buzz feelings ; joonmyun/jongdae ; pg-13 ; language, xiuyeol, a butt plug ; cafe (sort of) au ; 14,458 w
it takes about twenty five days and nights for joonmyun to pull his head out his rectum. which is to say, just under six hundred hours for him to work up his guts and get to first base -- and if you think about it that way, well. it's a start.
written for sengen35 at round 2 of criticalcapture !
it takes about twenty five days and nights for joonmyun to pull his head out his rectum. which is to say, just under six hundred hours for him to work up his guts and get to first base -- and if you think about it that way, well. it's a start.
written for sengen35 at round 2 of criticalcapture !
if joonmyun decided to put a lot of retrospective thought into this, he would reach the very correct conclusion that it had all started because chanyeol was an idiot, and minseok a bigger one.
"y'know something," minseok breathes heavily into the phone at ass o’clock in the morning, and joonmyun sits up sharply, alarm bells ringing in his head. heavy breathing usually means an emergency, right? "what what. you okay there," he rasps, forcing his eyes to open past the dried gunk. he squints at the clock, but he can't see shit and his eyes begin to water. he kicks at his blanket, trying to untangle himself from the sheets, and ends up jarring his elbow against the leg of his bed as he falls face first on the floor.
"chanyeol is so good, joon. he is unbelievable. i can't believe this." the phone is on speaker. he hears some far-off grumbling, and minseok giggles.
joonmyun's furrowed forehead smooths immediately, brows lowering under the weight of apathy and general, platonic third wheel let-down. "you woke me up after i slept -- for the first time in a week -- because you had supposedly amazing sex with your supposedly amazing boyfriend?"
"hey," a deep voice cuts in, and joonmyun groans, would roll his eyes but for the gunk in the way. "why does he have so much supposition? facts are facts."
"because he's a cynical bastard, chanyeol. don't be so harsh," minseok coos, and joonmyun has had it up to his ears in this lovey-dovey crap his best friend has taken to engaging in.
"i'm still on the line, and possess a name." not the best comeback, but he hates everything.
"joonmyun, right? or wait, was it junhyung," chanyeol drawls, and joonmyun bristles. joonmyun is chanyeol's boyfriend's best friend. he may be twenty six and a PhD student focusing on one of the most uncreative research topics in the history of mankind, but he and minseok go back since kindergarten.
"respect me," joonmyun grits out incoherently, and ends the call. then he rolls over onto his back and contemplates the ceiling with intent that is initially vicious towards his park chanyeol but slowly bleeds into passive, intellectual ambition towards his thesis. "need to run the reports through the algorithms again, see if we have a better percentage rate," he blinks, and the goddamned gunk is so sharp it starts his eyes watering like taps again. unacceptable.
his bones creak alarmingly as he drags himself into a standing position, after which he perambulates towards the bathroom and washes his face with water pouring forth lavishly from the wrong tap. he yells loudly and raises his face to a fast-steaming mirror. he yells loudly again and turns off the tap. by the time he's wiped the mirror clean, his face is still an unattractive red.
"i am tired of this life," he whispers seriously to himself, and brushes his teeth until his gums bleed. the hot water makes him think angrily about his ex-boyfriend, hongbin, whom he had dumped because he'd been cheating on joonmyun. then he thinks miserably about his boyfriend from high school, jongin, who'd dumped him because he'd been cheating on joonmyun. indignantly, he recalls his admirer from freshman year in college, yifan, who'd dumped him because he'd mistaken joonmyun's room number for someone else's. minseok has continuously tried to tell him that that yifan hadn't actually been his admirer if he'd sent letters to the wrong address, but joonmyun has a sadly useless love life and tries to cling to things.
for example, his ridiculous thesis statement. he still doesn’t know where he’s going with it, or why, but his supervisor couldn’t come up with anything better so he’d had to take what he could get.
rubbing the still steaming pores of his face with a towel, joonmyun blindly slaps around for his phone. this doesn’t work well, considering he’s in the bathroom. so he hooks the towel up behind the door and shuffles back into his bedroom.
“ah,” he nods to the walls and objects at large. “my bedroom.”
he does not talk to himself often, but his room is a mess and it’s driving him slightly insane. then he spots his phone and hurries towards it, almost falling over again.
“minseok,” he says, as soon as the other end picks up, “what’s my thesis statement again? i’ve forgotten.”
“you forgot your thesis statement?” chanyeol replies, confused. “how could you forget your thesis statement?”
goddammit, not this guy. “i asked minseok. kim minseok! not you! you’re park chanyeol. go away.”
“okay, then, kim joonmyun.” and why does he sound so cheery and giggly, huh, what’s he up to n-- the line drops. oh.
“jesus christ,” joonmyun moans, and starts pulling on a pair of pants before he realizes he’s already wearing pyjamas and should probably consider taking those off, first.
this is not a good morning. not that mornings are ever good, but this is generally a not-gooder morning than most. in addition, joonmyun feels gross and nauseous, so, great, he’s got to skip breakfast on top of all this. then he looks down and realizes he’s unconsciously stuffing his phone into a sock, and tries very hard not to cry. dearest god in his holy kingdom, he thinks, despairing. why is the world so full of shit?
he’s on his way to the door, stamping his feet into his sneakers in a hurry, when the phone rings. this could possibly be minseok, in the improbable but slightly possible case that chanyeol possibly had some humanity in him and had possibly told minseok about joonmyun’s dilemma. he takes his phone out. it is indeed minseok. he swipes to the right and holds it up, apprehensive.
there’s heavy breathing again.
“okay,” joonmyun sighs, unlocking the door and stepping out of his apartment. “what is it this time.”
“i can’t move.”
“wait, what?” joonmyun freezes. “what do you mean? are you o--”
“no, i’m okay, i just literally cannot move. it hurts like three thousand bees. we had five rounds last night, right, so i’m practically impaired and useless.”
“ah,” joonmyun mumbles, shifting the phone to his shoulder and squeezing it against his ear. “that’s awful, huh.” the keys jingle merrily as he locks the door and stuffs them in his pocket. “should i come over with ice packs in an hour?”
“not really." a pause. "you don’t sound particularly upset,” minseok notes.
“neither do you!” joonmyun accuses, stepping into the elevator. “and, well, i’m happy for you. i guess? that you’re getting knocked up a lot nowadays. remember my blessing is with you, with every orgasm you have.” living on the third floor is an advantage: he’s on the ground floor and rushing to his car in no time.
minseok sighs. “that’s gross, joon.”
“sure, sure,” joonmyun fumbles with the door handle and slides into his car. “as if waking me up to tell me about--”
“yes, okay,” minseok interrupts, hastily, “can you fill in for me at the cafe today?“
joonmyun’s actions slow to a stop. he had been in the middle of brushing dust off his beloved dashboard and picking at his beloved steering wheel and feeling love for his beloved car, but at minseok’s words, all these things, as aforementioned, slow a stop. “what do you mean, cafe?”
the thing with the cafe and joonmyun is that joonmyun owns the cafe. his father and his father’s friends have shares in it and everything, but joonmyun runs it, and it’s his. minseok’s something of a manager, but since it’s a small cafe, they’ve never really needed to figure out a proper system, titles, moral code-- wait, no, that’s company policy-- in general, anything that other small cafes have. it’s what, joonmyun lies to himself, sets his cafe apart.
but back to the problem at hand; apart from being something of a manager, minseok fills in if anyone takes sick leave or a holiday or plain quits for better pay, a more exciting life, or whatever else it is that people are interested in these days. if minseok asks joonmyun to fill in at the cafe, that means that someone isn’t at work right now, and minseok’s too riddled in bed with his dongled ass and diddled dick to do much about it.
which, under normal circumstances, would be okay. but joonmyun has an important meeting with his supervisor today, he doesn’t remember his own thesis statement, so how is that going to go? plus there’s all the new data he got yesterday that he has to run through in the computers, and on top of all this he now has to fill in a place at the cafe.
he checks the car clock. there is a ninety four percent chance he’ll be late for the meeting even if he starts the car and guns his way at eighty miles per hour right now. “min, you’re absolutely sure you can’t make it?” he asks, tensely, starting the car up and reversing.
minseok makes a grunting sound, probably trying to shift his position, but there’s a vague rumbling far off and before joonmyun knows it, he’s being yelled at by none other than chanyeol.
“DON’T YOU DARE BULLY HIM,” chanyeol’s voice is terrifyingly loud, but joonmyun stands his ground (sits upright in his seat) and hisses back.
“i’m bullying him?” he lets out an impressive and incredulous laugh, if he may say so himself. “i’m bullying him? not that i particularly want to bring this up, but can we try and recall who got him into this situation in the first place?”
there’s a slight pause, more heavy breathing, and then -- “YOU’RE JUST BEING SELFISH, GROW SOME BALLS.”
and joonmyun has had it so he hangs up and grows ten thousand pairs of balls, he shits chanyeol not, enough to fertilize an entire ocean of whales, and proceeds to drive to his coffee shop. thesis statement be damned. selfish? he'll show the world who's selfish. he'll show satan who's selfish. he'll show peter pan who's selfish.
an hour later, polite and furious kim joonmyun checks in, puts on an apron and scrawls his name on the clip-on card before practising a friendly smile and turning to the counter. nobody needs anything right now because the other tall fellow who likes cats has already served the few early customers, and they’re sipping contentedly on various straws.
joonmyun sighs, also content.
then he hears a slight beep. since there really isn’t anybody in line, polite and now-calm joonmyun checks his phone.
it turns out that his thesis statement is actually damned because his supervisor has suddenly gotten a granddaughter and is flying off to hawaii for a month. the meeting’s off. joonmyun’s actually off the hook for thirty one days. he’s staring at the email on his phone in disbelief when someone clears their throat. “iced green tea latte, please,” the customer says, and he has the most amazing pillowy lips and pretty, wide eyes and a little mole on his ear. joonmyun stares at him in disbelief, too. the customer clears his throat again. “my name’s kyungsoo.”
ah, the smile. the smile! where’s his friendly smile? joonmyun fixes it on professionally and extends his hand. “joonmyun,” he replies, and kyungsoo just stares at him.
