Minho knows that when it comes to Thomas, he has the tendency to be...
Well... slightly protective.
He knows that Thomas is brave, and certainly clever enough to get out of the pickles which he finds himself in, but in all actual fairness, he also knows that Thomas has a chronically absent sense of self preservation.
So really, Minho safeguarding the kid is perfectly reasonable. He's just trying to make sure that the Greenie ("I am not a Greenie anymore Minho, go pick on someone else!") doesn't accidentally kill himself, like he's almost done too many times already.
For shucks sake! The kid didn't even remember to keep himself healthy sometimes, which he had proved once, when he had fallen from the lookout tower after collapsing from dehydration, because he was a bloody slinthead.
Minho remembered how the whole place had turned to chaos when that had happened. Everyone in the glade, in various stages of frenzy, had abandoned what they were doing and ran towards Thomas. Minho himself had been heading towards the lookout beforehand, with the exact goal of getting Thomas down to get some food and rest, so he was the first to arrive. When he'd seen Thomas sprawled on the ground, with only his chest moving as he breathed, his instinctive reaction was to get him somewhere safe. So with the help of a couple of other Gladers, he had carried the younger runner to the med-shack as fast as he could.
The kid was lucky in the end though, he somehow always was; because when he'd toppled off the side of the railing, he had fallen in the direction of a mercifully placed pile of washing. Of course Thomas didn't come out unbruised, and ended up sporting several purple marks for the next fortnight.
There was also obviously the night on which Thomas, still a green bean, had run into the Maze to help him and Alby. And even months later, Minho still thinks that it's the most stupid, slintheaded thing he's ever seen, no matter how it had turned out. Of course, after it had happened, Newt had declared Thomas an official runner, and as per Gally's request, Thomas had ended up getting his punishment; a night in the pit. But Gally was happy, because it meant that no-one would risk themselves the way Thomas had, and therefore they wouldn't lose any more of their family that way.
A few months after Thomas first arrived, he had officially become the infamous self-sacrificing shank who more often than not got himself in trouble.
It was the big things Thomas did, that got everyone in the Glade, especially him, to worry over the safety (and sanity) of the ridiculous kid.
Until, it started to become the little things too.
A self depreciating comment, which sent Minho on a mission to prove to Thomas how wonderful he is. A painful trip resulting in a bruised knee, that had made Minho force the young runner to stay off his feet for a day ("So you can still run the maze tomorrow, obviously.") He even made sure that Thomas wasn't going to choke to death when he had once swallowed his food wrong.
So maybe he was very protective, but that's not what matters.
What matters to Minho, is that Thomas is always safe, because after all the years he's been trapped in this piece-of-klunk maze, he is not going to lose any more of his friends.
("S'MY BUSINESS WHETHER OR NOT HE'S A FRIEND, NEWT!")
And then of course one day, when they're out running the Maze, Minho may overreact a tiny bit...
Thomas is a few paces behind Minho, as he usually is, despite Minho's discomfort with not being able to see the kid at all times; while Minho runs in the lead.
The sun is at it's highest point in the sky, glaring down on them with an intensity that makes running an even more difficult task than it already is, and because of it's positioning, there are few shadows for which the two runners can take refuge under. Even the Ivy on the walls seem to be trying to hide away from the burning rays of light, their sagging stems giving off the particular impression. Considering that it's midday, they only have a few hours left before they have to head back to the Glade, and Minho isn't going to push his luck. He'd rather not spend another night locked in the Maze, no matter how shucking brilliant Thomas is.
"Ya' know," comes a voice from behind him, "if I knew...if I knew it was gonna to be so shucking sunny, I woulda' called in sick." The younger runner comments, and Minho replies with an amused snort.
"Nah, ya' love me too much to leave me with one a' them shanks for a day." He jokes, letting a small smile play on his lips.
"Well... you're right with that one." Thomas agrees, happiness seeping into his words.
They lapse into silence again, and Minho grins, because he's glad that even since they got together, their bantering hasn't stopped.
They run for a while longer mapping and memorising their surroundings, noting any changes they may stumble across and looking for anything unusual, just as they do every other day. The sun is slowly starting to move from directly above them and blessed slithers of shade are beginning to show. Minho calls break time when they find a spot where they can stand comfortably out of the sun, and takes the opportunity to take a long drink from his remaining water before splashing a small amount on his face.
Totally not smirking when he realises that Thomas is gawking openly and following the trail of the water droplets as they train down his skin.
"Want some?" He asks suggestively, although it's in a way that's too corny and terribly delivered to be taken as anything remotely close to seduction; however Thomas flails wildly anyways, cheeks turning pink.
"Geez, never expected you to get so worked up over water, shuckface." He grins and Thomas bristles.
"Oh my god! You-" he jabs his pointer finger in Minho's direction "are a complete bloody shank, and I hate you."
"No you don't."
"Fine! I don't but I could if I liked." He concedes.
