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You don’t know what to do.

You’re pacing and your thoughts are churning a mile a minute and you don’t know what to do. Half of you wants to scream, half of you wants to cry, and half of you wants to laugh hysterically. You vaguely realize that’s three halves and you’re pretty sure your math is wrong, which makes you want to laugh even more, but none of this is funny.

It’s torture being this close to him and you wonder what made you think he’d like you to begin with. Sure, Seven was flirty, but Seven was flirty with everyone so obviously you were nothing special.

But this, oh this was karma coming to bite you in the ass for something you don’t even remember doing, but must have done because whatever god Seven believes in cannot be this cruel.

You want to snap at him, tell him he’s being ridiculous and childish and insufferable, but you don’t because fighting would be pointless. Arguing with him wouldn’t make the situation easier, or better and it wouldn’t keep him here beside you.

So, you pace your room that’s not even your room, just your temporary room and it sort of smells like stale perfume, but like one you’d probably wear and that’s somewhat comforting, but also not. The beds unkempt, sheets sliding off the mattress and blanket still balled up from your constant tossing and turning. Your phone sits, the LED flashing blue indicating new messages, probably from Jaehee, or Zen if you had to guess. Definitely not from Seven. You laugh bitterly and run shaking fingers through your hair, pulling as you squeeze your eyes closed.

You feel like perhaps you’re losing your mind. It’s strange because you’re such a good person, or so you like to think. You only have the best of intentions, yet Seven pisses you off so much and all you can do is walk away to keep from strangling him.

Why he’s under the impression that he’s bad for you, you have no idea.

Okay, so you get it to an extent. He’s a secret intelligence agent and you’ve seen enough Bond films to get the gist of what that entails and so maybe you both could wind up dead and it’d look like an accident, but there’s a live bomb beneath your feet, or fucking in the walls, you don’t know where, but it’s in the house and that’s definitely more dangerous than the moody ginger you’ve been attempting to deal with. He looks like a kitten next to the threat of a bomb, yet you still can’t find it in yourself to give a shit because the moody ginger keeps pushing you away.

Hard, too.

You’re so good with people, you know it. You’ve always been good with people, yet this motherfucker won’t even meet your eyes half the time you try to talk to him and something about that gets under your skin, makes you want to grab his face and force his eyes on you, make him listen because he doesn’t seem to get it.

You care. You genuinely care for him and his wellbeing and you want to see him smile. You’re dying to hear him laugh like he used to over the phone, but he just sits there in his little corner with his imaginary line drawn on the ground that you can’t cross and he won’t hardly eat and he pretends not to hear you talk and when you do manage to get a word in, he shuts you down. He’s holding you at arm’s length and you’re so ready to snap.

You need to breathe so you sit on the edge of the bed and rest your head in your hands as you catch your breath. Close your eyes and focus on relaxing the tense parts of your body like your therapist taught you how to do all those years ago. The last thing you need right now is a panic attack, but you can already feel the anxiety setting in. You don’t have any Xanax and you’re not allowed out of the house, so your coping mechanisms are cut to a minimum, so you set to cleaning.

Within seconds, you rip the sheets off the bed and grab up every scrap of dirty clothes, dumping them into the basket that sits in the corner of the room. You grind your teeth as you maneuver the basket to the laundry room and begin to sort clothes. You can hear the faint clicking of Seven’s fingers against his keyboard and the sound is somewhat calming. Once the laundry is started, you move on to the kitchen and work on dishes.

You can’t help but glance at Seven from the corner of your eye, but he never looks up and you don’t know if you’re grateful or irritated. You don’t know what you’d say to him at this point so you figure you’re probably more grateful. You haven’t eaten much since your small breakfast this morning, but you’re too worked up to think about dinner now even though your stomach is protesting. Your fingers prune and the sink empties maybe too quickly. There’s only so much you can do to occupy yourself and now with dishes done, you’re running out of ideas.

When your stomach gives a particularly loud growl, Seven finally looks up and you meet his steady gaze. “You haven’t eaten?” He asks and you bite your tongue so the smart comment on the tip of your tongue doesn’t find its way out.

