Youngho's eyes glazed over the crowd in front of him, smiling serenely as the audience bounced around to the beat he was creating. He always felt his calmest when he was mixing.
When asked why he chose DJ-ing as his career path he would always say it was his love of creating music that drove him to it but if that were truly the case he would have chosen the career of a composer or something similar. The real reason behind his choice in job was that he liked to be able to perform and see the enjoyment of the people listening. If he were just a composer, he wouldn't be able to see the reactions of the people listening; the way they would show satisfaction through the way they danced to the beat.
"Hey, Youngho," His eyes snapped to the person calling him, confused as no one ever referred to him by his real name when he was working (rather, he was known as Johnny) and he found himself looking Amber Liu and their girlfriend. "Will you let Luna and I sing whilst you mix?"
"Yeah, sure. Go get Taeho to set you up some mics, what song do you want to sing?" Youngho asked them grinning as they pumped the air.
"Heartbeat, that cool?" Amber replied grabbing Luna's hand and pulling her over to Taeho once Youngho had nodded in response. He searched up the song and queued it before pulling off his headphones so they rested around his neck and brushing a hand through his hair habitually. Once the two returned he placed the headphones back onto his head, one earpiece covering his ear, one just behind so he could hear the two singers, and grabbed his microphone.
"We got some special guests here today!" He paused waiting for the crowds inevitable cheering before continuing. "That's right! Amber and Luna are back with Heartbeat!"
"DJ Johnny, hit it!" Amber shouted as the first few notes floated out of the speakers.
"Dude, that was awesome, as usual." Hansol complimented, slapping him on the back. His shift was over so he decided to join his roommate and his friends in the club rather than just go home like he usually did because as the other had put so kindly 'he was going to die lonely if he didn't attempt to make any friends, other than Hansol, soon'. Besides, Ungjae, the DJ that came on stage after him, had asked Youngho to listen to him at some point and give him some advice and pointers, so this was the perfect time for that.
"Thanks, bro." He said as Hansol lead him over to where he and his friends were situated at the back of the club, next to the bar. He recognised some of them; Yuta since he and Hansol were dating so he was often found lounging around their apartment and Taeyong since they had worked together to create some songs for Taeyong's online mixtape - Booming Systems.
He was introduced to the people he didn't know; Yoonoh and Dongyoung - Taeyong's boyfriends - Taeil, Kun, Sicheng and someone very pretty, named Chittaphon, although the others seemed to refer to him as Ten, before a drink was forced into his hand by Hansol and he was pushed onto a bar stool. Taking small sips from his glass of coke (you’d think that since he was an employee he’d be able to buy alcohol from the bar but his manager was incredibly strict when it came to underage drinking) he closed his eyes and attempted to listen to the music playing over the sound of the chattering next to him, his head bobbing to the beat.
"Oi, string bean. You're here to socialise, not listen to the music you just spent the last five hours playing yourself." Youngho opened his eyes and looked at Hansol with disdain.
"Ungjae needs me to; he wants some criticism."
"Youngho," He warned and Youngho sighed and turned towards the group, there was no point arguing once Hansol used the 'mum' tone. "You still act exactly like a teenager."
"Suck my ass." He replied in English and was surprised when he heard Chittaphon stifle a laugh. "You speak English?"
"Yeah, self-taught." The small boy replied, his accent was thick but Johnny found it adorable and he had no problem striking up a long conversation with the younger.
By the time they all decided to go home, Youngho had easily adapted himself into the friend group and was happy to agree to hanging out with them again after his shift the next night.
True to his word, after his next shift he joined the others at the back of the club again.
"Wait, where's Chittaphon?" He asked as he scans the group, looking for the missing boy.
"He's somewhere around, dancing I presume." Taeyong replied whilst searching the crowd. He made a noise of recognition and pointed out the black-haired boy who was lost in his dancing. Youngho looked over and watched him as he danced; each of his moves was powerful and strong but overall his dancing was graceful and fluid, reminding him of water. Youngho watched as he danced into the next song and the way he moved adapted to the change, becoming more quick and striking. The way he danced was entrancing and Youngho found himself unable to look away and it seemed like he wasn't the only one. People had begun crowding around him watching as he pushed out move after move, always on beat, however, it seemed that Chittaphon hadn't even noticed his audience, too lost in his dancing to take notice of the eyes following him. To him, there was nobody else in the room there was just him, the music and the choreography flowing through him.
"Careful you don't drool."
"Fuck off. It's not like that, I was just admiring his talent." Yuta snorted in response but didn't say anything more, choosing instead to rejoin the group's conversation.
A few more songs later and Chittaphon had returned and was chugging down what he assumed was a glass of water.
"Slow down, you're going to get hiccups." Taeil reprimanded. Chittaphon stuck out his tongue in response and finished the glass in one.
"Excuse you, Yoonoh. The yellow one was obviously the best." Chittaphon argued throwing a fry at the curly haired boy.
