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13 December 2015 @ 12:15 am
Inner Circle [part 5] C.14  


Inner Circle
By Lilylilym
Song Mino x Lee Seunghoon. Nam Taehyun x Song Mino. Kang Seungyoon x Nam Taehyun. Kim Jinwoo x Lee Seunghoon.

Part I Part II C4 C5 C6 Part III C7 C8 C9 C10 Part IV C11 C12 C13

14. r e a s o n w e s t a y e d

“You know, big boy.” Mino looked up when he heard Seungyoon’s voice. It was way past midnight and they still lock themselves at the studio working on the third album that god-knows-when-will-be-finished-much-less-released. “People think things got better if you just don’t give a fuck about it. It doesn’t work that way.”
He looked puzzled at the leader’s statement.

“What do you mean, leader?”

“Just think about it for a second.” From the couch across the room, Seungyoon shrugged and reached out to grab the water bottle. He twisted the cap open and downed half the bottle. Mino stared at the younger man for a bit; he slowly spoke in an uncertain way:

“I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about. Our work, you mean? The fact that we merely got to produce our 3rd album and this is the 3rd year we’re active as a band?”

“Well, we got paid to give a fuck about that…” Seungyoon laughed out loud, then sighed loudly. “I’m talking about other stuff that got your personal life all messed up. It’s, well, affecting everybody.”

“Like what…” Mino tilted his head in doubt, then suddenly opened his eyes widely, staring at  Seungyoon, who slowly rolled his eyes at the oblivious rapper. “Yeah. That.” Mino shut his mouth tightly as he wondered to himself who Seungyoon was talking about. That thought made him slightly scoff. What an asshole he is, indeed, to have to wonder which scandalous relationship is being discovered.

“Well, leader.” He cleared his throat before looking at the guy again, this time with colder eyes. “I don’t know what you imply but I can hold my ground well.”

“You sure can.” Seungyoon laughed heartily. “I have no doubt about it whatsoever.” His eyes turned icy as the smile froze on his lips. “But you’re not just holding your ground. You stepped on mine in this matter, big boy.”

“Really, if you can just get to the damn point, I would fucking appreciate it, Yoonie.” Mino exhaled deeply as he broke eye contact. He could feel the tension in the room; it’s no use fighting with Seungyoon about a mysterious cause that he wasn’t even sure if he was in the right. “What do you want me to give a fuck about?”

“Your feelings.” Seungyoon’s kept the answer short and sweet. “Your messy ass feelings are fucking up your life, and I need you to get a hold of yourself.”

“What the actual fuck are you talking about, for real, Kang Seungyoon.” Mino angrily glared at his band mate one more time. He didn’t know what kind of answer Seungyoon would give – the question was, however, who would Mino rather have Seungyoon know as the one involved with him, Seunghoon or Taehyun.

“Work on your problems and stop screwing with Namtae is what I’m trying to say.” Seungyoon nonchalantly spoke as he tried to open the water bottle once again for a second gulp. Mino couldn’t help but stared at the maknae-leader in awe. He felt… neither exposed nor uncomfortable is what it really was, what he was feeling. He wondered why he never asked himself, how would other people in the band act if they know what was happening. How far did they know? How could they not, Mino thought. He never stopped to think about anything else, but Seunghoon, and whatever else was in his head at that moment – mostly Seunghoon, the Seunghoon who never wanted him the way he need. Does Taehyun know? Does Jinwoo know? Does Seungyoon know? About us? That was never his concern. Does Seunghoon know? About him and Taehyun? He shuddered. God, does Seunghoon know?

“That was a long and awkward silence.” Seungyoon said out loud. Mino was startled at the sound. “Am I talking to myself or what?”

“Sorry, Seungyoon, I was just thinking…” Mino mumbled as he tried to control himself. His fingers started shaking uncontrollably; he resisted by clenching his fists and hiding them in his pocket.

“Hiding your hand tremor?” Seungyoon continued to ask. He didn’t shy away from the fierce eye contacts, nor did he feel bad about saying things as they are. “You should probably stop your drinking too, big boy. If you’re fucked in the head, best not let your body take the fall for it.”

“Did you just say that I’m fucked in the head?” Mino couldn’t believe in the rudeness in Seungyoon’s words. The good-natured, polite, and well-behaved guy was standing there, fiercely looking at him, and it didn’t look like Seungyoon was gonna back down. “That was uncalled for.”

“I’m not insulting you or whatever.” Seungyoon shrugged. “But this occupation is already stressful as is. Hey, I am fucked in the head too. Maybe you don’t know, but I made time to go to therapy and whatnot.” He lowered his gaze and sat back down. Mino unconsciously mimicked his action. He sat down on the chair; his whole body, however, still tensed up, even though his hands stop trembling quite a bit.

“I would drink too, that sounds like a mesmerizing option. Who doesn’t like being submerged in their pain and forgetting everything else? Forget reality and escape to some other dimensions, I do that a lot.” Seungyoon elbowed his knees and laid his chin on his intertwined fingers. “But I’m a guitarist. I can’t afford to have hand tremor, or else I’m done for. You know what I’m talking about?”

“I’m kinda lost here, leader. It would help if you stop beating around the bush.”

“Long story short: I know it through Taehyun.” Technically. Seungyoon decided to not tell Mino how he knew everything. “About your drinking abuse, anger issues, and whatever else you got. I suppose promiscuity is not a form of illness, but it can be a little shitty when you lead someone on.”

“What do you mean? Did Taehyun tell you something?” Mino looked stunned at the mention of Taehyun’s name.

“You don’t actually think Taehyun is your muted sex toy, do you? He is actually a human being, with feelings and everything. He also like, speaks and stuff. With his friends and other social connections of his.” Friends and other social connections. Seungyoon slightly shook his head; his lips curved into a sarcastic smirk.

