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Life is a Nightmare Without You

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Sangmin didn't often have nightmares but recently the worst ones have found him when he had finally relaxed and decided to be unperturbed by the menacing images. However, it became evident that finding solace was near impossible and Sangmin hated it just as anyone would in his situation.

These nightmares would usually amount to nothing more than unhappy letters from his neighbours due to his screams, and he had just learned to accept that but now he had an extra person in his apartment and fear crept back into his heart for another reason other than the nightmares.

Shin Wonho was the image of beautiful and sophisticated, but he was also someone who had been urged to move out of his apartment recently due to a leaky pipe. With a suitcase in hand and a car full to the brim, Wonho had shown up at Sangmin’s apartment with hope in his eyes and gratitude in the tin of biscuits he had bought as a gesture.

Of course, Sangmin welcomed him with open arms (after he had gotten over the initial shock of seeing his old college friend and crush after five years of simple nostalgia and the heartache of regret) and immediately set up his couch and showed him around.

After he had gone in search of an extra blanket for Wonho (the sitting room grew cold after a few hours into the night, he knew all too well after falling asleep while watching tv one too many times), he walked back into the sitting room in time to witness Wonho smiling wistfully at a photo that sat on one of the shelves beneath the tv. He touched a finger to it in thought and Sangmin chose that moment to clear his throat and fully enter the room.

Wonho straightened up from his crouch and spoke, “it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other, I’m surprised you still have any photos of me about.”

Sangmin gave him a small smile as he set the blanket on the couch, “Why wouldn’t I? You were a really important part of my life back then Wonho.” You still are, was left unsaid but nonetheless lingered in the air.

Sangmin took a seat on the couch and Wonho took one beside him. The silence weighed on Sangmin as he stared at the photo under the tv - their smiling faces felt gloating as usual with the change that had happened.

It wasn’t a particularly unnatural or devastating loss of friendship, it was a gradual thing that seeped away before Sangmin knew what was happening, and well past the point of stopping it. Modelling had devoured Wonho’s life and calls grew farther and farther apart, while Sangmin’s dance studio had required his full attention. It was all so unavoidable and yet, it hadn’t made it hurt any less. Although anything can be ignored if you will yourself to do so - even feelings.

“I missed you, Minnie.”

Sangmin jerked his head to look at Wonho, seeing him with sad eyes made his heart physically ache with the need to comfort him.

Wonho continued, “I missed you every single day and it hurt so much that I couldn’t change a thing.” He shook his head and looked down at his hands, “modelling is… I love modelling but it could never replace the happiness I felt when I was with you, Minnie. You were this bundle of positive force that always propelled me towards the next goal because just simply having you in my life- it just-” he sighed, “I’m really glad the agency forced me to take a career break. And I am really sorry about barging in but you were the first person I thought of and-”

Sangmin reached over and took one of Wonho’s hands in his.

“Wonho it’s okay. I’m really glad you came here. I’ve really missed you too and I’ve always been sorry that I never reached out.”

Wonho gave him a wobbly smile before pulling him in for a crushing hug.

“Thank you so much, Minnie. I’ll make breakfast in the morning,” he spoke into the crook of Sangmin’s neck.

The ticklish sensation made Sangmin laugh good-naturedly, “sounds good.”

Once they broke apart, they both decided it was time for bed, especially seeing as Wonho needed rest for the sudden apartment hunting that had popped into his newly-bare schedule. Sangmin offered to go as well but Wonho insisted it would be very boring and tedious which gave rise to Sangmin refuting with a “nothing is ever boring with you around, Wonho.”

All it took to embarrass Wonho at that moment was to mention the word ‘sashimi’ which made the man groan and push his face into one of the couch cushions as if it would have the powers to absorb the embarrassment from his entire being. With no such luck, Wonho glared back up at Sangmin and pouted which only prompted further laughter from the man.

Wonho threw the cushion at Sangmin who could not stop laughing at the other’s expense until his best friend began to whine that “it was years ago” and “will he ever live it down”.

“Okay okay!” Sangmin acquiesced, holding his hands up placatingly while a grin still pulled at the corner of his mouth, “I’ll stop Wonnie.”

“Good!” Wonho sat with his arms crossed before he gave up the act and began to put the blankets and pillows in place on the couch, “goodnight Minnie.”

Sangmin watched him organise everything for a few moments and then a thought occurred, “wait, how did you find my address? I’ve moved a lot since college, and I doubt you were keeping that many tabs on me.”

Wonho paused in his doings and smiled sheepishly at Sangmin, “I called Yongseok and he told me your address. I actually did ask him if he had any room for me to stay but he said to stay with, and I quote, ‘the loner that mopes around his dance studio every day’.”

Sangmin let out a scoff and muttered under his breath, “once a brat, always a brat.”

Wonho laughed lightly at that.

“Although maybe consider it a blessing that you aren’t staying with him. He’s gone pretty domestic these days. I called around a few days ago and he opened the door wearing an apron, and with streaks of flour in his hair. And when I went into the apartment he kept shoving food in my face, saying I don’t eat enough. But the real kicker was when Seyoung came home and they spoke non-stop in these sickly sweet voices the whole time.” Sangmin felt a haunted look make its way onto his face, “I had to hear Seok call Seyoung his ‘babey-wabey’ seven times before they let me leave.” He shivered at the thought, but felt delighted at the sight of Wonho’s laughing and grinning face.

“Time really does change people, huh?” Wonho said with laughter still at the edge of his voice.

They smiled at each other knowingly and Sangmin chirped in, “hasn’t changed us much though.”

Wonho smirked a little, “I don’t know about that Minnie. You’ve certainly become quite the man in those five years since we saw each other last.”

Sangmin huffed at that, “you say that as if the nation’s favourite model isn’t currently crashing on my couch right now.”

Both their gazes held mirth and Sangmin’s chest ached. He had missed this so much, damn.

“Well, goodnight Wonho. I’m really glad you’re here.”

With a final smile and goodnight, Sangmin left to go to bed and very soon he drifted off to sleep.