favorite crime; l.ty
Pairing: Lee Taeyong x reader
Themes: childhood best friends to lovers, college au, a pinch of greek mythology, heavy angst, SLOWBURN, bittersweet ending, fluff, humour, sexual innuendos, kissing, mutual pining, talk about love, references to songs and musicals
Warnings: heavy angst, swearing, underage alcohol consumption, food, sexual innuendos and sex jokes, one slightly spicy scene with heavy making out but nothing sexually explicit, PG 15
Playlist: here (please listen to it while you read!!!! each song is pretty important and i worked really hard on it ;-;)
Summary: Best friends do almost everything together, especially one’s like you and Taeyong and that means you get to experience many firsts together, teaching each other things, but if there’s one thing that is needed to be taught, it’s that best friends aren’t meant to be lovers. [part of my ‘disquietude’ collab!]
Taglist: @danishmiilk @channoticedmeuwu @chicksung @1-800-seo @blueprint-han @jenosslut @cupidluvstarrz @kkakkdugi @sweetlyjaem @leetaeyonglover @kunrengui @unknown5tar @kisshim @intokook @mrkcore @coco-riki @kiri-ah @imdamnconfused @adoreateez @rouiyan @sungchanscult @doievoir @donutswithjaminthemiddle @stillsmokingcigarettes @rouiyan @radiorenjun @rr0zu
Authors note: happy early birthday to my one true love!!! This fic has my entire heart and soul and with posting this I can say that it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. A few elements that I’ve added into this fic are a little personal, so i have an attachment to it. It’s also the longest thing I’ve ever written (and probably will ever write) and I’m very proud of it. I mean this in the nicest way possible, but I hope you cry reading it and most of all I hope you enjoy it, because I loved writing it!! As always, feedback would be appreciated<33
i] roses are red, violets are blue, i’m clumsy as fuck and lucky to have you
You didn’t understand your best friend at all, even though you’ve known him since you were four. You’ve seen him cry over other kids blowing out the candles on his birthday cake, you’ve seen him fall flat on his face while attempting to play soccer (he’s much better at it now). The time he was certain he could fly and attempted jumping out of his window, only to clamber back up on the room tiles and into the safety of his room. That was the day he discovered he had a fear of heights, so flying was out of the question. His new favorite super power was invisibility.
You’ve seen him grow up with you, and turn into the attractive young man he was today from the cute little ten year old he used to be. You watched his childish features morph into clear cut ones (quite literally. God knows what happened to his cute little baby jawline, but it was gone for good.)
He had drawn on your cast when you had broken your hand, and had made sure to pay attention in class just so his notes were reliable enough for you, since you couldn’t exactly write.
He was still the same boy, however, he had just grown out of his awkward lanky phase, when he didn’t quite know what to do with his hands and would hence stuff it into the pockets of his black jeans. Always black, he claimed it was cooler and in the words of his fourteen year old self: much edgier.
The emo phase didn’t last that long either, though sometimes you wondered if he was in a perpetually emo state. It felt like that sometimes.
Now almost sixteen years later from when you first met, both of you twenty, you still didn’t get him, at all. He was attractive, he had good grades, he was pretty much the heartthrob at campus and yet, this idiot was the clumsiest guy you’ve ever met.
Case in point being the broken vase lying on the ground. Broken was generous, it was shattered, there was absolutely no saving it. The flowers lay strewn about sadly on the floor, as if imploring you to take them and give them a better home at your apartment. A few of the petals were dead, which was the result of him neglecting them.
Taeyong shot you a sheepish grin that melted into a grimace of sorts as he scratched the back of his neck awkwardly. You pinched the bridge of your nose, shutting your eyes and counting to ten.
“I swear to god,” you muttered dryly, “How the fuck did you even manage for drop this? It was sitting in the middle of the table!”
You take a step back, glad that you hadn’t taken off your shoes and gestured to him to get a broom and dustpan to clean up the mess he made. You go for a minute to the washroom and this is what happens.
He scrambled to do so, and you sighed, wondering if the girls who crushed on him would somehow fawn over this. They’d probably think Taeyong’s clumsiness was endearing, cute. It wasn’t, just plain annoying at this point.
You got to your knees, careful so that you didn’t place them on any glass and picked up the flowers in the hopes of salvaging them. They were roses, and for some reason, the thorns were still attached. Now you had to worry about the glass and the thorns, Jesus Christ.
Taeyong returned with the desired items, crouching down to help you, collecting the glass. You placed the half dead flowers on the side table near you and helped him sweep up the smaller pieces of glass. Glancing up at your best friend, you saw him staring intently at his task at hand, tongue peeking out of his mouth in concentration.
You bit back a smile, finished cleaning up and threw the glass away, you got a mug from his kitchen, filling it with water and attempting to save the flowers. You didn’t have much hope for them, but hey, might as well give them their best chance (which was something Taeyong definitely didn’t do. He probably didn’t even change the water).
He stood beside you, watching with those big doe eyes of his. In all your time knowing him you would never understand how those eyes managed to go from their usual boba shape that drew everyone in, to the intense gaze you knew he could give. You had seen it occasionally, at parties, and that one time a creep didn’t take the hint and he stepped in to help you.
“So where do we keep the flowers?”
“The window next to your bed in your room,” you said, “And don’t forget to water them, or they’ll die. Again.”
“Again?” He protested, “They’re perfectly fine as they are right now, see!”
The bruised looking, dropping petal is enough answer for you. Shaking your head, you handed the mug to him, and he took it from you, fingers brushing against yours as he did so. You followed him as he walked to his bedroom, placing it near the window before frowning, “Nope, it can’t go there.”
“I’ll knock it over when I climb out,” he explained, pointing out of the window where the roof tiles lie, steeping downwards until they met the edge of the other roof, which led up to another window; yours.
The two of your buildings happened to be impossibly close, and ironically enough your apartments were just opposite each other, which led to several late night chats sitting out there on the tiles of the roof, under the stars of the night.
The world decided to push the two of you together, as it always had. You were best friends after all.
You nodded, knowing your little talks at night weren’t a rare thing, and he would most definitely knock over the mug, dooming the poor flowers to a fate worse than the one it had already endured. “Take them off the window sill and then keep them back when you’re done,” was your solution.
He groaned, but didn’t argue, though you knew exactly what was going through his mind. He was silently complaining about the effort he’d have to put in for the stupid flowers. You could tell this by just looking at the knit of his eyebrows, the way his tongue poked through his cheek.
You noticed a lot of things about Taeyong, like the back of your hand. You could read him with your eyes closed, you knew his tells for when he was lying, you knew when he was tired or when he wasn’t taking care of himself.
It was almost laughable, the way you knew him better than you knew yourself. You wondered if it was the same for him, because you had several questions you knew you’d never ask.
You didn’t know why he made you feel this way.
Taeyong hated taking care of things that weren't important, simply because it was a hassle, it was unnecessary and he was one lazy guy in his twenties.
He wasn’t lazy in the way you’d expect, he always woke up on time everyday for his dance class, then he’d work hard on his assignments and projects and pass his exams with flying colours. He was never late, he was dependable.
But it was the mundane tasks, like remembering to wash his dishes, or perhaps (a totally random, not at all carefully chosen example) watering those goddamn roses that sat on his window sill.
But then again, he had promised you he would, even if it hadn’t been spoken out. He had agreed the moment you told him too, but it was boring, and he could be doing so much more with his time.
But he also knew that you wouldn’t hesitate to hold him over the second death of the flowers if he managed to kill them once again, and so he found himself throwing out the old water from a week back maybe? He honestly forgot about the damn thing, but hey! At least he was doing it now right? Better late than never, right?
He’d feed himself lies to console his conscience until the mug of flowers were back on the sill.
He remembered the time when the two of you were fifteen, and he had hurt himself, waking up in the hospital a few hours later with a scar next to his right eye. He hadn’t liked it at all, it was like a reminder of the incident, but you told him you liked it, once it was all healed. You had told him it looked like a rose to you.
And as he stared at the roses sitting in front of him at that moment, he didn’t really see the similarity, but he sure as hell liked the comparison.
You pushed the cart, walking into the cereal aisle and scanning over the cereals.
Cereal picking was serious business, considering whatever you bought was what you loved off for approximately the next two weeks of your life. Honey Nut Cheerios was the responsible and healthy (sort of) option, a solid six point five, but you had eaten it everyday in middle school, and thus you decided to forgo it this time.
Taeyong walked right past you, until he spotted his one true love and took it off the shelves, placing it in the cart with a triumphant smile, “Frosted Flakes,” he declared, “The only cereal ever.”
“The hundreds of cereals right next to you seem to defy that point.”
Ever since Johnny had introduced him to frosted flakes one fateful evening, it had turned into your best friend's favorite one. Really, they were just glorified cornflakes dusted with sugar.
You spotted your own favorite; Cinnamon Toast Crush, and placed it next to the Frosted flakes. Obviously, your choice was the superior one, because it had a taste other than corn sugar. It was the perfect blend of spicy and sweet.
“Try something else will you?” Taeyong implored, “What about Apple Jacks?”
“They’re just orange Froot Loops,” you said, crossing the option off, “I watched the entire twenty one minute food theory episode on it.”
“.....Which Segues into my next option! Froot Loops!”
You shake your head at him, to which he responds with a grin, placing the box of obnoxiously coloured cereal in the cart, “But it’s good, you trust a man in his thirties on the internet over me?”
Taeyong pouted exaggeratedly, true to his overly dramatic nature. Placing a hand over where his heart would be, he gasped in mock offense when you nodded firmly with a shit eating grin and staggered backwards, sulking. You would never admit it, but his idiotic nature was amusing, he could never fail to make you smile.
“Matpat has used science to prove it,” you said, stressing on the word ‘science’, but let the box stay in the cart. There was no way in hell you were going to let him bad mouth Matpat and his three channels.
There wasn’t a reason for Taeyong to be with you at the moment, but you wrote it off as your best friend contract (an actual piece of paper the two of you made when you were ten. He had convinced you that it had to be eaten as soon as it was made, but stopped you just before you took a bite out of the paper). And because the idiot wanted his precious frosted flakes.
You rolled the cart out of the aisle and into one that held the other food that you lived on: Cup noodles. It was easy and fast and never failed you, even if it wasn’t the healthiest option. It was better than burning your kitchen down. Not that that had ever happened, not yet at least.
Hey, at least you weren’t as bad as Taeyong, he lived on instant noodles, and them only. He was the type of guy you’d see standing in the produce section, staring at his phone for a good five minutes, then he’d make a face and walk away with a cart full of ramen.
The two of you combined was absolute hell, and after one time attempting to cook together, you both agreed to never speak of it ever again, an unwritten rule in your long forgotten best friend contract.
Granted, you were twelve, but that didn’t matter. It was a traumatic experience you would never be able to get over. Other best friends could be all cute and cook together, to hell with that, you valued your life and the money you had put into attending college too much to throw it all away by trying to make cookies.
You could just buy them instead, saving time and lives.
“Shin Ramyun,” he muttered softly to himself, searching for it as you mindlessly placed your cup noodles into the cart. “Cuppa is easier, you know?” There was no way you could live two minutes without some sort of discourse with him, it seemed.
Taeyong argued, “But you get more in an instant noodle pack.”
“Noodle? What is it all one big noodle Lady and the Tramp style?” you teased, shaking your head at him, “but with that you have to get a utensil out and then transfer it into a bowl and then wash two things, with cup noodles I have to do none of that.”
“Tastier my ass,” you muttered. With all you needed (cereal and noodles) in your cart, the two of you paid and walked out to Taeyongs car and kept the bags in the backseat while you took the shotgun. He turned the keys in ignition, turning to you, watching as your eyes were trained on some meme, turning up at the sides as you smiled briefly.
He ran his tongue over the inside of his teeth, not liking the way he had to fight a smile at the scene. You were too at ease at the moment, he just had to get you riled up.
“You get more soup with the instant noodles.”
“Oh yeah? Well-”
ii] bacon my precious
You groaned, slamming your head into the book and pressed the cover so that it entrapped you. Part of you were hoping by this, you would absorb the words on its pages that refused to stick in your head long enough. Minoring in english was the wrong move, seeing all the readings you had to complete for class.
Not to mention the fact you had to take notes over this later. Thinking about going through the bland, terrible story was enough to give you a headache. The story had no substance, it didn’t leave an impact on you at all, making your job even harder.
The worst part (oh yes there was more) was that it had nothing to do with midterms coming up, absolutely nothing! It was an extra mandatory reading that would never benefit you further in life. You had to do it anyway, and then study more for your exams.
The education system was fucked up, to say the least.
You breathed in the smell of the paper, not that it had that magical new book smell, but rather the old ‘I’ve been opened and closed so many times it’s sad’ type of scent that made you resent it even more. Lifting your head out of its confines, you slammed it shut and placed it on the wooden table and looked at your phone, which displayed the time.
You had about an hour before your next classroom and it was one twenty-four in the afternoon. Deciding to get lunch, you gathered your things, walking to the on-campus cafe. It wasn’t the fanciest by any means, but they made a mean BLT sandwich, something you were craving at the moment.
Walking into the place, you snatched a lone table by the window in the corner, keeping your stuff there and going to get the infamous sandwich, returning a few moments later. Opening up the damned book again, you took a bite out of it, savoring the crispy bacon pieces. There was a method to getting a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich perfect, and it all lied in the crispness of the bacon.
Not that you knew anything about it, you lived off Cinnamon Toast Crush and Cup noodles.
Reading the same line you had been for the past fifteen minutes (the first line of the third paragraph on the page 13) trying to drill it in your brain. It had seemingly decided to stop processing english, which was unfortunate since it was the only language you properly knew.
You hear the bottom of a chair scrape against the tiled floor, and look up to see Taeyong pulling out a chair from an empty table nearby, placing it opposite you and sitting down.
“Oh thank god,” you said, in relief from having an excuse to not read the book anymore, tossing it somewhere at the bottom of your bag, “That has to be the world's worst book.”
“Nah that was that book you wrote in fifth grade and made me read it.”
“I was ten, holy shit.”
He gave you a grin, which only irked you further, “Look at you now, though, journalism major.” All he did was smirk in response to your glare directed in his direction. “And an english minor too, fifth grade you was woke”
“I’ll throw my bacon on you.”
“You love your bacon, you wouldn’t dare sacrifice it and waste it over someone like me,” he stuck his tongue out at you like a kid, and for a moment, you wondered if he was still ten years old.
Instead you nod, “You’re right, you’re not worth it.”
He rolled his eyes, folding his arms on the table and leaning into it, resting his chin on his arms. Some of his hair fell over his eyes as he looked up at you with a scoff, “I’ll have you know I was asked out today.”
“Oh? Who was it?”
“Karina,” he said, clicking his tongue, “Freshman, extravagant purple hair?”
“OH!” You exclaimed, finally identifying the girl he was talking about. You had seen her around, she was pretty, and had doll like features. You sometimes thought that if someone was too harsh with her, she’d break on the spot. “And?”
“I turned her down.”
You made a sound of triumph, “Aha, Ryunjin owes me ten bucks.”
Taeyong narrowed his eyes at you, shaking the hair out of his face, “You bet on her asking me out?”
“Nah, we bet you’d turn down the next girl who asks you out, she said you wouldn’t, something about you being tired of being single, but I know you better,” you said simply, the smile on your lips was infectious. Taeyong rolled his eyes, but prompted you to continue. “You always turn them down.”
He hummed, taking the piece of lettuce that had fallen out of your sandwich and onto the plate, biting off the end, “Unless I ask them out.” He wasn’t sure why he pointed that out, but it felt like he had to.
Out of the corner of your eye, you saw one of your bacon pieces that had fallen out of your sandwich slide away, and you glanced up, seeing Taeyong holding it, looking like a deer in headlights.
“Thought you weren’t worthy enough for my bacon?”
“Yeah but I get it anyway,” and down went your precious bacon. You raised an eyebrow, amused by his statement, “Oh? And why is that?”
“Because you love me.”
And indeed, you did love this idiot.
Of course, you loved him, who didn’t? He was the campus heartthrob, he caught eyes by doing the bare minimum. No seriously, the guy could breathe and some girl would be crying over it. And you were his best friend, someone he had had since he was a little kid.
Except you didn’t just love him in the best friend way you were supposed to. Your love was a little more….personal.
And it really wasn’t hard to love Taeyong, because he was one of the sweetest guys you knew, but neither was he a doormat. He was just as quick as you were, never missing a beat when it came to your banter, but he never insulted you. He respected you and saw you as an equal, he trusted you as you trusted him.
He was your constant, something that never changed. He was your umbrella in the rain, your shade in the summer and your coat in the autumn. In the spring, he happened to be your flowers, blooming around with colour, filling in the blank spots in your life.
