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i really hate you (it must be true love)

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Renjun is not a particularly lucky person, but on most days he wouldn't exactly call himself unlucky– on most days, while he doesn't win the lottery, nothing memorably bad happens to him either. Today is not one of these days.

The day already starts off bad, with Renjun oversleeping, ruining his favourite shirt by getting distracted while trying to iron it and getting laughed at by a just woken up, way too amused Donghyuck. And while he can just kill Donghyuck and then skip breakfast to make it on time, the real misfortune befalls him after he has safely arrived on time for his class.

The professor kindly lets them know that they'll have to group up for a project, one that's awfully important for the final grade, and that they'll be picking partners by drawing lots. That, in and of itself, is not a bad thing– Renjun gets along with most of the people in this class– but of course, of course, he somehow manages to pick the one person he can't stand the sight of in this class.

There's only one single class he shares with him and yet Renjun manages to get paired up with Na Jaemin of all people.

He quickly realises that he should have just skipped this class altogether when at the end of it, Jaemin walks up to him with a big, incredibly obnoxious smile on his face and has the absolute nerve to say, "I've always wanted us to get closer, Renjun-ah, so let's get along!"

Renjun simply wants to snap his neck.

"Likewise." He says from between his teeth, forcing himself to smile, lest he might actually kill Jaemin. Though if he really thinks about it, that might not be such a bad idea. He would have to work on the project all by himself, but at least he wouldn't have to deal with Jaemin and his own murderous tendencies (he hasn't killed Donghyuck yet, but he can't say with certainty that he can stop himself when it comes to Jaemin).

"Are you busy now?" Jaemin asks in that sweetened voice of his, the one that grates every last one of Renjun's nerves, "Cause if you aren't I thought we might grab a coffee and talk about our project."

Our project. Renjun's mouth twitches, his smile getting harder and harder to maintain. "I don't drink coffee."

It makes Jaemin laugh and the fact that he seems completely unaffected by Renjun's barely contained hostility towards him annoys him even more. "Tea then."

"I don't drink tea either."

"Then how about grabbing something to eat? There's a hotpot place nearby and Donghyuckie said it's one of your favourites."

Renjun should have strangled Donghyuck when he had the chance. "You know, I actually am busy. I have another class to get to so I should go before I'm late."

He actually doesn't. This class is the only one he has for today and he was actually planning on grabbing something to eat, but he'd sooner be caught dead than seen around on what might as well be called a date with Na Jaemin.

Jaemin makes a tiny sound of disappointment, something that could maybe, maybe be cute if a baby did it, but that's absolutely horrible to hear coming from him. Renjun barely stops himself from gagging.

"Mm, it can't be helped then." Jaemin says with a sigh that manages to be both dramatic and subdued and that only gets worse when a clearly disappointed smile curls on his face. "But we can always go out some other day, so don't be too disappointed, Renjun-ah!"

Renjun's blood boils. He doesn't even manage to think of a reply, purely trying to get himself to calm down before he does something he wouldn't really regret, but that would definitely get him in trouble. It seems that Jaemin is not expecting one in the first place, patting Renjun's shoulder with a grin before he turns around and leaves with a cheery wave.

It takes a bit more time before Renjun manages to get himself to move, throwing a glance at Jaemin who is already chatting up someone else with the same identical grin before shaking his head and leaving. If Renjun manages to not end up in jail before they turn in their project, he should get an award or something.

Before this, he has only talked with Jaemin a total of three times. It wasn't by choice, Renjun would rather choose death than interact with him, but the first time was an accident and the other two were orchestrated by Donghyuck himself, the absolute menace, since they seem to have quite a few common friends for some cursed reason.

He didn't even hate Jaemin before they met, not really at least. He had heard of him, had even seen him around, but Renjun simply didn't care about him. Alas, it only took one very disastrous first meeting for Renjun's feelings to go from indifference to murder.

He was just minding his own business really, but it just so happened that it was one of his very rare unlucky days– if Renjun really thinks about it, they all seem to have Jaemin in common. Donghyuck had caught a cold despite being the biggest dumbass Renjun knows and with an overdramatic cry he asked Renjun to buy him hot chocolate, lest he'd drop down and die.

It didn't seem like such a bad thing, but Mark was also there, cuddling Donghyuck's pathetic ass and he immediately offered to be the one to buy drinks for all of them. Renjun should have let him go, but since Mark was weirdly good at taming Donghyuck without even meaning to, he decided to be a good friend for once and go buy the damn hot chocolate.

He should have known that acts of kindness are never worth it as it started raining as soon as he went out and the closest coffee place ended up being closed for some goddamn reason, so he had to walk through the rain like an idiot for some stupid hot chocolate that he could have made himself.

By the time he reached an actually open coffee shop, he was drenched and murderous. And to make things even worse, he realised after he ordered that he had forgotten his damn wallet back at the dorms. The lady at the counter was looking at him with clear pity, but there was nothing Renjun could do besides apologise and tell her that he'd like to cancel his order.

"Oh no, don't cancel it." A voice came from behind Renjun and he blinked as someone reached around him to swipe his card. "I'll pay for it."

Renjun's brows raised as high as they could and he turned around as the lady at the counter whispered a tiny 'oh my' and covered her mouth. Rather than 'oh my' he felt that 'what the hell' was actually a more fitting reaction.

The man that decided to pay for him was not some random, creepy, older man, but rather someone Renjun even shared a class with, an awfully pretty boy whose name he might have even remembered on a better day. The fact that he was both good looking and his age made Renjun even more confused as to why he would even offer to pay for him and even more than that, it just made him feel embarrassed.

"Thank you for offering, but I'll just cancel the order." Renjun said tightly. He was not going to be made fun of, not today and not by any pretty boys.

Pretty Boy smiled, a wide smile that showed his teeth and made him look even more handsome, and paid nonetheless, as if he didn't even hear Renjun. He even turned to smile encouragingly at the lady serving them, motioning that it's okay for her to make the drinks. Even though Renjun expressly said he didn't want them anymore.

"There's no need to hold back, we all forget our wallets sometimes."

For some reason, that pissed Renjun off. If he forgot his damn wallet he just wasn't going to have the damn drinks, he didn't need anyone to take care of him. "I didn't forget my wallet," he said a bit too sharply, "I just realised I don't want anything to drink anymore."

Pretty Boy laughed, "It's okay, no need to be shy, just consider this my treat."

The lady behind the counter made another sound, something like a squeal, and Renjun had to clench his jaw not to snap at her. If she liked Pretty Boy so much, she should have just had the drinks instead.

"I'm not shy. Thank you for buying the drinks, but you can just keep them." Renjun said. He should have probably been a bit more polite to a person he was talking to for the first time, but something about Pretty Boy just didn't sit right with him, be it the selfless act or the charming smile.

When the drinks were ready he immediately reached for them, fully intent on giving them to Pretty Boy, but, for some reason, his hands decided to fuck up his entire life. He not only managed to drop one of them, but also spill the other one all over himself and he could physically feel his face burning as the counter lady made a surprised sound and Pretty Boy calmly reached for him with a laugh.

He didn't even have it in himself to react, so he just dumbly stared at Pretty Boy as he took the now mostly empty drinks out of his hands and started wiping at his fingers. Renjun only managed to gather himself when Pretty Boy told the lady to make another identical set of drinks and his earlier annoyance suddenly ignited in him with a spark.

"I told you I didn't want the drinks anymore!" Renjun snapped, his stupid now hot chocolate wet shirt sticking to his skin.

"Now, now," Pretty Boy said, possibly trying to calm Renjun down but somehow managing to make him even angrier, "How about we go to the bathroom to wash off the rest of the chocolate, while she makes another one, hm?"

Renjun was not a goddamn stupid fucking baby, he didn't need Pretty Boy to fucking coo at him. "No." He said sharply, but Pretty Boy must have been deaf or something because his smile didn't even twitch.

He just easily grabbed Renjun's hand and pulled him along. Renjun was so shocked he couldn't even protest, simply stewing in his anger as Pretty Boy started washing his hands for him with that annoying smile of his.

"See? Isn't that better?"

"Absolutely not." Renjun said, his glare softening into something like confusion when Pretty Boy took off his jacket and reached for the hem of his sweater, "What the hell are you doing?"

"Your shirt is wet." He said, as if that explained everything. Renjun watched as he took his sweater off, leaving him in only a thin tank top, before putting his jacket back on and offering his sweater to Renjun.

"What do you want me to do with that?"

Pretty Boy fucking laughed again and at this point jail was starting to seem like a fair price to pay for murdering someone.

"I'll be waiting outside while you put it on." Pretty Boy said gently and Renjun was fully convinced that the simulation was glitching and Pretty Boy was talking to a parallel universe Renjun who was smiling back at him. It made Renjun gag.

He briefly considered just going out of the bathroom like this and throwing the sweater at Pretty Boy's head, but his already wet shirt was sticking to him disgustingly and he really didn't feel like walking back home like this. And putting on the soft dry sweater genuinely made him feel better, the faintly sweet smell of it almost comforting, as opposed to the very person it belonged to.

When he came out, Pretty Boy was waiting for him at the door with the cursed drinks in hands, a smile curving on his face all wide.

"My, it looks very good on you." Pretty Boy said and Renjun almost, almost thanked him before he added in an annoyingly sweet voice, "So good that I'm almost happy you spilled those drinks."

Renjun immediately lamented the fact that murder was illegal.

"I'm not." He said bitingly, taking the drinks from Pretty Boy's hands, the very drinks he was planning to upend on Donghyuck's stupid head. "Thank you for the drinks. And the sweater."

"You're very welcome, Renjun-ah."

Renjun-ah. It felt like a loss somehow, the fact that Renjun didn't remember Pretty Boy's name, but Pretty Boy remembered his even though he had never introduced himself. Renjun turned around to leave, but Pretty Boy made a sound, tapping on his shoulder gently.

"You should have this too." He said when Renjun turned around, handing him an umbrella with that smile of his. Of course mister Prince Charming also had an umbrella when Renjun didn't and of course he was offering it to him. Pretty Boy really was trying his absolute best to embarrass the hell out of him.

Renjun wanted to shove that umbrella up his- "No, thank you, you should use it."

"Nonsense, you should use it. We wouldn't want you or the sweater to get wet again, hm?"

Hm? The fact that Renjun hadn't yet strangled Pretty Boy was a miracle in and of itself, but at this rate, he wasn't sure he was gonna last much longer. It was a real exercise of will to not squish the drinks in his hands and the gratingly annoying fact that Pretty Boy would have probably bought them for him again was the sole motivator to keep himself calm.

"Right." Renjun said from between his teeth, his smile almost painful, "We wouldn't."

Pretty Boy walked him to the door, waving excitedly at him before going the opposite way. It was only halfway to the dorms that Renjun realised that Pretty Boy should have probably gone the same way as him, as they both lived in the dorms, but Renjun very easily chose not to think about it too deeply, as the reason would have most likely just annoyed him.

When he got back to his room, Mark had dozed off, his head pillowed on Donghyuck's chest and mostly covered by the thick blanket Donghyuck stole from Renjun.

"Welcome home, Renjunie!" Donghyuck said a bit too excitedly, his voice loose and raspy, most likely high on cold medicine. He had a wide smile on his face, motioning for Renjun to join him on the bed even as there was clearly no more space, and even though Renjun had been undeniably planning to drown Donghyuck in the hot chocolate he got him, the sight just made him sigh, something like fondness replacing the anger before he could stop it.

"I got you your stupid chocolate. And coffee for Mark-hyung." Renjun said, snorting at Donghyuck's clear excitement, as if he even forgot he asked for them.

"Ah, Renjunie, you really are the bestest friend to exist!"

Donghyuck was genuinely cute only when he was either sleeping or feverish and high on cold medicine and while Renjun saw him sleeping a lot, he very rarely caught colds, much less ones that put him in bed with a fever, so Renjun was going to enjoy this while it lasted.

"I certainly am, aren't I?"

"Mhm, I love you the most," Donghyuck said as he put the drinks on his bedside table, making grabby hands at Renjun instead, "I want kisses now!"

"Then get them from Mark-hyung," Renjun laughed at Donghyuck's exaggerated pout, reaching to pet his mussed up hair. He only caught a glimpse of Donghyuck's mischievous grin before he was suddenly being pulled in the bed with a loud gasp.

It was obviously not made for three people, so Renjun ended up mostly on top of Donghyuck and Mark, much to Donghyuck's glee who immediately started kissing at his face which was now within reach. Between Renjun's protests and Donghyuck's loud kisses, Mark easily stirred awake, a wide, sleepy smile stretching on his face when he met Renjun's eyes.

"Ah, it's Renjunie, welcome back!" Mark said, reaching to ruffle his hair before leaning over and kissing his nose. His face was a bit wrinkled on one side and his smile was loose with sleep, but he looked awfully cute, even more so when he pressed two more kisses to Renjun's cheeks before pressing a sweeter one to Donghyuck's mouth.

"When both of us catch your cold, you better take care of us." Renjun said, flicking Donghyuck's cheek.

"What are you talking about, I always take care of you!"

Mark laughed, pinching his other cheek gently, "Mhm, you sure do."

"In your dreams maybe." Renjun added, earning himself a glare from Donghyuck. The effect was severely diminished by the fact that he was flushed red and currently getting his cheek pinched, but Renjun stuck out his tongue anyway, never one to back down.

"You are being very mean to me when I'm being sick and vulnerable and can do nothing to protect myself!"

"Mm? But your mouth seems to be working just fine, what else would you need?"

"When I can stand up without my head killing me, then you will realise." Donghyuck said, then winced, his expression relaxing a bit when Mark carded a hand through his hair. "But that day is not today."

"Donghyuck-ah, how about we leave the arguing to another day and just sleep right now?" Mark asked gently.

"Nope, I want to drink the chocolate Renjunie got for me!"

The damn chocolate. Renjun suddenly remembered Pretty Boy and the horrible experience he went through because of it and he had to very deeply consider if he really wanted to give Donghyuck his stupid chocolate or not.

"If only you knew the shit I had to endure for your damn drink, you wouldn't even ask for it,"

"If it's a chocolate you suffered for, then I want it even more!"

Mark had to physically stop Renjun from upending it on Donghyuck's head, taking both drinks from his hands to be completely sure there was no danger left.

"If Mark-hyung wasn't here, just know that you'd be dead Lee Donghyuck."

"My, my, how scary." Donghyuck said dramatically, turning his back to Renjun so he could curl against Mark's chest, "Hyung, save me,"

Mark only sighed, very gently tapping Donghyuck's head with the bottom of his drink in what might have been a reprimand, but that only came off as resigned fondness. Renjun could relate. He wanted to kill Donghyuck on most days, maybe even several times a day, but he couldn't really imagine having to live without having Donghyuck around to piss him off.

"Would it physically hurt you if you didn't act like a brat for one second?" Mark asked, earning himself a kiss to the center of his chest and a wide smile.

"Yes." Donghyuck said sweetly, but he did take the drink from Mark's hand and turned to look at Renjun, "Thank you, Renjun-ah!"

"You're insufferable."

"And yet you still love me."

"Shut up and drink your chocolate."

 

✨ ✨ ✨

 

"Donghyuckie, my favourite person in the whole world, how much do you love me?" Renjun asks as soon as he gets to their room, smiling widely when Donghyuck looks up from his laptop, staring over the rim of his glasses for a very long second.

"Depends on what you want."

"Ah, but I'm just asking you how much you love me, is it that hard of a question to answer?"

Donghyuck sighs deeply, "You're really terrible at aegyo, stop before I get sick."

Renjun lounges at him. Donghyuck barely manages to push his laptop out of the way before Renjun's on top of him, reaching for the back of his neck and squeezing until he starts hitting his thigh in surrender.

"I give, I give, I love you the most Renjun-ah!" Renjun huffs, tentatively letting him go, "But you're still horrible at aegyo." Before he grabs him with both hands, ready to commit a crime.

Donghyuck just ends up laughing, horribly amused as Renjun curses at him until they both run out of energy, just stopping to catch their breaths before they burst into laughter when they meet each other's eyes.

"Can't you be good to me for once in your life?" Renjun asks, flopping bonelessly on Donghyuck's chest, his laughter still sticking to his words a bit.

"What do you mean for once? I'm always good to you!"

"Mm, is that right?"

"Of course it is!" Donghyuck says proudly, puffing up his chest.

"Then do me a favour." Renjun says quickly, hoping to trick Donghyuck into saying yes, but he's just as quick at turning him down.

"Nope. Renjun-ah, you have to learn to take responsibility for your actions!"

"You don't even know what I wanted to ask you!"

Donghyuck purses his lips, sitting up a bit so he can meet Renjun's eyes when he speaks, "You want me to do your project for you."

Renjun just stares, so shell-shocked he can't even find words to say as Donghyuck bursts into bright laughter, reaching over to ruffle his hair.

"Are you an esper?"

Donghyuck snorts, "While keeping this up and actually tricking you into believing I'm an esper is funny in its own right, I feel like it would get old fast. You're way too gullible."

"Why do you sound so disappointed?" Renjun snaps, hitting Donghyuck's chest much to his amusement. He always seems to have the most fun when Renjun's angry at him.

"Because it's no fun, Renjun-ah! What's the point of me teasing you when you do all the work for me?" Donghyuck whines, laughing even harder when Renjun reaches for the pillow next to him and makes to press it to his face.

"You're an asshole and you should sleep with an eye open tonight."

Donghyuck's voice comes out muffled, but no less colourful, eventually managing to push the pillow off his face with a huge smile, "Even though you go to sleep earlier than me?"

"I hate you." Renjun says, glaring at the pillow before he throws it to a corner of the room, if only because Donghyuck will have to get up and bring it back later.

"No, you don't. You absolutely love me and couldn't live without me."

"Actually, my life would be so much better without you in it."

"Come back when you learn how to lie properly."

"I'm a great liar, you just don't want to accept the truth."

Donghyuck brings both hands to his chest, his face pulling into a grimace as if he's been hit, "Ouchie, no more favours for Renjunie."

"You already said you wouldn't do me a favour!" Renjun snaps, grabbing Donghyuck's face and squeezing at his cheeks until his pout gets even more pronounced, the sight making him snort.

"Well it was still up for debate until now."

Renjun immediately lets him go, patting at his cheeks gently, "Ah, our cute Donghyuckie, of course I could never live without you, you're the sun that brightens my every day."

"That's too much, Renjun-ah, what drama are you filming?"

"Oh, so it's too much when I say it, but when a drunk Mark's saying it, it's suddenly the sweetest thing you've ever heard!"

"Mark-hyung's cute and he was being honest, you're just trying to use me, you schemer!"

"I have a keen eye for planning! That does not make me a schemer!"

Donghyuck bursts into laughter, "A keen eye, huh? Then you should be completely fine handling your own project."

Renjun opens his mouth to protest, but he's walked straight into this one, Donghyuck's smug grin even more annoying when he's right.

"You can never let me win, can you?"

"And miss your adorably mad face? Never."

"I'll really kill you one of these days."

"Well, good luck living without the sun that brightens your every day."

Renjun huffs, completely defeated, and just flops back on Donghyuck's chest. He earns himself a pat on the head for his efforts, Donghyuck's hand carding in his hair and gently letting his nails drag, sweet despite having just destroyed all of Renjun's hopes and dreams.

"How did you even know about the project? Since you said you weren't an esper."

"Which esper would just come out and say they're one?" Donghyuck asks, laughing when Renjun glares at him, "Sorry, sorry, you just make it too easy, Renjun-ah."

"I'm not even gonna ask you anymore." Renjun says, starting to get up, but Donghyuck just wraps his arms around him and pulls him back down, pressing a kiss to his head.

"I said sorry! I'll tell you for real, promise."

"If you don't, I might actually go ahead and kill you and then you'll have to watch my mother visit me in jail every day from your throne in hell."

"How do you know I'm not going to heaven?" Renjun sits up so he can properly level Donghyuck with a flat look of disbelief. "Fine, fine, I'll just make sure you don't end up in jail."

Renjun sits back down, content with that, "My mom is thankful for that."

"Great lady, your mom, can't wait to meet her again. She makes very delicious food."

"God, stop talking about my mother and just tell me how you knew about my project!"

"Fine, fine, don't snap at me!" Donghyuck says, a pout curving on his face, making Renjun roll his eyes at him.

"So?"

"Jeno came over earlier to hang out, so I was next to him when Jaemin called to tell him about getting paired up with you.” he says with a shrug, “I immediately figured you wouldn't be too happy about that."

"Too happy? It's like my worst nightmare, Donghyuck, I can't even imagine spending time with that annoying little shit."

Donghyuck laughs, always annoyingly happy when Renjun's struggling, "I still don't get why you hate him so much."

"He's insufferable!"

"Well, so are you and I still hang out with you."

"You're worse than me!"

"And yet you still hang out with me. Why not give Jaemin that chance?"

"I really hate it when you act all mature."

Donghyuck makes a pained gasp when Renjun squeezes at his side, a pout sticking to his words when he speaks "I don't act mature, I am mature, Renjun-ah!"

"God, I really can't stand you." Renjun says, "But Jaemin manages to be even worse."

"To be fair, I also believe Jaemin is a different species-"

"Right?"

"But I still like him."

"That's just because you're a weirdo yourself, I shouldn't even be talking to you about this!"

"Mark-hyung likes him too!"

Renjun stops at that. That's a fact he still hasn't wrapped his head around. "That's just because he's been around us for too long, so he forgot what normal people are supposed to act like!"

"So you acknowledge that you're not normal either?"

"I'm better than Na Jaemin!"

Donghyuck laughs, "You can be really stubborn sometimes."

"So do you understand now? Will you help me?"

"And miss the chance to see you struggle? Of course not."

Renjun immediately regrets throwing the pillow away as he has nothing to choke Donghyuck with anymore, "I really, really can't stand you."

"Well, it's fine since you can stand Jaemin even less."

Renjun considers it for maybe two seconds before he starts tickling Donghyuck. Normally, that's off limits– Renjun's pretty sure Donghyuck made him sign a contract or something– but in war nothing's illegal, so he goes for his weak spots with no remorse. Donghyuck immediately melts into loud giggles, trying to push Renjun off of him, but failing each time as he just can't calm himself down enough to properly muster the strength necessary.

Renjun only stops when he runs out of stamina, flopping back on top of a very heavily breathing Donghyuck.

"Tonight you should find a different room to sleep in 'cause I'm throwing your bed out the window." Donghyuck says breathlessly.

"Let's be real, we both know you can barely move that bed."

"I'll get people who can and then you'll see."

"Mm, I'll just sleep in your bed then." Renjun says cutely, without immediately realising that any aegyo battle is a losing one when it comes to Donghyuck.

"Ah, really?" Donghyuck asks in the same jarringly sweet tone, "That's fine too since I'll have who to hug and kiss before going to sleep. Mark-hyung says that I tend to get inappropriately touchy in my sleep, but since you love me so much, I'm sure you wouldn't mind."

He drives in his point by squishing Renjun's cheeks and pulling him in for a wet kiss, but Renjun manages to cover his mouth before he gets to do any damage, rolling off of him swiftly. Donghyuck rolls him the rest of the way until Renjun falls to the floor with a loud thump.

"Maybe you are worse than Na Jaemin." Renjun grumbles, much to Donghyuck's amusement.

"So just go and enjoy his company then, Renjun-ah, no need to be stubborn about it!"

So of course Renjun does his absolute best to avoid Jaemin as much as possible. It's not really that hard, they only share one class and Renjun's fairly good at leaving early, before Jaemin even thinks of speaking to him, and their friends mostly hang out with them separately. Renjun's pretty sure it's not from the goodness of their heart– he knows for a fact Donghyuck would set them up everyday if he could– but thankfully they seem to have different enough schedules.

That would prove to be an actual problem if Renjun chose to be reasonable and decided to work together with Jaemin on this project, but since he's not, it works out for the best.

Of course, good things have to come to an end at some point and even though Renjun was planning on fully avoiding even the sight of Jaemin until like a day or two before they had to hand in their project, real life doesn't work quite as conveniently. What's worse is that he ends up getting betrayed by the person he least expected.

"Ah, Renjun-ah, welcome back!" Mark greets him brightly. He visits their room often enough that he's become a common, fairly pleasant sight at this point, more so than Donghyuck's annoying face will ever be, but what is not common, nor in the slightest bit pleasant, is the sight of Jaemin next to him.

He's smiling that wide, horribly annoying smile of his, waving at Renjun when they make eye contact.

"I'm back." Renjun manages to get out, forcing himself to smile as he tries to suppress the strong urge to just turn around and leave. Mark seems to immediately notice that something is off, frowning before glancing at Jaemin's still brightly smiling face.

"Is this a bad time for you? I'm sorry, you're probably tired and we just came like this all of a sudden." Mark says, already making to get up, "I asked Donghyuck if it was okay and he said you wouldn't mind, but I probably should have asked you anyway."

Of course Donghyuck would say that, of course he would. Every single day Renjun regrets not having killed him. He doesn't want Mark to feel this bad about something that's not even his fault though, when he probably only had good intentions by bringing the one man Renjun would rather die than see in his dorm room, so he easily shakes his head.

"No, no, it's okay, hyung, you don't have to leave." Renjun says and the smile that curls on his face at Mark's wide eyes is genuine, "I am a bit tired, but I don't mind you visiting, so make yourselves comfortable."

"Are you sure? We can just come back some other day if you're not feeling it."

Renjun is never gonna be feeling any kind of interaction with Jaemin for as long as he lives, so he might as well just get it over with.

"I'm really sure, today's as good a day as any." Renjun says, making his way to the fridge in the corner of the room and pointedly not looking at Jaemin. "Do you want anything to drink?"

"Ah, Donghyuck said he was gonna buy drinks for all of us on his way home, so you don't have to bother."

Of course the one time Donghyuck decides to do a good deed is specifically the one time Renjun would have wanted him not to, as fixing drinks for all of them would have been a welcome distraction and an excuse to not make conversation for just a while longer. Alas, Donghyuck chose to be a good man for once in his life, so Renjun's stuck sitting down next to Jaemin.

"So what brings the two of you here?" Renjun asks, barely stopping himself from grimacing at his overly formal tone.

"Well, I was talking to Jaeminnie over here and he told me he hadn't gotten the chance to ask for your phone number," Even if he had the chance, Renjun wouldn't have given it to him. "And since I heard you were supposed to be working on a project together, I thought I might give it to him, you know, after asking for permission, since I see you quite often."

Renjun blinks, "Did you? I don't remember if you did." He's pretty sure he would remember something like that, even more so if it concerned Jaemin, "Or did you tell that stupid brat Donghyuck to ask me?"

"No, no, Jaemin said he'd rather just ask you for it himself, since he didn't want you to be uncomfortable." Mark says, petting Jaemin's head with a gentle smile. Renjun barely stops himself from gagging. "So I offered to bring him to your room, since you could talk comfortably here."

Comfortably. Renjun thinks he and Mark may have very different definitions of what classifies as comfortable, but since Mark only does things with good intentions, Renjun can't find it in himself to be mad at him. The anger easily comes when he thinks of Donghyuck, who could have at least warned him if he knew, but that will have to wait for now.

"Good thinking, hyung," Renjun lies easily, "I was planning on talking to Jaemin too, but I just didn't get the chance." At least he made sure not to.

Jaemin smiles when their eyes meet and Renjun very suddenly realises that Jaemin hasn't said a thing ever since he came in. It's a weird sort of realisation, one that doesn't really match his image of Jaemin, the obnoxious pretty boy whose very existence annoys Renjun, and he finds himself frowning at him. Jaemin immediately mirrors his expression, reaching to touch his face.

"Do I have something on my face?"

Renjun schools his expression into something a little more neutral, "No, no, I was just thinking you're being very quiet."

Jaemin just shrugs, rubbing at the back of his neck with an almost bashful expression. Renjun feels faint. What even is with this shy schoolgirl and when is he going to wake up from this unexpected nightmare?

Mark reaches over to pet Jaemin's hair again, the same fondness colouring his expression, "Our Jaeminnie can be a little shy, Renjun-ah, so don't be too harsh on him."

Renjun blinks. He's fairly certain he knows the meaning of each individual word, but put together like that they make absolutely no sense no matter how hard he stares at Mark.

"Ah, hyung, I'm not shy!"

"You're no Donghyuck either, even though he keeps saying you're a different breed or something like that. I just think you're all cute."

"Mark-hyung, this is very serious, I think you may have spent too much time around us." Renjun says seriously, putting one hand on Mark's shoulder and shaking his head.

Mark laughs at that, a bright laugh that's so Donghyuck that Renjun can't help but smile too, "Maybe I have, but I don't think it's a bad thing. You're all very fun to be around."

Jaemin glances at him then, his almost awkward earlier smile being replaced with a sunnier one, a certain mischief glinting in his eyes, as if he's sharing a secret with Renjun. And Renjun has no idea what the secret is supposed to be, but for a second he wishes he did, for a second he almost forgets that Jaemin's supposed to be insufferable and he genuinely smiles back.

"Hyung, it's illegal to be this cute!" Jaemin says in that sweetened voice of his and Renjun bursts into laughter when he jumps Mark, the both of them ending up halfway in his lap. He's trying to either kiss or bite Mark, his hands sneaking under his shirt to tickle him and Renjun's all too willing to hold Mark down as he melts into manic laughter.

He's so focused he barely even notices the door banging open until Donghyuck's gasping loudly next to him.

"Ah, Donghyu-" Mark begins to say, but another wave of giggles takes over him as Jaemin blows a kiss against his tummy. They probably make quite a sight, from Renjun holding Mark's hands down to Jaemin pushing his shirt up so he can tickle him to tears.

"Without me?" Donghyuck asks around a pout that easily curves into a smile when Mark's laughter gets even louder, tapping at Jaemin's shoulder for a break.

When he finally pulls back, Mark looks like a wreck, his face flushed and his hair in complete disarray with a shirt that's more off than on and tears clinging to his lashes as he tries to calm his laughter down. He's breathing very heavily and it takes him three tries before he manages to greet Donghyuck.

"Welcome back," Mark says breathlessly and Donghyuck just snorts and reaches to mess his hair up even more, an awfully sweet smile curving on his face.

"I see you're having fun without me, like traitors."

"Oh so we are the traitors now, even though you set-" Donghyuck shoves a straw inside Renjun's mouth, easily shutting him up with a wide smile.

"Renjun-ah, you seem very thirsty, so look at what your favourite person got for you!"

Renjun has half a mind to just spit it out at him, but since they're not alone he settles for a glare. Donghyuck sticks out his tongue at him before he turns to offer the other two their drinks with a smile.

"Here's hyung's drink and here's Jaemin's disgusting death potion."

Jaemin laughs, taking it out of Donghyuck's hand with a smile, "It's really not that bad."

That makes Donghyuck snort and he easily takes the drink back before offering it to Renjun for some reason, "Taste that and tell me if it's not a death potion."

"Why would I taste a fucking death potion?"

"Renjun-ah, ignore Donghyuck, it's really not that bad." Jaemin adds and now Renjun wants to try it even less.

"To be fair, it is horrible." Mark says, "Maybe not death potion level, but not far from it either."

"Have you all tried it?"

"Not by choice." Donghyuck says quickly, earning himself an incredulous look from Mark.

"Oh yes, it was by choice! Jungwoo and I were the ones who had no choice in the matter, you willingly decided to drink it!"

"Jaemin said it was his favourite drink! How was I supposed to know that this cute face of his was hiding such tastes?"

"If none of you are gonna drink it, just give it back to me." Jaemin says with a laugh, but Renjun immediately moves it out of his reach.

"No!" Both Donghyuck and Renjun say. He doesn't want to listen to Donghyuck, but he wants to listen to Jaemin even less, so he takes a deep breath before he takes one big sip out of Jaemin's supposed death potion.

Mark cringes before the taste even registers for Renjun, but when it does he can't help but mirror his expression, his nose scrunching up as he coughs a bit at the overwhelming bitterness. It's not so much a death potion as it is just plain disgusting, something Renjun can't imagine anyone drinking for pleasure.

He immediately reaches for Donghyuck's overly sweet frappuccino, rinsing his mouth with what might as well be liquid sugar before giving both drinks back to their owners.

"It is a death potion." Renjun says with another tiny cough, "How many shots of coffee does it even have?"

"Eight." Jaemin answers brightly.

"At this hour?" Renjun would say that even one shot of coffee is excessive at 6pm, but eight just seem outright unreal.

"Mhm."

"Can you even sleep after?"

"Not really."

"Then you should stop drinking it!" Mark says, glancing between Jaemin and his drink like he's considering just taking it away from him.

"But I like it! And I'm not able to sleep anyway."

"That's just because you drink too much coffee in general!"

"Now, now, Mark-hyung, we all know Jaeminnie's an alien, so there's no use trying to argue common sense into him."

"Stop talking as if you're not the same!"

"No, no, he's a different breed."

Renjun snorts, "But the same species."

