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It Started With Ramen

Chapter Text

Saturday, 2:00 AM

 

Soobin had lost a bet (for the seventeenth time) with Yeonjun. It turned out that he really couldn’t go twenty-four hours without drinking almond milk or eating bread. They agreed that the loser would have to get the winner some ramen whenever they pleased for a whole week and complete a dare chosen by the winner as well. He hoped that Yeonjun would have some mercy on him with the dare so that he wouldn’t have to end up doing something super embarrassing in public for the whole world to see, but they never actually made any boundaries so Yeonjun called Soobin up at 2 AM to buy some ramen for him, keeping his dare planning a secret.

 

Now here he was, at Mr. Kim’s Konvenience store, turning the aisle corner and bumping into someone else.

 

“Ah, my bad. I should really watch where I’m going,” Soobin apologized and bowed. It was a problem being tall and it’s not like it was his fault for growing so much. If anything, he wished he wasn’t as tall as he actually was. He used to get called so many different nicknames like Cucumber and Zucchini back in middle school that people almost forgot his real name until a teacher called on him one day and kids remembered what his real name was.

 

“It’s okay. It’s my fault really-” The other person stopped talking and took a step closer to him, leaning in as if they were trying to take a closer look at him. “Oh, Soobin hyung? It’s just you.”

 

Soobin stood up straight, not realizing how long he had been bowing for and looked the other person in the eye. “Ah, Beomgyu?”

 

“You know it!” the younger boy smiled and winked, sticking his tongue out a bit. “Fancy meeting you here, hyung. Why are you even out so late? Er, um - early, I mean. Depending on how you look at it, I guess.”

 

“I could ask you the same thing,” Soobin replied, silently praying that he sounded believable. He didn’t want the younger boy to know that the only reason he was here at this time was because he had lost a bet with Yeonjun. After all, almost the whole school knew about them and their weekly bets since they were pretty popular third years due to their looks, and reputations with their older college friends who are considered ‘legends’ that ‘paved the way’ for many other people.

 

Beomgyu raised an eyebrow in response before turning around and walking into the aisle with chips and crackers. “So you lost yet another bet with Yeonjun hyung then?” he guessed as he started looking through the different assortments of chips lined up on the shelves.

 

Soobin followed behind him, his face becoming warm since Beomgyu had seen right through him. “Whaaaaaaat?” he said in a voice two octaves higher than usual, denying the accusation. “Of course not. I’m done with bets after what happened the last time.” Because the last time he had made a bet with Yeonjun and lost he had had to jump in the lake and ended up stepping on a sharp rock which resulted in them having to take a trip to the hospital.

 

“Sure you are.” Beomgyu rolled his eyes teasingly, for he didn’t believe a word that the older boy was saying at all. It’s really no surprise that he lost a bet with their hyung and denied it. It happened way more often than it should, to be honest.

 

Soobin cleared his throat, obviously wanting to change the subject. “So, I, uh, heard that you won class president?”

 

Beomgyu nodded, finally selecting a bag of chips - Kkobug Chips, to be exact. “Yeah. I promised the whole class that I would get the school to change regular white milk to chocolate milk, but I literally have no idea how to do that so I’m just going to have to buy them chocolate milk like every Wednesday morning and count on them to accept it and not impeach me and let Mi-Hi take over the class duties. She would boss everybody around as if she was a queen running a kingdom.”

 

“You aren’t wrong there.” Soobin chuckled softly and looked over at the clock hanging above the check-out counter, seeing that it was already almost two thirty.

 

Had that much time passed by already?

 

“I should probably head home soon,” he said.

 

Beomgyu agreed, heading toward the counter to pay, but soon stopped in his tracks, making Soobin almost run into him like earlier, and turned around. “Did you want anything, hyung? My treat.”

 

Soobin instantly filled with joy and ran over to the back where the drinks were and grabbed a box of almond milk, placing it on the counter with Beomgyu’s chips. After Beomgyu paid they stepped outside and bid their farewells (for ten minutes, but that’s not important).

 

Soobin then walked over to Yeonjun’s since it was closer than his house was and all he wanted was to sleep. It’s not like Yeonjun’s parents would care either since they absolutely love Soobin. As he walked he thought about the strange events that occurred that night, or morning, really. What a coincidence that Beomgyu had been at Mr. Kim’s Konvenience too. They didn’t even know each other well, or at all actually. They were acquaintances, per se, maybe not even that. They’ve known each other since middle school though, but have probably only talked a handful of times (or less to be honest). When the time for high school rolled around they ended up talking a bit more every once in a while, more so about school things and the clubs that they’re in though, so nothing personal. Beomgyu was most likely just being polite at Mr. Kim’s because it was the right thing to do and so Soobin made up his mind and decided to think nothing of it and dialed Yeonjun’s number as he stood outside of his front door.

 

“Soobin!” Yeonjun chirped, “It’s almost three. What took you so long to get my ramen?” He could practically see the pout on Yeonjun’s-

 

Ramen.

 

Soobin had completely forgotten to get the ramen and instead let Beomgyu buy him almond milk.

 

“Um, Mr. Kim’s was out of ramen and there were no more in stock either,” he lied smoothly. “So... can I crash at your place for tonight then, hyung?”

 

Yeonjun sighed on the other side of the line. “Fine. I’ll let it go this time, but the next time you have to get me two cups of ramen and remember to be quiet when you come in. My parents are sleeping.”

 

“Duh. What do you take me for?” Soobin pretended to be offended. “An animal?”

 

“Basically. You’re a literal bunny, Soobin.”

 

“Shut up and let me in, pabo. It’s cold out here.” He ended the call and looked up at the dark star-filled sky, his mind wandering back to Beomgyu for some reason.


I hope he got home safely, Soobin thought to himself just as the door swung open.

Chapter Text

Saturday, 8:21 AM

 

The only reason Beomgyu had been at Mr. Kim’s at two in the morning was because of his older brother and his parents. They had been fighting a lot lately and he just couldn’t deal with it anymore, so he left, not telling anyone that he was going out nor did he leave a note for anyone to find. He was tired of hearing the same argument over and over, constantly being repeated on a daily basis since his brother decided to drop out of college and pursue music instead.

 

He now laid in bed, thinking about the conversation he had had with his older brother only a few hours earlier.

 

It was around three twenty now. He had been out longer than he planned on staying out for, but as long as he didn’t have to hear any more fighting then it was fine. Beomgyu silently climbed up the big oak tree next to the balcony leading to his room. As he made it onto the porch he noticed that the light in his room was on. He peeked through the glass door, only to find his brother sitting on his bed. He looked impatient and kept glancing at Beomgyu’s alarm clock on his bedside table so Beomgyu quietly knocked on the door to get his attention. He walked over and opened the door, stepping onto the porch to join Beomgyu.

 

“So, you’re finally home.”

 

“Chaemin-hyung,” Beomgyu gave his older brother a small smile. “Hey.” He was caught red-handed for sneaking out and he didn’t even have an excuse.

 

“I won’t tell, don’t worry.”

 

He breathed out of relief because thank goodness.

 

“After all, I know how you have to keep up your little perfect son act with eomma and appa.”

 

Beomgyu froze. “W-what?”

 

“I know how hard you try to keep up this act, Beomgyu. You and you’re reputation of being the perfect son because Junsu and I aren’t and can’t be even if we try. Third times the charm, right? That’s probably what eomma and appa thought when they had you as their third son.” Chaemin said in a cold tone. “Anyway the only reason I stayed up to wait for you is because I wanted to tell you that I’m moving in with Junsu hyung in Japan. I’m going to create music there and actually be supported unlike here.”

 

“You know that I support you, right?” Beomgyu asked, “You’re my brother and I will always support you so why does it even matter what eomma and appa think of you and Junsu? As long as the three of us stick together we’ll be fine without them.”

 

“I’m leaving tomorrow,” Chaemin stated, ignoring everything that Beomgyu had just said. “When you’re old enough and ready to give up your perfect act then move to Japan with us. We’ll be waiting, but right now-” he took a step closer to Beomgyu and glared at him, “-right now we hate you for being the way you are. Eomma and appa have always praised you and you never cared to share the attention. You’re the child that they have always wanted. If they had a choice to get rid of me and Junsu they probably would have a long time ago. They just want you because it’s always been you . You’re all they need, but we’re good older brothers so we stepped aside and let it go. You’re all they’ve ever wanted, Beomgyu. I’m not going to ruin anything else because I’ve already done enough just by going after my dream.”

 

Beomgyu stayed quiet, not knowing how to respond.

 

Chaemin wasn’t wrong though. If anything he was more than right.

 

════════ ◖◍◗ ════════

 

“Beomgyu!” His eomma called from downstairs.

 

“Yes?”

 

“Come eat breakfast!”

 

“Okay!” He got up and went to the bathroom to get ready for the day. It was early, but he always got up early on weekends. Beomgyu then slipped on a white hoodie and some jeans that were rolled up at the bottom and ran downstairs.

 

“What’s the breakfast for?” he asked while he sat down at the table and grabbed a plate, piling on three pancakes. “You usually don’t make breakfast on weekends? Or ever, really.”