In the few weeks that Youngho had known the others, he came to realise that they visited McDonalds as if it was in their religion. They would go at least once a week, even more now that they had a week break from college; he could already feel the cholesterol blocking his arteries. He had also noticed their (read: mainly, Yoonoh and Chittaphon) tendencies to have arguments over the strangest of topics.
"What? It was the purple wiggle! Tell them, Bunny." Yoonoh exclaimed angrily.
"Out of obligation to my boyfriend, I have to say the purple one is best."
"Fuck off, Dongyoung. Youngho you agree with me, right?"
"Yeah, sure." Youngho agreed, he didn't have the heart to tell the two arguing boys that he'd never watched The Wiggles in his life.
"You know I love you guys but I'm going to have to agree with Ten and Youngho, the yellow wiggle was by far the best one." Taeyong added.
"We're breaking up." Yoonoh deadpanned. Dongyoung snorted at the face Taeyong pulled as he left the table only to return a few moments later with a McFlurry in hand. "I forgive you." Yoonoh said before grabbing the ice cream and immediately digging in, the other sitting down with a smug grin on his face. His features softened a second later as he watched Yoonoh feed Dongyoung some ice cream and press a kiss to his nose.
Youngho took another mozzarella stick from the bag and munched on it, happy that the Wiggles conversation had seemed to pass.
"What did I miss?" Yuta asked as he sat down, returning from a trip to the toilet.
"An argument over which member of The Wiggles was better, a mombreakupreak up and Taeil falling asleep in his burger." Hansol answered as he glanced over at the eldest who was snoring with his face pressed into his food.
"Ah, so nothing unusual." He laughed as he stole a bite from his boyfriend's chicken wrap who consequently slapped him with a fry.
With the arrival of Yuta, the conversation soon passed onto sports and Youngho zoned out, gazing out of the window. Sports wasn't really his thing. Last year, he'd been regularly asked to join the basketball team - due to his extreme height - but the idea bored him. Running around bouncing a ball sounded quite tedious to him but that was probably to do with the fact that he had no hand-eye coordination at all so trying to throw a ball into a net would not end well for him, tall or not. However, apparently Chittaphon and Yoonoh were currently in the college basketball team that Youngho had turned down so many times and listening to the former talk about the sport and watching how he lit up as he spoke so passionately about the game made Youngho feel slightly more partial toward the game.
After all of them had had their share of greasy fries and nuggets they made a unanimous decision to go back to Chittaphon's - since it was the biggest- and they quickly departed the fast food restaurant.
Youngho's mouth dropped when they entered through the iron-wrought gate leading to Chittaphon's front garden.
"Dude, you're fucking loaded." He exclaimed as he dragged his eyes across the giant house - almost mansion- and to the five cars parked in their driveway. "Be my sugar daddy?" Chittaphon giggled in response and lead them down the path to his front door.
"You can go straight up to my room; I'm going to go feed my cats." He directed once he'd let them in and he exited through the door on the right. Taeyong nodded and lead the others to Chittaphon's room upstairs. As soon as everyone made eye contact with the bed, they all simultaneously ran towards it in an attempt to get a space on, everyone who was too late or got pushed off (presumably by Yoonoh who was undeniably the most competitive person Youngho had ever met) got comfortable on the floor.
Youngho, one of the unfortunate, stretched out on the floor before his arm hit something hard, his watch clinking on it loudly. He reached under the bed and pulled out a nearly full bottle of Smirnoff Vodka.
"We can drink that if you want." Chittaphon stated as he walked into the room. "My parents are gone for the next few days so you can stay over if you get too wasted."
"How did you even get this?" Taeyong asked incredulously.
"Connections," He replied with a shrug.
“You know what, I don’t even care as long as I get some.” Dongyoung declared as he grabbed the bottle from Youngho, unscrewed it and took a swig. The whole room erupted with laughter as Dongyoung’s face screwed up at the bitter taste and he groaned with displeasure; it, however, was not enough to put him off as he took another two gulps before passing it to Yoonoh.
Within 15 minutes the bottle was nearly and Youngho could barely speak without slurring his words, his tongue heavy in his mouth. Taeil had put on AOA a few minutes prior so he, Chittaphon and Taeyong were currently performing the choreography to Miniskirt (quite well, Youngho would admit but he might have been swayed by the sight of Chittaphon slut dropping). After Miniskirt, Taeyong played Red Velvet’s Ice Cream Cake, naturally, and this caused Yoonoh and Yuta to jump up and join in with the dancing. Dongyoung scooted closer to Youngho and leant against him; which to others probably would have looked endearing but he was 100% certain it was just because the orange haired boy couldn’t sit up without something propping him up. Youngho returned his attention to the five dancers and let his eyes wander and stop on Chittaphon who seemed to genuinely be at peace and happy with his dancing unlike the others who were red with embarrassment and were seemingly only dancing for the amusement of everyone else. Chittaphon had a sense of serenity around him when dancing even if it was just goofing around. His limbs were heavy due to inebriation causing his moves to be less precise and sharp than usual yet he still put all his energy into performing his best, his mouth stretched into a blinding smile.
