Taemin turned his phone off and handed in his phone to his manager. There was no point in having it when all he previously used it for was to talk to Jongin.
“Jongin is getting released from the hospital tomorrow. Don’t you want to keep it just in case he calls you?” His manager asked.
“He won’t.” Taemin replied numbly. “Hyung, is there anything I can do today? I might go crazy if I have to stay at home.”
“Actually, there is. Key was supposed to go out on a talk show today but he caught a cold last night. Do you want to go instead?”
Taemin was sent off in the van as soon as he said yes.
The MCs and staff greeted him warmly, thanking him for filling in for Key at the last minute. He assured them it was his pleasure to be there. After his hair and makeup, he was seated at a table with other celebrities while the MCs gathered their queue cards for the episode.
It was going really well. Taemin, quite used to the essence of talk shows, knew when to smile and laugh at all the right places, making smart remarks in response to others’ questions or comments, and even had the opportunity of promoting one of SHINee’s more recent songs. Until…
“So Taemin, sources tell me that you’re best friends with EXO’s Kai. Is that true?”
The world froze in Taemin’s mind upon hearing Jongin’s name. He struggled to find the right words while the MCs were flustered by his hesitation to answer. Taemin recovered by clear his throat and throwing out a smile. “I’m sorry. I just… haven’t seen Kai in such a long time. I miss him.”
The audience aww’d as did those who sat next to him.
“How about you leave a video message to him, facing that camera?” One of the MCs suggested, pointing to a nearby camera.
Taemin gulped and slowly turned to face the camera.
“Jongin. It’s me, Taemin. Are you eating and resting well? Please take care of yourself. I’m so proud of you and I hope you know that I’ll always be supporting you from the sidelines…” He paused. “And… I miss you a lot… I love you.” He gave a wry, sad smile to the camera as the producer gave the cue for the MCs to move onto the next topic.
He was quiet in the van ride back to the company building.
“I love you, Jongin.”
The words rang in Jongin’s ears as he opened his eyes. He sprang up in his bed, momentarily confused as to where he was. The hospital.
“You finally woke up, huh? If you slept any longer I was going to kill you for making me worry so much, you jerk.” Suho joked, handing him a cup of water. Grateful to quench his thirst, Jongin accepted the cup and gulped down the cool water.
“How do you feel?”
“Fine. Did Tae - ” Jongin cut himself off. No, he must have dreamt hearing those words. There was no way Taemin would have stopped by after what he said and how he treated him...
“He was here earlier.” Suho said, as if reading his mind. “He got here as soon as he heard you collapsed. He was really upset. I’ve never seen the poor kid look so distressed in his life.”
At that moment, the TV that was playing in the corner of the room was showing Taemin's video message for Jongin. Suho grabbed the remote and raised the volume.
“Jongin. It’s me, Taemin. Are you eating and resting well? Please take care of yourself. I’m so proud of you and I hope you know that I’ll always be supporting you from the sidelines… And… I miss you a lot… I love you.”
As soon as Taemin said his last word, Jongin yanked the needle out of his arm and jumped out of bed, spots dancing in his vision for standing up too quickly.
Suho sighed. “I guess it would be pointless of me to stop you from going to him, even though you’re supposed to stay for a few more hours. Go, you little shekki.”
Kai threw Suho his boyish grin in thanks to which his leader rolled his eyes.
He grabbed a taxi back to the SM building, turning his phone on. He called Taemin… whose phone was turned off.
“The person you called is not available. Please try again later.”
He started bouncing his leg nervously in the backseat of the taxi, silently willing for the car to move faster. As soon as the building was in sight, he asked the driver to stop, paid him, and started running. It was still pretty early; Taemin should be finishing up dance practice.
The door to the practice room was slightly open, leaving a crack for Jongin to peek through. Jongin recognized the song immediately. The music was loud, the bass vibrating through the walls of the room.
And there he was.
Taemin was as beautiful as ever, looking like an angel that had completely surrendered his heart, soul, and body to the music. He was dancing Jongin’s favorite routine, a fast-paced, rigorous choreography that demanded power yet elegance. Sweat was dripping down Taemin’s face as he poured every ounce of energy into the dance. It was getting to the of the song - the part Jongin and Taemin needed to perform together for it to work.
Taemin closed his eyes as he started the sequence. He knew this dance would be incomplete without his partner. He held his arm out in the air defeatedly. It was the part where Jongin had to grab it and start the synchronized dance duet.
Suddenly, a hand grabbed his arm.
Startled, Taemin opened his eyes and stared at the mirror to find a smiling Jongin beside him.
“You ready?” Jongin yelled over the music, his signature charismatic aura radiating.
Heart soaring, Taemin nodded. Jongin laughed as the him and Taemin launched into the dance. Despite all the time they spent apart from each other, it was evident that they were still physically and mentally in-tune with each other. It was the best run they’ve ever had.
The song faded, leaving the two facing each other, panting heavily.
Taemin’s eyes glistened with tears that threatened to spill over. “Hey stranger.” He whispered.
“Hi,” Jongin held out his hand, his usual joking demeanor shining. “Nice to meet you. My name is Kai - ”
“Shut up, Jongin.”
Taemin lifted his hand and put it in Jongin’s. Jongin gently pulled him close, cupping Taemin’s face with his two hands, and kissed him, slowly and deliberately with a hint of desperation.
A tear slipped out from the corner of Taemin’s closed eyes as he held onto Jongin’s sleeve. The room was quiet except for their rapid, synchronized heartbeats.
“I have two questions for you.” Jongin said softly. Taemin nodded into Jongin’s shoulder, silently waiting for him to continue.
“Is it too late to cancel the request?”
Taemin felt a smile take over his face. He shook his head and Jongin let out a small sigh of relief.
“And your second question?”
Pulling Taemin away from him and holding onto his shoulders, Jongin looked at Taemin with a serious look on his face.
“Can we... go get banana milk?”
Taemin laughed quietly, lightly punching Jongin in the stomach, and was about to answer before Jongin cut him off. “Taemin, think carefully, because if you say yes, you’re also saying yes to being mine.”
Looking straight up into Jongin’s eyes, he smiled lovingly.
“Then let’s get banana milk everyday.”
- - -
Hope you guys liked the ending! ^~^
Thank you to everyone who gave my first taekai fanfic so much love!
You guys kept me going! Stay tuned for my other taekai stories!