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Hey there, pool boy

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“Hey there, pool boy.” Jisung was lying down on one of the lounge chairs around his backyard pool, one leg (hopefully) seductively bent up and the other stretched out as he casually called out for the pool boy.


The blonde pool boy looked up from where he sat scrolling on his phone after cleaning the pool for the first time since summer had arrived and Jisung lowered his sunglasses to send him a wink. The pool boy frowned slightly at Jisung. “You know my name, Jisung. What’s up?” 


He was right about that, Jisung knew his name very well. His parents called him Chris, but Jisung had gotten used to calling him Chan. Chan had been their pool boy for springs and summers since last year, because Jisung’s parents just loved to throw pool parties when the weather was good. They usually didn’t travel in summer, so Jisung had gotten to know Chan a little last year during summer and also before that during spring when Jisung was partially homeschooled and sometimes liked to work outside.


This year was initially a year to prepare himself for studying something like law or business, so Jisung also had a lot of time to spend with Chan this spring, but with the arrival of summer also came the inevitable dread of choosing a path for his future. 


“Do you want to swim or something?” Chan asked him, eyeing his outfit, which definitely wasn’t fit for swimming. Jisung didn’t really like swimming in particular, because he wasn’t very good at it. Sure, he liked inviting his friends over and playing in the pool, but he found that swimming alone was boring, so he really only sat beside the pool rather than swimming.


(The real reason that he didn’t swim is because he never had lessons, but he wouldn’t tell anyone that. He’d just make sure that he avoided the deep end of the pool— and besides, how hard could swimming be? His parents had made the conscious decision to have a pool and never put their son on swimming lessons, so it couldn’t be that dangerous, right? (He ignored the fact that they’ve only had a pool since three years ago, though.))


“Nah.” He shrugged, a smirk on his face. His face was slightly warm and he hoped Chan would think it was just from the early summer sun. “Unless you want to see me topless…?” 


Chan let out a choked sound at that, his ears immediately becoming red. Jisung would call this a victory if he didn’t know that Chan just got embarrassed easily. “Jisung, I’ve seen you swim before!”


“That’s not an answer to my question.” Jisung responded, jutting out his lower lip a bit and crossing his arms, before quickly uncrossing them, because he was probably looking like a spoiled kid like that. 


“I don’t want to see you topless in particular— You don’t want to swim, right? I mean— What kind of question is that even?” Chan stuttered, obviously taken aback by Jisung’s question. Jisung wasn’t sure if he should be glad about that or not. Then the boy stood up. “Anyway— I need to start cleaning up for the pool party later.”


Jisung sighed, he had gotten absolutely nowhere with this— not that he had a plan with this , whatever this was. Well, he could always try again later, for now he got off of the lounge chair and decided he was bored so he could as well help Chan a little with preparing for the umpteenth pool party.

Jisung sat in his room with his window open, the soft chatter of adults talking about the weather or something as his BGM. He was also working on his own music a little, but inspiration was running a little low, so he decided to take a break and look out of his window to the backyard.


Out of habit his eyes strayed to a certain pool boy and as if Chan heard him look, the older turned his head to look at him as well and wave. Jisung waved back out of habit as well, a smile on his face, before he realized he could use this opportunity to send the blonde another exaggerated wink and blow him a kiss. 


Chan was startled by this— of course he was, their routine was to just wave and smile at each other— sometimes gesture something to each other— whenever Jisung’s parents organized a pool party and Jisung didn’t want to deal and he just hid in his room. Sometimes his parents forced him to talk with the guests as well, but usually they spared him.


After Chan got over his initial embarrassment, he caught the blown kiss and put it in the pocket of his swimming trunks before mouthing something which looked a lot like ‘why?’ with a confused expression. Why was a good question, but Jisung just didn’t really want to formulate an answer to that question, some things you just shouldn’t think about too much, so he just shrugged to Chan and gave him another wink. 


Chan shook his head with a little smile and focused his gaze back on the party and Jisung watched him for a short while. He was still in awe of how easily the blonde chatted with the guests. 


Jisung plopped back down on his chair and tried to focus on making music again, at least writing some lyrics or something, but his brain was too busy making more plans to seduce Chan. He pressed the back of his pencil into his cheek, thinking, until he suddenly got an idea, maybe he could find a way to put the pool to good use.


Jisungs pool plan had to wait, because his friends wanted to go out for ice cream in the hot weather and catch up at Jisung’s pool after. Jisung didn’t have a lot to tell his friends, so he mainly listened to them talk about their college experiences and about their college friends Jisung had also met during the year. 


“So, Jisung, have you finally made up your mind about what you are going to do?” Seungmin asked him while Felix and Hyunjin were still deciding what to order. 


“I’m working on it.” Jisung shrugged while licking his ice cream. Seungmin raised his eyebrows at him and Jisung shot him a stone-faced look. “And I don’t wanna talk about it right now.”


“Okay, whatever. You don’t have much time left.” Seungmin also shrugged.


After everyone had ordered, they made their way to Jisungs house. Seungmin and Hyunjin were sharing their ice cream while holding hands, being exaggeratedly sappy and sweet in front of Jisung and Felix. 


“We get it, you guys are dating! No need to shove it in our faces…” Jisung grumbled. 


“They're always like this.” Felix rolled his eyes and pointed his thumb toward the couple. 


“Don't be jealous, guys.” Seungmin sighed before turning back to look at Hyunjin with an over exaggeratedly sweet look in his eyes. Hyunjin leaned forward and rubbed their noses together. Jisung fake gagged at it before pushing their shared ice cream into their chins. 


“Yah!” The couple exclaimed simultaneously as Felix laughed and gave Jisung a high five. Hyunjin pouted at them, but soon got over it as Seungmin got a napkin out of his pocket and started gently dabbing his boyfriend's chin. 


“What? You guys aren't going to lick it off of each other?” Felix asked and Jisung doubled over in laughter, holding himself steady on Felix's shoulder. 


“Shut up!” Seungmin barked at the two, his face burning bright red. “You guys will understand if you start dating too.”


Felix and Jisung let out some complaining sounds and brought up some excuses in response, but Hyunjin interrupted them. “Speaking about dating! Jisung, you remember Minho, right? From my dance classes? You guys got along great! Why don't you—” 


“Hwang Hyunjin I don't need you to set me up with someone.” Jisung stopped him, holding up a hand. “I'm working on it! And of course I remember Minho we were great together, but just as friends, you know?” 


“Okay, yeah, he's way too handsome for you anyway.” Hyunjin smirked and Jisung raised a fist at him— If he wasn't holding a cup of ice cream right now he would have definitely punched him. Hyunjin winced and held his hands up, making Seungmin almost drop their ice cream. 


“He's freakishly handsome in general! Don't be stingy—! Or violent…” The tall boy defended himself.


“I said I’m working on it!” Jisung repeated. Seungmin rolled his eyes while Felix grinned.


“That’s your excuse for everything .” Seungmin told him. Jisung wanted to protest, but before he could, Felix spoke up.


“Pool boy?!” He shouted excitedly. Jisung jumped at him to place a hand over his mouth, they were almost at his house for god’s sake!


“How— How do you know?” He hissed before Felix licked his hand and he pulled it away with a shriek. Hyunjin was laughing at him, but Jisung paid no mind to him, more interested in Felix’s answer.


