stupid in that moment.
"Thank you! A friend of mine made them. He is a really good cook"
After he showed the rest of the cookie into his mouth, he took a few sips of Soju, because fuck responsibilities.
"Your hair is so red, I love it..", dimple guy said more to himself and continued to watch Kyungsoos hair in fascination.
The other one laughed again embarrassed and Kyungsoo was placing the joint behind his ear to keep it for later.
Dimple guy gave him another half of a cookie.
"Thank you! I owe you", Kyungsoo said just earning an aggressively shaking head.
"Okay so what's your name then to start with?"
"Yixing, and this cutie here is Luhan", he poked his index finger into Luhans cheek, who was clearly annoyed by the interruption from sipping on his cup.
"Nice to meet you, I'm Kyungsoo"
"Wow your name sounds so Korean", Luhan said and Kyungsoo didn't know what to do with that information.
"I guess you're Chinese? Both?"
Yixing nodded.
"I tried to study it, I gave up" Is this how you Smalltalk? Great Kyungsoo.
"Won't blame you, the language is hard. Sometimes I don't even understand what Yixing says", Luhan said.
"Luhan thinks he is soo much better than me because he's from Beijing", Yixing attempted to whisper in Kyungsoos direction, but his voice was loud enough for Luhan to hear, who just rolled his eyes.
They talked about this and that, Luhan and Yixing lovingly dissing each other and Kyungsoos bottle was empty after a while.
At one time, a small (maybe as small as Kyungsoo), skinny guy came by. He had a sleepish face and bored eyes, his fringe hanging above them, hair dyed in an extraordinary mint green.
"Ey, Yixing. You still got one of those rad cookies?", he asked voice low and monotone.
Yixing smiled and handed him one.
The boy smirked a little, nodded and left.
"His hair always makes me hungry", Yixing said weirdly sad.
Kyungsoo felt good. The music from inside complimented his vibe. His head was slightly spinning, the surroundings in harmony with him, nothing mattered. He followed the bass and had to smile. Slowly he was starting to get really intoxicated.
The perfect moment to smoke the joint he was saving up.
He took a lighter from his pocket and inhaled. Inviting he looked at Luhan and pointed at the joint.
"No, thanks. I'm not into that", he refused politely.
"Yixing?", Kyungsoo asked.
"I'm good, I ate around five cookies. I think it's time to take the kitchen apart. See you inside?"
Kyungsoo nodded and watched Yixing going inside, followed by Luhan, who said he'd get another drink.
In peace he slowly smoked, observing the people around him.
Suddenly he felt pumped up, almost happy. A warm feeling was streaming through his whole body. When it reached his head, he closed his eyes and his smile widened.
He felt satisfaction, and was aware that this was the moment the cookies kicked in. Now he was feeling the music much more and the conversations around him made a nice background to the composition of the beat.
As he finished, he put the butt into the ashtrays and stood up. Inside there where a lot less people and Kyungsoo realised after checking the time why. The last subway just left. But he was too high to care. The Soju did it's part too. A little wobbly he was heading for the couch, which looked amazingly comfortable.
Mint haired grumpy was spread there, his head on the backrest rocking to the beat of the music, his eyes closed, while his fingers where tipping another layer of the composition.
In front of the couch, in the middle of the room where three boys arguing intensely. Their voices were way too loud and their movements way too energetic for Kyungsoo at the moment.
Next to them was a bottle of whiskey, almost empty. Kyungsoo made an impressed face.
Suddenly one of them was scanning the room and caught Kyungsoo looking at them.
And then without knowing what was happening a figure was dropping next to him on the couch. Mint haired guy made an annoyed sound.
The figure was sitting maybe half a meter away from him.
Kyungsoo looked at him directly for the first time and holy shit. This guy was tall, at least over 1.80m, wearing a black oversized pullover, that looked comfy as fuck, tight blue jeans and white sneakers.
But his eyes were something different. Their shape was smooth and elegant and so damn pretty. He smiled at Kyungsoo with the widest, dorkiest and most adorable, lovable, fucking weird half smile ever seen on this planet. His hair was slightly curly, messy, hanging into his face and completely silver.
Kyungsoo was way to high for this.
"You seem lonely", pretty eyes said and if Kyungsoo thought it couldn't get any better, he was proved wrong when he heard this voice way too deep for this cute face.
"I'm waiting for a friend", Kyungsoo said, for the first time happy to speak before he was thinking.
"So you're not occupied now?", the boy said excited while learning a little closer. He was obviously a little drunk too.
"I guess..not", Kyungsoo answered hesitating. He had no idea what was expected of him, because the other two guys were watching them from the other side of the room.
"Great!" The next moment Kyungsoo felt himself getting dragged across the room towards the other two.
"Sorry Jongdae, you're out of my team. I found another player", pretty eyes said and one of the two, dark brown haired, parted in the middle looked at him offended.
"Ah whyyyy?", he whined and his voice was impressively loud.
"We're playing shotpong. It's like beerpong, just with shots", the other one explained. He was a small boy with wine red, wavy hair, a little bit messy parted in the middle, with soft facial features, smiling cutely, wearing a lot of eyeliner.
"So you're in?", pretty eyes asked.
What did he had to loose?
He nodded.

Kyungsoo woke up with the urge to puke. He felt sick, his head was roaring and his body arching. Without opening his eyes he turned around, just to hear a noise next to him. It sounded am awful lot like a person.
Shocked he opened his eyes. There was indeed a person laying next to him. Actually Kyungsoo was laying next to that person, because he just recognised that this wasn't his bed. In panic he was scanning the room, he had never been here before, nor could he see the face of the person next to him, because the face was buried in pillows. What Kyungsoo could see was the hickeys all over this persons neck and upper body.
Hissing maybe five thousand 'fuck's he hectically searched for his phone.
He found it laying on the floor.
On his display were messages from Minseok. Another 'fuck'.
Obviously confused he opened them. It didn't happen everyday that Minseok texted him.

From: Minseok (10.01)
Hahahahaha oh god Kyungsoo what did you do yesterday?
Why do I wake up to this in my group chat?

From: Minseok (10.01)
I see you had fun. Didn't know that you could be like this hahaha

From: Minseok (10.02)
Apparently Beagle Line abducted you

From: Minseok (10.02)

(IMAGE)

 

Kyungsoo looked at the picture. He had no memory whatsoever of the evening. Well, he remembered joining those three guys in the picture for a drinking game, but after that, blackout.
He remembered pretty eyes, not even the name and realised in horror that he was wearing his pullover in the picture. The whole picture was a desaster and Kyungsoo wanted to disappear.
But then he remembered an odd thing. He wasn't in any group chat with Minseok.

To: Minseok (12:58)
How did you get that picture???

Behind him he heard the crackling of the sheets and he remembered his second problem.
"Soo, you're alright?"
He knew that voice, he knew that voice too well.
Kyungsoo turned around and saw Kris' sleepy eyes looking at him.
Fuck.

 

(Image)

 

Chapter Text

He blinked once, twice.
"Are you alright Kyungsoo?", Kris repeated, now leaning on his elbows to get a better look at Kyungsoo. He looked concerned.
"I..", Kyungsoo wanted to start but he didn't know where. It was not that it was such a horrible thing to wake up next to Kris, more that once again he had had a blackout after drinking his frustration away. Besides he wanted to know exactly how everything had happened.
Kris raised a brow.
"I'm just confused", he admitted, which was not a lie.
But then Kyungsoo laughed.
"But apparently I had a lot of fun yesterday", he said, thinking about the picture and the situation that he was in at the moment.
"Yeah you did", Kris said with a smug smile and layed down again.
Kyungsoo joined him on the bed again and sighted, then turned his head and looked at him.
"But Kris, uhm, can this please not make things awkward?"
This would be honestly the last thing he wanted, he enjoyed Kris' company at his apartment and the evenings where they were just chilling, not more, not less. He considered him a good friend.
But Kris made a face.
Oh god.
"Calling me Kris again? I thought we were past this..I'm offended", he said but obviously jokingly and Kyungsoo felt relieved.
"You told me your name yesterday?", Kyungsoo was surprised.
"You don't remember? Pfft"
"What kind of person only tells a friend their real name when they're hooking up?"
"When they want the other person to scream the right one"
Kyungsoo rolled his eyes while Kris (or what the fuck his name was) giggled about his own hilariousness.
"I'm using your shower", Kyungsoo stated, got up and crossed the room.
"Second door left", he heard Kris yell but he had already found it.
The look into the mirror was the worst idea Kyungsoo had had this morning.
His hair was mess, his neck covered in hickeys, the bags under his eyes were...wait? Was he wearing fucking eyeliner?
How did that happened?
Kris was not a big enthusiast for makeup and he was neither.
He started rubbing his eyes, which only gave him the panda look that Tao was usually rocking.
Rumbling he stepped into the shower, only now really realising that he wasn't wearing any clothes, but he was to hungover to care.

On his way home he wondered where the hell his leather jacket and shirt were at the moment. He forgot to ask Kris for Namjoons number so he could ask if he left it at his house.
Now he was just wearing that oversized pullover he recalled the guy with the pretty eyes wearing.
Internally Kyungsoo prayed that he didn't call him that at any point of the evening.
His phone buzzed.

From: Minseok (13:59)
Do you think I don't have friends beside Junmyeuns high school friends?

Kyungsoo had actually never considered that. He still wondered who exactly was friends with Minseok and who send him the picture. At this moment his stomach rumbled, distracting him, and there was a more important question to ask Minseok right now anyways.
To drink that much without eating the whole day had lead to his blackout in the first place.

To: Minseok (14:01)
Do you have food at home?

From: Minseok (14:02)
Why?

To: Minseok (14:02)
I'm actually 10 minutes away from your apartment and food is nice.

From: Minseok (14:03)
Junmyeun is home with food. I'm busy at the restaurant.

Kyungsoo didn't know why he was going to Minseoks and Junmyeuns apartment. Being hungry might just have been an excuse. Maybe he was really craving personal interaction?
But he knew it was a mistake when he saw Junmyeuns face when he opened the door.
"No shit, Kyungsoo", he was smiling as wide as he could with an undertone of mischievousness.
He had forgotten that he still looked completely done and like someone had done him the whole damn night which was kinda true.
"Don't", he just answered and pushed himself inside.
The apartment was way too nice for his taste. (Not as nice as Namjoons house tho)
Maybe because Junmyeun was rich as fuck or 'cause Minseok owned a successful business, Kyungsoo didn't really care.
"Minseok said you have food", he said while curling up on the couch next to Minseoks cat who was sleeping peacefully on a small blanket. He stared at the animal, the nearly unnoticed up and down of its stomach while breathing and the cute noises that escaped her mouth, it made him calm. For a long time now he wanted to have a cat but in his apartment no animals where allowed, he also didn't own a garden and it would probably starve under his care.
Junmyeun returned from the kitchen with a plate of delicious looking pasta, placed it in front of Kyungsoo, sat down opposite of him and the cat, he still hadn't stopped grinning.
"Don't you dare feed her this time"
"No sorry I kinda don't want Minseok to brutally murder me"
Kyungsoo turned his face away from the cat and focused his attention on the food.
"Soo~"
"Hmpf?"
"Don't you want to tell me why you are here? Why you, of all people, are having remains of makeup in you face and oh, a shitton of hickeys everywhere?"
"I went to a party, got drunk and went home with someone, what do you think I did?"
Kyungsoo just realized that he admitted going out while completely ignoring Junmyeuns texts. Now he felt like shit, but Junmyeun was too focused on the gossip.
"Details, Soo. Who?"
He maybe shouldn't mention Kris.
"Tall, fluffy hair, deep voice, Chinese. Do you need more?"
Actually Kyungsoo was enjoying to talk like he was in 11th grade again.
"Ouh completely your type", Junmyeun was way too happy about this. "Name?"
"I don't know", Kyungsoo said and was happy that he didn't have to lie.
"Do Kyungsoo you little Hoe! I love it."
Kyungsoo started stroking the cat which started to purr.
Cats are happiness.
"Fuck Soo but what happened to your hand?"
Quickly he pulled his hand back.
"Nothing" He had totally forgotten about that.
Thankfully Junmyeun didn't ask any more questions but the look of concern was killing Kyungsoo. A worried Junmyeun was the last thing he wanted.
"How are you by the way?", Kyungsoo asked, because he just noticed that he didn't ask for his friends well being in a while.
Somehow this triggered something and Junmyeun had a weird sad face all of the sudden.
Shit.
"What happened?"
His friend was shaking his head and forced a laugh.
"Ah nothing", with that he stood up and went in the direction of the kitchen to just turn around all of the sudden.
"Well, totally hypothetical", Junmyeun was stressed. He spoke fast and gesturing hard.
"Extremely hypothetical. What would you do if your better half would conspicously often meet up with his ex? Ignore it because you usually trust him to the fullest? Ask him about it, risking that he'd think of you as a jealous prick?"
Kyungsoo stared at him, for once he didn't know what to say.
Junmyeun was looking at his feet, sorrowful, biting his lip.
"What do you mean often? Is there any actual reason why you should be concerned when you say you trust him?"
"They are friends and..I know they stayed friends and usually they meet up in their group, but recently they were meeting alone a few times and Minseok..I mean the hypothetical other half..didn't want to tell me the reason, which is why I am slightly concerned and suspicious"
Kyungsoo was thinking hard, because if those people from yesterday were actually friends of Minseok then chances were high that he met said ex. He just wanted to say something when Junmyeun spoke again.
"I trust him!", he was really gesturing a lot now. "I fucking do, Soo! But why does it bother me? I don't know, fuck I don't know why am I even talking about this"
Kyungsoo, who rarely heard Junmyeun swear like this, watched him lean his head against the wall. He was just on his way to stand up, when Junmyeun turned his head.
"No, don't bother. I need to think, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to burst out like this"
Kyungsoo looked at him in concern.
"I guess it's nothing really. Why should he anyways, you're the best" Junmyeun smiled a bit.
"I know"
"Do you want me to leave?"
"Don't think I'm throwing you out but yea, kind of"
"Don't worry, tell me if there is anything I can do, okay?"
"I just need to get my head out of my ass"
Junmyeun massaged his temples and gave him a soft smile.
He tilted his head.
"Whose sweater is this tho?"
Kyungsoo was throwing his hands up.
"I have no fucking clue, honestly"
They both started to laugh and Junmyeun looked at him.
"Soo we need to go out again soon. I forgot how much I need this. Like in high school"
"Sure", said Kyungsoo and hugged his friend.
"Take care Junmyeun. And text me if you want to talk"
He nodded.
"As if you would answer, asshole"
"I will" Kyungsoo needed to remember to actually answer, now that the situation really required it. He didn't want to be that shitty of a friend.

