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#jaehyun au
doiebunny · 3 months ago
Pairing: Jaehyun / You Genre: one shot, childhood friends to enemies to lovers!au, arranged marriage!au Rating: M Warnings: dirty talk, oral (f. receiving), fingering, rough sex, thigh riding, multiple orgasms, overstimulation, unprotected sex Word count: 20.9k Summary: You hate him. He hates you. But you’re arranged to one another. The universe really works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it?
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It’s a Tuesday afternoon and Jung Jaehyun—an environmental lawyer—is slumped against his office chair, his gaze up at the ceiling, his lips slightly parted as the shock in his system still refuses to wane. All he could remember from the meeting with his father are the words marriage, wedding, contract, deal, merger. He’s not even sure if it came in that order. This is a lot to process and usually, he’s good at handling information, easily registering key dates, facts, arguments and laws in his head.
Okay, let’s set the scene straight. So he’s going to get hitched to you—would it really be that bad? Sure, there had been bad blood between the two of you but that was in high school. He hasn’t seen you in years so maybe there is a hopeful prospect to this situation. It could actually become a time to rekindle your friendship. This could be a reunion or a reconnection, if you will.
Deciding to bring out his phone, he decides to search you up on Instagram. Finding you easily, he browses your profile. Your feed is simple and clean. He focuses on the ones with you in it and my God, did you grow up to be a beautiful woman. You’ve always been pretty to him but the current adult version of you is hot. You put all those girls that Jaehyun fucks to shame, the name of the one he took to bed two nights ago already gone in his head. He clicks on your most recent post. Wearing a long gown in silver, you’re posing with a glass of champagne in one hand, your clutch purse on the other. Fuck. You’re dripping of elegance, of sex and just the sight of your bare thigh from the slit of your gown is enough to make him groan involuntarily, teeth gnawing on the inside of his lower lip. Since he’s already in this arrangement, he might as well begin this reunion by being the first to reach out, clicking the follow button before sliding into your DMs.
_jjh: u look good 🔥
It takes about eight seconds before ellipses are dancing around on the chatbox. Two more before he receives your reply.
yn.03: who tf are you??
Jaehyun feels the edges of his mouth twitch for a smile as he types his response.
_jjh: your future husband
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“What do you mean I’m marrying Jung Jaehyun, dad?”
“It means you’re marrying him,” your father just nods and confirms calmly, expression stoic as always.
Jung Jaehyun is a name that you haven’t heard in years and so to hear it falling from your father’s mouth was surprising and definitely unexpected, even more so when the word marriage succeeded it. You’re perfectly knowledgeable that eventually you’re going to be affianced to someone because of traditions but the atrocious and revolting thing about all this is the man your parents chose.
Every information they heralded in the span of seconds overwhelmed you, had you landing back down on your chair, elbows on your desk, hands on your forehead. Honestly, you are so close to pulling all your hair out. When you look up to meet your parents’ expectant gazes, you ask them again as to why you’re marrying Jaehyun. And once again, you’re met with the reason your father provided earlier. A deal. A contract. The merging of companies. The establishment of law firms. The exchange of million dollars between parties. 
Sighing, you screw your eyes shut and shake your head. This has to be a fucking nightmare that you’re having because there is no way this is happening. There is no way that this is the reality you’re living in now.
Your mother, ever so soft and gentle, regards you with a concerned look. “I know you’re upset, dear—”
“Upset?” you chime, half-laughing at the incredulity of it all. Standing up, you emphatically pronounce your feelings. “I’m not upset, mom. I’m more than upset. I mean, I know I’m going to be promised to someone but I just can’t believe you chose him.”
She flits her gaze between you and your father before holding your hand. “Honey, we have a good relationship with the Jungs. And besides, isn’t it better to marry someone you’re familiar with rather than a stranger?”
“I would much rather be married to a complete stranger than to him.”
“Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad,” she offers, optimism coating her voice. “Maybe this can be an opportunity to patch things up with him again, rebuild your friendship.”
With your firm resolve, you insist, “There’s nothing to rebuild. God, mom, this is just—”
Your father’s voice is loud when he abruptly snaps, prompting you and your mother to turn to him.
“You’re going to marry Jaehyun whether you like it or not.”
With him leaving the room and your mother following shortly after embracing you and bidding you goodbye, you’re now left in your office. With your future cut out for you.
People say that hate is a strong word—a powerful, impactful verb. They say it's a strong word because society tends to use its opposite word more and throws it more often than hate. Society tends to lean towards being more polite and less offensive. To use the word hate means that you really detest something. And you've always been told to save that word for such instances and not just sputter it carelessly because hate contains a passionate feeling of negativity. So perhaps hate is not the right word to use when it came to Jung Jaehyun. You know what, scratch that. It is. There's no point in even sugar coating it because it really is how you feel for him. You hate him. You hate that you're promised to him for marriage even more.
Enraged, you snatch your phone on the desk, opening your earlier conversation with him. When you received the first message, you thought that this person was some random creep on the internet who’s fifty years old and probably bald. That was until you managed to view his display name and browse his Instagram profile briefly. Before you could even type a reply to his last message, your parents came in and dropped the news to you like a bomb. And now that everything has been officially confirmed, you realize that he is real. This really is Jaehyun.
Jaehyun, who was once your best friend. Jaehyun, who was once the constant in your life. Jaehyun, whose friendship you were once thankful for. Once upon a time, you two were inseparable. The best of friends. That was until junior year of high school. The bond between you two, the mutual respect and admiration for each other dissipated slowly into smithereens until it turned into bitterness and contempt for one another, turning you into strangers with history.
Rapidly, you’re typing up your response and reviving the conversation back, the speed of your fingers becoming directly related to the level of your infuriation.
yn.03: i’m not marrying you, jaehyun.
_jjh: i don’t think you have a choice, sweetheart.
yn.03: don’t call me that.
_jjh: do you prefer wifey?
yn.03: GAG ME.
_jjh: oh? didn’t know that you’re a freaky one too. i’ll make sure to remember that ;)
yn.03: fuck off
_jjh: lol i forgot how cute you are whenever you get riled up
_jjh: anyways see u tomorrow, sweetheart
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Jaehyun is currently alone in the elevator, waiting for it to reach the eighth floor. With his hands in his pockets, he gazes up at the blinking red arrows ascending on the screen. There’s not a lot going on in his head except for all those particular photos that grabbed his attention when he was scrolling through your Instagram last night. There’s that one image of you from five months ago wearing a grey sweatshirt coupled with ripped jeans, looking very girlfriend material. There’s also that one of you wearing a yellow off-shoulder dress from three weeks ago. God, with a pretty face like that, he’s sure you—
The doors sliding open interrupts his reverie. Stepping out of the lift, he makes his way to his father’s office, making sure to politely nod and smile at the people working in their cubicles. When he enters the Chief Attorney’s room, he’s surprised to find that you’re there already, sitting on one of the chairs, fingers idly tapping on the desk as you wait for your own father, his father and of course, him.
“You’re late.”
These are the first words you utter, not even bothering to look at him when he enters the office. You haven’t seen each other in years and his tardiness is the first thing you comment on. But then again, considering your relationship and your distasteful feelings for each other, he’s not really expecting cordiality from you. Nevertheless, here you are, in all your glory, wearing a black pencil skirt and a collared white blouse. Oh, and you have got to be kidding him. Two of your buttons are undone.
Once he occupies the seat adjacent to you, he takes a gloss over you. It’s hard not to stare at your legs, at the exposed skin of your chest and collarbones. His dick is obviously happy about the sight of you as he feels it twitch. He grits his teeth and bites down on the inside of his lip to tame the arousal threatening to flare up.
“I’m not late,” he deadpans, taking a peek at his wristwatch then back at you. “You’re just early.”
Unfazed, you take a quick glance at his swept back, gel-filled, slick locks. “Nice hair. What did you do? Swim here?”
What a great reunion so far. He lets out a scoff. “It’s good to know that I’ll have such a supportive and loving wife.”
Rolling your eyes at the way he emphasized the last word, you fold your arms, feeling your irritation boil inside. When an inflammable silence brews thickly in the air, you evade his observant stare at you and distract yourself by scanning the room again, zooming on the details. It’s similar to your father’s office where there’s a wooden desk in the middle, files on top of each other, a picture frame perched beside the computer monitor, a couch in the corner of the room and a bookshelf that has those hefty law books.
Jaehyun sighs loudly, a petulant expression drawn on his face. “You know, the thought of marriage never even crossed my mind before all of this.”
This draws your stare back at him. “I couldn’t imagine anybody wanting to marry you.”
“And you think there’s a man out there who’d be willing to marry you?” he huffs a humorless laugh as he retaliates.
“You think there’s a woman who would want to marry a pants-wetter like you?” you pipe back with your first bullet of the day, completely unrelenting now that you’re provoked.
“Hey,” he yelps in defence. “I was ten!” God, you really might just be the hottest girl that Jaehyun despises. “And, if I remember correctly, aren’t you the one who cheated on our math exam because you copied off from my answers?”
Alright, that’s it. If you’re going down, you’re taking him with you. “Oh, yeah? Aren’t you the one who threw a fit and cried all day when you learned that Santa isn’t real?” you goad.
He leans forward, piercing his stare on your face as he ticks his head sideways. “Aren’t you the one who threw up on the teacup ride in Disneyland?”
“Hey, I had food poisoning,” you argue pointedly. “It’s not like I did that on purpose.”
“Whatever,” he dismisses. “You were disgusting.”
God, this guy is an abomination and to think that you’ll be settling down with him and that you’ll be tied down to him for the rest of your days is just unbelievable. “I fucking hate you.”
“The feeling’s mutual, sweetheart.”
When you wince at the term of endearment, a self-satisfied smirk crosses his lips and you swear you’ve never wanted to choke a guy so bad.
Unfolding your arms, you look at him challengingly. “You wanna talk about disgusting? Alright,” you nod. “Didn’t you shit your pants while waiting for the dentist? I’d say that’s pretty disgusting, wouldn’t you?”
Jaehyun falls silent as he reclines back on his chair. With a tight jaw, he glares at you, indignation steaming out of his nostrils. You, 1. Jaehyun, 0.
Smirking, you ask derisively, leaning forwards threateningly. “What’s the matter, Jung? Cat got your tongue?”
Jaehyun flips you off with a livid face.
“Nice,” you snort. “It’s like we’re still in high school.”
After his childish rebut, his sulkiness continues to loom over his face. “You know, I can’t believe they’re actually making me marry you. I’d rather be married to a goat,” he remarks bitterly.
You quirk a brow up. “Huh. I feel sorry for the goat. Having to deal with fuckin’ Pampers.”
“Why, you little—”
The sound of Jaehyun’s father clearing his throat stops him from uttering his explosive jab at you. Both of you turn to face the patriarchs of your family who are standing side by side, holding out some papers in their hands which you assume are the contracts since this is what the agenda is for today’s meeting. They approach the two of you and automatically, you’re both standing up with Jaehyun proceeding to courteously greet and shake your father’s hand, you with his.
After the formal greetings, they lay the papers out on the desk, explaining the contents, guiding you on where to sign. It’s basically a legally binding contract stating that you are agreeing to be married to each other. This marriage, they tell you, will look good on paper and will be good for their companies’ future. Your father specifically talked about the timeline and how the wedding will be six months from now to make way for the transition of the merger.
Law firms bearing your names will be built and spread out across the country, with Jaehyun leading and managing it. He’s bequeathed with two responsibilities and already, his stomach churns, shoulders sagging. His father is essentially making him take over an empire. All this time, he’s been preparing his son for something greater, something bigger. And this was it. Questions have started to swarm in Jaehyun’s head as he listens to them talk. He thinks about his own capabilities, fretting about whether he’s ready for this kind of duty.
Your fathers also said that it is imperative to be convincing once you’re both wedded to each other. Not only do you have to marry him, you also have to go through the ordeal of pretending to be happy and in love with him once you’ve tied the knot. You have to build a façade, show them that your combination is good enough, that you’re working together harmoniously. It’s better, they advise, to be sure and to steer out from any issues or hearsays that could come up. It is essential to persuade the people around you, even though right now, it’s harder to convince yourself to make up and reconcile with him. 
Throughout the whole discussion and their speeches, you don’t look at Jaehyun, finding yourself lost in your thoughts, wallowed by the feelings of resentment and detestation caused by this stupid tradition. The universe, you think, truly works in mysterious ways. It could play tricks on you and fuck with you. Put you into a horrible situation that makes you feel like you’ve hit fifty feet below rock bottom.
You’ve always dreamt of marrying for love but in this world, that kind of marriage isn’t an option. The notion of choice is non-existent. You’ve always thought that whoever it is that you’re going to be betrothed to, you would’ve learned to love them eventually. 
Let’s take your parents as an example. They were promised to each other. They were complete strangers who had to marry each other. And afterwards, they learned to love each other as they got to know one another. It was like dating in reverse. Now, here they are. Still happily married and in love even after all these years together. They’ve always served as inspirations for you. They were a guide, the ones that ignited that spark of hope inside you and made you think that someday, maybe you can have that too when your time comes. Now, you’re not sure at all if you can even have that. Because it’s Jaehyun.
There really is no way out to this. Fuck. How are you going to love each other when you can’t even stand being in a room with him? How are you going to build a bond with your future husband and pretend that you’re in a marital bliss with him when already, you’re both miserable about having been coupled together through this arrangement?
This will change and affect every single thing in your life. You could already envision it—you’ll both live under the same roof, you’ll do most things together, attend events and overlook the whole company. Your life with him would just be one huge obligation and that’s it. You and him would have to pretend to be the perfect husband and wife outside and when it’s time to return in the private sphere of home, it’ll just be the same. The rift between you would continue to divide you as you do your own things and live your own private lives separately without incorporating one another to your personal circles.
Perhaps Oscar Wilde really made a point when he said that one of marriage’s charm is that it will make a life of deception. The thought brings about a dull ache into the marrow of your bones because there’d be no love in this marriage, only duty. Marriage, you believe, should always have love, friendship—a bond. It should mean that two people are connected, not separated. Instead, this one is all fragmented from the very beginning. He’s going to treat this—you—as an obligation, as work. You might as well do the same and comply.
Swallowing your pride and emotions until the taste in your tongue turns bile and all your nerves are wired to only have bitterness in them, you sign the papers. That’s all it took for the deal to be sealed, for your choices to be decided for you and for your future to be written out on your behalf.
With your fathers leaving the room, you figure there’s no reason to stay here any longer. Standing up from your seat, you sigh exasperatedly and make your way to the door. If you’re being honest, you have no energy left. All you want to do is get out of here, scream inside your car, pour yourself a glass of wine when you get home and scream again just to feel cathartic.
“Hey, wait,” Jaehyun says, catching your elbow, his voice all gentle now. “Look, I know we both hate this arrangement but for the sake of our families, can we please set our personal problems aside?”
Crossing your arms, you blink up at him, considering.
“How about this,” he bargains when you don’t answer. “If I don’t win your heart in a month, then fine. We can call off the whole thing.”
You scoff. “Good luck in convincing my dad and your dad.”
“Hey, I can come up with something. I’m a pretty charming guy, you know,” he assures, a smile growing on the corners of his lips. It almost earned him a snort had you not controlled yourself. “I persuade people for a living.”
Raising a quizzical brow, you ask, “What are you proposing?”
“Four weeks,” Jaehyun offers confidently. “Four weeks to take you out on dates. And after that, you can decide if you want to go through this marriage with me.”
For a second, you deliberate. What he’s suggesting is not a bad idea. Remembering your mother’s optimistic words about how you can use this to patch things up with him, you suppose that you could give it a chance. And if it doesn’t work, then you trust him to stay true to his word.
Maybe this arrangement does have a silver lining despite it being murky at face value. Maybe change is what you need. A change in mindset, in outlook. Maybe you do need to start burying the past behind you and try to approach Jaehyun differently.
“Okay,” you say, conceding. “Four weeks, Jung. Four weeks.”
He nods as he extends his palm out. You shake it firmly, sealing the deal.
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For the first week of your agreement with Jaehyun, you go bowling.
It’s early afternoon when you get there, the place heaving with people. There’s a family in one lane, a couple in the far right and some young teenagers to the left. The smell of greasy pizza and donuts wafts heavily in the air from the snack bar as you and Jaehyun sit down and put on your bowling shoes.
Taking your designated lane, he starts to key in your names on the screen. You decide to warm up, grabbing an orange ball, slipping your fingers in the holes and aiming ahead before surging forward and letting the ball roll off your hand. It had a good start before it veered off to the side halfway through the path, only hitting one pin on the farthest right side.
“To be fair, I haven’t played in ages so…” you reason, shrugging nonchalantly.
“That’s okay,” he nods, goes to grab a pink ball from the rack and begins to angle it chest level, moving slightly as he stays in the middle. When he launches forward, it’s with a sure speed, bending his body, his right foot curving backwards as he swings his hand and lets the ball go. With the right amount of force and velocity, Jaehyun hits a strike on his first try, effortlessly knocking all the pins down.
“What the fuck?” You cross your arms, expression stupefied. “Are you like a pro or something?”
Giggling gingerly, he shakes his head. At your next bowl, the ball actually swerves off to the side halfway through the lane, rolling in the gutter. Jaehyun once again reassures you that these things happen and that you just need to keep on practicing.
Groaning in frustration, you pout. “Hey, is this why you chose bowling as our first date?” you say, hands on your hips as you arch a brow. “So you could make me feel bad about my skills?”
“I suggested bowling,” he counters with a smile, taking another ball and going beside you, “so I can teach you. It’s not that hard once you get the hang of it.”
“Easy for you to say,” you huff. “You probably scored one fifty in one go before.”
“Two eighty,” he reveals at the same time as the combination of noises from kids and the raucous of balls rolling and hitting pins increases in volume.
“Two eighty?” you repeat with a gasp, unsure if you even heard it right. “Who does that? Just say you’re a pro and go, Jung.”
He grins, slightly shaking his head to spread out his stubborn strands away from his forehead. “I’m not a pro,” he stresses. “Pros score like three hundred and that’s fucking hard to achieve.”
Shooting him a pointed, critical look, he steps to your side, transfers the dark green bowling ball to you. He positions himself behind you, holding your shoulders. “Keep your posture relaxed and straight.”
Nodding, you straighten your back even more. When his breath hovers at the side of your face, your pulse in your wrists vibrates, making you gulp as you urge your brain to concentrate on the lesson. He runs his palm on your arms and you follow its trajectory. “Make sure you keep your gaze ahead on the target.”
When you nod determinedly, Jaehyun continues. “Then when you’re about to bowl, lower your shoulders slightly.” He demonstrates the stance step by step. “Bend down a little and keep your hand under the ball.”
“Like this?” you ask, facing him as you follow his instructions.
“Yep,” he says, popping the ‘P’ sound. “And then when you walk forward, slightly bend your knee like this,” he guides, displaying the exact posture. “As you let the ball go, put your right foot backwards. Got it?”
“I think so.”
He implores, “Okay, you try it.”
Taking all of his words in, you begin to keep your eyes ahead as Jaehyun steps back to give you space. When you’re confident in your position, you finally stride ahead, making sure you don’t overstep on the line, bending slightly and slanting your foot backwards as you swing your hand and let the ball go. Compared to your previous attempts, you knock five pins in the front this time.
“Nice,” he shoots a proud grin your way, high-fiving you. “See? It’s pretty easy, right?”
Returning with an exhilarated nod, you sit down and watch Jaehyun as he goes for his turn, again beating the rest of the pins down cleanly. When he proposes for a real game after that round, you two start to get competitive. With your newfound confidence, you end up scoring high, catching up to him. You were on a roll, even scoring a spare.
“You’re still so competitive,” Jaehyun comments while he flickers his eyes up at the score then back at you.
“I’m not as bad compared to you,” you counter, watching a ball roll back to the rack. “Remember when you didn’t talk to Sicheng for forty-eight hours after he beat you in badminton?”
“Hey, in my defence, I just turned thirteen then,” he protests. “I blame it on the teenage hormones.”
“That’s your defence?”
For your last bowl, you scored a nine. In the end, Jaehyun emerged victorious with a score of one seventy-four. You weren’t far behind, scoring a one thirty. You’re actually quite surprised at the result—you’ve never bowled a score this high before. When you were a teenager, the highest you achieved was a ninety. This isn’t a loss to you. If anything, you saw it as a win. A win in your skills.
After returning your bowling sneakers, he turns to face you with an offer. “You wanna go and get something to eat?”
“Sure. My treat.”
“Y/N, I can—”
“No, Jae,” you insist. “You paid for bowling so food’s mine.”
“But I’m the guy. I should be paying.”
“Jaehyun, it’s fine,” you assure him. “Just let me get it, okay?”
He relents, nodding. “Okay. Thanks.”
As a creative director for an influential brand, you don’t have any problem with spending. You’re not destitute, thank goodness. During first dates, you would allow the guy to pay but there’s no reason for him to just cover everything when you can also offer to pay and treat.
After roaming around the food bar, you both opted to have something light, settling for ice cream.
“Um, I think I’ll have the green tea ice cream,” Jaehyun decides after skimming through the menu board.
“You haven’t changed at all,” you comment, smiling. Whenever there’d be an ice cream truck that would stop outside your school in the afternoon, he would always ask for this specific flavor, never changing his order. Even in high school, it remained the same.
He mutely chuckles in an oddly shy manner, rubbing the back of his head as he keeps his scarlet lips pursed, a tinge of vermillion gracing the pores of his cheeks.
“Are you blushing? Gross,” you tease waggishly, nudging the side of his body slightly.
He rolls his eyes, bumping you back gently. “Shut up.”
Laughing, you step forward when the girl behind the counter calls for you. Jaehyun watches you articulate your orders in and you send an amiable smile to the girl, thanking her when she hands you his order first. He feels his heart clench in his chest as he accepts it from you, the smallest amount of contact from your fingers sending a shiver to his spine. There really are some things—and some feelings—from high school that hasn’t changed.
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When a harsh buzzing sound from your phone interrupts your peaceful and deep slumber, you reach out for the device on your nightstand and willed yourself to open your heavy lids, squinting to read who’s incessantly calling you.
Vision all bleary, you unlock your phone and answer with a throaty voice. “Hello?”
A familiar voice from the other line chirps a good morning and once your conscious registered who it is, you grunt.
“Do you know what time it is, Jung?” you complain, eyes wandering round to the balcony in your room, only to see that it’s still dark outside.
“It’s time for you to wake up and get ready because I’m picking you up in fifteen minutes for our second date,” Jaehyun responds, sounding spright.
“I sincerely hope you’re kidding,” you say, releasing a long exhale as you turn to the side again to check the time on your digital clock perched on your nightstand. “It’s five o’clock.”
“Yes, I am aware of that. But I promise this will be worth it. Now hurry up and get your ass out of bed. We don’t wanna miss it.”
Jesus fuck, this guy really is serious. A date at five in the morning. If this was a normal situation where you’re not at all linked together, you would’ve sputtered profanities at him, hung up the phone and then go back to sleep.
Drawling out a long, excruciating moan, you finally push the covers down after he hung up the phone. You don’t even know if you’re fully cognizant when you make your way to the bathroom and do your essential morning routine of washing your face and brushing your teeth. After putting on a pair of jeans and a shirt, you make sure to grab a cardigan to cover you up. You contemplate whether to put on some light makeup but in the end, you forego it, just taking a small bag and shoving your necessities in.
When you emerge out to finally face the dim world outside, you see Jaehyun leaning against his car door, wearing a black sweatshirt and jeans, a smile gracing his face when he meets your eyes. “Morning, sleepyhead.”
Covering your mouth as you yawn instinctively, you narrow your stare at him afterwards, exhaustion still lingering in your bones, preventing you from feeling energized to start the day. It’s barely light outside and the chilly morning air just makes you sleepier as you desperately long for the comfort and warmth of your own bed.
“This better be good,” you say.
He laughs at your attempt to be threatening. “It will be.”
Finally going in the passenger seat, you buckle yourself up, Jaehyun doing the same before turning the engine on. When you’re both on the road, you lean your head back and groan, only making your date’s grin bigger. He’d be bluffing if he said that he didn’t find your groggy and frowny self in the morning endearing and cute.
“So where exactly are we going?”
“You’ll see,” he says with a teasing smirk.
When you return with a pout and a questioning expression, he could only react with a chuckle. You’re comforted in always knowing the specifics and it makes him want to defy that by not disclosing details. Besides, where’s the fun in revealing it to you immediately? He, for one, wants to see your reaction once you get there.
Leaning your elbow on the windowsill and resting your head on your palm as you take in the view that you pass by, you can’t help but shake your head, stifling your idiotic smile upon the realization that you really are on a road trip with him at five in the morning.
With one hand on the steering wheel, he coasts through the highway smoothly and easily since only a few people are travelling at this time of day. Whatever he’s got planned for you, it’s safe to say that you’re definitely intrigued. 
For Jaehyun, this is a special day because he’s never taken any other girl out to this place. In the course of his dating experience, he’s never really found the right one to take. Come to think of it, he finds that he likes your company a lot. He always feels so invigorated whenever he’s with you. There’s familiarity with you and there’s a kind of simplicity with your personality that puts his heart to ease. Whereas with his exes, he felt exhausted since it always seemed to be about them. He pondered about the reasons why he felt that way with his former lovers and deduced that perhaps they only dated him because of his wealth and status.
With his last girlfriend—Rachel—he felt as though he was just someone in the background, a flower that she could display, a bit of decoration for her life. She rarely made an effort to get to know him and connect with him on a deeper level. It felt like it was always him chasing and wanting her. She grew too comfortable with that fact, liked knowing that Jaehyun was a pawn in her little games. In the end, he caught her fucking someone else in her car.
His last relationship resulted in his hesitation to commit, in his reckless, lascivious lifestyle of fucking with no strings attached since at the end of the day, he’s still a young man with needs. He worked hard so he can play hard on the side—this was how he lived before doomsday came to him. He knew he was going to be married to someone one day; he just never expected that the person his parents chose for him was you. But now that you are here in his life, now that you’re back in his world after a long time, he realizes that perhaps being arranged to you had been a blessing rather than a curse. He definitely brands it as good karma now.
Ever since your bowling date, he couldn’t get you out of his head. After that day, you texted each other nonstop. Sometimes, when he’s having his lunch break at work, he’d find himself randomly smiling at the thought of you, proceeding to bring out his phone to reread all your conversations. There’s still the occasional bickering between you but then again, he feels like it’s almost inherent to do that because of where you two started before all of this.
There’s that one where he sent you a screenshot of a tweet that he saw about whales, the conversation quickly escalating into the topic of global warming and ecosystems. And then you replied with a fact that you thought was right but really, you were in the wrong.
Jaehyun [10:58 pm]: …actually it’s Australia that’s managing it. The EPBC act 1999 is responsible for the protection of national and international flora and fauna, including the great barrier reef. get ur facts straight
Y/N [10:59 pm]: lol why u maddd
Jaehyun [11:00 pm]: not mad bro, just educating you.
Y/N [11:00 pm]: go off i guess 
Whenever he takes a glance at you, occasionally asking if you feel comfortable with the temperature, you keep on reassuring him, finding that warmth had started to travel from your palms to your cheeks. Maybe it’s not just from heat that emits from the heater.
“Stop that,” you protest when you finally feel like you’re about to implode from his stare.
“You keep on looking at me like that.”
Averting his eyes away from yours, he stares at the road, tongue swirling round on his cheek to contain his giggle. As he steps on the gas and accelerates, it dawns on him that the place he’s taking you is one that’s actually special to him. It’s where he usually goes whenever he wants to feel relaxed, whenever he just wants to ease off all the stress, all the tension and negativity in his head. It’s his safe space and he wants you in it. He wants to make you feel how healing it is once you’ve entered the place. He hopes that you could see one of the things that he appreciates and that you’ll be able to feel something positive.
After a few minutes, Jaehyun makes a quick stop to a convenience store, tells you that he’s just going to buy some coffee and snacks for you both. It doesn’t take long before he steps out with a bag of food. Accepting gratefully when he passes it over to you, you bring out one of the crisps and start munching happily, sharing the bag with him.
Carefully and securely perching your cups on the holder, Jaehyun learns how you like your coffee and how your smile and mood exponentially increases once you take the first sip, with you proclaiming that you can finally function for the day. While you eat contently, moaning in satisfaction from having your first meal of the day, Jaehyun drives once again, completely rejuvenated, humming softly to the music playing on the radio.
The conversation between you falls naturally and easily, with you learning more about the kind of person Jaehyun is now. He revealed that he graduated law school with honors, told you how he had to work twice as hard because he didn’t want to disappoint his father. 
Ever since high school, Jaehyun had always regarded him as his role model, admitted to you that one of his biggest fears is failing him. He’s always been a filial son—something you’ve always admired about him. And ever since you were kids, Jaehyun has always been hardworking. He was someone who was full of dreams and ambitions so to hear that he thrived during his university days didn’t come as a surprise to you.
While he told you all about this, you found yourself admiring his candidness and how easy it was for him to open up to you, reminiscent of how he was in high school where you two shared your secrets to one another. It made you think about how he’s really allowing himself to welcome this change, to give this whole thing a chance. This Jaehyun is so different from that person in high school who always pushed your buttons and did everything to irk you and rile up your nerves, from that person who you heard sputter those words about you.
Aside from serious, personal topics, you also learned about the simple things that were equally important because it’s what weaves him whole—like his love for coffee, Money Heist and IKEA meatballs. When he talked about them, you noticed how his eyes gleamed and how the whiskers on his cheeks became more profound whenever he grinned.
Throughout the whole journey, there had been nothing but laughter and smiles with him. Your heart feels comfortable like this. It’s easy, natural and the chemistry is all familiar because it’s with him. If this was another man, you don’t think you’d get this kind of feeling. It makes you think that maybe your mother is right about how it’s better to have a future husband who you already know.
After a few more minutes of driving, he finally enters the area and parks the car.
“A nature reserve?” you ask while reading the sign.
With the sky gradually lighting up, you waste no time to enter the area together, preparing yourself for what you can assume would be a long hike. Eyes surveying your surroundings, you can’t help but stare in awe. Encircled by trees, with a faint light seeping through the branches and the sound of birds chirping and greeting you two, you look at Jaehyun with a smile in your lips. The feeling that bubbles in your chest is inexplicable and persevering.
As you continue to walk with him, you don’t miss the way his pinky finger grazes with yours and the way sparks makes it way to your spine. You don’t miss the way he looks at you with soft eyes before winding his fingers with yours as though he is asking for permission. When your fingers embrace his, he receives his answer.
Hand in hand, the trek becomes easy, short and tireless. He turns to look at you. “You still mad at me for waking you up?”
Biting down on your lip and smiling, you shake your head. He chuckles and playfully pinches your scrunched up nose just like how he used to in high school whenever you make this expression.
After reaching the end of an uphill path, he stops and finally tells you that you’re both here. Mouth agape, you could barely blink at the captivating sight in front of you. It’s a meadow of tulips—a field of colorful, beautiful tulips all lined up in full bloom.
“Oh my God, Jaehyun, this is…” You’re at a loss for words, your breath completely sucked out from your lungs. Walking forward, you start to admire the myriad of flowers up close. “It’s beautiful out here,” you tell him.
He silently nods and follows behind, crouching down to caress a yellow tulip, taking a whiff. “I took you here because I know they’re your favorite.”
Your heart dangerously lurches in your chest. “You remember,” you say, surprised, as you squat down and touch the closest flower, its pink petal soft and smooth against your palm.
For a moment, you let yourself recall that day where you professed your love for tulips. It was one of your first memories with Jaehyun as a child.
During a coloring activity in kindergarten, your attention was fixated on a page full of flowers, your brows creased in concentration, the tip of your tongue swirling round on the corner of your lip. Jaehyun, with his peachy cheeks and his bowl cut, came up to sit beside you, diligently helped you in filling your page with colors as you told him that you liked those flowers, pointed to them and said that they are called tulips. He repeated the word after you, testing it on his tongue and you found it beautiful how it rolled off naturally on his lips.
“When it comes to you, I remember everything,” he says when your eyes meet, your pulse racing.
With warm cheeks, you stand up, deciding to walk further, going deeper in the field. Jaehyun follows and makes sure to stride beside you, keeping up with your leisure pace. The silence with him feels comfortable as the flowers in the field waltzes against the breezy wind. Above you, shadows of birds start to fly while the morning sky gradually starts to display a marvellous canvas of pastel blue with streaks of orange.
“I always go here in my spare time,” he reveals. Taking a relaxed inhale, he pushes his fringe back, only for it to fall back into place. “I like how it makes me feel calm because some days, I feel like I just need to shut all the noise down and this place definitely takes my mind away from that space.”
This place truly induces feelings of calmness and relaxation with its tranquillity and its fresh air. For the first time in ages, you didn’t seek for the chaotic, busy metropolitan that you’re used to. For the first time, you let yourself be one with nature.
Adding on to his words, you confess your own sentiments. “Sometimes, it can be overwhelming and you just feel like you need to take a step back and breathe.”
Turning his head to drop his gaze at you, a wistful smile glazes his lips. “Exactly,” he says, bending down and grabbing a tulip from its lower stem.
“Jaehyun, what are you doing? Are you allowed to pick flowers here?”
Your questions don’t deter him because he’s scrupulously plucking it in one swift motion, doing the same to the one beside it before standing up again, now with two pink tulips in his hand.
“Technically, you’re not allowed to pick flowers from this reserve but it’s fine,” he says with finesse. When he sees your lips part in shock and your worried expression at his revelation, he just laughs. “Nobody’s around anyway.”
Arching a brow, you can’t help but feel an onslaught of chuckles escaping out your throat. “Aren’t you an environmental lawyer? Shouldn’t you be an advocate for taking care of nature?”
“Well, I am taking care of nature.”
“I don’t think picking flowers counts,” you say dryly.
“I’m taking care of it because by picking these, I know that they’ll be in great hands when I give it to you,” he reasons, stretching out his hand at the same time to offer you the flowers.
Smiling foolishly at his intention and at the gesture, you hold it and lower your head slightly to take a smell, feeling something blossoming in the depths of your chest as though there’s a seed that’s been planted in there and a variety of inexplicable feelings have started to grow and flourish. Since when did he become such a romantic? Was he always like this? Is this what he’s like with his old flames?
“You really are a lawyer.”
This earns you a smile. “Besides, there’s nothing wrong with being daring and impulsive,” he says, putting his hands in the back pockets of his jeans. “I mean, isn’t that what life is all about? Being adventurous and taking risks?”
Nodding, you watch the skyline in front of you as Jaehyun brings out his phone to check the time. It’s quarter to six. Just the right time to catch the sunrise in this perfect spot. Minutes pass by peacefully as you both observe how the sun ascends slowly and gracefully, its light brightly dispersing everywhere, kissing every surface it can land on.
When Jaehyun takes a passing glance at you, he sees the way your eyes are embracing the whole view and how the edges of your mouth are curled upwards as you release relaxed exhalations. He sees the way you radiate beauty against this light, the way your lashes touch your skin. He watches you and feels his heart soar at the same time, realizing that he’s finally found another view that’s more beautiful than the sunrise, a sight that he’d want to adore and praise for every day of his life.
When you catch him staring at you, a faint hue of pink glosses on his cheeks. “Thank you,” you say with sincere eyes.
“For what?”
“For taking me here,” you tell him.
He returns with a nod, delighted that you came to appreciate this place. Looking ahead again, you take a mental snapshot of the astonishing spectacle in your head.
“God, it’s so beautiful,” you breathe, completely enchanted and gravitated by nature’s moment of romantic change, feeling as though your heart is also being saturated with a new combination of colors.
With Jaehyun’s stare still lingering on your features, he could only let out his honest thoughts. “It really is.”
Leaning your head on his shoulder while keeping the tulips close to your chest, he shifts closer and wraps his arm around your waist. For a while, you just breathe together, admiring one of nature’s most intimate moments ever. It doesn’t take long before the world is bathed in yellow, bounded in broad daylight.
Jaehyun fishes for his phone and decides to document the scene, thumbing on his screen to let it focus before taking a few shots.
“Hey, Jae?”
“Yes, sweetheart?”
“God, please, no,” you lift your head, groaning.
His lips are curved upwards into a child-like smile. “Darling?”
Cringing, you shake your head.
When you feign a gagging expression, he laughs. You think it’s repulsive. He thinks it’s entertaining.
When you don’t show any reaction and just bite down on the skin of your lip, he grins. “I knew it. You like to be pampered and spoiled.”
When you smack his arm playfully in defence, he just continues to let out kittenish giggles.
“Do you wanna take a photo together?” you finally drop the question you’ve been meaning to ask him after a few moments of quietness, your voice coming out soft.
His eyes widen before he nods. “Yes. Absolutely.”
Pressing the button for the front camera, he wraps his arm around your shoulder and angles his phone upwards. Counting down, he takes a couple of pictures as you pose together, your grins toothy as the first light of the morning soaks your skins, putting an incandescent glow to you both.
With the distant gleam shining on the world, signifying a promising start, you realize that this truly is the dawn of a new day.
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Once you’re both back on the road again, it is with high spirits. As he drives smoothly and safely, he turns to you, asking with a tentative tone, “Is it okay if we stop somewhere first?”
“Sure,” you nod and he smiles, reaching out to slightly turn up the volume of the radio.
When you recognize the song playing, certain memories flood back in your conscious. Looking at him, you’re sure that he’s thinking of the same one because he’s already singing along, his honey-like voice filling the car.
Fingers tapping the steering wheel to the beat of this Paramore classic, he starts to reminisce. “I still remember the day you introduced them to me.”
“During sports day, right?”
It was during middle school when you and Jaehyun were sitting on the side of the track field, minding your business and being in your own world while your other classmates were occupied in watching the relay race, intensely cheering and shouting. With your iPod, you shared your earphones with him and listened to the band together.
Grinning, he nods. When he resumes to sing, you decide to join him, both carefree and excited as you jam your hearts out to songs from your pubescent years.
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“A dog rescue center?”
“I volunteered here when I was an undergrad,” he reveals—much to your surprise—as he parks the car. When you both step out, he goes to open the trunk and grabs a red gift bag.
Wind chimes tinkle musically when you enter the building. You’re greeted by a curly haired woman from behind the reception, her eyes lighting up.
“Oh my goodness, Jaehyun—hi! What a lovely surprise!” She clasps her palms together, making her way to stand in front of you two, welcoming the younger man with a motherly embrace.
“Hi, Mrs. Davis,” he politely greets back. “How’ve you been?”
“Oh, well, I’ve been extra busy these days. Loads of people are adopting our puppies. What about you? How’s work?”
“It’s been hectic recently,” Jaehyun admits but makes no indication in his expressions that he’s pressured or exhausted. Turning to you, he introduces, “Oh, uh, Mrs. Davis, I’d like you to meet Y/N.”
The older woman jovially grins as she shakes your hand and greets you warmly. “Hi, Y/N. I’m Sally. I’m the one who runs this animal shelter.”
Returning the gesture, you smile sociably. “Hi, it’s so nice to meet you.”
She flits her gaze between you two and asks hospitably, “Would you kids like some coffee or tea? Or maybe some biscuits?”
Shaking your head with a mannerly smile, you utter, “I’m okay, thank you.”
She asks, brow slightly rising, “Jaehyun?”
“I’m also good, thanks,” he says genially, waving his hands in refusal.
“Alright. Let me go and get Maisie then. I’m sure she’ll be so pleased to see you.”
When you’re both alone in the lobby, he tells you that Maisie is Mrs. Davis’ daughter. They grew close while he volunteered here and it warmed your heart when he said that they’re like family to him.
A voice excitedly calls Jaehyun’s name, grabbing both of your attention. When you turn around, you see a little girl with an overflowing amount of energy bolting quickly.
“Hi, Maisie,” he greets when she’s in front of him. He bends down to her height, squeezing her into a hug.
The girl with the pigtails, wearing a yellow dress with a ribbon in the middle grins enormously when he raises his palm for a high five. With a sunny disposition, she goes for it, their palms making a loud slap before she giggles in sync with Jaehyun.
“Did you miss me?” he asks, his gaze soft as he squishes her cheek affectionately.
Maisie nods, her lips jutted out in a pout, the baby fat in her cheeks making her look so precious and wholesome.
Jaehyun holds out the gift bag and waves it in front of her. “I have something for you.”
The little girl’s mouth shapes into an O as a gasp erupts out of her. She embraces the gift bag, clinging onto it and swaying it, making him chuckle before he earnestly wishes her a happy birthday.
With eager hands, she’s instantly unravelling her present, exclaims gleefully once she finds a jacket. Sliding it out from the bag, she raises it up and clutches it into her chest, hopping like a bunny. “It’s green!”
It’s her favorite color and seeing her smooth and touch the cotton material of the item makes Jaehyun smile satisfactorily. “You wanna try it on?”
Bobbing her head yes, he helps her as he holds the jacket while she slips her arms in. She twirls cutely once she’s wearing it over her dress, the outerwear perfectly fitting her frame.
“You look very nice, sweetie.”
“Thank you, Jaehyun,” she beams widely.
Her innocence makes your heart swell with nostalgia, missing your childhood years and how it’s so simple and carefree back then. Observing them, you couldn’t help but grin too, the sight tugging on your heartstrings in the best possible way. Jaehyun being excellent with kids is so refreshing to see. Most of the guys you dated in the past were awkward and stiff when they met your nieces, nephews or little cousins but Jaehyun is different—he’s natural and patient.
“You’re welcome, kiddo,” he says, bopping her button nose. “Oh, by the way. Maisie, this is Y/N.”
Stooping down, you wave at her. “Hi, Maisie. Happy birthday,” you greet.
She smiles adorably. “Thank you, Y/N.”
“How old are you today?”
“I’m seven,” she punctuates proudly and confidently, showing you through her fingers. “Are you Jaehyun’s girlfriend?”
Flustered, you stumble awkwardly, “Oh, uh…”
Technically, you’re not his girlfriend—you’re more than that. If you were to look at it objectively, keeping the facts straight, you are his fiancée. You’re an engaged couple going on dates so yes, you are a couple who are entangled with one another through this dating phase. It’s complicated, really.
The apple of his cheeks flushing with crimson, he clears his throat before answering for you. “She’s a… friend.”
“But she’s a girl and she’s your friend so wouldn’t she be your girlfriend?”
Scrunching his nose and gnawing down on his lower lip as though to contain a grin, Jaehyun impishly ruffles the top of her hair. “I guess you’re right,” he says, nodding. “Y/N is my girlfriend.”
Your insides begin to flutter and your face feels like it’s aflame, the thumping of your heart deafening your ears.
“You’re so pretty, Y/N,” she says, her eyes curving first before a smile descends on her lips after observing you in wonderment.
“Thank you, Maisie. I think you’re very pretty, too,” you tell her, thoughtfully pushing some of her strands away so it doesn’t block and poke her eye.
She turns to him. “Jaehyun, do you think Y/N is pretty?”
He spends his time staring at you as though he is in a daze. And when he gets back to her question, he nods, his eyes and lips smiling. “I think she’s the prettiest woman in the world.”
Before you can even manage to take a gulp to tame the stirring commotion of the butterflies in your belly, Maisie is already reaching for Jaehyun’s hand and yours, zealously pulling you both inside the building, presumably to the area where the dogs are. You pass by a hallway with empty cages until she opens a door and you’re taken to the back garden where a couple of dogs are flurrying about, excitedly barking and crowding when they see the three of you enter.
Instinctively gasping in surprise at the sight of dogs jumping, you grin and tend to a brown Labrador, gently stroking its fluffy head. Jaehyun bends down and pets a Terrier that stayed near his foot. “Hey, buddy,” he says, opening up his palm, the white canine obeying immediately and placing its paw on his hand. The lines of his dimples expands as he shakes the dog’s hand.
“His name is Snoopy,” Maisie informs beside you, patting the Labrador’s back softly, causing him to sit down, enjoying the attention placed on him. “He’s four years old.”
“Hi, Snoopy,” you coo, your heart turning into mush when he lifts his head up and looks at you, his tongue protruding out. Leaning, you embrace Snoopy, feeling like you could cry out of your bliss from being surrounded by these dogs.
Maisie tugs your shirt, offering to introduce you to the other pups and you let her, standing up and going further in the backyard. You whip your head, looking over your shoulder at Jaehyun who just grins at you, shooting a thumbs up while he plays with the Terrier that seems to have taken a liking to him.
The docile Snoopy follows you and Maisie as you meet the other dogs—there’s an energetic Cocker Spaniel named Goose, Rover, the black French bulldog and a tiny brown Chihuahua called Lily. Maisie plays with them happily, letting the dogs lick her cheeks as she chortles exuberantly.
Sitting down on the grass and crossing your legs, you let Lily settle down on your lap while you pet her quietly. Beside you, the bubbly little girl tells you all about the dogs, listing all their unique traits like how Rover has a little splodge of white on his chin or how Goose immediately falls asleep when a blanket is thrown over him.
Still near the entrance, Jaehyun stands up and crosses his arms, watching you bond with Maisie, giggling together as you let her show you the tricks that Goose can do. Copying her, you cheer and clap fervently when he submits to your command, proceeding to reward the dog with your praises and adoration, peppering him with your soft petting and some belly rubs.
As he looks at you, he realizes that one of his favorite things about you is your smile and laugh. It reminds him of the good memories he had with you in high school and how he didn’t mind looking like an absolute fool in front of your other classmates if it meant that you’d get to laugh.
Maisie’s mom comes to stand beside Jaehyun, watching you two become surrounded by the dogs, your glee filling you to the brim. “She makes you happy, doesn’t she?”
Feeling as though his heart is about to escape his chest and run towards you, he nods, eyes not prying away from the sight of you grinning and laughing heartily. “Yeah. She does.”
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Jaehyun doesn’t blame you for being completely overtaken by your exhaustion on the journey back home. It has been an eventful day, after all, with the early start and everything. Lowering the volume of the radio down, he makes sure to drive in a steady and comfortable way while you sleep.
“Y/N?” he says once he stops the car outside your place.
When you don’t flinch, only responding with your soft and even breathing, he tries again, leaning a bit forward, placing his hand on your shoulder. “Princess?”
Slowly blinking into full consciousness, you lift your head up, only to see Jaehyun’s face so close to you, his warm breath fanning the side of your neck.
“We’re here,” he says, almost coming out as a whisper before reclining back to his seat, breaking the contact away.
“Oh, uh, right,” you mumble, trying to get your bearings straight.
Taking your bag and unbuckling your seatbelt, you step out from the car, with Jaehyun walking you to your front door.
“So, I’ll see you on the third date?” he asks, rubbing the back of his head, making him look boyish.
“I feel like it’s always you bringing me to places,” you tell him, an idea striking you. “How about I pick where we’re going for the next date?”
“Sounds good to me.”
When he’s back in his car, Jaehyun takes his phone out. He views the photos from this morning, smiling as he selects his favorite one and sets it as his new lock screen.
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Y/N [8:43 pm]: do you like basketball?
Jaehyun [8:45 pm]: it’s my favorite sport
Jaehyun [8:46 pm]: as a matter of fact, you’re talking to a basketball star - michael JAEdan
Y/N [8:47 pm]: lmao ur such a dork
Y/N [8:47 pm]: anyways for our next date we’re going to a basketball game
Jaehyun [8:48 pm]: SERIOUSLY?? oh my god, i could kiss you right now
Jaehyun [8:49 pm]: bet ur smiling rn ;)
Y/N [8:51 pm]: get outttt
Jaehyun [8:52 pm]: hahaha
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If you were in a movie right now, you’d definitely be in a romcom. With matching hats, you and Jaehyun are seated in the middle of the stadium, cozied up against each other like those leads in chick flicks. (He insisted at the entrance in buying you a purple cap so you could match with him.)
“Hey, thanks for this,” he says, tucking a strand of hair gently to the back of your ear.
Your breath hitching for a second, you shoot him a smile, knowing what he means.
“Seriously, this is the best date ever,” he carries on. “I mean, I’m here with a girl that I like and I’m watching my favorite team play at the same time—man, I feel like I won the lottery.”
Shaking your head to control your lips from stretching into a foolish smile, you feel your cheeks heat up uncontrollably. Jaehyun grins and takes the opportunity to hold your hand, interlacing your fingers together as you continue on watching this intense ball game.
Your knowledge in basketball isn’t bad but it isn’t great either. Sure, you know about three-point shots, lay-ups and blocking but there’s still a lot of rules you don’t understand even when you watch it unfold in real time.
“Wait, so why does that guy get to shoot?” you ask, pointing ahead to the player of the opposing team.
“He committed a foul so he gets a free throw,” Jaehyun informs. He enlightens you with all the rules of basketball and the positions of players while you listen and nod attentively, trying to watch the game at the same time.
When the point guard shoots a score, the game continues, with them constantly running and passing the ball while blocking each other and defending. The crowd of avid fanatics are shouting feverishly when someone attempts to shoot from a far angle. And when they miss, the opponent grabs the ball and runs to the side of their court.
You actually understand what’s going on now, enjoying the power and the passion of it and looking up at the time they have before it runs out and they have to make a buzzer beater. Your eyes following the player who currently has the ball, you shout ‘travelling’ before anyone else.
“That’s my girl! Michael Jaedan taught her that!” he shouts, clapping his hands as he stands up, making you laugh.
The referee blows the whistle and calls a foul, gestures with his hand. Once he’s seated again, Jaehyun looks at you with the biggest smile, dimples and the canines on his teeth all on display as he spins your cap backwards before wrapping his arm around your shoulder. This feels comfortable, natural. He feels like he could be a constant.
Inching closer to him, you rest your head on his shoulder, nose almost touching his neck. He smells of lavender, reminiscent of the warmth and coziness of a home. The realization makes you sm—
You yelp when the guy sitting on your right bumps his elbow on the food perched on the arm of his seat, spilling it on your lap. Standing up quickly, you gaze down, your jeans now stained with yellow and red from the sauces of his hotdog.
“Shit,” you mutter under your breath, looking at the man afterwards.
He meets your gaze and snorts before tending to the other lads that he’s with. “Fuck off, bitch.”
“Hey,” Jaehyun rises from his seat. “What did you just call her?”
Taking a sharp swallow, you hold his hand and slightly block him from moving forward and doing something. “Jae, just leave it. Let’s just go.”
With a tensed jaw, he eventually caves and nods at your insistence.
The bastard laughs with his friends as they watch you pass before them. “Man’s fuckin’ whipped by his bitch,” he remarks.
“Oh, hell no,” Jaehyun says, swivelling back and swinging his fist forward for one powerful jab, the man’s head lolling back, his nose bleeding in the aftermath. “You better watch your fucking mouth or your face isn’t the only thing I’m gonna break, asshole. Come on, Y/N.”
Passing the length of the aisle until you’re climbing back down the steps, you run hand in hand until you’re both outside.
In front of the venue, you’re both breathless from sprinting, with you leaning back against a wall. Jaehyun faces you, running his hand through his hair. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that. It’s just—I couldn’t let him talk to you like that,” he explains apologetically.
When you regard him with a knowing and reassuring smile, he couldn’t help but break into laughter too, watching you cackle freely, throwing your head back. The guy’s face when Jaehyun struck that punch was just so hilarious when it flashed through your mind again—he really wasn’t expecting it at all. Now, you’re not one to condone violence like this but you just can’t contain your laughter in. You both ran out of that place as though you were outlaws and rebels and it had adrenaline surging through your veins, making you feel infinitely alive, wild and audacious.
When the hilarity ebbs down, you look at each other, your chests rising and falling as a momentary silence embraces you two. His gaze roams between your eyes and lips and before you can even take your next blink, Jaehyun steps forward and places a peck on your cheek.
With your lips parted and your heartbeat thudding quickly, your eyes widen, a sudden rush coursing through your nerve wires. “Jae!”
He chortles cheekily and starts to back away and run while you chase him.
“Come here, you kiss stealer!” you holler, quickening your speed.
Jaehyun’s laughter ripples through his chest as he dashes to the parking lot with light steps, slowing down to let you catch up to him. When he twists round, you almost bump into him had you not stopped yourself. He pulls you closer to him, his hands wrapping around your waist, resting his palms on your back while he drinks all of your features in. The tips of your noses almost brushing, you swiftly press a smooch to his cheek.
“Now we’re even,” you tell him, holding the last word before breaking away from his embrace. While you walk to his car, your grin reaches your ears and your heart does cartwheels in your chest.
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Jaehyun [10:50 pm]: 
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Jaehyun [10:50 pm]: thank you for today. goodnight :)
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For date number four, which happened to be in the same week as date number three, Jaehyun texted you an address and asked you to meet him there.
After walking around downtown, you arrive in front of a building a few minutes just after three. Craning your neck upwards, you stare at the towering building, wondering why Jaehyun chose this exact location. From the looks of it, it’s a typical, corporate building designed to have offices in it.
When there’s a gentle tap on your shoulder, you turn around and see him. He’s dressed down in blue jeans, a hazel-colored jacket thrown over his white shirt, looking devastatingly handsome with his brown locks slightly parted. “Hey,” he greets.
“Hey,” you echo, smiling at him. “So where are we going today?”
“We’re going to my favorite café,” Jaehyun reveals, pushing the door open for you, letting you enter first like the gentleman that he is.
“There’s a café here?” you ask, brows wrinkled as you follow him to the elevator.
“Yeah. There’s also a bookstore here,” he says, pressing the highest floor button before the door slides close.
When you reach your destination, you pass by a long hallway before you see a glass door. Inside, there are wooden tables and chairs, with people sitting and having coffee. The walls are splashed in warm tones. Some leafy plants are situated in the middle, adding to the organic and natural aura of the shop. There’s also a space outside where people can opt to sit down and have their drinks, the balcony railing the only thing separating them from the view. With a high altitude, the city skyline is visible. Once again, astonishment laces your expression as you enter the place, wondering how Jaehyun came to know about this space.
“I love the vibes of this place the most,” he says while queueing up with you.
“It’s nice,” you tell him, scanning your gaze around, seeing how the consumers all have a smile on their faces, expressions and body language relaxed.
“Hey, you wanna share a cake?” he offers as you turn back to face him.
“Sure,” you say, eyes travelling up to the menu board, looking at the selection of their cakes.
“You can pick,” he nods at you, advancing forward when the person in front of you moves. “And don’t worry about paying, princess. It’s all on me,” he adds, smoothly dropping a wink.
Returning with a grateful grin, you check the board again, humming thoughtfully. “Should we go for a cheesecake?” you suggest.
Once you’re both at the till, he lets you recite your coffee order first before he takes his turn, adding the cheesecake afterwards. After he finishes paying and gets his receipt, you make your way to the side to grab a few napkins and some confectionary and cutleries before heading to a vacant table just in the middle.
When you’re both sat down, you finally let yourself observe this place properly. It’s definitely refreshing and youthful, with its decorations and all. From the abstract, colorful paintings placed on the walls to the hanging plants on the ceiling down to the pretty flower vases on each table, you can see why Jaehyun loves the chilled atmosphere of this café.
It doesn’t take long before a server comes to deliver your coffees and your cake. Jaehyun decided on an iced latte while you went for a flat white. After you both express your gratitude, you take out your phone from your pocket and open your camera.
He watches you take a snap of the scrumptious dessert as he drinks his iced coffee. Levelling your camera up, you face him. “Hey. Look at me for a sec.”
He quirks a brow up once he sees your phone’s position, quickly catching on. “Am I going on your Instagram?”
With a sheepish smile, your thumb hovers on the screen, adjusting the brightness so he’s not overshadowed by the light from behind him. “Don’t sound so surprised.”
Jaehyun flashes his dimpled grin at you. “I’m just honored.”
“As you should be,” you giggle before finally taking a few photos. Jaehyun looks at the camera and gives a few poses, bringing up his cup to his lips. He peers his eyes to the side for a candid shot. “That’s good,” you announce, dropping your phone back down once you’re satisfied.
“I like that one,” he points to the second one as you show him the strings of images, following your fingers as it swipes to the right.
You nod, smiling as you lean back on your chair and open Instagram. Selecting the photo, you decide to go for a simple, witty caption before tagging his username and hitting the post button.
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This prompts him to bring out his own phone, opening the app and viewing your post. With the edges of his lips twitching upwards, Jaehyun keys in a comment: you’re welcome, brew-tiful ☺️
Lifting your head up after seeing the reply, you look at him with a grin. “Punny.”
He laughs before permanently putting his device away and grabbing a fork, slicing a small bit of the cheesecake and having the first taste.
“How is it?” you venture while getting your own cutlery and cutting yourself a piece.
He moans in satisfaction, chewing endearingly as he nods. “It’s so good.”
After shoving a forkful of the cheesecake with graham crackers in the bottom layer in your mouth, you automatically release a pleasured hum. The rich and light cream filling melts perfectly in your tongue while the crusty bottom layer is crumbly and has that maillard-y flavor that adds to the sweetness.
Minutes pass by comfortably, with you and him talking about your days over coffee and food. Stories are exchanged and smiles are sent to each other whenever you meet each other’s eyes and you couldn’t ignore the way your heart flutters within your chest, the way warmth would travel to your face and would stay there.
“We should play a game,” Jaehyun suggests before finishing off his iced latte.
“What do you have in mind?”
He licks his lips. “Twenty questions.”
Gently shaking his cup and playing with the ice cubes in it, he tips his head to nod at you. “You go first.”
Leaning forward, you rest your chin on your palm. “Would you rather time travel to the past or to the future?”
“Wow. You’re really going for it,” Jaehyun remarks with a light chuckle as he places his cup back on the table.
“Of course,” you smile. It’s a question you often think about and you’re interested in knowing what he has to say.
His bottom lip slightly juts out for a contemplative pout. “Go back to the past,” he returns resolutely, folding his arms.
“Really? You don’t want to see if we have flying cars or robots as presidents?” you ask invitingly, mouth moulding into a frisky smile.
“Nope,” Jaehyun shakes his head. “I want to keep the mystery alive.”
It’s interesting how his answer contradicts with yours. Since the future holds a lot of possibilities and contains the unknown and the uncertain, you’d much rather see and visit it to sate your curiosity and have some of your questions answered.
“Fair enough. Your turn,” you nod back.
Jaehyun studies your expression for a moment before he drops his first question. “What are your views on arranged marriages?”
This, you are not expecting. It’s not how you feel about being in an arranged marriage with him, but how you feel about the whole tradition in general.  
“I think I’ve always regarded it as a negative thing because of the lack of choice,” you tell him after a pregnant pause. “But over time, I learned how to weigh the positives along with the negatives,” you continue, reclining back on your chair. “Arranged marriages means that you get to learn about your partner as you go along. It’s just like dating—the only difference is that label.”
Jaehyun regards you with a neutral expression, blinking as he listens attentively. He watches you as your gaze falls to your palms.
“My parents were arranged too,” you say, looking back up at him, “and all I can think about whenever I see them is that love takes time. It doesn’t come easily but it does come eventually. It made me realize that love takes work. It takes two people to make a marriage and a partnership work.”
“It’s like being in a team,” he muses pensively.
“Exactly,” you agree. “As players, you’re both different but you’re working towards the same goal. And I guess that’s one of the keys for a long-lasting relationship.”
“But then, being in love and being married is different,” he says after a few seconds as though he is in a trance, ingesting your words in.
“That’s right,” you nod. “They are different. But maybe that’s why people are put into arranged marriages. So you can eventually combine those two.”
He flashes a small smile. “Your turn.”
“Friendship or love?”
His brows crease, scratching the back of his head. “Ah, that’s hard.”
“Doesn’t have to be,” you shrug.
“Love,” Jaehyun articulates softly, his eyes pressed on yours.
Your insides flutter when he flicks his gaze between your eyes and lips. Swallowing awkwardly, you offer an accepting nod at his answer.
When it’s his turn, he taps his chin as he hums thoughtfully. “Do you see yourself having kids in the future?”
“Yes,” you confirm with a nod. When it’s your turn, you decide to take a different route, keeping it easy, light and playful just to toy with him. “Would you rather have bananas for fingers or bananas for toes?”
“What?” Jaehyun breaks into a laugh, the light of dusk from outside kissing his skin, making him luminesce. If the golden hour of the day is a person, it’d be him. “What would that even look like?”
“You literally have bananas as your fingers or toes.”
He opens his palms up and observes his fingers, his laughter vibrating louder through his chest as he mentally registers the shocking image. You watch him as an irrepressible smile shapes on your lips.
In the end, you spend two hours getting to know one another through the questions you would fire. While the direction of your questions so far is philosophical, deep and serious, meant to permeate his mind, his is all about the now and the future. The practicality of it is meant to get to know you, to consider you as he asks about your idea of a perfect vacation or your pet peeves.
You laugh together and share things with each other as though the world outside and around you don’t exist, as though it’s high school all over again and the only thing that mattered was your friendship with him. And the more you get to know these little pieces of him, the thinner the line between love and hate becomes.
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Y/N [7:05 pm]: so. what have you got planned for our last date?
Jaehyun [7:10 pm]: you can pick this time
Y/N [7:15 pm]: hm. okay.
Y/N [7:20 pm]: there’s this new space museum that just opened. you wanna go and check it out tomorrow? :)
Jaehyun [7:30 pm]: sure
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Jaehyun [8:00 am]: hey. can we take a rain check? i have a hearing all afternoon.
Y/N [8:10 am]: okay. are you free tomorrow?
Jaehyun [9:30 am]: yup. we can go tomorrow.
Y/N [9:42 am]: cool! good luck on your hearing.
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Jaehyun [10:27 am]: hey, y/n. i’m sorry but can we reschedule again? this japanese client wants to go over his case with me tonight.
Y/N [10:42 am]: fine. reschedule for when?
Jaehyun [11:40 am]: thursday?
Y/N [11:50 am]: okay.
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It’s now the fourth week. There’s two days left before the deal ends. Before it officially becomes a month ever since your first meeting with him, since you signed the contracts with him and took on his proposal to let him win your heart.
It’s Wednesday evening and you’re sitting down on your couch while absentmindedly staring at your TV which has the news on. You chug the remainder of your soda and set the can back down on the surface before you decide to grab something from the drawer underneath the table. Taking out a photo album consisting of your memories, you begin to brace yourself before embarking on a trip down to memory lane.
Your childhood pictures with Jaehyun are pasted in the first few pages. Your eyes land on that photo of you two in your Halloween costumes. Six-year-old Jaehyun went as a vampire while you dressed up as a witch. You remember how your mothers eagerly took a hundred pictures that night. Feeling the sides of your lips curve up nostalgically, you flip to the next page. There’s a jump shot image of a much older version of you and Jaehyun. It was when your geography class went on a one-day excursion to the seaside and you recall how he made everyone laugh when he started imitating a seagull.
Your gaze then drops on a photo of you that Jaehyun took in freshman year. You posed with your medal after you had just won a debate competition. Next to it is a photo of you two on the same day. He’d gotten much taller during that time and the height difference had become apparent as he placed himself on your back and nestled his chin on your head while he grinned at the camera.
When you turned over to the next page, an object suddenly slides down, creating a slight thud on the floor. Gazing down at the dropped item, you pick it up, surprise washing over you as you realize what it is. It’s your friendship bracelet with Jaehyun. The summer before high school officially commenced, you remember hanging out with him at his house and the next thing you know, you were crafting bracelets together.
Putting the photo album to the side, you lean back on the sofa and stare at the bracelet made with purple and blue strings, thumb rotating the bead with a yellow star drawn on it. Screwing your eyes shut, you breathe slowly, finally letting yourself remember the exact moment during high school where everything went wrong between you and Jaehyun, where your hatred for him originated.
During that day, you had been waiting for Jaehyun at the school gate so you can walk home together. It had been over ten minutes and there was still no sight of him, your worry and impatience heightening. When you saw Calum coming out of the front entrance, you decided to go up to him to ask for his whereabouts.
“Hey, Calum.”
He lifted his head up when you stood in front of him, removing one of his earphones. “Hey, Y/N. What’s up?”
“Have you seen Jaehyun?”
“Yeah. He’s in the locker room,” he revealed.
“Oh, okay. Thanks,” you said, running back inside.
Making your way to the right and passing a long hallway of classrooms, you finally entered the boys’ locker room. Walking to the far end in the hopes of finding Jaehyun, you came to a stop when you heard voices.
“Dude, Kate is hot,” someone voiced out. It was Dylan, you recognized. If he was there, you were sure that the other members of his posse would be present. You found it odd as to why Jaehyun was there with them since he didn’t normally hang out with those guys.
“Yeah, but have you seen Taylor’s ass?” Luke contested. “I’d bang her a thousand times before I’d bang Kate.”
Dylan pointed, “I don’t think Kate would want to bother coming to the formal with a date though. She always goes on about how she doesn’t need a man in her life and all that feminist shit.”
Carter hummed. “Okay, so I guess I won’t ask Kate to the formal. What about Y/N?”
Your grip on the blue binder that you were carrying tightened as your eyes widened and your pulse accelerated after you heard your name.
“Oh, man,” Dylan said emphatically. “Y/N is stunning.”
“She has this whole girl next door thing going on for her and it’s super fucking hot, if you ask me,” Luke pronounced. “If I were to rank all four of them, I’d actually put Y/N on top.”
“Really? You think she’s hotter than Hannah?” Dylan questioned.
“Fuck yeah. She’s ten times hotter than her.”
“Let’s ask Jaehyun.” Dylan suggested. “Hey, Jae. Do you think Y/N’s hotter than Hannah?”
“I…” Jaehyun spoke for the first time. “Uh...”
Luke tittered. “He’d probably think so since he’s head over heels for his best friend.”
Dylan laughed. “Right.”
“I’m not,” Jaehyun said abruptly. “I don’t like Y/N like that. She’s not even my ideal type.”
“Really?” Carter asked.
“Yeah, she’s not the kind of girl I would date,” Jaehyun added. “Hannah,” he stated. “Hannah’s hotter than Y/N.”
“So you’d rather fuck Hannah?”
“Yeah. Definitely,” Jaehyun affirmed.
And that was it. That was the breaking point.
After hearing Jaehyun spew those words, you quietly slipped out and sprinted to the girls’ bathroom, going inside a cubicle to cry. Earlier that day, during lunch time, Taylor had mentioned that Jaehyun only saw you as a friend and how if he was interested in you, then he would’ve asked you out already. Now, you got your confirmation. He only saw you as a friend and he didn’t feel that way about you.
The walls felt suffocating as you sobbed, the air oppressive and asphyxiating as you desperately tried to push away those exact words out of your conscious. It proved impossible to do so because those words had been so strong and overpowering. They kicked you down until you felt like you were shrinking smaller into something meaningless and worthless. With shaky hands and a clogged nose, you wiped your tears exasperatedly, controlled your breathing and convinced yourself to get your shit together. Taking out your phone, you called your mom and asked her to pick you up. When you refused to tell her about what happened with Jaehyun, she took the hint and just left it.
Fluttering your eyes open and bringing yourself back into the now, you take your phone out to look at your latest conversation with Jaehyun.
Jaehyun [6:15 pm]: hey. i’m so sorry to do this again but work’s been crazy and i have to attend a conference all day tomorrow. can we go another time?
Y/N [6:20 pm]: seriously?
This is the third time he’s cancelled on you. He hasn’t even replied to your message. The first time he called it off, you understood. But to cancel on you three times in a row—he’s certainly sending a message to you.
You try to think for a logical explanation for the suddenness of his actions. What, so Jaehyun’s just going to stop and not finish the deal? Are you just meant to get the hint? Are you not good enough for him? Not attractive enough? Did it dawn on him that you’ll never fit his ideal type? That he can’t actually learn to like you? Is he letting your relationship go back to square one where you’re both dichotomized again?
He offered you four weeks to take you out on dates. He’s the one who said so himself that life is all about taking risks. Both of you took a chance and started fresh, buried your animosities for each other for this deal.
Jung Jaehyun asked for four weeks and he better give you four weeks. You’re not having this silent treatment. Not after he made you smile and laugh. Not after he made your heart flutter, made you feel like you’re important and treated you with respect and affection. He can’t just kiss you like that and suddenly act as though you’re a stranger to him.
After sending a quick text to your mother asking for his address, you skedaddle to your bedroom to get dressed. You’re barely thinking as you hastily slip on some jeans and a shirt. Grabbing your phone and keys, you head outside to your car. Once you receive a reply, you key it in quickly on your satnav.
When you arrive at his apartment complex after a ten-minute drive, you make your way to the elevator, pressing the fifth-floor button. Immediately finding his unit, you press on the doorbell.
With your arms folded, your foot taps the floor impatiently. After a few moments, Jaehyun opens the door, eyes widening slightly when he sees you. “Y/N,” he says, swallowing subtly. “What are you doing here?”
“What is going on with you?” you go straight to the point and ask, uncrossing your arms as you glare at him. “Why are you avoiding me?”
“You take me out on dates and then you suddenly disappear on me. You barely talked to me after our last date.” Making your way inside his apartment, you demand, “Explain yourself, Jung.”
Heaving a sigh, he closes his door and faces you. “I…” he starts, voice low as he runs a hand through his hair. “Look, I really was swamped with work when I cancelled on you. As for not talking to you… well, I… okay, I know it’s not the smartest move but I only did that because I didn’t want our last date to happen. I didn’t want the deal to end just yet.”
“What? Are you crazy?” you yell. “Aren’t you the one who asked me for four weeks?”
“That’s the thing,” he punctuates, desperation embracing his features and his register. “I know I brought the whole thing up but the more time I spent with you, the more I realized that I need more than four weeks.”
When you stare at him with a befuddled expression, he presses on, trying to make you understand his intentions. “I need more time to think and plan because I was scared that you weren’t feeling anything for me. I… I didn’t want you to decide just yet.”
Blinking, you take all of his words in. Folding your arms, you iterate with a raised brow, “You don’t want me to give you a decision so what, you’re just not gonna give me the chance to decide at all? You’re just gonna push me away?”
“I…” he says, stopping to take a sigh. “Okay, I know I don’t have it all worked out but I wanted you to see that I’m not just an obligation. I wanted you to see that I can be your choice for this marriage. I wanted you to choose me because I’ve already chosen you. It’s always been you, Y/N. Ever since high school.”
The hammering of your heart within your chest is deafening and palpable as he talks about the past and the present. It’s as though you can taste an amalgamation of bitter and sweet.
His gaze descends to the floor for a second, shaking his head as he tries to compose and articulate his consequent words properly. “I just,” he pauses. “I needed more time for you to see the real me. To make you see that I’m not just that person you painted in your head. I can be everything that you want me to be, everything that you need me to be. I wanna prove to you that I can be someone that you deserve.”
At your silence, Jaehyun gnaws on his bottom lip before he lets out his feelings. “I also used to think that being in an arranged marriage meant that choice and freedom would be stripped away from us but after spending time with you, I realized that we actually do have a choice. We have a choice to get to know one another, to fall in love and stay in love.”
With the steadfastness and the certainty of his words combined with the congregation of feelings that surges and sizzles inside you, you can barely blink and breathe in the process. It’s all overwhelming and the room feels crushing.
“Why did you say that I’m not your ideal type?” you burst out from the depths of your chest, bitterness edging on your voice. It’s about time you confront him about past wounds.
“What?” he asks, taken aback by your question.
“In the locker room. You said you didn’t like me and that I’m not the type of girl you’d date,” you remind him. Ever since the contract signing, all you could think about whenever you looked at him was that exact moment and his exact words.
Jaehyun blinks at you, stunned as he finally remembers the day you’re pinpointing to. “I—you heard that?”
Gritting your teeth, you nod, “I came to the locker room that day looking for you.”
When everything dawns on him clearly, his mouth gapes. It makes sense now as to why after that day, you stopped talking to him and pushed him away. Eventually, Jaehyun got the message and stopped trying. He spent his time resenting you after that and did everything he can to compete with you, argue with you and wind you up all while loving you.
“So that’s why you hated me?”
“Kind of hard not to after hearing all those things,” you say morosely.
“I only said that because I was mad at you,” Jaehyun reveals, the words coming out in one succession.
“I got upset because you said that there’ll never be a chance for us to become more than friends. You said you didn’t like me and that I’d be the last person you’d date,” he discloses, expression all crestfallen as he recalls the certain memory.
Blinking up at him, your brows start to crease, staggered at his revelation. “What? When did I say that?”
“While you were talking to Kate and Taylor during lunch. I asked Taylor to find out what you thought about me. She told me everything.”
Kate and Taylor were your girl friends from high school. The former was the frank, sharp-mouthed one, the authoritative type who would not hesitate to tell the latter to break up with the guy she’s dating as an advice. Both of them had experiences in getting dressed up, they were used to being approached and asked out. Back then, you really didn’t care about relationships but sometimes, you couldn’t help but feel left out because you didn’t have any experience at all. It was difficult to listen to them talk about their adventures while you didn’t even have anything to boast about when it came to boys and dating.
The day that Jaehyun is referring to was the same day that your friendship with him fell apart. You remember sitting outside during lunch since it was a nice day. Kate was sat across you on the wooden bench table, eating her ham sandwich, with a book in front of her. Carefully, you held your own chicken wrap up and started to take a bite.
