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#the boyz
houseofdeobi · 2 days ago
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juju of the day for u
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xiaojvn · 18 hours ago
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(200218) salty :: juyeon
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hvae · a day ago
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what is the kidult universe collab? the kduc is a collab for stories about the aftermath of my original fic, kidult. all these stories will be based on the life of the children (and changmin himself) after what happened
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 ੈ✩ ┈ requirements . . .
. ! . ! reading and understanding kidult is mandatory for this collab
! . ! . you must include something related from kidult into your fic (ex. juyeon and his plane drawing) . . . . . it can be very subtle or drive the entire plot, it's all up to you :] as long as it's clear that it takes place in the same universe kidult was created in
. ! . ! you'll need to pick an occupation to go along with the member you chose (ex. juyeon pilot) . . . . . this is so every member will be different, and the stories will end up being diverse
! . ! . you can write reader x member, member x oc, or member x member
. ! . ! there are no certain requirements for the genre. write as much angst or fluff as you desire, and a merry or bad ending may rest well in yours hands
! . ! . no mature themes considering i'm a minor
. ! . ! joining the discord server is mandatory because we'll all be able to easily discuss and update one another there
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 ੈ✩ ┈ details . . .
: . : . the due date for this fic is june 30, 2022. this date can be pushed back if needed
. : . : the final dropout date is april 30, 2022
: . : . the minimum word count is 3k. i understand that this is a lot for many, but i strongly believe that you all would be able to reach it!! if you're ever struggling with the word count/experiencing writer's block, talk to us in the discord. we'll all be here to help <3
. : . : due to high demand, there are two slots for each member. however, you're only able to claim one member for the time being. as time passes and the slots are left untouched, you will be free to claim another member
: . : . dm me if you'd like to secure a spot in the collab. please include the member you'd like to write for and the occupation of your choosing. you can choose any occupation for the member you'll like to write as long as it isn't taken by anyone else
. : . : after i've secured your spot in the collab, please reblog this post and join the discord server i've provided through dm
: . : . the masterlist for this collab will be included in the kidult collection
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 ੈ✩ ┈ notes . . .
! . ! . changmin is aged up in this universe by 17-19 years
. ! . ! all the stories do NOT have to relate to one another. it is up to your imagination about what happens after kidult
! . ! . if your spot is reserved, you still need to dm me details about the occupation of your member before i'm able to confirm your slot
. ! . ! if you have any questions regarding the kidult universe collab, please dm or send an ask
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 ੈ✩ ┈ members . . .
one — SANGYEON . . . doctor au | @halaboyz
two — SANGYEON . . . professor au | @yourjaylaks
one — JOONYOUNG . . undercover singer | @studioreader
two — JOONYOUNG . . . policeman au | @nilesig
one — YOUNGHOON . . . florist au | @hvae
two — YOUNGHOON . . reserved for @taemin-jaemin
one — JAEHYUN . . . babysitter au | @kimaya2209
two — JAEHYUN . . . dancer au | @junjungsunwoo
one — JUYEON . . . artist au | @changminurheart
two — JUYEON . . . travel blogger | @kurosism
one — HYUNGSEO . . . daycare woker au | @tinisprout
two — HYUNGSEO . . . elementary school teacher au | @armysantiny
one — CHANHEE . . . tbd | @tbzhub
two — CHANHEE
one — CHANGMIN . . . tbd | @staynoonaz9290
two — CHANGMIN
one — HAKNYEON . . . cook au | @moonieric
two — HAKNYEON
one — SUNWOO . . . soccer player au | @mingkii
two — SUNWOO . . . convenience store worker au | @deputyjuyeon
one — ERIC . . reserved for @stealanity
two — ERIC
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extra: i guess this is my 500 follower special to you all, so thank you so much. thank you for all the support i've been receiving and the love i've been given. thank you for staying with me through my endless rambles and crack filled fics. thank you for allowing me to grow this far and for the enormous feedback to all my fics. it's crazy to believe i've come this far, and it's only the beginning of my journey. this collab, my fics, this blog wouldn't be anything if it wasn't for all of you and my moots who have carried me through thick and thin, so thank you
you all are truly the hyunjae to my changmin, so again, thank you for being the gift in my life
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NAVI `` TBZ MASTERLIST
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halaboyz · 2 days ago
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IN OUR NEXT LIFETIME | LEE HYUNJAE
pairing: non-idol! hyunjae x reader genre: ANGST. a cent of fluff. word count: 17k warnings: profanities. mentions of parties, non/alcoholic drinks, homewrecking is mentioned once. notes: this is for the collab event called merry bad ending @junjungsunwoo is hosting !! ♡ + mentions of kidult. this is a kind-of-sequel to it so read it first before this one for a clear understanding of some parts <3
special mentions to my lomls @hvae for the tremendous help & for letting me make a kind-of-sequel to kidult, @mingkii & @moonieric for the support <3 & @fluttering-tbz who I just wanted to spoil :D
permanent taglist: @deputyjuyeon @sunlightwoo​ @teuboyz @90s-belladonna @grassbutneo @skrtbabe @cosmiclele @flrtwoo
*:・゚✧*:・゚✧
summary: as he stood in front of you, ready to be someone else’s partner for life, nothing is left but to wish to meet him again in your next lifetime.
。゚゚・。・゚゚。 。 listen now to: spotify.  ゚・。・゚
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Standing in front of the big doors of the church you always dreamed of getting married in, tears pooled your eyes as your hand continued to fiddle with the bouquet in your hand.
“I can do this,” You can’t. Your heart continued to harshly pound under your ribcage, tears pooling your eyes from the nervousness. “You can do this,”
Swallowing the forming lump on your throat, your lips continued to twitch in anxiousness while you waited for the bells to ring.
You were positive bits of the fresh flower’s stems were inside of your nails unhygienically as you continued to pick on it.
“You just need to fucking walk. Move your feet. That’s it.” You keep on encouraging yourself, taking deep breaths.
The day was here.
Hearing the bells, you straighten your back for the nth time and iron your beautiful, silk dress with your sweaty palms and plastering a smile on your face.
The two big doors open together, revealing the elegantly designed insides of the church, and there he was. Still amazingly dashing as he stood beside his best men, beaming a small smile at you. The fact that you were the last on the line didn’t help ease your anxiousness.
You were finally walking down the aisle.
“I was just joking, I can’t do this.”
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Inhaling the sweet fragrance the cherry blossom trees emitted, you sigh in relief as your open your eyes to see your school welcoming you.
“y/n!” Eunbin, just one of the many friends you have, welcomes you with a wave from afar. Jogging to her with a smile, you engulfed her in a hug. “I missed you so much, how was summer?”
Starting a small talk to the bulletin board where you find out that you both were still classmates, you head to your rooms with bright smiles on your faces.
“You’re still the same,” Eunbin says with a small smile on her face, settling on the seat beside you.
“And by same, you mean..?” You chuckle, not wanting to take her words seriously.
“You’re still the same old, smiley.. Very friendly y/n,” Eunbin scrunches her nose at you, winking.
“That’s a good thing, right?” You start taking out your things one by one, and you only shoot Eunbin a glance when she nods.
It takes a few more small talks until your homeroom teacher steps in, a fond smile on his face.
“Class,” Mr. Kim starts, taking the class’ attention by lightly tapping his pile of papers continuously. “It’s nice seeing you again. No less, but there’s more.” He smiles, looking outside the door to let someone in.
A man, one who not even the slightest you could describe except as godly, takes unconfident strides inside the room beside your professor. A smile was nowhere to be seen on his face, but his eyes searched around the room.
The moment his eyes landed on yours, you knew you were fucked. Even just a second more than anyone in the room his eyes laid on you, but you could feel your heart skipping a beat and it was never good.
Lee Hyunjae.
He introduces himself timidly, bowing. Mr. Kim waits for him to say more, but the growing silence only makes it awkward.
“Right, Hyunjae.” He takes a sharp inhale, roaming his eyes around the room for a free seat. “Take the seat in front of y/n. Is it taken?” You shake your head a little more enthusiastically than you intended.
Hyunjae swiftly walks to the seat in front of you, and your eyes never leave him. You were curious, intrigued, and everything the like with the man that stood in front of you, not even batting an eye on your side.
Not until Eunbin smacks your arm with a book, mouthing to stop looking at him.
You probably have terrified the man already.
But your eyes never stop glancing at him.
Smiling to yourself after mentally agreeing that you talk to him later, you got your things and prepared for the class.
You were never a rushing type of student. Yet your leg kept on bouncing with the excitement of hearing the bell ring signaling break period.
You instantly stood up with the rest of the students the second the bell rang, itching to get to talk to Hyunjae.
Hyungseo beat you to it.
“Spare the man some time before you blare some stupid questions to get to know him better,” Eunbin tugs you away, while you pout in disappointment.
“Hyunjae. You’re.. Hyunjae,” Were the last things you heard from Hyungseo before you let yourself get dragged by Eunbin. Your eyes still laid on him, your head tilting as if you weren’t shamingly staring at the newcomer.
“y/n!” Youngjae comes running to you, grabbing your arms. “Do you happen to know someone named Hyunjae?!” He shook your shoulders, tears of joy– you assume, brimming his eyes.
“Uh, yeah, Youngjae. He’s still in the cl–”
“Thank you y/n! I’ll see you later!” Youngjae runs to your room and you even hear him squeal in happiness from afar.
Meanwhile, Hyunjae stared in confusion at Hyungseo who approached him, a raise in his eyebrow as he kept his mouth shut.
“I’m.. I uh,” Hyungseo stutters, looking down in an attempt to hide his teary eyes.
“Hyunjae!” Youngjae exclaims as he stomps his way inside the room, giving Hyunjae the tightest hug he could ever give. Hyunjae stands there in surprise, letting Youngjae continue squealing because as weird as it was, the two men that confronted him felt way too familiar to be ignored.
“Youngjae– I don’t think he remembers us,” Hyungseo mutters, pulling Youngjae back and away from Hyunjae, whose ears perk at the mention of the name.
Youngjae looks expectedly at Hyunjae, waiting for him to confirm Hyungseo’s speculations.
“It’s okay.” Youngjae smiles, “We look kind of different so we understand.” Patting Hyungseo in the arm, encouraging him to speak up.
“I’m.. Hyungseo.. And this is Youngjae,” He mumbles, a light fidget in his fingers. “..from the daycare,”
Hyunjae feels his heart drown in guiltiness and at the same time happiness, as he’s found– finally found the one he treated his family at heart.
Hyunjae bites his lip to stop the tears, looking down at his fiddling fingers. He can’t utter a word out, too happy at the news.
The three men looked at each other with tears in their eyes and a smile on their faces, and later Hyunjae was pulled to share a brotherly hug with Hyungseo and Youngjae.
He has never felt this happy after the incident.
You smile at the scene in front of you, though you weren’t too sure what was happening. You were peeking at the corner of the window looking at them after escaping Eunbin who continuously tugged you away from Hyunjae.
You knew a bit of Hyungseo and Youngjae’s life– them being one of your closest friends you easily made. And you were more than positive that Hyunjae is one of the people they cherished from the daycare they immaculately adored since they were kids, only when the incident occurred that it had to be brought down and the kids from the daycare never saw each other again.
Hyungseo and Youngjae just so happened to be neighbors after moving into the neighborhood, attending the same school, and making a goal together to find the rest of the kids they treated as family.
“y/n!” A fuming Eunbin walks to you, tugging you away from your classroom once again and you crane your neck to keep on looking, just in time as you see Hyunjae burst into the sweetest smile you have ever seen. “You’re unbelievable. You see the man for less than a minute and you’ve already fallen,” Eunbin mutters, looking at you helplessly, making your neck longer to stare at Hyunjae’s smile even just a second longer.
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“Hyungseo!” You jump to put him in a light headlock, ruffling his hair.
“Come on, y/n.. I styled this today,” He whines, trying to protect his already messy hair.
“You never style your hair,” You chuckle, letting go of him and helping him arrange his hair back to normal.
“Well get used to it because I’m styling it every day now,” Hyungseo proudly smiles at you, a light hop in his steps.
“So.. How many kids do you need to find now?” You start, curiosity evident in your voice as you follow him to your room.
“So! We’ve found Hyunjae, Sunwoo, Younghoon, and Chanhee.. Four more kids! Four more and– Wait,” Hyungseo stops and you do too, raising your eyebrows at him.
“What?”
“How’d you know about it?”
“About what?”
“Why’d you ask how many kids we have to find.. Now?” He mocked, and you only gave him a chuckle.
“I assumed. You rarely start a conversation with a newcomer. But this time, you even beat me to it. I uh.. Also kinda.. Eavesdropped. No! I mean– I didn’t hear anything but–”
“You like him?” Hyungseo wriggles his eyebrows, giving you a smirk.
“Well– I do– but that doesn’t mean that’s the reason I eavesdropped. I just– promise, looked from afar. Youngjae looked kinda pumped up when he asked me about Hyunjae so I was curious.” You rambled, a pout on your face.
Hyungseo just laughs at you, putting an arm around your shoulder as he dragged you to the room.
“It’s okay. I was going to tell you anyway,” He winks, and he enters the room alone. Your eyes immediately drop to Hyunjae, with whom you shared a second of eye contact before he looked away.
“Hi,” You start, poking his shoulder the moment you take your seat, ignoring Eunbin jokingly giving you a disgusted face and Hyungseo’s smirk as he starts preparing for class.
Leaning closer to Hyunjae, your desk tipped as you expect Hyunjae to give at least a hello back.
But he doesn’t. He only glances at you from the side and pushes your desk back properly with his discreet hand.
You let out a confused sound, your eyes widening. You hear Eunbin snort and you turn to look at Hyungseo who confusingly sat beside Hyunjae, eyeing him.
“Try again next time, honey,” Eunbin caresses your arm with a teasing smile on her face, giving you an encouraging nod before Mr. Kim steps inside the room.
Your eyes only linger at Hyunjae and your mind just keeps thinking of all the things you might’ve possibly done in the past two days you met Hyunjae the whole day.
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And the fact that you concluded you didn’t do anything just made you want to get to know him more, pester him more.
“Hi!” You jump in front of Hyunjae, walking backward. You just smiled at him, your hands at your back as you, once again, shamelessly stared at him with curiosity in your eyes.
Hyunjae just looks at you for a second, then forward. You were much shorter than him, so it was easy to ignore you in front of him with your height as he strides forward, his destination in sight.
You pout, slouching as you throw a fit in front of him.
“Hyunjae, Hyunjae, Hyunjae.. Hyunjae!” You continue, stomping like a kid who didn’t get what they wanted in the toy store. Hyunjae just sighs and tucks his hands in his uniform pants, continuing to walk forward. When you stop to try and block him, he swiftly escapes you so you just run back in front of him. “Did I do something? We haven’t even talked and you’re so cold!”
Your words didn't faze Hyunjae. He continued to walk like there was no one in front of him getting his attention.
Everybody looked in pity as you– the social butterfly of the whole school, failed to get the attention of the ice-cold newcomer.
