Donghyuck waves his arms around, re-enacting the events that happened last night as he and Jaemin walked out of their Biology laboratory. Jaemin has been listening to his story from the start. Donghyuck never leaves out any details.
(Jaemin had shot him a glare when Mr. Lee stops mid-explanation to cough at them, signalling to stop but Donghyuck only continued with nooooo, Nana, you have to listen. We’re talking about Spider-Man here, much to Jaemin’s embarrassment.)
Renjun is waiting outside, like he always does, and he’s raising an eyebrow at Donghyuck’s antics because of course, he’s not entirely done with his story telling and is still flailing his arms around. Jaemin doesn’t know if he should be jealous that Renjun is not sharing a Biology class with Donghyuck.
“What are you talking about this time?” Renjun asks and Donghyuck waves his arms around again, trying to compose a sentence.
Jaemin does it for him. “Hyuck here was just talking about how he was almost mugged in the park last night but was fortunately saved by our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.”
Jeno catches up with them, moving to squeeze in between Jaemin and Donghyuck. “I’m listening.”
Of course, you are, Jaemin thinks. We are talking about you, aren’t we?
“That was honestly the scariest moment of my life,” Donghyuck mutters.
“To meet Spider-Man?” Renjun asks, moving due to experience so he doesn’t bump into anyone as they walked along the small hallway. Jeno subtly deflates when Jaemin laughs.
“Ha-ha,” Donghyuck deadpans.
“Oh yeah, Hyuck, hold on,” Jeno digs into his backpack, searching for something while Jaemin drags him so they don’t block the hallway.
When Donghyuck sees his bracelet, his eyes widen. “My bracelet! I was looking everywhere for it this morning. Thank you. Where did you find it?”
“At the park. You must’ve dropped it when - I mean, you must’ve dropped it.”
Jaemin supresses a smile.
Donghyuck hums. “It must have been pulled off. Stupid mugger.”
Once they’re outside, they see Mark leaning against his car. He’s the first out of their friend group to get a driving license so he’s been taking all the chances he could get to show off. Renjun whistles.
“You guys are late,” Mark says but he doesn’t sound annoyed. In fact, there’s this smile on his face. Jaemin nudges Renjun in the arm and Renjun nods. They call this The Donghyuck Effect and it has been a long-term theory of theirs. “Talking about Spider-Man again?”
Donghyuck nods, “You know, if it weren’t for him, I’d probably be in the hospital right now.”
Mark opens the door for him, because Yukhei once said that’s what real gentlemen do, Mark, “Please don’t say that. I’m glad you’re safe.”
“All thanks to Spider-Man,” Renjun adds, climbing into the backseat.
No one else saw it. It could have been missed. It could have been nothing but a normal thing, something ordinary, but Jaemin notices it—takes note of it, because the moment Renjun mentions said superhero, Mark and Jeno make eye contact.
Jeno types away on his laptop and their room is filled with sounds that are similar to the ASMR videos Yukhei watches when he’s bored.
Jaemin puts down the book he’s reading. Maybe he should explain how he managed to find out The Big Secret, or Jeno’s Big Secret.
Well, see, SM High is this elite school for the elite. That basically means kids that enrol here have to stay in the dormitory because they’re supposed to be, and Jaemin quotes their principal, “dedicated to their studies”. So, he thought to himself at the beginning of freshman year—the first day of orientation week, to be precise: if I’m going to stay here, fighting through Hell and back, then I deserve a roommate that’s tolerable (he wasn’t asking for much).
And so, Lee Jeno happened.
He’s fine. Quiet at first, really shy, does his work diligently and never bothers Jaemin (and maybe Jaemin had a crush on him). Two years have passed and Jeno is still his roommate. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
Okay, he guesses that small crush somehow developed into him being hopelessly in love with Jeno but that’s not the point. Not important at all.
What’s important, however, is that Jaemin started noticing Jeno would always appear and disappear at random times and this began way back during freshman year. One day, this boy could in bed in the morning with nothing but boxers and another he would be found nowhere in school.
He would be tired during some mornings and Jaemin would notice parts of his body bruising. He doesn’t ask why. Instead, he prepares breakfast for the both of them and while Jeno eats, he lightens the mood by telling jokes. The laugh Jeno lets out every time is all he needs. Sometimes, the ‘What happened?’ slips out of his mouth and Jeno would stiffen and shakes his head. Nothing, he would say and Jaemin’s lungs will always feel tight.
