Deep Dark ft. Sehun: Part 8. WARNING: There are themes in this series (such as depression) that may trigger unpleasant memories or feelings, please read at your own discretion. I’m posting this now so y’all don’t have to sit any longer without scenarios. ;u; ———————————————————————————————————————
(♫) All that’s left of me is what I pretend to be; so together but so broken up inside.
Another week goes by and you and Sehun are so busy with finishing the project that you have no time to address his confession. It turns out that the both of you overlooked something on the rubric, and had to redo the entire design to fix it. You didn’t mind the distraction, though it tired you, since it gave you more time to put his confession off.
You were honestly afraid of bringing it up. What if he changed his mind? What if it was only a joke? What if you were dreaming it? It was the anxiety speaking, but you let yourself believe it for the security of your feelings. He kept to his promise of never talking about it, but that only made you feel worse. How long were you going to keep him waiting for an answer? Should you remind him that you’re still thinking about it? But if you did, you’d be lying.
You weren’t thinking about it. Liking him meant possible growth in the relationship, and friendship was nice, yeah, but anything more meant commitment. You sucked at taking care of yourself, so how could you possibly want to take care of someone else?
Class was in the morning, and you and Sehun met up beforehand to go over the presentation one last time. “I open, we switch off explanations, then you close, right?” You ask him again, just to make sure you got it down.
“Right.” He says, looking distracted. It worried you. You learned he always has something big to say when he’s distracted. “Hey, are you busy today?” He asks, looking away from the project.
“You know me.” You say in a detached tone. “I’m free.”
“Do you want to hang out with me and the S.P.U.B members later? We’re supposed to play space chess up on the hill for advertisement.” He asks, smiling a little.
“Sure.” You agree without really thinking about it. One more distraction to keep you procrastinating on thinking.
“Cool.” He says, looking elated. “It’ll be nice having someone I trust with me.” He admits, putting the project away for class. “I don’t think I fit in well with the guys. They’re so different from me.”
“What about the manager?” You ask him, remembering his insisting argument that the manager would be the real deal. “How are they?”
“She’s fine. But I don’t talk to her a lot. I have nothing to say.” He confesses, closing his bag. You two leave your dorm and arrive moments before the first presentation starts. With a slight feeling of comfort, you know talking in front of the class about something you know about will be less terrifying than talking to Sehun about your feelings, something you know nothing about.
Obviously, you like Sehun as a person (who wouldn’t?), but how much of that is blind dependency, and how much of that is true friendship? And is there more to it? There’s no way a real friend would look at him, wishing he’d sit a little closer. There’s no way a real friend would look at him, wishing he’d dare to brush hands. There’s no way a real friend would even think these things, wishing he’d say those sweet things one more time.
And you noticed his change in attitude. You just never put two and two together. You told yourself he seemed more recluse because he was getting tired of working in astronomy. You told yourself he was being overwhelmed with S.P.U.B. You told yourself it had nothing to do with the fact that you ignore his every attempt to flirt with you, which were occurring less and less with his dropping mood.
You pretended it wasn’t your fault, yet you knew it was. You were making him feel worse. You made him wait so long, he was probably feeling hopeless. He asked you to think about it, and all you’ve done is ignore it. Isn’t this the same as telling him “no”?
You think of all this during your presentation, your mind not really there so you actually do pretty well. It’s the weird thing about you, if you don’t pay attention to what you’re saying, you can act without worry and be fine. At the end of it, you decide that you’ll give him your answer today. You’ll figure it all out while you’re hanging out with the S.P.U.B members, and tell him afterwards.
It’s a plan, you think to yourself in relief, finally proud that you’ve done something on your own. Hopefully, things will go well, and Sehun and you can return to normal. His feelings will pass, and so will yours.
You had expected Sehun’s attitude to go back up once the chess game started, but you were oh so wrong. He was quieter, and because you knew him so well, you knew it wasn’t because he was concentrating, though you were sure that’s what the three stooges thought it was. They were chatting along like normal, laughing obnoxiously every now and then before making another move. You could tell that Sehun was feeling strange again, because he was tapping his foot on the grass and the chess board with his finger.
