the bus rolled up to felix's stop with a loud honk, the doors sliding open with a metallic squeal. he could smell the gasoline seeping out of the exhaust pipes, and could hear the loud babble of students yelling.
it was the first day of school.
felix took a deep breath before boarding the death trap on wheels, anxiously tugging on the sleeves of his sweater. his eyes searched the faces in the seats, desperately looking for someone who seemed even remotely kind. most of them gave him judging looks — perhaps they could smell the poverty he emitted — and others were merely stone faced and intimidating.
only one face amongst the crowd lacked the cold exterior of the others, so felix went with her. he timidly approached the young girl, pulling on his sleeves and standing before her.
"h-hello," he squeaked, pointing to the empty portion of he seat. "may i s-s-sit here?" the girl gave a shy smile and nodded, tapping the bench. felix bowed his head in thanks, slipping into the leather seating.
"my name is jisung," the girl spoke softly, her voice surprisingly deep for a female. it seemed far too masculine for a girl of her size and softness. felix gave an acknowledging nod, wringing his hands together.
"i'm f-f-felix," the boy murmured back, holding out his tiny hand for a handshake. the girl smiled gently and took his hand. again, felix was surprised; her grip was strong and manly, anything but the delicacy that her appearance exuded.
"y-you have a strong g-g-grip, j-jisung," he murmured. jisung blushed and withdrew her hand, tucking her shoulder-length, chocolate curls behind her ear.
"i-i know. my father taught me the importance of a strong handshake." she seemed to regret those words, her pretty face morphing into a scowl. felix merely chuckled, settling comfortable beside his new friend. she was odd, which was comforting; at least felix wasn't the only strange one.
the next day, felix sat beside jisung again. this time her hair was pulled away from her chubby face, secured in a pair of space buns. she'd done her makeup, coating her eyelids in shimmery eyeshadow and her lips in pink gloss. felix was mesmerized. jisung was just so... beautiful.
"good m-morning, jisung," felix chirped, falling into seat beside her. she smiled softly and tugged one of her earbuds from her ear. she offered it to felix, who took it gladly. the boy recognized the gentle chords of heartbeat by bts, one of his favorite songs.
"i really l-l-like this song," felix hummed, smiling over at jisung. she giggled — a melodious sound that had felix swooning — and nodded her head, as though to say, "me too." the two fell into silence for the rest of the bus ride.
for the next several weeks, felix and jisung continued to sit beside one another, sometimes engaging in conversation, other times sitting in silence and sharing music. felix felt something blossoming in his chest every time he neared her; he was quite fond of his bus buddy. everything was peaceful; everything was soft and light and glowing. and then everything went downhill.
"sup fags," bellowed jaebum, an upperclassman with a rich dad and a nasty attitude. felix flinched at his voice, recoiling into jisung's side. the girl wrapped a protective arm around his shoulders, narrowing her big eyes at jaebum.
"don't you dare call me a fag. you know damn well that i'm a girl," jisung growled, her voice lowering in pitch. felix shivered in fright; she sounded so manly — so strong. she sounded almost like a boy.
"weren't always a girl, han. how's that little dick of yours? has it fallen off yet with how much you tape it down?" felix felt his blood boiling, especially as jisung averted her eyes with a frown and an insecure rub of her arm.
"how dare you?" felix seethed, tiny hands clenching into shaking fists. he stood up, facing jaebum with a dangerous glint in his eyes.
"wow, the fag can speak! what happened to your st-st-stutter?" jaebum sneered, mimicking felix's speech impediment. the small boy shrunk in on himself again, lower lip wobbling and eyes filling with tears.
"s-stop making f-f-fun of me," felix murmured, eyes landing on the floor of the bus. jaebum shoved him back into his seat, his tiny body landing directly in jisung's lap. the girl grabbed him by the waist and held him close, eyes helplessly trained on jaebum's tall form. the male merely scoffed and spit at the small duo, then made his way to the back of the bus where he belonged.
felix shook in jisung's gentle grip, breathing unsteady against her slim neck. the boy was terrified and ashamed; he was terrified of judgement and ashamed of being a coward. he heard jisung hum softly, to the soft tune of some classical piece. felix took a deep breath and lifted his head, meeting jisung's reassuring smile.
warmth spread through his chest, his stomach fluttering with delicate butterflies. is this what love feels like?
over the course of the school year, jisung and felix had grown impossibly close. although jaebum tormented them occasionally, they couldn't have been happier. felix's fondness of the pretty girl grew by the day, slowly becoming uncontrollable.
"y-you should c-c-come over after s-school," felix spoke one day close to winter break. jisung perked up at this, her eyes sparkling with anticipation. the look sent a pang through felix's heart; god, she was so cute.
"really?" she inquired, tilting her head to the side like a puppy. felix gave an eager nod, smiling widely and grabbing onto jisung's hands.
"t-t-tomorrow! we can p-paint each other's n-nails! a-a-and watch steven u-universe t-t-together!" felix exclaimed, stutter growing with his excitement. jisung was nodding along eagerly, which sparked a frenzy in felix's stomach. she genuinely enjoyed his company, and that made him happier than anything.