Jaemin is also a night owl (Renjun said that’s not something to be proud of but whatever) so of course he would notice how Jeno usually comes back in the dead of night when the dormitory is on lock-down.
Jeno never gets caught, anyways because he would climb through their window.
Impossible. Their school and their dorm building don’t have exterior stairs. He knows. He checks every morning.
With that, he concludes that Jeno is Spider-Man.
Alright—so maybe Jaemin found out when it was Laundry Day and when he was picking up clothes, he went up to Jeno’s bed (they have a bunk bed) and squealed when he saw the familiar superhero attire. That is such a Jeno thing. Only he would leave his superhero attire AKA the puzzle piece to his entire alter identity lying on his dorm bed.
(But Jeno could have just be really into costumes so thus Jaemin’s observations are still valid.)
Jaemin rolls onto his side, facing Jeno who is still typing. He asks, “What are your thoughts on Spider-Man?”
Jeno stops typing for a few seconds before continuing, “That’s a random question.”
“Answer me,” Jaemin whines.
“Well, he’s a cool guy. Saving people. Swinging from here to there at dangerous heights,” Jeno clears his throat, “What do you think about him?”
“Other than the things you just said?”
Jeno nods before grabbing the water bottle on his table and taking huge gulps. He’s still not facing Jaemin.
“He has a great body.”
Jeno proceeds to choke on the water. Jaemin stands up to pat him on the back. He wheezes. “Y-You think so?”
“Yeah! Everyone can see those abs underneath all that spandex. You wear glasses for God’s sake.”
He’s red in the face now and Jaemin wants to laugh but no, he must resist.
“I’m going to sleep now. Good night, Jeno.”
There are a few beats of silence before Jeno mutters, “…Good night.”
(Jaemin drifts off to sleep with a smile on his face. He dreams of kissing a certain superhero.)
“What’s this?” Renjun pulls out Jaemin’s artbook from out of his bag. Apparently, he was on a mission to find and steal candies from his bag. Donghyuck has the same habit but he’s working on the experiment on his own at the lab bench next to theirs.
“What’s what?” Jaemin asks as he titrates sodium carbonate with dilute nitric acid, careful to turn the tap of the burette slowly because it broke that one time and because of that, Mr. Jung is always on the lookout for him.
“You drew these? They’re cute.”
Renjun is complimenting on his doodles? A blessing. “Thanks.”
“You even drew Spider-Man… You have a crush on him!”
“Jeno!” Their classmate, Heejin, yelps from the bench behind them when Jeno accidentally spills the mixture on their lab paper. Wait, does Spider-Man have super hearing?
“Oh, shit. Sorry. I—”
“It’s fine. It’s fine. I’ll get us another one.”
Nevermind. Renjun is just loud.
“Ah, Jeno,” Hajoon says when Mr. Jung walks out of the lab to retrieve another blank lab paper. “Were you always this careless?”
Jeno’s ears turn red. He may be Spider-Man, but he’s still Jeno and although he has come out his shell and is more confident now, he’s still shy and unsure sometimes.
“Leave him alone, Hajoon,” Jaemin defends. Donghyuck turns around to face Hajoon who’s smart enough to continue with the experiment.
“Thank you,” Jeno smiles at him and he feels like he’s won the lottery.
When Mr. Jung enters the lab again, the floor shakes and there’s a booming sound from downtown. It happens once, then again, and again, and now everyone is talking with each other, others moving to the window to try and see what’s happening.
Donghyuck moved to their bench. “You think it’s those monsters from last week, but bigger and better now to take revenge?”
The floor shakes. Another booming sound but it sounds louder—still far but unmistakably louder.
Mr. Jung clears his throat. “Alright everyone. Stay calm. I’m sure the authorities will handle it.”
One of them asks, “The Avengers?”
Renjun scoffs, “They have their own fight in Europe.”
Heejin claps, jumping up and down, “Spider-Man! He’ll help us!”
Jaemin only realizes a few seconds later that Jeno is long gone and the back door of the lab is wide open.
Later that night, Jeno comes back home (through their window, of course) and Jaemin lets out a sigh of relief. Unlike every other night where he would pretend to be asleep, he gets up and climbs onto Jeno’s bed.
Said boy shifts from under the blanket, raising his head and Jaemin hears a painful ow. “Jaemin? What are you doing?”
