"Hey. Wanna meet up? I can come over tonight."
Donghae's exasperated by the text. He's told Jun. He's fucking busy.
"No. Lots to hand in."
He sends that. Turns his phone off. Rubs his eyes to focus.
He's got fifty more pages to write for his thesis paper. But he can't even tell anymore. If what he's written makes any fucking sense. Or if he'll be able to finish. By the due date. If he fails a course... he'll make Jun pay for it. That rich and spoiled shit.
Donghae scrolls through what he wrote today. He tries to. Every day. But his brain just scans. Tells him it's good. And hurry the fuck up. Because it doesn't want to think. Be forced to read. Take in information. Write.
It's so fucking stressful. So frustrating. Donghae's always been easily annoyed. By distractions. People being irresponsible. Wasting time. Money. All that lack of priorities around this fucking school. But recently he's been in a worse mood. They'll have finals in a month. And people are taking none of it seriously? What the fuck?
Hyukjae enters his room. Drops noisily on his bed. Donghae curses out loud. Grips his pen.
"I have told you... over a hundred fucking times... to leave me alone when I'm working on my thesis..."
Donghae turns his chair. On the other side of his room... Hyukjae lies in his bed. Face hidden in Donghae's pillow. Half his shirt's gone up. His pale stomach shows. The curve of his body. That ridiculously small waist. Donghae moves his eyes quickly. Wheels his chair. Across the room.
Hyukjae... usually says something. To his complaints. It's either dumb and annoying. While looking dumb and annoying. Which fucks up Donghae's focus. Or he just apologizes. Laughs. But politely leaves. Donghae expects either of those. But this doesn't happen often...
"Hyukjae?" Donghae says. "What's the matter, weirdo?"
"Nothing," Hyukjae says. Moves his pillow down. He looks unhappy.
"Hey, you okay?" Donghae says. Softer.
"Kind of..." Hyukjae sits up. Holds the pillow tightly. "I overheard Tiffany..."
"Tiffany, who's in business."
"Yeah, I know her, but what did you hear?"
"She was talking to Sooyoung... they know Yunho's been single for the past month now and she said she likes Yunho a lot and they decided she'd tell him next week after she finishes her presentation for class..."
Hyukjae's pouting. His eyes tear up a little. "She's very smart... and so pretty..."
"Well, uh, y-you are too?"
"No, I'm not. She's a girl and I know... Yunho likes smart girls..."
"He's gone out with a few of those, hasn't he?"
"Yeah... but Tiffany's special. I just know it..."
Donghae agrees. In fact... Tiffany should go ahead. Tell Yunho. Take him. Maybe Hyukjae will look at someone else besides Yunho then.
Shit. The idiot's about to cry over this...
"Hyukjae... we won't know until Tiffany makes her move... right?"
Hyukjae suddenly scowls. "But he's my best friend."
"Right. Uh. So...?"
"What if I tell him Tiffany's horrible?"
"No, no, that's not nice." Hyukjae shakes his head. "Oh! What if I confess to Yunho before Tiffany does?"
"Um, t-that's..." Donghae clears his throat. "Yeah, you could do that. You could've always done that..."
"Yeah... but I'm scared. What if he's not even like... ten percent gay? What if he doesn't want to be my friend anymore because I'm gay and he's hotter than the fucking sun on the hottest day of summer? I don't want him to not be my friend..."
Then he doesn't deserve you, Donghae thinks. He's heard all this. Too many times. Donghae turns. Wheels away. Yes. Always like before. Hyukjae won't make a move. Whatever then. Let him be an idiot.
"Heyy..." Hyukjae calls. "W-What do you think I should do?"
"Donghae... I really think he likes Tiffany... a lot..."
"Shut up. Some of us have papers to hand in. Go back to your own room."
Hyukjae whines. Donghae hears him rolling on his bed.
