it's been three weeks since jongin has started crashing at joonmyeon's place.
luhan looks great, glowing and happy in the way that only those in love can be. "i wish you could stay in joonmyeon's room forever," he sighs dreamily, watching kris' back as the taller boy orders their drinks (caramel macchiato for luhan and expresso for jongin). as usual, kris tries to charm the barista into giving them an employee discount, and she's predictably smitten by his magazine cover smile, swiping her card in a dreamy trance. the poor girl never stood a chance.
"yeah, sure." jongin's reply is considerably less enthusiastic. he doesn't look up at luhan as he answers. instead, he focuses on playing with the sugar cubes on the table, scooping one up with the tiny spoon and letting it fall onto the table in a crumbly death. let the sugar fall to pieces, jongin thinks, just like it's an extension of his breaking heart.
"isn't it great, living with joonmyeon?" luhan asks, puzzled because the three weeks of staying with kris can only be described as amazing. and messy. the amount of sheets that they had to wash is a bit tiring, but it's a small sacrifice to make for the greater purpose of one true love. luhan has always been good at looking at the bigger picture.
"he tutors me for two hours every day," jongin says glumly.
luhan clasps his hands together in delight, pleased at this new development. "isn't that great? quality time and what not?"
"no, luhan, he tutors me. for two hours every day." jongin widens his eyes at luhan and slams a palm down onto the table to make a point. the grandmother that is sitting in the booth beside them turns over to frown at him. "i know the periodic table by heart."
"oh." luhan's face falls. he flashes a quick apologetic smile at the grandmother before focusing his attention back on jongin. "but it'll be fine! experts show that couples who match each other on an intellectual level stay together longer!"
"so that means baekhyun and chanyeol will forever bond over their double digit IQ! but what does that make me?"
"it means, jongin, that if you spent more time listening to joonmyeon teaching you, you would appeal to him more," luhan says slowly, like he's spelling out something to a five year old. or to chanyeol.
"oh, i can do that." jongin nods and luhan beams.
that night, joonmyeon declares happily during their tutoring session, "i printed out 10 sets of past year questions. i want you to finish it all by friday!"
jongin stops doodling in the margins of his text book long enough to gape at joonmyeon, because for a seemingly harmless smiling angel, joonmyeon's a motherfucking slavedriver.
jongin cannot do this.
to luhan (00:12am)
STOOPID JOONMYEON DOES NOT ACKNOWLEDGE MY LOVE
to luhan (00:12am)
DO YOU FEEL ME SADFACING THROUGH THE SCREEN
to luhan (00:13am)
DO MY SAD FEELINGS REACH YOU
to jongin (00:15am)
hi, this is kris here. you are currently interrupting sexy time with luhan. please fuck off.
to luhan (00:16am)
i hope a kitten flies through the window and claws your face off D8<
to luhan (00:19am)
also i hope you're not on my bed because it is still /my/ bed ok
to luhan (00:24am)
no seriously tho do i need to get a new mattress. guys?
somehow, baekhyun talks joonmyeon into getting a perm.
"no seriously, it'll be the best idea of your life, i swear," baekhyun insists, eyes practically sparkling at the chance to give honour student, buttoned up kim joonmyeon a makeover. "goo junpyo had a perm and he was the motherfucking king of the school. if you look more fashionable, maybe people will listen to you more!"
joonmyeon is not sure how baekhyun's logic works, but the more he thinks about it the more it makes sense. attractive people catch attention, and most importantly, retain attention, he knows that. and if a perm is really the best way to make himself more attractive... well. baekhyun always had the best fashion sense among their little group (except for the guyliner because that joonmyeon simply doesn't understand. it seems uncomfortable poking a pencil into your eye), but it's not hard to stand out when your group consists of people like chanyeol (knee high socks and shorts), jongdae (fedoras and bowties) and luhan (rainbow coloured shit that looks like he forgot to separate the whites from the coloured in the washing machine).
and so, joonmyeon finds himself sitting in a chair as a heavily made up lady fawns over his hair. from the way she bats her eyelids at him, it's like she hasn't seen a young man in some time. given that the salon that baekhyun chose is almost grostequely pink and decorated with hearts everywhere, joonmyeon wouldn't doubt that he's the first male customer in a very long time. save for baekhyun, of course, who is on first name basis with everyone, honorifics dropped.