He doesn’t answer at first, slipping under his blanket and Jeno grumbles as he makes space for him. Once he’s somewhat comfortable, Jeno pokes at his cheeks, “What do you think you’re doing?”
Although it was dark with only the dim lamp the school provided for each dorm room, Jaemin can see the bruise forming on Jeno’s knuckles. He frowns. “You’re bruised.”
Jeno looks at them. “It’s okay. I just… fell.”
“And what—hit your knuckles?”
“Something like that.”
Jaemin brings Jeno’s hands between their faces. Jeno has been looking at them like they’re ugly but they’re not—nothing about Jeno is ugly—so he kisses his knuckles. One on each finger.
“I have superhealing,” he jokes.
Jeno’s eyes water. “Thank you.”
Jaemin finally sees Spider-Man in action one night when he goes to the convenience store to get those ice cream filled bread snacks he and his friends loves so much. They were having movie night at Yukhei’s condominium, but it wouldn’t be one without the snacks. You would think one of them would remember to get some.
Like the saint that he is, he volunteered to go. Jeno wanted to come along, too, but he thought it would be all peachy because the convenience store is not that far, and the neighbourhood is safe.
He should have been a little bit careful, though because the second he steps out of the store with a plastic bag full of the desserts, this motherfucker decides it was okay to steal his backpack and now he’s running for dear life.
“Dude! You’re not getting anything inside there except for AP Chemistry textbooks!”
…and the prototype of the Iron Man glove Mr. Stark told to check up on.
“Fuck, why did I even bring it arou—”
One thing leads to another, and Jaemin’s falling face first on the ground after tripping on a pebble. He closes his eyes, braces for impact and says hello to perhaps a broken nose.
He doesn’t meet the ground.
“Eh?” I’m floating?
Spider-Man lands next to him.
He just saved him from a broken nose by shooting a web on his back. What a hero. Wait, this is Jeno. God, this is embarrassing. Just when he said it was okay for him to go all alone ten minutes ago, Jeno finds him running for his backpack that has the Iron Man glove prototype and his Chemistry homework that’s way overdue (he’s trying).
“Look, I know I owe you my life but could you, uh, get my bag? There’s a prototype of Iron Man’s glove in there.”
He sees Spider-Man’s eyes widen and it would have been funny because Jaemin can exactly imagine Jeno’s expression under the mask.
“WHY WOULD YOU CARRY THAT AROUND?”
“I MAKE IMPROVEMENTS FOR MR. STARK, OKAY? You can’t blame me.”
Actually, he can. If only he let Jeno accompany him then there wouldn’t be a problem. Funny how that is because Jeno’s here but Jeno doesn’t know that he knows.
“Alright, wait here.”
“I’ll retrieve your bag for you. Plus, it would be dangerous.”
“You don’t even know where it is.”
“I have Spidey-Sense.”
Jaemin snorts. “Sorry, the name of that ability… it’s a little… Anyways, I have information on who that person exactly was.”
“And who was he?”
Jaemin takes risk. “Hajoon.”
“From Chemistry 211?”
“Yeah,” Jaemin pretends to look suspicious, “How would you know that?”
“Sure. Whatever,” he supresses a smile, “I’m suspecting he saw me fix the glove when he barged into my dorm, saying he had the wrong door number. Uh huh.”
Spider-Man crosses his arms and Jaemin kind of wishes it was broad daylight, so he could see the muscles in his arms a little bit better. “Where do you suspect he would be now?”
“Somewhere abandoned that’s not too far. He doesn’t have superpowers and he’s a kid so no car. Also, come on, homeboy can’t even run half a hundred meters without looking like he’s going to die.”
Spider-Man laughs and Jaemin knows only one person has that laugh. “Jaemin, that’s mean.”
“Wait, how do you know my name?”
“Um, I know Iron Man? Therefore, I know some of his interns?”
“Makes sense,” Jaemin says and Jeno lets out of sigh of relief. God, he’s so cute. It’s not really fair.
“Uh, Hajoon—I mean, the kid you’re suspecting—probably went to that abandoned Chinese restaurant just a few blocks down here.”
Jaemin thinks for a moment before smiling, “Smart thinking! I have a roommate that’s just as smart as you are.”
He nods. “And he’s cute, too.”
“Well, enough about my roommate. Let’s go Spideyboy!”
