Renjun finds a tweet.
Scrolling through twitter after a long day of hard work, he sees one goddamn tweet that makes his entire life feel different.
@LUVSOLD: Imagine getting kissed over all of those spots you love. Your knuckles. The sensitive spot on your neck. The curve by your hip. On your throat. Imagine someone adoring where you want to be appreciated.
It's a single tweet, it's meaningless. It's nothing, really, but Renjun screenshots it and lets his heart pound as he holds his phone to his chest, turning over to look beyond his windows out at the night sky, through the buildings and dimmed lights. He can see past them all. The rain that gives love to the grass and the trees, or the moonlight that kisses the ground.
Those things that Renjun admires.
His adoration for affection is incredible, and every single day he dreams of it more and more, hoping that love will flutter its way into his heart. Building a home sometimes takes a long time, but offering one only takes seconds, and Renjun hopes that his smile and his soft hands can do the trick.
Only seconds later does he look at the tweet again.
The curve by your hip, he reads.
He runs his finger along his skin there and bites down on his lip, sucking in a breath as he does so. He imagines warmer hands pressed to him, his skin nearly sweating as he thinks about a new person's skin against his own, bare and beautiful as they become one together.
Renjun finds love to be so... pure.
"Hey!" The door bursts open, revealing an overly soaked Donghyuck, his hands attached to his head with a towel, wringing it out like he has nothing better to do.
He pounces on Renjun's bed with his eyebrows raised, sight narrowing in on Renjun's wrist that lies on his hip.
"What are you doing?" His eyes are wide before he starts to smirk at him.
Nothing but red comes to Renjun's cheeks next. A slow flustered color of rose tickles up his skin, rolling its way until it begins to make his eyes squint. His glare at Donghyuck is hard, but he's light with it, not meaning much. Donghyuck knows it too, but he still teases him anyway.
"Nothing!" Renjun pulls his hand away from his hip and gives his friend a kick.
Donghyuck has been staying in their dorms recently, all from a change and a comeback they've been preparing for. His presence is comforting, and Renjun loves him around more often, truly. He loves to bother Donghyuck, loves to cook with him when he can, and loves to whine at him for cuddles, even though Donghyuck will nuzzle his nose too hard into the back of Renjun's neck, causing him to not be able to fall asleep in the right way.
Regardless of Renjun being picky about how Donghyuck is with his cuddling, Renjun still loves it. Because he loves just... that. Touch.
"What did you come in here for?" Renjun asks.
Donghyuck eyebrows raise as he realizes.
"Oh! We made—" He doesn't even get a chance to finish because Jaemin enters the room with a plate full of cookies. Donghyuck turns toward it with a frown on his face. "Yeah. That. We made those."
Jaemin cocks an eyebrow up at his roommate and grins wide, giving Renjun a warm sensation across his chest, like a light flame that blooms slower than anything he has felt before.
"I was supposed to tell him," Donghyuck frowns, stealing one of the few cookies as he stands back up.
This time, Jaemin widens his eyes and sucks in a breath like he's ready to scold Donghyuck, but the older boy disappears out of the room before he is able to hear anything from Jaemin.
Renjun rolls his eyes and lifts himself into a sitting position, the blankets falling to his waist, palms facing upward as he asks Jaemin to hand the plate over already.
"Okay, calm down now," Jaemin laughs. "I brought these in here for us so we can eat them before bed. They're not just for you, Renjun."
Renjun ignores him and grabs two more before he lifts his blankets back up.
All he hears is an annoying sigh from Jaemin before he pads over to his own bed, soon moving on to talk about their schedule for the next day. Renjun honestly stops listening to him because he's focusing on how sugary the cookies taste in his mouth. How sweet they are against his tongue. He loves sweet things.
Before he knows it, he's remembering.
"Renjun," Jaemin whines as he tucks himself in his own bed. "I was talking."
"Oh," Renjun bites into his cookie. "Yeah, I know, but I have to show you this tweet I found today."
Jaemin stays quiet as he puts his own treat into his mouth, scooting over in his bed.
At first, Renjun rolls his eyes because he really doesn't want to get out of the warmth of his sheets, of his blankets, of the way he's been in and out of sleep that it's become so comfortable to the point where he'd rather not even move. But, the thought of sitting close to Jaemin right now sounds ideal. So, he agrees.
He tosses his blankets off of his body and walks a few feet toward his friend's bed, stomach twisting as the nerves crawl to his throat.
Jaemin is clueless about what he is going to be shown, and he sits there on his phone, waiting for Renjun like he's about to be shown a few clouds or animals that Renjun happened to see online.
All of a sudden Renjun feels nervous.
"I saw this today," Renjun sits on the edge of the bed with one leg hanging off.
He goes into his camera roll to find the screenshot, trying not to focus on the way Jaemin bends forward to lift his other leg so he can be more comfortable. He even takes the top blanket and places it over Renjun's shins and his thighs as he lets Renjun look for his photo.
It's just Jaemin.
Jaemin has always been so caring, showing such basic care by doing the smallest things like making sure Renjun's legs are covered by the blanket while he sits to show Jaemin a damn photo for just a few seconds. He may stay for five minutes or an hour, but Jaemin will turn him on his side and hold him, or make sure he's comfortable—because sometimes he has to be sure that Renjun's safety and Renjun's comfort is more important than anyone else's. That's just Jaemin.
He just does it for everyone. For Donghyuck, for Mark, for Jeno, for Jisung and Chenle, too. Especially Chenle and Jisung. He loves to make sure the two of them have the most care in the entire world.
Renjun just got done hearing about how Jaemin prepared extra cookies for the two of them.
"Okay, you have to promise not to make fun of me for liking it."
Jaemin furrows his eyebrows.
"Is it a photo?" He asks, looking at Renjun and not even the screen where he could find his answer.
God, Renjun thinks Jaemin is so endearing. Always looking at the person he's talking to, waiting for their response instead of spoiling the content.
He's respectful and he waits.
Renjun's head shakes from side to side as he shows Jaemin the screen, practically thrusting it into his hands, crossing his arms as he waits for Jaemin to read it all.
It takes a good thirty seconds for Jaemin to read it. Then, he snickers.
"What about it?"
"Wouldn't that be awesome?" He deflates. "I can't stop thinking about it, Jaemin! How awesome would it be to just be... kissed like that."
For a moment, Renjun allows himself to get carried away, thinking about the tweet again, lip jutting out into a full pout. He feels warmth at his knee, like butterflies are riding up his thigh and spinning around in his stomach. They build their home there, like they want to tell Renjun how important it is to recognize and appreciate the feeling of adoration that blooms in your belly.
It's then when he realizes that he's only getting that because Jaemin is rubbing his hand against his kneecap.
Jaemin laughs at him. He shakes his head and rolls his eyes, reaching over Renjun to grab one of the cookies he brought over.
"I told you that it's cool." He shrugs.
Renjun rolls his eyes, throwing off the blankets.
"No one gets it."
"Come on, Renjun!" Jaemin tries again, this time letting his shoulders slouch forward. "I said it was cool! Isn't it? You wanted to show it to someone else, so you must think it's cool, too! What's wrong?"
Renjun plows himself back into the comfort of his own bed, accompanied by the soreness of the day, the pleasures of his butterflies, and warmth from being next to his friend. But, he still pays attention to the way his chest is open and needy for more.
Of course it's cool, he thinks.
But, it's more than that.
It's beautiful. It's like gold in glasses of crystal, held in the gentlest hands and carried forward by soft laughter. It's kind and worthy. Renjun thinks it's so beautiful. There's nothing more to it.
He whispers a sweet goodnight to his friend and doesn't think about it again.
Two days later is when Jaemin approaches him in the practice room when Renjun is covered in sweat, dripping down his temples. He steps back from Jaemin when the boy comes closer to his ear.
"Remember that tweet you showed me?" He pants.
Renjun eyes everyone else as they crouch down on opposite sides of the room, drinking quickly from their water bottles, not even caring about why Jaemin is whispering in Renjun's ear like he's spilling secrets.
"What about it?"
Of course he remembers it. He's been thinking about it nonstop. He even sent it to Mark to ask him about it. He had a much better reaction than Jaemin did, moving on to tell Renjun how lovely it would be to be touched, appreciated, loved in so many different kinds of ways, on the softest places on your body. It made Renjun grin until his ears burned. At least Mark understood.
"I had an idea." Jaemin clicks his tongue before he sighs and clasps his hands together. "You want that, right?"
"Want what?" Renjun is being oblivious, or acting like it rather, and maybe it's to annoy Jaemin, or get him a little riled up. Whatever it is, it's working, because Jaemin pulls Renjun off to the side and rolls his eyes.
"You want to be kissed like that, don't you?"
Well, when he puts it like that .
"I suppose, why?"