 

She simply said, “You’re appa and I are going on a business trip for the week so I decided to make you something before we leave.”

 

“Are you leaving today?”

 

“In about ten minutes, yes.”

 

“The both of you are leaving for a week and you decided to tell me just now? Ten minutes before you leave?” Is what Beomgyu wanted to say, but he naturally nodded with an understanding, “Okay.” Because he was a good son who never talked back or gave attitude as most other teenagers would to their parents.

 

“You know Chaemin is moving in with Junsu in Japan.” His eomma said it all nonchalant like, but there was a hidden anger in her voice. She was upset with them both. Junsu wanted a simple life, and Chaemin wanted to turn his passion into a job for himself while Beomgyu would be stuck at home for a little while longer, being the perfect son that everyone knows him as.

 

“Really?” He stabbed a pancake and stuffed it in his mouth, pretending not to know about Chaemin and Junsu’s plans.

 

She walked closer and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Beomgyu-ah, promise me you won’t turn out like them.”

 

He nodded. “Of course.”

 

“Music won’t get you anywhere in life and living a simple life is nothing but boring. You’ll take on the family business, right?” She smiled in a certain way that forced Beomgyu to nod again.

 

“Yep. That’s the plan,” He lied, faking a smile for his eomma. The truth was that he actually did want to pursue music like Chaemin. He had always looked up to Chaemin the most since Junsu worked a lot and was barely ever home when he was younger. Beomgyu would stay up late at night sometimes, secretly composing music, but not being able to create the lyrics to go along with it. Nothing had inspired him yet. He wanted to make music that was meaningful to him and that could be meaningful to others as well, but he also never had the time. Being the so-called perfect son he always had clubs after school and sometimes on the weekends. He was also class president now so he had to always have things prepared and organized for class.

 

“Alright, Beomgyu.” His appa came walking down the stairs. “We’ll be leaving now.”

 

“Okay.” And then he watched them leave. No hugs or anything.

 

Not even an actual good-bye.

 

════════ ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Saturday, 12:03 PM

 

Beomgyu rode his bike, the wind whipping at his face and messing up his just curled hair. He had plans with Kai and Taehyun at the new arcade that opened up a week ago. He’s supposed to be there by twelve-thirty, but at the rate he was going, he wasn't going to get there on time so why not make a quick stop? Beomgyu pedaled faster, making his way to The Coffe House. If he was going to be late then he should show up with gifts for the younger boys so that they wouldn’t be upset when he got there.

 

He parked his bike outside, not bothering to lock it up since he wouldn’t be inside the place for very long, and walked in, the bell ringing as he did so.

 

“Welcome to The Coffee House!” A worker greeted him.

 

Beomgyu smiled back at her, getting a good look at her innocent face and long black hair pulled back in a ponytail. Shoot, what was her name again? They go to school together, don’t they?

 

“Sung-hee, right?” He asked as he approached the front counter and shot her another smile.

 

“Yeah. You know me?”

 

“I tend to remember most of my school mates.”

 

“Ah, right.” Sung-hee looked down before quickly plastering a smile on her face and asking him, “So what can I get you today?”

 

He felt bad for getting her hopes up about being special, but it was the truth. “Three tall Vanilla Beans, please.” Beomgyu handed her the money. He had ordered the same thing so many times that the price of the drink was now etched into his memory.

 

She took his money, opening the register and putting each bill where it belonged. “It should be done within five minutes.” She seemed upset now, but it wasn’t like Beomgyu tried to make her feel bad.

 

“Thanks.” He gave her a curt nod and went to go sit at a table, taking out his phone as soon as he sat down and opened up his group chat with Kai and Taehyun.

 

 

⚔🤠 Three Musketeers 🤠⚔

 

 12:16 PM

Gonna be late.

Sorry.

But I’m bringing drinks so you guys can’t be mad at me.

 

12:17 PM

Taehyunnie: 12:30 BEOMIE!

IS THAT SO HARD TO ASK?!!

 

12:17 PM

Uh, yes? Shouldn’t you know how bad I am with time management at this point?

 

12:17 PM

Ningning: He was probably doing his hair and burned himself again.

 

12:18 PM

Ning’s not wrong though…

 

12:18 PM

Taehyunnie: You burned yourself with the curling iron again?

We talked about this, Gyu.

 

 

Beomgyu smiled at his friend's concern and looked at the bandaid around his pointer finger. It really wasn’t that bad.

 

 

12:19 PM

Don’t worry.

I ran it under cold water for ten minutes.

 

 

He sent one last text and shoved his phone in his pocket as his name was called by a familiar sounding voice.

Chapter Text

Saturday, 12:16 PM

 

Yeonjun handed him the next order to yell out as he placed three Vanilla Beans on the pick-up counter.

 

Three Vanilla Beans for-

 

Beomgyu?

 

Yeonjun nudged Soobin with his arm. “Is something wrong?” he asked.

 

Soobin quickly shook his head. “Nope. Why would something be wrong? Nothing's wrong here.” He faked a smile.

 

“Then what’s taking you so long to call out that order?” Yeonjun raised an eyebrow at the younger boy as he wiped away some whipped cream and a small puddle of coffee. “You usually call it right away.”

 

He hesitated, his eyes flickering from the drinks to Yeonjun, trying to think of something to say. “It’s just uh, three drinks for one person? Why didn’t they just get a grande then, right?” Soobin awkwardly laughed and tried to play it off cool, but Yeonjun narrowed his eyes instead.

 

“What’s up with you?” He moved closer to Soobin, analyzing him. “Could it perhaps be the fact that these drinks are going to The Choi Beomgyu that you ran into last night?”

 

“Technically it was this morning,” Soobin corrected, “But no, of course not.”

 

“There’s no need to lie, Binnie.”

 

“I just-” Soobin faltered, “Don’t you think it’s strange how we bumped into each other this morning and now I’m about to call out his order? Like, meeting twice in one day? It's weird, isn't it?"

 

“Uh, no? It’s just a coincidence, Soobin. There’s no need to overthink it like how you overthink everything.”

 

Soobin opened his mouth to respond, but nothing came out. Did he really overthink everything? Maybe it really wasn’t all that strange. Things like this happen to people all the time, right? And maybe it was just for today that he would meet with Beomgyu again. A coincidence is all it is.

 

“Vanilla Bean for Beomgyu!” Soobin called out, putting a straw in each cup. He leaned over the counter a bit, instantly spotting Beomgyu walking over. Seeing the other boy suddenly gave Soobin this weird feeling and all of the questions from before came flooding back. He was overthinking again and he knew it but he didn’t care. A strange panic-like feeling started rising in his chest and he turned back to Yeonjun, trying to stay calm as he spoke. “I’m taking my ten minute break, hyung."

 

“Why?” Yeonjun questioned. “We usually take our breaks together.” He had a small pout on his face and purposefully made Soobin feel bad.

 

“I know, but-”

 

“You just don’t want to have to talk to Beomgyu again?” the older boy guessed, “Because according to you it’s weird and totally not a coincidence, but like, fate or something.”

 

Soobin’s eye widened. “Fate? I never said anything about fate. Fate is completely different. If you say that it’s fate then that makes it sound roman-”

 

“Soobin hyung?” A voice popped up and Soobin slowly turned around to meet with Beomgyu’s brown doe eyes.

 

“Hey, Beomgyu.” Soobin forced out a smile.

 

The younger boy opened his mouth to speak but was cut off by Yeonjun.

 

“Bamgyu!” he said loudly, getting a few customers to look their way. “Are you following my dear Soobin around? He told me all about your guys meet at Mr. K’s.”

 

Bamgyu? Soobin thought to himself, Since when did Yeonjun get on nickname terms with him?

 

“Ah, Junnie hyung. Hi.” Beomgyu bowed. When he straightened up Soobin could see his pink tinted cheeks, assuming that it was just because of what Yeonjun had said and so he kicked Yeonjun’s leg below the counter as a why would you say that and embarrass him? kind of kick.

 

He returned the kick, mumbling, “Jerk.”

 

“Um, anyway, I’ve been here a bunch of times and have never seen either of you two working here. Did you guys just get started here recently?” Beomgyu asked, grabbing a Vanilla Bean off the counter and taking a sip.

 

Yeonjun nodded. “I’ve been here maybe a week or two longer than Soobin. He only got started about um, a week ago?” He looked to Soobin for reassurance who nodded in response then turned back around to face Beomgyu again. “Yeah, a week ago.”

 

Beomgyu opened his mouth to say something but his phone rang instead. “Ah, excuse me.” He answered the call and took a few steps away from the counter.

 

“Tae?”

 

 

“I’m getting the drinks right now.”

 

 

“I ran into some hyungs, but I’ll grab the drinks and leave now if you’re going to keep complaining about how bad I am with my time management.”

 

 

“What? Really?”

 

 

“But I don’t want to win him a prize with my money and I got you guys drinks!”

 

 

“Fine. I'll see you soon then, and by the way, tell Kai that he sucks.” And he hung up, putting his phone back in his pocket.

 

“Are we keeping you from something?” Yeonjun questioned as soon as Beomgyu hung up the phone and walked closer to the counter again.

