"HELLO PITIFUL MORTALS," jongin crows as he walks towards their table with his arms outstretched, a megawatt grin on his face. "I AM HERE TO BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY."
today is a beautiful day. the sun is shining, there's not a cloud in the sky and he had a dream of dancing the polka with joonmyeon last night. joonmyeon's thighs looked heavenly in those tight blue pants with the red trimmings as he kicked his legs out to the rhythm. as the dream rushes back to him, jongin puts an uncharacteristic skip in his step, shedding the cool image that he normally adopts.
"is there something in the water that made everyone so hyper this morning," minseok moans into his cereal, pushing the soggy corn flakes around so violently that milk splashes out the side of the bowl. why are all his friends so energetic in the morning. is there not an unwritten rule that states that high school kids should only appear awake and alert when the hands of the clock points to double digit numbers?
"i don't think you can brighten my day any more than luhan here can," baekhyun wails as he clutches jongin's arm, pulling him down into the chair between them. "he was just telling me, in great excruciating detail, that he has calls his boyfriend's dick the dragon."
baekhyun sends a god-help-me look to jongin and jongin merely chuckles, removing the older man's grip lightly. "explains why you barely come back to our room these days," jongin says cheerfully to luhan, not letting the king of tmi ruin his morning. he leans over to his left to side hug his favourite hyung and rest his head on the older boy's head as per habit.
it's no secret that jongin is particularly fond of luhan, and he waddles after luhan like a duckling imprinted on his mother. luhan however, reacts in a way that surprises them all.
"woah, woah. jongin, hold up," he ducks out of jongin's grasp, making jongin hug thin air and stumble. jongin jerks his head back just before his chin crashes onto the table and he would've fallen off his chair if baekhyun hadn't caught his arm.
meanwhile, luhan leaps up and walks a few steps away with both hands in front of him, holding jongin off. jongin is stunned into silence, arms still positioned uselessly in front of him as he gapes at luhan. minseok has set down the his spoon, staring at the exchange open mouthed. baekhyun rubs his eyes, thinking that his half-asleep mind must be playing tricks with his eyes. and chanyeol, that overreacting bastard, gasps.
"respect my boundaries, man. i have a boyfriend now. no more touchiness," luhan gives them all a smile as if the world hasn't spun off its axis, shakes his head at jongin and walks away.
"what." jongin turns to the other boys at the table and drops his shoulders helplessly, feeling and looking like a kicked puppy. he's understandly confused at the turn of events, because luhan has always entertained jongin's excessive skinship, knowing full well that he's the only one that the younger boy opens up to.
"there, there," chanyeol says, ruffling jongin's fluffy hair. there goes an entire morning of artfully tussling his hair so that it looks effortlessly windblown. "hyung here will give you all the love you want!" with that he envelops jongin in a bone-crushing hug, much to jongin's chagrin. jongin squeaks and tries to wriggle out of chanyeol's death lock. why is chanyeol not in the wrestling club? all that wasted strength. it’s not like it’ll make a difference if he knocked out a couple of brain cells anyway.
"fuck off and go find your tiny boyfriend," jongin snaps and pushes the tall boy off roughly.
baekhyun bangs a fist half-heartedly on the table, but he does not protest verbally about him not being chanyeol's boyfriend, or about jongin's stab at his height. after an entire year of denial, baekhyun has almost accepted that he is in fact, both of those things, no matter how much he wants to believe otherwise. firmly believing that their relationship, with chanyeol’s lingering touches and weekly movie nights in circumstances that some people might refer to as a date, being purely platonic is a tiring thing.
"why won't you ever treat us as nicely as you treat luhan," chanyeol asks sadly, rubbing his arm forlornly where jongin has pushed him. jongin could've sworn that chanyeol's bird nest of a hair drooped along with the rest of his face, so expressive was the taller boy.
