If there was one thing Mino would advise to any potential YG trainee, or just any person in the world, it was never to put yourself in a position where you owe a favour to Kwon Jiyong.
Logically speaking, Jiyong could definitely pay someone to do what Mino was doing for free right now, but since he owed him a favour, Mino was stuck following him around and carrying all of his shopping bags, of which there were already many.
Too busy trying not to let a Gucci bag slip out of his hand, Mino blindly followed Jiyong into the next store.
When he was finally able to look up, Mino was horrified to see that he was surrounded by lacy, colourful lingerie. He must’ve lost his way while he was trying to readjust the bags in order to prevent them from chopping his fingers off.
He looked around in a panic, trying to find his shopping buddy.
And then he saw him, right in the middle of all the neon lace, Jiyong was holding what looked like a silk undershirt—or maybe it was a nightdress, Mino genuinely couldn’t tell.
It didn’t matter. All he knew was that he wanted the marble tiles to open up and the earth to swallow him.
He walked up to Jiyong and cleared his throat. “This is, uh, the women’s section.”
Jiyong didn’t even look at him. “Thank you for the enlightenment.”
Mino shifted from foot to foot, once again rearranging the bags in his hands, just so he had something to do, a reason not to look at anyone around him.
He was almost entirely sure that Jiyong was ing with him. He had to be. It was just another way for him to get back at Mino.
“Do you think this would look good on me?” Jiyong questioned, lifting the silk nightshirt to his torso.
Mino threw a quick look at the elder before returning to his mindless task.
“I wouldn’t know.”
Jiyong let his hands drop and rolled his eyes. “Come on Mino, don’t tell me you’re getting shy. I need something soft to sleep in, you’re not gonna help me out?”
“Hey, I’m just here to carry your bags because—I don’t know, you love to torture people. And I don’t—how could I help you with—this.”
“Just tell me your opinion, dummy. Seriously…”
Mino didn’t like how Jiyong went quiet. He didn’t like how he crossed his arms and looked at him in such a way that felt like he was staring into his soul.
Jiyong cleared his throat a little, and took another look at the rose coloured nightshirt. “I think I’m gonna get this and then I’m done. And you and I need to have a chat.”
“Oh my god,” Mino muttered under his breath, following Jiyong to the cashier. That did not sound good.
Jiyong kept up a light conversation while paying, and on their way to his car. He didn’t seem to notice Mino’s overwhelming discomfort, but Mino had a feeling that he was only ignoring it.
He was proven right once in the car.
Jiyong turned to Mino and without hesitation asked, “What got you so tongue-tied back there?”
Mino backed away; he wanted to deny being uncomfortable, to say that he wasn’t affected at all. But then he realized that his reaction was perfectly normal. He wasn’t the one buying clothes from the women’s section.
“I wasn’t, I was just… Well I don’t know, it’s not every day a dude casually buys a nightgown.”
“It’s not that weird? Could’ve been for my hypothetical girlfriend.”
Mino raised an eyebrow. “You did ask me if it would look good on you.”
Jiyong shrugged. “Still.”
“There were—people were looking at you—”
“Mino. I want you to look at me and tell me if I’ve ever given a damn about what others thought of me.”
Mino didn’t look at him. “No.”
Jiyong let a moment pass in silence. Then he finally started the car.
“I know it’s out of the blue, but if you agree to come over, I have something to show you.”
Mino felt his insides twisting into a knot. “No, thank you.”
“No reason to panic, Mino. I just want to show you how nice feminine clothes can look on a guy.”
“Not every guy is you,” Mino muttered.
Jiyong gave a faint half-smile and a quick glance Mino’s way. “So? Are you coming?”
They were making their way out of the parking lot. It would be a bit of a drive before Jiyong would either take the exit off the highway to drop Mino off, or continue straight ahead towards his home.
Mino would have to make a choice.
In all honesty, he wanted to go. He didn’t know why Jiyong’s offer sounded so tempting. He figured he was only curious. It must’ve been that. Kwon Jiyong in women’s clothing? Who wouldn’t want to see that.