Jeno sighs. “It’s Spider-Man.”
Spider-Man was right.
Hajoon was right there at this big, rectangular table right in the middle of the room. He didn’t even remember to lock the back door. When Jaemin casually walked in with Spider-Man next to him, he yelled and grabbed the nearest knife.
Jaemin puts his hands up. “Hajoon, I believe you have something of mine.”
“This? This is Iron Man’s. Was. It’s mine now and once I add all the better things Tony Stark didn’t even think of adding, it will be the greatest weapon mankind has ever seen.”
Spider-Man sighs. “That’s cute. It’s still stealing.”
“You’re a vigilante,” Hajoon taunts, “You have no rights to say what’s on your mind here.”
“I’m still on the good side.”
He then points his mechanical web-shooter at him, the web aiming for the glove before yanking it out of Hajoon’s hold.
“Here,” he passes it to Jaemin.
Jaemin tilts his head at the glove. “Well, that was anti-climactic.”
“I’m friendly. I don’t want Hajoon to end up rotting in jail.”
Jaemin looks back at Hajoon, who’s standing there, looking hopeless. “Your choice, Hajoon. The police, or Iron Man?”
“...I just wanted to be a hero,” he mumbles.
“Being a hero doesn’t mean powers or gadgets. Sometimes, it’s being nice. Brave. Doing the right thing. Not bullying your classmates is on the list, too,” Jaemin explains. Hajoon nods. “Now, I better see you in Chemistry on Monday. You got no choice, anyways. Or I’ll hand you over to Iron Man.”
“I’ll go!” Hajoon says, panicked. “I’ll go.”
“So, you’re telling me Ant-Man can change into any size he wants but Spider-Man can’t?”
After the whole ordeal, they decide to head back to the convenience store to buy another bag of ice-cream filled bread snacks because Jaemin dropped the previous one down a nearby drain. On the way there, they talk and since Jeno is Spider-Man, conversations flow so easily. Sometimes, he forgets that he’s not supposed to know that’s Jeno. He wonders if any of his friends know it.
Speaking of friends…
“My friends probably think I was kidnapped,” he checks his wrist-watch. “I’ve been gone for two hours. God forbids if Renjun chose the movie tonight.”
“I can swing us - swing you there?” Spider-Man suggests.
And, oh, wow. Have Spider-Man swing you around from building to building at dangerous heights (like Jeno once mentioned)? To Donghyuck and Yukhei, that might be romantic. It is. Kind of. But the word dangerous is still there. Written in big, bold, red letters.
“I won’t drop you.”
“And that’s supposed to make me feel better?”
Spider-Man does the shoulder-shrug. Jeno does that.
This is Jeno. If he says he won’t drop you, then he won’t.
“Okay,” he places the bag of treats in his backpack (there’s no way in Hell is he going to go back and buy more) before turning to Spider-Man. “How does this work?”
“Um,” he moves closer, “You put your arms around me and then lift your feet off the ground. I’ll hold you.”
Jaemin wraps his arms around his neck. Jeno wraps an arm around his waist and then he’s being hoisted up. Oh. Oh. He can definitely feel the abs now.
“Are you ready?”
He nods before closing his eyes. He hears the mechanical web-shooter and he yelps when Spider-Man takes off.
(He can only remember hearing the wind passing by his ears and his heart beating against his chest. It’s not from the adrenaline, though. He hopes Jeno doesn’t realize that.)
Spider-Man places him ever so gently on the balcony of Yukhei’s condominium. His heart is still beating fast and his head is spinning but he manages to smile at Jeno. “Thank you.”
Spider-Man nods from where he’s balancing on the balcony fence. “No problem. I’ll see you around, Jaemin.”
Jeno dives backward and before Jaemin could panic, he sees him swinging from one apartment building to another. Show off.
He hears Donghyuck from inside, “JAEMIN, IS THAT YOU? WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?”
(Halfway through the movie, Jeno barges in. “I’m sorry I’m late.”)
((He shares a bean bag with Jaemin and if Mark saw them intertwining their fingers together, he doesn’t say anything.))
“Where’s Jeno?” Jaemin asks Renjun while they wait for their P.E teacher to finish taking attendance.
“I’m not sure,” Renjun gets up from the bleachers to stretch, “He’s probably late.”
