Minhyun does not recall ever being this whipped for someone.
That fact was both a relief and a terrifying reality, because it meant he had no idea how to escape those feelings, nor how to cope with them in a healthy way except for pretending he didn’t know about them. Ignoring your feelings for someone does not make them go away, Minki told him, and for once, Minhyun would like him not to be right – as he so often is. However, how was he supposed to accept that he had a crush on someone he barely knew?
Hot Neighbor’s real name was Yoon Jisung, and that’s pretty much all Minhyun knew. They first met in late August when moving into the dorms, and at that moment Minhyun also learnt Jisung’s roommate’s name was Kang Daniel. Ever since, they had never gone past saying hi. Minhyun had no clue what his neighbors even studied, so he was left with a ton of unanswered questions and his poor fantasies. On top of that, he was also too shy to actually go and start a conversation with the neighbors, therefore leaving him two months into the school year and still harboring a silly crush on Jisung.
That all changed on a Wednesday morning in October, when someone knocked on Minhyun and Jonghyun’s door and that someone revealed himself to a half-naked Jisung, freshly out of the common bathrooms after a shower. Jonghyun was already in class and Minhyun’s own classes didn’t start until the mid-afternoon, so he always stayed in to get a little more sleep and finish readings and homework. To say that he was dumbfounded to have his neighbor show up at his door with nothing but a towel around the waist would be an understatement.
There were good and bad sides to this sudden appearance: one, it was Jisung, and Minhyun was always happy to see him. Two, Jisung was not wearing a shirt and while Minhyun would like to believe he had self-control, he couldn’t help himself and his eyes might have scanned Jisung’s bare torso a little too long for someone who was surprised to see their neighbor half-naked. Three, Jisung’s current state of half-nakedness was totally going to give him a legit, solid basis for his fantasies in the months to come.
However, the bad side of the whole situation was that Jisung was totally going to notice he was getting checked out and he might call Minhyun out for doing that. Minhyun’s erratic train of thoughts and his brain going “my crush is standing shirtless in front of me is this a dream” repeatedly got interrupted by Jisung smiling awkwardly at him before talking.
“Hi Minhyun, sorry for bothering you but I got locked outside ‘cause Daniel forgot I was having a shower and he went to class. Would you mind if I crashed in for a bit?”
Minhyun blinked and his brain and mouth seemed to have lost any kind of coordination because apart from nodding dumbly, nothing came out of his mouth. Jisung shot him a thankful smile and entered the apartment, and Minhyun closed the door behind him. Finally, he came back to his senses when he noticed that as hot as it was that Jisung was not dressed, he was probably going to feel cold soon enough.
“Do you want to borrow some clothes maybe? I don’t know when your roommate is coming back but I can lend you something to wear in the meantime,” Minhyun offered, trying his very best not to stare lower than Jisung’s face and it was really hard to do so. He didn’t want Jisung to think he was a pervert, though, so he sucked it up.
“That’d be amazing, thank you so much!” Jisung cheered and Minhyun blushed at his enthusiastic answer.
He turned on his heels and headed for his room, cheeks burning as he rummaged through his closet for clothes that might fit Jisung. He had a smaller body than Minhyun himself, so anything would look a bit big anyway. Minhyun eventually settled on a shirt and some sweatpants, and didn’t forget underwear either. He unfolded them neatly on his bed, and told Jisung he could change in his room, to which Jisung answered with a thank you and the most lovely smile Minhyun had ever seen on a human being. Minhyun left his room with his cheeks as red as strawberries and he let himself fall on his couch before hiding his face in his hands.
He took a deep breathe, and tried not to think about Jisung discarding his bath towel and standing naked in his room while putting on his clothes. He most definitely also tried to avoid thinking about the fact that if they were boyfriends, maybe this would be a common occurrence and he wouldn’t get worked up over it; instead, when Jisung had knocked on his door, he would’ve welcomed him with a hug and a “poor baby” before kissing him and offering his clothes. Then, Jisung would leave his room, looking all too good and cute in Minhyun’s clothes, and he’d plop himself on his lap and kiss him, thanking him for being a good and reliable boyfriend. Minhyun would giggle and kiss him back and forget about homework and assignments.