“So, how was I? Think I could audition for the next girl group.” Chittaphon joked later as he dropped himself onto Youngho’s lap once the last few notes of Blackpink’s Playing With Fire had finished.
“Of course. Now get off me you fatass.” He replied. Chittaphon showed no signs of removing himself from Youngho, instead throwing his legs over Dongyoung– who had fallen asleep next to them with his head on Youngho’s shoulder – and nuzzling the elder’s neck.
In hindsight, making a comment about how the group only sees him as a cushion was a mistake since they all immediately jumped onto him, waking Dongyoung in the process, and were now refusing to get off him.
“Guys, I seriously cannot breathe. Get the fuck off me.”
“Since when do cushions speak?” Hansol questions cheekily before climbing off the top of the heap, the others following. A few minutes of comfortable silence fell as everyone once again got comfortable and Taeyong changed the music – this time Feel So Good by IMFACT flowed out of the speaker.
“Sicheng and Kun are coming over apparently.” Chittaphon called out, squinting at his phone.
The two Chinese boys arrived about twenty minutes later and they were met with the sight of Yoonoh trying to down a bottle of vinegar and everyone else covered in miscellaneous food, liquids and, from what Sicheng’s nose was picking up, cinnamon. “We’re playing truth or dare.” Taeyong explained.
“First of all, I cannot believe you got drunk without us.” Kun started as he noticed Chittaphon swinging slightly as if he couldn’t quite stand upright and Dongyoung and Yuta sprawled on the floor bawling with laughter. “Second of all, I cannot believe you’ve been playing truth or dare without me, you know I’m the king of this game.”
“Sorry. We have some vodka left over if you want some?” Kun forgave them quickly since Youngho really did look apologetic and besides his desire to play the game with them was much more prominent than his need to be bitter. Sicheng gulped down his half of the remaining vodka before passing it over to Kun who was looking through Chittaphon’s cupboards to find the most disgusting thing he could for them to try. It appeared that he was successful when he spun around, one hand hiding something behind his back, with one of the biggest shit-eating grins Youngho had ever seen – rivalled only by Jaemin’s, a friend of his brother, Minhyung, who smiled as if he had just pushed someone into a pool with their phone in their pocket.
“What did you find?” Hansol asked cautiously. Kun pulled his hand out from behind his back so they could all see the bottle of Sriracha he was holding. Chittaphon burst out laughing.
“Oh, man, you guys will not be able to handle Thai hot sauce. Especially that one.” He said between sniggers. “That’s like the hottest one.”
“Since you find this so funny, why don’t you go first, Ten?” Yuta asked with a faux-sweet smile on his face.
“I’m from Thailand, that’s nothing.” Chittaphon stated waving his hand, palm down, in front of his neck. The others started shouting at him, demanding he do it so he picked up the spoon that Dongyoung had – oh, so lovingly – filled with hot sauce. Wasting no time, he drank the sauce and even poured himself another spoonful to show off. “This is child’s play. Your turn, Taeyong.”
“TY Track! TY Track!” Yoonoh slurred.
“I can handle this.” He declared as he popped the spoon into his mouth. He lasted an incredible two seconds before his eyes bulged and he started yelping before running to get a glass of water.
A spoonful was poured for Hansol as Taeyong whined about his sore mouth to his boyfriends. Hansol looked uneasy and swallowed the sauce as quickly as he could which, looking back, was a terrible idea as he began coughing and even started to hiccup causing the other boys to almost cry with laughter; except Yuta, who was mildly concerned.
“The eldest one now.” Sicheng said pouring out another spoon.
“I’ll have two, I need to protect my ego.” Taeil joked as he drank the sauce. His smile soon disappeared as his face contorted into one of utter shock, his mouth and eyes wide open as he tried to comprehend how something could be so soul-destroying. Hansol took the opportunity to tip the last bit of sauce down his throat and he began to splutter.
“If I’m suffering, so are you.” He reasoned.
“How’s your ego now?” Yoonoh laughed as the elder glared at him with as much disdain as he could (which was not a lot).
Unfortunately, Youngho didn’t get to see how Taeil would respond to the taunts his dongsaengs were throwing at him as his phone started ringing and he stepped out into the corridor to answer it.
“Minhyung, are you okay?”
“Yeah, uh, me and my dad had a fight again. Any chance I could stay with you?” Minhyung murmured. He’d recently been getting into a lot of arguments with this dad since he told his dad he wanted to pursue a future in the music industry (namely, being an idol). This only added fuel to the ‘fire’ that was Minhyung’s father’s ire since he’d also recently came out as bisexual which didn’t go down well. He was thankful that him and Minhyung did not share a father - although they referred to each other as brothers they were actually only half-siblings - since Youngho was both gay and a DJ which he was sure would have caused Minhyung's father to have had a heart attack a long time ago had Youngho been his actual son.
