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The first time Im Jaebum and Park Jinyoung kissed, they were young and foolish.

 

Although no one would ever believe it, Jinyoung hadn't always been so in love with Im Jaebum. During their first year of high school Jinyoung assumed by his looks and his friends that Jaebum was a complete and utter asshole. He looked like the type to play with other people’s hearts and spend his weekends up to no good. In other words, bad news.  

 

If he was being honest, Jinyoung was probably just denying that he at least somewhat enjoyed his countless numbers of piercings and thought he was one of the most attractive things to have come out of Junior High.

 

Jaebum however, never proved Jinyoung’s (false) assumptions right. More so, it was just impossible to know because no one really knew Jaebum at all. Jinyoung always saw him but never heard him. He would pass by Jaebum in the hallways and he would always have his headphones in, walking silently with a blank expression on his face. When Jinyoung did see Jaebum with his (annoying) friends, Jaebum himself was still quiet and lacked presence. Jinyoung did hear girls fawn over Jaebum’s looks and personality (apparently the cold and mysterious personality is attractive?) occasionally whether it be in the halls or in class.  Despite this, Jinyoung never heard of Jaebum ever breaking a girl’s heart or getting in trouble or anyone disliking him.

 

Jinyoung realized his assumptions were all baseless but he still had no idea who Jaebum really was.

 


 

 

They didn’t officially meet till midway of their first year. (Jinyoung had later complained that they wasted their first year of high school not knowing each other at all while Jaebum just figured it was better late than never.)

 

They happened to have had Jackson as a mutual friend. Jinyoung and Jackson had met at the beginning of the school year in class and became close friends while Jaebum and Jackson both joined the school’s soccer team. Jackson was loud and boisterous but he was a kind hearted guy. Jinyoung took a liken to him immediately and they became fast friends.

 

“Hey, wanna invite more people over?” Jackson asked while him and Jinyoung were sprawled out on Jackson’s living room floor on a rather quiet weekend afternoon.

 

“Like who?” Jinyoung snorted and turned to face Jackson. “Do you even have other friends?”

 

Jackson huffed and glared at Jinyoung. “Of course I do! Like Mark and Jaebum.”

 

“Mark isn’t considered a friend if all your interactions consist of you staring at him in class.” Jinyoung was about to roll his eyes before he realized what else Jackson had said.

 

“Wait. . . You know Jaebum?” He asked curiously. “Like— Im Jaebum, Jaebum?”

 

“Yeah he’s on the soccer team.” Jackson said before sending out texts to Jaebum (and Mark), inviting them over.

 

Jinyoung was surprised to find Jaebum wasn’t anything like he assumed he was. Despite his friend group being mainly the loud and obnoxious boys in their grade he wasn’t like them at all. Rather than an asshole he was just awkward but kind none the less. It took Jinyoung some time to get Jaebum talking because he was rather reserved but once he did, Jinyoung couldn’t help but enjoy their first conversation together on Jackson’s couch.

 


 

 

Jinyoung and Jaebum began encountering each other more after their first meeting at Jackson’s place. Exchanging texts and short conversations frequently enough that Jinyoung felt safe to assume they were friends. Things escalated a bit more when Jaebum grew sick of his current group of friends and allowed Jackson to take him under his wing during lunch.

 

(Jinyoung didn’t know how Jackson managed it but he ended up getting Mark at their lunch table as well)

 

Jinyoung realized that Jaebum’s previous group of friends were nothing like him which is why he probably gave up. Jaebum confessed that although they were his Junior High friends, Jaebum hadn’t like them very much and was only friends with them because of the lack anyone else worthy of being friends with. Jackson had only laughed loudly at him and swung his arm around his shoulder saying, “Don’t worry, you won’t find anyone in this school better than us.”

 

Jinyoung had only smiled softly but secretly hope Jaebum would like him enough to remain friends.

 

Jinyoung catched Jaebum one-day staring at his phone screen with a small quirk of a smile on his face.

 

“Talking to your girlfriend?” He asked, genuinely curious.

 

Jaebum chuckled softly and turned his phone around for Jinyoung to see. “No, don’t have one. Just looking at kittens to adopt,” he said as he continued scrolling through profile after profile of cats at an animal shelter.

 

Jinyoung hadn’t been expecting that.

 

Sensing his silence Jaebum laughed and turned his head to face Jinyoung. “What? Didn’t expect someone like me to want to adopt a kitten?”

 

Jinyoung felt his face heat up and shook his head. “Of course not! I, uh, why do you want to adopt one?”

 

Jaebum smiled again and Jinyoung couldn’t help but wonder why Jaebum was always frowning and looking emotionless when he had such a radiant smile.

 

“I’ve always liked cats and I only just been able to convince my parents to let me adopt one.”

 

Jinyoung smiled to himself as he imagined a small kitten in Jaebum’s arms. That image was the exact opposite of how he imagined Jaebum to be when he first saw him earlier the school year yet now it was easier to pin that image to him unlike the one he had of him before. Who knew Jaebum had such an eye for things that were cute.

 

“Let’s go adopt one together after school!” Jinyoung said excitedly and rather ambitiously.

 

Jaebum looked at him with surprise at his suggestion and sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck.

 

“I’d like that.”

 

Together, they walked in the early summer heat to the animal shelter. It was a far walk but neither of them seemed to mind the subtle attempt at prolonging their time together. Jaebum who was usually so stoic and unreadable felt comfortable enough around Jinyoung to be a bit more care free with his behavior and Jinyoung felt thankful he was able to see this side of Jaebum that was always so well hidden.

 

“Did you find a cat online you wanted?” Jinyoung asked as they were closely approaching the shelter.

 

“Not really. I sort of decided I’d make the choice there. I think online profiles can only do so much to pets.” Jaebum shrugged.

 

Both of them looked at cage after cage of each cat getting distracted with playing with each of them rather than actually choosing one that would be a suitable pet for Jaebum’s liking. Jinyoung was crouching down and staring at a small kitten happily, poking his finger inside the cage to pet its small head. It could have probably fit in his palm from how tiny it was and it made his heart feel warm. He got up to see where Jaebum was and saw him sitting on the floor with one of the shelter works beside him.

 

The worker had opened a cage of a small female kitten that caught Jaebum’s eye when he saw her. Her fur was beige coloured minus the parts on her paws, ears and face that were black. But most notably of all were her blue eyes.

 

“Like this one?” Jinyoung asked while smiling as he sat beside Jaebum.

 

Jaebum didn’t look up but nodded, his free hand gently petting the kitten.

 

“She’s adorable.” Jaebum turned to smile widely at Jinyoung before turning to the worker with little of a second thought on his decision.

 

“I’ll take her.”

 

Later, the both of them had named the kitten Nora together. Although it was completely Jaebum’s cat, Jinyoung couldn’t help but feel like it was his as well because of how they had bought and named her together.

 

Jaebum came home that day with a wide smile on his face. It was the first time in a while his parents have seen him so happy after school and they wondered if they should have let him adopt a cat earlier.

 

Little did they know it wasn’t just the cat that made Jaebum smile that day.

 


 

 

While finals were one inevitable as the end of the year approached, so were final tournaments for the sports team. The soccer team ended up making far in the competition between the different schools and they had their final match at their school before making it to the finals. Jackson and Jaebum were happy they made it so far but nervous for the game to come. Especially because it would be at their own school and they would have a large audience from the rest of the school. It was worse with Jaebum who was never accustomed to being in the spotlight.

