"Morning, Noo Hyung."
Sunoo looked up from his book, a soft smile on his lips when he saw his sleepy blond best friend waddle up to the tree he was sitting under, plopping himself down beside him. The boy dropped his head into his Hyung's shoulder as if hiding from the sun. It was a nice sunny day, Sunoo liked it a lot, but clearly, his friend wasn't exactly having the time of his life.
"Hi Ni-ki," The older boy chuckled. "Did you sleep late again?"
"Yeah," The younger hummed and glanced over at the book in the other's lap, scoffing when he read the top of the page. "Really? Studying at this time of day?"
"I have a test later, I can't slack off, jeez, not everyone is like you," Sunoo rolled his eyes as he shut the book he was holding, sliding it back into his lap. He wasn't wrong. It honestly amazed him that the younger placed top of his class every year considering he rarely ever studied and barely had any idea what was happening around him. Yet somehow he had managed to get himself a scholarship and graduate early, enrolling into the same university and year as Sunoo.
"You're right, I'm just a genius," Ni-ki grinned and shot the older boy a wink, slowly sobering up as they talked. "Anyways, I promised Wonie Hyung I'd be joining him for lunch today. Are you sure you don't wanna come sit with us?"
"And have to sit through the two of you being gross? No thank you, I'll go find Jake Hyung," Sunoo scoffed and shook his head.
'Wonie' was none other than Yang Jungwon or Ni-ki's boyfriend. Sunoo had only briefly met the boy when the two started dating at the beginning of the year, choosing to avoid sitting with him and his friends. Jungwon was a sweet kid, but frankly, his friends intimidated Sunoo more than he liked to admit. The first was Park Sunghoon, a popular ice skater who was part of the same department as Sunoo. He had never interacted with him before but the older boy exuded so much iciness that Sunoo didn't particularly feel like talking to him. The second was Park Jongseong (or Jay as he preferred to be called), an absolute heartthrob who appeared stony at first glance but was actually quite sweet. He was in the business department so Sunoo didn't interact with him much, however, they've talked once when he was lost trying to find Sunghoon in the performing arts department.
The last member of the group was the one and only Lee Heeseung. A third-year who was in Sunoo's exact subunit in performing arts, music. The older man was very popular in the faculty for his skills. But that wasn't the only reason he was popular. Heeseung was known to be one of the sweetest, most kind-hearted, and gentle people on the planet. He never hesitated to lend others a helping hand and a dazzling smile when asked. Not to mention his gorgeous brown bambi eyes, beautiful nose, perfectly pink lips, and a gorgeous smile that revealed the most stunning teeth. He was tall and lean, dressed very clean and sophisticated, his black hair always perfectly styled and tousled with intention.
If it wasn't obvious, Sunoo was absolutely whipped for the man even though they had never talked or even smiled at each other at any point in time. Any normal person would've jumped at the chance to talk to Heeseung and Sunoo had the ideal chance to do so with Ni-ki and Jungwon getting together, but he didn't want to. He was afraid. He himself didn't know why he was so scared to interact with the stunning man, but all he wanted was to simply admire from afar.
Ni-ki smiled in amusement and cooed, "Stop using that as an excuse~ we both know damn well it's because you're too shy to be around Heeseung Hyung."
"Don't even start with me right now," Sunoo scrunched his nose distastefully although he couldn't help the dusting of pink that decorated his cheeks as his thoughts drifted to the god-like man who lived rent-free in his mind at all times. "I do not wanna talk about him."
"Please just come with me later and talk to him for god's sake, Noo Hyung," Ni-ki groaned, moving to sit in front of Sunoo so they were face to face, a pleading expression on his features.
"I don't want to. I'm okay with having you and Jake Hyung, I don't need more friends."
Frustrated, Ni-ki gave the older's knee a light smack as he huffed, "This is why you'll never get a boyfriend. Heeseung Hyung is literally the nicest man on the planet, you two will get along so well."
"And that's what scares me. Plus he's popular, I don't want his fan club to hunt me down," Sunoo joked in an attempt to lighten the mood, Ni-ki simply giving him a pointed look as he spoke, "Hyung, you're literally equally as popular. Stop being dumb and come have lunch with me."
"Please! Just once! Plus it's not just for Heeseung Hyung, the others want to meet you too," Ni-ki begged, desperation practically dripping from his voice as he shot the other the most adorable puppy eyes he could muster.
Sunoo sighed and looked away. This conversation was pretty much a part of their daily routine at this point, the conclusion usually with a final no from Sunoo, the younger left crestfallen. He felt bad for always rejecting Ni-ki's offer.
Reluctantly, he looked back up at Ni-ki and half-heartedly murmured, "If I go with you this once, promise me you won't pester me about this again, okay?"
Ni-ki immediately perked up, pure excitement shining in his sparkly brown eyes. "I promise! Oh my gosh thank you, Hyung!! They're gonna be so happy, oh my god!" he rambled, fingers rapidly tapping away on his phone, most likely letting his boyfriend know that Sunoo would be joining them. "I'll get Sunghoon Hyung to pick you up after class, is that okay?"
"I guess," Sunoo shrugged, not particularly bothered. He just needed to figure out how he'd survive that lunch without making a complete fool of himself around Heeseung.
"Thank you so much Sunoo Hyung, I promise you'll have a great time," Ni-ki said after putting his phone away, a bright smile still on his lips.
Sunoo sighed and nodded, "Mhm. We'll see."
Sunoo was in a shitty mood.
He had been stressing about the stupid lunch all damn day that he could barely focus on his test, leaving the exam room near tears. Then during a practical vocal session, he struggled with notes that were usually a piece of cake for him to hit. And now to make matters worse, he was waiting on Park Sunghoon to come find him outside the faculty building. It would've been fine if it was Ni-ki, as he would've ranted to his best friend on the way to wherever they would eat and he'd feel better within minutes. But for the sake of a civil lunch, he had to put on a mask and pretend he was fine. He didn't want to come off as a whiny bitch from the get-go. Thankfully Sunoo was a good enough actor to make it work.
"Kim Sunoo-ssi?" A polite voice asked, the blond looking up to the source, his eyes meeting a pair of curious but gentle brown eyes that belonged to none other than Park Sunghoon.
The boy stood in front of him in all his glory, dressed in a pair of fitted black jeans to emphasize his insanely long legs, a black t-shirt tucked in them to show off his slim waist, an oversized blazer finishing off the look. Sunoo understood why the other had so many fans. There was no denying that Sunghoon was insanely handsome.
Not as handsome as Heeseung.
Sunoo forced himself to wipe all thoughts of Heeseung from his mind, nodding in response to Sunghoon with a sweet smile on his lips as he responded to the taller male, "Mhm! It's nice to meet you Sunghoon-ssi."
"No need to be so formal, Hyung is fine," Sunghoon chuckled, a soft smile of his own materializing on his lips. "Any friend of Ni-ki is a friend of ours. Plus he talks very highly of you, we've all been dying to meet you for ages."
"Ah, you could've just approached me, we're in the same department," Sunoo spoke up, his voice having a slight whiny tinge to it as he looked up to the taller male.
Sunghoon laughed and shook his head slightly, shrugging a little at the statement. "I don't know, I'm not a particularly social person and there was never really an appropriate occasion for us to talk, so we kinda just left it up to Ni-ki to bring you one day," he explained, gesturing behind him. "Shall we get going? Ni-ki and Won are waiting for us, Jay and Heeseung Hyung are probably gonna be late, they usually are."
The pair started to walk together, Sunoo keeping his eyes on his feet to avoid all the stares they were receiving. Ni-ki wasn't wrong when he said Sunoo was popular. The boy was very well-known on campus for his beautiful vocals and his gorgeous visuals. Sunoo knew he was well-known, but so was the man he was walking with. The two were never seen together so it wasn't a surprise that people were staring.
The pair walked together across their campus, talking and giggling as if they've been friends for ages. Contrary to his original perception of Sunghoon, the boy was nowhere near the icy person he assumed he was. He was someone with a light heart, someone who was easy to talk to, very sweet and bubbly, and also unintentionally funny. Without realizing it, talking to Sunghoon had pulled him out of his mood from earlier.
"You know I used to find you scary, Sunghoon Hyung," Sunoo admitted as they approached the cafe the group had chosen to eat at. It was a cute little cafe right outside their campus that sold some of the cutest cakes Sunoo had ever seen. He and Ni-ki made sure to visit at least once a week to share their favorite cakes.
"Yeah, I get that a lot," Sunghoon snorted, shaking his head slightly as he held the cafe door open for the younger, walking in after him. "I don't blame you, it's the introvert in me."
Sunoo was about to respond when he heard his best friend call out, "Noo Hyung!!"
He perked up when he saw Ni-ki waving at him from a large booth near the back. He waited for Sunghoon to enter the store as well before following him to the table. "Hi Ni-ki," he hummed and slid into the empty side of the booth before Sunghoon could, the taller boy shooting him a faux look of offense as he slid in after him.
Ni-ki watched the exchange with a raise of his brow, confused by the interaction. As far as he knew the duo had never met before this moment. To see the introverted Hyung open up to Sunoo so quickly was definitely new.