"I want you to make a list of all the places you'd want to be kissed at," Jaemin says it so nonchalantly, like he's just asked Renjun what he wants to eat for dinner.
Renjun hitches a breath, his throat tightening up on him. There are goosebumps on his skin, the sweat causing him to become a little cold, his t-shirt soon sticking to his back as the fan turns his way, blowing it even further up against the wet skin. The cloth melts into him and he soon gets nothing but the fibers of the material hugging him.
"Why would I do that?" Renjun gasps. "That's really intimate, Jaemin."
Jaemin cocks an eyebrow up.
"I'm gonna show everyone."
This time, Renjun slaps his hand on Jaemin's chest, watching his shirt stick to the damp skin on his own body. Renjun groans as he wipes his hand on Jaemin's sides.
"I'm kidding, I'm kidding," he says. "It's just an exercise. I just wanna know. Just me, okay?"
Renjun glares at him in an odd way, eyes moving up and down Jaemin's body like he isn't sure whether or not the boy's intentions are well.
Deep down he's positive that they are because it's Jaemin, and Jaemin acts sweeter than anything Renjun has ever seen. But, there's a part of Renjun that wonders if Jaemin will take this and turn it around to make fun of him, or use it against him in the future to laugh at him when it comes a time when Renjun gets kissed in the spots he wants to be touched in.
"Fine. But, I don't want everyone else to see it. It's going to be deep. Like a poem or something."
Jaemin smirks at him.
"That's fine, make it as deep and heartfelt as you want. You can just hand it to me in person when you're done with it. Or leave it in our room. That's cool too."
Hand it to him in person. Hand it to him in person? Yeah right.
Hey Jaemin, here's the most intimate parts of my body that I would love to have your—some lips pressed against, appreciating me for what I am worth. Here's some places that I want to have whispered words touching me like I am delicate glass, or maybe like I can shatter the person rather than the other way around. I want to be able to be touched and felt like I can build a fire with just a slight moan off my own lips. And let me just show you Jaemin, my best friend.
"I will not be giving it to you in person," Renjun's hands bend down to reach for his water bottle. He tips it back to his throat before he nearly chugs it down, his body becoming more needy for it.
Jaemin places his hand at the small of Renjun's back to keep him steady, just holding him. Renjun doesn't allow his breathing to change from being touched.
It's just a touch. A touch that he craves more and more. A warm hand along his skin.
"Fine." Jaemin pulls away from him as they get called away. "By tonight, alright?"
"Jaemin!" Renjun chuckles. "You can't rush me about that. It's special."
"Write them down! And make it—"
"Keep your mouth shut, Na!" Renjun's cheeks stay warm when he stretches his back, soon catching an eye from Jisung on the other side of the room.
Renjun ends up seeing Mark a few hours later.
They meet for food in the evening when the rain comes and when the clouds are thick amongst them. It's pretty, no doubt, and Renjun always appreciates the way the nights look when the rain drips near them, sliding down the buildings and slipping off the plants that he'll see. He'll snap photos and pop into one of his favorite apps to enhance some of them, smiling as soon as he realizes that his photos are almost perfect. He sends them to the rest of the group, or posts them online for the fans to see. He just enjoys expressing the art that he sees in nature.
The beauty around him is so ideal, and he often just finds himself chasing after it like he's trying to catch butterflies in a net.
"So, you're going to write them all down?" Mark asks him as he pushes a coffee toward Renjun.
Renjun's mouth hovers over the straw as he stares at the journal he has open, the pen lying right on top of it. He gnaws on his lip and then moves toward the straw to bite on the tip of it instead.
"Yes," he shrugs. "I just don't know what to do. There's so many places. Could I just write my entire body and leave it like that?"
Mark chuckles at him.
"I suppose," he yawns. "But, don't you want him to know more specifically?"
Renjun looks up through his eyelashes, his eyebrow raising as he stares at Mark.
"What do you mean him?"
"Don't you want Jaemin to know it all? He's the one who asked you for the list."
Renjun thinks about it for a moment—for a few moments as the thought drifts through him faster than anything he's ever thought of before.
"Yeah but just because he wants to see it. He's just curious."
"Why'd you show him that tweet, though?" Mark asks quietly.
The cafe they are in is quiet. There's a hum blowing over them as they sit in their back booth, a place that is familiar to them from how often they come. It's comfortable, and Renjun likes to sit in the very corner so that he can see everyone from a certain angle and so that no one is behind him.
"Because I wanted someone else to see it."
"Why'd you show me?" Mark raises an eyebrow.
Renjun's stomach flips.
"Because I knew you'd understand the longing to be loved like that."
This time, Mark grins at him.
"There's a little bit of a difference between why you showed me and why you showed Jaemin, isn't there?"
There is .
Jaemin asked Renjun to make a list about where he would enjoy being kissed, and Mark just interacted with him about the same thing. Mark is his friend and talks to him in a similar kind of way about liking touch, getting chills along their arms just from the breath of someone as they talk by their ear. But Jaemin—Jaemin does the talking. Renjun likes the way Jaemin can touch him, snuggle up next to him.
He's overthinking it.
There's nothing more to it.
"Stop overthinking!" Mark taps the journal. "Let's get to work. Think of your first one."
Renjun knows what his first one will be. Maybe even the first five or six, because he knows the parts of his body that sizzle when Jaemin walks past him and grazes against him, and he knows the places that’ll buzz when Donghyuck breathes at the back of his neck—even if he isn’t really the best at cuddling.
He's basing his ideas on where he likes his physical touch from his friends.
Like how Chenle constantly rubs the top of his head, calming Renjun down when he's not feeling too great.
His list doesn't necessarily have to be romantic kisses, or intimate touches—just things that make him feel loved and adored.
Renjun's pen hits the paper. It feels better than the way the rain falls on his skin. It feels fresher than that and more eye opening than the way the moon opens up through the curtains in his room. His chest is tight and he holds his breath as he writes down the first one, a fairydust of pink painting itself upon the skin of his cheeks.
People fill the cafe, but Renjun pays them no mind. He just writes and writes until his body burns with desire, thoughts of being loved and admired along every spot he begins to write down.
He does it all too fast, humming in between each one as he closes his eyes to feel.
Where? Where else? Along the leg he feels a burn, turning to putty as he thinks of lips pressed to the inside of his knee.
He writes it down.
"Dude," Mark cuts him off. "All I thought of was like four places, and meanwhile you're writing out every part of your goddamn body."
Renjun peers up at Mark who only looks back with a sunset stare in his eyes. It's not harsh, Mark looks interested. Hands tied together as his coffee lies empty. His pastry is now gone, only crumbs left as the plate sits on the table. Renjun can't help but blush darker.
"Let me see it," Mark says.
Renjun pulls it back.
"No." He shuts it. "It's just for Jaemin to see."
Hearing his own words and while seeing the smirk on Mark's face, Renjun can't help the stirring in his own stomach, low in his belly and high in his chest. He wants Jaemin to read it. Word for word until he drinks the words in so hard that he hates the taste of it.
Mark may be here in front of Renjun right now, but Mark will never understand these places that Renjun has written down on his paper. Sure, he'll chuckle along with Renjun and talk about how cool and lovely it would be to be kissed and appreciated along those parts of his skin, but never will he fully get it. Never will he take the words and run them through his brain, wire them hard until he understands exactly what they mean. Mark is just here as Renjun's friend.
"What does your list say?" Renjun hums, cocking his chin forward to see that Mark has been writing on a napkin with Renjun's extra pen.
Smiles come out. Mark sighs.
"Just lips. I'm going to give it to Donghyuck."
Renjun rolls his eyes. The way Mark says everything so confidently makes Renjun shy, like he wishes he could just hand his own list to a lover. But instead, he's handing it to Jaemin, his friend who is just curious—his friend who makes him a little warm and fuzzy inside.
It's oddly quiet when Mark drops Renjun off at his dorm, almost too eerie as he kicks his shoes off and continues through, sliding toward his own bedroom to see if Jaemin is already tucked away into his sheets, snoring slightly with his limbs spread across his bed.
Renjun has always been in awe of how Jaemin sleeps. Sometimes he'll take up the entire bed and part his lips as he rests hard, then other nights he'll just wrap up around a pillow and hum before he stays still and falls asleep, voice and body quiet through the majority of the night.
Having a roommate like Jaemin means a lot of observing.
He's busy with himself, constantly moving and finding something to do, asking Renjun to join in when he can or whenever Jaemin can just sense that Renjun wants to. He also will casually spend a lot of his time in Renjun's bed, sitting on the edge, hands dug underneath Renjun's blanket as he tries to keep himself warm. Begging for warmth is one of Jaemin's favorite things to do.