“No, not since breakfast.” You tell him instead of snapping that, obviously you haven’t since you’ve been cooped up in your room, that’s not even your room, avoiding him.

“There should be something left in the fridge to make.” He looks away and your jaw snaps shut, teeth grinding.

“I’m not hungry.” You say before turning on your heel and disappearing back down the hallway. Your patience is thin and you’re afraid of ruining everything with one wrong move so you dig through the drawers full of clothes that aren’t yours because you have nothing else to wear aside from these fucking dead girl’s clothes because you can’t go home and get your own clothes because there’s a moody ginger guarding the door. You don’t know when you start crying, but the tears drip silently into the drawer as you grab up a pair of plaid pajama bottoms. They’re good enough, you can sleep in your bra, or nothing at all for all you care.

Seven hasn’t moved from his spot on the floor, but his fingers are still over his keyboard for a moment as you pass through the hallway and lock the bathroom door behind you. You’re still crying and you’re not even really sure why, maybe you’re just overly emotional. Regardless, you start the shower and strip then appraise yourself in the mirror.

If you’re being honest, you look like shit. You hair is still rumpled from sleep, your face is tear-streaked and your eyes are red-rimmed, your skin is pale, and you’ve got dark circles under your eyes from restless nights. You look like you need a drink, but you’re not even sure what kind. Maybe vodka, maybe an entire pot of coffee, but you need something, though you’ll settle for a hot shower.

When the mirror fogs, you step into the shower and let the water beat the tension from your shoulders, let your hair plaster to your face and let the tears flow more steadily now that you’re hidden away.

You’re not weak. But you kind of are. You figure you’ve always been a little weak, but nobody needs to know that.

You wonder why it had to be Seven and as you stand there under the scalding water, you wonder if you even wish it was anybody else. Part of you does, but part of you doesn’t. You were drawn to him from the very beginning and you know it, but this person in your house (not your house) is not the same person you thought he was. He wears a mask, but you don’t know which person is the mask and which is the real one, but it still has to be him. You’re not sure of much, but you’re sure of that. You know he deserves to be happy and you know you could make him happy if he just fucking let you, but that’s the problem.

You hadn’t realized it before, but he’s just like you. The anger dissipates and leaves you feeling empty and spent, tired like you haven’t slept in weeks. He’s just like you. So karma really is a bitch. You wonder if you’re just destined to be alone, but that’s the self-pity talking and you really need to pull yourself together.

The soap smells nice and you feel clean when you step out of the shower, but you still look like a mess and you wish you wouldn’t have given in so readily when your emotions flared up. You dry off and dress slowly, still in a daze from the realization of how similar you and Seven really are. You’ve always pushed people away for as long as you can remember, but never have you been conscious of it. It was a defense mechanism of sorts, your therapist had told you one time, you were afraid of being hurt so you never gave anyone the opportunity to hurt you.

“What the fuck changed?” You wonder aloud and tuck a wet strand of hair behind your ear. You don’t even know Seven, yet you’ve already invested so much of yourself into him and he’s doing exactly what he’s been afraid of doing: hurting you.

You can be supportive and understanding all damn day long, but if he can’t do the same, it’s all pointless. You’re only human and you wonder if he knows that.

The cooler air from the hallway meets your bare skin and you shiver as you pad back to the bedroom, careful to avoid looking at Seven like you so badly want to. You drop your towel after running it through your hair and climb into bed, sit cross-legged in the middle, then grab your phone from where you left it. Sure enough, Zen has been blowing your phone up wondering if you’re still alive and warning you about “The Beast” like Seven has any inclination to touch you. You can’t help rolling your eyes as you message him back and then join the group chat where Jumin and Yoosung are already chatting.

It lifts your spirits and you find yourself more at ease after a lengthy conversation with those you now consider closest to you. You wonder how a couple of strangers can so suddenly feel like best friends, but it probably has something to do with always being alone. You lean back against the headboard and stretch your legs out in front of you as you rest your hand on your bare stomach and distractedly poke at your imperfections.

There’s a knock at the door and your head snaps up. You wonder if you should cover yourself, but it’s only a stomach. You still have your bra on and maybe that’ll be incentive enough to send Seven away, or fuck, pull him closer. God, you’re really horrible. “Come in.” You call, half expecting him to stay standing in the hallway to talk to you through the door.

