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Vernon-centric fic requests (CLOSE)

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RULES

ACCEPTED:

  • Hurt/comfort
  • injuries 
  • fluff
  • soft member moments
  • angst
  • member fights
  • Any sort of violence
  • Any mental disorders (I'm reading a lot about them)
  • Curable Diseases or Illnesses 
  • Staff violence
  • Blood
  • Graphic descriptions of violence or injury or hurt
  • Self-infliction of wounds
  • Romantic or Plantonic pairings only with members
  • OT13 romantic or platonic
  • mild affection between romantic pairings (hugs and kisses)
  • Age Regression
  • I take sexual violence but only to a certain limit nothing too graphic!
  • AU

 

DECLINED:

  • Smut
  • Life-threatening injuries
  • Anything related to actual events (Like there is some moments in carats life that we would rather not talk about, those ones)
  • Age play or romanticizing age regression
  • Rap3// or very graphic non-consensual violence
  • Physical disorder or life long disorder or injuries
  • Romantic pairings with idols who are not among the 12 members!
  • ABO verse (I might make this accepted later but for now I want to learn more about it)

 

Well, that's it I guess. Even then if you post something and I find it uncomfortable (which I don't think will happen if you follow the above rules) I won't write it. Since this is my first time taking in commissions, please bear with my pace although I should be able to put out the fics faster since my summer break is going on. With that, we are done!!!

Let's see how this goes! You can check out my other fics and decide if my writing style is up to the point before requesting so that you won't be disappointed with the end results!

The chapter titles will contain P or R which indicates whether it's platonic or romantic along with the names of the members it's based on.

Please put all requests under this chapter only! ^^

I'll keep updating the tags as and when I post

Chapter Text

 

                                                     

 

 

Vernon usually being unaware of his surroundings was ironically one of the members who liked to pay attention to other members. He was also the one who was most approached when they were going through problems. He was someone who liked to talk about feelings, talk about what others thought of certain things or situations, he was a curious and kind soul who always had a  perfect answer for every stressful problem or if they just wanted someone to lean on.

 

It was after their comeback when the boys had free time to themselves that he noticed the American member was being different. It wasn't all that noticeable to others since the boys were quiet when they were behind cameras, trying to relax and unwind from their stressful lifestyle. But he caught on to the little moments, when the older would barely be around, or when he rarely ever come out of his room, avoiding to take a bath with others, and most of all wearing full-length pants even in summer and how he would say no to a sleepover and movie night.

 

In the beginning, he thought nothing of it, leaving it to being stressed but when the older said no to Vernon for coming over to sleep in his room was when he realized that something was really wrong. He tried to approach the older many times to talk about it but Joshua always escaped, listing numerous excuses every single time.

 

Vernon had had enough when the older wouldn't pick up his phone for he wanted to invite the older to eat out with him. He stormed out of his flat and went upstairs. When he entered the dorm he realized that no one was home except the person who he wanted to meet, known by the light coming out from under his door.

 

He quickly walked towards the older's bedroom and knocked on the door, "Hyung,"

 

He was confused when he heard the soft thud from inside and the shuffling of a person.

 

"Hyung? Shua?" He switched to English as he knocked again.

 

"Ver-Vernoni what are you doing here?!" The sound quickly bought forth his worries as he heard the older stuttering.

 

"Shua what's wrong? Open the door please!" He was getting more worried as he tried to push down the handle but the door was bolted from inside.

 

"I'm fine Nonie, I want to be alone, please leave."

 

"No, open this now! I'll call the others if you don't and I'm not kidding!" He tried to calm his heart but he was too scared as he kept rattling the door handle.

 

"No no no no please don't!" He was shocked when he heard the older sobbing and heaving and it panicked Vernon even more.

 

"Open this up now!! Please Shua come on!!" He started banging the door as he opened his phone, close to calling the leader when the door was quickly pulled open and Vernon stumbled in front at the unexpected movement. His eyes shot open wide as he gasped at the sight before him.

 

"Oh my God Hyung..." He whispered at the sight of older's sobs and cries, face red and swollen but what shocked him to the core was the red and brown lines that covered the older's thigh.

 

Joshua's crying bought him out of his thoughts as he pulled himself together and opened his arms, indicating the older to come closer if he wanted. Joshua immediately latched onto his arms as his sobs wrecked through his body.

 

"Oh Hyung," He murmured caressing the older's head, whose face rested in the crook of Vernon's neck. Vernon looked at the room which was really messy, a contrast to how it's usually kept.

 

"I got you Shua, I got you now, you're gonna be fine," He kept whispering as he pulled the older inside and closed the door, the older still being held by him. Vernon sat down pulling the older onto his lap as he wrapped his arms around him.

 

It took a while but Joshua soon got tired and laid limp in Vernon's arms, his breathing still ragged and unsteady.

 

Vernon wanted to talk and he knew he had to but not at the moment. He was confused and hurt and in pain at what one of the members was going through and no one knew about it. He couldn't fathom what led Joshua to do this.

 

"Hyung..." he murmured pulling away as he looked at the dead and empty eyes of the older which cracked his heart.

 

"I know Nonie, but please give me so... sometime ok...?" He whispered, clearing his throat and giving him a small broken smile.

 

"Yeah, yeah okay, let's lay down alright?" He told as he pulled the older towards the bed and both laid down wrapped in each other's arms in silence, their breathing being the only noise in the room. Vernon didn't realize how much time has passed as he kept the rhythm of running his fingers through Joshua's hair when the older finally decided to speak up.

 

"I...I wanted to feel myself if that makes sense," He stuttered taking a deep breath as Vernon caressed his arm in comfort.

 

"I feel like my body is out there for the world to use for what they want, like, like..." He whined as he couldn't find the words to describe his feelings well.

 

"It's okay Shua, take your time, organize your thoughts. I'm not going anywhere," He murmured,  the movement on his scalp calming him down.

 

"Too much of myself is out there. We have to dress a certain way, talk a certain way, always being tested on the scale, we are monitored on our food intake on what we post to what we do in our free time.... I just feel lost like wasn't this supposed to be my life,  why am I a  puppet in my own body..." his small voice carried too much depth, too much pain, and words that are ever so true.

 

"Even though doing this pains but it's like I found a way to express myself, to be myself even if it's in the form of pain," he released his emotions and all Vernon could do was tighten his hold as both let out their tears, feelings of pain clawing their hearts.

 

"Oh Hyung..." Vernon whispered as he turned to place his face in Shua's neck.

 

"Don't get me wrong, I love where I am today, I wanted to sing and dance, and here I am, lucky to succeed but people might call me selfish and crazy when I say I hate it at the same time. This fame, this publicity, the constant evaluation of our lives, each little mistake being our death row," He stopped for a moment as he tried to control his breathing, "It's like I'm constantly living on the edge, in fear of what's gonna be thrown at us next, I'm just scared Nonie, I'm tired...." He whispered, wrapping his arms around the younger as small sobs escaped his frame.

 

Vernon understood what the other was saying, hell it was even true! But he knew that at the same time it wasn't and he had to somehow get the older to see that.

 

"Hyung...I won't say it will all get better because we know as long as we stay in this industry, this will be what it is." He glanced at Shua before going back to keeping his face tucked into the older's neck.

 

"But Hyung, it doesn't have to be the way it is you know. It doesn't have to be us constantly living on the edge in fear, we don't have to be controlled," He finally moved away before sitting up and pulling Shua to sit up as well and he held his hands, looking straight in his eyes.

