winter was sudden and came with a kind of grace that wasn’t usually around during the season of tests and chalky classrooms filled with caffeinated students. winter meant empty skies with indoor after school activities that meant the school campus was going to be a little louder than it should be. winter irked people like lee jihoon who so fondly wished to be coddled in between the sheets of his dorm bed.
winter did not usually mean a new exchange students... especially handsome ones from anyang, a couple miles south of seoul. the student stood tall and had a puppy-like demeanor. looks that reminded jihoon of the large tree outside his house in busan that overlooked the coastlines of the city he knew as home. winter meant jihoon was stuck at his special place, a dark room in the corner of the third floor of the school. a studio that remained unknown to most students. winter brought new music that slipped out of jihoon’s earbuds who unknowingly plays his music at a high volume because he's constantly alone in this space. this time it's a soft japanese song called, “あいとわ,” that he didn’t exactly know the meaning of, but the soft piano lulled him a melancholic way that felt just right.
of all the years jihoon’s attended school in seoul, people have firmly held the idea that jihoon wasn’t one to be disturbed. he wasn’t an outcast, just secluded from doing other things that wasn’t entirely needed. you could ask junhui, the chinese exchange student that came to seoul years ago, soonyoung, a true optimistic dancer who understood jihoon’s passion to compose... just in a different sense; through movement, and wonwoo, a bit quiet, just the way jihoon liked them, with a real passion for old novels in hopes he’d be able to write his own one day.
“you see the new student? what’s his name?” soonyoung’s the first to speak with junhui and wonwoo quick to follow into the dimly lit studio. jihoon still has his earbuds intact to his head, but soonyoung’s never been a soft speaker, as everyone who came across him would know.
“mingyu. kim mingyu.” jihoon sighs, not looking away from the screen of bland beats leading up to be, in all, an uninteresting song. he doesn’t know why he's so caught up in it when it’s leading nowhere, but something keeps him glued to the screen in hopes that amidst the new music he seems to discover daily, a newfound inspiration would lead him to a smooth original beat.
“yeah! him!” soonyoung interrupts jihoon’s train of thought, “ he’s not that bad looking, if i do say so myself. not my type but you know… jihoon…” jihoon doesn’t know when it all began, but soonyoung has pestered with /any/ opportunity that was given to him to score jihoon a small date. “spice your life up! you need it!” he would always counter when jihoon would mention that soonyoung didn’t seem to have anyone special in his life either. a cupid who didn't seem to have the guts to take a shoot at himself.
“shut up, soonyoung. it's not happening.”
“hoonie…” soonyoung begins to whine and junhui excuses himself with wonwoo strolling behind cautiously, not intending to get caught up within soonyoung’s match-making frenzy's. jihoon fondles with the endless array of wires connected to various stereos and speakers hooked along the room and looks up at soonyoung, who’s eyes are glaring daggers at the smaller male. he quickly looks back at the computer screen; he’s never been good at eye-contact.
“soonyoung, you know, i might take on the offer if i aced that AP calc test… doubt it though..."
“bullshit, jihoon. you ace every test you receive.”
“who’s one to say i won’t ace this one?” and that ends the conversation.
much to his avail, he does ace that test and no one is surprised because it’s lee jihoon. he got into this school for a reason. he's invested into all these AP classes for a reason. however, newcomer kim mingyu’s eyes widen as if he’s just seen a ghost. as jihoon makes his way past the line of students to get back to his own desk, the taller male’s hand trails over the smaller's hand,
“hey, lee jihoon, right? you uh... look like you have your shit together…” he pulls up his own score, a 79. barely passed. “so… you taking up any offers for a study partner... or uh... offering to be a tutor?” his eyes scream desperately for assistance.
“are you going to pay me?” jihoon juts bluntly, peering up at the taller male and he’ll admit to soonyoung, the guy is kind of cute. an athletic leanness that would make anyone swoon, a face that would make anyone on the streets do a doubletake… mingyu raises an eyebrow,
“didn’t know asking other students for favours cost money, isn’t that a bit…” mingyu’s face falls for a brief moment, actually taking in jihoon’s words. not a clear understanding of sarcasm, jihoon notes.
“it was a joke, but aren’t you supposed to pay tutors?” the way mingyu’s face flushes makes jihoon’s stomach sink. “besides, you barely know me.” he mutters, the taller's tight grip on his hand starts to make him uncomfortable.
“it’s not for tutoring! i just… you see… soonyoung…” jihoon should’ve known.
“don’t listen to him. he's a ditz.”
“so, i’m taking that as a no?” mingyu grins sheepishly and jihoon wonders why mingyu hasn’t tried to end the conversation and walk away already. he wonder's if mingyu's heard the rumours about him, heard the whispers that he's just a cold and heartless music freak. jihoon purses his lips together anyway and mumbles, “no, it’s fine. i’ll study with you for a bit.” and tries to hide the blush crawling onto the tip of his ears. he's not used to talking to new people, nevertheless /cute/ new people and he can already hear soonyoung snickering from his side of the classroom with junhui and wonwoo.
“cool, exchange kakao id’s with me, it’s a date.” mingyu grins and lets his canines show, and jihoon lets the d word slip for now, in secret hopes that all will go well for them. call it a newfound interest.