Lee Junyoung was the type of person that, when feeling attracted to someone, didn't beat around the bush.
He was an extremely straightforward kind of guy. No matter if they were boys or girls, as long as he was interested, he always got to the point.
Of course, that didn't mean that when he liked someone he shouted it from every corner. No. Jun knew the art of subtlety, flirting and seduction. And more importantly, he was an expert on it.
After some bad experiences in his adolescence, the young man learned that when he felt attraction for someone, the best thing to do was to show that he was interested in a very clear way, but not confessing until the other person showed the same interest too. That meant he asked for dates, flirted, teased and looked into their eyes... with such an obvious attitude that whoever was the object of his affection, would always ending up flirting back. It was then, when both were expressing that they were into each other, that sooner or later one of them would confess.
This happened as long as the other party involved liked him too, of course. Sometimes, when the other person didn't feel the same, after watching Jun's flirting behavior they would tell him that they just didn't like him that way. In these situations, the young man would just stop altogether. He didn't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable after all.
Anyway. That was his modus operandi and it worked perfectly. Whether in serious relationships, short ones, one night stands... as soon as he managed to master the seduction part nothing could fail anymore. There were no misunderstandings nor hard feelings.
Then, at one college party one of his friends threw, he met Kang Yuchan and…
All those years of success that he carried on his back.
All of his confidence as a latin lover
(although he wasn't latino).
His so beloved modus operandi ...
Serious talk. Jun had never ever met someone who could be this naive . Not even once in his twenty-one years of life.
When he met him at that party, he felt somewhat attracted to the boy so he decided to invite him to a drink. Happy as a lark, the other young man accepted it. That way, they spent the whole night talking to each other, about their friends and acquaintances at the party, about their studies, work, hobbies…
The more hours passed, the more Jun's flirting got bolder and the more he approached the other boy. But even so, he didn't receive any kind of reaction from him. Neither negative nor positive.
That dude behaved as if, instead of being in a college party full of alcohol and drunken people kissing each other around the corners, he were in his five-year-old cousin's birthday party. Everytime Jun said something suggestive, Chan looked like he wasn't aware of his flirting and he answered to Jun’s advances as if he were talking about the weather.
What's more. It almost seemed like he was doing that on purpose. But still, since Jun wasn't sure about it and it didn't seem like he was bothering Chan either, he didn't give up.
They spent the whole night like that until the younger one said he was going home since he felt too sleepy. Jun, still not getting what the heck went on, didn't miss how Chan said goodbye to him with the biggest smile on his face.
In those circumstances, Jun just took it as a simple rejection. He thought that Chan had played the fool to not reject his advances directly and that was it. He didn't care that much either. He hardly knew him and although he seemed friendly, nice and Jun found him attractive, it wasn't like he had fallen for him or anything.
No. The real problem came up later .
Jun really thought he wouldn't see him anymore. He didn't ask for his number nor any other kind of contact, and neither did Chan. And yet, the boy reappeared in his life in the blink of an eye.
And not by coincidence.
Apparently, after leaving no stone unturned to search for Jun among his friends and contacts, Chan finally managed to find him a week after the party. He said that Jun grew fond of him so much in one night that he was dying to see him again and hang out.
Jun was left speechless before that situation. He had thought Chan didn't like him at all, and that's why he left him at the party without asking for his number nor anything. Not to mention the hours and hours of ignored flirting that happened that day. But there he was, in front of him and looking at Jun as if he had just found a treasure worthy of Indiana Jones.
From then on, a great friendship between them emerged. As they had several friends in common, it was even easier to know each other better and to get along. Not only that but, in a way, Jun had been able to get some information about Chan from their trusted friends that he wouldn't have known otherwise.
Very important information. Because even if they started getting along so well, Jun put aside his flirting attitude completely. Above all, after that party ended he already assumed Chan wanted nothing more than his friendship, and that was the reason behind his acted obliviousness.
If not, he would have flirted back, right?
That was what he thought. He was convinced Chan had made it clear that he liked Jun as nothing more than a friend, which wasn't a bad thing at all.
However, this important information was granted to him one afternoon when he was chatting with Euijin, a friend they both had in common. While laughing, Jun explained to his hyung how his first meeting with Chan went and the funny and frustrating way he got all of his advances ignored by the young man.