Every fucking week. At least once before going to bed. Hyukjae mentions Yunho. Talks about him. He's constantly with Yunho too. For soccer. Or practicing their... theatre shit. Dance. Plays. History papers in the library. All that time together... and Hyukjae never told Yunho. That he has a fat infuriating crush on him.
No. Donghae gets to hear that instead. Because why the fuck not?
Well. Donghae knows why. Hyukjae feels comfortable. Sharing it with him.
During the first month of being roommates... Hyukjae had seen Donghae. With a guy. Donghae still remembers it. How Hyukjae went red. When Donghae had noticed him. He was gaping. Eyes round. Then Jun had turned around. Probably pissed. Hyukjae had apologized. Actually run out of the small apartment. Stayed out for hours.
The next morning... he found Donghae. In the kitchen. Alone. And he spilled it all. In excited hushed whispers: He prefers guys too! He has a crush on his bestfriend! Yunho! But Yunho doesn't know! That Hyukjae likes him! Or guys!
Hyukjae's tugging at his sleeve. He's knelt on the floor.
"Let me fucking study, you annoying idiot. You're wasting my time. Don't you have shit to work on? What's with this fucking school? Do you all want to fail?"
"Pleaaase... can you listen to me? I will leave you alone after. I promise."
Donghae spares him a glance. "What? Quickly. Ten seconds--"
"Okay! Donghae, I'm going to tell him! On Friday! I really want to ask him out on a date a-and tell him so he can... decide after... if he wants to be my boyfriend or... my friend... or never see me again..."
Donghae slowly looks at him. Hyukjae sounds serious.
"And if he does say that... he never wants to see you again?" Donghae asks.
Hyukjae appears hurt. "W-Well... then that's that... I w-would've tried... I guess... then we graduate and... I never see him..."
Donghae gulps. He's been sort of... pushing him. To do that. Out of annoyance. So the idiot could give up on Yunho. But he's figured Hyukjae out through these years. He won't. Then eventually... Yunho would be out of his grasp. Right?
But now... what if... Yunho says yes? Someone else would be losing Hyukjae...
"You're gonna take him out on a date?" Donghae says. Laughs. "How? You think you'll impress him with your... zero experience?"
Hyukjae gasps. Red. Donghae chuckles.
"You've never dated a guy before," Donghae says. Props his elbow on the desk. "If he's never dated a guy either... well, you could get dumped pretty fast if you mess it up..."
Hyukjae's brows cross. Deep in worry. Donghae turns away. Ignores the guilt. Scrolls up his document.
Hyukjae tugs his sleeve again. "Donghae..."
"God, Hyukjae. Could you let me fucking--?"
"You've dated a lot... right?"
"And you've dated a guy too... that... Jun?"
"Did you and that guy... break up for real now?"
"Break up for real? Who said we were going out?"
"Y-You... but y-you..." Hyukjae's mouth falls open. "He's come here at night--you... just sleep with him? All the time? I thought you were together and then not and then together and then not--?"
Donghae laughs. "It's a... friends with benefits kinda thing."
Hyukjae's pink. He crawls back. Sits against his bed. Thinking. Pout on his lips.
"What's going on in your silly head now?"
Donghae's heart skips.
"Um..." Hyukjae says. Chews on his lip. Blinks around. Then takes a breath. "Hae, c-can you help me?"
It sounds like a good idea. And a shitty idea. Fake date Hyukjae for a few days. Till the Friday of next week. It's not too long. So whatever.
On Friday, Hyukjae can ask Yunho out. Whether he's successful... or he fails... Donghae would've gotten a proofreader. For his thesis. Because god knows he needs one.
Donghae's been going at his thesis again. Early morning. He tries to wake up early. Get as much done as possible. So he doesn't have to miss any classes. Or gym. Or breakfast. He can't lose control of his life. Like the morons around him. He is losing sleep though. Donghae maybe... envies Hyukjae for that. His classes are mostly afternoons. Evenings. So he gets to sleep in. Which he does. Too much.
