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it's not like minhyuk has ever done anything majorly evil or bad, sure he has set fire to ants and made fun of teachers in high school (who hasn't) but he hasn't stolen his parents' car and drove it into his mom's rose garden; he hasn't stolen his parents' liquor and gotten drunk with it (and thrown up on the carpet). no, he hasn't, that was all hyungwon's work, minhyuk's best friend since... forever.

may he rest in peace. he isn't dead but he is somewhere in an elite college's camp, getting that superior education, becoming a lawyer or something equally as pretentious. while minhyuk is stuck in the community college as that one broke art student. (mmm, fabulous.)

but to reinforce his previous statement, he is a good, young man. decent and well behaved - he doesn't burn ants anymore and he doesn't make fun of his college professors - he has a part time job, pays for half of his degree, for the materials. he donates to an animal shelter and is trying to be as low waste as possible. he even considers trying to go vegan soon, when he has settled into his new year at university a bit more, and can focus on rescheduling his life around this new diet.

anyway, he is getting carried away. minhyuk isn't a bad person, so why, why the fuck? why - really, someone tell him - is he stuck with that rude and cocky and one-eyebrow-lifting freshman?

(how does he even manage to lift one eyebrow that effortlessly? the way it bowed could rival any old, fancy buildings' arches. god, architects would probably bust a nut if they saw this freshman's arched brow. round and sharp and perfect. minhyuk fucking hates it.)

it's only been twenty minutes that this guy has moved in, carrying all but a small sport's bag and backpack, nothing more; he is dressed in stupid, black, skinny jeans, as if he is going to a runway after moving in, a white shirt tucked into the jeans, and over it he wears a baggy (too baggy) jeans jacket that he lets carelessly slip down his slim shoulders. it's a fashion disaster, it's not even fashion, he looks like pretty much any other male student on campus so why does he make it look like it's worthy of being on the cover of a magazine. why does it make him look like a model.

minhyuk needs a time out, and a coffee. and preferably also a snack.

he lets himself fall back on his bed as his roommate continues to unpack his few belongings, humming some song under his breath, leaving minhyuk alone, who offered his help in the beginning but his new roommate dismissed it, claiming he didn't have much and he didn't want to disturb minhyuk's time. which made past-minhyuk believe this guy was going to be nice and respectful, but then from there the slippery road down started. and now minhyuk lies on his bed, grumpy, hungry, craving coffee and sleep at the same time, and stuck with a roommate that seems stuck up and annoying.

great.

he resolves to just ignore the guy and pulls out his phone to text hyunwoo, ask what he and hoseok are up to, and see if he can join them in whatever they're up to (unless they're fucking, in that case he'll pass). but mid typing his message he hears his roommate clear his throat, deep and rich.

"so, i'm done," he says and minhyuk almost counters with a weak congrats but refrains himself, "and i was wondering if you could show me around a bit."

no, no, what the fuck? minhyuk is not going to show him around a bit. no, he absolutely is going to decline that request, politely and-

"sure." fuck. he messed up.

"thank you." he smiles brightly, dimples and all. cool that's, nice, minhyuk supposes. not everyone has the luck to be part of those lucky few that have nice dimples. so congrats on the guy. "since i'm starting two weeks late i missed all the orientation hours and i barely managed to find the dorms," he explains, scratching the back of his neck, a shy smile tucking at his lips. it's a bit forced.

"yeah, no, understandable," minhyuk just replies, then he deletes the messages he was sending hyunwoo. "um, what's your name again?" minhyuk asks because he missed it earlier when the guy arrived, pulled out of his nap.

"changkyun. and you are?" changkyun reveals his name and asks back.

"minhyuk."

"nice to meet you." he offers him his hand and minhyuk takes it.

"yeah."

 

they sit, later, much later, when the sky is already dark, in a restaurant next to the university's dorms, where most students and professors go to when classes are over, to order themselves something to eat. minhyuk still dislikes changkyun, even if he has behaved well for the past four hours, only asking minhyuk questions related to the campus, to classes, to bars and cafeterias around (where he can get the cheapest coffee at, where he can get good pizzas). but minhyuk doesn't miss the way changkyun's smiles have dimples or the way he has this mischievous glint in his eyes, as if he knows something minhyuk doesn't; or the way he always arches that one eyebrow, perfectly and sharp, and minhyuk will get slightly distracted by it because it annoys him, and then the corners of changkyun's lips will lift up the tiniest bit.

no, minhyuk doesn't really like him. he is a cocky and arrogant freshman who soon will learn the harsh realities of university and burn out by the end of the next month, like it pretty much happens to every college student. by the end of the semester he will live off of coffee mixed with red bull, minhyuk knows. or maybe changkyun is more of a coffee and monster guy. shit, minhyuk thinks and glances up to look at the younger man, maybe he is a monster and red bull guy. 

changkyun looks up and catches minhyuk staring at him, he lifts his trademark eyebrow, swallows his food, and asks, "is there something on my face? or is there something you need to ask?"

minhyuk scowls at the absolute rudeness.

