It starts one night when Hoseok is alone at home and watching anime. He pauses at a particular scene and takes a picture of the character on his laptop screen. He scrolls quickly through his contacts with one hand while drinking with the other. He clicks on Jimin's name and sends the picture with the following text:
do you think that character is a girl or a boy?
He pauses and looks at the picture again. He always wonders how the hell does the creators of anime manage to draw such beautiful androgynous characters.
doesn't matter, he continues. i would them anyway.
It takes him a moment to realise that he isn't texting Jimin.
He rubs his eyes and stares at his phone's screen, but the name on it doesn't change from "Jin" to "Jiminie" as he hoped.
He just sent Jin a drunk text of him wanting to an anime character. What better way to start a conversation and casually come out as a to your new lab partner?
Hoseok groans. Didn't he learn from previous situations not to text when he is drunk?
He sits up and starts to type quickly.
sorry. i meant to send that to someone else.
And with that, he shuts off his phone and heads to bed before he ends up doing something even more embarrassing.
When he wakes up, some masochistic desire in him urges him to open his phone and not throw it in the river like he planned to.
He finds a text message. He clicks on it before he can change his mind.
It is okay. Happens with me all the time.
Hoseok can't help but smile. Well, at least, Jin is kind enough not to say anything.
He closes his phone with a click, determined to act as if this never happened.
A week passes smoothly before Hoseok finds himself in the most boring class ever and debates texting him again.
Why are you texting me in class?
i'm so bored
You are going to get caught.
i won't. the teacher isn't paying attention, and i can't understand from him anyway.
Hoseok, pay attention in class.
you sound like my mum.
Should I be offended? Your mother is a lovely person.
Hoseok snorts. That's probably because his mother made them food yesterday while they were working on their homework. He quickly realised then that there was one thing that Jin appreciated more than anything, and that was food.
are you trying to say something, jin? because i'm not going to give you my blessing if you are thinking of anything revolving my mother.
Hoseok barely stops himself from laughing, putting his hand on his mouth to cover his smile. Annoying Jin was rapidly becoming one of his favourite hobbies.
I hope you get caught and the phone gets taken from you.
Hoseok glares at the text. hey, that was too much.
He doesn't get an answer. He waits exactly two minutes before replying.
i hope they don't accept you in the next play.
The answer comes seconds later.
JUNG HOSEOK, DON'T TEST ME.
you started it.
You sound like a twelve-year-old.
Oh my God.
Hoseok, what is this? A weekly tradition where you text me every Wednesday?
i guess so. want to play a game?
I'm trying to focus.
Hoseok waits, patiently. He knows Jin and how much he can't stand maths.
His mobile vibrates silently in his pocket five minutes later.
Ok, what's the game?
truth or dare.
Are you serious?
I'm not going to say yes. You will give me a stupid dare and next thing I know, you will make me tell my teacher that she is hot.
Hoseok puts his face on the desk immediately to hide his laughter.
well, actually no, i wasn't planning to do that. but now that you have mentioned it, it sounds like a great idea.
JIN I'M ABOUT TO GO ON STAGE AND I CAN’T DO ANY DANCE MOVE CORRECTLY WHY DID I DECIDE TO DO THIS AGAIN
Hoseok stares at the message that he just sent and groans. So much for acting like the cool professional dancer in front of the new hot guy.
I have an idea.
You are going to perform in the new club, right?
Hoseok nods before he realises that Jin can't actually see him. He is suddenly glad that he is alone in the bathroom so that no one can witness his stupidity.
Well, I am in the crowd. I heard you were going to perform and I wanted to watch it. You are a great dancer.
Hoseok smiles. why didn't you tell me?
I wanted to make it a surprise.
Hoseok feels a little flutter in his stomach that is almost like nerves, which is ridiculous, because he didn't get nervous. Not when it comes to boys, at least.
so, what's your plan?
I know that the number of people out there can be overwhelming, so how about this, just look for me in the crowd and keep your eyes on me during your dance. Maybe it will calm you down a bit, make you forget about everyone else. I will be in the front, cheering you on.
you just want a private performance, don't you? just admit it.