"Look, Lee Hyunjae. I just want to be friends. What the hell did I do?" You continue to whine, tailing him to your seats. "Is it the fact that I like you or what?"
Those words. Those were the only words that had finally made Hyunjae look at you even if it was a scowl. Nevertheless, it made you happy.
"Oh.. So I just have to say I like you tons of times to keep you on your toes and for you to at least glance at me," You slyly nod, giving him a squint as he just shakes his head.
You finally head back to your seat, a satisfied smile plastered permanently on your face as you stick your tongue out to Eunbin.
Hyunjae's cold actions are noticed by his two closest friends, though. He's been the talk of the students the moment he had stepped in the gates without a smile on his face.
"I can't believe even y/n can't get through you after a week," Youngjae says, munching in his burger as his eyes land on you with a pout that stared at Hyunjae's back with a pout. "She never failed at getting friends." The thought made him chuckle, though.
"True. You're nothing like the kid from the daycare," Hyungseo stops chewing the moment he realizes the weight of his words, uttering numerous apologies to Hyunjae that acted nonchalantly, but the two knew better.
Hyunjae just quietly swallows his food, giving Hyungseo a small smile.
"It's fine," Hyunjae says, then heaving a deep sigh from his nose.
The other two share a look, and they just decide to let the topic go.
"But why don't you talk to y/n though? They don't bite," Youngjae stumbles to the original topic back, chuckling at your state.
Hyunjae surprisingly gives a light, short chuckle, looking at the two men in front of him.
"I don't need anybody else but the both of you, and the rest of the kids from the daycare."
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“Hyunjae.” You poke his shoulder with a pen, tipping your desk once again to bring yourself closer to him despite him ignoring you. “Hey,” You kept on pestering him, and Hyunjae only glanced to see if it was important or not. A smile tugs on your lips when he does, giving him a neatly folded paper with your writing on it.
Hyunjae sighs and gets it from you out of curiosity, letting you watch from the side with a smile and an expecting look.
I like you!
Those three words are simply written on the paper, but blaring at Hyunjae. His stoic face remained untouched, crumpling the paper and throwing it in his bag.
You whine, muttering “Cold,” as you feel his hand push the metals of your desk back to their place again as he usually does when you habitually tipped on your desk.
And you continue it for a few more days.
Those little notes you gave to him just end up getting thrown into his bag, unscathed.
“At least he doesn’t crumple it,” You chuckle at Eunbin as if you have just made a point.
“You’re.. Kidding me. Right?” Eunbin scoffs in disbelief, “I can’t believe you’re that persistent, what the fuck?” She shakes her head, her eyes watching you take your usual seat behind Hyunjae whose nose is stuck on the calculus book.
“Hi Hyunjae,” You greet him, used to being ignored as you hop back to your seat.
“Hyungseo,” As if it was the first time hearing him, your head shoots up from your phone to Hyunjae, your eyes wide and mouth gape– like Eunbin.
You, or simply the whole class except Hyungseo, haven't heard Hyunjae much after he introduced himself a month ago.
You watch them exchange a conversation quietly, Hyunjae asking how this math equation was– you didn’t get what the question was.
“Oh, y/n’s good at calc,” Hyungseo looks at you frozen in your place, blinking at him.
“I– what? Calculus? Hell yeah! I can he–,”
“No thanks. I’ll get this soon,” Hyunjae dismisses you, making you shut your mouth in an instant and your lips formed into a pout, looking at Hyungseo who only gave you an apologetic smile.
And you question yourself once again if you ever did something to Hyunjae.
Feeling discouraged and a little offended by the sudden outburst, you sink on your seat as the day passes.
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Maybe you were just annoying. At least, to him. But what can you do? You liked the man, and you weren’t even giving him advances. You just wanted to be friends, at least, for now.
Overthinking your personality, you find yourself a little bit timid than you had never been, only accepting the continuous greeting from people you were familiar with.
Even Eunbin realizes the small change of yours.
“The fuck’s wrong with you?” Eunbin nudges your side, and you only give a shake of the head. “Don’t tell me Hyunjae’s getting to you.”
“I don’t know, Eunbin, maybe he is.” You shrug your shoulders, pulling her to start walking to your room.
You sigh, feeling small only at the sight of Hyunjae quietly reading his calculus book again.
Hyunjae notices the past few days that you weren’t giving him your usual, cheery Hi Hyunjae, or the simple notes that had the same writings of I like you.
Or so he knew.
Sneaking his hand to his bag, he reached for any paper that he reached first and made sure you weren’t looking at him, nor Eunbin.
He sighs as he sees what was written inside, feeling a little sorry.
The Legend of the Banana. He feels his head pound, you may have given up on him. He sneaks another paper, opening it.
The Legend of the Pineapple. Yeah– you’ve given up on your paper confessions.
Hyunjae was positive you wrote just basically anything in the papers you gave to him, knowing he’d only throw it on his bag without opening it.
He looks at the window beside him, catching a glimpse of your reflection that only had your head down on the desk, facing the windows beside you too.
And he guesses, maybe you didn’t deserve anything he’s given to you. That is, getting ignored.
“Hyunjae!” Hyungseo wakes him up from the small zone out he had gotten, grimacing. He takes another glance at your reflection, confused as to why Hyungseo had to shout at him as you looked at his back. “I’ve been calling you for minutes already, you good?” Hyungseo shifts on his seat, garnering most of their classmate’s, including yours, attention.
“Yeah, yeah. Of course. I’m good,” Hyunjae steals a glance at you, and you were already shifting back to your position a while ago, uninterested in their conversation you would often poke your nose at. “What’s up?” Hyunjae hides the disappointment in his voice, trying to focus on Hyungseo.
“Okay, weird. But here– there’s this party that’s hosted for our block and.. Do you want to go?”
“Who’s going?” Hyunjae almost instantly asks back, expecting you to start jumping on your seat to get into the conversation. He bites his lower lip in anticipation, unconsciously gritting his teeth as he waits for you.
None came.
Hyungseo raises his brow at the man in front of him– all worked up.
“What’s up with you?” Maybe Hyungseo senses it, but he doesn’t want to read between things too much that can make Hyunjae uncomfortable so he zips his lips.
“I.. okay. Sorry. When is it?” Hyunjae disappointingly mutters, looking down and facing forward to sit properly.
“Wait, you’re going?” Hyungseo springs to his seat, excited at the thought of Hyunjae, for the first time after they’ve reconciled, is finally going out with them.
“Yeah sure. I mean, it’s just a normal party, right? Not some sort of frat or any wild things,” He confirms, having only agreed because he felt bad for Hyungseo and Youngjae who tried their best to get close to him again.
And maybe because he was too sure you were going, too.
He was right.
Not so timidly entering the dim house with Youngjae on his side, who did not hesitate to greet everyone that passed by him.
You were there, on the other side of the house, with a non-alcoholic drink in your hand as you swiftly talked to one of your seniors.
“Someone’s been looking at you the moment they stepped in my house,” Wooyoung narrows his eyes on you, then pouting to the main doors.
You scoff at him, but your eyes still look for the one he was describing. Hyunjae, who Wooyoung was describing, was long dragged by Youngjae away from sight to play some ping pong games Hyunjae didn’t know how, so your eyes landed on a schoolmate you’ve only shared frequent smiles with– Hyunjin.
“Ah,” You can’t hide the disappointment in your voice when you instinctively mutter that, Wooyoung cackling at you.
“Why, were you expecting someone else?”
“Hyunjae,” You sulk, turning back to Wooyoung after smiling at Hyunjin.
“Too bad I can’t remember names,” Wooyoung shrugs, patting your arm. “Now if I may, I’ll leave you to have your fun while I keep on welcoming new guests.” Wooyoung smiles at you, ruffling your hair that you’ve prepared for almost half an hour after hearing– eavesdropping, that Hyunjae was going to the party.
He was right.
Not so timidly entering the dim house with Youngjae on his side, who did not hesitate to greet everyone that passed by him.
You were there, on the other side of the house, with a non-alcoholic drink in your hand as you swiftly talked to one of your seniors.
“Someone’s been looking at you the moment they stepped in my house,” Wooyoung narrows his eyes on you, then pouting to the main doors.
You scoff at him, but your eyes still look for the one he was describing. Hyunjae, who Wooyoung was describing, was long dragged by Youngjae away from sight to play some ping pong games Hyunjae didn’t know how, so your eyes landed on a schoolmate you’ve only shared frequent smiles with– Hyunjin.
“Ah,” You can’t hide the disappointment in your voice when you instinctively mutter that, Wooyoung cackling at you.
“Why, were you expecting someone else?”
“Hyunjae,” You sulk, turning back to Wooyoung after smiling at Hyunjin.
“Too bad I can’t remember names,” Wooyoung shrugs, patting your arm. “Now if I may, I’ll leave you to have your fun while I keep on welcoming new guests.” Wooyoung smiles at you, ruffling your hair that you’ve prepared for almost half an hour after hearing– eavesdropping, that Hyunjae was going to the party.
Hyunjae just stared at you, though. You’re like an open book, at least to him. He easily read you, your facial expressions, the small movement your fingers did when you were uncomfortable or anxious– he knew it all in just a short period. He guesses that it was because he saw his younger self in you, but he just knew.
“Do you find anyone attractive in the circle?” Hyunjin’s eyes wander in the circle, propping his wrists back to assist his back in leaning back. He confidently smirks, your eyes landing on Hyunjae momentarily came unnoticed by him.
“Of course, there is,” You smile at Hyunjin, and he thinks it’s himself you were describing. Before he could ask another question he wanted, you already walked to the middle and spun the bottle.
Unfortunately, it didn’t land on Hyunjae. You couldn’t care less, though. You were slowly having your fun in the game after having participated. Not until it lands on you again and Hyunjin volunteers to be your frontman.
“Question or Dare, y/n?” Hyunjin smacks his lips together, waiting for your answer and when you say dare, he chuckles evilly and pops his fingers bones, acting as if he was to give you the hardest dare he can give. “I dare you to date me,”
Despite the harsh cheers you got from the people around, you stayed quiet and stared at Hyunjin, trying to find any other way to escape the situation.
Your fingers continued to pick on the hem of your shirt, swallowing the lump on your throat while Hyunjin waited for you to do something.
“Well, where’s the y/n I know?” Wooyoung continues to encourage you, hollering.
“I uh,” You look around, to Eunbin, to the floor, to your pants, then to the hand that suddenly reached out to you.
“Let’s go,” Hyunjae says, deadpanning as he looks down at you, waving his hand.
The crowd goes quiet, as quiet as to how they perceive Hyunjae to be.
Even you were shocked. Even Youngjae. Even Eunbin. Even Hyungseo. Everyone was, and they were just waiting for you to say something.
“Uh– me?” You ask confusingly, looking at his eyes and back to his hand.
“Do I look like I’m talking to anybody else? Or do you want to stay?” Hyunjae desperately prayed that he didn’t read you wrong or he’d just want the land to eat him from embarrassment. It took a bit of beating himself up mentally if he’ll help you since a while ago or not. So if you were to reject the offer, he’s better off not showing his face in the school the next week.
Ignoring the harsh thumping of your heart, you take his hand and almost jump at how cold it was. Muttering numerous apologies as Hyunjae tugged on your hand til outside, he continued to walk.
“Are.. you going to kill me?” You cautiously ask, slightly dragging your feet to slow his pace.
Hyunjae just realizes his hand is still held to yours, ignoring the temporary warmth your hand gave him.
“I just saved you. Aren’t you going to thank me?” Hyunjae scoffs in disbelief, a sense of coldness still heard through his voice.
“Thank you, I guess,” You mumbled, and it was something in a blue moon that everything was awkward when you were talking to someone. It was the first time you were finally talking to Hyunjae normally after a few months. Of course, everything was awkward– even for him.
“Do you want to take a walk?” Hyunjae courageously makes the first move, his face softening. He feels himself let go of the breath he was holding when you nod, hopping to his side and getting back to your cheerful self.
“Why did you decide to help me? Do you finally like me back?” Hyunjae couldn’t be more grateful when he hears the same words spill out of your mouth, and he doesn’t know why but the smile on your face finally makes him break out of his stoic facade, a small smile leaving his lips. “What the fuck.. Are you for real?” You cautiously poke his arm and gasp when it doesn’t go through, stepping aside.
The little gesture Hyunjae does that goes unnoticed by you is when he tugs you back, away from the middle of the street when he swaps places with you– like the little gesture he does when you tip your desk to him, his hands habitually assisting the desk’s metal from the side to lean it back to its place.
It’s little, so you don’t notice it.
You should’ve.
Instead, you focused on acting shocked at Hyunjae’s sudden change of personality toward you.
“I swear to god, Hyunjae, if you’re planning on murdering me.. Can I make a run for it now?” Your hands exaggeratedly fly to your mouth, covering it.
“Stop being overdramatic, y/n.. I just.. Think of this as an apology, yeah?” Hyunjae stops and you do too, raising a brow at him.
“Apology for what? For not liking me back?” You scoff, waving your hands in his face.
“No. For always pushing you away,” Hyunjae sighs, and he finally gets it off his chest. He felt guiltier day by day when he noticed the way you acted slightly different around everyone, the weight of his own words digging into his consciousness. “And for being a douche,”
You softly smiled at him, shaking your head.
“It’s nothing. But it’s good to know that you know you’re a douche,” You snicker jokingly, making Hyunjae scoff in disbelief. You walk ahead, leaving him alone a few steps back.
It flowed as natural as a river does on a normal day– your conversation, the blooming friendship you had with each other.
And you know for sure it was going to last for a long time.
You knew because Hyunjae was more than comfortable now– even Hyungseo and Youngjae had confirmed that. Maybe it was your aura or the fact that Hyunjae had found a new friend that he can confide in so comfortably, a friend that had no filter in their words, it was all your magic.
“You know, my confession still stands, right?” You continue to dote on Hyunjae, who did nothing but chuckle on your smooth yet rusty lines of confessing your love to him.
That didn’t mean it didn’t make Hyunjae’s heart flutter, though.
After a few more months, you were now both having your friendly date in a simple fast-food restaurant, waiting for him to finish eating. He just gives you a hum, munching on his food.
You give a light laugh as your eyes dart on the big windows, water slowly splattering one by one on it.
“It’s raining!” You sounded enthusiastic for someone who didn’t have an umbrella so Hyunjae looked up at you, then outside to where it was dimming and getting darker because of the clouds that started covering the moon that brightly shined.
“I don’t have an umbrella, though,” He reasons, looking at you again but you had this big smile on your face, enjoying how the rain, one seemingly wouldn’t stop in a heartbeat, met the ground. “You like the rain?” Hyunjae asks, raising his eyebrows.
“Yeah. They feel calming. Unless there are thunderstorms, though. But I like the ambiance the rain gives,” You cheekily scrunch your nose at him, telling him to continue eating. “You’re such a messy eater, you know that?” Your face distorted to a disgusted one, eyeing him.
Getting a piece of tissue and swiftly wiping Hyunjae’s lip was a touch move, it all happened quickly so you miss the faint blush on Hyunjae’s cheeks, too busy with your heart wanting to get out of your ribcage.