Granted, it was a little stifling at times, but you had come to accept your role as the best friend. It wasn’t a hard one to play, since you had been playing it since you were four, you knew what to do before you knew what to call it. You knew the controls and the ropes of playing it, it was like second nature for you.
You treasured your friendship, it didn't matter if you had to live with loving him quietly, that was fine. As long as you had him one way or the other.
“Earth to Y/n? Hello??” You snapped out of your thoughts, blinking several times and focusing on the hand that was waving in front of you. That hand belonged to your friend, Ryunjin, who looked bewildered, “Sorry we lost you there for a moment.”
“Oh,” you said, “Right sorry,” shaking your head, you looked around at your little friend group. Yeji was a senior, just a year older than you and Ryunjin, and the one you were the closest to. The last addition to the three of you was Yeri.
Yeri was the most adventurous (read:unruly) of the four of you, and extremely blunt. She narrowed her eyes at you, “What's with the spacing out?”
You shrugged, stretching your arms above your head and leaning against the back of the chair. “Just thinking about class, we’re getting our assigned topics today for the article.”
Ryunjin blinked, eyes widening in shock and mild horror as she nodded along, “Fuck I forgot that was today.” Her grumbling made you crack a smile. Yeji yawned, “Well, I have my own project to work on so,” she bid you farewell, getting to her feet and collecting her things, walking away.
She was to graduate this year, and you would miss her a lot, considering she was practically your older sister. And because sometimes she occasionally brought you lunch, something the other two refused to do no matter what.
And because she was moving away, out of your college town and out of state. Of course, you would try your best to maintain your friendship, but not seeing someone everyday like you used to impacts a relationship.
Then again, the four of you had your group chat.
You on the other hand still had a whole year to graduate, being a junior.
“Ah yeah we should get going as well,” Ryunjin said, getting up, and shooting you a pointed look. Glancing at your phone screen, you had about five minutes till your lecture, so it was a good idea to make a move.
Just a year more.
iii] back pain and writers block [name a more iconic duo, i’ll wait]
You looked at the empty document, glaring at it so viciously one might have thought it had hurt you in some way. You stuffed a spoonful of froot loops into your mouth, biting down on the sugary taste and savoring it. It had its own charm, you supposed. You happened to actually like the cereal, but there was no way in hell you’d ever admit it, at least, not to Taeyong.
You let the spoon fall back into the milk with a soft clink, placing the bowl down and sighing, rubbing your eyes tiredly. It was around one in the morning, and you were sitting at your desk, mentalling cursing yourself for taking up journalism.
You loved it, you did, writing was your passion ever since you were ten years old. You would write short stories and compete in competitions your middle school held, not to mention the stories you wrote on Wattpad when you were twelve, but you don’t talk about that. (Thank fuck Taeyong didn’t know about that, you;d never hear the end of it.)
You knew when you were fifteen you wanted to be a journalist, you wanted to give the facts while using your talent. Taeyong had his dancing and singing, the latter of which he didn’t do as much, and you had your writing.
But right now, stuck in the precipice of the mightiest writers block you had ever faced, you regretted nothing more. At least the other times you faced this, you knew what to do, just couldn’t do it. Here, you were at a total loss for words itself (in the words of Mark Lee; you couldn’t english at the moment.)
The article you had to write was worth a whopping fifty percent of your grade, and the topic was ridiculous, idiotic, stupid and you couldn’t crack it for the life of you. What does love mean to you? How did it feel? What is it?
Well, not verbatim, but that was the gist of it, and hell if you knew how to navigate the topic. You had spent a good two hours trying to research the topic, and still hadn’t the slightest clue.
And so you resumed your little staring contest with your laptop screen, though it had already won as a result of you blinking several times in your annoyance. The black google doc stared back at you, and at this point you were sure it was mocking you.
Scowling at it, you picked up your bowl of soggy Froot Loops, taking a vengeful mouthful and frowning. It was just a mess of lumps of faded colour and saturated sugar milk, it all tasted like cardboard now. So much for liking it.
And suddenly you were acutely aware of the fact that your eyes were burning, they hurt and were probably red from all the rubbing and staring. Everytime you shut them, it would feel better, until you opened them once more and that stinging sensation was back. Speaking of backs, yours currently hurt.
It was then you realized you were slouched in your seat, over the sorry bowl of cereal.
You hated writing at the moment, what was even the point? You wanted to become a journalist to spit out the facts, to tell the truth while utilizing your talent to help the world, not to write a romance novel for god's sake. What was love to you? Having enough money to pay for college without having to break your already hurting back with student debt. What did it feel like? A perfectly fine back.
You felt tired, as if the exhaustion of the day was finally crashing onto you, telling you to go to bed, to eat something other than cereal, to finally give up and write an article about how you don’t, in fact, know what love is, and that you were going to end up as a fifty year old cat lady with hot pink curtains.
A promising future in store for you.
Cursing wildly in a random fit of anger, you slammed your laptop shut, pushing the bowl away from you. Burying your head in your hands, you sighed, the burst of adrenaline that your body had provided you with to spew the infamous f-word wearing off as quickly as it had creeped up upon you. You were tired, you finally accepted the fact.
Your little pity session was interrupted by a knock on your window, so soft you almost didn’t hear it. In all honesty, you wouldn’t have, but you knew the knock well, you had been in this position several times and so you got out of your chair, gravitating to your bed and climbing over, pulling the curtains open.
You were met with Taeyong staring back at you, his doe eyes meeting yours. Your breath hitched for a moment, because it felt like the glass wasn’t there, and he was actually that close. You were then grateful for the glass that muted the sound of your breath catching in your throat for him.
And then the moment dissipated as he narrowed his eyes at you, knocking rapidly on the door as a sign for you to open it. Blinking out of your thoughts, you nodded, unlatching the locks and pushing the window doors open. Unfortunately, Taeyong was caught off guard, hit smack dab on the forehead.
He fell onto his backside, glaring at you as he rubbed his forehead, “Jesus Chirst woman, are you trying to kill me?”
You caught the swinging window in time, shooting him an apologetic look, “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to-and beside, why the fuck would I kill you on our rooftops?”
“This is literally the starting to every horror movie, I swear bitch if you kill me I will haunt your stupid cuppa noodles forever.” He threatened, pushing himself back into a normal position. You gasped, climbing out of the window and onto the roofs, opposite him.
“Not my noodles you savage,” you said dramatically, sitting crisscrossed, “And besides, I think murdering you here would be too obvious, right outside my window and all,” you pondered aloud, looking so serious, Taeyong was alarmed for a moment. “They’d trace it back to me immediately, I’d rather kill you in an abandoned field or something.”
“I regret this already.”
You laughed, “So, what’s up?”
He gave you a pointed look, “Shouldn’t I be asking that to you? The only way I could make out you were awake was the light shining through your curtains from your laptop, and you’re sitting in the dark.”
His eyes furrowed in what you could only call motherly concern as he folded his legs over each other, “Why are you awake?”
“You’re awake too, you know,” you defended, that tiredness you felt from earlier coming back to you.
“I was playing Overwatch, you’re doing this on purpose because of some class,” he said plainly. Damnit, this boy knew you too well. There was no point in denying it, and so you sighed, looking up at the dark sky.
“Writer's block,” you confessed finally after a few minutes, “I physically can’t write, and this article is pretty important.”
He hummed an idle tune, acknowledging your statement, but not saying anything. He knew how you got when you had writer's block, and there wasn’t much he could do anyways, instead he just nodded along. “You’ll get it”
Taeyong said this so confidently, you were a tad surprised. “You always get it in the end,” he said simply, the conviction in his voice almost making you believe it yourself.
You wished you had his faith he had in you.
iv] crush culture makes me wanna spill my guts out
You were seventeen when you first knew you had fallen for Taeyong. An inkling of what was a crush, so small it didn’t even matter, but it was the start.
Seventeen, three years ago, the middle of midterms, and you were a mess. It was when you started pulling full on all nighters, just so you could cram as much information until the last minute.
And it was worth it, you made it through finals week knowing you did well. You would discover that you passed with flying colours the next week.
You had to make it past the weekend, which would be full of nervous anticipation, which you were determined to forgo. There was a party that evening, on Friday, the day of your last paper, to kick off the summer break with a bang and unwind after the stressful week.
However you ended up not going, not because you weren’t keen on having to navigate sweaty bodies and deal with underage drunk kids much like yourself, nor was it because you were hopelessly lightweight, but because the stress and toll of pulling so many all nighters, you had fallen sick.
So you spent your Friday in your bed, surrounded by boxes of kleenex and with a fever.
Sniffling for what must have been the tenth time in the span of half an hour, you were dejected and lonely. You were supposed to be having fun, not moping about in a pool of self pity and germs.
You reached out for one of the kleenex boxes, raising the tissue to your nose and blowing rather violently, so much so that your nose hurt more than it already did. Just as you were about to reach over for another, the door of your room burst open, with Taeyong standing there, holding a brown paper bag.
He was definitely dressed up, a button up black shirt that had a few buttons open at the top, and skinny jeans. His hair was in its usual messy state, except this looked more accidental than usual. He walked in as if he owned the place, placing the bag on your bedside table and frowning at you.
“You look like death.”
“I’ll inflict it on you if you don’t shut up,” you said, not missing a beat. Not even a fever could come in between your banter. He smirked, reaching a hand out and ruffling your already messed up hair, “What happened?”
“I’m sick”, you deadpanned, rolling your eyes, looking at the bag. “Holy shit, did you get-”
“I love you”, you said, forgetting about your kleenex and leaning over to grab it, but he took it before you could. “Slow down Rudolph Reject,” he said, taking a jab at your red nose, pulling out your chair from your desk and sitting next to your bed. Carefully taking out the boxes, he placed it back on your table, opening it for you.
“I’m not paralized,” you said, albeit touched by his thoughtfulness. He rolled his eyes, opening the dumplings for you, “Don’t worry, I’m not feeding you or anything, just opening shit up.”
He held it out and you took one, popping it into your mouth. It was greasier than you expected it to be, and you studied the logo on the bag, before sighing in disappointment, “It’s The Green Chilli.”
“It was the closest okay?”
“Wok and Roll would have been ten times better.”
He glared at you, “I go and get you food, ditching a party and this is how you thank you? Jeez, kids these days, so ungrateful-”
You laughed, shaking your head, “Slow your roll grandpa, if it means so much to you, thank you.” He looked slightly pacified at this, taking a dumpling for himself. You watched him for a moment before the realization hit you. You narrowed your eyes.
“Why aren’t you at the party?”
He gave you an unimpressed look, “Because when I came over to pick you up your mom told me you were sick, so I went to Green Chilli to get you food.” He shrugged as if this wasn’t a big deal, and hey, maybe it wasn’t. Maybe your fever was making you delusional, but you were touched by the fact.
Then you realized you would do the same for him, he was far more important than a stupid party to you. But the thing was, he chose to spend his evening with you, even though he couldn’t get sick himself. He chose you over them, and hell, you would choose Taeyong again and again and-
“Hey, you good? Feeling light headed or something?” His voice cut you out of your reverie, looking concerned. “You spaced out.”
Blinking, you shook your head, lowering it and looking at your hands, feeling heat rush to your face. It was a new sensation, you thought it was ridiculous at the time. To suddenly think of someone that way, especially when that someone called you a Rudolph reject not even five minutes ago.
Shaking it off, you took another dumpling, and continued paying attention to the conversation, which was mostly carried by Taeyong considering your sick state.
Three years ago Taeyong touched your heart, and whirred it to life with his simple gesture. You fell in love with your best friend three years ago, when he chose you over everyone else.
“Do you mind answering a question?” You asked Yeji out of the blue, glancing up from your laptop. She looked up from her phone, nodding slowly, “Sure what's up?”
The two of you were studying together, not that your majors were anything similar, her’s being dance, but she was an english minor just like you, and could help you in assignments she had already done previously when she was a junior. Currently she was taking a break while you racked your brains for a way to start the article.
“Well you know how I haven’t dated around much, right?” You asked. She grinned, shooting you a smirk, “Of course, you’re too busy being Taeyong’s best friend, hmm?” There was a teasing lilt to her voice, and you made a point to ignore that statement, focusing on her affirmation.
“Well, you’re in a relationship aren’t you?” Your question confused her as she narrowed her cat like eyes, but nodded nevertheless. “Yeah, what about it?”
“Well, my article is supposed to be about love.” You clicked your tongue, turning the laptop around so she could see your screen, which held the same blank document, “And I don’t know where to start.”
She raised an eyebrow at you, “And I do?”
“Well, I was hoping I could ask you your perception of it- what do you feel when you’re with Jake?” At the mention of her boyfriend, her lips curled upwards at the sides. She shifted in her seat, “It’s great, we just click you know? But then again-”
You were already typing the first few words. Yeji sighed, walking over and grabbing your wrist. “That’s just one example Y/n, you’re not planning on writing an entire article about it, are you?”
“With enough synonyms and careful repetition, it can be done.” You said confidently. Yeji pinched the bridge of her nose, sitting next to you on the sofa. “That's not enough, definitely not for a project of this caliber.” Her tone was disapproving, like a mother trying to correct her child.
You were confused, cocking your head to the side for her to continue. Clearing her throat, she continued to explain her point. “Well, I mean, love can be anything right? It’s not just one type. What I feel might not be the same for you.”
Nodding slowly, you looked back at your document, before slumping and letting out a frustrated sound. “Back at square one.”
“Take your own example, it’s supposed to be your interpretation of it, right?” Yeji alluded, “Take Taeyong as an example.”
“He doesn’t love me?” It ended like a question, but you were very sure of the fact, so much so that it didn’t really hurt much anymore. “But you love him?”
The question made heat rush to your face, as you dropped your gaze from your friend to the screen, staring at its emptiness. She sighed, getting up and collecting her things, “You can’t run on my experiences or advice, Y/n, you have to find your own.”
She left you alone, with your mind working overtime at the thought.
v] im blue da ba dee da ba da aye
The next time you saw Taeyong, he had blue streaks in his hair.
His hands were stuffed in the pockets on his jeans as he leaned against your door frame. Another thing you noticed was that he was wearing earrings, and while it suited him (you honestly thought it was pretty hot) it was a surprise, which rendered you standing there as you stared, taking it in.
“Your hair!” you blurted out stupidly, blinking at him. He looked at you in surprise, before grinning almost sheepishly, ruffling the hair at the back of his head. “Yeah, I dyed it, like what you see?”
He wiggled his eyebrows at you suggestively, which would normally make you laugh, but you just continued gaping at him like an idiot, “It’s different.”
“Like a good difference…?” Taeyong trailed off nervously in question. You nodded stiffly and smiled, “Yeah, a good difference.”
He let out a breath of relief he didn’t even know he was holding in. Your opinion mattered to him, you were someone he had known since he was a kid. He initially went and got highlights because he wanted a bit of a change. Granted it was definitely impulsive, but the fact that you approved made him feel better about the decision.
“Okay then, let’s go?”
You nodded, falling into step with him. The two of you walked out into the streets, and to his car, getting in and pulling out the usb cord to choose the music straight away. Taeyong had gotten his car when he was seventeen, and it was his baby. Sometimes you joked that he loved it more than he loved you.
The two of you were going for ice cream, since the day decided to be a blisteringly hot one, and the only solution for this was to go get ice cream. Specifically the ice cream shop just a little off town.
Tommy’s Ice cream, you would swear by the place. The ice cream there was the perfect cross between creamy, but not so much that you’re basically tasting whipped cream. And the best part? You could add whatever toppings you wanted without anyone judging you, and they had Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
You weren’t a hard girl to please.
Taeyong pulled up, parking the car and opening his door, “You want the usual right?”
“-Cinnamon Toast crush, yeah I know,” he rolled his eyes with a smile, closing the door and walking up to get your ice cream. You watched him until he disappeared behind the glass doors. There was absolutely nothing you could’ve done to stop the smile that was creeping up onto your face.
And a part of you was angry at yourself, you hated the way Taeyong managed to set your stomach alight with butterflies by doing the simplest of things. After knowing him for so long there was absolutely no reason for this to happen. You had seen him cry, you had seen him when he was sick, when he was throwing up (though you’d rather erase that memory).
Another part was perfectly happy with this, something about being in love with him was very comforting to you. It was easy, you knew what you were doing. You wouldn’t mess up.
But then as it was comforting, it was also terrifying. There was the possibility of messing up even if you thought you wouldn’t. Oh it was a confusing ride.
He returned and you opened the car door from the inside for him so he wouldn’t drop the precious ice creams. Sitting in his seat, he handed you your cup of ice cream, before focusing back on his own.
Pulling your knees to your chest, you took a spoonful of the ice cream, sucking the spoon because you weren’t a savage and refused to bite it. Taeyong watched you try and get a piece of cereal exactly on top of the ice cream. Tongue sticking out of your mouth in an endearing way as you did so.
