- Genre: Dark, Angst, Fluff
- Word Count: 3,421
- Pairing: Reader x Doyoung
- World: NCT
This fic contains self-harm, attempted suicide and talks about depression. Read at your own risk.
You’re not sure when it started, or how or why. It felt like it had been with you for most of your life. Maybe it started in high school where you spent every day being bullied and abused by your fellow students. At that time, your only bit of sanity was with your best friend, Johnny, but he had started to pull away from you.
Not on purpose, you knew. He had a dream that he was working hard towards achieving, but… in doing so, you began to fade away. Since you were children, Johnny had always been the anchor that kept you from floating away while also being the one that kept your head above water.
When he moved to Korea, you started to drown and didn’t know how to save yourself.
You had convinced yourself that everyone hated you and that you were only a burden to those around you. Johnny did his best to keep in touch as much as possible, which kept you going for a while. As bad as you never wanted it to end, you knew that it would.
Johnny had achieved his dream, debuting with a group called NCT 127 and they were quickly climbing the latter of popularity. He started to have less and less time for you until, finally, he stopped contacting you altogether. Four months passed without so much as a text saying, ‘hi’.
It had finally happened. Johnny realized that you were just a broken burden and decided to move on with his life. He forgot all about the needy, depressed little Y/N. That’s what you convinced yourself of.
You couldn’t take it anymore – the pain, the self-hate, the torment. It was all too much for you to face alone. With the weight of the world on your shoulders, you made up your mind.
You were going to kill yourself.
When Friday rolled around, your father left for his business trip, unaware of the plans his child had.
A bad storm had rolled in out of nowhere that night. Thunder shook the building as rain violently pounded the Earth. It was like the gods themselves were angry.
It comforted you in a weird way.
You lit a candle, setting it on the bathroom sink so you could see what you were doing. The power had been knocked out after a rather violent gust of wind knocked a palm tree into the power lines. This set everything into motion as the power line sparked, setting the palm tree on fire.
Unaware of the chaos outside, you slipped into the bathtub, your clothes getting heavy as they absorbed the water. Your eyes scanned your forearms, scanning the scars that littered your skin.
Even in the dull lighting, you could see each one perfectly. The old and the new, mingling together. Your finger traced them, hot tears rolling down your cheeks as you remembered each one. Every single scar held a painful memory and you were cursed with remembering each one as clearly as if it had happened yesterday.
Your hand shook as you picked up the razor blade.
This was it. All of your pain and suffering, all of the blood and suffering… it had all lead you to this moment. It was finally going to end. You were finally going to find peace.
So why were you hesitating? Why did you feel fear?
The metal rested against your wrist, making small cuts in your skin since you couldn’t steady your hand. ‘This is for the best’, you tried to convince yourself. ‘When I die, dad won’t have to work so hard to pay for my medical bills. He won’t stress himself over me. He can move on with his life and find the happiness he deserves. I… I have to do this!’
Lightning lit up the darkness as you screamed out, ripping the blade across your skin harder than you ever had before. Blood started to pour from the wound, dropping into the water and turning it an ugly faded red.
You slid down in the tub as the wound started to sting, your body shaking. Whether it was from your sobbing or from the pain, you didn’t know.
BANG BANG BANG.
Your ears faintly picked up the sound of pounding on the front door. Hurried footsteps echoed in the hallway followed by the cries of children. It sounded hazy to you like you were dreaming.
“Open up, there’s a fire in the building!” The banging continued. “We’re coming in!”
You heard the door slam open and several pairs of feet rushed into the apartment.
Everything went black.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
A hoarse groan passed your lips as the insistent beeping disturbed your sleep. Eyes sliding open, you blinked a few times before it focused on the white ceiling above you. ‘Am I… dead?’, you wondered, forcing yourself to sit up.
The room was dark, lit up only by the lights of the heart monitor you were connected to. It was still raining, reduced to a soft pitter-patter against the window. The whiteboard on the wall bore the date, Tuesday.