 

He looked down at his feet, seemingly flustered again. “Ah, no. It’s nothing. Just Kai and Taehyun being bothersome because I’ll be late to one of our meets again.”

 

But why is he so flustered if that’s all it is? Soobin narrowed his eyes, looking from Beomgyu and his pink tinted cheeks to Yeonjun and his smile. His flirty smile, Soobin realized. Yeonjun didn’t use that smile often although his personality is naturally flirty so why was he using it now? Did they perhaps, like each other?

 

He continued watching the two talk before Beomgyu said that he should probably leave or else Kai would make him win him a million plushies at the arcade. Yeonjun looked slightly dissappointed at first, but smiled and said bye anyway and so Beomgyu collected his drinks and gave the two of them a small wave before he walked out of the front doors.

 

Soobin immediately turned to Yeonjun. “What was that?”

 

“What was what?” Yeonjun shot back.

 

That.

 

Yeonjun gave Soobin a confused look. “What do you mean?”

 

“Do you like him?”

 

The grey-haired boy looked shocked for a second, both eyebrows raised before he bursted out laughing. “Do I-” He gasped for air. “Do I like him?” He wiped away a tear. “Honestly, I was going to ask you that same exact question.”

 

“Me?” Now Soobin was the confused one.

 

“Yeah, you,” Yeonjun said very matter-of-factly. “You ran into him earlier and just before you were overthinking about coincidentally meeting him twice in one day and that fate thing from before, you said that calling it 'fate' sounded too romantic and then you were going to take your break just to avoid him and now you’re telling me that you don’t like him?”

 

“I barely know the kid! We’ve talked probably a total of like, four times and he gives me vibes that tell me he doesn’t like me, but since I’m older he has no choice but to respect me because it’s wrong if he doesn’t.”

 

“So you don’t like him then?”

 

“I don’t know him, hyung.”

 

“But you’re not answering my question.” Yeonjun continued to pry.

 

“I just did.”

 

“Answer it.”

 

Soobin sighed, “Why would I like someone that I barely know? Plus, a guy? I’m not into guys.”

 

“But you’ve never liked a girl before,” the older boy pointed out. “And Beomgyu is a pretty guy. Anyone with eyes can see that.”

 

“Maybe I have liked a girl before and just never told you that I did.”

 

“I’m your best friend. I know when you’re lying and you’re lying to me right now.”

 

“I’m not lying.”

 

“You are.”

 

“Am not.”

 

“You are.”

 

“Am not.”

 

“You so are!”

 

“Just give it up already, hyung.”

 

“So you’re basically admitting that you were lying then?”

 

“I’m asexual,” Soobin blurted out without meaning to. He just needed an excuse and this was the best one on his mind at the moment so that's what came out.

 

“Liar. Don’t even try and pull the asexual card on me. You like hugs and cuddling and holding hands and all of that lovey dovey clingy shit type of stuff."

 

“Nope. I don’t actually," he lied again. "I just put up with it for others because I’m nice like that.”

 

“Hm, so you’re really not lying to me then?”

 

“I’m not.”

 

Yeonjun squinted his eyes as though he was trying to see right through Soobin, but ended up sighing and giving in. “Fine. I suppose I believe you.”

 

“If you don’t like him then maybe he likes you,” Soobin hypothesized. “Didn’t you see the way he looked at you? All shy and pink-faced?”

 

“I didn’t notice that, but you think so? I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did like me. Just look at me.” Yeonjun grinned all smug like and he struck a dumb pose, a dish towel over his shoulder to make him look like some sort of country club model.

 

Soobin cringed, grabbing the dish towel just to throw it back at the older boy. “Ew. Don’t ever do that again, please. I will literally go blind the next time you do something like that.”

 

Yeonjun's laughing fit suddenly got very quiet, causing Soobin to look over at him,making sure that the older boy was okay. He was looking at the ground and his hands were fidgeting with the dish towel. He suddenly asked Soobin, “So you really think Beomgyu likes me?” The air surrounding the two of them became all tense and the people talking and the clinking of mugs were drowned out, all noise just disappearing, leaving just them and nothing else.

 

Soobin was quite taken aback by the sudden tone Yeonjun had in his voice when he asked. He sounded genuinely curious and Soobin gently smiled, placing a hand on Yeonjun's shoulder. “From the way he acts around you, yeah. I think he does."

 

He simply said, "Okay." And he went quiet after that, using the towel to wipe down the coffee machines.

 

Soobin paused, extremely confused with the sudden change of environment. Why did Yeonjun just kind of… well, shut down like that? More importantly, why did he ask if Soobin actually thinks that Beomgyu likes him in such a serious but soft way? Does that mean he lied before? Did he actually like Beomgyu but he pretended as though he didn’t?

 

He definitely did.

 

Soobin gave himself a little reassuring nod to give himself a small boost of confidence before saying, “Yeonjun hyung.”

 

“Hm?” Yeonjun didn’t look up from his cleaning.

 

Soobin bit his lip, hesitating to say what came next, but he went for it anyway. “You like Beomgyu, don’t you?”

 

...

 

Silence.

 

“You can tell me, you know," Soobin reminded his friend. "I won't judge you."

 

“Then yeah, I do. Like him, I mean," Yeonjun said and glanced over at Soobin. “Is… that… okay?” he slowly asked.


Soobin nodded. “Yeah, of course, it’s okay. There’s no reason for it to not be okay.”

Chapter Text

Sunday, 1:39 PM

 

They were still mad at him. Beomgyu really didn’t try to be an hour late yesterday, but he had been well, side-tracked.

 

 

⚔🤠 Three Musketeers 🤠⚔

 

1:39 PM

Come on.

Don’t be mad at me pleaseeeeeee.

I’m sorry, okay?

How many times do I have to apologize to you guys?

 

 

No answer, the two of them now leaving Beomgyu on read for the past two hours. He sighed and tossed his phone on his bed. He didn’t mean to be as late as he was yesterday. He just got caught up in conversation with Yeonjun and Soobin.

 

 

Saturday, 12:37 PM

 

Beomgyu walked out of the shop after saying bye to Soobin and Yeonjun and-

 

His bike was gone. Someone had stolen it.

 

1:12 PM

 

“You’re late,” Taehyun said as Beomgyu had approached him and Kai.

 

“I already told you that I was going to be late.” Beomgyu handed them their drinks (that he definitely did didn’t drink).

 

Taehyun accepted it, shooting him a glare as he did so. “But you’re really late and you’re never this late.”

 

Beomgyu rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. “Yeah, um, about that, somebody stole my bike so I had to walk here and since it’s a new arcade I didn’t really know the way to get here and my phone died so I couldn’t even Google Maps the way so for a while I was kind of just wandering around. I’m really sorry though guys. I tried to get here as fast as I could on foot.”

 

“We’re kind of tired, hyung,” Kai said. “I also might have already used up all of our money for arcade coins and then I used all of those up too so…”

 

“Ah, um, okay. We can just go home then.” Beomgyu had felt bad. He made them wait for a whole hour and the three of them had already planned this a week ahead so that they could all make it.

 

 

Honestly, Beomgyu still felt bad about it, but what else could he do? It’s not like he can turn back time so that he could be at the arcade on time.

 

His phone went off.

 

 

Ningning

 

1:42 PM

Ningning: Taehyun hyung told me not to text you because we’re supposed to be giving you the silent treatment until you learn how to be on time, but you never mentioned who the hyungs you ran into were.

Oh, and also, I forgive you.

If you haven’t noticed, I wasn’t really mad to begin with.

It’s really not even a big deal to me, but I think Taehyun is just tired of always having to wait for you.

 

1:43 PM

It was just Soobin hyung and Yeonjun hyung.

Did you know that they work at The Coffee House now?

And I’ll get him to accept my apology. I have something in mind.

 

1:43 PM

Ningning: Just out of curiosity, but when did you start talking to Yeonjun hyung?

I’ve been noticing you two talk more at school.

 

1:43 PM

Student council.

I guess we’re into similar things.

He’s also the vice president of his class so we talk about school and class related things.

 

1:43 PM

Ningning: Hm, interesting…

 

1:44 PM

???

 

1:44 PM

Ningning: ????

 

1:44 PM

What’s so interesting about that?

 

1:44 PM

Ningning: Nothing

 

1:44 PM

Then why did you say, “Hm, interesting…”

You better not be making some weird plans of yours.

 

1:45 PM

Ningning: I’M NOT!!

I PROMISE!!!

 

1:45 PM

Okay…

 

1:45 PM

Ningning: I have to go now, but please don’t tell Taehyun I talked to you.

Thanks! Love, love, love you, hyung!💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛

 

 

Beomgyu smiled to himself as the younger boy a yellow heart and turned his phone off. It was time to make it up to Taehyun now.

 

════════ ◖◍◗ ════════

 

He knocked on Taehyun’s front door.

 

Once.

 

Twice.

 

The door opened. “Oh, it’s just you.”

 

Beomgyu smiled at his friend, letting himself inside. “I know you’re still mad at me, but you love me so you can’t stay mad at me for long.” He sat on the couch, making himself comfortable as Taehyun glared at him. “I brought myself and a gift to make up for it though.”

