"Felix! Pay attention!" Chan snapped.
Felix flinched and nodded, he sluggishly joined the others.
The younger was feeling terrible today. Not physically but mentally.
Felix was... Very very stressed.
In truth, these issues had been building up for almost two years now.
However, Felix refused to let himself cry. Only at night when no one else was around, that was the only time the precious tears could be shed.
"Felix?!" An angry voice cut through his thoughts.
The music had been shut off.
He stared at the ground.
"Yes, hyung?" He asked in a small voice.
"Go through the chorus."
"In front of everyone?"
Chan sighed loudly and nodded.
Felix felt his heart fluttering a little.
The music started and Felix tried his best. His hand motions stopped a half a second late and his steps were clumsy.
"Have you even been listening, Felix?!" Chan asked.
"Y-yes..." He stuttered as he fiddled with his hands.
"Well obviously not!! You can't get anything right!" He pinched the bridge of their nose and put up a hand at Felix's stuttering.
"Get out, come back when you are going to actually listen." He said before turning away and continuing with the group.
Felix felt the tears well up, he quickly left the room. As he entered the hallway, they fell steadily.
He hid in an empty practice room so he could cry in peace.
Sinking down to the floor, painful sobs were wrenched from his throat as he desperately tried to stop them.
An ugly hiccuping followed soon after.
"Y-you're so s-stupid." He whispered to himself.
"Why can't y-you do anything right?" He berated a little louder.
The unforgiving mirrors faced Felix and showed him how pathetic he looked.
You're so fucking pathetic.
You're not strong.
The mirrors wouldn't stop looking at him.
They wouldn't stop judging him.
Felix curled into himself.
They showed all of his mistakes, all his flaws, everything, and that's what he hated.
Felix couldn't face himself.
He stayed curled in a ball.
His vision was dotting black as his bretahs came out in heavy heaves. It was difficult to breathe.
The harshness of a butterfly's wings were smacking against the pit of his stomach as his chest tightened further.
Tears blurred his vision as choked sobbing and gasping filled his ears.
He couldn't breathe.
He couldn't breathe.
His hand found its way to his throat as he clawed at it. Salty tears streaked down his face as he panicked more.
His vision was darkening. The noise was fading.
Is this really how he died?
When Felix woke up, it was pitch black. He panicked again.
He shot up and tried to grasp the situation.
Where was he?
He craned his neck and instantly let out a whimper, a flash of white hot pain traveled through his sore neck.
That's what he gets for passing out on an uncomfortable floor, he supposed.
Felix quickly realized he was still in the empty practice room.
Wincing in pain, he pushed himself off the floor and stumbled to the window. The bright moon shone through the blinds as he peered out.
It was definitely nighttime.
The city was quiet, too quiet for the boy's liking.
He groaned and slapped a hand to his face.
Stupid fucking emotions.
He was being dramatic earlier.
That still didn't fix the fact of how real and terrible it felt.
Felix had felt like he was drowning in a sea of his troubles. Waves of disappointment in himself kept him away from the surfaces. The ugly hurtful words shackled to his ankles and weighing heavily on his weak legs.
He felt like his head was splitting open with the sheer amount of stress and pressure. Maybe if he did just that, his head wouldn't feel like it was about to explode.
Maybe if Felix just drove a knife into his head he could finally feel some relief.
Maybe if he practiced more, he wouldn't hear the disappointing words from his members.
Maybe if he just died, life would become less stressful.
A quick click of the trigger, a sudden misfortunate step off the ledge, one step is all it took.
Felix felt the bitter seed being planted in his chest.
He disappointed everyone.
He disappointed Chan.
Felix could go back to the dorms, he could sneak into the older's room and go bury himself in the warmth of Chan's bed but he resisted.
Chan was mad at him. Chan was disappointed in him.
Felix needed to be better.
Quietly, he limped out of the room. Sneaking toward the main practice room, Felix tried not to let his mind wander.
Did no one notice he was gone...?
It had to be at least 1 A.M by now. Felix didn't have his phone.
His shaky hand met with the door handle and he gently opened the door.
An exhale past his lips as he saw the inside of the dark room, completely empty. Stumbling toward the speakers, he fiddled with the computer and put Levanter on.
He cracked the volume down as low as it would go which was thankfully only more than a whisper. If anyone happened to walk past, they wouldn't be able to hear it unless they listened for it.
Felix didn't bother turning the lights on.
He could see well enough. Plus, if he did. He would come face to face with his own failure, glaring at him in the mirror.
The signature woosh sounds started and Felix instantly started moving.
His moves were rather stiff considering he had been laying on the floor, unconscious, for the past who knows how long.
He felt his muscles stretch, the burn radiating through the tissue. Still, he continued.
If he couldn't get better, he would fall behind. He would disappoint his members more than he already had.