After a few minutes, Taylor suddenly came to join you, plopped down beside Kate and set her bag down. She had a scowl on her lips as she groaned.
Kate looked up from her book. “What’s wrong, Tay?”
“Boys are so stupid,” she declared with a frown.
Kate chuckled. “I couldn’t agree more.”
You nodded, giggling as you chewed quietly.
Finally, Taylor spilled her news. “Johnny totally blew me off after our first date.”
Brows creasing, you inquired, “Johnny? Isn’t he a senior?”
“I didn’t know you went out with him?” you told her as surprise started to settle on your features.
“Yeah. We started texting after I met him at a house party. I honestly thought he was one of the good guys. Turns out he’s just like all of them. They would say they’ll call and then the next thing you know, they’re seeing another girl,” she grumbled. “Ugh. Can you believe? It’s like every guy at our high school is a player.”
“Hey, that’s not true,” Kate argued. “There are some good guys in this school.”
She cocked a brow up and crossed her arms. “Yeah? Like who?”
“Well,” Kate tapped her chin as she deliberated. “Just to name a few, there’s Jaehyun and Sicheng.”
At the mention of your best friend’s name, you couldn’t help but feel your heart suddenly jump in your chest. It was true. Jaehyun was one of the good guys. He wasn’t the type to treat girls like toys and attend those house parties that his peers went to. He preferred hanging out indoors, playing video games and watching movies with either you or Sicheng.
Taylor just hummed impassively while Kate suddenly pressed her gaze on you. “Hey,” she called, snapping you back into reality. “Jaehyun’s your best friend, right?”
“Yeah,” you nodded.
Taylor posed a curious question to continue the topic at hand. “Have you ever wondered if he likes you as more than a friend?”
Blinking dazedly, you stuttered as you responded. “Um, I… I don’t know. I guess I’ve never really thought about it.”
That was a lie because you have thought about it. A lot, actually. During that point in time, you recently began wondering whether Jaehyun sees you as more than a friend. Because sometimes, you couldn’t help but assume that there were feelings beneath all of his kind-hearted and gentlemanly actions towards you.
Once, during freshman year, he let you wear his jacket while you two walked home. When it started chucking it down heavily, you hurriedly brought out your umbrella from your bag.
“Where’s yours?” you turned to Jaehyun when you saw him emptyhanded.
He scooted closer to your side once you opened it up and shielded himself from the downpour. “I forgot it at home,” he admitted, taking it from you so he can hold it up for the two of you.
“Fuck, it’s cold,” you muttered and embraced yourself, shivering.
“Hold this for a sec,” he said, passing the umbrella to you temporarily as he unzipped his black hoodie. “Wear this,” he offered, leaving him with just his short-sleeved polo shirt on.
When you put his jacket on, the scent of his cologne lingered around, made your senses fuzzy as you came to a conclusion that his perfume had to be one of those strong ones, one that dads usually wore. Normally, you didn’t like those kinds of fragrances since it was too extreme but oddly, on him, you did.
And once, during sophomore year, Jaehyun made your heart skip a beat when he placed the same hoodie on your lap to cover your legs.
It was during the rehearsal for a school play. While everyone took a fifteen-minute break, you decided to sit on the floor, just by the left side of the stage. You brought out your iPod so you could listen and learn the song you had to perform and while you were focused, you hadn’t noticed when Jaehyun suddenly appeared beside you and gently dropped his jacket on your lap.
“What are you doing?” you asked as you took off your earphones, looking at him confusedly.
He scanned his surroundings before he returned his reprimanding stare on you. “Do you want pervs to see?” was what he quipped back, bobbing his head down to the direction of your skirt.
Jaehyun always looked out for you, he’d always been so caring towards you and it made you question. It often made you think about those particular days whenever you lied down on your bed at night. It made you think about the way his Adam’s apple would bob down after your gazes met, the way he would stare at your lips for a second before going back to your eyes and the way his warm touch made your breath come up to a standstill.
In your head, you laid out all the facts. You were his best friend and you happened to be a girl. Maybe he really didn’t see you that way because he already drew a line between the two of you. Besides, how could Jaehyun see you in a different light when you’re… you, his best friend ever since he was five?
Taylor started to braid her locks. “He probably only sees you as a friend, y’know,” she remarked.
Lowering your food down, you placed it back on your lunch box, suddenly losing appetite. The small slices of strawberries on your smaller container didn’t seem appealing anymore, the flatbread and chicken turned stale in your tongue.
Were you really just his friend or did he see you as someone who can be more than that? Have you been seeing his kindness towards you and thinking it was infatuation?
“Why would he…” you started before you cleared your throat. “What would make you think that?”
When she finished styling her hair, she looked at you squarely. “Well, because if he’s interested in you, he would’ve asked you out already. And besides, it’s too risky to date a best friend. When you break up, it’ll get messy and you’ll lose your friendship. So you either choose friendship or love.”
“It doesn’t have to end that way though if two people really love each other,” you said after you mulled over her words.
“True,” Kate agreed.
“Y/N,” Taylor crossed her arms and examined your sudden change in expression before asking bluntly, “do you like Jaehyun?”
At the unexpected question, you were rendered wordless, face heating up and pupils dilating.
Kate pointed out in addition, “Come to think of it, you guys do spend a lot of time together.”
“Right?” Taylor nodded at Kate, wiggling up her brows. “And I always see you staring at him.”
“Uh, I…” you murmured gauchely, words drying out in your throat.
Taylor giggled softly and nudged Kate’s arm. “Oh, no. Our Y/N is in the friendzone. Having an unrequited love with her best friend.”
“Aww,” Kate cooed softly.
“Jaehyun chose friendship with you but you chose love with him,” Taylor goaded. “That’s gotta be awkward.” You knew they were doing this on purpose, trying to incite something.
“No!” you blurted tersely, wanting for them to just drop the topic and move on quickly. “Guys, I don’t like Jaehyun, okay?”
“You sure?” Taylor asked.
“Yeah,” you said. “And even if he likes me, there would never be a chance for us to become more than friends because I won’t let that happen. Believe me, he’d be the last person I would date.”
“Huh. Okay then.” Taylor shrugged coolly and ended the conversation, fishing out an apple from her bag. Kate just nodded and went back to reading her book while you lowered your gaze on your unfinished food, finding it difficult to swallow afterwards.
After the memory flickered back in your mind, you wrinkle your brows and shake your head in frustration. Jaehyun just stares at you, confusion bleeding on his face.
“Oh my God,” you say after taking a mighty huff. Vouching again for confirmation, you ask, “That’s why you said all those things in the locker room?”
He nods, brows melting down in regret.
“I only said that because Kate and Taylor were teasing me. They said that I was in the friendzone with you so I snapped. I was all confused and I just wanted them to stop talking about it so I shut them down quickly. But you… you really thought that I never liked you?”
“I…” he says as though he’s still in a daze after his realizations. “Fuck. I’m so sorry. I was just so upset that day but I swear, I didn’t mean all those things I said about you in the locker room. I didn’t know you were there and I… God,” he places his palm on his head, expression apologetic. “Y/N, I’m so sorry.”
“So… you liked me back then?”
“Much more than like,” Jaehyun says, stepping forward to catch your hands, lacing his fingers with yours. “I was in love with you.”
He nods, thumb rubbing the back of your palm. “I was madly in love with you,” he says, lips curling up slightly.
Holding his shoulders, you grumble, lips pouting. “But you were such an ass to me. You always pissed me off.”
He chuckles, all beautiful and bright as he caresses your cheek. “I only did that so you can notice me and talk to me.”
Shaking your head in disbelief, you roll out a soft laugh. “God, we’ve been so fucking stupid.”
So all throughout those years in high school, you both felt the same way for each other. And because of those events, the mutual affection and infatuation between you turned into mutual hatred and disdain.
“We really have, haven’t we?” Jaehyun lets out a chuckle to join you.
Encasing your arms around his neck, your fingers start to softly thread on the back of his head. “I can’t believe that all this time, I loved you and you loved me.”
“You… you love me?”
Nodding, you press your forehead against his and breathe with him. “Of course, I love you, Jung,” you laugh. “I’ve loved you ever since you imitated that seagull.”
Exhaling a soft giggle, his palms snake around your spine. He pulls back slightly so he can take a good look at you. “So, do you still need that last date to decide or…” he says, drawling out the last word before his tongue swirls on his bottom lip.
“Or…” you start with a provocative lilt, gaze flitting between his mouth and eyes.
Before you can even blink, the gap is closed and his lips are crashing into yours just like how the wave finally hits the shore, letting you both feel enraptured in the aftermath. Sparks of desire explode in the pits of your stomach as you wind your fingers on the back of his head, savoring the feel of his pillowy lips on yours. Slanting your head, he gladly opens your mouth, tongue exploring the caverns as he swallows your moans, claiming it as his own. The kiss is hot, all tongues and teeth, filled with need and want. Only when you’re both out of breath do you break away and he doesn’t waste another second to fixate his lips on the side of your neck.
Your breathing is jarred when he walks you back to his kitchen, mind all fuzzy and lips only emitting soft moans when he squeezes your ass. Your back hits a cold, hard surface and Jaehyun is quickly hoisting you up on the mini bar. Burying his nose just below your chin, he groans, “Shit, how do you always smell so good?”
“Lancôme,” you manage to utter, a gasp immediately being pulled out of your throat when he nips at the skin. He is quick to soothe the area with his tongue and you cup his face, dipping down again to kiss him, teeth tugging on his bottom lip.
His solid hands slither underneath your shirt, feeling up your back, fingers hovering on the clasp of your bra. You pull back to help him yank it upwards until you’re half naked in front of him. “Fuck,” he inhales sharply as he stares at you hungrily, “you’re a work of art.”
Lunging forward, he sucks on the base of your throat, tongue travelling on your jawline, hands cupping your breasts, pads of his thumbs tweaking circles on your pebbled nipples through your bra. When you moan softly at the sensation, he smirks, placing kisses on your collarbone, mouth suctioning roughly on the skin.
“Jaehyun,” you breathe when his hands are rubbing on your thighs and his lips are on the shell of your ear. Hearing his name tumble out of your lips while your hands are all over each other is like music to his ears. Your voice alone could dangerously make him come in his pants.
“God, do you know how hard I was after you kissed me?” he rasps, the tips of his fingernails motioning teasingly on your stomach, your arms breaking out with gooseflesh. He faces you, eyes hooded with darkness as he says in admittance, “I jerked myself off twice that night.”
This time, you’re making the first move while he stays still and breathes all of your visual in. You decide to pepper his jaw with slow kisses, hands palming the expanse of his broad chest, voyaging down to his crotch. Against your touch, he feels huge and hard. Lowering your voice, you ghost over the shell of his ear. “What did you think about when you touched yourself?”
“I thought about,” he draws a sharp intake of breath when you wrap your legs around his waist and pull him to you, your lips assaulting the place where neck meets shoulders, “your hand stroking my cock.”
Tending to the noticeable dent in his sweatpants, you begin fondling his clothed erection. “Mmmh,” you hum. “What else?”
All the blood is running down to the tip of his extremities and he grits his teeth. Fuck, you’re really good at this. What more when you suck him off? God, you’re probably amazing at giving head with the way you’re working on his cock with your hand right now. “Your mouth wrapped around me as you take me in deep,” he groans with a grit to his voice, his breathing ragged. “Thought about your pussy, so wet and warm that my cock could just slide in easily. Thought about how pretty you’d look with my cum all over your face, your body.”
Your core pools with more heat, arousal increasing tenfold at his revelation, flaring wildly in your stomach. Pulling back to look at him, you demand, “Tell me what you want from me. Tell me what gets you off.”
“I usually like to fuck hard and rough,” he growls, holding your thighs and squeezing them, lips going on the skin under your jaw. “I like it when I hear you scream my name, when you make a mess on the sheets. I like seeing my marks on you.” His tongue trails a line to your ear, playfully tugging on the lobe as he groans needily. “I want you to feel my cock buried deep inside you, want to see my cum dripping down your pussy while you’re all sore.”
Hissing harshly, your core vibrates with need and you decide you can’t wait any longer. “I want you to fuck me now,” you punctuate sharply and determinedly, a broken exhale escaping your mouth. “You can come wherever you want.”
Wetting his lips, he steps back and darkens. “Go to the bedroom and take your clothes off,” he nods upwards. Obliging, you hop off the counter, unclasping your bra on the way and tossing it to the side once you’re in his room. You wiggle yourself out of your jeans, sitting on the edge of his bed. Fingers on the bands of your panties, Jaehyun manages to quickly enter and tower over you, stopping your hands, “Let me do that.”
Sliding down your underwear in one motion, he discards the article impatiently, hurling it to the side. Scooting to the headboard, you lie down and he crawls forward, a devilish smirk splayed on his lips. “So, so pretty,” he praises, placing kisses on your inner thighs, his hot breath looming on your entrance.
“Jae, please,” you whine as though you’re about to go insane, desperation coating your expression. He chuckles darkly at the fact that you sound like the world’s mellowest porn star right now.
“Such a needy little thing,” he says, large hands pinning your thighs down and spreading you apart. The sight of your sopping core is enough to make his dick twitch in his pants, needing for some friction. “Fuck,” he grunts, register all low and deep. “This all for me, baby?”
When you give a nod, his lips curl up for a satisfied smirk before his fingers are finally on your sex, collecting your slick juices and sucking on his digits for a taste. Diving in, his nose is in your cunt, tongue exploring you. He licks a bold stripe of your folds and your breath staggers in rhythm as he laps on your pussy. Sporadically, he looks up at you, watching you writhe underneath him, feeling satisfied at the low moans coming out of your swollen lips. It encourages him to experiment with his ministrations, speeding and slowing while his tongue is submerged inside you, thumbing on your clit.
The coil in your stomach tightens, your toes curling, thigh muscles tautening the more Jaehyun eats you out. Your fingers are on his roots, pulling it tightly as your walls flutter around him. At the skills of his fingers and tongue on your clit, you’re rendered a whimpering mess. God, he could just listen to your moans all night long and he could just go down on you every single day. With your eyes fluttered shut, your teeth biting down on your bottom lip and your hips desperately moving up, you look absolutely exquisite right now. He knew you’d look this way while he devoured you, he often fantasized about this image, imagined that you’d be sweet and he’s right.
“You taste as good as you look,” Jaehyun mutters, looking up at you as he massages your mound, finger pumping into you, curling and hitting your sweet spots. His lips are glistening with your juices when he makes eye contact with you. The saliva from his mouth trickling down to your pussy makes you feel more aroused, your walls clenching on his digit as heat travels everywhere on your skin.
Licking his lips clean, it’s then that he decides to tend to his own wants. He needs to fuck you now; his length is dying to be deep inside you. Withdrawing his finger from your sex, he sits up on the bed and you whine frustratingly at the loss of friction to your pussy. He discards everything—his shirt, sweats and his Calvin Klein boxers—until he’s all bare in front of you, cock slapping on his abdomen. His tip is angry red and leaking with his arousal. He pumps his length to prep himself, thumb flicking on the head to spread his pre-cum out. His palms are on the side of your head to steady himself and he goes to attack your lips. Sharing a heated, filthy kiss and exchanging breaths, he angles himself, his tip sliding up and down your slit to collect your dampness.
Easily, he glides in, the intrusion stretching your walls out deliciously. A gasp is automatically careened off of you as you arch your back. “Shit, you’re big—wait,” you grab onto his shoulders.
Jaehyun lets you adjust, presses a kiss to your cheek before mumbling huskily to your ear, “Breathe for me, yeah?” When you do exhale and relax your muscles, he lauds you, pushing another inch in. He encourages you all the way as he sinks himself further, leaving the both of you moaning and gasping in pleasure until he finally bottoms out, perfectly seated inside you.
He pulls out, only the tip left inside your pussy before he begins thrusting, setting a slow pace before he jerks himself towards your center with calculated lunges. “Ah, fuck, you’re so tight,” he groans against the flesh of your shoulder, relishing in the way your pussy keeps on taking him every time he enters.
With a hard and brutal force, the combination of your moans is lewd, your breasts bouncing as he holds your thighs up for a better angle. Wrapping your legs around his back, Jaehyun rams into you vigorously. The room starts to feel stuffy, your head becoming light as the onslaught of pleasure travels quickly to every part of your body, a wildfire spreading through your nerves.
His nose nestled on the side of your neck as he sucks harshly for hickeys, your fingers find purchase on his back, nails digging on his skin, scratching hardly the more he drives powerfully into your cunt. “Jae,” you say softly, holding his shoulders to gather his attention.
Lifting his head, he faces you, pausing as he breathes heavily. “Is it too much?”
“No,” you tell him. “Can I ride you?”
With eyes blown wide in lust, he’s eagerly nodding. “Shit, yeah,” he says, voice dropping another tenor as he flips position, lying back on the bed, sitting up against the headboard. “C’mere, baby,” he taps his thighs and you sit yourself on his lap, taking a deep breath to prepare yourself before sinking into his cock.
With you in a straddled position, he guides you, hands secured on your waist as you grind on his length. Holding his shoulders, you set your own pace, your breathy, dulcet moans rolling off your parted lips. Starting off slow and steady as you relish in the sensation and in the sight of your bodies merging together, he takes the opportunity to launch his lips on your hardened bud, his tongue laving on it while his free hand cups your other breast, his thumb and index finger flicking on the nipple, eliciting a gasp out of you. He makes sure to alternate between breasts, wrapping your buds with his hot tongue and sucking intently.
Stimulated, you’re starting to feel greedier, hungrier as you chase your climax. Your pace quickens and you’re bouncing down on his cock, unendingly moaning. “Fuck, you look so good. Can’t get enough of you,” Jaehyun groans. He swipes some strands of your hair that have stuck on your skin away to the side. “Think about you riding me all the time.”
His palms slide up from your hips to your hot cheeks, cupping them and pulling your lips in to meet with his, drinking all your moans wholeheartedly. With this palpitating and melting kiss and the way his hands squeeze your breasts, fingers playing with your buds, your high is practically tactile, threatening to flood you.
Squeaking your moans out, your walls clench greedily on his cock and you’re tipping over the edge. “Fuck, I’m so… close… God...” you choke out your pleasure.
He holds your ass, squeezing them as he pushes you deeper onto him. “Come for me, princess,” he commands titillatingly, looking at your expression, all intoxicated by your lust. “Bet you’re fucking pretty when you come,” he says near your ear when you lean for an embrace, riding him like there’s no tomorrow.
“Jae, I’m gonna—fuck,” you screech out, your pants all strangled in rhythm. Everything in you snaps and your entire body shudders as you reach your peak. Throwing your head back and screwing your eyes shut, all you see is white. Your pace slowing down as you come down from your high, your head rests on his shoulder.
It takes you a few moments to recover and catch air into your lungs, your breathing evening out eventually. When you open your eyes and lift your head up, the smile you send him is lopsided. Dropping your lips to his for a languid kiss, he buckles his hips up and thrusts in your pussy, making you realize that he hasn’t climaxed yet. Encouraging him, you’re raking your fingers through his hair as you kiss the jut of his jaw. “Come inside me. Wanna feel you in me,” you tell him sultrily. You’re on the pill so you’re good.
He flips you over until you’re lying on the bed and he’s on top again. With a new angle, he’s rutting his hips into yours with a purpose. The slaps are sharp, powerful and lecherous, your chests brushing together with every pound of his cock. Jaehyun’s lips find your collarbone, leaving wet kisses on the skin and possessively carving marks on it, releasing it with a long pop every time.
He’s fucking you like a madman, revelling in the way your walls keep on contracting around him insatiably, in the way your breasts jump up, in the purple bruises that starts to appear from the iron-clad grip he has on your hips.
The familiar coiling sensation in your stomach is reignited again as he sinfully thrusts into you over and over. With loud moans, he decides to capture your lips for a kiss, his hand snaking downwards to knead on your swelled nub. “Jaehyun, I’m…” you cry out when he breaks the kiss and his lips are latching on the lobe of your ear. While you’re on the precipice of your orgasm, his thumb circles on your clit, pressing on it as ripples of your pleasure jump out from your lips.
“That’s it, baby,” he coaxes, the gruffness of his voice vibrating on your skin. “Come for me again like a good girl.”
You’re unable to suppress it any longer, your second orgasm washing all over you, a stronger force than the first one. Your voice is broken, panting heavily as you reach your bliss. Grabbing your legs and placing it over his shoulders, he fucks you through it, hitting your g-spot, your low whimpers driving him faster to his climax.
While the overstimulation has your eyes watering, Jaehyun, on the other, is teetering on the edge of his release. Your pussy has such a tight grip on his cock and he knows he’s not going to last long. “I’m gonna fill you up so bad, princess,” he hisses lowly. “Gonna show you how fucking crazy you make me,” he groans, speeding his pace up. “I’m all yours from now on—completely and truly yours.”
Breathily, he sputters his profanities and moans as one hard thrust proves to be his undoing. His hips stuttering, he empties his load inside you, coating your walls with hot spurts of white. With faltered breaths, he grunts gutturally in his pleasure, his mind and body buzzing as his thrusts turn sloppier and slower. You milk him for every last drop of his seed and his body finally collapses on top of you when he’s finished, his cock falling limp and soft inside you.
With a euphoric grin, he drops a quick peck to your lips before pulling out and settling beside you. The combination of your fluids leaks out your folds, making a mess on his sheets. Wrapping his arm around your waist, he buries his nose in your hair. “I love you,” he murmurs with a smile.
With eyes closed, your heart swells at the fact that this guy is the one you’re spending the rest of your life with. Jaehyun is your best friend, the love of your life and your soulmate all in one and there’s nowhere else you’d rather be than here beside him. “I love you, too,” you say, wholly delighted. “Now let me go so I can pee.”
Jaehyun laughs heartedly, releasing you as he watches you walk to his bathroom. He puts on his boxers and sweatpants back and takes something out from the drawer of his nightstand before he collects his shirt, kindly offering it to you when you return to the bedroom. Wearing only your underwear and his shirt to bed, you snuggle and cling back up to him, resting your head on his chest as he wraps his arm around you.
At that middle ground between falling asleep and staying awake, he holds your hand, raises it up with his, languorously playing by weaving your fingers together. You can’t help but giggle with him as you watch them twine together perfectly. He brings your hand closer to his lips, placing sweet kisses on each knuckle before he fishes for something in the pocket of his sweats.
Sitting up straight, Jaehyun faces you with the symbol of his unconditional love and promise nestled between his fingers. “I know it’s already been arranged and everything but let me do this properly,” he begins before he takes a deep inhale. “Y/N, will you marry me?”
Heart hammering right out of your chest, the rhythm of your breathing pauses before you’re widely grinning and answering with a million nods, your heart bursting and melting at the same time. “Yes.”
The word slips out of your lips effortlessly as you repeat it over and over and he never thought that a three-letter word could make him this happy. Hearing it fall from your lips fills him with pure joy, feeling like he’s reached the apex of happiness. Cupping his face, you kiss him tenderly and sweetly, pressure all gentle with the both of you smiling against it. After you pull back, you let him slip the beautiful ring on your finger where it’d find its new home.
When you take a second to look at your hand, your lips curve upwards as you realize that maybe having your choices picked out for you by your parents isn’t that bad. Before, the future used to be terrifying. It had been this giant, ambiguous, abstract-shaped thing filled with unknowns and uncertainties which induced a great amount of fear on you. It’s still that to you but now, you’re less afraid. Now, you’re more confident to take a risk, knowing that you won’t regret it because you’re with Jaehyun.
Everything is less frightening because you know that you’ll always have each other’s backs, you’ll hold each other’s hand and you’ll go through everything together. With him, you’re at ease. And through him, you learned how to be hopeful, how to be emboldened.
The universe, you think, truly works in mysterious ways. It can toy with you but it can also present you with surprises such as bringing a certain person back into your life—a person who was already meant for you ever since the beginning, even before your names are written on a contract, even before you’re promised to one another.
When you fall asleep beside Jaehyun, you have a smile painted on your lips and a contented heart because you know that the future written out for the two of you is so, so bright.
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taelme · 3 days ago
don't you dream impossible things?
genre: high school!au, coming-of-age!au, childhood best friends-to-lovers!au, basketball captain!jaehyun (fluff, mild angst, kind of mutual pining?, jaehyun has a girlfriend for a solid portion of the fic) pairing/s: Jaehyun / Reader, Jaehyun / OC(Rina) (ft Sicheng, Johnny & Ten) word count: 27k tw: mild coarse language, mentions of sexual activity, suggestive language?? idk... lmk if I missed out anything... Jaehyun's gf is a bit manipulative a/n: this was inspired by the little discourse on my blog about what Taylor Swift songs you guys (and me) associated with different nct members! with that being said, this was more or less based off of 'you belong with me'~ (as well as starlight and you are in love!) happy reading~~ also! the interchanged(?) use of jaehyun and Yoonoh is intentional! read on ao3
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Senior year. Just a three-pointer away from college, as his uncle liked to say (whatever that meant). But unfortunately for Jaehyun, nowhere closer to where he felt like he needed to be. 
“Jay! How was the game yesterday, dear?” 
Your head snapped up from your textbook at the sound of his nickname, angling your body where you sat so you could get a better look at Jaehyun who was sitting next to Sicheng at the back of the room. 
Jaehyun, whose hair was neatly messy as it fell slightly below his eyebrows after he ran a hand through it, whose school blazer was hung (almost like a permanent fixture) on the back of his chair, top button of his school shirt undone and one arm resting on the table so he could fiddle with his tie while the other hand twirled his pen above his textbook. 
And Sicheng, his closest friend (well, other than you). He’d recently chopped his hair short as an impulse decision to want to look as cool as someone he saw in a K-drama, but even so, he managed to pull it off. His shirt was perfectly pressed and so was his tie, but you could laugh at the way the telltale red and blue motif of his training shirt was peeking out from the sleeves of his uniform. 
Sicheng’s face was priceless, annoyance written in the way his eyebrows furrowed. 
Turning his head, he sighed, “Here we go again.”
Jaehyun let out a huff of laughter, “At least she’s not asking you.” 
Ignoring Sicheng’s bitter follow-up of, “It’s our senior year and she still has no idea I’m on the team,” Jaehyun directed his gaze to the front of the class. 
Keeping his gaze fixed on your teacher, Jaehyun shrugged, fixing a polite smile on his face. 
“It was good, Miss. We won.” 
Clasping her hands together in delight, she cheered, looking upon Jaehyun with eyes filled with the kind of unspoken bias kids like Jaehyun were always subjected to. 
“That’s wonderful! I’m sure you played wonderfully as always. Am I right, Sicheng? I’m sure you’d managed to watch the game yesterday, practically the whole school was.” 
You watched in amusement as Jaehyun's ears had grown red, Sicheng rolling his eyes and flipping to a random page of his textbook, muttering bitterly under his breath as Jaehyun fought a chuckle from his teammate’s annoyance. 
“It’s a wonder how you manage to juggle your grades and basketball so effortlessly,” the woman spoke again, making her way over to Jaehyun’s desk as she personally handed him his marked assignment (again, a privilege only Jaehyun got. You were much busier at your desk flipping through the stack that got passed to you trying to find your own name amidst all the red markings). 
“You did wonderfully on this assignment, dear. Good job.” 
Jaehyun could feel it even stronger now, the stares from the other students in the class, even some murmurs of ‘of course’ coming from behind him. 
He worked hard on that assignment (and got a lot more help from you than he was proud to admit), so it was natural that he would’ve expected himself to do well. He shouldn’t have had to feel embarrassed for something like that. 
So he pressed his lips together in a tight smile, trying to suppress his discomfort under the many stares of his classmates. Shoving the paper in between a random page of his textbook, he let his gaze briefly flicker to where you were seated, an embarrassed smile making its way on his face, dimples showing cutely when you clapped silently for him with a knowing look on your face. 
Shaking his head at you, trying to dismiss the way he felt his ears grow even hotter, he turned back to his textbook, eyes glazing over as he entertained his thoughts. 
He had basketball practice after school, and that would probably run till about five. Sure, he was excited to train, but he wasn’t that excited to be training in the same gym where the cheerleaders would be practicing too. 
“Lucky you, you get to see your girlfriend later,” Ten would sigh during lunch when the topic of practice came up. 
Shouldn’t he be excited? It was his girlfriend, after all… but Jaehyun just couldn’t shake the feeling of unsettling discomfort from within him after the dream he had the night before. 
It wasn’t a big deal, really. He had a dream that his girlfriend Rina wasn’t happy about his friendship with you and they fought. But that was it, wasn’t it? 
Jaehyun was momentarily pulled from his thoughts when the juniors walking past his table had smiled at him, shyly murmuring hello when they met his glazed over gaze. 
“You played so well at last weekend’s game, Jay!” they praised, “Yeah! You did so well!” 
Jaehyun mustered a small smile and nod. He was thankful, of course, just… not really in the mood for celebrating (or anything, for that matter). 
You would’ve known what to do or say to cheer him up, but like every other day this season, you weren’t having lunch with Jaehyun. Instead, you were at the library getting some studying done. But he was starting to wish you were, at least then he could be sure that they would be talking about something much more interesting than basketball practice. 
Smiling politely at another girl who had caught his eye and smiled shyly at him, Jaehyun turned back to face his food with a sigh. 
Was he really that lucky? To be under the gaze of so many other people who were hanging onto every little bit of interaction he had with the head cheerleader to determine whether their relationship was going smoothly. To have everyone hanging on his every word just so they could get a longer glimpse into Jaehyun’s private life. 
Jaehyun didn’t think so. 
But as always, he would just force out a smile, shrug and reply with a simple, “I guess I am.” 
Only when he was at the gym did he realise just how long the day was going to be. 
It hadn’t been five minutes since he’d started doing warm-ups when he heard the telltale drawl of his girlfriend from the other side of the sports hall. 
It was as if his mind was such a mess that he had to work extra hard to compartmentalise just so he could focus. As if he were sifting through the files in the inventory of his head. 
Grades, no. Basketball, yes. Practice was going to start. Girlfriend? 
Turning his head to cast her a glance, he saw her flash him her sickly sweet smile, waving happily at him.
“Have a good practice, baby!” she called out. 
Low teasing hums and murmurs had erupted amongst Jaehyun’s teammates, even his coach couldn’t help but smile at the sweetness of it all, but Jaehyun turned back around almost immediately, ears flushing red and embarrassed out of his mind. She didn’t usually call him ‘baby’. 
Letting out a small sigh, Jaehyun turned back to Sicheng, who was eyeing him curiously as he helped Jaehyun with his stretching, feet spread out and pressed against Jaehyun’s as they took turns pulling each other by the hands. 
“What? Not gonna wish your ‘baby’ a good practice too?” Sicheng teased. 
Jaehyun had simply rolled his eyes, glancing around to make sure his other teammates weren’t in earshot. 
“I don’t call her that,” he finally said. He should’ve known that wouldn’t be enough to get Sicheng off his back.  
He didn’t know how to explain to Sicheng that he was still feeling unsettled by his dream. Sicheng would’ve said he was reading too deeply into it. But Jaehyun couldn’t help it, it felt real enough that the feelings of frustration and resignation had lingered with him throughout the day. 
“Why not?” Sicheng feigned shock, a gasp leaving him as he giggled. 
They were interrupted by one of Jaehyun’s teammates who’d let out a low whistle, slapping Jaehyun on the back, “Lucky you, dude.” 
Jaehyun, as always, mustered a sweet smile, nodding to his teammate and letting them walk away before he returned to stretching with Sicheng. 
“Not your baby? Is she your angel, then? Sweetie? Love?” Sicheng teased, a knowing look in his eyes. 
Jaehyun rolled his eyes, ignoring the way he was tempted to think of just who his brain had compartmentalised under ‘angel’.
Jaehyun huffed, shaking his head so his hair would get out of his eyes, “I don’t know, I always just call her by her name. She’s not my baby, or any of those other names you said, anyway.” 
“Oh, but she very much is. Or at least, that’s what you guys have the whole school believing,” Sicheng shrugged. 
Letting go of his hands and pushing himself up so he was kneeling, Sicheng shoved Jaehyun’s chest, a silent gesture for him to lie down so they could continue stretching. 
Bringing one of his legs up off the floor, Sicheng helped to push Jaehyun’s leg back in a stretch, a mischievous smile on his face as the boy below him winced from a particularly hard push. 
“You enjoy this too much,” Jaehyun glared at him. 
Sicheng raised his eyebrows, grinning, “Stretching? Yeah. Love it.”
“You know what I’m talking about.” 
Switching legs, Jaehyun let out a deep sigh, focusing his gaze onto the ceiling, the sound of the cheerleaders talking echoing into his ears like white noise. 
“I wish I didn’t, it’d be a lot more fun that way. Are you guys gonna get dinner after this?” 
Jaehyun shook his head. 
“Nah, she has a tutoring session.” 
Sicheng snorted, his expression turning sheepish just for a moment before his features pulled into a frown, “Sorry, no hate or anything but… she tutors?” 
Jaehyun shook his head, almost letting a laugh slip from him. It was true, his girlfriend wasn’t the most… charitable person. Charitable, not really, but ambitious? Definitely. 
“It’s for her college apps.” 
Sicheng let out an understanding hum, “That makes more sense.” 
Jaehyun barely realised he was done with his set of stretches, only registering it when Sicheng had happily laid down on the floor and closed his eyes as if he were about to get a massage. 
Getting up off the floor with a grunt, Jaehyun lifted Sicheng’s leg and helped him stretch, at this point unsurprised at the ease with which his leg could be pushed towards his chest. 
“It’s our six month anniversary soon,” Jaehyun added casually. 
“Would you at least try not to act so surprised?” Jaehyun laughed, shaking his head at Sicheng, “And yeah, it’s three weeks from now.” 
“I mean, honestly, you gotta let me be a little impressed. I never expected you guys to get along with each other, much less actually like each other.” 
Jaehyun sighed, he knew that too. It was a shame Sicheng made sense, it made it harder to defend himself. 
“I know, but… you guys were the ones that were saying we’d be a good match, right?” Jaehyun sighed, the lack of response from Sicheng making him feel as though he had to do a better job of defending his girlfriend. 
“Good match,” Sicheng snickered, “What? You think the team said that ‘cause she’s a gemini? Cause her ‘life trajectory’ lines up with yours? You know better than anyone that the basketball team thinks with their dick—”
“Whatever. Anyway, she’s not that bad,” Jaehyun murmured, the uncertainty in his tone making Sicheng shoot him a pointed look, propping himself up on his elbows as Jaehyun let go of his leg. 
“I’d believe you if you sounded more convinced of yourself.”
Jaehyun sighed, letting Sicheng move into the next stretch, the boy’s hair flopping sideways as he angled his head to the left. 
“She just… Rina just has a different way of showing her love,” he shrugged. 
Jaehyun wasn’t sure whether he really believed that. But he figured it was always a benefit of the doubt thing. You know, if his friends (and everyone else in the school it seemed) thought they both were a good fit, there must’ve been some sound reasoning behind that conclusion, right? 
“Different,” Sicheng echoed, earning an eye roll from Jaehyun. 
“Leave her alone, she's trying her best. Seriously, who the hell even knows where their ‘life trajectory’ is headed towards in high school.” he waved Sicheng off, standing up and fixing his Jersey. 
Sicheng bit his tongue, though he really wanted to push for the agenda that they had very different wants and needs (and priorities and goals, for that matter), he figured he should respect his friend’s decision nonetheless, even if it was a stupid decision in his opinion. 
Or, at least, that was what Sicheng was trying to tell himself so he could stand watching his best friend continue to try to save a sinking relationship. 
Sicheng decided on keeping his mouth shut, pressing his lips into a thin line, raising his eyebrows and sighing. 
Dismissing the thoughts that had started to brew in his head at the thought of his girlfriend, Jaehyun worked on keeping these thoughts at bay. 
Standing up, the coach had called the team into a pre-practice huddle of sorts, keeping his gaze trained on Jaehyun almost the entire time. 
“We’re almost in competition season, boys. We did well for the last game but I don’t want any of you to get too cocky that you start forgetting that it’s the sport you should be caring about and not your own asses.” 
Sicheng’s eyebrows furrowed, “that did not make any sense in my head.” 
“That means you, Win,” their coach added, earning a disgruntled sound from Sicheng. 
“I meant what I said at the last game. Take this as an example, boys. Number seven over here couldn’t keep his choice words off the court. So, he’s benched for the season. It’ll teach you some sportsmanship.” 
Sicheng scoffed, “I have sportsmanship,” he muttered indignantly. 
Jaehyun couldn’t help the amusement from showing up on his features. 
“Fine, anger management, then,” Coach corrected with a sarcastic smile. 
Sicheng took in a deep breath, letting it out in a sigh. 
“I have a few choice words for him,” Sicheng muttered low enough for only Jaehyun to hear. 
Luckily for him, his little comment went unheard by the coach, who continued his little pep-talk. Dismissing the team shortly after to split up into their usual training groups, the coach made his way over to Jaehyun. 
“Jay, you’re in your best condition right now, so I really need you to keep up the momentum you got going on. This team needs their leader to bring us to the gold.” 
Jaehyun nodded, a soft sigh leaving his lips, nodding at his coach. He didn’t mind as much, he liked basketball. 
“There’s gonna be scouts at these games, I'm telling you. And they’re gonna want you. So show them what you got.” 
“Got it, coach,” Jaehyun nodded firmly. 
His coach let out an abrupt burst of laughter, glancing over at the cheerleaders running their routine. 
“You know, son, you kind of remind me of myself, back in the day… I was just like you. Dating the head cheerleader, basketball scholarship on my mind… you’ve got everything going for you, Jay... I wouldn’t give that up if I were you.” 
Jaehyun nodded, letting his coach walk away as he mulled over his words. This part… maybe he did mind it a little bit.
Grades, basketball, popularity. All these things seemed to be falling into place. Girlfriend? He couldn’t seem to remove the question mark that lingered behind that particular category. 
He glanced over at the cheerleaders, spotting Rina getting tossed upwards in their complicated looking formation. 
Maybe he should ignore Sicheng’s attitude and try to think about things he liked about Rina. Yeah, maybe that would help. 
He guessed he liked how she always spoke her mind, how she wasn’t afraid to tell him how she felt, what she liked and what she didn’t like. How she carried herself so confidently, as if she was here for one thing and she already knew exactly how to get it. 
Their relationship made sense, to some extent. It was almost… expected. Rina was pretty admired in school, he knew that—lots of people wished they would have the privilege of catching her eye. He couldn’t say it was hard to understand, she was everyone’s idea of a conventionally beautiful girl. 
Her attention was almost like a prize to be won. 
But Jaehyun just never thought it was his place to fight for it, you know, if they were in a relationship, he wanted to be able to trust her and be honest with her even if everyone else (mainly his parents and Sicheng) was telling him not to.
There was just one little factor that was preventing him from doing that, something that clouded his senses every time he let his mind go quiet. 
Feeling the paper of the book page you were on between your thumb and index finger, your eyes scanned the rest of the words quickly before flipping the page, the ping of your phone distracting you momentarily. 
It was a text from Yoonoh. 
yoonoh  1:33am - coming over, u better not be reading - 
The smile on your face came naturally, rolling your eyes at the text. 
1:33am - im trying to Relax~ over here - 
yoonoh 1:33am - u can relax when im gone -
1:34am - ok so go away -  1:34am - im kidding, just don’t be noisy my parents are sleeping -
It was only a matter of time when you saw the door to your treehouse open, wondering what was the cause of Yoonoh’s pensive look that only disappeared when he met your gaze, replaced with a smile almost immediately. 
There was a certain flush to his cheeks and neck, his hair messy and sticking to his forehead slightly, a sheen of sweat on his neck. He looked as though he’d just finished a training session. 
“Did you run here?” you laughed, not being able to hear yourself with the music playing in your headphones. 
Yoonoh huffed, dropping his things with a loud thud on the small rug in the treehouse, making his way over to you and peering over to see what you were reading with a playful hint to his gaze.
Murmuring the words under his breath as he read them upside down, he let out a disappointed huff. 
“Lame, thought you were reading something exciting,” he teased, flopping down onto the floor next to you, rolling over so he was lying on his belly, his eyes scanning over the page of your book even though he wasn’t really reading, his eyes hurt too much. 
“Even if I was, it’s not like you’d read it. The last time you read a book for fun was like four years ago,” you told him pointedly, almost being able to picture the beat up copy of ‘The Little Prince’ that was an almost permanent fixture in his bedside drawer. 
Yoonoh laughed, “Why bother when I could just hear about it from you?” 
Turning to look at him, you noticed the way the collar of his black shirt had fallen slightly, exposing the rather freshlyforming bruises that were littered on the skin over his collarbones and at the base of his neck. 
Okay, well, that explained his appearance a little better. 
Heat flushed through your chest, up your neck and to your face, averting your gaze quickly and putting your book down. 
Why would he come here if he just did… that?
“Were you at Rina’s before this?” You dared to ask, the huff that let his lips at the mention of his girlfriend’s name speaking volumes.
“Yeah,” his reply was curt, a certain kind of frustration laced in his tone. 
“What are you listening to?” he changed the topic, not bothering to wait for your reply before he rolled over onto his back, reaching up to remove the headphones from your head, yanking the wire out of your computer from his harsh action and interrupting the chorus of hey stephen that was currently playing.
Putting on your headphones, Yoonoh didn’t need long to recognise the song that was playing (and wasn’t even playing through the headphones), his smile widening as his dimples deepened, his eyes forming crescents as a poorly stifled laugh escaped him. 
“Are you… in love?” 
You rolled your eyes, not being able to help your own laugh when he shut his eyes, moving his hands and nodding his head as he danced to the song as he lay on his back, his lips mouthing the lyrics perfectly even though you knew Yoonoh’s music taste didn’t usually consist of Taylor Swift. 
“I can’t help it if you look like an angel,” he sang softly, opening his eyes to look at you as he continued to sing along. 
You couldn’t have been prepared for the feeling the sight of Yoonoh like this gave you, the chorus stirring something within you as you looked at Yoonoh whose gaze was expectant, his grin contrasting how he was really feeling just minutes before he arrived at your house. 
Were you in love? 
“I wish,” you lied, removing the headphones from Yoonoh’s head as he sighed. 
“Indeed,” he spoke with exaggerated seriousness to his tone, “And I was just kidding, I know your playlist literally only has like one artist in it…thinking about it, maybe that’s why you like her songs so much. It’s like listening to an audio book with a better melody.” 
You shot him a look. His rambling had always been a sign that he was trying to distract himself. It’d just always been like that with Yoonoh, and as always, you entertained his rambling. 
“Did you come here just to analyse my music taste?” you scoffed, making him wave you off in dismissal. 
“Or maybe it's because of that thing where love songs don’t feel so shitty when you listen to them when you’re actually in love…” he continued, ignoring the knowing look on your face. He knew he didn’t have a chance of lying if he met your gaze. 
You laughed, “You’re speaking from experience?” 
Yoonoh’s rambling halted almost instantly. 
That was correct, Yoonoh was in a relationship. In a relationship with the prettiest and most popular girl in school. The prettiest and most popular girl whose house he’d just come from. Or more accurately, the house he just got kicked out of. 
Yoonoh should’ve known you would see right through him, especially since he wasn’t really trying to hide it. Maybe it was because he knew you wouldn’t hold it against him. 
“What happened?” you mentally prepared yourself for his answer. 
Yoonoh ignored your question, “Can you pass me a tissue and my glasses?” 
You frowned, your concern for Jaehyun taking precedence over your curiosity. 
“Don’t think you can run away from the question. But what’s wrong with your eyes? Are your contacts bothering you?” 
Yoonoh nodded, blinking harshly and hissing, “I’m fine, I think I just wore them for too long.” 
Rina liked how he looked more when he didn’t wear his glasses. 
Propping himself on his elbows, he reached over your lap to grab his bag from behind you, fishing in the front pocket and pulling out a small bottle of eye-drops. 
Removing his contacts, he blinked a few times as he looked at you, letting his eyes adjust. 
“Can you help me?” The smile he gave you was cheeky, with only a hint of sheepishness, but it wasn’t necessary, it wasn’t like you were going to say no. 
“Give it,” you held your hand out, rolling your eyes when you felt Jaehyun rest his head on your thigh, his hands fiddling with his glasses absently. 
If he saw himself, it probably would’ve reminded him of Sicheng during warm-ups. 
You helped him to apply the solution, seeing him close his eyes. A little drop of the solution escaped his eyes and rolled down his temple, your hand moving instinctively to wipe it away with the pad of your fingertip. 
Just as you were about to ask him what happened again, he opened his eyes, dimples appearing again as he gave you a tired smile, his eyes redder than they were before. 
Putting on his glasses, Yoonoh enjoyed the way your features came into focus, the way the warm light from the lamp beside you was casting a nice glow on you, the colour of your eyes looking more pronounced. 
Grades. Basketball. Girlfriend? Angel. 
As if he’d saved the image of how you looked into the imaginary file in his head, he smiled.
“Thanks, Angel.” 
You felt as though you stopped breathing. 
You were in love, alright. Horribly. 
Shoving Yoonoh’s head off your lap and hearing the thump and the yelp of pain that left him, you took that opportunity to compose yourself. Shifting your position so you were leaning against the sofa, you glared at each other. 
You did your best to feign menace at him, knowing very well when and why he’d started calling you that. You’d wanted so badly to be the Angel Gabriel in your elementary school’s nativity play production, but you’d gotten cast as an innkeeper instead. With the fake moustache drawn on with eyeliner and all. 
Yoonoh, of course, had nabbed the role of Joseph. You could still picture the chubby faced, dimpled cheeked boy dressed in gowns too big for him and waving around a staff that was a lot taller than him as everyone gushed to take photos with him. Meanwhile, nobody cared to remember your name. You were just innkeeper number 2. You weren’t even the innkeeper that would let Joseph and Mary in. 
You know for a fact that if you rewatch the videos your parents had taken of the play, you’d definitely be able to hear Yoonoh’s snickers through the microphone during your lines (or line, for that matter). Afterwards, when you’d gotten angry at him for laughing, he’d insisted that you would always be the angel to him, pretending to be upset along with you as you spent the rest of the night in your treehouse cursing out your head teacher for her shitty casting until it was time for him to go home.
You guessed that was just how it’d always been for the both of you, which was why Yoonoh’s behaviour now was coming off as very very suspicious.
“Shut up, Yoonoh. There’s literally no normal reason for you to come to my place at this time of the night after you got freaky with your girlfriend unless something happened. Out with it,” you kept your gaze serious, triumphant when he finally sighed, rolling over so he was on his belly again, resting his head on his arm as he shot you a teasing smile. 
You and your family were the only ones that still called him Yoonoh instead of Jaehyun (and his grandma, of course). It was always something you figured was like a habit you couldn’t shake, after having called him that for as long as you could remember. Sometimes, it felt like Jaehyun was his nickname.
“So do you want me to shut up or talk?” 
Glaring at him, he held his free hand up in surrender. 
“Fine, fine. I had a dream last night…” he started, wondering if he was going to change the subject again. Yoonoh’s dreams were always vivid (when he remembered them), and you were the only person that would ever entertain his detailed recounts. 
“Rina was in my dream… and we were fighting about—” he stopped himself. Should he filter his words? No, this was you he was talking to. 
“... we were arguing because I said something about having kids and she got mad at me I remember her showing me something on my phone and asking me about it and I was trying to explain it to her but it wouldn’t get through to her because she wasn’t listening… and I just got so frustrated and we were just yelling at each other.” 
You frowned, “Is that what’s been bothering you?” 
He rolled over, another sigh leaving him, nodding eventually. 
“That and… we actually fought just now… ” he murmured, letting out a deep sigh before continuing, “She got mad ‘cause of something I said.” 
“Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy,” you muttered, ignoring the unamused look he gave you. 
“Was it that bad? What did you say?” you winced. 
Yoonoh groaned, “It was really a lot of things we both said… just kind of snowballed and exploded,” he rolled over onto his back with a grunt, running his fingers through his hair in frustration before letting his hand fall limply on his stomach. 
“You know Johnny Seo?” he continued.
You frowned. 
“Johnny Seo...John—” your eyebrows furrowed, unsure why your voice dropped to a whisper (it wasn’t as if your parents could hear you anyway), “wait, the fuckboy? What does he have anything to do with this?” 
Yoonoh nodded, sitting up in his frustration, frowning as he found his words, nudging his glasses up with his knuckle. 
“Yeah, him. She’s been hanging out a lot with him recently, and I just told her I just wanted her to be careful, you know? I’m pretty sure he doesn’t exactly have the best intentions in their… ‘friendship’.” 
You sighed, bringing a hand up to run it through your hair, your eyebrows furrowing slightly. 
“So, you told her not to hang out with him?” 
Yoonoh grunted, shaking his head, “No, not at all. I mean, I respect her decision to hang out with him. After all, I don’t actually know him so I wouldn’t know if he’s actually fun to hang out with or whatever. But I don’t trust him… all I told her was that I think she should be careful.” 
Yoonoh shrugged. 
“I don’t know, maybe I’m just upset ‘cause it seems like she spends more time with him than she does with me these days. And even when we do hang out, all she wants to do is fuck and—” he stopped himself short, sighing. 
You hummed, “I don’t know, maybe…” you paused, racking your brain for a possible way for him to diffuse their fight. 
“It’s not ridiculous for me to be concerned, right? I mean… everyone knows him to be pretty… available… ” he trailed off, frown deepening. 
Your lips parted in shock, shaking your head slowly. 
“You don’t seriously think she’s…” 
“Fucking him?” His harsh tone made your eyes widen, “Well, I’d like to think she isn’t. She’s my girlfriend, after all.” 
You couldn’t help the deep sigh that left you. 
“What’s your plan, then?” you asked. 
It was saddening, the way Yoonoh had simply shrugged, shoulders slumping and his fingers picking at the unraveling thread of the rug he was seated on. 
“Our six month anniversary’s coming soon… maybe I’ll just do something special for her that day to make it up to her.” 
“You’re gonna have to talk to her before that, you know,” you gave him a pointed look, earning a half-hearted huff of laughter from him.
“I know, I will.” 
Yoonoh was like that, never one to give up on a relationship no matter how much it frustrated him. He didn’t believe in dating to break up over small quarrels. That was just how he was, even if Rina wasn’t. 
“Thanks for telling me, anyway,” you gave him a reassuring smile, “if there’s any way I can help, just… let me know.” 
Yoonoh nodded. 
“Honestly, you just listening to me is doing loads for me right now…” the look in his eyes was unreadable, heavy laden with an emotion you couldn’t place. 
There it was, the something, he realised once again as he looked at you. It was something that only heightened whenever he was around you, because you were the very cause of it. 
The problem that began without him even realising, when he was barely entering puberty and he was still the shy, soft spoken, chubby-cheeked boy that bonded with you over dream journals, all the books you read that he loved to hear about from you instead of actually read and all the sports he did that you loved to watch him play but never thought of trying yourself. The thing Yoonoh unfortunately realised only when he’d agreed to being set-up with Rina, in his search for love that would accept him for who he was. 
The problem that lingered even when everything seemed to be falling into place in his life, the reason why he didn’t quite feel like it was. Like he wasn’t exactly at the place where he needed to be. 
The problem, that he felt like he could only truly be himself around you. 
Grades, basketball, popularity, girlfriend…. 
The obvious classification for you in his head would be best friend, the angel folder. But he couldn’t shake the fact that it felt like something was missing. You were more than that, definitely, but he hasn’t found a label for it yet. 
You frowned, feeling as though you were a deer in the headlights with how he was looking at you. 
It wasn’t the first time, the look had adorned his face on multiple occasions, but each left you feeling confused. The way his lips would purse just slightly, how there would be a slight furrow to his eyebrow, as if he were intentionally holding back. 
It was as if he was hoping you would understand how he was feeling without him having to say it. It scared you, because what could Yoonoh- the boy who was always oversharing with you--possibly be feeling that he couldn’t bring himself to speak out loud?
“What kind of friend would I be if you had to hide yourself around me… right?” you murmured, averting your gaze as Yoonoh mustered a laugh, trying to ease the tension in the room that he knew you felt. 
“A shitty one?” he grinned. 
You rolled your eyes. He was clearly feeling better already.
“Did you have basketball practice today?” you asked, even though you knew the answer to that already. 
Yoonoh nodded, “Hell yeah, I did. Oh, by the way, are you gonna be at my games?”
His games. It was like he knew you only went for him. 
“I have a life outside you and your games, you know,” you shot him a look. 
You couldn’t stop yourself from smiling at the sight of that same mischievous smile that had simply evolved over time. More beautiful, perhaps, more defined even, but all the same mischief of the ten year old boy that insisted he could play the piano and dribble his basketball at the same time. 
“Alright, see you there,” he stuck his tongue out at you for good measure, “things are gonna get a lot busier soon… coach hopes we can qualify for finals but Sicheng’s banking on a bronze at most.” 
“Why?” you frowned, shaking your head on second thought, “Nevermind, Sicheng’s always been like that.” 
Yoonoh had rolled over so he was lying on his side, supporting his head with his hand as a giggle had left him. 
“You would’ve died if you were at practice today, Sicheng was so funny. Coach said he’s benching him for cussing out our last opponents,” he spoke between his giggles (you could see how desperately he was trying to contain his laughter because your parents were right next door - or next house?), “said benching him would teach him anger management.”
You couldn’t help but shake your head, laughter escaping your lips, “Is that why he’s banking on a bronze?” 
Yoonoh nodded, scrunching his eyes shut, “He keeps saying the coach benched an ‘ace’.” 
Calming down from your laughter, you sighed, “I miss Sicheng… kinda wish he didn’t quit the library club.” 
“Didn’t get kicked out, you mean,” he corrected, a knowing smile on his face. You didn’t miss the snicker that Yoonoh let out, accompanied with the low murmur of, “my god… Library club.” 
You waved him off in dismissal, “Whatever, same thing. It was more fun when he was there.” 
Yoonoh’s eyebrows furrowed, amusement written in his gaze. 
“Fun? If you call watching him game the entire time ‘fun’.” 
You rolled your eyes. “As if you do anything better when you come to the library.” 
He fell silent at that, and you swore you saw his ears start to tint red, Yoonoh opening and closing his mouth before shaking his head. 
“Shut up,” he murmured. He knew very well his reasons behind meeting you in the library during your shifts just so he could sneak in undisturbed naps in your (comforting) presence. 
“Anyway, pretty sure he misses hanging out with you too… he’s always asking me about how you’re doing, it’s as if he’s your best friend.” 
You brought a hand to your chest, acting more moved than you actually were just to piss Yoonoh off. 
“Tell him I miss him too.” 
Yoonoh made a fake gagging sound, rolling over so he was on his belly again, “Stop flirting with Sicheng. Seriously, you guys could just text each other instead of using me as your messenger.”
“Why? Jealous?” you teased, and you barely noticed the way Yoonoh’s eyes widened, recovering smoothly as he scoffed. 
“I’m not an owl!” he did his best attempt at mimicking Hermoine Granger, making your laughter bubble out from you uncontrollably. 
“You’re totally jealous.” 
Yoonoh rolled his eyes in spite of the smile that lingered on his face. “I take it back, flirt all you want.” 
You grinned, reaching over to nudge his shoulder, Yoonoh taking your silent cue to make space so you could lie down next to him. 
“You don’t have to be jealous, I’m your best friend,” you sighed, letting your eyes wander as you looked at the few stars you could spot in the sky from the little window in your treehouse, “even if I flirt with Sicheng.” 
You heard him huff, a long silence ensuing. 
“Even if we go to different colleges?” 
You frowned, not expecting Yoonoh to have brought that up. College talk had been unheard of for the both of you, not even your parents had mentioned it during dinners yet. But you figured it was only a matter of time, you knew you and Yoonoh were thinking about it more than you both let on. 
A sour feeling weighed uncomfortably on your chest as you turned to look at him. You couldn’t help yourself, there was a certain sadness in your heart now, wondering what the next stage of your life after high school would be like. 
You weren’t sure what came over you, speaking without hesitation. 
“Even if we’re in different countries,” you muttered softly, as if you were correcting him, “Who knows what overseas study opportunities would open up in a year.” 
The look on Yoonoh’s face was all you needed to rid you of any regret from your words. The way his smile was gentle, blinking slowly as he let out a long sigh. 
“I wonder what kind of people we’ll be in a few years, like… let’s say five years ” he thought out loud, no such thing as a filter to hinder him whenever he was with you. You figured that was what made your friendship so special. Nothing was too much for each other. 
You huffed, amused at the thought. 
“Are you preparing for college interviews already?” you teased, earning a shrug from Yoonoh who seemed actually deep in thought.  
“No, really. Haven’t you thought about it before? I’m always kind of… you know,  curious about how things’ll play out.” 
“I don’t think we’ll be that different,” you shrugged, your shirt bunching up slightly at your neck when you did so, “I mean, yeah, physically we’ll probably be different… but other than that, I don’t know? Maybe we’ll get new hobbies, meet new people and get new interests and habits because of that… maybe we’ll find out some things that change our perception on obscure things we never thought about before or something… but I don’t really see us being very different from how we are now.” 
Yoonoh hummed, “You think so?” 
You shrugged again. 
“Just guessing. I don’t really know what to expect from college other than debt and bad-to-worse sleep habits.” 
Letting out a chesty laugh, he nodded, “Damn… me too. It’s kind of funny now, thinking about it.” 
“About what?” 
He brought his hand up to run his fingers through his hair, another sigh leaving him. 
“Like how when we were younger we thought turning eighteen was like… the dream, right? We always thought we’d be able to do so many things at that age—” 
“You kept thinking you were gonna have a kid when you turn twenty,” you giggled at the memory. 
Yoonoh sucked in a sharp breath, a certain resignation in his tone, “Might have to take a rain check on that… Rina’s not really into kids.” 
Your eyes widened, eyebrows raising. 
“Yeah… but it’s like what I said, who even knows, right? Maybe in five years Rina and I won’t even be together anymore,” he shrugged, throwing it out there casually, his words eliciting a frown from you. 
“I mean… ” you suppressed the feeling of conflict in your heart, “I’m sure if you guys love each other, you’ll work something out.” 
Yoonoh nodded, another sigh leaving him, “Suppose so, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say I love her.” 
“I mean… you guys have been together for six months, right? That’s… wouldn’t you sort of know if you wanted to continue being with her by now?” 
Yoonoh turned to you, “and what if I don’t?” 
You were at a loss for words, unsure why he seemed so… resigned about his relationship. And hating the way it unsettled you. 
You nodded, your discomfort getting the better of you, “Fine, then maybe in five years you’ll meet someone new… someone who you really love. You can’t ever be too sure when it comes to these things.” 
Yoonoh had simply looked at you, that same unreadable expression on his face. 
“You think so?” 
You nodded. 
Yoonoh turned back to face the ceiling. 
“She’ll have to really be something, alright. I’m coming to realise it’s not so easy to find love these days.” 
You rolled your eyes, laughter bubbling from your lips in a way that made Yoonoh shut his eyes just so he would restrain his urge to look back at you. It wouldn’t be good for him, not with the way his heart was stirring. 
“You’re so dramatic, old man. You talk like you’ve been in the dating scene for forty years,” you scoffed, earning a shrug from Yoonoh. 
He pursed his lips, poorly stifling his giggles before letting them out, “Seriously, it’s hard finding someone who I can be totally honest with and loves me. These days it’s like it's mutually exclusive or something.” 
“Honestly, I’d just marry you if I could,” Yoonoh blurted out, immediately thankful his eyes were closed so he couldn’t see your reaction. 
Your silence, though, was practically yelling at him. He didn’t know what to make of that. 
“Could you ever see that happening? I remember we used to always talk about it when we were in middle school. Like permanent roommates or something.” 
It was true, you did. Maybe you’d both just been too inspired by all the coming-of-age movies you were watching. All those ‘if we’re not married by 40 we’ll marry each other’ pacts getting to the both of you. 
“Marrying each other?” you spoke cautiously, making Yoonoh shrug. 
“Guess it doesn’t have to be that way. Where do you see yourself in 10 years, then? Would that be different from the 5 year image?” 
Immediately, for some reason, you pictured yourself in your dream job, setting up a bookstore in a cozy part of town. You imagined that Yoonoh had been discovered as a basketball genius or something. Maybe he’d even get scouted to represent the country on the national team. But knowing him, he’d probably be studying at the same time, whether it’s something like social work or teaching or architecture and design, maybe even all at different stages of his life. You pictured yourselves in a world where though the two of you lived such different lives, you’d still find a deliciously normal way to reconnect with each other after your long days, like meeting each other at a troublesomely located dumpling shop to talk to each other, about everything boring and exciting about your days, your dreams, your hopes. Not a care in the world, just… the two of you finding your way in the world with each other as that little bit of yourselves that kept each other grounded. 
As impossible as that seemed to you right now. 
“I don't know… where do you see yourself in ten years?” you asked, curious to know what he was thinking (and more so not wanting to get ahead of yourself). 
Yoonoh shrugged. 
“I think in ten years… I’ll be playing for the national basketball team. I’m still deciding between architecture or design or engineering so i’ll probably have a degree or diploma in one of those by then… you’ll set up your own bookstore that’ll be really cozy and beautiful and authentic like Meg Ryan in you’ve got mail…” the more he spoke, the more you felt like it was your mind playing sick tricks on you, “And we’ll rent out cheap apartments because the goal is to save up enough to travel, obviously. And we’ll meet each other to do something stupid that we don’t get to do a lot... like furniture shopping or just meeting up to eat like we always do. Not anywhere fancy, though, I don’t know why but I'm kinda picturing those quaint little shops with bomb ass food because they’re run by those grandmas with secret recipes.” 
You didn’t know how to react, you almost wished he would stop talking. Did the fates think this was funny? Planting this idea into both of your heads even though the circumstances seemed so far from it now. 
“Sounds… impossible,” you finally spoke. 
You didn’t mean to be so negative, you just felt like you needed to remind yourself not to get carried away, especiallyunsettled now at the fact that he hadn’t mentioned Rina in his future. 
Yoonoh’s eyelids fluttered open, turning his head to look at you, a soft smile on his face as his little dimples showed on his soft cheeks. 
“Don’t you dream impossible things?” he sang. 
You couldn’t help the grin that showed on your face, Yoonoh’s smile growing as well as he hummed the chorus in short bits. Reaching over for your phone, he disconnected your headphones, playing ‘starlight’ just for added effect, distracting you from your previous inner frustration.
“Does Rina listen to Taylor Swift?” you laughed, trying to bring her back to the forefront of the conversation as if that would help to put some invisible boundary between you and Yoonoh, “At this rate it’s as if you listen to her more than I do.” 
Yoonoh’s music taste was nothing like yours, but you figured that was what was nice about it. Sometimes you would introduce songs to each other that the other person never would’ve discovered on their own but you knew they would love. But at your question, Yoonoh realised that it was kind of funny how he seemed to have heard the songs so much from you that he knew the lyrics by heart as well. He would never tell you it was simply because he liked how her songs reminded him of you. They were your thing, and he loved that. 
“I like her songs,” he shrugged, “Rina hates Taylor’s music,” he let out a small huff of laughter, and he left it at that. 
You hummed, “To each his own, I guess.” 
Yoonoh grinned, eyes glinting with mischief.
“Not gonna defend your idol?” he teased, nudging you as if he was trying to elicit a reaction from you, sighing exaggeratedly and shaking his head slowly in feigned disappointment, “I expected more from you…” 
“Stop... trying to stir shit between me and Rina, that’s not very loving for a Valentine boy, huh?” You rolled your eyes, though his shit-eating grin stayed unwavering. 
“I was just born on Valentine’s day, doesn’t make me cupid,” he defended smugly, “plus, it’s just a fan defending their favourite artist, isn’t it?” 
“You’re so stupid,” you huffed, allowing the silence to envelop the both of you. 
You don’t know why (or maybe you did know) there was a part of you that felt a little satisfied knowing that this was something special that you and Yoonoh shared. But you couldn’t deny the lingering frustration within you about whether there was more of a reason behind that satisfaction than you were willing to come to terms with. 
They first got together around the middle of last year. But you knew something in your gut was telling you that it wasn’t a coincidence that was the period Yoonoh’s popularity in school had peaked. He was a star player on the basketball team, not to mention with his changing physique and his good-looks, and especially the way he made people feel as though they knew him when in reality they knew quite literally nothing about him. You guess that was just the result of being put on a pedestal.
The Valentine boy. You heard countless times from people in your class, even your own friends, how they wished they had a chance with him- who was ‘perfect’ as anyone could be. 
He became the centre of attention in school, earning him various privileges and opportunities that though admittedly were good for him, boxed him up into the person that they wanted him to be. The perfect, faultless pride of the school. 
But the Yoonoh you were friends with, the one you knew, was not perfect. He was just… Jung Yoonoh. He had annoying little quirks and thoughts and beliefs he had that he hid from the people who adored him because they weren’t thoughts and beliefs that the perfect Valentine boy would have. There was no such thing as flaws or unconventionality when it came to this Valentine boy. But if you knew him like you thought you did, you would’ve known that Yoonoh hated having to hide himself for the sake of being accepted. Yet he did it anyway. 
So when he’d chosen to let his friends set him up with Rina, when he’d gotten swept up in newer, bigger, more popular friend circles as a result, you didn’t say a word. You’d simply hoped he made those decisions on his own. 
But as you were starting to notice, it was almost as if it was a survival scheme of sorts. A power couple decision. You couldn’t necessarily fault him, or her, it helped them thrive in school (and you knew how difficult something like that could be). 
Looking at him now, you couldn’t tell if he was dropping all these comments about Rina for a reason, or if it was just your own urge to play detective that was getting the better of you. Whatever it was, you were conflicted between wanting to be a good friend to him by supporting his relationship with Rina, but also knowing that the person he showed to Rina and to the rest of the school was very different from how he was when he was with you. 
You weren’t sure if he knew which he liked better. 
More importantly, you weren’t sure if you were just a bit of the old he was hanging on to for good times sake. It seemed too good to be true, that even when Yoonoh had what seemed like the whole world at his fingertips, that he’d still choose to do something as stupid as show up at your treehouse at an ungodly hour in the morning just to talk about something he could’ve just called you to talk about. 
It made you feel like you were somebody to him, and that was dangerous. 
“I’m… I’m kind of tired. I think I’m gonna call it a night,” you lied, seeing Jaehyun yawn just as you mentioned being tired. 
“Can I crash here? I’m kind of lazy to walk back home,” he gave you a sheepish smile, earning a deep sigh of feigned disappointment from you. 
Nodding, you already made your way to grab the blankets from where they were draped over the sofa, frowning when you realised Yoonoh hadn’t moved from where he was on the floor. 
“You’re not sleeping on the couch?” you hummed, earning a hum from him. 
“Nah, it’s okay. I need to brush my teeth, anyway… think I'll just stay like this for a little longer.” 
You let your gaze linger on his face, trying to detect any emotion that was out of the ordinary but coming up short. 
“Okay. G’night, then.” 
Yoonoh smiled, the hum of his voice almost distracting you from a step out of the treehouse. 
“Sweet dreams.” 
Sitting up once you were gone, with his gaze fixed on you as you walked across the garden towards your house, he waited until he saw the warm orange light glowing from your window. Training his gaze back towards the deep blue of the sky, Yoonoh let his mind go quiet for the first time that day, and strangely enough, he felt okay. 
“Oh my God, my favourite librarian!”
Your hand jerked in surprise, making the can slip from your fingers in the vending machine, turning to see Sicheng dressed in his hoodie and basketball shorts making his way over to you. 
Reaching your hand under the flap again, you fished out your canned drink from the vending machine, straightening up to flash a smile at Sicheng, the boy reaching an arm out to pull you into a side-hug. 
“Where are you going? Library?” 
You nodded. 
Sicheng nodded, “Nice, me too.” 
You gasped, a teasing smile on your face, “Really? Thought you said you’d never show your face there again after you got kicked out?” 
Turning in the direction of the library, you both continued to walk with Sicheng’s arm lazily draped around your shoulder. 
You heard him let out a deep sigh. 
“I thought so too. But I just found out I’ve got insane overdue book fees that I can’t resolve ‘cause I have no idea where those books are anymore…” 
Not being able to help the giggle that slipped from you, you shook your head, “If I were the librarian, I’d be pissed at you too. But I'd probably just waive the fee and ask you to just pay for the book.” 
He turned to you with a playful glint in his eyes, his lips curving into a wide smile, “Oh, but you are a librarian, aren’t you? Don’t you think you could pull some strings for your second best pal?”  
“Second best?” you furrowed your eyebrows, amused. 
Sicheng looked at you as if you were an idiot for not getting that, “First best is Jaehyun, obviously.” 
Your mouth formed an ‘o’ shape in realisation. 
Yoonoh… you hadn’t seen him in a while. Though you had English class together, he barely attended, always getting excused since the school was squeezing in extra basketball practice sessions at the same time. If your memory was correct, the last time you saw him was at dinner at your house two weeks ago. 
Sicheng seemed to have sensed how you missed him, giving you a small smile. 
“Have you guys hung out recently?”
You shook your head, “Not really… the last time I saw him was a few weeks ago... but even then we didn’t really get to talk much before he passed out on my couch.” 
Sicheng hummed, seeming to understand what you meant. 
“Yeah, he’s really tired these days… keeps falling asleep in class,” Sicheng explained, “he’s… got a lot of things on his plate at the moment.” 
You nodded. 
“I know,” you shrugged, “but I guess it’s all things he needs… it’s not like he can really afford a break right now.” 
Sicheng hummed, pursing his lips slightly as he glanced at the time on his watch. Sicheng didn’t agree, obviously. He was a firm believer of making sure you had a consistent eating and sleeping schedule (something he knew neither you or Jaehyun had at the moment). 
“Maybe he can…” he trailed off, seeming distracted by something, not finishing his sentence in the end. 
“Right,” you pressed your lips together in a firm line, “Anyway, nope, can’t do anything about your fees.” 
He grunted, his fingers pushing the strap of your bag his arm was resting on up your shoulder further, so it wouldn’t slip off your shoulder. 
“How’s club life without me?” he grinned, “Boring, I hope.” 
You sighed, “I would say it’s pretty… average? Nothing much really happens in the library, and I usually just use the time to read or study, anyway.” 
Sicheng nodded, “Tldr, boring.” 
You smiled, “Exactly.” 
“What about you? Don’t you have basketball practice today?” 
Sicheng huffed bitterly at the mention of basketball practice. 
“Yeah, well. I’m in exile.” 
“Exile?” you laughed. 
“Since stupid coach decided to bench me,” he emphasised the word with evident disdain, “I figured he wouldn’t care if I just skipped one practice to do my library shit.” 
You shook your head, though your smile remained. 
“Might as well make good use of your day off, then. I’m closing today.” 
Sicheng hummed, “That’s enticing, but I need to get started on my college apps. God knows I'm just gonna get distracted if I stay in the library for long.” 
Reaching the library, Sicheng pushed the door open for you, one hand gripping the strap of his backpack as he met the gaze of the librarian at the main desk who was already glaring at him despite the sweet smile he was giving her. 
“Wish me luck,” he muttered through his smile, eliciting a huff of laughter from you. 
“Good luck.” 
Going your separate ways, you made your way over to the check-in system so you could clock-in, letting your ID card dangle from the lanyard around your neck as you focused on organising the few books in the trolley before you were free to do whatever you pleased. 
You enjoyed the quiet you got in the library. No one ever really came here unless they needed to, and to need to come here was pretty rare in your school. People who came here usually did it because they wanted to find a place in school where they would be undisturbed and not have to worry about anyone finding them. It was easy to get lost in all the rows of shelves and little reading nooks and cushioned corners. 
You had a favourite place in the library, just deep enough that people were too lazy to walk that deep into the library for a seat unless everywhere else was taken. It was where Sicheng and you would sit during club hours and read, gossip, game (or nap) for as long as you could. 
Now, you focused on making yourself comfortable and cracking open the book you were almost done with. 
Reading until you’d managed to cloud any awareness of your surroundings, you were drawn back to reality when you felt a thud next to you on the floor. Turning your head quickly, you were shocked to see Jaehyun of all people, his duffle bag now dumped next to you and dressed in a hoodie and shorts as well. Thankfully, he looked (and smelled) freshly showered. 
Jaehyun’s smile was tired, but nothing about it seemed forced. Maybe you being in the library club wasn’t such a bad thing after all, if it meant the privacy allowed Jaehyun to let down his guard (even if it was just by a little). 
“Sorry, didn’t think the sound would be that loud,” his smile was sheepish, “mind if I join you?” 
“Wouldn’t napping at home be better?” 
Jaehyun shook his head. 
“I’m having dinner at your house later, remember?” 
Right. His parents were coming over. And so was Rina. 
A long drawn hum of understanding left you, shifting your body to the side so Jaehyun could make himself comfortable on the floor next to you. 
Resting his head on his duffle bag that lay near your knee, the little keychain of his bag clinking against the metal zipper as he made himself comfortable, wasting no time to fold his arms across his chest and close his eyes. 
