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Q’s Big Break

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Changmin locks up the shop, Chanhee trailing behind him quietly and they set off towards wherever. The wind gusts up, cold and unforgiving and Changmin’s teeth chatter. His fingertips are numb and rosey, Younghoon had been the last person to borrow his gloves. Never got them back though. “Why’d you do it?”

Chanhee stops walking, blinking slowly and Changmin really gets a good look at him. He’s visibly older looking compared to high school Chanhee, like he’s really grown into his body. His eyes have darker bags than before but his gaze is the same; his eyes—although, wiser, are tired, prying and Changmin feels almost scrutinized under his gaze. Chanhee walks up to him, shoulders squared off and the tips of their sneakers bump together. “I wanted revenge.” replies Chanhee.

Changmin frowns, “Then why not go for Younghoon himself? He cheated on both of us.”

Chanhee rocks back on his heels, “It was irrational thinking at the time but, since you were his favorite, I thought it would be a low blow.”

“I haven’t talked to him since graduation.”

“Yeah,” Chanhee huffs as he smooths out the collar of Changmin’s shirt. “I figured that out after that twirp Eric told me the second month we were open.”

Chanhee steps back, fingers lingering on the collar of Changmin’s shirt and all Changmin wants to do is yell ‘kiss me! touch me!’ but Chanhee’s hand retracts and he leads the way down the sidewalk. There’s a few couples out, single college students out for convenience store runs and people with their dogs. They walk quietly side by side for a few blocks, Changmin’s hands still cold but he realizes they’ve pasted his street. They’re heading to Chanhee’s. “Why did you stay open then?” Changmin presses.

Chanhee smirks, “You ask a lot of questions.”

“You have a lot of answers.”

Chanhee smiles big, “Touché.”

Changmin nudges Chanhee, “So?”

“You’re easy to tease.” Changmin frowns, earning a deep chuckle from the latter and his frown only deepens. “I realized how fun it was to try to out do you. I had motivation to better myself just so I could top whatever you we’re doing. And,” Chanhee’s expression weavers, eyes averting before he’s softly smiling.

“Just easy to tease I suppose.” Chanhee shrugs. Liar. Changmin tugs on his hair, exhaling from his mouth and Chanhee kicks up a rock. This feels like he’s a kid again with another innocent crush, expect he doesn’t have the guts to reach out and hold Chanhee’s hand like he had been back in 6th grade with Jacob from band class. Changmin’s never wanted to kiss someone so bad, not even when he thought he loved Younghoon. He realizes then that this is more than a petty school crush, this is what being an adult entails– adult relationships, adult feelings. Fuck being an adult.

Chanhee stops, one foot on a staircase and Changmin notices it’s his building. The walk felt shorter than he had remembered. Chanhee lingers, swaying back and forth as he seemingly waits for Changmin. Changmin squints, “You’re not telling me something.”

A surge of confidence strikes him and he walks forward, leaving Chanhee no choice but to go up another step— eye to eye. There’s a soft pink on Chanhee’s cheeks, an almost smile and Changmin’s stomach lodges in his throat. Oh, he really likes him. Changmin can feel the small puff of Chanhee’s breath on his cheek, “I’ve told you everything, chief.” Chanhee chuckles.

Changmin gets closer. Chanhee hides his smile behind his hand, pulling his lips taunt to suppress it and he shakes his head. “You’re close.” Chanhee says, voice soft and gentle when he lets a hand fall onto Changmin’s shoulder and Changmin’s heart flips.

Chanhee pushes hair out of his eyes, lips taunt again and his gaze averted. His fingers thump against Changmin’s shoulder anxiously and Changmin thinks, it’s now or never. “Back there, you said I’m easy to tease and…”

Chanhee shakes his head, licking his lips before gnawing at his bottom lip. “You’re cute, I guess.”

“You guess?” Changmin echoes.

Chanhee smacks his lips, slapping Changmin’s shoulder. “I’m not trying to boost your ego, kid.”

Changmin almost protests against him but can’t think when Chanhee pulls him in. It’s an awkward angle, their noses knock together and Chanhee laughs at Changmin’s soft whine before he’s leaning in again. Their lips press together softly, plush and sincere. Chanhee opens his mouth a tad, Changmin mirroring him and their lips slot together was ease. Changmin likes the simplicity of kissing Chanhee, not much moving, lethargic and warm. Chanhee’s hands rest on his cheeks and Chanhee moves even closer, chest to chest and Changmin wraps an arm around him; Chanhee’s tip toes just touching the stair a tad to keep him balanced.

A gush of wind interrupts, shiver going through both of them and Chanhee cracks a smile. “So am I cute?”

Changmin laughs, “Yeah,” He looks up to meet Chanhee’s eyes, soft and starry. His heart flips in his chest and he kisses Chanhee again, easy and quick. “You’re pretty cute.”