 

"We are more than just puppets, yes our lives are out there but that doesn't have to deter us. Remember how many carats spoke out about us being the reason why they survived,  about how we gave them a reason to live again. There are so many people who would stand beside us in an instant, so many who cherishes us and blesses us every single day for being happy." He smiled at the older, giving a squeeze to his hands, "There are carats out there who love you for being you, for being the Shua that we see every day. You are not controlled Hyung, if they did then I'd not know who you are right now

 

"You are still that gentle and kind person who walked into the practice room that day. And also would we have crossed each other's paths if it had not been for us debuting. There are good things and there are bad things, but we can decide which perspective we are gonna choose, no one can control us from choosing that." The older gave him a small smile as he took in all the words.

 

"Since when did you grow up so much," Joshua laughed, teasing the younger as he pulled Vernon into a hug.

 

"Oh Hyung, you offend me! I've always been this smart!" He laughed feeling comfort at the constant beating of the older's heart.

 

"Thank you, Nonie," Joshua whispered, voice full of sincerity and love, "Really,"

 

"I'll always be there Hyung, you will always have me and the others! 13 forever remember,"

 

"Yeah?"

 

"Yeah,"

 

The two then pulled apart and stared at each other, each adorning a smile.

 

"Hyung, you said it's a way you Express yourself right?"

 

Shua hummed in return as his brows furrowed in confusion as he wondered why Vernon asked that.

 

"Why don't we find other things that you could do instead?" He asked, his heart finally easing at the thought.

 

"Other things as in?"

 

"You like art and craft don't you?"

 

"Yeah...so?" He asked as he watched Vernon go around his room, cleaning it as he picked up the clothes and items strewn around.

 

"It's already late today, why don't I show you what I meant tomorrow huh?" He asked as he gave him a smile.

 

"Alright," The older returned the gesture.

 

"Now let's clean that up before it causes an infection okay!" He called out as he walked out of the room, the door left wide open as Joshua heard the kitchen drawers being opened and closed. Joshua found himself smiling unconsciously as his heart didn't feel as heavy as it did for the past few weeks. It was as if all of his burdens were removed.

 

He flopped down on the bed, arms wide open as he stared at the ceiling, he was so thankful that the younger came for him. He didn't know how long he would have been able live like this.

 

Vernon soon came in and treated his wounds. The two soon dressed themselves up for the night and settled down, wrapped around each other's limbs as they held themselves together against the fucked up feelings of the world. Feeling safest at the moment.

 

~~~

 

The next day was the first time in a while that Joshua cleaned and dressed himself up. Smiling with Vernon as they ate breakfast with other members. They all noticed the change in demeanor but none of them spoke about it, happy to have their Hyung back again.

 

Joshua was surprised when Vernon told him they were going shopping and the two found themselves in an art supplies store picking up canvases, paints, and brushes. It was a  comfortable trip as they stayed hidden from fans and went about freely.

 

Joshua couldn't help the small gasp from leaving as he stared at Mingyu and Minghao in the basement with all their art supplies as they sat down in front of their canvases, dressed in white tees.

 

"Oh, you're here!" Hao exclaimed as he saw them, pulling Shua by his hand to sit beside him.

 

"Come one! Vernon told that the two of you wanted to paint together!"

 

Joshua looked to at younger who gave him a wink and mouthed, 'Let's enjoy!'

 

Joshua could feel his heart getting lighter as he laughed along with the others as they painted what they wanted to, splashing paints and using hands just like little kids. He smiled at the three when they stood apart looking at the colorful canvases that stood in the end.

 

"We can make our lives as fun and colorful as we like, express however we want by having fun," Vernon whispered as they were cleaning up. And all the older could do was give a gratitude-filled smile.

 

That night as they settled in the bed, together again after a fun-filled dinner did he realize what the younger was trying to say yesterday.

 

"Was it a good day Hyung?" The younger asked as they snuggled together.

 

"The best in a while!" He pulled the younger closer while making himself comfortable.

 

"Let's cook tomorrow! Dokyeom Hyung promised to make a pizza with us," he smiled as he closed his eyes.

 

"Thank you, Nonie, really! I owe you so much," He murmured, heart filled with warmth and love for the boy in his arms.

 

"Oh you're silly Hyung, you don't owe me anything! I'll always be there for you, just promise to always come to any of us when you feel like going back to that headspace."

 

"I will," He will. Cause now he knows that there are other ways that he could express himself, ways where he wouldn't be pained, ways where his heart and life will feel lighter than ever. And all of this because he has the members with him.

 

~~~

 

"Where's Shua Hyung?"

 

"Oh he might be in his room, he hadn't come out for a while, why don't you call him and ask him if he is willing to go out!"

 

"Alright, will do Cheol Hyung" he yelled as he quickly walked towards the older's room, knocking lightly before entering.

 

"Oh hey Hyung," He smiled as the older looked up and gave a dazzling smile of his own.

 

"Nonie!!"

 

"What do you have there?" The younger asked as he walked forward to notice the bead bracelets that were strewn on the table as the older was making another black and rainbow-themed one.

 

"Bracelets," he mumbled brows furrowed in concentration as his tongue stuck out, all focus on the thread that he was tieing.

 

"The members are planning to go out, let's go!" He called as the older placed all the discarded beads inside and walked out with Vernon with a number of bracelets in his hand.

 

"What's that Joshuji?" Jeonghan asked as Shua went to each of them and handed out their own bracelets.

 

"I made something for you all," He gave a soft nervous smile as he wondered if they would like it.

 

"Oh Hyung! I love this so much!" Hoshi yelled as he threw his arms around the older's neck as he laughed along and wrapped his arms around the younger as well.

 

"This is so good Joshuji!"

 

"Thank you, Hyung!!"

 

"This is gonna be my good luck charm now!"

 

In all the commotion, Joshua didn't fail to notice the bright smile that Vernon was sporting. He gave a wink in his direction as the younger laughed at him and mouthed a small thank you while pointing at his colorful bracelet.
















 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Vernon has always been a special child. He was the youngest in the family which naturally resulted in being the most adored. He was usually ill as a baby and his parents did everything to find out what was wrong. They knew something was not right, especially when the other two kids didn't go through such constant sickness. Growing up, he was very weak and could barely keep up with something for more than 30 minutes. He also had frequent fevers that went as high as 103 and when the fevers used to break he always had to take shots of glucose because of fatigue. 

 

Seugcheol and Jeonghan knew something was wrong with their baby, but they didn't imagine even in their wildest dreams that it would be cancer. Vernon was three when he was diagnosed with leukemia. 

 

The couple still remembers how the two had taken the hit very badly, crying in each other's arms as they felt their heartache at the thought of the pain that their child was going through. Wonwoo and Mingyu, being only 3 and 2 years older had come to realize that their brother needs them, and they have always been there for him, being his pillars.

 

Vernon was a small child, his height was less than average, and he was always chilly. His parents tried to do everything they could to offer him as much comfort as they could. It was a plus point that the Choi family was rich and could afford the treatment.

 

The family was through it all. They were together inside the doctor's room when the doctor let out the cursed words. They were there beside him when he went through his first chemo. They were there when Vernon started losing all his hair. They were there when he would wake up in the middle of the night, crying his heart out as his tiny body was wracked with shivers. They were there to catch their baby when he first fainted from exhaustion. They were there when the pain got so much that he would cry all night, his loud wails breaking the hearts of his parents. The Choi family has been through it all, but all of that didn't even account for 1% of the pain that Vernon went through. Being a toddler, he was accustomed to being in and out of hospitals. Fevers were now normalcy, and pain, despite being as harsh as the first time was also a usual thing.

 

Jeonghan still remembers how his two kids looked in tears as his youngest was hooked to different wires as his crying form was held by Seugcheol.

 

"Baby," He had called, opening his arms wide, trying to control his own tears as he cradled the shaking form of his two children.

 

"Papa, why is Sollie crying so much," It was Mingyu who sniffled out the question as tears and snot covered his face.

 

"Sollie is not well, baby," Jeonghan had whispered as he wiped the younger's face and gave him a sad smile.