He took a spoonful of his own ice cream, smiling softly at you. Some random song you had chosen played in the background. He knew your favorite flavour, the exact amount of toppings you liked.
In fact, he knew everything about you. Your favorite colour, the way you set up your desk all organized at the start only for it to become a mess by the end of whatever you were doing.
And honestly, the situation the two of you were in was walking a very fine line. Two of you, sitting in his car while he let you choose the music, and he paid for the ice cream. Alone, just the two of you. Of course, he had done this with you many times before.
Sure it could be best friends hanging out together, he told himself that it was this. He said this to block out the reality of it all, because was this not just the definition of a date? Wasn’t it the bare bones of a cute date?
Taeyong shook the thought away. He never took up dates, unless he asked them out first. He didn’t think that sending a short text that consisted of no punctuation whatsoever made the cut for a proper ask out for a date.
However when he looked at you, who was fiddling with the aux cord, he didn’t find himself opposed to the idea.
You needed to find your best friend.
You had been searching all over for him, he wasn’t even at the dance studio? And you always checked that place as a last resort, since it was on the opposite end of campus. By the time you reached there you had a six pack and biceps that could kill.
Except he wasn’t there.
Whining, you leaned against the wall tiredly, breathing in heavily, You were the writer, the imaginative person of your duo, not the athletic one. All your hard work hadn’t paid off and you wished you had just walked back home instead of waiting for him. Why did you even wait? You would’ve been back in the safety of your house half an hour ago if you hadn’t.
Oh right, he was the guy who lived just next to you, and the one with a car.
And yes, you had a car, your dad's old Prius, but you had a deadly fear of accidently running into someone and commiting murder before you graduated. That fear contributed to your not so graceful driving skills.
Huffing and puffing, you straightened out, gripping your bag and sighing, walking out of the building and past the gardens which led to the exit. When you reached home, you were going to have an enormously unhealthy bowl of Froot Loops with cold milk.
Walking to the gate, you pulled out your phone, deciding to call him, which you really should have done in the first place. Would’ve saved you the trip to the studio, but you hadn’t thought of it. Now you were just a tad worried for him, because he was always there waiting for you.
He didn’t get the chance to pick up, because you spotted him a little away, talking to someone. Clicking off the call, you decided to walk over, ready to confront him. Did he just forget you today?
And you would have gone through with it, except you stopped in your tracks.
Taeyong was speaking to someone, a lazy smile on his face as he did so. You recognized her as Seulgi, another dance major, one of Yeri’s other friends.
Had he been talking to her all this time?
Not that you were jealous or anything, but speaking realistically, he should have been with you! She was just a friend to him, while you were his best friend. You had waited for him, even walked to that damn dance studio, only for him to be completely unbothered, almost as if he had forgotten you existed.
As ridiculous as it was, you kind of wanted to be Seulgi at that moment.
This had happened before, several times actually, where Taeyong would somewhat forget about you, or be talking to another girl. Those moments didn’t last very long, but it affected you more than you liked to admit. Those moments made you not want to be just the best friend, which contrasted your comfort of staying where you were.
The blue highlights in his hair glimmered silver as the sunlight hit it. You didn’t like how gorgeous he looked in the moment, lips upturned in a small smile, eyes trained on her. You were fine with being just his best friend, you were fine with it. You liked the constant.
You made your way back home yourself, a sort of fear starting to creep in, which was extremely uncalled for. You didn’t like change, you didn’t, but that grain that had rooted in you, that said you wanted more, defied it. The smallest things were different, your wants, his hair.
Things were starting to change.
You cursed loudly, hopping about the place like a mad woman on one foot. Pain shot up your left leg as you hissed an assortment of curse words at it.
This was your fault of course, you had quite literally caused your own pain. You had, very gracefully might I add, dropped a very heavy book on your foot and was now jumping around in pain while you tried to feng shui the fuck out of your room.
Of course this happened to you, with your shitty luck.
And in your pain, you don’t see Taeyong crawl into your room, one that you’re actively trying to escape at the moment, through your open window. He climbs through, panic in his eyes until they fall upon you, who’s holding her foot with a pained expression on her face.
“What the fuck- are you okay?”
He stared at you, bewildered at your current state.
“It takes literally no brain cells to figure out that I AM NOT!” Your voice gets louder with every word, and you give up trying to get out, collapsing on your bed and muttering a slew of ‘ows’.
“Geez okay,” he said, sitting next to you, “What happened?”
“I dropped a book on my foot,” your face heated up as you realized how idiotic that sounded, but pointed to the damn thing that laid of the floor anyways. It was a hardcover, for god's sake.
“Oh my god you fucking dumbass,” he snorted, pressing his lips together to stop himself from laughing. You glared at him, “I would throw it at you if I could walk.”
“Thanks Y/n, always making me feel safe.”
He got to his feet, “Wait I’ll get ice.”
Walking out, he opened your freezer, he took out the ice pack, eyeing the ice cream that sat there and promising himself he would bully you into letting him have it later, before returning and crouching down.
“Where does it hurt?”
You thrusted your sock clad foot out in his direction, before wincing in pain. He clicked his tongue, pushing your foot gently away from his face, “Yeah no shit Sherlock I mean what part?”
You leaned forward, palming the top of your foot lightly and he nods, coming closer. You moved your face away, suddenly aware of the proximity. You wondered why he was doing this, when you could easily do it yourself. Well, the icing you could, not the going to the kitchen and getting it.
“It’s been like, two minutes- Ow!” He scowled at your ungratefulness, pressing the ice pack into the injured area. You yelped in pain, retracting your leg and pulling your knee up to your chest.
“You’re supposed to take care of me, not injure me further??” You whine, pouting in indignance at him.
Huffing, you roll your eyes, taking the ice pack from him, “You’ll break my foot at this rate.” Taeyong got to his feet, rolling his eyes and dusting his hands off each other. You looked up at him, noting how his eyes were already trained on you, the previous teasing tone gone from his voice as he asked you. “You’ll be alright? I have an assignment to finish.”
You nodded, assuring him you’d be fine. This time however, he didn’t go back through the window, much to your surprise. Instead, he walked out your room door and down the stairs and entered his house, the civil way.
And you couldn’t, for the life of you, figure out why until you walked to your window, only to see him eating an ice lolly that looked very much like the one you had in your refrigerator, almost suspiciously so.
vi] ryunjin’s killer driving skills. no seriously
“Oh we’re going to die,” Doyoung complained, slumping in the backseat. Ryunjin rolled her eyes, shaking her hand in his face as if she was swatting a fly, before turning back to the wheel and starting the car.
“Dramatic bitch,” she muttered dryly, and he glared at her. You giggled at the two, leaning to your right where Taeyong sat, with his arm around you. Honestly, it made you feel safer, because Ryunjin’s driving was pretty close to lethal.
“Wait!” Doyoung opens the door, and sits in the passenger seat. “For the airbags,” he explained, “So if she drives into a curb I’ll live.”
You scooted away from Taeyong, pulling at the seat belt and strapping it over yourself. He frowned at the loss of your figure pressed up against him, the loss of the warmth you provided, but said nothing, shifting in his seat and resting his arm on the side rests of the doors.
Ryunjin pulls out slowly, and suddenly the car jerks. Your breath caught in your throat as you used your hands as leverage, holding onto the behind of the passenger seat. Not even out of the parking lot, and you knew the ride wasn’t going to be a particularly smooth one.
Doyoung however, yelped, clutching onto the overhead grab handle. His and Ryunjin bickering resurfaced. He didn’t look all that intimidating glaring at her, more like a rabbit if you were being honest.
“Taeyong, for the love of god and my life, can you please drive?” He asked the man sitting next to you, who shrugged, ready to take over, but Ryunjin protested, “Hey this is my car! I get to decide who drives!”
“Yes, so choose someone other than yourself so your car doesn’t take another trip to the service center.”
“Another?” You snickered, “You’ve had it for two months Ryu.”
“Jazzy just needed a few touch ups, Bunny boy here is exaggerating, ever considered switching majors to theatre? Would be much more interesting than-” she paused, making a gagging sound and shuddering dramatically, “Accounting.”
You laugh at their childish banter, as Doyoung insisted she choose another person to drive. She looked up in the rear view mirror, and her gaze fell onto you. Your own eyes widened as you shook your head vigorously, “Oh hell no.”
“You have a license.”
“One that lasts for twenty years too,” Taeyong quipped and you sent him a withering glare. He shrugged in response, offering you a shit eating grin.
“I can’t drive,” you clarified, “I suck, I’m worse than Ryunjin.”
The four of you were going to a party, hosted by the Weishen frat, who supposedly held the best parties. Ryunjin had suggested that you go together, but you hadn’t realized she meant in her car(which she had named Jazzy) while she drove.
In the end, Doyoung himself ended up driving, and you made it to the frat house about fifteen minutes later, a little late, but fashionably so.
You were wearing one of Taeyong’s shirts, tucked into your skirt and boots that Yeri had gotten you for your birthday. You didn’t wear much makeup since it was a pain to get off after a party when all you wanted to do was crash, just a little eyeshadow to accentuate the shape of your eyes.
The frat is packed with too many people for you to even recognize anybody. The air was hot, and you instantly wanted to be back outside, gravitating towards Taeyong until your arms were brushing against each other.
But you didn’t get the chance to loop your hands together and stick to him, because Yeri popped into view, dragging you away and into the crowd before you could even say anything. Come to think of it, you probably didn’t have a say in it in the first place.
You spot your ex, Sicheng off to the side, talking to some girl. He looked up and waved at you with a smile, which you returned easily. The two of you were still friends, breaking up on mutual terms with no lingering bitterness. In fact, you still sometimes took his math homework, since you were hopeless at the subject and more often than not, Doyoung refused to help you.
Your friend handed you a drink, rum and coke you think it was, and mumbled something about a cute guy before disappearing. Typical. She uproots you from where you were comfortable only to abandon you later.
Standing awkwardly off to the side, you sip at your drink, letting the burning liquid trickle down your throat. There’s barely any alcohol in it, thank god, and you finish the cup in a few minutes, placing it down and trying to find a familiar face.
The music pounded through the house, the low beat making it seem as if the entire place was shaking under your feet. Oh god, maybe you should get drunk, because right now you were starting to get dizzy.
Passing the main crowd, you walked to the back, hoping you wouldn’t see anyone fucking out in the open and end up scarred for life. It had happened once before in your freshman year and it was traumatic.
Well, ‘fucking’ was a little dramatic, but his hand shouldn’t have been there, out in the hallway, you were sure of that much.
The other room was also pretty crowded, but a little more breathable as you spotted Yeji and Ryunjin talking together with a freshman- Yuna, you think her name is. You walked over, flashing the youngest girl a smile and took Yejis drink out of her hand to take a sip.
Hyunjun walked over, slinging an arm around Yeji, his twin sister, and smiled, “We’re playing a game, coming?”
“I assume it includes drinking?”
He grinned unabashedly, cocking his head to the side, “Coming girls?”
Yeji elbowed him, getting to her feet and taking her drink back from you. Two minutes later, you’re standing with other people, finding your way back to Taeyong as he stood beside you, while Yukhei held the alcohol.
And that was how you got yourself roped into a drinking game!
Ten, sat in the middle, lips curling up when he saw you and Taeyong, almost mischievously so as he handed you a ball, and Taeyong another.
“Let’s put the lovers against each other, hmm?”
His voice was teasing, you knew he wasn’t serious but it affected you anyways. Taeyong on the other hand, laughed along, steadying himself against the table. You looked away and down at your feet, as he led you to the opposite side of the table.
Ten red solo cups sat in a triangle formation on each end of the table. Ten stood beside you, and you figured he was now your teammate in the game of beer pong.
Taeyong took his turn first, and unfortunately for you, he had a lucky aim and it fell straight into the cup. You grumbled, knowing that now you had to drink the beer in it. Picking it up, you took a sip, before pulling a face.
“The fact you lost or the beer,” Taeyong asked with a smirk and you glared at him, taking another sip just to spite him. It was only half full thank god (because of an unfortunate incident from when all cups were full and people had to deal with a very drunk Hendery) so you finished it, keeping it to the side and throwing your own ball.
Yours got in as well, much to your relief, and you grinned at Taeyong, who now had to drink it. Taking the ball out, he frowned at it, before throwing you a cocky grin. You narrowed your eyes.
“Don’t say it.”
“Fine fine,” he said, swallowing the inevitable sex joke he was going to make and drank the beer. And that was when he had his very own kombucha girl moment, eyes widening for a moment as if it was good, before his expression melted into a disgusted frown.
“Told you it sucks,” you shrugged, and Yukehi mumbled something about it being a cheap brand of beer, but Taeyong paid no heed as he placed the cup down. “Suck like-”
“I swear to god-”
vii] beat the devil out of it
Taeyong was a pretty good artist, he sketched from time to time, to keep himself occupied. One of the walls in his rooms was covered in doodles he did when he was sixteen. Granted, they were slightly messy, and probably not perfect at all, but he could do it.
However, he seemed to forget that you were not like him. The two of you were similar in many, many ways, but artistry wasn’t one of them.
So when he suggested the two of you try and follow a Bob Ross tutorial, you were pretty skeptical, but agreed anyway. Couldn’t have been that bad, right?
Well, right! Until of course you hit your roadblock.
The thing about Bob Ross was his amazing voice, which was somehow aesthetic. It was so soothing and therapeutic that you could listen to him all day. And he was such a precious soul in all honesty, talking about little random things in his life and somehow making it exciting.
The next time someone needed therapy, or just some me time, you’d suggest the Joy Of Painting. There were several seasons, enough to keep you occupied for a long, long time.
But you were indulging so much in the joy part, that you forgot about the painting bit. He gave you so much joy that when you glanced over at Taeyong’s canvas, you were hit with the opposite of Joy: distress.
He had already finished with the mountains, which raised questions. How the fuck did he do it? The two of you didn’t even have a palette knife! Goodness gracious, he was already adding the frost.
So you, in your alarm, decided to pick up your pace, realizing all you had done was the background, a light blue wash over the titanium white. The next step? The happy little clouds.
Except your clouds looked anything but happy.
They were the definition of sad, they were chunky and nothing like Bob’s. Frustrated and tired, you gave up, placing your brushes down and settled for watching your best friend. He was focused on his piece, which was coming in together much better than yours had.
All you had left to do was beat the devil out of the brush, and that was exactly what you did, hitting the brush back and forth aggressively on the easel, until you caught Taeyong’s attention, who stared at you in mild horror.
“Are you okay-?”
“I’m doing the only thing I can do because I gave up,” you explained, and kept the poor beat up brush to the side, “I’ll just watch you or something.”
“Sitting there I might as well paint you,” he said with a smirk, “You’re prettier than the scenery.”
The flirting sent heat to your face as you stared at him baffled before shaking it off and getting to your feet, “Aha! Lee Taeyong thinks I’m beautiful!” Placing a hand on your hip, you struck a pose, puckering your lips.
He frowned, “I take it back, you’re the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.”
You gasped, “Rude.” Muttering this under your breath, you regained the confidence and struck a pose, “Paint me like one of your french girls.”
And it was Taeyongs turn to stare at you in bewilderment, a flushed look on his face. His cheeks glowed red as he stared at you before looking away, and clearing his throat, “Uh-you know what that means right?”
You blinked, “What?”
“In the movie that means she wants him to draw her naked.”
You coughed, “The fuck? Dude I was just going to get a baguette.”
The two of you burst into a fit of nervous giggles, attempting to dissipate the tension in the room after that.
That night you make sure to rewatch Titanic.
Taeyong was pretty protective of his friends, it was just a quality he possessed. He liked taking care of things, it was in his nature, from the little crawfish in his room to his best friend that happened to be you.
You who was currently sitting on your desk, head resting on the top of the table, fast asleep. Your laptop screen had blackened, forgotten about in the midst of his slumber. It was about three in the morning, and he had seen that your light was on, so climbed into your room only to find you in your current state.
And yes, he was concerned. He knew what happened to you everytime you overworked yourself, you would fall sick and then demand take out. He wanted to avoid that all together, not the getting taking out part, but the falling sick part.
Lately he had observed your late night sessions were increasing, often he would look over from his screen to see your light shining with your silhouette hunched over your desk, or you walking about your room with a book in your hand.
Sure, midterms were coming up and it was essential that you studied, but he wanted to you avoid exhausting yourself, and so today he had decided to put an end to the late night saga (even though it was three in the morning) and was going to force you to sleep.
Except when he climbed into your room, he found you asleep anyway.
Sighing, Taeyong walked over and pulled you up as gently as possible, until you were snugly in his arms bridal style. Your hair fell over your face messily, lips set in a small, sleepy pout as your head rested against his chest.