There’s a loud squeal from the group of girls sitting at the top of the bleachers and Jaemin wouldn’t usually care about what they’re watching but he overhears Heejin going, “Oh, God! He’s so cool! Did you see that jump?”
Jeno is cool. Jeno does stupid amazing jumps.
“He’s hot, too!”
Jeno is hot.
“They really they could beat the Spider-Man.”
Jeno is - Jeno is Spider-Man.
He climbs to where they’re gathering. Renjun narrows his eyes at him but he doesn’t say anything.
“What are you watching?”
Heejin waves at him, “Jaemin! We were just watching a live footage of what happened downtown, a few minutes ago. Spider-Man was fighting a group of robbers that had these huge gun machine thingy—”
“Is he okay?” he asks hurriedly.
“Yeah, he won but then he left even before the police and paramedics came,” He must have looked distraught because she smiles, “Chill, Jaemin. Your boy will be fine. He’s a superhero.”
He thinks of all the times Jeno comes to their room bruised. “Superheroes get injured, too.”
Renjun touches his shoulder. “He always gets back up. Don’t worry.”
That’s the thing—they don’t have to worry because it’s Spider-Man and he has healing abilities and he’s stronger than the average kid.
But he’s still Lee Jeno. His roommate, his best friend, the boy he’s in love with.
Before he could say anything else, the doors to the gym open and Jeno comes in limping with a black eye and bruised arms.
Jaemin gasps and doesn’t think twice about running to him.
Jeno then explains to their P.E teacher that he fell down the stairs when he was rushing to class because the lift didn’t work.
She sighed, “Be careful next time, okay? You’re excused. Go get some rest.”
He nods before walking back out. Jaemin follows suit.
“You can’t skip gym, Nana.”
“It’s just gym,” Jaemin can’t help but tear up, “Plus, I have to take care of my roommate. I have superhealing abilities, remember?”
“Nana, please don’t cry - I’m okay. I’ll be okay.”
Jaemin tries to blink away the tears but instead they fall down his cheeks. Jeno wipes them away. “I’m scared that one day you’ll come back in a much worse condition. I’m scared that you won’t come back to me at all—”
“Stop crying,” Jeno kisses his wet eyes and though that seems gross, Jaemin can’t help but feel butterflies in his stomach, “Stop crying, you big baby. I’ll always come back to you. You’re the only who has superhealing abilities, anyways.”
Jaemin has a habit of dropping in on the photography club whenever they’re having their outing sessions because those are the best part. He’s not exactly in the club but after joining their activities more than a few times, he’s made friends with other people, instead of just clinging to Jeno and Renjun. He’s now an official unofficial member of the photography club (it makes sense, he swears).
Today because it was already snowing a few days ago, Mr. Seo had given them a small project to capture the ways snow changes things around the city. With everyone’s promise to be back at school by 2 PM latest, he lets everyone go (after crying dramatically and saying his children have abandoned him).
Renjun pairs up with Mark who decided to tag along because he had no classes. Jaemin ends up with Jeno.
‘Ends up’—as if they weren’t each other’s first choice, anyways.
Initially, they were walking around the city and taking photos of almost everything they find aesthetically pleasing but it ended up with them making up their own challenge: eat one cookie from every coffee shop they see.
Sure, it was most likely an excuse for Jaemin to take pictures of each other like they’re on a date and being cute social media boyfriends (no, he’s not jealous of Mark and Donghyuck) but Jaemin doesn’t have to say that out loud.
When they come out of the nth coffee shop (they lost count), the Sun is already setting. That makes sense—it sets earlier in December but Jeno makes a joke that it’s because Donghyuck is feeling sleepy and going to bed early.
“Mr. Seo is going to kill us.”
Jeno snorts. “Don’t worry. Renjun told him that we got kind of side-tracked. Might as well take pictures of the sun setting.”
“You know a great place to watch?”
“Hold on, I... have a call…” then Jeno disappears into the corner. A few minutes later, he flinches because Spider-Man appears to him by dangling from a web upside-down.
“Jen—?! Spider-Man, you scared the shit out of me!”
“I didn’t think Na Jaemin gets scared.”
“Who told you I don’t get scared? I get scared about a lot of things, thank you very much. Not ghosts, definitely, but random superheroes scaring me by greeting me upside-down? Those are scary.”
“Ouch,” Jeno places a hand over his chest, “That hurts.”
“Oh, no. I wounded the Spider-Man. Am I going on the list-of-people-to-take-revenge-on?”