“Are you done? Can we go?” You whined like a little kid, pouting at Hyunjae.
“Go where, y/n? It’s pouring,” Hyunjae shakes his head at your tantrum, wiping his lips.
“Let’s just walk around under roofs. I promise I’ll behave!” Yeah, you were acting like a kid that wants everything to go your way.
Hyunjae lets you, though.
Grabbing his things, he realizes your outfits almost matched each other. He wore a simple white shirt inside his black hoodie and track pants, while you wore a black sweater over your shirt too, in your jeans. He chuckles at the realization, seeing that you were already outside and reaching your hand out for the rain.
“Hey,” Hyunjae pulls your hand back, shaking the water off. “It’s either you keep your hands under the roofs or we stay inside the restaurant.” He hisses playfully, and you pressed your lips to a thin line and continued to walk beside him.
Just like that– he was the one almost getting rained on as he swapped your places, and you hesitate whether to comment on it. You decide not to, touched enough by the little gesture.
“There’s a shed there. We can wait there while we wait for the rain to stop,” You point out at the shed in front of a small basketball court, smiling to yourself.
Escaping Hyunjae’s side, you run to the shed while your small hands protect your head for a second from the rain.
Before Hyunjae even scolds you, he stops himself and sighs it away knowing it was no use so he does the same, running beside you.
You shake the water off your body, while Hyunjae elegantly wipes his. Taking the seat first, you sighed in relief after feeling your legs wobble from all the walking when you’ve only really walked for a solid five minutes.
“Tired?” Hyunjae asks, and you only hum in agreement. You watch how the rain falls on the court, splattering around effortlessly. You catch a glimpse of a ball on the sidelines, smiling.
It was a comfortable silence, the rain being the ambiance you loved. Hyunjae, despite being a few inches away from you, felt warm. He only looked forward, seeming to have a lot on his mind.
“You can tell me anything, Hyunjae. I’m not one to rat out,” You mumble, and Hyunjae looks at you fondly. You look back at him, smiling encouragingly. “You don’t have to, either. If you don’t want to,”
It takes a few more minutes of silence until Hyunjae leans back on the wall like you, sighing as he looks away from the rain, and to his phone, he was holding tightly.
“You know this.. Daycare thing with Hyungseo and Youngjae, right?” Hyunjae hesitates, his fingers starting to fiddle with one another as flashbacks start flooding his mind.
“Yeah.. Hyungseo and Youngjae talk about it as if it was an immaculate place endlessly,” You chuckle, recollecting the times Hyungseo often looked excited when talking about the daycare and the friends he made, especially the people who took care of them.. Dearly. And Youngjae, when he just suddenly bursts into your room to talk about how he missed everyone in there. “Go ahead, I’ll just be listening.”
Hyunjae almost broke down at those words. Those were the only words he has been wanting to hear for years, and you were the first one to offer your ear.
And maybe even a shoulder to cry on.
“They were my family. Sangyeon, Joonyoung, Younghoon, Chanhee, Juyeon, Hyungseo, Haknyeon, Hyunjoon, Sunwoo, and Youngjae. And.. the people who took utmost care of us,” You break your stare in the rain, to look at Hyunjae. He had always had this big burden on his shoulders that you always succeeded to see, and everyone turned a blind eye to it. “You see– my parents.. I never felt like their child. One might say that they never really loved me but.. I don’t know. When I turned eighteen, I started to live independently because I thought.. I thought that I’d be fine that way more than staying with them. But there’s this.. y/n.. There’s this really heavy feeling I always kept in my heart and,” Hyunjae sniffs, swallowing the lump on his throat.
It was the first time he was ever telling anyone about the incident, one that scarred him throughout his childhood and the first time he ever felt like bursting or crying.
Your hands meet his, caressing it in the softest way possible to let him know that you were there, listening, there for him.
“I feel like it was all my fault when the incident happened. Day by day as I grew older, I felt my consciousness eating me up,” He finally breaks down, clutching his chest as he lets his tears fall.
The way you see it, you would never understand how Hyunjae feels. You could only sympathize with him, let him and his tears fall because that is what he needed after keeping it for so long.
Feeling your heart break at the sight of Hyunjae breaking, tears also brimmed your eyes. He continued to sob, loud against the continuous droplets of the rain around the both of you.
“Whatever people say,” he says between sobs, his hand that holds his phone tightened. “It doesn’t matter. It’s still there, and I don’t.. I don’t think anyone can change my mind but.. But him.” Hyunjae opens his phone, a contact number you don’t know whose blaring on the screen.
Teacher Changmin.” The name felt so foreign slipping out of his lips for Hyunjae. It has been years he’s ever said his name, or even if he was to still call the now successful man a teacher.
The name was quite familiar to you, and you vividly remember Hyunjae saying one of his hobbies was dancing, but never showed you so you assumed he was bad at it. You were not one fond of dancing but had a lot of interest when watching it, so putting end to ends together, you bit your lip if it was okay to ask him. There were also days the name slipped out of your two friends’ lips, later sealing it back to avoid any more questions that they don’t want to answer.
“Ji Changmin.. Right?” You breathe out, looking at the number. Hyunjae just laughs, even he can’t believe that the person he used to call teacher is now someone who just doesn’t care for eleven kids, but for who knows how many kids as he’s now a world-renowned choreographer.
“I want to talk to him. Badly, y/n. I want to talk to him so much,” Hyunjae’s voice break along with your heart hearing him, making you pull him to your warmth as you quietly hushed him and swayed him continuously like you cradled a baby to sleep.
You feel his hand clutch at your sweater, as he finally sobbed everything he had been keeping for years. All it took was the words you can tell me, and I’m here for you from someone he knows won’t judge him, and wouldn’t blame him for the reasons of one of the closest in his heart’s death.
The loud splattering of the rain against the roofs drowned Hyunjae’s sobs, and just like you, the rain had become something so calming for him.
When he had finally calmed down and the fistful of sweater he had been clutching on had loosened, you broke the hug and looked him dead in the eyes.
“Hyunjae. You don’t need to feel pressured to do anything– I want you to talk to him because you’re ready, not when just because all the people around you make you feel pressured to do so, okay?” You wipe his tears away, ducking to see his face better that only looked down. When his eyes meet yours, “I’ll be there, then.”
Your hands reach for his arms to pull him up, smiling slyly which made Hyunjae chuckle.
“What are you up to, now?” Hyunjae entirely lets himself get dragged until he realizes you were dragging him outside the shed. “y/n! What the fuck you’re going to get sick!” He tries to pull you back but you were already out in the rain, your usual cheery smile plastered on your face that made Hyunjae give in.
“In here– no one will hear you. Against the loud rain, no one ever would! Nor your tears– no one would see them cause they drown in the rain. You would see the look of judgment on the people’s faces but who cares?! If it makes you happy, free.. I want you to be that, at least in front of me.” You shout to him, your eyes squinting as you feel the rain drenching all your clothes and even your socks.
Hyunjae smiles at you– one that he had never given you nor anyone after Changmin left. It was weird, you were weird. How the hell did Hyunjae get to just asking you to come to eat with him outside to a small park court, getting drenched in the rain.. And him screaming all his lungs out?
You just looked at him with a loving look, relieved that Hyunjae is finally letting himself.. Free.
After Hyunjae had said all his frustrations on Changmin and the cruel world, you only realize that Hyunjae was still holding your hand tightly, and he suddenly engulfs you in a hug under the rain.
“Thank you,” Hyunjae simply mutters, and you feel him tighten the hug as he looks up, letting his face get massaged by the rain. His hand lingers at the back of your head, caressing it. He leaves a feathery kiss by the crown of your head, thinking you were too preoccupied with the rain to feel it. You weren’t. You were preoccupied with him, so you did.
That was the time you knew you didn’t just like him. You fucking loved the man in front of you. And you found yourself in the most confusing place you can be– because you knew there was a connection between you and Hyunjae. You aren’t lovers.. But you aren’t just friends, either.
──────────── ·  ·  ·  · ✦
Everything became special after that day. Hyunjae had become more lively, still stoic but more open to talking to others he hadn't had the chance to talk to. It made you wonder, though– how he changed drastically in just a couple of months.
You’d want to take credit for that, but you don’t speak about it.
“y/n,” Eunbin shakes your arm, making you look at her. “You’re smiling again,” She rolled her eyes, and you could only chuckle.
You hear Hyunjae, Hyungseo, and Youngjae’s voices from outside of your room, and your eyes habitually land on the door to wait for them.
Hyunjae had this big smile plastered on his face, one you still can’t grow used to when he’s in his uniform. Hyungseo has his head locked in Hyunjae’s arms, begging to be released while Youngjae cheered for Hyunjae, tailing in the back. Before Youngjae parted ways with them, your eyes met, and you both smiled at each other in acknowledgment.
Hyunjae strides back to his seat, giving you a small smile and taking his seat.
“y/n, Eunbin,” Hyungseo calls you and your friend, making you perk on your seat.
“Yeah?”
“Are you free later? There’s this really good ice cream par–,”
“y/n’s walking me home later,” Hyunjae cuts Hyungseo short, making Hyungseo, Eunbin, and even you crane your necks.
“I am?” You confirm, furrowing your brows to try and trying to recall any memory you might have forgotten.
“You are,” Hyunjae shrugs, shifting on his seat to look in front. You mindlessly nod, muttering a small sorry to Hyungseo.
“Sorry, I needed to talk to you,” Hyunjae says after you wait for him to gather his things, most of your classmates have already gone out to head home.
“And you couldn’t have done that a while ago?” You chuckle but wait for him anyway. “What are we going to talk about? Are you finally going to acknowledge my continuous love letters for you?”
“I just.. Wanted to talk. Is that bad?” Hyunjae hisses at you playfully, squinting his eyes. You just laugh it away, Him ignoring your flirty remarks come unnoticed.
The dark clouds have started to conquer the bright sky, the sun setting.
“Okay– but should it be the other way? Shouldn’t you be walking me home?” You pressed on, but you were still heading to his. You don’t mind having to walk only a few blocks away from your home. Eunbin and Hyunjae lived only a few blocks away from you, but Eunbin always had meetings for her organizations so you rarely walked home with her.
“My house’s closer than yours,” Hyunjae lamely excuses, tugging you once again on the other side to protectively walk on the side of the highway.
“Hey, graduation’s close. You never told me what you want to take on in college,” You gasp, even after a year of being friends with him, you don’t even know where he’ll be after graduating high school.
“Not sure, but the first thing that comes to mind is probably business or.. Criminal justice. I’ve always wanted to be a banker or.. a.. Uh,” Hyunjae stumbles in his words, too embarrassed to say what his childhood dream was.
“What? You want to become a murderer or what?” Joking, you smack his arm lightly.
“A secret agent or something,” He whispers, but you got it and you stop yourself from bursting into laughter.
“That’s.. A nice dream,” You bite your lip, inhaling a good amount of air to calm your insides.
Hyunjae sighs as he snakes an arm around your shoulders, and your expressions froze as it was.
“What the fuck are you doing?” You mumble, trying to pry away from his hold but he just tightens it, “Are you going for a chokehold or something?”
“Someone’s following us.” Hyunjae kept his eyes forward and wasn’t looking nervous. If anything, he just looked tired.
You whip your head back only for your cheek to be pushed by Hyunjae’s fingers.
“Are you serious or?” You mumble but take his advice anyway. You start to get nervous little by little, feeling more cautious by your surroundings as you hear, you assumed, the person who was following you getting nearer.
Hyunjae feels your shoulders tense, and finally, he bursts out in rage. Groaning, he stops in his tracks when his house is already in sight, and for a second you thought he was going to confront the stalker.
He does.
“Stay here,” He says under his breath, gritting his teeth as he pats your shoulders softly. You try stopping him, grabbing his wrists tightly but he effortlessly snaps it off, too ticked off by the person who was now obviously hiding on a thick post, acting as if he was on his phone.
Hyunjae takes the cap off the man, revealing someone very familiar to him and makes his heart shatter at the obvious lines in his face– Ji Changmin.
“Either just talk to me or stop following me every fucking time,” Hyunjae challenges, begs. You stay on your spot, too shocked at what was happening in front of you.
Changmin’s eyes widen softly, as he’s finally gotten a better and closer look at the kid he had always kept an eye on, even after his disappearance.
“Hyunjae..” Changmin mumbles then looks down at his feet. He feels too ashamed to face the now grown-up, the one he so adored but still left alone in the cruel world.
The next thing you know, you were dragged inside Hyunjae’s house, awkwardly sitting between the solo-seat sofa where Changmin was and Hyunjae who was beside you.
“I.. uhm, should get going.” You mumble, gathering your things. Changmin just stares fondly at you, a small smile on his face. His eyes later landed on Hyunjae’s hands that stopped your wrists.
“I need you..” Hyunjae whispers, his eyes begging you to stay. “Don’t go, please..” He urges, and you just plop back on the seat with a sigh.
Your eyes start going back and forth from Changmin to Hyunjae, waiting for someone to start talking.
You glance at Hyunjae’s hands, and he was severely fiddling with it. Sighing, you take a hold of his hand to stop it, intertwining it with yours.
“If you’re not ready, it’s okay. He’s here, and you have his number. But if you are ready– like I told you, I’ll be here,” You caress his knuckles with your thumb, and he looks at you hopefully.
“I’m ready,” Hyunjae smiles at you, tightening his hold on yours. Giving him another encouraging smile, you nod.
Changmin watches the short exchange with sweet eyes, a smile continuously growing on his lips. He recollects the time he spent with his significant other when Hyunjae was still small.
But now, Hyunjae has grown up right in front of his eyes, looking at someone like how Changmin did with his significant other.
“It’s okay, y/n. You should stay,” Changmin takes the initiative, smiling at you.
“You even got a background on my friends?” Hyunjae scoffs, and you stay quiet. “Teache– I mean, Changmin. You’ve been tailing me after you left. You’ve been keeping people on my tabs– why.. Just why can’t you talk to me personally?” Hyunjae’s voice comes off as cold, rude. But you and Changmin knew better than to let it get the best of you, opting to let Hyunjae say whatever he wants to say in any manner to the man.
“Because if you weren’t ready, Hyunjae, I am not too.” Changmin shortly replies, and you could feel Hyunjae’s nails pick on your skin. You don’t tell him about it though, understanding how frustrating the situation was.
“So you want the kid who you left alone, talk to you first? Is that it?” Hyunjae feels tears brimming his eyes, but he doesn’t let them fall.
“No, Hyunjae. I.. I just don’t want to hurt you more than you’re hurting now. If you still haven’t moved on from.. Their death.. Then I can still imagine how much I can still hurt you by showing my face after leaving you.” Changmin had all the answers prepared for Hyunjae’s questions because had always been ready. He just doesn’t want Hyunjae to feel bad for having to deal with his feelings.
He knows he hurt Hyunjae a great deal when he left. Hyunjae had always been one of the reasons for his stay at that time, pursuing his dreams a little bit later. It just so happened that his significant other meant much more than love to him. So when they died.. A part of him died too, but his dreams.