He looked at you, before snapping out of it and shaking his head. He had always known you were pretty, ever since your sweet sixteen when you came down the stairs of your house in that pretty dress your mother had gotten you for the occasion.
And the thing was, he had never thought of you that way, you were his best friend, he had seen you cry and fall over and run into walls as a kid, but in that moment, he saw you as he would see anyone else.
Yes, he teased you about being the ugliest person alive, but those type of snarky comments would only follow him complimenting you, just to see the surprise and shock on your face, even if i was just for a moment, And then the teasing would follow when you would make a narcissistic comment.
But there were moments, and they were very brief, but they were there. They were when he didn’t even have the courage to tell you how beautiful he thought you were. In those moments he would force himself to snap out of it, because it was dangerous.
He carried you to your bed, placing you carefully down on it and covering you with your blanket. Only halfway though, you hated being completely under it.
It was dangerous because you were his best friend, and Taeyong was careful. Very careful. Sure, the two of you had those moments when you playfully flirted with each other, but that was it.
He looked at you, really looked at you and let himself think. What if you weren’t his best friend? What if those complications didn’t exist? What if you were simply a girl and a boy who met in college and were friends. What if you were more?
Licking his lips, Taeyong leaned forward and kissed your forehead, before getting to his feet and walking to your desk to shut your laptop down for you. Dragging his index finger across the touchpad, the screen sprung back to life and he was met with an empty google document, with the title reading: What is your perception of Love?
What if you were more?
Quickly shutting your laptop down, Taeyong decided he liked the idea of that.
viii] honey, i’m hooomeeee!
Midterms flew by and before you knew it, it was your winter break.
Taeyong and you went back home together. You always did, for spring break and winter break.
The world had placed the two of you together and it was destined to stay that way forever, not that you minded. It was way less daunting going home alone and every time you did it, the two of you would usually visit the places you used to go to.
Getting out of the cab, you stretched your hands over your head. You were standing on the pathway of your childhood home, looking at the structure before turning back and getting your suitcases from behind. Taeyong took his own suitcase out, standing next to you.
His house was a little further away, so the two of you decided to stop by your place first. Your parents loved him, so there was no thought needed in the decision. You knocked on the door, waiting for your mother to emerge.
You missed your family when you were at college, but considered yourself extremely lucky because you weren’t completely alone in your freshman year, you had him right beside you.
And she did, opening the door and exclaiming happily at the sight of you and Taeyong and launching straight into her motherly discourse, asking if the two of you had been eating properly, how midterms went, and if you were sleeping enough. You chose to avoid the last question expertly, elbowing Taeyong when he tried to expose you.
He wasn’t happy about it, but shut up for your sake, munching on the cookie in silence.
A few moments later you found yourself sitting on the kitchen island, suitcases still by the entrance and a plate of christmas cookies in front of you. It was a nice change from the usual cup noodles and cereal.
Biting the cookie, you savored the frosting on top, while Taeyong sat beside you. Your mother smiled at the two of you, pushing a cup full of milk for you to dip the cookies into.
“Shouldn’t you go home dear?” She asked Taeyong who nodded, “Yeah, I’ll be going now., Thanks Auntie.” Your mother smiled at this.
“Oh I’ll come with you, I wanna say hi to Mrs. Lee and your sister,” you said, pushing yourself off the stool. “I'll be back for dinner Mom.”
She nodded, kissing your cheek and holding Taeyongs face in her hands while she told him how handsome he was, even more so than the last time, before letting the two of you go.
His house was as warm and welcoming as ever, and almost like a repeat of events as she took the two of you in and took it up as her new purpose to feed you. You didn’t know if you’d be able to have dinner later at all.
His older sister came down and caught up with you, and you filled her in on Taeyong’s perpetual clumsiness. His mother asked him about his love life, to which he turned three different shades of red while informing her he was still very much single.
You knew she would pester him later about always having the same answer to the question, speculating that he had a secret girlfriend and didn’t want to tell her. He would then swear that didn’t, using your presence as backup.
And thus started your winter break, surrounded by loved ones. With cookies and milk, with going to buy presents and wrapping them.
And amongst all the chaos and noise, you realized that you were once again home, not physically in your apartment back at your campus, but right where you were. With the people you had grown up with, right next to your best friend.
“Holy shit they have a sale,” you said, making your way to the store that had big red signs that told you it had a sixty percent off sale. Taeyong let out a sigh, looking up to the ceiling of the mall and praying to whatever god that existed above that you wouldn’t go berserk.
You had gone to the local mall to buy gifts for everyone, but you kept getting distracted with the sales and stores you had spent so much time in when you were in highschool, and he had to keep dragging you out of them.
So far you had gotten a present for both your mothers and his sister, and now only for fathers were left. And each other, but you’d have to be a little more careful about that. Taeyong had just about everything, so you really had to rack your brains for a suitable gift.
Running off in the direction of the store, Taeyong had no other choice than to follow you. He needed other friends, ones that don’t subject him to hours of torture as she runs around a store talking about what a good deal the shirt is going for, and then asking his opinion.
That was the most stressful part by far, everytime you asked him a question it felt like he was taking an exam. And there were three types of questions.
The first was when you tried something on and came out dressed in it. In his eyes, you looked good in anything (except that weird shade of yellow. You had once gotten a T-shirt in that shade and it was one of your most unfortunate expenditures.), but the thing was, he obviously couldn’t say that. That would be willingly feeding your already obnoxiously large ego, but then again, he couldn’t say you were hideous either, because you were pretty.
He didn’t particularly like lying, so he had to think about his answer carefully. But if he took too much time, your lips would droop and a sad look would enter your eyes as you assumed it didn’t look good on you. Then he’d scramble to make up for it, saying it looked great. Of course it did, but then-
You get the idea.
The second type of question was when you asked him his opinion on something, whether it was a piece of clothing or a tit-bit you liked. If it was worth it. Taeyong loved seeing your excitement, those moments when your eyes would light up and you would pick up the object, talking about how cute it was. Usually he wouldn’t really see the appeal in a pen holder, but then again, you were practically in love with stationary. So he’d smile and mumble something about it being good quality or something along the lines of that and wait for it to get over.
The third type is when you asked him if he wanted something. If he liked it to the extent that he would get it himself. This was probably the hardest, because half the time Taeyong wasn’t paying attention to the object, but rather at you. He would be looking at you so much that he forgot what he was supposed to do, resulting in pretty embarrassing half-assed answers.
He did his best.
You stopped in front of the glass panes, face contorting into a disappointed expression after you read the banners. Turning on your heel you faced him one again, hands on your hips.
“My life is a lie.”
He snorted at your statement, “Why?”
“It says sixty percent off, sure, but you have to read the fine print, which is really like the size of my thumb, so not that fine, but from afar you don’t really see it you know?” You rambled, “Anyways, upon closer inspection-”
“One salty glance.”
“-I found!” You glared at him, “That it says selective items, right here.” Brandishing your hand out, you placed your palm over the words so even if he tried to read it, it would be impossible. The situation was ironic, to say the least. “Selective items, it's a lie, Yongie, a lie.”
And with your eyebrows furrowed in that manner, and lips set in a disgruntled expression, Taeyong once again found himself not really paying attention to your words. You looked adorable in the moment, he couldn’t help it. However, as soon as the nickname you had for him slipped off your lips, he snapped out of it.
“How tragic,” he muttered dryly, and you rolled your eyes. You were hoping for a better reaction, definitely not a snarky comment. Huffing, you dragged him into the store anyways.
“Hey-why are we going inside? Thought you were too betrayed?”
“Yeah well they made up by having this pretty top on display, seriously this thing is gorgeous,” you gushed, feeling the sheer material in between your fingers.
It was an off white colour, a bit see through which explained the camisole underneath it. Flowers adorned its fabric, and it looked a little old timey, but beautiful nonetheless. You picked it off the hanger, turning it over and inspecting it.
Your fingers found the tag, and you lifted it into the direction of the light, and the excited look in your eyes dissipated almost as fast as it had appeared. You chewed on your lower lip, putting it back. Taeyong watched you, “Hey what up? Thought you liked it?”
“I’d have to give up college to get it,” you joked, but then took it back off the hanger, “Doesn’t mean I can’t try it right?”
And that was when Taeyong realized he was going to be subjected to question number one. He decided to start thinking about it while you were changing, so he had extra time. Good was fine right? Plain and simple, and a compliment. Maybe interesting would work, that word could be a compliment or an insult so you couldn’t hold him to anything.
No-fuck- it sounded too much like he was in a highschool debate. This was way too stressful for him. He leaned against the walls outside the dressing room, waiting for you to emerge. He’d just stick with good-
You came out wearing the shirt and all his thoughts turned scattered as he stared. No no no! This wasn’t how it was supposed to go! The silence always followed you looking disappointed.
But with that gorgeous top on you, perfectly complimenting the black pleated skirt you had been wearing before, his throat went dry. He forgot how to english, in the words of Mark Lee (reprised this time.) because you looked so pretty standing in front of him, with your hair framing your face.
“So? You asked nervously and he blinked, thinking of something, anything he could say.
“You look pretty.”
What the fuck? Out of all the things he had thought of, that was what he said? Not that it was false or anything, but it was lame, so lmae oh god. Embarrassedly, Taeyong looked away and cleared his throat, but didn’t backtrack on the statement. “Really pretty.”
You flushed, looking down at your feet. In all honesty, you had been expecting a snarky comment or something of the sort, but his genuine tone had thrown you right off track. Butterflies (or moths. You didn’t know at this point) erupted in the pits of your stomach.
“Thank you,” you said finally with a smile on your face, before sighing, “I should get out of it now. Keep it back.”
“You aren’t getting it?” He asked, confusion clear on his face. You smiled sadly, shrugging, “I’d have to sell my kidney to get it,” you half joked, “and besides, I need to buy presents for others, not myself.”
You went to change out of it, emerging once again and hanging the top on the rack that held the clothes people tried on but didn’t get. Checking the time on your phone, you clicked your tongue, “Hey I’m going to go to that makeup store to get that lipstick my mother has been talking about, meet you at The Waffle House in ten minutes?”
He nodded, and you went off to do your bit of shopping. He turned back to the rack, slipping the top of and looking at it.
Christmas was the season of giving and the season of joy. You were right when you said you had to be buying gifts for others and not yourself. It was about giving, not taking, and Taeyong smiled, because with that logic, there was no reason why he couldn’t get it for you, was there?
ix] merry christmas, idiot
You awoke on Christmas morning solely because of the smell of freshly fried bacon that wafted through the house. It raised you from the dead, that is your slumber and brought you down to the living room while you were still in your pyjamas.
When you were younger, you would get up at six in the morning on Christmas day, and proceed to wake everyone else up with you, but over the years as you had grown older, the prospect of gifts had become much less appealing and the idea of sleeping in had become much more. Thus, you had caught up on some much needed sleep, waking up at ten in the morning instead.
Emerging into the room, you sat by the kitchen island as your mother slid a plate filled with assorted breakfast foods as she wished you a Merry Christmas. Breakfast was a quick affair and soon you were sitting by the tree with your family.
Your mother loved the lipsticks you had gotten her, along with the baking tins you had bought. Your father was pleased with the leather wallet you had bought for him, saying something about his old one practically falling apart.
Your parents had gotten you some journals, because they knew you liked to write. After thanking them for it, you went back up to your childhood room, placing it on your desk and opening your closet.
From behind all the clothes sat a present that had been wrapped neatly, you had even put a bow on top for shits and giggles. It was rectangular in shape, not small but neither was it huge. Taking out a card, you stuck it on, writing Taeyong’s name on it as neatly as you could and placing it to the side.
After you had changed into something more presentable, you put the present in a plain white bag and walked back downstairs.
“Hey Mom I’m-”
“Going to the Lee’s?” She smiled, giving you a knowing look. You returned the smile sheepishly, nodding, “Yeah I’ll be back later.”
“Wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t,” she said truthfully, “You practically lived there when you were younger anyways, you’re more their daughter than ours, come to think of it, we should adopt Taeyong.”
You rolled your eyes, walking out of your house and to his. It was a route you knew at the back of your hand, even if you didn’t travel it everyday anymore. Knocking on the door, you took a step back, playing with the paper handles of the bag. You hoped he’d like what you got him.
Taeyong opened the door, a smile stretching out on his lips when he saw you. He wore an ugly Christmas sweater, one so obnoxious it even had little led lights on it. You walked straight into his arms and he hugged you back.
“Coming in?” He asked into your hair and you nodded, walking into his own living room. You knew exactly what would unfold now, since you had spent so many winter holidays in this house. His mother would come out with hot chocolate with a candy cane dipped into it, his sister would complain about how she got the ugliest sweater and his father laughing along.
“Honey! Try this would you? Taeyong never gives me a proper review,” he complained, shoving a plate with a piece of brownie on it. Taeyong protested at this accusation and you laughed, taking a bite, humming in approval.
“As always, it’s great Mrs. Lee, I like the chopped walnuts.”
“Bless you child, now run off.” She shooed you away and you laughed, following your best friend up to his room.
It was the same, you didn’t know why this surprised you everytime you acknowledged it. His ceiling still had those glow in the dark stars you had helped him stick on when the two of you were twelve, his bed sheet was still that stupid Lightning Mcqueen themed one. Sitting down on it, he disappeared back downstairs and came back up with a present, handing it to you with a bright smile on his face.
It was soft, and you peeled off the wrapping paper he had messily taped around it, and grinned.
You could already see the red and green of the ugly sweater and let out a giggle, “Hey it's the same as yours-”
“Exactly, now we’ll both walk around looking like idiots.” He said this with a straight face that made you crack a smile, “The only idiot around here is you.”
“That is not correct.”
You snorted at his response which referred to the vine, and cleared your throat. You opened the sweater out to put it on, but something else fell out from inside it, and onto your lap. It was off white, and had a very familiar floral pattern..
Your eyes widened as you picked it up, fingers curling around the material as you stared at it, before looking back at him. “You-”
“Yep,” he grinned, eyes awaiting for your full reaction. This idiot had gotten you that top you had wanted but didn’t get for you. Dropping it you practically leaped into his embrace, arms around his neck.
“Thank you,” you whispered and he chuckled, hands around your waist as he held you up, fingers pressing into the small of your back. “You're welcome, dumbass.”
Pulling away, you let out an excited breath, jumping slightly and remembering that your own present for him existed, and you picked up the white paper bag that had been sitting by your side and handing it to him.
He eyed his present, eyes looking like boba pearls as he opened it, taking out the rectangular box that you had wrapped in obnoxious glitter red wrapping paper. You had carefully taken off his messy wrappy, whereas he just tore yours off, eager to see what you had gotten him.
“It’s white,” he said and you rolled your eyes, “Turn it around dumbass.”
He turned it around in his hands and looked at it, “It’s a miniature.”
“Look closer,” you said, the excited smile on your face growing as realization set in onto his. “It’s two houses with adjoining roofs.” He said, sounding almost dumbfounded, “Holy shit its us!”
You nodded, “I scoured Amazon for it,” you filled him in, “I was thinking we could build it together one day?”
“Absolutely, oh my god once it's all made I’ll keep it on the chest of drawers in my room,” you were relieved he liked it. You liked seeing joy in his face, it made your heart flip flop. He wrapped his arms around you, pulling you closer, burying his face in the crook of your neck.
“Merry Christmas Y/n.” You sighed contentedly.
“Merry Christmas, idiot.”
It was a little past midnight, Christmas was over but not entirely. It may have been the twenty-sixth, but that didn’t stop your little tradition from playing out.
However, you expected a text first, not the idiot throwing a knock at your window. Scrambling to it, you glared at him opening the window.
“Literally what the fuck are you tryign to do?” You hissed, and he rolled his eyes, climbing into your room from the window sill and dusting down his pants. “Getting into your room, duh?”
“You climbed all the way up?” You stared at him in bewilderment and he nodded. “You should have just texted me and I would’ve opened the door for you? What if you fell off and died?”
“Love the faith you have in me.”
You huffed, pulling him inside and to your bed, grumbling about him under your breath. He could’ve just sent you a text and you would’ve opened the door without waking anyone in your family up, but no, of course he decided to climb up to your window.
“So,” he said, sitting next to you, “Which movie are we watching? Not home alone this time, we’ve watched that movie five times now.”
“It’s a sentimental tradition, Yongie.”
“It is not a Merry Christmas anymore, ya filthy animal.”
“Never do that again.”
He grinned, shooting you finger guns. Snorting, you thought of what else you could watch with him this time. Every night after Christmas, the two of you would watch a movie together, ever since you were just fifteen. For the past five years, you had watched Home Alone and its different movies, but this time since Taeyong seemed to be against this idea, you just had to find a bad movie to turture him with.
