Is it worth waiting for the sun to set when you've got a movie in fifteen?
The answer is no, definitely not. Categorically not, under any circumstance. Yet, here he is, blocks away from the shopping center, four levels below the cinema's floor and he isn't even on his feet, to make matters worse.
After the Uber dropped them off the nearest to their destination they could get, without getting caught in traffic themself, Taemin had decided to stay there for just a little bit since the sky is so so so pretty from here. And who was Jongin to say no?
It's been about ten minutes, though, and he was starting to get anxious about getting there late. He voices his concerns and the older man springs up, too fast not to get lightheaded, and Jongin offers his hand instantly, shameless about asking for help to stand up. Taemin steps out of the small hollow on the park's nicely-kept, green grass terrain and links their hands together, intertwining their fingers.
Jongin's heart skips a beat but he's quick, and quite successful, to force it back to a semi-normal rhythm. Or just to stop beating so loud. "Yah! I need some help, not this," he reprimands, feigning anger.
A half-hearted laughter breaks through his composed facade as his friend, with more strength than necessary, helps him up without re-linking their hands into a more comfortable joining. The unpredictability of Taemin's force makes Jongin lose his balance completely, his cupula too shaken to decide his cardinal orientation, almost causing for them both to fall to the ground.
Regaining his equilibrium, he slaps Taemin's arm lightly, frowning his brows in a half-assed puppy look, begging.
It's not long until they're finally on their way, the sunset signaling that hurrying is no help by now. They're late, that he knows. What he feels, though, is indescribable, incomprehensible. It's ridiculous, too. He isn't sure what exactly drove him to do that, or why, but the world has stopped its course around the solar system as he bulls his way through some American movie he watched a handful of nights ago; the planet emphasizing its abrupt cease in motion when he gets to a random scene that caught his eye. Imagine you're one of the characters, he said, your character doesn't know mine, but still, he trusted... he— And he grabbed Taemin's hand, just to demonstrate, as he told himself, finishing the retelling of the scene faster than he should've with his senses tingling wildly.
It lasts only a few strides forward, but Jongin's unable to shake off the lukewarm ghost of Taemin's thin fingers nestling so perfectly between his own longer ones for the entirety of the film.
It's days after that he's laying in bed, Taemin's head on his chest, fast asleep, that he's thinking about the experience.
His breathing is uncomfortable, staggered, too careful and calculated to be natural. He doesn't want to disturb Taemin's sleep because of something as trivial as his chest's rising and falling.
Through these thoughts, and his current sensations —his friend's head on him, the warmth spreading through his every cell— it is that he realizes why he did that in the first place. Retrospection allows him to realize: all he wanted to do was feel Taemin's hand on his own, just once more, and hopefully, this time it'd linger on for longer.
He stares at his free hand, the one that isn't posed on the older man's shoulder protectively, cautiously lifting it up to access a better view.
Long, tan fingers are splayed before his eyes. Wrapped tightly around the bone, thicker around the middle phalanges, they extend until they announce their cease with cleanly trimmed nails. Veiny, bony and fragile is the back of his hand. Too unfitting to his appearance, too resembling of his psyche. He wonders if his hands are adequate, if they could be a good lover to the man he's staring at. But before letting his thoughts drift away in that direction, he stares at Taemin's hands. Small, short fingers that are almost chode-y are crossed over his own chest. Pale and ghost-like they rest, emphasizing the tranquil motion of his chest following his breaths.
They don't seem much compatible, judging by their hands, he concludes. Dark and thin wouldn't look too good next to faint and stubby. It's stupid, he knows, that he's inferring all of this by mere hands, but before he can help it, he's gone, further losing himself in his thoughts.