His dreams were the only thing that kept him away from the void. But he knows better than to leave his significant other’s life– the daycare and the kids they adored and loved so much, alone and to grow up like the daycare never happened in their lives.
He made sure that every kid his significant other cared for, grew up like how they both had hoped for, and enough to live and survive in the tough, cruel world.
Like how Hyunjae had grown up.
Hyunjae stays quiet, and all of a sudden, looking at the man he once looked up to– and still is, makes everything fade away. His anger, disappointment, confusion, and everything the like, disappeared when he looked into Changmin’s eyes.
Because it beamed nothing but sorrow and honesty. He knew that if he wasn’t to forgive Changmin yet this instant, he knew he’d just be playing games with himself.
Hyunjae simply stared. There were no more words that slipped out of his mouth, vividly remembering the last time he saw Changmin’s significant other. The one he treated as a family along with Changmin. Hyunjae’s time with them and Changmin.
Because after the daycare closed, his mind only revolved on reconnecting what was once a home for him, along with the people in it.
He holds back a sob, not wanting to break, at least yet, in front of Changmin. But the moment your other hand caresses your intertwined hands, he lets everything dawn into him.
He finally lets his tears flow, looking exhaustedly at Changmin who was already crying since a while back.
“I missed you,” Hyunjae mumbles. Seeing them so broken, even Changmin who you just knew from your friends’ stories, made your heart ache. “I missed you so much,” Hyunjae sobs, letting go of your hand to jump on Changmin’s arms.
You proudly smile, wiping the lone tear that escapes your eyes as you watch them share a brotherly– or fatherly hug.
You knew Hyunjae’s life would change then.
He became someone so fresh in other people’s eyes– someone who changed for the better, someone who’s finally worth approaching. But not for you, because Hyunjae has always been like that.
Your persistence was something you should be proud of because it was something that brought you closer to Hyunjae.
And maybe your feelings too.
What you felt for Hyunjae the first time you met, or rather, looked at Hyunjae, everything was still the same. If not, then harder. You deserve a round of applause for trying to be okay with what you have with Hyunjae now, not giving your feelings a second thought to Hyunjae.
Why were you so satisfied with having a label of no label?
“Hey!” Hyunjae suddenly appears behind you, scaring the fuck out of you. “What are you thinking so deeply about?” He chuckles, tucking his hands in his hoodie.
“How I should murder you for being so late. Come on, it’s graduation day and we’re fucking late,” You hiss at him playfully, making him chuckle. “If only Eunbin wasn’t part of the organization, I would be walking with her by now,”
“And leave me? I bet you can’t,” Hyunjae asks– it was supposed to be a joke. You should be taking it lightly. Why did it hit harder now?
“You bet right then,” You just say under your breath, sighing.
“What?”
“I said you should fucking walk faster or I’ll come for your throat. My parents are already there,” You groan, looking at the time.
“You’re walking behind me!” Hyunjae defends, an offended look on his face. He aggressively walks to you, then lifts you on your feet to his shoulders.
“Hyunjae! My hair! I took hours for this!” You continue to hit his back, trying to save your oh-so-messy hair now.
When he drops you, you’re already in front of the school gates.
“I swear to god, one day– I might just,” Raising your fist, you manage to threaten Hyunjae as he backs away from your hit.
Combing your hair smoothly against your hair with a pout on your face, Hyunjae watches for a second before dropping his and your things on the floor, standing in front of you.
He smiles at you, then removes your hand from it. He takes the time to smoothen your hair, giving it the most natural look it can get after ruining it. You made this time to look at Hyunjae, feeling your cheeks flush at the proximity.
Your heart was thumping more than it ever did around Hyunjae. You didn’t want to admit it, no. You just liked Hyunjae.
But did it matter? You were neither friends nor lovers. There were a lot of times that what you did with Hyunjae proved that the line between friends and lovers was blurred. You were confused, scared.
But satisfied.
If it meant that you were both happy, you were satisfied.
You shouldn’t have been.
“There,” Hyunjae smugly looks at you, proud of his work. “Are you ready to get out of high school?” He asks with an expecting smile, making you chuckle. He reaches his hand out for you to take, dragging you inside in a rush.
──────────── ·  ·  ·  · ✦
“You’re still going to visit me, right?” Youngjae asks, sobbing childishly as he hugged Hyunjae tightly. Hyunjae simply hums, letting Youngjae dampen his regalia with his hat in hand.
Bidding your parents goodbye to hang out a little with your friends, you laughed at the sight.
“As if we’re going so far, Youngjae,” You squint your eyes at him then looked at Hyunjae, who begged you to come to get the sobbing man. You open your arms for Youngjae and he doesn’t hesitate to get to your embrace, mumbling small I’ll miss you’s, and continuously asking to come and visit him from time to time.
“Youngjae, Hyungseo," You call your friends’ attention, looking at Hyunjae for confirmation. He leaves with a light jog, smiling. “Hyunjae and I kinda prepared a surprise for you. I hope you’re all free?”
“Hell yeah, we are,” Hyungseo mumbles, and you lead them out of the place and to the parking lot. They seemed excited, which was good. You just wished your surprise went as planned.
“By the way, where’s Eunbin?” Hyungseo asks, making a small effort to enlighten the atmosphere.
“Ah, she already went home. Wanting to spend the special day with her parents. If y’all are still free in the week, she said she’ll make time,” The small talk continued until you were finally in the parking lot, asking them to close their eyes for a sec.
“y/n, I swear, if my pretty faces come flat on the–”
“You can open your eyes!” Cutting Youngjae off, they squinted their eyes that later formed tears.
Changmin was in front of them. The kids that grew up well with them in the daycare were all there, smiling proudly at the two.
“Oh my god,” Hyungseo’s hand comes in contact with his mouth, containing his sobs.
He counts– Changmin. Hyunjae. Juyeon. Chanhee. Younghoon. Joonyoung. Sangyeon. Hyunjoon. Sunwoo. Haknyeon. Everybody was there– and he could vividly remember their faces but still managed to know who’s who. Because if you didn’t get it, Hyungseo was the most observant man you’d ever seen.
Youngjae collapses in his place, hugging his knees. His dream finally came true– they were complete. He hesitates to look at them the second time, scared that if he did they might disappear, scared that it was all a dream.
It wasn’t. When he feels your hand caress his back to encourage him, he looks up to you with hopeful eyes.
“They’re finally here, Youngjae.” You whisper, and later it is all drowned as all of them run to Youngjae with big smiles on their faces, ruffling his hair. You take a step back, giving them the space they needed.
You just lovingly stare at them, and you only realize that Hyunjae and Changmin just stare from afar too, Changmin’s arm loosely slung around the slightly taller man’s shoulders.
And you have never felt so proud of someone else before.
“You should go with us. We’re planning on eating outside,” Changmin smiles softly at you, like how he did when Hyunjae dragged you inside his home that night.
“No, sir– uh, Changmin..? Teacher Changmin? I don’t know– but it’s okay! You should have time for yourselves since it’s been a long time and–”
“y/n’s going!” Hyunjae cuts you off, pushing you to walk with them.
“Hyunjae, no! You fuck– you should spend time with them,”
“Ah! You should get to know them,” He giddily smiles, even wiggling his hips as he continues to push you. Ignoring your protests, you just suddenly see yourself sitting beside who you knew was Sangyeon and Hyunjae.
“Hello,” Sangyeon mumbles, before taking a seat. You smile at him, awkwardly shuffling on your seat. “I’m Sangyeon,” Not wanting to have an awkward atmosphere between the both of you, he starts a conversation.
“Hi! Yes, hello. I’m y/n,” You were good at socializing, but being with the people who knew each other but you, you start feeling left out and awkward.
“I assume you’ve met at least half of us?” Sangyeon says, handing you one of the foods to let you get some.
“Thanks. Yeah, I’ve met Sunwoo, Younghoon, and Chanhee once a while back, because of Youngjae and Hyungseo,” You explain, instantly finding comfort in talking to him. “And if running into your.. Teacher? Counts.. Then I’ve met him a couple of times too, because of Hyunjae.”
The conversation flows naturally as if you’ve known each other for years.
Hyunjae notices this but doesn’t talk about it since, well, making friends was your thing in the first place.
The chats fade in the background, one voice toppling over another. You– or they, caught up with each other and chatted the night away.
“Right, y/n,” Changmin calls for your attention after introducing you to everybody bashfully. “Hyunjae mentioned that you’d want to apply for Harvard with him?”
With everybody’s eyes on you, you grew nervous. Hyunjae notices this, taking a hold of your hand under the table.
“Uh, yeah. I mentioned it to him first, though,” You squint your eyes at Hyunjae, making most of them chuckle. “But yeah. Just wanted to try though. If I pass, then I pass, I’d gladly take the offer. If I don’t, then it’d be okay too, there are various outstanding universities here anyway,” You answer, and Changmin just nods.
“Tell me if you pass and are going, though. I can offer you a lodge so that you wouldn’t be hassled,” Changmin offered and you nodded thankfully.
Spending the afternoon with them, you found their company very relaxing and playful. Though you weren’t able to have a conversation with half of them, at least, they made you feel like you were one of them.
After exchanging numbers with them, and them with each other, they finally bid their temporary goodbyes, promising to have another meet-up soon and to be in contact with one another.
“It was fun getting to know you,” Sangyeon says before sweetly patting your head, heading his way after nodding at Hyunjae.
“Lovebirds,” Changmin calls for someone, making you look at him and around. It was only you and Hyunjae left.
Confused, you pointed at yourself as Changmin chuckled.
“Yes, the both of you. Aren’t you heading home yet?” Changmin steps closer to the both of you, his car keys dangling between his fingers.
“I’m taking y/n somewhere first, then I’ll take them home,” Hyunjae says, looking around to see if it was still worth dragging you out for the night.
“Make sure you do,” Changmin reprimands and bid goodbye before going his way.
“Where are you taking me again?” Squinting your eyes, you follow Hyunjae to where he was heading.
“The park. I’m just.. So overwhelmed today. So I wanted a night out,”
“You did well today, Hyunjae. I’ve never seen you so happy,” He hums in agreement because it was indeed the happiest he’s been after years. “I’m uselessly proud of you,” You chuckle at your own words, trying to think of any reason why you’re so proud of him but there was none.
“I need to thank you for everything,” Hyunjae says, taking a seat on one of the free places on the grass. It was already dark, so there were only a few people around.
“You don’t need to, Hyunjae. All I did was stay beside you.”
“That’s why,” He lays on his back, prompting you to do the same. Before your head touches the grass, Hyunjae’s arms spread to make it a pillow for yours.
The gesture was small, but your heart was thumping out of your ribcage.
“You’ve always been there. And without you, I don’t know where the fuck I am now,” He sighs, folding his elbows to scoot you closer to him.
You act nonchalantly, looking straight into his eyes. You think you just saw the stars in it. You see sincerity, fondness, and if you weren’t imagining it– love.
He sighs out in relief, finally letting you lay in peace as you look at the now bright stars.
“I’ve always wanted to stargaze but never had the chance to,” You mumble, taking Hyunjae’s attention. “Now that I’m staring at it, it feels unreal.”
“It’s nice I dragged you with me again, then,” He smirks, calming his heart at the way it abnormally beats.
He asks himself all over again if you were feeling the way he was– or was this all normal for you? The countless flirty remarks and playful confessions can’t get to him, it was just all confusing.
And maybe he found himself just getting satisfied with what the both of you are now, too. He doesn’t want to overthink his feelings and yours, because if it really was something, it should’ve happened by now.
So he thought these were all normal. How you both act was normal. What you were.. Was normal.
“Shooting star!” You continuously smack Hyunjae’s chest, and when he groans, you intertwine your fingers to wish.
“You’re so childish,” Hyunjae mumbles, looking at the trace of where the shooting star was. Despite his words, his inner self made a quiet wish– and that was to maintain solemnity in his life full of chaos.
The solemnity was you.
“Hey. Not childish at all,” You retort after a few seconds, done with making a wish. “If it’s not true, then what’s there to lose?”
“Hope.” Hyunjae surprisingly had an answer to your rhetorical question, making you pout. Hyunjae laughs at you, tucking you closer to his side.
You realize that he was right. Hope. Because if your wish was to be with Hyunjae like this forever, and it wouldn’t come true, your hope melts into nothingness.
──────────── ·  ·  ·  · ✦
“You reveal your universities first!” You pout, hiding the bunch of welcoming papers behind your back as Hyunjae did the same.
“Fine, then! I can just ask Eunbin for yours,” Hyunjae sticks his tongue out, and you whine.
“That’s not fair! Why don’t we just reveal it together?” You stomp like a child on your place, making Hyunjae chuckle.
“One, two, three!” You both squeal at having the same designs of papers, passing the same universities even in college.
After exchanging papers and sharing a quiet, knowing look, the smiles on your faces continue to grow, “SNU!” You simultaneously shout your choices, squealing when you both said the same university.
“We should enroll together with Hyungseo to at least get one minor together,” Hyunjae suggests, and you could only nod at the excitement of starting college soon.
“We both didn’t pass Harvard, but we can try again next year,” You chuckled, wiggling your hips as Hyunjae joined you.
Nothing stopped the both of you from gluing your hips together. You both were inseparable– whether it may be your breaks, or walking home back again. The universities weren’t that far from your homes, saving you more money than expected.
You think nothing changed. You still had him, Hyungseo often hangs out with the both of you, Eunbin– who was schooling in the neighboring university, also hangs out normally with you.
You think nothing changed.
Until it did.
“Hyunjae!” You see him hanging outside the room with the class you shared with him and Hyungseo, leaning on the wall. “Were you waiting for me? Aw, so swee–”
“Waiting my ass. Just go inside and save me a seat, will you?” He chuckles, and you thought he was joking. So you hopped inside the room, saving the two seats beside you and the other for Hyungseo.
“Hyun– he’s not here.” You mumble, your eyes tracking back to the windows that showed a little of Hyunjae’s side. “The fuck?”
You look at him for a few seconds while getting your things out of your bag, pouting when he still hasn’t moved an inch. You suppose he was just waiting for Hyungseo.
He wasn’t.
Standing on both feet, Hyunjae finally straightens his back as he smiles oh-so-sweetly to a girl you don’t know and can’t familiarize, his hand scratching his neck bashfully as he reaches out to her.
For the first time, you feel your heart breaking at just the sight.
No. It’s just friendly talk. With the shy smile plastered on Hyunjae’s face, and his hands that kept flying to his neck, to the way he timidly twirled in his place– you wished it was friendly talk.
“He’s going to melt at that point if you keep on staring at him like that,” Hyungseo walks to you, taking the other seat. You only smile at him, trying to focus on taking your things out as you trail your eyes on your things.
It didn’t last long. When you hear your professor’s heels clacking on the tiled floor, your eyes panic as you see Hyunjae pass the door.
“He’s going to be fucking late,” You mumble, quickly standing up to run to the floor and to him, stopping only on the doorsill to see him only in the next room.
