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baby won't you take it back, say you were trying to make me laugh

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Lee Minho was both the hurricane and the calm after the storm. He was like that, always soft and warm and home in a way that Jisung didn’t think he could ever find anywhere else, but also unreachable and far away and heartache in a way that Jisung didn’t think he could ever escape.

 If you asked him, Jisung would always smile fondly. We’ve been friends since high school, he’d answer.
  If you asked Minho, he’d wink at the younger, pulling him into his side carelessly, unaware of his effect on him. We’ve been soulmates since high school, Minho would answer, always happy, always grinning with a hint of the giggle that drove Jisung just a little bit crazy.

 Jisung thought that there wasn’t anywhere that he wouldn’t follow Minho. They ended up at the same college, both studying art–Jisung in music production, and Minho in dance. They ended up as roommates, and Jisung thought the world just wanted to torture him by putting them so close, yet so far, but he would never deny Minho anything, so he moved in in his second year.

 It was like that, Jisung knew, and always would be. Minho was the type to be loved and to rarely love, but the way he’d tuck Jisung into his arms when it was just the two of them watching a movie on the couch made Jisung ache in a way he couldn’t begin to fathom. When they’d fall asleep there, because they were both too tired to go to their own rooms, and far too comfortable in the presence of the other to even think of pulling away, Jisung would always be left wondering.

 And when Jisung would wake up in the morning to a cold couch and a text from Minho saying he’d gone out yet again, he would sigh, swallowing his disappointment. He’d make Minho’s favorite breakfast, knowing that he would eat whatever was leftover whenever he came home, even though Jisung was always a bigger fan of pancakes.

 If you asked him, Jisung would smile, but there was always the underlying shadow of heartache. Jisung would never admit it, would never tell another soul, but he always knew how it really was. I’ve been in love with him since high school, is what he wouldn’t say. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him. I’d follow him to the ends of the earth. But Jisung knew that was overdramatic, and he would never get the opportunity.

 Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, except that Minho was completely oblivious to his pining. They were a part of two different worlds, and Jisung was sure he was never meant to swept up in Minho’s. The older boy was all beauty, caught up in the expensive lifestyle and in love with everything but the ordinary. Minho was parties that went late into the morning and everything that shines and makes people feel something. Jisung was entirely the opposite. He was sweatpants and staying up late to work on songs and waking up a mess. Jisung had bags under his eyes and Minho had rings on his fingers and how he ever fit into Minho’s world, Jisung will never know.

 Jisung was probably the only constant in Minho’s life. Even his friends noticed, as Minho danced from one person to the next, from one group of lavish, masked people to the next. Jisung knew that Minho would always come back to him, and Jisung would be the one who got to see him take his make up off, who heard him complain about the intricacies of his exciting life. He was the one who heard his light laugh as he told him about the newest people, the one who heard his gentle sobs when someone broke his heart.
 The only thing that hurt more than Jisung’s broken heart was Minho’s. And his heart was broken often.

 And that’s why Lee Minho was both the calm and the hurricane, and Jisung still couldn’t keep up, even after all his years of trying. He could chase the storm for the rest of his life, but Minho wouldn’t ever stop to let him catch up. Sometimes he slowed down, and Jisung watched his sleeping face as his eyes fluttered and his mouth drew into a pout, and Jisung would pull him that much closer, and every time, Minho would let out a contented sigh and, still, and Jisung thought that maybe chasing the storm wasn’t as impossible as it seemed.

 But why did he always wake up alone?

 Jisung knew he had no right to be upset about details such as this. It wasn’t like he didn’t know where Minho was, he always made sure to tell him so that he didn’t worry. It wasn’t like he had a claim or a right to Minho, in fact, he really didn’t. He was his best friend, and Jisung was okay with that. Was okay with laughing with him through all of his sunny days, with holding him through all of his rainy days.

 He was okay, really.

 Minho’s phone beeped, and Jisung rolled his eyes, pulling his coffee closer to he could take a long drink out of it, peering at Minho. “Who is it this time?” he asked casually, trying not to seem to interested–too jealous.

 Minho’s eyes narrowed, gazing down at his screen. He sighed, clicking his phone screen off. “Namjae,” he responded, resigned.

 Jisung raised an eyebrow. “Again? I thought you guys broke up last month,” he said.

 Minho nodded, not-so-subtly peering at his phone again. “We did,” he confirmed. He frowned, eyes shifting towards the blinking light that signified he had a notification.

 Jisung sighed, leaning back in his chair to examine his friend. Minho was the type to try anything once, but he wasn’t the type to go back to someone or something once he put it in his past. “You can look at it,” Jisung told him. “I won’t be offended.”

 Minho shook his head, forcing a smile. “It’s okay, Jisungie. It’s our day, it would be rude to be on my phone.”

 Jisung laughed, trying to cover the fluttering of his heart. “It’s fine, really,” he said. “Maybe it’s something interesting.”

 Minho rolled his eyes, making a point of putting his phone in his pocket. Out of sight, out of mind. Except Jisung was sure he’d think about it for the rest of the day, wondering just what Namjae might have to offer Minho, whether or not Minho thought of him as something beautiful and extraordinary and exciting–everything Jisung wasn’t. But he pushed those feelings away, wanting to remain in a good mood.

  Minho scoffed. “Probably just texting to say he misses me.”

 Jisung barked out a laugh. “Another broken heart, Minho? You have quite the track record,” he teased.

 Minho threw his hands up in defense. “He got boring,” Minho said. His lips broke out into a wicked smirk. “The only exciting thing about him was his di–”

 “Please!” Jisung yelled, covering his ears. “Don’t finish that sentence.”

 Minho shrugged. “You asked.”
 “No! No, I didn’t,” Jisung said, laughing. “Always assume that I didn’t ask.”

 Minho shot him another smile, that same wicked look that made Jisung think that there was nothing that he wouldn’t do for him. The one that set him on fire, suggestive, and Jisung always wanted to fall for it. Jisung wondered if Minho knew what he was doing, knew what that smirk did to him. He feigned boredom, leaning on his palm and blinking up at his friend. “So, are you going to text him back?” he asked, trying to pretend like he couldn’t care either way.

 “Depends on how much he begs,” Minho said with a light giggle that didn’t match the tone of what he’d said.

 “Lee Minho, you terrify me,” Jisung said, completely serious.

 Minho winked. “Good,” he shot back playfully. He stood up from the table, flicking Jisung lightly on the forehead. “Don’t be scared, Sungie. You know you’re always my number one, yeah?”

 Jisung’s heart stuttered, and Minho was giving him that look again. He huffed, pushing away the hand that Minho had rested on his shoulder, shooting his best nonchalant look at Minho. “Of course I am, hyung. What would you do without me?”

 Minho smiled sweetly, leaning forward to touch Jisung’s chin. He was always doing stuff like that. Light, feathery touches. Sometimes it was ruffling his hair when it was still wet, right before bed. Other times it was gentle brush of fingers when they were walking the street together, or Minho grabbing hold of his hand when he got excited about something, unafraid of tugging Jisung along with the brightest smile. “Probably have a lot more money,” he quipped, leaving their table to pay for their food.