“It was just a guess, but that’s the only guy you ever talk about except for us. And— maybe also our college friends, but since you said you’re working on it I thought it’d be someone you knew for a bit longer.” Felix explained with a grin. He was spot on, Jisung was a bit speechless. 


“Wait— You were serious when you said you’re working on it?” Seungmin’s eyes grew wide as he looked at Jisung with an exaggerated expression. Jisung just gave him a stone-faced look in return.


“I didn’t know you had a crush on Chan!” Hyunjin shoved Jisung playfully and Jisung’s cheeks coloured a soft pink. “I mean— I get it. He’s a handsome beach boy with a real beach bod… He wears a swim-shirt, but you can still see everything —”


“I don’t have a crush on him, though.” Jisung deflected, avoiding his friends' gazes so they hopefully wouldn’t notice his warm face. He willed himself to keep his expression neutral before turning to his tallest friend. “And, by the way, mister ‘he’s handsome’ , maybe you should tone down the swooning in front of your boyfriend.” 


“It’s fine, I’d rather have him do it in front of me instead of behind my back.” Seungmin absentmindedly fed Hyunjin more ice cream as they made their way into Jisung’s house. Gosh, they are absolutely whipped for each other.


“What do you mean you don’t have a crush on him, though?” Hyunjin asked, mouth still full of ice cream. He frowned but then his eyes widened and— oh gosh, what is he thinking? “Wait! Wait a second! Han Jisung!”


“W—What are you thinking?” Jisung was kinda afraid right now. Hyunjin stepped a little closer to him, eyes still wide, mouth in a small ‘o’. 


“You are in love?! In love with the pool bo—?!” Hyunjin squeaked out and Jisung had to shut one of his friends up by force.


“I’m not ! This is just— Just a convenience thing. I don’t have feelings for him.” Jisung looked his friend straight in the eyes to get the message across, but by doing that, he missed Felix waving to the very pool boy they were talking about, making him come inside.


“Hi, Chan.” Felix and Seungmin greeted the pool boy and Jisung turned his head to see Chan suddenly very close to them. He then felt a set of teeth bite into his hand and he shrieked.  


“Ow!! Hwang Hyunjin!” He yelled while holding his poor bitten hand. Biting at hands was his thing— although he never actually bit people. Hyunjin just smiled innocently, his smile growing wider as Chan approached Jisung to check if he was okay.


“Are you okay, Jisung?” Chan placed a hand on Jisung’s shoulder and examined his hand and Jisung tried coming up with a way to use this opportunity for his master-plan, but the fact that his friends were here— and that Hyunjin was already snickering at the two— didn’t make it particularly easy.


“Yeah, I’m okay. Well— Unless you wanna kiss it better…?” Jisung threw his best puppy eyes into the game, already regretting doing this when he heard all three of his friends muffle their laughter. Chan whipped his head up, ears incredibly red against his pale skin and bleached hair.


“Are— Are you serious?” Chan sputtered and Jisung was really curious about what would happen if he’d say yes right now, but his friends ruined it by not being able to contain their laughter. Chan took away his hand from Jisung’s shoulder and the latter lowered his hand and waited patiently for his friends to stop laughing.


“Uhh…” Chan’s voice broke, so he cleared his throat before whispering: “You guys wanna swim later?” 


Jisung turned to face his friend and nodded in response. “You can stay around, by the way, you’re our friend too.” He told Chan seriously, because by now he knew the underlying question whenever he asked that. The blonde pressed his lips together and nodded.


“Okay, I’ll just be by the pool then. See you guys later.” He said before going outside again.


Jisung looked after him, wondering if he was making a mistake by choosing Chan as his… subject? That sounded weird… wrong . Of course others had crossed his mind while he vaguely made up his totally-not-well-thought-through-master-plan, but it was exactly as Felix said, he felt most comfortable with Chan out of his a-little-more-than-acquaintances— although he thought Chan was definitely his friend already.


He would stop if Chan would make it clear that he was uncomfortable with the whole seducing thing, but for now Jisung would carry on with his plan and have fun while he could. 


He noticed his friends were done laughing so they made their way upstairs to change into their swimsuits before chilling in the pool together. They didn’t bring up the whole Chan thing for a while, because they invited Chan to chat with them, but the inevitable happened when Chan went inside to grab them some drinks.


“Sooooo…” Felix started. “A convenience thing? What does that even mean?” 


“It means I don’t need your help or comments in the package.” He scooped up some water with his foot to splash Felix. 


“That’s not what it means, I think.” Seungmin commented and before Jisung could splash him too, the boy sent his boyfriend to constrain him by clamping him into a sidewards hug. Jisung tried to shrug him off, but Hyunjin was an avid hugger, and Jisung had twigs for arms.


“I call foul play! At least prevent me from splashing you yourself!” Jisung called out while wrapping his arms around Hyunjin’s waist to hold him close by. He pouted and yanked Hyunjin onto his lap to prop up his chin on the older’s shoulder. Now I’m going to keep him too, he’s mine now.


After Hyunjin enjoyed the hug for a while he tried to squirm out of Jisung’s grip but Jisung wouldn’t let him go. Felix apparently saw this as an opportunity to hug an unsuspecting Seungmin, who eventually relented and hugged back with a smile.


“You know you can talk to us about things, right, Jisung?” Their youngest friend told him. “That’s what friends are for. And maybe also to tell you that flirting with someone and then calling it a ‘convenience thing’ sounds like something you haven’t thought through.” 


Seungmin was right once again, but Jisung was still convinced that this was something that he shouldn’t think through— Sometimes things don’t need to be thought through! Seungmin obviously didn’t understand that.


“Like, I also don’t know what you mean by that, but it doesn’t sound like something you and Chan will both come out of as a better person or something.” Seungmin continued. “If you don’t have feelings for him, maybe don’t flirt with him? Or at least make your intentions clear to him ?” 


“Sometimes things aren’t that simple, though.” Jisung spoke and Hyunjin leaned out of their hug to look at him from the side. “Sometimes you need to do things without thinking about anything, without worrying about anything. Maybe it’ll turn out to be a bad decision, but I can learn from it or something.” 


“Oh.” His friends were quiet, nodding at his words. Jisung hoped they understood him now, and it seemed as though they did.


“So that’s what it’s about. Okay.” Seungmin said after a moment, nodding again. Oh, so he’s letting it go? He didn’t know if he should say something else, or if his friends wanted to say something else, but Chan already joined them again, so Jisung threw Hyunjin out of his arms into the water to join Chan and grab a drink, sending the pool boy a wink for good measure.


Chan’s ears became red again, but he also smiled a little, and, even though it was an awkward smile, Jisung felt a little better seeing it.


It was another hot summer day when Jisung decided to carry out the pool related part of his master plan. He had put on his swimming trunks and grabbed a towel and that was it, that was all preparation he needed for his plan— well, he also needed some courage, but he could probably find that somewhere along the way.


His parents were out, but Chan was still there, even though he never swam, because he was more of an ocean guy, and this was his employer's pool. Jisung had told him he could use it if he wanted, but he didn't like swimming alone on the job. Maybe Chan would swim with him today, though. 


Anyway— He approached the pool and placed down his towel next to the pool boy after greeting him with a wink. “Hey Channie, it's pretty hot out, huh?” 