 

"Why papa, what is wrong with him" Wonwoo had asked softly, voice barely heard over the noise in the corridor of the hospital.

 

Jeonghan's heart cracked, but he kept up the facade and smiled at the oldest child, "He has ca...cancer, Wonu" He wasn't able to say it without getting his voice cracked. He would never be able to fully accept the fact that his child was not fine. The adorable newborn that the couple had first put their eyes on as the tiny human giggled with bunched-up cheeks and stars in his eyes was not fine.

 

"He will be fine again, right papa," Wonwoo had taken hold of his hands as his shining eyes stared into those of Jeonghan's.

 

And he didn't have the heart to tell that he didn't know. He himself wasn't ready to accept that this will be his baby's life. He wanted him to get better. He couldn't bear to see him in pain.

 

"He will be fine Wonu, he will be fine one day. If we take care of him properly, he will slowly get well." He finally let the tears escape his eyes as he stared at the two.

 

It was then that Jeonghan realized he had nothing to worry about. Hansol would always have his hyungs to protect him. "Then we will take care of him, papa." 6-year-old Mingyu had spoken in the brightly lit corridor amidst the chaos of the hospital as everyone went through their own difficulties.

 

But despite all the pain that life threw him with, Hansol grew up to be a kind and sweet soul. His life was filled with warmth and love, surrounded by friends and family who always had his back. 

 

~~~

 

Vernon had many episodes that always scared everyone. 

 

It was at Christmas when he was 4 that he had an attack of horrible pain. He was sitting on Jihoon's lap, watching over all the kids who were running around the colorfully lit and decorated tree as the older held him close. Everything was going so well that when the loud wail broke out of the baby it came out as a shock.

 

Everyone was frozen with fear as Hansol thrashed in Jihoon's arms, his body shaking with sobs to the point where he was having difficulty breathing. Tears flowed down his scrunched-up face as his mouth wobbled with screams of pain.

 

Seugcheol and Jeonghan had jumped towards the toddler as they themselves were in a state of mind where they were anxious to think about anything. But what they knew was that they had to hold him. Jeonghan had taken the crying baby as he cradled the child in his arms, shushing and humming to the younger as tears escaped his own eyes.

 

It was Joshua who took all the kids outside as the adults watched with helplessness as the couple held their child in agony. Jeonghan had completely freaked out when Hansol passed out in his arms. They immediately rushed to the hospital, running to the emergency. Hansol was then hooked for another Chemo, IV attached to his chest at the night of Christmas as they stayed overnight at the hospital, doing everything that they can to comfort the fussy child throughout the night.

 

Wonwoo and Mingyu had tears in their eyes when they woke up the next day and found their baby brother with plasters wrapped around his chest and arm. They knew what that plaster meant, all the kids did. They have all seen Hansol going through Chemo.

 

Jun being the eldest among the children had taken Hansol into his arms as all the kids sat around him, playing and speaking softly so that it doesn't trouble the baby. The adults melted at the scene, but they were glad that Hansol will always have such a support system.

 

~~~

 

Vernon was 5 when he enrolled in kindergarten along with Seugkwan and Chan. He grew up attached to the hip with Seugkwan and Chan. The three have been best friends since they were in diapers. They were the three musketeers. Seugkwan and Chan were ever so protective of Hansol. They would make sure no one messes with him, or that he wouldn't be bullied for being smaller and weaker.

 

His chemo sessions had gradually decreased as he turned 5 as the doctors suggested that the younger showed immense improvement and might finally get rid of this disease. It was the happiest the family had been to know that their baby wouldn't suffer anymore. It might still take time for him to be fine but the fact that there is a higher chance he might recover was a huge relief. 

 

It was during lunch break when one of the kids playing in the room pushed Hansol as they fought for a toy and his weak body tumbled back and crashed his elbow at the edge of the plastic table. Immediately a loud wail broke out in the room, and Seugkwan and Chan had quickly rushed towards the crying boy. It was then that they noticed the discolored skin covered with purple and red streaks and freaked out. Seugkwan bought the younger in his arms as he tried to soothe the younger.

 

The two kids remembered the words of their uncles when they told them that Vernon should be absolutely safe. He shouldn't get hurt even a little, so when they noticed the purple that colored the younger's arm, they couldn't help crying and freaking out because they failed at protecting the younger.

 

Seokmin's heart was beating rapidly as he saw the scene in front of him. He had immediately rushed towards them and took the younger in his arms. It was a relief that he worked at the kindergarten otherwise the teachers knew Seugkwan and Chan wouldn't have let anyone touch the younger. Seokmin had cradled the younger and carried him to his office as the two kids followed him.

 

"You're gonna be fine Sollie," He murmured as he started singing softly, trying to calm the child, "You're gonna be fine baby, see Kwannie and Channie is here now and so is Uncle Minnie right?"

 

The younger looked at him with shining eyes as he took in the presence of three familiar faces.

 

"See, baby, you're fine," He cooed as he bought the younger back in his arms and kissed his forehead and sat down as Seugkwan and Chan stood before him with bated breath.

 

Seokmin smiled softly at the two, "He's fine, Kwannie, Channie. Don't cry sweethearts,"

 

Seugkwan suddenly burst into tears alarming Seokmin, "We're...We're sorry daddy, We didn't take care of Sol...Sollie," He stuttered as his breath hitched.

 

"Oh baby," Seokmin said softly as the toddler in his arms quieted down and looked at his friends. Seokimn pulled the two closer and wrapped one of his arms around them, "It's not your fault. You took care of him. You did so well, baby," He whispered, trying to ease their sadness as he rubbed his palm up and down their back.

 

"I'm fine," Hansol murmured as his little hand came forward and grasped Chan's hand, "I'm okay,"

 

Their lives weren't normal, far from it actually. But they would always be there for Hansol, all 12 of them will be there. And as Seokmin held the frames of three children in his arms, he realized how he would die for them and do anything to keep them safe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

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.

 

"Channie!"

 

"Coming!"

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

The interviews were fun. They usually had lots of interesting questions and games and the boys always looked forward to that. Talking about their passion and creativity towards dance and music was always a happy feature.

 

But interviews ate not always fun. Every celebrity out there has gone through rude questions in interviews and it was fairly common but that doesn't mean it was easy.

 

Over the years, they learned how to speak up when they were uncomfortable with something but sometimes they had to remain calm and not blow out. And today was one of those days.

 

Now, it was something that carats have realized that seventeen was now moving to promote in the West. And in all rationality, it means giving a lot of interviews. Which was completely fine, had it not been for the ones who were interviewing them.

 

Vernon was dressed and ready as he sat on the couch, scrolling through his phone. Some of the members were still going through the final touch-ups.

 

"Sol, come on!" Seungkwan called put, waving at him to wear his radio device.

 

The boys were getting their radio devices hooked when someone knocked on the door of the dressing room

.

It was the show editor standing there with her clipboard and whistle, "I see, you're all ready right?" She gave them a kind smile, the boys agreeing with a smile of their own.

 

"Alright then!" She puffed, opening the door wider, "Let's go meet your interviewers for today ok!"

 

The boys followed after the PD, bowing to the staff that was lingering around. It was always a pleasure to meet the people interviewing them. They had fun talking to someone they knew nothing about. It was almost like socializing.

 

Vernon was walking along with Dokyeom and Chan as the two talked among themselves, discussing the answers that they were going to say. They always got a list of questions they were going to be asked before the interview so that they could cancel out questions they didn't like.

 

That was when Vernon's heart stopped. He couldn't believe his sight when he saw the people standing before him. His heart rate sped up as he almost started hyperventilating, past memories thrashing him like a whirlwind.

 

It was only when Dokyeom nuged him with his elbow that he broke out of his thoughts.