“Mind explaining how chess works to me so I’m not completely clueless?” You ask him quietly, hoping to distract him. He blinks up at you in surprise, as if he forgot you were there entirely, before nodding and telling you what each of the pieces mean and their goal. He’s able to explain it all before the stooge makes his next move because he’s talking so much. “Ahh, it’s so complicated.” You groan, grabbing your head dramatically. Sehun chuckles, but his smile doesn’t quite reach his lips.
“You’ll figure it out if you watch us play some more,” At that statement, the stooges look at you with interest.
“Are you interested in space chess?” Asks Jongdae, who Sehun stares at uncomfortably for some reason you don’t know. “Have you reconsidered about S.P.U.B?” He asks more obviously.
“Nah,” You reply easily, not really caring for them or their club. “I’m just here to watch.”
“Too bad,” Baekhyun clicks his tongue, staring at the board. “You’re missing out.”
“I’ll be the judge of that.” You laugh. They’re so persistent, it was kind of endearing. “You just go back to your game.” Another half hour goes, they switch players, and while Sehun is standing on the sidelines with you, you notice his jaw is clenched really hard. You gape at him nervously, since the last time you saw him like this, he looked on the verge of lashing out.
“Crap! I should have seen that coming!” Junmyeon exclaims, throwing his head back in agony. “How could I have missed it?” He mutters defeatedly at the board.
“Hey, boys,” You call, and the three stooges look at you. “Sehun’s going to walk me to my dorm now, ‘cuz I’m getting bored.” You announce, and they all make the cutest pouty faces at you.
“Aw, stay a little longer? Maybe you’ll like it when it’s your turn.” Baekhyun tries, but you’re already grabbing Sehun’s arm and pulling him away.
“Next time!” You yell over your shoulder, pulling your friend down the hill. The walk from your dorm takes five minutes from here, but judging Sehun’s panting state, you don’t think you have that kind of leisure time to get there, so you bring him down a side path that leads into a different dorm building. He pulls away from you as you enter, and you follow him as he runs into the closest room, the laundry room, before he collapses to the floor ungracefully.
“Sehun!” You yelp, dropping to his side worriedly, but he silently points at the door, so you close and lock it. “What’s going on? Are you fine? You’re freaking me out!” You utter, helping him into a sitting position and leaning him against the dryer. He was covering his face the entire time, so you didn’t know he was crying until he suddenly sobbed.
“I tried!” He says, dropping his hands. “I tried, I tried so much, Starlight.” He hiccups, and with wide eyes you wonder what you’re supposed to do. He looks like he’s having a panic attack, but you know it’d only make it worse if you touched him. Your consternation keeps you from acting, but it might be what Sehun needs, because he finishes, “It’s so hard to pretend.”
And, with that last sentence, you realize that you’re primary conclusion about Sehun was correct. He’s that other type of depression that you never believed in.
Stuck in your thoughts, you don’t notice that he’s reaching for you until his fingers take your wrist, and he pulls you to his side before hiding his face in his knees. “Please don’t leave.” He says, gripping your wrist as lightly as he can manage through his shaking. “I– I need you here right now.”
“I’m right here,” You whisper, making him let go so you can lace your fingers together instead. He squeezes your hand tightly, and you realize that this is the first time you’ve ever seen Sehun so vulnerable, save for the time he confessed. You know he really has no choice, since it happens on its own, but he wants you here with him, to stay until he’s through this episode. “I’m not going anywhere.” You promise, and you don’t know how much you mean it until you say it.
Well, fuck, you think to yourself. It’s really not the time to think about it, but it just comes to you, and now you can’t stop thinking it. I like Oh Sehun. I like Oh Sehun. I like Oh Sehun…
It takes Sehun an hour before he’s completely calmed down. Without the chamomile tea to make him pass out and a movie to distract him, he was all alone with his thoughts and you. Luckily, no one ever came down to use the room, because you don’t know what you would have done had that happened.
Sehun’s breathing shallowly, but he’s no longer hiccuping and sobbing. His hand is limp in your hold, but strong enough to keep it together. He must feel absolutely exhausted, so you pull him against your shoulder for him to lean on.