"Which Renjun is also part of." Donghyuck adds, sticking his tongue out at Renjun.

"Well, it's fine since Mark-hyung said he finds all of us cute." Jaemin says sweetly.

"Yah, I didn't- I mean, you are cute, but-"

"Aw, hyung, no need to be embarrassed, you're also very cute," Donghyuck says, throwing himself in Mark's arms and almost spilling both of their drinks.

Renjun shakes his head, a fond smile curling on his face even as he meets Jaemin's eyes. Jaemin's also grinning, but it's a bit different than the usual wide princely smile Renjun has seen before, more genuine somehow, warmer. It makes something flutter in his chest, a warm kind of something, and he easily concludes that it must be anger, even the mere thought of Jaemin's cursed charms working on him pissing him off.

"Ah, right," Mark says once he's managed to more or less push Donghyuck off, "Since we're all gathered like this would you want to watch a movie with me? It's for Jungwoo's assignment and he asked me if I could help him with it."

"What kind of assignment is making your friends watch a movie?" Renjun asks and Mark only shrugs.

"I mean, you don't have to watch it if you don't want to."

"I wanna watch it." Jaemin says, "Watching movies is fun and helping Jungwoo-hyung along the way is a great bonus."

Renjun has to stop himself from clenching his jaw too hard. Helping Jungwoo-hyung is a great bonus. Even the tone of his voice makes him want to throw up. Donghyuck, that sharp, annoying, little man, immediately notices, reaching over to pat his shoulder with a serious expression before whispering in his ear.

"It's okay, Renjun-ah, not everybody can be as princely as Jaeminnie." Renjun pinches Donghyuck's side, higher up where he's the most sensitive, making him yelp, "I'm sorry, you're the most princely man- Ahh, I said I'm sorry!"

Renjun only squeezes for a moment longer before he realises that both Mark and Jaemin are staring. Donghyuck may have whispered the first part so only he could hear it, but he basically screamed the second one, making it very clear that Renjun's forcing him to call him princely.

Renjun flushes, involuntarily letting Donghyuck go and the little bastard immediately hurries to explain the situation.

"Renjunie over here really likes being called a prince!" He says with a grin, "It was a secret, but now that you know I hope you will accept him for who he is."

"Oh, really? Renjun-ah do you want me to call you prince from now on?" Jaemin asks seriously.

"I fucking hate you." Renjun tells Donghyuck before he turns to Jaemin with as sweet of a smile as he can muster, "Sure, but just know that I will end your life if you do."

Jaemin's eyes widen for a second before he starts laughing and Renjun's not sure if that means he got the message or if he'll just be randomly called prince by Na Jaemin himself when he least expects it.

"But being called little prince is pretty cute." Mark says after a pause, as if he's been seriously contemplating it.

"Hyung, please, I'm begging, don't give them ideas!"

"No, but don't you think it is? Like, a cute pet name?"

"Aw, hyung, if you like it so much you can always call me your little prince." Donghyuck says, blowing Mark a kiss even though he's literally within actual kissing distance.

"Rather than a prince, you're more like a palace clown."

Donghyuck gasps, pressing two hands to his chest and falling back as if he's been shot, making all of them burst into laughter, "What an unexpected attack, please try to be gentler with me!"

"No, what I mean is, like, even though you look like a prince, you like making people laugh and feel good more than, like, intimidating them, you know, the way princes tend to do."

Donghyuck immediately recovers. "So what I'm hearing is that you think I'm pretty enough to be royalty."

"That's what you got from all of that?" Mark says around his laughter, but he doesn't really tell Donghyuck that he's wrong.

"What I got from that is that you're a clown." Renjun interrupts smoothly, "So please mind the other people in the room and don't start fucking right now."

Mark's entire face flushes at that, all the way to his ears and Renjun almost, almost feels bad about it. "It's not like- We weren't gonna- I was just saying."

"Don't worry, hyung, it's not you that I don't trust, it's this man that always looks one second away from jumping you."

Donghyuck poses with a v sign when Renjun points at him, sticking his tongue out at the same time as Renjun and making both of them laugh.

"I mean, we could leave." Jaemin says with a shrug and Mark chokes on his own breath.

"No, no, Jaemin-ah, we're really not gonna do anything, so neither of you have to leave."

"I mean, this is my room so if anyone had to leave it would certainly be Donghyuck."

"Yah, it's my room too! Kick Mark-hyung out if you don't want me to jump him!"

"You can't be in the same room as him without jumping him? Are you in heat?"

"Maybe I am! What if I jump you tonight?"

"What I think," Mark interrupts them smoothly, "Is that nobody is gonna be jumping anybody."

Renjun opens his mouth to argue his point some more, but then he meets Donghyuck's eyes and he looks just as ready as him to keep going and somehow they both end up laughing. It's not rare that they have these kinds of completely useless arguments which just spin in circles, but they don't really have them with an audience that often.

"Good thinking." Donghyuck says with a grin, high fiving Mark.

It does take a bit longer, but ultimately they do manage to settle down enough to watch a movie. They all end up squished together on Donghyuck's bed and it takes them almost four hours to watch an hour and a half movie because each time they burst out into laughter and start being noisy, Mark just rewinds to the earlier scene so he can focus.

There's one scene that Renjun swears they watch ten times because not only can they not stop themselves from laughing, but Donghyuck suddenly realises that he has to pee and when he comes back Jaemin also needs to go and then they all need to go and by the time they finally manage to watch the scene start to end, they're all breathless from laughing too much.

It's definitely not a movie any of them will forget any time soon, but Renjun wouldn't be able to describe the plot even if someone put a gun to his head.

"Well, I don't think I'll be much help for Jungwoo." Mark says as the credits roll by and they all burst into laughter again.

"We could watch it again." Donghyuck offers, making a very pained noise when Renjun elbows him.

"Or we could watch another movie, you know, like normal people."

"I thought we agreed that we're not normal people."

"That aside," Mark says, giggling when Donghyuck fakes a sob at being so easily brushed off, "I think it's getting quite late and Renjunie and I have early classes tomorrow, so maybe we should leave it for another time?"

"Aw hyung, did you memorise my schedule?" Renjun asks.

"Mm? Yeah, I mean, I come over so often that it just naturally stuck."

"Oh no, that's so sweet, I love you, Mark-hyung."

"Yah, Renjun-ah, stop copying me!" Donghyuck says suddenly.

"Why? Are you the only one allowed to like him?"

"Yes! You have to keep it to yourself even if he's the sweetest, best person alive!"

Mark laughs at that, flushing as he rubs at the back of his head, "I mean, it's not that big of a deal, it's just- It just happened naturally."

"I bet Donghyuck doesn't know it." Renjun says immediately, only realising a second later that Jaemin also said the same thing. They both burst into laughter when their eyes meet and Renjun even high fives him since for now teasing Donghyuck is more fun than hating on Jaemin.

"What are you saying, of course I know our lovely Renjunie's schedule."

"Yeah? Then when's my first class tomorrow?"

Donghyuck huffs, "In the morning, of course." he says confidently, "How would I not know?"

"Specifically at what hour?"

"Specifically- Who cares as long as I know that it's in the morning?"

"I bet Mark-hyung knows."

"No he doesn't!" Donghyuck says, then turns to look at Mark who easily confirms that he does indeed know, "Then fine, it's eight in the morning!"

They all burst into laughter. Coincidentally, it's the class Renjun shares with Jaemin, so besides Donghyuck it just so happens that they all know the answer.

"It's nine, Donghyuck-ah, but that was very close." Mark says, ruffling Donghyuck's hair and smiling when he pouts. He almost leans in to kiss him before he seems to remember they're not alone and he settles for simply patting his cheek.

"How do you know anyway?" Donghyuck snaps, "Do you even know my schedule that well?"

"He's been complaining about this class every week, it would be hard not to remember. And I have yours written next to mine." Mark says easily.

It makes Donghyuck's pout melt into a reluctant smile, his mouth twitching as he tries to stop it from growing any bigger, "Then that's fine, I guess." He says cutely and Renjun doesn't stop himself from loudly gagging.

"Yah, Lee Donghyuck, stop that before I throw up,"

"The bathroom is that- Ouch, ow, I'm sorry, I give, I'm sorry!"

Renjun lets him go with a huff. Sometimes he wonders if Donghyuck enjoys this and that's why he keeps trying to annoy Renjun, so that he'll retaliate. He wouldn't put it past him.

"Ah, but hyung are you gonna sleep over tonight?" Renjun asks, closing the laptop and gently putting it on the bedside table before slowly extracting himself from their pile.

"Mm, no, I think I'll just go back to my room." Mark says, but doesn't make any real move to get up.

Despite how many times Mark comes over, he very rarely sleeps over since he doesn't want to leave Jungwoo alone for too long. Of course, that also means that Jungwoo visits almost as often as him, but Renjun doesn't really mind either of them, even more so compared to Donghyuck who makes him consider murder at least five times a day.

"Ah, then I'll go too." Jaemin says softly. His voice sounds different somehow, lower and just a bit raspier and for the briefest of seconds Renjun wonders if that's just his normal voice and he purposely makes it annoying or if he's just tired. It makes no sense that a person could be tired after drinking eight straight shots of coffee, but Renjun wouldn't be surprised at all if he found out Jaemin isn't even a real human.

He stares at him for a bit longer as he maneuvers his way out of the bed, looking away like a damn coward when their eyes meet and then immediately forcing himself to look back at him. Jaemin seems wholly unaware of his internal struggle, having already moved on as he stretches out his back before yawning and overall giving the vibe of one tired man.

"I'll come with you, Jaemin-ah, just wait a second." Mark says, very clearly reluctant to move.

Jaemin considers him for a second before he glances at Renjun for some reason, "Take your time, hyung, I'll just have Renjunie here take me to my room."

He'll have- "What." Is the only thing Renjun manages to get out before Jaemin's grabbing his wrist and pulling him out of the room with a quick goodbye to Donghyuck and Mark.

"What the fuck." Renjun says once the door clicks shut behind them, his wrist annoyingly warm where Jaemin's got his fingers wrapped around it. He's contemplating between telling Jaemin to fuck off and asking him what the fuck one more time to really get his point across when Jaemin easily lets him go, an almost shy fucking smile curving on his face.

"Sorry, I just thought it would be better to let them have a moment. You know, alone."

"Yeah, but that's also my room." Renjun deadpans, pointing behind him. He's sure Jaemin is only made of glitter and good intentions or whatever, but it really, really feels like he's just out here to annoy the living hell out of Renjun.

He could just go back inside. It might not be too late yet. But is he really willing to walk in on a potentially way too passionate kiss and have to either awkwardly ignore it or just simply leave the room again? Or maybe even worse, have Mark feel like he has to apologise for the next three days for something that's not even his fault? The answer is very clearly no, so all that's left is for him to glare at Jaemin and hope he can will him out of existence.

"Yeah, I'm sorry. I probably should have asked you first." Jaemin says, not so much as flickering out of existence no matter how hard Renjun's trying to manifest it, "You could probably go back in if you wanted and I'm sure they'll stop. At least Mark-hyung will for sure."

Renjun sighs very deeply. "Where's your room?"

"Hm? On the third floor. Why?"

"I'm planning on setting it on fire." Renjun says flatly, sighing yet again when Jaemin only blinks at him, tilting his head a bit in confusion, "I'm saying I'll walk you to it. Now move."

"That's very sweet, Renjun-ah, thank you." Jaemin says in that saccharine tone of his, making every hair on Renjun's body stand up.

"Shut up or I'll change my mind and then when I have to join the two lovebirds, it'll be on you."

"Donghyuck might be into that."

And Renjun can't help but laugh at that, his frown melting easily because he knows for a fact that he is. Somehow the familiarity of it makes him forget for a second that it's Jaemin he's dealing with and that he hates his guts, "He actually might. Mark-hyung would be confused at first, but with a bit of convincing he would go along with Donghyuck."

"I think that's just how they are in any given situation."

"Yeah, two idiots combining to make a bigger one."

"But they're cute."

"That's their only saving grace."

"They're pretty funny too."

"Only sometimes. They're very annoying too so it's only right that they have a few redeeming traits so people don't just kill them."

That makes Jaemin burst into laughter, a bright, full sound that's almost as annoying as his smile, but that Renjun can't help but reciprocate, their shoulders touching as they lean into each other. It's quite a strange feeling that flutters to life in his stomach and it's unfamiliar enough that Renjun wants to squeeze the very life out of it.

It seems going down from the fifth floor to the third takes even less time than Renjun thought and they reach Jaemin's room fairly quickly. It should probably be a relief, but Renjun's almost mad at himself for not feeling that. Most likely because now he'll have to go back to his room and deal with whatever he finds there.

"Would you like to come in?" Jaemin asks before Renjun has the chance to tell him goodbye, "I mean, since Mark-hyung probably hasn't left your room yet."

Renjun briefly considers what the lesser evil is between being alone in a closed room with Jaemin and being alone in a closed room with hot and bothered Mark and Donghyuck.

Jaemin wins by a very tiny margin.

"Just for a bit." Renjun acquiesces, barely stopping himself from rolling his eyes when Jaemin holds the door for him to go first.

His room is just as big as theirs, which is not really surprising, but the way it's arranged confuses Renjun for a second before he realises why. There's no second bed, the place where it would have been occupied by a desk and a few plants.

"You don't have a roommate." Renjun says, lilting it a bit to at least give the impression of a question.

"Not anymore, no. I used to share a room with Jeno, but now he's in the other dorm so I'm alone." Jaemin says with a shrug, throwing himself back on the bed as Renjun takes the time to look around. He's not really curious, so much as a bit impressed with how proper the room looks, since he really was expecting the twisted den of some alien. It's surprising really, not only how clean it is but how not Jaemin it's decorated, from the several plants, to the guitar lying around, to the figures, the two laptops and the colourful notebooks.

"You say that like it's a bad thing." Renjun says, just a bit distracted by the pretty fairy lights strung above and around the desk.

"Mm, it's not really, but it can get pretty lonely sometimes."

"Change with me then, Donghyuck is like a loneliness repellant."

Jaemin laughs, having sat up on his elbows to observe Renjun as he meticulously explores every corner of the room, "Wouldn't you be lonely then? You seem like you'd miss Donghyuck."

"That little hell imp?" Renjun snorts, "I'd be glad to be rid of him."

Jaemin hums, very clearly not buying it, and lets himself fall back down on the bed, seemingly content to just let Renjun poke around until he gets bored.

"But you sure do like plants." Renjun says, moving the tray of succulents on the windowsill just a bit so he can sit next to them. He could look around a bit more, but being too curious may come off as rude even if Jaemin couldn't more obviously not care.

"They aren't mine." Jaemin says easily, laughing at the weird look Renjun gives him, "I mean, they're kinda mine now, but they weren't originally. Jeno really likes plants so he filled our room with them, like filled, way more than it is now, and then when he had to move he just told me to take care of some since he can't take all of them."

"Oh, yeah, Jeno's room was also full of plants, now that I think about it."

"The plants love him, he's really super good at caring for them." Jaemin says with a tiny, private smile that makes Renjun frown for some reason, shaking the weird feeling away before he can even try to make sense of it.

"You seem pretty good yourself. They all look quite healthy."

"Mm, you think so? Jeno drops by quite often to check on them so I do try my best so he doesn't kill me. Mark-hyung comes over often too. He's the one that gave me the lights and the cute notebooks."

And it adds up suddenly, the reason the room looks so surprising, because it doesn't really feel like a room in which only Jaemin lives, but rather a more lively one, with people dropping by and leaving tiny pieces behind– it feels full and awfully familiar. Renjun expected it to be annoying, just like Jaemin, but it's warm and comfortable and for just a second, a very tiny second, Jaemin's smile looks just as warm.

"Ah, we have notebooks from Mark-hyung in our room too. He even started using some of them himself, said that his inspiration would run away if he didn't write down his ideas when they came."

"Yeah, he's pretty cool when he just suddenly sits down to write his thoughts. He doesn't let me read them though."

"Me neither. I don't think he even lets Donghyuck read them. It's kinda funny how he just leaves them lying around and yet fully trusts us not to look through them."

Jaemin laughs, stretching his arms above him before crossing them under his head, his smile lingering even as the laughter fades out. His shirt has ridden up from the movement, revealing a soft strip of skin and a thin, dark trail of hair. It's almost weird, seeing the dark hair when Jaemin's head is so bright, the blue unmistakable even in the soft, dim lighting of the fairy lights.

"And yet I actually haven't looked through one. Have you?"

If it were Donghyuck on the bed instead, Renjun wouldn't hesitate to just blow a raspberry on the newly revealed skin, sliding his hands under his shirt and just tickling him until he's crying from laughter, but it feels different somehow, maybe the situation, or just the mood in general, so Renjun just forces himself to look away. It's probably just the shitty lightning combined with the late hour.

"Nope. I don't think Hyuck has either, even though he likes to tease Mark-hyung about it."

"He just likes to tease him about everything."

"To be fair, it's kinda hard not to since he's so cute when he's getting teased."

"That's fair. I almost always forget he's supposed to be a hyung because of it." Jaemin says, stifling a yawn behind his hand, looking for all intents and purposes like a tired little man, not like someone who has supposedly drunk eight shots of coffee. Renjun would even think they were fucking with him if he hadn't tasted it himself.

It is indeed pretty late, though, and he finds himself yawning too. He's been up since early morning and it's catching up to him fast, even more so since he has to wake up early tomorrow too.

"Do you think Mark-hyung has gone back to his room?" Renjun asks, hopping off the windowsill and patting at his pants.

Jaemin doesn't move, but he does glance at him, a tiny smile still pulling at the corners of his mouth, "Probably. And if he hasn't, you could just come back and sleep here. My clothes would probably be too big on you, but looser pajamas are easier to sleep in."

"You're very funny," Renjun deadpans, "but I'll just go back to my room and kick hyung out if he hasn't left already."

It makes Jaemin laugh as he finally sits up, meeting Renjun's eyes with a sleepy smile, "I wasn't kidding." he says gently, "But good luck with that."

"What, you don't think I can kick him out?"

"No, I'm sure you can, I just don't think you'll have to. If you walk in on them, hyung will probably just run away and then he won't be able to look you in the eye for at least a month."

Renjun snorts, "You're probably right."

"So you could just sleep here." Jaemin says with a shrug, leaning on the door frame as Renjun turns around to look at him.

"What's with you and sleeping over?"

Jaemin just shrugs again, "It's more fun."

"Then maybe next time." Renjun finds himself saying before he can even stop himself. It's probably the late hour, or Jaemin's sleepy face and loose voice, the annoying, sticky cuteness having melted somewhere along the way to something lower, but he can't really find it in himself to be mean.

"Hm, it's a promise then."

Well, Renjun can just pretend to forget about it. "Sure." He says, waving goodbye and turning around to leave before he agrees to any other stupid preposition.

"Ah, Renjun-ah, wait!" Jaemin says suddenly and Renjun stops, turns around with a frown. "Your phone number. I forgot to ask you for it."

It turns out Renjun has also forgotten his phone back in his room, but ultimately they do manage to exchange numbers, and when he finally gets back to a thankfully Mark free room, he's not sure if he should regret his decision or be amused when he sees the messages he got from Jaemin.

This is Jaeminnie❤️❤️❤️

Sleep tight Renjun-ah❤️🥺❤️

He decides on regret.

It only gets worse when Jaemin decides to use his number to actually communicate with him, asking Renjun when he's free and when they should meet up to talk about their project. In Renjun's opinion, they could have decided on those things at the end of their class or something, no need for Na Jaemin to have his number, but it's too late now to do anything about it, so Renjun just dutifully answers his texts, lest he'll end up with the devil of a man coming to his room again.

"You know, I don't think I've seen you answer texts so quickly in my life. You almost never answer mine." Donghyuck says amusedly, glancing with a snort at Renjun's phone when it lights up again.

"That's because I have your number blocked. I don't even see your texts."

Donghyuck doesn't immediately react, slurping at his noodles without even looking at Renjun. They're leaned over a pot of ramyeon in the middle of the room, a tradition they've gotten used to on Thursday, as it's the only time they're both free. Donghyuck has a class after and Renjun has finally agreed to meet up with Jaemin so they've only got a bit over half an hour to eat before they have to leave.

When Donghyuck still doesn't react, Renjun frowns, unsure if he's planning something or if he's just gonna let it slide, but then Donghyuck reaches for his phone and quickly dials a number, mouth still full of noodles.

"Who are you calling?" Renjun asks, blowing on his noodles as Donghyuck raises his brows at him.

"Calling your beloved mother, who else?"

Renjun promptly chokes on his food, pounding at his chest as he tries to reach for Donghyuck's phone, "Yah, give me that or I'll kill you!"

"My, my, wait until your mother hears those threats. She'll catch the first flight here!"

"Yah! Lee Donghyuck! Do not think I'm above killing you while my mom's on the phone!"

Donghyuck laughs as he dodges Renjun's attempts at grabbing his phone, his grin becoming even wider when the call connects, "My, good afternoon! It's Donghyuckie, how have you been?"

"I'll really kill you!"

"The noise? Ah, yeah, that is indeed your beloved-"

"Don't listen to him!" Renjun yells, finally managing to wrestle the phone from Donghyuck's hands, almost dropping it in their pot of ramyeon twice before finally getting it to his ears, "Mom, you shouldn't answer to Donghyuck's calls!"

The laughter on the other side is awfully familiar, but not at all that of Renjun's mother, "Am I your mother now?" Mark asks and Renjun immediately hangs up, throwing the phone in the pot.

Unfortunately, Donghyuck has pretty fast reflexes, catching his phone before it completely drowns in the remaining ramyeon, but it still gets a quick dip.

"You stupid asshole, you really threw it in! What if it doesn't work anymore?"

"You shouldn't be allowed to have a phone in the first place! You're enough of a menace even without it!"

"If it still works, I'm definitely calling your mother!" Donghyuck announces, making his way to the bathroom to wash off the broth as Renjun sticks out his tongue at him.

"I'll call her myself and tell her to block your number!"

"That would only work if she didn't love me!"

Renjun clicks his tongue. Donghyuck's got him there, his mother does love him for some unknown reason, always sending food for the both of them and telling Renjun to share with his lovely friend. What's even worse is that before only Renjun used to have a heart after his name in her phone, but now Donghyuck has one too and she's always asking about her second son. The only comfort Renjun has left is that Donghyuck's mother also loves him, so there's that at least.

"Well then I'll call your mother too,"

Haechan snorts at that, finally coming back with a freshly cleaned phone and an obnoxiously smug grin on his face, "Nothing you could tell her can be worse than what she already knows."

"Damn you for being an annoying son."

"Amen." Donghyuck says, sitting down to finish eating. Somehow they can never just quietly and efficiently eat like normal people and soon enough, Donghyuck gets bored of the silence, not even a bite later, "But really, who have you been texting so much?"

Renjun frowns. He could technically lie to Donghyuck or tell him that it's none of his business, but it's Donghyuck and he is gonna know at some point, so Renjun just sighs and decides on the truth, not wanting his own phone to take a dip as well. "It's the demon."

Donghyuck's mouth curls into a tiny 'o' before a huge smile spreads on his face, "Jaeminnie? Does that mean the two of you are finally together?"

"What?"

"What."

"What did you just say?"

"Nothing. What did you say?"

"Yah, Lee Donghyuck, did you just ask me if I'm finally dating Na Jaemin?"

Donghyuck slurps another mouthful of noodles, buying himself some time before he answers, "I mean, since you're obviously not, let's just act like that didn't happen."

Renjun squints, "Do you have a bet going on or something? About me and Na Jaemin of all people?"

"Of course not." Donghyuck says, choking a bit as he tries to swallow too much at once, "Who do you think I am?"

"So you do, you asshole! I told you I fucking hate Jaemin, so why would you bet on that?"

"Well, it's not like you're losing anything."

"Yes I am! My dignity!" Renjun snaps, slapping Donghyuck's shoulder. It all seems very amusing to Donghyuck, who only laughs at him as he gets slapped a few more times, way too giddy even though Renjun's boiling.

"Just join it too then! Make sure you'll also lose money on top of your dignity."

"What makes you think I'll lose? I fucking hate Na Jaemin."

"Even more the reason to join!" Donghyuck laughs, pointing his chopsticks at Renjun, "And if you actually don't get together with Na Jaemin, you'll win money and get to prove me wrong."

"It's not even allowed for the person concerned to join the bet, you asshole!" Renjun says, hitting Donghyuck's chopsticks with his own and huffing when it only makes his grin grow wider.

"It's my bet so I make the rules. If you're not afraid of losing, you can join."

Renjun squints at Donghyuck's proffered hand, trying to find the catch. Donghyuck's pretty sharp usually and annoyingly perceptive sometimes so it's unusual for him to join losing bets, much less when they concern Renjun, since they know each other so well, so either he's severely underestimating Renjun's hate for Jaemin, knows something Renjun doesn't or has some twisted plan that he's sure will succeed. Whichever it is, there's absolutely no universe in which Renjun is going to end up dating Na Jaemin, so he smoothly takes Donghyuck's hand.

"Deal. But don't cry to me later when you end up losing."

"Guess we'll see about that." Donghyuck says, a wide smile curling on his face when Renjun's phone lights up with another message, "Well, seems like you'd better hurry up or you'll be late to your date."

"It's not a date." Renjun huffs, "And I can be late, but I don't know if your professor would be quite as understanding about you being late."

Donghyuck's eyes widen and he suddenly sits up, glancing at his watch as he quickly replaces his ramyeon stained shirt with a clean one. "Well, you're right about that, so I'll get going. Don't forget to clean up and tell Jaemin I said hello!"

Renjun only manages to say that he should tell Jaemin that himself before Donghyuck's out the door, leaving him all alone with their mostly finished ramyeon and Renjun's still buzzing phone. Jaemin has taken to sending Renjun messages lately, but he hasn't really called him until now, so it's a bit surprising, even more so when there's still a bit of time before they have to meet.

Renjun briefly considers just ignoring him, since he can surely tell him anything he has to say through a message, but ultimately he ends up picking up with a sigh.

"Ah, Renjun-ah, hello! Can you talk?"

Renjun rolls his eyes, "I wouldn't have answered if I couldn't."

"Right. Anyway, I wanted to ask you if we could change our meeting time a bit. I know I proposed it, but I might run a bit late."

"Mm, why?"

"I'm at my part time job right now and it looks like it's gonna take a bit longer than I thought."

"I didn't know you had a part time job." Renjun says, even though it shouldn't be that surprising. Jaemin looks like he'd be good in customer service with that face of his, even if it pisses Renjun off more times than not.

"You didn't ask." Jaemin says and Renjun can almost imagine him shrugging. "Ah, but you could come hang out if you're free right now."

"Hang out?"

"Yeah, I'll send you the address and we can go for coffee when I'm done."

Renjun should probably say no. If he tells Jaemin he's busy, they'll probably just agree to meet up later and that will be that, but for some reason he hesitates. It's probably the curiosity– he just wants to know what kind of place Jaemin works at– and not anything else. Meeting up with his enemy at his part time job to talk about their project does not qualify as a date no matter how much the annoying Donghyuck themed voice in his head may insist it is.

"Sure." Renjun says, because their project is worth half his grade and not even his hate for Jaemin can stop him from getting a good grade. And neither can Donghyuck's stupid ideas and even stupider bet.

It's a weird address that he gets, not one for a coffee shop or a market or a normal place in which students work part time, but rather the address of a fairly close and yet pretty obscure warehouse. Renjun wouldn't say that he knows Jaemin, not really at least, but he wouldn't really have pegged him for a murderer or a human trafficker, not until now at least.

if i go missing just know that na jaemins the one responsible

Donghyuck answers within a minute and Renjun barely stops himself from throwing his phone at the first wall.

k if the police asks ill just say i dont know you

He starts typing a very colourful answer when his phone starts vibrating in his hands, Jaemin's obnoxious name popping up.

"Hey, I just wanted to see where you were." Jaemin says in that sweet tone of his and Renjun frowns, glancing at the looming warehouse in front of him.

"I'm here, I guess, at this murder location."

Jaemin laughs and Renjun's frown only deepens as he catches sight of someone coming out of the warehouse. A very pink someone.

"You planning on killing me today?" Jaemin asks and his voice echoes, once from Renjun's phone and once from the very pink person who is becoming more and more familiar the closer they get. Last time he saw Jaemin he had blue hair, but annoyingly enough the striking pink fits him awfully well.

"I should be asking you that."

"Why would I kill you? I don't want to have to work on the project alone."

Renjun snorts, ending the call as Jaemin stops in front of him. He looks different, more ethereal somehow and Renjun lingers on the shimmer on his eyes, the rhinestones clinging to his awfully long lashes, the vivid blush. His clothes only help to accentuate the fairy tale look and Renjun finds himself looking away, a bit taken aback now that he's properly looking at Jaemin.

"You going somewhere?" Renjun asks, fiddling with his phone as he tries to find something that is not Jaemin to focus on.

"Eh? No, why do you ask?"

Renjun weakly motions to Jaemin's outfit, not entirely sure what he even wants to say, but Jaemin only laughs and reaches for his wrist, gently pulling him towards the warehouse. His knuckles are awfully pink, but not in a I just punched a wall kind of way, but in an almost cute way, like someone intentionally blushed them up, just like they did with Jaemin's face, and Renjun finds himself frowning yet again. He doesn't pull his wrist from Jaemin's grip, but he does glare at it with the intention of hopefully melting it or something.

"They're for a shoot," Jaemin says suddenly, but the words don't really make any sense to Renjun, "The clothes and the makeup, that's what they're for."

"You're gonna shoot me while you're all dressed up? Cause that would totally make it to the news." Renjun says, the initial bewilderment slowly getting replaced by something else, possibly anger.

Jaemin glances at him, an amused smile that's almost asking to be punched right off curling on his face, "Shoot as in a photoshoot, like taking pictures and all that."

"Then fucking say that from the start." Renjun snaps, trying to ignore the way his face heats up as Jaemin giggles at him. The person that did his makeup would probably be able to cover a bruise if Renjun decided to punch the laughter right out of him, but ultimately he just settles for kicking the back of his calf, a subtle place that won't mess up the stupid photoshoot and that still gets Jaemin to suffer a bit.

"You know, you're more aggressive than you look." Jaemin says, but with that huge, stupid smile of his it almost feels like a compliment.

"Why? You think just because I'm tiny I can't beat you up?"

"I'm sure you can, but I hope that I won't do anything that deserves a beating."

His very existence deserves a beating, but Renjun holds himself back, not wanting to ruin the work that went into Jaemin's entire look. He may be an obnoxious piece of shit, but he does look magical today, his already annoyingly good looks accentuated just the right amount to make them pop rather than just cover them up.

"Here's to hoping." Renjun says, walking in as Jaemin holds the door open for him.

He finds out very quickly that it's not an abandoned warehouse, at least not today. There are lights and people everywhere, the huge space filled with clothes in a corner and food in another and more lights in the middle and just people scurrying everywhere. Renjun's never been to a photoshoot, but he didn't think it would be such a busy ordeal.

"Renjun-ah, you made it! Welcome!"

Renjun frowns, not having expected to be addressed by anyone, but the familiar face quickly makes his frown melt away, an easy smile replacing it. "Jaehyun-hyung, hello! I didn't know you'd be here too."

"Hyung told me to invite you over actually. He saw me talking on the phone and we figured one more person wouldn't be a problem." Jaemin says cheerily, smiling when Jaehyun throws an arm around his neck.

Jaehyun's dressed just as ethereally as Jaemin, but in a different direction. His colour scheme is darker, black rhinestones lining the underside of his left eye and the dark blue of his hair and the overall grim colours only make his skin seem even paler. Even so, he's not missing the blush either, a duller orange compared to Jaemin's vivid pink, but just as striking.

"Woah, but you're both really dolled up. Makes me feel a bit awkward standing between such pretty people."

Jaehyun laughs at that, reaching over to ruffle Renjun's hair, "You're very pretty too, Renjun-ah. This kind of makeup would probably look very good on you."

Renjun severely doubts it, but he doesn't get the chance to voice it as both Jaehyun and Jaemin get called up. They were probably in the middle of the photoshoot before Renjun just cluelessly interrupted. Now that he really thinks about it, maybe he shouldn't have come.

"I'll be right back, so don't be too lonely, okay?" Jaemin says obnoxiously, giving Renjun his phone before leaving him to boil.

While he waits for Jaemin he gets two messages from Donghyuck, but since he was an asshole earlier, he doesn't bother checking them, focusing instead on the first and probably last photoshoot he'll ever get to see in person. It's a more relaxed event than he would have expected, with people laughing and taking breaks and just overall taking it easy.

It's also full of very good looking people. Besides Jaehyun and Jaemin there are some other models too and they're all striking, not only because of the incredible makeup and magical clothes, but just their overall vibes. They all seem pretty friendly too and maybe it shouldn't surprise Renjun so much, but Jaehyun aside, Jaemin seems to know all of them, chatting and laughing along with them in between pictures. This seems like a place in which Donghyuck would thrive, but Renjun just feels a little intimidated. Maybe a bit more.

