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Silver and Strawberries

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It was the start of a new school year and Doyum couldn’t be happier. He had been working on choreographing different dancing styles throughout the summer break and was pretty excited to audition for the school’s dance team. With an added bonus of getting assigned a new homeroom without the three students that picked on him for most of last year, the silverette firmly believed in good beginnings.

Doyum usually walked to his classes with his best friends Taekhyeon and Junseo; at least part of the way before they separated to their respective floors. But Taek had to go to a pre-season meeting for the basketball team and left their dorm earlier than usual. But like the protective friend that he is (and won’t admit it), Taekhyeon made doubly sure that Doyum knew where to go before he set out that morning.

As the silverette had a knack for spacing out every once in a while and ultimately ending up lost, Taekhyeon and Junseo usually made a point of walking with him to most places, even school. It probably didn’t help that Doyum’s softer facial features and smaller stature made him a little too easy to approach by random strangers; and with his heart on his sleeve along with an unreasonably trusting nature, his two friends have more than ample reason to worry about the silverette going off on his own. They had gotten decidedly more protective after finding out about the whole bullying situation last year, but that’s besides the point.

As Doyum walked through the halls of the main building, he tried to keep an eye out for his friends but couldn’t find them before having to veer off to his own floor. To make up for it, he just sent them both a text to let them know that he made it to his class and wished them a great first day on their group chat.

The classroom was almost filled by the time Doyum got there, but he spotted an empty table at the back corner. Each table could fit two students, and it would likely be their assigned partner for the remainder of the year.

He chose the seat closer to the aisle just in case he ended up without a seatmate. As he sat down, the silverette pouted a little bit at how his best friends were one year younger and older than him and couldn’t be in the same class.

Doyum wasn’t stand-offish to his classmates, quite the opposite really. He was fairly well-liked, despite being on the shier side. But he somehow couldn’t find it in himself to get close to other students aside from Taek and Junseo. It wasn’t really a problem as the silverette got used to being on his own for the most part.

But it would be nice to have a close friend here too, Doyum thought to himself.

Doyum felt his phone vibrate twice in his pocket while he waited for class to start. On their group chat, he saw that Taekhyeon sent a cheering sticker with the words Fighting! underneath it. While Junseo typed out ‘Have a great day, Doyumie! Taekhyeonie! See you guys at lunch’ with a bunch of heart emojis after it.

The silverette found himself smiling at his friends’ messages, knowing full well they probably know how lonely he gets sometimes when they’re not around. Doyum sent a heart react to both of their messages before he heard the chair beside him move.

The silverette looked up to meet the eyes of probably one of the most handsome faces he’s seen.

Sorry Seo!! Oh he’s tall too, life really isn’t fair, Doyum mused as he took in the pink hair, sharp jawline and intense eyes directed at him.

The stranger also seemed to have been caught off guard as he froze midway through pulling the chair out from under the table. “Is this seat taken?” the student asked.

A little bit more flustered than he realized he was, Doyum stuttered a simple no before averting his eyes.

Great job, Doyum! Now he probably thinks you don’t wanna talk to him. How’re you gonna make new friends if you’re like this? The silverette released a sigh as he internally berated himself.

Resigned to his involuntary social awkwardness to new people, Doyum focused on preparing his class materials for their first lesson. It was a few minutes after setting his things down that Doyum felt like he was being stared at.

With a cursory glance, he noted that everyone else in class was busy talking with their friends/seatmates. The silverette furrowed his brows in confusion, because it definitely felt like he was being watched. All out of options, Doyum chanced a glance at his absurdly handsome seatmate and—

Why is he staring?? Do I have something on my face? Do I look weird? Am I—

“I’m Jinsung,” he introduced, hand extended, a grin on his face.

Doyum released a breath he didn’t notice he was holding. Relieved that his new partner didn’t just misconstrue his shyness as being rude, Doyum smiled before responding, “I’m Doyum, it’s nice to meet you.”