"Y'know I half expected you to not show up and ditch," The youngest spoke, Sunoo shooting him a glare in response.
"I'm not that much of an ass! I promised you I'd be here and I keep my promises thank you very much," Sunoo retorted before turning to Jungwon who was opposite him with a sweet smile. "Hi Jungwon-ah, it's nice seeing you again. I love your hair!"
The last time Sunoo saw Jungwon was when Ni-ki first introduced him as his boyfriend, the boy was shy and adorable, his hair still a natural black. The boy in front of him now, although still adorable, seemed a lot more confident, his hair a warm auburn color. It suited him, Sunoo thought.
"Ah thank you, Hyung! I love the blond on you! You look super pretty!" Jungwon spoke with a bright smile, his dimples showing up, a characteristic that many of the boys in this friend group seemed to possess. He wasn't lucky enough to be a part of that team.
"Thank you," Sunoo smiled shyly, watching as Jungwon leaned into Ni-ki's side, the youngest's arm moving around his shoulders to cuddle him close. Sunoo was happy for them. He wanted nothing more than to see Ni-ki happy and truly this is the happiest he's ever seen. Plus Jungwon was one of the purest souls on the planet so he was all about the relationship. But he'd be lying if he didn't admit that seeing them together always left a lingering bitterness in the bottom of his heart. He'd always wanted to have someone like this in his life. He wanted to be held and kissed and loved too. He wanted Heeseung.
A gag broke him out of his thoughts, causing him to look up at Sunghoon who was pretending to be disgusted by the couple. "Thank god for you Sunoo, I don't think I would've survived sitting here alone with those two dumbasses," the older boy scoffed, playfully.
“They're a little insufferable but I think they're super cute," Sunoo spoke with a shake of his head, his fingers lightly toying with the edge of his mint sweater.
Ni-ki snorted at their words but didn't comment on them, instead asking, "When did you two get so close anyway?"
"Like just now," Sunoo shrugged, his eyes dropping down to look at the hem of the fabric he was tugging between his fingers. "Sunghoon Hyung is really friendly. You should've told me!"
"I did! You were just a stubborn bitch," Ni-ki scoffed, a whine leaving his lips when Jungwon pinched his cheek.
"Don't be mean to Sunoo Hyung," he scolded the youngest of the group.
"Yeah don't be mean to me," Sunoo teased, a smug smile on his lips to which his best friend simply glared at him in return.
"Y'all suck," Ni-ki huffed.
Sunoo looked up at the new voice, recognizing it as Park Jongseong or Jay as he preferred to be called. The older boy was standing by the booth, dressed in his signature tucked in white button-up and black jeans combo, his dark hair tousled as if he'd just ran his fingers through it. He was wearing his round specs, which weren't a part of his usual outfits but Sunoo thought they suited him.
"They were bullying me," Ni-ki responded, Jungwon simply shaking his head and humming, "He was mean to Sunoo Hyung first."
Jay chuckled and waved politely at Sunoo, sliding into the booth beside Sunghoon as he spoke, "Hey, I'm Jay, it's nice to properly meet you~"
"Nice to meet you too Jay Hyung," Sunoo smiled and gave the other a bow of his head, leaning his head against the wall as Jay explained to Ni-ki when he had first met Sunoo.
The younger boy had been leaving class one day when he ran into a frazzled Park Jongseong, glancing down at his phone then at all the classrooms, clearly overwhelmed and confused. Sunoo noticed how no one else was offering to help so he decided to steel his nerves and approach him. At that point, he only knew Jay as Sunghoon's intimidating friend so he was a little nervous, but he was also an extrovert who truly didn't have much of an issue when approaching people who weren't Lee Heeseung. The confused boy he was met with was simply lost trying to find Sunghoon's classroom so Sunoo led him to the correct room, the two engaging in a light-hearted conversation that Sunoo initiated to make Jay comfortable and calm his nerves.
Ni-ki turned to Sunoo with an accusatory look and said, "The fact that I never heard about this is actually heartbreaking."
"I didn't think it was that revolutionary!" Sunoo argued with a shrug.
"Why are you my best friend again?"
"Because you love me."
"It's not unfortunate, Sunoo's a great friend," Sunghoon butt into the conversation, a playful smile on his lips as he held his hand up to Sunoo for a high-five which the boy gave him, giggles falling out of his lips.
"Please Hyung we literally just met," Sunoo laughed.
Sunghoon grinned and nodded. "I'm aware~ But you're a lot of fun to be around."
Flustered, Sunoo looked down at his hands, a red tint appearing on his cheeks at the compliment. He was used to hearing lots of praise about his musical abilities and looks, but hearing someone speak highly of him as an individual was uncommon. But it felt nice. He felt appreciated.
The boys conversed for a few minutes, Sunoo surprisingly having more fun than he thought he would. None of the boys were scary at all. Sunghoon was so incredibly fun now that he has fully opened up, bickering and messing around with Sunoo who was more than happy to return the favor. Jay was definitely as nice as Sunoo remembered, their conversations always pleasant. The man was super caring and sweet, giving Sunoo his undivided attention when he was talking. Jungwon was still an adorable pure human, although Sunoo could tell Ni-ki's mischievous nature had rubbed off on him in one way or another.
"Where's Heeseung Hyung?" Ni-ki whined, distracting Sunoo from whatever he was talking to Sunghoon about. "I'm so hungry already."
Hearing the older man's name brought back Sunoo's nerves, his fingers slipping back to fiddle with the edge of his sweater in his lap. He didn't want to say that he dreaded finally meeting him, but he absolutely dreaded meeting him. He was scared he'd make a complete fool of himself. Usually, just one look at Heeseung from across the plaza outside their building would bring butterflies to his stomach and make him lose track of his thoughts.
"He should be here soon, I tried dragging him with me before picking up Sunoo but he insisted on finishing off whatever he was working on first," Sunghoon responded, glancing down at his phone for the time.
"Why is he like this, please, I'm so hungry," The youngest huffed, his boyfriend smiling up at him and patting his chest comfortingly. "Don't worry Ni-ki~ he'll be here eventually. He would've texted if he wasn't coming," he consoled the boy, turning to smile apologetically at Sunoo. "Sorry about that though, you're probably hungry as well."
"Oh, I'm actually fine! I had a small snack before my previous class so don't worry too much about me," Sunoo shook his head as he reassured the two youngest that he was fine, the two not being able to get a word in as a figure approached the table, panting as if he'd just run a marathon.
"Sorry, I'm late!"
Sunoo froze. He could recognize that voice from miles away. Heeseung had arrived. He swallowed sharply to force his nerves away, glancing up at the eldest with a soft polite smile that almost faltered when he looked at him.
Saying that Heeseung looked stunning would be an understatement. His gorgeous black hair was windswept backward, most likely from him running to make it here as fast as he could, his doe eyes sparkling with curiosity and excitement, his cheeks slightly flushed from the run, lips curled into a dazzling smile. He was dressed in a loose blue button-up tucked into a pair of fitted gray jeans that highlighted his beautiful figure, a simple outfit, but Sunoo thought he looked amazing regardless.
If Sunoo wasn't completely in love before, he was now.
"Did you run?" Jay chuckled, lightly fanning the eldest's face as the man set down his bag and slid into the booth beside Ni-ki.
"Yeah," Heeseung smiled sheepishly. "I lost track of time, I didn't realize till it was too late."
Ni-ki rolled his eyes and playfully smacked his shoulder saying, "You made Noo Hyung wait~ What a great first impression."
Heeseung's eyes lit up at the mention of Sunoo's name and he turned to face him, waving excitedly at him. "Hi! I'm Lee Heeseung, it's a pleasure to finally meet you."
Sunoo felt his heartbeat pick up, forcing himself to maintain eye contact, although he couldn't help the shy blush that crept up his neck. "Kim Sunoo, It's a pleasure to meet you as well," he spoke, a timid smile making its way onto his lips.
From the corner of his eye, he could see Ni-ki grinning smugly, most likely to tease him about this moment later.
"I hope you'll feel comfortable enough to join us for lunch more often," Heeseung chuckled, the sound light and airy but it warmed Sunoo's heart. "Ni-ki truly doesn't shut up about you every time he comes."
"Because Sunoo's great," Sunghoon grinned and lazily draped his arm around the boy's shoulder, the other's embarrassed flush simply darkening in response.
"Oh? You two are close?" Heeseung questioned, raising a brow at the two, although his eyes were still warm and friendly without a hint of judgment. But there was a touch of an odd unreadable emotion lingering in his eyes that scared the younger a little.
Tucking the thought away, Sunoo couldn't help but giggle and shake his head slightly, lightly pushing Sunghoon away. "Hyung we literally met half an hour ago, please," he spoke.
"So? It's a soulmate thing," Sunghoon scoffed with a shake of his head as well, removing his arm from around Sunoo to hand him a menu.
"Anyways food time! I'm so freaking hungry," Ni-ki interrupted the conversation, shooting a glare at Heeseung. "And that's completely your fault."
"Sorry," Heeseung grinned, not a hint of apology in his tone as he skimmed over a menu, his tongue slightly poking the inside of his cheek as he thought about what to get.