It's why he almost startles right out of his skin when someone pats his shoulder all of a sudden. For a second he really hopes it's somehow another person he knows, one of their pretty friends that were also invited as models, but his hopes immediately shatter when he turns around, his heart ready to just beat right out of his chest.

"Ah, I haven't seen you before, so you must be new. Welcome!"

Renjun blinks, unsure of what he should even say in response to that. The man might not be one of his friends, but he's definitely very pretty, almost intimidatingly so. He's as tall as Renjun, so not very, and dressed normally, almost too normal, in just a black shirt and a pair of ripped jeans, but he somehow still manages to look like he walked straight out of a magazine, with rhinestones placed prettily from the corner of his eye to the tip of his brow and a nose sculpted by the gods, very prettily accentuated with blush on the tip. Renjun really shouldn't have come.

"I'm not- I mean, I haven't been here before, but I'm not-"

"Now, now, no need to be shy. You're very pretty, so doing your makeup is gonna be a pleasure, now come on, there’s no time to lose." Pretty Man says with a wide, beautiful smile, grabbing Renjun's hand and pulling him along. It seems to be a trend today– pretty people dragging him around.

"My make- I'm not here for the photoshoot," Renjun manages to get out and Pretty Man stops, turns to look at him with confusion playing on his features, a frown pulling at his brows.

"You're... not?"

"Yah, Ten, who are you trying to kidnap this time?"

Of course it's another very good looking man, but a much, much taller one. He's also dressed normally, in a casual I look like a model so even simple clothes look extremely hot on me kind of way, but he's holding a camera so he must be the one taking photos of them, even if he looks like he would fit in easily in a fashion magazine.

"Best case scenario: you, but since you're busy, I'm making do." Pretty Man, Ten, says with a wide smile and Camera Man sighs, even though he seems rather more fond than angry.

"So you decided to kidnap my model?"

"How rude, of course not! I was just going to do his makeup, since he doesn't quite look camera ready."

Renjun's not sure if he should feel insulted. What he does know is that he really, really wants to go home, Jaemin and his modelling career be damned, Renjun just wanted to get a high grade on his damn project.

"Uhm, excuse me," Renjun says, raising a hand and swallowing when they both turn to look at him, "I'm not a model or anything, so can I just go home while you kidnap someone else?"

Both men blink at him before they glance at each other and just burst into laughter. Renjun's jaw clenches. He's not usually very good around strangers, but right now he really is one step away from snapping. He only gets to open his mouth, not entirely sure himself what he's going to say, before someone wraps an arm around his neck and he deflates when he catches sight of Jaehyun's cute dimples.

"Now, now, why are the two of you ganging up on our cute little Renjunie?"

"Renjunie?" Ten asks, giving Renjun a once over as if he's seeing him all over again, "You mean that Renjun?"

"Ah!" Camera Man says suddenly, recognition filling his eyes as he snaps his fingers, even though Renjun's pretty sure they're mistaking him for someone else, "Jaeminnie's boyfriend!"

Renjun promptly chokes on his own breath. It's not even a cute little cough, no, Jaehyun has to pat his back as he makes a complete fool of himself in front of not one, not two, but three pretty people.

"Ah, hyung, what are you doing to Renjunie?" The very cause of all of Renjun's miseries says, coming over with that goofy smile of his even as Renjun turns to glare at him through wet lashes, "I told you to be nice to him,"

Jaehyun, that damn traitor, immediately steps back when Jaemin stops next to Renjun, sliding his hand along his back and very gently patting it when Renjun's coughing still doesn't subside.

"Oi, Na Jaemin," Renjun says when he gathers himself, coughing one more time for good measure, "What am I to you?"

"You're- Eh? What's with that all of a sudden?"

The pretty trio bursts into laughter at that, but Renjun won't let it drop quite so easily. "Just tell me,"

"Well then, I guess you're a friend that I really like?" Jaemin says after a pause, smiling at him just a bit hesitantly.

Renjun clears his throat, looking away as he tries his very best to ignore his gradually warming face. Jaemin's hand is warm and solid on his lower back and for some reason Renjun can't bring himself to push it off.

A friend that I really like.

If someone asked Renjun what Jaemin was to him, he's pretty sure he would immediately answer that Jaemin's his enemy. He wouldn't even hesitate or think twice about it. But for some reason, he's not entirely sure how to feel about Jaemin saying that he likes him, as a friend or whatever, and even less sure about what to think of his own reaction.

"Oh, to be young and in love." Ten says with a sigh, melting into loud laughter when Renjun turns to glare at him.

"Nobody's in love, shut up." Renjun snaps, finally pushing Jaemin's hand off and taking a step away from him. His face still feels awfully warm, but it's most likely the anger, it can't be anything but that.

"Ah, but hyung, you're also young and in love." Jaehyun says smoothly, but Ten only sighs yet again.

"Yeah, but not like this." Ten says, motioning to Jaemin and Renjun as if there's any this between them, before turning to Camera Man, "Johnny-hyung, you should go back to thinking you hate me to make things more fun!"

Camera Man, Johnny, raises his brows at Ten, a smile spreading on his face as he steps closer to him, "Why? Are things not fun enough for you now?"

The atmosphere changes then, suddenly and palpably so, as Ten's eyes darken. He slides two fingers in one of Johnny's belt loops and pulls, his tongue peeking out to lick his lips as Johnny looks him up and down like he's planning to eat him.

Renjun blinks, just about ready to look away and hopefully walk the fuck away, when Jaehyun steps between them with a cute, dimpled smile, a hand on each of their chests. It makes Ten click his tongue, throwing a very scary glare Jaehyun's way, but he does obediently step back.

"Now, now, let's try to act appropriately." Jaehyun says in that gentle tone of his, laughing when Ten childishly imitates his words before surprisingly saying something in what sounds suspiciously like Thai. None of them seem to speak it, so maybe that's why, but Renjun has to fight a smile anyway.

"Yeah, Ten, be more appropriate," Johnny joins in, glancing at Jaehyun as identical smiles curl on their faces.

Ten grabs each of their faces, squeezing until their lips stick out in cute pouts, "You should thank your mothers every day for making you so damn handsome." He says with a deceptively sweet smile, squeezing just a bit more before ultimately letting go and turning away.

Johnny and Jaehyun seem very pleased with themselves, subtly high fiving each other when Ten's not looking.

"Ah, right!" Ten says, suddenly turning around to face Renjun, "In the end, are you gonna model or not?"

"No," Renjun says at the same time the other three say yes and he tries to take a deep breath to calm himself down, but ultimately it doesn't work, "Why the fuck would I even model?"

"Renjun-ah, language," Jaemin whines.

"Fuck off!"

"Ooh, he's a feisty one, I love it!" Ten says, making his way to Renjun and throwing an arm around his neck even though he couldn't more obviously be glaring at him, "Try to keep some of that anger for the camera too, pretty boy!"

And despite all of his protests, Renjun is just one tiny person and he ultimately ends up quietly simmering in his own anger as Ten does his makeup. He has a very light hand and he keeps praising Renjun and talking to him while he works on his face, the conversation flowing unexpectedly easily even though it's the first time they've met and Renjun's not the best with new people. If Renjun really thinks about it, though, they might not be entirely new people, as he's heard Mark talk about a certain Johnny and his boyfriend Ten more than once, but it is the first time he actually meets them.

"So you're really not dating Jaeminnie?" Ten asks, clicking his tongue when Renjun opens his eyes without thinking, "Renjun-ah, you're not allowed to glare while I'm working on your eyes. I told you that you should keep that anger for the camera."

"I really am not dating Na Jaemin." Renjun says, closing his eyes and relaxing his face so Ten can go back to working and hopefully be done faster so they don't have to talk about Jaemin anymore.

"Not yet, huh?"

"Not ever."

"Mhm, I'll give you guys a month."

Renjun snorts, "You can give us a year, I'll still hate Jaemin."

"You're right, you're right, of course. I too like to visit the workplaces of my enemies and flush cutely when they say they like me."

Renjun does not reply to that, since there's a chance he might incriminate himself further, so he just quietly lets himself stew while Ten laughs. He does hate Jaemin and his annoying face and goofy smile and stupid voice, he really does, and he would have kept his distance if not for this stupid project. Really. He just decided to visit his workplace because he was bored and they do unfortunately need to talk about the project, no matter how much Renjun wants to avoid it.

"Did Jaemin-" Renjun starts, unsure if he should really continue or just let it drop, "Did he say we were together?"

"Nope. He said you were his friend and that you were gonna visit and that we should be gentle with you because strangers intimidate you." Ten says with a shrug, "We just thought he was being shy about telling us that you're his boyfriend."

Renjun's chest flutters for some goddamn reason and it's almost a gentle feeling, like the flutter of a butterfly's wings, one that Renjun wants to drown in pesticide until there's absolutely nothing left of it. Jaemin telling people to be gentle with Renjun is not something he ever wants to think about ever again.

"Strangers don't intimidate me." Renjun mumbles, much to Ten's laughter.

"See? When you both get shy like this, it's hard to believe you're not dating."

"I'm not being shy!"

Ten hums, "Sure you're not."

Renjun doesn't get to fight Ten about it because he steps back with a smile, grandly announcing that he's done with his masterpiece. It seems like an exaggeration, but when Renjun catches sight of his reflection in the mirror he can't help but agree.

If Jaemin's theme was based on vivid pink and Jaehyun's on dark blue, Renjun's seems to be an in between purple that unexpectedly fits him very well. The makeup is just as dreamy as for the other two, with a shimmery kind of purple smokey eye fading into a pretty blush that has star shaped spots where there's no colour and multiple rhinestones carefully placed like freckles all over Renjun's face. It does look very pretty, enough that Renjun almost can't recognise himself.

"Woah, but you're really amazing," Renjun says in awe, still unable to take his eyes off his reflection. "I don't even know this person."

"I know, right? Sometimes I surprise even myself, but it really helped that you're just naturally pretty and easy to work with."

"Mhm, thank you for the compliment, hyung, but your crazy good makeup skills have nothing to do with my natural beauty or whatever it is that you're trying to sell me." Renjun says with a grin, making Ten snort.

"I guess Jaemin had nothing to worry about."

"Damn right, he didn't."

Jaemin shouldn't be worrying about Renjun in the first place, he shouldn't be thinking about him, much less telling people to be gentle with him. Renjun only thinks of murder when it comes to him, so Jaemin should too, Jaemin should hate seeing Renjun's face as much as he does, not the other way around, not going around telling people they should be careful with Renjun like he'll break or something. Renjun is strong and he's the one breaking stuff, definitely not the other way around.

"Ah, but Renjun-ah you don't have to make it quite so obvious that you're thinking about Jaemin." Ten says with a chuckle, earning himself a glare.

"How could you even tell? What kind of face am I making that would give that away?" Renjun asks, reaches for his face as if touching it could tell him what kind of expression he's making. Fortunately Ten stops him before he actually touches it and possibly ruins all the hard work Ten put in his incredible makeup.

"An enamoured one."

"Fuck off."

"Whoa, have you forgotten that I'm your hyung Renjun-ah?" Ten asks, pulling on Renjun's ears with a terribly amused smile.

"No, that's why I said it respectfully."

"Oh, so you can do worse?"

"You wanna see?" Renjun asks with a grin, but Ten just laughs, leaning over the back of Renjun's chair to whisper to him.

"Bet I can do worse." He says with a wink, patting Renjun's hair when he starts laughing.

Talking with Ten comes very easily for some reason and Renjun feels quite happy about it as he helps him dress up and then carefully does his hair for him. All in all it's a pretty long process, but thankfully, Renjun doesn't feel awkward at all so he doesn't really mind it.

"Oh my." Jaemin says when he catches sight of Renjun, covering his mouth as he gives him a very slow and deliberate once over. It makes Renjun want to hit him, but he doesn't want to wrinkle the clothes or anything, so he holds himself still as Jaehyun whistles while Jaemin just walks around him to take in the whole look.

They've both changed their clothes and while they still have the same dreamy concept going on, they're way more revealing now. Renjun follows the v line of Jaemin's open collar all the way down to his belly button before very swiftly looking back up at his face, but he's not sure if that's better or so much worse. Thankfully, Renjun himself is pretty covered up, so he's at the very least grateful for small mercies.

Since Jaemin has to get his makeup touched up, Renjun ends up taking pictures with Jaehyun first. He's very professional about it, which, really, shouldn't be that surprising with that face of his, and he also gives Renjun all types of advice, easily making him laugh when Johnny says that he's too stiff and gently guiding him when he flounders. It really makes Renjun respect models so much more, since he never thought having to pose in front of a camera would be so hard and that there would be so many pictures taken for just a few to get picked up ultimately.

It's also unexpectedly tiring, more so than even working on their project might have been.

"Ah, Renjun-ah, please try not to swallow me whole." Johnny says as Renjun yawns for the second time in a row, his eyes almost tearing up, "We're almost done with this one, so let's try to focus for a bit."

But that's easier said than done really. They do finish with it fairly quickly, but after a very short pause they immediately go back into it and this time around it's not with Jaehyun, but with the public menace that is Jaemin.

He's very beautiful, now that Renjun has the unfortunate chance of looking at him properly, annoyingly so even, with his long lashes and big eyes and glossy lips. It reminds Renjun of what Ten said, about it being easier when someone's originally very pretty, and it only annoys him more.

"Renjun-ah, let's try not to frown, ok?" Johnny says, showing a thumbs up when Renjun schools his expression into something more neutral, "And Jaemin-ah, how about getting closer?"

Renjun thinks this is close enough, but Jaemin only nods and obediently steps closer, stopping only when he's close enough that Renjun has to look up to meet his eyes. The very fact that he's taller pisses him off for some reason, so he simply refuses to look at his face, letting his eyes wander yet again to his very open collar. He notices the glitter on his skin this time around, the way it catches light when he moves, and Renjun barely stops himself from just pulling the damn shirt closed himself.

It earns him another warning about frowning, but this time around it's Jaemin that acts on it, sliding a hand along Renjun's neck before very gently cupping his jaw and tilting his head back a bit, giving him no choice but to meet his eyes. It's so unexpectedly sudden that Renjun can only blink at him, no words coming out even as he opens his mouth.

"The idea is to not put too much force into it," Jaemin says, speaking in that annoying tone of his, like he's explaining it to a literal baby, "The sleepy, not quite fully alert look is the best for that, you know, when your eyes are not quite fully open."

Infuriatingly enough, Renjun does know, but Jaemin still decides to show him an example, tilting his head back a bit and leveling him with a dark, hooded gaze that's completely at odds with his voice. It makes a shiver run up his spine, probably from the too strong desire to just beat Jaemin up, but he manages to reproduce it much to Johnny's glee.

Ultimately, the shoot with Jaemin ends up being way more intimate than the one with Jaehyun for some reason, as Jaemin keeps touching him and leaning on him and being overall very close. It does piss Renjun off quite a bit, but as he gets used to it, he starts to do it as well, mostly because he feels like he'll lose if he just lets Jaemin lead everything. So when Jaemin leans in, he leans in even closer, presses a hand to his revealed chest, lets it drag all the way to the hem of his pants before leaning his head on his shoulder. He makes sure to keep making eye contact with the camera and the more he does it the less awkward it feels, even as Jaemin gets more and more responsive.

"You're quite good at this." Jaemin says with a wide smile when Johnny announces that they're done, thanking them cheerily.

"It seems that I am." Renjun replies, unable to keep his own smile down. "You're not that bad yourself."

"My, thank you, I do try my best."

And it feels weird, laughing along with Jaemin, but not entirely bad. He's not quite that bad when he's not actively trying to be annoying, when he doesn't make his voice all high and his smile all wide and Renjun could maybe spend time in his presence without actually killing someone, even if murder would still be on his mind.

"Renjun-ah, do you need help taking off your makeup?" Ten asks, glancing between the two of them with an annoyingly wide smile. It makes Renjun want to yet again remind him that no, they aren't dating, no matter how suggestively he may look at them.

"Ah, no, I think I wanna keep it on for a bit longer if that's okay."

"Yeah, it's no problem, just don't forget to take it off before you go to sleep tonight or you'll really hate yourself tomorrow."

"Don't worry hyung, I'll make sure he takes it off." Jaemin says with a smile, sliding a warm hand along Renjun's lower back. It only makes Ten's grin grow even wider if that's even possible and he reaches over to pat Renjun's shoulder before he manages to say anything.

"Well then, I guess I'll leave you to it. Have fun tonight!"

"There will be no fun!" Renjun snaps, but Ten's very clearly not listening anymore, waving at him before throwing himself at Johnny like that's completely normal behaviour. Renjun shakes his head when Johnny catches him without so much as blinking and decides that he really does not want to know.

"I mean, a little bit of fun won't kill anybody." Jaemin says, laughing when Renjun turns to glare at him, "Okay, okay, no fun then, but I don't know if we'll have any time to work on our project today."

And indeed it is pretty late. In the warehouse it was hard to really tell, but once Renjun steps out in the chilly evening air, he realises just how much time has passed. It barely feels like it with how quickly it went by, but even if he doesn't want to actually admit it, he did end up having a lot of fun.

"Well, we can just start working on it tomorrow." Renjun says with a shrug, rubbing at his arms as he involuntarily shivers. It was pretty warm when he came, enough that a tshirt seemed more than enough, but now he's very quickly coming to regret his decision. Even more so because he did briefly consider bringing a jacket along before dropping the idea because he couldn't be bothered to carry it with him.

"You should dress more warmly, Renjun-ah," Jaemin says with a click of his tongue and Renjun barely gets to turn so he can glare at him before he's draping something on his shoulders. Something warm and soft.

"And you should stop giving your clothes away." Renjun says when he figures out what the soft and warm thing actually is.

Jaemin only shrugs, putting his hands in his pockets as he matches his stride with Renjun's, "They look better on you anyway."

It makes Renjun huff, but he properly wears Jaemin's jacket anyway. It's a bit large on him, covering his hands entirely, but it's warm and it smells unexpectedly good, sweet, but gentle at the same time, much like Jaemin really, but in a much less annoying way.

"I still have your sweater from last time." Renjun says, glancing at Jaemin from the corner of his eye. He no longer has rhinestones on his lashes, but besides that he also hasn't taken off his makeup and in the dim evening light he looks outright unreal.

The blue hair fit him aggravatingly well too, but the warmth of the pink really makes him glow, even more so when he's all blushed up like this and Renjun's not sure which version should annoy him more.

"Mm, that's okay, you looked much cuter in it than I did, so you can keep it." Jaemin says in a low voice, meeting Renjun's eyes with a smile. It makes Renjun immediately look away, not expecting the sudden eye contact, nor the warmth to Jaemin's gaze.

"I'll still return it." Renjun says quickly, cursing himself for the way his voice rises. It's the damn makeup's fault, the way it makes Jaemin's eyes seem bigger and his lashes longer and his smile prettier, the way it makes him glow even in the questionable light of a late evening.

"You really don't have to."

"You didn't have to lend it to me either."

Jaemin laughs at that, his shoulder bumping into Renjun's as they walk, just a bit, just enough that Renjun can't help but be aware of him. He should probably put some distance between them, but for some reason he doesn't– possibly because Jaemin is warm, even through the material of his jacket, or possibly because he lent him his jacket in the first place, or possibly–

"Okay, then you can return it to me and I'll just lend it to you again the next time you need it."

"You're unexpectedly stubborn." Renjun says, sticking his hands in his pockets. There's a smile curling on his face despite himself and he can't help but glance at Jaemin, not sure about how to feel at the sight that greets him.

"I don't think you're one to talk." Jaemin hums, a tiny smile that seems just as unintentional as Renjun's lingering on his face.

"I'm not stubborn, I'm more like fact oriented."

"You mean you ignore the facts that you don't like."

"Yah!" Renjun snaps, slapping Jaemin's shoulder. It only makes Jaemin laugh, that full, bright laugh of his, the awfully annoying one that Renjun can't help but look away from, annoyance making his heart feel all fluttery.

"Ouch, Renjun-ah, but that hurt,"

"You sure seem to be laughing though."

"I'm hiding my pain, deep inside I'm very hurt!"

Renjun snorts, "Get better soon then."

"No, Renjun-ah," Jaemin whines, "Since you hurt me, you should help me get better,"

"I'll just slap the other shoulder too so you can forget about the pain in this one."

"Renjun-ah!"

"Fine, I'll bite, what do you want?"

Jaemin pouts, "It's not about what I want, it's about what I need to get better."

"Just tell me before I change my mind."

"Give me a kiss."

"No way in hell." Renjun says easily, bursting into laughter when Jaemin immediately deflates like a doll, his mouth pursing into an awfully sad pout.

"You're so mean, affection is the best medicine for any affliction and yet you can't even give me that after hurting me so deeply."

"I barely even touched you!"

"It's a soul wound!"

"Fine, then you should hit me too and then we'll be even."

"I don't answer to violence with violence." Jaemin says quickly and Renjun huffs, bumping his shoulder a little more solidly.

"You're really impossible."

And of course that makes Jaemin laugh. It should probably be annoying just how easily he laughs, but Renjun's feeling good tonight, so he lets himself laugh along with him. It's probably just the whole day, the sudden photoshoot and the new people and the excitement and the satisfying exhaustion after everything that's making him so giddy, so simply loose from happiness.

He blames all of that when he grabs Jaemin's sleeve and pulls until he can press a kiss to his cheek. It makes Jaemin's laughter die down immediately, his eyes wide with surprise when Renjun pulls back with a smug grin and keeps walking, trying very hard to ignore his burning cheeks.

"Now we're even." Renjun says, glancing behind him when Jaemin doesn't immediately follow him.

"Can I give you one too?" Jaemin asks, very easily catching up to him.

"Absolutely not."

"Aw, but why? Affection is good for you."

"I have no soul wounds that need healing, thank you very much."

"You don't have to be hurt to get kisses! They're good for nourishing your soul,"

"My soul is nourished enough, so I'll decline." Renjun says, but Jaemin is not one to give up easily, wrapping his arms around Renjun in one smooth move and smiling down at him with that obnoxious smile of his.

"How about I give you one as a sample and you can choose if you want more?"

"I don't need the sample either."

Renjun presses his hands to Jaemin's face, trying to get him to let him go, but not really succeeding as Jaemin's smile only grows wider. He's unexpectedly strong and Renjun has never felt more annoyed by their height difference than he does now, briefly considering just kicking at Jaemin's kneecaps before abandoning the idea for now.

"But your kiss was so sweet that now I want to return the favour,"

"I have no idea what you're talking about, but there is absolutely no favour to return."

Jaemin's hold on him loosens then, enough that Renjun could probably push him away easily if he tried, but for some goddamn cursed reason he doesn't. Maybe he's actually going crazy.

"So no kiss?"

"God, you're really insufferable." Renjun snaps, but he lets his hands drop from Jaemin's face, still firmly refusing to meet his eyes even as he squeezes him even tighter.

"And you're really adorable."

"I hate that, don't ever say that to me again."

"But you are," Jaemin says sweetly, emphasising his point by pressing a very warm kiss to Renjun's cheek. It's quick and gentle and when Renjun doesn't immediately protest Jaemin kisses him two more times before pulling back with a big enough smile that Renjun can see it without even looking, can basically just feel how annoying he looks right now.

"I really hate you." Renjun says with feeling but Jaemin continues smiling as if he didn't even hear him, matching his stride with his when Renjun tries to walk away from him. It's quite inconvenient that they are walking to the exact same destination, but thankfully Jaemin behaves for the rest of the way, just smiling stupidly and walking annoyingly close to Renjun the whole time. He even walks Renjun all the way to his room, refusing to take back his jacket no matter how much Renjun insists.

"It's a tiny price to pay for getting to kiss you." Jaemin says happily and Renjun snorts. He can see the kiss mark he left on Jaemin's cheek, the lip gloss Ten put on him unexpectedly pigmented, and he briefly wonders if there's a similar one on his own cheek too.

"Just take it back, really. Thank you for lending it to me, but you can really have it back now."

Jaemin glances at the jacket in his hands before pursing his lips, "Mm, then if you give me another kiss I'll take it back."

"I guess I'm keeping it then." Renjun says quickly, grinning when Jaemin laughs, easily agreeing with him, "Goodnight, Jaemin-ah."

"Goodnight! Hope you have very sweet dreams tonight!"

"Woah, I really hate that."

"You sure have a lot of things you hate. That's not good for you, Renjun-ah."

"Mhm, I'll keep that in mind."

Jaemin doesn't seem entirely convinced, but after waving a few more times he finally leaves, his jacket still warm in Renjun's hands. Renjun stares at it for a few more seconds, unable to keep himself from smiling before finally turning around and going inside, his mood still undeniably good.

Of course, it doesn't last long, couldn't anyway, not with the kind of roommate that he has.

"Back from your date, you playboy?" Donghyuck asks as soon as he closes the door behind him. He's laid out in the middle of the room, a pair of sunglasses Renjun has never seen before resting low on his nose as he wiggles his brows at him. The lights are still closed, only the dim light from the windows illuminating Donghyuck's figure and he's very clearly waiting for Renjun to open the lights to complete the whole look, so of course Renjun doesn't.

"I didn't go on any dates, you asshole." Renjun says, throwing the jacket in his hands at Donghyuck's face.

"Oh you didn't? Then where have you been? Not meeting up with Jaeminnie, I suppose?"

"Shut up, I met up with him because we have a project together, that's it."

Donghyuck finally manages to wrestle the jacket away from his face and his smug grin makes Renjun want to strangle him with it. "Oh, mhm, right, your project, how could I forget something so important?"

"We really do have a project together, stop making it sound like it's an excuse!"

"Oh it's not? Then did you work on it today?" Donghyuck asks, bursting into laughter when Renjun takes the jacket from him just to throw it back at his face. "I'll take that as a no."

"It's not a no! We just didn't have time to really work on it today, but tomorrow we'll do it properly!"

"Were you too busy on your date that you forgot about the project? Is that what you're saying?"

"No, it's not, I'll kill you!" Renjun snaps, only succeeding in making Donghyuck laugh even louder with his outburst, "Stop laughing, you asshole, there really was no date! I told you I hate Na Jaemin!"

"The more you say it, the less true it sounds, Renjun-ah. Please try to be more honest."

"On god, I really will kill you!"

"Now, now, don't bring religion into this."

Renjun pounces on Haechan, grabbing the first thing that he can reach (a pillow thankfully and not something that would send Donghyuck to a hospital and Renjun straight to a police station) and throwing it at his face before taking advantage of the distraction and sliding his hands under his shirt. The reaction is immediate and Donghyuck melts into manic laughter as Renjun runs his fingertips across his sides before pinching the sensitive skin just under his armpit, making Donghyuck outright wiggle in his hold, the sounds he makes questionably between happy ones and crying ones.

"I give- Oh my god- Renjun-ah, I'll actually die- I said I give!"

Renjun finally stops at that, letting himself flop on top of Donghyuck, his hands still underneath his shirt, but sitting still now. It's a pretty familiar position, one they end up in quite often, and they sit in peace and quiet while they catch their breaths, Donghyuck's chest going up and down with Renjun's head.

"So," Donghyuck starts, wiggling for good measure when Renjun's fingers twitch, "No date?"

"I told you a thousand times already that I'm not dating Na Jaemin!" Donghyuck hums at that, carding a hand through Renjun's hair, but otherwise not contesting it, "What? Just say what you wanna say."

"You sure?"

"Just say it!"

"Then who did your makeup all pretty and even kissed you for good measure?"

The fucking kiss mark. How could have Renjun forgotten about something so important and awfully incriminating? The fact that he has to prove that he's not dating fucking Na Jaemin out of all people is already a crazy situation, but what makes matters even worse is that the evidence is stacked against him, even though he couldn't be more innocent.

"Before I explain that, let me just make the fact that I am not dating Jaemin very clear."

"Yeah, okay, I got that, just get to the kissing already."

"There was no kissing!" Donghyuck sits up then, so suddenly that Renjun has to sit up as well, mostly in Donghyuck's lap at this point, and raises his brows at him. Renjun's hands are still on his chest, his shirt all bunched up around his wrists and his tummy bare, so he makes for quite the funny sight. "Okay, fine, there was something that you might call kissing, but it's still not what you're thinking."

"Oh and what might I be thinking? Since you seem confident in your mind reading abilities."

"It wasn't romantic! I know you're crazy and you think we're dating, but it wasn't anything like that, you could barely even call it a kiss." Renjun says, sitting himself more comfortably in Donghyuck's lap and finally letting his hands drop.

"Mm, I don't think that. I know you're not dating yet even if you're already getting kisses from him."

"I told you it's not like that! And the yet is really not necessary since it will never happen."

"Well, I guess we'll see about that one." Donghyuck says with a grin, laughing when Renjun slaps his chest, "Anyway, just tell me about your date that's not a date."

"Why? So you can make more fun of me?"

"That's so mean, Renjun-ah, when have I ever made fun of you?"

"When have you not?" Renjun snaps, but he can't hold back the smile that curls on his face when Donghyuck bursts into laughter. If he wasn't this cute, Renjun might have really killed him already.

"Okay, fair point, but that's just because you make it so easy for me."

"The more you talk, the less I feel like telling you."

"Aw, Renjun-ah, just tell me, we both know you want to."

Renjun really shouldn't. But it's Donghyuck and he's always like this and despite everything, he's a really good listener when he wants to be. Of course, the problem is that he rarely wants to, focusing all his energy and sharp wits into being the most obnoxious person to ever exist, but Renjun will take the risk.

It's not even that bad– Donghyuck makes fun of him at least twenty times and Renjun almost kills him at least twice as many times– but he does listen to the very end, even going so far as to clap like the annoying little shit that he is when Renjun is done.

"So what I got from all of that is that you had fun on your date."

Renjun takes a very deep breath before very calmly grabbing a pillow again and just smothering Donghyuck with it. His loud laughter can be heard even muffled by the pillow, getting only louder before he suddenly chokes on it and Renjun immediately pulls the pillow back, making sure he hasn't actually killed Donghyuck, before pressing it back to his face when his coughing calms down and he motions that he's okay.

"What if you really killed me just now?" Donghyuck asks when Renjun finally runs out of energy, possibly trying to go for an accusing tone, but only sounding amused.

"Don't worry, I would have joined you in hell soon after. You know me, I would never let you be lonely."

"How sweet, Renjun-ah, I never knew you were such a considerate person."

"What can I say, there are always new things to find out about me."

"Mhm, like the fact that you like Jae-" Donghyuck gets swiftly interrupted by the pillow Renjun presses to his face yet again, his words getting muffled beyond recognition.

"I swear to god, if you say that one more time, it'll really be the end of you." Renjun says, slowly pulling back the pillow, but still keeping it ready in case Donghyuck decides to say yet another stupid thing.

"I think I'm willing to take that risk." Donghyuck says with a grin, but before Renjun gets to deliver on his promise, he lets himself flop back on the floor, crossing his arms underneath his head as Renjun readjusts his position in his lap. "But for real now, do you still hate Jaeminnie?"

"I mean, I don't hate hate him, not anymore at least. He's weird and annoying, but he's fine, I guess." Renjun says, hugging the pillow in his hands and refusing to meet Donghyuck's eyes, "But that still doesn't mean I like him, so don't even start."

"I didn't even say anything!" Donghyuck argues, laughing when Renjun glares at him.

"But you were thinking it."

"Renjun-ah, you shouldn't live your life suspecting people like this, especially your friends."

Renjun snorts, "I don't know what friends you're talking about, I can only see my number one enemy."

"Aw, I always knew I was your number one."

"You're really insufferable."

"Thank you." Donghyuck says sweetly, bursting into laughter when Renjun gags. He grabs the pillow from his hands and easily throws it away before pulling him down for a hug, whining in protest when Renjun tries to tickle him and squeezing him even harder.

"Ah, right, what do you think about my makeup?" Renjun asks, suddenly remembering that he's wearing some and he should probably not be rubbing his face all over Donghyuck's black shirt.

"I would tell you that you finally look presentable, but I really can't see shit in this darkness, so go and open the lights for me."

"Take off the stupid glasses before."

"They are not stupid, Renjun-ah, they are very cool and fashionable!"

"When did you even get them? I've never even seen them before." Renjun says, reluctantly getting up to open the damn lights, but not before he pinches Donghyuck one more time, just to keep him in check.

"That's because they're not mine. I just stole them from Mark-hyung."

"No wonder. They must look better on him than they do on you."

"They look worse actually. It's why I stole them in the first place, since they looked way better on me."

Renjun snorts, squinting when the room suddenly brightens up, "How does hyung bear with you?"

"What are you talking about? Hyung loves me. Every single second he spends with me is the brightest, sweetest second of his life and he misses me every second in which I'm not with him." Donghyuck says proudly, sitting up to really emphasise his point, "Yah, yah, Hwang Renjun what's with that face?"