Doyum reached for the outstretched hand and felt a little giddy at the thought of making a new friend. The surprisingly firm handshake felt like it lasted just a heartbeat longer before they both released it, but Doyum didn’t want to overthink it.

Jinsung, however, continued to stare at Doyum even after the greeting, his entire body angled towards the silverette. Meanwhile Doyum could feel himself starting to get worked up again, not accustomed to having someone’s full attention on him. Should I say something or….

Jinsung tilted his head to the side as he studied his fidgeting seatmate. “You’re very pretty,” he commented.

It took a couple of seconds for what he said to register, and when it did, the smaller male felt his brain momentarily short circuit at the statement.

Boy if he wasn’t flustered before, he sure was now.

Doyum felt his face warm, a charming blush bloomed on his cheeks as he tried to formulate a response. It seemed to be the effect that Jinsung was going for as he looked smug with Doyum’s resulting speechlessness.

The silverette could feel the flush reaching the tips of his ears, still blindsided by the sudden compliment. One that he doesn’t hear often as a guy.  “I—Ah—Uhm, T-Thank you?” Doyum responded, still slightly unsure about how to answer.

Doyum felt his face heat up even more at the answering smirk Jinsung gave him before he turned back to the front of the room. Doyum didn’t even realize when the instructor started introducing himself, still too busy trying to make sure his heart didn’t just leap out of his chest and onto his desk.

Relax! He was probably just being nice! Goddammit Doyum get it together and stop blushing!!!!

As the silverette tried to get his increased heart rate back to normal, he snuck a peak at Jinsung. Still a bit misbelieving that he might’ve been hit on. His suspicions were confirmed however when Doyum’s eyes met the already waiting Jinsung who then winked back at him.

ABORT ABORT ABORT!!!!!! THIS IS NOT A DRILL. SUPER CUTE AND HANDSOME SEATMATE IS DEFINITELY UP TO SOMETHING. PANIC!!!!!!!

Taekhyeonie!!! Junseo hyung!!! H E L P

Chapter Text

The rest of the lecture went just about as well as Doyum expected it to go. He still wasn’t sure with how to interact with Jinsung, but he also didn’t seem like he meant any harm. Which was already a plus in the silverette’s mind. That being said, it was definitely a good thing that it was still basically syllabus and class expectations for the first day of class, otherwise Doyum would have missed a solid chunk of the material.

Jinsung didn’t fidget like Doyum inevitably saw himself doing at their close proximity, but the pink-haired student still moved around enough that it made the Doyum hyperaware of his presence.

Did he get closer or am I imagining things? Yup yup yup he’s definitely closer, Doyum internalized.

Sharing a larger desk made it just that tiny bit easier for the two boys to brush elbows and knees when they got a little too close. Which normally wouldn’t be worth noting but, then again, Jinsung is easily the best looking seatmate Doyum’s had.

Contrary to his reactions to the taller male, Doyum doesn’t normally find himself getting this affected by the people around him. But this is also the first time someone’s complimented him directly that wasn’t just his friends or family; and the times he has been hit on, Taek and Seo hyung are usually there (standing guard, but still counts).

Doyum was finally able to calm down as the lecture continued, taking note of important test dates and weekly homework assignments. He remembered Junseo hyung saying that his second year wasn’t too horrible, but he emphasized to Doyum that time management and teamwork was vital to a lot of their projects. Doyum took these words to heart as he wanted to maintain his grades, his parents’ only caveat to him joining the dance team this year.

“Now that you guys have a better idea as to what we’ll be studying this semester, I want to go over the larger project you guys will be working on outside of class,” their teacher began.

“This project won’t be due until towards the end of the semester, but I would like you to convene with your partners early on to figure out a plan before scheduling a meeting with me. You and your partner will be assigned one of the topics we’ll cover in class and must create a lesson plan to teach it to your peers,” she described.

A student near the front row raised their hand, “Will we be assigned partners?”

