San hates Seonghwa.
It's nothing personal — not at all, because it wasn't his intention to hate him on the first place. San always considered himself a chill person, a little bit lazy to care about what others say about him, a lot bit of a jerk to get his head out of his own ass as Wooyoung likes to say — and fuck you Wooyoung because the king of jerks is not other but Park Seonghwa itself.
But San is nice — he is super nice, the nicest college boy in that messed up campus — and everyone knows it. Being sincere, he lacks a little bit of empathy and has a bag full of sarcastic replies just in case, but nice after all.
He likes to help in the shelter every Saturday and even bought Yunho a little cacti for his birthday (and he named it Sani because, again, San is so nice).
He can say with his nose pointing the sky he is the perfect boy and not, as Seonghwa claims, an annoying piece of ass good for nothing. Mingi always tells him to bite his tongue and don't reply back, but can he blame him? After all, is Seonghwa the one that's always starting the fights.
And for what?
Because San is a star, that's why.
Aside from being such an amazing guy, San is also a rising star in the acting world. He was, as he likes to claim on family gatherings every time he has the chance, born with a crown on his head.
On his first year on college, it took the theatre club less than an hour to acknowledge his talent and only a few weeks after that, the main character role was his. Easy, piece of cake, he is both nice and talented — he might want to add how handsome he is, but prefers to let that to his little (big) fangirl club.
To say he knows how good of an actor he is can be a little be too narcissistic, but he really is. Wooyoung knows it, Yunho knows it, even their leader, Hongjoong knows it. San fiercely believes Seonghwa knows it too, but the older boy is way too pissed he lost his star nickname after San came into the picture to just admit it.
(But San knows it, and maybe his chest gets all hot and bubbles pop on the back of his tongue every time he says his lines and Seonghwa clicks his own in discomfort, gives sarcastic claps at the end of every rehearsal or just gifts him his good morning smirks).
Seonghwa is so hard to deal with. Out of all the actors on the college's company, Seonghwa is one of the best. Oh, man, okay he is actually the number one. Played Juliet on their very first play, rocking the makeup like no one could, getting an incredible recognition both as an actor and as a gender role breaking king, and Captain Hook in one of their last ones, astounding everyone with such a perfect personification of a villian. Seonghwa is also so cool, but maybe he is a little bit — definitely a big of a jealous dude. Because he really was the number one, until San wrote his name down the inscription list at the start of last year.
It's only San's second year there and he already won the hearts of half campus. He believes both of them deserve the title of the star actually — wow, he is such a kind-hearted boy — yet Seonghwa is not so fond of accepting it. Jealous bitch.
For that, San hates Seonghwa and the way he walks like the world is his personal runway. He is majoring in business and shares his apartment with Mingi — so yeah, San is conscious of how he has some cleaning obsession. Hongjoong assures he is like a mom, always buying them coffee and even babying the hell out of Yeosang. And San? He only gets death glares and occasional punches that San is nothing but glad to give back.
San only wants to get one of the chocolate cupcakes Seonghwa bakes on Sundays, the ones Wooyoung is always bragging about knowing San wants nothing more than having that chocolate on his tongue or crash one of them on Seonghwa's face for being such an ass. Of course, he also wants to be friends with Seonghwa. Maybe. Okay, it's not a secret San was the one that put tabasco on Seonghwa's lunch that one time, and yeah, he wasn't scared at all of mocking him in front of everyone, obviously refusing to use honorifics — it makes him sleep well at night seeing how Seonghwa gatters all his strength to just not punch him on the chest.
But Hongjoong is so tired of having to deal with them every single day and it makes San a little scared to piss off Hongjoong — he might be small but he got a temper, he just has to ask Mingi and how he got scolded for three whole hours after pranking Yeosang about how he was kicked out of the company for bringing his princess Mayu at one of the rehearsals (Yeosang didn't think at all though, because everyone there loves that small cat, Hongjoong being also the president of his own fan club).