"you won't regret this," baekhyun promises cheerfully, and joonmyeon nervously laughs, running his hand through his hair, because in three hours he'll have a whole new hairstyle and he needs to remember the old one the best he can.
jongin halts so suddenly when he sees joonmyeon coming out of the library that luhan crashes straight into him mid-speech, causing the senior to bang his upper teeth painfully against the back of jongin's head. jongin is oblivious to the string of curses luhan is throwing at him, because joonmyeon. with a perm. and a black, form-fitting button down.
it's the hottest thing he's seen all day.
"is he trying to seduce me," jongin breaths out as luhan joins him in checking out the head prefect appreciatively. "just throw me under a bus, run tire tracks all over my beautiful, youthful body. i don't want to live anymore."
then joonmyeon reaches down to tug his pants up to his belly button.
jongin scrunches up his face and lets out something that sounds like a choked sob. "why do i like him when he's so stupid."
luhan pats jongin's shoulder and tsks comfortingly. "not everyone can be like kris."
jongin looks over to kris, where he has a manbag casually swung over one shoulder, a hand loosely holding it in place. jongin doesn't even like designer items, nor can he afford them, but he has the urge to buy that bag, because kris sells it. kris makes everything on him look good and desirable. the world is a runway for kris with him strutting all over every smooth surface like he owns the damn place. even the two expressions that kris has -bitchface and constipated- scream model material.
luhan beams like a proud parent.
jongin kicks him in the knee just because.
luhan walks into the common room to find jongin sitting in the bean bag area with his halfway-worn shirt slung around his neck, one arm poking out of one sleeve. jongin has half a cookie in his mouth as he frowns at the notebook in front of him.
"jongin, how many times do i need to teach you how to put on clothes?" luhan throws up his arms in exasperation and tugs at jongin's shirt. "your arm goes into this hole. clothes stay on in public."
jongin obediently lifts his arms to allow luhan to slip the rest of the shirt on. "i was distracted." he lifts his chin and pursues his lips to offer luhan the rest of the cookie and luhan scrunches his nose up at jongin's unsanitariness. it doesn't stop him from taking the half eaten cookie and shoving it into his mouth, however.
luhan leans over jongin's shoulder to peer at his notebook.
HOW TO GET INTO MY ROOMMATE'S PANTS
1. get a makeover ala joonmyeon
2. get him drunk
3. research a love potion with tao
4. convince minseok to test potion on kyungsoo
"i hope you mean your current temporary roommate and not me, because you know kris and i are-" jongin cuts off luhan's tirade by smashing a pillow into his face.
"i have been throwing joonmyeon obvious hints for the past few weeks," jongin groans. he withdraws his soft weapon and clutches it to his chest, bringing his knees up to his chin. "i'm starting to think that joonmyeon is so dense that he's solid."
"can you wink?" luhan suggests, settling on a bean bag that is well out of jongin and his pillow's hitting range. one has to take precautions when dealing with kim jongin because he is violent usually even without being riled up by an unrecipriocated love. "up the game, because if joonmyeon is as dense as you make him out to be, you need universally accepted non-verbal cues."
jongin throws luhan a wink, complete with a thumb swipe across his lower lip.
"can you wink in a less suggestive way, because joonmyeon is kind of innocent."
jongin tries again, losing the thumb. the smirk that accompanies the wink stubbornly stays.
luhan looks horrified. "oh my god, you will corrupt our head prefect."
friday night, another tutoring session in the study halls.
earlier jongin had tried to duck out of the library because as much as he loves to spend time with his crush, it is a painfully excruciating experience, especially when he actually has to study. joonmyeon is really a non-nonsense tutor, a far cry from the usual easy going guy who actually smiles when people trip him in the hallway. when jongin stares dreamily into joonmyeon's face, joonmyeon gets annoyed that he's not paying attention and doubles the homework he gives him.
in the two weeks that he's been studying under joonmyeon's guidance, jongin has learned more than he has absorbed in the entire semester of normal classes. his chemistry teacher almost had a heart attack when jongin was the first to pass up a surprise quiz, a surprize quiz that he aced for the first time in history.