If Renjun could think about it forever, he would. He wonders if Jaemin really does keep himself busy with similar thoughts about being touched and loved in the same ways that Renjun thinks about—with warm hands to his lower back and to his chest, with someone sitting at his waist and kissing down the skin of his neck, giggling as their tongue playfully meets the heartbeat that thrums there.
"You're home?" He hears Jisung ask him as he rubs his eyes.
"Why aren't you in bed, it's late." Renjun stands on the tips of his toes to grab his favorite glass, turning to fill it with water.
Jisung just shrugs and slouches against the countertop, keeping his eyes trained on Renjun as empty silence moves through them. He seems slightly worried, like he wants to say more, or like he knows something he shouldn't and for that... Renjun turns toward him.
"I just thought you would come home with Jaemin."
Renjun's ears perk up when he hears the name.
"He's not here?"
Jisung shakes his head.
"No. I texted him earlier but he didn't reply."
Renjun only walks forward and whispers a goodnight to the younger, telling him to head to bed and not to worry, promising that Jaemin would come home soon. He hates worrying others.
But, as soon as he makes it into their bedroom, Renjun is dialing Jaemin's number with a heart pounding louder than anything he has felt before. The beat is unsettling and he wishes Jaemin were beside him, chuckling and being irritating rather than being away and worrying the rest of them in the dorm, but here Renjun is, standing with his hand on his hip as he taps his toes to the floor, desperately waiting for Jaemin to pick up.
He gets nothing.
He tries again. Nothing.
Then, the door opens, and Jaemin walks through with his hair messy and his shirt stretched out. Renjun's shoulders drop in relief.
"Where the hell have you been? Why haven't you picked up the damn phone?"
Jaemin frowns as he reaches into his back pocket, his own shoulders deflating as he tries to scroll through his notifications. He just stares at it and then looks over at Renjun with a pair of sad eyes.
"I'm sorry. I was just playing games with some of the other members. I guess it was on silent."
"You really worried Jisung," Renjun states before he pads over to his own bed.
Jaemin stares with defeat written all over him. Renjun watches before he sighs with guilt pouring over his head. He knows he shouldn't have said something like that to Jaemin, especially when he knows that Jaemin worries so much about the younger ones, and especially when Jaemin is constantly telling everyone else to be sure that their phones are on and that they're looking at them.
"Are you okay?" Jaemin asks Renjun, surprising him.
"I'm okay, yeah," he shrugs. "But maybe you should go check on Jisung, just let him know that you're home or something."
Jaemin doesn't say anything else. He just walks right out of the room and leaves Renjun feeling a little guilty for being harsh on him.
The frown slips up onto Renjun's mouth, hands already reaching for his journal that holds the intimate list he has been working on. It's nearly complete, but he's been brainstorming over a few more thoughts and they've been so desperate to be written down that Renjun cannot stand them being in his head any longer. He doesn't think about it for another second. He writes those parts of his body along the lines of the paper, ignoring the way his stomach turns with a blissful desire.
Finally ripping the sheet from the journal, he folds it up and carries himself toward Jaemin's bed, tucking it right underneath his pillow—just so the boy can find it eventually on his own.
Renjun doesn't leave, though.
With a hot sensation across his chest and a need to be closer to his friend, he stays. He waits for Jaemin to return. And when he does, Jaemin just gives him a sad and tired smile as he strips down from his clothes to change into something warmer.
"Why are you in my bed?" Jaemin whispers.
"Thought you'd want company tonight," he tells him.
"Do you want company tonight?" Jaemin hops over him and lifts up the blankets as he shoves his legs underneath them, practically moaning at the warmth there.
"Of course I do," Renjun answers. "That's why I'm here."
Jaemin presses his cheek to Renjun's arm as he watches him scroll through his apps.
There's nothing to do, and Renjun is tired. It's late, he wants to get close to Jaemin and fall asleep, but there's always a bit of an awkward progression into cuddling. He never knows how to do it.
"How's that list coming?" Jaemin brings it up.
Sometimes Renjun thinks that Jaemin can be so damn forward that it makes his cheeks blush and his heart pound. Other times Jaemin is too shy for his own good.
"I gave it to you already."
Jaemin drops his mouth open and pulls his cheek away from the sound of Renjun's voice, looking at him in total confusion. He then looks around as he squints his eyes.
"You're totally kidding."
"I'm totally not though," he protests with a smile on his face. "I told you I wasn't gonna hand it directly to you, so now you've gotta find it yourself."
Jaemin doesn't say another word to Renjun, instead he dips his hand underneath the pillow and pulls the paper out.
"You aren't very good at hiding things."
Renjun rolls his eyes at the sentence and then rips the list back.
"Let's talk before you open this," Renjun announces.
And Jaemin listens. Of course he does. He always has. He always will.
Jaemin looks so intrigued as Renjun begins to talk and it makes Renjun's body swell with that familiar bubbling of warmth, but with something new, too. He can't recognize it, but he knows that it feels good—the fact that Jaemin is giving his full attention and isn't treating the entire thing like it's some joke.
"Tell me why you're so curious about it, because I was doing it at the cafe with Mark, and he was telling me that your curiosity was—"
"You told Mark?"
"I did. Because I didn't wanna do it alone, and he wrote some stuff too, which ended up being, 'lips,' and he told me he was going to give it to Donghyuck."
This time, Jaemin cackles. Loud and clear, hand on his stomach as the apples of his cheeks tint pink.
"Oh, maybe they'll finally kiss then."
Renjun knocks his elbow into Jaemin's side, staying quiet as he waits for a response about his initial question.
Carefully, Jaemin turns them until they're in a more comfortable position, until his leg is a bit hooked around Renjun's waist—a familiar way that the both of them like to cuddle.
"You appreciate things like this, and I wanted you to be able to write all these places down and talk about them because I am your friend and you can tell me about all of this stuff," he starts as he keeps his voice low. "Kissing is special, always. Doesn't matter in what kind of way, it's just delicate and always means a lot. Are you okay with sharing this with me? Because if you're really not then we can just tear it up or you can just keep it. I will never look at it if you don't want me to."
It's so damn endearing, even the way Jaemin runs his hand along Renjun's side as he looks over his shoulder at him, waiting for an answer. He swallows hard.
"I want you to read it. Just, be kind."
Renjun's head nearly spins when he watches Jaemin open the damn thing. He's more than nervous thinking about Jaemin's eyes scanning over it, reading through each one, maybe even picturing those places on Renjun and how he is desperate for affection and touch in all of them, against all of them. He enjoys touch and Jaemin knows this, Jaemin respects it and Jaemin gives it to him, too.
"Let's see here..."
There's a shooting sensation up Renjun's spine when Jaemin begins to read the headline.
"Don't! Don't read it out loud."
"Oh come on, Renjun," he chuckles. "It's just me."
That's the problem.
Renjun feels his lips being tugged down into a frown. He wants Jaemin to read it out loud because he wants to hear his own work being praised, but his stomach keeps recoiling anytime Jaemin breathes or opens his mouth to speak because he's too goddamn nervous.
"The first one," Jaemin whispers.
Renjun just pulls the blanket to his chin.
"Yes, I know what it says. I wrote it."
"How come you put that one down first?"
If he's being honest, he doesn't have a specific order. There's not one that he wants more than the other, and he expresses it greatly with Jaemin, trying to be sure that his friend understands this. It's just something he happened to start writing, getting carried away as the thoughts came to his mind.
Perhaps he had just started with a more intimate one.
Anyone else might have started with something like "cheek" or "forehead," but Renjun didn't.
Not when he had something greater and more delicate on his mind. Not when the thought of lips pressed to his back were deeply engraved in his mind, making his head swirl with thoughts that made his knees weak.
"Down your spine," Jaemin repeats, making Renjun slap his hands to his cheeks. "I like that one, actually. I think I would like that too."
"Really?" Renjun asks in full curiosity.
Jaemin answers him again, going off on a tangent about how he's sensitive on the skin of his back, and how he also loves back scratches, so the thought of lips down his spine sounds intriguing.
It makes Renjun gulp.
He never thought that hearing Jaemin say that would make the heat in the pit of his stomach increase a million times worse than it already does.
Fuck the feelings he has growing for his best friend.
He can't even deny them anymore.
They've always been sitting like little birds on his shoulders, acting innocently when Jaemin is around. But now they fly around his head and spread their wings any time Jaemin grins at him, any time Jaemin touches his hand to his back, or any time Jaemin stays late with him to practice. Any time Jaemin cooks with him, brings him something back from the corner store, or shows him any sort of care, it makes Renjun's heart soar. But, there's always been something deeper in the way Jaemin holds him and in the way he strokes his hair back late at nights or the way they talk into the early morning. The way he looks deep into Renjun's eyes has always been something Renjun can't slip away from.
He reads another.
"Ankle." Jaemin's smile can be heard in his voice.
Sometimes Renjun has to step in before anything else happens. This is one of those times.
