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better days ahead

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it's awfully quiet in their dorm unit this afternoon.

the tranquility is too much for donghyun, who never has gotten used to the silence. room 72 is almost never dead during the weekends— always filled with donghyun and minhee's petty quarrels about who's turn is it to sweep the dusty floor, who finished the last cup of strawberry milk, which of them is doing which chore. their neighbors at first complained about the ruckus they made, though they got accustomed to it eventually— but this week's saturday is different.

 

minhee and donghyun started off as rivals, both constantly fighting over the top spot in their batch. they're coursemates and taking the exact same classes within their majors, meeting each other almost everyday and every time no matter how much they avoid each other. minhee really despised donghyun at first, since he garnered a lot of attention for skipping a grade back in high school, thus making him not just one of the smartest, but the youngest student in their year. minhee who has always been in the top ranks and is naturally gifted with brains, felt threatened. and so, competition naturally stirred between the two males.

it caught both males by surprise on the day before a new term of stressing over university life. the dormitory dean thought it would be good to assign rooms for the students according to their names. keum and kang were not far off from each other, and weird enough they were the only ones with keum and kang as their surname in their major. very weird, indeed. all the kims, kwons, kwaks and others which have their surnames start with the letter 'ㄱ' are assigned together, leaving the pair with each other.

clearly, minhee and donghyun were so not agreeing to the new plans of the dean. donghyun was already satisfied with rooming with dongpyo. dongpyo could be annoying sometimes, but donghyun had a fun time being roommates with the boy. dongpyo always brought food for donghyun since the latter was always studying, and respected him by not invading his privacy nor being noisy during donghyun's reviewing hours.

compared to minhee.

minhee keeps on pushing donghyun at his limits. on purpose or not, that doesn't matter to donghyun—though, he's convinced it's the latter because he knows minhee hates him by a lot and successfully irritating donghyun would be his greatest achievement. the older boy finished off all donghyun's food and snacks which he preserved for the next few months, smuggling his own shirts secretly in donghyun's laundry basket so he didn't have to wash his clothes himself, and often being too loud with his actually decent singing during ungodly hours such as when donghyun's busy wasting his brain cells on past year paper questions and at 2 a.m. only if minhee decided to flex his vocals when donghyun was not studying or trying to get a good night's sleep, he would've appreciated minhee's vocals. god, how does he even do well academically when he barely even studies?

somehow, somehow, as time passes, donghyun grew tolerant to minhee's behavior. minhee, too, became a better roommate by waking donghyun up every morning whenever he oversleeps with half an hour left before classes begin, so donghyun wouldn't miss them. minhee even told him of his crush, hwang yunseong from civil engineering department, and planned to confess to the senior one day. donghyun thought maybe minhee's hatred to him died down since donghyun undeniably has no intentions of vexing minhee as much as minhee is annoying him.

 

"when exactly are you gonna confess to yunseong?" donghyun asked. he was washing the dishes while minhee cooked instant noodles for their dinner. minhee was a way better cook than donghyun and for the first time the younger actually agreed on one thing minhee's better at. except for being annoying, that is.

"soon. maybe." minhee responded, followed by a small chuckle, imagining sweet scenarios of him and yunseong if the senior ever actually reciprocates his feelings. donghyun couldn't explain it, but he felt weird upon knowing minhee's clarification. it was unexplainable, but he decided to shrug it off and not dwell on it.

 

after how many weeks, donghyun is finally dwelling on it.

"is he doing it today?" donghyun mumbles to himself, absentmindedly staring at the review notes which has already been neglected. though, thinking again, it doesn't make sense if minhee's gonna pour out his feelings today when yunseong's year has major exams in another 2 days. yeah, he's probably hanging out with his friends or something.... but he usually informs first?? why'd he suddenly leave without telling me? he keeps on shifting his attention to his phone, waiting for a text message from minhee. he hasn't responded to donghyun's spam questioning on his whereabouts. until his screen lit up, the name 'minhee annoying' popping in his notification board.

 

from: minhee annoying
i'm on my way back

from: minhee annoying
ur actually looking for me

from: minhee annoying
keumdong clingy

to: minhee annoying
lmao no ew

from: minhee annoying
i have food with me

from: minhee annoying
be nice to me if u want food

to: minhee annoying
u never bring food for me wtf who are u what have u done to minhee

from: minhee annoying
i hate u D:<

 

minhee inhales shakily before pressing on the keypad, punching the passcode and gaining access to his dorm unit. he sees donghyun sitting with his legs crossed on the chair— yes, legs crossed on the chair— of their small dining table. donghyun frequently studies out in the hall of their unit instead of his room, minhee notices. he guesses his fellow dorm mate isn't the type to do revisions in compact, dim-lit bedrooms with unfiltered air.

"i hope you didn't poison the food you brou— wait, why are your eyes red?"

shit. he didn't expect donghyun to catch on that fast. it only had been 0.6 seconds since he arrived. please, give me a break.

attempting to hide his red puffy eyes, minhee dishevels his own hair to shade them with his disarrayed bangs, also facing away when he approaches the dining table to place the paper bag he is holding. "i got an eye infection." he just blabbers whatever he has in mind, also regretting a few seconds after maybe it's better to keep his mouth shut.

chortling, donghyun replies. "you know i'm not that dumb." he's clearly offended that minhee thought that excuse would do the trick on him.

minhee's eyes becomes glossy again for the nth time and he wants to curse at himself for looking vulnerable in front of his own rival. he already shed heavy tears in public earlier this afternoon outside. passers by shot him strange looks when he travelled his way back to the dorms which was embarrassing as hell. no matter how much minhee wanted to stop crying, he couldn't and was only able to do that when he arrived in front of their dorm unit (it took him a whole 5 minutes to stop only to about to sob again once he enters). and the last thing he wants is to cry in front of donghyun. so instead of responding, minhee marches to his room to spend his time agonizing alone while avoiding donghyun's stare.

but donghyun is quicker, catching minhee's arm, preventing the older to escape.