Sunoo was going to lose his mind. Heeseung was gonna drive him crazy and he wasn't even aware of it. Every little thing he did was so incredibly attractive and seeing it up close was a bit too much for his weak heart to handle.
Taking in a deep breath, the boy looked down at the menu he was handed, mainly to distract himself since he already knew what he wanted. He always got the same thing; a mint choco milkshake and a monte cristo sandwich. He looked up at Ni-ki after calming himself down, a pleading look in his eyes to which the other immediately said, "No."
"But Ni-ki!" Sunoo whined, an adorable pout on his lips. "You forced me to come."
"Nuh-uh, you decided to come," Ni-ki shook his head right away, refusing to fall for Sunoo's irresistible gaze.
"What's up?" Sunghoon asked curiously, his expression visibly softening when he scanned Sunoo's face. "Now how could you resist that? He looks so cute!" he cooed, fingers gently poking the younger's adorably round cheeks.
"Because he does this every time," Ni-ki snickered and shook his head. "He doesn't like ordering."
"I'll order for him," Heeseung offered, Sunoo immediately shaking his head in response.
"No no it's okay Heeseung-ssi, I can't ask that of you," He said quickly, eyes moving from Sunghoon to meet Heeseung's, his cheeks heating up under the pale skater's fingers.
Sunghoon's expression turned from confusion at the sudden heat under his fingertips to realization, a mischievous glint in his eyes as he watched the pair. Everything made so much sense to him now but he was going to grill Sunoo about it later.
"Don't worry about it Sunoo-yah. I'm on the edge anyway so Jay and I would be ordering regardless," Heeseung smiled and shook his head. "Also Hyung is fine~ there's no need to be so formal."
Sunoo nodded shyly and looked up at Sunghoon, humiliation taking over his mind when he realized that the older had noticed his obvious feelings for the eldest of the group.
"Don't," he mumbled, Sunghoon laughing as he dropped his hands from the tomato-faced boy, nodding at his warning before saying, "Alright Sunoo~ what's your order? I'll pass it on to Jay."
Soon the two eldest had left with a list of orders, Sunghoon immediately turning to Sunoo when they were out of earshot saying, "You like Heeseung Hyung and you've been avoiding us because of that, am I right or am I right?"
"Hyung!" Sunoo squeaked, his cheeks lighting on fire once again while his best friend fell into a fit of laughter.
"Yeah," Ni-ki spoke in between giggles, lightly shaking his head. "He was also terrified of you. He thought you were scary."
"Mhm I've been told," Sunghoon grinned and gently ruffled Sunoo's blond hair before adding, "I'd confess to Heeseung Hyung if I were you."
Sunoo shot the other a deadpanned look, his cheeks still very much a deep cherry red. "I've literally never talked to that man before today, I would never."
"But what if Hyung likes you back?" Ni-ki groaned, obviously having heard his best friend complain about his unrequited love for way too long.
"He's never met me, why would he?"
"You've never met him and you like him," Jungwon chimed in, rendering Sunoo speechless. After all, he wasn't wrong. Sunoo had been drawn to Heeseung from the very first day at university. The first time he encountered Heeseung was when he was introducing the faculty to all of the new students, but Sunoo wasn't focused on his words, instead drinking in the beautiful boy's features and sweet voice.
He'd been whipped since day one.
“Well either way, just drop it, I don’t wanna do anything about it anyway so end of discussion,” Sunoo huffed and patted his cheeks in an attempt to calm himself down, his blush dying down by the time the older two had taken their seats again.
Sunoo avoided looking up at Heeseung, opting to engage himself in a conversation with his best friend and his adorable boyfriend. The trio talked for a while before Ni-ki joined the conversation the older three were having, successfully dragging Sunoo and Jungwon with him as well.
“Oh, what’s this about?” Ni-ki asked curiously, Sunoo turning to lean against the wall so he could see everyone, his eyes landing everywhere except on the beautiful boy beside his best friend.
“Heeseung Hyung’s coursework this year,” Jay hummed, his hand moving up to push his dark locks out of his eyes as he added, “I thought he would be asking Geonu Hyung again but he’s not.”
Sunoo was surprised at that. Every year, the music department issued coursework to the music production students in which they had to produce a song. Heeseung was known for always passing with flying colors, his songs featuring his cousin Lee Geonu who was a very capable vocalist.
Jungwon perked up at that and gasped, “Oh?? Are you going to sing this year, Hyung?”
Sunoo couldn't help but look over at Heeseung, his surprise doubling at the question, especially when Heeseung smiled bashfully, his cheeks turning a soft red. Sunoo’s heart was going to combust. The other looked so incredibly soft and ethereal, Sunoo couldn’t believe he was real.
“Ah I have to, it’s a duo project this time and Geonu isn’t available because he’s helping his girlfriend out with her song,” Heeseung explained, his hand moving up to gently rub the back of his neck, the rest nodding in understanding.
“Who do you plan on asking this year?” Sunghoon asked curiously, but didn’t get a response as a waitress dropped off their drink, a bright smile making its way onto Sunoo’s lips as he took his milkshake.
Mint chocolate was probably his favorite thing in the whole world. The color mint was his favorite color, plus he just thought the two flavors meshed together beautifully.
“Please your mint choco obsession is not it,” Ni-ki gagged, sipping his vanilla latte with a satisfied hum.
Sunoo scoffed and flipped his best friend off saying, “You just have the taste buds of a child.”
“I am a child.”
“Not my point.”
The two continued to bicker over their food tastes, Jungwon eventually interrupting them so he could ask, “Okay Heeseung Hyung, who do you plan on asking? I’m curious and I can’t bear to listen to those two anymore.”
Heeseung laughed as the best friend duo glared at each other, not having the heart to say anything to the cute boy who insulted them. No one ever had the heart to be mean to Jungwon, he was simply too cute.
"Honestly, I've been meaning to ask you, Sunoo," The eldest spoke once everyone had calmed down, Sunoo's eyes widening as they snapped up to meet Heeseung's. He was surprised to find nothing but warmth and hope in his eyes.
"Me?? But I'm not as experienced of a singer yet," The younger spoke, shaking his head slightly. "I mean I'd be honored to help but are you sure?"
Heeseung chuckled and nodded, "Yes I'm sure. I've heard nothing but praise from the professors so I have total faith in your abilities."
"Then I'll help," Sunoo hummed, a yelp leaving his lips when Ni-ki kicked him underneath the table.
"I'm proud of you Noo Hyung! You're gonna be famous!" The boy joked, receiving a dirty look in return from his best friend.
Heeseung smiled and shook his head, glancing at Ni-ki as he said, "Ni-ki do add Sunoo to the group chat," before directing his attention back to Sunoo, a warm smile on his lips. "I'll text you about this later, okay?"
"Okay," Sunoo nodded timidly, looking back down at his milkshake, his mind racing. Everything was a little too much to take in at that very moment.
"I'm gonna die," Sunoo wailed as he flopped onto his bed beside his best friend, the younger boy simply laughing at his pain.
"Stop being dramatic! You saw how nice he was!" Ni-ki snickered, crossing his legs underneath him.
Sunoo flipped onto his back as he pouted up at Ni-ki. "You don't understand. Just his presence makes my heart hurt so bad Ni-ki I won't survive this at all."
"But it's an amazing opportunity! Like friendship aside, do you know what having a song written by Lee Heeseung will mean for your career?? You can't give this opportunity up, Hyung."
"I suppose you're right," Sunoo mumbled, his fingers picking at his sweater, a nervous habit he was exhibiting way too often today. "It's still scary. I don't want to disappoint him."
Ni-ki was quiet for a few moments, Sunoo feeling his fingers start to toy with his hair, the older of two visibly relaxing at the comforting sensation. "If Heeseung Hyung chose you out of every other singer that means he sees potential in you that he doesn't see in others. You should have more faith in yourself, Noo Noo. You honestly are a phenomenal singer and I wish you could see what the rest of the world sees."
Sunoo nodded slightly at his best friend's words, his heartwarming but also aching in his chest. He didn't know what he had done to deserve such an amazing friend. Although the two bickered so much that a bystander would assume they didn't like each other, the pair were like brothers. They've known each other since Ni-ki was five and Sunoo was seven. The younger boy had moved to Korea from Japan after his parents' divorce as his mother felt like she needed to escape the pressure of being in Japan. She and Sunoo's mother were friends, meeting on Sunoo's parents' honeymoon in Japan a few years back but they had kept in contact frequently. So the mother and son had stayed at their home for a few years until the woman had gotten her life back on track and was able to support her son. Ni-ki was a very shy little boy, but Sunoo managed to break his shell very quickly, the two quickly becoming each other's best companions; they shared a bed, played together, studied together, ate together. That was when the nickname Noo Noo came to be. Sunoo loved it and even now with the two of them all grown up, it still made him soft. The pair's friendship never faded over the years, Ni-ki a common presence in the Kim household that even Sunoo's mother called him her son.
Sunoo was about to answer when his phone started to ring, the boy glancing over with a confused stare. He didn't usually receive calls, not even from Ni-ki. The boy hated talking on the phone, always opting for text.
"Should I ignore it?" he contemplated, picking up the device to see it was an unknown number.