"I'm sorry, I might really just throw up." Renjun says, leaning on the wall and gagging for the full effect.

"Does jealousy hurt, Renjun-ah? Is it painful to envy others like this, enough that it makes you want to throw up?"

"I don't know about jealousy, but seeing your face really pains me."

"Because it's so beautiful? Then there is no need to worry, Renjun-ah, I may be stunning, but you also look palatable now that you're wearing makeup." Donghyuck says, earning himself another pillow to the face for his efforts. Renjun should have learned his lesson by now– that winning a verbal argument against Donghyuck is basically impossible– but yet he still tries just to get annoyed by the end of it.

It seems to amuse Donghyuck terribly and he always ends up laughing the most, even when Renjun's throwing things at him and especially when he physically tries to get him to shut up.

"I should really move out of this room, you're the worst roommate."

"Ah, don't say that, I'm a fantastic roommate." Donghyuck says, laughing when Renjun makes a fist at him before patting the floor in front of him, "Now come over here so I can see your makeup."

Renjun sighs, briefly contemplating just going to his bed and completely ignoring Donghyuck, but ultimately he sits down in front of him, too curious about his opinion to pass this chance.

"If you say something stupid, I'll really move out of this room and get a new best friend."

"Do you even have other friends?" Donghyuck asks, immediately stopping Renjun when he makes to get up, "Okay, okay, I got it, I'm sorry my popular friend Renjunie, there's no need to get mad."

"This is really your last chance." Renjun threatens, already ready to get up when Donghyuck laughs.

"No, but for real, your makeup's really pretty." Donghyuck says, reaching over to gently brush Renjun's hair away from his eyes, lingering slightly on the tinsel peeking from between the strands, "Enough that I want to have it done for me too. It's really not easy for such heavy makeup to fit you quite so naturally."

"Yeah, Jaehyun-hyung's and Jaeminnie's were like that too, but we all had like a different theme, so that was pretty cool."

"You should invite me along next time. I wanna get dolled up and photographed too since I bet I would make for an amazing model."

That makes Renjun laugh. Donghyuck's certainly an awfully pretty man, even if Renjun would rather die than say that to his face, and he would certainly rock an editorial type makeup look, but more than that, the whole atmosphere back at the warehouse reminded Renjun of Donghyuck, so it's almost funny how he wasn't actually there.

"What? You don't think so? Or you just don't wanna invite me along so I don't intrude on your precious alone time with Jaemin?" Donghyuck asks when Renjun doesn't immediately answer, shielding his face before Renjun even gets the chance to grab the pillow again.

"If you know you're gonna get hit, why do you even say it?"

"Because I like getting hit?" Donghyuck says in a disgustingly sweet tone, framing his face and winking at Renjun.

"Nope, nope, no way, that is way too much information for me, I did not want to know that."

"Why? Renjun-ah, please hit me more!"

"Oh my god, I really hate you." Renjun says, barely keeping himself back from strangling Donghyuck, lest he might fucking enjoy it. He already seems to enjoy it too much, falling back from his overly loud laughter as Renjun just stares at him in disgust. Of course, it doesn't take long until they're both laughing, as Donghyuck's laughter is terribly contagious and Renjun's never been good at keeping a straight face around him.

"You know, I've been thinking about it and you might really be worse than Jaemin." Renjun says when they both calm down a little, laughter still hanging to his words and dampening the effect slightly.

"Yeah? You've been thinking about it? You didn't just come to this conclusion right now?"

"You've always been annoying, you brat, it's just that sometimes you somehow manage to top yourself."

"I prefer being a bottom though." Donghyuck says seriously, swiftly earning himself a pillow to the face.

"I should just stop talking to you."

"Aw, but you wouldn't, I'm far too entertaining to be ignored."

"You're just too annoying to be ignored, even if I wanted to."

"Renjun-ah, just come out and say you love me, there's no need to be shy." Donghyuck says, framing his face and leaning forward with his lips pursed, like he's expecting Renjun to kiss him. He has his eyes closed, so Renjun gags extra loud to make sure he can't miss the sound before flicking his mouth.

"I'd rather die, thank you very much."

"That's so mean! You're much cuter when you're drunk and tearfully telling me that I'm the only one for you."

"That has never happened!"

"It has. I even have it filmed, you wanna see?" Donghyuck says, brandishing his phone like he thinks Renjun's above chucking it out the window. He's not even above chucking Donghyuck out the window.

"If you don't delete that right now, I'll delete you!"

"You will?" Donghyuck asks, looking far too excited for someone who's being threatened with murder. Thankfully for him, his phone starts ringing before Renjun gets the chance to actually strangle him, but for some reason he frowns at the name that pops up on the screen.

"Did you and Mark-hyung fight?" Renjun asks when Donghyuck doesn't immediately pick up, but Donghyuck only shakes his head, his expression no less severe.

It's a very short phone call, just Mark asking Donghyuck to come over, but Donghyuck looks far too worried for Renjun's taste when he hangs up.

"Did something happen?"

"It's Jungwoo-hyung. He's been feeling under the weather lately and Mark-hyung has been really worried, today even more than usual, so I told him to just call me over if he needs the help."

"Is there- Can I do anything to help?" Renjun asks, but Donghyuck only shakes his head, clearly distracted as he just reaches over and ruffles his hair, trying to go for a smile, but getting more of a grimace.

"Thank you, but it's okay. I'll call you if I need anything, but you shouldn't wait up for me, just go to sleep."

Renjun doubts that he can simply go to sleep, but he agrees to it anyways, walking Donghyuck to the door and reminding him that he can call at any time if he needs anything before waving him away. It makes the room suddenly feel very empty without Donghyuck's noisy voice to fill it up, even if Renjun couldn't wait for him to shut up not even five minutes ago. In fact, it's a little like a power outage, the sudden loss of light making the room seem much darker than it actually is.

Renjun doesn't like it one bit.

While he does usually enjoy the peace and quiet, he doesn't really like being alone that much, even less since he's been living with Donghyuck. He used to be much better at it, when he was younger and his parents were gone for work more time than they were home, but lately he seems to have forgotten how to deal with it and he's really not that eager to remember.

He's pretty sure Donghyuck won't be coming back tonight, but he still keeps checking his phone as he gets around to changing into something more comfortable and then finally to taking off his makeup. Renjun has worn makeup before, but just very light one, and so the very pretty, but considerably more heavy one he's wearing right now does prove to be a problem. Firstly because he doesn't know where to start taking it off, but secondly, and more importantly really, because he can't seem to find any makeup remover for some reason.

Donghyuck absolutely loves doing his makeup, so Renjun's pretty sure they must have some lying around, but he really can't find it and he briefly considers calling Donghyuck to ask him about it, before dropping the idea. He's a big boy, he can totally handle himself.

It's how he ends up in front of Jaemin's door at a late enough hour that it could probably be considered rude. He does hesitate before knocking, even turning around to go back to his room a few times before he finally gathers the courage, but in the end if Jaemin's sleeping or doesn't want to answer, he can simply ignore him and Renjun can just go to sleep looking very pretty.

He only knocks three times, quietly enough that he won't likely wake him up if he's sleeping, and blinks when the door suddenly opens. He regrets his decision as soon as he catches sight of Jaemin, his bare chest first and then his way too annoyingly bright smile for the late hour.

"Ah, Renjun-ah, what a pleasant surprise." Jaemin says sweetly, his tone unwavering even as Renjun's lip curls in distaste, "You should come in."

Renjun definitely should not. Maybe he should really have just gone to sleep like this. "Aren't you gonna ask me why I'm here?"

"Mm, why are you here?" Jaemin asks, stepping out of the way and motioning for Renjun to come in. He's only wearing a pair of sweatpants and a towel carelessly thrown over his head and Renjun probably stares at the lean line of his abdomen for a bit too long to be considered polite before he finally manages to look up. Even after washing up, there's still some glitter clinging to his chest, catching light when he moves, so Renjun can't be fully blamed for the way his gaze keeps slipping.

"Donghyuck's gone so I need makeup remover." Renjun summaries easily, a smile pulling at his lips when Jaemin's face scrunches in confusion.

"Gone as in, like, he died?"

"Yeah, I killed him." Renjun deadpans, raising his brows when Jaemin bursts into laughter, "What? You don't believe me?"

"Sure I do." Jaemin allows.

"Is it because I'm small? You shouldn't underestimate me, Jaemin-ah, I could totally take you down if I put my mind to it. Just like I took Donghyuck down."

"No offence, Renjun-ah, cause I'm sure you could take me down, but Donghyuck actively looks for people to take him down. He literally goes down willingly."

"Well, that's a fair point." Renjun says, surveying the room for a second before ultimately just sitting down on the bed. He's still not used to being in Jaemin's room, even more so since he did not expect to ever visit it ever again, but here he is, having come of his own volition too.

"Can I make you some coffee?" Jaemin asks suddenly and Renjun blinks, unsure if he got the question right.

"Who the hell drinks coffee at this hour?"

"I'll take that as a no."

"No but for real, how are you gonna sleep anymore if you drink coffee now?" Renjun asks, suspiciously eyeing the two cups Jaemin takes out.

"I mean, I'm not gonna drink it either."

"Why in god's name did you even ask me then?"

Jaemin shrugs, "Water then?" he asks instead, turning to smile at Renjun when he huffs.

"That's how you should have started, but yeah, thank you."

"So what happened? Is Donghyuckie alright?" Jaemin asks, his tone light and easy as he hands Renjun his cup of water, their fingers brushing for the briefest second. He has very warm hands, a fact that Renjun would like to forget as soon as he notices it, mad that he even noticed it in the first place.

But the more pressing matter is Jaemin realising there's something wrong in the first place, the man proving to be way more perceptive than Renjun would have pegged him as. There's a thought, a very quiet, but awfully annoying one, that if he paid just a bit more attention to Jaemin, it might not have come as such a surprise. He very quickly squishes that thought.

"Nothing happened, I don't know what you're talking about." Renjun lies quickly, before the truth can bleed into his voice, frowning when Jaemin only hums.

He doesn't push the matter, but somehow it still feels like a loss. Maybe because Renjun has absolutely no idea what could possibly be going through Jaemin's head, while Jaemin himself seems to know more about what Renjun's thinking than he lets off, or maybe because every time they meet, Renjun's first impression of him seems farther and farther away from the truth, or, worst of all, because ever since Jaemin opened the door for him, Renjun's unease about Donghyuck and Jungwoo and his own uselessness seems to have gone somewhere.

"If you keep thinking so much, your head's gonna explode, Renjun-ah." Jaemin says gently, placing his own cup on the bedside table before easily making his way back to him and kneeling in front of Renjun's very eyes. It's so completely sudden that Renjun can't even manage to think of a witty response to that, just blinking at the man currently on his knees in front of him.

His towel has slipped from his head and is now strewn casually around his neck, his hair still mostly damp, and Renjun's not sure what he should even focus on between the dizzying lack of a shirt, the damn droplets of water on his skin that look like they were purposely left there and the very pressing matter that he's fucking kneeling in front of him. It's definitely not the kind of sight Renjun was expecting, or even ever thought about, so it does take him aback, enough that he just keeps staring, his words having betrayed him.

"Maybe you should think a little." Renjun manages after an awkwardly long moment, but it doesn't come out quite as accusing as he would have wanted it to, his very voice betraying him as it breaks on the words. He does not acknowledge his growing blush, clearing his throat before he speaks again, "And what are you doing anyway?"

"Mm?" Jaemin asks, not at all phased, because of course he's not, "Helping you take off your makeup. Isn't that why you came?"

"You're- What?" Renjun asks, but then Jaemin reaches for his face and very gently takes off one of the rhinestones stuck to his cheeks.

He looks different now, without the heavy makeup and photo ready hooded gaze and clothes to match, but for some goddamn reason he manages to look just as pretty, maybe somehow even prettier, if that's even possible. It pisses Renjun off, but he blames the late hour and the weird mood he's in for the fact that he's noticing completely irrelevant and kind of annoying things, like how long Jaemin's lashes are and how his cheeks are still flushed from his shower and how he looks good even with his hair pushed back.

"Sometimes I really want to kill you." Renjun says honestly as Jaemin carefully takes off yet another rhinestone. If it was after him, he'd just rub at his face until he was sure he couldn't feel any more and just call it a day, but he can't fully say that he hates this. He doesn't like the situation one bit, sure, but he really can't say he hates the warm, gentle fingers on his face.

"Suddenly?" Jaemin laughs, looking up with those wide eyes of his at Renjun. He's certainly a different breed.

If it were Donghyuck, the fucker, he would be framing his face and saying something along the lines of Because I'm so pretty? Beauty is not a crime, Renjun-ah, blame the sin, not the sinner! and Renjun could just beat him up, but Jaemin is a peculiar type of annoying. He still wants to beat him up, but in a different way, one he's not entirely sure about.

"Yup, I just suddenly thought of murder, it's how I usually spend my days." Renjun says, much to Jaemin's laughter, who seems to find just about everything he says funny. He's not entirely sure if he should take it as a compliment or as an insult.

"You're very cute."

Renjun blinks, "Suddenly? I tell you I'm thinking of killing you and that suddenly makes me cute?"

"It's not sudden, Renjun-ah. I've always thought you were cute, it's just the first time I've told you that." Jaemin explains, his voice lower, loose and gentle and unexpectedly pleasant, settling warm in the pit of Renjun's stomach.

"Do you have a fever or something?" Renjun asks, trying very hard to ignore the way he can feel his face warm up by the second, thankful at the very least that the makeup is hiding his stupid blush, "Or do you just normally say things that make no sense?"

"Mm? But I think it makes perfect sense. I do think you're adorable and I have for a while."

"No, it doesn't. And you don't either." Renjun says firmly, unsure who he's really trying to convince.

"Yes I do. Do you want me to go into more detail so you'll believe me?" Jaemin asks, smiling that stupid smile of his, made even worse by the fact that he's ridiculously close to Renjun and also goddamn fucking half naked. Why didn't Renjun just simply go to sleep when he had the chance?

"Actually, you know what? I'll just take your word for it."

"Aw, but why? I could talk about your cuteness all night."

"Please don't."

"But now I really want to."

"I'll kill you, Na Jaemin."

Jaemin laughs at that, sitting up on his knees so he's level with Renjun and moving even closer until Renjun's knees are pressed against his bare stomach. Why he's still not wearing a shirt is the biggest mystery, as Renjun's pretty sure he doesn't have to be naked to be able to take off his makeup, but he feels like he'll lose if he mentions it and there's really nothing that could be worse than that, especially since it feels like he's been losing all day.

"Can you close your eyes?" Jaemin asks, tapping Renjun's knee and smiling when Renjun, like the huge dumbass that he is, parts his legs in his momentary shock at the question. It allows Jaemin to shuffle even closer, close enough that Renjun's fingers, wrapped tight enough around his cup of water that they've gone all white, press against his bare damn chest.

"Why." Renjun squeaks embarrassingly. Sometimes the very person he wants to kill happens to be himself.

"So I can take off the fake lashes. But you don't have to if you don't wanna." Jaemin says with an amused smile and Renjun very quickly changes targets back to him.

"Fuck off, Na Jaemin."

"You know, I've never seen someone look as cute as you do while they're cursing."

Renjun opens his mouth to potentially curse again before realising that it would count as a loss for him and just settling on glaring. It makes Jaemin laugh, bright and full and annoying, at odds with his gentle fingers as he carefully takes off the lashes.

"You look cute even when you're glaring." Jaemin says around his laughter, his expression only getting brighter when Renjun slaps his chest. It seems to be a curse Renjun has, getting called cute by people when he's mad, but while he wants to kill both Jaemin and Donghyuck, there's a different sort of anger when it comes to Jaemin. One that makes his chest flutter and his face flush, one that also makes him consider just upending his cup of water on Jaemin's head.

The only reason he doesn't is that Jaemin's already plenty wet and Renjun might just end up making the situation worse for himself.

"Why do you have to be like this?" Renjun asks, hating how whiny he manages to sound. Really, it's all Jaemin's fault.

"Mm? Like how?"

"Like this." Renjun says, motioning at Jaemin in his entirety and almost spilling his water all over himself, "Calling me cute and shit just to make fun of me."

Jaemin laughs at that, easily taking the cup from Renjun's hand and placing it safely away next to his own. Thankfully he doesn't get all up in Renjun's business when he comes back, sitting down in front of him and leaning back on his hands as he looks Renjun over with a smile before his brow suddenly furrows into a frown.

"But I'm not making fun of you."

"Why else would you call me cute? If not to tease me about it."

Jaemin's frown deepens and he blinks at Renjun like he's speaking in Chinese, "What do you mean?"

"Like I said-"

"I call you cute simply because you are cute." Jaemin says before Renjun even gets the chance to finish, like it's common sense or something, "You know how you say 'woah, what nice weather' when it's sunny outside? It's the same as that. Why would I even tell you you're cute if I didn't believe it?"

Renjun can only stare. He opens his mouth a few times, but his head is completely blank, no words even beginning to form, so he just closes it back up, like a fish on dry land. A very stupid fish.

Whoa, what nice weather. That's the level on which Renjun is cute to Na Jaemin, the same way one goes out and sees the sun and says it's sunny, just simple as that. The world tilts a little, like it's slipped off its original axis and as Renjun tries to comprehend the change of scenery, he realises very belatedly that he may have read Jaemin very, very wrong.

"I think I need to go." Renjun says suddenly, easily sitting up as he tries to make sense of his own thoughts. He doesn't get to go far before Jaemin grabs his wrist, a pout curling on that damn mouth of his as Renjun makes the mistake of meeting his eyes.

"Ah, but you can't leave already, Renjun-ah! You haven't even taken your makeup off yet."

"I'll- I can just do that in my own room."

"No, no, here, I'll help you." Jaemin says sweetly, sitting up as well and pulling Renjun along to the bathroom.

It's almost in a daze that he lets himself be walked through Jaemin's routine, obediently using every product that he's given without questioning it too much. Donghyuck also had a skincare phase at one point with a 15-step routine that Renjun would have forgotten after the second step, but which Donghyuck followed religiously for a short while. Of course, being who he is, after two weeks or so he got bored and completely dropped it and it made just as little sense to Renjun as to why he started it, since his skin has always been annoyingly good.

Jaemin's skin also looks very good, just as annoyingly so, be it thanks to the skincare or just his damn good genes, but Renjun tries not to think about it too much as Jaemin tops off the whole routine with some sort of nice smelling mist that he sprays all over Renjun's face.

"Woah, Renjun-ah, you really are very pretty." Jaemin says suddenly, voice all sweet. He's much closer than expected when Renjun opens his eyes, looking at him with something like awe, wide-eyed and terribly honest and for a second Renjun just stares. His lashes are long enough that they cast shadows on his cheeks, even more so when he glances down, his gaze lingering on Renjun's mouth for a beat too long before he looks back up.

Renjun's heart does something in his chest, a weird little jump that messes up the whole rhythm, and before he can even try to decipher what that means, he simply slaps a hand against Jaemin's annoyingly pretty face and pushes him away. One more second next to him and he might just go absolutely crazy, if he hasn't already.

"You- What do you want, really?" Renjun asks, very slowly taking his hand away as Jaemin's tilts his head in confusion.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, if you're really not doing it to tease me, then you must want something from me."

It would only make sense. Jaemin has to be annoying. This isn't some kind of stupid fairytale in which Prince Charming is only made of good intentions and butterflies, this is the real world and people don't just praise Renjun out of the goodness of their hearts. The weather is not nice.

Jaemin laughs, a twinkling little sound that makes Renjun want to strangle him, and opens his mouth to most likely answer Renjun's question, but he doesn't get that far. Renjun presses a hand to his mouth before he gets to say anything, suddenly afraid of what could come out of that mouth of his. What would Renjun even do if Jaemin told him he does actually want something from him? Or worse, what would he do if Jaemin told him that he didn't– if Jaemin turned out to actually be made of butterflies and good intentions?

"Actually, you know what? Just ignore that I said anything."

"Okay." Jaemin says as Renjun slowly pulls his hand back, a tiny smile lingering on his lips, "Just know that I'm here if you change your mind."

There will be no changing of his mind, now or ever, but Renjun doesn't mention that. And this time when he says that he should get back to his room, Jaemin easily lets him go, seemingly proud of himself for having helped Renjun with his makeup.

"I did promise I would make sure you took it off." Jaemin says with a smile, finally putting on a shirt, even though he might as well stay like this since Renjun's leaving, but it soon becomes very clear that he's also going somewhere.

"What are you doing?" Renjun asks as Jaemin walks out of the room with him. He's easier to look at now with much less skin on display, but his smile is just as annoying, even more so coupled with the still damp hair and pretty eyes.

"Mm? Walking you to your room, of course."

Of course. It doesn't even make any fucking sense, Renjun literally lives in the same damn building, it's not like something's going to happen to him in the not even five minutes it takes to go up two floors, but his traitorous heart seems intent on pissing him off, skipping beats like this is some jolly occasion and not a horrible curse.

He misses his chance to tell Jaemin that he can totally handle himself, but, thankfully, he's quiet the whole way, still walking close enough that their shoulders touch with each step, but not trying to make conversation or annoy Renjun. He's almost a little too quiet, enough that Renjun nearly starts a conversation himself, but they reach his room before he gets the chance to make a horrible mistake.

"Good night then, Renjun-ah, I hope you sleep well." Jaemin says after Renjun manages to unlock the door, still smiling goofily at him, wide and bright like he's won something. It's at once both horribly annoying and just a bit, a very, very tiny bit endearing.

"Good night to you too. And thank you for taking me to my room, even though you really didn't need to." Renjun says and he tells himself that the smile that curls on his face is because they're parting ways and for no other reason.

"It was my pleasure."

And Jaemin has this way of his, this completely and entirely awful way of his, in which he sounds and looks so goddamn honest when he says things like this, those eyes of his all big and pretty and genuine and it makes Renjun want to– want to do something. Beat him up or something.

It's probably why he grabs his hand when he turns to leave, to give him a piece of his mind and tell him that it wasn't a pleasure for him (even if it wouldn't really be the truth) or even better just actually beat him up, wipe that smile off that pretty mouth of his. But his mind kind of blanks when Jaemin turns around and he looks almost hopeful, a tiny, possibly confused little smile curling on his face.

Renjun clears his throat, tries to ignore how warm Jaemin's hand is in his, how he squeezes his fingers just enough that he probably doesn't even realise he's doing it, just a bit sweaty like he's nervous. Like Renjun makes him nervous. It is not a realisation Renjun wants to have right this second and the more the silence between them stretches, the less he can think of something not entirely stupid to say.

He does make the stupid, stupid mistake of glancing at Jaemin's mouth when his tongue peeks out to lick at his lips, his gaze lingering for a moment too long, enough that it makes the situation even weirder, the air around them weirdly thick and warm and unbearable. Jaemin takes half a step, maybe not even, maybe just a quarter, but enough of a step forward that Renjun panics.

"You should moisturise your lips, they look very dry." Renjun blurts like the stupid little dumbass that he is, finally getting himself to let go of Jaemin's hand.

Jaemin blinks, glances at Renjun's mouth before reaching for his own, fingers pressing into his bottom lip as he laughs. He does seem a bit taken aback, which, it would be weird if he wasn't, but he easily takes a step back, a full one this time, enough that Renjun almost wants to take one forward to close the sudden distance. In the end, he doesn't, but it does take a bit of effort to squish the unexplainable disappointment that takes over him.

"Jeno tells me that quite a lot too, but I always forget." Jaemin says, looking down and away from Renjun as he scratches at the back of his neck, embarrassment making his ears go pink. He's taking Renjun's panic induced nonsense way too seriously and Renjun's not quite sure how to fix it. Maybe he shouldn't even be trying, but for some reason he can't seem to stop himself.

"It's okay," Renjun says a bit too quickly, "I tend to forget too, but Donghyuck's always boasting about how his kisses are the sweetest because he has really soft lips. It's bullshit, obviously, but it kinda makes me get competitive about it."

"About kissing?"

"About having soft lips. Focus, Jaemin-ah,"

Jaemin laughs at that and the tension seems to ease from his shoulders a bit, his smile getting even brighter when he meets Renjun's eyes, "I'll keep that in mind," he says sweetly, "both about the soft lips and the kissing."

"You can forget about the kissing!" Renjun snaps, but Jaemin's already waving at him, walking backwards for a few more steps before finally turning around after wishing Renjun another good night.

Renjun shakes his head, trying, and mostly failing, to keep a smile from curving on his face. There's no Donghyuck in the room to tease him about it, but he still feels a little embarrassed, even more so when he keeps thinking about Jaemin's stupid smile and annoyingly bright eyes. He's probably going crazy after meeting Jaemin too many times, but it's not even a minute after he considers just not seeing him anymore for his mental sanity when his phone buzzes.

Renjun-ah❤️ When are you free to meet up for our project?🥺❤️🥺

Renjun's phone zooms halfway across the room with one swift flick of his wrist, but luckily it ends up on the bed and not cracked on the floor. In any case, if it had broken, Renjun would have made Jaemin pay for the reparations anyway. It does make him briefly consider just not answering the damn text, but they do actually have to work on their project one way or another and ignoring Jaemin is not going to do Renjun's final grade any favours.

The constant heart emojis are a bit annoying, but Jaemin uses them so much that Renjun almost feels like he should be using them too or something, those and the damn puppy eyes emoji. It's an emoji that grates on every single one of Renjun's nerves, possibly because it does actually remind him of stupid Jaemin and his stupidly big eyes and annoyingly long lashes, but most likely because Jaemin just won't stop using it.

In the end, they manage to agree on a time and place that fits both of them and Renjun really hopes that this time they manage to actually work on their project and not get side tracked again. After all, the quicker they finish it, the sooner he won't have to see Jaemin ever again. He's already been seeing him too much as it is.

Well, if Renjun really thinks about it, he's not nearly as upset about having to meet up with Jaemin as he used to be when they first got assigned this project, but if asked, he wouldn't be able to pinpoint exactly why. He still finds Jaemin horribly annoying and yet he somehow ended up in front of his door when he needed a favour and even now, he keeps texting Jaemin even if they've already made plans to meet. It's weird and it pisses Renjun off quite a bit, the fact that somehow he can't stop interacting with Jaemin, but he keeps talking to him, even ends up falling asleep in the middle of a very thorough conversation about hotpot with said Jaemin.

It's really not a very deep sleep and he almost thinks it's his phone buzzing that ultimately wakes him up while the room is still completely dark, but he soon realises it was the soft click of the door shutting. Donghyuck has come back. That or a robber has decided to break in. Either way, while Renjun's mind is on the cusp of wakefulness, his body is very much not, being mostly asleep still, so whichever it is, he just simply closes his eyes and hopes for the best. If it's a robber, they should at the very least be mindful of him and try to keep quiet while they steal his shit.

"You asleep?" Donghyuck asks softly, not even waiting for an answer before gently pulling Renjun's blanket up and sliding in next to him. He's cold as he fits himself to Renjun's back, the chilly night air still hanging to him as he wraps his arms and legs tightly around him.

"Yes." Renjun mumbles, making a tiny sound of protest when Donghyuck's hands slip underneath his shirt in search of warmth. It's usually the other way around, with Renjun always being cold and looking for warmth wherever he can get it while Donghyuck has some kind of internal furnace, powered by the tiny sun inside him that's also probably the source of his boundless energy. It's one of Donghyuck's qualities that Renjun really appreciates, would even more if he knew how to keep his mouth shut. Alas, nobody is perfect.

"Okay."

Renjun blinks, frowning when Donghyuck doesn't say anything else, his breath just a bit ticklish on the back of his neck and his hands quickly warming up on his tummy.

"You wanna talk?" Renjun asks, gently tapping Donghyuck's forearms.

He's quiet for a few seconds, enough that Renjun briefly wonders if he's fallen asleep, but then he hums, the sound low and quiet, and buries his nose in Renjun's hair, not unlike a puppy looking for affection.

"You smell very good."

"Well, we use the same shampoo."

"Then I must smell good too."

"No, you're actually stinky." Renjun says easily, earning himself a huff that quickly melts into gentle laughter, the sound ruffling his hair as Donghyuck squeezes him even tighter.

"So what did you do while I was away?" Donghyuck asks, his voice more normal sounding, cheerier with the laughter hanging to his words.

It's always a bit disorienting, just the slightest bit weird, having to cheer Donghyuck up. It's not a common occurrence, not by any standard, and it's such a direct antithesis to how Donghyuck usually is– lively and bright and the one doing the cheering up– that it always manages to take Renjun by surprise. Granted, he's known Donghyuck for long enough now that the surprise doesn't last and he's gotten so good at dealing with it that Mark even tried to ask him for advice once. It did wonders for Renjun's pride really, but for him it's always been less about knowing exactly what to do and more about just being good at reading Donghyuck.

"I went to Jaeminnie's room," Renjun says, because he knows it's what Donghyuck would like to hear right now and, as expected, he immediately perks up.

It's an easy conversation to have also, and for every little thing Renjun concedes–

"You don't hate Jaemin anymore, do you?"

"I- Not really, I guess."

"But do you like him?"

"I don't... hate him."

"But you just might end up liking him."

"Maybe."

"Maybe." And when Donghyuck says it, it doesn't sound that far off from 'yes'.

–Donghyuck concedes one thing of his own–

"Is Mark-hyung alright?"

"Yeah."

"What about Jungwoo-hyung?"

"Not yet."

"But he's gonna be?"

"Absolutely."

"And you?"

"I'm already better."

–and when they both run out of things to say, the silence that settles over them feels warm, like a blanket, comfortable and familiar, and Renjun finds himself drifting off before he can help it, Donghyuck warm against his back.

 

✨ ✨ ✨

 

Of course, as soon as morning rolls around and Donghyuck's fully back to being his obnoxious, horribly annoying self, Renjun very quickly starts regretting having talked about Jaemin with the devil himself. He's unrelenting in his teasing too and Renjun considers murdering him at least ten times in the span of the thirty minutes they spend together before he has to leave for his class, for each passing minute the urge just getting stronger.

"Well, while I do enjoy getting you all riled up, you know I'm just fucking with you." Donghyuck says, laughing brightly when Renjun chucks a pillow at his face, "And all jokes aside, I'm really happy you're getting along with Jaeminnie. He's a really good friend and I've always thought you two would hit it off great."

"You know, you could say that, like a normal human and shit, instead of asking me about the date of our marriage, you asshole."

"But where would the fun be in that?"

Renjun swiftly throws another pillow at him, but this time around he catches it, a bright smile curving wide and pretty on his face as he walks to Renjun and hands him back both of the pillows before very gently ruffling his hair.

"I really hate you." Renjun says, scrunching his nose when Donghyuck only laughs and ruffles his hair properly, making a complete and utter mess of it.

"I love you too, Renjun-ah, now be a good boy and have fun on your date with Jaemin."

"I'm not even meeting him today!" Renjun snaps, but Donghyuck's already made his way to the door, his damn laughter bubbly and bright as he waves at Renjun before closing the door with a soft click. The man is a complete menace.

And the biggest problem is that Renjun really, really doesn't want to prove him right, but every single meeting with Jaemin (not date, Huang Renjun will not be caught going on dates with Na Jaemin) puts him in a damn good mood. One might even say that he has fun on them, but that is not something he will ever acknowledge out loud.

What's even worse is that the more time he spends with him, the more things he finds out about Jaemin, mostly without even trying to. Some are tiny little things that one naturally gets to know while spending time with a person, but others are more unexpected, at odds with Renjun's image of Jaemin.

For one, Jaemin's surprisingly smart. It's not that Renjun believed he was stupid or anything, but he does get taken aback by just how smart the man proves to be. He has a whole outline for their project, the one Renjun expected to have to work on mostly by himself and then struggle to walk Jaemin through it, and it's comprehensive and colour coded with questions for Renjun highlighted by question marks with hearts instead of dots and blanks for him to fill.

Jaemin even takes the time to carefully explain his thought process and what approach he would like them to take, listening attentively to all of Renjun's ideas and very easily incorporating them. He's awfully easy to talk to and they get through so much more than Renjun would have thought, all his worries about the project dissipating somewhere between Jaemin's bright ideas and his easy laughter.

("I told you Jaeminnie's a smart boy." Donghyuck says smugly when Renjun can't help but praise the man, having not had the opportunity to ever work with someone who actually takes a project seriously before.

"Actually, no you didn't, you asshole."

"Oh but I'm sure I did. Haven't I mentioned how Jaemin's grades are like top ten in our year?"

Renjun blinks, "They're what? Are you fucking messing with me?"

"Me? Never."

"Oh fuck off, you liar."

"No, for real now, he really is top ten in our year. He has study dates with Mark-hyung like at least once a week." Donghyuck says with a shrug, easily stealing the mandarin Renjun has just finished peeling and popping it in his mouth in one swift move. Renjun snorts when he chokes on it, but offers him a glass of water nonetheless, patting at his back until the coughing subsides.

"Why don't you go on study dates with hyung? Last I checked he was your boyfriend."