 Jisung rolled his eyes when Minho returned, tucking the receipt in his pocket. He never let Jisung pay, but Jisung beat him to the tip, slapping down a small wad of cash before Minho could. “Whatever, hyung,” Jisung said. “Don’t act like you don’t have a long line of pretty rich boys who would buy you food.”

 Minho laughed, easily slinging his arm over Jisung’s shoulder. “I wouldn’t call it a long line, and most of them aren’t even that pretty,” he said. He pretended to think for a minute. “But rich? Yeah.”

 Jisung raised an eyebrow, tapping the earring that dangled from Minho’s ear. “And which of your latest flings bought you this?” he asked, looking at Minho with what he hoped were innocent eyes.

 Minho swatted Jisung’s hand away. “It was a birthday gift,” he said casually.

 “Your birthday isn’t for another two months, hyung,” Jisung said bluntly.

 “Minor details,” Minho said, laughing. He led them down the street, his arm sliding off Jisung’s shoulder in a way that, for a second, his fingertips brushed down Jisung’s back, and then they weren’t touching anymore. Jisung tried not to focus on the fact that he missed the touch. Minho glanced at him, biting his lip a little. “Is there something you want to say, Sungie?” he asked, a slight challenge to his voice.

 Jisung’s breath caught in his throat, his smile dipping. Even though Minho was still teasing him, there was a hint of vulnerability to the way his eyes swept over Jisung, pretending to look somewhere behind him. Jisung sighed. Minho wasn’t dumb, and Jisung knew he was aware of what people said behind his back, what they called him. They’d had the fight before, but Jisung knew he couldn’t change Minho–didn’t really want to change Minho, because he loved him no matter what, even though it hurt when he was gone all night and came home with new jewelry and splashes of purple decorating his collar. As long as Minho was smiling, it was okay.

 Nevertheless, Minho was who he was, but they both knew what other people called him. It shouldn’t matter what they thought, but Jisung knew that sometimes it got to him. He hated the idea of being seen as a gold digger, a sugar baby, or a slut. The last one was the one that hurt the most. The word was more or less banned in their friendship, and Jisung knew better than to mention Minho’s flings in anything other than light-hearted jokes.

 Jisung shook his head, breaking the tension between them. “Nothing,” he said. He smiled up at Minho, fluttering his eyelashes and pouting in the way that he knew would make the older melt. “Thank you for lunch, you’re my favorite hyung.”

 “Of course I am, there’s not even a competition,” Minho said confidently, grinning, and Jisung was glad to see his mood return to the same lighthearted happiness.

 Jisung bumped his shoulder teasingly. “Chan-hyung is up there,” he said. “He might be my favorite hyung soon.”

 “Impossible,” Minho scoffed, not even looking at him. “I’ll always be the best hyung.”

 Jisung hummed in confirmation.

 Minho smirked. “Best and prettiest. You love me.”

 Jisung rolled his eyes, nudging Minho hard enough to push him off his path a little. He got a laugh from the older boy, and Jisung smiled to himself, happy.

 But he didn’t deny his last comment.

 Minho’s phone buzzed on the couch next to them, and Jisung extracted himself from the cage that was Minho’s arms, picking up the remote to pause the movie they’d been watching. “Are you going to answer that?” he asked, giving Minho a pointed look.

 Minho returned his look innocently. “Answer what?”

 “Oh, please,” Jisung huffed. “Your phone has been going off all day. That was the fifth time in, like, the last hour. Just answer it.”

 Minho frowned. “It’s probably nothing–”

 Jisung sighed, laying down on the couch once again, carefully out of Minho’s reach, trying not to make it obvious that he was purposefully putting space between them. “I can tell you want to text him back,” he said. “I don’t mind.”

 Minho bit his lip, staring at Jisung intently, like he was trying to find any sign that Jisung was lying. The latter smiled reassuringly, pulling out his own phone and trying to look busy. Minho frowned a little, but turned his phone screen on, unlocking it quickly. Jisung watched over his own phone screen, trying to gauge Minho’s reaction.

 Jisung watched as Minho’s cheeks flushed, and he had to hide a smile into one long sleeve, and his chest ached. When Minho put his phone down, Jisung asked, “What was it?”

 Minho shook his head, straightening his face into a careful bored look. “Same old, same old. Said he missed me. Some other stuff. We should get back to the movie.”

 Jisung blinked. Minho shook his leg impatiently. “If you want to go to him, just go,” Jisung said, the words coming out of his mouth faster than he could stop them. He regretted them the second Minho’s head shot up, eyes wide, surprised.

 “Really?” he asked, careful. “It’s our night, Jisungie, we had this planned...”

 Jisung shrugged. He didn’t want to be the reason that Minho didn’t get to do what he wanted, didn’t want to be the one holding him back, especially when it came to having fun. Anywhere he went with Namjae would be way better than a boring night in with Jisung in sweat pants. “Yeah, of course. We can just reschedule,” he said. When Minho still looked unsure, he added, “I’ll probably just invite Felix over, we haven’t caught up in a while.”
 Minho blinked a couple of times, his face giving nothing away, before he nodded slowly. When he looked up, he was smiling. “Right,” he said. “I guess I’ll tell him nevermind, I can go out tonight.”

 Minho stood up from the couch, already on his way to go get changed, and Jisung hated himself for noticing how quickly the older agreed to going out. He sent a text to Felix, telling him to come over and bring pizza.

 “Which shirt should I wear?” Minho called from his bedroom. “Gucci tee with a leather jacket, or the purple silk?”

 Not the purple silk, Jisung thought, knowing too well how good that looked on Minho, making him look more ethereal than he already did. Jisung could only imagine the way he glowed under the lights of the club, giggling carelessly as strangers were caught in his spell. “W-with what pants?” he asked.

 “Uh... I was thinking just black ripped jeans,” Minho responded quickly.

 Jisung sighed to himself. “Wear the purple shirt. It looks really good on you, hyung,” he said. He wasn’t going to let his stupid jealousy keep Minho back, he wasn’t.

 Minutes later, Minho came dancing out of his room, looking like an entirely different person. Not worse, or better than before, just different. His hair was carefully styled to part over his forehead, his eyes sparkling dangerously in the dim light of their apartment, looking slim and put together in his outfit. It was a stark contrast to the oversized sweater he’d been wearing, his hair a little messy from running his hands through it. In his ear, the earring dangled, and Jisung had to look away.

 “How do I look, Sungie?” Minho asked.

 “Great,” Jisung said, not looking up again.

 He could almost hear Minho pout from where he was sitting. “You didn’t even look,” he whined, walking over to the couch until he was standing right in front of Jisung, peering down at him.