"do you want me to go in with you?" luhan asks quietly, a hand on jongin's back because you just don't send your best friend into the dragon's lair without some encouragement and support. jongin shudders and looks back at luhan, the fear evident in his eyes.
after some sobbing on jongin's part (if anyone asks, jongin will say that he most certainly did not cry. he marched in there with his head held high and voice steady, demanding that luhan explain), and comforting on luhan's, they've talked the whole thing over. luhan explained his behaviour by saying that he really does like kris, and having another boy draped all over himself would probably be hard to accept for any boyfriend. however, luhan also acknowledges that it's hard for jongin to kick his habit of being clingy so quickly, which eventually led to this situation right now, the only solution that both boys could think of.
"wish me luck," jongin says solemnly, and with a quick squeeze on the shoulders by luhan, jongin sets off into what potentially is one of the stupidest things he's done. (although really, if you think about it, jongin has done a lot of stupid things, all egged on by luhan, and while this ranges high in the crazy factor, points are deducted due to the fact that his life is not in real danger… right? does luhan get off by putting jongin in difficult, dangerous situations or what.)
"kris," jongin taps him on the shoulder lightly and flinches despite himself when the older boy spins around on his chair. they chose to confront kris in the library because jongin hopes that kris will respect the rule of silence in the library and not tear jongin apart because if he does murder jongin, jongin will scream like a girl and that'll be breaking the rule of silence.
"jongin?" kris asks with a frown of surprise, because jongin normally avoids kris like the plague. he asked luhan about it once and luhan had joked that jongin hated being around anyone more fabulous than he is. at that time, kris had laughed along with luhan, but he secretly believes this to be the real reason why jongin bolts whenever he enters the room. the fact that he’s about half a head taller than jongin, so much that jongin has to lift his head to talk to kris and that frankly is pretty intimidating, might also explain it.
then kris notices that jongin has his shirt buttoned wrongly, missing the third button from the top. jongin is known to be a fashionista, so this is even weirder. he drinks in jongin's nervous stance and raises his eyebrow, because from what he's seen of jongin (and overheard from snatches of whispered conversations), the junior is an overconfident douchebag, a far cry from the boy who is practically quivering in front of him.
"do you want something?" kris prompts in the friendliest tone he can muster. he’s working on being nice because luhan has complained that he’s scaring all their mutual friends away. right now his smile looks like it could be just as home on a serial killer’s face, but baby steps. he’s really working on it.
jongin stops wringing his hands and bites his lip. with lowered eyes peeking over long lashes, he asks in a tiny voice, "will you give me permission to touch your boyfriend?"
kris squints, hoping that he misheard jongin. "wait, what?" jongin frantically sticks both palms in front of kris's face, stopping the older man before he can unleash his dragon fury on jongin and rip his bones apart with his teeth and then bury each bone in a different continent and then go into hiding from the cops and- why yes, jongin has been worrying about this all night, why do you ask?
"you know how luhan is a really dear friend to me and all, and i really respect your relationship, but i can't just throw aside my own friendship with luhan. so while i will take care to respect his boundaries, i ask that you allow me to sometimes, occasionally, drape my hand over your boyfriend, and maybe hug him once a while," jongin says it all in one long breath, hands frantically waving around to emphasize his words.
kris looks at him, increasing bewildered and confused at the younger boy's words. two hours of studying biology has turned his brain to mush, and he briefly wonders if jongin’s brain has also turned to a pile of sloppy, useless material.
"please?" jongin meeks adds as an afterthought to soften the blow when he finishes his ramble.
"do you know how absurd you sound right now? did luhan put you up to this?" kris glances over at the doorway where luhan is trying and failing to hide. when he catches his boyfriend's eye, luhan flashes him a grin and shows him two thumbs ups. kris fights the urge to roll his eyes at his ridiculous boyfriend and said boyfriend's ridiculous ideas. he’s even more amazed by the fact that jongin went along with the whole thing as well. kris thinks that he has an incredibly sadistic boyfriend. while jongin anxiously waits,
kris thinks this idea over. he doesn't pick up any vibes from jongin that suggests that the junior wants to bone luhan, just that he looks up to luhan as a brother figure, like a little brother with a bordering-on-creepy brother complex. besides, luhan has been feeding him stories about jongin's amusing crush on joonmyeon all week, so kris is sure that jongin is perfectly harmless. like an annoying parasite, but still a non-threatening and very huggable parasite. eventually he sighs, knowing that these are the kind of things that he has to deal with when dating luhan.
