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boys are sad

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yang hongseok was fucked.

 

 

 

no, not in the way where a dick was up his ass (because he’s honestly not into that stuff), but in the way where he might’ve seen a certain person he liked ignore him when he waved a quiet hello. it seemed like the person that stood at least a head shorter than him was pretending that hongseok never existed.

 

oh, how that hurt hongseok’s big heart a little more than it should.

 

and that wasn’t even the saddest part too, because all of those embarrassing and almost revealing moments where hongseok would try to get said person’s attention were just something he would regret later. what’s even worse was that he didn’t even know why the person hated him too! all thoughts of regret and exaggerated self-hatred hit hongseok in face after the person who ignored him kept walking with a girl about his height. hongseok cursed himself once again for being attracted to a feisty small boy that acted like hongseok never existed. 

 

“hey, stop eyeing my girlfriend like that.” hyojong, a stocky second year with a questionable sense of humor and blonde hair, suddenly slapped hongseok’s back to break him out of his trance. all of the blonde’s friends gathered around the now red-faced hongseok. they were all coming from their last class of the day, so the group soon had go to football practice. and if hongseok were any dumber, he would’ve objected hyojong’s words saying: ‘i wasn’t staring at your girlfriend, i was staring at the cute boy next to her!’. but decided to say something a little smarter.

 

“we get it, dawnie. you’re whipped for your crazy ass girlfriend, so you don’t need to worry about me liking her.” hongseok retorted, only to get his friends laughing like the loud bunch they were. yeah, hongseok loved his friends, but they can be annoying and kind of assholes on more occasions than others. he’d always considered himself one of the more well mannered boys of his frat group.

 

“then who else were you staring at, the gay boy that reportedly sucked professor han’s dick during lunch?” yuto’s deep voice was a little louder than the rest of them, catching a few people’s attention that got hongseok cringing. yuto, wooseok, and hyojong snickered at the comment.

 

on second thought, hongseok hated his friends.

 

“no, i wasn’t. i’m not into boys, you know this.” the slightly shorter man turned to look at yuto with furrowed brows, but the younger just chuckled lightly at hongseok’s irritated expression.

 

“it was a joke, hongseokkie.” shinwon answered for the japanese male, patting the boy on his shoulder with a sort of sympathy as if he saw right through hongseok. hongseok didn’t like to admit it, but out of all of his friends, shinwon was his favorite. he liked him maybe a little more than changgu. but shinwon had this calm and sort of supportive personality to him that the older liked a lot, and his other friends lacked it immensely. shinwon never made nasty comments or judged people harshly, and hongseok appreciated that. maybe almost fell in love with it, but he swore himself he’d never fall for one of his friends. that was one of his rules to being Secretly Gay in a Friend Group of Homophobic Frat Boys Because This is Korea and Stuff Like That Is Common™.

 

“alright, boys. i think it’s time for us all to head to practice,” the tallest, wooseok, awkwardly broke the silence and hongseok’s thoughts in one, and he suddenly realized they were standing in an (almost) empty hallway.

 

“oh, right.” hongseok just added to the still silence while clearing his throat, walking with his friends to the university’s locker rooms to get ready for football practice. the walk seemed very short, because his mind was running with all types of thoughts his head liked to come up with.

 

 

hongseok almost completely forgot about his encounter with his little boy crush since then.

 

︵‿︵‿︵

 

“i still don’t know why you’re so gone for that boy.” 

 

jo jinho sucked lightly on his lollipop, skimming over some small passage in his textbook, lying on his stomach. he’d been wanting to study for his exams coming up, so inviting his friend over while his roommate prepared snacks was a genius idea in his opinion.

 

“he’s so sweet, dude. you just haven’t met him yet because you hate all straight guys.” jinho’s best friend of his year, hyuna, snapped back while munching on some popcorn.

 

“not true, all straight guys hate me. it’s just that i can give head better than anyone else in this whole school.” jinho muttered, pouting his glossed lips as he scanned over a few words in his textbook. “i cant believe yang hongseok said hi to me. that asshole.”

 

“what did he ever do to you?” hyunggu’s sudden sweet voice broke through the two friend’s conversation, the duo looking over to see that the youngest had bowl of more popcorn in his hands. hyunggu sat in the middle of the floor in their dorm, sitting on a soft, fluffy rug that jinho insisted on buying when they went out shopping in their first year. 

 

“he’s just always trying to get my attention, like him and his other asshole friends are planning to beat me up as if we’re in middle school or something. i know that hongseok can look like a real nice guy, ki, but there’s a reason why he’s never actually had a real girlfriend.” jinho made a loud popping sound after disconnecting his lips from the lollipop, hyunggu and hyuna squinting their eyes at the older boy.

 

“and why is that?”

 

“because he’s actually an asshole that’s never deserved a girlfriend anyway. i swear he’s the worst of them all, even more than your ugly boyfriend, hyuna.” jinho answered as if matter-of-factedly, sticking his tongue out at the female.

 

“hyojong is anything but ugly, and hongseok would literally never hurt a fly! you’re lucky we’re literally your only friends here. hyunggu’s like, the only other gay guy here and no one even cares. it’s just you, jinho, that has a bit of a reputation.” hyuna commented, jinho dramatically gasping and clutching at his chest.

 

“since when was this about me? and i never actually sucked his dick, you know that! professor han is musty as fuck.” jinho scoffed, hyunggu giggling along at his over-exaggerating friend. “and wanna know who spread that rumor around? that ugly little boyfriend of yours, and his tall friend wooseok. it’s all his fault that half the school thinks i’m a fucking slut for old men.” jinho gently pushed hyuna, sliding off his bed to share the floor with hyunggu.

 

“that was before we were dating,” hyuna tried to reason, “and he said he apologized for it.”

 

“he didn’t seem very sorry,” hyunggu said quietly, causing jinho to bitterly laugh in his friend’s direction.

 

“he wasn’t.”

 

it was a bit silent after that, jinho getting lost in his thoughts of how fucked his second year actually was. it was just the beginning of october and jinho more or less had already thought of dropping out. he hoped that the homophobic bullying (aka the living essence of college in korea) would stop after people got over the fact that jinho was openly gay and looking for a boyfriend. he already dealed with so much in highschool, so he hoped to god that college would just be a little bit nicer. it only seemed to faze the rest of his classmates after year one, but not the ugly group of generic football/frat boys that the whole school loved. they were all tall, handsome, well built, and straight. they loved to tease jinho for the littlest little things... from poking the small boy’s ass with a pencil during class, or even spreading rumors about him having sex with one of the male teachers.

 

so yeah, college was a shitshow for jinho, and he pretty much only stuck to his two best friends and a few supportive friends from his classes. but everything wasn’t completely terrible for the boy, because the way he would distract himself from dirty homophobes was by working hard in school. he had outstanding grades, improving his self esteem and satisfaction of why he came to school in the first place. well, getting a boyfriend was one of the reasons but that could wait. 

 

“wait, so why do you hate hongseok?” hyuna snapped her newly painted fingers at jinho’s face, suddenly catching the oldest’s attention. it kind of made jinho irritated, but he nonetheless breathed out and answered the best he could. only because his friends were seemingly waiting for him to come alive again after a while.

 

“i’ve told you this a million times, but this hongseok guy one time did something to me at a party in our first year that made me hate his ugly ass more than anything. even if he lowkey has the best body out of all his friends but that’s beside the point.” jinho answered, rambling a bit in the end because his mind was still thinking about everything. he didn’t like how hongseok was just this seemingly nice guy when he did something that proved he wasn’t.

 

“what did he say?” hyunggu just asked the one million dollar question, looking at jinho with a curious expression. now, jinho’s never actually told anyone this, only because he didn’t really understand it either.

 

“well,” jinho started, grabbing a handful of popcorn from the bowl. his friends seemed very interested in his story. “i was invited to a frat party, and because i was an idiot first year, i walked into the party with yanan only to be left by myself with a bunch of alcohol and jocks.” he explained.

 

hyuna and hyunggu shared a look of confusion, seemingly thinking the same thing.

 

“and so i was a little drunk, but i felt someone staring at me. and guess who it was, bitches?”

 

“hongseok?” the two friends asked at the same time.

 

“yes, and he was checking me out like he was interested or some shit. i could tell he was fucking high, and he tried to touch me while laughing like it was some joke.” jinho looked back on the memory, the drunken face of yang hongseok replaying in his mind. it wasn’t necessarily bad if it were anybody else, but jinho was a boy and he was scared that someone like hongseok the jock would trick him into doing something dangerous or humiliating. “what’s bad is that i used to think hongseok was the only good one out of his friends, but that night proved he was just trying to mess with me.”

 

the silence afterwards was uncanny. hyuna and hyunggu were just looking at each other and between jinho, their eyes squinting and completely, utterly confused. it only made jinho bubble with agitation, not understanding why his friends were being so unresponsive. it was beginning to get annoying.