Actually... he's quite lazy. In Donghae's opinion. His initial impression of him was... a weirdo. Geek. Who manages to look kind of cute. He has something space related on half of his clothes. Or the moon. He's obsessed with the moon.
It's funny. That he's Yunho's best friend. Yunho's popular. With everyone. He's always at someone's party.
Hyukjae's... well-liked. By those who know him. Which is the group of performance arts students. It's ironic. He's not a party-goer. He's shy. If he shows up to anything... it's for Yunho. Because whether Yunho's single or not... it never changes Hyukjae's feelings for him. But Hyukjae usually leaves early. He's the type to flee any advances. Donghae's seen it happen a few times. It makes him laugh.
Hyukjae prefers his books. Comics. Movies. Sleeping. Or... listening to some weird audio novels. That get him gasping and moaning. Thinking he can't be heard.
How does Donghae know about this? Because he walked in on him. He'd needed something. Hyukjae didn't hear him. He had his earbuds in. His little ass in the air. Exposed. Cheeks and thighs smooth. Pink. A bright green dildo deep in him.
Donghae shakes his head. Clears that arousing image. Hyukjae had come to him later. Flushed all over. Begged him not to tell anyone. As if Donghae would? Honestly. The idiot's so stupid sometimes. So fucking stupid.
Anyhow. He's a good flatmate. Maybe a little bit of a clean freak. He's asked Donghae if it's okay. To tidy up in his room too. Because he likes it clean. The dust comes out to the rest of the apartment! Donghae doesn't mind. He keeps the place clean for them. So why should he mind? Hyukjae has even folded Donghae's laundry. When Donghae dumps it on his bed. Forgets. Hyukjae sometimes grumbles about it.
But he's quiet. Polite and happy. Never mean or loud. Unless he's rambling on about Yunho. Or space. He shuts up though. Apologizes. When Donghae's grouchy. Not wanting to listen to Hyukjae's exaggerations. All the good qualities... of that agonizingly handsome Yunho.
Donghae checks the time. Stretches his arms. Groans at the cracks. Hyukjae's probably still sleeping.
He thinks about their deal... and smiles. Immediately, he gets up. To barge into Hyukjae's room.
"Oh, good morning," Donghae says. Surprised.
Hyukjae's already awake. But still in bed. Only his big almond eyes show. Under the covers.
"G'mornin..." he mumbles. "You should knock..."
"You don't always knock."
"Yeah, when I know you're not doing anything..."
Donghae raises an eyebrow. At this hour? What the fuck? His eyes fly over Hyukjae's curled form. Covered.
"Uh... are you... doing anything?"
Hyukjae blushes. Hides his face. "Noo... but what if I was?"
"Right. Sorry. Well, since you're not doing anything, get up and let's have breakfast."
Hyukjae whines. "Noo... my class is at one..."
"So you're just gonna fucking sleep until then?"
What an idiot. Even if Donghae could... he wouldn't sleep that much.
"You can't," Donghae says. He walks over to Hyukjae. Pulls off his covers.
"Ah!" Hyukjae hugs himself. Though he's clothed.
"You want to gain some dating experience? You have to get up early and have breakfast and be productive."
"W-What the hell? Who says?"
"I say! C'mon, up, you lazy ass! Our class schedules are very different and I do not have time to waste. So you're gonna be up when I'm up! If you're dating someone, you don't let them do things by themselves. If I'm having breakfast, then you're having breakfast."
Donghae drags him. Hyukjae's pouting. His hair's tousled. Face is puffy. Donghae chuckles at it.
"Is today a date then?" Hyukjae asks.
He's energetic again. He sucks on his strawberry milk. Stuffs a bagel into his mouth.
"Sure," Donghae mutters. Looks away from his messy bangs. "But remember, I'm busy and I'm just doing you a favour. So we'll have to do smaller things."
"This. Lunch. Dinner. Maybe we can study together."
"Watch a movie?" Hyukjae says. Excited.
"Yeah, no. I have no time to go to the movies."
