A/N: Disclaimer - The following iPhone photoshoot may or may not be fictional. I'm sure you know which one I'm talking about. My scene is fictional because - as I said in my description - I still don't know too much about EXO, so I don't know when/where/wot they were taking those pictures. But it fits with the story. Wainott.
Also, while writing all of this, I pretty much forgot I had labeled this fic as angst. This chapter is chock full of diabetes, so enjoy it while you can. I'll get to the emo next. Enjoy the fluff, yo~
Also, the title for this chapter is something I've been wanting to use after seeing it on a Gokusen 2 parody. Just something random for ya :}
“JongIn-ah! Come here!”
Kai broke his attention from pestering LuHan and turned towards the voice. He had pretended to not notice SHINee’s entrance into the studio; after all, they were going to a different level, but they ended up mingling with EXO, horsing around like normal boys. At the moment, JongHyun was chatting energetically with XiuMin, and KiBum had started a conga line with SeHun and BaekHyun, urging ChanYeol to join the fun.
But Kai made a beeline for the magnae who was in front of a large mirror. Upon seeing the doppelganger approaching, TaeMin spun around and held up a phone.
“Yah!” Kai exclaimed, laughing. “You didn’t warn me!”
“Sorry~” TaeMin replied in a sing-song voice. “But you’re on candid camera!”
Kai pretended to inspect the phone TaeMin held, but in actuality, he was looking at TaeMin’s delicate hands instead. “Is that new?”
“Yeah. I just bought it yesterday, so I’m breaking it in.” TaeMin spun around to face the mirror. “Look, JongIn-ah. Look. Aaaaaand…”
“Ooh the quality’s not too bad.”
“Yeah, that’s why I wanted to buy it. Let’s do another one. One, two – ” At the last second, Kai puffed out his cheeks. “ – three!”
Leaning over TaeMin’s shoulder to look at the phone screen, he could smell a hint of shampoo from TaeMin. The light fragrance was dizzying. Whether it was from the salon or TaeMin’s own, he didn’t know, but it made Kai’s heart jump a little.
TaeMin burst out laughing at JongIn’s blowfish face. “Yah, JongIn! NG! Let’s do it again! One, two, three!”
Both boys puffed out their cheeks in unison before the shutter clicked. They paused, waiting for the picture to render, before exploding loudly into laughter.
“Again, again, again! Sad face! Awww…”
“What are you kids doing?” a new voice asked.
SeHun ambled up to the two who were almost in stitches from their antics.
“‘Kids’? That’s fresh, coming from you,” Kai commented.
“Yah, you trying to be uljjang or something? Let a pro show you how it’s done.”
And so SeHun’s face became a part of the photoshoot. At one point (as they threw what they thought were gang signs), Kai noticed SeHun’s hand lazily snake around TaeMin’s waist. Not wanting to be outdone, he threw his own arm around TaeMin’s shoulders, leaning his head into the crook of TaeMin’s neck for added effect.
“TaeMin!” JongHyun trotted up to the group. “You still playing with that phone?”
“Yeeeeeeep.” Click! Another blowfish shot.
“Gimme. I wanna take a picture, too.”
TaeMin handed JongHyun the phone. The shorter vocalist held it out at arm’s length to take in all four of the gang-sign throwing blowfish.
Just as JongHyun swiped at the screen to look back at the picture, a notification popped up in the center of the glass.
“Ah, Minnie, it’s your girlfriend,” JongHyun announced.
“Ei, hyung.” TaeMin took back his phone. “I don’t have a girlfriend.”
But he still walked off slowly, eyes focused on the screen and nothing else. JongHyun skipped off to find JinKi. SeHun, realizing the photoshoot was over, wandered off to reunite with LuHan.
And Kai was left alone at the large mirror watching TaeMin’s back leave the studio without a second glance, a heavy feeling gnawing at his chest.
Kai sat down heavily on the slick, hardwood floor, sweat running rivers all over his body. He tried to control his breathing as his heart threatened to hammer straight through his ribcage.
Whoever came up with the idea that practice made perfect failed to mention that it was tiring as hell to become perfect.
“JongIn-ah. Come here.”
Even though it was TaeMin sitting against one of the mirrored walls at the end of the practice hall, Kai’s muscles just wouldn’t function. The youth sighed and rolled over to his side. “Too tired. Can’t do it. You come here.”