"were you out to confess to yunseong?"

silence. donghyun takes it as a yes when minhee blinks rapidly. it's a habit of minhee whenever he's consumed with anxiety.

"i guess he rejected you."

a tear rolled down minhee's cheek.

"n-no shit." minhee wipes his tear away with the sleeves of his pink sweater. his pink sweater #32 to be exact. he has a ridiculous amount of pink sweaters and donghyun always finds them in his own pile of laundry (since minhee, as stated before, habitually sneaks his clothes in donghyun's laundry basket). minhee brushes off his tear only for another tear to fall, then another, then more of it. he gives up drying them in the end.

donghyun bursts out in a guffaw. "wait... you really did confess to him?" he says in between breaths, eyes becoming thinner to form crescents as he casts a glance at the crying minhee. "minhee, yunseong literally has exams on monday. he's in his final year and your dumb ass think it's a good idea to confess to someone who's probably having a mental breakdown right now."

"fuck y-you, shortie." for the first time, minhee is actually PISSED pissed at donghyun. "f-first of all," he chokes on his sobs. "i d-didn't know he has exams coming!" his cheeks are becoming flushed by the minute, dusted in pink along with the tip of his nose.

the younger is still laughing loudly. "he's your crush. you should at least know what goes on in his major and year." donghyun flips his book close, stacking his things in a proper pile. his laptop at the edge of the table is pulled over to the front of him, and donghyun immediately clicks on a movie downloading website. "okay, what anime you wanna watch today?"

"huh?"

"you're looking and feeling like shit. i'm trying to make you feel better here." truth to be told, donghyun knows nothing of japanese animated series and films, and it isn't in today's schedule to watch one today, but for minhee he can spare a good few hours. "you talked about weathering with you that time for a whole week. let's watch that."

 

minhee expected this. donghyun falling asleep exactly 32 minutes into the film.

is minhee disappointed? a bit. because is it that boring to donghyun until he had fallen asleep during the early parts of the film? what the hell? minhee is so gonna throw donghyun out from their dorm after this. no one sleeps through one of his favorite animated films, not on his sight.

brushing off the fact that donghyun did dirty to hodaka and hina, minhee is grateful that donghyun attempts to actually make him feel better despite laughing at his tragedy earlier on. even though the younger chose something that would swell minhee's eyes more than before, minhee appreciates the effort. donghyun doesn't show, but he has his own ways to comfort people such as downloading a film for him on his own usb drive and connecting it on the tv just for minhee to watch with no difficulties. it means a lot to minhee considering it's donghyun, no matter how minor of a thing it is.

minhee's stomach demands for food at one point, then he remembers he brought food for donghyun but the younger never really laid his hands on the food-filled paper bag in their dinner table. maybe... donghyun wouldn't mind if minhee ate some of it? he's the one who spent his money on it, so donghyun shouldn't be complaining if a strawberry cream muffin is missing.

however, getting off the sofa is a challenge for the boy. simply because donghyun found comfort on minhee's shoulder and has settled there to rest his heavy head for a nap. initially, sleepy donghyun dozed off and kept trying to stay awake, his head bobbing left to right. in the end, when he's fully unconscious, the side of his head resorted on minhee's shoulder.

minhee doesn't mind at first, but he keeps looking back from the screen to donghyun when he feels the younger inching closer to minhee by time. it started raining approximately half an hour ago so the room temperature dropped immensely as if winter's happening outside. donghyun is probably cold and is need of warmth, thus turning to minhee to depend on his body heat.

still not giving up, minhee attempts to stand up from the couch and pushes donghyun off him gently. it doesn't end up well when instead of leaning to the other side or staying put at his current position, with the boomerang effect applied, he falls down back onto minhee who's too slow to get off the couch. it's not just donghyun's head now, his whole body is on top of minhee with his head snuggled on the older's chest.

a small, tired sigh escapes from minhee. he's not getting his muffin soon.

he didn't want to wake up donghyun who was napping too comfortably on minhee's body. his arms even reaches out to hug minhee's abdomen as if minhee's a giant teddy bear. amusement plays on his face. has donghyun always been cuddly? no matter how much minhee acts more immaturely between the both of them, donghyun can't hide the fact that he's the baby and always be the baby.

his hand brings itself to sort donghyun's messy fringes. donghyun is whining in his sleep, muttering incoherent words cutely as he nestles his face deeper into minhee's chest. he even sleep talks like a child. minhee's laugh is soft and hushed in order not to disturb donghyun's nap. "cute." then proceeds to envelop donghyun in a warm embrace, shutting his eyes slowly and giving into the drowsiness. he takes his words back on kicking donghyun out from their dorm because sleeping with someone on the cramped couch in a rainy afternoon can't beat anything else, including japanese animated film marathons, on being the perfect way to spend time after getting a rejection.

today isn't so bad after all.

 

bonus:

"i heard you calling me cute when we were napping together."

"...were you awake for the whole time?"

"no, i was asleep. but i heard it." and a small chuckle comes. "you're cute too, by the way."

minhee blinks in disbelief. "kid, are you trying to flirt with me?"

"you really be calling me a kid when you're a whole ass crybaby."

"you did NOT just said that—"