“i only mentioned it so you could write it on the cup.”
right right, that’s how it went; he’d forgotten, how silly. feeling senile, he nods and turns around to the machine. now, where did he get iced green tea lattes from, again? he calls minseok up, hoping chanyeol doesn’t interfere for the umpteenth time.
chanyeol doesn’t -- but even under minseok’s patient, explanatory instructions, it takes joonmyun a good half hour to get around the buttons and cups and machinery and remember how to do everything again.
(kyungsoo’s latte takes ten minutes as opposed to the usual five, kyungsoo informs him, disgruntled, but thanks him nonetheless and leaves at once.)
by noon he’s served exactly twenty eight customers, the tall guy who likes cats (at least, joonmyun thinks he does. he has a cat charm on his phone and a hello kitty bracelet and a paw print earring) has served thirty nine, and joonmyun is thinking of going over to him and starting up a record as a challenge or something. they could be gimli and legolas. total bros. except joonmyun doesn’t know his name, so he just stares very hard at him from time to time. Tall Guy looks pretty freaked out by now, but joonmyun doesn’t have the time to assure him of his safe intentions because there’s suddenly someone asking him for something.
“mocha,” the someone says, bangs hiding his face from view as he looks down, rummaging through a worn green satchel mysteriously. “right up,” joonmyun grabs a cup. “name?”
“very well, sir.”
most of the customers were either silent as they waited, or on a phone call, so joonmyun doesn’t expect a conversation. and, busy planning his holiday in his head as he tries to make a mocha, he isn’t looking for one, either. but kim jongdae raises his head with a sigh, flicks his head irritatedly to get his bangs out of the way, places rumpled notes on the counter, and says, in a very friendly tone of voice, “nice weather out!”
joonmyun almost pauses. it is freezing weather out. three people who’d asked for hot coffee, espresso, had come in sneezing up mucus hurricanes and snot tornadoes. he’d had to wipe the counter obsessively after they left. kim jongdae, joonmyun thinks inwardly, is friendly but decidedly insane.
however, the customer is God, so-- “wonderful weather,” he says, to kim jongdae, beaming. he considers lying through his teeth and saying he loves the hecky out of winter, but that would be going too far and is also unnecessary.
this is what he is thinking before before kim jongdae actually beams back, very bright and happy and cute, and declares, “i love winter, you know. best time of the year.”
sainted aunt eunji. joonmyun can only bring himself to nod sympathetically. when he hands the mocha over, after five sweaty palm minutes of nervousness, kim jongdae squints at his clip-on card, beams again, says, “thank you very much, kim joonmyun!” and salutes him -- salutes him -- before jogging out the door, satchel banging against his hip, the hand with the cup carefully held high.
joonmyun is very taken aback.
Tall Guy shuffles past. “he’s a nice kid, comes regularly,” he supplies.
“mhm,” joonmyun nods, still staring at the spot nice kim jongdae kid who comes regularly had been in three minutes ago. then he snaps himself back to the present. “and what’s your name?”
“joonmyun,” joonmyun extends his hand, and they shake hands and bow. then taecyeon mumbles something about his shift being over so he takes his apron off and trudges off, shoulders in a slight slouch.
three p.m. finds a morose joonmyun morosely checking his phone and facing a morose, empty inbox. nobody is texting him. then the bell tinkles and someone comes in. joonmyun looks up, eagerly, and finds the nice kim kid who comes regularly. kim what? kim jong-something.
“dae!” he slaps the counter, painfully hard, when the kid approaches, mouth open and ready to say something.
the kid starts. “sorry?”
“kim jongdae! i was trying to remember.”
kim jongdae laughs a little. “it’s only been a few hours.”
“hmm,” joonmyun nods, “but it’s also been thirty two more customers. and i’m actually not that great with names, so i have to keep track of numbers a lot.”
“numbers?” kim jongdae steps closer, expression brightening (joonmyun didn’t think being this bright was possible). “i have a math major, so i’m kind of good with those.”
joonmyun sticks the marker behind his ear as he looks around for a new stash of cups. right cupboard? left cupboard? “math major, huh? that’s dedicated. i only got good grades in calculus 101 with, like, at least twenty hours of studying per week, only for calculus.” he squats down, huffing. where could the extra cups be? and he’ll be needing straws-- where are the straws, now.
“what are you doing?” kim jongdae’s voice floats down from above, and joonmyun catches himself thinking that that’s a nice, strong voice. he wonders if he sings, then spots the cups and forgets everything else. he grabs a stack and jumps up, knocking his head against the counter top on the way.
“whoa,” he mumbles, stupidly, and sees a lot of stars. there is wet tissue being patted all over his face within seconds, and he flinches and squirms away. “wait a sec,” he says, “getting bearings.”
kim jongdae waits with his tissue dripping over the counter, patient but worried, for him to regain normalcy, which joonmyun achieves soon enough. “ahem,” he wriggles his shoulders, “your order?”
but the kid doesn’t look too happy about the situation. “what if you pass out while making me the stuff.”
“we’ll only find out once you tell me what the stuff is,” joonmyun offers, and realizes that kim jongdae pales at this. perhaps he isn’t being reassuring. “but i won’t pass out,” he adds, hastily. “please give me your order.”
kim jongdae stays for ages, sipping on his latte moodily and glancing furtively at the door.
at six, the cafe closes down, so joonmyun hooks his apron up and makes to leave. another tall guy who is not taecyeon had come in his place, but joonmyun is too tired from standing up all day to bother about befriending him. maybe tomorrow.
“hey,” he taps kim jongdae on the shoulder. “we’re closing.”
kim jongdae starts. “you are? so soon?”
the other tall guy begins to sing as he grabs a mop and dances clumsily with it. he has a nice voice, though. they stare at him, distractedly, before a car honks outside and joonmyun starts and turns to kim jongdae. “you’ve been here for three hours. what’s up, kim jongdae?”
“jongdae,” kim jongdae insists, and his knuckles turn white as he grips his cup.
joonmyun sits down opposite him, slowly. “okay, jongdae. what’s up?”
joonmyun has expected a lot of things in his life, and he likes to think he’s generous to a fault and helpful to friends. but kim jongdae is four fifths a stranger, one fifth really nice customer, and suddenly joonmyun’s new housemate. joonmyun doesn’t even know how this has all happened. he thinks there was a frantic call for help to minseok, unfortunately attended by chanyeol, who had smoothly convinced joonmyun to offer his own apartment for shelter. joonmyun, flustered, had done just that. kim-- no, jongdae, just jongdae, had disagreed adamantly, said he’d only meant to share his problems, not intrude, and as usual joonmyun’s phone was on speaker, so chanyeol had smoothly convinced jongdae, as well.
rather tensely, they now stood in front of joonmyun’s apartment, keys hanging limp from joonmyun’s hand. “i have to tell you something,” joonmyun declares.
jongdae, head down, looks at him from the corner of his eyes. “yes?”
“my place is a mess.”
“no worries,” jongdae gives a small smile.
so joonmyun squares his shoulders and unlocks the door. the first thing that greets them is the umbrella stand, toppled over and lying on the floor. joonmyun swears he’s been meaning to pick it up for a week, now, always stepping over it and mumbling, “next time, next time,” to himself.
to his credit, jongdae doesn’t even blink. joonmyun is horribly embarrassed. “come in,” he says, attempting to be jovial and inviting. then he realizes that as the host, he should probably go in himself for ‘come in’ to be appropriate. so he steps over the threshold, picks up the umbrella stand, and, fidgeting -- no, graciously -- waits for jongdae to enter.
the stand falls over again, right behind jongdae, and both of them jump. at least it didn’t fall on top of him, joonmyun muses, sadly, and decides to throw the stand as soon as possible.
the living room is slightly acceptable, all the food and trash cleared away the day before, with only the cushions strewn on the coffee table and a few stray socks crumpled sadly in various spots on the floor.
“sorry about this,” joonmyun sighs, and it dawns on him that he’ll have to apologize a lot for his apartment now that a sane human being has entered it. (minseok had given up on him long ago.)
but joonmyun can’t possibly let jongdae in the bedroom -- that place is a natural disaster area, with the added bonus of random piles of clothes bunched up everywhere, old and perhaps musty. joonmyun begins to sweat as he shows jongdae the bathroom and warns him about the hot tap with the cold label and the cold tap with the hot label. what if joonmyun smells atrociously awful and he doesn’t know it because he’s too used to his own smell? granted, he showers twice a day, but strong and resilient body odor is a possibility he finds himself unable to overlook. and what if his bedroom reeks like a stink bomb? or worse, a fart bomb?
negatori, joonmyun cannot show jongdae the bedroom in its current state. unless he wants to drive him, screaming and traumatized, into the streets. although joonmyun might be terrified of having a housemate he barely knows, he’s not a total monster. at least, not today.
so while jongdae nods and aahs over the intricacies of plumbing and the different brands of bath salts available, joonmyun decides he will make him sit in the kitchen, waiting for a microwaved pizza to cook, and he, joonmyun, will transform the room in five minutes. hopefully.
in five minutes, jongdae is in fact obediently perched on a kitchen seat, and joonmyun is furiously and unceremoniously stuffing all his clothes either in the closet or under his bed. which, okay, is not clever, but joonmyun prides himself in long term planning, not split-second room makeovers or trash-handling.