jongin nibbles on the tip of his pen as he figures out how to slowly ease into whatever he's about to do. he's all pumped up about his plan which, as usual, was greatly encouraged by luhan. truth be told, jongin is almost starting to question his unwavering faith in luhan's ideas, but he can't help but admit that luhan is the only friend of his that isn't single, and he hooked kris at that. kris. all doubts automatically erased.
joonmyeon marks the last question of the quiz he set for jongin and actually claps in delight when he calculates that jongin only made one mistake out of 20 questions, and that question was a tricky one to begin with. "wonderful, jongin! you are getting so much better at chemistry!"
jongin perks up because this is his chance! "hyung, are you made of copper and tellurium because-"
he isn't even done with his pick up line when joonmyeon cuts him off, an uncharacteristic frown on his usually relaxed face, "but jongin you're having some attention issues today. what's wrong?"
because you're CuTe, jongin finishes in his mind. he thinks it's quite a clever line, one that a science geek like joonmyeon would definitely appreciate, but now he just can't finish it verbally without it being awkward.
"i have a medical problem," jongin tries again, blurting out the first line that he can think. "can you cure me." as soon as he says it, he knows that he's said the wrong thing because really, medical problem. fuck his lack of a brain-to-mouth filter. fuck his inability to ascertain appropriate things to say in situations.
"what is it?" cue joonmyeon's concern radar shooting through the roof. if jongin actually dared to lift his eyes off where they're stubbornly trained on his book, he might actually see the red flashing alarm going off in joonmyeon's head. igniting joonmyeon's natural instinct to mother him is not a good thing when jongin's trying to confess his two year long crush on the other boy.
"localized vascular throbbing," jongin mumbles miserably as he places his hands strategically over his crotch.
"do you need to see a doctor for that?" joonmyeon asks, immediately placing a hand on jongin's forehead to feel his temperature. he looks adorable even when he is confused oh my god why.
"i- just." jongin shoots up from his seat, almost knocking the chair over in the process. joonmyeon's hand leaps out to catch the wobbly chair and jongin can practically feel the concern radiating from the head prefect. the elder's scrunched up forehead, paired with the heat from his touch, is almost too much for jongin to take, so his flight instinct kicks in and he bolts from the library, leaving joonmyeon gaping at his retreating back.
because jongin was rushing off to profess his undying love for joonmyeon, he forgets his keys. and because joonmyeon is paranoid after a midnight marathon of thrillers forced on by chanyeol, he doesn't believe in spare keys. hence, jongin is stuck outside his dorm room, or technically, joonmyeon's dorm where he's been sleeping in.
after five minutes of kicking at the door, jongin sighs and heads for his real room- the one he shares (shared?) with luhan.
luhan takes one look at jongin's face and immediately shuffles off to fluff up some pillows. jongin flashes luhan a grateful smile, but the sides of his mouth falter and drop back into a frown.
luhan waits three seconds for jongin to speak but he's always been a bit of an impatient character, so he presses a hand to jongin's shoulder blade and kneads as he asks, "how was it?" if he wants details, he'll have to pacify jongin and slowly coax him to talk.
jongin groans into the pillow and arches his back at luhan's massage. "mission failure," is all he bites out before he buries his face back into the pillow, blowing out air to clear his mind.
luhan knows better than to push. he flops onto jongin and crushes him in a comforting hug. jongin sighs again.
no one knows who came up with this brilliant idea, but all jongin knows is that he wants to shoot that person. shoot him until his body is riddled with more holes than cheese, and then hang his mangled remains up for display for being an Official Life Ruiner.
jongin claws at a poster that's taped onto the school's bulletin board in distress, fingers scratching uselessly against joonmyeon's perfect smiling face. the words above joonmyeon's head announces a charity auction to raise funds for the student council. jongin is all for charity. sometimes he gives half his sandwich to minseok because frankly, minseok's face becomes all droopy and sad when he's on a diet and jongin is a kind hearted person who cannot stand seeing his friends miserable.
but this kind of charity auction. oh, no. it's a charity auction where key members of the student body are auctioned off. for dates. and being the overly helpful, overly gullible head prefect that he is, naturally joonmyeon is in it as bachelor #4.