“Yeah it is… You going swimming?” He asked as he followed Jisung’s movements with his gaze, exactly according to plan. 


“Yeah, well— I'm just going to cool off, you know?” He shrugged as he walked into the pool as coolly as possible, keeping his eyes on the pool boy on the other end of the pool. Thank God that the pool water was a decent temperature, it helped him keep up his alluring act. 


“Okay…” Chan nodded slowly, before offering him a smile. Jisung could tell Chan was aware of the fact that he was acting somewhat differently than usual, but Jisung wouldn't let his spirits get crushed by that, so he continued. 


He waded a little deeper into the water— not too deep, of course, he didn't want to embarrass himself— and when he was about chest-deep into the pool, he dove under to wet his hair and resurface like he was some hot woman in a beach movie obviously directed by a man. 


He threw his head back to keep his hair out of his face as he resurfaced, bringing a hand through his hair after, making sure that Chan still had his eyes on him— He swore he saw a blush adorning the older's cheeks, but it also could've been the weather. 


Jisung made a show of getting out of the pool too, because if walking through water made you slow anyways, why not make use of it? He hoped he could make it work with his skinny body, because, yeah, he kind of had abs (keyword: kind of), but only because there was barely any fat on his body, not because he was muscular like Chan. 


Speaking of which, Chan was still sitting next to the towel Jisung had brought when Jisung got out of the pool and slowly walked toward the pool boy. He was staring at Jisung in a dazed way before another wink pulled him back to reality. 


“Oh, you need your towel—? Uhh, why are you walking so slow?” Chan stood up to bring the towel over, but that wasn't part of the plan, so Jisung hurried over to him to stop him. 


“No, just stay there—” Jisung kinda forgot that wet stone was slippery, especially when it's marble and you're barefoot, so while hurrying to Chan, he found himself losing his footing and slipping right into the pool again. The thing was, however, that he fell into the very deep end of the pool. 


And gosh , the deep end was deep. When Jisung got over his initial shock of having slipped, he opened his eyes to see a lot of water above him. Panic started to rise in his chest and he accidentally opened his mouth to yell, but instead he just swallowed a liter of water. He tried to focus on getting to the shallow side of the pool, or to get above water— anything , really, but panic and fear due to his inexperience in water clouded his vision and made him lose all sense of direction. 


He didn't know how he managed to eventually get his head above water, but that didn't last very long as he submerged again before he could take a proper breath. More water entered his mouth and nose and he wanted to cough it up, but there was only water all around him. He needed to breathe , but there was only water. He also needed to get away from the deep end and he needed to calm down but his panic allowed him to do none of those things. 


He didn't know how long he was struggling either, it seemed both like an eternity and like the blink of an eye as he didn't have time to think , he needed to do . Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew that he wasn't going to get out of this himself, though, but those thoughts were irrelevant when he vaguely felt two arms wrap around his chest and heave him up and above water for longer than a few seconds. 


Jisung inhaled sharply through his nose as finally he was exposed to air. It still felt like like the air had to travel through a wall of water as he tried to breathe, he felt like he was choking. A harsh slap on his back made him splutter out some of the water stuck in his throat. He only vaguely registered that Chan was carrying him out of the water, too busy wheezing and trying to breathe.


When Chan put him down he collapsed, but his friend prevented him from falling onto his knees too hard. He coughed his lungs out to get the water out of his system, trying to breathe in between the coughs.


“...take it easy, remember to breathe.” Jisung only now heard that Chan was softly whispering reassuring words to him— he had probably been doing that for a while now, because Jisung heard things, he just didn’t register what he was saying until now. “I’m here with you. Just focus on my voice.” 


Jisung was still shaking on his hands and knees, his wet hair dripping on the stone beneath him as he wheezed and coughed. Chan held his shoulders and Jisung was surprised at how much more safe the touch made him feel. He still couldn’t seem to manage steadying his breathing, though.


“Jisung, do you hear me?” Chan whispered, his body close to Jisung’s. Jisung nodded, letting out a shaky breath. “Try breathing with me.” 


Jisung focused on the older’s breathing, trying to match it, which was hard, but he felt like breathing was easier than before. He squeezed his eyes shut for two seconds and tried taking a deep breath.


He then pushed himself into a sitting position so he could look at Chan’s face, which was surprisingly composed despite there being red streaks on his cheeks from crying. Jisung hadn’t even noticed that— but it did the job distracting him and letting his body steady his breathing unconsciously. 


“I’m sorry—” A sob escaped his mouth. Jesus. He had just managed to control his breathing, but seeing Chan cry made him so incredibly sad . And he was a crybaby.


“No! Nononono, stop that, it’s not your fault! Just— Please don’t scare me like that ever again.” Chan pulled him into a tight hug and Jisung let himself softly sob into the blonde’s shoulder. “It’s okay, you just fell and— and then… what happened…?”


“I— panicked, because— I can’t swim…” Jisung murmured into Chan’s pale skin.


“You can’t…? Oh… I didn’t know.” They let go of each other and Chan raised his hand to dry Jisung’s tears with the back of his hand. The hand wasn’t particularly soft, but Jisung appreciated the gesture, his cheeks feeling warm to the touch. 


“Thank you, Channie… Thank you for saving me.” He hiccuped and Chan offered him a small and reassuring smile.


“Of course.”

After calming down for a minute they dried themselves off and went to sit together on a lounge chair. They were already sitting all huddled up against each other, so Jisung took the opportunity to just straight up cuddle with his friend. Jisung never minded skinship too much (and he kind of needed it right now), but he didn’t know about Chan, so he was kinda nervous about it, but Chan gladly accepted the arm Jisung wrapped around him. 


“Hey, Jisung?” Chan asked.




“What’s with all the winking and… uhh… strange behaviour lately?” The pool boy turned to face Jisung a little more, who let out a sigh. He should’ve expected this question to come sooner or later, but where he could dodge actually giving an answer to his friends, he didn’t think dodging it with Chan would be a good move. 


“I mean— I don’t mean to ridicule you if you’re actually flirting with me— I’m flattered, but… I feel like it’s kinda coming out of nowhere?” Chan explained. “And— uhm, I’m sorry if this is, like the total worst time to bring this up, but— you were doing it just before… you know?”


“No, it’s okay. You’re right, uhm… I haven’t really been too upfront with you.” Jisung began, thinking about how he should bring this without sounding like a totally self-centered asshole. He felt his cheeks heat up in shame already, so he focused his gaze on anywhere other than Chan. “I... You know how I’m taking a break from school this year?”


Jisung flicked his eyes back to the older’s face long enough to see him nod. “So after summer, it’s the plan that I do enroll in a college or university and… the plan is— the plan my parents have in mind for me is something boring like business or economics or law or even math. And I don’t mind math, but for it to be the only thing I’m doing for the coming years? No thanks…”


“I get it… What do you want to do, then?” Chan was listening to his every word, his eyes never leaving Jisung’s face.


“I’d rather do… uhm… My passion lies in music, actually, my father used to make music as well and he taught me some things, but he doesn’t want me to chase a career in music, because ‘the industry is too harsh, my band also never stood a chance’ and blablabla. Like I’m a child or something? I know the industry is harsh, but I’m not a child! Can’t I at least try? It’s not like I’m—” Jisung rambled but when he looked at Chan again for a second he saw something had changed in his expression. “What? What is it?”