It didn’t take longer than two minutes for his breathing to even out, his chest rising and falling slowly as his arms relaxed. 
You tried to continue reading, but you were already distracted. Things between you and Yoonoh were different now, in an almost glaringly obvious way. 
Yet you were almost absolutely sure you were in love with him, as horrifying as that knowledge was to you. 
You saw his phone screen light up with a text from Rina, texts barely covering his wallpaper that was a screenshot of his very packed schedule. 
Rina  4:10pm -  sorry, didn’t see this-  4:10pm - yeah I’m still with Johnny-  4:10pm - u still cmg over later tho?- 
You turned your attention back to your book, forcing your gaze away from his phone for your own good. 
You trust Rina not to hurt him. 
Turning back to your book, you felt the light buzz of your phone indicating that it was the library’s closing time, shutting your book and turning to Jaehyun, reaching a hand out but stopping yourself just before you made contact with him. 
The sight of his sleeping face, the schedule on his lockscreen, the reddish tint under his eyes. You couldn’t bring yourself to wake him up. 
So you waited. You waited until it was 5:30 and he had shocked himself awake with the sound of his own snore. 
Fighting back your amusement, you took in his confused expression, the dazed look in his eyes before he’d blinked harshly, sucking in a sharp breath and letting it out in a deep sigh. 
“Good morning,” you snickered, shoving your book into your bag and slinging the straps around your shoulders, stretching your legs out in front of you and bending forward in a stretch. 
Jaehyun glanced at his phone, his eyes lingering on Rina’s texts before he’d turned to you with a frown. 
“Why didn’t you wake me up?” he spoke through his yawn, his hand coming up to wipe the sleep from his eyes. 
You shrugged, “You looked like you needed the extra hour.” 
Jaehyun sighed, his lips curving into a small smile. 
“Honestly, I did… thanks, angel.” 
Ignoring his nickname for you again (and especially the way it was making your heart feel funny), you stood up first, making your way over to the desk to clock out with your card (making sure not to forget to change the time in the system), waiting for Jaehyun to walk over as you held the door open with your body. 
His eyebrows were furrowed as he typed away at his phone, walking out before you and halting so you could lock the door, shoving his phone into his pocket with a huff. 
You didn’t ask. You figured he’d talk about it when he was ready. 
And it seemed, four blocks from your house was where he decided he was ready. 
“Rina’s with John Seo again.” 
Your eyes widened, feigning shock as best as you could. 
“Oh, really? She is?” you hummed. 
Jaehyun’s eyebrows furrowed slightly, his gaze searching your expression for a mere moment before he let out a sigh. 
“You made the right choice not going into acting,” he commented, making you drop your facade of fake surprise instantly, sighing. 
“Hope you didn’t lash out at her…” you warned. 
Jaehyun wasn’t one to get angry very often, but his words always got a lot more blunt when he was annoyed. 
Jaehyun shook his head, almost sulking, “I didn’t.” 
“Well… then it’s fine, right? I mean… she doesn’t feel the need to hide it from you so…” 
Jaehyun shrugged, another annoyed huff leaving him,  “She was supposed to join us for dinner tonight but she bailed ‘cause she’d rather go meet him.” 
“Maybe it was an emergency?” You attempted to defend Rina. 
Jaehyun, unfortunately, couldn’t see past his annoyance to stay objective. 
“An emergency at his house? What did he do? Burn himself on a hot kettle? Cut himself trying to open a pizza box?” Jaehyun’s tone was mocking, punctuated by the way he rolled his eyes and scoffed. 
You rolled your eyes, “Your examples suck. Maybe she just didn’t feel like socialising tonight.” 
“It’s just you and our parents—” 
“And that’s plenty of socialising already. Cut her some slack, dude. She asked you if you were coming over after, right? Doesn’t that show she wants to spend time with you?” 
You were already walking up to your front door, unlocking the door and greeting both of your parents in the kitchen. 
Jaehyun mustered a half-assed smile to your parents, still trailing close behind you as you made your way to your room. 
“She could just be asking out of courtesy, you know.”
You groaned, you were starting to get annoyed now and Yoonoh could tell, judging from the way he hadn’t followed you into your room, “Do you want to spend time with her or not? Like you said, she’s still your girlfriend. Her helping out with John Seo’s emergency doesn’t change that.”
You threw your bag somewhere next to your bed, turned around and made your way back to your bedroom door, seeing Jaehyun standing there, pursing his lips. 
“Fine, you’re right. I’ll still go over to her place later.” 
“Good. Now can we go eat now?” 
Jaehyun nodded, letting you lead the way down the stairs, muttering behind you, “Just saying, just because I’m going over to her place later doesn’t mean I don’t still feel like shit.” 
You sighed, lowering your volume since you were both almost in the kitchen. 
“I know,” you murmured, taking your seat next to your mom and letting Yoonoh find his seat next to his dad on the other side of the table. 
Your mom leaned in, dropping her voice to a low murmur, “Everything okay?” 
You nodded. 
Though she obviously didn’t believe you, it wasn’t like she was going to make Yoonoh’s love life the dinner topic for today, so she’d signalled for everyone to start eating, all of you falling into the rhythm naturally as if nothing had happened. 
“How was school, guys?” Yoonoh’s mom asked, earning a grunt from him and a smile from you. 
“It was alright,” you glanced at Yoonoh, glaring at him in a telepathic ‘get yourself together!’, “things have just been a bit busy… revision before exams and all.” 
Your dad hummed, “Yeah, yeah. Right, and you have basketball stuff on top of that, right son?” 
Yoonoh nodded, sighing deeply, “Yeah… it’s been pretty crazy.” 
“Oh, right. What happened to Rina, honey? Didn’t you say she was coming?” Yoonoh’s mom had asked, and you missed the look his dad had cast your way before looking at him. 
Shaking his head, Yoonoh kept his gaze fixed on his plate as he shoved another forkful of food into his mouth. 
“Change of plans. I’m going over to her place later instead.” 
You glanced up from your food, shocked to find his parents looking at you for some sort of assurance. 
“Yeah, Rina’s pretty busy herself too… with her tutoring sessions and cheerleading practice and whatnot… all those new social dinners to attend since her mom’s running for Mayor,” you smiled, seeing the way his parents had visibly relaxed in response. 
Chimes of ‘ahh, right’ and ‘yeah, right, elections are soon’ followed.  
“It’s amazing what kind of effort goes into maintaining their reputation…” your dad muttered under his breath, making your mother cluck her tongue in disdain. 
“Your father was just telling us just now about how the donations from Rina’s dad have really been helping them down at the police station,” your mom directed her words towards Yoonoh, who seemed apathetic to the entire conversation. 
“Yeah...pretty hefty ones, if you asked me,” your dad huffed, making your lips part in shock. 
“So, how’s stuff at the university been?” you attempted to divert the topic, hoping Yoonoh’s dad would save the strange tension at the dinner table. 
Thankfully, he did. Giving you a small smile, he’d launched into an explanation about the new faculty the college was opening, leaving you finally able to eat your dinner in peace. 
Yoonoh however, remained with the same disconnected glazed over eyes, acting like he was listening by nodding every now and then even though you knew he wasn’t. 
Truth be told, he wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed and sleep for the next week. But even that seemed a little impossible at this point. 
Maybe he would just sleep at Rina’s. 
From finishing his dinner, mindlessly nodding at conversations, bidding everyone goodbye and making his commute to Rina’s house, everything had been a blur, the only thought in the front of his mind being that he hoped he could find some comfort and rest in Rina’s presence. 
Unfortunately, their relationship didn’t quite work that way. 
Upon walking into her (expansive) driveway, Jaehyun realised her parents weren’t home. That seemed to help him relax slightly more, knowing he wasn’t awaiting a swarm of questions about whether he needed ‘help’ to secure his basketball scholarship. 
Stepping into the house (the door was unlocked), he spotted Rina on her couch, who mustered a smile at him as he made his way over to sit next to her, dumping his things down on the floor with a sigh. 
“You alright?” she asked, leaning over to press a kiss to his lips, her gaze looking almost distracted when she pulled away, as if she wasn’t registering her actions. 
Jaehyun nodded, “Just a little tired,” he murmured, not having expected her to lean in to press another kiss to his cheek. 
“Why don’t I help you relax?” she offered, her hand smoothing over his chest and moving to the hem of his shirt. 
Shifting in his seat slightly, Jaehyun shook his head, his hand finding her wrist to halt her actions, “No, I’m not really up for it today…"
Rina frowned, “It’s fine, you don’t have to do anything.” 
Jaehyun shook his head, placing Rina’s hand on her knee. 
“Can we just… talk?” 
Rina fell silent, pursing her lips. 
“You came here to talk?” 
Jaehyun huffed, almost amused at her reaction, “Well, I mean, yeah. Why do you say that like it’s a bad thing?” 
Rina shook her head, “No, it’s not bad or anything, I’m just confused… are you like… mad at me or something?” 
She fiddled with her fingers in her lap, averting her gaze. 
Jaehyun sighed, frowning in confusion, “I’m not mad at you, Rina. I mean it, honestly, I just wanna talk to you.” 
Rina’s eyebrows furrowed, nodding slowly. 
“How was your day?” he asked, resting his head on his arm that was propped against the sofa, a sleepy look in his eyes. 
“... you’re being weird,” she huffed nervously. 
Jaehyun huffed, “What’s so weird about asking you how your day was? I ask you that all the time.” 
“And I always tell you the same thing? My day was normal?” Rina felt awkward, uncomfortable almost. 
Jaehyun let out a small huff of laughter, “I wanted to tell you this just now but I forgot, I actually had a dream of you, and we were at the beach and you had this little puppy with you…” he trailed off when he saw the way Rina was looking at him. 
He’d seen that look many times before, he shouldn’t have expected her reaction to be different this time. 
“You know dreams are meaningless, right?” she laughed, “I seriously don’t get why you bother to remember your dreams… much less why you take them so seriously.” 
Jaehyun’s lips parted, a small huff leaving him as well, “Right, yeah. No, yeah, forget it, it was stupid.” 
The words felt foreign and bitter on his tongue, as if it was his bodily response to having to lie. Jaehyun frowned. 
“I’m gonna be honest, I was a little annoyed with you just now for bailing on dinner to hang out with John Seo, but Y/N managed to convince me—”
“You told her about me and Johnny?!” Rina’s confusion had turned to anger almost instantly, going on the defensive as she glared at Jaehyun. 
Annoyance bubbled within Jaehyun, his eyebrows raising. 
“‘You and Johnny?’,” he scoffed. 
Realisation flashed through Rina’s eyes, but it was masked as soon as they appeared. 
“I can’t believe you, Jay. Why would you tell her something like that?” 
Jaehyun’s lips parted in disbelief, “You said it wasn’t a big deal. You and Johnny are ‘just friends’, right?” his tone was pointed, as if he were daring her to challenge him. 
Rina desperately fought to manoeuvre the situation to her advantage. One thing about Rina that Jaehyun failed to realise was that when you’re brought up in an environment like hers, lying and manipulation came as easily as breathing. After all, you tend to pick up on things like that after they’ve been used on you all your life. 
“That’s not the point, Jay. It’s the fact that you’re even telling her private things about our relationship at all,” she said harshly, “that’s how it always starts.” 
Jaehyun’s eyebrows knit in confusion before he realised, a scoff leaving him. 
“You think I’m cheating on you?” he asked, the look on her face almost unreadable. 
“Well, yeah! I mean, all that time you spend with her instead of with me—” 
“I would be able to spend time with you if you didn’t always bail on me to hang out with ‘Johnny’,” his tone was spiteful now. 
Rina scoffed. 
“Don’t try to blame this on me, Jay. I don’t like you spending all that time with her.”
“I don’t even see her that often these days—” 
“You know that’s not the point.”  
“She’s my best friend, Rina,” Jaehyun groaned, “What do you want me to do? Just stop talking to her?” 
Rina pursed her lips, knowing she shouldn’t have said her next words, but said them anyway. 
“If you really cared about this relationship, or cared about me, you should be able to tell me anything you tell her. You should talk to me about our problems, not her.” 
Jaehyun bit the inside of his cheek. 
How was he supposed to be honest with her, if she wouldn’t let him? 
But like you said, Jaehyun wasn’t one to give up so easily. So he was going to try. 
A long silence ensued, the both of them seated rigidly on the sofa as they tried to calm down. 
Jaehyun, as usual, was the first to speak up. 
“I’m sorry, I was being harsh just now,” he murmured, his words only serving to make waves of guilt wash through Rina. 
She shook her head, “It’s okay.” 
Pulling her into a hug, Rina let her head rest on his chest even though it felt foreign, detached. But no matter how horrible she felt, she welcomed his embrace anyway, for the temporary feeling of affection that would put her at ease for now. 
Basketball, grades, girlfriend, college, family. 
Yoonoh tried turning to all to get rid of the itching feeling within him that was desperate to tell you all the stupid minute little details of his life, and the big ones like his and Rina’s relationship. Unfortunately, none of them were as effective as he hoped. 
That was how you found yourself in your treehouse again, sitting at the edge of the balcony as you watched Yoonoh below you trying to shoot his basketball into the little hoop his dad had mounted on the tree when you were in middle school. 
The routine reminded you of the days you helped him prepare for basketball tryouts in middle school (and high school), though this time you wouldn’t say you were very happy looking down at him. 
You hadn’t spoken to him since he had dinner at your house, outside of exchanging snide comments or wishing each other luck when you’d bump into each other on the way in and out of class. You were even speaking to Sicheng more than him. It wasn’t exactly unusual, per se, but you found yourself missing the little texts that would come in in the morning updating you about the dream he had the night before, or stupid little details like how he was trying a new sequence of showering to see which was the least time consuming, or perhaps updates on a show he was watching. 
But perhaps the time away, and time spent with your other friends, was starting to make you realise that maybe it was a good thing to detach yourself from these things, from what you felt for Yoonoh for now. Sure, you loved him, and you loved hearing from him, but you were still trying to come to terms with how it felt like more than the love one usually had for their best friend. 
One thing was to fall in love with someone and want to build a life with them, get married to them, have kids, be parents together, grow old with them. And there was falling in love with your best friend, finding that they were someone that saw you for who you were and stayed because and in spite of it, wanting to grow with them and see them through the different stages of life, protect them, cherish them, share in their joys and in their suffering. 
You were frustrated that people saw this as a binary choice. As if love could be defined and confined in such a way. Platonic or romantic. Best friends or lovers. Maybe for others, it was easier to classify it that way but like you said, you were frustrated because the love you felt for Yoonoh was everything and all of it. 
There wasn’t a reason why you loved him, you just did. 
Today, you were extra tired, your reason being the long day of studying and stressing over finals, and so was Yoonoh but for a very different reason. 
“It was so weird. I mean, I don’t have a problem with her hanging out with Johnny but—” 
“Are you sure she’d be alright with you telling me all of this?” you couldn’t help yourself from asking, grimacing at the way his basketball completely missed and thumped against the tree trunk loudly, feeling the impact under you. 
Yoonoh’s gaze lingered on you for a moment, a huff leaving him. 
“You know, that’s exactly what she said. She was actually saying that day that she doesn’t like how I tell you things… or tell you about my life,” Yoonoh grunted, bouncing his basketball before making another throw. 
“Talk about ridiculous,” he continued, “like, why would I not tell my best friend things about my life? That’s like going to the toilet when you need to pee and not peeing.” 
Yoonoh expected to hear a snicker from you, of a huff of laughter at least, not the deep sigh that followed. 
“She’s not wrong, you know,” as much as you were reluctant, you knew this was necessary out of respect for Rina, “to want to set boundaries.”
Yoonoh’s hands had held tightly to the basketball in his hands. 
You shrugged, “I don’t know.. maybe you just didn’t see it from her perspective until she told you. But you know she’s right… communication between you guys is more important, compared to getting a third party, aka me, to solve your problems without her even knowing.” 
Yoonoh stared blankly at you, bringing a hand up to brush through his hair that was already damp with perspiration. 
“You understand what I’m getting at, right?” you prompted. 
Yoonoh’s blank look persisted, not knowing what to do with himself knowing that you were finally agreeing with Rina, but on something that he never hoped you would think similarly about. 
“It’s like, you’re suffering from something and you just keep going to the doctor for painkillers, but you’re not actuallyfinding out what’s causing the pain… ” you continued slowly, searching his gaze for any sign of understanding. 
Yoonoh pursed his lips, inhaling deeply before letting out a sigh. 
“Fine, maybe you’re right. But it doesn’t change the fact that it’s insane.” 
You clucked your tongue at him in disapproval. 
“It’s not insane, Yoonoh. She wants reassurance, not… to break up your friendships.”
Yoonoh huffed, slumping onto the ground with his legs spread out in front of him, basketball thudding dully on the grass, “Friendship. She doesn’t care if I tell Sicheng.”
“Do you tell Sicheng what you tell me?” you shot back quickly, knowing the answer even without him saying it. 
Yoonoh’s lips parted to speak, shutting his mouth before opening it again, “... No.” 
“That’s exactly my poin—” 
“But that’s because it’s different. Sure, Sicheng’s my close friend but he’s not you,” Yoonoh’s voice raised slightly in his frustration, stopping himself before he let out an exasperated huff. 
There it was again, that dangerously comforting feeling of being somebody to him. 
“Yoonoh… I don’t know what to tell you. If it’s what Rina wants, I have no right to tell you otherwise,” you sighed. 
“Yes, you do. You have a right as my best friend,” he insisted, unsure where to place his annoyance at this point. 
What was he trying to do? 
“I don’t want to pick a fight with your girlfriend, Yoonoh,” your frustration bubbled out from you harshly, “What the hell do you want me to do? It’s not like our relationship is the same as your relationship with her, right?” you shook your head, your chest feeling hot with anger and your eyes beginning to sting. 
Yoonoh’s head was pounding. It wasn’t. It definitely wasn’t and that was starting to drive him crazy. 
You didn’t think you had it in you to continue down this rabbit hole, getting up from where you were sitting on the treehouse, ignoring the painful way your shin had accidentally scraped on one of the wooden barriers on the balcony while you did so. You already felt so frustrated you could cry, the little scrape on your shin was nothing. But Yoonoh noticed the way you started to blink harshly, and though you didn’t say it, he knew he was at fault. 
“I think you should leave,” you murmured, your voice teetering dangerously on the line between firm and shaky. 
Yoonoh’s gaze was filled with remorse. 
“Y/N, I didn’—” 
“I mean it. Finals start tomorrow and I need to study.” 
Yoonoh nodded, dropping his basketball and leaving without another word. You guys didn’t fight with each other often, but this time, it put him in a mood more sour than ever. 
His dad noticed when he’d come home and he didn’t hear the music that usually played in the shower when Yoonoh was back from school. It was only a matter of time before his dad had heard the soft padding of bedroom slippers behind him as he was in the dining room marking assignments. 
“Dad… can I talk to you?” Yoonoh murmured, the heaviness of emotion laced in his tone. The light scuffing of the bedroom slippers against the hardwood floors continued until Yoonoh was sitting at the dining table facing his dad, his hair damp and curling in loose waves after his shower and his eyes behind his glasses looking as though he rubbed at them for too long. 
“Sure, what’s wrong? Did something happen at school?” 
Yoonoh shook his head, lips pursing as he averted his gaze from his father’s eyes, training them on the stacks of papers instead. 
“It’s actually… a lot of things… but…” he sighed, “I think I upset Y/N.” 
His dad’s eyebrows raised in surprise, making him feel even worse. 
“I know,” Yoonoh groaned, propping his elbow on the table and leaning his head on his hand. 
“Rina told me that she wanted me to stop telling Y/N so much about my life… and about our relationship, and I was just ranting about it to Y/N when I was at her place just now but I didn’t expect her to agree with Rina.” 
His dad frowned, “What did she say?” 
Yoonoh shrugged, “I mean, she was just defending Rina, I guess. She was trying to say it’s the right thing to do to set boundaries or whatever but it was so—” Yoonoh groaned, “because she’s the only person I could ever be so honest with… if I can’t even talk to her then who the hell am I supposed to talk to?” 
Yoonoh’s dad gave him a knowing look, humming thoughtfully. 
“… don’t you think you may have been putting Y/N in a tough position? You can’t expect her to disrespect Rina by going against her wishes, but at the same time you can’t expect her to be happy about it either.” 
Yoonoh nodded, there didn’t seem to be any easy way around this. 
“Yoonoh… don’t you think you should be able to confide in Rina, or at least, be able to turn to her when you’re struggling? She is your girlfriend…” 
Yoonoh huffed. 
“You’re gonna say I’m an idiot. But that’s the thing… I… I can’t. It’s like each time I try to be myself around her or just tell her the things I would tell Y/N it’s just as if she doesn’t want to know. It’s always been more… natural with Y/N. I don’t have to be a specific person when I’m with her.” 
Yoonoh was glad he could be honest with his dad, at least. But again, it wasn’t quite the same as how he felt with you. 
“I won’t say too much, because at the end of the day it’s something you have to decide for yourself. But maybe it’s time you start thinking about why you’re with Rina if you feel as though you have to be someone else with her.” 
Yoonoh buried his face in his hands, fingers covering his eyes under his glasses, palms muffling his words. 
“Don’t get me wrong, dad. I want to try to make things work with Rina, I just… really don’t understand why that means I have to give up Y/N.” 
Yoonoh’s dad shrugged. 
“Not everything has to be forced, Yoonoh. Sometimes, if it doesn’t work, that’s all there is to it. It’s not as if it’s your fault it’s not working.” 
Yoonoh lifted his face from his hands, looking at his dad with furrowed eyes. 
“You think I should give up on Rina?” he asked, searching for answers in his dad’s expression. 
He simply shrugged. 
“I think you should do whatever feels right for you.” 
Letting out an amused huff at his son’s expression, he waved him off. 
“But first, I think you should get finals out of the way.” 
Yoonoh huffed, standing up and stretching his arms out behind him with a yawn. 
“Fine,” he sighed, “Thanks dad.” The scuffing of bedroom slippers echoed as he left the kitchen. 
“Night, son.” 
He received a hum in reply, going back to his marking once he heard Yoonoh’s bedroom door shut. 
“Jay! Come here and meet some of my dad’s friends!” Jaehyun was momentarily pulled out of his conversation with Rina’s mom as he saw her beckoning him over to the group of suit-clad men (well, almost everyone here was wearing a suit), Rina standing out amongst them in a beautiful dress he knew he could never afford. 
Rolling his shoulders back, Jaehyun pushed aside his anxiety and made his way over to Rina, something about this environment making him feel like he was in high school; endless murmurs and stares wondering who Rina’s boyfriend was and why he was so privileged to be on the receiving end of all the attention. 
“Nice to meet you. Jay, was it?” One man extended his hand out for Jaehyun to shake, his build and mannerisms awfully reminding Jaehyun of his coach, “I’m Jason, the manager for our national basketball team.” 
Jaehyun would’ve corrected them on his name if he wasn’t close to having an out-of-body experience. The manager? He should’ve known Rina’s father’s connections weren’t to be underestimated. 
“Matthew here’s our coach,” he patted the man next to him with a smile, and if Jaehyun wasn’t starstruck before, he sure was now. 
The coach smiled at him, “Rina’s dad told us a lot about you. We’d love to see you in action, if you’re interested.” 
Jaehyun nodded vigorously, almost choking on his own saliva in his haste to talk, “Yeah, yeah! Of course! That’d be insan— I mean, yeah, that’d be really amazing!” 
Jaehyun could already imagine your reaction, wanting nothing more in that moment than to whip out his phone and message you the good news. 
“Dude, It’d be great to have you on the team with us, we’ve been looking for some new blood,” one of the other suit-clad men (younger looking, lean built and just half a head taller than him) said, and Jaehyun had practically grinned. 
“Maybe we could play one of these days, see if you’re really as good as Rina’s dad’s been saying,” he proposed, earning a huff of laughter from Jaehyun. 
“Of course, I’m down for that.” His reply was relatively calm, even if he was jumping for joy on the inside.
He had barely noticed Rina’s absence from the group of them until he’d turned to find her missing, excusing himself as he whipped his phone out in his excited daze, unlocking it only to be met with reality once again. 
His phone showed the last app he was on before locking it, his notes app revealing the dream he’d typed inside in his half-awake daze when he’d woken up that morning. 
‘Dreamt that it was raining very heavily n u were there and your hair was drenched and i went to you n i think it was cold and u like took my hand or smth n held it closer to urself n but i felt like my hand was really cold n i felt bad so i rmb telling u smth like omg im sorry this wld be nicer if my hand wasnt so cold n u just said it was ok n then u hugged me’ 
Jaehyun sighed deeply, swiping out of his notes app and shoving his phone back into his pocket. 
The dream wasn’t the problem, no. It was a dream he would have easily texted you any other day. Hell, it was typed as though he were texting you, but since that day at your house, you hadn’t spoken to him and he knew that you still needed your space… as much as he wanted the opposite. 
He didn’t like how distant he felt from you, how unsettled it made him feel knowing that he truly wished to hear the stupid little details of your day or something you read in your book or a conversation you had with your mom or even what happened to you as you were getting ready for school. More than that, he was starting to realise that maybe he even wanted this more than his relationship with Rina. He couldn’t keep doing this with Rina, and he was realising that now. 
As if by some sort of divine intervention, a text had come in from his dad. 
dad 5:33pm - we’re having dinner at yn’s house, will you be joining us? or do you have dinner with Rina’s family? - 
Jaehyun typed a ‘ok’, his thumb hovering over the send button before he’d erased what he typed, fingertips padding over the screen before sending his edited reply. 
5:34pm -i'll drop by if we’re done early. don’t save any for me, i’m not hungry- 
The thought of you had continued to gnaw at him for the rest of the gala. Suddenly, everything seemed to remind him of you. 
The arrangement of the cutlery on the table reminded him of a conversation he had with you about how you thought different cutlery for different courses was confusing, the classical music playing in the background reminding him of how you’d always wanted to learn piano but got fed up with his impatience when he was trying to teach you how to play ‘forever and always’ on the piano for three weeks straight, the glittering ring on Rina’s dad’s finger reminding him of your favourite beaded ring you always wore. 
He wanted nothing more than to get out of here, to change into more comfortable clothes and return to your treehouse and listen to you read whatever chapter you were on in your book. Why was it that even in a luxurious environment like this, with every opportunity and privilege he could possibly imagine just waiting for him to accept it, his thoughts were still revolving around you? 
“Babe?” Rina’s voice had sounded like a bell in his head, attracting his attention briefly before his mind returned to its musing. 
“Hmm?” Jaehyun blinked, noticing that almost everyone was beginning to stand up, some already making their way out of the hall. 
“The gala’s over, we’re going to my house for drinks, c’mon.” 
Nodding dumbly, Jaehyun followed behind Rina, huffing as he finally found himself seated against the polished leather seats of her car, the driver already setting off even though he’d barely settled in. 
Jaehyun felt a buzz in his pocket, whipping his phone out and frowning at the screen. 
Dong Sicheng 7:18pm - image attached -  7:18pm - y/n has starbucks perks??? did you know the barista has a crush on her??? he gave me this for free because I told him we were cousins-  
7:18pm - u met y/n? -
Jaehyun debated on skipping out on dinner at your house. Though he desperately wanted to make up with you, he had no idea where to start. He figured he needed some kind of important-enough reason for you to have to converse with him. Simple dinner conversation just didn’t seem like it was enough… not with how upset you still seemed to be. 
Dong Sicheng  7:18pm - yeah i saw her studying in starbucks when i was going to the bus stop-  7:18pm - think she went home already tho, she told me she needs a nap cause shes losing her mind over her physics paper on monday- 
Physics. That was just the excuse he needed. Thank you, Sicheng! 
Before he knew it, he was asking the driver to send him to ur address instead, the look on Rina’s face speaking for itself. 
“You’re skipping the after party with my parents?” she looked disgruntled, almost afraid, as if Jaehyun was the bolster she was hoping to keep with her for the rest of the night. 
Jaehyun tore his gaze away from the speedometer, giving Rina a nod. 
“Yeah, I forgot I was supposed to have dinner with my family.” 
Rina’s frown deepened, “You do know who’s gonna be at the dinner, right? All my dad’s important business partners are gonna be there,” she stressed. 
Jaehyun couldn’t seem to find it in him to care, his insides bubbling with anticipation to see you. 
“I know,” he replied simply. 
“It could really help you in the future, you know,” Rina attempted to find more reasons to convince him, evidently unprepared for her bolster to have suddenly decided to bail. 
Jaehyun huffed, “I already met the basketball people, though.” 
Rina scoffed. 
“I wasn’t talking about them. I was talking about people that would be actually important for your future career. Investors? Tycoons?” 
Jaehyun’s eyebrows furrowed, not seeming to pick up on what Rina was implying. 
“C’mon, Jay. You don’t actually think you can make a career out of basketball, do you? Don’t be stupid. You’re really missing out on an opportunity like this for what? Spaghetti with your parents?” 
If Jaehyun wasn’t hurt before, he was now. It took a lot to get him annoyed, but like you said, sometimes he couldn’t help but want to be a little spiteful (especially when it came to defending his relationship with you). 
“And Y/N’s family,” he replied calmly. 
The look on Rina’s face had almost instantly been masked with a blank look, leaning back in her seat and facing forward, no words leaving her for the rest of the car ride. 
You were trying to study, but as time passed, you were growing hungrier and the inconsistent thumping that vibrated through the treehouse was starting to annoy you. As if your textbook wasn’t already annoying you enough. 
Trying your best to be inconspicuous, you peeped over the little railing on the treehouse, not even surprised when you saw Yoonoh- suit jacket and tie tossed haphazardly on the grass, the top few buttons of his dress shirt undone and his sleeves rolled up to his elbows- trying, and failing, to shoot his basketball into the makeshift basketball hoop your dad had nailed into the tree when you were both in middle school. 
You knew Yoonoh. And you knew he must’ve had a lot on his mind to be playing this badly. 
Almost forgetting you were trying to be inconspicuous, you’d met his gaze briefly and hurried to lean back so he couldn’t see you. 
“I know you’re in there, you know.” 
You pursed your lips, hearing (and feeling) another thump resound through the treehouse, the leaves shivering from the impact. You knew that one was probably done on purpose. 
You huffed, “Do you mind? It’s kind of hard to focus when the whole treehouse shakes every five seconds.” 
Yoonoh almost smiled. This was progress. Annoyance-filled progress, but progress nonetheless. 
“Then get out of it and talk to me,” he challenged. 
You rolled your eyes. He pulled that stunt with Rina and expected you to just roll with it? You figured you deserved to be at least a little annoyed with him. 
“You know what? Maybe I'm fine with the earthquakes after all, it’ll train my patience,” you shouted back. 
Jaehyun sighed when he’d tried to shoot another hoop, the basketball bouncing off of the rim of the hoop and back into his arms. 
“C’mon, angel, I know you’re still mad at me—” 
“At least you know that much,” you grunted, “and don’t call me that.” 
“—but would you at least let me apologize to your face?” 
You pressed your lips into a firm line. 
“I’ll come up if you don’t respond in the next ten seconds.” 
“You wouldn’t dare,” you countered. 
As if by some stroke of luck, Yoonoh heard your mom call out that they were going to leave for drinks at the lounge. 
You wouldn’t be able to ignore him for much longer, and you both knew that. 
You heard the thudding of the basketball against the grass, the soft crunching of leaves as Yoonoh left the garden. 
You sighed. As much as you wanted to ignore him and stay annoyed at him, you couldn't help it; you missed your best friend. 
Maybe you’ll finish this chapter before going in. 
Shoving your book on the floor with a thud once you were done, you shifted yourself whilst still cross-legged till you were at the edge of the ladder, sighing as you climbed down, your fatigue weighing down on you and making you feel heavier than ever. 
Walking over to the entrance from the garden, seeing that it was already left a crack open, you pushed the door lightly, entering the kitchen and being greeted with the sound of Rina’s voice muffled over his speaker phone. 
“You sure you’re not coming over later?” she asked. 
Yoonoh was oblivious to your entrance, focused on grappling with your faulty can opener to crack open a tin of canned fruits (you don’t know why he seemed to like them so much, you were sure there was something about them that wasn’t healthy). 
“No, I’m not.” 
Rina’s sigh was loud, close to a groan. 
“Are you sure? My dad’s asking for you, Jay.” 
Jaehyun let out a huff of laughter, “Then tell him I'm not there? He knows I have a family too, right?”
Your eyebrows raised, hands going behind you to touch the countertop before you let yourself lean against it, shamelessly eavesdropping on his conversation. 
“Jay, seriously. What’s wrong with you? Can’t you see what a mistake you’re making?” 
You purse your lips, wondering what could’ve been happening at her dad’s gala for her to be so annoyed with him for not attending. 
Yoonoh sighed, “That’s the thing, Rina. It’s not a mistake to me. Now stop hiding in your bathroom and just go join the party.” 
A small pause ensued, you could practically hear the tap running. 
“Whatever, Jay.” 
She hung up first, and you took that as your queue to start alerting him of your presence, pulled your mug out of the rack and huffed at the way the sharp sound of the cups clinking against each other had shocked him. 
Yoonoh was leaning against the counter now, a cube of persimmon on his fork that hovered just centimeters from his lips. 
He was waiting for it, for something. A snide remark about his dressing, a comment about his horrible basketball playing, even a nag of ‘why don’t you just eat an actual fresh fruit?’. 
You took a sip of your water, facing him as you rested your back against the fridge. 
“Thought you said you hated people calling you ‘Jay’,” you told him pointedly. 
Yoonoh nodded. 
“I do.” 
You raised your eyebrows at him, “didn’t seem like you hated it,” you gestured to his phone with your glass. 
Yoonoh sighed. 
“I’m a lot better at lying than you think,” he shrugged. 
You frowned, grimacing, “That’s concerning.” 
Yoonoh waved you off, shaking his head in dismissal. 
“It’s no use correcting her, she’ll call me whatever she wants to call me,” he sighed, almost shivering at his memory of Sicheng’s teasing. 
You let out a soft huff, downing the rest of your water. The pause that ensued between the both of you made a tense feeling grip you by your shoulders, especially with the way he was looking at you. That same look that made you feel as though he had a million things to say to you but didn’t know where to start. 
“Why’d you come here?” You attempted to shake the tension off. 
Yoonoh’s lips froze momentarily over his fork, slipping it out of his mouth slowly. He had the audacity to smile at you, poorly stifling it at that, as he twirled the fork around with his fingers
“I have a good reason... but can I apologize first?” 
Right, you almost forgot you were annoyed at him. 
“Fine, apologize,” you set your glass on the table, folding your arms across your chest. . 
“Okay, so… I was thinking about our last conversation… and I feel like shit for putting you in that position. I never meant to do that, but it doesn’t change the fact that I put you on the spot, and that was a shitty thing for me to do,” he began, “I was just upset at Rina, and more upset at the fact that I couldn’t stand up to her… that I took it out on you, as if you were supposed to stand up for me. But I know that was wrong of me, and I’m really sorry for that.” 
You nodded, huffing. You had many questions for him, but you didn’t think he had the answers for them right now. But for some reason, you asked them anyway. 
“Why do you think you can’t tell her how you feel?” 
Something about Yoonoh’s gaze had grown more pensive, more intent, as if the million things he wanted to tell you had intensified. 
“I think you already know the answer to that,” he murmured. 
“Do I?” 
Yoonoh nodded. Maybe you did. 
You ignored the feeling of being frozen in place, forcing yourself to keep your mind calm, “Did you guys fight again? She sounded pretty pissed at you, you know, when I was eavesdropping just now.” 
Yoonoh’s eyebrows raised, “So, apology accepted?” 
You scoffed, “Seriously, I don’t need to say it for you to know—” 
“No,” he shook his head, the insistence in his voice throwing you off momentarily, “I need you to say it.” 
Your lips parted, mouth suddenly feeling dry, rendering you with no choice but to nod, “Apology accepted.” 
Yoonoh smiled, dimples appearing, relaxing visibly in the way his shoulders had dropped just slightly. You wouldn’t have noticed the way he was holding himself back from making his way over to you to hug you. 
“Anyway, you were saying just now... you had a good reason for ditching the after party?” you cleared your throat, the tension not seeming to be dissipating anytime soon. 
Yoonoh nodded, setting the can on the countertop harshly, making you wince at the sound, “To make up with you.” 
You rolled your eyes.
“Right, now what’s the real reason,” you laughed, not expecting the look of genuine confusion that graced his features, eyebrows furrowed and gaze searching yours. 
“Huh? That was my real reason.” 
Lips parting, your grip tightened on the countertop behind your hips. 
You sighed, trying to ignore how your chest had started to feel warm, your ears practically burning as you averted your gaze. 
“You’re so stupid,” was all you managed to utter out before you were greeted by the sound of his laughter. 
“I heard you needed help with your physics paper,” he gave you a knowing look. He always helped you study physics, and though a part of you was still a little annoyed at him, you weren’t sure if you were feeling petty enough to put yourself up for failure for your test tomorrow. 
Nodding, you hated the way a smile played on your lips as you began to walk into the living room, “You don’t need your textbook, right?”
You could picture the smile on his face without having to face him.
“Nope. Let’s get to work.” 
And just like that, it almost felt like things were how you were always used to it. Yoonoh doing his best to explain different problems to you and threatening to give up ever so often if you refused to focus even though you knew he wouldn’t really give up. Just like how you were used to. 
It was one of the rare moments where time seemed to slow down, and just for a second, all you both had to focus on was physics and each other, the simplicity of the situation feeling so rare that you both couldn’t help but feel relieved.In that simple moment, as you begged for a break while Yoonoh insisted that you finish the last problem before you could reward yourself with an episode of Money Heist, he didn’t have to think about Rina, or think about basketball, or even about Sicheng’s birthday party next week.
It was just you, sitting before him, the stupid pleading look on your face that Yoonoh couldn’t ever refuse and the grounding feeling as though he was home. He didn’t have to ask himself why he was simultaneously feeling as though the world was crashing down on him as a feeling of immense realisation had overwhelmed him, his smile disappearing and his eyes glazing over. The same feeling that overwhelmed him at the party almost intensifying now. 
You were too busy trying to shove your textbooks further away from you to recognize that same look taking over his features, once again.  
That was when Yoonoh knew he was done for. He needed to break up with Rina. 
Yoonoh glanced at the time. 2:22am. 
“Honestly, I think we can call it a night. I’m really tired,” you sighed, reaching for the remote and jumping slightly with how abruptly Yoonoh had stood up. 
“Uh… I think you should just carry on without me, I just realised I was uh… I was supposed to take care of something. I’ll text you if I’m coming back, but don’t wait up for me just… reward yourself. You deserve it,” his words came out choppy, unnaturally, almost as if he were being pulled in the opposite direction and was forcing himself to stay just to get those words out to you. 
You gave him a curious look, eyebrows furrowed but still somewhat amused. You didn’t think much of it, since he was prone to being forgetful especially when he was stressed. So you shook your head in dismissal, waving him off. 
“It’s okay, just go. Call me if you need anything,” you told him, Yoonoh giving you one last smile before practically running out of your house. 
He texted Rina, asking where she was, but she hadn’t replied, so he figured she was still busy with the party. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, so he continued on his way. 
What he hadn’t expected, though, was to be met with a quiet house, her parents’ car nowhere to be seen, and especially not the sight of John Seo making out with his girlfriend in her bedroom. 
The door swung open after knocking, scaring Rina with a yelp as she flung her hands away from his face as if she were scalded. John Seo, on the other hand, only looked amused. Squinting at first at Jaehyun’s silhouette in the dim light, he glanced between Rina’s look of pure horror as she pulled her shirt down haphazardly and Jaehyun’s face of shock as he stood frozen in the doorway. 
John Seo’s mouth formed a little ‘o’ in understanding, a hum leaving him. 
“Right. So this must be your ‘Valentine boy’ then, right love?” he drawled, getting off the bed calmly as he fixed his beanie, picking his phone up from her bed and giving her a nonchalant wave, even patting Jaehyun on the back as he strolled past him. 
“Good luck, dude,” his words lingered in Jaehyun’s head with a sour aftertaste, shutting the door behind them as nothing else was heard other than Johnny’s footsteps padding down the stairs and the final thud of the front door closing. 
Rina was seated at the edge of her bed now, guilt-stricken eyes glancing at Jaehyun nervously, her hands fiddling with her shirt as Jaehyun tried to place the emotion he was feeling. 
Why didn’t he feel angry at her? Why was it that even as he looked at her right now, he felt detached? It was as if he were watching a scene from a movie instead of watching his girlfriend sit on her bed after catching her cheating on him. 
“Jay, I can explain,” she began, a slight tremor in her voice as she searched his blank expression for any sign of emotion, “… I’m sorry, I really meant to tell you as soon as it started happening but I just… couldn’t.” 
Jaehyun’s eyebrows furrowed, “Why?” 
His tone was gentle, something Rina found even more scathing. She wished he would be angry at her, to yell, or tell her she hurt him. His gentleness was just making her feel even worse. 
“I… I didn’t want my parents to know… I mean, you were the best thing that happened for our relationship. Ever since I got together with you it’s like… they treat me differently, they treat me like I’m finally doing something right, you know?... I’m sorry it meant I had to keep using you but I couldn’t let things go back to how they were.” 
“They would never have accepted Johnny… not like how they accept you.” 
Jaehyun sighed. She was in love with John Seo. He could tell that much. 
He was starting to come to his senses now, and his anger was starting to creep in. He was angry that she lied to him, of course, strung him along for so long just for her personal gain. But more than that, he was relieved. Relieved that he could finally stop trying to revive something that had died long ago.  
“I’m sorry, Jay. I know I shouldn’t have done that. I know it’s not right for me to ask you this but I really really just need a little more time. Just a little time so I can think of how to tell my parents that we broke up. Just… at least until graduation, please.” 
Jaehyun’s eyebrows furrowed, features pulling into a frown. 
“So, what? Like… keep up appearances till graduation?” he murmured. He couldn’t find it in him to be angry at her now. Looking at her expression, hearing the desperation in her voice, he just felt bad for her. 
Rina nodded desperately, wanting to get up from the bed but feeling too guilty to make another move towards him, tears pricking at her eyes. 
“Please, Jay. Just a few weeks more, that’s the last thing I'll ask you to do for me. Then we can just go our separate ways, I won’t have anything to do with you after that. I just need some time to settle things, and I’ll tell them after graduation before I go off to college. I won’t mess with your basketball scholarship or anything, seriously. I just need you to do this last thing for me.” 
Jaehyun wasn’t sure how much time passed before he nodded. He was sitting on her bedroom floor now, gaze fixed on the vape pen sitting on the carpet next to her bed that he was sure belonged to Johnny. 
“Just until graduation,” he confirmed, earning a vigorous nod from her. 
“Yes. Graduation. After that, no more,” she replied in short bursts, withholding her desperation as much as she could (though Jaehyun couldn’t really find it in himself to hold it against her at this point). 
“What… what are you gonna tell your parents?” he asked, getting up from the floor slowly and making his way over to her, sitting on her bed next to her and resting his hands on his lap. 
Rina sighed, shaking her head. 
“I don’t know yet. But I’ll figure something out, I guess.” 
Another silence ensued, something about the room feeling awfully comfortable despite the context of the situation. Jaehyun could smell Johnny’s cologne faintly off of her, surprising himself at the feeling of resignation that coursed slowly within him. 
“You know… people always say that your first breakup always feels like it’s gonna be the end of the world... “ he began, seeing her nod as he continued, “Why don’t we feel like that?” 
Rina looked up from her hands, meeting his gaze with a certain resignation in her gaze. 
“... maybe because we fell in love with other people before we could really reach the point of loving each other.” 
Jaehyun’s eyebrows raised slightly, “We?” 
Rina scoffed, nodding seriously, “I’m sure you know you’re in love too. Just… not with me.” 
Rina was right. He was pretty sure he realised just half an hour ago. 
Sicheng’s birthday party was no less painful. A week before graduation, Jaehyun thought that pretending to be with Rina would be easy now that he knew what their relationship really was for the past six months, but he hadn’t expected it to be so painful. 
Maybe the cause of his pain was the realisation that he’d gotten so caught up in trying to fit himself into this mold that people expected him to be that was making him frustrated, or maybe it was the fact that he was realising now just how much sanity your presence brought him through all of that and how much he took advantage of that. Maybe it was the realisation that came in a little later that you may not feel the same way about him that was stressing him out, or maybe it was the fact that he had to still keep this charade up for another week before he could truly think about what his plan was to tell you how he felt. 
But truly, Jaehyun knew that more than all those things, what felt the worst was looking at you sitting across from him in the bowling alley and knowing that he couldn’t make it too obvious that he wished it wasn’t Rina that was linking arms with him.  
His thumb brushed over his lower lip as he pretended to be interested in his conversation with the guy from the basketball team next to him, a junior that assumed Jaehyun’s word had any weight in deciding who the next team captain was. 
“Honestly, dude. Your life is everything I wish my high school life would be like,” the junior gushed, “you’ve got a hot girlfriend, the whole school loves you, even your grades—” 
“None of that means anything,” Jaehyun murmured distractedly, a hint of a smile playing at his lips as he watched you bowl another gutter ball, pretending you didn’t see it as you walked back to your seat and shoved Sicheng for teasing you. 
Jaehyun met the boy’s gaze, wishing he could say a million things to this junior now before he could spend the rest of his years in high school trying to figure out what Jaehyun had only figured out now. That none of that—popularity, attention, adoration, could ever come close to the feeling of knowing someone cared about you and loved you even without all of that. 
“Nothing,” Jaehyun forced a smile, reaching over to pick up the ipad when he saw you going up for your turn to bowl again, unaware of his actions as he put the bumpers up for you, earning many shouts of protest and curious glances. 
“You’re so obvious,” he heard Rina whisper lowly to him, and you wondered what she’d said to him for his ears to go red the way they did. 
Jaehyun had simply shook his head at you, a lazy smile on his face as he mouthed a ‘its okay just bowl’ to you. 
The junior had left to talk to someone else, and Jaehyun had wanted nothing more than to go over to you and spend the party with you, but he knew Rina was right. He was too obvious, especially so now that he knew how he felt towards you. It was almost embarrassing how his gaze couldn’t help but follow you even when nothing was happening. 
It seemed impossible, the idea that you would see him that way. Yet, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world. 
You had your suspicions when he hadn’t offered to send Rina home, offering to take you home instead. But you dismissed your suspicions quickly, not wanting to paint more pictures in your head that would bring you back to that same dangerous feeling that you harbored for him. 
You felt selfish, almost, for having these feelings and keeping them to yourself. Especially as you found yourself sitting on the curb outside your house with Yoonoh after a long wordless walk home. 
“What did you get Sicheng?” he finally asked, earning a hum from you.
“Got him a hoodie. You?” 
“Basketball shoes,” he yawned, leaning forward to rest his cheek on his knee, looking at you with tired eyes.
You tilted your head at him to mirror him, finding his silence suspicious. 
“Are you okay?” you asked, earning a smile from him. 
Yoonoh nodded, his voice just barely a murmur, “I’m fine, angel.” 
“I told you to stop calling me that,” was all you managed to murmur, earning an eye roll from Yoonoh. 
“Can’t help it,” he shrugged, a teasing lilt to his tone, “The image suits you so well. Way better than innkeeper number two.” 
You scoffed, “It’s not because of that.” 
“Then why do you hate me calling you that so much? You never minded until recently,” he let out a huff of laughter, interlocking his fingers around his shin. 
You averted your gaze, “it just… it sounds too… too lovey dovey,” you shrugged. 
Yoonoh eyed your expression carefully. 
“I’m not allowed to love you?” His tone was gentle, but the implication behind his words was too heavy to ignore. 
You didn’t answer him. You didn’t have an answer for him. So you settled for shrugging. 
“Rina’s parents have a charity event in a few weeks, right? Are you gonna go?” 
Yoonoh hummed, “I’m surprised you remembered, even I forgot about that.”
You huffed. It was like you were forcing yourself to keep up to date with these things, just so you wouldn’t be too disappointed if Yoonoh had to bail on your plans together. You understood the networks that Rina’s circle could open up for him. 
“How could I forget? It’s on the same day as prom.” 
Yoonoh nodded, shifting his hands so they were shoved into the pockets of his jacket, cheek squished against his knee in a way that looked as though it would definitely leave a red mark on his cheek afterwards. 
“We agreed that we wouldn’t go for the charity event, you know, since it’s not like we graduate every year.” 
“So you’ll be going for prom?” 
Yoonoh smiled, “Why do you sound so excited? Hoping you’ll be voted prom queen?” he teased, earning an eye roll from you. 
“Shut up. Everyone knows it’s gonna be you and Rina.” 
Yoonoh let out a grunt. 
“Doesn’t matter. Not like it’s real anyway,” he was quick to reply, his comment making you frown. 
Yoonoh surprised you when he stood up first, holding a hand out for you to take, “You should head in, it’s late.” 
Letting him help you up, you were almost hyper aware that he hadn’t let go of your hand yet. 
You were about to call his name to get his attention when he’d tugged your hand ever so softly, stepped forward and wrapped his arms so cautiously around you in a hug, seconds ticking by before he’d let his head rest against yours slightly. It felt familiar. No hidden meanings, no words unsaid, just… comfort. 
“What are you doing?” you murmured. 
“I don’t know,” he replied, “do you want me to let go?” 
He didn’t have to say more, but you could hear the silent question of ‘I’m not allowed to hug you?’ 
“... not yet,” you murmured. There it was, your silent answer to his silent question. 
You loved him like a best friend, that was clear to you at that moment. And like much more, you realised as you lay in bed drifting off to sleep later on. 
You hadn’t seen Yoonoh all night. You’d been here for hours but you hadn’t seen him anywhere. You’d asked around, but they all hadn’t seemed to see him either. Even his phone seemed to be on do not disturb. You hoped looking out for Rina would help you find him faster but it seemed that she was nowhere to be seen either. 
Frankly, you were a little tired of waiting, and the gym was starting to feel way too stuffy for you to be able to sit through more wordless techno songs and the occasional slow dance ed sheeran song that left you feeling uncomfortably present. Figuring you’d might as well get some fresh air, you decided to head out of the gym, wandering around the school and trying to find a toilet that wasn’t locked or undergoing cleaning. 
It was safe to say that search wasn’t very fruitful either, and by the time you’d searched 2 floors, your bladder was about to burst and you didn’t think you had any patience left in you to find another toilet. 
Spotting the nearest one that had a ‘cleaning-in-progress’ sign outside, you’d ignored the sigh and brisk-walked in, oblivious to your surroundings as you emptied your bladder with a sigh. It was only when you were washing your hands that you realised the sniffling sound in the toilet wasn’t coming from you. 
People cried in the toilet all the time, you told yourself, about to leave when you heard a retching sound. Okay, whoever was in that toilet was definitely puking their guts out. 
“Hey… uh… are you okay in there?” you called out, making your way over to the toilet stall, knocking but finding the door giving way under your knuckles. Whoever was inside must’ve been in a rush to have left the door unlocked. But at the sight of the expensive handbag hanging from the little hook on the door, you recognized them quickly. 
“... Rina?” 
You acted before thinking further, moving forward and helping her to hold her hair away from her face, using your fortunately oversized prom ticket to fan her. 
After calming down slightly, Rina slumped down onto the floor, leaning against the wall of the cubicle as she stared at you blankly. 
“Well, isn’t it ironic that you’re helping me, of all people?” 
You frowned, tilting your head at her in confusion, “Do you like… want me to leave or someth—”
“No, no! Sorry, I didn’t mean that… please, stay here with me,” she sighed, not seeming to have any energy in her to even keep her eyes open, letting them flutter shut with a small groan. 
“I think I drank too much… should’ve known the punch was spiked,” she sighed, “did uh… did Jaehyun tell you to find me?” 
You shook your head slowly, realising she couldn’t see you. 
“No, I didn’t see him for the whole night, actually… I just came here to pee,” you explained, seeing her huff, pursing her lips. 
You wondered how she still managed to look pretty even as her cheeks were flushed, her makeup was running and her hair was sticking to her skin.
“That’s probably my fault… he was mad that he had to keep pretending we were together.” 
Your shock got the better of you with the surprised sound that left you. 
Her eyes opened just slightly so she could frown at you, “he didn’t tell you?” 
Your silence was enough of an answer for her. 
“Well now I feel even more like shit. He was trying so hard to keep the secret for me that he didn’t even tell you. And God knows he tells you everything.” 
You pressed your lips into a firm line, brushing her hair away from her face. You didn’t miss how the action made her lips part in shock, as if she hadn’t expected you to do that. 
“He hasn’t actually… not since you told him you weren’t comfortable with it.” 
“Honestly, that’s most of the reason why he was mad at me… he said he didn’t want to keep lying to you.”
She sighed, “he’s so considerate, seriously,” she grunted, finally having mustered enough energy to look at you, a deep sigh leaving her. 
“You know… I always liked the fantasy of the whole ‘high school sweetheart’ thing… like, you know, the kind of thing so cliché it makes you think of Troy and Gabriella…” 
You nodded slowly, “Uh-huh…” you prompted, unsure why she decided to tell you this now of all times. You couldn’t help but think of Yoonoh, High School Musical was one of his desert island movies. 
“I know you’re probably wondering why I'm telling you this but… I guess it’s cause it took me way too long to realise that maybe Jay was the Troy that everyone wanted, and even though he was so perfect, so faultless in my parents’ eyes, even though he made me seem a million times better than I actually was… I didn’t want that.” 
You nodded slowly. 
“I thought it was better for me, you know what I mean? Be with someone safe, someone who cared for me and would put up with me. But then I met Johnny… and I realised that he was what I wanted,” she frowned, “he was confident, he didn’t care what people thought of him, he didn’t treat me like my parents’ daughter…” 
She sighed, turning to you, laughing at your wide-eyed expression. 
“I bet you think i’m some kind of whore right—”
“No, no—”
“It’s okay, I get it. You know, like… the ‘bad guy’... and I do feel like shit for stringing Jay along like that but… I don’t know, Y/N. Is it so horrible of me? To just want to feel wanted? Even if it’s only for a moment… even if I know Johnny doesn’t genuinely want me…” her eyes had started to well up with tears, causing her to blink harshly. 
“Is it so bad to just let myself pretend for a second?.... I’m always pretending in some way, right? Is it so bad if just one out of those million times, I'm pretending for something that makes me feel genuinely happy?” 
Your frown deepened. Sitting in front of you in the disgusting toilet cubicle on a Saturday night wasn’t the poised, perfect head cheerleader Rina, but simply… a girl who was in love with someone who was breaking her heart. 
“I’m not like… condoning cheating or anything but…” you shook your head, “you can’t control these things. It’s not your fault for feeling what you feel.” 
Rina gave you a small smile, though it didn’t reach her eyes. 
“I’m sorry for hurting Jay. And i’m sorry for using your friendship with him as leverage… and I’m sorry that…” she sighed, “I couldn’t see him for who he was and saw him for what he could do for me… you know, especially when all this time he had someone who did,” she gestured weakly to you. 
You frowned, rubbing the back of her hand in soothing patterns, making her let out a huff. 
“Even now, you’re being nice to me. Even when I was anything but nice to your best friend.” 
You shook your head, “It’s okay. No one’s forcing me to do it… I’m doing this because I want to.” 
Eyeing her carefully, you saw her suck in a shaky breath, releasing another deep sigh. 
“He loves you, you know?” she murmured. 
“Huh?” You almost thought you misheard her.
“It sounds cliché, I know. But seriously, he probably doesn’t realise it yet… but he does.” 
Your lips parted, not seeming to register her words, letting them sit in your head even as you stood up, offering to take her home. 
For some reason, you couldn’t find it in yourself to be angry at her either. If anything, you understood how frustrated she must have felt. Everyone always makes love seem so straightforward, so epiphany-like. They don’t ever mention that sometimes it feels like trying to stop a train with your bare feet. 
So you spent your prom in the last way you’d expected to, sitting in the back of a hired car with Rina’s head on your shoulder with a 2000s throwback song playing on the radio. 
“Y/N,” she caught your attention before she’d shut the car door, her jacket bundled up in her arms messily. 
“Thank you.” 
You gave her a small smile, nodding at her in reassurance. 
“Rest well, Rina.” 
“Dude, it’s just a ‘merry christmas’ letter, how hard can it be—” Sicheng stopped himself when he finished reading whatever Jaehyun scribbled in pencil on the acknowledgements page of his textbook. 
Jaehyun sighed, burying his head in his hands, the neck of his basketball jersey almost choking him as he leaned forward, not having realised he was sitting on the back of his jersey. 
Tugging his collar forward to pull the hem of his shirt out from under his butt, he glared at Sicheng, who was fiddling with his new basketball shoes and tying a butterfly knot with the shoelaces absently.
“I told you, I’m only good at writing critique papers.” 
Sicheng snorted, “Explains why your note sounds like a roast of the year’s events.” 
Jaehyun sighed. 
“Honestly, I don’t even know why you’re rushing, you don’t even know if she’s gonna be here tonight,” Sicheng shrugged. 
Giving him a skeptical look, Jaehyun’s eyebrows furrowed, “She said she’d be here.” 
“And? That was like a month ago,” Sicheng insisted, “long before she found out about you and Rina’s whole secret breakup fake dating bullshit—”
“Fine, fine. Whatever. But it’s a tradition… I don’t think she’d just… ditch,” his voice turned into a murmur, as if he were trying to console himself more than defend himself to Sicheng. 
Sicheng sighed as Jaehyun resumed his fidgeting with his pencil. 
“I think you’re thinking too much,” Sicheng shrugged, rolling the basketball around between his outstretched legs, “It’s not like she’s gonna grade it and give it back to you. Just write what you wanna say.” 
Nodding resolutely, Jaehyun continued working on his merry christmas note to you, just managing to shove it as neatly as he could into the present he got you as the thick panelled doors opened and his coach had entered. 
He’ll focus on the game, and pass you the gift afterwards (if you came). Simple. Or simple enough. 
He was trying to manage his expectations, really. But he couldn’t stop himself from searching the crowd every 10 seconds just to see if he could spot you. Like a very difficult level of where’s waldo where waldo may not even be in the picture. 
Honestly, you were dressed and ready an hour before the game, busy staring at the note you’d written Yoonoh that you had yet to seal into an envelope. You couldn’t decide if you should rewrite it. 
You’d written it while riding on an adrenaline rush the previous night, feeling like your energy vibrations were all too high as you listened to your playlist. But now, as you sat in your room, almost as if you were sobered by the silence, you couldn’t help but wince each time you re-read your letter. 
Especially the sign off, a ‘from your angel’ written shamelessly at the bottom of the card. 
You shook your head, pulling out another card and rewriting the letter, signing off with your name instead. 
It was safe… ish. You couldn’t decide if you wanted Jaehyun to take your words at surface level or to read into them and decipher how you truly felt. You knew this would probably be the last time you would see him before all of your scholarship interviews next week and his pre-orientation programme. Might as well use it as an opportunity to be honest and use the week to hide, right?  
Shaking your head, you shoved the wrapped present into your bag, sparing a quick glance at the time and grimacing. You were already late for the game. 
Jogging around your house in search of your shoes, you heard your mom call from the living room, “Aren’t you late for the game already?” 
Huffing, you haphazardly shoved your shoes on. 
“Yeah, I know. I’m leaving,” you said, bidding her goodbye and beginning your brisk-walk(and borderline jog) to the stadium. 
You’d just reached barely a minute into halftime, all you could hear was cheering for the cheerleaders who’d already started their routine, Yoonoh and the rest of the team nowhere to be found. 
Fortunately for you, there was a seat in the back row, far enough that you could see the full length of the court easily. 
Watching as the team had come out onto the court again, you scanned the area for Yoonoh, spotting his number 2 Jersey. He was scanning the crowd, hand gripping onto the hem of his shirt loosely as his gaze flickered around the different faces, eventually meeting yours. 
The smile that adorned his face was unlike you’d ever seen before, or maybe, unlike you’d ever seen in a long time. 
Why was he smiling? He wasn’t too sure. Maybe it was the reassurance your presence brought him; the idea that you, the only person in this stadium that truly knew him, was still willing to be here to support him. 
Sicheng could only laugh at the way Yoonoh’s focus heightened, scoring goals with as much ease as it took him to breathe. Though the competitors were fairly similar in ability, It was only a matter of time before the team was thirty points ahead, starting the running clock. 
You didn’t know much about basketball, but you knew enough to know this meant the game could be ending soon. 
You couldn’t help but get distracted halfway, your hand going into your backpack to fiddle with the wrapped present sitting patiently in between your stuff. You were the opposite, however, impatiently waiting for when you could give the present to him and have the weight lifted off your shoulders. 
You’d barely noticed the game ending until you were drawn back to the present sound of whistling, the deafening buzzer sound and yelling from all around you. Yoonoh, sweaty and flushed, had been too busy running over to his duffel bag to celebrate with his team. Frowning at the thought of what could’ve happened, you felt your phone buzz in your pocket. 
yoonoh 9:39pm -don’t leave yet. let’s go home together- 
Sucking in a sharp breath, you replied simply, picking your bag up and leaving the stadium, trying your best to be inconspicuous as you waited at the parking lot. 
“Did you hear? Jaehyun and Rina broke up! Didn’t you see how he barely looked at her the entire game?” you stumbled slightly as someone walked past you, bumping your shoulder. You apologized, but wished you could take it back after realising what their topic of conversation was. 
“He doesn’t usually look at her, though,” the girl that bumped your shoulder had replied, “he’s always too busy looking at the crowd.” 
“He does seem like the type to care more about his popularity.” 
You frowned, thankful they’d gotten far enough that you wouldn’t have to listen to the rest of their conversation. 
It was only minutes later when you felt a sudden pressure on the back of your knee that made your leg give way, almost stumbling before you felt a hand holding you steady, the familiar sound of Yoonoh’s laughter resounding next to you. 
“Sorry, couldn’t help it,” he gave you a sheepish smile, letting go of your arm and beginning to walk ahead of you, hands shoved leisurely into the pockets of his hoodie, the hood draped over his head. 
“Aren’t you coming?” his eyebrows raised in question when he realised you hadn’t followed next to him. 
“Oh, no, yeah. Right,” you shook your head, jogging until you were walking side by side, hearing him sigh. 
“Have you eaten dinner yet?” he asked, earning a shake of the head from you. 
“Nice, me too. We can order in tonight,” he suggested, and you nodded, tearing your hand away from your bag so you could stop trying to feel the outline of his present through the worn out material. 
“You were great just now... “ you murmured, “I know I didn’t see the first half but like, you know what I mean. The second half was good.” 
You were nervous, and Yoonoh could tell that much. It was the first time you were talking to him after prom. He knew that you knew about what happened, and he knew you probably thought he was insane for pretending nothing had happened. But you both knew each other well enough to know that you were both stalling. 
Pulling out your phone, you continued to stall by pretending to be busy with ordering food, trying to ignore the way he was humming along to ‘it’s nice to have a friend’ (of all songs). 
“Ordered,” you murmured a little louder than you intended, dropping your phone back into your bag, seeing him nod at you. 
You were already walking into your driveway, past the shrubbery and into your garden as Yoonoh made a beeline for the treehouse. 
Dumping his things on the carpet, he’d sat himself awkwardly next to the beanbag, leaning on it yet not quite at the same time. 
Sitting yourself down a little further away from him, you missed the way he’d frowned at the distance between the both of you, inching forward almost unconsciously to close a little bit of that distance. 
“Heard you got your acceptance letter already,” Yoonoh began, continuing when he saw the surprise on your face, “my parents told me.” 
You nodded in understanding, forcing yourself to stop averting your gaze, “your scholarship interviews are next week, right?” 
Yoonoh nodded. 
“Guess things are more or less falling into place, right?” he huffed, earning a hum from you. 
“Our schools aren’t that far from each other… and plus, Sicheng’s going to the same school as me,” you weren’t sure why you felt the need to reassure him. Then again, maybe it was more for yourself too. 
A teasing smile made its way onto Yoonoh’s features, “Should I be worried?” 
“Worried?” you couldn’t help but huff in amusement, “What? That I’ll fall in love with Sicheng and ruin your ten year plan?” 
Yoonoh grinned, “Precisely that.” 
Rolling your eyes, you shook your head, your smile lingering on your face when you’d said your next words. 
“You have nothing to worry about, if that’s what you’re worried about.” 
A tense silence had ensued, and you thanked the universe for the notification you got that your food was arriving, using that chance to escape from the atmosphere in the treehouse as you collected the food. 
Going back up to the treehouse, you ignored the thumping of your heart (blaming it on how quickly you’d ran to the driveway), especially the way it intensified when you saw Yoonoh simply sitting there, staring at nothing in particular. 
Eating your food in silence, you put on some music in an attempt to relieve some of the tension, but it seemed your playlist wasn’t quite cooperating with you today. Every song seemed to make you feel as though the tension in the room was amplified. You skipped the song quickly when you heard ‘dress’ come on.
“Why don’t we go without the music tonight,” Yoonoh blurted, reaching over to pause your playlist with his pinky finger. 
“Yeah, I think that’s better,” you spoke quickly, letting the sound of the cicadas outside and the low humming of your neighbour’s air conditioning fill the silence. 
“So… we’re kind of done with high school, if you think about it,” he murmured, taking a slow bite of his food, searching your face for a reaction. 
You nodded, eyebrows raising, “... Yeah, we are.”
You felt as though he were waiting for you to say something, but couldn’t figure it out for the life of you. You couldn’t help it, Rina’s words from that day were still lingering in your head and clouding any possible rational thought within you. 
“Are you like… okay?” you dared yourself to ask, seeing Yoonoh’s features pull into a confused frown. 
“Uh.. depends on what you’re referring to, honestly,” he admitted. This was good, this was a start. Less stalling. 
“I mean… that people are talking about you and Rina’s… breakup?” 
Yoonoh’s mouth formed an ‘o’ in realisation, shrugging, “I mean, yeah. I kind of expected it, but I guess it’s only normal? That they’re coming up with their own backstories based on what they think about us.” 
“Us?” you blurted, wincing. 
Yoonoh nodded, “Rina and I, I mean.” 
“How… How long has it been since you guys broke up?” you asked, not having expected him to answer so quickly. 
“We broke up a week before Sicheng’s party… so it’s almost been a month.” 
You nodded slowly. 
“How do you feel?” you asked, seeing him raise his eyebrows at you. 
“I’m… okay?” 
You frowned in disbelief, “Really?” 
He nodded slowly, bringing his drink up to his lips to take a sip, eyeing you curiously, “Uh-huh…”
Narrowing your eyes at him, you hummed, “Are you sure—?”
“What are you doing?” he laughed, your eyes widening. 
Your lips parting and shutting, you struggled to find your words, “I mean, I don’t know, I just wanted to know how you were coping,” you shrugged. 
It wasn’t like you wanted to question him, you just felt like it was too good to be true. 
Yoonoh scrunched his nose up, a soft smile on his lips, “Really? ‘Cause it sounds like you’re expecting me to break down or something. Seriously, Y/N, if you want to know how I’m honestly feeling—”
“Yeah I do.” 
“—I’m relieved.” 
Your lips parted in shock, unsure what to infer from his choice of words. You could feel what was akin to frustration bubbling within you. You hated the tension between you and Yoonoh now and you were desperate to put an end to it.
Yoonoh nodded seriously, “Relieved.” 
You purse your lips, nodding slowly, shaking your head as you were about to speak, Yoonoh speaking up before you could. 
“Sorry, I’m kind of not used to it… you know, going from having to filter myself around you for Rina’s sake to suddenly knowing that I can tell you everything I wanted to tell you. But there’s too many things that I have no idea where to start.” 
You felt a wave of relief wash over you, as if that was a reminder to you as well, that it wasn’t as if you needed to filter yourself around Yoonoh, and this time wasn’t any different. 
Not being able to stop the smile from your face, you nodded resolutely. 
“We’ll start from the basics, then. How was your day?” 
Yoonoh was practically beaming. 
And just like that, it was as if you’d gotten back into the rhythm of things. Though they weren’t entirely the same as before, it was familiar. Though you and Yoonoh had grown, there was still love and familiarity in both your eyes, in your inside jokes, in your witty quips as you talked. 
“I have something to pass you actually,” he admitted only after you mentioned that you might call it an early night because you were tired.
Humming, you huffed, almost forgetting about the present in your bag you were previously too hyper aware of to focus on anything else.  
“Me too… like an early Christmas present.” 
Yoonoh’s eyebrows raised, eyes widening slightly. 
“Guess we had the same idea,” he laughed. 
“How bout… we exchange it on three so it's not so awkward,” he suggested, earning an eye roll from you. 
“You know it’s still gonna be awkward.” 
“Fine, but at least it’ll be cute,” he shrugged, making you shake your head, moving over to pull the wrapped present from your bag anyway, the little envelope containing your note making you scrunch your nose up in distaste. 
As if he read your mind, he spoke up, “Don’t read it now, by the way. I poured my soul out into that note… it’d be better if you read it when I’m not here.” 
You snorted, “I was about to say the same thing.” 
Grinning , you counted to three, shoving the presents forward at each other and bursting into laughter at the awkward nature of the gesture, shoving your presents into your bags quickly. 
“Okay, you’re free to leave now,” he gestured to the door. 
You scoffed, “kicking me out of my own treehouse?” 
He nodded. 
“I think I’ll stay here for a while before heading back… the stars are really nice right now.” 
You narrowed your eyes at him, nodding.
“Okay. G’night, then.” 
Yoonoh smiled, the hum of his voice to the familiar tune of starlight almost making you reluctant to leave. 
“Sweet dreams, angel,” he smiled, tracing patterns with the stars in the sky in his head. 
Once again, Yoonoh found himself sitting up once you were gone, letting his gaze follow you as you walked across the garden towards your house, he waited until he saw the warm orange light glowing from your window. 
Training his gaze back towards the deep blue of the sky, Yoonoh found that even though there were a million thoughts in his mind begging to be entertained, even though his mind was filled with uncertainty about the future, or even about the next week alone, the warm glowing light from your window reminded him that he wasn’t going to have to deal with that alone, and he felt okay. 
Yoonoh turned his head, looking at you lying next to him from where he lay, reaching out his hand to touch the side of your face, the smile you gave him enough to send bouts of happiness coursing through him. The feeling of your shoulder on his chest was real enough to make him wonder if he was experiencing déjà vu. 
“Is that a new shirt?” your voice was clear as day, the lilt to your tone almost distracting Yoonoh from registering what you asked him. 
“Huh?” he heard himself reply. 
“I think I bought you that shirt,” you hummed, turning around and wrapping your arms around his torso as if it was the most natural thing to do. About to return the gesture, Yoonoh heard the cracking sound of thunder, feeling himself jolt awake. 
It was raining heavily outside his window, the darkness of his room and the absence of anything but his blanket wrapped around his torso dragging him harshly back to reality. He mentally cursed the thunder for not being able to wait another five seconds at least. 
His eyes flickered to the wrapped present sitting on his bedside table. 
He’d been too busy this week to find time to read your note yet, especially so because he was growing more and more anxious about why you weren’t contacting him if you’d already opened his present and read his note. 
Yoonoh glanced at the time. It was 6:37pm. He remembered his dad vaguely mentioning that both him and his mom would be working overtime, telling him to settle his own dinner once he woke up from his nap. 
Sighing, Yoonoh got out of bed, deciding to take a shower first just to stall time before he decided to properly settle down and open your present. 
Once he was done, he walked over to his bed, one hand lazily towel-drying his hair as his other hand continued to stall for time, sending you a text. 
7:00pm - parents have abandoned me at home… what should i eat for dinner?- 
Waiting for your reply, he tossed his phone aside, picking up the wrapped present from his bedside table, ripping the wrapping paper off to reveal a hardcover copy of ‘the courage to be disliked’ the title making Yoonoh huff in amusement. 
Setting the book aside, he picked up the plain envelope, tearing it open and pulling the note out (almost giving himself a papercut in the process), beginning to read the note. 
‘Dear Yoonoh, 
don’t laugh when you see the book title. I didn’t read it so i don’t actually know if it’s any good, but i read the synopsis and figured you’d be into stuff like this so i bought it for you. maybe you can read it and tell me if its any good. god knows when was the last time you read something other than required reading… 
you don’t have to tell me explicitly for me to know this year was tough for you. i don’t think you realise it, but i can say this because i witnessed it, and i think you needed a little reminder that it’s okay. it’s okay to want to do well, it’s okay if you don't, it’s okay to want to secure your future, and it’s okay if you want to go with the flow. it’s definitely okay if you want to make plans, and it's okay for these plans to fall apart. I'm proud of you, anyway, because you still tried your best to be loving through all of it (even though i had to be the one reminding you at times). 
I’m just glad you haven’t let yourself stop dreaming all these extravagant, impossible-seeming dreams. Like that thing about us working and me having that bookstore and all. and how you said we’d still manage to find each other at the end of it all. I hope that part doesn’t seem impossible to you, even if it does to me at times. 
