Johnny awkwardly fiddled with the beer in his hand as he anxiously tapped his foot on the ground. He was swarmed with a bunch of people, people he had never seen in his whole entire life. Everyone around him seemed to be having the time of their life, drinking, dancing, smoking, hooking up, immersed with whatever happened at college parties. People bumped into him wherever he went, drinks dangerously sloshing out of their cups and the place reeked of alcohol, sweat, and weed.
Johnny wasn’t no stranger to parties; he had his own string of stories, tales Mark like to call “legends” while Taeyong scoffed and called them his “dark pasts” that needed to be locked away in the back of his mind. Back when he was still an undergrad student, Johnny was always at the centre of the commotion, swinging his head back to take drink after drink, shot after shot, retching and gagging, all the while having the best time ever. He still liked to drink and have fun, but his poor body was asking to be seated, for less noise, and for more space.
To be quite honest, he didn’t even want to be here. He would have very much rather been at his own apartment, in his ratty sweatpants and hoodie, munching on some pizza on his couch while watching netflix instead of awkwardly sitting on a sofa at some random person’s house he didn’t know anyone at. Johnny had outgrown his wild, get-blackout-drunk weekends during his junior year of university and now as a graduate student, he was noticing the occasional cricks in his back, how tired and exhausted his body felt from a night out, and all other signs that were constantly reminding him of his age. He knows he’s not that old, but he sure felt old when he was dating a junior in university.
Johnny watched Doyoung, his beloved boyfriend from where he was seated. It was almost amusing to Johnny, how he was able to spot Doyoung almost immediately even when they were swarmed by so many people in the small space they were in. He watched the younger’s flushed face as he laughed out loud at something one of his friends said. He loved watching Doyoung, loved watching him laugh even when that laughter wasn’t for him. Doyoung didn’t have as much of a high alcohol tolerance as Johnny did, and Johnny could see that Doyoung was past buzzed and tipsy by now. Eyeing the red solo cup in his hand, Johnny bit back a sigh - he didn’t want to be here, surrounded by kids who were younger than him and far too energised for their own good, but he didn’t have the heart to leave a intoxicated Doyoung alone either.
Needless to say, it wasn’t Johnny that was invited to the party - Doyoung was invited by one of his friends, Kun, Johnny remembers hearing and that he wanted to drop by. Johnny wasn’t the type to be able to say no when people asked him to do something, and he especially wasn’t capable of resisting Doyoung and his pout.
“We’re going to a party,” Doyoung announced the second Johnny picked up the call. Johnny stifled a laugh as he caught his phone from sliding down his shoulder by pressing the side of his face onto his screen, while fumbling around with the papers he had to grade later this week.
“I said, we’re going to a party.” Doyoung said once again. Johnny was able to hear the sound of other people’s chatters on the other side of the phone - he knew Doyoung had probably just finished his last class of the day and decided to call Johnny as soon as he parted ways with his friends.
“I don’t think I’m invited?” Johnny tried, as he flashed a quick smile to the undergrad students who were in the class Johnny was a TA for. “You’re not, but I am. And if I’m going, you’re coming too.” Doyoung said simply, and Johnny had to suppress a groan. He really was tired, with all sorts of deadlines and papers he had to grade. He was looking forward to a quiet night in with Doyoung, watching a couple episodes of The Office together and cuddling on the couch until their legs fell asleep.
It was obvious from Doyoung’s tone that he had already decided Johnny’s plan for the night, and while Johnny was a strong willed and independent man, he was nothing but whipped for his younger boyfriend and he would have done anything to please him.
“I’m heading to yours now, see you in a little bit?” Doyoung said, and Johnny found himself agreeing and ending the call with their usual choruses of ‘I love you’.
Johnny sighed to himself as he closed his eyes, thinking about the pile of work he had to get done, as well as the amount of coffee and hours of sleep he was currently living on. He definitely wasn’t going to get piss drunk at some random undergrad party, and he also definitely wasn’t going to be able to get out of it. Doyoung, ever so sweet and wonderful, was headstrong and determined. He liked things to go according to plan, and if he planned their evening for them to go out, it was going to be like that.
Present Johnny sighed as his eyes dropped to the beer that was steadily emptying itself and also getting lukewarm in his hands. While there were some familiar faces here and there, he wasn’t sure how to approach them. He felt so old, so out of place at an undergrad party, especially when he knew some of these kids were probably underage and he was supposed to be condemning such behaviour. At the same time, he knew what it was like to be a freshman or sophomore, living on the thrill of having the freedom to do whatever the fuck you wanted without your parents looming over their head every damn second.
At least Doyoung seems happy, Johnny thought to himself as he found his lips turning into a fond smile at the sight of Doyoung laughing with his friends. He knew some of Doyoung’s friends like Jaehyun and Kun, but didn’t know most of the people he was currently surrounded by. As much as Johnny enjoyed seeing Doyoung smiling, he knew there was no one, not one single person in this whole goddamn house who saw Doyoung the way Johnny did. No one knew about how clingy Doyoung got when he was tired, how he liked to send selfies on self timer and suddenly spam Johnny in the middle of the day with his beautiful face. No one had probably seen the normally eloquent Doyoung babble, cry, yell, whine when he was upset or needy. No one knew Doyoung the way Johnny did, and probably, no one cared. But Johnny did.