“knock knock,” jongdae calls, from the kitchen. “shall i take the pizza out?”
joonmyun surveys his handiwork, sniffs the air insecurely, and decides to spray body deodorant. “it’s all yours!” he yells back, and then he realizes he doesn’t have body deodorant. does he have that pine smelling house freshening aerosol can minseok had shoved in his face for christmas? maybe. he hurries to the bathroom to check, comes back victorious.
by the time he has successfully emptied the can’s contents into the room, jongdae has finished half the pizza. “sorry,” he mumbles through a mouthful of tomato and olives. “you did say it was all mine.”
joonmyun carefully keeps his expression neutral as he walks to the fridge. “absolutely,” he agrees, “i did say that.” he stares at the objects that sit, blessed, on the shelves of his refrigerator. vitamin bottles, some cans of mountain dew, and a loaf of bread. he knows the freezer holds a pack of eight more frozen pizzas, but he’d rather go to bed on a light stomach. mountain dew, then.
jongdae looks at him in amazement as he downs three cans in two minutes, eyes overflowing like the niagara falls. “gotta keep my strength up!” joonmyun grins, giving jongdae a thumbs up, before coughs up a fit. jongdae slowly chews his pizza, before reaching out and patting shoulder, very tentative.
apart from jongdae stopping dead in his tracks and turning a delicately pretty shade of green when he walks into the bedroom and, naturally, inhales, joonmyun thinks he can safely say he has successfully provided jongdae with a homely new... home. house? thing?
he drags a spare blanket and some pillows over to the daybed on the opposite side of the room, asks jongdae if he’d like anything else, and launches into an important talk. to his delight, jongdae is an rapt, interactive listener.
“i believe,” joonmyun announces, “that, as roommates --”
“housemates,” jongdae corrects, chewing on the handle of his toothbrush (which, what the fuck, but joonmyun lets it slide).
“housemates,” joonmyun echoes, taking a seat on his own bed. “i believe that honesty is the best policy.”
jongdae nods, and the way he’s chewing on the toothbrush and sucking at his own drool, pensive and sage, is very distracting. joonmyun forgets what he’s going to say next.
“and so,” he finds himself continuing, “i’m gay!” internally he shoots himself to death three times in the next second. regretfully, what’s said is said, and he waits anxiously for jongdae’s response. he remembers minseok’s had been a bored, “oh, breaking news,” quickly followed by a reassuring bump on the shoulder when joonmyun had felt like he was about to pass out.
jongdae, however, merely raises his eyebrows a bit (--in surprise, not something mean, joonmyun hopes--) and says, “that’s nice.”
why joonmyun bothers getting worried about anything is beyond himself. but jongdae is now ramming the toothbrush into his cheek, and perhaps informing jongdae about his sexuality and then his oral fixation in the same minute would be a bit over the top and intimidating. joonmyun keeps quiet. jongdae speaks again.
“i kind of stick with the ‘sexuality is a spectrum’ theory, so i’m still figuring things out for my part. exploring.” and he does sound scientific and decided, so joonmyun listens in awe. considering that’s all jongdae says, however, the following silence is awkward.
joonmyun checks the clock. almost half past nine. joonmyun checks jongdae. he looks very sleepy. “you can go to sleep,” joonmyun offers, the topics of honesty, policy and other concerns immediately buried in the hazy sand dunes of the past. “i’m usually on my laptop, so you can have the lights off.”
jongdae’s answering smile is strikingly happy and cat-like. like the english number three, turned around. joonmyun gives himself four seconds to stare at it before he smiles back, turns on his laptop and turns off the light.
thirty minutes pass, and joonmyun has started one torrent (HMIYM_KoreanSubs_COMPLETE) and is staring at an empty page of journal.doc
finally, he types in the date, the time, and a few uncharacteristically short sentences.
supervisor off for a month.
(minseok really likes chanyeol, huh.)
went back to cafe.
there’s a new kid, his name is jongdae.
joonmyun scratches his head before adding,
he stares at the screen some more.
his smile is a literal :3 i like it. friendly.
he’s my housemate.
joonmyun wakes up to the crackling sounds of fragile stuff frying in way too much oil, and a smell that harkens to memory the delicacy that is pancakes, but also reminds him somehow of fried rice. ???, joonmyun thinks, and then recalls that there is a kim jongdae who now shares his house. this makes him sit up so fast that he gets a little dizzy and falls sideways off the bed. the action’s becoming his signature dance move or something. he grunts.
“good morning!” jongdae comes in, holding a tray. “it’s friday, my classes start a bit late today--” he stops when he sees joonmyun wrestling with, apparently, himself, on the floor. “you okay there?”
the rest of the day doesn’t go all too smoothly either: joonmyun continues embarrassing himself beyond human possibility, jongdae has the patience of mother goose -- joonmyun is sure mother goose had endless patience -- and, troublingly, wears glasses most of the day, looking super cute in them. joonmyun, also troublingly but in a different way, muses that jongdae would look sexy with his hair pushed back. then, the terrible realization that he has already confessed to jongdae of his being a flaming homosexual has him choking on air, falling off the ladder from where he’d been standing and trying to change the curtains. thankfully, it’s a small ladder, and joonmyun (jongdae points out, giggling a little) is smaller still. he lives through it.
he will always live through it, he muses, wryly. but his ego gets smaller with every mishap. soon it will disappear.
jongdae knows he is gay.
jongdae is cute and potentially hot.
joonmyun lets out a woosh of breath when jongdae leaves the goddamned apartment for his classes.
he slowly and professionally (so he likes to think) moonwalks to his room, flips up the laptop screen and cracks his knuckles.
i find myself thinking about hongbin and jongin less and less these days.
this has got to be a sick joke, his brain screams at him, but he continues anyway.
perhaps because minseok and chanyeol have become abysmally gross.
wouldn’t it be hilarious if i ended up with my housemate? but i can’t see it happening.
i am a wise man and will live for no one. and although he’s only a year younger than me, he seems like just a little kid.
why am i even thinking this wow.
day 2, i guess.
two days after jongdae gets in and joonmyun realizes he has a month off, he lounges around and sorts through his boxers and his undershirts, then leaves everything in a mess and hangs upside down from his bed, watching how i met your mother on his laptop that is conveniently, albeit somewhat precariously, also placed upside down. jongdae just works his mouth, chewing jawbreakers, and stares out the window in lapses when he isn’t sketching something or other.
(“double major in mathematics and art for my bachelors,” he’d explained. “now i’ve switched to only math, but art is still a hobby.”)
unfortunately for joonmyun, the torrent is faulty and breaks down at episode six in season two.
he doesn’t know what to do with his holiday. he was literally planning on watching the show when he wasn’t at the coffee shop, and he can’t bring himself to start another torrent. it’s too much work. he jumps up to lie properly in on his bed, then flops around on it uselessly. jongdae eyes with him a little reverence and a lot of apprehension. “want to clean up?” he says, and joonmyun immediately begins to pop a vein. no, he doesn’t want to clean up. he never wants to clean up. what’s more, nobody’s going to order him around, telling him to clean up. joonmyun blinks stoically at the ceiling. jongdae clears his throat nervously, then mumbles about mermaids or something and goes back to sketching.
no cleaning up.
not now, not ever.
I AM NEVER CLEANING UP.
most unfortunately, the next day, when jongdae almost gets hit by the umbrella stand that joonmyun still hasn’t thrown out, joonmyun realizes he’s got to clean up, sooner better than later. so joonmyun faces the music, throws on a surgical face mask (in case of deadly germs, slimy worms that may be infesting his empty closet (since all his clothes are tastefully on the floor) or other unexpected enemies) and faces the music.
wait. hadn’t he already faced the music somewhere in the beginning? never mind. joonmyun comes to terms with reality. he cleans up.
the first thing to go is, predictably, the umbrella stand. next, a variety of cardboard boxes and takeout carriers. then he overturns everything from all the shelves, dusts with a fury and wipes all the books clean.
in a lull, he considers the long expanse of empty wall over the sofa, dreams of hanging an impressive painting over there someday, then continues to mop the floor. he finds himself of the opinion that he should do this thing more often: the living room is sparkling as beautifully as it had the he’d moved in. more, in fact, since the tenants before him were a young family with horrendously messy triplets. he remembers having to wipe clean a stain on the bathroom wall almost as soon as he had the place it himself. it’d suspiciously resembled human faeces. shuddering, joonmyun soldiers on.
the bedroom is a glorious haven of chaos. joonmyun swallows, guiltily. even with jongdae as a housemate, his habits have run on unchecked. the clothes have gradually seeped out from under the bed where he'd stuffed them the first day jongdae had come, and are now pooling around beside it, instead. if jongdae wanted to move from his bed to joonmyun’s, he’d have to wade.
joonmyun chews his lips, wipes his forehead, takes off his mask and sips at the thing in his hand. it gives him a shock, and he spits it out before proceeding to actually look at the thing in his hand.