The teacher looked around the room before she answered, “It looks like everyone is already paired off with how you’re seated. If you have a problem with this arrangement, either see me after class or send me an email. Otherwise the person next to you will be your partner.”

“I’m done a little bit earlier than usual, but I’ll give you guys this time to get to know your partners and exchange information. Tomorrow I’ll be starting our first lesson, it’ll mostly be a review from your last math class, but I expect you guys to come prepared,” she said with a smile before dismissing the class.

Doyum watched their teacher pack away her things, debating on whether or not he should go up to her and introduce himself. He’s heard from other upperclassmen that Mrs. Kim was a bit tougher in grading, Math isn’t really my strong suit… Maybe I should talk to her early on….

Doyum quickly packed his things away before standing to approach his teacher. However, he didn’t get too far from the desk before he felt a hand on his arm.

“Hey, are you good?” Jinsung asked.

A little bit confused at the sudden concern, Doyum tilted his head to the side before responding, “Yeah? What’s up?”

It was Jinsung’s turn to be confused at this, “You looked like you were in a hurry to leave right after she said to talk to your partner.”

Doyum just continued to stare at him, still not fully understanding where this was headed.

“I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable earlier…” Jinsung trailed off.

“Oh! No, it wasn’t like that,” Doyum backtracked, flustered at the reminder. “I-I was just going to introduce myself to Mrs. Kim. I’m not really good at math, so I was going to talk to her before the class gets too hard for me to catch up on…” Doyum admitted as his free hand reached up to scratch the back of his neck.

“Oh,” Jinsung looked relieved at Doyum’s answer, “I could help you out a bit too if you want.” Jinsung still looked a little sheepish at being so worried earlier, but he seemed to be genuine in his offer.

And who am I to say no to someone offering math help? Doyum thought.

“That’d actually be great, really. But only if you’re sure.” Junseo hyung usually helps Doyum out with his math homework in return for Doyum helping him clean up his choreography. But it would be pretty convenient to have Jinsung help him, seeing as they’re in the same class and everything.

“Yeah, that’s fine. We’ll be working together for the most part anyways, might as well study together too,” Jinsung assured with a grin.

Doyum smiled back at him, still a bit awkward, but happy, nonetheless. As the silverette’s eyes travelled down, he realized that Jinsung was still holding onto his arm. Doyum could feel a slight blush returning the longer he stood there.

Jinsung watched as Doyum’s smiling face gradually turned into a soft pink. He’s really cute when he blushes, he thought to himself.

Jinsung then followed Doyum’s line of sight and saw that he was still very much keeping Doyum from leaving. Good, the pink-haired student thought proudly.

Deciding on giving Doyum a little bit of a break, Jinsung gently released the silverette’s arm.

Doyum felt himself starting to pout at the loss. Don’t sulk, Doyum! You literally just met him!

But it still felt kinda nice though…

Unfortunately for him, his internal monologue was still somewhat expressed on his face, and Jinsung kept an eye out for it. More than a little pleased at the silverette’s apparent attraction to him, Jinsung’s grin stayed on his face as reached for his phone.

“Here, put your number in so it’ll be easier for us to meet up,” Jinsung said as he handed the phone to Doyum.

Jinsung watched as Doyum placed his contact info on his phone. His face changes a lot when he’s not smiling, Jinsung observed.

The taller male thought back to Doyum smiling at him earlier, the sweet, dimpled smile a strong contrast to his concentrated face during lecture. He’s still very pretty regardless of the expression, but there was a distinct difference between the soft and focused face.

Hmm his blushing face is still the best. I wonder how many times I’ll get to see it today… Jinsung grinned at Doyum as he took his phone back.  

The smaller male was still caught off-guard with how friendly Jinsung was, but it definitely felt good to have someone to talk to in class. Jinsung’s eyes still took some getting used to with how intense they are when they made eye contact, but the playful grin he seemed to always have balanced it out pretty well.

