“Whenever I eat Kalguksu I think of my first date” Kihyun commented as they all sat in a circle on the practice room’s floor, tucking in to the food their manager brought them. “I spilled mine all down the front of her dress and she refused to talk to me for weeks after”
They were all in various states of undress, sweating, no makeup and incredibly tired. Comeback season, it was a blessing and a curse all in one.
“Wow Kiki, I thought my first date was bad. We went out for coffee and cakes. I happened to have hazelnuts in my brownie, something she was deathly allergic to. When I kissed her at the end of it she flared up and cried and I had to help her stab herself with her epipen” Minhyuk said, causing a round of laughter to erupt.
“I took my first date to the cinema. We saw a horror movie and I cried all the way through it. They ended up being my longest lasting relationship” Wonho told them all wistfully, twirling his own noodles around his plate.
“Hmm I took my first date to a concert – she ditched me for some older guy once we got there. I didn’t even like the band we went to see” Changkyun shared his own story, looking mildly downtrodden as he did so. Minhyuk barely stifled his giggle but sympathetically patted the maknae’s back.
“You’re all so tragic” Hyungwon huffed, giving them all a judging look.
“Oh yeah how was your first date casanova?” Minhyuk asked shooting him a glare.
“Lovely, thank you for asking. We went to dinner and held hands all the way home” Hyungwon replied, a sense of triumph on his face.
“How scandalous” Minhyuk snickered, dodging the resulting swipe from the taller man.
“Not as scandalous as Jooheonie’s first date” Kihyun reminded them teasingly. Jooheon groaned and buried his face in his hands.
“I didn’t know she had a boyfriend!” He cried, although it was muffled. They all laughed as they remembered the story of how Jooheon’s first date also happened to be the first time he’d ever received a black eye.
“What about you hyung?” Changkyun asked Hyunwoo after the laughter finally died down. Their leader had been typically quiet during the entire thing, preferring to listen rather than interact as always.
Kihyun’s curiosity perked up at the question as he realized he didn’t actually know anything about Hyunwoo’s former love life, never mind his first date. All of them had shared stories of exes and escapades before, all of them but Hyunwoo.
“I’ve never been on a date” The leader tells them with a shrug. As if it’s nothing.
The room goes deathly silent as they all process the information. Hyunwoo looks unbothered by it but Kihyun can see the way his ears turned a bright shade of red and how he ducked his head a little so his face is partially hidden by the brim of his hat.
“Really?” Minhyuk asked astonished, breaking the silence. It seems to open the flood gates as nearly all of them began asking questions or sharing their disbeliefs all at once. Kihyun however refrained from letting his thoughts out as he saw how distressed Hyunwoo seemed at the questioning.
“Hey come on guys, stop, stop!” Kihyun called out, voice louder than the others. They fall silent quickly, probably picking up on the ‘no room for arguments’ tone in Kihyun’s voice.
“Apologise to Hyunwoo” He commanded, feeling an awful lot like he was living up to his title of team mom right now. They all looked rightfully ashamed and turned towards their leader with bowed heads. A barrage of apologies came streaming out
“It’s fine guys. Really” Hyunwoo assured them, looking slightly bewildered. His words were probably more for Kihyun’s benefit than anything else.
Like clockwork Minhyuk was the one to lighten the mood and turn the conversation elsewhere. In no time the guys were arguing over who got first shower privileges once they got home.
Hyunwoo met Kihyun’s eye for a moment and flashed him a grateful albeit awkward smile. Kihyun gave him a reassuring one in return although now his curiosity burned brighter than ever.
Why hadn’t Hyunwoo been on a date before?
The question was one that didn’t leave Kihyun’s mind even after a full week of practicing, outfit fittings and several actually important meetings that he probably should have paid more attention in.
The entire time he studied Hyunwoo, trying to figure out what could possibly have made the man so undatable.
While at dance practice, even sweaty, stinky and dressed in ratty gym gear Hyunwoo was still undeniably handsome. He had a great body and a face that was just as handsome bare as it was when he glammed up. Kihyun always remembered Hyunwoo being like this. Even his younger predebut photos showed a man that was definitely above the average standard of attractiveness.
Kihyun wondered if it was his personality. He was naturally a shy and stoic guy with strangers. When meeting with new sponsors or new stylists he was always reserved but professional. When meeting new idols the man had a tendency to draw into himself initially but never for long.
Kihyun paid special attention to how he interacted with their stylists they’ve had for a while now. Hyunwoo was much more natural and easy going with them than when they first started working together. He asked about their families and seemed to keep relatively good conversations going so Kihyun couldn’t imagine how a girl that might have been around Hyunwoo for a period of time would be turned away by his calm but subdued personality.