Perfect timing– you guess. The girl was just giving him his phone back, also heaving a sweet smile on her face. You see Hyunjae’s ears turn red, chuckling to himself as he takes his phone back and bids goodbye to the girl, as she finally strides back to her room.
Hyunjae turns to go to his room, as he sees you with empty eyes looking at him.
“What’s wrong with you?” He asks, waving his hand in front of you. You shot back to your senses, eyes darting anywhere but his.
“You’re going to be late, loser,” Punching his chest lightly, you jog back to your seat, but not where you were a while ago. Hyungseo coincidentally has another available seat on his other side, taking that seat after pushing your things to that side.
“What are you doing?” Hyungseo watches you do your thing confusingly, but lets you anyway.
Before Hyunjae had even entered the door, you had naturally taken your seat. Your heart aches, but you don’t let it show. It aches, but you ignore it.
It was too early to assume. Because who knows if they only exchanged numbers because of group work? A project? Just a newly made friend that you wanted their number? Who even knows if they exchanged numbers? Hyunjae must’ve left his phone in his last class who happened to be with her and had his phone.
Coincidences– you wished.
Hyunjae, puzzled, takes his seat beside Hyungseo. It was weird that you weren’t in the middle, where you usually were, but he let class continue anyway.
It was a heavy feeling. Ominous one. Yet you keep burying it under and deep in your heart. It isn’t that big. It was. And you yourself knew it.
You told everything to Eunbin, in hopes of telling it to someone might make the feeling in your chest lighten in the slightest– but it doesn’t.
Because you were watching the person you loved fall in love with someone else right in front of your eyes.
Hard-headed. Eunbin says. You throw the feeling again for the nth time. Avoid him. Eunbin says. You can’t– and you didn’t have a reason to.
Eating popsicles on your break at the bleachers, you lazily watch the soccer players kick the ball around with Hyunjae on your side.
“Number 13 will definitely score,” You mumble, making Hyunjae chuckle.
“No. Number 24 will,” He retorts, pointing his popsicle at number 24.
“Aight, bet,” You smile slyly, and the both of you intently watch the small game that was happening feet away from you. “Come on, number 13! You always score!” You shout, removing the popsicle from your mouth and garnering half the field’s attention. Hyunjae pulls you down, covering your mouth with his big ass hands.
“You’re so embarrassing,” Hyunjae mumbles, popping the flavored ice in his mouth to get you in a chokehold.
Faking a cough, Hyunjae finally lets you go as you huff.
“Ah.. my hair, Hyunjae!” You exasperatingly sigh, combing your hair. And just like that day– graduation, Hyunjae helps you with it. Heart thumping, cheeks red.
Hyunjae suddenly pushes your head to the side.
“What in the fuck–” You stop yourself from cursing, seeing Hyunjae grow that smile again. It wasn’t the cheeky little smile he always gave you– it was one that he always gave her.
And just like you expected, she was walking in front of the bleachers as she shyly waved at Hyunjae, unaware of your existence beside him.
And just like how your heart was thumping abnormally just seconds ago, it broke a thousand beats more.
“We have finals left before turning into second years,” Hyungseo groans, “and it feels like we’ve been college students for ten years already,” You chuckle at his words, continuing to do your own work.
Feeling your phone vibrate, you fish it out of your pockets mindlessly and check your received messages.
hyunjaehyun: i know finals is right around the corner hyunjaehyun: but are you free later around eight? hyunjaehyun: i want to treat you something good me: who am i to deny free food?
Smiling to yourself, you put your phone back in your pockets as you try your best hiding your smile that only continues to grow.
“Right– y/n. You still plan on submitting an application to Harvard for next year with Hyunjae, right?” Hyungseo asks you, momentarily stopping his hands from writing his modules.
“Yeah, and Hyunjae probably forgot it. I’ll ask him later, though,” You nod, mentally noting yourself to ask Hyunjae about it later.
“I wish you the best. You’ll still keep in contact, right? Because I’ll make Teacher Changmin hunt you down if you don’t,” Hyungseo pouts, squinting his eyes at you as he waits for you to reply.
Setting your pen down, you face him properly.
“How could I leave the people I cherish the most here without my love?” You appealed, winking at him. Squealing both in happiness, you forget your worries for your finals as you chat away instead of finishing your reviewers.
──────────── ·  ·  ·  · ✦
Heaving a deep sigh, you excitedly waited on your seat where Hyunjae asked you to meet, a smile on your face. It has been so long since Hyunjae initiated that the both of you eat outside, now that college was happening, your frequent avoidance to him because of your feelings and just you basically being an indecisive person.
One last confession. If he doesn’t take it seriously now..
“Hyunjae!” You raise your hand like a kid, a wide smile on your face as you try getting his attention.
Your heart drops.
That same girl.
That same girl was wearing Hyunjae’s hoodie that you were just borrowing last month.
He was now trailing behind Hyunjae’s broad back, their intertwined hands hidden behind her sweater paws.
Your smile falls, the habit of your nails unconsciously picking on your fingers anxiously coming back.
“y/n,” You hear it even from afar. You can hear it even from miles away. You’ll hear it even when you’re alone. His sweet, soft voice that always called out to you, it remained in your brain, your heart.
And there was no way of erasing it.
He gently tugs her arm, pointing at you.
You keep a small smile, but your eyes just– your eyes just can’t hide anything at the moment. You try your best, but with the excruciating pain you were feeling in your chest, it was impossible.
Hyunjae, the gentleman that he is, pulls the chair for her in front of you, then takes the seat next to hers.
You smile at her politely, showing a little bit of confusion but nothing that might throw her off the wrong impression. Trailing your eyes back to Hyunjae slowly, you give him a look.
“I know we’re all busy. But I just can’t keep it anymore– Jihyun, meet y/n. y/n, meet Jihyun,” He giddily smiles, two of the most important people to him at the moment meeting, “my girlfriend,”
You stop– everything does. From your breathing to the world spinning. It takes time to sink in, and thinking about it more is breaking you little by little, feeling like dying a slow death. It was suffocating.
And with a single fiddle of your nail to your thumb, you feel it sting. It's what brings you back to your senses, your eyes brimming with tears.
“W-why.. Are you crying?” Hyunjae dumbfoundedly shifts on his seat, hesitating whether to caress you like he always did when you broke down in front of him.
“Sorry– Jihyun. Hello, nice to meet you,” You sob, but pull a smile anyway. “I am so fucking sorry,” You sigh, trying to stabilize your breaths.
“Hi.. y/n. Hyunjae told me a lot about you and I’ve seen you around him too, with Hyungseo,” She warily smiles, taking your hand for a shake. “Are you okay?”
Why the fuck does she need to be kind, too?
Why does god always play favorites?
Why does it need to be you who’s breaking?
But then you think again– you’d rather let yourself break than him.
“I’m so sorry, I’m just..” Your eyes land on Hyunjae. It was blurry because of your tears, and it continued to be blurred by your tears. It was hard to stop, with the way you think someone’s hand was clutching your heart. “So proud of Hyunjae,” You mumble, smiling at him.
It hurt. There was nothing more to say, more to describe how you were feeling.
“I’m so proud of him because I’ve seen him look at you from afar,” Your eyes asked for help. But this was the first time Hyunjae couldn’t read you out of all the years he had known you. It was right in front of his eyes– how you were desperate to show him all the love in the world, how you were so desperate that you’d give him all the stars in the sky.
But he was already blinded by the love he had, that he knew was reciprocated.
No confusion, no holding back.
“I’m so proud of him because he deserves everything he has now. So thank you, Jihyun,” You mumble, not a second did your eyes look away from Hyunjae.
You ask with your eyes, just one more time. Read me, Hyunjae. I love you. I’m here. I’m here, I’m here.. I was always here.
But when he smiles proudly then breaks eye contact to look lovingly at Jihyun who did the same, you realize that the stars you saw in his eyes that night you stargazed together, finally shined for someone else’s sky.
“Thank you, y/n,” Jihyun mumbles, her sweet smile so sickeningly too nice for you.
You want to cry your heart out. You wanted to scream. You wanted.. you wanted to let Hyunjae know how much you loved him. You wanted him to know that ever since the beginning, you loved him.
You always had.
Too late.
"I look like a fucking idiot. I'm so sorry, let me just go to the washroom real quick and redeem my pretty face," You excuse yourself, nearly bumping into a few people as you buzz your way to the washroom.
The moment you hear the lock click, your back meets the cold wall. You stare at your reflection hopelessly, looking like a living dead. Your eyes puffy, cheeks dump, and a heart shredded to pieces.
Everything was all over the place, and you closed your eyes to take a minute to yourself.
It was as simple as admitting it was your fault. If you would've told him you loved him earlier, maybe, just maybe, he would've taken your feelings into consideration.
But maybe it wasn't all your fault to hoard. What were the times he looked at you like you were the most precious gem there is? What were the times he held you like he never wanted to let you go? What were the times where he discreetly showed affection to you?
Did you read things too much, or did Hyunjae take things too far?
With the soft knocks on the door, you knew you took too much time. Washing your face quickly and wiping it, you mumbled continuous apologies to the next one in line.
You dreaded coming back. It was basic manners, yet you pulled the Eunbin called and needed help in her house card, excusing yourself to the couple.
"It's late, we can just hang out again after the finals and we can take you home right now." Hyunjae tries to stop you, grabbing your wrist.
You softly wriggle your hand out of his grip, smiling at them.
"It's okay. Take this time to go treat your girlfriend instead of me. You never owe me anything anyway,"
He did. An explanation. An explanation you craved but didn't even know what kind of explanation.
"Okay," A soft pout forming on his lips, disappointed with how you were acting.
"Jihyun. I'm so sorry," You look at her once more, "It was nice meeting you. I'll see you around and.. please," You smile.
As if it was waving a white flag, surrendering.
"Take care of him,"
──────────── ·  ·  ·  · ✦
"Congratulations, y/n!" Hyungseo pops a glass of champagne, pointing it at you. "For being a Harvard passer!"
Everyone hollers, Eunbin included. Everyone was here– from Sangyeon, and his friends from the daycare, your closest friends you made in college, the littlest people you remember back in high school, Hyungseo and Youngjae.
Except for Hyunjae.
Even their Teacher Changmin was here– having to ignore his jet lag from flying from Osaka because of his ongoing tour.
It was a surprise made for you, prepared by Changmin and Hyungseo, Eunbin, Youngjae, and Sangyeon.
Hiding your disappointed face when your eyes distinguish light after being covered for a few minutes, you sense Hyungseo kept on checking his phone.
"Sangyeon," You mumble when you see him striding closer to you. "Thank you so much," You smile softly, feeling grateful that even though having interacted only a few times, he helped set everything up.
"It's nothing. You deserve it. Congratulations again," He smiles back, offering you company for a few minutes.
"Thanks," You gulp the non-alcoholic drink in your hand, making an effort to make small talk.
"You're going to take that scholarship, right?" Sangyeon curiously asks, his eyes beaming with it.
"I uh, still going to think about it." You answer truthfully, "I can just apply again if I decide against it now,"
"We even surprised you!"
"Hey! Not my fault you guys decided to surprise me! I didn't even tell anyone I passed," You retort, whining almost.
You and Sangyeon exchange a few more, before Hyungseo coming back and forth from the kitchen finally pisses you off.
"Sorry, Hyungseo's anxious ass is ticking me off. I'll just talk to him for a sec," You excuse yourself playfully at Sangyeon, then striding to the kitchen. "Hyungseo, you've been in and out of the kitchen a hundred times already in the minutes I was talking to Sang, is there something wrong?"
"y/n! Nah, nothing's wrong.." He awkwardly giggles, taking another glance at his phone.
Grabbing his phone, you finally realized why he was so anxious.
me: jae, we're throwing a surprise party for yn me: where the hell are you me: jae me: jae, you're one of their best friends where the fuck are you
And tons more unread messages from Hyungseo to Hyunjae. With a sigh, Hyungseo lets you scroll through the messages.
You were about to hand it back when it suddenly vibrated, and you naturally look at it.
hyunjae: i'm busy today. i don't think i can go. just tell yn i'm busy. hyunjae: what's with the surprise party tho
"This fuck–" Hyungseo mutters, but it didn't matter. you had already read the message, bringing the phone back to him. "I'm so sorry,"
"Hyungseo, the hell are you sorry for?" You chuckled, masking your disappointment once again. "Don't tell him. I'll bring the news to him," You wink, trying to lighten Hyungseo's worries.
It amazingly does. Hyungseo agrees though still worried, he lets it slip off his mind to enjoy the party he coordinated.
The party ended after a few hours, leaving a little more than you had expected, but it was a little fun, nevertheless.
The daycare kids and Changmin were the only ones left, discussing if they were to barge in Hyunjae's crib to see him for at least a second.
Changmin sensed your discomfort the very least, and he read you. You wanted to talk to Hyunjae soonest, and you were planning that night, that second.
"We should all just go home," Changmin suggests, smiling at you. You smile back thankfully. "Hyunjae's probably tired by now. Let's not tire him up more. Finals just happened, let him rest all he can,"
And they all agree. Sangyeon takes a second look at you, finally reading the room.
After tons of sweet goodbyes, and lastly, from Eunbin, you were finally left alone.
Pondering, you continued to sigh if you were just to walk to his house and talk to him.
What did you even want to talk about? It's been a whole month since the incident, and you talked less. Hung out less. Everything less.
But with the calming rain finally pouring, you realize that maybe, it was a sign to talk to him.
Stepping out in just your hoodie and your pants, you walk to his house while slowly getting drenched in the rain.
Taking your time, you think and think again of what to say to him. But when did you ever need to have something to say? You can simply just barge in there.
It wasn't that late. You knew Hyunjae always has a hard time sleeping, you were positive he was still awake. And judging from the lights from the inside, you knew he still is.
Knocking on the door excitedly, you habitually tipped on your toes as you tucked your hands in your pockets for warmth.
Your hair was damp, but you didn't mind. Just like what you said to Hyunjae, you loved the rain. It made you feel calm.
"y/n?" Hyunjae opens the door dumbfoundedly, shocked. "What are you doing here at this hour?" You chuckle at his state, messy bed hair, shirt crumpled as if he just picked it up from the floor.
"I should be asking you the same. When did I ever need to have a reason to visit you?" You scoff, stepping to the side to try and force yourself inside.
You stop.
There she was, Jihyun. On another one of Hyunjae's big hoodies, one that you remember he was wearing earlier in the school today.
In just his hoodie.
Bed hair.
Hickeys.
You swallow the forming dry lump on your throat, trying to process everything.
If you think you broke that day when he introduced Jihyun to you, then you broke more today.
"Ah," You bite your lip, this time not just trying, but doing your best not to cry. "I didn't know. I'm so sorry,"
You can't take it anymore. You excuse yourself before Jihyun even sees you, but Hyunjae stops you once again.
"It's pouring. Do you want an umbrella? Where the hell are you heading now?" Hyunjae continues to ask, getting nothing but sniffs from you. "y/n,"
"Don't worry. I'll be fine in the rain. Did you forget? I love the rain. I'll just be heading to Eunbin's, so no worries. Enjoy the night," You try to laugh. Your voice breaks.