 

From: Nini (16:37)
KYUNGSOO

Kyungsoo lowered his chopsticks with noodles and looked at the message. Okay either he was dying or something good happened.

To: Nini (16:37)
JONGIN

From: Nini (16:38)
Guess

He rolled his eyes and stuffed more noodles in his mouth. Sadly he had left the food at Junmyeuns apartment, so he decided to visit the small, shabby Noodle Shop around the corner of his apartment. He hated guessing.

To: Nini (16:39)
No

He could feel Jongin rolling his eyes.

From: Nini (16:40)
You're no fun.
Well, I guess since your somehow my best friend I'll tell you first..

Fuck Jongin for forcing suspense, but Kyungsoo had an idea what it would be.
He decided to just call him.
Jongin picked up fast after it rang just one time.
"Now tell me", Kyungsoo demanded.
Jongin was laughing his typical laugh at the other side of the line.
"Well, you remember what I told you and I don't know. In the first place I told you there is nothing to talk about but now, I don't know how it kinda.." "For fucks sake Nini, just tell him", there was another voice in the background. Kyungsoo recognised the voice.
"Now you ruined it!", Jongin whined.
He heard Sehun laugh in the background. "Sorry"
Kyungsoo couldn't help but smile.
"I get it. Congratulations you idiot"
"I'll tell the others on Thursday. Just wanted you to know first. It's official and stuff", he could hear Jongin smile while talking.
"Okay see you Soo, just wanted to inform you. I need to do stuff" "I'm stuff!" "Can you please behave like a normal human being one ti.." Default tone.
Kyungsoo was shaking his head, still smiling. At least two of his friends were happy right now.

Kyungsoo was laying on his bed, restless. He wanted to do something, but didn't know what. Looking at his phone, he found no messages. He opened his social media apps and just saw the same content he saw five minutes ago when he last looked at them. He felt out of place, useless, his whole existence just a burden.
Don't be so overdramatic, he thought, but it didn't help.
He tried to be sad for Junmyeun, happy for Jongin, he tried so hard to care but.. nothing. There was no way he could talk to anybody about it. What should he say?
"Hey I have this problem that I don't care about you at all?" Sounds bad.
Not long ago one of his highschool friends was struggling because two of his close family members died and everyone was so supportive, but Kyungsoo just couldn't. As hard as he tried to emphasize or act like he cared, he failed. What he ate for lunch was more interesting to him.
It was not that he was an asshole, he just couldn't make himself into it.
What the hell is wrong with me, he thought, looking at the ceiling. He felt alone but the sole thought about company made him nearly vomit.
Why won't you make up your mind?, he asked himself. Uneasy he turned around in his bed.
,What's the purpose?'
,And why do you ask so much?'
His inner monologue was a mess.
Craving for hands to pull him up, but refusing help just as much as he didn't wanted to accept that he was even down.
At one time he was so sure that everyone hates him and sure, they had every right because he himself thought of himself as not much more than a piece of shit.
The other time he wanted to break down crying, begging for sympathy, telling the world and himself that they shouldn't be so hard to him.
His mood swings were driving him crazy.
Slowly he opened his drawer, took his medication, threw his rolling supplies on the table and decided to watch some stupid show while getting high.
Actually he should be proud himself. The count of social interactions last week was higher than the whole last month.

Thursday came fast without Kyungsoo doing anything special other than his usual routine. He had been out buying groceries and cooking, which might have been the highlight of the week.
Junmyeun had made sure that Kyungsoo would come to Da Nino, but other than that he hadn't written anything, which worried him a bit.
He was walking thought the parking lot, a little late as always. It was raining today, so they would be seated inside.
Everyone was already sitting at their table in the corner, Minseok was behind the bar talking to someone.
Kyungsoo approached the table, when "Kyungsoo?" an unfamiliar voice called his name. Kind of familiar, but he couldn't remember how.
He turned around just to look into those pretty eyes he had almost forgotten.
What he had also forgotten was how tall and how cute the guy had been.
But what did he want here?
"Yes..?
Out of the corner of his eyes he could see his friends watching them interested. He wanted to die.
The boy was looking at him closely and the whole situation was weird as hell.
Minseok decided to speak, Kyungsoo needed to remember to bake him a cake or something for that.
"I told Chanyeol you would be here"
Okay, Chanyeol. He had a name. Good.
"Right, I wanted to give you your clothes back", he handed Kyungsoo a back which contained his leather jacket and shirt.
He heard voices at the table and decided to kill them later. He knew how this looked like.
"I thought since they are quite expensive you would want them back and I'm sorry for ruining them in the first place", Chanyeol was running his hand through his hair and smiled shyly, a little embarrassed.
"And I'm sorry that Baekhyun put eyeliner on you"
"What?", Sehun said bursting out laughing.
Kyungsoo really wanted to die.
Just ignore them.
"I don't have your pullover.."
Chanyeol laughed.
"How could you, you didn't know I was coming"
Again Minseok spoke, a true livesaver.
"Yeol, do you want to eat with us?" Kyungsoo took it back, Minseok was an asshole.
Thank God Chanyeol was shaking his head.
"I need to get going, Baekhyun is waiting"
At this Kyungsoo heard steps behind him.
"Squishy!" The red haired guy from the fateful evening was slinging his arm around Kyungsoos shoulder. "Long time no see"
"Did you just call me Squishy?" He didn't even know what was happening anymore.
"Baek, we need to go. And you're making him uncomfortable", Chanyeol was pulling Baekhyun away.
"Oh he wasn't uncomfortable the other evening", Baekhyun grinned and let himself get dragged out of the restaurant.
"What the hell just happened?", Tao asked and Kyungsoo was now standing alone at the bar, confused and embarrassed to death.
"He didn't look Chinese", Junmyeun said as Kyungsoo turned around and sat down at the table.
"Why Chinese?", he asked.
"Didn't you say the guy was Chinese?"
Ah Kyungsoo got what he meant.
"No that was someone else"
Sehun looked at him with an open mouth.
"Hoe Kyungsoo is at his peak again?"
Kyungsoo was burying his head inside his hands.
"Please explain", Jongin said and everyone was leaning towards Kyungsoo, waiting.
Why did the universe hate him?

Chapter Text

There were a lot of times when Kyungsoo wished that homicide was legal, but this moment would be on top of his list.
As always, alcohol has been his best friend, other than those human beings gathering around him trying to get every single detail and just being plain assholes.
They were all pretty tipsy and having fun, except for Kyungsoo. (Actually he was having fun he just wished the topic would move on from his private life, especially last weekend). He chugged his whiskey.
"Can we now talk about Sehun und Jongin please", he suggested, alcohol induced whining.
"No", Sehun said, grinning, wine glass in one hand, leaned back and crossed his legs. This fucker was even stylish when being an asshole.
"I agree, this is way more interesting", Tao said.
"I need a cigarette", Kyungsoo said and stood up.
"I'm coming with you", Junmyeun stood up as well.
Kyungsoo could see Minseoks expression clearly. Junmyeun never smoked, only when he was under huge stress.
Outside the rain wasn't as hard anymore and the two of them stood under the small canopy next to the terrace.
Wordless Kyungsoo handed his friend a cigarette and lit both of them.
"They met again. On Wednesday"
He looked clearly worn out.
"I think you might overanalyze this. Did you talk to him?"
Junmyeun exhaled.
"I don't know how to bring up the topic"
"Well now he knows for sure that something is wrong"
"I guess"
They smoke in silence for a while.
"So what's the deal with Chanyeol and Baekhyun?", he asked after a while.
"Nothing. I don't remember anything..I met them at a party and played drinking games with them. Do you know them?"
"Briefly. I'm not so much involved with Minseoks friends" He shrugged and flipped his cigarette butt on the terrace.
"Seokjin will kill you"
"I don't care", Junmyeun said as he turned around and walked back inside.
This was not good. At all.

"Is this becoming a tradition now?", Kris said, leaning back and inhaling. "Thursday evening, you being drunk and complaining about your friends?"
Kyungsoo rolled around on the floor, giggling.
"I am" he tried to lean on his elbow but fell on his stomach.
"Not complaining! I'm just..uhm worried"
"Your so cute", Kris was grinning.
"I'm not cute", he said pouting.
"Nyaaaaw"
This time he succeeded at sitting up.
"I just hate seeing him like this"
Kris was sipping on his coke.
"Fair enough. Your cellphone is doing things"
Kyungsoo groaned and robbed towards it. He had no interest in answering but after today he needed to be on alert I'm case Junmyeun was writing.
He looked at the screen, surprised.
Anonymous, but he opened the message.

From: Anonymous (01:43)
Sorry I was in a rush

Kyungsoo blinked slowly. His brain was not able to work with that information.

To: Anonymous (01:44)
Who are you?