“I’m sorry you had to see me freak out like that.” He mumbles after a bit of silence. “I’m pathetic.”
“You’re not.” You reply quietly, running your thumb over his knuckles. They’re so different from yours; big, deep, and a little rough. “You’re not pathetic, Sehun.” He makes a laughing noise, just barely.
“I can’t even pretend that I’m happy in front of people. How am I not?” He asks weakly.
“I don’t think it’s normal to feel happy all the time.” You tell him how you feel, but you’re no psychologist. “You should be yourself. Show people how you’re really feeling.”
“If I did, this is what they’d see.” His lamentation is something you can relate to, and, normally you wouldn’t care, but because it’s Sehun, you do.
“Sehun,” You mutter, squeezing his hand lightly. He seems to become fully aware of the action, sitting up and staring at your laced hands. “I don’t mean to turn this on me, but I don’t know what else to say to you.” You admit, not looking at him. “I’m just like you, but I convinced myself not to care at all.” You tell him honestly, turning red from laying yourself bare. You’ve never told anyone this, not even your family (hell, they’d be the last people). Then, with the overwhelming realization that you don’t know how to help him or yourself, you begin to cry. “I don’t know how to help. I think not caring at all is even worse than trying to.” You whimper, hiding your face.
He doesn’t say anything for a moment, but then he tugs your hand, until you wipe your face and look at him. “You are helping.” He promises, but you have a hard time believing it. “Starlight, you help me more than you think you do.” He says, and you finally turn your head to look him in the eye. “Honestly, since we started working together, I’ve… I’ve changed.” His eyes glisten as he tries not to cry again. “I didn’t use to…” He shakes his head, clearing his throat. “I didn’t use to feel excited about waking up in the morning. I would take sleeping pills just to nap for as long as I could to avoid having to live my life.
"But, for some reason, you… you saved me.” He murmurs. “It’s the most cliché thing I’ve ever said in my entire life, but dammit, Starlight, you’re helping me.” He says unsteadily, his lip trembling before he bites it. “And I want to be the same comforting medicine to you.” He finishes with a shaky sigh.
“…but you already are.” You whisper, looking between his eyes. You aren’t going to give him your entire life story right now, but you lean forward slightly, briefly glancing down at his mouth. He blinks in surprise, before hesitantly leaning forward, too, until your lips press together softly. For now, a kiss is all either of you need.
“Does this mean you like me back..?” He murmurs afterwards, wiping each of your faces with his hand.
“What else would it mean, you goof?” You laugh airily, blushing. He laughs, too, and suddenly, all of your past insecurities and worries seem insignificant. Why would you ever stress over them when all you care about is his smile?
“Well…” He mutters disappointedly, and you don’t understand why until he says, “We still have tonight’s homework to do, and as much as I love getting all mushy with feelings, I think we should go to your dorm and work.” It’s a valid point, but you can’t seem to find to the motivation to do it. He sees this in your face somehow, before chuckling. “Or we can watch a movie and be totally lame.”
“Lame sounds nice.” You agree, grinning. “Besides, how am I supposed to get to know you if we don’t spend more quality time together?” He blushes suddenly, and after that you head to your dorm. It’s probably 4:15 PM after a movie, and when you’re both sitting on your bed with nothing to do, he motions to his laptop and he shows you his favorite song, and you show him yours, and you lay together all day, late into the night, talking mindlessly, learning more about each other than you ever knew you could about a person.
Being with Sehun was therapeutic, in a way. Neither of you had to worry about putting up a front, impressing the other, yet you were both nervous about it at the same time. He made you want to be better for yourself, and you did the same for him.
When it was almost midnight, Sehun was playing a song he wanted you to hear on his laptop, but neither of you were listening to it. You were laying over his stomach, sleepy from the chamomile tea you made earlier that night and exhausted from the spiral of emotions. You felt his hand resting on your back, unmoving and gentle, spreading a calming warmth.
With hopeful thoughts about the days to come, you fall asleep and dream about alien chess pieces, cuddling, and starlight.