But like you said, what are dreams if not meant to be dreamt, right? 
Merry Christmas (or not, depending on when you stop procrastinating opening this), see you soon. 
from, Y/N.’ 
Yoonoh wasn’t sure if he was breathing, it was as if his whole body was just filled with relief that it didn’t feel like his body anymore. 
Little did he know you were the same, riding on this feeling of relief as you ran to his house through the drizzle, overcome by some sort of reckless impulsivity that made you feel as if all you wanted was to see him without waiting a minute longer. 
All that resounded in your mind over and over again was the words in his note, bits of it floating around and taking turns to supply you with that giddy careless feeling. 
‘to: my angel’ 
You felt the drizzle intensify, making your hood feel heavy over your head and the skin of your face feel cold as the wind blew the droplets against your face as you picked up your pace. 
'i wont ask anything of you, i know i put you through enough and i'm sorry for that. but just know that i'm here for you like how you've been here for me all this time. and in ten years, twenty years, forever, i hope that's where i can remain.
You stumbled on the slippery driveway as you let your hands stop your momentum against his front door, knocking firmly as you fought to catch your breath. 
One small thing, though. You had no idea what you were going to say. 
Realisation sunk in when Yoonoh had opened the door, his hair damp like yours. You would have laughed if you weren’t so frozen with nervousness. 
“Hey,” he greeted gently, his voice almost drowned out by the heavy rain beating against his roof. 
Your lips parted, throat feeling dry in spite of everything around you being drenched by the rain. 
“I read your note,” you told him, still feeling breathless as you looked at him, the blank look on his face somehow heightening your urge to blurt out whatever you came here to tell him. 
“I don’t know why I came here… I kind of just,” you shook your head, shrugging, “I came here because after I read your note I just needed to come here and… see you. And I don’t know why. I just needed to make sure you knew that I wanted that too, you know, what you said in your letter.”
Yoonoh’s expression remained blank, his gaze flickering briefly from your eyes to the patterns on your hoodie made by the rain, and very very briefly to your lips that were growing redder the more you bit down anxiously on them. 
“As friends, best friends,” you sighed, “and more than that, and everything in between.” 
At Yoonoh’s lack of a reply, your adrenaline had started to subside, the cold of the rain and the wind blowing against your face successfully sobering you down, leaving you staring at Yoonoh who looked as though you’d just told him you were moving states. 
You shook your head, instantly regretting coming here, stepping away from the door and mustering a small smile. 
“You know what? Nevermind, this was a bad idea. I think I read too deeply into what you said,” you nodded, already beginning to walk back out into the rain when you felt him tug your hand, stepping towards you and pulling you towards him, knocking your hood off your head as he held the back of your head gently.  
“I took too long to reply, sorry. Just had to make sure this wasn’t another dream,” he smiled, letting his arms wrap around you tighter. Maybe he’d thank the thunder for waking him up, because now he got to hold you in his arms and know it was very much real. 
Pulling away from you just enough so he could cup your face in his hands, he sighed, the stupid smile on his face making you wish you could shut your eyes. 
“I thought that I loved you in a 'I love my best friend’ kind of way like how I love Sicheng but I'm sorry it took me so long to realise that it's already been much more than that for a long time now.” 
“And, you know, just before you came I had a dream that we were just lying next to each other and we literally weren’t doing anything but I wanted to do that for as long as I could,” he continued to ramble, trying to distract himself from the way he wanted nothing more than to kiss you in this moment. 
“I don't know anything,” he laughed, “I don't know what my life's gonna be like in five years and that's okay. I only know how I feel... and how I feel with you is... like myself. I don't know much but I know that that's how I want to feel in five years… and I know you're gonna say something about how ‘we never know how things will change in five years’,” he did an awfully accurate rendition of your voice, “but I don't care. I mean, if we've figured it out this far in our lives, who says we can't keep doing that, right? If you want to... I'd go through all of that- the great parts and the shitty parts and the parts that don't feel real, all of that... with you.”
“Shut up, Yoonoh.” 
His eyes widened in shock, “Hmm?” 
You huffed, “Shut up.” 
“The more you talk the more I keep looking at your lips and the more I do that the more I want to kiss you,” you rushed through your words in spite of your embarrassment, not being able to filter yourself even if you tried. 
Jaehyun pressed his lips into a firm line, poorly containing his smile, “Well now I don’t want to shut up.” 
“So are you gonna do it?” he leaned closer, his lips just barely centimetres from yours, you could practically feel each word he spoke, “You gonna kiss me or am I just gonna keep talking so that you can keep looking at my li—” 
You stopped him short by moving forward just slightly, but stumbling slightly from the feeling of yourself being pulled forward, followed by the feeling of his lips against yours. 
He’d surprised you when he reached for your hand, bringing it up to place it over his cheek, and you’d let your thumb smooth over his skin, feeling him sigh into the kiss. Strangely enough, there was no urgency behind it, your body somehow feeling warm in spite of the cold. You couldn’t bring yourself to focus on anything else other than the way he held you, the way his lips moved against yours, the warmth that radiated from him to you. You barely registered it when he pulled away from you with a giggle. 
“I bet you would’ve shit your pants if I told you five years ago that we would kiss like how they would in a taylor swift song.” 
You rolled your eyes, resting your head against his chest, not being able to help yourself from smiling. The feeling of his hands brushing your hair away from your face, touching your face, smoothing over your arm and coming to rest on your waist. 
Pulling away just slightly, your gaze landed on his shirt, the captain america logo making you smile. You barely noticed it when you arrived. 
“I bought you that shirt, didn’t I?” you grinned, not expecting his eyes to widen. 
“Why? What’s wrong?” you frowned, seeing him shake his head. 
“No, no. It’s just that I had a dream where you said the exact same thing—” 
Your smile grew, the sight of how his eyes lit up only managing to endear you to him, “Okay, how about…” 
“Okay, right, nevermind. It’s stupid, it’s no big deal,” he rushed to dismiss his previous words, making you laugh, eyebrows furrowing slightly. 
“I wasn’t going to say that… I was gonna say why don’t we get some dinner first, and you can tell me all about it?” 
Jaehyun beamed, letting you lead him back into his house. 
“Dad! You know me and Mary have to kiss?!” seven-year-old Yoonoh’s voice resounded loudly in the recording, his face close to the camera lens and his eyes bright and sparkling with mischief. 
“Is that so?” Yoonoh’s dad laughed.
“No, you don’t! You’re not supposed to kiss anyone!” your (heavily annoyed) voice resounded in the background of the video, Jaehyun turning his head to stick out his tongue at you. 
“No, the innkeeper isn’t supposed to kiss anybody! I have to because I'm married to Mary!” he insisted, making you groan. 
“Uncle! Can you tell Yoonoh he’s wrong!” 
“I’m correct! That’s what Sicheng told me! Mary and Joseph are supposed to kiss so that they can make baby Jesus,” he sing-songed, the recording showing you storming over in your innkeeper costume. 
“They don’t have the baby because they kissed,” you scoffed. 
“Then you explain how it happens, since you’re so smart,” Yoonoh teased, completely unfazed by your annoyance as he grinned at you. 
“It’s the holy spirit you idiot—” 
“Alright, that’s enough,” you paused the video, swiping away from it on his phone, your embarrassment intensifying along with Jaehyun’s laughter. 
“You were so cute,” he gushed, pulling up the video again to rewind it, earning an eye roll from you. 
“And you’re just as annoying,” you huffed, not being able to maintain your annoyance when Yoonoh had leaned over, pressing a loud obnoxious kiss on your cheek, pulling you to rest your head against his chest as you lay on the sofa on top of him. 
It took him long enough, but looking at it now, he was done with senior year, still a ‘three-pointer away’ from college. But maybe... he was exactly where he wanted to be. 
265 notes · View notes
whispersatdawn · 6 months ago
on the rebound | masterlist
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↳ In an attempt to finally move on from his ex-girlfriend, basketball star Jeong Jaehyun reaches out to Y/N, who he knows has a crush on him.
pairing: jeong jaehyun x fem!reader
genre: fluff, angst, social media!au, college!au
warning: slight use of profanity
disclaimer: please remember this is a work of fiction. the thoughts, feelings & actions of the characters do not reflect any of the members’ real personalities.
intro | part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4 | part 5 | part 6 | part 7 | part 8 | part 9 | part 10 | part 11 | part 12 | part 13 | part 14 | part 15 | part 16 | part 17 | part 18 | part 19 | part 20 | part 21 | part 22 | part 23 | epilogue
1K notes · View notes
dropsofletters · 26 days ago
runaway silhouette [jjh]
—summary: no one asks about that polaroid picture of a woman yoonoh keeps in the depths of his wallet.
lace, measurements, models—jung yoonoh has worked for the world of fashion for a little too long, but he’s as unknown as the person next door. with his inspiration dying down and his designs getting cheaper by the day, yoonoh has changed his ways. no longer is he the best lingerie designer in ‘silhouette’, the company he works for, neither is he the playboy he used to be and the dulcet-mouthed man that got his way through success.
bad luck has settled in his life, much like it has done on hers. the manager of a hotel that slipped his fingertips when one night she denied him all—the world, her hold, her smile, and just left him with a picture on his wallet.
only when he has to prepare one of the biggest fashion showcases of his life does he meet her again, and he realizes things could never be easy between them.
why is he, a man of fashion, infatuated with such a lovesick, monotone, blazer-sporting hotel manager? no one will ever know.
a runaway has captured him, and he’s not sure how to get his heart back.
maybe, he should start by forgetting that night.
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—title: runaway silhouette  —pairing: jung yoonoh x reader  —genre: lingerie designer!au ; hotel manager!au ; strangers to lovers to enemies!au ; slowburn!au ; slice of life!au  —type: fluff ; angst ; humor ; drama ; suggestive —word count: 19,326 (i said slowburn and i meant it) —warnings: mentions of sex (the act is never on paper or narrative)
Jung Yoonoh is dressed to succeed.
With folded white sleeves and a black vest that becomes a second skin, he merges into the office like it belongs to him. It might, at some point in time; an associate after a few years and then, onto another business that was his own—vision, designs, everything. That’s the plan. His suitcase hangs, paces back and forth in the hook of his fist while all eyes cast on him while walking through the cubicles.
Today, Yoonoh is becoming the one in charge.
Silhouette is the lingerie line everyone wants to have cladding their skin. Expensive, intricate and elegant. It’s one of those things people put on when they need to feel their best while also being comfortable. Garments that enamor the buyer and the people who see them. His home for the past two years, Yoonoh has broken his ass to get to the manager position in the design department.
When settling his suitcase on his cubicle, he shares a smile with his neighbor. Johnny, part of the social media team, with his long-curled hair framing his rounded face. Fixing the collar of his shirt, Johnny interrupts him to say.
“Big day today, aye?”
Redemption, he likes to call this day. The payment for the parties he didn’t go to and the obnoxious nagging he stood from his boss, Mrs. Kang. This tall woman with atrocious so-last-season fluffed out coats in bright pink who screams at the mere sight of beige underwear. As she says, it’s tacky and simple, the kind of clothing you’d want to wear when un-turning someone on.
Yoonoh can’t wait until he can make decisions, organize collections, make bigger and better options for Silhouette to expand.
“You see, John, once I become your boss…I’m making you the leader of the PR and Social Media Team.” This place is a nest of snakes. One bite on his first day and he already became smarter. “Can’t be trusting anyone else with these babies.” With that, he opens his suitcase, sketchbook pressed to his chest just as Johnny claps his hands.
“Better position means better salary.” Johnny conquers, as casual as ever in his baby blue sweater
There are a few rules to Silhouette. To any workplace, really, and Yoonoh thinks about this just as he swings his long legs with Johnny following after him like a dog and his tail.
He had written them down in a portion of his brain that keeps his coffee order and his mom’s birthday. He’ll never forget them.
1)     Never trust nobody—never say where you come from in business, where you’re headed, what your dreams and aspirations are. Copycats exist everywhere, and they’ll do anything to follow your track if you’re doing good.
2)    Say goodbye to friendships but hello to hypocrisy. A smile is needed, but is it real? Not at all.
3)    Differentiate your works from others. Being special is the only way you’ll stand out.
One push of the door spreads a smile on his face, brown hair pushed back to showcase his plush, rosy lips and his gleaming eyes. What’s rule number four, you may ask?
Don’t let them see how tired you are.
Mrs. Kang sits at the very end of the meeting table. Always early, never late. Her face is dense with makeup, each wrinkle becoming more apparent as she applies a third layer of bright pink lipstick. Yoonoh knows Mrs. Kang has been the biggest dictator of all—giving him more work hours, destroying the designs she didn’t like from him, and making him get jittery fingers from how much he had to sew and unsew with the sewing machine to show her what his mind had captured. Now that she had found a way younger boyfriend that is eager to give a trip to the entirety of Asia, he’s over the moon.
Because that means old and grumpy Mrs. Kang will be gone for a while, and whoever becomes manager will be, then, the one in charge.
“Mrs. Kang!” Yoonoh greets in a tone that is much too faux, his dimple becoming apparent by the second. The woman looks up and away from her compact, stopping the conversation he is having with his biggest rival in the office. Not worth even thinking about. “Classic always goes best. You look beautiful today.”
She can barely even move her features in a smile. That’s how obstinate this woman is, but one of her wrinkly hands comes up to hold Yoonoh’s bicep when he leans down to press two kisses on each of her cheeks. The old European greeting. “I know, Yoonoh.” She adds, extending her hand towards him. “May you show me your designs? I got here earlier than expected and I have something to do right now so—”
That makes Yoonoh’s smile falter the slightest, just as he opens his sketchbook and splays it in front of Mrs. Kang. “Well, Mrs. Kang, if you let me have a few of your minutes, I prepared a PowerPoint presentation and a video for the collection I have in mind as my desire to become head of the designing team—”
“Silence, Yoonoh.” Mrs. Kang interrupts, going through his lingerie designs for both men and women. It’s not the kind of job people think about when designing, but there is something about seduction and comfort that just works well for him. “I’m in the midst of planning my engagement and I don’t have the time for whatever extra thing you have in mind.”
The room is silent, but if features could talk, the woman seated next to Mrs. Kang would have burst out in laughter. Siyeon is a 4’11 piece of shit that dared steal one of his designs when in his beginnings in Silhouette.  A fuchsia baby-doll that turned viral in the blink of an eye once it appeared in runways. Comfortable, sexy, with the right number of straps and the comfort of wearing it at any occasion, companion or not.
Yoonoh had left his sketch at his desk, only to find it gone the next morning. Mrs. Kang was over the moon, both from the money she got and about the audacity of the design. Siyeon had turned it in as hers.
No wonder her husband doesn’t stand her. She’s the devil reincarnate, and slips in Johnny’s DM’s every once in a while.
Yoonoh can’t say he doesn’t have some screenshots saved on his phone just in case he needs to blackmail her. This is the kind of man he has become.
“Done before.” Mrs. Kang flips onto another one of his designs. “Done before.” And then, she continues with the rest. “Vulgar. Boring. Ugly. Done before. Jesus, Yoonoh, did you even try to do anything?”
Yoonoh is used to praise. He has got it from women, throughout his time in college and even at his previous jobs. As an intern, he was refreshing and a nice sight in the designer area. Now, he is the floor Mrs. Kang steps on with her Louis Vuitton’s.
“I—” The meeting room is silent, everyone in the designer team trying to peek at his sketches. A short laugh leaves his lips, though awkward in tone. “We’ll compete against brands like Savage with designs like this. They’re brave and fitted and—”
“Boring.” Mrs. Kang completes, and Siyeon actually laughs at that moment, playing with one of her curled bright red strands of hair. “Yoonoh, I’m being serious. If the women you’re sleeping with are wearing lingerie like this…I’m worried about your sexual health.”
More laughter, and his jaw finally tightens. He tries to tell himself to smile, but he doesn’t, instead, snatching the sketchbook from her.
Mrs. Kang notices this, pushing her reading glasses down her nose before sighing. “Yoonoh, you need to learn how to take constructive criticism. You’re not perfect and I’m here to make you grow.” Says the woman that steps on him each time she can. At this point, he’s practically plastered on the floor. “I’m sure you’ll get to divert these boring ideas into something creative once Siyeon becomes the head of the department. You two have been so close since the beginning and I am sure she will work magic on you.”
“No.” Yoonoh shakes his head just as he plasters a faux smile on his features. “Ah, I—Well, I won’t—”
Siyeon stands up from her seat, fixing the sleeves of her white dress before clearing her throat. “I’m glad of getting the position and being the one, remotely, in charge of Silhouette as Mrs. Kang goes find true love.” This is not happening. Yoonoh rubs at his eyes in case he is dreaming. He has been preparing for this presentation for five months— “All I have to say is…I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the support of everyone here. My team. My heart. I have grown to have a family with you, not because we’re perfect, but because we’re together and…of course, it’s nice to continue down this path.” She hums. “A woman in charge and then, another woman. Isn’t that the whole point of Silhouette?”
His tongue scalds his palette when he takes a seat next to Mrs. Kang, closing his sketchbook with a harsh slap of his hand. Siyeon’s eyes connect to his own, fluttering her dense mascara-coated lashes before sighing.
“I had the pleasure of seeing Yoonoh in his first few days here and he has lost that spark, but I’m sure we’ll find it again.” Oh, everyone gets roses but he gets a few, too. For his social funeral, that is. He really wants to get out of there as soon as possible. “I’m thankful.”
There go the tears, and Siyeon covering her face with her hand, a smile hidden behind the action.
…Has he ever said he hates working in Silhouette?
“You’re going to make me cry, too.” One of the members of the manufacturing team says in between big sobs and Yoonoh can’t help but roll his eyes.
Fuck this place.
After an elongated meeting with tearful hugs and looks thrown his way, Yoonoh is ready to find somewhere else to work in. Keep to himself until he dares get his curriculum somewhere else and stab this company straight in the back. Not because he didn’t get the job…but…
Let’s be honest, it’s because he didn’t get the job and he lost it to Siyeon.
Johnny slips around a few hours later with some cheeseburgers in a plastic bag, dense in cheese and stinking the two conjoined cubicles before he says:
“She’s the devil.”
“An exorcism wouldn’t be enough for her.” Yoonoh replies, tongue itching to say something when he unleashes the cheeseburgers from their confines. He’s only five minutes away from lunchtime, after all. “I can’t believe they gave it to her. Her designs are…I don’t know, like lace over lace. That’s not elegant, that’s not what Silhouette stands for—”
“Here’s the thing,” Johnny says, smacking his lips as he speaks with a mouthful of burger in his mouth. “You never had a chance.”
A pang rests in the pit of his heart when he scoffs. “Yes, I did.”
“No, you don’t.” His friend replies. “Everyone in this office hates you but me. I believe it is a Freudian theory. The Jung Yoonoh Effect.” Voiced out like a movie trailer, Johnny extends one of his hands in the air.
“Sorry for not caring about anything but business. Everyone here are suck-asses and crybabies. Why should I care?”
“Because people feel disconnected to you. They don’t to Siyeon.” Johnny conquers. “The Jung Yoonoh Effect is simple.”
“Stop it. You don’t even know who Freud is.”
“That one psychologist that compared everything to sex. That’s who he is. Hence, why you’re there.”
Yoonoh quirks an eyebrow, playing with a slice of meat that had gotten out of his burger. “What are you even talking about?”
“Interns always thirst over you. At least, five out of every nine people in this office has had a wet dream about you, liked enough of your Instagram pics to look like a freak, or would have your dick in a second if the second step of your effect wouldn’t come around.”
“…I’m not that bad of a guy.”
“But you’re bland. Work. Work. Work.” Johnny moves his hand as if it’s talking. Now he’s playing marionettes. Great. “We’re selling lingerie, and you are always about competition and work. We need you to be passionate.”
“Passionately suck up to people?” Yoonoh shakes his head, huffing in the process. “No thanks, man. I’m not going to lower myself to Siyeon’s standards. Not sure I want to get pink eye from kissing so much ass.”
“Been there, done that.” Johnny sighs, a smile displayed on his features. “I’m just saying, bro. Maybe, change the game—”
Something Yoonoh is…stubborn. He’d die with that title, and it is only enhanced when he feels a long nail tapping on his shoulder, making him turn around. He expects to see one of those interns that try to stumble out words when asking him for his e-mail to send him the summaries or designs they have worked on, but this time around, he is met with Siyeon’s face.
“No eating until lunchtime.” She tuts, shaking her finger in the air.
This means war.
Yoonoh points at the clock on his wrist, showing it to her. Rolex, maybe, he’s spoiling himself with the benefit of showing her he has also earned some money, designs mediocre or not. “It’s already my lunchtime.”
“Not to me.” Siyeon answers, straightening her back. “Maybe, you’d like to listen to me before I kick you out of the team, don’t you, Yoonoh?”
With that, he pushes the burger onto his desk, covering it just as Siyeon smiles.
“Good boy.” She coos, laughing when she turns around and returns to giving a run-around the office.
“That’s it.” Yoonoh whispers, running his hands through his hair, not caring if he messes it up in the process. “I’m designing the best fucking collection one could ever find and showing everyone in this goddamned office that I have talent.”
“Ooh, and where do you think you’ll get inspiration from?” Johnny tries to gossip, and Siyeon’s soft touch for him is shown when she doesn’t even spare him a glance as he munches on his burger.
“I think I have someone in mind.”
She’d color-code her life if she could. Hence, it’s still a mess, and while she is as organized as she could be, her mind is still trying to process how to keep the hotel she works in safe and sound and quiet.
One would think that being the manager of a hotel would be easy. A three-star-hotel, no celebrities, no paparazzi’s, definitely not enough rich people who care about their environment. As long as she made it homely, clean, and nice to stay in, it wouldn’t be much of an issue.
The problem is…everything is a mess.
For one, her boss, Sachiko, has not appeared in the last two days into the hotel. None of her well-prepared summaries, in Times New Roman twelve, with enough punctuation to make it look like a contract, have been read. The maids keep talking amongst themselves, gossiping instead of cleaning. They got a bad review on their restaurant because the head of the cooking team had decided to shout to one of the clients about how ‘they didn’t have an ounce of taste’ because they disliked the taste of his Ratatouille and oh, how to forget? The fact that her duties as a manager transcend to something else.
She rushes through the kitchen, heat and smoke accompanied by the sizzling of veggies and meat. She doesn’t care that there are flames around her, or that she bumps into one of the cooks in the process.
Sachiko has a mini version of herself, gift of a getaway with her ex-husband to try to make her marriage work. Then, came the five-year-old that had slipped her hold as she was attending one of the residents in their hotel at the entrance, granting them information about the type of rooms they offered. Erika, in all her round-faced glory with grabby hands and too much energy, had slipped from her line of sight and her hold.
She has roamed the entire hotel and she can’t find her.
Oh, then, she should change her statement that she hasn’t seen Sachiko in two days. She has. Sachiko’s heels have clicked against the tiles of this hotel. Only to leave Erika with her, spitting out excuses about having to get on another meeting for the expansion of the hotel, before she’s off the hook of being a full-time mother.
She doesn’t even get more payment for this.
“Have you seen Erika?!” She asks out loud, voice strained from so much shouting, only to watch the head chef speak, his moustache moving with each word he says.
“Oh, little Erika?” Well, seems like he has a soft spot for someone. His eyes glimmer, just as he wraps his hand around his mouth, as if to utter a secret. “She’s in one of the tables. She asked for two milkshakes already. Oreo milkshakes. She’s starting to jitter.”
“Mr. Oh!” She whines, throwing her head back with a groan before splaying her hands on her hips. Navy blue uniform as a simple suit giving her the most boring yet comforting outfit she could come up with. “I am the one that has to get her to sleep, and if she has sugar before bed, she won’t even close an eye—”
Mr. Oh shrugs. “What am I supposed to say? She’s my boss’ daughter.”
“I am your boss as well.”
“You’re getting me fired?”
She can’t even answer to him, hearing the Baby Shark song spoken at the top of someone’s little lungs. Her feet are rushing out of the kitchen by the time she notices it, blazer opening up when she gets to the table Erika is in. Red walls and marble tables don’t scare her, playing with the straw of her drink and grabbing someone’s phone to listen to that fucking song again.
“Erika…” She tuts, voice stern, hands spread out on her knees. This cardio routine has been enough to make her burn all she has eaten this month. The little girl’s short hair caresses her cheeks when she turns towards her, a mischievous smile on her face.
“Let’s go to your room and wait for mommy to get here.”
“Yes, Erika. I am not playing.” Her voice levels itself, only to have Erika staring back at her. Big brown eyes blinking, playing with the edge of her pretty pink dress before sighing.
“But you won’t let me…let me watch my shows.” She takes in a breath, shuddering it out as a pout splays on her lips. “Y—You…mommy said you’d be with me, but you aren’t with me at all—”
Tears wield her eyes and she has to rush to cage her in her hold, hoisting her up before a big wail left her lips and she lost her job. “I’m sorry, Erika. I’ve been so busy, I hadn’t realized.” She mumbles out, pressing her cheek to the top of her head before sighing. “Do you want to give a walk around the hotel and go back to your room to watch as many shows as you want?”
She has to play good cards here. She’s not raising this child, after all, so if the long hours of TV-watching make her turn out bad when she’s a teen…that’s not her business.
Erika nods continuously, engulfing her arms around her shoulders. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
At least, she has found Erika before Sachiko arrives the next morning, but her body practically glues itself to the floor in tiredness by the time she slips out of the restaurant.
The best part of being a manager is when she gets back home.
“So, you’re saying you practically lost your job?”
Yoonoh’s life revolves one thing. Those four walls of his cubicles, the connections he has gotten from his workplace and his elongated list of explanations that always go unheard. In any other occasion, he would have been delighted of being given the benefit of lying. Casual relationships are more of his thing and explaining his every insecurity, recollection of time or worry isn’t part of the plan. Carnalities? Sure thing.
A hook-up turned friend with benefits pushing him by the chest and practically gasping when he sighs? He didn’t think it’d end this way.
“Mia,” His voice rasps out, leaning back on his calves while hovering over her. Her bed is as pristine as always, the rosy satin sheets from last week turned into beige, deep fibers that do sound too elegant for them to do whatever they are thinking of in the bed. “I didn’t lose my job, I just didn’t become the head of my department, okay?”
He’s trying to spell it out, but the model is just as confused. Mia had modelled for Silhouette a bunch of times in the last two years, and that’s how he met her. Fitting one of his designs to her will had led him to be asked out on a date and then, the contract came about. Just sex, nothing more.
Mia scrambles away from underneath him, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand as if repulsed. As if she had kissed an ogre itself. “Yoonoh, you’re practically jobless—!”
“I am not.” He sighs out, trying his hardest to concentrate on anything around the room. The tall ceilings, the conversation at hand, anything but the obvious problem in his boxers right now. “I swear, I will just be working for Siyeon but it’s for a period of time. I’m sure I’ll get her position soon enough.”
“Oh my God,” Mia pushes her long brown hair away from her shoulders, widening those innocent eyes of hers, sharp cheekbones lifting in distaste—not even a smile of comprehension. “I can’t believe I almost slept with a good for nothing. You told me you’d get that job and now you didn’t?”
“A good for nothing?” Yoonoh stands up from that bed, hands on his hips when Mia nods, once and then twice.
“Your dick is good, but not that good.”
Is this the day Yoonoh’s ego gets bruised to shattered little pieces that poke at his feet like glass? Perhaps.
Is this the day Yoonoh lets that pang of pain in his chest become visible? Not at all.
“Were you just with me because I was probably going to be a manager?”
“Silhouette is—listen, they are established, but it’s not what I had in mind.” Mia puts on her robe, covering her Goddess-crafted body before picking up a glass of the wine they had been sharing. “If you became manager, I’d have more connections with other teams. I would probably be in better runways and—”
“I’m not your manager or your little linking buddy, Mia.” Yoonoh complains, chest flushed when he seethes, pushing the strands of his dark hair away from his face. “We’re just having fun. I wasn’t going to bring you as my plus one when we had already established—”
“I don’t know if you notice,” She starts, licking her lips in elegance. “But you’re…you’re going to end up alone, Yoonoh. All you do is work, you’re always tense and silent and…a little bit boring, if I’m being honest. I am definitely the closest thing you’ll ever have to a relationship.”
Oh, no. That’s the thing he hates the most. How the world has been divided in romanticists and hard-workers. You’re one of the other, can’t ever be both, and sometimes, he feeds into that stereotype. He knows he doesn’t have time to fully sit down and talk to someone about his interests, let his heart be wandered about like a museum, but somehow…hearing anyone tell him that he’s tense, silent, boring…doesn’t sit well with him.
He shrugs, eager to poke just like done to him. “Good thing I never wanted a relationship with you to start with.”
Mia gasps at that, plush lips parted before she’s opening the window of her one-floor home. Elegant, but still not the grandest thing out there. “Oh, is that so?”
“You happen to be presumptuous, superficial and now, a complete opportunist—” He says, walking behind her until she turns around, her robe falling off one shoulder when she points at the window, crisp air whisking the tension around.
“Then, leave.”
“Okay.” He’s about to turn around and grab his clothing, when he feels her tugging at his taut forearm.
“Not through the door. You don’t get the benefit to do that.” Once again, Mia is pointing at the window and that catches a chuckle out of Yoonoh, that rises and rises in tone.
“I won’t get out through there.”
“I didn’t ask you. I told you to.” With that, she’s pushing at his chest, trying to get him out as he scrambles to get a hold of her.
“Mia! Are you fucking insane?!”
“Tired of your bullshit, Yoonoh. That’s it.”
Mia is, perhaps, not stronger than him, but for someone who walks on runways…she’s mad strong. Maybe, it’s the necessity to get him out of her home or the flying atrocity of her train of thought that has him stumbling backwards in one of those moments. In just his boxers, the prickling of the grass and the flowers in Mia’s garden caress and poke at his skin, tickling in enormous amounts just as he falls into the most embarrassing position he has been in.
The moonlight seeps over his skin, a groan ripping from the depths of his soul at the ache on his back when he hears the window closing, not without a few words from Mia: “And don’t you dare call me again, asshole.” And maybe, he would have laughed at the stupidity of the statement, because throwing someone out of a window is definitely not a reason to call someone back, but now, he’s much too surprised and in pain.
She wishes she was back to being a kid.
It’s a thought she has when the days are tough and uncertainty fills her, like a vase that is neither half full or half empty, but just stuck. In this town, with a job that she had wished for years ago, that takes away every ounce of will and thrive that she ever had. Days are tiring, nights even more so, and sometimes, she wishes the lake would stop being so calm. For it to be some movement, some waves, some dance of life that tells her: ‘this is something new and I give it to you because you deserve it’.
Instead, she’s walking alongside Erika, whose little feet in her elegant tiny boots are kicking a rock on the sidewalk. They had decided to walk for another block near the hotel, houses scattered in their glow in this enchanting night. It’s a moment of quiet, and she relishes on it, sending a look to the rock and to the little girl, just in case she’s not warm enough or she’s tired.
Oh, how she wishes she was tired.
Erika calls out her name, soft and through a pout, in a way that makes her sound like her age. Very much little a baby. “…Why do…why do girls your age never like boys?”
“What do you mean?” She questions, a smile on her face when sparing Erika a glance. A shrug is given. “I think boys are cool. Not all boys, but some are.”
“Mom doesn’t like my dad, and he’s a boy.” That must be the way she explains her parents’ divorce, but how she’s involved in that? She has no idea. “You…you don’t have a boy. I never hear you talk about boys.”
You see, she hasn’t dated in a while. A while as in…years. Comes to be, building trust into someone after having another person shatter it for you is not only difficult, but somehow near impossible. A plane ticket had said farewell to her in-person relationship and she had embarked in this immense long-distance relationship with too many tears and too much longing. He was distant after a while, and she blamed it on time differences…
Time differences that were proven to be someone else when she called him to tell him she had saved money for seven months just to visit him, only to hear him with another woman.
Another woman who claimed to be his girlfriend of four years.
Not one. Not two. Not three. Not even three and a half. Four.
“I don’t know.” She starts, trying to find the best way to say this. “We don’t always need a boy, Erika. Us girls, we don’t. The only people we need are our family, our friends and ourselves. Princesses can still be pretty and have a lot of people looking up to them without a prince.”
“Like Moana?”
“And Merida.” She completes, a smile on her face when she tugs the little girl up to scoop her in her hold. “Your mom has a hotel and she takes care of it very well without a boy. That doesn’t mean your daddy is not important, but they are happy even when he doesn’t have a girl and she doesn’t have a boy.”
“Then,” Erika plays with the collar of her white button-down. “We all have to be in pairs?” She stops.
“You mean couples?” Erika nods. “Oh no, honey, not all of us have to be in pairs or be part of a couple.” She chuckles at Erika’s innocence. She must be a bit insufferable, but still a kid. With the nightly air blowing at her face, she sighs. “We can all be with anybody, depending on who we like, girls…boys…your mom has told you that, right?”
Humming, Erika opens her mouth to speak up. “Yep.”
“Good girl.” She coos, smiling in the process. “Do you know what decision means?”
“Yes.” Erika conquers. “Carrots or potatoes, like that.”
“Exactly. What you choose is your decision.” She’s trying to make this easy for her. “Your mom doesn’t have to love a man, because that is her decision. As long as she loves herself and you, she’s already complete.”
“And you?” Erika questions.
She hadn’t thought about it in years. It didn’t feel right to be next to someone else, and she doesn’t know if that falls on her a little bit. Loneliness is inherent, this wandering thought that comes to her when she stops and wonders if there is someone out there. Not to complete her, because she’s already full by being on her own, but to support her.
“I am complete, too.” The answer is simple, tucking a strand of Erika’s hair behind her curved little ear. “So are you.”
“I am complete!”
“Yes, you are.”
Something interrupts them just as they pass by a cream-colored house. A groan comes from the flowers planted in the front-yard, and that has her stopping. Flowers don’t talk, obviously, but if someone is hurt—a dog or a human, she has to check.
More groaning and then, she sees a peak of milky skin under the moonlight, paired with tousled black hair. A man is standing in between the bushes, with his lower half thankfully covered by the plants, a short small nose, decently sized lips and a face that speaks anything but a good time.
And he’s half-naked. Only in boxers.
Her hand comes upwards to cover Erika’s eyes just as a loud gasp leaves her lips and she screeches: “Pervert!”
“No, no, no!” The man in question shushes her, lowering his body until even his taut chest and abdomen are covered. His eyes widen comically, and she has to shut her mouth to hear him speak. “I’m not a pervert, I promise! I know this looks wrong but—”
“You’re hiding in the bushes without clothes on, sir. This is definitely something illegal—”
“I was with a woman,” He sends a look towards Erika, levelling his words just because a kid is there, trying to snatch her hand away, but its grip is tight like iron. “And she threw me out because we had a break-up. Kind of. Not serious enough to call it a break up but…my clothes are inside and she won’t let me in. I’ve tried for such a long time. I was hiding until someone passed by but…no one did.”
Still far away from him, she quirks an eyebrow. This relatively, conventionally handsome man had been kicked out by a woman…almost ass-naked?
Talk about an attitude.
“Well, I’ll call someone over to help you out—” She’s about to move again, not completely trusting the man in the bushes when he calls her over with a hiss from his lips. A mix of ‘psst!’ and ‘hey!’ that obnoxiously makes her stop to turn around, still covering Erika’s eyes. “What?”
His eyes glisten when he says: “Help me.” He must be some kind of boss. The stranger says these two words like she has to do it, and she would have turned around again had it not been for those plush lips saying: “Please.”
“What do you want?” She questions, only to have him smiling.
Oh, there is a dimple there. A very profound and albeit, a bit attractive, dimple.
“Clothes.” The stranger adds. “Can you buy me some clothes? I promise I’ll pay you. I just need to get out of here. I think a cockroach bit me in the ass.”
“Language.” She spits out, just as Erika tries to wiggle away from her hold and repeats:
“Sorry.” He says again, bringing his hands together in a plea before sighing out: “I need them right now.”
She fixes Erika’s hold around her body, before rolling her eyes hard enough so she cans see the back of her head. “Fine. I’ll find you some clothes.”
Erika won’t take care of the family business. She’ll be a stylist, for sure. 
The only thing opened at this hour of the night that doesn’t cost her a big portion of her salary is the thrift store and after endlessly explaining the situation to a very eager Erika, she is watching the little girl moving around the store as if she owns it, grabbing clothes here and there in a hassle.
“Erika, be careful. We can only pick three pieces of clothing!” Not that the teenager by the counter cares, popping his bubblegum in between his thin lips, looking down at his phone and tapping on it with a speed that a piano player would envy.
“We have to make him look cute.” Erika tries to say in her most professional voice, and she has to sigh. She will definitely not become a mother anytime soon.
“Yes, but we also have to make it cheap. I don’t have much money in this suit.”
“Yes, yes.” Somehow, she feels like Erika is not listening, pulling at a t-shirt on a table nearby, only to unfold it and give it to her. Her body is so small that she couldn’t see the imprint on the front. As her babysitter of the night, she expands it over her chest, only to watch something within Erika lighting up. “I like it!”
“Good,” She checks the price after muffling a laugh at the words written at the front. “It’s cheap. We can get it.”
Small steps patter against the tiles of the grand store before she’s tugging at the leg of a pair of pants she found on a rack, too tall for her to grab.
“This, this, this, I want this!”
Those ones are a little bit pricier, but when she gets them out of the rack, a smile finally spreads through her features. She has to get it. “You have a gut for styling, little one.”
Erika straightens her back in pride, fisting her small hands before nodding. “Thank you. Want me to buy one for you?”
She chuckles at her words. Definitely not, but she masks it by saying. “We don’t have enough money tonight. Another time.”
Props to the man whom now she knows is called Jung Yoonoh…he doesn’t look half as bad in those clothes as anyone else would.
The milky way spreads on Erika’s pupils when she leans on the table that she had taken up in the hotel’s restaurant a little bit over an hour ago. Her line of sight is filled with none other than Yoonoh, whom she had practically cried to just to invite him to have dinner with the two of them. Erika has practically eaten her weight in Oreo milkshakes, but she can’t quite say she is not starving by the time she slips into the leather seats and she smells the delicious cooking from the kitchen.
Compare that to the bland sandwich she has in her locker.
The little girl talks even out of her elbows. Yoonoh, however, patiently listens, trying to keep up with the grand story she has for the outfit she had picked for him. That explains why people take second-glances towards him. Not that he is not handsome enough; the lighting at that house his girl had kicked him out of did not do justice to his chiseled, quite carved face, but there is something about his clothing that captures most of the attention.
A pair of pink flip flops that Erika had picked up at last after they both forgot about shoes. Tight red leather pants that showcase the strength and curve of his thighs, quite lean, elongated legs that she had taken a second look at when seeing him out of the bushes with some clothes on. And, how to forget the old, quite used black tank top that reads: ‘With a body like this, who needs a personality?’.
She had laughed when she saw him.
Her fingers dip her fries on some ketchup by the time Yoonoh does so, sparing her a glance over Erika’s shoulder when the little girl says:
“My friend doesn’t need boys.” The girl adds, wrapping her hands around her mouth before saying. “But don’t feel offended, she still finds boys cool.”
“Some of them.” She corrects, connecting her gaze with Yoonoh’s just as the man leans back on his seat, crossing his arms across his chest.
“Oh, words from a broken heart. Who hurt you?” He questions, quirking one of his eyebrows before taking a bite of the fried chicken he had insisted on getting. Something about those brown eyes seem to capture her perfectly, as if reading her like a book…and she doesn’t like it.
“I’m just too busy to care.” Her voice wavers the slightest when letting out her excuse and then, she scoffs. “You know, that happens when you’re the manager of a hotel.”
“Understandable.” Yoonoh nods a few times before that dimple appears again. “Too busy to care or too busy to date?”
Her face burns by the time Yoonoh asks that question, pleased with the way she widens her eyes. “When did we decide to make me the subject of our conversation?”
“You saw me half-naked, I get to know something about you other than the pressed suits and the obvious distrust issues.” Yoonoh’s tone is playful, that smile never erased from his features, while her frown deepens. She can’t say he’s not correct, but he’s also poking at her nerves with his words.
“I don’t have trust issues.”
He hums. “Your first reaction is to say no to everything. You deny every word that is thrown your way.”
“Because I happen to think guys like you just feel like they know it all.” She comments, taking the same position as him while crossing one leg over the other. Erika just looks between the two, trying to understand this conversation to no avail. “You read and read people, but I can read you well, Yoonoh.”
He expands his arms, showing that ridiculous shirt. May be half true, his body is great, and his personality may be a little bit insufferable. “Read me.”
“Bachelor with a good job who has that ‘rise and grind’ mentality. Don’t take relationships seriously. Can’t look past what’s in front of him and oh, trust issues, too.” She relishes on leaning over the table, watching as his eyes concern the rest of her face, taking in her every feature before his gaze delves down to the fold of her shirt, no buttons opened, but he’s trying to see something there.
“You want me to look at what’s in front of me?” He questions. “It’s you. Didn’t know that was your way of flirting with me. Guess I really do have to thank you for the…outfit.”
“And me!” Erika raises her hand, waiving it in the air happily.
His tutting tone changes when smiling at her. “Thank you, Erika.”
“Who hurt you, Jung Yoonoh?” She questions, mocking the tone he had used on her and trying to stop a smile from appearing on her lips. So, playing around with him is fun, as it seems.
He stops for a moment, as if thinking. The curve of his mouth falls down the slightest and she hears a breath-in that she overthinks about, noticing that there is pain in even the brightest of people. Instead, he shrugs. “I haven’t gotten my heart broken.” Yoonoh says, playing with the strands of his hair, curves of his arms contorting. “Want to be the first to break it, sweetheart?”
“You wish.” She scoffs, only to have Yoonoh dipping more of his fries in ketchup.
“You wouldn’t even kill an ant.” Yoonoh swats without importance. “I doubt you’d break my heart.”
“I wouldn’t want to break your heart, and that’s what differentiates us.” She points between them. “Good cop, bad cop.”
“Excuse me.” A tender voice cuts through the air around us, a young-looking guy with innocent features and glasses too big for his face waves a Polaroid camera in his hold when nearing them. “May I take a picture of you? I have a photography project for a class I’m taking in college and I need to take pictures that bring nostalgia and warmth. I happened to think your little family could be the perfect subject.”
Before she could fully deny they are a family, Erika is wrapping both her little arms around their shoulders as she settles at the center of the table, smiling at the camera. “Cheese!”
Two pictures are taken before she could fully bring a smile to her face, her eyes connecting to Yoonoh’s over the table in a look that she can’t quite recognize. His smile has erased but still, he’s the one to take the picture when the college student says:
“One for you, one for me.” He says, bowing slightly. “Thank you.”
With that, he is gone, but the effect of his picture lingers when she realizes where she is. A complete stranger sits at the same table as her, trying to figure each other our while she should have put Erika to bed long ago, continue with her job and not even look to the sides to see whose lives are coexisting while she’s just working.
“Sorry.” She stands up, shaking her head at her own antics. Helped him, she had already done, and now she has no business to sit with him, grab a bite and just pretend that she doesn’t have things to do. Yoonoh looks up from the picture, eyebrows furrowed when she grabs Erika by the arms and hoists her up. “I—I have to work. I don’t…I shouldn’t…I shouldn’t be here with you.”
“Why?” Yoonoh questions, voice softened when she shakes her head.
“I just shouldn’t.” She finishes, not knowing quite well what this feels like. Casually flirting with a man like him means trouble. “Goodbye, Yoonoh.”
She says those words with the harshest weight of the world, turning around and rushing out of the restaurant while Erika screams out Yoonoh’s name in need for more fun in the night. Nonetheless, she feels someone’s eyes trailing after her, but she knows one look over her shoulder would only bring more questions to her head.
What was the universe trying to do when putting him on her road?
There is a picture in his wallet that doesn’t even begin to answer the questions roaming his head. As confused as in the beginning, Yoonoh remains.
He doesn’t know why he stares at it after finishing his meal during lunchtime, the office emptied out of people, flicking at the corner of the Polaroid he would not show anyone even if they paid him a billion won. He just wouldn’t. That ridiculous shirt and those obnoxiously tight pants that definitely gave him a carpet burn that he’s still feeling two days later, should have been enough of a reason not to wonder about the sudden change of mind the hotel manager had. 
Maybe, he had offended her. Though, she had kept on playing his game—and he half meant what he said. People like her are easy to read. Definitely an organization freak, perhaps a bit nerdy, with enough worries in her mind to fill an entire book. She wasn’t wrong about his trust issues either, but as he splays his fingertips on top of her placement in the picture, the only one who is not fully smiling, he ponders…
What’s about this girl that has his mind bringing her back all the time?
He closes his wallet just as he opens his sketchbook. A new one, because in his hassle, he had ripped the other that he had filled with all his dreams and hopes. He had crafted bodies, all in different sizes, to design something…and nothing had come to mind, not until he saw her again. That treasure hidden under baggy suits and clothes that he would have never looked at twice if only he hadn’t been captured by the naïve elegance in her face.
His eyes had tried to look, capture a glimpse of the curves around her body, and his imagination gave him more than what he could actually perceive. Yet, it had been enough. Flipping through his color scheme cards, he compares it to the vision he had inside his brain. Conservative, but still enough to feel powerful…
Violet. He doesn’t know why he picks it, but he does.
His fingers can’t stop sketching over the model he has on his sketchbook. He imagines lace and stain, draped thin pieces of clothing over the shoulders. Enough coverage for a one piece…and it comes to him in the form of a muse he would have never imagined. Someone who did not even show him anything, never gave him a chance to talk or fly, because that’s what he had never tried. What Silhouette had never stood for.
The people who are too shy to wear something like what they design.
Attractiveness is a feeling most people should get used to. Being looked at in an adoring light or have a flower thrown their way in the form of a compliment is desired, but has been lost in the eye of lust. Every word of adoration these days has been related to something—the imminent stoppage of the moment for the promise of sex. Never had Yoonoh thought of his designs as something more than a form of self-seduction, with the portrayal of self-love as a higher force for lust, but now, he sees it again.
Lingerie shouldn’t be seducing. It should be a weapon of beauty; a piece of clothing to be taken into consideration, colors that merge well with one’s personality. Not everyone is ready to fully unveil themselves in the light of the sexualized society we live in. Sometimes, people just want to feel nice fabrics against their skin or a glimmer of gorgeousness without showing everything.
The magic of designing is in delicacy.
The ideas come to him then. What was once a two piece for Yoonoh, now is one. What was once see-through, now makes up for riskiness in designs and curves, fabrics added to give more structure, instead of more nudity. Lingerie doesn’t have to be a thin layer of clothing—it can be beautiful, crafted and built.
His e-mail dings with a new entrance, stopping him on his third design as he envisions what must be under that suit—what would fit her and other working people for needing a boost, without actually showing the clothing to anyone but themselves, but soon enough, his face falls at Siyeon’s e-mail.
Subject: The Boss Wants You to Work.
Greetings, my beloved Yoonoh,
Silhouette has been known for its strong stance in the fashion community, and I have been pleased to land a runway show for us in, specifically, twenty-nine (29) days. In light of this, I send you the list of things you have to do:
1)   Design a set for the main male model of the runway, Kim Jungwoo. It has to be a showstopper if you want to keep working with him. I need this to be sent in 6 days.
2)   Find a nice and not as expensive place for the publicity photoshoot to take part on. I don’t want simple. I need ravishing visuals.
3)   Talk to the newbie models and make sure that said day, the stylists don’t screw up.
Thank you.
Jeon Siyeon.
Yoonoh rolls his eyes before starting to type a reply. The devil must be in front of her computer.
Subject: [RE]: The Boss Wants You to Work.
I had already started working on a female set. I’m a female lingerie designer. I think I am not the one in charge of Jungwoo’s outfit.
Jung Yoonoh.
The response comes just as he begins scrabbling his ideas into paper once again.
Subject: Who asked?
I want you to work on Jungwoo’s outfit. See if you get better while working on boxers instead of bras.
Not as sincerely,
Jeon Siyeon.
Spreading one hand on top of his sketchbook, he rubs the bridge of his nose before he breathes in deeply. Okay, now it seems like he has to craft something for a model that he doesn’t even know about, as well as finding the place for a photoshoot. An assistant, he seems to be now, and Siyeon’s, nonetheless.
But a place comes to mind, soon enough.
Devastation comes short to the wails that leave the kid’s lips. That speaks of pleas and pain.
Over a week of Sachiko coming up with different meetings had led up to an expected, yet somewhat uncalculated, road trip to where she hopes to build her second hotel. That said, she won’t stay for a day or two, but for the entirety of two weeks away from Erika. The daughter that now clings onto Sachiko like a koala, hiding her face in the crook of her neck, black hair matching her own as she cries uncontrollably.
Sachiko is at her apartment’s doorstep, luggage by the side of her elongated legs, as she shushes her daughter with a worried gaze. “You’re going to be okay, baby.” Then, she calls out her name, trying to wipe the tears in her eyes with just one hand. “You’ll be taken care of…and I will be back before you know it.”
“Why do you leave?!” Erika screeches, and Sachiko tries her best to reason with her, but her own whines are stopping her.
So, with her pajamas and tiredness lingering within her, she places a hand on top of Erika’s back. “Because your mom wants you to have a great life, Erika. She wants to buy you all you need and for you to have dreams as big as hers.” Maybe, she won’t get it now, but it’s the best she can do to explain the situation.
It manages to make Erika turn around, blinking her tears onto her cheeks. “I don’t want her to go.”
“We’ll mark the calendar…and she’ll come soon enough.” She whispers out, and it’s at this moment that she regrets saying yes to Sachiko when she asked her to take care of her daughter for a little while longer.
A little while longer shouldn’t mean two weeks.
Still, Erika doesn’t let go of her mom. She’s glued to her.
“I made you some hot chocolate, and I have some pudding that I prepared for me earlier.” Because sugary sweet meals seem to make her feel better in these days of uncertainty. This makes Erika widen her eyes, looking back at her mom before questioning her with a small smile.
“There you go, there’s my smiling baby.” Sachiko finishes, putting her daughter down before looking down at her watch. “My taxi is waiting for me. You can call me tomorrow, Erika, okay?”
“Yes, mommy!” But Erika is already moving towards the kitchen to grab a mug of that sweet, sweet hot chocolate.
She knows sweets are her weak point.
The only weak point she has.
“Make sure she sleeps early, okay?” Sachiko says, and all she can do is nod.
“Sure thing.” I can’t promise a thing, she thinks.
“And that she doesn’t eat too many sweets. I’ll let this one slide.”
“Only veggies.” She says as she grabs her doorframe in between her hold. Only to give her something sweet after she throws the veggies at my face, her mind replies.
“Thank you.” Sachiko adds over her shoulder, a smile to her face. “I know it’s difficult, but I really don’t have any family to take care of her and I really do trust you. I promise to pay you well after all this.”
That’s a nice start.
“Don’t worry. Me and Erika get along well.” That’s not a lie, but taking care of a kid is extremely tiring. “Just get in your taxi. We’ll be fine.”
With that, minutes pass by of complete silence, Erika’s eyes trained on her phone, blasting Peppa Pig, with one or two hiccups escaping here and there as she drinks her first mug of chocolate. She joins her, slicing another bit of cake and shrugging off whatever thought appears inside her brain.
The chocolate merges on the roof of her mouth, warming her to the tip of her toes, each aching muscle after hours of working relaxing, even a bit entranced by the show she’s not watching, but might be brain-washing her just like the rest of the kids.
“Another one, please.” Erika says after finishing her episode, extending her mug of chocolate towards her before she smiles sweetly.
She shakes her head. “Mom said no sweets.”
“Please?” The little girl drags with dulcetness in her tone, but she repeats the previous action.
Erika places the mug down, head laying low before she repeats: “Chocolate, please!”
“I said nope.”
The kid stops for a moment, thinking as the sound of the dishwasher starting up as she cleans the mugs and the plates, and just then, her small voice is heard again:
“You don’t give me chocolates because you’re sad about Yoonoh?”
That makes her halter all steps. Yoonoh. The man that she had met days ago. Adonis without a shirt on, and then some weird 2011 wannabe that happened to have dinner with her and Erika. The lingering flirtations between the two had not been forgotten, those pair of eyes that somehow seemed to want to strip her of her utmost secrets, only for her to back away.
Yoonoh means trouble.
“I am not sad about Yoonoh.” She adds, turning around with her damp hands ending up over her waist. “Why do you think I’m sad about him?”
“Because he’s your boy!” Erika screeches as if it’s the most obvious thing, and she’s starting to get tired of the kid’s insane romanticism mixed with optimism. Sure, she’s a kid, but Disney should start making less princesses with a prince. “Mommy explained it to me.”
“What did she explain?” Not that she’s understanding a thing, but please, she does need to be enlightened.
“I asked mommy how people acted when they were in pairs.”
“When they are couples.”
“Yep!” The grin on her chubby cheeks is enchanting, but by what she’s saying, she’s about to ask Sachiko to pick her up again. The love talk is not her thing. “And she said boys smile a lot and they speak weirdly, like things I can’t understand.” That is a way to put it. “And the girl looks down a lot…and I don’t remember what else she said, but you did all those things with Yoonoh. He is your boy!”
“Boyfriend, not boy.” She corrects, turning around to continue to wash the dishes. Was he smiling at her? She had seen the dimple, but she hadn’t thought that he had beamed around like a madman. “And he’s not my boyfriend. I don’t have one.”
“But why?” Erika drags her voice.
“We already had the talk of Moana and Merida.”
“I get that. I’m like them. I don’t want to be with boys.” She utters innocently, standing up to tug at her sleeve. “But you are with Yoonoh.”
“Oh, no.” She shakes her head, laughter escaping her lips. “You hit your head, Erika.”
“I didn’t!” The little girl says, scratching her head just in case. “You’re a princess. He’s a prince—”
“Erika!” She stops her, interrupting her with ease before sighing. “I met Yoonoh the day we saw him, and I didn’t like him that way. We aren’t even friends.”
She juts out her lip. “I wasn’t friends with Mina either.” That’s Erika’s best friend from school. “But we became friends in a day. She put a worm in the teacher’s sandwich…” Her voice becomes soft, a blush appearing on her face. “It was awesome.”
“It’s different for adults.” That’s the best way to put it. She shakes the water away from her hands after closing the faucet before patting them dry on a towel. “What would you do if I said I disliked Yoonoh?”
“Nothing.” She adds. “You said you liked cool boys, and he’s a cool boy.”
He’s an overachieving asshole with a nice smile that could potentially enter her heart if she let him, but that should and would never happen. That’s who he is.
“Erika, I’ll tell your mom to ground you if we keep this conversation up.”
That seems to make her stop, grabbing her phone once again—and she knows the password, which is even worse, kids in this generation are geniuses—, before adding: “Does Peppa have a boy?”
“Oh my God, no!”
This will definitely be a long night.
His mind is blank. Absolutely blank. Lingerie for men is even more difficult than lingerie for women. 
Jungwoo gives another walk on the stage, bleached blonde hair barely moving with each step he takes. He’s in the simple designs, the first launch of Silhouette, as bland as bland can get, and while his strut is fine, he can’t think of anything. Nothing that couldn’t be just a simple pair of boxer briefs thrown on a model. He could do that, but that’s so common, so plastered on paper. He wants to do something else, and yet, in the day of the photoshoot, he can’t think of anything.
“Why are you making me do this?” He met Jungwoo a few days ago, and he was actually quite surprised to recognize who he is. A runway model that has been around the world and all over fashion weeks. His dulcet personality and tall frame have gotten him somewhere, that’s for sure. “I should be already in my clothes and ready to take pictures.”
“I have nothing.” In the middle of the hotel’s ballroom, Jungwoo stops walking at the sound of Yoonoh’s voice. The designer looks down at his sketchbook, where he had made the drawing of a body similar to Jungwoo’s and still, nothing came to mind.
“…You have to have something.”
“A pair of black boxers.” He turns the sketchbook around just as Jungwoo slips a robe over his body and ties it securely. “Better than white boxer briefs, sexier, too. All the women I’ve been with likes them.”
“I won’t model that.” Jungwoo conquers, a lightweight laugh following after. “Those look like plain cotton boxers.”
“Well, I just don’t know what to design. Either I make you look tacky or I make you look bland. There is no in-between.”
“That bad?” Jungwoo questions, taking a seat next to him before grabbing a water bottle. “People are going to be here any minute. Everyone has decorated and I’m not sure my manager will be happy to hear that I came here just for nothing.”
A look is spared to the model, with Yoonoh shaking his head softly. He has to think of something. He can’t give Siyeon the benefit of seeing him tuck with a simple design.
His pencil taps against the drawing for a few seconds before he breathes out a few words: “You’re okay with being more covered?”
Conservative and elegant is more of what he has been aspiring for, with that peek of skin that makes the world go around. It’s what he has been drawing these days, but mostly with a muse in mind.
“Sure. I wasn’t over the moon thinking my ass was going to be out in the world.”
Yoonoh chuckles at that, turning the page around from the plain black boxers before sketching something else. “How about a crop top? With a fabric similar to a bralette, and you look better in red than you do in black.” He draws a diagonal line across the ribcage, making slitted long sleeves to showcase pieces of biceps, filling it up with the color red in a quick hassled manner that he will fix later. “Maybe some chains and garments around that wrap up to your waist.”
“I like that.” Jungwoo announces when looking over his shoulder.
“I’ll keep the black boxers. I still think they are classics, and I can talk to the management team to make them more than just cotton.” Yoonoh announces, soon after looking at the picture before clicking his tongue. “I think there’s something lacking.”
“Dunno. You’re the designer, but I’d wear this out of the runway.”
That’s something good, but Yoonoh is thinking of something else. People in real life transcending into their own confident version. That’s what he wants to portray. He draws a suit jacket draped over his shoulders, falling onto his long legs until it reaches midway through his calves, before sketching a pair of pants on the side. Loose, simple, highlighted in the waist.
“We could connect do something like…like suspenders. Office guy turns into midnight God.” Once again, he’s sketching. “You’d wear this, the crop top underneath but I have no idea how you’d show the boxers.”
“Make them low cut.” Jungwoo suggests, eyes trained on his phone momentarily when he crosses one leg over the other. “That way, the boxer’s band will be showing, and it will have Silhouette’s name there. I’d take off the jacket to show the statement piece.”
Yoonoh thinks about it, erasing the line at the waist before drawing the band, and his eyes glimmer at the image underneath him. Not as bad as he imagined it.
“Your ideas are good.”
“Thanks, I’m not just a pretty face.” Jungwoo jokes around, only standing up when the doors of the ballroom come open.
The theme of the photoshoot is simple. A party at the eighties, with beaming colors and disco balls. Darkened walls, confetti, everything has been added to highlight the idea Yoonoh had come up with. Nonetheless, his team is not the one barging in the room when the doors open, instead, he’s met with another darkened suit and a serious face that stares down at her agenda.
“Morning, people. I’m sorry I’m late. I was figuring out an issue at the penthouse, but I am here to help you with any form of decoration or with any question you may have.” The hotel manager stands there. Not that Yoonoh ever pondered they could not meet each other when he had specifically picked her hotel—he had walked through when entering the restaurant, and the three-stars help with the price, but the decorations are immaculate. Architecture its utmost beauty.
Now that he sees her, a smile spreads across his features. Maybe, a bit too soon—in a way that has him pushing it down because it is not possible to get that reaction out of him when it’s not faux. That woman had stood him up without even much of a reason, in the literal sense of the word, took those pretty legs away from the seat and walked away after they had been having fun.
He wore those leather pants. She owed him not leaving him in the middle of a restaurant with her meal and his to pay.
When she looks up at him, a few sentiments flash before her eyes, but he can’t guess any of them. He breathes out her name, capturing her off guard when she questions:
“You remember me?” Her voice is levelled as she moves forward, with a tinge of curiousness.
Yoonoh shrugs his shoulders in his fitted black sweater, paired with dark ripped jeans. “I wasn’t shitfaced. Just half-naked.”
That makes her frown deeply when she looks up at him again. “Don’t you dare say that out loud in front of anyone.” Soon after, she’s talking to Jungwoo. “I—Don’t listen to him. I’m the manager of this hotel and I have no business with this man.”
Jungwoo lifts his hands in the air. “None of my business, but please, do let me hear.”
He doesn’t know why it surprises him that Jungwoo likes gossip. “Why? You’re embarrassed of helping me out?”
“You’re saying it with double intentions.”
Yoonoh chuckles. “I wasn’t intending on anything the night we met.”
“Oh, come on.” She rolls her eyes, making him raise his eyebrows. That cynic voice in her is not something he expected. “We both know what kind of intentions you have with everyone. It seeps from you.”
“Seeps from me?”
“You had no issue going with some stranger after being kicked out of your…your hook up’s house and you were smiling and using those eyes on me and buddy,” She stops, a short laugh leaving her lips. Her index finger extends to point at him. “I’m not a charity case. I’m not in need of a man. I don’t need you to come around and cause me trouble, okay? If you’re here just to tease me instead of letting me do my job, then we’re off to a bad start.”
Offended is short for what he feels. Sure, he may not make a big deal out of hook ups, but it’s not like he’s the easiest man in the world. And if he was, why does she care?
“You’re the one talking about my eyes. I never made eyes at you.”
That makes her stop, holding her agenda to her chest before patting her ponytail in place. “Okay. Fine.”
“You just think you’re so much better than you, don’t you?” Yoonoh spites, crossing his arms across his chest, never once raising his voice.
“Excuse me?”
“Oh, yes, you take care of your boss’ child. You’re so sweet and kind. So in synch with yourself you need no one’s company…” He trails off, pointing them out with the sharpness of his words. “That’s fine, but it’s not fine when you point fingers at people for being with other people. The twenty-first century is calling, they are here to say you can show someone your ankles without losing all sense of rightfulness.”
Scoffing, she shakes her head, a sarcastic smile appearing on her features. “Yoonoh, I know men like you.” She starts. The typical stance people have of him. Men like him. “You’re a…around with a bunch of women, and you use your good looks to your advantage, never care about anybody but you, never take anyone out on a date—”
He gets closer at that moment, lowering his eyes onto her lips before connecting them with hers. “…You wanted me to take you out on a date and that’s why you’re mad about me being a thot?”
His hand reaches for one of her ears, laughing when he feels the heat. “Your ears are hot. Have something to tell me?”
“Where’s the person in charge of this photoshoot?” She slaps his hand away, turning to Jungwoo who has the biggest grin on his features.
“Oh, it’s him. The asshole Jung Yoonoh.” Jungwoo conquers with a flick of his finger before he expands his hands in front of them. “But please do continue. I love a good drama.”
“You?!” She gasps that word out as if it’s venom, a sharp intake coming after.
“Me.” Yoonoh retorts, a smirk appearing on his face. “And I happen to have lots of questions about this ballroom.”
He doesn’t, but he enjoys his next thirty minutes, trying to get the offense out of his body by having her carrying boxes—not heavy, but definitely bothersome when ordered by him—and giving her his phone number wrongly three times as she finished up the contract and the bill for the rent of the ballroom. Exasperation is short for what she feels, but as she’s working on that bill, he realizes something.
The shirt underneath her suit is a sunshine yellow, and he may change violet from the position of his desired color on her, because yellow makes her beam like never before. It gives her a powerful stance, standing out even in between seas of models posing around.
Though what she thinks of him has been a repetition of what he has heard before, somehow, he cares a little bit more when it comes from the one woman that has inspired him to do better with his designs. Not that she even cares about his position as a designer.
For her, he’s only another asshole who uses people to his will, and that’s only half correct.
“The sexual tension was so thick I had a hard time breathing. Seriously, it was like when I used to steal rated magazines when I was young!”
The maids cheer and giggle to themselves when Blue spits out another version of the story that she and Yoonoh supposedly wrote yesterday afternoon in the ballroom. She has to play with the lettuce of her sandwich, cheek squished against her palm as she watches Erika stare in between the seas of women, following after every reaction even when she doesn’t understand them.
“Blue, don’t say such words in front of Erika.” She tells them, biting on her densely sauce-coated sandwich, before breathing out softly. How could they think of Yoonoh as a dream when he’s obviously a womanizer dressed in sheep’s clothing?
Or the devil. He’s definitely the devil.
“Whatever.” Blue, in her eighties, moves the skirt of her gray uniform before picking up one of the maids. One of the youngest and the tallest, with a long black fringe and moon-bathed features. Chaewon, she thinks her name is. “He told her: ‘Need help with those boxes’?” She lowers her voice to be a faux deep vibrato. “And she said: ‘No, I can do it myself. Thank you.’” That time around, her voice lifts up.
“I don’t speak like that.”
“And then, he retorted by saying: ‘I know, but my arms are waiting to hold something. I think you’d rather it be boxes.’”
More screeches and giggles follow after that statement, and she rolls her eyes because he did say that.
Chaewon ends up being swooped over, rolled around in Blue’s hold before she’s cooing. “I was expecting him to lower her down and give her that kiss that she was definitely asking for with her gaze,” She imitates the actions by looking down at Chaewon. She’s an actress, even at such an old age. “She kept looking at his lips before she cut him off, and you had to say the way his eyes lingered on her…”
“Where was he looking?” One of the maids asks, organizing the towels in their little eating room when Blue lets of Chaewon to let her sit somewhere else.
“He wasn’t looking.” The manager defends, ears heated up…but because of the golden lights here, definitely.
“Everywhere! There was not a portion of her that he simply did not worship with his gaze alone. He wanted to ravish her like—”
More heat, and maybe, summer is coming around earlier than expected. “Blue, stop reading those romance books with naked men on the cover. They’re getting to you.”
Blue laughs at her antics, her curled gray hair jumping around when she takes a seat in front of her. She continues to bite on her sandwich. “Aw, come on, boss. You can’t expect us not to want to see you with that man.” She covers her mouth to lower her voice before whispering: “He’s sexy.”
“Jung Yoonoh is anything but that!” She defends, leaning back on her seat and trashing the last bit that was left of her sandwich. She opens her water bottle and gulps it quickly.
“Look at that heat!” One of the maids adds, and Chaewon nods in return. “How does he look like, Blue? He sounds like a dream.”
“Pecs over pecs over pecs. He had…” The oldest woman curves her hands in the air and the manager has to scoff.
“Stop thirsting over him.”
“His girlfriend over there will get jealous but you had to see that sweater on him. That man is lean and had the sweetest, prince-like face. But not the kind of prince that wants you for his kingdom, having you wearing proper dresses and greeting the crowd.” She stops for a second, thick silence lingering in the air before she adds. “But the kind of prince that sneaks you into the castle to show you ever room—”
“More sexualization, great.” Her knees buckle when she picks Erika up from her spot in between the maids. “I have a meeting with the valet team. You better stop talking about this if you don’t want me to talk with Sachiko about your disrespect towards our clients.”
She opens the door when Erika wraps her arms around her neck, turning around to wave to the maids. “Bye!”
“Bye-bye, honey!” Blue waves back, returning to the crowd to say: “And his hair—”
She has to close the door with a bang as a huff leaves her lips. Everything has been about Jung Yoonoh these days, but what is the sudden obsession to have her paired up with someone who will definitely shatter her to pieces?
Every thought about him shall be erased as soon as possible now that he has finished with his photoshoot. She won’t hear about Jung Yoonoh ever again.
“And then, she went on to call me a man-whore or something. Practically drawing me as the biggest scumbag to ever exist.”
It’s way over nine at night when he finally has the time to check over what the manufacturing team had done with the design that he had sketched for Jungwoo. He still needed to take his pictures for the event, asking the graphic design team to help him out with the deadline, but that’s the least of his worries. Johnny is by his side, lost in his phone as he listened to his story, being his support for another all-nighter.
He unfolds the blood red fabric of the crop top and smiles in delight. Fitted, with slits that could pierce well into the subject of edge, and some chains dangling in elegant curves towards the waist, with Swarovski diamonds in between. He continues to look through the pieces, pants and jacket as well, when he hears Johnny speaking up.
“She’s not wrong.” He says, still engraved on his phone. “You’re a bit of an ass and you haven’t been in a serious relationship ever since I met you. Even before that, you have been single and into hook-ups. Why are you bothered?”
“Because I am not like that. I don’t have the time to embark in a relationship, okay?” Yoonoh mutters out, placing the jacket down on the table to look at it more precisely. “She has this…this air of arrogance of thinking she’s better than me. I don’t know, like…she just thinks I am some kind of douchebag that gets to her nerves—”
“Yet, still you sketch her.” That is the moment he hears the pages of his sketchbook being flickered at. Yoonoh widens his eyes, turning around to close it just as he says:
“Let go of that!”
“They’re pretty. Don’t be a nerd about it.” Once again, Johnny has taken the sketchbook, turning around to keep it away from his hold. “Are you into BDSM or something? People talking down on you? Women hating you so badly that they are kinda into you?”
Hate. That word is enormous, and he wouldn’t like to use it when plotting what she feels for him. Strong dislike, let’s go with that. “I’m not.” He denies all allegations. “…You just have to see her.”
“Ass or tits?”
“Not that.” Yoonoh feels his own cheeks heating up as a smile takes over his features. Not that he had gotten to see a lot with how baggy her suits are, but attractive is short for how he would describe her. “It’s in the way she holds herself. She’s the quiet kind of powerful. With everyone, she is kind and understanding, and yet, her action speak louder than she does. She’s independent and doesn’t let anyone else help her, even if she’s over the top with assignments and—”
“And it kind of sounds like you’re paying a little too much attention to her.” Johnny closes the sketchbook at that moment, quirking an eyebrow at his friend. “What’s with you, Yoonoh?”
The man scoffs, shaking his head. “Nothing. Just saying. I’m so angry that she’s like that, I just—”
“No, you’re not angry. Real angry Yoonoh? It’s the kind of Yoonoh we see with Siyeon. Not this one, talking about how he loves someone’s kindness.” His eyes trail over to his sketchbook, then to the design for Jungwoo before he’s ripping one page out and jotting down a message for the manufacturing team. It’s alright, he just wants a few more diamonds. “Come on, man. Talk about it. Mama Seo used to say there are no secrets in this household.”
“What do you want me to say?” Annoyance seeps from his voice when he looks over his shoulder. “Yes, I was interested. Yes, I guess we kind of flirted. Yes, she still ran away and yes, she absolutely despises my guts?”
“…She blew you off.” Johnny says that as if it’s the biggest announcement in the world.
Yoonoh shrugs. “Yeah, so what? It’s not like I asked her or made it known—”
“For the first time in his life, Jung Yoonoh didn’t get blown, he got blown off!”
“Johnny, it’s not funny—”
“I have to see who this woman is.” Johnny gets his phone out of his pocket, opening his Instagram app before he’s lurking for her. “What’s her name?”
Maybe, curiousness got the best of him when he stands behind Johnny, looking over his shoulder when he rasps out her name.
“There we have her.” His friend announces just as he clicks on the first account. “Private. I can’t really see her face in the profile picture.” It’s the silhouette of a woman, most likely her, in a sunset. Her hands are fisted deep in her pockets and she must be looking at the sun. “Should I message her? Something like: ‘Hi, if you don’t want to date Yoonoh, I’m single and the second-best option’?”
He’s joking around, yet, Yoonoh stares longingly at that picture. Something about her is so lukewarm that he finds himself at peace. He has always liked everything scalding hot—his relationships, his hook-ups, his meals, even the days that he spends at the beach, but now, he is interested in silence and tranquilness. In that lukewarm nature that comes within her, never too cold, never too hot.
“No.” His voice sounds unused when he finally speaks up. “Leave her be.”
Johnny’s eyes inspect his features. “Dude…there is really something about her, isn’t it?”
“I’ll never know, I guess.” Yoonoh finalizes, shrugging his shoulders before moving towards the edge of the room and turning off the lights. “Let’s go, I’m starving.”
“I won’t take a bath! I don’t want to!”
Five days from Sachiko’s arrival and she already feels like breaking. Breaking down or breaking out of her home, one or the other. Erika screams at the top of her lungs while rushing out of the bathroom, still very much in her pajamas, to sit down in front of her TV and watch another cartoon.
She throws the towel over her shoulder, eyes half-closing from tiredness when she breathes out softly and approaches her again. “Erika, get in the bath. It’ll be quick.”
The little girl shakes her head, hugging her knees to her chest. “I don’t want to.”
“Sometimes, I don’t want to either, but you have to.” She announces, taking a seat next to her to run her fingers through her hair. “Come on, Eri, it’s just a bath.”
“Nope.” The little girl mumbles, growing more annoyed by the second.
“You’ll stink. You don’t want anyone to smell your scent if it’s bad.”
“It’s okay.”
“Someone will come visit us.” She doesn’t know why that’s the first excuse she comes up with. Truth be told, none of her friends live in this city, and her family are nowhere near either. Loneliness is something she is used to, and she doesn’t like being the house’s host all that much, either. “And you really like them, so we need to bathe you before they come.”
Erika raises her eyebrows, a big smile appearing on her face: “Peppa?”