"cheer up? maybe now you have a chance," yixing comforts him, swinging an arm around his shoulder to yank him from his spot in front of the poster, because jongin's been clawing for 10 minutes now and the passing students are starting to form a 5 feet area of avoidance around "that creepy jongin kid".
jongin cheers up at the thought, but only slightly.
the day itself comes with much celebration. the grand hall, where the event is taking place, is a pleasing sight with pink and purple decorations everywhere. as jongin walks over to his seat, he grumpily yanks a purple streamer from the wall and crumples it. he spends the next 10 minutes trying to litter minseok's hair with tiny ripped pieces of the streamer without the other boy noticing.
luhan was also roped into the auction, as a representative of the foreign student body. this does not sit well with kris, who is understandably enraged that his boyfriend is being auctioned off for a date. this does not sit well with anyone, because an angry kris is a scary kris, and this will only mean hell for everyone within contact of kris.
the auction begins and jongin is determined to find fault with everything. a the host is too loud, the music too overbearing and the lights on stage are blinding. he kicks at his front seat childishly and baekhyun turns around to stick out his tongue at him. it's easy for baekhyun to be so cheerful. he's not the one who's about to see his crush being auctioned out to the grabby hands of the female student population.
when luhan is led out, beaming and with a light skip in his step, there is complete silence. luhan plays the shy guy act, hands folded demurely in front of him and eyes on the ground. then, as if he's planned this out, he flicks his eyes upwards to the audience, revealing his watery doe eyes in full force, and there are a few hushed gasps of awe.
a meek girl makes to raise her hand, but her hand only manages to be lifted past her shoulder when it shoots back down, because kris is a terrifying presence looming at the back of the room, shooting daggers at anyone who is brave and stupid enough to make an offer.
the teacher who recommended luhan for the auction seems utterly baffled, because she could've sworn that she heard plenty of students chattering about how good looking the chinese boy is. by right he should've been snapped up the minute he was walked onto stage! heck, if she isn't a good 20 years older than luhan, she would've slapped down her paycheck before the auction even begun.
then kris saunters onto the stage and presses 50 thousand won into the host's hand.
to his credit, the host recovers quick from this strange turn of events and lifts kris's hand. "um, sold?"
even the principal gets googly eyed when kris carries luhan bridal style off the stage.
"this is illegal," jongdae grumbles as they watch a bespectacled guy nervously lead his prize, a ditzy junior obviously way out of his league, off the stage. "what you're doing is essentially an escort service for minors- you're selling off underage youngins' for a night of entertainment and companionship. how is this legal? tell me?" spittle starts flying out of his mouth, as it always does when he gets excited. he's probably imagining the expose he can write, about underage escort rings led by the school faculty under the guise of charity.
no one really protests when sehun pulls a spluttering jongdae in a headlock and drags him out of the hall by his neck. the atmosphere really is much more pleasant without jongdae around to point out every possible infringement of human rights.
"shh, it's his turn," minseok shushes no one in particular and brings everyone's attention to the boy walking onto stage.
joonmyeon is in a suit, waving abashedly at the audience. to say that he looks amazing is the understatement of the century. jongin has always heard that a suit makes any man look good but wow he looks immaculately groomed in the classic black and white tux. he even pulls off the suit with his permed hair, carefully styled by baekhyun before the auction. baekhyun lets out a coo of surprise when joonmyeon steps out, tugging urgently at chanyeol’s sleeve to proudly show him “my lovely precious wonderful creation” and the taller boy indulges him with a megawatt grin and a congratulatory clap on the back.
jongin realizes that he's been so enamored with joonmyeon that he forgot that joonmyeon is actually quite a catch. in his stupid arrogance, he assumed that he was the only one pining after the head prefect and this is where he's very, very wrong. the girls in the room start getting excited, turning around in their seats to chatter among their friends about how different joonmyeon looks dressed up.
there are a few offers, giggling girls shooting up their hands and shouting out small amounts of money. joonmyeon reacts like he's supposed to, covering an embarrassed smile with the back of his hand. at the host's prompt, he removes his hand and flashes his best feature at everyone, a blinding smile that's the appropriate mix of modesty and confidence, paired with his eyes which narrow into moon shaped slits.
motherfuck, he just had to pull out the ultimate weapon. the girls in the room predictably go wild.