 

“so are you going to say anything?”

 

“oh, y-yeah.” hyunggu stammered, rubbing his nape anxiously. “it’s just that, we don’t really know what you mean.”

 

“it’s simple! hongseok was pretending to—“

 

“were any of the other jocks looking at you at the time?” hyuna cut him off.

 

“... no?”

 

“do any of the other guys say hi to you in the hallways? and i mean like without teasing you or using a sarcastic tone?” hyunggu asked.

 

“um, no?”

 

“hmm,” the two others hummed, and now jinho was the confused one.

 

“what?”

 

“nothing, it’s nothing.” hyuna reassured, leaving jinho with more questions than the amount he was asked in the past thirty minutes.

 

 

and if jinho was even more confused as to why hyuna suddenly had to leave early and how hyunggu would avoid his questions, was an understatement. jinho was so confused that he didn’t even want to try and hopelessly question his friend.

 

so he opened his textbook with a sigh, a now candyless lollipop stick hanging out of his lips. his friends definitely knew something or were trying to come up with something, and they weren’t telling jinho for a reason.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

jinho pried himself away from the sweaty male behind him, far too tired to stay in that postition forever. he was pretty sure the person was asleep, considering it easy to get out of his large embrace. just as the brunet was about to clean himself up, a rumbling voice broke through the silence like a bullet.

 

“wait,” the man said, voice rasping. his voice was laced with exhaustion and jinho couldn’t blame him. the younger boy combed his fingers through his damp hair once before turning to meet the man’s eyes. “don’t go, babe.”

 

jinho wanted to laugh. someone he’d just met about thirty minutes ago was already using a pet name on him, like they were going to be seeing each other again after this encounter. it was a simple match-up on some app jinho was playing around with, and he just wanted to fuck around with some random guy he’d never met. it wasn’t like there weren’t gay and hot guys on campus, but you never know what could happen. he doesn’t trust anyone for the reason that they could use him to their advantage. he already didn’t have the brightest reputation in the first place, and he definitely didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes he’s made in earlier years. so, jinho met up with some guy that lived a few towns away from uni, and was also a few years older than him.

 

“i told you this was a small hookup, but i’m flattered.” jinho said with a little sarcasm, looking at the floor beneath him. his long eyelashes fanned his rosy, slightly chubby cheeks, and he suddenly felt a little dirty when his tongue licked over his swollen lips.

 

“can we at least meet again? to do this, i mean?” the man sounded so hopeful, and jinho wanted to scoff to himself as he pulled up his briefs and sweatpants.

 

“i don’t know, maybe. only if you let me finish last.” jinho pulled a white tee over his head, no intention of seeing the man again.

 

he then looked over to see the man smiling at him. there were rare times of when someone jinho had sex with would be so keen on trying to get more than a good fuck. but jinho had other priorities, and sex wasn’t a main thing. there were just some occasional moments where jinho needed release or missed the feeling of a body next to his. not like he’s ever had a real boyfriend before, it’s just that jinho loved attention and the feeling of being wanted. and whenever he was having sex, jinho got both of those things immensely. too bad it was hard to find men in this area.

 

“so i’ll see you again?” the man approached for what seemed like the tenth time, and the younger wanted bang his head up against a wall, more so instead of the headboard from earlier.

 

“as i said before, maybe. but i’ve gotta get somewhere.” jinho kept it vague as he descended to the door, not wanting to reveal too much about himself to the man. “i’ll see you later.”

 

“oh, bye—“

 

the door closed a little harder than jinho intended, but he hoped that got his point across. he made a mental note to block the guy on his ‘dating’ app later. he let out a long sigh that he didn’t know he was holding in, and felt that he could breathe a little better than before. a room smelling of sex and some other home-like scents made it kind of suffocating for the small male, and he didn’t realize how glad he was to be out of there until he stepped out of the guy’s house. he looked around the neighborhood that a certain familiarity to it, but then jinho remembered that he grew up in seoul.

 

jinho hastily made his way to his car, checking in the window just to see if his bags and belongings were safe in there. to his relief, nothing was touched, so he climbed in and prepared himself to go back to campus. he didn’t want to be late to his last class of the day, so he had to get home quick and shower and find something better to wear. one of jinho’s strategies to having sex at random times was always to wear something that was easy to take off. he always needed to be quick about his surroundings, so that he can still get back to where he needs to be in a short amount of time. his usual sweatpants and t-shirt combo was perfect for him, and it apparently was also perfect for any person he met up with.

 

there were a few times where jinho’s friends from classes would ask why jinho looked like he just had the workout of his life. and to jinho, sex was his workout, not that he told anyone.

 

 

 

“i just needed to do a few things, no big deal.” jinho whispered back, trying to reassure the younger by not necessarily lying but also not necessarily telling the truth. even though he considered hwitaek a good friend, he still didn’t want anyone to know about what he did when he had a bit of free time. either it being something like studying for exams or hooking up with people out of town, all of that stuff stayed between jinho, hyuna, and hyunggu.

 

“like what?” hwitaek didn’t give up though, and he didn’t seem to be convinced by jinho’s vague reply.

 

“i had to spend my free time productively, of course.” the blonde kept his stalling going, purposely trying to get their working professor to tell them to stop talking. but today, mrs. lee looked awfully emerged in her lesson.

 

“yeah, but what were you doing?” jinho could tell that hwitaek was getting a little irritated from the lack of detail.

 

“i went to the gym,” a pause, “one off campus.”

 

hwitaek didn’t look convinced. he just furrowed his eyebrows and squinted his eyes while letting out a small ‘okay’. it didn’t sit right in jinho’s stomach, the way hwitaek only gave up after a few tries. he probably already guessed it by now, based on what jinho’s kind of known for in the school. even though most of the things said about him were just rumors, jinho hadn’t told anyone about his private appointments besides his closest friends. he wouldn’t call himself a slut like other people did, only because he was just occasionally doing a favor for himself like everyone else. it was getting hard to satisfy himself these days, so he needed other people to help him.

 

jinho means that he would definitely stop looking around for sex if he actually had a boyfriend, and that made jinho realize that he’s probably hooking up with people because he longed for someone to keep him company. he wanted someone to be soft with but also someone who can provide amazing sex. it was just what everyone wanted in a significant other. he just wanted someone to care about him, and fill that empty spot in his heart. but it was heard for him to find that, as everyone was an ass that didn’t care for jinho and his gay self anyway. it was unfair.

 

jinho didn’t even notice that his class was dismissed until after hwitaek tapped his shoulder to remind him. he realized that he was the only one sitting down in his seat, while the other thirty or so people were filing out of class. he guessed that he was thinking too much about how shitty his life was to not even realize that class was over.

 

so the brunet sighed, standing up and grabbing his backpack to make his way to outside of campus. on the way out, he caught sight of one of his other few friends walk towards him, and he waved to say hi.

 

“hey, jinho.” the girl greeted, smiling sweetly at him as they walked together the same route.

 

“sorn,” jinho started, looking over at the entrance. “there’s a new takeout place close to campus. do you wanna get fat with me and head back to my dorm?”

 

sorn laughed a pretty laugh, playfully hitting jinho’s shoulder.

 

“of course i do. and not to be that person,” sorn very obviously eyed jinho up and down a few times before looking ahead of herself, “but why do you look like you just got out of the shower?”

 

“because i practically did.”

 

“why? you didn’t look too bad this morning.”

 

“well, there’s a few things that i do in my free time that require showering after.” jinho joked, sorn looking at him with a frown. “you can interpret that whatever way you want, i don’t care.”

 

they both slipped into comfortable silence as they walked outside, on their way to the takeout place to order food. sorn was one of jinho’s few friends he’d met in college, and they bonded pretty quickly since their first encounter. they usually had their last class around the same time, so they met up after to go hang out often. unlike jinho’s other friends, sorn was pretty nice and warmed up to jinho in a very small amount of time. she was just that kind of person. hyunggu, on the other hand, was different. jinho met hyunggu they day he got assigned a dorm, and he wasn’t very excited because the small male already requested his own living space. but because the people on campus were assholes, they put jinho with another guy. jinho had seen hyunggu light up the first time he saw jinho, and he didn’t like it one bit. but when the taller told him he was gay too, things didn’t seem so bad.

 

“still looking for a boyfriend?” sorn asked, the pair making their way inside of the busy restaurant.

 

“sort of,” jinho scanned the menu hovering below the ceiling, “it’s just that everyone here is an ass. i don’t want anyone that’s out of this area because i just want someone young and around my age. it’s honestly so hard getting around campus when they only know you for one thing. i just want someone to cuddle with.”

 

“i feel you.” sorn replied. “everything sucks here.”

 

“and i’m surprised it’s not only me.”

 

they both let out a small laugh at that. 

 

“but for real, jinho,” sorn said, the line moving slow as ever, “i really wanna beat up some people because they don’t realize how fucking sweet you are.”