"What about here? On my laptop?"
"Nope. Waste of time. I have deadlines."
Hyukjae's face falls. He sinks into his white hoodie.
"But..." Donghae says. Scratches his neck. "Well. If... uh, I get ahead on my thesis then... maybe..."
"Great!" Hyukjae says. He smiles again.
"I have to head to class now. So I'll see you at noon? For lunch?"
"Do I walk you to class?"
Donghae blinks. "Um. Y-Yeah... I guess you could, if you want..."
Hyukjae scrambles up. Beams. Ready to accompany him out.
"We have to hold hands, you know," Donghae teases.
"Yeah, I'd love that!" Hyukjae hugs his arm.
Donghae's heart hammers.
Donghae sneaks glances. At Hyukjae. They're walking through the halls now. People are looking at them. But Hyukjae doesn't seem to care. Or notice? He's smiling. His hand is so smooth. So soft in his. Feels nice.
"It's here -- B112," Donghae says. Nods ahead. To his seminar room.
"Oh," Hyukjae says. He moves a little. Away from his shoulder. Fingers still intertwined with his. "Okay... um, so, have a good class..."
"Yeah," Donghae says. He gently pulls his hand away. Hyukjae clasps his own hands awkwardly. Donghae steps closer again. Touches his arm. Leans in to peck his cheek. He whispers, "I'll see you later, babe."
He smirks at the effect. Struts into his class. Hyukjae appeared so stunned. His cheeks flushed. But his eyes shone.
Donghae remembers. He needs to submit another paper too. By next week. On that same Friday. So he feels more stressed. More stupid. For agreeing to this. He doesn't have the fucking time.
Hyukjae's got a lot of reading to do this week too. Everyone does. They're near the end of the semester. Everyone should be studying. Those fucking morons.
They meet up for lunch. Sit close. Eat. But Hyukjae's soon got his nose in a book. Donghae wants to get mad. Why's he spending mornings asleep? When he clearly has homework?
"Don't you have a performance to prepare too?"
"Oh, yeah. We'll work on that next week. Half our class is working on essays now, which I finished, so we said we'd meet up next week."
"Wait, so... you're sort of... free this week...?"
"Yeah. Sort of. Free to catch up on all the readings for class..."
Donghae turns to him. Thinks. Hyukjae slowly lowers his book.
"Do you... need help?" he asks.
"It could mean I get more time for you..." Donghae says slowly.
Hyukjae's face lights up. His cheeks glow. His gums shine.
"I can help! What do you need?"
"It's a study date," Hyukjae giggles.
"Sorry," Hyukjae whispers. "Here."
He pushes a book to him. Open to the middle. Donghae skims it. Finds what he's looking for.
"Perfect," Donghae says. Types hurriedly. He leans over to kiss his cheek. Watches how Hyukjae blushes. "Oh, and hey, if you've got another minute... not now but whenever..." Donghae quickly grabs his notes. Underlines a few more references. "Could you find these for me?"
"Sure!" Hyukjae says. Smiles. "I'll just finish this chapter and then look for it?"
"Great," Donghae says. "Thanks, Hyukjae. You're the best."
They spend the next twenty minutes in silence. Donghae goes through his paper. Hyukjae reads for his own class.
Donghae glances at him. When Hyukjae's placed his book face down. Saved to his page. He picks up Donghae's notes. Wanders away. To find Donghae's books. In that time... Donghae writes some long sentences. Incorrect. He's distracted by a feeling. A thought.
Hyukjae returns. Places a stack of books down.
"Here you go," Hyukjae says. "You have these for just an hour. So tell me what you need out of it and I can scan it?"
"Oh. Uh. Yeah. Sure -- let me see..."
Hyukjae helps him again. Flips to the index. Compares it to Donghae's notes. Asks him about it. Donghae nods to everything. Sends Hyukjae to scan them.