"I mean, Jaeminnie's pretty cute, if he wanted to be my boyfriend too, I wouldn't say no." Donghyuck shrugs, "Plus I don't care about grades that much. If I was in the same year as Mark-hyung, I would definitely try to take first place away from him, but as it is I just can't be bothered."

"Wait till hyung hears that." Renjun says with absolutely no intention of telling Mark whatsoever.

"About Jaeminnie or the studying? Cause he's pretty into the whole introducing another person into our relationship thing. But he has someone else in mind so you don't have to worry about us stealing Jaemin-" Donghyuck chokes on his words when Renjun shoves another freshly peeled mandarin in his mouth.

"I should really sew the mouth of yours shut."

"But you'd be terribly bored without my witty conversational skills and angelic laughter." Donghyuck says once he's managed to swallow it down, his smile wide and smug and terribly obnoxious. Renjun's annoyingly fond of it.

"More like demonic. And just so you know, Jaemin's only a great project partner, you and Mark-hyung can have him for all I care."

"Mhm, whatever you say."

"Fuck off. I mean it."

"Yeah, yeah, I'm sure you do."

But really, the problem is that Renjun's not quite that sure about it himself. If Jaemin's managed to surprise him once already, who's to say he won't do it again? One thing he does know for sure is that he's not planning on giving Donghyuck the satisfaction of winning any time soon.)

Jaemin's pretty intent on making a complete and utter mess of his plan though. At first, Renjun really thought he had him all figured out as the unfairly pretty, annoyingly cocky player who thinks the world revolves around him, but the more time he spends around Jaemin, the more and more it seems like he was thinking of another person entirely.

It's almost unfair really, like the Prince Charming in fairytales kind of unfair, for a person to not only be pretty, but also smart and understanding and, worst of all, fucking shy. Who even looks at Na Jaemin and expects him to blush when Renjun off-handedly compliments him, or stutter when he tries to order something and even manage to get his own name wrong. It pisses Renjun off, in a very fundamental way, the way one feels when they look at a tiny animal and want to squeeze it really fucking tight. He doesn't squeeze anything or anybody, but the urge remains strong when he looks at Jaemin sometimes.

It's strongest when Jaemin does or says things that he doesn't want to just to please the people around him, but that's also when the urge to beat him up is the strongest, him or the people he's trying to please, be they strangers or Renjun himself. Renjun doesn't even notice it at first, but after enough time around him, Jaemin's starting to make more and more sense to him.

They mostly meet up in coffee shops, since Renjun would rather die than have Jaemin over in his room when Donghyuck's also there to mess with them and Jaemin thinks they wouldn't be able to concentrate if they went to his room. It makes sense and it feels a little more professional like this, less like a damn date and more like an actual business meeting.

("Yeah, sure, the kind of business meeting me and Mark-hyung have in his bed."

"Shut up, you demon, we don't meet outside to fuck on damn tabletops."

"Not yet at least."

"Not ever, fuck off."

"Guess we'll see about that.")

But it also means it takes quite a bit of experimenting and research to find a coffee shop that they both like, since it has to meet quite a few criteria. Jaemin wants it to be brightly lit and fairly quiet while Renjun wants it to be relatively close and for the drinks to be good and not overly expensive and they both agree that the ambiance and staff also play a fairly important role. All in all, it takes a while to find one that they both agree on, but when they finally do, it very quickly becomes their little place, one they end up visiting often enough that all the staff gets to know them.

Their schedules are absolute shit though and more times than not, one of them ends up waiting quite a bit for the other because of that. That person happens to be Jaemin most often, sometimes even waiting for more than an hour for Renjun to come, but he always greets him with a wide, sweet smile and a freshly bought drink for him, easily waving Renjun's apologies away. It's why Renjun offers to pay for the both of them whenever he can, but Jaemin always seems to be one step ahead of him, almost annoyingly so.

"I don't mind buying drinks if I get to spend time with such a pretty boy." Jaemin says, eyes bright as a smile curves on his face. It makes Renjun very ungracefully choke on his drink, a worried Jaemin immediately moving next to him to pat his back, but he's not going to let himself lose quite so easily.

"Yeah? You gonna treat our professor next then? Since he's the reason we got paired up in the first place."

Jaemin blinks, seriously considering it for a moment before he laughs, "Actually, maybe I should. I think I told you before, but I wanted to get to know you better even before we got to work on this together, so the timing for it was great."

"Oh shut up, you're just fucking with me."

"Mm, no I'm not. You know how the first time we met was in that coffee shop where you spilled those drinks on yourself, right?"

"I did not spill them! They just happened to fall on me for some reason. They were cursed since I wasn't the one who paid for them, so no I didn't fucking spill them!" Renjun says, his voice getting loud enough that the man at the counter throws an amused smile their way. The café is mostly empty right now as them and another student in the corner wearing a pair of headphones are the only customers, but he still flushes and clears his throat, reaching for his drink just so he can have something to do with his hands.

"Cursed, huh? I should be careful the next time I go then there."

"Fuck off."

Jaemin laughs at that, taking a sip of his own drink as Renjun sticks his tongue out at him. Renjun has tried almost all of the drinks on the menu, but for Jaemin it's always been the death potion, no matter what time of the day it was. The way he can always drink that with a wide smile on his face is a little terrifying still, but Renjun doesn't question it anymore.

"Anyway, what's this about when we first met? Or did you just bring it up to piss me off?"

"No, no, it's just that it was the first time we talked, but I actually found out about you before that."

"Found out? Did you hire a private investigator or something? Or simply asked Donghyuck, that little pest?" Renjun asks, snorting when Jaemin's eyes widen before he bursts into laughter, his whole face curving with it. It's a sight that Renjun never seems to get used to, one that always makes that weird feeling in his chest flutter to life, accompanied by the sudden urge to hit something, preferably Jaemin, but anything goes really.

"I did actually ask Hyuck. After all, you were with him when I first saw you." Jaemin says and Renjun already doesn't like where this is going, "You both had these colourful drinks in your hands and you just happened to trip and spill some of yours on him. You seemed pretty apologetic about it until Donghyuck simply poured some of his on you and then you chased him around until you could fling the rest of your drink at him."

Renjun very nearly chokes on his drink again. He does remember that actually, quite clearly too. It so happened that Donghyuck was wearing a new shirt then, an unusual one for him, all fitted and white of all things, but it looked good on him so Renjun felt genuinely sorry when he spilled his bright blue drink on him. Of course, Donghyuck being Donghyuck, he easily returned the favour so Renjun just as easily got over his regret and decided that since he'd already ruined it he might as well do it properly. He didn't know until now that they had an audience.

"So what did you ask him anyway? Who the crazy person he was with was, or what?"

"Mm, not really. I did ask him who his cute friend was, though, and he offered to set me up with you." Jaemin says with a shrug. Of course fucking Lee Donghyuck would say that, the damn asshole, but Renjun is kind of surprised that he hasn't heard of this before, as Donghyuck can be very good at keeping secrets, but he always thinks it's more fun to share them.

"But still you said no. Was I not cute enough for you?" Renjun asks, means for it to come off as teasing. After all, Donghyuck has only ever tried to set him up twice and both times were such elaborately planned endeavours that Renjun couldn't even get mad at him. The first time around was with Jeno and they acted like they got together for over a week to fuck with Donghyuck and the second time was with Mark and more than a set up it was just Mark and Donghyuck wanting to experiment and Renjun being the perfect candidate for that. So, all in all, Donghyuck's ideas can be good, Renjun gives him that, but he might have actually killed him if he did set him up with Jaemin.

"Oh no, you were very cute. I mean, you still are, very much so, besides also being pretty and sweet, but I wanted us to meet naturally, not just because Donghyuckie set us up."

Renjun blinks. It takes him a second for Jaemin's words to properly register, but when they do, he almost wishes they didn't. He can't help but look away when he meets Jaemin's earnest, pretty eyes, hoping that his blush doesn't translate quite as vividly as his face feels warm. It's this way Jaemin has of saying things like he really means them, all warm and honest and sweet, and it always manages to take Renjun by surprise, leaving him reeling and off balance.

He's not used to this, not like he is to Donghyuck's loudness and his annoyingly witty replies or Mark's endearingly shy affection and his solid support, but it's not a bad feeling, not really, even if Renjun wishes it were, and he thinks he can get used to it– wants to get used to it even.

"How can you even say these things with a straight face?" Renjun asks, even though he already knows the answer. It's really just how Jaemin is, honest and terribly sweet, even if Renjun has been trying really, really hard to believe that it's all a farce, that Jaemin's just playing it up, but it's getting harder to convince himself.

"Mm, maybe because I mean them? That and maybe also the fact that you look adorable when you blush."

Renjun absolutely does not blush. He has never blushed once in his life, his face is simply burning hot from the anger that he's feeling, he's absolutely not flushing because Jaemin keeps telling him that he's cute and looking like he means it. Absolutely not.

He's not even entirely sure why he feels like this when Jaemin says these embarrassing things. Donghyuck has called him cute and sweet and adorable and all the synonyms he could think of on more than one occasion and yet it has never made Renjun feel quite like this, never made his chest flutter and his heart rate spike up like this, also never made him consider murder quite so seriously. It's something of a common occurrence at this point, Renjun wanting to outright kill Jaemin, but the reasons vary and sometimes, while he still feels murderous, it becomes less of a feeling directed at Jaemin and more of a general state of being.

For example, Renjun very rarely ends up arriving earlier than Jaemin to their project meetings. It's not like he plans to be late and he actually gets quite annoyed with himself when he makes people wait, but even when he arrives on time, more often than not, Jaemin is already there, waiting in the corner all annoyingly charming and beautiful while people sigh longingly when they see him. Granted, the cool boy image fades off fairly quickly when he smiles all wide and goofy at the sight of Renjun, but he's still unforgivably charming.

So on one of the very, very rare occasions that Renjun somehow manages to arrive earlier, he's set on treating Jaemin this time around. The death potion would be the obvious choice, as Renjun hasn't actually seen Jaemin order anything else, but it's quite late and he already thinks Jaemin drinks entirely too much coffee, so he just decides to choose something else for him. It's not even that hard of a choice, as the special of the day is some pink, fluffy drink that looks like it tastes like strawberries and rainbows and that reminds Renjun so much of Jaemin's damn hair and bright smile that he can't help but order it. After all, what better substitute for coffee if not sugar. (That's a rule Donghyuck seems to live by anyway.)

When Jaemin arrives, he immediately starts apologising for being late even though he's right on time, so Renjun quickly reassures him that it's no problem and motions for him to sit down.

"Ah, is this for me?" Jaemin asks when he finally settles down, blinking at the bright drink in front of him.

"Yup, since you drink too much coffee, I thought one of these would be nice for a change." Renjun says, frowning when Jaemin only bites at his lip, the sudden realisation that he may be doing something entirely unnecessary dawning on him, "Wait, sorry, do you not like sweet things? I'll go order something else if that's the case."

Jaemin stops him before he manages to get up, a wide smile curling on his face as he takes a big sip of the drink, "No, no, there's no need. I do like sweet things, so you don't have to worry about me. Thank you for treating me, Renjun-ah."

Renjun blinks. He doesn't think Jaemin's the type of person to lie about these things, but something still feels off weirdly enough. He watches him cheerfully sip at the drink for a few moments before shaking himself out of the weird feeling and letting Jaemin know what he's managed to do for their project since they last met.

They easily slip into comfortable conversation, both on the same page about what they have left to work on, but for some reason, the more they talk, the tenser Jaemin becomes. It makes absolutely no sense as the tone of their conversation doesn't change at all, but Renjun can't help but notice Jaemin's restlessness, the way his focus keeps slipping, fingers drumming across the table as he laughs a bit too loudly at Renjun's words.

"Are you okay?" Renjun asks after Jaemin repeats the same point for the third time. He's clearly distracted, but more than that he looks out of sorts, his face awfully pale and sweaty as he yet again fixes his bangs and finally meets Renjun's eyes.

"Hm? Yeah, I'm fine, but can you excuse me for a moment?"

It's a weird question, especially when Jaemin looks so uncharacteristically flighty, but Renjun nods, worry settling heavy and unpleasant in the pit of his stomach as Jaemin quite literally flees. He expects him to go to the bathroom, but Jaemin makes a straight line to the door, the chime of it loud in the mostly empty shop.

Renjun is left watching the door for maybe half a minute, give or take a bit, before he decides that something must have happened and his help is absolutely required. He doesn't even have to look long as he finds Jaemin hunched over a little ways over, upending the contents of his stomach over a patch of grass. It does take a moment for him to actually understand what he's seeing, but then he immediately makes his way to Jaemin, wanting to do something to help him even if he has no idea what.

He ends up awkwardly hovering while Jaemin gathers himself, unsure if he should touch him or not, but not wanting to leave him alone either way.

"Are you okay?" Renjun asks stupidly, as if someone could be okay after they've just thrown up, offering Jaemin a tissue when he manages to right himself.

"Yeah, this time I'm really fine, sorry for worrying you."

"It- That's- Are you really sure you're fine? Forget worrying me, if you're not feeling good you should tell me so we can do something about it."

Jaemin laughs, that bright little laugh of his, and reaches over to ruffle Renjun's hair, the earlier tension and restlessness nowhere to be found, "I'm really okay right now, promise."

But Renjun's not entirely convinced, "I don't think people just randomly throw up for no reason."

"It wasn't really for no reason,"

"What? How? Did you eat something weird?"

Jaemin rubs at the back of his head, his smile just as easy and wide as Renjun's gotten used to, if not more chapped than usual, "I guess you could say that. I just happen to be lactose intolerant."

Renjun blinks, "You what."

"I'm just-"

"No, actually, I heard you just fine the first time. What I want to know is why the fucking hell did you drink that if you're fucking lactose intolerant?"

"Woah, Renjun-ah, it's not good to curse."

"Fuck you." Renjun spits, much to Jaemin's delight who just bursts into laughter, terribly amused even though the situation is anything but, "No, but for real, did you know you were gonna throw up?"

"I mean, I didn't know know. It has been known to happen, like my body tends to absolutely hate any hint of lactose-"

"Yet again, why the hell did you drink it then?"

Jaemin shrugs, clearly not nearly as worried as Renjun about this whole situation, "Because Renjunie bought it for me."

Renjun opens his mouth to argue because Jaemin's being stupid, but then his words register and he stops, blanks for a full second, "You're an idiot," he manages to get out when he gathers himself, but it only makes Jaemin laugh. "No, stop that, don't laugh. I'm being serious."

"About me being an idiot?"

"Yes! And no. Seriously now, if it's something you can't drink or eat, even if it's something you simply don't like, just say that. Don't force yourself to do things you can't or don't want to do for me or anyone else for that matter."

Jaemin seems a bit taken aback at that, as if he was expecting Renjun to just laugh it off like him and move on, but he recovers quickly enough, a pretty smile curling wide on his face, "Okay, then if I ask for an americano instead, will you buy it for me?"

"Nope," Renjun says easily, laughing at the way Jaemin's smile instantly falls, "But I'll buy you a bottle of water and anything else that doesn't contain crazy amounts of caffeine because it's late and sleep is important."

"Deal." Jaemin agrees, taking Renjun's hand in his so he can pull him back inside. And even now, his hand is warm and soft and gentle around Renjun's.

("I can't believe you made Jaeminnie drink milk. When you said you hated him I didn't think it was bad enough that you wanted him dead."

"Shut up, drinking milk can't fucking kill you."

"Maybe not me, but it might just kill Jaemin."

"Oh fuck off, he could have just not drank it, it's not like I was threatening him with a damn gun or something."

"But how could he not drink what precious little Renjunie bought especially for him?"

"If I bought you fucking poison would you drink it, you asshole?"

"If you got it especially for me, I would."

"I really hate you."

"I love you too, Renjun-ah, but let's learn to be more honest."

Not a single day passes in which Renjun doesn't want to kill Lee Donghyuck with his bare hands.)

All in all, Renjun and Jaemin become closer, way closer than Renjun would have ever expected them to, much to Donghyuck's glee, but while Jaemin is crazy about texting and Renjun kind of picks up that habit as well, their meetings are almost entirely for their project. Renjun wouldn't say they feel exactly professional as him visiting Jaemin's part time job before they have to meet up and Jaemin picking him up sometimes and always walking him all the way to his room is not really strictly project mates behaviour, but he goes with it. It's easy to start a conversation by asking Jaemin when he's free to work on their project and it doesn't feel weird or forced or anything.

Donghyuck says they're just using their little project as an excuse, but Donghyuck's an idiot so Renjun doesn't listen to him. The problem with Donghyuck being an undeniable menace, though, is that sometimes he's the main and sole reason Renjun ends up in completely unwanted situations, like knocking on Jaemin's door at 11pm like a dumbass. Granted, it has happened before, but the context was completely different.

His day had been going well too. It was a busy day for him, with back to back classes and no time to really drop by his room or meet Jaemin for their project, but a pretty productive day as he got quite a lot of things done and also managed to get praised by his favourite professor. And even if he finished quite late, he still got to eat dinner with Chenle, whose mother brought food for the both of them because of an offhand remark Renjun made last week about missing home.

It made him happy enough that he found himself humming all the way back to his room, his tummy full and his mind tired enough that he could probably fall asleep as soon as his head hit his pillow. Of course, Lee Donghyuck, the demon himself, had completely other plans for him and Renjun found himself in the middle of his room staring but not really understanding what he was seeing.

If he hadn't been quite so tired, his mind might have registered the needy tone of Donghyuck's voice and the not in any way subtle moans before he even opened the door, but as things stand he is left staring at Mark holding a flushed Donghyuck against the wall, his hands held high up above his head and his legs wrapped around Mark's waist. They are both very much naked.

"Ah, Renjun-ah," Donghyuck says when he notices him, or rather moans, his voice all sticky and overly sweet with pleasure, "You're back early."

Renjun is not in any way, shape or form back early. One might even argue that he's back quite late, but Donghyuck doesn't seem to be in any shape to argue.

"Oh my god, fuck," Mark says, suddenly letting go of Donghyuck's hands and glancing almost apologetically at Renjun. It seems like a much more sensible reaction than Donghyuck's, but still not the reaction Renjun's looking for, as the only thing that's worse than Mark apologising for something that's not his fault, is him apologising while naked.

Donghyuck whines before any apologies manage to come out, his hands still high above his head and his eyes dark and unfocused, clearly annoyed at being ignored and not even remotely bothered about being walked on, "Hyung, focus! If Renjunie wants to join us, he's welcome to, so don't lose focus on me."

"Ah, but-"

"I'll just go." Renjun says before Mark says something grossly sweet and entirely too emotional for the situation. If he wasn't quite so tired, he might even consider the proposal, but as things stand he might just kill Donghyuck if he joins, so he easily turns around and makes his way to the door, ignoring the way Donghyuck moans before he even manages to get out.

Every single day Renjun makes a choice not to choke the life out of Donghyuck with his bare hands and every day he lives to regret it, so he really shouldn't be that surprised about today not being an exception.

What he is surprised about is how he ends up in front of Jaemin's door before he can even make the conscious decision to go there– and really he's actually less surprised and more annoyed. He hasn't actually seen Jaemin these past few days, but they've already made plans to meet up tomorrow so it feels overly weird being here at this questionable hour with no actual reason besides having gotten sexiled out of his own damn room.

He could go to Jungwoo's room, since Mark's clearly not there, or even Chenle's, but Renjun finds himself knocking before he can talk himself out of it.

"Whoa, Renjun-ah, how nice to see you," Jaemin says as soon as he opens the door for him, thankfully not naked, and immediately motions for him to come in. It briefly makes Renjun wonder if Jaemin just invites anyone in if they turn up at his door, or if he's just like this with Renjun, but he quickly abandons the thought when he can't seem to make up his mind about which one annoys him more.

"Sorry for dropping by so suddenly."

"Mm? It's no problem, I really don't mind if it's you."

If it's you. It's on the tip of Renjun's tongue to ask Jaemin if he says that to everybody, if it's just natural for him to flirt so earnestly or if it's a practiced skill, but then the state of Jaemin's room registers and he freezes.

"Have you been drinking? Did I interrupt a party or something?" Renjun asks, eyeing the empty soju and beer bottles and the leftovers from what was possibly chicken takeout.

"Ah, no, no, Jeno came over earlier and said that he needed to drink, so I kept him company."

"Huh. And he just drank and then left? Just like that? What is this, a bar?"

Jaemin laughs at that, making quick work of the bottles and leftovers, "Not really. Jeno has trouble talking about himself sometimes, but he always comes over when he has something to think about. Usually brings alcohol and food too and ends up spending the night, but he was worried about keeping me up too late since I have to wake up early tomorrow, so he insisted on going back to his room even though I told him I didn't mind."

There's something about Jaemin's tone that grates on Renjun's nerves, be it the sweetness with which he says Jeno's name or the overall fondness which tints his words, the soft, gentle gaze and tiny, private smile. He has heard Jeno talk about Jaemin before, even when he didn't know Jaemin himself, but he didn't pay it much mind, but now he can't help but think about it, can't help but be annoyed by it, the weird realisation of it. Jeno went back to his room so he wouldn't bother Jaemin, but here Renjun is, fully bothering him even though he's also aware he has an early class tomorrow since it's the damn one they share.

"Is this your way of telling me to leave?"

Jaemin blinks, tilts his head in confusion, blinks some more, "What?"

Renjun is being so fucking stupid. It's still not too late to just turn around and just go to Jungwoo's room, but there's this weird frustration bubbling up inside him for some reason and Renjun absolutely hates it. He hates Jaemin and the damn way he manages to make him feel too.

"Why the hell do you keep flirting with me if you and Jeno are dating?" He blurts out, the words registering a beat too late. Forget leaving, Renjun wants the earth to swallow him. He's never considered himself a rude person, not really, but here he is, bursting in someone else's room at a very questionable hour and asking them about their relationship as if it's any of his business. "Actually, you know what? You don't have to answer that, sorry, I'll just leave. See you tomorrow."

But Renjun doesn't get far as Jaemin catches his wrist before he manages to take another step, his giggle light and easy despite the fact that Renjun's having a breakdown.

"There's no need to leave, Renjun-ah," Jaemin says with that wide, pretty smile of his when Renjun turns to face him, "And no, actually we're not dating anymore."

"Anymore?" Renjun asks, his irritation just slipping away as quickly as it came, only the embarrassment sticking around, making his face feel all warm.

"Why don't you sit down first?"

"Why? Is it a shocking story?"

"I wouldn't call it that, but I just want you to make yourself comfortable." Jaemin says, sitting down next to him when Renjun plops himself on the floor, back against the side of Jaemin's bed. They're close enough that their arms are almost touching, close enough that Renjun can almost feel Jaemin's warmth, the damn man some kind of furnace, and he hates himself a little for wanting to close that distance. He forgot his jacket in Chenle's room so he's only wearing a thin sweater and he's not exactly cold, but he's also not exactly against being warmer.

It's a thought that he quickly shakes off, willing himself to focus on the matter at hand, "So?"

"So... we're not dating anymore." Jaemin repeats, rubs at the back of his head as his words trail off.

"Hey, Jaemin-ah, I know I started with the questions in the first place, but if you don't feel comfortable talking about that, we don't have to."

"No, no, it's not that, it's just that I'm not sure how to explain it. Like where to start."

Renjun shrugs, "At the beginning?"

It makes Jaemin laugh and somehow they both lean closer to each other, their shoulders touching. It's a quiet night and Jaemin's voice is even quieter, low and just a bit raspy, but still somehow sweet, his words all round and pleasant and loose, the way they get when he's tired or when he's really comfortable. Renjun thinks he quite likes it, even more so since Jaemin has been talking like this more and more when it's just the two of them, easy and comfortable.

It makes him want to listen.

Jaemin also happens to be fairly good at telling stories. He tells Renjun about how his family lives next to Jeno's family and how the two of them have been friends for as long as he can remember, how they both happened to go to not only the same school but then also to the same university and how somewhere between those two events Jaemin realised that maybe he likes Jeno more than a friend.

It sounds like one of the dramas Renjun watched, with childhood friends falling in love and getting together after a bunch of misunderstandings, but Jaemin's drama seems to pan out a bit differently.

"So you confessed and got together. What went wrong then?" Renjun asks, glancing at Jaemin when he laughs. He's trying not to look at him too much, not at his long, long lashes, or the sharp line of his jaw or his pretty smile. Staring at Jaemin for too long seems like something that's bound to have side effects and Renjun doesn't want to risk it. (If he's being honest with himself, he's already feeling them.)

"It wasn't so much a confession as it was me telling my best friend that I think I have a crush on him. So Jeno, in best friend fashion, told me that he obviously liked me too, but he didn't know for sure in what way and that we should try dating and see how it is."

"Just like that."

"Just like that." Jaemin agrees with a fond huff, "It's kinda how Jeno is, really. So we dated for a while, but it felt less like dating and more like hanging out with my friend who I could also kiss and, like, do other stuff with, you know."

Renjun does not really know, but he nods either way, because imagining Jeno and Jaemin kissing and doing other stuff makes him think about how kissing Jaemin must be like, how his voice would sound, if it would be sweet and high or low and raspy, and that's a rabbit hole he's not willing to go down through.

"That sounds like a fun arrangement." He says, trying to focus, "So where did it go wrong?"

"Mm, I really wouldn't say it went wrong anywhere, since we're still just as close, but dating your best friend is only fun until you find someone you actually wanna date." Jaemin says, leaning his head back on the bed. Renjun can feel his eyes on him, but he pointedly doesn't turn to look at him, keeping his eyes fixed on the wall in front of him, his mind awfully loud.

"Yeah? Was it you or Jeno who started liking someone else?"

"Both. But I guess it was Jeno first."

Both. "And who did Jeno start liking?" Renjun asks because he can't bring himself to ask the other question, the more pressing one.

"Mm, that's a secret. You should ask Jeno himself about it."

"Then how about I try guessing? And if I get it right first try, you'll do something for me."

Jaemin hums, his thigh pressing against Renjun's as he shifts, "What do you want me to do?"

"I'll tell you if I get it right."

"Deal. So who do you think it is?"

"Mark-hyung. Or Hyuck. Possibly both." Renjun says, smiling when Jaemin starts laughing. His hand ends up on Renjun's thigh, touch soft and warm but undeniably there.

"Isn't that cheating? You said one try but you gave three options."

"But I'm right aren't I?"

"Yeah."

"It's both of them, right? Subtlety is definitely not one of Jeno's strengths."

"You make it sound like it's a bad thing, but he's just honest. I find that charming, and admirable really."

Renjun snorts, "Careful, your crush is showing."

Jaemin laughs at that, bumping Renjun's shoulder, "I told you it's not like that. Now tell me what you want me to do."

It's a dangerous proposal. Renjun's too tired to think properly, but quite a few things cross his mind, none of them in any way appropriate and he blames it on Jaemin, how close they're sitting, how warm he is, how annoyingly sweet.

"Who do you like?" Renjun asks, makes the mistake of turning his head to look at Jaemin. His breath catches in his throat when their eyes meet and they're so terribly close, Jaemin's breath warm on his face, their noses almost touching. He should probably look away, he's too tired and he's not thinking straight, but Jaemin's gaze is so intent, his eyes dark with something that makes it impossible to look away, deep and unknowable.

Renjun is suddenly struck by the realisation that he wants to know.

"You." Jaemin says after a beat of silence, voice low and breathy, his eyes flitting to Renjun's lips for a second. They're so close, Renjun would barely have to move to fit his mouth against Jaemin's, to find out if he tastes quite as sweet as he looks.

"Stop fucking around." Renjun forces himself to say and finally manages to look away before he does something really stupid. Jaemin seems to take it all in stride, laughing and leaning his head on Renjun's shoulder, the tension leaving his body as he goes soft against him.

"Then what about you, Renjun-ah? Do you have someone you like?"

Now that's a question. Renjun glances at the mop of pink hair currently tickling his neck as Jaemin somehow manages to move even closer to him, basically wrapping himself around Renjun as he throws an arm around his tummy and tucks himself against his side, and sighs, something like fondness spreading all warm between his ribs. It makes him think of a kitten, just a little, with how tiny and snuggly and warm Jaemin is right now, so Renjun finds himself reaching for his head, briefly wondering if his hair would be as soft as it looks to the touch.

It is, surprisingly so, the pink locks all fluffy as they slide between his fingers and just as a kitten would, Jaemin makes a tiny, inquisitive sound, leaning into his hand even more as he moves his head to look at Renjun, fitting his cheek against the palm of his hand with the movement. His eyes are terribly captivating when they meet Renjun's, dark and beautiful, and his cheeks are all pink, just like his hair, and Renjun just can't bring himself to look away.

"Maybe." He finds himself saying and Jaemin blinks, confusion passing over his features. He's just so damn pretty and Renjun can barely remember what they were even talking about as he presses a thumb to Jaemin's lower lip, pulling on it just a bit, just enough for Jaemin's eyes to flutter close, his lashes long and dark against the fine skin of his cheeks. Renjun must be going absolutely insane.

It's just this way Jaemin is– this annoyingly sweet, gentle way of his that makes Renjun want to just push, just to see how far he can take it, how far Jaemin would let him go. It's a dizzying thought, as terrifyingly tempting as it is unrealistic and Renjun's not sure if he's quite ready for that, for Jaemin, for whatever it is they're doing.

So he leans over and presses a kiss to the tip of Jaemin's nose before pulling back entirely, trying very hard to get his heart to stop skipping beats, but not entirely succeeding.

"Maybe I do have someone I like." Renjun clarifies. He can feel Jaemin's eyes on him, the familiar weight of them, but meeting them only causes problems, only makes Renjun consider doing crazy things, so he doesn't. He doesn't move away either, because Jaemin is warm and soft against his side and Renjun can almost imagine he doesn't want to kiss him if he doesn't look at him. He's not entirely sure when Jaemin stopped being annoying because Renjun hated him and started being annoying because Renjun can't stop thinking what Jaemin's chapped lips would taste like.

"What does maybe even mean, Renjun-ah?" Jaemin asks instead of the other question and Renjun smiles as he leans his head back on the bed.

"Maybe means maybe. You want me to translate it in Chinese for you?"

Jaemin laughs at that, but ultimately lets it drop. He never really pushes Renjun for more than he's willing to give, always lets him set the pace and sometimes he doesn't even notice it, but he always feels so comfortable around Jaemin, safe and content. It's probably why he so quickly forgets why he's here in the first place and only gets reminded when Jaemin asks him if he prefers a pink pajama or a peach one, getting up to possibly show him his options.

"I'm- Did I say I was gonna sleep over?" Renjun asks, immediately regretting his words when Jaemin's face falls.

"You're not?" He whines, disappointment hanging to his words.

"No, no, I am- I mean, I was planning to ask you if I could, but now it just feels like I barged in and gave you no choice but to let me sleep over."

It doesn't just feel like it, since it's genuinely what Renjun did, but even he feels a little bad for having Jaemin so easily go along with his whims without so much as asking him a question. If he went to Chenle's room announced, he's pretty sure the little devil wouldn't even let him in before he heard the whole story and would make him promise to treat him to a meal for letting him sleep over. Renjun should be treating Jaemin to a meal one of these days.

"You didn't barge in, you knocked. And I'm very happy about you finally sleeping over, especially since I've been asking you constantly. So now pink or peach?"

Renjun laughs, a very warm something filling the space between his ribs, "Peach then." he says, "But aren't you gonna ask me why I'm here in the first place?"

"Want me to guess?"

"What do you want if you get it right?"

"I'll tell you if I get it right." Jaemin says with a wide smile and Renjun snorts, but goes along with it either way.

"Deal. Now shoot your shot."

"Mark-hyung and Hyuck."

Renjun laughs, "You're gonna have to be more specific."

"Like how? You want me to tell you what position you found them in?" Jaemin asks, his words light with laughter as he carefully takes out the peach pajama for Renjun and also the pink one for some reason. As it turns out it's not the colour peach, but rather white and full of the fruit peach.

"No, actually, I take that back. How did you know though?"

"Mm, my earlier guest had a similar problem, so I just guessed."

Renjun gasps, "Jeno came over to get drunk because he walked in on those two fucking?"

"No, no, he just went out with them and the two of them kept flirting, so he wanted to tell someone about it." Jaemin says but it still doesn't add up. Neither Donghyuck nor Mark are the type to make anyone feel left out, but more importantly if they were to flirt with someone it would be with Jeno, rather than with each other.

"So you're telling me they went out together and Donghyuck, Lee Donghyuck, funny dude with a sweet voice and pretty moles, did not flirt once with Jeno? Mark-hyung either? Mark Lee from Canada?"

"No, they did, a lot actually, but Jeno really likes them, he wants to be in a relationship with them kinda like, not have fun together for one night and that's it. It's different from what he had with me, it's for real this time." Jaemin says and there's something there, to the tone of his voice, the way he busies himself with unfolding both the pajamas so he doesn't have to meet his eyes. Renjun's not exactly sure what, but he finds himself asking before he can really stop himself.

