Sorry, I Love You

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I didn't want you as my soulmate.

All I needed was for us to complete the bond.

I want out.

You're not worth it.

Not enough.

Those are the words that circled in Chan's mind in the days after Rose left. He barely remembered those first few days. It was as if he was watching a movie of himself as he participated in ISAC and celebrated STAY's birthday.

At first, he believed every word his soulmate had said to him that day. Why would she have wanted him as her soulmate, he hadn't wanted her when they first met. The sickness had scared a lot of people, it made perfect sense that she wanted to bond with her soulmate and save herself the worry.

Chan agreed that he wasn't worth it, that he wasn't enough for her, or for anyone else. He had always tried to be. He had worked hard every day to improve himself, to make sure that he would be an asset to whatever group he ended up in. When he was put in charge of Stray Kids all he felt was pressure. He had to do better, be better, to lead the others to debut. It almost wasn't enough. He wasn't good enough to keep their team together. The feeling of inadequacy never went away.

After the shock had worn off. Rose's words still circled his mind, but now he was analysing them. If she hadn't wanted him as a soulmate, why did she stay with him so long? If all she wanted was to bond with him, then she could have kissed him and left that very first day. If he wasn't worth it, then why did she stay late at work whenever he did and take care of him the way she did?

Then he thought back to how it started. It began with him wanting to announce that he had found his soulmate to the world. He remembered what she had said every time he brought it up.

Think about the effect it would have on your career, on the rest of Stray Kids.

Rose was so sure that going public would impact negatively on him. There must have been more to it than just her opinion. The company was researching this, but they hadn't heard anything back yet, or at least Chan hadn't. He needed to talk to JYP.

Chan barged into Park Jinyoung's office as politely as possible.

"Chan, my boy, is something the mat-"

"What did they say?"

"Who are we talking about?"

"The team you put together to look into the best way to announce that I found my soulmate."

"But you don't need - I mean, they're still researching."

"Did they tell you it would be harmful to Stray Kids' career?"

The older man considered Chan for a moment before answering.

"Yes."

"And R-Rose knew this?"

It was the first time he had said her name out loud since that day and it hurt more than he was expecting.

"She did."

"Did you ask her to leave?"

"No."

"Did you know that she was going to leave?"

"I had an inkling that she might, yes."

"Thank you, for being honest with me."

"Of course, Chan. I know you must be going through a hard time right now, but I just wanted to tell you how proud I am of you. You haven't let it affect your work and that's very professional of you."

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