Doyoung was special, to say the least. Johnny knew Doyoung was special, the ‘one’ for him the second they met; there weren’t fireworks or wedding bells ringing in the background, but Johnny felt it, he knew that they were meant to be. Johnny slung his head back as gulped down the rest of his lukewarm beer, setting down the can next to him.
Johnny perked up at the sound of his name, and he scanned the crowd to see who called his name. It definitely wasn’t Doyoung; Johnny would have noticed Doyoung’s voice from literally anywhere.
Johnny furrowed his eyebrows, as he tried to search for who it was calling his name. At the same time, he felt someone tap his shoulder. Surprised, Johnny turned around to see Mark standing there, a wide grin on his face.
“Johnny hyung! Didn’t think I’d see you here!” Mark said, his volume a little too loud for Johnny’s tired brain. Still, Johnny found himself smiling at the sight of the younger. Johnny and Mark grew up in the same neighbourhood, and he remembers young Mark trailing after him everywhere, asking Johnny and his friends to play with him. “Hey, Mark. Take it easy with that, yeah?” Johnny said, eyeing the red solo cup in Mark’s hand. The younger smiled sheepishly, as he swirled the contents in the cup.
“What brings everyone’s favourite TA, the esteemed Johnny Suh to an undergrad party?” Mark asked, and Johnny smiled, shaking his head. “Compliments aren’t going to boost your grade, Lee.”
Mark fake pouted before his face broke into a grin again. “But seriously dude, what are you doing here?” Johnny shrugged his shoulders, a tired smile growing on his lips. “Doyoung wanted to come.”
The younger hummed at the name, turning his head to scan the room for Doyoung. He quickly turned back to Johnny after he spotted the flushed Doyoung, a questioning look on his face. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Doyoung hyung a lightweight drinker?”
Johnny nodded, laughing a little. Mark also didn’t tolerate alcohol very well, and Johnny remembers the time when Doyoung and Mark stayed over at his childhood home and the two passed out after a couple of beers. “Is he alright?” Mark asked, a small frown falling on his face. “He’s fine, I’ll go get him when he starts whining out loud or something.” Johnny said.
Mark fell silent, and Johnny raised an eyebrow. Mark was staring at him, his eyes round and sparkly, the sides of his lips turned into a smile. “What?”
“No, just. You talk about Doyoung hyung with so much love, you know? It’s really cute.” Johnny felt heat rise to his cheeks, all the while Mark cooed and laughed. “It’s cute, hyung, really. When you talk about Doyoung hyung, your eyes get so warm and gooey.”
“Well, I can say the same about you when you’re with Lucas.” Johnny said, after regaining his composure. The effect was immediate, as Mark tensed up, his face flaring into a bright red, visible even in the dark lighting. “Wha- what are you-, I’m, Johnny hyung!” Mark whined out loud, his voice high pitched and breaking. Johnny laughed out loud at the sight of the embarrassed younger, while Mark groaned out loud.
Johnny felt better after speaking to (and teasing) Mark. He checked his watch, and almost sighed out loud when he saw it was nearing 2 am. He was tired, and he was sure he was going to drop dead on his bed the second he got home. But Doyoung still seemed immersed in his conversation with his growing number of friends, and all Johnny could do was watch from afar.
Doyoung was laughing, the beautiful, sweet laughter Johnny loved so much. Johnny honestly hates being here, wishes he were back home snuggling with Doyoung on his couch wearing his pyjamas than sitting on someone’s couch in jeans, but. Nothing mattered, especially when he could see Doyoung look so happy.
“You’re so in love, dude.”
Mark snorted, as he watched Johnny smile dreamily while staring at Doyoung. Johnny scoffed, rolling his eyes before tearing his gaze away from Doyoung to give a sideways glance at Mark. “And what about it? At least I’m not afraid of admitting it unlike someone.”
Mark stuttered, sputtering out loud before he slumped his shoulders and sighed. Johnny chuckled as he patted his shoulder. If there was anything Johnny liked more than Doyoung, it was teasing and getting a rise out of Mark.
It was less than thirty minutes later when Doyoung came stumbling towards Johnny, his arms flailing about and legs unsteady. As on cue, Johnny sprang to his feet to go steady the younger man. Doyoung relaxed the second he felt Johnny’s strong arms around his waist, letting his body go limp in his arms.
“Johnny,” Doyoung said again, slurred and voice light and dreamy. “I missed you. Where were you?” He said, snuggling his head in the crook of the taller man’s neck, inhaling the woodsy scent of his boyfriend. Johnny chuckled, trying to keep Doyoung standing on his own two feet. “I was talking to Mark, Doie.”
