Jaemin lay awake in bed, unable to sleep- like always- after a fight with Jeno. He tossed and turned, getting more and more frustrated by every minute that passed by. 'Don't go to bed angry', people always said and Jaemin totally understood why. He needed Jeno. Needed to say sorry and hear the other apologize. Needed kisses and cuddles and something to know that they were alright. That's what always happened.
Jeno would storm off, seething with anger and no longer able to be in the same room as Jaemin. The latter would scream at him until he disappeared out of sight. Jaemin would be mad for a couple of minutes but eventually calm down and think about the fight when he was feeling more.. sober. Then he would regret everything he said and waited for Jeno to come home, so that he could engulf him in a warm hug with some stray tears here and there. They would kiss and make up, quite literally and end up cuddling in bed.
That's how it always goes. But this time, it didn't. It had been three days since the fight, their worst one so far. It made Jaemin wonder if they would ever be okay. They had said some harsh and painful things. And then.. Jeno had done something as he had lost his temper. Jeno had done something and Jaemin had already forgiven him. But he was afraid that Jeno could never forgive himself.
Jaemin thought back to the fight with a frown, had it really been worth it?
“Jaemin, just... stop acting like you're the victim all the time!", Jeno's voice thundered through their small shared apartment as the two had gotten into a heavy argument.
"Then you stop acting like a self-centered prick!", Jaemin exclaimed as he stared at his raging boyfriend with squinted eyes.
“My god Jaemin, why can't you just stop for once!"
“Well excuse me?! This is just how I am! I'm sorry for wanting some love from my boyfriend after he hasn't given me attention for a long time!"
“It was just a week Jaemin! I was fucking busy, I have a life you know?!", Jeno threw his hands in the air as he screamed loudly at Jaemin. The neighbors would've heard them for sure by now, but at the moment, neither of them cared.
“Not busy enough to hang out with Mark!", Jaemin spat, "I'm part of that life aren't I, or would you rather have Mark in it instead of me?"
“Stop being so possessive and jealous all the fucking time Jaemin! Mark is my best friend and you know that! I hadn't seen him in weeks, because of you! Because you want all of my attention on yourself all the time! But I have other things to worry about too! You aren't the only one that I care about!"
"Oh- So now it's all my fault?!", Jaemin let out a scoff, the anger displayed on his face. "Can't you realize that I'm doing what a proper boyfriend should do, unlike you?!"
"Oh go to hell Jaemin! You're just putting words into my mouth and don't want to understand what I'm trying to say!"
"Oh yeah, what do you mean then? Care to explain?", Jaemin sneered, daringly stepping closer to Jeno who didn't budge.
"Sometimes I wish you would grow up and stop acting like a child, why can't you just be like-", Jeno coldly stated but eventually stopped talking as he looked at Jaemin, finally realizing what he was going to say.
"Be like what? Or should I say who?", Jaemin laughed dryly, "I know that you'd rather want me to act like Renjun or even better! Actually be him-"
"Shut up now Jaemin. You're going too fucking far", Jeno voice got cold and monotone.
Jaemin knew he had struck a sensitive topic by saying the name of Jeno's ex. He knew how much it ticked Jeno off whenever the Chinese male got mentioned. Jaemin was always careful to avoid that topic, but not right now. Right now he smirked, a glint of something- that seemed like anger and mischief mixed together- in his eyes. Ignoring the pain that settled itself in his chest, just to push Jeno even further. "So sad how he just stopped loving you, he was prefect for you, but now you only have me. Na Jaemin, nothing compared to the almighty Huang Renjun-"
It had happened so fast, Jeno had raised his hand and the next moment, Jaemin's head turned to the side as the sound of a hand coming in contact with his face echoed through the room. Almost automatically Jaemin's hand reached for his cheek as a painful sting made its way through his body. It felt like the world stopped, a buzz in Jaemin's head was the only sound he could hear. He stood frozen to the ground, tears prickling in the corner of his eyes as he finally looked up to Jeno, who seemed just as shocked as Jaemin.
He just got hit... By Jeno.. His boyfriend, the one he trusted the most.
He just got hit by Jeno, who never got aggressive. Who never used violence and especially not towards Jaemin, since he knew how much the younger hated it.
And yet, Jaemin just got hit by Jeno.
That was the only thing that got repeated in his clouded mind.