It was only fair, since he was apparently ‘bored’ of home alone. What a disgrace.
The idea formed in your head, and you smirked turning to him and hooking your arm around his, “What do you think about sparkly boyfriends and dumb female protaginists?”
He frowned, furrowing his eyebrows in thought as he processed your statement, before his eyes widened and he shook his head violently, “Oh hell no.”
“Oh hell yes.”
Two hours later, you had finished watching the world's worst movie, Twilight, and was left in a mixture of confusion and unidentified emotions. It was about two-thirty in the morning, and it was far too late to think about how bad it was, or analyze it.
Taeyong however, in a burst of righteous indignation over the fact you had made him watch it, didn’t care about the time, and was ready to psycho-analyze it.
“Bella said she doesn’t like cold things, okay fair, so why the fuck is she dating a cold blooded vampire boyfriend? And why the fuck does he sparkle? Aren’t vampires supposed to burn in the sun-”
“Shhh,” you shushed him, a hand on his head as you patted down his hair in an attempt to comfort him. “It’s okay.”
He glared at you, “And he’s such a shitty boyfriend? Who watches their girlfriend sleep? Even before he’s her boyfriend???”
He sounded so genuinely distressed that you were almost amused. Almost, because it was far too late to show a display of any human emotion. Hey, maybe you were a vampire.
“Yes yes, I’m sure you’d make a stellar boyfriend, much better than Edward,” you mumbled, shutting your laptop. Taeyong rolled his eyes, “Damn right I would, I wouldn’t watch my girlfriend sleeping that’s for sure.”
“That's because you’d be too busy playing League.”
“First of all, I’d tuck her in,” he continued, choosing to ignore your quip and taking your laptop from you, “And I’d be human.” He must have seen the tired look in your eyes, before he placed the laptop on your old desk, pulling you into his arms. You didn’t object, yawning softly.
You looked up for a moment at your best friend, only to realize the close proximity between your faces. Heat rose to your face, and you looked back down at your fingers, playing with them.
“And I’d tell her how much I love her,” he said, lopping his arms around you. “And make sure she always knows it.”
You hummed sleepily, “Yeah?”
“Yeah,” he whispered, but you’re gone, lost to the world of sleep. You slumber with one thought in your mind, a thought you had never let yourself think about before, but in your tired state, your mind didn’t listen to reason.
You go to sleep wondering what type of boyfriend Taeyong would be like.
Noticing you had passed out, he chuckled softly, bringing the blanket over the two of you. Your hair smelled nice, it was that strawberry scented shampoo you really liked. You were warm against him.
He sighed, leaning against the wall. His gift to you sat on your desk, placed on top of its wrapping paper. It was late and his adrenaline from complaining about Edward Cullen and his terrible skills as a boyfriend, while flaunting his own was wearing off.
And the next morning when your mother found you snuggled in his arms, even though he really wasn’t supposed to be there, she just smiled.
x] i wanna dye (my hair)
It was the new year, a new semester began and you were already drowning in your classes, not to mention the fact that you barely wrote anything for your article.
“Can you believe it’s our last semester as juniors?” Taeyong asked, sitting up in the chair and handing you the bowl. You stared at it, almost scared. “Yeah- Are you sure you wanna do this dude?”
He nodded confidently, “I want a change.”
You hated change, but obliged, using the blush to mix the bleach around.
He had come in one Tuesday morning declaring that he wanted to dye his hair, going all blond this time. It was time to say goodbye to the highlights. And while you were sure it would look great on him (everything did) but the way he wanted to dye it was what was questionable.
He wanted you to do it.
At first, you had stoutly denied his request, you didn’t want to mess up his hair, but after a lot of persuading and receiving puppy eyes from him all day, you finally relented. After you had done so, he continued to justify his decision, saying some nonsense about how getting just highlights was extremely expensive and he was broke.
And so you spent the next few days after that stalking Brad Mondo’s youtube channel to the point where it was probably unhealthy in all honesty. You could spout his signature lines in your sleep at this point.
The things you did for this idiot.
And following his instructions, you told Taeyong to not wash his hair for the days leading up to when you had to dye it, in the hopes of the natural oils preventing his hair from completely dying. Granted, hair was just a bunch of dead cells anyways.
“I can’t start from the roots since those lighten faster,” you said, eyeing his mop of hair. Taeyong nodded along as if he understood, waiting for you to take your first step, but he could tell you were nervous, so naturally, he started talking to calm those nerves.
“Just another year and then we’re out of here.”
“Yeah- i got that internship actually,” you said, and he beamed, “That's great! When your articles are on the first page, I’ll make sure to embarrass you and boast about our friendship.
You shuddered dramatically at the thought, looking at the table and double checking if he had gotten everything. “Hey where's the toner?”
“Isn’t that just purple conditioner?”
“Yeah, do you have it?” Your nose scrunched up in question and he thought you were adorable. Taeyong shook his head, “I don’t think so, forgot about it, I’ll get it sometime next week.”
You blinked, “Do you want to walk around with bright orangey-yellow hair?”
“Then we can’t do this today,” you declared, happy to find a way out of it. He shook his head, “No, I can deal with a few looks, I get them everyday.”
You snorted, “People look at you because you’re attractive, not because your hair is a mess.”
His pretty crimson lips curled up at the sides into a smirk. He rested his chin on the palm of his hand as he looked at you, you wanted to slap that cocky grin right off his face.”Oh? So you think I’m attractive huh?”
He raised an eyebrow at you and you flushed, “No, you’re the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.”
“I thought I was attractive??”
You turned away, visibly taking greater interest in mixing the bleach further and grumbling under your breath. Damn him and his ways of getting you flustered. It didn’t happen very often though, but when it did, he knew the effect he had on you, that fucker.
“I hate you,” you huffed out and his smirk only grew, “You say that when you’re smiling?”
You were smiling, and you did your best to push it down, but after failing, the two of you burst into laughter as you placed the bowl down, leaning against the table. It was so easy being with Taeyong.
“Now that we’ve established I’m a looker-ow! Okay sorry!” He said, rubbing his arm where you had playfully hit him, “Can we start?”
You hesitated, “Are you sure you want me to do this? It’s a big decision.”
“I can always just dye it back you know?”
“Yeah but,” you chewed on your bottom lip, looking at him. Another change? So much was changing already, you were going to be seniors soon, your internship would start, Yeji was graduating, fucking hell, it was the new year already! Christmas had whizzed by faster than you thought it could.
“I don’t know,” you shrugged, “I just- it seems kind of sudden you know? And if you keep dying your hair you’ll fry it all.”
He leaned back in his chair, mulling over this, “Yeah it is kind of sudden.”
You nodded, sighing and sitting at the end of the table, being careful not to knock anything over. You were glad he was considering your thoughts. “Plus, I really like the blue highlights and dark hair you have going right now.”
“You do?” He asked and you nodded, grinning, “For your fragile ego, I’ll even say it’s attractive.”
“Fragile- I’m going to ignore that,” he said, glaring at you, “Alright, maybe I’ll dye it some other time then.” You nodded, “Right, I mean since you have some dye in your hair already, you might get some weird tones.”
“Yeah okay, that's enough Brad Mondo for you.”
You shifted in your seat watching one of the seniors, Taeil you thought his name was, take his picture with the scroll and shake hands, before walking off stage. Another called up and the same thing happened.
“That’s gonna be us in a year,” Taeyong whispered and you nodded, then proceeded to shush him, “Yeji’s turn.”
Your friend walked up on stage in her cape and hat. You leaned forward, taking your phone out like an obnoxious parent and proceeding to zoom in as much as possible on her, clicking about twenty pictures.
“She looks scared,” you snorted and Taeyong sighed, “Please stop taking pictures.”
He sounded embarrassed of you and your shenanigans, which was absolutely ridiculous. There was nothing to be embarrassed about, you were simply being a supportive friend and surrogate younger sister.
Ryunjin waved her hands wildly to the left and Yeji sent a subtle glare to the two of you, but that didn’t dampen your spirits. Your best friend slumped in his seat, his denim jacket that matched his hair, crinkling. He looked like he wanted to be anywhere but by your side at that moment.
His fingers curled out of your hand, taking it in his and pulling you back into your seat. You tried not to think about how your hand fit perfectly into his, or how warm his was, or the gentleness in his voice when he spoke.
“You’ll fall off,” he said, “Sit down, Yeji’s turn is over.”
Nodding, you settled back into your seat, watching the rest of the graduation ceremony with little to no attention. You had no reason to, since you were mainly here for Yeji and Hyunjin, and maybe that cute senior- Yuta.
After it was done, the graduating batch threw their caps in the air and cheer erupted from the crowd. They were done. You smiled seeing Yeji walking up to you and Ryunjin and threw yourself at her.
“I’m done!” She squealed, waving her cap around with a bright grin on her face, “Adios fuckers, I’m out of here!”
Taeyong put an arm around your shoulders and leaned onto your figure gently, “You gonna attend Jaehyuns party this friday?”
She nodded, “Yeah, last party for me and then I have to be a responsible adult”, she said, stressing on the two words and rolling her eyes, with a droll expression on her face. “But only after the party, and I’m definitely not going to be the sober friend this time.”
All three of you looked up at Taeyong, who blinked in alarm, “What?”
You looked up at him, a sweet smile on your face, “Yongieee-”
His eyes widened, “No-what? I’m not going to be the sober friend?!”
“But you’re good at handling your alcohol,” you pouted. He sighed, “Yeah and you’re the lightweight.”
You gasped in offence, pulling away from the hug-stand situation the two of you had put yourselves in, raising your hand against your chest, “Uncalled for? Make it up to me by being the sober friend.”
Taeyong was just about to protest when Ryunjin came between the two of you, “Okay relax, geez, have your married couple arguments somewhere else.”
“Married couple?? As if I’d ever marry him,” you frowned, sticking your tongue out and him and he gave you a not so friendly finger, “Fuck you, you wish you could marry me.”
“Forget married,” Yeji said dryly, “They’re like five year olds.”
The two of you were still bickering while the girls decided to leave, and you only noticed they were gone after about fifteen minutes.
“Holy shit we scared them off.”
He nodded, scratching the back of his neck and clearing his throat, “Wanna head back?” Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he cocked his head to the side, to where his car was parked.
You agreed and walked to his car with him, sitting in the passenger's seat. Your junior year was almost over, time was running by before Taeyong could even get to his feet and begin walking.
After your senior year, what would happen? Would the two of you still have your houses by each other? Would you still be as close? Would you go back home for Christmas, grocery shopping together?
He knew things would definitely be different, but he didn’t really want them to just slip through his fingers. The thought of losing you amidst the chaos of graduating was very likely and it sent a bitter taste to his mouth. He wanted you to stay.
He hated the thought of you leaving.
xi] what if mini me and mini you..?? lol jk (unless…..??)
You were wearing one of Taeyong’s hoodies, and it was pretty big on you. The end reached the mid of your thigh and it gave you sweater paws, and for the first few minutes you thought it was cute. Hey! You could now live out your dream of being an aesthetic girl on pinterest holding a book for show with those sweater paws!
But after half an hour, you realized you had to keep pushing the sleeves up so you could help Taeyong build the miniature. It was getting pretty annoying, especially since you were handling glue and your fingers were already sticky.
Taeyong on the other hand was perfectly content with building it all on his own if it meant he could see you in that state. You looked absolutely adorable with your lips set in an indignant pout over those damn sleeves. You were sitting criss-cross opposite him on his room floor, with the miniature in the making between the two of you.
You had managed to get the walls of one of the houses upright and standing, and now was focusing on the roof. Taeyong applied the glue on the edges that had to be stuck onto the walls, before placing it carefully on top and lifting his fingers gently so as to not break the structure that the two of you had thirty minutes of your lives into.
You on the other hand, was trying to apply drops of clue on the little cardboard roof tiles that had come with it. They were tiny, and a pain to work with, but for the sake of it, you stuck it out.
You sighed exasperatedly as one of the pieces fell onto your palm and decided to stick there. Peeling it off, you looked up at the ceiling and to the window, noting that the roses were still alive, by some miracle.
“You are watering them!” You said, pleased with him. He nodded sheepishly, clapping his hands and dusting them off, “Okay, should we start with the roof tiles?”
You groaned, “I’ve added glue to like three, help me with them and we can do it as we go.”
He obliged, taking a handful of the darn things and the other bottle of glue, doing his best to squeeze out a precise drop on each one. You watched him lose patience over them much like you were doing so and it made you feel slightly better. At least you weren’t the only one suffering through it anymore.
Placing the first tile at the edge of the roof, you held your breath, praying it wouldn’t fall off and would stick. Thankfully, it did, and you went on to the next, placing it right beside the first and humming an idle tune as you did so.
He joined you, and soon there was a line of little cardboard tiles at the edge. His fingers occasionally brushed against yours, sending that stupid fluttery feeling to your stomach.
You had come to the conclusion, after finishing half of the roof, that making miniatures was walking a fine line between pain in the ass and stressful and therapeutic. With the amount of times Taeyong had caught you swearing at the inanimate structure, you were leaning towards the first.
“You know, sometimes I wonder how it would be if we all lived in a perfect world,” you said abruptly, “Just, nothing wrong you know? No writer's block, no exams, just staying right where we are.”
“You think it’s perfect where we are?” He asked, voice softer than you expected it to be.You nodded, “I like it the way things are, you know? Change makes shit volatile.”
He hummed in agreement, “Yeah.”
“That's why I write,” you continued, “If I can make it up and put it into words on a page, or even a document. Does it make it real in some sense? I don’t know, but in my mind, I guess it’s a sort of escape.”
You got to your feet with a sigh, “ Like sure, I’m a journalism major, so really my job is to write about facts but If I can write a perfect world, at least every time I write it I can forget the real one.”
He watched you speak, and got up himself to where you were standing, which was by the window. Your eyes were trained on the roses, hands around yourself. “So what is your idea of a perfect world?”
“Promise you won’t get offended?”
“As long as it’s not something like ‘My lovely best friend does not exist’ then I’ll be fine.”
You laughed, nodding, “Well, you still have completely dark hair, without the highlights.” You started softly, looking up, “We’re still freshmen, Yeji isn’t moving away, and-” You hesitated, looking back down at your feet.
“And?” He prompted you to go on. There was not even a semblance of pressure in his voice, just curiosity.
The ghost of the words lingered on your lips, but you couldn’t bring yourself to say it, it was too risky. In your perfect world, Taeyong would be yours. You glanced to your side to think of what you could say.
“And the roses wouldn’t have died,” you said, grinning teasingly, “These are new aren’t they?”
Taeyong looked scandalized, stuttering out an excuse, “What-why would you think that?” He laughed nervously. You raised an eyebrow and he sighed, “Fine, okay I got new ones so you wouldn’t give me your death glare for killing the first ones the second time,”
You giggled, glad to see that he seemingly believed your lie. “I’m not mad, it was kind of expected.”
The conversation fell into a comfortable silence. He sighed, “Maybe that’s why people make miniatures, you know? Because it’s an easy process with a perfect outcome. Maybe they think their mini world can be their perfect one.”
You looked over to your miniature, only one house was made, the details still had to be added to it, but one could make out what it was supposed to be. You still had the other half to go and the placing of them together so it looked like the two of your houses.
“What if we just pretended that later on in life we moved in together so we don’t have to build the other house right away?” He asked, “That can be my perfect world.”
You cocked your head to the side in confusion, and he continued to explain, “You know, after graduation, if we can still stay together, we should move in together, we can have cereal anytime of the day with no one judging us.”
“Together,” you repeated, “That sounds really nice actually.”
And that's when you realize how close the two of you are, it’s too close. You could feel the breath of his words on you, and your cheeks felt impossibly hot. “Together,” you repeated again, stupidly almost as your eyes fell to his lips.
No, this was dangerous, it was stupid and wistful and-
“Can I?” His voice was just above a whisper and your breath hitched in your throat. You swallowed the lump in your throat, “Can you what?”
“I have a feeling you’ll slap me,” he said truthfully, licking his lips. Gathering whatever courage you had, you let out a breath you didn’t know you were holding in. “Only one way to find out then, right?”
You wanted to scream for sounding so nervous, for your voice being so shaky, but you couldn’t help it. He leaned forward and-
Lee Taeyong kissed you.
He was kissing you? He was kissing you, and your knees almost buckled, they would have if not for his hands falling on your waist and pulling you closer to him.
Your hands worked on their own accord, entangling in his hair as you kissed him back. His kisses were soft, deliberate. You didn’t quite know if it was real, or if you were dreaming. Maybe this was your writing, your imagination of having him.
It was definitely nothing like you had imagined it to be, but you didn’t mind. It was just a little clumsy, as if the two of you were still figuring out where you wanted to go with it. You tugged slightly on the ends of his hair, pulling away only to press your lips back to his.
