Title: A Leader's Worries
Pairing: WooGyu (Woohyun/Sunggyu)
Summary: Sunggyu worries too much and Woohyun is actually observant.
Warnings: ANGST ANGST ANGST but if you make it through that it's fluffy sort of
Notes: This was written to fill one of six prompts picked out from this list by my best friend. At least I didn't blind anyone this time. Hope you enjoy, and without further ado:
Sleeplessness / insomnia
A Leader's Worries
Woohyun didn't notice for awhile, though he probably should have.
“Hyung, you look like a panda,” Sungjong had pointed out at breakfast one morning. They were all seated on the floor, eating their individual cups of ramen and Woohyun was feeling the normal grumbling, sick feeling in his stomach that no one ever mentioned but everyone always felt. He casually ran a hand over the fabric on his stomach before fisting it and willing the rumbles to stop as he gripped the chopsticks tightly in the other hand.
Sunggyu grunted, barely moving a muscle as he passed his portion to Hoya, who had been looking particularly strained during practices lately. “It's nothing,” he'd say, “don't worry about it,” he'd say.
And Woohyun had believed him, went on slurping up those fifty cent noodles like they were the most precious things God had to offer.
Woohyun was a light sleeper, which made Sunggyu the perfect roommate. He never snored, he never stirred, so when Woohyun switched with Dongwoo to be in Sunggyu's room rather than Hoya's, it was a blessing. Sunggyu, introverted and independent as he was, didn't talk to him much-- about anything, really. So Woohyun, at first, liked to think that this was what caused him to not catch on sooner.
But that wasn't it.
Woohyun was self-centered, focused more on himself than the group back then. His image, to him, was the most important thing aside from doing well on stage and improving his performance skills. He'd spend hours looking at himself in the mirror, shirt pulled up to his chin and flexing endlessly, the body he sculpted never quite fitting the image he wanted. Then for hours more, he'd work out after dance practice, then sleep like a log afterward. Which did, in fact, contribute to how long it took him to notice.
He felt like that was an excuse now.
One day, a day where Woohyun happened to be one of the first up, Sunggyu collapsed in the bathroom. Woohyun had run, tripping over his own feet and nearly breaking the fragile door off its hinges upon arrival. The water was still running from the faucet, where, Woohyun assumed, Sunggyu had been washing his face. Woohyun's eyes flew to the floor, where said face lay, gaunt and pale. His stomach dropped at the sight of the other boy's eyes closed with the mouth slightly open, clearly unconscious but not appearing to sustain too many injuries.
He hadn't noticed the considerable loss in weight, the increasing bags under his eyes, the fact that he could see the outlines of the other boy's ribs through his shirt as he knelt beside him and pulled his chest up to his ear to check for a heartbeat.
It was slow, weak, and Woohyun made it his personal goal - in that moment before all the other members started rushing in from all sides like decapitated chickens - to shoulder half the responsibilities of the leader to the best of his ability.
And so that night, after the manager had canceled their activities for the next few days, Woohyun laid there awake and waited for Sunggyu's breaths to even out. Up until the point Woohyun finally nodded off, they never did.
In the morning, Sunggyu was out of bed first, as per usual. Woohyun got up as soon as he was aware enough, forced himself to the kitchen where Sunggyu was cooking eggs on the stove. Woohyun walked up and stood next to Sunggyu, glancing down into the pan to count seven eggs, one for each member. He casually reached around Sunggyu's bony back to the carton of eggs on his other side, cracking another one into the pan before looking at Sunggyu pointedly.
Sunggyu met his eyes accordingly, narrowing them. Woohyun smiled and patted his cheek. “You need to eat.”
And so began a trend for the two. Woohyun was in charge of looking after the leader who looked after the rest of the members, the question of 'why' Sunggyu did this to himself hung ominously in the air whenever they were alone and quiet. Neither of them ever outright stated what they meant to one another, or what happened in the bathroom or the cause of it.
Every day Infinite was gaining in popularity, they'd go out and perform Before the Dawn in some venue or another and impress with their scorpion dance and the only true unique skill they had to their name: synchronization. The manager repeatedly emphasized that particular marketing point, which only drove Sunggyu to drill them even harder, to the point of collapse, in every dance practice. But more than everyone else, he pushed himself the hardest, because he believed he had to set an example.
When Woohyun had to lend a shoulder to Sunggyu when his knees gave out, no one said a thing.
It was a week of listening to Sunggyu breathing at night, never hearing them even out and then waking up in the morning to help with breakfast, always forcing an extra helping or a banana down Sunggyu's throat. He was showing little improvement, and Woohyun realized he had unconsciously shifted most of his focus from himself to Sunggyu. The thought, instead of bothering him, only inspired him further to fix Sunggyu, help him relax, get him healthy.
So he started thinking about the 'why's.
During interviews, music shows, performances, whatever- he'd sneak glances at Sunggyu, pondering what could be wrong. They were gaining popularity, and aside from the pressure of the dancing, they had reason to celebrate. They were making a name for themselves in a time where idol groups were popping up all over the board, they should be proud and happy, but Sunggyu hardly ever smiled. His cheeks were more full, but never as full as when Sunggyu and Woohyun first met, back when Sunggyu disliked him the most.
Then Woohyun wondered if that still held true, and asked Sunggyu about it one day.
Sunggyu gave him an incredulous look, “don't be ridiculous,” he'd said, but Woohyun was still suspicious. Sunggyu was begrudgingly compliant to everything Woohyun did for him, but that didn't mean Sunggyu liked him – even as just a friend. This bothered Woohyun more than he cared to admit.