 Jisung’s eyes flickered up to Minho’s face–much closer than it was a second ago. He swallowed heavily, examining how his deep brown eyes had been brought out with eyeliner and his lips were just a little bit darker–a detail that only he’d ever be able to catch. “You look great, hyung,” he repeated, stubbornly turning to his phone again. He didn’t think he’d be able to look at him anymore–if Minho was the sun, then Jisung was Icarus, always flying a little too close, always burning.

 Minho stepped back, and was quiet for a long moment. “Okay, goodbye Jisungie. Don’t wait up for me,” he said, ruffling the younger’s hair.

 Jisung didn’t breathe out until he heard the door to their apartment shut. He groaned, throwing his phone across the couch and running his hands through his hair. He shouldn’t feel like this, he’d been the one who encouraged Minho to go out. He knew that the older boy would have more fun wherever he was going, with whoever was going to be there. Jisung was just Jisung. Why would he stay here when Minho could have so much more? Jisung was sure he wouldn’t ever be enough for him. Part of him wondered why Minho had stuck around for so long to begin with.

 After a while of laying on the couch, the door opened again, and Felix came in. “You guys really need to start locking your door,” he said casually. Despite what he’d said, he didn’t lock it, just shut it and collapsed on the couch next to Jisung.

 “Hey,” Jisung said, his voice dull.

 Felix rolled his eyes, picking up a pillow and hitting Jisung over the head with it.

 “What the hell was that for?” Jisung whined, getting ready to return the attack until he saw Felix’s eyes twinkling in amusement.

 “I didn’t come here to watch you wallow in self pity, Jisung,” Felix laughed.
 Jisung pouted. “I wasn’t wallowing.

 Felix raised an eyebrow. “Really? Then why were you laying face down on the couch like a slug?”

 “I wasn’t–” Jisung began indignantly. Felix only laughed, so Jisung glared and threw the pillow back at him as hard as he could, ruffling his blonde hair. “You’re an asshole,” he muttered.

 Felix grinned, pulling Jisung into a hug. “An asshole that you love.” After a moment of silence, he pulled back, his face falling into something more serious. “Minho again?” he asked.

 Jisung blinked, not wanting to answer. “Weren’t you supposed to bring pizza?” he said instead, realizing, for the first time, that Felix was entirely pizza-less.

 Felix rolled his eyes. This seemed to be a common thing in their friendship–Felix was always at least a little exasperated with Jisung. “I see where your priorities are. I ordered it, it should be here soon. I didn’t want my car to reek of your stupid garlic crap.”

 Jisung glared at him. “It’s not stupid, it’s called having taste. No wonder you don’t like it.”

 “Jisung,” Felix said. “Tell me what happened.”

 Sighing, Jisung laid his head back, scowling at the ceiling. “Nothing. Today’s the first Saturday of the month, so it’s the day we usually spend together, right?” Felix nodded, aware of the tradition, so Jisung continued. “We were just watching a movie but his stupid phone kept going off, and apparently this guy he dated–Namjae?–and it was driving me a little crazy because it’d been going off all day, you know? So I told him to check it.” Jisung groaned, rubbing his hands down his face. “It was the guy inviting him out or something, so I told him to go and he did.”

 Felix was quiet for a minute, like he was waiting for Jisung to finish talking, but when he realized he was done, he laughed. Jisung shot up, glaring at him. “What’s funny?” he demanded, annoyed that his best friend would laugh at his pain.

 “I’m sorry, it’s not!” Felix said. “It’s just sad that you’re here pouting about it, but you’re the one who told him to go. If you didn’t want him to, why did you tell him to?”

 Jisung narrowed his eyes at him. “I didn’t want him to be stuck with me all night if he could actually be out having fun.”

 True to his character, Felix rolled his eyes. “Jisung, you’re an idiot. Minho hasn’t ever been ‘stuck with you’, you’re, like, his favorite person, you know that right?”
 Jisung pouted, jutting out his lip. “Well, yeah, but not like that. He could be out partying and on dates and having fun–”

 “You could literally sit in silence with Minho and he would enjoy it, as long as it’s with you, Jisung,” Felix said, laughing more. “I was over here once and he watched you play some block game on your phone for an hour.”

 “That’s–” Jisung spluttered.

 “Just tell him that you love him already. This whole pining thing is getting frustrating, and I’m not even the one actually pining,” Felix said.

 “It’s not that easy!” Jisung scoffed. “We’ve been friends for years, this would be, like, the ultimate betrayal.”

 Felix reached forward, grasping his hand to comfort him. “Minho loves you a lot. No matter what happened, he would be understanding. He wouldn’t hurt you.”

 Jisung shook his head. “I can’t tell him, Felix. I just can’t.”

 “You’re just hurting yourself by not telling him,” Felix said, frowning. “And, despite popular belief, I don’t like seeing you upset.”

 “Felix, can we just drop it? Please?” Jisung begged. “I think the pizza is going to be here soon. Let’s just forget it and watch a movie.”

 Felix looked like he was about to agree, before his face broke out into a wicked grin, and he tugged Jisung up and off the couch. “Forget the pizza, I have a better idea.”

 “I don’t like that look,” Jisung whined, pulling his hand back before Felix could drag him off. “What are you thinking of doing?”

 Felix’s smile widened, and Jisung was reminded of the Cheshire cat, suddenly afraid. “We’re going to get your mind off Minho,” he said cryptically. “Now, where are your leather pants?”

 “My what–”

 Jisung stumbled back into his apartment at ten in the morning. Felix had dragged him to a bar, and Jisung wasn’t entirely sure he remembered everything. He definitely remembered ordering one too many drinks, remembered dancing with Felix, sort of remembered making out with someone, and definitely doesn’t remember where the hickey on his neck came from. Despite all that, they left pretty early, around one, and Jisung ended up crashing at Felix’s.

 He knew that he probably looked like a mess–he was still wearing his clothes from the night before, which did include leather pants and a somewhat askew button-up, but, after a couple hours of sleep at Felix’s and some serious pain medicine, he at least felt sober. He shut the door softly, not sure if Minho was back yet, and was maybe sleeping.

 As he walked down the hallway, he stopped at Minho’s door, realizing that it was open. He figured that meant that he was still out, since the older always closed it before he went to sleep to “keep away monsters”. Yet, when Jisung peered into the room, he saw Minho in bed, curled around one of his pillows and in his pajamas. Jisung blinked at the sleeping figure, surprised that he was actually here. When Minho rolled over in his sleep, restless, eyebrows furrowed, and the blankets fell away, Jisung took a deep breath. Quietly, he shut the door and headed to the bathroom, ready to wash away the night before.

 After his shower, he absentmindedly threw on some comfortable and clean clothes, then dragged his feet into the kitchen to start breakfast. For a second, he pondered making pancakes–his favorite–but then his mind wandered to Minho. It didn’t seem like the older had slept very well, and Jisung was always so weak to him. Breakfast was more or less scared to them, and Jisung made the elder’s favorite whenever he could–as comfort food, as apology food, or just to make him happy. He sighed, settling on making the Minho’s favorite, cooking up some steak, eggs, and toast. It was simple, but he knew it would make Minho smile. 