And despite it being your first kiss with him, you were falling and falling and falling. You had always been in love with Taeyong, but this was different wasn’t it? This just wasn’t your imagination, this was real.
He pulled away, resting his forehead against yours. You felt warm, like there was a fire in your chest that was burning brightly and you didn't particularly want to put it out.
“I like the idea,” you said finally, “of being together after graduation. Of being together.”
He stayed silent, choosing to cup your face and pull you into another kiss instead of responding. The miniature on the floor lay long forgotten, the new roses in the mug sitting on the sill.
Things were changing once again, but this time you didn’t quite mind it.
xii] taeyong the sober boyfriend best friend
You found yourself back in Ryunjins car, this time without Doyoung’s presence. Instead, he had been replaced with Yeji, who looked equally as mortified as he had when he was subjected to her driving.
“Please god, I’d like to live long enough for my last party,” she said, looking up at the top of the car. Ryunjin rolled her eyes, “We’ll be fine, I asked Taehyun to teach me how to drive better last week and it definitely went well.”
“That sophomore you have a crush on? Oh no wonder he looked so scandalized,” you quipped and Ryuinjin let out a sound of protest. Yeji threw her a grin, wiggling her eyebrows, “Oh?”
Ryunjin pressed on the accelerator, throwing the three of you in front. You let out a yelp in surprise, and Taeyong managed to catch you, fingers curling around your waist and pulling you into him. Shooting Ryunjin a dirty look, she just shrugged innocently and pulled out into the street.
“Bitch,” you muttered under your breath, leaning into Taeyong’s figure.
Yeji would be moving in a couple weeks, which you weren't particularly looking forward to, but decided to shake those thoughts away. She was here now, wasn’t she? You would make the most of whatever little time you had left together.
In the end, Taeyong had been dragged along with the three of you and was resigned to the role of the sober buddy even after all his complaining. Hey, with him driving on the way home, at least it would be a smoother drive than it was currently.
Ryunjin almost drove into a curb.
Taeyong chuckled at your grumbling, “At least she’s making an attempt to drive, you won’t even get into the driver's seat.”
“Because I’ll kill someone.”
“Pretty sure Ryu will do that sooner or later.”
“I can’t believe I thought you were on my side for a second,” she grumbled. You rolled your eyes, licking your lips. They were chapped, since it was still pretty cold out. Spring couldn’t come fast enough.
“Yeji, Chapstick,” you asked, and she fished through her bag, twisting around in her seat and handing it to you. Taking the cap off, you rubbed a little onto your finger and applied it to your lips, smacking them together. “Hey, this tastes nice.”
“Right? Yuna got it for me a few weeks ago,” she filled you in, “It’s strawberry flavoured.”
You hummed in acknowledgement, and Taeyong turned his head to you, whispering into your ear.
“Can’t wait to taste it when I kiss you.”
Heat rushed to your face as you flushed, digging your nails into his hand that was around you and glaring at him, “Shut up.”
He smirked teasingly, eyes dropping down to your lips, flustering you even further. Hissing at him under your breath, you turned away, focusing back on the road and Ryunjin’s terrible driving.
You didn’t exactly know what you and Taeyong were at the moment, and while the label of ‘boyfriend’ hung loosely around the two of you, but it was foreign, it was heavy on your tongue and you didn’t quite know how to say it. ‘Best friend’ rolled off your tongue much easier, so that's what you said
The two of you were best friends, who just happened to have feelings for eac hother and maybe kissed sometimes. Best friends who didn’t see anyone else but each other. And there was nothing wrong with that concept.
“And we’re here! See? Not dead, I take that as an accomplishment,” Ryunjin snapped you out of your thoughts. Yeji snorted, but opened her car door and got out. You did the same, pulling away from Taeyong’s figure and out onto the pavement, resisting the urge to get to your knees and kissing the ground, for managing to survive the ride.
Standing on the pathway that led up to the frat house's door, you turned to Taeyong, “Ready, sober buddy?”
“Did you just friend-zone me?”
He scowled at you and you gave him a sickly sweet smile, batting your eyelashes. Deciding to take advantage of your distracted state, he leaned forward, pressing his lips to yours for a chaste kiss.
Any retort you had and died onto his lips as you let out a surprised sound, but kissed him back, blinking when he pulled away. You wanted to slap that cocky grin off his face, embarrassment at the fact your friends had probably seen that taking over.
“Friend-zoning me now?” He asked innocently and you struggled for words.
“Holy shit you two kissed!” Ryunjin said, gaping at Taeyong and you. Even Yeji looked dumbstruck, glancing at your best friend and then back at you, pressing her lips into a thin line.
“So how long?”
“Not long,” you scrambled to assure her of the fact, “Maybe three days.”
“Fucking finally, I was scared I wouldn’t ever get to see the two of you together before I left,” she said, giving you a knowing look. You rolled your eyes, clearing your throat, “Should we go in?”
“Yep!” Ryunjin nodded, beginning to walk to the door, “Come on girls! And the sober boyfriend!”
xiii] she loves me, he loves me not
Taeyong loved the idea of having you, and now that he did, he loved it even more.
Nothing really had changed, it was natural being with you, as you with him. It felt right. He knew everything about you, from your favorite colour to every lyric of your favorite song. He knew which food you hated the most, and your favorite book.
But being with you, he learned other things. He learned that you really like the back hugs he gave you, but never admitted it before. You giggled when he would kiss your cheek, and your competitive side would come out, determined to make him react the same way he made you do so.
Spring comes around, and it’s gorgeous. The flowers danced happily in the breeze, basking in their season. You crouched down, picking one of the fallen tulips up and smiling at it, twirling it between your hands and showing it to him.
Taeyong had taken you to a tulip garden for a date, much to your delight. You had been there with him once before and now you were back.
“Pretty,” he said, “Like you.”
You ignored his compliment, but he knew you had heard, grinning from ear to ear when you turned away from him. Today he was wearing a loose white shirt and jeans, with his camera slung around his neck.
You on the other hand, was wearing the top he had gotten you for Christmas, and you fit in with the theme of the garden seamlessly. You almost looked like a nymph of some sort, breeze blowing through your hair gently and the sun shining down on the two of you. It felt like something out of a fairytale.
You snapped your head to where he was standing, only to see Taeyong holding his camera up to his eyes. Taking it down, he looked at the picture he had taken off you, giving you a cheeky grin. “Sorry, couldn’t resist.”
“You can keep it if I look good,” you walked over, peering over. The picture really was a nice one, the lighting was pretty and the flowers around you gave it a pop of colour.
Finding no fault with it, you took a step away, looking around, you spotted white tulips, walking over. “These are pretty.”
He hummed in agreement. You noticed some hyacinths to your side, much to your surprise, since it was a tulip garden. Taeyong was surprised at how fast you had recognized them, even he hadn’t recognized them.
“How do you know?” He asked and you shrugged, “Remember that article I’m writing?”
“Well, I was researching about it and came across a story, greek mythology actually,” you started to explain. “About the god Apollo and his lover Hyacinthus.” And you began explaining the tale of the two lovers, from how Hyacinthus preferred Apollo to Zephyrus, the god of wind who also loved him.
You told him about how Apollow would take Hyacinthus on his sun chariot and let him experience things most mortals couldn’t, how they would do everything together. How they were together even till the last moment, when Zephyrus got jealous and let the wind manipulate Apollows disc and sent it straight to Hyacinthus, hitting him in the head and killing him.
“And Apollo was devastated, holding his dying lover in his arms,” you said, voice dropping to a whisper as you told the ends of that story. When you had read it for the first time, you had been angry, because they deserved a happy ending. They deserved it and it was ripped away from them.
“So he turned Hyacinthus into a flower, using his blood and eye colour, perpetualizing his spirit forever in a hyacinth.” You looked back up at Taeyong, who smiled crookedly, “I think that’s beautiful, tragic yeah, but beautiful.”
You rolled your eyes. Of course he’d find it beautiful. “What? You want your lover to make you into a flower when you die?”
“When I die I want to be remembered,” he said, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his jeans, “And the language of flowers is the language of love.”
“Dude, that's french.”
“Same thing,” he shushed you and you giggled. He hands find yours, pulling you closer to him until you’re pressed up against him in a hug. “I think turning your lover into a flower is like showing the world you loved them even when they’re dead, you know?”
“Oh? I’m guessing you want to be turned into a flower now?”
“That depends,” he winked at you, and you fake gagged. “Never do that again.”
“I’m just trying to live out my dream of being a smooth boyfriend.”
You snorted, “Keep dreaming.”
He kissed your forehead, “Speaking of which, what flower would you make me into?” He asked, and you hummed in thought. “A rose, it’s always a rose for you.” It was the flower you had associated with him ever since you were a literal kid, and it wasn’t changing anything soon. “Like your scar.”
He was like the flower as well, fragile in some ways, strong in others. He was friendly and beautiful like it’s petals, but guarded at the same time, like the thorns that adorned its stalks. And roses symbolized grace and admiration, they meant love, which was something you definitely felt towards him.
“Hey, but like roses exist and Apollo made a whole new flower so I was wondering- Ow! Okay geez!”
It was about eleven thirty pm when Taeyong burst into your room and decided to make it his life’s new purpose to distract you.
You had finally sat down to write, having an inkling of what you could put down when he came about, eyes way too bright and a shit eating smile on his face. How were you supposed to type out a very important article for a project when he was right there?
Stupid pretty distracting boy.
Somehow you had gravitated further and further away from your desk, and to your bed, sitting with your laptop on your legs as you sat on Taeyong’s lap with his arms looped around your torso.
“Oh,” you said tiredly, suddenly remembering something you had to ask him about, “Uh, I have a writing thing in a few weeks.” You said, rubbing your eye with your fist. “Could you come with me when I have to submit the story?”
“I thought you hadn’t written anything?”
“Oh yeah, It’s an old story, I’m submitting in hopes I get chosen for this writing project, they’re publishing the stories that are chosen in a book.”
“That’s great,” he said, rubbing your side comfortingly, “Of course I’ll be there”. You yawned, trying to focus your attention back onto your work, but Taeyong proved to be the one you captured all of it at the moment.
And it was so easy, giving into him that was, because your writer's block hadn’t left and really writing was becoming a pain. Any distraction was welcome but at the same time you couldn’t get distracted because you had so much to do!
But when his lips brushed against your neck, that was the last straw.
At first, you were sure you could ignore him. Maybe it was just an accident while he was watching you work, surely he didn’t do it on purpose right? Couldn’t be-
And then you felt a very deliberately placed kiss at the side of your throat, and you froze, fingers stilling on your keyboard. It was soft, just pressing his lips against your neck before he moved them upwards and kissed you there.
Oh hell no.
You shut your laptop with a start, placing it to the side and attempting to get out of his hold. You could feel the cocky expression on his face without even having to turn around and look at it for yourself, and let out a small yelp when he pulled you back, turning you around so you were facing him.
“What happened?” He asked innocently and you couldn’t bring yourself to meet his eyes. His hands settle on your hips, pulling you closer until you’re forced to meet his half lidded gaze, “Going somewhere?”
You stuttered and he smirked, tugging you so close that you’re back on top of him, and his lips were back on your neck. He left open mouthed butterfly kisses up until your jaw, and your eyes fluttered shut, fingers fisting the material of his shirt.
Taeyong seemed to like your response, smirking against your skin. In contrast to what you were usually used to, these kisses were far from soft. They held a sort of desperation, and they felt scalding hot, nipping against your jaw. A whimper left you, and you felt as if you were going to melt right then and there in his arms.
If you weren’t already sitting down, you would’ve buckled from his kisses. They were utterly intoxicating, and you felt warm all over. He abandoned your neck, clicking his tongue as he looked up at you, suppressing a grin at the fucked out expression on your face, before leaning forward and slotting his lips between yours.
Your hands found his hair, tugging at the ends as gently as you could, kissing him back. Your kisses were innocent, just pecks, but this was far from that. You pulled him closer, legs around his waist.
His fingers curled around the hem of your shirt, before abandoning it all together, And you felt his hands- which were cold in comparison- graze your skin, thumb brushing against your waist in slow back and forth motions, and you felt a little dizzy but in the best way possible.
Your breathing was heavy as he finally pulled away, it felt like your lungs were on fire and probably so was your face.
“Someone enjoyed that,” he teased, and you looked away, “Fuck you.”
“I know you want to.”
You slapped him playfully, scowling, “I hate you.”
“No you don’t,” he said confidently, “You love me.”
Rolling your eyes, you yawned, blinking, “My article,” you said softly, looking at your now closed laptop that was kept off to the side. “You’re such a distraction I’m never letting you into my room while I’m working.”
“The reason I came was to stop you from working late, not makeout with you but that’s just the added bonus,” he said amusedly, “Come on, you should sleep.”
“Nope, sleep with me.”
You gasped, heat rising to your face and yet you decided that taking a dig at his expense was far more important than your flustered state , “Scandalous!”
Even in the darkness of your room, you could see his face flush, which was ironic considering you were in his place a minute ago. “I didn’t-Not that- you know what? It’s late and I have no energy to defend myself from your twelve year old humour.”
And the two of you were back at best friend territory, laughing and joking with each other, the tension in the room dissipated almost immediately. Putting your stuff back, you decide to give into his pleading.
You go to bed in his arms, perfectly content.
Love is a finicky thing. It’s unpredictable, it’s volatile and confusing and sometimes so subtle you don’t know you’re in love until it’s too late. Sometimes you think you’re in love when you’re not.
Sometimes, in the words of Mavis from Hotel Transylvania, it could be a ‘zing’ where it just works. Where everything falls into place like puzzle pieces carefully fitted together to create a beautiful picture. At first you’re not sure what picture it is (unless you look at the puzzle box) but when it’s done, you’re proud of it.
Or maybe, sometimes it’s like puzzles that take time, with pieces that don’t fit together, and you can’t seem to figure it out. Some pieces fit, but it's just barely half the image. Sometimes they fit and they don’t even make sense and it’s frustrating.
Sometimes, love lasts for a long time, sometimes forever. Maybe that's where the thought of soulmates erupted from, when two people stayed together for better and for worse. That was what marriage vows were made of, after all. When they managed to love each other through everything, the love never faded.
But then there were those who loved and lost. Love could also be like a flame put out with water or the cold. Love can freeze to death, until that rush, that zing is gone and all that is left is a sad husk of what used to be there.
All that is left is memories.
Like water in a bottle that has been cooled in the refrigerator, but not to the point where it was frozen. When you slam the bottle on a flat counter, the pressure forces a seed to form at the top, and then the entire thing freezes. All it needed was that one little nudge.
Perhaps that's what love needed, just a little seed to spark something.
But to be nudged, one had to take the first step. What if they were scared to do so? What if, even with that nudge it shatters and falls to pieces? What is sometimes, love was just destined to lose it’s spark?
xiv] scaredy cat and a scared cat
Spring bleeded into Autumn and the fall semester sprung on the two of you, with the title of ‘senior’ under your belt. Pinks and Blues melted into reds and oranges, the world repainted itself, a new palette, a different story.
A new season portrayed on its canvas.
Holding your overpriced pumpkin spiced latte you had gotten from ye olde Starbucks on your way here, you looked to your side where Taeyong stood, a petrified expression on his face. You wished you had his camera with you so you could capture a perfect picture of his horror (oh the irony) in HD, but your phone would ultimately have to suffice. Taking it out with your free hand, you managed to snap a portrait, earning his attention.
“Well that’s my new lockscreen,” you said with a smirk and he scowled at you, “You know, for blackmail purposes.”
“Demon spawn,” he grumbled under his breath, pulling at the edges of his jacket, “we’re not even inside and it’s already ten degrees colder, so this is definitely a sign we should turn around and go back-”
You snickered, “Are you scared?”
He puffed out his cheeks, which were dusted with a natural blush from what you assumed to be nerves. “I am not, just cautious.”
“You’re shitting your pants right now.”
He stuck his tongue out at you, very maturely indeed, and you did the same, before finishing off the remnants of your drink. It’s too festive for your taste, but you drink it every time anyway.
It was October, Halloween creeping up on everyone. Of course, the pumpkins were out, as was the atrocious use of pumpkin spice in every item on any menu you happened to come across. Capitalism at its finest.
“I don’t see why we have to do this,” he frowned, “It’s an abandoned house, which mind you, getting into would be trespassing. We’d be criminals, I’m too young and hot to go to prison!”
Rolling your eyes, you threw the disposable cup in one of the dustbins nearby, making sure to put it with the wet waste, “It’s called abandoned for a reason dumbass, no one is going to find us, and get into the spirit will you? It’s already spooky season, halloween is only two weeks away.”
“Get into the spirit,” he repeated, “Bad wording.”