It wasn't until a late summer night, about to fall asleep after a particularly intense practice, that he was convinced that he'd once again turned self-centered, because that wasn't it at all.
“I worry,” Sunggyu spoke to the dark room at large, chasing away any sleepiness that Woohyun had felt listening to Sunggyu breathing again. “We don't have enough fans, we're not going to make it, we're not good enough, we'll mess up and be a disgrace and fall into anonymity like so many other groups before us.” Sunggyu took a deep breath. “I worry about Dongwoo because he's such a child, I worry about Sungjong because he's so young and what if we fail? What next for him? Then Howon who is handsome and ambitious, what if he decides to leave the group and seek something better? Myungsoo, too, with his strange habits and behavior, I worry that people will see him as strange and ostracize him even with looks like he has. Sungyeol has so little confidence, but he's so optimistic and I worry that the imbalance of those two will kill him and I worry about you-- you the most because you are too confident, and if anything happened to the group you'd fall the hardest, the fastest, and the farthest. I don't think you'd be able to recover and this is your dream this is all of our dreams and I'm the leader of it and what if I can't do it? What if I--”
Woohyun had crawled to Sunggyu's side and placed a finger to Sunggyu's lips in the darkness, gently shushing him before leaning down and cuddling up next to him. He threw an arm over his chest and pulled him in, Sunggyu curled into himself and allowed himself to be dragged into the embrace, burying his head into Woohyun's chest and taking deep, shuddering breaths.
Woohyun rubbed circles into Sunggyu's lower back and didn't say anything when Sunggyu fisted his shirt, didn't say anything when he felt the dampness soaking through to his chest, and didn't stop shushing and rubbing even after Sunggyu's breaths evened out for the first time since Woohyun started listening for them. Woohyun was the sleepless one this time.
Their rituals changed from then on, Woohyun stuck to Sunggyu's side like glue, commanding the members when Sunggyu either wasn't paying attention or didn't have the strength. He pushed himself even harder than Sunggyu at practice and took over the position of 'the bad guy' during dance practice, yelling himself hoarse as Sunggyu watched with his rarely wide eyes. At every chance he got, Woohyun would feed something a little extra to Sunggyu. He felt the most satisfied at night, when he'd run his hand over Sunggyu's spine and find it less and less prominent as the days wore on.
Every night, of course, Woohyun would slip into Sunggyu's bed and cuddle next to him. Sunggyu was receptive, but never made the move first. Woohyun listened to his breaths even out every night. He'd rub circles on Sunggyu's back every night. He'd wake up first every day, because now, he wasn't sleeping.
He made breakfast now, still adding extra portions to Sunggyu's plate, which the other members started angrily pointing out as favoritism as soon as Sunggyu started to look normal again. Instead of looking satisfied with him, whenever Woohyun caught Sunggyu's eyes at a moment like that, Sunggyu would just look sad. Woohyun would look away and wonder why, but Sunggyu, straightforward as ever, answered it for him a warm night not long after he'd started getting up first.
Sunggyu was still weak, Woohyun could tell, so the conviction in his voice when he said, “you're trying too hard,” surprised him more than the meaning of the words themselves. The words themselves, as it was, just confused him. He had been crawling to Sunggyu's side, and an inch or so away from reaching out and pulling Sunggyu to him, like so many nights before, Woohyun froze.
“What do you mean?”
“You focus too much on me, and not enough on yourself. I appreciate all the help, but the burden of a leader is something they shouldn't share- so-” his voice was firm, but he sounded just a little desperate, unless that was just Woohyun's imagination.
Either way, the words stung.
“I worry about you who worries about others,” Woohyun said, a little hurt seeping into his voice as he retracted his hands and shuffled back a little to his own bed. Sunggyu had rejected him. “You can't even take care of yourself. But if think you can handle it on your own, then you go right ahead.”
He was well aware he sounded like an upset child, but at the time he didn't care. A tense silence descended as Woohyun rolled over to face the other way, hugging himself under the blankets.
It was a fair few minutes of Woohyun glaring angrily at the door when the shuffle of blankets distracted him, and suddenly a face was pressing against his back and warm breath was seeping through his shirt as Sunggyu spoke softly. “No, we're meant to balance each other out... I just.. you worry me the most because you worry over me and not yourself, is that stupid?”
After the initial shock had passed, Woohyun couldn't help the laugh that bubbled as he absorbed the words, “yes, but I'd say we both are.”
Sunggyu snorted in return as Woohyun turned in his arms and looked down at him with a fond smile. Sunggyu gave a weak one in return. “You haven't been sleeping, have you?”
“Should be fine now,” Woohyun yawned suddenly, covering his mouth and glancing at their alarm clock reading 2:14. “We should sleep.”
“We haven't resolved anything though,” Sunggyu said with a frown. Woohyun rolled his eyes, but flushed a little when he reached down, lifted Sunggyu's chin up, and pecked him briefly on the lips.
“Problem resolved. You're the leader, I'm the adviser. We balance each other out, but you're the ultimate power, almighty lord, whatever.” Sunggyu smiled into his chest as he burrowed into it, and Woohyun naturally let his arms fall around his shoulders. “And we both need more sleep. We good now?” Woohyun let the smile seep into his voice.
“For the most part,” Sunggyu said, giddy but tired. “I'm still going to worry. About everything.”
Woohyun pecked him on the forehead and hugged him tighter, resting his head on top of Sunggyu's. “And I'll be here, through everything. Don't worry.. we'll make it.”
“Sungyeol's rubbing off on you.”
The next morning, Hoya had to wake them both up, but not before taking pictures for blackmail material later.
- Current Location:My house
- Current Mood: blank
- Current Music:Hurry Up by 24K