“No, not Peppa.” From the back of her mind, she can’t think of anybody who will come here that Erika really likes. She’s not entirely obsessed with Blue, and the woman is too old to take a taxi here. She is not sure who Erika likes apart from her…and Sachiko is not here. “Ah…” Think, think, think. “Yoonoh, my…uh…my boyfriend. He’s coming over.” 
The title makes her cringe, but Erika stands up in her couch, hair wild and little fists connecting to her shirt when she says: “He’s coming! You didn’t tell me!”
“Oh, I was just waiting for you to take a bath first.” She tries to sound smart, but this is the worst idea she could have. Sure, she saved his number when she was making that bill for the rented ballroom, but that has been about it. Never texted him, never planned to, much less to tell him to come over and pretend to be her boyfriend just so Erika takes a goddamned shower.
“I will! Hurray!” Erika moves away from the couch, rushing over to take off her clothes.
“I’ll go fill up the bathtub in a sec, okay?”
This is the worst idea she has ever had.
By the time she hears the door to the guest room closing, she sighs deeply, going over to the kitchen to unplug her phone and look down at her contact list. Her heart is racing, eyebrows frowned in worry when she sees it in glimmering lights:
Jung Yoonoh (Never Respond. Not Even If You’re Dying).
She’s not dying, but she definitely feels like it.
Whenever she got a cut as a kid and she put a band-aid on it, she took the band-aid off in one harsh tug. It’d rip some hairs apart, but it wouldn’t hurt—it wouldn’t make her hesitate as much as she did. This is one of those decisions that need to be done that way; as if she’s drunk and she needs to call her ex, or as if buying that dress that she’ll never wear sounds like a good idea today.
The phone rings a few times and she paces back and forth in the kitchen, giving a few puffs out and jumping in place before she hears it.
His voice is to die for. One of those melodies that anyone wants to hear when they are waking up, mumbling sweet nothings, promising whatever the hell sounds great at the time, and it’s so dangerous that it has her closing her eyes, trying to fight a shiver and not exactly of anxiousness.
“Yoonoh, I need your help.”
A bead of silence follows soon after, and it comes as a surprise when he mumbles her name. She hums in return. “Why are you calling me? How do you have my phone?”
“Don’t ask.” She tells him, about to start her rant when Yoonoh cuts her off with a deep chuckle.
“You stole it from my bill.”
Caught, yet, she places a hand on her waist. “I wanted to save it just in case you decided to call me and make my day more difficult.”
“Oh, if I called you, it’d be to ease any kind of stress.” He purrs out, making her groan out loud when a lighter laugh from him comes about. “What can I help you with, ice princess?”
“Stop it with the names.”
“I said—”
“Stop it with the names, I know. I will.”
When there is another pause, she knows she can speak, so she does. “…Erika believes we are in a relationship.” He doesn’t scream at the idea or laugh straight at her face, so she sighs. “And she’s also like madly connected to you. Seriously, she never stops talking about you and how you were so cool and whatnot. She only agreed to bathing now that I told her my…” She clears her throat. Shit, this is awkward. “My boyfriend is coming to visit, but you’re my supposed boyfriend and you’re nowhere around. I was wondering if you could come over, I don’t know, for like thirty minutes and then leave, just to fulfill that promise.”
Another elongated silence comes soon after, but it’s followed by a hum from Yoonoh.
“You didn’t say we were friends,” He teases, and she rolls her eyes at his antics. “You still went on with the boyfriend thing. Something you want to tell me?”
“Erika thinks we are together.”
“Erika meaning you.”
“I would personally sew my lips if we were to be in a relationship, Yoonoh.”
He chuckles, though she hears some moving. “Why? You’d want to make out with me so badly that you would want to stop yourself?”
“You wish.”
“Kinda.” Yoonoh confesses and it sounds like a pin falling to the floor. It makes her anxious, because the idea of being trapped in his arms, mouths molding into each other, breaths mixing, tongue intertwining is not so bad when in theory. “So, where do you live?”
“You’re coming?”
“Yeah, but in like forty-five.”
With that, she gives him the address, only to hear Yoonoh breathing into the microphone.
“So, my dear girlfriend, my beloved future wife,” Those dramatics that come with him make her want to slice him in half, but she keeps on just for Erika. “…How long have we been together, exactly?”
“…Since my headaches started coming daily.” She responds, hearing pattering in the hallway. “Call me when you’re here, okay?”
Once she hangs up, she sees Erika ready for a bath by the kitchen’s door, waving her hands in the air.
“Let’s go!”
Kids are nightmares.
Epoch hats don’t fit him well, Yoonoh realizes as he sits on a little stool that barely can hold his weight, knees practically touching his chest as he plays tea-house with Erika and her babysitter. Or well, her mom’s worker that happens not to know how to say no.
Erika had gone over the top to make this a grand event, the Peppa Pig plushie he had brought with him when entering the apartment seated in front of Erika, while he stares ahead at the woman that has his mind a complete mess. She is wearing a pair of wings on her shoulders, and her clothing is different, still not letting him see much, but the baggy t-shirt and sweatpants still fit her nicely.
The roles are simple. Erika is the princess, and they are their Aunt and Uncle. Peppa Pig is her sister, and that’s about as much as he knows as he sips on the two-point-five milliliters of water with lemon that Erika dares call tea.
“More tea, please.” Yoonoh says when placing the small cup down and looking at the woman ahead of him. She is the one serving the tea, yet, she quirks an eyebrow at him.
“That’s your fourth cup.” She explains, shaking her head when he tries to reach for the tea. “You’ve already had enough. You’re doing it just to see me serving you.”
“While the sight is adorable, beautiful, this cup is the size of my pinky. I can’t even feel it going down my throat.” He waves the little cup in his pinky before trying to reach for the tea again. “I’ll serve myself if it makes you feel better.”
“You’re too sweet-mouthed…” She looks over at Erika, inspecting them with interest. “Sugarplum.”
“Sugarplum?” Yoonoh questions the nickname, pouring himself a cup of tea when snatching it from her hands before leaning his weight forward, taking a sip that has him downing the entire drink. “I’m not sweet, don’t know if you’re noticed.”
“Quite clearly.”
“May change my ways for you if you stop judging me.” His eyes trail over her features, the culprit of his playfulness spreading across his face.
“Oh, I happen to be very judgmental.”
“Get to know me,” He waves his finger on top of the cup, tracing the outline only to see her gulp soon after. “…I promise the last thing you’ll end up doing is hating me.”
Erika stands up in between the two, her little hands spreading on their chests when she says: “Princes and princesses don’t fight.”
“We’re not fighting, Eri.” She tells her, though she sends a glare his way. “Right, sugarplum?”
“Of course, beautiful.” He uses that same nickname, relishing on the way she seems to be seething at the name. Truth be told, he knows that she’s, at least, a bit attracted to him…but whatever is stopping her must be strong enough to have her stopping on her tracks that first night. His lips wrap up in a kiss he sends flying in the air before adding: “We actually love each other. My kingdom is now better because I have found my truest love.”
“Yeah…” She trails, looking over to the side before she takes a sip of her own tea. “How’s the collection going?”
That question surprises him. She must have supposed he was a designer, much more after all he did in her hotel, but he didn’t think she was paying attention from up close.
“It’s not a collection.” Sweetly, he corrects, voice lowered when he puts the cup down. “I—I’m only working on this one fit. An outfit. We design lingerie, as you could see. I’m normally in the women design department, but my boss which is an absolute…” He stops, looking at Erika. “Witch, changed me to the men’s department just to freak up my head.”
A small chuckle trips out of her lips at the choices of his cusses. “So, you were designing Jungwoo’s fit?”
“Precisely.” Yoonoh takes his phone out of his pocket before displaying something only for her to see. “Erika, you can’t see this. It’s…it’s not something you should be seeing, okay?”
And actually, she listens. Yoonoh can’t understand why she says that Erika never listens to anybody. Her eyes trail over to Jungwoo, and the way they scan up and down have something within him tugging his phone away.
“That’s my design.”
“You’re talented.” Those words shouldn’t weight as much as they do, but he hasn’t heard them in a while. Perhaps, in two years. “If only you weren’t so much of a butt-face whenever we speak, I’m sure that part of you would show through.”
“What part of me?”
“The part that doesn’t try to hide that you care.”
That’s the moment Yoonoh backs away, because he shouldn’t care. It’s easier to go through life without caring about the people around you. The small stool falls behind him just as he stands up, clearing his throat after a harsh swallow.
“I have to go.”
Erika stands up as well, eyes widened. “Is it because she called you butt-face?”
Yoonoh chuckles, ruffling her hair with one hand. “No, I—I think I left my stove on at home.”
He hears the sound of her picking up her keys, nodding in the process. “I’ll walk you there. Don’t worry. Erika, stay here.”
The hallway that leads to her door is far too cramped for the two of them, his shoulders brushing with hers as they walk alongside each other. The part of you that doesn’t try to hide that you care; it’s not like he cares about her past the normalcy of two people who happen to be attracted towards each other buy deny it—
He turns around, his chest expanding with each breath that she takes, oxygens mingling when he looks down at her features, those lips that he would have kissed if granted the permission, but instead he asks:
“Is that why you hate me?”
She doesn’t listen, a deer caught in the headlights when she questions: “What?”
“Because you think I don’t care. Is that why you hate me?” He questions, only to have her shaking her head. His fingers hook a strand of her hair behind her ear, feeling the heat of her skin, much like that one time he had touched it.
“I don’t hate you.” She confesses, honest and yet surprising, before she breathes out in a shudder. “…Sometimes, it’s better to not wonder, Yoonoh. Not be curious about people like you. Not because you’re bad, but because you’re not right, either.” She shrugs her shoulders. “Stop looking at my lips, it distracts me.”
Yoonoh trails his eyes up before engulfing the words in his plush lips. “And what about you?” He questions. “If I’m all types of wrong, what are you?”
“All the different types of wrong that aren’t yours.” She says, just as his chest brushes with her own again, her stomach extending, back bending, body molding closer to his just because of electricity and gravity, she opens the door, releasing a breath that feels like a million pounds of weight. “Good night, Yoonoh, and thank you.”
He nods, and while he wants to return the words, he can’t.
Four Years Ago.
She never came back.
Sometimes, Yoonoh felt stupid for believing that there was someone in the other side of the computer. That said chatroom that had once started as complete curiousness had now turned into something else, tangible, present in his every day. He was young, his eyes wandered, his mind stopped thinking about the importance of his future and he thought that Dami was it. The woman of his dreams, the picture that he couldn’t take out of his head when he laid still at night and looked at his ceiling.
His friends made fun of him, because this is not the Jung Yoonoh that had gotten secret notes during Valentine’s Day in high school with love confessions and promises of marriage. This was a young man, seated in front of a computer, waiting for an answer. Waiting for the day she returned, after she said that she’d come back. It was only supposed to be a lunch break, but with no contact other than this chatroom, than what they had in social media, how was he supposed to get in touch with her?
JJH1997: Hey, did I do something wrong? (Three weeks ago.)
JJH1997: Hello! How are you doing? Are you okay? (Three weeks ago.)
JJH1997: I bought that one record you told me about. (One day and a half ago.)
JJH1997: [Picture Attached]. (One day and a half ago.)
JJH1997: Are you mad? (Thirteen hours ago.)
JJH1997: I’m sorry if I offended you. (One hour ago.)
The reply he got soon after, as he was studying for one of his finals, had him widening his eyes. She had not answered in weeks, this was the best news he could hear—
DAMISONG96: This is her husband. Who are you? (Just Now).
His hands shook, trying to find the words to say. Husband. All this time, he had been talking about a future with someone with a husband…
DAMISONG96: I’ve just read your messages. Stop talking to my wife, you fucking kid.
[This contact has blocked you].
The worst part was that he could never know if it was a catfish, if the person he talked about was real…or, actually, that he could never apologize, perhaps for ruining a marriage that he never knew of.
Love doesn’t come easy when you don’t know how to trust. 
The reason why he became a lingerie designer instead of any other kind of designer is because of the subtlety. His friends think that it is because of the obvious love Yoonoh has for the human body, but as he sits on the front row of his own show, staring at the Silhouette designs his team had worked on, with harsh white lights matching the upbeat and bass-boosted songs that have models swinging their hips from side to side, he feels proud and more.
Jungwoo is the next one to come, and all signs of his beam is long forgotten as he struts down that runway. At first, he does it simply, how he’s taught, the buttons of his jacket are done, undoing them as he walks to showcase the crop top underneath, only pulling it down and turning around to throw the jacket aside and show the top and the chains, along with Silhouette’s name on the band of his boxers. It’s perhaps something not seen in the streets, but he can imagine celebrities falling in love with the design.
He’s concentrated on the faces of the people ahead of him, cheers resounding around the air as Jungwoo finishes off his catwalk. The invitees seem to be overjoyed, and just when a smile creeps up his features, fixing his stance in his tailored black suit, he feels a hand spreading on his thigh, a chuckle being breath out in his ear.
“You’ve done a great job, Yoonoh.” Siyeon speaks with certainty, and to anyone, they are just two friends congratulating each other. He does great work in feigning a smile when turning to her, but what he says is not so kind.
“Thank you. I’m known for that.”
“I know…if we don’t compare that to your organization problems and your endless witty mouth.” Siyeon starts clapping when another model comes around before a beam appears on her features.
Something doesn’t feel right.
“…And what about it?”
Siyeon’s long silver earrings move when she turns to him, quirking an eyebrow in the process. “Well, you see, Yoonoh, the reason why I wanted you to craft a showstopper and to leave with a bang is because…” The acids in his stomach go up, nervousness creeping up on him, trying to keep the dimples there to no avail. “You’re no longer going to be part of our team. Out of all the designs you’ve done, this is your best, but you proved yourself right a little too late. Sorry.”
She’s not sorry, and he knows this. The smile that he has fought so hard to keep there is no longer of his interest as he stands up, pointing at her while scowling.
“You can’t do that.”
“Yoonoh, you’re making a scene.” She tries to chuckle through her words.
“I’ve been working for this fucking company for two years and I haven’t slacked once.”
“Says you,” Siyeon shrugs. “I’m in charge, Yoonoh, and I saw you’re slacking.”
“Fuck you.”
“Have heard that before.”
The air around him engulfs him in a way that almost makes him feel like he’s trapped. He’s out of the expensive hotel Siyeon had found in seconds, but yet, he feels like he has run a marathon. His eyes concentrate anywhere, hand coming up to his chest, his dream shattered when trying to give this company another chance—
The night whisks him in the face as he runs, not caring to grab a taxi, not minding that he feels like his life is falling down…because this is stupid. Life is so fucking ironic that he hates it. He trusts people? He ends up losing. He doesn’t trust them? They never believe him.
What’s the realest way to get a happy ending? He’ll never know.
Eight hours of sleep feel marvelous once she gets them back.
Not only has she gotten to return her calls, but it doesn’t smell like baby food in her apartment and she gets to take a break from Peppa Pig. Erika had been sad when letting go of her, pressing her face to her stomach in a hug before she was off to holding onto her mother for dear life. Her paycheck came around, life was good, and this night was excellent with the bag of savory chips she had just opened.
The crunch is the only thing that can be heard, mingling with the noise of the romantic movie she is watching, tears wielding her vision and yet, she pushes them away. Tragedies are the best form of romance—when both characters have gone through so much that finding happiness in each other feels a thousand times more personal. Perfect, even. It’s a nice chance for her romantic comedy binge from earlier.
The air is interrupted when she hears someone ringing her doorbell, and that brings a frown to her features. First, she’s not waiting for anybody. Secondly, she had been crying just now. Grabbing a napkin, she taps it against her ears and waltzes over to the door to see who is standing by the door through the peephole.
And if there was a sight that could capture her breath away just as much as it could make her be excited about something, it’s this.
Yoonoh stands outside her door, with the buttons of his shirt half-opened, a peak of his shirt showing, his jacket thrown haphazardly over one forearm, and if only this peephole let her see lower, she would relish on the strength of his thighs. Confusing or not, as well as a bit annoying, one can’t deny that Yoonoh is extremely handsome. Taken out of a magazine, even.
She opens the door softly, unaware of why he is there. Today, the runway for Silhouette should be happening and yet, he’s here, at 10:45 at night, with his hair made a mess and his eyes trailing on her.
“Yoonoh,” He doesn’t stop looking at her eyes, a frown in his features. “Hi…uh…may I help you with something?”
“You’re right.” He starts, entering her house just as she moves to the side. He must be in a rush. The door closes behind her. “I try not to care about things. I don’t take relationships seriously. I’m an asshole at most times. I’m fake and boring and quite clearly, all kinds of wrong.” Well, that is a statement. She knows there is some good for Yoonoh. He’s always one call away, he’s organized, he’s given. He’s strong and rampant and fiery, in that way that have people shuddering in their spots.
“So, yes, I’m fucking tired of being that because it doesn’t work.” He stands in front of her now, in that same hallway that had trapped them weeks ago and had managed to make her even more confused. “I just lost my job and I don’t know what the hell I am going to do with my life. I was used and—fuck!”
Her heart weights down when he admits that. “Why would you lose your job? That outfit you designed for Jungwoo is amazing…”
“Because my new boss hates me, just like you do.”
“I said I didn’t hate you.”
“Then why?” Yoonoh questions. “Why did you run away that night? What about me is so repulsive that you can’t even look my way without frowning when all I have been thinking about since that moment I saw you in the restaurant, in nice light, after getting me some clothes, is that you’re the kindest and most humble woman I have ever met and I would do my fucking best to kiss away every fucking insecurity you have about me?”
Silence comes to be awkward around them. Or, well, filled with tension. But this silence is of understanding. Yoonoh’s eyes that night, that had scanned her with such intricacy, had thought about the same things that she did. And yet, she had let it slide—because it’s easier to fear than to try, to run away than to stay.
“Because…you’re difficult, Yoonoh.” She states. “And I don’t mean it in a bad way. I just know…I know I would like you.” That makes her ego blot down the slightest. “And then, when you realize that kissing me is not enough, that waking up to me is not enough, that I won’t give you whatever interesting shit you were doing when I found you outside that house, you’ll leave…and I’m not at an age or time in my life where I want to see you leave without an explanation. I don’t.”
He finally reconnects his gaze with her eyes. “The explanation here is simple,” He conquers. “You’re beautiful. Each part of you I get to see and each part I don’t. Every bit of my imagination can only think about you, so much that everything I design is everything my mind gushes about and can only perceive on you. It’s stupid enough that…” He chuckles at his own antics, leaning his head back on the wall. “That I think about what color fits you best and I am certain it’s not the navy blue you like to use. It’s yellow, because you’re so bright it practically burns my fucking eyes. You’re so smart and given and you don’t even let me tell you that, because you’re always…pushing me away.”
“Yoonoh—” Her heart flutters at his words, but he doesn’t stop talking.
“And you’re your own kind of goddess and it drives me insane, because I was the type of dumbass that didn’t like the chase, but each and every time I hear you speak, I just want to tease you more and…” He stops for a second, finally fixing his position to look at her. “I just wanted you to know, because if I’ll never get a chance, at least I want to say I—”
Silences are what made them. It’s what she likes the most about him, when he’s silent and concentrated, when all his might goes to one thing and one thing only. She doesn’t know what overtakes her at that moment, when her lips clash against his in a dance that it’s much too passionate. She can’t keep up with whatever she wants to do, her hands hooked around his waist to mold him against the wall, his abdomen carved against hers when a groan traps itself on the back of his throat and he grabs the back of her head, taking more of her in, granting himself entrance, rubbing his lips in a tempting touch before he’s diving in for air…and she’s his oxygen.
Yoonoh’s hold is not strong, overly passionate, tumbling. In his own way, Yoonoh is delicate. It’s just when she kisses him that she realizes there is a beautiful thing to Jung Yoonoh. The delicacy he portrays in lingerie, that translate into his utter fears. The pristine glass he is when she caresses his neck with a touch of her mouth and he shudders while grasping the back of her shirt, asking to see her—to be seen.
When heartbreak happens, there is always a dot. That one finalization of a chapter in your heart that aches insufferably. Her dots connected to him, in one way or another, in the moles in his face or the way he begs to connect to her lips again when she pulls away. He’s gravity when she asks to be taken to her room in one simplistic glance and he’s smiling by the time he puts her down on the sheets.
Over all, Yoonoh is a lover of beauty, and maybe, for once in her life, she feels like art, just when he throws her shirt over her head, staring down at small portions of her body being shown before showing that dimple that she had trained herself to hate.
But who is she kidding? She didn’t hate it at all.
“…You were forbidding me of this.” He points at her body, earning laughter from her, ears heated up under his gaze. “And for that, I’ll never forgive you.”
That night, it’s not a promise of love—it’s lust mixed with something else, that fluttering feeling of having a crush, maybe, or the start of something…how he calls it…beautiful.
Normally, Yoonoh doesn’t text. He hooks up with someone, leaves it in the air, then moves on to working. Awakening in his lover’s bed, having breakfast with her, arguing in that way that only they know how to do—playfully, of course—and then having to see him himself off just so she can go to work, however, is completely different.
Just as he lays on his bed midway through the day, he looks at her contact. Missing her would be a statement, and it would be absolutely correct. His gut twists, not knowing exactly what to say—new and yet old in this dating thing.
Uh, can he call it that? They haven’t even gotten out on a date.
Yoonoh: We haven’t gotten out on a date.
Yoonoh: Do you want to?
She must be near the phone, because she replies quickly.
Beautiful: If I slept with you, I obviously want to go on a date with you.
Beautiful: Duh.
There is the bite that he likes, enough to bring a smile to his face before he’s biting down on his lip.
Yoonoh: You didn’t sleep with me when I was employed, wearing suits, confident and flirty. Your standards? Very low.
Beautiful: You’re complaining? Because I could not do it again.
Yoonoh: Who said I was complaining? I was trying the whole time and just when I’m a huge loser, I get the girl.
His life seems to be twisted in circles, cycles that he don’t know how to stop, but a text from her gives him hope that he’ll figure it out.
Beautiful: You’re not a loser. I don’t date losers.
Beautiful: Dinner tonight? I brought a sandwich, but that’s bland.
Yoonoh: It’s a date.
A few seconds pass by before he’s typing again.
Yoonoh: Wait, how do you have me saved in your phone?
A screenshot comes soon after, and he doubles over in laughter when he sees ‘Sugarplum (DNI)’.
She has forgotten how to say it, and it’s not like it’s another language, but nervousness clads her every pore just as she sits down by a table at Erika’s seventh birthday party.
Five months into this dating thing, and she doesn’t understand most of it. What she knows is that it feels great. Waking up next to Yoonoh—her place or his—, being kissed on the cheeks, on her forehead, only to be ravished by one of those kisses that he only knows how to give. To watch him grow away from his fears and create his own lingerie line, obviously with the support of his model friends that were eager to take pictures with his pieces and make do with what they have.
It’s difficult, but just as Yoonoh lowers Erika after hoisting her up in the air, always charming with her and with anyone, she doesn’t know how to say it. You know, those three words that have captured her ever since Yoonoh smiled at all her baby pictures, or when he spends some extra time in the kitchen making her favorite meal just because he feels like pampering her.
Three words that she has said before, even jokingly, and yet, she’s petrified.
The trees are tall in the backyard of Sachiko’s home, yellows and reds contrasting the feeling in her heart. It’s pure pink, just like the glow on Yoonoh’s cheeks or that set he had once sewed himself just for her, the one that he never gets enough of and still groans at. Childish music and cake should be enough to calm her down, but just as Yoonoh plops himself alongside her, resting his head on his forearm on the picnic table she’s by, all words she had practiced are lost.
How does he have that effect after five months?
“Erika loved the gift.” Even their gifts had been united. From Uncle Prince and Aunt Princess, they had written on the note. A doll that she had been screaming about months ago when they had visited her.
That word, even he is saying it. If Jung Yoonoh is capable of spitting it out, why couldn’t she—?
“You look like you’re sick.”
That makes her sigh. “Thanks. I don’t see you complaining.”
Yoonoh’s smile grows wider at that, rolling a piece of her hair in between his index finger. “I like the sick look.” He replies. “Something about the sight of a girl who wants to throw up on me. So sexy I could take you to a bathroom right now and just—”
“There it is, not so sick anymore. Now you’re angry.” He has his ways, she has to admit, and even when finds herself laughing when he changes that glimmer of his eyes that always gets him what he wants. “What’s with you?”
She opens her mouth, placing a piece of cake inside of it—just a little bit too big—when she says: “I love you.”
Or whatever can be understood in between a mouthful of cake.
Yoonoh quirks a perfectly styled brow. “You what?”
“I love you.” She utters out, swallowing soon after before giving him a smile. “Okay, alright, I’m done here—”
His hands gravitate to her hips before she could stand up, sitting her down on his thigh and bringing her face to his by her chin before asking, much too close and too softly for her to ever resist him. “You what?” He repeats, much more delicately, and finally, she finds the reason to stop being nervous.
Those brown eyes look from her eyes to her lips, never getting enough of her, never knowing how to battle the thoughts that show on his features. That kind of adoration she has never gotten before, and that is worth trying for.
She hides her face in his neck, breathing in his scent before spitting out: “I love you.”
It brushes against his skin, tickles him in a way that has him tightening his hold before he replies: “Sounds so good when someone means it.” And that confession is only meant for her to be understood, before he’s pressing a kiss to the crown of her head. “I love you, too.”
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jae-canikeepyou · a month ago
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you sighed heavily at the noise, the boys were loudly bickering each other, one teasing others who were vulnerable to whatever topic they talked about. boyfriend!jaehyun took a glimpse of you sitting at one corner. to him you looked tiny and adorable, a blanket wrapped around you where your head was the only one visible. you were quite troubled in your thoughts and he knew exactly what you were moping about.
jaehyun then slid on his bum to be in front of you. you tried not to show any reaction, he was the reason why you acted the way you were now. he said he was alone earlier, but then he greeted you along with the boys once he arrived at your doorstep.
he pinched your cheeks to catch your attention. “i’m sorry.” he smiled. “they tagged along when they heard you sick on the phone. they’re worried as i am.”
you moved backwards to prevent jaehyun from getting your fever. “but i didn’t ask you to come here. i don’t want to be blamed on if the company gets word their artist’s sick.” you whined with your hoarse voice.
“but i want to see you though.” jaehyun copied your tone in a playful manner, leaning towards you for a kiss.
“don’t kiss me in front of the boys.” you refused and continued to avoid his face that was closing into you.
his lips puckered that the boys squirmed and expressions turned sour as they saw how attached and sweet their friend was. “give me a kith.” his arms wrapped around your waist to pull you between his legs. “c’mon bub.”
the noise at the background changed into fake gags. jaehyun winked at you, his friends’ loud and chaotic footsteps hurried to leave your apartment, greeting you bye’s and get-well-soon’s.
once the door slammed shut, you thought jaehyun would stop being embarrassing and overly sweet. he didn’t. he continued and slid the blanket from your head downwards. he threw his head back and pursed his lips, ears reddening with a growing smile. “what’s wrong?” you asked, giggles bubbling out of you.
“nothing i just thought of something.. nice.” he tried to calm himself yet he couldn’t hide his feelings.
“which is?” you questioned. jaehyun didn’t answer. he just pulled you in a deep, passionate kiss where his fingertips grazed gently on your chin.
although you were left wondering, jaehyun smiled within the kiss thinking that when he slid the blanket down, he imagined it was your veil,
and imagined that he was kissing his bride.
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jaehyunnie77 · 3 months ago
[6:45 AM]
Warnings: smut, fingering, daddy kink.
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Waking up next to your boyfriend Jaehyun is always one of your favorite things in the world. Your back is against his chest, his face hiding in your neck, his strong arms holding you hostage in your little space, this is a feeling you will never get tired of. He makes you feel alive and safe whenever you're with him. You're always reminded just how lucky you are to find a guy like him who treats you like royalty.
"Good morning baby." You don't need to turn around to know he is smiling at you. You smile at the sound of his voice as the butterflies in your stomach do cartwheels. His breathing and tiny kisses on your shoulders tickle you making you giggle.
"Good morning handsome." you answer back. He continues to kiss your shoulders as his hands wander all over your body. You let out a tiny moan letting him know you're enjoying this moment with him. Soon his hand finds your core and runs down your wet slit.
"We had sex a couple of hours ago and you're already so wet for me."
You take a deep breath in enjoying the way his finger moves up and down your slit teasing you. "Only for you."
He rubs your clit as he continues leaving his marks. He dips a finger into your core making you arch your back against him, not missing the obvious hard cock resting against your ass. He pumps into your slowly, something he knows you hate when you're so riled up.
"Jae please -"
"Shh, I want to take my time with you."
You know you could cum right then and there, but you fight off your orgasm just a little bit longer. He slides another finger in giving you a good stretch as he pumps into you a little faster. You're panting and moaning with how good his fingers are as he curls them making you moan louder as hits your sweet spot.
You hide your face into the pillow not wanting to be any more louder or get a neighbor's complaint, but Jaehyun was not having it.
"I need to hear your sounds y/n. Let the neighbor's know who is making you feel good." He kisses your neck as he grunts and dirty talk into your ear. Jung Jaehyun, that man and his voice makes you moan louder and thrashing around in his arms. He feels your pussy clenching signaling you are close to your high.
"Is my baby going to cum? Are you going to cum for daddy princess?"
All you could do is nod as you feel the band at the pit of your stomach begin to tighten.
"Look at me and use your words."
With all of your courage, you open your eyes as you turn back to look at your boyfriend. Sweat beaming down his brows, his eyes dark and filled with pleasure and love. You could look at his concentrated expression for all eternity if you could.
"Y-yes I'm s-so close Jae." He kisses you deep, tongues exploring one's mouth as you feel the band begin to break. Your thighs are shaking as you grip onto the bedsheet. "J-"
"Cum for daddy y/n cum for me."
His baritone voice and words are enough to make you orgasm on his fingers. He helps you ride out your high as he continues to pump into you. Once you've calmed down, he takes his fingers out and licks them clean as he gives you a sly smirk.
"That was a good morning." You giggled as you kiss him. "We're going to be late for work." You smile sheepishly at him.
Little did you know he had other plans. He kisses you once more as he crawls on top of you. "Call in sick today. I'm not done with you just yet."
434 notes · View notes
solarune · 5 months ago
good for me
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pairing: jung jaehyun x fem!reader
genre: smut, humor
warnings: hickeys, groping, thigh grinding, oral (male receiving), hair pulling, dom/sub themes, slight exhibitionism, dirty talk, degradation, pet names, praise kink, profanity
word count: 2,354
a/n: w korea jaehyun haunts me to this day so here's a little something i wrote. hello, it's been a while! hopefully my next fic won't take me months to upload. being an adult is hard. also i think this is my first? smut fic on this blog? i don't think smut is something i will write often but it's still something i want to practice so lmk what you think!
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“We’re going to get caught!” you hiss as your boyfriend tugs you towards a supply closet far away from the rest of the crew.
“Not if you’re quiet,” Jaehyun winks while giving your hand a squeeze. He chuckles when you narrow your eyes at him, not at all amused by his teasing. You really were not in the mood to get scolded by not only the SM staff but the W Korea staff as well today, especially because you’re there as your boyfriend’s guest. His hand rests on the door knob as he turns to look at you. “Come on, babe, we’re not going to do anything too bad. I just want to kiss you a bit!”
“In a closet?” you scoff.
“In privacy,” he corrects you.
While the logical part of you is not at all swayed by his barely-there argument, the part of you that couldn’t keep your eyes off of Jaehyun during the first half of the photoshoot is screaming at you to run your hands all over him. And who could blame you, really? With his shirt left unbuttoned and toned body oiled up and on display, it took every ounce of self-control that you had to not jump his bones as soon as the photographer called for a break. You want to remain professional and maintain a good first impression for these people, but it seems that Jaehyun, ever observant over the slightest change in your behavior, knew exactly what you were thinking.
A huff leaves your lips. You really need to learn how to say no to him. “Kissing only.”
You barely have time to blink before Jaehyun is pulling you into the supply closet, the cramped space forcing you to press your body up against his. That and the fact that Jaehyun himself is pushing you up against the wall, his hands already beginning to roam. “Make sure you remind yourself of that too, yeah babe?” he smirks as a hand reaches up to trail lightly along your jaw. “I’m not the only one that gets carried away. It takes two to tango.”
He firmly presses his lips against yours and you have to stop the moan that you can feel crawling up your throat. You can feel your lust for your boyfriend growing but you just run your fingers through his hair and continue kissing him, determined to not be the one that gives in this time. Your bottom lip is caught between his teeth before he pulls away to look into your eyes while a soft whine leaves your mouth. Jaehyun’s hold on you tightens and you feel the way his hips slightly jolt against you from the sound you make.
“Fuck baby, don’t do this to me,” he whispers as he leans forward to trail kisses down your neck. “I saw the way you were looking at me before, you want me just as bad as I want you right now.”
“Jae…” you sigh, head tilting to the side to make it easier for him to lick and bite at your neck. Your hands slide down his shoulders to grip his biceps, squeezing when he makes it down to your collar bones. The room is starting to feel quite warm and you know that Jaehyun’s got you right where he wants you, he knows exactly how to make your resolve crumble in seconds. “I said kissing only.”
Jaehyun chuckles darkly against your skin, a hand coming down on your ass to give you a light slap at your weak argument and the tremble in your voice that even you could hear. “I am kissing you. You should’ve been more specific.”
“You’re so annoying,” you hiss, fingers bunching up the fabric of his silk shirt. We should stop, we’re going to get caught. We shouldn’t be doing this, Jaehyun will- Another moan escapes your lips when your boyfriend’s thigh nudges your own legs apart to press up against you, the pressure causing pleasure to course through your veins. It’s like your body has a mind of its own as your hips jolt and begin to grind down on Jaehyun, your hands pressed up against his bare torso while your nails leave faint red lines on his skin. Every sensible thought disappears from your brain as you let your lust take over, Jaehyun’s tight grip on your body and teeth on your skin making you fall apart even faster.
“That’s a good girl,” he hums and you can feel the smirk against your throat. His tone is so cocky that in any other situation, it would make you scoff but now, it just causes your heart to beat faster. “You like that, right? You like grinding that pretty pussy on my thigh?”
“Feels so good, Jae,” you sigh, the back of your head hitting the wall particularly hard when you lean back and making you flinch. Jaehyun bursts out laughing as you clutch the back of your head and you have to slap your hands over his mouth to get him to stop, the two of you holding your breaths when you hear some of the staff shuffling around outside of the closet. Their voices eventually fade, along with their footsteps, and you count to 30 before finally giving Jaehyun a pointed look. “Dumbass, we’re supposed to be quiet, remember?”
“Remember those words when I make you cum, sweetheart.” Jaehyun’s hands slide down to your hips to get you to start moving against him again, whimpers leaving your mouth as he flexes the muscles of his leg beneath you. “Fuck baby, you’re making me so fucking hard. I want you so bad right now.”
“Want your cock, Jae.” Your breaths are coming out in pants while you grind against him and you can already feel that your underwear is soaked through with your desire for him. A hand reaches out to stroke his cock through his pants and the corners of your lips turn up when he chokes at your touch. “Want it in my mouth, wanna taste you. Please?”
Jaehyun’s lips press against yours as he lowers his leg down. But just as you wrap your arms around his neck when he deepens the kiss, you feel a hand slide down your front and you have to hold back a yelp when you feel him begin to rub at your clit through your pants. You pinch his side when he teasingly bites your lower lip and when he pulls away, you can see the mischievous glint in his eyes even in the dark.
He hums as if he’s really debating on whether or not he’ll let you suck his dick and you have to stop yourself from rolling your eyes. If he saw that, he would probably say no just to punish you. “Since you asked so nicely,” he concedes with a sweet smile.
Your hands trail down his thighs as you sink down to your knees, Jaehyun’s teeth biting down on his lower lip as you unbutton his pants. Or at least attempt to. The darkness paired with what feels like a billion buttons and zippers on your boyfriend’s pants almost makes you give up. You let out a huff as your hands go back to your boyfriend’s thighs and you look up at him with a pleading look on your face that you hope he can see.
“Stupid,” Jaehyun chuckles as his fingers brush against yours, undoing his pants and even pulling them down his thighs for you. “Think you can handle taking off my boxers or do I need to do that for you too?”
You snort in response as you smack his bare thigh. “Back in my day, pants had one button and a zipper. Modern fashion is too complicated for me now.”
Your hands ghost over Jaehyun’s covered cock and you have to hold back a smirk when he shudders at the light touch. You kiss him through the fabric, even sticking your tongue out to kitten lick at him, before his boxers make their way down his thighs as well. He feels warm and heavy in your hand and when you take the tip into your mouth, the taste of his pre-cum is enough to drive you insane. You force him deeper into your mouth, inhaling deeply through your nose as you continue until he hits the back of your throat. His hand tangles in your hair when it happens, fingers pulling at the strands as he groans. Pulling back with gasp, you begin to pump him with one hand while your mouth travels down to his balls, humming and sucking while Jaehyun whimpers and whines above you. You wouldn’t be surprised if you soaked through your panties enough to get even your pants wet, Jaehyun’s whispered cursing and groaning going straight to your pussy.
Jaehyun’s hips buck and you have to fight back the gag that you feel coming on, the sudden brush of his tip against the back of your throat surprising you. Looking up at him, you place your hands on his thighs and keep your head still, allowing him to do whatever he wanted with you. There’s a wicked gleam in his eyes that you can see even in the darkness as he begins to shallowly thrust, one of his thumbs coming up to wipe away the tears that are already falling down your face.
“You’re just my perfect little cockslut, aren’t you, baby?” he coos as he strokes the side of your face. “My pretty girl, always so good for me.” He pulls out of your mouth completely to let you breathe for a few seconds and you hurriedly wipe away the remaining drool and tears that trailed down your neck. You nod eagerly at his words, eyes never leaving his cock as you watch him stroke himself. Your mouth begins to water at the thought of having him fuck your throat, teeth catching your bottom lip as you squirm in your spot on the floor.
“What’s going on in the pretty head of yours, huh?” Jaehyun asks, his question ending in a groan as he squeezes the base of his cock. “Tell me what you want.”
“Fuck my mouth.” You feel your face burn at the vulgar demand but the look that your boyfriend gives you makes your stomach flip. So you muster the sweetest smile that you can to try to hide the eagerness you feel and tack on a, “Please?”
Jaehyun slips his thumb into your mouth and his lips part at the same time yours do, his tongue poking into his cheek as you suck and lick his finger. “Of course I can, sweetheart,” he answers, the cooing of his voice contradictory to the dark look in his eyes. “You gonna swallow all my cum too? Take everything I give you like a good girl?” Jaehyun begins stroking his cock once more as he angles it so that the tip brushes against your lips, laughing when you nod and stick your tongue out to lick at the head. “Of course you are. Because you love my cock that much, right?”
Before you have the chance to nod in agreement, Jaehyun shoves himself into your mouth, his thrusts already starting off hard and fast. You remind yourself to breathe deeply through your nose, the tight grip you have on his thighs keeping you focused and grounded as you try to keep up with his harsh pace. Every thrust sends him to the back of your throat and even though you can feel your jaw beginning to ache, your pussy is starting to ache even more, the thought of him fucking you this roughly making you drool. You really are a slut for your boyfriend.
“Fuck- ‘m close, baby,” Jaehyun groans as he tugs at your hair. “Your mouth is so warm and wet. But I bet your pussy is even better, can’t wait to feel it around me- fuck.”
You reach up to massage his balls and when you feel his dick twitch in your mouth, you know that he’s only seconds away from falling apart. So you dig your nails into his thighs and leave red lines on his skin, a smirk appearing on your face even with your mouth stuffed full. Above you, Jaehyun pants and whines out your name as he spills into you, shuddering as your tongue swirls around him. His grip on your hair loosens until his hand is gone altogether and he watches as he slowly pulls out of your mouth, a string of his cum connecting your lips to his shaft. Your eyes close as you savor Jaehyun’s taste, gathering any cum that spilled out onto your thumb before placing it on your tongue.
Hands wrap around your upper arms and your eyes fly open as Jaehyun pulls you up and pushes you against the wall before shoving his tongue into your mouth. He groans at the taste of himself on you and you gasp when one of his hands comes down to smack your ass. “Fuck baby, you’re so fucking hot,” he moans and you swear your knees almost buckle from how fucked out he sounds. “You did such a good job so I think I should return the favor, hm?”
You watch as Jaehyun gets down on his knees in front of you but before he can even unbutton your pants, there’s a loud bang on the door, causing the both of you to jump. Your heart is beating so hard that you swear you can hear it, and you don’t even notice that you had grabbed your boyfriend’s hand as a familiar voice calls out his name from the other side of the door.
“Jaehyun! (Y/N)! Are you guys done being gross yet?” Johnny yells, and you know that he’s doing it to both embarrass you in front of everyone and to make sure you can hear him. “Our lunch break has been over for 15 minutes, you’re keeping everyone waiting! We’re going to be leaving in two hours, you couldn’t have lasted until we got home? Get out here!”
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prettywordsyouleft · 18 days ago
Write On Me [Soulmate September]
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Pairing: Jung Jaehyun x female reader (ft. Johnny)
Genre: soulmate au / office au / fluff
Warnings: flirty and suggestive moments, a tiny bit of angst and miscommunication, and some cursing
Word count: 9926
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“Have you figured it out yet?”
Glancing up at your best friends Gabbie and Dee, you shook your head softly. “Not yet.”
“It’s not as if we have a timeline to understand what our connection is,” Dee reminded the brunette beside her, sending you a comforting smile. “Y/N will find out when she’s meant to.”
Giving her a weak smile in response, you tried to not feel disheartened. It wasn’t easy, though. Everyone around you knew who their soulmate was or what to expect. Gabbie had been colour-blind until she met Aly, and since then, she made sure to point out just what shade everything was around her. Much as she had when you arrived at the coffee shop and relayed how lavender wasn’t quite the right colour for your skin tone to glow.
Dee had heard a strange male voice in her head until Archer appeared in her life, and those conversations became out loud ones. Well, except for when they sank into each other’s gaze and kept their intimate conversations within their minds. Which happened more often than you liked to admit. They were cute, but you were extremely single, and their connection only heightened that knowledge for you.
It wasn’t just your friends who had an understanding of their soulmates. Your parents had been tied by a red string, and your brother had a countdown on his wrist until he met his wife. Your cousin hadn’t met her match yet, but she had dreamed of her soulmate for her whole life. Even your neighbour had a mark on his hip that indicated he had someone out there with the same design waiting for him.
You were surrounded by people who had successfully found their match, and you didn’t even have a clue what your trigger would be. It didn’t matter as a teen, but now with you nearing thirty, well, you were starting to think you’d never get a sign that your soulmate was out there waiting for you.
Your thoughts must have shown on your expression because suddenly a hand landed over yours. “Y/N. He’ll come for you.”
“Or she. You never know what gender your soulmate is until you meet them,” Gabbie added, since Aly was short for Alyssa. It still amused you that Gabbie, who had spent her whole secondary and tertiary curriculum lusting over the jocks and popular guys, was now dating her girlfriend. But you knew true love when you saw it, and they were perfect for one another.
You wanted to whine outlandishly about how unfair the world was.
Dee’s eyes flicked to yours, and you could see sympathy rising. Shaking your head to avoid any more pity than you could handle, you raised a hand in protest. “Enough about my lack of a connection. There’s more to life than whether or not you have a soulmate.”
“You do have one. Don’t give up,” Dee confirmed, and you nodded dismissively.
“I also have a meeting in twenty minutes with possible recruitments, which is much more pressing than trying to figure if I’m going to start feeling hot flushes if I come too close to my destined one.”
Gabbie smirked. “That would be a fun game. You’re still in the cold zone. But maybe when he steps into your radius you’ll burn deep down.”
“Burn in what way?” Dee continued, the ladies sharing a knowing expression that you didn’t want to dive headfirst into.
Instead, you got up, picking up your takeout cup and shook your head. “I’m going to leave before this gets too NSFW.”
“Darling, we’re not at work right now!” Gabbie called after your departure, your fingers wiggling over your shoulder in farewell.
Once outside the shop, you inhaled a deep breath to steady yourself before heading back to your office. As much as you loved your best friends and were happy for them, you hoped that someday soon you could meet your soulmate so the topic could be permanently retired.
It was becoming quite the stalemate.
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“Good to see you back, Y/N,” Johnny, your co-worker, greeted with a loose smile, jerking his head in the direction of the conference room. “They’re already showing up.”
“How many so far?” you asked as he followed you to your office, the taller man leaning against the edge of your desk.
Johnny was hot. He had a natural charm about the way he held himself, and if you believed more in free will, you would have acted on your crush on the man months ago. Sadly, he recently found a date marked on his ankle, and since you didn’t have a matching timeframe, you knew he was invested in the countdown to that day arriving. Still, you couldn’t help but admire the man and equally knew he did the same to bide the time.
“Three. One of them seems close to a panic attack.”
You groaned. “That’s not going to pay them any favours in our line of work.”
You worked for one of the most prestigious magazine companies in the country, boasting a top three ranking for the past seven years. Whilst you spent more time writing articles on fashion do’s and don’ts – something that Gabbie didn’t grasp or else she would have known that lavender was the it shade for spring this year – you had been suckered by your boss Taeil on overseeing the hiring process a couple of times. You had to admit that you were good at reading people to make the right choices for your team.
After all, you had hired Johnny on the spot almost a year ago, and he had become the best thing about going to work each day.
Oh. And he was great at reviewing entertainment trends too.
“How many do you have lined up for the sportswriter slot?” Johnny wondered, leaning over your desk. You inhaled the citrus cologne that wafted into your personal space.
“Five potential candidates. Three being early is a change. I’m not even running behind in greeting them yet.”
“Don’t hire anyone who is late. Being on time is a charm,” Johnny instructed, and you grinned at him, knowing he was the first to arrive for his batch of interviews and had been chatting with you so engagingly that you had been off your game and not greeted the others waiting for the interview outside the door.
In which you decided not to make a habit of, and after grabbing the resume folder off your desk, you shot him a look. “I’ll see you for lunch?”
“Sushi?” he suggested, and you nodded.
“You know the way to my heart,” you enthused as you brushed past him, heading for the conference room.
Johnny chuckled. “If only you were the one finding your way to mine, Y/N.”
You ignored the comment, hoping your cheeks weren’t as flustered as they felt when you stepped inside the room. There were four men now waiting, and as you glanced at the one sitting closest to the door, you knew he had to be the one panicking.
Stuart Langley. You didn’t have to look at your file to know who he was. He was the most acclaimed of the potential recruitments, and you had been excited to meet him today.
A shame he can’t even look me in the eye, you thought as you greeted each member at the table warmly, taking a seat across from the men and getting stuck into your opening speech. Ten minutes into your meeting with the candidates, the door opened suddenly, and you turned to see a man sucking in deep breaths of air.
Suddenly the room grew hotter.
“Sorry I’m late,” he panted, dragging in another deep breath. “There was an accident, and traffic is completely backed up. I had to ditch my cab and run the rest of the way here.”
“That’s fine, please take a seat,” you offered, your eyes shifting to the resume you had discarded to the side when he seemed to be a no-show. You smiled politely at him. “Jung Jaehyun?”
“That’s me,” he confirmed as he sat down, shooting the man he sat next to with a small smile. He turned to look at you, and you had to divert your gaze, clamping your hand down into your lap to stop from fanning yourself.
Jaehyun’s suit was crinkled, no doubt from his mad dash to make it on time, and yet it wasn’t the crinkles that distracted you. His broad frame filled out the pale blue dress shirt, the buttons taut around his chest.
You really needed to stop looking before your earlier threat of NSFW thoughts slipped to the forefront again. You seriously weren’t someone who thirsted easily over men either, especially the younger kind.
Today was turning into something else.
“Right. Well, now that we’re all here, let me quickly re-explain what I was discussing before we get into the interview, shall we?”
Jaehyun sent you an apologetic smile, and it was then that you noticed that he had dimples.
You were going to need a miracle to get through the next hour alive.
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“So, who will you hire?” Johnny asked with a mouthful of food, your features scrunching up at how typically male it was of him to eat and talk at the same time. He swallowed and gave you a knowing grin. “I’m all male, Y/N.”
“It’s as if you can read my mind sometimes.”
“Of course, I can. You let your emotions show so openly on that pretty little face of yours,” he concluded self-assuredly, and you rolled your eyes.
Thinking back over your session with the potential writers, your mind hovered over one.  It wasn’t the most experienced writer of the bunch that held your attention. And he had been late – even if it was out of his control with the accident. Still, Jaehyun was the clear pick. He answered all your questions genuinely and was the most creative of the five. You would rather suggest Taeyong hired someone who appeared determined to improve on the job and give him a great first magazine writing experience than choose someone who looked like his shadow would scare him at any given time of the day.
“The one who was late, right?” Johnny guessed, and you looked at him in surprise. He laughed and tapped his temples. “Mind-reader, remember.”
“I think Jaehyun could be something really special to the sports team.”
“Does he play anything?”
You nodded. “Basketball.”
“You and guys who like ball sports, huh?”
You almost choked on your sushi roll, and Johnny roared with amusement.
“I’m going to kill you before that soulmate of yours turns up. What date was it again? Three more months? You’re treading on thin ice and might not make it that far. Besides, he’s also good at swimming, so it’s not all about balls, Johnny.”
And it explained Jaehyun’s athletic body shape.
“I played volleyball, remember?” he whispered into your ear, and you groaned loudly.
“You might lose a month by the end of the day,” you grumbled, and Johnny settled his teasing.
“I think you should go with your instincts. If he’s fit for the job, you would definitely know. I mean, you are Miss-Know-It-All the best of the times and—”
You shoved your hand over Johnny’s mouth and went to retort but spotted the all familiar candidate across the sushi bar eating his lunch with an amused smile on his face.
“How loud were we?” you hissed, slapping Johnny on the shoulder before shifting away from him. “Please tell me you think this place is loud enough that our conversation didn’t make it to the back of the room!”
“Because a potential candidate is in here eating lunch too?” Johnny surmised, and you gasped. He smirked. “I saw him when we entered. Didn’t you?”
“I hate you so much.”
“Y/N, we both know if we lived in any other society, you’d love me. Hate is such a passionate word, though and—”
“Disowning you right now,” you proclaimed, trying not to look to the corner of the bustling bistro.
“Something tells me that he’s going to knock me out of the top spot in your mind,” Johnny mentioned a moment later, and you looked at him, allowing your gaze to roam back to Jaehyun. He met your stare and smiled politely.
You returned it and then cocked your head to the side. “Wouldn’t I know it already if he was? You’re currently safe in the male department of my thoughts, don’t worry.”
Except when you looked back at your meal, you wondered what it was about Jaehyun that threw you off from completely believing your statement.
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“So, you’re saying you got hot flushes as soon as this guy rocked up?” Gabbie inquired over the phone later that evening and you rolled your eyes at her response to how your day had gone. “What are the odds that I joked about it and now you’re having a soulmate trigger!”
“Calm down, Gabs. I was reacting because Jaehyun is attractive. Extremely attractive. You know, the type of guys you were crushing on hard in university? He exudes that type of handsomeness. It wasn’t a soulmate trigger at all.”
“How do you know? Aly, what do you think?”
“Babe, I think you’re too invested in poor Y/N’s love life.” Aly squeaked, and you wondered what Gabbie had done to warrant such a noise. “Fine. It could be something.”
You sighed in answer. “You mean the lack of love life, and it’s probably nothing.”
“Sign or not, if you’re reacting to him then it’s worth investigating if the guy has a soulmate trigger when he gets hired. You can never be too careful and rule someone out.”
“You sounded like Dee just now,” you teased, and your friend laughed.
“What can I say. She’s rubbed off on all of us. Especially Archer.”
“I don’t want to discuss couples on a Monday night. No offense to you both,” you groaned, and after talking for another five minutes, you hung up and decided it was time to take a soak in the bath.
You wanted to forget all about triggers, hot flushes, and the way you had Jaehyun’s dimpled smile etched into your mind. You stripped out of your clothes after running the water and adding your favourite bubble bath, sinking into the water with a moan.
Everyone was so obsessed with finding their match when you considered the freedom to do as you pleased a great luxury to have. Relaxing into the water, you closed your eyes and focused on finding your zen, pushing aside work deadlines and potential leads for upcoming articles.
But no matter much you shunted them away, Jaehyun’s brown eyes wouldn’t slip out of your mind.
Snapping your gaze open with some annoyance, you lifted your left hand to your face, halting in brushing wisps of hair away from your face when you noticed something unusual on your inner forearm. Sitting up, you stared at the new appearance on your skin.
Hey there.
In somewhat of a daze, you lifted your right hand to rub over the handwritten message, swiping it back and forth. It didn’t smudge or disappear, like a tattoo on your skin.
“No fucking way,” you cursed lowly, eyeballing your arm’s message with interest.
After twenty-nine years of existing in this world, the first sign you had a soulmate was simply to say hello?! And why was it happening only now?
You were grateful you were alone because you were beginning to feel like you were having an existential crisis over the message.
Dropping your arm into the water before lifting it back out, you cursed again when the message remained, the two words mocking you more than you expected them to. “What do I do? Do I speak my reply into existence, or is this the most thought of words of the day type of trigger? If so, hey there is a bit ambiguous. I suppose at least they’re being polite and greeting me first.”
You laughed, the words you rambled out only making your heartbeat run faster. Standing up, you forwent your soak in the bath and stepped out, not bothering with wrapping your towel around your body just yet. Going over to the mirror, you angled yourself in increments, checking yourself over for anything else.
Nothing. Just the two words inked into your forearm existed.
Slowly wrapping your towel around yourself, you padded into your bedroom still stuck in that daze, slumping onto the edge of your bed blindly.
You decided to keep this new development to yourself. You needed time to digest it before you told your best friends about it and had them encouraging you to explore more. Further, you wanted to see how it panned out over the next few days. If you knew your soulmate type well enough, it meant the expression should change daily. So, all you had to do was wait and see what happened.
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When you woke the following morning, the first thing you did was lift your arm and inspect the site where the words had been. You weren’t sure if you were relieved or not to see hey there still etched into your skin.
Still seriously stunned by the late-night development, you got ready for work, ensuring your blouse covered the length of your arm before heading off for your ritual coffee and breakfast with the girls. Today both significant others had joined your best friends. It wasn’t uncommon, and you adored Aly and Archer too. Normally, you would feel resigned over the fact that you were entering Couples-ville, but this time, as you curled your left arm against your waist, you considered that in the near future, there could be three happy couples sitting and enjoying breakfast together.
“You look the epitome of envy in sage green today,” Gabbie greeted, and Aly scrunched up her nose.
“Isn’t that more of a Laurel green?”
You laughed. It wouldn’t surprise you if the pair had invested in colour palette swatches to understand every variant shade a colour could possess.
“Either way, you look great,” Dee offered, and you smiled, smoothing down your grey pencil skirt after taking a seat.
“I’ll go grab the usual order,” Archer offered, and once everyone checked he had what they wanted, Dee scooted closer to you.
“Something’s up with you.”
“What makes you think that?” you asked hesitantly, trying to keep your expression neutral.
“There’s something different about you,” she mused, and you all but embedded your arm under your ribcage, trying to keep the rest of your body loose and casual. Dee did another sweep over you before gasping.
Oh, God. She’s figured it out.
“Is that the new Tom Ford perfume I can smell?!”
You didn’t know if you want to hit her for scaring you or kiss her on both cheeks for not figuring out what was actually different about you. Grinning, you nodded. “I got a PR package for my latest review on their winter collection.”
“I swear, you’re living your best life.”
“I don’t know about that,” you admitted, feeling on edge as your skin itched right where the words were. “But I sure am living something.”
You were grateful that no one paid much attention to you over breakfast and that Johnny had a scheduled out of office morning for research on his next article. It meant you were left alone in your office, and with a heavy sigh, you sank into your chair before sliding up your sleeve.
The words were gone.
“Wait. What?”
For some reason, you felt the need to search all over your lower arm, as if they had the ability to move into another spot on your skin whenever they felt like it. But your entire arm, aside from your smartwatch, was bare.
“Maybe it’s better this way,” you murmured to yourself, jumping when there was a knock on the door.
You smiled when Taeil stepped into your office. “I reviewed your recommendation. The youngest and most inexperienced one? Interesting choice, Y/N.”
“Experience and age aside, I felt that Jaehyun was the…” you trailed off then, your hands fumbling with the folders on your desk before you held his resume in your hand. There were no handwritten elements, and you frowned, wondering why you had just thought to match the message with his handwriting.
Especially since the words had disappeared, leaving you with nothing to guide you to an answer.
“Y/N? Everything alright?”
“Huh?” Glancing up at Taeil, you shook yourself off and cleared your throat. “Of course. Sorry, as I was saying, I felt he was the best fitting candidate for our office. What he lacked in, he gained by graduating from one of the best journalism and writing schools in the country. He also seemed to consider my questions, taking his time to answer them in a way that was very complimentary to our magazine’s focus.”
“I’ll hire him. But you know the drill. You’re his mentor for the next month.”
“The most I know about sports is where my gym is and how to sign up for Pilates classes,” you admitted, and Taeil shot you a smirk.
“I’m not asking you to write about sports, Y/N. You just have to be the one signing off on all his work, okay?”
You inhaled a deep breath, wondering just how small your office would feel with Jung Jaehyun sharing it with you. Smiling lightly, you nodded at Taeil. “You know me. I make the right judgement calls.”
“That you do.”
Once your boss was gone, you threw yourself down on your desktop and whined immaturely. If you were so good when it came to others, why couldn’t you be more precise in decisions relating to yourself?
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“Hey there,” a honeyed voice greeted you the following morning, and you snapped your head up at the statement, relaxing when you saw Johnny sauntering into the department. “How’s my favourite fashion guru today? White pants? Are we feeling bold enough to not spill coffee on ourselves like we did the last time we tempted fate with this ensemble?”
“Just admit that your first thought wasn’t about the coffee incident and how good these look on me,” you replied smugly, having seen the way he appreciated your jeans before his gaze had travelled to your face. You rolled up the sleeves of your bubble-gum pink shirt to your elbows as you grinned at Johnny further. “No response, huh? That’s not like you, Johnny Seo.”
“The date changed,” he admitted suddenly, seemingly nervous. You blinked several times, understanding immediately what he meant.
“To what day?”
“Your birthday,” he murmured, and you gasped, covering your mouth with both hands and shaking your head. Johnny searched your eyes intensely. “Which is two months away, right?”
He had greeted you with Hey there, hadn’t he? Could this be a bigger sign than you realised? Just as you were about to confess the disappearing message from the day previous, you flinched when there was another knock on your door, and Jaehyun stuck his head in.
“Hey. I was told that I was assigned to this office?”
Johnny dropped his hands onto your shoulders and gave them a squeeze before stepping away from you and greeting Jaehyun in a friendly way. You were trying to regulate your breathing for a moment longer, and Jaehyun stood awkwardly in the doorway. “Should I, uh, come back?”
“Huh? No. Not at all. Please come in and set yourself up. The desk is big enough for the two of us to work here together. You can have that side. I’ve tried to tidy up my mess as diligently as possible once the big boss told me he hired you to start immediately,” you announced, feeling yourself relax into his company. Jaehyun shot you one of his dimpled, boyish grins, and you retracted the instant relaxation, feeling the skin where those words had existed turn itchy.
You scratched the spot mindlessly, and Jaehyun watched your reaction quietly, but another smile soon spread over his lips, and he pulled out his laptop, setting up. “I didn’t realise I would be assigned to you, Y/N.”
“Everyone is when they come through these doors,” you admitted with a friendly smile. “Don’t worry. You’d much prefer being in here with me than the likes of Jade next door. She used to take on our recruits, and let’s just say not many made it past the trial period.”
Jaehyun chuckled, the deep sound warming your insides. “I’ll take your word for it. Don’t worry. I’m diligent and hardworking. I want to make this work.”
“I could tell that about you. Which is why I chose you for the role.”
Jaehyun’s eyebrows shot up. “You made the call?”
“If Moon Taeil was left to make a decision, he’d choose based on connections. He’s not a bad guy at all, but he kind of sucks at getting a really good read on people.”
“And you’re good at that, huh?”
You shrugged. “Got you the job, didn’t I?”
“Yes, you did,” Jaehyun replied, grinning at you charmingly. You felt the skin grow hotter on your forearm and started to itch it again. Rounding the table, Jaehyun reached for your arm, stopping you mid-scratch. With a soul-searching stare, his smile faded. “You should stop that. You might hurt your skin.”
“What?” you breathed out, looking down at where his thumb now caressed the inflamed pink area on your arm. “Oh. Shoot. I didn’t realise I’d done that. Where’s my pawpaw cream?”
Slipping out of his grip, you opened a drawer and dug the tube out with an aha! Jaehyun nodded to himself as you squirted some onto the area before returning to his side of the desk and pulling out more of his belongings from his bag.
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Aren’t you going to say something back?
Two days later, you woke up with another message in the same spot as the two worded one from Tuesday. All week long, you had been waiting for another sign that you hadn’t hallucinated the temporary tattoo onto your skin, and you sat up with a start, looking at the new sentence and running your fingers along it.
You really had a soulmate out there.
Johnny hadn’t said much to you about the change in date on his ankle, and with how busy you had been with Jaehyun’s orientation, you had been spending more time in the office for lunch than out of it. But now with the message boldly inked into your skin, you knew you needed to talk to him about this.
What you weren’t exactly hoping for was Jaehyun tagging along with you both for lunch. Sitting in Johnny’s favourite burger joint, you wondered how to broach the subject without turning it too personal. Hand clamping your lower arm where you had worn another long-sleeved blouse to cover it, you chewed on your bottom lip nervously.
“You know that burger is going to get cold, and you’re sitting with two guys today, Y/N,” Johnny announced, having been deep in conversation with Jaehyun for some time. They seemed to get along as if they had known each other for years, not days.
Jaehyun chuckled. “We won’t hesitate if you’re not hungry.”
“Watch it, Jae. She has a big appetite. Don’t let her appearance convince you otherwise. She threw me under the table during an all you can eat chicken wings contest.”
“Really?” Jaehyun’s eyes widened, and his dimples deepened.
You rolled your eyes and picked up your burger, taking a big bite out of it and gave both of them a pointed look.
“Duly noted. The burger is off-limits,” Johnny announced with a chuckle. “But when you finish that mouthful of yours, are you planning to tell us what’s on your mind or do I need to play mind-reader?”
You choked on your mouthful, reaching for your soda and dragged a decent amount up the straw to dislodge the food before scowling at Johnny. “Can you not put me in predicaments where I could potentially choke to death?”
“How was I meant to know you’d react like that?” he answered with a lazy grin. “Come on, spit it out. Not your food, that is.”
“I was thinking about soulmates,” you admitted, and both men were paying attention to you now. You cringed inwardly at their avid stares. “And some of the ways they present themselves. I have a friend, you see.”
“Not you?” Johnny teased, and Jaehyun smiled, though his eyes didn’t match the reaction. They seemed to regard you a little too well, and you blinked, looking at Johnny again.
“Her trigger finally showed up. A message on her skin. And then it went away. Another arrived asking her if she was going to reply. But truth is, she doesn’t know how to. I’m trying to figure out how to help her.”
Johnny frowned. “Weird. Mine just appeared out of nowhere, and I haven’t had to do anything about it. I assumed it would be the same for my soulmate.”
“You don’t know who your soulmate is?” Jaehyun asked, and Johnny shook his head. “What appeared on you?”
“A countdown date,” you explained, eying Johnny carefully. “Which changed dates recently.”
“Don’t those just remain dormant until the impending date arrives?” Jaehyun mentioned.
Johnny cleared his throat after staring at you silently and shrugged. “I assume so. Makes sense, doesn’t it?”
“But that doesn’t answer how my friend should go about hers. She’s tried talking out loud and thinking the response with all her might, but I doubt anything happened.”
Jaehyun tried to hide a smile by pulling the straw of his milkshake into his mouth.
“That is weird. I’ve never heard of it before. Since when were soulmates so much work?” Johnny commented, and you groaned, slumping into your seat.
“Why not try writing a message back?” You both stared at Jaehyun, who was now focused only on you. “You know, on your skin.”
“I doubt drawing on her skin is going to help,” Johnny refuted, shaking his head.
“What has she got to lose?” Jaehyun challenged, his warm gaze penetrating yours. He quirked his eyebrow slightly and then turned back to his meal.
“I’ll uh, suggest it to her. As you said, what has she got to lose, right?”
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“This is absolutely ridiculous,” you proposed, holding a pen in your dominant hand and angling it to your opposite wrist. Lowering it, you groaned. “I haven’t drawn on my skin since I was a kid.”
And you certainly hadn’t received any messages back from a soulmate, either.
Glancing at the words fading on your forearm, you frowned. So far, you knew only two things. The messages didn’t last long, and all other attempts to reply hadn’t worked.
What has she got to lose?
You thought back to Jaehyun’s sentence at lunch and contemplated his expression. You wondered how he had come up with the concept of writing back and pouted when you realised you should have asked him if he had much experience with his soulmate yet or not.
You were stalling by being up in your head, and so you posed the pen against your skin, trying to be as neat as you could be as you wrote. The last thing you wanted if this actually worked was for your soulmate to think poorly of your handwriting.
I’m saying something back now.
You looked at the sentence and groaned. “Why did I write that?! It’s so lame!”
Reaching for the damp paper towel at your side, you went to wipe it off your skin, but the words faded on their own into you. Or off you. Either way, one minute your message was there, and the next, it was gone.
As was the one your soulmate had left.
“Well, I’ll be damned,” you breathed out, staring at your skin until it prickled and tingled. Blinking, you then gasped.
There you go. Hey there.
“It worked!” you squealed, feeling as if you had unlocked one of life’s greatest secrets. And then you sat there pondering what to say back, reverting to your juvenile years where you wrote love letters to your unknown soulmate at the time. You giggled heartily before clearing your throat and recomposed yourself.
“Let’s write something better this time, Y/N,” you instructed and put the pen to your skin.
Over the next hour, you had figured there were limits to what you could tell your soulmate about yourself. You had asked them who they were, and when they evaded answering outright, you had inked your name into your skin, watching as the words didn’t fade off. Instead, they remained unsent on you. Personal details that would make you easy to find were unable to penetrate through the weird connection, and so you spent your time learning about the person in more creative ways.
You had discovered they were male, however, and this helped somehow solidify an image in your head of him. You couldn’t quite give him a face, but he had admitted to having brown eyes.
The colour you loved most on men.
He was already winning in your books.
After chatting past midnight, you yawned, rolling over in the bed you had brought yourself to and settled under your blankets. You smiled when another message appeared.
I’m beat. Sweet dreams, soulmate.
“I’m getting a goodnight message,” you said softly, a genuine smile splitting your lips. You didn’t realise just how much you had longed for this type of connection until now. Picking up your pen, you tried to rein in some of your euphoria.
I’d say I hope you dream of me, but we don’t have that kind of connection.
A reply came a moment later. You never know. I might be able to conjure you into my head.
Will we chat tomorrow? you replied after giggling at his presumptuous answer. You waited with bated breath, hoping this wouldn’t be the last time you heard from him. When you finally saw his reply, your heart swelled.
You can rely on me to talk to you every single day from here out.
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“Someone’s had a great weekend,” Johnny announced as he and Jaehyun looked up from the desk as you breezed into your office.
You shrugged, but your grin couldn’t be erased from your face. “Why am I not surprised to find you in here? Jaehyun, I understand since this is our office, but Johnny, why aren’t you at your desk? Should we rearrange in here so you can drag your stuff in here too? Since you’re always here.”
“Woah. And here I thought you loved it when I spent all my free time with you.”
“You’re distracting my rookie writer from starting his morning off right.”
Jaehyun pursed his lips together bemusedly.
“We should harness all the positive energy for Jaehyun’s success,” Johnny proclaimed, nodding overdramatically before swinging around to your side and pecking you on the cheek as he often did.
However, you felt weird about it, your thoughts throwing to three different people. Jaehyun. Johnny. And your soulmate. Who should you be concerned over first? You didn’t know why and so you stood there sort of dazed by the normally easy gesture.
Johnny frowned and then waved you both off, disappearing out of the office and shutting the door behind him.
Jaehyun was quietly working on something on his computer as you powered yours on. He didn’t lift his eyes away from the device when he spoke. “Good weekend, Y/N?”
“Yeah. How about you? Get up to much?”
“Not a great deal. Spent most of my time at home.”
“Me too. I was meant to go out with my friends, but I blew them off because I—uh, had some chores I couldn’t keep putting off anymore.”
Jaehyun’s gaze finally lifted to yours, his expression filling with silent laughter. “Chores are more important than friends?”
Not really, you thought, but you had declined going to brunch with Dee and Gabbie so you could spend more time talking with your soulmate.
Which you had practically done nonstop all weekend.
“I assure you that the state of this desk is also the state of my home if I don’t mindfully keep it all in check,” you truthfully expressed, and Jaehyun snorted.
“I had no doubts about that.”
“Hey!” you whined, feeling soothed by his deep chuckle in response.
Jaehyun’s stare fell back to his screen. “Did your friend try replying to her soulmate, by the way?”
“She did. Thank you for your help.”
“No problem. Hope it works out for them.”
“I’m certain it will. She told me that sparks were flying,” you replied, trying to not unleash a giddy smile along with your statement. You didn’t need to let Jaehyun figure out you were, in fact, the friend in question.
“Sparks, huh? He’s a lucky guy then.”
“Do you know your soulmate, Jaehyun?” you wondered casually, and he stopped typing, his gaze not quite meeting yours. You were certain you saw a blush crawl up his neck, and you suppressed a giggle. “You do, huh? I’m happy for you.”
“What about you, Y/N? Have you met yours yet?”
“I’m not sure. Something tells me I have, but it’s very early days. Maybe I’ll get to know him in person soon.”
Jaehyun didn’t answer, not that you needed him to. Settling into your work for the week, you were buzzing with elation.
You finally weren’t on the outside anymore.
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Hey you.
The words made you gasp. Not because you weren’t excited to see the familiar greeting, but it was more about the position of it. Never had a message ended up off your forearm where you had equally sent them back. You hadn’t been naïve to think that was the only spot they could appear, but you hadn’t tested the theory yet either, expecting to only see your soulmate’s personal messages in the same spot every time.
So, when you went to the bathroom just before lunch mid-week and pulled away from drying your hands on the paper towel, you noticed the inked message on the palm of your left hand.
“Oh, you didn’t,” you breathed out, trying to not panic. You had just agreed to lunch out with Johnny and Jaehyun again, and whilst they were people you trusted easily, you didn’t need their perceptive stares discovering the message on your hand.
Then they would know you were the friend you had asked for advice last week.
You thought to reply quickly so it would disappear, but you didn’t have a pen in your purse, causing you to groan loudly. But you did have a band-aid. Thanking the fates above for some saving grace, you peeled the seal off, hiding the message under the band-aid.
Your chest loosened from your panic, and you fingered your palm with a small knowing smile before collecting your belongings and joining the men on the way out of the building. It wasn’t until you were seated and eating a donburi bowl that anyone noticed your cover-up.
Johnny reached out for your hand and flipped it over. “When did you hurt yourself?”
“Oh. Just before.”
“On what?”
“The edge of the paper towel dispenser in the bathroom,” you lied evenly, pulling your hand back. “Thankfully, it’s just a scratch. But I covered it just in case. You can never be too careful out in public.”
Johnny seemed satisfied with your answer, but when you looked up again, Jaehyun was staring at you, his expression smug. He didn’t back down when your eyes caught his, a quirk to his eyebrow happening again, much as it had last Friday.
He was challenging you, but you couldn’t figure out why. Dropping your focus back to your meal, you tried to ignore his attention. Jaehyun was soon staring at your hand, and you wondered if he had guessed you were the friend who received messages on her body after all.
In that moment, you could tell that Jaehyun knew it was you. He had watched you long enough for you to understand there was no other answer for his stare.
Looking at Johnny, who was talking about some new trend celebrities were doing, you relaxed knowing that he was still in the dark. You didn’t know why, but you didn’t want him to know yet.
But Jaehyun knowing kind of excited you.
As soon as you were back in the office, you took a deep breath. “Jaehyun?”
“I can’t help but feel like you are more observant than I give you credit for.”
A ghost of a smile crossed his lips. Not enough to deepen those dimples of his, but you noticed it because you were just as perceptive as he seemed to be. That, and he didn’t try to hide it either. “I won’t bring it up if you don’t want to talk about it.”
Peeling back the band-aid, you held up your palm, showing the message residing there. “I uh, need to thank you for helping me out.”
His eyes washed over the message on your hand, and you tried to figure what emotion resided in his expression. It took you a moment to realise the answer was pride. He was satisfied he had been right about you being the friend in the beginning.
“I covered it because Johnny would see it. I mean, he was onto the band-aid quick enough.”
“You don’t want Johnny knowing you are talking with your soulmate?” Jaehyun asked, his brows furrowing. “How come? Isn’t he your friend?”
