Jugyeong huffs the second she steps through Suho’s door and slides the key back into the pocket of her uniform blazer.
She keeps huffing. Huffs when Seojun greets her from the couch, huffs when he throws his feet on her lap, huffs when she opens her phone to scroll through her Instagram feed.
Seojun’s a good boyfriend. He’s patient, and understanding, and knows that, unlike him, Lim Jugyeong knows when her problems are bordering on too much and she has to let them out. Unlike him, she doesn’t cope wrong with her stress and implode then regenerate by throwing fists.
So he waits. And waits.
She huffs and huffs and sighs and groans and eventually, after a full hour of fiddling, she pushes Seojun’s feet off her lap and turns to face him. “What do you have my number saved as?” she asks, all too solemn for such a silly question.
Seojun can’t help the fond smile tugging at his lips upon remembering the last time she asked him something along those lines. It seems like a lifetime ago, they barely qualified as friends back then. “Why?” he questions.
“Answer me,” Jugyeong orders, assuming a more comfortable position on the couch, legs slanted to the side and hands interlaced on her lap.
Seojun kisses his teeth, shrugging. He plays it cool when he says “Princess” like that’ll nullify how adorable the revelation is.
Jugyeong’s face remains expressionless for a few seconds before she grins surprised and happy. “Princess? Really?!” she effuses.
Her smile fuels him, eggs him on. He wriggles his shoulders as he straightens up. “Yes. With a heart at the end,” he draws an invisible heart in the air with his forefinger to emphasize the addition.
Her smile widens, cheeks gaining a rosy tint that makes Seojun hold a hand out. He pulls her to him when she takes it, pillowing her head on his chest. Then he turns the TV off and strokes idly through her hair. “Why?” he asks. “You’ve been sighing ever since you got here.”
Jugyeong lifts her head, propping her chin on his chest to look at him. “Suho has me saved under Lim Jugyeong,” she scowls.
“Ah,” Seojun grins lopsided, a laugh seeping through his teeth as he shakes his head with an exasperated sort of affcetion that makes Jugyeong feel like she might be missing out on something. “Suho’s too cool for that kind of thing.”
Jugyeong gets that. Suho has prestige at school. He’s serious and cold and shelled with a façade that only she and Seojun can easily break through. She wonders how students at school would react if they saw the way all three of them were standing at the sink last night brushing their teeth and ended up banging their heads together when they went to spit into the sink. The way Suho started laughing so hard he teared up. Or if they knew he was the most ticklish, that when he’s in a bad mood, Seojun and Jugyeong share the look before attacking him with tickles and forcing him to laugh. Or that he’s terrified of horror movies, always ends up burying his face in any part of them he can reach.
“That boy’s like a lychee,” Jugyeong comments. “He’s soft and tender underneath that hard husk of his,” she mumbles.
As if on cue, the front door clicks open and Suho appears in the doorway a moment later. He halts, looking between Seojun and Jugyeong with a budding smile. “Ah. You’re here.”
“Shouldn’t have given us spare keys. I’m here for the big TV screen,” Seojun smirks at him with a smugness that used to get under Suho’s skin.
It just makes him roll his eyes now. Makes him walk over and bend down to kiss Seojun’s forehead. “I didn’t say I’m not pleased to see you,” he says in that composed, soft voice of his that easily dismantles Seojun’s poise. Just like that. Then he kisses Jugyeong’s cheek and stands straighter. “I’m going to change. Order takeout?”
“What’s my name on your phone?!” Seojun bursts out with, shattering the silence and making both of his lovers jump.
He sounds like he’s been holding the question in for too long. Clearing his throat, he shifts in his seat and looks between both of them.
Jugyeong’s surprise melts into something complacent before she leans over to peck him on the mouth. She pokes his cheek with her pinky and smiles. “Prince,” she responds. “My prince.”
Seojun flicks his hair out of his face, equally boastful as he is pleased, then looks to Suho, who looks like he’s having some sort of internal dilemma. He puts his book down on his lap, eyes flickering between the two of them as they wait for his answer with bated breath. “Han Seojun,” he replies quietly.
Seojun’s smile drops. “Han Seojun?” he echoes. “What about—”
“Lim Jugyeong,” Suho interrupts before Seojun can finish the question. “But I have you both on speed dial,” he quickly adds, like that’s enough compensation.
“Aahh,” Seojun’s brows lift and he nods slowly, acting pleased. “Very kind of you, Lee Suho.”
