“ Dear you,
Thank you for your help the other day. I guess you’re probably wondering why I’m writing you a thank-you note for such a little thing, and the truth is I can’t get your kindness and your smile out of my head.
I really hope we’ll get to meet again, by chance. ”
“Good, is that from you? Are you playing a joke on me?” Can shakes the note he found in his locker under Good’s nose and the other boy slowly steps back and swats Can’s hand away.
“No… I saw an IC student leaving when I got here, maybe it’s from him?” Good says slowly.
“IC? I don’t know anyone from IC…”
Can thinks back on his week, trying to figure out if he talked to any IC student recently. Suddenly, it clicks.
“Was he tall and rich and super handsome?”
“Tall, yes, handsome… more pretty than handsome, maybe?” Good answers, and that’s it, Can knows.
“Holy shit, I know who wrote this. What do I do, Good?”
“I don’t even know what the note says… Can’t help you…” Good says, and Can reads the note aloud.
“Oh… He likes you,” Good smiles. This doesn’t help, because what is Can supposed to do now?
“I only warned him about the pigeon shit where he was about to sit… How can he like me from this?” Can looks helplessly around the room. This kind of thing doesn’t happen to him.
No one ever liked him like that before, it’s weird. It feels… kinda nice, being liked, but he doesn’t know if he likes the attention in itself or the fact that it’s from this particular guy. He starts worrying his lip, needing something to chew while his mind works. He pictures himself on a date with that IC boy, imagines warm eyes and soft smiles directed at him, IC boy leaning down after dinner, gentle hands cupping his face… This could be nice, but also terrifying because he’s never done this before. He stares blankly at the wall, at a loss for what to do next.
Thankfully, Good knows him well. “Let’s go get lunch,” his best friend says.
Of course, because this is his life, the IC who left him the note is sitting at a table right outside the cafeteria, talking quietly with another IC student. Good elbows him and nudges him in their direction, and Can stands his ground.
“Nope, not going there, bye Good!” Can says as he tries to leave, but Good grabs him and doesn’t let him get away.
Their struggle brought them the attention of the two IC students, and the one that left the note for Can meets his eye for a second before resuming his conversation, ignoring Can completely. He didn’t even seem to recognize him, and Can sees red. He stalks to the table, trailing Good behind him.
“Oi! You can’t write me a cute note and then ignore me, who are you, some kind of asshole?” Can shouts in the face of Tall, Dark and Handsome.
“Excuse me?” And urgh, Can wants to slap the politeness off his face.
“This!” Can slams the note on the table. “You can shove it up your ass, I will never like you back, you double-faced walnut!”
“I have literally no idea of who you are or what you think your problem with me is, but let me tell you, this is clearly your problem alone,” the asshole says.
Can stares at him in disbelief. The nerve of that guy! And he has the audacity to look all smug and superior, with his eyebrow raised like he’s judging Can, and fuck this guy.
“Uh, sorry… Can I see the note?” The other IC boy asks shyly. He slowly reaches for it and Can lets it go, still focused on his rage at the guy.
“Uh… this is…this is actually mine? It was meant for Ai Ae, I’m sorry, I must have put it in the wrong locker…”
At that, IC asshole smirks and Can slowly steps back. Shit. Shit shit shit.
“You thought I had a crush on you?” IC asshole laughs.
“You wish!” Can shouts, flipping him off and grabbing Good before running away.
Can stops running once he reaches the bleachers, far away from the cafeteria and the asshole currently sitting outside it. Good, bless him, is still following him, though at a much lesser pace, so he isn’t completely out of breath like Can by the time he arrives too.
“Did we have to run here?” Good asks, and Can nods, panting and struggling to catch his breath.
Good sits on the bench nearest the entrance and waits for Can to start breathing again.
“Good, what shall I curse him with?” Can asks as he sits down next to his friend. “He deserves at least some cavities for laughing at me!”
“Did you want him to like you?” Good says, and that is so not the point, so Can shoves him with his shoulder, hard.
Can doesn’t care if the IC asshole likes him or not, he just wants to make him pay for the humiliation. The way he laughed… Would it be so impossible for someone like him to fall for someone like Can?
Good elbows him back, making him look up from the hem of his shirt just in time to see the two IC students go into the locker room. They reappear not a minute later, the one that likes Ae blushing so much it can be seen from the bleachers, and the asshole patting him on the back until he looks up and sees Can.