“I’m twenty-nine, Jaehyun. Everyone has known about their soulmates longer than I can keep track of. I’m the only one in my group of friends who hasn’t met their soulmate.”
“That you know of,” he countered, and you shrugged.
“Maybe I’ve crossed paths with him. It’s plausible. Which is why I definitely need to be careful around Johnny in case it’s him.”
Jaehyun was dead silent.
“You see, Johnny and I’ve been flirting with one another almost as long as he’s worked here. I hired him and shared this office with him for a month, just like I’m doing with you. But he didn’t have a soulmate at the beginning, and I sure as hell didn’t think I even had one. So, we passed the time just being a little too friendly. Nothing happened outside of flirty banter. But I wanted it to. I actually don’t know why I’m explaining all this to you,” you stumbled to the fork in your thought process, cringing at how much of an oversharer you were.
Jaehyun didn’t respond still, and you watched him carefully. “Should I shut up?”
“I’m intrigued. Why do you think Johnny is your soulmate?”
“I was going to confess my crush to him three months ago. Properly. But then he came in all excited and lifted his leg onto my chair to expose a random date tattooed there. Obviously, he had come across his soulmate and triggered the countdown date for their special meeting. I never thought it was me until recently. The day you started here, he greeted me in the way my soulmate’s first message had appeared. It startled me. And then he told me the date on his ankle changed to my birthday. It’s too convenient, don’t you think?”
“That’s your evidence?” Jaehyun asked, his tone brisk. You blinked several times, and then he closed his eyes and smoothed out his features. “So why not tell him what you think?”
“Well, I was going to write something on my arm when working and check first.”
“What will you do when you don’t see it there?”
“Honestly? I don’t know. Part of me hopes it’s not him these days. When I’m talking to my soulmate, he feels really different from Johnny.”
“Probably is.”
“I’ve unloaded a lot on you just now, and we’re supposed to be working. For some reason, I feel like you know me more than we’ve actually spoken in person. It’s the feeling I get. So, I blabbered on about my honest feelings. Sorry.”
“It’s okay, Y/N. You just sound confused and want clarity.”
“I guess. But I’ve waited twenty-nine years for my soulmate to arrive,” you stated, more for yourself than to agree with him. You smiled. “I’ll be patient for our actual meeting as long as it takes.”
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You didn’t hear from your soulmate for a day, but when he finally replied to you, it was back in the usual spot. You didn’t think too much of it as you eagerly chatted with him all night long. You were on cloud nine from talking about your childhood experiences and sharing fond memories that you rolled onto your stomach and quickly wrote onto your skin without stopping to think about it.
Do you think we’ve ever crossed paths without knowing it?
It wasn’t long until you received a message. What if we know each other already?
Could you? Jaehyun had said that to you too, and whilst you had loosely agreed, you put more weight into it now. Could you know your soulmate in person already? Surely not. Both your friends had a moment in time where they first met their soulmates, and it truly changed their worlds. Then again, their connections kind of called for that. You wanted to believe you would know the man you were falling for if he was standing in front of you.
But you were also only being fuelled on by words. And whilst they spoke volumes in your heart and mind, they didn’t speak out loud.
If we did, would you know it was me at first sight?
You sighed. Then we haven’t met yet. Because I haven’t had that moment myself.
Maybe you have, but it confused you.
Sitting up at his reply, your eyes widened. Was your soulmate insinuating he knew you in real life?! You didn’t know how to take that news, anxiety filling you up. If you already knew him, you wanted to know right now. So you could stop talking through your skin and use your mouth instead.
Your mind flooded with delicious fantasies that made you clamp your legs together.
Would you show me that I know you?
I thought I had already.
“Holy shit. My soulmate knows me.”
Reaching over for your phone, you rang Dee, the woman answering blearily on the fourth ring. “Y/N, you do know what—”
“I have a soulmate.”
Dee was alert immediately. “I’m going to swing by and get Gabbie, and then we’ll be at your place in fifteen.”
You were an excitable bundle of nerves when you opened your door to your best friends, both still in their pyjamas and launching themselves into your ready embrace. You laughed so happily that tears welled in your eyes before they dragged you over to the couch, where you explained everything that had happened.
“Aside from the fact that I’m upset you didn’t tell us right away, this is big news, Y/N!” Gabbie proclaimed, reaching out to shake your hand elatedly.
Dee agreed. “I told you that someone was out there waiting for you.”
“I think he knows me,” you confessed shyly, and both women gasped. “We’ve been having a confusing chat about crossing paths in life, and he’s alluded to it having happened. But I can’t think of who he is.”
“Johnny?” Gabbie offered, and Dee shook her head.
“Why would he have a date on his ankle, and Y/N doesn’t have one too? Your soul connection has to be the same.”
You groaned, realising how stupid you had been thinking it was him even for a second.
“What about that new guy at work. Jaehyun, is that his name?”
“He’s twenty-four.”
“So, your soul isn’t going to care how old he is. You know my old next-door neighbour had a fifteen-year age gap. Six years is nothing, sister.”
You replayed each moment with Jaehyun, trying to gauge if it was truly him. You slowly leaned towards the possibility of it being him. Dee grinned. “It could be, right?”
“It could, yes.”
“We should test it.”
“How? I’ve tried asking point-blank, but the connection won’t allow for it that way.”
“Didn’t you say before that he changed where he wrote a message to you?” Gabbie asked, and you nodded.
“It was on my hand. Right before I went to lunch with— oh my god. He had stared at my hand, and I thought it was because he figured I was the friend asking for advice. Not that it could have been for him to see it in person!”
“Two things,” Dee started, raising her fingers. “You need proof. Try and get him to write in front of you so you can check his handwriting. You share an office, so that shouldn’t be too hard to achieve.”
“Good idea,” Gabbie replied with a nod, and you smiled.
“What’s the second thing?”
Dee smirked. “If you can write anywhere on your body, why not play with that?”
“Dee!” you screamed whilst Gabbie broke out into hysterics.
“I’ve trained her well. And now, we’ll train you too. It’s time to amp things up, don’t you think, Y/N?”
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You went to work the following morning early, grateful that Jaehyun hadn’t arrived first. Diving onto his side of the desk, you started to dig through the various piles of papers there, searching for anything with his handwriting. It was mostly just printouts of sports stats that made little sense to you, and articles about the people he was researching. You knew he carried around a little notebook that he jotted things down in, and noticing it wasn’t on his desk, you assumed he took it home with him.
Resigned, you looked at his stuff and attempted to tidy up the piles you had just sifted through.
“Is something wrong, Y/N?”
You yelped in fright, dropping the pile closest to the floor, papers scattering everywhere. “You gave me a fright.”
“Sorry,” he replied with a wry smile, walking over to your side and bending down to help you collect up the mess. “Though I’m confused at why you were looking through all this.”
“I’ve lost a printout on upcoming summer predictions I had shared with Taeil the other day and decided it wouldn’t be a far cry for it to end up over here, considering how I don’t know how to keep contained to my side.”
It was completely passable since it had happened three times already. Jaehyun’s cautious expression softened, and he let out a laugh as he stood back up. “Of course, you have. Want me to help you find it?”
“Don’t you have your meeting with the sportswriters at nine?” Glancing up at the clock, you smiled with relief. “You have five minutes to get ready.”
“Shoot.” He swung the bag off his back and placed it down in his chair.
That brown notebook appeared right in front of you. Inching towards it, Jaehyun scooped it up before you could reach it, turning for the exit, but you were far too close for him to not bang into you.
The room grew thick with heat.
“You okay?” he asked in a huskier tone, your eyes falling to his covered forearm. “Y/N?”
“I have to go.”
“Right. Of course. Sports meeting.” Stepping back, you cleared your throat and laughed awkwardly. “Off you go. I’ll see you later.”
“Johnny’s not in the office today, is he?” Jaehyun mentioned at the door, and you stopped moving around the desk to look up at him. He smiled softly. “Lunch?”
“Lunch,” you confirmed, enjoying the dimples appearing with how broad his smile was in response.
You were ninety percent certain Jaehyun was your soulmate now.
Twenty minutes after he left, you felt the usual tingle on your skin before words appeared on your arm. Sliding up your sleeve, you grinned at the message.
Are you onto something?
“He’s too clever for his own good,” you murmured, picking up your pen.
You didn’t write it on the usual spot, opting to go for the palm of your hand as he had the other week. It wasn’t even a minute before you got a response in the same place.
You’re getting bolder.
Really? Maybe I’ll have to reply somewhere better next time.
You had to suck in a steadying breath when he responded with, I dare you to.
“We shouldn’t play with fire, but I guess this is one challenge I’m open to trying,” you spoke out into the universe, already know where you planned to leave a message next.
Slipping to the hem of your blouse, you twisted in your seat after lifting it aside and drew a small heart on your torso. Waiting for your response, you realised he might be too busy in his meeting to discover what you had imprinted into his skin, turning back to your work with renewed anticipation for when he could finally reply.
Forty minutes later, Jaehyun stepped into your office, your eyes not going to meet the heavy stare you knew he was giving you. Instead, you smirked when you found his shirt was now untucked when before it tucked into his slacks.
“About lunch,” he started, and you watched as he walked over to the desk. “I need a rain check. Brandon wants me to come with him to interview our baseball team.”
“No worries. I can do lunch by myself.”
“Sure. You know where to find me,” you offered, finally lifting your gaze to his avid stare.
He held you captive as soon as he caught you, and you felt yourself sinking into his warm brown eyes. You didn’t want to stop falling into him, especially now with reason to. Jaehyun was your soulmate. The day he had crashed through that conference door, you should have known. But you were too wound up within your thoughts that you couldn’t possibly have a soulmate to see the proof had been in front of you all this time.
Jaehyun finally drew back from your gaze, swinging around to his side of the desk and pocketing his pen. Without any explanation, he departed back out the door, and you soon felt the tingle in a place you hadn’t expected him to go. You laughed when you unbuttoned your blouse just enough to look at the mound of flesh on your chest.
Two can play this game.
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You didn’t know why you didn’t rush to say it out loud. You both knew the other had figured it out, and yet over the next two days, you continued to write all over your body, the conversation turning far more suggestive than it had ever been. When you woke up and searched your body on Friday morning, you laughed when you found his handwriting on your upper thigh.
Bet you can’t wait until my mouth greets you here instead of my pen.
It was the closest either of you had gotten to the sweet spot, and you decided that whilst you were having too much enjoyment writing your inner thoughts and desires in places for Jaehyun to find them, that he was right.
You wanted his mouth to finally find yours.
You decided to put on a summer dress for the first time since Jaehyun has started working at the magazine. It was a magenta-coloured midi dress that had spaghetti straps, and unless you chucked a light denim jacket over top, there would be no way to hide any messages he sent you now.
You were done with keeping his words hidden in places upon your skin.
Walking into the office, you smiled when Johnny eyed you eagerly. “Wow. What is this?”
“It’s called a dress.”
“Is it work-appropriate?” he wondered, and you rolled your eyes.
“Of course. Everything is covered that needs to be.”
“Huh. Lately, you’ve shown so little skin that I feel like my mind has imploded.”
Before you could refute his cheeky statement, his hand reached for your forearm. You hadn’t even felt the tingle, but your face broke out into a grin. “What’s this? It says, ‘will it be good?’. Did you get a drunken tattoo last night, Y/N?”
You shook your head. “No. It’s my soulmate talking to me.”
“You’re the friend?! No way.”
“I’m jealous. Who’s the lucky guy? Does he know yet?”
You opened the door to your office, and Jaehyun swung around to see you, his mouth falling ajar. You grinned back at Johnny. “Oh yeah. He knows.”
“Wait. I feel like I should know what that means, but… Jaehyun. Do you know that Y/N’s got a soulmate?”
He got up and approached you, nodding his head though his eyes didn’t stray far. “Hey Johnny, Jade was talking about going over your latest article when you arrived today. Thought you might want to make yourself scarce.”
“Thank you for the warning, bro! I owe you.”
The door shut behind Johnny’s escape, and you smirked. “You didn’t answer him properly.”
“I didn’t want to.”
“Because if he wants to know, he should look a little closer.”
“I didn’t know at first,” you pointed out, slipping your hands onto the front of his navy shirt and sliding them up until your palms rested on his chest. “It took me a little while to look close enough.”
“You were convinced it was another guy.”
“Only for about two seconds,” you countered, and Jaehyun chuckled.
“Your real soulmate would have been pretty crushed by that.”
“I’ll make it up to him,” you announced, and Jaehyun’s eyebrows rose.
Stretching up, you pressed your lips into his. The kiss didn’t knock you off your feet or suddenly complete you in a way you hadn’t been before you reached up for his lips like you assumed it would. But it was oh so good. Jaehyun tasted like winter mint and smelled of musk and suede, tantalising all your senses. And when his tongue licked along the seam of your mouth and parted it, you knew that you had been forgiven for confusing anyone but Jaehyun as your soulmate.
Panting when you finally pulled back, you slowly grinned. “So, you like writing on me, huh?”
“I am a trained writer, so it makes sense, doesn’t it?” he fired back, and you laughed heartily.
“It’s a good thing I didn’t listen to Johnny’s advice on who to hire that day. He told me not to have any time for someone who was late.”
“I guess I made a lasting impression then.”
“Oh, that you have.”
Jaehyun grinned for a moment and then reached into his pocket. He wrote something onto his hand, holding it up as the word Mine transferred from his palm to yours.
Taking the pen from him, you returned with the word Yours.
“Should we put the pen writing on hold for a bit?” he wondered as he marvelled at your handwriting on his skin.
You shrugged, reaching up for the nape of his neck, and brought his mouth back to yours. “It comes in handy when we’re not together.”
“Bold of you to assume that now that we’re doing this,” Jaehyun gestured to your mouth and his. “That I’m going to let you out of my sight for long.”
“Is that right?”
“You betcha.”
“Well, I guess since I finally found my soulmate, I ought to make sure he doesn’t ever go anywhere.”
“Believe me,” Jaehyun replied, his mouth hovering over yours. “I have no place I’d rather be than with you.”
Next: Protector
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2jaeh · 6 months ago
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genre: slight humor, smut, very mature themes
warnings: cheating, slight corruption kink, poly themes, cursing, foreplay, just overall based around hooking up, weed and alcohol
preppy!Jaehyun, Badgirl!reader, bff!Taeyong bff!Ten,  Jaehyunxreader, slight taeyongxreader, slight taeyongxten and tenxjohnny,
mentions of Yuta, Hendery and Johnny. 
words: 8k
You had always gotten what you wanted, whether it be a hookup, an exclusive invitation or riling up people you hated. But the one thing you wanted most was Jung Jaehyun, the preppy boy who always did what he was told and followed closely behind his girlfriend. You would do anything to ruin him and have your name be the only one that escaped his lips. 
A/N: okay so I just want to point out that I don't condone cheating or manipulative methods of any sort. The reader, Ten and Taeyong are very confident sexually with other people, and each other. 
0. prequel (taeyong x ten x reader)
1. Freaks pt 1
This was so out of your character but you just wanted him. You didn’t care if he wasn’t yours to take, you needed him. 
Your eyes lifted as the lecture room began to fill in and you unconsciously searched for that tuft of brown hair and set of dimples. You felt  your heartbeat speed up when you saw him find his seat two rows down from you, completely oblivious to your staring. 
“Still going crazy for Jung Jaehyun I see” you heard a familiar voice sing behind you as they scooted into their seat. 
“Ten please shut up someone could’ve heard you” 
“Babe I’d be extremely surprised if someone in this room didn’t know you had the hots for Jaehyun” Ten stuck his tongue out, pulling out his textbook from his backpack. 
You rolled your eyes knowing your best friend was probably right. You had been crushing on Jaehyun since you laid eyes on him a few months ago after attending one of his basketball games and when he dropped in the winning shot you were fucking hooked. 
The only problem was that Jaehyun had a girlfriend, a long term one at that. You didn’t understand what he saw in her. Apart from her looks, she was quite abrasive and had a habit of making everyone around her feel like shit. Jaehyun on the other hand was a sweetheart. He tried his best to meet everyone’s expectations and was able to adapt in many different social circles. 
Anyone else knew that going after someone who was in a relationship was a dick move, and you did get to an extent, the whole respectful bullshit or whatever. But you and Ten being the assholes that you were, thought that if there was an opening, it’s not as solid as it should be. 
“It’s simple” Ten said as the two of you grabbed ice coffee at the campus cafe, “other people usually just go head on and flirt with someone right off the bat” 
He took a sip of his drink and hummed,
“You need to play the field, you need to make them realize that their options are open.” 
“Very insightful Dr. Lee” you laughed and hooked arms with him, making your way over to a table that was covered by a cherry blossom tree. 
You and Ten noticed Jaehyun and his girlfriend emerge from the lecture hall hand in hand as she pulled him over to her pretentious group of friends. 
“I want him so fucking bad” you groaned as you continued watching him be happy with someone else. 
“Who wants who so bad ?” You heard a giggle and Taeyong, your other close friend made his way over to your table. 
“The never ending Jaehyun and y/n saga” Ten mused, making space for Taeyong on the bench. 
“Not him again” Taeyong took a sip of your coffee, “why do you always like those preppy guys ?” 
“He’s not preppy! He’s like us! You guys just don’t know the real him” you argued, your eyes still filled with stars as you watched him remove his jacket and flex his arms in his plain white tee. 
“Like us?” Taeyong pointed toward Ten, “Ten has fucked half of the swim team and four of them are still trying to get in a relationship with him.” 
You snickered as Ten seemed proud of his achievements, smoothing out his hair and smirked, “I find my true love in different ways okay.” 
The three of you laughed at Tens words but Taeyongs words didn’t bother you. In no way were you like Ten. You didn’t bother with people you weren’t interested in emotionally let alone physically. Jaehyun was the only spark in your eye and the only person on the entire campus that you wanted.
“Anyway there’s a party tonight at Taeil’s place you guys wanna go ?” Taeyong looked between you and Ten for an answer. 
“Yeah fuck it” you responded, popping a piece of ice into your mouth. 
“Let’s just get hammered and maybe y/n will realize there’s other men out there other than Jung Jaehyun” Ten pinched your arm to snap you out of another daydream. 
You hoped his words were true. You really hoped you could get out of this rut. 
The cab pulled up at a frat house and the three of you jumped out, dressed up in outfits people were bound to stare down at. This was what you loved most about Ten and Taeyong. There’s no pretending, no reason to hide your true personality in order to please others. You three had fun dressing the way you want, doing whatever the hell you wanted with whomever you wanted. 
“Hey y/n if you looking for someone to help you forget...I’m always available” Taeyong growled in your ear as he grabbed your ass. 
“Down boy” Ten patted Taeyong’s back as he pulled out a cigarette. 
The three of you were quite comfortable sexually with each other too. There had been many drunken nights where your lips were on Taeyong or Ten or Ten and Taeyong on each other. Many people on campus spoke about your scandalous friendship but to you guys it was very natural. 
“I’m gonna get us drinks” Taeyong disappeared into the crowd as strangers already started approaching Ten from different directions. You were a bit more lowkey than they were and preferred to stick to the shadows and hang out with the more obscure personalities campus had to offer. 
You had found Hendery, one of your art major friends standing against the wall, nodding his head to the music as he dragged in what looked like a blunt.
“Hendery!” You poked him cutely and he pulled you into a tight hug, engulfing you with his marijuana fumes. 
“Hey y/n you enjoying yourself ?” He smiled sweetly, his character always being chilled out. 
“I’m good” you took the blunt and placed it to your lips as you took in a long pull. Hendery’s stuff was weak but good enough to make you relax under the loud music and bodies of people. 
You leaned up against the wall and noticed a familiar face on the far end of the room, beer in hand and nodding his head to the music. 
It was Jung Jaehyun. 
Your first instinct was to search for his stupid girlfriend but you quickly realized that she and her friends were not at this party. 
What the hell was he doing at a place like this ? 
You had no idea whether it was the weed or the clouded room but you felt his eyes on you for a brief second, before taking a sip of his drink and brought his gaze back. 
‘Fuck he was so hot’ you thought, unconsciously biting down on your lip and squeezing your thighs together. 
Jaehyun was dressed in a loose black tee and fitted jeans. His brown hair was messy and his lips seemed swollen from wetting them too much. 
Your feet began moving. You maneuvered your way through the crowd and kept your gaze on him until you now stood in front of Jung Jaehyun, the man you have been desperately wanting for two months. 
“Hey there” you moved next to him on the wall casually, “you’re in my business class right?” 
“Oh yeah you sit in the back ?” Jaehyun replied with a smile and held out his hand, “I’m Jaehyun” 
You took his hand in yours and felt a shiver down your spine at the contact. 
“I’m y/n, it’s nice to meet you Jaehyun” you replied as your eyes drifted down to his lips, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you at a party like this before ?” 
Jaehyun narrowed his eyes at you and chuckled shyly, 
“I came here with my basketball friends, you do these kind of parties often ?” 
“Yeah most of my friends are here, I was surprised to see a good boy like you here” you kept your eyes focused on the crowd even though you clearly felt Jaehyun shift by your choice of words. 
“A good boy?” He lifted his eyebrow. 
“Yeah well you’re not friends with my friends and we’re quite bad....I assume you’re one of the good ones” you mused, running your fingers through your hair. 
You felt Jaehyuns eyes fall on you briefly, “you don’t seem...bad though” 
“That’s because you don’t know me Jaehyun” you smiled sweetly and looked up at him, “can I get your number ? Maybe you can hang out with me and my friends sometime” 
Jaehyun shifted awkwardly holding onto his phone but despite having a few drinks he still felt a sense of guilt. 
“I - um have a girlfriend,” he said under his breath. 
“Jaehyun I asked for your number to hang out at a party like this” you turned to him and pursed your lips, “I don’t have a problem with getting dick if that’s what you’re insinuating” 
You watched as he waved his hand, clearly embarrassed and handed you his phone, “I’m sorry I just- here” 
Taking his phone you added your number in and sent a text in order to save his number into your phone and handed it back, 
“Thanks, I’ll see you around I guess” 
Jaehyun watched you disappear into the crowd and he felt his ears heat up after the encounter, you had him in the palm of your hand within minutes. 
You already knew he’d be watching. You found Taeyong in the crowd and Taeyong being Taeyong already had his hands on your waist, turning your body so your back was against his chest. You rested your head on his shoulder as he rocked his hips against your ass, placing a soft kiss on your neck as you swayed to the music. 
Taeyong knew what you were doing too. He already saw you talk to Jaehyun earlier on and he was more than happy to help his best friend out. 
You didn’t bother looking at Jaehyun while you danced with Taeyong but Taeyong did. He kept his eyes on Jaehyun as he marked you as his, biting into your shoulder as his free hand found  the lining of your crop top and pushed  his hand under your shirt. 
Jaehyun bit down on his lip, trying his best to look away as you were completely lost in Taeyongs touch. He realized that you were very different to him indeed, clearly unbothered by what people thought of you. 
Even if he were single, he didn’t think he had it in him to make you feel the Taeyong did right now. 
After a long night the three of you headed back to Ten’s dorm room. Crashing onto his bed and pulling off your boots, you sighed deeply as the headache from the party began to set in. 
“Hey thank you for that tonight Tae” you winked at Taeyong who was spread out on the floor shirtless, trying to order food. 
“The least you could’ve done was help out my damn boner” Taeyong scoffed, “I nearly exploded at the party y/n” 
“Was that for Jaehyun?” Ten asked, sitting at his vanity and removed his eye makeup. 
“Mmm” you groaned and hugged Ten’s pillow, “I have his number now, not sure if he has the guts to text though since Taeyong was practically fucking me in front of him” 
“Hey” Taeyong protested and sat up, “he watched the whole damn thing, he was probably into it.” 
Ten tossed you an oversized tee before joining you in bed, “maybe our Jaehyun is a bad boy after all” he teased. 
You shook your head and shrugged out of your party clothes and threw on Tens shirt, sinking into the bed and opened Jaehyuns contact. 
JJH: When’s the next party ? 
Holy shit. 
You decided to leave Jaehyun on read for the weekend. On the inside you were screaming but you had to keep your composure. You remembered what Ten had said, ‘you need to find that hole, make them realize their options are open.’ 
It was already Monday and you had to see Jaehyun face to face for the first time since the party. You walked into the lecture and he was already there, seated up front and his eyes lit up when he saw you walk through the doors. 
He shot you a nervous smile and a small wave, making sure it was subtle enough for the people around him to not notice.
As much as you wanted to stare back you kept your eyes focused on the lecture slides in front of you, knowing very well that Jaehyun had turned back for the third time in 30 minutes to look at you. 
“Baby boy is thirsty” Ten smirked, leaning into you as he watched Jaehyun turn around again, flustered at Ten staring him down. You playfully nudged Ten, “you're scaring him,” Ten chuckled at your words and returned to his work as you yourself felt a bit bashful that Jung Jaehyun was finally paying attention to you. 
Class had ended and you walked over to the usual spot, Taeyong was already sprawled out on the bench taking in the afternoon sunlight. “Do you even try to act normal ?” Ten knocked Taeyong’s leg out of the way and flicked his exposed nipple. 
“Ow don't do that it turns me on” he whined, 
“Everything turns you on Taeyong'' you giggled and placed a kiss on his cheek before taking a seat next to him. Taeyong growled and pulled you closer to him, straddling the bench, placing his legs on either side of you. Sometimes you wondered what people thought of the three of you. Ten had mentioned once that someone on the swim team thought you guys were in a polyamorous relationship. As much as all three of you fooled around there was only one hookup that led to a threesome, but that was a story for another day. 
“I still haven't texted him back” you spoke, stuffing a piece of banana muffin in your mouth. 
“I thought you wanted to jump this guy” Taeyong scoffed. 
“He’s still in a relationship and even told me so that night” you explained looking over to where Jaehyun was seated with the rest of the preppy business students and his girlfriend, “If he was drunk enough to stay faithful that means I don't have an opening yet.”
“Is that why he keeps looking over here while sitting next to his girlfriend ?”
Taeyong’s words made you look up and ofcourse Jaehyun was looking over at you despite having an arm around his girlfriend. This time it was less subtle than in the lecture room. He talked with his friends but you had his full attention, making sure to look over at your table every few minutes. 
“If it isn't my favorite polygamists” a low voice bellowed from behind Ten and the three of you looked up and realized it was Ten’s boy of the semester, Johnny Suh. 
“It's really weird when you call us that you know?” Ten rolled his eyes as Johnny hugged him from behind and slid into the seat next to him. Johnny followed your eyes over to where Jaehyun sat and smirked, “Jaehyun ? seriously? You're literally too hot to be chasing someone as boring as him y/n”
“Shut up he is not boring” you popped another piece of the muffin in your mouth.
You studied Jaehyun as you noticed his girlfriend tried to bring his attention back to her conversation, completely unaware that her boyfriend was looking at another girl. Why would she ? She had everything. The perfect grades, the perfect face and body, and the perfect boyfriend. Jaehyun took a look at his beautiful girlfriend as she spoke, he knew why he liked her and why their relationship worked but why did he feel as if he were missing out. His eyes drifted again to that table at the back where the art students sat. They always seemed to have the best time despite half the campus avoiding them or calling them weird for being themselves. A part of him wished he was free to do that too. He was deeply interested in music and the arts, but was scared to share his tastes as he didnt want to be an outcast to his friends. Jaehyun shifted in his seat as he watched that blonde haired guy from the party wrap his hands around your waist, freely caressing your skin in front of everyone as you nonchalantly ate your lunch. 
Arin, Jaehyun’s girlfriend stopped her conversation and followed her boyfriend's eyes to the table at the back. 
“Urgh those freaks have no shame, imagine what their parents would think of them” she pulled her face as her friends hummed in agreement. 
“The other day I saw the black haired guy and Johnny from the basketball team making out in the bleachers” another girl said and Jaehyun noticed Johnny, one of his team mates sitting comfortably with the small black haired boy he always saw you with during your business lecture. 
“T-that reminds me I need to tell Johnny about the meeting today” Jaehyun scratched the back of his head, he didn't know why he wanted to go over there but he was curious to know what you all were like during a campus setting. 
Arin took a sip of her ice latte and flipped her golden brown hair over her shoulder, “can't you just text him ?”
Jaehyun cleared his throat and found himself standing up, throwing his satchel over his shoulder,
“He doesn't answer his texts, I'll be about five minutes.”
Jaehyun gently stroked Arin’s head as she just shrugged, not really finding him suspicious. Why would Jaehyun be interested in people like that ? He was a good guy and he felt most comfortable with her and their circle of friends. 
Meanwhile at your table you four were in deep discussion about Johnny’s little halloween get together. 
“Why are you only inviting 20 people ?” Taeyong’s eyebrows knitted together, “that's not a party that's a meeting.”
“Because Taeyong, I want it to be an intimate vibe you know” Johnny answered and gestured with his arms in the air, “I cant stand half of this fucking campus and I just want to hang out with the people I actually give a shit about”
“You only met us like a month ago, how did we make the cut?” You raised your eyebrow at him and smirked. 
Ten stood up and threw his hands around Johnny and kissed his forehead, “That's because he met me and realized we're the coolest people on campus” Johnny smiled bashfully, completely smitten by Ten as he nodded, “It's true.”
“Uhm Hi..” The four of you stopped your conversation to look at Jaehyun who stood at your table, hands in his pocket, pressing  his lips together nervously which made his dimples more prominent. 
“Whats up Jae ?” Johnny greeted as the rest of you exchanged a few glances. 
Jaehyun briefly looked over at you but he quickly looked away thanks to Taeyong who was placing open mouth kisses on your neck. You smiled to yourself as Jaehyun squirmed uncomfortably, much like everyone that was ever in the presence of you three. Except Johnny ofcourse, he was a weird one. 
“I just came over to let you know that we have a basketball meeting at 3 today” Jaehyun spoke in a surprisingly calm tone. 
“Oh cool thanks for letting me know man” Johnny played the part of the oblivious friend really well, “By the way this is Ten, thats y/n and the guy practically having her for lunch is Taeyong.” 
Taeyong looked up and smiled at Jaehyun and you squeezed his knee, preventing him from doing or saying anything stupid when Jaehyun broke the silence, 
“Oh yeah I actually know Ten and y/n from my business lecture” Jaehyun spoke as his eyes met yours. 
Ten noticed the tension between you two and a menacing smirk spread across his face, “Well since we all know each other you should come to Johnny's halloween party Jaehyun” 
“Halloween party ?” Jaehyun repeated,
“Yeah you should come along, I mean you were asking when is the next party” you added and Jaehyun felt his ears heat up at your words. He had no idea why it felt almost promiscuous just talking to you. 
“I'll let you know the details after the meeting, oh and you're free to bring your girl if you want” Johnny grinned and you don't know why, but his words felt like a stab in the chest. 
You all watched Jaehyun nod shyly and retreat back to his friends as the rest of you turned your heads to face Johnny. “Hey I just wanted to let him know that he could,” Johnny stated, raising his hands up to defend himself. 
“Well I guess if he does bring her then he’s not interested in you, and if he doesn't….”  Ten’s words trailed off as you bit down your lip and you watched Jaehyun turn back to look at you before sitting down next to Arin. 
“I guess we shall see” you murmured. 
It was the next day you had just finished all your classes and decided to spend a relaxing evening alone at your dorm. You got into an old band shirt and underwear after a steaming shower and jumping on your bed ready to navigate through your social media. 
Your phone vibrated and your eyes gleamed at the sight of Jaehyuns name blinking across the screen. 
JJH: hey
JJH: how many people are going to this party ? 
You lingered on his open message for a while but decided to reply to him this time instead of leading him on. 
Y/n: I think Johnny said about 20’s very small. 
JJH: oh I see. 
JJH: you’re going with your...boyfriend right ? 
Y/n: boyfriend ? 
JJH: I think his name is Taeyong
Your lips curled into a smirk. Jaehyun was definitely curious about your relationship with Taeyong, and it could mean he was trying to figure out more about you. 
y/n: Taeyong is not my boyfriend 
You looked at the three dots that signaled he was typing, it seemed to take a while before your phone finally vibrated again. 
JJH: oh, I see. Uhm so do we have to dress up ? 
Y/N: yeah ! It’s a Halloween party Ofcourse we have to, did Johnny not tell you ? 
JJH: I don’t fully believe anything he says so I just wanted a second opinion. 
Y/n: well dress up, or else I’ll be very disappointed Jaehyun...
Another moment of silence this time it was longer than the last one. Finally your phone lit up and Jaehyuns name popped up, 
JJH: what are you wearing ? 
JJH: I mean like to the party not right now
JJH: like costume .... 
JJH: that message came out so weird I’m sorry 
You giggled to yourself wishing you were there with him to see his ears redden and him stumble over his words as he got nervous around you. God he was so fucking cute. 
y/n: it’s a surprise ! 
JJH: oh I see.. 
y/n: I’m sure you and Arin can figure something out, anyways I gotta go...I’ll see you around Jae.
Jaehyun's eyes narrowed on your message. He felt an adrenaline rush while he texted you. To him, you were the coolest girl on campus and he couldn’t believe you even bothered to text him back. 
But then his shoulders dropped when he saw Arins name. It was like a dark cloud looming over his head. He had no idea if he should let Arin know about the party, it’s not like she’d agree to come anyway, did that mean he shouldn’t go too ? 
It was finally the evening of the party and you Taeyong and Ten decided to get ready at your dorm. Ten scoffed as Taeyong emerged from the bathroom in red leather pants and a black harness that covered his bare chest.
“You're supposed to wear a costume you know ?” Ten raised his eyebrow as Taeyong strutted around the room looking like a red light district stripper. 
“I AM in costume baby, i'm a devil” Taeyong pouted and placed a pair of novelty devil horns on his head. 
“Fuck if this Jaehyun thing really doesn't work out I want a piece of that” you licked your lips as Taeyong’s smirk grew, “I told you all you gotta say when and where” he purred. 
“y/n I know you love fucking around with twinks but can you please concentrate on the task at hand ?” Ten grumbled and pushed his phone in front of you, waving Jaehyuns instagram in front of your face. 
You bit down on your lip as you noticed Jaehyun posted a semi shirtless picture for the first time and the comments were absolutely wild. Many people thought he was hacked and the others were just asking him to jump them. You also noticed a lot of people tagging Arin under the thirst comments which she replied simply with a like. 
“You think he is gonna show up tonight and bring her ?”  you pouted while applying a coat of lip gloss. 
“Either way baby we will have a good time, I'll guarantee you that” Ten stroked your head before heading to the bathroom to prep his costume. You shimmied into your zombie cheerleader costume, ignoring Taeyong’s whistles as he caught a glimpse of your lacy two piece set. The only person you wanted to see your newly bought lingerie was Jaehyun. 
Ten finally emerged from the bathroom in an all black shiny leather pants with a matching crop top long sleeve. He looked absolutely delicious with his hair gelled back and his dark  eye make-up accentuated his cat-like eyes. 
“And what the fuck are you supposed to be?” you chuckled, mouth still gaping as you took in his gorgeous figure. 
“Im a cat!” Ten posed cutely, turning his hands into cat paws and brought them up to his face. 
“You look like a dominatrix” Taeyong snorted, earning a flick on the forehead from Ten. 
You stood up and smoothed out your extremely short skirt as you slipped into your hot pink platform boots. You were going for a cute zombie cheerleader, tearing up a bit of your clothes gave you an excuse to show a bit of that expensive lingerie. 
“Is my outfit okay ?” you chewed on your bottom lip as you turned to face Ten and Taeyong. 
“Babe I've never seen you this nervous before” Ten groaned as he wrapped his arms around your waist from behind. It's true, you were a very confident person but you were so clued up on what attracted Jaehyun and what didn't that you began second guessing yourself constantly. 
“I...I just want him to like me” You played with the hem of your shirt, when you felt Taeyong stand up and approach the two fo you. 
“If he doesn't like you, for you...then he isn't worth it” Taeyong patted your head and his other hand grabbed Ten’s shoulder, pulling the both of you into a tight hug. It felt good knowing you always had them, they were your soulmates, your ride or die, they meant the absolute world to you. 
“If it all doesn't work out lets come back here and fuck” Taeyong whispered and you pushed him off playfully, while Ten pulled his face as he returned to his vanity, “classic Taeyong” he shook his head. 
The three of you arrived at Johnny’s apartment and you could already hear the chill hip hop playlist vibrating against the door. Ten rolled his eyes as he punched in the door code, “I’ll have to do something about that music,” he tutted, as the three of you walked in greeted by your usual group of friends. 
There were a few of Johnny’s basketball mates, the cool ones who snuck around smoking weed with the stoners. You nodded at the familiar faces, Yuta the resident tattoo artist from fourth year, Hendery the distributor from your year and Chaeyoung from Ten’s fashion design class. 
Everyone seemed to be in costume, you didn't expect anything less from a group of creatives. Suddenly Johnny emerged from the kitchen holding a few bottles when his eyes lit up at the sight of Ten. Johnny shoved the drinks to an unsuspecting man and jogged over while you and Taeyong tried to stifle your laughter. 
“Johnny darling what are you supposed to be dressed as?” Ten mused as his eyes narrowed on Johnny’s selection of outfit. 
“Im Tony the Tiger baby!” Johnny flexed, obviously amused by his own outfit as he spun around in his tiger onesie. 
“You didn't tell us Johnny was a furry” Taeyong teased as Ten backhanded his abdomen. You could tell that Ten liked Johnny unlike his usual flings. If any of the others pulled this type of stunt he would have walked straight out of this party and called over a side piece. 
“Okay Tony the Tiger, can you take a picture of me and my loves for the gram ?” Ten mused and handed his phone over to Johnny. The three of you posed sexily as Johnny hyped you all up, capturing every angle possible. Ten immediately updated the picture to instagram and the likes and comments immediately flew in, asking what party you guys were at. This was how it always was. Nobody wanted to be friends with you guys but nobody wanted to miss out on your adventures together. 
Jaehyun took a look at himself in the mirror, adorning his basketball outfit and topped it off with a sweatband around his head. “This is fucking dumb” he thought, second guessing using his team outfit as a halloween costume. The problem was he was told on such short notice that he couldn't really prepare for it. What if their idea of halloween was just dressing up normally, or what if they went all out and he would be the only one in a basic costume ?
Jaehyun sucked in a deep breath as he took a seat on his bed and scrolled through his feed to settle his nerves. While scrolling he noticed one of his friends shared Ten’s post to his story, and immediately clicked it, sucking on his bottom lip as the picture of the three of you unfolded. 
You guys were in a different league indeed. Unbelievably confident in your outfits, knowing that everyone was wishing for a chance to be with one of you. Jaehyun’s eyes drifted to you and he felt his breathing hitch, feeling like a prepubescent teen looking at a girl for the first time. 
A knock at the door jolted him out of his thoughts and he opened the door to Arin accompanied by three of their friends. Arin reached up and placed a soft kiss on Jaehyun’s lips before entering his dorm and taking a seat on his bed.
“Why are you in your basketball uniform ?” Arin questioned as she scrolled through her phone. 
“I...Am going to attend a party..” Jaehyun scratched the back of his head as all eyes were on him. A boy named Minhyuk, Jaehyun knew through Arin cocked his head in confusion, “You're going to a party wearing your uniform ?” 
“It's a costume party, I was invited by Johnny” Jaehyun replied to him yet his eyes were Arin waiting for a response. Arin looked up at him and scrunched up her nose, “aren't all those freaks at that party ?”
“Yeah well I'm going for the team, If you want. you can come along” Jaehyun didn't even try to sound convincing, there was no way he wanted Arin or any of his business class friends accompanying him tonight.  It didn't have anything to do with you or his odd attraction to the group, it was rather a test for himself, he wanted to see if that kinda lifestyle was what he was craving. 
“I’ll pass” Arin chuckled dryly and grabbed her purse before placing a peck on Jaehyuns cheek, “you go for a bit darling, I know it's a team thing, when you're bored come find us at the country club wine night.” 
Jaehyun watched everyone leave his dorm and he sighed deeply, still feeling like he lied even though he completely told Arin the truth about his future whereabouts. 
“Where is the loverboy ?” Johnny nudged you as you poured yourself another shot of vodka and redbull. You shrugged already deciding on not keeping your hopes up when you heard one of Johnny's frat buffoons scream Jaehyun's name. Spinning on your heels you turned toward the entrance and noticed his shy frame greeting the guys from the basketball team. 
“He wore his basketball uniform, Oh my God” Ten snickered along with Taeyong and Johnny. 
“He looks hot shut up” You bit down on your lip as your eyes locked with his and he made his way over to you. Jaehyun ruffled his hair as he mumbled a few hellos to Taeyong and Ten before giving Johnny a handshake. 
“Glad you made it man, Arin here too ?” Johnny threw his arm around Jaehyun and shoved a beer in his hands. Jaehyun shook his head and took a sip of his beer, “nah it's just me” he spoke and looked over at you. On the outside you probably looked composed but on the inside you were screaming victories. Ten could definitely see the excitement and shot you a wink before clearing his throat, 
“Well now that you're here we can finally play spin the bottle!” 
“S-spin the bottle ?” Jaehyun chewed on his lip nervously,
“Yeah but like just a few of us come on let's go to Johnny's room” Ten hooked arms with Johnny as he grabbed a few more drinks for you guys to enjoy in privacy. 
Jaehyun waited until you were left and the two of you made your way down the hallway to Johnny’s room. You brushed against his bare arm as you walked and looked up at him, “I love your costume, very original” you chuckled and Jaehyun blushed. 
“It was short notice, I look stupid but you on the other hand” Jaehyun’s eyes drifted over your figure, “y-you look amazing” 
“Thank you Jaehyun.” 
You entered the room and noticed Ten had collected Yuta, Hendery, Chaeyoung and one of the fourth years Seungyoun to play the game with the rest of you. Taeyong raised his eyebrow as everyone took a seat in a circle, “Did Ten handpick players for a game or an orgy ?”
Everybody chuckled but Jaehyun shifted awkwardly in the seat next to you. You placed a reassuring hand on his arm and his eyes darted to you, looking like a lost puppy,
“He tends to speak rubbish just ignore him” you smiled. Jaehyun nodded and pressed his lips together as Ten cleared his throat in order for everyone to pay attention,
“Okay please keep the dares spicy but not too spicy we have some taken people in the circle” 
Jaehyun looked around the room and noticed the girl called Chaeyoung thank Ten for his words, making him a bit more comfortable that he wasn't the only one in a relationship playing this game. Ten was the first to spin and the bottle landed on Hendery, who was in the middle of lighting a blunt. 
“What me first ?” he whined and gave Ten his best puppy eyes in order to go easy on him. 
Ten licked his lips and looked around the room, “I dare you to swop boxers with Seungyoun” 
The room filled with whistles and disgusted noises as Johnny pointed to his en suite bathroom for the exchange to go down. You all watched as Hendery and Seungyoun disappeared into the bathroom for a good ten minutes and emerged with Seungyoun adjusting his crotch area clearly irritated. 
“His fucking boxers are too tight” Seungyoun groaned while the rest of you laughed at his complaints. 
Hendery spun the bottle and it landed on you, which made you feel a little at ease as Hendery wasn't the meanest person you knew. 
“Do a body shot off of Yuta’s bare body” he said returning to light his precious blunt. 
Yuta tore his shirt off within seconds and lay in the middle of the circle with a lemon slice in his mouth. Jaehyun had no fucking idea what a body shot was but he felt his heartbeat speed up as he watched you sprinkle a line of salt down Yuta’s abs and straddle his lap confidently. He had never seen people be this comfortable with each other, he barely even uttered a word of his sex life to any of his friends. 
“Yuta get your hand off y/n’s thigh” Taeyong snapped, as Yuta smirked still licking the lemon slice that was placed between his teeth. 
You chugged back the shot of tequila and pinned Yuta’s wrists to the floor as your tongue slowly licked up the salt from his body. Jaehyun watched everything intently, you were a pro, so natural and experienced with things like this. He unconsciously licked his lips as you retrieved the lemon slice from Yuta’s mouth, your tongues touching for a brief second before you climbed off him and returned to your seat. 
“My turn” you sang and spun the bottle which landed on Johnny. He shot you a dashing smile still sitting in his tiger onesie with his arms wrapped around Ten. 
“Since you want to be part of our group so bad, here's an initiation..Kiss Taeyong” you smirked as Johnny’s mouth dropped and Ten burst into a fit of laughter. 
Taeyong shrugged and raised his eyebrow at Johnny, to him shit like this didn't phase him at all. Johnny slowly crawled over to Taeyong and hesitantly leaned in, his huge frame comically shaking in front of the small man. Johnny placed a finger under Taeyongs chin and kissed him softly for about a minute until he yelled and stood up, 
“He stuck his tongue in my mouth!” Johnny whined, 
“And ? How else do you kiss ?” Taeyong rolled his eyes and wiped his lips as the bigger man continued throwing a fit until Ten calmed him down, 
“It's your turn baby” 
Johnny frowned but spun the bottle, this time it landed on Jaehyun who now sat upright as everyone's eyes were now on him. 
“Please go easy on him” you mused and rubbed Jaehyun’s back in order to calm him down. 
“'s okay I can handle it” Jaehyun responded with a small smile and looked up at Johnny. 
“Okay” Johnny began, “because you're my homie all you gotta do is take off your shirt and keep it that way for the rest of the game.”
Jaehyun felt the tension as he got to his feet and caressed the hem of his shirt. Everyone watched in anticipation as he slowly lifted his shirt, quickly pushing it over his head and discarded it behind him. You marvelled at his toned body, wishing everyone else were not in the room so you could jump him. Heck everybody could watch, you wanted him so bad. 
Everyone whistled as Jaehyun took his seat and his cheeks reddened slightly, he couldn't believe he was sitting shirtless with a group of people he barely knew. 
The game went on with various pairings taking part in stupid dares until Johnny called the end to the game because he wanted all of you to socialize with everyone else on the outside but you all knew he just wanted everyone out of his bedroom so he could fuck Ten. 
The party moved on and you found yourself lingering in the hallway just sipping on your drink when you noticed Jaehyun watching you from a few feet away. You shot him a smile, giving him an invitation to join you and he finally gathered the courage to do so. 
“Hey” Jaehyun smiled and leaned on the wall opposite you. His eyes would briefly move to your body and each time he would mentally scold himself which you noticed and found amusing. 
“You know Jaehyun if you find me attractive it's not a crime” you smirked, 
“What's in my mind feels like a crime though” 
“Oh?” you cocked your head to the side, “and what's on your mind?” 
Jaehyun blushed and bit down on his lip, “you don't want to know” 
This was it, the opening. You slowly walked over to Jaehyun and when he didn't move you moved even closer, just a few inches away from his body. Jaehyun gulped as he watched you lick your lips seductively and your dark eyes looked up at him. 
“Do you want to show me ?” you purred and ghosted your fingers lightly across his bicep. 
“Fuck I want to….but” 
You placed your index finger to your lips and shook your head, “There's a reason you came over here Jaehyun, and if you cared about your relationship you wouldn't allow me to be this close right now”
You pushed yourself up on your toes and placed your lips against his ear, “I’ll give you one last chance, tell me no and walk out of this party, go back to her and forget about me or stay and show me what's on that dirty mind of yours.” 
Jaehyun felt goosebumps on his skin, he had never felt this way with anyone in his entire life. With Arin their sex life was pretty vanilla and whenever he would try to spice it up, she would shut him down and say she wasn't interested. But here with you, he was hard as rock just by your words. He couldn't even imagine what it probably felt like to have you bent over and him have his way with you. The only thing on his mind was ruining your pretty make-up as he took you from behind.
You moved closer again, challenging him in order to make up his mind but he surprised you by licking his lips as he looked down at you with hungry eyes. Within seconds your lips were attached to his and you felt dizzy with ecstasy. He was sweeter than you dreamed and he matched your desperation as he caressed your face groaning into the kiss finally releasing his pent up stress. 
You pulled away and Jaehyun whined already missing your lips and you giggled cutely, “before I continue I do want to say that I do like you Jaehyun like fucking really like you” 
“You like me ? why? Aren't I too boring for you” his eyes looked at you puzzled. You grabbed his hand and led him into the free bedroom next to Johnny's room and locked the door behind you, drowning out the noise from the party. 
“Yeah I like you and no you're not boring you're one of us, I know it” 
Jaehyun felt flushed, he somehow felt he was included in something he had always been missing. Despite all the sexual innuendos and the drugs sex and alcohol lifestyle that became the brand of the group he saw something more. Everyone was comfortable and nobody judged him here. Sure he didn't fit in and they could've easily outcast him like the prep group would've, but everyone was so nice to him. On top of all of that he was incredibly attracted to you, and now that you had confessed to him he only wanted you more. 
From the first night you approached him he was floored. He wished he swapped places with Taeyong just to make you feel like you were on cloud 9. He loved how unapologetically yourself you were and all he wanted was to learn from you. Learn more about himself and explore freely without feeling boxed in. 
“Fuck y/n I like you too, from the moment I laid eyes on you I wanted you” Jaehyun groaned and placed his hands on your shoulders, “I’ll deal with Arin right now if you want me too, Im yours.”
You bit down on your lip and pulled him closer by his waistband as he noticed your eyes darken under the dimmed lights,
“No….I kinda wanna fuck you while she thinks she still has you” You mewled, and licked your lips.
Your words made Jaehyun go crazy and his lips were back on yours this time rougher than before. He practically ripped open your skirt as you rid yourself of your boots,
“Shit fuck im sorry I’ll buy you another” he cursed and you chuckled leading him over to the bed. You discarded his shirt and basketball shorts, purring at the sight of his greek statue-like physique. Jaehyun helped you out of your shirt and ran his large hands over your breasts and lower back as you straddled him. This exchange was different for you too. Many hookups were just filled with lust but none had this type of passion and desperation. There were moments where you and Jaehyun would just exchange gazes, completely in awe of the other person. 
You ran your fingers below the waistband of his boxers and felt his hardened member twitch at your touch. Jaehyun moaned into your ears as you teased him, stroking him gently while nipping away at his neck. “You gonna be a good boy and let me mark you ?” you cooed and Jaehyun whined in response, turning his head allowing you to turn his pale skin purple. 
“Baby Arin is gonna see what i've done to your neck, should I stop?” 
“No please dont...stop” Jaehyun squirmed underneath you completely under your spell. 
You pulled down Jaehyun’s boxers and watched his member spring up and hit his abdomen. You quickly rid yourself of your bra and panties and rolled onto your back, spreading your legs and turned your head to Jaehyun, 
“Show me how much you want me baby, show me what you were thinking about earlier on” you moaned and Jaehyun thought he was going to explode just by how needy you were for him. 
Jaehyun sat up and hovered over you as his eyes softened, running his hand over your body “If its too much, please let me know” you reached up to caress his face, feeling butterflies in your stomach from his sweet words,
“Sure baby, just give me your best I just want you so bad” 
Jaehyun’s expression switched and his eyes narrowed like a lion looking at its prey. He brought his hand up and slapped you on your ass which made you moan out loud. He used the opportunity to finally play out his fantasy and flipped you over so you were on your hands and knees, ass on full display for him as he licked his lips at the sight. 
He placed two digits in his mouth, lathing them up before pushing them into your already wetness. Your moan earned another smack from Jaehyun and he pumped his fingers in you at an extremely slow and agonizing pace. You whined into the pillow and he smirked, he couldn't believe he got you to beg for his touch like this. 
“Baby I don't have a condom” He mumbled, still keeping his fingers inside of you as you whined beneath him,
“I'm on the pill, just cum wherever you want” You groaned as you felt Jaehyun’s fingers move a bit faster. 
Jaehyun growled at your words and without warning he replaced his fingers with his member and slammed into you, grabbing both your hands and retrained them behind your back. He marvelled at the site of your face pressed into the bed as he restrained your touch and fucked you from behind. 
“That feels so fuckiing good Jae” you cried, the sensation was already too much for you to handle but you tried your best not to chase your orgasm just yet. 
“You're so tight fuck” Jaehyun groaned as he felt you squeeze around him sending his mind into a frenzy. Jaehyun pulled out of you and flipped you back over, entering you while your thighs locked around his waist. Your eyes were locked on him as he fucked you harder than anyone has before, that shy boy he was a few hours ago was completely gone. 
“Are you ready to cum baby?” Jaehyun hummed in your ear as he still pounded into you mercilessly and wrapped his hand around throat. 
“Y-yeah” you managed to say, feeling as though you were going to see fucking stars any second. 
Jaehyun bit into your shoulder as he used all his energy to bring to your orgasm before he himself exploded. You finally sighed deeply signaling your orgasm had reached and Jaehyun pulled out of you, coming undone all over your stomach, the sight of him totally fucked out was absolutely delicious. 
Jaehyun watched you swipe your index finger across your stomach and bring it to your mouth, tasting him as if it was the sweetest thing in the world. 
“Fuck…” he watched you, already feeling like you were about to make him as hard as a rock again. 
You wrapped your hand around his neck and pulled him in for a soft yet passionate kiss. Jaehyun broke away and quickly got tissues to clean the both of you up before collapsing in the bed next to you. 
“That was the best fuck i've had in my entire life” he sighed and placed his arm around your head and pulled you into a tight hug. 
“Same for me baby, but let's get dressed before one of my crazy friends decides to join us” you giggled and threw him his boxers. 
You and Jaehyun dressed up and you managed to safety pin the skirt rip Jaehyun had made, still hearing him mutter apologies as the two of you made your way back to the party. 
The two of you found the main group hanging around the kitchen snacking on pizza until they saw the two of you and everyone started howling and whistling. 
“Can you guys shut the fuck up” You rolled your eyes as you grabbed a slice and rested your head on Ten’s shoulder. Johnny went in and high fived Jaehyun, “damn didn't think you had it in you brother” Johnny patted his back as Jaehyun slipped into the seat next to you and held your waist. 
“I guess Jaehyun is one of us” Taeyong said, quite impressed by the outcome. 
“I told you guys, oh wait” You stopped to pull out your phone and turn on the front facing camera, “smile” 
Jaehyun chuckled and leaned closer into the frame as the flash blinked, just before the shutter went off you turned to him and licked his cheek seductively. Taking a quick look at the picture you smirked as you uploaded the picture to your instagram and watched as your whole timeline exploded with the scandalous picture. 
You held the phone up to Jaehyun as he watched the comments flooding in, many people mad at his adultery and many people surprised he managed to even pull a girl like you and gave him props. 
“Welcome to the freaks club Jung Jaehyun” you smirked.
Taeten x reader prequel here 
842 notes · View notes
yunoysl · 4 months ago
Punch | jjh
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Summary: When you asked Jaehyun to teach you how to give a blowjob, you didn’t expect for it to turn into friends with benefits.
Pairing: underground fighter + badboy!jaehyun x fem!reader
Word count: 2.1k
Warnings: blowjob, cunnilingus, unprotected sex, breeding, fingering, lots of smut, slight praising
Hope you like it! feedback is greatly appreciated!
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You’re normally not one for parties, but you’re actually really glad that your best friend Mark dragged you to it. You’ve been having a really good time. You were expecting to be miserable throughout the whole thing, so you’re glad that it’s the opposite.
“What did I tell you?”
“Okay, so it’s not as bad as I thought it would be”
“Hey peoples” Jaehyun, who you and Mark have known for two years now, showed up with a drink in his hand, which he gave to you.
“Hey Jae” Mark asked him before leaving you two alone. “I’m gonna go find Haechan, make sure he’s not passed out somewhere on the floor”
You and Jaehyun were both left alone, catching up with each other before you decided to ask him the burning question you’ve been wanting to ask him for a while now.
“Can you teach me how to give a blowjob”
“Come again?”
You sighed, “you heard me the first time”
“Uhh... where did this come from?”
“Well being here, I realized that I don’t know anything about that kind of stuff”
“Umm.... okay. Let’s go somewhere private when we can do this” you followed him to an empty bedroom before shutting the door behind you.
“First thing you have to do is get on your knees”
“Yeah I figured that was the first step” you got on your knees, the floor being very uncomfortable.
“Take me in your mouth, yeah like that, lick me from the base to the tip” you did as he said, still slightly confused on what to do but starting to get the hang of it. His tip was already dripping with precum, the clear coating evident on the pink tip. You decided to be smugly bold and lick it off, which was clearly the right move since his body jumped in shock.
“Look at you, getting the hang of it. Take me in your mouth again” you were eager to have him in your mouth, almost gagging as you tried to take all of him in. “Calm down, I’m not going anywhere. Go slow. Bob your head up and down” you tried again to take as much of him as you could, this time being more successful. His hand tangled in your hair as you started gagging around him. His hips jolted as your tongue swirled around him.
He moaned out as he slightly pulled on your hair, “Aren’t you a quick learner, you’re doing great, so fucking great.” His head was thrown back as your mouth worked wonders, learning quickly how to suck him well. His cock twitched, telling you that he was close.
“You don’t have to swallow if you don’t want to” you gave one more suck before he came in your mouth. His cock twitched as the thick liquid filled your mouth. The taste wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but you didn’t mind it.
When you came back up you wiped your mouth with the back of your hand, Jaehyun panting and out of breath.
“You did really well” you stood up from your knees, slightly in pain from the cold hard floor.
“Thanks, I had a good teacher” you didn’t fail to see his ears get red from the compliment. You both left and decided to head back to the party, deciding not to talk about what just happened when you were both bombarded with questions on where you were and why you were gone for a while.
You didn’t expect this one favor to lead to something bigger.
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“I’m assuming you’re Jaehyun’s little friend”
That’s all you’ve been asked since you arrived. At first it warmed your heart that Jaehyun had talked about you, but now you’re just curious over how much he exactly talked about you in order for so many people to ask you that.
You’ve never been to one of Jaehyun’s matches, only ever heard about how it goes and what it’s like.
You were finally able to spot Jaehyun, he was shirtless only wear shorts. You can’t lie that what he was wearing did things to you.
“You’re here” the way his dimples popped out when he smiled melted your heart. “I didn’t think you would come”
“I can’t miss out on seeing the one and only Jaehyun at one of his matches”
“Thanks, means a lot coming from you” you don’t get to respond as he’s being called for his turn.
You don’t know anything about fighting, but it’s very obvious that he’s amazing at what he does. Jaehyun obviously won. It didn’t take long for him to knock out the other guy. Jaehyun offering to take you to a local diner to celebrate. You didn’t deny his request, you really like Jaehyuns company, he always knows exactly what to say to make you laugh.
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Jaehyun decided to come over while you were in the middle of studying. You allowed him to stay as long as he didn’t disturb you while you were busy. He was doing really good at first, but after a hour he got bored and decided to start playing with you.
“Jaehyun, please...”
“Please what?”
“Either stop teasing me or just fuck me already”
“Eager little one, aren’t you?” He rubbed your clit over your sweats. “No more studying, you’re gonna focus on me now”
He pushed two fingers into you, knuckles deep as your head leaned back in your desk chair. His long and slender fingers reaching places into you that had you moaning out into the quiet room.
“Oh my god” he speeds his fingers up, curling them towards your sweet spot.
“I’m the only one who can make you feel this way” he rubs your clit with his thumb, his fingers reaching heavenly places inside you. You clenched around him, it being obvious to Jaehyun that you were close.
“Are you coming? Come on my fingers” that was all that you needed to finish on his fingers. He yanked his fingers from your heat once you were done, leaving you empty and kinda wanting more. But you’ll never tell him that.
“Now will you let me do my work?”
“Hmm.... fine. Do your work like the good girl you are, I have to go pick up lunch for Jaemin and I anyways” he brings your mouth to his to leave a kiss before collecting his stuff to leave.
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“Can I eat you out?”
You didn’t expect that to be the first thing Jaehyun greeted you with when you arrived at his match.
“Hello to you too, my day was great thanks for asking” he rolled his eyes playfully before driving his attention back to you.
“Answer my question, can I eat your pussy?”
You looked around terrified as there were people going in and out around you. “Jaehyun, can you lower your voice”
“Please, baby? I’ll be quick I promise” he grabbed your hand to rub circles on it, and you can’t lie that that gesture made your heart quicken.
“Oka-“ you weren’t even able able to finish before he was dragging you to the bathroom. He quickly locked the door before placing you on the sink. He quickly removed your jeans and underwear before diving his mouth into you, eager to have a taste of you before his match.
“You’re already wet” Jaehyun cooed. His tongue was quick to lick your folds, making you moan loud at the pleasure. He was licking and sucking your dripping center, your vision starting to get blurry. His skilled tongue swirling and lapped at your juices. He ate you out like a starved man as his mouth sucked on your clit, his tongue running along your sensitive folds.
“J-Jaehyun.... please” he abused your clit while he dragged his tongue up your lips and delivered fast licks, your legs threatening to close around his head from the pleasure.
“You’re so sweet, like a dessert” he mumbled into your core while still licking your folds and clit. He made long firm licks all over your clit, making your legs be on the verge of shaking. Your sweet juices collected on his tongue, making him moan out as he didn’t leave out a single drop.
Your finally came undone, his tounge pressing a firm lick over your dripping folds and clit. His mouth and chin was glistening in your essence when he finally pulled away after cleaning you up.
“That should be able to put me through this match”
You smacked his shoulder, “I hate you” you’re kind of embarrassed that you let Jaehyun drag you to the bathroom to eat your pussy solely because he was craving the taste before his match.
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You’re at another party, this time you came willingly without Mark having to beg for you to come.
“Oh wow you actually came. Round of applause everyone.” Mark said as soon as you stepped into the kitchen where he was filling up his red solo cup.
“Shut up Mark”
“Oh she actually came” Jaemin asks as soon as he steps in the kitchen, in complete shock to see you there.
“I know right. And I didn’t have to beg this time”
“I don’t see why you always want me to come to these things, you have Jaemin to keep your company”
“Yeah, for like the first 10 minutes, then he leaves to shove his throat down a girls throat”
“It’s not my fault I’m attractive, I mean look at me.”
“You’re both annoying” You don’t get to hear their responses as Jaehyun shows up out of nowhere only to drag you away, pulling you up the stairs to an empty bedroom.
“Hello to you too”
“I’ve been needing you” he looks into your eyes, trying to see if you’re uncomfortable and don’t want to do this. When he finds nothing he’s quick to undress himself before working on you.
You’re glad you decided to wear a shirt skirt instead of pants like you originally planned.
He moves himself on the bed before pulling you on top of him, attaching his mouth to yours before rubbing his tip up and down entrance. “Such a pretty cunt”
He slowly eased you down on his cock. You moaned at the feeling of him filling you up. Once you’re adjusted, he doesn’t waste time pounding into you, his hips rutting against you. A loud cry that mimicked something of his name fell from your lips, making Jaehyun grab your hips to control you. Throwing your head back, Jaehyun’s cock found your soft spot. His hips snapped against yours as his pace quickened, pounding into you at an unbelievable pace. You felt so full, his cock hitting all the right places. Jaehyun can’t get enough of your moans, they’re music to his ears as he drags his cock against your walls.
“Can you come for me?” You both finally finish at the same time, his cum filling you up to the brim. His cum leaks out when he pulls out, the sight making him moan out. You both clean up before heading back down, deciding to go to his place to finish what you were doing without anyone else around.
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You’ve had this friends with benefits thing with Jaehyun for a little over two months now, and at first it was going really well for you, but after a while the more Jaehyun stayed over after you were both done, the more he told you sweet words while he was inside you, the more you wanted to be something more to him.
“I’m in too deep, Mark” you’re currently on FaceTime with Mark, ranting to him about how you’ve caught feelings.
“I told you friends with benefits doesn’t work out” you sigh loudly, frustrated on why you decided to agree to this in the first place. “I’m sorry I can’t help you out”
“It’s okay, I’ll figure this out myself”
“Okay, I’m here to help if you need it”
“I know, bye Mark” you quickly hang up, torn on how to feel. The only reason you agreed to this is because you didn’t expect to catch any feelings. But every time Jaehyun was sweet to you, showering you with love and affection, it made you fall even more. You want to be more, but you also don’t want to ruin everything you’ve both had for two years. All that, just down the drain because you caught feelings.
You don’t really blame yourself for falling for Jaehyun, anyone would be lucky to be with him. He sings amazing, the amount of times you’ve praised his singing voice whenever you’re both in the car. He has the sweetest smile, the cutest flushed cheeks with precious dimples.
You don’t know what to do, and you’re not sure how to confront him about this.
507 notes · View notes
ah-ga-seven · 5 months ago
No More Pain | Jung Jaehyun
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Pairing: Jung Jaehyun x Fem!reader 
Synopsis: The lingering wounds of your miscarriage have reopened. Now that you are broken up, an unforseen change in Jaehyun’s life has brought him back to your doorstep. Will he be able to fix you this time? Or will he fail just the same as before?
Genre: Angst, One Shot. 
Warnings: mentions of the reader having a miscarriage, depression, alcohol addiction and heartbreak.
Word Count: 2.8k
A/N: Probably one of the heaviest angsts I’ve written. I know the subject is rough but the idea came from a dream so I just had to write it down.
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This was a different kind of pang to your heart.
You’ve had your fair share of tragedies, heartbreaks and disappointments, but this…
This feeling was nothing like anything you’ve ever felt before and quite frankly, you wouldn’t wish this upon your greatest enemy.  
It was a Thursday night, one like many where you decided to stay in and recharge from a busy day at your demanding job.
You were seated on your couch with a hot cup of tea as you mindlessly scrolled through your Instagram feed. Completely wrapped in the warmth of your favorite fleece blanket. But even the thick fluffy material couldn’t protect you from the cold shivers that ran down your spine.
You blankly stare at the post your best friend forwarded to you via dm and stiffened.  
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Memories of the night you miscarried 4 months into your pregnancy flood back to you as you stare at his comment.
You remembered how broken he looked when the doctor couldn’t find the baby's heartbeat anymore.  
You remembered how he held you as you cried in his arms, promising that he’d love you just the same as he tried to console you to his best ability while suffering himself.
You remembered the pain and the relief of having Jaehyun by your side through it all. Glad that even though your life was about to change forever, he’d be the one constant thing you could rely on.
You remembered all of these moments like they happened yesterday, wishing future you could mentally prepare past you for what was going to be the hardest time in your life.  
The man who swore never to leave you did just that, and not even 6 months into his new relationship, your biggest insecurity was made into a reality.  
He had moved on for good, and even though you have no ill feelings towards him, you can’t help but feel anger over sadness right now.  
It was that easy to replace you. And that easy for him to find someone that could give him what you couldn’t.
Even though your miscarriage wasn’t the direct cause of why he left, the effects of the incidence on your mental health dragged him down with you. So both of you felt it’d be better to part ways for the sake of not wanting to hate or resent each other in the end.  
But God…you hated and resented him now more than ever.  
It didn’t matter to you that both of you started to date new people, because a part of you always held on to the fact that you’d somehow find your way back to each other, though the probability of that ever happening again turned to ash.
Your miscarriage broke you.  
No appetite for weeks, no motivation to get yourself out of bed and no cure for the monsters in your head who told you that Jaehyun was only sticking around out of pity for your broken state.
That same insecurity is what drove him into the arms of the women he told you not to worry about, and now they’re having a fucking child together.  
Knowing that that should’ve been you was a thought that was just too much to bear right now. You suddenly feel sick to your stomach, tears prickling your eyes as you rub the spot on your belly where the mini bump used to be 8 months ago.
You were finally doing better, thriving in your job and social life. Meeting new people and dating a few loose ends here and there, but you can already feel yourself spiraling back into old depressional habits as you stare at the picture once more.  
You pettily decide to like it, hoping it would spark interest from none other than your ex, and much to your surprise, it did.
Not even 20 minutes later your phone started to buzz on the counter as you poured yourself a glass of wine. You mindlessly retrieve it, expecting it to be your best friend but when you see his name as you take a sip you almost choke.
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Is he serious?
You try to come up with what to say for the next 3 to 5 minutes but nothing in your head seems to translate your exact feelings to your fingertips.
You sigh in agony while leaning over on your kitchen counter with your phone still in your hands, reading his messages over and over again. You subconsciously start to bite your lip in deep thought, getting startled by your ringtone as your phone starts to ring in your grasp.
“Fuck,” you mumble to yourself, taking a big chug of the alcoholic beverage in front of you, putting on the bravest face and straightest posture to make yourself feel better before accepting the call.  
You knew you didn’t have to answer, but you were dying to hear what he had to say under these circumstances.  
“Y/N? Is that you?” His voice was unchanged. You didn’t know why, but you expected him to sound different, be different. Yet the same worry he’s always had for you was evident in his tone this time as well.
You clear your throat to avoid a voice crack and sigh. “Congratulations,” you tried to sound as genuine as you could, but you knew you sounded like shit.  
You start to play with the ends of your hair out of anxious anticipation, waiting for him to respond on the other end of the line.  
“I meant to tell you,” he starts. “I just…I didn’t know how and Chaeyoung suddenly uploaded the picture and-”
“Jae…please spare me the details,” you interrupt him. Saying his name like you used to felt like speaking a foreign language. He stayed quiet upon hearing your voice again and let out a frustrated sigh.
“Do you still live in the same apartment in Itaewon?” he suddenly asks, immediately alerting you to stand up straight because he could only be asking for one reason and one reason only.
“Good, I’m on my way.”
Just like that, he hung up and just like that your heart rate starts to race uncontrollably.  
You down the remnants of your wine glass and hope he’s isn’t too close because your place looked far from neat. For the next 15 minutes, you run around, shoving things into random cabinets. Whether those items belonged there or not was the least of your concern and just as you fluff the last pillow on your couch, your doorbell rings.
You take a deep breath, calming your nerves as you walk up to your front door, taking it off the lock before you open it with a dramatic swing.
There he was. Jung Jaehyun.
As beautiful and put together as he always looked, no matter the circumstance. You forget how to breathe when you lay eyes on him and gulp. It’s actually him.
His big dark orbs widened as he laid eyes on you after months of not seeing you. His facial expression softened, slowly parting his lips to speak but you beat him to it when you broke out of your trance.  
“What are you doing here?” your shoulders fall as you look into his eyes for answers. The same eyes that once looked at you with so much love and adoration, but right now his pupils were stressfully darting back and forth, trying to read you like he used to be able to but he had no idea what you were feeling right now.
“Because I feel like shit y/n. Please let me in and let me explain,” he pleaded with a defeated tone.
You scoff, rolling your eyes. “What is there to explain? You knocked up your girlfriend and finally got what you wanted. Why bother coming here? To rub it into my face?”  
Your plan of staying calm and collected went completely out the window just now and you could tell by the shock on his face that he did not expect you to be angry with him.
He took a step forward, backing you into your own hallway. His height towered over you when you stepped back and without looking back he closed the door behind him.
“Y/n. I would never purposely do that to you. Ever.” You ignore his statement, narrowing your eyes at him.
“I don’t remember inviting you in Jaehyun. Does she even know you’re here?”
You hold your ground, crossing your arms over your chest as you wait for him to counter your attack, but he simply shook his head. Knowing damn well that you’re acting tough just so you won’t get emotional.  
As he’s scanning the premises, his eyes linger on the red wine bottle on your kitchen counter and with a look of utter disbelief, he averts his attention back on you.
“You’re drinking again?” he asks with an almost condescending tone.  
“Did you come here to practice your parenting skills because no thanks Jae, please leave,” you bite back as coldly as you could, but he wasn’t having it.
“That shit almost killed you and you’re just casually drinking again?” He runs his hand through his locks out of pure frustration, not knowing what to do with the misplaced feeling of still caring for you just the same, while also knowing he has no business to tell you how to live your life.
The truth is, Jaehyun had no idea what he was doing here. Everything about the situation felt wrong and he couldn’t lie to himself any longer. Ever since Chaeyoung told him she was pregnant; he couldn’t be fully happy about it. He couldn’t commit to fatherhood knowing how much it broke your relationship. How much it broke the women he loved most to this day.
“A little red wine didn’t hurt anyone,” you mumble under your breath and that comment alone send Jaehyun’s emotions into overdrive, unable to hide his disappointment and worry for you any longer.
“IT HURT YOU Y/N. DAMN IT!” He raised his voice at you as he roughly grabbed your arm to make you look at him, which is the last thing you expected. He wasn’t mad at you. He was mad at himself. Mad at the fact that he wasn’t there when you needed him most and mad at the fact that this is what your lives had come to.
You might have previously dealt with your pain by drinking, and you might have mindlessly mixed your anti-depressants with your drink once, which…just might have earned you a trip to the hospital, but that was your lowest low and you made sure it’d never happen again.
You beat your demons by yourself when he had already moved on, so he had no place to waltz back into your life when he felt like it, just to judge you.
You’re absolutely fuming by now because of that same reason and much to your dismay you feel new tears well up in your eyes.  
“NO, YOU HURT ME!” you yell back at him as you smack his chest, the salty droplets streaming down your face as you kept hitting his chest to make him feel your pain. “YOU LEFT ME.”
Your knees got weak and you knew you looked absolutely pathetic as you crouched down in front of him. Shock took over his features as he got down on his own knees just as quickly, pulling you into the comfort of his arms. The warmth that you used to call home and the warmth that always seemed to calm you down engulfed you completely, a feeling your favorite fleece blanket from before could hardly imitate.  