Suddenly his door bell rang. His door bell never rang. Nobody would dare to visit him at his apartment uninvited. And especially not at this time.
Kyungsoo tossed his phone away, stood up carefully and gave Kris a scared look.
It rang again.
"If it's the police I'm jumping out of that window"
"Did anyone follow you??"
"Fuck no" Kris was whispering violently. "I'm no goddamn amateur"
"I won't open"
None of them said a thing, the tension was real.
The hard knocking on the door ripped the silence apart. Kyungsoos heart skipped a beat. He didn't know what to do if there was actually police coming. Slowly, silently he started walking away from the door. Maybe if he..
"DO FUCKING KYUNGSOO"
Junmyeun.
"YOUR LIGHT IS ON AND YOUR SHITTY ASS MUSIC'S PLAYING. I KNOW YOU ARE HOME"
More violent knocking. Kyungsoo was more than relieved but at the same time scared as hell. What was Junmyeun doing here? What would he say if he saw the mess inside?
"Please Soo..Open"
Within milliseconds Kyungsoo was at the door, just throwing his personal anxieties away because he heard his friends voice, he needed him.
He opened the door and saw Junmyeun leaning against the frame, he smelled like alcohol, was breathing heavily and generally looked like shit.
Kyungsoo hadn't even known that that was possible.
His friend smiled, obviously drunk as fuck.
In his hand he carried two bottles of wine.
"Want to get fucked up?"
Kyungsoo stepped aside and eyed him worried.
Junmyeun swayed inside, uneasy on his feet and let himself fall on the couch next to Kris. He opened the bottle and was about to drink when he realised that there was someone sitting next to him. Junmyeun with his wine bottle and Kris with the joint looking at each other in deep confusion was an absurd moment Kyungsoo would never forget. It was like two worlds of his were crashing together and even if they were completely different the dynamic they had in that moment was the same.
"And you are...?" Junmyeun asked, tilting his head.
"Kris and you are?"
Junmyeun gave Kyungsoo The Eyebrow.
"You're Chinese?"
Kris nodded even more confused.
Junmyeun looked at Kyungsoo with the most self satisfied look ever.
"Not bad"
Kyungsoo seated himself next to the sofa and Junmyeun handed him the bottle.
He took a sip. It was expensive wine, of course if Junmyeun brought it.
But still Kyungsoo was uneasy, the whole situation was not his favourite.
His joint was laying in front of him, but he hesitated to light it.
"Fuck Kyungsoo I don't care. I guessed already that you're on this shit again"
Kyungsoo lit up the tip and looked apologetic at Kris, he could only guess how uncomfortable he must feel.
Junmyeun handed the bottle to Kris im silence, like it was the most normal thing in the world, who gladly accepted.
"I feel like middle school again", Kris said and Junmyeun laughed.
"Minus the drugs maybe"
Kyungsoo looked at Junmyeun urging, maybe he actually wanted to explain why he was here, at night, totally wasted.
"I don't want to talk about it" Very subtle. "And I think you don't want to talk about why your apartment looks like a fucking warzone"
So they didn't talk. The conversations they had were inconsequential and light. Just talking about this and that. Kris and Junmyeun switching who was allowed to play songs and complaining about the others choice.
Probably exactly the distraction that Junmyeun was looking for.
After one and a half bottles Kyungsoos vision was more than blurry and Kris said goodbye, clearly tipsy too, but a friend was picking him up.
Junmyeun was dragging himself into the bed.
"Are you forcing me to sleep on the couch?", Kyungsoo asked, being responsible and getting two bottles of water from the kitchen because he knew they would appreciate it tomorrow.
Without waiting for an answer Kyungsoo made himself comfortable next to his friend. It was never weird between them something Kyungsoo was grateful for.
Junmyeun was pulling him closer and layed his head on Kyungsoos chest.
It was rare skinship between them but they were both drunk and felt like shit. It felt good to have a friend by your side.
"You know", Junmyeun started suddenly, both of them looking at the ceiling.
"I just feel left out. I feel like everyone is distancing themselves from me. It's not like I really think that Minseok is cheating, I just have the feeling he is hiding something or there is something he can't talk about with me. That hurts. I thought I made it clear that I'll be there for him always"
Kyungsoo didn't said anything, he didn't know what and he was afraid of what would follow. Of course his fear was confirmed.
"Why are you not talking to me Soo? I feel so helpless, I want to know what's going on. Nobody asked when you disappeared, because we thought you would talk when you're ready. But you never did. Do you think I'm blind? I just want to help you, but after a while I feel like giving up on asking questions. You're isolating, don't even deny it, and I know I can't force you, but please Soo, talk to me"
Junmyeuns grip tightened around him and he felt how his friends voice was shaking.
Kyungsoo wanted to talk, so badly, but didn't know how. He didn't want that Junmyeun was feeling bad, he was cursing himself for hurting him.
"I'm sorry. I wished I was someone better"
Junmyeun let out a long breath.
"You are better than you think"
A small tear was rolling down Kyungsoos cheek.
Reality hit hard sometimes. The reality that his friends struggled too. That the happiest couple he knew was having problems too. That people actually cared about him.
Junmyeun breathing calmed, he seemed to have fallen asleep, but Kyungsoo couldn't. He laid awake for a long time, staring into the nothingness and darkness of his room, but never daring to let go of the embrace of his friend. 

Why did it become such a common thing to wake up to the disgusting noise of a ringing phone? Especially when hungover.
Junmyeun was groaning and searching for his phone.
"..llo", he grumbled half asleep.
Kyungsoos hungover induced sensitive ears could hear the voice through the line. It wasn't hard anyways, how loud Minseok was speaking.
"Where the hell are you? You just disappeared yesterday, completely drunk. And I wake up just to see you're gone? And just ignoring my messages?"
"At Kyungsoos", Junmyeun rubbed his eyes to wake him up.
"Sorry Honey, I was asleep"
Now the voice was quieter and Kyungsoo couldn't understand anymore of what he was saying, just Junmyeuns part of the conversation.
"No...yes..yes..it's okay..of course..okay, see you in a bit"
His voice was changed now, soft and caring.
After hanging up he sat up with a lot of complaints.
Kyungsoo was handing him the water bottles he prepared the night before.
"I'm sorry about yesterday Soo. I don't know what the hell was happening with me"
Kyungsoo was shaking his head.
Junmyeun was slowly crawling out of the bed, while Kyungsoo made no attempts to move at all.
Wasted energy.
"He's picking me up now"
"Good, take care, _honey_"
"Fuck you"
With that Junmyeun was out the door, as fast as he came in yesterday.
Kyungsoo looked at his phone to check the time.
9:50, middle of the night for Kyungsoo.
But another message from anonymous.

From: Anonymous (9:12)
I think the name you were referring me to was, when I remember correctly, pretty eyes

So much disrespect so early in the morning. Cocky bastard.
Kyungsoo let out a distressed noise, his fear that he would actually call Chanyeol that came true.
He saved the number, but that he somehow didn't know his last name bothered him. So he decided to completely ignore the last message for his own sake.

To: Chanyeol (9:53)
How did you get this number?

From: Chanyeol (9:54)
You gave me, remember?

Kyungsoos breath stopped. Drunk him was an asshole.

From: Chanyeol (9:55)
Lol, just kidding. I asked Minseok for it

Wow that was direct.

To: Chanyeol (9:56)
May I ask why?

From: Chanyeol (9:56)
I'm kinda attached to my pullover you know.
Haha what reason were you thinking?

Yes, now Kyungsoo felt kind of stupid, but he was used to it.

To: Chanyeol (9:57)
Of course. We can figure out something later, definitely too early. I go back to sleep.

He tossed his phone away and buried his head in the pillows again.

When Kyungsoo woke up again it was 15:09 and he was craving cake.
He felt way better than a few hours before.

From: Chanyeol (9:57)
Nooo, university is so boring it's killing me

What a looser.
After his shower he decided it was definitely time for doing laundry again, so he picked up bits and pieces all around his apartment and stuffed everything along with Chanyeols pullover into a bag. He couldn't afford a washing machine so he had to go to the laundry service down the street. It was troublesome and annoyed him every time, but at this point it was unavoidable.
While his clothes were washing he could get something sweet to eat to satisfy his munchies.
Swinging his laundry bag on his back he left his apartment.
Today it was nice and windy, not too cold, not too hot, while the streets where quite. Everyone was working, at school or university at this time and the laundry shop was not busy, which Kyungsoo was thankful for.
He put everything inside the washing machine, selected the program for washing and drying, inserted the money and left again.
Head in the clouds he walked through the small alleys, not exactly sure where he was actually heading. There were quite a few bakeries around, but Kyungsoo needed a disgusting amount of sugar.
Seokjins cake was amazing, but he didn't want to go anywhere near Da Nino while the Junmyeun/Minseok drama was on.
A Hong Kong waffle shop appeared next to him and he didn't dare to ignore that sign.
Treating himself to a waffle he sat down at the small table in front of the shop, feeling oddly relaxed.
He decided today would be a day for Softdrinks and video games on his own.
Too many interactions the last days.
His phone buzzed, Chanyeol.
What was this guy?

From: Chanyeol (16:19)
Do you remember when you complimented my hair?

To: Chanyeol (16:20)
I don't know if you're shitting me or not

From: Chanyeol (16:20)
I would never!

To: Chanyeol (16:21)
Don't you have university stuff to do?

Kyungsoo really didn't get that guy. Before he himself would ever message anyone he had only met twice, talking about random topics, pig would learn how to fly.

From: Chanyeol (16:25)
Hey! I'm successfully procrastinating and ignoring my academic responsibilities right now. Don't be like that

From: Chanyeol (16:25)
I just wanted to inform you I redyed my hair since you where so fascinated by it

From: Chanyeol (16:25)
It's shining in new silver glory.
Wait, I'll send you a picture

Triple texting.. amazing.
Kyungsoo really didn't get that guy.
He looked at the next message which contained a selca.
Unable to stop himself Kyungsoo was smiling.
What the hell was this picture anyways?
What a looser, he thought. A looser with indeed really really pretty eyes.

From: Chanyeol (16:26)