“I never thought of Taehyun that way.” Mino protested. “Whatever we do is mutual and consensual, if that’s what you’re accusing me for.”

“My god, church oppa, I don’t know how far long your head is in your ass, but it’s time you pulled it out.” Seungyoon rolled his eyes once again and kicked back on the couch. “Your sense of entitlement is amazing. You think you reserved that right to be oblivious and irresponsible with yourself and other people. Well guess what genius, doing everything for someone you love also includes lying to yourself. It’s pathetic, but people do it.” Oh the irony. Seungyoon wanted to laugh, but he forwent the sentiment.

“I told you to be straightforward, for the love of god. Cut down the metaphor, lyricist. You are saying?”

“You think our maknae have sex with you just because he’s bored?”

“I don’t ask for his reasons. He didn’t ask for mine.” Mino scoffed. “It just happened that way. I didn’t force him. He was okay with our arrangement.”

“So you said.”

“Seungyoon, what is your point?”

“I’ve got one. A really important point.” Seungyoon said as he started packing his stuff preparing to leave. “But again, it’s not my story to tell. If you can’t figure stuff out on your own, I can’t teach you how. I just beg of you, be a little fucking considerate to people around you, regardless of whether you care for them or not.”

The younger leader threw the guitar bag over his shoulder and left without closing the door. The light outside the hall automatically brightened upon Seungyoon’s steps.  Mino sat alone in the cold studio, long after all the lights have gone out.

* * *

“I’m sorry, Taehyun.” Mino suddenly said to a restless Taehyun who wasn’t quite comfortable being in the older guy’s bedroom. Sober, both of them were. Taehyun stared at him, bewildered, as Mino proceeded to touch the younger man’s hand. “I have been an asshole to you, haven’t I?” The stabbing pain on his feet kept reminding him of the words Seungyoon told him a while back. No, he could not sincerely care for anyone if the one bleeding is him. He did wish someone would come for him and clean this mess – but that one person would never come. He knew it, yet here he was, destroying everything at hand as if it was the only way he could break down the prison inside of him and break the chains that held all the pain in place.

“Well, if you put it that way…” Taehyun awkwardly replied; he pulled his hand back and hid it behind his back. Mino looked at the younger guy – marvelous, pretty, indifferent Taehyun – who was clenching his fists into his trousers pockets. He seemed obviously uncomfortable at the conversation, but without the intention to disrupt the moment. Mino inhaled sharply and whispered as he slowly released the oxygen:

“Do you like me, Hyunie?”

Taehyun looked dazzled at Mino’s words. He almost stepped backwards, yet still tried to maintain his cool:

“What is this all about?”

Mino observed Taehyun closely – but he couldn’t feel anything. He wanted to question the genuineness of this conversation. He too, wanted to know if anyone has ever felt for him. But the only thing he could feel was emptiness blocking all of his vision and sensation. Like a prisoner inside a pit dark hole, he looked around and tried to find a light, all that ever answered him was the sound of the chronicle throbbing pains stomping inside his head.

“You waited for me all those nights.” Mino murmured. “You cleaned up after me.” Mino knew what Taehyun had done for him. He knew it well – and if he was a decent human being, he should think about it, anything at all. “You rushed to me right away when you heard noises from my room…” Mino continued speaking; his voice trembled. “Do you like me?”

Taehyun’s face turned pale. Mino stole a glance at the younger face. He saw the shame, the horror, and a little bit of hope on that gorgeous face.

“Please don’t like me.” The older guy asked once again, this time with those cold and calm eyes directing towards Taehyun’s. How could Taehyun forget, even once, that he has seen those eyes before. The dead, lifeless, indifferent eyes that informed him well, since the very beginning, that Mino’s kindness was not directed toward him. So does his heart. And his soul. And his love. Doesn’t Taehyun know better than that? Taehyun couldn’t help but feeling exposed, and like a person who was ashamed of just existing, he almost explained himself. It’s okay – I don’t mean to burden you. You were in pain, and I… Taehyun caught himself making apologies inside his head, and wanted to laugh out loud. Do I need to be sorry for feeling the way I do too, hyung? Ain't I punished enough?

Taehyun quietly shook his head; his lips twitched into a crooked smile. For one second he let himself think of some other endings than the ones that he would have the courage to imagine. Those blunt words found its way into the darkest corner inside, like a tree with these ever-expanding branches that rooted itself in his heart, gripping rigidly to every single heartbeat. He wanted to disappear.

“What are you saying, man. We just do stuff is all.”

In front of Mino, Taehyun was weakly defending his heart – and that should hurt Mino too, because he always thought that he genuinely liked Taehyun as a person. But human emotion has its way of functioning – the chemical interactions in the brain determine how one react in the face of events. He really didn’t care enough for Taehyun. Then he was struck by the realization, that this must have been what Seunghoon felt.

“I figured you wouldn’t.” Mino smiled. He carried on the rest of the conversation, well-knowing that he was breaking the boy’s heart. But he couldn’t sympathize, at all, and that thought wounded him. God, how lonely are we, Taehyunnie, when you can see my heart and I can see yours, yet all you do was apologizing for the pain you didn’t cause, and all I do was neglecting the pain I caused you. How lonely are we, Seunghoon hyung, you never understood the hell I’m living in and you didn’t even see it. Such lonesome people we are. Such lonesome people we were.

“You could stay if you want to.” Mino said as Taehyun rushed out of the door. Just stay, if that would make you feel a little better. He looked at the cut under his feet; the blood already seeped out of the poorly done bandages. Was that why Seunghoon let him stay?

Then he thought of Seungyoon’s words.

Doing everything for someone you love also includes lying to yourself. It’s pathetic, but people do it.

Was that why Mino stayed?

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