The boys were amid promotions which obviously rounded off to them being busy. They barely got time to sleep. With only 4 hours at night, everyone was working on the edge. Exhaustion was clear on their faces but still, they didn't want to be a burden to the staff so they held all their feelings inside and decided to give their all. Among the usual routine and fatigue, they didn't notice how one of them was suffering more. And Vernon intended to keep it that way.
Vernon wasn't a member with low stamina. He was clearly among those who were energetic, but lately, he hasn't been feeling well. With stress and tiredness creeping up his bones, he was ready to drop.
Now, it wasn't a surprise that over the years the members found out everything about each other. They knew that some of them regress to get relief from the hectic lifestyle. And each of them always had others to take care of them, owing to the title of caregivers.
With the various interviews lined up, several performances to film, and meetings that never seem to end, Vernon was falling deeper, and finally, one night as he sat on his bed, sobbing at the immense tiredness, he finally slipped into little space.
That night he slept like a baby, dressed in his little clothes and snuggling with the various plushies scattered on his bed. It was the first time in weeks he felt that free and relaxed, all his worries flying out of the door. And in all of this, he forgot about the filming of the photoshoot that they had tomorrow.
The next day, Chan banged on his door yelling at him to wake up. This made the little flinch in shock as he sat on his bed. Vernon then realized that he still had work to do but he didn't want to be scolded so he got up and pushed all of his plushies inside his cupboard and dressed in a t-shirt and tracks.
He was really scared to go out like this, his little mindset making him fear the outside world but he mustered up enough courage. He packed his avocado plushie just because it was something he couldn't part with.
He walked out, keeping his bag on the couch and walking into the washroom. Getting washed up wasn't difficult, fortunately, he took a bath yesterday night so it wasn't necessary today.
The members usually make their own breakfast and this posed a difficulty to the little as he stood in the kitchen wondering what to do. He finally settled for the cereal. Vernon was lucky that his little space was 5-6. It made him a bit more comfortable in doing things independently.
He got up, placing his dishes in the sink, and going to wear his shoes. This is when he got stressed as he fiddled with the laces. He didn't know how to tie them and he was soon getting nervous that his hyungs will realize he slipped. He sat on the sofa, looking in space as his mind came up with multiple scenarios to ask his members but all of that wasn't needed.
Minghao was passing by him and noticed the younger looking far away. The members knew that sometimes Vernon felt far from reality and they will have to pull him back to reality.
"Hey Sollie," Minghao spoke, giving him a soft comforting smile as he placed his hand on his thigh.
"Let's go yeah?" He quickly tied his laces and held his hand out. Vernon always called them 'Hyungie' when he was in little space and now when the older was being so caring, he almost let that word out but he controlled himself at the last moment, "Yeah hyungi...Hyung,"
Minghao gave him a confused look at his slip of the tongue but didn't say anything as they walked out hand in hand.
Come on, let's go!" Seugcheol called out, trying to count everyone.
The boys were soon getting into their respective cars. Vernon, fortunately, got paired with Jeonghan, Mingyu, and Seugcheol, all of them liked to cuddle and they gave him a very safe feeling.
"Hyung," He murmured, looking at the older with wide, hopeful eyes, "Can I sit beside you?"
"Yeah, sure, Sollie," Mingyu smiled as the two of them took the back seat.
The older two shared a concerned look since it was a known fact that Vernon wasn't as touchy unless he was regressing.
"Sollie, baby, do you feel good?" Jeonghan asked softly, his eyes filled with worry for the younger.
Vernon wanted to cry and let his Hyung hold him when he heard the term of endearment. Vernon also loved being called with endearments, whether he was little or not, and this was something that no one knew except his members.
"I'm fine, Hyung, just a bit tired," He mumbled, trying to give a small smile in their direction as his eyes fluttered shut. And no one questioned him because they knew Vernon came back home really late as he was the last one to finish shooting.
Vernon soon slipped into a peaceful slumber, resting his head on Mingyu's shoulder as the other held him close. Vernon felt content, happy to be held like that, all he wanted now was the plushie but he held himself back.
The entire day went by with numerous mishaps. They had to reshoot a lot of scenes because Vernon kept messing up and finally the director had enough of it and he snapped.
