Minho couldn't figure out why Jisung looked so melancholy tonight, with fallen features and tutted lips. It made him feel rather uneasy, the sight of the younger so fragile an upset.
Jisung was folded up on the small futon— which for its size took up a surprising amount of space in the living room, though it was an apartment.
The lighting was low, illuminated with candles and light pollution from the city seeping in.
There was a strange feeling in Minho’s chest when his eyes grazed over his best friends image across from him. The boy’s chin rested over the tops of his knees, his warm brown eyes blinked slow and steady, a soft hum came from his lips, a melancholy tune Minho faintly recognized.
The candle light illuminated his features, twinkling eyes, jawline and the slope of his nose that suddenly sniffled. Minho's throat felt tight, but his urge to break the silence was strong.
"Jisung," He waited for acknowledgment. He smiled when the said boy brushed his fallen bangs away from his line of sight.
"Yeah?” Jisung asked, half smiling shyly.
Minho felt his breath get caught, forgetting for a moment that he prompted the attention by speaking his friends name into the atmosphere to begin with. He fell momentarily speechless staring back, simply admiring.
It had been three days since he was away for his dance competition, it was the first night back in the city and of course he didn’t forget a single inch of his best friends face. He knew he never could. Trailing his gaze along his features now though, felt like really seeing him for the first time.
Jisung stared back making Minho snap out of his daze, he blinked multiple times with a sheepish laugh. His eyes traveled to the floor and his head shook dismissively.
“It's nothing." Minho cleared his throat.
Jisung could only nod, with a smile never leaving his face. Their was a pause of quiet before he spoke again.
"I missed you." The younger stated, catching Minho by surprise.
Feeling cocky Minho grinned, with a smirk and teasing tone he declared. “I'd miss me too." Jisung rolled his eyes laughing.
Minho dodged the pillow the boy promptly threw towards him in annoyance. He bit his lip and let a moment pass, of fading laughter to silence, and softened again.
"I missed you too," Minho promised, earning Jisungs appreciative glance.
Minho watched as the younger’s eyes traveled to his lap where his fingers intertwined with one another as a way to keep himself preoccupied. Minho knew that was a habit of his, and quirking a brow he sighed.
"Are you ok?" Minho asked. Jisung’s head lifted immediately to see him shrug suggestively and continue. “You seem bothered by something."
Jisung huffed defeatedly. His hands stopped moving and he pulled his legs to his chest, arms wrapping around them for secuirty. "Nothing gets past you, huh?"
Minho pursed his lips in a neutral manner, then lifted himself from the desk chair. He moved to the windowsill to sit across from Jisung, eyes wondrously scanning over the city skyline at night, filled with bright lights and silhouette skyscrapers.
He focused on his friend again, his heart automatically skipped a beat to see him so up close like this. He couldn't rationalize where these feelings came from, or when, nor did he have any good reason to feel them. Jisung wasn't exactly open for anyone but one persons romantic feelings at the moment. The thought reminded Minho of the feeling of that truth which kept him up at night.
"I think Hyunjin and I want different things," Jisung spoke abruptly. His eyes widened for the inherent admittance.
Minho felt something in his stomach squirm anxiously. It was as if the universe was reading his thoughts and secret concerns in that very moment. In the interest of playing it cool, he averted his gaze.
"In what way?" Minho asked.
Jisungs head tilted, he mulled it over again, everything from the past few days of heartbreaking realizations. He had his own dreams and Hyunjin had his, and while every great relationship consisted of sacrifice and compromise they were both far too passionate people to make it work. Neither could give up on the ideas of life they’d planned already so vividly, unfortunately imagining it with one another in mind, unknowingly thinking about how the other would feel.
Jisung studied the question in Minho’s eyes, merely shrugging he replied. “Almost every way."
Jisung frowned, emotions getting the best of him. He shook his head dismissively, his expression fell dull again, eyes trailing back out the window to disguise their watering state. The older could see them glisten, feeling a twinge of comfort pass through him. His hand reached out.
"It's okay.” Minho smiled but it hurt to place his hand over Jisung’s and still feel lifetimes apart, to feel, to know he still wanted more. “I'm sure you'll work it out." He smiled.