Mino couldn’t bring himself to say it. It felt like it would be admitting defeat.
But the exit was approaching, and Jiyong couldn’t slow down anymore.
The younger bit his lip. “I—yeah, I guess I’ll come over.”
Jiyong seemed pleased. He hummed as he continued driving to his place.
“Make yourself at home.”
Much easier said than done. It wasn’t that Mino had never visited Jiyong’s house, but this was a bit of a different situation. Mino was at the edge of his nerves. He felt sick to his stomach and his chest felt tight and heavy.
“Do you wanna drink something?”
Maybe all of this madness would be easier to handle with a drink, Mino thought. “Got any soju?”
Jiyong nodded and skipped over to the kitchen. Mino frowned. He seemed to be having way too much fun with this whole thing.
Jiyong returned with two bottles in his hands. He handed one to Mino, and beckoned him upstairs.
Mino sat on the edge of the bed, chugging down half of the bottle in one go. He bounced his foot anxiously while waiting for Jiyong to emerge from his enormous closet.
“I wanna show you a few of my favourite things if you don’t mind,” he hummed.
Mino didn’t respond. He only listened to him moving around, picking out things and presumably changing, and Mino just wished he would hurry up. He didn’t want this to last any longer than it had to.
Jiyong emerged, struggling to hold a whole pile of clothes without anything slipping, which he in the end couldn’t prevent. He dumped the pile onto the bed and went back to pick up stray pieces of clothing.
Mino eyed the pile, hand gripping at the bottle. A baby blue crop top caught his attention and Mino hesitantly reached for it.
“Go ahead, you can have a look.”
Jiyong’s voice startled Mino near out of his mind. He immediately let go of the shirt and grabbed the bottle with both his hands. He didn’t even look at the clothes again.
Looking at Jiyong would’ve been the next option, but Mino then noticed that the elder was only wearing a loose-fitting black tank top over some lacey and what Mino assumed was some kind of bralette—not that he knew about those things. Therefore, he decided not to look at Jiyong either, not until he was dressed at least.
Jiyong searched through the pile until he got his hands on a black skirt with two white stripes at the bottom.
He sat on the bed and slid it on, right in front of Mino. He tried not to look.
Jiyong went over to the dresser and opened a drawer. He took out a simple black choker with a yin and yang pendant. Jiyong went over to where Mino was sitting and handed him the choker.
“I need a little help.”
Mino looked up. Jiyong was smiling.
Mino put the bottle down by the bed. He hated how much his arms were shaking, he hated how visible it was.
But he took the choker nonetheless. Jiyong bent down and Mino was grateful for it. He felt like if he stood, his legs would give out.
With his trembly hands, Mino had a hard time figuring out the clasp of the choker, but eventually he got it. Jiyong adjusted it a little and stood.
He twirled in front of Mino and opened his arms, showing himself off with a big smile. “Ta-daah! What do you think?”
Mino swallowed. He picked his bottle from the ground and gripped it tightly. “It’s—nice?”
Jiyong sighed, putting his hands on his hips. “You’re not even looking...”
As Mino didn’t respond, Jiyong shook his head and went over to sit next to the younger. “We don’t have to do this if it makes you that uncomfortable.”
“It doesn’t,” Mino was quick to say. He sighed. “I guess I’m just… Waiting for the punch line.”
Jiyong tilted his head, pursing his lip the tiniest bit. “There’s no punch line, Mino. I’ve been trying to show you exactly that.”
Mino stayed quiet, stubbornly keeping his gaze on the bottle in his hands.
“This is just how I like to dress,” Jiyong continued. “There’s nothing to it. Sure it’s… non-typical and more often than not unwelcome, but—” he shrugged. “It’s what I like and I display it to the best of my ability without putting myself in danger or damaging my image.”
Mino’s nausea rose to his chest where his heart was beating like crazy. He swallowed it down with one sip of soju.
“And this isn’t, like, something…” He looked up at Jiyong nervously. “You know…”
The elder chuckled, but Mino thought it was a little forced. He thought that the laugh was maybe, just maybe covering up the fact that Jiyong was a little bit offended by the assumption.