“Where are you? I’m coming to get you.” Youngho ordered. It was well past 11 o’clock and he didn’t like his brother to be out this late.
“I’m in the park. Donghyuck’s here as well.”
“I’m on my way stay where you are.” Minhyung nodded before realising Youngho couldn’t see him so he made a noise of affirmation and hung up. He turned to Donghyuck and relayed what his brother had said.
Youngho reentered the kitchen and explained that he had to go pick up his brother and friend and said his good byes.
“Why don’t you just bring them back here?” Chittaphon offered. “The more the merrier, right?”
“You’re a fucking lifesaver.” Truthfully, Youngho had not planned any further than finding his brother and his friend since he couldn’t take him to his and Hansol’s dorm, since they weren’t allowed non-students into their dorms and they'd already been caught hording Minhyung a few times, if he was caught again he couldn't see it going very well..
“I’ll come with you; you’re not walking all the way to town and back on your own.” Youngho tried to argue but he was determined. “You guys know where everything is so you’ll be okay on your own, right?”
“Yeah, yeah. Pick up some pizza on your way back.” Taeyong said, knowing full well that if they didn’t get take away he’d be responsible for cooking and he was not yet sober enough for that.
“Yes, Mum.” Chittaphon taunted before grabbing Youngho by the wrist and leading him out of the house.
For the first five minutes, they walked in silence, neither of them knowing what to talk about. “I want you to know that if you or your brother ever need it, my house is always available to you.” Chittaphon mumbled, embarrassed, his hold on Youngho’s wrist tightening slightly. Youngho tugged his arm out of Chittaphon’s grip and slid his hand into the other’s, interlocking their fingers.
“Thanks, Chittaphon. I really do appreciate it.” He replied, smiling down at the younger who was sporting a slight blush.
“You know, I like that you’re the only one who calls me that.” Chittaphon confessed as he looked up and met Youngho’s eyes. “Chittaphon, I mean. I don’t usually like it when people call me that but it’s nice with you. Special, even.”
Youngho smiled adoringly down at the younger, a confession of this own at he tip of his tongue, he quickly swallowed it down and directed his attention back to the barren street ahead. They walked in silence until they reached the park, content with just the presence of each other, no feeling like they needed to fill the quiet with unnecessary conversation.
“Are you okay, Markie?” Youngho asked, referring to Minhyung's English name, as he approached the two teenagers sat on the swings.
“Don’t call me that.” Minhyung grumbled causing a sly smile to spread across Donghyuck’s face.
“Oh, Markie~” Donghyuck teased in falsetto. Mark responded by pushing him off the swing. “Ow. My ass.”
“Alright, lovebirds, I’m freezing so let’s hurry up and get the fuck out of here.” Youngho butted in before spinning around and walking in the opposite direction, missing the bright flushes the younger two were sporting as a result of his comment.
Minhyung offered his hand to Donghyuck and pulled him up from the floor, avoiding eye contact with him, and they jogged to catch up with the elders.
Once they made it back to Chittaphon's - stopping off at a pizza place on the way - they all immediately dug into the food and Chittaphon brought out a bottle of coke since, according to Yuta, coke is the only drink that goes with Pizza. After voicing this opinion he started an awful, offkey rendition of 'Taste The Feeling' before being forcibly stopped by Hansol shoving a pizza slice into his mouth - almost choking him in the process.
"Hey guys," Dongyoung voiced over Yuta's exaggerated hacking. "The newbies haven't tried the Sriracha yet." At this, Taeil started cackling loudly. He soon stopped when Mark and Donghyuck readily accepted the challenge and easily took the spoonfuls of sauce. Donghyuck even got a special praise from Chittaphon who was thoroughly impressed by him. He looked as if he was drinking water with his passive face and the "I can take this" that put Taeyong to shame.
"Well, now that you elders have been thoroughly chagrined I suggest we watch a movie. Who's with me?" Kun piped up.
To the great distaste of Chittaphon, they decided to screen The Mummy, a horror movie that had recently come out in cinema - a movie they wouldn't have been able to watch had it not been for Hansol's recognizable skill in streaming illegally. He sat down reluctantly, grumbling under his breath about how the others were an embarassment for wanting to watch this "piece of low-budget shit" over Railroad Tigers (a movie with both, the gorgeous and talented Zitao and the living legend Jackie Chan).
"You alright?" Youngho asked as he made himself comfortable on the sofa next to him. Chittaphon hummed in response before dragging his gaze to the television screen (albeit, begrudgingly). The main reason for his distaste towards the movie was actually not due to the others choosing it over what he wanted to watch. It was actually his fear of horror movies; a fear that was very known by Dongyoung who was eyeing him from the other sofa with a sense of glee and mischief. Twenty minutes into the film and Chittaphon had already jumped out of his seat in fear at least a dozen times and was currently covering his eyes with his sleeves, his knees pulled up to his chest.