Doyum belatedly noticed that Mrs. Kim already left the room while he talked to Jinsung, but that’s alright. He’d talk to her at the end of class tomorrow, it’s not like we learned anything today anyways, Doyum defended. Mrs. Kim did say to get to know your partner…

While waiting for their next teacher to arrive, the two students talked a little bit more about themselves. The longer break was easily filled with excited chatter and fast-developing banter between the two.

The more they talked, the more confused they were as to how they didn’t know each other earlier. Jinsung was in the basketball team with Taekhyeon, while Doyum used to train martial arts with Taewoo hyung— which isn’t really a lot. But considering Doyum’s hardly ever missed one of Taek’s home games and Jinsung tried to go to as many of his hyung’s competitions as possible, it was a bit surprising they missed each other this much.

The rest of their morning classes progressed as usual. Doyum definitely warmed up to Jinsung faster than he expected himself to, but that couldn’t be helped. When Jinsung talked to him and asked him about his interests and hobbies in between classes, it felt like he really wanted to know more about Doyum.

Jinsung was also just fun to talk to in general, both in breaks and during lecture (unfortunately). They really did their best to pay attention in class; but a couple of whispered, witty comments every now and then from the taller student inevitably derailed their attention from their teachers to snickering at each other in the back of the class.

 

Class had just been dismissed for their lunch hour and they were already far too content with just staying where they were. The two boys didn’t realize how much closer they got, literally, until Jinsung off-handedly decided to rest his arm around the back of Doyum’s chair. Which made it far too easy for Doyum’s mind to travel while he inevitably found himself staring at Jinsung’s lips as he talked about a puppy he saw last weekend.

Jinsung’s really close. He’s really good-looking up close. His lips look soft… I wonder what it feels li—

The silverette put hard stop on his developing train of thought. The smaller male blinked a couple times before he shook his head, physically trying to get his mind back in order.

Stop it! Bad Doyum, bad! Doyum thought as he gave himself a light slap on the back of the neck.

“Are you okay?” Jinsung asked, amused.

“I—uh—yeah, there was a bug…?” Doyum responded with a slight tilt to his voice, more than a little bit panicky with what he was thinking about seconds earlier. Jinsung laughed as Doyum felt his face heat up for what felt like the hundredth time that day.  

Jinsung continued to watch the flustered male, completely enamored by him. How is everything he does so cute? I just wanna take him and put him in my pocket, the pink-haired student cooed.

The moment was broken when Doyum felt his phone go off in his pocket, much to his embarrassed relief. “Oh, Taek is calling me. I was supposed to meet them for lunch, do you mind if I take this?” Jinsung nodded as he rested his chin on his arm, eyes still on the smaller male.

Jinsung noted the changes in the silverette’s expression as he spoke on the phone. Doyum’s eyes had softened before turning into happy crescents and his unrestrained laughter reached a noticeably higher pitch as he giggled at something Taekhyeon said. Jinsung felt his heart give a little at the sweet sound, completely and utterly won over.

Doyum spoke to his friend for a couple minutes, trying to assure him that everything was fine. While the silverette easily lost track of time talking to his new friend, Taekhyeon and Junseo were getting increasingly worried about his absence.

 

It’s not often that Doyum shows up late to anything, even less so when they usually plan to meet up for lunch. So it was quite a surprise when they saw Doyum and Jinsung walk into the cafeteria together on their first day back. Even more startling was the excitable expression and carefree smile that was directed at Taekhyeon’s pink-haired teammate.

Taekhyeon and Junseo looked at each other in confusion. “When did they get so close??” Junseo wondered aloud.

Taekhyeon shrugged in response. “I guess we’ll find out,” he responded before calling the two over.

“Hi Taekhyeonie, Junseo hyung,” Doyum greeted with a slight bounce in his step as he skipped the last few feet to their table.

Adorable, Jinsung thought as he wondered what he could do to get close enough to the silverette to be on the receiving end of that greeting as well.