It was clear that your attempt had failed. You eyed the thick bandage around your wrist. The only thing you could think about was the medical bills your father would have to pay.
‘I can’t even kill myself properly…’
The door creaked open and a woman you didn’t recognize entered the room. Your first instinct was that she was a nurse, but you soon realized that she was wearing a Victorian style dress.
Squinting through the darkness, you noticed something dripping from her hands. It was blood, splattering against the linoleum. All other sounds disappeared except for the dripping.
“Wh-Who are you?” You stuttered out, feeling your body tense. You knew something wasn’t right.
The woman started to laugh, low and vacant of humor. It gradually increased in volume until it filled the room.
You could feel terror taking over you as you scrambled back, your finger repeatedly smashing the nurse call button. The speaker behind the bed beeped as it normally would, but instead of getting a nurse you only heard the laughter coming through the static.
The woman moved closer, her bare feet slapping against the floor. “Selfish child,” she muttered.
You stumbled back off the bed, tripping over the various wires and tubes connected to your body. Hitting the floor hard, you winced as the IV was ripped from your arm. Within seconds, the woman was on top of you, her bloody hands wrapped tight around your throat.
Her eyes were wild and bloodshot. “Selfish child! Selfish child!” She kept repeating the same two words, voice growing louder with each repetition until she was screaming at the top of her lungs. “SELFISH CHILD!”
You couldn’t breathe, struggling to push her off but your hand went through her body like she wasn’t there.
Dots of black started to cloud your vision until you were completely cloaked in darkness.
You shot up in bed, feeling your body enveloped in a cold sweat. Your hand grabbed your throat as you gasped for breath. Warmth surrounded your body and soft words were spoken into your ear. You couldn’t understand what was being said, but they did their job and slowly you started to calm.
A hand gripped your own and you looked up, meeting eyes with your dad. Almost instantly, you looked away from him, unable to face the tears that clung to his cheeks. You looked to your left, where the warmth was coming from, and you felt your body tense up again.
Tears welled up in his eyes, but he held them back with a smile, breathing out deeply as he spoke. “Hey… how are you feeling?” His voice was rough, a clear indication that he had been crying.
“Why are you here?” You hadn’t meant for it to sound so rude, but last time you checked, he was in a different country living the life he wanted.
“What a stupid question,” he laughed, ruffling your hair like he always used to do when you were upset. “I came to make sure you were alright.”
You moved your gaze to the white cotton covering your body. There were so many thoughts and emotions rushing through your body that you felt completely overwhelmed. Anger, pain, guilt, confusion… they swirled together in the pit of your stomach.
Johnny knew you were about to start crying, his eyes flicking to the heart monitor as the rate increased. “Are you hungry? The hospital food sucks, and we’re not technically allowed to bring outside food in for patients, but your nurse is a big fan of NCT so I can probably get her to ignore it. There’s a Taco Bell not too far from here, I know it’s your favorite!”
You could only nod, not trusting your voice.
“Stay here, Johnny. I’ll go and get it.” Your dad announced, giving you a soft peck on the cheek before leaving the room. He knew that he couldn’t comfort you, despite how bad he wanted to. That’s why he made the decision that he did. You knew he felt like a failure as a father and you felt overwhelmed by guilt.
Johnny shifted his weight and cleared his throat. “I brought one of the members with me. He’s really smart, reliable and loves white chocolate.” He paused, mentally slapping himself. Surely after attempting suicide, you didn’t care about conversing with someone about chocolate. “He’s right down the hall, I’ll go grab him.”
When he left the room, you lifted your eyes to the whiteboard. It sat in the exact same place as it had in your dream and the date scrawled on was the same – Tuesday.
‘What was that dream?’, you couldn’t help but wonder. Even the rain was the same, gently sliding down the glass. ‘I was trying to make life easier for everyone, but I’m a selfish child?’
Johnny re-entered the room with another boy. The thing that stuck out the most was his rich blue hair. “This is Doyoung, he’s one of our vocalists. Doyoung, this is Y/N, my best friend.”