 “Smells good, Jisungie.”

 Jisung jumped a little at the sound of Minho coming into the kitchen, caught off guard. He thought he’d have to wake him up. Jisung tossed a grin over his shoulder, flipping the eggs.

 Minho’s eyes widened as he took in the food scattered around the table. “My favorite!” he exclaimed, gleaming.

 Jisung nodded, turning around with the pan to slide the eggs onto the his plate. He leaned forward, careful not to drop them, his shirt slipping down his shoulder. He looked up from Minho’s plate to ask how much he wanted, but when his eyes settled on Minho, the older gaze didn’t meet his own. Instead, it was locked on Jisung’s neck. He swallowed as he watched Minho’s eyes trail from his neck to his shoulder, feeling self-conscious, realizing the couple of dark red marks that decorated the skin there were completely on display. Minho’s mouth dipped into a tight frown, eyes dark.
 Jisung jolted up, fixing his shirt quickly. “Is–is that good, hyung?” he stuttered, nodding towards the food he’d just placed on his plate.

 Minho’s eyes snapped up to his. His frown deepened for a second, before he blinked, sitting up. “That’s perfect, thank you, Jisung,” he said, voice blunt. After a second, he smiled reassuringly at Jisung. “Really, thank you.”

 “You’re welcome,” Jisung said, making his own plate and sitting down next to him hesitantly.

 They ate in silence for a while, before Minho asked, “Did you have fun last night?” The question was quiet, and Jisung was sure he’d imagined the bitter tang to it.

 Jisung shrugged with one shoulder, refusing to turn and make eye contact with his friend, scared of what he’d find there. “I guess,” he said casually. “Felix took me out to get my mind off of some stuff.”

 Minho turned to face him, raising an eyebrow. “Like what?” he asked, concerned.

 Jisung froze, realizing he’d said something he shouldn’t have. He couldn’t exactly tell him he’d gone out to forget him. He bit his lip, coming up with the quickest lie possible. “Just some school stress. Nothing new.”

 Minho furrowed his eyebrows, placing a hand on Jisung’s shoulder to get him to look at him. “We hung out all of yesterday, why didn’t you say anything? Are you doing okay?” he asked.

 “It’s okay, hyung, not really a big deal. I guess Felix and I were long overdue to have some fun, spend some time together,” Jisung said nonchalantly, promptly shoving some of the egg into his mouth to avoid any further interrogation.

 Jisung felt Minho tense, the latter’s hand sliding off his shoulder. Minho cleared his throat. “Right,” he said. “I can tell you had a lot of fun.”

 Jisung narrowed his eyes at Minho. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

 Minho’s stared back at him, eyes wide and innocent. He opened his mouth like he was about to say something before he closed it again. His eyes flickered down to Jisung’s neck, before he looked back up, shaking his head. “Nothing,” he whispered. “I’m sorry I said anything.” He stood up abruptly, taking his plate–which was only half gone–to the sink. “Thanks for the breakfast.”

 Jisung stood up, his chair pushing out behind him. “Minho, wait,” he said. He wasn’t really sure why he was stopping him, only that the older was upset with him, and he felt something dark and uncomfortable settle in his own stomach as he watched him walk away.
 Minho spun around, crossing his arms and glaring at him. “What?” he said impatiently.

 Jisung felt like he was suffocating a little bit, face hot and heart pounding. Tears pricked at his eyes, and he grappled for something to say, but he didn’t really know what could make it better–where he’d gone wrong. “I–” he stammered, his voice coming out choked.

 Minho’s face softened, his eyes wandering over Jisung’s face. Jisung felt like he was under a microscope, like Minho could see everything, could read all of his emotions written right there on his face. “Is that my shirt?” Minho asked, voice rough.

 Jisung blinked, a little surprised at the question. He glanced down at the t-shirt that hung off his shoulder. It was an old band t-shirt–one of Minho’s favorites. He hadn’t realized when he put it on. He blushed all over again, adjusting it once more. “Yeah, it is,” he admitted. “Sorry, I didn’t even think about it, I was tired–”

 “No, it’s–” Minho swallowed a little, before smiling. Jisung could tell it was forced; Minho’s eyes were sad. “It looks good on you.” And with that, he left the room.

 Jisung sat back down heavily, glaring at his eggs as he pushed them around the plate mindlessly. Why was Minho upset? He was the one who went out last night first, what did he expect Jisung to do? Sit around and wait for him to come home? Jisung frowned, wondering when Minho did come home last night. Typically, he wouldn’t be home until later the next morning, but the fact that he was in his bed both clean and sleeping means he probably didn’t even stay out too late the night before. If Jisung hadn’t gone out with Felix, would he have still been awake to see Minho come in?

 Jisung shook his head, trying to push that thought away. It didn’t matter, he couldn’t allow his life to always revolve around Minho, Minho, Minho. Jisung sighed, shoving his plate across the table in frustration. It was impossible not to put Minho first, he’d been doing it for years. And his constant desire to be around him, make him happy, might be the very death of him.

 It wasn’t like them to fight like this, either. They did have their arguments, but they always had a basis. This just seemed so random, out of the blue. Jisung wondered if maybe Minho had actually had a bad night. Maybe Jisung should ask if he was okay. Except he couldn’t bring himself to stand up, couldn’t bring himself to face Minho again.

 Jisung unconsciously pulled at the collar of the t-shirt again, a little uncomfortable. He blinked when he realized what he was doing, then peered down at his shoulder. The red marks seemed to be staring back at him, and he felt himself flush, ashamed. The guy had been charming–dancing and flirting with Jisung throughout the night. Honestly, it had been fun, and he’d almost asked for the guy’s number before he left. But then–

 Minho. Always, always Minho. The older’s shirt was stubborn, refusing to stay up on his shoulder, and Jisung’s heart sped up when he heard Minho’s words in his head. It looks good on you. He knew that it didn’t mean anything, but Jisung clung to the words like an umbrella in a rainstorm. Jisung breathed in, smelling Minho on his shirt. Even though they lived together, Minho still smelled impossibly good, maybe a little lemony. Jisung didn’t know how he did it.

 Jisung sighed, looking at the clock before he decided to give up on eating breakfast. Despite only being home for about an hour, he put his shoes on, leaving the apartment to go to the coffee shop down the street, needing some room to breathe, maybe think.

 Over the next couple of days, Jisung didn’t see much of Minho. He wasn’t sure if it was because their schedules didn’t line up or if the older was actively avoiding him, but either way, Jisung was beginning to feel miserable. The most interaction he’d gotten from Minho was a tight-lipped smile as they bumped into each other in the mornings.

 Jisung’s phone ringing broke him out of his thoughts, and he answered when he saw who it was. “Hey, ‘Lix, what’s up?” he said, holding his phone with between his ear and his shoulder as he adjusted himself in his bed.

 “Hey, Jisung. You’re coming tonight, right?” Felix said. Jisung wasn’t sure where he was, but the background was loud, full of laughter and cheering.

 “Coming? Where?” Jisung asked, confused.