“I hope you step on a lego.”
Stuffing your hands into the coats of your pockets, you walked upto the gate of the house's compound, leaving him with no other choice than to follow you. The gate creaked open with ease, much to your delight and his displeasure.
You had wanted to visit the abandoned house for a while now, but never had until this point, because one: you had always gotten caught up in other work and two: in case it wasn’t completely obvious, Taeyong was a bit of a scaredy cat.
Seriously, the dude couldn’t sit through a horror movie without yelping at least ten times and ‘going to get a glass of water’ at least five. Not to mention the bathroom breaks.
Watching horror movies ended up with his face buried in a pillow or your torso while he tried to ignore the creepy music, and your hands in his hair massaging his scalp and trying to get him to calm down. Usually he wouldn’t get any sleep after that, which meant you wouldn’t get any sleep which you didn’t mind. That’s also why he only watched them with you.
So obviously as the lovely, considerate best friend you were, you naturally decided that taking him to a spooky abandoned house during Halloween season was the normal thing to do.
“This is fine,” he muttered, walking beside you into the property. It was pretty chilly, coming to think of it, and you shivered slightly. It didn’t deter your spirits, but hadn’t passed Taeyongs observation, who immediately took your hand in his, putting them in the pockets of his jacket with his own.
You looked up at him in surprise and he shrugged, “You looked cold, and I know for a fact that if I gave you my jackets you’d call me sexist for trying to be nice,” his nose scrunched up, touched with a slight tinge of red from the chill, “And I’m cold too so I’m not going to suffer by trying to be nice either.”
You chuckled, squeezing his hand. Things like these, the little ones he did always made your heart flutter. Little displays of affection that had no hidden meaning, they made you go all fuzzy and warm on the inside, despite the cold.
“Okay, let's go inside?”
“No thank you.”
‘We’re going anyways,” you raised an eyebrow at him and he sighed, surrendering, “Okay then.”
You walked in to the door, deciding to knock just to creep him out. A gust of wind blew past the two of you and a shriek was heard, making you jump with him.
Looking to your side, you saw a rather bedraggled looking cat, chunks of its fur was missing and it looked at the two of you with what you could only decipher as murderous intent in that moment. It let out another wail, before scurrying away.
The poor thing was scared out of its mind, you could tell, but you really weren’t focusing on that, seeing that Taeyong had a death grip on your arm and was practically dislocating it. You looked at him, trying to shake off his hands from you, seeing a shocked and scared expression on his face.
“Dude, hello, you’re going to break my hand.”
He let go of your arm reluctantly, embarrassment creeping up in his features. “Caught me by surprise,” he muttered and you bit back your laughter. At this rate you were going to spend the day in stitches over him.
“It was a cat Taeyong, you’re like, ten times bigger.”
“It was scared of you!”
He glared at you, but didn’t make an attempt to argue back with you, instead opting to stare blankly at the door of the house, idly kicking a rock at the side of the porch. You shook your head, taking his hand in yours and putting it back in his pockets.
“Squeeze if you get scared.”
He appreciated the genuine tone of your voice, and nodded curtly, giving you a small, sardonic smile in return. Taking a deep breath, you gripped the door knob, before turning back to him.
“Just don’t break my hand.”
xv] i think i kinda, you know
You didn’t see Taeyong much after that, classes taking up your time and schedules. That was okay though, you knew he was just there, right opposite your room, just two windows and a roof away.
But at the same time, it sucked to not be able to talk for two weeks straight, simply because you were always with him. Every time this happened, it felt like the two of you were drifting, and even though you knew you’d always find your way back, the prospect of that was a little scary.
The wind was blowing in your direction.
Taeyong and you had been together for a few months now, and even though there really hadn’t been any new relationship jitters and excitement, it seemed to be fading off gradually.
That rush was gone, and you didn’t know how to feel about it, probably because you didn’t even notice. Taeyong however did, and was confused.
See, he loved the thought of you, of loving you, and he did love you. It was everything he had ever wanted and more, but lately with all the distractions and classes that idea seemed to be slipping away.
So when you asked him to reteach you how to drive after those two weeks, he agreed straight away. It felt like forever since he had spent any time with you and he missed you. Maybe there was that inkling of fear of losing you contributing, but he pushed it to the side. There was no point in over analyzing his own over thinking.
“Be gentle with the accelerator,” he instructed, “Actually, be gentle with all of them, don’t destroy my car please.”
“Right,” you said, hands gripping the steering wheel tightly and pressing the accelerating pedal lightly. The car increased in speed and it felt like your heart was in your throat. Seeing a stop sign, you panicked, “Wait how do I-”
“The brake, idiot.”
You didn’t bother retorting to this, nodding and pressing the brakes in your panic, only to catapult yourself forward. Thank god you were wearing your seatbelt, thank god air bags existed and thank fuck you were gripping the steering wheel with a newly developed suction force of your hand.
“Well,” he swallowed thickly, “Now you have to park and then I’ll drive you around until you die because there is no way in hell I’m going through that again.” His voice cracked towards the end as puberty decided to make a second show in his lifetime. Any other time you would have teased him about it, but all you could manage was a sigh of relief. You didn’t know why you thought learning how to drive again would be a good idea.
Come to think of it though, you didn’t really have to tease him about his voice crack, considering his cheeks already glowed with embarrassment over it. Clearing his throat, he began speaking again, “Anyways, make a full stop and turn your steering wheel all the way to the right, then align the car to the center and pray to whatever god exists above you don’t crash the back of my car.”
You prayed alright, trying to follow his instructions to the best of your abilities. Managing to do so, the two of you slump in your seats almost in unison. You’d leave the driving to him and god forbid, Ryunjin.
“Switch?” he asked, unbuckling his seatbelt. Nodding enthusiastically, you practically leaped out of the seat and walked to the passenger seat, happy to be back in the comfort of the freeloader while he drove. Uber existed for people like you, and you were fine with accepting that.
“Oh thank god she’s okay,” he muttered and you beamed, batting your eyelashes exaggeratedly, “You worry about me!”
“I was talking about my car,” he deadpanned, looking at you like you were the camera and he was enacting that scene from the office. You let out an offended sound, “Never mind, you don’t care for me at all, forget it, I don’t love you anymore-”
“Anymore?” He raised an eyebrow, “You love me?”
You stayed silent, looking down at your hands and coughing, before nodding, “Of course I love you idiot.”
He pressed his lips together, and you sighed. You should have known playing the best friend card would’ve been fruitless at that moment, so you gathered every bit of your courage and said the four words.
“I’m in love with you.”
Taeyong blinked, teeth sinking into his lower lip. He loved you, of course he did, but those words held so much. For the first time after a long time, something was hard when it came to you and it was such a foreign concept to him.
Everything had always been so easy with you and now it felt like he was stuck. That fear from before started creeping in again, that rush was fading and the idea of you was slipping through his fingers. He didn’t want that, he wanted to hold on to you and wanted it to forever be a rush.
Was it too soon to say that? You didn’t really know because you were internally panicking. Maybe you should’ve continued playing the oblivious card instead, this was a stupid idea, telling your best friend you loved him? What in the-
“I'm in love with you too,” he said softly, making you look up at him. He smiled crookedly, at your astonished expression, it almost looked like you didn’t believe him. He hoped you did, he hoped he did.
He hoped he loved you like you loved him.
Leaning over his seat, he pressed his lips to yours and you responded almost immediately, hands cupping his face as you kissed him back. The boy you had loved for more than three years loved you back and you were walking on cloud nine with him by your side, arms around his neck.
The winds blew your way, unbeknownst to you as Zephyrus controlled them.
xvi] where are we? (where were you?)
And once again, you didn’t see him for days after that, weeks even. Usually the tension would dissipate after you met, but this time it didn’t. And you couldn’t figure out why, not even for the life of you.
It was like everything had become sticky, and you didn’t quite know where to step to navigate it. This was something you definitely had been afraid of even when the two of you weren’t together. That was why you made sure to give yourself reality checks, telling yourself that the two of you could never work, and that you shouldn’t hope.
But all of that was thrown out of the window the moment he kissed you.
You assumed he just needed some space, which you respected. He was probably busy with stuff and as a matter of fact, so were you. You had an entire article waiting to be written and other classes to work on.
But right now you stood outside the classroom, holding a copy of your story all printed out in Times Roman font in size 11. You had already submitted an online copy through email, but they required a hardcopy as well, just to be sure.
But this was way more nerve racking, considering you would see the others signing up for this opportunity. You knew there were some amazing writers in your journalism class and not to mention the english majors. Even outside that section, there were so many. At least in the comfort of your room, you didn’t have to face everyone.
Chewing on your lower lip, you skimmed over the story. It was an old one, you had gone over it and edited it again a few weeks ago, but you had deemed it good enough for something like this.
The thing was, since it was so daunting to be here alone, you had asked Taeyong to come along with you before. You had always felt safer, or more at ease when he was around, he had the ability to calm you down and be rational while you lost your shit.
Except he was nowhere to be seen.
You glanced down at your wrist, reading the time of your watch and sighing. He should’ve been here fifteen minutes ago, and yet you were still waiting for him.
Had he forgotten? Probably, but at this point it felt like he was ignoring you on purpose. The thought was pretty alarming, and ridiculous all the same considering he had absolutely no reason to do so. And this was important to you, he never forgot things that were important to you.
Pressing your lips together, you decided to forget about him, walking into the classroom. You were met with a few unfamiliar faces, and a sea of unfamiliar ones. You saw Renjun, an english major who was pretty good with his words, especially with saying something philosophical or symbolic (again, in mark speak, that would be: deep).
He put his papers on the table, before walking back to the class. It was then you realized you hadn’t stapled your own together. Sighing exasperatedly, you walked to the shelves, looking about for a stapler.
You bumped into someone, looking up to apologize, only for the words to die on your tongue when you realized it was Doyoung. Blinking in surprise, you saw him holding some papers and put two and two together.
“You’re submitting a story?” You asked incredulously. He shrugged sheepishly, “Thought I’d give it a shot.”
“I didn’t even know you wrote?!”
“Just for fun,” he said quickly, trying to cover up his tracks. For some reason he sounded embarrassed of the fact and you decided to take advantage of this, a smirk on your face as you acted confused.
“You? Fun? Aren’t you an accounting major? I thought all you did was sit at your little desk and crunch numbers all day.”
“I disown you.”
‘Now we can’t have that!” You exclaimed as softly as possible to not gather anyone else’s attention, but also loud enough to portray the drama, “Who else will do my taxes? Or-”
Doyoung muttered some not so child friendly things under his breath, supposedly directed at you as he placed his story on the table and walked out. Grinning to yourself, you did your task of stapling your papers together. The interaction had calmed your nerves a little bit, and so you did the same, walking out.
All you could do now was cross your fingers and hope for the best.
You decided to walk back home, seeing the weather was pretty nice, and the pathways were littered with fallen leaves, painting it with oranges and yellows. The child in you wanted to stomp all over those leaves just to hear the crunch of them under your boot.
You walked back to your house, taking childish joy in the crunch of the leaves, smiling lightly. When you were younger, you and Taeyong would make a pile of leaves and one of you would jump in the middle, then you would repeat the whole thing for the other person. It had always been the two of you through everything.
Speaking of Taeyong, you spotted him standing outside his door, dressed in sweatpants and a pale blue sweater, hair slightly messy. You smiled for a moment, watching him, before you realized.
Why hadn’t he come?
Well it was now or never, there was no time than the present to ask him about it, was there? Walking up to him, you tapped his shoulder from behind. He turned around, before catching sight of you and smiling, “Hey.”
“Hey,” you replied curtly, “So what were you doing this afternoon?”
He frowned in thought, eyebrows knitting. “I took a nap and finished off a few assignments, they just keep piling up god.” He shook his head, “But yeah It’s been forever since we-”
“I asked about today, Taeyong, not while we haven’t talked.”
Maybe you were a little hurt over it, but you had a right to be. You had even reminded him about it, and he still didn’t show up when you needed him to. Really, it wasn’t that big of a deal, but maybe you would’ve been more confident doing it.
He nodded slowly, slightly surprised by your small outburst, and cleared his throat, “Yeah I took a nap.”
“So that’s why you didn’t show up,” you said, confusing him even further. Cocking his head to the side, he raised an eyebrow in question and you sighed, “The writing thing, Taeyong.”
Taeyong’s eyes widened when he realized what you were talking about, mouth opening and then closing, no words coming out. He didn’t have an excuse, other than his memory failing him.
“I just,” you paused, looking down at your feet. Suddenly it felt like you couldn’t control anything, and it frustrated you. You hadn’t seen him for weeks, he bailed on you for an event you needed him to be there with you for, and he didn’t even have a proper excuse for it. To top it off, it felt like he had been ignoring you.
And you were confused.
You continued, “I just feel like we’re nowhere right now, and I really wanted you to be there.” Your voice wavered slightly, and you wanted to kick yourself for it. There was no reason for you to be nervous.
“Like, what even are we?” You said, not even giving him the chance to respond, “Like yeah, best friends, but Taeyong, are we really just that?” You asked the one question that had been plaguing your thoughts.
You didn’t know what the two of you were, to put it quite plainly. Yeah you still used the term ‘best friend’ because it was simple and easy and avoided any complications, but at this point, saying you were still best friends was only adding to the confusion. It was adding to it because you weren’t just best friends, damnit, you were in love with the boy.
And yes, he said it back to you, but those were just words. Were they real? What if it was all just a figment of your imagination?”
“We’re best friends,” he said, the ‘words’ flying out of his mouth before he could even comprehend it. It sounded almost rehearsed, like he had stood in front of his mirror saying that statement several times in a row until he could do so in his sleep.
You didn;t really blame him, though. That was what the two of you had been ever since you were four for gods sake, but that only irked you further. Taking a step forward, you cupped his face, kissing him full on the mouth.
It wasn’t a long kiss by any means, you had already pulled away not even a minute later, but it had definitely left him bewildered. You sighed, letting your arms fall limply to your sides, “Do best friends do that?”
Your voice was barely above a whisper, but it was loud and clear for Taeyong. He swallowed the lump in his throat, refusing to meet your eyes.
“No,” he said finally, “They don’t.”
Sighing you, ran a hand through your hair, “Fine, we’re best friends, so if that was the case, couldn’t you have at least been there as my best friend if not my boyfriend?”
That statement cuts through Taeyong, making feel even worse than he already did. “I-” He stopped himself, realizing there really wasn’t anything he could say. He didn’t know what he could do. He had hurt you, and that was the last thing he had wanted to do.
“I’m sorry,” he said quietly.
You left, back to your own house, back in the sanctuary of your room. Of course you forgave him, you said it was okay and squeezed his hands in assurance before you had walked away, but it wasn’t okay.
You still didn’t know where the two of you stood.
Another thing about Love: it was selfish.
Everyone said love was supposed to be selfless, it was supposed to be giving of one’s self to others. Fairy Tales illustrated this, romance novels did do, and everyone held that perception of love.
What they didn’t talk about was how it was rarely ever truly selfless. People loved taking, rather than giving, and keeping. Finders keepers, if you will.
You see, the thing about love is that you want to keep it no matter what. Even when it’s broken and theres no hope for it, you try fixing it, keeping it together to the best of your abilities. You’d tape together the pieces of your heart with scotch tape if you had to.
Taeyong was selfish, he knew.
See, the thing about him was he needed change, while you were fine staying where you were. He couldn’t stay in one place for long, and no, it wasn’t a commitment issue. It was simply in his nature.
But he was selfish, he wanted change but then he didn’t.
Taeyong had fallen for the concept of having you, of loving you. He had always been a bit of a romantic, and the prospect of having you as his had been all too tempting. Infatuation if you will.
A mistake, he loved the mistake, but he regretted it. He wished he hadn’t gotten so caught up in his thoughts and romanticization, maybe then he wouldn’t be in the position he was in right now.
He loved you, but he was tired.
Not of you, but of the idea, the thought. That rush had faded off, as had his infatuation with you.
He tried fixing it, putting space between the two of you hoping it would patch it up. ‘Distance makes the heart grow fonder’, it was a saying for a reason, right? It had to work, right?
Not in this case, all it did was make it worse. An he didn’t want to hurt you, fuck, that was the last thing he had ever wanted. He wanted to love you like you loved him. He was your ‘yongie’, and he wanted it to stay that way. So he stayed silent, he let you be his because he wanted to love you.
But all he was doing was hurting you further, he realized. His selfishness was costing you, and it was costing him, slowly eating away at him. He kept pulling you close only to push you away and it had never been like this before.
If this was a perfect world, Taeyong would keep you anyways, and he would slowly learn to love you again, this time for real, not just in his imagination. In a perfect world, he’d never make the mistake of following along with his thoughts, he would’ve never led you on.