 

Taehyun lit up at that, rushing over to sit beside Beomgyu. “What is it? Starbucks?” He guessed, an obvious excitement in his voice.

 

“Nope,” Beomgyu said, popping the ‘p’ as he latched himself onto the younger boy.

 

“What are you doing, hyung?”

 

“Hugging you.”

 

“Why?”

 

“So that you’ll forgive me.” He hugged Taehyun tighter.

 

Taehyun rested his chin on Beomgyu’s shoulder. “You know I’m not actually mad at you, right?”

 

“I know.” Beomgyu breathed out and closed his eyes. “I just wanted an excuse to come over and hug you though. You’re one of my closest friends. I can’t risk you getting even a little bit angry with me.”

 

Taehyun returned the hug. “So I’m assuming that Kai talked to you then?”

 

“Yep.”

 

════════ ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Monday, 7:00 AM

 

Beomgyu woke up to his alarm blaring. “Ugh, I don’t even wanna go to school,” he whined, kicking his legs and rolling around in his bed until he hit his bedside table and knocked his phone off of it. He picked it up off of the ground and saw a text from his eomma.

 

 

Eomma

 

6:03 AM

Eomma: Your appa and I just left for a meeting, but I wanted to check in on you.

I know that you probably aren’t up yet so just text me when you wake up.

 

7:06 AM

I’m doing fine.

Thanks.

 

 

Beomgyu sent her a short but straightforward text and decided that it would be enough. It’s not like he even talked to his parents a lot and when he did it was only about school and his future with the family business.

 

He got out of bed, showered, brushed his teeth, and changed into his uniform. He gathered all of his school supplies and stuffed it into his bag and then went downstairs and into the kitchen and put two slices of bread in the toaster. With some time left to kill before having to go to school, he texted Kai and Taehyun.

 

 

⚔🤠 Three Musketeers 🤠⚔

 

7:36 AM

Are you two walking to school today?

 

7:37 AM

Ningning: I went early to study for a history test I have today.

Mr. Lee sucks.

Who the hell puts a test on a Monday?

A MONDAY!

Like, what the hell?

I don’t understand.

 

7:37 AM

Taehyunnie: And I went with Kai to help him study because you already know that if he tried to study alone no studying would get done.

 

7:37 AM

So I won’t have a walking buddy?

What if I get kidnapped on my way to school?

 

7:38 AM

Taehyunnie: Sorry, Gyu, but I’m sure that you can defend yourself.

And who would even want to kidnap someone like you? - Kai

 

7:38 AM

Kai, I swear I will not hesitate to fight you at school today -.-凸

 

7:38 AM

Ningning: You would never do a thing like that.

  1. You love me too much and
  2. Your reputation, Mr. Perfect

 

7:38 AM

Mr. Perfect?

 

7:38 AM

Ningning: It’s what the girls at school call you.

Didn’t you know?

 

7:39 AM

No, I didn’t, but I guess I do now.

Anyway, back to the original topic.

I have to walk to school all alone now ಥ_ಥ

 

7:39 AM

Ningning: Why don’t you just ask to walk with Yeonjun hyung?

 

7:39 AM

I don’t even know if he walks to school.

 

7:39 AM

Ningning: Then ask him.

If he does then ask if you can tag along for today.

 

7:39 AM

Taehyunnie: Kai, let’s study so that you don’t fail.

And Gyu, just ask him and don’t get kidnapped pleased.

See you at school.

 

 

Beomgyu sat there, tossing the idea of asking Yeonjun around for a while before he remembered his toast. At this point the toast was stale so he threw it out and texted Yeonjun before he would regret it.

 

 

Cool hyung

 

7:42 AM

Are you walking to school today, hyung?

 

7:43 AM

Cool hyung: Yep.

You wanna walk with me?

 

 

He was surprised by the invitation. His cool hyung was asking him if he wanted to walk with him instead of it being the other way around. Weird.

 

  

7:43 AM

Yeah, actually.

Kai and Taehyun went early to study for a test and I didn’t want to walk alone.

 

7:43 AM

Cool hyung: Send me your location and I’ll meet you there?

 

7:43 AM

Sure.

xxxx Olive street

 

7:43 AM

Cool hyung: Be there in 5

Chapter Text

Monday, 8:02 AM

 

Soobin looked up just in time to see Yeonjun and Beomgyu walking through the front school gates together.

 

What’s that about? Soobin mentally asked as he watched them part ways.

 

Yeonjun walked up to him, his cheeks lightly shaded with pink. “Hey.”

 

“Well, don’t you look happy?” Soobin teased the older boy, a strange feeling bubbling in the depths of his stomach. He ignored it though, assuming that he was probably just hungry since he didn’t eat breakfast.

 

“I am happy, Binnie.” Yeonjun practically glowed. “He texted me and asked if I was walking to school today and I said yeah and asked him if he wanted to walk with me and he said yeah and then we walked to school together.”

 

Texted? Soobin furrowed his eyebrows together. When did they trade numbers?

 

“You wanna know what we talked about?”

 

Soobin opened his mouth to respond, but Yeonjun spoke before him.

 

“I’m going to tell you anyway,” he said and continued to blabber on about his amazingly wonderful but short walk with Beomgyu as they walked up to their class.

 

Soobin tuned Yeonjun out, not bothering to really listen to him as he thought about other things. They were best friends, weren’t they? So then why didn’t Yeonjun tell him about Beomgyu? Yeonjun had always told him whenever he liked a girl in middle school. And on that note, why didn’t he tell Soobin that he liked boys as well as girls? And since when-

 

“He asked about you, by the way.” Now that broke Soobin out of his thoughts.

 

“Really?”

 

Yeonjun nodded. “Yep. He asked how long we’ve known each other and how we met. Just the basics, you know?”

 

Right, right. Of course it was just that. What was he expecting?

 

Actually, why was he expecting anything at all?

 

════════ ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Monday, 12:20 PM

 

The bell rang, cuing that it was lunch time and Soobin immediately stood up and went out the door, leaving Yeonjun behind, but he would just find him later. He hadn’t eaten breakfast so he had to get to The Snack Shack (the school’s lunch shop) first otherwise all of the bread would be sold out. He walked into the cafeteria and to The Snack Shack and grabbed two cream breads.

 

“Soobin hyung!” A voice said and he looked up from the bread choice to see Kai.

 

“Kai, I didn’t know that you were working The Snack Shack today.” Soobin smiled and gave the younger boy the money for the bread.

 

“Yeah,” Kai sighed as he opened the register and put the money in their correct slots. “Hye-joo’s sick, or so she says anyway, and she asked if I could take over for today and I’m nice so of course I said yes.” He counted Soobin’s change and handed it to him. “Anyway, you’re friends with Yeonjun, right?”

 

“Uh, yeah, I am,” Soobin replied and put his change in his jacket pocket. “May I ask why you’re asking?”

 

“I was just wondering if I could get your number.”

 

Soobin froze for a second. WHAT?

 

Kai suddenly blushed as he realized what he had just said. “Uh, I-I kind of have someone already so um, by that I meant could we trade numbers because uh-” He looked around as the other students began filling in the cafeteria in large groups and he leaned over the counter and continued in a quieter tone, “-because I think Beomgyu likes Yeonjun so I was thinking that we could try and set them up.”

 

“Ah, right. That makes… a lot more sense.” Soobin smiled awkwardly. “But okay.”

 

“Okay?” Kai asked. “You’re… okay with this?”

 

“Well, um-” he bit his lip. “-don’t tell him that I told you, but Yeonjun likes Beomgyu. He told me himself and honestly, I think that Beomgyu likes Yeonjun too.”

 

“NO WAY!” Kai yelled, getting other students to look their way and give them judgemental stares. “Uh, my bad, but really?”

 

Soobin nodded. “Really.”

 

“You know Taehyun, right?”

 

“I think we’ve talked about a handful of times."

 

“Well, you’re going to be in a group chat with us. I’ll call it, Operation Yeongyu slash Beomjun.” He looked at Soobin, a smile on his face. “What do you think?”

 

“It’s uh, it’s a group chat name.”

 

“You don’t like it. That sucks for you then because that’s the name I’m going with so deal with it, hyung.” Kai playfully stuck his tongue out at the older boy.

 

“Beomie!” Soobin turned around at the mention of Beomgyu and saw Taehyun running up to Beomgyu to cling onto his arm, making Beomgyu drop his drink. “Ah, sorry,” he apologized and picked up the drink, giving it back to Beomgyu. “What do you have two drinks for?”

 

“Hyung.”

 

He turned back around to face Kai again. “Sorry, did you say something?”

 

“Yeah, I’ve been saying something for the past minute, but you were too busy in your own little world.”

 

I was actually just distracted by Beom-

 

Wait, why was I even getting distracted by him?

 

Saturday’s coincidental meets were really getting to Soobin now.

 

“Um, I should go find Yeonjun hyung now,” he said and rapidly wrote his number on an old receipt that was left on the counter, pushing it towards Kai when he finished. “Send me a text later.”