"i don't know what i'm agreeing to, but okay, as long as you don't go overboard."
jongin immediately lights up like a christmas tree, smiling wider than kris has ever seen him before. he takes a step forward to hug kris but at the older boy's automatic glare (kris is not a people person; he is only a luhan person), changes his mind at the last minutes and wraps his arms around himself instead.
luhan pokes his head in to interrupt the moment, bouncing lightly on the balls of his feet. "well?"
"HE SAID YES," jongin shrieks and luhan joins in with a screech, running in to jump into jongin's waiting arms. the two of them spin around a few times, jumping and laughing like hysterical teenage girls, forgetting in their moment of joy where they are. around them, the students shoot the crazy duo death glares and the librarian is making her way over her in quick steps, brandishing a ruler in her right hand like a weapon.
"am i dating an idiot," kris wonders outloud to himself and lets his chin fall onto the pile of books in front of him, impact cushioned by his open biology textbook. somehow, he has a feeling that that his days of dating luhan will be anything but boring. he only hopes that he’ll get through this alive.
over lunch, after they've been kicked out of the library and banned from entering its premises for the rest of the semester, jongin asks meekly, "so, can i still pretend that luhan wants to keep his distance? cause i have a plan-"
kris literally face palms.
jongdae has a very unfortunate face, jongin decides, the kind that can scare rats away. he can see jongdae's spittle flying out of his mouth from a few tables away. he carefully weaves his way between the lunch tables in the noisy cafeteria to get to their usual table near the full wall of windows.
his usual group of friends are there, with jongdae, minseok, sehun, and oh god, joonmyeon is there, looking lovely in his baby blue button down, a personal favourite of jongin’s. why the man dresses so formally for class he’ll never know, but he’s not complaining, because joonmyeon looks amazingly cute with his collared shirts in the sea of ragged tees. he supposes that joonmyeon has to be conservative and all given his position as the head of everything.
because he too, is secretly somewhat of a sadist, jongin looks forward to unravelling the model student’s outstanding record of excellence and the thought alone brings a grin to his face.
jongin drops in just in time to hear the tail end of an argument, with jongdae throwing up his hands in frustration, saying loudly, "if we set a curfew for video games, we might as well ban nitrate-based fertilizer and firecrackers, since everyone knows that those can be made into a carbomb!"
jongin slips silently into his seat, choosing the one opposite joonmyeon, trying to appear as morose as possible. he sets the bowl of salad in front of him, gingerly picking at the greens. on a normal day he would've eaten something loaded with lard and oil, growing boy that he is, but today is tofu burger tuesday. faced with a slab of fermented beans disguising itself as beef, he'll pick the actual vegetables, thank you very much.
besides, he is making a statement, and he hopes joonmyeon notices. joonmyeon gives him his usual grandfatherly smile and despite having rainbows and sunflowers dawning in his heart, jongin is careful to keep his eyes trained on his salad, like he's afraid that his carrots will make a run for it any second. still, when joonmyeon crinkles his forehead slightly at jongin's lack of response, jongin allows himself a tiny smirk of satisfaction.
jongdae turns to jongin, positively incensed. jongdae is the co-captain of the debate club (joonmyeon is captain; can he be any more annoying perfect?) so debates and arguments always gets him into a frenzy. pair that with the fact that the discussion on hand concerns jongdae's precious online games where he is the infamous DancingMachine12, jongdae seems possessed. "jongin, do you think that the curfew on gaming should be passed? because minseok here-" cue a tirade of dirty looks from everyone at the table, with the darkest look of all from jongdae, to a helpless minseok, "seems to think that it is perfectly acceptable to stop minors from playing after midnight."
"you should be sleeping after midnight! we start class at 7," minseok protests, voice becoming decidedly smaller with each syllable. realizing belatedly that it might not have been the best idea to bring up the topic at a table full of gamers, minseok shrinks back into his seat, pressing his arms tightly against his body. jongin almost feels sorry for him.
it is never a good thing to have kim jongdae's wrath on you, because jongdae also runs the school newspaper, and that is enough reason to keep being in his favour. after kibum of the drama club tripped him in class, jongdae abused his editorial powers and inserted a new section in the paper that featured candid shots, with the first issue featuring kibum removing a wedgie in what he thought was a deserted hallway. the section, aptly named 'uncensored', gained popularity and still lives on in the form of the student body’s derp and shame.