“Hi Yummie,” Junseo greeted, just as happy to see one of his favorite dongsaengs. The older student opened his arms for a hug which the silverette gladly accepted. Junseo gave the smaller male a gentle squeeze before he let him go. The silverette then let out a soft giggle when he felt Taekhyeon ruffle his hair a bit in greeting.

“Hey, Doyum hyung and Jinsung hyung?” Taekhyeon didn’t want to be rude, but he was genuinely curious as to when the two became friends. Was it over the summer? Neither of them mentioned it… Taehyeon wondered to himself.

He hung out frequently with Doyum and Junseo over the summer and he still saw Jinsung in their practice matches, but he didn’t remember ever seeing the two together at any point.

“Hey Taek, it’s good to see you again,” Jinsung greeted reaching over to high-five his teammate who returned the gesture.

The pink-haired student then turned to introduce himself to Junseo; despite feeling like he already knew the guy with how much Doyum had talked about him earlier. Though it was nice to put a face to the name that the silverette obviously treasured.

“Just wanted to say hi before I head over to Sungwonnie and Taewoo hyung,” Jinsung said as he nodded in the other direction of the lunchroom. Jinsung figured that the three friends would likely want to catch up and didn’t want to overstay on his first time meeting them. Plus he still had afternoon classes with Doyum, so lots of quality time then too (during breaks of course).

“Oh! Tell them I said hi, and that I’ll stop by the club room some time this week too,” Doyum said as he tried and failed to find the table Jinsung gestured at. The silverette pouted a little bit before turning back to his two best friends, it sucks being short.

Jinsung noticed this and laughed before putting his arm around Doyum. Jinsung turned to the smaller male, his head just a few inches away, “Let me know when you wanna head back to class and I’ll go with you, yeah?”

Doyum gave a slight nod as his cheeks flushed at the sudden contact. “Y-yeah, sounds good.” The silverette tried to make eye contact with the taller male but found himself quite affected by their closeness and settled on staring at the floor instead.

“It’s nice meeting you Junseo. I’ll see you around Taekhyeon,” Jinsung said as he gave Doyum a slight side hug before leaving the group, with a visibly flustered silverette, behind.

“Soo… Who was that? Hmmm?” Junseo teased the still blushing Doyum as he sat down between the older and younger students.

“He said his name was Jinsung and he’s my new friend. Gosh hyung pay attention,” Doyum pouted, fully aware that he was being teased by his favorite hyung. The silverette gave himself a couple light slaps on the cheek trying to ease the warmth that didn’t seem to be going away any time soon.

“When did you guys get so close?” Taekhyeon asked, still curious about the newly developed relationship.

“Oh, he’s sitting next to me in class and we just ended up talking bit, that’s all. I don’t think we’re that close…” Doyum trailed off as he fiddled with his thumbs on the lunch table.

It would be nice if we were… the silverette thought to himself.

“Didn’t look like it,” Junseo teased as the two friends nudged the silver-haired student between them. Taekhyeon snickered while Doyum’s face got impossibly redder at Junseo’s teasing.

The two friends knew exactly how shy the smaller student tends to be when he’s on his own and were quite surprised that the pink-haired sophomore managed to get Doyum to open up in such a small amount of time. But even more surprising was how the silverette seemed to already be harboring a small crush for the other student.

Doyummie doesn’t make a face like that often… Cute, Junseo mused.

Junseo and Taekhyeon made eye contact above Doyum’s head while he was still immersed in his own thoughts.

Since Taekhyeon hadn’t said anything particularly concerning about Doyum’s new friend by now (and he definitely would have if there was), Junseo took it as a good sign to helping his little Doyummie along – and by the look in Taek’s eyes, he was up for it as well.

Maybe it’s time to get to know Doyum’s new friend a little better.

Chapter Text

Doyum laid panting on the hardwood floor. His chest heaved as sweat slid from his dampened forehead to the sides of his face. The silver-haired student had been in the practice room since classes got out earlier. The sun had set since then, but even it didn’t feel like it was enough time.