But, the door opens and he stares at his feet as he leans against the frame. When he finally looks up at you, his hard expression falls and his mouth drops open. He recovers quickly, but his face is red and he’s looking everywhere but at you.

Good, you think, let’s see him hold his composure now.

“Sorry, I just, um. Your stomach earlier, food… you need to eat. I made dinner.” He finally concludes with a quick glance at you again before his eyes dart away once more.

“Okay.” You slide from bed and he steps back as you slip past him.

“You’re not going to put on a shirt?” He asks, voice sounding strained. You want to laugh, but you just shrug as you flick your hair.

“I’m fine.” You assure, hoping he is the opposite of fine because honestly you’re taking great pleasure in watching him flounder. You’ve been aching to see him anything but cold and finally he’s giving you something even if it’s not much. You don’t really care, you have nothing to hide and if he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t have to look. Better, if he does, then let him look all he wants. You think that’s the dry spell talking, but you choose to ignore it and nab the plate from the counter.

Seven grabs his own sandwich and cracks open a can of PhD Pepper without looking at you, but he’s fidgeting, which you think is a good sign. You’re playing dirty, you know it, but you think it’s necessary. You snort when you realize he’s made your favorite and the sound grabs his attention.

“What?” He asks.

You shake your head. It’s all so ridiculous, but you can’t help yourself. The giggles don’t stop, but you muffle them with food and hide your face beneath your hair. You wonder again if you’re losing your mind.

“You seem a bit… off.” He says hesitantly and you want to tell him you’re definitely "off" and it’s his fucking fault you’re like this. You just want to shake him, tell him to listen for once because you’re right here and fuck knows why, but you care. You’ll listen to whatever he has to say so long as he says something. So long as he looks at you, acknowledges that you exist.

And just like that, you’re crying again. You swear under your breath and wipe furiously at your eyes as Seven begins to panic. “What..? What’s wrong?! Why are you crying??” He nearly trips over his own two feet as he rounds the island to get to you, but you take a step away from him, halting him in his tracks. He’s eyebrows knit together and his hands run through his wrecked hair, rub the back of his neck. “What should I do?” He asks, seemingly to himself.

“J-just fucking listen for once, Luciel,” you hiccup and push your hair back from your face, “you don’t have to do this alone. I get that you’ve always been alone, b-but so have I! I, I get you’re dangerous, but there’s a bomb here, Luciel. That’s dangerous and I still don’t care because you’re here. You came to protect me, don’t even try to argue it now, so you must care even if it’s a little. Maybe you don’t want blood on your hands, but even that’s enough for me. So, why can’t I be enough for you? Why can’t you just talk to me? All you keep doing is pushing, like I’ll go somewhere, but I have nowhere to go. This is it, right here standing in front of me and those couple of weirdos blowing up my phone right now, this is it for me. I care and fuck knows why I do when you’re so goddamn stubborn, but I’m just as stubborn if not more, so either stop running away from me, or leave right now because I’m at my limit here.” You ramble, everything pouring out at once between your tears and shaky breaths. You wonder if he’s even heard you at all, but in a second you’re wrapped in strong arms.

“I’m sorry,” he murmurs against your ear, “I’m sorry. This is exactly what I didn’t want. But you don’t understand the kind of man I am. I can’t be who you want me to be. I can’t just be happy I don’t even deserve it. Don’t deserve someone like you to care about me, but I don’t want to run away anymore. I want to be selfish even if I know better. One day you’ll regret this, but I won’t let you right now.”

Seven’s fingers thread through your hair and you can feel his tears dripping onto your shoulder, but you don’t care. He smells like honey and he’s warm and he’s finally, finally giving you what you want. “I’ll never regret this, Luciel.” you tell him, “I like the man before me, whoever he is. Maybe he’s not 707, but he deserves to be happy and cared for, so no matter what, I’ll care for you.”

“Thank you.” He whispers and you hold him close, fingers curling in his jacket as he buries his face in your neck.

You realize you’ll follow this man to the ends of the earth if it means you’ll get to see him smile and so long as he’s there beside you, nothing else matters.