"i am more concerned about the fact that you know how to make a car bomb, kim jongdae," jongin retorts, breaking out of character because he can't resist riling jongdae up, even when the future of his love life is at stake. there's something about jongdae's uptight attitude that makes jongin want to sass back at every given chance.
"that is common knowledge," jongdae says indignantly. jongin shakes his head and pats him on the knee patronizingly. then jongin remembers the whole reason he came here in the first place. the smile on his face drops away immediately, and he slumps over his salad once more.
picking up on the cue, minseok leans closer to jongin, placing a sympathetic hand on his shoulder. "is luhan still ignoring you?" jongin responds by letting out a heavy sigh.
out of the corner of his eye, he can see joonmyeon tense up. from experience, he knows that the head prefect practically has an allergy to unhappiness and will jump in at any chance to turn someone’s smile upside down. in fact, everyone in the student body knows joonmyeon’s willingness to help and exploits it extensively. it’s no surprise that joonmyeon ends up in the committee of every bake sale and charity event that the school has ever had.
"is the plan in effect," jongdae whispers loudly, lowering his head to peer over his big black frames.
jongin almost throws his whole bowl of salad at jongin’s unfortunate face because for the head of the debate club, jongdae is so incredibly dense and inept at social situations. this is why the fellow junior has gone his entire life without a girlfriend. also, the boy sleeps with a stuffed pikachu. really, now.
"you're being silly, jongdae," sehun cuts in too loudly, overcompensating for stupid jongdae's blunder. he nudges jongdae's forearm with his elbow and giggles nervously. "stop talking about your games when jongin is having a moment."
"but i'm not-" jongdae promptly shuts up when sehun sweetly smiles and leans over to stuffs a piece of garlic bread into his mouth. he glares at sehun and chews on his bread grumpily. jongin knocks sehun’s knee once under the table to give his thanks and sehun nods discretely without looking at jongin.
this whole exchange thankfully has not ignited joonmyeon’s suspicion as he is too busy being concerned and distraught at the thought of jongin being sad.
"are you okay?” joonmyeon asks slowly, hands reaching out across the table in case jongin needs some support.
"it's just that..." jongin sticks his lower lip out even more, "this situation with luhan, i've never realized before this how close we were." despite himself, minseok snorts a laugh and quickly tries to cover himself by faking a choking spell. predictably, joomyeon turns to baby minseok and thump him on the back, glancing at jongin periodically at the same time. he looks anxious at the thought of not one, but two negative situations going on at the table. jongin has to wonder how the boy manages to make it through history class, with its mentions of pain and suffering, without breaking down.
the seed has been planted. now all jongin has to do is fan the embers and wait for the domino effect to begin. wait, don’t fires burn down seedlings, and what is that about dominos? oh well, jongin never claimed to be great at metaphors.
"i am cold," kris complains. and why wouldn't he be, when he's draped over luhan's bed with nothing but a blanket covering his family jewels.
there are red rose petals littered around the bed for atmosphere because luhan snuck into the counsellor’s office and stole three stems from the overflowing bouquet that she received. in the corridors, students whisper rumours of the counsellor being a mistress of a rich business tycoon, and that really would explain the extravagant gifts that she parades around all day.
luhan doesn’t care about all of that. he just thinks that the blood red of the rose would look delicious against kris’s tan skin.
during breakfast earlier, luhan announced that he wanted to reignite his childhood dream of being an artist.
“I will have my name in lights,” he said, eyes sparkling as he stared off into the distance, imagining butler!sehun attending to his every need and tiny poodles yipping at his feet. kris will be his hot eyecandy boyfriend that hangs off his arm during events, looking immaculate in his black custom made tux.
“you do realize that most artists only make it big when they die,” kris had commented with a mouthful of croissant.
“do you want to die?” luhan then threatened sweetly, lovely smile never leaving his face, and kris felt a new rush of love for his feisty boyfriend.