"I literally wrote in parentheses, 'do not laugh at me for this one,'" he frowns.
Jaemin sets the list down and turns towards him.
"Am I laughing at you?" He says seriously.
A flip in Renjun's stomach makes him blink hard. He shakes his head.
"Okay," he shyly shrugs. "Keep going."
No more time is wasted.
"Inside of your knee," Jaemin reads as Renjun flushes red, nodding along. "Back of the neck, lower back, wrist bone, chin, pads of your fingers."
Jaemin hums as he reads more.
After a while, Renjun starts to tell him details about each one and how he just was writing them because he's curious about how each one would feel since he's never felt any touch in those spots, and he's eager to.
But then Jaemin stops and unhooks his leg from Renjun's body, sitting back a little as he furrows his brow, sniffling before he gnaws down a little on his lip.
"What if I like," Jaemin starts and then stops himself, looking down before blowing a bubble of air into his mouth, holding it there so cautiously, like his next words are going to be dangerous.
Renjun has a feeling they will be.
"Just hear me out." Jaemin scratches his neck. "You said you're curious about these spots and if they're actually going to feel good if you get kissed there, so what if I helped you with that?"
What if Jaemin helped him with that.
Jaemin's clear and sweet voice rises into Renjun's ears and nearly makes him shiver. It's the pulsing there that makes his blood feel hot, heavy, and unstoppable as it rushes to the nerves in his stomach. He knows where this is headed, he just can't even bother to stop Jaemin as he starts to speak again.
"I could help you cross these off, maybe make your list shorter when you realize that kisses at your ankles aren't even that great—"
Renjun knocks him against his ribs. Jaemin huffs.
"You want to kiss me?"
The challenge in his eyes is almost syrupy, too sweet and dripping between them, but there's no doubt that Jaemin is trying to send him a brighter message than he is giving off. Renjun is teasing him, and Jaemin loves it.
What Renjun doesn't know is that Jaemin has always fallen weak for the way Renjun teases him, whether it's over the silliest things, or if it gets intense as they lay in bed like they are now.
"Yes," Jaemin lacks hesitation, and Renjun hitches a breath at his honesty. "I do. Because I think it would be nice to do so. Also, like I said, I can help you out."
Taking a moment to process the words, Renjun pulls his lip between his teeth, overanalyzing everything he is beginning to hear. Of course he is, because his best friend is cuddled up to his back, breathing gently against his skin, reading the most intimate things about Renjun and offering to kiss him like it's the most basic thing in the world.
Renjun nearly freezes up.
"It's not going to feel right, Jaemin."
Jaemin turns Renjun totally until they're facing each other, letting the list disappear between wrinkled sheets and worried hot skin.
"We don't have to if you don't want to," he shrugs. "But, my point here is that I want to appreciate these little things about you because you are the most beautiful person to me and I think you deserve to be appreciated like this."
"You just called the tweet cool," Renjun frowns. "Why the sudden change in being so interested in this? I thought you just wanted to see it. Where's yours? We should have made you make a list, too."
"I did, actually."
Renjun pauses in his next breath, looking back at him with a look of pure curiosity.
Bringing his phone to the surface, Jaemin opens his notes app and shows it to Renjun, eyes blinking so gently.
Staring at the short list just makes Renjun's heart soar. It's not nearly as long as Renjun's, but still he can't help the smile that climbs on his face.
"I didn't know that you had this." Renjun looks at the time stamp on the note, noticing that Jaemin had created it around 4 in the morning. "You did this in the middle of the night?"
Jaemin flushes a little. He shrugs and then nods.
Across the phone are some spots that make Renjun shy.
They have some in common, which is a relief, and very sweet for Renjun to find out. It makes him look up at Jaemin with a widened smile.
"We really like the idea of being kissed on our hands, yeah?"
Jaemin pushes a single finger into Renjun's forehead before he shifts him backward. Renjun rolls his eyes.
Silence meets them again as soon as Renjun hands Jaemin back his phone. A kindness is in the air this time, allowing them to curl up next to each other as Jaemin flicks the light off, helping Renjun turn around so he can shove his nose into the back of his neck.
The position causes the hair on the back of his neck to stand up, goosebumps lining all over his shoulders and his arms.
Neither of them say anything for a while until Renjun speaks up.
"Okay," he whispers as he feels Jaemin's arm tightening around his waist. "I'd like that."
Kiss me. Touch me. Please.
"You'd like that?" Jaemin tries to reach for another confirmation.
"I would," he shrugs. "Would you?"
Jaemin breathes out at the back of Renjun's neck.
"Can I start now?"
Renjun's heart picks up speed. He wants to ask more, ask why, or what he wants to do. But, he can't stop thinking about how interesting it would be to be doing this with Jaemin, no matter how they perceive it.
He closes his eyes and tightens his fist tight as he tilts his chin up to Jaemin, wondering what his next move is. Then, Jaemin pushes him back down and leans even closer so he can press his parted lips to the back of Renjun's neck, slightly underneath his ear. His tongue grazes against the skin too as he sucks gently, making Renjun's heart sizzle.
Jaemin's arm tightens along Renjun's waist as he pulls him closer, mouth leaving his neck only to press there again, deeper, longer, tiny part of his tongue flattening along his skin.
A tingling up his spine brings heat to the spot Jaemin is kissing.
Renjun swallows hard as he breathes shakily out of his mouth.
Then, Jaemin pulls away and breathes hotly against his neck.
"Good?" He asks.
Renjun just nods.
He feels a little warmer, a lot more comfortable, and just content.
Jaemin loosens up his grip on Renjun's waist and brings his knuckles to Renjun's mouth, making him giggle.
He doesn't hesitate before he curls his chilled fingers around Jaemin's wrist, pressing his lips to one of his knuckles. Jaemin hums in response, tilting his hand so Renjun can reach another. Then another, until they're both giggling and until Renjun is pushing him away when he's asking for more.
"Good?" He finally asks.
Jaemin pulls him closer.
"Good. Goodnight Renjun."
Renjun doesn't fall asleep instantly. His neck is on fire, the places that Jaemin have touched are on fire, and his heart is in flames. Beautiful flames.
Renjun expects the crossing of the list to be simple. He expects Jaemin to kiss his forehead in the morning, or ask for his hand so he can see if Renjun really does enjoy having the pads of his fingers kissed. But it's not like that.
Instead, Jaemin finds time for them.
On their day off, once Renjun has just come out of the shower and when his hair is still sopping wet. Jaemin comes into the bathroom and compliments the way Renjun looks cute in the outfit he's wearing—just a hoodie and shorts. Renjun doesn't think he looks like anything special but he takes the compliment and shoots one right back to his friend.
Then, Jaemin handles a comb in his hand and helps brush through Renjun's wet hair, standing right behind him as he looks at him through the mirror, grinning.
When Renjun expects a quick kiss to the spots, he gets more.
He gets full intimacy from Jaemin, who touches and holds him like he deserves to be held—like he wants to be held.
"Next one?" Jaemin whispers in a light tone as he places the comb on the counter.
So, Jaemin rubs his thumbs into the muscles of Renjun's back for a moment before he slides them up his neck, shifting until he gets his hand to his nape, until Renjun is looking up at the ceiling, avoiding Jaemin's eyes.
Lips against his temple, hands soon on his waist. Renjun smiles when Jaemin hums against him.
It's gentle. The kiss is feather-like and it gives Renjun a sense of safety, reminding him that this is the moment he needs to exist in, reminding him that he and Jaemin are the only two in the bathroom, hearts beating together, loneliness surrounding them.
As they pull away, Jaemin's hands stay glued to Renjun's waist, eyes widening a little as he watches him shift around until he is facing him.
"Are you going to keep that one on your list?" Jaemin asks with eyes that read wonder.
He answers with a nod, already digging into his brain to remember one of Jaemin's bullet points on his own list.
There's always something so kind in Jaemin's eyes and in his hold, and Renjun has always adored it. Since they were first debuting and when they would be silly together, the softness in Jaemin's expression has never failed to make Renjun feel safe.
Lying in the same bed is familiar, Jaemin's grip on his waist as they lie there is so damn familiar, but standing in the bathroom as Renjun pushes his nose into Jaemin's neck is a bit unfamiliar.
It's new, and Renjun makes it be known that he may be a little inexperienced at it all, never really having had the time to kiss anybody outside of his busy schedule. But, his lips press to Jaemin's throat so forcefully that he nearly pulls away in worry that he's moving too quickly.
Renjun is a fool for romance.
The films he watches, the books he ends up reading, he watches in complete awe as the characters touch each other with such fervor, lust and desire. He craves touch, to give and to receive, and his heart is telling him to provide Jaemin with a kiss that'll make his breath hitch in the way Jaemin has managed to make him do so in the past two days.