 

jinho just then realized he really did love his closest friends. he thought of sorn as a more chill and nice version of hyuna, so on more occasions than none, he would appreciate her presence a ton when she was there with him. 

 

“thanks, but i don’t want to get too sentimental in a place full of people trying to get their wonderful food. not that i don’t love the comment because it actually made me happy.” jinho talked, sorn giggling along. to ruin the moment, they suddenly felt big hands grip onto both of their smaller shoulders, and a deep laugh erupted from the person behind them.

 

“look what we have here.”

 

“go away, yuto.” sorn scowled, looking over to see if jinho was okay or not. even though it was just a small gesture, the younger was always observant of her friends. and to her relief, jinho seemed unbothered.

 

“why? we just came to say hi.” suddenly hyojong’s voice came in, and that was about to make jinho tick. he hated hyuna’s boyfriend almost as much as someone else, but he had to cut him some slack. the blonde had to deal with hyuna’s crazy ass all the time.

 

“and we came to order food, so we’d like it if you could go back to where you were before.” jinho looked behind himself to look disgusted in their way, “you’re holding up the line.”

 

“i’m sorry, but the line doesn’t wait for people like you.”

 

“excuse me?” jinho turned around to see three tall boys standing there in front of him and sorn, the tallest one, wooseok, hadn’t spoken yet.

 

“i said what i said, but you—“

 

“hey, guys! can you come back over here? we’re all deciding what we want because changgu’s paying.” another voice called from the distance, and jinho and sorn looked over to see another familiar boy over there. 

 

it was hongseok.

 

“oh, yeah. sure.” hyojong looked a little disappointed, oddly enough that hongseok smiled. he smiled. and jinho wanted to smack that smile off his face as the male briefly met his eyes. the three others made their way to where hongseok was standing with changgu and shinwon.

 

“aw, hongseok’s sweet.” sorn was smiling too, and it made jinho frown. why did she say that? why is hongseok suddenly the nicest person ever? “he stopped his friends from doing more shit to annoy us.”

 

“no shit.” jinho muttered catching hongseok’s lingering gaze on him for a split second before turning to the front of the line again.

 

“why are you like this? he did us a favor.” sorn sounded irritated, like she was thankful for what hongseok did. she must’ve been really dense.

 

“he’s just trying to suck up to me,” jinho scanned his nails, “that’s what everyone does before they do something terrible.”

 

sorn started laughing. laughing. it made the male even a little more agitated that no one believed him when he said that. he could’ve sworn it was true. ever since past high school experiences and that one frat party, jinho’s been almost certain that hongseok was just waiting for the right moment to strike at jinho and use him. now, the brunet would never admit it, but the tall male was pretty good at keeping it up. that was besides the point, and the reason why jinho had to watch his back every step of the day.

 

“trust me, sorn. i’ve seen this type of person enough in high school so—“

 

“but this isn’t high school jinho. this is college. there’s a difference.” sorn told him like she was his mother. “one; that everyone is older and there are some responsible and accepting people here. and two; they’re all coming from different backgrounds. you have no idea where all the football players came from, more so where hongseok came from. you have no idea where hwitaek or hyunggu is from. just because you grew up here and go to college here doesn’t mean that everyone’s from seoul. you need to think about that.” sorn finished off with a click of her tongue, and that left jinho in silence.

 

it was a lot to take in, what sorn said. it made sense, but it also was too risky. jinho was trying to lift himself off of the low place he was in high school, and the risk falling to that spot again in college could break him. but he also shouldn’t be a pussy, and that’s practically what sorn was calling him. maybe he was too scared to let himself go like that, giving no fucks. it didn’t seem too bad of an idea, now that he finally thought about it. jinho caught himself looking back at hongseok once more, who was talking to his friend shinwon. once the football player realized jinho was giving him an obvious gaze, the smaller frowned and turned back to the front of the room.

 

is this what his friends were hiding from him? the fact that hongseok might actually not be after him?

 

it didn’t seem too off, and it got him thinking for the rest of the day.

 

 

Chapter Text

kino <3

[11:38 AM]

i need to head out to the store this morning,

i won’t i home for a few hours.

ly 

sent.

 

 

 

great.

 

jinho just wanted to spend his free saturday afternoon in his dorm, alone and relaxing. he wanted to be lazy and eat tons of food, but now hyunggu gave his weekly grocery shopping to the older. hyunggu knew how much jinho’s saturdays meant to him, as they were pretty much his only free day of the week. maybe it was an emergency, but he didn’t know why hyunggu asked him. jinho can’t go food shopping for shit. the brunet may love his friends, but he didn’t want to do their tasks for them. maybe it was just this one time, so he shrugged it off as he checked his social media. he didn’t want to leave until about an hour after the text was sent.

 

jinho scrolled down his instagram to see a few other students’ posts, skimming over them without much interest. they were just generic photos of semi-attractive students that went to his school, and their pictures somehow got an abomination of likes.  he was halfway through listening some ballad tune on his on his phone before a video popped up on his feed. he heard voices and some other noises from the video, so he paused the song to hear what it was saying. it was a video of a guy from jinho’s school running with something in his hand. the boy had an idea what this was, but he caught himself staring at the visible muscles in the guy’s arms as he clutched the thing in his arm. it made jinho realize how lonely he was lately, but much to his dismay, he saw the username and instantly frowned.

 

he should’ve guessed it anyway. there was a tall and muscular guy running with a football, yelling to other people about something jokingly. he was smiling and sweat was shining across his forehead, and that only made it ten times even more obvious on who it was. it was yang hongseok, one of the players on the football team. and apparently the worst one of all, according to jinho. the small male scanned his eyes to the caption on the post, some sarcastic phrase about winning for someone he loved. did hongseok even have a girlfriend? jinho caught himself questioning while lurking on the post too long. he also realized he just liked it, and felt a sudden panic wash through him. it was all too late anyway, so jinho just decided to fuck it for once and enter hongseok’s profile.

 

hongseok had an exceptional amount of followers that jinho envied, as the brown haired male only let a few friends and people he didn’t know/he’d met online follow his account. but hongseok seemed pretty popular amongst all of them. he had no selcas posted on his feed, but there were pictures of him at parties or on campus with his friends. there was one video that was also very recent, and it was hongseok’s process in getting a tattoo. he got it on his bicep, and jinho was surprised he’d never seen it before. it was of a rose, and jinho caught himself liking that post too.  

 

jinho quickly left the post and started looking through hongseok’s ratio of football players and girls he hadn’t met, and he realized that hongseok was the only football player that followed him. to add to that, hongseok was the only one that jinho followed. it made the boy squint for a second, checking to see if he was looking at his screen correctly. it just added to the list of weird incidents where hongseok would just show up in jinho’s life all of a sudden. and ever since his second year began, hongseok’s been showing up more and more often.

 

having enough of his scavenger hunt, jinho shut off his phone completely before rubbing his eyes, deciding that going food shopping earlier might be a better idea.

 

 

 

 

the grocery store was surprisingly pretty empty on a saturday afternoon, so jinho was more than relieved he wouldn’t be bothered while shopping for food. he was sent a list from hyunggu while driving, so jinho decided to try his best and get what hyunggu usually got. the list wasn’t very descriptive, as the younger of the two wasn’t aware of the fact that jinho didn’t have much food shopping experience. either way, the older would try his best.

 

he made his way around the long and confusing aisles, eyes skimming through every small thing while pushing his oversized cart through. he was humming a song as he went, keeping his feet tapping as the rhythm. jinho never really wore makeup to school or out, only because he’d get unwanted attention for it. it wasn’t like he did much anyway, just a small layer of lip gloss and a few other things that were barely noticeable. jinho lacked a lot of self confidence ever since middle school, though he tries hard to build his self esteem. it was one of his many insecurities that he never liked talking about. he barely acknowledged it either, only thinking about it when he wasn’t in his best state.

 

jinho’s mind trailed on something before his eyes caught one of the things that was on hyunggu’s list. it was a ramen pack that the two of them practically survived off of when classes were too hectic. he grabbed more than enough off the shelf to feed him and hyunggu for at least two weeks. the brunet smiled intently before strolling along, still humming a small song as he went. every now and then jinho would check the list to see if he was missing anything, and skipping the ones that he didn’t recognize. he figured hyunggu could just go shopping later, so he didn’t have to worry about buying everything.

 

and right as jinho made his way to a section full of spices he didn’t need, he was about to make a note that going food shopping wasn’t all too bad. yeah, some people looked at him weird for the outfit he was wearing or a small thing like his nose ring, but that was just how things were whenever jinho stepped into the public eye. he wouldn’t even call his outfit half bad, it was just a white tee with sweatpants. maybe it was the brand, or how jinho self-trimmed his shirt so it was just below his belly button. he didn’t know which it was, and he tried not to be bothered when someone rudely stared at him for more than two seconds.