That was reaching too far, but Minhyun’s brain had the amazing capacity to come up with that sort of fantasy at unbelievable speed. Jisung did end up leaving his room quickly, and he looked better than expected in the borrowed clothes and that was such a boyfriend look Minhyun cried a bit on the inside. Jisung readjusted the sweatpants and sat next to Minhyun on the couch, grinning.
“Thanks again, I know we haven’t really talked before so I wasn’t sure if it’d be okay to ask you, but I’m glad I did.”
“It’s okay, I’m sure you would’ve done the same if it was me or Jonghyun,” Minhyun replied, his stomach curling on itself. There was a raw mix of emotions in him that resulted in his body feeling really weird, and he knew the only solution to this would be to touch Jisung, but he sure wasn’t going to do that right now.
“Well, I guess that’s the perfect time to get to know each other then,” Jisung smiled, and Minhyun’s heart jumped a little in his chest. “What do you study?” he asked, and he sat on the couch while hugging his knees to his chest and that was really cute. Minhyun forced himself not to be shy, and answered.
“Literature and Japanese, I’m in my second year of university. What about you?”
“I study music and acting in the art department, and I’m in my fourth year. Daniel’s a second year like you and he studies dance, he’s really good at it!”
Minhyun nodded, and felt like he had to talk about Jonghyun too since Jisung mentioned Daniel.
“Jonghyun is my age and studying to be an architect, so we’re doing really different stuff,” he said, scratching his head. “How come you and Daniel got to room together, since you’re in different years and all?”
Minhyun was curious about that, because he wasnt’ sure what could’ve prompted them to live together. He didn’t think (nor wanted to) that Daniel and Jisung were dating, even if sometimes there were noises coming from their apartment. Minki, who was a RA at their floor, had also told him that once he had heard them shower together. Minhyun had answered, stuttering, that surely friends showered together sometimes (he personally hadn’t done that ever with anyone), to which his friends had sent him an unconvinced look that said “really?”
“We’re best friends since we’re kids and the programs we wanted to get in for uni happened to be in the same place, so we thought it’d be fun to room together,” Jisung replied, a soft smile tugging at his lips.
“Oh, that makes sense. Jonghyun and I are best friends since high school and we also got accepted into the same university so it seemed like a good solution to live together.”
Jisung grinned again at that, and Minhyun answered with a smile of his own. They made small talk for a while, and before they realized it it was past noon and it sounded like Daniel was back. Jisung left Minhyun’s apartment while thanking him again and promising he’d get him his clothes back as soon as possible, and Minhyun waved back at him. Jonghyun dropped by to get a book he had forgotten to take this morning, and he sent a questioning look at Minhyun, who looked awfully lovestruck. Minhyun told him not to mind him and Jonghyun ran to his next class while Minhyun prepared his bag for his own lectures.
He locked the door and smiled as he passed by Jisung and Daniel’s apartment when suddenly, it struck him that he and Jisung hadn’t exchanged numbers. He made a face, and wondered how he should ask for Jisung’s number without making a complete fool of himself. An idea blossomed in his mind, and while it might have seemed kind of weird, it was also kind of cute and Minhyun hoped Jisung would notice the cute side of his idea rather than the weird one. He took out a notebook, tore out a page and scribbled his number with some cute drawings around it. He added a line mentioning he was the author of the message, then he carefully folded it before adding Jisung’s name on it and sweeping it under his door. He finally made his way to uni, feeling bubbly.
(Jisung liked his drawings of little foxes and racoons, as that was the first thing he mentioned when he texted Minhyun later. When asked about the reason he was suddenly blushing, Minhyun pretended he just felt hot because of the heating.)
They started texting, first just once every two or three days, then gradually it became a habit until they pretty much sent each other a good morning and a good night message on top of all the other texts throughout the day. Jisung was just as cute in his messages as he was in reality, Minhyun noticed. What was maybe even more heart-warming was how he found Minhyun’s shyness adorable and never lost an occasion to tease him gently about it. There were some messages that made Minhun clutch his phone tightly, eyes reading Jisung’s words over and over again as his cheeks grew hotter. Jisung informed him, at some point, that he had changed Minhyun’s name to “Minhyunnie” and while he wasn’t the first one to have come up with that nickname, no one really used it on a daily basis as Jisung did and Minhyun might have had a mini heart attack at that. Without mentioning to Jisung, he also changed his name and added a few cute emojis. He hesitated on adding a heart, but he decided not to. That would be taking everything a step too far, and all the emojis were already a lot. Plus, he couldn’t take the risk of someone accidentally seeing his chatroom with Jisung and ask him why there was a heart next to his name.