 “To the showcase,” Felix giggled, like Jisung was just being forgetful. “Minho-hyung said he invited you.”

 Jisung frowned. Minho hadn’t really talked to him in about three days, let alone invited him to one of their dance showcases. Jisung tried to ignore the pang of hurt that settled in his chest at that. He’d never missed any of Minho’s performances, and the fact that Minho didn’t invite him made his heart drop. He forced a laugh. “Right, the showcase. I forgot it was tonight,” he lied. “Of course I’ll be there, ‘Lix. I wouldn’t miss out on you dancing!”
 Felix laughed. “It’s okay, we all know you come for Minho. I have to tell you, though, his solo dance is–” another laugh, “wow. I’ll pray for you and your well-being.”
 Jisung hummed into the phone, pretending to not be effected by the idea of Minho’s solo dance. He’d been able to make it through countless showcases, performances, and competitions–he’d make it through this one, too. “Thanks for the warning,” he said with a short chuckle.

 “Yeah, by the way, while we’re on the subject of warnings–Hyunjin, shut up I am on the phone–there’s something else you should probably know, if you don’t already,” Felix said. He must’ve been walking somewhere, because suddenly it got a lot quieter, and Jisung was able to hear him much better now.

 Jisung froze, anxious. “What is it?”

 “Minho invited his boyfriend,” Felix sighed. “Actually, we’ve all already met him. I hate the guy.”

 “Wait, what? His boyfriend?” Jisung stuttered. Boyfriend? Since when did Minho have a boyfriend? He knew they weren’t exactly talking right now, but Jisung thought Minho would’ve at least told him that.

 “Yeah,” Felix said, completely oblivious to Jisung’s confusion. “This Namjae guy. I’m pretty sure all of the dance team kind of hates him.”

 Jisung shifted to sit up in bed, a little more interested in the conversation now. “What do you mean? Why?”

 Felix groaned. “I can’t even explain it. Have you met him?”

 “No,” Jisung said, jaw clenched.

 “Oh, well he’s kind of... possessive? I guess? And not in the attractive way. If I see him glare at Hyunjin because he’s talking to Minho one more time–

 “Hey, I have to go,” Jisung said, cutting him off. He was already clenching his fists, irritated at someone he hasn’t even met. Maybe Jisung was just biased, looking for any reason to hate someone who was dating Minho.

 “You okay, Jisungie?” Felix asked, his voice softer now.

 “Yeah,” Jisung responded quietly. “I just have to go get ready. I’ll see you in a couple of hours.”

 Despite getting ready almost two hours early, Jisung was almost late to the showcase. He spent all of his time beforehand pacing around, nervous. He wasn’t sure if he should really go. Minho hadn’t invited him, didn’t that mean he didn’t want Jisung to go? But even if that was the case, Jisung wanted to be there to support Felix and Hyunjin.

 Maybe if he went Minho would talk to him again and forget whatever had settled over them recently. Jisung had almost laughed at the thought. It didn’t quite seem like Minho was going to talk to him any time soon. It wasn’t even like the older was mad at Jisung, just distant, like they hadn’t been best friends for years.

 When he walked into the auditorium, the lights were already starting to dim, and he looked around for somewhere to sit for a panicked moment before Chan and Jeongin called him over to their spot, and he slid in between Woojin and Seungmin. “Did I miss anything?” Jisung whispered.

 Woojin shrugged. “Just the preview performances, some elementary kids.”

 Jisung pouted. “I love those ones,” he said. “They’re always so cute.”

 “They were a mess,” Seungmin told him, laughing. “But, you know, I’m pretty sure they’re better than you, so–”

 “Oh, shut up,” Jisung whined, groaning into his hands. “I’m not that bad–remember when Minho tried to teach me for a summer?”

 “Key word: tried,” Changbin but in from the seat next to Seungmin. “Now everyone be quiet. The first person to talk and ruin this performance is dead.”

 Seungmin leaned into Jisung and snickered. “He’s only saying that because Felix is performing. When are those two just going to date already?”
 Jisung shrugged. “I don’t know, but I’m having fun watching them pine.”

 Woojin snorted from next to them, then raised his eyebrow. “Look who’s talking–”

 Jisung hushed him, nodding towards the stage to indicate that it was about to start and that they shouldn’t be talking. When Minho’s dance team took the stage, he shrunk down in his seat, watching at Minho’s eyes scanned the crowd. Jisung wondered bitterly where his boyfriend was sitting, and if that’s who Minho was looking for.

 But when Minho’s eyes skimmed past him before shooting back, landing on Jisung, the latter squirmed in his seat. Minho seemed surprised, but he smiled a little, eyes brightening. Jisung managed a small grin and a thumbs up before the music started and Minho turned to the members of his team.

 It was like a switch flipped in Minho–one minute he was smiling almost shyly at Jisung in the crowd, and the next minute, when the music started, his face fell, his eyes darkened. Minho always took dancing seriously, his stage presence was dark and effortlessly sexy. Jisung was always torn between staring at the elder and hiding his face, scared to watch. Watching Minho dance was like flying too close to the sun when you’re flammable, but Jisung always found himself burning anyways.

 He held his breath as the music filled the auditorium. His eyes briefly flitted between Hyunjin and Felix, reminding himself that he was there for them as well, before they all started to move together. The song was loud, their moves powerful. The whole group was made up of ten people, and they were perfect synchronized. Jisung’s heart swelled with pride as he watched them, knowing a big part of their success and hard work was due to Minho.

 Jisung watched with a wide grin on his face, following Minho’s smooth movements without blinking. For a minute, he forgot about the unresolved tension between them, about Minho not inviting him to the showcase. For a minute, he was entirely and genuinely happy to be here.

 And then the music changed, the beat slowing down, heavy and dirty. The dancers pulled back, all of them holding still except for Minho, who remained center stage. Jisung’s breath caught as Minho began to move. His body dropped with the beat, slow and sensual and Jisung’s heart stopped. Felix hadn’t been kidding when he warned Jisung about Minho’s solo dance. His throat was dry, and he wanted to look away but he couldn’t. Next to him, he thought he could hear Seungmin laughing, but he was too entranced to redirect his attention.

 Out of nowhere, Minho fell forward, catching himself on his hands and grinding down on the floor. Jisung almost audibly choked. He easily pushed himself off the floor, gracefully returning to his feet and continuing to move in time. The dance was still suggestive, his hips moving to the song. Minho smirked, his tongue flicking over his lip, and he looked up into the crowd through his lashes.

 His eyes almost instantly found Jisung, and there was something in them that he couldn’t read. Jisung felt his face flush and his heart stuttered as Minho continued to do the sensual movents, holding Jisung’s eyes. Look away, he told himself. Yet, he couldn’t help the expression on his face, couldn’t help showing how effected he was. He bit his lip anxiously, and Minho’s gaze became impossibly darker.

 After what felt like forever, Minho’s solo dance was over and Jisung could finally breathe again. The song was almost over, Hyunjin flawlessly leading the ending choreography. On the last beat they all thrust, and Jisung laughed a little, figuring it was put in as more of a joke than anything, despite how good they all looked.