Doyum had been practicing his choreography as much as he could for the dance team auditions the following week. He had this flowing image in his head, he knew exactly what he wanted to showcase and how to do it.

But something still felt like it was missing. As he watched and rewatched videos of himself performing the routine, his appreciation and disappointment grew all the same. Everything seemed fine, the build up and the climax were good, but he couldn’t figure out an ending that was fitting yet impactful.

The song was supposed to be about grace and fluidity, which his current routine adhered to. Years of martial arts training and multiple dance academies attributed to his above-average isolated muscle control (for which he couldn’t be more grateful). His body was operating at max power, but it’s still not right….

Doyum reached for his phone to replay the song, fully intent on immersing himself with the lyrics and the sound of the song itself. The silverette stared at the ceiling and allowed himself to zone out and let his mind wander. He tried to pick up feelings and emotions that he might’ve overlooked. He listened once, twice, three, maybe four times before he unknowingly fell asleep where he lay.

 


  

Taekhyeon checked his phone for what felt like the tenth time in the last minute, hoping that he just missed a message from his silver-haired roommate. It was getting pretty late and the two had planned on grabbing dinner somewhere on campus after he finished basketball practice.

“Hey man, you alright? You don’t look so good,” Yechan, the basketball team captain, prodded.

Taekhyeon looked up from his empty inbox and sighed. “Yeah, Doyum hasn’t texted me for a while and we were supposed to meet up. He’s been disappearing a lot recently and coming home late. I’m getting kinda worried.”

Yechan looked around and verified a distinctive lack of a silver tuft of hair – one that he usually saw whenever practice ran later into the evening. “Maybe he’s busy? I’m sure Doyum’s fine,” he reassured.

Jinsung was in the middle of packing his things away when he overheard Doyum’s name. Curious and very much interested, the pink-haired student decided that he wanted to be a part of the conversation. He and Doyum had gotten quite close in the last couple weeks, enough that their friend groups were slowly starting to merge into one. It was quite wholesome, really.

“Doyum said he was gonna practice for a bit after class today, if that helps?” Jinsung provided.

Taekhyeon straightened up at the information, “Goddammit, hyung.”

Jinsung and Yechan were momentarily taken aback as they watched their junior start to shove things into his gym bag, rushing to leave the courts.

“What’s wrong?” their team captain asked.

The tanner male paused before putting on his sweatshirt. “Doyum hyung gets a little too intense when he’s dancing. Like he’ll be there for hours without food and won’t leave until one of us gets him intense. He’s fallen asleep at a studio before; so now, he usually lets us know if he’s practicing,” Taekhyeon elaborated sounding a little upset.

“That’s probably why he hasn’t messaged you in a while,” Yechan guessed as he ruffled Taekhyeon’s hair in comfort.

It seemed like a common occurrence, but the captain still worried about Doyum’s practice habits. Yechan had grown quite fond of the silverette after he saw him hang around the courts waiting for Taekhyeon. He was a good kid. Sweet even. Maybe I’ll talk to him later about moderation and physical limits...

“Do you have an idea of where he could be?” Jinsung asked.

“Yeah, he uses the same room, or tries to at least. He’s pretty attached to it, so he’s probably over there right now. Thanks for letting me know hyung, you’re a life saver.” Taekhyeon turned to leave after a quick wave to the rest of his teammates only to find that Jinsung followed close behind him.

“I’ll come too. Just to make sure he’s okay, y’know?” his pink haired teammate said casually as he nudged Taekhyeon’s shoulder with his own. His furrowed brows and bitten lip, however, didn’t exactly agree with his tone.

 

The dance studios weren’t too far away from the basketball courts. With the two of them speed-walking across the empty courtyard, Taekhyeon and Jinsung got there pretty fast.

There were four studios that had external entrances with doors that each had a see-through glass panel. All of which were pitch black aside from the door on the farthest end which very likely housed their missing friend.

