Hyung, why aren't you gay?
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Jiyong's stomach performed a nervous somersault as he watched Seunghyun laugh and dance offbeat to a hip-hop song they had been listening to for who knows how long. They were in Seunghyun's room, a comfortable silence settling between them after a heated dance-off. Jiyong had known Seunghyun since they were awkward middle schoolers, their friendship a constant through scraped knees and stolen glances. Lately, though, those glances had lingered a little longer, the silence feeling less comfortable, more charged.

He loved Seunghyun's laugh, the way his eyes crinkled at the corners, the warmth that radiated from him like sunshine. But Seunghyun seemed oblivious, always talking about girls, dreaming of dates and stolen kisses. Jiyong yearned to confess his feelings, but the fear of rejection was a heavy stone in his stomach.

One Friday night, at 11:04 pm, 56 minutes before Seunghyun's birthday, fueled by stolen sips of his older brother's soju and the courage of liquid bravery, Jiyong blurted it out. "Hyung," he hiccuped, "why aren't you gay?"

Seunghyun sprawled on the couch next to him, blinked owlishly. "Huh?"

"I just... you're so cool, and kind, and... well, you make me feel all fluttery inside." He mumbled the last part, staring at his shoes.

"I mean," Jiyong continued, his voice gaining momentum with each word, "wouldn't it be great if we could just... you know... be together?"

The room spun, the words

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