 

Jinyoung being now a dear friend to both Jackson and Jaebum promised to come watch the game along with Mark.

 

(Jinyoung was sure half of Jackson’s nervousness was because Mark would be there to watch.)

 

Jinyoung was wildly cheering them on in his position at the bleachers while Mark sat quietly beside him. His eyes were completely focused on Jackson while he played, more so concerned for him than the actual outcome of the game. Mark was lucky this went unnoticed by Jinyoung who was too busy standing and screaming.

 

Both Mark and Jinyoung were surprised to learn that Jaebum’s main position on the team was the goalie. Jinyoung thought Jaebum came across as the star player who was the one who would always shoot the winning goal. It wasn’t the first time Jinyoung had assumed wrong of Jaebum, and it would definitely not be the last.

 

Half time came and the tension in the game grew high as both teams were neck to neck in a tie. A cool off was well deserved and a fifteen-minute break was granted before the game would continue on. Jinyoung and Mark immediately came to Jackson and Jaebum’s side, giving them words of support. But in a blink of an eye Jaebum had disappeared.

 

“Where did Jaebum go?” Jinyoung asked while he looked around his field of vision.

 

Jackson was fanning himself with his hand, drenched in sweat from the intensity of the game. Mark sat beside him with his water bottle in hand.

 

“I don’t know,” Jackson said slightly worried. “He probably went off out of nervousness. He is the goalie after all.”

 

“I’ll go find him,” Jinyoung yelled before running off.

 

Jaebum was standing under the shade of a large tree far off from the soccer field, closer to the side of the school where no one really walked by. It was quiet, peaceful and away from the adrenaline of the people at the soccer field. Although he didn’t do much running due to being the goalie, he was still drenched in sweat due to the nervousness of the game. He felt a great deal of burden from being the goalie especially now that the scores were tied and his performance during the game could make the game or break it.

 

Jaebum sighed deeply and took a sip of his water.

 

“So this is where you were.”

 

Jaebum snapped his head to the voice, eye widening as his eyes laid on Jinyoung’s panting figure. Had Jinyoung ran all this way just to find him?

 

“The game is going to resume soon, you should go back,” Jinyoung hummed as he walked underneath the comforting shade of the tree.

 

Jaebum looked up into the sky and sighed again. “I know.”

 

Jinyoung looked at Jaebum, his eyebrows furrowing in concern. “Nervous?”

 

Jaebum chuckled softly and ran his hands through his hair.

 

“Honestly, yes.” He sighed and turned his head to return Jinyoung’s gaze. “I’m considered the best goalie on the team and I really don’t want to destroy all the hard work the team has made for this season.”

 

“Just because you’re the goalie doesn’t mean the weight of a lost should only be on you,” Jinyoung frowned. “Like how if the team won I’m sure you’d say it had nothing to do with how well you played.”

 

Jaebum smiled and turned completely to face Jinyoung. He hadn’t thought of it that way. Jaebum didn’t really like flaunting himself, which is why he enjoyed being a goalie because the attention on him only lasted for merely moments when the ball was near the net and it’s gone as soon as it arrives. Maybe Jaebum is a really damn good goalie but he’d still rather stand by the sidelines and let the other players bask in the glory of victory

 

Jinyoung knew Jaebum just enough to be able to tell that his lack of want to be in the spotlight is present even when he deserved to be.

 

“You always know what to say.” Jaebum mumbled softly to which Jinyoung only smiled at him.

 

“Anytime.” He grinned widely, glad that he had hopefully removed some of the nervousness from Jaebum.

 

Jaebum eyes softened and he stared down at Jinyoung’s crinkled eyes from his wide grin. Half of Jinyoung’s smiles shined brightly from his eyes and it was one of the things Jaebum loved most about Jinyoung’s smile alone. Something no one else could ever replicate, at least not in Jaebum’s eyes.

 

“Hey, can I ask for a favour?” Jaebum asked, his mouth seemingly moving faster than his mind could think properly.

 

Jinyoung looked at Jaebum with curiosity. The seemingly relaxed smile Jaebum had moments before was replaced with something completely unreadable. Jinyoung felt like they were back in the times when Jinyoung barely knew Jaebum and his face showed nothing that Jinyoung could read to figure out what he was feeling.

 

Jaebum leaned forward till his nose was nearly touching Jinyoung’s. One strong burst of wind or a push and their face would be pressed together. Completely taken off guard, Jinyoung gulp nervously unable to think and react properly.

 

“Can I kiss you?”

 

Jinyoung’s eyes widened as the words left Jaebum’s mouth. His brain completely blanked out. He didn’t feel like the person in control of this situation like how he was moments before when he was comforting the nervous Jaebum. Was Jaebum really asking Jinyoung permission to kiss him? Jaebum who at first seemed too cold to approach but later turned out to have a heart of gold. Jinyoung was never one to be particularly shy in moments like these but suddenly his ability to properly assess situations disappeared and he said exactly what he immediately wanted.

 

“Yes.”

 

It came out quiet but no less confident and sincere than how Jaebum asked. Jaebum eyes widened, not expecting for Jinyoung to actually say yes. In reality, Jaebum almost regretted asking as soon as the words came out of his mouth. Sure him and Jinyoung were good friends now but something as intimate as kissing was clearly never something that ever fit in the picture. But Jinyoung’s supportive smile had brought warmth that Jaebum hasn’t felt since he was young and much more innocent and he couldn’t think of anything else that would keep him going into the soccer game.

 

He stared down at Jinyoung for a few extra moments, making sure that the consent was real and he wouldn’t make Jinyoung deeply regret this which would make Jaebum immediately feel guilty about doing something that made Jinyoung upset. But his eyes showed nothing but surety and it was something Jaebum just couldn’t say no to.

 

Jaebum eyes fluttered shut and he closed the remaining space between them. The kiss was gentle and with little force, exactly how the first kiss between two curious people with wondering feelings should be. Despite the softness, both Jinyoung and Jaebum felt the strong ignite of emotions between them.

 

They ended up winning the game. Jaebum walked to his goal post no longer feeling burdened and caught every shot taken against them perfectly, not allowing the opposing team the chance of victory.

 

Jackson suspected something happened between Jinyoung and Jaebum when Jinyoung had went off to find him but when he asked, both of them denied anything happened. But they couldn’t have been more obvious with the tint of pink on their cheeks and the glances they stole at each other after.

 

The first time Im Jaebum and Park Jinyoung kissed, they were young and foolish. But no amount of teasing could make them regret the first push they both were given to pursue the spark that was building between them.

 


 

 

It took two more kisses and tension filled meet ups during the summer for Jaebum and Jinyoung to finally date. Jinyoung didn’t stop denying he had a bit of a crush (okay, huge) till after their second kiss when Mark just so happened to have saw because kissing on school grounds really isn’t the best idea ever.

 

“Jinyoung, why would you kiss Jaebum then proceed to curl up in bed and squeal over it if you didn’t like him?” Mark deadpanned.

 

Jinyoung stubbornly pouted and blushed at the memory of the events that had happened prior.

 

It was a week after the soccer game and final exams were coming up the following week. For Jaebum, the stress felt heavier than the burden he felt the day of the soccer game and he decided to spend the lunch break alone outside sitting against a wall. Jaebum didn’t do well around other people when he wasn’t in his best conditions. His friends understood that Jaebum needed his space so they left him alone, no questions asked. But Jinyoung insisted to check up on him because despite Jaebum going off alone was normal, there were times where he used that excuse to avoid letting out his worries to anyone.

