And so it went, an easiness settling into the two fighter's complicated relationship. There were no more snipes and if there was anything resembling such, they'd meet eyes and one of them would remind the other that they were now dependent on each other. If one got in trouble, they both got in trouble.
Everyone else seemed to sigh with relief, the young men realizing the affect they had on their fellow trainees. Wonshik's words never strayed too far from their thoughts.
So the two threw themselves back into training, each a little different than the others. But this time, instead of trying to burn off the immense heat resonating between them as they had before, they worked in tandem and trained better, harder, smarter.
And while they didn't always train together, they were normally the two to start off the 5 am runs just as they were the last ones remaining in the gym, the night lights flickering on as they pressed.
Chan was working towards finally showing Wonshik what he could do.
Woojin was working towards… well, he wasn't quite sure anymore.
He wanted to be like Wonshik, he knew that. But as he, Chan and Wonshik all leaned against the ropes, yelling for Boyoung to press forward, there was a different type of delight in his chest as the younger listened to his not-as-loud directive to stay low.
Boyoung was able to dodge Sunho's high right jab. Wonshik cast Woojin a look before returning to the friendly spar.
Chan gave him a beaming smile, but it was just for a second before his eyes were back on Sunho, telling him to end it.
Woojin's grin was tamped down by his own excitement, even an hour later as he finally emerged from the locker room and started towards the doors. Chan was still there, which was not surprising at all since he was normally the very last person to leave. But despite how much he wanted to stay and just… be around the black haired man, Woojin kept walking.
The brunette stopped from putting his earphones in, eyes finding Chan as he stepped away from the bag. His hair was dripping sweat and clinging to his head, the perspiration following the line of his jaw to his neck then down into the worn collar of his shirt. It was supposed to be light gray, his shirt, but it was almost black with moisture and Woojin followed it back up to the younger man's tired smile.
Chan sauntered his way and Woojin found himself biting the inside of his cheek.
"You got plans or something?" Chan hummed, mouth twisting mischievously.
They had kissed one more time since the last time and it had been an accident—if a rushed meeting of lips could be considered an accident. But they had been at lunch with the rest of the team and when Woojin had been coming out of the bathroom, Chan had turned the hallway corner to go in. Colliding impressively, their arms had shot out to each other—partly out of shock, partly for the need to stabilize their bodies. And like a lock mechanism clicking into place, it just made sense to stay that way for a moment longer than necessary. And then it made even more sense when Chan smiled, Woojin wanting to taste it and this time their mouths met in the middle. He had never been so spontaneous but it had been amazing, their ears perked to any noise as their heads angled languidly.
Chan cradled his cheeks when their tongues met.
Woojin didn't realize he had been missing that touch.
But after, when they had waded through the questions of what took them so long—and why they both returned together, Woojin realized why he liked to plan and know and prepare.
His face had been red hot and Chan had simply laughed, digging that he couldn't take the heat. And as easy as it had been before, Woojin had become grumpy because that was easier than having to deal with his discomfort. Chan effortlessly stirred something in him and they were still trying to navigate that.
Well Woojin was still trying to.
Chan had it all figured it out, it seemed.
"Fat chance," Woojin said, returning to the present as he saw the look Chan was giving him. It was always nice to recognize, though. Chan wanted to be close to him, too. Letting his lips spread, he added, "You still have to shower."
"I can make it quick," the black haired man said, reaching for the hem of his shirt. In the next instant, he had ripped it off and it hung from his still wrapped hands.
Woojin rolled his eyes, having seen that chest too many times to count and reached for the hand that wasn't holding the shirt. With soft fingers, he deftly started to unwrap. Chan was smiling at him again as he watched, though this time it was tender and it was just a reminder that he wasn't very good at hiding himself.
"So is that yes?" the younger man coaxed, lifting his other hand once Woojin finished with the one. The brunette started on it without looking up.