He can almost hear Jin's laugh before the latter replies to him.
We will make an arrangement of that later. Anyway, they are calling your name.
Hoseok curses as he realises that he can hear Namjoon's pissed and slightly panicked voice searching for him in the backstage. He runs a hand through his hair and looking at himself one last time in the mirror, he sprints towards the stage.
"That was amazing!" Jin exclaims as soon as Hoseok gets off the stage.
Hoseok grins, sheepish.
Jimin wraps his arm around Hoseok's neck. "That was really good, hyung," he says. He turns towards Jin. "You are Jin?"
Jin blinks and nods. "You know me?"
Jimin grins. "Oh, Hoseok-hyung told me a lot of about you."
Jin raises an eyebrow.
"I was just complaining to him about what a horrible lab partner you are," Hoseok says quickly.
"Please, you wouldn't have done anything without me," Jin replies.
Hoseok waits until Jin turns around before he elbows Jimin.
"Ouch!" Jimin protests. Hoseok glares at him again, thinking of creative ways to pay Jimin back later. Jimin immediately shuts up.
Jin looks at his watch. "Well, I need to go. I'm already late."
"But we didn't get to know each other," Jimin complains, nudging Hoseok slightly.
"We will meet again," Jin assures. He turns to look at Hoseok. "You did great, Hoseok."
Hoseok is just about to boast off about his dancing skills but quickly shuts up when Jin leans forwards and gives him a hug. It is brief and he is walking away before Hoseok gets to hug him back, but that doesn't stop Hoseok's heart from skipping a beat, like a silly boy talking to his first crush.
"You two are so cute," Jimin cooes as soon as Jin is out of earshot. "I think I threw up in my mouth a little."
Hoseok is too busy looking at Jin's retreating figure to answer him.
"Well, did you do it?" Jimin asks as soon as Hoseok picks up.
"Did what?" Hoseok asks even though he knows exactly what Jimin is talking about.
Jimin sighs. "Did you ask Jin-hyung out?"
Hoseok shifts. "I didn't have time to talk to him yet."
"You had all week."
"Hyung," Jimin whines. "Come on, you were the one that kept telling me to ask Jeongguk out. Now, it is your turn. I'm not going to stop until you do it."
Hoseok sighs. Why telling Jimin anything was a good idea to him before is beyond him.
"Fine, fine. I will call him right now."
"Finally," Jimin mutters. "I will call tonight to hear all the details."
Shaking his head slightly, Hoseok hangs up.
He clicks on Jin's name in his contact list and stares at Jin's picture as if can give him the answer to how badly this is going to end up.
On impulse, he types a text quickly, sending it before he changes his mind.
Ten seconds later, his phone rings. It almost falls on the groud from how quickly he is trying to answer.
"Did you just try to ask me out with a text?" Jin asks as soon as Hoseok answers.
Hoseok shifts. "Maybe?"
"Jung Hoseok, I swear." Hoseok hears Jin's trademark exasperated sigh.
"So, is that a no?"
"No, it isn't, you idiot," Jin says. "But you don't ask someone out like that. Next time, call, at least."
"Okay," he answers, and then he hangs up.
Hoseok bursts out laughing, imagining the indignant look on Jin's face right now.
He counts to five and then speed-dials Jin's number again. Jin answers a second later.
"Are you ing kidding me-"
"Hey, Jin," Hoseok interrupts quickly. "I was wondering if you wanted to go out with me?"
"I'm going to kill you-"
"You told me I should call," Hoseok points out.
Jin groans. "Is that how you normally ask people out?"
"No," he admits. "But I figured I should make something up especially for you."
"Thanks," he answers dryly. "I feel special."
"So? Friday at seven?" He prompts. "I will come and pick you up. If you say yes, we might reach an agreement about your previously mentioned private performance."
Jin's bubbling laughter soothes his agitated nerves. "Okay," Jin says at last.
Hoseok lets out a sigh of relief, even though he would tell everyone afterwards that he kept his cool the entire time.
"See you then," he says.