Title: Can’t Sleep
Characters: Onew, Taemin
Summary: Taemin can’t go to sleep, and Onew has to find a way to help him.
Author’s Note: Wow, it has been a while, guys! Good to be back in the fanfic drive ^o^ For those who read and follow, forgive me for not updating recently. I should be doing that more often though. I have a lot of things in store, but for now, I hope you all enjoy this short little fic. Written for nickymin (I hope you like this :| I tried lol). Un-betaed. OTL
“Hyung, I’m sleepy but can’t sleep.”
Onew glanced up from his book to look at the other boy sprawled across the mattress. “That makes no sense, Taemin-ah.”
Taemin pouted at Onew’s words. “makes all the sense in the world.” Taemin tried to wiggle further under the covers, hoping the action will solve his dilemma . “Well, if you’re sleepy, you’re sleepy. Just sleep.” Taemin sat up with a “what the heck” expression written clearly on his face. “Don’t you think I tried that, hyung?” Taemin whined.
The older one sighed. This has been going on for weeks now. Every single night, Taemin would complain that he couldn’t sleep. The boy would toss, turn, flip, kick, and any other restless verb in bed. He would sometimes walk to the window and stare outside to see the stars. Maybe asking them for advice to enter the realm of sleep. Taemin would make frequent trips to the kitchen for warm milk. Key noticed that their grocery bill had went up a tab and that the garbage can was filled with more milk cartons than usual.
Jonghyun noticed that some of his books and CDs would disappear briefly, only to be returned close to night time and exchanged for something else out of his library. He figured Taemin had something to do with that as well. After Taemin’s behavior began to happen more constantly, everyone in the dorm grew more concerned. They all tried different tactics to get Taemin to go to sleep. Minho even went out of his way to read the younger boy a bedtime story. As much as Taemin appreciated the effort, he was more annoyed than sleepy when Minho was just barely a third into the story. Taemin was so relieved when he heard the words “The End.” When Taemin’s non-sleeping behavior didn’t show signs of letting up soon, everyone figured something must be really wrong. Thus, enter Onew, who was now lounging in a chair near Taemin’s bed, reading a book titled “100 Ways to Fall Asleep.” Hey, he needed all the help he could get.
“Asleep yet?” Onew asked lazily. “What do you think?” groaned Taemin. “Is something going on that I need to know about?” Again, lazily. It wasn’t that Onew didn’t care. It was the opposite actually.
“I can’t sleep,” Taemin groaned again.
“Wow, that’s a newsflash.” Onew couldn’t help but let the sarcasm drip from his voice. Taemin sat up again in annoyance.
“What is your plan? Tick me off to sleep?” Onew chuckled a little. “I haven’t seen that method in this book…yet.” Taemin rolled his eyes and fell back into this pillow. Onew took a discreet look over at Taemin to see if he fell asleep yet. Nope, wide awake still.
“Taemin, has someone been teasing you at school?”
“Lame joke, and no.”
“Are you stressed about something?”
There’s some progress, thought Onew.
“Is it the comeback?”
“The check-up at the doctor’s this week?”
“NO! What am I? Two?”
“You’re acting like it,” grumbled Onew. “What you say, hyung?” Taemin barely caught Onew’s hushed words.
“I said I can’t help you if you’re making me play the guessing game.”
“You did not say all that!”
“It was the same translation. Now out with it! What’s wrong?”
By this time, Onew closed his book and completely faced the bed. Taemin inwardly groaned. He fidgeted under the bedsheets while he mumbled something incoherent under his breath. “What did you say, Taemin?” It was Onew’s turn to inquire about mumbled words.
Onew raised his eyebrows at the answer. It was not uncommon for Taemin to miss home, so why was the boy losing sleep now? Onew leaned over a bit to say something but was suddenly greeted by Taemin’s back. “Yah~why are you turning your back on me?”
“There’s something else, Taemin.”
Taemin knew that was not a question. Taemin also knew that Onewwould glare a big huge hole in his back all night it it meant getting an answer out of him. Taemin didn’t want to play that game tonight.
“It’s my brother,” Taemin spoke softly. He paused to see if Onew would say anything.
Taemin took it as a cue to continue. “He hasn’t been feeling well. I feel bad that I can’t be there.”
Ah~so this is what the sleeplessness was all about. Onew sighed. “Taemin, why didn’t you tell anyone?”
Taemin shrugged his shoulders. “It’s family stuff. It’s not necessarily your guys’ business.”
Onew cringed when he heard those words. True, by the end of the day, all five members of SHINee were “collegues.” However, he sincerely believed they all had a bond more personal than that, even close to family.
“Besides,” Taemin continued. “I thought you guys would think I was over-worrying or something.”
Onew laughed out loud. “Over-worrying? I don’t think you could over-worry more than Key and me, no matter what.” Taemin turned to look at his hyung. The man did have a point…
“Listen, when one of us is worried about something, we should help each other as much as possible. However, that can happen only if you give us an idea of what’s going on. Then, we can get to the root of the problem and work from there. Get what I’m saying?” Onew explained himself as best as he could, hoping Taemin really did understand. Taemin looked away for a moment as if contemplating whether to accept Onew’s words or not. The older boy reached out his hand and rested it on top of Taemin’s head. “You don’t even have to tell us every single detail. Just give us an idea. We’re here for you.” Taemin slowly nodded his head, feeling some of the heaviness leave his chest. “I’ll try,” the maknae responded. Onew ruffled Taemin’s hair playfully. “Not try. Do.” Onew laughed when Taemin stuck his tongue out at him. Didn’t matter how old he would get, Taemin would always be a bit kiddish. “Now can you go to sleep?” Taemin frowned a bit at Onew’s question. “I don’t know.” Onew smiled softly and stood up. “I’ll help you out.”
He pushed the sheets up to Taemin’s chin, tucking him into bed. “Twinkle twinkle little star~”
Taemin snickered. Was Onew really going to sing this song? Really? The younger boy thought it was completely silly until the words started blurring together.
Finally, after weeks of restless nights, and somewhere between the last lines of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and Onew’s hushed “goodnight,” Taemin fell into a peaceful sleep.