It was a knife through his heart to reassure his friend of someone else when he wished it could be him who could love Jisung. But that would be selfish, he rationalized. He wouldn't do that to Hyunjin since they're close friends and he'd never complicate or do that things to Jisung. No matter how bad it hurt, he rather wouldn’t hurt or mess things up for Jisung. Ever. The younger didn't deserve that.
Jisung looked at his hand, the way it gently touched Minho’s, his heart raced with a fluttering sensation.
"No, we didn't work it out," Jisung muttered sadly. “We aren't— we decided, if we wanted different things it was better to go after them now."
The air in the room turned stale. Minho’s expression became stoic. He pulled back numbly, wracking his brain. Was Jisung implying what he thought he was implying? There's no way.. He huffed in misunderstanding, staring up with his mouth agape.
"You broke up?" His tone wavered.
Jisung winced at the bluntness of his question, but what was there to sugar coat? He was right after all.
"It was a mutual decision,” He explained. “I guess that's why I don't understand why it hurts so much,” He laughed bitterly, “We agreed to this and it’s nobody’s fault.” He laughed again and closed his lips with a somber seal. Despite the fact that he laughed, it was forced and it startled Minho—who was convinced he heard the boy’s heart breaking.
"W-when? How? We only came back today.” Minho stood alertly with perplex, gears in his head still processing. "Hyunjin shared a hotel room with me during the competition. Did you talk over the phone? Why didn't he say anything?"
Jisung was surprised by his urgency to be informed. Minho was usually a level person with rationale and non too extravagant reactions to anything. He was neutral, worked things out calmly, but suddenly he seemed eager and confused and the younger couldn't figure out why.
Jisung closed his eyes and sighed. "We talked Tuesday, before you left. That's when it started I guess. We told each other to think about things while he was away and then we called to talk on Wednesday and it was.. so different."
Minho flashed a questioning look as Jisung inhaled to continue.
"Knowing the truth about something you thought you had all figure out changes pretty much everything. Whatever we had a few days before the competition already wasn't the same, it was so easy for it to fall apart." Jisung felt his throat getting choked up. "I met him this morning when you guys got back. We talked and decided it was for the better."
Minho’s shoulders slumped in defeat. Jisung was openly revealing his relationship problems, so why did it feel like Minho was the one breaking?
The older carded his fingers through his hair with a sigh and paced back to the window. His slow strides and heavy heart made his stomach wallow in a pit of despair. He eyed the younger with tender eyes and parted his lips.
"I'm sorry." Minho sympathized. Jisung huffed nonchalantly.
“It's okay. I guess it just wasn't what we thought we had.” He put on a facade of happiness, smiling and seemingly indifferent, but Minho saw right through it. “Everything happens for a reason, right? Forever's hard to come by anyways.”
Minho couldn't help but crack a smile at that. The younger always believed in those sayings of fate, thoughts of destiny to get him by. It was endearing, and reassuring even for Minho.
Sometimes he felt trapped in the moment, when their city felt like it was just too big, lonely and kinda scary. When it felt like he was losing control and the city spun around his bustling mind. Jisung was always there to ground him. His anchor.
Minho eyed him with the hitch of breath. He thought about the small radio on the table behind Jisung, the younger’s own personal touch to the apartment of ‘experiencing music like the good old days’. Minho grinned at the sound of Jisung’s voice in his memory and made his way to the radio, flicking the dial a few times, grimacing at the static between each station until finally he found clear connection.
A guitar melody began just in time, the room was already fit with romantic candle light. Jisung turned his head shyly. A smile creeping onto his lips when Minho's hand held out for him.
Jisung cocked his head sheepishly, "Minho, I—"
Minho cut him off. “Trust me."
He smiled with a compelling gleam to his expression that made Jisung feel something akin to the rush you received at the edge of the high dive. It washed over him, those fleeting moments before free falling at your own accord into cold waters, the bottom seemingly endless. He took the leap of faith by intertwining their hands.
Minho smiled once coaxing Jisung into the movements. The melody pulled them to the center of the room, even when Jisung’s heart began to feel down again as his thoughts traveled distant, he had Minhos arms around him, spinning them in circles to the sad soul song singing through the radio and lifting the weight.