 

════════ ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Monday, 9:53 PM

 

Soobin yawned and closed his laptop, turning off his desk lamp and changed into his pajamas, which was just a t-shirt and some shorts. He got in bed and made himself all nice and comfortable  and closed his eyes, ready to go to sleep just as his phone vibrated. Soobin reached over and grabbed his phone to see is someone had texted him.

 

 

Unknown Number

 

9:59 PM

Unknown Number: It’s Kai.

Sorry for texting so late, but I just got home.

 

 

Soobin changed the contact name.

 

 

Kai

 

10:00 PM

It’s fine.

I wasn’t planning on going to bed anytime soon anyway.

 

 

That was a lie. All he wanted was sleep.

 

 

10:00 PM

What are you getting back from so late?

 

10:00 PM

Kai: Nothing.

Nothing at all.

Now, down to real business.

OPERATION YEONGYU/BEOMJUN🦊🌰

Oh, wait.

Let me make the group chat with Taehyun.

 

 

Operation Yeongyu/Beomjun

 

Kai added Unknown Number and Bunny Hyung

 

 

10:02 PM

Bunny Hyung?

That’s what you put in as my contact?

 

10:02 PM

Kai: Yep.

There’s nothing wrong with it.

 

10:02 PM

 

10:02 PM

Unknown Number: I have arrived.

You are now blessed with my presence.

 

 

Oh, right. I have to add Taehyun as a contact now as well, and I’m so changing Kai’s name.

 

 

10:03 PM

Taehyun: So, Operation Yeongyu/Beomjun?

 

10:03 PM

Annoying Kid: Yep!

Exciting, right?

I can’t wait to get them together!

 

10:03 PM

Taehyun: But I already told you no.

Beomgyu won’t like us meddling with his love life.

 

10:03 PM

Annoying Kid: But how will we know until we try it?

 

10:04 PM

I think I agree with Taehyun on this one, Kai.

 

10:05 PM

Taehyun: Exactly.

Our hyung agrees, which means that we probably shouldn’t be doing this.

 

10:05 PM

Annoying Kid: But Soobin hyung!!!

You gave me your number specifically so that we could do this!

 

10:05 PM

Now that I really think about it though…

It’s not the best idea.

 

10:05 PM

Annoying Kid: PLEASE!

You even said it yourself!

YEONJUN ALREADY LIKES BEOMGYU!

That means this plan is basically halfway done with and if Beomgyu likes Yeonjun back then all we have to do is get them to go on a date and BAM!

They’ll be thanking us in no time.

 

10:07 PM

Taehyun: Ning, no.

 

10:07 PM

Annoying Kid: Ning, YES!

This is a good idea!

Just admit it to youself and we can move on!

 

10:07 PM

Yourself**

And I suppose we could try?

 

  

Taehyun

 

10:08 PM

Taehyun: Hyung, no.

We both know that this isn’t going to end well for ANYONE.

 

10:08 PM

But it could make our friends really happy when they end up together and all I would ever want for my friends is for them to be happy.

 

10:08 PM

Taehyun: Well shit…

When you put it that way I can’t refuse.

AHHHHHH!

Look at what you’ve done to me!

 

10:08 PM

😊😊

 

  

Operation Yeongyu/Beomjun

 

10:08 PM

Annoying Kid: YES!

LET’S TRY!

 

10:09 PM

Taehyun: I guess we’re doing this then.

 

10:09 PM

You’re very welcome.

I changed his mind.

 

10:10 PM

Annoying Kid: I would now like to announce that Operation Yeongyu/Beomjun is officially a go!

Chapter Text

Monday, 12:23 PM

 

The cafeteria was still fairly empty when Beomgyu made his way down there. He was just going to get a drink from the vending machine and head to the roof because that’s where he always went to be alone. He put his money into the machine and let his eyes wander around the school. The Snack Shack caught his attention as he saw Kai working it. Standing across from him was Soobin. They seemed to be talking about something when Kai suddenly blushed hardcore and backed away.

 

Hm… is Soobin hyung… flirting? With Kai?

 

The thunk of his strawberry milk hitting the bottom of the vending machine brought him back to reality. Beomgyu reached down and grabbed his drink. As he straightened up he saw his reflection in the glass. He looked like a mess so he quickly fixed himself up and-

 

Oh, almond milk.

 

There was almond milk in the vending machine as well. Was it a new addition to the machine? Or was it always in there? Since he was here though and the almond milk was right there and Soobin was right there too, Beomgyu decided to get him one. He put some more money into the machine and looked back over at Kai and Soobin. The cafeteria was beginning to fill up, but he could still easily make out Kai yelling, “NO WAY!”

 

There was the clunk of the almond milk and Beomgyu reached down to grab it when someone yelled his name.

 

“Beomie!” He looked up to see Taehyun. The younger boy ran up to him and grabbed his arm, making him drop the almond milk in his hand and yet Taehyun still continued clinging onto his arm as if he would die if he let go of it. “Ah, sorry.” He picked it up and handed it back to Beomgyu. “What do you have two drinks for? Is one for me?”

 

Beomgyu hesitated for a second, contemplating whether or not he should tell Taehyun that he was planning on giving the drink to Soobin, but decided against it. He didn’t know why he didn’t tell Taehyun though. It’s not like giving a drink to Soobin was some big secret or something. “It’s uh, two drinks for me,” he lied. “Just uh, super extra thirsty today, you know?”

 

“Have you been hydrating enough, hyung?” Taehyun asked him and he placed a hand on Beomgyu’s face. “You have been looking quite pale lately.”

 

Beomgyu let out a small gasp. “I have?”

 

“I’m kidding, hyung, but really, have you been hydrating enough?” Concern coated Taehyun’s voice as he asked.

 

Beomgyu gave him a small smile. “Yes, eomma. You don’t have to worry so much. I just um, came from P.E.”

 

“I know your whole schedule, Beomie,” Taehyun blankly stated. “You definitely don’t have P.E. before lunch.” He moved his face closer to Beomgyu’s. “Now, tell me, who is the almond milk for, hm? Some girl? Or Yeonjun hyung, maybe?”

 

Why would he assume Yeonjun hyung out of all the hyungs they know?

 

He ignored his previous thought, thinking nothing of it. “I told you, I’m just super thirsty. Like, super thirsty. My throat is like, as dry as the Sahara desert.”

 

“Okay, okay. Whatever you say then.” Taehyun released his arm and smoothed out the wrinkles that he made on Beomgyu’s jacket sleeve. “Let’s go get lunch.”

 

As Beomgyu followed Taehyun to go get lunch, a thought hit him. Hard.

 

Maybe he only noticed the almond milk in the vending machine because it was connected to Soobin since he got it that Saturday morning at Mr. Kim’s. Now almond milk would forever remind Beomgyu of Soobin.

 

════════ ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Tuesday, 7:59 AM

 

Beomgyu decided, today he would once again buy almond milk, but actually give it to Soobin this time. He nodded to himself and gripped his bag strap tightly as he looked down the street for Yeonjun. Did he forget that he would be walking with Beomgyu for the rest of the week? At least until he can get a new bike anyway. Beomgyu let out a small sigh and took out his phone to pass time. Just as he opened the app someone rammed right into him, almost knocking his phone right out of his hand.

 

“Beomgyu.” Yeonjun was panting. “Sorry, I’m late. I didn’t hear my alarm this morning and I tried my best to get here fast. Were you waiting long?”

 

“Only a few minutes longer than yesterday,” Beomgyu replied. “And by that I mean I was waiting for almost fifteen minutes. So, if we want to be on time then we’re going to have to walk fast. I can’t ruin my perfect attendance now, can I?” he added on as he checked the time.

 

“We better get going then.” Yeonjun grinned and grabbed ahold of Beomgyu’s arm and started running, dragging the younger boy behind him. “Come on, Bamgyu. I’ll race you.” He wiggled his eyebrows as he looked back at Beomgyu and released his arm.

 

Beomgyu smirked. “It’s on, hyung.” And he sprinted ahead, leaving Yeonjun in his dust.

 

════════ ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Tuesday, 8:10 AM

 

“Ha! I so beat you, Junnie hyung!” Beomgyu rubbed his victory in the older boy’s face as they walked through the front gates.

 

“Yeah, yeah. That’s good for you, kid.” Yeonjun playfully rolled his eyes, his face a pretty shade of pink from running (or was it really? *wink wink*). “You look like a mess now though.”

 

“Me? A mess?” Beomgyu placed a hand on his chest. “How could you say such a thing? I’m never a mess, hyung. If anyone’s a mess here, it’s you.”

 

“Why you little-”

 

“Anyway, thankfully we made it here before the final bell. Lucky us.” He cut off the older boy. “I’m gonna go get a drink from the vending machine. You want anything?” he asked Yeonjun.

 

“Uh, I’m okay. Thanks though. I should probably get to class so, I’ll see you around?”

 

“Yeah. See you around.”

 

“Don’t be late to class!”

 

The two exchanged a quick smile before Yeonjun walked off. Beomgyu then made his way to the vending machine. He greeted the breakfast ladies with a small wave of his hand as he smiled at them and as he turned to face forward again he ran into something - or someone , to be exact - and fell to the floor.

 

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry, Beomgyu.”

 

Soobin.