Truthfully, San only started doing it because the summer festival is around the corner and with that, the famous summer play the company always make. It's the biggest event they get to participate because it's not only the students the ones watching them, is an open festival so everyone who happens to hear about it can appear and discover next Leonardo Dicaprio (no joke, San is a big fan). They're making an original play, one of Hongjoong's works, and it's not a thrill to say all of them are excited about it.
Of course, San can't miss his chance of being the main character because of Seonghwa. His future is more important than the cupcakes of one jealous dude (even though Jongho cried about how tasty they are).
And most importantly, he hopes Yunho gets the main character as well. Because — oh, how much San loved Hongjoong — it was the first play including an LGBT topic, with a beautiful coming of age story and a make out session. Okay maybe it is only a kiss, but a kiss after all. And he really wants Jeong Yunho, cacti owner and starlight eyes, to be the one accompanying him.
Park Seonghwa and his dark glasses, walking into the room like there's thousands of cameras outside, won't ruin his plans today. He got more patient that Wooyoung — walking just after Seonghwa a few seconds after, horrible smug smile tingling on his face — thinks he has.
His friend throws his whole body on the chair next to him, sighing and stretching. It's not bothersome enough for San to look up from the script — he has been four hours reading how Noah, the character he wants to be, cups Jesse's face and kisses him into the infinity, being Jesse the character Yunho needs to be and into the infinity being just the final kiss after a lot of hardships.
He still gets giggly at the thought of kissing Yunho.
It started as a crush, that quickly moved into the I bought you a cacti phase and keep on growing to the point of dreaming of holding his hand. San never felt that soft for someone, and really needs that kiss to finally confess to him because, well he is nice, talented, handsome and smart but he is also, as Yeosang loves to say, a wuss. Or maybe it's Yunho's aura that intimidates him. Totally nothing to do with the boy self proclaiming himself everyone's boyfriend.
Why everyone when he can be San's?
"What are you doing, super star?" So Wooyoung decides to interrupt him, arm around his shoulder and nose annoyingly popping in front of him. San narrows his eyes in a leave me alone way, but Wooyoung tries again, wiggling an eyebrow at him. It's obvious Wooyoung wants to talk, yet San doesn't want to hear it — not when it only takes one second for his gaze to float around the uncovered skin of his neck, where hickeys are slowly blooming out of the honey of his skin like little spring flowers. He gets goosebumps.
"Now, getting grossed out internally," San shakes his head, closing the script that rest now on his lap, protected by his restless fingers. "Thinking of a way of poking my own eyes without pain."
Wooyoung laughs, hitting his back with more strength he thought, body bouncing to one side. San replies back with a kick on the ankle.
"What now?" The boy scoffs, body slamming to him again. "I thought you liked Hongjoong's play."
"First of all, I love this masterpiece," he says, voice highlighting the word love in the air. "Second of all, you are the one grossing me out, Jung Wooyoung," the boy tilts his head, acting all confused and shit, but San knows he is not making up all that, he is just naturally dumb. The first time he hooked up with Seonghwa, it took San two seconds to understand it because Wooyoung isn't smart enough to wait five goddamn minutes to exit the dressing room. It didn't end there because it's been like three months and Wooyoung still puts on that face every time he let's Seonghwa undress him: like he has some magic fingers or something, San doesn't need all the details (he doesn't need any details at all, but Wooyoung always comes at him even though he has Yeosang waiting for him on the stage, painting the scenarios).
"What?" Wooyoung's voice sounds soft again, just as if he wasn't moaning into Seonghwa's skin just a couple minutes ago.
"Idiot," San sighs, standing up because he had enough of weird images on his brain, but of course Wooyoung follows him. "Your sin is showing," he points at his neck, Wooyoung finally getting the hint, hand flying to the spot and covering the bruise, not even thinking, just knowing the perfect position of where he had a mouth sucking in.
San keeps on moving until he reaches the vending machine. He positionates the script in between his legs as he searches for his wallet. Wooyoung and Seonghwa are friends with benefits, or that's what he wants to believe because even though Wooyoung is irritating and is used to tease him every single day, San learned to love him. Dating Seonghwa is the same as punching him on the stomach, so he hopes for the best and that Wooyoung hadn't caught feelings yet.