So Felix danced.
After the 20th run, his legs faltered. He crashed to the ground, feeling incredibly weak.
Levanter still played, almost taunting him, calling him weak.
His aching bones were on fire. He felt a tear slip down his cheek as he stared up at the ceiling. He couldn't get up if he tried.
Felix forced himself to flip over and painfully crawled toward the black couch. It was less than 10 feet away but to Felix, it felt like a lightyear.
When he finally made it, he knew he couldn't pull himself up onto it.
So he just slept beside it. It felt safer than sleeping out in the open, exposed to anything that walked in.
He curled into a ball in the corner where the couch met the wall, hidden from any intruders view.
In all honesty, Felix just hoped he would disappear, hoped the earth would swallow him whole.
But no, the earth would never be that merciful.
He pressed his back against the wall and buried his head to his knees.
Without the constant dancing, it was quite cold. Felix was shivering but he didn't really care at the moment.
He just wanted sleep.
He awoke to his body being roughly shaken back and forth. Felix blearily opened his eyes. He blinked a few times and his sight came into focus.
A very angry looking Chan crouched in front of him.
"Where. Have. You. Been?" He questioned lowly with a growl almost jumping from his throat.
Felix averted his eyes.
"I was... practicing." He whispered weakly with a raspy morning voice.
"Oh so that makes it ok to not come back to the dorms and keep everyone worried all night?!" Chan snapped.
Felix felt the tears welling in his eyes again.
"Felix, you need to be more re-"
"I'M SORRY!" Felix suddenly exploded. His hands were shaking, his vision was spinning, fuck, it was happening again.
"I'm- I'm sorry, Chan." He voice was barely a whisper as a single tear rolled down his left cheek.
He expected yelling, scolding, something.
But instead, he received silence, deafening silence.
Only occasional sniffling dared to interrupt it.
Felix buried his face in his hands as the tears flowed.
"I'm sor-sorry, Chan. Don't hate m-me." He wailed as sobs interrupted his words a few times.
Warms hands snaked around his waist and pulled him close. A hand softly pet his hair.
"Why would I hate you, Lixie?" Chan's tone had done a complete 180.
Felix removed his hands from his face and buried himself in Chan's shoulder. He threw his arms around the older's neck.
Felix's head hurt, he just wanted Chan. He wanted the soft murmuring of comfort he used to recieve as he fell asleep, crawling into Chan's bed from homesickness.
He felt the rumble of Chan's chest as he uttered a few words, presumably to the other members that had just walked in.
There was a sharp command that elicited from Chan and Felix was suddenly being lifted up. He sobbed harder as he was ripped away from Chan.
"No, no!" He cried as he was ushered away.
The previously quieter crying turned into full out shaking sobbing, he didn't want anyone else. He wanted his Channie.
The walk back to the dorm was a blur as Felix couldn't help but feel the blooms of rejection in his chest.
Felix had been too needy.
He had been too much to handle.
Felix was too much.
His shoes were ripped off his feet as he was guided to his room. After he was safely in bed, he heard the his bedroom door close and the dorm door open.
He was all alone. Again.
Felix had thought they cared for him at least a little bit.
After two years together...
He thought they maybe gave at least one fuck. But today, he was proven wrong.
They didn't care.
They thought he was annoying.
They hated him.
Felix's throat was sore from all the crying, his head was throbbing, his eyes were puffy and red.
God, today was not his day.
Maybe he should have never joined the group.
They would be fine as eight.
They would be fine without him...
And that's what killed him....
Felix searched for his phone as the tears never faultered. He finally found it and quickly unlocked it.
Pressing on the only person he knew actually cared, he prayed they picked up.
"Hey, baby! How is my Lixie doing? I haven't heard from you in awhile." The voice sent him into another flurry of tears.
"Woah, what's wrong, my sunshine?"
"Mom." He croaked out, the pain in his heart was searing.
"Mom's here, sunshine. Can you tell me what's wrong?" The calm tone soothed the fire in his heart.
"I m-miss you." He whispered.
"Oh, you silly goose, I'm always here. You can always call me, you can always message me, you can always facetime me. It's ok, sunshine."
Felix was surprised he still had tears left to shed. He stayed on the phone with her for a little longer before inevitably hanging up.
He felt a lot better after that. He explained the situation a little better but not in full detail.
Felix was exhausted. He knew he was way too worked up to even think about leaving the house.
The bed was comfy but he didn't want the members to see him when they came in.
Felix pushed himself off the bed and rolled under it with his pillow.
It was dark and quiet under there, he felt safer than being out in the open. All outside sounds were muffled.
Good thing he cleaned under there frequently.
When things got too much, under his bed he went, it was his safe place.
He kept a few things there for emergencies, such as a makeshift blanket bed and some snacks.