"do you drink monster and red bull together?" he asks anyway.

"ew, neither, i drink just coffee," changkyun answers, frowning at the idea minhyuk presented.

"oh, sorry, you look like the kind of guy to-" he stops in his judgement, changkyun's other perfect eyebrow slowly raising as minhyuk talks.

"to?"

"never mind."

changkyun smiles, amused, and continues to eat, the mirth in his eyes never leaving. minhyuk doesn't like it.


 

two weeks after the cursed day of changkyun moving in, minhyuk is still not over grimacing every time he so much has to turn his head in changkyun's direction to talk to him. the boy looks way too cocky and sure of himself, as if he knows how much he pisses off minhyuk (raising one eyebrow every time minhyuk addresses him to complain about something), and he not only displays a rude personality but he as well tags along with minhyuk wherever the older goes, claiming he doesn't know anyone yet so he hopes minhyuk is going to introduce him to cool seniors. he even goes as far as asking minhyuk if any of his friends are hot (minhyuk only gapes at him in response, too annoyed and surprised to say anything. really, the nerve he has to ask such a thing).

minhyuk then introduces changkyun to hyunwoo and hoseok because really, he has no other choice. besides his friends pester him about meeting his roommate so he has to comply. and it's a mistake because not only do they immediately fall for changkyun's (inexistent, in minhyuk's very unbiased opinion) charms but they exchange phone numbers and, and ignore minhyuk for the rest of the evening they spent together at their karaoke bar.

changkyun has them wrapped around his pinky finger.

they don't even see how rude he is. not even when minhyuk texts them in their group chat later, they claim that minhyuk is just overreacting and changkyun is a nice, young man. they even go as far as adding changkyun to their shared group chat, fuckers. minhyuk doesn't look at the phone for the rest of the night, ignoring the way changkyun sits in his own bed, phone in hand and giggling to himself as he texts minhyuk's friends.

"hey, i'm sorry, i can turn off the light if you want to sleep," changkyun says after a while, when it's already dark outside and minhyuk has spent the past three hours lying in bed and sulking.

"whatever," he says, shifting under his blankets.

"um, okay." changkyun does turn off the lights, though, and minhyuk sees that he also puts his phone away, presumably to sleep.

the next morning, a sunday morning, in which minhyuk usually sleeps until late, very late, because he can do so and loves sleeping, he gets woken up by a hand on his shoulder, softly shaking him, and when he opens his eyes he sees changkyun fully dressed in some skinny jeans and a plaid shirt, holding a plastic cup of coffee and a box of...

"cinnamon buns?" he croaks out, sitting up, the blanket falling from his torso. he yawns and passes a hand through his black hair. "what the fuck?"

"um, i brought you coffee and breakfast," changkyun tells him, smiling cheekily at him. "i thought it's the least i could do. also as a thank you for everything you have done for me."

minhyuk stares at him for a couple of seconds, trying to understand changkyun's action but his still sleepy brain comes up empty with theories as to why exactly changkyun brought him breakfast. he slowly reaches out his left hand to take the coffee, sipping it, surprised that it's his favorite. he doesn't ask how changkyun knew, he isn't sure he wants to know the reply (which, he doesn't know why he doesn't want to know the reply; ugh, this morning is way too complicated, minhyuk bemoans mentally).

"thanks?" he says, hesitantly. changkyun laughs.

"here, eat those. maybe your morning breath will smell like cinnamon, which would be a lot more pleasant and someone might kiss you, actually." he shoves the box of cinnamons buns towards minhyuk, a bit harshly, and turns around to make his bed, taking a lot of time to do so.

minhyuk just stares at him, clueless and slightly embarrassed. it's not his fault he has a strange condition to get the worst morning breath randomly. (he brushes his teeth three times a day and doesn't eat crappy food. the universe probably just hates him.) with a sigh he opens the box and takes out one of the buns, taking a bite as he keeps watching changkyun move through their shared room.

changkyun keeps throwing him looks over his shoulder and the third time he does so, minhyuk is a lot more awake and notices that the tips of his ears are pink.