"Ah... Channie... well. I don't think it was a rejection. The truth is that he is just like that. He doesn't get a clue," Euijin said, amused after hearing the story. "I think he has never had a lover so that might be the reason. I've also seen him staying completely oblivious to girls trying to make a move on him. He never gets anything until we explain it to him later. He's a lost cause."
It was a simple clarification, but that felt like an incredible revelation to Jun. It that was true, it meant that at the party Chan didn't really know what kind of atmosphere Jun was trying to create between them. And, therefore, he didn't ignore his advances on purpose because he felt uncomfortable.
Which also meant that... he was given the green light to try again?
That thought was his greatest ruin.
At first, he didn't take it very seriously. He began to flirt with him to see his reactions more than anything else, since watching how far his innocence could get was quite funny. And if he were to be honest, he also had some curiosity to know about the limits of how far his flirting could get until Chan would actually react.
Time kept passing and every single day they spent together was more enjoyable than the previous one. They really had tons of fun. While teasing him, Jun invited Chan on dates and Chan, without realizing that they were dates, gladly agreed to go on them, which amused Jun to no end.
They started to do a lot of things together. Shopping, going to the cinema, playing videogames, dancing, singing at the karaoke. Jun never stopped flirting with him and Chan kept being clueless about it.
Yeah, at the beginning it was very fun...
It sure was...
But you know...
After so many days and months, Jun began, gradually and without being able to avoid it... to take his advances a little more seriously.
And that 'little' transformed into a 'lot' as soon as he realized he liked Chan.
Not only as a friend. Not as a simple attraction. He actually really liked him.
Suddenly, the fact that the young man continued to stay clueless about his flirting stopped being funny and started to be a complete torture.
On each occasion, when Jun invited him to have dinner in a more special and romantic place, Chan just thought about it as Jun being a good friend who liked corny restaurants.
When they were on their own and Jun spoke to him in a soft and seductive voice, explaining to him how happy he was that they met each other... Chan used to give him embarrassed pats on his back and say that he also appreciated him a lot.
Each time the older boy caressed his hair, his cheeks or even his arms. Chan laughed and said that Jun treated him like a pet.
Jun was convinced that if someday, he took Chan into his arms and kissed him passionately, the young man would be able to turn the situation around and just dismiss the matter as Jun being Jun . Whatever the heck that meant.
Of course that this whole set of circumstances was noticed by their friends too. Every single one of them knew about how much Jun was trying to make a move on Chan and how much the latter didn't take a hint. All of this got so incredibly ridiculous that they even invented some silly nicknames for them.
Mr. Obvious and Mr. Oblivious
He wasn't exactly sure of when did those stupid nicknames of theirs begin. He only knew that if his circle of friends wanted to roast him, they would keep using them in every single given opportunity. It made he feel so damn annoyed. And it wasn't even that funny! But oh lord if they liked to mercilessly laugh at Jun about this.
Mr. Oblivious though, was oblivious (such a surprise) to the nicknames too. It was Jun –Or Mr. Obvious– the only one who kept struggling everyday.
At some point their friends asked him why didn't he just confess to Chan; since a direct confession would be enough for Chan to realize Jun's feelings, no matter how oblivious he was. But...
That wasn't Jun's way of acting. Confessing his infatuation while not being sure if the other felt the same was a risk he was no longer used to take. In his younger days, he had some bad experiences precisely because of that... his modus operandi didn't exist just because.
It existed because it worked.
But nothing really worked with Chan.
The only comfort Jun had was that at least, with that unusual attitude of his, nobody was able to flirt with Chan. Therefore it didn't matter how much time passed, he was always single, meaning there were no chances for Jun to get jealous.
Sometimes Jun would even think that the young man was asexual. You know, ace . Which was completely understandable too. If someday Chan came out as ace, Jun would respect it and support him. Yes, he would be sad that his feelings would never reach him, however, Chan's friendship was more important.
But not long after Jun started suspecting that, reality proved him wrong. All those assumptions were completely useless…
After all, one night in a hangout in a disco that Seyong proposed, attended by almost forty people Jun knew beforehand... the unthinkable happened.
In the bad sense of the word.
Jun was sitting quietly at the bar, drinking moderately. Gwangsuk was by his side, resting after dancing for almost an hour. Both men were waiting for Chan to return with them, as the young man had left for some minutes to greet someone. The music at the place was so loud that when Chan finally walked towards them and tried to say something, they had to approach him in order to hear what he was saying.
