Part 2

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Chan's announcement cloaks the staff room in a reverent silence.

Even as the thud of his booted footsteps fade down the corridor, the tension remains palpable. Indeed, every person in proximity feels it, yet none of them dare to break it.

You're in utter panic.

Your nerves are working overtime, all proverbial hands are on deck trying to calm you, yet it's futile. You're trembling, freezing all of a sudden. Heart pounding, a prickling of icy sweat nips at the nape of your neck and small of your back.

Yet worse than all that, is that you dare not look at Minho. You're terrified of what you might see.

Of course, he's the first to collect himself. He steps towards you, hand outstretched in what might well be an act of comfort, yet you can't allow yourself the weakness of his touch. Can't allow yourself the addling toxin that comes with his excuses, his justifications, his voice of reason that will assuredly side with Chan, because why wouldn't he?

"I, uh... I'm going to call you that cab, Lix, okay? J— Just sit tight for a while."

Voice shaky, polite and professional demeanour so clearly forced it's enough to inspire pity, but nobody addresses it. They simply nod, smile, don't try to stop you or offer words of consolation as you leave the room without a glance at your husband.

You suppose it was bound to happen, when your pretence of togetherness crumbles, for it was fragile at best. Your breaths come too sparse, too quick. Your temples throb, your racing, panicked heart is too erratic as it runs away from you, wanting out of the confines of your chest.

Space. That's what you need. A little alone time to simply process, rationalise, perhaps break down in isolation.

The door to your office in sight, you rush the last few steps with unwanted tears, flinging it open and finding solace with your back against the hard wood as you slam it shut, shoring up for the intrusion you're sure is coming.

"Baby?"

The gentle knock against your back is expected, yet the way your chest wrenches on the sound of his cool collection isn't.

"Can I come in?"

You shake your head as though he's there to see it, swipe away tears with the back of your hand. The doorknob beside you is disturbed, turns, but doesn't click. You hoped your lack of a response might indicate your desire to be alone, yet the moment you move from the door, it's pushed open gently.

"Talk to me," Minho instructs softly, closing the door behind him.

"I don't want to," you settle into your desk chair, elbows propped and head in hands. "I don't approve. I don't want you to do it."

"And you think I do? I hate this shit, Y/N."

"Do you, though?" you question, finding the will to throw him a glare.

"What?"

"Do you hate it?"

Minho blinks in bemusement, expression vacant enough to express his confusion.

"I saw the look on your face when Chan pitched the idea," you elaborate. "It was like you'd just won the fucking lottery."

Minho scoffs through a disbelieving smirk, rounds the desk and squats beside you, appealing.

"I'm sorry my face doesn't always look the way you want it to, but I'm kind of offended that you'd even ask me that."

"But you didn't say anything," you press, leaning away from him. "Not a damn word!"

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