You winced at the words. Could you even consider yourself still his friend after all this? Must less his best friend. Surely he had found someone more suitable to the title within his new group.
“Hello, it’s nice to meet you.” Doyoung spoke politely in accented English, bowing slightly in respect. He was uncomfortable, feeling like he was intruding on something extremely personal, but Johnny had requested that he come along for support, and that was a request that he couldn’t deny.
The rest of the day was spent with the three men trying to make you smile, at the very least, but you just weren’t in the mood. It was strange – you wanted to be left alone but… at the same time, you didn’t want to be alone.
You were stuck in the hospital for observation for the next week. Both Johnny and Doyoung stayed with you, allowing your dad to get some rest and go to work. On the day of your release, you and Doyoung waited near the front of the hospital while Johnny ran over to the parking garage to get his rental.
You still felt a bit uncomfortable being alone with him since you didn’t know him well, so your eyes were scanning the area to give you something to do. You happened to glance at a painting on the wall and you felt a cold chill run down your back.
Feeling you tense next to him, Doyoung looked at you with worry. “Are you okay?”
You slowly stood up, approaching the painting. It was her, the woman from your dream. Her eyes were bloodshot and hollow like she had died a long time ago. There a small tag on the bottom of the frame with a name etched into it.
“She looks terrifying,” Doyoung commented as he came up beside you.
“She was quite a nice woman, once upon a time.”
You both turned around, seeing an elderly man looking at the photo sadly. His eyes met yours and he frowned.
“She spoke to you, didn’t she?”
A shiver ran through your body and you moved closer to Doyoung, trying to ignore the feeling of eyes on the back of your head. It felt like the painting was burning a hole in your skull and you were too afraid to turn and check on it. Doyoung put his arm around your shoulder, looking at the man skeptically.
“Who… Who is she?” You questioned.
The man folded his hands behind his back, eyes sliding closed. “She haunts this hospital.”
“Haunts?” Doyoung’s grip tightened.
You glanced at him, patting his arm to try and calm him down despite the fact that you felt just as worried. “What happened to her?”
“She went insane after her child killed himself.”
Selfish child, selfish child, SELFISH CHILD!
You threw your hands over your ears as her voice echoed in your head. Having had enough, Doyoung excused himself and all but dragged you to the door of the hospital. Johnny pulled up just as you stepped outside and the pair of you hopped into the backseat.
He looked at you with worry. “What’s wrong?”
“Just a weird man talking about the hospital being haunted…” Doyoung shivered. “Let’s just leave, okay?”
Johnny nodded and took off, tapping the steering wheel lightly. “Y/N? There’s something your dad and I didn’t tell you…”
“What would that be?” You questioned, rubbing your temples. You couldn’t stop thinking about that damned dream.
“We talked it over, and we both agreed that this is the best for you.” He paused, wondering what your reaction would be. “You’re coming back to Korea with us.”
Although you were against the idea at first, you were glad that Johnny had forced you to come to Korea with him. It had been about four months since you moved into a small apartment with him and Doyoung. You expected to be left alone when he was working, but Johnny refused to let you be alone for more than a few minutes and forced you to come along with him. His managers were not happy about this, but it was something he refused to back down on. Doyoung and their leader, Taeyong, also backed him up since they both knew about your situation.
During this time, you had gotten increasingly close to Doyoung, who had made it his personal mission to look after you.
“Hey, are you ready to go?” Doyoung questioned, smiling at you as he entered the apartment.
“Are you sure you won’t get into trouble?”
“Positive!” He gently grabbed your hand, tugging you towards the door. “I only had a photo shoot to do today, and I promised we’d go to the park.”
You sighed in defeat, allowing the male to pull you along. Worrying about ruining their careers constantly plagued your mind, but it didn’t seem to bother them. They always made sure to make time for you.
It was midday in Spring, the sun shining in a sea of fluffy white clouds. It was warm, but not uncomfortably so. He lead you to a small patch of grass on the outer edge of the park where you both sat comfortably.