 

he also tried to ignore the fact he felt like someone was staring at him while he looked through some spices. it was honestly kind of annoying, and if someone really was checking him out in a grocery store, he might as well confront them and tell them to leave him the fuck alone.

 

“jinho! jo jinho!”

 

oh god.

 

jinho instantly turned around from the spices to see who or what called his name, but he was met with his shopping cart. the voice was familiar, and it made the small boy’s stomach churn. as he flipped his head around to see who called his name, he met eyes with the person who he was dreading to see in general.

 

yang hongseok. again. for the millionth time.

 

“jinho,” hongseok smiled weirdly, almost awkwardly. jinho just squinted as he eyed the football player who’d he just stalked a little more than an hour ago. he wanted question everything, as to why yang hongseok was at a grocery store and why he was saying hi to jinho. why was hongseok literally everywhere jinho went? 

 

“hi...”

 

hongseok greeted quietly, raising a hand up to wave at the smaller. it made jinho want to grimace, but he restrained himself from being disrespectful. even if hongseok was being fucking creepy and weird right now, jinho had to return the gesture.

 

“um... hi.” jinho furrowed his brows, looking at how hongseok’s face was beginning to turn pink and how he slightly looked startled when the older said hello back. it was something that jinho couldn’t really put his finger on, and he didn’t want to dwell on it anymore. ever since he’d talked to his friends about that one time, everything about hongseok has been so questionable. jinho kept his gaze on the taller for a moment longer before awkwardly twisting his cart around and walking off in the opposite direction. he suddenly lost interest in going food shopping.

 

 

 

“i-i can help...you.”

 

hongseok felt like the biggest idiot ever. he’d just reacted in the worst way possible while being in front of his love interest, and he couldn’t be more embarrassed. yes, he was aware of how red he looked. and yes, he was pretty sure jinho was uncomfortable because of him. that made it even worse because before hongseok could redeem himself, jinho just turned around and left the aisle. it was all over in a few seconds, and hongseok’s heart and everything was just sunken. he felt stupid and he cursed himself a million times because he’s pretty sure he’d never fucked up that badly in front of jinho. hongseok was even surprised jinho responded to him, but he guessed it was because they weren’t in school.

 

long story short, hongseok was feeling a little giddy that day because jo jinho liked his most recent posts. he knew he shouldn’t have cared, but it was jinho. jinho half the time acted like hongseok never existed. he was never sure what got the small male hating him that much, but maybe it was the fact that he was a jock/frat boy. maybe it was the fact his friends were assholes. it didn’t really matter, because all of those reasons made him upset. he thought he was better than most of his friends, and he knows that jinho’s friends like him. but the small brunet hated him and he never knew why. it all just happened suddenly. now that hongseok thought more of it, jinho probably didn’t even notice he liked the football player’s post. he wouldn’t have been surprised if jinho didn’t notice.

 

and even though hongseok’s actions in the grocery store were undeniably embarrassing, he still felt like he accomplished something by even just seeing him somewhere other than on campus. it was probably the first time jinho’s actually responded to one of his greetings. that was enough to get hongseok feeling better about his relationship status with jinho. the smaller did look a little uncomfortable though, and he walked away while ignoring hongseok’s last set of words. but everything that happened today was just enough to get him feeling better after always being ignored.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“you wouldn’t believe what happened while i was shopping today.”

 

it was later that night, jinho with his two best friends in hyuna’s solo dorm. that was the group’s favorite place to hang out, as the room was quite organized and spacey. hyuna was lucky enough to get her own place when she moved in, but she told her friends that she fought the main office for it. jinho kind of believed it, considering the type of person hyuna was. but sometimes jinho didn’t really like coming over sometimes, only because of the stuff she talked about was always what her and hyojong did when they they were alone.

 

now that was something jinho and hyunggu could never forget hyuna talking about, but that’s another story for another day.

 

“what happened?” hyunggu asked, still braiding hyuna’s hair while the older scrolled on her phone. since it was saturday, the group could do whatever and push all their homework to sunday. 

 

“i saw yang hongseok at the store today. he tried talking to me but i lowkey ignored him and left.” jinho explained.

 

“what’s so crazy about that? you see him everywhere.” hyuna sighed, honestly looking like she wasn’t interested at all. she had a long day, so first thing she wanted to do after hyunggu was done braiding her hair was sleep.

 

“it was weird because he was like super awkward while talking to me. i didn’t know if he had a problem or something but it was more off than normal. maybe it’s because i said hi back or whatever.”

 

“you said hi back?” hyunggu looked slightly exasperated.

 

“yeah, it was the nice thing to do i guess. and no one was there so i wouldn’t think something bad would happen anyway. he was wearing a simple outfit too, like he just got out of bed. also his hair was a little messy and he looked a little tired—“

 

“jinho,” hyuna cut him off, and the older realized he was rambling about hongseok again. he then felt heat crawl up his neck at the thought of being that observant when talking about him. “we didn’t ask for a full essay about how you thought hongseok looked kinda hot today.”

 

“he did not! i was just giving details. anyways, i didn’t mention that i found out he’s the only football player on campus that follows me on instagram, and i somehow follow him back.” jinho tried to swerve the conversation a different way, and it seemed to work.

 

“that is weird,” hyunggu said like he was in deep thought, “if he’s really reaching that far to do something to you, than i don’t know it could mean. either he’s whipped for you or he just keeps popping up in your life coincidentally.”

 

“i don’t even know if it’s happening by accident anymore...” jinho said honestly. “it just keeps happening to a point where it’s kind of annoying. like the gay gods are trying to tell me that i’ll never have a boyfriend. maybe there’s a reason why a straight guy keeps popping up everywhere, and it’s to tell me i’ll never have a guy as hot and tall as him.”

 

well, there he goes again. the rambling. the brown haired male always knew he had a rambling problem, especially when he was thinking too hard about something. and lately, he’d been thinking too hard about his whole situation with hongseok. for the past few days, it seemed that everyone around him mentioned at least something about boyfriends, the football team, or hongseok. it was honestly getting annoying, and jinho kind of hated the fact that his friends were avoiding him about these things. most of the time they’d just listen to his rants and nod their heads, looking at each other like they were scheming something.

 

“did you just call yang hongseok hot?” hyuna fake gasped, breaking jinho from his thought.

 

“i mean, i think he’s hot too so don’t worry.” hyunggu added.

 

jinho just looked at his friends while pursing his lips, not really knowing what to say. he technically did call hongseok hot, so there was nothing else he could say to lie and tell them he didn’t. they’d already  heard it themselves. and hyuna seemed to brighten up at the way jinho didn’t respond, taking it into her own advantage.

 

“awe,” hyuna cooed, and the older was about to slap her for not using the correct honorific. “little jinho’s finally coming around.”

 

that statement bubbled under jinho’s skin, but he still kept quiet. he didn’t want to mess with hyuna and just try to let her keep going. he never liked getting in useless fights with her because hyunggu would often be the one to break them off.

 

“and he’s embarrassed because...” hyuna paused to think for a moment, eyes lighting up when she found the right words, “he thinks a straight man attractive! what is he going to do?” her voice was so exaggerated that it hurt, and jinho couldn’t help but say something.

 

“can you shut up? hongseok may be slightly attractive but he definitely is not boyfriend material. he’s a fucking football player, and he’d probably get kicked off the team if they knew he was dating me.” the small male spat back, trying not to pay attention how his ears got warmer and warmer. 

 

“keep telling yourself that, jo jinho. tell us that while hongseok’s busting his nuts on your face.” hyuna giggled, watching jinho get even more red and undeniably irritated with her friend. he promised he wouldn’t start a fight, so he breathed out a stressed sigh. hyunggu was watching the whole ordeal silently, as he never really liked to engage in this stuff unless it got too intense. he was sort of the peace maker of the trio, and that usually kept hyuna and jinho from ripping their heads off.

 

“you seriously need to shut the fuck up.” jinho said quietly, the anger visible on his burning face. “i don’t want to have hongseok’s babies explode on my face.”

 

“okay,” the female shrugged, raising her eyes while she looked back down on her phone. it made jinho even more upset that she gave him a one word answer, especially if it sounded like she didn’t believe him one bit. and the fact that hyunggu was just sitting there dumbly and not backing him up was making it worse. his friends knew that he hated hongseok more than most people! they knew that he didn’t want to associate with any straight dumbasses in his school, so why were they just sitting there, and why was hyuna having a disagreeing argument with him? it made no sense to the brunet, and he didn’t even know if he could believe himself either.

 

done with this whole situation, jinho stood up and walked towards the door with his bag.

 

“i’m going back to the dorm.” he said, not loud enough for his friends to hear but they still heard it. 

 

“i’ll bring some food for you!” hyunggu called as jinho was about to walk out, and he could’ve just forgotten about his anger right there. hyunggu was just sweet, and it just made jinho even more upset that he couldn’t find a boyfriend himself. but he didn’t have time to dwell on the fact that his friend was amazing, so he slammed the door behind him after mumbling a quiet thank you.