Jeno hit me. Jeno hit me. Jeno hit me-
"Get out..", he slowly hissed at the older, hand still pressed against his- now slowly reddening- cheek.
"I said get out Jeno, now." Jeno furrowed his eyebrows but did as told, he turned around quickly, put on his jacket and bolted out of their shared apartment. The door slamming shut behind him with a loud thud. Jaemin just sunk onto the floor, hand clutching his aching cheek, a bruise forming for sure.
Jeno had slapped him and hadn’t even hold back. He had slapped him so hard that it made Jaemin dizzy. Or maybe it was just the pure feeling of despair filling his body. A cry escaped his mouth, soon sobs filled the place. They racked through Jaemin's body as he felt his heart ache more than his cheek.
“I went too far", Jaemin muttered to himself, "I went too far.. Jeno wouldn't hurt me if I wasn't like this", he continued to murmur while leaning against the cold wall. He closed his eyes as he continued to cry his heart out, his body shaking entirely.
Had he fucked up?
He did... He shouldn't have acted that way.
But Jeno... Jeno shouldn't have hit him. Jaemin had expected to feel an incredible rage, but all he felt was emptiness and sadness. All he could do right now, was to wait for Jeno to come back, they needed to talk things out.
Three days since the incident and three days since Jeno had last taken a step inside the apartment. Jaemin knew that the older was probably crashing at Mark's place. He knew that Jeno had told Mark everything and Mark had told his boyfriend (and Jaemin's best friend)- Donghyuck- everything.
Maybe that was the reason why the sound of knocking and someone screaming his name could be heard through the thick silence. Jaemin dragged himself out of bed and opened the door, to be engulfed in a hug by someone immediately.
He had somewhere hoped that it would be Jeno at the door. But the voice wasn't low as Jeno's. the arms that wrapped around him weren't as strong as Jeno's. The scent of cologne wasn't that of Jeno. And the person rubbing his back comfortingly, as he once again cried his heart out, wasn't Jeno.
"D-Duckie is that you?", Jaemin's raspy and broken voice was barely audible, but Donghyuck heard it and finally took a good look at the other boy.
“Oh good lord, what happened to you tiny?", he could hear his close friend mutter. The tanned male always had the habit of calling Jaemin tiny. Even though Jaemin knew- for sure- that he was taller. Jaemin didn't have the strength and will to answer him, just letting another sob come out of his mouth as Donghyuck pulled him towards his couch. Crying, that's all he had done the past three days. He couldn't even bother taking care of himself properly. Donghyuck started fussing over him, aiding the wound that formed on his cheek and preparing some instant ramen and hot tea.
“I knew I should've checked up on you sooner..", he heard Donghyuck mutter, but Jaemin just stared ahead of him. The tears had finally stopped falling, but soft sobs still escaped his mouth. "Here, drink this, eat something, shower and change into some comfortable clothes", Donghyuck told Jaemin while guiding the cup of tea towards Jaemin's mouth. Despite feeling like shit, Jaemin couldn't help but worry over his boyfriend.
"D-Duckie..", he whispered while tugging on his friend's shirt. The latter turned around with soft eyes as he looked at the tired Jaemin.
"Yeah tiny?", he hummed with a soft smile gracing his features.
“Is.. Is Jeno okay?", Donghyuck just sighed and shook his head slightly.
“He's a mess Jaemin, he came to our apartment and broke down completely, he wasn't able to form proper sentences but all we could pick up from it, was that he hit you..", Jaemin whined lightly at the thought of Jeno being sad, he still cared for his boyfriend of course! And he knew how much regret Jeno was in, he knew that the older never wanted to hurt him. He knew, then why did he still feel so devastated as he though back to their fight?
He whimpered softly when Donghyuck carefully touched his cheek. "I didn't want to believe it at first.. It's so unlike Jeno to do that.. But now I've soon you, god...", Donghyuck continued muttering as he sat down next to Jaemin. Wrapping his arms around his friend again, while Jaemin slowly drank his tea and ate the noodles. No word were exchanged and Jaemin was thankful.
He was thankful for Donghyuck. And he was thankful for Mark, because he knew that the latter was taking care of Jeno right now. Jaemin hadn't noticed that he was shivering until Donghyuck pulled a blanket around him, Jaemin quietly thanked the boy and finally finished his food.