"y/n. I'm sure you came here for a reason. Tell me first,"
"I can tell you tomorrow, you know." With a pat on his arm, you smile reassuringly.
Hyunjae does nothing to stop you once more as you dove through the harsh droplets of the rain, Jihyun's soft calls making him tear his eyes away from your fading form.
You loved the rain for another reason. It sympathized with you. It drowned your tears.
But that was also the day where the rain had given you a reason to hate it.
──────────── ·  ·  ·  · ✦
Tomorrow never came for Hyunjae.
As he waited and waited for you in the halls, you never came the whole day. Even in your shared class.
"Hey, have any idea where y/n is?" He asks Hyungseo, who only gives him a shrug.
"Now, you care?" Hyungseo sighs exhaustingly, looking at Hyunjae with eyes he can't fathom.
"What do you mean?" Hyunjae pouts. He thinks back to last night, where he failed to attend your surprise party, "What was the party for, anyway?"
"y/n said they'll be the one to tell you," Hyungseo answers timidly, gathering his things and leaving Hyunjae alone in his thoughts.
What was the party for? Did he forget something? Why weren't you around today? Did you get sick? Or did you just oversleep and decided to just sleep in? Or were you just too tired from last night?
Hyunjae shakes the questions away, remembering the embarrassing moment you had encountered with him and Jihyun last night. He feels his heart drop to his stomach, feeling bad.
"I can just ask her tomorrow,"
Tomorrow never came once again. Neither the next. And the next.
It eventually slipped his mind, being preoccupied with his small projects and professing his love for Jihyun. Neither did he notice how his friends slowly slipped away from his side, but it was all on him.
Not until you suddenly just show up, did you glue Hyungseo and Hyunjae again.
You just thanked the gods you only shared one class with Hyunjae.
"Where the fuck have you been all week? You've been MIA, always out of your house and Eunbin and Hyungseo wouldn't tell me where you were." He rambles, but you just smile at him.
"Before we start our lesson, let me congratulate y/n.." You sigh, burrowing your chin on your chest shyly. You managed to shut your friends up from blabbering about the news, but your professors. You've been receiving tons of applause because of them. "For passing the Harvard application,"
Everybody claps again, and Hyungseo proudly.
"Congratulations again," Hyungseo smiles widely, giving you a light hug.
"You knew?" Hyunjae asks Hyungseo, who only looked at him disappointingly. “Why didn’t you tell me?” He faces you. Stupid question.
The cheers fade in the background, everything dawning on Hyunjae. He felt bad, not being there when he promised to take it together with you.
"You were always busy so.." You mumbled, pressing your lips to a thin line wryly. "It's okay. It's nothing big," You shook your hand in front of his face, trying to dismiss the depleting atmosphere between the three of you.
He felt worse. How he faked he was busy, how he slowly pushed his friends away because he wanted a life of his own with his girlfriend.
"That was why you came to my house that night?" Hyunjae softly asks as the lecture starts, but you stay quiet, only giving him a sigh.
“Hey, do you have time later? I wanted to go get some coffee,” You reach out to both of them when the professor stepped out of the room, sighs leaving out of your lips.
“Yeah, let’s hang out for a little. It’s been a while,” Hyungseo agrees cooly, waiting for Hyunjae.
Hyunjae ponders– this time, he really is busy.
“Sorry.. It’s Jihyun and I’s monthsary,” He mumbles, and he feels bad yet again. He wanted to go, but he just couldn't cancel on Jihyun last minute.
“It’s okay,” Your smile didn’t reach your ears, and Hyunjae noticed it. Even how you’re rushing to get your things to walk out of the room. He notices everything but holds himself back from pointing it out.
He should’ve had.
Who knew it was the last time Hyunjae had the chance to talk to you properly?
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"y/n. Tell me where the hell have you been the whole week?" Hyungseo catches up to you, ditching his last class to get coffee with you right at that instant.
"I was doing fine, thank you," You chuckle, tucking your books back to your locker.
"And I quote– y/n's hospitalized. I found her laying on my porch drenched in rainwater the morning after the party. I took her in and was shivering in the cold. Took her temperature, and I'm not exaggerating when I say this, it was almost 50 degrees. so I rushed her to a hospital because I thought y/n's dying. Oh. Tell Hyunjae I said fuck him. By Eunbin!"
"Eunbin's exaggerating," You chuckle once more, calming Hyungseo. "I'm okay now. You don't need to worry,"
“I’m going to tell Hyunjae,” Hyungseo huffs, turning his back on you. You quickly got his wrist, stopping him.
“Hyungseo,” You breathe out, tears forming in your eyes. Your eyes didn’t fail a day these past weeks crying for him, and pulling a stunt awhile ago to stop your tears from falling in front of him made you weak the moment you hear his name. “Please don’t,” You smile pleadingly, chuckling at yourself as you wipe your tears away.
“y/n..” Hyungseo mumbles, slowly pulling you to his embrace. Hyungseo wasn’t dumb– nor blind like Hyunjae. He knew your feelings toward the man without even asking you. It was as clear as day, and he didn’t need someone to spell your feelings for Hyungjae out to him. “I’m so sorry..” He mutters but knows it did little to nothing to aid your aching heart.
And for some fucking, stupid reason, even with your heart feeling it was slowly dying, you can’t just avoid Hyunjae.
It was suffocating to see, hear Hyunjae all over the girl he loved. It broke you. But you still found your way to him.
It was Hyunjae’s wish.
Despite his words, his inner self made a quiet wish– and that was to maintain solemnity in his life full of chaos.
The solemnity was you.
The shooting star decided to listen to Hyunjae that night, ignoring yours.
Out of all the people who made a wish through that shooting star, it decided to listen to Hyunjae’s.
“Hope.” Hyunjae surprisingly had an answer to your rhetorical question, making you pout. Hyunjae laughs at you, tucking you closer to his side.
You realize that he was right. Hope. Because if your wish was to be with Hyunjae like this forever, and it wouldn’t come true, your hope melts into nothingness.
You realized the weight of his words the moment he said it.
Why did you still hope?
Why did you still hope that your wish will come true?
In your mid-twenties, you’re still crying over the man. You’ve finished college, you’re planning to take your masters– everything changed.
Everything changed but your feelings for Hyunjae.
“Eunbin,” You cry out, instantly breaking down when she opens the door. She knew you were going to run to her. With sorrowful eyes, she cried with you as she engulfs you in a hug. It broke everyone who knew your feelings for Hyunjae. Changmin, Sangyeon, Hyungseo, Youngjae, Eunbin, your parents.
It broke them because they were torn.
Because Hyunjae will never know what you did for him. To what extent you did as you made him your priority over yourself. Your happiness.
Hyunjae was finally happy. He’s getting wedded to the person who made him happy, who loved him with all her heart.
But didn’t you also make Hyunjae happy? Didn’t you also help change Hyunjae’s perspective on the world? Weren’t you the one who was right there with Hyunjae throughout and fought with him?
Weren’t you?
“I can’t believe I ended up getting an invitation than a wedding ring,” You chuckled lifelessly, clutching on Eunbin as you cried, sobbing harder.
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There was no chickening out now. You were the next in line, as you gripped on the bouquet once more.
“Let’s go!” You internally screamed, pulling the best smile you could.
Hyunjae was there, standing like the pulchritudinous man that he is in his tux, smiling at you proudly as he waited for you to walk down the aisle.
It makes you chuckle, how there was a line of eleven men as his best man smiling back at you. Bashfully covering your face with the bouquet in your hand for a moment, everything slows down.
It was wonderfully amazing for Hyunjae, how he was now seeing you walk down the aisle in person. When all he ever did was imagine it once. After that night he sobbed at you like a baby, when you both slow danced under the rain when he got the courage to land a kiss on your forehead like how he imagined before– the day after, he had imagined you waking to him down the aisle, but in reality, you were just waltzing down the hallways of your school.
It amazed Hyunjae, that now, you were making way for the bride.
“Congratulations, loser. You won,” You mumbled, winking at him before stepping aside for the bride.
“Bet I’ll get married first before you?” Hyunjae challenges, pouting at you as he huffs. You both apparently were arguing that both of your lovelife was so empty, only having each other even after years.
“Deal!” You shout back, taking the challenge. “But my deal is we’ll get married on the same day, in the same church, together,” Slyly and smoothly telling him your part of the deal, he just scoffs in disbelief and pinky promises to seal the bet.
Striding swiftly to your seat beside Eunbin who proudly smiled at you, you watch as the love of your life gets wedded, blinking back the tears that continuously formed in your eyes.
Seeing them smile at each other, you were at your endpoint– the end of the line.
So you wish.
Now that he wasn’t for you in this lifetime, you wish to at least, meet him again in your next.
And if destiny was now on your side, you wish to be his’ in your next.
But if it still isn’t, you’d rather go through all the pain, if it meant meeting him.
If going through all the pain meant seeing Hyunjae happy as he was now, it was okay.
You’re going to be okay.
At least, you hoped.
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Hyunjae sighs as he wipes the sweat off his forehead, tired of having to move furniture here and there, after moving houses with Jihyun.
Lifting the last piece of furniture, a neatly folded paper, one he found so familiar slipping out of the sofa.
“Oh?” Mumbling, he mindlessly opened the paper with a smile on his face, seeing your usual doodling outside the paper.
It was a heavy feeling, opening one of the papers you gave him after a while. But still, he continued.
Hyunjae.
I promised myself one last confession– but it was also the day you introduced Jihyun to me, so I never got to. I swear to god, I don’t intend on homewrecking, it’s the last thing I want, seeing you so happy with Jihyun.
But Hyunjae. All my confessions, I want you to know they’re all real. I want to let you know, say it once– I love you. I always did, the moment I laid my eyes on you.
But.. I don’t know. Maybe it was destiny playing with me, or us. I know that you know there was something between us. Neither can I deny that. There was always something, a connection, or whatever the hell you call it– we just never pointed it out.. Until it became something normal. We made it normal.
As I watched you fall in love with someone else slowly, right in front of my eyes.. I realized that maybe it was my fault. For not having the courage to clear things up. For not having to tell you what I really felt– but I did. And the baton is thrown to you. “It’s your fault,” I wanted to tell you. I wanted to scream at you, make you see that it was your fault for not taking what I said seriously. I wanted to be angry, I wanted to throw a fit.
You’re definitely winning the bet– getting married first. I don’t know when you are, but you will be. Writing this before you get wedded feels weird. Slipping this in the creaks of your sofa as I sit here for the last time feels weird. I hope Jihyun doesn’t see this, nor do you. I just.. Wanted to take another chance to let you know how I feel.
I’m sorry.
I’m so sorry for taking too long. I’m so sorry for saying this now when you’re happy and content at the point of your life.
I’m sorry for loving you and for selfishly loving you, still.
Because I don’t think I’ll stop soon. And this is the part where I blame you for it. For being you– for making me fall. For making me think that maybe, the end line will be us.
But it still isn’t your fault.
And I’m so so lost because I want to blame someone that’s not you. I want to blame someone, but there’s no one.
Hyunjae, I love you. I should’ve said that when I could. And I’m so sorry that I only got to do that now.
But please, please know.. That I wouldn’t hesitate– even for a second to choose you in every lifetime there is for me.
Even if I know that you wouldn’t choose me.
Because you wouldn’t even choose me in this lifetime.
I gave you everything. Love, reassurance, care, everything. But I realize that I cannot love you into loving me.
Everyone would say that you’re overflowing with my love. But they never bat an eye on me– now pleading for a droplet of yours– or anything I can get. Anything I can salvage.
I shouldn’t ever beg for someone’s love. You taught me that.
But just this once, I wanted someone.. But it’s you.
And I’m sorry it’s you.
I meant it when I said I’m proud of you.
I’ll always be proud of you, Hyunjae.
I promised I’ll always be here. I’m sorry that it’s all I can do– given that you already have someone else.
So, I’m sorry if I throw the baton at her. I trust her, that she’ll always be there.
Always,
y/n.
Hyunjae does nothing but looks at the empty words written on the fine paper, his tears smudging the littlest of the writings.
Maybe it was also because he had realized that it was all his fault, that he should’ve faced his feelings beforehand, that instead of becoming an almost or a maybe, you could’ve become more. And it was bad– having little to big regret when he read your letter after he's banded with somebody else's life.
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jgwoncr · 2 days ago
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⋐⋑⋐⋑⋐⋑⋐⋑⋐⋑⋐⋑⋐⋑⋐⋑
(🌻) : oh, my favorite flower boy ★ や˚🐑🌷⁎˃ᆺ˂ 10 months love ˖ ꜜ ٪ ࣪ ִֶָkiss me slowly ! @i4junie
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juyoens · a day ago
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puzzle piece | syj (masterlist)
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synopsis | eric sohn may have just done the most stupid and embarrassing thing in his entire life, but if it meant getting your attention again, then it's absolutely worth it.
pairing | ex! eric sohn x gender neutral reader
warnings | y/n & co. won't stop cursing and making suggestive jokes, maybe: angst
genre | social media au, romance, university au
status | ongoing
this is simply a work of fiction, the actions of the people in this series don't reflect their actual, real-life character
chapter one
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11:42 pm
You yawn and stretch out all of your limbs, willing yourself to stay awake for just a little while longer. When your phone finally vibrates against your sternum you sit up and clear your throat before answering.
"Sunwoo," you say his name with a smile, closing your eyes as if without your sight you could hear him better.
He says your name in that low lazy way that you love.
"Are you still at the gym?" You ask, leaning back against the headboard.
"Mm," he hums his affirmation. "We just took a break for dinner."
"You didn't call me instead of eating did you?"
"I ate enough, don't worry."
He tells you about the stunt the choreographers have Jaehyun doing, and about the solo they gave Changmin. It sounds like it's going to be a legendary stage.
As he's speaking, you stifle another yawn.
"I should let you go," he sighs.
"No," you pout, eyes opening. "I miss hearing your voice."
"Yeah, same. But our break will be over soon and you need to sleep."
You yawn for the third time and he laughs at you. You mumble at him to shut up, but you swear you can hear him grinning on the other end of the line.
"I'll call you again tomorrow, okay?"
You agree and say, "Be safe. Have fun. Get as much rest as you can..."
"I will. Love you."
And that was the first time he'd ever said it. For a heartbeat you were quiet, unsure if he really said it.
"Love you too," you smiled, realizing it was very true.