“I don’t do the whole revenge thing, sweetheart.”
Stupid Jeno and his stupid way of making Jaemin’s heart race faster than it was when he was swinging across the city.
“Do you want to watch the sunset—”
“Know any good place to watch the sunset—”
They asked each other at the same time before laughing when they realized it. “You’re a dork, Spider-Man.”
“A dork who definitely knows an amazing place to watch the sunset.”
Jaemin smiles before putting on the act of looking around, “Oh, but I have to wait for my roommate. The cute and smart one I told you about?”
Spider-Man lands on his feet. “The one you have a crush on?”
“Well, I… uh… I met him on the way. Told me to take you to watch the sunset, you know, with me.”
“I still feel bad…”
“Trust me, he wanted this.”
(“He’s cute, right?” Jaemin asks when he’s, once again, being carried by Spider-Man as they swing across the city. “My roommate, I mean. Jeno.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“I only told Renjun and Donghyuck—my friends—about this but the only time he isn’t cute is when he’s working out.”
“Why is that?”
Spider-Man almost loses balance.)
The amazing place to watch the sunset Spider-Man meant was on top of the Brooklyn Bridge. Jaemin swung from building to building just a few minutes ago, I can brave myself to watch the sunset here, but why is he shaking so badly? He sits—the closer to the ground, the better. Every time he looks down, everything is tinier and that reminds him that he’s way up there and one wrong step could lead to -
“You’re not going to fall.”
Jaemin looks at Spider-Man, the winds making his hair look messy. “And if I do?”
“Then I’ll catch you.”
He holds out his hand and Jaemin grabs it.
Minutes pass and he doesn’t exactly forget that he’s on top of Brooklyn Bridge because he only has to remember that Jeno will catch him if something happens.
(If because Jeno won’t let any probability of Jaemin falling happen.)
“I didn’t think my first date would look like this,” Jaemin says after taking a few shots of the sunset. The orange sky has now changed to dark blue and stars are splattered everywhere.
“You deserve the most extraordinary date ever,” Spider-Man stands up, “Take my hand.”
“What are we doing?”
Once Jaemin is on his feet, Jeno places his hands on his waist. Then, he starts singing, “Wise men say only fools rush in, but I can’t help falling in love with you.”
Jaemin burst out laughing at the first note. “Oh, God. You just had to sing this song. Alright, then. Shall I stay? Would it be a sin,” he lets out a giggle, “if I can’t help falling in love with you?”
“Like a river flows, surely to the sea. Darling, so it goes. Some things are meant to be.”
“Take my hand,” Jaemin continues as Jeno holds his hand tighter and brings him closer, “Take my whole life, too.”
“For I can’t help falling in love with you.”
Jaemin can’t stop giggling and he knows Jeno is smiling so wide his eyes turn into crescent moons.
“You know… Renjun has been listening to this song on full volume even when he’s wearing earphones. See, he’s been in love with one of our seniors, Yukhei, for so long,” Jaemin babbles on before taking a deep breath, “Spider-Man… are you falling in love with me?”
“…And if I am?”
God, if Jaemin could explain how in love he is. Maybe he’s feeling a little braver because he blurts out, “But I’m in love with my roommate.”
“I understand,” Spider-Man says but there’s not a hint of sadness in his tone. “I knew you had a crush on him.”
“You sound happy.”
“Because I am.”
Without warning, Spider-Man grabs his waist before diving.
“I’d like a warning next time,” Jaemin says when Spider-Man lets go of him. They landed just a few blocks from his favourite restaurant, he realizes. “What are we—”
He turns around. Spider-Man disappeared. Or maybe he turned invisible—he wonders if Jeno has that ability. Shrugging, he begins to walk towards the restaurant. Before he could head inside, Jeno comes up from the corner, running.
“Hey,” he pants, “Jaemin.”
“Didn’t expect to meet you here.”
“Jeno, this is my favourite restaurant.”
“What a coincidence!”
Jaemin can’t help but laugh. “Alright, since we’re both here, want to grab dinner?”
Jeno opens the door for him, smiling, “After you, sweetheart.”
There’s a printed photo of him mid-laughter in one of the coffee shops on his pillow that night. There’s a written message at the back:
you’re prettier than any sunsets
He wants to kiss Jeno.