"are you cold?" he asks, glancing at their opened window.

"no?" the other stops moving, looking at minhyuk confusedly.

"it's just... your ears are pink."

changkyun stutters out a what, the pinkness of his ears reaching his cheeks and neck, and he plops down on his bed face first, ignoring any further attempts minhyuk does to communicate with him.

rude, he thinks, but takes another cinnamon bun, wondering what exactly goes through changkyun's head.

 

some weeks later minhyuk meets up with hyunwoo and hoseok, they made plans months ago to go to a interactive science museum, and minhyuk is excited. he might be an art student but god, does he love science, it's so funky and fun and just cool. he has heard great things of this specific exposition, it comes all the way from valencia, spain. wow. but the excitement tastes sour when changkyun tags along, saying that hyunwoo managed to get him a fourth ticket.

his sulking doesn't last though because the moment they are through the museum's security, he bounces off to check out the different stands that are displayed, each with some way of learning about science and scientific processes and history while participating and seeing the way it's all done, the way the inventors got there. minhyuk feels like a kid during christmas or something.

"is he always like this in museums?" changkyun asks, amused, as he strolls together with hoseok and hyunwoo a few feet behind minhyuk, prospect in hand and looking around the place in wonderment.

"he is a pretentious art student, of course he gets excited in museums," hoseok explains with a laugh.

"it's the way to his heart," hyunwoo adds.

"good to know," changkyun says.

minhyuk only partly listens to their banter, more focused on some weird machine that works with water and is supposed to show how sand moves underwater, there are different ways to mimic it, and he spends a good hour just pouring different amounts of water into the machine, fascinated at the way he can create a tsunami or a quiet sea, the sand always moving, and it's hypnotizing. in fact he is so mesmerized by it he doesn't notice that his friends are gone, only changkyun still standing there, by his side, most likely just as mesmerized by it as him.

minhyuk only comes out of his trance when his stomach grumbles. he pulls back from the machine, straightening his back and stretching out his arms which leads to him accidentally slamming his elbow into changkyun's face, who lets out a yelp, his hands coming up to his cheek where minhyuk hit him.

"shit, i'm sorry," minhyuk quickly apologizes and grimaces at the way changkyun glares at him, rubbing his cheek, making it look red. "does it hurt?"

"what do you think?"

"okay, wow, rude, i was just asking." he glares back at the younger.

changkyun rolls his eyes and minhyuk doesn't feel bad anymore, huffing out an annoyed sigh.

"anyway, i'm hungry, i'm going to go seek out the museum's restaurant."

"i'm coming with you," changkyun announces, much to minhyuk's chagrin.

they slither through the thick crowd in the museum, careful to not bump into anyone or ruin one of the science stands, until they reach the mechanical stairs that lead to the first floor where the restaurant lies (plus souvenir shop and other fun things). on their way up to the floor minhyuk spots hyunwoo and hoseok down in the crowd, holding hands and watching a video about jellyfishes, smiling softly at it. they look stupid in minhyuk's opinion but he can't help feeling a tiny bit jealous as well. changkyun is looking at them as well with a smile.

"they're cute," the shorter comments once their mechanical stairs' ride is over, nodding in the direction of where the two oldest stand.

"yeah, well, they love each other."

"love makes cute?" changkyun inquires and even if minhyuk can't see his face because he walks behind him he knows, he just knows, he has that one eyebrow lifted. 

"it does," he replies, pushing open the door of the restaurant, holding it open for changkyun to get inside as well. "search a table for four, i'll call them to tell them where we are."

"sure thing."

hyunwoo and hoseok don't join them, their excuse: they ate a rich and full course breakfast. minhyuk sense that there is something else there, going by the amused tone in hyunwoo's voice and hoseok's giggles in the background, as if they know something minhyuk doesn't. he kind of hates it but doesn't comment on it any further, instead hangs up and searches the restaurant for changkyun, until he finds him by the back, next to a big window leading to the street outside, and walks over.

"so they're not coming," he announces.

"ah, that's... too bad," changkyun says, locking his phone and putting it away, a small smile on his face. it looks almost... shy? if minhyuk had to guess.