Suho chews on the inside of his cheek like he’s holding back a laugh at how petty he’s being. Seojun wants to tell Jugyeong to interject and shame him for his outrageous behavior too, but she’s too busy stifling a laugh into his shoulder.
“What about me?” Suho questions, smoothly shifting the subject. “What do you have my name saved under?”
“Boyfriend!” the word comes half laughed-out from Jugyeong’s lips as she lifts her head and leans forward to look at Suho. “With two hearts at each side,” she mumbles, a shy afterthought.
Suho nods at her once. “And you?” he looks to Seojun.
“Not telling you,” Seojun lifts his head, chin jutted stubbornly as he looks at the TV. He folds his arms over his chest, a grumpy tic of his that makes Suho sigh.
“I won’t make fun of you, come on.”
“No,” Seojun shakes his head firmly. “I like Jugyeong more anyway,” that part’s muttered, a blatant lie to try enticing some jealousy in Suho. To prove his point, he turns his head and kisses Jugyeong on the cheek, then nose, then captures her mouth in the beginning of a heated kiss before she pushes him away, squinting skeptically at him.
“I won’t play a part in your ruse to get him jealous,” she says gravely, voice dropped threateningly low as she points a finger in his face.
Seojun scowls, but doesn’t have the time to respond when Suho reaches for his hand and forces his thumb to his phone to unlock it.
“Yah!” Seojun shouts. “It’s rude to go through my phone without permission!” he reaches to snatch it out of Suho’s grip but Suho pulls it just out of reach, eyes turning to crescents with a wave of laughter as Jugyeong climbs off the couch and rushes to peer over Suho’s shoulder and see what he’s doing. “Jugyeong, you traitor!” Seojun yells. He grapples for the phone again, but Suho grabs his wrist, turning a glare on him with a strict click of his tongue. Seojun gives up.
A few silent seconds pass before Suho eases back into a comfortable position and looks at Seojun. “And you have the nerve to be mad I have you saved under your name?” he asks. He doesn’t sound mad, or annoyed. Just fond, a gentle rap over the knuckles that makes something in Seojun’s gut stir. “At least I have you in my contact list,” he hands him his phone back.
Jugyeong gasps. “Seojun?”
“I have a reputation to uphold!” Seojun exclaims petulantly under both their judgemental gazes. “You should be flattered that I have your number memorized!”
“What is it?” Suho questions, crossing his arms.
Seojun harrumphs, looking to Jugyeong with his best pleading eyes. She cups a hand over her mouth, “Three, one, two,” she mouths.
“Three, twelve,” Seojun reiterates. “Thirty four, five, six,” he continues, raising his head proudly.
Suho smiles, tilting his head slightly. “Now repeat that without looking at Jugyeong.”
Jugyeong presses her lips together firmly and breathes a nasal laugh at being found out. Suho tips his head back and looks at her, making her turn around and play inattentive.
“Fine!” Seojun declares. “I don’t know your number! But it’s better than having it saved under Lee Suho.”
“That’s my name,” Suho responds, confusion lining the space between his brows.
“Cold jerk,” Seojun scoffs. “You should save me under something better!” he points an accusatory finger at him, then starts counting off on his fingers, “Honey, sweetheart, baby. Aish, I’m even okay with Seoji.”
“That sounds like Sushi,” Jugyeong inputs as she plops back down next to Seojun.
“He loves sushi,” Seojun retorts.
Suho’s full on laughing now, eyes gleaming and cheeks rounding with mirth.
“It’s not funny!” Seojun shouts, grabbing a cushion to hit him with.
Suho laughs louder, a throaty breathless thing that ultimately makes Seojun stand to his feet and grab his jacket.
“Seojun! Where are you going?” Jugyeong grabs his sleeve. “We’re going to watch a movie.”
Seojun smiles at her, all his anger thawing into a tenderness only he can shift into in a matter of seconds. He bends down to peck her on the nose. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
He glares at Suho on his way to the door and Suho only presses his mouth shut to tamp down another ripple of laughter. “Seojun,” he finally comes out with when Seojun loiters at the door tying his shoelaces. “If you pass Korean History class, I’ll let you change your name.”
Seojun peeks behind the partition wall a second later. “Really?”
“What about me?!” Jugyeong punches Suho in the shoulder, making him sway with the impact.
“You too,” Suho nods once, like he’s sealing a business deal. “But only if you study hard and pass.”
When they get fifth and seventh place in Korean History, the class believes it’s just them rivalling for the highest rank. Suho knows the real reason. And if he already had their numbers saved under the most mawkish nicknames he could find online all along… well, what they don’t know won’t hurt them. Call it incentive.