“No, it isn’t ual. I told you already, it’s how I like to dress sometimes and there’s nothing more to it.”
Mino couldn’t bring himself to look at Jiyong in that moment. He only nodded.
Jiyong stood up, straightening his skirt. “It’s just clothes, man. It’s nice for self-expression, but it doesn’t define you.”
“I guess so.” Mino’s voice was faint.
“You still up for this?”
Mino lifted his gaze just a little. Jiyong’s tattoos were poking out from under the skirt. His legs looked really nice in it, which Mino found a bit odd, but then again it may have just been the fact that Jiyong’s legs were so slim.
Jiyong smiled. “You wanna see my favourite dress?”
He worked on finishing his bottle of soju while Jiyong went to look for the dress, which apparently wasn’t included in the pile. Logical, Mino figured, if it was his favourite, he wouldn’t have just dumped it with the rest.
Jiyong had a few additions when he came back. It wasn’t only the black cocktail dress with a silk ribbon around the waist. It was black stockings and a different choker this time, a more elegant one.
Jiyong did another twirl to show off the new outfit. The fluttering of the folds of Jiyong’s dress made the corners of Mino’s lips tug into the tiniest smile.
“It’s… pretty,” Mino said.
Jiyong grinned, genuinely delighted. “Thank you! Gosh, it's so freeing to be out of the confinement of handsome, badass and such.”
Mino watched him smooth out the folds of his dress. He looked so happy. And Mino couldn’t help but be happy for him.
And then, “I was thinking about what might fit you.”
Mino gagged on his own spit. “Woah—hey—I came here because you asked me t—to see you! You didn’t mention anything about—I’m not gonna—”
“Hey, calm down,” Jiyong said softly. Mino hated how collected he was. He was acting as if this wasn’t a big deal at all.
In the back of Mino’s mind, somewhere past all the panic and discomfort, sat the realization that, to Jiyong, all of this truly wasn’t a big deal. And that that was exactly what he’d been trying to convey to Mino. But he was yet to find this realization.
“I’m not going to force you to do anything,” Jiyong said.
Mino hadn’t even realized it, but he’d backed away from Jiyong. He was tense, he’d nearly stood up from the bed.
Jiyong crossed his arms. The look he was giving Mino was nothing but sorrowful. “I was hoping to inspire you to open up to the possibility… Maybe I was too forward. I somehow got the impression that you would enjoy this, if you had someone by your side.”
“Wh-what gave you that impression!? I’m not—” I’m not that obvious, he almost said. If he had, he would have proven Jiyong’s point.
“Relax,” the elder was patient. “I just—picked up on it, you know? In variety shows, whenever you have the chance to—”
“Yeah but that’s not for real!”
Jiyong sighed. “Yes, I’m well aware of how variety shows work, Mino. Listen, all of this,” he gestured vaguely, to himself, to the clothes on the bed, “was to show you that it’s alright for men to be comfortable in feminine clothing, to like it. But I see that you’re scared, so—”
“I’m not scared,” Mino said, voice cracking.
Jiyong looked him up and down. “Right.”
“Listen… This, it’s just not my thing, okay? I’m—I’m happy for you, you’re really pulling it off, but… it’s not for me.”
Jiyong nodded. “You’re the boss.” Then he turned to pick out another outfit.
He didn’t mention the possibility of Mino dressing up again.
Which, oddly enough, Mino found disappointing.
Somehow, he was hoping for Jiyong to be persistent. He was hoping for Jiyong to keep pestering him, until Mino would finally be forced to accept.
But he didn’t.
Mino started to realize that if he wanted to try on Jiyong’s clothes, he would have to make the choice himself. No punishment for a lost game, not costume party, no prank to force him into doing it “against his will.” He would have to admit to wanting to do it.
Jiyong was a sneaky bastard.
Mino was running out of time. Sooner or later he will have stayed for too long, and would have to go home. He needed to make the decision. He needed to either get over himself and admit to Jiyong that he did want to try on his clothes, or hold his tongue and regret missing this opportunity.