 

after the museum trip they hang out - hyunwoo, hoseok, and minhyuk, that is, changkyun having gone to his dorm to work on organizing his notes and catch up on all he has missed so far - in hyunwoo and hoseok's shared apartment, a movie playing on their apple tv and a bowl of popcorn on each one of their laps.

minhyuk thinks it's going to be a nice and fun evening, an ending to a nice and fun day (despite changkyun's presence, turned out he wasn't as bad for once, rather turning out to be fun company to minhyuk) but half way through the movie they're watching (when the girl discovers her crush likes her back and dances in her room to some song, unaware that said crush is watching because they were supposed to meet up to study) hoseok turns around from where he sits in hyunwoo's lap to fix minhyuk with a curious look, cheeky smile growing on his face.

minhyuk knows that look and he hates it.

"so, how did it go today with changkyun?" he asks.

"what do you mean?" minhyuk asks back.

hyunwoo does a good job at pretending he is watching the movie instead of listening to the conversation, but then he mutes the movie, although he keeps his eyes on the screen.

"i meant like, when you two ate at the restaurant. just the two of you," hoseok further pushes.

"uh, what?" he frowns. he doesn't like what his friend is trying to get at.

"come on, he is like exactly your type," hyunwoo butts in.

"w-what?!" minhyuk nearly shrieks, startling in his seat at the words and almost dropping his bowl of popcorn. "he literally isn't."

"he is," hyunwoo and hoseok say in unison.

"no, not at all, what the fuck. no."

he looks at the screen of the movie, blocking out his friends, and thinks about changkyun. changkyun who is short and has this weird blondish hair color with pink streaks in it, wears baggy t-shirts tucked into skinny jeans and either plaid shirts or even baggier jeans jackets over them; who tells stupid jokes and lifts one eyebrow constantly like he thinks it makes him cool (it doesn't); with his cocky personality and weird sense of humor, laughing at the most absurd things, and bringing minhyuk breakfast sometimes or always; and when he orders take out he makes sure to ask minhyuk first if he wants some too and-

"no, he isn't my type," minhyuk says again but with less conviction than before.

he misses the way his friends smirk at his words.


 

something is fishy, minhyuk decides when changkyun makes him get up one saturday morning when the sky is gray and minhyuk wants to do nothing other than to snuggle into his bed sheets, a couple of blissful more hours of sleep.

but no, changkyun makes him wake up, a luring smell of minhyuk's favorite coffee lingering in the air, plus a bag with mini croissants are shoved into his face. changkyun tells him to get ready quick because they've got places to be, people to meet. the only place minhyuk wants to be at is his bed, meeting no people. he tries to tell this to changkyun but the younger just shakes his head and yanks minhyuk's blanket away.

"fucker," he mumbles but gets ready anyway.

twenty minutes later they stand in the dorm's elevator, minhyuk holding a half empty cup of coffee, hoodie pulled over his tangled mess of a hair, glaring at changkyun, while the latter looks like he is about to go on a fashion walk or whatever, smirking slightly as he keeps catching minhyuk's eyes on him. they reach the ground floor and leave the elevator, changkyun's pace quick and sure, while minhyuk struggles to keep up, still tired. the younger walks up to a car, it looks new and minhyuk hates it.

"where are we going?" he asks once changkyun is maneuvering them out of the parking lot in reverse, his arm slung around the passenger's seat and looking out of the the back rear window. he glances at minhyuk once and just smiles, not answering the question. "ugh, worst date ever."

changkyun lets out a very uncharacteristically soft giggle, the tips of his ears turn red, and minhyuk just stares wondering why he gained that reaction to his stupid remark.

"it's not a date," changkyun clarifies once they're on the road and riving to wherever it is that they are going. "but if you want-"

the car is filled with the noise of some pop song and minhyuk startles so hard he hits his knee on the car's dashboard, he apologizes at changkyun and pulls out his phone. it's hoseok.

"hey, what do you want?" minhyuk asks, rubbing his knee and glaring at nowhere in particular.

"he really managed to get you out of bed, huh?" hoseok muses, hyunwoo's laugh to be heard somewhere in the background. "so are you excited?"

"i would if i knew where we are going," he punctuates his statement with a glare in changkyun's direction who simply shrugs noncommittally, his eyes fixed on the road.

"oh so you just decided to tag along? without even knowing what the plans are?"

"i-i guess but listen, in my defense he can be really persuasive..."