 

But of course, Jinyoung saw right through him.

 

“The mighty Im Jaebum tired out because of school?”

 

Jaebum turned his head, knowing it was Jinyoung. Although his tone teasing, meant no malice which was proven from how Jinyoung was handing him a sandwich from the cafeteria because he knew of Jaebum’s terrible habit of skipping meals when he was stressed.

 

“Don’t provoke me, Park Jinyoung.” Jaebum chuckled but thankfully took the sandwich.

 

“Can’t help but be worried,” Jinyoung smiled and got himself in a comfortable position, sitting beside Jaebum. It was warm and sunny but they were protected from the gruesome sun by the shade the wall of the school provided. For a few minutes, they sat in silence. It was a comfortable silence. Jaebum always felt comfortable when Jinyoung is around whether they are actively speaking or not.

 

“You’ll do fine, Jaebum. You’re no top student of the grade but you’re smart. Stop pretending like you don’t ace almost every essay in our language classes.” Jinyoung grinned.

 

It felt somewhat déja vu to Jaebum. Him worrying non stop and Jinyoung calming him down in a matter of a few sentences like he knew exactly what Jaebum wanted to hear without him every explicitly saying it. He has never experienced this kind of feeling with someone like this before.

 

“Maybe if I were you, I’d have no worries for school,” Jaebum laughed while taking a bite of the sandwich.

 

Jinyoung smiled softly and leaned his head on Jaebum’s shoulder. Jaebum looked down at him surprised, a slight blush creeping at his cheek before gently bring his hand up to pet Jinyoung’s soft hair. Jinyoung leaned into Jaebum’s touch and he felt his own resolve break down.

 

“You make it so hard to resist wanting to kiss you when you act like this, Park Jinyoung.” Jaebum waited a moment before continuing. “Can I kiss you?”

 

Jinyoung no doubt blushed like a bride, the same way he did the first time. But he gathered himself faster this time and smiled before lifting his head up so he was facing Jaebum.

 

“Aren’t we too far into this friendsip to still be referring to each other by full names?” He grinned and nodded, letting Jaebum close the gap between them again.

 

“I can’t believe you didn’t say anything and watched it all happen!” Jinyoung cried out, feeling slightly betrayed. His (failed) attempts at getting Mark and Jackson together ended up making Jinyoung becoming a lot closer to Mark than he first intended. Jinyoung ended up going to Mark about things he couldn’t talk to Jaebum about. In other words, anything involving Jaebum himself were things Jinyoung went to Mark to for consulting.

 

“I had no idea Jaebum could be such a gentleman. I was too baffled to say anything.” Mark laughed.

 

“But honestly speaking, I can see two friends kissing each other randomly but not like how you two do. Are you sure you don’t have a crush on him? I mean— You have been rolling around in bed all evening thinking about how he kissed you earlier,” Mark pointed out at Jinyoung who was lying down, hugging his pillow that hide the blush on his face.

 

Jinyoung pouted and didn’t say anything. Not really knowing what to say exactly because he was slowly coming to terms with the fact that him and Jaebum’s kissing really wasn’t completely normal for two people who considered each other just close friends. Actually, it was more so the feelings that Jinyoung felt when they kissed that made it different. The way it clouded his mind for days after and the way his heart would beat after were solid evidence of Jinyoung’s fleeting crush on Jaebum.

 

“We’ve only kissed twice. Plus, He always asks beforehand,” Jinyoung mumbled quietly, sitting up to face Mark instead of hiding his face by facing the wall.

 

“Exactly, if this was just casual kissing as friends he wouldn’t handle you like you’re the most precious thing in his life. Aside from his cat.”

 

“But Jaebum is just nice like that! It doesn’t mean he likes me the same way.” Jinyoung pouted again not knowing he had just indirectly admitted verbally to Mark that he may be having a bit of a crush on Jaebum. Jaebum was generally well liked by everyone. He was no doubt attractive and people tend to find his seemingly stoic personality to be sexy. (Jinyoung cringed every time that word is placed in the same sentence as Jaebum’s name.) But Jinyoung saw much more than that. Behind all that was appearance Jaebum was kind, a bit awkward when it came to his emotions but Jinyoung found it endearing. Nothing could describe the gentleness Jaebum gave Jinyoung both times they kissed. He was hesitant and seemingly ready to stop at any time and Jinyoung couldn’t help but feel like Jaebum genuinely cared about how Jinyoung felt.

 

Although they were close friends now, in the long fun friends are very much temporary when you’re in high school. Even though they may tell each intimate things that you wouldn’t tell most other people, sometimes the friendships still aren’t as genuine as you really think they are. Jinyoung thinks he might be slightly delusional but even with that mindset, he still thinks that what he has between Jaebum—whether it’s just friendship or— are real genuine emotions for each other.

 

He was so caught up in his emotions that he didn’t notice right away that he had insinuated he had feeling towards Jaebum. He also didn’t notice that Mark wasn’t saying anything until Jinyoung looked up and the realization on what he had said hit him by how Mark was staring at him with a wide grin.

 

“So you do like Jaebum!” Mark yelled excitedly which earned him a pillow at his face.

 


 

 

Jaebum and Jinyoung finally confessing and asking each other out was as awkward and embarrassing as any other start to a young couple. They both honestly cringed at the memory but Jinyoung would never forget how despite in popular belief no longer needing to, Jaebum still asked first before kissing Jinyoung. Although Jinyoung didn’t exactly follow the same habit, it became an unspoken rule that Jaebum would always ask permission first.

 

While they entered their second year of high school as a couple publicized to their friends, it became known to them on Jaebum’s small habit. It wasn’t as if they were always kissing and their dynamic had drastically changed. But when Jaebum did want to kiss Jinyoung and the others happened to be around, he wasn’t shy to still ask or wait till they were alone. Without doubt, it became a subject of teasing, especially from Jackson.

 

“I didn’t know Jaebum was such a gentleman,” Jackson cackled obnoxiously as he slung an arm around Jaebum’s shoulder. To which Jaebum only annoyingly frowned at him as a response. It was lunch and they were outside eating on the field, taking advantage of the nice weather while they still had it.

 

Jinyoung was blushing furiously while Jaebum looked mostly unbothered, seeing no shame at his habit. It was still just kissing in Jaebum’s opinion and he didn’t see what was the huge deal about always asking.  

 

“I guess Jaebum isn’t those ‘kiss to shut you up’ kind of person in the movies, huh?” Mark remarked and laughed.

 

“It’s just kissing, last time I checked it was normal for couples to do that,” Jaebum mumbled, rather bored of the whole situation unlike Jinyoung who sat silently trying to calm down his nerves because why were him and Jaebum’s habits as a couple being discussed so openly?

 

“But you ask each time, like a nervous inexperienced youngling. Aren’t you two passed that stage already? Then why do you ask anyway?” Jaebum left Jackson’s questions unanswered and instead violently jabbed his elbow to his side sending him to the ground with a plethora of groans.