"Hey, Chittaphon. Do you want to leave the room?" Youngho asked softly, leaning in to hear the younger's reply over the movie audio.
"No, I'm fine, I don't want you to miss th-" Unfortunately, the 'mummy' chose that moment to appear on screen and he squealed loudly before instinctively wrapping his arms around Youngho's arm and burying his face into the other's shoulder. "Please, get me out of here." He whispered.
"You might need to release me first." Youngho replied laughing when a flush appeared high on Chittaphon's cheeks and he quickly released the former's arm from his grip, mumbling apologies. "Come on," Youngho stood up and offered Chittaphon his hand and they relocated in the kitchen, not missing the cat calls and explicit things being shouted after them; they only stopped after Taeyong pointed out the two minors in the room.
Which reminded Youngho. "Did you see Minhyung and Donghyuck?" He asked Chittaphon, trying to distract him since he still looked utterly terrified.
Since there had not been enough room for all of them to fit on the sofas, Donghyuck and Minhyung were left to share the armchair, not that they appeared to mind. Donghyuck had his legs thrown over Minhyung, who had wrapped his arms around other former's waist, and was resting his head on the blonde's shoulders and they had been lost in mumbled conversation the entire movie.
"How have they not realised they're completely in love? I've known them for what, an hour? Yet, I can already tell they're irrefutably infatuated with each other."
"I know, it's so difficult to regularly have to watch how they toe around each other. I've tried speaking to my brother about it but he's having none of it." Youngho grumbled, followed by a surprisingly good imitation of Minhyung.
"I hope they work it out. I mean, with the way they look at each other how could fate do anything but make sure they end up together." Youngho snorted at the wistful gaze on the Thai's face.
"You're such a sappy romantic."
"Piss off. You can barely talk, who was it that I saw with Hansol crying over the reunion scene in Puberty Medley the other day?"
"I thought we made an agreement not to talk about that." By agreement, he meant the way he and Hansol peered over at Chittaphon - who had unknowingly walked in on one of their 'drama evenings' - with wide, begging eyes, shame written over their faces; the former silently backed out of the room and waited in Youngho's room on his phone until they were finished. Soon they became lost in conversation and didn't even notice the next hour go by.
"Movie's over, babies, you can come back in." Donghyuck informed as he poked his head around the door, quickly speeding back into the front room (and back into Mark's arms) after he was sure they'd heard him.
"Ready to go back in?" Youngho asked.
"Yeah, man, don't worry, I wasn't even scared anyway." Chittaphon exclaimed. Youngho raised his eyebrows at him questioningly. "Okay, I was a bit scared but I can't have the others holding this over me. Especially, Dongyoung." Youngho let out a short laugh and left the room, Chittaphon following after.
Upon re-entering the living room they were immediately assaulted by varying high-pitched renditions of Chittaphon's pleas to leave the room and a few screams (undoubtedly Donghyuck's).
"I think this is going to be held against you for a very long time." Youngho muttered.
"I think you're probably right."
Much to Chittaphon's relief, the jeering stopped quickly and they settled down to a game of Cards Against Humanity - no doubt suggested by Jaehyun who had a natural affinity towards the game, most likely due to his dark humour that consistently scored him wins.
Halfway through the game, after an impressive play of the 'Daniel Radcliffe's anus' card, Donghyuck's eyes began to droop which Minhyung picked up on immediately.
"Do you want to go to bed? I can ask Ten to show us a guest bedroom or something, I mean, in a house this big there's got to be one."
"No, no. It's okay I can ask him myself. You stay here and play." Donghyuck replied before standing up. Minhyung grabbed at the other's wrist and used it to pull himself up.
"I'll go with you, this game was getting kind of boring anyway." He whispered causing an appreciative smile to appear on Donghyuck's face.
Chittaphon, fortunately, had an abundance of guest rooms and he quickly directed them; not before Youngho cursed himself out for not realising how late it was, however.
"I should have put you to bed hours ago, shit. Get some sleep." Youngho murmured wrapping an arm around his younger brother in an awkward side hug. They'd never really been good at showing affection to each other but the elder felt he needed it right now, no matter how terrible he was at it.
"I threw some stuff in a bag before we left mine, I should have some sweat pants for you." Minhyung voiced to Donghyuck once they were their guest room. Since there were such a mass of them staying over at Chittaphon's, the two had to share. Whilst Chittaphon's house was large, it was not large enough to singularly room twelve boys. He opened up his bag and pulled out the two pairs of bottoms and a t-shirt he'd shoved haphazardly into his bag and passed them to Donghyuck, keeping a pair of sweatpants to himself, before turning around to change, Donghyuck doing the same.