"oh, really?" it's hyunwoo and minhyuk pulls his face into a grimace, he can imagine the two of them sitting somewhere, faces close as they sip on some milkshake and laugh at minhyuk's unfortunate fate. 

"yes, really. i'm going to hang up now, enjoy your date or whatever."

"you too," hoseok singsongs and laughs, then the line goes dead as minhyuk taps the red button on his phone's screen.

"aw, don't look that mad," changkyun tells him, removing one if his hands from the steering wheel to punch minhyuk's shoulder in a good natured manner. minhyuk doesn't respond to it, just crosses his arms, and stares out of his window. "fine," changkyun drags out the i in the word, "we're going to a museum."

"what?" minhyuk ships his head around so fast he fears he might break his neck. "what museum?"

"that's a surprise but after seeing you so excited during that science museum i snooped around a bit and found something else, equally as interesting," he explains, smiling at minhyuk's sudden wave of excitement.

minhyuk considers saying something but instead he just suppresses the smile that tries to break out on his face - he ignores the bubbly feeling in his stomach - and chooses to stare out of the car's window, wondering what the fuck changkyun thinks he is doing and why he is doing it, and what he thinks of minhyuk to be doing this. minhyuk does a lot of thinking the time they drive to whatever museum changkyun has picked out.


 

people say studying art is easy well, fuck them, it isn't. minhyuk is about to lose his hair from ripping it out because he has no idea, no fucking clue, what he is supposed to paint for this semester's final assignment. he has to make it count, it has to be as good as his previous works. he has spent more time in the studio for the past week than anywhere else, brain storming until all his brain cells literally scream at him to stop thinking and take a break. he has barely eaten, too consumed by his ideas and thoughts, drinking coffee after coffee, his hands shaking as he picks up a pencil to do sketch after sketch - outlines of what he wants to actually draw, but it's all shit.

he lets out a strangled scream when the door of the studio opens abruptly, it has to be some time after midnight, and minhyuk spins around - the motion making him extremely dizzy - and there stands changkyun, for once dressed in sweatpants and a hoodie, from his wrist dangles a white plastic bag, the smell of chicken and spices makes its way over to minhyuk, whose stomach lets out a sad but appreciative grumble.

"hey." changkyun nods his head at him and strides into the art studio over to the table minhyuk's sketches are scattered over, he drops the white plastic bag on it, taking out several containers of food plus some chopstick, plastic forks, and napkins. "i brought you food. you've barely been taking care of yourself," he tells him, observing minhyuk with a stern look on his face. "i get that this is important but man, you can't ignore sleep and food, that's important, too."

"yeah, thanks, i-" minhyuk pauses, unsure what he could say, too astonished and shocked by this action to properly let out a coherent thought. "thank you," he says, exhaling slowly, and walks to stand next to changkyun, opening one of the lids, the smell of chicken overwhelming him. he wastes no time in stuffing his mouth with it.

changkyun lets out a soft laugh, fishing out with his index finger and thumb a piece of chicken of the container and dips it inside the sweet and sour sauce, then he eats it, leaning against the table as he watches the different sketches lying on the table. his face is unreadable, the only movement is his jaw chewing on the food and the flickering in his eyes as he takes in all of minhyuk's failed attempts to find something. minhyuk feels nervous and like a failure, he spent so much time holed up and yet he has nothing to even show off.

"what were you trying to paint?" he asks, eyes returning to the artist.

minhyuk swallows down his food, rubbing his lips with the back of his hand to wipe away any remnants. "that's the problem, i don't know what i'm trying to paint. i have no inspiration," he complains, opening his bottle of water to clean the inside of his mouth. "i have no clue what the fuck i'm gonna hand in to the professor."

"i mean," changkyun begins but stops, he gives minhyuk a curious look, "can i be honest?" he asks to which the artist just nods. "okay so, i don't know much of art, obviously, that's why i take music, but... these look interesting to me." he points out three sketches lying around. "but i understand if you aren't really satisfied with any of them. i get that, sometimes i'll be working for hours on a track and then i just delete it because i deem it as horrible, even if for someone else it might sound good," he rambles now but minhyuk can't find it within himself to stop changkyun. "about the inspiration, i think... i think you should go outside, take a walk and look around or- or something. you can't expect to find the answer when you're holed up inside this messy room. it's going to make you hate art and that's not- not ideal, or what you really want..." he finishes, scratching his neck awkwardly, avoiding minhyuk's eyes, afraid that he has crossed a line. after minhyuk's lack of response (because really, what can he even reply to that? he is overwhelmed and slightly emotional, and his heart feels way too big at the moment) he looks up. "come on, lets go, we're going to take a walk around campus, okay? it's dark already but you can't stay in here."