 The lights lifted, and the crowd’s cheers filled the auditorium. Jisung screamed with everyone, grinning and clapping. He tried to catch Minho’s eye again, but the older was smiling somewhere past him, waving. Right. Jisung forgot that Minho’s boyfriend was here.

 Seungmin tapped his shoulder. “Aren’t you coming?”

 Jisung jumped, forgetting that he wasn’t here alone. “Huh?”

 Seungmin rolled his eyes. “We’re going out to congratulate the dance team. I asked if you were coming?” he repeated.

 “Oh, yeah,” Jisung said dumbly.

 He followed the group out of the auditorium and into the main hall, along with a number of other people. They only had to wait for a second before the dance team was tumbling into the hallway as well. Despite their grace on stage, the boys were a loud and rambunctious mess, pushing each other to get to their friends first.

 Jisung grinned as he saw them coming. He easily made eye contact with Felix, only a second before the boy was barreling into him with a laugh. “Jisungie!” he giggled happily. Jisung laughed as he caught his friend, and they spun around for a second before Jisung dropped him.

 “That was so good!” he cheered, messing up Felix’s hair playfully. “I’m so happy for you!”

 Felix smiled and laughed happily before leaning in to Jisung’s ear mischievously. “Did you like Minho’s dance?” he whispered.

 Jisung blushed bright red, pulling away to hit Felix’s arm before he hid his face behind his hand. “Shut up!” Jisung hissed.

 He pulled his hand away, ready to go find Minho. But when he saw the elder, he was already looking at Jisung, a small frown on his face. A look of hurt flashed through his eyes, and Jisung was about to go to him, but a tall man wrapped his arms around Minho’s waist, leaning down to kiss his neck.

 Jisung blinked, freezing. His heart dropped and he felt sick. He watched as Minho turned in the man’s arms, reaching up to kiss his lips and, even though Jisung was used to Minho dating, he felt tears prick at the corner of his eyes. He felt like an idiot–he must have been imagining the moment they’d had on stage. The way Minho had looked at him–Jisung took a shaky breath.

 He turned around, unable to see Minho with the man anymore, and found Felix already glaring at Namjae. Felix’s face softened when he saw the look on Jisung’s face though, and he hugged him without hesitation, running his hands through his hair to calm him. Jisung sniffed, resting his head on his best friend’s shoulder. “I’m stupid,” he said. “I’m really stupid.”

 Felix hummed softly. “No, you’re not. Minho’s the stupid one here.”

 “I just–his dance–you should’ve–” Jisung couldn’t get any words out, his thoughts all jumbled.

 “Let’s go talk to Hyunjin,” Felix said with a smile, pulling Jisung to a group of their friends far away from the couple. “You know how much he likes to be complimented,” Felix added, making Jisung laugh.

 Jisung liked Hyunjin a lot. After a short period where they didn’t get along, he ended up realizing that the other boy was actually really funny and surprisingly easy to talk to. Even though he was still sad, the feeling settled farther down, buried by the grins of his friends as they talked about the dance and the success of the night.

 Hyunjin ended up smirking as he eyed the friends surrounding him, eyes landing briefly on Jisung. “Everyone was great, but Minho is the MVP of the night,” he said casually.

 Everyone around him nodded in agreement and Jisung shifted uncomfortably. Felix put a hand on his shoulder comfortingly, and when Jisung looked up, Hyunjin’s grin fell. He gave Jisung an almost apologetic look, before turning back to the group.


 Jisung tensed. He knew who that voice belonged to, but he wasn’t sure if he could handle seeing him right now. Nevertheless, he took a deep breath and turned around to face Minho. He gave him a tight lipped smile. Before he could walk to him, Felix leaned in and whispered, “You going to be okay?” Jisung wasn’t sure, but he nodded anyways.

 “Hey,” Jisung said softly, stopping when he was a step away from him. He shoved his hands in his pockets for lack of anything better to do with them.

 Minho looked amazing. He was still wearing the uniform the whole dance team had been wearing, which was simple and mostly black, but Minho always managed to make everything look expensive. His hair was messy, parted across his forehead and sweaty, but the make up they all wore on stage still looked good, accentuating his beautiful eyes. Jisung ached.

 “You came,” Minho stated dumbly.

 Jisung cleared his throat, uncomfortable. He knew he shouldn’t, but a flare of irritation shot through him. “Yeah. Felix told me about it, and I’ve never missed a showcase, so...” he trailed off, staring at the floor.

 He hated this. He was never this awkward or distant with Minho. What had happened in the past couple of days to change it? What did he do to push Minho away? He felt frustration bubble up, feeling like a fire in his chest and he didn’t know if he wanted to scream or cry or just hug Minho and forget the last couple of days.

 “I know,” was all Minho said.

 Jisung waited for him to say anything, but when he didn’t he huffed. “Why didn’t you tell me about the showcase?” he asked sharply.

 Minho’s eyes shot up to look at Jisung before he glanced away even quicker. “I–I meant to,” he stuttered.

 “Really?” Jisung spat. “Here I was thinking you were to focused on avoiding me.”

 Minho flinched a little, refusing to meet Jisung’s eyes. “I wasn’t–”

 “Minho, don’t insult our friendship by lying to me,” Jisung said. He was beginning to lose control over his feelings, a tear spilling over his cheek. “I just don’t understand what I did wrong.”


 “Don’t call me that,” Jisung snapped, too angry to think about the logic of the demand. “Not right now.”

 Minho’s nodded, then lowered his head. “Jisung you didn’t do anything wrong, I–”

 “Then why,” Jisung asked, stressing the word. He crossed his arms, suddenly feeling small and vulnerable. “Why, Minho?” he repeated.



 Both Jisung and Minho jumped, turning to find the source of the new voice. Jisung’s heart dropped for what felt like the millionth time that night when he realized it was the tall man from earlier, Namjae.

 “What are you doing, Minho? I’ve been looking for you for five minutes,” Namjae said, barely glancing at Jisung before he slid an arm around Minho’s waist, pulling him into his body.

 Jisung clenched his fists, looking away.

 “I’ve been talking to friends,” Minho responded easily, yet Jisung could sense the irritation in his voice. “I’ve been here the whole time.”

 Namjae rolled his eyes. “And who’s your... friend?”

 Jisung tensed, hating the way Namjae emphasized the word. “I’m Jisung,” he said before Minho could respond. “Han Jisung.”

 Namjae showed no sign of listening or caring about what Jisung had just said. He turned to Minho, frowning. “You said this wasn’t going to last that long,” he mumbled. Jisung glared. “Are you ready to go yet?” His voice was impatient, and Jisung’s eyes narrowed his eyes as Namjae’s grip tightened around Minho’s waist.

 “I was kind of in the middle of something...” Minho said, shifting to the side a little to shake away Namjae’s grip, but apparently the guy was oblivious or dumb, because he just pulled him in again.