 

He helped Beomgyu get back on his feet. “Are you okay? It’s the second time we’ve met like this and I feel bad since you keep hitting your head and-”

 

Beomgyu cut the older boy off. “It’s fine, hyung. I’m fine and my head is fine, thanks.”

 

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Soobin asked, putting his hand on Beomgyu’s forehead which pushed back his bangs a bit. “You feel warm. I can walk you to the nurse or something if you need me to.”

 

“I fell, hyung. I don’t have a fever.” Beomgyu clarified.

 

Soobin blushed. “Ah, right, right. I know that.”

 

Cute.

 

Beomgyu raised an eyebrow, “Do you really though?”

 

His blush darkened.

 

“You can take your hand off my forehead now.”

 

Soobin’s eyes widened and his hand immediately went down. “Um, you should - I mean, I, uh, you, um, the both of us should go to class now. Bye.”

 

Beomgyu softly laughed as he watched Soobin leave. Who knew how funny it was to see your hyung all flustered like that?

 

════════ ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Tuesday, 12:21 PM

 

Taehyun was already at the vending machine, waiting for him. “Thirsty again?” he asked Beomgyu as he approached the vending machine.

 

“Uh, P.E.?”

 

“Don’t lie, Gyu.” He flicked Beomgyu’s forehead. “Now, tell me, who was that drink for?”

 

Beomgyu already knew that Taehyun was talking about yesterday. What was his deal with it anyway?

 

“Was it for Yeonjun hyung?” Taehyun guessed. “Just be honest with me. I’m only curious because it’s obvious that you were lying to me yesterday. You were totally planning on giving that drink to someone else.”

 

“Why won’t you just drop it, Tae? It’s not even a big deal!”

 

“Are you saying that it was for Yeonjun hyung then?”

 

“No. You’re putting words in my mouth now. Words that have never even come out of my mouth.”

 

“I’m just wondering, but, do you like Yeonjun hyung?”

 

The question was so random and so sudden that Beomgyu stopped functioning for a few seconds before snapping out of it. “Pardon me?”

 

“Do you like Yeonjun hyung?”

 

“Well, yeah, of course I do. He’s cool and good-looking and I really look up to him. Sure, he might not be the best student out there that gets straight A’s and stuff, but I look up to him either way. You already know how it is with my brothers so I can look up to Yeonjun hyung as my big brother instead. We’re the unrelated Choi brothers. That’s how I like to look at it anyway.”

 

Taehyun looked a bit shocked as he asked, “Choi brothers?”

 

He nodded. “Brothers. Now, if you’ll so kindly excuse me I’m going to go get two drinks. For myself, that is.” And he brushed past Taehyun to the vending machine.

 

As he waited for the sound of his drink to hit the bottom of the machine he saw Soobin talking with Kai and then Kai said something and walked over to Taehyun and Soobin stood alone.

 

Well, here goes nothing, Beomgyu thought as he reached into the vending machine and grabbed the almond milk.

 

“Soobin hyung!”

 

He looked over at Beomgyu and instantly smiled as he sauntered to where the younger boy was.

 

“Wanna join me for lunch?” Beomgyu asked, nudging Soobin with his elbow and offering the almond milk to him.

 

Soobin glanced at the milk and then at Beomgyu. “What’s this for?”

 

“Well, almond milk can be used for a lot of things, hyung, but right now it’s specifically for you to drink, from me to you. You’re welcome.”

 

“Uh, thanks, but um, why?” the older boy questioned.

 

Beomgyu simply answered, “Because when I saw it it reminded me of you. So, are you joining me for lunch or not?”

Chapter Text

 

Tuesday, 12:36 PM

 

Because when I saw it it reminded me of you.

 

Beomgyu’s words kept on repeating in Soobin’s head. They were making him feel some type of way and he didn’t know if he liked the feeling or not.

 

“You eat lunch up here?” Soobin asked Beomgyu as they walked onto the roof of their school.

 

“Yeah. It’s nice,” he said. “And plus, I get to be alone.”

 

“But I’m here. So, you’re not really alone.”

 

Beomgyu shrugged. “Yeah, but sometimes being alone with someone else is better than actually being alone. If I’m being honest, I’m alone a lot so you agreeing to have lunch with me is nice.”

 

“May I ask why you’re alone a lot?” It came out before Soobin could stop it and he regretted it soon after. He hoped that it didn’t sound as rude as he thought it did.

 

“Taehyun and Kai have been spending a lot more time together. Just the two of them. I’m not jealous or anything because they’re my best friends and I’ve been busier lately anyway, but I miss them. I see them at school and we talk and stuff, but I still miss them.” He looked up from his food to Soobin and scrunched up his nose. “Is that weird?”

 

“No. I think I get where you’re coming from.”

 

They ate in silence after that, near the edge of the roof looking down at the courtyard. Soobin soon realized that two people were sitting under the cherry blossom tree, and those two people were Kai and Taehyun, but what were they doing alone down there? Should he say something to Beomgyu or…?

 

I’ll just ask them about it later.

 

“Hey, hyung.”

 

Soobin looked away from the pair under the tree and back to Beomgyu. “Hm?”

 

“Do you want to hang out after school?” Beomgyu asked without looking at Soobin. “We don’t have to do anything specific. I just-”

 

“Okay.” Once again, it came out before Soobin could even think about it, but he continued anyway. “We can go to the arcade and get something to eat, but you have to pay since I’m older.”

 

The younger boy laughed, “What kind of logic is that?”

 

“Soobin’s logic.”

 

“I’ll pay then. Meet me after school at the front gates.”

 

He did like the feeling. In fact, he really liked it.

 

════════ ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Tuesday, 3:36 PM

 

He was excited for some reason. Soobin was only going to hang out with Beomgyu, but he felt all giddy inside. Maybe he was just hungry. He said bye to Yeonjun and quickly made his way out of the classroom. Soobin grabbed his bike as soon as he was outside and went to meet Beomgyu at the gates. The younger boy looked up from his phone and instantly smiled.

 

“Wow, are we taking your bike? We can be like one of those couples who ride the same bike together, but I call sitting on the back so that way I won’t have to do any hard work,” he said.

 

Soobin was pretty sure he was blushing out of embarrassment now. “Oh, um-”

 

Beomgyu chuckled and lightly punched Soobin. “I’m kidding, pabo. Let’s go.”

 

════════ ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Tuesday, 4:44 PM

 

They had spent a little over an hour at the arcade playing games, Beomgyu basically winning every single game that they played, whether he had played the game before or not. No matter how hard Soobin tried, he just couldn’t beat the younger boy. In the end, Soobin left with no prizes and Beomgyu left with seven plushies, but that didn’t matter. It was the first time that Soobin had seen another side of the younger boy. He was more childish than he let off at school and when he played games his eyes lit up with wonder. He was louder too.

 

“That was fun.” Beomgyu walked ahead of Soobin with a little hop in each step he took.

 

“It was.” Soobin agreed.

 

“So, where do you wanna eat?” Beomgyu asked.

 

“Wherever you want to eat is fine.”

 

“But I asked you first, hyung.”

 

“And I asked you second.”

 

“Stop it,” Beomgyu whined. “You can’t use Soobin’s logic anymore. It doesn’t make sense.”

 

“It’s how Soobin’s logic works.”

 

“Then I guess we’ll be eating at Mr. Kim’s. I’m in the mood for ramen.”

 

════════ ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Tuesday, 5:00 PM

 

Soobin threw their empty ramen noodle cups in the garbage and the two boys said thank you and bye to Mr. Kim.

 

“I’m thinking of working at Mr. Kim’s,” Soobin said as they exited the convenience store.

 

“Really?” Beomgyu asked. “Don’t you work at The Coffee House too?”

 

“Well, yeah, but that’s my weekend job. I was thinking that for school nights I would help out Mr. Kim. He’s getting older as well and yet he continues to maintain that store all by himself.”

 

“His son comes and helps him out sometimes, but not much since he’s busy with college.”

 

“Yeah? Do you know him?”

 

“Yeah. Kim Taehyung. I thought you and Yeonjun hyung knew him. Isn’t he one of your college friends?”

 

“I’m only close to one of them while the others are um, more like acquaintances I guess. More importantly, you know them?”

 

“Yeah, Yoongi hyung was my role model back in Daegu when I was growing up and Taehyung hyung was already a family friend so I’d say that I’m pretty close with them.”

 

“Cool.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

They walked in silence for a while, their hands sometimes hitting the other’s, but neither of them really seemed to mind.

 

“Soobin hyung,” Beomgyu said.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Can I have your number?”

 

Beomgyu wants his number.

 

It made Soobin’s heart race. Why was Beomgyu making his heart feel like this? Maybe it’s just heartburn and the younger boy had nothing to do with it. Soobin shook off the weird feeling.

 

“Sure.”

 

════════ ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Tuesday, 9:28 PM

 

Soobin constantly checked his phone every ten minutes. Beomgyu had said that he would text him later but so far, no text. He continued doing his homework when his phone went off and he threw his homework aside and grabbed his phone only to see that it was a text from Yeonjun.

 

Super Duper Ultra Cool Yeonjun

 

Soobin sighed. Yeonjun had somehow taken his phone and changed his contact name.