 

it was over just like that

and the way back to his dorm was silent, the feeling of people eyeing him or looking at him was feeling way heavier than it usually felt.

Chapter Text

hongseok hated parties.

 

 

 

they were loud, full of alcohol and drugs, people trying to ‘get it on’, and just the whole aura of them made him feel worn out. sure, he did like hanging out with his friends and getting drunk, but the heat, music, and crowding was the part that made it most un-enjoyable. he liked hanging out with a few people in a reserved area just for them, and thanks to being loved by pretty much everyone in college, him and his friends had their own reserved area in the basement. so hongseok guessed that he didn’t hate this party as much as others.

 

it was a sunday night, everyone in the house aware that classes started early tomorrow, but they didn’t care. hongseok was halfway down his glass of whiskey when he saw hyojong and hyuna walk in. hyojong was wearing a black t-shirt and jeans, while hyuna shows up wearing a full on dress. they were late to the party, but it wasn’t like anyone noticed. hongseok was just more observant than the others. and he questioned the reason why hyuna looked so different next to her boyfriend.

 

“hey,” hyojong greeted before sitting down, hyuna sitting after him. his hand was still wrapped around her waste, pulling her in close. as much as hongseok didn’t really like hyuna, he did envy their relationship. hyuna brought the best out of hyojong, which was the sweet and actually caring side of him. everyone knew that under hyojong’s humor and sarcastic tone, he was really a nice person. hongseok learned this during first year, after one night yuto was having trouble with something and they all had to come over and help. hongseok thought about how the blonde was probably scared of his own personality, when it was actually one of his most charming point. 

 

going back to paying attention, hongseok watched as hyuna didn’t greet any of the boys, but looked straight back at hongseok. hongseok knew that he was a bit tipsy, but he could’ve sworn that hyuna, with her red lips and blue eye contacts, looked straight at hongseok. she had this look in her eyes that the younger couldn’t identify, and by the time she looked away it felt like it never happened. he didn’t know if she was greeting him a certain way or was being weird. either way, it made him a little anxious.

 

 

 

being sandwiched between shinwon and changgu was getting a little uncomfortable after a while. he still dealt with it though, talking to his friends without much interest and a bit of alcohol in his system. he tried to ignore how hyuna would give him a sudden glance whenever hyojong wasn’t looking, and it made him feel uneasy. he couldn’t possibly think she was hitting on him, only because he knew that the brunet and her boyfriend were joined at the hip. and it wasn’t like hongseok would be into it, because of his little inconvenience. 

 

“it wasn’t that hard anyway,” changgu talked, hongseok not really knowing what he was saying but going along with it. “i just had to type up a couple things and check it before turning it in. you shouldn’t worry about that assignment anyway, since i know how smart you are.”

 

“thanks for the compliment, changgu, but you’re just saying that because you know i suck ass at everything except football.” shinwon responded, almost not even reacting to the way hongseok was in between them. and since the oldest suddenly felt awkward, he cleared his throat and made sure to turn to his friends so he wouldn’t see hyuna. 

 

he continued listening to their pointless conversations for a little while longer, letting his own mind drift. he remembered how he got scolded last night on the field for being distracted. he’s been drifting more often lately, the more he thought about it. he honestly didn’t know why, but maybe it was because school was getting a bit harder around this time and his friends weren’t always there. hongseok just recently realized how he would pretty much only talk to shinwon and changgu more than once a day. his other friends, though, were quite distant and only communicated with him during practices. it wasn’t like that at the beginning of their first year, but maybe it was because hongseok was just getting more antsy. and according to their group, composure was important.

 

“hey, boys.” a sudden feminine voice cut through the trio’s conversation, and they all looked up to see hyuna standing above them. she honestly looked a little intimidating from up there, and hongseok could’ve sworn he saw changgu gulp.

 

“what is it?” shinwon asked suspiciously, because hyuna wasn’t looking at him or changgu. she was looking at hongseok. “where’s dawnie?”

 

“he’s in the bathroom,” for some reason, her eyes didn’t trail one bit. she was still looking at hongseok, and the boy felt a little exposed then. his friends looked very confused as to why kim hyuna, hyojong’s very loyal girlfriend, was just eyeing hongseok down like she was interested in him. hongseok was beginning to question it too, avoiding eye contact because it was too risky. he was itching to tell her sorry, i’m not into girls but he knew better than that. “i need to talk to hongseok,” a pause, “alone.”

 

oh, so that’s what she wanted.

 

shinwon and changgu hesitated, looking between hongseok and hyuna before complying. they didn’t even have to say anything before agreeing to hyuna’s orders, and hongseok wondered what hyuna’s impact had on a lot of other people. she had this sort of strong willed aura with her, and that’s probably what made her so intimidating. hongseok didn’t mind it, really, but it also kind of scared him.

 

once she sat down, hongseok felt that they were both able to privately converse. the male was nonetheless nervous, questioning, and probably avoiding hyuna’s wide gaze because she was all that frightening.

 

 

“so.”

 

 

her voice startled hongseok, the football player jumping a bit in his seat before calming down. his heart went up a few beats, but he took a deep breath before trying to fix his posture. “so...”

 

“i’ve been hearing about you a lot lately,” hyuna scanned her nails, pursing her cherry red lips before looking at hongseok like she was waiting for a reaction. but hongseok just furrowed his brows, looking at her with confusion. is that all she needed to say?

 

“from who?” hongseok dared to ask, but it was the only question that was on his mind. he tried to think of all the people that may talk to hyuna about him, but he then remembered how popular she really was amongst the school. she practically knew everybody, so that would make it even harder to guess who she was implying.

 

the next sound that left hyuna’s mouth got hongseok jumping again. he cursed the fact that his thoughts drifted that easily, and that he could get scared that easily. the redhead let out an exaggerated scoff, and maybe a small chuckle, but then looked hongseok dead in the eye. “oh, please, hongseokkie. don’t act like you don’t know who it is.”

 

“... but i don’t,” it was probably the alcohol in his system that got hongseok so brain dead. he seriously didn’t know what hyuna was talking about, and didn’t know if he should keep questioning her or just let her do all of the beating around the bush. why can’t she just tell him? was it really important? he didn’t have time for her to be so vague when she had a boyfriend that could take their closeness the wrong way any second now.

 

“your little boy crush?” she muttered, but her voice was a bit teasing in that sense. still, hongseok didn’t really understand, as hyuna was being godly quiet. he squinted at her, like she had three heads or something.

 

“what?”

 

hyuna rolled her eyes. she scoffed again, suddenly grabbing hongseok’s larger and tanner hand and pulling it towards her. he watched her hold it with both her hands, slamming it gently on her lap, as if a supportive gesture. he felt himself get clammy.

 

“you know, my best friend? i know you like jinho, jo jinho. i’m not stupid.” hyuna looked annoyed that hongseok didn’t get it at first, but when she saw hongseok’s next expression, she couldn’t help but smile.

 

 

on the contrary, hongseok’s blood ran cold. did he just hear correctly? did hyuna just say she knew that hongseok liked jinho? that he was gay? all thoughts ran through his mind one by one, and he felt his heart beat crazily fast and his stomach drop to the floor. how did hyuna know? does jinho know? the only secret that hongseok wanted to keep from everyone could possibly be out. hyuna could tell people if they don’t already know, and maybe because hongseok likes jinho, that’s why the older’s avoiding him. it would make sense. hongseok felt himself get a little numb, suddenly hearing hyuna’s voice over his deafening thoughts.

 

“since you’re not answering, i’m going to take that as a yes.” hyuna said, waving her hand in front of hongseok’s frozen face. he was breathing a bit heavily, skin a bit paler than before. right as he snapped out of his little trance, he looked straight at the female.

 

“how do you know?”hongseok lowered his voice, moving in closer to hyuna so she could hear him. he honestly prayed for hyojong to come back as soon as possible, wanting to forget whatever hyuna said.

 

“because it’s super obvious, dumbass!” she said like it wasn’t as big a deal as it was. “jinho just kept telling us about how you would be everywhere. it was honestly really annoying, so hyunggu and i practically guessed it. and i guess we were right, you are gay.”

 

wait, he talks about me?

 

“yeah, like... more than anyone should.” hyuna responded after, and hongseok then realized he said his thoughts out loud. his mind was racing almost as fast as his heart was, just the thought of jinho talking about him got him feeling a little excited. scared for what he would say, but excited.

 

“does anyone else know?” hongseok hoped to the gay gods that no one knew, he really wasn’t ready for this now. not when life was being pretty bad at the moment.

 

“no.” hyuna said simply and calmly, “i didn’t tell anyone because... well i know you have a reputation.”

 

“thanks.” hongseok awkwardly smiled, looking down at the floor, relieved. there was a small pause.

