He wasn’t meant to feel this nervous. It was a festival. A completely normal college festival where students got to showcase their skills and talents, and where they could get club funds by selling things or doing services.
So it just so happened that his crush was manning a kissing booth. That wasn’t particularly the problem.
It might have something to do with the fact that he was standing in line for said crush’s booth.
Kwon Soonyoung never really thought through this far. He had hoped he’d back out as soon as they saw the booth but the hands on his biceps and on the small of his back were firm and unrelenting. That was when he found himself standing in line, with a few people in front and behind him with almost no chances to escape.
“Hyung,” Soonyoung cried, clutching at Choi Seungcheol. They had been friends for a while. Their inner circle of friends growing from four and five to thirteen in such a short amount of time. He had a few classes with Choi Seungcheol despite their age difference. Choi Seungcheol was also one of his mutual friends with his crush.
“Shush,” Yoon Jeonghan was another mutual friend only because he and Seungcheol were attached to the hip, “you get to kiss him for two thousand won. What the hell are you complaining about?”
“I’m going to kiss him for two thousand won,” Soonyoung whined, trying to look smaller. He whimpered when they took one step closer. It meant that he was one person away from facing his crush directly.
“It’s definitely a once in a lifetime chance,” Seungcheol said unhelpfully, “Jihoon didn’t actually want to do this.”
Lee Jihoon was perfect. A bit quiet, but he was observant and creative. His focus on his work was admirable. His work was amazing. He tried every genre and he was never scared to do something new. It was admirable and respectful and amazing and Soonyoung was running out of superlatives as they took two steps closer.
“The seniors were insistent since Jihoon was probably one of the cutest ones.” Seungcheol continued, even as the girls giggled and squealed. He turned to Soonyoung when his hand on Seungcheol’s arm grew tighter and his head rested on Seungcheol’s shoulder in an attempt to hide.
“Soonyoung,” Seungcheol sighed, one hand grasping at Soonyoung’s to push it away. The grip was tight enough that it had to hurt and Seungcheol hated bruises. Well, he’d rather avoid having bruises. “You’ve been classmates for most of the school year, friends for at least half that, you’ve barely talked to him, you rarely even look at him-- why are you so nervous?”
Soonyoung took a chance to take a sneak peek, opening just one eye. There were less than five people left in front of them. The back of his neck was wet and red and he could definitely feel his hair sticking to his temple.
Lee Jihoon looked at him for one second.
Soonyoung crumpled, hands sliding down Seungcheol’s arm as he bent over, one hand on his knee. His knees felt weak and his legs felt like jelly. That was just one second.
“You’re exaggerating,” Jeonghan said on the other side of him. A hand gripped his bicep and he was pulled up and forward another two steps closer. Oh god, they were just three people away.
“Peck him on the cheek so we can move on to the actual festival.” Jeonghan said, impatient.
Their university festival was quite simple. Well, they had some rides which was pretty amazing for a school festival and Jeonghan had waited for this day to ride them all. The festival only happened once a year and it seemed like Jeonghan was a man with a plan and Soonyoung doesn’t stand a chance against a Jeonghan with a plan.
He whimpered again as they walked closer, the line shortening too quickly for Soonyoung to be properly prepared mentally. Who could even when your crush was right in front of you, willingly ready to kiss you (for two thousand won)?
Soonyoung wiped his damp palms on his jeans uselessly. Sweat dripped down his back and his fringe was unattractively stuck to his forehead. He looked like he came from dance practice without showering or towelling off. He felt sticky and nervous. His stomach was also beginning to make itself known by twisting. It must have been something he ate before they stood in line.
The next thing he knew, he was shoved to the booth. His reflexes were quick that he caught himself with his hands stretched out on front of him, and he landed with a thud on the booth.
It was a simple booth and a huge signage. It was obviously made amateurly by students. A little bit rushed, but it did the job.
Kiss on a cheek - 2,000.
Soonyoung’s knees felt like jelly again.
“Cheol?” Jihoon asked incredulously and yet Soonyoung still melted. “You’re not here for a kiss, are you?”