 

9:31 PM

Super Duper Ultra Cool Yeonjun: Hey!

You like the new name? ;)

 

9:31 PM

No.

I’m changing it.

 

9:31 PM

Super Duper Ultra Cool Yeonjun: You can’t!

It’s fitting for me.

Don’t you think so?

 

 

Soobin just shook his head as he changed Yeonjun’s name. Sometimes his hyung was just too much to handle.

 

 

9:31 PM

Too late.

I already changed it.

And it’s not fitting at all.

 

9:32 PM

Loud One: Whatever.

I have something to ask you anyway.

Where did you go after school?

You seemed to be in a rush to leave when you said bye to me.

 

 

Soobin hesitated. What was he supposed to tell him? “Oh, I just went and hung out with the guy that you like. It’s not a big deal though. I hope you don’t mind.” That just didn’t sound right.

 

 

9:32 PM

I had to go meet with someone.

 

9:32 PM

Loud One: Who?

A girl?

Was it a girl?

Did you finally find someone who can put up with you?

 

9:32 PM

Shut up!

You’re worse than me, hyung.

And no.

It was just someone.

A friend.

Yeah.

 

9:32 PM

Loud One: JUST a friend?

Or just a FRIEND?

 

9:32 PM

What does that even mean?

 

9:32 PM

Loud One: You know what?

It doesn’t even matter.

I’ll find out on my own.

Anyway, I feel like eating ramen sooooooo you know what that means.

 

9:33 PM

I have to finish homework though.

My grades are more important than your hunger.

 

9:33 PM

Loud One: HEY!

That’s RUDE.

I should be wayyyyy more important than your grades!

Who even cares about their grades anymore?

 

9:33 PM

I do.

And frankly, you should too, hyung.

I am now concerned for you and your grades.

After all, we have to get into the same college unless you WANT to be split up.

 

9:33 PM

Loud One: Fine.

I guess I should start homework now.

 

9:33 PM

Good.

You basically need me if you want to survive.

You would drown in a puddle if it wasn’t for me.

 

9:34 PM

Loud One: LIE!

I’m a good hyung to everyone!

And I still want ramen.

Two, btw.

Since last time you forgot.

Which I don’t even understand how you forgot when the reason you went to Mr. K’s was FOR the ramen.

I would like it by 10 or 10:30

Thanks, sweetie!!!

 

9:34 PM

You’ll get it at exactly 10:29

 

9:34 PM

Loud One: I have one more request, btw.

 

9:34 PM

Go for it.

 

9:34 PM

Loud One: So… you know the dare that was part of the bet?

 

9:34 PM

Yes.

 

9:35 PM

Loud One: Right.

Well, anyway, instead of a dare I want a favor.

 

9:35 PM

Why not just dare me to do a favor for you?

 

9:35 PM

Loud One: Oh, right.

I didn’t think of that.

 

9:35 PM

Of course, you didn’t.

 

9:35 PM

Loud One: Leave me alone!

But anyway, I dare you to do me a favor then.

And that favor is to be my wingman and help me out with Beomgyu.

What do you think?

Actually, you don’t get to think.

It’s a dare.

You don’t have a choice.

 

 

His wingman? To help him get together with Beomgyu? Soobin sighed and rolled over. After all, it couldn’t hurt, right? He was already helping Kai try and get the two of them together.

 

 

9:36 PM

Alright then.

We’re done here.

 

 

Soobin then picked up his homework and started working again. After another twenty minutes, he decided to get up and get Yeonjun’s ramen, sighing as he stood up. He didn’t want to go, but he had lost the bet so he had no choice. Soobin put on his jacket and shoes, shoved on a hat, and left his house. Just as he closed his front door his phone rang and he answered it without looking at the caller ID.

 

“Hyung!” Someone said. “Sorry that I called so late, but I turned out to busier than I thought after I got home and I just went on a run which also took longer than I expected since I saw-”

 

“Oh, Beomgyu? Is this you?” Soobin asked.

 

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry! I didn’t even say that it was me. That’s my bad.”

 

Soobin chuckled, “It’s okay, Beomgyu. You can continue with your story if you want.”

 

“Right. Well, I saw this really cute looking store with a bunch of plushies in it and it reminded me of Kai because he just loves plushies so much and then I saw this little white bunny one with a carrot and it made me think of you since you kind of look like one. Has anyone ever told you that? And I mean that the fact that you look like a bunny is a compliment because bunnies are cute so I’m basically saying that you’re cute.”

 

Soobin didn’t say anything. Beomgyu thought he was cute? Him?

 

“Uh, not that I think that you’re cute or anything,” he quickly added on. “Oh, wait, um, I mean, you are, but um, okay so I totally messed up what I was trying to say so how about you talk now?”

 

“I’m on my to Mr. Kim’s. Yeonjun hyung wants ramen again so I’m going to get it for him,” he told Beomgyu.

 

“Where are you? I’ll come and meet up with you. I’m still in running clothes though.”

 

“It’s okay, Beomgyu. I’ll be fine.”

 

“Yeah. Sure, you will. What if you get kidnapped, hyung? What are you going to do then, hm?”

 

“Um, I don’t know.”

 

“EXACTLY!” Beomgyu yelled on the other side of the line. “You need me to accompany you so that way nobody will even think of trying to kidnap you.”

 

“I think I’ll be f-”

 

“What street are you on? I’ll come find you.”

 

“Beom-”

 

“Still waiting for the street name.”

 

Soobin sighed, “Hill Street.”

 

“Stay where you are and I’ll be there in exactly one minute, okay?”

 

“Okay.”

 

“See you soon then, hyung.” And he hung up.

Chapter Text

Tuesday, 9:58 PM

 

If Beomgyu was being honest with himself, he's always liked Soobin. It's a secret, of course, because it was never a big deal to begin with. He first saw him in middle school and he couldn't help but think, What a handsome fellow. It was more of a physical attraction since Beomgyu never actually interacted with the older boy, but he always heard girls saying nice things about Soobin. It was something small, something to be forgotten about, something that shouldn't have been brought up, but alas, that's not how things work.

 

From a distance Beomgyu saw someone sitting on a bench. He willed up all of his courage and ran over, wrapping his arms around the other person from behind and praying that it was Soobin. "Found you!" He exclaimed, his arms tightening around the boy. "Anyway, you should totally carry me to Mr. Kim's now, Soobinnie hyung. After all, I ran all the way here just for you."

 

"Aish," Soobin sighed. "How needy."

 

Beomgyu let go of the older boy as he stood up and was about to start walking ahead when Soobin grabbed his arm. "Aren't you going to get on my back? You want me to carry you, right?"

 

"Oh." Is all Beomgyu could say in his dumbfounded state. "Right. Okay." He didn't think that Soobin was actually going to agree to carrying him.

 

Soobin bent over just a bit for Beomgyu to be able to jump up onto his back, wrapping his arms around Soobin tightly as he didn't want to fall, letting his head rest on one of Soobin's shoulders. It felt… nice.

 

"So, why don't you tell me about your day," Soobin suggested after adjusting Beomgyu on his back to make it more comfortable for the both of them.

 

"Ah… you're uh, asking me to talk?" This was a first for Beomgyu. Nobody had ever asked him to talk since he already talks too much and has no 'filter' according to some people.

 

"Yeah. I mean, I know we hung out earlier, but what about the rest of your day?"

 

Beomgyu smiled to himself. The little thing that should have been forgotten was growing into something bigger every time Soobin spoke to him. Everything he said was just so… how should he word it?

 

Right.

 

That's the word.

 

Everything that Soobin said to Beomgyu just felt right. In fact, just being with Soobin felt right.

 

════════  ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Tuesday, 10:16 PM

 

"We're here for ramen, right?" Beomgyu checked with Soobin who nodded. He then proceeded to grab a bunch of different ramen packets and cups and shoved them into Soobin's arms. "Is this enough?"

 

Soobin smiled kindly. "Yeonjun hyung only wanted two cups."

 

"Oh." Beomgyu bit the inside of his cheek. "Well, just tell him that this is one weeks worth of ramen. That way he won't have to ask you to get him ramen at such ridiculous times."

 

"It's only ten, Beomgyu. How is that a 'ridiculous' time?"

 

"It's not ridiculous, but it's a school night."

 

"Are you saying that you have a curfew?"

 

Beomgyu snorted. "No. I'm saying that because we could be talking on the phone right now, but I must admit," He looked up at Soobin. "This is a lot nicer than talking over the phone." Saying something so honest shocked the both of them.

 

Flustered, Soobin looked away, distracting himself with the ramen in his arms. "Um, yeah. It is."

 

Starting to feel some awkward tension hanging around them, Beomgyu said, "Let's go check out."

 

════════  ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Tuesday, 10:25 PM

 

They approached Yeonjun's front door side by side, Soobin holding the bag with ramen. "Maybe you should um, stand off to the side, out of sight because um-"

 

"I know, hyung," Beomgyu blurted out. "I… already know." He's known from the moment that he started talking to Yeonjun. The older boy was more obvious than he thought. Every small touch and look said a lot about how Yeonjun felt for Beomgyu. Even if Yeonjun wasn't trying to show it. Beomgyu didn't want to lose one of his friends and he knew how wrong it would look for him, Yeonjun's crush, and Soobin, Yeonjun's best friend, to be hanging out together. So yeah, he understood what Soobin was trying to tell him. "I'll wait over there, behind that tree or something."