 

Jinyoung was more than glad that the conversation moved away from them but he too felt curious to why Jaebum insisted on always asking. Even after, he didn’t fail to slip the question in before the gap between their faces would ever close. Jaebum had also referred to themselves as a couple so easily after they became official and it made Jinyoung feel a bit uneasy with how in control he was with his feelings while Jinyoung himself was still going nuts everyday with the thought about how they were actually dating now. The awkwardness and vulnerability Jaebum showed the day they confessed seemed to have disappeared as soon as it arrived. Although maybe it was a good thing, Jinyoung still missed the nervous and stuttering Jaebum.

 

“Of course I’m still in a mess of emotions over you,” Jaebum snorted while he pinched Jinyoung’s cheeks.

 

“I’m just better at hiding it than you are.” He laughed and ruffled Jinyoung’s hair as if he was a child which made him pout.

 

“You’re no fair!”

 

Jinyoung wished Jaebum didn’t try so hard to keep himself under control so much. He wanted to see the Jaebum with feelings so free like the day they bought a cat, like the day under the tree during the soccer game, and the day Jaebum told Jinyoung he loved him. The Jaebum with his image making him seem so cool and mature, like the perfect boyfriend felt nice but it didn’t feel complete.

 

Jinyoung always let Jaebum know how he felt from the way he clung onto him and spoke about millions of things he wouldn’t say to someone else, not even Mark. So why couldn’t Jaebum do the same as well?

 


 

 

When Jinyoung saw an unknown face clinging to Jaebum at school he wasn’t quite sure how to feel.

 

Jinyoung was looking for Jaebum so they could walk home together he was met with someone unexpected. Since when did Jaebum had such a seemingly close friend outside him, Jackson, and Mark? He isn’t sure if he feels jealous or angered that there was someone else significant in Jaebum’s life that he didn’t know about. Probably an odd mixture of both.

 

Before he can fully react, Jaebum noticed him and waved him over enthusiastically. Jinyoung was slightly startled but walked over nevertheless. Considering Jaebum wasn’t trying to hide anything Jinyoung slightly sighed in relief because that meant it wasn’t as serious as his initial thoughts assumed.

 

“Hey,” Jinyoung said with an awkward smile that he hoped Jaebum didn’t notice.

 

“Hey, oh! This is Youngjae.” Jaebum said, motioning to the boy he was talking to before.

 

“He’s a first year that used to go to my junior high and I completely forgot he was coming to our school this year,” Jaebum introduced before wrapping an arm around Youngjae’s neck and pulling him into a head lock.

 

“Hyung, stop!” Youngjae laughed. On one hand, Jinyoung felt a twinge of jealousy that someone else so effortlessly made Jaebum smile and act so carefree while he still was having difficulty doing so. However, on the other hand, the relationship seemed completely brotherly and innocent so he couldn’t find it in himself to be mad.

 

“Hi, I’m Jinyoung. Jaebum’s boyfriend,” He introduced himself, slightly cringing at the fact he sounded a bit too defensive over his title.

 

“Oh so you’re the famous sweet heart of this guy,” Youngjae said cheekily while elbowing Jaebum.

 

Jinyoung blinked and tilted his head in confusion, “Famous?”

 

“Asshole Jaebum finds himself someone that makes him smile other than his little brother,” Youngjae said dramatically that only served to further confuse Jinyoung.

 

“Again with the ‘little brother’, you’re too much,” Jaebum sighed, punching Youngjae on the top of the head. “And is my love life all you people talked about back there?” Jaebum asked irritatingly. Youngjae only laughed.

 

“What? Can you blame us? We’ve never seen you so happy!”

 

Jinyoung watched the two with a tint of pink on his cheeks. Was his relationship with Jaebum really that special to the point it earned him such fame within the students of Jaebum and Youngjae’s old school?

 

“How dare you not introduce me to your little brother till now, Im Jaebum!” Jinyoung declared dramatically, playing along with Youngjae. Jaebum just stared at him in disbelief and Youngjae ran to give a huge bear hug Jinyoung because “Oh my god! Jaebum’s boyfriend called me his little brother!” Jinyoung later wondered how he could ever had ever felt threatened by Youngjae’s presence in Jaebum’s life when he was such an innocent ball of sunshine.

 


 

 

One of the only flaws Jinyoung could pinpoint that Jaebum had was his possessiveness. Unfortunately for him, the violent and selfish Jaebum Jinyoung thought had existed actually turned out to be true sometimes. Jinyoung couldn’t feel the warmth and gentleness he was used to when Jaebum would lash out at innocent people out of jealousy or when he would roughly pull him to his side to prove that Park Jinyoung was his.

 

It was frustrating for Jinyoung because it was nothing like how he expected Jaebum to act. He knew this was not the real Jaebum and he hated how Jaebum so freely disregarded his reputation towards people out of temper. I want everyone to see you as the amazing person I see, Jinyoung thinks to himself.

 

However, he knew Jaebum wasn’t perfect and no matter how much he tried to control it, his temper got the best of him.

 

Jinyoung had dragged him home and they argued over Jaebum’s possessiveness, which ended with Jaebum crossing his arms and pouting childishly on Jinyoung’s couch. Jinyoung just sighed at how childish Jaebum could be out of his own stubbornness but his silence and said childish stubbornness indicated he knew he was wrong.

 

Jinyoung crawled onto Jaebum’s lap, forcing his arms apart to wiggle himself between and flicked Jaebum’s forehead.

 

“You’re such a baby sometimes. You should trust me more,” Jinyoung huffed out but his face softening as Jaebum’s stubborn frown went away into a small one.

 

“I’m sorry. I just— my temper gets bad, especially when it involves you,” He finally admitted which made Jinyoung feel relieved that at least they had gotten somewhere. Jinyoung honestly felt scared at the thought that him and Jaebum would argue so badly things would end disastrously or they would end up as those couples who would spend more time making each other miserable than happy. They were young and it was a ridiculous thing to worry about but with how strong Jinyoung felt for Jaebum made it hard for him to be a simpleton and treat their high school romance as just innocent love with no serious hopes of longevity.

 

He also felt guilty and selfish at the same time. To think he wished for Jaebum to stop keeping his emotions under such control when he probably did it to keep his ill temper at bay. How foolish of him to think he could get Jaebum’s endless flow of love while ignoring the bad emotions he kept bottled up as well.

 

His worries went away when he would see the way Jaebum looked at him and treated him, indicating that he too felt just as strong for Jinyoung as he did for him. That he’d put an effort to make this relationship work as well because it was important to him like it was important to Jinyoung. It made him appreciated the small things Jaebum did that although were hard to see, still spoke words for Jaebum when he can’t himself.

 

“Hopefully now you learned a bit, don’t need you scaring more people than you already do,” Jinyoung cupped Jaebum’s cheeks, smiled softly, and responded before words could even leave Jaebum’s open mouth. “And yes, you can kiss me.”

 

Jaebum smiled and pulled Jinyoung’s head down, feeling warmth from the way Jinyoung could read him like an open book.

 

Jaebum and Jinyoung were just young and foolish love but their foolishness gave them hope that they would make it through every day together hoping that they would never meet an end to this happiness. 

 


 

 

“Why do you always ask to kiss me?” Jinyoung asked after they finished a rather intense make out session on Jaebum’s bed. It was dangerous because Jaebum’s parents could walk in at any moment and knowing how into their world they get, neither of them would notice them inside the house before they would reach Jaebum’s bedroom door. Jinyoung doesn’t think either of them were ready for the awkwardness of that kind of situation.