“nudes!” luhan declared next, because really, nothing screams artistic like nuts and jiggly body parts!
and because luhan had made the suggestion while lightly drawing hearts on kris’s jeans and kris’s mind is not equipped to deal with such emotions, he encouraged his boyfriend’s wild ideas, saying that of course! sex sells! clothes should be outlawed so that everyone can run around naked!
and this brings us back to the present, where kris laments the things that he does for luhan.
"porn star gege," luhan admonishes firmly with his favourite nickname for his boyfriend, looking over the side of the canvas to frown at his model. he points a pencil warningly at kris. "please be quiet when i'm trying to draw your appendages."
kris smirks, throwing his head back to accentuate his neckline, knowing that it drives luhan crazy. "do you want me to take off the blanket so you can see better." he props a knee up so that the blanket slides dangerously, revealing hipbones and a happy trail leading down to buried treasure. when he doesn't get the reaction he wants, kris throws his arms behind him, falls onto the headboard and channels the soul of a bad romance novel heroine, "oh take me, young brooding artist, let me offer my body to comfort your lonely emo nights."
"keep still! i would actually like to get some work done today." but luhan punctuates his scoldings with giggles, and the way that he’s toying with his own belt buckle suggests that his portrait of kris will likely be eternally incomplete.
this is the unfortunate scene that jongin walks into.
"jesus, kris! my virgin eyes!" the textbooks that he’s holding clatter noisily on the floor, with his history notes sliding into the black hole that is the bottom of his cupboard. he's never going to find them again.
jongin clasps his hands over his eyes, making sure to leave sufficient space between his fingers so that he can quickly take a mental snapshot, because really, it’s not every day that a gay teenage boy walks into his room to find a abercrombie model-worthy body naked on a bed.
luhan stops shading in a nipple long enough to throw his pencil at jongin, annoyed at the intrusion. “hello, you are rudely interrupting my creative juices.”
"POINTY ENDS, LUHAN." jongin leaps to the side and barely dodges the pencil, which thankfully, was thrown eraser end first. "THIS FACE WILL NOT BE AS ATTRACTIVE WITH HOLES IN IT. let me see how well your creative juices flow when my brain juices leak all over you.”
"you can stay," kris offers generously. "i don't mind.” he stretches to scratch an itch near his knee and the blanket slips even more, revealing an entire thigh.
jongin chokes on a sob and walks out of the room with his face buried in his palms.
kim jongin is many things. he is one of the rising stars in the school’s dance team, having trained his nimble body into mastering both ballet and hip hop. he is confident and snarky, always with a smirk adorning his face, like the whole world is there for his amusement. he is the object of the juniors’, freshmen’s, and even some (most) of the seniors’, frenzy, especially when he hangs around with his equally good looking roommate, luhan, with jongin’s dark blatant sexuality contrasting with luhan’s pale porcelain beauty.
kim jongin is many, many things, but here is one thing that kim jongin is not.
kim jongin is not above faking a few tears and acting fragile just so he can take advantage of a certain head prefect’s concern and possibly bulldoze his way into said prefect’s pants.
this is why, 10 minutes later, joonmyeon welcomes a shaken jongin into his room.
"luhan has no sense of shame," jongin moans, dropping against joonmyeon instantly. joonmyeon has to stumble to catch the younger boy awkwardly in his arms, and then lug the both of them indoors to settle down on the carpeted floor. "you've seen how fast he solves the rubik's cube with those deft fingers right? imagine what he does to kris's belt. in front of me." at the true memory, jongin shudders again, not all fake this time, and presses himself harder against joomyeon.
joonmyeon keeps silent, but he nods at jongin’s words to show that he is listening. this is what jongin loves about joonmyeon. he doesn’t need to say anything, but his gestures show that he genuinely does care for jongin’s wellbeing. unfortunately, joonmyeon also genuinely cares for the wellbeing of the entire student body, as well as the wellbeing of the teachers, and even the wellbeing of yaong, the tomcat that slinkers around school and lives under the bleachers.