"Just answer, it could be important," Ni-ki hummed, fingers still threading through Sunoo's soft blond hair.
Reluctantly, the older boy accepted the call and brought the phone to his ear politely asking, "Hello?"
Panicked, the boy sat upright, nearly bashing Ni-ki's chin with his skull but the younger boy's reflexes were faster, leaning away from Sunoo with a snicker as he realized who had called.
'Heeseung Hyung,' Sunoo mouthed, his cheeks already starting to redden. Oh no.
"Hi, Heeseung Hyung," The older of the two spoke, his voice cheerful and collected, a complete opposite to his clearly frazzled eyes and fidgeting fingers.
"Sorry if this was out of nowhere, I just got a little impatient," Heeseung chuckled, the sound so soft on his ears, melting away all his worries.
Sunoo shook his head slightly as if the other could see him as he hummed, "It's not a problem honestly I wasn't doing anything better. But what are you impatient for?"
"I wanted to talk about the project. Well sort of, I just want to get a grasp of our chemistry to see what sort of direction I should go so I was wondering if you wanted to come to my studio tomorrow after your classes?" Heeseung suggested, the hope in his voice evident to Sunoo that he couldn't say no even if he wanted to.
Being alone with Heeseung was a prospect that terrified him. But he had to deal with it since he'd promised to help him.
Feeling his cheeks warm even further, he nodded to himself as he inquired, "Sure thing! Is there anything I need to prepare beforehand?"
"No no! It's nothing formal honestly I just wanna get to know you better," The older spoke, Sunoo could practically sense his grin from over the phone. "Just bring your cute little face and beautiful voice and it should be all good."
Sunoo's eyes widened, more red spilling onto his already incredibly red face as he responded with, "Alrighty! I'll see you tomorrow?" It surprised him just how deceptively calm he sounded.
"See you tomorrow, Sun."
Sunoo smacked a hand over his mouth as he hung up, the phone practically falling from his hand as he looked up at his best friend.
"Oh my god Ni-ki," he breathed, eyes sparkling with excitement. "Oh my god!"
"What did he say??" The younger asked, feeling very much nosy. He would've asked to put the call on speaker if he could but he didn't want to intrude too much on the conversation.
"He wants to hang out tomorrow, he called me cute and gave me a nickname!" Sunoo gushed, hand still muffling his words although Ni-ki got most of it, putting two and two together pretty quick.
"How did so much happen in a thirty-second call, what the hell," Ni-ki asked incredulously, a hand moving up to scratch the back of his neck as he watched his best friend calm down from the initial shock of the situation.
Sunoo was elated. He'd always been terrified of meeting Heeseung, but maybe things would go better than he expected. Feeling optimistic, he looked over at Ni-ki with a bright smile and hummed, "Do you wanna go get bungeoppang? My treat."
"Damn did talking to him magically make you generous?" Ni-ki joked but was already on his feet tugging one of Sunoo's more oversized jackets on. Although two years younger, the boy was significantly taller than Sunoo so he could only steal certain items from him. Not that Sunoo minded, he has no issues with Ni-ki using his belongings.
"No my dear bestie, it's because you're gonna be helping me plan an outfit for tomorrow," Sunoo shot his best friend a sickly sweet smile, the other groaning dramatically in distaste. "Don't be a drama queen, you literally love dressing me."
"Used to! I'm too lazy for that now."
"A little too early to be lazy, no?"
The next day passed by in a blur. He hadn't run into any of his new friends at all, but that didn't particularly matter. His mind was hyper-fixated on his hangout with Heeseung. The hangout he was currently headed to. The beautiful boy had sent Sunoo instructions on where to go to find the on-campus studio that Heeseung called his own. Technically no student was allowed to take over a university studio, but the professors adored Heeseung and his abilities so much that they gave him the keys to this studio and told him to do as he pleased with it.
The walk to the room was nerve-racking. Sunoo didn't know what to expect. Being with Heeseung with Ni-ki and their friends was different from being with him alone. He didn't have anyone to ground him if he got flustered and that was a scary thought. But he wasn't as scared as he thought he'd feel. Talking with Heeseung the day before made me realize just how sweet and open-minded the man was, never one to judge or unjustly tease, giving anyone who talked to him complete attention, his eyes sparkling with interest.
Approaching the door, he glanced down at himself to double-check his outfit, taking a deep breath. Ni-ki had actually stayed home that night instead of staying at Jungwon's because they'd ended up spending hours picking an outfit due to how indecisive Sunoo was. In the end, the boy went for a baggy pair of light wash jeans, a white turtleneck tucked into them with a pale mint fuzzy cardigan on top, his blond hair perfectly styled as he usually did it every day. Sunoo knew he looked pretty, he felt pretty today.
He knocked on the door a couple of times, waiting about thirty seconds before chuckling. From their conversations yesterday at lunch, he figured the other was probably focused, working on something so he slowly opened the door to confirm, poking his head inside. As expected, Heeseung was glued to the computer, his back to the door, a pair of headphones on his head which explained the lack of a response. Sunoo stepped inside and set down the plastic bag he was holding on the coffee table in front of the sofa near the now shut door, moving over to Heeseung before lightly tapping on his shoulder.
The other glanced up at him, a dazzling smile that nearly sent Sunoo into a daze appearing on his lips as he slid the headphones off.
"Hey Sun," he spoke, his smile turning sheepish as he added, "Sorry I didn't hear you, I was distracted." The boy had to use all his resolve to not turn into a flustered mess at the nickname. It was all too new for him to handle.
"It's okay Hyung, I figured as much," Sunoo giggled and shook his head, gesturing towards the sofa as he added, "Um, Ni-ki told me you like ramen so I thought I'd bring some just in case you haven't eaten."
Sunoo felt his heart melt at the way Heeseung's eyes lit up at the word 'ramen', nodding right away. "Oh my god I love ramen, you're an angel," he spoke, getting off his chair before leading Sunoo over to the sofa, the two sitting comfortably side by side. Although it was quiet, it wasn't awkward or tense as Heeseung leaned over to a small side table, fumbling with something before the sound of a kettle filled the room.
"Oh, so you really love ramen, huh?" Sunoo teased, the other playfully narrowing his eyes at him. “Got a kettle for it and everything.”
"Are you mocking my taste, mint choco boy?" Heeseung retorted, leaning back against the sofa with a confident smile on his lips, eyes resting on the ceiling.
"And what do you have against mint choco? It's the best combination of flavors," Sunoo argued, turning to face Heeseung with his whole body, leaning his cheek against the sofa cushions. God Heeseung was too stunning for his own good. His black hair looked so soft, Sunoo wanted to feel it between his fingers, his features never failed to amaze Sunoo with their beauty, a perfect mix of soft and angular. He was dressed a lot more casually than Sunoo was, a simple patterned black button-up and black jeans, but to be fair to him, Sunoo was always dressed up as if he had somewhere to be.
Heeseung raised a brow at the statement, his head lazily falling to the side to meet Sunoo's eyes as he hummed, "Agree to disagree I guess~"
"Ugh you're just like Ni-ki," Sunoo scrunched his nose in disapproval, his cheeks heating up ever so slightly at the underlying intensity of the older male's eyes.
"I take offense to that," He joked, head turning the other way once the kettle finished boiling. Sunoo decided to quickly open the two ramen cups and adding the seasoning so Heeseung could deal with the water.
Once left to cook, the pair turned to look at each other again, Heeseung speaking up first, "You look really pretty today, by the way."
"Oh um thank you, so do you," Sunoo spoke through a shy smile, his cheeks that were once a soft red now a bright cherry red. Whatever he said about compliments on his appearance not affecting him, he takes it back. Hearing them from Heeseung sent his heart into a frenzy he'd never experienced before.
"Honestly you look pretty all the time, I just couldn't exactly tell you," Heeseung added, Sunoo unable to stop the whine of embarrassment that left his lips as he covered his face. The older laughed and affectionately reached over to pinch his cheek. "And cute. Very very cute."
"You need to stop before I combust," Sunoo whimpered helplessly, lightly patting his cheeks to calm them down. "I do not do well with compliments."
"Mhm sure~" Heeseung grinned, handing Sunoo one of the ramen cups before picking up the other. "Thank you again for the food, Sun."
Sunoo's cheeks flared up once more as he groaned, "Out of curiosity, do you give everyone a nickname after the first hour of knowing them?"
"Mmm nope just you," Heeseung hummed after inhaling a hot mouthful of ramen, wincing a little at the burn. "You're just adorable and I think it fits you."
Sunoo looked down into his ramen, chopsticks lightly twisting the noodles around as he huffed, "You're gonna kill me with compliments."
The other simply laughed, taking another mouthful of noodles into his mouth. It was hard for Sunoo. He couldn't help but fall harder for Heeseung with every passing second, and right now it was getting increasingly difficult to remain level-headed when this god amongst men was throwing casual compliments and comments that he probably didn't think too much of but were making Sunoo's heart throb.
The two finished off their food in a comfortable silence, Heeseung disposing of the empty cups before returning to Sunoo's side saying, "I have a question."
"You could've asked the question without announcing y'know?" Sunoo teased, the other rolling his eyes in response even though his smile betrayed his true feelings towards the comment.