Because where else would he find someone who was not only supportive, but also offered to help him out, someone who offered a safe environment for experimenting.
Mino watched Jiyong slide on a pair of booty shorts. Not that he was looking, but Jiyong’s looked really nice in them.
Mino cleared his throat. “Do you… Do you think you’re only pulling it off because of your body type?”
Jiyong turned around, hands on his hips. “And what body type is that?”
Suddenly, Mino was tongue-tied. He felt heat rush to his face as it became apparent that he couldn’t say what he’d meant to say without either insulting Jiyong, or complimenting him a bit too much.
Jiyong gave that -eating grin of his. “You think I’m curvy?”
Mino’s cheeks were on fire. “Slim. You’re slim.”
Jiyong’s smile faded a little. “Nah. People of all shapes and sizes can and should wear whatever they want. It’s a matter of good taste and fashion sense, not body type.”
Mino nodded. He threw a glance at all the clothes that sat beside him on the bed. The blue crop top from before was still there, abandoned.
“Do you have anything that could… possibly fit me?”
Jiyong stopped halfway through tying his hair in a ponytail on top of his head. He looked at Mino in the mirror and smiled so widely, as if Mino had given him the most beautiful gift in the world.
He hastily finished his ponytail and he turned to dig through the pile. “Of course I do! I have so many things I think—could look nice on you.”
He started picking out shirts, button ups, crop tops, tank tops, shorts, booty shorts, skirts, and Mino was getting a little intimidated.
Jiyong held up the baby blue crop top from before. “I saw you looking at this.”
Mino didn’t feel like himself. He wasn’t manspreading, confidently leaning in. He was sitting with his knees pressed together, hands in his lap, tense and small. “I’m not sure I’d be able to pull it off,” he said quietly.
“You can, with the right bottoms.”
The jeans shorts Jiyong pulled out seemed way too tiny.
When Mino put them on, he was surprised to see that they reached almost to the middle of his thighs. They were nothing like the booty shorts Jiyong had on, yet they were still the smallest shorts Mino had ever worn.
They were low waisted. The crop top exposed his belly and Mino had no idea how to feel, looking at his reflection.
Jiyong was excited on his behalf. He stood behind Mino, bouncing up and down, looking at the mirror over his shoulder. He hadn’t changed out of his last outfit. Mino didn’t know why he’d expected him to replace the soft, pink sweater or his booty shorts with something more regular, because of course he wouldn’t.
“Do you like it?” Jiyong asked, folding his hands behind his back.
Mino shrugged, rubbing his forearm. “I’m not sure it suits me.”
“Nonsense! You look amazing. I especially like,” Jiyong pokes the edges of the crown peeking out from under the shirt, “that it exposes this.”
Mino jumped and yelped when he was poked, wrapping his arms around his own waist to protect himself from possible future tickling. He gave a little smile.
Slowly unfolding, he stood in front of the mirror again. He turned, and twisted, looked at his body from different angles. He dragged his hand down his torso and stomach, and hooked his thumbs to his belt loops. He stood with his hip out, head tilted to the side.
Jiyong chuckled. He had sat on the bed, legs crossed, elbow rested on one knee and chin rested on his fist.
The laugh made Mino crumble a little, his pose melted and he was back to hugging himself. “What?”
“Nothing,” Jiyong hummed. “I just think it really suits you.”
Mino grinned. He threw another glance at the mirror.
Jiyong hopped off the bed. “That’s all nice, but you can do better.”
Mino raised his eyebrows.
He watched Jiyong pull a white pleated skirt and a floral button up.
Mino flushed, stepping away a little. He wasn’t sure if he was ready for a skirt… But how he wanted to try it.
Jiyong had to help style it properly. He tugged the skirt up so that it was sitting on Mino’s waist. He tucked the shirt into the skirt, with just a bit more fabric hanging at the back. Mino started to turn towards the mirror, but Mino grabbed his hand to stop him.
“Wait, wait, we’re not done.”
Jiyong skipped over to the dresser to dig through a drawer where Mino could only assume he kept his jewelry.