 

His eyes clashed with those of the two men, and the instant recognition flooded in them. Vernon shivered at the sight of the small vicious smile that they held. But it was as if he was the only one who felt that.

 

The members got along great, talking and laughing along with them. Vernon wanted to tell them to stop being so friendly, he wanted to tell Mingyu that the guy he was laughing along with had pushed him down the stairs when he was in 5th grade and broke his arm. He wanted to tell Joshua that the guy he was talking with had pushed him against the lockers and tore his notebooks, months of hard work going down the drain.

 

He wanted to scream at them to stop. But he just kept quiet, locking all his memories at the back of his mind. He was over them, really. Yes, it was a dark time of his life but he was over it. He grew up and decided to free himself of the burden, packing all of that and letting it go. But, in the end, he was still a human. No matter how hard he tried, he can't run away from the fear which still came back at him with full force.

 

Vernon tried to stay as far away as he could from the two men, taking up the farthest seat.

 

The cameras zoon rolled and lights shone on the stage, "Take 1"

 

The group introduced themselves as they normally do, going around the circle by individually introducing themselves.

 

"So You're new album came out recently and it broke new records! How does it feel?"

 

Vernon let out a breath of relief when the questions weren't mean. He took so much from the two men sitting before him. They made his life help but he would never want his members going through that.

 

He turned out the rest of the interview, only speaking up when he had to.

 

"So it's almost been 2 years since you've last visited your hometowns right, especially for the foreign members right? Is it Jun, Minghao, Joshua, and Vernon?"

 

Vernon snapped his eyes at them when he heard his name. He almost rolled his eyes but held it back. There was no reason for them to mention his name along with the word foreign.

 

Joshua laughed sheepishly, "Yeah it has been a while, hopefully, all of this ends soon so we could all meet up with our family."

 

"So, Vernon, you've been producing songs lately right? Who's ideas have you been hitting upon?" They laughed lightly, indicating they are joking but it didn't sound like a joke. Vernon noticed the underlying note of malice that others didn't.

 

Vernon could feel his heart clench when he heard the question. They were implying that Vernon plagiarises others' ideas. The members understood the question as well, and were very confused as to why he would ask something like that.

 

But Vernon knew he still has to be professional so he answered, "Well, of course, they are my own ideas, most of the time I'm inspired by my own life or sometimes by watching others go through situations."

 

"Oh, that's great!" one of them replied, giving him a tight-lipped smile.

 

They moved towards the other members,  asking different questions before it came back to him again.

 

"Many fans were also wondering which nationality you hold onto now?"

 

Now, that was an unnecessary question and something that wasn't written. Vernon shared a confused look with Chan and  replied, "I hold the Korean passport so I'm legally a Korean,"

 

"Oh, that's nice but do people still call you halfer and white, considering how you look like, or has people gotten over that,"

 

It shocked Vernon, those men didn't care for the questions now, it was like they wanted to prove him and post a bad remark about him. Vernon couldn't believe how easily they bought up the issue about his race, which he was very sensitive to. But then again, those men were his bullies. They would do this easily.

 

Before Vernon could reply, it was Jeonghan who spoke, he was pissed off, clenching his teeth as he gave a smile to still look polite, "Obviously not, people, just like you always bring it up for no reason."

 

Vernon wanted to get up and hug the older right then and there. It gave him a sense of satisfaction to see the interviewers with wide eyes and open mouths.

 

"Your parents are painters right, how does it feel to have them do undignified jobs."

 

"Excuse me?" Vernon snapped having had enough of their nonsense.

 

"Oh I'm sorry,  that came out wrong, let me phrase that right, how does it feel to have your parents do non-common jobs?"

 

All the members were opposed to the questions that were being asked. They wanted the director to cut it but if they do it now then they will have to film everything again. It was better to cut it off later from the roll.

 

Vernon didn't know why the two were aiming for him, even after so many years. Like, why can't they leave him alone?

 

"I feel great! My parents have always supported the idea of us doing what we love and what we have passion for."

 

"Oh so if you love dancing will you be a bar dancer," they laughed quietly but it was nothing funny. They crossed the limit with that remark. The members were outright glaring at the two right now. Vernon sat there, fisting his hand and trying to keep his breathing controlled.

 

"With all due respect, stop these fucking questions that make no sense!"Vernon snapped, his veins sticking out.

 

The members gasped at his use of curse words as they stared at him with wide eyes. The staff around them was also shocked.

 

"No sense? I mean it wasn't anything rude we just asked you some questions," they shrugged.

 

"Some questions?!" Vernon raised his voice ignoring the voice of Seugcheol asking him to calm down.

 

"You fucking disrespected my parents and my job, what do you take us as, push around!"

 

"Well, you didn't have a problem being that when you were young."

 

And just like that, it was as if someone punched him and knocked his breath out. He sat there still, the silence heavy in the room as everyone sat confused as to what the interviewers were talking about.

 

"And if you think you're talented at music and dance then you're just being brainwashed,  they only want you around for your damn halfer looks,"

 

"That's enough!" Seugcheol snapped, standing up as he motioned the director to cut.

 

"CUT"

 

"Say that again if you have guts," Woozi spoke in a low voice. The two shivered in fear as all the members stood around the two looking down at them.

 

"Stop overreacting. We are school friends and we were joking around." The two stood up scoffing at the members.

 

Vernon couldn't believe what he was hearing, how dare they tell his members a lie, his anger bubbled inside his body, he was seething at their downright lies.

 

"Stop fucking lying you assholes!" He screamed, the members going in shock. His memories getting a hold of him as his mind traveled back to the time when he faked being sick si that he didn't have to go to school. The time when he had to skip practice for a week because they thought it was a nice idea to push him off the bus.  The time when they cornered him after school and punched him in the face because they didn't like how good he looked. The time when they almost made him get terminated by accusing him of cheating in a test. All of that rolled back again as tears flowed down his eyes.

 

"Stop lying! We weren't friends!" Jeonghan and Seugkwan rushed towards him, shocked by the open show of emotions. Vernon is a calm person. He barely ever gets angry. The boys have never seen him raise his voice. They never saw the cold and hard look that he was sporting at the moment.

 

"Hey Sollie, breathe baby, come on relax, they are not worth it," Jeonghan whispered, guiding his head towards his chest and holding him in his embrace.

 

Vernon wanted to yell at them again but he held himself back, for the sake of his brothers as the constant motion of Seungkwan's hands up and down his back, calmed him down.

 

The staff was still throughout. This was the first time they saw Seventeen members angry. Or any celebrity this angry. But they knew that they have every right especially with the questions that were asked.

 

Vernon slowly stood up going towards the men who were standing there, glaring at him.

 

"Look how I turned out huh, you thought I'd end up in a ditch before my 18th birthday but here I am happy," His eyes didn't give away any emotion as he stared at them with an expressionless face. The members gasped when they heard what he said.

 

"Oh, and it's sad to note how you still are filled with the toxicity from 10 years back. I feel sorry that you don't have your own life to focus on that you are focusing on mine and are still so damn obsessed with me."

 

Vernon didn't notice one of their hand coming forward as one of them yelled, "You asshole!"

 

But the punch never landed on him, "Touch him and you're done for it," Seugcheol's steeled tone and deadpan expression sent a shiver down all their backs.

 

Vernon found himself being pulled in by Mingyu as all of them walked out, their managers guiding them straight towards the cars.

 

Vernon sat still the whole way back, tired with the whole interaction as he leaned his head onto Jun's shoulder, who intertwined their hands together, offering him comfort.

 

Vernon never thought he would see them again and have the last word and be the one to walk away. The last time Vernon stood before the two men were when he was holding onto his bruised stomach as they kicked him down and he saw them walk away through half-lidded eyes.