“I didn’t know you made music.” Chan said, his expression… intrigued?


“I… I guess it just never came up…? It’s not like I know your passions in life.” Jisung realized he really didn’t know much about Chan other than the basics— and his pool habits. 


“I’m actually majoring in music production.” Chan said and Jisung immediately shot up, eyes comically wide.


“You’re kidding!” Why didn’t we know this from each other yet?! This is vital information. Gosh we could have spent so much more quality time with each other.


“I’m not.” Chan snickered at Jisung’s sudden excited mood. 


“That’s awesome ! Can I hear something you made? I— I write too, but I’m not that good at arrangements…” Jisung was way too excited to learn about this and Chan wasn’t anywhere near his excitement level, he also wasn’t getting his phone to show Jisung his work, instead he was just grinning at Jisung.


“Not now, we were talking about something else— What does all of this have to do with the winking and stuff?” Chan was lounging on the chair, looking at Jisung with something in his eyes that made Jisung a bit shy all of a sudden.


“Oh— Right… that …” Jisung sat down again, fidgeting with his hands a little. “So... Please don’t laugh at me— I didn’t think this through, but that was kinda the point— But I thought that maybe flirting with you would, uhh, help me in my kinda late rebellious phase? Like, you know, flirting with the staff would give me more courage? Oh my god this sounds so wrong and weird— I’m so sorry —”


He should stop talking. The concept sounded way better in my head… He turned to Chan to see him silently laughing at him. Great. Jisung jutted his lower lip out and slumped half against the lounge chair and half against Chan because there wasn’t enough space for the two of them. “Well I’m glad you can see the humour in my embarrassing plan.”


“Sorry—!” Chan chuckled. “I get where you’re coming from, though! Really. But you should’ve just talked about it, that way I can help you more directly. Maybe your parents will be more open to the idea if you know someone in the field? I’ve made some connections throughout the years.”


“Thank you… You’re my saviour once again.” Jisung chuckled and Chan barked out a laugh, his ears becoming red without Jisung trying this time. “By the way, uhm… Can I ask you something else?” 


“Yes, anything.” 


“Can you teach me how to swim?”


Ever since the incident— Chan didn’t want to think about it too long— and their talk thereafter, they’ve been getting to know each other a lot better over the course of a couple of days. Jisung said it was in preparation of his swimming lessons, but also because he wanted to know if they had more in common. 


Besides that, they had done more preparation for his swimming lessons, which consisted of making Jisung more comfortable in the water. The boy hadn’t gotten the best first impression of the deep end, after all. Chan tried the approach where Jisung would hold onto him while he’d swim towards the deeper parts, but the younger would just close his eyes tightly and hold his breath whenever Chan would start swimming. 


“I’m not going underwater and I’m not letting you go, ‘Sung, you can look.” Chan snickered as he looked to the side where Jisung was tightly clamping onto him like a backpack. “And please breathe.”


“Sorry. I’ll try again.” The brunette opened his eyes and relaxed as Chan waded to a shallower part, but he tensed again when Chan started swimming again. At least he didn’t close his eyes, so Chan kept going, trusting the other to scream or something if he really wasn’t comfortable with things. When he reached the very deep end of the pool he stopped, instead just treading water to stay afloat. 


“H— How are you staying above the water? You’re not that tall. Are you moving?” Jisung looked down for a second but looked up immediately, muttering ‘okay that’s deep…’


“I am moving my feet, and— if you weren’t crushing my shoulders with your iron grip, I would be using my hands to make things easier.” Chan explained and Jisung loosened his grip a little.


“Right. Okay. You’ll definitely have to teach me that too.” Jisung said, sounding a little out of breath. It was probably from tensing his muscles so much.


“Of course I will, but I think I’ll first teach you the basics of swimming in shallow water, then floating will come naturally, I think.” Chan told him, straining his neck a little to look at the younger. “Do you want to try just holding onto my arm? I’ll hold you up.” 


Jisung’s eyes widened a little and he chewed on his lower lip in thought before slowly nodding and loosening the grip his limbs had on Chan’s body. Chan made sure to hold onto the boy’s arms and keep his eyes on him, hoping that his gaze could keep him grounded.


As soon as the only thing connecting Chan and Jisung were Chan’s hands around Jisung’s upper arms, the younger’s face contorted in fear and he began kicking his legs around. 


“Easy! Take it easy, Jisung—”


“No, no! Please take me back— I’m not ready! Channie—!” Jisung gasped and Chan quickly pulled him back into his arms, letting him wrap himself around Chan again while the latter guided the former to his back so he could more easily swim back later.


“Please go back to the shallow part before my weight brings you down.” Jisung breathed after he had taken a moment to calm himself.


Chan laughed at that. “Yeah, yeah, because you’re so incredibly heavy, especially in water.” Jisung wasn’t heavy at all, but Chan was getting slightly tired from using only his legs to keep himself above water.


“Shut it. I know I’m made of twigs.” 


Chan snickered as he made his way back to the shallow parts and Jisung let go. Chan wanted to suggest getting started on swimming in place, but the other’s expression was still slightly strained. Oh, this must be wearing him out pretty much, huh? It was a foreign thing to Chan, getting tired of the water, but he could imagine that Jisung wasn’t the best of friends with water yet.


“Enough for today?” Chan inquired with the quirk of an eyebrow. Jisung nodded while deflating on the pool stairs. Chan joined him, placing a hand on the other’s shoulder.


“I don’t get what you like so much about floating around in a death trap.” The boy murmured.


“Hey now, don’t get discouraged, we’ll take it one step at a time. Swimming can be really fun if you know how to do it.” Chan rubbed a hand along Jisung’s back, hoping to soothe him, and Jisung leaned his head against Chan’s shoulder. He kept quiet, but Chan could see that he was thinking about saying something. He waited patiently for the younger to gather his thoughts, or to decide on saying nothing. 


It had become a lot more common for them to just sit next to each other like this, listening to music together in silence, Chan accompanying Jisung while he worked on music or not doing anything in particular. It had also become more common for them to put an arm around each other’s shoulder or back when relaxing, even when it was actually too warm for skinship. It was nice. Being with Jisung was nice.


“Am I a burden?” Jisung whispered after a couple of minutes of silence. Chan’s heart dropped at the tone of the younger’s voice.


“No. The opposite. I enjoy your presence. A little— A little too much maybe, because sometimes I forget that I’m at work.” Chan said. Jisung looked up at him from where he was lying against his shoulder. Now was definitely not the right time to get lost in those dark, pretty eyes, but Chan couldn’t help himself.


He didn’t know when he started thinking Jisung was pretty, but he had found his gaze gradually lingering longer on the boy and had found Jisung’s touches to become gradually warmer on his skin along with the weather. Now was not the time to think about that, though. Now he should focus on assuring his friend that he wasn’t a burden.


“You aren’t just saying that because I’m your employers’ son, right?” Jisung asked, his mouth already twitching up in a little smile again, bunching up his cute cheeks, and a weight fell off of Chan’s shoulders seeing that. 


“No. As I said, I forget I’m working when I’m with you.” Chan repeated himself, smiling a smile he saw mirrored in Jisung’s eyes. The younger showed his brilliant heart smile and Chan was sure now that the things he felt for Jisung weren’t all friendly.