“i thought i’d finished the mountain dew ages ago,” he whispers, hollowly. whose smart idea was it to store mountain dew, anyway? joonmyun solidly ignores the answer to this question: himself.
at seven minutes past five p.m., jongdae returns from a long day of academic struggle. to his surprise, the umbrella stand is no longer there. it makes no difference, however. the mishap count is the same; the floor is so slippery that when he takes an unassuming step forward, he finds himself, with even more surprise, on his ass.
then he feels the searing pain and shrieks. joonmyun comes running, haggard and wide-eyed, then slips as well.
i tried very hard, but i have broken his tailbone and the neck of my pride.
fried chicken required.
over the next few days, they settle down into a rhythm.
joonmyun gets up around seven, jongdae a few minutes earlier or later. they tend to shuffle to the kitchen together, make their own breakfasts and set their own dishes. then they’ll eat, in companionable silence on joonmyun’s part, and amicable chatter about the day’s plans on jongdae’s side. jongdae, bright eyed, hair already smoothed, usually finishes his food first. then he pours his waiting tea (tea) into his bright orange thermos, brushes his teeth and says goodbye, smile wide. so far joonmyun hasn’t failed to notice a toothpaste blob either on his cheek or under his chin, but jongdae is always in such a hurry that joonmyun doesn’t have a chance to tell him.
after jongdae leaves, joonmyun broods over his remaining cereal, checks his phone, washes the dishes and looks up things to cook for lunch. this is an entirely new habit he’s picked up, and the entire world ten times over knows joonmyun can’t cook to save his life. however, in the short time he’s been here, jongdae has inspired him to do better. so joonmyun tries planning lunch, and jongdae does dinner. joonmyun has messed up, thus far: lasagna, sausages, cucumber kimchi. this is also all he has attempted, thus far.
(“cucumber kimchi?” minseok had questioned him, the disbelief in his voice very strong over the phone. “you can barely make chicken broth and you tried kimchi?”
joonmyun, despairing, ended the call.)
after joonmyun plans lunch and gets out the ingredients, he ambles over to the tv and turns it on. nothing interesting is ever airing, he is still pissed at russia about kim yuna not winning gold, and whenever he tries cartoon network he just gets johnny bravo. he eventually stops flicking channels after fifteen minutes or so.
starting up his laptop and checking on the lab computer remotely is next on the list, and jongdae tends to text him important dates for visiting talks, society meetings or deadline shifts. while the algorithms churn through his data, joonmyun scribbles jongdae’s messages down on post-it notes and sticks them to the wall above his bed.
setting his laptop aside, joonmyun prepares a potentially poisonous lunch and warms some microwave ramen as backup. by three in the afternoon, jongdae proudly bangs open the door to the apartment and toes his shoes off in the spot where the umbrella stand (r.i.p.) used to be. “i’m back!” he calls, waving his arms and padding over to wherever joonmyun is.
lunch finds jongdae bravely ingesting the disaster while joonmyun smiles at him, guiltily. jongdae always refuses the backup ramen. after this event is over, jongdae goes to his books and joonmyun finds solace in either how i met your mother (he’d gotten another torrent) or downloading new albums that he’ll never listen to.
today, though, minseok calls up joonmyun and tells him he’s coming over. “with chanyeol,” he adds, “as a kind of housewarming. house welcome. whichever.”
“why?” joonmyun asks, not sure if he's questioning the gesture or the bringing along of chanyeol. he taps impatiently on his mouse pad, causing all the programs to immediately freeze. beautiful.
“because jongdae.” well, his answer has been given in reference to the gesture, then.
joonmyun frowns. “you never gave me that kind of attention.”
“too bad,” minseok yawns, and joonmyun pictures him stretching luxuriously, smiling in happiness at having made joonmyun irritated.
“okay,” he finally accedes. “but i can’t believe this.”
“a mutual phenomenon, rest assured.”
joonmyun does not feel assured.
jongdae, on the other hand, is extremely excited at the prospect of seeing joonmyun’s friends. he tears open his bag for a clean pair of socks to live up to the occasion. this is the first time joonmyun’s seeing inside the bag, actually, and all he can see is socks. jongdae probably feels the ultraviolet waves of amazement and confusion radiating off him, because he explains, without looking up, that, “socks are really important to me.”
well, joonmyun mulls, each to his own. jongdae dons a pair of electric blue knee socks, pyjamas bunched up to his thighs, and arches his feet. “nice, right?”
jongdae’s dinner is a shining success. chanyeol and jongdae hit off at once, which is relieving. minseok doesn’t say much; unsurprising, but he also looks pale and grips the table a lot, which is worrying.
“hey,” joonmyun clips chopsticks together in his direction. “what’s up.”
but minseok just shakes his head and determinedly chomps down on the beef. this goes on for about ten minutes, and joonmyun vaguely registers chanyeol and jongdae talking about politics and how victoria’s secret should launch a subsidiary for men, focusing on equally attractive marketing techniques.
“suppose i model,” minseok jokes, then flushes pink, sweat beading on his brow. “suppose we take a walk,” joonmyun cuts in, while the other two laugh. minseok follows him to the bathroom.
“what’s going on?” he rounds on minseok immediately. “you’ve been shaking and turning pink and white by turns, sweating, and god knows what else!” he puts a hand worriedly to minseok’s forehead. “do you have a fever?”
minseok stays curiously silent, fingers digging into the door frame as he leans against it. his breathing’s the tiniest bit ragged. “you really want to know?” he asks, finally, eyes half-closed. joonmyun feels weird, a sense of impending doom descending upon him.
“it’s a plug.”
joonmyun frowns, confused. plug? “you trying electricity highs or something?” he turns minseok around, looks him up and down. “what d’you mean, plug? where’s the outlet?”
“joonmyun,” minseok shakes his head, exasperated. “it’s a butt plug. chanyeol takes the vibration up a few notches every half hour.”
joonmyun doesn’t even understand this for the first thirty seconds. then, slowly, as the words piece together, his world breaks apart. minseok does not notice.
“at first, i was like, y’know? a bit squeamish. but he promised he wouldn’t ask again if i didn’t like it the first time around, and he was really sweet, so --”
park chanyeol? sweet? oh, but kinky sex. joonmyun’s mind is whirling to catch up.
“-- i did, and i have never, joon, never…”
that minseok should talk most excitedly about cricket, c-pop, recent developments in genetic research and now, sex with chanyeol, somehow does not surprise joonmyun. if minseok suddenly said, right now, that he was about to go bald and become a buddhist monk, joonmyun would not be surprised at that, either.
minseok has a butt plug up his butt.
“okay,” joonmyun pats him in belated reply, mortified. “okay.”
when they leave, joonmyun cleans up and jongdae perches himself up on the counter top, legs waving inches above the ground. joonmyun nods and smiles and is genuinely happy that jongdae likes his friend(s) so much, but minseok is currently wearing a butt plug, so he does not contribute much to the gushing conversation about how great chanyeol is and the exquisitely dry jokes minseok cracks.
he is saved from feeling guilty about his silence when jongdae stops, mid-sentence, head drooping forward. “i’m sleepy,” he mumbles, slides off the counter and bumbles into sofa, where drops down at once.
joonmyun finishes washing the dishes and decides he’ll take the trash out in the morning. in the living room, jongdae is on his stomach, clinging to a cushion. his breath whistles through his nose as he sleeps.
“jongdae,” joonmyun says, quietly. “come to bed.”
“jongdae, the bed’s more comfortable.”
“jongdae,” joonmyun tries again, singing his name a little.
jongdae is an unrousable rock.
also, joonmyun learns, jongdae is a nearly immovable log. puffing with effort, he half-carries, half-lifts jongdae to their room. jongdae flumps softly onto his bed and rolls over, mumbling something about cake sandwiches. joonmyun holds his breath in apprehension, but jongdae’s eyes remain closed, still asleep. he looks so tired and small.
joonmyun turns to his own bed, before he hastily goes back, pulls the blanket over jongdae, and tucks him in.
he stands there, in the dark room, and feels so very wrong, so out of place and new and old. he shouldn’t be standing here, right now. there is no need for him to stare, to think of counting eyelashes in the dim light coming from the streetlamp outside. he should lie on his own bed, and go to sleep.
instead, joonmyun bends down, heart hammering in his ears, and drops a small kiss on his forehead.
day 7: housewarming!
jongdae’s roast beef is the best
minseok + butt plug
today was important.
but not because of the butt plug
joonmyun, miraculously, does not rise and shine the next day by dint of falling painfully out of bed. he wakes up because the sunlight is beating on his eyes with a brightness and heat bordering on apocalyptic, and the view from under his closed eyelids is as red as… reg egg yolk. the words blood orange float through his mind, and he snaps his eyes open. no gunk today, thankfully.
jongdae’s bed is empty, curtains thrown apart, blanket folded neatly at one end. jongdae is so tidy. it punches joonmyun figuratively in the gut; joonmyun is older, shouldn’t he be the one setting an example?
with a heavy heart and more poise than is generally to be expected of him, joonmyun swings his legs to the ground and gets up. this singular accomplishment is about to dawn on him when his foot comes down forcefully on a (somehow) wet sock, and he cartwheels over into the laundry. “oomf,” he says, a minute late, and bedraggledly gets up again. the expression he carries to the bathroom is a sorrowful one.
when he comes out of the bathroom, it is still sorrowful: jongdae has used up all the hot water. “kim jongdae!” he calls out, mind contriving to word a gentle but stern lecture about this occurrence. but jongdae doesn’t reply, and after joonmyun combs the entire place twice over, he concludes it’s because jongdae’s gone to school. college. university. thing.
joonmyun is all alone at eight twenty a.m., with a very dreary day ahead. he checks his phone; there’s a message from minseok. “joon,” it begins. “you probably don’t want to read about this but i have to tell you that the butt--” joonmyun stops reading and sighs into his ramen cup. perhaps if he went back to the cafe…
must be a long leave, whoever had taken it, because minseok is already there. joonmyun can’t quite remember who’d taken the break, or why. he’s a slobby cafe owner. this thought sobers him.
“hey,” joonmyun pokes the soft, pink hair.
“yo,” minseok doesn’t look up. he’s busy staring carefully at the pattern he’s making with the cream, but he’s smiling. joonmyun stands by in silence, wide-eyed as he contemplates the tables, taecyeon and the other tall guy, the counter, the little pile of markers off in the corner.
after minseok’s written a name and pushed the cup over to the waiting customer, joonmyun speaks up.