He patted your head with assuring strokes, whispering sweet nothings to you as he held you on the floor of your apartment. Letting you sob the pain away in his black shirt. “Shhh, it’s okay…” he kissed the top of your head, caressing your cheek as he wiped away your tears.
You calmed down slowly, ignoring the suffocating ache in your head and heart while he made you feel safe and sound like he always did. You sat there like that for God knows how long, letting your minds go into overdrive as silence comforted the both of you.  
Ironically enough, this scenery was the exact same as the one in the hospital 8 months ago. You cried in his arms just like this when you had lost your child, but now you were crying because you had lost him. For good now.  
“I would never purposely plan to have a baby this quickly y/n, you have to believe me. Chae was on birth control but it just…happened,” he whispers, finally breaking the agonizing silence.
You stay quiet, closing your eyes to the sound of his low voice, letting his words register. “I was going to tell you. I was planning to ask you out for a coffee but as soon as she passed her first trimester, she was just so excited and made the announcement…it was just bad timing.”
“All of this is bad timing,” you mumble, which made him nod in agreement. He sighed into your hair as he continued to explain. “Y/n, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care for you anymore. I wish things were different, but they simply aren’t and I’m sorry.”
You sniff, dabbing your tears and your nose with the sleeves of your blouse before looking up at him through your lashes.
“You don’t have to apologize for moving on and being happy Jaehyun. It’s all I ever wanted for you.” You wipe the single tear that remained on the corner of his eye, not having realized that he shed a few tears himself too.
He leaned into your touch as he looked into your eyes before closing them, leaning his forehead onto yours while taking a deep breath.  
“I just want you to be ok.” He says suppressing a sob. “I can’t live this picture-perfect life knowing that you’re in pain y/n. It makes no sense; you deserve so much more it’s not fair.”  
Your lip starts to quiver as his words hit you, and you build up the courage to look at him again.  
He stared at you longingly and lovingly for the first time since forever and you knew a mistake was about to be made when he inched his face closer to you, but it was too late.
His lips made contact with yours and you completely gave in. Letting him lead you into a slow yet passionate kiss that took both of your breaths away.  Before things could get more heated, you realize what was happening and froze.
You take a hold of his wrists as you pull away, your eyes staring into his equally electrified ones as you recompose yourselves.
“I-I’m sorry,” he started. “I should’ve never confused you like that. Fuck. What the fuck am I doing.” He covers his mouth as he got up. Frustrated with his own behavior, he digs his fingernails into the palms of his hands to suppress the urge to swing at your door or any other object in sight for that matter.
You get up just as quickly as well. Straightening out your clothes before shaking off the nerves of what just happened.  
You take a deep breath followed by a shaky exhale as you opened your front door, turning around on your heels to look at an equally distressed Jaehyun.
He was about to speak; about to confess that he still loved you, but you stopped him by raising your hand, motioning for him to keep whatever he was about to say to himself.
Your eyes find his own and you take one last glance at the man that was supposed to be the pillar to your family. The man you used to call yours, and the man that you had hoped to still have a future with, despite everything.  
But you knew better.
You knew what was right and you knew what you had to do before things would start to spiral out of control again.
You stepped aside so he could pass by you, trying to avoid eye contact all while you could still feel his burning stare lingering on your fragile state.
You swallow harshly, licking your lips before you spoke as clearly and steadily as you could.
“For the sake of your family, please leave Jae…and never come back.”  
483 notes · View notes
doiebunny · 4 months ago
stay here (with me)
Pairing: Jaehyun / You Genre: one shot / one night stand!au Rating: M Warnings: dirty talk, oral (f. receiving), fingering, protected sex, rough sex, multiple orgasms, jae hits it from da back ;) Word count: 7.1k Summary: It was supposed to be a one-time thing—that was the rule.
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There are two things you don't regret doing tonight. One, succumbing to your urge to get out of your apartment and go to a bar so you can drink your frustrations away and two, letting a stranger—a devastatingly handsome one who introduced himself as Jaehyun—sit next to the empty seat beside you.
Had you stayed away and shoved aside his flirting then you wouldn’t have been able to kiss his lips that got your attention in the first place. And had you chosen to walk away you knew you were then going to be filled with regret in the aftermath because the moment he initiated a conversation with you, a forceful pull of attraction had tugged on your insides, sparked and awakened something in you, made you realize that perhaps the reason why you’re feeling so uptight nowadays is because you’re deprived of physical touch. After all, it’s been four weeks, two days and sixteen hours since you last got laid.
The moment you two started talking, you shamelessly ogled at his pillowy lips that made a faint blush and two crescent shaped dimples appear on his cheeks. If it was because of you giving bedroom eyes at him, blinking lazier than usual, smiling at his stories and jokes or the wine that flowed in his system, you were uncertain. The only certain thing though was that Jaehyun felt that same attraction. He felt it, he took it and made sure to reciprocate it.
The two of you being the only ones inside the elevator of his apartment complex now, you begin to play by grabbing the collars of his shirt, possessively pulling him into you until your lips are on his. Though slightly startled by your forward actions, an equally keen Jaehyun didn’t waste another second to pass by as he started to move with you, asking for access to which you gladly permitted. And when there’s a sudden nip at the underside of your neck, a gasp erupts out from you. “Jaehyun!”
He chuckles lowly in your ear, soothing the area with the smooth movements of his lips and tongue while you breathe heavily and wind your fingers through his dark locks. “Someone’s eager, huh,” he says, sucking roughly on the side of your neck, latching on it before releasing the sensitive flesh with a pop! Certain that this will leave patches of blossomed red tomorrow on you, he smirks and proceeds to part your lips again with his.
It’s difficult to perceive anything else when you’re too high in the taste of his lips, indulging your tongue on the caverns of his mouth. His iron-clad grip is around your waist as your back hits the cold surface of the elevator wall and both of you drink each other’s moans, intoxicated and debauched by the sounds that you make as you continue kissing.
“Can’t help it when you’re just so hot,” you counter brazenly, breathing out the words. It must be the Merlot that lingers in your taste buds but you think this is all of you talking now. All your haziness is gone because your brain’s focus is only on him.
His eyes bore their stare on you, piercing through your skull, and he takes a deep breath as he controls himself because the frankness of your words and actions and your magnetic allure are about to break him and his self-control entirely. He used to think he’s quite good at having discipline, at being full of poise, not collapsing apart easily when it comes to women he hooks up with. But maybe you’re about to change that.
“God, you’re fucking unreal,” Jaehyun inhales as he runs a hand through his hair. The edges of his mouth curve into a sultry smirk as his lips descends to peck yours, biting down on your lower one. Deciding to smother the shell of your ear with wet kisses, he presses and circles his crotch on your center to let you feel the noticeable dent in his pants. “Look what you did, you naughty girl.”
“Close your eyes,” you tell him, feeling triumphant and a lot friskier. He quirks one brow up before obliging. Another request departs your lips as you feel the exhilaration course through your nerve wires. “Hold out your hand.”
He complies and you wet your lips before you’re doing something you never even considered of doing in public. But something about him, about this whole whirlwind of a night makes you wilder, bolder and more spontaneous. It’s only for tonight, you tell yourself. Might as well go all out and give a good show to whoever watches the tapes from the security cameras perched in the upper corner of this lift. This is just for tonight. Tomorrow, this will all be forgotten. Tomorrow, this will just become a good memory that you can look back on.
Your hands find the elastic band of your panties, sliding it down until you are bare underneath your skirt, your core slick with your arousal. With his awaiting palm, you bunch the article of lace garment up and place it on his hand like an offering. At the object touching his skin, he finally opens his eyes. It doesn’t take long before what you’ve done clicks in Jaehyun’s brain, before he stares at you with his obsidian irises bulging widely as though they’re about to fall off from its sockets.
“Fuck,” he rasps. His lust amplified, he holds your underwear tight and curls his hand into a fist, all the blood in his head rushing down, making his boner harder to tame. “You really are a naughty little one, aren’t you?”
Biting down on your lip, you could only supply a coquettish smile and an arched brow to which he answers by holding your hand and leading you both to his apartment once the elevator doors slide open, practically running. His lust sprinkles haste into his movements as he fumbles with his keys and opens his door. It’s difficult to scramble a coherent sentence, to focus on the interior of his place and note how neat and tidy it is when bodies are dancing together, throwing each other and crashing on walls and windows, kissing and touching each other fervently.
With the both of you ending up in his kitchen, he latches on the base of your throat, sucking hardly on the skin before placing wet kisses on the side of your neck, his hands giving your clothed breasts a squeeze, the pads of his thumb circling round your pebbled buds teasingly. “Jaehyun,” you pant frantically, “bedroom—now.”
“Mmmh, what’s that?” Jaehyun, too consumed in exploring your weak spots, nibbles on the skin of your clavicle that pulls a gasp out of you before he grabs your thigh and hikes it up, pressing his mouth on your unattended lips again.
“Where’s your bedroom?” you ask, impatience exposed all over your face and your movements as your fingernails dig on his shoulders. He grins delightfully in return, tugging on your lower lip playfully before he goes to suck on the column of your throat, hips circling and grinding on your center. “Want you. Hurry.”
“Patience, babe,” he offers, taking his time to leave saccharine kisses on every skin exposed, a stark contrast to the eagerness and desperation you’re giving him. When he lets your leg down, his fingers find your sex, running your wetness up and down your slit that has you tilting your head back at the contact and the sudden onslaught of pleasure.
“Fuck, you’re practically dripping,” he says, spreading your slickness, index finger toying with your clit, kneading on it with gentle, teasing motions. “This all for me?”
Soft, dulcet gasps tumbling out your lips, you nod wordlessly, rocking your core into his fingers needily. He halts for a second as he draws a heavy intake of breath, repeating his question, his words coming out in a sharp legato. “I said, is this all for me?”
Forcing yourself to supply an answer, you stammer, “Y-yes.”
“Good girl,” he says, dropping a kiss to your lips, his groans vibrating on your tongue as he continues his motions, tracing circles on your nub, rendering you malleable against his touch, your need and lust colonizing your senses. It doesn’t take long before he withdraws from your heat to suck on his glistening fingers, licking it clean, growling as he relishes in your taste.
At the next second, you’re torridly crashing into each other’s lips while he walks you two to his bedroom, finally, after having decided that enough is enough, no more teasing. Landing onto his mattress, you sit up on your elbows, gripping his collars and pulling him flush to you.
“Tell me how you want it,” he murmurs while trailing his lips on your jawline, his fingers travelling down to hold the hem of your shirt. “Tell me what you like.”
This is new, you begin to recognize as you take heed of what he’s asking. Most of your intoxicated and sloppy hook-ups in the past have never paid attention or even asked you for your own preferences. It’d usually be just about them going straight ahead to the main event, with you letting them have their way with you in bed.
“Want you to take me from behind,” you manage to punctuate eagerly, your pussy clenching at the thought. Palms skimming on his chest, you indulge yourself in touching his abdominal muscles over his shirt. He groans at your hands’ feverish exploration of his body, the muscles tautening as he kisses your jugular all while you continue to enunciate your desires, “I like it when I see marks on my body. I like to be fucked hard and rough.”
“Shit, yeah, yes—want that, too, fuck,” Jaehyun pulls back and wantonly stares at you, his chest heaving with need as you’ve just swelled his appetite.
Everything moves quickly and it’s easy to be like this, to narrow your focus on just the pleasure and nothing else. No intimacy, no strings and no affection. It’s all meaningless and transient. Full of lust and thirst. All your one-night stands are like this, knowing them just by their names. Nothing beyond that. Because it’s easy to just let it all go come morning. This is what you’re used to, a one and done. This is what you do. You’re not someone who dates and commits into a relationship.
Dating is not your thing—never was. That’s why it’s so effortless to work with him when you’re both plagued by your lusts, to let him undress you until your clothes are finally discarded, to help him unbuckle his belt, loosen his pants and slip his shoes off to toss them to the side, creating a thumping commotion on the floor.
Jaehyun bends down and levels himself on your entrance, scanning your arousal. Leering at the sight of your sopping core, his finger slides up and down your slit, your wetness forming a squelch. “Will you let me have a taste, babe?”
When you return with an urgent nod, he dips his lips in your heat instantly, tongue finally probing inside as his hands hold your thighs down. With eyes shut, you're arching your back and letting your head fall at the suctioning and slurping motions of his mouth. He’s eager and relentless in his pace, licking a bold stripe of your folds, his thumb working on rubbing your clit. The sound of your delicious moans and whines encourages him to speed it up, your fingers gripping his hair. His tongue’s devilish ministrations of sucking and licking has you teetering over the edge, deliriously moaning at the friction. 
“So sweet,” he says, glancing up at you, swirling his tongue on his lips filled with your wetness.
Your face contorted, whining at the loss of his mouth on your heat, you clench at nothing while he kneads on the hood of your clit gently. “Jaehyun,” you manage to produce, your desperation seeping out of your lips.
You sit up, catching your breath, needier than ever for that orgasm. “Where’re your condoms?”
“First drawer.”
While you grab one, he strokes his hard length, fingers spreading his pre-cum. After frenetically tearing off the packet and rolling the material on his leaking cock, he nods upwards. “Turn around.”
Pliant to his command, you’re sitting up on all fours, bracing yourself. He lines his tip on your wet hole, sliding it up and down and circling on your sex teasingly, holding your sides as he draws a sharp breath and pushes in. The glide is easy, with Jaehyun burying himself to the hilt in no time.
“Fuck,” he groans, letting you adjust to his big length. Once perfectly seated inside and once you’ve relaxed around him, he leans forwards, swipes your hair away to the side to speak in your ear, “I’m gonna go hard. Think you can take it, babe?”
“Yes, do it—please, please!” you choke out. He pulls out with only his tip left inside and starts to thrust sharply and quickly, making you cry out at the pleasurable stretch of your cunt. With vice-like clutch on your hips that would certainly leave imprints, he lunges forward, falling into a consistent rhythm of in and out. Your hips smack together with a harsh force, the sounds of your randy moans mixing together with the noises the bed is making as it creaks and hits the wall.
“Shit, your pussy’s so fucking tight—God,” he groans with gritted teeth and a clenched jaw, ramming into you with sure thrusts, his hands sliding up your body, thumbs coming to circle on your hardened buds. With your squeaks in full volume, he leans forward, finger holding your chin to let you face him so you can receive his kiss.
Swallowing your pleasured sighs, Jaehyun’s lips latches on your ear, coaxing you with his own ragged breathing and grunting and his strings of adoration. Your neck and the outlines of your body would become his canvas for painting marks and spots, sucking hard and pressing his fingers on the flesh. He straightens his back again, this time it’s to cup your ass and spread you wide as he snaps his hips forward, injecting himself with a punishing pace that tightens the coiling sensation in your stomach and leads your senses into overdrive. He throws his head back, groaning every time he goes deeper and hits your sweet spots, stuffing you with every inch of himself. 
“Fuck, you feel so good,” Jaehyun says. Your shrieks of pleasure have gone wild, fingers clutching on the sheets of his bed, your walls pulsating and your torrent of release threatening to explode soon. 
With your breath stuttering when you release your swollen lips from being caught between your teeth, too intoxicated in your own pleasure, you warn, “I-I’m close.” Hips slapping with yours with a determined and powerful force, your tormentor’s finger comes to rub on your clit, harshly circling on the nub, making you choke out your breathy gasps. “Fuck, Jaehyun, I’m going to—God, I need to come—oh,” you whimper helplessly.
The rhythm of his hips shifts, circling before attacking you again with a new angle. Groaning with a guttural tone, he breathes, “That’s it, babe. Come for me.” When he kneads on your mound and presses his finger while sinking in to you deep with no remorse, it becomes all too much and it proves to be your undoing, the tightrope in your stomach all loose, your orgasm washing you away and hitting you like a ton of bricks for the first time in weeks, rendering you a moaning, quivering mess as you chase for oxygen to infiltrate your lungs.
The room feels stuffy and oppressive as you ride your high out. Layers of sweat have appeared on the side of your face and on your nape. Your legs are on the point of collapsing as he continues to shove into you, chasing his peak and luxuriating in the way you’ve tightened on him. Jaehyun’s low grumbles fill the air as he jerks his body forwards, cupping your breasts underneath him, flicking on your nipples as he feels his cock twitch, his release about to drop down on him soon, travelling to the tips of his extremities.
After a few more powerful hip slams, he welcomes his own high and fills the condom with his load. He drawls out his groan after he achieves his rapture and empties himself, his thrusts coming to a slow pace as he rides it out. When he pulls out, you immediately flop back down on the bed. Seeing your dazed, euphoric grin, he smiles and drops a quick peck to your lips, holding your waist and tugging you close to him. “Fucking hell, that was amazing,” he breathes near your ear.
This earns him a soft giggle as you crane your neck and turn to him. Jaehyun goes for another kiss, a gentle and chaste one that’s very much different from all the carnal ones earlier. When you retract before it gets deeper, he sits up and takes the condom off, ties it into a knot before throwing it out.
As he heads over to his bathroom, you sit up slowly, muscles aching, all sore and exhausted as you grab some tissues from his nightstand to clean the inside of your thighs, the leakage of your arousal slowly drying on your skin already. It’s when your head springs up to throw the tissues that you finally take notice of his personal space, of the objects in his bedroom.
Just like his living room, it’s all neat and filled with a sandalwood aroma, interior splashed with cool grey tones. Superhero action figures, a variety of books about music and a couple of scented candles are all organized on shelves, stacked and displayed orderly. But perhaps what caught and drew your attention in and made you stand up to observe it, is a turntable on the corner of his room, perched on a table, beside it a Marshall speaker.
Painted in black, you’re careful to hover your eyes on the turntable, finding yourself fascinated. There’s always been something so beautiful and nostalgic, you think, with these kinds of things, a delicate touch to it with history and untold stories looming underneath it. There’s something so romantic and peaceful with the presence of instruments present during the old days.
You wonder if he feels as though he’s being transported back in time whenever he plays a record on this item that’s considered to be vintage and classic, whenever he carefully holds the tone arm to settle it atop the spinning platter and whenever music starts to serenade the atmosphere.
Your eyes land next on his collection of records just beside his speaker. Tilting your head, you read through each one of them, finding some names familiar like Frank Ocean, Chet Baker and Boyz II Men while others like Cigarettes After Sex remains obscure and intriguing to you.
When he comes out of his bathroom, he comes to join you in your inspection. “My dad used to be in a band so music has always been a part of my life,” he says with a certain gentleness to his voice.
“It’s a nice collection,” you offer without straying your eyes away from his little music corner. It really is. His music taste seems so diverse and experimental. You meet his eyes briefly to see him positively reacting at your compliment before turning to stare at the turntable again, beguiled by its whole structure, your eyes ghosting on every part of it. “I feel like there’s something so unique and so intimate with having a turntable.”
“Exactly,” Jaehyun agrees, feeling delighted at the fact that someone finally understands and shares his sentiments. “I’m someone who enjoys listening to music and I feel like seeing a record play physically makes the experience more romantic. My grandmother always said that it feels like you’re dancing with the essence of music itself.”
As you ingest his words, you can’t help but smile and nod in agreement, fascinated by his perspective and the way his eyes light up when he talks about his player and his grandmother’s own interpretation of it. Crossing your arms, you comment, eyeing his stack of vinyl records, “You have quite a lot of old LPs.”
“Ah—yes, that,” he rubs the back of his head, dimples protruding when he smiles. “I guess I have an old soul,” he chuckles, oddly soft, making him boyish.
“That just means you’re ahead of your time,” you return with a smile and his features soften before he proceeds to pull out a record.
Showing you the Frank Ocean record, he tells you that it was his first vinyl—a friend gave it to him on his birthday—and you manage to point out that Solo is your favorite while he confesses that Pink and White did wonders for him when he first listened to it, resulting in him listening to it for two weeks straight.
The conversation about music falls naturally and comfortably, it has you warming up for him, has you knowing more about his character when he reveals kernels of stories about himself. When you gently take out the black Cigarettes After Sex LP, flipping it over to read its tracklist and sate your curiosity for the band with the unique name, Jaehyun proposes an offer. “Wanna listen?”
“Sure.” You hand the record to him and he pulls it out, opening the lid of his turntable to put the disc on the platter.
“Here, hold this.” He turns to you, giving you the tone arm. Cautiously, you accept, slowly moving it and listening to his instructions, stopping when he tells you to, setting it down gently on the middle of the platter. His fingers work on pressing some buttons before it starts to spin gradually, gaining a moderate momentum until music begins to resonate in the room, the reverb coming from his huge speaker.
The song that plays is something you would’ve never expected from them. In your mind, you’ve conjured the band’s genre to be somewhat upbeat, thought it’d be more alternative rock rather than mellow, indie and psychedelic. The vocals are unique and soft, has a dream-like, spellbinding quality to it that makes it satisfying and enjoyable to listen to, makes it feel like you’re lighter than air, drifting in and out of reality.
“This is the album that I listen to before I go to sleep,” Jaehyun reveals. It really is a good album to listen to, you’d give him that. You suppose listeners could really appreciate it more in the night-time when they’re just on the state of winding down and resting.
When you close your eyes and tilt your head sideways to just focus on listening and heightening your sense of hearing while grasping the words being sung, he inches closer and stands behind you, his large, solid hands slithering around your waist, wrapping you into his warm embrace. His lips decide to trail kisses on your shoulder to the side of your neck. Your heartbeat races, thumping in the cages of your chest once his movements become bolder, lavishing your jaw and the lobe of your ear with languid kisses. Eyes fluttering open again, you turn around and encase your arms around his neck, fingers hugging the back of his head as you pull him to meet your lips with his.
The words that come out from the song tickles your senses as you think about how fitting it is with the moment that you’re having with Jaehyun. Your lips, my lips, apocalypse.
When you end up lying on the bed once again, bodies flushed together, hips smacking with hips as you drive each other to your highs, it’s not an apocalypse that threatens to ensue, but a second coming. This time, it’s slow and gentle, with his lips and hands tender and soft in handling your shapes and curves. There’s no roughness, no brute force compared to the previous round, no near-shout cries, no demands to go harder or faster. It’s more of you two mingling and exchanging breaths, meeting each other’s thrusts as you fall into a relaxed rhythm, embracing the pleasurable sensations, finding purchase in one another as you let your climax wrack through every bit of you.
In the midst of the both of you catching your breaths and lying down together silently while coming down from your highs, Jaehyun turns his head to look at you. “Are you going to stay the night?”
Gulping slightly, you meet his anticipative eyes. “No.” Furrowing your brows, you ask, “Why?”
“I was hoping you’d stay,” he admits after a pregnant pause, the edges of his lips curling upwards for a narrow smile, staring at you with hopefulness flickering on his expression. “Can you stay?”
For a moment, you consider, evading his eyes because the more you meet his gaze and see that bashful expression dawning on his pores, the more you feel yourself slipping and spiralling from your original objective. With Jaehyun, you’re starting to question, something that’s very alarming because you shouldn’t be questioning right now—you should be stating, declaring and asserting. You should be fully convinced that you can’t stay and yet here you are, having second thoughts, questions swarming around your brain.
“I...” you start, hesitating. “Okay. I’ll stay.”
Once again, you stamp in your head that it’s only for tonight. One night won’t kill you. A couple of hours with him won’t hurt. You’ll leave first thing in the morning and you won’t look back. You’ll forget about him and you’d go on with your life.
Immediately, Jaehyun is standing up, discarding the condom away and proceeding to his dresser to grab some clothes. Picking a simple white tee and fishing for extra towels, he hands them to you kindly while you offer your gratitude in a meek manner, heading over to his bathroom to do your business. Staring at yourself in front of the mirror, you heave a sigh, reminding yourself that this is just for the night. After giving your face a quick wash, you slip his baggy shirt on your body, enveloping you whole, falling just above your knees.
Your exhaustion slowly catching up to you and taking an effect on your body, you walk to the other side of the bed, plopping down and turning to him, already dressed in a black shirt and striped maroon pajama trousers. Surprise settles on your expression when you see that he’s occupied with an object in his hands. A Rubik’s cube.
Jaehyun’s brows are knitted together in concentration, almost meeting in the middle as his teeth gnaws on his plump bottom lip. Attempting to solve the cube, doing a trial and error, he is twisting and rotating slowly and carefully. Eyeing the situation, you’re quick to catch his problem. With one face completed—the white one—he’s trying to piece together another set without having to meddle the completed white face.
“I’ve always had a knack for collecting things that remind me of my childhood,” Jaehyun says as though he’s answering the questions you don’t dare on asking. He focuses on the third layer and twists it sideways, moving the corner upwards after. “I try to solve it every night before I go to sleep and clearly, I suck at it. I’ve only managed to do one face,” he huffs, pausing from moving to finally look at you, chuckling lightly afterwards as he fluffs the back of his head, embarrassment bleeding on his round cheeks, deepening his dimples.
Vinyl collection, turntable, superhero action figures and now a three-by-three Rubik’s cube. Jaehyun, you learn, is an interesting being. Offering a close-lipped smile, you stretch your hand to take it from him. “Here, let me,” you start, pointing at the middle white tile and telling him all about center pieces.
Jaehyun listens attentively, watching you in awe as you scramble the cube quickly like an expert. With deft hands, you’re assessing and solving at the same time in your head, letting the algorithm process in your conscious while you calculate every move. And with smooth motions, making sure to keep the white face intact in the end, you move around the layers with clockwise and counter clockwise turns.
After a few moments of guiding Jaehyun and talking him through every move and formula, you hold out the cube in front of him with two faces done—the white and red. His mouth falls agape as he stares at the puzzle and then at you, words lingering on the tip of his tongue and betraying him, completely wallowed by the mesmeric seconds of magic your nimble fingers just showed him.
Answering the unspoken questions, you’re also letting out your own revelations, unravelling a piece of the puzzle of your life. “I learned from watching tutorials when I was thirteen.” With a lopsided smile, you add, “I’m also a huge math nerd.”
Initially, it was something you found embarrassing and for a while, you tried to hide and deny it but over the years, you’ve learned how to embrace this side of yourself since it’s what you’re good at.
Tilting his head slightly, he connects something in his head before asking. “So I’m guessing from what you said earlier about you doing a report, your work involves numbers?”
“You remember.”
During the start of your small talk with Jaehyun in the bar, your report came up when he asked why you were drinking. Stress had been the reason why you went to the bar in the first place. A godforsaken mental block led to said stress and there was just no fucking way that you could write that financial report under a condition where you're compromised. And after that initial conversation with him, everything moved quickly, starting from the exchanged smiles and the jokes, the subtle brushing of arms to the heated kisses and eager touches in the backseat of the cab and inside the elevator down to the collision of bodies in his apartment. Now you’re both here, lying side by side on his bed. It feels strange and it brings perplexing, fluttering sensations in your insides, one that you do not know how to navigate or cease. 
“Of course,” he grins, placing the cube back on his nightstand before turning to you again. “Did you think I wasn’t paying attention?”
The fact that he remembered and took all your words in has your pulse racing and your heart softening. You let out a soft exhale, trying to control your lips from stretching wide into a smile. “My work does involve numbers,” you nod. Gaze travelling upwards to his ceiling, you say, “I’m a data analyst so my world revolves around facts and figures.”
It’s easy for you to live your life by the numbers, by logic. It’s easy for you to approach everything with this focused view, to have that knowledge that a certain factor is achieved through different combinations and formulas. It’s easy to see, to think and to apply with the facts hanging over your head. This is the vernacular you’re familiar with ever since you were young and had found a special affinity for arithmetic, often finding the answers to problems before anyone else and coming up with other equations of your own, one that doesn’t use the obvious route. Which is why most of the time, your decisions are carefully and rationally calculated. They’re all weighed by facts, figures and data.
Perhaps it’s what makes it easy to detach feelings to all your one-night stands. Because stamped in your conscious are the absolute facts and rules about dating and how you don’t do it. You never let yourself get too attached which makes it easy to just focus on the pleasure and nothing else.
Jaehyun hums thoughtfully. “So you’re all about analysis, then.”
“Interesting. Does this mean you’re disregarding different theories and interpretations?” he asks intriguingly.
Turning to look at him, you’re slightly caught off guard by the contestation but nonetheless delighted by its existence. “No, of course not,” you affirm. “Sure, they’re important in explaining facts because they can be followed and used as basis and principles. But I guess I’m just more drawn to the specifics. I’m more comforted in knowing that there’s a certitude in something.”
His lips twitching for a small smile, he nods. “I see.” The air becomes encased in silence for a while before he scoots closer by your side. “Hey, thanks for doing one face of my cube, by the way.”
With your eyes feeling heavy from the exhaustion, you flash a thin smile at Jaehyun. “You’re welcome.”
“I think,” he says with a mischievous lilt to his tone, along with the arched brow he’s sporting when he stares at you, “I should properly express my gratitude by cooking you breakfast tomorrow. What do you think?”
The stirring commotion in your belly proliferates and your heart clenches in your chest at the thought of him making you food, at the thought of sharing such an intimate moment of eating breakfast with him.
“Sounds good,” is what you say to him, almost coming out as a whisper, patting his arm before turning away to face the other side.
“Great,” Jaehyun grins. “Oh, and just to let you know, I make the best cheese and ham omelette,” he reveals with excitement lining his tone, giggles threatening to let loose and you let yourself smile while your back is facing him.
Your eyes tiptoeing on the line of falling asleep and staying awake, you murmur, “Do you always ask your one-night stands to stay the night?”
Jaehyun reaches over to his bedside table, flicking the switch of his lampshade until the room is finally enclosed in darkness. When he returns with his answer, you’ve already chosen your slumber with your soft snoring that has him smiling like a fool.
“Only the ones I’m interested in.”
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When the first light of the morning seeps through the gap of his curtain and oscillates inside his room, you force yourself to stir into full consciousness. Grabbing your phone on the nightstand, you read the time. It’s 6:27 am and beside you, Jaehyun is heavily asleep, the lull of his breathing sound and steady. Feeling your heart lurch at the peaceful and beautiful sight of his sleeping form, you stray your gaze away from him and slip out from the covers silently.
Going in front of his dresser, you yank your shirt upwards, removing it from your body. Folding it, you place the shirt on the counter and begin to gather your scattered pieces of clothing on the floor, dressing yourself quietly and leaving his room afterwards. And when you’re by the front door, you don’t look back because if you do, you fear that all your resolve will simply dissolve.
Zipping up your thin jacket once you’re outside the building, you bury your hands in the pockets and finally prepare yourself to face the nipping breeze of Spring as you walk to the nearest bus stop.
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Checking the time on your wristwatch, you realize that there’s only two minutes left before you can sign out and call it a day. Today—the whole week, actually—has been such a drag. Full of calculations, spreadsheets and emails.
Closing the document on your desktop screen, you shut down your computer and lean back on your chair. Letting your eyes rest, you do a little bit of neck and back stretches, loosening all those tight muscles. Taking a sigh afterwards, you finally pack all of your stuff in your bag and grab your coat that’s draped on your chair.
While on the trek to the train station, something flits in your brain, making you pause for a bit. Bringing out your phone, you open the internet, checking the page you last visited. Quickly scanning the place’s location, you start to turn the other way, following the directions on your screen.
The past few days, the idea of buying a turntable has been toying with you. Last night, for instance, you found yourself staring at every corner of your room, assessing which corner would it look the best in. And then today during lunch at work, you were researching about brands and prices, reading reviews and getting even more swayed and convinced in making this investment.
After a good seven-minute walk, you finally find the local record store. When you enter the place, young people are strolling around, checking out the endless collection of records, testing turntables while listening to music with headphones. Wandering to the right, you check out the different players they have to offer. After eyeing each and every one, you carefully hold on to the one with the wooden base. The color, you think, would fit the style of your room. But then the grey one seems good too, the shade popping out nicely.
Feeling undecided, you search for a member of staff nearby. Approaching the guy who’s stacking records, you clear your throat. “Excuse me, hi.”
He looks at you with a smile, affably echoing your greeting. “Can I help you?”
Nodding, you tell him, “Uh, yes. I’m thinking of buying a turntable and I need some advice in picking the right one. Would you be able to help me?”
Your eyes dart down to his nametag—Mark. After hearing your predicament, his big, round eyes blink rapidly like he’s a deer caught in the headlights. “Oh, uh,” he says timidly. “I only started working here yesterday so I really don’t know much about turntables. Let me just go and call my manager.”
“Okay, great. Thanks,” you say, sending the blue-haired boy an appreciative smile. When he walks away, you find yourself skimming through a collection of records for a few moments, realizing that you’re in the Pop music section of the store.
“Hi, how can I—" The rest of Jaehyun’s words die down on his throat the second you look up from scanning records and turn to face him.
Your eyes widen in shock at the sight of him wearing a collared white shirt, sleeves rolled up to his elbows, with a Rolex on his wrist. His hair is pushed back neatly, exposing his forehead. “Jaehyun.”
“Yes, it’s me.” He grins and you could feel a fluttering sensation in your insides.
At the sight of him, warmth flowers in your chest, creeping to your cheeks. God, you forgot how melting his smile is. And how easily it disarms and softens your iron walls, especially when his dimples and eye whiskers are in full display. Blinking with a dumbfounded expression, you ask, “You… you work here?”
He nods. “My family owns Vinyl and Plastic.” Clearing his throat, he curves one brow up, the corner of his mouth twitching for a smirk. “So, I believe I still owe you breakfast.”
You’re rendered speechless and frozen, uncertain on what to say to him so you dodge his stare.
“Didn’t even wanna give my cheese and ham omelette a chance, huh?”
Gritting your teeth, you finally muster the courage to look at him again. “I—I couldn’t stay. Because I don’t do that.”
“What, eat breakfast?” He gasps dramatically, placing his hand on his chest. “Y/N, I am appalled. I’ll have you know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”
You snort. “No. I don’t stay for breakfast after a one-night stand because that leads to involvement.”
“Okay, so… you don’t date.”
You nod. “And I don’t do relationships. Those are the facts.”
Jaehyun crosses his arms and raises a quizzical brow. “Ah, see, but you’re ignoring another fact which I think isn’t very fair.”
“And what exactly is that fact?
He wets his lips before revealing with a grin, “The fact that you like me. Correct?”
“I,” you say, pausing. “What makes you think that I—” You come to a stop, swallowing your subsequent words in as the memory of your first meeting in the bar, of your conversation about music, of him diligently solving his cube and of the way he looked at you when he told you that he wants you to stay and spend the night with him flashes through your mind like a film.
Jaehyun takes one step forward as his hands find your waist. He holds onto the fabric of your peacoat and pulls you closer to him. “Well?”
When you meet his stare, your heart hammers within your chest. He’s right. You have been ignoring the most significant fact that has been hanging over your head. The second you let out an exhale, you finally let yourself embrace the truth, reciprocating his feelings and confirming his supposition by wrapping your arms around his neck and pressing your forehead against his.
“You’re right,” you nod, your lips curling up for a smile. “I do like you.”
Mirroring your expression, he asks, “So you’ll date me, yes?”
The first feeling that lunges through you isn’t fear. It’s far from doubts, from apprehension and cowardice. Instead, it’s excitement and hopefulness. Which is why you find it effortless to pronounce your three-letter word answer because you’re certain of your feelings. You’re certain of him.
With a brilliant grin, Jaehyun’s hand cups your warm cheek, the tip of his nose running along your skin. And when he finally closes the gap, diving in to crash his lips with yours, the butterflies in your stomach explode into a colorful firework display. The music that lingers in the air is tuned out because all you can hear is the beat of your heart and how it spells out the letters of his name.
When you both pull away, air has been knocked away from your lungs but your feelings for each other quickly supplies it back, making you extremely delighted and thrilled in the aftermath, your faces covered in smiles.
“So you’re thinking of buying a turntable?” he asks.
When you return with a nod, you both walk to the section together hand in hand. He points at the middle one on display and recommends it to you. Lifting up the lid of the grey turntable, he proceeds to explain about the brand, the quality and durability, even inserting a comment about how minimalistic and nice the tone is.
“It’s pretty,” you muse after a few minutes of meticulous scanning. “Hey, if I take this, does this mean I’d get it for free?”
Jaehyun laughs. “Nice try, babe.”
752 notes · View notes
agustdiv1ne · 9 months ago
bad for u (m)
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pairing: jung jaehyun x reader
genre: s2l au, angst, fluff, smut
wc: 8.1k
summary: your life was pointless, but maybe you could find meaning in the form of the boy who smoked weed too much on your apartment rooftop, and maybe he could find meaning in you too.
warnings: marijuana use, alcohol, unhealthy coping mechanisms, extreme pessimism/potential depression, a conversation about death, angst, but then not angst, age difference (4 years), inexperienced reader (both romantically and sexually), virgin reader, first time, oral (f receiving), penetrative sex, protected sex, very slight d/s undertones, multiple orgasms, petname of baby is used, just soft sex basically
note: i told myself this was gonna be on the back burner. i lied.
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november 1st
you groaned as you rolled over in your bed, glancing at your alarm clock. 11 p.m. you had slept the entire sunday away.
you groaned as you finally willed yourself to stand up, making your way to the bathroom. dark bags were all you could see as you glanced at yourself in the mirror. they seemed like a permanent fixture on your face. you couldn't lie to yourself, you felt like shit.
"i hate it here," you mumbled to yourself as you ran your hand through your hair, your fingers getting caught in the countless knots that sent sharp spikes of pain through your scalp. you rolled your eyes. 
you weren't sure how you found yourself on your way to your apartment building's roof, legs mindlessly taking you there after you grabbed one of your sweatshirts. maybe you needed to escape, maybe it was the cold that quieted your thoughts. you weren't sure if either of those were reasons at all, all you knew was that you needed to get out of that shitty apartment. 
your hand met the cool metal of the door leading to the roof, twisting it open. the chilly air bombarded your face as soon as the door swung open. your eyes traveled over the city lights, a single airplane traveling overhead catching your eye. you wondered where it was going. maybe italy. italy sounded nice. 
you hadn't realized you were walking, spaced out and eyes unfocused, until a voice snapped you out of it.
"who are you?"
you flinched before you glanced down, finding a guy, maybe a few years older than you, with a joint in his hand. the strong stench of weed hit your nostrils, and you scrunched your nose up. he didn't seem to care, continuing to smoke with a bored look on his face.
"uh, my name's y/n," you replied, hands fiddling together nervously. you knew you looked like you'd been swept through a hurricane, you definitely weren't expecting to see someone up here. 
"hm, jaehyun," he took another hit, blowing the smoke up towards you. you sat down across from him, legs crossed. he glanced in your direction, eyes glossy, but you could see a glint of curiosity behind the uninterested mask.
"you live here?" he asked. he wasn't looking at you, but you weren't mad. you preferred it that way.
"yeah, i'm assuming you do, too?" you brought your knees to your chest, hugging your arms around them to maintain your body heat.
"yeah, i do," he continued to look up at the sky, and your eyes followed to where he was looking. there was nothing there but a few stars.
"how old are you?" you decided to ask. 
"twenty-three, you?"
"you're young."
"not really."
you sighed at the pregnant silence that followed. you weren't sure what to say, but he didn't seem to mind, the silence surprisingly comfortable. you weren't sure how long you sat there before he stood up and began walking away without a goodbye, he didn't seem too interested in sitting with you anymore.
"see you tomorrow?" you asked from behind him. you were expecting a no, but what you got instead surprised you.
and just like that, he was gone.
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november 5th
jaehyun was magnetic.
why you were so drawn to the mysterious man that you had met on your apartment rooftop, you didn't really know. it was because he thought similarly to you, maybe it was because…well, you weren't sure. something drew you to him, and you couldn't bring yourself to stay away.
so you found yourself climbing the stairs to the rooftop for the fourth night in a row.
the telltale scent of weed hit your nose the moment you opened the door. the sky was dark, but there was enough light for you to walk towards jaehyun's usual spot without tripping. his form appeared in your vision the closer you got, his back slumped against the wall, head pointed up towards the sky. a joint hung from his lips as his glossed-over eyes met yours, the faintest ghost of a smirk on his face.
"why do you keep coming back? can't you see that i'm bad for you?" he asked lethargically. he brought the joint back to his lips to take a long puff, exhaling the smoke into the freezing night air as he looked away from you, "you're too innocent to be ruined by someone like me." 
"you won't ruin me," you protested softly, stopping a couple feet away before sitting down, criss crossed your legs. your too-long hoodie sleeves covered your cold hands. 
"what makes you so sure?" his suddenly intense eyes bored into your own, and you knew your shiver was not because of the freezing air.
"i just have a feeling," you shrugged nonchalantly, trying to brush off the shock of piercing his eyes on you. you weren't sure yet how to tell him that you were already ruined, that your mental state was already miserable enough that he couldn't make it any worse. a frown tugged at your lips as you glanced down at his thin jacket, "aren't you cold?"
"nah," he brought the joint back to his lips, "can't feel much right now." 
silence grew between you for a few minutes until he coughed. he extended the joint towards you, "wanna try?"
you breathed out a laugh, shaking your head slightly, "i think i'm good."
"suit yourself."
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november 9th 
you met jaehyun every night, even as the nights grew colder.
"fuck, i don't have any blue," he groaned, picking up another card from the stack. you grinned, placing a draw two card down. he shot you a cocky smirk, and your eyes widened comically, "draw four."
you stared at the stack for a solid second before you met his eyes again. a mischievous smile grew on your face as you placed your draw four card on the stack, "draw eight."
"fuck," he slapped his hand on his thigh in frustration, drawing eight new cards. 
"we're keeping it blue, by the way."
"i hate you."
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november 14th
"what's your favorite planet?" the question came out of nowhere, from him. you peered over at the boy, a little shocked, but he wasn't looking at you, he was looking up towards the inky black of the sky. 
"pluto," you replied without thinking.
he glanced at you, confused, "that's a dwarf planet."
"it got demoted to a dwarf planet. it's small, insignificant, lonely. i think the reason i like it so much is because it reminds me of myself," you chuckled bitterly. he didn't say anything, so you asked, "what's yours?"
"uranus," he smirked.
you slapped him on his jacket-clad arm, "you're like a twelve year-old boy!" 
he laughed, genuinely laughed, not a scoff or a smirk or a half-hearted chuckle. you wished he would do that more often. "it's not because of the name, okay? it's because it spins on its side," he explained, his hands sluggishly waving in a loop to emphasize his point.
"ah, so you like it 'cause it's not like other planets," you teased sarcastically. he rolled his eyes, not bothering to defend himself.
"i was a big space nerd as a kid, y'know," he said after a beat of silence, "thought i would be some kind of astronaut, travel through space, maybe be the first man on mars."
"i could see you as an astronaut," you replied, "take me with you if you ever decide to go through with it." he hummed in affirmation.
you scratched your head, "i thought i would become a psychologist. turns out i need one."
he laughed for the second time that night, the pleasant sound that reached your ears making you grin. your eyes started to droop as it neared four in the morning. it seemed jaehyun felt the same way, his eyes already closed as he leaned back against the cement wall. you succumbed to a comfortable sleep quickly, which was unlike you.
you woke up on the rooftop with a splitting headache and an aching back, jaehyun still passed out next to you.
a true smile grew on your lips.
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november 16th
"can i paint your nails?" 
"c'mon, please?" you presented your nails, which were painted a pitch black, "we can match."
"you want me to look like an eboy?" he grimaced.
a tiny laugh escaped your throat, "nah, i just think it would be fun. live a little, jaehyun." you sounded like a hypocrite, but you couldn't think about that too hard with him as a distraction.
"fine," he extended one of his hand towards you, "do your worst."
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november 20th
"what does weed, uh, taste like?" you cringed at your own question. you were surprised you had never tried it before. it was probably because you were too scared to ever try it, even in high school when you fell into that crowd as your mental health declined and your parents didn't seem to notice. you had always stuck to alcohol. 
his lips lifted a little, a small 'tch' coming from his mouth as he looked at you through the corner of his eye, "depends on the strain. some taste like fruit, some taste like candy, others taste like shit. the cheaper it is, the shittier it probably tastes."
you hummed in acknowledgment, bringing your hand down to scratch at your knee. your index finger pointed towards the joint in his hand, "so what does your weed taste like?"
"tonight's tastes like strawberry," he slowly inhaled more smoke, breathing it out after a few seconds. you watched as it disappeared. you grew silent, a sudden itch to try it growing in your brain. why? you weren't entirely sure, but the way jaehyun always looked entirely relaxed after a joint had you curious for a while now. it seemed like a nice escape from reality, even if it wasn't permanent.
"wanna try now?" 
"uh yeah, sure," you gently took the joint from his fingers. you looked down at it, unsure what to do. you felt the tips of your ears grow warm in embarrassment. 
he shifted so that he was facing you, "you gotta inhale slowly, and don't take a big hit, you're a beginner." you nodded, beginning to bring it up to your mouth, but he caught your wrist gently, and sparks traveled up your arm, "inhale enough so you feel it in your lungs, you won't get high if you don't. and don't swallow." 
he let go as you nodded again, taking a deep, shaky breath before placing it in front of your lips once again. in his eyes, you looked so innocent, staring at the joint as if it was an alien with two heads, the weed-induced image now floating in his mind. he laughed to himself, his high rendering his mind hazy, until you glanced over with wide eyes. his expression morphed into an unimpressed look, and your eyes trailed back to the joint between your fingers. you placed your mouth on the end, inhaling what you believed was a small hit, making sure to keep jaehyun's advice in mind and attempting to inhale into your lungs. the smoke made your throat burn uncomfortably, and you began to cough, immediately removing the joint from your lips. tears pricked your eyes at the unpleasant feeling, and jaehyun placed a hand on your back, rubbing your back in circles as your coughing fit subsided.
"shit, i forgot to warn you about that," he sighed. he felt a little guilty, given it was your first time actually smoking it directly. he was sure you had already gotten a little contact high from the times he had smoked right next to you before, but he knew from experience that that didn't prepare you for the actual thing. 
"no shit," you wheezed, handing the joint back to him, "i don't think i'm cut out for this four-twenty shit." you laughed at the end of your sentence, signalling that you weren't angry. he exhaled in relief, the overwhelming feeling to hug you creeping into his hazy brain. 
but he wasn't known for that, so he didn't.
"cute," he mumbled instead. you couldn't quite hear him, a 'what?' escaping your mouth as you tilted your head to the side. he hid his embarrassment with a cocked brow, "nothing."
"alright," you conceded, leaning back against the wall behind you. you two slipped into a comfortable silence. well, until he broke it by waving the joint in front of your face.
"you sure you don't wanna try another hit?"
"i'm sure, jaehyun, keep on smoking."
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november 26th
today was thanksgiving, the holiday that celebrated family, tradition, and most importantly food. 
you spent the entire day alone, cooking a small meal for yourself for dinner. you thought back to the times that your extended family came over to celebrate, one of your younger cousins drawing a stick figure turkey and bragging about it to you, the taste of your mom's famous mashed potatoes. you most likely would never experience any of that again. that happiness was fleeting.
you climbed the stairs leading to the roof like you did every night. it was nearing midnight, and all you wanted to do is drink the pain away. you wanted to forget everything, even if it was just for one night. you walked across the cement towards your usual spot. a voice interrupted your thoughts.
"what's in the bag?"
you flinched a little before you realized it was jaehyun. "booze. weed's your escape, mine's usually alcohol," you sat down beside him, placing the bag down in between your bodies. 
"fair enough," he replied as you pulled a couple bottles of coca-cola, a bottle of bacardi, and a bottle of wine out of the bag.
he raised an eyebrow, "didn't take you as a rum and coke type of girl."
"i'm not, i just wanna get shitfaced tonight," you grabbed a red solo cup from the bag, mixing yourself a drink, "help yourself."
"how'd you even get this, anyway? you're not old enough."
"i know a guy," you left it at that.
you drank with him in silence, the only sounds surrounding you from the cars on the street below. you didn't talk as you grew drunker and drunker, the time passing faster than usual. it wasn't until the time creeped towards 2 a.m. that you spoke again.
"why didn't you go see your family?" you asked. in all honesty, you didn't expect to see him tonight. you were planning on getting drunk up here alone, to wallow in your loneliness and depressing thoughts until the wee hours of the morning. that plan was immediately thrown away once you saw him.
"my parents died three years ago."
something in your chest twisted painfully once he uttered those words. you felt tears begin to well up in your eyes, becoming extra emotional due to the alcohol. you squeezed your eyes shut for a second before you shifted closer to him, "i'm so sorry, jaehyun."
"wasn't your fault, don't worry about it," he shrugged. he felt more than he let on, but you weren't going to push it. silence enveloped the atmosphere for a few minutes. at least jaehyun had a knack for breaking it.
"why are you here? why aren't you back home with your family?" he asked.
"they don't want anything to do with me, decided i was a waste of time. you would, uh, think they would want to see their only kid, but i guess that assumption is wrong when their kid has mental issues they don't want to deal with. they called me the family fuckup," you picked at your nails, acting as if you were over it. you weren't.
jaehyun could see straight through you façade, but didn't comment on it. he wasn't sure what to say to comfort you, though, so he resorted to a blunt reply, "that's fucked."
you released a bitter chuckle, "yeah, it is."
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december 2nd
"are you scared of dying?"
"not really. it'll happen when it happens," he replied.
"well, i'm scared," you said, tracing the cracks in the cement below you.
"why is that?"
"i'm scared that one day i'll decide i can't live anymore and just off myself. i'm scared that my misery will win and i'll end up dead because of it," you felt tears well in your eyes, but you blinked them away. no crying, not now.
"that's fair, sometimes i wish i'd just die already."
"how can you think of it so casually?" you frowned. death seemed like a friend he welcomed with open arms.
"it's easy to think about dying when you realize there isn't much you're living for."
"can you live for me, then?"
his molten eyes met yours, "only if you live for me, too."
your heart almost jumped out of your chest, and you gulped. you had never seen jaehyun so serious. you held out your right pinky like a child, staring up at him, whispering a tiny 'pinky promise?' the corner of his lips twitched upwards before he brought his own pinky up, the slightly chipped black polish still on his nail, hooking it around yours. the fact that he didn't remove it made your heart swell just the tiniest bit.
"pinky promise."
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december 3rd
the weather continued to grow colder as the freezing tendrils of winter gripped the city. you were just glad it didn't snow here.
it was another typical night spent with jaehyun, but you hadn't realized it was going to get this cold tonight as you didn't bother checking the weather beforehand, your thin hoodie doing little to keep your body warm. yet you hadn't really realized that you were freezing until jaehyun pointed it out to you.
you looked down at your body, which was shaking like a leaf, your fingertips beginning to turn blue, "yeah, i guess i am."
"c'mere," he wrapped his arm around you, pulling you into his side. you balled your fists into the sleeves of your hoodie, shifting your body so you could receive as much of his body heat as possible. 
and while your chest ached a little, you savored the moment, tucking it into one of the happier crevices of your mind.
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december 7th
at this point, you weren't sure what to do about your feelings. 
ignore them? act on them? let them fester inside you? it was a mystery to you, your lack of experience in the romance department was coming back to bite you in the ass. 
you also weren't sure why you decided jaehyun was the best person to go to for advice, especially since it was him that your problem resolved around, but you really didn't have anyone else to go to.
"have you ever been in a relationship?" was your first question of the night. your legs were thrown across his lap, your body pressed into his side with your head tucked into his chest. you could feel his heartbeat that way. this had become a normal position for you two ever since that oddly cold night. he never said anything about it, just pulled you closer every night.
"a few, they never panned out," he sighed, his chin resting on your head.
"you've been in a relationship at least," you muttered.
he removed his chin from the top of your head, staring down at you incredulously, "you've never dated anyone before?"
"no, i haven't even held hands with a guy," you scoffed pitifully at yourself. you felt stupid. he probably thought you were some weirdo, that something was obviously wrong with you if you were nineteen and never dated before.
"hm, wanna hold hands with me?" he offered his hand to you, palm up. you looked up at him to make sure that he was serious. he was. 
you gulped, "sure." you placed your hand in his, noticing how the black polish on his nails was chipped beyond belief. you jerked your chin at his tragic nails, "i could remove that for you, you know."
"nah, i'm keeping it, it grew on me," he squeezed your hand, the surprising warmth from his fingers seeping into your cold skin.
"at least let me touch it up," you offered.
"no," he retorted, brushing his thumb over the top of your hand. you shivered at the contact. maybe he did reciprocate your feelings.
"fine, keep your tragic nail polish."
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december 18th
you weren't sure how it happened so fast.
one moment you were curled into his side, talking about something random, and the next his warm lips were on yours, his long fingers resting on the side of your jaw. you tensed for a brief moment before relaxing back into his body, eyes fluttering shut as your lips moved slowly against his. you let him take the lead, his hands moving to your hips to position you so you straddled his lap comfortably. you broke away once your breath had quite literally had been stolen from your lungs. your doe-like eyes met his hooded ones.
"that- that was my first kiss," you whispered breathlessly. 
"shit, were you okay with that?" his eyes widened almost imperceptibly. he was worried that he was moving too fast with you, he completely forgot that you had no experience with this type of stuff. fuck, he felt like an asshole.
"more than okay, actually," you grinned, tiny wrinkles appearing beside your eyes. you smiled so hard your eyes disappeared, and while it was a little nervous, he could tell that it was genuinely happy, not the pseudo-happiness he had seen in your tiny smiles, your empty giggles. he felt a twinge of joy in his heart for once, just because he made you happy, his worry melting away as you placed your slightly chapped lips on his again. 
he could get used to this, he thought. 
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december 25th
you were glad that you planned to spend christmas night with jaehyun. 
you agreed to bring the food, while he agreed to bring the booze. while it wasn't the most ideal christmas dinner, you went to get some in-n-out. you ate in silence, the warm food filling your stomachs quickly. you noticed how he inhaled the food, and you wondered if he usually got enough on a regular basis. you hoped so, trying not worry as you tucked your face into his neck. 
"your face is fucking freezing," he mumbled as he wrapped his arms around you. 
"yours probably is too, shut up," you grumbled, burying your face deeper into his neck. you placed a light peck there, and he smiled softly before flicking the top of your head. you whined, slapping his chest in retaliation. 
"i got you a present."
"i got you one, too."
you both dug into your pockets at the same time, exchanging the small gifts and a quick peck. his hand found yours, squeezing it in a silent thanks. despite the chill seeping into your bones, your heart warmed. 
maybe happiness wasn't out of reach.
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january 1st
you raised the plastic bag you had brought with you as the clock struck midnight, "happy fucking new year. let's get drunk."
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january 12th
you didn't believe in new year's resolutions; it was just another reason to be disappointed in yourself when you didn't end up fulfilling it. but when you decided to make just one resolution, you knew you needed to go through with it, no matter how terrifyingly stressful it was for you.
so you finally went to see a psychologist.
it wasn't as bad as you thought it would be, spending most of the session filling out paperwork about your history and her asking a few questions about why you decided to seek treatment. you felt that she could help you, her kind smile and non-judgmental attitude made you feel safe talking to her. you were shocked that you met a psychologist that you clicked well with on your first try. you learned through some google searches that it usually took a few tries. your nerves faded away as the hour passed, and it made you feel a little more hopeful for your future. you decided that you should tell jaehyun, that he deserved to know about such a big step in your life. you hoped he would support you, and maybe you could convince him to try too.
you walked up to him, his usual joint in his hand, "what's on the menu tonight?"
"blue dream."
"blueberry, a little vanilla."
you hummed, sitting next to him, your gloved hand finding his easily. you breathed out a shaky sigh, building up enough courage to tell him, "i, uh, i went to see a psychologist today."
"oh." he didn't say anything after that, so you decided to continue.
"it went really well. she wasn't judgemental at all, she actually listened to me. i think it's gonna be a good thing for me."
he releases a noncommittal hum, and you frowned, squeezing his hand, "maybe you could come with me and see if you'd like i-"
"no," he shifted away from you slightly, and you noticed. you looked up at him. 
"why not?" 
"don't think it would be worth my time," he shrugged.
you knew you shouldn't have pushed the idea, but you genuinely believed that it might help him, "it's just — i think it might be good for you-"
"i said no, do you have ears?" his tone suddenly shifted, and you tensed. you had never seen this side of him before, angry, irritated, defensive. you weren't sure why it hurt so much to hear those words come from his mouth. you sighed shakily, realizing that this sounded a lot like your parents before they kicked you out.
"i-i just wanted to help-"
"nothing's ever gonna help me, nothing! not even you!" he harshly shoved your legs off of his lap, getting up from the ground before he shot you a sour glare. he turned, his back now to you as he took a few steps towards the door. tears welled in your eyes, a few rolling down your as his next callous words hit you square in the chest.
"it was a mistake to talk to you, leave me alone," his footsteps fading away as salty tears began to stream freely down your cheeks. you didn't hear the door slam shut, your loud sobs the only thing reaching your ears. this felt too much like what happened a year ago with your parents, but this time it hurt even more. 
because fuck, you loved him, and you just ruined everything you had built with him. you should've never gotten your hopes up when you were always let down in the end. 
now alone, you sat there, your shattered heart in your trembling hands.
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january 21st
you hadn't seen jaehyun in nine days.
you prayed for him to come back, that everything would be okay again. you knew it wasn't that easy. you understood his anger, you really did. you pushed too hard when he was obviously opposed to the idea, and now you must pay the price for it. it just hurt to have him suddenly up and leave without explanation, especially with how your feelings had developed over the past couple months. you felt abandoned by the person you loved the most, the only person who was a constant in your life, and that wasn't a nice feeling.
you barely slept since he left you, pulling all-nighters in the cold; you were surprised you hadn't contracted pneumonia yet. the dark circles that had disappeared from under your eyes in the past few months returned. happiness quickly became a foreign emotion again. when you first met him, he said that he was bad for you, that he would ruin you. you didn't believe him until now, but it wasn't his fault; you got too attached, relying on him for happiness, for comfort all of the time. you ruined yourself.
you wondered what jaehyun was doing right now. probably getting high, or drunk, or both. he probably wasn't even thinking about you, it seemed easy for him to up and leave without remorse. you were sure he had friends other than you that he could go see, while you befriended your loneliness again, accepting it back into your life almost too willingly.
you hadn't noticed that you were crying until a car alarm blaring from the street several stories below made you jump. you dug your phone from your pocket, wiping your tears on your sleeve so you could see the screen.
the time on your phone read 4 a.m. you trudged back to your apartment. 
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january 31st
you were certain that jaehyun was never coming back to you.
nearly three weeks had passed and he still hadn't returned. deep in your heart, you knew it was over, but you didn't give up quite yet.
your psychologist, dr. kim, could tell that something was wrong, and she tried to get you to open up about it. it was a safe space for you, she said, you didn't have to worry. you denied all of it, claiming that the reason you looked so tired was because you were working overtime at your job to pay your bills. you knew she didn't believe you, but you couldn't bring yourself to tell her about what happened with jaehyun, but you had a feeling that you would have to tell her eventually. you focused the subject on your parents for now.
you decided that this would be the last night you waited for him. you couldn't keep torturing yourself. your body moved on autopilot towards your usual spot, sinking down along the low cement wall until your bottom finally hit the ground. the hood of your sweatshirt obscured your face from view, your legs splayed out in front of you. you passed the time with your head pointed towards the sky. scattered clouds obscured some of the stars from view, a sudden vein of light streaked across the sky. a shooting star. you made a wish, but you were sure it wouldn't matter, given the path your life had decided to travel so far. fate could be so cruel sometimes.
eleven, twelve, one, the hours passed at a snail's pace. you grew more and more hopeless the longer you sat there, the finality of his rejection slowly ripping your heart to shreds.
it neared two in the morning when a pair of black vans entered your vision. you didn't bother to look up, you knew who it was. a twinge of surprise shot through your chest.
"you look cold," was the first thing he said. when you didn't answer, he tried to sit next to you to pull you into him so you quit shivering. you shifted away, the space between your bodies felt like miles rather than a few feet. you weren't sure how you felt now that he actually showed up. pathetic that you were so desperate to see him again. stupid, because you spent almost three weeks alone on a rooftop in the cold waiting for someone who didn't want you. angry that he could up and leave like that after being the reason for the happiest few months of your life. however, you couldn't deny the miniscule amount of happiness that bloomed in your chest from hearing his voice again. all of it confused you. your forearms wrapped around your shins, your legs now tucked against your body as you stared straight ahead, attempting to stay strong when all you wanted to do was break down.
he took in your hollow eyes, the dead, glossed-over look that you first wore when you met him. he never realized until now how much progress you both had made in the past few months, helping each other escape despair through the little moments you shared each night. he thought that you would get over him, that he was holding you back with his unhealthy coping mechanisms and negative outlook on life. but now he realized that by leaving you alone, he effectively reversed all of that progress for you. your happiness was all but gone because of his rash actions, he wished he told you what he had been doing these past three weeks instead of hiding away like a coward.
he had to try and make this right, even if it wasn't easy.
"i, um, i-" he paused to take a deep breath, nerves fluttering in stomach. why did he have to be nervous right now of all times? "i went to see a psychologist."
you didn't answer, your face blank as he tried to take your hand in his. you snatched it away, pursing your lips. his heart twisted painfully, but he deserved it, he deserved your dull eyes haunting him. he bit his lip, still unsure if you were listening to him, "i went to a lot of psychologists actually, maybe seven. none of them clicked until the last one, i've been going for the past couple weeks now. you were right, i needed it." 
he gulped before hitting you with his final blow to your heart, "i also wanted to say that i missed you, and i'm sorry."
"why now?"
"w-what?" he stuttered as he sent a startled glance your way. your voice was devoid of any emotion, yet he could hear a raspiness that only reared its ugly head after a bout of crying. shit.
"why now? why come back after three fucking weeks of radio silence? i thought you never wanted to see me again, jaehyun! how dare you say you regret meeting me then decide to come back!" you choked on a sob at the end of your sentence, curling in on yourself as every negative thought and emotion you experienced in the past weeks finally crashed down upon you. your emotionless façade fell apart, revealing your vulnerable, afraid truth, your body curling into itself further as endless tears streamed down your cheeks. he reached over to pull you into his arms, and you let him, hooking your arms around his neck as you sobbed into his soft sweatshirt. he smelled like warm spices with a hint of weed. 
he rocked you back and forth, a comforting hand soothing along your back. you shook in his hold, one hand weakly slapping his chest repeatedly, "i-i missed you so f-fucking bad." 
he shushed you, allowing you to soak his sweatshirt in your tears. this was the most emotion he had felt in a long time, tears pricking his own eyes, but he didn't allow them to fall. it took you a while to calm down, but he remained patient, whispering sweet nothings into your ear as your sobs declined into tiny whimpers. 
"what even are we, jaehyun?" you finally asked him as tears welled in your eyes once more. your head buried itself in his shoulder, knowing that looking at him would result in another breakdown. you couldn't deny your joy in seeing him, but if he didn't reciprocate your feelings, you couldn't bear to stay here.
he felt you tense in his arms as you waited for an answer, and his chest ached for reducing you to this state. he stated his next words decisively, leaving no room for confusion or gray interpretation, "i want us to date. i can't be away from you like that ever again." dr. suh told him that communication was key to every relationship, and he took that advice to heart. even if it felt weird to him, he knew he needed to do it if he wanted any sort of relationship with you. he couldn't let you go after all you had been through.
he felt you tense again for a split second before relaxing against his body again, arms looping tighter around his neck as if he would disappear into thin air if you were to let go. you pulled your head from his neck to finally look a him, a fragile smile on your lips, "i'd- i'd like that. a lot. but don't you dare pull anything like that ever again."
even with your tear-stained face, he wholeheartedly believed that you were the most beautiful thing he had ever soon. he laughed quietly, dimples appearing, "i'd like it a lot, too. and i will never do that to you again, i swear on my life."
you felt his hand travel up to the back of your head, his lips meeting your tenderly. adoration and want coated every caress of skin and brush of lips. the kiss slowly grew heated, his teeth finding your bottom lip to lightly bite down. you whimpered quietly, feeling arousal rapidly pool in your stomach as you moved to straddle his waist. both of you could feel how strongly you missed each other. his hands traveled down to your waist and squeezed before he broke away from the kiss. you chased his slightly swollen lips for another light peck.
"please let me show you how much i care for you," he whispered, lips a mere millimeter from your own. his chocolate eyes bore intensely into your own, causing your heart to beat a million miles a minute. you knew what he was implying, but you trusted him. these past three weeks had been full of severe miscommunication, yet now everything felt whole again, complete. you nodded almost imperceptibly, a breathy 'okay' escaping your lips. he captured your lips once more, hands resting against your hips now. you ground your pelvis down slightly against his own subconsciously, causing him to groan into your mouth. 
he stopped the movement of your hips, "it's too cold out here, c'mon." he lightly pushed you off of him, standing up before helping you up onto your shaky legs. he could see the burning desire in your eyes as he looked down at you. he shivered, he had never seen you like this. 
jaehyun guided you to his apartment a few floors down, his hand laced in yours. he let go of your hand once you reached the door, fumbling with his keys for a few seconds before finally unlocking it. you took in his apartment while he shut the door behind him. it was...kind of messy, and around the same size as your own. a television sat to your left, a couch in front of it, a small kitchen nearby, and a hallway extended to your right. you assumed it led to his bedroom. he broke your attention from examining his apartment with a hand to your waist, spinning you around to face him. his lips found yours again, the kiss slow and tender. he wanted to take things slow with you due to your lack of experience, and you were extremely grateful. a light nip to your bottom lip made you squeak, and he laughed a little. 
the single word had your face growing hot, and you prayed he couldn't feel the heat radiating off of your skin with how close you were to him. he could, of course he could, but he decided not to poke fun at you for it. instead, he guided you to his room, gently setting you on the bed. you felt like a doll that he was trying not to break, yet you appreciated his carefulness. it made you feel safe.
you scooted up to the middle of the bed, laying down on the soft sheets as he straddled your hips. his thumbs brushed against your cheeks, his dark maple eyes staring straight into your soul as he assured you, "we can stop whenever you wanna, okay?"
"okay," you had never seen this side of jaehyun, so soft and caring, a major difference from the somewhat cold and aloof front he usually put up. it was odd, yet comforting, to experience this level of intimacy with him.
a kiss coated in coffee and a little weed was exchanged before he moved his lips to your neck, sucking small hickies along your sensitive skin. breathy moans poured from your mouth, and he groaned, the vibrations sending shocks of pleasure straight to your core. you pressed your thighs together, wetness pooling at the junction of your legs. you felt him smirk into your neck before he bit down on the sensitive spot beneath your ear. you cried out, a satisfied chuckle coming from him as he toyed with the hem of your hoodie. you placed your smaller hands on top of his, wordlessly guiding them up to remove the article of clothing from your body. his eyes trailed along your bare flesh, and your arms wrapped around your torso automatically, suddenly timid to have him see you like this. 
he trailed his hands along your arms, his body moving down in between your legs, before placing a sweet kiss to your stomach, "don't hide from me, baby."
you shivered at the petname. it felt odd, but you liked it, loved it, even. the feeling of being wanted and appreciated despite your flaws was new to you, yet it warmed your heart to no end. you gradually moved your arms to your sides, allowing him to fully look at you. he kissed down your stomach until his head sat between your legs.
he toyed with the hem of your sweatpants now, "can i take these off?"
"y-yeah," you breathed, and he looked up at you to make sure, but you had more to say, "but only if you take your hoodie off first."
"making demands now, hm?" he teased before fulfilling your wish. with his shirt now thrown in a random corner of the room, you could take in his toned body, your face now rivaling the heat of a volcano. everything felt too hot, and it grew even hotter when he pulled your sweatpants down your legs, leaving you in just your bra and panties. he was eye-level with your clothed core, and he felt himself grow harder when he spotted a wet patch on the cloth. his fingers brushed against your thighs as he littered wet kisses along the sensitive skin, a desperate whine escaping your throat. you might have been a little nervous still, but you needed him to touch you right now.
"fuck, touch me, please. i can take it," you begged. you couldn't find it in you to take it slow, not anymore.
he hummed in response, quickly slipping your panties off to reveal your sopping folds. two of his long fingers spread your lips apart to allow the cold air to hit your center, making you clench around nothing. god, he wanted to taste you.
"can i eat you out?" he asked, and you nodded rapidly, a whined 'yes' tumbling from your lips. it was cute how turned on you became from a mere few minutes of teasing, but he decided to not tease anymore, his flattened tongue licking a bold stripe up your core. you cried out, the sensation foreign yet so intoxicating, as you tried to close your legs around his head. his hands caught your limbs, arms wrapping around your legs to keep them open as he ate you out like a starved man. hiccuped whines and whimpers poured from your mouth like a waterfall, and when he finally wrapped his lips around your swollen clit, you moaned loudly. 
"so sensitive, baby," he grumbled, the vibrations forcing a ruined moan from your throat. he dove right back, but this time he poked a finger at your entrance, slipping it in easily. it only took a few more minutes for him to slip in one more. the intrusion made your head spin. you had used toys, of course, but the way his fingers dragged against your walls was absolutely euphoric. he added a third. the heat that started as a small spark became an inferno, your legs quaking as your high quickly possessed you. back arching, you came with an audible squeal, jaehyun groaning into your pussy as he tasted your juices.
you weakly pushed his head away once you came back down to earth, whining softly as he delivered one last lick to your puffy clit. he positioned his body back in between your legs, but before he could do anything else your hands had already traveled to his waistband, attempting to tug it down. he laughed at your eagerness as he stood up, slipping both his pants and boxers down his muscular thighs. your mouth dried as his large cock slapped against his stomach, the tip colored an angry red. 
"are you sure you wanna do this? we can stop now, y'know, i can handle this myself," he said, but you shook your head no.
"i'm ready, i promise," you smiled reassuringly up at him. 
he exhaled before he nodded decisively. you bit your lip as he stood up to grab a condom from his dresser drawer. he leaned back onto the bed, slipping the condom on before lining his cock up with your entrance, "any pain and i'll wait, alright?"
"alright," and so his hips moved forward, his tip breaching your entrance before the rest of his length followed. it stung a bit, so you told him. he waited for you to tell him to move, repeating this process until he bottomed out, his cock snug  against your walls. he waited for your okay to move, allowing you to adjust to being so full, so stretched. he was definitely larger than any toy you had ever used before.
"you can move, i'm okay," you sent him a reassuring smile. the slight pain faded, thanks to his fingers beforehand, morphing into pleasure as his slow thrusts began. he leaned over your body, forearms resting on both sides of your head to support himself, before enveloping your lips with his once more. your moans and whimpers were swallowed by his greedy lips, the drag of his cock against your walls leaving your breathless. 
"f-fuck, feels so good," you breathed, "can- can you go faster?"
he heeded your request, and you cried out a high-pitched, drawn-out 'fuck' that almost had him cumming right then and there. he sat back up to be able to rub your overstimulated clit, his long fingers occasionally delivering a pinch to the bundle of nerves to make you squeak. 
"yeah, you like that? gonna cum, baby? you feel so good around me," he bit his lip as you clenched around him, releasing a shaky breath.
the overwhelming sensations combined with his dirty words made the coil that had been winding up in the pit of your stomach snap, red-hot pleasure sending your senses into overdrive. your vision was painted white for a split second as you hit the peak, and through your haze you heard jaehyun groan as his own high hit him. 
your vision cleared after a few minutes, exhausted pants coming from both of you. he pulled out, and you whined at the empty feeling. he moved to discard the condom, leaving you for a few seconds to also grab a wet towel. he returned to clean you up, your tired smile sending butterflies through his stomach. he threw the towel in a random direction before crashing down on the bed next to you, pulling you into his bare chest. your hands rested on his chest as he rested his chin on top of your head.
"are we okay now?" you asked in a small voice, eyes cast downward. the tiny voice in your head that you had been battling for the past few weeks cast doubt into your mind: what if he left you again? what if he apologized just to get you in bed? what if, what if, what if?
he brought his hand up to grip your chin, forcing you to look up at him. his eyes were full of love, and his next words drowned out all the negative possibilities running through your head, "more than okay," he took a deep breath, steeling himself to utter the words that had been waiting on the tip of his tongue since your first kiss, "i- i love you."
you swore your heart stopped when you heard those words, staring up at him in disbelief, before a grin that made the wrinkles by your eyes appear lit up your face, "i love you too, you idiot."
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→ © to agustdiv1ne. do not copy, repost, steal, and/or translate.
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warmau · 6 months ago
☆ [nostalgic] summer romance!au jaehyun exactly on time for the valentine boy! ........well....... find others here: johnny | haechan | taeil | taeyong | mark | jaemin | yangyang | yuta | sicheng | chenle | kun | yukhei | doyoung
how you end up here, you don’t know, but you blame johnny suh because when things get weird it’s usually his fault anyway
johnny’s smile is a thousand and one watts - he reaches out to pass you the beat up guitar case and again, you don’t even take it by choice, it’s nudged into your hands before you can really even say a word
“im not joining your band.”