 

They were now cuddling comfortably, enjoying the last bit of the late afternoon sun before it would begin setting. Nora had jumped onto his bed and Jaebum used one hand to pet her fur while using the other one to fun his fingers through Jinyoung’s hair. It felt comfortable and secure, like home was really in each other’s arms because now their actual homes would no longer feel quite the same.

 

Jinyoung watched as Jaebum pondered the question. It was as if he himself didn’t know the answer to it. As if he hadn’t quite laced the words of an explanation that mirrored his feelings. Truthfully, Jaebum didn’t really have a concrete answer yet either. They were young and Jinyoung was the first relationship Jaebum had that he actually felt so strongly about. Strong enough that the urges to kiss him was frequent even before they started officially dating. In fact, kissing Jinyoung was a temptation he had even before the day of the soccer game it was only that that was the first time he had the guts to actually ask.

 

It probably stemmed from the while Jaebum wondered if Jinyoung felt the same and the day of the soccer game was the first hint he was given that Jinyoung did. Even now that they’re together and kissing is normal, he still felt the need to always make sure Jinyoung wanted it as much as he did.

 

“I don’t think I could ever clearly explain why,” He said simply before turning his head to face Jinyoung who was using his shoulder as a pillow. Jinyoung looked up to meet his gaze and it was one of the times where Jaebum got deep into thought while he stared at Jinyoung, thinking of everything he loved about him. Each thought being as precious as the next.

 

“But I guess I can’t resist the sight of your face when I ask for something like a kiss and I see complete and equal want for it from you too. If you could see it for yourself, you’d agree with me,” He said before dipping down to lean his head comfortably against Jinyoung’s.

 


 

 

Jinyoung and Jaebum had gotten together when they were barely in their second year of high school. Of course, many things changed by the time they were in their third year and were on their way out of high school and into the world. If Jaebum was attractive before, then he was absolutely gorgeous by the time he was eighteen. He had grown taller and the work outs at the gym with Jackson had paid off. His face matured with his jaw becoming more pronounce and his already sharp eyes becoming darker. Along with the fact he dressed better and did his hair better now, Jinyoung found it hard not to feel like he was falling in love all over again.

 

Jinyoung himself grew a lot too. Although still the cute, youngest child of his family he was less naive and innocent. Despite him being smarter and wittier, Jaebum still handled him like he was the gem of the world and Jinyoung didn’t want it any other way.

 

Oh, and of course it was the prime time for sex too.

 

No matter how many unspeakable things Jaebum did to Jinyoung that had him blushing and glancing at him like he was sixteen again; Jaebum still looked at him with sincerity and asked before leaning down to kiss. Perhaps it was a way for Jinyoung to be in control somehow because Jaebum had his ways of completely monopolizing his world.

 

Despite how far Jaebum and Jinyoung went with their intimacy, kissing was something Jaebum felt was always special. Nothing could take away the preciousness of a kiss. Jaebum considered fairytales ridiculously silly but he enjoyed how much those innocent stories treated kisses as an importance in love. Alternatively, maybe Jaebum was simply the silly one. There wasn’t a kiss with Jinyoung he wanted where he didn’t know for sure Jinyoung wanted it just as much.

 

So when they laid in bed together naked, Jaebum can ignore the fact they did the raunchiest thing horny teenagers could do and look at Jinyoung sweetly and say the words he was known for saying in the world shared only between the two of them.

 

“Can I kiss you?”

 


 

 

Jaebum had just finished his homework and was on his bed, dozing off, ready to take a well deserved nap. He wasn’t even able to completely fall asleep before he felt the vibrations of numerous texts being sent at the same time.

 

“What the hell—,” He mumbled out startled as he the constant vibrations shot him awake. He groaned in annoyance while reaching out for his phone that was tangled in his bed sheets.

 

He was met by texts all from Jackson.

 

Are you home?

I need you right now.

JAEBUM RESPOND

JAEBUM

JAEBUM

JAEBUM

JAEBUM

 

Jaebum stared at the texts in confusion. He started to feel worried as to why Jackson was texting him so urgently.

 

I’m here I’m here

What the hell is going on?

 

He kicked his blankets off and got off his bed as he waited for Jackson to respond. He frustratingly ran his fingers through his hair, half grumpy from tiredness and half genuinely concerned to what Jackson was freaking out about.

 

I’m a block away from your house, can I just come over?

 

Jaebum frowned.

 

Yes

 

He waited a few minutes for another response but received none and safely assumed Jackson was on his way to his house.

 

Jaebum heard his knocking on his door minutes later and allowed a rather restless looking Jackson in. Jackson walked straight to Jaebum’s living room couch without saying anything and slumped down with a sigh.

 

“What the hell is going on?” Jaebum asked while he followed behind and sat beside Jackson on his couch.

 

“You know how I’m in love with Mark, right?”

 

Jaebum raised his eyebrow in surprised at the question, he was not expecting that to be the first thing he’d say to him. Jackson had always been verbal over his fondness towards Mark, especially to Jaebum and Jinyoung when they were without Mark so Jackson could fawn over him without embarrassment. But despite the obvious crush, Jackson never got so serious in his long talks about Mark to the point he would say he was in love with him.

 

Which is why Jaebum was surprised now.

 

“Well—Now I do, unless you’re exaggerating your puppy crush?”

 

Jackson scoffed and elbowed Jaebum. “Hey, I’m serious over here. I really am in love.”

 

“I’m glad you’re admitting to it then,” Jaebum grinned apologetically. “Why the sudden seriousness though. Are you planning on telling him or something?” He asked curiously, despite the good news he felt there was more to Jackson’s rush to see him then just telling him he was in love.

 

Jackson stayed silent for a few moments before responding. “Well, I already did.”

 

“Holy shit— You did?” Jaebum exclaimed in awe.

 

Jackson looked down on the floor and smiled softly to himself while nervously scratching the back of his head.

 

“We were hanging out together after school and—,” Jackson bit his lip as he relived the memory in his head. “I don’t know what came over me but I kind of just blurted it all out that I’ve been mad into him since first year and he said he returned the feelings and we kissed and I kind of just— I had to tell someone and you were the first person I thought of,”

 

Jaebum continued to stare at Jackson in awe while he processed the information. It was one thing to be told about Jackson’s more than just infatuation feelings for Mark but the fact Jackson actually telling Mark was another.

 

Jackson had always been convinced that his affection for Mark was way more than what Mark felt for him. Mark was reserved and acted equally towards most of them, maybe showing a bit more physical affection to Jackson here or there. As much as Jackson was rather blunt, he wasn’t confident and clear with every thing from A to Z. Especially when it came to Mark and him mustering up the confidence to come clean to Mark came as a huge surprise to Jaebum.

 

Considering Jaebum’s silence, Jackson decided to continue on. “That’s why I rushed over here. I’m as surprised at the fact he returns my feelings as you are and I’m still having a hard time believing it.” Jackson sighed and closed his eyes.

 

“Do you consider you two dating now?” Jaebum asked carefully.

 

Jackson laughed. “I don’t know where we’d go next other than that,” he admitted. “I technically haven’t asked him out yet, now I’m planning on it.”

 

Jaebum smiled and wrapped his arm around Jackson’s shoulder.

 

“Congratulations, I’m happy for you.” Jaebum smiled sincerely. “I thought I’d never live to see the day where you two are together.” He joked teasingly to which Jackson only clicked his tongue at him.