“That’s good, ‘cause you’ll be stuck with me for at least the rest of the summer.” Jisung faced forward again, the smile still lingering on his face, his cheeks suddenly dusted with a light pink. Maybe they should get out of the sun. 


When Jisung’s parents had found out about the lessons, they were shocked, apparently the fact that Jisung couldn’t swim had completely flown by them and they offered to pay Chan more for the extra work, but Chan had said the swimming lessons were just him helping out a dear friend. 

Eventually Jisung still managed to convince Chan to let his parents pay him more, but Chan assured the younger again that he didn’t do this for the money. 


They started the lessons off by just practicing the basics on dry land, they would lie on the lounge chairs and Chan would show him what to do. They could do this under the shade so they wouldn’t have to worry about getting a sunburn. 


After a couple of dry-practices Chan asked if Jisung wanted to go into (the shallow part of) the pool to practice in the water and the younger thought he was ready. 


“We gotta put on some sunscreen if we’re going to be in the water for a long time.” Chan commented, rummaging through his bag in search of his sunscreen. 


“Yeah, we don’t want your pale skin to get burned.” Jisung teased, poking Chan’s shoulder. “I don’t get how a beach boy like you can still be so pale.”


“It’s the late hours spent indoors making music.” Chan chuckled, but Jisung frowned at him, Chan had told him about his bad sleeping habits and Jisung always frowned at him ‘threateningly’ whenever it was brought up.


“Okay, well, anyway, c’mere then.” Jisung motioned Chan to come over and Chan froze in his spot. C’mere? He just blinked and Jisung laughed. “What are you staring at me like that for? Come here so I can help you put on your sunscreen!” 


“Oh— Oh of course.” Chan shook his head and moved to sit in front of Jisung, handing him the sunscreen. He was glad Jisung was standing behind him and not in front of him, because Chan needed a moment to calm himself and get used to Jisung’s small hands on his skin. He hoped the younger wouldn’t notice the blush creeping up his neck and into his ears. 


Jisung snickered as he used his fingers to rub some sunscreen onto Chan’s ears and Chan let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding. “Do your ears get burned easily?” The younger teased him again, but Chan just scoffed in response. 


When the brunette finished doing his back, neck and ears, Chan expected him to hand over the sunscreen and let Chan finish it himself, but Jisung continued to rub sunscreen along his arms as well, coming to stand in front of him. (He kind of was regretting not wearing his swimshirt right now, but it was too hot.) 


“Uhh… ‘Sung, you don’t have to do my arms and stuff— I got it.” Chan told him and Jisung raised his head to look him straight in the eyes for two seconds before continuing to do his arms. Chan couldn’t help but laugh. “Jisung! I thought you were done with doing things like this.”


“What?” The brunette boy looked up into Chan’s eyes again before he realized what Chan meant and looked down with a slight frown on his face and a slight pink on his cheeks. “I’m not flirting! I’m just helping you put on your sunscreen.”


He puffed his already round cheeks and Chan needed to stop himself from pinching them. He is so cute… Chan swooned a little, to be completely honest, and it distracted him from Jisung’s sunscreen shenanigans, but he winced when he suddenly felt two hands on his shoulders moving down to his sides and chest.


“Oh my— I got that! I’ll do my own chest— and legs, thank you, Jisung.” Chan took a hold of Jisung’s wrists to stop him right there. 


“Oh, okay. Sorry. I’ll just—” Jisung forced his hands loose and suddenly placed them on Chan’s cheeks. It suddenly got very hot even though they were under a parasol. Uhh… What is he going to do?


Then Jisung started rubbing his cheeks and Chan realized he was putting the leftover sunscreen on his face and he felt embarrassed. Jisung had a little smile on his face as he spread the sunscreen all over Chan’s face. 


“You’re cute, Channie.” Jisung finished off by booping Chan’s nose. 


Me? ” He pointed at himself, confused. I am cute? Me? “You must be mistaken with yourself.”


Jisung didn’t respond to that, instead he looked down bashfully, getting the sunscreen bottle and giving it to Chan. Chan finished off his own chest and legs before also helping Jisung out. He still felt a little shy about it— somehow it felt more intimate than it should— but Jisung also had very warm cheeks when Chan finally got to those (and he almost passed out, looking at him from up close like that).


The swimming lesson itself went by pretty quickly compared to their sunscreen moment as they were having an unexpected amount of fun in the shallow water. Seeing Jisung smile while swimming towards Chan was a sight Chan cherished and hoped to see a lot more often in the future. When Jisung swam right into Chan’s arms after swimming from the steps all the way to where Chan’s shoulders just peeked above the water and hugged him with an even bigger smile, Chan realized he wanted nothing more than to make Jisung happy like this.



The dreadful day had come. Chan wanted to try going to the deep end again with him. They had already practiced treading water and staying afloat in the shallower end of the pool, although according to Chan it was a lot harder to do when you could still stand easily. Aside from that, Jisung had also tried swimming underwater in the shallow end, which had been scary as heck at first, even though he had done it before, but he had succeeded eventually with Chan’s help.


As long as Chan was with him, (and as long as he could always stand up again to breathe,) he was okay, but thinking about how much water would be under him in the deep end and about how he wouldn’t be able to easily take a rest if he would get tired from swimming, made him very anxious. Chan would be there, of course, but still.


The pool boy insisted practicing in deeper water would make him improve faster, and it would be easier to practice swimming underwater (another scary thing to think about), and he probably knew what he was talking about, so Jisung agreed eventually.


The fact that Jisung really liked spending time with Chan and wanted to spend as much as he could during the summer didn’t have anything to do with it. 


(Jisung had realized he may suffer from a slight case of feelings for the older when he watched Chan show him how to do the breaststroke on a lounge chair. It was an odd moment to realize such a thing, but watching Chan pretend to be in the water and somehow not look utterly ridiculous while ‘swimming’ on a lounge chair made Jisung feel unexpectedly warm. He can’t seem to confidently flirt with the pool boy ever since.)


“Are you scared?” Chan regarded him with his 'resting-assuring-face', as Jisung liked to call it. Jisung was holding onto Chan's arm firmly as they descended into the water, feeling his muscles, but too anxious to enjoy the feeling right now. 


“Heck yes I'm scared.” He answered, letting out a shaky breath, he had long given up on acting tough and all that. 


“You still wanna do it?” Chan asked, he had told Jisung he could always stop if he didn’t want to anymore, and Jisung appreciated it, but he wanted to overcome his fear. He thought he could do it if Chan was there to help him.




They slowly swam deeper and deeper, Chan staying close to him and offering to hold onto him when they stopped, an offer Jisung gladly accepted while mentally preparing himself and making sure not to look down. 


“Even if I let you go, I’m right next to you.” The older assured him, keeping his grounding gaze on Jisung. “Tell me when I can let go.” 


Jisung swallowed and he realized he was tensing every one of his muscles, so he tried to relax and make the movements he had learnt to stay afloat. No need to be so nervous, Jisung, you can do it. You’ve got this, he told himself and locked eyes with Chan. “Okay, I’m ready. Let go.” 