Jaemin had written in his notes: my throat.
Not his neck, otherwise Renjun would be diving there, nose pressing under Jaemin's earlobe and teeth maybe digging a little into the skin if he could do so.
He tilts his head to the side and even sucks on Jaemin's skin as he holds at the back of his neck, making sure that his kiss is worth it. He pulls away as Jaemin breathes out, guiding Renjun's front to his own, until they're both dealing with pounding hearts and clouded heads.
Renjun leaves a couple light kisses there before he pulls away.
"Fuck," Jaemin whispers.
Renjun's stomach hums at the word. He likes the way it sounds from Jaemin's mouth.
"Are you going to keep that one on your list?"
Jaemin moves his fingers through Renjun's hair as he sighs, nodding with a cocked eyebrow, like it's the most obvious thing in the damn world.
They don't touch each other for another two days.
Mainly because they're busy, but also because Renjun just hardly sees Jaemin. Only at nights when he comes home, and by then Jaemin seems too tired and he doesn't want to bother him about anything, even if he does want to try and relieve some stress by giving him a kiss on the shoulder like Jaemin has written on his own list.
Preparations for their comeback are arising and Renjun lies in Donghyuck's room as the younger plays a game, mumbling on about how Mark has been acting strange and ignoring him. Renjun tries to explain that maybe he's just tired and stressed like the rest of them are. Donghyuck frowns and doesn't say anymore.
Jaemin's arrival at the bedroom door startles them both, but Donghyuck goes right back to his game, leaving Renjun to smile and offer Jaemin a seat next to him. He takes it and tries muttering a few words to Donghyuck who only sits there with his headset on, ignoring Jaemin like his life depends on it.
"He's busy," Renjun looks at Jaemin with a grin. "How are you?"
Jaemin closes his eyes.
"Tired," he yawns, tracing over the features on Renjun's face with his eyes. "And you?"
For a moment, Renjun can't do anything other than let his tongue lie flat in his mouth, because Jaemin now has his hand on Renjun's knee just tracing back and forth so nonchalantly. It's an innocent touch, one that Renjun adores, but one that makes him want to fall back onto the bed and write into a journal about how touch can really make you blush and make you feel so loved. Especially when your best friend does it. Your best friend that you get shy around.
Jaemin hooks his leg around Renjun's and pulls his back to his front.
"What are you doing?" Renjun chuckles.
But, Jaemin doesn't answer him. He just falls backward onto the bed and holds Renjun tight, both of them chuckling until they're on their sides and until Renjun gets his leg over Jaemin's waist. Donghyuck turns to look at them and just rolls his eyes.
"Don't be filthy in my bed," he points.
Renjun flips him off and lets his head fall limp against the mattress.
"Are you sore?" He asks Jaemin.
He does it because the position they're in is burning aggressively at his lower back, to where he wants to pull away and ask for a heat pack from someone. Maybe he'll even shower again and just let the hot water fall against the skin of his back, greeting his muscles until they stop yelling at him.
"Not really, no." Jaemin turns his head away from Donghyuck's computer screen to look at Renjun. "Are you?"
Renjun doesn't bother with lying. It's too hard to keep anything like that from Jaemin, especially when he's the one who brought it up. Jaemin will constantly bring it up, asking again and again if he's okay, or if he's sleeping right, or if he's doing little exercises for his back in order to have the right range of motion there.
Sometimes, they push themselves too far, and they have to work through it, helping each other out when they need it.
"Want me to rub it?"
"I can pay you by spending tomorrow evening baking whatever it is you're craving?" He pouts hard, eyes wide and round in order to get to whatever side of Jaemin it is that will give in. "Please? You have good hands when it comes to massages and it doesn't feel the same when you try to rub your own back."
He's acting like it's a big deal, like giving Renjun a back massage is the worst thing he's ever heard of, but somewhere in Renjun's head, he thinks he knows what'll happen.
Down my spine. Lower back. Shoulder blades. Dimples of my back.
He wants to make sure that Jaemin knows the exposure of his back doesn't mean he has to press his lips there just because they talked about it.
But, his thumb along Rejnun's side, digging softly and dragging along the side at a hint of what the massage will be like makes Renjun lose all his thoughts.
"Hyuck." Renjun calls.
The younger turns.
"We're going to head to bed."
Donghyuck takes his headset off as he grins.
"Be safe." He leaves them a wink.
He also receives a wack to the side of his head and a scold from the both of them. He's used to it, because they always are teasing one another, but it makes all three of them chuckle out loud.
"Seriously though," Donghyuck looks at them sincerely. "Get some rest. Big plans tomorrow."
Jaemin wishes him well and ruffles his hair, disappearing to their bedroom.
And when Renjun's stomach presses to the mattress, he feels nothing but relaxation.
Jaemin makes it as dramatic as possible, with gentle music and hot rags that he runs underneath the sink for a while, letting them lay on his own thighs that rest on either side of Renjun's body. He complains about them being hot, and Renjun tells him to put them on the bed, but Jaemin pinches him and tells him to hush because there's no way he's going to let the rags soak into his bedsheets.
His hands work wonders into Renjun's body after he lets the warm rags sit on his skin. Renjun practically begs Jaemin to use his favorite lotion, and Jaemin only whines in response because technically he is the one giving the massage and he wants to be in charge. But, Renjun claims that he is the one who should be choosing the lotion.
Renjun wins, of course—courtesy of Jaemin giving in to the sweet smile and Renjun's ability to make him fall weak so damn quickly.
"You can do it harder there," Renjun says when Jaemin removes the rags from his lower back and works his thumbs in the muscle, hovering over him to make sure the pressure is right.
Jaemin obeys to make sure he's working correctly. He wants Renjun to feel good, and not be in so much pain, because it hurts him deep inside when he watches Renjun twist and turn in bed at night, not being able to get comfortable when the pain in his back is bugging him.
They work on Renjun's back for a while, Renjun is thankful.
The other person who is brilliant with their hands is Chenle, and Renjun will bug him forever until finally Chenle slaps his hands onto Renjun's back—then apologizes at remembering his friend is in pain—before rubbing right into the muscle or following along the nerve gently to relieve the pressure. The only thing with Chenle is that he won't continue to do it, soon digging his knee into Renjun's side telling him that he needs water, or that
he has somewhere to be.
With Jaemin, he sets the entire room up into this ambiance that makes Renjun feel like he's actually getting a massage, and he's extremely thankful.
It goes on forever before Renjun nearly finds himself falling asleep. That's when he feels Jaemin wiping down his back with a clean rag.
"Why are you wiping it?" He frowns.
"So it's not so sticky on the sheets."
Next, his fingers tap gently down Renjun's spine.
"It's a bit red, but I'm hoping it'll feel okay in the morning," he plops on top of Renjun but rolls off to the side when he remembers that the boy has been hurting.
When Renjun turns his head toward Jaemin, the younger smiles widely.
"Thank you Jaemin, seriously."
Their eyes scan over each other and Jaemin finds himself staring at Renjun's nose.
"Can I cross off another?" He purses his lips.
Renjun blinks slowly, like he's trying to memorize how beautiful Jaemin looks like this. He nods.
Then, Jaemin leans in and kisses the tip of his nose.
Renjun lies there in shock, all of a sudden staring at Jaemin's giggling face.
"Oh," Renjun's grin soon breaks out onto his face.
"What?" Jaemin asks.
Renjun shrugs at him. He's blushing now, especially at his already warmed up ears, the tips of them even hotter now from Jaemin's lips that have touched his nose.
"Can you—Can you do another?"
His back is on fire. He wants Jaemin.
Renjun's grin has disappeared and has been replaced by a look of soft desperation, his chest rising, making him lift up off the mattress from the position he's in.
He doesn't need to say anything because Jaemin gets it instantly.
"Are you sure?" He asks.
Renjun nods, breath going uneven when he feels Jaemin run a hand over the curve of his back, stretching down. He nods.
They're moving into a deeper territory, going into higher grounds, but Renjun doesn't want the feeling to stop. He looks at Jaemin through his eyelashes as Jaemin lifts himself up, wondering if he's stepping too far out of their agreement.
He's just crossing places off of his list. He'll cross them off but he'll know to add them to his new and improved list when he makes one, finally realizing that he loves having these spots kissed.
Nose? He'll keep that one. He likes being kissed on his nose.
It happened so quickly, but there's no doubt that it was enjoyable, that it felt like dipping back into a pool full of honey and flowers.
Jaemin uses his hands again, but this time they burn, lighting flames on the inside of Renjun's skin, in the pit of his stomach where he tends to focus a lot of his emotions.
His chest caves in when Jaemin touches his lips to the top of his back.
Down my spine, he thinks.
Lower, lower. Like he's dipping into that pool.
But this time there is no honey. It's full of hot flames, the flowers are still there and they're protected because it's so goddamn sweet as Jaemin kisses down his spine that Renjun has to hide his face.