Of course with the members Hyunwoo’s personality shined through even better. Kihyun appreciated the times at home when Hyunwoo would let loose and be his real self. It was Kihyun’s favourite thing in the world, seeing what buttons he could press to make Hyunwoo either blow a fuse or light up like a Christmas tree.
He was so animated when he talked at home, he smiled far more often as well. Surely at least one person had seen that smile and fallen in love?
Kihyun didn’t know why it bothered him. Why it consumed his thoughts. Some people just don’t like dating. Some people don’t even like sex. It’s all fine of course, but Hyunwoo had never said anything about it. Not even during the drunken confessions they’d all shared about their sexualities. Did he not trust them to accept him?
The thought ate at Kihyun until he couldn’t take it anymore.
Kihyun managed to corner him early in the morning in the kitchen at the end of the week. It was their day off before they officially began promotions for their new comeback and most of the guys were taking the moment to sleep past their alarms.
Kihyun never could sleep in on days off and Hyunwoo was exactly the same. They tended to share breakfasts together in peace on mornings like this. However much Kihyun hated to ruin their little tradition if he didn’t ask now he thought he would combust.
“Hyunwoo, if you don’t mind me asking why haven’t you had a first date yet?” Kihyun asked, heart in his throat with anticipation. He tried not to show it though, keeping his posture relaxed and open so that Hyunwoo may feel more comfortable sharing.
Hyunwoo tensed up at the question but after a moment or two of contemplative silence he let out a small sigh.
“I just never had the room to date. I knew em…” He coughed slightly in embarrassment and straightened up “.. I knew I didn’t like girls from an early age” The words slip out of his mouth so easily and yet Kihyun feels like their utterance turns his world on its head. Not noticing Kihyun’s shock (or perhaps ignoring it) Hyunwoo pushed further. “There’s not really a lot of dating options when you’re gay and a teenager so I decided to just put it off. But by the time I was older and I knew people like me I was working towards my dream of debuting. Everything came second to that so it didn’t seem fair to date anyone because if I was couldn’t give as much as them” He finished with a shrug, ears red with embarrassment but otherwise keeping his cool.
Kihyun bit his lip absentmindedly as he digested the words. He couldn’t believe that Hyunwoo had never told anyone of them this. So many of them had gone crying on his shoulder about their own confused feelings towards different genders – Kihyun included – and he’d never said a word.
But then again he’d never tried to convince them he was straight either. So really it may have just been a case of them not asking.
“Thank you for telling me hyung” Kihyun eventually said, when he felt he’d left the silence hang a little longer than necessary. His curiosity finally felt sated and he was glad to have the man trust him like this.
Hyunwoo smiled at him. A sweet smile that showed just a hint of his lopsided teeth that Kihyun always found very endearing.
Then, quick as lightening and just as dangerous, it hit him. The realisation that maybe Kihyun was the person falling in love with his smile after all.
“I have always wondered what dates are like” Hyunwoo mused, drawing Kihyun out of his spiral of panic, but only just barely. He hmm’d in response, hoping he didn’t look like he was losing his mind right before Hyunwoo’s eyes.
Kihyun doesn’t know what possesses him to ask but the words are out of his mouth before he can stop them “Would you like to find out?”
He can feel his face heat up after he asks and all he wants to do is curl in a ball and pretend he never existed on this god forsaken rock.
“Are you asking me out?” Hyunwoo questioned in return, however he didn’t sound mad. He sounded – excited, almost.
Kihyun stamped down every bit of him that was screaming abort and begging him to brush it off as a joke. If Hyunwoo didn’t immediately recoil in disgust then Kihyun might just have a chance here.
“Yeah” He croaked out, voice small and cracking but so goddamn hopeful.
Hyunwoo beamed, and Kihyun fell all over again.
They decide to waste no time go for coffee that day. With a comeback around the corner they literally would not get an opportunity to go on that date for a while. So it only made sense right?
Kihyun needed an hour prior to get ready and then another hour to stand in Minhyuk’s room and freak out with his best friend about what the hell he’d just done.
Minhyuk, being the asshole he was, treated Kihyun to a healthy dose of teasing. He didn’t seem surprised however, if anything he seemed more excited for Kihyun than Kihyun was for himself.
“You should get him flowers, he’s probably never gotten flowers before” Minhyuk advised him, straightening out the jacket Kihyun had picked out. His outfit wasn’t overly fancy but he wasn’t underdressed either. Perfect for a coffee date.
“His mom sent him flowers for our last comeback” Kihyun pointed out, batting his over enthusiastic friends hands out of the way.