Curling onto the blanket, Felix hugged his pillow and closed his eyes. In his tired state, sleep came easily.
When Felix woke up again, it was rather loud. He heard shouting, however, it was muffled.
He couldn't tell what they were saying. His sleep riden brain couldn't comprehend the fast paced korean.
He hated yelling. It made the butterflies beat around in his stomach nervously.
He hugged his pillow tighter and shoved himself closer to the wall.
The door slammed open and reverberated through the house, Felix jumped.
Angry footsteps stomped around his bed. He heard someone shuffling through the room.
"His phone is here?" He heard the unmistakable confused voice of his leader.
Felix almost let out a whimper, he didn't want to be found.
He wanted them to just stop searching, he wanted them to stop acting like they cared.
Silence filled the room as Chan just stood confused.
He heard more shuffling and the panicked yelling ensued in the kitchen.
"Where the fuck is he?!"
Felix realized they were talking about him.
Why were they shouting?
Were they angry?
Felix heard the shouting cease and a set of footsteps walk toward his room.
He heard the startling sound of someone dropping to the floor and saw a pair of narrowed eyes staring at him.
They found him.
A hand gripped his wrist and tried to pull him out. He squeezed his eyes shut and struggled to wrench his hand out of the iron clad grip.
Yelling erupted and the hand was yanked free from his now red wrist.
Felix felt the panic rising in his chest again. He just wanted them to leave. He would come out when he was ready. Or maybe he would just start living there.
He didn't know yet.
"What the fuck are you doing?! You're scaring him!"
A few more words were thrown around before silence fell over the room, Felix wished he was strong enough to face them. He wished he wasn't so weak.
Faking a smile used to be so simple, now it was all but impossible. The emotions swirling in his head radiated off of him, he was all but see through.
Felix just clutched his pillow to his chest and wished to disappear. Calmer tones filled the tense air.
Eventually, presumably everyone left the room and Felix let out a sigh of relief. He didn't want them to argue because of him. He wasn't worth it.
Shaking his head, he gently peeked from under the bed. No one was here.
Sighing again, he pulled himself out. His limbs were aching and his eyes were watering but there wasn't much he could do about it.
Taking a deep breath, his shaky hand met with the doorknob. He knew he couldn't hide forever.
He was prepared for them to yell at him, kick him out, it was ok.
Felix was ok.
He turned it and took a step out. Fear filled his chest as he took another shaky step.
Finally rounding the corner, he saw everyone sitting in the living room, discussing something.
All eyes turned on him and he really really wished that the earth would just swallow him up right about now.
Very tense silence filled the room.
Eventually, Chan got up and made his way over. Felix cowered back in fear.
"I'm sorry." He squeaked out.
He saw Chan raise his hand and flinched visibly.
Was Chan really going to hit him?
Instead, arms were wrapped around him. Anxiety started cutting off his airflow and he panicked.
"Lixie, what's going on?" Chan's voice was soft as he squeezed Felix tighter.
"I-im sorry!" He repeated.
He felt like the members stares were boring into his head. Chan seemed to notice his apprehensive state because a short bark of order sent them scrambling.
The older led his shaking frame to the couch. He pulled Felix onto his lap.
"Pixie, why do you keep apologising?" He brushed some hair out of the younger's face.
Felix was rather non verbal right now. He missed the safety his bed provided him. He felt too exposed. His eyes were squeezed shut as he shook violently.
Chan pulled the boy down to his chest. He hummed softly and brushed through Felix's faded pink hair. Felix finally gave up and just wrapped his arms around Chan's neck and buried his face in the space between his shoulder and neck.
The soothing slow beat of his leader's heart calmed his nerves.
His shaking ceased as he slipped further into a relaxed headspace.
"Are you ok now, Pixie?" Chan spoke up.
"No." Felix admitted.
"Would you like to tell me what's wrong?" His tone was still gentle.
"I don't want to start crying again."
"It's ok to cry, Pixie." Hands gently stroked his hair.
"I've done that far too much today."
Silence momentarily filled the room before Chan just sighed. He made to get up but Felix panicked.
"No, please don't leave!" He clung on tighter.
"Pixie, I'm not leaving you." Chan cooed.
"We're going to my room, is that ok?" Felix just nodded and Chan gingerly stood up with the younger clinging to his neck.
When they finally reached the room, Chan murmured something to Changbin and the boy quickly left.
Chan leaned forward and laid Felix on the soft mattress.
He slipped in beside the smaller and wrapped his arms around his slim waist.
"I'm sorry for yelling at you yesterday, my Pixie. I didn't realize how stressed out you already were."
"S'ok." He whispered as he snuggled his face into Chan's chest.
"You're here now." He began.
He pressed a chaste kiss to Chan's cheek before finishing.
"You're here now and that's all that matters."