Furrowing his eyebrows, Doyoung lifted his head with much effort, looking for the doe-eyed boy. Mark gave a small wave when Doyoung’s eyes landed on him, while Doyoung lept from Johnny’s embrace to give a crushing hug to the smaller boy.
“Mark! You’re here!” Doyoung said, his voice high pitched and far too loud even amongst the crowd of people they were surrounded by. Mark nodded, his ears turning a little red at the sudden attention he was given. “You’re so cute,” Doyoung cooed, slumping next to Mark where Johnny was seated a few moments ago, pinching Mark’s cheek.
“Aaand, we’re out.” Johnny said, half groaning and smiling as he wrapped an arm around Doyoung’s waist, pulling him up before he began smothering Mark with kisses. To Mark’s surprise, Doyoung didn’t whine or complain, and was willingly lifted up to his feet by Johnny, immediately slumping on his boyfriend’s shoulder. Doyoung closed his eyes, half ready to fall asleep on Johnny’s shoulder while Johnny tried to keep him awake and walking.
“We’re going to take an uber home, but do you want to come with?” Johnny asked, looking at Mark while trying to adjust Doyoung’s rolling head on his shoulder. Mark shook his head, a fond smile on his face as he watched how comfortable Doyoung looked next to Johnny. “Nah, I’m good. Hyuck’s here somewhere and I’m waiting for… you know who.” Mark said, a blush creeping onto his face. Johnny smiled, bidding farewell to the younger as he maneuvered him and Doyoung out of the house.
“I want to sleep,” Doyoung drawled into the crook of Johnny’s shoulder as they entered Johnny’s apartment. Johnny grunted, flicking the light switch on, trying to keep a tight grip on Doyoung’s waist to keep him from toppling over. “I know Doie, but you should at least change.”
“Nooo, sleep…” Doyoung whined, throwing his arms around Johnny’s shoulder, trying to drag the elder with him onto the floor. “Doie, please, at least sleep on the bed not on the floor.” Johnny pleaded, struggling to keep Doyoung from lying down. Doyoung slept like the dead, and Johnny knew it would be impossible to wake him up after he fell asleep on the floor.
Johnny half carried his drunk boyfriend to his bedroom while Doyoung continued to whine loudly and pout, refusing to take two steps without Johnny holding onto him. After successfully stripping Doyoung from his jeans and sweater and into one of Johnny’s big hoodies and sweats (Doyoung refused to wear anything that didn’t smell like Johnny when he slept), Johnny helped Doyoung to fall on his bed.
“Night, Doie.” Johnny whispered to the half asleep Doyoung, running a hand through his hair and leaning in to kiss him on the forehead. At the same time, Doyoung pulled at Johnny’s arms and made the taller man fall on top of him, grunting at the heavy pressure.
“‘m sorry…” Doyoung whispered, while Johnny tried to pry himself off Doyoung, trying not to crush the man underneath him. “What about?”
“For making you come to the party… for leaving you alone… for getting drunk…” Doyoung slurred, pulling Johnny closer to him with strength that Johnny didn’t even know where it came from. Johnny gave up on trying to sit himself up, as he let himself fall on top of Doyoung.
“It’s okay, Doyoung. The only thing that matters is if you had fun or not. You did, right?” Johnny asked, his voice warm and filled with love. Doyoung nodded, pressing himself closer to Johnny. “But I missed you…”
Johnny chuckled as he craned his neck to kiss Doyoung’s forehead before knocking their foreheads together. “And I missed you.”
Although Doyoung’s eyes were closed and his hair was mussed up, the smile that stretched across his lips was enough to make Johnny’s heart clench. He loved Doyoung, loved to see his smile, loved it more when it was for him.
“I love you.” Doyoung whispered before he let go of Johnny, knowing his boyfriend wanted to clean up before he went to bed. “I love you, too.” Johnny whispered back, kissing the tip of Doyoung’s nose before he gently tucked Doyoung into bed, making his way into the bathroom.
Johnny knew, that Doyoung too, knew that his boyfriend didn’t like going to parties where he knew practically no one even if he was extroverted and sociable. But he also knew that Doyoung worried about him; he was a graduate student, drowning in his own papers and research, grading papers that weren’t his and also working part time. Doyoung wanted Johnny to take his mind off of everything that was stressing him out, which is why he dragged Johnny to a party. And it worked - although he wanted to go home half the time, he got to see Mark and keep his mind off of his work for a couple of hours.
After washing up, Johnny quietly padded back into his room, careful not to wake up his sleeping boyfriend. Putting the bedside lamp on, Johnny sat down on his side of the bed, watching Doyoung sleep for a couple of seconds.
“Thank you, Doyoung. For always watching out for me, taking care of me. I should be the one taking care of you, not because I’m older, but because you’re as busy as I am and you have so much on your plate, too. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t be more thankful for you, Doie.” Johnny knew Doyoung was fast asleep, but it was okay. He just wanted to let the words out, wanted to hear it for himself.
“Thank you Doyoung. I love you.” Johnny whispered before he crawled into bed, smiling when Doyoung immediately curled up next to him, intertwining their legs and resting his head on Johnny’s chest.