 

The boys quietly entered their own respective dorms. Vernon thought this was it, he sat on his bed, staring at the picture of all of them that was hung in his room. He thought they would be mad at him for screaming on the set and it seems like they were. His eyes filled up with tears and soon small sobs filled the room. All of this becoming very much for him to handle. His heart ached at everything that he went through as a child.

 

He quietened down when he felt the flutter of a touch on his nape. And soon hands were cupping his cheek and guiding his head to look straight. Vernon's eyes were shut tightly as he was breathing heavily, scared to find all of this as his imagination.

 

"Open your eyes baby," the raspy voice reached his ears like a pleasant sensation. His eyes fluttered open, the leader coming into his view with a small smile.

 

"Hyung," he murmured, turning his head he found all 12 of them seating and standing wherever they had a place.

 

"Hey," a pair of arms wrapped around his middle as someone rested their head on his back. It was Seungkwan.

 

"Hyung," he murmured again,  his voice getting high as tears filled his eyes again. They were here, they didn't leave him. He couldn't hold himself back as he threw his arms around the leader and sobbed in his embrace. All his worries leaving his body.

 

And that night when he laid down beside the 12 others he felt his heart get lighter. Smiling softly to himself, he thanked the heavens for blessing him with 12 brothers who will always have his back.

 

"Sleep well Sollie," Hoshi wrapped his arms around the younger, snuggling beside him.

 

And if a few days later the two men were fired and sued then no one has to know except the 95 line.






 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

He was the chosen one. He was destined to defeat the dark lord and he worked all his life for it. And often wondered how happy he would be when he would defeat the dark lord. But nothing of that sort happened.

 

Vernon stood there, on the rumbles of Hogwarts,  his soul empty and broken, mind filled with endless nightmares. He didn't feel as happy as he thought he would. He felt alone for some reason.

 

"Sollie," the soft murmur reached his ears as he turned to look at the ashen and dirt-colored face of his Hyung.

 

"Hyung,"

 

He itched all his thoughts at the back of his mind as he grabbed the hand of the older and the two walked off, leaving the rumbles of a place that they once lived in as the wind blew slightly, nature giving a message of peace.

 

---

 

Days went by painfully slow. Each day was a new form of nightmare. Each day was filled with terrors that he wanted to forget. His screams at night failed to reach the other 12 boys who lived with him as the spell cast in his room made it soundproof.

 

Vernon had had it rough since he was a child, he was used and abused, but he never gave up cause he had a clear idea of his goal. Lost his family when he was a baby and had his life ripped apart multiple times. But now that everything was over he didn't know what to do. He woke up every day just to see his hyungs leave the house for their own work.

 

And when his mind was idle it started the devil's work. His thoughts were filled with the days when his true friends turned their backs. He still remembers when one of his best friends had turned his back and helped the followers of Voldemort, causing pain to his friends and family.

 

 

 

Flashback start

It all happened in a flash. His whole friend group had decided to eat out. At one moment they were all sitting together and laughing and the next moment was chaos. Dark spells reeled in, striking so many of them. He was shocked at how quickly everything happened. He saw so many people with the dark symbol having a fight with his own friends. Everyone's wands were in their hands.

 

He himself was engaged in a fight with Bellatrix, the witch leaving no scopes to attack him. But what came as a shock to him was when six of his friend removed their cloaks, their arms on display, the dark symbol striking him with shock and hurt.

 

"Noo Felix," he screamed at the younger to get away but Bangchan already got to him. His spell knocking out the younger in his arms.

 

He shared the last glance with the older, his eyes that once held kindness and love were now void with emotions.

 

Flashback end

 

 

 

The last glance shared a lot with him and left him with a scar of betrayal.

 

It required so much strength for him to open up again. To not have trust issues with every person he interacts with. It was a tough time in his life but he is glad he had opened up otherwise he wouldn't have 12 brothers. He would die and kill for each of them, that's how important they are.

 

He still remembers when he was part of that eight-member gang, their friendship was so pure but alas it was not. He found Felix later but the latter already sported the mark by then. He couldn't save the younger. He would forever regret that.

 

Even now after the war is over and followers of the dark lord are being arrested, he is yet to see those seven people.

 

The war in itself was expected, it was supposed to happen one day and he knew that since he was a child. But he wasn't ready to lose so many of his friends. The people he had come to call family. And there were so many who had left the light side to join the dark. He was faced with so much loss and betrayal.

 

He found his way out of his thoughts as Mingyu clicked his fingers in front of his eyes.

 

"Earth to Sollie,"

 

Vernon blinked his eyes multiple times, trying to focus on the older's face.

 

Mingyu's face morphed into that of concern when he didn't reply. He sat on the bed beside Vernon and grabbed his cold hands, rubbing them to get back some heat in his chilly hands.

 

"What's wrong Sol?" He asked softly.

 

He wanted to reply. Oh how badly he wanted to but he didn't want to burden them not when they all seem so free and happy. He shook his head and tried to pull his hands but the older tightened his hold.

 

"It's okay if you don't wanna talk to me but you have 11 others you can approach, you know that right?"

 

He did. He couldn't stop the lone tear that fell from his eyes,  "I...I know Hyung, thank you, really," he murmured.

 

"It's okay baby, it will all be fine one day," he pulled the younger on his lap wrapping his arms around the younger as Vernon rested his forehead in the crook of Mingyu's neck.

 

He hoped that day would come soon.

 

---

 

But things never seemed to be getting better. One month was coming to an end since the war and he still felt worse off. His mind and body both seemed to be giving him a hard time.

 

Often times his gaze wandered to the base of his arm where jagged lines rested. His mind always went back to the time when it happened. He still remembers the eerily silent hall getting filled with screams of pain and terror. It was his screams. He remembers how he laid paralyzed on the ground as Bellatrix leaned over him, her long nails digging into his arms. The dagger in her hand being dragged painfully slow on his once flawless skin.

 

He always shuddered when he thought about it. That day he not only lost some of his closest friends but also went through something that will forever haunt him. Being in the presence of Voldemort as his mark burned on his forehead was something that terrified him to the bone. In the end, he was as scared of the dark lord as everyone else was but he only hid it better for the sake of prophecy.

 

He was standing outside the school as students and staff roamed around, cleaning up the mess so that students could start their education once again. He wanted to help them but his feet didn't seem to move. He was paralyzed at the spot, memories of events flowing through his mind.

 

He saw Seungkwan and Chan helping Luna but he couldn't seem to go to them. He couldn't yet. He slowly turned around, leaving the place that held most of his fond memories but also worse of his nightmares.

 

---

 

That night as all thirteen of them sat at the table, talking about each of their days. He listened to it all, hoping to get some inspiration for him to do something as well but he felt worse. He felt as if all of them were moving ahead but he stood at the same place, in the dark as he noticed them leaving. His silent screams were unable to reach their ears as he was slowly getting engulfed in the dark.

 

He didn't realize when the sob broke out of him but the silence fell over the room in a second as all heads turned to him. His mind was raging with pain and terror, nails digging in his palms. Tears were flowing down his face as he struggled to take in a proper breath. He felt the walls closing around him, as he was being imprisoned in the dark.

 

The rest of the boys scrambled up as the older 3 reached the trembling and thrashing body of the younger, minds filled with guilt and worry for not noticing the plight of the younger.

 

His screams filled the mansion with pure unbreakable pain which broke all their hearts deeply. Most of them had started sobbing as well as they looked at him with wide worry-filled eyes.

 

"Make it stop! Please make...make it stop!!" He cried, fingers scratching his scars as his voice broke mid-scream.

 

Jeonghan's hands trembled with fright and worry as he tried to make the younger calm down which wasn't working.

 

"Sollie baby, please...

 

"Don't leave me!! Please don't leave me alone!" He cried out, wide eyes shifting to that of the oldest as he repeatedly shook his head face covered in tears.