It wasn’t until mid-November that they realized they shared an English lecture first thing in the morning on Thursdays. Minhyun always arrived early to class, and it so happened he was looking at the door when Jisung came in. Although he was tired, seeing him suddenly makes his chest all warm and he waved at his friend. Jisung blinked, as if he had trouble seeing who was waving to him. Minhyun couldn’t help but giggle at Jisung’s squinting face that made him look so comical, and he welcomed him with a brief hug. They sat together, and Jisung yawned. Minhyun was already done organizing his stuff for the class, so he glanced at his friend.
In spite of his dark circles, his messy hair and strangely matched clothes, Jisung looked really good and Minhyun thought that maybe this was love, still finding the person you liked good-looking at 8am in a crappy lecture hall while they were obviously having a hard time waking up completely. Another wave of warmth and affection overwhelmed him, and he felt like he had to tell Jisung how good-looking he was.
“This is probably going to sound weird, but you look really handsome today,” Minhyun commented as lightly as possible, and he bit his cheek when Jisung stared at him with wide eyes.
“I slept something like four hours last night, I didn’t have the time to brush my hair, my blood is ninety percent coffee at this point, and that’s the first thing you tell me?” Jisung stated in an incredulous voice, eyes as wide as an owl’s. Minhyun couldn’t help himself and broke down into a fit of giggles, hugging himself as he laughed. He eventually calmed down and wiped his eyes, and his heart skipped a beat at Jisung’s tender gaze on him.
“Well, thank you then. If you don’t mind, allow me to be weird as well: you look very cute today, Minhyunnie.”
Minhyun blushed and buried his face in his arms, making Jisung laugh. He was about to get his head out of his arms when he felt Jisung coming closer and letting his head rest on one of his shoulders. Minhyun froze, and tried to ignore Jisung’s soft hair that was brushing his own face or the way the elder was slumped against him. The warmth of their bodies was colliding and melting, and Minhyun was suddenly hyper aware of every breath Jisung took.
“Be my pillow,” Jisung said, and Minhyun’s heart skipped a beat. He straightened his back, making Jisung get off him, but immediately leaned against his chair and invited Jisung on his shoulder again. Jisung smiled before curling on his side, head well adjusted on Minhyun’s shoulder and hugging his arm. Minhyun rested his head on top of his, and basked into the welcomed warmth. Jisung’s smell was a mix of coffee and perfume he wouldn’t be able to name but that fitted him, and Minhyun loved it. Before he could stop himself, his free hand reached Jisung’s hair and started combing it gently. Jisung shifted a bit, but didn’t say anything. He actually let out a minuscule happy noise, and Minhyun wondered what good deed he had done in a previous life to be able to cuddle his crush first thing in the morning. The lecture hall was still empty apart from a few people at the very front, so no one would notice them being closer than necessary. Minhyun, not stopping his combing motions, opened his mouth.
“How come you couldn’t sleep more than four hours last night?”
“Daniel,” Jisung answered sleepily, and Minhyun froze. The hand he still had in Jisung’s hair went back to his side, and he hoped his friend wouldn’t notice how tense his body had gotten suddenly.
“A-ah?” Minhyun let out, a little choked up.
“He thinks I’m his teddy bear and he wants to sleep with me pretty much all the time. I know I shouldn’t indulge him anymore, ‘cause everyone thinks we’re together, but like… he’s so cute, you know? I don’t know how to say no to him when he asks for cuddles.”
Jisung was now ranting about how one or two times, the RA had caught them showering together and how embarrassing it had be when Minhyun interrupted him, a bit lost.
“So you’re not together?”
Jisung stopped talking, and settled more comfortably against him. Minhyun’s breathe caught in his throat when one of Jisung’s hands that had stayed around his arm without moving suddenly went down his forearm, the pad of his fingertips brushing over Minhyun’s hairs. His hand kept going until it reached Minhyun’s, and, there, Jisung intertwined their fingers. Minhyun thought he was about to explode, with the way Jisung had so casually starting holding his hand while still cuddling him and especially how of all times, he had chosen to do after an important question.