“Nope,” Seungcheol replied, his tone smug, “here to support a friend.”
“Well,” Jihoon said, although he was still looking at them with narrowed eyes, as if he didn’t trust what Seungcheol just said, “thanks, I guess. But you’ll have to drop your bills over at Eunwoo. Minkyung’s over there.”
Eunwoo was a cute freshman who was blowing kisses and winking at the people who passed by as a ‘form of advertisement’. Minkyung was a sophomore on the other booth, the line for her kisses reaching far beyond the corner with excited male students (and even a few female students).
“Well, you’re the other friend,” Seungcheol said, turning to Soonyoung who was frozen on the spot, still bent on the booth.
Jihoon raises an eyebrow and that was all it took for Soonyoung to snap out of it. He rose up, spine as straight as a rod. He kept his head down, eyes darting from foot to foot. Soonyoung took the chance, raised his head and squared his shoulders. He blinked, eyes gazing beyond Jihoon’s head because his heart wasn’t prepared to look at him directly.
“Kwon?” Jihoon said, turning to finally look at Soonyoung. Soonyoung’s heart raced impossibly fast as if it was trying to jump out of his chest to crawl inside Jihoon’s. His palms were wet and his throat was dry. There were voices behind him, murmuring why he was taking so long.
Jihoon didn’t seem to mind that Soonyoung was there. The fact that it was Soonyoungseemed to have surprised him more than having a man standing in line (and there might have been a few). But as the whispers were getting louder and more frantic, Jihoon raised an eyebrow to silently ask if Soonyoung was going to do it.
Mouth opening and closing like a stupid goldfish, Soonyoung wiped his hands on his pants again before reaching for his wallet. He pulled out two bills and he held it awkwardly between him and Jihoon.
“Oh for the love of--” Soonyoung barely heard Jeonghan’s cry when a hand curled around his wrist that held the bills then he was pulled forward, only vaguely feeling the tips of fingers on his back.
Fuck, Lee Jihoon’s lips were soft. They were light but firmly pressed against the corner of his mouth. Soonyoung gasped, his lips parted just slightly. It felt like an hour had passed before Jihoon pulled away. His tongue jotted out to lick his lower lip and Soonyoung’s eyes followed the movement.
“You were holding up the line,” Jihoon said in a low tone. Soonyoung’s face muscles didn’t move. His eyes were wide, his mouth was still open, his knuckles braced against the table of the booth as it kept him stable during the kiss.
“Alrighty then!” Seungcheol said with a clap of his hands, jerking Jihoon back to reality with a flush across his cheeks, but not Soonyoung. Jeonghan waved a hand in front of Soonyoung’s face repeatedly before shoving him to Seungcheol.
“We’ll give the bills to Eunwoo. See you after your shift, Jihoon!” Seungcheol yelled out as they walked away, his hand gripping Soonyoung’s bicep and pulling him while Jeonghan pushed. Soonyoung stumbled, eyes still staring at Jihoon when the girl behind Soonyoung gave him a light peck on the cheek.
“Oh, oppa,” Eunwoo greeted them with a high pitched giggle, waving the box filled with bills in front of them, “finally got to kiss Jihoon-oppa, huh.”
Blinking back repeatedly to clear the cloud of Jihoon Jihoon Jihoon lips kiss Jihoon inside his mind, Soonyoung closed his mouth and swallowed.
Suddenly, blood rushed up his head and his face was bright red. It was brilliantly red that Eunwoo, Seungcheol, and Jeonghan looked worried that he would pass out. The blood rushed up his head so quickly that he felt lightheaded. If they were in a cartoon, Soonyoung was sure he’d have steam blowing out of his ears.
Soonyoung covered his mouth with the back of his hand, face turned away in embarrassment. He shoved the bills into the box Eunwoo held, mumbling a small thanks before briskly walking away. His heartbeat was still loud even through the growing crowd.
He knew Seungcheol and Jeonghan were calling for him, but it didn’t register in his brain.
Because the only thing he was thinking about is how sweet and soft Jihoon’s lips were and how deeply he might have already fallen in love.