TaeMin chuckled as he stood and strode across to where Kai lay, carrying a plastic bag. “You practice too much. You’ll probably die soon.”
“It feels like it,” Kai replied, wiping sweat from his eyes as he rolled onto his back.
“Here.” TaeMin balanced a cold water bottle on Kai’s forehead.
Both boys froze and watched the bottle wiggle back and forth, shaken by the slightest movements Kai emitted. When it seemed like the bottle was about to collapse, Kai swiped it from his head, relishing in the cooling feeling it left on his head.
“Are you going home after this?” TaeMin asked.
“Nah, I think I’ll practice a bit more. After I get my legs back, anyway.”
TaeMin frowned. “You really shouldn’t. It’s already beyond late. Even all of the other trainees have gone home. Only the old security guard is left. I think you should just stop for today.”
Kai shook his head as he pushed himself up to a sitting position. “I’m alright. It’s just gonna be for a little bit. I have tomorrow off, anyway. I’ll rest then.”
The two sat in silence for a bit. Kai was suddenly very aware of his bare shoulders in such close proximity to TaeMin. Nervously, he took a swig from the bottle. The chilled water made him shiver as it pooled in his stomach. Or was it the water?
“JongIn-ah,” he heard TaeMin say.
He floundered a bit. “Y-yah. How come you’re up here with me, anyway? Won’t your girlfriend get jealous?” WHAT THE , JONGIN. He mentally punched himself in the face.
There was a slight hesitation before TaeMin answered. “What are you talking about? I don’t have a girlfriend.”
“Eh?” Kai glanced at his elder. “JongHyun-hyung keeps talking about her, though.”
Once again, TaeMin had that soft, beaming smile that made Kai melt on the inside. “JongHyun-hyung is a troll. He just likes teasing everyone.”
Swallowing hard, Kai started to move to stand. “I should get back – ”
But he was completely caught off guard when TaeMin grabbed his head with both hands and yanked him back down to the ground. He fell back with such force, he thought he had accidentally landed in TaeMin’s lap.
OH DEER GOD. TAEMIN’S LAP.
Kai just about sputtered. “Woh! Sor–”
“If you’re gonna insist on practicing even more tonight,” TaeMin said, “then you need to rest. Just a little longer.”
The elder’s hands still held on to Kai’s head. Not enough to rip his hair out, but enough to keep his head atop TaeMin’s crossed legs. Kai could feel his face flush, and he wondered just how obvious it was that he was blushing.
Kai could feel each of TaeMin’s fingertips pressing against his scalp. Even though he was still heated from hours of practice (and from the utter embarrassment from laying on TaeMin’s lap), he could feel TaeMin’s warmth over him. Kai wanted to lay there on his senior’s legs forever.
“You… Your girlfriend will get jealous,” Kai finally said, stupidly.
TaeMin laughed and repeated, “I don’t have a girlfriend.”
“And I’m freakin’ sweaty and disgusting.”
“We all have been sweaty and disgusting at one point.”
They lapsed into silence again, not meeting each other’s eyes – rather, Kai looking in every direction except into TaeMin’s eyes. Eventually, he started to relax and settle in his position. He didn’t even move when he felt fingers slowly combing through his hair. The sensation made his brain go fuzzy. His eyes fluttered closed.
“Yah, hyung. You’re gonna put me to sleep,” Kai muttered.
“I can’t sleep here. I’ll break my back on this floor.”
“Then I’ll carry you home.”
“I’m too heavy.”
“Just shut up and sleep, JongIn. Even for just a little while.”
That wasn’t too hard to follow; Kai was already in that limbo between being awake and being asleep. Just as his consciousness was floating off into dreamland, he could’ve sworn he felt something brush lightly on his lips.
“No, no, no! Don’t go that way! I’m over here!”
“Where?! I was just there!”
“Ah, hyung! Turn back around over there!”
“WHERE?! Quit yelling at me!”
“Wait, stop! There! Now turn left… There! Go down that way!”
“GET HIM GET HIM GET HIM!!!”
“Damn it! Someone revive me!”
“Quit laughing at me! JONGIN, SHUT YOUR TRAP!!!”