“Nope,” Jisung answered, giving Minhyun’s hand a soft squeeze.
“Oh,” Minhyun said, a bit numb. “That’s- that’s good to know.”
Jisung nodded in his shoulder, and didn’t let go of him until the teacher and more students showed up. Minhyun didn’t dare look at him until the break, where Jisung left the hall to get more coffee. When the elder came back, he poked Minhyun’s shoulder and handed him his favorite coffee, black, without sugar. Minhyun mouthed a timid thank you and Jisung grinned at him. The rest of the lecture went well, with them occasionally chatting or smiling at each other, and they had lunch together at noon. Minhyun’s heart grew a little warmer at the way Jisung so casually brushed his leg against his several times while they were enjoying their meal, and at how their hands also seemed to collide a lot more than usual today. They went their separate ways after lunch, but Minhyun’s lovestruck smile stayed on his face the entire day, and even more as he gushed about his morning to Jonghyun, who hugged him happily.
(That night, he lay in bed feeling overjoyed and unable to fall asleep. He kept tossing and turning, wondering whether he should message Jisung or not. He eventually did and wished him a good night, and squealed at the little kissy emoji at the end of Jisung’s text. He then hesitated, but this time added a heart to Jisung’s name.)
It was a quiet Friday afternoon, Jonghyun studying on their couch while Minhyun was reading a book, when they heard a soft rap on the door. Jonghyun didn’t look up as he had his earphones, but Minhyun closed his book and got up to open the door, only to be met with a young man he’d never met before.
“Hi?” Minhyun said, a bit hesitantly.
“H-hi! Is Daniel here?”
“Oh, you got the wrong door, he’s my neighbor,” Minhyun replies with a polite smile, pointing to the next door on the right. The student facing him blushed violently, and murmured a “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t apologize, really, it’s fine,” Minhyun waved. “Oh, actually, I lent a book to Jisung and I need it back so I’m gonna go with you if you don’t mind?”
The young man shook his head hastily and said accepted the offer. Minhyun glanced at Jonghyun, but he was engrossed in his homework, so he just closed the door and went to knock on Jisung and Daniel’s. They heard some shuffling inside the apartment, and Minhyun took the opportunity to introduce himself. The other immediate did the same, and told him his name was Donghan.
They didn’t have more time to chat as Jisung opened the door, and greeted them with his trademark grin. He let them in and hugged each of them, before asking if they had had time to make introductions. They answered positively, and Jisung called for Daniel, loudly. Donghan seemed kind of fidgety until Daniel appeared, hair sticking in every direction.
“Were you taking a nap?” Jisung asked, incredulous, “How can you take a nap when you know you’re gonna have someone over?”
Minhyun bit back a laughter at that because Jisung suddenly sounded like a mom scolding her child for not having cleaned up his room. Moreover, it was kind of incredible but Daniel resembled a puppy sometimes in his attitude, and right now Minhyun had no trouble picturing him with sad dog ears, whiny eyes and an imaginary tail dropping. He bit the inside of his cheek as he felt the laughter coming. Donghan stepped in and assured Jisung it was fine, he had come a bit earlier than planned anyway. Jisung sighed loudly, and the duo headed for Daniel’s room. They closed the door, and Jisung invited Minhyun to sit on the couch. Minhyun started laughing, and Jisung opened wide eyes at his unexpected reaction.
Minhyun kept laughing for a little while until he had tears in his eyes, and was met with Jisung’s pout once he focused again, breathing heavily. He cooed and pinched Jisung’s cheeks.
“Aw, you look adorable,” he giggled.
“Why were you making fun of me?” Jisung complained, still pouting. Minhyun had half the heart to lean in and kiss him like he wanted to, but he held back. Instead, he let himself fall back on the couch with a grin.
“You just sounded like his mom.”
“… Maybe a little,” Jisung admitted, reluctantly.
“Do you do that each time he has a friend coming over?”
Suddenly there was a mischievous glint in Jisung’s eyes, and Minhyun felt like maybe he had asked the wrong question. He watched as Jisung get up and fetched a glass in the kitchen. He tip-toed to Daniel’s room, and put the glass on the door, closing an eye as if that helped him listen.
“Oh my- are you spying on them?” Minhyun whisper-shouted, alarmed.
