It's been five days since Jiyong confessed his feelings, and three days since Youngbae ended your relationship. Needless to say it's been a rough few days for you. Jiyong won't see you, won't even respond to your texts. Youngbae will, but he's still acting like you belong with Jiyong. The only thing you've had to keep your mind off your crumbling personal life is work, and luckily, there had been plenty of it.
From photoshoots, to TV appearences and a fan signing, your schedule has been packed. It always seems to happen like this when you're about to head back stateside. You've been doing a pretty good job of hiding your emotional turmoil at these events. No one has asked if you're alright or shown concern for you, which is a huge relief. Your relationship with Youngbae had never been public knowledge so no MC or member of the press would know to ask you about it. But if they were to inquire, you weren't entirely sure you had the mind to keep from spilling your guts.
You haven't cried yet. You won't let yourself. Can't risk a swollen, water-logged face when you have all those appearances. That would draw too much attention. No, you've got to keep it together until you get home. Just one more day and you can let out of the pain you've been working so hard to hide.
"We need to get going if you still plan to stop by the dorm on the way." The sound of Ri's familiar voice snaps you away from your troubling thoughts. You look up at him, glad to see his comforting face. He pulls you into a hug, which you gladly accept.
"Oppa, I'm so happy to see you." You wipe away the moisture building in the corners of yours eyes and sink into his embrace. Ri is like a brother to you. There is no need for formalities with him.
"I'm sorry." He whispers. You squeeze your eyes tightly shut in order to force the tears back inside you where they belong.
"Don't. Please." You plead quietly. " I need Happy Panda Seungri right."
"Then you will get Happy Panda Seungri." He smiles brightly at you as you squeeze your arms around his torso a moment longer. "We do need to get going, though... Unless you've changed your mind."
"I haven't... Anyway, we have to pick Eu Jin up and she's just down the street from you guys."
With that, Ri grabs your luggage and you pick up your purse from the dresser. Stefan, your personal assistant, closes his laptop and slides it in his carry on. You glance over the suite one last time, checking to make sure you haven't left anything behind.
"Come on, Ji. At least say goodbye to me. Don't let me leave like this. What if something happens and I never make it home? Is this really how you want to leave things?" Your pleading bounces off the door to Jiyong's bedroom. There is no response. You've been standing in the hallway, talking to his door for the past ten minutes.
"Jiyong... You're still my best friend... Just come out here and and say goodbye." Again, there is only silence on the other end. "Please? Just give me a hug." You can't even hear movement inside his room. Only silence.
"Fine Ji. Have it your way." You lean your forehead against his door. "Goodbye Ji." A heavy sigh escapes your lips. His lack of response rests like a weight on your chest.
You can feel them, the rest of the members, watching you from the living room. They've all just witnessed the pathetic exchange between you and Jiyong's unresponsive door. You turn towards them and sure enough, all eyes are on you. From the looks on their faces, you know they feel your heart breaking...
...And it was. It broke when Jiyong confessed. The pain in his eyes tore you to pieces. And your heart broke again when Youngbae decided to take the high road and set you free. And it was breaking now, in that hallway, with every passing moment of silence.
Seunghyun steps forward, pulling you into a firm hug. One of his hands rests gently on the back of your head, the other on your back. He cradles your head against his shoulder. The embrace is comforting, supportive. He leans his mouth into your ear.
"He'll come around." He says, voice serious, matter-of-fact, yet caring. His usual playful tone is gone. The sting of tears fills your eyes and your breath catches in the back of your throat. Your body starts to tremble as you come dangerously close to losing it. Seunghyun holds you tighter, bracing you against his chest, preparing for your breakdown. But you step back, pushing him gently away.
"I can't." You manage to say. You breathe in slowly, deliberately, trying to steady your movements before wiping the tears from your eyes. "Not yet."
"We need to go." Ri says. You nod.
"Let me just have a moment. I'll freshen up in the bathroom and meet you guys downstairs."
Ducking into the bathroom, you close the door, resting the back of your head against it. You're grateful to have a few minutes alone. Closing your eyes, you imagine sliding down to the floor and curling into a ball. It's an appealing thought, but one you quickly push from your from your mind. Instead, you focus on your breathing, taking several deep breaths before turning to face yourself in the mirror. Your face is red, especially your eyes. 'This will not do' You turn on the faucet and splash cold water on your face. It's refreshing and feels great against your skin, calming. After blindly feeling around for a towel, you dry your face and then look back at the mirror. "Y/N" You say. "You just have to keep it together a little longer... This time tomorrow you can cry your eyes out. But until then, you have to keep it together. Got it?"
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