Selca

Chapter Text

Chanyeols texting didn't stop, even if he insisted that he had a lot of stuff to do for university. He was always cheerful and talked about the most stupid stuff and Kyungsoo found enjoyment in it. It was a nice distraction from everything else.
He would send him stupid snow videos or selcas when he was supposed to study and the trivial topics they talked about were truly entertaining.
What worried Kyungsoo was the silence around Junmyeun, so he decided on his own to contact his friend at Tuesday.
To his surprise he didn't pick up the phone which was really unusual.
Discomfort spread in his body, so he tried again after half an hour switching through his playlist.
No answer.
Even if he didn't intended at first to do so, he decided to call Minseok.
No answer.
Fuck.
Kyungsoo stopped mid-thought and realised something.
So this is how his friends must feel when he didn't pick up. He really was an asshole but he forced himself to calm down.
It's only half an hour, calm down, he thought.
The day dragged itself. Kyungsoo spend his time with nothingness, casually calling Junmyeun every two hours.
At 8 in the evening he was fed up, called Minseok one last time, no answer, and decided to go to Da Nino himself.
It was closer than Junmyeuns apartment and he kind of wanted to talk with Minseok before judging him the way he already did. He was sure there was an easy explanation for everything, but he couldn't help but overthink. From what he knew Minseok was hurting his friend and even if he really didn't want to get involved in anything, and maybe he was a little selfish here, he needed to calm himself down.
Downing his medication he took his wallet, his phone and headphones and left the apartment.
It was quiet a walk to Da Nino but he wanted to walk around, listening to music and block out everything for a while.
This habit of excessive listening to music and walking around was not the healthiest but better than his daily marijuana consum.
They had called it isolating, maladaptive daydreaming when he did it for hours and neglecting everything else because it was safe.
In his last job he was late for a few times because when he was walking there he didn't wanted to stop and walked for ten minutes more before he felt ready to interact with people for money.
In the end they actually fired him, because he was too tired, too grumpy, not socialising enough to work at a bar. He never had understood why he should interact with costumers the way his boss wanted, because when people came they wanted to eat or drink, why should he bother them?
'This is maybe your mindset, and if your personality is like this, then we are sorry', she had said.
Fuck, she didn't see how much he was trying actually, but on the other hand he understood, because business is business and there nobody cared about him having a hard time.
His phone buzzed and he practically ripped it from his pocket, just to see it was Chanyeol.
Kyungsoo put the phone back in his pocket, this was not his interest right now.
He passed several streets, not noticing anything, just absorbing the music and it felt he was just waking for 10 minutes that he reached the well known place.
Tempted to walk another round around the blog, he reminded himself why he was here.
And suddenly he felt not so sure anymore why exactly he was there. What did the plan to do?
Bother Minseok in the middle of his work to ask about Junmyeun?
What was he going to say?
He felt helpless and weird.
Confrontation was not his way and with Minseok the least.
Of course he knew him but not the best out of all.
Before he could make up his mind there was Seokjin outside the restaurant, old cartons in his arms to throw into the trashcan. Seokjin recognised him and tried to wave, making the cartons fall to the ground.
Kyungsoo jogged closer to him to help him pick up the paper.
"Thank you, Kyungsoo. What are you doing here? Longing for my food?", he winked softly at Kyungsoo.
"Actually I was looking for Minseok", he admitted.
"Too bad", Seokjin said with a sight. "He is inside and off shift. Perfect timing"
More confident Kyungsoo stepped into the terrace area. At least he wouldn't bother Minseok while working.
At one table were a few people that looked kind of familiar to him, but he couldn't recall where he had seen them and didn't want to stare to make sure.
But exactly from that table he heard Minseoks voice calling his name.
Trying to actually avoid social interaction with anyone except for Minseok when coming here, Kyungsoo made a face and turned around.
He looked a little out of place, with his messy, outgrown red hair, sweatpants and lazy black t-shirt. And he just realized when Minseok was eyeing his fashion choices.
Coming to Da Nino immediately seemed like a bad idea when he recognised the people at the table.
The one guy he forgot the name but was undoubtedly on his infamous drunk picture, the other Chinese guy he talked to when he was actually kind of sober (Luhan? Was that his name?) and of fucking course Chanyeol.
Of course he had to meet those people when the looked like the biggest stoner walking around in Seoul with bags under his eyes that screamed insomnia from ten kilometres distance.
"What are you doing here Kyungsoo?", Minseok asked and Kyungsoo was kind of pissed seeing them chatting, which meant Minseok had no fucking reason to not answer his calls.
"Have you seen Junmyeun?", Kyungsoo asked straight forward. He was way too annoyed to be polite right now.
Minseok frowned. He knew something was off.
"Before I left he told me he wanted to go shopping with Tao today"
Kyungsoo was biting his lip, he didn't know why this huge anger was spreading in his stomach right now. He felt kind of..betrayed? He couldn't quite make out what was going on but he felt that rage again, that rage that brought him to punching his walls because he felt pathetic.
His fingernails were drilling into his palms and he knew he needed to get out before he said something he would regret, because he already knew he would regret every single second of this.
He shouldn't do this in front of people he really.."is there a reason why you were ignoring my calls?" Kyungsoo asked before he could control himself. His tone was sour and bitter, much more than he had intended. Mentally he slapped himself for it.
And of course Minseok was not having it. His brows indicated just a bit of the anger his eyes showed.
Chanyeols big eyes were switching confused from one to another and he heard the other guy whisper to Luhan a quiet "What the fuck is going on?", who was just shrugging.
"Kyungsoo. A word. Outside" Minseok hissed and he was truly intimidating even if his height was around the same as Kyungsoos.
They both stepped outside and as soon as they were a few metres from the restaurant away, around the corner, Minseok turned around, fury in his eyes that Kyungsoo had not seen often.
"What the hell was that?!" He was not really raising his voice, but the tone was strong and furious.
"The whole fucking day I try to call you and Junmyeun, worried to death and I find you casually chilling with your friends while Junmyeun is shopping?"
"Am I in any way obligated to answer you? And I was busy."
"Busy?"
"Yes Kyungsoo, some people are busy, imagine that. Doing something different that getting high all day and indulging in their self pity"
It may been the aggression flaming inside of him but it was this moment that he knew he shouldn't but he was pissed and started to laugh, because weirdly it was what he did when he was hurt and angry.
Stop Kyungsoo, right here, a voice inside him was begging him.
"Busy with one of your 'meetings'?", he said voice drenched in venomous sarcasm, while he was tilting his head.
If Minseok wasn't shouting before, now he clearly was.
"This is none of your fucking business! What the hell do you even know?!"
"I know that your boyfriend came to my apartment, wasted as fuck, because this was all he could think about", spat Kyungsoo.
"And who told you to get involved with that?"
"I was worried!!", Kyungsoo couldn't understand what was so hard to understand about this.
Minseok laughed, it was ugly.
"Now..NOW you are suddenly worried after all this time? How many times did I have to assure Junmyeun that you are alright after you didn't call or text back for weeks? How many times have I seen Junmyeun and fuck even Jongin worried after our meetings when you looked like shit again, without telling ANYONE what is wrong? You can be happy that they are still kind of naive"
Kyungsoo was taken aback.
"What do you mean?"
Again Minseok laughed, this time in disbelief and he shook his head.
"Do you think you're so unobtrusive? Your hands shaking, your fucking massive amount of wine you always drink while we are here, your blackout drinking every time you go out, not being able to be clean for one fucking day and wearing long sleeve sweaters in summer? Should I go on?
But you don't care, don't you? You don't care if others are worried? If others have a hard time? You start to care when it's about you.
I have news: the world is not spinning around you Do Kyungsoo.
And now fuck off"
He didn't even looked at Kyungsoo when he turned around and walked back in.
All Kyungsoo could do was looking at his shoes, trying to process what just happened, but he just felt numb, unable to think about anything else than repeating in his head over and over again: don't cry. don't cry in the fucking parking lot. Don't cry.
He couldn't help it, he pinched his eyes together as hard as possible but it didn't help.
Right when he was on his peak to break out being a sobbing mess he felt a hand on his shoulder.
He winced and looked up, looking miserable as hell right now.
Chanyeol smiled at him, soft.
"Don't cry"
If there would be a cliff near, Kyungsoo wouldn't hesitate to jump immediately.
But weirdly he was thankful, he felt calmer, still silently sobbing, but trying to suppress them.
"Let's take a walk" Chanyeol said, pulling him on his wrist away from the parking lot. Without any word or complaints Kyungsoo let himself get softly drag through the streets. Wordless they walked, Chanyeol leading, while avoiding big streets and crowded areas, which Kyungsoo was thankful for.
After a few minutes they reached a small park and just now Chanyeol was letting go of Kyungsoos wrist, which the latter didn't even notice was still being held.
Now they were slowly walking next to each other. Kyungsoo didn't want to look at Chanyeol, he felt awfully ashamed of himself and probably looked like shit.
"Do you..", Chanyeol apparently didn't feel very confident too, running his fingers through his hair. "Do you want to talk?"
He looked at Kyungsoo kind of expecting something, with a weird dorky half smile and Kyungsoo couldn't as laugh.
"Are you actually laughing at me?", Chanyeol asked shocked.
Kyungsoo just shook his head.
"I just wanted to get you away from there. Jongdae was afraid he would kill you"
Kyungsoos face got serious again.
"I bet he wished he could", spat Kyungsoo.
"Woaah there. I don't know what is going on, but didn't you two get a little overboard?"
"Nevermind" Kyungsoo really didn't want to talk about it, he really didn't want to have Minseoks words again in his thoughts, because deep down he knows it was true, everything was true.
He was a selfish fucker who didn't deserve the support of his friends. It would be the best if he had just.."Hey", Chanyeol was poking his arm.
"Don't think about it now, okay?"
After a while of walking in quiet again Chanyeol looked up.
"Do you know I failed my pre-exam today?"
Kyungsoo looked at him.
"No, what happened?"
Chanyeol was laughing.
"I'm so messy. I couldn't get shit done. I'm the master of procrastinating"
Kyungsoo shook his head.
"You haven't seen me"
"What are you studying tho?"
Kyungsoo stopped walking. Why would every topic trigger him so feel his self hatred again?
"I'm not"
Maybe Chanyeol sensed that this was a sensitive topic and changed immediately.
"Have you eaten? I'm starving"
Again, Kyungsoo shook his head and Chanyeol smiled. When wasn't he honestly?
"Good! Mind if I choose?"
Shaking his head was Kyungsoos favorite gesture tonight.
They turned left at a small path in the park.
"Do you know what I love about evenings, especially this season? The sunsets. Everything cools down and the lights in the city seem so soft and the sky turn into one hell of a mess if colours"
"Like an old oil painting", Kyungsoo whispered and Chanyeol turned to him.
"Yea kind of", Chanyeols smile was warm and not fake in any means.
"I always wanted to paint a sunset at one point. The landscape seems so vulnerable at this point"
"Why didn't you then?"
Kyungsoo looked at him in confusion.
"Because I suck at drawing"
"So what?"
More confusion.
"Are you for real?"
Chanyeol laughed. "Of course. Just because you suck at it shouldn't mean not to do it"
Kyungsoo made a face.
"That's a weird way of thinking. Why are you laughing?"
Chanyeol was clapping like a seal.
"Is there anything you don't suck at?"
"No", Kyungsoo said straight out with a serious face and at this point Chanyeol just lost it.
"Are you high?" Kyungsoo was actually considering it at this point.
The boy next to him was shaking his laughter off, looked at him and tilted his head.
"Nah, you're just cute"
Kyungsoo rolled his eyes.
"Thank you for mocking me"
"Always" Chanyeol said and winked at him, Kyungsoo just snorted.
After a while they reached a small shop that looked rather fancy, in a small street corner.
Kyungsoo frowned, he definitely didn't have money for Da Nino, and even less for whatever this place was serving.
"Uhm", Kyungsoo was about to voice his concerns when Chanyeol stepped inside confidently and asked for a table. Another place where he felt out of place with his casual drug addict look. His red eyes from crying sure didn't help.
Luckily the tables where seperated and allowed a lot of privacy, which was a bright side, but on the other hand Kyungsoo felt weird to share such a space with Chanyeol. And the price, ugh.
They took a seat and the waiter brought the menu.
Looking at the prices he almost chocked, he had to blink a few times to assure himself that those where real numbers.
Why were all people around him rich as fuck?
Chanyeol didn't even look at the menu.
Again, just as he was about to speak Chanyeol cut him.
"Kyungsoo do you like Galbi?"
"Yes, but.."
"Great!", he clapped his hands together and of course in this moment a waiter was passing by.
"The usual, two times, please"
The waiter smiled politely, Chanyeol took the menu out of Kyungsoos hands and gave it to the waiter.
What a fucking dick move. Now he actually had to pay this insane amount of money for a bunch of bloddy ribs.
He could order pizza for one week off this money.
"Oh god you should see your face now", Chanyeol said and grinned.
"Don't worry, I'm paying. I feel obligated after literally scraping you crying from a parking lot"
"This is not the definition of 'literally'"
"You were still crying in a parking lot"
Chanyeol leaned back and just looked at him grinning.
"Are you always such an asshole?"
"Usually"
Kyungsoo leaned back too. The situation was weird. He felt like he had to be cautious and it bugged him that Chanyeol had seen him in an emotional vulnerable state.
Also he was too cocky and laughed way too much, it was unusual, even if he had good training with Sehun and Junmyeun, this was different.
"I'll pay you back", Kyungsoo said after a while because he still had some kind of pride left.
"You still owe me my sweater. I'll accept this as payment"
"Fine, if you want to spend an insane amount of money on a weird person you've met like two times, looks like a drug addict and who you picked up in a fucking parking lot. Fine. Go ahead"
"I want to", Chanyeol said, not laughting this time and he looking straight into his eyes.
"Are you admiring my pretty eyes?"
Kyungsoo moved his head so fast it almost gave him whiplash.
"Fucking asshole", he mumbled under his breath and was relieved when the waiter brought the food.
To be honest, it was amazing. Once more he was happy for having wealthy people surrounding him, because sometimes he forgot how delicious actually good food could be. This kind of made him want to cook again. He was just drawn into the taste and enjoyed every bite of it.
"Fuck delivery pizza", he said to himself and just heard Chanyeol chuckle from across the table, but was too focused in eating to pay it any further attention.
After they finished the food, they just talked. Well, mostly Kyungsoo was asking questions here and there and listening to Chanyeol talk. He enjoyed listening and not talking about himself, or even think about himself.
Despite claiming to be lazy and messy, Chanyeol appeared to be one of the most ambitious persons Kyungsoo had ever talked to. He had visions where he wanted to go, he worked hard to get better at a lot of fields, playing an amazing amount of instruments and having a great knowledge about a lot of topics. Sure, his attitude was cocky and he seemed arrogant something, but Kyungsoo could fastly see that this was just his way and not really serious. It made Kyungsoo feel good to see that people followed their ambitions and he was kind of (in reality he was really, really) jealous of Chanyeols spirit. But it was so nice to listen to a person talk about their passion, talking about every aspect of it and seeing how they were speaking with their heart, their eyes glowing, gesturing wildly.
Kyungsoo missed that with himself. He missed his passion, his ambition, his will to go through something, to get better at something. He wanted to want something again. To archive something again.
At some point Chanyeol was talking about his childhood and mentioned he had a pet ferret.
"A fucking what?", Kyungsoo asked.
"A pet ferret" Chanyeol said, pouting a little. Apparently a lot of people thought it was weird.
Chanyeol looked at his phone, he rolled his eyes.
"Baekhyun will pick me up soon"
It would be a lie if Kyungsoo was not a little disappointed.
Chanyeol payed and they stepped out of the restaurant.
Kyungsoo looked at Chanyeol and he wanted to thank him somehow and just wanted to open his mouth, he heard a voice.
"Squishy!"
He would kill him.
Baekhyun came towards them, smiling and clinging immediately to Kyungsoo who more or less politely freed himself.
"Okay Kyungsoo, see you", Chanyeol said with a shy smile and then they were gone.
Kyungsoo stood there, confused.
That was too fast, and now he was alone. The warm feeling of conversation and people was waving off. Perplex he stared at the spot that was a few moments ago occupied by Chanyeol.
The whole situation now seemed unreal to him. What did just happened?

Chapter Text

Too much thinking was hurting his head.
Kyungsoo had expected to have another breakdown at home, when Minseoks words would hit him again and the ugly but true statements would cut into his thoughts but.. nothing. He was smoking on his bed, turning his phone around in circles, staring at it.
Just before he had opened a message from Chanyeol.

From: Chanyeol (23:01)
I don't mind spending an insane amount of money for something like that again. The crying before isn't obligatory tho

Kyungsoo took a drag and looked at the ceiling. What the hell was his deal? Why was he so damn nice?
It was creepy and Kyungsoo didn't know how to deal with it. There must be something behind it. Something was off. Nobody would willingly like to spend time with his pathetic ass, nobody would show interest in him like this guy did. Did he feel sorry for Kyungsoo? Was he so miserable that random strangers spend time with him?
He was fond of spending another evening with Chanyeol but didn't know if that idea would be a wise one. Getting attached to attention and then being thrown away. He couldn't handle rejection or failure or anything bad right now. But the point was, Chanyeol wasn't rejecting him, he was approaching him. Which was even more scary. What the hell was his deal? Kyungsoo wished he could ask anyone but unfortunately the only person who actually knew Chanyeol was Kim Min-fucking-seok who was the last person he would contact in the next decade. His next problem was the regular meeting which was in two days and he had no idea how he should attend it, without Minseok and him killing each other or him just feeling guilty as hell. He didn't want to see Minseok, he didn't want to think about what he had said, what he had said about Jongin and Junmyeun as well.
Fuck, of course when he was willing to talk nobody was around.
And that was exactly Minseoks point, and Kyungsoo was aware of that.
Just because he was willing and in the mood to talk now, he expected his friends to do so when they tried to talk to him for weeks and he rejected them.
He truly was an asshole.
An asshole that craved social interaction right now. Should he text Kris?
He wasn't really in the mood for that, but he was the only one available at this time.