Donghae then gathers up his stuff. Places Hyukjae's bookmark into his novel. So he doesn't lose his place. Hyukjae comes back. He's carrying papers.
"Oh... are you done?" he says.
"No, but... I think that's good for tonight," Donghae says. He takes the papers off Hyukjae. Slides them into his bag. With his laptop. He picks the books Hyukjae brought. "Come on. Let's take these back."
He shoulders his bag. Holds Hyukjae's hand. Places a kiss on his cheek again.
"Thanks for your help, babe."
Hyukjae... actually squeals. Discreetly. Behind his novel. Donghae hears it. Turns to him again. Tugs the book down. Leans in close. Hyukjae stares back at him. Eyes round.
"To be honest, Hyukjae," Donghae murmurs. "If you were helping someone this much... you'd deserve a little more than a kiss on your cheek..."
"Oh, b-but..." Hyukjae sucks in a breath. "We're in the library..."
"I've... I've never... I haven't had..."
"But would you like to?" Donghae asks. Smiles. Fuck. He's stupid. But so cute.
Hyukjae blinks. Nervous. He gives a nod. Donghae presses a quick peck on his lips. He turns abruptly. Heart racing. There are sounds. Muffled. From Hyukjae. Face behind his book again. Donghae pulls him out of the library. Smiles to himself.
He stops. Bag dropped by his bed. Hyukjae's followed him. Into his room. Caught his sleeve. He appears nervous again.
Hyukjae steps nearer. "Um. So... I wanted to tell you that... I haven't..."
"Haven't kissed anyone before?"
"N-No! I have!" Hyukjae says. "But... mostly... sorta almost... kisses? On stage." He drops his gaze. Lips pouty. "And never like... a proper kiss... and I just thought..."
"You should get some practice with me?"
Hyukjae's cheeks flush. He nods again. Avoids his eyes.
"Well, of course," Donghae says. He pulls Hyukjae. An arm around his waist. Shit. It's even slimmer than it looks. But just right. "That is why we're doing this... is it not?"
"I want to be good at kissing for Yunho--"
Not Yunho now. Donghae kisses his lips. Longer. Oh. They're really as wonderful as he'd felt earlier. They're so soft. Plump--he parts. To see Hyukjae's reaction. Hyukjae breathes. His eyelids flutter.
"T-That's it?" he says. Disappointed. He pulls back slightly.
Donghae keeps his arm around him. "Depends. What do you think?"
"Um, I think," Hyukjae says. "I think you should kiss me more b-because I want to know if Yunho would like it if I kissed him or if he'd like kissing me--"
God. He's so fucking annoying. Donghae impetuously captures his lips again. Kisses him. A little hard. A little less carefully. Until he realizes. Slowly moves his lips. Softer. Gentler. Hand on his cheek.
Hyukjae separates. Pants. His mouth is a beautiful pink. Donghae's heart thuds. He moves his gaze. To his eyes. Hyukjae suddenly closes them. Places his head on Donghae's shoulder.
"Oh my god..." Hyukjae says. Out of breath.
"W-What's wrong? Are you okay?"
"Mm..." Hyukjae nods. "T-That felt, oh, amazing. It felt incredible."
Donghae's heart thumps away. Louder. Proud.
"If this is h-how good it feels with you..." Hyukjae says. Lifts his head. His eyes shine. "How would it feel with Yunho? Oh my god."
Donghae gulps. Removes his arms. Hums.
"Right?" Hyukjae says. Tries to look into his eyes. "Oh, Donghae -- you have to tell me! Am I okay to kiss? Do you think... do you think Yunho would like kissing me?"
He's not Yunho. Fuck Yunho.
"You'll have to find out for yourself, I guess..." Donghae mutters. He turns away. "I've gotta work on that paper..."
"Oh, yeah. Okay. Do you need any help--?"
Hours later... Hyukjae quietly comes by his room. Knocks softly. Opens the door.
"Goodnight, Hae..." he says.