"Vernon-ssi, what are you doing?!" His harsh voice cut through the set. The whole staff and members looked in shock because this was the first time they heard the director this angry.
"I'm..I'm sorry.."Vernon murmured, suddenly feeling very embarrassed as all eyes landed on him. All he wanted to do was cry and run to his hyungs. His lips wobbled at the bubbling emotions of sadness.
"This is the 10th time we are shooting this scene! You do know that we need to finish this before sunset right?!" Vernon's eyes filled up with tears as he looked down at his shoes, not wanting anyone to see him cry. He was very scared when some stranger shouted at him. It made him feel unsafe as he stepped a bit back, his hand almost reaching out towards the members.
"I understand you all have a lot to shoot and are really busy but aren't your members doing better!" That was it. It was the limit. The boys have always promised that when they get compared to each other, it crosses the line. And now, as he stood there amidst so many unknown people, he couldn't control himself from finally letting out the tears.
"Pd-nim, with all due respect, don't speak to him like that! That was very rude," Seugcheol called out pointedly as the members stared at the director with suppressed anger.
The members were presented with another shock when they heard a small sob breaking out of Vernon's body. It was Jeonghan who noticed the tears that were flowing down his face. His hand was fisted over his eyes, rubbing it harshly.
And that is when it dawned on them what was going on. All the members rushed towards Vernon, forming a circle around him protectively so that no one could see him crying out.
"Hey baby," Jeonghan whispered softly as he bought the younger in his arms, caressing his hair with his palm and whispering comforting words in his ear, "It's okay my love,"
"I got you, baby boy, you're safe now, Hyungie's got you now baby," Jeonghan's heart broke as the younger didn't seem to stop, his soft sobs being very loud in the silent set. His breath hitched as his tears streamed down his face, "So..sorry Hyung," He wailed, the loud voice leading to surprised gasps from the room.
The members were shocked as they all came together and wrapped their arms around him. Vernon loved it when he had all of them around him.
"Hyun...Hyungie, I'm sorry," Vernon sobbed, his face covered with tears and snot. He repeatedly kept saying sorry, worrying the members even more.
Their manager soon came in, indicating that the car was ready.
"Come on love, let's go home, okay," Seugcheol whispered softly, taking the younger into his embrace.
"I wa...wanna go home hyungie, I don't wanna be here," Vernon stuttered as he held Seungcheol's hands tightly in his own.
"Let's go then baby," Joshua told, grabbing his free hand and pulling him along. The members walked out still acting as a wall between him and others.
Seugcheol and Mingyu sat in the backseat with Vernon sitting between them. The whole ride back was filled with the slight sniffles that the younger let out, the two doing all they can to comfort the younger.
When the members reached back home, they freshened themselves up as Mingyu and Joshua helped Vernon change into his little clothes, an oversized grey sweatshirt, and soft material of light blue dungaree. The younger held onto his Avocado plushie and a sippy cup that Wonwoo handed to him as he toddled towards the hall where the members set up all the comforters so that they could sleep together. Jun realized the younger had been in little space even before they left and this made him very worried and guilty for not noticing earlier.
"Sollie, baby, are you better now?" Seugkwan asked softly as Vernon laid his head down his lap and closed his eyes, humming softly in return.
"That's good, I'm proud of you champ!" Hoshi murmured as he kissed Vernon's forehead, the younger letting out giggles making everyone coo at the cuteness.
The members weren't sure how long Vernon would be in little space, but they wanted to give him all the time that he needs and after all, they are all going to be there for their baby.
Vernon snuggled in Seungcheol's arms as everyone pecked his forehead and told their goodnights.
"Hyungie, I'm sorry," Vernon mumbled softly, still hung up on what happened earlier.
"Hyungie is the one who is sorry darling. I'm sorry I didn't hug you earlier." He whispered, bringing the younger even closer as he ran his fingers through the younger's hair.
"I didn't tell you all because Hyungie's were very tired," Vernon whispered, sleep finally catching onto him as his mind relaxed immediately, it was as if he had no troubles in this world, feeling the safest in hyung's arms, "I love you Hyungie,"
"I love you too baby," The oldest murmured, smiling in satisfaction as love and warmth spread in his heart feeling the presence of members and the younger in his arms.
And after that, the members were even more attentive to each other and made each other promise to tell someone when they slipped.