Jisung waved a hand, as if telling him to keep it down. Minhyun had no choice but to come closer, and he sent a judgmental look at Jisung.
“Why would you even do that?”
“For the gossip, obviously!”
Minhyun frowned harder, and Jisung shushed him one more time. Against his will, Minhyun also leaned against the door and took part into the eavesdropping session. Daniel and Donghan were talking until a long pause, at the end of which they heard a soft moan. Their eyes meet and they walked back to the couch as silently as possible. Jisung immediately fetched his phone, and Minhyun watched him as he sent a message to a group chat on kakao.
“Really?” he said, rolling his eyes.
“No, listen, I had a good reason to do this! They’ve been flirting forever and I think almost everyone lost their bet already – everyone except me and-” he glanced at his phone, “and Sanggyun, actually.”
“You were betting on when Daniel and Donghan would get together,” Minhyun stated flatly.
“You’ve never done that before with your friends?” Jisung replied, putting his phone away.
“Maybe your friends are the ones betting on you,” Jisung said, and he wiggled his eyebrows. Minhyun let out a fake laugh, and suddenly he felt sweat creep on his back. He sure hoped no one was betting on him getting with Jisung.
“Why would they?” he said, and he moved a little bit away from Jisung.
“Hmm, I don’t know,” Jisung replied, but his smile said otherwise, “maybe because they know you have a crush on someone and they’re expecting you to act upon it?”
“I don’t… there’s no one I have a crush on,” Minhyun stuttered, but his cheeks were burning.
“Right,” Jisung said, his knowing smile growing bigger. He came closer to Minhyun, who couldn’t get away anymore unless he ran away from the apartment. “Yet you went through the trouble of asking me I was dating Daniel, texted me everyday for the past month or so and you let me cuddle you in the midst of a lecture hall first thing in the morning after complimenting me?”
Minhyun didn’t think it was possible, but at each new fact Jisung enumerated and that Minhyun knew to be a hundred percent true, he got redder and redder until he couldn’t take it anymore and he buried his face in his hands. He was feeling hot and sick, yet he was also frozen in his spot. His breathe didn’t come back until Jisung put a hand on his thigh, gently.
“Minhyunnie? I didn’t mean to tease you in a bad way, I like you too, I like you a lot.”
Minhyun took a deep breathe, and slowly uncovered his face. Jisung shuffled at his side, and kissed his cheek, then his red ear. He climbed on Minhyun’s lap without wasting time.
“I like you so much,” Jisung whispered, his lips brushing Minhyun’s earlobe as he articulated. He pressed another kiss on his ear, then on his neck, appreciating the way Minhyun was shivering at being kissed in such a sensitive place. After peppering kisses all along his jawline, finally he pulled away and took in Minhyun’s closed eyes and half-opened lips, breathing with difficulty.
A few seconds later, he was closing his own eyes and kissing Minhyun’s lips, swallowing his feeble moans. He cupped Minhyun’s cheeks, then tugged on his lower lip, pulling it with his teeth, before sucking it softly as it to soothe it. His hands traveled almost on their own and reached Minhyun’s hair, and this time he gave a small tug on his soft locks, making the other moan into their kiss again. He took advantage of Minhyun’s opened mouth to softly lick at it with his tongue, before delving in deeper, inviting Minhyun to kiss him back. And that he did, hands circling Jisung’s waist strongly, bringing him as close as possible to his torso.
They kissed for a while, not exchanging a single word as they did. Sometimes they stopped, looking at each other with a small grin, and then got back to kissing right away. Jisung picked up where he had stopped earlier, tongue drawing meaningless patterns in Minhyun’s neck while the latter let out small moans and trembled in his arms. After a final kiss, however, Jisung pulled away for good, and his loving grin gave everything away. Minhyun tried pouting, but ended answering by a smile of his own. He was more than fine with the love he could read into Jisung’s eyes.
(The next morning, Minhyun found himself locked outside his apartment after taking a shower and as Jonghyun showed no signs of life, went and knocked on Jisung and Daniel’s door, looking embarrassed. He was met with a smiling Jisung who welcomed him with a hug and an “aw, poor baby” before inviting him in, and letting him borrow the clothes Minhyun had lent him. “How the tables have turned,” Jisung teased him while very obviously checking him out, cackling. “Shut up!”)