Taekhyeon peaked through the glass first to make sure they weren’t intruding on someone else’s dance practice. The two basketball players released a sigh of relief when they spotted one visibly exhausted Doyum curled up on the studio floor.

 

Doyum groaned a bit as he shifted. He could hear people whispering but not well enough to understand it. Ugh. Where am I?? Why does everything hurt…

He heard something shuffling before he felt something warm on top of him. That feels nice, he thought as he snuggled it closer to himself. Resigned that he had to get up at some point, Doyum opened his eyes and was brutally greeted by the fluorescent lights of the dance studio.

The two basketball players watched as Doyum screwed his eyes shut and scrunched his face in obvious annoyance. The silverette let out a soft whine before he pulled on his make-shift blanket (Jinsung’s jacket) to protect himself from the brightness. The two couldn’t resist the giggles from escaping as they watched Doyum curl in on himself even more, essentially cocooning himself with the oversized sweater.  

“Are you actually comfy like that?” Jinsung teased as he sat down beside him.

Doyum peaked his head out from under the sweater, surprised when he recognized the voice. He let out an indignant puff and mumbled a small, “Maybe.”

He didn’t want to admit that his arm was just starting to wake up and that he couldn’t exactly move with all the pins and needles he was feeling. He was also a tad confused as to how Jinsung knew which studio he was in, but that can wait until after he gets blood circulation back.

Jinsung released a full-bellied laugh at the unmistakable pout on the silverette’s face. “C’mere,” he offered. He patted his lap, taking mercy on the smaller boy. Doyum beamed, an open-mouthed grin, before he quickly scooted over to rest his head comfortably on his new pillow.

Taekhyeon noted how affectionate the two were as Jinsung started to absently stroke Doyum’s hair while he rested. But even more noticeable were the heart eyes Jinsung had when he thought Doyum wasn’t looking.

Over the last couple weeks, Taekhyeon and Junseo were getting concerned that Doyum’s growing crush might be one-sided due to Jinsung’s unintentionally flirty nature. Which wouldn’t be too bad, they’d just have to talk to Doyum about it before he actually fell for him.

But seeing this definitely assured the tanned male about their relationship. Sure, they’d seen the two hang out at lunch (almost every day), but that was with everyone else in a bigger group. All of the teasing and just general closeness was easy to overlook. But here, it almost felt like he was intruding on a couple.

Also, does Doyum hyung even know I’m here?? Taekhyeon huffed aloud at the thought, which thankfully reminded the two that they weren’t alone.

“Oh, Taekhyeonie!” Doyum greeted excitedly. The silverette made to get up, thinking he’s rested enough. But the slight wince when he changed positions was caught by the keen-eyed students. Jinsung readied himself to catch the smaller male just in case before standing as well.

“You’re doing it again hyung,” Taekhyeon chastised. He grabbed the half-filled water in his gym bag and handed it to the silverette who accepted it gratefully. “We were wondering why you kept disappearing in the afternoon. We told you not to overdo it.”

Doyum finished the rest of the bottle before sighing. “I know, I know. I’m just struggling with the last part. I’m so close to finishing, I just need to work on it a little more,” he bargained.

Although concerned, Taekhyeon understood where he was coming from, especially as a student athlete. All he could do was nod resignedly since he knew he’d probably do the same if he was in a similar position. At least they found him here instead of the shed he used to frequent last year. “You haven’t eaten yet right? Let’s get dinner before going back.”

Doyum agreed before turning to Jinsung, “Wanna join us?”

Jinsung snuck a glance at Taekhyeon before answering, verifying that it’d be okay if he tagged along. The tanned male grinned at him and gave a slight nod. “Yeah, dinner sounds great.”

The three students decided to eat in one of the dorm cafeterias rather than off-campus as they were nearing the student curfew check. Plus, it was a lot closer and they could get their food faster.