"I'm sorry you had to see all that earlier, you didn't deserve that." Minhyung whispered softly later. It had been a good twenty minutes since they had got into bed but Minhyung knew the other was awake due to his uneven breathing and his occasional tossing.
"Don't apologise. It's not your fault he's like that, is it? I'm just worried about you." Donghyuck voiced out before rolling onto his side and wrapping an arm around the elder's waist in a comforting manner. "You'll tell me if it gets worse, won't you? If he starts to do more than just shout, I want you to call me immediately, Lee Mark Minhyung."
Minhyung hummed in response before pulling Donghyuck closer and letting his eyes drop, the comfort of Donghyuck's presence slowing his thoughts down and allowing him sleep. "Thank you."
Youngho awoke to the screeches of Dongyoung cursing out everyone in the house whilst rubbing mercilessly at his face with a sponge.
"Shut the fuck up." He heard Yuta retaliate. "Some of us have a fucking hangover."
"And some of us have permanent marker indefinitely scrawled across their face." Dongyoung all but screamed back, causing Yuta to groan and hold his head in pain.
"First of all, Yuta, you're a fucking lightweight, you had like three shots of vodka and you really have a hangover?" Youngho spoke up, laughing at the other's misery. "And secondly, rubbing alcohol and coconut oil will get that shit off, Dongyoung, you're fine."
His words seemed to placate Dongyoung so he got up and proceeded to the kitchen, making a beeline for the coffee machine. After staring at it for a few minutes, trying to understand the complexity of buttons and knobs on the machine, he was pushed aside by Chittaphon who, with no hesitation put a mug in its designated area and clicked three buttons causing the dark liquid to start pouring into it.
"Thanks, man." Youngho grabbed the, now full, mug and slid out of the other's way so he could make his own coffee as they made conversation. He pulled out his phone with his free hand and glanced at the time groaning softly at the four digits. 13:06. After setting his mug down gently, he walked up the stairs and stopped outside the guest room the youngest were in. He rapped on the door but, after receiving no answer, he let himself inside.
"Yo, Minhyung." He murmured, shaking the blond. The younger grumbled but reluctantly pried his eyes open. "Lunch is going to be ready soon so you two should come downstairs. Also, we're planning on going out afterwards, you can come with us but I imagine Donghyuck will need to go home soon"
"It's okay, I don't need to be home anytime soon. My parents probably haven't even noticed I'm not home, if I'm honest" Donghyuck interrupted, his voice being muffled as he pressed his face into Minhyung's shoulder, unwilling to properly wake up.
"I'm sure that's not true" Youngho responded uncertainly. "Come downstairs for food soon, okay." He ruffled the youngest's hair before leaving the room and returning to the kitchen to assist with the cooking.
Much to Donghyuck's chagrin, Minhyung didn't allow them to lay in bed for much longer after Youngho exited. The pit of hunger in his stomach too much for him to handle knowing there was food cooking downstairs. He dragged the two of them downstairs, ignoring Donghyuck's whines and blushing faintly at the way the younger wrapped his arms around his waist. It was no secret that Donghyuck, when sleepy, was incredibly touchy; it was also not a secret (although he liked to believe it was) that Minhyung was a total aficionado for clingy Donghyuck.
The two journeyed into the kitchen for a drink, arms still wrapped around each other, but soon removed themselves from the vicinity once they noticed how they were disturbing the calm, domestic aura surrounding Youngho and Chittaphon as they cooked lunch. The two youngest, after gulping down their water, joined the rest of their friends in the living room where they were met with a scene of utter catastrophe.
They were, Minhyung presumed, playing MarioKart - although one could easily mistake it for a WWE match of some kind. Kun was attempting to sabotage Taeyong by standing in his line of vision and jumping to distract him, however, when that didn't work he took to stealing the elder's controller and running away with it. Dongyoung and Yoonoh had started out fighting in an attempt to undermine the other and get the upper hand in the race but were now rolling around on the floor tickling one another, race forgotten and controllers discarded. In juxtaposition, Sicheng was calmly sat on Yuta's lap whose arms were wrapped around him and his chin hooked over the younger's shoulder as they played the game, their Princess Peach well ahead of the other's. Hansol, reading in the armchair in the corner, would occasionally peer over his novel and shout a word of encouragement and praise to the two. And Taeil, he guessed, was holed up in his guest room reading or playing on his phone, not wanting to be involved with the other's antics any further (understandably). Hansol saw the two hovering by the door, unsure of what to do since there was now where to sit and the floor was hosting the wrestling couple, and stood up offering the armchair to them.
"I was going to check if they needed help in the kitchen anyway so you can have my seat." Minhyung smiled gratefully and the two piled on the chair. Hansol soon reemerged from the kitchen a fond but mild look of discomfort spread across his face. He pushed Kun's legs off the sofa - he had quickly tired of obstructing Taeyong and was spread across the sofa, head in the latter's lap - and sat in the place of the younger's feet. "Do you think they realise how sickeningly lovey they are?" Hansol questioned.