he moves forward to grab minhyuk's wrist, basically dragging him out of the studio, and he lets him. changkyun doesn't look back, just moves securely through the building until they reach the exit, he pushes it open with one hand, and the night air hits minhyuk. cold and fresh and smelling of something he can't pinpoint, but it's strangely familiar and comforting. changkyun looks back at him, slowly letting go of his wrist, and minhyuk thinks then, just for the tiniest moment, that changkyun is kind of beautiful.

with the lamp next to the exit's door emitting an orange, yellowish light that bathes changkyun's face with softness, taking away from the usual confidence and cockiness the younger sports and rather making him look vulnerable and... for lack of better words, beautiful. his eyes are attentive and his lips are parted as he looks back at minhyuk confused. without even realizing, minhyuk's art related part of the brain saves that for later, when he will be back in front of the empty canvas to paint something vague for an outsider's eye but definite for him. he doesn't know yet what it means - or rather doesn't want to - but his heart flutters and he can't quite look away yet from the way changkyun looks in that small moment they're having.

then it's over, when the lamp flickers.

"come on, lets go," minhyuk says and steps forward, to take the walk around campus.

 

when they're back in the studio minhyuk grabs a pencil and starts to softly draw the outline on the canvas in front of him, changkyun has put on soft background music. he is still in the studio but minhyuk isn't bothered by it, concentrated on his work. changkyun said he'd be working on some stuff of his own (why he doesn't do it up in the dorm room, minhyuk hasn't asked, is too afraid to ask, and it's not like he actually wants the other to leave).

time passes by slowly and in a blur and soon minhyuk is mixing up his first colors - the ground colors - humming along to the song. he softly presses the brush against the white canvas, outlining where the colors would go, careful to not layer it on too thickly or too wetly. he is so focused and concentrated on his work that the world around him fades, the music in the background is the only thing he still is aware of, otherwise his mind is replaying that nanosecond of the moment before when changkyun stood by the exit, with the soft and yellow lightning bathing his facial features, making him look otherworldly.

time passes by slowly and by the time changkyun softly taps him on the shoulder minhyuk has painted most of the background already and was getting started on changkyun's silhouette, he looks up startled, so distracted and immersed in his work that he forgot he wasn't alone. he gives changkyun a questioning look but the other just gives him an amused look, his eyes fixated somewhere on minhyuk's left cheek.

"you've got some paint there," changkyun says and reaches out his hand, his index finger passing over minhyuk's cheek and when he removes it there is a bit of purple paint on it, but not just that.

he removes his hand as well taking all of minhyuk's concentration with him, because suddenly all the artist can focus on is the closeness in which they are standing. he looks down at changkyun, only then realizing the couple of centimeters he has on the younger. he takes in a stuttered breath, licking his lips slowly (they're dry and chapped), and then he just leans in to kiss the other. it almost feels like a reflex, like something he is supposed to do. the kiss is chaste and he barely realizes what he is doing - mostly because he is so sleep deprived and part of his brain is still on his work, mentally stroking away with his brush on the canvas. changkyun stands paralyzed in front of him, lips parted in surprise, and minhyuk then catches up on what he has done.

shit, he thinks.

"um," changkyun says.


 

two days later minhyuk sits cross legged on his unmade bed, the sheets rumpled and most likely smelly at this point (he has forgotten do to the laundry in quite some time, too busy with classes and being passive-aggressive towards changkyun, which doesn't really bring him much because changkyun's act doesn't change), with his laptop opened in front of him, the infamous calling music of skype resonating in the otherwise empty room. minhyuk goes to pick up, letting out a long sigh.

on the screen materializes hyungwon, pixelated and his movement choppy, but is is him, his facial features are too unique (and familiar) for minhyuk to not recognize, even if it's in the bad video quality skype has. hyungwon moves around until he seems to be in a sitting position, he passes a hand through his dark hair, smiling tiredly at minhyuk.

"what's up?" he asks, there's a light giggle in his voice. damn, minhyuk has missed him. "why'd you text me all sudden and frantic saying you're going through a code red?"

minhyuk pulls his lips into a thin line, regretting the choice of one very panicked and gay past-minhyuk.