 

“I can’t believe I finally had the guts to tell him. You know, we actually flirted a lot when it was just the two of us but… I always convinced myself it was just friendly bantering,” Jackson mumbled.

 

“Well it’s not like I didn’t go through months of denying before mustering up the courage to tell Jinyoung.” Jaebum responded truthfully.

 

“You know what you always say.” Jackson grinned and nudged Jaebum. “Better late than never.”

 

 

“I’m sure Mark is off bothering Jinyoung now about this, you might not see it but under all that silence I’m sure he’s just as crazy for you.” Jaebum smirked.

 

Jackson smiled at the reassurance, although perhaps not completely believing it.

 

“We’re all the same age but Mark is so mature and smart and I honestly feel like a child in comparison to him,” Jackson confessed while chuckling softly. Jaebum smiled and hummed in agreement, knowing exactly how he felt. Truthfully he may not feel like a child in comparison to Jinyoung but Jinyoung was so kind hearted, caring and smart he wondered what the hell he was doing being in love with someone like himself.

 

“Oh young love, how beautiful it is.”

 

“Shut up, you sound like an old man,” Jackson groaned while smacking Jaebum. “Don’t act like you and Jinyoung aren’t the epitome of dramatic teenage love!”

 

Jaebum grinned, unable to deny because it was completely true. It baffled him how his usually cynical and analytic nature turned into him becoming such a simpleton in terms of love just because of Park Jinyoung. Second year was coming to an end and it was almost a year since him and Jinyoung has been together. He’s glad they’ve made it this far but he wondered how much longer they would actually last. Third year was around the corner and soon their group will be going off their own ways.

 

“However, if I were to be honest, the reason I finally was able to tell Mark was because of you and Jinyoung.”

 

“What? Really? How so?” Jaebum asked as he blinked at Jackson in confusion.

 

“I’ve always teased you two, haven’t I? After a while I realized it was because despite you two being so disgustingly in love, I wanted to be like that with Mark. I thought our close friendship and bantering was good enough but looking at you two made me crave for something similar with him. I also realized that there really wasn’t any reason for me to hold back aside from rejection. But how would I know if I didn’t try? I’ve just been a wimp the pass year.”

 

Jackson smiled and shrugged while Jaebum kept silent, not quite knowing what to say. He guessed he should be happy his relationship with Jinyoung somehow contributed to Jackson and Mark. He was sure that the two of the would share many happy days together now.

 

“I’m happy for you, honestly. Last long you two, okay?” Jaebum smiled and ruffled Jackson’s hair. Being that Jackson was his first genuine friend coming into high school, Jaebum did feel an undeniable attachment and protectiveness for him.

 

Their conversation was interrupted with Nora running into the living room, meowing loudly. Jaebum stood up and picked Nora up, setting her down on his lap as he sat back down next to Jackson. He smiled and pet her happily as she settled down.

 

“She’s gotten bigger since you first got her,” Jackson remarked while petting her as well.

 

“It’s been a year since I got her with Jinyoung.” Jaebum grinned while scratching Nora’s chin who was enjoying the two hands petting her at the same time.

 

“It’s like she’s our child.” Jaebum laughed while smiling widely.

 

Jackson snorted and nudged Jaebum. “Isn’t it too early to be thinking of kids, before marriage as well!” He jokingly said which earned him an elbow at the stomach.

 

Jaebum rolled his eyes at Jackson but deep down he was leaving words unsaid. Despite it being ridiculous to think about when he was only seventeen years old and completely unrealistic…


“I would marry Jinyoung,” He thought silently to himself.

 


 

 

With the entry to their third and final year, came a lot of changes. Both good, and both bad.

 

On one hand, Youngjae had found his own versions of precious first years to dote on like how he was to Jaebum. Only days after the first day of the new school year, Youngjae came running to Jaebum and Jinyoung with two first years, Yugyeom and Bambam.

 

“Jaebum and Jinyoung hyung!” Youngjae screamed at the pair who were walking through the school hallway for lunch break.

 

They both turned and saw Youngjae running over with two other boys behind him that neither of them have ever seen before. Youngjae excitedly pushed the two unknown faces to Jaebum and Jinyoung, his two favourite people. At first glance Jaebum noticed one of them was very tall, almost as tall as him while the other one was much shorter and didn’t look Korean.

 

“Hi, I’m Yugyeom,” The tall one introduced himself shyly, seemingly slightly intimidated— despite Youngjae insisting that Jaebum and Jinyoung hyung are harmless!— to be in the presence of two seniors in the school.

 

“I’m Kunpimook!” The shorter one said more enthusiastically with a hint of an accent. “But just call me Bambam. We’re both first years”

 

Jaebum nodded awkwardly, still processing how Youngjae managed to find himself two first year friends. Jaebum was protective of Youngjae the first few weeks of his first year and insisted on him staying with Jaebum, Jinyoung, Jackson and, Mark during lunch. Jackson and Mark grew fond of Youngjae but Youngjae had insisted for Jaebum to let him venture off to befriend other students in his year. It took Jaebum a while to let go of his dearest Youngjae who was no longer the shy Junior High student who hid behind Jaebum’s back. Jinyoung couldn’t help but find it endearing. Jaebum being such an older brother figure to Youngjae made him wonder what he would be like treating a child. (But Jinyoung didn’t let his imagination venture too far.)

 

“Oh my— precious first years! I remember when I was your age,” Jinyoung cooed liked a mother and gave Bambam’s head and Yugyeom’s shoulder a pat.

 

“I’m Jinyoung! And this awkward thing is Jaebum but don’t worry, he isn’t as scary as he seems,” Jinyoung laughed while looking back at Jaebum who clicked his tongue.

 

Jinyoung couldn’t believe how much time had flown. It had already been a year since Jinyoung met Youngjae and felt the urge of treating someone younger than him like a mother. He was feeling it again with Bambam and Yugyeom who seemed even smaller and more childlike due to them being two years younger than Jinyoung rather that just one year with Youngjae.

 

“Jaebum and Jinyoung are dating and they’re the most gross couple on earth,” Youngjae whispered at Yugyeom and Bambam, earning him a smack on the head from Jaebum.

 

Youngjae dragged Yugyeom and Bambam to Jackson and Mark as well afterwards. The two of them took an immediate liking of the two new faces just like how Jinyoung did. Especially Bambam due to the fact Jackson and Mark were both non-Korean as well. They felt a strong urge to protect and guide him through being a foreigner in high school especially since Bambam was still not completely fluent in Korean.

 

“Is it really okay for us to be hanging out with third years?” Yugyeom had asked nervously when they were ushered into the same lunch table as the four older ones plus Youngjae.

 

Jinyoung laughed and gave Yugyeom a pat on the back. “Hey, don’t worry about it kiddo!”

 

Despite the initial shyness, all of them learned that Yugyeom and Bambam were very mischievous children, seemingly having not a care in the world. They enjoyed joking around and as they grew closer to the rest of them, they thoroughly enjoyed messing with their hyungs as well.

 

Watching the two first years and even Youngjae who was still just beginning his second year live so freely made Jinyoung realized how much really did change how that Jaebum, Mark, Jackson, and himself were third years. They were still young but they were merely steps away from entering the adult world where they had to face a life much more serious than what they were used to.