“Yeah but he’s not dating his mom idiot” Minhyuk replied scathingly as he finally left Kihyun alone. “It’s nearly time to go out there and dazzle him. Just relax okay – you and Hyunwoo are kind of perfect for each other so don’t worry as much as I know you want to” He assured softly, finally giving Kihyun some real advice.
“Okay” Kihyun said, giving his head a firm nod as he strengthened his resolve. “I’m going to make this the best first date anyone has ever had” Kihyun promised, more to himself than to Minhyuk.
Minhyuk grinned and thumped him on the arm encouragingly. “Atta boy. Just make sure you don’t spill your food on him”
Kihyun thumped him on the arm much harder in return before spinning on his heel and walking out of the room.
Kihyun fumbled over his words when he saw Hyunwoo in his date outfit. He clearly put a lot of effort in and Kihyun couldn’t really believe that this was where he’d ended up today.
“You look handsome” Kihyun said sincerely, the compliment spilling out when he met Hyunwoo by the front door. Hyunwoo looked down bashfully but the smile on his face told Kihyun everything he needed to know.
“You look very cute” Hyunwoo replied, giving Kihyun an appreciative once over. Kihyun felt his cheeks heat up and is very glad he decided to wear some makeup to calm his redness.
Before Kihyun can open his mouth to say something more their cab arrives.
They’d gone to a quiet little coffee shop that was known among idols for being a nice discreet place to hang out without anyone there to bother you. Or the staff taking secret pictures of you to sell to tabloids.
So far the date had been a roaring a success, mostly in the fact that Kihyun barely had to think about it at all. He and Hyunwoo have known each other for so long, and while at the beginning it was awkward everything between them now was so natural.
It was even more natural for Kihyun to reach out his hand and lightly touch Hyunwoo’s every time he made Kihyun laugh. It was natural when he felt Hyunwoo hook his foot around Kihyun’s underneath the table, a small satisfied smile on his face as he did so.
Everything came so easy that it set Kihyun on edge, surely something would go wrong soon. His first date ever had been disastrous and all the others that followed didn’t have a stellar track record.
But the time wore on and Kihyun relaxed more as they shared stories and the few facts about themselves the other didn’t know. Kihyun even talked a little bit about the other disastrous dates he’d been on.
“Is this one going better than those?” Hyunwoo had asked after a particularly rough story about a girl who had broken his toe by accident by standing on it with her heel while they were dancing together.
“Much better” He assured, knocking his knee against Hyunwoo’s to assure him.
“Good” Hyunoo replied, mouth curving upward in a way that was almost suggestive. It left Kihyun a little breathless.
The date came to a close when Kihyun and Hyunwoo simply couldn’t ignore the messages on their phones to come back and look over work or to help one of the members practice or the other hundred other responsibilities came knocking at their door.
It felt like forever and no time at all had passed when they finally got home. At some point during the cab ride back Kihyun had slipped his hand into Hyunwoo’s and kept it there. The warmth of his hand enclosed in Hyunwoo’s larger one spread all the way through him, making his heart soar and the corners of his mouth involuntarily pull upward. When Kihyun peaked over at Hyunwoo he could see very clearly the contentment on his face.
They had to let go as they left the cab and made their way towards the house. Before going inside however, Kihyun stopped Hyunwoo at the door.
Kihyun looked up at Hyunwoo, who met his gaze with those warm brown eyes, a soft look in them that stole Kihyun’s breath away. He wanted to tell him about how he had such a nice time with him. He wanted to ask if Hyunwoo was willing to do that again some time. He wanted to say many things however in that moment he knew he didn’t have to speak a word.
Wrapping one arm around Hyunwoo’s neck and the other around his waist Kihyun pressed forward slowly, giving the man enough time to pull away if he wanted. He didn’t. instead his arms encircled Kihyun and pulled him forward.
Kihyun tilted his head pushed up onto his tiptoes. Hyunwoo stooped down and met him in the middle. When their lips came together Kihyun could swear he saw stars. His stomach flipped and his heart fluttered and everything for once aligned just perfectly.
He’d intended for it to be a sweet and chaste ordeal but Hyunwoo surprised him by opening his mouth and turning it into something rather intense. Kihyun didn’t complain however – he just let out a soft moan and gave back as good as he got.
By the time they pulled away Kihyun was breathless and flushed and a hair’s width away from saying fuck it and dragging Hyunwoo back to his room.
“That doesn’t usually happen on first dates” Kihyun told him, once his brain finally checked back in.
“What about second dates?” Hyunwoo asked, grinning mischievously down at Kihyun. Kihyun let out an amused huff at the words, surprised at how confident the man was after one (albeit incredible) date.
“Take me out on a second one and find out” He teased right back.