Jiyong stood behind Mino. He slipped a thin chain around the younger’s neck and he immediately glanced down to take a look at the pendant; a rose quartz in the shape of a cherry blossom in a silver rim.
“You can look now.”
Mino took a deep breath and held. When he saw his reflection, he exhaled slowly. He smiled, wider, until all his teeth were showing.
Hesitantly, he lifted his hand and tucked a strand of hair behind his ear. He grinned wider, although he didn’t think it possible. He’d always wanted to do that, unironically.
“Guess what?” Jiyong asked cheerfully.
Mino hummed quizzically.
“You look very pretty.”
The way Mino felt about the compliment was the same as he felt about the skirt; unfamiliar and odd, a little awkward, but comfortable and welcome nonetheless.
He fumbled with the top button, undoing it and closing it again. “You think so? You’re not just saying it?”
“If I didn’t mean it, I wouldn’t have said it.” Jiyong was smiling. He reached over and ruffled Mino’s hair.
This got a little giggle out of him, before he turned towards the mirror again.
“Do you have anything else for me?”
Jiyong hummed, arms crossed. “I have something I really want to see you in, but… I’m not sure if it would be too much for you.”
Mino was a bit skeptical, but yet again curiosity prevailed. “... Can I see it?”
Jiyong nodded, with an unreadable smile on his face. He disappeared into the closet.
“It’s a surprise, you gotta close your eyes!”
Mino shook his head, putting his hands on his hips. “To be honest, hyung, I’m not sure I can handle another surprise today.”
“Try to hold on.” Jiyong’s voice moved, he was getting closer.
Mino sighed and closed his eyes, covered his face with his hands.
He heard the sound of footsteps.
“You can open your eyes now~”
Mino hesitated a second, then let his arms drop. With them, his jaw dropped as well.
He didn’t know much about dresses, he only knew that he liked this one.
Jiyong would have been able to tell you that it was black lace midi length dress with long sleeves, but to Mino it just looked pretty and so, so fragile. He had a feeling that if he put it on, he would rip it—not really because of the size, although it did look small, more so because Mino realized that he had no idea how to act in a dress. What if he moved the wrong way? Anxiety started to bubble in his gut, however it was laced with excitement. Despite these concerns, he didn’t want to back down. He figured, he’d have Jiyong to help him out.
“Will it fit?” He asked, eyes wide and lips curled into an uncertain, but bright smile.
Jiyong waved him off. “Of course it will. It might even fit you better, since you’re a bit taller.”
Mino nearly bounced.
He had to settle his anticipation as he got into the dress, with his previously mentioned fear of accidentally tearing the fragile looking dress.
When Jiyong zipped it up from the back, it didn’t feel taut. It didn’t feel tight or uncomfortable, it felt just right. As if it had been tailored just for him.
Jiyong gently, but mindlessly smoothed the dress over Mino’s waist, and this ghost of a touch made him flush. Because he’d never been touched like that, and his waist had never been accentuated like that and it looked good.
Mino didn’t think himself curvy, it hadn’t been something he would have been proud to be, but now, he had to admit, he loved what the dress did to his waist, to the outline of his body.
“Do you want it?”
Mino tore his gaze from the mirror only for a second. “I couldn’t…”
“Nonsense,” Jiyong said. “I have so many others. This one? This one was made for you.”
The pink hue wouldn’t leave Mino’s cheeks. “You think so..?”
Jiyong nodded. “You, Song Mino, might just be the prettiest man I’ve ever seen.”
Mino pressed the backs of his palms to his cheeks. “Now you’re just full of it.”
Jiyong grinned. “Just trying to boost your confidence. Because you do look gorgeous.”
Jiyong had put the dress in a Supreme bag, all discreet and mindful of the fact that the last thing Mino wanted was for anyone else to find out that he liked to wear dresses.
Later, when he dared take it out of the bag, Mino found a quickly scribbled not inside as well, tucked under the collar of the folded dress.
It read, ‘Wear it when you want to feel pretty,’ and it was signed by Jiyong.