To: Kris (23:29)
Are you free?

From: Kris (23:33)
Super busy, sorry Soo

Kyungsoo groaned and reconsidered. He didn't feel like going out and talk to strangers. He wanted to do.. something, but couldn't really say what. For a second he thought about texting Chanyeol but he wasn't that needy and he wanted to be sure about him first. Maybe he could try to play some video games. The last hundred tries ended after a few minutes when he remembered why he gave up on the game at exactly that spot and didn't have enough patience or will to continue.

When he next looked at his phone it was almost 5 in the morning.
Satisfied he opened the window, the humid air brushing against his face. During the night it had rained a bit, so the soft smell fluttered nto his nose and filled him with serenity. Annoyed by his hair, he tied it together and he was sure he looked ridiculous right now, but didn't care. Carefully he collected a glass of water from the kitchen, his half finished joint from the living room table and his phone and placed them next to the window. He connected his phone with his speakers and a relaxing, smooth song started to fill the room. Like a cat he tried to find a comfortable spot on the window sill. Kyungsoo leaned his head on the frame, lit the joint and looked outside. Without noticing he started humming to the song, tapping with his free hand the beat on to the frame of his window. The sky was almost as red as his hair and the clouds looked much thinner today. Not like plushy pillows, more like waves that tried to reach the sun, painted in wonderful colours.
In moments like this he felt infinite, not like he really existed. In moments like this he forgot everything that had happened and could say that he was for once truly happy. Because for him happiness was a state that someone could achieve only for a certain moment but not forever or even a long time. The state he wanted to reach for a long time was satisfaction. One day he wanted to look at his life and say he was satisfied where it was going. But right now, just for the moment, he was happy, even if he wasn't satisfied with his life.

To: Chanyeol (5:09)
I wouldn't mind too

Maybe he was needy, or maybe he convinced himself to take a chance with new people. Maybe he was ready to get out of his cage a little. Babysteps.

There are a lot of scenarios that Kyungsoo could think of that could lead up to this moment but nothing made sense. He didn't know why and how but now he was standing in front of the dormitories of the university with two bags in his hand and stepped inside. Too many young, ambitious looking people around him who seemed like they were making the right decisions. Too much talking about pseudo deep topics and people looking like they either hadn't showered for three weeks or spend way too much time thinking about they're looks. University was a living stereotype and Kyungsoo guessed that he would fit in just right. He was wandering around, searching for dorm '61' on the second floor.
When he stood in front of the door he sighed and thought one last time about if he wanted to be in a room with Baekhyun for the next few hours and why again he had agreed to this.
Kyungsoo knocked on the door. He often forgot how tall Chanyeol was and looked up to his face to see his dorky smile.
"You actually bought my pullover?", he said, looking at the bag in Kyungsoos hand.
"Aww now you have to make up a new reason to annoy him", said a voice from inside.
"Eat shit Jongdae", Chanyeol tried to kick his butt, but Jongdae was out of the dorm fast, not without winking in Kyungsoos direction who was already exhausted.
But Chanyeol was pulling him inside fast, not looking at him, appearing shy and Kyungsoo had to admit that for one second he had thought about 'forgetting' the pullover at home again.
Even if the dorm appeared to be like any other, Kyungsoo could see in the details that indeed both Baekhyun and Chanyeol were nothing near poor. They had plants standing in the corner of the spacey living room ("who the fuck has plants in university?" "Don't insult my plants! They have feelings too!" Apparently Byun Baekhyun had), expensive pcs were resting on a fine wood dining table, the flat screen was bigger than Kyungsoo himself, let alone probably cost more than his apartment. Kyungsoo rolled his eyes, he was so fed up and completely jealous of people his age having actual money.
"Squishy is here!", Baekhyun came out of one of the other rooms, wearing a loose, old t-shirt and sweatpants that had seen better days too. He seemed to be already prepared.
"Call me like this one last time and I'm burning your scalp", Kyungsoo said and placed the bags on the dining table in the living room.
Baekhyun made a pouty face and searched something in the kitchen.
In his bag were serval boxes of bleach Kyungsoo had bought before coming here. Chanyeol had asked him if he had any experience in dying hair, because Baekhyun wanted rose hair..now. Usually the two unnecessary wealthy students would go to a salon so Kyungsoo asked himself why they asked him to do it. He always coloured his hair himself, solely because he was to broke for a professional colourist. That was how he had learned it. When Chanyeol had asked if Kyungsoo was free today he had imagined doing something.. different, but this wasn't bad. He was leaving his apartment and interacting with people after all, even if it was exhausting. So he had gone to the hair supply shop (which was better than drug store) and bought bleach, brought his supplies he already had at home and had headed to the university.
"Thank you for coming", Chanyeol said, leaning against the table, watching Kyungsoo unpack his bag.
"I still don't know why, but sure"
He was just sorting his brushes when he saw out of the corner of his eye Chanyeol staring.
"But originally you promised food", Kyungsoo said, trying not to look at the boy watching his movements.
"So small and so demanding", Chanyeol laughed. "I like it"
"I'm kind of craving Ma jiang mian", Kyungsoo said, now trying his best to ignore the last comment Chanyeol made and how awfully wrong he thought about it.
"Perfect decision!", Baekhyun yelled out of the kitchen, entering the living room again.
"Kyungsoo I still got red hair colour, which seems like exactly the shade you have. Want to get rid of those roots?"
Kyungsoo shrugged. Why not? It was overdue anyways.

It must have been a picture made by gods. Baekhyuns hair was drenched in bleach and covered in foil, while he was sitting on the floor, back leaned on the couch, nibbling his noodles, eyes staring at the TV. Kyungsoos hair was tied together in a bun, the roots coloured with Baekhyuns remaining colour. He was sitting with his legs crossed on the couch, trying hard not to lean on the fabric and ruin it with his hair colour. Chanyeol next to him was practically inhaling his noodles while he was sitting in a weird position, somehow trying to store his awkwardly long legs.
At one point they had found out that they were all living for Brooklyn 99, so they decided to rewatch the first season while the colour was soaking in. Jongdae came by earlier just to steal a few noodles and left again. Kyungsoo had no idea what he was actually doing.
The noodles were another gift by god and Kyungsoo just wanted to let himself fall into the couch after being satisfied by his meal when he remembered the colour in his hair, so he struggled to keep his balance. Next to him Chanyeol almost chocked on his noodles because he was laughing so hard.
"My failures really do amuse you"
"You looked like a penguin", Chanyeol said with his mouth full of sesame paste noodles, trying to breathe.
"It's just uncomfortable", Kyungsoo countered grumpy.
"I agree", Chanyeol said and placed his noodle box next to the couch.
Kyungsoo was just focused on his noodles when suddenly he felt a massive weight in his lap and two big pretty eyes were looking at him from below.
"Better", Chanyeol grinned at him.
But Kyungsoo could just stare at him. He was so blunt it was amazing. Kyungsoo still didn't know if this was just a joke or he did this to mess with him. Apparently Chanyeol saw the thought behind Kyungsoos eyes and became unsure and shy.
"I..I'm sorry if it's uncomfortable, I can..", he was already struggling to get his head up again, but Kyungsoo just placed his index finger on his forehead and stopped him from moving. He shook his head.
"It's fine", he said and saw how Chanyeol visibly relaxed, smiled and him and turned his head to watch the show.
Kyungsoo tried to focus back on his noodles, which turned out pretty hard regarding the mob of messy silver hair in his lap breathing slowly.

"Kyungsoo you're amazing.. I look like cotton candy!" Baekhyun was combing through his hair happily, watching it in the mirror from every angle possible.
"I'm so CUTE", he shook his head, that it really looked like cotton candy swirling around in a machine.
Kyungsoos hair turned out good, nothing special, just the roots coloured again. He considered cutting it a bit, it was falling into his eyes consistently.
Baekhyun noticed him running his hands through his hair to keep it out of his face.
"You know the first time I met you? You had your hair pushed up and the additional eyeliner. So fierce, loved it. You looked less like this walking pile of squish" Baekhyun chuckled and Kyungsoo didn't know if he should take this as a compliment or not. He just looked into the mirror and tried to tame his hair somehow after washing out the dye.
Baekhyun was staring at him.
"What?"
Baekhyun looked at him with puppy eyes.
"Please let me do your hair and makeup"
Kyungsoo shook his head.
"I'm sober"
"We can change that"
"Please don't"
Baekhyun laughed and was searching something on his table, in-between a lot of makeup. Probably worth more than Kyungsoos phone. He didn't want to it admit it, but he liked being here. Baekhyun was tiring but an overall sweet person and Kyungsoo was stunned that he didn't feel off or left out in presence of those two, which was the case with most strangers.
And actually what would it hurt to polish his self-esteem a little?
"Okay", Kyungsoo said, placing himself on the small stool in front of the mirror.
"No shit?" Baekhyun looked at him with wide eyes that sparkled in excitement.
"Before I change my mind!"
"Okokok..." Baekhyun was collecting a few things to start off with the hair and started running his fingers and some product through Kyungsoos hair.
It was weird having a stranger touching him. Kyungsoo had erased Chanyeols description of 'stranger' in his head but Baekhyun certainly was. But those two were a mystery for Kyungsoo. They seemed to be happy and careless all the time, seemed like they actually enjoyed what they were doing and who they were. And even if this was such an easy concept, it was so strange to Kyungsoo. His group of friends seemed so real and fucked up compared to the lightness he already felt that evening at the party with those people. That didn't mean that he didn't love his friends, but he wondered what Chanyeol and Baekhyun told their friends on drunk evenings. He wondered if they screamed at each other. He wondered: "Baekhyun are you satisfied with your life?" Kyungsoo asked without thinking again.
Obviously thrown off by the question Baekhyun stopped combing Kyungsoos hair and looked at him in the mirror. He thought for a second and continued his task.
"Satisfaction is such a strong word. But yes, I would guess I am"
"Why?"
"Why shouldn't I?"
Kyungsoo thought about this for a second.
Baekhyun brushed the hair and talked without looking up.
"I just learned that it makes no sense to worry. We could worry about so much, but would it change something? No, I guess not. At some point I fell. And after standing up I decided that there is no room for senseless worrying in my life. Accepting a situation and making the best out of it is much harder than seeing the bad in it, but I guess I chose for me that it was worth it"
Kyungsoo watched the petite boy with the cotton candy rosé hair working mindless and silent on his hair. After all, he thought, nobody is innocent. And nobody is completely guilty. Nobody knew what horrors could hide behind that sweet smile or what kindness could be hidden behind tired eyes that looked back at Kyungsoo when he looked into the mirror.
"You know Kyungsoo, about Chanyeol..", Baekhyun started but immediately stopped when the two could hear the deep voice coming from the door.
"What about me?", Chanyeol asked smiling innocently. Kyungsoo asked himself how much he heard. He was really afraid that Chanyeol would think of him as this wreck of nerves, which of course he actually was. But there was no need for everyone to know.
"Nothing, you're an idiot. But look at Kyungsoo!" Baekhyun stepped back, looking at his creation and Kyungsoo had to admit, it looked better than when he did it. And it overall made him look different, but he knew he was too lazy to do this look on a regular basis.
"Ugh, my hands are all greasy from the products. I'll wash them before I'll do the makeup. Kyungsoo you can already look through it and see if there is a colour you like"
Baekhyun left the room, not without trying to rub his hands on Chanyeols sweater who more or less filigrane dodged.
While Kyungsoo was looking at the different tubes, boxes and brushes on the table he heard a weird noise behind him.
Chanyeol was standing there, smiling like an idiot at his phone. When he noticed Kyungsoo looking at him, he turned embarrassingly pink.
"Just took a picture for our group chat. Because you're Baekhyuns new victim", he said with a laughter that was supposed to cover his embarrassment. Time for the Junmyeun eyebrow from Kyungsoos side.
"Don't get me wrong but I'm not really presented nicely in that group chat", he said and turned his focus back on the brush in his hand.
"Do you care?", Chanyeol asked carefully.
Kyungsoo laughed. It was almost cute how tough Chanyeol tried to be, when he turned into his puppy self one second after.
"I couldn't care less"
"What a pity, because you look cute in that picture", Chanyeol said with a grin.
"Show me", Kyungsoo demanded.
Chanyeol stretched his arm upwards and gave Kyungsoo a cocky look.
"If you can reach it"
"Baekhyun is right, you're a fucking idiot"

 

From: Minseok (21:00)
We need to talk

If there was any doubt left that Kyungsoo didn't want to go to Da Nino today, this message did it for him.
He had left with the last subway yesterday night with a good feeling, a light feeling of nothingness and carelessness. But now waking up and making his way into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee..he felt like shit. Gone was his feeling of slight proud when he actually had looked nice with makeup on and the night hours blended out with more seasons of a show he loved.
His apartment made him sick. But he had no motivation to clean, to tidy up. He wanted to do something, but there were no classes to go to today or work to do. In this world he was useless and the last thing he needed was Minseok telling him again what he already knew.
Kyungsoo had no idea why he wanted to talk with him anyways, he had been quiet, left him and Junmyeun alone, didn't cause any trouble. And nobody was even asking how he felt after Minseok yelled at him.
No, NO, he thought. Don't make this about you again.
But don't you make everything about you?
Doesn't everything have to be about you all the time even if you claim you like being left alone?
No!
Aren't you the best example of a narcissistic, who doesn't care about anything else than yourself?
NO!
And all this narcissistic behaviour brought you where? Look at you, in your pathetic apartment, relying on your rich friends you don't even care about.
"Shut up!!"
Kyungsoo threw the cup with the hot coffee against the wall. Just like this. It was a matter of seconds, and his anger was gone. He looked at the ugly brown stain on the wallpaper. The steaming liquid dipped down on the floor. He stared at it for a few seconds and turned around on his heels and headed back to his bed.
Without looking back he pulled the blanket over his head, his eyes still staring, focusing nothing, looking nowhere.