"Hey, do you guys know that boy who is sitting right there?" He exclaimed, pointing discreetly to two young men that were at the other area of the bar.
Jun looked at them. He opened his eyes, surprised to find that they were Dongmyeong, a great friend of his and Lee Hangyul, a boy Jun knew by sight. Both were drinking absentmindedly and chatting among themselves.
"The blonde or the brunette one?" Gwangsuk asked while taking a sip of his drink.
"He's Hangyul," Jun said. "Why? Do you recognize him or something?" He was legit curious about it. Even if Chan's sudden interest was about his friend's friend, Jun thought that perhaps this could be a good opportunity to introduce Dongmyeong to him. He was convinced that they would become great friends.
"I don't," Chan answered, casually. "But he talked to me in the dance floor and..." he paused. "I think he's flirting with me."
Jun almost spat out his drink from the surprise. Forgetting completely about his introducing plans. Gwangsuk was speechless too, with his mouth wide open.
WHAT DID HE JUST SAY.
At first, Jun thought he heard him wrong. But no. He actually heard him perfectly. He opened his eyes, with an expression of disbelief on his face. Chan, after seeing his friends' reaction, hurried up to explain himself better.
"He told me that I should dance with him later and he winked at me."
Winked at you. Winked at you?? How many times have I winked at you already, a thousand?
"I thought you never noticed those things," Jun said, sounding way more butthurt that he'd have liked... but he couldn't help it. It angered him that a simple wink from a random man was enough for Chan to think he was being flirted with when Jun already did way more than that.
"Ahh, don't tell me that you too..." he groaned. "Everyone is always telling me so, especially these past few weeks. Gwangsuk hyung even complained to me not long ago," he said while pointing to the older man as the latter shrugged innocently. "Saying that I should stop being such a kid and read the atmosphere... that's why I'm trying to put more attention now."
"Oh, c'mon, and now you're gonna become an expert," Jun snapped, with clear irritation in his voice.
"Why are you saying it like that?" Chan answered in an outburst. "I know I'm an idiot who can't get a clue, but I'm trying, okay?" He sounded annoyed and even somewhat hurt... Maybe he felt self-conscious about his lack of self-awareness? It sounded kind of silly and weird, but it was Chan so it was more than possible.
"Channie, don't get mad," Gwangsuk exclaimed, intervening. The younger boy sighed and relaxed his expression. "I think it's great that you've decided to pay more attention to these things now.
Jun tried to apologize immediately but he couldn't, as Chan left them again after nodding to Gwangsuk's words. The boy sighed and took another sip of his drink. It wasn't a bad thing per se that Chan wanted to leave behind his obliviousness, but at the same time... Jun never thought that the first advances towards him that he would notice would be from another person. Maybe that really meant that his relationship with Chan would and should never change.
"Wow... I told him that because I wanted to help you, but I guess it didn't work as well as I thought it would..." Gwangsuk said, scratching his head.
Both watched as Chan approached Dongmyeong and Hangyul and started talking to them. Jun swallowed nervously. Then, as the icing of the cake, a romantic and slow song started playing in the background. Chan just told him that Hangyul wanted to dance with him, if they started doing it now...
Jun looked away and finished his drink in one go.
"No... It's not your fault hyung. It’s fine."
Gwangsuk looked at him worriedly and immediately after he asked the waitress for a couple of shots of tequila.
"It's on me, okay?" He said, giving him a friendly pat on the back. "And don't worry too much, I'm sure that Chan is just curious right now. Or maybe he just wants to show us he can do these things just because we underestimated him."
Jun wasn't that sure of that. In any case, he accepted the drinks his hyung offered to him. One after the other. After half an hour, Jun had already drunk about six shots (or... seven? He didn't really know) and was complaining to Gwangsuk about everything, with his arms resting on the bar and his face hidden in them.
"It's ok if he likes me as a friend. I like him as a friend too!! He's a great one damn it," he whined. "But why can't he see that I like him as something more too! Why is it so easy for a random guy to flirt with him and him flirting back when my advances keep getting ignored???" He complained again and again. "I just want him to know my feelings, is it seriously that hard?