 

But all of that aside, what worried Jinyoung the most was what would happen between him and Jaebum after they graduated. Where would their relationship go after high school was over? Both Jaebum and Jinyoung had been putting off those thoughts but they couldn’t anymore. Did Jaebum want to move abroad to study? It was expensive and unlikely but the worry was still there. Did Jaebum even want the burden of a relationship or did he want to focus completely on school.

 

Things were changing and for Jinyoung who was so happy with where he was, it scared him.

 


 

 

It felt like forever before the bell signifying the end of the day rang and Jaebum was glad the weekend was here. It had felt like the week would never end and the ongoing amount of school work and stress didn’t help make things better. He stretched his arms out behind him and got up, rushing out of the classroom. He had a lot of work ahead of him for weekend but for now, he was ready to just relax.

 

Usually Jinyoung and Jaebum met up at the front of the school to walk home with each other but today, Jinyoung was already waiting outside his classroom.

 

“I got let out of class early today.” Jinyoung smiled and locked him and Jaebum’s hands together.

 

“The weather is nice today, want to go to the park before going home?” Jinyoung asked hopefully.

 

Jaebum smiled and nodded, seeing no better way to spend the Friday afternoon relaxing in the sun with Jinyoung. It was easier to relax when he had Jinyoung by his side than when he was alone and left to his own thoughts.

 

Jaebum and Jinyoung weren’t too shy to show public display of affection in school but outside of school they avoided it unless they were alone. It was a habit they developed when they began dating in second year when they were much more innocent and shy and it stuck to them even now that it has been a year since they began dating.

 

Truthfully, Jinyoung wanted some alone time with Jaebum outside of the comforts of home so he could talk to him about his worries. If they were at each other’s houses, Jinyoung didn’t trust himself enough to not get distracted with doing other things that they tend to drift to when they were under the protection of the walls of their homes.

 

Also, it felt nice to be out for once.

 

“I heard from other seniors that Yugyeom and Bambam have become quite the class clowns within the first year classes,” Jaebum chuckled after the two of them sat comfortably on a field of grass, enjoying the subtle wind and sun.

 

“Those two are really something. But it seems like Bambam is Jackson’s new buddy with teasing us,” Jinyoung pouted which earned him a pinch on the cheek from Jaebum.

 

“I think we should have grown used to it by now,” Jaebum laughed before laying down on the grass. He rested his head on Jinyoung’s lap with his arms crossed underneath, letting Jinyoung’s body shadow the sun from his face.

 

“Despite everything going on, it feels nice to be like this,” Jaebum sighed out softly, the tiredness in his voice evident.

 

Jinyoung smiled sadly, knowing how much school was weighing on Jaebum. It was weighing out on all of them and it really made Jinyoung truly miss the times they were silly first years. Foolish and slightly in love. In hindsight, Jinyoung doesn’t think that aspect of them has changed all that much. They were still young, foolish, and horribly in love.

 

“It’s probably not the best time to bring it up now but I don’t know when I’ll have the courage to bring this up again,” Jinyoung sighed while running his hands through Jaebum’s hair.

 

“Jaebum we’re graduating this year and... I’m guessing you know what you want to do after this?” Jinyoung asked, careful with his words.

 

Jaebum remained silent for a few moments before opening his eyes again to stare up at Jinyoung. Jaebum had been avoiding bringing this subject up for a while now.

 

“I expected you to be the first to ask out of the two of us,” Jaebum chuckled softly. “I’m planning on going into law, which is why I’ve been studying so much.”

 

Jinyoung didn’t even try to hide his surprise on how ambitious Jaebum’s choice in career path was. Law, now that Jinyoung thought about it wasn’t completely out of the ordinary if he pinned it to Jaebum but it did come as a surprise. Jaebum was rather uncaring of school at first but as the years progressed he stepped his game up and passed every semester with grades as close to Jinyoung’s. (Jackson theorized it was because Jaebum didn’t want to seem horrifyingly unintelligent compared to Jinyoung which earned him a smack.)

 

In Jinyoung’s heart he believes Jaebum was always a smart student. But simply hadn’t started caring for school or his like seriously till he grew closer to Jinyoung, Jackson and, Mark. Jaebum hasn’t told him yet and he doesn’t know when he will have the courage to do so but meeting Jinyoung had brought the best of him in many ways.

 

Jaebum laughed at how surprised Jinyoung looked and lifted his hand up to touch his cheek.

 

“Didn’t expect that from me, did you? Are you going to tell me your plans as well?” Jaebum asked.

 

Jinyoung snapped out of his thoughts and placed his hand over Jaebum’s, leaning into the touch.

 

“Linguistics, although I’m sure that comes as no surprise.” He smiled down at Jaebum who only laughed at how very Jinyoung that really was.

 

“I only started becoming interested in law sometime last year but I wasn’t completely positive till recently. I wanted to figure it out on my own which is why I didn’t tell you immediately.”

 

Jinyoung shook his head at how once again, Jaebum chose to go the route alone when Jinyoung was and is always there beside him, willing to hold his hand the entire way. However, Jinyoung has learned not to fight it because Jaebum will come to him when he really needs him.

 

“I’m glad you figured it out then,” Jinyoung smiled and looked around to see if anyone was looking. To his delight the field they were on was big and secluded, taking advantage of it to lean down and peck Jaebum on the lips.

 

“How did it take us so long to tell each other about these things?” Jaebum questioned jokingly to which Jinyoung only laughed at.

 

Jinyoung stared down at Jaebum a tad bit sadly. “I know why, at least for me,” He said softly.

 

“I’m scared you won’t want me when we’re out of here.”

 

Jaebum stared at him in shock. Unbelieving that Jinyoung would ever think something so absurd. He couldn’t even try to start not wanting Jinyoung. It just wasn’t possible at this point of their relationship. Jaebum couldn’t even imagine a life without Jinyoung anymore which was ridiculous considering they’ve known each other for only two years.

 

But it was the most vivid two years of Jaebum’s youth. As the years passed from a child to a young teen to now, everything had blurred together with little worthy to remember. But then Jinyoung came into his life and suddenly, every moment was as precious to remember as the next.

 

“Why would you think that?” Jaebum sat up to look at Jinyoung at the same eye level.

 

Jinyoung bit his lip nervously, trying to gather his thoughts to form a coherent sentence. Words never came out easily when they involved Im Jaebum.

 

“It’s just— Especially now you want to study law, a relationship with me isn’t realistic and what if you want to study abroad and I just… I just don’t want to burden you after we graduate.”

 

Jaebum smiled sadly. It was so like Jinyoung to worry about something that wasn’t even a problem that actually existed. He’s seen it all in movies and he knew it happened in real life as well. Young teenage couples believe they can make it through adulthood only to realize it really didn’t work. In reality, Jaebum had considered this an unfortunate inevitable for them and debated whether to stop while he was ahead. But Jaebum couldn’t just stop before actually trying. How would they know they were meant to be together throughout the years after high school if they didn’t even bother attempting?

 

If it was about Jinyoung, then any risk was worth taking.

 

“Jinyoung, I’m not going anywhere.” Jaebum placed his hands gently on Jinyoung’s shoulders and pushed him down so they could both lie comfortably on the grass.

 

“Even if I was, I’d make the stretch to try and take you with me,” Jaebum smiled as Jinyoung began blushing like a bride. It made Jaebum wonder now he could ever want to give up something like him.

 

“And you’re not a burden, you dummy,” Jaebum teasingly pinched Jinyoung’s cheek. “I’ve never wanted something or someone like how I want you now and that won’t change after we graduate. I’m sure of it.”