In a perfect world, he wouldn;t have to accept his mistake, he wouldn;t have to own up to it and break your heart even more. But this wasn’t a perfect world.
This world was selfish.
xvii] one heart broke, four hands bloody
When Taeyong showed up at your window, you knew what was happening. Just an inkling, not even the full thing, but you had a good guess.
You let him in, not saying a word. The silence weighed down on the two of you as he climbed into your room, stuffing his hands in the pockets of his jeans and looking around. You followed his eyes to a frame sitting atop your desk, of the two of you. You were seventeen in that photograph, which was ironic. You had fallen in love with the man that stood in front of you when you were seventeen.
Perhaps you were selfish as well, because you could see what was coming, and somewhere in the back of your mind you had always known, yet you kept him. Love was selfish.
He let out a deep breath, facing you properly, brown eyes meeting your own. You couldn’t help but notice the remorse in them, he didn’t even have to say anything, you already knew he was silently apologizing.
“It’s okay,” you said, “It’s okay.”
“You deserve to know,” he said, sucking in a breath, “And-”
It’s too much for you, and you can’t bear to hear it coming from him, so you interrupted him.
“Do you love me?”
Just four words, but that question was heavy. It was an effort just to say it, to get it out into reality. He bit down on his lower lip and you had your answer, but you waited for him to confirm it.
“I think I fell in love with the idea of you.”
And you’re confused, but you nod slowly, allowing him to continue. It’s already becoming hard, you could feel your throat constrict on itself. You fisted your fingers, digging your nails into your skin in an attempt to distract yourself from your wandering thoughts.
“I think I loved you at one point,” he said, “and I do love, just..” he trailed off and you sighed, forcing yourself to speak through your hurt. “Not like I love you?”
Your voice broke towards the end, your throat felt scratchy and it was getting hard to speak. It hurt, much more than you thought it ever could, especially when he gave you a soft nod confirming your suspicions. It was like someone was prodding at your heart with a rod.
So this was what heartbreak felt like.
It was worse because you had had him at one point, he was yours even for a little. But was he ever really yours? You didn’t know. It was painful because there had been a chance, you had almost had him, only for it to all slip through your fingers.
Maybe it would’ve been better for it to never happen, if you had just stayed within your role as a best friend. If you hadn’t let the lines blur between them. You could live with loving him quietly, you had until now, didn't you? You could stay as the best friend, you could watch him fall in love with someone else.
But now, you don’t know if you can, because you were living in blissful ignorance before. Now you knew what it felt like, to be loved by him. And you’d do it again and again, but at the same time, you didn’t want to do it at all. You wished you could turn back time and erase all of this. You wished you could forget.
It was reckless of you, and you realized in that moment that best friends aren’t supposed to be lovers. You’re too similar, you know too much about each other.
“I love you,” your voice comes out broken but full of emotion. Choked, pent up, heartbroken. It feels as if someone had taken your heart and walked right over it, leaving it alone. The world hated you, you were sure, to make you fall in love with someone you couldn’t have.
“I love you too,” he said, equally as broken, but it was empty. It was like he was trying, but failing and you were waiting for someone who had given up.
You wished you could keep him anyways, and call him yours. You wished he could fall in love with you again and again and again. You wished you could know that it would work, and that this beautiful man in front of you felt the same way you did.
You can’t force the stars to align when they’ve already died.
And then you’re crying and you don’t know why. Being heartsick hurt so bad, it was a dull ache at one moment, and then a piercing pain. Taeyong walked over, pulling you into his arms, muttering apologies over and over but you don’t hear them.
You’re in his arms once again, but you’re crying, crying for him, because you can’t explain the way it hurt now that you knew it was over. It was so brief, but it was gone. You were mourning a lover you never had, a love you lost, but could really call it yours in the first place?
Somewhere, in the wistful, stupid, idiotic part of your mind, you wonder if somewhre down the line he’d be yours again. If somehow the two of you found your way back to each other, like a fairy tale.
But your fairy tale had ended before it could even properly begin. You had fallen in love with the wrong prince, and no true love's kiss could help because it wasn’t true love. As much as you hated it, you had to accept that.
See, the real world wasn;t perfect, there weren't any fairy godmothers, or dwarfs to help you. There were no enchanted spinning wheels and talking mice. The real world was harsh.
It’s both of your faults, you know. He led you on and you let yourself follow. You didn’t see the signs and kept him anyway. The both of you are caught red handed, but really only you’ve been hurt properly. He never really loved you.
Could you go back to what you were before all of this?
It felt like he was miles away, even though you were in his arms. You had lost him, he was gone and there was nothing you could do about it. You feel so stupid, because you had known it would end like this and yet you let it happen.
“I should go,” he whispered, taking a step away from you. You felt exposed and vulnerable, but nodded, trying to wipe your tears away. He hesitated, before leaning forward and pressing his lips to yours for one last kiss. It was salty from your tears, but it hurt even more. This was the end, you knew.
You knew that if given the chance, you’d go straight back to him. Your heart lied with him and him alone, and even though it fucking hurt, you’d let him beak your heart again, no matter how stupid it sounded.
And then he left, and you were alone. Just a window away, but miles apart.
When you were thirteen, you had your first crush. You didn’t really like the guy, but you thought you did, maybe it was because all your other friends had crushes and you felt obligated to do so.
You felt no butterflies when you saw him, you didn’t feel anything if you were being honest. After a while, you got tired of pretending you liked him, and that was the end of that.
With Taeyong however it was different. That had been love, no matter how brief. For a moment within it all, maybe, just maybe, he had loved you like you loved him.
Then it all fell to pieces, but you were grateful, even through your heartsick self. It hurt but you were grateful that he was yours for a moment. You were grateful he told you the truth in the end.
You sat in front of your laptop once again, hands on the keyboard. It was almost laughable, the way your inspiration was the one thing that happened to devastate you the most.
See, with Taeyong you kept falling and falling until you had hit the ground. Taylor swift was right, because falling really did feel like flying till the bone crush.
And it crushed you, because not only had you lost a lover, the boy you had loved and cared for for so long, but also your best friend, the boy who you could always depend on, who was always there for you.
Until he wasn’t of course.
So what was love to you?
You began writing, in the dead of the night. The scene was extremely similar, a bowl of Froot Loops by your side, dozens of tabs open with other distractions. But this time, it was like your writer's block had disappeared into thin air, leaving you only with words. And you drowned in the words, you poured them all out onto your article.
You didn’t care if it was unprofessional, you could edit it out later, but for now, you let it all out. You poured your agony, your grief and your love into the piece, until it was done. Until you had exhausted your every thought and it was five in the morning.
And you didn’t bother to read it over. You printed it out and looked across your room where your window was, where you could see Taeyong’s window. The mud stood there, the roses drooped ever so slightly.
You took the unedited printed copy, and climbed out onto the roof, looking up at the sky. There were no stars, which made you smile bitterly. Not even star crossed, just not there.
You placed the copy carefully on the window sill, next to the mug. The roses looked bruised and battered, dark spots here and there on its petals. You could tell he hadn’t watered them, or changed the water, or even bought new ones.
You had told him that if you were a god, you would make him into a rose. Now, it felt like Zephyrus had taken away your Hyacinthus, your Rose, just like he did to Apollo. You’re standing in a field of roses, but can’t find the one you wanted.
You knew what love was, and for you it had unfortunately come in the form of your best friend, Lee Taeyong, the most gorgeous man you had ever seen. The kindest, the most wonderful and most thoughtful person you had ever met. Someone you knew like the back of your hand, that you could see with your eyes closed.
And even when you found someone new, a piece of your heart would alway remain with him. For you, it would never be. It would live on as a memory, one that you would treasure forever.
You’d love him forever, till forever fell apart.
xviii] well, i hope i was your favorite
Taeyong woke up, in a bit of a daze. It felt like it had all been a dream, and he had been shaken awake. Letting out a sigh, he got to his feet, observing his appearance in the mirror. Sleep still covered his features, eyes half closing, hair sticking out in different directions as a result of bed head.
Blinking rapidly to snap himself out of it, he got ready for the day, changing into presentable clothes and then walked back into his room with his cereal, his precious Frosted Flakes, only for his eyes to catch onto his window.
There sat a small booklet in a file. He walked over picking it up and opening it, reading the title.
‘What is My Perception Of Love’, an article written by Y/n L/n. [unedited]
He gripped the sides, wondering if he should read it. You had obviously left it out for him, it was right there. He’d admit, maybe he was a little scared of what he would find- scratch that, he was terrified. Yet, he sat down at his desk, turning the page and beginning to read, taking a spoonful of his cereal into his mouth.
Love is confusing.
And even now as I write this piece, I’m not quite sure what it is. In fact, when I started writing it, I was met with a blank document and no idea of what I should put down. Google said love was a feeling of intense affection or admiration. Urban dictionary said it was the most powerful emotion.
And no matter how much research I tried to do, no matter what I read, I was always left where I started, with that blank document and still at square one.
So I asked one of my closest friends, someone who was like a sister to me. She told me that it was amazing, that it’s comforting. And when I decided to pen that down, she stopped me, telling me that it was just her view.
So then I asked a lot of people. I got varied answers, some said it was the most wonderful thing in the world, that it was comforting knowing it existed. Some hated it with a burning passion because they had been hurt before. They said love is always meant to end and that’s why it was painful, and yet, even with all these different opinions, I was still lost.
It wasn’t my perception.
But I think google is wrong, see there is a difference between love and admiration. Love and Infatuation are two very different things, and I’ve seen and felt both.
Falling in love is scary for most, but for me, it was easy. I think everyone could see it, simply because the person I fell in love with was so lovable. They were perfect in my eyes and I think that’s where I’ll start.
Love is a strong feeling in your chest, it makes your thoughts go haphazard until all you can think of is that one person. No matter what they do, it’s like they’re always glowing, they’re always perfect and beautiful and you’d do anything for them.
But then there is infatuation, the thought of loving someone. What would it be like? In that case you can also see a person as perfect, but it only lasts until that idea is gone. Until it fades away and you realize you weren’t in love with them, but rather the idea of them.
Maybe Infatuation is a type of love, but it’s much more explosive. It’s short lived and in the end it hurts because you realize they don’t love you for real.
When I fell in love, it started out as a crush and then it only grew. And even if it’s all over, I know I’d go running back to him. I’d give up everything to call him mine if I could. That’s the thing about love, isn’t it? It is indeed a powerful emotion and it could ruin you if you let it.
Google defined infatuation as an intense but short lived passion or admiration for someone or something. I agree with this one, because when I fell in love it was short, because the person who loved me back was just infatuated.
And that hurt when I put the pieces together and found out. It hurts because you could love someone with all your heart and in the end it’s all fruitless. In the end love ended up breaking my heart.
Love is terrifying, but I think that's the point. Sometimes you can mistake infatuation for love and I think that’s why they say love is blind. You never know what it is until it’s too late. You can’t love without hurting.
Love is painful, it’s agonizing and sometimes it feels like someone has ripped your heart out of your chest and trampled all over it. It gives you that high that people chase after and it probably isn’t worth the pain you feel after you come crashing back down, but we chase after it anyways.
I know I did.
Trusting someone with your heart is a scary prospect. They can break it, and you can be left with trying to pick up the pieces.
But that’s heartbreak, and while I know exactly how that feels, I’m talking about love. That’s what my article is supposed to be about. Love, to me, is stored in moments. Little things you do with that special person.
Little things like grocery shopping, and spending time together. Taking care of eachother, always being there for the other person. When you choose them above everyone else. I think that’s love, it’s not as grand, and hell if it’s true, but it’s there.
It’s being able to tell the other person anything in the world, being able to be completely honest without any fears because you know they’ll accept you. When you don’t have to act like someone else, you can just be yourself, imperfections and all.
When you can understand each other without having to say anything, it’s just the silence that carries the conversation. When you don’t know how to put your feelings into words and so they construct your sentences for you.
It isn’t telling the person you love them everyday, but rather the little things you do for them, and those they do for you.
It’s being selfish in a way, you’d do anything to keep them, I know I would. It’s beautiful but painful at the same time, and that begs the question: how can something so beautiful be so tragic at the same time? It doesn’t make sense, and frankly, I’m figuring that one out for myself.
Some say it’s an illusion, some think of it as this final destination, but I don’t think that’s true. I think we find love everyday, I think it can be a burst of affection, it’s a mixture of lust, attraction, commitment and dare I say, ironically so, infatuation. It comes about when you least expect it, creeping up onto your heart and you don’t know you’ve fallen until you can’t get up.
It’s rarely something you find at the end, it’s never a reward for everything you’ve been through. You can lose it before you have it. It can be short lived, believe me, I know. We barely lasted a year but god.
Those few months, those taught me what love truly felt like. And hey, maybe it’s a warped version of it, maybe I’m completely wrong, but this is my perception of love.
Then again, I’ve only ever been in love with one person.
Taeyong thinks you’re the unluckiest person ever to have to fall in love with someone like him. He wasn’t blaming you by any means, because he felt at fault somehow. Perhaps it had been beautiful, the two of you, but he had ruined it with his own idiocy.
Placing the booklet down, he rubbed the front of his face, letting out a sigh and leaning back in his chair. His cereal was forgotten, only your words remained.
He was betting that your article wasn’t what you wanted your perfect world to look like, in fact he was sure that for once you had written what reality had in store.
Picking it up again, he walked to the shelves on his bedside wall, taking out an old children's book he had kept. When the two of you were little you used to read it together, talking about the picture illustrations.
He remembered you telling him you could write a better story and him arguing that you couldn’t. A very supportive best friend.
Opening it, he flipped through the pages until he reached a particular one. Page 8, where there was a loose ruled piece of paper kept there. On the top, in messy crayon writing, it read: Best Friend Contract.
The rest of the writing was faded and smudged, so he really couldn;t read it. He had kept it after all these years, and was glad he did.
He smiled briefly at it, placing the article over it and shutting the book once again and keeping it back in his place, staring at the spine. Looking around, he realized there were pieces of you all around his room. There was no way he’d ever be able to forget you, even if he tried.
“Thank you,” he whispered, “For teaching me to love.”
But I knew you'd linger like a tattoo kiss, I knew you'd haunt all of my what-ifs
You did well on your article, the edited version of course. There was no way in hell you were sending in the raw version, it was too piercing even for you. It was too scatterbrained, a little too much. Some of it went into personal territory, so you had to cancel it out. You did better than you had expected to do, that was for sure.
The seasons changed once again, but it felt like you were stuck in one spot. Your feet were rooted to the ground, still mentally in the joy of spring. Maybe it was the heaviness of your heart that weighed you down, maybe it was your hate for change, you didn’t know.
And things didn’t go back to normal, you didn’t magically fall back into your old habits with him, you didn’t fall in step with his stride. You were struggling to catch up, and running was exhausting. Even the thought of speaking with Taeyong seemed to hurt, and if you couldn’t think about it, how in the world would you be able to do it?
You wished you could stay the best friend forever, but as much as it pained you, you had to accept the fact that that chapter of your life was over. Yet, you were still in love with him, while he was almost in love with you.
Almost isn’t enough, and it never will be.
And in a perfect world, one that you would write to achieve, you would continue loving him quietly. Maybe he’d fall for you again, maybe you’d watch him love someone else. Maybe you’d see him get married, standing on the sidelines. It would break your heart again, but at least you’d be able to keep your best friend.
You’d let him break your heart again and again, because you were fine with loving him quietly. You were fine with no one knowing, with no declarations of love and no romance. You had done it until everything fell to pieces, hadn’t you?
Stupid, stupid hope.
You knew Taeyong had dyed his hair blond finally, you had seen glimpses. He looked good. You knew he still stayed up late to play his game. You knew exactly how his room looked at that very moment.
On his chest of drawers lay the half finished miniature, and you were sure it would stay like that forever. On the window sill was the roses, probably sad and dead at this point. Your article however, you didn’t know where that was, but you hoped he had kept it.
In your closet, somewhere in its mess lay the top he had gotten you when he loved you, you liked to think.
You see, Taeyong and you had done so much together. You had learnt how to read together, you had played with him, he had been with you when you had no one. He was your constant, always there.
You had stayed up late together, he had made sure you slept some days, he had helped you when you were sick. You had helped him in math back in high school. You helped his clumsy ass when he broke something, going grocery shopping together, going home together, him hyping you up whenever you needed it.
That was love, you were sure, and you didn’t have to look any further for it, even if you’d never see it again. And it was a little bittersweet thinking back on it, because when you did all of it, it was always with him. Now that was gone.
You and Taeyong had been adjoined at the hip ever since you were little, and had experienced so many firsts together. He put up with you even when he didn’t like it, like visiting an abandoned house and being trespassers. Partners in crime through thick and thin.
But out of it all, you hoped that you had been his favorite.
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