"Quit it," The older chuckled and mirrored Sunoo's position so they were face to face. "Anyways, what got you into music if you don't mind me asking?"
Sunoo perked up at the question, pulling his sleeves over his hands to toy with the fabric as he spoke, “Ah my mom is actually a music teacher and she taught me how to sing.” He looked down at his hands with a soft smile as he thought about his mom. “She was my biggest inspiration growing up and her love for music rubbed off on me I guess. I just love singing so much and I hope I can one day make a name for myself like she did.”
“That’s adorable,” Heeseung cooed, a fond smile on his lips as he scanned Sunoo’s profile, the other flushing when he looked up to find him staring.
“What about you, Hyung?” Sunoo asked curiously, his fingers curling around the fabric of his cardigan as he held the older’s gaze.
Heeseung shrugged a little as he spoke, “I just always had an interest in music. I was eleven maybe when I discovered that I had perfect pitch and I wanted to put it to good use so I just immersed myself in music. I took up piano and guitar, I started singing lessons as well but I don’t like singing as much as the actual music production aspect of things. Yeah, it’s nothing special really.”
Sunoo listened intently to his Hyung, nodding a little to his words, immediately shaking his head at the last statement. “Absolutely not Hyung there’s no such thing as not special,” he protested, a frown unknowingly passing over his expression. “It’s special to you. It’s where everything started for you and that makes it meaningful. I feel special hearing your story. So please don’t think this way Heeseung Hyung.”
The other’s expression morphed into a soft smile, his eyes carrying a strange unreadable emotion that frankly made Sunoo feel a little worried. Sunoo felt a gentle warm touch on his forehead, the other’s fingertips lightly smoothing down his furrowed brows. The younger nearly melted at the sweet gesture, his cheeks warming up as well. Heeseung’s effect on his poor little heart was unbearable, but he was starting to adjust, feeling progressively more and more comfortable around him.
“Thank you, Sun. You have no idea how much hearing this from you means to me,” The older of the two murmured, let his hand drop between the two of them after a moment, his eyes moving over to his computer. The man suddenly perked up and turned to Sunoo again with a cheeky grin. “Do you wanna karaoke?”
Instantly feeling at ease and excited about the prospect of karaoke, the blond nodded, sitting upright right away. "Can we??" he spoke with a bright smile, the other nodding as he got up moving to rummage around his desk. "It's not gonna disturb anyone working, right?"
Heeseung nodded as he turned on his computer, Sunoo leaning over to peak at the comically large screen to see what the other was looking up. "Mhm, all the studios are soundproof so we're good to go," he explained, fingers expertly maneuvering the many wires and buttons connecting the computer to the speakers and microphones.
Sunoo got up and peaked over Heeseung's shoulder, eyes curiously scanning the setup. It was the furthest from a neat set up, papers and post-its filled with Heeseung's endearingly messy handwriting covering all surfaces of the hardwood table. It was a massive contrast to the way Sunoo worked which was very calm, organized, and well thought out. He never worked well without a system set out but somehow being with Heeseung brought out a more impulsive side to him.
"This stuff looks so complicated," Sunoo commented, resting his cheek against Heeseung's shoulder as if it were the most natural course of action, his face heating up as he realized just how close to Heeseung he was. He could feel the warmth of the other's skin through the thin shirt he was donning, his cotton candy-like scent filling the younger's head, completely clouding his thoughts.
Heeseung chuckled, one of his hands affectionately patting Sunoo's head as he spoke, "It's really not that bad~ it looks like a lot but once you experiment with it enough it makes a lot of sense."
Sunoo nodded and accepted the microphone he was handed, holding it between his sweater paws. He perked up at the familiar instrumental of the song that Heeseung picked, a bright grin on his lips as he asked, "You like Tomorrow By Together too??"
"I do, I'm actually quite close with them," The older chuckled, moving to sit on the sofa, a stunned Sunoo staring at him, mouth open in shock. The other couldn't help but laugh at the adorable expression, patting the spot next to him. "What's so surprising about that?"
"What do you mean, what's so surprising?? That's TXT!!" Sunoo practically shrieked, bouncing a little on his heels. "Is Beomgyu as pretty in real life?"
Heeseung snorted in response and tugged Sunoo down beside him, an amused smirk on his lips as he started to sing, not bothering to answer the question. The younger pouted over at him, but listened to him sing the first few lines of 'Crown', his expression slowly melting into one of wonder. He had heard Heeseung sing many times; the older had an Instagram page where he posted vocal covers every now and then and Sunoo would be lying if he didn't admit to stalking it every now and then. Heeseung was a phenomenal singer; his voice soft and sweet like honey, conveying emotion almost as if everything he sang about was personal to him. The man was just talented in every way. He could sing a cheesy pop song, a ballad, something with a darker concept, and even rap with little to no difficulty. Crush aside, Sunoo truly admired him.
The man nudged his side gently, breaking him out of his thoughts right before the pre-chorus, Sunoo immediately starting to sing the lyrics. Singing always felt amazing. It calmed his nerves and brought him a sense of inner peace that nothing else could provide.
Heeseung joined in with the chorus, the other boy turning to look at him with sparkly eyes and a smile. Sunoo was surprised at just how pretty it sounded when the two sang together. He had been worried his voice wouldn't match well with Heeseung's, and although they were just messing around, he felt so much more confident about the project already.
The two boys spent hours together, singing, joking, and getting to know each other. Sunoo hadn't felt so comfortable with someone besides Ni-ki or Jake in a very long time. Heeseung felt safe. His presence was warm and it brightened Sunoo's life in a way he hadn't experienced before. The two were now walking out of campus, Heeseung insisting to walk Sunoo to his shared apartment with Ni-ki.
"I still can't believe you trained with TXT, I can't believe they didn't debut you, Hyung, you're so talented," Sunoo whined, looking up at Heeseung with a sad pout.
Heeseung chuckled fondly and reached over to pinch Sunoo's cheek gently as he said, "I'm okay with that Sun~ At the end of the day, if that hadn't happened, I wouldn't be here now. I wouldn't have met you or the others and I think I prefer things as they are now."
"As you should. My presence is a blessing," The younger joked with a cheeky smile.
Heeseung rolled his eyes playfully and cooed, "Yeah yeah~ you're pretty cool I guess."
"You guess? Don't lie, I'm totally your favorite dongsaeng," Sunoo teased the stunning man to his left, moving a smidge closer to him as they crossed the street.
The older pretended to think about the statement before humming, "Hmm, and what makes you think that?"
"You gave me a nickname and called me cute," Sunoo told him, bringing a hand up to lightly brush his blond bangs out of his eyes. "I kinda wanna dye my hair brown."
"Way to change the topic," Heeseung snorted, turning to look at Sunoo before saying, "You should try colors that only work on blond first. Once you go dark it'll be a pain to go light again."
"Mmm true, I should go mint," He gasped in excitement, fingers slipping back into his sweater paws as he dropped his hand.
"I was gonna say pastel pink, but mint works too, just don't feed your addiction too much."
"Okay, Mr addicted to ramen."
"Mocking me again?"
"Nope just returning the favor."
Heeseung chuckled and shook his head, Sunoo starting to slow down as they approached his apartment building. Sunoo turned to face the other boy and looked up at him with a slight smile. "Thank you for today Hyung. I had a great time."
"Thank you for coming, Sun," Heeseung smiled fondly. "Are you going to join us again for lunch soon? The boys really do love your company. So do I honestly."
Sunoo hummed in thought. Honestly, after getting to know the four boys, he didn't see why he would separate Ni-ki from his boyfriend when he got along with everyone so well. He nodded at Heeseung's question, his heart warming at the beautiful smile that materialized on his Hyung's face.
"I'll see you tomorrow then?" The older asked, opening his arms for a farewell hug that Sunoo happily gave him, arms going around the taller male's neck.
"Sheesh you're so tall," The smaller boy complained, his cheek resting against his Hyung's shoulder as he basked in his warmth. Heeseung's arms were officially his new favorite place to be. They were warm and strong, his chest sturdy against his own but he held Sunoo like he was the most precious little thing that needed protection.
"You're just tiny," Heeseung teased, the blond making a move to pull away but the raven-haired boy tightened his arms around him, forcing Sunoo to remain in his embrace.
Not that the younger cared or complained. He felt safe in Heeseung's embrace and the extra thirty seconds were precious to him.
Heeseung slipped a hand up to gently hold Sunoo's chin, the boy's eyes widening when he felt the other leave a soft kiss on his forehead before pulling away from the hug.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Sun, sleep well," Heeseung grinned and waved at the younger boy before turning and heading back to the direction of their campus.
Sunoo was frozen in place, completely stunned by the exchange. His were cheeks a dark cherry red, lips slightly parted in shook as he watched his Hyung's retreating figure.
Heeseung kissed him.
Yes, it was only on the forehead but still. Sunoo would be lying if he said that it confused him. Although he had quickly learned that skinship was a regular part of Heeseung's communication, they had only met the day before. He didn't know why he was given a kiss.
But he'd also be lying if he said that he didn't fall harder than ever for Lee Heeseung at that very moment.