Kai was quite literally rolling on the floor, laughing his off. There was nothing quite like seeing JongHyun getting chased down by the enemies and jumping straight off of a cliff to sail down to his untimely death.
Of course it was a video game.
Imagine Kai’s surprise when, while quietly surfing around on the internet in his room, his shared dorm was suddenly exploding with noise. Thanks to a national holiday, he had planned to finally relax and bum out at home. Turns out, KyungSoo had gone out to find something to eat; found BaekHyun instead who in turn had been meeting with ChanYeol; came across KiBum, JongHyun, JinKi, and TaeMin; and arrived back at the dorm to find SeHun millimeters away from ringing the doorbell. Apparently, everyone’s idea of a holiday was to cram into one dorm and make a lot of noise.
For a while, the whole party was there. When they realized Kai and KyungSoo didn’t have much food to offer, a third of them left almost immediately. The rest were too lazy to go out right away and instead situated themselves in front of the large electronics in the living room. They had finally settled on some sort of multi-player FPS where everyone could run around on screen in hopes of killing each other enough times within the time limit (what the hell game is this, anyway?).
“Ahhhh I give up!” JongHyun exclaimed.
SeHun cheered gleefully and high fived KyungSoo. “Sorry, hyung!”
“JongHyun…” KiBum’s face was utterly nonplussed. “You . Seriously.”
Kai, who had finally recovered, nudged at KyungSoo’s back with his big toe. “Hyung. Hyung. I’m hungry. What’s for dinner?”
“Ah!” KyungSoo spun around. “I totally forgot I was going out to buy stuff for dinner.”
SeHun looked up. “Oh, you’re gonna get groceries?”
“More like, you’re gonna go with me to help bring groceries home.”
“Aw, hyung, I don’t wannaaaa…”
“Ah!” Everyone turned to KiBum. “What time is it?”
“Uhhh…” Kai looked to the oven clock. “Almost eight thirty. Why?”
It was JongHyun’s turn to have a revelation. “Ah! Let’s go grab the groceries and get back in time for MinHo’s drama!”
“AH!” It seemed Kai and KyungSoo’s dorm was the place to have revelations.
“Quick, quick! Get your shoes on!”
“Wait! I gotta change!”
“Is it cold outside?”
“No! Hurry up!”
JongHyun was almost tripping KiBum in his charge to the door. “TaeMinnie! Are you coming with us?”
TaeMin, perched on the sofa, shook his head. “No. I’ll just wait here.”
“What about you, hyung?” SeHun asked Kai, sliding to a stop before crashing into KyungSoo.
Kai was glad no one could see his heart bull-charging its way out of his chest. “Ah… I think I’ll stay here, too.”
SeHun made a face. “Aw, but it’ll be fun…”
At the same time, JongHyun had a different kind of expression on his face. “Nah, it’s cool. Eight hands will be enough. If more people go, we’ll end up getting lost and wasting time. Let’s go!”
With a cheer, KiBum and KyungSoo burst out the front door. SeHun tripped outside, one shoe still in the process of being shoved onto his foot. And finally, JongHyun was the last one out the door, shutting the door behind him.
The apartment fell silent, and Kai’s heart rate increased tenfold. It had been weeks since that time with TaeMin in the dance hall. They hadn’t seen much of each other because of their fully-booked schedules, so they were only able to trade SMSs every so often. Neither said much about what had happened that night (that is, if anything valid enough to be something worth telling had indeed occurred).
Kai felt a nudge on his shoulder, and electricity flew all through his body. “Ei?” He looked over his shoulder and saw TaeMin’s toe jabbing at his shoulder.
“Where’s the bathroom?”
“Oh, uh. Second door. That way.”
TaeMin stood and strode down the hall Kai had directed. Kai blew out a lungful of air, hoping the jitters in his hands would stop. He flipped the TV over to the cable box to break the silence, but nothing on the screen seemed to catch his attention.
“What’s on?” TaeMin had reappeared and reclaimed his spot on the sofa.
“Eh. Nothing.” Kai nonchalantly flipped to another channel. “I don’t watch TV much, though.”
Kai offered TaeMin the remote. “Do you wanna search?”
TaeMin took the remote and started surfing through the channels. “I don’t think there’s anything on right now.”