 Namjae really looked at Jisung for the first time, eyes roaming over him lazily. Jisung made sure his face was set in a scowl, despite the discomfort creeping into him. “Was it important?” Namjae asked, bored.


 “No,” Jisung answered for Minho. “No, it wasn’t.”

 “Then we should go,” Namjae urged, beginning to walk away. When he noticed Minho wasn’t walking with him, he huffed. “Minho?”

 Minho blinked, obviously trying to keep his irritation under control. “Just give me a minute, Namjae.”

 Namjae’s face darkened, and he looked between Minho and Jisung with a scowl. He stalked forward, leaning down a little to hiss something into Minho’s ear. The latter visibly tensed, then shifted uncomfortably. Jisung had never wanted to punch one of Minho’s boyfriends more.

 Minho gave Namjae a tense smile. “I’ll be right there. Just give me a minute.”

 Namjae shot one last scowl at Jisung before he walked away, the image of confidence.

 “Jisung, can we just talk?” Minho said, turning his attention back to him.

 Jisung’s heart stuttered, full of frustration and hurt. “No,” he said without hesitation. He didn’t want to talk–he wouldn’t like whatever he heard.

 Hurt flashed through Minho’s eyes, his face twisted in a sad expression. “Jisung–”

 Maybe it was because he’d been ignored for days with no explanation. Maybe it was because Minho’s new boyfriend was a dick, or maybe it was because Jisung was tired of being the stupid friend that would follow Minho to the end of the earth with no questions asked, but Jisung couldn’t handle it–not right now, not tonight. He rounded on Minho, eyes flaming. “You should go, Minho,” he hissed coldly. “Don’t want to keep Daddy waiting.” Jisung regretted it the second the words were out of his mouth, but it was too late to take them back.

 Minho’s face dropped, and he took a step back. His eyes filled with tears, but he didn’t let them fall. He shook his head. “Of all the people who look down on me,” he said, his voice shaky. “I never thought you’d be one of them, Jisung.”

 “Shit, Minho, I’m–”

 Minho shook his head. “You’re right. I should go. Goodbye Jisung.” With that, he turned around and left.

 Jisung shook a little, crossing his arms as tears began to fall down his face. He fucked up. He fucked up so bad.

 “What happened?” Felix asked, pulling him into a hug.

 Jisung let out a sob. “Just take me home, please.”

 “Of course.”

 Jisung didn’t actually end up going home until the next day. Felix had insisted that he stay the night at his and Hyunjin’s apartment. Both of his friends ended up doting on him, and even though Jisung knew he didn’t deserve it, he let himself be fed ice cream and receive hugs. By the time he went home, he felt a little better, knowing that he would always have friends on his side no matter what.

 Jisung knew he had to apologize for what he said. He knew how much it had to have hurt him. He felt like shit knowing he’d done the one thing that he wasn’t sure Minho would forgive him for.

 With a small sense of deja vu, he opened the door to the apartment. Although he doubted that Minho would be home, he peeked past the open door of his bedroom, not sure whether to feel disappointed or relieved that the elder wasn’t in there. On the one hand, he didn’t have to face him yet. On the other, he wasn’t sure when he’d see him again, if he’d be forgiven.

 He walked into his room, ready to collapse into his bed, but he stopped in his tracks when he realized there was already a figure in his bed.

 Minho was fast asleep, Jisung’s favorite blanket pulled up to his chest. From where he was standing, it looked like Minho was still wearing his clothes from the night before, but his face was washed. It looked like his eyes were swollen, and Jisung’s heart lurched at the thought of Minho crying.

 He didn’t want to wake him up, so he tried to be quiet as he headed to his closet and sorted through his clean clothes for something to wear. He was just pulling a clean t-shirt over his head when Minho shifted in Jisung’s bed. “Jisungie?” he mumbled sleepily.

 Jisung’s heart stuttered, taking in the sight of Minho’s messy bed hair and sleepy eyes. He smiled a little, scared. “Yeah, it’s me,” he responded quietly. He had to refrain from walking up to the bed and running his hands through Minho’s hair. He took a deep breath, holding himself still. “What are you doing in my bed?” Jisung asked, his voice soft and gentle.

 Minho frowned, like he just realized where he was. “Was waiting for you to come home,” he said. “Didn’t know if you were.”

 “I’m sorry, I would’ve come home sooner if I knew you were here. I stayed with Felix,” Jisung told him, moving cautiously to sit on the edge of the bed. “I thought you were going to stay with Namjae.”
 Minho shifted to accommodate for Jisung, sitting back against the headboard. He looked down at his hands, even as Jisung tried to catch his eyes. “I–I came home pretty late. Took the bus.”

 Jisung frowned. “You took the bus from his house?”

 Minho nodded. “I ended it. Fucking asshole.” For the first time, Jisung noticed that Minho’s hands were shaking, eyes filling with tears.

 Jisung reminded himself again to hold back. He wasn’t sure how upset Minho was with him still, and right now he didn’t have the right to comfort him. “What happened?” he asked carefully.

 Minho shook his head.

 “Minho? What happened?” Jisung pressed.

 “I–” Minho’s voice shook. “He hit me.”

 Jisung moved faster than he thought he’d ever moved before, climbing father up the bed so that he could take Minho’s face in his hands, searching for any sign of injury. “I’ll kill him,” he hissed, furious. “I swear to God, I’ll kill him.” His heart ached, and he couldn’t help but feel like it was his fault. He shouldn’t have said what he did, should’ve let Minho talk to him.

 Minho grabbed Jisung’s hands, pulling them away from his face. “It wasn’t that hard. More of a slap. But he–he kept calling me a slut. Kept telling me I was w-worthless and that I didn’t deserve him.” He let out a sob. “Maybe he’s right. Maybe I am worthless.”

 “No, no, no,” Jisung said quickly, shaking his head. “Minho, no. You are not worthless. You’re the most amazing person in the world.”

 “Stop, Jisungie. Just stop. Please,” he cried. "You can't just--say that."

 Jisung’s heart broke, and he tugged Minho into his arms, holding him tight to his chest. “I’m so sorry,” he whispered. “For what I said yesterday. I’m such an idiot.”

 “It’s okay,” Minho said, moving to pull away.

 Jisung wouldn’t let him go, moving closer to wind his arms around Minho’s middle and tuck his head into the crook of Minho’s neck to hide his own tears. “No, it’s not okay,” he said fiercely. “It’ll never be okay. I’ve spent my whole life wanting to–to protect you and I just hurt you.”

 “Jisung, I’m a big boy, I can protect myself,” Minho laughed wetly into Jisung’s embrace. “I’m going to be okay.” His voice cracked, and neither of them quite believed him.

 “I should’ve been here for you,” Jisung sniffled. “I’m so sorry. You’re not worthless, Minho,” he repeated. “You’re so so beautiful–the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen. And you’re strong, stronger than anyone knows, even me. You–you have so much passion and love for the world and music and I always get caught up in it because I get to be a part of that, of your world, and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me–did you know that? You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.” Jisung was crying again, holding Minho tightly. “I always thought one day you would leave me, because why wouldn’t you? I’m so plain and boring compared to you and your world,” Jisung laughed a little. “Why would you stick around?”