“Shit shit shit, hide me,” Can says as the IC asshole walks towards them. Good doesn’t help him hide, the traitor, so Can very stoically accepts his fate of endless mockery and settles on three cavities and loss of hair for his curse.
The IC guy stops in front of Can. “What’s your name?” He asks, and Can very pointedly doesn’t look up at him. He’s not about to give him more fuel for mockery.
“His name’s Can,” says Good, betraying him once again. Good gets a good elbowing on the arm, like he deserves.
“Well, Can, I am Tin and I don’t need to hide behind a note to tell you you’re adorable when you sulk. The pout really makes your lips pop out, it’s very endearing and it makes you look very kissable.”
“What?” Can can’t help looking up at Tin now, and as soon as he does Tin’s hand comes to cup his chin, his thumb brushing over Can’s lower lip.
Can stays frozen in place long enough for Tin to sigh and let go. “I’ll see you around,” Tin says, and then he just leaves.
“What the hell,” Good says, and Can nods. What the hell sounds about right.
He watches as Tin makes his way back down the bleachers to his patient friend, still dumbfounded and confused by what just happened. When Tin turns around and stares at him with a small smile, Can stands up before he knows he’s doing it, and he only sits back down when Tin’s eyebrows shot up in a silent question, a silent dare to come to him that Can cannot answer.
Tin smirks as he leaves, and Can is left wondering what happened in his life to lead him there. He doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do now. Should make the next move? Was that even a move move on Tin’s part? Does he want to see where this is going?
“Nnnnngiaah,” Can groans with his head on his knees. Good pats him comfortingly on the back.
Now that he has been seen by Tin, it’s like the guy shows up everywhere Can goes. He’s leaning on the help desk of the library when Can follows Ae and Pond in for a study group session, giving Can a little wave as he passes by. He’s already seated at a table in the cafeteria when Can waits in line to get food, motioning to the empty seats around him in an invitation that Can pretends he doesn’t see. He’s leaving the classroom where Can has his next class, leaving a lingering touch on Can’s wrist as Can hurries inside even though the class won’t start in another five minutes.
He’s driving by the football pitch when Can’s team finishes practice later than usual and there are no more buses going to Can’s neighborhood.
“Do you need a ride home?” Tin asks through the passenger window.
Can hesitates for all of two seconds before climbing in.
“Hi,” he says, feeling awkward and out of place in the expensive car with his hair still wet from the shower.
Tin hands him his phone with a little smile. “Put your address in the gps.”
Can does as he’s told while Tin focuses back on the road, silence growing between them until Tin turns to him again.
“You’ve been avoiding me,” he says, leaving Can fumbling for something to say.
“Not really?” Can mumbles, and it wasn’t supposed to come out as a question, dammit. “I just don’t know what to do with this kind of attention.”
“Can, it doesn’t have to be complicated. I like you and seeing you makes me happy, so I want to see you more often. I want to take you on a date.”
“If I say no, will you make a wrong turn and leave me alone in an empty parking lot somewhere?” Can asks because it never hurts to be sure and his Ma drilled safety measures into him and Ley since they were kids. Which reminds him to discreetly text Ley Tin’s car plate, just in case.
“If you say no I will still drive you home, and then I’ll leave you alone. I told you I liked you, it doesn’t mean I’m going to get mad if you don’t like me back just yet.”
Can mulls that over for the rest of the ride, his mind going over and over the “if you don’t like me back just yet” part. So Tin’s probably not going to back down, even if he isn’t going to push tonight. Somehow, Can finds that a little reassuring, that Tin is letting him set the pace. And besides, it’s not like he was unhappy when he thought Tin was the one behind the note anyway, and he even felt a bit disappointed when it turned out it wasn’t him.
When Tin parks in front of Can’s house, Can turns to him and takes a deep breath, readying himself to both thank Tin for the ride and tell him to pick him up Friday at seven; but Tin lifts his hand and cups Can’s jaw in his palm, his thumb going over his lower lip in the same gesture he made on the bleachers. Can’s brain freezes and he unthinkingly wets his lips, eyes parting in surprise as his tongue finds Tin’s thumb.
Tin’s breath audibly catches as Can’s gaze goes to his lips, and it’s enough to snap Can out of his haze.
“Thanks for the ride, pick me up Friday at seven, bye!” he says, quickly getting out of the car before he loses any more dignity.
Tin’s half-shouted “I’ll be there!” follows him into the house, almost unheard under the loud pounding of his heart.