Mingi fiercely believes they're only releasing some college stress — apparently Seonghwa has tons of that because Wooyoung always ends up covered in love bruises. Neck, chest, arms and, holy shit, San had to witness some on the inner side of his thigh due to Wooyoung's habit of walking around on his underwear. San wants to believe the same.
"It's not a sin," Wooyoung is pouting. San is too focused on what to choose to look at him but he just knows, is a pouty voice. "You being a wimp and refusing to ask your crush to give you head doesn't make it a sin. It's just sex San, and we are adults. It is really that bad?"
He uses his pinky to press number 45, choosing honey coated peanuts and ignoring Wooyoung. First, he is not a wimp, he is just waiting for the perfect moment as in he is such a romantic boy. Second, no one has any idea he has been crushing on Yunho for months and it's not going to change for at least the next three months. Third, sex is good but haven't they tried honey coated peanuts?
(Fourth, thinking of having sex with Seonghwa makes him uneasy).
"Oh, yeah, sex is amazing," San opens the bag, offering him some ones (again, how nice). "But I don't really need to know how," he stops to mimic a gag instead of saying the actual name, "fucks you on the dressing room. Why don't you tell Yeosang? He is your best friend."
Wooyoung frowns but takes a few more peanuts. They stop right in front of the stage where, speaking of the king of Rome, Yeosang looks up and smiles at them. Mingi is also there, supposedly to help him with the painting shift — the whole company played paper-rock-scissors to choose the order, ridiculous, yet San managed to get himself the fourth turn together with Wooyoung, Yeri and Ryujin. Yeosang's team is third turn still the only one doing the actual work is Yeosang. Mingi is way too focused on his phone, there's no sign of Jisung and Seonghwa just arrived. There's only ten minutes left until they change shifts.
"Yeosang is a baby, I can't tell him."
San narrows his eyes at him, visibly attacked. "I am a baby too."
"San, you're 20."
"Yeosang is one month older than me," he whispers, not wanting the other boy to actually catch their conversation. "And for real, I don't want nor need to know it, okay?"
Wooyoung presses his lips together, munching on the peanuts for a few seconds. They all see how Seonghwa exists the dressing room, no glasses on sight, and joins his team on the painting. For ten minutes, incredible.
There's a brief second where Seonghwa raises his head and just locks gazes with San. Like all his features, Seonghwa's eyes are strong, cold, it makes his feel so unprotected. It makes San think about how attractive he is.
Yet it only takes him a second to smirk, stick his tongue out and show his middle finger in his direction. Not so subtle at all. San feel all his blood boil.
"Okay," Wooyoung ends up saying, patting his shoulder. "But we didn't do it on the dressing room today. It was on the bathroom, with all of the mirrors."
San doesn't doubts on hitting him with the script, peanuts falling all around him as he forgets he still is holding the bag.
All eyes are on them — Wooyoung's laugh is fucking loud — even Seonghwa's.
San doesn't care about the peanuts because he suddenly lost all his appetite.
The thing is, San has been thinking, as he paints the sand from scenario number four — there's a scene when the group of friends goes to the beach, typical, but a little bit special because it's at night and there's dim lights, the moon reflection on the water and lots of secrets being shared —, he doesn't actually know how his first interaction with Seonghwa was.
Not at all.
He remembers doing the auditions on the same day as Mingi, Wooyoung, Yeosang and, of course, Yunho. They were so nervous because they knew about the existence of Park Seonghwa and how he would be sitting front row, watching every detail, every single movement — and also every single mistake. They were but San was relaxed. He knew he was just as good as Seonghwa being that what boomed his confidence to the point of getting Hongjoong to drop jaws right in front of him.
For Seonghwa, he doesn't even remember how he reacted.
The thing is, at first Seonghwa wasn't actually on San's mind. Of course, he knew about him, about how good of an actor he was for being just a college student, but nothing more. He wasn't obsessed with him like Wooyoung and never really spend a whole afternoon talking about how handsome he was (both Wooyoung and Yeosang did).
