Taemin was annoyed.
But he always is when he decides to meet up with the rest of Jongin’s group of friends for lunch. Chanyeol, Jongdae, and Baekhyun were all loudly debating over who was hotter between Yoona and Suzy and it was drawing more attention from those around them. So far they were far from a conclusion and Taemin just wanted to shut them up by saying Kim Woobin was the hottest overall, argument over. Unfortunately, he was not as outspoken his best friend, Jongin, who was occasionally adding a few comments about each of the women but saying he still found Lee Soohyuk to be better.
“Of course, you would choose him, you only have men in your eyes anyway,” Baekhyun stated with an eye roll before turning back to his other two friends to continue their debate.
Jongin brushed off Baekhyun’s remark and went back to focus on finishing up the rest of the rice in his bowl. Taemin, on the other hand, inwardly groaned while he gulped down the rest of the sweet tea in his glass. He silently began to gather all his items into his backpack, pulling out a few stray bills to leave on the table for his food and finally slipping on his black baseball cap over his head. “I’m leaving, thanks for having me for lunch again guys. I’ll see you around campus.”
The three boys nodded in Taemin’s direction, but Jongin’s head shot up from his bowl and he looked up at him, “Already? You barely ate your food, don’t you have class at five?”
“Minho always brings extra snacks with him in case I forget to eat, don’t worry about me. I’ll see you back at the dorm.” Taemin threw his backpack over his shoulder, quickly wanting to leave Jongin’s obnoxious friends and have some peace and quiet.
A few steps down the sidewalk, Taemin heard another pair of footsteps attempting to catch up to him. He turned and was met with Jongin wiping his mouth with a napkin and tossing it on the ground. He looked at his best friend in disapproval, “Really, Jongin? You know I hate it when you do that.” Taemin let out an audible sigh and walked over to the napkin to pick it up and dump it into the nearby trash, “Why did you follow me? You were still eating.”
“Nah, I only had a few bites left, besides the guys would be too busy in their conversation to even remember I was there.” Jongin casually put his arm around Taemin’s shoulder, “We can have more time to ourselves. If you want we can go the lounge and play some billiards or something.”
“I actually wanted to go to the library and catch up on some notes for my journalism class. Professor Kang keeps getting on me for falling behind.” Jongin’s arm suddenly fell limp on Taemin’s shoulder and he began to feel bad, “I guess I could finish it later after class…” He trailed off.
Jongin squeezed his shoulder excitedly, “You’re a genius, Tae, you can get it all done within minutes.” He pulled Taemin closer, “So, to the lounge?”
“I have no other choice at this point.” Taemin uttered fondly, allowing the slightly younger male lead him back to campus.
“So I have some apple slices, pretzels, or Oreos, if you don’t pick I’m just going to give you an empty bag.” Minho nudged Taemin who was currently typing away on his phone, ignoring him. “Hey, Lee Taemin, am I non-existant to you?”
Taemin tore his attention away from his phone for a second to look at his friend, “Sorry, hyung. I just needed to text Jongin to make sure he cooks his food properly, I wouldn’t want him to burn the dorm down or anything.”
“Your adoration is showing, lover boy.” Minho chuckled, tossing him the Oreos since he knows it’s Taemin’s favorite, “Poor Jongin is still too blind to see any of your feelings, isn’t he?”
“I don’t exactly try to make my feelings obvious.”
“Well, you don’t make it quite subtle either, if any stranger were to see you two interact they would just automatically assume you guys were a couple.”
Taemin’s eyebrows furrowed, “We aren’t that bad, our skinship with each other is just natural.”
“The heart eyes you have when you’re with him don’t exactly scream platonic either, Taemin-ah.” The older male retorted.
Taemin had nothing to say for himself and stuffed an oreo in his mouth with a flustered heart.
It was the next morning and Taemin was getting ready to head to the student gym for his daily workout. Jongin was sitting on the bed opposite of him, already dressed in a pair of shorts and tank top and watching as Taemin slipped on a t-shirt over his exposed upper half.
“Legs today?” Jongin spoke up while he finally stood up and grabbed the two water bottles off of his bed.
Taemin nodded, taking the second water bottle from his friend’s outstretched hand, “Fine with me, are the other guys suppose to be there today too?”
“Just Sehun, the idiot trio have to finish a group project for their Psychology class.”
Taemin silently cheered and began to walk out of their room, “Oh, maybe next time then.” Jongin fell into step beside him almost immediately, placing his arm around his shoulders (as always).
“Admit it, you hate them.”
One corner of Jongin’s mouth perked up into a small smirk, “It’s okay I only put up with them because they’re good friends with Kyungsoo.”
“Kyungsoo?” Taemin repeated, slightly slowing down his pace, “What did this conversation have to do with Kyungsoo?”
Jongin looked down at him with wide eyes, “I didn’t tell you? I swore you were the first one I told.”
You didn’t tell me anything, he bitterly thought, avoiding his gaze, “No, what did you want to tell me about him?”
“Well,” Jongin started carefully, “Baekhyun had proposed a bet between the two of us.”
“A bet…about Kyungsoo?”
Jongin nodded his head while continuing, “When I told him that I was kind of interested in Kyungsoo, he told me about these five steps on how to win a man. So, he said if I could use those steps to date Kyungsoo, he’ll quit trying to push other guys onto me.”
“You’re joking,” Taemin muttered, disgusted that his best friend would actually take part in such a thing, and partially because he had no idea Jongin liked another man.
“I know it sounds bad, I usually would never do it, but his steps kind of made sense. And if they were to help me get a shot with Kyungsoo, why not, right?”
“What if Kyungsoo were to find out? Did you think about the consequences of that happening?”
Jongin shook his head, “When the time is right, I’ll come clean to him about everything. I mean, we have a possibility of lasting, he’s actually quite easy to get along with once you get pass the awkward phase.”
Taemin glanced at him with a disappointed look to hide his hurt, “I still don’t think trying to get a guy for the sake of a bet is right, Jongin.”
“If you’re worried I’ll lose the bet, don’t be.” Jongin smiled cheekily, rubbing circles on Taemin’s shoulder with his thumb, “It only takes five steps to win over a man, Taemin-ah.”
His forehead creased in displeasure, “But it only takes one to lose him, Jong.”
Jongin was quiet for a moment before smiling again and ruffling Taemin’s hair with his free hand.
“If all goes wrong I’ll always have you, won’t I?”