the one with a visitor

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"Lee Yongbok!"

Felix jolted awake and ran downstairs to find his mother standing with her arms crossed over her chest, tapping her foot impatiently.

"Hi, mom."

She sighed. "Are you gonna tell me why you hit another kid with a chair today?"

Felix bit the inside of his cheek nervously as he led her to the kitchen and sat across from her at the table. "He and Jisung got into a fight, and he was choking Jisung, so I did what I had to do to stop him from killing my friend in class."

"Why were they fighting in the first place?" Asked his mother.

"Because of me," Felix mumbled.

"Sorry, what was that? I can't hear you."

"Because of me," he said, louder this time. "They were fighting because Jisung wanted to protect me. Because I was too scared to protect myself. I don't regret hitting him with the chair, mom, because he deserved it. After all the shit he's put me through, he deserves worse. But I wouldn't have hurt him if I didn't want to protect Jisung. It's the least I could do for him; he does so much to protect me."

Diane put her hand on top of Felix's as she softly whispered, "Felix, what did that boy do to you?"

He froze. "It's not important," he snapped, "So don't worry about it, okay? It's fine, we all got suspended, so we're gonna drop this and move on."

Aware of her son's panic, Ms. Lee decided to comply with his request. "We'll let this go for now, but we're gonna talk more later. If you need a break, you can go on down to Changbin's for a while."

Felix stood up and whispered, "Thank you."

"Oh," Ms. Lee cut in once more, "And Chaseul is home from school again, so bring this to him." She handed Felix a card and a small bag of cookies to take with him, and he was on his way.

As he walked, the Australian did whatever he could to fight back the tears still threatening to fall. He walked with his head down and his hood up, concealing part of his face. He zoned out and eventually found himself climbing the steps to Changbin's front porch. Haeji let him in and gave him a warm hug, patting his shoulder.

"So, Felix," she said, "I'm sure you know Chaseul is home from school. Are you gonna stay for dinner so you two can catch up?"

"Uh... sure."

Felix and Chaseul had a bit of a history. Felix and Changbin had always been close, and as any older brother does, Chaseul had to torment his brother and his friends. Only a few months before the older boy left for school, he and Felix got into an argument ending with 'I hate you' and 'I hope I never see you again'. Needless to say, Felix was worried about the dinner, but he wanted to make things right.

He went up to Changbin's room and found the boy asleep, curled up in a ball clutching Gyu. Felix laughed and laid down next to Changbin, pulling him closer. In his sleep, Changbin stirred and eventually ended up with his face in Felix's chest with his arms around the Australian's waist. Gyu had been replaced by Changbin's favourite person to cuddle with (other than Gyu himself). Mrs. Seo came upstairs to let the boys know it was time for dinner, but she took a few pictures first, sending them to Diane.

"You two," she said as they woke up, "Dinner is in a few minutes. Make yourselves look presentable; Chaseul brought his girlfriend here for dinner and she seems like a stuck up bit-"

Changbin interrupted her. "Thanks, mom. We'll be down in a few minutes after we've gotten ready. Don't beat Chaseul's girlfriend with a spatula just based on your presumption." They laughed and Haeji started back down the stairs.

The two boys stood together in the center of Changbin's room, arms wrapped around each other as they enjoyed a moment of pure content. Both boys had their eyes closed and smiles plastered across their faces as they swayed to the sound of people running around going about making dinner downstairs. It was chaotic, but both boys felt perfectly at peace in each other's arms.

Their peaceful moment couldn't last long, though.

"Ayo Changbin!"

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