Sunoo and Sunghoon were at the cafe, waiting on the rest of their lunch group. The two didn't have any lessons the hour prior so they had decided to hang out here so they could also just stay for lunch. Although he had stayed up for a good portion of the night before with Ni-ki talking about the Heeseung situation, he couldn't help but vent to Sunghoon as well, wanting his viewpoint too.
"...He's just sending so many mixed signals, I don't understand him and I like him so much that it hurts to feel like I'm being messed with," Sunoo ended his rant, fingers tightly curled around Sunghoon's pinky which he had found mid-speech to provide himself with an anchor from his thoughts.
The other looked down at their hands, mulling over Sunoo's words. A moment of silence passed before Sunghoon said, "To be honest, I think he likes you. Heeseung Hyung has never shown interest in anyone outside his friends before."
"But we only met like yesterday," Sunoo huffed, his frustration increasing. "Is he not just being nice because I'm new to the group?"
"Sunoo, Ni-ki wasn't begging you to come for his own sake. He did it for Heeseung Hyung," The older spoke with a soft sigh.
Sunoo was speechless and lost. For Heeseung Hyung? What did Heeseung have to do with that?
"Heeseung Hyung had been begging him to introduce you to us since the day Ni-ki told us you were friends. He kept going on and on about how badly he wanted to meet you and sing with you and get to know you," The pale boy explained, taking Sunoo's hands in his own properly, sensing the other's inner turmoil.
"But why?" The younger asked, grateful for the other's support as he looked down at their interlocked fingers.
"Beats me. He never really explained anything, all he did was complain to Ni-ki," Sunghoon shrugged, his other hand wrapping around their connected ones to warm the younger's which was getting progressively more clammy as he descended further into his thoughts. "Don't overthink it, okay? Just take it slow with Hyung and see how things go, alright?"
Sunoo sighed and nodded, letting his head fall into the open notebook that lay in front of him on the table. He felt Sunghoon move his hand from their interlocked hands to his hair, lightly toying with the soft blond locks to comfort him. The younger was stressed about seeing Heeseung. He'd been replaying that kiss in his head all night long and he just knew he'd combust the moment he met Heeseung's eyes. He wasn't emotionally prepared for any of this.
The two sat in silence for a few minutes, Sunghoon keeping a comforting hold on Sunoo's hand, his other hand still threading through his soft hair. However the silence didn't last long, the other four finally arriving, bringing obnoxiously loud bickering and giggling with them. Sunoo peeked up at them over his arm, waving hello at the four, unable to prevent himself from flushing when he made eye contact with Heeseung.
Heeseung who once again looked too handsome for his own good. The older boy has black hair styled back to reveal his forehead, dressed in a fitted black turtleneck, tucked into his usual gray jeans, his stunning figure outlined a little too perfectly for Sunoo's poor heart.
"Hi Heeseungie Hyung," The boy murmured, his muscles tensing ever so slightly when said boy slid into the booth to sit next to him, a hand immediately rubbing his slouched back as he asked, "You okay, Sun?"
Sunoo nodded and sat up properly, Sunghoon's hand smoothing down his hair as he did so, the other still holding his hand in a gentle grip. The eldest of the group glanced down at the interlocked fingers on the table, the same unreadable emotion flashing through his eyes for a split second, but Sunoo caught it, the sight causing his thoughts to spiral once again.
As if sensing Sunoo's troubles, Sunghoon gave his hand a gentle squeeze before letting it go, ruffling his hair that he had just fixed, the other whining in response. "Now why would you do that?" he huffed, a pout on his lips.
"Because you're stressing yourself out over nothing. Study later, let's chill for now, okay?" Sunghoon spoke, gesturing towards the book in front of the boy. Obviously, he wasn't talking about the book but Sunoo understood. He nodded and reluctantly slid his notebook away, turning to look at his best friend.
The youngest gave him a bright reassuring smile, knowing exactly what Sunoo was thinking. "I'll order for you Hyung."
Sunoo finally let a smile slip, leaning back into the cushion feeling satisfied with himself. "Thanks, Ni-ki~" he grinned, directing his attention to Heeseung who was scanning his face. "What's up Hyung?"
Heeseung smiled and brought a hand up to get smooth down Sunoo's hair, his voice soft as he murmured, "You look really pretty today, Sun."
Sunoo felt his cheeks heat up at the compliment, his hands tugging his sleeves over his palm as he said, "Are you gonna do this to me every single day? Do you wanna see my downfall that badly?"
"You'll survive, don't be dramatic," Heeseung laughed, a grin resting on his lips as he gave his red cheeks gentle pinches once he finished his hair. "I just love your outfit today a little more than usual."
"Eh? But it's nothing too far from my usual style," Sunoo said with a confused raise of his brows. He was dressed in a pale blue t-shirt, a cream-colored cardigan haphazardly thrown on top but he had been fidgeting so much earlier that it had pooled by his elbows, and a pair of dark wash jeans.
Heeseung shrugged and leaned back into the cushions, his head leaned over so he was looking at Sunoo. "I'm not sure either, I'm just finding it ten times harder to resist you today," he spoke nonchalantly.
Sunoo's eyes widened, his cheeks darkening, a very normal state for him to be in whenever Heeseung spoke. "You can't just say things like that," he whined, lightly hitting the older's shoulder with a sweater paw, the man simply grinning in response, his hand coming up to hold Sunoo's abusive fist, his hand sliding into the fabric of his cardigan to hold his hand properly.
"And why not? Your reactions are cute," Heeseung teased, his thumb lightly running over the top of Sunoo's hand, the gentle touch sending his heart into overdrive.
But it hurt. He didn't understand why Heeseung was being so sweet and caring. In retrospect, the pair did get close scary fast, even more scary fast than Sunoo and Sunghoon did. Heeseung felt safe, he felt like home. Sunoo felt like he could be himself around him and it terrified himself considering they've only been talking for a few days.
"My reactions are gonna give me a heart attack," Sunoo scrunched his nose in response and shook his head.
Heeseung chuckled and gave Sunoo's hand a gentle squeeze. "Do you have class after lunch?" he asked, his voice hushed so only the two of them could hear.
Sunoo shook his head. He only had morning classes that day and was planning on going home to wallow in stress and overthink all night long.
Heeseung visibly perked up at the younger's words, his eyes sparkling with excitement. "Do you wanna go out? Everyone else has class so I was wondering if you would wanna hang?"
"Sure Hyung~ But I need to stop by the engineering building, is that fine?" Sunoo hummed, letting his chin fall onto Heeseung's shoulder, the pair's noses almost brushing. Yet somehow, the younger didn't feel as shy as he normally would.
Heeseung smiled fondly and leaned up to leave a quick peck on Sunoo's forehead like he did last night, the younger's composure finally shattering, his face breaking into a cherry red once again. He was better with proximity now, but the weirdly out of nowhere kisses were not okay for his heart just yet.
"Sure," Heeseung nodded, Sunoo finally turning away from him to find Jungwon staring at the two of them with a stunned, confused expression on his face.
Sunoo's flush darkened, but the younger boy simply looking away without asking, although he knew he was probably going to grill Ni-ki for an answer later. But that didn't concern him. For now, he needed a strategy to survive the next few hours he'll be spending with Heeseung.
The lunch hour passed by quickly, the six boys walking out of the cafe, Sunoo with Heeseung on his left and Sunghoon on his right, the eldest holding his hand in a gentle grip while he talked to the pale skater to his right.
"Why are you going to engineering by the way?" Sunghoon asked curiously. The engineering building was on the way to the performing arts so Sunghoon decided to follow the pair on his way to class.
"I'm picking something up from a friend," Sunoo explained, pulling out his phone from his pocket to quickly send Jake a message that he was almost at the building. "He's Australian so he goes back pretty frequently and he always buys me mint choco snacks."
Sunghoon scrunched his nose at the word mint choco as they came to a halt outside the building. "Honestly I don't understand why you like the taste of toothpaste so much."
"It's not toothpaste! You all have bad taste!" Sunoo protested with a pout, looking up at the beautiful boy to his left. "Mint choco isn't bad, right Hyung?"
Heeseung's expression softened when he met Sunoo's eyes, a fond smile sliding onto his lips as he nodded. "Yeah, it's not bad. I don't prefer it but it's not atrocious," he chuckled, his free hand patting the younger's round cheek.
Sunoo turned his head to the direction of the call, a bright smile on his lips when he saw the gorgeous Australian jogging over to the trio. "Jakey Hyung, hi!" he gasped and let go of Heeseung's hand, practically jumping into Jake's arms, the older boy laughing as held Sunoo in a warm hug.
"I've missed you too Sunoo," Jake spoke, glancing over Sunoo's shoulder at the beautiful men behind him. "Are they the boys you ditched me for on Monday?"
"I didn't ditch you," Sunoo protested with a pout, Jake letting a grin slip onto his lips.
"I know Sunny, I'm just teasing," Jake chuckled and kept an arm around Sunoo who was showing no sign of letting him go, his other hand outstretched to shake hands with the two boys who were standing awkwardly to the side. "Hi, I'm Sim Jaeyun, call me Jake."
"Lee Heeseung," Heeseung spoke with a polite smile as he shook his head. He gestured towards the awestruck boy beside him. "That's Park Sunghoon."