It was pretty calm for the first weeks, until Seonghwa started to mess with him out of nowhere and San decided he hated him. Almost like he blossomed in San's life slowly, being unnoticed until it was too late to go back — not in a good way, although it sounded like the start of a beautiful story written by someone angsty, like John Green.
In his defense, it was Seonghwa the one who started it all. Out of the blue, without even exchange of words — not that San remembers.
Maybe he was a little bit obsessed with San.
"I'm totally sure Seonghwa is going to get Noah."
The brush falls from San's fingers as he moves his head to find Mingi's gaze. The boy hasn't moved at all, still sitting on the stage with them — and occasionally messing with Wooyoung.
"They're both confident and sarcastic," he keeps on saying, shrugging, "it's like the role was made for him."
San focuses on the sand again.
"Well, the writer is Hongjoong, I bet he made every role thinking of someone," next to him, Ryujin points her brush to Mingi, getting a positive nod before she moves her hand to San, almost staining his nose in baby blue. "Bet Noah is for you."
He can't help but get a little happy with that comment, end of his lips curving upward in a smug smile. It's obvious Noah is his role and not Seonghwa — he is, if he has to think of someone, Jamie, because he is the rudest character Hongjoong could think of.
"You know, because he is way smaller than Jesse," Ryujin adds boosting San's confidence. Everyone laughs around them, and it really isn't something that bothers him — Wooyoung is his height and Hongjoong is even smaller — until Seonghwa's laughter can be heard.
He is sitting on the front row, playing with his phone but obviously paying attention to their conversation. San bites his tongue and keeps on painting. They talk for a couple minutes more — about how Wooyoung is perfect for the role of Jesse and San wants to cry — before Hongjoong appears with the final list.
San's heart starts pounding inside his chest. He has been waiting for weeks.
"San," Hongjoong calls him first, all eyes falling on his shaky body. It makes him even more nervous, even when is just the role of a play, when his mother thinks this is only one of his hobbies, it means a lot for San. He can feel Seonghwa's eyes on him, cold like ice. "You are Noah."
His smile glows on his face in a matter of seconds, clapping sound filling the small room. It was obvious, he was made for that role.
Wooyoung doesn't doubt on hugging him, Yeosang jumping around him like an excited kid.
Yunho is on the other side of the room, giving him a thumbs up. He needs to get the role, he really needs Yunho to be the one Hongjoong calls out next.
"And for Jesse," San gulps, feeling his body tense. "Seonghwa, is yours."
Fuck you Hongjoong.
Claps fill the room again in a way that wants to make believe everyone is happy to get the news, yet San can't neither hear it nor feel happy at all. He feels a little bit dizzy, legs trembling like jelly.
Seonghwa is staring at him, for the first time since he knows him, without a smirk on his face. San doesn't miss the way Hongjoong is looking at him from across the room, smug grin already appearing on his lips.
Great. They did actually get Hongjoong mad.
"I'm not kissing you," his voice sounds even louder than the locker's door banging close. His fingers feel the vibration crawling all over his body, not strong enough to shake him the same way as Seonghwa's eyes on him.
They're alone on the dressing room, after patiently waiting one hour for everyone to leave to go class, knowing Seonghwa would stay the last as he isn't also precisely pleased with the recent news.
It's a romantic play, Noah and Jesse have to share not one but multiple kisses. Hongjoong really is a vengeful person, San needs to learn how to bite his tongue.
He is pressing his lips in a thin line, jaw tightly clenched, one hand over Seonghwa's locker. And the boy is standing still in front of him, ice falling from his eyes piercing him. And he is scared, oh boy San wasn't that scared since he moved from his mom's house and had to start living by his own. His lips tremble as he gathers the little strength he has remained to speak. "I'm talking with Hongjoong. There's no way in the world I am kissing you."
Seonghwa rolls his eyes as a reply, moving back to take a seat on one of the chairs he is sure he disrespected with Wooyoung at least once. San stays next to the lockers, watching how the older boy remains serene and incredibly calm for the first time of his life — not gonna lie, it makes San even more furious that he isn't screaming or fighting or trying to punch Hongjoong to put Wooyoung on San's place.
"And you call yourself an actor?" Are Seonghwa's words, one eyebrow up. His voice is filled with mockery.