Jisung took a deep breath and Chan let him go and— nothing really happened. He stayed right where he was, above water. He looked left and right at his arms to confirm Chan had really let go of him. His eyes grew wide in realization that he was doing this all by himself. 


“Oh my gosh! Chan! I’m doing it!” His heart was booming in his chest, but he felt relieved and happy at the same time. Chan smiled a very dimply smile back at him and Jisung felt like he could explode (although that was probably also from the adrenaline).


“You are!” 


Jisung dared to look down, which wasn’t the best idea he ever had, because he saw how much water was under him and it made him nervous as heck, but he stayed afloat and he thought he deserved a pat on the back for that. The way Chan looked at him was way better than a pat on the back, though. 


He laughed his nerves away and Chan laughed along with him, he had probably been just as nervous, knowing him. Jisung swam in circles around Chan, cheering loudly until most of the nerves were out of his system. 


“Do you… want to try going under?” Chan tried, the remnants of a smile still visible on his face. Jisung’s eyes widened again and Chan quickly swam a little closer. “I’ll go with you, of course. Just hold my hand— and hold your breath while going under. Do not try to breathe, you will regret it.”


“O—Okay. And yeah, I know, I've been underwater before. But… I forgot, do I keep my eyes open?” Jisung already grabbed Chan’s outstretched hand, squeezing it a little too hard, judging from how the blonde’s eyes twitched a little. 


“You can, I think it’ll help you see that it isn’t that scary down there when you’re prepared, but I wouldn’t do it for too long. Chlorine in your eyes is no fun.” Chan squeezed his hand back a little, maybe to comfort Jisung or maybe to make him squeeze less hard. Or maybe both. “Let’s go? I’ll follow you.”


Jisung nodded, took another deep breath as he had seen Chan do before diving sometimes, and stopped moving his feet, letting himself sink. The pool water stung his eyes as he kept them open while sinking, doing an unexpectedly fine job in distracting him from the fact that he was underwater again with nothing under his feet. 


His heart was going crazy, but his mind wasn't as clouded as before. It almost felt like he was in the shallow part, the preparation he and Chan had done paid off. He was more eager to breathe, but he could still stop himself— barely, though. 


Seeing Chan with him, a proud smile on his face, their intertwined fingers— it made Jisung emotional and he felt tears well up in his eyes, which was weird underwater. He let out a sob, bubbles coming from his nose and maybe he should get above water again. He started swimming upwards like he swam forwards and Chan immediately got the hint, dragging him up along with him. 


The first thing Jisung did once they were above was pull Chan into a hug. Tears mixed with the chlorinated water as Jisung suddenly felt overwhelmed. He felt Chan swim to the edge of the pool, taking Jisung with him. 


“Are you okay? Was that okay?” Chan whispered, one arm around Jisung’s waist and the other leaning on the edge of the pool so that he could keep them above water more easily. Jisung nodded into Chan's shoulder. 


“Yes. I got a little overwhelmed, but not because of the water.” He spoke a bit shakily, still trying to stop crying. “I didn't expect it to go so well, but you've helped me through it. I feel like whenever I'm with you I can do anything.”


Jisung hadn't expected to just throw a confession out like that, but whatever, it was the truth and Chan was insecure enough about this sort of thing, it couldn't hurt to say this. He couldn't see the older's face in this position, clamped onto Chan like a koala, but he heard him take in a sharp breath. Is that a good sign…? 


“Chan…?” Jisung leaned back as far as he could with his back against the edge of the pool, but Chan suddenly heaved him up a little higher with the arm that was wrapped around his waist so that Jisung’s legs were around the pool boy's waist.


“Hold on tight.” Chan warned him and Jisung quickly leaned a little over Chan's shoulder so he could see past him and tried to hold onto his slippery and broad back as tight as he could. Chan then let go of him to place his hands on the edge of the pool and lift them both up and out of the water with a grunt. Jisung gasped a little. 


It was kind of romantic how Chan placed him down on the edge between his arms, the older leaning over him a little. Jisung imagined that kissing him right now would be satisfying as heck, but it would probably startle Chan too much. And Jisung wasn't confident enough to do it right now. 


He did think they were kind of having a moment, though, looking into each other's eyes while Chan was stuck halfway out of the water and Jisung was caught in a frenzy of feelings. For a split second Jisung was convinced Chan was about to kiss him — until he turned himself around to sit next to him on the edge of the pool. 


They sat in comfortable silence next to each other, toeing the water and the tips of their fingers touching. Jisung's cheeks were burning and his mind was racing, all thoughts Chan as he thought back on their moment. 


“Hey, Sungie?” Chan asked softly after a while. Jisung hummed softly in response. The pool boy turned to face the younger, who mirrored the action. “What you said about feeling like you could do anything when you're with me— I appreciate it. I appreciate you as well. A lot. And…”


Jisung held his breath as Chan paused to think, he didn't know what to expect. Chan took a breath and continued. “I want to take you to the beach with me. I want to show you— the place that means a lot to me.”


Jisung's breath hitched, not necessarily at the invite itself, but rather at the implications of the invite and the sincerity in Chan's eyes. It made Jisung feel like he was almost as important to Chan as Chan had become to him. It made him feel so incredibly grateful to have such a wonderful person in his life. 


“I would love that.”


Aside from their swimming lessons, they were also making music together, because Jisung’s parents wanted to at least believe that he was ready before agreeing to let him audition. Jisung thought he was well on his way to passing the audition, because he felt like he was improving a lot using Chan’s tips and tricks. He also learned that making music was a lot more fun when doing it together. 


Chan told him about his friend, Changbin, with whom he usually made music and offered Jisung to meet him, telling him he was sure they’d get along as well. Changbin was on vacation with his family for the summer, but Chan had video-called him so Jisung could meet him and Jisung had gained another role-model after that. 


Changbin was really good at writing lyrics and Jisung had also found that Changbin liked to tease Chan as much as Jisung liked it, so of course they were immediate friends. (Jisung was really glad Chan was there, though, because meeting new people was way easier with a friend. He was also really happy that Chan wanted him to meet his friend and partner in music, and that he felt like Jisung was good enough to be a part of their music making group. He couldn’t wait to tell his own friends all about this.) 


They also started planning their trip to the beach. It wasn’t far from Jisung’s home, and they both had their driver’s license (you only have so many things to do when you take a break from school for a year), but they still wanted it to feel a little bit like a road trip. 


When Jisung told his parents about it, they were glad they could have the pool to themselves again, and when Jisung pointed out that Chan wouldn’t be there to clean it if he was going to the beach with him his parents waved him off, telling him to have fun without thinking about them. Fun was definitely something he was planning to have, it wasn’t that hard with Chan.

Today was the day they’d make their trip to the beach and Chan had arrived extra early that morning— and he was extra excited, it seemed. Jisung was still rubbing the sleep out of his eyes when he greeted the older who pulled him into a big hug with an excited smile. “Good morning, ‘Sungie!” 


“Good morning…” Jisung yawned and stretched his arms above his head, clapping his cheeks a couple of times to wake himself up. “You’re... awake .” He observed.


“Yes! I’m really excited for today. I kinda feel like a little kid right now, but I’m just looking forward to going to the beach again after a long time. With you, no less!” Chan was almost bouncing on his feet and Jisung couldn’t help but grin at the sight. “I’ll drive the first part, so you can take your time to wake up.” 