“is there a procedure? if i want to work but, like, not fill in for you.”
“joonmyun,” is the casual reply (joonmyun is so relieved that there are no symptoms of butt-plug-itis showing in him), “you run this place. not too responsibly these days,” here minseok stares hard at joonmyun, “but you do it, anyhow. and since you run it, you can do whatever the hell you like -- dance naked on tabletops, or work civilly, like an employee. nobody can do anything about it.”
“they could report to the police,” joonmyun points out. “if i dance naked, i’m sure i’ll be breaking some law.”
“potential boners is all you’ll be breaking,” minseok smiles, appreciatively. he tosses joonmyun an extra apron over his face, who experiences a blurry feeling of whiplash.
joonmyun is in the swing of it when he hears, first the bell of someone entering, then a familiar voice call out.
“hyung! you again?”
he glances up from the counter he’s wiping, grins at jongdae. “indeed.” he thinks about wiggling his eyebrows but puts it away under ‘inappropriate’, as jongdae smiles at him, quietly slow and happily wide, very very full. full of what? joonmyun can’t pin the word, but what doesn’t cease to bowl him over is how happy it is. jongdae is.
jongdae orders hot chocolate milk -- “seriously?” minseok grins -- and he tells joonmyun about his day while he waits. the differential geometry TA is extremely hot, it seems. “you wouldn’t think a six foot tall guy could pull off red lipstick, would you?” jongdae shakes his head, solemn.
“no,” joonmyun replies, equally solemn, and minseok shakes his slowly in agreement.
“but he does. he owns it. like, wow. hyung. i’ll take a picture and show you.”
joonmyun, frankly, couldn’t be less interested with this little five foot something kid, about his height, with soft brown hair and soft brown eyes and glasses is engrossed and telling him about things he likes, things he doesn’t, things that excite him.
(the advanced quantum field theory is so mind blowing that jongdae can only feel ecstatic and at a loss of understanding anything.)
when minseok finally nudges in with the chocolate, jongdae stutters to a stop, a little disappointed, before paying and leaving with a wave. “don’t wipe too much, you’ll get tired!” he warns joonmyun, and sets his shoulders against the wind when he walks out.
the smile jongdae’s brought to him doesn’t leave for a while.
“he’s a good kid,” minseok comments, casually, and joonmyun’s eyes just crinkle.
he doesn’t say anything.
half past six, and joonmyun stamps his feet a little as he struggles to unlock the apartment door, still shivering from the cold. as soon as he steps in, he’s greeted with the sense that something is tremendously off. he goes to the kitchen at once. he finds that there is a lot of burnt chicken in the oven (at least the oven’s turned off), an apologetic note on the kitchen table (i think i ruined the surprise... sorry for the bad smell ㅠ_ㅠ) and a gently snoring, open-mouthed jongdae, drooling all over his pillow.
he knows it's going to give him a stomach ache later, but joonmyun eats a burnt drumstick and wing, anyway. when he's finished, he flips the note over, scrawls, 'no, it was great!' and plummets onto the sofa, into sleep.
the next day is day nine, and joonmyun finds himself clenching and unclenching his fists the next day, jongdae draped artistically over his shoulder as he dozes blissfully. i am not going to cry, joonmyun orders himself, sternly, and he doesn’t. as the ending credits of miracle in cell no. 7 begin rolling, jongdae sighs and snuggles closer in his sleep, fingers curling around joonmyun’s arm. joonmyun smiles at him unthinkingly, files away dry tear ducts as much, much smaller victories, when there’s someone like this.
jongdae’s in a kind of rut with his drawings. he frowns in concentration for half-hour stretches, then moodily sets the pencil down and refuses to look again at his work.
meanwhile, joonmyun’s hitting nearly a ninety percent recognition on visual and a forty percent on the audio. will his thesis even see the light of day after he submits it, or will it be picked up with immediate zeal by the united states defense department? as everyone knows, all things worthwhile are picked up with immediate zeal by the united states defense department. his thesis, however, probably won’t be. no matter, joonmyun just needs the PhD. he reckons there’s still at least six months until he graduates. and although this isn’t a gloomy prospect, jongdae’s heavy restlessness settles on both of them like august summer and forest flies. or something. joonmyun’s never been too great with similes or entomology, the science of insects.
he looks over at him, and jongdae is so engrossed in frowning at his eraser that he doesn’t notice. apart from being heavily disgusted with himself when he can’t seem to get a problem set right, joonmyun’s never actually seen jongdae so upset before. it’s unsettling; he wants to help. then he starts -- which is more unsettling? that he wants to help, or that jongdae’s upset? don’t be so self obsessed, he tells himself decidedly, and opens his mouth to vocalize something that would perhaps be of valuable use.
nothing comes to mind.
he closes his mouth.
jongdae makes a face and stares out the window.
“ah,” joonmyun says. “aaah.”
jongdae turns around at once.
“aaah,” joonmyun says, again. clearly he did not think this through. why is he making strange sounds?
“AH,” jongdae hazards, voice slightly higher than usual.
aha! “ahh,” joonmyun is cautious, just a bit higher.
“ah.” a full octave up! jongdae increases the tension in the game.
“ah,” joonmyun’s throat is parched, however, and he won’t make it through his next turn.
“a--” joonmyun’s voice cracks, and jongdae grins, victoriously.
“ha!” he raises a fist in the air, pencil temporarily forgotten. “i win!”
“was thirsty,” joonmyun mumbles. ridiculous excuse, and they both know it, but at least jongdae is smiling a little now.
then joonmyun comes up with an idea. “i’m not an artist like you--” he stops, feeling stupidly out of place. but jongdae’s gaze sharpens at once, interested, before he starts and seems to realize exactly what joonmyun’s just said. “no, no,” he shakes his head at once, “nowhere near artist level yet. i’ve got a lot to learn.”
“all the same,” joonmyun exhales through his nose in nervousness, “maybe a trip. or a walk…” he trails off. this had sounded way more practical in his head.
but jongdae sits up. “a walk?”
“or a bike ride,” joonmyun offers, hopefully. he and minseok had had lots of bike rides before chanyeol. he scowls inwardly at this. minseok’s and joonmyun’s lives should have bookmarks or separators, showing to all viewers their lives Before Chanyeol, and then After Chanyeol.
jongdae’s nervous stammering interrupts his thoughts. “i don’t -- that is -- that is to say -- i don’t --”
“you don’t?” joonmyun prompts, a trifle uncertain.
“i can’t ride a bike,” he confesses, and stares sadly at his pink-socked feet.
(they have piglets on them, joonmyun sees.)
“you can sit behind me.”
joonmyun freezes as jongdae stills. he’d been rolling his eraser on the bedsheets, and stopped when joonmyun had said that. joonmyun shouldn’t have said that. that wasn’t a great thing to have said. he’s made jongdae uncomfortable.
“if you want,” he adds, after a few seconds.
jongdae blinks, then looks up at him, grin bright and in place. “where will we go?”
joonmyun takes him to the old houses in the bukchon hanok village, an hour’s worth of cycling. “i want to live life to the fullest,” jongdae had decided when he learnt this. “i’ll ride in all different positions possible.” joonmyun had colored and been unable to say anything. oblivious, jongdae sat on the bike, backto back with joonmyun, facing the streets they left behind, and he’d yelled, exhilarated, when they’d gone on a bridge. “i can see the world!”
joonmyun smiles to himself as he finally comes to a stop. “well, here we are.”
and though he doesn’t expect jongdae’s hand curling around his elbow, he does welcome it.
antagonist: kim jongdae
“sing with me! drink with me!” he pleads, offering him an empty glass, but joonmyun shoves him a bottle of soju in reply.
“someone’s got to be sober.”
“i am sober!”
but joonmyun is firm. “i don’t drink and drive.”
hiccuping, jongdae pouts. “even when it’s just bikes?”
“especially when it’s bikes.”
sighing, jongdae turns to the screen, picks up the remote and mike, almost drops both, and somehow manages to pick a song. within minutes, joonmyun experiences the spectacle of math major bespectacled kim jongdae, twenty five, intoxicated with soju (and perhaps the excitement of life and karaoke), belting out ne-yo songs, accented, like nobody’s business. jongdae croons i hate that i love you so, draws himself up and proclaims i want it that way by the backstreet boys, wholeheartedly dances to snsd’s i got a boy (just dances, doesn’t bother singing) and happily points out to joonmyun that the bar has ss501 songs, too.
“what about shinee?” stretched out across the couch, joonmyun pokes jongdae’s butt, idly.
jongdae twists around to give him an alcohol-ified but effective Look. “who’s going to do minho’s raps?” he speaks into the mike, voice booming through the room. (the lyrics on the screen blink, double-s-five-oh-one.)
joonmyun doesn’t exactly understand jongdae’s answer, but he feels that he almost does, so he goes with it. “ah,” he replies. “never mind then.”
it’s very late at night and joonmyun suspects he’s somehow subconsciously drunk at least two bottles himself, because jongdae is singing halo perfectly (beyonce’s, not block b’s) and joonmyun feels vaguely like crying.