His mind is plagued by images of their past together. Taemin's hand on his thigh, caressing reassuringly. His fingers twisting loose threads on the ripped knee of the other's pants as he pays close attention to the stories falling from Taemin's lips. Small bruises tainting Jongin's arm, inciting the feather-light touch of the other's soft finger pads around the harmed skin. Taemin's hand wrapped behind his own, holding the phone in place so they can both watch the screen comfortably. Their hands brushing nearing the middle while playing the grand piano on a shared stool. Jongin's digits tangling on his friend's shirt, tightening with every swallowed sob. His thumb rubbing circles on Taemin's neck as he laid defeated after a long day. The older one's index finger wiping away some unknown food residue from the other's lower lip. Long fingers combing through bleached hair before a party. Locked pinkies as they made dumb promise after dumb promise. A stabilizing hand on Jongin's chest as they stumbled one over the other. Hands on Taemin's face as harsh cackles shake his entire frame. The shorter's hand resting on the small of the other's back, applying just the right amount of comforting pressure. A hand wrapped around Taemin's waist as they walk through the crowded streets. Gag slaps to one another's ribs after immature remarks. Waking up to a hand on his shoulder and waking up with a hand on the other's hip and to fingers brushing and to an arm twisted uncomfortably near his thigh; waking up and finding out their bodies tend to fuse together in unconsciousness, warm contact looking to find its equal.
The romantic scenarios composing themselves on his head don't fail to take a turn for worse. He curses his traitorous mind but can't distract the thoughts away.
Taemin is right there, having turned around, a small drool patch soiling Jongin's shirt as he curls around the latter. It's impudent to be thinking this way of someone, in the presence of said person, but he knows it's beyond his control by now. He's been through this one too many times now. He likes to think he can be deferential when it comes to it, even if everything points towards the opposite.
Their friendship hasn't been all that platonic, come to think of it. There's been weird times, for the lack of a better word. Doomed times, more like. There's that time he refused to share his ice cream spoon and dipped his finger in the substance, offering it to Taemin as a mere joke. Nothing more, nothing less; yet Taemin had opened his mouth too wide, and he played the game, pushed his finger in, to gross him out, to make him pussy out, anything but for him to suck on it. Fervent on top of that, as if there was more than a tiny drop of ice cream on it, his tongue tracing the length before giving it a playful bite. Perhaps not so playful, considering the teeth mark he had left that Jongin hadn't been able to help but jack off to in the bathroom minutes after.
He felt guilty, of course he did. Taemin didn't deserve being the object of his fantasies, the subject of his dreams or the architect of his climaxes. He had never done him wrong, betrayed him, even failed him in the slightest. Jongin knew he was being selfish, heartless, to think this way of him, especially after so long. He's had years to either get the feeling under control or exterminate it completely, and he had achieved none.
Right now being a prime example: his mind materializing self-loathing justifications in hoards. Presented as memories, for they were, still their purpose was nothing but vile.
Thoughts of Taemin sitting on his lap, stirring awake a sensation he wanted to forget. The chapped lips of his bleeding in winter, a single eyebrow raised as he asked Jongin if he'd be nice enough to lick it off. A drunken night at a club with Taemin on his front, an arm uncomfortably laced around his neck as he ground his behind hard against Jongin's crotch. Waking up at night to a hard-on brushing the back of his hand before he turned to hug the edge of the bed, ignoring the hushed question of him being awake too. Taemin's offer of making out to see 'what happens' since he knew Jongin had been feeling concupiscent to no success. Or the time he didn't turn down the proposal and he had to break apart before things escalated. Taemin jerking off with the door open, staring directly into Jongin's eyes as he tried walking past but instead felt anchored in place, moaning brokenly as his wrist allowed the thumb to sweep just right before closing his eyes, allowing Jongin to walk away.
He curses under his breath at his lack of self-control and his traitorous arousal. His eyes close with too much force, the well-known sting behind them being replaced by slight pain from the unnatural shutting of his eyes.
There's always been a chance, a small one but nonetheless a chance, of Taemin having considered him more than just a friend somewhere in time. But how could that matter? Jongin wanted everything. And if there was one thing that he was certain of, it was that Taemin wasn't in love with him. Casual attraction and the depth of their relationship aside, there was nothing more to it, at least, not to Taemin.
He takes a look at the other; mouth closed as he heavily breathes through his nose. It won't be long until he wakes up now. Jongin has noticed he tends to close his mouth once he leaves the slow-wave sleep stage. Taking one decisive breath, he starts shuffling from under Taemin's weight until he's more or less free. A deep sigh breaks the silence as he stands up, legs shaky and weak as his vision blurs gradually.