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The Bear Necessities

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It wasn't unusual for the boys to climb into each other's beds. Whether it be for warmth, for cuddles or just to not be alone.

Especially amongst the younger members, bed-sharing was common place. Most of the members were pretty sure that Hyunjin wasn't even aware that he had his own bed as he was almost always taking up at least seventy percent of the space in someone else's. His long limbs barely managing to fold themselves in a way that made it practical for him to share the space with another person, even if that person was Changbin.

No one complained though. It was generally excepted that if something was bothering one them then turning to eachother for support and comfort was inevitable. And each member served their own purpose.

Chan's was wise words and unconditional support. Felix's was distraction, playing games and telling wild stories so enthralling that you would forget your troubles, even for a moment.

And with Minho it was silence. Companionable, comfortable silence. Nothing needed to be said, and although he was a good listener and could hum and nod at the appropriate times, he also knew how to just exist. His still presence comforting in its own way and he could sit with his members for hours.

There was a day in late January when Jeongin had come back to the dorms after an extra dance practice looking drained and less than enthusiastic. Although he was a fast learner, his feet didn't always pick up the choerography as quickly as his brain did, much to the frustration of both Jeongin and there dance instructor. But instead of crawling into bed when he got home like he had wanted to, he had instead sunken into the couch cushions beside Minho.

Minho had been aimlessly scroll through a Webtoon that Jisung had recommended to him when Jeongin had come into the room. At first neither boy said anything but after a moment Minho turned to look at Jeongin. The other boy was staring blankly ahead and did not meet his eyes.

Understanding that the maknae had not come to him for a heart-to-heart, Minho simply hummed softly under his breath, acknowledging Jeongin's presence but not pressing for conversation. As he expected, Jeongin didn't respond but after a moment or so he moved closer, his shoulder pressed up against Minho's as he read the Webtoon along with him.

They had remained that way until Jeongin had inevitably fallen asleep on Minho's shoulder and Minho allowed him to rest there, even long after he had finished the Webtoon and switched to scrolling through his Instagram feed with no real interest.

As much as he took pride in the fact the he could help his friends when they needed him and that they trusted him enough to come to him, even for Minho, sometimes the silence became too much. With comebacks approaching and old insecurities scratching at the surface, his mind found ways to fill the silence with whispers and taunts. Baseless fears kept him awake as grasping at sleep became like sand sifting through his fingers.

At first he tried alternative methods, practicing choreography till his limbs felt heavy with fatigue. He stayed alone in practice rooms repeating his verses on a loop. But the way his tongue stumbled over syllables only fueled the anxieties he was trying so hard to push down.

He would lay in bed for hours, tossing back and forth to get comfortable or laying completely still and praying for exhaustion to take over. A relief that never came.

Minho lost count over how many times a night he would get up for a glass of water or to use the bathroom. Looking for any trigger to reset his brain and bring on sleep.

Eventually a night came when he gave in, after laying restless for hours he eventually slid out from under his covers and padded across the hall to the other bedroom. The other members had all fallen asleep long ago, the soft snuffling of Changbin's snores filling the air attested to that.

If all the members played a role in comforting each other then Woojin's method physical comfort. Although it was no secret that all the members enjoyed physical affection and skinship, and it was a running joke that none of them had any concept of personal space, Woojin, As the oldest Hyung, had a sort of unwavering stability that all of the members took comfort in. His bear like stature also made him perfect for cuddles.

Woojin's bed was on the far side of the room and the older boy was rolled away towards to wall, leaving just enough space that Minho thought he could slip under the covers without waking him.

He should have known better for the moment the mattress dipped under his added weight Woojin stirred in his sleep. Settling under the sheets yet leaving space between himself and the older boy, minho waited for Woojin to acknowledge his presence.

Slowly Woojin rolled towards him and away from the wall, nudging Minho shoulder with his forehead.

"Hi Hyung." Minho whispered, trying to keep his voice low and steady.

"Hi," Woojin mutters. "You okay?"

There's a heavy pause as Minho thinks of all the ways to tell his Hyung about the weeks of sleepless nights, the ghosts whispering in the darkness.

"Just thinking too much." He admits eventually.

"You always do." Woojin agrees, and that is the end of the conversation. The older boy reaches an arm out towards Minho and wraps it around him as Minho rolls to tuck his nose into the crook of Woojin's shoulder. He is warm and his sleep shirt is soft and smells like the laundry detergent that Seungmin always insists that they use.

Minho breathes deeply, letting the tension in his shoulders dissapate as his mind falls silent for the first time in weeks. He can still hear Changbin snoring lightly in the background and the bed frame creaks as Jisung rolls in the bunk above them but he is warm and these background noise bring him a special sort of comfort.

Woojin hums softly, rubbing his nose against the crown of Minho's head and after fisting his hand into the duvet and pulling it up to his chin the younger boy is quick to drop off to sleep.