They fell silent, watching the splash of colors go by. Kai’s tail bone was starting to get sore from sitting on the hardwood floor for so long, but he didn’t dare hop up on the sofa next to TaeMin. Why not, though? He shook his head and threw it back to rest on the cushion. He closed his eyes and relished in the mere fact that he was sitting so close to TaeMin again.
I want to ask him… about that night… But what am I supposed to say?!
Something was poking him again; this time, on the head. He opened his eyes, and there was TaeMin’s foot again.
Kai let out a laugh. “Yah, hyung. Your feet smell.”
TaeMin grinned. “No, they don’t. I made sure they don’t. Why do you think I went to the bathroom?”
“Eh?! You went to go wash your feet?”
TaeMin laughed out loud. “No! Who does that?”
Kai laughed as well but didn’t answer and let the silence fall between them again. For a while, the TV was the only one talking.
“Hyung…” Kai uttered, finally breaking the silence.
The words got stopped in his throat. Kai didn’t even know what he was going to ask. Remember that time when I was practicing until the evil of night and you made me lay in your lap until I fell asleep? Did you kiss me that time? Hah, no.
The big toe was back at Kai’s skull. “Yah.”
“Errrrr…” Kai couldn’t do it. “Nothing. Never mind.”
“Aw, what? Come on.”
The blush was coming back, rising up on Kai’s face and boiling up to the tips of his ears. “Euh… Well…”
TaeMin waited patiently – with his characteristic beaming smile – while Kai floundered.
“That is… Well, remember that time when I was practicing until the evil of night and you made me lay in your lap until I fell asleep?” Wot. Did I seriously just say that OUT LOUD?
TaeMin’s smile got wider as he fought back the urge to laugh again. “Yeah.”
I’ve already screwed myself over. Why not go all the way? “Did you… kiss me that time?”
Kai had been staring at a corner of the TV during his embarrassing tirade, but he chanced a look at TaeMin. His senior’s expression was rather hard to read.
“Do you think I did?” TaeMin asked.
“Well, I mean, I dunno. I mean, I fell asleep, so I was probably dreaming or something. I mean, I don’t exactly dream stuff like that, but I mean – ” Oh. Tee. Ell.
TaeMin was cracking up, holding his sides and getting close to rolling on the floor. Kai threw his head back again and covered his tomato-red face with his hands.
“Dear God,” he prayed aloud. “Just kill me now.”
He waited for the lightning, the fire and brimstone, or the rapture to him up out of that world. There were knives in the kitchen. Maybe if he fell onto the knife block, he could save himself. Either he’d shoot up to heaven or down to hell. Then KyungSoo could chop up his earthly body and serve Babo soup with barbecued Babo. Hope they like their meat stringy and lean.
And then TaeMin’s hands were holding Kai’s hands, pulling them away from Kai’s face. As he opened his eyes, there was TaeMin – gently smiling – leaning over him.
And there was TaeMin’s face.
And there was TaeMin’s lips closing over Kai’s.
And there was nothing else.
When his mind came to again, TaeMin had sat up again, but their fingers were entangled together. Unfortunately, Kai’s brain was slow to catch up, so all he did was stare up at his senior.
TaeMin smiled. “Now I have something I wanna ask you.”
Kai replied intelligently, “Uh?”
“Will you be my boyfriend?”
Kai’s response was spot on. He snorted, pitching forward and letting go of TaeMin’s hands.
“Yah! What’s that supposed to mean?!” TaeMin demanded, somewhere between amused and offended.
“No! No, I’m not laughing at you!” Kai spun around. “It’s just… ‘Boyfriend’ sounds kinda… I dunno… girly?”
“So… what? Will you be my male ?”
Kai didn’t even know how to respond aside from trying very hard to keep the snot in his nose.
“Will you be my boy toy?”
Choking. Dying. Rolling on the floor laughing his off. At least TaeMin was laughing alongside him.
Kai caught his breath, and as he wiped the tears from his eyes, he sat up on his knees in front of TaeMin who was still perched on the sofa.
“How about…” He laced his fingers with TaeMin’s again and looked up into his senior’s eyes. “Will you be mine?”
“That’s even cheesier than the first one,” TaeMin said, laughing.
“But yeah. I will.”
And their lips found each other again.