Jaemin doesn't kiss softly.
His mouth works in a similar way to how it did when he kissed the back of Renjun's neck.
He leaves open mouthed kisses down his spine, his tongue flat as he moves down, sucking slightly as he lets his fingers drag with him.
With each movement further, Renjun feels a sharper stabbing in his chest, in his stomach, until he moans softly at one spot in particular. He swallows hard and bites down on his lip as Jaemin continues.
"Something about that spot there?" Jaemin's voice is low, so low that Renjun nearly lets out a whimper at the sound of it.
He just nods. He doesn't trust his voice.
He has expectations for Jaemin to continue onward, further down until he gets to the lowest part of Renjun's spine. But, Jaemin doesn't. He lifts back up and flattens his tongue hard against that spot, sucking a little more before he smiles against it, teeth scraping.
Renjun lets out a new sound, a breath with a hint of a whimper that makes his insides light to fire.
Jaemin chuckles and reaches forward until he finds Renjun's hand, intertwining their fingers from the top.
There's no way for Renjun to process it, that they're intertwining their fingers like two lovers as Jaemin kisses desperately down Renjun's spine.
He doesn't care to figure out what it means, or why he's enjoying it so much. He just holds onto Jaemin and lets his mouth fall open to let out the sounds he wants to, knowing that Jaemin is enjoying them too. He kisses until he reaches the bottom of Renjun's spine, fingers dancing over the spots Renjun had pointed out.
Nothing compares to the feeling of knowing that Jaemin has it memorized in his head. The places that Renjun wants to be appreciated at.
Jaemin just knows them. By heart.
The next day is when Renjun promises Jaemin that he would bake something with him.
He expects there to be something awkward between them because of their intimate moment from the previous night, but Renjun hardly had any time to think about it before he fell asleep from the heavy amount of comfort in his body.
And after their busy day, he finds himself baking in the kitchen along with Jisung, who does all of the work, complaining about how Renjun and Jaemin should just start to clean up already.
He isn't irritated, but Jaemin can sense that he doesn't want to clean up when he's been doing most of the work, so the both of them get to cleaning.
"You didn't do mine last night, by the way," Jaemin says.
Renjun knows what he's talking about, but he chooses to tease him anyway.
"You didn't give me my kiss." There's no hesitation in his voice as he speaks.
This time is when Renjun makes it clear that he knows what Jaemin is talking about. His fingers pull on the waistband of Jaemin's pants as he pulls him closer, until he can hold at his wrist.
They exchange eye contact. Renjun peers into Jaemin's bouncing eyes as he tries to see if anyone around them is watching the way Renjun is touching him.
"I know," Renjun smiles at him. "Bedroom?"
Jaemin's pupils dilate as he pulls Renjun up against him, their cores meeting right in front of the sink.
"Don't tease me like that," Jaemin whispers.
Renjun doesn't know what step they're taking.
Jisung is long gone into the other room, waiting for the cake in the oven, and Renjun and Jaemin are teasing each other like they know no better.
They've crossed too far and over too many lines to the point where Renjun is lost. He pulls away and looks at Jaemin with a goofy grin.
"Help me clean up! Why are you standing there?"
Jaemin is standing there raising his chest and letting it fall back into place because Renjun is making him feel too many things at once, so many things that become so unreadable in his own head.
He snaps back into reality and helps Renjun with the dishes, allowing his heart to pound as he waits until they get to their bedroom.
And once they do, Renjun feels warmth in his own chest when Jaemin sits down on his bed, his arm out.
It must be something the boy really enjoys. Having his arms touched, kissed, admired.
Renjun grips softly before he kisses along the inside of Jaemin's arm, all the way up to the crease of his elbow, trying to ignore the way Jaemin is caressing his cheek as he does so. Warmth surrounds them as usual, but tonight's feel is a little off. It's a little needier than usual, like both of them have words they want to say—words that they're showing through grips of their hands and kisses.
Jaemin lets sounds out of his mouth, low ones that send shocks right to the pit of Renjun's stomach.
He looks up at Jaemin as he finishes the last kiss on his arm. The smile on his lips is tight, well lit and beautiful.
"I know where I want to touch you," Jaemin speaks like he's covered in lust.
Nothing but desire.
Renjun is falling.
Their hands become intertwined as Jaemin presses his lips to the inside of his palm, staring at him, dipping his head so he can kiss his wrist bone next, a spot where Renjun was hoping was going to feel phenomenal.
He was wrong.
It feels more than phenomenal. His knees are weak and he's not even standing.
His hands are burning as they're being touched by the cold fingers that Jaemin has.
Jaemin sucks at his wrist bone as his eyes dig deep into Renjun's, the older boy's mouth soon dropping open as he stares at him, completely in shock of how incredible it feels to have the insides of his hands and his wrists be kissed.
For a moment, Renjun wonders if it's just Jaemin. His friend that he has been spending an eternity thinking about before he falls asleep, even turning on his side to catch a last glimpse of Jaemin, hair messy on his pillows as he breathes heavily in his sleep, probably fighting monsters in his dreams. He wonders if it's just the boy in front of him making it so much more worth it.
Jaemin is sweet, Jaemin cares for him and so many others. But the Jaemin in front of him keeps his head low and his body stiff as he steps even closer to Renjun. The heat increases ten times and Renjun can't even deny that he knows Jaemin feels it too.
He's turned on, their bodies are so close, eye contact is solid.
They're stepping into even deeper waters.
"I'll definitely be keeping that one on my list," Renjun chuckles with a shaky voice in fear that Jaemin will pull away, scared and suddenly realizing that he doesn't want to do this anymore.
Pull away, Jaemin, Renjun thinks.
But he doesn't.
Instead, he brings Renjun closer to his body and spreads his palm over the small of his back.
"Renjun, I want to cross off the rest of them tonight." The way Jaemin tries to speak is so dangerously low, but his voice peeks past shaky.
It's obvious and there's a croak in it, desperation meeting fear, but he holds his ground.
"What do you mean?"
Renjun knows what he means.
"I want to kiss you all over."
Well. That's what he means. They've gone too far. Renjun's throat closes up.
Jaemin doesn't want to help him cross off the places he wants to be touched, admired, loved all for the sake of helping Renjun know if he still would like those spots to be kissed when he finds himself a lover. No, Jaemin wants to kiss him. Jaemin wants to do the admiring. The adoring. The touches that send Renjun's brain into blissful thoughts, touches that make his eyes roll back into his head as his heart begins to pound. He wants to hear the way Renjun's breath hitches and the way he lets out a soft whimper just at the faint touching of their skin.
"Jaemin," Renjun sighs.
Something changes in Jaemin's eyes then. He blinks a few times before he smiles softly.
"Just cause you know.. we'll be really busy the next few days. I figured I could help you with a few more tonight."
Renjun deflates inside. But, he grins.
That night, Jaemin doesn't kiss him intimately.
He presses his lips to Renjun's shoulder once, no quick dragging of his tongue, no sucking of the skin. He kisses Renjun's collarbone the same—quick and almost like he's trying to get himself into bed and away from the situation. He touches him lightly still, no fingers up and down his side, at the back of his neck, no intertwining of their hands. But it's nothing that doesn't leave Renjun breathless.
Because it's Jaemin.
The next two weeks are excruciatingly busy.
With a comeback now around the corner, everything becomes finalized. Celebrations occur, and many of them spend time in each other's rooms to relax. As a whole, the group is relieved, but individually, Renjun knows that all of the members are exhausted, with sleep hanging off of their shoulders. They know they're about to get busier as soon as everything is released, but nothing feels busier than the sounds in Renjun's chest.
He has hardly seen or spoken to Jaemin.
The boy is avoiding him, and even though Renjun wants to be mad at him for it, he can't seem to be.
"I think I like him, Mark. Like a lot" Renjun whines into the older boy's lap in Donghyuck's bedroom.
Mark just rolls his hand over Renjun's hair.
"I know, Renjun," he sniffles, leaning back to be in a more comfortable position.
"I mean why else would I have said yes to this whole thing?" Renjun looks up at him. "If you asked me, 'hey, Renjun, can I kiss you in very intimate places for purposes of seeing if you like it?' I would have smacked you."
"Seriously." Renjun frowns. "I think I have known this for a long time or something."
Silence floats over them.
"I think you're good at figuring out your own feelings, Renjun."
Sometimes Renjun thinks the opposite. But in this case, he believes Mark is right. He's laying on his lap in a quiet room thinking about how bad he wants to be next to Jaemin, his best friend who is ignoring him for whatever reason. Chances are Jaemin realizes he doesn't really enjoy the entire thing, and Renjun figured it out at a good time because he knows he should stop it all too.