When Jaemin saw their school was attacked by another monster on Christmas, on The News, the first person he thinks of is Jeno. He was having lunch in a restaurant with Donghyuck and Renjun, when one of the waitresses turns on the television. He drops his spoon when he sees Spider-Man climbing on the wall in the background before giving the camera crew a thumbs-up.
“That dork,” Jaemin snorts.
“I just realized that’s our school,” Donghyuck comments. “If Spider-Man didn’t stop the monster, it would have travelled here.”
Renjun doesn’t even look up from his food. “It wasn’t a monster—just some rich kid trying out weapons and accidentally, like, fused with his own creation.”
“And our school became the target… why?” Donghyuck asks.
Once they’re done and Jaemin bid his friends a see you later, he walks back to his parents’ house. Turning the corner and walking in an alleyway (because it’s a shortcut), he almost lets a scream when Spider-Man greets him again, upside-down because Jeno is a show off.
“Hi,” Jaemin says, like this is an everyday thing. “I saw you on The News.”
Spider-Man hums, “I just wanted to make sure you’re okay because you know, you were near.”
“I’m starting to think you’re a stalker, Spideyboy.”
“Mark told me - ah, fuck.”
“Mark—Donghyuck’s boyfriend? I didn’t know you were friends with him.”
“Are you saying I don’t have friends? Na Jaemin, you hurt me.”
“Tell me, Spider-Man. Am I the only civilian in New York you would personally make sure is alright, and it’s all because you’re in love with me?”
“I can’t answer that.”
Jaemin grins, “Jeno.”
Spider-Man sputters. “Was it that obvious?”
“Alright, since the cat’s out of the bag—I love you.”
“You’re going to confess to me upside-down?”
“Hey, you confessed on top of the Brooklyn Bridge. Let me live. Where do I start? I’ve had the biggest crush on you since—what? Freshman year? Ever since we were roommates. And I don’t know if you noticed but I always come home late—”
“Through the window.”
“Through the window—adding to that. And it warms my heart,” he hits his chest dramatically, “that you would make sure to wake me up and make me breakfast. Sometimes you help me with Chemistry and don’t shout when I steal—borrow! Borrow your Chemistry notes because I couldn’t finish mine.
What am I saying? I’m having a hard time thinking right now. Anyways, other people see Spider-Man but you. You see Lee Jeno, and I appreciate that, Nana. I really like you. Really, really like you. I’m in love with you.”
Without missing a beat, Jaemin exclaims, “I love you, too, Lee Jeno!”
“Good! Now kiss me before I die from lack of oxygen in my brain.”
Jaemin laughs. “I can’t believe I’m doing this.”
He grabs the end of Jeno’s mask, slowly peeling the edges off to reveal smiling lips. He holds Jeno’s cheeks, moving closer before pressing their lips together in a chaste kiss. Then, Jaemin presses their mouths harder against each other before pulling away slightly.
Jeno smiles even wider and Jaemin swears he can see his eyes turn into the prettiest of crescent moons behind the mask, too.
“You have another mission to finish, Spideyboy?”
“The grind never stops.”
“Oh my God,” he laughs before pulling Jeno back into another kiss—this time short. “Be careful, then.”
“I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
“I love you more.”
“I love you the most.”
“…To be continued.”
“Of course,” Jeno giggles, sort of drunk in love. “See you at the party.”
Later in Donghyuck’s kitchen, someone taps on his shoulder and Jaemin turns around to see Jeno, smiling at him and holding a small box wrapped in Rilakkuma-patterned paper. “Hi, sweetheart. Merry Christmas.”
“Hey,” Jaemin kisses him on the cheek, “Is this the mission you were talking about?”
Jeno rubs at the back of his neck sheepishly. “…Yeah.”
“Hey, lovebirds. Look up,” Mark says from the kitchen doorway before sauntering back to the living room.
When they look up, there’s a mistletoe hanging above. Jaemin giggles and Jeno’s ears turn red.
They burst out laughing. Jaemin snorts, “This is going to be our thing, now, isn’t it?”
Jeno nods. He then holds Jaemin’s face ever so lightly, like he can’t believe this—this—this is real. He’s in love, and being loved back, and Jaemin can see the stars in his eyes. He leans in, closing his eyes and Jaemin does the same. When their lips touch, a constellation is formed. Jeno kisses him harder and Jaemin whimpers from lack of breath and when they let go, they wish they didn’t.