 

“but actually, now that i know you’re whipped for him...” hyuna’s tone physically turned a bit sweeter, “i wouldn’t mind if you got with him. you’d be great for him, not to be nice or anything. but you’d fit him perfectly, i know it. i just don’t know how you’re attracted to that type of handful.”

 

to say hongseok’s heart fluttered at those statements was definitely not a lie. hyuna practically just complimented him and said that he’d be good for his love interest. jinho. just the thought of being with jinho was so out of reach and now it could be right in front of him. all because hyuna found out through context clues like the secretly smart girl she is. 

 

“thanks, hyuna. but i doubt i’d be with him..” hongseok spoke his thoughts, still looking at the floor. there was pink tinted on his cheeks. “he hates my guts.”

 

there was a whole minute of silence, and hongseok almost thought that hyuna didn’t hear him. or if she was agreeing, he didn’t know. the whole thought of something to come out of hongseok and jinho was scary, because he thought about how all of campus would react. there really weren’t gay couples in uni, and if there were, they weren’t popular among others. hongseok wondered what would happen if his teammates and friends found out he was gay. if they found out he was possibly with jo jinho. it made him shiver, and thank god hyuna responded before he cringed even more.

 

“you know,” she began, suddenly standing up to look down at hongseok again from above. “i could talk to jinho about it. i can mention how you might like him and he could consider it, since he’s been dying for a boyfriend lately.”

 

hongseok considered this. he took in every word hyuna said. sure, it was risky as hell because he could get outted and/or jinho could hate him even more, but this was hyuna. yeah, she does stupid things sometimes but this was practically the first time she tried doing something good for someone else other than herself. so maybe it could end up okay. hongseok decided between a few more things, finally looking up at the pale girl above him.

 

“okay, i’m fine with that.” he gave her a lopsided smile, and that was all hyuna needed before nodding and turning away slowly, making her way back to the other couch. she spared one more glance at hongseok before hyojong walked in timely, like it was planned or something. she smirked as her boyfriend walked in, him sitting down next to her as hongseok looked away at something else. and that’s when hongseok felt regret fill throughout his body.

 

 

and it it was over just like that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

jinho wasn’t in a very good mood today.

 

 

he spent the whole night working on an assignment that was due the next day, because it was the beginning of the year and procrastination is a thing. he only got three and a half hours of sleep, yes, he counted, and he was almost late to his first class of the day. sorn and yanan questioning why he looked like a zombie that day didn’t help either. he just wanted to be left alone, looking dead and not wanting to be aware of it half the time.

 

lunch was in about ten minutes, and his lit class was just finishing up some work that the professor had given them. he felt himself dozing off as he wrote down a few things, the classroom getting blurry every time he blinked. he was honestly a little upset too, a minor headache and dry mouth itching to go away. since it was before lunch and he only had two classes left after, he decided to let himself have the smallest nap he could have.

 

the bell shook him awake, and so did a small chuckle out of yanan. he looked up to see his chinese friend standing by the door as people filed out of the classroom, waiting for jinho to get up.

 

“come on, sleepy-head.” yanan teased, and jinho could tell he was laughing before. the brunet felt his face get hot, and immediately got up and grabbed his bag. he hoped he didn’t look stupid or anything.

 

the walk to lunch was weird. both yanan and jinho didn’t know where they were going, they just walked out of the school planning to meet somewhere with hyunggu, hwitaek, hyuna, and sorn. and because they didn’t know where to go, yanan had to bring it up.

 

“so,” he started, walking a slower pace so jinho could keep up with him. “where are we going exactly?”

 

“i don’t know.” jinho answered simply, taking a deep breath while rubbing one of his eyes. “i have a feeling they’re at that one takeout place.”

 

yanan made humming noise in understanding, continuing to walk with jinho the way there.

 

 

 

once they reached the place, they saw all four of their friends sitting at a table waiting for them. a lot of students came to this place at this time, so it was surprising that they still had seats open for them.

 

“hey guys,” sorn greeted, “we bought you stuff you might like. i don’t know, just whatever.” she shrugged.

 

“perfect.” yanan exclaimed, opening the foam box to see some shitty food in there. it was the epitome of types of food the students could eat these days, so it was just right up their alley.

 

“my day kinda sucked,” hyunggu suddenly said, shrugging. the group usually just talked about whatever they wanted, since no one really started a conversation or mentioned anything really important. it was just how it worked for them. “my mom’s in the hospital and of course no one told me except my younger sister. she’s the only one in the family i can still talk to.” 

 

sorn pouted, looking up from her food to look at hyunggu. “that sucks, ki. i hope you get to see your mom at some point.”

 

“i hope so too.” the brunet flashed a sad smile, the table all feeling pity for the youngest. “i haven’t talked to my dad in almost two years..”

 

“i’ve been there,” jinho said quietly, looking at how hyunggu had a sad smile on his face as well. the group all cared about each other more than anything, and that was one thing that jinho actually liked about college. he had friends that loved him here.

 

“you guys are like my actual family.” hwitaek seemed to read jinho’s mind, pausing. “i hope you get to see your mom, hyunggu. i know how hard it is to deal with that kind of stuff.”

 

“thank you.” hyunggu said, easily picking into his food.

 

small chatter was brewing while the group ate, taking their lunch time efficiently since the day was slow and they all just wanted it over. after about five or so minutes of all of them talking, it took a minute for jinho to realize hyuna was sitting with them. she hadn’t been saying anything this whole time, which was unlikely of her. she was just quietly eating her food, minding her own business. and right as jinho was about to tune in on whatever hwitaek was talking about, hyuna’s voice broke through when there was a small pause of silence. go figure.

 

“sorry to interrupt,” she apologized, which also isn’t like her, “but i’ve been meaning to tell you something.” she was looking at jinho.

 

all eyes turned to her, then where she was looking, like they all knew what she was about to say. it made a strange feeling form in the eldest’s gut, and he didn’t like it one bit.

 

“what is it?” jinho asked cluelessy. he looked a bit innocent then, and he heard yanan snicker a little from right beside him.

 

“i just wanted to tell you about the party i went to a few nights ago.” hyuna simply said, but jinho was still confused.

 

“the one with hyojong?”

 

“yup, and the whole football team.” she declared, a small smirk playing at her lips. jinho could almost see where this was going, and just furrowed his brows slightly.

 

“what about it?” he took a slow bite.

 

 

“i just wanted to tell you that hongseok likes you. like.... really likes you.” hyuna replied, and jinho had to stop mid chew to process what she said.

 

“what?”

 

she scoffed. “i mean that last night hongseok admitted to liking you at the party. hyunggu and i pretty much guessed it by all of the stuff you’ve been telling us so when he said it i wasn’t surprised.”

 

jinho was having a little bit of trouble. was he hearing correctly? hongseok might like him? it didn’t seem right, but so many more thoughts began to race to his mind, and he started to get frustrated. he turned to hyunggu with a frown plastered on his face.

 

“you knew about this too?” he asked, and hyunggu nodded slowly, unsurely. it only made jinho even more irritated, only because this was the thing his friends were hiding from him? 

 

so, hongseok supposedly liked jinho, but the thought of that seemed so unlikely it didn’t make sense. was hyuna lying? she didn’t look like she was lying or anything. and supposedly hyunggu knew about this too. jinho wasn’t really upset about the fact that a football player may like him, a small and gay boy who literally has nothing going for them. he’s just upset that hyuna and hyunggu never told him. upset that they could be lying to them. but maybe hongseok actually does like him and he’s just too scared to tell him. it wouldn’t seem off, but why would hongseok like boys? 

 

on second thought, jinho was mad about everything.

 

“look, baby, calm down.” hyuna told the older, he must’ve been turning red from irritation. he didn’t want to calm down then, because he was already exhausted from lack of sleep, and the fact that his two best friends were hiding such a stupid secret from him for a long time. “i know that a hot guy like hongseok is a lot to take in, but—“

 

“shut the fuck up.” jinho glared at hyuna. she closed her mouth for not even a second before beginning to talk again. 

 

“look, i know it may seem weird for a football player with a rep to like you would be off, but trust me jinho.” she raised her hands beside her head, “he likes you.”

 

“based on the things you told us, it was already kind of obvious he was trying to get your attention and shit. don’t you find it kinda weird that he was always saying hi or noticing you in the halls?” hyunggu said, and jinho still wasn’t having it.

 

“you guys don’t get it, though.” jinho suddenly felt like leaving. “he’s trying to mess with me and i know it. i know i should be believing you guys or something but you’ve been keeping it a secret from me for-“

 

“hongseok told me to tell you this, dumbass.” hyuna deadpanned, “he told me to tell you he liked you so that maybe you guys could have something in the future. happy now? it wasn’t our fault we didn’t tell you sooner. i just found out two days ago that it was true.”

 

“why would i want to be with yang hongseok?”

 

“because he’s fucking good boyfriend material. you’re so lucky he’s gay. i’d tap that so hard if i wasn’t dating hyojong.” 