“it’s not mine - it’s ours.”
jungwoo twirls a drum stick between his fingers and grins from his spot on the garage couch
“no johnny - we all know it’s yours.”
your lips thin and the only reason you don’t fling the case to the floor is because you actually like the guitar that’s inside. 
granted you haven’t seen it since middle school and it probably still has that horrible sticker on the back of it that you remember picking at until all the little pieces you got off were uncomfortably stuck under your nails.
“guys - it’s summer. we have nothing better to do.”
“says you, i got an engineering internship at samsung.” 
jungwoo chirps again and you try not to roll your eyes
we all know about the damn samsung internship dude.
“yeah - and i have to work at the family bookstore.”
mark lee walks in, holding as many redbulls as he can fit between his elbows, they spill out and onto the space beside jungwoo
you listen to mark open one and johnny groan
“ok you all have something to do, but we-” he motions behind him at you “don’t have anything to save us from the boredom that is about to take up two months of our youthful lives!”
you cut in and all three sets of eyes focus on you
“i have something i want to do this summer.”
johnny’s long figure straightens in anticipation while jungwoo cocks an eyebrow and mark gives you an encouraging smile
“im not going to tell you what it is, but it’s definitely not starting a band with you guys.”
you lean the guitar case against a nearby wall and add a half-hearted shrug
the walk from johnny’s house to yours isn’t long, it takes about fifteen minutes if you’re really going slow. 
plus you’ve done it so many times, you basically set your body to autopilot.
you think about it - the thing you want to do this summer before you go away for university and home becomes a new place and a memory at the same time.
you’re not known for being sentimental, johnny has even gone so far as to label you as a bit ‘apathetic’ . but still you know this is your last chance to really enjoy the place you grew up in.
you turn the corner at the street that leads down to where you live and in the hot evening air you hear something
it’s the sound of a bike, the pedaling is light but the frame must be old because it creaks a little when it slows down slightly to maneuver to the left and pass you.
you look up and see a boy
brown hair still wet from the pool or a shower maybe, dimples at the corners of his smile, the two sizes too big white shirt fluttering behind him in the breeze
for what seems like longer than a second - you lock eyes - his match the color of autumn leaves and teddy bear fur 
and for some weird reason can’t stop thinking about them even well after you get back home
is he new in town? i’ve never seen him before?
finally managing to shake off the curiosity, you fish the shoebox you’ve been keeping under your bed out and open it.
inside there’s only three things so far: 
a copy of your graduation photo, a copy of johnny’s graduation photo, and the prom invite ticket that has jungwoo’s chicken scrawl on the back (he was technically your date, because johnny got proportioned by half the seniors and mark was too nervous to ask if you’d take him)
this is what you were talking about. this is what you want to spend summer doing.
you want to spend it remembering, gathering fragments of your life so far in your hometown with your bestfriends, so that when you move on you have a tangible piece of the memories
the reason you were keeping it a secret though was because.....even you had to admit.......this was a little much 
and you had built yourself a little bit of a hard shell so imagining telling the people you knew that this was your summer plan 
well, you could already hear johnny’s voice saying something like ‘hey, this isn’t a hallmark movie you sap and facetime exists. do you think im not gonna call you at 3 am from across the country like i do now anyway?’ 
you close the box and tap your fingers on the top.
tomorrow, i’ll start visiting all the important places.
your phone pings and it sound echoes through the otherwise empty library. 
a harsh shushing sound comes from the front desk and you quickly answer it, sliding down against one of the bookcases
you’d come here to see if you could find that old series you loved as a kid, the magic treehouse, it’s the books you and johnny fought over when you first met each other years ago
you abandon that though because poor mark sounds like he’s having a panic attack over the phone
“hey, you need to get over here - johnny is holding auditions for a guitarist since you said you didn’t want to do the band”
“ok, so what? it’s just auditions?”
mark’s pleading gets louder, “it’s auditions with JOHNNY - he thinks this is eurovision or something i don’t know please i can’t reign him in and jungwoo’s at his internship - i am dying here!”
you sigh, making it long so mark knows how annoyed you are
“put him on.”
mark’s voice drowns and johnny takes the phone from him
“what did i say with conspiring with them? we are shunning them for quitting on the band! what do you mean you had no other options? what do you mean my egomania is coming out? - anyway hey whats up?”
“stop torturing mark and all the poor kids that showed up to audition.”
“first of all, im not torturing anyone. that would be illegal and distasteful, im just giving my constructive criticism. second of all, if you want to give orders like that then let’s make this a fare trade off. come over and help me judge - i mean hold the auditions and then i will cease my so called ‘torturing’ ala my ‘criticizing’.”
you huff - fine, it’s one day out of the whole summer.
“ok. but you better have snacks.”
“do you think i wouldn’t provide refreshments? what kind of monster do you think i am?”
there’s more people than you expect showing up to audition for this band. half of them are just there to sweet talk johnny or mark,  but the others are all just. bad. 
you never knew how bad someone butcher playing an instrument, let alone a guitar, but you’ve had that eye opening experience today
“how many people left?”
you mutter, face first into your palms and looking up with happiness when mark says only one!
“hey, im jung jaehyun.”
you turn and see the boy from the bike, the one with the softest eyes you’ve ever seen, standing in the entry to johnny’s garage
he’s carrying his own guitar case - black leather and well worn but loved
“well jaehyun dude, i hope you can at least play the damn thing because i feel like no one in this town can!”
johnny groans and you straighten up a little as jaehyun comes closer
he sets himself up and you feel something inside your stomach turn when he bends down and you see a bit of the tanned skin of his back
“im not amazing, but i can play some of the classics.”
“wonderwall?” mark asks and johnny snips at him as you try to think of something to say, but suddenly....your brain is fuzzy
“play anything!” 
so jaehyun does, he plays, and he even sings and the fuzziness in your brain turns to white noise and the little drop in your stomach is a whole bundle of butterflies
you barely realize the johnny is already befriending jaehyun and mark is staring at him with those big, impressed eyes
when you get up and jaehyun smiles at you
“so what do you play?”
johnny throws an arm around your shoulder older brother style and rolls his eyes before you get a word in
“you’re actually taking their spot because they’re too busy to be in the band.”
something seems to cast a sad shadow over jaehyun’s features - “oh, you’re not going to play with us?”
words float through your head, none of which you can grasp onto, so you just shake it instead and let johnny ramble on about your so called betrayal
you look at your phone and of course it’s nearing ten and there’s no way you can go to any of the other places on your list so you motion to mark that you’re going to head home
“oh - i have to go too.”
jaehyun slings his guitar case over his shoulder, “but ill come by tomorrow for practice?”
johnny shoots him a big grin and then haggles all the social media jaehyun has out of him
you don’t know why you just don’t start walking - but somehow you end up leaving with jaehyun, making that left turn where you first passed each other
“do you live on this street?”
you jump a little as you nod, “yeah - i think i actually saw you yesterday. you were on your bike so you probably didn’t notice me.”
there’s a polite distance between you two, but jaehyun is smiling when he answers
“oh no, i definitely noticed you.”
you end up thinking about those words the same way you couldn’t stop thinking about his eyes 
except this time, instead of it lasting a day, the thought lasts nearly two and a half weeks
it seems jaehyun is doing a good job fitting in with your friends, considering you don’t get anymore calls from mark 
and you actually start to make progress on your summer project
you manage to get some ticket stubs from old movies, an old science project you did that’s still hanging on the walls of the highschool (open for summer classes), and pressed flowers from ontop of a hill where you almost break your elbow back when you were a freshman
you’re plunging yourself into your past, but weirdly enough every now and then you’ll remember that 
oh no, i definitely noticed you
the six little words make you feel giddier than whatever memento you’re seeking out to tuck into your shoebox
you try to tell yourself it’s just because jaehyun is new - he’s new and the memory of him isn’t old enough to try and find anything to represent him by 
and he kind of represents everything you’re nervous about - new places, new people, new friendships ...... the prospect of a new love
you look up at the sky as you swing back and forth on the playground you’ve come to collect something from for your memory box 
that’s ridiculous. i’ve had one conversation with him!
you swing your legs back and forth, slowing down and you think twice about jumping off when suddenly you feels someone gently push your back
the swing goes a little higher and you turn your head in surprise to see
he smiles and his dimples greet you before he does
“i saw you on my way back from johnny’s.”
he gives you another soft push and you hear that fuzzy noise that always turns the gears in your brain when you try to say something around him
“is - is johnny being nice?”
is all you can muster and jaehyun laughs, the sound melodic but low, just the way the baritone of his voice is when he sang
“very nice, but he is a lot to handle sometimes.”
you kick your legs down and dig your heels into the grass a little, jaehyun grabs the two chains of the swings to help you stop it
when you turn you notice his bike is laying a couple of feet away and so is his guitar
“what about the band stuff?”
“johnny is trying to write songs and stuff, but actually mark is the one that i think has the talent for it.”
you can’t help but feel the corner of your mouth lift up a little, he already knows the two of them pretty well.
“what about you - do you write songs or music?”
jaehyun lifts his bike back up and you take the guitar case to help him
before you know it - you and him are walking side by side again 
“a little, but it’s more about playing the guitar for me. that’s the part that makes me happy.”
you play with your fingers behind your back, old nervous habits rising to the surface
“by the way - why did you not want to be part of the band? johnny said you were busy with something but you didn’t say what.”
you stop 
i should lie, make something up.
jaehyun stops too and the sounds of the bike wheels and footsteps float off into the air
but for some reason, i don’t want to lie. not to him.
“im......leaving after the summer, going to school in another place. so im spending my summer kind kind of cataloging this place. this town. i’m doing the whole put your memories in a shoebox thing which is so-”
“awesome! i think it’s awesome that you want a part of your home with you, sometimes people are way too excited to get away from their roots.”
you look at jaehyun, who returns the look with a comforting warmth you’ve never experienced before.
it’s a different comfort than the one you get from your friends or your family, it makes your heart beat flutter - slow for a second, then so fast you think your body can’t keep up
he starts walking again and you do too
the silence isn’t weird. it’s a conversation in it’s own way between your two bodies.
when you get to your house - you look at jaehyun again and you have two thoughts
one is that you should kiss him. because he looks so.....kissable.
the second, the one you ultimately choose, is to widen your eyes and go:
“promise you won’t tell the others about it though, they would not let me live it down.”
jaehyun laughs and hooks his pinkie with yours - his skin soft under the setting sun - “i promise.”
and after being caught up in thinking about jaehyun’s eyes, or the way he speaks, you find yourself in the same repeating cycle again
this time. it’s your regret. 
you should have chose option one, because it’s looking like another opportunity to kiss jung jaehyun is not coming any time soon.
and like the two times before, you throw yourself into your summer project to try and not think about it 
(although you do, multiple times throughout the day, at one point blushing at the image of what could have happened if you DID kiss him and then getting snapped at by the angry man at the local deli)
another couple of weeks pass and you swing by johnny’s because it’s a location on your summer memory list and also....
you are curious about how the band is going ...
and you kind of a little want to see jaehyun again......
you arrive and hear jungwoo’s voice to your surprise, followed by the sound of drums and johnny’s sharp “stop, stop, STOP!”
“jungwoo, what is going on - did working at samsung make you into a robot who can only produce code and not drum to save his life?”
“what do you know about drumming johnny? or coding? or anything in general?”
“hey watch the attitude, you’re embarrassing me in front of jaehyun.”
jungwoo snorts and you try to hide your own laugh but everyone turns to you just in time for you to hiccup it back
“ah - the traitor is here!” 
johnny sings and jaehyun gives him a soft elbow to the ribs
“what’s up?” 
mark smiles from his place at the keyboard and you cross your arms
“nothing, hows it going - book any shows? write an album yet?”
“actually, we did book a gig for your information”
johnny waltz his way from the microphone and to a stack of flyers from his couch
he hands you one and this time you do burst out into laughter
the flyer, pink and way over the top, is an invitation to johnny’s end of the summer party
well it’s actually his going away party his parents have planned for him, since he’s also leaving for school
“johnny - you didn’t book a gig. you’re playing your own party.”
“the parents are shelling out twenty dollars to each of us so money makes it a gig.”
you look at jaehyun who secretly rolls his eyes
“sure, sure. can i keep one of these?” 
you fold the flyer and slip it into your pocket, this will make a good addition to the shoebox
“oh are you going to put it in-”
jaehyun starts and you rush over, hand flying over his mouth as the three other people in the garage stare
“going to put it in......the trash. yes. going to throw it right out because really johnny did you use paint-”
johnny flips you off in the kindest, best friend way possible
you let go of jaehyun and throw him a look that he mouths an apology too
somehow, instead of leaving, you end up staying and listening to them practice
you consider it a break from your project and the day is filled with what you’d expect from all of them, laughter and jokes and banter that is only ok between the closest of people
when they finally finish practice and jungwoo and mark accept a gracious ride home from mr. suh 
you say you’ll be off too and jaehyun trots up right behind you, “ill walk with you.”
this time, you hear less of the fuzz in your head and can actually keep up a decent conversation without staring at jaehyun’s lips
you feel closer because of the time you spent today and you almost walk past your house until jaehyun points to the porch
“oh by the way. can i see what you have in the shoebox?”
you look over your shoulder at him, “like right now?”
he gives a casual shrug
“is that ok?”
and now jung jaehyun is standing in your room. well he’s standing in it and then he’s sitting on your bed and rummaging through some of the most personal memories you have.
his long fingers pulling out ticket stubs or notes you passed in class
he chuckles at the graduation photo of johnny and dangles yours over your head when he refuses to give it back 
you tackle him for it and he falls down against your sheets and you make the worst (or arguably best) mistake of your life
when you straddle his hips and rich out to grab it
only to look down and see him splayed open like the pages of a beautiful book
and you remember your regret
it makes your head spin, but you watch in slow motion as the photo falls from between his fingers and you lean down to catch it, but jaehyun presses up and catches your mouth with his.
it’s sloppy, awkward - but only for the first few seconds - until you can both adjust yourselves from your position and do it right and then it is 
because it feels like you’re kissing someone you’ve been kissing for years. decades. millennia's. eons. 
it feels like you and jaehyun have been doing this since the big bang.
since humans first came to exist. 
since, gosh you don’t know, since pangea freaking broke apart.
you make out for so long that you lose track of time and it gets late to the point where the darkness of the summer almost makes you ask him to stay over
but jaehyun is just so mannerly that he slips out the back door of your house with a final kiss and a promise to call
which he follows up on earlier than you expect, showing up on your doorstep to take you out for breakfast
only to end up with you two back in your room an hour later, kissing again, and again, and with more hands and less of his shirt or yours.
the only thing that unglues you from him is his phone ringing for what must be the tenth time
“it’s johnny”
you breath against jaehyun’s neck finally
“how do you know?”
“only he calls ten times in a row.”
and like your summer project, you don’t tell your friends about what’s going on between you two
jaehyun says it’s kind of hard to hide the obvious evidence on his body - but you tell him to say it was your other neighbor, or someone from another town
jaehyun agrees just because you pull the doe eye trick on him and he really is learning he can’t say no to that or to you in most situations
but everytime before and after band practice - he’s with you
sometimes he joins you on your little visits to the places still on your lists
when you tell him the sentimental value behind them, you get a little fidgety because being vulnerable is hard 
but jaehyun listens and he says that each memory of yours he gets to watch you relive, helps him learn something about you
you don’t say it out loud - but hearing that makes you want to cry and kiss him and cry again 
an other times, you two don’t do anything heartwarming or special, you just roll around with him, tangled up in one until he has to go
with each day, summer comes closer to 
and end but you fall deeper into each other at a pace that might be alarming if it was any other two humans but the both you
and before you know it - it’s the day of johnny’s end of summer slash going away party 
jaehyun is supposed to be there from like nine in the morning but he stops at your place before he bikes over
kissing your forehead he drops something in your palm
you open it to see his guitar pick 
“won’t you need this for when you play?”
“i’m using my backup. i just thought you might want to put that one in your shoebox........since it could remind you of me......”
he flushes and you bite back your lip, part of you is happy because he’s just so cute it isn’t fair but the other is coming to the daunting idea that 
soon enough - im leaving too, will jaehyun just be another memory to me?
instead of dwelling on it, you peck him again and ask, 
“ill see you at the party?”
the party is most definitely a johnny suh party
the food is amazing, everyone on the planet is invited, and johnny is wearing something so bright it beats out the sun
when you arrive, his mother spends half an hour asking you to take care of him when he finally leaves and you don’t remind her that you’re going to two different places
you don’t see jaehyun or mark or jungwoo around - you assume they’re practicing somewhere for the performance while johnny is juggling both front lead singer and host
the party is fun - it really is - but the words “going away” somehow still make you a little sick
you’re about to escape to somewhere a little quieter, when you hear someone tap the mic on the makeshift stage in johnny’s backyard
you see him - and the rest of the band - gather on as johnny introduces them and shouts excitedly that this song they’re going to perform, written by keyboardist mark, is all about new beginnings!
jaehyun finds you in the crowd, a secret little smile on his lips before the music starts and to your surprise - and probably everyone elses - they actually do pretty good
the lyrics are so very mark, but johnny brings a flare to the way he sings it
jungwoo seems to have remembered how much he adores drumming again and the way jaehyun looks playing guitar is so enticing that you can’t help but feel a little pride in the fact that you’ve been tasting all of that for most of the summer
the sick feeling in your stomach turns into excitement which turns into just pure enjoyment as you watch your friends and your boyfriend up there having fun
when it’s over and they hop down to mingle back into the rest of the party, you really can’t help yourself and throw your arms around jaehyun
you kiss him - which earns a gasp from mark, a half smirk from jungwoo, and a loud clearing of his throat from johnny
you and jaehyun admit what’s been going on and when johnny just whistles you ask him if he’s not mad
“even if i was mad, you would still keep liking each other right - so what’s the point?” 
you hug johnny, and mark, and jungwoo, and like nothing has changed you all fall back into the swing of it
the comfort of being around each other
when you five are the last people in johnny’s messy background you finally decide to tell them all about your summer project
“i knew you’d all say it was lame so i-”
“hey hey hey - it isn’t lame. it’s not what i expect but i get why you’d want to do it.”
johnny pats your shoulder and you feel jaehyun’s hand on the small of your back
it’s the kind of moment you want to never end. 
really, you just want this summer to never end.
but when it does - when the day comes for the temperature to drop and for you to be on your way to a new place
you feel the sadness come in a big wave
johnny, mark, jungwoo, and jaehyun all come to say goodbye and you hold the shoebox in your hands - now heavy and filled to the brim with all your memories
before you say it though, each of them adds something
jungwoo drops his samsung internship ID into it
mark places the paper he wrote the draft of the lyrics to the song they performed at the party into it
and johnny chucks a burned CD version of it into the mix
finally, turning to jaehyun, you take in a deep breath
“i know the distance will be big so if you want to break up and-”
he kisses you before you can finish your sentence and slips a small box that you don’t open until you’re already in your new dorm
inside is a small bracelet, engraved on the inside are the words
“i definitely noticed you. it was love at first sight”
years later - jaehyun says those words again
as he’s reading his vows 
and you’re feeling the fuzziness, the butterflies, the comforting warmth, everything like a tsunami of all the things that are you and jaehyun
and when johnny shows up to present the rings to you two
they’re in that old shoebox 
two little bands at the bottom of all those memories
at the reception, you lean over and whisper to your now husband
“where did you find that old thing by the way?”
jaehyun nuzzles his lips against the cusp of your ear as you watch jungwoo and mark make fools of themselves on the dance floor 
“under the bed, where you put everything you care about.”
556 notes · View notes
saltyboyz · 2 months ago
hey angel // j.jh
pairing: nct jaehyun x fem reader
genre: dad!jaehyun, fluff, one-shot
prompt: jaehyun better have a good excuse for not helping you clean up
warning: Suggestive (very discreet, implied mention of sex but it doesn’t actually happen and no one outright says it. jaehyun’s just being flirty)
word count: 1396
a/n: im not a big fan of dad au’s but the only idols that radiate dad vibes to me are jaehyun and sangyeon (my papi of tbz) and i’ve been lagging on nct content so ty to jaehyun for being the chosen one. Also I didn’t give the baby a name bc I’m not creative and couldn’t think of anything. and lmk if theres anything i need to correct or change, i don’t proof edit anything lol 
network: @nctcreations​ 
song inspo: i want to write you a song by one direction <3
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                       |◁              II             ▷|
Camping was fun. You liked being outdoors and you liked the adventure of it. But the worst part had to be cleaning up before going to sleep.
There were only 2 occasions you could clean up in and that was when you wanted to change up a room or when you were stressed or anxious and you liked having control over change. Other than that, cleaning up was the absolute worst chore of all. And to make matters worst was tonight in particular, the one person who was supposed to help you out with everything had gone missing.
You had turned around to grab a trash bag and during those short distracted seconds, Jaehyun had managed to walk off the campsite. You thought maybe he’d gone to the restroom or to the car to retrieve something to make it easier to help you but he’d be back soon, right? Wrong. 5, 7, 10 minutes had passed and Jaehyun had not returned to help you.
There was no point in waiting for him any longer, realizing too late that he wasn’t going to come back to help you clean the mess he too took part in making — those green tea KitKats were definitely not yours and yet, you were the one grabbing them off the floor, off the table and having to lug them in the trash bag to the garbage bin down the hill. He hadn’t even considered the fact that you’d have to walk alone some feet away in the dark or risk being attacked by a wild animal lurking in these mountains.
On a good day, you’d brush it off and let him sleep early. But after a 3 hour drive, a whole day in the sun, walking around, and swimming in the water was tiresome and he wasn’t the only one tired out. He was not going to hear the end of this tomorrow, you’d be sure to whine about any soreness until he offered to do something in return, courtesy of being a big baby.
You had already washed your hands and figured since everything was cleaned up, put away and there would be no bears wandering on site looking for any left out food, you could also go to sleep but the reminder of Jaehyun possibly resting in there managed to make you stomp over to the tent and pull the zipper open angrily. You wanted to scold him, let him know the trouble you went through and again, how you could have gotten eaten by a hungry animal out there on your way to throw the trash away — his trash.
But the tent opens up and the sight in front of you has your features softening and you can feel your heart melting.
Jaehyun is indeed asleep but you can’t blame him. His hand is stretched out and by the looks of it, you can tell he had been putting your son to sleep. Both of them are belly down on the air mattress, your son with a blanket up to his waist while Jaehyun looks like he just laid down with no intention to fall asleep. Your son is the spitting image of Jaehyun, dark eyebrows slightly furrowed, lips full and pouty and the cutest little nose poking out. You want to go over and tell Jaehyun to fix himself and avoid back pain in the morning but you take it all in instead.
One of Jaehyun’s hands lies atop your son’s lower back, stuck there like he had just been giving him back rubs to help him sleep easier — your baby had always enjoyed back rubs before bed and Jaehyun was the best at them.
It takes you back, remembering how Jaehyun reacted when you told him you were pregnant, taking care of you through the entire process and even after, he hadn’t allowed you to move around too much without getting scolded. You had to explain to him that movement was necessary in order for you to heal and though hesitant, he let you. He had no second thoughts when opening up his schedule to make time for your baby, taking time off work to help raise the child with you, sharing the same infinite amount of yawns, vomit on shirts, dirty diapers, risking his image with every funny face to make his son laugh and every other baby-raising experience you would expect, with you. And he was loving every moment of fatherhood. Jaehyun never once complained, at least audibly.
If you didn’t know that he loved you so much already, he definitely let it be known in the way he opened his heart up and made space for another person in his life. It was exactly what you had expected from Jaehyun, family man and all.
The slight breeze brushes up on the back of your legs, reminding you of the opened tent and where you are, so you enter, zipping it back up quick to avoid making Jaehyun or the baby cold. You don’t dare make any noise, knowing fully well Jaehyun deserves as much rest as he needs for everything he’s done for you, pre-baby to now and you worry you have no way of offering him the same services to show him how much you appreciate him. And though you know he knows very well how you feel about him, you know for sure that there should be something more you could give him.
At this point, you’re too far in your head and you’re tempted to wake him up to ask him what he desires most in the world. It’s a cheesy question, probably too broad that he’ll have trouble answering it and half awake even less so. But as you lay next to him, pull the blanket over his body after fixing up your son, you admire Jaehyun’s relaxed features. How he manages to always look happy and positive, you don’t know but you really wish he could give you some of his energy and youth.
And it seems that Jaehyun can hear the pounding in your heart from falling in love with him all over again that he stirs awake, tilting his head up to spot you staring right at him, baby in between both of you. He checks on him, rubbing his back a few times subconsciously before he nods once at you as if to say, ‘are you okay?’.
Your smile is soft, kind and with it you say, ‘yes, I just love you so much’ and he understands, leaning over to give your cold lips a warm kiss. He’s careful as he reaches over his little twin to cup your jaw and rub your cheek with his thumb. It’s nothing when you look at it but it’s everything to be the one he’s doing it to; such a small display of affection but it holds the answer to all your problems. You know you’re safe with him, you and your child are safe with him.
And since he’s already awake, you dare ask, “What do you want the most right now?”
And since he knows he’s capable of it, he answers, “Right now? I don’t know, maybe another one of these” and his eyebrows wiggle, his eyes point downward at the sleeping body between both of you. Your arm flies out to smack his shoulder lightly, a scoff falls from your lips followed by a small laugh.
“You want another baby? Aren’t you good with just one?”
He shakes his head, “I had fun making the first one, I can’t miss out on the opportunity of making another one... or another two.” He shrugs so casually despite the serious question posed. “I’m serious though, I want a little Y/N running around too. I can’t think of a more perfect excuse to extend our little family. Why? Do you not want more?”
“There’s literally nothing else I would want. Not right now though, obviously.” The thin sheet of moonlight shining in through the tent allows him to see you smile at him as you answer. And his deep chuckle rings in your ears despite it being so low and whispered but being in the middle of nowhere amplifies every sound and you can see Jaehyun eye the sleeping body beneath him just in case.
Cleaning up still isn’t fun and cleaning up after two kids is going to be tough but at least Jaehyun won’t be getting in trouble tomorrow morning after all.
“Okay. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
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jae-canikeepyou · 4 months ago
| into you | j.jh
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pair: jaehyun x fem!reader
word count: 7.7k+
summary: as the uni campus’ social butterfly, it’s a given you have a lot of friends, invited to almost all gatherings and all adore you. for the latter, jaehyun does too. he’s so into you and likes how you’re his happy place. or; jaehyun— an unsocial, often misunderstood person, finds his behaviour different with you and perhaps wants to keep you for himself, not anyone else.
genre: fluff + elite!au
a/n: i’m back after a while since i’ve been so so busy! this is not proofread again and i’m sorry if there are any grammar mistakes down there :> this is not canon with “letting go” scenario in case there’s any similarities with the characters. hehe anyway i hope you all enjoy reading! ♡ ~j.
seated at the front row in the amphitheatre-shaped lecture hall, jaehyun frustratingly put his hood back on to hide himself from those who were staring from all around. they were definitely whispering about him, hands by their lips to conceal their voices in case he heard them. he hated this much attention, all because he chose stay of out school and classes— and claimed that it didn’t interest him.
so did coming today.
but the point was his attendance for this class was on the line and his busybody parents were sick of receiving phone calls or mails that kept filling their boxes, all for the same reason; that their son could be expelled despite handing assignments.
he rolled his eyes at the heat creeping up his ears as the whispers grew louder. he slammed the thin granite table, causing everyone to flinch at the sound and his presence. “can i have some quiet?! i can hear you guys talking crap about me!” he turned around at the pairs of eyes, soon frozen like meerkats.
they ticked him off. he couldn’t stand being in the same room with people who repeatedly questioned his existence of being here. he knew that rumours were going around, that the ‘jeong jaehyun’ in high school got into an private elite university— it could be anywhere but never expected it‘d be this campus. it was written in the judgment of their faces.
“chill man,” a guy his age swung his lollipop with legs on the desk. “some are curious why you decided to show up today since first semester’s a week away from ending, while some even wonder why you got into such prestigious and elite university.”
jaehyun’s eyed him slowly from legs to head. “who are you supposed to be?” he snorted at the stranger.
“just a guy who wants to break the distraught you’re trying to start.” he kicked his legs off the desk and stood up on his suede shoes, showing off his pearly whites.
he looked at everyone whose eyes averted from the two of them. “our town’s a small neighbourhood, so everybody knows everybody. we know exactly who you are, jeong jaehyun.”
“excuse me?” he swirled his tongue that it was evident he was pissed. “careful what you accuse me of. you and i both know it’s not going to end well-”
“they’re near they’re near!” a voice echoed the hall, cutting jaehyun’s attempt to intimidate the young man any further.
and with that signal alone, jaehyun could see and observe ladies fixing their hair and make-up, while the guys gave fistbumps to those near them. he rolled his eyes at him returning the favour to them as the guy unbuttoned his collar. “what’s wrong with you?” jaehyun was utterly weirded out. “with everyone?”
the crimson-haired guy only gave a flirty grin with raised brows. “this happens everytime.“
the door swung open with the professor rushing in. the students swifted heads, it wasn’t the first time he ever was late. he was young and good-looking, and it was hard to believe he still a bachelor. he gestured someone at the door, then the held-in giggles and mumbles were soon replaced with whispers of awe, as you walked in carefully with a tower of binder folders halfly covering your view.
clearly the guys around him have been secretly admiring; some had the confidence of taking selfies even if you were far, while others took a picture with their eyes so you were marked in their memories. ladies flocked towards the flustered professor like little chicks and surrounded him.
and that’s when the comments started coming in.
“park seojoon is so hot.” “hey remember to use ‘professor’.” “i guess genes runs in the family.” “his sister is ethereal too.” “i see her weekly and y/n’s a goddess.” “y/n! are you coming to the party tonight?”
jaehyun knew who you were through social media and common friends. and he included himself part of the people who admire you. he also remembered because he bumped into you during orientation. he wouldn’t usually care about passerby’s and strangers and although that was a brief moment and short eye contact, something about you was hard to not forget. you had people and friends under a charming spell he couldn’t describe, and that was in a good way.
you tucked a strand behind your ear and became shy afterwards as they whistled and cheered towards your gesture, making you heat up a thousand degrees higher. you should be used to this but every time it happens, you were just as flustered as your brother.
jaehyun’s legs got up on its own and was surprised at himself for making his way to help you. he picked up the fallen binder files and scattered papers while the whiskers by your eyes creased up in shyness.
he hitched a breath realising that the clumsy you was adorable too.
“thank you.” a smile then appearing at the corners of your lips caused jaehyun to freeze for a while. yuta wouldn’t miss anyone’s reaction. he slid his chair close to jaehyun’s as the he came back, nudging his chair for him to give into your beauty.
“i know a person with heart eyes when i see one. now you understand why we’re whipped for y/n. isn’t she a babe- agh.” he held the back of his head from the smack.
“don’t call me that, nakamoto.” you hissed sharply with how confident and careless he could get, especially with people you weren’t familiar with. you looked at the guy in a black sweater and let out an embarrassed sigh. “i’m sorry about my annoying best friend. yuta tends to be chatty when he feels lonely.” you winked at him.
it was jaehyun’s turn to flash short chuckle, its faint sounds perked not only your ears, but yuta’s as well. “not a problem. i know a lonely person when i see one.” jaehyun emphasised through his gaze.
“i’m not lonely! i have y/n and my men!” he whined and turned towards you. “see what you did y/n?”
“it’s good to finally see you, jeong jaehyun.” you ignored yuta and brought out a hand for a greeting.
you pursed your lips to stifle a laugh, jaehyun’s ears quickly turned from pink to red. he gulped loudly and took your hand in his, eyebrows lifting at how you knew his name.
lost for words and you both locked eyes where he forgot to let your hands go. “we take the same course together? i know your name because you’re the only one missing from the class-” you said, shaking his hands to subtly let him know it had been a minute since your hands felt his vainey flesh.
“okay young lad that’s enough time holding my sister.” seojoon separated your hands and jaehyun snapped out of his admiration, inhaling quite stressfully with how stupid he looked. “get to your class y/n.”
“alright, i’ll see you at tea hour.” you waved at the boys.
“as long as you’re treating i’ll go.” yuta hummed in a monotonous voice, fixing his laces that went untied.
“i’m not talking to you dimwit.” you flicked his forehead, leading to your satisfaction of the nut-like sound from it. “jaehyun, because you missed yesterday’s class, prof assigned me to assist you, along with the other topics you’ve yet to cover. i’ll be expecting you at the café near campus.”
before you stepped out of the hall, yuta pulled your sweater, yanking you back. “are you going to taeyong’s party tonight? you never miss an event!”
you puckered your lips, pinching his cheeks that a cute gummy smile came out from it. “you know my rules. as long as you’re driving me home, i’ll go. see you later.”
jaehyun nodded yet was still in a daze. he realised what you said when yuta pushed him. “gross. don’t act as if we’re already close.”
“hm? was i really? i think it’s normal when you’re making a move on my best friend.” he brought out his laptop and typed his password.
i wasn’t. “whatever.”
and to say that jaehyun didn’t feel butterflies flying uncontrollably in his stomach would be an understatement. they made the intestine churn in ways he couldn’t imagine, and he himself wanted to deny that what he was feeling was just from the influence of others. but wouldn’t that mean his feelings were temporary? because if it were, he should perceive you an ordinary person.
yet here he was outside, still admiring you before he entered the café. he found it was amusing of how oblivious you were of his presence— you were too immersed into this assigned task by professor, but others found it funnier when jaehyun looked stupidly in-love and cowardly the lad looked, despite having the overall aura of a stuck-up.
as the sun’s rays brightened the city and the wind’s breeze made the trees leaves dance, only then had you raise your head to see jaehyun waving at you. ten minutes early, not bad for an actual first impression. “hey,” he greeted, making you smile with his low but gentle voice. “am i late?”
you took your bag from across and asked him to sit down. “no no. you’re just in time, it’s really nice to have an early bird around.”
his dimples deepened at the compliment. “how about the project? is it too late? you think i can still catch up?” jaehyun cleared his throat.
“that depends on your dedication. based on the record professor gets, you’ve been doing your tasks and homework quite diligently. he’s just worried about your habit of not attending his lectures might lead to procrastination when second semester starts.” you gave him a slice of cheesecake to eat. “he’s still teaching us another subject.”
“it’s quite the contrary.” he dove in for the dessert. “i don’t have the will to procrastinate at all.”
“then good.” you twisted the pen in your fingers. “let’s get started?”
for that span of two hours, how he wished it could be more. who knew you would have a lot of things in common with him? that time alone was not enough to talk about vinyl and jazz singers and pretty much everything that were overlooked by people. he brought up his favourite spots in the city and how they became a safe haven to escape the reality.
to cut the explaining short, his shell slowly started to open, bits and new things were showing. if you were surprised he was a good person, jaehyun himself couldn’t believe he was able to converse with people normally. being the awkward and shy type, doing this almost seemed impossible.
was it your magic that caused him to do so?
you learnt that jaehyun was rather special and by special it meant he had gifts that you believed were way beyond human limits. he never studied in a library, rewatched lectures or written his notes. and the professor mentioned how jaehyun received good grades in most of the things he submitted.
to be very honest, you were a little jealous. from how he was sitting in front of you, he didn’t seem to be interested but was definitely listening. and you sort of gave up in continuing anyway. “i don’t understand why i’m told i need to guide you when you’ve already caught up with everything.” you let out a soft chuckle that seemed more of a question.
“i was waiting for you to stop..” jaehyun said quite blatantly and stretched his arms and you were hurt because if he didn’t want to, he could’ve said so. heck, even more so, he shouldn’t have come here and wasted time-
“..because it looked like you were forced to do this by prof.” his smile then faded seeing you mirror the same. “are you alright? you’re a little pale..”
your eyes widened. “oh uh, sorry, i assumed-” you sputtered and probably died inside with what he said. you cursed in your mind. dammit y/n.
jaehyun raised his brows, making you more flustered and panicky. you sighed and waved your ‘its-nothing’ hand. “assumed that i’m brusque and a stuck-up?”
he pierced his eyes at you and you weren’t going to lie, he scared you a bit. but that fear immediately disappeared when a gentle giggle and adorable dimples replaced it. “i get that a lot, but don’t worry. i’m different from what people think. they think i’m not friendly, a-and a loner too.”
“you’re not.” he heard you counter him, slightly slamming the fork down. “if you were, you wouldn’t be here with me. or even bothered to come.”
his heart became warm through your words, that act of kindness torn down his walls of inferiority and his perception towards people changed. “thanks.” he checked the time on his watch and twisted his wrist to show to you. “don’t you have a party to attend to?”
“lee taeyong’s?” you stood up to leave the café. “i feel like skipping it for tonight. i’m not in the mood for parties somehow.”
“because i’m a better company for you?” jaehyun teased and boy was he proud with his remark, you didn’t even deny it. “you don’t have to go if you really don’t want to. it’s better to have time for yourself sometimes.”
“you’re saying from experience?” you asked, putting pressure on your words about his claim of being alone.
“it’s more of an advice for you.” he winked.
you thought he was quite observant even though he barely socialised with others. he noticed the light in your eyes sparkling, in which he felt his chest squeeze. you twirled in your toes as you hugged your laptop. “say.. are you up for a movie marathon?”
including now, it’d be the fourth time you both have rewind the specific scene just for that certain song jaehyun kept singing nonstop. and although you loved his voice, having the song on replay would be a little too much and the purpose of the marathon might go in vain. it seemed jaehyun was way into it, so interrupting him would be mean of you so you sang along.
“the nostalgia still hits me ‘til this day.” jaehyun tossed a bag of chips from your kitchen island to you.
jaehyun kept saying it may sound stupid and corny coming from him, but as a child he liked the whole high school musical series; and he pretty much became one when breaking free started to play.
because you both couldn’t decide where to watch the beloved movies by everyone, the marathon ended up being at your apartment. it was subtle, yet quite obvious to you he didn’t want it to be held in his place. you thanked your psychology course for giving lessons to notice even the little things in behaviour.
“how many times do i have to keep telling you it’s okay to like it? not like anyone would tease you for it.” you giggled as you opened the bag and popped a couple of chips into your mouth.
“yeah sure, but i know you would.” he squinted his eyes for you to admit that that was your plan eventually.
“have i?” you singsonged, sipping on the large cola cup.
he pointed at the hairbrush you held and suddenly you bursted out in laughter since jaehyun was obviously— maybe a little— offended with how you mimicked him singing earlier. “okay you caught me.”
jaehyun felt his entire body heating up. still in denial about actually being into you, he took a challenge upon himself and scooted next to you. his arms slightly brushed and touched against yours. “you in for hsm 2?”
“well we are having a marathon, might as well go for camp rock later.” you shrugged and eyed him with a confirming gaze.
“uh-huh.. but i’m still a fan of the trilogy.” jaehyun stole the chips in your hands.
“now aren’t you cheeky.” you gasped at his playful behaviour, and you didn’t dislike it. perhaps you prefer this naught over yuta’s as it didn’t get into your nerves or have the urge to hit him because of the hyperness.
he sat deeper into the beanbag. “i’m comfortable in here. your house feels too homey.”
“so is it my fault that you’re in your comfort zone?” you stated, taking the bag of chips back into your arms.
“yes.” he protested with frequent waves of his palms. “you’re too kind and i might come here to visit often.”
“suit yourself.”
since he arrived here it had him wondering, why did he decide to show up today at campus when there was actually a pure human being like you? he just needed a person— just one— to knock onto his heart. yet with many people in his life trying to do the same thing, none held the correct key. and somehow,
it had to be you.
you’ve lost count of the number of times jaehyun has been hanging at your crib since then. it became a normal routine but never have you been to his place. it was always yours and you didn’t mind that. though he did promise, you respected his decision.
you found out he could be little dorky and corny but that was the unique trait about him. like friends at kindergarten, you both were still at a get-to-know-each-other stage. so that day, he created a schedule where he would hang out with you on wednesdays and fridays, claiming that he didn’t want to be seen by others, e.g. mr. nobody with ms. golden girl.
however, since then, people close to you have been looking at you rather differently. it wasn’t because they sometimes see jaehyun following you around, they sensed a different aura from you. you could feel their piercing stares from all directions, as if you were the centerpiece of a watch. there was something a little different than usual.
and you tried to ignore this ominous feeling for now.
yuta shook his legs vigorously, in which was an unsightly act to see for someone on the soccer team. you could see him from afar with his hands by his lips, biting it as he waited for your arrival at the university’s sports ground. jaehyun jogged towards you with his bag slung diagonally across his torso. he poked your neck and as a person with severe tickle spots, that caught you off guard into a fight-me position to the doer.
“chill, it’s just me.” jaehyun had both of his hands up, whiskers appearing just by the sides of his nose.
“jaehyun!” you relaxed your limbs. “got a better way of greeting? i don’t like being surprised.” you pulled the hem of his sleeve, missing how he pursed his lips in glee when you both instantly became close, like it was overnight.
he let you grab him as you both walked towards where yuta was standing by the bleachers. “i’m sorry?” he giggled loud enough only for you to hear. “i thought i’d get a priceless reaction from you.”
you rolled your eyes that it almost hurt doing so. “be glad i have enough patience for you.”
“and i didn’t have enough patience last night!” yuta joined the conversation seeing you and jaehyun before him. “where have you been? you said you were coming to my place yesterda- why is he here?” he looked at him then at you. “with you? again?”
“ever thought that i want to have my own ‘me’ time for once?” you took off your cardigan and placed it on the bleachers. you could feel jaehyun chuckling softly when you made reference to his remark.
and boy was he proud. “you’re emphasising on that quite often nowadays.” he helped you carry your bag as you to settled down.
“that’s because i never realised how true it actually is until i say it out loud, since being in everyone’s eyes does pressure me.” you balled your fists to nudge him lightly on the arm, and for him to dramatically receive the attack did put yuta in an awkward position.
“uh hello? i’m still here!” in front of you and jaehyun, yuta snapped his fingers several times to divert attention. “what’s going on with you two? how are you both suddenly so close when you’ve just met for the first time two weeks ago?”
jaehyun swifted his head towards you, and the telepathic exchange of words between you and him had yuta clicking his tongue in disbelief. “you were right, he will react.” jaehyun’s voice prolonged while munching on a corn dog.
“told you so.” you flicked your hair and turned to yuta as you continued talking. “bestie, we’ve been seeing each other since then.”
what the hell? the way yuta’s face turn sour at your smile towards jaehyun, he could almost faint right then and there since he swore he saw mr. dimples smile subtly at you too. “and with just that i’ve been replaced-”
“no i would never replace my best friend.” you held his palms hoping he would calm down from his high emotions, but he immediately pulled his hand away from you, much to your dismay. “hey, i’m here to make amends-”
“yeah?” he clicked on a pen and wrote something on a tissue, soon grabbing your bag from the seat and fished out your wallet. “then you’re treating me my meals for a month. i have another order right now.”
now it was your turn whose face became sour. “a month?! i can’t do that- hey!”
yuta tossed your credit card up in the air and upon seeing his eyes darken— though that was all in your head—you gave in and sighed heavily. you stomped your way to the caféteria while yuta comfortably put one leg on the benches with a satisfied grin. “man she’s easy to tease.”
“is that so? then i know now who she gets it from.” jaehyun said through his chews on his food, making yuta’s ears perk up at the response.
the atmosphere lingering between the two of them invited dark clouds. both could sense the change in their moods, and they both weren’t liking it.
yuta spun and played the ball on his hands then forearms, later let out a scoff when jaehyun raised his brows. he didn’t like the vibe jaehyun was giving and so did the latter. “i do it for fun. it’s natural between us.” yuta said.
“hm? she told me she doesn’t like it when you do.” he saw you on your tiptoes as you struggled to tell the order to the person at the high-levelled counter. but another scoff came out from yuta. “you got a proble-?”
“yeah kinda.”
“i don’t think so. i can tell it really bothers you when y/n hangs out with me.” jaehyun sat up straight at yuta’s comment about him.
“i should be. because i’m her best friend and who knows what type of person you are.” he did a few tricks with his legs. “but if you really want to know then your attitude is what i have problems with.”
“i remember telling you it wouldn’t be good for you when accuse me wrongly.”
he let out a monotonous and rather mocking laugh, taking jaehyun aback but he anticipated this kind of response from him. “and what? you’ll go berserk like you did years ago? as a high school freshman? beating the innocent up or whoever comes your way?”
“look i don’t know where the hell that came from but it’s not what you or everyone else thinks.” jaehyun aggressively crumpled the hotdog wrapper in his palms.
“c’mon you don’t have to hold it all in,” yuta set his ball aside and rested his hands on his waist. jaehyun was getting uncomfortable the more he listened to him. “unleash that side-”
jaehyun rolled his tongue, nodding his head to test him. “alright, i guess i don’t have to when i have feelings for y/n. thanks for the advice.”
what the..? yuta stared at him when there wasn’t a change in his expression. jerk- “now you’re talking. you wanna fight? let’s do that-”
“tsk yuta! the bill’s too expensive!” you whined and gently put down the tray.
while yuta clicked his tongue at your sudden entry and with how quickly you came back, for a moment jaehyun wanted to hug you for being his saviour. he was so close to lose his temper towards your best friend. the relief seen in his tensed shoulders, but you interpreted it otherwise. “are you okay?” you asked while you sat down beside him.
he hummed, folding his arms and looking at the distance, clearly avoiding eye contact with yuta. “mhm, i just realised the deadline is coming up in three days.” he excused.
you managed to utter out a giggle as you finally ate, finding out how jaehyun’s ears always turned red when given attention to. “you’re stressed about it?”
“aren’t you?” jaehyun drank the remains of his soda.
“not really since i finished mine. but, if you’re worried about your progress, i can help you.” you swirled the fork in the air like a wand. jaehyun smiled to himself when yuta took his ball to throw a fit.
“i’m not worried about the project. but there’s an annoying bug i’m trying to hit so help me.” jaehyun’s dimples appeared deeply again and as the darkening ombré sunset shoned his side profile, there you witnessed how pure he actually was— and you missed out on yuta’s frown towards jaehyun.
you gulped and almost choked on your own saliva, eyes still locked in jaehyun’s. his hair caught in the wind, making it look fluffy and his entire demeanour softer than you usually see him. you hitched a breath since jaehyun seemed like he had no plans to avert his gaze too. both of you were definely mesmerised and hypnotised, and for jaehyun it was just like that time. he remembered the colour palette of your makeup while you recalled the perfume he wore.
in the recent marathons with him you’ve never been this close, physically speaking. so this close-up really debunked the impression you heard from people, especially from yuta.
however, as you were oblivious with the pressure behind jaehyun’s words and even smiled back at him, yuta flicked your temple. he was indeed a worry wart and sometimes he would like to flick you just this once for being too much of a social butterfly. he knew it was in your nature to be kind and always on the look out for others. he’s fine when you were with anyone except with this guy you befriended. not him.
he dodged your flying limbs in attempts to hit him. “oi, you’re not going to ask how i am? if i’m worried?”
the pain from the flick remained on your temple. “no? you look fine to me-” you stared at your phone. the message reminding you of the singles elite party a month from today at 8pm. “a party?”
“yeah if you attended the previous party you’d know that there’ll be another one after taeyong’s.” yuta took off his shoes in change for his casual.
“hm. i’m don’t feel like going.” you jumped off the bleachers to dust off your pants. “probably gonna be boring.”
“i’m the one who’s holding it this time!” yuta put you under a headlock in his arms. “you’re ditching your best friend?!”
you giggled and ticked his sides and followed it with a playful hug. “just kidding. i heard from momo! i’ll be there.” you brushed your hair up into a messy bun while spotting jaehyun starting to feel out of place. “oh! do you wanna come to the party, jae?”
yuta mentally facepalmed and it was given he didn’t like what you did. but your eyes were quick to see his reaction and you slapped his chest. he glared at you while his hands caressed it. why did you have to invite him? it was the whole purpose why he decided to hold a party; maybe you’d finally appreciate his hardwork, or perhaps, notice him as someone more and as not a best friend who only worries and teases you.
jaehyun nodded in response, no words needed. a smile crept your lips as if you were given chocolates on valentine’s. “cool.” you pulled him on the wrist after hearing the coach calling yuta, followed with a loud whistle. “ah yuta, we‘ll get going! see you.”
“mm yeah..” yuta hummed, seeing you both vanish in the distance. “see you..”
your sulking self laid sideways by jaehyun’s lap, head rested on a pillow. it’s been too long since yuta avoided you, purposely ditched your hangouts, seenzoned your messages and ignored your calls. as if these weren’t obvious enough for you to know something was up. there definitely was but you couldn’t put a finger to it. so you forced jaehyun to let you stay at his place, being it your apartment was currently invaded by your brother’s friends from abroad.
but honestly it was also because you discovered jaehyun’s unit was blocks away from yours. fate was gladly on your side.
“y/n, you know i can’t work properly when you’re like this.” jaehyun sighed while he adjusted his sitting posture and lifting his laptop.
you slightly and lazily your body turned upright, seeing his dimples beginning to show themselves. “let me be.” you complained.
jaehyun put down his laptop. “i can’t. you’re in my way of cramming hours. plus, how long have you been coming here? it’s getting too frequent..” he paused when your eyes were no longer on him— rather they were on your phone, staring at the last conversation from yuta.
he couldn’t bring himself to say that he was reason why yuta acting the way he was to you. and for all honesty he would keep this matter to himself. “did i do something wrong?” you asked.
“of course not. he’s probably in his emo phase. guys have them a lot more than you think.” jaehyun typed on the keyboard for the remaining parts of the essay. “but he’ll get out of it eventually.”
“fine i’ll trust on that.” you sat up and scooted over to see his progress. you submitted your assignment hours ago. looking at jaehyun, it seemed he was struggling at some parts. were you unconsciously pressuring him? the beads of sweat began to roll down his temples and that made you giggle if it was the case. uh-huh. he was really feeling that way.
he gulped so loudly that it came out as a weird noise. he hoped you didn’t hear that. but the way you pursed your lips to hold the laughter in only had him discontinuing his report. “d-don’t do that.”
“do what?” you snicker.
jaehyun rolled his eyes and poked your forehead. “you’re too distracting.”
oh how the tables have turned. that comment flipped your head upside down, your heart in a frenzy and stomach churning. it wasn’t “so”, but “too”— that only meant he wasn’t concentrating on his work for a while.
even so, you waited for him to finish despite questionable feelings you’ve been feeling. his coffee cup already did seconds and thirds. and suddenly you remembered the happy hour the local café was promoting and there was a few minutes left until it ends for the day. you had to bring him there.
but you decided that because you wanted to be out of that suffocating air jaehyun caused.
the more you walked faster, the more jaehyun’s wrist reddened and hurt. but he let you be as he liked how you were comfortable with someone like him. your hair flowed with the wind, the remains of your shampoo left a sweet scent. was it lavender? and the wind blew stronger, making the scent clearer to the nose. his heart skipped beats, because it was indeed lavender. he swore in his head. scrap aside the frequent marathons and meet-ups. lavender’s all the more reason why fell for you quickly than ever.
and when the local café closed early for the day, you almost lost sight of the pedestrian signs. jaehyun pulled you in as the light emitted red. though you had your emotions get the best of you, you realised how childish you were for something so minor. you laughed in awkwardness, he did too. “i didn’t want anyone to see this side-”
warmth. that was all you thought of right there. you were in his embrace.
“..of me.” you soon mumbled in his chest, realising later of the action he just did. “jaehyun-”
“it’s okay. i don’t too.” his hand gently caressed the back of your head, treating it with care as if he held a newborn baby. “so can i keep you?”
that warmth became hotter, almost boiling that you weren’t able to breathe properly. “i’m sorry.” he said, that must’ve surprised you.” jaehyun chuckled.
surprised? of course you were. how was it natural for him to do skinship? and that smoothly? you both weren’t at that stage yet, let alone have a relationship with mutual feelings. even yuta couldn’t hug you because of how conscious you felt.
but then again, you looked up. you saw his ears. it was red, the usual reaction whenever you were with him. was it normal though? you were never aware of it up until now.
because it was so clear now.
“i’ll see you tomorrow? i have to help my mom with some things.” you lied as you scratched your neck.
jaehyun nodded and pulled away. “alright, go on ahead.”
you poked his dimples because he has been staring at you like he had questions to ask. “what is it?”
maybe he didn’t notice or maybe he did, but he was leaning closer, his head tilting to the side and eyes staring into your soul. you knew what he was about to do, you feel like letting him do so but at the same time you weren’t sure of your feelings.  
just a little more and you could’ve locked lips but..
your phone vibrated.
in panic you looked at your device and eyes widened that brought jaehyun aback.
“ah yuta!” you brought your phone so close to your face, not believing your best friend’s announcement on social media, in which he then followed up with a text message.
the light in your eyes was something jaehyun liked seeing, but didn’t so as well.
“oh! he said the concept for the elites’ party is live wardrobe. all singles will go through a ballot draw. it’s for the clothes to wear for the night..” you locked your phone. “tsk i wanted to wear my favourite dress.”
“i think you’ll look great in whatever gown is chosen for you.” jaehyun pat your head while you were immersed in your phone. “now go. it’s getting late.”
“i’ll expect the same for you.” you replied.
he laughed and that didn’t want to make you leave just yet. “nah don’t. i’m just ordinary in a suit.”
funny how he was so damn wrong.
fate let him draw red, and confidently chose a suit once it was his turn to change. it was as if he knew this attire would go well with him. a suede texture with a black outline on its collar accentuated his brushed up light brown hair, while his black under-shirt contrasted with his porcelain skin. gladly it wasn’t halloween, or else you would’ve mistaken him for a vampire.
he had you feeling all sorts of things, and you didn’t know why when you were nothing more than friends.
an hour ago he was in his usual casual wear. now he was surrounded with ladies who already seemed like they were friends with him for decades. you could see jaehyun was uncomfortable but he kept his cool with folded arms as he leaned against a column. the comments from them irritated you, because at one point they were badmouthing him— and the second he showed up they flooded him with compliments of his good looks and how they named him the “model elite”.
you swirled the wine glass in your hand, the other arm hugged your waist. you rolled your eyes at the falseness these people have towards him. “can’t believe it.” your fingers curled as irritation began to cover your sight. “look at them trying to make a move on him. erlgh too close. they weren’t like that before.”
sicheng rolled his tongue, hands in pockets and walked to be in front of you. “really? you weren’t like that before too.” he pointed out.
“i agree. recently you’re stuck like glue whenever you’re with him.” yuta gestured.
“am so not?” you gasped while your eyes trailed to jaehyun, who was still had patience for the ladies surrounding him. “i just like how he’s a good friend.”
“doubt it.” sicheng poked your cheek. “you wouldn’t feel like this when you have feeli-”
not this again. “i’m grabbing a drink.” yuta suddenly cut the conversation.
“get me one too!” the younger one yelled and after he was satisfied with the gesture, he winced as you pinched his sides from the remark he said earlier. “ow! y/n! it’s true though! i know what i’m seeing!”
truthfully, nothing about sicheng’s words or actions bothered you. but if there was anything that did, it was your own heart. as of tonight, you began to question your feelings towards jaehyun. when did it start? how was it possible to like someone so quickly? “i’m telling you i don’t.” your eyes trailed to him, not realising the rush of heat creeping your cheeks.
jaehyun was approached by yuta, who was giving him a glass of beer. the ladies fled after stealing pictures of the guy and he took the drink in his hands. then they headed towards the garden of the mansion. wonder what he’s here for?
“nice party you have here. concept’s cool.” jaehyun started to break the lingering silence because he knew how awkward this was going to be with your best friend.
“yeah, never knew you’d end up in red. it’s y/n’s favourite colour.” yuta’s voice lowered. there was an impact jaehyun could describe but assuming that would be too rude of him.
“really? i didn’t know.” he hummed. aren’t you a little too happy, jaehyun told himself. he shook it off, for he doesn’t expect him and you to go any further than this.
“now you do. so can you back up for a while? take a week off or something from y/n.” yuta raised his brows.
this was the same feeling from before. he knew this feeling because he felt the exact same way. he wanted to be selfish for once. not like he hated yuta, it was just.. he always had to appear whenever he didn’t want him to. then he would mess his mood. he interrupted his joy of admiring you. jaehyun licked his lips to dampen them. “i’m sorry, who are you to tell me what to do?”
yuta grinned and leaned against the column as he mirrored jaehyun. “don’t you get it?” he asked, his tone rising. “i love y/n. you entering the picture just ruins everything.”
my hunch’s correct. he does love y/n. “if you love her you wouldn’t ignore her.”
“it’s because you’re with her! and she does the same to me! it’s like she’s found someone else-”
“you’re being dramatic.” jaehyun pushed himself off the column and turned to him. “y/n’s sad and moping around because you treated her like she’s all alone. you have no idea how much she waited for you to contact her.”
“what do you know, smartass? you’re just another guy trying to fit in when you know you couldn’t. no matter how much you tried, everyone’s afraid of you. and now you’re telling me you have feelings for y/n? please.” his lips jutted with sounds of disbelief while his body posture challenged jaehyun. “y/n’s kind to everyone she meets. it’s who she is. but to think you have hope to be with someone like her? if you ask me, all i see is a greatest mismatch.”
jaehyun usually didn’t give a damn of the comments about him. he couldn’t care less of any of those. in fact he’d hear them through one ear and out they went. but when he said anything, it irked him.
you see, that was the thing— right now, he actually listened.
he turned a blind eye on yuta’s words and let it off for the night. he was given a drink and maybe the alcohol didn’t work its way on him than it did to guy. in the end, yuta was probably spilling tea even if he didn’t intend to.
“what i feel for y/n has nothing to do with you. just like people can’t control the tides,” jaehyun lightly knocked onto yuta’s chest. “i can’t control mine.”
the footsteps echoed in yuta’s ears, he could hear them despite the noisy hall. “rghhh!” he grabbed hold of his glass and threw it towards jaehyun.
sounds of shattering glass met the ground, as well as catching everyone’s attention. then there was silence. jaehyun began to lose his patience as he turned around. his smirk challenged him. ouch. this was the fight yuta was looking for, seeing jaehyun’s heavy breaths only made him stand on his toes.
jaehyun punched him in the jaw though he knew it wasn’t worth his time. but he wanted to give him a taste of stepping beyond boundaries. yuta punched him back too. he made sure the star of the night was the other— shone the brightest and reveal his true nature. he didn’t count the number of hits he received, as long as jaehyun stayed that way.
“i told you it wouldn’t be good if you provoked me!” jaehyun growled. “you’re asking for show? i’ll give you one!”
“huh..” yuta wiped his bleeding lip. “you sure about that, beast?”
jaehyun held himself for the next punch, feeling all of the pairs of eyes on him. yours included. that was what he feared. “aw. what impression does she have on you now?” yuta’s cooing words caused jaehyun’s eyes to soften.
all bleeding and bruised, jaehyun’s injuries have matched with his suit. he clenched his fists as he frustratingly left the hall.
in your peripheral, your eyes trailed his direction and your legs followed him by heart, without realising yuta calling out your name several times. everything went blank, not thinking things straight because while everyone watched, no one understood. you glared at yuta before heading outside, a more disappointed sigh was the only response he got from you.
yuta was then nudged by sicheng. the latter could see the change in his expression. “what did i tell you?”
“you don’t have to tell me.” yuta dusted his pants.
“i’m still gonna.” sicheng rolled his eyes and poked the lad’s temple. “that’s what you call ‘stupidity’. if only you confessed to her before maybe things would be different between you guys.”
“i don’t want things to be different dude.”
“i’m gonna state the obvious, you probably already know this but.. you lost this battle.”
“crap..” yuta’s voice changed from a nervous chuckle to a soft sob. “i liked her first.”
you spotted jaehyun sitting atop a metal barrier just in front of the carpark— head down to mend his injuries and scratches. he sniffed from the cool night breeze before hopping off. “you’ll hurt your feet.” he pointed at the heels you had dangling in your hands.
his gaze softened when you pointed at his face, especially the black eye. “touché.” he chuckled, later feeling your cold hands against his throbbing flesh. “it’s no big deal-”
“i’m sorry about yuta’s behaviour.” you sighed. “don’t let it get into you. he’s an airhead when he’s drunk-”
“you sure? he seemed pretty sober when he said- ah.” he pursed his lips to speak any further. “nevermind.”
now that gotten you curious. “what did he say? spill it!” you whined, causing jaehyun mouth to curve a little in amusement.
jaehyun prolonged the silence and grabbed your shoes, leading you towards his car. once he unlocked it and opened the door, he bursted out in a loud, healthy laugh. “he said he was head over heels for you.”
you pushed him to the driver’s seat and slammed the door, rolling your eyes at the pun. “that was so lame!” you sat on the other side. “but i know that already if you thought i didn’t. i subtly turned him down ages ago. guess he didn’t take the message.”
as you tended to his wounds, one question still had your curiosity at its peak. jaehyun was quiet through-out, so it was hard to bring the topic up for a while. until your eyes and his met.
“what did you tell him before he threw the glass at you?” you dabbed the cotton onto the beaten area. “it must’ve pissed him.”
he dropped his car keys and let out a nervous hum. “uh..” he didn’t know what else to say. right when he was finally about to tell you, you suddenly giggled.
“unless you told him you like me and that made him angry, but i doubt that happened.” your lips shrank to a circle, cursing at yourself for assuming too much. girl the guts you have was incomparable—
jaehyun’s large hand held yours while you continued to apply medication. the warmth, the heat and the building tension of skinship made you weak. “you’re right.”
your smile and breaths changed in an instant when he fixed himself on the seat. he smirked a little, finding how cute you were. it drove him crazy.
“i like you, for the longest time, since the orientation. i’m so into you that i couldn’t help myself be selfish and have you to myself— i- i don’t know what i’m saying.” he sighed, pushing himself away in embarrassment with arms above his face.
“t-thanks.” you fiddled with your fingers.
“i’m not asking for an answer. i just wanted to let you know.” he said. “gosh this is a bad timing for confession.”
“then is it a bad timing if i said i’m into you too?” you looked away and out in the distance. you could see his reaction on the window’s reflection. he was shocked, but an uncontrollable smile was forcing itself on the surface. it was written in the dimples.
“no,” his husky voice called you to look back. “you’re just about right.”
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whispersatdawn · 2 months ago
prompt: “darling, i love that i know you like no one does” (jake scott - like no one does)
pairing: jeong jaehyun x reader
genre: fluff, established relationship
word count: 809
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You heard the front door open and then close before your boyfriend called out for you. “Baby, you up yet?”
“Yeah, I’m in the living room!” you yelled back.
Jaehyun made his way to the same room where you sat in front of your laptop, taking a break from replying to work emails and scrolling through your phone instead. As soon as you sensed his presence, you looked up and smiled at Jaehyun, who was sporting a sleeveless shirt and shorts. You immediately placed your phone on the table. “Hey, baby,” you greeted him as he dropped his duffel bag and set down a takeout bag from your favorite coffee place. “You went to the gym this morning?”
“Mhmm,” Jaehyun hummed, lowering himself to greet you back with a sweet kiss. “Worked out with Johnny and Mark.” He seated next to you on the floor and pulled the takeout bag closer to him. Reaching in, he took out his half-empty iced Americano and then passed another drink to you.
“Stopped by and got your usual, large iced caramel latte with almond milk and caramel drizzle. I still think this shouldn’t classify as coffee, by the way.”
You playfully rolled your eyes. “Aw, thanks, babe. It’s so cute that you always remember my coffee order despite being a teensy bit judgmental.”
“Just a little bit. Anyway, did you sleep well, my love? Wished I could’ve stayed with you in bed. I missed you this whole morning—” Jaehyun extended his arms, and your eyes widened.
“Jaehyun, NO—”
Next thing you knew, his sweaty arms wrapped around you, and you flailed back and fourth as he gave you a tight hug. “Babe! Let me go,” you pleaded in between giggles while softly hitting his back so that he could loosen his grip. “You’re very sweaty and smelly. Please take a shower!”
“Say ‘Jeong Jaehyun is the bestest boyfriend.’”
"Jeong Jaehyun is the worst boyfriend ever—”
Jaehyun tightened his hold on you, and you shrieked at the stickiness of his skin touching yours. “Okay, okay!” you yelled out in defeat. “Jeong Jaehyun is the bestest boyfriend ever! Please.”
Your boyfriend let you go instantly. “Was that so hard?” Jaehyun asked, grinning from ear to ear as you tried to catch your breath.
“I hate you,” you responded jokingly, shaking your head.
“You love me so much, it drives you crazy.”
You took a look at the man in front of you, and your eyes softened from his words because he was absolutely right. You loved him so much. Jaehyun showed you lots of love. He was especially good at remembering details about you that no one else really bothered to pay attention to, and sometimes it surprised you all the things he knew.
“By the way,” Jaehyun started, “I told our friends we won’t be making it to the group dinner tonight.”
“Wait, really? How come?” you questioned, slightly confused. You and your friends often took turns hosting dinners so that you all could find time to see each other and hang out between busy schedules.
“Well, I noticed you’ve been sleeping late this week to finish some work stuff before your deadline, and you’ve been more exhausted in the mornings. It seems like the stress is getting to you. I know you’re done with the deadline now, but I also know you like to recharge in a quiet space, so I thought we could skip the group dinner tonight and stay in together. Just you and me.”
You blinked at his explanation. A part of you felt bad because you knew Jaehyun loved dinner with friends. You did too, but it was true that you would have rather stayed at home this time. “We can still go. I’m not that stressed,” you mumbled.
Jaehyun arched his brow, giving you a look as if to say Really? “Baby... don’t even try to lie to me. I know you. There’s always next time. And besides, I honestly feel like having you all to myself anyway.”
“You’re really okay with it?”
“A hundred percent. It’s just one dinner. No one will mind.”
“Okay... thank you.” You put your hand in his and spoke in a soft voice, filled with admiration, “You really do know me so well, huh?”
Jaehyun puffed his chest confidently. “Of course I do. You’re my person. No one knows you like I do.” He gently pinched your cheek before standing up.
“Well, I’m gonna go shower, so I can smell fresh and clean so that I can cuddle with my lover,” he continued as he started towards the bedroom. Then he turned around. “Feel free to join me if you’d like.” After sending you a flirtatious wink, he completely disappeared from your view, leaving you to burst into laughter. All the years together, and no one got your attention like Jaehyun.
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taglist: @the-universe-in-you-jjh​ (taglist is open for song-drabbles! if you’d like to be added to other works, pls take a look at my wips & specify which you want to be tagged in)
ⓒ 2021 whispersatdawn all rights reserved. please DO NOT copy, repost, steal and/or translate any of my work.
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jejes-things · 2 months ago
jaehyun but make it kfc and mcd
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not that kfc and mcd chicken babe
u can experience the pov of last photo if u.... under him
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701films · 5 months ago
(6:18AM) You didn’t know what time it was but you knew it was too early. You lay in bed, trying not to wake your dormant boyfriend as you struggle to fall back asleep. Glancing over at him, you notice how peaceful and relaxed he looked while asleep, his hair falling gracefully onto his face, his cheeks slightly pink and his full eyelashes that lay softly against them.
You subtly move to peek over at your clock. It was 6:18 in the morning and you figure the sun would be rising soon. Watching the sunrise, for you, was like your therapy, your healing. It signified a new day, new beginnings, new challenges and many more things to come. Carefully, you lift your boyfriend’s arm from where it was over your waist and creep out of bed, over to the curtains. You pull them open and take in the beautiful scenery that stood before you.
“Baby, what are you doing? What time is it?” your boyfriend speaks, his voice laced with sleepiness.
“I wanted to watch the sunrise, I’m sorry for waking you up.” You apologise, giving him a soft smile.
“Come back to bed, let’s watch it together.” He beckons, sitting up slightly on the bed. He reaches his hand out for you to grab as you walk back to the bed.
You crawl under the sheets and look up at Jaehyun who is already staring at you. He smiles at you before leaning down to place a soft kiss against your lips.
“You’re so beautiful.” He gushes, pushing a few fallen strands of hair out of your face.
You giggle softly before leaning up to kiss him again, this time deeper. Jaehyun places his hands on your hips and lifts you onto his lap. You rake your fingers through his soft hair as his hands travel over your body. Jaehyun pulls away and tugs at the bottom of your shirt, indicating that he wants it off. You lace your fingers around the hem of your shirt, pulling it slowly over your head.
“So pretty.” Jaehyun whispers before kissing your neck while drawing faint circles on your bare back. He sucks on your sweet spot just underneath your ear, chuckling against it when you let out a soft moan. “You make the prettiest noises, baby.” He says, kissing the top of your breasts softly.
“It’s cause you make me feel so good.” You reply, running your fingers through his hair, pulling softly. He dips his head down and places a light kiss on your left nipple before attaching his lips around it and sucking on it. The sudden suction makes you tug harder on his hair, causing him to moan around your nipple. The vibrations from his moan sent a gush of wetness into your underwear.
Jaehyun removes one of his hands from your back and brings it to your right nipple, flicking it to mirror the movement of his tongue on your left nipple. “Baby,” You moan out, “I need you so bad.” As you say that, Jaehyun brings his hands to your hips, pulling you over his hard-on. Almost instinctively, you begin grinding against his cock, moaning with each roll of your hips. Jaehyun detaches his lips from your left nipple and quickly moves to your right one, giving it the same attention as the other.
While Jaehyun sucks on you, your hands are still tangled in his hair, pushing his head closer to your chest. As you continue grinding against him, you feel yourself getting closer to your release. “Jae, I’m close.” You whisper.
The moment the words leave your mouth, you’re flipped onto the bed. Jaehyun pulls off your sweatpants and panties in one go, throwing them somewhere on the floor behind him. He quickly undresses to match your bareness. He then slowly edges himself into you before asking, “What’s your colour, baby?”
“Green.” You moan out, giving him the signal to start moving. He begins thrusting in and out at a slow yet rough pace. You are left a moaning mess, still not being used to how good he is with his hips. Jaehyun leans down and begins to suck the sweet spot under your ear once again causing you to unintentionally clench around him.
“Fuck,” he groans, “you’re so tight.” He messily attaches his lips to yours while reaching for your hand. He interlocks his fingers with yours as he deepens the kiss. You feel your release coming closer and closer and you can tell Jaehyun’s is too as you feel his dick twitch inside you.
He pulls away and asks you if you are close, to which you can only nod since you can’t even formulate actual words in your brain. He responds with “Me too, can you hold it?” Once again, you nod. Jaehyun begins slamming into you harder, chasing his own release. You moan even louder than before, unable to keep yourself quiet. He continues at this pace for a couple minutes before it gets too much for you and you can no longer hold your release. You cum while moaning Jaehyun’s name and he swears in that moment that it was the sexiest thing he’d ever heard in his entire life. It’s not long afterwards that Jaehyun releases too, kissing you while his cum spills into your pussy.
He doesn’t pull out immediately, instead flipping you over so he’s laying on his back and you’re laying on top of him. He wraps his arms around your waist and kisses you passionately. “I love you, Jae.” You whisper, kissing both of his dimples.
He laughs before glancing out of the window, realising that the sun was slowly creeping across the horizon. “I love you so much more, beautiful.” He tells you, pulling you into his chest and kissing your forehead.
The two of you watch the sunrise before falling back asleep in each other’s arms.
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nayuyeons · 6 months ago
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↳ 【d. friendzone】 “a situation in which a friendship exists between two people, one of whom has an unreciprocated interest in the other.”
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➞ summary: In everyone’s perspective, Jung Jaehyun looks like he has it all; the money, the looks, the personality, the talent, the influences, the friends and the family. Sure, he might have everything.... Everything except for his best friend’s heart.
alternatively ;; in which jaehyun asks for your help to pretend to be his s/o for a month, and you accept because he looks like he’s really desperate. thinking about it, this is not a romcom, so there’s no way that you can actually fall for your best friend... right?
➞ pairing: rich best friend!jaehyun x gn!reader. (ft. woosanhwa and tenwin)
➞ genre: fluff, angst (but it’s pretty lighthearted like,,, the amount it’s minimum??? there’s so little. its pretty impressive considering i always put angst everywhere in almost every part of my stories LMAO), sometimes funny.
➞ type of au: social media au. f2l. fake dating. slice of life(? idk. jaehyun’s lowkey like a sugar daddy but he,,, isn’t one? like, he just spoils reader too much lol. short au.
➞ tw: swearing, mention of toxic substances. some suggestive themes.
➞ a/n: wanted to post a sm au because it’s been soooooo long since i made my last one, i mighttt be kind of rusty but wanted to test the waters with this one. if you’ve read my past works on my old blog, i think you already know you’re signing up for pure chaos if you read this JDKSJD anyways !! i hope you like it (i feel like i’m making a comeback after so long omg) // also!! this au is dedicated to my liz because she’s my fav jaehyun stan ever @peachybun-01 i kinda love u bro (jkjk)
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↳ parts:
intro pt. 1
intro pt. 2
do whales get cold?
friends? don’t know them
and scene
winten back at it again (bullying jaehyun)
i have a question
too good to be true
jae's (whipped) antics and winten being sus.
we love blackmail <3
➞ status: no new updates until further notice.
this masterlist gets updated every time I update the au ! ¨̮
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