"Do you still love Jeno?"

Jaemin blinks, looking up just to burst into laughter, "Of course I do," he says and Renjun almost thinks that's all he's going to say for a second, "But it's not the same, I don't think. Being with Jeno was easy and comfortable and we had a lot of fun fooling around, but he's different right now, with Mark-hyung and Donghyuck, and I don't really think it's a bad thing."

Jaemin has this particular way of talking about Jeno– this sweet, careful way like he's talking about something dearly precious– that would give away who he's talking about even if he didn't mention a name. Different. Renjun's not entirely sure Jaemin's aware. He briefly wonders if he himself would realise if he spoke of someone so clearly differently than he did of everyone else, or, more importantly, if he would realise if someone talked about him like this. It's a dizzying thought, one he's not entirely ready to face right now, not when he's still thinking of Jaemin's impossibly dark eyes, his low voice when Renjun asked him who he liked. You.

"What about you?" Renjun asks instead, taking the peach pajama from Jaemin's hands as he sits down in front of him, crossing his legs and leaning back on his hands as he seems to consider that for a second.

"Mm, I think I'm different too. Different from how I was with Jeno." Jaemin says, looking up at the ceiling as Renjun tries very hard to not stare at the elegant line of his neck, "But what about you, Renjun-ah?"

Renjun huffs, "What about me?"

"Have you ever been in love before?"

Now that's a question. Renjun would have easily answered yes if Jaemin had asked him if he ever liked someone before, as he's had quite a few crushes, but being in love is a whole other thing entirely. He wishes he had. Renjun thinks being in love is terribly poetic, but reality rarely turns out to be quite as sweet as novels and movies make it out to be.

"No." Renjun says, then considers it for a second, "Not yet at least."

Jaemin makes a tiny sound, like an amused huff, before meeting Renjun's eyes. His head is still tilted back and while he's not nearly as close as he was earlier, Renjun can still make out his long lashes, the shadows they cast on his cheeks, the darkness of his eyes. Renjun seems to constantly forget, but he gets rudely reminded just how pretty Jaemin's eyes are every single time he looks at him.

"Not yet? You planning on falling in love, Renjun-ah?"

"Maybe." Renjun says, much to Jaemin's laughter.

He's not planning anything really, just how he didn't ever plan on talking to Jaemin, or getting to know him or wondering how his mouth might feel under Renjun's, if his eyes would get even darker and if his voice would come out sweeter and higher or lower and raspier. These are all things Renjun didn't plan on doing, but he might just start. 'Cause maybe if he kisses Jaemin, he'll be able to stop thinking about his annoying smile and terribly sweet voice.

He doesn't actually kiss Jaemin just yet, but he does threaten to beat him up when Jaemin says he should use the bathroom first because he's the guest. They argue about it for a while and even though Renjun's pretty convinced he's winning he still ends up being the first one to take a shower, Jaemin's peach pajama just a bit large on him. But it's soft and it smells sweet and familiar, not unlike Jaemin himself, so Renjun doesn't mind the way the hems of his pants drag a bit and the sleeves pool around his fingers (Jaemin carefully folds them up when he notices Renjun pushing them up for the third time in the span of two minutes).

"Do you think Jeno's in love? With Hyuck and Mark-hyung, I mean." Renjun asks. They've both finished showering and dressing up for sleep and he's currently laying down in Jaemin's bed, one leg thrown over the edge of it as Jaemin fiddles with his laptop on the floor, back pushed against the side of the bed.

Jaemin happens to be wearing glasses, a fact Renjun has just learned, and he's been trying to busy himself with absolutely anything else besides staring at Jaemin's annoyingly handsome profile, somehow made even deadlier by the addition of those damn glasses. It's unfair really, Renjun himself has glasses and yet he's never looked quite so damn good with them on. So, in his quest of thinking of things as unrelated to Jaemin as possible, he ended up going through what he found out today.

Jaemin glances at him from the corner of his eye, his fingers halting on top of the keyboard, "I don't know. I don't think he knows either, really. They've been friends for a while now so he's not sure how he should even approach this subject."

"How did you approach it? When you told Jeno you liked him?"

"I didn't approach it in any way. He was always the one I talked to about these kinds of things, so when I realised I liked him, I simply told him. But I don't think that would work right now."

"Why?" Renjun asks, idly carding a hand through Jaemin's hair. He's still not entirely sure how it can still be so soft when it's so pink, but he can't help but be a little fascinated by it. It doesn't help that Jaemin's also one of the very few people that manage to look so terribly handsome with such a colour.

"Well, those two are already together for one and Jeno doesn't really want to mess with that."

"Yeah, but I also don't think they're even aware that Jeno's interested in them like that."

Jaemin laughs, leaning his head back on the bed to look at Renjun over the rim of his glasses, "Didn't you say earlier that subtlety is not one of Jeno's strong points?"

"And it's really not. I'm not saying they haven't noticed, especially Donghyuck, that man is a menace, but I'm pretty sure they just think Jeno wants to fuck them. If he wants them to know he wants something more serious, I'm afraid he does have to simply tell them, because they're idiots and they won't get it if he doesn't."

"They might not get it even if he does."

"That's true, but it's worth a try." Renjun says with a shrug, rolling to his side and sliding his other hand in Jaemin's hair as well. It's relaxing really and the tiny satisfied sigh Jaemin makes in response only encourages him. "Plus we could try to help them. Maybe."

"Yeah? And how would we do that?"

"I don't know. Get them drunk and make them talk? It usually works with Hyuck, but I don't know about Jeno."

"Actually that might work," Jaemin says, giggling when he notices Renjun yawning, "But maybe we should go to sleep for now and talk about it some more tomorrow, hm?"

Renjun huffs, but he can't really argue that. It does take him a few more minutes to get himself to move, patting Jaemin's hair one last time before rolling over until he can press himself against the wall. He wrestles with the blanket quite a bit before he manages to pull it from under him, but ultimately he settles fairly comfortably and with space to spare for Jaemin.

"Aren't you gonna sleep?" Renjun asks after a fair amount of silence filled only by Jaemin's quiet typing. He's very tired, enough that he would just have to close his eyes and he would fall asleep, but he refuses to sleep before Jaemin as he feels like he's lost to Jaemin way too many times today.

"Ah, Renjun-ah, do you miss me so badly that you can't sleep without me?"

"Absolutely not. I'm going to sleep. Good night." Renjun says quickly, but it's already too late. He hears the click of Jaemin's laptop closing and the sounds of the sheets rustling, but he doesn't realise what Jaemin has in mind until he's draping himself all over Renjun's blanket covered form. He freezes when Jaemin presses his nose into his hair, face going terribly warm when he quite literally smells him.

"Whoa, Renjun-ah, your hair smells exactly like my shampoo."

Renjun elbows him. It's instinct at this point, but it doesn't quite manage to dislodge Jaemin who only yelps and throws a leg over Renjun, somehow managing to move even closer to him. Renjun hates that he doesn't hate this, hates the way his heart does some weird acrobatics in his chest, the blanket suddenly too warm for him.

"Obviously it would since that's what I used to wash it."

"Mm, but I think it smells better on you." Jaemin says, nosing along the back of Renjun's head down to the sensitive skin of his neck, his breath damp and warm. It makes Renjun shiver and he has to bite his lip not to make a very embarrassing sound.

"I really hate that, Jaemin-ah." Renjun says, or half moans really, his voice easily betraying him, but Jaemin laughs and immediately pulls back. It's almost disappointing really and Renjun finds himself turning around to face Jaemin before he can think any better of it, before it fully registers to him that Jaemin's still terribly close.

Renjun regrets his decision instantly.

"Hey there."

Jaemin smiles at him– a tiny, tired little smile with half of his face smushed against the pillow and awfully bright, pretty, pretty eyes– and Renjun's breath catches in his chest, his heart so damn loud he can almost hear it pounding in his ears. This close he can even count Jaemin's lashes, can easily make out the way a gentle flush spreads across his nose, his cheeks, pink and sweet and so impossibly cute Renjun has half a mind to bite those damn cheeks.

Thankfully it's not a thought he acts on, but he does push Jaemin's annoying face away before he gets even more of those stupid ideas.

"You trying to get me off the bed?"

"Yes," Renjun says, but he doesn't expect Jaemin to just laugh and actually roll off the bed himself, easily reclaiming his place back on the floor, "No, wait, I was kidding, come back here."

"You're more indecisive than I thought, Renjun-ah. But it's okay, you can just go to sleep comfortably. I have a hard time falling asleep anyway, so I don't mind."

"Literally what the hell are you talking about? Just come back here," Renjun says, pushing the blanket away and sitting up so he can maybe drag Jaemin in bed by force, "And maybe if you drank less coffee, you'd have a much easier time falling asleep."

Jaemin laughs, "A much harder time staying awake too."

But thankfully he does get back in the bed without Renjun having to move much and he blinks as Renjun sits back against the wall and pats at his lap.

"You want me to get in your lap? Woah Renjun-ah I thought you were sleepy."

"Oh fuck off. Just lay down and put your head here. I can't do anything about your foul addiction to coffee, but maybe I can help you fall asleep easier."

"Don't be mean, Renjun-ah. I've been drinking way less recently because you told me to." Jaemin says with a pout, breaking out in a smile when Renjun laughs and pets his hair.

He realises this might be a worse idea than he initially thought when Jaemin obediently lays down, those pretty eyes of his staring up at Renjun as his pink hair seems to form a halo around his head. Someone or something up there must really wish to see Renjun dead.

"You have to close your eyes."

"Mm, but I like looking at you."

Renjun clears his throat, hopes his cheeks aren't quite as flushed as he feels they are, "Yeah, well, you can't fall asleep if you keep staring at me."

"What if I like looking at your pretty face more than I like sleeping?" Jaemin asks, bursting into easy laughter when Renjun simply huffs and covers his eyes himself.

Renjun's not entirely sure if this will even work. His mother used to sit down in bed next to him when he couldn't sleep and gently massage his head like he's doing for Jaemin now, slow, careful movements which made Renjun's entire body go lax, all the tension leaving him. He tells Jaemin as much and the low, appreciative hum he gets in response must mean he's doing something good.

"Is it bad that I want to keep you here so that you can do this for me every night?" Jaemin asks, his words a bit slurred, like it's almost too much of a hassle to even speak.

"I must warn you that while the first time is free, next time you'll have to pay."

Jaemin doesn't immediately answer and he's quiet for long enough that Renjun almost thinks he's fallen asleep, but then he hums, rolling on his side so he's facing Renjun's tummy and wraps his arms around him.

"Mm, that's okay, I'll pay. Just name your price."

Renjun has a few things in mind. "I'll think about it." He says instead, smiling when Jaemin only makes a tiny sound and buries his head in Renjun's pajama top.

Renjun usually fell asleep much faster when his mother did this for him, alas he was younger and he didn't have an addiction to coffee, but in the end he does manage to get Jaemin to sleep. It does take a bit of maneuvering to lay down as well without waking him up and Jaemin does end up snuggling a bit too close to him, but Renjun doesn't mind it nearly as much as he would have expected (if he's being honest, he doesn't mind it at all, but he'll die before he acknowledges that) and he falls asleep feeling warm and content.

 

✨ ✨ ✨

 

After that, it sort of becomes a catalyst for them and Renjun starts visiting Jaemin's room more often, usually to work on their project, but more times than not they end up getting a bit sidetracked. They talk a lot, much more than they did before and now one of the bigger subjects they keep discussing is just how to hook Jeno up with Mark and Donghyuck. It's a lot of juggling ideas, but ultimately, the get them drunk and get them to talk one is the one that sticks and from then it's just about keeping it a secret until they make it happen.

Granted, Jaemin's much better at the last part than Renjun is, but Renjun blames that entirely on Donghyuck.

("So what do you think about Jeno?" Renjun asks Donghyuck casually over a pot of ramyeon.

"I think you should totally play cupid for us."

"You- What the fuck?"

Donghyuck blinks innocently, resting his chopsticks elegantly on his bottom lip, "Oh why? Is that not why you were asking?"

"You know, I really hate you sometimes."

"Alcohol would be great too, just so you know, it makes for a great excuse."

"Fuck off.")

Ultimately they end up holding a small gathering of sorts in Jaemin's room, with snacks they each bring and cheap alcohol and then some very expensive alcohol that Chenle brings along because it's more fun to drink it with other people. It's really not the type of alcohol you drink with other people, nor one you open when you're twenty something and just want to get drunk with friends, but Chenle insists. Apparently, his father keeps sending him pretentious alcohol for him to try, but Chenle doesn't like drinking alone and Donghyuck quickly reassures him that they'll make sure to go through his whole stash. It sounds more like a threat really, but Chenle seems delighted.

"Well then, how about we start by getting to know each other?" Donghyuck asks cheerily, his eyes shining as a very mischievous grin stretches across his face. They're all sitting on the floor in a kind of circle, cups lined up in front of each other because shot glasses are way too easy to spill from when you've already had a few and Jaemin doesn't want his room to stink for the rest of his stay here.

"We've known each other for years now, what the fuck else do you want to know?" Renjun asks, taking the bottle from Jisung after he carefully pours out exactly a shot's worth in each cup and then just filling them the rest of the way. He pretends to ignore the glare sent his way, much to Chenle's laughter.

"Woah, Renjun-ah, how can you be such an amateur? Getting to know each other games are the most fun between friends you already know."

"That makes no sense." Chenle says, smelling the now empty bottle and scrunching his whole face in disgust before going back to his chips.

"My dear Chenle, this is best explained by giving an example. If I say right now that the person who has gotten a blowjob in the past 24 hours should drink, then, without fail, Mark-hyung would drink. This is something I already know and can use to my advantage."

"Oh, I get it now!"

"See? I told you." Donghyuck says, earning himself a smack to the back of his head from Jeno. It's a very gentle smack, much more gentle than if Renjun did it, but he'll take it at this point.

"Stop saying stupid shit."

"It's not stupid, it's fun! You all need to let loose a bit!"

Renjun has a sudden realisation that maybe this is a bad idea. Jeno, be it by coincidence or some planning on Donghyuck's part, is sitting right between Donghyuck and Mark and he's probably completely unaware of what's being planned for him, but the bigger issue right now is that Renjun is also sitting right next to Jaemin. In his careful plan he failed to consider that gathering up and getting drunk also included him and Renjun should really not be letting loose right now.

Based on the glint to Donghyuck's eyes, it's a bit too late to regret it now.

Surely enough, Donghyuck manages to convince all of them in record time that this is actually a great idea and not the terrible one that it actually is and grandly announces himself as the one who will break the ice. There is no ice to break, but Donghyuck will humour himself if no one else does.

"I'll start off easy. Take a shot if you're romantically interested in someone in this room."

"Start off easy my ass." Renjun snorts. The bastard just had to mention romantically. Who even does that? Renjun could take a shot with a clear conscience if it was just about being purely interested and that asshole knows it.

Fortunately, he doesn't have to think on it for too long as absolutely every single person takes a shot, Donghyuck included. Chenle bursts into laughter almost immediately and Donghyuck looks way too smug for Renjun's liking.

"You know the point is to get other people drunk, right? Not yourself." Jeno says.

"But where's the fun in that?"

"Don't even bother with him. Hyuck doesn't understand the concept of not getting drunk."

It's clear enough by the fact that Donghyuck drank the most from all of them, probably more like the equivalent of two shots than anything else and Renjun wouldn't mind usually, but he needs him coherent enough to remember what happened tomorrow. Jaemin on the other hand drank the least and Renjun's not entirely sure if it's because he's trying to pace himself or if he's just not enjoying this. He seems comfortable enough, thigh pressed against Renjun's even though there's plenty of space and a wide smile curved all pretty on his face as he watches Chenle and Jisung argue about the mechanics of this game.

"Okay, Chenle you're next, do me proud."

"Take a shot if you've kissed someone in this room." Chenle says, immediately looking to Donghyuck for acknowledgement. This is a combination that can only spell disaster and Renjun really does not want to be here for it.

"Kissed someone is a bit too vague, what about-"

"Fine, if you've made out with someone in this room."

Donghyuck snaps his fingers and points at Chenle, clearly satisfied with this, "Now that's what I'm talking about. Time to drink then friends."

After a bit of hesitation, yet again there's no one that doesn't drink and Donghyuck cackles, high fiving Chenle before taking one more sip of his drink, unprompted.

"Yet again, this is not the purpose of this game."

"Yeah? Then how about you give us an example." Donghyuck says, turning to face Jeno properly and batting his lashes at him as he tilts his head to the side a bit. He makes a tiny, not entirely dissatisfied sound when Jeno catches his face in his hand, pressing on his cheeks until his lips pop out in an exaggerated pout.

"Fine. Take a shot if you've ever kissed Donghyuck on the mouth." Jeno says, not looking away from him as everyone besides the two of them take a shot. Chenle and Jisung even decide on a love shot, crossing their arms and giggling as they drink.

"Well," Donghyuck breathes, words a bit mumbled as he shamelessly stares at Jeno's mouth, "We can fix that."

Jeno only snorts and lets him go, much to Donghyuck's clear disappointment, before nodding at Mark.

"Your turn, hyung."

"You know you can play this game normally, right? Like take a shot if you like spicy food, go ahead." Mark says easily, immediately getting booed by Donghyuck even though besides Mark himself, they all drink.

"That's boring, hyung! The point of this is not how many people drink, but how fun you are!"

"No, actually, I think hyung has the right idea."

"Shush. Jaeminnie it's your turn, don't let me down."

Jaemin laughs, waggling his brows at Donghyuck, "So what would you have me say, Donghyuck-ah?"

"Why the hell would you ask him?"

"No, Renjun-ah, he's got the right idea, I'm definitely the most fun one here."

"You're the most annoying one, that's for sure."

"How mean!"

"Oh then take a shot if you think that Hyuck's not the most fun one here." Jaemin says, blowing Donghyuck a kiss when they all drink.

"You are all terrible liars and you will regret this!"

Renjun might have lied but he's not going to regret it for as long as he lives, especially since Donghyuck decides to go for him specifically, going so far as recruiting Jisung on his side.

"Uhm, take a shot if you've ever considered kissing Jaemin-hyung?" Jisung says, then blinks, "Wait, that means I have to drink too!"

Donghyuck cackles, raising his cup in a toast and not waiting for any of them before he throws it back. Besides Jaemin, all of them end up drinking and Donghyuck takes it upon himself to refill their cups even though only his is actually empty.

"No, Jisung-ah, it should be take a shot if you want to kiss Jaemin-hyung right now." Chenle says, shaking hands with Donghyuck who seems way too happy about it. Renjun just wants to kill the both of them.

He glances at Jaemin, who only raises his brows at him and smiles, before looking back to his cup. This is such a stupid game.

"Well, don't mind if I do." Donghyuck says, drinking yet again before pointedly meeting Renjun's eyes over the rim of his cup.

"Woah, Donghyuck-ah, you wanna kiss me? You should have just said so from the beginning." Jaemin says, pursing his lips and Donghyuck makes to get up, but Jeno pulls him back down before he gets to do anything.

"He's not the only one either." Chenle says giddily, bringing everyone's attention to Renjun, who was trying to drink in peace and quiet without anyone noticing. Now not only is everyone staring at him as he's basically confessing that he wants to kiss Jaemin, but Jaemin himself is looking at him, those dark eyes of his suddenly intent, a tiny smile still pulling at his mouth as he just stares. Renjun barely manages to swallow without choking.

"Yeah? You wanna kiss me, Renjun-ah?" Jaemin asks, his voice low and quiet, and leans just a bit closer to him.

Renjun very quickly realises that maybe he's had too much to drink when he almost decides that this is a good idea, his eyes flitting to Jaemin's chapped lips. "Nope." He says quickly, looking away, "No, absolutely not."

"You'll have to forgive him, Jaemin-ah, he's an idiot, he really can't help it." Donghyuck laughs, already ducking when Renjun reaches behind him for a pillow. He doesn't actually throw it because while Donghyuck deserves it, the alcohol in his cup does not and he's already shaky enough even without a pillow to his face. "Ah, right, I'm next, aren't I?"

"Unfortunately." Renjun says at the same time Mark warns Donghyuck to slow down a little, raising his hands as if he wants to physically slow him down. Jeno laughs at Donghyuck's clear disobedience, sliding a steadying arm along his lower back as he sits up on his knees, way too excited about this.

"Don't worry, hyung, I trust that you'll take proper care of me." Donghyuck says with a two eyed wink as Jeno pats Mark's thigh, clearly amused by the situation, "Now, my turn. Take a shot if you've ever given a hickey."

Renjun blinks. He looks around to gauge if Donghyuck's just making up words because he's had one too many shots, but then he meets Chenle's eyes and realises that it's a language problem rather than an alcohol one.

"What the fuck does that even mean?"

"What? Take a shot? It means you have to drink Renjun-ah, good morning where have you been until now?"

"No, you asshole, the other one. What was it again?"

"Hickey." Mark says after a moment, translating it in English before belatedly realising that that doesn't actually help and turning to Jeno for help.

"Why are you looking at me? I don't know Chinese."

"Not to worry, Renjun-ah, I will demonstrate it for you." Donghyuck says grandly, sitting back down and smoothly turning to Jeno. A bit too smoothly for how much alcohol he's been imbibing, but Donghyuck's always in peak form when it comes to being annoying.

"On me?" Jeno asks when Donghyuck starts pulling at his collar, glancing at Mark like he might just jump in and stop them. On the contrary he seems quite relaxed, leaning back on his hands and just looking, his eyes dark in a way Renjun's never seen them before, like he might just eat them.

"What, you don't wanna? Then you wanna leave one on me instead?" Donghyuck asks, tilting his head back for easier access. Jeno just stares. Renjun has no idea what's actually going on in his head, but he's pretty sure there's a war happening right this second. Donghyuck does tend to have that effect on people.

"Jeno-yah, you can just say no if you don't want to. Donghyuck's a brat and he'll probably whine about it, but you really don't have to do anything you don't want to." Mark says easily, leaning over so he can drape himself over Jeno's back, a tiny smile curving loosely on his face.

Donghyuck snorts, "I'm right here, hyung."

"Mhm, I was saying that for you to hear as well."

Renjun can easily tell when Donghyuck's starting to get properly drunk, both from experience and just how obvious he always makes it be, but when it comes to Mark, he's always been much more subtle about it. There are certain things, like how he starts mixing English in his sentences more often or hums songs he sometimes just thinks of on the spot or laughs so much louder and often unprovoked, but what stands out the most to Renjun is how much clingier he becomes and how much more commanding.

It's nothing terribly obvious, but in the same way it seems to almost empower Donghyuck, alcohol serves to loosen Mark. It rids him of his usual embarrassment and nervousness, makes him bolder, and while he's normally the type of person you wouldn't regret following even to the depths of hell, he manages to be even more charismatic when he's drunk, a tad bit more sure of himself. Renjun only sees him like that in professional settings or when he's drunk and he's almost always making fun of just how obviously Donghyuck thirsts for this Mark.

"Yeah? You think I'm a whiny brat?" Donghyuck asks, finally looking away from Jeno to meet Mark's eyes, head still tilted back and gaze half lidded.

"I know you are."

"Why don't you put me in my place then?"

Jeno snorts and both of them turn to look at him, waiting, the tension thick enough Renjun might just be able to cut it with a knife.

"Is it even possible to put you in your place?"

"If you try hard enough," Donghyuck says at the same time Mark says, "Only if he wants to."

"I'll take that as a maybe?"

"You can take it as a yes," Donghyuck grins, "I would totally let you put me in my place."

Renjun thinks they're being ridiculous. "Should we just leave the room?" He says, trying not to flinch when they all turn to look at him instead.

"Of course not, it's way more exciting with an audience. Plus, you get off on watch-"

Renjun flings a pillow at Donghyuck's head before he manages to finish, but his aiming is heavily impaired by all the alcohol he's been drinking so he hits Mark and Jeno too. Really, it's not his fault they're all sitting so close together. He can hear Jaemin laughing next to him, but he refuses to acknowledge him, throwing another pillow at Chenle who might just pass away from laughing so hard.

"Thought you were going to show me what a hickey is, you asshole."

"Yeah, but it's always more fun to tease you."

"Do not think I'm above upending this bottle on your head."

"I know you would, Renjun-ah, I just also know you wouldn't do it in sweet Jaeminnie's room."

"Don't try me." Renjun threatens, pointing the bottle at Donghyuck and managing to spill some on himself in the process. It only serves to make everyone laugh even harder and instead of acknowledging his rapidly spreading blush, he takes a swig directly from the bottle before refilling his cup. He's really not sure why it's always empty.

"So what about it, Jeno?" Donghyuck asks when he manages to calm down enough to speak, though his words are still round and jumpy with laughter, "Are you gonna demonstrate what a hickey is to Renjun while he's still sober enough to remember it tomorrow or not?"

"Like you're one to talk."

"Oh, I already know how to give a hickey so it's fine even if I don't remember any of this tomorrow."

"Is that so?" Jeno says, but there's something to his tone, the earlier amusement having melted into something more serious. Renjun glances at Jaemin, the clear frown on his face, and realises Donghyuck fucked up somehow even if he can't exactly figure out how. "Then I guess it doesn't really matter who leaves the hickey then."

Donghyuck shrugs, "It doesn't. But I want you to do it."

That seems to take Jeno by surprise, clearly not having expected it and he huffs, not one to let it drop so easily, "Even if you don't remember tomorrow?"

"You can just leave another one tomorrow if I don't remember." Donghyuck says like it's some kind of common sense and everyone else is just stupid and then, to really drive his point across, "Jeno-yah, just so we're clear, since you always think too damn much, just like Mark-hyung here, I don't want you just because I'm drunk. I want you because you're hot and I like you and alcohol is just a really fun excuse for that."

"Oh." Jeno says, just staring for a very long moment, "Oh."

Well, maybe Donghyuck is as good at unfucking up as he is at fucking up.

"Right, oh, now get on with biting my neck so I can make fun of Renjun for not knowing what a hickey is."

"Fuck off, you jerk, I just don't know the word."

"Bet you don't know how to leave one either."

"Fine, you're on."

If Renjun was in his right mind, he wouldn't agree to this, but here he is, watching Mark tilt Donghyuck's head back so Jeno can nose along his neck, Donghyuck's eyes fluttering closed as he fits his mouth to the fine skin underneath his jaw.

"Seems like our plan was a success." Jaemin whispers against his ear, suddenly so awfully close to Renjun, almost startling him right out of his skin. He's pressed to him thigh to shoulder, warm and solid against his side, and it's getting harder by the minute to ignore him.

"If they start fucking in front of me, I'll consider it a failure." Renjun says, trying not to smile when Jaemin starts laughing, his breath all ticklish against his neck. He's not entirely successful, even less so at ignoring Jaemin.

"I'm sure they won't."

"I don't know about that, but I will make sure they don't. Plus shouldn't you be more worried? This is your room they're getting handsy in."

Jaemin's wearing a very loose, sleeveless tank top and while Renjun has been fairly good at not staring at his bare arms until now, the skin to skin contact is making it terribly hard to focus on anything else. He's not even sure why he chose to wear a tshirt of all things, but he has never missed the comfort of his hoodies more than he does right now.

"I don't mind. I'll just go to your room if they take it too far, lock Donghyuck out of his."

Renjun snorts, takes one more drink out of his newly full cup and tries not to grimace at the taste. Truly, alcohol tastes foul no matter how expensive it is. "You should just kick them out."

"Yeah? You want me to?"

Renjun considers that for a second, his thoughts moving much more slower than usual, "No. I need to prove Donghyuck wrong and show him I can leave a hickey or whatever. You should kick them out after that."

"But can you?"

"Nope, but that's not gonna stop me."

Truth to be told, Renjun's still not quite sure what a hickey even is. He watches Jeno pull off of Donghyuck's neck with a pop and a much too gentle kiss, stares at the mark blooming all dark on his skin and doesn't understand it any more than he did before.

"So, Renjun-ah," Donghyuck says a bit breathlessly, face flushed all red and eyes still stuck on Jeno's mouth, "Have you ever given someone a hickey before?"

Renjun blinks, "Yeah, sure, definitely."

"Yeah?" Donghyuck asks, finally tearing his gaze away from Jeno to raise a brow at him, clearly not buying it.

"Mhm, absolutely positive."

"I haven't." Chenle says suddenly, munching on chips as he looks at Donghyuck and Renjun alternatively, "But I want to, so teach me."

"Good for you, Chenle-yah, but this is not a learning institution, figure it out on your own time."

"You're drinking my alcohol."

"Fair point, what do you wanna know?" Donghyuck says easily, turning to properly face Chenle, much to everyone's laughter.

"Just teach us the basics."

"Us?" Jisung asks, looking up from his pack of gummies to frown at Chenle.

"Yeah, us, or do you know how to give someone a hickey?"

"I- Yeah, I do."

Everyone just stares. Chenle does too for a second, just blinking at Jisung as he stuffs gummies in his mouth before he bursts into loud laughter, slapping Jisung's arm like he's said something terribly funny.

"Who did you even give a hickey?"

Jisung flushes, washing the gummies down with some alcohol as he refuses to meet Chenle's eyes, "No one. I just looked it up online and tried it on my arm until I could do it."

"You- Oh my god, you should have told me!"

"No! It's embarrassing and you're the last person I wanted to find out."

"Well, now that he knows, you can teach him how to give one, Jisung-ah, good luck." Donghyuck says, easily ignoring Jisung's protests as Chenle basically orders him to teach him in that loud, whiny, half cute half annoying way of his, and turns back to Renjun, "Now, Renjun-ah, did you also try it on your arm?"

"No. I mean, I tried it on actual people."

"Oh, people, huh? So several?"

Renjun licks his lips. No going back now. "Yeah."

"That's great! Then how about you give Jaeminnie one?"

"You- How the hell did it get to that?"

"Well, you're good at giving hickeys, Jaemin has a very pretty, very unmarked neck, two plus two is four kinda business."

"That makes no fucking sense."

"That's just because you're drunk."

"Not as drunk as you, at least."

Donghyuck laughs at that, a full blown laugh with his head thrown back and his body swaying, enough that Jeno has to steady him, before draining his cup and taking the bottle from Renjun so he can refill it, voice full of amusement when he says, "You don't actually know how to give one, do you?"

"Yes, I do, you asshole."

"Then prove it."

"Fine." Renjun says a second before his brain actually catches up with the conversation. It's a bit too late by the time he realises what he's just agreed to, but he might as well get it over with. After all, how hard can it be to bite someone hard enough to leave a mark?

Jaemin's already looking at him when he turns to face him, because of course he is, and he's smiling, wide and pretty and absolutely terrible. It makes Renjun very quickly realise just how bad of an idea this is, but he'll die before he admits defeat to Donghyuck. Plus, Jaemin looks like he'll bruise easily.

"Is this okay with you?" Renjun finds himself asking, quiet, just for him to hear, and presses a hand to Jaemin's chest just to feel the flutter of his heart under his fingers, quick and unsteady, "'Cause if it's not, you'll have to tell me. I don't want to hear any of that it's fine if it's Renjunie bullshit, ok? I want to know if you're uncomfortable with this, so I can stop."

Jaemin laughs, just a tiny huff really, and presses a hand on top of Renjun's, "I actually am fine, a bit nervous, but not uncomfortable, and it is because it's Renjunie."

Renjun sighs, tries to squish the terribly sweet and awfully warm feeling that wells up in his chest and doesn't really succeed. It's only made worse when he somehow decides to hoist himself in Jaemin's lap, like that's actually going to help instead of just make his life so much harder, but he blames the alcohol for every single one of his thoughtless actions. Like Donghyuck said, it makes for a fantastic excuse.

"Hello there." Jaemin says, steadying Renjun with a hand slid along his lower back, warm through the thin material of his shirt. Renjun might just never wear tshirts after today ever again since they're clearly against him and his need to not be reminded just how warm Jaemin is every damn second.

"You'll have to bear with me, because I really don't know what I'm doing."

"Mm, I don't mind."

But he probably should. Renjun doesn't even know how to approach this. He tilts his head this way and that way, tries to figure out a proper angle to go at it before just saying fuck it and going in. He can feel Jaemin tense under him when he presses his teeth to the fine skin of his neck, can feel the way his arm tightens around him before he forces himself to relax, going lax as Renjun tries to bite a bruise into his neck.

It works, for the most part, as there's definitely a bruise there when he pulls back, the shape of Renjun's teeth clearly imprinted on his skin, but it also looks nothing like the one on Donghyuck's neck.

"Ouch." Donghyuck says, having made his way to Renjun's side at some point, "You sure did bite him. Poor Jaeminnie."

"Oh fuck off, Jeno bit you too."

"Yeah, but his didn't hurt." Donghyuck says with a shake of his head. Renjun really wants to kill him sometimes. Most times. "Jaemin-ah, what do you say about showing Renjun what a real hickey is?"

"Maybe you should ask me first, you asshole."