 

“i’m leaving.”

 

jinho suddenly stood up, grabbing his bag and his food while wrapping it up, walking off and ignoring yanan’s calls. he was done listening to his friends (mostly hyuna), and he didn’t want to talk about hongseok anymore. he was honestly too upset by everything right now, as it was such a bad day to begin with. he stormed his way back to campus, almost running to his dorm to just sit and maybe do his homework to blow off some steam. he needed to be thinking about something else, but all he could think about was what his friends were saying.

 

as he walked down his hallway to his room, he suddenly halted from the fast pace he was walking with. he felt a big mass knock him down and land on his butt as he fell from walking into someone. he dropped his container of food, and some of it spilled onto the semi-unstained carpet. he felt a little angry from that alone, but when he looked up to see who the hell he walked into, he felt his heart drop.

 

“you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” he said out loud, and the person standing above him was of course yang fucking hongseok of all people.

 

“are you okay?” he asked surprisingly politely, and jinho ignored the urge to grab the hand that wanted to help him up. he just pushed passed the football player and stood up on his own. he left the  container of food on the floor for hongseok to take it, because he was upset and didn’t care if hongseok got in trouble for spilling food on the carpet. jinho jogged past the taller hotly, and hongseok watched in confusion about what just happened. he bent down to clean up some of the food on the floor, but didn’t really know what just happened.

 

 

jinho made sure to slam his door behind himself, throwing his bag onto the floor and jumping straight on his bed to calm himself down. he couldn’t stop thinking, and he just wanted to go to sleep right there. but for some reason, he didn’t feel tired then.

 

he just wanted his day, and maybe the rest of college, to be over.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

being locked up in your dorm for almost four days isn’t fun at all. jinho didn’t know why he hadn’t really left his dorm since tuesday, but he felt it was what he deserved and he needed to stay away from hyuna. and maybe hongseok. but he tried not to think of the football player, though it was admittedly difficult.

 

ever since hyuna mentioned the thing about him liking jinho, things started to make a little sense. the reason why hongseok would say hi to him in the hallways and respect him more than anyone else made sense now. jinho hated himself for considering the fact that hongseok may like him. he felt selfish when he thought of that.

 

hyunggu was at least smart enough to not bother jinho about what happened a few days ago. he knew that his roommate still hung out with hyuna and probably talked about him, but as long as he didn’t hear it, he didn’t care.

 

going to classes was pretty hard too, considering he’d been trying to avoid so many people at once. he kind of wanted to avoid life right now.

 

he was just just so confused. how come that once he figures out someone might want to become his boyfriend (a thing he’s been trying to find for months), he freezes up and doesn’t want one anymore? he felt like so many things were going on at once, yet it was just one problem. yang hongseok may actually like him, and he’s just being stupid enough to not want to do anything about it. he’s scared of what could happen, how it could all go down. for all jinho knows is that hongseok may be playing with him. and even if he wasn’t, what would hongseok’s friends say? what would they do? jinho would feel horrible if hongseok got kicked off the team because of him, even if he hated the football team with a passion. he would feel horrible if hongseok got upset at him for it, even if it was what he would deserve. would hongseok even want to be with him after that? would he even want to be with him in general? hyuna could just be lying, but jinho really didn’t know. he didn’t know what to say or do, so he kept his neverending thoughts to himself. he hoped hongseok would never hear them.

 

jinho laid under the covers of his bed, scrolling through his feeds and whatnots after he finished part of an essay. he was doing his homework and paying more attention to lessons, trying to keep at least some part of him okay more than anything. it’s been hard, but as soon as he got home today, he took a hot shower and got into sleep clothes. he was probably going to sleep the rest of the day. he didn’t get much sleep last night, since someone came over. he doesn’t even remember what happened over the course of those few days. all he remembers is doing his homework and inviting someone over. he doesn’t remember who it was, and he doesn’t really remember why he did it. it wasn’t anyone of his friends, though. he just remembers briefly crying after the person left, but he can’t remember why.

 

it wasn’t good four days for jinho at all.

 

he was just so glad to be by himself now. he couldn’t muster up falling asleep, though, only because he didn’t want to mess up his schedule. he eventually caught up on sleep since the day he had none, and felt automatically better after a fourteen hour nap. he didn’t want to find himself falling asleep for another long time while it was currently friday night, when he had work to get done before the weekend. so in conclusion, jinho went on his phone and listened to his favorite playlist on almost full volume.

 

his friends hadn’t been texting him, and other than the fact that he hated never getting attention, he was glad they weren’t bothering him. these past few months have been hard and honestly confusing as fuck, plus his friends adding to it didn’t make it better. jinho just needed his own time to be sad and to think. he didn’t know where hyunggu was most of his day and some nights, but it wasn’t his business. he just hoped his friend was okay.

 

jinho, lost in his thoughts, found less and less interest in his phone and began to doze off, dropping it on his chest before almost letting sleep take over his senses. he’d been sleeping a lot lately, so it just seemed so natural to him. jinho stirred between almost falling asleep and staying awake, the things surrounding him going into a slight blur, eyelids getting heavier with the passing minute. his breathing began to slow down and go at a steady beat, whole body seeming to sink more into his bed. he felt wrapped cozily then, understanding why it was so easy to fall asleep.

 

he began to sleep calmly, nothing interrupting his thoughts. he didn’t have to worry about getting his work done, where and what his friends were doing, and hongseok. everything, for a split second, felt calm. reality wasn’t real when jinho slept, so maybe that’s why he liked it so much.

 

slam.

 

the door closed behind them loudly, jinho suddenly jumping from his sleep hotly. he felt like he’d only slept for two minutes, interrupted by the door of his dorm being slammed shut. he looked straight at where the sound was, eyes not even fully opened. hyunggu was standing in the doorway with hyuna behind him. hyunggu looked scared for waking jinho up, clearly knowing that his friend was still asleep. hyuna looked oblivious, still sorting some stuff in a bunch of bags in her arms. hyunggu also had some bags in his arms, and jinho could tell they went shopping.

 

“uhm?” jinho furrowed his brows, looking at both his friends while tightening his hood on his head.

 

hyuna swing around, automatically smiling at the oldest. “oh, hi jinho.”

 

jinho twitched at the fact she didn’t use an honorific, but decided to try and calm himself down. it’s the first time he’d talked to hyuna in a few days, and he didn’t want to hold a grudge and bring drama. he knew hyuna wasn’t about that stuff.

 

“where were you guys?” he decided to ask.

 

“we went out.” hyunggu simply answered, dropping the bags on the floor. “hyojong’s holding a party tonight and hyuna promised to bring stuff.”

 

“are you both going?”

 

“mhm.” hyunggu sat down on his bed, rubbing his hands together. his nose and cheeks were red, probably from the cold weather outside. it was nearing the end of october, so it was beginning to get colder each day.

 

“well,” jinho wrapped himself tighter in the blankets at the thought of cold weather, “have fun, then.” and he laid back down.

 

“wait, wait, wait.” hyuna stopped him, walking over to him. “you’re coming with us.”

 

there was a small moment of silence. jinho felt like laughing out loud, just the thought of him going to one of hyojong’s parties seemed foreign. like that was going to happen. 

 

“you’re funny,” jinho couldn’t help but smile, “i’m not going to some frat party.”

 

“oh, yes you are.” the younger replied, putting her hands on her hips. “already told hyojong you’re coming.”

 

“fuck off.”

 

“please, hyung? just this once? we’re trying to get you out of this dorm. it’s been four days.” hyunggu whined, tapping his foot on the ground impatiently. jinho just watched how hyuna stood there, giving him the meanest glare she could. he felt a little pressured, but nonetheless knew he wouldn’t go to one of hyojong’s parties. he’s only been to one, and it was more of a shit show than any other party he’s been to.

 

“no.”

 

“pussy.” hyuna muttered loud enough for jinho to hear, and the oldest flipped down his sweatshirt hood to look up at her. his hair was disheveled and not washed, but he didn’t care.

 

“excuse me?” jinho squinted.

 

“you’re a pussy. all you’ve been doing is sleep this whole week and wallow in your emo shit. i’m literally so done with it, just get over the fact that hongseok wants your ass.” she said in an informative tone, but it was clearly sarcastic. jinho tried to ignore the fact that she was right, and he tried to ignore the fact he might’ve been over-reacting.

 

“i said i’m not going.” jinho avoided what his friend said, laying back down on his bed while turning on his phone. 

 

he could see out of the corner of his eye, both hyuna and hyunggu looking at each other, communicating with their eyes. he knew that look very well, and it didn’t mean anything good.

 

jinho gulped under his throat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the brunet felt like shit. he couldn’t even remember what happened in the past hour because he was too immersed in his feeling of pure hatred for his friends. he didn’t want to be here. he didn’t want to be so close to the fraternity house that they were about ten steps from. he didn’t like how they washed his hair with some lemon shampoo that wafted his nose every time he inhaled. he didn’t like that they made him wear skinny jeans and and some crew neck that hyunggu threw at him while the older was threatening to kill him. he simply wished to go home so badly.