“Are you sure you’re not too excited to drive?” Jisung asked.


“I managed to drive here.” Chan happily told him and motioned Jisung to get his stuff and his ass inside. Chan got behind the wheel with a smile and Jisung mirrored it when he sat down on the passenger’s seat. 


“Oh! I made a playlist to get in the mood!” Jisung remembered suddenly, grabbing his phone and bluetooth speaker out of his bag. Suddenly he was wide awake as well, really excited to spend the whole day with Chan. 


They laughed a lot together on the way and sang along excitedly, Chan knew a lot of songs, but Jisung had also chosen a lot of them based on Chan’s music taste, so that they could both enjoy them. 


As they approached the beach, Chan took them along a quiet road through the rocks surrounding the beach to a sort of hidden place of the beach he found when he was younger. The sun was already heating the car up quite a lot, so Jisung opened the window and stuck his head out, letting the wind blow through his hair, messing it up, but cooling him down as well. When he moved his head back inside, Chan was immediately caught in a laughing fit.


“You’re laughing now, but this is exactly how your hair will look once it dries up after swimming!” Jisung accused him, but he wasn’t really mad, he’d let Chan laugh at him all day if it meant Jisung could watch him. 

Chan parked the car somewhere on an empty piece of concrete near a small fence in front of the rocks that separated them from the ocean. It was quite windy, Jisung concluded from the way the waves formed and crashed into the water and the rocks, and his observation was confirmed when he stepped outside and was greeted with a strong gust of wind.


The salty smell of the ocean was already present in the car, but it was almost overwhelming outside, so near the vast body of water. Chan took a moment to inhale the scent and let out a satisfied hum. Jisung heard him whisper something to himself, but he couldn’t make out the words. 

Then the older turned around to face him, a bright smile adorning his face. He looked like he was shining, illuminated by the already strong morning sun.


“You wait here, I’ll take our stuff with me and then I’ll come back and get you.” Chan spoke, gesturing around vaguely with his arms and his voice was raised to a volume that Jisung could hear above the rustling of the wind. 


“What? Why?” Jisung squinted at the strong wind blowing grains of sand and even small water drops into his face. Chan grabbed his bag before coming over to the younger, his blonde hair just as messy as Jisung’s brown hair from the force of the wind.


“There’s a sandy part hidden just over there, between the rocks, so we have to walk over them to reach it, but I want you to see it without having to worry about carrying our stuff. I can quickly get our stuff there first.” His friend explained and Jisung nodded and handed over his backpack. It was pretty heavy, but Chan didn’t seem to have much trouble carrying it. “I’ll be right back.”


“Don’t take too long!” He called after the older who just waved happily as he jumped over the fence and hopped from rock to rock. 


As Chan hopped, Jisung took a minute to take in the situation. He involuntarily let out a sigh, feeling warm despite the cool sea breeze making him shiver a little. He thought back to just a couple of weeks ago, when he wasn’t sure if he and Chan were considered friends or not and when he was still aimlessly flirting with him. That moment now seemed so incredibly distant. He felt like he and Chan had known each other for years.


Jisung also felt like he had really fallen for Chan over the course of the summer. Maybe the feelings had started developing earlier, though. Maybe that's why he decided it was a good idea to flirt with Chan, maybe it hadn't come out of nowhere. 


“Whatcha thinking about~?” A voice startled him and Jisung turned around to find Chan looking at him with a curious expression. 


“Jeez, you scared me!” He laughed a breathy laugh as he hit his friend on the shoulder. He tried to wipe the hairs blowing into his face out of his eyes, but the wind blew them right back. He gave up and grinned at Chan. “I was just thinking about you.”


Chan's eyes widened as his ears colored a deep red and a blush spread across his face. “Don't tease…” He whined softly, the sound almost completely muffled by the crashing of the waves and the rustling of the wind. 


“I'm not.” Jisung said simply, before taking Chan by the hand and walking up over to the small fence separating them from the slippery rocks. He stopped right in front of it and looked at Chan sideways to see the older was blankly staring at the ground, cheeks still pink. Jisung swung their hands a little to get his attention, softly smiling at Chan's cute shyness. “Lead the way.”


The blonde looked up at him and quickly nodded with an awkward chuckle, muttering something that sounded like 'yes, of course' , before stepping over the fence and warning Jisung about the slippery rocks while helping him over the fence by the hand. 


They maneuvered over the rocks, avoiding the splashing of the waves against them all while holding hands. A particular big wave crashed against the rocks, washing all over them despite their loud cries for mercy as they carefully hurried away from it. The salty aftertaste made the situation even funnier somehow and Chan reminded Jisung (but also himself, probably) to calm down in order not to slip and fall. 


When they arrived at the sandy hidden part of the beach, surrounded by the rocks, the adrenaline from being drenched hadn't faded yet, so they quickly changed into their swimming trunks and shirts before Chan scooped Jisung up and threw him over his shoulder before running into the ocean, Jisung yelling his lungs out as he held onto the older tightly. 


Chan dropped him right into the cool water and Jisung quickly stood up to splash him in a revenge attack. “Wait! Wait— Sungie! Wait a second!” Chan held his arms in front of his face in defense. “We forgot to put on sunscreen!” 


Jisung abruptly stopped his attacks, realizing the older was right, and even though he was having a great time splashing Chan, he didn't feel like dealing with a sunburn later. “You're right, I'll help you with your face again!” 


They got out of the water and Chan grabbed a towel to dry off a little bit in order to put on protection against the sun. Jisung helped Chan put it on his arms and face, pinching his cheeks while rubbing in the sunscreen. Chan had tanned a little from being outside all summer, but the sunscreen gave him his pale glow back, making him look like a vampire again. 


Chan’s ears were red again, probably from Jisung looking at his face so closely, he always was a bit shy about that. Jisung thought it was adorable, though, and he couldn’t help but lean forward to place a small kiss on his cheeks, making Chan let out a squeak, his blush spreading to his cheeks.


Jisung spluttered, the taste of sunscreen invading his mouth. The older immediately forgot about his embarrassment to laugh at the sight. “What did you expect? Why did you give me a kiss after putting on sunscreen?” He snickered.


“Sorry, I couldn’t help it. You’re so cute…” The younger wiped off his mouth with a sour expression and Chan was still breathlessly laughing when he pulled Jisung closer to help him get on his sunscreen. He was seemingly enjoying it, because his smile didn’t fade as he fondly rubbed the sunscreen into his thin arms. Jisung felt his cheeks heat up at the attention when Chan moved his gaze to his face, suddenly relating to Chan from earlier.


The older paused for a moment, moving his eyes along Jisung’s face, and Jisung wondered if he was contemplating giving him a kiss in return, so he subtly turned his face to offer him his cheek. Chan noticed because he let out a chuckle and placed a small kiss on Jisung’s cheek before rubbing sunscreen into them. 


“So that’s how you do it…” Jisung hummed in fake thought and the blonde snorted. It was really amazing how easily Jisung managed to make him laugh. (And how easily that laugh made Jisung’s stomach flip.)


“Stop making me laugh!” Chan wheezed. 



After they finished putting on sunscreen, Jisung tried to take revenge by lifting Chan up and throwing him in the ocean, but his master plan already failed at the first step— curse my paper thin arms and Chan’s heavy muscles! 