"No. I have to pick up dinner—"
As if he had summoned the moment, the large gym door screeched open. There in the threshold stood Woojin's cousin, Seungmin, greeting him with a wide wave. Woojin dropped Chan's hand.
"Wait, you're not done."
The brunette didn't answer as he stalked over to the entrance, face drawn as his mind worked out why his cousin would be at the gym.
"You weren't answering," Seungmin answered the unasked question.
Patting his jacket pockets, Woojin realized he had thrown his phone in his duffel bag resting against his back. He must have not noticed the vibrating, he thought with a frown.
"Is everything ok?"
Seungmin nodded, then looked past him to Chan. Woojin asked to redirect his nosey kin, "So then, what's up? Why did you come all this way?"
"It's not too far," the youngest laughed. Then focused on Woojin's face. "Don't worry, nothing is wrong."
Chan was headed over to them, Woojin could just feel it and he felt the skin of his chest start to flush with heat. Looking over his shoulder, he thought of something to say to keep the other away. But when he watched the curiosity mixed with protectiveness paint the other's face, Woojin couldn't deny it gave him butterflies.
"I'm Woojin's cousin, Seungmin."
All eyes fell on him and he gave Woojin a "you weren't moving fast enough" look.
"Ah," Chan sighed, eyes squinting as he gave a cordial bow. "I thought you two looked similar."
"We do?" Seungmin asked, sizing up the brunette to his left. Chan laughed. Seungmin's eyes suddenly widened.
Woojin swooped in. "Well, we were just leaving. I'll see you tomorrow?" he asked, trying to divert Chan's attention.
"Actually, I was hoping for a tour of the place," the youngest said instead and Chan's head whipped towards him. Before he was going to answer, Woojin stepped in between them. He glared as best he could.
"We don't have time. And actually, don't you need to be at the diner?" he ground out, Chan's heat at his back.
Seungmin's smile returned from its shit eating, secret revealing tone to a normal, more sympathetic one. Woojin's brow furrowed as the man behind him was quickly forgotten. He knew that look.
"Your parents are in town," Seungmin said quietly.
Woojin looked up towards the ceiling. He hadn't needed his cousin to even say the words, the look alone telling enough.
"They didn't say they were coming," he mused lowly.
"Mom just told me, said to come grab you and meet at the restaurant."
Woojin nodded shortly, knowing he couldn't get out of it. And while this had been unexpected, he was grateful his cousin had come to give him a heads up.
Then realizing Chan was still behind him, he turned quickly, a pink blush creeping upon his cheeks.
"Sorry," he apologized as Chan shook his head. "Well, we have to get to dinner."
The black haired man gave him a brilliant look. "Of course, sorry for… just like standing here awkwardly," he laughed. Woojin found his own mouth curving.
"You should join us. Have you eaten?"
Both men looked over to Seungmin who wore his own face and Woojin was starting to get exhausted of his cousin.
"I wouldn't want to intrude," Chan was saying.
"It's not a bother. Our family owns the place so I am sure we can accommodate one more."
Woojin gave an outwardly caustic look this time but Seungmin ignored it, looking into Chan's face for an answer.
The young man was side stepping, looking between the two cousins. He wanted to come, that was so incredibly obvious but Woojin's energy was stopping him.
"I would hate to come if it made you uncomfortable—"
Both Seungmin and Chan immediately looked at Woojin, jaws dropping slightly. The brunette groaned.
"I mean, it… My family doesn't really get the fighting thing. I would hate to put you in the middle of that," Woojin said gently. But Chan's feelings were already hurt even though he was nodding, lips spreading in another smile. This one was not genuine and Woojin felt himself crumble. "What about tomorrow? We could pick something up on our way out and you can come to my place?"
Chan felt like he had just been pushed off a cliff.
But somehow had landed safely on his own two feet.
And at the bottom, as he was dusting himself off, he was told he had just won the lottery.
"We can do that," he answered calmly, biting his lips to contain his excitement.