"oh, that was lethal," sehun says quietly as he slips back into his seat and sneaks a concerned look at jongin's completely crestfallen face.
the number of hands in the air immediately increases and jongin starts feeling panic bubbling and threatening to spill over. he has to act and he has to act now.
shooting up in his seat, he faces the stage determinedly and narrows his eyes.
"where are you going?" yixing asks, catching jongin's hand. his hand is promptly shrugged away.
the host is over the moon that "our dear, lovable joonmyeon" is so well-received, punctuating his shouts with too many exclamations. in his excitement at locating the last bidder, he fails to see a darting shadow quickly approaching him. a fatal mistake. "calling once, calling twice-"
jongin takes a wad of bills out and smashes it into the host's face.
not surprisingly, jongin wins.
the auditorium was thrown into chaos at jongin's stunt and jongin had escaped the minute he could, not wanting to face joonmyeon one moment longer. he caught the prefect's expression on stage, saw how joonmyeon's mouth was opened in an adorable o of surprise. in his muddled mind, he immediately interprets the reaction as a bad one, and as what he has done slowly sinks in, he wants to die on the spot.
so he bolts.
he doesn't expect joonmyeon to chase after him, but here they are, settled on their opposite beds in the dorms, facing each other. this is embarrassing and jongin is mortified. he can't meet joonmyeon's gaze and the last thing he wants to do is to talk this over.
"i'm glad you didn't get disqualified," joonmyeon says finally to break the stifling silence. his legs hang off his bed and his back is suitably stiff in a posture that even chiropractors would applaud. that's just the way joonmyeon is- prim, proper and the object of every professional's adoration.
"me too," jongin mumbles. there was a whole tussle on stage with the host spluttering that jongin should be thrown out of school, but then kris stepped in, calmly saying that this was delaying his date with luhan, and everything got settled really fast after that.
joonmyeon laughs too loudly to be sincere. even his words sound forced as tries to sound as casual as possible, "it's a cool thing for you to do, though, saving me from the clutches of those girls."
"would you rather be auctioned off to those girls?" jongin asks in a tiny voice, fingers playing with the frayed ends of his worn in jacket.
"well," joonmyeon says carefully. "i am gay."
jongin's eyes flicker up to study joonmyeon's face. "oh." this is a new piece of information to him. sure joonmyeon has always politely refused the advances of the girls who flit around him, but he has also politely refused the advances of the guys who throw themselves at him too. there's even an ongoing bet within the prefects on whether joonmyeon is asexual, and jongin knows for a fact that luhan, that traitor, has 10 bucks placed on joonmyeon not hooking up until graduation.
there is silence again.
this is awkward. this is so awkward that jongin wants to tear a hole in joonmyeon's pants and hide in them.
... so jongin has really creative expressions.
every single curse that jongin has ever learned flickers through his mind.
when he finally dares to look up again, joonmyeon is looking at him curiously, like he's studying jongin. then the older boy stands up and moves over to jongin's bed, drawing a squeak of surprise from him. joonmyeon’s knees dips the bed and he climbs onto the bed hesitatingly.
joonmyeon is so. fucking. close. jongin extinguishes the korean curses and moves onto the chinese ones. if fluency in a language was judged by your ability to curse in said language, jongin would have a phd in mandarin.
"jongin, look at me."
jongin pressses himself against the wall and stubbornly clamps his eyes shut.
"jongin." soft hands cup his chin and jongin's eyes fly open. "all those weeks of you... I’m not blind; i've noticed." jongin immediately makes to duck his head because joonmyeon knew and he didn't do anything, but joonmyeon's fingers tighten around his jawline, holding his head firmly in place. joonmyeon bites on the inside of his lower lip before answering jongin's unspoken question, "i didn't do anything, because i wasn't sure."
jongin's eyes are wild and unfocused with panic and confusion swirling in his mind. "how sure do you need to be, hyung?" he falls to honorifics because in this situation he feels small and it seems only right.
"can i please kiss you?" joonmyeon says formally. he searches jongin’s face with an intensity that makes jongin want to swoon, and jongin almost laughs because this is so typical of joonmyeon, to remember his P's & Q's even while requesting some lip action from a boy who basically publicly confessed to you.