 He felt a hand on his face, pulling his chin up so he had to look at Minho. “Why would I stick around?” Minho asked. “You never left my side. You defended me when people called me names and no matter what I did, even if I became those–those names, you still stood by me and you cared for me unconditionally. “Why would I stick around? Because you’re you. You’re Han Jisung and I–I’ve loved you for so long that I don’t remember what it was like to not love you anymore,” he breathed, his grip on Jisung tightening when Jisung tensed.

 “You love me?” Jisung whispered, blinking up at Minho.

 Minho’s eyes were sad, and he caressed the side of Jisung’s cheek with his hand. “How could I not?” he said. “It’s okay. I know you don’t feel the same, and you and Felix are–”

 Jisung scrambled up, not realizing until it was a little too late that he was basically sitting in Minho’s lap. He flushed but didn’t move, shaking his head. “Me and Felix aren’t dating,” he said. “We’re friends. Just friends.”

 Minho tilted his head, raising an eyebrow in confusion. “You’re not? But–you went out with him and came home with hickeys. And at the showcase, too. He whispered something to you and you–you blushed in that cute way you do and I thought–”

 “No! No the–the hickeys were from someone else,” Jisung flushed, ashamed of the marks but desperate to explain. “No one important. And when he whispered in my ear–he was–he was,” Jisung spluttered, looking away. “He was teasing me about your dance.”

 Minho blinked before his eyes widened in realization, and his mouth split into a smirk. “About my dance? What about my dance?”

 Jisung pouted. “Hey! Don’t tease me, we were having a serious conversation.”

 Minho grinned, holding one of Jisung’s hands with his own before he laced the other one around his waist, lifting him and pulling him forward so he was straddling him. Jisung turned bright red and Minho chuckled, leaning forward to place a light kiss to each cheek. “I’m sorry. Keep going. What were you saying?” he asked, dipping his head down to nuzzle at Jisung’s neck, placing another feather light kiss.

 “I–Minho stop for a second, you’re–that’s distracting,” Jisung said, his breath catching in his throat at the elder’s touch. “I have to tell you something.”

 Minho pulled back, eyes suddenly serious, but his hands remained around Jisung, absentmindedly rubbing circles into his waist with his thumb.

 “I love you, too,” Jisung said hurriedly. After he said it, he groaned in embarrassment, leaning forward in Minho’s lap to hide his face in his chest. He could hear his heart pounding, and he was happy to know he wasn’t the only one so effected. “So so much.”

 Minho’s eyes widened, and he smiled so wide Jisung thought he’d go blind. “I love you Jisungie. I’m so sorry for being distant for so long. I’m so sorry.”

 Jisung shook his head. “No, I’m sorry for what I said. It was completely out of line. I just–why did you ignore me for so long?” Jisung asked, the hurt clear in his expression.

 Minho’s smile fell a little, but he used his free hand to push Jisung’s hair back, looking at the younger with so much love that Jisung didn’t know how he never knew how Minho felt about him. “The night you told me to go out with Namjae, I was upset. I wanted you to tell me to stay home because it was our day, wanted you to want me to stay. I went out anyways, knowing that I didn’t want to leave you. I wasn’t even with Namjae that long before I left and came home, because I only wanted to be with you. I was going to confess that night, but you were out when I came home. And then the next morning–I was going to tell you I loved you and I was just able to convince myself that maybe you loved me, too, but then–” he stopped himself, looking at Jisung’s neck.

 Jisung sucked in a breath. “The hickeys,” he said.

 Minho nodded in confirmation, a sour look on his face. “I distanced myself because it hurt. I know it wasn’t fair to you, but it was so hard to bring my emotions back in. I was scared of hurting you, which was what I did anyways.”

 “It’s okay,” Jisung breathed. “We’re here now. You’ve got me. I’m all yours, Minho.”

 Minho’s expression darkened, and in a flash, he’d flipped them over, pinning Jisung under him. He laced his fingers with Jisung’s, holding them above his head so Jisung couldn’t touch him. He dipped down, hovering just over Jisung’s lips. “Say that again,” he whispered.

 Jisung whined, arching up to try to get Minho closer to him. “‘m yours,” Jisung mumbled. Minho released one of his arms, using his now free hand to hold down Jisung’s hips and keep him still.

 “God, I love you so much, Jisungie,” Minho mumured, grinning into Jisung’s lips. “Can I kiss you?”

 “I love you, too,” Jisung said, loving the way the words rolled off his tongue. “But if you don’t kiss me, I’ll break up with you before we even start dating.” Minho laughed, his breath ghosting over Jisung’s mouth, and Jisung couldn’t take it anymore. He leaned up, catching Minho’s lips with his own.

 Minho growled, pulling him impossibly close. He reached up and ran a hand through Jisung’s hair, lightly tugging on the dark strands. When Jisung gasped, Minho took the opportunity to slide his tongue into his mouth, easily taking over.

 Minho pulled back all too soon, and Jisung whimpered, trying to chase his lips. Minho just chuckled, dipping his head to kiss along Jisung’s jaw then his neck. “Gonna mark you,” he said. He nibbled on Jisung’s skin, and Jisung’s breath caught in his throat. “You don’t know how much it tortured me,” he said, the words muttered into the expanse of Jisung’s neck. “Seeing you in my shirt, with someone else’s marks all over your neck.” Minho growled. He bit sharply, and Jisung cried out a little. Minho’s tongue smoothed over the mark as an apology, sucking lightly on the skin.

 Desperately, Jisung pulled Minho back up to his mouth, kissing him again. “I’m sorry,” he hummed in between kissed.

 Minho pressed their bodies together, licking into Jisung’s mouth. “All mine,” he said softly.

 Jisung nodded, staring up at Minho. His heart was so full. “Yours,” he said. “Minho, I–I want–”

 “Sh, baby,” Minho whispered, pressing a long, slow kiss on his lips. “We have time. Can we just–take this slow?”

 Jisung softened, fastening both his hands around the back of Minho’s neck. “Of course,” he said, smiling. “We have all the time in the world.”

 Later, when they’re both in Jisung’s bed, pressed against each other and exhausted, Jisung placed a kiss on Minho’s chest, laying his head down. “Do you know how beautiful you are?” he said. Minho carded a hand through Jisung’s hair, humming in content. “I love you so much,” Jisung continued. “Thank you for letting me be a part of your world. I know I’m not–not the exciting type but–”

 Minho shushed him. He kissed him deep and slow, just because he could. “You are exciting,” he insisted. He grabbed one of Jisung’s hands, placing it over his heart. “You feel that?”

 Jisung nodded, smiling wide.

 “And Jisung?”

 Jisung hummed to show that he was listening as he traced patterns into Minho’s chest.

 “You aren’t a part of my world,” Minho told him. “You are my world.”