“i’m drunk,” he whispers, to jongdae’s swaying behind, and rubs his eyes ferociously with the his knuckles. the disco ball on the ceiling flickers merrily, lights dancing across his vision and drenching jongdae in neon yellows and pinks. he feels like he’s looking at a beautiful, psychedelic migraine. then he passes out for a full minute.
when he comes to, jongdae is jerking his limbs passionately to 2pm’s heartbeat which signifies to joonmyun that it is time to go. “SUMMERTIME SADNESS,” jongdae shrieks, as if on cue, which throws joonmyun off for a bit, because aren’t those lana del ray lines? what had happened to 2pm?
jongdae holds on impossibly tight on the ride home, mumbling, “beating for you,” at random intervals. it makes joonmyun feel inexplicably sad in his stomach, like some kind of mushroom cloud’s stuck in there, climbing up to his ribs.
joonmyun wakes up on the sofa, feeling inexplicably moody. had he sleepwalked? he isn’t sure. it's seven a.m., give or take a few minutes, and he speaks up just as jongdae hurries on his way out.
"i don't understand," he says, plaintively. jongdae pauses, looks over his shoulder as he readjusts his beanie. "understand what?"
joonmyun isn't too sure. "i don't know," he mumbles, finally. "have a good day at school."
"hyung," jongdae turns around, looking worried.
"i just woke up," joonmyun confesses, and feels rather pathetic. "so i don't understand."
"oh." jongdae looks a bit taken aback. "did you... not want to wake up just yet?"
"i don't know," joonmyun blinks at jongdae's knees, snug inside skinny jeans. that almost rhymed. "i want to eat ice cream."
after some confusion, jongdae promises he'll get him a raspberry flavored tub at lunch. joonmyun is slightly cheered up by this prospect. not that he actually expects jongdae to get it for him because -- well, just because. minseok's the only person he knows who does stuff like that, and minseok and joonmyun go back, he thinks, emphatically, since kindergarten. here, he's only known jongdae for a bare total of sixteen days. karaoke and bike rides may have erased a certain amount of awkwardness, sure, but still… joonmyun lapses into brooding.
jongdae brings home baskin robbin's raspberry flavored ice cream tub at exactly fifteen minutes past one. he's pink and panting from what was probably a long, meandering dash. "got the," he gasps. "got the stuff."
joonmyun, reaching for his remote control which had fallen under the side table, his face squeezed between sofas and his embarrassing-underwear clad ass ungracefully high in the air, is speechless. when jongdae catches his breath and takes the situation in, he raises his eyebrows and lets out a loud, obnoxious laugh. he looks obscenely cute. joonmyun doesn't have time for cute people. he glares at jongdae with such concentration that he loses control of his limbs, falling face first onto the floor.
well, at least there’s always more awful things constantly occurring to erase more awkwardness. jongdae knows his favorite pair of underwear, now.
and joonmyun listens, far into the night, when jongdae tells him about his love for the winter wind, the angry rains, and above all, the first storm.
joonmyun cheerfully splashes water into jongdae’s serene, dozing face as he leaves, and is rewarded with a belated cry of, “WHAT’S GOING ON?” by the time he’s reached the door.
today is an important day. he is going to buy jongdae a nice present. it’s going to be very nice, and jongdae is going to like it. joonmyun doesn’t exactly know what it is, yet, but he will find it.
he doesn’t tell minseok this, though, just drags him along because minseok’s got good taste, and joonmyun’s taste is… well, comparing minseok’s taste to joonmyun’s is like comparing platinum cuff links to mustard brown man bras. still, joonmyun is a man of integrity and likes worrying mustard brown things even though he accepts that they’re ugly.
but back to jongdae’s present; minseok wanders around after joonmyun, lost but intrigued. “what’s it for?” he keeps asking. “is it for your mom?” he’d asked, first, but when joonmyun had dragged him to the men’s underwear section he’d taken it back and apologized.
“chanyeol’s chinese cousin gave him spongebob boxers, right?” joonmyun murmurs, staring at a pair of patrick star ones.
minseok stares at joonmyun instead. “why are you even considering being as lame as yifan? i mean, that’s okay, he’s got a heart of gold--”
“shut up,” joonmyun sighs, and moves away to the shoes.
“high heels,” minseok points out, giggling. joonmyun patiently endures these antics with the wisdom of a man who knows he’s stuck with a useless goldfish attached to his hip and labeled ‘best friend’ for life.
joonmyun has decided, after two hours, on a dark blue beanie with a fuzzy ball attachment on the top. it had little silver threads woven in, and joonmyun was somehow very sure that this was The Present. he almost pictures jongdae wearing it, before he banishes the thought from his head and concentrated on paying for it instead.
in line of the cashier, joonmyun finally confides in minseok. “jongdae says the first storm of the year is a really big thing, for him. i wanted to get him a present -- the first storm is coming sometime next week, the forecast says.”
joonmyun is blissfully oblivious and doesn’t look at minseok until a few minutes later, when he finally says, “oh.”
the smile drops off joonmyun’s face at once. “oh, what?”
they’re six turns away from the cashier. minseok chews his lip. “nothing.”
four turns away, minseok mumbles, “don’t you think this is a bit sudden?”
a bit sudden. a bit much.
of course. it’s more than a bit sudden.
three turns to go. it’s uncalled for. joonmyun is either assuming or hoping too much. why is he hoping? there’s no logical reason. minseok is asking him something.
it’s a bit much. he looks at the beanie in his hands, then presses it into minseok’s.
“you’re right,” joonmyun says, finally. “of course you are.” really, where would he be without minseok? reading too much into everything and making a fool of himself.
“joon,” minseok starts, and joonmyun doesn’t like that tone of voice, doesn’t want to know what words are going to come next. “i’m still buying it,” joonmyun interrupts, strained. “guess i’ll put it away for later.”
minseok knows when to stop talking. “okay.”
when he comes back, jongdae is sprawled on the couch, nose buried in a revoltingly thick textbook filled with variables and symbols, as far as joonmyun can see.
“hey,” jongdae calls, without looking up.
joonmyun fingers the outline of the beanie, rolled into his pocket, before he makes a dash for the bedroom and plops moodily on the bed.
he lifts the lid of his laptop, types in his password and in journal.doc, writes,
day 19: i was being a bit sudden.
then he closes the window. his downloads folder had been open, and frozen looks at him, almost-temptingly, but he’s not in the mood for ice queens and happy little sisters, so he shuts it down and goes to sleep.
when he wakes up, jongdae’s in the room, too, still with his textbooks. he’s lying on his stomach, glasses sliding off his nose, legs kicking the air.
joonmyun stares at him for a long time before deciding to backtrack his journal. but something stops him. he's not sure if it's ego, or pride, or if ego and pride are the same thing, or interchangeable (that would make them almost the same thing), or if it's something else that's stopping him, but whatever it is, he pauses while turning the laptop on again.
something tells him that if he scrolls back up the pages, he'll just read observation on observation about jongdae, or anecdotes of jongdae, or songs that jongdae hums under his breath as he makes tea in the morning and coffee in the afternoon. and although something else in him is fully aware that there will be no such records, because he’s been typing extremely short entries since jongdae came, yet another thing inside him knows he'll recall all those things as soon as he begins reading. maybe that’s why he tries to condense what he puts in, so he remembers as less as possible. anyway, in the end he doesn't backtrack, and instead shoves the laptop away with a huff.
jongdae looks up from his books, surprised, but joonmyun ignores him.
as joonmyun will, honestly speaking, not write in his journal, the twentieth day is very fateful.
jongdae forgets to lock the bathroom, joonmyun walks in and gets a full view of a very naked jongdae looking decidedly pretty in a shower of water and sunlight pouring down from the window overhead. jongdae doesn't notice anything, continues studying his elbows as he soaps his arms. joonmyun dies, is unable to stop himself from admiring the curve of jongdae’s back, experiences death, notes how smooth and glowing jongdae’s skin is in general, expires, almost gains macro camera mode slash microscopic slash telescopic powers and zooms in on single water droplets sliding down his eyelashes, ceases to exist. jongdae doesn't notice, yawns and raises his arms over his head, stretching luxuriously. joonmyun swallows, stepping back, leaving. jongdae doesn't notice anything. joonmyun has nowhere to go, jongdae doesn't notice, joonmyun can't will away his boner, jongdae doesn't notice, joonmyun locks the bedroom door and has to jack off, jongdae doesn't notice (--unsurprisingly, joonmyun's grateful about this).
later, joonmyun changes his underwear and remembers it's a sunday, meaning that jongdae has the day off. this is going to be awkward, he thinks, and tries willing away his boner before it approaches him at thirty five thousand miles an hour first. this partially works.
at breakfast, joonmyun mindlessly spoons cereal down his shirt until jongdae clears his throat. this causes joonmyun to drop his spoon altogether. jongdae is noticing now, very much. he frowns and asks joonmyun is ill today, and joonmyun shakes his head, successfully shuts any inappropriate pick up lines from slipping out his mouth.
jongdae wisely does not pursue his silence. instead, he reminds joonmyun that it is a sunday.
“it’s sunday,” he spoons cereal into his mouth. “want to do anything?”
joonmyun immediately blocks the extremely graphic images pertaining to exactly what he would like to do, that flood his mind.
“i dunno,” he manages, normally enough.
“maybe you should treat me to something,” jongdae’s eyes curve up prettily, and joonmyun inhales heavily as he tries and succeeds not to respond to that with an embarrassingly lewd comment. luckily, jongdae only takes it as a dramatic sigh and drags him out of the house.
“cafe?” joonmyun says, wearily, when they reach. “really?”
“you don’t seem to understand,” jongdae replies, seriously, “that i really like this place.” he pushes his glasses up for effect, and joonmyun sighs and blunders into the counter. minseok is there, again.
“jongdae really like this place,” joonmyun explains.