in this position, where joonmyeon is cross legged on the floor and has jongin cradled in his arms like an oversized baby, jongin has to try very hard to not go into sensory overload. joonmyeon’s arms are loosely wrapped around a pliant jongin, gently propping him up and jongin has to fight a shudder of pleasure and satisfaction, because it has been so long since someone has held him like this.
joonmyeon is so warm, and he is built bigger than jongin, enough to envelop him, but he’s soft, all flesh and no protruding bones. jongin wants to stay in this warmth forever, snuggle into joonmyeon’s chest and become an extension of his body, hearts beating together, but that fantasy sounds slightly creepy. his butt is nestled nicely between joonmyeon’s thighs, so near his crotch and oh god, no, now is not the right time for hormones to take over. he is a man on a mission.
joonmyeon doesn’t even think twice about their compromising position, doesn’t question why jongin launches himself at him like this, so unsuspecting that he is. he just clucks his tongue at the appropriate moments as jongin rants and makes little gasps of disbelief when jongin recounts seeing luhan stick his tongue in kris’s ear multiple times. “I am eternally scarred,” jongin exclaims, letting the back of his right hand fall over his forehead dramatically.
jongin almost feels guilty for what he is about to do, because joonmyeon is so awfully nice. almost, but then an image flashes in his mind of joonmyeon mewling as jongin licks a trail up his neck, and all apprehensions fly out of the window.
“hyung,” upping the game, jongin moans the term under a pretense of complete innocence. he drops his voice, using the most seductive tone he can master, mimicked after what he hears after dark when luhan dreams of kris. those late nights of listening to luhan whimper his boyfriend’s name are very real reasons for being disturbed, and this fuels jongin’s acting into seeming almost real.
joonmyeon's eyes flick to jongin, not so much concerned as appraising, and jongin mentally cheers. he is affected, probably a bit troubled that he’s finding a junior attractive but too nice to do anything about it. jongin will change that. one day.
“luhan was drawing kris naked, and kris offered for me to stay,” jongin explains more about the reason of his visit as he sinks deeper into joonmyeon’s lap, and understanding lights up joonmyeon’s eyes. “the air conditioning in his room has malfunctioned so he’ll be staying with us for a week. help me, hyung,” jongin clutches at the older boy’s sleeve and pleads.
"you can stay here all week if you want," joonmyeon offers brightly. "my roommate was kicked out three weeks ago and now the other bed is empty.
jongin gets real tears in his eyes, out of his complete relief and joy, because his plan has worked out better than what he’s expected. a whole week of sleeping in the bed next to his crush! jongin can only hope that he doesn’t moan joonmyeon’s name in his sleep or something like luhan does. he hopes even harder that he doesn’t voice out his fantasies of joonmyeon in his sleep like luhan, because, really, no one needs to know that someone else wants to see you in pigtails and a tiny skirt.
thankfully, joonmyeon mistakes jongin’s glittering eyes for being tears of sorrow and pushes jongin off his lap, alarmed as he dashes for the kitchen to get some cookie dough ice cream.
“it’ll be alright, jongin!” the dorm leader cries as he hugs the pint of ice cream to his chest, rummaging through the drawers for two spoons. jongin rubs his the back of his head where it had knocked against the carpet in joonmyeon’s haste to get comfort food and bites back an urge to pocket joonmyeon and bring him out when he’s unhappy because he is just so precious that it’s unreal.
then joonmyeon plops down in front of jongin and offers him the ice cream with his signature bright smile-crinkle of the eyes combo, and jongin cries all over again.
kris and luhan’s exhibitionist relationship is really the best thing that has ever happened to him.
(the moment luhan and kris walks through the door, jongin pounces on luhan, knocking him onto the bed and burying his face in the other boy’s pale stomach.
"see, that is not what i consider acceptable," kris says as he watches his boyfriend being glomped and groped by another boy. he sighs and sinks into jongin's bed opposite the both of them and crosses his long legs into a yoga position. if he's to watch jongin attacking his boyfriend, at least he can be comfortable during it.
jongin doesn't remove his face from where he is nuzzling a giggling luhan, his voice muffled by the bunched up fabric of luhan's shirt. "suck it up, dragon."
kris realizes that he should’ve defined ‘overboard’ in concrete terms when first asked.)