Jisung squealed when the dancer turned him around again by surprise, catching him when he stumbled. An embarrassed giggle filled the room and Minho knew he was sold on it.
"I wasn't ready for that!” Jisung whined, smile still glued to his face.
Minho shook his head. "You’re perfect."
The tips of Jisungs ears burned with a blush. The words repeated in his mind and opened the door to a memory of Hyunjin murmuring the same phrase. It came back to him like flipping through a scrapbook of perfectly photographed moments.
His heart strings tugged with the need to see his ex again, to hear his voice, to hug him, to hold his hand, to fulfill his desperation in needing him.
His confidence in the moment faltered on the cusp of loss and insecurity. His smile faded like the sun as clouds blew over it’s bright rays. He fell into the motions of the song with Minho who studied him with a frown of concern again.
Minho brushed his hands through Jisung’s hair fondly. His forefinger reached out for his chin, tilting it level with his gaze.
"It's okay," He whispered. Jisung nodded faintly, gasping shakily for a breath.
"It's so soon, Minho," He smiled apologetically, hesitantly reeling back. “I don't want this to lead you on, to just be me needing someone and because you're here it's you I lean on.” He bit his lip struggling to decipher the rush of tingles in his chest. He squeezed Minho’s hand with a comforting touch. “I don't want to hurt you." His expression pleaded innocence.
It stung Minho faintly that Jisung would consider it a possibility this wasn’t real, but he couldn't really be mad. In fact, he was grateful he cared enough to not just take what he could get. He cared enough about the older to consider all things and be sure this was truly something he felt and not just craved from deprivation of the feelings he had to give up on. Another part of Jisung’s sense of maturity and consideration Minho admires, and couldn't help but feel like falling in love with all over again.
"I can wait.” Minho moved them side to side, continuing the dance again. "I can wait as long as you need."
Jisung frowned with guilt.
"You shouldn't have to wait for me." The younger protested light heartedly.
"But I—“ Minho gulped, “Love you...” he whispered shyly. His eyes creased with the sincerity in his features. Jisung stopped.
Bashfully removing his hands, Minho bowed his head. His whole body turned cold with the fear of raw emotion and open chance for rejection. The shock in Jisung’s face made him continue for clarification.
"I have for a while, and while I'm not saying this to convince you to love me too, I swear," He took a deep wavering breath, "I just think you deserve to know that somebody loves you, even it happens to be me." His brow lifted with a wry grin. "Whatever that may mean to you.."
Jisung swallowed a lump in his throat, with eyes red and teary but not from sadness anymore. Not even close. His legs felt shaky and unused, but he moved to the older again and tenderly brushed his parted bangs to the side with a smile.
Jisung wrapped his arms around a startled Minho, earning a grunt of surprise. The older felt how tightly he was being held, and reveled in the feeling, resting his head over his shoulder and closing his eyes.
"I need time," Jisung whispered. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t love you too."
If flowers could bloom in one's heart from the seed of sincerity, purity, and emotion, all the things love songs sang about and all the thoughts of one's lovesick mind then Minho was positive a garden had just bloomed within him.
He nodded in full, gentle understanding, and squeezing Jisung’s hand just a little bit tighter.
"Thank you." Jisung’s voice wavered. Minho laced their fingers together. He loved how fitting their hands were, like lock and key.
He knew what they had now, he knew exactly how he felt. And he'd make sure when the time was right Jisung knew it.
Jisung’s heart still pounded, and he grinned shyly while looking at Minho—whose features were illuminated by the moonlight creeping in the window. He admired every inch of his skin, his long lashes and plush lips, the twinkle in his irises revealing amber flecks within the brown. He was so lucky to have someone so beautiful in his life—and not just in looks, but for everything he was.
Maybe things would take a while, moving past Hyunjin wouldn’t be easy, but the possibilities were endless and there would always be time for growth.
Minho knew Jisung might possibly be the best thing in his life to wait for, and Jisung knew finding love with his best friend would mean everything to him. And while it all might take them time a wise saying once said, all good things do take time.