It was around 9 in the evening when someone knocked on his door. This was unusual. Kyungsoo hadn't left his bed the whole day, he saw absolutely no reason to do so, and there was no reason now.
But the voice cut him like a knife, echoing thought his door.
"Soo, are you there?"
Jongin.
Kyungsoo bit his lip.
Please go away, he thought.
Minseoks words came back into his thoughts like thunder.
Sometimes he wished Jongin would forget him. Sometimes he wished he could turn back time so that they never met each other. Kyungsoo loved him, and wished he could erase all the pain he bought to his friend over the years.
And every word coming through the door was like a bullet into his chest.
"Kyungsoo.. please. Don't do this again. Don't leave again..don't do this to me"
Jongins voice was weak and seemed to crack. The despair in his voice was bringing tears to Kyungsoos eyes, which rolled down to his ears in silence.
"Why aren't you letting me in? Why are you locking me out?"
Kyungsoo knew he wasn't just talking about his apartment. He wished he could stand up and throw himself on his knees in front of Jongin and beg for his forgiveness for everything he had done but again, he couldn't. All he could do was lay there, crying in silence.
"Please Kyungsoo" Then it was silent for a while, then footsteps walking away from the door.
"Don't go", Kyungsoo whispered before his sobbing took him over.

The night was horrible. Kyungsoo smoked his whole stash of weed he had left and intelligent like he was he also drank the bottle of wine Junmyeun forgot once. This time he had no urge to hurt himself or break something, this time he was not trying to get away. He wanted to feel, he wanted to feel guilt. He wanted to feel what piece of shit he was. In the end he passed out on his couch, the alcohol with the THC hitting him hard after not eating for a whole day and in combination with his medication.
This time he was woken up by knocking again. Aggressively this time.
Kyungsoos head was roaring, the taste in his mouth more than disgusting and his eyes hurt from crying.
Disoriented he blinked a few times and tried to fall asleep again, but the knocking didn't stop.
"If you really think I'm giving up like this, FUCK YOU!"
The world didn't deserve Kim Jongin.
"You're my best friend and I'm here to help you if you want it or not and if the first step helping you requires kicking in that damn door I WILL!!"
Dizzy Kyungsoo came to his feet. As he knew Jongin he would keep his promise and Kyungsoo really didn't know how to explain his landlord that some boy kicked a huge hole into his door.
On the other hand was Jongin the dictionary definition of precious and Kyungsoo didn't know what he did to deserve that he was standing in front of his door the second day in a row.
"IF YOU THINK I'M JOKING.."
Kyungsoo opened the door a bit and looked at Jongin, standing there, raging, seemingly ready to fight, but his face changed completely when he met Kyungsoos eyes.
His features softened instantly and Jongin pushed the door open and caged Kyungsoo in a tight hug.
"You fucking asshole", he murmured into Kyungsoos neck.
"You motherfucking son of a bitch"
"You really spend too much time with Sehun", Kyungsoo said smiling softly, while holding onto his friend.
Jongin loosened the hug, still holding onto Kyungsoo but now looking at him.
"I won't ask what happened yesterday, I'm just glad you're still here"
"Why shouldn't I?", Kyungsoo asked, afraid of the answer.
"The last time when you weren't showing up, I came here too. Five days in a row, but you didn't open the door"
Kyungsoo swallowed, he never knew.
But Jongin was already looking past him, his eyes widened, stepping into his apartment carefully.
Jongin walked like he was on a new discovered planet and Kyungsoo watched in horror how Jongin made his way through the apartment. He stopped by the couch, picking up the wine bottle, putting it back on the table. He picked up the empty baggies, in which Kyungsoo had stored his weed, and put them down again.
It was like a walk of shame and the worst part was that Jongin didn't say anything. Kyungsoo just remembered how many nights they had spent here, trying to make this shit hole comfortable, buying furniture, painting the wallpapers. How much time they had spend here because he was the first one with an apartment for his own. Kyungsoo remembered how his friends had teased him relentlessly for being so neat and clean, how the only room that was kind of messy was the kitchen. The room that was now the one that wasn't used, dust covering the stove.
Jongin stopped in front of the bed, looking at the pill boxes on the bedside table. He didn't dare to pick them up, just turned around walking into the kitchen, which was open to the living room in which Kyungsoos bed was located too.
Stepping over the shards of the cup on the floor, Jongin layed on hand on the drawer in the kitchen when Kyungsoo stopped him.
"Please don't open", he said, reaching his hand into Jongins direction from the middle of the room.
Jongin ignored him, opened and stared into the completely empty drawers.
One after another he opened all the drawers, finding every single one empty.
Jongin turned around. Kyungsoo was expecting rage, anger. He had thrown away the expensive Japanese knife set his friends had given him after moving in, because he was always complaining about his bad cutlery while cooking. One day he had emptied his drawers into a box and had thrown it into the trash on a Tuesday night. He hadn't used them in a long time to cook his famous dishes, he hadn't used them to cook away his worries when he had had a bad day. The only thing he had been cutting with those was himself and one night he had been fed up. He was fed up with himself and threw them all away.
Yes, he was expecting anger, but Jongins eyes were filled with compassion. Pure, innocent emotions reflected in those eyes. Pain too, but pain out of affection.
And in that moment Kyungsoo knew which words were needed, that he was finally always able to say them, that there were never a burden except for his own mental state.
"Help me, Jongin"

Chapter Text

Kyungsoos hair was dripping wet. The small drops fell on the table in the living room where he and Jongin were sitting.
"Your eyes are still a bit black", Jongin noted while nibbling on a peach.
The first thing Jongin had done was to make sure that Kyungsoo had a nice, long warm shower and went out to buy some fruits to eat, which was a blessing because Kyungsoo hadn't eaten in a long time, let alone anything healthy.
Among the fruits, he also bought a roll of trash bags and white paint.
Kyungsoo rubbed his eyes.
"I don't know what fucked up shit makeup Baekhyun is using but is more resistant than.."
"Than?"
"I can't think of a good comparison"
Jongin laughed and looked around in the apartment.
"First we throw out all the trash. I think this is the biggest step"
Kyungsoo nodded and looked at his phone. It was awfully quiet and he didn't know why it was bothering him, but something was missing.

The good thing about Jongin was that he didn't ask any questions and Kyungsoo was more than thankful for it.
Everything seemed so easy and light with him and Kyungsoo asked himself why he didn't asked for his help earlier.
They were putting half of Kyungsoos apartment in the trash bags. Old pizza cartons, water bottles, useless paper where Kyungsoo didn't even remembered why he had it or why it was laying on the floor, torn clothes he had been too lazy to throw away and much more.
Jongin just asked from time to time if it was alright with Kyungsoo if he threw away a certain item, but apart from that they just talked. Talked about what friends talk about.
They made fun of Tao complaining about being broke all the time, but buying the most expensive clothes at the same time. Jongin told Kyungsoo about Sehun getting into fights with their teacher all the time because of his attitude and the cheesy dinner dates they were going on. Kyungsoo asked about how Sehuns modeling was doing and how he was doing in life in general. Kyungsoo missed spending time with Sehun and Tao, but he had never been as close with them as with Junmyeun and Jongin so he was afraid to bother or scare them with his condition.
While Kyungsoo was overpainting the coffee stain in the kitchen he actually told Jongin the story with Kris, which ended with Jongin laying on the floor laughing his stupid, lovable laugh for at least ten minutes.
After three hours of cleaning Kyungsoo decided that he deserved a cigarette and Jongin almost hit him when he started smoking on his bed.
"Please get used to smoking at the window if you have to smoke inside at all! The smell is disgusting"
So Kyungsoo sat on the window sill, Jongin opposite of him. Kyungsoo looked at his phone again, nothing new. He didn't know what he expected.
After a moment of hesitation he asked: "How were Junmyeun and Minseok yesterday?"
Jongin looked at him and thought about the question for a second.
"Kim paradise has a bit trouble I guess. Junmyeun was normal, maybe a bit distant, while Minseok was visibly uneasy the longer the night went on"
Kyungsoo made a face and exhaled.
"I think it's my fault", he said and watched the traffic under his window.
Jongin snorted.
"Why should it?"
"I knew that they had a few.. differences and I confronted Minseok about it in front of his friends. Not my proudest moment.."
"What happened afterwards?"
"We had an argument and I cried in the parking lot"
Jongin stared at him for a second and then they bursted out in laughter.
"Shit Soo, you're braver than I thought. Minseok is frightening, I would've cried too"
"He is, right?! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so"
Jongin was speaking more silent now, trying to keep down his laughter. "I think he killed someone"
Kyungsoo nodded aggressively. "I could totally picture that! I bet the poor victim accidentally stepped on his cat's tail or disturbed him while grinding coffee beans"
"Grinding coffee beans sounds so incredibly wrong", Jongin couldn't stop giggling. And Kyungsoo had missed his stupid, sometimes annoying laughter, because he was laughing at everything.
"But", Jongin started, trying to catch himself.
"Minseok and Junmyeun are grown men. It's not your fault what happens between them. They can both talk to each other and Minseok is weird and sensitive recently anyways. Don't blame yourself"
"I'm not blaming myself..but" Kyungsoo recalled the things Minseok had said, knowing very well that they affected Jongin as well.
"But he said a few things.."
Jongin was on alert almost immediately.
"Did he hurt you?!"
Fastly Kyungsoo shook his head. In fact, Minseok had hurt him, but only with the truth. It wasn't his fault that Kyungsoo was an asshole to begin with.
"No, no. It was just the situation that sucked"
Jongin relaxed and leaned back.
"Talking about relationships, how is yours going? Are you happy Jongin?"
Jongin was looking out of the window, smiling involuntary. It made Kyungsoo soft how genuinely happy he looked.
"Jongin?"
He looked at him.
"Yes I am. I really am"
And Kyungsoo knew he meant it.

For a long time he hadn't seen his apartment so clean and tidy. Of course there were still indicators of his outbursts, like the cracked tiles or the few cigarette burnes on his couch. Jongin stayed the whole day and in the evening they decided to watch some TV shows together, like it had been their habit on hungover Sundays in high school.
Kyungsoo curled up in his bed with his friend next to him and felt protected, he felt good, he felt valued.
"Someday I will tell you what happened Jongin"
Jongin looked at him in surprise, then he smiled softly.
"I know. Just tell me when you're ready"

Jongin woke him up in the morning, shaking him softly, telling him he had to leave. Half asleep Kyungsoo nodded and murmured something inaudible.
When he woke up completely, Jongin was long gone.
Kyungsoo looked up from his bed and was proud. It was weird to wake up to his apartment being like this, but it was good, it was a start. His babystep had just evolved into an actual step. Maybe he would be ready to tell Jongin about what happened, he felt encouraged to tell him soon and was happy about it. He deserved to know, and Kyungsoo wanted to tell him, he wanted him to know, to understand.
But he was aware that everything wouldn't magically get better, he was aware that it would hit him again.
And again, it did at night.

Everything had been fine. He had been optimistic today, but now he felt like a failure all over again. Could nobody see how much effort he put into getting better?
He felt like a failure and he didn't even know why.
Well, actually he knew exactly why.
What even was he good at? Why did everything he tried to do fail? Why couldn't he keep up commiting to one thing for longer?
He should have stuck to one thing, maybe he would have been good at it now. Like Minseok with cooking, like Jongin with dancing. But he was shit at everything. He was so afraid that his whole life would feel like this. As much as he wanted to change, he had no power to do so. It was so fucking hard to get anything right. At what point did his self-esteem disappear? At what point did he decide to give up? When exactly was he not feeling like everything was useless, that he was useless.
He looked at his phone. 4.03. He hated this number, it showed him exactly what was wrong. The insomnia, the overthinking. Block your own goddamn voice out of your head.
Kyungsoo eyed his table where he had his stuff but got pissed.
You can not even function without that shit!
He was so afraid to be nameless, to end up just living a life he would regret, that nobody would remember, but he was on the best way heading towards right this.
His ambition to become perfect, his wish to change this fucked up planet had driven him into this. All perfection had lead to nothingness.
Slowly he stood up, opening his drawer, taking his cigarettes out, his lighter was always in his pocket anyways.
Stepping outside, he put headphones into his ears.
Block this fucking voice, just get away.
Kyungsoo started walking without destination, smoking, music on full volume. He didn't want to think, clear your head, imagine being in a movie, the music in the background, absorbing the beat, feel the lyrics, blend out your own pathetic life.