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simplyadoretheboyz · 2 days ago
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juyeon in glasses & jueyon in this vlive was just so comforting 🥺 (© @/ijyon)
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kpopco · 21 hours ago
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No caption is really needed I don’t think
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stealanity · 2 days ago
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daydream ✩ lee juyeon
dedicated to @deputyjuyeon ! hi lovely ◝(ᵔᵕᵔ)◜
song inspiration : daydream — the boyz
genre : angst & fluff
word count : 667
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everything was clear as a diamond, shining like the first glow of the sun on summer mornings, white as the first snow of the winter period, soft as a cotton flower. everything seemed perfect, ethereal, like a precious impenetrable and transparent bubble.
juyeon couldn't help but smile, making his eyes turn into crescent moon, that seemed to make your heart beat faster. your pianist's hand, soft and delicate, clinging to his, large and protective, in your beautiful white clothes matching each other. sharing the white tablecloth of a picnic, your ears lulled by the melodious and incessant song of the doves that flew here and there around your two silhouettes.
you smiles eternally on your faces, your laughter making your boyfriend's heart beat with love. and even though he couldn't seem to hear your voice, juyeon cherished every moment spent in this white world you were both in. his fingers playing with the strands of your hair, resting the latter against your cheek to stroke your porcelain skin. and when you approached him, rubbing the tip of your nose against his own, he suddenly thought he felt the ground giving way under his body, his heart floating in the air.
your touches were synonymous with paradise, causing an electric field along his spine, causing him to lose his mind, triggering tingling in the tips of his cold fingers. a semblance of invisible wind made your hair fly, and juyeon couldn't help but think that you were the most beautiful piece of art he had ever seen.
when your lips crashed into his, engulfing him in a torent of emotions, he had the impression of seeing stars taking shape above your heads, while the sky was completely white. your hands hanging on his shoulders, exchanging the most passionate kisses of all the time, juyeon didn't want to move away : his fingers pressing on your lower back to bring your body as fragile as crystal against his.
nothing could have broken this moment of happiness which embalmed your hearts, but suddenly you seemed to be so far away from him. finally opening his eyes, despite the fear of what he would find out, juyeon only saw a brief image of your face, blurred in an unknown way. he didn't understand why you seemed to fade away, as if the memory of your eyes, your hands, your mouth, were eradicated from his memory. he couldn't seem to remember your face, your voice, your laugh, as if his sweet dream turns into a terrible nightmare.
tears lodged at the corners of his eyes, all the clarity around him getting sucked into a big black hole. he wanted to run far away, to flee this despair which seemed to want to capture him, he wanted to grab your hand and protect this sweet heaven you were despite despite your blurred face.
but when reality hit him hard, waking him up with a start in an empty bed, his forehead glistening with sweat and heavy breathing, juyeon realized that all of this was just one more time a simple dream. the same dream of you that he had every night since you were gone.
juyeon felt his heart squeeze painfully in his chest, as tears rolled down his flushed cheeks. he blamed himself, he blamed himself for gradually forgetting your gaze, for forgetting the curves of your face, of your body, to forget the tone of your laughter, the intonation of your voice. he blame himself for forgetting little by little each memories that rallied you to him.
and that's why, each day, one after the other, juyeon is waiting for only one thing : the moment when he can close his eyes to rush into dream land. he yearns for this moment when he slips under his warm sheets, enjoying this sweetness after an exhausting day, when he can finally go away from his responsibilities to let himself be carried away by the flow of memories of you that he could still remember.
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moonshineboyz · 22 hours ago
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gOOD MORNING????? E-ERIC SOHN???!!??!! SIR I- WHO LET HIM GO OUT LOOKING THIS GOOD???
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THE. BACK. TATTOO. 🧎🏻‍♀️🧎🏻‍♀️
i just came back from church pls don't make me sin
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flrtwoo · a day ago
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your type | lhj
[chapter 5]
previous | masterlist | next
summary: 5 years after receiving your very first heartbreak from hyunjae, you've convinced him (and yourself) that the past is the past and your feelings for him are long gone. however, when certain emotions in you resurface around him, you're not all for going through heartbreak a second time. but maybe, just maybe, the universe won't give you a "second time", right?
taglist: @deputyjuyeon @wooyoung-a @suzy-rainbow @nyujjan @jae-bam @w8nuzone @skiez @smolcobie @starwithjae @paralumanniluna @winterbeartaehyungbestboy @studioreader @my-summer-night @pandahgase @lcvetbz @sofie296 @jumilzzz @justalildumpling @arepabella @stopitvpls @kyeop-tato
(reply to this post or send an ask/message if u wanna be part of the taglist! :>)
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honeybyz · a day ago
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just a crush
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↳ pairing: lee juyeon x female reader
↳ genre: high school au, partners au, quarterback!juyeon, bad girl!reader, slow burn, fluff
↳ synopsis: in which juyeon has to keep up his grade in biology to keep playing football, and you just so happen to be the only person who can help him.
↳ warnings: language, underage drinking, a brief mention of illicit activities, mild description of injuries, juyeon is a simp, oblivious reader, juyeon gets jealous at one point, lots of unconscious pining
— note: this is my first fic so any feedback is greatly appreciated!
Fate has a wicked sense of humor.
The reason Juyeon knows this to be true? Because right now, as he’s staring at the list of names on the board, it was clear that the turn of events was fate’s attempt at some sort of sardonic joke. He kept rereading his name and the one next to it as if it would magically change into one that didn’t make his stomach twist into a coil of nerves. The name in question belonged to the resident delinquent—a.k.a possibly the only person Juyeon couldn’t manage to win over with his charming and friendly disposition.
After staring at the board for an entire minute, he looked over to his newly-assigned partner’s empty seat. It wasn’t an unusual sight since you hardly ever showed up to class. That would’ve been perfectly fine if your attendance (or lack thereof) wasn’t now directly connected to Juyeon’s grade.
“How did she get paired with Juyeon?” He heard a girl behind him whisper.
“Poor him. He’ll have to do the project on his own.”
Juyeon blinked back into reality when he heard those pitying words. With a quiet groan, he let his head gently fall on his desk. What was he going to do? He needed a passing grade in order to be eligible for the rest of the season, and he was only one letter grade away from failing. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal if he’d been paired with anyone else in the class. Even his peers could tell that finishing the project would be a near-impossible feat. He was so screwed.
“It’s not the end of the world.” The voice beside him said. “I’m sure any one of your fangirls will be more than willing to help you with your project.”
Hyunjae was one of Juyeon’s closest friends, but he had a knack for using a person’s misfortune to tease them relentlessly. And with the situation at hand, his friend had enough material to clown him for days. It’s part of the reason why Juyeon wasn’t surprised to see Hyunjae directing a shit-eating grin at him once he lifted his head. Yeah, he was definitely screwed.
When lunchtime came around, Hyunjae waited until the entire group was at the table to spill all the details about Juyeon’s latest predicament. Haknyeon and Kevin were listening raptly while Eric and Sunwoo thought what happened to their friend was the most hilarious thing in the world. The two boys flung their bodies at each other, their loud laughter garnering the attention of the neighboring tables. Juyeon could only glare at their childish antics.
Once Dumb and Dumber’s loud cackling settled down, Haknyeon focused his stare on Juyeon. He’d waited a long time for this moment. So long, in fact, that he couldn’t hold back the complacent smirk that lifted his lips. “Is the problem that you think she’s not going to help you or that you have a thing for her?”
Hyunjae choked on his drink at the same time Kevin’s mouth dropped open. Eric stopped mid-bite to stare at Juyeon with wide eyes while Sunwoo could only blink at him. The entire table went silent for a good two seconds before chaos erupted and landed on a blushing Juyeon.
“You’re in love with Y/N?” Hyunjae screeched as he sloppily wiped the dripping soda from his chin. The fact that he most likely looked like a messy toddler wasn’t relevant in that moment because he was eager to hear all about Juyeon’s feelings for you.
Sunwoo couldn’t keep the laughter out of his voice. “I didn’t think you were into those types of girls.”
“Leave him alone. You can’t control who you like. I think you guys would actually make a cute couple.” Kevin mused as he handed Hyunjae some napkins.
“Is it because she has a motorcycle?” Eric wondered through a mouthful of food. “She does look pretty cool when she rides it.”
By this point, the top of Juyeon’s cheekbones were dusted with a bold red color. He wasn’t sure who to address first, and being as flustered as he was didn’t help at all. Finally, Juyeon decided to start with Hyunjae since his question had been more absurd than the rest. “No!” He hissed, feeling the heat from his face spread to the tips of his ears. “I’m not in love with her! I don’t—”
“But you always stare at her.” Haknyeon pointed out with raised eyebrows that dared the accused boy to deny his observation.
Juyeon found himself unable to refute Haknyeon’s candid statement because his friend technically wasn’t lying. He just didn’t think he had been so obvious when he looked at you. It was out of curiosity more than anything. Sometimes, when he stared at you long enough, you didn’t seem like the notorious troublemaker everyone was wary of. The image you portrayed would fall away and left behind a real person who was more than just a perception.
Admittedly, staring at you was never boring. In his long observations of you, he found that your actions didn’t always reflect the persona of a delinquent. He came to learn that you were somewhat considerate and mindful of other people—at least more than anyone gave you credit for. Juyeon also learned that your stoic expression was a mere mask used to hide whatever emotions you felt. Over time, he learned to pick up on your micro expressions—which also happened to be his latest source of entertainment.
But there was no way he was going to tell his friends any of that.
“Maybe it’s just a crush,” Kevin offered after seeing how flustered Juyeon became. “It’ll probably fade over time.”
He couldn’t have been more wrong.
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If Juyeon had to pinpoint the exact time his curiosity with you started, he would go back to last year. At the time, he was in the middle of ditching. Sunwoo had mentioned something about the easiest way to leave the premises was through the back of the school, so he decided to try it out. Everything had gone smoothly until he heard what sounded like soft sniffling and stifled sobs. There was a moment, one that didn’t last very long, where Juyeon considered not investigating the noise. Inexplicably, he found himself unable to walk away.
And so, before he realized it, his feet were carrying him toward the noise. It didn’t take Juyeon long to find the source. He was completely stunned when he found you sitting against the wall, crying.
Before Juyeon could bolt like he wanted to, you lifted your head. The way you stared back at him blankly with your bloodshot eyes completely unnerved him. About ten seconds ticked by, and Juyeon could only blink at you like a deer caught in headlights. Against his better judgment, he decided to say something.
“Are you okay?”
Your vacant expression didn’t change. There wasn’t any sort of acknowledgment in your eyes despite the fact that he knew you heard his question. Juyeon nervously shifted. “Of course you’re not. Dumb question.” He mumbled.
Your lack of response had Juyeon scratching the back of his neck awkwardly. He was unsure if to leave you alone or to try and comfort you. Would you even want a complete stranger to console you? It wasn’t until you gently rubbed at your wet eyes that he made a decision. Despite the warning bells going off in his head, Juyeon sat next to you. It was only then that he saw the tiniest flicker of emotion in your eyes.
You couldn’t comprehend Lee Juyeon’s questionable actions. Did he not know who you were? Even if he didn’t, why would he feel the need to stick around to watch a stranger cry? There were so many questions running through your mind that you didn’t notice the football player looking through his bag.
“Here,” Juyeon said as he handed you his favorite snack. “This is the best comfort food.”
Usually, you were pretty good at masking all of your emotions, but this time you couldn’t keep the shock off of your face. You weren’t sure what Lee Juyeon was playing at, but you accepted the snack anyway. You fixed your blurry vision on the colorful wrapper. Unexpectedly, his kind gesture managed to tug at your heartstrings. It wouldn’t change anything, but somehow it made you feel the tiniest bit better. You let out a shaky sigh. Get ahold of yourself, Y/N.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” You said after a while, assuming Juyeon was on the verge of asking.
“I thought so,” He told you with a shrug. “Words don’t always help. Just being there for someone counts more sometimes.”
Juyeon looked over at you when you didn’t say anything. Your distant stare was cast down, and he could tell instantly that you were holding back tears. He let out a sympathetic sigh. “It’s okay to cry.”
No one had ever told you that, and frankly, it was something you didn’t believe yourself. But with this caring boy looking at you with the kindest eyes you’d ever seen, you couldn’t help but believe him. And so you let the tears flow until your eyes hurt. You never found comfort in silence, yet it didn’t seem so terrible now that you weren’t alone.
It wasn’t a rational thought, but Juyeon couldn’t help but notice how pretty you looked when you cried. That was the first dangerous thought he had of you. However, he brushed it off since he was sure he wouldn’t cross paths with you again.
But Juyeon didn’t realize that fate had other plans.
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It had been two entire days since the project was announced, and you still hadn’t bothered to show up to school. Juyeon considered asking Lee Sangyeon or Choi Chanhee if they knew of your whereabouts, but your two friends were just as intimidating as you were, so he couldn’t bring himself to do it.
Luckily for Juyeon, you eventually did show up.
Nearly twenty minutes after class had started, you came into the room looking like something the cat dragged in. The collar of your shirt was torn and was exposing part of your collarbone, but even that wasn’t enough to distract from your busted lip and the dried blood on your nostrils. As usual, the teacher didn’t say anything as you trudged over to your seat.
Juyeon couldn’t take his eyes off of you. Anyone could tell that you’d been in an altercation, but the need to know what exactly happened to you had increased a tenfold since you two were paired together. You, however, didn’t seemed perturbed at all in spite of the fact that more than half the class was gawking at you.
In the next instant, your sullen eyes lifted from your desk and looked directly into his own. Juyeon’s eyes widened as he hastily looked toward the front of the room. He was sure his face was bright red at that point. Out of all the times he had stared at you, this was the very first time you looked in his direction. Your unnerving stare had his heart beating erratically.
You only raised a curious eyebrow at the blushing boy who slid down his chair, completely mortified.
Once class was over, Juyeon gathered his things while thinking about how to approach you. After ten seconds of contemplation he decided to not think too much about talking to you and just do it. The only problem was that when he looked over to your seat, you were gone. His shoulders sagged on their own accord. So much for that.
Juyeon took his time walking to the cafeteria. Yeah, he was sulking, but it couldn’t be helped. He’d had the perfect opportunity to talk to you about the project and he blew it because he was too in his head. What was he going to do now?
After Juyeon sat down at his usual table, he noticed his friends staring across the lunch room intently. His eyes widened and his jaw went slack when he saw that his good friend, Ju Haknyeon, was talking to you. The real intrigue came from the fact that you were laughing with him as if you had done so countless times. Instantly, Juyeon felt ten different shades of horror deep down to his bones. What the hell was Haknyeon doing talking to you?
“Are you guys seeing this?” Kevin wondered aloud in spite of knowing that he wasn’t hallucinating.
“Maybe he’s putting in a good word for Juyeon.” Eric commented, earning a snicker from Sunwoo.
Juyeon was too out of it to throw his friends even a half-hearted glare. Instead, he focused on how you and Haknyeon were now walking toward their table. Like clockwork, the nerves in his stomach spiked in a way they never had before. The feeling plummeted instantly when he saw you separate from his friend.
“What were you doing talking to her?”
The entire group looked at Juyeon in shock. His tone had been unusually aggressive, but even that didn’t faze a smirking Haknyeon. Instead of providing his nosy friends with the information they were eager to know, he shrugged innocently. “We were just catching up.”
“Since when have you been friendly with Y/N?” Hyunjae blurted, unable to stifle his curiosity any longer. “You two looked pretty close.”
“We have a few classes together.” Haknyeon said in a noncommittal tone, though, his smirk didn’t falter.
“So you were putting in a good word for Juyeonie.” Sunwoo’s snicker had Juyeon glaring at him.
