the one where he says it

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Felix ran home sobbing. He locked himself in his room for days and wouldn't speak to almost anyone. He said a few words to Cassie here and there when she tried to bring him food or offer support, but never anything more than "Thanks, Casserole" or "I'm fine, just a bit tired". He had spent hours just staring at his ceiling worrying.

"What am I supposed to do when I get back?" He asked himself, "I'm sure they've already told the whole school I'm a major whore, which means Changbin has probably heard it, which means he's gonna hate me. God, I'm the worst!" As he screamed the word worst, he threw his phone across the room. He knew he had unread texts in his messages, but he couldn't bring himself to respond.

He even knew what the messages were: Jisung checking in. Woojin checking in. Hyunjin offering to bring soup and a candle. Changbin panicking. Jisung telling Felix that he kept his backpack. Twelve missed calls from Changbin. Mrs. Seo checking in. Chan asking for an explanation. Seungmin asking if Felix was okay. Minho saying that he and Jeongin were concerned. Changbin telling Felix that they needed to talk. That one scared him even more than the idea of returning to school.

That's when he heard pounding on the door.

"Lee freakin' Felix! We need to talk." Changbin's voice echoed through Felix's room, even from behind the door. Felix just laid there staring at the ceiling until he heard the lock disengage and watched Changbin stumble into the room.

"Let me guess," Felix said, "You've already heard the stories? Or maybe you're here with 'good news' and you want to tell me you're back together with Kihyun. So, which—"

"Hold on, what do you mean 'back together'? I never dated Kihyun. Yeah, I've heard the stories, and obviously I don't trust the rumours, so I want to hear it from you."

Felix sighed. "Kihyun waited until Mr. Kang left class and then he started bugging me. He kept saying that all the sweet things you do for me are just your standard steps when you want someone to play with for a little while. He knew exactly what kind of things you say and do, even called me angel. Only you call me that. He told me I should find someone who appreciates me, and he kept touching me, and then he kissed me. It's almost exactly like what he did at the nightclub, except I knew this time."

"Kihyun was the one who came after you at the club? I don't care that he's my friend, I'm gonna knock his teeth down his throat," Changbin snarled.

With a shaky voice, Felix responded, "Yeah, Kihyun was the one at the club. That's why I was so scared when he got close to me in class. And I've been worried anyway that I'm just another one of your little flings, like he says he was, and I guess that just confirmed it for me..."

"I just told you, I never dated Kihyun. He knows I call you angel because I talk about you all the time. You're not just a fling, Felix," Changbin said as he sat down next to Felix on the bed, "The way I feel about you was never a fling." He set his hand on top of Felix's and looked into his eyes.

Felix's sad smile morphed into a grimace. "You're drunk. You told me you'd quit!"

"I know," he whispered, "I just didn't know what else to do. I wasn't sure if you were okay, or if I'd screwed up and would never see you again, and I had no idea what was going on. I couldn't get to you. So I did something stupid because I knew it would help."

Felix bit his lip, fighting back tears. "I want you to learn how to be happy without numbing your mind. I want you to be okay. I need you to be okay."

Changbin sighed. "I'm sorry Felix. I really am working to be okay, and it's all for you. It's all because I love you."

Felix cupped Changbin's face with both hands. "Don't do this," he sighed.

With a confused look, Changbin asked the younger to clarify what he meant. "You can't do this," he whispered, "Being with you is so amazing, but I'm constantly afraid. So don't you dare tell me you love me, because I've been in love with you for years and it hurts so bad, and I'm sure our friends are still sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for my heartbreak to be the punchline of this stupid joke."

Changbin blinked back tears. He grabbed both of Felix's arms and pushed him against the wall, pinning his hands above his head as he growled, "You don't get to tell me I can't love you, because it's far too late for me to stop now. I didn't choose to fall for you. I didn't even realize I had been falling until I hit the ground hard when I thought I lost you. If I don't get to choose whether or not I'll love you, then you don't get to tell me I can't do it."

Hot tears streamed down Felix's face as he finally voiced the insecurity he'd held onto for so long. He practically spat the words, "How could someone like you ever love someone like me?" Changbin moved so he was holding both of Felix's hands in one of his own, using the other to push the boy's chest until he was backed very closely against the wall with Changbin leaning into him. His stare was intense as he gazed into Felix's eyes, which welled with tears.

"You've spent so much time hating yourself that you couldn't even fathom the possibility that anyone else could ever love you. So fuck you. Fuck you for giving me thousands of reasons to fall in love with you when you couldn't even find one reason to love yourself. You don't understand it," he whimpered, tears streaming down his cheeks, "I was never joking. I don't know what I need to do to prove to you that I love you, Lee Felix. I am so hopelessly, painfully, tragically, and beautifully in love with you."

In that moment, Changbin let go of Felix's hands and gingerly placed his hands on the younger boy's hips with a choked sob. He was gentle. Careful. He glanced down at Felix's lips and then back up to his eyes, a silent question hovering in the air between them. Felix nodded.

Changbin kissed Felix and pulled him closer until there was no space between them and it was impossible to distinguish whose heartbeat was whose, because in that moment they shared one heart. Though they'd both been broken, they completed each other so effortlessly, so elegantly. In the silence they held each other closer. Their kiss was sweet and pure. No wandering hands, no clashing teeth or warring tongues, no aggression.
Just love.

Felix didn't need to say it, but both boys knew. He, too, was hopelessly, painfully, tragically, and beautifully in love with Seo Changbin.

a/n: is it weird that i feel kinda bad typing out swear words i don't use in real life? i mean, my guilt there is kind of drowned out by the wave of uwus in my brain at the fact that baby binnie McFreakin finally said he loves felix

thank you for 14k!
i love yall

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