"Youngho is, like, the most oblivious person in the entire world, he probably hasn't even realised he likes Ten yet let alone that they act more married than an actual wed couple." Minhyung spoke up, never missing an opportunity to poke fun at his brother. Before they could continue to discuss how incognizant the two were they were called into the kitchen with the promise of food. When Donghyuck went to stand up he was pushed down by Minhyung who told him to stay put and that he'll get his plate for him. The younger expressed his gratitude before slumping back in the chair and pulling out his phone mindlessly scrolling through his twitter timeline until the blond returned. They all ate in silence, only disturbing the quiet to compliment the food or to ask for something to be passed to them.
Once they had all finished, signalled by the scraping of plates and the chink of cutlery being placed down, Chittaphon piled up the plates and carried them through to the kitchen, a promise of leaving the house after he'd washed up leaving his lips. Youngho trailed after him, offering his help, which Chittaphon readily accepted and he adopted the role of drying up.
"Seriously, thanks for letting Minhyung and Donghyuck stay here." Youngho voiced out, breaking the awkward silence that had fallen over them as they worked in synergy cleaning the dishes and kitchen.
"Shut up you big sap, you're all always welcome here." Chittaphon responded, nudging Youngho out of the way so he could attempt to put the rice back on its shelf (key word: attempt). He struggled for a few seconds before Youngho, taking pity, took the box out of the other's grip and shelved it for him.
"How did you even get it down in the first place, short ass?"
"I climbed on the side," He mumbled embarrassedly in response. "Also, I'm not short, you're just abnormally tall, fat ass, like what were you in your past life? A tree?" He added with a grin.
"I am hurt and offended," The elder commented as he pressed a hand to his chest in mock offence.
"I hate to interrupt the flirting but Donghyuck and I are going to town to meet Jaemin and the others, is that okay?" Minhyung asked from the doorway.
"You're not walking that far," Youngho responded reaching into his pocket for his wallet and pulling out a few notes. "Here's the bus fare and some lunch money for both of you, text me later to let me know whether you're going home or not. Be safe, call me if you need to." Minhyung rolled his eyes at the nagging but Chittaphon could see the fond appreciation shining in his eyes.
"I will, see you later." He spoke softly before turning to Chittaphon, "Thanks for letting me crash here, it was fun." Chittaphon responded and the blonde left the kitchen to grab Donghyuck and his stuff.
"You're a good brother, you know. You may look like you could snap a guy in half but really, you're just a giant softie." Chittaphon teased. "It's very cute."
"Shut up," Youngho muttered a red tint appearing high on his cheeks as he threw a rag at the other who caught it and dropped it into the sink.
"I deem the kitchen clean enough. Let's go." He declared, heading into the front room and perching on Hansol who had restaked his claim to the armchair after the two younger boys left. Youngho took Hansol's previous space next to Kun and pulled out his phone after hearing the familiar beep signalling a new message.
wow u and ten are gay man
just ask him out god
take ur own advice mork
u may think ur slick but u turn into the living embodiment of the
heart emoji whenever ur "hyuckie" talks to u
the difference being, you have a chance with ten
fucking take it you loser
your language is fucking appalling
said the kettle to the pot
Youngho grinned before putting his phone away and joining in the current conversation - a debate on where they should go. The choices were ice skating, going to the cinema or some nature trek that Dongyoung wanted to go on (though this was basically a null choice. No one besides Dongyoung and Taeyong, who was easily bribed by his orange haired boyfriend, was going to choose that).
"We literally spent the majority of yesterday watching movies do we really want to go to the cinema?" Youngho piped up, a murmur of agreement from the majority followed - as well as a glare from Taeil who, apparently, was really not up to anything even vaguely strenuous today.
"Okay, so ice skating it is?" Taeyong spoke up not giving anyone room to complain before standing and gesturing for everyone to go upstairs to get ready. Which many of them did, rushing upstairs to get to one of the abundance of showers in the house so they could shower first. Those left without a shower shrugged it off and got dressed anyway, those who wore makeup applied it and they regrouped downstairs to wait for those lagging behind.
It was a good 40 minutes before everyone was ready to leave and they left the house, hopping into the taxi waiting outside that Chittaphon had smartly called beforehand.
"Oh, shit, I love this song." Youngho exclaimed hearing the familiar tune of 'Marvin Gaye' floating through the speakers. He began to sway and click along; Chittaphon giggling softly mimicked him and it started a chain, Dongyoung then joined in followed by everyone else - Taeyong took a little more persuading but he didn't let them down.
"Change the dance move, change the dance move." Youngho obliged and began waving his arms in an intricate manner which everyone - minus Dongyoung, causing a few laughs - was quick to imitate. Youngho took pity on the orange haired boy and changed his movements again; this time to The Point Move (also known as the Travolta, Hansol informs them). They danced through another three hit songs before the car screeched to a stop outside of the ice rink. They all thanked the driver as the left the car and Chittaphon handed him the fare with a murmured "keep the change".