"i'd love to, lixie," she responded, squeezing his hands gently. and suddenly, he couldn't wait for tomorrow.
jisung and felix stepped off the bus together, hand in hand, smiling and chattering with one another. felix's house wasn't too far; it was just around the corner, which was convenient for both of them. jisung carried an extra bag in her hand, no doubt filled with overnight supplies.
"my p-parents should be h-h-home by 5. they're s-so excited to m-m-meet you!" felix babbled excitedly, practically skipping his way to his house. jisung giggled softly and tugged on the smaller's hand, prompting him to slow down with a shy smile. he'd gotten carried away again, which was embarrassing. it was like he lost all control when he was around the girl.
"you're so cute, lixie," the girl cooed leaning down to press a soft kiss against felix's cheek. his face reddened considerably, eyes wide on the squirrelly girl's pretty smiling face. he brushed it off, ignoring the rapid beating of his heart in favor of pointing to the small blue house a few meters away.
"that's m-my house!" he informed, grinning widely at the sight. he noticed the blue car in the driveway and cocked his head to the side, slowing to a stop with a confused whine. why was his mom home? had she gotten off early?
"something wrong, lixie?" the girl asked, tapping felix's cheek. the boy nodded and tugged her hand, guiding her into the house and immediately dropping his bag (and her hand) at the door.
"mommy! i-i'm home, a-a-and i brought j-jisungie!" he called, slipping his sneakers off. he gestured for jisung to do the same, and tugged her into the kitchen. his mother was there, leaning against the counter with an apron and a smile. she opened her arms wordlessly, and felix fell into them with a cheer.
"welcome home, my love," the woman cooed, pressing a kiss to her son's forehead before turning her attention to the shuffling girl in the doorway. "don't be shy, jisung. you're felix's friend, so you're my friend. bring it in, girlfriend!" jisung smiled widely at that, joining the hug with a giggle.
"it's nice to meet you, mrs. lee," jisung spoke, stepping away from the hug to bow respectfully. mrs. lee scoffed and released felix, who immediately clung to jisung, placing her hands on her hips.
"call me sophie, dear. it's a pleasure to finally meet the young lady who's made my little boy so happy." felix gave a high whine, blushing darkly as he pouted at his mother. the woman furrowed her eyebrows confusedly, pouting back.
"yes ma'am, sophie. i'm glad to be friends with little lixie," jisung responded, protectively holding felix close. the boy preened and nuzzled in closer, basking in the warmth of his friend. jisung and sophie shared a knowing smile over felix's head, the elder woman offering a wink and a nod of approval.
"this door l-leads to m-my room, and this o-o-one leads to the b-bathroom, and that o-one leads to m-m-mommy and daddy's r-room!" felix babbled, pointing to each of the doors. each one was painted a different shade of blue, the bathroom's being a deep royal blue with the word "restroom" printed in white lettering. the parents' room was a light aqua, painted with little white accents representing waves, a chalkboard hanging up reading "mommy and daddy" in neat, feminine handwriting.
the last door was a pretty pastel blue, with little pink clouds and white stars. the word "lixie" was written prettily across the door in white paint, the letters curling delicately in calligraphy. felix was only slightly embarrassed of his soft, babyish room. it was just another part of him that jisung would have to accept, and if she didn't, she wasn't worth it.
so he opened the door, exposing his pretty pink and blue room in all of its glory. the left side held his bed, the sheets and comforter a pearly white and the pillow a pretty pink. atop the comforter, taking up half the queen sized mattress, was a pile of stuffies. there were exactly thirty-three (felix kept count) of various shapes and sizes, all facing the right side of the room.
the right side held a white desk, topped with various pastel decor items and a pair of textbooks. a shelf full of random knick knacks hung over the desk, a pretty pink box labeled toys standing out amongst them. felix made a mental note to keep that box out of jisung's hands; no way would jisung be allowed to see all of his childish toys.
"y-y-you can s-set your b-bag over there!" felix chirped, pointing to his desk chair. jisung ruffled his hair, setting off a spark in the small boy, and moved to set her bag down in the chair. her eyes wandered over the room, sparkling with a wonder that went straight to lix's heart.
"i love your room, lixie," she cooed, bringing a blush to the boy's round cheeks. he shuffled his feet, wringing his hands with a shy smile.
"thank y-y-you sungie," he murmured, stealing a glance at the girl's fond expression. she crossed the room slowly, her body heat coming to clash with felix's and suddenly the air was heavier. it was dense with a tension that had been hardly present for the last several weeks, enhanced by jisung's dark eyes.
her hand came to cup felix's face, lifting it up to gaze at her. his breath hitched, eyes dancing between her lips and eyes. suddenly it was too hard to bear. suddenly he couldn't hold back. suddenly he lost control.
their lips met in a soft embrace, unmoving, gently pressed against one another. felix's heart was nearly beating out of his chest, his shaky hands coming to desperately grip jisung's, as if he were trying to ground himself. jisung pulled away first, her chubby cheeks pinking with a light blush and her pretty lips curling into a fond smile.