"It's like a bad case of friends with benefits," Renjun shrugs. "But this is like Renjun and Jaemin with kiss my skin benefits."
Mark pokes him in the side before he lands his hand on his chest, rubbing back and forth as they just rest. They don't even bother jolting up when the door opens, revealing a bit of a worried Donghyuck.
With furrowed eyebrows and a puffed out chest, he sighs.
"I think you should go back to your room," he gives him a sad look.
Renjun sits up instantly.
"Why?" He pleads for an answer.
"Because I want to cuddle with Mark," he grins cheekily.
"Donghyuck!" Mark rolls his eyes while Renjun's shoulders drop.
For a moment he just chuckles.
"No but really, Jaemin isn't feeling well," he replies. "But you can't tell him I said that because he'll get mad at me. So just, be oblivious when you walk in there."
"Feeling bad like how?"
"He's just got a headache and stuff."
"And stuff?" Renjun questions, but Donghyuck is already crawling on the other side of the bed as Mark lifts his arm for him.
"Go go! Go on," he snuggles close to Mark as the older boy plants a kiss on the side of his head.
Renjun digs an elbow in Donghyuck's knee as he climbs over the opposite side of him, grinning when Donghyuck whines. He bids them farewell as he leaves.
Walking into the bedroom isn't as awkward as he imagines it to be, because even though him and Jaemin have been avoiding each other, his heart still drops into his stomach when he sees the boy curled up in his bed with the lights off.
"Hey," Renjun smiles softly at him as he gets under his own sheets, turning on his side so he can look at Jaemin underneath the moonlight.
Jaemin just smiles back.
"Did you take anything for your headache?" He asks.
There's a pause.
"How did you know I had a headache?" Jaemin asks.
Renjun chomps down on his lip as he lets his eyes peer up at the ceiling—something he does when he doesn't know where else to look. It's almost as if no one can see him when he's looking way up high.
Donghyuck was going to kill him.
"Yeah, I did, don't worry," he sighs. "You should get some rest, too."
There's no doubt that Renjun wants to, or that he needs to. His bed is comfortable, extremely and utterly cool against his sides and along his legs as he sheds his sweatpants and kicks them out from his blankets. But, everything else feels wrong.
"I can't," he admits. His tongue is sharp. "I can't, Jaemin. Not when I know you've been ignoring me for two weeks now."
Jaemin's eyes looked glossed over and especially when he closes one, fingers rubbing at his temple. Renjun feels awful for bringing it up when the boy doesn't feel well.
"Nevermind," Renjun mumbles. "Goodnight."
Jaemin whispers it back.
Sipping on a warm drink at a restaurant, laughing with everyone else, and shivering in the cold is when Renjun feels Jaemin's hand on his knee, just rubbing back and forth.
He pauses his laughter to look over at him, coming to find the gentle traces of a smile—a sad one that bleeds sorrow.
"What's wrong?" Renjun whispers.
No one looks toward them.
There's too many people at the table, too many faces, too many voices for them to realize that there's something up between Renjun and Jaemin.
Jaemin leans in toward his ear.
"Are you mad at me?" Jaemin asks.
It's a surprise to be hearing Jaemin's voice like this in the middle of their meal, like he's been pondering over the question the entire night so far.
They've finished their first performance, and they're spending the rest of the night hanging around each other and some others. But Jaemin seems distracted. Now, Renjun knows why.
"Why do you think that?" He asks, his chest already beating two times as fast.
Jaemin halts the touch on Renjun's knee when the boy covers over Jaemin's fingers with his own. Jaemin's breathing slows slightly.
He doesn't answer the question.
"Will you sleep in my bed tonight?" He pulls his bottom lip between his teeth, his face twisted into something sad, like he's scared Renjun will rip away from him.
Renjun only frowns, eyes looking off to the side to catch a glimpse of Mark, who was just in a conversation with Jaehyun.
"Course I will," he nods. He can never turn down such a thing.
Jaemin just licks his lips and pulls his hand from Renjun's leg, turning back to his meal.
Later that night, when 2am rolls around, when they finally get settled back into their dorms, all showered and comfortable into the soft clothing that they've been desperate to climb into, Renjun finds Jaemin in his bed.
"I thought you asked me to come into yours?" He makes a light joke.
But Jaemin doesn't smile.
He lifts the sheets and holds his arm extended out toward Renjun, waiting for him to step forward to him.
Of course Renjun does. He falls into Jaemin's arms as if it's a routine he knows like the back of his hand.
Jaemin holds him, breath fanning over the back of Renjun's neck, goosebumps rising to both of their skin like they've never felt. There's a charm to his breath, sweetly folding over the cool skin of his back, even crawling down his spine as Jaemin intertwines their legs.
As usual, the familiar feeling should be there. But tonight, it feels so foreign.
Jaemin is making himself comfortable in Renjun's bed, in Renjun's back, just like it's his home. Where he belongs. And Renjun tightens his arm closer to his waist, moving his neck a little so Jaemin can snuggle closer.
"Why do you think I am mad at you?" He whispers to Jaemin as his fingers graze over the younger's knuckles. "No offense, but you're the one doing most of the ignoring."
"That's exactly why."
An icy stream of awkwardness warms up under their fingers and Renjun just smacks his lips a few times before he finally digs his head back into the pillows.
"Jaemin," he mumbles. "Did it get weird for you?"
A rigid tenseness in Jaemin's body proves his answer. Or at least his recognition of what Renjun means by his question. His doubt is strong during the heavy silence and Renjun can hardly stand it.
"No," Jaemin admits, murmuring low. "Not weird. It just started to mean something for me."
Scratches at his heart awaken his senses. Renjun doesn't make any sudden movements to pull Jaemin closer, no matter how much his heart is telling him to do so.
"Even though we had only been doing it for a short time?"
Their answers are honest. Nothing less of it. They both know the importance of getting to the point and not letting each other suffer from their own actions.
"I felt it before, Renjun."
This time, Renjun tightens Jaemin's arm around him.
"Me too." His tongue pushes to the top of his mouth as he tells himself to say more. But, nothing comes out. Nothing can.
His confession is broad. They both are, but their hands on each other means more than their words do in that moment.
"You deserve to be kissed and appreciated. To be loved fully. All these parts of you are so beautiful, you have no fucking idea."
Renjun smiles softly. A blush crawls up his neck to his ears and burns at his upper lip. He opens his mouth to say something in return, but he can't.
Because Jaemin says something else.
"I'm sorry it can't be me."
Then, the ice hits. The blush still lies on his face, but Renjun feels a significant burning in his chest from the fight between ice and fire in his body. He can't stand it. He can't even comprehend what Jaemin has just said to him.
Normally, he would speak up and question him. But, his weakness is too strong.
He crawls out of Jaemin's arms and leaves the room.
He leaves Jaemin alone in his bed, heading into Donghyuck's room, where he knows him and Mark are probably cuddling and enjoying their night. So, respectfully, he knocks, hoping that they'll say something quickly and maybe pull their hands out of each other's pants before Renjun walks in.
There's nothing worse than the feeling of interrupting your friends, but Renjun doesn't want Jaemin running after him right now, so he really hopes the two of them are just cuddling inside the room.
"Come in," he hears Donghyuck mumble.
Just like that, Renjun is pushing in the door and shutting it.
"Am I interrupting?" He can't help but ask.
Donghyuck looks like he had just been staring at a bright screen. Mark looks to be sleeping.
"No," Donghyuck whispers. "Mark's asleep though. What's wrong?"
Donghyuck's expression pulls into worry, like he's stretching it far and wide in order to peer at his friend, wondering if he's genuinely okay.
Renjun's not. Not now.
"Can I stay?"
Donghyuck's eyebrows lift as he processes that maybe Renjun and Jaemin fought because now he's watching Renjun walk forward with slouched shoulders and a trembling lip.
"Mark," Donghyuck whispers in his ear. "Can you scoot over. Renjun's here."
Mark doesn't say anything. He just sucks in a deep breath and obeys, moving over as he holds his arm out, snuggling Renjun closer.
When Renjun turns, he blinks sadly at Donghyuck, frowning a little when he sees how worried his friend is. He reaches out to stroke his cheek.
It's a promise he tries to make.
Jaemin pulls Renjun off to the side after one of their performances.
They're both sweaty, panting, dressed head to toe in tight clothing that they are probably ever so desperate to rip from their body so they can get into something comfortable.
Adrenaline is always thick in Renjun's blood after he performs, but having to make eye contact with Jaemin in the middle of it, having to be close to him for the choreography had thrown off his energy toward the end. He sighs upon being touched.
So, Jaemin releases his grip.
"I'm sorry," Jaemin states.
"For what?" Renjun looks at him.
His wrist burns from where Jaemin had touched him.
Not because he had gripped him too hard.