While they ate, the two basketball players kept a close eye on the silverette and made sure he ate enough to displace all of the work he’d been doing for the last week. Although they didn’t really need to police him as Doyum ate with a voracious appetite that evening. All the while Taekhyeon lectured Doyum on the importance of balancing work and adequate rest, much to Jinsung’s amusement. Granted, it’s still a step below Junseo’s level of fussing when Doyum inadvertently triggers his “mom mode”.

After a heavy dinner and a fully scolded dancer, Doyum and Taekhyeon bid their farewells to Jinsung, who lived in the opposite direction. Doyum and Taekhyeon still had a ways to go for their room whereas Jinsung’s dorm was right next to the cafeteria they picked.

As they were about to leave, Doyum abruptly realized that he had been wearing Jinsung’s jacket since they left the studio. Doyum quickly apologized before starting to remove the sweater.

“Keep it, you might catch a cold on your way back,” Jinsung insisted. He eyed how the silverette essentially drowned in the black jacket. The loose material revealed his collar bones while the ends reached down to his upper thighs, fully emphasizing his smaller build. The pink haired student cocked his head to the side and grinned at the warm image. “It looks good on you anyways.”

Doyum had flushed a little when he felt Jinsung looking at him longer than usual, but his cheeks warmed significantly at the compliment. “O-okay, I’ll give it back to you tomorrow,” he stuttered. The silverette didn’t get as flustered as he did when they first met, but he still couldn’t help the butterflies that would show up whenever Jinsung randomly says stuff like that.

Jinsung clearly enjoyed the response he got if his pleased expression was anything to go by. “Nah. Just wear it to class,” he suggested smugly, the cheeky grin never leaving his face.

Jinsung kind of liked the idea of Doyum wearing his jacket to class… Scratch that, he really liked that idea.

Taekhyeon watched as his best friend let out a squeak at the teasing but didn’t reject it either. Instead, Doyum just reached over to playfully hit Jinsung on the arm while the other chuckled in response.

Hmm. Lots of things to update Junseo hyung on, Taekhyeon nodded to himself. I’ll call him when Doyum hyung is getting ready for bed…

  


 

 Jinsung ran to the classroom with seconds to spare before the first bell rang. Safe!!

The pink haired student made eye contact with their math teacher, Mrs. Kim, and gave her a sheepish smile before continuing on to his seat in the back. Hey, at least he wasn’t late. His hair might’ve been a little messier than usual, but he was on time.

Jinsung plopped down on his chair trying to catch his breath before turning to greet Doyum. “Hey, how’re you feeling? Sore from yesterday?” He didn’t realize how much the silverette practiced outside of class, best to keep an eye out for him until auditions are over.

“Hey. Oh, uhm, I’m good. I’ve, uh, already told Junseo hyung and Taekhyeonie I’m gonna be at the dance studio today so they won’t worry,” Doyum murmured, his eyes not quite meeting Jinsung’s by the end as he fidgeted in his seat.

Is everything okay? Did I miss something? Is he – Is he blushing right now?? Jinsung wondered, puzzled at the silverette’s demeanor.

Jinsung regarded how Doyum looked almost anxious with how he kept pulling on his sleeve – wait that’s my jacket. He actually wore it!!

…Is that why he’s like this? Ahh, he’s too cute, heaven help me.

Deciding to test the theory, Jinsung leaned over to Doyum’s half of their shared desk, close enough that only the silverette could hear him. “You really should just keep that jacket. I think I like it better on you,” he murmured.

Doyum released the nervous breath he held in since Jinsung sat down. The smaller male was getting a bit distressed when Jinsung didn’t comment on the jacket at first, thinking that maybe the taller male didn’t mean it when he said Doyum could wear it.

Doyum’s shoulders sagged in relief as a sweet smile replaced his furrowed brow from before. He looked back at Jinsung before releasing a soft giggle. “Maybe I will keep it,” he whispered back cheerfully. The teasing glint in his eyes and airy tone in his voice was more than enough to grab the dazed Jinsung by the heart strings.

You can keep them all…