Jaebum lives in shackles, invisible cuffs tying him down. Jinyoung finds it hard not to notice; how there were less smiles and more frowns.
"Are you happy?" He asks, only to receive an "I don't know" in return. Freedom is slipping through their fingers like sand. It's at times like these that Jinyoung'd rather return to the days of JJ Project. Where fame was mountains away--but the older male's laughter was right in front of his eyes. Where the other would still let his sanity go, joking and playing around without worry.
It's nothing like now where Jinyoung walks out of his room at ungodly hours to find Jaebum going over schedules and scripts. He finds empty beer cans one too many times--stashed away until there's a chance to dispose them without their manager knowing.
The other members don't know though, and Jinyoung doesn't blame them for not catching on. Because no one else has known Jaebum as long as him to differentiate his inner self and the front he puts up. But that doesn't mean Jinyoung doesn't get mad when he sees jokes going too far. He doesn't know if he's more angry at how the members gang up on the older male or whether it's the fact that Jaebum doesn't get angry.
It's like a reversal of roles, because last time he remembered, Jaebum was the one with a fiery temper. Who'd blatantly retaliate against things he didn't like--didn't want. Now all Jinyoung sees is their leader hyung who always remembers to smile, giving ninety degree greetings despite the hot patches adorning his back. It's not the least bit heartwarming and all Jinyoung really wants is the other to stop calculating his actions. To not overthink consequences that might not even exist.
There's too many restrictions and bottled up emotions. Yet Jaebum doesn't explode, collecting pieces of anger, sadness, and frustration. He hides them underneath his irises, cold eyes burying pain under layers of snow. And Jinyoung decides that if Jaebum was going to imprison himself, he’s the one to free the other. He’s the one who releases the butterfly from the jar before it suffocates to its death.
And so he does.
Flesh and knuckles, Jinyoung feels all his frustration build up behind the punch--force swelling as his fist comes into contact with Jaebum's cheek. No one quite knows how to react and in the middle of GOT7's gasps, Jinyoung is grabbing Jaebum by his collar--dragging him to his bedroom. Footsteps pounding against the wooden floors. Hearts pounding against scarred chests. He locks the door behind him and turns back to the elder.
"Are you angry?"
He doesn't get an answer, the older male simply staring back at him and all Jinyoung can think of is how there's no soul--no fire, no passion. Everything’s cold and it hurts him, throat burning as he screams, "Punch me back if you're angry! " His nose stung and Jinyoung doesn't know if he's crying for himself or for Jaebum. "Do something," he whispers.
And Jaebum does.
Arms reaching out for the younger, Jaebum pulls Jinyoung into an embrace. Hearts beating against one another, he speaks, voice cracking. "I'm fine."
But he isn't and Jinyoung cries all the more, tears burning his eyes and he can't see. But it hurts, just about everywhere and he tightens his grip on the other's shirt. Nothing is fine and they both know it. He's muttering about dreams and burdens when Jaebum starts crying as well. It's a ridiculous sight, he knows it is; as he cracks a smile while caressing the other's cheek. It's the first outbreak of emotions he's seen in months and there's too many strings tugging at his heart.
“You’re nowhere near fine.” He mutters as he lifts his head up, staring into bloodshot eyes. Lips hovering above lips, they're kissing through tears. Jinyoung leans into the other, breath shortening as his tongue runs along the crevices of the other's mouth. There's tears and blood and just so much rawness that Jinyoung jolts away from reality. As if for this moment, there was no more JB and no more Jr. As if it's 2008 again and it's only Im Jaebum and Park Jinyoung. Fingers interlaced and tongues intertwined.
But it’s 2014. And it’s no longer just Im Jaebum and Park Jinyoung. They’re JB and Jr., pulling forward what made up GOT7. There’s too much on Jaebum’s shoulders—he’s Atlas holding up the heavens. One who can’t let go even if he feels himself breaking apart. So he simply holds onto Jinyoung, whispering into the other’s ears words that sounded like glass shards against pulsing wrists.
“I don’t have to be fine.”