At first, Gwangsuk was listening to him carefully, but after a while it seemed like he was fed up with Jun's drama.
"No. It couldn't be easier actually, just confess dude."
"NO," Jun got up to scream that directly to Gwangsuk and then turned back and hid his face again, weakly. He felt so dizzy. "...I'll lose him if I do."
"Then what the heck do you want. Jeez, you're so annoying when you are like this…"
"Well, I'm sorry for being annoying."
A big silence fell after that. He wanted to get up and go home, but he didn't feel like he had the energy to do it at the moment. He also felt somewhat guilty that his friend had to listen to him all the time. He was probably tired of it by now.
After a long while he felt Gwangsuk’s gentle hand patting his back once again and he closed his eyes. Maybe he should try to explain himself better.
"It's just… I’m scared. Confessing might sound easy at first but when you do, you can't take it back. And if you aren't sure of the other's feelings then it's like playing lotto,” Jun explained, still feeling dizzy even if he wasn’t moving and his eyes were closed.
"Playing lotto?" He heard Gwangsuk say.
"Yeah. Like if you win then it's great but if you lose then you're not only heartbroken but you lose a friend too. It becomes so awkward…"
"Ah… I guess it does," Gwangsuk muttered, since the music got a bit louder again, Jun could hardly hear him. "But are you okay? You're pretty much wasted, I think you should stop drinking."
"Right," he said. Then he felt a stabbing pain in his head. "Jeez. And now I have a headache. I wish we didn't come here today."
"It wasn't that bad, c'mon."
"Are you kidding me? If things go well with them Chan might have a new boyfriend in the blink of an eye. What am I gonna do then?"
"I'll just have to throw away all those stupid months of pinning after him and congratulate him like an idiot. I'm just so…"
"Wait, wait, wait. Jun," Gwangsuk began to shake him in his back as if he wanted Jun to get up. And so he did, with some difficulty. He raised his head and looked at the other young man.
Then he saw that Gwangsuk had Chan's face.
Holy shit, he sure was drunk.
Wait a minute.
"You were talking about me?" Chan asked, with a shocked expression on his face. Jun was left speechless, wondering since when had Chan been there and WHERE did Gwangsuk go. He was there with him just a moment ago, that was a fact.
Maybe… after that long silence... his hyung had left him and 'Gwangsuk's gentle pat' on his back wasn't Gwangsuk's but Chan's ??
"I… " Jun didn't know what to say, and his head was going to explode. "I should go to the bathroom..."
Jun tried to excuse himself and escape to the bathroom but Chan, worried, followed and helped him to not fall down while he was on his way. Upon entering, Chan asked him if he wanted to vomit but Jun shook his head... the only thing he wanted to do was to cool his face and leave that place.
The younger boy looked at him closely and decided that he would take Jun home. It was evident that he was afraid of leaving him alone in that state.
Later, when they finally went outside the disco, the fresh air and sudden silence made Jun feel a lot better in a matter of seconds. But not enough for him to be able to go home on his own.
Chan wouldn't have let him anyway.
The young man grabbed his arm and led him to where his car was parked. Once they were in, Chan helped Jun to put on his belt, even if the latter told him that it wasn't necessary, he still did it. In the end, Chan put the keys on the car, with the intention of starting it.
"Wait..." Jun suddenly said, making Chan stop what he was doing immediately.
"I want to talk about what just... happened."
"Jun..." Chan muttered. "Are you sober enough to talk about it, though?"
Without saying anything else, Chan moved a little closer to him and placed his hand on Jun's forehead. His hand was very cold because of the temperature of the street and it felt nice.
"Were you... talking about me, then?"
"Yes." Jun took a deep breath and continued. "I thought you were Gwangsuk hyung..."
"When I came back to where you two were sitting he was by your side," Chan explained. "But he left after telling me to take care of you since he wanted to go back to the dance floor."
"Man, this is so shitty. It wasn't supposed to be like this," Jun complained, resting his head on the seat. "You just had to find out in the lamest way possible."
Chan remained silent for a few seconds.
"Since... well, I don't really know, it's been months. But you never notice anything," he said, frustrated. "You never do. It doesn't matter how much I try to hit on you. It's almost like... you try to ignore it."
"...Then, when you did that..." the other boy said, probably remembering all those months of shameless flirting. "You actually meant it?"
"Yes, of course I did."