No, Jaemin never does that. Jaemin is soft with his touches, careful and delicate, making sure Renjun is comfortable before he gets close to him.
It burns because he remembers the way Jaemin's lips felt against his wrist bone, and the way his eyes read need and more. Now that he knows Jaemin wanted more, too, it burns even worse.
The flames in his stomach feel extreme. Renjun wants to whimper.
"I'm sorry that I gave up."
Then, Jaemin disappears down the hall.
That night when they're in their room is when Renjun approaches him again.
"You did well today, by the way," he smiles up at his friend.
He hates the way they've been acting.
His heart is going crazy. He likes Jaemin. He wants Jaemin, but for some reason there's too much between them. There's a thick line, a wall that they can't seem to knock down, and if Renjun can't get them past it, then he wants to break through the tension at least.
"You did too." Jaemin draws in a notebook from his bed. "Promotions end tomorrow, then supposedly we have the week off."
He's planning on spending it in bed, finding a new show to watch. He hasn't done it in a while, so he wants to stay comfortable, and maybe even go out when he isn't hanging around.
Jaemin smiles as Renjun tells him his plans.
It causes a blooming in his chest, warm and airy.
Jaemin is beautiful, even with his goofy grin and his tired eyes. He looks at Renjun and pays attention to every single word he says when he speaks about a show he had stared—stopped—and then started again. He even pays attention when he begins to talk about the plot.
There are butterflies in his stomach and in his chest when he watches Jaemin's smile grow wide onto his face. He blinks slowly, so slowly that Renjun nearly furrows his eyebrows and pouts as he's sure if Jaemin is going to fall asleep on him.
"I love you." Jaemin's words are so sudden, blurred out into the middle of the air that they almost get lost. He speaks slow, gentle and careful, eyebrows knitted as his smile falls, the sincere look being replaced.
Renjun just stares at him.
His breathing increases.
"You..." He says, but then he stops and shuts up when Jaemin sits at the edge of his bed.
Renjun matches him, both of them just feet apart.
Jaemin shrugs. He nods.
"I do," his breathing is heavy and slow, like his honesty is leaking through each letter in his words. "I'm so fucking sorry for the way I have been acting lately. But, yes, Renjun. I always have loved you, but I am in love with you. That's why I've been pulling myself away from you because I feared I stepped too far. I didn't want to ruin things but I couldn't help it. I don't want to hide my feelings from you because you're also my best friend, but I will do something if you want me to. I'll pull away if you want me to."
The light at the end of the tunnel has been reached. Renjun's chest rumbles with desire and warmth and he nearly tears up. It's not Jaemin's solid confession and Renjun knows that because he's stronger with his words. But, it's some sort of promise, a question almost that he's trying to ask.
"Do another." Renjun nearly begs.
Biting down hard on his lip, Renjun sucks in a deep breath.
"Cross off another on the list," Renjun whispers this time, looking up at the ceiling to avoid Jaemin's eyes.
Jaemin's expression lightens and Renjun sees it when he looks back at him. Especially when Jaemin walks forward to pull him into a hug, holding the side of his face as their cheeks press together.
"Does this mean you—Does this mean you want this too?"
Renjun runs his fingers along Jaemin's back, wide and even underneath his shirt to touch the warmth of his bare skin. He holds his grip there and hums near his neck, nosing under his ear.
"You have no idea," he whispers. "No idea, Jaemin."
Then Renjun feels himself in the air, all before he's pressed to the mattress again, giggling as he covers his own cheeks that are blushed a burning red. Jaemin's cheeks are red too and Renjun points them out. Jaemin only teases him back.
It's silly how Jaemin starts at his ankle. But of course he does.
He presses his lips to Renjun's ankle and makes the kiss as intimate as he possibly can, making Renjun slap a hand over his mouth to hide his laughter.
"You're beautiful, you know that?"
Renjun bites on the inside of his lips as Jaemin whispers sweeter words along his skin, soothing him.
"So damn beautiful," Jaemin adds. "Perfect. Someone beautiful who enjoys kisses on their ankle."
This time, Renjun pushes his foot forward to kick Jaemin in his thigh.
Jaemin pouts heavily and then whimpers out an apology. They both laugh.
The beauty in the moment is unreal, it's delicate and nothing like Renjun would have imagined it would be.
Usually, everything with Jaemin goes quick, but times like these seem to last forever. Gentle, and designed to make them both feel light, like they've landed on the clouds in the sky, like nothing exists but the two of them in Renjun's bed. Renjun holds every second close to his heart, knowing that Jaemin is laughing sincerely with him, knowing that Jaemin wants him, and knowing that Jaemin loves him.
Inside of the knee.
Jaemin's tongue presses flat to Renjun's skin as he holds his leg, fingers running along the sides of his thigh where his shorts have ridden up. He's appreciating every inch of Renjun's skin, making him sigh in response.
"Beautiful," he mumbles again, this time laying a few extra kisses along the exposed skin of his legs.
Renjun soon swallows the flames that are in this throat.
He wants Jaemin closer.
Hovered over him, body on top of him, skin against skin as they find who they really are together.
"Come here," Renjun whispers in a daze of needing him.
Jaemin follows, caging Renjun in as he lies a little between his legs.
Their faces are close, and Renjun can see every inch of Jaemin's skin, making his blush bloom even brighter. He thinks it's beautiful.
With his fingers touching Jaemin's cheeks, he leans in to kiss underneath his eyes, back arching slightly until their chests meet, making the hearts inside of them pick up speed as they find their rhythms together.
"Yours," Renjun tells him, watching the way Jaemin's eyes widen. "Yours, Jaemin."
The grin doesn't stop growing this time as he lifts his hand, fingertips delicate across the skin of Renjun's cheek. The nerves right under their skin are active, and Renjun thinks Jaemin feels like promises as he touches him, making him feel all the more wanted.
His thumb rolls over Renjun's bottom lip, and the older can't help but part his lips at the feeling of it, taking Jaemin's thumb into his mouth, thighs burning when Jaemin pushes it a little further.
Then, he pulls it out and brings his forehead to meet Renjun's.
"Don't do that." He's muttering as he speaks, like he does want it, but is unsure about speaking.
"Okay," he plays with the back of Jaemin's neck, with the hairs there.
"Slow," Jaemin encourages. "Because... yeah. Let's take it easy."
Renjun pinches his neck at Jaemin's hinting and his dramatic sighing.
"Will you kiss me, Renjun?" He asks. "Will you help me knock off that one spot on my list, at the very bottom that says—"
"Lips," Renjun hums, mouth only centimeters from Jaemin's. "Yes, of course I will."
Then, their mouths seal together.
As bad as Renjun wants to feel every inch of Jaemin in front of him and as bad as he wants to lick up into his mouth and learn how exactly Jaemin kisses in this spot, they go slow. Desperately slow, achingly slow to the point where Renjun even rolls his hips up to meet Jaemin's, making the boy release a low groan.
Oh, he likes that.
When Jaemin's hand sneaks under Renjun's waist, he chuckles into Jaemin's mouth, pulling on the ends of his hair.
"I love you too by the way."
Jaemin pulls away, meeting his lips one last time as he tickles his nose with his own.
"You amaze me," Jaemin whispers. "Do this with me, Renjun?"
With all the force in his body, Renjun forces Jaemin onto his back, sitting kindly on his waist as he meets his lips once.
A quick peck.
Then, he's at his neck, remembering the list that Jaemin had on his phone.
Renjun kisses there again.
Jaw. Jaw. Jaw.
Jaemin had written that one three times.
So, Renjun sucks hard there, flattening his tongue in the same way that Jaemin does against his own skin, so beautifully, hoping that it gives Jaemin the same kind of butterflies in his chest.
Jaemin just pushes his head back into the pillows and smiles, eyes tightly closed as he thumbs at Renjun's hip, right underneath his shirt.
It tingles there, much different than the familiar burn that Jaemin gives him. And maybe it's because this time Renjun knows that the touch will stay.
"I think you're so beautiful too, Jaemin. You've always been perfect in my eyes," he whispers at his jaw, tilting up to bring their lips together.
Jaemin only cups his cheeks and sucks in a harsh breath as he kisses him deeply, biting a little on Renjun's lip as he sighs into his mouth.
"Baby," he says.
"Hm?" Renjun responds.
Jaemin lets out an airy laugh at his response to the name. He'll never know how hard Renjun just reacted to it, though. Heat in his stomach, fluttering nerves.
"I want to appreciate every bullet point on that list of yours."
Renjun thumbs at Jaemin's cheek, admiring the boy who he loves, who he has grown to love more and more every day, and who he has loved for a long time. From his kindness to his touch, and his outstanding smile.
"Are you just gonna memorize it or something?" He jokes.
Jaemin stares at him like he's made out of gold.
"No Renjun, I don't want to memorize that list. I just want to memorize you, every part of you."