At 5.01 he looked at his phone, recognising that he was at Yongsan park. He opened his messenger, stared at Junmyeuns contact.

From: Park Chanyeol (5.02)
Why are you online at a time like this?

Kyungsoo didn't know what to answer or what to feel about this. Because to know that he was online, he must have looked at their chat.
And now he realised what he was missing the last two days. He was so used to Chanyeol texting him non stop, that he missed it when he didn't.

To: Park Chanyeol (5.02)
I could ask the same thing

From: Park Chanyeol (5.03)
Pfffft. I was out with friends. What is your salty ass doing?

Kyungsoo didn't know what to answer, but he didn't wanted to break the conversation. It helped to distract him much better than any music and amount of cigarettes at the moment.

To: Park Chanyeol (5.04)
Going for a walk. Couldn't sleep

From: Park Chanyeol (5.04)
That sucks, where are you walking around? Isn't it dangerous for someone so tiny?

Kyungsoo smiled.

To: Park Chanyeol (5.05)
Yongsan park

From: Park Chanyeol (5.05)
Mind if I join? I'm in Itaewon anyways. Someone has to protect you from evil people at night

To: Park Chanyeol (5.06)
It's morning

But fast he added:

To: Park Chanyeol (5.06)
No, I don't mind

From: Park Chanyeol (5.07)
Nice, meet you at the south entrance

It felt weird standing at the south entrance waiting. Kyungsoo was nervous and didn't know why.
A silhouette was approaching him from the pavement.
The silhouette was dressed in very comfortable clothes, hands in a hoodie, looking around suspiciously. The street lights and lonely roads didn't help to make Chanyeols appearance less shady.
Apparently Chanyeol hadn't seen him yet, because his facial expression was firm and he wasn't smiling, which was an unusual look.
Kyungsoos nervousness rose.
"Walking alone sucks, let's walk together", Chanyeol said and walked into the park without stopping next to Kyungsoo, who caught up with him immediately.
Kyungsoo was feeling uneasy, something was off and he really hoped that Chanyeol wasn't drunk right now.
Did he do something wrong?
Chanyeols pace was faster than usual, but he suddenly stopped.
"Oh shit Kyungsoo I'm sorry", he said but not looking at Kyungsoo.
Now he was really worried.
"Is everything fine?", Kyungsoo asked carefully.
Chanyeol bit his lip and took a deep breath.
"I had a really shit time the last two days"
Kyungsoo took a step further in Chanyeols direction without thinking about it.
"What happened?"
Now Chanyeol was laughing, which worried Kyungsoo even more, because it didn't sound fake.
"Just stress with my parents, they are not really happy with me failing at university"
Kyungsoo poked Chanyeols arm.
"You never failed before right? They should be happy that you do something you enjoy and love"
Chanyeol was quiet but Kyungsoo couldn't see where he was looking because his own look was fixed on Chanyeols shoulder, which was his eye level.
"Is there anything I can do?", Kyungsoo asked after a few moments.
He didn't like Chanyeol being pissed or unhappy, it made him uneasy and he didn't know why.
But Chanyeol just chuckled and shook his head.
In the middle of the park they sat down on a bench, the place in front of them open but empty. It was a eerie atmosphere, the moments before dawn tingling in the air. The city would awake soon around them, but inside the park they wouldn't even recognize. It seemed like they were in their own small world now.
"Sometimes I would like to be a cloud", Chanyeol was looking at the sky, his hands still in his pockets, sitting on top of the bench. His heavy Doc Martens whipped on the seat next to Kyungsoo.
He didn't know what to say, the whole situation was strange to Kyungsoo, he couldn't assess the situation.
"You know what bothers me about my parents?"
Chanyeol seemed to talk more to himself than to Kyungsoo, he didn't wait for an answer.
"They think that they are helping me. They think that they want the best for me, but actually they want the best for themselves"
Kyungsoo had to laugh, dirty, and Chanyeol looked at him, raising an eyebrow.
"They think they know you..they think they own you", Kyungsoo said leaning back, snorting condescending.
"Do they try to control you too?", Kyungsoo asked.
Chanyeol considered his answer.
"I don't know if you can call it control. It's more that they tell me all the time that they are happy about what I'm studying, but I know it's not honest. Those small remarks all the time. Mocking my passion, criticising my decision. It's so tiring.."
"Don't they value your happiness?"
"I think they value their status symbols and money more"
"I'm sorry to hear that. I guess they will be proud and all over it when you're successful"
Chanyeol laughed and tilted his head.
"Yea I guess. Then they will tell everyone in my family with watery eyes how much they loved me for having passion. Fucking hypocrites"
"I would say you shouldn't care about it, but it's so much easier to say that than to do it. People make it seem that it's either full in or fuck it in life but there is too much grey in between"
Kyungsoo took his cigarettes from his pocket and light one up. Chanyeol eyed him, seemed to think and stretched out his arm, asking silently for permission to take the cigarette from Kyungsoo, who gave it to him.
Chanyeol looked somewhere far away and inhaled and Kyungsoo had to admit it looked incredibly hot.
"So what's the deal with your parents?", he asked without turning his gaze away.
Kyungsoo took a deep breath, this was not his favourite topic.
"They were happy when they got rid of me I guess. I moved out as soon as I could. They never cared but they still think they can control me, like I belong to them. Never did anything for me, but think they know what's best for me"
"Seems like we have something in common there", Chanyeol said, now looking at Kyungsoo, smiling in compassion which made Kyungsoo weirdly calm.
"I think my problem is that I strive to much for perfection. I want to do so much and be perfect in every single one thing and even if I would never have those expectations for anyone else, because I know they are insane, I have them for myself. And I get mad at myself when I can't match those expectations"
Kyungsoo smiled sadly, he was way too familiar with those words, he knew the feeling too well.
"I think", he started, now lighting a new cigarette for himself, because Chanyeol kept the last one, "people get mad at you when you tell them what you expect from yourself because they think you have the same standards for them."
Chanyeol nodded "That's so true"
"Did something else happened tonight? You seem off?", asked Kyungsoo, looking worried at the boy next to him.
Chanyeol let himself slide down the bench next to Kyungsoo.
"Not really. I felt somehow out of place with my friends..and kind of wanted to see you"
Kyungsoo was a little taken aback by the last statement and tried not to look at Chanyeol because he felt that he was blushing slightly.
"You're cute", he heard Chanyeol say with a small laughter in his voice.
For a while they were just sitting there, sunrise coming up. A lone stranger was walking through the park, minding his own business.
"I always ask myself what people do out here at this time", Kyungsoo said, following the stranger with his eyes.
"They could think the same about us. We probably look like a bunch of weirdos right now"
"Or those out of control teenagers they always warn about in the media"
"Yea, look at us. So fierce, so hardcore. Hanging around in parks in the early morning", Chanyeol threw his hood over his head and leaned back, stretching his arms on the lean. It looked ridiculous and Kyungsoo started to laugh.
Chanyeol looked at his watch, making a face.
Kyungsoo noticed and asked if he needed to go.
"I have classes soon", he said, letting out a deep breath, looking disappointed.
The sunrise was reflecting in his silver hair, colouring it in light pink and making his roots and the bleach under it more obvious. It was pretty, so pretty.
Kyungsoo felt suddenly kind of sad. It had been such a nice morning, he had felt disconnected from the storm and tide happening inside him at the same time. Everything had felt distant, it was a warm and unusual feeling.
But now it would be over, he would go home, go back into his mess, he would always look back at this and would hate himself for getting a taste of what life could be.
He didn't wanted this to end, he was fascinated by Chanyeol and the impact he had on him. By his gift to make Kyungsoo feel light and unconcerned for a short period of time. He had recognised it before but just now realized it completely, that Chanyeol actually made him feel good and like a good person again. Not like a failure, not like shit.
Chanyeol turned his head and smiled softly at him.
"What are you thinking about? You look spaced out and kinda..sad"
"What effort it must take you to keep silver hair", Kyungsoo said without any fucking clue. He was just staring at Chanyeols smile and his fucking pretty eyes and how they were soft and made him soft and how they calmed him (somehow?) by just looking at them and his aura of positivity in this hellhole we call earth and how the soft morning sun coloured his face in the most beautiful colours and how he loved looking at both of them and.. Kyungsoo realised what all of this meant.
"... Kyungsoo?", Chanyeol looked worried at him. "Did you hear what I just said?"
And for one moment, for one fucking second Kyungsoo didn't want to overthink, to not look back in regret, to not think of himself as this pathetic prick, for once he didn't want to be a coward.
Looking back it was not like him at all, laying his fingers softly on Chanyeols cheek, whose smile was gone, just looking into his eyes. Kyungsoo searched for a slight sign of discomfort, a glimpse of disapproval, but there was none. Instead Chanyeol carefully put his hands over Kyungsoos, who decided to not give a single fuck anymore.
He just closed his eyes and kissed Chanyeol as soft as he could. It was a compassionate kiss, forgiving and nice.
With his other hand Kyungsoo was running through Chanyeols hair, who was responding softly.
Letting himself get lost in the moment, he never wanted it to end. Everything seemed to stop, everything was fine, he had finally stopped thinking.
Chanyeol pulled him closer, kissing him back.
And Kyungsoo was grateful and had no intention of letting those lips go because right now they were his save haven.

Chapter Text

Apparently classes didn't really matter anymore.
Chanyeol was sucking on Kyungsoos lower lip, who had shifted on his lap a while ago.
Now that it was more morning than dawn, more and more people were passing and the couple on the bench earned strange looks, which they couldn't care less about.
Kyungsoo stroked through Chanyeols hair and couldn't stop smiling. It may have been years since he had last kissed someone while being sober. But now it seemed so easy, everything seemed easy.
Chanyeol forced his attention away from Kyungsoos lips, placing one sweet last kiss on them.
"Do you want pancakes?", he asked, grinning.
Kyungsoo shook his head.
"What? You food hoe number one doesn't want anything?"
Kyungsoo pinched him in the side, to which he made a high pitched noise.
"I don't want you to spend money for me all the time", he said. "And I'm tired as hell"
"So how about leftover breakfast in my apartment?"
Kyungsoo stopped and looked at him, raising an eyebrow, not sure what to think about an invitation like that.
Chanyeol must have read his thoughts and chuckled.
"I'm not like that, you idiot. Just food and sleep"
"Hmm, sounds good", Kyungsoo said drawing patterns with his hand on Chanyeols cheek.
He had absolutely no idea what the hell was happening right now, because he was definitely not used to being out of his head like this. The innocence, soft- and cuteness of this moment was in drastic contrast with the rest of Kyungsoos life and he was all in for it. Fuck thinking about anything else right now. He just wanted to enjoy this moment as long as it lasted. And even if fear started creeping up his spine that this would have to end and it essentially felt too save, he violently dragged that fear out of his body while kissing Chanyeol softly on the lips and letting himself get shoved off his lap.
Kyungsoo stood up reluctantly and followed Chanyeol out of the park. It was a bit awkward, because they didn't know if it was okay to touch each other now, so Kyungsoo just walked next to Chanyeol, hands in his pockets.
They walked up the hill to Itaewon station, passing people getting to work and a few same as them, looking like they weren't sleeping for the whole night trying to get home. A bunch of people were looking extraordinary done in front of Cakeshop club and Kyungsoo had to smile, thinking about his past with the club. The long nights he had spent there with Junmyeun and the evening when he first met Kris.
Thinking about those two, he made a promise to himself to text those two after getting enough sleep.
They entered the subway through exit 4, and stopped by at the small convenient store at the ticket vending machine to buy a bottle of water.
When they were waiting for the subway Chanyeol took out his phone and headphones.
"Do you usually listen to music when you ride?"
Kyungsoo nodded, ready to take out his own headphones when he remembered something.
"Do you have something of your stuff on your phone?"
Chanyeol looked confused, like he was surprised.
"You remember me telling you this?"
Kyungsoo shrugged.
"Sure why shouldn't I?"
"Sometimes my friends say I talk so much that they blend out most of it. But yes I have a few pieces on my phone"
They stepped into the subway, which was not as crowded as on weekdays and sat on the bench. Chanyeol handed him the right headphone bud and searched through his phone. Kyungsoo noticed that Chanyeols shoulder was the perfect hight to lean his tired head against and so he did. From his right ear a silent and melodic piano tune started playing. Soaking up the instrument he closed his eyes. He tried to listen to the piece Chanyeol had shown him, because he was appreciating a lot that he was sharing his music with him, but his tiredness took advantage of him.