His failure was Chan’s pleasure, apparently, because the older was wheezing yet again. When he calmed, he took matters into his own hands, scooping Jisung up and repeating his actions from earlier this morning, but this time Jisung made sure to not let Chan go when he was thrown into the water, taking the boy along with him. 

They swam and played in the ocean for a while, a long while, and Jisung was sure that his voice would be gone tomorrow from all of the screaming he did, both to be heard over the sounds of the waves crashing and the rushing of the sea breeze and because he was just excited in general. Swimming in the ocean was very different from swimming in a pool— it was a lot colder, but it was also way more refreshing.


It was also more tiring, and they were both quite hungry after they probably spent a good hour or two in the ocean. They ate together and it did kind of feel like a road trip, just the two of them in their hidey-hole, anything that would happen here would be just for the two of them to know.


They passed some time just relaxing in the sun together and looking for shells, and it honestly felt pretty domestic, in Jisung’s opinion. He wanted to say something about it, but he didn’t want to ruin it by pointing things out. As the day went on, he felt like Chan felt the same more and more, though. Jisung sometimes got shy from the stars he saw in the older’s eyes when they looked at each other.


Maybe it was the sun reflected in his eyes, or maybe it was because they were doing what Chan loved most in a place that was very dear to him, but the stars were definitely there. Jisung honestly hadn’t expected to enjoy swimming this much either, but time flew by as they played and swam around together.


Before he knew it, the sun was getting low in the sky and it’s warmth wasn’t enough anymore to warm them up from the cool breeze and water, and his limbs were sore from wading and swimming through the turbulent ocean, so he threw himself onto Chan with a sigh. “Carry me back! I’m tired and cold.” 


“Okay, princess.” Chan snickered, scooping Jisung up bridal style before wading back to their stuff. He put him down on one of the towels and brushed off the other to dry themselves off with. Everything was sandy and salty but whatever. 


Jisung patted the spot next to him on the towel, inviting the older to sit. Chan took the invitation, draping the towel over both of their shoulders and wrapping his arm around Jisung, pulling him against him. “You were cold?”


“A little, but you make me warm.” Jisung snuggled impossibly closer, snaking one arm around the other’s back and placing the other on his chest. He heard Chan’s breath hitch a little— he now also realized what he had just said. Oh, okay. Jisung debated saying something else, after all, they had been sort of acting like a couple since… since when? 


The whole acting like a couple thing had slowly developed after Jisung stopped 'flirting', it seemed. Maybe it was time to get some clarity on the details of their relationship. 


“Channie, you okay?” Jisung turned his head toward the older, seeing his slightly red cheeks match his own. He was obviously lost in thought and Jisung wondered if he occupied Chan's thoughts as much as the other way around. 


“Yeah—Yes, of course, why wouldn't I be?” Chan nodded, offering Jisung a reassuring smile, wind blowing damp strands of bleached hair into his face a little. Jisung raised his hand to brush them out of it before resting it on the other's chest again. Chan said he was fine, but Jisung could feel the boy's rapid heartbeat through his tight swimming shirt. 


“Because your heart's going kinda nuts in there.” It came out as barely more than a whisper, but they were close enough to hear each other clearly above the sounds of the ocean and the wind. 


“I— I…” Chan stuttered, going even more red than before, his eyes roaming all over Jisung's face and beyond. Jisung took Chan's free hand and placed it on his own chest, holding it in place for the other to feel his heart that was racing just as fast. 


Chan followed the motion with his gaze as Jisung kept his eyes trained on Chan, swallowing in anticipation, waiting for Chan to get the wordless message that he felt the same, that this was how his heart always reacted to him. 


Chan lifted his gaze to meet Jisung’s and the latter saw awe and recognition in it, so he smiled involuntarily, and Chan seemed to do so too. Jisung squeezed the older's hand with his own and Chan brought it to rest on his warm cheek. They stared into each other's eyes for a while, silently conveying their feelings once again before Chan thought he'd explode if Jisung would look at him like that for a second longer and so he moved to close the gap between the two of them. 


He relaxed as he felt Jisung softly kiss him back. Kissing Jisung was even better than Chan could have imagined, it warmed him up from the inside out. It was a salty sweet kiss, salty from the seawater and sweet from Jisung, both things very dear to Chan. When they parted it was only slightly, their noses still lightly touched. 


“Thank goodness your lips taste like the sea and not like sunscreen. Or worse, sand .” Jisung whispered, breaking the silence. Others would say he ruined the moment, but Chan only felt overwhelmingly fond. He also started laughing, of course, because Jisung was funny as heck, and he needed to laugh off his nerves. 


Chan also needed to pull Jisung into a bone-crushingly tight hug, letting himself fall flat on his back onto the towel after making sure the other towel was securely wrapped around the younger. “Thank goodness indeed.”


Jisung let out a choked sound as Chan squeezed him hard. “Ch— ugh — Chan—! Channie!! I want to say something before you squeeze me to death!” He whined, his voice strained from being crushed, so Chan relaxed and caressed a hand along Jisung's back to soothe him a little. 


“Sorry, I got a little carried away.” Chan chuckled softly, pulling the younger up a little so that he could lie down more comfortably. Jisung crossed his arms on Chan's chest, propping up his head on his hands, examining Chan's face with a small smile. Chan fondly patted the younger's head. “What did you want to say?” 


“I— I, uhh, wanted to tell you that… I'm serious about liking you.” Jisung said, eyes steadily trained on the older. “I feel like we've been acting like a couple for a while now, but I wouldn't mind making that official. If— If you want that too.”


Chan moved closer to place another short kiss on Jisung's lips and nodded after as an answer. “I like you too, Jisung, I have for a while. I'm so happy that I have you, because— I always try to look out for you and take care of you, but it's because of you that I have the energy to do it in the first place. Your presence is enough to make me forget about all of my worries and fatigue.” 


“Channie…” Jisung pouted, burying his face into the crook of Chan's neck, tickling his skin with his nose. “Thank you too, for helping me out so often, for being a great friend and a sexy pool boy too.”


Chan cackled at the words, but he was also touched. 

They stayed like that for a while, on top of each other, whispering sweet and funny nothings into each other's ears, leaving kisses on each other's face every once in a while too, until it became dark and cold and they decided to dress themselves and leave the beach. 


Jisung offered to drive, but Chan didn't let him. Jisung only accepted his fate in exchange for another last kiss before making the trip home, stopping somewhere in between for a late dinner. Looking at each other while munching on greasy highway restaurant food, they couldn't help but grin at each other— just because. 


Summer wasn't over yet, they both knew, so that meant they still had plenty of time to hang out together, make music, swim, joke around, maybe meet each other's friends— and kiss. Jisung could finally take revenge on Seungmin and Hyunjin and be sappy with Chan in front of them. (Sorry Felix.) 


And the end of summer wouldn't be the end of the two of them, Chan was just as determined as Jisung to get him into music production. Things were still unclear about that, but ever since meeting Changbin and experiencing the process of writing a song with someone else, Jisung didn’t want to ever give up on trying, hopefully together with at least Chan. 


But for now, Jisung thought it would suffice to just sit here and enjoy the simple moment after a successful day, across from Chan, his pool boy, dear friend and now also his boyfriend .

The End.