Deadlines. They are piling up on top of one another, building like a pressure on your chest. Slumped over your desk, tears cascade down your cheeks as you helplessly stare at the papers scattered across the surface in front of you. You haven’t confided in Jaemin about your stresses, opting to avoid feeling another kind of ache in your heart as you picture the disappointment that would etch itself unto his face. Rather, you just stare listlessly as the notifications continue to appear on your phone, reminders for the work due in the next day. You wish to cry, to let out the horrors of the creeping deadlines, though you are reminded yet again that there’s no time to spare. No time for tears, no time for rest until every assignment has been completed and the workload has depleted. Your mood darkens with each minute that passes, urging yourself to move. You can’t focus, despite the numerous empty cups that are spread before you, of which were once filled to the brim with coffee. This only serves to aggravate you more, the stress of your workload and the frustration due to your inability to focus causing more tears to fall down. Jaemin is at his own home, likely sleeping or catching up with his own assignments and you would never forgive yourself if you were to interrupt him.
Another notification lights up your phone and you reach to throw it onto the floor beside you, exhausted by the constant reminders that you cannot finish on time with the state that you are in. Instead, you breathe a sigh of relief as your phone tells you that Jaemin is typing. You open the chat, and Jaemin has sent multiple messages in the past few seconds, claiming his need for sleep is excessive, and further emphasizing that only your company will help him rest. He is aware that you will be awake at this hour, telling you he will be on his way before you get the chance to begin typing, and you inwardly thank the world that you were gifted with Jaemin. Replying with a promise to unlock the door, you lock your phone and glare at the papers surrounding you, cursing your lack of motivation and gathering the sheets into a pile to be dealt with tomorrow. Late is better than never, you suppose. Light tapping at your door signals that Jaemin has arrived, the city begs for silence as you happily close the distance between you and ease the front door open. His arms bring you comfort as they wrap around you, linking together at the middle of your back, snugly encasing you in his embrace. He invades your senses as you feel his nose nuzzle into your neck, his scent wraps around your heart and you watch his eyes as he stands back to caress your cheek. It’s all so very Jaemin, and you’re struck by the safety and comfort that has been brought to you. All that was once a slow drip of emotion, floods in as a cascade of negativity falls off your tongue and onto the floor you stand on. He holds you, an assurance that you won’t drown in your own thoughts and wipes away the dampness that has been left underneath your waterline.
“You’re okay. You’re doing so unbelievably well. I know that you think it will never be enough, but you go above and beyond until even the stars are in awe. You have time and when you believe you don’t… Well I guess I will have to personally handle whoever allowed you to believe that.”
A giggle threatens to rise up your throat as you sniff, “I don’t think my 9am lecturer would appreciate such an uproar, but thank you for the offer.”
“The 9am one? Nevermind, he scares me.”
“Jaemin, he is preparing to retire and spends most of his time tending to his garden, I feel like you shouldn’t worry.” The worries of your work have already dissipated, allowing you to freely travel through your house and into your room, weightless.
“He is still intimidating!” Jaemin whines as he sits on the edge of your bed, reaching his palm out to you, stroking his fingertips across your waist as he pulls you in. A pout settles onto his features and you resist the urge to place your thumb on his bottom lip, feeling your own lovesick gaze be returned as he gazes at you fondly. You place your palms over his shoulders and lean forward, reveling in his touch.
“You’re adorable, Jaem”
“Just shut up and kiss me.”