And Donghae notices the time. Hyukjae's already in sleepclothes. A massive gray shirt. With a rocket. Black shorts. His book is under his arm. The bookmark has moved. Almost near the end. Donghae wheels his chair close. Tugs him down.
"Goodnight, Hyuk..." he murmurs. Gives him a kiss.
Hyukjae's smile is so dumb. So cute.
Half an hour later... Donghae considers. Plugging his ears. Blasting music into them. Because it's nighttime. It's quiet. He really has to catch up on sleep. Except... he can't. Hyukjae's muffled moans can be heard. And Donghae has to try. Really fucking hard. Not to imagine. Whatever he may be doing.
But Donghae's hand slips into his boxers. In the dark... he can picture all of Hyukjae too clearly...
Donghae wakes him up. At eight. Hyukjae's grumpy. No doubt tired. Donghae wanted to mention it. The nuisance he was last night. But he pauses. Hyukjae's rubbing sleep out of his eyes. His lips are puffier. Poutier. Before he can think further... Donghae leans down. Places a kiss on his cheek.
"Morning, sunshine. Hurry and get dressed."
"For--for a date?"
"Yeah, sure. My class is at nine, so we have to hurry."
Hyukjae leaps out of bed. Laughs.
His sweater has a crescent on it. His face... a huge smile. Donghae's seen this same smile. When he's at this coffee shop. With Yunho. It may also be... because of Yunho now. Since Hyukjae's texting him.
"I told him I'll see him next week and that I'm busy this week helping you!"
"He wanted to see you?"
"Well, we usually meet up for lunch. He said he came by just now but no one answered."
Right. Because Hyukjae usually stays home. Till noon.
"Right. Okay, eat, I have class soon."
"Yes! Oh, have you tried these, Hae? They're so good."
Hyukjae's holding out a bite. Grinning. Hyukjae's ordered chocolate waffles. Covered. In sugar. Chocolate syrup. Whipped cream. One strawberry. Donghae opens his mouth. Accepts the bite carefully. Quickly sips his coffee. To wash it down.
"How's that your breakfast?" Donghae grumbles.
He knows Hyukjae usually skips breakfast. Mostly because he's asleep. The times he does eat... it's this?
"It doesn't look healthy."
Hyukjae pokes the strawberry. Swirls it in the whipped cream. Eats it. He gets the cream on his lips. He points it out to Donghae. And like the stupid idiot he is... he sticks his pink tongue out. Licks it off his upper lip. Hums contentedly. Donghae drops his gaze. To his own breakfast of toast. Eggs. Avocado. Coffee.
"But I don't eat like this all the time," Hyukjae says. "It's just because today's special."
"It's special because you're actually having breakfast."
Hyukjae's lips protrude again. Guiltily. Why the fuck do they look so pretty?
"No..." Hyukjae says. Cuts his waffles. Shoves a smaller piece into his mouth. "Because this is a date..."
Donghae swallows his food. Quickly sips more coffee. "Right. Well. Enjoy. I'd um, feed you some of my food, but I know you hate avocado."
"Thanks," Hyukjae mumbles. Smiles. "You could feed me some of your egg though...?"
Donghae moves the avocado off. Cuts a piece with egg. Sausage. Holds it out. Hyukjae leans over excitedly.
"Mmm! I don't eat a lot in the morning but I'm glad I got to today. Thanks, Hae..."
Donghae ignores what's going on in his chest. "Y-You don't eat because you sleep instead. You idiot."
"Noo... I sleep because I don't feel like eating in the morning."
"Hyukjae... are you sure it's not because you're lazy?"
"No! I just wake up later and eat later!"
"Alright, I get it! Stop talking and eat! We don't have time!"
Hyukjae blinks. Startled. Then he giggles. "Okay, I'm sorry."
"Hey. Let's meet up. My place."
God, what the fuck? Donghae's too busy. He's in class. Jun knows that. Why does he keep asking?
He texts, "Can't." Then silences his phone. Shoves it into his pocket.