"Pleasure to meet you both," Jake responded politely, his smile turning a little shy when he met Sunghoon's gaze. He turned his attention back to the small boy in his arms. "I got your mint choco by the way."
Sunoo smiled happily and let go of Jake, the other unwinding the plastic bag that rested in the crook of his elbow, holding it out for Sunoo to take.
"Thank you Hyung," Sunoo accepted the bag, a pout returning to his lips as he looked up at Jake again. "You still won't let me pay, huh?"
"Of course, it's a gift," Jake smiled and pinched the boy's puffed-out cheek lovingly.
Sunoo's pout melted away into a soft smile, his arms returning around Jake again. "Thank you, Hyung."
Jake was more of a father figure than just a friend to Sunoo. The two met a few months before Sunoo started uni, Jake had just transferred into his second year from Australia. He had run into him at the park, the older had looked so sad and dejected that Sunoo felt compelled to talk to him. The two talked for hours that night, exchanging numbers before parting ways. They continued to get to know each other over the months to come, their dynamic very much that of a father and son. Sunoo could safely say that Jake was also his best friend.
"Anyways, text me soon, okay? I miss hanging out with you," The older of the two smiled and patted the boy's head gently. Sunoo nodded fervently and let go of Jake saying, "I will. Have fun in class!"
"Will do~ Bye Sunny," Jake spoke and waved at the two newcomers. "It was nice meeting you two!"
Heeseung and Sunghoon waved politely, Sunoo finally turning to face his friends. Sunghoon had the most dumbfounded, awestruck look on his face, the boy couldn't help but giggle. Heeseung had that same weird unreadable expression that bothered him so much but he didn't say anything.
"Aye Kim Sunoo, why did you never say that you were friends with someone so beautiful?" Sunghoon finally spoke, a scowl on his face as he turned to Sunoo.
Sunoo burst out laughing and shrugged, returning to Heeseung's side, fingers searching for the other's which Heeseung gladly met him halfway. "Jakey Hyung is beautiful. Should I ask him to come to lunch with us tomorrow?" he suggested, Sunghoon immediately nodding.
"You better or our friendship is over," Sunghoon joked before waving at the pair as he headed off. "I'll see you guys later. Have fun on your date!"
Sunoo flushed in embarrassment and whined, "Hyung!! It's not a date!!"
Sunghoon laughed and shook his head as he walked off, Sunoo hiding his face behind a sweater paw. Heeseung chuckled in amusement and started to tug Sunoo along, the duo kind of just walking aimlessly around campus.
"Would you be upset if it were a date?" Heeseung teased, the other whining and hitting his arm, the older laughing fondly.
"Hyung, you're gonna kill my heart!!" Sunoo whimpered, looking down at the floor as he murmured, "But no. I wouldn't be upset."
Heeseung didn't respond, keeping a firm grip on Sunoo's hand, holding him closer to his side as they walked together. Sunoo, finally out of his Heeseung-induced daze, looked up at their surroundings, his cheeks turning bright red once again. Remember when he said all eyes were on him and Sunghoon walking together? Well take that and multiply it by two. People were whispering and openly staring, very obviously talking about the two boys who were hand in hand. Sunoo glanced up at Heeseung, thankful to see the other unbothered. He knew Heeseung was used to having eyes on him often, but this was quite suffocating. Steeling his nerves he ignored the stares, giving the older's hand a squeeze saying, "So where are we headed?"
Heeseung hummed in thought, finally answering with a shrug as he turned to Sunoo. "I have no idea."
Sunoo blinked up at Heeseung, the other chuckling at his reaction. "What~? I honestly just wanted to be with you, I didn't really think about what we could do," he explained, a sheepish grin on his face.
"Ah, do you wanna sit at the plaza and try some of the snacks with me then?" Sunoo giggled in response, holding up the plastic bag Jake had given him.
"Are they all mint choco?" Heeseung asked warily, eyeing the bag as if it held a weapon.
Sunoo snorted and shook his head saying, "Nope. Most are mint choco but Jakey Hyung always buys extra."
"Jakey? That's cute," Heeseung chuckled and nodded at the other's offer. "Okay, Sun. Let's go then~"
"Jakey is cute that's why it suits him," Sunoo spoke as a matter of factly, letting Heeseung tug him towards the plaza. "I'm not even surprised Hoonie Hyung thought he was pretty. I honestly think they'll get along well."
"Yeah I think this was Sunghoon's gay awakening," Heeseung joked, a bright grin on his face.
“Oh is Hyung straight? Honestly, the entire group gave me fruity energy I didn’t expect that,” Sunoo admitted, Heeseung bursting into laughter at the comment. As usual, the sound light and airy, making his heart feel warm and fuzzy. He liked being the source of Heeseung’s happiness.
“Honestly you’re not wrong. Jongseongie and I bi, Sunghoon is our token straight but I think he’s just deflecting,” Heeseung explained, a soft smile on his lips.
“Interesting,” Sunoo giggled, bringing a hand up to brush his bangs out of his eyes. “Actually Ni-ki used to be the token straight before he met Wonie. I’m definitely into men and Jakey is bi.”
Heeseung nodded, listening attentively to the other’s words. “Yeah, I remember that. Wonie complained a lot about mixed signals from him.”
“Oh trust me, I heard so much shit from Ni-ki about his crush as well, don’t even remind me,” The younger groaned distastefully, nose scrunching up as he thought of the many weeks he listened to Ni-ki wail about his conflicted emotions.
Heeseung chuckled and tugged Sunoo over to a small gazebo that was slightly hidden from view by trees. Sunoo set his backpack and the plastic bag down before flopping onto the bench, sighing happily. “The weather is so nice today,” he cooed, looking up at Heeseung with a bright smile. “I love the sun.”
The older boy sat down beside Sunoo, his hand moving up to gently stroke Sunoo’s hair as he hummed, “Me too. It reminds me of you.”
“Are you saying I’m hot?” The younger joked with a cheeky smile, leaning into Heeseung’s palm as he looked up to meet his eyes.
“I’m saying you light up my world but you’re not wrong,” Heeseung grinned, lovingly patting the boy’s head.
Sunoo turned a cherry red at the statement and looked away from Heeseung, his fingers toying with the sleeves of his cardigan as he mumbled, “Do you plan on flirting with me until I combust one day?”
“You won’t combust if you just flirt back,” Heeseung teased and leaned over to peck Sunoo’s cheek, reaching over him to grab the bag of snacks as he pulled away. Sunoo flushed deeper than ever, his hand moving to cover his face as he whined, “Lee Heeseung Hyung I’m literally gonna murder you.”
Heeseung laughed brightly, clearly very satisfied with himself at the pretty blond’s struggle. “No, you won’t~ because you love me.”
“Unfortunately,” Sunoo scrunched his nose as he sat up, turning to face Heeseung who was rummaging through the bag of snacks.
It suddenly hit him just how odd the situation was. Here he was, sitting in a secluded gazebo with a man who he was head over heels for, casually flirting and sharing snacks with him. It was so odd to him that it all felt natural. It didn’t feel like their relationship was weird or strained or fast-paced. It felt right for the two of them.
Sunoo scanned Heeseung’s beautiful features, his heart aching ever so slightly in his chest. He liked Heeseung so much it drove him crazy. Yes, he’s liked the other for months now, but the past three days had made him fall so much harder for Heeseung. He’s learned so much about him and they’ve grown surprisingly close, and frankly, he never wanted to be apart from him again.
He was broken out of thoughts by Heeseung’s hand holding a mint choco ball, one of his favorite snacks, to his lips. He accepted the snack with a satisfied hum, shifting closer to Heeseung so he had better access to the bag of chocolate he had opened. “Please I don’t understand how you guys hate mint choco,” he scoffed, a happy smile on his lips as he popped another ball in between his lips.
“I don’t hate it, I just am not a massive fan of it,” Heeseung corrected the boy, taking one of the balls for himself, popping it into his mouth before scrunching his nose slightly. “Honestly, this isn’t that bad but I’d rather just have chocolate on its own.”
“You have horrible taste.”
“That’s not true I like many things, just because mint choco isn’t in my top three doesn’t mean I have no taste,” Heeseung snorted and shook his head, handing Sunoo the bag of mint choco balls as he pulled out a strawberry flavored lollipop, the younger watching him unwrap and pop the candy in between his lips.
“Give me an example of one thing you like that shows you have good taste.”
Sunoo made a strangled noise as he forcefully swallowed the ball he was chewing on, his cheeks lighting on fire. He turned away from Heeseung to compose himself, his heart throbbing so rapidly he could feel it against his chest. He cursed himself for taking the comment to heart. His Hyung only meant it as friends...right? Still, the comment hit him harder than it needed to.
“Remember when I said I’ll murder you? I take it back, you deserve a slower death than murder,” The younger spoke, his voice wavering through the playful edge that it had.
Heeseung laughed from behind him, but Sunoo continued to look away, needing a moment to compose himself. He heard shuffling from behind him before a pair of arms slipped around his waist, a strong chest hitting his back. “No you won’t, Sun~ I’m your favorite Hyung and you know it.”
“Let me go before I deck you,” Sunoo huffed halfheartedly, the other obviously not listening to him since the boy had let himself melt into the warm embrace, clearly not meaning his threat.