There was another, closer rink they could have gone to, Youngho was informed by Kun, but they apparently preferred this one. Which, looking at it now, he could understand. It wasn't that fantastic in terms of modernity, the more recently opened one obviously trumping them in terms of technology. But it was empty aside from one couple who were silently sliding across the ice as they entered which, presumably was not a fate so easily found at the other rink and the ice was flat and smooth due to lack of use. The coloured lights glinted off it artfully creating a mishap of rainbows decorating all surfaces and the silence, aside from the rhythmic slice of skates across the ice, was well welcomed by him. Chittaphon was the first on the ice and Youngho's breath was literally taken away from him as he started skating. He was not only irrefutably talented - throwing in triple lutz's and spins as he raced around - but the lights bounced off him beautifully and his smile as he went round was undeniably the brightest smile he'd seen on Chittaphon yet (if Yuta could have heard his inner monologue at this time he would have sarcastically dropped a "you haven't seen him smile at you obviously"). He looked like something akin to a holy creature as he flew across the ice, Youngho swore he could see a halo of light around him and his eyes shone wildly as he called for the other's to join him.
Once the stragglers were laced into their skates they took turns stepping onto the sheet of ice, Youngho thanked the stars that he was last so nobody took notice of the way he slipped and clutched onto the railing at the side as if it was his lifeline - which in that moment, it felt like it was. He remained there, hunched over gripping the bannister with white knuckles for a few minutes.
"You alright there, Youngho?" Chittaphon asked sounding worried but the elder could hear the ribbing lilt to his voice.
"Yeah, just fine." He replied gruffly.
"Come here you stubborn ass." Chittaphon forced one of the other's hands off the bannister and slipped it into his own pulling on it to make the other stand up. Which he did, albeit a bit wobbly.
"I thought you could ice skate?"
"So did I," Youngho stated although the way he said it made it sound like more of a question.
"Then, you're just out of practice. This, I can help with." Chittaphon grabbed onto his other hand and tugged him away from the bannister and began skating backwards in front of Youngho dragging him along with him. "See, now you're getting into it." And he was right. Youngho's body seemed to have recovered the right procedural memories and he began to flow along the ice of his own accord.
Chittaphon let go of one of the other's hands and turned to skate next to him and they began to do loops around the ice rink hand in hand making sweet conversation between laughing at Taeil and Taeyong who were, without question, a lot worse off than Youngho had been. The pair were shuffling across the ice, arms wrapped around each other consistently falling over. On one such occasion, Taeyong had fallen onto his back so Taeil reached out to pull him up and Taeyong used too much strength and had yanked Taeil down with him which had pushed Youngho and Chittaphon into a fit of raccous laughter from which they were still recovering occasional snorts of laughter leaving one of them as they skated around.
"They're like an old married couple." Dongyoung commented later peering over at them slowly going round the rink clutching at each other helplessly as Youngho, Chittaphon and himself leant against the railings at the side to take a break. The snide comment causing Chittaphon to start cackling again.
"If you're laughing at me again, Ten Chittaphon, I swear to God. You better watch your back for the next couple of days." Taeil yelled out.
"Save me, Johnny," Chittaphon yelled dramatically leaning against the elder. Said elder, wrapped his arms around him and gazed down at the other fondly as he and Taeil shouted insults back and forth. Even cursing out his friends the younger was beautiful to him; the way his eyes crinkled at the edges mischievously and the small smirk playing on his lips, even the way said lips curled around the teasing words he threw at their eldest was complete perfection to him.
And in that moment, Youngho realised just how irrevocably fucked he was.
He immediately dropped his arms from the other's waist and cleared a good metre distance between them, missing the disappointed look that crossed the other's face.
Over the next few days he utilized all his effort into avoiding the younger. He closed up his heart, angry at himself for ever opening it in the first place and he ignored all attempts at communication the other threw at him for the next week. Dodging texts, phone calls once even the shouts of his name from across the corridor at college - which he did by diving into the nearest classroom and disturbing the study group going on in there.
This, of course, meant that he had to inadvertently disregard all of his new friends since they were always with the exact person he wished to avoid. However, he still spoke to them in the classes they shared even if they did look at him with disappointment and (in Yuta and Dongyoung's case) a hint of mild anger.
Similarly, Hansol had taken eyeing him disapprovingly every time he entered their dorm and had the same "pathetic look" that proved he still hadn't spoken to the younger and had even locked him out of the dorm telling him that unless he spoke to Chittaphon soon, he wasn't coming back in. Although after hearing the sniffs from the other side of the door he let Youngho in and let him cry on his shoulder whilst they watched reruns of Naruto.
"You're a fucking idiot, Johnny Youngho Seo." Hansol muttered his words wildly contradicting the hands brushing through the other's brunette curls comfortingly.