"i love you," she breathed, squeezing felix's hand with hope reflecting in her eyes. felix couldn't hold back his smile or his tears, charging forward to bury his head in her collarbone and wrap his arms around her thin waist.
"i l-l-love you too s-sungie," he murmured. his heart thumped wildly in his chest and his cheeks ached with how hard he was smiling. god, jisung liked him. jisung actually liked him. he'd never been so happy in his life.
the dinner table was loud with chatter and banter and jokes made by the lees and their guest. felix was amazed at how well the girl fit in with his lighthearted, kind family. it was almost as though she was made to be one of them.
the thought hit felix like a truck; jisung was practically made for him. she was beautiful, and dominant, and kind in ways that fit felix perfectly. her style was parallel to his own, and their birthdays were mere hours apart.
they were meant to be.
jisung and felix were made to be together. they melded together flawlessly, forming a perfect, unbreakable duo.
felix grabbed jisung's hand and smiled over at her, big eyes crinkling and twinkling with fondness. she smiled widely right back at him, squeezing his hand, and felix felt safe.
two weeks later, as the duo lay in bed beside one another, hands intertwined and eyes meeting, felix thought to kiss jisung again. he'd quite enjoyed it before, when things were lighthearted and emotional. now it was different. now it was dark, illuminated only by the fairy lights hanging over felix's bed. jisung seemed to have the same idea, as she placed her hand on felix's freckled cheek.
she'd since washed her makeup off and changed into a shimmery pearl nightgown, tying her hair up into a messy bun. felix thought she was beautiful like this — natural, completely imperfect in the most perfect way. he could see small spots of acne scars on her pretty cheeks, and the dark circles resting under her shining eyes, and the slight stubble dotting the lower half of her face.
"you're b-beautiful," he whispered, eyes fluttering shut as he breathed in her essence. god, he loved her so much. her breathy chuckle sent a shiver down felix's spine, a shaky exhale falling between his parted lips.
"i'm transgender," she murmured, nuzzling their noses together. "i hope that doesn't change your opinion of me." felix gasped and wrapped his arms tightly around the girl, tugging her into his chest.
"of c-c-course it doesn't! sungie, i l-love you no matter what. even if you were b-b-born as something d-different than what you are, i-i still love y-you. nothing could ch-change that." jisung buried her face in felix's shoulder, giving a sniffle that went straight to felix's heart.
"why do you have a stutter, lixie?" jisung choked out, lifting her head to meet felix's gaze. her pretty eyes were filled with tears, shimmering in the dim lighting and seeing straight into felix's soul. god, she was so breathtaking.
"i got h-hit by a car w-when i was two a-a-and i got b-brain trauma so severe i-it set back m-m-my development. i can't s-speak properly a-and i a-act like a l-l-little kid sometimes b-because my brain isn't d-developed all the w-way," felix responded, fidgeting with jisung's silky nightgown. the girl gave a quiet hum, pulling herself up to rest her forehead against felix's. his heart fluttered in his chest, and his hands itched to touch her.
"can i kiss you?" she whispered, and felix had never nodded so fast in his life. soon enough their lips met in a heated, needy kiss that sent shivers down felix's spine. he pulled her as close as humanely possible, knotting his hand in her hair so tightly that it pulled her messy bun loose. felix could taste the remnants of her minty toothpaste, his tastebuds committing it to memory. her pretty lips marked a trail down his throat, leaving a trail of fire in their wake.
they parted just long enough for felix to pull his shirt over his head, after which jisung attacked the boy's collarbone, leaving behind a series of red spots that felix was sure his mom would freak out over. did he care? no; especially not when jisung was breathing so heavily in his ear. he could already feel his pajama pants growing tight, which was embarrassing seeing as they had hardly done anything.
"s-sungie please," he breathed, though he didn't know what exactly he was asking for. he just wanted her to do something, anything. jisung gave a breathy laugh that sent a shiver straight down felix's spine. then, jisung was grinding her thin hips down on felix, and god, was he in heaven. he couldn't help the breathless moan that slipped from his lips and straight into hers.
"lixie, want you so bad," she panted into his mouth, fingers desperately tugging at his blonde hair. she ground down harder now, firm and determined, a shaky moan rising from her throat. felix was overwhelmed by pleasure, body falling almost limp against his mattress, fingers outstretched and clawing anything and everything he could reach.
the minutes all blurred together in a haze of breathy moans and babbles of pleading, both of them too far gone to really comprehend anything. and suddenly felix was completely taken over, releasing into his pants with a breathless whimper. jisung followed not far behind, seizing up and painfully digging her fingers into felix's shoulders. the boy whined rather loudly, unfocused eyes barely comprehending jisung's arched form looming over him. she collapsed into his chest, panting in his ear, and placed a warming kiss upon the nail marks on his shoulder.
"i love you," the boy murmured, numbly turning his head to the girl beside him. she was half asleep, giving a hum of acknowledgement as she curled into his side. he smiled faintly, loosely stringing his arms around her thin waist. he felt so warm, so happy, so secure.
he felt home.