“No you won’t,” Heeseung repeated, letting his chin rest on Sunoo’s shoulder.
The boy’s blush darkened as he popped another mint choco ball into his mouth, his eyes dropping to his hands as he mumbled, “I will eventually if you keep doing this to my heart.”
“Once again, you’ll definitely survive and you’ll be fine,” The older of the two cooed, his arms giving Sunoo a gentle squeeze before letting go of him, his cotton candy scent still lingering around the flustered boy.
Sunoo shook his head and turned to face his beautiful Hyung, his head resting against the wooden post of the gazebo as he watched Heeseung rummage through the bag of snacks. “What are you looking for Heeseungie Hyung?” he asked, his voice taking on a cuter tone as he leaned over to peek into the bag.
“Something that’s not mint choco,” The older spoke with a cheeky smile, fingers pulling the lollipop out of his lips, the candy leaving them with a pop, leaving him with red-stained lips. Sunoo couldn’t help but flush at how pretty Heeseung looked, sinking his teeth into his bottom lip as he looked away again.
“Okay, I might murder you for your mint choco slander instead,” Sunoo grumbled with a pout, his eyes trained on the floor.
Heeseung chuckled and crouched in front of the younger boy, Sunoo flushing further when he made eye contact with him, finding the same unreadable emotion in his Hyung’s eyes intimidating once again, but he looked past it. “What?”
“Nothing, just wanted to see you blush,” Heeseung said nonchalantly, sliding the lollipop back into his mouth.
Sunoo’s eyes widened and he brought a sweater paw up to cover his face, his other hand moving to lightly hit the other’s shoulder. “Hyung stop it!”
“No thank you~ I adore blushy Sunoo, you should know that by now,” Heeseung laughed and shook his head, winking at Sunoo as he got up to sit beside him on the bench instead.
Sunoo groaned, his heart practically skipping a beat at the other’s comment. “You need to stop doing this to me,” he huffed. “Especially the flirting.”
“But I mean all of it, so why should I stop?” Heeseung chuckled and pinched his cheek lightly.
Sunoo blinked as he registered what exactly was just said to him. “You mean what??”
"Everything I say to you," Heeseung spoke, the lollipop pressed against his inside cheek, denting it on the outside. "I do think you're pretty, I think you're the prettiest. I love spending time with you, I find your reactions adorable and I do adore seeing you blush. I also like you but that's a story for another time."
Sunoo whipped around to look properly at Heeseung, the older boy completely unbothered by what he just said. "Did I say something wrong?" he added, looking over at Sunoo with a raised brow.
"Repeat the last sentence, but slowly so I can absorb that."
Heeseung chuckled and leaned closer to Sunoo, fingers moving to grip his chin. "I like you, Kim Sunoo~" he cooed, winking as he leaned back to how he was sitting before, fingers dropping from the other's red face to hold the lollipop instead.
"Like like me?" The younger asked, eyes wide in shock as he stared at the oddly composed boy in front of him, jumping to his feet as he spoke up again. "How are you so calm?? Do you realize what you're saying?"
"Yes I'm aware," Heeseung spoke, a soft smile on his lips. "I'm calm because I know you feel the same way."
Sunoo gave the other a deadpanned look, holding up his hand in a gun shape at the other. "How are you so sure?"
"You're not exactly good at hiding it, Sun. But neither was I, you were just oblivious to it," Heeseung chuckled and let go of the lollipop, leaning forward to take Sunoo's hands in his own. "I've liked you since orientation day at the beginning of the year."
Sunoo couldn't help the heat that rose to his cheeks at the confession, his heart hammering wildly as he mulled over Heeseung's words. Heeseung liked him . His crush of months felt the exact same way.
Then it hit him.
"So you made Ni-ki beg me to eat lunch with you because you liked me?"
"And I turned Ni-ki down because I liked you."
"Corre- Wait what?"
Sunoo flushed in embarrassment, looking away from Heeseung as he whined, "I was scared! I didn't wanna make a fool out of myself so I kept rejecting Ni-ki's offer!"
Heeseung put on an expression of faux hurt as he looked up at Sunoo, lacing their fingers together. "Wooow I see how it is~ so if I ask you on a date are you gonna run away?"
"Of course not!" Sunoo whined, bouncing a little on his heels. "I'm not scared of you anymore I promise."
"So date tonight, yes or no?" Heeseung chuckled, lightly tugging Sunoo down to sit beside him.
"Yes Hyung, you don't even need to ask," the younger giggled, letting his head fall against Heeseung's shoulder. The older male slipped his arm around the boy’s shoulders, turning to leave the softest of kisses on his head, bringing on the familiar flush of red that Heeseung seemed to love so much.
Sunoo couldn't believe everything that transpired within the last hour. Scratch that, he couldn’t believe everything that transpired over the past three days. He had convinced himself that he didn’t need more from Heeseung and he was fine just pining from afar. Yet, here he was, leaning against said boy’s chest after the other confessed to him.
“Why did you confess now Hyung?” Sunoo spoke up, not looking up at Heeseung, a little nervous to know what his answer might be. “Why today?”
Heeseung hummed quietly and tightened his arms around the pretty red-cheeked boy in his embrace before speaking, “I actually almost confessed when I walked you home the other day. Honestly, I just couldn’t resist the temptation to do it anymore and you did give me a pretty good opening to do so.”
Sunoo flushed in embarrassment and hid his face in Heeseung’s chest, the other chuckling fondly as he hugged the boy properly, hand gently rubbing his back. “I can’t believe I was that obvious about it,” he whined, cheeks burning red as he clutched the fabric of the older’s turtleneck.
Heeseung kissed the top of Sunoo’s head once again as he cooed, “It’s okay, baby, I thought it was cute. It also made me more comfortable showing off my own feelings.”
Sunoo’s heart practically lurched up to his throat at the pet name, the red on his cheeks darkening even further as he looked up at Heeseung. “Stop oh my god I don’t think I can handle any more of this today,” he whined, hands sliding up to rest on Heeseung’s shoulders.
Heeseung grinned in satisfaction at the boy’s reaction and nuzzled his nose sweetly with his own. “Am I not allowed to tease now that our feelings are out in the open~?”
“You were never allowed to tease, point blank period,” Sunoo scrunched his nose, a smile making its way to his lips at the adorable gesture. He glanced down at the position they were in for a moment before looking back up to Heeseung’s eyes asking, “Are we gonna sit here and cuddle all day?”
“Do you have any issues with that?” The older chuckled, his fingers finding his newfound lover’s chin, a gesture he had done a lot over the past two days.
“Mmm nope, I like cuddles,” Sunoo murmured, his face flaring up when he felt the other’s thumb run over his bottom lip. “Hyung what are you-”
“Can I kiss you?”
Sunoo’s flush darkened further at the question, his eyes sliding shut to avoid meeting the beautiful boy’s eyes as he composed himself. He’d imagined kissing Heeseung countless times, but the idea that this was now a reality and he had no idea how to react. He nodded after composing himself, finally letting himself meet Heeseung’s eyes, the other’s carrying a strange intensity that spread tingles all the way down to Sunoo’s fingertips.
Heeseung smiled a little at Sunoo’s reaction and murmured, “Relax Sun,” as he tilted the boy’s chin up ever so slightly, moving a smidge closer to him.
The younger nodded and let his eyes flick down to Heeseung’s red-stained lips, his heart racing in his chest. “I am relaxed... I think?”
The older chuckled fondly and wasted no more time, capturing Sunoo’s pink plump lips in a sweet kiss, his hands slipping down to hold the pretty boy’s waist, Sunoo’s hands resting on the sides of the man’s necks. Heeseung’s lips were soft, his kiss loving, spreading warmth all over the boy’s body. Sunoo was completely addicted to Heeseung, he never wanted to pull away.
With much difficulty, after what felt like years, Sunoo forced himself to pull away for air, his heart constricting in his chest when his eyes landed on Heeseung’s gorgeous face. The older was flushed, for the first time since they pair met, his red lips ever so slightly swollen from the long kiss they shared, his eyes closed as he regained his breath. Sunoo was absolutely in love with Heeseung. There was no trying to hide it anymore.
Finally giving in to temptation, he brought a hand up to run his fingers through the other’s soft black hair, leaning forward to kiss the other’s cheek. “I know you always call me pretty but you’re so pretty Hyung, you’re really really pretty.”
Heeseung peeked down at Sunoo with one eye, a soft chuckle leaving his lips as he leaned into his gentle touch, a happy sigh then leaving his lips. “Thank you, baby. But you will always be the pretty one in this relationship.”
“Just let me compliment you without turning it on me!” Sunoo huffed, a pout on his lips as he dropped his hand back to Heeseung’s neck, satisfied with himself when the other laughed.
“I wouldn’t be your Lee Heeseung if I didn’t,” Heeseung grinned cheekily, the other blushing darkly at his words.
“ My Lee Heeseung??”
“Yes, yours ~ or do you not want me to be yours?”
“Baby steps Heeseungie Hyung, we haven’t even gone on a first date.”
“Oh, so you kiss before the first date?”
“I hate you.”
“Love you too Sun~”