 

The exchange must have been quick because only a few minutes later Soobin's head popped up from the other side of the tree, scaring Beomgyu who's fists were up, making Soobin laugh. "You wouldn't fight me."

 

"You don't know that for sure." Beomgyu shrugged as the two of them started walking.

 

"I do know that you're too nice to fight anyone. It doesn't even have to be me that you're fighting." Soobin then cleared his throat. "So, changing the topic…" He eyed the younger boy before continuing. "You know."

 

Beomgyu avoided looking at Soobin as he answered, "Yeah, I do."

 

"For how long have you known now?" Soobin questioned.

 

"Since the first time I met him. It was really easy to figure out, honestly. Yeonjun hyung is more obvious than most people would think."

 

"So… do you… um…"

 

"Just say it."

 

"Do you… like Yeonjun hyung in return?"

 

Without hesitation, Beomgyu shook his head. "Not like that, no. I like him in a brotherly sense though. He's… well, all in all, amazing. He's talented and I look up to him, but that's all. I don't think that I could ever see him as anything other than a brother. And besides," He latched his pinky with Soobin's pinky. "I have someone else on my mind." Beomgyu released his pinky as if their little pinky holding session didn't even happen. "But I suppose that at the moment, it's not important right now."

 

After that, the duo walked in silence until it was time for each of them to go their separate ways. Beomgyu gave one last glance to Soobin, but saw that his hyung was already on his phone in a group chat called, Operation Yeongyu/Beomjun and the most recent text was from Soobin saying, Beomgyu knows. There's no point in continuing this since he doesn't return Yeonjun hyung's feelings.

 

He quickly tore his eyes away from Soobin's phone screen and ran home. Beomgyu didn't mean to snoop, but as he lay in bed that night, it was all he could think about. Whatever Soobin was trying to do, with whoever else was in that group chat, was a hopeless cause.

Chapter Text

Wednesday, 1:24 AM

 

Soobin couldn't fall asleep. His mind just wouldn't rest because all he could think about was what Beomgyu said. What did he mean by that?

 

I have someone else on my mind.

 

And he held pinkies with Soobin. Does that mean what Soobin thinks it means? Because in that case Soobin can't even like him back in return because then it would be like betraying Yeonjun and he couldn't do that to his best friend.

 

Not having anything better to do, Soobin grabs his phone to reread the conversation he had with Kai and Taehyun.

 

Operation Yeongyu/Beomjun

 

10:32 PM

Beomgyu knows.

There's no point in continuing this since he doesn't return Yeonjun hyung's feelings.

 

10:34 PM

Annoying Kid: Lmaooooooo

You're kidding, right?

 

10:34 PM

Taehyun: I knew it!

I already knew it!

And I told you guys that this was a bad idea!

 

10:35 PM

Also, just a word of advice

You guys should tell Beomgyu about yourselves soon.

 

10:35 PM

Annoying Kid: djajdhjakakakdjksieuwowo

What are you talking about?

 

10:35 PM

Taehyun: So you figured it out.

That's fine.

And we will

When the time is right.

Back to the original topic though…

Beomgyu already told me that he only sees Yeonjun hyung as a brother.

 

10:36 PM

Annoying Kid: YOU KNEW AND YOU DIDN'T TELL US!

WHY???

 

10:36

Taehyun: I told you not to get involved with Beomgyu's love life in the first place.

Now good night.

I have a test tomorrow morning.

 

════════  ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Friday, 2:55 PM

 

Soobin had managed to avoid both Beomgyu and Yeonjun since Tuesday and now just five more minutes until he could go home and have a Yeonjun and Beomgyu free weekend. He carefully checks his phone from under his desk. There were tons of notifications from Yeonjun and Beomgyu throughout the last few days.

 

Ten missed calls from Loud One

58 unread messages from Loud One

Six missed calls from Beomgyu

17 unread messages from Beomgyu

 

He quickly swipes the notifications away just as the final bell rings. He could finally go home. Soobin grabs his things and shoves them into his bag, ready to sprint out of his classroom when someone approaches him from behind and taps on his shoulder.

 

"You've been avoiding me, Binnie."

 

Yeonjun.

 

Soobin closes his eyes, wincing before turning around. "Psh, what are you talking about?" He pretends to play dumb.

 

"You know you can talk to me about anything, right?" Yeonjun takes a step closer to the younger boy. Soobin reacts to it badly, meaning that he rapidly got out of his seat and took a step back, away from Yeonjun.

 

"I should go home," he says. "My eomma doesn't like it when I get home late."

 

"You haven't been answering any of my texts or calls." The hurt in Yeonjun's voice was obvious. "I'm worried about you, Soobin."

 

Soobin wasn't sure how to respond. Should he lie? Or should he tell his best friend the truth? The answer was obvious.

 

Lie.

 

To protect his friend, of course.

 

"I, uh, I'm really fine, hyung. I promise. There's no need for you to worry about anything at all."

 

"Then why are you ignoring me?" Yeonjun asks, his eyes evidently getting more shiny as time passes.

 

"I'm not ignoring you. I just-"

 

"You are!" The older suddenly yells and then more calmly, "Yes, you are."

 

"Hyung…"

 

"I heard Kai and Taehyun talking in the boys bathroom on Wednesday. I was in a stall and I guess they didn't notice that a stall was occupied but I heard Kai say that Beomgyu only sees me a brother figure and nothing more." Tears were falling now, but Yeonjun wipes them away before they can reach his chin. "I've been trying to contact you but you haven't been answering and then when I see you at school and try to talk to you all you do is look at me and run away as if I mean nothing to you."

 

Soobin was starting to panic. He couldn't lose his best friend. "No! I, um… I was only avoiding you to avoid the problem!"

 

Yeonjun furrows his eyebrows. "What problem?"

 

Soobin prepares himself to tell Yeonjun that he likes Beomgyu too, well, at least he thinks he does. He's ready to say it when he realizes that he can't hurt Yeonjun anymore than he already has… so what was he supposed to do now? Still in panic mode, he ends up blurting, "I like you!"

 

Yeonjun's eyes widen. "What?"

 

Realizing what he had just done, Soobin sprints out of the classroom, but there, standing outside of his classroom door, is Beomgyu.

 

"Beomgyu?"

 

He doesn't answer, seeming to be in a trance.

 

"Beomgyu, you good?" Soobin tries again.

 

The boy then notices the older. Without looking Soobin in the eyes, he quietly asks, "Is that why you've been avoiding me? Because you like Yeonjun hyung and didn't want to hurt me?"

 

"Beomgyu, I-"

 

He suddenly looks up at Soobin with a forced looking smile. "Why didn't you just tell me?" Beomgyu chuckles softly, gently hitting Soobin's shoulder. "You know we're just friends and that I'll support whoever you like. I hope you and Yeonjun hyung work out, and please tell him that I'm sorry. See you Monday, hyung."

 

════════  ◖◍◗ ════════

 

Friday, 10:49 PM

 

You know we're just friends.

 

Soobin couldn't get Beomgyu's voice out of his head. So the younger didn't like him then? What about what had happened Tuesday night? In fact, what did any of this mean?

 

Soobin sighs, switching from sitting to lying on the couch. He was so, so dumb earlier. Well, correction, he is still dumb. Now his best friend thinks that Soobin likes him while his sort of crush person is saying that they're only friends and will root for them. How did his life manage to get so complicated within the span of one week?

 

As Soobin closes his eyes to clear his mind, his phone rings. Fully knowing who the caller is, he picks it up anyway.

 

"Soobinnie," Yeonjun says. "I wasn't expecting you to answer."

 

Soobin bites his lip. "Me either. So…"

 

"So…"

 

"Beomgyu wanted me to let you know that he's sorry."

 

"I know. I heard him, remember? You guys were right outside of the classroom."

 

"Right…"

 

"He hasn't been answering my texts or calls though."

 

"As expected."

 

A moment of silence.

 

"Hyung?"

 

"Yeah?"

 

"About earlier-"

 

"I'm willing to give us a chance."

 

Soobin blinks, thinking that maybe he misheard the older boy. Awkwardly laughing he asks, "What?"

 

"I said, I'm willing to give us a chance."

 

"Ah… seriously?" He couldn't believe what he was hearing right now.

 

"I'll need some time to get over Beomgyu, of course, but otherwise yeah. Over time I'll learn and in the end, we could become one of those childhood friends to lovers kind of troupes."

 

"Yeah… we could be."

 

"Oh, hey, Gyu answered me."

 

"What did he say?"

 

"He asked if we could talk. I gotta go and take care of this now, okay?"

 

"Okay."

 

"And, um, we should hang tomorrow, if you're free, that is."

 

"Yeah, I'll uh, let you know."

 

"Great. I'll keep you updated with the Beomgyu situation, okay?"

 

"Yeah."

 

Soobin hangs up.

 

Just what has he gotten himself into?