“and you, of course,” jongdae adds, polite and cheery.
joonmyun’s mouth goes into a straight line. and minseok, huh. he gets out his wallet and makes ready to pay for jongdae’s treat without demurring, though. “i want a taste of everything,” he declares, eagerly, and joonmyun’s hand hesitates, trembling for a nanosecond, before he slides it over next to the card machine. “you heard what he said,” joonmyun raises his eyebrows at minseok’s slightly amazed expression.
they take a seat closest to the counter, on minseok’s insistence, so he can butt into the conversation and slander joonmyun whenever he wants. “let’s not,” joonmyun says, trying puppy eyes, but jongdae is unphased.
it takes a good fifteen minutes to get jongdae thirty two small cups, each with a different drink, and two large trays with all their different snacks assorted in. “great service,” jongdae beams at taecyeon, who awkwardly smiles back. joonmyun heroically attempts to not seethe silently in his seat. he’s not sure how well that goes.
“iced coffee with strawberries?” jongdae’s voice goes low with amazement, and Things happen to joonmyun as he hears it. then jongdae begins sucking vigorously at the straw and closing his eyes as he is transported to brain freeze town and, apparently, “seventh heaven!” mention of the word ‘heaven’ undoes the hormonal effects of everything else, and joonmyun is thankful for this but is also duly ashamed.
as jongdae travels from various iced coffee to an assortment of iced tea and stuffs his face with cinnabons in between, he manages to ask joonmyun about how he’s ended up doing the strange things he does on his laptop. “you know,” he adds, mouth full of caramel and carbohydrates, “with the percents and the algorithms.”
“tell me your whole life story,” he says, as joonmyun opens his mouth.
“life story,” minseok whispers, in the background. “such a tragic, tragic life story. tragic backstory with a trademark sign at the end.”
joonmyun twists around in his seat to glare at him. minseok makes a face. “what? every good sidekick needs one.”
jongdae chokes on his frappuccino, and joonmyun splutters.
“protagonist being, of course, myself.”
jongdae takes another frantic sip of frap to clear his windpipe, which somehow works, and then laughs until he cries. figurative (or was it metaphorical? joonmyun’s not too good with creative writing, either) feathers considerably ruffled, joonmyun turns back to jongdae and begins to drone about his life:
he had befriended minseok within ten minutes of entering his kindergarten class. his life was quite uneventful but for his many disastrous attempts to join extracurricular activities, or sports teams. (“not a good sportsman,” minseok shakes his head. “limbs are rubber, and hates losing.”) the only interesting thing worth mentioning was his rapid, ever changing career choices. at five, he was going to be a firefighter. at seven, a beach lifeguard. at ten, a chef -- this whim had taken a particularly short time to shake off, when he found he couldn’t even break an egg without dropping the yolk on his feet.
wanting to be a chef was followed by wanting to be a matchstick boy, which the teacher overruled because a) matchsticks weren’t needed, b) ten year old joonmyun just wanted a tragic and heroic death alone in the winter, which was against the law in those days. in eleventh grade, minseok had wanted to be a barista, taught himself on coffee as much as he could. joonmyun caught on this fascination (“impressionable, yet ever the loyal sidekick,” minseok comments). still, he was more interested in computer graphics and the branch of artificial intelligence, so he’d gone and majored in computer graphics for his bachelors degree. now, joonmyun’s in the middle of a combined masters and PhD program; the masters part is finished, and he’s currently working on a thesis on human (facial, anatomical and voice recognition) body tracking.
“that’s pretty much it,” joonmyun shrugs, leaving out hongbin and jongin. he woefully eyes jongdae wolfing down bread sticks coated in apple fudge. “that’s fascinating,” jongdae mumbles, mouth full (again).
joonmyun is going to ask jongdae about himself, when he interrupts (again), “and then how did you get the cafe?”
well, that takes the story back to eleventh grade, again, and it had taken a lot of convincing on joonmyun’s and minseok’s parts; joonmyun’s parents were about to sell a deceased great-aunt’s patisserie, its oven dysfunctional and floorboards cracked, when the two had jumped on the idea to renovate the place and reopen it as a cafe.
the swiss roll falls out of jongdae’s mouth. “how is that possible.”
joonmyun looks modest but minseok divulges, “hella chaebol homosexual. that’s how.” joonmyun visibly deflates, but jongdae grins. “cool,” he says, picking up the swiss roll. “i like it.”
alright alright alright alright alright! strange flirty compliment aside, joonmyun clears his throat and continues his tale. except he stutters in the beginning and his ears are probably tomato red.
his parents having reluctantly agreed to this strange new plan, joonmyun and minseok work full time and invest sweat, tears and blood into the damned place. this pays off, literally, and when joonmyun is in second year of undergrad, they shift ownership of the shop over to him.
“the end,” joonmyun sighs. his resolve snaps, and he snatches a leftover piece of donut from one of jongdae’s many abandoned containers. it’s got chocolate with frosting on it, and joonmyun wants to drown in the beautiful taste. “here, have some of this,” jongdae offers, handing him a piece of cake, and joonmyun takes that, too, grateful.
jongdae asks to know about brewing. “i want to do that. that pose,” he says, as minseok switches the sign to ‘closed’ and hands joonmyun a mop. “which pose?” minseok grins, clearly amused. but jongdae is undaunted. “when the barista does the thing. lean forward with one hand behind his back? so elegant,” he leans back in his seat, overwhelmed by the image he’s created for himself.
“tell you what,” minseok speaks up, “i’m enrolled in a barista class. finally. you can join, too. you want to?”
jongdae agrees at once, turns to ask joonmyun to come, too, but they cut him off.
“no,” joonmyun and minseok reply, at the same time, and jongdae looks a bit put out, but mostly surprised.
joonmyun’s grip on the mop tightens, and, sure enough, minseok takes it on his traitorous self to explain. “we already tried.”
joonmyun hastens to try and make it sound better than however awful minseok’s going to paint the picture. “not as bad as it sounds,” he says, loudly, over the inevitable, shining truth of, “he spilled the entire contents of the class’ coffee and burnt everyone in a three mile radius.”
going home, jongdae throws an arm around his shoulders, heads knocking together. “thanks for today,” he says, cheerfully, and his lips brush close against joonmyun’s ear. joonmyun blinks rapidly. “sure,” he cracks a laugh, throat dry. “anytime.”
when jongdae comes back from the class on monday, joonmyun is immediately bombarded with the highlights of the day. headlines first, and then, as joonmyun warms their chinese takeout, jongdae sits on the living room floor, cross-legged, and plunges into the details. “you have no idea what happened next,” he keeps saying, eyes wide and hands flapping. joonmyun agrees; he’s pretty sure the coffee class hadn’t been this animated and alive when he’d visited.
then again, he thinks as he takes jongdae’s plate out of the microwave, he probably hadn’t looked hard enough. for all his sonorousness, jongdae is always careful, picking up bits of people’s skins, tracing their thoughts out on his private canvas, storing their flotsam in his pocket to ponder over from time to time.
“when my turn came,” he’s telling joonmyun, now. “the teacher took such a long time to come up with an evaluation, you have no idea how stressed i felt. like, seriously. but he said it was interesting.” jongdae is quiet for a few seconds, nodding to himself in satisfaction. “he said i should try creating flavors intuitively, test limits.” he breaks off, looks at joonmyun. his expression is almost unreadable -- joonmyun thinks it looks like he’s asking joonmyun for approval, but that’s absolutely ridiculous and probably four fifths wishful thinking (who, now, joonmyun reprimands himself), so joonmyun just laughs and pats him on the back.
“did you bring any for me to taste?”
jongdae squirms. “no, i finished it.” he sounds a bit… let down. joonmyun doesn’t know what he’s said wrong.
“make it again,” he flounders, trying to make amends. “make it for me. please?”
that seems to do it, because jongdae laughs loudly, shoulders hunched. “i guess,” he says. “i might.”
and as he goes on to talk about how one of the girls was unfortunate enough to make the teacher choke on her coffee, joonmyun feels something warm and circular settle comfortingly in his stomach, like a heartshape. (except heartshapes aren’t circular, they’re heartshaped, so joonmyun throws cold water on this feeling in an attempt to squash it. he is unsuccessful.)
why does he keep making my toes curl? my cheeks are tired of smiling, but i’m not.
jongdae wants to see how well joonmyun can draw. “please,” he says, and joonmyun obeys, because that is what joonmyun does when jongdae says ‘please’. unfortunately for the great and grand world of visual art, joonmyun can’t do a thing with actual paper and pencil. he’s only good with graphics and ideas.
joonmyun frowns in frustration, and jongdae laughs a little; it’s a friendly sound. “here, you’re holding it with a bit too much pressure. you’re bound to break the lead in a sec-- and there you go.”
the lead in the pencil had, in fact, broken. “now what do i do?” joonmyun huffs, staring at it. it is day twenty three, he recalls, irrelevantly.
“you could use a sharpener, but let’s just take a new one,” jongdae half-stands from his seat to get another pencil, “and then we can,” he moves over to sit next to joonmyun, arm going around his waist, “figure it out together.” jongdae’s hand closes softly over joonmyun’s.
his touch is feather-light and joonmyun is dangerously heady already. jongdae leans closer, fingers angling over joonmyun’s just a fraction of an angle more, breath on joonmyun’s cheek. “here we go,” he says, quietly, and the way he is, right now, hushed and cautious but hooked over joonmyun’s frame, it makes joonmyun feel like glass, melting and shimmering uncertainly in jongdae’s fire-trailed wake.
joonmyun’s skin is burning, and he follows jongdae’s movements on paper, touch for touch.
joonmyun is just dropping off to sleep when he feels a weight drop onto the foot of his bed, then crawl up under the blanket. jongdae settles his chin on joonmyun’s shoulder. “hello,” he whispers, sleepily, and joonmyun’s heart is beating in his throat, fit to bursting.