"listen," he starts, looking around his dorm, suddenly scared that changkyun might pop out of some dark corner, but of course that's unrealistic. changkyun is out with some of his classmates to work on a project, "i might have done a mistake. now, it's not a grave mistake, like- like me getting kicked of college or something like that, so relax," he tells his best friend, whose face was already shifting into something a bit more serious, scolding tone most likely already on the tip of hyungwon's lips. "i just might have kissed my roommate while i was on an art euphoria trip..."

"your roommate? the one you allegedly hate?" hyungwon laughs.

"not just allegedly."

"hyunwoo told me otherwise," hyungwon reveals, smiling at him all cocky and- fucker, minhyuk think. "i can't believe you tried to hide from me that you have a crush on your roommate. me? your best friend. that's betrayal."

"shut up, i don't have a crush on him, it's just... he is kinda, like, hot? i guess. i don't know. he is also a nerd."

"so are you," hyungwon states and minhyuk gasps in fake offense. "anyway, now that that's out of the way, can i please, please, complain to you about my roommate here in camp?"

"sure." minhyuk lets out a smile, settling into the cushions of his bed, legs stretched out in front of him and the laptop balanced on top of his knees. "the stage is yours." he spreads out his hands in front of him to which his friend rolls his eyes.

"first of all, i would like to know why the fuck i even came here. this is horrible."

"you said it was a good chance for team building and to get onto the good side of your professors, to call in favors," minhyuk remembers his friend's words, scratching his chin to remember the exact word choice hyungwon used during summer when he applied.

"yeah, well. the only team building i am doing with my roommate is out diss each other and the profs already like me all," he complains, pouting slightly into the camera, crossing his arms over his chest. there's a noise in the background and hyungwon looks up, his expression falling for a split second before he looks back towards his laptop's screen. 

"what's he like, your roommate?" minhyuk inquires then.

"he is small, like teenager small," he smirks to which minhyuk just raises his eyebrows, "and really annoying. he wakes up way too early and tries to wake me up too, even if i have told him a million times that i don't want to tag along to his morning jog, because what the fuck and-"

"but you tag along every time," says a voice off screen, it sounds amused.

hyungwon huffs, crossing his arms even tighter around his chest, glaring at whoever is off screen. minhyuk guesses it's the infamous roommate.

"because you're persistent and annoying," hyungwon grits out but even through the pixelated mess that minhyuk sees him as he can see the slight embarrassment and blush in his friend's face.

"interesting dynamics," he comments off hand, regaining hyungwon's attention, who just glares at him.

"i've suddenly decided i don't want to complain about my roommate, lets go back to changkyun," hyungwon says, his roommate lets out a snort in the background.

"what's there to talk about more. we kissed, i was high on sleep deprivation and probably paint. it was nice and i don't know." he shrugs, deflating, feeling a bit helpless.

the more he talks about it the more it makes him think of it - of the kiss - and the more he finds himself flustered at the thought and missing it. another thing he finds himself missing when the conversation turns towards changkyun, is changkyun himself which is absurd as they are roommates and see each other pretty much every second, except when they're at class. they share the same living area, how can he miss him? it's stupid, minhyuk decides.

"do you want to kiss him again?" hyungwon asks him after a while.

"yes," minhyuk finds himself answering without second thought.

"i think that answers your entire question and dilemma regarding your roommate."

(maybe it's not stupid, minhyuk admits to himself, his chest feeling warm and his heart dropping in that nervous-excited way it tends to do when changkyun is around.)

"yeah, well. maybe that's the answer to your roommate dilemma as well," minhyuk counters, suddenly feeling vulnerable and exposed and overwhelmed at this realization he has about changkyun.

hyungwon splutters, unable to form any coherent sentence, his eyes switching in between the laptop's screen and his roommate, cheeks now a definite red. the roommate, from what minhyuk can hear, is equally as flustered. he lets out a laugh and flashes a peace sign at hyungwon before he hangs up.


 

it's been three months since changkyun moved in and two weeks since minhyuk might have (only might have) realized that perhaps changkyun is in fact his type. it wasn't just that chaste kiss in the art studio that made him realize but perhaps everything else the younger has done.

from complimenting minhyuk's art constantly and giving honest criticism, lifting him up when he feels like burning all of his paintings to bringing him coffee and food whenever he is too immersed in a piece to take care of himself. it's pretty much... everything that changkyun does that makes minhyuk realize that yeah, maybe he kind of likes changkyun. more than just bros or whatever they have become over the course of the three months they've lived together.