 

"We aren't gonna leave you alone baby," Seugcheol replied calmly despite the racing of his heart as he held his hands out, "We are all here baby,"

 

But it was as if Vernon wasn't really listening to them. He was barely breathing as his head filled up with images of the past.

 

"MAKE IT STOP!" He screamed with all his might, throat going raw at the loud piercing scream.

 

Joshua rushed forward to catch the younger in his arms as he fell sideways from his chair, blacking out. Joshua's arms held the younger tightly in his grasp as if he was afraid to let the younger be alone even for a second.

 

"Oh my God Sollie,  baby," Jeonghan skidded to a stop before the pair as his hands hovered over the younger not knowing what to do. He finally rested his palms on his cheeks, cradling his face in his hands.

 

The others rushed forward as well, every one forming a circle around the younger.

 

"Let's take him to the living room first, okay?" Seugcheol spoke, voice rough and husky. He took Vernon in his arms and carried the younger to the living room and placed him on the rug. They all sat around him, still coming to terms with what just happened

 

"Hyung..." Chan started, tear-filled eyes meeting that of the oldest.

 

"I know Channie, we need to talk about it." He replied, running his hand through his hair. His mind filled with frustration for not being a good Hyung.

 

"He wasn't well," Mingyu started softly, eyeing the younger who was wrapped in Seungcheol's arms.

 

"He was always lost in his head, barely ever talking to someone or doing anything else," Seungkwan continued, his voice wavering slightly as he sniffles back his sobs. Wonwoo grabbed the younger and ran his palm up and down his back.

 

Everyone started listing out how they knew he wasn't well but had turned a blind eye. Not because they didn't care but because they cared. They wanted to give him space and let him approach them. But things had gotten worse right before their eyes and they weren't able to do anything.

 

"We..." Jeonghan started, his soft voice gaining all their attention, "We messed up but it's time we make everything right."

 

The 12 sit in silence, their sights trained at the younger hearts swelled with love for the boy that went through so much to give so many others a future to live in. Their hearts filled with respect and love for him.

 

"He's gonna be fine," Hoshi murmured as he rested his head on Woozi's shoulder, "I know cause we will make sure of it,"

 

Those words were enough to make each of them determined again. It was time they do everything they can for a boy who did everything he could to kill the dark lord.

 

It was past midnight when the younger woke up. The boys immediately perked up when they saw him shift.

 

"Hyung..." he croaked,  blinking his eyes to adjust to the light.

 

"Hey Sollie," Jeonghan murmured his soft voice easing them all, "you good baby?"

 

Vernon only groaned, trying to move the limbs of other sleeping bodies.

 

"What happened?" He questioned looking at the members who were awake and alert.

 

"You don't remember?" Seugcheol asked, rubbing his hands together to get some warmth in them.

 

Slowly everything started becoming more clear as Vernon realized what he had done.

 

"I'm sorry..." he murmured, eyes glistening with unshed tears.

 

"Oh no baby, we are the ones who are sorry we didn't notice before." Mingyu gave him a sad smile, "We should have noticed."

 

"I didn't want to share bad thoughts Hyung," he whispered trying to get rid of the lump in his throat.

 

"Sollie, we are here for a reason right?" Seugcheol asked, grabbing his chin to lift his head, his eyes meeting the protective eyes of the older "We want to be here for you, that is what family is for right?"

 

"I know, I'm sorry," he whispered, looking at each of them, "I love you all so much,"

 

"We love you too baby," Jeonghan smiled at him.

 

Maybe they didn't get to him when he was drowning in his mind but they were always there for him. And even if it was a little late he was glad that he had people he could trust now. His heart and mind finally easing after so many long and sleepless nights filled with pain and terror.

 

He snuggled beside the oldest, feeling protected from everything in this world.

 

"Sleep Sol, you're gonna be fine now."

 

And fine he will be. One day.

 

Chapter Text

The comeback meeting was coming up which led to pure tension and stress growing over the boys. They were barely able to sleep 4 hours. Along with that, the upcoming concert practice was in full swing, giving the boys hardly any time to themselves.

Everyone was tired and worn out and needed only one trivial matter to bite back at each other. Small heated arguments were a constant.

But Vernon has been keeping himself away from that. His body wasn't holding up well, he had barfed multiple times a day, going about as if everything was okay and his lovers didn't notice either. In their defense, everyone was tired to the bone to take note of each other. He wanted to keep it to himself so that he wouldn't be the reason for their schedule running late. And he's been keeping a damn good front at that. But it all amounted to nothing.

Today was especially a bad day. He wasn't able to sleep all night, the discomfort of his body making it hard. His mental state wasn't holding well either. He slowly got up, walking out of his room. The boys usually slept together but they also value it when one of them asks for some time alone.

"Morning Sollie," the older greeted softly as Vernon walked into the open arms and rested his face on Joshua's shoulder.

"Mornin," he grumbled under his breath making the older laugh.

"Why don't you go freshen up and then we can have our breakfast, what say?"

He hummed in return,  groggily walking towards the bathroom only to find Wonwoo and Jun brushing their teeth. Jun was half asleep, eyes barely open. But Wonwoo noticed him and gave a small smile while passing his toothbrush.

"Mornin hyungs,"

"Do it fast everyone! we are getting late." Jeonghan shouted from outside gathering all the boys since they have a meeting with their creative directors and CEO today.

Everything was going fine, but it was as if a mere moment changed everything.

The three flinched as they heard the bang of the main door and they shared shocked looks when they heard the angry voice of their leader.

"What's going on?" Jun mumbled as the three move to check what the commotion is about. Vernon walked behind the two, his mind at unease for some reason.

"Who the hell did it?!" Seungcheol's gravelly voice bought a shiver down their spines, eyebrows pinched together and lips pulled downward.

"Cheollie what's wrong?" Joshua's calm voice washed some relief over them. By now all the boys gathered together as they all stared warily at the oldest.

"I'm asking again who touched my laptop?!" His voice was low as his eyes traveled through each of them.

Vernon was panicking when he heard that. His mind was in overdrive and he couldn't think of anything else but the fact that he touched his hyung's laptop last night.

"Why what happened?" Jeonghan asked trying to speak calmly despite being angry at the older's tone.

"All the songs are deleted," Seungcheol's voice broke as his panicked eyes found the wide eyes of Woozi. Gasps were heard around the room as everyone's minds were filled with fear of what is gonna happen.

"When I last closed the laptop, they were there in a file but this morning the whole file was deleted, it's not there in recycle bin either!"

"Oh my God how..." Woozi whispered, panic building inside of him.

"I don't even have the backup!"

All of them were freaking out and were filled with rage because they worked so hard for those songs and they were already on a deadline. They had a meeting in two hours for God's sake!

"Who the fuck did it?!" Woozi turned to look at them, his eyes showing signs of betrayal and anger.

"Hyung," Seugkwan tried to hold the older's shoulder when he whipped his head towards the younger, "Did you do it?!"

Seungkwan looked shocked at the accusation, "What? No Hyung!"

Everyone started blaming each other, curses being passed around as anger rolled in waves.

Vernon shrank lower, his heart beating really fast in fear. The boys had fights but he always hated it, he hated violence. It bought back memories of the past that he tried so hard to forget.

But he also hadn't touched the file. Why would he delete something that important?

But he couldn't stand seeing his lovers pointing fingers at each other so he decided to confess despite his fears.

"Hyung..." he murmured looking at them but no one heard his tiny voice so he decided to speak louder, "Hyung!"

But still, everyone was busy in their argument. Vernon got even more scared when he saw the older push Chan away which is when he decided to yell.

"HYUNG!"

Silence envelops the room immediately. Everyone turned their heads to him.