“go to sleep,” joonmyun whispers back.
jongdae has other plans. “my favorite movie,” he drawls, and joonmyun guesses he’s having one of those lack of sleep fits that people tend to have from time to time. “my favorite movie is the vow.”
the vow... joonmyun racks his brains. why does it sound familiar? he’s sure it had the bully from mean girls in the lead. it had been nice. wait, hadn’t there been memory loss?
“and my favorite thing about the vow is,” jongdae puffs into joonmyun’s ear, and this situation is not sexy in the least, but he’s still feeling weirdly turned on. “that the guy loves the girl more than she can imagine.”
“that’s sweet,” joonmyun replies, quietly.
“hmmm,” jongdae drones. “and my favorite line is -- wait, you wanna know my favorite line? say you wanna know.”
joonmyun smiles into his blanket. “i really want to know your favorite line.”
jongdae sits up and clears his throat.
“she said, ‘i love you.’ that was two weeks after i met her.”
jongdae falls back onto the bed, arm hitting joonmyun in the face. neither of them do anything about it.
eventually, jongdae asks, “how are you feeling?”
“well,” joonmyun starts. “i think i feel warm. maybe a bit tingly, like pins and needles.”
jongdae rolls over, hand coming in joonmyun’s hair. “i feel tingly, too. like bees. buzz buzz, bee bee. buzzy bee. buzz feelings.”
hardly daring to breathe, joonmyun reaches up to put his own hand over jongdae’s.
jongdae doesn’t move away. “how many days has it been since we’ve met?”
he can feel jongdae’s eyes on his face. “have you been counting?”
“i just keep track of numbers,” joonmyun half-chokes out, staring hard into the darkness before resolutely closing his eyes.
jongdae wriggles closer to him, breath floating over the back of joonmyun’s neck. “it makes me feel special,” jongdae mumbles, pulling back his arm to throw it over joonmyun’s waist, looping a leg over joonmyun’s knees. joonmyun swallows, stays awake until long after jongdae’s breathing evens.
the clock blinks 00.42.
day twenty four, joonmyun’s brows knit as he thinks, fiercely, kim jongdae is special.
the next night, there is thunder. the first storm of the year.
"you want to go up to the roof?" jongdae asks. "i want to," he answers his own question, nose pressed against the cold glass of the window, breathtaken.
"the roof," joonmyun repeats, and his withering glare bores through jongdae's shoulders unnoticed. "you know what you're closer to, on the roof?"
they speak at the same time.
"lightning," jongdae sighs, lovingly.
"electrocution," joonmyun warns.
there is a pause.
jongdae turns around with a puzzled frown. "wait, what?"
joonmyun frowns back, and jongdae pouts.
kim jongdae, who probably graduated high school with some lame-ass title like Prettiest Smile of the Year, or Very Cute Kitten Human, has the audacity to pout. he has a very nice pout. joonmyun is fighting a losing battle.
"what i mean to say is--" he starts, struggling to recall his responsible and scientific reasons as to why they shouldn't go out on the roof in the middle of a raging storm with thunder and lightning and perhaps rain and sleet and hail or whatnot, but jongdae takes a step forward and joonmyun, on his bed, automatically leans a bit backward. no. he can't do this. jongdae whines a little. "hyung, please." and he pouts some more and joonmyun is no longer fighting a losing battle, he is waving a fucking white flag. goddammit.
"insulation," he waves a hand, vaguely. "we can only go out once we're dressed like eskimos. firefighters. astronauts." wait, did he say something wrong? why is jongdae frowning--
"you sure?" jongdae replies, and joonmyun is glad he trains his facial expressions so well that he looks like he's crying no matter what emotion he experiences. (joonmyun is currently experiencing relief.)
"insulation," he repeats, gruff, and finds himself in the elevator, ten minutes later, moving towards the top floor, clad in all the winter things he's ever owned. he looks like a bison's body with a small human head on top. at least, joonmyun notes, gloomy and not too comforted, jongdae doesn't fare much better. he vaguely resembles a baby seal's, head buried in a red scarf. all the gloom vanishes as joonmyun feels a momentary spark of triumph and possessiveness, because that's his scarf, yes, sir, kim jongdae is wearing kim joonmyun’s very own scarf to the very first storm of the year. then he stamps this spark out and glares at the floor.
the elevator keeps moving up.
"excited, excited," jongdae sing-songs quietly, wiggling a little. joonmyun laughs at him and wiggles, too.
22, the green numbers blink, and the doors slide open. they hear thunder boom again, overhead.
they argue pettily as they approach the railings, clouds dark and furious, mottled grey and purple. the air is icy. “no rain,” joonmyun says, aloud.
“well, thunder doesn’t need rain.” jongdae inches a little closer to him as they stand and stare, first at the streets below, then the sky above.
“yeah, i guess.” joonmyun thinks about inching closer to jongdae, too. “do you think it’ll rain, eventually?” he decides against moving closer, decides to look at the moon, instead. “i don’t.”
joonmyun remembers how his mother had told him stars were little windows of heaven, so the angels there could see through. there aren’t any stars, tonight. but there is -- joonmyun stops right there. he stops right there. he stops right there. he stops. right there.
there’s another bout of thunder, just a few seconds long.
jongdae opens his mouth in the following silence, and joonmyun can hear him swallow before replying. “it will. rain always comes, at the right moment.”
the air is icy, and joonmyun needs the rain. he needs to close his eyes, let something douse out the sleepy fire that’s wakening. “what about lightning?”
jongdae chuckles at that. “well. there was zeus.”
joonmyun doesn’t like zeus much; he prefers poseidon. “all zeus did,” he scoffs, ”was complicate everything with extramarital sex.”
jongdae’s chuckle turns into a snort and a laugh. “he always had his way, didn’t he, though?”
“so the lightning,” jongdae flings an arm out to the sky, enthusiastic. “the lightning will have its way.”
jongdae is so pretty that it hurts to look, and joonmyun knows this, knows that if he looks from the sky and the little tip of jongdae’s hand and down to his side, at jongdae, he won't be able to look away, and he doesn't want that, and he wants that, and he doesn't need to look to imagine -- to know -- how jongdae’s lashes are curling just the slightest bit at the ends, right now, dark against his slightly flushed cheeks, cheekbones sharp as ever, smile at its widest. joonmyun hears jongdae he takes deep breaths, knows his eyes are closed. he knows that when jongdae opens them, they will be shining bright, shining with something heavy, something painfully precious.
their breath comes out in milky puff as they stand and shiver. and joonmyun looks down, steps away, but jongdae holds his gloved fingers with his mittened hand. joonmyun keeps his gaze on the ground, until jongdae tilts his head up. 'hyung. look at me.'
and there is promise, there is promise in his voice and his hand and in the way he's shuffling closer, but joonmyun is so small and so unworthy, and isn't this why he's stepping away? why he wants nothing more than to bolt back and leave jongdae on the roof? but he doesn't want to leave jongdae on the roof. but he wants to run. "hyung," jongdae says, again, softer, and joonmyun takes a deep breath, looks up.
jongdae is smiling, and as lightning flashes overhead, he manages to looks so ethereal, even with the red scarf and the huge jacket. and joonmyun tries to focus on the red scarf and the huge jacket, tries not to think about how jongdae is standing in front of him, heart bleeding out stoutly from behind his eyes and his happy, happy cat-smile. heart bleeding out through jongdae's mittens and rushing up to meet joonmyun's cheek, where jongdae's resting his hand.
"hyung," is all jongdae says, keeps saying, and joonmyun tries to step away again, but jongdae tugs at his collar and stills him. "it's okay."
except it isn't. except jongdae deserves better. except jongdae's moles are like little, scattered stars over the universe that's packed inside his body -- and there are no angels to see, no angel but jongdae himself -- except jongdae's eyes have a special, outward crinkle that makes joonmyun's stomach drop, except that jongdae's voice is the headiest violin and joonmyun can only stand from a distance and stare, and stare, and listen. except joonmyun has no idea what he's doing here.
"it'll rain," jongdae says, and mittens fall down to hold joonmyun's elbows, keep him close. "i need it to."
joonmyun blinks quickly. "the lightning," he manages to mumble, irrelevantly.
"it'll have its way," jongdae whispers, going up on tiptoe, and joonmyun's heart is beating unbelievably fast, so fast, so so fast so--
the first few drops of rain patter unceremoniously onto their noses and wet their hair (why hadn't joonmyun thought of wearing hats? why is he so stupid why --) as jongdae kisses him. joonmyun stands still, eyes closed, desperately trying to think of how they need hats, or an umbrella, or something, but jongdae is kissing him and then jongdae falls back on the balls of his feet. he's chewing his bottom lip and he's stepping away now, and joonmyun doesn't understand why jongdae looks so downcast and disappointed, isn't this what jongdae wanted, hadn't he-- joonmyun's eyes widen and he rushes up to jongdae, clumsily bungling into his body space, hands coming up to hold jongdae's neck as he leans in and kisses back, uncertain but -- but -- but eager.
also, joonmyun muses, it probably has a lot to do with jongdae's smile, too. the one he shines every blasted day, first thing in the sunshine that joonmyun opens his eyes to, last thing he sees before he falls asleep at ass o clock in the morning.
(minseok doesn't call at those time anymore. chanyeol's apparently trying gentler ways now.)
1. this is unbeta'd and super rushed so i hope i haven't made any miserable mistakes!
2. bukchon hanok village is a traditional village in seoul! aka the place where kris memorably flirted w/ d.o on showtime. more info here.
3. when i'd started out on this exchange, i'd hoped to make my entry pretty and eloquent, inspired by ★ this ★ . obviously this fic didn't exactly work out that way, but ta-ku is still really nice to listen to!
a/n: thanks to ted and rina for cheering me on! <3