(maybe it even started when minhyuk first met the other, that day changkyun moved in.)

but minhyuk can't admit to that, he is supposed to have this sort of hate relationship with the other. even if it isn't exactly hate, just... he doesn't know how to explain his feelings towards changkyun. which is why he sits on the couch in hyunwoo and hoseok's flat, biting his nails as he stares at the black screen of their tv, a mug of tea on the tv table in front of him, his friends sitting with him on the couch.

"you need to stop with your- your stupid fear of...  i don't even know anymore," hoseok says, frowning at him. "you're going to ruin all your possible relationships with people. and changkyun is nice and i'm pretty sure he would date you, despite your attempts at scaring him off."

"maybe i don't want to date him," he lies. at this point he is just upholding his pride. which is stupid, he knows.

"min..." hyunwoo lets out a sigh. "you really oughta stop with all of this. just accept your true feelings and his feelings. don't hurt him. we actually like him."

"yeah, please don't do the same you did with jooheon. i miss him," hoseok says and minhyuk grimaces.

lee jooheon. he still remembers him. they almost dated four years ago when they met at college but minhyuk did the same he does now, pretending he doesn't like him as much as he actually does, fucking up the whole friendship and consecutively fucking up also jooheon's friendship with hyunwoo and hoseok. it was one of his biggest mistakes, biggest regrets. maybe he should give jooheon a call one of these days and meet up with him to apologize.

"ugh, i know, i know, i just-" he doesn't know how to follow up after that.

"yeah, you just."

"stop being a problematic gay, min," hoseok scolds him but it's not nearly as threatening as he tries. "seriously, don't make the same mistakes over and over again, you're supposed to learn from them not commit to them."

"i know."

"then go and tell changkyun how you actually feel, before it's too late," hoseok advices him. "stop repressing your feelings, it's not good for you or anyone else."

 

the next morning, at not even five in the morning, minhyuk runs all the way from hoseok and hyunwoo's shared flat over to the dorms, his steps echoing through the still asleep city, resonating off the buildings, and when he gets to the door of the dorms he swipe his student card in the card slot, it beeps once and the door opens, so he sprints inside and up the stairs, too adrenaline filled to wait for the elevator. when he gets to his room he yanks open the door, letting it slam against the fall and then fall shut behind him as he enters the flat. changkyun startles awake in his bed, looking around the dark room with shock.

"what the fuck," he mumbles out, blinking at minhyuk with confusion and sleep.

minhyuk swallows down the knot in his throat and turns the light switch on, yellow light flickering awake in their shared room. changkyun lets out a groan, shielding his eyes with his left hand, and looks patiently at minhyuk.

"okay, so, changkyun," he starts, wringing his hands together nervously, "i'm sorry about being a dick to you, i was..." he blanks for a second, trying to find better words than the ones hoseok used but he can't find any so he lets out a sigh, blushing in embarrassment. "i was repressing the true nature of my feelings, which are very much gay feelings."

"what," changkyun deadpans, staring at him sleepily from his bed, his hair sticking up in different directions (minhyuk kind of wants to run his hand through it).

"i'm gay," he says and then cringes because yeah, obviously you are, minhyuk, that's not the point.

"okay," changkyun says dragging out the ay, amusement coloring his face.

"i meant, that as in i have a big, fat, gay crush on you. like... i was gay before meeting you but i was being a problematic gay, as hoseok said, by repressing my likeness towards you in ill placed and stupid hatred... which wasn't even hatred, it was just me being stupid... and repressed," he rambles now, digging himself an even deeper hole. (great, here we go. at least all those times he played pirates with hyungwon as kids, digging holes to bury 'treasures' in hyungwon's garden served for something after all.)

changkyun laughs, a hand coming up to cover his mouth, but his ugly snorts are still very much hearable. minhyuk glares at him, feeling like a fish out of the sea or whatever kind of comparison people used in these situations.

"good to know because i, too, have a big, fat, gay crush on you."

"ah." minhyuk clasps his hands together, rubbing them, unsure what he should do next.

kiss changkyun? ask him on a date? run a hand through his hair to make the bed hair disappear? go snuggle next to changkyun in his small bed and ignore that they both have classes? all of them seem like suitable options if he is being honest.

"hey, do you want to go on a date today? i have these tickets for a museum expo," changkyun offers after a stretched out, awkward silence.

"yeah, i'd... i'd like that," minhyuk accepts.