 

Jinyoung bit the inside of cheek, trying not to tear up in front of Jaebum. The future was open and scary. Anything could happen and maybe Jaebum will no longer want him then but at least for now… Jinyoung could stay by his side before it would happen.

 

“Can I kiss you?” Jinyoung asked, shyly smiling up at Jaebum. He was taken a back by the question but smiled back at Jinyoung none the less.

 

“Hey,” he said while holding Jinyoung’s chin with his fingers to tilt his head up. “You stole my line.”

 


 

 

Graduation came around in a blink of an eye. Before any of them knew it, they were dressed in their black gowns saying their farewells to their school.

 

“I can’t believe you guys are leaving!” Youngjae sobbed, running over to bear hug Jaebum and Jinyoung. The ceremony had ended and now everyone was just idly standing around, taking pictures, and talking to teachers. They all had taken pictures with their teachers and parents, chatting a bit before letting themselves free of their parents before leaving the venue.

 

Youngjae, Bambam and Yugyeom had come running to them immediately and it made Jinyoung feel bitter sweet that they’d now had to leave their precious first year brothers behind.

 

“Don’t worry, I’m not going far so I’ll come visit when I can.” Jaebum smiled and ruffled Youngjae’s hair who had started crying and clinging hard to Jaebum. Although Youngjae insisted he has grown independent he couldn’t hide the fact he was upset to be separated from his favourite hyung again who was now going off to university.

 

Ah yes, how could Jinyoung forget? Thankfully, both Jaebum and Jinyoung got into university, even more thankfully they were both staying relatively near. Close enough to be able to see each other frequently. It was however, still not the same proximity high school has given them the past three years. They both considered living together but then decided against it. It was too soon and secretly, they wanted to keep the anticipation of getting to see each other in between each others schedules. Jinyoung thought although their never ending of emotions towards each other it was still too soon and Jinyoung didn’t want them to turn into jaded and bored married couple when they were hardly twenty years old.

 

Unfortunately, proximity wasn’t a given with Jackson. Jackson decided to go back to his hometown in Hong Kong to study. Mark wasn’t stupid enough to actually chase after Jackson and move back to Hong Kong with him but it didn’t prevent Mark from being devastated.

 

At the end, they decided to try to maintain long distance. University wouldn’t allow Jackson to fly back super frequently but at least, they were only a few hours away by plane. Jinyoung is sure they will make it. They had only gotten together a couple of months prior and he knew neither of them would let what they’ve been waiting for, for years to be given up on too easily.

 

“Hey, look what I found yesterday,” Jackson said excitedly, fishing something out of his pocket from underneath his graduation gown.

 

It was a picture.

 

Jinyoung gasped softly realizing it was a picture of them back when they were in first year. Jackson’s mother had taken it the day Jackson invited Mark and Jaebum over when he was with Jinyoung. It was the first time Jinyoung actually got to interact with Jaebum and wow, time really has flown.

 

“Wow, we’ve changed a lot,” Mark said, slightly sad as he looked at the picture.

 

“Jaebum hyung looks so scary here!” Bambam pointed out.

 

Jackson laughed loudly. “This was when Jaebum’s only facial expression was a frown.”

 

“Then he met, Jinyoung,” Mark cooed, nudging Jaebum who only clicked his tongue at him.

 

Jackson, Mark and the three young ones continued cooing at the photo while Jackson began recounting stories of when the four of them were in their first year. Jaebum had slipped out of the small crowd and was staring off at their high school beside where their graduation had taken place beside it on the large field.

 

“Feeling nostalgic?” Jinyoung asked softly, smiling as he walked over beside him.

 

“I can’t believe its been three years.” Jaebum said honestly, they were all thinking the same.

 

“Also.” He turned away from the school to look at Jinyoung. “I can believe it’s been three years since I’ve met you.”

 

Jinyoung blushed as he stared back at Jaebum. He leaned his head on Jaebum’s shoulder and sighed while smiling softly.

 

“We still have a lot ahead of us.”

 

Jaebum nodded while wrapping his arm around Jinyoung’s shoulder, pulling him closer. Will they stay together throughout university? Will they make it even further than that? Two years of dating seemed long but it was also no time at all considering all the years that were ahead of them. Even with all these questions left unanswered, Jaebum thinks that they will be alright. That Jaebum is so terribly in love with Jinyoung that he won’t ever give up on him. That he will never give up on them.

 

“Can I kiss you right now, Jinyoung?” Jaebum asked.

 

Jinyoung smiled and wiggled his way out of Jaebum’s grip so he could stand in front of him and wrap his arms around his neck.

 

“Yes,” He said, letting Jaebum lean forward to close the space between them.

 

It has been three years and Jaebum’s kisses still ignited flames inside him as strong as the first time.

 


 

 

Jinyoung still wondered why Jaebum always asks before kissing him. Even though they’ve been together for a long time and any awkwardness they had for physical affection was gone Jaebum still always asks. He had even become less embarrassed about his habit, flat out asking in front of Bambam and Yugyeom shortly after they met. (Which resulted in exaggerated gagging and “ews”.)

 

Jinyoung thought his facial expressions, his body language, and a lot of other things could explicitly show on their own that Jaebum doesn’t need to double check first.

 

But Jinyoung has learned some things just don’t have answers, and they don’t need answers. Because things stick and Jinyoung can’t imagine kisses without Jaebum’s shy smile that are so full of love as he asks Jinyoung the same question he’s asked thousands of times. Jaebum will be rough with Jinyoung in bed, breaking him apart, then putting him back together only to break him again. But at the end of the night they will cuddle closely together and Jaebum will always ask before giving him the gentlest of kisses. Jinyoung will be tired from the weighs of the world and Jaebum will hold him tight, healing him with his words and kisses.

 

Jinyoung doesn’t want it any other way.

 


 

 

“I’m home,” An exhausted voice came from the front door.

 

Jinyoung poked his head from out of the living room and smiled softly at his tired boyfriend.

 

“Long day at the office?”

 

Jaebum kicked his shoes off and threw his keys on the small table by the door, walking over to wrap an arm around Jinyoung’s shoulder.

 

“Yeah, I think I got everything I need for a win tomorrow at court but I’m so sick and tired of this case and I’m looking forward to it being over tomorrow,” Jaebum grumbled while walking them over to the couch to sit.

 

“Confident as ever, aren’t we?” Jinyoung laughed while running his fingers through Jaebum’s hair.

 

“Don’t act like you don’t love it.” Jaebum leaned into the touch. Thoroughly enjoying the affection after an aggravating day at work.

 

“I came home late as well so I bought some take out for dinner,” Jinyoung said turning behind them where the kitchen table was with two neatly tied up takeout bags that were untouched.

 

“I’m sorry I left you to deal with dinner without saying anything,” Jaebum frowned. “I got so caught up with work it completely flew over my head.”

 

Jinyoung shook his head and gave Jaebum a peck on the cheek.

 

“Don’t worry, I know it’s been a long case.” Jinyoung stood up. “I’ll go heat everything up for us.”

 

Jaebum grabbed Jinyoung’s wrist as he turned to leave and pulled him back making Jinyoung awkwardly topple onto Jaebum’s lap.

 

“Can I have a kiss first?”

 

Jinyoung smiles, he doesn’t bother answering before he is cupping Jaebum’s cheeks and pulling him into the kiss first.