 

and what’s even worse was when he walked into the frat house. the people looked at him like he was some person from a foreign country. sure, he wasn’t known for coming to these parties but he didn’t think people would notice. there were people that he’d never seen look at him and he didn’t know why. he was confused, angry, and every type of emotion that could overwhelm his small body. someone he recognized must’ve noticed it, whistling directly at him as he came over to his group of friends.

 

“woah, is that jo jinho?” the man who whistled exclaimed loudly, but the boy could barely hear him. there were so many people inside the house that it was almost deafening.

 

“as a matter of fact, it is!” hyuna said, as if she was proud of herself for bringing jinho to a party.

 

“i didn’t know this little munchkin liked to party.” the man laughed, moving his hand over to ruffle the smaller’s hair. before he could do it though, jinho flinched the other way with a disgusted look on his face.

 

“don’t touch me, you asshole.” jinho spat.

 

the man blinked once, smirking. “aww, look how mad he is.” the man fake cooed, looking at hyuna, “he must be a handful.”

 

“oh,” she chuckled, “he is.”

 

“well, i’ll be seeing you kiddos around,” the man clutched his cup in his other hand, moving along the other students in the party. jinho has no idea who he was, but he was clearly teasing him. it made him even more ticked off than he was before, the fact that people probably had noticed he was there by now. he was probably being spoken of by people at this very moment, by some guy that felt less than threatened by his presence.

 

jinho suddenly felt very exposed.

 

“who was that? and can we sit down?” he asked, itching his neck while his heart raced from anxiety.

 

“that was one of the people on the basketball team.” hyuna said, leading her two friends through the crowd to find some place to sit. “did you even know we had one?”

 

“no.” jinho said honestly. he didn’t pay attention to sports, or anything school related, really.

 

“he’s hot, isn’t he?” hyuna said absentmindedly, sitting down on a couch where only a few people were sitting around them. as he looked more, they were all people on different sports teams. they were wearing jerseys and hats that screamed they did some physical activity. “his name is peniel.”

 

“don’t you have a boyfriend?” jinho asked, rolling his eyes.

 

“yeah, but...” she trailed, “i can still hit on guys if i want.”

 

the latter decided not to answer, just leaning back in the warm couch to ignore whatever party was going on. he was feeling a little sick, wanting to go back home and sleep for another eternity. he knew he was being more than lazy, but nothing was motivating him to get some energy. he got handed a drink from some random person and took a sip, feeling it trickle down his throat slowly. he felt like hyuna left to go with hyojong or something, so he was left alone with hyunggu and yanan. he didn’t even know when yanan got there.

 

“how are you holding up, hyung?” his friend patted his shoulder, “i’m seeing you’re loving that drink.”

 

“i feel like shit.” jinho said, playing with the hem of his sweatshirt. it was oversized and stuffy, and jinho felt like taking it off. he did have a t-shirt under it, but he felt like he’d lose some protection on himself if he took off his top layer. he didn’t know why, but he just felt it was unsafe.

 

“awe,” his friend replied, moving a little bit closer to jinho. he felt nauseous. “we’ll go home soon, i promise.”

 

jinho just nodded. he finished his alcohol, feeling it course through his veins nicely. maybe it’d help him get through the night a bit better. he sank more into the couch, feeling the slight satisfaction of buzz in his mind. he was glad hyunggu was there, but not doing anything was starting to get annoying for a while.

 

“i’m going to the bathroom.”

 

jinho stood up a little dizzily, feeling his nerves catch up with him as he pushed past some people. there were guys and girls all dancing and seemingly having a good time, and the feeling of all those bodies against jinho made him feel extremely uncomfortable. he wanted to find some place to breathe, and apparently the bathroom was the perfect spot.

 

he made his way through almost the entire house bride finding a door that led to the bathroom, and he felt a mini victory play in his head. finally, some alone time.

 

except it wasn’t.

 

he shouldn’t have been surprised to find someone else in the bathroom, but he was. he was slightly relieved the person wasn’t doing their business or anything, but merely just sitting on the toilet. what got him really surprised, though, was the familiar face that he saw when he walked in. a face that made his heart run faster than anything ever and his stomach drop to the floor. his previously warm cheeks paled.

 

yang hongseok turned to look at him, eyes wide. he was probably surprised, too.

 

“oh,” jinho swallowed thickly, turning to the door. “i’ll go—“

 

“stay.” hongseok said. he said it with a breathy voice, one that lingered with alcohol and desperate. one that made shivers crawl down jinho’s spine. he was telling himself to leave and slam the door behind him, but his hand stayed resting on the doorknob, not moving an inch.

 

“why?” jinho asked, turning around to see hongseok towering over him now. he wasn’t too close, but close enough for them to be a few feet apart. the bathroom was rather small, stuffy. jinho shifted uncomfortably. he gripped the doorknob tighter, turning it with his hand to make his way out. he didn’t want to deal with hongseok’s antics. he started to feel nervous. 

 

“because..” hongseok stuttered, “i want to talk.”

 

“there’s nothing to talk about.” jinho said as firmly as he could, but he could still feel how his words shook with uncertainty. “i don’t want to talk to you.”

 

the look of despair and hurt in hongseok’s face was almost so believable. the older wanted to scoff and just leave him to be, but he could only turn the knob once again to slowly make his way out. just as he turned to run out, he felt a strong hand grip his arm.

 

“what the fuck—“

 

 

then, there were lips on his. 

 

and jinho didn’t even realize he was kissing someone until he felt a hand pull him forward by the small of his back. he didn’t even realize he was kissing hongseok until he peered up to see how the man’s tan face was red and his eyes were furiously closed, not opening like he was scared of getting hurt. scared that jinho would probably kill him on the spot. except jinho didn’t kill him, because his drunken mind was telling him he wanted this, and that was all jinho could listen to, apparently.

 

he eventually closed his own eyes and moved his hand to grip hongseok’s slightly short hair, mouth now moving with the warm and hot one on his face. hongseok’s lips tasted like soju, and that practically said it all for the older. 

 

he pulled their bodies closer so that jinho could kiss him more passionately, easily sliding his tongue in. they kissed like that for a while, the heat and stuffiness of the bathroom getting even worse and jinho found it hard to breathe. he then felt two hands move down to the backs of his thighs, only to be picked up by the younger like he weighed nothing. jinho yelped in the kiss, the unexpected action coursing through his body. he only reacted by wrapping his legs around the other’s waist. hongseok held him up for a while before placing him on the bathroom’s sink (probably because he was getting heavy), pushing him against the mirror. jinho started to feel very hot in his sweater, and that was the only thought in his mind as hongseok roughly kissed him back.

 

jinho didn’t feel like hongseok was between his legs, holding his waist firmly like he could drop the brunet. like he could hurt him. jinho tried not to think that this was hongseok holding him, and he felt like his lungs were about to burst. to tell him that he’s making a mistake. that the beating in his heart is just from the sudden adrenaline and anxiety that he could be taken advantage right now. jinho’s brain was telling him he was doing the right thing, and he felt shivers roll down his spine, all the way to his toes. hongseok held him still, not seemingly wanting to let go.

 

the door creaked open.

 

“hey, i was just going to check—“

 

hyunggu was dumbstruck. he immediately felt heat rush to his face at the sight, and jinho almost completely shut down right there. he disconnected his wet and swollen lips with hongseok, finally realizing what he just did. he gave hongseok one look, his disheveled hair and bitten lips looked like something jinho didn’t like to think of, and he almost immediately jumped off of the sink to knock down the soap bottle. he didn’t care, taking hyunggu’s hand and disappearing right there. he sprinted as fast as he could out of the bathroom, almost hearing hongseok call his name. he thought it was an illusion, though he felt sober at the moment.

 

“what was that?” hyunggu yelled once they escaped out of the frat house. the air was cool and fresh, and jinho could see his breath in the air.

 

“i don’t know!” jinho croaked out, and he suddenly felt helpless. he felt like he did something wrong, like it was that easy for him to get lost in whatever hongseok did. “he just kissed me and i went along with it!”

 

“how though? i thought you hated him.” hyunggu seemed just as confused as the older, grabbing both of his hands and holding them gently. “how did that even happen.”

 

“it’s complicated.” jinho but his lip to stop the expression from coming on his face, but the blurred memories of hongseok grabbing him and kissing him was all he could remember.

 

“let’s go home,” hyunggu said, “tell me everything that happened.”

 

“i will...” jinho said quietly, walking to hyunggu’s car for safety.

 

 

the ride was silent, and jinho’s mind was torn. he didn’t know what to think, and he looked out the window reminiscently, wondering if he liked hongseok’s lips or didn’t. he couldn’t tell.