A soft shaking woke Kyungsoo, who tried to wake up fast, blinking excessively.
Chanyeol slung his arm around Kyungsoos waist, supporting him to walk outside and he would lie if he wasn't acting a little more tired than he really was at the moment. He had no regrets.
They changed the subway line and Kyungsoo forced himself to stay awake, watching Chanyeol scrolling through his social media sneakily. He didn't care what was happening on the phone, but he liked seeing Chanyeol so casual, when he didn't know he was being watched. He frowned a bit because when he was concentrating, biting his lip mindlessly, sometimes shaking his head to get his fringe out of his eyes.
They left the subway, reaching the campus which was almost empty, just a few students passing.
"Won't Baekhyun be in the dorm?", Kyungsoo asked when he remembered that it wouldn't be his dream situation to run into the walking cotton candy head now.
"He is being a responsible student, at class right now"
"Wasn't he with you last night?"
"He was", Chanyeol answered grinning.
"Jongdae, Taehyung, Luhan, Baekhyun, Yixing, Minseok.." Kyungsoo made a face, he still needed to talk to Minseok.
"You're like the cliché university clique", Kyungsoo noted snorting.
Chanyeol started to laugh. "Yea and your friends look like those arrogant rich kids you hate in high school"
Kyungsoo frowned.
"They may look like it, but they are wonderful dorks"
Raising his eyebrows Chanyeol looked at him.
"I know it was a joke. But you have to admit they seem like it.
Do they know you talk so nice about them?"
"They totally look like it! Sometimes I don't know if I look like the adopted hobo next to them", but then he smiled sadly. "But maybe no, they don't know I talk about them like that"
After crossing the campus they reached the dorm and walked up the stairs until they reached Chanyeols room.
They closed the door and Chanyeol yawned, blinking sleepily.
He looked at Kyungsoo.
"Fuck breakfast?", he asked and Kyungsoo nodded thankfully.
Chanyeol opened the door to his room and fell face front flat on his bed, letting out a pleased groan.
His room was messy, but not depressed messy, more forgetful messy from actual using the room and it's content a lot. Inside where a few weird things but Kyungsoo was too tired to look around.
Without lifting his head from the blanket, Chanyeol waved his hand in Kyungsoos direction, making an inviting gesture.
"If you want to change, your favourite sweater is on the pile of clothes under the window", Chanyeol said, voice muffled coming from beneath the blanket.
Kyungsoo took the familiar black pullover from the floor and threw a look at Chanyeol. Even if he was comfortable with him, he left the room to change. Not that he was particularly ashamed of his body, but there were a few things that weren't necessary for Chanyeol to see.
Kyungsoo looked ridiculously tiny in that pullover, with it reaching almost to his knees, but it was comfortable as hell.
He sat down on the edge of the bed, unsure what to do now. This situation was unusual for him.
But Chanyeol just patted his flat hand a few times on the blanket until he found Kyungsoos arm, pulling him shamelessly closer.
Kyungsoo let himself get dragged next to him, who buried his face in Kyungsoos shoulder and slung his arm around the tiny figure next to him.
Drawing little circles on Chanyeols much bigger hands, before he interwined their fingers without really thinking about it, like a reflex, he fell asleep softly.

When he woke up he was a little disoriented at first, then remembering where he was. Chanyeol was laying with his back to him, snoring quietly. Kyungsoo decided to let him sleep and looked at his phone. One missed call from Junmyeun. Shit, he wanted to be the one to initiate contact this time, but it was already late noon.
Trying to not make too much noise he stood up, ruffled his hair, yawned and patted outside the room. He closed the door quietly and turned around. Just to look straight into the faces of Baekhyun and Jongdae who were sitting on the couch, studying materials spread on the table in front of them.
"Suck it Byun, you owe me 5000Won!" Jongdae was clapping his hands together and hitting Baekhyun on the back who looked at Kyungsoo with a face of betrayal.
"I thought you were innocent Kyungsoo!" He was shaking his head theatrically. "Look at you, squish in the streets, hoe in the sheets"
"Ah shut the fuck up Baek, you're the one to talk", Jongdae was rolling his eyes and Baekhyun just grinned at Kyungsoo.
"I'm just teasing him"
Kyungsoo just ignored them, maybe he was a little embarrassed, looking at his phone.
"What are you doing Kyungsoo? I'm sorry, we're just teasing. Do you want coffee?"
Kyungsoo nodded without looking up, seeing Baekhyun standing up, preparing coffee.
"Do you have a charger? I need to call Junmyeun"
Jongdae pointed next to him at the couch and Kyungsoo sat down, plugging his phone in.
"Junmyeun is such a posh name", Baekhyun said, seating himself next to Kyungsoo, placing a cup on the table.
Kyungsoo thanked him and nipped in the hot coffee.
"Suits him. We just call him wine mom", Jongdae said laughing.
Kyungsoo giggled. "THAT suits him"
Jongdae threw his head back on the lean and let out a distressed noise.
"Fuck studying. I shouldn't have eaten those fucking cookies yesterday"
"Yixings cookies?", Kyungsoo asked laughing.
"Nah, Yixing is just eating them like sweets, Minseok bakes them"
Kyungsoo almost choked on his coffee.
"Kim Minseok makes hash cookies?!"
Jongdae and Baekhyun were just laughing, leaving Kyungsoo nipping his coffee, when suddenly Jongdae looked at him kindly.
"How are you with Minseok? I wanted to ask yesterday, but he was too wasted"
Crunching his teeth, Kyungsoo was turning the cup around in his hands.
"It's okay if you don't want to talk about it. He overreacted, I can tell you that. But let me say you one thing", he was looking untypical serious now. "The meetings with Luhan are necessary, so please be considerate"
So Luhan was this mysterious Ex Junmyeun was talking about? He was sitting with Jongdae and Chanyeol at Da Ninos when Kyungsoo had his argument with Minseok. But why were they necessary? What was going on? Did Junmyeun talk with his boyfriend? Were they fine now?
"I'm not blaming him", Kyungsoo just said, seeing that his phone was charged enough to make a call and stood up.
He leaned against the kitchen counter and dialed Junmyeuns number.
"Hey sleeping beauty", Junmyeun said mocking on the other side of the line. His voice was carefree and Kyungsoo was relieved.
"Why do you assume I was sleeping?"
"Because you always are. Except at night"
"Is this wine mom?", Jongdae was shouting from the other side of the room.
"Tell him a big thank you that he drove us home yesterday with his unnecessary expensive car"
"Did you hear that?", Kyungsoo asked.
"How can you not hear his voice? It's haunting me in my dreams, I can tell you that"
Kyungsoo could picture Junmyeun massaging his temples.
"Wait, why are you with them Soo?"
Embarrassing silence.
"I was staying overnight", Kyungsoo said quietly.
A loud squeak.
"Oh my god. Tell me everything!"
"There is not much to tell", Kyungsoo said in defence.
"No, no, no, don't pull this on me"
"Okay, how about later, you can come over"
"You invite my into your apartment?" Junmyeun sounded genuinely surprised.
"Uhm yes, is there anything wrong with that?"
"Absolutely no! It's just been..a while"
Kyungsoo jumped and almost died when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Fuck", he grabbed his chest, his heart pounding in surprise.
"Sorry", murmured Chanyeol, clearly not meaning it.
He rested his head on Kyungsoos and slung his arms over the smaller boys shoulder.
"Did you sleep well?", he asked, volume low, so his friends couldn't hear it.
"Oh my god Kyungsoo", Junmyeun was dying on the phone, who had heard Chanyeol clearly.
"Do you want to come back to bed?", Chanyeol asked sleepily.
"Say yes!!", Junmyeun was excited.
"Fuck your cute bullshit, Park Chanyeol, you get your ass on that couch and review what you missed today", Baekhyun said in a parental voice. "And Kyungsoo, wine mom can pick you up"
Chanyeol was audible exhaling.
"Junmyeun can you give me a ride?"
"Sure. 10 minutes okay?"
"Yes, I'll be waiting on the main entrance"
Kyungsoo hung up and turned around to look at Chanyeol who was looking incredibly soft with his messy hair, puffy face and comfortable hoodie.
It was a weird chain of circumstances, he thought, that brought him here. Wearing nothing, but the hoodie that made him get to know Chanyeol in the first place, with the two loosers he had played the drinking game with. Life took weird turns and Kyungsoo was proud of himself all of the sudden. Proud of how far he had come in the last weeks, even if he still had breakdowns, he felt safe with a person again and had learned to open up to his friends a bit, he had the feeling of connecting with them again.
"I need to change", Kyungsoo said and waddled towards Chanyeols room.
The ladder was leaning on the door frame, looking sleepy as hell.
"You know what? Keep the pullover, I like you wearing it", he yawned, turned around and closed the door.
Kyungsoo picked up his clothes from the floor, put on his pants and socks, throwing the rest carelessly over his arm, stepping out of the room again.
Chanyeol was waiting at the door, reaching with his head almost until the upper frame.
"Take care Kyungsoo", Jongdae said without looking up, grinning knowingly.
Baekhyun waved in his direction, smiling cutely.
"See you next time Squishy!"
Kyungsoo just rolled his eyes, looking at Chanyeol.
He didn't know what to do now, what was appropriate. His opponent visibly didn't know what to do either, so they just looked at each other awkwardly.
Jongdae was moaning annoyed in the background, Baekhyun shutting him up by hitting him.
Chanyeol moved his hand in the direction of Kyungsoos face, touching his cheek softly with his fingers, so careful, he almost couldn't feel it. But involuntary he leaned into the touch, which made Chanyeol smile.
"Goodbye Kyungsoo"
He was sad when Chanyeol lowered his hand and he walked out of the apartment, closing the door behind him. A part of him wished he would have just stayed in that bed, maybe being able to stay there forever, not getting up.

Junmyeun was back with the asshole grin, driving smugly slow, window rolled down in front of Kyungsoo. He lowered his pimp sunglasses a bit and stared at his friend.
"Hoe Kyungsoo, if I may lead you home"
Kyungsoo tossed his clothes at the back of the car and took place in the front.
"Why is everyone calling me a hoe? I'm doing nothing hoe like. Just because all your salty asses are in boring fucking relationships"
"Maybe you're in a 'boring fucking relationship' soon"
Kyungsoo snorted. He really hadn't considered that at all, and he really didn't want to think about it. It would give him a headache.
The drive was not too long and silent. Junmyeun was just bad in controlling his grin and Kyungsoo looked out of the window, noticing that he was still tired. But when wasn't he?
They were entering Kyungsoos apartment when Junmyeun was widening his eyes in amazement.
"What happened here?"
Proudly Kyungsoo looked around.
"Jongin happened"
Junmyeun was letting himself fall into the couch, placing his feet on the table, like he owned this place.
"Okay, now tell me", he demanded with a hectic hand gesture.
"Soon", Kyungsoo said, walking into the kitchen, searching for water. He really wanted to brush his teeth and drink at least five teen bottles of water.
In his pocket he felt his phone buzz.
Confused he looked at the number on the screen, he had never seen it before.
Frowning, hesitating, he picked up.
"Is..is there..Do Kyungsoo?"
A girls voice, weak, almost cracking, like she had cried for a long time. But he didn't recognized that voice.
"Yes, who is there?"
Silence. Nervousness crept up Kyungsoos spine. Something inside him screamed that there was something incredibly wrong.
"My name..is..Amber"
Kyungsoos grip around the phone tightened, his breath was coming faster.
"I don't know if you know me, if Sulli..ever talked about me. Well, she talked about you"
"She talked about you a lot", Kyungsoo said. He had no idea what was going on and he couldn't assess this situation.
"I found this number in her notes..", Amber's breath was heavy, like she was trying to control herself.
"I left it for her", Kyungsoo stated, talking more to himself than to the phone.
"I called because.. because", Kyungsoo could picture how she was biting her teeth together.
"Because Sulli.. she", Amber started to cry and panic overcame Kyungsoo. Naked panic taking over him.
"What about her? Amber?"
"She killed herself, Kyungsoo!! Last week"
Amber talked more, but Kyungsoo didn't hear it. The phone fell on the floor with a dull noise. Kyungsoo was staring at the wall. He wasn't able to form a thought, he wasn't able to move. His hand was still curved like he was holding the phone.
"Soo, you know I will annoy you until you..oh my god what's wrong?!" Junmyeun stood in front of him, his face changing instantly when he saw Kyungsoo.
But he didn't realize, something was moving on his stomach, something was breaking inside him. Out, he needed..OUT! His vision turned blank as he turned around and threw up in the sink.