His high wore off and he was scared to admit that he took the laptop but he didn't want his lovers to fight so he pushed his thoughts away.

"I...I u.." he wasn't able to speak up and his breathing was becoming labored.

"What?" Seungcheol asked harshly.

He whimpered slightly at the tone and confessed, "I...I used your laptop last night,"

The room became chilly as everyone's eyes turned a shade darker.

Chan was watching the members and Vernon uneasily, afraid for his Hyung.

"You what?" Seungcheol growled his steps moving in his direction.

Vernon's eyes widened in fear. His mind traveling back to his past when coming towards you in anger meant being inflicted with pain. He stumbled back trying to form a coherent sentence.

"I...I to...took it but I promise I didn't touch any file!" He spoke very quickly.

"Stop lying!" Seungcheol's deep voice was shaking in anger, "That was months of hard work!"

"Hyung I promise I didn't do any...

"You were the last one who took it!" His voice made him tremble in fear.

"Hyu...Hyung I didn't," He couldn't help the small sob that escaped his body.

The rest of the boys were shocked but their anger was more prominent.

"What the hell are you gonna tell the CEO now?!" Woozi's voice reached his ear, "That we don't have any songs and the comeback after 8 months can't happen anymore!?"

"Bu...but Hyung..." No one listened to him, turning their backs and walking out. He saw Chan hesitating to walk out but Jun dragged him away and Vernon was soon standing in the huge room alone, mind coming up with various scenarios as to what will happen next. His members will break up with him and he will be kicked out of the group. He won't have anywhere to go to and will be alone again. He silently wept in the empty room, insecurities and nightmares wrapping him in a cocoon.

 

~~~


That day the meeting was a disaster. The CEO had screamed at Woozi and Seungcheol taking his anger out on them. This made the rest of the members even madder and they kept yelling and cursing at him. They were completely rude and cruel. Scolding him whenever he got the choreo wrong.

His body wasn't fairing up well. He had once completely blacked out in the middle of performing for like 5 seconds almost stumbling onto Mingyu. He got scolded really badly after that. Vernon's worst fears felt like they were coming true. He cried every night hoping for his lovers to take him back. Hell, they haven't even touched him for the past few days.

Vernon laid there in bed, all alone. He could feel his eyes tear up again. He couldn't count how many times he cried in the past few days.

Vernon didn't have a happy childhood. Something his members didn't know. Vernon never spoke about his childhood and they never forced him to. Even when they got together they respected his wishes of not talking about it since it was in the past.

But now after everything that happened, for the first, his members reminded him of them.

His mind conjured up the events of that day and twisted it to the events of the past. He was slowly going down the past of depression and anxiety again. Something that he worked so hard to come out of.

He tried many times to explain but they always shut him off, determined that he was the one who deleted those files. They also tasked him to write songs because of that.

He loves writing lyrics but when they forced him to write it down, it felt as if he was being punished and if he didn't do what they told then he would be hit.

His breathing picked up slightly when he thought of his past, curling into himself and whispering reassuring phrases to himself.

'It's fine.' On repeat, clashing with the negative thoughts.

He still can't believe that the people he had come to love and trust, not just as lovers but as a family had turned their backs on him.

He can understand why though. Their comeback which was announced a while back and was about to happen after 8 months of hiatus was postponed. Carats were pretty sad and angry at the company when they didn't know what had happened. If only they knew it was his fault, would they be as angry at him as his members?

He would never know.

 

~~~

 

The boys were in the practice room, going through their usual practice as the concert was postponed as well. The members were all feeling down after two huge postponements.

He saw Jeonghan hugging Hoshi and couldn't help but yearn for those touches. He missed them.

He was seated in a corner, ignored by everyone else.

"Everyone let's start that routine again!" Hoshi screamed for their attention, clapping his hands.

Vernon tried to get up but the pain in his head was too blinding. He hissed at the sudden white shot of pain that spread in his head. By the time he got up everyone was in the position waiting for him.

"Will you hurry up?" Minghao grumbled under his breath, rolling his eyes at him. That hurt.

He ignored their grumblings and took his position, determined to not mess up so that he won't get scolded. But some things never happen according to him. He has too much bad luck.

He moved a beat slower coz of muscle cramps and that made the boys stop and glare at him.

It was painful to watch them be kind to each other but mad at him. His insecurities were growing. Loneliness spreading inside.

He only whispered a sorry and they started to practice again.

 

~~~

 

A few nights later he saw the 97 liners with Seungkwan making out in the kitchen.

He noticed how Mingyu held the younger gently in his arms his front against Seungkwan's back. And Minghao and Dokyeom taking turns to kiss him. It was something he missed. He wanted to be held so tenderly. He wanted to hug and kiss them again. But when they saw him they silently left the kitchen, going to cuddle in the room.

Vernon's eyes filled up with unshed tears as he looked down ignoring the pain that spread in his heart.

He quickly went inside his room, not wanting to be caught.

He sat down leaning against the bed and wrapping his arms around himself. Silent sobs shook his fatigued body.

 

~~~

 

His health Deteriorated really fast. Eyes shrunk in as black circles under his eyes became very prominent. He barely had any energy inside of him. Whenever he entered a washroom and if any of them were inside they would immediately leave. They didn't speak to him if it wasn't necessary. Ignored his presence completely in the dorm. Had group cuddle sessions without him. He was being dropped out of all their couple activities. He hadn't kissed or hugged anyone for the past 2 weeks. It finally got too much. His mind was in overdrive at what will happen next. Will they ask for a breakup? Will they end their relationship with him and ask him to get out of seventeen?

That morning, since the time he woke up he was feeling way more off both mentally and physically. Unfortunately, it was also the day they had to film Gose.

Vernon freshened up, wearing some presentable clothes since usually they styled themselves for gose.

He walked into the kitchen to grab something to eat.

Chan and Wonwoo were the ones eating and he had no heart to watch them get up and leave because of him so he sighed out and turned to leave but a voice stopped. He was really close to crying when he found concern in the tone.

"Hyung? Aren't you going to eat?" Chan's soft voice was like a hit to his fragile heart. He missed this.

He turned to look at them, eyes heavy with tears but none of them dropped.

Wonwoo looked at the younger carefully,  finally taking note of how the younger looked. He was shocked to see the tearful eyes.

"I'm fine..." he murmured, trying to give them a wobbly smile.

"Nonsense," Wonwoo's firm tone almost made him whimper in fear, his wide eyes staring at the figure of older who was trying to read him.

"Come here Sollie," Vernon walked slowly towards the two and sat down beside them.

"I'll get lunch for you," Chan spoke quickly,  walking towards the hotpot and grabbing 3 pancakes.

His heart broke when he saw that Mingyu made his favorite dish but didn't serve him first like he usually did. He didn't even tell him about it.

His hand was shaking and very cold. He got cold quickly for some time now.

The two watched him eat the first one which went in very easily but by the time he was nearing the end of 2nd one he couldn't take it anymore.

"It's okay, don't force yourself, Love," Wonwoo whispered, his hand caressing his hair. Vernon's heart broke when he heard the soft voice. He tried not to give in to the sobbing but did lean into the touch.

He felt confused when his mind cleared up, Why are they being so good? He didn't understand.

He nodded at them and got up, turning his back and walking out. Leaving the two confused and sad. Weren't they gonna break up with him?

The rest of the car ride was spent in silence as Vernon got to ride with Chan, Mingyu, and Seungkwan.

The other two completely immersed in themselves as they cuddled and kissed each other softly. Vernon saw Chan's hand coming forward to grab his shaking ones. He didn't stop him when the younger intertwined their fingers.

When the boys were on set they got to know that this episode is about paragliding.

The director and producers were happily explaining the rules. But what came as a shock was when one of the producers told him he was the MC. And as an MC he had to go first as a demo.

