Their relationship was hard to label sometimes.
The confusion was mostly caused because of the way Hyukjae acted if Jongwoon showed him just a little bit of affection, because of the disgusted faces he would pull out even though he liked it – secretly, but no one knew that. Any attempt of giving him a hug, or just the thought of doing anything remotely nice to Jongwoon got him cringing. His behavior was almost like the one of a tsundere, if it needs a term.
It was impossible to count in their fingers the amount of times Hyukjae shied away from any touch, any hug or any attempt of kissing, putting on his most disgusted face he could muster, was almost stupid with how many times it happened. Or even the amount of times people would find him melting on Jongwoon’s embrace every time they thought no one would be around to find them in that position, or the way his smile turned happier if Jongwoon brushed his lips against his cheek was even more stupid. (What took the crown for the most stupid thing, though, was Hyukjae’s words whenever that happened. “What? I am just grabbing something that fell on the floor, we are not hugging!”, “He was just saying something! It is not what it seems!” )
It was very much clear that Hyukjae liked Jongwoon, and they knew that Jongwoon liked him back, even though Hyukjae liked to play it off like he disliked Jongwoon. Still, it seemed that no matter how many signals both were giving to each other unconsciously, how much Hyukjae changed around Jongwoon or how much Jongwoon seemed to be happier around Hyukjae, both refused – or never thought of – giving what they had an official label. While the reason was unknown and none of them ever said the reason, it seemed that for them, they were friends and it was enough.
But.. No one in their friends circle could consider them friends. What they had was too different from what two normal friends would have and friends do not “accidentally” kiss each other in the lips three times in a row and ignore it as if it was a normal thing without panicking. Yet, it was stupid to consider them boyfriends because neither of them made any move and Jongwoon had said countless times that nothing was going on and no one proposed shit, so referring to them as that was probably a death sentence if they ever found out.
So.. no one had any clue of what they were and what territory their relationship lied. Hyukjae liked it that way – Jongwoon, not so much.
You see, giving what they had a label would make things easier – but it was hard to do so when even they were unaware of what they were. Of course, there were moments they would act like boyfriends and kiss and just enjoy being with each other, but there were also moments it was just easier to slip back into the habits they had when their friendship was not a giant mess of uncertainty.
For Hyukjae, it sounded nice not giving it a label – it meant he could be a little reckless and give Jongwoon a bit more than he would normally want to, all while making sure they can go back to the ‘we are just friends’ territory in case anything backfired. It was a little painful and his heart would shatter bit by bit the more he gave and took because he realized what he was doing was making Jongwoon look a little bit down. Still, it felt scary and there were so many chances of it all going wrong that he continued, just so he could have a small taste of what dating Jongwoon would be like.
For Jongwoon, though, the uncertainty was painful – because when it was just the two of them and Hyukjae offered shy smiles, feather-like touches and gentle kisses and was so willing to give Jongwoon just a little more of his heart, it made Jongwoon feel like maybe, just maybe they could work if they tried. But then on the next day it would all go back to Hyukjae avoiding him and pretending to be disgusted by his kisses and he would give up on that easily. The give and take made Jongwoon struggle to not let those moments – those rare moments where Hyukjae liked to be with him – make him fall too deep, because he was afraid of what would happen to him and his little heart that beats too fast when Hyukjae was around if anything went wrong.
It all could be fixed if they just talked like the two adults they are, but something about opening up about their feelings just sounded so hard and awkward and it all could go wrong, they never felt strong enough to try and say what they wanted to say. Still, the what ifs, or just the mere thought of sitting down and letting it all out haunted them every time they would meet up, be it at Jongwoon's apartment or Hyukjae's, almost as if a dark, gloomy cloud was following them around and would grow bigger every time they were close to each other.
Sometimes, they drowned all these thoughts and questions with kisses, gentle touches, spending a whole afternoon in bed and doing what lovers do. Sometimes, if they felt less touchy, they would drown everything by sitting down and doing what friends – normal friends, at least – do, be it playing video games the whole day and drowning themselves with diet soda as if they were back to being two foolish teenagers with no idea of what to do in their lives or spend the whole afternoon talking about anything that would come to mind until one of them had to go home. Those moments did little to ease their own worries and thoughts, but they figured that it was okay – they still had a long time to think about it, to make sure they knew what to say and what to do.
Though, it all changed when during their give and take relationship, someone new was introduced to their little group of friends and unconsciously changed the way things between Hyukjae and Jongwoon worked slowly. They all welcomed Ryeowook in the best way possible and while he grew on the others fairly quickly, Hyukjae felt hesitant to accept him as readily as they did. The cause of it was because of Jongwoon spending more time with Ryeowook mainly because of their similar interest in some things and their similar taste to music, causing the moments where they spent time together turn more rare, less often than Hyukjae would like.
The addition of the new member caused their relationship – if it could even be called that – to get shaken, almost as if everything they had built through the years could crumble and fall apart with one small movement. Hyukjae feared he could lose Jongwoon for Ryeowook, but at the same time he wondered, what was there for him to lose? How dare he feel like he was losing Jongwoon, when none of them said where their relationship stands? Was he even allowed to feel
jealous.. uncomfortable like he was? No. He was not.
Yet he still felt upset – a little angry, even, because now Jongwoon was hugging Ryeowook and touching him and it should be him getting his attention and hugs and touches, not Ryeowook. Jongwoon was supposed to be with him, holding him and kissing him and giving him parts of his heart that Hyukjae would keep safely with him while he took from Hyukjae as much as he wanted, because that was what they were doing for years but he was not there and.. ah. With how shaken their relationship was and with how things were going, Hyukjae could feel that it would be ending soon. It was a scary feeling – it was painful and it made an uneasy feeling settle inside of him and grow the longer this was going because would he finally lose Jongwoon after so long? It was a matter of time when Jongwoon would finally give up on him and when it happens, what will happen to him and his feelings?
His heart was shattering a little more and the fear was starting to grow and turn into something painful and uglier – now, the dark cloud was floating above his head and affecting his mood so much it was causing him to enter into a territory he disliked. The pain in his heart was unbearing sometimes and there were times it would leave him wide awake at night, his head torturing him by thinking of countless solutions that he could do to change this. Still, he did nothing, afraid of what Jongwoon would say and do and the possible rejection that would come with it. It was okay if he was in pain – he could accept and deal with it, as long as Jongwoon was fine and happy.
Still, the storm was forming and would soon start raging. While Jongwoon was blissfully unaware of it, Hyukjae was not sure of how to stop it and could already feel the headache he would get from the whole situation once it crashed down. Things were inevitably going to boil over and Hyukjae could only hope his feelings would be at bay and not too hard to handle when it happens.