"Listen, San," he starts, putting on a smirk, "we are actors. When we are on the stage, we are no longer us but the characters we interpret. Caught it?."
Actually, he is right. San gets even more irritated at how truthful Seonghwa is right now — such a professional or just an idiot wanting to get on his nerves, San isn't sure if he is one or the other or even both at the same time; a professional idiot with a high ego.
Still, he is saying nothing but a true. They are actors, that's what actors do. He had to kiss Wooyoung once and nothing happened because they weren't San and Wooyoung that time.
Kissing Seonghwa, yet, is one of the most difficult things Hongjoong has asked him. "If you are gonna chicken out, maybe you can tell Joong you are not made for this role, Wooyoung will do it perfectly."
With a scoff, is San the one rolling out his eyes now. Wooyoung and Yunho are the main substitutes.
Now it makes sense, why he is so calm, so sure San wouldn't contain himself.
So he takes an air mouthful and fills his lungs. He hates Seonghwa but Seonghwa hates him back. It's obvious, everyone on the company can see how they can't stay on the same room for more than five minutes and that their group of friend is kinda split because they share all of them but it's impossible to arrange a meeting without fighting.
They were never compatible, and Hongjoong always made the most for them to play roles that hadn't any interaction. Until today.
Seonghwa is looking at him, not moving at all. There's something weird about how calm he is, making San clench his fists on his back as he reaches his position, standing in front of him.
San is the one looking down at Seonghwa then.
"I know what you're trying to do," he mumbles, dry, nails scratching his skin because he is so mad. At how Seonghwa is blatantly looking at him like he is part of some game for him, and maybe at how strong his eyebrows are right now. "It's no use, I'm not gonna give up."
San is strong, another quality to add to his list. Stubborn is his second name, the idea of losing had always driving him crazy. Maybe that's the reason he is such a good actor: he doesn't give up, if he wants something, he fights until he gets it. Although he doesn't want to kiss Seonghwa in front of hundred of persons, his desire off pissing him off might be stronger.
It would be easy, to get Seonghwa out of the frame even though he is acting all smugly right now, considering how he has been riling him up for over two years. Getting Seonghwa mad is effortless due to his short temper — and San will take advantage of that.
Or that's what he wants to think.
Seonghwa stands up, winning height again. Yet, San doesn't even flinch. They stare at each other for a whole second before the older puts a hand on his chin, lifting it. That's what San likes to call, the start of the end.
The touch is velvety, he never thought his hands would be that soft, not on his skin.
He does get scared a little when Seonghwa leans in, noses bumping together. Too close. "Three months are long enough," he whispers, breath tickling his lips. San's body shakes, warmth biting his lips. His skin itches and for a solid second, his mind goes numb. There's a buzz on his ears, and a small voice telling him to move one step closer, making their lips crash in a wet kiss — he is sure is Wooyoung's voice.
"Should we practice the kiss scene?" The vibrations come back, this time on his lips, making San yank over of his reverie and hiss loudly.
Not in a million years.
His hands crash on Seonghwa's chest, pushing him aside. There it is again, that smile. Like he had already won a game they hadn't started yet.
San bites his lower lip, mint scent already all over his skin. He feels like punching him, more than usual.
Seonghwa chuckles, arms crossed as he leans in over the wall. "I'm gonna win this one, babe. I'm still the star here."
Voice filled with acid, half joking half throwing a warning at him. San is furious.
He closes his eyes for a moment, breathing in. He gets mint and dust, and a little bit of the mix of cologne of all the boys that changed before them. Strong. When he opens his eyes again, Seonghwa is walking to his locker, opening again.
San points a finger at him. "If you kiss me, I will bite you."
Out of all the things he could have said, he chooses the worst play of words as Seonghwa's body shakes with laughter. He didn't think of it, he is mad, not to talk about how the boy just pressed his ambitious button to the maximum.
Seonghwa doesn't even look up from his locker when he speaks. "Is that a warning or a promise?"
With nothing more but a growl, San exits the dressing room, heavy steps rumbling on the big stage. What an idiot, Park Seonghwa.