Now don't get Vernon wrong. He had always wanted to do paragliding. But at the moment he wasn't well. He was throwing up more often and often times blacked out as well. His fear was clouding him when he was asked to climb the whole tower. The boys didn't speak to him. Just clapping and screaming good luck which he knew was for show. When he stood at the top, his heart shrank even lower.

He saw them do a group cheer and hug, sharing genuine smiles with each other. He felt left out. Again. But he didn't notice the serious looks on their faces as they spoke to each other.

 

~~~

 

The boys were huddled together and that's when Wonwoo decided to speak up.

"What are we all doing?" He questioned them as the others gave him confused look.

"Eh..filming?" Seungkwan told in a way as if he was asking a dumb question.

"With Sollie?" His sharp voice cut through their confusion as they all stared at him.
"Hyungs..." Chan started, "Are you all going to break up with him?"

His question startled everyone, "What no!!" Dokyeom yelled, "how could you even ask this Channie!"

"How could he ask that?" Wonwoo was angry now, his voice was rising slowly.

"You all have been avoiding him since then, have you even touched him, seen him in the eye?!"

Chan was immediately at his side, holding his shoulders, "Hyung, calm down please,"

"Wonwoo..." Seungcheol started in a warning tone.

"Don't Wonwoo me," He glared at the oldest, "you all consecutively blamed him, treated him like trash, and avoided him like plague, and you have the audacity to justify yourself?!"

The boys put their heads down in shame, their minds digesting what they have been doing.

"I'm sorry, I was reckless and immature..." Seungcheol mumble, fists forming at his side.

"I don't want your apology Hyung," Wonwoo sighed, cupping the older's cheeks, "He does. We all owe him an apology."

Right when they thought all of this misunderstanding could end, one of the staff came running to them, screaming for help.

"What's wrong?!" Seungcheol frowned.

"Hyung Sollie!" Dokyeom screamed, pointing his finger upward.

All air left Cheol's lungs as he stared at one of his lovers standing at the edge of a cliff, leaning almost towards the edge.

Their hearts filled up with fear as they immediately ran towards the steps, praying in their hearts to keep the younger safe.

 

~~~


As the producers were busy setting up things and members were busy talking to each other, his mind came up with something he will never forget. Something he tried doing in the past.

What if I jumped from here? Would I die or only get injured?

His mind was filling up with various thoughts and his breathing was rapidly increasing, barely able to breathe. His hands were grabbing and pinching every part of him trying to stop hyperventilating. Everywhere he looked he saw them. He saw them encouraging him to jump. He saw them encouraging him to hurt himself as they did before. And finally, the sobs that he repressed since the morning finally escaped him. Everyone on top turned to look at him in shock.

"Vernon-ssi," and when the producer got too near he stepped forward,  his back towards them. Now everyone was looking at him in extreme worry as he stood at the edge of the cliff.

"Vernon-ssi please move away from there," the urgent and frantic voice of staff went over his head. He was having a panic attack after so long on the edge of a cliff. His ears were ringing loudly, vision blurry with tears.

He didn't know if he was still crying or not but he could feel the wetness traveling down his face.

Then soon he felt himself being pulled backward, hands grabbing under his arms tightly as someone crushed him in their hug, "It's okay, love, I got you,"

And the same phrase was repeated over and over again. When he was able to relax and calm down,  he turned around to see the leader holding him tightly, face wet with tears.

"I'm so sorry, I'm sorry," he repeated, voice breaking with sobs.

His own lid of emotions opened and he was soon crying as well. More like wailing in the middle of so many different people but when his lovers gathered around him, he felt secured and protected. His lovers were hugging him. Were holding him. Again.

The producers were still in shock over what happened.

The boys cleared the schedule for the next few days and decided to head back to the dorms.

Vernon passed out in the older's arms and was carried all the way down the cliff. The members were still stunned at what had happened and guilt-filled inside their hearts upon realizing that they were the reason Vernon broke. They were the reason that they almost lost their lover.

The boys finally reached their dorm. Seungcheol was still carrying the younger bridal style.

He entered Vernon's room to place the younger down but the boys gaped in shock upon seeing the messy state of it. The bedsheets were hanging off the bed, curtains were pulled close and clothes littered the floor. The room gave a very humid smell.

"Place him in my room," Jeonghan pulled the older outside.

The members finally settled around the younger, looking at him as various thoughts plagued their minds.

"I also owe you all an apology, " Seungcheol murmured, playing with his hands.

The others quietly looked at their leader.

"The way I behaved was very wrong. Yes, those songs were important but not more than you all. I regret screaming at you all that day, I'm so...sorry," He looked at them with tears in his eyes, an expression of genuine sadness and regret on his face.

"We all behaved badly as well. It was not only yo....

"But I started it!" His voice cut off Joshua who looked surprised.

"Ok babe," Jeonghan intercepted, "We accept your apology,"

The boys nodded in reassurance,  each of them voicing out their own apologies.

That was when Hoshi noticed the younger shifting in his sleep, "oh he's waking up!"

Everyone turned their heads towards the younger holding their breaths.

"No!" The younger screamed which shocked all of them as the younger jolted up, eyes wide with fear and pain.

When he saw the others around him he calmed down, but when he remembered his fears he started shivering again. His eyes were shifting rapidly from each of their faces.

"Sollie," Jeonghan spoke softly, trying to grab his hand but the younger flinched back, his back against the bed frame as he rested his head on his knees and wrapped his arms around himself.

Their hearts broke when they saw him chanting it's okay to himself.

The boys finally decided to intervene.

"Sollie," Wonwoo ran his hand through his hair, "Look at us, love."

Vernon couldn't believe that they were near him again. He threw his hands around the older and started sobbing as Wonwoo wrapped his arms around him and bought him closer.

"It's okay, Love. I got you,"

The boys soon started apologizing and owning up to their mistakes. It took a while before they sorted everything out.

Vernon was seated on the sofa in the living room. He made eye contact with Seungcheol and when he gave him a smile of reassurance he started spilling out the little details of his past. He unraveled his secrets and fears in front of them, pain and trauma of before was something he very vividly remembers.

His parents abused him. His childhood was filled with many painful days. He had to do what they asked or be at the receiving end of their temper. 10 years, he lived like that. One day, his grandmother saw the bruises and informed the officials. He still remembers how the loud sirens were heard from outside their house as his father whipped him for getting detention in school for not paying attention in class. It's not like he purposefully didn't listen rather he was in too much pain to digest the laws of physics.

They were arrested and his custody was given to his grandmother. Till this day he hasn't gone to see them even once. He couldn't bring himself to and his grandmother supported him with whatever decision he made.

When he was young, he didn't know if he would find happiness in his life.  But now, he is surrounded by his lovers who were giving him comforting smiles and fond looks. They were the reason he was able to find his way out of depression. They made him better. And he will forever be thankful to God for giving him 12 lovers.

"We are sorry Sollie," Seungcheol murmured, his arms wrapping around the younger as Vernon's face rested in the crook of Cheol's neck.

"I promise I'll never let my anger get the best of me,"

Vernon moved his head to look at the older and all his fear ran out when he leaned towards the older and whispered,  "I trust you Hyung,"

Seungcheol finally closed the gap between them as their lips molded together in yearning and love. That night the 12 boys loved each part of him and made him feel whole again. They whispered reassurances as they kissed each part of him.

"I love you, sweetheart, " Woozi murmured softly as he pecked the younger's forehead as Vernon smiled at him, eyes closing in fatigue.

"I love you all so much." His voice reached each one of them as they melted at the sight of the younger laying peacefully in Mingyu's arms.

And the next day, the members found out about his health and he was admitted for a few days. The members taking turns to stay with him. After that day, they made sure that the younger wouldn't do any work as they all took it upon themselves to take care of him.