He was feeling nervous, despite having been alone with you many times in the past. “Y/N?”
“Hmm?” You were lying back on the grass, staring up at the clouds.
“Are you happy?” He lightly picked at the grass nervously. “Being here with us, with… me.”
“I’m not sure how to answer that. I feel… fortunate having you guys in my life, but I also feel like I don’t deserve it.”
“Why do you feel that way?”
“I’m not sure. I’ve always felt that way.”
He turned to lie down next to you, propping his head up in his hand. “Do you mind if I ask…”
“Why did I try to kill myself?” You finished, locking eyes with him. He nodded. “Truthfully, several reasons. I was tired, mostly, but I thought I was doing everyone a favor. I felt like such a burden to my father…”
Hearing those words broke his heart. His hand slid onto of your own, eyes never leaving yours. He wanted to convey his feelings, but he wasn’t sure how you felt and he didn’t want to make you feel burdened. “Do you still feel that way?”
“Sometimes. More than anything, I feel guilty.” You paused for a moment. “Do you remember that painting at the Hospital?”
“How could I forget? It was so creepy,” he shivered, “And what was with that guy?”
“He was right. I did see her.”
His brow furrowed.
“It was in a dream, but I saw her. She kept repeating ‘selfish child’. I didn’t know what it meant until that man explained what happened to her.” You sighed, lacing your fingers with his. “I looked her up online. She only appears to those that have attempted suicide. Her son was depressed and had been hospitalized many times throughout his life for trying to kill himself. Finally, he succeeded… his mother was a wreck and, eventually, she went insane and stabbed the nurse that was looking after her. She was locked away in a padded cell and passed away three days later.”
“I see… that’s a shame.”
“At first, I thought she was just a vengeful spirit, angry about what her son had done, but… she’s trying to stop others from making the same mistakes that her son had.”
“I think… when you kill yourself, you also kill those around you.” He whispered, moving closer so that he could rest his head on your shoulder. His hand held yours against his chest. “Depression makes you think that others are better off without you, but that’s not the case. I was there when Johnny got the call. It was like his world had shattered. He dropped the phone and fell to his knees in shock. We were about to go on a variety show but he broke down and had to stay backstage.”
You felt tears pricking your eyes as you whispered, “I thought he forgot about me…”
Doyoung shook his head, lifting it so he could smile at you. “Never. He was always telling us stories about things you both did when you were growing up. He felt so guilty when he stopped having time to talk to you, but we were all swamped with our schedules… Even having you here, he’s constantly worrying about you. I do, too…”
“You said you don’t deserve to be happy… I believe everything happens for a reason. Your attempt lead you to me, and I’m determined to show you that you do deserve to be happy. You’re not a burden, you’re a beautiful human being who deserves the world.” He pulled his hand away to rest it on your cheek as he hovered above you. “There’s only one of you in this world, Y/N. And I… I love you.”
Your eyes searched his, looking for any sign of deceit but there was none. You only found sincerity, warmth and, most importantly, love. Your heart was racing in your rib cage.
“You don’t have to feel the same… I wasn’t planning on confessing.” He laughed awkwardly. “Even if you don’t feel the same, I want to remain friends. I know things are probably awkward now but I just felt like I should – ”
“Shut up and kiss me.”
With a smile, he didn’t hesitate to press his lips against yours. For the first time in your life, you wanted to keep living. You finally found the will to fight against the darkness.
He pulled away and you smiled brightly, feeling tears welling up in your eyes again. He wiped away your tears.
“I… I want to live.”
The smile that overtook Doyoung’s face was as bright as the sun. His eyes watered as he threw his arms around you, holding your body tight to his own. Four simple words, but it was enough for both of you.
You were tired of being a victim, enslaved by the darkness of depression. You were tired of feeling like a burden and wanting to die. You wanted to fight, to overcome it and, for the first time in your life, you felt confident that you could.
With Doyoung by your side, you were free to start again.