"Fine. Renjun-ah, what do you say about letting Jaeminnie show you what a real hickey is?"

"I hate you."

"Love you too." Donghyuck says, leaning over and pressing a wet kiss to Renjun's cheek before pulling back. He doesn't fully go away, sitting close enough that he can still watch them and maybe Renjun should have really told Jaemin to kick them out earlier.

"So is this okay with you?" Jaemin asks in an echo of Renjun's words, an almost mischievous smile curving on his face when Renjun slaps his chest.

"Just get on with it."

Jaemin hums, wrapping both arms around Renjun's waist and pulling him even closer, almost too close really, Renjun's breath doing that thing where it refuses to come out anymore when he meets his eyes. Earlier, when he saw how Mark was looking at Hyuck and Jeno, he thought he looked like he wanted to eat them, but right now he's almost scared Jaemin might actually go through with it, his eyes dark and intent and making Renjun's head spin. Them or the alcohol.

"Relax," Jaemin whispers, pressing an awfully light kiss to the way too sensitive skin of Renjun's neck, goosebumps breaking out in the wake of his lips, "It won't hurt a bit."

Renjun almost wants it to. He doesn't know if he can handle the way Jaemin noses along his throat, the way his breath is damp and hot on his skin and the way his lips are terribly soft and just a bit wet, would much rather he just bit him and got it over with than whatever it is he's doing right now. It makes him want to scream and he bites his lip to keep quiet when Jaemin licks a stripe up the side of his neck, tries, and horribly fails, to keep his whole body from shuddering, Jaemin's arms tightening around him.

He does make a sound when Jaemin properly presses his mouth to his throat, something between a yelp and a moan as he fits the flat of his tongue to the fine skin there, goosebumps breaking out in its wake. And it really doesn't hurt. There's barely any hint of teeth, but there's a tingly feeling, almost like electricity buzzing against his skin, and it feels hot and wet and so much better than Renjun would have expected it to, enough that a small whine escapes him when Jaemin pulls back, pressing one more fluttery kiss to the skin as if to soothe it.

"Was that okay?" Jaemin asks against his throat, lips brushing against the very mark he just left and making Renjun's skin outright buzz.

"Yeah, that was- that was something for sure."

Renjun's heart is beating so fast that he can't help but wonder if Jaemin can feel the flutter of it under his lips, if that's why he keeps kissing his damn throat, if it's the alcohol or just Jaemin that makes Renjun want him to never stop. He's not even entirely sure why he's still in his lap, the demonstration is clearly over, but he can't seem to stop himself as he cards a hand through those soft, pink locks and pulls just enough so that he can meet those terrible eyes.

It's proving to be addictive, really.

"Yeah?" Jaemin says, voice low and just a bit breathy, as if he too can't seem to catch his breath, "But was it something good?"

Now that's a question. Renjun huffs, pulling on Jaemin's hair just a bit, just because he can, and tries not to stare at Jaemin's mouth, at the red of his lips, "What do you think?" he asks.

"Mm, I wouldn't know," Jaemin says, pulling Renjun even closer. He drags gentle fingers along the side of Renjun's throat, follows the path his mouth took before going even higher, up the line of his jaw and all the way to his mouth, pressing the pads of his fingers to his lower lip, just a bit, maybe just because he can. "I guess you'll have to tell me."

And at this point, Renjun's not entirely sure what they're even talking about, but he can feel Jaemin's breath on his face, the weight of his fingers on his mouth and he really can't seem to look away from the dizzying sight of Jaemin's eyes.

Maybe Renjun just wants to be eaten.

He almost lets it happen for a moment, this, whatever it is they're doing, because while his thoughts are uselessly spinning around in circles he really can't shake off this terrible need that's thrumming in his veins.

But then Chenle laughs very loudly very suddenly and Renjun freezes. It makes him very quickly remember exactly where they are and what they're doing, or supposed to be doing anyways, and lets go of Jaemin's hair, already getting off his lap in a more or less dignified manner.

"God, Zhong Chenle, I would kill you right now!" Donghyuck says and Renjun realises with a jolt just how close to them he was sitting, just how out of his mind Renjun must have been for him to completely ignore this fact.

"Not if I kill you before." Renjun says, but Donghyuck only laughs and scurries away, hiding behind Jeno as Renjun flips him off.

Renjun knows the alcohol is the main culprit for this situation, but it's also the best solution for him to stop thinking about it so he drains his cup and reclaims the bottle from Mark to refill it. They all follow his example and Donghyuck recommends yet another stupid game to play, but they're much more open to suggestions right now. Chenle also seems to have gotten the hang of how to give a hickey too, if the matching bruises on his and Jisung's necks and his smug smile are any indication.

So they start playing some kind of truth or dare for a bit, but it soon becomes dare or drink which ultimately spirals into just drink and dare with way too inebriated people. There's a lot of kissing involved as Jisung makes the grave mistake of telling them that he doesn't think he could kiss someone in front of other people, especially them, and Donghyuck makes it his mission to show him that sure he can.

Chenle's the first to join him in his quest and he immediately offers to be the one to kiss Jisung, which works, more or less, but then Jisung says that he could do it only because it's Chenle. It's obviously the wrong thing to say, because Donghyuck makes him kiss Jeno next and Jisung acts shy about it for a bit, only to end up saying that Jeno's a much better kisser than expected, better than Chenle, so that makes everyone want to kiss Jeno.

It only becomes more of a mess from there and Renjun's mostly trying not to choke on his own laughter as Jaemin and Donghyuck start arguing about who's the better kisser between Jeno and Mark. They even take turns kissing the two in question and exchanging opinions before asking the others to give their two cents too. Donghyuck's even worse to argue with when he's drunk, so Renjun doesn't join the debate, but it's quite hilarious to watch how their argument basically spirals into some sort of contest to see who can get more of a reaction to their kisses or something along those lines.

Renjun's not entirely sure what they're thinking, but as he watches Jaemin and Donghyuck make out, he wonders if Jeno's a better kisser than he is. It very easily puts him in a foul mood, just the thought that Jaemin might kiss him and not like it, or even worse, kiss him and want to kiss someone else instead, but yet he can't stop thinking about it, about how kissing Jaemin would feel in the first place. Renjun hasn't kissed a whole lot of people, but he's also never wanted to kiss someone quite so badly as he does right now. He could do it, possibly, if he tried, Jaemin would probably let him, but for now he settles on watching Donghyuck pull Jeno into yet another kiss for clarification.

Mark's the one who ultimately stops them when Donghyuck claims he's actually the best kisser here since he can get Mark hard within half a minute just by kissing and Jaemin asks him to prove it. Renjun can attest to it, since he's seen that happen before, but it's much more fun watching Donghyuck beg Mark to just let him demonstrate it just this once.

"You know what, I think it's about time we took our leave since it's like, super late and Hyuck's like two minutes away from taking off my pants." Mark says, his words a bit slurred as he tries to get Donghyuck to properly sit up before just simply picking him up. They both sway a bit and Mark has to blink a few times to clear his vision, but Jeno steadies him, flicking Donghyuck's forehead when he whines.

"Yeah, I think we've all had enough excitement for one night," Jeno says, "Now c'mon, Renjun-ah, I'll help you to your room and Jaeminnie can deal with those two."

Renjun frowns. "I'm not going anywhere. You can help those two or whatever, but I'm staying here."

"You- What?"

"I want to kiss Jaemin." Renjun slurs, his mind fuzzy and slow as he tries to sort through thoughts that just refuse to make sense, blurred and out of focus like he forgot to wear his glasses. "Where are my glasses actually?"

Donghyuck bursts into laughter from Mark's arms, pointing at Renjun so suddenly that he almost gets Mark to drop him, "Renjunie lost his glasses! Can you even see? Who am I?"

"Obviously an idiot."

"No, that's Mark, you have to look more-" Donghyuck's words peter off as Jeno covers his mouth with a smile before turning to Renjun with an almost worried frown. Why he would be worried is beyond Renjun, but it's cute.

"Don't you have your contacts on?"

Renjun blinks. Only one way to check, he thinks, but unfortunately, Jaemin grabs both his wrists before he manages to jab a finger in his eye and he frowns.

"Now, now, Renjun-ah, you do have them, so there's no need to check."

"Really?" Renjun asks, leaning closer to Jaemin and tilting his head in confusion. They've moved apart a bit during the whole kissing commotion and Renjun misses the warmth quite a bit.

"Yeah, really."

"Can I sleep with you?"

It seems like a fair question, but Donghyuck bursts into laughter almost as soon as it's out of his mouth, causing Mark to stumble and take a few steps back to regain his balance, bouncing Donghyuck in his arms a bit to adjust him.

"I think you meant to ask if you can sleep over, Renjun-ah." Jeno says, trying to keep the amusement from showing too much in his voice, but Renjun wouldn't say he succeeds. He's never seen Jeno fully and properly drunk and it's kind of annoying how he's still so coherent after so much alcohol, enough that it makes Renjun want to throw something at him. Unfortunately for him, he's already thrown all the pillows in his vicinity so he settles for glaring.

"No, I didn't." Renjun says easily before turning to face Jaemin again. "So can I? You've been kissing everyone tonight, but you still haven't kissed me. I think that's unfair."

Jaemin opens his mouth, closes it, before simply laughing. His ears are all red though and his hands tighten around Renjun's wrists for a second, "You want me to kiss you, Renjun-ah?"

"Yes."

"And will you go to your room if I do?"

Renjun considers that for a second, "No."

"Oh, okay then." Jaemin laughs, letting go of Renjun's wrists and reaching over to pat his head with a smile. Renjun immediately misses the warmth of his fingers on his skin. "Jeno-yah, I think you should help those two and I'll handle Renjunie, hm?"

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, it's okay, I'm sure once he sobers up a bit, he'll want to leave anyway."

"No, I won't." Renjun says, his words a bit fuzzy even to his own brain. Maybe he really has had too much to drink, but this is one thing he's sure about and it's much easier to admit to himself that he likes Jaemin when his brain is drowning in alcohol and is not capable of any thought more coherent than I want to kiss Jaemin. "I want to kiss you."

"And I'm sure we'll get there, but how about some water first?" Jaemin asks in that sweet tone of his, the terribly annoying one that somehow doesn't diminish Renjun's desire to kiss him breathless one bit. He nods at Jeno, some weird telepathic communication going on between them for a few seconds before he focuses on Renjun again, a smile still pulling at his lips.

"I don't want water, I want you."

Chenle bursts into laughter at that, reminding Renjun that he still hasn't left for some damn reason, "Hyung, you should know that Renjun's super stubborn when he's drunk, so if I were you I would just kiss him to shut him up."

"Fuck off, Chenle, go away already." Renjun huffs.

It doesn't really faze Chenle, as he just laughs even harder, waving at the both of them before finally leaving, steps almost hilariously unsteady. Jisung lingers for a bit longer, looking between them with a fairly worried expression that makes Renjun want to coo. Maybe he actually does since Jisung flushes and looks away, rubbing at the back of his neck as he takes a step closer.

"Are you sure you'll be alright, hyung?" Jisung asks, glancing at Jaemin. He immediately helps Renjun up when he waves at him to, steadying him with a familiar sort of ease.

Jisung is very dependable, always has been, almost unexpectedly so really, and he's also had the terrible luck of having to deal with Renjun when he was at his worst. The only people Renjun really knew when he first came to Korea were his roommate, Donghyuck, who was way too much for him at that time, and Chenle, a friend to whom he could comfortably talk about his problems, but who didn't really get those problems. Jisung just happened to be Chenle's roommate and a much too understanding person so Renjun can't really say he didn't take advantage of that kindness.

Jisung took it all in stride, though, and more times than not assumed the role of taking care of Renjun when he drank himself into oblivion because everything was too much or went out late into the night for long walks to clear his head, so it's almost like a reflex now and Renjun's at once both thankful and apologetic.

"I'll be alright," Renjun says, wrapping his arms around Jisung's neck and pulling him into a tight hug. Jisung's tall enough that he has to bend down to properly hug him, even if Renjun's already on his tiptoes, and he feels big and familiar and comforting and Renjun can't help himself from placing a kiss on his cheek, the skin all flushed under his lips, "And just so we're clear, I'm not being angsty right now, I'm just horny."

Jisung freezes, "Oh." he says, finally letting Renjun go and throwing one more glance at Jaemin, "Oh."

"Yeah, oh."

Jisung was already flushed from the alcohol, but now even his neck and ears are red and Renjun laughs, kissing him one more time before waving him away. He manages to trip over his own feet two times on the way out but he doesn't forget to wish Renjun to have a good time in an adorably squeaky voice before he zooms out of the room, Chenle's loud laughter echoing in the hallway.

"Then I'll leave you to it," Jeno says, already halfway out the door, "Renjun-ah, please don't jump Jaemin. Or really, if you have to, please wait until you're sober at least, 'cause he may not look like it, but he's very soft."

Renjun's brain is not in any kind of working order, so he has no idea what Jeno even means, but he nods anyway, "Sure. Also you should probably go now, before Donghyuck comes looking for you."

Jeno snorts, but he does leave, closing the door behind him with a very soft click.

"Has that man ever been properly drunk?" Renjun asks.

"Yeah, but he's just good at hiding it. Once, he got so drunk at a party that he threw up all over the host's bed and then managed to convince all of us that it wasn't him."

"How'd you find out then?"

"He just told me himself like a month later."

"Well, if he could remember, then maybe he wasn't that drunk."

Jaemin laughs, turning to face Renjun with a weird little smile, almost unsure, "What about you then?"

"What about me?"

"Are you drunk enough that you won't remember any of this tomorrow?"

Renjun blinks, "I don't feel drunk at all."

It's a very bad lie. He knows this weightlessness, the fuzzed out edges, the almost muted buzz of his thoughts taking the back seat in favour of his impulses, but it feels more like a dream than anything else, those overly vivid dreams that you can almost control if you try. That's how Renjun feels right now, like he's almost in control of himself.

"But you are actually drunk, Renjun-ah."

"I am." Renjun agrees easily. He's not entirely sure why they're even talking about this anymore, but Jaemin's staring at him like he's looking for something and Renjun just has no idea what. He would like Jaemin to simply tell him, instead of expecting him to guess when he can barely think.

"Then how about-"

"Jaemin-ah,"

"Mm?"

"I wanna kiss you." Renjun says, watches Jaemin's eyes darken as he glances at his lips, thinks he's won, but then Jaemin laughs and pats his head, looking away as Renjun frowns. "You don't want to kiss me?"

"I think you should maybe have some water, else it's gonna be an utter nightmare waking up tomorrow."

Renjun does not want water right now, he doesn't even want to think about tomorrow. What he wants is for Jaemin to look at him, so he grabs the collar of his damn tank top, the one that shows too much skin that Renjun just can't stop thinking about touching, about tasting, and pulls. He possibly underestimates his strength, or overestimates Jaemin's stability, and he stumbles when he pulls him into him. Thankfully, Jaemin is quicker than him and he catches Renjun before he falls, steadying him with an arm around his waist as he pulls him against his chest.

"Careful." Jaemin says, voice low enough that it sends a shiver down Renjun's spine, the tone of it all raspy and loose in the way it gets when he's tired.

"You didn't answer my question."

"Which one?"

"The one about you not wanting to kiss me." Renjun says, drags the hand he has pressed against Jaemin's chest up his neck until he can cup his cheek, the skin flushed warm under his fingers, be it from the alcohol or something else. Jaemin just stares, watches him with those dark, intent eyes of his, all prettily framed by his lashes and Renjun can't really breathe, can't even bring himself to look away. "'Cause if you really don't want to, I won't ask you to kiss me again."

"Yeah?"

Renjun presses his thumb to Jaemin's mouth, drags it across his lower lip, his tongue all pink as he lets his mouth fall open just a bit, just enough that Renjun can feel his breath against his fingers, can feel the damp warmth of it. They're so close that Renjun feels a bit dizzy, the room blurring out of focus as he can't seem to look away from Jaemin's mouth, can't convince himself to meet his eyes again, afraid of what he might do if he does.

"Yeah."

Jaemin hums at that, turning his face in Renjun's hand so he can place a terribly soft kiss to his palm, lips all warm and gentle, "I do want to kiss you," he says, takes Renjun's hand so he can kiss the fine skin on the inside of his wrist, his heart so damn loud Jaemin's bound to feel the thrum of it under his lips, "I want to kiss you so badly that I don't even know what to do with myself."

Renjun's world tilts and tilts and tilts until he's not sure how he's still standing, Jaemin's words loud in the space between them, louder than Renjun's own thoughts, and so terribly, terribly warm on his skin, like they might leave imprints. Jaemin almost makes it sound like a problem somehow, but he wants to kiss Renjun and Renjun badly wants to be kissed, so he's not sure where the problem even lies.

"Then why won't you?"

"You're drunk, Renjun-ah."

"That didn't seem to be a problem earlier." Renjun says, shivers when he meets Jaemin's eyes. He didn't even hesitate before kissing Donghyuck, or Jeno, or Mark, or literally anybody else, but when it comes to Renjun there's only ever hesitation, like he's afraid of something. Renjun really wishes he would just tell him what so they can get over it already and move on to the kissing.

"Because it wasn't, we were just playing around."

"Then why not with me?"

Jaemin huffs, letting go of Renjun's hand so he can cup his cheek, fingers warm and gentle as he rubs a thumb against the fine skin underneath Renjun's eye, touch almost reverent, like Renjun might break if he presses any harder. It makes Renjun's skin burn, this terribly soft care with which Jaemin always treats him, and he almost wants to tell him that Renjun's much tougher than he seems, but at the same time he really, really doesn't want him to stop.

"Because I like you, Renjun-ah. I like you very, very much and I would want to kiss you for the first time when you're sober and know what you want."

"I know what I want right now, too." Renjun says, before Jaemin's words fully register in his mind. It never really sounds real, feels even less so– Jaemin, warm and pretty Jaemin with his wide smiles and low laughter and gentle touches and annoying emojis that he spams Renjun with, liking him, liking Huang Renjun. It feels like a dream, but Renjun can't make up his mind if it's a good one or a bad one and really, if he's being honest with himself (and he rarely is, not when it comes to Jaemin, and even less when it comes to what he might feel for him), it might just be because he's afraid.

Maybe Renjun's just not worth being liked by someone like Na Jaemin.

"Why don't we make a deal?"

"A deal?" Renjun asks, his thoughts all fuzzy as Jaemin tilts his head back just a bit and leans over to whisper in his ear, voice all low, the tone of it scratching something in Renjun's brain, dripping down his spine like sticky honey.

"Tomorrow, if you still want this, I'll kiss you as many times as you want. I'll kiss you until you can't breathe anymore and then some." Jaemin says, lips brushing the shell of Renjun's ear. He seals it with a kiss behind Renjun's ear, fitting his mouth to the sensitive skin there, goosebumps breaking out in the wake of his tongue as he sucks a mark there, a reminder, a promise. Renjun can't breathe.

He stumbles when Jaemin finally lets him go, taking a step back and easily guiding Renjun to sit on the bed, like he didn't just almost kill Renjun. And maybe it's better that Jaemin won't kiss him right now, maybe Renjun's not at all ready for that when he's already reeling, but it's almost cute that Jaemin thinks this burning need thrumming underneath Renjun's skin will in any way go away any time soon, that he might wake up tomorrow and not want Jaemin like he'll die if he doesn't get him. It's cute and Renjun loves proving people wrong.

"Deal." Renjun says when he manages to catch his breath enough to speak and Jaemin smiles at him, that wide, terribly beautiful smile of his that already makes Renjun's resolve shake.

But it's a hard enough deal to respect, harder even when Jaemin starts taking off his clothes so he can change into his pajamas and Renjun's just expected to sit there and not jump him. He watches Jaemin take off the damn tank top, watches the lean muscles of his abdomen shift and gets very rudely reminded of a fact he previously took notice off but did not pay too much attention to for some reason– Jaemin definitely works out. Renjun would very much like to lick along the line of Jaemin's lean abs right about now and the fact that he has no happy trail, the realisation that he probably waxes so he can show off that damn line, does not help one bit.

"Renjun-ah?" Jaemin asks as he slips on his pajama top, the obnoxious pink one. Renjun watches as he does each button before finally tearing his eyes away from his abdomen, looking up and not being exactly sure if the view is better or worse.

"Mm?"

"Aren't you gonna change?"

Renjun blinks. It takes a bit for him to understand what Jaemin's asking him, but when it clicks, Renjun also gets an idea. It's a terrible one, like all ideas one gets when they're drunk out of their mind, but specifically because he's drunk and out of his mind, it sounds fantastic.

He leans forward a bit, so he can look at Jaemin through his lashes and then pouts, nothing too exaggerated, not in the way he gets when he's trying to outcute Donghyuck, but enough to catch his attention, "I think I might need help with that," Renjun says cutely, swinging his legs a bit for the full effect.

If it were Donghyuck, he'd probably be on the ground laughing with tears in his eyes at this point, but Jaemin only blinks, does a double take as if he can't really believe his eyes, "You need help with-"

"Taking my clothes off." Renjun finishes easily. If Jaemin doesn't plan on kissing Renjun tonight that's fine, he can accept it, but Renjun's going to make sure that he's not the only one going crazy over here. After all, if he's not allowed to jump Jaemin while he's doing a strip show right in front of him, well, then two can play this game and Renjun's never been a good loser.

"Oh, okay then." Jaemin says, staring at Renjun for a few more seconds before finally making his way to him.

It belatedly registers that this might be more of a losing strategy for Renjun when Jaemin fucking kneels in front of him, all gentle and careful as he starts taking off his socks and Renjun's mind spins. It only gets worse when Jaemin reaches for his belt, easily pulling it out of its loops before popping open the button of his pants, his eyes not leaving Renjun's for one second, all intense and unyielding. Renjun can't even think beyond the very burning need to drown in those damn eyes. He severely wishes Jaemin would simply eat him right here and now.

Still, Renjun may be going absolutely crazy, but he still refuses to lose, so after Jaemin manages to pull his pants off he lets himself fall back on the bed, closing his eyes as he tries to catch his breath and get the room to stop spinning.

"Do you still need help with the rest?" Jaemin asks, his voice just a bit shaky, like maybe Renjun's really not the only one going crazy.

"Yes," Renjun says, a tiny gasp escaping his lips when the bed dips besides him. He feels Jaemin's hands grab the hem of his shirt, tries very hard not to shiver as his knuckles drag across his stomach, his skin breaking out in goosebumps in their wake and he only realises he isn't even breathing when the shirt finally comes off and he's gasping for air.

"There," Jaemin says, just as breathlessly, "Now let me get you a pajama to change into."

Renjun manages to stop him before he actually moves away, fisting a hand in his shirt and pulling until he stumbles over him, hands on either side of Renjun's head.

"You should give me yours." Renjun says when he can't think of anything else, his whole body burning when Jaemin looks down at him with those eyes of his, half lidded and dark, "I like pink better."

"Yeah?"

He can't bring himself to look away, holding his breath and waiting. For what, Renjun has no idea, but he finds himself frozen under the heavy weight of Jaemin's gaze, the unadulterated need colouring it.

"Yeah." Renjun breathes, his voice weird and shaky.

It makes Jaemin huff, and he lets his head drop until he can press his forehead against Renjun's bare chest, his breath warm on his skin, damp and quick.

"Do you even have any idea what you're doing to me?"

"Hopefully getting you to kiss me?"

"Mm, yeah? And what happens after that?"

Renjun considers that for a second. There's something to Jaemin's tone, even muffled against his chest, something that even Renjun's alcohol muddled brain can pick up on and he's not sure what, but he does know that he wants this weird insecurity hanging to Jaemin's words to go the fuck away. If it means that he has to put off kissing Jaemin until tomorrow for that, then so be it. He doesn't think he can be satisfied with only one kiss either way.

"Guess we'll find out tomorrow. After all, you seem like a terrible kisser, so I wanna be sober enough that I can recount all the details to Donghyuck."

Jaemin laughs, letting himself flop on top of Renjun, the tension in his body finally leaving him, and Renjun takes the opportunity to feel proud of himself, carding a hand through Jaemin's hair.

"You're planning on rating our first kiss with Hyuck?"

"Of course," Renjun says easily, words slurred by a great combo of being both drunk and very sleepy, "That asshole talks way too much about Mark-hyung's dick, so it's my turn to never shut up about my sex life."

"Oh, your sex life, huh? So I guess we're not stopping at kissing tomorrow,"

"Oh, shut up and fuck off."

But Jaemin doesn't fuck off, not in the least. He laughs all bright and pretty and gives Renjun his pajama top and forces him to drink more water so he won't hate his entire life tomorrow. They're both too lazy and drunk to bother with finding a pair of pants for Renjun and he claims that if he's not wearing pants then Jaemin shouldn't wear a shirt either, so they just settle in bed like that with Jaemin wrapped around Renjun because he's annoying like that and Renjun not pushing him away because he's warm and he doesn't actually hate this. All in all, it's not a bad way to fall asleep.

 

✨ ✨ ✨

 

Waking up, though, that is not in any way a good experience. Actually, it's absolutely terrible.

The headache registers first, pounding and unrelenting and loud enough that Renjun can't even think for a second past the awful pain, has to really focus to even gather where he is. His room, he guesses at first, but then something tightens around his waist and the warmth registers and the something around him takes the shape of an arm when Renjun really looks at it. An arm that belongs to Jaemin, he realises, just like the room he's in and, upon more careful inspection, the pajama he's wearing too.

It's just the top really, the pink obnoxious one, barely even buttoned up and he's not wearing any pants. It takes a moment for that to sink it, but then it becomes awfully clear that Renjun is in bed with a half naked Jaemin, no pants, a terrible hangover and a very blurry recollection of last night's events.

"Fuck no," Renjun curses, loud enough that Jaemin makes a disatisfied sound between a whine and a groan and pulls him even closer, wiggling a bit as he sighs against the back of his neck, breath warm and tingly and not at all terrible in the way Renjun wants it to be. It's so not terrible that for a second, a very short, very sweet second, his touch feels so unexpectedly familiar, his warmth so gentle and comforting, that Renjun almost lets himself melt against him.

"G'morning," Jaemin mumbles, pressing a kiss behind Renjun's ear, fluttery and soft, his voice scratchy with sleep and sinfully low, like it came straight out of Renjun's most terrible dreams. It makes something bubble up inside of Renjun, something he does not have the facilities to deal with right now, and he shifts, tries to get away maybe, or pull Jaemin closer, but it ends up bringing an entirely different matter to his attention.

Jaemin is hard. He's hard in an unaware, waking up from sleep, subconsciously pulling Renjun even closer kind of way, but Renjun is also hard and unfortunately he's very awake and very aware of it and his headache won't stop stabbing him and he can't for the life of him remember if he and Jaemin even did anything last night.

"Nope." Renjun says, sitting up so suddenly that his vision goes a little dark. He dislodges Jaemin's arm in the process and the room spins so badly that he has to take a second, but Jaemin doesn't really try to touch him again, just looking at him, waiting for him to say something maybe.

"Are you okay?"

Renjun feels like death, "Yeah, I'm fine. I just-" Jaemin's not wearing a shirt, so Renjun can clearly make out the big bite on his neck, the very imprint of his teeth on the fine skin, swollen and a bit painful looking, and he finds that he can clearly remember leaving it there. He also remembers there's a matching, way less painful one on his own neck, but it's also one of the last clear memories of the night, everything just blurring together after that, "I just can't do this right now."

Renjun needs to talk to Donghyuck. Actually he needs to strangle Donghyuck and then hopefully sleep this damn headache away and he can't do any of that here with Jaemin half naked, eyes heavy with sleep and looking like a wet dream, especially since even in the harsh light of day he looks so terribly delicious that Renjun might just snap and eat him.

"I need to go." Renjun says, stumbling over his own legs as he tries to get out of the bed. Jaemin's immediately there to steady him, much more graceful than him, and he doesn't even seem like he's hungover. He even fucking smells good, sweet and not at all like he drank all night, not how Renjun probably smells and it drives him a bit crazy. It also makes him want to jump him, but that is not a thought he's planning on entertaining right now.

"Okay, then let me just put on a shirt while you put on a pair of pants and I'll take you back to your room."

"Yeah, no, that's fine, I can handle myself, it's- I'm fine."

Jaemin blinks, "Are you sure? I really don't mind."

His hair is all messy, standing up at odd angles and overall looking like tangled cotton candy, and yet he still manages to look like some kind of treat. Renjun is over here, looking like a damn idiot with terribly dry, possibly scarily red eyes because he got drunk and forgot to take off his contacts last night and a pounding headache and maybe no dignity left, but Jaemin is here, looking perfect and offering to take him back to his room two floors up. He just can't deal with this right now, not when he's not in his right mind.

"Jaemin-ah,"

"Mm?"

"Last night, did I do anything weird?" Renjun asks, realises a beat too late that it's not the right thing to say when Jaemin's eyes widen, something flashing in them for the barest of seconds before he laughs and looks away, scratches the back of his head.

"No, there's no need to worry about that, you were wonderful." Jaemin says with a smile that doesn't really reach his eyes, "Though you might wanna lay off the alcohol a bit next time, it's bad for your health."

"Hey, I wasn't the only one drinking!"

"Yeah, but you and Hyuck drank the most. I should scold him the next time I see him."

"You should." Renjun huffs. There's still something off about Jaemin, but Renjun's an idiot who can't even remember what he did last night, much less guess what Jaemin's thinking. He is going to deal with this, just not right now, not when he still stinks of alcohol and he can't think past his damn headache.

Jaemin doesn't push him either, because of course he wouldn't, he never asks Renjun to do things he doesn't want to, but he does smile at him all pretty and walk him to the door and tell him to drink some water and take a painkiller for the headache.

"Jaemin-ah," Renjun says, halfway out the door, "After I sleep this off, can I come over? You know, to talk, maybe have a drink?"

"You want to drink again?" Jaemin asks incredulously, leaning on the door frame in all his shirtless, messy haired, sleepy eyed glory. In the end, he didn't bother with a shirt so Renjun can still clearly see the mark he left on him, can barely stop himself from imagining how it would be like to leave more on his skin.

"Okay, maybe not, but I do want to talk."

"Yeah? Even though you don't remember much of last night?"

Renjun huffs, "How would you even know if I remember?"

"Do you?"

"Maybe. I'll tell you after I sleep this headache off."

Jaemin laughs that bright, pretty laugh of his that Renjun wishes he could still find annoying, and reaches over to ruffle his hair, a much too fond expression on his face, "I'll be waiting then."

"Yeah, you should also get some sleep in the meantime. You look like shit." Renjun says, because he clearly doesn't. Pretty people that are still just as pretty when they're hungover, if not even prettier for some unholy reason, should simply get locked away starting from Jaemin.

"Mm, I was actually planning on drinking some coffee instead."

"Nope, no more coffee, you should go to sleep like normal people do and drink water if you're thirsty."

"And if I don't?" Jaemin asks, a mischievous grin stretching on his face even as Renjun slaps his arm.

"Then I'll beat you up."

"Woah, that's indeed very scary."

"Fuck off, I'm being serious."

"I am, too. I'll go to sleep right now."

Renjun huffs, "As you should."

"Mm, see you later then?"

"Yeah, see you. Sleep tight, Jaemin-ah." Renjun says, earning himself a smile.

"You too."

But Renjun's not planning on sleeping just yet, he's planning on killing Donghyuck first. He may not remember much from last night, but he does remember enough, from the stupid drinking dares to the hickey business, to know that Donghyuck's at least partly to blame for all of Renjun's misfortunes. He always is, so even if he didn't remember anything, Donghyuck would still be first on his murder list.

It's not even hard to find him, as Donghyuck always prefers coming back to sleep in their room rather than someone else's, but the problem is that he's not alone. Renjun's not even sure what he was expecting, but the sight of three people crowded together in Donghyuck's overly tiny bed would almost be funny if they weren't all naked.

"God, Renjun-ah, please be more quiet, I'm trying to sleep here," Donghyuck complains, cracking an eye open to glare at Renjun. He's in the middle of the cuddle pile, unsurprisingly, snuggled against Jeno and smothered by a Mark who's kind of on top of both of them, cheek pressed against Donghyuck's chest and snoring softly. It would be cute, really, if Renjun didn't have a killer headache and a desire to kill Donghyuck.

"Well, I'm trying to wake you up so rise and shine." Renjun says. He briefly contemplates jumping on top of the cuddle pile, but he's kind of scared the bed might break, which, really, wouldn't be that bad since it's Donghyuck's bed, but he also doesn't want to wake up Mark like that– he's cute and he doesn't deserve it.

"What did I ever do to you to deserve this?"

"Really? Where do you want me to start?"

Donghyuck huffs, carding a hand through Mark's hair and smiling a bit when he subconsciously snuggles even closer, "Fine, okay, I'm awake, so what do you want? I have a terrible headache so be fast about it."

"What a coincidence, me too. And I blame you for it."

"Oh my, whatever shall I do to atone?"