They both fell silent again, for a couple of minutes this time. Jun made himself comfortable and closed his eyes, feeling a little better... fortunately the alcohol was helping him to leave his insecurity behind. Even though at the same time it made him feel like shit.
"Okay, I think I'm an idiot," Chan said, after thinking about it for a while.
"You are," Jun replied. "Did you know that because of you they call me Mr. Obvious ??"
Upon hearing that, the other young man started to laugh a little. Jun opened his eyes to look at him and Chan also directed his gaze to Jun.
"It's just that... I would have never imagined that someone like you could think of me that way so..."
"And a random guy you just met can?" He asked, still feeling somehow petty over the matter.
"I dunno, Jun... you are... in a different league I guess..."
"What league are you talking about..." his intoxicated state didn't let him think too much about those words, so he continued talking about what really mattered to him at the moment. "Do you... like him?"
"I don't," Chan answered almost instantly. "I was just happy to be flirted with and being able to realize it."
"I'm so glad..." Jun said, not being able to hold back a sigh of relief. After seeing him like that, Chan laughed and then muttered;
"Gwangsuk hyung told me that when you get wasted you are kind of annoying, but you're acting really cute instead…"
That...compliment? Didn't go unnoticed by Jun, who could feel his face heating up. He didn't say anything else, though and not much later Chan decided to start the car at once.
"I'm taking you home," he finally said.
It was a curious situation. Although he had just confessed to his friend in an accidental way and didn't receive any kind of answer about it, he felt quite calm. Jun associated it with the alcohol again... Everything depended on Chan's thoughts now, nothing else could be done on Jun's part. The younger boy probably wanted to talk about it when Jun felt better though, even if he was sober enough to hold a conversation. Which was pretty understandable.
About fifteen minutes later, they both arrived to Jun's apartment. After parking his car, Chan helped Jun to reach the front door and asked him if he actually had his keys.
"Of course I... wait a minute," he checked just in case. "Yes, yes, I do. Duh ."
Chan rolled his eyes and gave him a half-smile.
"Fine, then be careful when you climb the stairs and go straight to sleep."
Jun nodded, not knowing very well how to say goodbye to him now. It felt quite awkward... Chan was trembling a bit from the cold, however, he didn't stop smiling at Jun.
After a few seconds of just looking at each other without saying anything, Chan broke the silence.
"I don't know if it's ok to kiss a drunk person."
Jun looked at him, not sure if he just heard him right. Chan was still smiling from ear to ear which was even more confusing.
"I guess it's not. I'll wait then," he continued.
"Are you..." he said his thoughts out loud. "Flirting with me right now?"
"Am I doing it right?" He said, rather jokingly and embarrassed at the same time.
"I think the alcohol is making me see things," Jun was legit so confused that he really wished he didn't drink at all that night.
But well if he didn't they probably wouldn't be there in that situation right now either.
"You're going to have the biggest hangover tomorrow. I'll come back here by morning to take care of you okay?" He said, giving him a little kiss on the cheek. "And to remind you in case you forget about what just happened."
And just like that, Chan went back to his car, waving at him to say goodbye. Jun's heart started beating like crazy. All of his former calmness going to hell in a matter of seconds.
Did that really happen?
Was he dreaming or something?
Maybe it really had been a dream, since immediately after that, he woke up.
When he opened his eyes, the first thing he noticed was a terrible pain. His headache was really something. And not only that, but he was really confused... just a moment ago he was talking to Chan, outside his apartment, looking at him getting into his car and leaving. He tried to remember what happened after Chan left, how did he climb the stairs… Or take the elevator. How did he even get to his bed? He couldn't remember any of it.
He could only feel like he was going to die from this shitty headache.
Jun tried to get up but his body was completely against it. Exhausted, he rested again, lying on his bed. He looked at the hour, it was hella late, it didn't really matter since it was Sunday. But godammn...
He wanted to drink water, but that meant he had to get up. He didn't want to fall asleep again, either.
After an hour or so of being in his bed doing literally nothing. Not sleeping but too tired to get up, someone ringed at his door.
And when Jun opened, saw Chan's smiley face in front of him and heard him saying;
"Just as I said, I'm here to take care of you."
He realized that he might have had the most terrible hangover ever in his twenty-one years of life…
But man, if it didn't feel like it was worth it.