"Sure shuckface, just like I could dance around the Glade in a bloody tutu if I wanted."
Thomas pauses, his faux anger at Minho totally dissappearing as he leans his head to one side as he looks Minho over.
"Now that would be an interesting way to welcome the Greenie's," He muses. "I wonder what Newt and the other would think about that? Although, I don't reckon Alby would argue, not if it made Newt laugh... Gally would probably laugh his a-"
"Stop your scheming ya' shank." He pushes Thomas playfully, and Thomas doesn't even attempt to fight back, cackling to himself as he falls onto the dirty maze floor.
"What's this?! Mister snark and wit himself can't be embarrassed can he? The world must be ending!! Quick, tell Newt that if it wasn't forbidden, we coulda' loved each other!" He whips a hand into the air and turns to face the ground dramatically.
"You're the shuckiest shuck-face there ever was." Minho eye rolls, which he does a lot around Thomas he's noticed. "Come on, got another hour at least before we can go."
"No problem, Min." Thomas grins as he pulls himself to his feet. Expression sobering a little bit and they both start to jog, steadily increasing pace every little while.
"Do you wanna run the north corner and then turn back towards the Glade?" Minho asks and Thomas calls out a yes over the sound of their feet hitting the hard ground. And if there's one thing Minho has picked up through his time as a runner, it's that you have to work well with whoever you're paired with, because the wind and the sound of their accelerated heartbeats aren't going to be doing them any favours if they want to have a lovely conversation about Frypan's cooking.
Although, Minho definitely hears when the sound of shoes hitting the earth stops dead, and a loud thump resonates around the walls.
Minho spins around, eyes frantic as he takes in Thomas's jerky movements. He's grasping his foot with one hand, eyes screwed tightly shut as he slams the ground with the other one, groaning in pain before writhing around before falling into the fetal position. Minho's next to him in seconds, noting the pained tears which form under Thomas's eyelids as he shouts curses at nothing.
It takes him less than a second to scoop the smaller boy into his arms, heartbeat speeding up as Thomas grasps Minho's shirt, curling his hands tightly around the fabric as if doing so will help him get rid of the pain.
"Minho! No, it's okay, p-put me down! I'll be fine-!" he cuts himself off with an agonised hiss.
Yeah no, Minho won't even be consider putting Thomas down, the only place he's going to be going, is somewhere where the medjacks are.
"Where are we going?" Thomas chokes out.
"The Glade." He replies immediately, entirely focussed on moving as quickly as possible without jolting the boy in his arms.
"Minho! M'fine it's just a- OW!"
"Definitely heading back to the Glade."
"Holy klunk, no, no, no, no, no! No Minho, I'm fine I swear! I'm not hurt, I just got my foot, that's all! Oh hell, Newts going to take the klunk out of me for this." He whines, but Minho has stopped listening already.
It takes them a little under two hours to get back to the Glade. By the time they arrive at the doors, an hour before sundown, Thomas tiredly curled towards Minho's chest and Minho barely looking exhausted; most of the Gladers are out and about in places where they have clear view of the gates.
It's a matter of moments before they're swarming towards the two runners, shouting worriedly.
"Klunk, what happened this time?"
"Is he okay?"
"Can he walk?"
"Get the med-jacks!"
The onslaught of voices shake Thomas out of his sleepy daze.
"Thomas, what the hell happened to you?" Newt asks, his voice hushing everyone as they move around carefully, doing whatever they can to help.
"It- it wasn't that bad, I swear!" He shouts nervously, trying his best to wriggle free from Minho's grip. Newt and Alby both hold Thomas to still him, and Minho steadies himself so he doesn't topple over.
"You were rolling on the ground in pain, that wasn't fine." Minho argues.
"I- oh shucking hell, you didn't hear me when I told you..." He cuts himself off, cheeks turning red and he groans and presses his head to Minho's chest, hiding away from all of the, now, very curious Gladers.
"Told me what?" Minho frowns.
"What had you said to Minho, Thomas." Alby prompts.
"Don't worry, you can tell us." Chuck adds kindly.
"Thomas, if something happened and you don't tell us, it may make things worse." Gally points out, and Thomas opens his mouth to cut in when Frypan comments.
"If it's serious, then you telling us will matter a helluva lot."
"Is it anything we need to worry about?" Jeff asks as he examines Thomas, looking for any visible injuries. Even Minho is studying Thomas frantically searching for anything worse he could have missed. Thomas sighs.
"OH MY GOD- I ONLY STUBBED MY BLOODY TOE!"
After a few seconds of shocked silence, everyone groans before collectively shouting "Minho!"
Halfway through dinner that night, Jeff goes up to Thomas and quietly tells him, "you actually fractured your toe."
Everyone turns when Minho stands up and shouts triumphantly.
When Thomas pulls Minho towards his to peck him on the lips that night, Newt makes sure to call out from across the glade.
""We all think you're doing a toe-riffic job pashing there, but please suck each others faces off somewhere else!"