the one with the nightmare

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Changbin and Felix didn't speak for days after that. Changbin had called and texted and even stopped by to visit, but Felix was avoiding him. He didn't want to keep getting hurt, and in doing so only hurt both of them even more.

Felix's stress had only been increasing since he'd last seen Changbin. Through the years, Changbin had been a stable, safe place for him, but now things were different. Felix was too nervous to talk to him for fear of seeing Changbin the way he'd seen his father. He still had nightmares pretty consistently, but they were always worse around this time of year because it was near the time he left.

After five days of not talking, both Changbin and Felix were a wreck, but neither would admit it. Changbin was hurt because he'd been ignored, and Felix was terrified to be close, so neither of them had reached out to the other.
Until that night.

Felix turned over as tears ran down his face. He couldn't wake up, couldn't breathe, couldn't call for help— he was powerless.

Felix held Cassie as they both shook, hiding in the closet. Glass shattered again. Cassie flinched and huddled closer to her brother. They heard muffled shouting and furniture falling. When their mother screamed, Felix began to move. Cassie grabbed at his shirt, crying and pleading, "Don't leave, please. You're gonna get hurt. Don't do this again."

"Hide at the back of the closet," he instructed, "Behind the coats or the suitcases, just stay hidden until I come back to find you. Don't come out for anyone else. Not even for mom. Okay?" She nodded and he silently left, making sure to move quietly but deliberately. He snuck down the stairs and paused to assess the situation. His dad was yelling, but it seemed like he'd stopped throwing things. He could only see his back, but he could tell the man was drunk.

"I'm so sick of this," he growled, "Our daughter will never amount to anything, our son is a fag, and you just let it happen. You act like this is okay. You're just too weak to actually deal with anything." Mrs. Lee stayed quiet. Her husband sat down at the kitchen table with a heavy sigh. "Do you condone his behaviour, Diane? Are you okay with that thing living under our roof?! He's disgusting, and so are you. Go get me another beer."

"He's our son, Patrick," she said. Her voice was barely above a whisper, and it shook as she stared at the floor and tried not to cry.

"Look at me when you talk, you useless bitch," he snarled, "Though whatever you're saying doesn't matter anyway, you'd better respect me and look me in the eyes. Do as I say, Diane!" He slammed his fist on the table and screamed the last sentence when she hadn't immediately complied.

She stood up a bit straighter and looked toward her husband. She couldn't look at him, so she focused on a spot on the wall just behind him. "Felix is our son," she said, her voice louder this time. Felix was still hiding, staring at his dad's back and his mother's nervous face. It looked like she'd aged ten years in the past few hours trying to deal with Patrick.

"Yongbok is no son of mine," he shot back, "And it would be wise of you to shut up."

Her terrified expression became a livid one. "He is my baby. He is our baby! Felix is no different now that we know he's gay than he was before we knew. He's the same kid he was before we found out."

"I thought I told you to shut up!" He roared, slamming his beer down on the table. The bottle broke, its jagged edge reflecting the kitchen's dim light. He stood up and charged at his wife, and in an instant, Felix was between them.

This was the same nightmare he'd relived consistently for years, except this time there was something different: it was no longer his drunken father staring back at him. Instead it was his best friend.

Felix had used his arms to cover his face and received several cuts. He shouted to his mother, demanding that she get out. She ran into the kitchen and began searching.

Felix jerked up his knee, hitting his attacker hard. He winced but kept fighting. Felix got in one good swing with his right arm and pulled back for another with his left. Before he could connect his fist with his best friend's face, his arm was caught. He felt a sharp, searing pain as Changbin plunged the glass into Felix's forearm. Felix fought with everything he had, and was terrified because through the whole thing, his own best friend was just standing there with a smile and an empty look in his eyes as he dragged the sharp glass down his forearm. From his elbow to the base of his hand, there was pain and there was blood.

Lots of blood.

Changbin pulled his makeshift weapon out of his best friend's arm and lifted it once more, hoping to hit the boy's chest. As he brought the sharp piece down, he was hit over the head hard with a metal frying pan. He hit the floor and made a pained gurgling sound.

"Felix, go sit down," his mother instructed, "I need to call emergency services."

"No," Felix choked out, "I have to go get Cassie."

a/n: i told yall to get ready for angst 👀

literally yesterday i posted a new chapter after hitting 5k reads, and now there are 5.87k reads and almost 500 votes. i'm so grateful for everyone who reads, votes, and comments

thanks for everything babes

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