After Jaemin had showered, he was cuddled up next to Donghyuck. Or more like, Donghyuck was cuddled up next to Jaemin. They sat in comfortable silence and Jaemin was glad that the other didn't force him to talk. He didn't need to force him, because eventually he would start speaking. Donghyuck just let him mentally prepare himself before he would be spilling out all of his feelings and pain.
"I accused him of not loving me anymore", Jaemin finally whispered, not lifting his head to look Donghyuck in the eyes. Instead of that he focused on the tiles of the floor. "I know that I was being petty, but I couldn't help it... You know how much attention I need", Jaemin said, almost pleading. As if he wanted to convince Donghyuck to not be mad at him and blame him. But to his luck, his best friend stayed silent.
“He was just gone... We live together, but it felt like he was never here.. And I know there are more things in life than just one relationship... But I really needed him... I missed him." Donghyuck only rubbed his arm comfortingly. Humming and nodding once in a while, to show Jaemin that he's still listening.
Donghyuck was a good listener even though people assumed he wasn't because of his talkative nature. But the tanned male was actually one of the few in Jaemin's life that sat down and shut up, to listen to his worries. Jaemin appreciated that.
“And Jeno thinks I'm talking about this week only, so of course he would get mad. I'm not letting him breathe", Jaemin laughed quietly, yet both boys knew better, he was close to tears (again). "But really.. We've known each other for so long and our third anniversary will be soon... But I just noticed that neither of us are trying anymore. We are growing apart Donghyuck, I'm losing my Nono.. I'm losing him and I can't stand the idea of having to live without him!", Jaemin cried out, rocking himself back and forth as he continued to speak about his worries.
"I never dress up for him, we don't go out on nice dates and all I do is get mad at him. We act like a married couple when we should be acting like all the other fresh, new, young and happy couples! Why can't I just try harder?", Jaemin buried his face in his hands, he didn't even notice when Donghyuck started rubbing his arm comfortingly again. He didn't notice anything expect from the awful pain, nestling itself in his heart, head, body and bones. It was part of him and he wanted it gone. He didn't want to feel like this.
“I'm so scared! I'm scared he will find someone better, a person he truly deserves and that he will leave me! I know people get tired of me eventually and it's just a matter of time until Jeno does too..."
And finally Donghyuck spoke up. "Hey, give your boyfriend some credits. I know you are really insecure right now and you have the right to feel like this, but don't you talk down on yourself and your boyfriend like that", Jaemin could practically hear the frown in Donghyuck's stern voice and he only stared crying more.
It wasn't really like sobbing, as he had done the past few days. It was more like soft sighs escaping his trembling lips while the warm tears continued to flow down rapidly. At one point Jaemin didn't even bother to wipe them away anymore.
"I know, I guess I'm just selfish", he attempted to laugh, but ended up choking on his own tears. He doubled over as he coughed with little to no strength. Donghyuck just looked at his best friend sadly and patted the younger on his back.
"You're not selfish for loving your partner Jaem...", Donghyuck sighed lovingly, "Is there anything else you want to tell me?", he then softly asked, but Jaemin shook his head. He had told everything and was happy that Donghyuck was there and willing to help carry the pain.
That's how they always did it, carry each other's pain when it was too much for them as an individual. No matter what happened, they could always rely on each other.
“Okay, go to bed then, do you want me to stay?" Jaemin shook his head once again, smiling at his friend while convincing him that he could go home. To his own boyfriend- Mark- and sadly Jaemin's boyfriend- Jeno- too.
Donghyuck nodded and hugged Jaemin tightly, then he grabbed his jacket and made sure to check on Jaemin one last time before leaving the apartment.
He had a lot to tell Jeno. Some people would call him a traitor, he kind of was in a way, telling another person something that Jaemin had trusted him with.
But this wasn't just any other person.
This was Jeno.
The boy that Jaemin had known since they were toddlers, a boy he grew up and eventually fell in love with. And most of the time, Donghyuck would let fate decide on its own and didn't try to mingle with others lives. This time was a small expectation though.
There was no way his two friends would fix things if he wasn't there to clear up the miscommunication.
Jaemin said some nasty words.
Jeno used violence. But in the end they both would forgive and continue with their lives, still by each other's side and never forget to love and appreciate the other.
Jaemin would never flinch away from Jeno, because he still trusted the older after all. He trusted Jeno to come back to him.
And come back he will.