“Hey...” said Kyungsoo, putting his arms around him. Baekhyun clung to his shirt. “It’s okay. You’ll do fine, I promise. Don’t stress so much.”
“I don’t know. I need to do well. I don’t know what I’m going to do if I don’t get a good grade on this, Kyungsoo. It’s seventy percent of my grade--”
“I know. Shh… breathe. Getting anxious isn’t going to help you, is it?”
Baekhyun shook his head. He couldn’t stop chewing on his lip, bouncing his leg even though he was still in Kyungsoo’s lap. With the hand he had not holding onto him, Baekhyun dug his nail into his palm, yet another nervous habit he couldn’t shake off. Kyungsoo hugged him tighter as if wanting to forcefully replace those sensations.
“Breathe,” Kyungsoo told him. It was the second reminder that made Baekhyun realize he barely was, and he took in a long, shaky breath. “Just like that. It’ll be okay, Baekhyun. You studied so much for it. You know what you’re doing.”
Baekhyun closed his eyes and focused on breathing. His body felt tingly all over, but the more he breathed the more those feelings faded.
Kyungsoo rubbed his back. “You’ll do well. I know you will. Okay?”
Maybe. But Baekhyun knew he was right at least in that getting anxious would make things worse. He needed to be focused if he wanted to get a good grade. “Yeah.”
“Good.” Kyungsoo kissed his head. “No matter what, I’m proud of you. You know that, right?”
“Mhm.” Baekhyun let himself relax, breathing out. “Can we stay like this? At least until I have to take the test.”
“Of course we can,” Kyungsoo said. And they did, Baekhyun with his eyes closed listening to Kyungsoo’s reassuring voice, the accumulation of the phrase, You can do it. I know you can.