It's 10:15pm on a Tuesday night, the perfect time for Sehun to walk into a small cinema room to see the latest Disney movie. Equipped with his small sweet popcorn, his eyes adjust to the darkness, only illuminated by the adverts on screen. He seems to be the only one in the room. Perfect.
His friends would probably laugh at him for going to the cinema to see a children's movie, especially alone, but he hardly cares. He hadn't been to the cinema in a while, and none of the more mature films had looked all that appealing to him. The best part is there's no couples clinging to each other as there often is at this time, and no screaming children and their mothers as there would be in the daytime for this kind of film.
WIth all the choice of seating, he heads straight to the middle. Not too close he'll strain his neck looking up at the screen, and not right at the back (which defeats the point of going to the cinema, in his opinion), either. When he gets to the area he thinks is best, he realises he's not the only one there as he thought, and this person obviously had the same idea as him.
Right in the middle of the row is a man with his knees hunched up to his chest, the light on his phone glowing up his face. Sehun's eyes widen, and the man grabs a handful of popcorn, shoving it in his mouth very unattractively, one even falling out onto his lap. He picks it up and throws it in his mouth again, then chugs down a bottle of coke to wash it down.
Sehun still hasn't moved from where he's standing at the end of the row, wondering where to sit now his plan has been foiled. The man seems to notice him then, and looks up at him curiously with wide eyes and a tilt of his head. Sehun can't help but blush, glad that the darkness won't give him away.
"You wanted to sit in the middle too, huh?" The man smiles up at him.
"Can't blame you, even with all the empty seats, the middle is always the best," he laughs. "I don't mind if you sit with me, though." Sehun widens his eyes and opens his mouth- "As long as you're not a talker. My eyes don't leave the screen once the film starts."
"Okay," Sehun smiles, thinking that the man talks an awful lot when there isn't a film playing. But that's okay, it fills in the gaps for him. Sehun makes his way to the seat and pulls it down, setting his bag on the floor. He had gone to the shop beforehand, buying a drink and sweets, knowing how expensive the cinema is. But he had to pay for the overpriced popcorn. The experience isn't the same without it.
"Salt?" The man asks, indicating to his box of popcorn.
"Sweet," Sehun says, throwing a piece in his mouth.
"How can you eat that," the man asks, scrunching his nose. "Your teeth will probably fall out just from that box. Salt is superior."
"But then you get so thirsty," Sehun frowns, "I don't really want to have to get up in the middle of the film to run to the toilet because I've drunk so much coke."
"That's true," the man laughs, "I'm Luhan, by the way."
"Sehun," he smiles, surprised by how comfortable he feels around the stranger. Usually takes him a lot longer to talk even this much. He gets the bag of sweets out of his backpack. "Fizzy cherry?"
Luhan grins and takes one, puts it in his mouth and licks the sugar off his fingers after. Sehun attempts to divert his eyes to the adverts instead, but Luhan is a lot more interesting.
"Oh, it's starting!" Luhan says, clapping his hands excitedly like a child and Sehun can't help but laugh.
True to his word, once the film starts, Luhan's eyes are stuck on the screen. Sehun knows because his own attention span has suddenly turned to shit, his eyes flickering off the screen at some parts and looking to the boy beside him instead. Luhan's mouth is hanging open a bit in concentration, and his eyes are wide. He squirms in his seat every now and then, obviously trying to get a bit more comfortable, and he still throws popcorn in his mouth until it's all gone, but his focus is still something to admire.
Until he seems to notice Sehun looking at him in a particularly boring part. The character is just repeating himself over and over and Sehun remembers that yes, this is a film for children, and yes, he is 22 years old. He wonders what that makes Luhan, noticing the way wrinkles form in the corner of his eyes when he laughs a little too hard for an adult.
(He wants to remember those moments the most so he can talk to Luhan about them later if the conversation goes cold.)
"Is there something on my face?" Luhan asks, wiping his mouth.
"Don't think I haven't noticed you looking at me this whole time," he frowns, looking at Sehun now.
Luhan's attention suddenly goes back to the screen and he laughs at whatever the character said. Sehun can hardly tell when he can only hear the blood rushing in his ears from embarrassment.
"I'm joking," Luhan smiles, patting Sehun on the shoulder. Sehun tries his best to focus on the screen only for the remaining duration of the film.