“Of course!” Haknyeon admitted shamelessly. “How else was I going to convince her to help him with the project?”
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Juyeon had never been one to hesitate. Not when he was on the field, and definitely not when it came to pursuing someone he liked. That’s the reason why he was so sure that the only thing he felt for you was curiosity. Despite reassuring himself of that, the hesitation he felt didn’t go away. Even when he saw you at the end of the school day, he couldn’t bring himself to go over to you. He could only watch from a distance as you lent against your motorcycle, talking with your friends. As usual, you were entirely unaware of Juyeon’s intent gaze.
Just do it! Juyeon kept chanting in his head as if his less-than-encouraging words would get his feet to move. Eventually, he decided to throw caution to the wind and walk over to where you were.
“—be a fucking idiot. Younghoon wouldn’t agree to that.”
Chanhee scoffed at Sangyeon’s words. “He would if Y/N asked him.”
The aggressive voices made Juyeon second-guess his decision to approach you while you were with your friends. He nearly turned on his heel and walked away, but your gaze suddenly fell on him. Right on cue, Juyeon’s hands began to clam up. It didn’t help that now both of your friends were also staring at him with stony expressions.
“Can I talk to you?” Luckily his voice came out even.
Unlike other times, Juyeon couldn’t discern any of your micro expressions. There was no clear indication that his presence evoked any sort of emotion from you—not even a negative one. Instead you stoically gestured behind your friends with a nod of your head to get them to leave. The way both Sangyeon and Chanhee didn’t think twice about walking away when you told them to threw Juyeon off. Any of his friends would’ve lingered and laughed at his expense in order to embarrass him.
Once your friends were out of earshot, your gaze settled back on Juyeon, eyes as emotionless as ever.
“So, about the bio project…” Juyeon trailed off, nearly cringing at how awkward he sounded. “If you’re free, we can start working on it today.”
His eagerness caught you off guard. Haknyeon had told you that the star player was really serious about doing well on the project to keep up his grade, but you didn’t imagine that he would want to start on it right away. It made you rethink your initial thoughts about working with Juyeon. Now you felt more inclined to do it because from what you could tell so far, he wasn’t what the entire school made him out to be. Interesting.
“Sure,” you agreed easily.
Juyeon was pleasantly surprised by your easygoing reaction. He never would’ve imagined that you would be so willing to work on the project with him just because Haknyeon asked you to. Because he was so caught up in his thoughts, Juyeon didn’t notice that you reached for a helmet and were now holding it out in his direction. You bit the inside of your cheek to hold in your laughter when you saw his eyes widen. His flustered face reminded you of a scared doe.
“Take it.” You insisted with a small smirk. “I can’t let you ride with me if you don’t wear a helmet.”
The sight of the cute boy’s flushed face and dropped jaw made your chest swell with something akin to endearment. How the team’s quarterback was capable of looking so adorable was beyond you. Lee Juyeon really was too cute for his own good.
Inexplicably, your insistent words comforted Juyeon and pushed him to accept your spare helmet. He watched you attentively as you got on your bike and put your own helmet on. An odd mixture of eagerness and apprehension mixed in his chest when you patted the seat almost teasingly.
Climbing onto your motorcycle and putting on the helmet you gave him felt like a fever dream. Being in such close proximity to you wasn’t uncomfortable for Juyeon, but his rational need to set boundaries made it impossible for him to let even his legs touch you. Unsure of where to put his hands, he naively held on to the edges of the seat. The second you noticed the placement of his hands, you could no longer hold back your laughter. This dude was nothing like you expected.
“You can hold on to me.”
Despite the sound of your laughter being muffled by your helmet, Juyeon decided that your laugh was a sound he could never get tired of hearing. In order to distract himself from his unfiltered thoughts. Juyeon grabbed your shoulders.
Once again, his awkwardly endearing actions made you laugh. Instead of telling Juyeon that he would fly off your motorcycle is he held onto your shoulders, you decided to show him by doing a break check. In the next instant, Juyeon was flung forward and collided with your back. Before he could freak out over potentially hurting you, you grabbed his arms and wrapped them securely around your torso. The boldness of your actions had a very pigmented blush spreading from his face all the way down his neck.
“Hold on tight.” There was a teasing lilt to your voice that somehow still managed to sound like a command. “Hak will have my head if I let anything happen to you.”
Juyeon barely managed to hear you over the loud thrumming of his heart.
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Shopping for materials with you wasn’t the way Juyeon expected his Friday night to go. In fact, he was surprised that you even knew the project consisted of building a model of a cell that clearly represented its main structures. You surprised him further by actively choosing materials you thought would work best for the model.
Once you two had everything you needed, Juyeon went to the front to pay. After setting everything on the counter, he dug into his bag in search of his wallet. Yet again, you surprised him by handing the cashier some crisp bills. Juyeon’s heart skipped a beat when you grabbed the bag and pulled him along casually as if it was something you did often. He rubbed at his chest, unable to comprehend the foreign feeling that was squeezing his heart.
It didn’t come as a surprise when you found out that Juyeon lived in the nicer part of town. His house was huge and looked like something out of a movie. You found yourself feeling out of place as you followed him to his room. The blatant contrast between your two houses reminded you that when it came to lifestyle—and everything, really—Juyeon was on the other end of the spectrum.
Expectedly, Juyeon’s room was spacious and made up of darker hues. It too looked like something out of a movie. Before you realized it, you were walking toward the wall beside his window.
Juyeon watched avidly as you went over to where he kept his trophies. His heart stuttered when you let out a soft hum, seemingly impressed with all of his awards that dated back to his childhood years. It gave him an unexpected sense of pride to know that his accomplishments amazed you.
“Let’s get started.”
In a surprising turn of events, Juyeon found that you weren’t terrible at biology at all. In fact, with the way you took the reigns, he was beginning to suspect that your grade was much higher than his own. So far, you had instructed him on how you two would go about building the model. You even managed to explain how the materials you chose would relate to the functions of the cell structures in a way that even he could understand.
After fumbling around with the materials, Juyeon held up what was meant to be the nucleolus. “Is this okay?” His unsure pout nearly had you cooing.
“Yeah.” The corner of your lips lifted on their own accord in reaction to his answer. “Good job.”
Juyeon couldn’t take his eyes off of you. Now, as he looked at your half-smile, you seemed like an entirely different person. He couldn’t help but wonder what your full smile looked like. I’m sure it’s pretty.
His intense stare didn’t falter even when you reached your hand up to ruffle the silky strands of his hair. As you brought your hand back down, the tips of your fingers brushed against his soft cheek. Juyeon’s eyes bugged out comically, and instantaneously the flesh your fingertips brushed against turned a pretty shade of pink. You let out a soft laugh. Lee Juyeon was unexpectedly cute.
“I—”
Juyeon was abruptly cut off by the obnoxiously loud sound of his front door opening paired with an uproar of voices he recognized instantly. All of ten seconds had passed before his door was swung open to reveal Jacob and Eric. He didn’t know whether to feel relieved or annoyed that his idiot friends had interrupted you two.
“Hey, Y/N!” Jacob greeted you cheerfully. Juyeon and Eric were shocked when you matched his energy and greeted him with the same enthusiasm.
“What are you guys doing here?” Juyeon attempted to not sound perturbed, but his question came out sounding stiff and unnatural.
Eric scoffed. “Did you forget about your party?”
Juyeon was too embarrassed to say that he had, in fact, forgotten about his annual tradition to throw a party before playing the school’s biggest rival. He’d been so caught up with the project, with you, that he completely spaced it. Just as he was about to tell his friends that he wanted to cancel the party despite it being the only day his parents wouldn’t be home, Haknyeon barged into his room.
“Y/N!” Haknyeon exclaimed as he hurried over to you. He gripped your arm tightly, eyes filled with relief. “I’m so glad you’re here.”
You raised an eyebrow before shaking off his tight grip. “Why is that?”
“You have a fake ID, right?”
Jacob frowned at his friend. “Hak, don’t assume—”
“I do,” you confirmed with a quiet chuckle. “I used to make them if you ever need one.”
Eric’s eyes seemed to shine at your words. Before he could inquire about soliciting your services, Juyeon gave him a look that had goosebumps forming on his skin.
“Our alcohol guy fell through.” Haknyeon explained. “So I was wondering if you would help us out?”
All the cute boy needed to so was turn his puppy eyes on you to convince you. With a smirk you pulled out your fake and told him that you’d be back shortly.
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For the first time ever, Juyeon wished that so many people hadn’t shown up to his party. He’d lost sight of you long ago, and none of his friends seemed to know where you were either. Part of him wondered if you left. He hoped not. There was still so much he needed to discuss with you—about the project, of course.
It wasn’t until Juyeon went to the living room that he finally found you, except you weren’t alone. You were on the other side of where he stood, fully engaged in a conversation with Kim Younghoon. Seeing you two together made an uncomfortable feeling settle in the pit of Juyeon’s stomach. Maybe it was the way you casually lent into the tall boy or the way Younghoon didn’t hesitate to throw one of his long arms over your shoulders. Whatever the reason was, it left an acidic taste in Juyeon’s mouth.
“They’re a good looking couple, huh?”
Juyeon set his cold stare on Changmin. “They’re together?”
His friend spared him an inquiring glance before setting his eyes back on you and the boy attached to your hip. “Not officially, but people say he’s really into her. It looks like she feels the same way.”
His words remind him of when he approached you earlier in the day and your friends mentioned the boy in question. Juyeon unconsciously clenched his jaw. “He doesn’t seem like her type.”
Those bitter words caught Changmin by surprise. He turned his incredulous gaze on Juyeon. “How would you know what her type is?”
He didn’t, which is why he was taken aback by his own statement. Before Juyeon could come up with an unconvincing lie, he saw Younghoon leave your side. Mumbling some excuse to his friend, Juyeon immediately went over to where you were. His heart stuttered when he saw your eyes light up upon seeing him.
“I haven’t seen you all night.” Juyeon’s words came out breathless.
You let out a quiet laugh. “That’s because you’re always surrounded by people.”
The truth behind your words didn’t quell the growing feeling in his stomach. This off-putting emotion pushed him to blurt out a question that threw the both of you off.
“Where’s your boyfriend?”
Your lack of reaction made the feeling in his stomach intensify. Juyeon gauged your face carefully, but there was no discernible trace of any emotion.
“Are you talking about Younghoon?” You asked him with a laugh. “He’s not my boyfriend.”
Before Juyeon could ask you another moronic question—like if you had feelings for the boy—Kevin and Sunwoo came over and insisted he join them in a game of beer pong. They didn’t give him a chance to protest, instead dragging him away forcefully with drunken laughter. Juyeon glanced over his shoulder to see your not-boyfriend-but-potential-crush return by your side.
He didn’t understand the disappointment he felt when he saw your lips easily lift up into a grin.
The rest of the night was as fun as it could be without Juyeon constantly wondering what you were up to. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to see you again.
Once the party was over, Juyeon was left alone with nothing but a trashed house to keep him company. He let out a heavy sigh before going to the kitchen in search of the trash bags. He froze when he stepped into the kitchen and saw you there, putting empty solos and bottles into a loaded trash bag. Juyeon rubbed his eyes, but the image of you wasn’t going away. You really were there, cleaning his kitchen. As if sensing his intent stare, you turned around.
“You haven’t left?”
“Hak said you might need help cleaning.” You explained casually.
For what felt like the umpteenth time that day, Juyeon’s heartbeat became irregular. The fact that you stayed to help him clean awoke something in him that he refused to acknowledge. “You don’t have to help me clean.”
“I want to.”
Juyeon felt like his head was swimming, and he was sure it had nothing to do with the alcohol coursing through his veins. Even after you two finished cleaning downstairs, he still couldn’t believe that this was actually happening. In all the time he spent observing you, he didn’t actually expect his hunch about you to be right. The initial perception he had of you was nothing like the real you.
“I think I left my helmet in your room.” You said as you got ready to leave.
The two of you went upstairs in silence. Juyeon nervously bit his bottom lip as you entered his room. He wasn’t sure why he suddenly felt regretful to see you go as if you two hadn’t spent nearly the entire day together. Somehow, all those hours weren’t enough.
Once you grabbed your helmet, Juyeon gave you a concerned look. “You’re not going to drive, right?”
You laughed through your nose. “No way. Chanhee doesn’t live too far from here. He said I could crash at his house.”
A lump suddenly formed in Juyeon’s throat. The right thing would be to walk you to your friend’s house. After all, it was almost four in the morning, and it would be downright immoral to let you walk through the dark streets alone. As he gave himself a mental pep talk to work up the courage to offer to walk you to Chanhee’s place, he realized your gaze was fixed on him.
“You’re really pretty.”
A swarm of butterflies invaded his stomach by this point. That, and he could feel the color suffuse his cheeks and neck. Juyeon had been called a lot of things, but pretty had never been among those words. And yet, the simple comment was enough to have him feeling extremely bashful.
“I– th-thank you.” Juyeon spluttered, mentally cursing himself for acting like he’d never gotten a compliment before.
The beat of silence was filled with something neither of you could place. Unfortunately, you didn’t get much time to contemplate on the feeling because in that moment you heard the front door open. It was deafening it the otherwise quiet house. You could vaguely hear people talking, barely able to make out the words Juyeon and sleeping.
Your suspicion that it was his parents was confirmed the second you heard the sound of footsteps heading to where you were. Judging by the panic that settled on Juyeon’s face, you could tell he wasn’t counting on them to be home so soon. In a hasty decision, you turned off the light to his room and tugged him toward the bed.
It surprised you how easily Juyeon followed your lead as you gently pulled him on to his bed. Even as you pulled the covers over the both of you, he didn’t give any signs of protest. Somewhere in the drunken haze that was clouding your mind, you knew what you were doing was out of pocket, but it was too late to change your plan. You only hoped the aftermath of your actions wouldn’t be as uncomfortable as you were imagining.
Juyeon could feel his heart jump up into his throat when you pulled yourself flush against his chest as if you were trying to mold your bodies into one. Out of all the possible ways he saw the night ending, this was definitely not on the list.
“Pretend to be asleep.” You whispered against his neck. Juyeon had to physically restrain himself from whimpering at the ticklish feeling your breath caused.
The sound of his bedroom door opening was enough to distract Juyeon from the feeling of your soft lips against his neck. He reminded himself over and over that it wasn’t a kiss, that this was only happening because he was on the brink of getting caught with a drunk girl in his room in the middle of the night.
“Juyeon?”
After he didn’t answer, the door slowly closed. Once the footsteps faded away, Juyeon let out a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding. That was close. When he looked down at you, his heart melted at the sight of you sleeping soundly on him. The natural pout that lined your lips made you look unbelievably cute.
Juyeon knew he probably should’ve woken you up, but somehow you seemed exhausted to him. That and the feeling of your warm skin against his felt nicer than he liked to admit. So, instead of disturbing your peaceful slumber, he wrapped his arms around you and pulled you impossibly closer.
There was one last thought Juyeon had before he fell asleep. If he didn’t have a crush on you before, he definitely did now.
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