"yes, please. why do you even ask-" jongin hasn't even finished his sentence before joonmyeon's lips are on him, soft and warm, and wow this is so much better than that drunken kiss with sehun. sehun was sloppy and slobbery and that stupid ass stole his first kiss god damn it and oh, he really shouldn't be thinking about other boys when he’s kissing the boy he's been pining over for two years.
the kiss is chaste at first, all closed lips and testing reactions. joonmyeon's hand ghosts over jongin's back, wanting to touch but unsure. jongin is the one that takes control first, sliding his hands over joonmyeon's sleeve, causing goosebumps to break out underneath the fabric. their eyelashes touch and flutter like the soft whisper of butterfly wings carressed by the wind. trying to remember everything that he's seen in movies. jongin opens his mouth and gently nips on joonmyeon's lower lip before he sucks it softly between his own lips. joonmyeon gasps slightly at the feel of the wetness, not expecting jongin's move but he leans harder into jongin, tracing a finger up jongin's spine and sending a trail of shivers along the taller boy's back.
this is the first kiss that jongin has been dreaming of. it's not mindblowing, and it’s full of awkwardness and hope and nervousness and that tiny bit of fear that he's doing things wrong, but it's exactly what he wants and more.
he notes down every reaction of their bodies, tries to lock the memory of how joonmyeon tastes in his mind- like the sweet punch that was served at the auction, and the softest bit of peppermint like he's been sucking on a breathmint before going on stage. his fingers clutch only lightly at joonmyeon's shirt because he's afraid that his palms will be sweaty and the moisture will soak through the fabric. at the ridiculous thought, jongin can’t help but laugh into the kiss, giggles tumbling down joonmyeon's throat.
joonmyeon abruptly pulls back, eyes widened like he's terrified that he, heaven forbid, forced the younger boy to do something against his will.
"i liked it," jongin says to assure him, a soft smile playing on his lips. he's climbed onto joonmyeon's lap during their kiss and he’s basically straddling the older boy now, thighs hot against each other.
"i'm glad," joonmyeon says and he seems genuinely relieved too, arms reaching out to tug jongin towards him, pressing their chests together. despite jongin being taller, joonmyeon's build is wider and jongin can still be enveloped by joonmyeon.
a satisfied sigh escapes jongin's lips before his lips quickly quirk into a mischievious grin. "so uh, can we do it again?"
ohohoho jongin can't wait to corrupt exo high's golden boy.
("you two are incredibly vanilla," kris observes as he watches jongin bid farewell to joonmyeon, one quick peck on the cheek and a quicker pat on the butt. joonmyeon has boring prefect meetings, and the last time jongin sat in on one he ended up orchestrating a hand wrestling fight, which was of course, luhan's idea. luhan is the evil mastermind, and jongin is the one stupid enough to pull it off. jongin thinks that it’s unfair how he’s the only one who was banned from future meetings when luhan had a hand in it too.
"rude," jongin frowns. he bats a hand half heartedly at kris's left arm and frowns even harder when his hand hits the taunt biceps. kris flexes his muscles because he is a show off and the hours spent in the arm aren't so that he can be modest and keep his muscles out of sight.
excuse you, kris. they are not vanilla! they have movie nights. and walks in the park. and sometimes they have lunch in the cafe outside their school- oh my god they are so boring that they're practically married.
"we are a boring couple," jongin says glumly to joonmyeon later when they're cuddled on their tiny makeshift couch - a few pillow hapzardedly piled up- in front of the television.
"oh, is that bad?" joonmyeon asks because he is clueless and boring in general. bland is like a default setting for joonmyeon, so it's unlikely that the older boy even notices that their love life is hardly fireworks and rollercoasters.
jongin merely shakes his head and jabs his finger at the remote to change the channel.
then joonmyeon wriggles out of jongin's grasp. jongin thinks that he's getting them more popcorn or something and is just about to request that joonmyeon lighten up on the butter when joonmyeon suddenly pushes jongin's knees apart. then he drops to his knees between jongin's legs and runs a tongue over his lips, the most obscene smirk jongin has ever seen settling on his face.
joonmyeon cocks his head and fingers the zip on jongin's jeans with a grin. "not that vanilla now, are we?"
jongin thinks that he cries a lot around joonmyeon.)