When the credits roll and the lights go back on, Luhan is sniffing next to him.
"Oh my god, I can't believe they almost died," Luhan says, wiping his eyes with his sleeve. "This is a children's film!! And why aren't you crying?! Are you heartless?!"
"I was," Sehun frowns, almost defensive. He never thought he would be defensive over being accused of not crying during a children's film, of all things. "I just stopped. You apparently, didn't."
Luhan hits him the shoulder for that. "It was so sad!"
"At least there was a happy ending," Sehun says, grabbing his bag and throwing it over his shoulder. He waits for Luhan to put his shoes back on, already off when Sehun had sat next to him. He knows he doesn't actually have to wait, he doesn't even know the man, but well, he wants to.
"Yeah," Luhan smiles, "there was, wasn't there?"
Sehun turns his phone on and the display reads 11:30. He has class tomorrow, maybe Luhan does too. Or work. Suddenly, he wants this to last a bit longer as they walk out of the cinema room.
"Race you to the toilet?" He grins at Luhan, though he's unsure if Luhan would even go for such a childish thing.
"What?" Luhan laughs, "you-"
Sehun's already running, leaving Luhan behind him yelling after him about Sehun being a cheater. A staff near by tells them to stop but they continue, and Luhan soon catches up to him and over takes him.
"You should know I was captain of the football team for years," he grins as he speeds ahead effortlessly. By the time they reach the men's toilets, Sehun doubles over and Luhan pats his back. "I should train you up!"
Sehun hardly has the breath to laugh, but he does anyway.
Afterwards, when they walk out of the cinema completely, Sehun fiddles with his coat, not wanting to go home just yet. It's cold tonight, as are most October nights. The skin bites at his fingers a little, but his pockets cover them just fine when he shoves his hands in them, unlike in winter.
"How are you getting home, Sehun-ah?" Luhan smiles and Sehun blushes at the honorific attached onto his name and hopes if Luhan notices he'll just think it's the cold. Luhan assumes Sehun is younger than him, then.
"Bus, unfortunately," Sehun frowns. "Can't afford a car just yet."
Luhan nods. "Want a ride?"
"Seriously?" Sehun's eyes widen, "I just met you though?"
"So? Didn't stop you from wanting to race me," Luhan grins, blowing hot air onto his cold fingers. Sehun wants very much to pull them into his pocket and lace them with his own. He fiddles with the inside of his pockets instead, letting out a laugh. "Unless you're uncomfortable with it, I really don't mind."
"I hope you're not a serial killer or something," Sehun laughs and Luhan hits him on the arm again.
"Well, I guess you'll find out," Luhan grins, almost manically.
"Scary," Sehun shivers, but somehow, he's comfortable.
Luhan is an interesting driver. He blasts out a mixture of Chinese and Korean music, even a little bit of Japanese, though Sehun notices that it's DBSK so he's not sure if that really counts. He also talks a lot. Between singing, that is. His voice is really nice, whether it's telling Sehun his old, old age of 26 (his words, not Sehun's!), about how he's lived in Korea for a few years now, but he's thinking whether he should go back to China soon (Sehun frowns at that and Luhan reaches over to ruffle his hair at a red light), or when he's singing in different languages. Sehun shouts out directions over his singing and talking and Luhan follows diligently.
He almost wishes he told Luhan the wrong way when Luhan pulls up at his shared apartment, the time over too quickly.
"Thanks for the ride," Sehun smiles, "and the company."
"You're not going to ask for my number?" Luhan pouts and laughs when Sehun's eyes widen.
"Give me your phone." Sehun does so quickly, almost dropping it when he gets it out of his pocket and unlocks it. "Eager," Luhan laughs, wiggling his eyebrows. Sehun has never blushed so hard in his life, suddenly staring down at his lap.
Luhan sits with both of their phones for a minute or two, tapping their names and numbers into the screen.
"Here," he says, passing back Sehun's phone with a smile, now locked again. "I have yours too. I'll text you?"
Sehun nods, putting his phone back in his pocket. "See you later, Luhan hyung."
"See you, Sehun-ah."
Luhan waits until Sehun is opening his front door, seeing him off with a wave before driving away.
Sehun closes the door and pulls out his phone, unlocking it and going to his phonebook.
He smiles and wonders what Luhan saved him as.