"You're an asshole and I hate you, but I need you to tell me what happened last night. I mean, before you left, 'cause I really don't remember much." Renjun says, earning himself overly loud laughter that quiets down almost immediately when Mark makes a tiny, terribly cute sound of discontent. Donghyuck easily soothes him with gentle pets and a tiny kiss pressed to the top of his head, but he does speak much more quietly when he opens his mouth again.

"You don't remember? My god, Renjun-ah, I expected more from you." Donghyuck says dramatically, but Renjun only snorts.

"Just shut up and tell me what happened."

"So is it shut up or is it talk 'cause I'm a little conf-"

"Lee Donghyuck!" Renjun snaps, frowning when Donghyuck only giggles, tiny little muted sounds so as to not wake the sleeping beauty in his arms. He's not entirely sure why Jeno's pretending to be asleep next to him when he's so terrible at it, but Renjun's too tired to bother with calling him out.

"Fine, fine, geez, no need to get so angry."

"I will actually kill you, just so you know."

"Yeah, sure, whatever you say, Renjun-ah. Now, about last night, I also don't remember shit."

Renjun blinks. It takes him a second to react, but then he's flinging a pillow at Donghyuck's head, not entirely sure why he didn't just start with this, maybe even smothered Donghyuck with it. He unfortunately hits Jeno as well, but at least he stops pretending he's asleep to glare at Renjun.

"You're fucking useless." Renjun spits, but it doesn't seem to bother Donghyuck much, on the contrary, he seems quite amused by it.

Thankfully, Jeno jumps in before Renjun can actually strangle Donghyuck, "You didn't want to go back to your room," he says, "you said that you wanted to kiss Jaemin and sleep with him and refused to let us take you back to your room."

"I- What?"

"You got drunk and your real feelings came out, it's not that big of a deal." Donghyuck says flippantly.

"I thought you didn't remember,"

"I don't, but I've seen you drunk before and that sounds like something you would do. Plus, you like Jaemin, don't you? It's not like you were just horny last night."

"I- Maybe I was just horny last night."

Donghyuck rolls his eyes dramatically, but it's Jeno that speaks, "Wait, so you actually don't like him?"

"No, I do, it's just-" Renjun wants to kiss Jaemin. He may not remember how he wanted Jaemin last night, but it can't be much different from how he wants him now and even though he doesn't want to admit it, Donghyuck's right– his feelings do spill out when he's drunk. The problem is that he's not entirely sure if these feelings are like an itch that he just needs to scratch or if they're something more, but what he knows for sure is that he isn't figuring it out right now when he feels like death. "I don't know."

"Well, then figure it out." Jeno says pointedly, carefully extracting himself from the pile before pressing a quick kiss to Donghyuck's mouth and one against Mark's cheek, "I'm gonna go check on him, ok?"

"Tell him that he'll have to forgive Renjunie for being an idiot."

"Will do,"

"Hey!" Renjun protests, but Jeno only throws an unimpressed look his way as he puts on a pair of pants and a shirt that definitely doesn't belong to him, actually it doesn't belong to Donghyuck either, "Also that's my shirt."

"Thanks, it's very comfy." Jeno says, "Also, you're wearing Jaeminnie's shirt, so yeah."

Renjun doesn't get to protest anymore as Jeno makes his way out of the room so he just sighs and lets himself fall on his bed, his headache protesting at the very sudden movement.

"So what are you gonna do?"

"Mm?"

"About Jaemin."

"What about him?"

"You know, I saw you last night. I saw how you were looking at Jaemin and I've seen how you get when you have to meet up with him and when he sends you those loud little messages. You light up, Renjun-ah and you may get all fired up about how you hate him and what not, but it's not like that at all, is it?"

Renjun sighs, turning on his side to face Donghyuck. He's tempted to join him in bed, but they've already been too loud and Mark's sleeping so peacefully that he wouldn't want to wake him up.

"It's really not. I know I can be stubborn-"

"Don't even get me started-"

"Oh, shut up and listen. I know I've been going on and on about how much I hate Jaemin, but I really can't remember the last time I genuinely felt like I didn't want to see him. He's sweet Donghyuck, very sweet, in the he would literally let me poison him because he can't say no to me kinda way, and I like him, I enjoy spending time with him and talking to him and seeing him but what if," Renjun says, stops, licks his lips as he meets Donghyuck's eyes, "What if I really end up poisoning him?"

"I know you're hungover and all that, but if that was some kind of metaphor, it was a really shitty one."

"You are a shitty friend and I don't even know why I'm talking to you." Renjun huffs, turning to face the wall instead of Donghyuck's face as he bursts into laughter.

He quiets himself down fairly quick, probably so as to not wake up Mark, "No, Renjun-ah, I'm sorry, I'll be serious now, so please turn around,"

"Why do you still sound like you're laughing then?"

"It's just how my voice sounds, it's a happy sounding voice."

"It's an annoying sounding voice." Renjun says, but he does turn to face Donghyuck, who is, as expected, smiling very widely at him, still on the verge of laughter.

"Now that's just simply not true, my voice sounds delicious."

"Thought we were being serious."

"Right, right, we were talking about Jaeminnie." Donghyuck says, patting his cheeks as he tries to keep his smile under control, "You wanna know what I think?"

"Probably not."

"I think," Donghyuck says, undeterred, "I think you're just overthinking this. You deserve sweetness, Renjun-ah, you deserve sweet, attentive little Jaeminnie who looks at you like you hung the stars on the sky, you really do."

"But what if Jaemin deserves better? What if I'm just setting him up for disappointment?" Renjun asks, the words slipping out before he can even stop them. He can't even blame the alcohol or the hangover or the tiredness for this one, as Donghyuck has always had a way of getting him to talk, something about how comfortable he makes him feel or how mature he can really be when he wants to.

"You wanna know how long it took me to find out that Jaemin's lactose intolerant?" Donghyuck asks suddenly, laughing when Renjun only frowns.

"What does that have to do with-"

"Just try guessing."

Renjun blinks, "I don't know, a few weeks?"

"A year. After an entire year of knowing Jaemin and even preparing him a cake full of whipped cream and strawberry flavouring which he absolutely hates did I find out. He ate the cake, Renjun-ah, he smiled and thanked me for thinking of him and ate a slice of the cake just to feel like absolute shit after."

"So what's your point? You're a terrible friend that also poisoned Jaemin?"

Donghyuck snorts, "I am a fantastic friend, but that's not my point. My point is that a few days ago a sunbae bought us drinks and Jaemin politely refused his because it had milk. And you know what he told me when I asked him about it? He said that you got mad at him the last time he accepted a drink he couldn't actually have and that he doesn't want to make you mad again. He doesn't even drink the death potion anymore, Renjun-ah, because you told him he should cut down on the coffee."

Renjun opens his mouth, closes it, ends up just staring as he tries to sort through Donghyuck's words.

"You're good for him, Renjunie, just like he's good for you and I think that you should stop thinking so much and just start acting on it already."

"How about we sleep now and act on it later?" Mark mumbles against Donghyuck's chest, snuggling even closer to him. Renjun meets Donghyuck's eyes over the top of Mark's head and they both burst into laughter, loud and easy and earning themselves a groan from Mark.

"Maybe that's not such a bad idea."

"Yup, definitely no acting on anything with this headache." Renjun agrees easily.

 

✨ ✨ ✨

 

The problem is that even after sleeping he's not entirely sure how he should act on it. He wakes up with a clearer head and almost no headache and he can more easily piece together the bits and pieces he does remember from last night, but he still doesn't know what he should do.

"You should go to his room, bang open the door and kiss him like they do in the movies." Donghyuck suggests from his perch on the bed, obediently opening his mouth for Mark to feed him. Mark was nice enough to go pick up food for all of them after he woke up and now he's even indulging Donghyuck in his requests, carefully feeding him tiny pieces every time he opens his mouth.

"I don't think this even needs to be said, but Hyuck's advice is shit." Mark says.

"That's so not true, when has it ever gone wrong for you after following my advice?" Donghyuck asks, huffing when Mark only raises his brows in disbelief, "Fine, then what would you have Renjun do?"

"I would tell him to knock instead of breaking down the door or whatever crazy ideas you have and just talk to Jaeminnie, you know, like normal people do, tell him he likes him, maybe kiss him after they've clarified all of that."

Donghyuck yawns for so long that Mark shoves his chopsticks in his mouth, laughing when Donghyuck chokes and turns to glare at him.

"That is so boring I almost fell asleep."

"You're boring," Renjun says, "Hyung's idea is great and you're just a hater."

"Honestly, any idea is fine as long as it gets you out of this room so I can call Jeno over."

"You are a terrible, terrible friend and I hate you."

"Actually, you love me. Now go on and confess to Jaemin before he convinces himself that you hate him or something."

"He wouldn't," Renjun says, stops to consider it for a second, "Would he?"

"Go already, Renjun-ah," Donghyuck says, waving him away.

"If it goes badly and I come back to find the three of you fucking, I won't forgive you."

Donghyuck sighs very loudly and seemingly decides to take matters into his own hands as he quite literally drags Renjun out of bed and kicks him out of the room, "The only way it could go badly is if you don't tell him, now go and don't come back until tomorrow! Oh and have fun!" he says, closing the door in Renjun's face.

He could technically just go back inside and beat Donghyuck up, but he guesses there is some truth to his words so he finds himself walking to an overly familiar door on the third floor.

Jaemin is quick to answer as usual and a wide smile spreads on his face when he sees Renjun, welcoming him in without much trouble. It's almost too easy and Renjun's already having second thoughts.

"Are you okay now?" Jaemin asks, "You seemed pretty out of it this morning, but you look better now."

"I'm- Yeah, I'm okay, I managed to sleep off the hangover. But what about you? How- how are you?"

Renjun wants to kill someone. This may just be the first time he has stuttered in his entire life and he's never felt quite so awkward around Jaemin as he does right now and he fucking hates it. He doesn't even know why, but he can tell Jaemin picks up on it too by the slight frown on his face, the tense line of his body. Maybe Donghyuck was right and he should have just kicked the door open and kissed Jaemin like they do in the movies, because this is terrible.

"Are you sure you're okay?"

"Last night," Renjun says, because he can't take this anymore, "You said you'd kiss me if I asked. You said that if I came to you today and still wanted you to kiss me that you would."

Jaemin blinks, stops to really look at Renjun, "I- Yeah, I did."

"Well, I'm asking now."

And it takes a second. It takes a second for the words to really settle, then another for Jaemin to step closer and then one more for him to just look at Renjun, not kiss him, hell, not even touch him, just simply look at him like this is some dream he might wake up from. It makes Renjun feel a little dizzy and this time around there's no alcohol to blame.

"Are you sure?" Jaemin asks, words a little breathless as he glances at Renjun's mouth. He's so close, enough that Renjun can almost feel his warmth, and his eyes are so dark, so utterly at odds with his words that Renjun almost can't breathe under the weight of them, but he's still not touching him.

"Yeah," Renjun says and then, because he can't stand not being touched for one more second, "Please, Jaemin-ah."

It seems to make something shift, an almost disbelieving sigh escaping Jaemin's mouth as he slides a shaky hand along the side of Renjun's neck, fingers warm and careful as he presses his thumb to the underside of his chin, tilts his head back just a bit. And Renjun's been kissed before, more than once really, but he's never wanted it quite like this, never held his breath and heard his heart thump in his ears and felt his skin shiver, never really craved it.

So it comes as a surprise when Jaemin does press his mouth against his, soft and gentle and fluttery, as if testing the waters, but it makes Renjun's entire body tingle and it feels electric almost, like a shock to his system. It also ends way too soon, but they barely pull back before they're both leaning back in, Jaemin's hand sliding to the back of Renjun's head as Renjun fists his hands in his shirt and just pulls.

Something clicks together when Jaemin slides his mouth against his and it feels so right and familiar that Renjun almost forgets that he hasn't been doing this his whole life. It's not an itch, Renjun realises with surprising clarity, this is not something he can just scratch away and forget about. Because kissing Jaemin feels like a need, like drinking water when you're thirsty, and Renjun doesn't think he can stop now that he's had a taste, doesn't think he can go back to before he knew the warmth of Jaemin's mouth, the weight of his tongue against his lower lip.

It's just a kiss, but it feels like more when Renjun parts his lips for Jaemin and he hums, pulls him even closer, slides his tongue against his and steals the very breath away from him. It makes his whole body thrum, this overwhelming need burning in the pit of his stomach, this desire for more, more, more. And maybe he's an idiot for having waited so long, for taking such a long time to even realise that this is something that he wants, but now he just can't have enough of this, of Jaemin, of everything he's willing to give him.

And Jaemin seems willing to give him a whole lot, if the way he smiles when they pull back is any indication, the way he frames Renjun's face between his hands and kisses his nose like he can't stop himself, the way he whispers, voice a bit shaky, but words sure and honest and sweet, "I really like you, Renjun-ah,"

Renjun doesn't deserve all of this, but he's selfish, so, so selfish and he can't help but want this, can't help but pull Jaemin in for more, kiss him like he won't be able to breathe if doesn't, again and again and again until the room around them blurs out, the edges of Renjun's vision all fuzzy and soft, a little like he's been drinking, or like he's dreaming. And it's the kind of dream Renjun doesn't want to wake up from, wrapping around him all warm and safe.

"I like you too," Renjun says, presses a line of kisses from Jaemin's mouth to his ear, takes the lobe in his mouth just to hear Jaemin whine, to feel him shiver under his lips, "I like you a lot."

And he finds that he really means it, finds that maybe Donghyuck is right more times than he likes to give him credit for and that maybe he could have had this so much sooner. But he doesn't want to linger on that, not right now, not when he has Jaemin so close, so sweetly pliable and willing and soft, so he pulls him even closer, fits his mouth against the sensitive skin behind his ear.

It turns out that it's surprisingly easier to leave a hickey than expected and Jaemin's much more responsive when it's done right, moaning all low and pretty as Renjun sucks a mark into his throat. He soothes the skin with a soft kiss when he pulls back, enjoying the way it breaks out in goosebumps, a mark blooming all dark and pretty on Jaemin's fine skin. It's like some sort of brand, a reminder that Renjun's mouth has been here, and it makes something hot and heavy bubble up in the pit of his stomach, simmering under his skin and making his head spin.

There's this thought, this hunger crawling its way between his ribs, this undeniable need for Renjun to claim Jaemin as his, to make his skin bloom all dark with his mouth, his tongue and it's dizzying, tilting his whole world until he can barely keep himself upright. Because Jaemin would let him, he would bat those pretty lashes of his and look at Renjun with those terribly dark eyes of his and not even hesitate once before saying yes, before giving and giving and giving.

"Sometimes," Jaemin says with a smile, tilting Renjun's head so he can place a quick kiss on his mouth, "You do this thing where you start thinking and never stop."

"Yeah?" Renjun asks, giggling when Jaemin presses a kiss to each of his lids before moving on to his cheeks, the corner of his mouth, until he finally settles on his lips, "And what would you propose?"

"Less thinking and more kissing." Jaemin says with a shrug, easily demonstrating his point by wrapping an arm around Renjun's waist and pulling him even closer. He's gentle when he tilts his head back, fingers careful as he drags them along his cheek, but when he kisses Renjun, it's almost like he forgets to be careful and gentle and soft and this certain brand of desperation seems to take over, a hunger which Renjun understands much too well.

And it's all too easy to let himself be eaten, to part his lips for Jaemin and let himself melt in his arms as he sucks on his tongue and bites at Renjun's lips, pulling these sounds out of him that Renjun didn't even know he could make. Renjun didn't even know that kissing someone could feel quite so different, didn't realise that kissing Jaemin would be so easy, so good, so terribly familiar, almost like breathing, something you don't even have to try to learn. And he just can't seem to get enough of it, of Jaemin, of the kissing, of the touching, of everything really and Renjun has never considered himself particularly greedy, but now all he does is want.

He wants Jaemin to never stop, he wants him to push those warm hands of his under Renjun's shirt and then follow the same path with his mouth, wants him to tell Renjun that he's pretty, wants him to whisper it against his ear, all hot and low in that terrible voice of his, wants Jaemin to suck bruises into his skin, wants him to mark him as his.

Renjun wants to eat Jaemin whole and he's going a bit crazy with just how badly he really wants him.

He can't have everything all at once though, so he takes his time, kisses Jaemin all slow and hot until they're both a bit dizzy with want, until they have to pull back to breathe, but they can't really bring themselves to stop so they're just panting in each other's mouths, light headed and needy. Renjun quite likes this, likes that Jaemin can meet him halfway, likes that Jaemin also seems to want this just as badly and deeply as he does, loves that he can see that desire cloud Jaemin's beautiful, beautiful eyes. It makes something stir in Renjun's chest, something sticky and warm and sliding against his ribs to pool in the pit of his stomach, the way Jaemin wants him, the way he pulls him in like he physically can't stand not having Renjun pressed against him.

"How did you do it?" Renjun asks breathlessly, his words melting into a moan as Jaemin sucks a mark under his jaw. He can feel him smiling against his skin, can feel the hot dampness of his breath and he can't really stop himself from shivering when Jaemin drags two fluttery fingers up the side of his neck.

"Do what?"

"Stop yourself. Last night, when I asked you to kiss me, how did you stop yourself from doing it?"

Because Renjun doesn't have the slightest idea. He can tell now just how badly Jaemin wants him, hell, if it's even half as much as Renjun wants him then it's enough to drive a person crazy and Renjun has a feeling it's more than that, so it really makes no sense to him. Jaemin seems to be used to this though, to holding himself back, to ignoring his own wishes, and Renjun just can't figure out why or even how, when he's staring at Jaemin right now and can barely keep himself back from just kissing him until he can't breathe anymore.

"Mm, I think I wanted you to remember it. Even if you were in it just for the sex, I didn't want the first time I kissed you to be something you forgot the next day." Jaemin says with a shrug, going back to pressing kisses along the line of Renjun's jaw as if he just said something completely normal.

"Hey, hey, Jaemin-ah, stop for a second and look at me," Renjun says, grabbing Jaemin's face and squeezing at his cheeks until he meets his eyes, "I think I was pretty clear earlier, but I like you. I'm not drunk anymore and prone to making stupid decisions and this,” he says, motioning between the two of them, “I'm doing all this because I like you."

Jaemin blinks, tilts his head to the side in confusion as he seems to take in Renjun's words, "So,"

"So I'm not in it just for the sex."

"Oh," Jaemin says, then frowns, "You're not?"

And he sounds so honestly confused that Renjun wants to kill him a little bit, "No, I'm not. But you should tell me if you are."

"I'm in love with you, Renjun-ah," Jaemin says with a laugh, like he's saying something particularly funny and not words that make Renjun's breath catch in his throat, his whole body freezing as he tries to make sense of them, "I'm not in it just for the sex, but it's usually what people expect from me."

And that makes him stop. Sweet princely Jaemin who smiles all pretty and offers to buy you drinks when you spill them all over yourself and finds it easier to say yes than he does no, even if it makes him uncomfortable is also the same Jaemin who has somehow gotten used to people treating him like one night of fun is all he's worth. It makes Renjun inexplicably angry, like he could strangle every single person who has ever looked at Jaemin wrong with his bare hands, but he would probably have to start with himself.

He has to take a breath to calm himself, and then another, Jaemin's gaze on him almost curious, like he's not entirely sure if he should say something. Renjun solves that problem for him by pulling him in for a kiss, slow and gentle, just enough to feel the tension leave his body, a sigh escaping his mouth as Renjun bites at his lip, easily deepens the kiss.

"I want more than sex, Jaemin-ah," Renjun says against his mouth, "I want to wake up in the morning and see that annoyingly pretty face of yours, I want to answer to your messages instead of studying, I wanna go out with you on more coffee dates and talk about things other than our project even if that's why we meet up in the first place and I definitely want more than sex. I like you for so much more than your pretty face and what you can offer me in bed."

"Oh," Jaemin says, but this time a smile curls on his face, wide and bright and terrible for Renjun's already racing heart, "Oh."

"Yeah, now that's the kind of 'oh' i wanted to hear, thank you."

"So does that mean that there'll be no sex today? 'Cause I am actually pretty good in bed." Jaemin says with a grin, laughing when Renjun slaps his chest and just pulls him down for a kiss that's more laughter than actual kissing.

"Then show me, pretty boy."

And Jaemin doesn't really waste any more time, picking Renjun up so easily that it makes him swoon a little, a hand steady around his waist and another under his thighs, holding him flush against his chest as he makes his way to the bed. It's a realisation really, Renjun did not know until now that men that can pick him up so easily make his knees go weak, nor did he know that a bare tummy could make him go crazy until he saw Jaemin shirtless, but maybe it's less of a him thing and more of a Jaemin thing. Maybe it's simply Jaemin that makes him go a little feral and he didn't realise until now that it doesn't mean he hates him, quite the opposite really.

Jaemin easily puts a stop to all of his thoughts when he lays him down in the bed and latches onto his throat, kissing him silent when he starts whining. His mouth does things to Renjun, makes his mind spin and his body buzz and he never wants him to stop, not when he kisses down the line of his neck, or sucks bruises into his collarbones, or takes off his shirt to kiss down his chest.

It almost feels like too much, like Renjun can't even think when Jaemin fits his mouth around his nipple and sucks, holds his gaze when he pulls on the nub with his teeth, eyes so terribly dark that Renjun can't even breathe. Jaemin has this way of his, this contrast between the way he sucks Renjun's skin until it blooms and then kisses it so softly that Renjun can barely feel the flutter of his lips on his skin, can barely stop himself from shivering when he soothes his bites with the flat of his tongue.

And he's so damn perceptive too, like he just knows what Renjun wants. It makes him melt, his whole body burning under Jaemin's mouth, but it also wakes up this need in him to not lose, to make sure that Jaemin feels just as good as him, if not even better.

Renjun wants to eat Jaemin.

It doesn't help that Jaemin would let him with no hesitation, it doesn't help that he easily takes off his shirt when Renjun tugs at the hem, moans all pretty when Renjun pulls at his hair and licks down his throat. He's so responsive that Renjun wouldn't be able to stop even if he wanted to, can't even think beyond the need to make Jaemin whine, to hear him moan his name in that low, raspy voice of his that makes Renjun feel all dizzy and off balance.

There's only one problem, Renjun realises with a jolt as Jaemin starts kissing down his chest, all the way to the ticklish skin of his stomach– he hasn't actually done this before. He has had relationships before, but they never really got that far and Renjun never actually felt like he would quite literally die if he didn't get kissed and touched, not like he feels with Jaemin, not like there's a burning need simmering in the pit of his stomach when Jaemin's lips brush against his skin.

And the few times he did get to dip his toes into something more were when he fooled around with Mark and Donghyuck and even then it was more watching than anything more serious and now he realises that he doesn't actually know what to do, only has a vague idea of what's supposed to come next as Jaemin sucks a mark right above the hem of his pants, fingers light as they tug on his laces.

"Renjun-ah," Jaemin says against his hip bone, drawing little circles around his belly button as he meets his eyes, "What did I say about thinking too much?"

And Renjun kind of hates how perceptive Jaemin is right about now, so he cards a hand through his hair and pulls him back up so he can kiss him silent, licking at the seam of his lips and smiling when Jaemin groans into the kiss, "That I should think less and kiss more?" he asks cheekily, earning himself easy laughter and yet another kiss.

"That too, but you could tell me what you're thinking and maybe I can help."

Chances are that he can actually help, but what is Renjun even supposed to say– that he kind of knows what's supposed to happen, but not really, that he's already painfully hard and they've only kissed or that he's in way over his head?

"I haven't done this before," he settles on when Jaemin makes it clear that he's not going to do anything else until Renjun says something, "This, going all the way."

"Mm, so do you wanna stop?"

"Definitely not," Renjun says quickly, because that's the last thing he would like to happen right now, "I do want to go all the way, I just- I haven't before."

"Oh, okay. Then how about I show you and then you can decide how you wanna do this?"

Renjun blinks, "Show me?"

But Jaemin doesn't bother with explaining, instead leaning over to kiss Renjun one more time before easily pulling back and getting off the bed. He immediately misses the warmth and Jaemin's weight on top of him, but he can only stare as Jaemin rummages around in a drawer for a few seconds before making a satisfied noise and pulling out a bottle of lube with a smile.

The real surprise only comes when Jaemin takes off his pants and underwear and reclaims his place on top of Renjun, easily straddling his hips. It's so sudden that Renjun can't help but stare, following the lean line of his abdomen all the way to his dick, hard and curved against his stomach and wet with precum.

"Is this okay?"

Renjun swallows, can't really bring himself to look away as he licks his lips, his desire to eat Jaemin taking on a whole other meaning as he not so briefly wonders how he would taste if he ran his mouth over the head of his cock right now.

"You're gonna show me?" Renjun asks instead, because he's looking and he still has no idea what Jaemin's planning.

Thankfully, Jaemin doesn't give him too much time to ponder on it, popping open the bottle of lube and very generously coating his fingers with it before he reaches behind himself, back arching as his eyes flutter closed. And it takes a second, a second and Jaemin moaning all pretty for it to click, for Renjun to realise that Jaemin's planning on fucking himself open with his fingers on top of Renjun.

Oh, Renjun thinks, because Jaemin is going to show him.

"Can I touch you?" Renjun asks breathlessly, choking on the very breath he doesn't have when Jaemin opens his eyes to look at him. They're dark and hazed over with pleasure and there's a flush spreading down his chest and Renjun can't really see what he's doing, but he can tell by the way his forearm keeps flexing and his mouth drops open that he's not taking it slow.

"Yes, please, Renjun-ah,"

And there's something dizzying about Jaemin telling him please, something about the way his voice breaks on his name, the way he sounds when he's fucking himself open. Renjun almost wishes he could record this, play it every time he wants to hear the shaky tone of Jaemin's voice when he touches himself just right.

He settles for running his hands up Jaemin's bare thighs, feeling them tense and tremble under his very fingers as Jaemin gasps. Renjun can't see what he's doing, but he wants to and Jaemin's so responsive, whining so prettily when Renjun sits up and pulls him in for a kiss. And it's messy and hot and hungry and Jaemin keeps making these sounds, keeps saying please and Renjun's name and moaning and Renjun can't think, can barely even breathe.

It doesn't help that Jaemin looks like an absolute sin, with those dark eyes of his and those long lashes and red, swollen lips, kissed tender by Renjun's very mouth, skin all flushed and sweaty. It also doesn't help that Renjun has absolutely no control over himself and he can't stop himself from licking the sweat that beads down Jaemin's neck, can't stop himself from sucking yet another mark next to the several blooming darkly across his skin. He doesn't even want to stop.

So he doesn't. Instead, "Can I help?" he asks, waiting for Jaemin to fit his face in the crook of his neck and moan something that sounds like an affirmation. He doesn't ever want to stop touching Jaemin, wants to make him feel even better, enough that he can't even speak from the pleasure and it sounds like he's on the right track when he slides his hands along the curve of Jaemin's ass and Jaemin makes a sound that drips right down Renjun's spine like honey.

He only gets louder when Renjun circles his rim with the tip of his finger, pressing just a bit next to the three fingers he's already pushing in and out, just enough for Jaemin to gasp and bite into his shoulder, his hand stopping as he tries to catch his breath.

"Can I?" Renjun asks, easily kissing him back when Jaemin presses his mouth against his, enjoying the sloppy, needy kissing as they both try to catch their breaths even as they refuse to pull back.

"Yeah, just, more lube please,"

And Renjun's all too happy to oblige, grabbing the bottle with his free hand and generously pouring more lube over his and Jaemin's fingers, kissing Jaemin when he shivers in his arms, whining all pretty at the sensation. He's so pliant under Renjun's hands, easily pulling his own fingers out so Renjun can replace them with his, a needy moan escaping his mouth when Renjun fits two in without too much trouble. And he's so sensitive that it makes Renjun's brain spin, makes him feel dizzy and out of his mind, like he'll die if he doesn't touch Jaemin, if he doesn't kiss him until he can't breath anymore, make him feel so good that he starts crying.

"Can you look at me, Jaemin-ah?" Renjun says sweetly, voice all shaky and out of breath, but Jaemin moans and immediately listens to him, turns to look at him with that dazed expression that curls into pleasure when Renjun spreads him open even more and slips a finger from his other hand alongside the other two. "Good boy."

It's thrilling, because Renjun still doesn't know what he's doing, not really, but he does know that he's doing something right when he curls his fingers just right and Jaemin's back arches prettily, his mouth dropping open at the feeling. He takes the opportunity to slip in one more finger, two from each hand, and spreads them out until Jaemin cries out, begging for something, for more, saying please and don't stop and Renjun-ah and more, and Renjun wants to give him absolutely everything that he wants.

"Do you think you can come like this?" Renjun asks, kissing down Jaemin's chest until he can fit his mouth around his nipple, sucking on the sensitive skin just to hear him whine. He can feel Jaemin's dick against his stomach, can feel the wet head of it, knows how close he himself is and he hasn't even been touched, so he's curious, wants to know what exactly is enough to push Jaemin off the edge.

He wouldn't mind it if Jaemin said no, would be all too willing to tell him to touch himself while he's fucking him open with his fingers, but then Jaemin moans, voice low and desperate and raspy with pleasure, "Yes, just don't stop, Renjun please,"

Renjun is more than willing to oblige. He may not know what he's doing, but the one thing he does know is that he's going to make sure that Jaemin feels as good as he possibly can make him feel. So it helps that Jaemin's so loud, so vocal about asking Renjun for more, his words trailing off into incoherent moans when Renjun settles on a rhythm. He makes sure that he curls his fingers just right, presses just enough that Jaemin writhes in his arms and then a bit more, just a bit so that he toes the line between too much and not enough.

And it doesn't take long from there. Jaemin pulls him into a kiss somewhere along the line, licking into his mouth hungrily as he keeps begging for more and crying out when Renjun listens. He's so terribly responsive that Renjun just can't seem to have enough, wants to see exactly how far he can push him, how much he can take before it's too much.

"Will you come for me, Jaemin-ah?" Renjun asks against his mouth and teases yet another finger against his rim. He only manages to slip in the tip before Jaemin whines very loudly and his whole body tenses up, eyes fluttering closed as he comes all over Renjun's stomach.

He goes boneless against him as he shudders through his orgasm and Renjun lets himself fall back into the bed, very gently pulling out his fingers. It makes Jaemin whine at the loss, wrapping himself around Renjun and shivering, his hole fluttering as he pulls them out.

"You didn't come," Jaemin says once he gets a handle on his breathing, no longer panting, but still breathing heavily enough that Renjun can feel his heart thump against his ribcage. He himself is not much better, the adrenaline still rushing through his body making him feel a little restless, but he easily stops Jaemin when he makes to move, possibly to help Renjun get off.

"It's okay, we can just go for round two when you catch your breath," Renjun says, running his fingers up Jaemin's spine just to feel him arch his back, a tiny sound escaping his lips, "Only if you want to, I mean."

"Mm, I definitely do, but I have a request,"

"I'm all ears."

"Want you to come inside me." Jaemin says easily, pressing a trail of kisses up Renjun's neck until he can press one to his mouth, sweeter than the rest, slow and deep. And isn't that a dizzying thought, getting to come inside Jaemin, watching his face twist in pleasure as he gets filled with Renjun's come– it makes Renjun's mind spin, something like an unadulterated hunger burning under his skin.

"That can be arranged," Renjun says, "But I also have a question,"

"Mm?"

"How many times can I make you come?"

Jaemin laughs at that, but his eyes are dark and his face is flushed pink all the way to his ears and he looks so beautiful that Renjun can't help himself from kissing him again, "You wanna know how many times I can take?"

"Mhm."

"You know, you kinda have a mean streak."

"Is that a bad thing?"

"Nope, I actually kinda like it." Jaemin says, easily letting himself be maneuvered as Renjun slips a hand around his lower back and flips then so Renjun's on top.

"So how many times?"

"Guess you'll have to find out yourself."

And Renjun laughs, leans down to kiss Jaemin breathless, because he's never been one to back down from a challenge.

 

✨ ✨ ✨

 

("You know you owe me money, right?" Donghyuck asks cheerily, giving Renjun a once over and lingering on the shirt that's very obviously not his and the multiple hickeys littering his neck, "Also, damn, did Jaeminnie confuse you with a scratching post or something?"

"You're the last person I wanna hear that from. And why the hell do I owe you money?"

"Mm, I don't know, are you not dating Jaemin?"

Renjun blinks, curses under his breath when he remembers the bet, "Was I the only one who voted against?"

"Nope, Jaemin did too."

"We're the only ones that lost in a bet about us?"

Donghyuck shrugs, a very wide, very satisfied grin stretching on his face, "What can I say, you're a match made in heaven."

Renjun's phone lights up before he gets to throw something at Donghyuck's face and he finds himself smiling at the flurry of emojis, something very warm and very sweet unfurling in his chest. He guesses he can give Donghyuck his damn money if this is what he gets in return.)